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Archive for the ‘sports cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Cracking the Porsche Code


PostHeaderIcon Looking For A Porsche 911 GT3? How Does A Fleet Of 18 Never-Driven Examples Sound?

We like the Porsche 911 GT3 – quite a lot, actually. It’s purposefully built, looks great, and goes like stink. However, this classified ad seeking a buyer for 18 fresh in-the-box examples looks to be a whole new level of devotion to the Stuttgart superstar.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Looking For A Porsche 911 GT3? How Does A Fleet Of 18 Never-Driven Examples Sound? - image 756664
“The Porsches are completely identical and come draped in white paint”

Sometimes when I get takeout, I like to buy a lot – you know, like three or four meals at a time, just to have ’em chilling in my fridge, ready to go in case I get hungry later on. This is kinda like that, except with high-powered six-figure German sports cars. You know, just in case.

The ad comes from a classifieds website in the Netherlands called Marktplaats, and appears to show 18 brand-spanking-new 2015 Porsche 911 GT3s, all lined up and parked in a giant warehouse. The whole lot of ’em are up for sale, but buyers can snack on just one, or binge on all 18, if the mood strikes them.

The Porsches are completely identical and come draped in white paint. Apparently, each has never been driven, either, and each also comes with the optional Club Sport Package.

For reference, the 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 makes 476 horsepower thanks to a rear-mounted all-atmosphere flat-six engine, with power routed to the rear axle by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The equipped Club Sport Package also makes them track-ready, throwing in goodies like an external fuel tank, six-point harnesses, black bucket seats, and a roll cage. It also appears as though they come with steel brakes, rather than Porsche’s carbon ceramic units.


Looking For A Porsche 911 GT3? How Does A Fleet Of 18 Never-Driven Examples Sound? - image 756665
“Why would anyone buy a fleet of 18 GT3's to simply park 'em? One Twitter user suggests they were originally intended for use on a race track that was never actually built, which makes sense”

So then, what’s the story here? Why would anyone buy a fleet of 18 GT3’s to simply park ’em? One Twitter user suggests they were originally intended for use on a race track that was never actually built, which makes sense.

For us, though, this feels like the Costco of top-shelf sports cars. We just wish there were more free samples to go with it.

Unfortunately, there’s no Costco-esque pricing here, as each unit is going for 134,500 euros (around $162,000), while all 18 are going for a cool 2.4 million euros (roughly $2.9 million). And that’s kinda pricey, as the same models would have gone for about $130,000 a pop here in the states.

But we wanna know – what would you do with 18 brand-new Porsche 911 GT3s? Let us know in the comments section below!

References

Porsche 911 GT3


2014 Porsche 911 GT3 - image 495277

Read our full review on the 2015 Porsche 911 GT3.


maker logos - image 744848

Read more Porsche news.

PostHeaderIcon Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2018 Lotus Evora GT410

2018 Lotus Evora GT410


Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2018 Lotus Evora GT410 - image 757671

Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2018 Lotus Evora GT410 - image 757672

Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2018 Lotus Evora GT410 - image 757674

Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2018 Lotus Evora GT410 - image 757678

Wallpaper Selections of the Day: 2018 Lotus Evora GT410 - image 757679

Read the Latest on the 2018 Lotus Evora GT410 or get up to speed on the 2017 Lotus Evoa Sport 410

Want to Know More?

Lotus Evora


2016 Lotus Evora 400 - image 617787

Read our full review on the 2016 Lotus Evora 400.


2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 - image 667203

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora 410.


2017 Lotus Evora GT430 - image 724277

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora GT430.

PostHeaderIcon The Lotus Evora GT410 Sport is a Sportier, Lighter Replacement for the Sport 410

Introduced in 2009 as the company’s flagship sports car, the Evora received its first significant update in 2015, when it was renamed the Evora 400. In early 2016, Lotus launched the Evora Sport 410, a lighter, quicker, and more powerful version. Two years have passed and the Evora Sport 410 is being retired, making way for a revised variant called the GT410 Sport. Slotted below the GT430, a model introduced in the summer of 2017, the GT410 Sport boasts minor improvements over its predecessor. And it’s coming to the U.S. later this year.


The Lotus Evora GT410 Sport is a Sportier, Lighter Replacement for the Sport 410 - image 757678
“The GT410 generates up to 96 kg of downforce at 190 mph, or 50 percent more than the outgoing Evora Sport 410.”

Styling-wise, the GT410 draws cues from the more hardcore GT430, including the carbon-fiber composite front access panel, roof, louvered tailgate, and rear spoiler. It also sports enlarged carbon-fiber ducts and a deep splitter up front, and a motorsport-derived diffuser at the rear. However, it didn’t get some of the GT430’s high-downforce elements, such as the canards on the sides of the front bumper and the big rear wing. Still, the GT410 generates up to 96 kg of downforce at 190 mph, or 50 percent more than the outgoing Evora Sport 410.

The sports car remains familiar inside the cabin, where Lotus made only slight changes compared to the previous model. The GT410 is available in both two-seat and 2+2 configurations, with the former getting optional carbon-fiber race seats. Optional Sparco seats are available for both layouts. The steering wheel, dashboard, door panels, transmission tunnel, centre console, and instrument panel are all trimmed in black Alcantara for a sporty look, but contrast stitching is available. Also available is the seven-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth functionality, satellite navigation, and reversing camera.


The Lotus Evora GT410 Sport is a Sportier, Lighter Replacement for the Sport 410 - image 757673
“The supercharged mill cranks out the same 410 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque as the outgoing model”

Under the rear hood lurks the same 3.5-liter V-6 engine as in the Sport 410. The supercharged mill cranks out the same 410 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque as the outgoing model. That’s a 20-horsepower and 23-pound-foot decrease compared to the range-topping GT430 model. Despite being 28 kg lighter than the Evora Sport 410 when fitted with the optional titanium exhaust and Ohlins TTX aluminum dampers, the GT410 isn’t quicker than its predecessor. The 0-to-60 mph sprint remains locked at 3.9 seconds with the automatic transmission and four clicks with the manual gearbox and Torsen limited-slip differential combo. The automatic version is two tenths slower than the GT430, but it’s not a deal breaker.

The Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, the Bilstein dampers, and the Eibach springs come standard. Customers who want a more road trip friendly Evora can get the touring suspension package (at no extra cost) with non-adjustable Bilstein dampers with touring specification and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.


The Lotus Evora GT410 Sport is a Sportier, Lighter Replacement for the Sport 410 - image 757672
“Customers who want a more road trip friendly Evora can get the touring suspension package (at no extra cost) with non-adjustable Bilstein dampers”

U.S. deliveries of the new Evora GT410 Sport will begin this summer. Expect this sports car to fetch in excess of $100,000 before options.

References

Lotus Evora


2016 Lotus Evora 400 - image 617787

Read our full review on the 2016 Lotus Evora 400.


2017 Lotus Evora Sport 410 - image 667203

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora 410.


2017 Lotus Evora GT430 - image 724277

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora GT430.

PostHeaderIcon McLaren 570GT Gets More Dynamic and Precise with New Sport Pack

Launched in 2016, the McLaren 570GT gave the Super Series lineup a new flavor with a package that’s less track focused and more road trip worthy than the 570S. While most of the styling and the drivetrain are identical to the coupe, the GT gained a side opening cargo hatch above the engine, improved sound insulation, and softer suspension settings. The car was well received by McLaren enthusiasts who wanted a less aggressive sports car, but some requested a more dynamic version of the 570GT. As a result, McLaren introduces the Sport Pack, a bundle of features that makes the GT as sporty and precise as the 570S.


McLaren 570GT Gets More Dynamic and Precise with New Sport Pack - image 757587
“The upgrade begins with standard carbon-ceramic brake discs and Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires”

The upgrade begins with standard carbon-ceramic brake discs and Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires. Various chassis features and electronics have been updated to 570S specs, including the steering rack, damper actuator calibration, active damping system, and Electronic Stability Control. All these features require an extra $5,590. This means that the 570GT Sport Pack will cost $205,440. That’s a $20,540 premium over the standard 570S. McLaren doesn’t mention any performance enhancements thanks to the package, so it’s safe to assume that the bundle doesn’t shorten acceleration times and doesn’t improve top speed.

Alongside the Sport Pack, McLaren introduced new MSO options for the 570GT, including the electrochromic roof with variable tint. Using an electric current to trigger a change in the opacity of the glass through a range of settings, the electrochromic roof includes three UV-filtering options for the 570GT.


McLaren 570GT Gets More Dynamic and Precise with New Sport Pack - image 757585
“The new Design Edition Packs combine popular exterior colors with the By McLaren Luxury Design Interior and cost less as a bundle than if specified separately”

Additionally, the 570GT now benefits from five new Design Edition Packs. These combine popular exterior colors with the By McLaren Luxury Design Interior and cost less as a bundle than if specified separately. The new 570GT Design Editions are Silica White exterior with Saddle Tan and Carbon Black interior, Pacific Blue with Jet Black and Areia (cream), Blade Silver with Natural Tan and Carbon Black, Fire Black with Jet Black and Areia, and Storm Grey with Jet Black and Almond White.

Finally, the new color and trim choices introduced with the 570S Spider are now available for the 570GT too. Customers can now order the car in Curacao Blue, Vega Blue, and Sicilian Yellow exterior paint colors, alongside three new By McLaren Designer Interiors. Other new options include lightweight 10-spoke forged alloy wheel and Liquid Black brake calipers and the reverse camera displayed in the center of the driver TFT instrument cluster.

References

McLaren 570


2017 McLaren 570GT - image 677573

Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 570GT.


2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651280

Read our full review on the 2016 McLaren 570S.

PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Porsche 911 Magazine Shows Some Incredible Stories Behind Porsche’s History

The Porsche 911 video magazine really is something else. It’s essentially an episodic web series that talks about Porsche. Each episode runs nine minutes and 11 seconds long because, well, that shows up as 9:11 on the time bar. Beyond the cute allusion to the 911 name, the episodes are rich in stories about the German automaker and everything about it.

Volume 5, or episode 5, of the 911 Magazine is no exception. The episode carries the theme, “Dreams,” and is divided into five different sub-episodes, beginning with Patrick Dempsey taking a trip to the island of Sylt in northern Germany with a 911 Carrera. The episode mostly features Dempsey taking in the scenery of the island and enjoying the picturesque sights with one of the finest Porsche 911 models ever built. From there, the episode dives into the racing success of the Porsche 956, the creation of the most improbable Porsche in history, a Porsche drifting in the snow, and an inside look at the TraumWerk, Hans-Peter Porsche’s incredible toy museum.

The third and fifth sub-episodes are the best ones of Volume 5. The former talks about the story of two twins — Knut and Falk Reimann — who lived in the communist-run GDR and, against all odds, managed to build their own homemade Porsche with some assistance from no less than Ferry Porsche himself. The latter is a treat to watch itself as it features Hans-Peter Porsche showcasing one of the most expansive and incredible toy collections in the world. Take the time to watch this episode of the 911 Magazine. You’re not going to regret it.


References


maker logos - image 744848

Read more Porsche news.


Video of the Day: Ford GT Meets the Arctic Circle - image 755824

Read more car video news.

PostHeaderIcon Video of the Day: Jeremy Clarkson Tries His Hand at Gymkhana: Video

Jeremy Clarkson is good at many things. He’s good at talking about cars. He’s good at driving some of them. And he’s good at pissing a lot of people of. He also claims to be good at drifting, something he showed in the last episode of The Grand Tour when he decided to have a go at recreating Ken Block’s famous Gymkhana stunt videos.

