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Archive for the ‘comparisons’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Comparison: 2017 Mercedes C-Class vs 2018 Mercedes C-Class

When it was unveiled back in 2014, the W205-generation C-Class redefined the premium compact market with its sporty exterior design and exquisite interior layout. Based on the larger S-Class, which was still new back then, the C-Class made the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 look old and dated. The fact that the two were three and seven years old in 2014 also helped the C-Class become the king of the luxury compact market instantly. But things have changed since them. Audi launched a new A4 in 2015, while BMW updated the 3 Series for the 2016 model year and it’s getting ready to launch a new-generation model in 2018. The C-Class is no longer that far ahead, so Mercedes gave its four-door a makeover.

On top of the usual exterior design changes, the C-Class was updated with new features and technology inside the cabin. Highlights include a new digital display for all models and a standard seven-inch screen for the lower-spec versions. Mercedes also added touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheels, and new driver assist features that make the car semi-autonomous, just like in the bigger E-Class and S-Class models. Of course, exterior changes are an important part of a facelift, so let’s see what makes the upgraded model stand out in the comparison below.

Continue reading for the full story.

Front

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“The front bumper is described as new, but in reality, it gained minor touches here in there”

It takes a closer look to spot all the little changes, but it’s very common for mid-cycle facelifts to bring mild revisions. Even when we’re talking about Mercedes-Benz. Much like every update of this kind, the changes mostly affect the front and rear fascias. Up front, the C-Class gained new headlamps. They’re basically the same as far as shape and size go, but they were redesigned under the plastic covers. The hockey stick LED daytime running lights are thicker and have been moved closer to the inner edge. The main grille appears to be the same, but now sports the fancy diamond grille on almost every trim.

The front bumper is described as new, but in reality, it gained minor touches here in there. The center vent is a bit wider, while the side intakes are taller, giving the front end a more aggressive look. The car in the photos also sports a couple of horizontal strakes in each of the side vents, but that feature isn’t available on all models. It’s a good improvement overall.

Side

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“There are two new exterior colors: green and silver. Yey!”

This is where you could look at either of the two cars, because it’s exactly what you get not matter if you buy the new 2018 C-Class or a used, pre-facelift model. Nothing has changed aside from the side panels of the front bumper and the fact that the revised sedan comes with new wheel designs. The five-spoke model seen here is definitely cool to look at — I like how the spokes seem to float around the center hub — but again, this is the norm today. Oh, and there are two new exterior colors: green and silver. Yey!

Facelifts rarely change a car’s profile, so we will keep seeing this side view until the next-generation model arrives.

Rear

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“The new, inverted C-shaped LED lights give the sedan a modern look”

If you like noticeable facelifts, you’d better head back to the “Front” section and enjoy those photos a bit more, because the rear end doesn’t have much to offer. If you’re still here, check out the taillights for new features. Fortunately, Mercedes did a good job here. The previous two-unit LED layout was far from inspiring, while the new, inverted C-shaped LED lights give the sedan a modern look. The shape and size of the taillights are the same, but I like these S-Class-inspired units, and I’m glad that Merc kept them. The diffuser-like element is now finished in black, and there’s chrome trim running below the bumper and the big exhaust pipes, but that’s about. Still, it’s a solid upgrade that will keep the model fresh for a couple more years.

References

Mercedes-Benz C-Class


2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - image 698581

Read our full review on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.


Comparison: 2017 Mercedes C-Class vs 2018 Mercedes C-Class - image 769377

Read our full review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.


maker logos - image 743625

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Visual Comparison: 2018 BMW X4 vs 2018 Mercedes GLC Coupe

BMW has high hopes for the X4 now that the new coupe-crossover has been unveiled. The new midsize model will now be tasked to compete against a bevy of rivals in its segment, none more important than the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe. An endless amount of debates should ensue now that both models are here. Which one performs better? Which one handles better? These questions are a few of the many that we can expect in the coming months. Those, and which of the two looks better. We’ll try to piece together what we can to answer that last question, though, off the bat, don’t blame us if we can’t arrive at a consensus. The BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe do look alike in a lot of ways.

External Measurements


Visual Comparison: 2018 BMW X4 vs 2018 Mercedes GLC Coupe - image 768633

Front

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Now that we’ve gotten out of the way, it’s time to look at the front section of both coupe-crossovers. The first thing you’ll notice is that both models follow the design template of their respective brands. It is worth mentioning, though, that the X4’s front design is more balanced than the GLC Coupe. The front elements on the Merc look a little too compact as if Mercedes couldn’t find enough space to fit the headlights, grille, bumper, splitter, and intakes all together. The X4, on the other hand, has space for components to breathe. Look closer at the lines on the hood. The ones on X4 are more spaced out than the ones in the GLC. Maybe that helps with the illusion of balance in the BMW, but it works much better than it does on the Mercedes.

Side

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This angle is where it becomes to difficult to tell the two models apart. Both the X4 and GLC Coupe were designed as hybrids between a coupe and a crossover, and you can see that with how long the roof swoops down to the rear in a coupe-like fashion. It’s remarkable to see how the angle of the roof is almost identical to one another. Even the shoulder lines are positioned almost in the same area. The Merc’s body line does streak from just under the door handles while the Bimmer’s appears to hit the front door handle before creating enough space at the back.

The GLC also benefits from having a more pronounced lower line and more prominent side skirts. On the other hand, the front fender on the X4 sticks out a little more, and I like the wheel design on the on the X4 more than the one on the GLC. The Bimmer also has its trademark shark fin sitting on the roof. But other than that, I can’t blame you if you end up confusing one for the other.

Rear

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Even though both models still look similar in shape, there’s a lot of differentiation between the X4 and the G-Class Coupe in this section. The taillights are different, and while both models have a dual exhaust setup, the ones on the G-Class are bigger and sit further apart compared to the X4. Part of that is probably because the diffuser on the Bimmer is more pronounced compared to the one on the Mercedes.

In that vein, the X4 is also sportier in terms of design. Its rear lines are more aggressive, the spoiler is bigger, and the extra wing near the roof is a feature that the Merc doesn’t have.

The G-Class Coupe, on the other hand, doesn’t have as many body lines in the rear as the X4. There’s not a lot about its rear section that stands out when you line it up against the X4. The Mercedes G-Class looks decent in this section, but the X4 laps it with its own design. The latter is sportier and more aggressive to look at, which is exactly what coupe crossovers are supposed to look like.

References

BMW X4


2018 BMW X4 - image 768443

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X4.

Mercedes GLC


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe - image 670295

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon Visual Comparison: 2018 BMW X4 vs 2018 Mercedes GLC Coupe

BMW has high hopes for the X4 now that the new coupe-crossover has been unveiled. The new midsize model will now be tasked to compete against a bevy of rivals in its segment, none more important than the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe. An endless amount of debates should ensue now that both models are here. Which one performs better? Which one handles better? These questions are a few of the many that we can expect in the coming months. Those, and which of the two looks better. We’ll try to piece together what we can to answer that last question, though, off the bat, don’t blame us if we can’t arrive at a consensus. The BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe do look alike in a lot of ways.

External Measurements


Visual Comparison: 2018 BMW X4 vs 2018 Mercedes GLC Coupe - image 768633

Front

left
right

Now that we’ve gotten out of the way, it’s time to look at the front section of both coupe-crossovers. The first thing you’ll notice is that both models follow the design template of their respective brands. It is worth mentioning, though, that the X4’s front design is more balanced than the GLC Coupe. The front elements on the Merc look a little too compact as if Mercedes couldn’t find enough space to fit the headlights, grille, bumper, splitter, and intakes all together. The X4, on the other hand, has space for components to breathe. Look closer at the lines on the hood. The ones on X4 are more spaced out than the ones in the GLC. Maybe that helps with the illusion of balance in the BMW, but it works much better than it does on the Mercedes.

Side

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right

This angle is where it becomes to difficult to tell the two models apart. Both the X4 and GLC Coupe were designed as hybrids between a coupe and a crossover, and you can see that with how long the roof swoops down to the rear in a coupe-like fashion. It’s remarkable to see how the angle of the roof is almost identical to one another. Even the shoulder lines are positioned almost in the same area. The Merc’s body line does streak from just under the door handles while the Bimmer’s appears to hit the front door handle before creating enough space at the back.

The GLC also benefits from having a more pronounced lower line and more prominent side skirts. On the other hand, the front fender on the X4 sticks out a little more, and I like the wheel design on the on the X4 more than the one on the GLC. The Bimmer also has its trademark shark fin sitting on the roof. But other than that, I can’t blame you if you end up confusing one for the other.

Rear

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right

Even though both models still look similar in shape, there’s a lot of differentiation between the X4 and the G-Class Coupe in this section. The taillights are different, and while both models have a dual exhaust setup, the ones on the G-Class are bigger and sit further apart compared to the X4. Part of that is probably because the diffuser on the Bimmer is more pronounced compared to the one on the Mercedes.

In that vein, the X4 is also sportier in terms of design. Its rear lines are more aggressive, the spoiler is bigger, and the extra wing near the roof is a feature that the Merc doesn’t have.

The G-Class Coupe, on the other hand, doesn’t have as many body lines in the rear as the X4. There’s not a lot about its rear section that stands out when you line it up against the X4. The Mercedes G-Class looks decent in this section, but the X4 laps it with its own design. The latter is sportier and more aggressive to look at, which is exactly what coupe crossovers are supposed to look like.

References

BMW X4


2018 BMW X4 - image 768443

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW X4.

Mercedes GLC


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe - image 670295

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Watch the Kia Stinger Level With the Panamara; Kick BMW’s Ass

It really has to suck for BMW to get beat out so badly by a Korean economy brand


PostHeaderIcon Kia Pits The Forte Against The Lamborghini Aventador in Hilarious Ad

The Kia Forte and the Lamborghini Aventador are two cars that couldn’t be more different from each other. One is a compact four-door sedan while the other is, well, you know what the Aventador is. On the surface, the Aventador beats the Forte in just about every meaningful discussion. But is the Lamborghini really that much better than the Forte? Kia (obviously) doesn’t think so, and believe it or not; it actually makes a compelling case for its own sedan.

Go ahead and watch the video. Tell me you didn’t get a good laugh out of it. I certainly did. Kia’s justifications for the Forte are all fair. The sedan does have two more doors than the supercar. It also has a big advantage in rear seating, cargo space, touch-screen capability, and wireless charging. It even has the Aventador beat in fuel efficiency and cost. It’s true that you can buy a Forte for a tenth of the price of an Aventador. You can even use the money you saved on something else, including that villa in Italy the voice-over guy suggested. By these metrics, the Forte wins hands down!

In all seriousness, the “rivalry” between the Forte and Aventador is tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek humor. Give credit to Kia for thinking outside the box with the angle for this commercial. It takes a certain kind of confidence to roll out an Aventador opposite a Forte, and then actually make a compelling case for the latter as the better car.

Well done, Kia. It’s a great commercial, though, I think it would’ve probably been better if you saved this one for Super Bowl LII. Just a thought.


References

Kia Forte


2019 Kia Forte - image 761739

Read our full review on the 2019 Kia Forte.

Lamborghini Aventador


2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 - image 738951

Read our full review on the 2017 Lamborghini Aventador.

PostHeaderIcon Hyundai’s Hydrogen-powered Nexo Has Better Mileage than a Tesla

Korean carmaker Hyundai has been developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles since the early 2000s, with the first test model launched in 2005. It was based on the first-generation ix35/Tucson. The crossover was updated in 2012 and went into production in 2013, becoming the first mass-produced SUV with hydrogen power. It’s been five years since then, and Hyundai is replacing the ix35/Tucson FCEV with the Nexo. Unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, the Nexo is the brand’s first fuel cell vehicle built on a dedicated platform and boasts significant performance improvements in every department. And it offers better mileage than a Tesla!


Hyundai's Hydrogen-powered Nexo Has Better Mileage than a Tesla - image 756395
“The Nexo sports a brand-new design that combines the company's familiar styling language with a few unique cues”

The Nexo sports a brand-new design that combines the company’s familiar styling language with a few unique cues. The front fascia is similar to the recently launched Kona, including the slender headlamps and large lights in the bumper, but it has a new grille with a wider top section and more rounded sides. The profile is rather sporty when compared to the Tucson thanks to the swoopy beltline, the coupe-like roof, and the sculpted side skirts. The rear section is pretty simple and very SUV-specific, but it somewhat unique in the Hyundai lineup. The headlamps have an interesting LED pattern, while the bumper includes a massive license plate recess that mimics the shape of the front grille.

The cabin layout is clean and simple. I can see a few Kona features on the dashboard, but the Nexo’s cabin is very original. The center console is taller than in most small SUVs and works its way up to the center stack. There’s a big infotainment display in the center, and the instrument cluster is digital. Both screens are placed under the same hood, which makes it seem as if a wide screen stretches across more than half the dashboard. The remaining controls are placed on the center console. If you ask me, the latter is a bit too cluttered with buttons and knobs, and the lower dash and door panels look a bit too cheap. Technology-wise, it comes with new Lane Following Assist, Blind-spot View Monitor, and Remote Smart Parking Assistant. The SUV is also supposed to power household applications, a feature that Hyundai wants to demo at CES.

