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Archive for the ‘cool fast cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built

Chevrolet just introduced the latest Corvette ZR1, setting a new benchmark for the iconic sports car. Not only the quickest and most powerful Corvette ever built, the new ZR1 is also the most aerodynamic iteration of the car and comes with features usually found on high-end supercars. It definitely eclipses every road-legal Corvette built to date in terms of performance. It also wins battles with every classic Vette I can think of, but it’s not the only Corvette that made a massive impact upon arrival. It’s rather difficult to talk about Corvettes from the past with a car as incredible as the new ZR1 on its way to showrooms, but I compiled a list of iconic models that deserve to share the same celebrity page with this supercharged monster.

I’ve made my picks based on a few factors. For starters, I wanted to include at least one model from each generation, so this list goes back to the original C1. I also took horsepower and performance in consideration, as well as market impact and production figures, favoring limited-edition models that evolved into prized collectibles. I also included a concept, an experimental racing project that barely made it out of the factory, as well as an aftermarket upgrade, just to add an extra bit of flavor to the selection. Check it out below.

Continue reading for the full story.

1955 Corvette V8


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745745
“The 4.3-liter V-8 engine enabled the C1 Corvette to compete with the then-new Ford Thunderbird”

The first-generation Corvette is now regarded as one of the most iconic classic cars out there, but the truth is that the C1 was very close to be discontinued after only a couple of years on the market. Which would have put an end to the Corvette nameplate and all the great cars that followed. Launched with an inline six engine that wasn’t particularly exciting, the first Corvette was also plagued with water leaks, doors that wouldn’t stay shut, and shoddy quality of the otherwise innovative fiberglass body. These issues and the negative customer reaction caused sales to plummet, with only 2,500 units sold in 1954. Things didn’t look good for the Corvette, and Chevy was already thinking about pulling the plug.

But things changed dramatically in 1955. While not yet part of the Corvette project, Zora Arkus-Duntov insisted that the brand’s new 4.3-liter, small-block V-8 was added to the car. The 195-horsepower unit not only improved the Corvette’s marketing and image but also enabled it to compete with the then-new Ford Thunderbird. The 0 to 60 sprint dropped from 11 seconds to a more impressive 8.5 seconds with the V-8, while the three-speed manual transmission turned into a true driver’s car. As a result, Duntov was also named the director of high-performance vehicle design and development for Chevrolet in 1956.

1962 Corvette Grand Sport


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745753
“Zora Duntov initiated a program to produce a lightweight version of the second-gen Corvette”

Just like the 1955 V8, the Corvette Grand Sport was also the work of Zora Duntov. However, this project was entirely different, as the Grand Sport was conceived as a full-fledged race car. Chevrolet was no longer involved in motorsport in the early 1960s, and Duntov was converned about Ford and its tremendous Shelby Cobra, which was already hitting the race track with good results. Zora initiated a program to produce a lightweight version of the second-gen Corvette, set to go on sale for the 1963 model year, and planned to build 125 units to allow the car to be homologated for grand touring racing. The program was kept secret, mostly because GM executives didn’t want Chevy involved in motorsport. But they found out soon enough and stopped the project after Duntov built only five cars. Fortunately, they weren’t destroyed, and went on to compete and even win a few improtant races. Powered by V-8 engines rated at up to 550 horsepower, the Grand Sport was driven by famed race car drivers such as Roger Penske, A.J. Foyt, and Jim Hall.

Due to its interesting story and limited production run, the Grand Sport is among the most coveted and valuable Corvettes ever built.

1961 Corvette Mako Shark


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745744
“Designed by Larry Shinoda and Bill Mitchell, the Mako Shark previewed the second-generation Corvette”

Like the Grand Sport, the Mako Shark isn’t a production car. Designed in 1961 by Larry Shinoda and Bill Mitchell, the Mako Shark was the concept car that previewed the second-generation Corvette. As the name suggests, it was partly inspired by the shortfin mako shark, the fastest-swimming shark in the world, capable of bursts of speed of up to 42 mph. A tremendous success on the auto show circuit, the Marko Shark, was sleek, had side-exit exhaust pipes, and its paint scheme matched that of an actual shark with the blue-gray upper surface gently blending into the white underside. The C2-generation Corvette that followed in 1963, also known as the Sting Ray, borrowed several design cues from the Mako Shark, including the muscular fenders, the windscreen, and the pointy front fascia. The concept was redesigned in 1965 into the Mako Shark II, which eventually went on to inspire the third-generation Corvette, launched in 1968.

1967 Corvette Sting Ray L88


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745743
“Not only more powerful, the L88 engine was also closer to a pure racing powerplant than any other engine Chevy had ever offered”

Significantly more aggressive than its predecessor design-wise, the C2-gen Corvette also spawned higher performance versions. The L88 was the C2 to end all C2s and arrived in the generation’s final year on the market, 1967. The badge came from the engine, as the L88 was a beefed-up variant of the 7.0-liter V-8 that Chevrolet introduced in 1966. Not only more powerful, it was also closer to a pure racing powerplant than any other engine Chevy had ever offered in a production car. It had lightweight heads and bigger ports, hotter camshaft, stratospheric 12.5:1 compression, an aluminum radiator, small-diameter flywheel, and a single huge Holley four-barrel carburetor. The very high compression ratio required 103-octane racing fuel, which wasn’t widely available at U.S. service stations. Output was officially rated at 430 horsepower, but word has it that the L88 was actually capable of around 560 horses at 6,400 rpm. Naturally, the L88 didn’t come cheap. With the Positraction, transistorized ignition, heavy-duty suspension, power brakes, and radio and heater delete options made mandatory with the package, the L88 added an extra $1,500 over the base $4,240 price. As a result, only 20 units were sold, which makes the L88 one of the rarest Corvettes ever built.

1969 Corvette ZL1


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745746
“The first-ever ZL1 was offered for the 1969 model year only”

The third-generation Corvette was introduced in 1968, just as the muscle cars were getting bigger and becoming more powerful. This came to a halt in the early 1970s when the oil crisis and new regulations nearly killed the high-power V-8, but the C3 had a few good years. The Corvette ZL1 is arguably the most exotic example. Now sporting a sleeker, even more aggressive design, the C3 also spawned new engines and upgrade packages. The ZL1 was offered for the 1969 model year only and added an all-aluminum, 7.0-liter big-block which was developed primarily for racing. The engine was officially rated at 430 horsepower, but testing revealed that output was actually at around 460 horsepower. The ZL1 was quick enough to run the quarter mile in 12.1 seconds. But much like the L88, it was highly expensive, adding a whopping $4,700 to the Corvette. It’s probably why only three were sold. The main reason why I’ve included the ZL1 on this list is that it was the fastest production car ever made back in 1969.

1988 Corvette Callaway Sledgehammer


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745748
“The Sledgehammer had a top speed of 254.7 mph!”

For our next Corvette, I’m going to step away from the Chevrolet-made cars. I know it’s not exactly, but a Top 10 Corvette list without the Sledgehammer is incomplete. If you’re not familiar with Callaway Cars, it was established in 1977, and it’s been modifying engines ever since. Callaway began altering Corvettes in the 1980s and became famous when its twin-turbo kit for the C4 became a dealer option. The Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette was introduced in 1987, but it took the firm one more year to produce its most radical design yet. Based on the highly criticized C4-generation Corvette, which hit the market with delays and various issues, the Sledgehammer actually helped te fourth-gen car gain some notoriety. Heavily modified on the outside, the Sledgehammer was more than just a pimped-up Corvette.

The aggressive exterior was backed by a massively powerful drivetrain that sent no less than 898 horsepower and 772 pound-feet of torque to the wheels. The incredible output was achieved using a NASCAR-spec engine block with Mahle pistons and forged connecting rods, as well as a Brodix aluminum head and a pair of turbochargers from Turbonetics. The suspension was designed with help from Carroll Shelby, while the 17-inch aluminum wheels were wrapped in bespoke Goodyear tires. The sprint to 60 mph took only 3.9 seconds, while the quarter-mile run took just 10.6 clicks. These were incredible figures for the 1980s and are still impressive in 2017.

“The sprint to 60 mph took only 3.9 seconds, while the quarter-mile run took just 10.6 clicks”

But the Sledgehammer’s most impressive feat is its top. In October 1988, with John Lingenfelter behind the wheel, Callaway’s super coupe hit a record top speed of 254.7 mph. Although the benchmark wasn’t filed as a Guinness world record due to Sledgehammer being a unique car, it stood as the world’s fastest road-legal car until 2010, when Bugatti hit 267.8 mph with the Veyron Super Sport. The standard Veyron is actually almost one mph slower than the Sledgehammer. And we’re talking about a car built in 2005 with far more modern technology.

And that’s why the Sledgehammer deserves a place on this list.

1990 Corvette ZR-1


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745747
“Co-developed with Lotus, the ZR-1 set a number of endurance world records”

While the Sledgehammer wasn’t available for purchase, the Callaway Twin Turbo package was, and its success prompted Chevrolet to build its very own high-performance version of the Corvette. The opportunity to do this arrived in the mid-to-late 1980s after General Motors acquired Group Lotus. The Corvette division approached the British firm with the idea of developing the world’s fastest production car based on the C4 Corvette and Lotus went on to design the iconic LT5 engine. Using an aluminum block, four overhead camshafts, 32 valves, and a unique air management system, the V-8 generated 375 horsepower, 125 horses more than the standard Vette at the time. In addition to the engine, Lotus also helped design the ZR-1’s braking and steering systems. The 5.7-liter V-8 engine was upgraded to 405 horsepower and 385 pound-feet of torque when the C4 Corvette was updated in 1993. When it first hit the market, the ZR-1 needed only 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph, while its top speed was estimated at more than 180 mph. The coupe actually set a number of world records, including the 12 Hours Endurance at 175.5 mph, the 24 Hours Endurance at 175.8 mph, and running for 5,000 miles at 279.6 mph. The C4 ZR-1 was the first vehicle to wear the badge since 1971, but as we’ll see below, it wasn’t the last.

2001 Corvette Z06


Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built - image 745749
“The C5 Z06 reintroduced the Z06 badge and turned the Corvette into a modern, track-oriented vehicle”

Although it dates back to 1963, when it was created as a performance package that circumvented an SCCA racing ban, the Z06 badge was shortlived until the 2000s. Launched as a spiritual successor to the C4 ZR-1, the C5 Z06 had a similar approach. The exterior was closely related to the standard model, but the drivetrain was different. The new LS6 engine was a higher output, tuned version of the regular LS1 and initially developed 385 horsepower. This was less than the ZR-1, but the Z06 was much lighter, which gave it a superior power-to-weight ratio. It was also significantly more affordable, which helped it become a more mainstream proposition. The 2002 update increased power to 405 horsepower, which resulted in a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 3.9 seconds and a quarter-mile run of 12.4 clicks. A carbon-fiber hood introduced with the Commemorative Edition made the Z06 even lighter. Production ended in 2004 as Chevrolet began working on the C6-generation car. While the following Z06 models were faster and more powerful, I went with the C5 model because this was the car that reintroduced the Z06 badge and turned the Corvette into a modern, track-oriented vehicle.

2009 Corvette ZR1


2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 221025
“The C6-gen ZR1 was unveiled with a supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 V-8”

Although the Z06 was first introduced as a spiritual successor to the ZR-1, the two nameplates eventually became regular versions of the Corvette beginning with the C6-generation model. While the Z06 returned in 2006 and was built until 2013, the ZR1 made a comeback in 2009, after a 19-year hiatus. While the Z06 had a 7.0-liter LS7 under the hood, the C6-gen ZR1 was unveiled with a supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 V-8. The mill produced 638 horsepower, 133 more than the Z06, and at the time of its launch, it was the most powerful Corvette ever made at the factory. It was also the quickest, needing only 3.4 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Its top speed was rated at 205 mph, another record for a Corvette. It also made extensive use of carbon-fiber, having the roof, engine hood, fenders, front splitter, and rocker moldings made from the lightweight material. It was also equipped with the larger wheels ever used on a production Corvette, carbon-ceramic brakes, and Magnetic Selectiv Ride Control with sensors to automatically adjust stiffness levels based on road conditions and vehicle movement. A supercar in its own right!

2018 Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744658
“Although it's the last vehicle on my list, it's the most extreme Corvette ever built”

Finally, we’re moving on to the latest Corvette ZR1, unveiled in October 2017. Although it’s the last vehicle on my list, it’s the most extreme Corvette ever built. A significant upgrade in terms of exterior design compared to the current Z06, the ZR1 sports the most comprehensive aerodynamic package Chevy has ever created for a road car. On top of the redesigned front bumper and the massive bulge on the engine hood, the ZR1 comes with two distinct rear wings. There’s a standard low wing that delivers up to 70-percent more downforce and the highest top speed and a motorsport-spec high wing that provides maximum downforce for the quickest lap times. That’s a first for any Corvette. Under the hood, lurks the most powerful engine Chevy has built to date. Dubbed LT5, the 6.2-liter V-8 uses a massive supercharger to generate a whopping 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. It sprints from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds and tops out at more than 210 mph, yet another record for the Corvette. The new ZR1 is also the first vehicle of its kind to use an automatic transmission thanks to the eight-speed option offered alongside the standard seven-speed manual.

This concludes my list of the greatest Corvettes ever built. A list I probably won’t alter until Chevy introduces the much-rumored mid-engined Vette. I’m well aware that this list is very subjective and that many other iconic Corvettes weren’t mentioned, so feel free to add your own in the comments section.

PostHeaderIcon The Devel-Sixteen is Here, but it’s Still just a Prototype

For years, we’ve been teased by Devel about its 300-mph, 5000-horsepower, supercar and the company has finally delivered at the 2017 Dubai motor show. The car isn’t exactly in “production” form quite yet and won’t be complete for another 12 to 18 months, with testing, but it’s much closer than the plastic, Hot-Wheels-wannabe car we saw a few years back.

The Devel Sixteen Comes Correct but Still Lacking

Truth be told, this revised prototype is much more believable, and now that we’ve seen video of the engine hitting some crazy horsepower figures (5,007 in the latest video on a company dyno,) there’s a lot of merit behind the car that could not only break the 300-mph barrier but put vehicles from Koenigsegg, Buggati, and McLaren to shame. As of now, one of the biggest concerns is where Devel can source tires from, considering a pair of rubbers that can handle speeds as high as 300 mph are far and few between – it’s the reason why the Bugatti Chiron hasn’t been able to reach its full potential.

Devel-Sixteen Engine on the Dyno

On that note, Devel says it’s “considering” two tire manufacturers, but declined to mention names in a discussion with CNN in Dubai. Unfortunately, there’s more bad news too – the Devel-Sixteen won’t be street legal and is intended to be more of a dragster or track car. Of course, we’re talking about a 12.3-liter with a quad, 81 mm, turbo setup that delivers a gut-wrenching 5,007 horsepower, so that’s not that big of a surprise – it’s essentially a jet-fighter on wheels.


The Devel-Sixteen is Here, but it's Still just a Prototype - image 744099

Devel Sixteen Prototype Specifications

  • 12.3 LITER V16 QUAD TURBO
  • 5,007 HP, 36 PSI
  • 3,519 LB-FT @ 6,600 RPM, 36 PSI
  • 3,006 HP @ 6,900 RPM, 20 PSI (92 93 PUMP GAS – DAILY USE)
  • 2,407 TORQUE @ 6,400 RPM, 20 PSI
  • DEVEL SIXTEEN BILLET ENGINE BLOCK
  • DEVEL SIXTEEN CYLINDER HEADS
  • DEVEL SIXTEEN CRANKSHAFT
  • DEVEL SIXTEEN BILLET CAMSHAFT (ROLLER CAMSHAFT, STREET TUNE)
  • 2 VALVEs PER CYLINDER (32 TITANIUM VALVE)
  • 81 MM QUAD TURBO

Other Models are on the Way


The Devel-Sixteen is Here, but it's Still just a Prototype - image 744098

Sometimes you have to roll with the punches, and the fact that the Sixteen isn’t going to be street legal is a bit of a bummer. But, not all hope is lost. See, the manufacturer also opened a whole new can of worms. Apparently, Devel is working on two more models, one with a V-8 that will deliver some 2,000 horsepower and another with a V-16 and quad turbos that will deliver some 3,000 horsepower. Projected speeds have yet to be mentioned, but you can probably guess somewhere around 245 mph and 280 mph, respectively.

On that note, however, don’t get too excited unless you have very, very deep pockets. Devel says the price for the V-8 model with start at $1.6 million while the V-16 model will start at $1,8 million. There are no plans to limit production of either model at this time, and both are expected to be 100-percent road legal. As for where the Sixteen or it’s slightly less-powerful children will make their high-speed debuts, that remains a mystery, but the man behind that brand has said “the U.S., the U.K, Germany… it could be anywhere.” I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty promising and quite exciting too. We’re following the Devel brand closely, so check back soon for a full review on the Devel-Sixteen and all breaking news as it happens.

References


The Devel-Sixteen is Here, but it's Still just a Prototype - image 745558

Read our full story on the Devel Sixteen Debut.


2014 Devel Sixteen - image 532029

Read our full review on the 2014 Devel Sixteen Prototype.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8

2020 BMW i8

Launched in 2014, the i8 was on BMW’s drawing boards since the mid-2000s. First unveiled as the Vision Efficient Dynamics in 2009, it was updated to the i8 Concept in 2011, before being showcased as a production-ready prototype in 2013. In 2012, BMW also revealed a Spyder concept car. More than three years have passed since its official debut, and the i8 is already a big hit with hybrid sports car enthusiasts. Despite this, BMW has yet to offer a mid-cycle update like it did with the i3, but it’s planning to launch a drop-top, Spyder version at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, Whether more oomph is on the table for the current i8 is still a mystery, but there’s a lot of buzz about a significantly more powerful next-generation model flying around for quite some time.

Given BMW’s current strategy, a brand-new i8 isn’t likely to arrive sooner than 2020, so information about the upcoming sports car is scant, to say the least. However, there have been claims that the new i8 will go fully electric and the I Vision Dynamics concept that was unveiled in 2017 likely previews the sports car’s new design. I gathered all the information available in the speculative review below, while our designer created a rendering of what the second-generation i8 might look like. Keep reading to find out all the details we have so far and stay tuned for updates on this car.

Continue reading to learn more about the second-generation BMW i8.

Exterior

  • Fresh design
  • Styling based on I Vision Dynamics concept
  • EV-style front grille
  • New lighting technology
  • Sporty coupe shape
  • Unique in the BMW lineup
  • left
    right
    “While the BMW i8 still looks fresh in 2017, this may not be the case in 2020”

    Needless to say, the current i8 is one sexy sports car design-wise. The low nose, the wide stance, and the aggressive headlamp and front grille layout make it unique in the current BMW lineup and give it a strong resemblance to the iconic M1. The side cues are equally dramatic, especially the way the line that separates the door from the side skirt goes upward to create the massive rear haunches and then blends into the taillights. The rear fascia also reminds of the BMW M1, but the i8 is more than just a rendition of the classic sports car. It’s feels modern and it’s aggressive. It’s basically a supercar design with lightweight, sports car performance.

    But while the i8 still looks fresh in 2017, this may not be the case in 2020. Sports car makers are rolling out increasingly wilder designs, so BMW will have to up the ante and come up with an even more exciting exterior. While there’s no clue as to what the new i8 might look like, I do believe that the I Vision Dynamics concept will be used as inspiration. And needless to say, it’s a fantastic resource for a brand-new sports car.


    2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept - image 731936
    “Our rendering borrows heavily from the I Vision Dynamics concept”

    Our rendering borrows heavily from the show car. Although it previews a competitor for the Tesla Model S, the I Vision Dynamics employs many styling cues that would look great on an aggressive two-door. Our designer transferred almost the entire front fascia onto the next-gen i8. The twin-kidney grille is obviously taller than any other production BMW and it stands out by missing a conventional mesh grille and for having blue highlights on the chrome trim. I think that the blue trim will become a production feature and that a grille-less twin-kidney is very likely given that the next i8 will be an all-electric car. We also borrowed most of the bumper from the concept car, but revised the openings and the side wings for better aerodynamics. The headlamps are a unique design that blend current BMW LED units with futuristic elements seen on recent concept.

    Move to the sides, and you’ll notice that our rendering retains the current i8’s shape and size. However, the angular lines are less aggressive, and the rear haunches are a bit more elegant. I think BMW will go with something similar in an effort to position the new i8 in both the high-performance and luxury market. Look for a redesigned rear end too, but nothing radical. Although the i8 may employ some features from other production BMWs — obviously with a unique touch — it should also come with active aerodynamics, such as a retractable wing and a diffuser that adapts to driving conditions.

    Interior

    • New, exclusive design
    • Added luxury features
    • Larger infotainment screen
    • Redesigned instrument cluster
    • Leather and Alcantara upholstery
    • Sports seats

    2020 BMW i8 - image 521247

    Note: current BMW i8 pictured here.

    “Some new high-end tech should also find its way inside the cabin”

    It’s really hard to tell what the next-gen i8 has in store for its customers inside the cabin, but it’s safe to say that it will sport a high-tech design with plenty of premium features. The dashboard design will be unique to this car, so don’t expect any of the styling cues seen inside the 3 Series or the X5. Now I’m not saying that the two models are a dull place to spend time in, but the current i8 plays in a far superior league, and this shouldn’t change with the new sports car.

    Some new high-end tech should also find its way into the cabin. I’m thinking bigger screens for the infotainment system and instrument cluster and a highly adjustable, sports steering wheel. Gesture control will be standard, alongside a wide range of features that will enable you to control and monitor the vehicle’s electric driverain.


    2020 BMW i8 - image 522671

    Note: current BMW i8 pictured here.

    “Expect the new i8 to come with acres of leather and Alcantara in standard trim”

    As far as materials go, expect the new i8 to come with acres of leather and Alcantara in standard trim. Aluminum and carbon-fiber will cover most of the remaining surfaces, but the latter is likely to be part of an optional, more expensive package. The leather seats should feature heavy bolstering for spirited driving, but if rumors about the drivetrain prove to be true, BMW should offer a more track oriented package with race-inspired, lightweight seats wrapped in Alcantara. Despite the i8 being a full-fledged sports car, it will have many of the amenities found in larger luxury BMWs, including air-conditioning, heating, a premium sound system, and the latest in terms of connectivity and Wi-Fi.

    The new i8 should also include a range of cabin features made from renewable materials — to showcase the company’s efforts toward a more sustainable future — as well as some industry-first technologies. But we will find out more about that closer to launch.