Of course, this is Jeremy Clarkson we’re talking about. A lot of his bombastic claims should be taken with a grain of salt. His stunt video, called “Farmkhana: Ultimate_Country_Playground,” is a perfect example of that. Watch it on a surface level, and you might even be convinced that Clarkson’s run across the playground is legitimate. He even makes faces while performing those intense burnouts. But take the time to study the video. Look at it closer, and you’ll start noticing how carefully edited it is. The shots from inside the Subaru STI show him mostly stationary — the face-making served as good distraction — while the shots of his feet slamming the pedals are far from conclusive since we don’t know if it’s actually doing it.

I will admit that Clarkson does know how to do a proper drift. He’s done it in front of a camera many times. But he’s nowhere near Block’s level when it comes to this kind of horse-playing. The latter is on another level. Fortunately, Clarkson and the show are in on the joke too when they released a short “Behind-The-Scenes” video of the stunt. It turns out; there was a lot of editing and failed stunts involved in the making of Farmkhana, including one scene where Clarkson failed to drift into a sheep pen, hitting and destroying its wooden enclosures every time.




References


Emirates Airlines Gets A Helping Hand From A Luxury Automaker On Designing Its First-Class Suites - image 744864

Read more Jeremy Clarkson news.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Is Hard At Work On A New V-12 Vanquish, Set To Debut This September

Aston Martin’s large-and-in-charge grand tourer, a.k.a the Vanquish, will soon get a highly anticipated overhaul, gaining extra speed thanks to a thumping turbo V-12 under the hood and new aero on the exterior body panels. The countdown has begun for interested customers, as the new Vanquish could hit dealers as early as this September.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Aston Martin Is Hard At Work On A New V-12 Vanquish, Set To Debut This September - image 695576
“The upcoming Vanquish is billed as a faster, more hardcore model with less of a focus on luxury than what came before it”

Rumor has it the new Vanquish is undergoing testing right now, with speculation fueled by recent spy shots that show a fresh test mule out on public roads and putting in laps at the Nurburgring. The upcoming Vanquish is billed as a faster, more hardcore model with less of a focus on luxury than what came before it, as confirmed by Aston head Andy Palmer in a recent interview with Autocar.

Although the oily bits under the skin of the new Vanquish first saw testing in the body panels of the new DB11, it’s expected that the production model will utilize a refreshed design, breaking from the old Vanquish’s decade-plus aesthetic. Recent spy shots reveal that the Vanquish will get a significant upgrade in the downforce department, modernizing the model’s ability to stick at speed.


Aston Martin Is Hard At Work On A New V-12 Vanquish, Set To Debut This September - image 695573
“Complementing the extra wing will be a new engine spec that throws in a boosted 5.2-liter V-12, the same lump currently in play under the hood of the new Aston DB11.”

Complementing the extra wing will be a new engine spec that throws in a boosted 5.2-liter V-12, the same lump currently in play under the hood of the new Aston DB11. However, in the Vanquish it should make a good deal more than the DB11’s 600 ponies, according to Autocar. As a reminder, the current Vanquish produces 580 horsepower from a 6.0-liter V-12.

Despite the shift in focus to ever-greater performance, the interior should also get a good amount of new stuff too, possibly drawing from the new layout seen in the latest Vantage, which just dropped last November.


Aston Martin Is Hard At Work On A New V-12 Vanquish, Set To Debut This September - image 695575
“The new Vanquish is expected to get a full reveal soon, with an on-sale date as early as September of this year”

“The majority of product investment [for the Vanquish] is finished,” Palmer told Autocar. “What’s left is preparation of manufacturing the car rather than preparation of the car itself.” He also added that the Vanquish was “bloody good.”

Sounds promising, no? The new Vanquish is expected to get a full reveal soon, with an on-sale date as early as September of this year. If it doesn’t drop in 2018, the Vanuqish will almost definitely see a release early in 2019. Following the coupe will be a convertible Volante model for those of you interested in unlimited headroom. Pricing for the hardtop is expected to slot in at around $300,000, more or less matching that of the outgoing model.

References

Aston Martin Vanquish


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S - image 695574

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S.


2014 - 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish - image 563425

Read our full review on the 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish.


maker logos - image 741345

Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon What the Hell is a Ferrari 488 Special Series Coupe?

Is Ferrari preparing a more hardcore version of the 488 supercar? That looks to be the case after documents from the California Air Resources Board revealed an unidentified 2018MY Ferrari that carried the name 488 Special Series Coupe. The CARB certification was published on January 2, 2018, after only being finalized two weeks prior. All signs point to this new Ferrari 488 making its debut in the early part of this year, possibly at the Geneva Motor Show in March.


What the Hell is a Ferrari 488 Special Series Coupe? - image 756198
“The number being touted is 700 horsepower, which, together with the expected weight-savings, could make for a more potent version of the 488 that can live up to the Prancing Horse’s GTO legacy.”

There are no details available about the model other than the fact that we’ve heard reports in the past that Ferrari was working on a more powerful version of the 488, reportedly called the 488 GTO. We’ve caught sight of a handful of 488 prototypes undergoing testing as early as 2016. There were even sightings last November of two versions of the car — a red one and a white one — doing some test runs.

We didn’t get a really good look at the two 488 mules, but we did notice the different bumper with the larger outlets and a new black trim that looks to be part of a more advanced aerodynamic package that will be included for weight-saving purposes. The CARB certification does not reveal details on car’s power output. We should at least expect it to produce more than the 660-horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque output of the existing 488 GTB. The number being touted is 700 horsepower, which, together with the expected weight-savings, could make for a more potent version of the 488 that can live up to the Prancing Horse’s GTO legacy.

It is worth mentioning that Ferrari’s 2018 model-year certification of the 488 Special Series Coupe means that the Italian automaker needs to have the model on sale before June. That timetable means that we could see the model make its debut in the coming months, with the most likely venue being the Geneva Motor Show this coming March.

References

Ferrari 488


2018 Ferrari 488 GTO - image 636191

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Ferrari 488 GTO.


2016 Ferrari 488 GTB - image 620086

Read our full review on the 2016 Ferrari 488 GTB.


maker logos - image 742470

Read more Ferrari news.

PostHeaderIcon KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering

Minor exterior improvements include

Launched back in 2008, the X-Bow (pronounced “crossbow”) is KTM’s only automobile to date. In 2015, the Austrian firm introduced the GT4, a closed cockpit version of the X-Bow built in cooperation with Reiter Engineering, one of Germany’s most important racing teams. Considered to be a pioneer vehicle of the GT4 category, the X-Bow GT4 has scored numerous victories and titles in the GT4 European Series, Pirelli World Challenge, VLN, China GT, Thailand Superseries, and Australian GT in less than four years. Come 2018 and KTM is updating the race car for the upcoming motorsport season.

While exterior changes are rather mild and the cabin carries over unchanged, save for a few new techy bits, the X-Bow GT4 boasts many new features under the skin. There is a new transmission and some new chassis components, all designed to increase performance, increase mileage, and reduce running costs. “Although we already have a GT4 vehicle that offers one of the best values for money – just take a look at the VLN where there’s no other car that runs faster lap times for less money – we want to further reduce the costs for the teams and the drivers with these updates,” said Reiter Engineering boss Hans Reiter.

So what’s new for 2018? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the KTM X-Bow GT4.

What makes the KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering special

  • Revised aerodynamics
  • New front splitter
  • Carbon-fiber interior
  • New control panel
  • GT3-spec Motorsport Traction Control
  • LMP-style headrest
  • 2.0-liter Audi engine
  • 360 horsepower
  • New Holinger transmission
  • Motec M142 engine control unit
  • Lower running costs

2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering - image 754540
“The race car sports the same aggressive design with angular lines and canopy-style roof”

At first glance, the revised X-Bow GT4 is identical to the previous model, launched in 2015. The race car sports the same aggressive design with angular lines, the canopy-style roof, and the big wing atop the decklid. But there are a few design changes to talk about upon closer inspection. For starters, the carbon-fiber splitter is now rounder. The grille under the nose has a different configuration too, with the the posts sitting at an angle on each side of the revised radiator mesh.

We can see minor changes around the side pods and redesigned wheels but other than that, nothing has changed around the sides. Upgrades to the rear fascia are also mild but the rear wing is now narrower toward the top. KTM doesn’t say how this change affects aerodynamics but it should decrease aerodynamic drag and improve handling.


2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering - image 754538
“The X-Bow GT4 now has a new user-friendly control panel with a Motorsport Traction Control system”

The story is pretty much the same inside the cabin, with only mild modifications applied to the original cockpit. Almost every panel is made from carbon-fiber and there’s little room for more than the basic racing gear. The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara and features no fewer than 10 buttons, while the remaining controls are placed on the narrow center console. But while the layout was carried over unchanged, the X-Bow GT4 now has a new user-friendly control panel that gives the driver access to the new Motorsport Traction Control system borrowed from GT3 racing. Finally, the driver’s seat benefits from an LMP-style headrest.

Under the hood, the X-Bow GT4 continues with the Audi-sourced, 2.0-liter engine that’s offered in all KTM models. The turbocharged unit cranks out 360 horsepower, a hefty amount for a vehicle that tips the scales at only 2,200 pounds. The unit mates to a brand-new transmission made by Holinger and designed to handle up to 700 Nm (516 pound-feet) of torque. The new transmission is also more durable, with KTM claiming it can withstand 10,000 km (6,214 miles) of race track action. That’s double the mileage of the previous gearbox.


2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering - image 754537
“The unit mates to a brand-new transmission made by Holinger”

There’s also a new Motec M142 engine control unit, which replaces the previous Series ECU, and a complete motorsport cable harness with electronic fuse box. KTM says that the mileage of the chassis components, such as the wishbones or the GT3 central locking wheel hubs, has been increased to 20,000 km (12,427 miles).

All these upgrades are supposed to push the running costs of the X-Bow GT4 down to €3.90 per km (about $7.36 per mile). This means that a lap around the Red Bull Ring and Brands Hatch, two popular venues in GT4 European Series, would cost around €16.8 and €15.2, respectively. Of course, once you add up the many laps that make up a full race, costs can increase to more than €2,000 per event, but this is pretty reasonable in the expensive world of motor racing.

Speaking of costs, the X-Bow GT4 is priced at €152,360. Only 15 units will be built by the end of Spring 2018, but production for February is already sold out, so there might not be many examples left.

References

KTM X-Box


2015 KTM X-Bow GT4 - image 616272

Read our full review on the 2015 KTM X-Bow GT4.


KTM X-Bow
- image 148438

Read our full review on the 2008 KTM X-Bow.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic Type R – Driven (Again)

The Honda Civic Type R has quite a legacy to its name, though none of it happened on American soil. Thankfully, that’s changed for 2017 as Honda has finally brought the Type R Stateside. In fact, its turbocharged engine is made in Ohio before being shipped to Wiltshire, England for assembly in the car. That’s right, this Japanese hot hatch has an American heart and is born in Britain. How’s that for multi-cultural? But more than that, the Type R’s appearance on U.S. soil means we finally have the chance to compare it to its fiercest rivals – the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volkswagen Golf R.