Better Range than a Tesla


Hyundai's Hydrogen-powered Nexo Has Better Mileage than a Tesla - image 756378

Unlike the Tucson, the Nexo rides on its own architecture. This is proof that Hyundai’s hydrogen program has finally matured and it is ready to become a mainstream thing. On top of the new platform, the Nexo sports a lighter, more compact hydrogen powertrain and a more powerful electric motor. The power density of the stack was increased by 50 percent, and system efficiency went up 5.1 percent compared to the Tucson FCEV. The motor is smaller and contains fewer moving parts for enhanced efficiency and reliability, while the hydrogen tanks are 36 pounds lighter than those in the Tucson FCEV.

The electric motor cranks out 120 kW (161 horsepower) and 291 pound-feet of torque, up from the previous 100-kW (134-horsepower) and 221-pound-foot rating. The new drivetrain needs 30 seconds to get going, a full 60 seconds less than the Tucson FCEV. The hydrogen tanks can also store more fuel. While the previous crossover had a capacity of 140 liters (37 gallons), the Nexo can carry 156 liters (42 gallons). Likewise, the sprint from 0 to 60 mph decreased from 12.5 to 9.9 seconds, while mileage increased from 295 miles to 370 miles. Hyundai claims in a real-world run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas; the Nexo returned a 360-mile range. Bye-bye range anxiety! Refueling the tanks takes only five minutes.

The 370-mile range makes the Nexo the most efficient production car that uses an electric motor on the market right. It even trumps the Tesla Model X by 75 miles. The all-electric SUV is good for 237 miles in base trim, while the most efficient version, the 100D, provides up to 295 miles on a single charge. A bit ironic given that Elon Musk said that hydrogen fuel cell technology is “incredibly dumb.”

The Nexo will be available in select markets later this year, but there’s no word on production output and pricing yet.

Hyundai Nexo Tesla Model X
Power 135 kW
Fuel Cell 95 kW
Battery 40 kW 75 kWh to 100 kWh
Motor 120 kW (161 HP) 417 – 518 HP
Torque 291 LB-FT 387 – 485 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 9.9 seconds 6 seconds
Range >370 miles estimated 237-295 miles (depending on trim)

References

Hyundai Nexo


Hyundai's Hydrogen-powered Nexo Has Better Mileage than a Tesla - image 756408

Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai Nexo.


2016 Tesla Model X - image 678035

Read our full review on the 2017 Tesla Model X.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.


maker logos - image 744957

Read more Hyundai news.

PostHeaderIcon How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F

Lexus might be best known for its cushy cars and that unforgettable Spindle grille, but the company has a long list of high-performance vehicles that include the iconic LF-A and a handful of F Performance models. The F stands for Fuji Speedway where the vehicles are developed, but it might was well stand for fun. These models have performance-oriented suspensions, larger brakes, a powerful engine, and more aggressive styling. A perfect example of this is the Lexus GS F. It’s a full-size sedan with a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8, rear-wheel drive, massive Brembo brakes, and looks to kill.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Lexus GS 200t – the same sedan but powered by a 241-horsepower turbo-four. While the cars couldn’t be more different, Lexus offers something in the middle: the F Sport package. This adds 19-inch wheels, larger brakes with high-friction pads, an adaptive suspension system, variable ratio steering, and a body kit that closely resembles the GS F’s.

This week happens to have a 2017 Lexus GS 200t F Sport in my driveway, and I wanted to explore the differences between it and the all-out GS F, especially haven driven both.

Continue reading for the quick comparison.

Exterior

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“It might take a Lexus expert to spot the differences between the GS F Sport and the GS F when seen separately, but when put together, the differences become noticeable”

It might take a Lexus expert to spot the differences between the GS F Sport and the GS F when seen separately, but when put together, the differences become noticeable. Up front, the GS F has larger air intakes below the headlights. The Spindle grilles are actually pretty similar, though the GS F uses some carbon fiber trim along the bottom.

Around the sides, the front fenders have a massive vent slotted right behind the front wheels. This functional piece helps evacuate air from within the wheel well, put there by the brake ducts designed to keep the big Brembos cool. A more pronounced rocker panel skirt follows the vented fender, giving the GS F a more planted look.

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“Around back, the GS F uses stacked, quad exhaust pipes and a carbon fiber deck lid spoiler to denote its high-performance nature”

Around back, the GS F uses stacked, quad exhaust pipes and a carbon fiber deck lid spoiler to denote its high-performance nature. A smaller details are the gray mirror caps that stand apart from the seven available body colors – well, except for Smoky Granite Mica color.

The most noticeable different, however, are the wheels. The GS F comes with 19-inch, 10-spoke wheels, while the GS F Sport comes with 19-inch five-spoke wheels with thicker, less intricate spokes.

As for things the GS F Sport doesn’t have, well, its basically the opposite the GS F. It has smaller openings below the headlights, standard GS front fenders, less pronounced rocker panels, body-colored side mirrors, a body-colored decklid spoiler, and integrated oval dual exhaust tips.

Interior

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“The GS F comes with carbon fiber trim; suede inserts on the center console, dash and door panels; and deep bucket seats with uniquely stitched leather.”

Like the exterior, the GS 200t F Sport and GS F share the same basic interior layout. The differences are in the details. The GS F comes with carbon fiber trim; suede inserts on the center console, dash and door panels; and deep bucket seats with uniquely stitched leather. The GS F also boasts a gauge cluster much like the LF-A supercar. It has a small speedometer on the right, a large tachometer in the center, and an information screen on the left. The standard GS and GS F Sport’s gauges look similar, but replace the speedometer for fuel level and coolant temperature, which in all honesty, is a much better use of space. Both cars have digital speed readouts inside the tach and a head-up display with a digital speedometer is optional.

As for the GS 200t F Sport, it comes with comfort-oriented seats, aluminum-style trim, and leather covering all the spots where suede would be on the GS F. And beyond the gauge cluster, the rest of the interior is basically identical, including the large, 12.3-inch infotainment system and odd joystick controller.

Drivetrain


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755912
“The GS 200t comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm.”

Of course, the biggest differences between the GS 200t F Sport and GS F are the drivetrains. The GS 200t comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 241 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque at only 1,650 rpm. Conversely, the GS F comes with Lexus’ familiar 5.0-liter making substantially more power at 467 horses at 7,100 rpm and 389 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. And though the GS F trails its super sedan competition like the Cadillac CTS-V and BMW M5, its naturally aspirated engine loves to rev and sounds good doing it.

Both the GS 200t and GS F use an eight-speed automatic transmission and pump power to the rear wheels.


2016 Lexus GS F – Driven - image 681152
“The GS F comes with Lexus’ familiar 5.0-liter making substantially more power at 467 horses at 7,100 rpm and 389 pound-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm”

As for performance the GS F sprints to 60 mph in only 4.4 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.9 seconds at 113 mph and onto a top speed of 168 mph. The GS 200t F Sport needs 6.6 seconds to hit 60 mph and 14.9 seconds to complete the quarter-mile at 95 mph. Its top speed is governed at 143 mph.

Last but not least, the GS F uses a sophisticated electronic rear differential with torque vectoring to help in cornering. The GS 200t F Sport gets an open differential, though by graduating to the GS 350 F Sport opens up the optional Torsen limited-slip differential ($500) and the Dynamic Handling System with rear-wheel steering ($1,700). The GS F isn’t even available with the rear-wheel steering.

Suspension and Brakes


2016 Lexus GS F – Driven - image 681144
“The GS F rides on "F-Adaptive Variable Suspension" that’s tuned for a sharper ride and better cornering”

The GS F is clearly designed to handle track time and high-speed cruising. It rides on “F-Adaptive Variable Suspension” that’s tuned for a sharper ride and better cornering. It uses forged aluminum control arms and steering knuckles up front and massive, six-piston Brembo brakes clamping 14.9-inch slotted and vented rotors. Out back, four-piston Bembos clamp on 13.5-inch slotted and vented rotors. The GS F also rides on wider, sticker summer performance tires measuring 255/35R19 up front and 275/35R19 in back.

The GS 200t F Sport might not be that quick in a straight line, but its F Sport package does wonders for its handling prowess compared to the standard GS sedan. Of course, it can’t match the GS F’s road-holding abilities. The GS 200t F Sport uses a similar Adaptive Variable Suspension system that get the “F Sport tune” rather than the “F tune.” Lexus doesn’t dive into the specific calibration differences. The GS 200t F Sport uses 14.0-inch, two-piece brake rotors up front with four-piston calipers. The rear brakes measure 12.2 inches in diameter and come with single-piston sliding calipers. The F Sport still comes with summer performance tires, but they are narrower at 235/40R19 in front and 265/35R19 in back. Both cars share the same electronic power steering system with 2.8 turns to lock.


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755915
“The GS 200t F Sport uses a similar Adaptive Variable Suspension system that get the “F Sport tune” rather than the “F tune.””

According to Car & Driver, the GS F manages an impressive 0.93 g on their 300-foot road-holding skidpad, while the GS 200t F Sport manages a slightly milder 0.86 g in the same test. Interestingly, there is a big difference in curb weights between the two cars, as well. The GS 200t F Sport C&D tested weighted 3,869 pounds while the GS F weighted a porky 4,128 pounds. Lexus claims the GS F only weights 4,034 pounds.

Pricing


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755913
“The GS F starts at $84,350 – a full $30,370 more expensive than the GS 200t F Sport”

While the 2017 GS 200t starts at $46,310, adding the F Sport package pushes the price to $53,980. The GS F, on the other hand, starts at $84,350 – a full $30,370 more expensive than the GS 200t F Sport. That’s a hefty jump, though it’s undeniable the vastness of the performance jump between the cars, too.

For someone who wants a serious sports sedan but isn’t keen on Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche, the Lexus GS F proves to a solid choice. For those who would rather carve corners than drag race or do long drifts around some bendy autocross circuit, the GS 200t F Sport is the better choice. For those in the middle, Lexus has the GS 350 F Sport with its 3.5-liter V-6 making 311 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. For those wanting to be green, Lexus also has an F Sport package for the GS 450h and its hybrid drivetrain.

Behind the Wheel

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So far, we’ve covered all the objective facts between the two GS models. Now it’s time for sliding behind the wheel and getting a feel for them.

Both cars feel incredibly similar thanks to the shared dashboard design, infotainment system, and related gauge clusters. Even the steering system are the same, offering the same number of turns from lock to lock and connected feel doing down the road. There is zero on-center vagueness and both cars start dancing at the slightest turn of their leather-wrapped wheels.

The first big noticeable difference is the seats. The GS F has thickly bolstered front bucket seats while the GS 200t F Sport has cushier padding and less contrast stitching. Once moving the power level quickly becomes apparent. The GS F will rocket away, accelerating very rapidly to extra-legal speeds. The 241-horsepower GS 200t takes a bit more time. Between the somewhat slow-shifting transmission and slight turbo lag, the GS 200t takes few milliseconds to get moving, even with the throttle jabbed quickly to the floor. The naturally aspirated, 487-horsepower GS F doesn’t have that problem.

The differences in braking and road-holding are nominal on the street and would need a racetrack in order to illuminate the GS F’s advantages. Just tooling around the streets will never explore the GS 200t F Sport’s brakes full capabilities, let alone the GS F’s big Brembos.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more on the 2017 GS 200t F Sport and check below for our previous coverage.

References

Lexus GS


2016 Lexus GS - image 640431

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS.


2016 Lexus GS F - image 608999

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus GS F.


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755909

2016 Lexus GS F – Driven - image 681138

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Lexus GS F.

Why is Lexus Charging $1,400 for Heated Seats on a $47k Car?


How the Lexus GS 200t F Sport Compares to the GS F - image 755935

The Lexus GS 200t’s Infotainment System is its Weak Point

PostHeaderIcon New vs. Old: Exterior Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet’s soft debut of the 2019 Silverado 1500 Trailboss foregoes the big, juicy details, but gives us a great first glimpse at the all-new, next-generation pickup. About the only official specs include the higher strength steel bed floor, a substantial reduction in overall weight, and the presence of that new Trailboss trim. Chevy is withholding the rest until the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in mid-January.

Nevertheless, we’re going over what we know so far and taking a close look at the differences between the outgoing 2014-2018 Silverado and the 2019 model. Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado.

What We Know

“The 2019 Silverado is completely new – that much we fully expect”

The 2019 Silverado is completely new – that much we fully expect. A new frame made from stronger and lighter steel, updated suspension parts, and lighter body panels are all highly probable. Chevy did say the 2019 Silverado will be substantially lighter than before while its capability will be greater. New engine and transmission combinations are officially happening, though Chevy was mum on the details.
Expect updates to the 4.3-liter V-6 and 5.3- and 6.2-liter V-8s. Chevy will certainly include its new 10-speed automatic transmission in the Silverado, too. A possibility of a forced-induction engine – like a turbocharged V-6 – could be happening, as well.

As for the added lightness, Chevy only revealed details of its new cargo bed. The floor is made from a roll-formed, higher-grade steel alloy. Chevy says it’s stronger yet lighter. The rest of the Silverado will use “mixed materials and advanced manufacturing, “ though no word on what that actually means. Rumors suggest the bed could be made of carbon fiber. Since the floor is known to be steel, perhaps it’s the bed walls that get the high-tech material.