    Drivetrain

    • All-electric drivetrain
    • Three electric motors
    • Around 750 horsepower
    • All-wheel-drive
    • Rear-axle steering
    • Active suspension system

    2020 BMW i8 - image 518243

    Note: Drivetrain of the current BMW i8 pictured here.

    “While the current i8 gets its juice from a gasoline-electric drivetrain, the next-gen car will use electricity only”

    This is where it gets very interesting. While the current i8 gets its juice from a gasoline-electric drivetrain, the next-gen car will use electricity only. This rumor has been flying around for more than a year now and, while there’s no official confirmation, it makes sense given that BMW wants to roll out electric cars in the next decade. The change will be quite dramatic.

    The German sports features quite a peculiar drivetrain, bringing together a turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and two electric motors. I say “peculiar” because three-cylinder engines are far from common. Granted, the three-pot is no slouch at 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, but it’s not the kind of output that puts “sports” ahead of “car.” But thanks to the electric motors strapped to the front and rear axles, total output sits at a more appealing 357 horses and 420 pound-feet.

    “Each motor will reportedly crank out well in excess of 250 horsepower, with total output to sit at a whopping 750 horses”

    Granted, those aren’t supercar figures, but at only 3,300 pounds, the i8 is quite agile. Hitting 60 mph from a standing start takes four seconds, while top speed is governed at 155 mph. As our own Mark McNabb pointed out in his driven review, the i8 needs a bit more oomph, and the main reason why I agree is that a sports car of this caliber should be quicker than the BMW M4. And the i8 isn’t. But this will change with the next-generation model.

    For the new i8, BMW will drop the gasoline engine and will add a third electronic. Actually, it will add three brand-new electric motors that will draw juice from a significantly larger battery. Each motor will reportedly crank out well in excess of 250 horsepower, with total output to sit at a whopping 750 horses. That’s more than double the oomph you get with the current i8! No word on torque yet, but knowing how much pound-feet electric motors are capable of, it’s safe to assume that the i8 could get closer to 1,000.


    2020 BMW i8 - image 745538
    “The i8 will also get rear-axle steering and an active suspension system”

    The new drivetrain layout will put two motors on the rear axle and one up front, which will make the i8 all-whee-drive. On top of that, the i8 will also get rear-axle steering, a feature that’s already available in some Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini sports cars. Torque vectoring and a new active suspension system are also on the table. So not only will it be significantly quicker — expect a 0-to-60 sprint of less than three seconds — it will also perform better at the track. New Nurburgring record for electric cars, anyone?

    But what about range? Reports say that the new drivetrain and larger battery will enable the i8 to return 300 miles per charge. That would represent a 10-mile drop compared to the current hybrid drivetrain, but it’s a solid figure for a fully electric car. For reference, the current i8 runs for only 15 miles on electricity alone according to the EPA. In Europe, it’s rated at 23 miles.

    Current BMW i8 2020 BMW i8
    Gasoline Engine BMW TwinPower Turbo 1.5-Liter Three-Cylinder
    Electric Motor Hybrid synchronous motor with power Three electric motors
    Total Output 362 horsepower 750 HP
    Total Torque 420 Pound-Feet 1,000 LB-FT
    Transmission Six-Speed Automatic
    Acceleration (0-60 mph) 4.2 Sec., Est 3 seconds
    Top Speed 155 MPH 200 mph
    Total Range 310 Miles (372 Miles w/ ECO PRO) 300 miles

    Prices


    2020 BMW i8 - image 745539

    The current i8 is the second most expensive BMW on offer as of 2017. Priced from $143,400, it’s superseded only by the M760i, which costs $156,700 before options. Add the available packages and options to the i8, and the sticker jumps to $152,344. Far from affordable, but the new second-generation sports car will be much more expensive. The new technology, the new platform, and the all-electric drivetrain will add to the final cost of the car, which could move closer to the $200,000 mark.

    Competition

    The electric supercar car market is rather slim as of 2017, but with more and more automakers jumping on the bandwagon, this segment will be far more populated a few years from now. Due to its hybrid nature, the current i8 competes against the Acura NSX, but this will change when the all-electric version arrives. The Nio EP9 looks to be a good proposition, but the Chinese EV is set to be manufactured in limited numbers, and it could be discontinued soon. Same goes for the Rimac Concept_One, but automakers like Mercedes-Benz, Audi (the Germans recently discontinued the R8 e-tron), and Porsche could launch their own competitors for the i8 in a few years.

    Nio EP9


    You Won't Believe Which Autonomous Car is the Fastest in the World - image 707013

    The EP9 hit the market out of the blue. It’s designed by recently founded Chinese company NextEV, boasts a tremendous amount of power, and lapped the Nurburgring track quicker than any other production car, breaking a record that stood strong since 2009. Design-wide, the Nio EP9 is a full-fledged supercar and looks as if it was designed for the prototype class of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Power comes from four separate electric motors, each creating in excess of 300 horsepower. Total output is rated at 1,341, which is far more impressive than the next-generation BMW i8, but it’s worth mentioning that the EP9 is also significantly heavier at 3,825 pounds. The sprint to 60 mph takes 2.7, which is as quick as it gets, but the i8 should come close thanks to its tremendous power-to-weight ratio. The EP9 is also likely to win the top speed battle at 195 mph, but it won’t be able to match the Bimmer’s range at 265 miles per charge. The Chinese EV is also ridiculously expensive, coming in at around $1.2 million before options.

    Conclusion


    2020 BMW i8 - image 744860

    When we drove the BMW i8 back in August 2017, we were impressed by its looks, high-end technology, and solid drivetrain figures. But we also discovered that it was rather uncomfortable getting in and out of the cabin and that it also lacked the luxuries found in the big BMW sedans. But the next-generation model should fix that, as BMW now has all the information it needs to provide a sports car that’s attractive in just about any department. And with a more powerful drivetrain that’s also green and provides a solid range, the i8 should become an even more successful vehicle. Despite having an exorbitant price tag.

    • Leave it
      • Likely expensive price tag
      • Not yet confirmed for production

    References

    BMW i8


    2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

    Read our full review on the current BMW i8.


    BMW i Vision Dynamics Previews Tesla Model S Fighter - image 730734

    Read our full review on the 2017 BMW i Vision Dynamics Concept.


    2017 BMW i8 – Driven - image 732595

    Read our full driven review on the 2017 BMW i8.


    2018 BMW i8 Spyder - image 716249

    Read our full speculative review on the 2018 BMW i8 Spyder.

    PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

    The seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette was unveiled in early 2013 and introduced for the 2014 model year. It replaced the nine-year-old C6 and essentially changed the way enthusiasts viewed the Corvette thanks to its significant upgrades. Besides the more angular and aggressive styling, the C7 also received a revamped interior that no longer made use of cheap plastics. The cabin was finally moved into premium territory, putting an end to decades of criticism. While it continued to use an all-engine V-8, the Corvette gained a supercharged unit with the Z06 badge. Come 2017, and Chevrolet took things to a whole new level with a new ZR1 model, the fourth since the early 1970s. Powered by a brand-new V-8, it’s the ZR1 with highest power, greatest track performance, and most advanced technology in its production history!

    It took Chevrolet some four years to revise the range-topping ZR1, but the wait was definitely worth it. The new supercharged coupe surpasses every rumor we’ve been through so far with a significantly revised exterior, a menacing, race-inspired rear wing, and a supercharged V-8 engine that was designed on a clean sheet. After years of speculation, dozens of camouflaged test cars, and rumors that GM is also working on a mid-engined Corvette, the ZR1 is here to prove that Chevrolet isn’t yet willing to give up on its fantastic tradition and that the ZR1 legend will live on for a few more years. And, for the very first time since the Corvette was introduced more than five decades ago, it’s safe to say that Chevrolet finally has a competitor for the high-end supercars out there. Keep reading to find out why.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

    Exterior

    • Redesigned front bumper with large intakes
    • Bigger carbon-fiber splitter
    • New engine hood with bulged center section
    • Unique wheels
    • Side sill extensions
    • Big rear wing
    • Two aerodynamic packages
    • Sebring Orange package
    • Most aggressive ZR1 exterior ever!

    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525
    “Up front, the headlamps and the nose are the only features that remind of the C7 Corvette”

    As suspected since we saw the first prototypes, the ZR1 arrived with a ton of new features compared to the Z06, including a massive change in the aerodynamics department.

    Up front, the headlamps and the nose are the only features that remind of the C7 Corvette. The bumper was redesigned on a clean sheet. The wide intake seen on other Corvettes is gone, replaced by a three-piece layout with a narrower opening in the middle and two massive intakes onto the sides. A honeycomb-like mesh complements all three, but the holes are larger than usual, which gives the bumper a menacing stance. The splitter is bigger than any similar unit seen on a Corvette before and puts even that of the race-spec C7.R to shame.


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744533
    “The engine hood is also new, and its center section is insanely tall”

    The engine hood is also new, and its center section is insanely tall. Designed this way in order to make way for the larger supercharger, it has a custom carbon-fiber “halo” opening. As we move onto the sides, when can see new vertical fins on the side splitter, redesigned vents on the front fenders, and more aggressive side skirts. Around back, everything seems to be the same below the decklid. The ZR1 keeps the four-pipe, center-mounted layout and the same diffuser, with only a “ZR1” badge setting it apart from the Z06. However, there’s a new wing to talk about. Actually, there’s two because Chevrolet offers two wind tunnel-designed aero packages.

    First up is the standard low wing, which delivers the highest top speed and helps generate up to 70-percent more downforce than the Z06. Although low, the wing is pretty wide and makes the ZR1 look like a full-fledged race car. Things become even more aggressive with the optional High Wing package. Replacing the low wing with a much higher, new-design unit, this bundle provides an estimated 950 pounds of downforce. This package basically offers maximum downforce on the track for the quickest lap times — Chevy says it comes with about 60 percent more downforce than the Z06 with the available Z07 Performance Package.

    left
    right
    “The ZR1 delivers 60 percent more downforce than the Z06 with the available Z07 Performance Package.”

    Both wings are tied into the chassis, like on the Corvette Racing C7.R racecar, for enhanced strength and stability. Both ZR1 models also feature a downforce-enhancing front underwing.

    Alongside these performance packages, Chevy also launched the Sebring Orange Package with the ZR1. The bundle adds new design features inside and out, including Sebring Orange Tintcoat exterior color and orange brake calipers and rocker panel and splitter accents stripes.

    All told, the ZR1 is not only the meanest Corvette ever built, but also the most aggressive vehicle wearing a Chevrolet badge.

    Exterior Dimensions

    Wheelbase (Inches) 106.7
    Overall Length (Inches) 176.9
    Overall Width (Inches) 77.4
    Overall Height (Inches) 48.6
    Track front/rear (Inches) 63.6/62.5

    THE COMPETITION


    2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS - image 721894
    “If you're looking for a race-inspired design, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS is a solid proposition!”

    There aren’t many sports cars out there that have such big wings and are still legal on public roads. One good example is the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, but it’s not as powerful as the Corvette ZR1. And it’s not as menacing as the Chevy on the outside either. Sure, it has plenty of aero bits, and it looks pretty similar to the company’s track-only models, but it still has that organic, somewhat polished look modern 911s are known for. It’s nowhere near as angular as the Corvette ZR1, which feels a bit more modern so to speak. However, if you’re looking for a race-inspired design, this Porsche is a solid proposition!


    2016 Ferrari 488 GTB - image 620088

    You can get a more aggressive design with the Ferrari 488 GTB, but only if you’re willing to pay in excess of $200,000 to take one home. Comparing a Ferrari to a Corvette might be upsetting to some purists, mostly because the 488 GTB comes with a mid-engine configuration and significantly more luxury and cachet, but the ZR1 looks ready to give the 488 GTB a run for its money as far as design goes. Although it also lacks a rear wing, the GTB sports a fresh styling language that combines elements from the previous 458 Italia and the LaFerrari supercar. While the front fascia and most of the side panels look rather plain, the wide rear haunches and race-inspired rear end with classic looking round taillights give the Ferrari a unique appearance.

    Interior

    • Carbon-fiber steering wheel inserts
    • Carbon-fiber dash and center stack
    • Leather and Alcantara seats
    • Optional Nappa leather
    • Competition sport seats
    • Performance Data Recorder
    • Premium Bose audio system
    • Orange accents
    • Bronze aluminum trim

    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744535
    “The first thing that catches the eye is the carbon-fiber inserts on the steering wheel”

    Upgrades aren’t as radical inside the cabin, but this is far from surprising. The Z06 gained mild updates of the standard model, so I’m not surprised to see that the ZR1 package doesn’t change all that much inside the cabin. But you will notice that this isn’t a Z06 as soon as you open the door.

    The first thing that catches the eye is the carbon-fiber inserts on the steering wheel. The seats are also wrapped in leather as standard, while Alcantara inserts remind that this ’Vette was built for quick lap times. Optionally, you can go with Competition sport seats, which are wrapped in Nappa leather and have heating and ventilation. Chevy also offers the Performance Data Recorder that allows you to record your experience at the track, and a Bose premium audio system.


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744524

    When equipped with the Sebring Orange Package, the ZR1 gets orange seatbelts and contrast stitching and bronze aluminum trim. The latter is visible on the steering wheel, center console, center stack, door panels, and the seats. Of course, the ZR1 also comes with plenty of carbon-fiber, particularly on the center stack and the driver-side dashboard.

    Interior Dimensions

    Headroom (Inches) 38
    Legroom (Inches) 43
    Shoulder Room (Inches) 55
    Hip Room (Inches) 54
    Curb Weight (Lbs) 3,524
    EPA passenger volume (cu. ft. ) 52
    Cargo volume (cu. ft.) 15

    THE COMPETITION


    2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS - image 721946
    “Classy and simple, yet stylish, the Porsche’s cabin is made from high-quality materials only”

    Much like its exterior, the GT2 RS’ interior is less aggressive than the ZR1. But that’s not a bad thing. Classy and simple, yet stylish, the Porsche’s cabin is made from high-quality materials only. Somehow Porsche managed to blend the classy looks of the 911 with the sporty looks of its FIA-spec race cars. The dashboard and door panels also include leather inserts and contrast stitching, while red accents on the steering wheels, door panels, and A-pillars add a dash of color to an otherwise black layout. The race-spec seats made from carbon-fiber help set the Porsche apart, as does the full roll cage mounted in the rear compartment. Tech goodies include the Porsche Communication Management system, Porsche Connect Plus, and the Track Precision app that comes with the Chrono Package.


    2016 Ferrari 488 GTB - image 697233

    Opt for the Ferrari 488 GTB, and you’ll end up with a race-inspired cabin with tons of high-quality stuff all over the place. The Maranello-built sports car doesn’t differ much from the 911 as far as technology goes, but it’s cabin seems more suited for cruising rather than track performance.

    Drivetrain

    • New supercharged V-8 engine
    • 755 horsepower
    • 715 pound-feet of torque
    • Up to 23 mpg on the highway
    • 52-percent larger blower
    • 0 to 60 in less than 2.9 seconds
    • 210-mph top speed
    • Seven-speed manual
    • Optional eight-speed automatic
    • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires
    • Magnetic Ride Control suspension

    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744533
    “The potent LT4 engine in the Z06 was replaced by an even more powerful V-8 unit”

    Drivetrain upgrades are worthy of the aggressive, race-inspired exterior. The potent LT4 engine in the Z06 was replaced by an even more powerful V-8 unit. Called the LT5, probably a throwback to the V-8 engine in the C4-generation ZR1, this new V-8 is also supercharged, but the blower is 52-percent larger than in the Z06. The combo also utilizes GM’s first dual-fuel-injection, which employs primary direct injection and supplemental port injection. This not only helps the LT5 achieve its massive output, but also keeps fuel consumption relatively low at up to 23 mpg highway and up to 15 mpg city.

    Speaking of performance, the 6.2-liter V-8 cranks out a whopping 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. That’s 105 horses and 65 pound-feet more than the Z06 and 300 horsepower and 255 pound-feet more than the standard Corvette. It’s worth noting that the ZR1 is the most powerful Chevrolet ever made. Impressive!


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744526
    ” The new ZR1 is the most powerful Chevrolet ever made”

    Info about how long it takes the ZR1 to hit 60 mph is not yet available, but it should be significantly quicker than the already stupid fast Corvette Z06, which reaches the benchmark in 2.95 seconds. Given the extra oomph and the revised aerodynamics, I’d say that the ZR1 can hit 60 mph in 2.8 seconds or less. Top speed is rated at “over 210 mph,” at least 25 mph more than the Corvette Z06! That’s also only seven mph less than high-end Ferrari and Lamborghini supercars.


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744531
    “Top speed is rated at "over 210 mph," at least 25 mph more than the Corvette Z06”

    Two transmissions are available, which is a first for the ZR1. Previous available with only manual transmissions, the new ZR1 can be had with an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The manual box is Chevrolet’s latest seven-speed. Of course, both gearboxes have been optimized for the ZR1’s drivetrain.

    Cooling was also improved, with four new radiators added to increase the number of heat exchangers to 13. The High Wing package adds Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer-only tires and specific chassis and Magnetic Ride Control tuning for greater cornering grip.

    Drivetrain Specifications

    Type: LT5 6.2L Supercharged V-8 with direct and port injection
    Bore & stroke (in / mm) 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
    Block material: Cast aluminum
    Cylinder head material: Cast aluminum
    Valvetrain: Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
    Fuel delivery: 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
    Fuel economy city/highway 15/22 mpg (manual)
    13/23 mpg (automatic)
    Front Suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, Magnetic Selective Ride Control
    Rear Suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, Magnetic Selective Ride Control
    Steering Type: Variable-ratio rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
    Turning Circle (ft. / m): 39.2 / 11.6
    Brake Type: Front and rear power-assisted discs with two-piece carbon ceramic matrix rotors; fixed six-piston aluminum front calipers and fixed four-piston aluminum rear calipers
    Brake Rotor Size (in / mm): Front –15.5 / 394
    Rear –15.3 / 388
    Wheel Size: Front: 19-inch x 10.5-inch
    Rear: 20-inch x 12-inch
    Tire Size: Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat (std.)
    Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (ZTK)
    Front: P285/30ZR19
    Rear: P335/25ZR20

    COMPETING PERFORMANCE


    2018 Porsche 911 GT2 RS - image 721915
    “While the 911 GT2 RS and 488 GTB aren’t as powerful as the Corvette ZR1, both are quick enough to give the American coupe a run for its money”

    While the 911 GT2 RS and 488 GTB aren’t as powerful as the Corvette ZR1, both are quick enough to give the American coupe a run for its money. Having adopted turbo technology since the 1990s, Porsche makes the quickest force-fed sports cars on the market the current 911 GT2 RS its most exciting product yet. Powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six and two turbochargers, the GT2 RS comes with 700 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Although significantly less powerful, the GT2 RS needs only 2.7 seconds to hit 60 mph, which should be quicker than the Corvette ZR1. Top speed is a mind-blowing 211 mph.


    2016 Ferrari 488 GTB - image 620087

    Likewise, the 488 GTB is pretty well suited to keep up with the ZR1. Also using a turbocharged V-8, a first for the brand’s entry-level supercar, the GTB comes with 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet on tap, which enables it to charge to 60 mph in a scant three seconds. It might not be as quick as the ’Vette, but the upcoming GTB Scuderia should be quick enough. Top speed is rated at 203 mph, and before you say it’s not as fast as the ZR1, it’s more than you’ll ever need on public roads.

    Porsche 911 GT2 RS Ferrari 488 GTB Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
    Engine Twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-six 3.9-liter V-8 6.2-liter V-8
    Horsepower 700 HP @ 7,000 RPM 660 HP @ 8,000 RPM 755 HP
    Torque 553 LB-FT 560 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM 715 LB-FT
    0-to-60 mph 2.7 seconds 3.0 seconds <2.8 seconds (est.)
    Top Speed 211 mph 205 mph +210 mph

    Prices


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744532

    As the quickest and most powerful C7-generation Corvette, the ZR1 will also be the most expensive. But even though it will cost significantly more than the Z06, which retails from $79,400 as of August 2016, it will remain affordable compared to vehicles that deliver similar performance. I’d venture to say that Chevy will keep the ZR1’s sticker under $120,000.

    HOW MUCH FOR THE COMPETITION?

    Well, the competition is pretty expensive. Of all the cars named above, the Ferrari 488 GTB is the most affordable at around $240,000. That’s double the amount you’d have to pay for a Corvette ZR1, though. The Porsche 911 GT2 RS fetches even more, smashing the bank at $293,200 before options. However, chances are you won’t be able to buy one anytime soon as these cars sell like hot cakes. Granted, both the Porsche and Ferrari will give you a more premium interior, more features, and more ways to customize everything from upholstery to trim elements, but is it worth it? If you care about the badge, yes. If performance is all you’re interested in, the ZR1 will give you similar specs for a significantly more affordable price tag.

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 $120,000 (est.)
    Porsche 911 GT2 RS $293,200
    Ferrari 488 GTB $240,000
    McLaren 720S $288,845

    Competition

    McLaren 720S


    2018 McLaren 720S - image 708563

    A comparison between a Chevy and a McLaren may seem ludicrous, but the purpose is to highlight just how powerful and fast the new ZR1 really is. Developed as a replacement for the 650S, the 720S is obviously a potent supercar and has an aggressive, race-inspired design. It also has a mid-engined layout, which makes the comparison a bit unfair. Unlike the ZR1, the 720S is made almost entirely of carbon-fiber, and its cabin is far more radical in terms of design and technology. Under the hood, it hides a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 that cranks out a massive 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. That’s a bit less than the Chevy, but the incredibly light body and chassis and the quick shifting seven-speed dual-clutch transmission push it from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.8 seconds. This should be on par with the ZR1, which is a big advantage for the American coupe. The 720S’ top speed is rated at 212 mph, which is only marginally higher than the ZR1’s. Pricing likely exceeds $280,000, but the McLaren is by far the more exclusive car here.

    Read our full story on the 2018 McLaren 720S.

    Corvette ZR1 History


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744656
    “The ZR1 nameplate was first used in 1970”

    The ZR1 nameplate was first used in 1970, almost two years after Chevrolet had launched the third-generation Corvette. Unlike the modern ZR1, the first version was just a drivetrain upgrade. Priced at $1,221, the option was available exclusively with the LT-1 mill and included a heavy-duty four-speed transmission, power brakes, aluminum radiator, and a revised suspension with special springs, shocks, stabilizer bar, and spindle-strut shafts. On the other hand, Chevy wanted the ZR1 to be a track-prepped option so all cars equipped with this package didn’t have power windows, power steering, air conditioning, a rear-window defogger, wheel covers, or a radio. Only 53 cars were built between 1970 and 1972.