As it turns out, I’ve driven each of the competitors. Each are immensely fun and worthy of loads of respect over their engineering and outright impressive performance. The Type R joins those ranks with the same impressive level of technical wizardry and high-tech manufacturing techniques. I’ll dive into some of that, along with comparing it to the RS, Subi, and Golf R. It will be a fun ride, so read along.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.


Exterior

  • Unique bodywork creates downforce
  • 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels
  • Sticky 245/30R Continental SportContact 6 tires

2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754482
“The Type R spent many hours in wind tunnel testing during its development and everything (mostly) serves a purpose.”

The Civic Type R is definitely a hot hatch by appearance. Honda has attached things like a chin splitter, hood scoop, rocker extensions, wider fenders, and that massive rear wing. Oh, and that’s in addition to the regular spoiler and large faux air intakes that carries over from the regular Civic Hatchback. Needless to say, the Type R is aggressive. Thankfully, the car’s bite matches its bark and the styling isn’t just for looks.

The Type R spent many hours in wind tunnel testing during its development. Everything (mostly) serves a purpose. The grille is separated into three sections; the large lower portion directs air to the turbochargers’ intercooler, the slot below the Honda logo directs air to the radiator, and the slot above the logo feeds the engine a cool blast of fresh air. There’s also the hood scoop. No, it doesn’t have some cool ram-air effect, but rather sends air behind the transversely mounted engine to both keep temperatures in check and to relieve air pressure under the hood.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754488
“The Type R is not a top-speed machine gunning for 150+ mph records, but every little bit of traction is welcomed when blasting down a racetrack.”

Other aero bits like the chin splitter and fins below the fog lights help generate downforce, while small vortex generators on the roof help direct air over the tall wing. The Type R is not a top-speed machine gunning for 150+ mph records, but every little bit of traction is welcomed when blasting down a racetrack.

Part of the Type R’s prodigious handling prowess comes from its wheel and tire combination. It rolls on lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 245/30R Continental SportContact 6 summer performance tires. For those not experts in tire sizes, 30-series sidewalls are about as tall as a pancake. It offers very little deflection and give – a necessity for that riding-on-rails feeling the Type R exhibits. The downside is, well, very little deflection and give. That makes the ride rather harsh on rough, broken pavement. It also makes those thin-spoked wheels a prime target for potholes. Still, the tradeoff is worth it; the Type R is a handling monster. But more on that later. As for looks, the wheel and tire combination is fantastic. I really appreciate the red ring the rim’s outer edge and how it matches the red accent running along the faux carbon fiber body kit.

Interior

  • Honda-developed front bucket seats
  • Red accents throughout
  • Suede stitching for contrast
  • 7.0-inch Infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • Seating for four life-sized adults
  • 25.7/46.2 cubic feet of cargo room

2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754508
“Compared to its rivals, the Type R takes second only to the Volkswagen Golf R.”

Honda engineers, designers, and bean counters had to devise an interior that added that something special while maintaining as many parts from the standard Civic as possible. In my view, they accomplished this compromise rather well. The Type R gets unique, Honda-built racing buckets up front, some faux carbon fiber accenting, a unique steering wheel, yards of suede and contrast stitching, and of course, splashes of red everywhere.

Not only are the seats red, but the steering wheel is accented in red, the dash has red hues, the seatbelts are red – heck, even the shift pattern engraved into the stainless steel knob is red. It goes a long way in adding that sporty feel to a cabin that is otherwise found in your sister’s Civic Touring. Don’t get me wrong; the Civic-y parts of the Type R are still relatively high quality and in no way detract from the Type R experience. In fact, I rather like the Type R’s interior. Compared to its rivals, the Type R takes second only to the Volkswagen Golf R – a car that’s known for its impressive Audi-like fineness and tasteful design. On the other hand, the Subaru’s interior feels dated while the Ford’s feels made from oily yet scratchy plastic found on public transportation.


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“There is 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded”

The other handy carry0ver from the standard Civic Hatchback is its cargo volume. There is 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded. That outdoes the Focus RS and Golf R with the seats in place, though the Golf R offers 52.7 cubic feet with its seats folded. The Civic also has a sliding shade hides cargo from prying eyes and glaring sunbeams. Since the Type R spent Christmas at my house, it spent time hauling presents back and forth to the in-law’s house. Aside from the massive rolling toolbox Santa brought my way, the Type R transported everything just fine.

Honda’s infotainment system offers plenty of functionality, too. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with satellite radio and GPS navigation. These come standard, of course, being that the Type R is a mon0-spec car based on the nicely equipped Civic Touring trim. Sadly, Honda left out the Civic Touring’s standard Honda Sensing safety suite and power-adjustable front seats in order to save on weight. While I’m ecstatic about the 3,100-pound curb weight, the absence of blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection, and other features is a bit disappointing. Then again, the large side mirrors and surprisingly open rear visibility meant never really needing the driving aids.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754517
“Unfortunately, the Civic’s 7.0-inch infotainment system hasn’t received that update”

Other features I miss is lumbar adjustment on the front seats and a knob for the radio volume. The Honda-developed racing buckets are great, but added adjustability would be welcomed. The missing knob has already been addressed in other Honda products since most everybody complained about the touch-sensitive slider. Unfortunately, the Civic’s 7.0-inch infotainment system hasn’t received that update. Redundant steering wheel controls help alleviate the issue.

It’s also worth pointing out I never had connection issue with the satellite radio during my week-long evaluation. That wasn’t the case during the Type R launch event in western Washington State. Apparently the mountainous terrain played havoc with the radio and GPS. Here in Central Florida where the tallest objects are pine trees, music flowed freely from the 540-watt sound system’s 12 speakers.

And speaking of speakers, the system includes all the standard connectivity methods. There is Bluetooth, along with a USB port hidden in a lower level below the center stack near the footwell. A pass-through with cord snaps allows for excellent management of cables, too. A second USB port is hidden deep below the cup holders in the center console.

Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm
  • 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Limited-slip differentials
  • 5.4 seconds to 60 mph
  • 22 mpg city / 28 mpg hwy / 25 mpg comb

2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754504
“A high-tech, all-aluminum 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a turbocharger capable of producing 23.2 pounds of boost”

Behind that aggressive front bodywork is high-tech, all-aluminum 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a turbocharger capable of producing 23.2 pounds of boost. That’s impressive, especially for an automaker relatively new to the turbocharger game. What isn’t new is Honda’s legendary VTEC system. This valvetrain design modulates the phasing on its dual overhead camshafts to change the amount of valve lift and duration seamlessly through the rev range. The result is a torque-rich lower register and a powerful upper range. The numbers don’t lie: it makes 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm.

The engine also features direct fuel injection for precise management of fuel flow into each cylinder. A lightweight crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons, along with sodium-filled exhaust valve stems, contribute to the engine’s quick-revving nature. Blip the throttle and the tach shoots from idle to its 7,000-rpm redline in a blink.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754503
“The numbers don’t lie: it makes 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm.”

The engine dumps its exhaust into a single pipe that runs though the transmission tunnel past the rear subframe. Once there, the pipe splits into three sections. The outer pipes feed mufflers while the center pipe feeds a resonator. That’s why there are three exhaust tips on the Type R. At higher revs, the outer mufflers handle the exhaust, while the center resonator is designed for low to mid-level revs. The resonator helps reduce the booming noises typically heard from inside the cabin of a four-cylinder car.

The Type R comes standard with one transmission: a six-speed manual. To the delight and enjoyment of enthusiasts and owners everywhere, the gearbox is super sweet to operate with short throws and snickety engagements into each notch. The clutch is a joy, too, with a light action and a predictable engagement point. It makes driving the Type R around town completely trouble-free. Combine that with the automatic rev matching, and the Type R’s gearbox ranks very high in the halls of legendary manual transmissions.

Unlike its competition, power to sent only to the Type R’s front wheels. While that might seem like a cheap cop-out on Honda’s part, the Type R’s light curb weight and nimble handling prove Honda engineers made a conscious decision to keep the Type R’s legacy of front-wheel drive. Honda does stack its deck by using a limited-slip differential.


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“Also a key player in putting power to the ground is the Type R’s dual-axis front suspension”

Also a key player in putting power to the ground is the Type R’s dual-axis front suspension. Basically, the steering knuckle is mounted further away from the MacPherson strut with its upper and lower ball joints creating a parallel line with the strut. By either physics or black magic, this reduces torque steer, making the car easier to handle without white-knuckling the steering wheel.

Performance wise, the Type R does lag slightly behind the Focus RS and WRX STI in straight-line runs. The Focus RS hits 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and the Subi does it quicker at 4.6 seconds. The Type R needs roughly 5.4 seconds. There are reports of some folks pulling off a 4.9-second run, however.

When not being driven like it’s stolen, the Type R returns relatively decent fuel economy. The EPA estimates it will achieve 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. During my week of evaluation, I averaged right at 23.1 mpg combined over roughly 300 miles of very mixed driving without trying for good economy. I have no doubt the Civic Type R is capable of hitting 25 mpg combined when driven respectably.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 2.0-liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder
Horsepower 306 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 295 pound-feet @ 2,500 – 4,500 rpm
Max RPM 7,000
Valvetrain DOHC; i-VTEC
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Max Boost 23.2 PSI
Fuel System Direct injection; Premium Unleaded
Fuel Economy 22 city / 28 hwy / 25 comb

Behind the Wheel


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754506
“The Type R has three drive modes that drastically alter its behavior.”

Few cars I’ve driven exhibit the same kind of tossability and power as the Type R. It’s like driving a Mazda MX-5 Miata with an extra 151 horsepower and 245-series summer performance tires. The Type R has three drive modes that drastically alter its behavior. Comfort mode softens the adaptive dampers, dulls the throttle response, and eases the steering effort for a somewhat relaxed driving experience. Sport mode, the default mode upon start-up, heightens all three parameters. This makes the Civic Type R feel poised and capable of taking on twisty roads without being too high-strung for its own good.

For the racetrack, there’s +R mode. It dials the dampers, throttle, and steering to 11, making the Type R feel invincible. No, it doesn’t somehow make its 306 horsepower feel like the Focus RS’ 350, but +R mode makes the Honda’s horses run like a scalded dog.

Honda’s heavily bolstered front buckets seats do a magnificent job at holding bottoms in place. Their suede and mesh coverings grip rather well. The steering wheel is also fun to hold, though it’s surprisingly free of extra-thick grips, which is fine by me.


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“All told, the Type R is a well-balanced machine that is a terror at the track and a babe on the boulevard”

Also surprising is the view through the back glass. That tall wing does not impede the driver’s sight lines of traffic. Thin pillars and a tall roof also contribute to excellent views of the outside world. And as mentioned, those large side mirrors do a fine job.

All told, the Type R is a well-balanced machine that is a terror at the track and a babe on the boulevard. It is surprisingly capable of doing both, though it’s not without compromise. Those thin sidewalls on the Continental tires and lack of thick sound deadening material inside the cabin contribute to loads of road noise, especially on rough pavement. And despite the center resonator’s best efforts, the exhaust does drone somewhat when the engine is under load at lower revs. Last but not least, Honda decided to bury the HVAC controls within the infotainment screen. You’ve got to press the climate button below the 7.0-inch screen to load the HVAC menu screen. Only here is the vent fan speed and most of the auxiliary functions like defrost and vent location controllable. Thankfully, the dual-zone temperature knobs are within easy reach of the front occupants. The two passengers in the back seat made do with no vents at all.