More Off-Road Tech


New vs. Old: Exterior Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado - image 753284
“The Z71 package includes a two-inch suspension lift and Goodyear DuraTrac tires”

The truck Chevy used to debut the 2019 Silverado is the Trailboss trim – an upgraded Z71 package that includes a two-inch suspension lift and Goodyear DuraTrac tires. Chevy says it’s one of eight trim levels available, which falls in line with the trims currently available on the 2018 Silverado. These include the WT, LS, LT, LT Z71, LTZ, LTZ Z71, and High Country. The Trailboss will be available in the LT trim and likely the LTZ trim. The red one seen here is the LT trim.

It’s clear the Silverado Trailboss isn’t a Ford F-150 Raptor fighter. Rather, this will go head-to-head with the Ram Rebel and Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. Technically, the Ford F-150 FX4 package should be included in the fight, as well, though it’s not as dedicated as the others.

A Visual Comparison

left
right
“It’s clear from the images the 2019 Silverado shares no exterior parts with the outgoing pickup”

It’s clear from the images the 2019 Silverado shares no exterior parts with the outgoing pickup. Even the A-pillars, roof, and doors are new, confirming the 2019 Silverado’s complete revamp. The windshield is more raked for better aerodynamics and the side mirrors are now perched on the doors rather than mounted by the windows. This will help both reduce wind noise and aerodynamic efficiency.

Up front, the grille is still upright but shares no cues or design features with the outgoing style. Projector beam headlights are stacked atop the amber parking lights with the fender cutting into the grille and housing the LED daytime running lights. The bumper has a familiar design with the fog lights and tow hooks mounted together, a design cue seen on older Silverados. Red tow hooks apparently come on the Trailboss trim, too. Noticeably missing is a big, ugly front air dam, though we expect non-Trailboss models will have one.

Fender Vents


New vs. Old: Exterior Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado - image 753325
“Perhaps the most interesting feature of the 2019 Silverado’s front end is the fender vents”

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the 2019 Silverado’s front end is the fender vents. The vertical vents are located between the front bumper and fender. The fender bulges outward, leaving space between itself and the amber parking light and bumper. How this plays into aerodynamics or drivetrain cooling is yet unknown. This feature could also be unique to the Trailboss trim, too. That seems especially plausible considering the body seam between the vent and front fender.

Around the Sides


New vs. Old: Exterior Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado - image 753330
“The 2019 Silverado is far more sculpted and swoopy verses the previous Silverado”

The 2019 Silverado is far more sculpted and swoopy verses the previous Silverado. Gone are the squared-off fenders, replaced with rounded wheel wells for the first time since the second-generation C/K generation ended in 1972. A strong character line runs from the headlights through the front fender and then dives sharply under the side mirror. The line then runs across the doors and then dissipates within the rear fender bulge. A second character line runs just above the door handles and into the rear taillights before continuing onto the tailgate. A detail worth pointing out is the keyless entry button on all four door handles.

The Silverado Trailboss comes with some handsome and blacked out, double five-spoke wheels. They come wrapped in Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. It is interesting that no side steps or rock sliders come with the Trailboss package, especially considering its off-roading intentions.

Out Back


New vs. Old: Exterior Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado - image 753283
“New for 2019 are the chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes integrated into the bumper’s lower half”

The 2019 Silverado’s business end is highly stylized yet ready for work. The tailgate features a retro-style CHEVROLET embossing right into the metal, while the Silverado and trim level badges are chrome lettering. The step bumper returns with larger steps for easier access into the bed. The trailer hitch receiver and trailer wiring connection remain almost unchanged, as does the access hole for the hand-crank winch that lowers the spare tire from under the bed. New for 2019 are the chrome-tipped dual exhaust pipes integrated into the bumper’s lower half. This looks similar to the Ram 1500’s dual exhaust treatment, but doesn’t blatantly copy the design detail.

Looking closely, more aerodynamic features are seen back here, too. The trailing edge of the cab has a spoiler integrated into its design. The third brake light seamlessly follows the spoiler and even appears to incorporate a camera for viewing the bed. The tailgate has a slight spoiler, as well, with a thick lip along the top. These two features should help the 2019 Silverado slip through the air more efficiently.

Badge Locations


New vs. Old: Exterior Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado - image 753328

General Motors’ pickups have had numerous locations for badging over the years. The outgoing Silverado has its main badges on the front doors, while the GMC Sierra places the high on the font fenders. It seems Chevy will follow GMC’s lead for 2019; the Z71 badge seen on the new Silverado is placed predominately ahead of the side mirrors. At face values, this serves two purposes. One, it puts the badge at eye level, making the truck’s trim level easy to spot, and two, it frees up the door space for company logos.

Around back, the Silverado badge and trim level continue to reside on the tailgate, though the embossed CHEVROLET logo hasn’t been seen in several generations. Most recently, the embossed logo was seen on the ill-fated Pro-Tec composite bed offered on the 2001-2003 Silverado.

What We Expect Next


New vs. Old: Exterior Updates to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado - image 753332
“Chevy will divulge all the details at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show come mid-January”

Chevy will divulge all the details at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show come mid-January. Until then, we can only speculate. We expect the interior to have improved fit and better materials, more storage space, and hopefully a completely flat rear load floor in extended and crew cab models. Updated in-dash tech will also be included, along with a 360-degree camera system should be present.

As for powertrains, expect to see the venerable 5.3-liter and 6.2-liter V-8s return, but perhaps with updates for more power and increased fuel economy. The 4.3-liter should be present, too, but perhaps with a turbocharger or two for increased power with added fuel economy. Chevy’s 10-speed automatic transmission is expected on all but the WT trims, which will likely get the existing six-speed or even the eight-speed automatic. The base trucks will likely continue using a manual transfer case, while upper trims will get a push-button system with an Auto mode.

The 2019 Chevy Silverado will make its appearance in dealership showrooms sometime in the third quarter of 2018. Pricing hasn’t been revealed, of course, but expect a slight increase over the outgoing Silverado.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name - image 739865

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 712066

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Putting The McLaren Senna’s Power-To-Weight Ratio Into Perspective

While you certainly won’t find us complaining when automakers boast about crazy peak output figures and power-to-weight ratios, it’s always a good idea to put those numbers into perspective. Take the recently released McLaren Senna. Tagged with a name that pays respect to the legendary Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna, this machine is offered as the Woking company’s “most extreme” road car ever created. Not only does it have the most powerful engine to ever bless a street-legal McLaren, with 789 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque hitting the rear axle by way of a turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8, but its also the lightest street-legal McLaren ever made, tipping the scales at a scant 2,641 pounds thanks to oodles of exotic materials and motorsports-inspired construction. That’s the dry weight, by the way, not the curb weight. The end result is 658 horsepower per metric ton, or 598 horsepower per U.S. ton.

Impressive stuff, no doubt about it. That power-to-weight ratio bests even the mighty P1, which lays down 903 hybridized horses to motivate 3,075 pounds of dry weight, which calculates to 587 horsepower per U.S. ton. The iconic McLaren F1 is also defeated, producing 627 horsepower and tipping the scales with 2,425 pounds of dry weight, calculating out to 517 horsepower per U.S. ton. Meanwhile, the daily-driver oriented McLaren 650S Spider is left in the spec sheet dust, producing 641 horsepower with a dry weight of 3,020 pounds, which calculates as just 425 horsepower per U.S. ton

Of course, there’s much more that goes into making speed than a stellar power-to-weight ratio. Just as important (if not more so) is how that power reaches the pavement. For example, it’s a rather straightforward process to make 1,000 horsepower from a tuned 2JZ-powered Toyota Supra, but if you’re running all-season tires, all you’ll make is smoke. Traction, torque curves, aerodynamics… all help translate that ratio into real-world velocity, the stuff that really matters.

With that in mind, read on for the power-to-weight ratios of a few more high-end performance machines.

Continue reading to learn more about power-to-weight ratios.

Power-To-Weight Comparison Chart

Model Horsepower Dry Weight Horsepower Per U.S. Ton
McLaren Senna 789 horsepower 2,641 pounds 598
McLaren P1 903 horsepower 3,075 pounds 587
McLaren 650S Spider 641 horsepower 3,020 pounds 425
Bugatti Chiron 1,479 horsepower 4,400 pounds 672
Hennessey Venom GT 1,200 horsepower 2,524 pounds 951
Ariel Atom V-8 475 horsepower 1,210 pounds 785
Koenigsegg Regera 1,500 horsepower 3,241 pounds 926
Ferrari LaFerrari 950 horsepower 2,767 pounds 687

References


Meet the 2019 McLaren Senna – Track-Going Evil With a Hunger For the Road - image 752226

Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren Senna.


2014 McLaren P1 - image 525097

Read our full review on the 2014 McLaren P1.


2015 McLaren 650S Spider - image 544397

Read our full review on the 2015 McLaren 650S Spider.


1993 McLaren F1 - image 674549

Read our full review on the 1993 McLaren F1.


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 730338

Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742051

Read our full review on the 2019 Hennessey Venom GT.


2015 Ariel Atom 3S - image 697537

Read our full review on the 2015 Ariel Atom V-8.


2017 Koenigsegg Regera - image 709838

Read our full review on the 2018 Koenigsegg Regera.


2014 Ferrari LaFerrari - image 685814

Read our full review on the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New – Almost 50 Years Apart

First introduced in 1969, the Corvette ZR1 has been offered for all generations since the C3, except for the C5 model. This pretty much makes it a constant presence in the Corvette lineup. However, when Chevy revised the ZR1 for the first time in 1990 after a 21-year absence, it didn’t offer a convertible version. The drop-top was ignored with the C6 model, produced between 2009 to 2013, too. Chevrolet finally took the roof of the ZR1 at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, unveiled the convertible model only weeks after it launched the beefed-up coupe. This makes the C7-gen Corvette ZR1 Convertible the first topless ZR1 in 48 years, and the event requires a bit of celebration with a proper comparison between the two.

The ZR1 nameplate has come a long way all these years, and this comparison’s purpose is to showcase just that. Now a full-fledged, stand-alone performance model with radical changes compared to the standard car, the ZR1 actually started life as a package for a trim that wasn’t even the most powerful in the lineup. But let’s find out more about that in the comparison below.

Continue reading for the full story.

How They Came to the Market


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749133
“The first ZR1 was conceived by Zora Arkus Duntov, who wanted a race-ready Vette with a small-block engine”

The first ever ZR1 Convertible came to be in 1969, when the Chevy launched the ZR1 upgrade for the LT1 model. The bundle was conceived by Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus Duntov, who wanted a race-ready Vette with a small-block engine. Duntov applied the lesson learned from the big-block L88 model and used almost identical chassis preparation and drivetrain updates to develop the ZR1. Despite being labeled as a special engine upgrade, it was basically a small-block version of the all-conquering V-8.


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749144

The current ZR1 arrived in 2017, a full four years into the C7-generation Corvette’s life-cycle. Unlike its grand-grandfather, the C7 ZR1 received a brand-new, exclusive engine and a unique aerodynamic kit on top of the retuned chassis and suspension. It was also design as a stand-alone, full-time model and not just a package upgrade to existing versions like the standard Corvette or the Corvette Z06. You’re not buying any options and you’re not stuck with an engine already available in other models.

Exterior

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right
“The C7-gen ZR1 is a significant departure from the first ZR1, as it features a comprehensive aerodynamic kit”

The ZR1 upgrade for the C3-generation was as subtle as they get design-wise, because there were no styling add-ons included. Customers got exactly what they ordered on the their LT1 models, nothing more, nothing less. Except for the wheel covers. While these were optional on all versions, they were removed from the ZR1’s list. This strategy basically placed the ZR1 below the L88, which came with a bulged hood and special graphics.

The C7-gen ZR1 is a significant departure from this concept, as it features a comprehensive aerodynamic kit. There’s a redesigned front bmper with large intakes, a unique engine hood, side sill extensions, a carbon-fiber splitter, and exclusive wheels. On top of that, customers have two wings to choose from. There’s a low wing that delivers the highest top speed and a high wing that offers maximum downforce and forces quicker laps on the race track. All told, the ZR1 is instantly recognizable when parked alongside the standard and Z06 models.

Interior


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749136
“The power windows, air conditioning, rear window defogger, and the radio were deleted from the C3 ZR1's configuration.”

The story is pretty much the same here, as the ZR1 package added nothing to the C3 LT1’s interior. It actually removed a few things in order to keep it as light as possible for race-track duty. The power windows, the air conditioning system, the rear window defogger, and the radio were deleted from the LT1’s configuration.


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749141

Moving over to the C7-gen Corvette ZR1, it gets a number of unique features. The steering wheel comes with carbon-fiber inserts, while the seats are wrapped in leather and Alcantara. There’s carbon-fiber on the dashboard and center stack too, while a bronze aluminum trim adds more uniqueness to sporty cabin.