    Chevy also offered a ZR2 package. This cost $1,747 and was essentially identical to the ZR1, but adapted for the bonkers LS-6 V-8 engine, which was rated at a whopping 425 horsepower. Only 12 were built in 1971, its only year on the market.


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744655
    “The C4-generation ZR-1 was designed with help from Lotus, which GM acquired in 1986”

    The ZR-1 returned in 1990, this time around with a hyphen. The revival of the badge was closerly related to the fact that General Motor acquired Lotus in 1986 and approached the British firm with the idea of creating the world’s fastest production car based on the C4-generation Corvette. A new engine was designed by the two firms; an aluminum-block V-8 called the LT5. Lotus also designed the air managemen, braking, and steering systems. Rated at 375 horsepower, the ZR-1 was one of the quickest vehicles of the era, needing only 4.4 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. Top speed was rated at more than 180 mph. The ZR-1 set a few World Records in 1990, including a 24-hour endurance test at 175.8 mph, 12-hour endurance at 175.5 mph, and 5,000 miles at 173.7 mph. Although it was almost twice as expensive as the standard model, the ZR-1 was a big success and remained in production until 1995.


    2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 221048
    “After skipping the C5, the ZR1 returned for the C6-generation Corvette, launching for the 2009 model year”

    It took the ZR another 19 years to make a comeback. After skipping the C5, the ZR1 returned for the C6-generation Corvette, launching for the 2009 model year. The ZR1 was powered by a supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 V-8 and became the most powerful Corvette in history with a power rating of 638 horsepower and 595 pound-feet of torque. This was surpassed when Chevy launched the 650-horsepower, C7-generation Z06. The ZR1 has a carbon-fiber roof, hood, fenders, and front splitter, larger wheels, and carbon-ceramic brakes. Magnetic Selective Ride Control was also included in the package. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph took only 3.3 seconds, while top speed was estimated at 205 mph.

    Conclusion


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744531

    While it’s no longer the most anticipated Corvette — being superseded by the mid-engined version expected until the end of the decade — the ZR1 is definitely one of the most exciting American vehicles we will get in dealerships starting 2018. The twin-turbo engine, the immense output, and the extreme aerodynamic kit makes it a worthy competitor for the Ferrari 488 GTB and Porsche 911 GT2 RS, a feat Corvette enthusiasts have been dreaming since… well, forever. The front-engined configuration also makes it more appealing to purists who might take a few years to adjust to a mid-engine sports car wearing the Corvette badge. All we can hope is that the ZR1 won’t be the last front-engined ’Vette.

    • Leave it
      • Significantly more expensive than the Z06

    References

    Chevrolet Corvette


    2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - image 526921

    Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette.


    2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - image 538131

    Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.


    2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 221025

    Read our full review on the 2009 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.



    Read more Chevrolet news.

    Spy Shots

    April 20, 2017 – Corvette ZR1 gets loud on the Nurburgring

    April 18, 2017 – Corvette ZR1 caught testing on the Nurburgring

    November 29, 2016 – Corvette ZR1 starts dropping camouflage

    August 12, 2016 – Corvette ZR1 out for a new testing session

    Update History

    Updated 04/18/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Corvette ZR1 out for a new testing session, this time around Nurburgring.

    Updated 12/15/2016: Based on the recent details and spy shots, we created a rendering for the upcoming Corvette ZR1. Let us know in the comments section below what do you think about it.

    Updated 11/29/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Corvette ZR1 out for a new testing session. When compared to the previous prototypes, this new one dropped significant camouflage, meaning its world debut is imminent.

    Updated 08/12/2016: The upcoming Corvette ZR1 was caught out for a new testing session, offering us another proof that a high-performance version of the seventh generation Corvette is right around the corner.

    PostHeaderIcon A Car God’s Blessing – The 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is Finally Here

    2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

    While you were not paying attention this weekend, the car God’s were busy blessing us with the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 – quite literally the most powerful production model Chevy as ever introduced. Powered by a 6.2-liter, LT5, V-8, this force-fed monster delivers a butthole-puckering 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque, 105 ponies and 65 pound-feet more than the C7-gen Z06 – the most powerful and quickest Vette, well, until now, anyway. Chevy hasn’t gone into full performance details yet, but the new ZR1 can surpass 210 mph on the track. And, with the Z06 hitting the 60-mph sprint in 2.95 seconds, you can bet this beast does it in closer to 2.6 seconds. To help keep all of the muscle under control, the ZR1 is available with two aero packages, including a High Wing that can deliver as much as 950 pounds of downforce at speed.

    It’s the most powerful and fastest, and it’s also the best-looking too. There’s an all-new front fascia that has extra air channels to help keep things cool as well as four new radiators for a total of 13 heat exchangers and hopefully a solution for that questionable overheating problem Chevy has had in the past. A new, excessively aggressive hood has been added to the ZR1 and was actually a necessity thanks to that massive supercharger that force feeds air into the intake. There’s also stanchion-mounted wings available that will help keep the monster pinned to the track. So, ready to learn a little more? Check out all of the specs we have so far, and some more details about the ZR1’s crazy aerodynamics…

    • 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1
    • Exclusive LT5, Supercharged, V-8 Engine
    • 755 HP @ 6,300 rpm and 715 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
    • 7-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission
    • 70% more downforce than base Z06
    • 60% more downforce than Z06 w/ Z07 Perf Package
    • Supercharger pushes 52% more displacement than on LT4
    • Four Extra Radiators
    • Low Wing as standard for high-speed
    • High Wing as standard for extra downforce
    • 19-inch wheels up front, 20-inch in back
    • Crazy Aerodynamics
    • Special Hood to accommodate supercharger
    • Performance data recorder, leather-trimmed seats; driver-focused cabin

    D.O.W.N.F.O.R.C.E.


    A Car God's Blessing - The 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is Finally Here - image 744530
    “That Low Wing helps to deliver an insane amount of downforce, so much so, in fact, that it’s 70 percent more downforce than that of the base aero package on the Corvette Z06”

    The ZR1 may have a lot of muscle under the hood, but as you know, all of the muscle in the world doesn’t make a whole lot of difference if you don’t have stamina as well. In this case, stamina is how well the ZR1 can stick to the track. And, it’s one sticky beast, if I do say so myself. Let me break it to you this way; the standard aerodynamic package, which is designed for hitting top speed (again more than 210 mph,) comes with a Low Wing. That Low Wing, my friends, helps to deliver an insane amount of downforce, so much so, in fact, that it’s 70 percent more downforce than that of the base aero package on the Corvette Z06. Go with that adjustable High-Wing that I mentioned earlier and the ZR1 will be stuck to the track with 60 percent more downforce than that of the Corvette Z07 with the Performance Package. The front underwing is also an assist in this department, but it’s really only important because it’s a first for Chevy, but we’ll talk about that more later.


    A Car God's Blessing - The 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is Finally Here - image 744533

    Like the Corvette Racing C7.R racecar, the ZR1’s wings are tied directly into the chassis, providing the utmost strength, stability, and durability in the long run. Even though Chevy hasn’t dropped all of the details on the optional aero packages, we know that the ZTK Performance Package – the one that includes that adjustable High Wing – also comes with a new front splitter with carbon fiber end caps, Specific tuning for the Magnetic Ride Control and Chassis (with a bias for corning grip,) and a fresh set of Michelin Pilot Sport 2 summer-only tires.

    What to Hear the Engine???? We Know You Do!

    All About That Interior


    A Car God's Blessing - The 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is Finally Here - image 744535
    “The interior comes standard with leather-trimmed seats while sueded microfiber inserts are on the options list”

    Inside the ZR1 is where you really want to be. Since the ZR1 is the most powerful and fastest Corvette ever, it also has to be the most comfortable, right? Well, as with all Vettes, the interior is driver-focused. It comes standard with leather-trimmed seats while sueded microfiber inserts are on the options list if you want to indulge a bit. Want to splurge even more? Well, you can go for the Napa leather-trimmed seating, and there’s even a carbon fiber rimmed steering wheel to go with competition sport seats. Of course, you can get your hands on a performance data recorder, and the options list wouldn’t be complete without the choice of a Bose audio system, right? There’s still plenty more details to come in the months leading up the day the ZR1 rolls into dealers, but we still have a little more to talk about thanks to that nice little surprise package that Chevy showed off during the debut…

    Sebring Orange Design Package


    A Car God's Blessing - The 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is Finally Here - image 744525

    If you were paying attention this weekend and caught the ZR1’s debut, then you know that the model we saw was a very special model. It was equipped with Chevys new Sebring Orange Design Package. Of course, the most obvious addition from this package is the Orange Tintcoat exterior paint. Other orange items include the brake calipers and the accents on the side skirts and splitter. Inside, the car gets the orange treatment applied to the seat belts, while all of the stitching is orange as well. Finally bonze aluminum trim ties the whole interior package together.

    Time is of the Essence


    A Car God's Blessing - The 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is Finally Here - image 744531

    So, the fastest and most powerful Corvette to ever roll into production was just announced with a market debut expected to happen next spring. Between now and then, we’ll get even more details about standard equipment, options, and performance figures. But, to help hold you over, here’s a breakdown of all the specifications that we know about as of now, and you’ll be able to see our fully updated review of the ZR1 within 24 hours of this publication. Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

    2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 –
    Drivetrain Specifications

    Type: LT5 6.2L Supercharged V-8 with direct and port injection
    Bore & stroke (in / mm) 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
    Block material: Cast aluminum
    Cylinder head material: Cast aluminum
    Valvetrain: Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
    Fuel delivery: 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
    Fuel economy city/highway 15/22 mpg (manual)
    13/23 mpg (automatic)
    Front Suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, Magnetic Selective Ride Control
    Rear Suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, Magnetic Selective Ride Control
    Steering Type: Variable-ratio rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
    Turning Circle (ft. / m): 39.2 / 11.6
    Brake Type: Front and rear power-assisted discs with two-piece carbon ceramic matrix rotors; fixed six-piston aluminum front calipers and fixed four-piston aluminum rear calipers
    Brake Rotor Size (in / mm): Front –15.5 / 394
    Rear –15.3 / 388
    Wheel Size: Front: 19-inch x 10.5-inch
    Rear: 20-inch x 12-inch
    Tire Size: Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat (std.)
    Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (ZTK)
    Front: P285/30ZR19
    Rear: P335/25ZR20
    Wheelbase (Inches) 106.7
    Overall Length (Inches) 176.9
    Overall Width (Inches) 77.4
    Overall Height (Inches) 48.6
    Track front/rear (Inches) 63.6/62.5
    Headroom (Inches) 38
    Legroom (Inches) 43
    Shoulder Room (Inches) 55
    Hip Room (Inches) 54
    Curb Weight (Lbs) 3,524
    EPA passenger volume (cu. ft. ): 52
    Cargo volume (cu. ft.): 15

    References

    Chevrolet Corvette


    A Car God's Blessing - The 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 is Finally Here - image 744522

    Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.


    2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - image 538131

    Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.



    Read more Chevrolet news.

    PostHeaderIcon BMW M5: Old vs. New

    BMW M5: Old vs New

    2017 brought us the new BMW 5 Series, so it’s only fitting that 2018 brings us a new M5. We must have been good this year because Santa came early, and with him, he brought a whole slew of updates that include an updated V-8, loads of new technology, BMW’s xDrive AWD system as standard (optional outside the U.S.,) a lighter chassis, and better performance. Talk about some good news, right? Truth be told, the M5 dropped as much as 127 pounds, has more aggressive styling, an updated interior with the latest infotainment system, and an extra 38 ponies and 51 pound-feet over the outgoing model – that brings total output figures up to 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It can now hit 62 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds and 124 mph in just 11.1 seconds. Of course, top speed is still pinned at 155 mph, unless you get the M Driver’s package, which increases the top speed to 189 mph.

    Now, it’s set to take on other established beasts in the market that include the Mercedes-AMG E63, the Audi RS7, and the Cadillac CTS-V – I know, it’s not German, but this thing is seriously a beast, so don’t get caught slipping because it will eat you alive. With all this in mind, we decided to throw together a little infographic for the M5 to help bring its best features and qualities to the forefront. Check it all out in our visual comparison below.


    BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 742001

    BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 741998

    BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 742000

    BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 741999

    BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 741996

    BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 742002

    BMW M5: Old vs. New - image 742793

    References

    BMW M5


    2018 BMW M5 - image 727404

    Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.



    Read more BMW news.

    PostHeaderIcon Ferrari FXX-K Evo

    2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo

    When a high-profile carmaker such as Ferrari launches a great supercar like the LaFerrari, it’s difficult to imagine a way to significantly improve the design. But the team from Maranello has already done it twice. First, Ferrari launched the FXX-K, a track-only LaFerrari with enhanced aerodynamics. This happened back in 2015. Two years have passed, and the Prancing Horse found a way to make the FXX-K even more brutal. It’s called the FXX-K Evo, and it has more downforce than any Ferrari to date!

    Launched at the 2017 Finali Mondiale of the Ferrari Challenge, the FXX-K Evo takes the familiar FXX-K to a new level in the same way that the Enzo-based FXX Evoluzione was a heavily upgraded FXX. Just like the FXX-K, the Evo is not homologated for road use, and production will be limited to only a few models. However, the Evo is also available as an upgrade to the standard FXX-K. The package includes many add-ons, starting with an aerodynamic kit built upon know-how obtained from the many racing series Ferrari competes in, including Formula One, GT3, GTE, and Challenge. It’s also lighter due to increased use of carbon-fiber and despite having a much larger rear wing. Yes, the FXX-K is a monster of a LaFerrari so keep reading my full review to find out more.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari FXX-K Evo.

    Exterior

    • Aggressive body kit
    • Redesigned front bumper
    • New cooling vents
    • Massive rear wing and fin
    • New diffuser
    • More downforce at high speed

    2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo - image 741340
    “Much like any evolution of an existing design, the FXX-K Evo retains most of the design cues of the FXX-K”

    Much like any evolution of an existing design, the FXX-K Evo retains most of the design cues of the FXX-K and the LaFerrari. But the significantly redesigned aero package adds quite a few new features front and rear. The aerodynamics were modification after one year of simulations and wind tunnel testing, with Ferrari claiming that the car now boasts downforce figures that are very close to GT3 and GTE cars. Specifically, downforce improved by a whopping 23 percent over FXX K and an incredible 75 percent over the standard LaFerrari. In exact figures, the Evo generates 1,411 pounds at 124 mph, and exceeds 1,829 pounds at the car’s red-line speed. So this package basically pushes an already amazing car to the very limit.

    There aero enhancements modify the FXX-K’s appearance a lot, starting with a more menacing front end. The geometry of the sides of the front bumper was altered by hollowing out the surfaces beneath the headlamps, as well as by adding couple of flicks divided by a vertical turning vane. There’s also an additional intake ahead of the front wheels. All these elements contribute to a 10-percent downforce gain over the standard FXX-K. Ground effects were also boosted by new vortex generators in the undertray.


    2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo - image 741335
    “The significantly redesigned aero package adds quite a few new features front and rear”

    There aren’t many visual changes to talk about onto the sides, but Ferrari added enlarged rear wheel arch vents. Also part of the package design to make the car more aerodynamic, these improved flow to the rear diffuser, which results in a five-percent downforce boost.

    Bigger changes are noticeable around the back. The main highlight is obviously the fixed rear wing. Whereas the FXX-K has those weird horizontal elements glues to the side fins, the Evo badge brought a proper wing to the supercar. But it’s by no means a regular wing. The element has a twin-profile design and a big central fin similar to those seen on prototype Le Mans cars. The central fin acts as a vertical fin, boosting stability at low yaw angles, but ut also supports the three triangular vortex generators. The latter clean the flow field striking the wing of the effects of the hot air coming from the radiators which vent onto the engine hood. Additionally, they create a downwash component in the flow which boosts the wings downforce capacity, resulting in a 10-percent increase over the regular FXX-K.

    The wing also works in conjunction with the active spoiler, which had its control logics and range of movement reviewed and reprogrammed for optimized results. Below the wing, we can see a revised center fascia that include one instead of two vertical slats above the diffuser. In addition to the huge side vents, Ferrari also redesigned the diffuser, adding wings on each side and red accents on the main elements.

    Interior

    • New steering wheel
    • Repositioned KERS Manettino
    • Larger 6.5-inch display

    2015 Ferrari FXX K - image 580997

    Note: Standard Ferrari FXX K pictured here.

    “The new steering wheel has Formula 1 design with integrated gear-shifting paddles and KERS Manettino”

    Ferrari has yet to publish any images of the interior as of this writing, but it’s safe to assume that changes compared to the standard FXX-K are slim. The Italians actually mention a new steering wheel that’s “brilliantly suited to hugely powerful performance levels achievable in the FXX-K Evo.” It has a Formula 1 design with integrated gear-shifting paddles and sports the KERS Manettino for improved ergonomics. The rear camera display to the right of the driver has been replaced with a larger 6.5-inch unit that also displays data from a new telemetry system. The new display includes clearer, more direct performance parameter and car status readouts.

    “The rear camera display to the right of the driver has been replaced with a larger 6.5-inch unit”

    Other than that, look for the usual FXX-K specs, which translates into a rather spartan configuration when compared to the LaFerrari. The Italians ditched all the luxury and convenience features of the road car and replaced them with race-spec, lightweight components. Highlights include a new center console and carbon-fiber inserts instead of soft-touch surfaces on the dashboard. The door panels are also plain carbon-fiber boards, like on any high-performance car.

    The seats feature massive bolstering on the sides, a carbon structure and race-spec harnesses. The instrument cluster is also different than the LaFerrari’s, featuring new graphics and new display options, allowing the driver to monitor vital car data while on the track.

    Drivetrain

    • Same output as FXX-K
    • Same F1 dual-clutch transmission
    • Revised suspension for extra downforce
    • Improved brake cooling
    • Better power-to-weight ratio
    • Likely quicker on the race track

    2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo - image 741333
    “Total output sits at 1,036 horsepower, while torque is rated at an equally impressive 664 pound-feet”

    The FXX-K Evo uses the same hybrid drivetrain as the regular FXX-K model. The combo brings together a 6.3-liter V-12 gasoline engine rated at 848 horsepower and an electric motor that packs 187 horses. Total output sits at 1,036 horsepower, while torque is rated at an equally impressive 664 pound-feet. For reference, that’s an extra 86 horsepower compared to the LaFerrari. The FXX-K Evo also uses the same seven-speed, F1 dual-clutch transmission.

    But while the engine remained unchanged, Ferrari had to adjust the suspension to the car’s new aerodynamic efficiency figures. It also improved stopping power by redesigning the front brake air intakes for enhanced cooling.


    2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo - image 741337
    “While the engine remained unchanged, Ferrari had to adjust the suspension to the car's new aerodynamics”

    There’s no word on performance, but the enhanced downforce and lighter curb weight should make it quicker in certain situations. While it likely won’t be quicker than the regular FXX-K from 0 to 60 mph (2.6 seconds), it should lap Ferrari’s Fiorano test track faster. With the FXX-K having completed the course in 1.14 minutes, five seconds than the standard LaFerrari, the FXX-K Evo should need around 1.13 minute to do the same.

    So who light is the new Evo? Again, no information from Ferrari. But we do know that the FXX-K is some 198 pounds lighter than the LaFerrari, tipping the scales at around 2,767 pounds. The Evo should weigh in at a little less than 2,700, which might not sound like much, but it’s a great achievement given that is sports that massive wing and fin at the back.

    Prices


    2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo - image 741339

    Talking about pricing for limited-edition supercar like these is mostly about speculating as automakers rarely announce an official sticker. Just look at the standard FXX K. It was revealed back in 2015 and there’s no official price tag to talk about, although word has it that each owner paid at least $3 million to get one. Well, not as much as to buy it but borrow, because all 40 units remained with Ferrari for storage and maintenance, and the drivers only got them for specific events.

    This is exactly what will happen with the FXX-K Evo, which will benefit from a very active XX Programme schedule in the 2018/2019 season, with nine track outings between early March and late October. Ferrari didn’t say how many car will be built and how many packages will be offered for upgrades, but I have a hunch that the Evo will be at least as exclusive, if not more, than the first FXX-K. So don’t expect more than 40 cars/upgrade packages.

    Naturally, it will be more expensive than the FXX-K, likely close to $4 million, or even more than that if the limited edition includes significantly less models. Obviously, the cars should cost more than the upgrade, but we won’t get any specific figures any time soon. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, is that the FXX-K Evo is probably already sold out.

    Competition

    McLaren P1 GTR


    2016 McLaren P1 GTR - image 617800

    Also based on a road-legal hybrid supercar, the P1 GTR was designed in a similar way. It has an aerodynamically enhanced body with a host of race-spec add-ons, plus a massive wing at the back. The track-focused interior is loaded with carbon-fiber and features a spartan center console holding buttons and switches, and a steering wheel based on the unit used by the McLaren MP4-23 Formula One car. Sounds familiar? Motivation comes from the same hybrid drivetrain found in the road-legal P1, but the combo now includes a motorsport-optimized, 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V-8 and a lighter electric motor. The drivetrain sends 986 horsepower, 83 horses more than the standard P1, to the rear wheels, which translates into a 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 2.4 seconds, a 0.2-second improvement over the street-legal P1. At launch, pricing was set at around $3 million, a sticker that also included private consultations with the McLaren driver-fitness team and company design director Frank Stephenson, as well as access to one of McLaren’s dedicated racing simulators. Customers also gained access to several drive events held on various Formula One tracks. Production was limited to only 58 units.

    Read our full review of the 2016
    McLaren P1 GTR.

    Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro


    2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro - image 721702

    The Vulcan arrived in 2016 as Aston Martin’s first full-fledged supercar. Built on a bespoke platform and with unique design and aerodynamics, the Vulcan is also a track-only vehicle and comes with a racing program. Production was limited to only 24 units, each priced from around $2.3 million. But in 2017 the British firm announced an aerodynamically enhanced version. Called the AMR Pro, it’s basically similar to the FXX-K Evo, featuring a more aggressive aero pack. Not only is it menacing on the outside, the Vulcan is radical on th einside too. The bolstered seats, the no-nonsense dashboard, the carbon door panels, and the race-spec cabin remind of Le Mans race cars. But it’s the drivetrain that sets it apart. While the FXX-K Evo is a hybrid, the Vulcan AMR Pro is a naturally aspirated beast. The 7.0-liter V-12 cranks out 820 horsepower, which might not be as exotic as Ferrari’s 1,000+ rating, but it’s enough to push it to 60 mph in less than three seconds and up to a top speed of at least 200 mph. It rides on a pushrod suspension with anti-dive geometry and Multimatic’s Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve dampers, the latter providing high levels of adjustability. There’s also variable traction control and anti-lock braking, as well as Brembo carbon-ceramic disc brakes. Production is capped to 24 units, with prices likely exceeding the $3-million mark.