Pricing


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The 2017 Honda Civic Type R is a mono-spec car, meaning it only comes one way and every one has the same features. The customer’s only choice is the exterior color and what add-on accessories the dealership will install. That means pricing is pretty simple – at least for the most part. Honda is charging $33,900 for the Type R, plus an $875 destination fee, bringing the total price to $34,775.

Unfortunately, Honda dealerships have reportedly been charging exorbitant amounts of mark-up. I’ve heard some dealers adding as much as $20,000 to the price! Thankfully, those instances seem to be isolated and most Type Rs are going for at or slightly above the MSRP.

The Competition

2017 Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

The Ford Focus RS is the current horsepower and whiz-bang tech champ of this hot-hatch group. Its aesthetics are, in my view, a bit more restrained yet still appropriate for a 350-horsepower car. It offers optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which are the current go-to choice for supercars the world over. They are wrapped around lightweight alloy wheels which cover big Brembo brakes. Inside, Ford didn’t really do much to update the interior. The front seats are from Recaro, the steering wheel has a flat bottom and thick grips, and there is an extra gauge pod perched on the dashboard. Beyond that, the RS’s cabin looks like any rental-grade Focus – and that’s too bad.

What the Focus RS lacks in interior swag, it more than makes up for with power. A 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder generates 350 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque at only 3,200 rpm. The turbocharged engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission that is then connected to a sophisticated AWD system. The AWD offers a rear-bias that makes the car more fun to toss around. Ford was even crazy enough to install a “drift mode,” which allows the car to fling sidewise like Ken Block himself is at the wheel.

Pricing is a bit steep for the RS. For 2017, Ford is charging $36,120. However, that doesn’t include the sticky Michelin tires, eight-way power driver’s seat, navigation, or several other comfort and convenience features. Check all the option boxes and the price will shoot to $41,550, just like the Focus RS reviewed here.

2018 Subaru WRX STI


2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven - image 722048

Okay, so the Subaru WRX STi isn’t a hatchback, but it used to be. That legacy still keep this sedan barking up the same tree as the Focus RS, VW Golf R, and the new Civic Type R. And like those others, the WRS STI is based on an everyday car found basically everywhere. In the Subaru’s case, it’s the Impreza. However, there’s a catch. The 2018 Impreza is completely new, having undergone a generational update for the 2017 model year. The WRX STI and its middle-ground brother, the WRX, are sadly based on the previous generation Impreza. Nevertheless, both WRX version received a slight update for 2018, getting a more angular front end, larger wheels fitted over larger brakes, and a few updates to the interior.

Most of the greasy bits are still the same, however. Power comes from a 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer four-cylinder making 305 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 290 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. A six-speed manual is the only gearbox. Subaru swapped in a new electrical center differential over the older mechanical one found in previous models. It’s sais to improve smoothness and responsiveness in the AWD drivetrain. It still allows for manual adjustment of the differential’s lock-up.

Pricing for the 2018 Subaru WRX STI starts at $36,095. Subaru does offer different trim levels with the WRX STI. The one seen here is a Limited trim and commands $40,895.

2016 Volkswagen Golf R


2016 Volswagen Golf R - Driven - image 692469

The VW Golf R is definitely the sleeper of the bunch. Its exterior isn’t cladded with big aero bits or low-hanging chin splitters. Rather, the Golf R looks rather mature. That’s certainly welcomed after spending a week with each of the other contenders. Less people point and stare, which for me, is a good thing. Those who like their ego stroked might not feel the same way. Inside, the maturity level continues. Aside from the somewhat extra-bolstered front seats and flat-bottom steering wheel, the Golf R doesn’t screen hot-hatch. Rather, it lets its engine do all the talking.

And talk it will! The Golf R comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 292 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque at only 1,800 rpm and hold a flat torque curve to 5,500 rpm. While the numbers suggest the Golf R is underpowered, it certainly doesn’t feel that way from behind the wheel. The VW is also the only contender here to offer a dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s a quick-shifting bugger, but the standard six-speed manual gearbox is the enthusiasts choice.

Pricing for the 2016 Golf R I last reviewed started at $35,650, but carried an as-tested price of $39,375 thanks to options like the $820 DSG gearbox.

Conclusion


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754483

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R was clearly designed to compete against some fantastic hardware without copying their recipe. Honda ditched the idea of AWD or having exorbitant levels of horsepower from an overworked engine. Rather, the Type R is a focused, lightweight car with an engine that should hold up well past 150,000 miles. That’s no knock on the Ford, Subaru, or Volkswagen’s reliability, but there is something to be said for Honda’s reputation for trouble-free service.

From behind the wheel, the Type R feels extremely sorted and well built while offering an exhilarating drive that’s more than capable of landing drivers in jail. Its three drive modes allow for a range of attitudes, while its large trunk makes it usable for everyday tasks and grocery store runs.

The Type R could still use some more sound insulation to reduce tire noise, a volume knob for the radio, and physical HVAC controls that aren’t buried in the infotainment system. Still, the Type R is a fantastic daily driver and even better backroad burner. Honda definitely did its homework when developing the car and pricing it below its competitors. As for which one to buy, it boils down to personal preference. All four hot hatches offer outstanding performance and everyday livability, but go about that mission in different ways with different personalities. Take your pick and you won’t be wrong, but the Honda definitely makes a very strong case for itself.

  • Leave it
    • * Styling too aggressvie for some
    • * Needs a more fun exhuast note
    • * Loses all-weather capability had by classmates

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754506

2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754485

Here’s How Honda Manages Air on the 2017 Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754504

The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754489

Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R’s Suspension


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754481

Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver


2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Type R.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719346

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Type R.

PostHeaderIcon Genovation GXE, the Electric Corvette, Gets More Power for its Pre-Production Debut at CES

Will wonders ever cease? It certainly doesn’t seem like it. Remember that electric Corvette from Genovation Cars that hit 200 mph in 2016 before being show off at Pebble Beach? Well, it will make another public appearance at the 2018 CES show in January, but this time with 800 horsepower and more than 700 pound-feet of torque on tap – figures that promise to push it to the 220-mph mark and all without the use of any dino juice… Oh, what a time to be alive.

Based on the C7 Corvette that’s about to be retired to make way for a new generation, the GXE was originally rated at just 492 kilowatts or around 660 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of twist. Those aren’t bad figures for an electric beast, that’s for sure. We’re not sure how Genovation did it, but it’s managed to provide the world with updated specs that now include an extra 140 ponies and at least 100 more pound-feet of torque. Those figures are pretty staggering, but even more so, when you consider the Corvette ZR1 delivers just 755 ponies and 715 pound-feet. Of course, this news also comes with more goodies too, including an updated specs sheet that promises a 60-mph sprint in less than three seconds and a top speed that peaks more than 220 mph.

There is a downfall, however, as that GXE Electric Vette won’t get you very far and you better not expect a fun day at the track. Despite the fact that battery technology is on the up and up, this baby only gets 130 miles or so from its 60-kWh battery pack, and there’s no word on charging time, either. So, when you shell out the $750,000 for one of those 75 models being created don’t expect to do a whole lot with it outside of some occasional playing or trotting back and forth around town.








References

Chevrolet Corvette


2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - image 526921

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette.


maker logos - image 752756

Read more CES news.

PostHeaderIcon Do New Patent Images Reveal Forthcoming Honda NSX Type R?

Recently published patent images show that Honda has a new, simplified air dam design that increases strength and rigidity, while simultaneously improving air flow as well. The patents also show what appears to be the new air dam attached to a second-generation NSX, spurring rumors that the H Badge could be cooking up a go-faster Type R iteration of its hybrid supercar.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Do New Patent Images Reveal Forthcoming Honda NSX Type R? - image 754850
“These intakes use a mesh insert to help keep random rocks and sticks and small squirrels and other random road debris from entering the dam and damaging the cooling system”

The recently published images are a novel take on traditional air dam design. Typically, these intakes use a mesh insert to help keep random rocks and sticks and small squirrels and other random road debris from entering the dam and damaging the cooling system. However, Honda’s latest design instead employs crossbars to block the incoming debris, which then act as supports for the dam, helping to keep it stiff, while simultaneously easing the flow of atmosphere. The design is certainly useful for sports cars, but as the patent states, the design can also be applied to other segments.

However, as pointed out by our friends over at Motor1, the air dam design is clearly applied to the Honda NSX in the patent images, thus padding rumors that Honda is already working on a lighter, simplified iteration of its halo performance machine. That means that with the next product cycle, the NSX could very well carry the Type R badge.


Do New Patent Images Reveal Forthcoming Honda NSX Type R? - image 754847
“With the next product cycle, the NSX could very well carry the Type R badge.”

We certainly hope so. We’ve already put together a speculative review and rendering for such a machine, and we’ve got our fingers crossed it comes with the power gains (700 horsepower) and aggressive weight reduction we expect.

Either way, the air dam patent in question was filed in June of 2016, which means we might see the design in the real world very soon, where it’s on a Type R’d NSX or no.

As a reminder, the current NSX comes equipped with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 and no less than three electric motors, all of which help pump out 573 horsepower. Routing the muscle is a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, while AWD puts it to the pavement. A sprint to 60 mph takes 3 seconds flat, while top speed is rated at 191 mph.

References

Acura NSX


2016 Acura NSX - image 640464

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura NSX.


2017 Acura NSX Type R - image 680959

Read our full speculative review on the 2018 Honda NSX Type R.

PostHeaderIcon Focus RS Coolant Problem Finally Solved: Ford Used the Wrong Head Gasket

At this point, just about everyone knows about the big coolant-burning problem with the Ford Focus RS. As it turns out, it’s not a problem with the engine at all, but really a problem with the head gasket used to seal the mating surface between the cylinder head and the engine block. One Focus RS owner had been digging into the problem for quite some time, reporting this problem to a very long thread on FocusRS.org forums. Upon getting his engine apart found that his head gasket was, indeed, blown. But, it’s not the fault of the gasket itself, as the gasket wasn’t designed for the Focus RS – it was designed for the Eco Boost Mustang, as evidenced by the part number cast into the metal portion of the gasket itself.

Keep reading to learn more about this breaking development

Your Focus RS has a bad Head Gasket? Nope.. It’s the Wrong Gasket


The images you see in the tweet above were originally posted on FocusRS.org and later investigated by Bozi Tatarevic. Upon noticing that the part number was likely that of the gasket for the 2.3-liter found in the EcoBoost Mustang. After reaching out to a parts supplier, who has requested to remain anonymous, it was actually confirmed that that part number was marked as originally being built for the EcoBoost:

And, this is where things get interesting because it’s commonly believed that the EcoBoost Mustang and the Focus RS have the same engine crammed under the hood. That, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. There are lots of differences, including different materials used in the composition of the block and cylinder heads. Despite the fact that the engines are the same displacement, and even look somewhat similar at some angles, they are actually unique to one another, which means the coolant passages between the block and cylinder head of the RS are different than those in the engine of the EcoBoost. As such, the incorrect gasket in the Focus RS causes a coolant blockage. This ends up resulting in a hotspot within that part of the engine or cylinder head. The coolant eventually boils and is forcefully pushed out between the mating surface – blowing the head gasket.