Drivetrain


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749137
“The C3 ZR1 was rated at 370 horsepower, but it was no match for the 7.0-liter big-block-engined Corvettes of the era”

This is where the ZR1 magic happened for the C3 Corvette. Sort of. The upgrade mated a Muncie M22 heavy-duty four-speed transmission, known as the “Rock Crusher,” to the V-8 engine and added an aluminum radiator with surge tank and metal fan shroud, a lightweight flywheel, and a heavy-duty L88 starter. The chassis was almost identical to the big-block L88 model and included special, stiffer springs and shocks, a stabilizer bar, and spindle-strut shafts. The ZR1 also gained J56 power brakes, but the power steering was removed for weight-saving purposes. The 5.7-liter V-8 didn’t change beyond the radiator, flywheel, and starter. Output was rated at 370 horsepower, which was pretty solid for 1969, but the LT-1 was no match for the 7.0-liter big-block engines output-wise. The ZR was actually upgraded to big-block LS-6 specifications in 1971, but the nameplate was changed to ZR2 for this model. Output increased to 425 horsepower.


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749154
“Unlike its predecessor, the C7 ZR1 Convertible, gets its own unique engine”

Unlike its predecessor, the C7 ZR1 Convertible gets its own unique engine. Called the LT5, it displaces 6.2 liters, which makes it larger than the original LT-1. It also stands out for using forced induction in the form of a massive supercharger. The bundle generates 755 horsepower, more than twice as much as the original ZR1. It’s obviously quicker from 0 to 60 mph, needing less than three seconds to hit the benchmark, and hits a top speed of 210 mph, figures that were considered science-fiction back in the late 1960s. The modern ZR1 can also be ordered with an automatic transmission. The C3 model was restricted to a manual. Some say that having a manual is better for performance cars, but it’s nice to have options right?

Pricing and Production


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749140
“A 50-year-old ZR1 will cost you more than the current version!”

The first-even ZR1 package was priced at $1,221, almost a quarter of the LT-1 sticker of slightly over $5,000. The ZR2 package was a bit more expensive at $1,747, as was the model it was based on in 1971, when the Corvette’s price jumped to $5,500.

The ZR1 upgrade was offered from 1970 to 1972 and total production included 53 units. Only eight convertibles were fitted with the ZR1 package in 1970, which makes it the rarest small-block Corvette in history. The ZR2 was very short-lived, offered in 1971 only. The big-block model was built in just 12 examples, two of which were convertibles.


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749151

The C7-generation Corvette ZR1 was launched with a starting price of $119,995. Compared to the C3 model, it’s a significant jump from the standard model and even the Z06, which retail from $55,495 and $84,055 for the 2018 model year. Just like its ancestor, production will probably span over a few years only, but Chevy will build significantly more C7 ZR1s. Thousands are likely to hit the streets until the C7 is discontinued.

Due to the first-gen ZR1 being so rare, mint-condition models fetch in excess of $200,000 at auctions, while well-maintained cars that need mild restoration go for at least $130,000. Yes, a 50-year-old ZR1 will cost you more than the current version.

Conclusion


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749135

Given the massive, near-50-year between the C3 and C7 ZR1s, this comparison is only a way to see how the nameplate evolved in half a century. The C7’s performance is colossal compared to the original ZR1, which is proof that technology has made tremendous progress. The most important fact here is that the C3 ZR1 was a pretty spectacular car for its era, much like the C7 ZR1 is stepping into supercar territory with more affordable pricing. Granted, the C7 ZR1 is the true king of C7 Corvette performance-wise, whereas the C3 ZR1 wasn’t as powerful as the big-block cars, but the latter still has a special place in Corvette history. The big question is will the C7 ZR1 be as desirable and expensive in 50 years as the C3 ZR1 is in 2017 compared to 1970?

References

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749144

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 Convertible


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster – New vs. Old

Tesla just unveiled the second-generation Roadster and launched a big shock wave around the world. It’s not the Roadster’s return that took us by surprise, but the incredible specs that the car comes with. Not only set to become the quickest production vehicle ever with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 1.9 seconds, it also has a 250-mph top speed. The latter is downright spectacular for gasoline-powered supercar and I honestly didn’t think I’d live to see a production EV hit that much. But before we get overly excited, we must remember that the second-gen Roadster won’t become available until 2020. And given Tesla’s habit of delaying production, it may take a bit longer than that.

Many details are still under wraps, but Tesla made sure that all the new Roadster’s spectacular features hit the news. So we now have quite a few figures to compare with the first-generation Roadster. It takes just a quick glance to notice that Tesla made tremendous progress since 2008, and this is exactly why we need to put the numbers next to each other. While the first Roadster marked Tesla’s debut on the market and the beginning of a spectacular career for the California-based brand (albeit sprinkled with plenty of issues), the second Roadster could take Elon Musk’s firm to new heights. If all goes according to plan of course, because it may happen the other way around too.

This comparison is far from complete given that the latest Roadster is far from being a production model, but the aim is to look at Tesla’s progress rather than provide an comprehensive comparo.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster ”

The design features of the two Roadsters are the easiest to compare, because Tesla released shots of the new car from every angle and the renderings appears to be pretty close to the actual things. The design is definitely doable, includes many of the company’s trademark cues, and I can’t spot too many features that wouldn’t make in on the production model. Speaking of which, have you seen our rendering of the rumored Tesla supercar? We almost nailed it!

The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster. The first-gen car was pretty appealing when it was launched in 2008, but the new design is definitely more spectacular. But that’s far from surprising. The first Roadster had a unique design that did not carry over to the Model S, the company’s second car. It was the Model S that actually inspired the Model X and Model 3, a quick look at the new Roadster reveals quite a few familiar details.

“The new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders”

Also, while the the first Roadster had looks that usually define lightweight sports cars, the new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders, a wider stance, and overall more aggressive fascias. The light units are particularly interesting, sporting a thin, sleek design that’s different than anything else Tesla used so far.

Much like it’s predecessor, the new Roadster ha a targa-type roof layout. But instead of a canvas top, it has a glass roof that can be stowed in the trunk.

Interior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746105

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233851

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“As you'd expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future, the differences are huge”

As you’d expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future (almost 15 years apart), the differences are huge. Again, the first Roadster looked pretty fresh when launched, but it was also rather spartan, mostly because Tesla was aiming at the lightweight sports car segment. The new Roadster is just a rendering for now, but it’s pretty obvious that it will compete in a more premium market. The design is still plain and simple overall, but all that brutshed aluminum, the leather on the seats, and the massive screen in the center stack suggest a higher quality cabin.

The new Roadster will also come with heavily bolstered, modern looking front seats, as well as a pair of second-row seats. The latter is what makes it different compared to the first-gen car, which was a two-seater. This also makes the new Roadster a significantly different vehicle. Instead of an actual successor, this new sports car plays in a different league, offering space for two more passengers and more convenience. The renderings also show carbon-fiber dash and panels, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel with no buttons and no upper rim, but it remains to be seen if these features make it on the production.

Drivetrain


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745806

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103581

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin”

Based on Tesla’s preliminary specs, the upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin. The first thing that sets them apart the platform. While the first-gen car was built on the same underpinnings as the Lotus Elise and Exige, the second-gen model will ride on a newer platform. There’s no word on whether it will be based on the Model S, but chances are it will be brand-new.

Tesla had nothing to say about the upcoming car’s electric motors, but it did mention all-wheel-drive, which means it will have at least one for each axle. The first Roadster was a rear-wheel-drive car. The new two-door will also be significantly more powerful. No word on output either, but Tesla mentions wheel torque of 7,375 pound-feet. It also claims that the car will be able to hit 60 mph in an incredible 1.9 seconds. That’s two seconds quicker than the standard Roadster (248 horsepower) and 1.8 clicks quicker than the Roadster Sport (288 horsepower). The sprint to 100 mph will be achieved in only 4.2 seconds, just three tenths slower than the first Roadster from 0 to 60 mph!

“At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world”

At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world. Assuming that a quicker vehicle from another automaker won’t be launched until then, but it’s very unlikely to be honest.

Tesla also claims that the new Roadster will have a top speed of 250 mph. That’s nearly as fast as the Bugatti Veyron and faster than any Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini out there. And exactly twice as fast compared to the first-generation Roadster. The quarter mile will be achieved in 8.8 seconds, almost four seconds quicker than the old model. Want more juicy bits? The estimate range for the upcoming car is of 620 miles per charge, compared to up to 244 miles delivered by the old model. I guess it’s goodbye range anxiety in 2020!

Pricing


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745804

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103575

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

The first Roadster was pretty expensive when it was launched in 2008, retailing from around $100,000 (with preorders set at $50,000). But the second-gen car will cost twice as much. Tesla is asking $50,000 for reservations, but the second-gen model will cost $200,000 before options. There will also be a launched edition priced from a whopping $250,000. That’s Ferrari money right there, but somewhat justified given the incredible performance. And despite the high sticker, the second-gen Roadster will definitely sell better than its predecessor, which moved about 2,500 units in almost five years on the market.

Conclusion


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

It’s definitely too early to draw a conclusion in the absence of a production model for the second-gen car, but it’s safe to say that the new Roadster will be a massive improvement over its predecessor. Big improvements are visible in just about any department and the extra comfort features and the two additional seats could finally give Tesla a shot at the supercar market dominated by Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren. And we may even see a host of new world records in the performance and range departments.

PostHeaderIcon In-Depth Comparison – Corvette ZR1 Vs. Europe’s Supercars

Chevy just unveiled its incredible new Corvette ZR1 over the weekend, and while we have yet to get every single nitty gritty detail, our first look at the spec sheet reveals that yes, this thing is indeed a complete and utter monster. It’s a bit like the Z06 – that is, if the Z06 trained like it had the Superbowl on Sunday and a championship MMA fight on Monday. All told, the ZR1 is the fastest, most powerful production car Chevy has ever created, with all the right equipment needed to make it a full-fledged supercar. And when you consider that, it makes sense Chevy first pulled the sheets in a private event in Dubai, a town that could very well lay claim to the title of supercar capital of the world (seriously, just check out the Dubai police force!). So then, the question is this – how does the ZR1 fair when challenged by Europe’s idea of a supercar?

To find out, we’ve put together the following comparison, which will dive into the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and chassis specs of the ZR1 to see how it lines up. Playing the part of the rivals is the McLaren 570S, Porsche 911 Turbo S, and Mercedes-AMG GT S, each of which carries some serious weight in the world of top-shelf performance (not to mention a top-shelf price tag as well). Can the ‘Vette rebuff the European onslaught? Read on to find out.

Continue reading for an in-depth comparison between the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and Europe’s supercars.

Exterior

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651521

As expected, the McLaren of the group looks to be the closest to a “traditional” supercar in terms of exterior styling. It’s got the same proportions and cues as the brand’s halo hybrid, the world-beating, highly venerated P1. Granted, the 570S is a bit more understated, but the DNA is obvious.

In front, we find lower aero blades in the fascia, as well as teardrop-shaped, LED headlights up top. The doors open in a dihedral fashion, while a “floating tendon” design in the flanks helps to divert atmosphere into the side pod intakes, keeping it cool while also finding a good balance between max downforce and minimal drag. In back you’ll find a flying buttresses design, with the aero shaped to help extract hot air from the engine bay, while also keeping the tail planted at speed.

McLaren 570S – exterior dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 105.1
Length (Inches) 178.3
Width (Inches) 82.5
Height (Inches) 47.3

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658139

Not much surprise here – the 911 Turbo S looks like just about every other 911 on the road, save for a few unique touches here and there. The differences between the Turbo and Turbo S are even harder to pick out. However, if extra style and aero stick are what you’re after, then you can get yours with a factory body kit that adds a new wing element in the rear, new side skirts, and a few new front lip spoilers in the corners of the fascia.

The S also gets unique center-locking wheels, with a motorsport-inspired design and a 20-inch diameter. Full LED headlights come as standard, while narrow LED daytime running lights are in the lower corners of the front bumper. In back are 3D brake lights, as well as standard black exhaust tips. The latest model year also gets specialty colors like Miami Blue and Lava Orange.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – exterior dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 96.5
Length (Inches) 177.4
Width (Inches) 74
Height (Inches) 51

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567786

Out of all the entries on this list, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is undoubtedly the most elegant. While aggressive and sporty, the Merc balances out with a good bit of refinement as well, looking more luxurious and comfort-oriented than most other modern exotics.

Regardless, the Merc still uses plenty of carbon fiber, and incorporates styling cues from arguably the world’s first supercar, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The means it gets an extended hood line and cab-back proportions, with long, straight lines that give it that rocket sled sort of feeling. The headlights stretch back into the fenders, while the front fascia gets a rounded central intake and a thinner lower intake. The side intakes cool the brakes, while thin taillights take up a spot in the rear. The rear glass also extends down into the trunk, once again enhancing the car’s sense of length. Just ahead of those large wheels up front are the requisite fender cutouts, which are just for show, but look quite good all the same.

Mercedes-AMG GT S – exterior dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 103.5
Length (Inches) 179
Width (Inches) 76.3
Height (Inches) 50.7

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744658

From refined elegance, to shock and awe – the Corvette ZR1 is a rather striking thing to behold. It’s like a great white shark with more downforce, an apex predator that’s very, very hungry. Chevy pulled no punches with the styling, equipping the ‘Vette with an all-new front fascia. In fact, the whole front clip is new, including the sharpened intakes and wider fenders.