    Check out the full story on the 2018 Aston Martin Vulcan AMR Pro.

    Conclusion


    2018 Ferrari FXX-K Evo - image 741337

    It’s been four years since Ferrari launched the LaFerrari and it’s pretty obvious that this supercar is from another world. The same goes for the FXX-K, which is not only more exclusive and expensive, but it’s also restricted to the race track and comes with a program that won’t allow its customers to take it home. The Evo takes everything up a notch. It’s more aggressive, likely limited to even less unit, and most certainly significantly more expensive. So why would you pay millions of dollars for a car that you only get to drive a few times a year and you can’t even park it in your garage? Well, I find it ridiculous, but I don’t have millions to spend on cars. So I’m pretty sure I can’t get the full picture here. But I can definitely understand the rush behind owning a very exotic and desirable race car with a Ferrari badge, even if “owning” means getting to see it and drive it a few times a year at the race track. This seemingly awkward ownership process may actually be what makes the FXX-K Evo such an appealing car.

    • Leave it
      • Awfully expensive
      • Very limited production run
      • You can’t actually take it home

    References

    Ferrari FXX K


    2015 Ferrari FXX K - image 632858

    Read our full review on the 2015 Ferrari FXX K.

    Ferrari LaFerrari


    2014 Ferrari LaFerrari - image 495448

    Read our full review on the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari.

    Ferrari XX History


    2005 Ferrari FXX - image 37826

    The XX program was launched in 2005, when Ferrari launched a higher-performance, race-spec version of the Enzo, the company’s flagship supercar at the time. Called the FXX, it was built in 30 units, one of which was sold to F1-legend Michael Schumacher, between 2005 and 2007. Powered by a 6.3-liter V-12, the first FXX came with 789 horsepower and 506 pound-feet of torque on tap. Hitting 60 mph took around 2.6 seconds, while top speed was rated at 214 mph. Although production ended in 2007, it wasn’t the end of the line of the beefed-up Enzo. The program continued until 2009 and telemetry data gathered from the FXX enabled Ferrari to launched the Evoluzione upgrade. Much like the new FXX-K Evo, the FXX Evoluzione had increased downforce, lowered aerodynamic drag, and updates to the engine, transmission, and chassis. Power was increased to 850 horsepower, while the 0-to-60 mph sprint decreased to 2.5 seconds, while made it the quickest Ferrari ever made.


    2009 Ferrari 599XX - image 296349

    In 2009, the XX program was extended to the Ferrari 599 GTB, giving birth to the 599XX. Using significantly revised body work, a V-12 engine with 720 horsepower, and various chassis upgrades, the 599XX became the quickest production-derived sports car on the Nurburgring track, a title it held for a few months. The 599XX Evoluzione followed in 2011 with more aggressive aerodynamics, including a big rear wing, Pirelli tires, new electronics, 740 horsepower, and a better power-to-weight ratio. The 599XX Evoluzione was the last XX car until the FXX-K arrived in 2015.

    PostHeaderIcon Honda Sports EV Concept

    When Honda debuted the Urban EV Concept at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show, I was quick to scrutinize the brand for building something so weird, but as I looked at it more, it began to grow on me. And, it’s a good thing it did because that thing is slated for production for the European market sometime in 2019. And, to really top it off, Honda showed up to the 2017 Tokyo Auto Show with a sports car that looks quite familiar – the Honda Sports EV Concept. Following suit with the previous concept, it carries the same general styling cues in a futuristic but feasible package. Of course, it’s a sports car, so it doesn’t have that love seat up front, but it is quite sporty for what it is, and it could just as easily shift into production thanks to being built upon the same platform used for the last concept.

    Unlike the last concept, however, we have next to no information. And, Honda didn’t even take the time to release interior shots of the concept either. We can tell that it has that massive display screen and that it’s missing the couch, but outside of that, we can’t see much. But, that doesn’t mean that this little battery-powered sports car should be overlooked. Out of all the EV sports car concepts we’ve seen, this is the one we really want to see become a reality, so let’s take a good look and see what’s crackalackin.

    Exterior

    • Smooth body
    • lightweight
    • Compact and nimble

    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740626
    “The contrast between the white and the black is just what the doctor ordered.”

    If you’re thinking that this thing looks kind of like a funky Hot Wheels car, well, I couldn’t really blame you because it kind of does. But, at the same time, it also has a bit of a sporty nature to it. When I first looked at it, I had the same reaction I did with that funky little Urban EV Concept – “what the hell is Honda thinking” – but the more I looked at it, explored its lines, made love to its curves with my eyes, I realized that I wouldn’t be upset at all if Honda sent this thing rolling into dealers. In fact, I’d be pretty damn happy and would be one of the first in line with a big dumb smile on my face waiting to sign over an arm, a leg, and a testicle to own one. Range-anxiety and ICE sole be damned, this thing is freaking cool. It’s got the modern but circular headlights that point back to the original Civic, and it’s got those muscular front wheel arches that just scream sports car. That big illuminated G in the center of the nose is quite attractive too – kind of like it’s saying “yeah, that’s right; I’m a Honda.” In a world where everyone, including Honda, has gone overboard with the sharp body lines, massive fake vents, and over-styling, the Sports EV (and the Urban EV, for that matter) are a breath of fresh air.


    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740625

    The side profile is dominated… well, wait. It isn’t dominated by anything, and that’s the beauty of it. Sure, there are big wheels, but they aren’t too big, and they wear thick enough rubber that they don’t look stupid. I doubt those cameras will make into production until regulations change, but some sporty little chrome mirrors would look pretty good hanging on the doors, don’t you think? It’s hard to see, but there are door handles that sit flush with the doors and the way that roof slants down at the B-Pillar, then widens as it hits the rear quarters is something that should rewrite the book of future car design. Honda did tint the windows here to keep folks from getting too good a look inside, but you have to admit, blacking out the windows adds quite the stylish touch too, doesn’t it?


    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740630
    “That smooth rear bumper is as fresh as it is simple”

    Around back, the bubbly look of the body, and the extent of that all-glass roof is painfully obvious and sexy at the same time. The body wraps around the class like a blanket around a newborn baby, and the contrast between the white and the black is just what the doctor ordered. That smooth rear bumper is as fresh as it is simple and those square taillights that carried over from the original concept really seem to fit in well. Just like its bigger brother, the front and rear displays can be programmed to display messages. All told, it’s sporty and attractive and is certainly what I expect future cars from Honda to actually look like. The question now is whether or not Honda can put something like this into production. I certainly hope so.

    Interior

    • Probably a two-seater
    • Two seats mean decent cargo room

    Does Honda's Urban EV Concept Prove that Honda has no Idea what it is Doing? - image 731196
    Interior from Honda Urban EV Concept shown here
    “there could be a few gauges to measure G-force, acceleration, pitch, and battery life.”

    Honda didn’t take the liberty to release shots of the Sports EV Concept’s interior, but considering the fact that it is based on the Urban EV Concept, we have a pretty good idea. When you look at the outside, you can see that massive screen stretching across the dash. There’s no telling what size it is, but it seems to be at least 30-inches wide and about 10-12 inches tall. Since this is a sports car concept and not an urban lounge-mobile, there’s not going to be a couch behind the wheel, but instead, a pair of supportive racing seats. If Honda doesn’t go aftermarket, it will most definitely tap into Acura for seats similar to those found in the new NSX.

    “I suspect the car would be a two-seater as it’s a rather small sports car”

    Of course, this thing is all-electric, so what you see is really what you get. There isn’t a need for huge gauge clusters or anything of that nature. However, there could be a few gauges to measure G-force, acceleration, pitch, and battery life. These could be positioned in the face of the dash below the screen where there’s simple wood trim in the EV concept. In production form, I would expect to see some carbon fiber here for the sports car because, well, it’s a sports car. Instead of plush carpeting, I would expect to seat carbon floorboards or even Alcantara layered floors. The side view screens on the door trim panels will carry over, but I would expect there to be a better sound system as sports cars gotta have that good sound too.

    I suspect the car would be a two-seater as it’s a rather small sports car and trying to fit someone in the back would certainly be difficult. On the plus side, however, that means there should be plenty of room in the rear hatch. And, to top it off, the car does feature that massive glass roof, just like the Urban EV, so those riding up front get a pretty gnarly view of the sky at night.

    Drivetrain

    • Potential for 300+ horsepower
    • Could get AWD
    • Could see 60mph in three seconds

    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740628
    “Honda will likely position the battery across the length of the floor between the two axles.”

    What’s “Under the Hood” is actually a complete mystery. Honda didn’t even divulge details about the Urban EV’s drivetrain, and it sure didn’t spill the beans about this concept either. Of course, that wouldn’t matter considering one is meant for lounging and chillin while another is meant to bend corners and tear up those straightaways. So what could be lurking under that sweet, sexy, rounded body that makes this an “according-to-Hoyle” sports car?

    Well, first of all, Honda will likely position the battery across the length of the floor between the two axles. This will be a high-density lightweight battery that also takes advantage of Honda’s new Power Manager Concept to keep things as efficient as possible. As far as motors go, Honda has a couple of options:

    Front Motor Setup


    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740629
    “The setup could include a single, 300-horsepower motor or dual 170-horsepower motors for a total output around 340 ponies.”

    If Honda wanted this thing to be front-wheel drive only, and that is kind of Honda’s calling card, then Honda could position a rather powerful motor up front while the battery can be positioned just to the rear a bit to provide the perfect offset for as close to a 50:50 weight distribution as possible. Honda could also move the battery further to the rear, and place two motors that are a little less powerful but deliver equal amounts of power. This would allow the onboard computers to adjust torque delivery as needed to combat over-and understeer with ease. Again, the more weight put up front, the further to the rear the battery needs to be. A setup like this could include a single, 300-horsepower motor or dual 170-horsepower motors for a total output around 340 ponies. I would prefer the latter – not only because it’s more powerful but because torque distribution on demand is where it’s at in the sports car world.

    Rear Motor Setup

    Much like the front-motor setup described above. A rear motor setup could work the same way. A single 300-horsepower motor could turn both wheels with the battery positioned just a bit toward the front axle. Or Honda could go the preferred way and use a dual motor setup with more power and torque vectoring. Now, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that, as a sports car, this thing almost needs to be rear-wheel drive, so we all really hope this thing ends up as rear wheel drive if it ends up in production. But, there’s another approach that could prove fatal to other models in the compact sports car segment.

    All-Wheel Drive

    If Honda really wanted to set the market on fire, it would bring this thing into production with AWD as standard equipment. Not only would that make it one mean little sports car, but it would offer something that cars like the Mazda Miata, Subaru BRZ, Toyota 86, and even the Audi TT can’t – power to all four wheels. Honda could do it with a two motor setup, or it could go with a motor for each wheel. The latter would be preferred as it would offer some serious torque vectoring possibilities and some amazing spirited driving. Both setups would allow the battery to be positioned right in the middle for a near-50:50 weight distribution, but they would have to be powerful enough to handle the extra weight.

    Range Woes

    The biggest problem with an all-electric sports car such as this is its size. Yeah, they are fun to drive, but when you’re relying on battery power alone, your supply of go-juice is limited. I speculated that something like the Urban EV would have around 150 miles of range, which wouldn’t be bad for a vehicle of its caliber. But, a sports car needs a little more. Honda needs to be able to deliver at least 250 miles with this car for it to really pose a threat to anything else on the market – gas or electric. With this thing potentially available by the turn of the decade, Honda could be one of the first to put a true EV sports car this small on the market – one with decent range and power.

    “Hopefully, those lightweight, high-density batteries will be good enough to get the job done.”

    But, and that’s a big but, Honda has to do it right. The biggest limitation here is the car’s size. You can only fit so big of a battery in the floor. Of course, Honda could use the space in the front and rear for auxiliary batteries that would help increase range, but it would have to maintain a pretty even weight distribution and still can’t be too heavy, or this sports car is going to be a slug. When we’re talking about battery power, the heavier it is, the harder it is to go, the more power you need.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. Hopefully, those lightweight, high-density batteries will be good enough to get the job done. Even at 200 miles, that would be ok, but 250 would be better. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    Conclusion


    2017 Honda Sports EV Concept - image 740631

    In the past, I have voiced very strong opinions against automakers going EV with all of their models. I’ve spoken out against it every way I can, even arguing that the ICE essentially has a soul and the lack of that wonderful combustion would, in turn, leave a hole in our hearts that cannot be replaced. Now, I’m looking at this car, and all I can think of is that this is the electric sports car that we really need. Hell, it’s the electric sports car that we really want. It’s small enough to be very maneuverable and has the opportunity to be potent enough to really pose a real threat to some great names that are already on the market. For now, this car is just a concept, but like the Urban EV, it could become a reality in the next few years. And that, my friends, is a very cool thing.

    • Leave it
      • May not get very good range
      • Could end up being expensive
      • No guarantee of production yet

    PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 Carrera T

    2018 Porsche Carrera T

    The Porsche 911 has gone through some big changes in the last couple of years, with the most important being Porsche’s decision to replace all naturally aspirated engines with turbocharged counterparts. While this was rather disappointing to some die-hard fans, it brought enhanced performance and fuel economy across the entire lineup. Porsche also revived the GT2 nameplate after a long absence and created the 911 R, essentially a limited-edition, wingless version of the GT3 for purists. Come 2017 and the German firm is offering yet another model aimed at purists and 911 Classic enthusiasts, but this time around is a significantly more affordable package. It’s called the 911 Carrera T and slots between the base Carrera and the GTS.

    Inspired by the 911T, the company’s entry-level 911 between 1967 and 1973, the Carrera T is essentially a base Carrera with features taken off the more performance-oriented GTS. Fitted with a unique design elements inside and out, the Carrera T is also the first Carrera to get full bucket seats and rear-axle steering. The Carrera T is also lighter than the standard model, which makes it the lightest 911 available outside the GT3 and GT2 range. The added features and the lighter curb weight also makes it a tad quicker than the entry-level Carrera, placing it just below the Carrera S model in terms of performance. So while it’s not the least powerful and most affordable 911, as the 911T was back in the late 1960s, it’s a solid proposition for customers who want a no-nonsense Carrera but also desire access to the performance-enhancing features usually offered with the GTS model.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 911 Carrera T.

    Official video

    Exterior


    - Optimized spoiler lip

    - Agate Gray highlights

    - Lightweight rear windscreen and side windows

    - Lowered suspension

    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739972
    “Up front, the 911 T is identical to the entry-level Carrera save for the aerodynamically optimized spoiler lip”

    A 911 Carrera at heart, the T model has a hard time standing out in a pack of base 911 sports cars. Up front, the 911 T is actually identical to the entry-level Carrera save for the aerodynamically optimized spoiler lip. And even though it may sound fancy, this feature is actually not so different design-wise, which makes it difficult to spot. But there is one way to tell that a T isn’t a regular 911 Carrera, even when looking at the front end: the SportDesign mirrors are finished in Agate Grey, whereas the standard Carrera has them painted in the same color as the body.

    More hints that this is a different model can be found on the sides, starting with the 20-inch, Carrera S wheels in Titanium Grey with a stripe bearing the “T” designation. A black stripe just above the side skirt contains “911 Carrera T” lettering. Finally, the coupe sits nearly half an inch closer to the ground thanks to the standard PASM sport suspension, but this isn’t exactly noticeable.


    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739958
    “The rear windscreen and rear side windows are made of lightweight glass”

    A few extra features can be spotted around back as well. The louvers of the decklid grille, the badge, and the “911 Carrera T” lettering are all finished in Agate Grey, while the sport exhaust system has black tips. The rear windscreen and rear side windows are made of lightweight glass. Granted, the latter doesn’t change the way this 911 looks, but makes quite a different in the power-to-weight department. But more on that in the “Drivetrain” section below.

    Paint options for the 911 Carrera T are as varied as they get and include Lava Orange, Black, Guards Red, Racing Yellow, White and Miami Blue. Metallic colors like Carrera White, Jet Black, and GT Silver are optional. It’s pretty cool that Porsche is offering Lava Orange, a color first launched with the GT3 RS, for 911 Carrera model.

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    Interior

    • Optional bucket seats with rear-seat delete
    • Lightweight door handles and insulation
    • Shorter gear lever
    • GT Sport leather steering wheel

    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739964
    “It's the first 911 Carrera available with the Full Bucket Seats package”

    The interior of the 911 Carrera T is actually a bit more exciting than the exterior, combining a range of race-inspired features that you can’t get on the standard Carrera. The coupe comes equipped with Sport Seats Plus as standard. These four-way electrically adjustable seats are finished in black, have “911” logos embossed on the headrests, and center sections made of Sport-Tex. But the big news lies in the fact that you can order the Full Bucket Seats package, a first for the 911 Carrera designation. The option also comes with a rear-seat delete to save even more weight.

    Speaking of weight-saving measures, the standard door handles have been replaced with fabric loops. The cool thing about these is that they also give the door panels a race-inspired look. Further weight is saved by use of thinner sound insulation under the skin. This is Similar to the 911 GTS and yes, it makes the cabin a bit louder. But hey, it’s a sacrifice you have to make if you want a quicker Carrera without the GTS premium.


    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739959
    “A shorter gear lever with embossed shift pattern in red is standard”

    Porsche also added a GT Sport steering wheel with leather rim and a switch for driving mode selection, as well as a shorter gear lever with embossed shift pattern in red. The trim on the dashboard and doors is black, which isn’t particularly exciting, but the Carrera T Interior Package adds contrasting colors in Racing Yellow, Guards Red or GT Silver. The latter add colored accents to the seat belts, the “911” logo on the headrests, the door opener loops, and the Sport-Tex seat surfaces.

    Drivetrain

    • Standard rear differential lock
    • 11 pounds lighter than base model
    • A tenth-second quicker to 60 mph
    • Optional rear-axle steering

    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739977
    “The Carrera T needs only 4.3 seconds to hit 60 mph a tenth-second quicker than the base Carrera”

    The Carrera T draws its juice from the same 3.0-liter flat-six unit as the base 911 model. The turbocharged engine cranks out 370 and 332 pound-feet of torque, which is again identical to the entry-level model. Well, comparing specs on Porsche’s American website actually revealed there’s an extra pound-foot for the Carrera T, but that’s either a typo or it doesn’t make a difference in terms of performance. However, the standard manual transmission has a shorter constant transaxle ratio, while the mechanical rear differential lock is included at no extra cost.

    What’s more, the Carrera T tips the scales at 3,142 pounds due to the weight-saving measures, which makes it 11 pounds lighter than the base Carrera and the lightest non GT 911 model available. Combined with the revised transmission, the PASM sport suspension, and the slightly lighter curb weight, the Carrera T needs only 4.3 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, a tenth-second quicker than the base Carrera. Top speed is rated at an exciting 182 mph.


    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739992
    “Unlike the 911 Carrera, the T model can be equipped with the optional rear-axle steering”

    When equipped with the optional PDK transmission, which also adds a launch control feature, the Carrera T completes the same benchmark in four seconds flat, which is not only quicker than a similarly equipped base Carrera, but also a tenth-second faster than the more powerful Carrera S with a manual transmission. Top speed for this model sits at 180 mph, a tad lower than the manual version.

    Unlike the 911 Carrera, the T model can be equipped with the optional rear-axle steering, which is a cool thing to have on a non Turbo car.

    Drivetrain Specifications

    Engine 3.0-liter flat-six
    Horsepower 370 HP @ 6,500 RPM
    Torque 332 LB-FT
    0 to 60 mph 4.3 seconds
    Top Speed 182 mph
    Weight 3,142 LBS

    Prices


    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739994

    Pricing for the 911 Carrera T, which went on sale for the 2018 model year but won’t hit dealers until March, starts from $102,100, excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee. That’s a $11,000 premium over the base 911 Carrera, which is reasonable given all the extra features. The T is also only $3,000 less than the Carrera S, which might be a problem if you like all that extra power. But hey, you’re getting a lot of GTS-specific stuff for nearly $19,000 less.

    Porsche 911 Carrera T Manual $102,100
    Porsche 911 Carrera T PDK $105,830

    Competition

    Mercedes-AMG GT


    2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe - image 700634

    Although it’s an entirely different animal as far as drivetrain layout goes, with the engine being mounted in front of the cabin, the AMG GT was developed as a competitor for the Porsche 911. While modern to look at, the coupe also has a vintage vibe to it reminding of the Mercedes-Benz grand tourers of the 1960s. So it’s actually very similar to the 911 from this standpoint. The interior is of the same variety, blending race-inspired features with luxurious amenities, fine materials, and a wide range of options. Under the hood, the German two-door hides a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. Upgraded for the 2018 model year, the base AMG GT comes with 469 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, which is significantly more than the 911 Carrera T. With almost 100 extra horses at its disposal, you’d be tempted to think that the AMG GT is significantly quicker, but the difference is far from overwhelming. The sprint to 60 mph takes 3.9 seconds, which is only a tenth-second faster than the Carrera T with the PDK. Of course, we’re talking about four tenths if compared to the manual variant, but you need to consider that the Merc is some $10K more expensive at $112,400.

    Read our full story on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT.

    Jaguar F-Type


    2017 Jaguar F-Type - image 655250

    Although not exactly a full-fledged competitor for the 911, the F-Type has what it takes to give Porsche’s finest a run for its money. The exterior design, credited to have helped revive the brand, is aggressive and downright gorgeous, while the interior is packed with premium features and state-of-the-art tech. Sure, it doesn’t have rear seats, but given that the Carrera T can be had with a rear-seat delete, I think it’s a pretty fair comparison. Much like the 911, the F-Type can be had with a wide selection of drivetrains. In the U.S., the range begins with a 2.0-liter four-pot that cranks out 296 horsepower. That’s obviously not enough for the Carrera, especially since this model is significantly slower from 0 to 60 mph at 5.4 seconds. To get something closer, you have to go with the coupe fitted with the 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 400 horses and AWD. This one needs 4.9 seconds. Sure, it’s still slow, but the F-Type that’s next in line uses a massive 5.0-liter V-8. This one cranks out 550 horses and gets to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The good news is that this model retails from $99,900, which makes it a bit more affordable than the 911 Carrera T.

    Read our full review of the 2017 Jaguar F-Type.