Focus RS Coolant Problem Finally Solved: Ford Used the Wrong Head Gasket - image 664711
“The problem is limited to early models and maybe 3 percent of the entire production run, so it only affects a handful of models in the grand scheme of things”

As for how this happened remains unclear. It could have been a simple mistake in the rush to get production going. After all, there was a problem with Ford hitting its delivery targets and a ton of drama around it; mistakes happen when you rush. The problem is limited to early models and maybe 3 percent of the entire production run, so it only affects a handful of models in the grand scheme of things. The chances are that someone grabbed the wrong crate in a hurry and, since the engines are so similar, nobody noticed the problem.

Ford, so far, has been sending customers that have fallen victim to this problem back to the dealer for warranty repair, but now you really have to ask: Have the hot spots created by the lack of coolant flow pose any risk to the engine down the road? Is there a higher chance of engine or component failure? An official word from Ford or an official fix has yet to be announced, but with all of this new information coming to light, you can bet the blue oval with start investigating. Ford will likely continue to replace the head gaskets, only under recall instead of warranty, but with any luck, customers will find themselves getting all new engines – it would be an easy way to ensure there won’t be any other problems as a result of this seemingly minor but catastrophic production mistake.


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664713
“Ford, so far, has been sending customers that have fallen victim to this problem back to the dealer for warranty repair”

What do you make of all of this? Are you one of Ford’s customers that are dealing with this problem? If so, leave us a comment below telling us what you expect the official fix to be.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664705

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel

A
Rallye Red 2017 Honda Civic Type R has graced my driveway for the last week. Visible from my office window, the hot hatch just begs to be driven – and driven hard. It’s a Nürburgring-tuned monster with an appetite for the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volkswagen Golf R, yet is rather livable doing everyday, mundane trips around town. Honda somehow engineered the Type R to do both, though the phrase about being a jack of all trade and master of none definitely applies.

The Type R is based on the Civic Hatchback but receives extra structural adhesives for a more rigid chassis. It also gets a unique suspension system, complete with adaptive dampers, stiffer spring rates, and thicker anti-roll bars. And of course, the Type R has its own powertrain – a souped-up version of the Accord’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Here it makes 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 up to 4,500 rpm. Honda chose to forego a complex and heavy all-wheel-drive system like the Ford, Subaru, and Volkswagen; instead, going with a front-wheel drive setup that allows for an extremely respectable curb weight of only 3,100 pounds. It’s this combination of light weight and rigidity that make the Type R what it is. And now that you know Honda’s recipe, here’s how the final product tastes.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

Behind the Wheel


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754508
“The Civic’s dash is visually interesting and most controls are logically arranged.”

Before diving into driving impressions, let’s cover Honda’s work with the 10th-generation Civic’s interior and the Type R improvements. First, the Civic’s dash is visually interesting and most controls are logically arranged. The gauges are easy to read at a glance, the steering wheel controls are mostly intuitive, and the infotainment system’s menus are easy to breeze through.

There are a few complaints, though. The gauge cluster could offer more vehicle information like individual tire pressure, and the five-way controller on the steering wheel confusingly operates both the radio stations and the gauge cluster info. Second, the HVAC system’s controls are hidden in a menu within the infotainment. Yeah, there’s a big “climate” button right under the screen, but the system often takes a few seconds to bring up the controls. These include the fan speed and blower location – two things that are commonly used. Beyond that, thankfully there are few drawbacks.


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“It offers tons of cubby spots and clever spaces for things”

Scoring points for handiness, the Civic offers tons of cubby spots and clever spaces for things. The center armrest slides rearward for access to more cup holders, a third cupholder resides at the console’s bottom – perfect for those Trenta-sized drinks at Starbucks. Ahead of the shifter is a perfect spot for cell phones. The cubby includes a pass-through to a lower level where a USB port and 12-volt power plug are located. This makes managing cords a simple task.

Honda made a big deal about its sporty front seats at the Type R launch event I attended. They aren’t Recaro or Sparco branded, but are actually designed and built in-house. The seats are obviously heavily bolstered, which makes tossing the Type R into corners all the more fun. They do lack a lumbar adjustment, which I discovered after about three hours behind the wheel, does lead to a groaning. My pregnant wife also bemoaned them after about five minutes. Still, they are mostly very comfortable and certainly fit the Type R’s persona.


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“There is a respectable amount of legroom and headroom for life-size adults”

Rear seat comfort is surprisingly good, too. There is a respectable amount of legroom and headroom for life-size adults. Unfortunately, the center seat and folding armrest were cut in the name of weight savings, making inboard elbows lonesome and the Type R a four-person car.

Of course, the Type R is still a hatchback, so it offers the same cargo volume as the standard Civic Hatch. That equates to 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded. A retractable cargo shade keeps prying eyes at bay.

Driving Impressions


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“A light steering effort is needed in Comfort, while a heavy hand is needed in +R mode, which helps control the car’s dartiness at higher speeds”

The Civic Type R rides on adaptive dampers that correlate to three drive modes. Comfort, naturally, provides the smoothest ride, while Sport tightens things up a bit. Racetracks will find +R mode is best, with the suspension at its firmest. The drive modes also modulate the responsiveness of the steering and throttle. A light steering effort is needed in Comfort, while a heavy hand is needed in +R mode, which helps control the car’s dartiness at higher speeds. The low-effort setting makes for a more pleasurable drive around town. The opposite is true for the throttle; comfort mode has a heavy throttle that’s less sensitive, while +R mode only requires a light touch to send the 2.0-liter turbo-four skyrocketing to its 7,000-rpm redline. Sport mode splits the difference quite well.

Around town, Sport mode (which is the default mode) is all that’s needed. The engine willingly sings through its wide torque range between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm and up to its peak horsepower of 306 located at 6,500 rpm. The steering is incredibly direct and will send the Type R carving through a corner as if it were on rails. That’s no hyperbole, either. The Type R only exhibits understeer at the very limit, which is nearly unobtainable on the street. I was only able to find front-end plow when barreling into a corner at The Ridge Motorsports Park at Honda’s drive event back in August. Even then, the effect is minimal.


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“The brakes offer just the right amount of initial grip to avoid sudden jerks, yet will rip your face off if pressed hard”

The big Brembo brakes are just as good. Around town, the brakes offer just the right amount of initial grip to avoid sudden jerks, yet will rip your face off if pressed hard. Honda gave the Type R 13.8-inch, drilled front rotors over the standard Civic’s 11.1-inch discs. Out back are Honda-branded calipers, but they are mounted on 12.0-inch rotors compared to the standard 10.2-inch units. The front bumper includes hidden inlets that dump cool air right onto the brakes. The result is immense levels of stopping power, full stop after full stop. During the track event, the brakes showed no signs of fade even after back-to-back laps over a four-hour timeframe. Obviously, hard braking around town will never touch the brakes full capabilities.

That VTEC, Yo!


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“The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder’s head and block are made from aluminum and its crankshaft is forged from ultra-lightweight steel”

While it an entire car to speed around a track, the engine is undeniably the focus point. Honda certainly focused on the Type R’s powerplant. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder’s head and block are made from aluminum and its crankshaft is forged from ultra-lightweight steel. The connecting rods and pistons are extremely light, too, along with the single-mass flywheel. Honda reinforced the main bearing caps for added strength. The result is an engine with super quick revs up to its 7,000-rpm redline and with its first major tune-up scheduled at 100,000 miles.

The VTEC system works to keep the engine making peak power and torque, regardless of the rev. The dual overhead camshafts phase to open the exhaust valves early during lower engine speeds, feeding the turbo more quickly. This eliminates turbo lag and helps generate that amazing 23.2 pounds of boost. Direct fuel injection also contributes to precise control of the engine’s operations.

2.0-liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder
Horsepower 306 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 295 pound-feet @ 2,500 – 4,500 rpm
Max RPM 7,000
Valvetrain DOHC; i-VTEC
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Max Boost 23.2 PSI
Fuel System Direct injection; Premium Unleaded
Fuel Economy 22 city / 28 hwy / 25 comb

2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754518
“The only transmission available with the Civic Type R is a silky smooth six-speed manual”

The only transmission available with the Civic Type R is a silky smooth six-speed manual. Its short throws and light clutch make for quick shifts that anyone can nail. The gearbox also features automatic rev matching, which blips the throttle head of a downshift. It can be turned off, but even when on, the system doesn’t detract from the enthusiast’s driving experience.

A limited-slip differential keeps the Type R from being a one-wheel-wonder. It keeps both front tires fighting for grip rather than just overpowering a single tire that’s lost traction. It might seem like overkill on a four-cylinder, front-wheel drive hatchback, but the limited-slip is honestly needed, even with the massive 245/30R20 Continental SportContact 6 summer performance tires. And thankfully the rear tires are the same size, allowing for a tire rotation. That’ll probably be needed pretty soon as the Contis only have a tread wear rating of 240.

Final Thoughts


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The 2017 Honda Civic Type R is a helluva machine. Sure, it’s fantastic fun on a racetrack, but it’s also extremely livable on the daily. Perhaps the Volkswagen Golf R is better suited for daily driving, but the Type R is miles more fun. The Civic’s downfalls of a noisy interior, awkward HVAC controls, and a somewhat stiff ride thanks to the thin tire sidewalls are a fair trade-off for the soulful way the thing drives. Even a trip to the store is exciting, not to mention all the attention that gravitates toward the expressive bodywork.

Stick around for more content on the Honda Civic Type R. More is on the way!.

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754485

Here’s How Honda Manages Air on the 2017 Civic Type R


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The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


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Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R’s Suspension


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Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver


2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Type R.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719346

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Type R.

PostHeaderIcon Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver

At its heart, the Honda Civic Type R is still a Civic hatchback. That’s the key. It still offers 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded, and will comfortably hold two adults when not. The Civic Type R’s only downfall compared to its more pedestrian brother is its missing second-row middle seat. Everything else (size wise) remains unchanged through the Type R-ification.

What’s that mean? The 306-horsepower hot hatch makes a good daily driver. There’s room for a trip to IKEA, car seats fit just fine, and all the niceties like dual-zone climate controls abound. But there is more to being a good daily driver than just having room for people and their stuff. Factors like ride quality, sound levels, seat comfort, and fuel economy are also at play. Keep reading for the details on how these factors, well… factor into the Civic Type R’s daily livability.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

A Hot Hatch for Everyday Hooning


Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver - image 754488
“The Civic Type R is a lightweight, sharply tuned, track monster, but its precision handling doesn’t impede its ability at being a good "car."”

The Civic Type R is a lightweight, sharply tuned, track monster, but its precision handling doesn’t impede its ability at being a good “car.” The Type R comes with adaptive dampers at all four corners. These change the ride characteristics in correlation with the three drive modes: Comfort, Sport, and +R. The names are obvious as to their intention, and the Type R defaults into the middle ground of Sport mode upon startup. This is a hot hatch, after all, and Honda figures its owners will expect a spirited drive setting each time they hop in.

Toggling down a switch near the gear shifter moves the car into Comfort mode. This not only slightly softens the suspension but also loosens up the steering effort and decreases the throttle’s twitchiness. It’s akin to waking up early without coffee; it’s there and willing, but without the edginess of that caffeine rush.


Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver - image 754502
“The EPA estimates it will average 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined”

It’s here in Comfort model that the Type R feels most livable. The throttle takes more effort to spur high revs from the 2.0-liter turbo-four, which when combined with smooth shifts on the notchy yet buttery six-speed manual’s short-throw shifter and light clutch pedal, provide a calming atmosphere. The shifter and clutch combo are very forgiving and free of jerkiness or driveline lash. The rev matching system makes downshifting child’s play, especially thanks to the 2.0-liter’s willingness to rev, even in Comfort mode.