Of course, the ZR1’s new exterior isn’t just for looks – this thing is effective at speed as well, with extensive wind tunnel testing yielding some pretty impressive results in terms of aero. A variety of packages are offered to give buyers a choice of downforce levels, with the ZTK Performance Pack throwing in something called the High Wing that’ll make as much as 950 pounds of extra stick at speed, roughly 60 percent more than a modern Z06 equipped with the Z07 Performance Package. The wing is also adjustable, with up to 5 degrees of tunability to better suit the driver’s preferences on the track. In addition, the ZTK pack adds a more effective front splitter, which is made from carbon fiber and sandwiched by vertical end plates. A Low Wing configuration is also on deck, which is less aggressive, but still manages to produce 70 percent more downforce than the base model Z06.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744523
“Of course, the ZR1’s new exterior isn’t just for looks – this thing is effective at speed as well, with extensive wind tunnel testing yielding some pretty impressive results in terms of aero.”

In fact, the wings are so effective, Chevy had to mount them directly to the chassis, similar to the C7.R racing machine. The wing uses a cast aluminum truss structure that hooks up to the bumper beam, which is necessary because otherwise, all that downforce would deform the trunk. Impressive.

Up front, you’ll find a redesigned hood to accommodate the new supercharger, offering more clearance while also keeping the powerplant cool with carbon fiber louvers. The wheels are staggered at 19 inches in front and 20 inches in back. More eye-catching styling can be had with the Sebring Orange Design Package, which adds a searing shade of carrot color to the body panels, brake calipers, side skirts, and splitter, not to mention select interior components like the stitching and seat belts. Extra bronze aluminum trim was added as well.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – exterior dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 106.7
Length (Inches) 176.9
Width (Inches) 77.4
Height (Inches) 48.6

Interior

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 624316

As part of McLaren’s Sport Series line, the 570S was designed specifically to offer more space and greater usability as compared to the rest of the brand’s more hardcore models. A full infotainment system is equipped, with info relayed to the driver via a new digital instrument cluster behind the flat-bottom steering wheel and a 7.0-inch touchscreen in the dash. There’s integrated climate control, Bluetooth support, and either digital or satellite radio for aural diversions. Leather upholstery was added to the seats, dash, and steering wheel, with further customization options offered with Alcantara, Nappa leather, and carbon fiber trim. A Bowers & Wilkins stereo with 12 speakers is also on the options list.

And while it’s a bit more comfortable than other McLarens, the 570S is still very much driver focused and performance oriented, a characteristic that’s complemented by the option for racing bucket seats.

McLaren 570S – interior dimensions

Cargo room 5.3 cubic feet

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658190

Like the exterior, the interior of the 911 Turbo S is more or less a carryover from years before. There are carbon inlays added to the dash, center console, and the central transmission tunnel, while a 360 mm (14.2-inch) diameter steering wheel offers influences from Stuttgart’s hybrid halo car, the 918 Spyder. Equipped with the Sport Chrono Package, the 911 Turbo S also gets an analog clock mounted high on the dash. A variety of buttons and mode switches are spread out just about everywhere, including on the steering wheel and central tunnel, offering inputs for the various performance systems and infotainment features.

Speaking of infotainment, the 911 offers Porsche’s Communication Management with Online Navigation, plus a standard Connect Plus module, Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth support, and USB connections for your smartphone. A small touchscreen is mounted in the center console. Standard spec is a Bose stereo system, while upgrades include a Burmester stereo system.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – interior dimensions

Cargo room 5.1 cubic feet

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567801

One look is all you need to confirm just how lovely it is inside the Mercedes-AMG GT S. This handsome interior layout draws its inspiration from various aviation and motorsport themes, while never ignoring Merc’s commitment to luxury. The center console is broad and comes studded with controls set in a glossy surround that’s meant to mimic the shape of the engine’s “vee” configuration. The flat-bottom steering wheel is covered in Alcantara and gets a top center mark, while the broad dash wraps around the occupants, continuing the lines of the concave doors to give it an enhanced sense of volume. High-end materials abound, with leather upholstery and trim made from both aluminum and carbon fiber. Red contrast stitching rounds it out.

Mercedes-AMG GT S – interior dimensions

Headroom 39.5 inches
Cargo room 10.1 cubic feet

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744535

Inside the Corvette ZR1, the look and layout is once again reminiscent of the Z06, offering the same driver-focused layout as before, but with a few extra premium touches here are there. Overall, The ZR1 looks and feels like a high-powered GT car, rather than a stripped-down track car, with leather upholstery for the seats, suede microfiber inserts, and the option for Napa leather upholstery. The flat-bottom steering wheel also gets a good deal of carbon fiber trim, while options include a Bose audio system. A performance data recorder provides numbers to back your tales of on-track heroics. Funny enough, this thing even gets 15 cubic feet of cargo room – talk about practical!

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – interior dimensions

Headroom (Inches) 38
Legroom (Inches) 43
Shoulder Room (Inches) 55
Hip Room (Inches) 54
EPA passenger volume (cu. ft. ) 52
Cargo volume (cu. ft.) 15

Drivetrain

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651841

Mounted behind the cabin of the McLaren is a detuned version of the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8 you get in the 650S and P1, this time around rocking 562 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 443 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Routing it all to the rear wheels is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Properly applied, the 570S can hit 62 mph in 3.2 seconds and 124 mph in 9.5 seconds, continuing on to a top speed of 204 mph.

McLaren 570S – Drivetrain Specifications

Engine twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8
Horsepower 562 HP @ 7,400 RPM
Torque 443 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM
0 to 60 mph 3.2 seconds
Top Speed 204 mph

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658189

Per tradition, the 911 Turbo S mounts its engine in the rear, with a flat-six configuration for the cylinder banks. Displacement is rated at 3.8 liters, which gets boosted by two new turbos to produce as much as 580 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 553 pound-feet of torque at 2,250 rpm. A seven-speed PDK transmission sends the muscle to the ground, where all four wheels get fed for a dollop of AWD grip. Put it in all the right settings, and the 911 Turbo S will hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, while continuing on to a top speed of 205 mph.

Porsche 911 Turbo S – Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 4.0-liter V-8
Horsepower 580 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 553 LB-FT @ 2,250 RPM
0 to 60 mph 2.9 seconds
Top Speed 205 mph

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567803

Under that long hood line on the Mercedes is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8. Thanks to its Piezo fuel injectors, indirect intercooling, and Nanoslide coating for the cylinder walls and piston rings, output comes to 515 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 479 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. The 0-to-60 mph run is done in 3.7 seconds, while top speed of 193 mph. Made from all aluminum, the V-8 is also relatively lightweight, while a “Hot Vee” configuration for the turbo placement yields faster spool time. Finally, a dry-sump oil system offers better high-G lubrication and a lower engine mounting position.

Mercedes-AMG GT S – Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 4.0-liter V-8
Horsepower 515 HP @ 6,250 RPM
Torque 479 LB-FT @ 1,750 RPM
0 to 60 mph 3.7 seconds
Top Speed 193 mph

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744533

I’d be lying if I said the Corvette ZR1’s most enticing feature was anything other than the outrageous monster powerplant lying in wait in the nose. Dubbed the LT5, this supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 uses an aluminum block and head, similar to the Z06. However, the LT5 is unique to the ZR1 (for now at least) and offers much more than a little tune-up. The entire power and torque curve is fatter, with as much as 105 extra horses and 65 extra pound-feet compared to the C7 Z06. That means the ZR1 maxes out at an impressive 755 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 715 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm.

Hitting the pavement through outrageously wide rear tires, all that go should translate into a 0-to-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds. Chevy didn’t give us an exact figure on the benchmark, but did say the ZR1 should eclipse 210 mph at the top end.

“The ZR1 maxes out at an impressive 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, which we expect to translate into 2.5 seconds to 60 mph. 210 mph is possible at the top end.”

To keep it cool, the ZR1 equips two intercoolers and four extra radiators, bringing the total number of heat exchangers to 13, which is critical when considering the overheating issues that have plagued the new Z06. The ZR1’s Eaton supercharger is also new, offering a 52-percent increase in displacement compared to the LT4 ‘Vette, standing nearly 3 inches taller as well (hence the new hood). There’s also a 4-inch diameter throttle body engineered specifically for the ZR1, which is the biggest throttle body ever added to a ‘Vette from the factory. Keeping the thirsty ‘eight topped off is a dual fuel-injection system, with both direct injection and port injection used to keep those pony juices flowing. A seven-speed manual gearbox with rev match comes as standard, while an eight-speed automatic with paddles is optional.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – Drivetrain Specifications

Engine LT5 6.2L Supercharged V-8 with direct and port injection
Horsepower 755 HP @ 6,300 RPM (SAE certified)
Torque 715 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM (SAE certified)
Transmission 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match
8-speed paddle-shaft automatic
0 to 60 mph 2.5 seconds
Top Speed 210 mph

Chassis And Handling

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651842

Under the skin of the McLaren is an all-carbon chassis dubbed the MonoCell II, which was revised in order to better suit the rigors of daily driving duty. However, McLaren still managed to keep off the heft, as the whole chassis weighs just 176 pounds.

That concern for lightness was extended to the rest of the car as well, and the result is a curb weight of just 2,895 pounds. That means it’s got an impressive power-to-weight ratio too, with 428 horsepower per metric tonne. The weight is distributed 42 percent in the front and 58 percent in the rear, and is managed by unique suspension tuning with adaptive dampers and dual wishbones. Multiple drive modes offer some flexibility, while carbon ceramic brakes make it stop and Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires make it grip.

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658185

Like all 911’s, the Turbo S benefits from its unique engine configuration to offer drivers a distinctive experience behind the wheel, and even though it’s AWD, the rear-engine should provide some decent rotation if properly provoked. It’ll stop real good as well, coming equipped from the factory with Porsche’s carbon ceramic brake package, mounting larger discs than the standard Turbo (up to 410 mm, or 16.1 inches, in the S). Six-piston calipers are used up front, while four-pots are in the rear. Finally, the front wheels are 9 inches wide, while the rears are 11.5 inches wide, an increase of half an inch overall.

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567780

While it might look like a bit of a luxury bruiser, the Mercedes-AMG GT S is actually surprisingly lightweight, tipping the scales at roughly 3,600 pounds. To keep it planted, there are double wishbones in the front and rear, with lots of aluminum used for the construction. The AMG also gets electronically controlled damping as standard on the S model, plus multiple drive modes adjustable inside the cabin if desired. Speed-sensitive steering is also standard, while high-performance composite brakes can be swapped for carbon ceramic units if desired. The wheels are staggered at 19 inches in front and 20 inches in the rear, and three-stage stability control lets you pick how much electronic intervention you’d like.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744532

If it’s just straight-line speed and power that you’re after, there are cheaper options than the ZR1 (did someone say Dodge Demon?). Instead, the ZR1 mates its prodigious output with the chassis and suspension pieces required to put them to use on a track with corners.

While it’s got basically the same suspension set-up as the Z06 (magnetorheological dampers, front and rear get double wishbones, etc.), the ZR1 stands outs thanks to unique tuning for greater performance. The ZTK Performance Pack enhances this with further tweaks to the Magnetic Ride Control components and chassis, as well as Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires. Additional features include Magnetic Selective Ride Control, a variable-ratio rack-and-pinion steering set-up with electric assist, and an electronic limited-slip differential.

“While it’s got basically the same suspension set-up as the Z06, the ZR1 stands outs thanks to unique tuning for greater performance. Carbon fiber offsets the weight of the bigger blower.”

In terms of weight, the ZR1’s bigger blower and cooling bits undoubtedly add quite a bit of heft, but it was offset thanks to the inclusion of additional carbon fiber components. For example, the hood, engine cover, rear quarter panel, roof, front splitter, side rail, and intake are all made from the stuff, which results in a final curb weight of 3,524 pounds.

There’s also more than plenty of meaty tire in the corners, with the ZR1 adding a full half-inch of width to each wheel. That means you get 10.5 inches of rubber per side in front and an astonishing 12 inches per side in the rear. Yep, you read that right – 2 full feet of tire in back. Sizing for the stuff is measured at 285/30 in front and 335/25 in back. Making it stop are carbon ceramic rotors, measured at 15.5 inches in front and 15.3 inches in rear, with fixed six-pot front calipers and four-pot rear calipers.

Prices

McLaren 570S $188,600
Porsche 911 Turbo S $188,100
Mercedes-AMG GT S $132,400
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 $120,000 (estimate, market debut scheduled for next spring)

Conclusion


In-Depth Comparison – Corvette ZR1 Vs. Europe's Supercars - image 745415

Lined up against the McLaren 570S, Porsche 911 Turbo S, and Mercedes-AMG GT S, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 has a few glaringly obvious deficiencies. First off, let’s talk about styling – while the ‘Vette looks like some kind of overwrought tuner special, the other three entries have style and panache, turning heads like a passing celebrity. By contrast, the ZR1 turns heads like a lion chowing down on a gazelle.

Unfortunately, the same goes for the interior specs. Once again, the European supercars offer luxury and opulence, with well-crafted layouts and superlative comfort. Meanwhile, the ‘Vette screams cost cutting.

“Depending on what kind of enthusiast you are, hyper-aggressive exterior styling and a cheap-o interior might not matter. What really matters is what happens when you put your foot down or take a corner.”