    Alpine A110


    2017 Renault Alpine A110 - image 708518

    Much like the F-Type, the A110 plays in a different league. Alpine did aim at Porsche with this car, but the smaller 718 Cayman. The reason why I’m including it here it’s because the A110 is a proper, no-nonsense sports car created specifically for the purist in you. Not only does it pay tribute to one of the greatest European sports car ever built, it also combined classic heritage with carbon-fiber, premium features, and a lightweight construction that puts a Porsche to shame. Tipping the scales at an incredible 2,381 pounds, the A110 is some 800 pounds lighter than the 911 Carrera T. Power is provided by a turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of twist. This may not seem like a lot compared to the 911 Carrera, but the solid power-to-weight ratio enables the A110 to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s still slower than the Porsche, but not by much. The good news is that the Alpine is significantly more affordable at under €60,000 (around $70,400 as of October 2017) in Europe, but the bad news is that it’s not available in the United States and there’s no word as to when it will cross the pond.

    Read our full story on the 2017 Alpine A110.

    Conclusion


    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739967

    Diversification is key to success nowadays and it’s probably why I’m not surprised that Porsche rolled out yet another version of the 911. However, I’m not really sure that the Carrera T was a necessary addition to the lineup. Sure, having a base Carrera with some GTS features is a cool idea that should appeal many enthusiasts in need of a purist sports car, but I have strong doubts that the Carrera T will be a high seller. Linking this coupe to the 1968 911T is also a nice thing to do, but it’s not exactly very similar to its ancestor. While the 911T was the entry-level 911, the new Carrera T slots between the base model and the GTS and costs almost as much as the Carrera S. But I guess these details don’t make much of a difference since the 911T isn’t among the most iconic versions of the 911.

    • Leave it
      • Almost as expensive as the Carrera S
      • Do we actually need the Carrera T?

    Porsche 911T History


    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 740173
    “The 911T is known for having helpted Porsche become the first German manufacturer to comply with strict U.S. exhaust and emission control regulations”

    Introduced in 1967, there years after Porsche had launched the iconic nameplate, the 911T was the most affordable version of the 911. The concept wasn’t exactly new. When production of the 356 came to an end in 1965, Porsche noticed that there was still a market for a four-cylinder car, especially in the United States, so the German firm created the 912, a 911 with less equipment and the 356’s 90-horsepower engine. The 912 was kept into production until 1967, when it was replaced by the 911T, which slotted under the 911L and later the 911E.

    Unlike the 912, the 911T used a flat-six engine. The first version was sold with the base 2.0-liter rated at 110 horsepower, but a 1969 upgrade replaced it with a 2.2-liter mill that generated 123 horses, 30 horsepower less than the 911E and 57 less than the 911S. The engine was again upgraded for all models, including the 911T, to a 2.4-liter unit in 1971. But unlike the 911E and 911S, which used mechanical fuel injection, the 911T was carbureted. However, this wasn’t the case in the United States, where regulations forced Porsche to also add fuel injection to the T model. The output was rated 130 horsepower in Europe, while the fuel-injection U.S. model came with 140 horses on tap. In January, 1973, North American 911T engines were switched to Porsche’s then-new K-Jetronic Continuous Fuel Injection system from Bosch. These CIS-powered cars are were among the last 911Ts built and are usually referred to as 1973.5 models by enthusiasts.


    2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739960

    While not as iconic as other versions of the classic 911, the 911T is known for having helpted Porsche become the first German manufacturer to comply with strict U.S. exhaust and emission control regulations. The 911T is somewhat widely available in the U.S. right and if often considered a great starting point for collectors that want a first-generation Porsche 911. Prices vary depending on mileage and condition from as low as $40,000 to more than $120,000.

    References

    Porsche 911


    2017 Porsche 911 - image 701926

    Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 911.


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739165

    Read more Porsche news.

    PostHeaderIcon Porsche 718 Cayman GTS

    Minor styling changes to the front and rear fascia

    Introduced in 2005 as a hardtop coupe iteration of the ever-popular Porsche Boxster roadster, the Cayman gets all the same good stuff as its topless sibling, plus the added rigidity and aggressive looks of a fixed roof. The latest fourth-generation was introduced in 2016, dubbed the 718 after the racer Porsche built in the late ‘50s. Now, Porsche is adding a new GTS iteration for the 2018 model year, and although we’ve seen a Cayman GTS in the past, this is the first time the formula has been applied to the fourth-gen 718. Per usual, the upgrades include a marginal power increase, more standard equipment, blacked-out trim pieces, and high-end interior materials.

    Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS.

    Official video

    Exterior


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739173
    “The basics are completely unchanged – you still get a two-door coupe that’s low, wide, and rounded”

    Per Porsche tradition, the 718 Cayman GTS looks only marginally different next to non-GTS iterations. The basics are completely unchanged – you still get a two-door coupe that’s low, wide, and rounded. The 911-inspired front end gets teardrop-shaped headlight housings, each with a set of quad lighting elements. The profile leads the eye rearwards, with a swept-back, streamlined shape, plus a prominent intake added just ahead of the rear wheels. The tail is curvy and short, bulging at the sides with sizable hips that give the whole thing a forward-leaning, raked stance.

    Basically, it’s a two-door coupe version of the two-door Boxster roadster. We think it looks good, albeit a bit predictable.


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739167
    “To help the GTS variant stand out, Porsche added a series of subtle, yet effective upgrades, including redesigned fascias and black trim pieces.”

    To help the GTS variant stand out, Porsche added a series of subtle, yet effective upgrades. Kicking it off is a redesigned front fascia, which the Stuttgart automaker has dubbed “Sport Design.” Basically, this encompasses a new lower half for the front bumper, gaining tweaked intakes and additional black components that seem to stretch from fender to fender. The result is a wider look for the GTS.

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    The Cayman GTS looks wider than the standard Cayman thanks to a new front fascia.

    The complement the new front fascia, Porsche also added a few updates to the tail, although differences here are a bit more difficult to pick out.

    Finally, a slew of black accents were added front to back, and include black badging and insignia, as well as a tint added to the front turn signals and taillights. Finishing it off are matte-black wheels, sized at 20 inches in diameter at each of the four corners.

    Interior


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739169
    “Step into the Cayman GTS’s interior, and you’ll find the traditional two-seat layout, just as you’d expect”

    Step into the Cayman GTS’s interior, and you’ll find the traditional two-seat layout, just as you’d expect. The space is tight, hugging the passengers in the typical sports car fashion, while drivers grip a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel. Prominent handles can be found on the doors, while rounded air vents are on the dash. Adorning the center console is a digital infotainment screen, plus a plethora of buttons and switches to adjust the various onboard systems.

    All pretty standard stuff, if we’re honest. However, much like the exterior, the GTS stands out thanks to a few choice upgrades. For starters, you’ll notice the Porsche chronometer placed high on the dash, a feature you’ll find on every Cayman GTS thanks to the standard Sport Chrono Package (more on that in the next section).


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739186
    “Much like the exterior, the GTS stands out thanks to a few choice upgrades, including a standard chronometer, sport seating, and further black accents.”

    Further upgrades include a variety of black accents, plus standard Sport Seats Plus

    sitters specifically engineered to provide ample lateral support while exploring the Cayman’s lofty cornering abilities. High on the seats, you’ll find the GTS logo embroidered into the seat headrest, while Alcantara adorns the seats’ center sections. Further Alcantara was added to the steering wheel, center console, and door armrest.

    Options include the Navigation Module Package and Connect Plus Package, as well as the Porsche Track Precision App, which basically relays pertinent track data to your smartphone as part of the Sport Chrono Package.

    Drivetrain


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739165
    “Displacement still comes in at 2.5 liters, but peak power is rated at 365 horses, 15 more than the S.”

    Mounted behind the cabin, the Cayman GTS comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer flat-four engine, the same lump you get with the Cayman S. As an upgrade over the standard 2.0-liter flat-four in the base model Cayman, the S produces as much as 350 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, a sizeable increase over the base model’s 296 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. Properly motivated, the Cayman S can manage a run to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph.

    The GTS sees a little more added on top thanks to a new intake plenum and update to the turbocharger. Displacement still comes in at 2.5 liters, but peak power is rated at 365 horses, 15 more than the S. Sending the power to the rear axle is a standard six-speed manual gearbox, although a seven-speed double-clutch automatic (popularly known as the “Porsche Doppelkupplung,” or PDK), is also offered as an available option.


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739185
    “The GTS sees a little more added on top thanks to a new intake plenum and update to the turbocharger”

    Torque in the 718 Cayman GTS is rated at 317 pound-feet when equipped with a PDK, or 309 pound-feet with the manual transmission. Max torque hits at 1,900 rpm, lasting until 5,000 rpm with the PDK and 5,500 with the manual.

    Clearly, the PDK is the faster option, and as such, acceleration with the seven-speed looks like 3.9 seconds to 60 mph – about a tenth of a second quicker than the S. Top speed is rated at 180 mph, 3 mph faster than the S.

    Finally, the GTS comes standard with a sport exhaust, finished with black pipe tips to complement the rest of the black trim.

    2015 Porsche Cayman GTS Porsche 718 Cayman S 2018 Porsche Cayman GTS
    Cylinder layout / number of cylinders Boxer engine / 6 Boxer engine / 4 turbocharged flat-four
    Displacement 3.4-liter 2.5 liter 2.5-liter
    Engine layout Mid-engine Mid-engine Mid-engine
    Horsepower 340 HP @ 6,700 RPM 350 HP @ 6,500 RPM 365 HP @ 6,500 RPM
    Torque 280 LB-FT 309 LB-FT 317 LB-FT
    Top Track Speed 177 mph 177 MPH 180 MPH
    0 – 60 mph 4.7 seconds 4.4 sec/4.2 sec (4.0 sec w/ Sport Chrono) 3.9 seconds

    Chassis And Handling


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739179
    “The Cayman GTS has the right stuff to be an absolute delight in the corners.”

    While certainly quick, one of the Cayman’s biggest selling points is the way it handles. Indeed, with a mid-/rear-mounted engine and relatively low curb weight (roughly 3,000 pounds), not to mention Porsche’s reputation for building razor-sharp track toys, the Cayman GTS has the right stuff to be an absolute delight in the corners.

    Making the most of it is the standard Porsche Torque Vectoring system, which throws in a mechanical rear-differential lock to keep the traction flowing. Buyers also get standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Also note, the PASM lowers the car by 0.39 inches compared to the standard Cayman suspension set-up.

    Finally, the Cayman GTS comes standard with the popular Sport Chrono Package, which enables a sportier drive mode perfectly suited for track driving. Features like Launch Control, faster gear changes, a sharper throttle response, and dynamic transmission mounts are all included.

    Prices


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739174

    Order books are open now for the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS, with first deliveries expected to arrive by March of 2018.

    Pricing for the Cayman GTS is set $79,800, which is a little over $27,000 more than the standard model Cayman.

    Competition

    Jaguar F-Type


    2017 Jaguar F-Type - image 655250

    If you prefer a sports car with an extra dose of grand touring style, then Jag has what you need with the F-Type. Offering a variety of trim levels and price points, Jag’s best fit for the 718 Cayman would be the $80,000 R-Dynamic Coupe, which equips a front-mounted 3.0-liter V-6 that’s supercharged to produce 380 horsepower at the rear wheels. Not only does it look incredible, but it’s also got enough muscle to hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 161 mph.

    Read our full review on the Jaguar F-Type.

    BMW M4 Coupe


    2018 BMW M4 - image 702089

    Slotting in as the Bavarian’s compact two-door performance machine, the M4 Coupe is a muscle-bound luxury sports car dripping in track-inspired styling cues. Even better, it’s got the goods under the hood to back the aesthetic, rocking 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque thanks to a turbocharged inline six-cylinder. And although pricing starts at $64,200, well below the sticker for the Cayman GTS, the M4’s long list of options is sure to pad the bottom line significantly.

    Read our full review on the BMW M4 Coupe.

    Chevrolet Corvette Z06


    2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - image 538131

    Sometimes, subtlety needs to take a back seat to raw, unbridled performance, and in circumstances such as those, the Bow Tie offers the Corvette Z06. Producing a whopping 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, this all-American bruiser trounces the competition in terms of acceleration, hitting the 60-mph mark in just 3 seconds flat. Either a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic routes the muscle rearwards, while mammoth grip comes courtesy of real working aero and wide Michelin tires. It’s even got carbon brakes to slow it down. And starting at just over $80,000, the Z06 won’t break the bank either.

    Read our full review on the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

    Conclusion


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739166
    “The GTS thing is nearly thirty grand more than standard model, which begs the question – is it really worth it to pay the equivalent of a brand new Dodge Challenger or Toyota 86 to get the GTS?”

    At first glance, the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS might seem a bit too pricey for its own good. After all, this thing is nearly thirty grand more than standard model, which begs the question – is it really worth it to pay the equivalent of a brand new Dodge Challenger or Toyota 86 to get the GTS?

    For many folks, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Sure, in terms of power, the GTS isn’t setting any sort of new benchmarks, and although an extra 15 horses over the S isn’t a lot, it’s good enough to optimize the rest of the equipment you get with the model. The active suspension, Sport Chrono Package, and torque vectoring system are all included with the GTS badges, which should go a long way in making this Cayman even more impressive in the corners.

    And at the end of the day, that’s what Porsche’s customers really want. If a blistering 0-to-60 mph is more your speed, then the ‘Vette is where you should look.

    Long story short, the Cayman GTS is worth it – just so long as you were originally planning on getting a little heavy-handed with that options list anyway.

    • Leave it
      • Seriously expensive
      • Much faster options already on the market
      • Standard Cayman might be the smarter buy for some

    References

    Porsche 718


    2017 Porsche 718 Cayman - image 697886

    Read our full review on the new 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

    Porsche Cayman


    2015 Porsche Cayman GTS - image 546440

    Read our full review on the previous 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS.

    Porsche Boxster


    2015 Porsche Boxster GTS - image 723936

    Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche Boxster GTS.

    PostHeaderIcon Porsche 718 Cayman GTS

    Minor styling changes to the front and rear fascia

    Introduced in 2005 as a hardtop coupe iteration of the ever-popular Porsche Boxster roadster, the Cayman gets all the same good stuff as its topless sibling, plus the added rigidity and aggressive looks of a fixed roof. The latest fourth-generation was introduced in 2016, dubbed the 718 after the racer Porsche built in the late ‘50s. Now, Porsche is adding a new GTS iteration for the 2018 model year, and although we’ve seen a Cayman GTS in the past, this is the first time the formula has been applied to the fourth-gen 718. Per usual, the upgrades include a marginal power increase, more standard equipment, blacked-out trim pieces, and high-end interior materials.

    Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS.

    Official video

    Exterior


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739173
    “The basics are completely unchanged – you still get a two-door coupe that’s low, wide, and rounded”

    Per Porsche tradition, the 718 Cayman GTS looks only marginally different next to non-GTS iterations. The basics are completely unchanged – you still get a two-door coupe that’s low, wide, and rounded. The 911-inspired front end gets teardrop-shaped headlight housings, each with a set of quad lighting elements. The profile leads the eye rearwards, with a swept-back, streamlined shape, plus a prominent intake added just ahead of the rear wheels. The tail is curvy and short, bulging at the sides with sizable hips that give the whole thing a forward-leaning, raked stance.

    Basically, it’s a two-door coupe version of the two-door Boxster roadster. We think it looks good, albeit a bit predictable.


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739167
    “To help the GTS variant stand out, Porsche added a series of subtle, yet effective upgrades, including redesigned fascias and black trim pieces.”

    To help the GTS variant stand out, Porsche added a series of subtle, yet effective upgrades. Kicking it off is a redesigned front fascia, which the Stuttgart automaker has dubbed “Sport Design.” Basically, this encompasses a new lower half for the front bumper, gaining tweaked intakes and additional black components that seem to stretch from fender to fender. The result is a wider look for the GTS.

    left
    right

    The Cayman GTS looks wider than the standard Cayman thanks to a new front fascia.

    The complement the new front fascia, Porsche also added a few updates to the tail, although differences here are a bit more difficult to pick out.

    Finally, a slew of black accents were added front to back, and include black badging and insignia, as well as a tint added to the front turn signals and taillights. Finishing it off are matte-black wheels, sized at 20 inches in diameter at each of the four corners.

    Interior


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739169
    “Step into the Cayman GTS’s interior, and you’ll find the traditional two-seat layout, just as you’d expect”

    Step into the Cayman GTS’s interior, and you’ll find the traditional two-seat layout, just as you’d expect. The space is tight, hugging the passengers in the typical sports car fashion, while drivers grip a three-spoke multifunction steering wheel. Prominent handles can be found on the doors, while rounded air vents are on the dash. Adorning the center console is a digital infotainment screen, plus a plethora of buttons and switches to adjust the various onboard systems.

    All pretty standard stuff, if we’re honest. However, much like the exterior, the GTS stands out thanks to a few choice upgrades. For starters, you’ll notice the Porsche chronometer placed high on the dash, a feature you’ll find on every Cayman GTS thanks to the standard Sport Chrono Package (more on that in the next section).


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739186
    “Much like the exterior, the GTS stands out thanks to a few choice upgrades, including a standard chronometer, sport seating, and further black accents.”

    Further upgrades include a variety of black accents, plus standard Sport Seats Plus

    sitters specifically engineered to provide ample lateral support while exploring the Cayman’s lofty cornering abilities. High on the seats, you’ll find the GTS logo embroidered into the seat headrest, while Alcantara adorns the seats’ center sections. Further Alcantara was added to the steering wheel, center console, and door armrest.

    Options include the Navigation Module Package and Connect Plus Package, as well as the Porsche Track Precision App, which basically relays pertinent track data to your smartphone as part of the Sport Chrono Package.

    Drivetrain


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739165
    “Displacement still comes in at 2.5 liters, but peak power is rated at 365 horses, 15 more than the S.”

    Mounted behind the cabin, the Cayman GTS comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.5-liter boxer flat-four engine, the same lump you get with the Cayman S. As an upgrade over the standard 2.0-liter flat-four in the base model Cayman, the S produces as much as 350 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, a sizeable increase over the base model’s 296 horsepower and 280 pound-feet. Properly motivated, the Cayman S can manage a run to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph.

    The GTS sees a little more added on top thanks to a new intake plenum and update to the turbocharger. Displacement still comes in at 2.5 liters, but peak power is rated at 365 horses, 15 more than the S. Sending the power to the rear axle is a standard six-speed manual gearbox, although a seven-speed double-clutch automatic (popularly known as the “Porsche Doppelkupplung,” or PDK), is also offered as an available option.


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739185
    “The GTS sees a little more added on top thanks to a new intake plenum and update to the turbocharger”

    Torque in the 718 Cayman GTS is rated at 317 pound-feet when equipped with a PDK, or 309 pound-feet with the manual transmission. Max torque hits at 1,900 rpm, lasting until 5,000 rpm with the PDK and 5,500 with the manual.

    Clearly, the PDK is the faster option, and as such, acceleration with the seven-speed looks like 3.9 seconds to 60 mph – about a tenth of a second quicker than the S. Top speed is rated at 180 mph, 3 mph faster than the S.

    Finally, the GTS comes standard with a sport exhaust, finished with black pipe tips to complement the rest of the black trim.

    2015 Porsche Cayman GTS Porsche 718 Cayman S 2018 Porsche Cayman GTS
    Cylinder layout / number of cylinders Boxer engine / 6 Boxer engine / 4 turbocharged flat-four
    Displacement 3.4-liter 2.5 liter 2.5-liter
    Engine layout Mid-engine Mid-engine Mid-engine
    Horsepower 340 HP @ 6,700 RPM 350 HP @ 6,500 RPM 365 HP @ 6,500 RPM
    Torque 280 LB-FT 309 LB-FT 317 LB-FT
    Top Track Speed 177 mph 177 MPH 180 MPH
    0 – 60 mph 4.7 seconds 4.4 sec/4.2 sec (4.0 sec w/ Sport Chrono) 3.9 seconds

    Chassis And Handling


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739179
    “The Cayman GTS has the right stuff to be an absolute delight in the corners.”

    While certainly quick, one of the Cayman’s biggest selling points is the way it handles. Indeed, with a mid-/rear-mounted engine and relatively low curb weight (roughly 3,000 pounds), not to mention Porsche’s reputation for building razor-sharp track toys, the Cayman GTS has the right stuff to be an absolute delight in the corners.

    Making the most of it is the standard Porsche Torque Vectoring system, which throws in a mechanical rear-differential lock to keep the traction flowing. Buyers also get standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Also note, the PASM lowers the car by 0.39 inches compared to the standard Cayman suspension set-up.

    Finally, the Cayman GTS comes standard with the popular Sport Chrono Package, which enables a sportier drive mode perfectly suited for track driving. Features like Launch Control, faster gear changes, a sharper throttle response, and dynamic transmission mounts are all included.

    Prices


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739174

    Order books are open now for the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS, with first deliveries expected to arrive by March of 2018.

    Pricing for the Cayman GTS is set $79,800, which is a little over $27,000 more than the standard model Cayman.

    Competition

    Jaguar F-Type


    2017 Jaguar F-Type - image 655250

    If you prefer a sports car with an extra dose of grand touring style, then Jag has what you need with the F-Type. Offering a variety of trim levels and price points, Jag’s best fit for the 718 Cayman would be the $80,000 R-Dynamic Coupe, which equips a front-mounted 3.0-liter V-6 that’s supercharged to produce 380 horsepower at the rear wheels. Not only does it look incredible, but it’s also got enough muscle to hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 161 mph.

    Read our full review on the Jaguar F-Type.

    BMW M4 Coupe


    2018 BMW M4 - image 702089

    Slotting in as the Bavarian’s compact two-door performance machine, the M4 Coupe is a muscle-bound luxury sports car dripping in track-inspired styling cues. Even better, it’s got the goods under the hood to back the aesthetic, rocking 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque thanks to a turbocharged inline six-cylinder. And although pricing starts at $64,200, well below the sticker for the Cayman GTS, the M4’s long list of options is sure to pad the bottom line significantly.

    Read our full review on the BMW M4 Coupe.

    Chevrolet Corvette Z06


    2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - image 538131

    Sometimes, subtlety needs to take a back seat to raw, unbridled performance, and in circumstances such as those, the Bow Tie offers the Corvette Z06. Producing a whopping 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, this all-American bruiser trounces the competition in terms of acceleration, hitting the 60-mph mark in just 3 seconds flat. Either a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic routes the muscle rearwards, while mammoth grip comes courtesy of real working aero and wide Michelin tires. It’s even got carbon brakes to slow it down. And starting at just over $80,000, the Z06 won’t break the bank either.