The Type R is surprisingly frugal with its premium fuel, too. The EPA estimates it will average 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. It might not be a Toyota Prius, but the Type R does pretty well at not hurting its owners at the pump.


Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver - image 754506
“The front seats are somewhat challenging to slide into, a bit tight once in, and somewhat hard to pull yourself out of”

Of course, the Type R is no limousine. Even in its softest settings, the ride can be punishing and the tire noise can be intrusive on rough pavement. Much of that is due to the ultra-skinny 245/30R20 tires. Thirty-series tires are basically rubber bands seen on Cadillac Escalades in late 2000s rap videos. There is so little sidewall that every pebble translates into vibrations and kicks into the cabin. For those used to a firmer ride, it’s a very forgivable attribute. For those (like my pregnant wife) who would rather ride in a Cadillac, the Type R can be draining. My wife also bemoaned the Type R’s heavily bolstered front seats. They are somewhat challenging to slide into, a bit tight once in, and somewhat hard to pull yourself out of. Younger buyers who fancy skinny jeans shouldn’t mind at all.

Final Thoughts


Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver - image 754483

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R isn’t the quickest hot-hatch to 60 mph, the fastest on an open road, or the most advanced in terms of whiz-bang drivetrain components, but what it lacks in raw power or AWD grip, it more than makes up in lightness, refinement, interior space, and Honda’s reputation for reliability. Minus a few quirks, the Type R makes for a fantastic daily driver. A calm, somewhat mature Civic Hatchback lurks somewhere under that outlandish aero package and that makes for a great pairing with its weekend track star credentials. Best of all, the Type R costs a few thousand less than the competition, barring any dealership markups, of course. It starts at $34,775.

References

Honda Civic Type R – Driven


2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Type R.

Honda Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719346

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Type R.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven


2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven - image 713620

Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Hatchback.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback


2017 Honda Civic Hatchback - image 689347

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Hatchback.

PostHeaderIcon More CAD Images Show the Mid-Engined, C8 Corvette’s Twin-Turbo, DOHC, LT7 in All its Digital Glory

The last time we saw CAD images for the mid-engined, C8 Corvette, Chevy lost its mind, sending out letters that asked publications to remove the images and it even used the digital copyrights act to have the images removed from another publication’s Facebook page. What Chevy doesn’t realize is that the mid-engined beast we’ve all been waiting for is the world’s worst-kept secret and, as evidence, we’re looking at more CAD images right now. The thing is, however, that we’re looking at a completely different engine setup this time around. Keep reading to learn more about it.

C8 Corvette LT7


Based on what we saw in the previously leaked images, we were likely looking at either an early iteration of the engine or an engine that wasn’t the LT7 that you see here. The engine seen previously (shown below) didn’t even have turbochargers, and here we are looking at a turbo sitting down low, between the exhaust outlets and the intake manifolds – this is, without a doubt, the twin-turbo DOHC engine we’ve been hearing rumors about.


Leaked CAD Images Show Off Parts of the Mid-Engined Corvette - image 753114
“Other differences include the positioning of the exhaust manifolds, the belt routing, the charge-air cooler, and the size of the intake itself”

Other differences include the positioning of the exhaust manifolds, the belt routing, the charge-air cooler, and the size of the intake itself – clearly, we’re talking about two different engines. On a side note, that old CAD image has a beefy transmission hooked to the rear, almost suggesting that it was the hybridized engine, which wouldn’t necessarily make sense without turbos, but at this point, anything is possible. To save room, the turbochargers could be added post-cat on that engine, with the flat area above that transmission reserved for the airbox. Oh, the possibilities. Either way, the new image that you see above should look familiar – after all, it is styled after the 3.6-liter LGW:




Much like the engine you see in the newest leak, it has the turbos on each exhaust outlet and the feed heading upward to the air coolers on top too. Now, the new engine looks to have a slightly different intake setup as far as where drawing in air happens, but that’s because we’re talking about a mid-engined setup here. Based on spy shots, the air will likely be drawn in from vents behind the doors. The belt routing between the LGW and the engine LT7 shown above are also quite similar. So, where Chevy to a 5.7, chopped off two cylinders and made it a 4.3 in the past, it’s now taking a 3.6, and adding two cylinders along with some other goodies to make extra power. So what do we know about the C8, mid-engined Corvette so far? Keep reading to find out…

The C8 Chevy Corvette


2019 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1 - image 725313

Official information as of this point is scant, and outside of seeing the Vette with our own eyes and seeing GM rush to have some leaked images pulled from the internet, we have yet to even receive confirmation of the beast we’ve all had wet dreams about. But, that hasn’t stopped us from garnering information from the images we do have, and there’s actually quite a bit.

C8 Chevy Corvette Suspension and Chassis


Leaked CAD Images Show Off Parts of the Mid-Engined Corvette - image 753113
“The Vette will finally get coil springs, a first and a heavy request from Vette guys for years”

What we can make out from these images is that the Vette will finally get coil springs, a first and a heavy request from Vette guys for years. It will also run with magnetic shocks, and the upper and lower control arms appear to be carried over from previous generations with minor changes. The very odd thing here is that the rear chassis is downright massive and appears to be a blend of tube and cast parts – undoubtedly designed to cut down on twist (we’re looking at some serious horsepower that the rear end now has to deal with) and increase strength throughout the body. Whether it’s bolted or welded remains to be seen, but knowing GM, it will likely weld in this area, not for strength but simplicity and inability to repair later. The front frame itself looks to be hydroformed rails, which means it’s probably cast aluminum which could be good or bad at this point. Unibody construction might not have been a bad thing for the C8, but we may never know.

C8 Chevy Corvette Drivetrain, Brakes, and Driveline




In the previous leaks, we could tell that the engine didn’t have turbochargers, but this new engine clear rocks dual turbos on each manifold. Those exhaust manifolds, by the way, appear to be cast directly onto the head – something that means there will be no ability to upgrade to headers later if that’s what you’re into. There’s no transmission shown on the latest leak, however, the transmission in the old leaks was boxy and flat. It could have been a manual, could have been DCT, there’s just no telling. It was shaped oddly, and I’ve argued that – especially with the lack of turbos – it was designed as a hybrid transaxle unit, something we’ve been expected with the C8 generation.

The previous CAD images did show that the half-shafts were bolt-on units, which means removal and installation is a breeze, eliminating the need to drain the trans before replacement. Maintenance-wise, the basic stuff should be easy as Chevy has taken care to make the oil filter somewhat easy to get to, assuming it isn’t obstructed somehow once it’s installed in the vehicle. We also have word that the braking system will be phenomenal and reminiscent of what you would expect on your typical Ferrari or Lamborghini. One-piece rotors will be standard equipment, and you can expect six-piston calipers up front as base equipment while eight-piston units may be optional.

References

Chevrolet Corvette


2019 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1 - image 572722

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Zora.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible - image 749381

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible.


2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - image 538131

Read our full review of the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.


2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - image 526921

Read our full review of the 2014 – 2017 Corvette Stingray

PostHeaderIcon ATS GT

Race-spec seats

Revived in 2012, almost 50 years after it was originally established in Italy, ATS, short for Automobili Turismo e Sport, returned to the market with a couple of open-cockpit, race-inspired sports cars. These prototype-style vehicles were followed by the Leggera roadster in 2015, but not much happened since then. Now, ATS is making a new comeback to the market, this time around with a potent supercar that promises to give Ferrari and Lamborghinis a run for their money. It’s called the ATS GT and pays tribute to ATS first road car, the 2500 GT, launched all the way back in 1964.

If you haven’t heard of ATS before, it was established in 1963 by former Ferrari employees Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini after the “great walkout” of 1961, when Maranello lost some of its most valuable engineers. ATS was established as both an automobile constructor and a Formula One race team, but it survived for only two years. Its only road car, the 2500 GTS, wasn’t exactly successful either, but it remained in history as the second mid-engined sports car ever produced. Come 2017 and ATS is trying to recapture its former glory with the GT, a supercar that employs state of the art technology, a premium interior, and a powerful engine. It’s also the first ATS to join the small niche of exclusive supercars with high price tags and limited production runs.

Continue reading to find out more about the ATS GT.

Exterior

  • Tribute to original 2500 GTS
  • Modern design with muscular lines
  • Race-inspired engine hood
  • State-of-the-art aerodynamics
  • Dynamic rear wing

2018 ATS GT - image 743152
“The new ATS GT was designed as a modern take on the 1964 ATS 2500 GTS”

The new ATS GT was designed as a modern take on the 1964 ATS 2500 GTS, but it’s by no means a neo-retro interpretation. While the headlamps, the overall shape of the body, and the mid-engined configuration do remind of the classic model, the new GT is as fresh and unique as they get. The front fascia revolves around the modern standard for sports cars. There’s a sloping hood that descents abruptly toward the nose, the swept-back headlamps are set at the corner of the fenders, while the bumper is made of large air intakes and a race-inspired diffuser. The twin stripe on the hood reminds me a bit of special-edition Ferraris from recent years, but given that ATS is an Italian company, I’m not surprised to see it there.

The GT’s profile is an attractive combination of organic, muscular lines and sharp cues. The beltline starts low at the base of the side mirror, and then ascends abruptly toward the quarter windows to meet with the line that defines the sexy rear haunches. The quarter window itself sports a unique design, with a wide B-pillar element turning it into a thin stripe. Speaking of stripes, the door and the quarter window are highlighted by a red stripe, which also surrounds the main window. The same red accents decorate the multi-spoke wheels.


2018 ATS GT - image 743147
“The profile is an attractive combination of organic, muscular lines and sharp cues”

The rear fascia is as vintage as they get. Much like sports and race cars from the 1960s, the fascia itself is very narrow and sunken into the fender and spoiler extensions. It’s also flanked by round taillights, yet another cue that was highly popular 50 years ago. Of course, the lights are modern and feature LED technology. They’re also hollow in the middle, which makes them look like small jet engines. The area between the fascia and the diffuser is a massive grille and a V-shaped black element, both adding aggressiveness.

The engine hood is also inspired by vintage race cars. Instead of the glass cover we see on modern sports cars, the hood features two vertical grilles on each side and a black element that also acts as an air vent in the middle. A deployable wing looks ready to pop out when needed.

Interior

  • Nubuck leather upholstery
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Race-spec seats
  • High-quality fit and finish
  • Premium appointments
  • Simple dash layout
  • Modern display

2018 ATS GT - image 743156
“The cabin that's both modern and sporty, featuring Nubuck leather and carbon-fiber trim”

ATS didn’t have much to say about the GT’s interior, but the photos show a cabin that’s both modern and sporty. The first thing that catches the eye is the enormous amount of Nubuck leather that covers nearly every surface, including the dashboard, steering wheel, door panels, and the seats. The soft material is combined with glossy carbon-fiber inserts and aluminum.

The dashboard design is very simple and straightforward. Unlike most supercars that have instrument clusters mounted underneath deep hoods, the GT sports a nearly flat screen that’s rounded around the edges. Two smaller displays are placed atop the center stack, which includes a wider, thin screen in the middle, three buttons below, and three more rectangular gauges above. The center console is also pretty simple and features carbon-fiber sides and a small gearshift lever.