But here’s the thing – depending on what kind of enthusiast you are, all the above might not matter. What really matters is what happens when you put your foot down or take a corner, and by those measurements, the ZR1 is absolutely worthy of keeping company with Europe’s supercars.

Granted, the way the ‘Vette goes about making its speed is a bit… let’s say simplistic. Maybe old school would be the more appropriate term. Either way here’s the formula – huge tires, huge wing, huge engine. Sure, the ‘Vette has fancy adaptive suspension and an electronic diff, but compared to the other three entries examined here, there’s no denying that the ZR1 is a bit of a blunt instrument.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744531
“Yes, the ZR1 is a bit of a blunt instrument, but when you put it all together, what you get is top-shelf supercar performance.”

But again, that just doesn’t matter, because when you put it all together, what you get is top-shelf supercar performance. Yes, it’s a brute force approach to going fast, but it’s also brutally effective. Long story short, we’d pit the ZR1 against any of the above-mentioned European supercars on the track, and Chevy should be proud of that. Throw in the fact the Chevy should be significantly easier on the bank account, and the bad taste left by that wing-tastic exterior and plastic-heavy interior starts to fade.

The ZR1 won’t be sold in Europe, and rightfully so. This thing isn’t subtle. It isn’t refined. It isn’t luxurious. But that’s not the point. Folks aren’t gonna buy the ZR1 because of the quality of the seat stitching. They’ll buy it because it’ll hang with the best of the best from Europe for far less outlay, and that’s the point.

References

McLaren 570S


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651283

Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 570S.

Porsche 911 Turbo S


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658178

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S.

Mercedes-AMG GT S


2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567791

Read our full article on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT S.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

PostHeaderIcon Potent Poison – Hennessey Venom F5 Vs. Hennessey Venom GT

On October 31st, Hennessey Performance Engineering unveiled the Venom F5 hypercar at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Based out of Houston, Texas, the tuner shop flies by the motto “Making Fast Cars Faster Since 1991,” and specializes in adding huge output to sports cars that already tout impressive power numbers from the factory. However, with the Venom F5, HPE takes a step towards full-blown manufacturer territory. As a follow-up to the preceding Lotus-based Venom GT, the Venom F5 took four years to develop, and it’s essentially a brand-new vehicle. Outside, the F5 enjoys a fresh look and new aerodynamics, while under the skin is a bespoke carbon fiber chassis and an updated engine with more displacement and more power. Like the Venom GT before it, the F5 is in the running for fastest car on the planet, challenging the world’s best with claims of 300 mph at the top end. So then – how does it stack up against its forerunner?

To find out, we put together the following comparison piece, analyzing the exteriors, interiors, drivetrain, chassis, and pricing for both. Read on to see how Hennessey made its Venom even more potent.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

Exterior


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 672244
“While easier to produce, the Venom GT’s Exige roots constrained Hennessey in terms of aerodynamics.”

Right from the off, the Lotus roots of the Venom GT are obvious. The styling up front and in back are quite similar to what you’d find on the diminutive British sports car – for example, the front end uses long, drawn-out, diamond-shaped housings for the headlights, which are laid high on the plumped-up fenders and draw the eye rearwards while simultaneously enhancing the car’s natural visual width. The greenhouse brings the side panels inwards before once again curving back out towards the flared rear fenders, giving the car an hourglass shape when viewed from above. In back is a curvaceous tail and short overhang, with a quartet of rounded taillights.

However, while the styling is similar, the Venom GT stands out in a variety of ways. First and foremost are the vastly expanded exterior dimensions, with the Hennessey measured at 183.3 inches in length and 77 inches in width. That’s an increase of 33.8 inches and 9.2 inches respectively compared to the Lotus’ 149.5-inch length and 68-inch width. Height is nearly identical at 44.7 inches for the Hennessey and 45.6 inches for the Exige.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742052
“The F5 works around this with a totally clean-sheet design approach, creating its own aero solutions with a brand-new chassis.”

It’s almost as if the Venom GT is a tuner version of the Lotus, albeit with extreme modifications. However, while easier to produce, the Venom GT’s Exige roots constrained Hennessey in terms of aerodynamics – the company had to work around the Lotus design, which wasn’t necessarily ready for the incredible top speeds Hennessey had planned.

The F5 works around this with a totally clean-sheet design approach. Rather than adapting to the bones of the Exige, Hennessey managed to create its own aero solutions with a brand-new chassis. Utilizing modern technology like computational fluid dynamics programs, the Venom F5 gets a lower coefficient of drag, down to 0.33 compared to the Venom GT’s 0.44. That’s a major step forward for a car that’s so focused on maximizing top speed, and it’s achieved thanks to a flat underbody and active downforce elements.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742053
“Venom F5 gets a lower coefficient of drag, down to 0.33 compared to the Venom GT’s 0.44.”

What’s more, we think the carbon fiber body panels of the F5 look great. It definitely looks like an evolution of the GT’s aesthetic, but it’s also got it’s own thing going on, with tons of aggression befitting of such a vehicle.

Nice one, Hennessey.

Interior


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 744610
“All told, the Venom GT does a good job in enhancing the Lotus’ barebones approach to cabin design.”

Much like its exterior spec, the Venom GT’s cabin is heavily based on the Lotus Exige. The layout is practically identical, with a small dash, rounded air vents, matching door panels, and minimal infotainment options. The analog gauge cluster
is also the same in the Venom GT.

However, the Hennessey product still stands out thanks to a select number of upgrades. The materials in the GT are nicer, with quilted upholstery added to the top of the dash, the door panel inserts, and the seats. Leather and Alcantara are in ample supply, while contrast stitching adds a little extra flair. The seats themselves were swapped for more supportive bucket units, while the steering wheel is a unique three-spoke unit covered in soft stuff. The floors are also carpeted, and a custom roll cage wrapped in quilted upholstery keeps it safe. Carbon fiber for the central tunnel, instrumentation shroud, and HVAC control pod rounds it off.


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 744611
“Although we have yet to get an official look at the Venom F5’s cabin, we’d naturally expect even more comfort and amenities.”

All told, the Venom GT does a good job in enhancing the Lotus’ barebones approach to cabin design. And although we have yet to get an official look at the Venom F5’s cabin, we’d naturally expect even more comfort and amenities. At this price range, a high degree of customizability is expected, with even more Alcantara and leather throughout. Carbon fiber will once again play a major role, while aluminum and brushed metal will add to the premium feel. Further infotainment features are a must, with a large touchscreen for the dash, plus smartphone connectivity. Finally, the cabin space should be a bit larger, while we’d also like it if the doors open up in a dramatic gullwing fashion.

Drivetrain


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 654419
“The Venom GT uses a twin-turbo 7.0-liter LSX V-8 that delivers 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 pound-feet of torque”

While aero performance is key and interior comfort is nice, the true heart of Hennessey’s vehicles is in the engine spec. For the Venom GT, that means a twin-turbo 7.0-liter LSX V-8, with the GM-sourced powerplant boosted to 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 pound-feet of torque. Impressive, no doubt, but the last of the GT’s (2016) got even more of the go-stuff thanks to a tune to make it run on E85 Flexfuel. That meant even more boost, up to 26 psi from the previous 19 psi, with the last Venom GT managing to pump out as much as 1,451 horsepower at 7,200 rpm. Routing the muscle rearwards is a Ricardo six-speed manual transmission.

With proper application of the long skinny pedal, the Venom GT manages to hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, 100 mph in 4.4 seconds, and 200 mph in 12.8 seconds. The quarter mile is dispatched in 9.4 seconds at 167 mph. To help put that in perspective with the European competition, the Venom GT can sprint to 300 km/h (186 mph) in 10.9 seconds and 400 km/h (249 mph) in 18.1 seconds. Top speed is rated at an astounding 280 mph.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742060
“The configuration is the same, but peak output and displacement both see a bump. As a result, acceleration figures take a tumble.”

Of course, any follow-up to the Venom GT would need even more, and the Venom F5 delivers – big time. The configuration is the same (mid-mounted twin-turbo V-8), but displacement rises to 7.4 liters. Peak output is also up, with as much as 1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque routed to the rear wheels through a seven-speed single-clutch paddle-shifter transmission.

We’re still waiting for Hennessey to put the F5 through some public real-world testing, but predictions for the speed and acceleration potential are impressive, to say the least. The run to 300 km/h (186 mph) should take less than 10 seconds, which would make the F5 quicker than a modern F1 car in the test. The run to 400 km/h (249 mph) and back down to 0 will take less than 30 seconds, which would beat such performance heavyweights as the Bugatti Chiron and Koenigsegg Agera RS. Finally, and most importantly, Hennessey is claiming a top speed of 300 mph.

Incredible stuff.

Engine, drivetrain, and performance specs

Hennessey Venom GT Hennessey Venom F5
Engine configuration mid-mounted twin-turbo 7.0-liter V-8 mid-mounted twin-turbo 7.4-liter V-8
Drive wheels rear rear
Transmission six-speed manual seven-speed paddle-shift
Peak horsepower 1,244 HP
(1,451 H P
on E85)
1,600 HP
Peak torque 1,155 LB-FT 1,300 LB-FT
0-to-186 mph 10.9 seconds Less than 10 seconds
0-to-249 mph 18.1 seconds Less than 30 seconds seconds
Top speed 280 mph 300 mph

Chassis And Handling


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 672245

With its much larger exterior dimensions and enormous turbo powerplant, it should come as no surprise that the Hennessey Venom GT weighs a good deal more than its standard Exige counterpart, tipping the scales at 2,743 pounds. That’s a whopping 728 pounds more than the 2,015-pound Lotus.

However, the Venom F5 is even portlier than the GT, most likely due to its larger engine, paddle-shift transmission, and potentially upgraded interior spec. Curb weight is up to 2,950 pounds, making it a little over 200 pounds heavier than the GT.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742065
“The Venom F5 is heavier than the GT, most likely due to its larger engine, paddle-shift transmission, and potentially upgraded interior spec.”

Still, that ain’t bad. The F5 has just 1.84 pounds for every horsepower to push around, as opposed to 1.89 pounds per horsepower for the GT.

Finally, both cars get Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires for grip.

Prices


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742063

Both the Venom GT and the Venom F5 offer very limited production numbers and seven-figure price tags. The GT’s asking price comes to $1.2 million, while the F5 costs a bit more at $1.6 million.

Conclusion


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742058

All told, the Venom F5 is absolutely a worthy successor to the Venom GT. Everything about it is more impressive, and I especially like how Hennessey decided to do its own thing in terms of exterior styling, aerodynamics, and the carbon fiber chassis. With a product like this, the Texas tuner has a real shot at taking out the best of the best from the world of boutique hypercars.

Now it just has to prove it in the real world.

References

Hennessey Venom


2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 653487

Read our full review on the 2016 Hennessey Venom GT.


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742051

Read our full review on the 2019 Hennessey Venom F5.

Lotus Exige


2017 Lotus Exige Sport 380 - image 697541

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Exige.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparison – Hennessey Venom F5 Vs. Bugatti Chiron Vs. Koenigsegg Agera RS

Let’s say you want a car that’s fast – like, world-beating fast. The kind of fast that’ll get you thrown in jail quicker than most cars can reach the 60-mph mark. The kind of fast usually reserved for aircraft. We’re talking the bleeding edge of speed here, the cream of the crop in terms of moving across the face of the Earth on four wheels. Incredibly, there’s actually several options to choose from, assuming you’ve got the bank account to back it. Up here, at the peak of the mountain, you’ll find the Henessey Venom F5, the Bugatti Chiron, and the Koenigsegg Agera RS going head-to-head-to-head, each a top trump in modern street-legal performance. But which is the best?

The Hennessey Venom F5 is the newcomer of the group, with a recent debut at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Offered as a follow-up to the Lotus-based Venom GT, the F5 builds on the successes of its forerunner with all new everything, including a fresh chassis, revised aero, and a tuned-up engine, each of which was built from the ground up to conquer all challengers. Chief amongst those challengers is the Bugatti Chiron, the standard-bearer when it comes to ultimate high-dollar speed, rocking 8 liters of quad-boosted internal combustion and a reputation for superlative performance. Finally, we have the Koenigsegg Agera RS, which just set a new world record by going 277.9 mph on a closed road in the Nevada desert.

But while top speed is obviously a major factor here, what about the rest of the car? What about the way it looks, the interior, and the chassis? In this quick comparison, we’ll take a brief, but well-rounded look at each of these amazing vehicles and go beyond V-max to find out how they stack up.

Continue reading for a quick comparison between the Hennessey Venom F5, the Bugatti Chiron, and the Koenigsegg Agera RS.

Exterior

Hennessey Venom F5


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742052

At first blush, we were delighted to see the Venom F5’s new exterior design. It’s a seriously good-looking piece of kit, breaking from the old Lotus-look of the preceding Venom GT to create something totally new. The aesthetic is simple, but effective, with a traditional super car stance that hugs the ground with wide hips and a broad nose. The fenders rise high over the tall wheels, while the various aero elements are finished in black under the brightly colored body panels. The headlights are long and thin, stretching towards the rear in drawn-out strips that lead the eye towards a slim waistline. In back is a large rear wing, below which is a trio of exhaust pipes.