    Read our full review on the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

    Conclusion


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739166
    “The GTS thing is nearly thirty grand more than standard model, which begs the question – is it really worth it to pay the equivalent of a brand new Dodge Challenger or Toyota 86 to get the GTS?”

    At first glance, the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS might seem a bit too pricey for its own good. After all, this thing is nearly thirty grand more than standard model, which begs the question – is it really worth it to pay the equivalent of a brand new Dodge Challenger or Toyota 86 to get the GTS?

    For many folks, the answer is an unequivocal yes. Sure, in terms of power, the GTS isn’t setting any sort of new benchmarks, and although an extra 15 horses over the S isn’t a lot, it’s good enough to optimize the rest of the equipment you get with the model. The active suspension, Sport Chrono Package, and torque vectoring system are all included with the GTS badges, which should go a long way in making this Cayman even more impressive in the corners.

    And at the end of the day, that’s what Porsche’s customers really want. If a blistering 0-to-60 mph is more your speed, then the ‘Vette is where you should look.

    Long story short, the Cayman GTS is worth it – just so long as you were originally planning on getting a little heavy-handed with that options list anyway.

    • Leave it
      • Seriously expensive
      • Much faster options already on the market
      • Standard Cayman might be the smarter buy for some

    References

    Porsche 718


    2017 Porsche 718 Cayman - image 697886

    Read our full review on the new 2017 Porsche 718 Cayman.

    Porsche Cayman


    2015 Porsche Cayman GTS - image 546440

    Read our full review on the previous 2015 Porsche Cayman GTS.

    Porsche Boxster


    2015 Porsche Boxster GTS - image 723936

    Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche Boxster GTS.

    PostHeaderIcon Bugatti EB 110 SS

    Bugatti EB 110 SS

    When Bugatti launched production of its world-beating, 1,000-horsepower, 8.0-liter, quad-turbo Veyron in 2005, the auto world went just a little bit of crazy. And rightfully so. That said, the Veyron owes a good deal of its success to this – the EB 110. Produced in limited numbers throughout the ‘90s, it was the only production model created during Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli’s short stint as Bugatti head honcho. Considered one of the very first street-worthy mid-engine supercars of the ‘90s, the EB 110 was a true technological tour de force in its own right, with a high-revving, quad-turbo, 60-valve, 3.5-liter V-12 engine mounted behind the cabin, an active rear wing, and lightweight carbon fiber body. Indeed, prior to the release of the legendary McLaren F1, the EB 110 was in contention for fastest production car on the planet.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Bugatti EB 110 SS.

    Exterior

    Fast Facts

    • Styling focuses on broad, flat surfaces
    • Glass engine cover shows off V-12 engine
    • Speed-sensitive rear wing
    • Smaller than the Veyron

    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726865
    “Stylistically, the Bugatti EB 110 focuses primarily on broad, flat surfaces, with the horizontal dimension emphasized thanks to drawn-out lines front to back.”

    Stylistically, the Bugatti EB 110 focuses primarily on broad, flat surfaces, with the horizontal dimension emphasized thanks to drawn-out lines front to back. The nose is a speed-wedge type of look, with large dividing slots placed in the central intake, plus the requisite arched center intake shape front and center. Smaller side intakes stretch up and out through outlets near the corners of the headlight housings, while the headlights themselves use square-shaped housings.

    Moving to the flanks, we find a roofline that angles at a crisp point just above the windshield, leading back into a long tail and sculpted rear. Circular intakes are placed just behind the windshield. The lower side sills are straight indentations that bring the car closer to the ground visually, while the shoulder character line connects the fenders in a single, unbroken line.

    In the rear, the EB 110 looks particularly horizontal, with rounded, yet stretched taillight housings, wide lower vents and diffuser, and of course, a big rear wing. Several smaller vents make up the center insert between the two taillight housings. Looking just ahead of the wing, we find a large glass engine cover showing off the impressive V-12.


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726859
    “One of the more interesting features is the active aero, with that sizable rear wing either rising or falling for either more downforce or less drag, as needed.”

    One of the more interesting features is the active aero, with that sizable rear wing either rising or falling for either more downforce or less drag, as needed. The feature is speed-sensitive, although drivers can alternatively choose to manually raise the wing by using a switch in the cabin. The stock wheels are from BBS, and use a seven-spoke design and race-inspired center lock, as well as an alloy construction.

    Placed next to the Bugatti Veyron, there are some clear design similarities, with the older EB 110 taking a more squared-off approach, while the Veyron is more rounded.

    left
    right

    Dimensionally speaking, the EB 110 is also quite a bit smaller than its successor. Check out what we mean below.

    Exterior dimensions:

    Bugatti EB 110 SS Bugatti Veyron
    Wheelbase (Inches) 100.4 106.7
    Length (Inches) 173.2 175.7
    Width (Inches) 76.4 78.7
    Height (Inches) 43.9 45.6

    Interior

    Fast Facts

    • Scissor doors
    • Tight cabin
    • Luxury features
    • Lots of carbon fiber trim

    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 739065
    “These are the kinds of characteristics you’d want from a super sports car. Unleash the performance potential, and you don’t wanna be flopping around everywhere”

    The first things you’ll notice as you climb into the Bugatti EB 110 are the doors. Aiding ingress and egress are scissor hinges, a classic Gandini design characteristic you’ll find elsewhere in his work, including the Alfa Romeo 33 Carabo prototype and Lamborghini Countach.

    Once settled into the cockpit, the next thing you’ll notice is the somewhat tight cabin compartment, with form-hugging bucket seats and a low seating position. Of course, these are the kinds of characteristics you’d want from a super sports car. Unleash the performance potential, and you don’t wanna be flopping around everywhere.


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 739067

    That said, the EB 110 was also known for being surprisingly useable and compliant when driven around town, particularly when considering its hyper-powered supercar pedigree. The cabin comes equipped with nice features such as hide upholstery and wood trim, all of which is very much in line with Bugatti’s luxury past.

    Behind the three-spoke steering wheel is a set of analog gauges, with a center-mounted tachometer and a speedometer on the right. Controls for the climate control and stereo occupy the center console, while leather covers just about every other surface not finished in either wood or carbon fiber.

    Drivetrain

    Fast Facts

    • 3.5-liter V-12
    • Four turbochargers
    • High-performance AWD grip
    • Supersport variant makes over 600 horsepower
    • Top speed of 216 mph

    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 739066
    “Fully unleashed, the Bugatti EB 110 produces as much as 550 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, while peak twist is rated at 450 pound-feet at 3,750 rpm”

    Take a peek behind that glass engine cover and you’ll get a glimpse of the mid-mounted V-12 engine, complete with carbon fiber elements and brightly colored details. Displacement comes to 3.5 liters (3,499 cc’s), with an 81 mm bore and 56.6 mm stroke. The cylinders are set at the usual 60 degrees, while multipoint electronic fuel injection, 12 individual throttle bodies, and no less than 60 valves (that’s 5 valves per cylinder, for those of you keeping track) keep the good stuff flowing in just the right proportions.

    The compression ratio comes to 7.5:1, while lightweight titanium connecting rods add extra rev happiness. Boosting the extra go is no less four turbochargers, similar to the Veyron’s quad-turbo set-up. The turbos come from IHI, and produce a maximum of 1.05 bar (15 psi) of added pressure.

    Fully unleashed, the Bugatti EB 110 produces as much as 550 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, while peak twist is rated at 450 pound-feet at 3,750 rpm. What’s more, redline is set at 8,200 rpm, which is rather impressive for the application.

    Routing the power to the ground is a high-performance viscous-coupling AWD system. The system is primarily rear-biased, with 27 percent of the torque sent to the front and 73 percent of the torque sent to the rear, all of which helps to keep the car balanced without too much of the usual AWD understeer. A six-speed manual transmission swaps the cogs. Interestingly, Bugatti actually mounted the gearbox ahead of the engine, allowing for a more balanced weight distribution.


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 739064
    “The EB 110 can hit 60 mph in the mid-3-second range, while top speed clocks in at around 213 mph. The standing kilometer is accomplished in about 20 seconds.”

    As you might expect, several prominent outlets tested the car’s acceleration and speed claims. The general consensus is that the EB 110 can hit 60 mph in the mid-3-second range, while top speed clocks in at around 213 mph. The standing kilometer is accomplished in about 20 seconds.

    The follow-up to the standard EB 110 was the SS “Supersport” edition. Upgrades included a reprogrammed ECU, more boost, bigger injectors, and a free-flowing exhaust system, all of which contributed to a substantial increase in power. Peak output got an increase to 604 horses at 8,250 rpm, an increase of 54 horses.

    Impressive no doubt, but complementing the extra motivation was a decrease in curb weight. The net result was a whole lot more go, both in terms of acceleration and top speed. The 0-to-60 mph benchmark drops to the low-3-second range, while top speed increases to 216 mph. Meanwhile, the quarter mile is completed in the low 12-second range at around 120 mph.


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726864
    “The follow-up to the standard EB 110 was the SS “Supersport” edition. Upgrades boost peak output considerably, up to 604 horses at 8,250 rpm, an increase of 54 horses”

    And that’s mighty fast, even measured by today’s standards of what a modern supercar should be. What’s more, the EB 110 was still surprisingly civil on the road. The powerband provided enough low-end torque to adequately maneuver through traffic, while fuel returns looked as good as 20 mpg. Not bad compared to the Veyron’s 15 mpg on the highway and 7 mpg in the city.

    Chassis And Handling

    Fast Facts

    • Carbon fiber chassis
    • Supersport weighs just 3,100 pounds

    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726862
    “Curb weight for the EB 110 comes to 3,571 pounds, nearly 600 pounds less than the ground-pounding, 4,162-pound Bugatti Veyron.”

    Under the skin of the Bugatti EB 110, you’ll find a carbon fiber chassis. Responsible for its production was Aerospatiale, a French-owned aerospace manufacturer that makes aircraft, rockets, and satellites for both civilian and military applications. An integrated roll cage keeps it all appropriately safe and stiff, while aluminum body panels are laid on top to keep the weight as low possible.

    Curb weight for the EB 110 comes to 3,571 pounds, nearly 600 pounds less than the ground-pounding, 4,162-pound Bugatti Veyron. The EB 110’s SS variant widens the gap even further, cutting away as much as 471 pounds with a 3,100-pound curb weight.

    Most of that weight is centered on the rear axle, with a 40/60 front-to-rear distribution. In conjunction with the rear-biased AWD system, this keeps the EB 110 relatively lively in the corners, flicking its tail out rather than scrubbing the front tires in terminal understeer.

    Managing the heft is a double wishbone suspension with actuated spring/dampers in front, as well as double coil springs and dampers in the rear. According to several reviewers, the set-up does a fantastic job soaking up any and all road aberrations, despite its racing and performance pedigree.


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726868
    “Managing the heft is a double wishbone suspension with actuated spring/dampers in front, as well as double coil springs and dampers in the rear.”

    Hauling the whole thing down to a stop are 332-mm (13.07-inch) brakes, utilizing drilled and vented discs, plus calipers from Brembo. Performance data in this area looks like 2.8 seconds in the 60 mph to 0 test. Helping it all turn is a rack-and-pinion steering system.

    Finally, the tires measure in at 245/40ZR18 in front and 325/30ZR18 in rear.

    Prices

    Fast Facts

    • Only 139 produced
    • Cost $380,000 when new
    • Now costs about $650,000

    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726861

    When it was first produced back in the ‘90s, the Bugatti EB 110 originally sold for 285,500 pounds (roughly $380,000, give or take), which was far less than competitors like the Jaguar XJ220 and McLaren F1.

    Only 139 units were produced, 33 of which were the more-powerful, lightweight SS models.

    These days, interested buyers and collectors can find the Bugatti EB 110 on the used market and at auction. Depending on factors like the car’s condition, heritage, etc., prices can eclipse the seven-figure mark. However, more common (i.e., more affordable) examples cost around 500,000 pounds ($664,283 at current exchange rates, 10/13/2017).

    Competition

    Jaguar XJ220


    1992 - 1994 Jaguar XJ 220 - image 677814

    Produced for just two years between 1992 and 1994, the XJ220 was a major challenger to the Bugatti EB 110, offering low-slung, hyper-powered styling, a sumptuous interior, and oodles of power and speed. Providing the go is a 3.5-liter V-6, which is fed by twin turbos to produce as much 540 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. Properly applied, it’s enough motivation to hit a top speed of 212 mph.

    Read our full review on the Jaguar XJ220.

    McLaren F1


    1993 McLaren F1 - image 674549

    Making its debut in the spring of 1992, the F1 was the Woking-based company’s take on bringing its motorsport know-how to customers on the street. Using exotic materials like titanium, magnesium, Kevlar, and even gold, the F1 was a major innovator of its day. A carbon fiber monocoque chassis, aero-efficient exterior, and central driving position all gave it that definitive race car vibe, while mounted behind the cockpit is a V-12 engine producing as much as 627 horsepower, enough to set a new top speed record in excess of 240 mph.

    Read our full review on the McLaren F1.

    Conclusion


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726860
    “While the Veyron is often considered the go-to option when it comes to bedroom posters and Internet adulation, the EB 110 is very much deserving of high praise in its own right.”

    While the Veyron is often considered the go-to option when it comes to bedroom posters and Internet adulation, the EB 110 is very much deserving of high praise in its own right. Not only is it extremely fast, but additionally, the EB 110 stands out thanks to its lovely handling, inspiring tons of confidence with its rear-biased AWD grip. Unlike other supercars of its time, drivers can attack unfamiliar roads without issue, including wet surfaces if desired.

    Not only that, but in addition to its absurd speed and high technology, the EB 110 managed to be a respectable road car, with a relatively comfortable ride, manageable power band, and even surprisingly solid mpg figures.

    Not that fuel returns are all that important in this segment, but the point is this – the EB 110 broke the mold and set the standard for better-known Bugattis that would follow. Inspired by the French classics and revived by Italian enthusiasts, the EB 110 was a true classic of the ‘90s.

    • Leave it
      • Bankrupted Bugatti
      • Not as fast as the McLaren F1
      • Not quite as crazy as the Veyron

    History And Background

    Fast Facts

    -  Only model produced under ownership of Romano Artioli
    -  Developed by ex-Lamborghini employees
    -  Debuted on September 15th, 1991
    -  Upgraded SS “Supersport” iteration introduced in 1992


    Bugatti EB 110 up for sale - image 387540

    Ettore Bugatti established the automaker that bears his name in 1909, and almost immediately, the Italian-born designer set about creating some of the fastest cars of the day. Chief among Bugatti’s early successes were wins in Grand Prix racing, such as a first-place finish in the first-ever Monaco GP and a duo of wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 1924 Bugatti Type 35 alone boasts more than 2,000 race wins to its name.

    However, after the destruction of Bugatti’s Molsheim factory during World War II, the automaker struggled to get back on its feet. The company’s problems were compounded by the death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947, and in 1952, Bugatti shuttered all operations.


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 739068

    The 1924 Bugatti Type 35, one of Bug’s most successful racers.

    After a few failed attempts at revival, the Bugatti brand went to Romano Artioli, an Italian entrepreneur, Ferrari dealer, and Japanese car importer. Artioli personally owned several Bugattis, and at the personal encouragement of Ferruccio Lamborghini, he decided to buy the Bugatti trademark in 1987, subsequently becoming chairman of Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. soon thereafter.

    Atrioli’s aim was simple, albeit quite ambitious – the reemergence of the Bugatti name as a major player in the modern world of supercars. In order to accomplish that lofty goal, Artioli went about scooping up former Lamborghini employees to help him build a world-beating production vehicle. One of the most noteworthy ex-Lambo workers was automotive designer Marcello Gandini, best known as one of the driving forces behind such incredible machines as the Lamborghini Miura, Lamborghini Diablo, and Lamborghini Countach.

    “Atrioli’s aim was simple, albeit quite ambitious – the reemergence of the Bugatti name as a major player in the modern world of supercars.”

    With Gandini’s prototypes in hand, Paolo Stanzini, another ex-Lamborghini employee, best known for his work on the Miura, Espada, and Countach, went about engineering the thing. Giampaolo Benedini, Artioli’s cousin, finalized the design.

    Bugatti revealed the EB 110 to the world on September 15th, 1991, in front of major French monuments like Versailles and the Grande Arche de la Defense in Paris. The day was symbolic as well, given it was Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday, hence the “EB 110” name.

    When it was first released, the Bugatti EB 110 made a serious claim for fastest production car on Earth, a title challenged only by the 210+ mph Jaguar XJ220. Unfortunately, McLaren spoiled the party when it released the outrageously fast F1, a car that would continue to hold the highly sought-after record for over a decade thanks to its otherworldly 240-mph top speed.


    Bugatti EB 110 up for sale - image 387548
    “When it was first released, the Bugatti EB 110 made a serious claim for fastest production car on Earth, a title challenged only by the 210+ mph Jaguar XJ220.”

    Nevertheless, Bugatti continued to develop the EB 110, introducing an upgraded SS “Supersport” iteration in 1992. Upgrades for the SS included even more power, as well as a substantial cut to the car’s curb weight.

    In 1994, legendary Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher decided to buy a bright yellow EB 110 for his personal collection, bringing Bugatti some much-needed publicity in the process. Schumacher eventually sold the car in 2003.

    Of course, while big spec numbers and celebrity sponsorship are all par for the course in this segment, the EB 110 was also expected to heed the call of competition in motorsport. As such, the EB 110 was entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994, managing to qualify 17th overall and 5th in the GT1 class. Taking the help was Eric Helary, a winner at Le mans in 1993, as well as Alain Cudini, and Jean-Christophe Boullion. Despite the talented roster, the EB 110 failed to finish due to a damaged fuel tank.


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726870
    “While big spec numbers and celebrity sponsorship are all par for the course in this segment, the EB 110 was also expected to heed the call of competition in motorsport.”

    A few years later, the EB 110 went on to compete in the 1996 24 Hours of Daytona. The team included driver Derek Hill, son of Formula 1 champion Phil Hill. Unfortunately, the car once again failed to finish, getting a DNF due to a broken gearbox.

    Things never really improved for the newly christened Bugatti. Chairman Artioli decided to purchase Lotus from General Motors in 1993, stretching funds to the limit and compounding financial problems for the brand. Making things worse were development costs for a new four-door called the EB 112. The end result was bankruptcy for Bugatti in September of 1995. Production of the EB 110 lasted just four years.


    1992 Bugatti EB 110 SS - image 726859
    “Bugatti went bankrupt in September of 1995. Production of the EB 110 lasted just four years.”

    Following the bankruptcy, Volkswagen bought the brand in April of 1998. As for the remaining EB 110s stuck in mid-production, the German performance company Dauer Racing GmbH bought up the unfinished models and parts inventory through a bankruptcy trustee and built the Dauer EB 110. Later, B Engineering, an Italian small-volume manufacturer staffed by former Bugatti employees, developed the chassis and engine into a new model dubbed the Edonis.

    Finally, in 2005, a decade after production of the EB 110 ground to halt, Bugatti (under the VW umbrella) introduced a successor – the now-legendary Veyron.

    References

    Bugatti Veyron


    2006 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 - image 287561

    Read our full review on the Bugatti Veyron.


    2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 730338

    Read more Bugatti news.

    PostHeaderIcon Gone In Three Seconds: The 10 Fastest Cars To 60 MPH

    Porsche 911 Turbo S - 2.9 Seconds

    If you haven’t noticed yet, then you might start doing so now. We are in the golden generation of performance cars, and with the way the auto industry is unfolding before our very eyes, there is a hint of irony in the thought that we’re still a long way away from seeing the end of this blitzkrieg era. These days, supercars are being built at such a rapid pace that a six-year-old Lamborghini Aventador is already considered a “senior citizen” in the ranks, and the more exotics we get, the more these performance records will go by the wayside.

    Take the all-too-important “acceleration time” as an example. We all know it to be the time it takes for a car to hit 60 mph (or 62.1 mph – 100 kph) from a standstill position. The 1995 McLaren F1 brought supreme importance to this performance time when it did it cleared a 60-mph sprint in 3.2 seconds more than two decades ago. Today, a 3.2-second, 0-to-60-mph car doesn’t even make it in a top 10 list of fastest accelerating cars. That’s not to say that the F1 is old news because that supercar, together with the Ferrari F40, will always be the industry OGs. But, the advent of the supercar era has also ushered in machines that are hair-raisingly fast to the point of disbelief. In line with that alarming realization, we’ve prepared a list of the ten fastest-accelerating supercars in the market today, ranking them from “slowest” to “quickest.

    Continue after the jump to read the full story.

    Prepare yourselves if you’re driving any one of these cars

    A few qualifiers before we start. I tried to make this list as comprehensive as I can, but obviously, there will be some supercars that will be left out, intentionally or otherwise. Rest assured, if you have the numbers to make it to this list, there’s a good chance that you’re going to be mentioned at some point. Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s begin.

    10) 2.9 seconds – Porsche 911 Turbo S / Lamborghini Aventador / Nissan GT-R NISMO / Ferrari F12tdf


    2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658139

    2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 - image 738951

    It seems fitting that we’re starting the list of at 2.9 seconds, isn’t it? A three-second, 0-to-60-mph sprint time is so 2011, so let’s leave them out of the picture entirely. There’s also a little bit of hilarity in the fact that it didn’t take me long to make a mess of my list. But hey, these four exotics deserve equal mention because they’re all mental in their own unique ways. Nissan does get special mention because of how far it’s come in the supercar world. There was a time not too long ago that mentioning Nissan in the same breath as Ferrari, Porsche, or Lamborghini would’ve drawn some giggles and side-eyes. Not anymore, folks. All because Godzilla remains a force to be reckoned with in the supercar industry.


    2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo - image 541724

    2017 Ferrari F12tdf - image 650303

    9) 2.8 seconds – McLaren P1


    2014 McLaren P1 - image 494154

    It didn’t take long to get our first hypercar in the mix. The McLaren P1 shares more than just a name with the legendary F1. Both are also lightning quick on the block. The P1, in particular, can do it in 2.8 seconds, all thanks to a hybrid powertrain that combines to produce a staggering 903 horsepower. Here’s a little-known tidbit about the P1: it’s actually capable of surpassing a 2.8-second time if the ideal conditions are there. Not that it matters because hypercars can be prickly about “conditions,” but it is something worth paying attention to. And, speaking of paying attention to, equal shout outs to the BAC Mono and the Caterham 620R, two vehicles that nobody’s going to mistake for the P1, except that both are just as fast to 60 mph.