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“The seats have contrast stitching, red piping, and highly detailed "ATS" logos on their headrests”

The seats have contrast stitching, red piping, and highly detailed “ATS” logos on their headrests. More red detailing is visible on the door panels. The headliner is also made of grey Alcantara with red stitching. Overall, the ATS GT isn’t as luxurious as a Bugatti Chiron, but it has that classic vibe combined with modern features. That’s a win in my book.

Unfortunately, ATS didn’t say what kind of technology customers will get in this car, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t have too many gadgets. If you want the latest gadgets, you can always go with an Aston Martin.

Drivetrain

  • Twin-turbo V-8
  • Up to 700 horsepower
  • Up to 553 pound-feet of torque
  • Seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox
  • Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes
  • 0 to 60 mph in three seconds
  • Top speed of 206 mph

2018 ATS GT - image 743148
“The V-8 engine generates up to 700 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque”

The drivetrain under the hood is also modern. Whereas the old ATS 2500 GTS was powered by a naturally aspirated, 2.5-liter V-8, the new GT uses a twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 unit. Output is rated at a whopping 650 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. If that’s not enough for the drag racer in you, ATS offers a 700-horsepower and 553-pound-feet version too. The Italian firm says that the engine is built with “abundant use of composite materials” and “state of the art technological solutions.” Unfortunately, there’s no additional information to run by, so all this state-of-the-art stuff remains a mystery until further notice.

But at least ATS said that the engine pairs to a seven-speed transmission and comes with three driving modes, Viaggio, Sport, and Corsa. Each of them change the dynamic behavior of the car from a somewhat comfortable grand tourer to a full-fledged race car. As usual, each mode acts on the suspension’s set-up, gearshift speed, and on the engine’s power output. Sprinting from 0 to 60 mph takes three seconds, which puts the ATS GT in a similar league to the Ferrari 488 GTB and the Lamborghini Huracan. Top speed is rated at “more than 206 mph,” again on par with the Italian competition. Stopping power comes from carbon-ceramic breaks from Brembo, the best on the market right now.

Prices


2018 ATS GT - image 743157

Specific pricing for the ATS GT isn’t yet available, but the Italian firm wants in excess of £1 million for the supercar. That’s a fortune even when compared to Ferrari and Lamborghini sports cars, but it’s a result of the vehicles exclusivity due to production being limited to only 12 units. This number is identical to the production of the original ATS 2500 GTS.

Competition

Ferrari 488 GTB


2016 Ferrari 488 GTB - image 615039

Designed to replace the 458 Italia, the 488 GTB is already one of the most iconic modern sports cars out there. Combining design features from the 458 Italia, the LaFerrari, and newer styling cues, the 488 GTB is decidedly aggressive to look at but still boasts that classy Italian flair. The Ferrari is just as luxurious on the inside, with leather, Alcantara, and carbon-fiber covering just about any surface. Under the hood, it sports a recently introduced 3.9-liter V-8 engine. The twin-turbo unit cranks out 660 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque and uses a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to send the 488 GTB flying from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds flat. Top speed is rated at 205 mph. Pricing for the Ferrari starts from $242,737, only a fraction of what ATS wants for the GT.

Read our full story on the 2017 Ferrari 488 GTB.

Lamborghini Huracan


2015 - 2016 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 - image 674398

Also a mid-engined supercar, the Huracan sports an entirely different design philosophy. Unlike the Ferrari and the ATS, both of which sport organic styling cues, the Huracan’s body is made mostly of sharp lines, a trademark for Lamborghini supercars since the Countach. The Lambo feels extreme on the inside too, but it also carries an impressive amount of premium features, especially in terms of materials and technology. The Huracan is quite different under the hood too. While Ferrari and ATS use turbocharged V-8 engines, Lambo remained true to its already iconic V-10. The naturally aspirated 5.2-liter mill generates 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet, enabling the coupe to hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Top speed is rated at 201 mph. The Huracan is the slowest and least powerful of the pack, but it’s also the most affordable at $237,000 before options.

Read our full review of the 2017 Lamborghini Huracan.

McLaren 720S


2018 McLaren 720S - image 708563

Launched for the 2018 model year, the 720S is the newest supercar here. It replaced the 650S and introduced a new design language for the company’s Super Series line. And it looks pretty wild compared to the 488 GTB and Huracan. Inside, the McLaren boasts more carbon-fiber than anything else available from the Italian carmakers. Leather and Alcantara are visible on just about any surface, while the Folding Drive Display turns it into a no-nonsense race car at the track. Power comes from a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 that cranks out 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet, making the 720S the most powerful of the bunch. It’s also the quickest, needing only 2.8 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. With a top speed of 212 mph, it’s also the fastest. And if you are looking for the lightest alternative, you should know that the 720S fits the bill at 2,828 pounds. Pricing starts at $288,845.

Read our full story on the 2018 McLaren 720S.

Conclusion


2018 ATS GT - image 743154

The ATS GT is a somewhat surprising release. Although the Italian company has been active for the past few years and launched a series of open cockpit sports cars, the GT is its first coupe sports car since the original 2500 GTS. ATS had a previous attempt with the Leggera back in 2015, but the roadster was more of an affordable vehicle that’s than a supercar aimed at Ferraris and Lamborghinis. In many ways, the GT brings ATS into a new era with a vehicle that looks and sounds promising. However, it remains to be seen whether it will make an impact, especially with a price tag that blows past the $1 million mark with ease.

  • Leave it
    • * Awfully expensive
    • * No match for the McLaren 720S

PostHeaderIcon BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car

BMW M GmbH has been the partner of MotoGP organizer Dorna Sports for nearly two decades now, and is recognized as the “Official Car of MotoGP.” That means every time the top-rung motorcycle racing series needs something four-wheeled to help out on tack, Bimmer is there to provide the ride. Now, BMW has revealed a new safety car for the series, pulling the sheets at the 2017 MotorGP finale at Valencia. Based on the brand-new F90-generation M5, which was revealed earlier in 2017 at the gamescom trade fair in Germany, this spiced-up four-door is destined for duty in the 2018 MotoGP series scheduled to kick off March 19th. Rocking the same 4.4-liter V-8 as the road-going variants, this is also the first BMW Safety Car to run the M xDrive AWD drivetrain, and it’s got a good deal of M-branded Performance Parts to go with it. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car.

What Makes The BMW MotoGP Safety Car Special


2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car - image 741350
“The exterior design was inspired by the BMW M8 GTE race car. Carbon was added for the roof, side sills, rear diffuser, and more. In front is a prototype diffuser.”

Taking up the responsibility for prepping the M5 for life as a safety car was BMW M Manufaktur in Garching. The engineers started with the standard street car, then proceeded to add a variety of M Performance Parts, which, as BMW points out, “are available as retrofit parts for the BMW M5 production model.” The group also upgraded the styling, aero, cooling, and safety systems, while simultaneously cutting out a weight where possible.

The exterior design was inspired by the BMW M8 GTE race car, a competition-spec vehicle destined for the harrowing 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2018. In terms of weight reduction, the M team added loads of composite material, such as with carbon fiber reinforced plastic for the roof panel, as well as carbon components for the side sills, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, grille, side view mirror housings, and air breather slats. It looks pretty good, and it’s decently functional as well.


2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car - image 741375
“It looks pretty good, and it’s decently functional as well.”

Take a peek behind that weave-laden kidney grille intake, and you’ll find the M5 Safety Car is powered by a turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8, which just saw an increase in power to 600 ponies total with the latest F90 generation changeover in August. Torque is rated at 750 Nm (553 pound-feet). The output numbers match those of the road car, as do the acceleration figures, with the 0-to-62 mph sprint completed in 3.4 seconds. Swapping the cogs is an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission equipped with Drivelogic, once again mirroring what you get in the road car.

BMW also saw fit to throw on a fresh BMW M Performance sport exhaust, a nice upgrade that’s made from titanium and tipped with carbon fiber end pieces. Up front, there’s a prototype front splitter, which you unfortunately can’t buy from the dealership. There are also new hood latches for the sake of safety, and up top, there’s a new light bar with LEDs, plus front-facing blue LED flashing lights and flashing corona rings in the headlights.


2018 BMW M5 MotoGP Safety Car - image 741353
“One of the big headlines for the new M5 was the addition of the M xDrive AWD system, a first for the nameplate, and the MotoGP Safety Car retains the system for extra grip on track.”

One of the big headlines for the new M5 was the addition of the M xDrive AWD system, a first for the nameplate, and the MotoGP Safety Car retains the system for extra grip on track. Handling is helped thanks to the inclusion of M-tuned suspension pieces, while inside, there are new buckets seats plucked from the BMW M4 GTS.

“A MotoGP Safety Car faces enormous challenges,” said BMW M GmbH President, Frank Van Meel. “It is vital to lead a field of unique, high-performance race prototypes through all sorts of conditions. Innovative motorsport technology is an essential part of this. The new BMW M5 forms the perfect basis for a safety car, as its technical features ensure perfect handling, even at the limits of driving dynamics – on the road and on the racetrack.”

References

BMW M5


2018 BMW M5 - image 727588

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.

BMW M4


2016 BMW M4 GTS - image 649558

Read our full review on the 2016 BMW M4 GTS.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Silvia S16

Between the 370Z and the GT-R, you could make the argument that Nissan already has a pretty solid lineup of sports cars. However, the more discerning enthusiasts out there will be quick to point out just how much more could be done. After all, the current Z car is practically ancient by modern standards given its introduction dates all the back to 2009, and at six figures, the current GT-R is just way too expensive for the average speed lover. That said, there’s one nameplate that desperately needs to be brought back into the discussion – the Silvia. The last time we saw this two-door beauty was in 2002 with the S15, and we think the time is right for a follow-up S16 generation to round out the Japanese automaker’s performance offerings. We know we’re certainly not alone in that respect, and indeed, the next-gen Silvia was expected to show in concept form at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Alas, such a creation never surfaced, but fear not, because we did a little chin scratching, drew up the above-featured rendering, and wrote up the following speculative review to help bridge the gap.

It’s been over 15 years since the S15 bit the dust, so any follow-up has a bit of catching up to do. However, we think Nissan has the right stuff to make it work. Read on for our take on it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Nissan Silvia S16.

Exterior

  • Includes current Nissan styling
  • V-Motion grille in the nose
  • Raked stance
  • Large 18-inch wheels right from the factory
  • Cab-back profile
  • Optional aero packages
  • LED lighting
  • “S” lightning bolt badge
  • Relatively compact dimensions
  • Two-door coupe, although convertible also a possibility

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 747360
“The S16 Silvia gets Nissan’s latest design language cues, the most obvious of which is the large V-Motion grille in the fascia”

One of the things that made the Nissan Silvia so darn appealing was the way it looked, with a wide, low stance that managed to add assertive sportiness to the retrained refinement of a relatively extended wheelbase. We went with the popular two-door coupe body style for our rendering, but a convertible option would also certainly be within the realm of possibility for a new-gen Silvia. Inspiration for our rendering included the brand’s current crop of production vehicles, such as the Sentra, Altima, and GT-R, as well as concepts like the Sports Sedan study from 2014.