With body panels made from carbon fiber, the Venom F5 cuts substantial weight, a vital element to its performance. However, Hennessey also sought to find a balance between reducing the coefficient of drag for high-speed record-breaking, while also maintaining enough downforce to keep the machine planted while traveling at hypersonic velocity. Helping it to achieve that juggling act are active wing elements and a flat underbody, which help to bring the Cd down to 0.33, making the F5 much more slippery than the preceding Venom GT.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 730338

Placed next to the competition, the Bugatti Chiron has a rather, eh, unique look to it. The whole thing is much more bubbly and rounded than the other two, with a bulbous nose and tear drop-like proportions in the profile. A set of horizontal LED headlights frame the front fascia, complemented by a duo of horizontal intakes closer to the pavement. In all, the Chiron continues the look originally set forth by the Bugatti Veyron and developed by the Gran Turismo Concept, and sports classic Bugatti features like a C-shaped Bugatti line in the flanks and an upside-down U-shaped intake in front.

However, don’t think for a second the shape of the Chiron is anything other than highly functional. When dealing with speeds and power at this level, every tiny detail can have a huge impact on overall performance. For example, those C-lines in the sides help to funnel air into the side intakes, force-feeding the radiators with a blast of cool air to keep the engine running in top form. The rear wing is active as well, tucking in down the straights and going vertical in the braking zones. And while some may deride its unconventional style, there’s no doubt that the Chiron is instantly recognizable because of it.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 619945

If we had to characterize the Agera RS when viewing it alongside the other two entries in this comparison, we’d actually call it a bit “understated.” Granted, that statement is highly, highly relative, as on its own the Agera RS is an extremely exciting car to look at. It’s just that compared to the Hennessey Venom F5 and Bugatti Chiron, it’s not quite as exciting. The angles and details are simpler, straighter, and uncluttered, without the ultra-pointy sharpness of the Venom, or the rounded muscle bulges of the Chiron. Instead, what you get is more of a traditional “speed wedge” design, with a broad, flat nose, central greenhouse, and flat rear end.

The whole thing is made from carbon kevlar, and improves on the aero set-up of the preceding Agera R and One:1 thanks to revisions like a new front fascia, an extended front splitter, and a seriously curvaceous rear wing. You’ll also find active wing elements front and back, with electronic adjustability for a more tunable package. The net result is a ton of extra stick at speed, with that rear wing making as much as a half-ton of downforce at 155 mph.

Interior

Hennessey Venom F5


2011 Hennessey Venom GT - image 413008

Note: Hennessey Venom GT pictured here.

As of this writing, Hennessey has elected not to provide in-depth details on what the Venom F5 is offering in terms of interior appointment. That said, we can still speculate based on what we’ve seen from Hennessey in the past.

For example, take the preceding Exige-based Venom GT, which spruced up the barebones Lotus platform with nicer upholstery, carpets, aluminum surrounds, and high-end carbon fiber trim pieces. We’d expect something even nicer from the F5, with leather and Alcantara coverings, digital instrumentation, and maybe even some basic infotainment gear as well. Racing harnesses will keep passengers in one spot, while a central touch screen will provide the interface for the various onboard systems. Long story short, the Venom F5 won’t go over the top with luxury, but it won’t be totally stripped down, either.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 727472

One look at the Chiron’s cabin is all you need to confirm that yes, Bugatti does indeed know what it’s doing when it comes to making an interior. The whole thing looks cohesive and well put together, with flowing lines that resonate with confidence and elegance. The layout includes a central divider that mimics the C-shaped Bugatti line seen outside, while the central console swoops down from the dash in a single piece of carbon, studded with polished aluminum switches. Behind the gorgeous three-spoke steering wheel is a central analog speedometer flanked by a pair of digital readouts, while a high-end stereo system provides an alternative soundtrack to the burbling exhaust note.

All told, the Bugatti Chiron’s interior is an absolute masterpiece, and it’s definitely in the running for best-looking interior for a production car in the world.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 619946

Like its exterior styling, the Koenigsegg Agera RS gets a rather simple layout for the cabin. Bare carbon is once again the material of choice, with prominent sheets of the stuff laid across the door panels, central console, and dash. Rounded air vents are placed at the appropriate locations, while a digital display in the dash relays pertinent performance info. Below the screen is a series of buttons and knobs arranged in a circular layout, complementing the car’s naturally clean aesthetic. Carbon-backed bucket seats provide a place to sit.

It’s a straightforward approach to interior design, and should be well appreciated by minimalists. In fact, compared to the Bugatti, we’d almost call it antiseptic.

Drivetrain

Hennessey Venom F5


2011 Hennessey Venom GT - image 412995

Note: Hennessey Venom GT pictured here.

While we have yet to get a clear shot of what it looks like, we do know all about the important numbers tagged to the Venom F5’s party piece. Making the noise is a newly developed 7.4-liter V-8, which gets stuffed by a double-dose of turbocharging to produce a whopping 1,600 horsepower and 1,300 pound-feet of torque, all of which routs to the rear by way of a seven-speed single-clutch paddle-shift gearbox.

All told, it’s a surprisingly old school approach to the question of going fast, especially lined up against the modern mega-hybrids of the world. That lack of extra gear once again helps the Venom save weight, and the net result is blisteringly quick acceleration numbers. While real world confirmation is still forthcoming, Hennessey claims a run from 0 to 186 mph (300 km/h) in less than 10 seconds, quicker than a modern Formula 1 car. The run to 249 mph (400 km/h) and back to a standstill should take less than 30 seconds. Finally, the big number – Hennessey says the Venom F5 will do 300 mph at the top end, which should beat the other two entries on this list. That is, of course, assuming Hennessey actually follows through on that claim.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 732100

While the Chiron certainly stands out thanks to its unique exterior styling and magnificent interior, the Bug’s biggest headline is what its got going on just behind the driver’s seat. Mounted longitudinally at the mid-ship position is an 8.0-liter W-16 engine, which gets boosted by no less than four turbochargers to produce a meaty 1,479 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, 296 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque more than the preceding Veyron SuperSport. All of it hits the ground through a high-performance Haldex AWD system, which is fed by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Put your foot down, and you’ll hit 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, while 120 mph arrives in 6.5 seconds. The sprint to 190 mph takes 13.6 seconds, while 250 mph takes 32.6 seconds. Top speed is limited at 261 mph, as the heavyweight Chiron creates enormous strain on the tires at higher speeds. However, if equipped with rubber robust enough to handle the forces at play, the Chiron could theoretically reach 288 mph.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 622407

Unlike the Bugatti’s exotic, quad-turbo, infinity cylinder powerplant, the engine in the Agera RS is much closer in layout and set-up to the Hennessey Venom F5. The spec includes a 5.0-liter V-8 plumbed with just two turbos. Output is rated at 1,160 horsepower at 7,800 rpm and 940 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Impressive stuff, no doubt, but if desired, buyers can throw on the 1 Megawatt package to boost their RS up to 1,341 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 1,000 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm when drinking an E85 ethanol fuel blend.

On its own, that’s an absurd amount of muscle on tap, but in company like this, the Koenigsegg RS might look a little, well, underpowered. Luckily, all those ponies translate into world-beating speed all the same with the 0-to-60 mph sprint done in less than 3 seconds and the run to 124 mph done in less than 7 seconds. What’s more, the RS currently claims the title for fastest production car in the world, recently topping out at an astonishing average of 277.9 mph. And while both of the rivals listed here could theoretically beat that figure, it don’t mean a thing until it actually happens.

Chassis And Handling

Hennessey Venom F5


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742069

One of the Venom F5’s most important characteristics is its low curb weight, a feature that Hennessey sought to maximize (or minimize, as the case may be) throughout the vehicle’s development. Thanks to the carbon fiber chassis underneath, the carbon fiber body panels outside, and all the other composite details in between, the Venom F5 tips the scales at just under 3,000 pounds, or 2,950 pounds to be exact.

That makes a big difference for a variety of reasons. Not only does it allow the F5 to run standard Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires, but it should also make the car somewhat lively in the corners, assisted by standard carbon ceramics for stopping

power. We’ll have to wait for confirmation of that (no one has actually driven one yet outside the Hennessey development crew), but either way, we’re hoping this thing won’t be a one-trick pony.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667485

Under the skin, the Chiron is similar to its Veyron predecessor, but updated to meet the rigors of modern hypercardom. Improvements include a new carbon fiber monocoque chassis, with a carbon rear subframe for even greater torsional rigidity. The suspension was also redesigned, while the electric power steering gets a few new tweaks as well. Carbon silicon carbide brakes make for lighter discs, with eight-pots in front and six-pots in the back.

Despite the extensive use of exotic materials like carbon fiber and titanium, the Chiron is still extremely heavy, weighing in a concrete-crushing 4,400 pounds. As such, pricey Michelin tires are required to keep it planted, with a staggered diameter at 20 inches in front and 21 inches rear, sized at 285/30 and 355/25 respectively.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 622395

Unsurprisingly, the Koenigsegg Agera RS also utilizes a monocoque construction, with carbon fiber laid over an aluminum honeycomb core. The suspension is composed of double-wishbones in front and carbon fiber upper wishbones in back, plus two-way electronically adjustable gas shocks, and pushrod-operated Triplex dampers in the rear. The ride height is electronically adjustable, while a rack and pinion system helps it steer. Koenigsegg’s very own hallow carbon fiber wheels take their place in the corners. These rollers are super lightweight, yet appropriately large, with 19 inches of diameter and 9.5 inches of width in front, plus 20 inches of diameter and 12.5 inches of width in the rear. Michelin’s Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 are once again used for performance, while ceramic brakes are fore and aft, with branded 6-pot calipers in front and branded 4-pots in back.

All told, the Agera RS is relatively sprightly, tipping the scales at 3,075 pounds. Throw in multiple settings for the electronic handling aides, and this Koenigsegg is a beast on the track, whether you’re storming down a straight or attacking a corner.

Prices

Hennessey Venom F5


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742063

Pricing for the Venom F5 starts at $1.6 million, and should include a wide array of customization options. Just 24 will be made, with the owner’s list hand-selected by Mr. Hennessey himself.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667486

If you fancy the Chiron, you can pick one up for about $2.8 million. Production is a slow process, but not limited like the Hennessey, and customization options are even more plentiful.

Koenigsegg Agera RS


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 620259

Finding an exact price for the Agera RS is a bit trickier, but considering the standard Agera costs $2.1 million, expect the RS to be, well, more. Just 25 are slated for production.

Conclusion


Quick Comparison – Hennessey Venom F5 Vs. Bugatti Chiron Vs. Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 743250

So then, after looking at each of these three amazing cars, where do we stand?

Let’s take it section by section. First up, the exterior. Each of these cars is, without a doubt, a very striking thing to behold. Each is also absurdly aerodynamic, folding the air around it with the dexterity of a jet fighter. However, the key is finding a balance between beauty and aero trickery, and in that respect, the Hennessey Venom gets the nod. We think it simply looks better than the other two, while still managing to stick at speed, and that gives it the win in our book.

Next up, the interior. The Chiron takes the win here, hands down. I mean, seriously, just look at the picture below and bask in the absurd awesomeness that is the Chiron’s cabin. The other two are fine, but next to the Bugatti, they look like cut-rate commuter sedans from the ‘90s.


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667493
“If you need a high-end cabin to go with your absurd speed, then the Chiron has you covered.”

But what about the engine and drivetrain? While all three offer insane levels of output, we’re once again partial to the Chiron. We love the unusual cylinder arrangement, high-tech turbo system, and beefy AWD, and although the Hennessey has it beat in terms of raw power and the Koenigsegg wins out in terms of weight, the Bug’s otherworldly 8.0-liter W-16 is what really gets our juices flowing.

Speaking of weight, let’s not forget how important the chassis and handling are to keeping these things well-rounded in the long run. While power is great, the ability to apply it properly can make all the difference, and in that respect, the Koenigsegg Agera RS takes the win. This thing was made for the track, and its evident that the Swedes paid close attention to making it much more than just a straight-line superstar.


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 736455

Finally, there’s the price. At just $1.6 million, the Venom F5 looks like an absolute bargain against the Bugatti and Koenigsegg, especially if it really can do all the things Hennessey claims it can do.

“At the end of the day, we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge the fact that the top speed is still the spec that matters most in this space.”

Of course, at the end of the day, we’d be kidding ourselves if we didn’t acknowledge the fact that the top speed is still the spec that matters most in this space. Bragging rights are paramount, and as such, the Koenigsegg Agera RS is the current king. That said, it’s unlikely to stay at the top for the long, as the battle continues for dominance in high-dollar velocity.

Will Hennessey prove its 300-mph claims? Will Bugatti recover the title it originally held with the Veyron? Will Koenigsegg go back to Nevada with something even faster?

Rest assured – we’ll be watching.

References

Hennessey Venom GT


2019 Hennessey Venom F5 - image 742051

Read our full review on the 2019 Hennessey Venom F5.

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 685581

Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.

Koenigsegg Agera


2015 Koenigsegg Agera RS - image 736447

Read our full review on the 2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS.