    8) 2.7 seconds – Koenigsegg Regera / Hennessey Venom GT


    2017 Koenigsegg Regera - image 619933

    If you picked between these two, which one would you choose? Truth is, it doesn’t matter because both the Koenigsegg Regera and the Hennessey Venom GT are speed demons in their own right. They may be packaged differently – the Venom is a Lotus Exige at heart while the Regera is, well, automotive engineering at its apex – but rest assured, you don’t want to be sitting next to these cars in a starting line. Unless you’re driving any one of the cars that have yet to be mentioned on this list, it’s a foregone conclusion that the Regera and the Venom GT will leave you in the dust, weeping at the realization that you just got emasculated.


    2016 Hennessey Venom GT - image 672244

    7) 2.6 seconds – Rimac Concept One


    2011 Rimac Concept One - image 416887

    I had reservations about putting the Rimac Concept One on this list because it doesn’t have the stature of any of the other automakers in here. But, I can’t deny greatness and that’s exactly what the Concept One is. On top of being one of the first full-fledged, all-electric supercars in the world, the Concept One has somehow gained even more mystic after dismantling a Ferrari LaFerrari and a Tesla Model S in a recent video. Remember the name, folks. Richard Hammond – good to see him up and about now – certainly will.

    6) 2.5 seconds – Ferrari LaFerrari


    2014 Ferrari LaFerrari - image 496630

    The Ferrari F12tdf may have already been mentioned on this list, but the truth is that no list of fastest accelerating cars in the world will be complete without having a spot reserved for the Prancing Horse. Fortunately, the Ferrari LaFerarri is still around to remind us that Maranello is still in peak form when producing supercars. If there was anything that the LaFerrari taught us other than the fact that it’s blisteringly fast, it’s that Ferrari can adapt to the game changing rules and still thrive in the face of it. The LaFerrari may have set the bar for the Italian automaker, but you can rest assured that the objective within the company is to new see if it can create something that’s faster and a lot more powerful. Only time separates us from that inevitability.

    5) 2.5 seconds – Porsche 918 Spyder


    2014 Porsche 918 Spyder
- image 522491

    Completing the holy trinity of hypercars is the Porsche 918 Spyder, a car so exquisite in its engineering that you forget that it can destroy just about any other car in a race to 60 mph. It’s emphatically quicker than the McLaren P1 and even with the identical times, the 918 Spyder actually nips the LaFerrari in terms of acceleration speed. Plus, the Porsche is arguably the most well-rounded of the three hypercars and far more importantly, was the cheapest of the three – priced at just $845,000 – before all of them were sold out.

    4) 2.5 seconds – Ariel Atom 3.5R


    2014 Ariel Atom 3.5R - image 551739

    It’s technically not a road-going car in the traditional sense of one, but that doesn’t matter. The Ariel Atom 3.5R is more than capable of putting the fear of God on anybody who happens to be in the driver’s seat. We all saw what the Atom V8 did to Jeremy Clarkson’s face and while the 3.5R may not have the horses of its V8-counterpart, its 350-horsepower output rating on a body that only has a 550-kg curb weight still allows it to post a quicker sprint to 60-mph than just about every other car in the world

    3) 2.3 seconds – Bugatti Chiron


    2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 680744

    With respect to the almighty Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and its own 2.5-second acceleration time, I’m putting it together with its successor, the Chiron. It’s a testament to Bugatti’s capability to bring us some of the fastest and most powerful cars in the world when an all-conquering masterpiece like the Veyron Super Sport can still evolve into something that’s faster and more powerful. That’s what we have with the Chiron, which boasts an incredible 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. Here’s the best part though: knowing what Bugatti was able to do with the Veyron, there’s reason to expect that a more extreme Chiron could be in the way. Imagine what that car can do.

    2) 2.3 seconds – Dodge Challenger SRT Demon


    2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - image 729184

    It was billed as the fastest-accelerating muscle car in the world and it sure as heck lived up to it. The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon’s ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph is beyond incredible. Considering that the only car to beat it in an acceleration test is an electric car, there’s no doubt that the SRT Demon is also the fastest-accelerating, gas-powered car in the world. There are no ifs and buts about it, folks, The Demon is a monster in every sense of the word.

    1) 2.28 seconds – Tesla Model S P100D


    Gone In Three Seconds: The 10 Fastest Cars To 60 MPH - image 686181

    The Tesla Model S P100D is the ultimate in car irony. It’s the fastest-accelerating car in the world and it’s also arguably one of the quietest and most environmentally friendly cars you’ll ever come across. It’s also no surprise that it sits on top of this list even though the Challenger SRT Demon did give it a serious run for its money. In the end, the Model S P100D still reigns supreme, at least until a hotter version comes along. And to think, all Elon Musk had to do was figure out that electric power meant instant torque…

    PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin DB11 Volante

    Design similar to the coupe

    The DB11 Volante was officially announced by Aston Martin in October of 2017. While being on its way to dealers is a pretty big deal, what seems more important to mention here is that the new DB11 Volante maintained the same sporty look even with that canvass top up or down – now that’s a pretty sweet deal. Initial models appear to only be offered with the AMG-sourced, 4.0-liter, V-8, which means you’re in for about 503 horsepower and 513 pound-feet of sheer man-pleasing goodness.
    For what it’s worth that engine is enough to deliver a four-second sprint to 62 mph in the coupe, and the Volante won’t be far behind.

    With that in mind, the only real difference between the Volante and the coupe is quite obvious – that fabric top. But, you’ll be wanting to pop the champagne bottles when you see just how well Aston Martin managed to convert the coupe design into a drop top. This thing is absolutely gorgeous, and even has exactly what you would expect from an AM Volante. So, with that said, let’s dive on in and take a really good look at the new DB11 Volante. You might find yourself begging the wife to allow you to get one 😉

    Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante.

    Official video

    Exterior


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738422
    “Aston Martin did an amazing job converting the DB11 Coupe into the Volante”

    As you can see from the image above, Aston Martin did an amazing job converting the DB11 Coupe into the Volante – so well, in fact, that the car is nearly identical to the extent that it looks like the coupe has a slide-off roof. With that in mind, you get the same gorgeous front end with that wide-mouth, single-piece grill with five louvers, a huge splitter down below, and long, recessed headlights with that slender LED strip along the top and outer edge. The same hood also carries over with a long vent on either side near the fender and those defining, muscular lines that run from the windshield to the nose.


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738405

    Walk over to the side like you’re going to embark this beast, and you’ll find that deeply cut vent in the fender to match that small air passthrough down in the corner of the side skit. The bottom of the side skirt also gets a small lip, which is just enough to tie the front and side profiles together. The body line just below the waistline rungs from the rear-most tip of the headlight back to the rear quarters, bending only beyond the doors to match the curvature of the muscular rear haunches. What you’ll find particularly interesting here is how most of the rear quarter matches that of the coupe, all the way up to where the waistline curves around to the rear and the top’s hood resides. It should also be mentioned that the Volante gets its own unique wheels that include a split-spoke layout that really adds to the overall character of the car.


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738400
    “The Volante gets the same clear taillights with red LEDs and that huge gloss-black rear insert”

    Around back, we see more of the same. The Volante gets the same clear taillights with red LEDs and that huge gloss-black rear insert. Chrome exhaust tips add some serious contrast while the small red reflectors supplement the same. The one real different thing back here is the hood for the convertible top, which takes up a good portion of the rear deck. As you can see, the waistline curves up and around, with decreasing width before traversing across the rear deck. The only downside of the Volante as far as the exterior goes is that the rear deck kind of sticks out like a sore thumb with those massive gaps between boy panels. Of course, they match the rest of the car, really, but it would be nice to see a tighter fit and finish here.


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738421

    On the other hand, it should be noted that when the top is up and in place, it isn’t quite as long as the roof on the coupe, giving the Volante a look of its own in closed mode. And, for what it’s worth, that top can be opened at up to 31 mph (less if there’s wind coming at you.) AM says it has tested the top in Death Valley and the Arctic and its reliability testing has shown 100,000 successful cycles, which should be enough to last for at least 10 years – now that’s enough to make me comfortable about it, how about you?


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738418

    The Competition


    2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet - image 659516

    2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible - image 617645

    2015 - 2016 Ferrari California T - image 698407

    The world of high-priced luxury convertibles isn’t really all that large, but the DB11 Volante will have some pretty stiff competition. With models like the Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet, the Bentley Continental GT Convertible, and the Ferrari California T all occupying a big portion of this niche, there are some tough decisions to make if you’re really in the market for a $200,000+ convertible. All three of these models feature their own unique look, but all three feature a similar level of aggression in their design. The California T has that wide-mouth grille up front to go with small and sleek corner air vents. The hood has just the right amount of character without going overboard. Looking at the car from in front, the sides don’t look all that aggressive, but walk around to the side, and you’ll find an excessively sharp body line that runs from the contour of the front wheel arch back to the rear quarters, following the wavy contour of the body as you move farther back. The rear haunches are muscular while the rear fascia is aggressive. The rear deck is smooth and slopes downward gently in the rear while a fairly aggressive diffuser with three fins rounds out the exterior package. The California T isn’t a bad choice, but there are other options to consider.

    “The California T isn’t a bad choice, but there are other options to consider.”

    Despite the fact that Mercedes is own by Daimler and Bentley being a part of the VW group of companies, it is a bit surprising that there are some similarities between these two competitors. Just look at the front fascia of each of these models. You can deny that the overall design of both front fascias are suspicious. Even the rear haunches on both of these models are vaguely similar. When it comes to the Bentley, you get the traditional tiered circular headlights and a rectangular grille up front. The hood features a defining line right in the middle and sits just below the level of the wheel arches. The windshield on this model is fairly short and features a massive pillar on each side. Moving back, there is a sharp body line that starts out ahead of the front wheel arch, whips around the top and shoots straight back, terminating just ahead of the door handle on each side. Another excessively sharp line comes into play above the rear wheel arches to had a hint of masculinity. Around back, the Bentley actually hs a somewhat ugly set up going on. The rear deck is long and smooth, with the lower edge in the rear acting as an overhang above the license plate. The exhaust outlets are recessed into the rear fascia, similar to what you see on a lot of Mercedes models.

    “While the DB11 Volante and California T have these muscular rear haunches and an elevated waistline in the rear, the Merc is the exact opposite”

    Looking at the S65 Cabriolet, you’ll find that it’s styling in some areas are a little outdated. While the DB11 Volante and California T have these muscular rear haunches and an elevated waistline in the rear, the Merc is the exact opposite. It’s got an aggressive front fascia with the traditional AMG grille up front. The hood is fairly sporty, but the side profile is toned down compared to all of the other models we’ve discussed so far. The waistline itself stays the same all the way around as opposed to being slightly elevated in the rear. To me, this harkens back to old school Porsche convertibles from back in the day. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad car, and maybe you like that look, but if you want something that’s more minimalist on the outside, the S65 is probably your best bet. Around back, the S65 is has a bubbly appearance, with the fascia and rear quarters wrapping around with a
    gentle curve – a feature that’s comparable to what the DB11 Volante will have going on out back, but completely different from the California T and the Bentley GT.

    Ferrari California T Bentley Continental GT Convertible Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    Wheelbase (Inches) 105.1 108.0 115.94 110.43
    Length (Inches) 179.9 189.3 198.58 186.57
    Width (Inches) 75.2 76.7 75.31 76.37
    Height (Inches) 52.0 55.1 56.29 50.35

    All told, the DB11 Volante and these three competitors are all fine automobiles, but as far as looks go, it really depends on your taste. If you want something that’s aggressive, I would suggest going for the DB11 or the California T. If you want something big, and somewhat toned down in comparison; you’ll want to choose between the Bentley and the Merc. But, it’s not all about looks, so let’s see what else these models bring to the table.

    Interior


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738408
    “Inside, the Volante takes on the same exact DNA has its metal-topped sibling”

    Inside, the Volante takes on the same exact DNA has its metal-topped sibling. Needless to say, it does have the unlimited headroom when you have to top down. According to Aston Martin, you can lower the top in just 14 seconds and raise it in as little as 16 seconds. Of course, you can’t do so at high speed, but according to AM, it can be done at speeds of up to 31 mph with no headwind. Since the new top is lighter than that of the DB9, you’ll actually find the storage space in the trunk has increased by as much as 20 percent in comparison. It’s still not as much as you’ll find in the coupe, but that’s a pretty big improvement. The top itself features plenty of acoustic and insulation, and with eight layers of material, it helps combat wind noise and unfriendly temperatures when you can’t enjoy having the top down. Top colors include red, black silver, and gray silver.

    Speaking of the top, it should be pointed out that Aston Martin did what it could to ensure that you can enjoy topless (giggity) driving as often as possible, thanks to a heated steering wheel. The rear seats, while they are quite small, feature ISOFIX attachments, something not usually found in an AM convertible and a safe way to attach your child’s seat in the rear. Finally, the Volante stands out the most thanks to the addition of new wooden veneers to the back of the front seats. They can also be had in carbon fiber if you wish to go with the carbon look.


    2017 Aston Martin DB11 - image 667778
    “Over in the center stack, you’ll find the eight-inch display screen and the simple button layout to control the infotainment and HVAC systems.”

    |align=center>

    Outside of what I’ve already mentioned here, the DB11 Volante carries over with the same classic GT look found in the coupe. We’re talking about the single-gauge, semi-digital instrument cluster and the just-out-of-round steering wheel that has a flattish bottom and sharply curved corners that almost give it a square look. You’ll also find two little ledges inside the 2- and 10-O’clock positions to provide a bit of extra support for your thumbs when you grip the wheel correctly. Over in the center stack, you’ll find the eight-inch display screen and the simple button layout to control the infotainment and HVAC systems. Shifting duties are handled by paddle shifters behind the wheel, so there’s no need for a shifter in the center. As such, you get a touch controller and a button for the electric parking brake.

    The dash features a genuinely smooth design with just a few defining lines in the center and the middle while the seats and central armrests feature a center stitching in a contrasting color. The inserts of the seats contrast the outsides to match the contrast of the dash and the door panels and feature a unique and curved stitching pattern – nice! All told, it’s a pretty nice interior, and even better with the top down, so how does it compete with the competition?

    Competing Designs


    2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet - image 659499

    2016 Bentley Continental GT Convertible - image 698410

    2015 - 2016 Ferrari California T - image 698411

    All three competitors offer amazing interiors, so if the choice of which to buy comes down to the interior, you’re going to need some time to sit in each and really soak in what each has to offer. While the DB11 will feature a floating infotainment screen that rests atop the center stack, all three of these competing models have the display integrated into the center stack. The Mercedes-AMG S65 (top left) features a digital instrument cluster that integrates almost seamlessly with the wide display sitting in the center stack. It is a very modern look, but that’s not all that makes the S65 desirable. The dash is actually rather tame compared to the Bentley, Ferrari, and Aston Martin, and swoops downward just a bit on each end where it has a very tight fit against the door trim panels. The upper portion of the dash and the door trim are one color, while the rest of the trim is done up in a contrasting color. The round HVAC vents are similar to that of the Bentley and Ferrari, but that’s what helps to set the DB11 apart as it has rectangular vents. Like the DB11, the seats of the S65 feature a unique stitching layout that is both sporty and stylish.

    “Like the DB11, the seats of the S65 feature a unique stitching layout that is both sporty and stylish.”

    When you look at the Bentley (top right,) you’ll find a cockpit-like feel with a very sharp layout that keeps most of the controls and goodies in the center of the vehicle. The Bentley has an analog instrument cluster, and the infotainment display is recessed into the center stack. The dash itself is one of the most aggressive out there, with the driver and passenger side of it separated by that stylish and sporty dash bad. Because of this design, the whole center stack is recessed into the dash a bit giving a unique look. The shifter handle sits far forward, but there isn’t any space that’s unused as there are buttons and controls located everywhere on the center console. A split armrest covers up a large storage compartment. Beautiful wood inserts adorn the face of the dash, while the rest of the interior gets a two-tone look. The seats have a retro look with straight fluting. The lower side bolsters
    and headrests are done up in a dark contrasting color while the center inserts and upper side pollsters are done up in a lighter color. Various leather options are available at the time of purchase, and you can opt for some Alcantara as well. On the technology front, the Bentley benefits from LED lighting, wireless phone charging, and an available Wi-Fi hotspot, among other things.

    “The center stack on the California actually extends outward a bit making access to it easier on the driver”

    Then we’ve got the California T (bottom) that also has a very interesting interior. Like the DB11 and other competitors, the California T gets a two-tone interior. It, like the Bentley and Merc, has circular HVAC vents, but on they are mounted atop the dash and protrude in an extreme fashion like Chameleon eyes. Oddly, the steering wheel looks almost like it was ripped out of an F1 car, with lots of thumb buttons and a flat bottom. Unlike the other models we’ve discussed, the center stack on the California actually extends outward a bit making access to it easier on the driver. The center console disappears into the dash below the HVAC controls. Unlike the other models we’ve discussed, there isn’t a traditional shifter. Instead, the California T make use of buttons to select park, drive, and reverse. This makes for a thinner center console that has a very clean look. Somehow, Ferrari managed to keep things minimal while providing an aggressive and pleasing package. Not bad at all.

    Ferrari California T Bentley Continental GT Convertible Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    Seats 4 4 4 4
    Passenger Volume (cu ft) 75.0 86.0 TBA TBA
    Cargo Volume (cu ft) 12.0 9.1 TBA TBA
    Cargo Volume (Seats Folded) TBA TBA TBA TBA

    Drivetrain


    2017 Aston Martin DB11 - image 721627
    “Under the hood, the Volante comes with a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 that is sourced from none other than Mercedes-AMG”

    Under the hood, the Volante comes with a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V-8 that is sourced from none other than Mercedes-AMG. And, if you know your cars, you’d know that the AMG GT also makes use of the very same engine. And, while that may be the same, the collaboration between Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG was a good one, as the brand allowed Aston to design their own specific parts, including engine mounts, a slim-line wet sump oil system, throttle mapping, and even their own ECU software. All told, you’ll find yourself with 503 horsepower and 513 pound-feet of torque on tap. That horsepower number be recognizable as that’s exactly how much the pre-facelift Mercedes-AMG GT S delivered, but its torque comes much closer to that of the Mercedes-AMG GT R.

    To help keep things steady, Aston Martin went so far as to optimize the car’s center of gravity and included special suspension bushings, geometry, anti-roll bars, springs, dampers, and ESP software to help improve the car’s overall agility even with the top in the stowed position. And, you’ll be sure to know it’s a sports car. It might be a little heavier than it’s coupe sibling, but it shouldn’t take you too long to get up to 62 mph – the coupe does it in four-seconds flat, and the Volante should be able to do it in around 4.1 or 4.2 seconds at worst – not bad for a convertible of this caliber.

    But, what about the V-12?


    2017 Aston Martin DB11 - image 667795
    “The Volante should see the V-12 coming into the mix buy mid-to-late 2018.”

    Yeah; what about the V-12? Well, if you think back a bit, you’ll remember that the DB11 coupe was originally rolled into dealers with just one engine as well. It was until about a year later that the DB11 found itself toting around the option for a V-8 and a V-12. As such, the Volante should experience the same fate, with the V-12 coming into the mix buy mid-to-late 2018. If I were you, I’d wait for the V-12, as its newly developed in the past year and delivers a cold-hearted 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. For the coupe, that was an increase of 97 ponies and 59 pound-feet over the DB9 – a very nice improvement. The Coupe could hit the 62-mph sprint in as little as 3.9 seconds and tops out around 200 mph. So, with that in mind, the Volante should be able to hit around 196 (it is a little less aerodynamic) while the 62-mph sprint should come in around four-seconds flat.

    The Competition


    2015 - 2016 Ferrari California T - image 541920
    “Ferrari took this tiny V-8 and massaged it to deliver a decent 560 horsepower and 557 pound-feet of torque”

    So, how does the competition stack up? It’s a good thing you asked, because in this niche that could be what makes or breaks your decision to go with one model or the other. With that said, we’ll start out with the least-powerful option first: The California T.

    Powered by a direct-injected, 3.9-liter V-8, it doesn’t exactly have the largeness of all the other models we’re discussing. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a slouch by any means. See, Ferrari took this tiny V-8 and massaged it to deliver a decent 560 horsepower and 557 pound-feet of torque. That’s less than the Volante, Continental, and S65, but don’t judge the car until you’ve taken a ride in it. That power, lets the California T hit 62 mph in a butthole-puckering 3.6 seconds. And, there is literally no turbo lag, thanks to Ferrari’s amazing ingenuity. Top speed, like the DB11 Volante, comes in at 196 mph. Despite its amazing ability to get up to speed insanely fast, the California T is rated at 10.5-liters per 100km, which converts to about 22.4 mpg here in the U.S. An F1, dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic handles shifting duties, while a smooth and comfortable ride is made possible by double wishbone suspension in the front and a multilink system in the rear. But, if you really want to impress, you’ll want to click the option box for the Handling Speciale package. It brings a tighter recalibration to the engine and transmission as well as an all-new exhaust system. If you plan on hitting the track, this package is a must-have.

    “This baby comes with Bentleys famed 6.0-liter, twin-turbo, W-12 that delivers a decent 582 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque”

    Next on the list is the Continental. Unlike the other models we’ve discussed, this baby comes with Bentleys famed 6.0-liter, twin-turbo, W-12 that delivers a decent 582 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of torque. Despite weighing an insane 5,501 pounds – that’s a much as a large SUV from the early 2000s – it can hit 60 mph in as quick as 4.7 seconds to go with a top speed of 191 mph. In the U.S. it is rated at 20 mph on the highway, 12 mpg in the city, and 15 mpg combined. It rolls on 21-inch wheels straight from the factory, and the suspension system is made up of air springs with continuous damping control – a feature that gives the Continental one of the best rides you can get in this Niche. On the options side of things, your best bet is to go with the carbon ceramic brakes if you’re going to do any spirited driving. It comes standard with Iron brakes, but these carbon ceramic units will help bring things to a stop quickly and efficiently while producing minimal dust.


    2017 Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet - image 659514
    “This monster tips the scales at 4,981 pounds, but with 621 horsepower and 739 pound-feet of gut-wrenching torque on tap, this Cabriolet isn’t a model you want to turn your back on”

    Finally, we’ve got the Mercedes-AMG S65. This monster tips the scales at 4,981 pounds, but with 621 horsepower and 739 pound-feet of gut-wrenching torque on tap, this Cabriolet isn’t a model you want to turn your back on. That kind of power gets it up to 60 mph in four seconds. Its official top speed has yet to be published by Merc, but all Mercedes models are generally limited to 155 mph, so don’t expect to go much faster without having the electronic limiter increased to 186 mph with the AMG Driver Package (a must-have in my opinion.) The engine itself is a hand-built 6.0-liter V12 that is built in-house by Mercedes-AMG. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 7G-Tronic AMG Speedshift Plus automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 14 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway, which puts it right on par with the California T. All told, the Mercedes is the most powerful of the bunch, but if you really want the fastest, you’ll have to buy Italian on this one.