Starting in front, we find the S16 Silvia gets Nissan’s latest design language cues, the most obvious of which is the large V-Motion grille in the fascia. This is a common characteristic amongst all of Nissan’s latest models, and in the case of our rendered Silvia, it helps to extend the character lines in the hood deep into the front bumper with brushed metal surrounds. The grille’s fine mesh insert gets a black finish, matched by a black connecting “Vee” between the headlights.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754138
“The S16’s headlights are slim and curvaceous, and look as though they evolved from the S15’s front end. Don’t forget the requisite “S” lightning bolt badge on the nose.”

Speaking of headlights, the S16 gets slim curvaceous units that look as though they are evolved from the S15’s headlights. LEDs are the technology of choice here, from the primary forward illumination, to the signature daytime running lights. Lower in the bumper, you’ll find fog lights nestled into the aero blade cutouts, complemented by a prominent lower splitter element. Don’t forget the requisite “S” lightning bolt badge on the nose.

Moving to the side, we see prominent front fenders that drop down to a hard-angle character line leading into the stretched-out side skirts. Above the side skirts is a pair of complementary character lines that are aimed down towards the front fenders to add visual rake to the car’s stance. The wheels are big, 18 inches from the factory, and come wrapped in wide, sticky summer rubber as a no-cost option. The greenhouse is placed towards the rear of the body, emphasizing the car’s hood line and the coupe-cut to the roof.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754139
“We’d expect Nissan to offer the S16 with a variety of enhanced aero packages for those enthusiasts looking for a little more visual punch.”

In the rear, we would expect a small trunk space, most likely with a subtle trailing edge spoiler. A sizable lower diffuser will aid aero as well, and come with a duo of polished exhaust tips. The taillights will be slim and triangular in shape.

We’d also expect Nissan to offer the S16 with a variety of enhanced aero packages for those enthusiasts looking for a little more visual punch. Finally, we’d expect somewhat compact exterior dimensions, measuring in a little larger than the current 370Z, but not so large it ranks as a full mid-size offering.

Interior

  • Layout will take inspiration from the GT-R
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • Carbon fiber, aluminum, and Alcantara
  • Advanced infotainment features
  • Optional leather

2017 Nissan GT-R - image 670425

Note: Nissan GT-R pictured here.

While it’s uncertain what direction Nissan will take when it comes time to design the S16’s interior layout, we think it’s a pretty safe bet to look at the GT-R when searching for clues. We also think Nissan will tweak it a bit on the Silvia S16, giving it more of a comfortable, GT-style vibe compared to the tech-laden Godzilla.

We think a 2+2 seating arrangement is a distinct possibility, with the front boasting highly bolstered sports seats to keep passengers in place while putting the coupe through its paces. Carbon fiber, brushed aluminum, and Alcantara will undoubtedly make the materials list, while options will include leather.

“We think the S16 will get a more comfortable, GT-style vibe compared to the tech-laden Godzilla, plus a 2+2 seating arrangement.”

The infotainment gear will be impressive. In the dash will be an upgraded infotainment readout with a host of data on all sorts of performance parameters, including a g-meter, boost levels, a lap timer, and more. This touchscreen should also come with navigation options and Bluetooth support.

Drivetrain

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant
  • Front engine, RWD
  • Possible variable compression
  • Upwards of 300 horsepower
  • Both manual and automatic gearboxes

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754146

Note: older Nissan SR20DET engine pictured here.

“We’d expect a four-cylinder engine with a sizable amount of boost added through the use of a turbocharger.”

First and foremost, the S16 Silvia will be front engine and RWD. This is the essential drivetrain layout for the nameplate, and Nissan would be foolish to change it up. Beyond that, we’d expect a four-cylinder engine with a sizable amount of boost added through the use of a turbocharger. Engine displacement should slot in at the 2.0-liter mark, although a base model with a more economical 1.8-liter engine would make sense to help bolster the lineup.

The last few years also saw the Internet rumor mill churn out reports that the new Nissan Silvia would come with a variable compression VC-T engine, similar to what Infiniti is using for its latest QX crossover models. This would also be a viable option to the Silvia, just so long as it produced the right amount of motivation when you put your foot down.

“Engine displacement should slot in at the 2.0-liter mark, although a base model with a more economical 1.8-liter engine would make sense as well.”

Speaking of which, we think around 275 to 300 horsepower for the top-trim model would feel right, and 175 horsepower for the lower trim level if that turns out to be a thing. Routing it all to the rear axle will be both a manual and automatic transmission option, while an advanced limited slip differential will come as standard.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the Silvia could very well be a hybrid. After all, rumor has it the next Z might be a hybrid, so perhaps the Silvia is in the same boat. If we had our choice, we’d love to see Nissan stuff the engine bay with the fire-breathing six out of the GT-R, but that’s highly unlikely.

Chassis And Handling

  • Lightweight through the use of aluminum
  • New sports car platform?
  • Possible Nismo version as well

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754140

The original Silvia was built on Nissan’s “S” chassis, a RWD sports platform first used in 1976 and discontinued in 2002 alongside the S15. With that in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised if the new Silvia introduced a fresh architecture for the brand, something that would also be used for the revamped next-gen Z.

The focus here will obviously be on keeping things as lightweight as possible, while still keeping it all comfortable in the interior as well. Aluminum will pervade throughout, with additional stiffening components offered by way of carbon composites where possible. We also wouldn’t mind it if Nissan added a Nismo version with stiffer, more hardcore gear for the suspension and handling to coincide with a more aggressive exterior aero set-up.

Prices


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754147

This might ruffle a few feathers, but we’re gonna speculate the new Silvia will cost somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.

“But wait,” you might say, “won’t that put it in the same price bracket as the Nissan 370Z?”

Indeed it would, which is why we wanna follow that statement by saying the Z will most likely become smaller, lighter, and less expensive with the next iteration, possibly even adopting a four-cylinder powerplant compared to the historical six-cylinder. In that case, the Silvia would be billed as the more premium (and faster) option between the two.

Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 645703

The Bow Tie brand just dropped a sixth generation for its iconic muscle car, bringing the traditionally straight-line-oriented Camaro into the modern era with new stuff to help it turn and stop, not to mention am interior with a little extra fanciness as well. Under the hood, the Camaro SS is packing all the firepower you’d expect from the nameplate, with as much as 455 horses and 455 pound-feet made by a 6.2-liter V-8. If head-snapping acceleration is what you’re after, the Camaro has the goods.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Next-Gen Mazda RX Sports Car


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654568

While not yet confirmed, a next-gen Mazda RX sports car would make for a fantastic competitor to the next-gen Silvia. Like Mazda RXs of old, the new one would come proper with a low center of gravity, 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, very little curb weight, and top-notch suspension tuning, creating a RWD sports car that could hang with the best of ‘em, given enough corners. Don’t forget the triangular Wankel engine and drop-dead gorgeous Mazda styling, as well.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mazda RX-7.

Conclusion


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 747361

Based on what came before it, we think now is a fantastic time for Nissan to revive the Silvia nameplate. The brand already has the right mix of commuter sedans and crossovers, and the GT-R is a good halo vehicle to back its performance claims. However, what Nissan really needs is a fresh face that’s accessible to more enthusiasts, especially considering the success of lightweight RWD coupes like the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86.

Granted, the BRZ/86 twins are lower on the pricing pyramid than what we’ve laid out here, but that’s where a new, less expensive Z comes into play. We already know Nissan is in that right frame of mind, considering concepts like the recent IDx. The point is this – we think the demand is there. Nissan just needs to bring the goods.

  • Leave it
    • * More expensive than previous iterations
    • * Likely a bit underpowered compared to the domestic competition

History And Background


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754143

The Silvia is known as Nissan’s line of sporty coupes, with a long history and several generations attached to the nameplate. As a lightweight, front-engine, RWD two-door with a ton of power potential, the Silvia is well suited to a variety of motorsport activities. Chief among these is drifting, but touge racing and circuit racing are also high on the list. The car also appeared in the popular Initial D animated show, which helped it grow awareness and desirability among enthusiasts.

The Nissan Silvia was produced between 1964 and 1968, followed by a lengthier second run between 1974 and 2002. Nissan first pulled the sheets on the model in 1964, introducing it as the Datsun Coupe 1500 at the Tokyo Motor Show. The popular name “Silvia,” however, was taken from Sylvia, which is a scientific genus classification for a kind of bird, most likely used as a continuation from previous Nissan naming structures like the Nissan Bluebird. At the time, the Datsun 1500 Coupe came equipped with a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder making upwards of 96 horsepower.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754144
“Nissan brought the S10 to the North American market with a larger 2.0-liter engine. Stateside, the Silvia was dubbed the 200SX, a designation it would carry for decades afterwards.”

As a follow up to the first-generation vehicle, Nissan introduced the next Silvia, also known as the S10, in the mid-‘70s. Offered with a two-door fastback body style, the S10 was originally only sold in Japan, equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, the same lump used in the Datsun 610 and Bluebird 180B. Later, Nissan brought the S10 to the North American market, gracing it with a larger 2.0-liter engine. Stateside, the Silvia was dubbed the Datsun 200SX, a designation it would carry for decades afterwards.

Following the S10 was the S110, introduced in the late ‘70s with both a two-door coupe and three-door hatchback body style. Interestingly, the S110 was originally designed to accommodate a rotary powerplant, but was revamped afterwards with a traditional piston engine after reliability of the Wankel option became a concern.

Once again, the S110 was sold as the 200SX in North America at this time, and came with the Z20 inline four-cylinder for buyers in California, and a separate 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder throughout the rest of the country. Peak output was rated at 100 horsepower, which was routed through either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic gearbox.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754142
“With the arrival of the ‘80s came the S12, made between 1983 and 1988 and offered as either a two-door coupe or three-door hatchback configuration.”

With the arrival of the ‘80s came the S12, made between 1983 and 1988 and offered as either a two-door coupe or three-door hatchback configuration. The 200SX nameplate continued on in the U.S., but engine options expanded to include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 1.8-liter turbo engine, and a 3.0-liter V-6.

Finally, in 1989, Nissan introduced the S13, a model that’s more easily recognized as a Silvia today. At the time, the S13 was sold as the 180SX and 240SX in North America, and was offered in a variety of body styles, including a two-door coupe, a two-door convertible, and a two-door hatchback.

The S13 was also one of the first models to get Nissan’s multi-link rear suspension, plus an advanced four-wheel steering system, otherwise known as HICAS-II. Some models even got a viscous-type limited slip differential for extra grip off the corners. Initially equipped with the naturally aspirated CA18DE and turbochargedCA18DET, both engines plucked from the S12, the S13 later got the venerable SR20DE and SR20DET powerplants so often associated with the nameplate.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754141
“As a replacement for the S13, Nissan introduced the S14 in 1994 for the U.S. market.”

As a replacement for the S13, Nissan introduced the S14 in 1994 for the U.S. market. With a longer wheelbase and wider track, the S14 offered incremental improvements in terms of handling, while the SR20 engine got more power thanks to new cam timing and a bigger turbo. The styling was updated as well, with more angles as compared to the boxier S13.

It was around this time that enthusiasts began creating an amalgamation of the S13 180SX and Silvia, a mash-up that came to be known as the “Sileighty.”

The final Sivlia was the S15, introduced in 1999. Power got a sizable increase, with up to 250 horsepower made thanks to a ball-bearing turbo and new engine tuning. Meanwhile, the non-turbo S15 made 165 horsepower. The Silvia also got a good number of styling updates as well, giving it a much more sleek-looking appearance.

References


2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept - image 538262

Read our full review on the 2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept.


maker logos - image 744955

Read more Nissan news.

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