PostHeaderIcon Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK

Jeep Wrangler JK vs JL

The wait is finally over! Jeep has released photos of the next-generation Wrangler. Unfortunately, Jeep only dropped three photos with zero information, but the soft debut confirms much of the speculation, rumors, and spy shots we’ve been pouring over the last year. Yes, the 2018 Wrangler JL’s windshield folds down. Yes, the doors come off. And Yes, the top is removable. Yet beyond these carryover features that have come to define the Wrangler, this new Jeep is heavily updated in all the right ways.
Check out our visual comparison below to learn all about the new Wrangler JL


Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742106

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742108

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742107

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742109

Visual Comparison: Jeep Wrangler JL vs JK - image 742105

References

Jeep Wrangler


2018 Jeep Wrangler - image 741966

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL.


2017 Jeep Wrangler - image 687100

Read our full review on the 2017 Jeep Wrangler JK.

PostHeaderIcon The Polestar 1: A Repurposed Volvo Concept from 2013

It hasn’t been a month since Polestar quit being a performance tuner for Volvo and branched off as its own “performance car company.” Now, this is good news for a number of reasons, with the most important being that the company can make its own cars, completely independent of anything Volvo is offering. But, that’s also where the problem arises, as the companies first stand-alone car is expensive and lazy, at best. Word that Polestar was on its own filled me joy. Just thinking about what Polestar, without limitations, could do with its new-found independence was enough to give any self-respecting man a stiffy. Yet, three weeks later and Polestar gives us the biggest disappointment since Michael Jordan’s second comeback.

Of course, auto show season is on the horizon, so I can understand the want to rush the first model out the door in time for SEMA or even the L.A. Auto Show, but this thing is pretty much a two-door Volvo S90. In fact, it’s almost like Volvo was planning a two-door S90, decided to scrap the idea, and the polestar engineer in the next studio over dug through the trash and found the disc with the AutoCAD file on it. Oh, wait… they did…..Volvo called it the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe…

So, what did Polestar do to make this car their own? Well, let’s go take a look.

The Old Switcheroo

left
right
“This is a Volvo S90 with the rear doors cut off and excessive fender gaps.”

The other night I was sitting around looking at the Polestar and thought to myself, “This is a Volvo S90 with the rear doors cut off and excessive fender gaps. I mean, after all, it really does look like that right? Take a look:

Well, then I started browsing our Volvo page here on TopSpeed.com and as I was scrolling what did I find? The freaking Polestar 1 with a Volvo grille on it. Wait.. did I really just see that? Well, yes I did – I even asked my wife to make sure she didn’t try to kill me by poisoning dinner (it was really good, by the way) and she verified that I wasn’t hallucinating. So, let me point out to all of you just how lazy the Polestar 1 really is – you’ve seen it before, and it hasn’t changed the slightest bit:

left
right
“The disappointment is unbearable, and you can bet that Volvo and Polestar were both hoping that we would all forget about the concept from four years ago”

The disappointment is unbearable, and you can bet that Volvo and Polestar were both hoping that we would all forget about the concept from four years ago. Well, sorry guys, but the cat is out of the bag. You seriously took a four-year-old concept, slapped a new grille on it and called it the Polestar 1. That’s lazier than BMW and Audi are every time they “facelift” one of their vehicles. Maybe the interior offers something different?

Original is Not the Word You’re Looking for


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738877

2017 Volvo S90 - image 658267
“It’s an S90 interior with a Polestar logo on the steering wheel hub and a chrome shifter handle”

Ok, so now that I’ve called Polestar out for the exterior, I thought maybe the interior would look different. Well, no – it really doesn’t. It’s an S90 interior with a Polestar logo on the steering wheel hub and a chrome shifter handle. The rest of the interior is identical to the S90, all the way down to the infotainment display, dash design, center console, and even the HVAC controls. And, keep in mind, the Concept from 2013 sported a similar cabin and was the basis for the design used on the S90. It’s like they just walked into the office, dropped a bunch of concept blueprints into a bin and picked one to go with for Polestar’s first car. Note: the S90 has wood trim, the Polestar 1 has carbon fiber

Under the Hood


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738876
“Polestar 1 will hit 93 mph on electric power.”

Here’s where the Polestar 1 does differ from anything that Volvo has, and that’s because it has 600 horsepower under the hood. It also claims that it can deliver as much as 738 pound-feet of torque. How it does so is still under wraps, but it’s safe to assume that Polestar went with the T9 Plug-in hybrid setup from Volvo. It probably tuned the 2.0-liter to deliver as much horsepower and torque as reliably possible while dumping in a bigger battery pack and some high-performance motors. No performance numbers are available to go by, but we do know the Polestar 1 will hit 93 mph on electric power. But, it’s the price point and acquisition process that really gets me…

Bend Over and Take it Up the Tailpipe


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738881
“On this side of the pond, that converts to between $154,000 and $178,000”

Okay, so Polestar takes an old concept, rebrands it, and calls it the “1,” so, how much are you expected to pay for this “new” sports coupe? Well, nobody knows for sure outside of Polestar, yet. But, word has it that the price will be around €130,000 to €150,000. On this side of the pond, that converts to between $154,000 and $178,000 – Ouch. So, we can’t really compare that cost the Concept that was displayed in 2013 by Volvo, but we can compare it to the S90 sedan – you know; since it is pretty much an S90 with a section cut out of the middle.

So, the Volvo S90 starts out at $48,100 and while the Inscription trim comes in at $58,600. So, we’re talking about a difference of $100,000. When you consider the S90 with the T8 – likely what you’ll find in the Polestar 1 with high-performance motors – comes with 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque, the Polestar one delivers just 200 ponies and 266 pound-feet more. That breaks down to a cost of $500 per pony. Let me say that again: $500 per pony! and to top that off, you get less interior room and an exterior that looks almost identical to the S90.

“Polestar 1 is going to be sold under a subscription service only, which is basically Volvo’s “Care by Volvo” program”

But, that’s not all, as apparently, you may not even get to really own the Polestar 1. Word around the campfire is that the Polestar 1 is going to be sold under a subscription service only, which is basically Volvo’s “Care by Volvo” program – pretty much an extensive leasing service, if you will.
You can read all the details about it in Kirby’s news memo, but let me just point out what it really means. Basically, the Polestar 1 will be given to you on a subscription that you’ll probably have to turn back end at the end of a certain period. Polestar will cover most of the basic costs for your regular monthly payment, but the chances are that you won’t be allowed to do anything to the car as far as modification or customization. On top of that, you’re going to shell out six figures for a car you don’t even really own – and a car that is nothing more than a rebadged concept from 2013 that Volvo shit canned because it was too afraid to build and sell a true-to-life coupe.

Final Thoughts


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738872

Sorry, Volvo and Polestar. I like you both as a brand, but you have just maxed out my bullshit-o-meter and moved to the top of my lazy-bastards list. This is just uncalled for and lazy, and everyone who wears a tie while working for either of these companies should be ashamed. In fact, somebody should be fired — $100,000 price hike on a four-year-old design because it offers 2 doors and 200 extra ponies over an S90…. Oh, and because it wears a Polestar badge instead of a Volvo badge??? What did you spend on R&D? $.45 and a BIC pen? You’re officially worse than BMW overcharging the Chinese for those lazy, special edition cars that feature special paint and new wheel designs.

References

Polestar 1


2018 Polestar 1 - image 739271

Read our full review on the 2018 Polestar 1.

Volvo S90 Sedan


2017 Volvo S90 - image 658241

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo S90.


2013 Volvo Concept Coupe - image 520468

Read our full review on the 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe.

PostHeaderIcon Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace

Volvo has recently introduced their compact, premium SUV, the XC40, in Milan, Italy. It happens to be the third vehicle to join Volvo’s SUV lineup and has a lot of work to do in a crowded segment. The Compact SUV also happens to be Volvo’s first vehicle to be underpinned by their new modular vehicle architecture (CMA) platform. This platform will also support Volvo’s fully electric vehicles of the future as the brand continues to evolve. All told, the XC40 sits below the XC60 in the lineup and competes with some other recently unveiled smaller premium SUVs like the Jaguar E-Pace.

The E-Pace borrows some of its design formulas from the flagship F-Pace Crossover, much like the XC40 borrows some DNA from its larger brethren. Surprisingly, both of these SUV’s seem to have inherited all their technologies from the bigger SUV of their lineup. Both the Volvo XC40 and the Jaguar E-Pace will be available with a thirst for diesel or petrol at the time of launch (and, depending on the market) and can be optioned with four-wheel drive as well.

Don’t be disappointed if you cannot afford the Big Daddy

The XC40 looks sophisticated compared to the E-Pace


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 733019

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723226

The XC40 may not be as muscular as its rival but it makes up for that elsewhere…


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 733018

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723230

The E-Pace gets muscular styling yet manages to look sporty at the same time all thanks to its unique design


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733083

Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 723285

Both Offer Exquisite Luxury and Comfort

Premium accessories and high-end technology are the name of the game inside both models — a tough decision, indeed


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733045

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723252

With a luxurious rear, even the kids will be happy regardless of your decision


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733051

2018 Jaguar E-Pace - image 723257

In the end, both models are a good choice, so which one calls your name? Let us know in the comments section below

References

Volvo XC40


2018 Volvo XC40 - image 733077

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo XC40

Jaguar E-Pace


Visual Comparison: Volvo XC40 VS Jaguar E-Pace - image 723280

Read our full review on the 2018 Jauguar E-Pace

PostHeaderIcon The Bugatti Chiron’s Tires Are Actually Cheaper Than The Veyrons

It’s a well-known thing in automotive circles that if you own a Bugatti Veyron, the costs of maintaining it over time could be just as expensive as buying it. Annual maintenance for the almighty machine costs $20,000. If you happen to live in a state that charges car property tax, then the cost of simply owning a Veyron will set you back close to $50,000 a year. That’s like buying a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 every year just because. Then again, none of those costs compare to the ridiculous price of the Veyron’s tires. A fresh set will set you back as much as $40,000, and you’ll only be able to drive them for 2,500 miles because they’ll have to be replaced after that. I bring all of this up because, in a recent interview with CarBuzz, Bugatti Principal Engineer Martin Grabowski revealed that the set of tires on the new Bugatti Chiron is actually much cheaper than the Veyrons. Of course, the Chiron costs three times as much as the Veyron, but I’m not worried about that. It’s those tires that matter!

To put into context, Grabowski said that the Chiron doesn’t use the specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires that the Veyron used. Instead, Bugatti’s new supercar uses a standard rim geometry and standard mounting process, which means that according to Grabowski, “the tires can be mounted and changed anywhere.” Even better, the tires that the Chiron uses have been reportedly been tested to handle the supercar’s incredible 261-mph top speed, and quite possibly more given that Bugatti is still “testing them to see how far they can go.” And as far as the price goes, it’s expected to be “much cheaper,” according to Grabowski. He didn’t specify the actual price, but don’t be surprised if a set goes for around $20,000, which would make Grabowski’s statement technically true.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The Bugatti Chiron’s Tires Are Actually Cheaper Than The Veyrons

It’s a well-known thing in automotive circles that if you own a Bugatti Veyron, the costs of maintaining it over time could be just as expensive as buying it. Annual maintenance for the almighty machine costs $20,000. If you happen to live in a state that charges car property tax, then the cost of simply owning a Veyron will set you back close to $50,000 a year. That’s like buying a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 every year just because. Then again, none of those costs compare to the ridiculous price of the Veyron’s tires. A fresh set will set you back as much as $40,000, and you’ll only be able to drive them for 2,500 miles because they’ll have to be replaced after that. I bring all of this up because, in a recent interview with CarBuzz, Bugatti Principal Engineer Martin Grabowski revealed that the set of tires on the new Bugatti Chiron is actually much cheaper than the Veyrons. Of course, the Chiron costs three times as much as the Veyron, but I’m not worried about that. It’s those tires that matter!

To put into context, Grabowski said that the Chiron doesn’t use the specially designed Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires that the Veyron used. Instead, Bugatti’s new supercar uses a standard rim geometry and standard mounting process, which means that according to Grabowski, “the tires can be mounted and changed anywhere.” Even better, the tires that the Chiron uses have been reportedly been tested to handle the supercar’s incredible 261-mph top speed, and quite possibly more given that Bugatti is still “testing them to see how far they can go.” And as far as the price goes, it’s expected to be “much cheaper,” according to Grabowski. He didn’t specify the actual price, but don’t be surprised if a set goes for around $20,000, which would make Grabowski’s statement technically true.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparison – BMW M5 Vs. Cadillac CTS-V

The new BMW M5 has arrived, boasting a boatload of power, oodles of luxury, the traditional German refinement, and even a performance AWD system that’ll go full Gymkhana-RWD-smoke-machine at the touch of a button. Sweet. So then, it seems like all the stuff you’d expect, plus a ‘lil extra on top, right? Should be about right for anyone looking for superlative performance in a high-status package – a.k.a., the standard M5 owner. But here’s the thing – the Bavarians aren’t alone anymore. The luxury performance four-door segment has more than a few tempting options on hand at the moment – take, for example, the Cadillac CTS-V, a tire-shredding monster with every intention of toppling the Teutonic status quo. Both rock sports car specs, plus acres of hide and top-shelf opulence. So how do they line up?

To find out, we dug into the info sheets and laid it all on the table. In this quick comparison, we take a look at the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and prices for both, drawing a few conclusions on the way. Is the Caddy the new king, or can Bimmer reassert its dominance?

Continue reading for a quick comparison between the BMW M5 and Cadillac CTS-V.

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