    Ferrari California T Bentley Continental GT Convertible Mercedes-AMG S 65 Cabriolet Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    Engine 3.9-liter V-8 6.0-liter, twin-turbo, W-12 6.0-liter V-12 5.2-litre twin-turbo V-12
    Horsepower 552 HP @ 7,500 RPM 582 HP @ 6,000 RPM 630 HP @ 4,800-5,400 RPM 600 HP @ 6,500 RPM
    Torque 557 Lb-FT @ 4,750 RPM 531 LB-FT @ 1,800 RPM 737 LB-FT @ 2,300-4,300 RPM 516 LB-FT @ 1,500-5,000 RPM
    Top speed 196 mph 196 mph 196 mph (est.) 155 mph
    0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 3.6 s 4.7 s 4.1 s (est.) 4.1 s
    Dry weight 3,582 Lbs 5,501 Lbs 4,971 Lbs TBA
    Kerb weight 3,813 Lbs 6,393 Lbs 5,789 Lbs TBA
    Weight distribution 47% front – 53% rear 57 % front – 42% rear TBA TBA

    Prices


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738412

    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738415

    Aston Martin was quick to release pricing this time around, and the Volante comes in at a pricy, $216,495 here in the U.S. Over in the U.K., you can park one in your driveway for £159,900, and you can have one in Germany for €199,000. Needless to say, it doesn’t come cheap, but beautiful things seldom do, right?

    Competing Prices

    With Volante hit the wallet for $216,495, you might want to consider grabbing yourself a Bentley Continental GT Speed goes $218,400; the 2016 California T retails for $202,723, and the Mercedes-AMG S65 Cabriolet commands at least $247,900. So, unless you’re a major fan of Mercedes, that S65 is a pretty hard one to go for, considering you can get a faster and equally stylish California T for more than $40,000 less. Then again, you could go with the biggest status symbol out there and get yourself a Bentley for about $220k. Either way, you can’t go wrong with the Ferrari or the Bentley, but I think the DB11 Volante will probably win your heart.

    Other Options

    Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet


    2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658137

    Sometimes you save the best for last, and I may very well have done that here. See, the Porsche 911 Turbo S looks wildly different than the rest of the models here, including the upcoming DB11 Volante. Over the years the 911 has changed a lot, but it’s still stuck to its classic German roots as far as design goes. And, if speed is something that speaks to you, then you better pay attention. The 911 Turbo S isn’t the most powerful model here, with just 580 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. But, it’s aerodynamic and light, which means it can beat out even the California T. To put things simply, when equipped with the Sport Chrono package, the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet can hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds – yes, you read that correctly – and tops out at 205 mph. That’s absolutely amazing for a cabriolet, and it gets decent fuel economy as well, being able to achieve 19 mph in the city, 24 mph on the highway, and 21 mpg combined. As of the time of this writing, the Turbo S Cabriolet for the 2017 model year goes for $200,400 in entry-level form. That price can increase drastically, though, depending on what options you choose, so don’t expect to roll out of the dealership for less than $230k unless you really have self-restraint.

    Find out more about the Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet.

    Conclusion


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 738400

    As is the usual case with coupes going topless, there isn’t a whole lot that changes between the standard DB11 Coupe and the new Volante, but I have to admit that Aston Martin did a magnificent job in maintaining the sportiness of the coupe. I mean, there’s no real sacrifice here. The rear seating looks the same (with some new trim inserts on the seatback), and the car is identical all of the way up to the waistline and a little more in the rear. I’m a little disappointed that there isn’t a better fit and finish in the rear where the top stows away, but the seam gaps here match those around the car, so I guess it really isn’t that bad. The only negative thing I have to say is that it isn’t being initially released with the option for the V-12. Just like the coupe, you have to wait. I know good things come to those who wait, but if you have $200k sitting around and you really wanted a Volante, how hard would it be to wait for the V-12 to finally get released? Anyway, let us know what you think about the new DB11 Volante in the comments section below.

    • Leave it
      • Expensive
      • Exterior fit and finish could be better around back
      • Stiff competition

    References

    Aston Martin DB11


    2017 Aston Martin DB11 - image 667426

    Read our full review on the 2017 Aston Martin DB11 Coupe.


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 S - image 711905

    Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Aston Martin DB11 S.

    Rendering


    2018 Aston Martin DB11 Volante - image 669951

    Spy Shots

    May 16, 2017

    We last saw the Aston Martin DB11 Volante testing back in April of 2017, and just a month later, the brand’s newest droptop was caught stretching its wheels again. This time around, however, it has shed all of those fake panels that were riveted to the sides and rear, finally showing off the car’s true design. Of course, the lower portion of the side profile that we couldn’t see will be identical to that of the coupe, as will the rear haunches and rear fascia. The big difference between this model and the coupe happens above the beltline. Aston Martin was able to throw the droptop into place without altering the appearance below the beltline, but with that in mind, the rear deck is now much longer, and the canvass roof doesn’t have nearly as long of a slope to it. The rear quarter glass mimics the shape of that on the coupe but is undoubtedly smaller. Chrome trim from the beltline wraps around the canvas top and traverses along the edge rear deck. Unfortunately, the convertible won’t look quite as sporty as the coupe with the top up, nor will it be as aerodynamic, but that’s a small price to pay for unlimited headroom, right?

    April 5, 2017 – Aston Martin DB11 Volante caught testing at Nurbrugring

    December 14, 2016 – First testing session

    Prototype Vs. Rendering

    left
    right

    Looking at the prototype (left,) it’s clear that our rendering (right) is spot on below the waistline up front. Moving to the rear, however, we can’t make out anything about the decklid or rear quarters thanks to some cheap sheet metal. There are a few things to mention. First, we thought the storage door for the convertible top would feature two elevated pods that sit just over the headrests. This prototype doesn’t show anything like that, however. It looks more like a decklid similar to the coupe will be used but will open to the rear to allow stowage of the top. Without those pods in the rear and no dedicated door for the top, the rear decklid will likely be near identical on the outside but will be altered below the skin. As such, cargo room will be dramatically cut in half, but the important part is that the Volante will look a lot like the coupe in the rear, despite being a convertible.

    Update History

    Updated 04/05/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Aston Martin DB11 Volante lapping around the famous Nurburgring track.

    PostHeaderIcon Italdesign Zerouno

    I think there’s little doubt that the Lamborghini Huracan is an incredible machine. First introduced in 2014 at the Geneva Auto Show, the Huracan hit the scene as a replacement for the hugely popular Lamborghini Gallardo, and despite the sizable shoes it had to fill, the Huracan has succeeded in becoming a smash hit across several markets. However, that popularity has left some well-heeled collectors wanting more – more style, more speed, and most importantly, more exclusivity. That’s where a company like Italdesign comes in. Based out of Torino, Italy, Italdesign employs some 1,000 employees in the production of limited-edition models of high-end OEM vehicles. The company’s latest effort is this – the Zerouno, a bespoke Huracan rocking new aero and a custom cabin appointment, all of which raises the mid-engine supercar to new heights of desirability.

    Revealed during the 87th annual Geneva International Motor Show earlier in 2017, Italdesign later brought the Zerouno to the concept lawn at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. There in California, the Zerouno quickly drew a crowd of onlookers thanks to its aggressive and unique look. The Zerouno is the very first offering from the new Italdesign Automobili Speciali custom sub-brand, and is limited at just five units total, with pricing starting well into the seven-figure range. Read on for the specs on what makes this thing tick, and what makes it unique.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Italdesign Zerouno.

    Official video

    Exterior


    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727666

    For the exterior, the Zerouno’s bodywork is made entirely from carbon fiber, with some components painted and other components shown in a bare carbon weave. The design philosophy was one of functionality and higher levels of performance, plus a unique and exciting aesthetic. Italdesign says the Zerouno’s exterior is the ideal reflection of the simultaneous engineering principle, wherein designers and engineers work side-by-side to find the perfect balance of form and function.

    The Zerouno’s bodywork was developed at Italdesign’s advanced Virtual Reality Centre, which enabled the firm to conduct virtual aero testing prior to building the various components in real life. Italdesign also says that the upper portion of the car is modeled after the “Italian Gran Turismo tradition,” while the lower half is shaped by the demands of aerodynamics.

    Regardless, it’s more than obvious that the pointed front end was inspired by single-seat race cars (Formula 1 in particular). The six-sided geometric shape of the nose looks similar to the GTZero concept revealed in 2016, and gets several components that use the air for both optimum cooling and increased grip levels.


    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 708873

    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 708863
    “The design philosophy was one of functionality and higher levels of performance, plus a unique and exciting aesthetic.”

    Front end lift from that central intake was eliminated thanks to something Italdesign is calling the “Y Duct,” whereby air is routed through the intake and split through a Y-shaped divider under the skin, eventually making its way out through vents placed just ahead of the windshield. This creates downforce as a result.

    There are also heat extractors that cool the brakes via vents in the fenders, plus further wings in the front end that create even more downforce. In back, there are further downforce generators, with a new, large wing, plus a diffuser element. Cooling is enhanced thanks to new rear fins and fender vents.

    The lighting is extremely thin and narrow front to back, with LEDs used at every opportunity. The lights are mounted in a “floating” fashion inside the wings, thus enhancing the aero’s impact even further.

    “Even the wheels were designed to be functional. These large rollers get carbon fiber “turbines” along the perimeter of the wheel, which effectively suck out the hot air around the carbon brakes, improving braking performance as a result.”

    Even the wheels were designed to be functional. These large rollers are made from aluminum, and come from the Italian performance company OZ. The design is aimed at pulling out hot air from the brakes, as in addition to the lightweight aluminum, there are carbon fiber “turbines” along the perimeter of the wheel. When the wheels are in motion, the turbines effectively suck out the hot air around the carbon brakes, improving braking performance as a result. Wheel diameter is rated at 20 inches.

    “Dimensionally speaking, the Zerouno is a bit larger than the Laborghini Huracan.”

    Dimensionally speaking, the Zerouno is a bit larger than the Laborghini Huracan. All that extra aero stuff adds size in every direction, with the exterior dimensions measuring in at 4,847 mm (190.8 inches) in length, 1,970 mm (77.6 inches) in width, and 1,204 mm (47.4 inches) in height. That’s a somewhat substantial increase in size compared to the standard Lambo, which measures in at 4,459 mm (175.6 inches) in length, 1,924 mm (75.7 inches) in width, and 1,165 mm (45.9 inches) in height.

    Finally, if you prefer unlimited headroom, it should be mentioned that Italdesign might have a roadster variant of the Zerouno in development. And to that we say – yes please.

    Exterior Dimensions

    Italdesign Zerouno Lamborghini Huracan
    Length (Inches) 190.8 175.6
    Width (Inches) 77.6 75.7
    Height (Inches) 47.4 45.9

    Interior


    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 708864

    Inside the Zerouno, you’ll once again find plenty of carbon fiber, just like the exterior components. The dash, central tunnel, and door panels are all made from the stuff, and the design is a mash up between the Huracan and a dedicated racing machine. We think the mesh looks great alongside the dark grey and black trim materials used for the new seat upholstery.

    Speaking of upholstery, the seats get a cool new design, complete with the company’s logo branded in the headrests. Openings at the shoulder level provide the slots for racing harnesses, while the Zerouno logo was placed here and there to remind you what you’re sitting in, including in the middle of the flat-bottom multi-function steering wheel. Just behind the steering wheel is Italdesign’s digital cockpit, but there are further digital screens in the dash providing info and control. Shift paddles are located on the steering wheel, per normal.


    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 708865
    “The seats get a cool new design, complete with the company’s logo branded in the headrests. Openings at the shoulder level provide the slots for racing harnesses.”

    And while the interior definitely has the appearance of a dedicated racer, the Zerouno maintains its street cred thanks to the inclusion of basic comfort features like air conditioning and climate control. Italdesign was also careful to retain various safety features like the airbags. This is a road car, after all.

    Drivetrain


    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727681

    Under all that fancy new carbon fiber skin, the Italdesign Zerouno is essentially a Lamborghini Huracan. The mechanical bits are more or less identical to the standard Lambo, and although Italdesign did mention that the Zerouno gets upgraded electrics and electronics, it’s not mentioned what exactly was upgraded in the switchover.

    Either way, the Zerouno gets a mid-mounted naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10, just like the Lambo (and Audi R8, for that matter). The same seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is also equipped, routing power to all four corners.

    “The Zerouno gets a mid-mounted naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10, just like the Huracan (and Audi R8, for that matter). The same seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is also equipped, routing power to all four corners.”

    Output is rated at a stout, Lambo-matching 610 horsepower at 8,250 rpm, while torque is rated at 560 Nm (413 pound-feet) at 6,500 rpm. Properly applied, that’s enough muscle to send the Zerouno from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.2 seconds. Top speed is rated at 330 km/h, or 205 mph. The fuel tank capacity is capped at 73 liters.

    All pretty standard stuff, to be honest. However, there is one new component Italdesign is proud to mention, as the Zerouno is equipped with a new exhaust system that terminates in twin 80 cm (31.5-inch) tips. Going along with the lightweight theme, the exhaust is constructed from titanium.

    Drivetrain Specifications

    Engine 5.2-liter V-10
    Horsepower 610 HP @ 8,250 RPM
    Torque 413 LB-FT @ 6,500 RPM
    0 to 62 mph 3.2 seconds
    Top Speed 205 mph

    Chassis And Handling


    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727679

    As you’d expect, the Italdesign Zerouno employs copious amounts of carbon fiber and aluminum for its modular chassis, offering the sort of low weight and high rigidity needed when claiming race car-esque handling capabilities. Further handling chops are provided by the carbon ceramic brakes, which get squeezed by 8 piston calipers in front and 6 piston calipers in the rear.

    “The tire compound used on the Zerouno was specially developed for the car.”

    Making the connection to the pavement is rubber from Pirelli, with the Italian performance tire company’s P-Zero compound. The P-Zero is a tire used frequently in motorsport, and indeed, as Italdesign points out, Pirelli is the exclusive tire supplier in Formula 1. The compound used on the Zerouno was specially developed for the car, with sizing rated at 245/30R20 in front and 305/30R20 in the rear. Buyers even get a selection of colors for the tire sidewall stripe, including white, red, yellow, or metallic grey.

    Prices


    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727675

    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 727678

    As previously stated, only five examples of the Italdesign Zerouno are to be created, with production concluding prior to the end of 2017.

    Interested buyers apparently get a variety of options and customization opportunities when creating their own Zerouno. “The five lucky owners of Zerouno will be able to maximize the customization of their cars so that each one will be truly unique,” says Italdesign.

    “Go for the optional Corsa package, and the Zerouno gets upgrades that make it into a track-only vehicle.”

    For starters, the exterior can be finished in any hue desired, or alternatively, it can get a raw carbon fiber look as well. Then there’s the optional Corsa package, which upgrades the aero even further and turns the car into a track-only vehicle, throwing in lightweight side mirrors, carbon fiber monocoque seat frames, a race-ready rear wing sporting a central longitudinal fin for further lateral stability, new wheel designs, and a competition-spec titanium muffler.

    What’s more, Italdesign is partnering with Roger Dubuis, a Geneva-based producer of high-end watches. The partnership includes access to an exclusive eight-piece watch from Roger Dubuis’ Excalibur Spider line, which, like the car, gets high-end materials like carbon and ceramic.

    “Pricing for the Zerouno is set at $1.7 million, and unsurprisingly, all five examples are already sold.”

    Pricing for the Zerouno is set at $1.7 million, and unsurprisingly, all five examples are already sold. However, if you’re really intent on grabbing one, rumor has it there’s already an example offered on the used market for a cool $3 million.

    Conclusion


    2018 Italdesign Zerouno - image 708866

    The roots of Italdesign can be traced back to 1968, with the company currently offering design work, project management, styling, engineering, and prototyping services. As of 2010, Lamborghini has controlling interest in the company, which explains recent projects like the Audi Q2, Giugiaro Gea, and GTZero.

    So the Zerouno is a good fit in the Italdesign portfolio. Framed as a vehicle for “collectors and visionary enthusiasts,” this is supposedly a race car for the road, with the driving philosophy being very low weight and effective aerodynamic enhancements, all with a unique styling approach.

    Per tradition, the Zerouno was built with engineers and designers working side-by-side to create something that looks good while still being technically impressive. Italdesign calls it “functional design,” and according to the company, “there are no styling proposals at Italdesign that do not also simultaneously embrace a technical solution.”

    “Per tradition, the Zerouno was built with engineers and designers working side-by-side to create something that looks good while still being technically impressive. There are, however, a few problems.”

    There are, however, a few problems. First off, the low weight – Italdesign doesn’t mention any weight savings at all over the standard Huracan production car, which leads us to believe the Zerouno weighs as much as the more commonplace Lambo.

    Secondly, the idea that this is a race car for the road doesn’t really line up with the mechanical bits. Sure, it’s fast, but it isn’t any faster than a normal Huracan, and that’s an issue when charging $1.7 million.

    Still, the fact Italdesign managed to easily sell all five is an indication that these problems aren’t really problems at all. The aero upgrades are enough to justify the cost, and we can be assured that the unique looks are paired with a substantial amount of functionality as well. And that’s great – now we just wanna see it run against the standard Huracan on a track.

    • Leave it
      • No upgrades to the powertrain or drivetrain
      • Incredibly expensive
      • Wouldn’t you prefer the roadster?

    References

    Lamborghini Huracan


    2015 - 2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 - image 536427

    Read our full review on the Lamborghini Huracan.

    Lamborghini Gallardo


    2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 - image 250448

    Read our full on the Lamborghini Gallardo.

    Italdesign GTZero


    2016 Italdesign GTZero Concept - image 667944

    Read our full review on the Italdesign GTZero.

    Giugiaro Gea


    2015 Italdesign Giugiaro Gea
- image 620174

    Read our full review on the Giugiaro Gea.

    Audi R8


    2017 - 2018 Audi R8 - image 618886

    Read our full review on the Audi R8.

    PostHeaderIcon All The World’s Fastest Cars Have Nothing On This Water-Powered Rocket Trike

    The race to be “the fastest and most powerful” is a real thing in the auto industry. But give me a car – the Bugatti Chiron, Koenigsegg One:1, or any of those hypercars – and I’ll raise you this water-powered rocket bike. If you want to talk about speed, this little devil goes in front of the line.

    This bike is the creation of a Francois Gissy, who some of you may remember as the same person who once trashed a Ferrari 430 Scuderia back in 2014 using a similar rocket-powered bicycle. Well, Gissy’s back in the news with a new creation that makes the Chirons and One:1s of the world look like tortoises by comparison. The Frenchman even went to the Circuit Paul Ricard in France to test out his new bike and, boy oh boy, serious fireworks happened. Imagine this: the water-powered rocket bike accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 0.55 seconds. 0.55 seconds! That’s almost four times faster than today’s fastest-accelerating supercars. That’s not all, either. Gissy also managed to cover a quarter-mile distance in 3.95 seconds, quicker than the 0-to-60-mph acceleration time of most of today’s sports cars.

    Here’s the craziest part, though. According to Gissy, the bike’s ungodly acceleration time creates G-forces that are far more brutal to the body than what astronauts experience when they’re launched into outer space. Gissy claims 5.13 Gs, to be exact. These numbers delivered by the water-powered rocket bike are beyond belief. Seriously, they sound ridiculous to the point of cartoonish. The good news is that for those who are skeptical of what Gissy was able to accomplish, there’s video evidence of him actually putting his creation to the test. Trust me when I tell you, it gets all sorts of crazy.

    References


    2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA - image 725644

    Check out more of our latest videos.

    PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 – Driven

    The BMW i8 has been around since the 2015 model year, but I’ve just recently had the chance to get behind the wheel. In fact, I had an entire week to play with it, driving it to mundane places like the grocery store and the parent pickup line at the kiddo’s school. As you might imagine, the i8 garnered plenty of attention wherever it went. And why not? It’s the sexiest machine in BMW’s current lineup and just as exotic as anything from Lamborghini or Ferrari. Yet under its Sophisto Grey paint and carbon fiber reinforced plastic body lies some of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced drivetrain components this side of Doc Brown’s DMC DeLorean and its Mr. Fusion nuclear reactor.

    The i8, along with its less athletically inclined brother, the i3, are the current members of BMW’s i Division. As BMW’s M Division is committed to high performance vehicles, the i Division is all about electrification. For the time being, the i Division has concentrated on gasoline-electric hybrids, combining the best of both worlds into an amalgamation of efficiency and sportiness while limiting the amount of gasoline needed. Holistically, the BMW i8 lives up to its hype, delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds, a top speed of 155 mph, an EPA-estimated 76 MPGe, and a combined rating of 28 mpg when the gasoline three-cylinder kicks on. But like most cutting-edge technology and exotic supercars, the everyday experience can be a bit compromised and challenging.

    Continue reading for the full review of the 2017 BMW i8.

    PostHeaderIcon BMW i8 – Driven

    The BMW i8 has been around since the 2015 model year, but I’ve just recently had the chance to get behind the wheel. In fact, I had an entire week to play with it, driving it to mundane places like the grocery store and the parent pickup line at the kiddo’s school. As you might imagine, the i8 garnered plenty of attention wherever it went. And why not? It’s the sexiest machine in BMW’s current lineup and just as exotic as anything from Lamborghini or Ferrari. Yet under its Sophisto Grey paint and carbon fiber reinforced plastic body lies some of the most sophisticated and technologically advanced drivetrain components this side of Doc Brown’s DMC DeLorean and its Mr. Fusion nuclear reactor.

    The i8, along with its less athletically inclined brother, the i3, are the current members of BMW’s i Division. As BMW’s M Division is committed to high performance vehicles, the i Division is all about electrification. For the time being, the i Division has concentrated on gasoline-electric hybrids, combining the best of both worlds into an amalgamation of efficiency and sportiness while limiting the amount of gasoline needed. Holistically, the BMW i8 lives up to its hype, delivering a 0-to-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds, a top speed of 155 mph, an EPA-estimated 76 MPGe, and a combined rating of 28 mpg when the gasoline three-cylinder kicks on. But like most cutting-edge technology and exotic supercars, the everyday experience can be a bit compromised and challenging.

    Continue reading for the full review of the 2017 BMW i8.

    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.

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