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Archive for the ‘sports cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 Aston Martin Vantage Comes to Strike Fear in Porsche and Mercedes Purists Everywhere

2019 Aston Martin Vantage

The second-generation Aston Martin Vantage is here, and it takes the car’s design and aerodynamic prowess to a whole new dimension. It offers up an insane increase in power output (83 horsepower and more than 100 pound-feet of torque) over the outgoing V-8 model and can even hit a 60-mph sprint in less than 3.5 seconds. There’s even an all-new electronic differential, which is a first for any Aston Martin vehicle. With the last model running 2005 to 2017 – in various versions and trims, of course – it’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally here. So, let’s take a nice look at what the new Aston Martin Vantage has to offer in brief.

  • Two-door body style 2+0 seating
  • Extruded bonded aluminium body structure with steel panels
  • Looks similar to Mazda MX-5 at certain angles
  • Same grille enlarged and lowered
  • Front spoiler integrated with grille trim
  • Headlights sit closer to the nose and more horizontally
  • Side skirts act as spoilers and add a hint of extra aggression
  • Rear end is significantly wider
  • all-new diffuser and refined rear deck
  • Thinner taillights extend across rear spoiler
  • Aerodynamic design cuts back on air turbulence at the rear diffuser
  • All-new interior
  • Design cues remind of Lamborghini but smaller
  • Dash is more prominent and driver oriented
  • Futuristic Design in a modern world
  • German-like eight-inch infotainment display
  • Flat-bottom steering wheel w/ digital instrument cluster
  • Two-tone interior with high-sitting center console, low-seating position
  • iPod and iPhone integration, DAB radio, Satellite navigation
  • Aluminum 4.0-liter V-8 (Twin Turbo)
  • WTA Charge Cooling
  • Front-Mid engine configuration with RWD
  • Stainless steel, electronically controlled exhaust
  • VCT with CNC machined combustion chambers
  • 503 HP @ 6,000 rpm & 505 LB-FT @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds
  • Top Speed 195 mph
  • Rear-Mid ZF Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • First Aston Martin to have an Electronic Differential
  • Double-wishbone independent suspension up front Rear multi-link in back
  • Adaptive Damping
  • 20-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero tires

Aston Martin Vantage Exterior Update

left
right
New Aston Martin Vantage Previous Aston Martin Vantage
“On the outside, the Vantage is very much the Vantage that we fell in love with more than a decade ago”

On the outside, the Vantage is very much the Vantage that we fell in love with more than a decade ago, but it has been refined, revised, and updated in a way that should will make existing models like the Mercedes-AMG GT, the Porsche 911 Turbo, and the Jaguar F-Type shake right out of the very rubber they ride on. To start off, engineers of at AM took that Vantage grille, enlarged it, and dropped it lower on the nose – ultimately allowing the nose to take on a more rounded look and for grille trim to integrate effortlessly with the front spoiler. The headlights now sit more prominently up front with a horizontal positioning that actually makes it look like the car is squinting at you as it comes down the road. The front fenders are more muscular, but the rear haunches see the most change; now wider and more commanding than below. The front spoiler element continues along the sides to help create more central downforce and cut back on turbulence from the rear wheels. Around back is a sleeker pair of taillights, sportier rear deck, and an according-to-Hoyle rear diffuser that will leave Porsche purists crying when overtaken. All told, it’s wider, meaner, and ready for business – Not bad, Aston Martin; Not bad.

Exterior Specifications


The 2018 Aston Martin Vantage Comes to Strike Fear in Porsche and Mercedes Purists Everywhere - image 746494
Length (Inches) 175.78
Width (incl Mirror Caps) (Inches) 84.76
Width (excl Mirror Caps) (Inches) 76.45
Height (Inches) 50.11
Wheelbase (Inches) 106.45

Aston Martin Vantage Interior


The 2018 Aston Martin Vantage Comes to Strike Fear in Porsche and Mercedes Purists Everywhere - image 746505
“The interior of the new Vantage is even more revised than the exterior”

The interior of the new Vantage is even more revised than the exterior, featuring an eight-inch infotainment display floating atop the center stack and a Lambo-like control setup ahead of the center console – definitely a nice touch. The steering wheel is a flat bottom unit that is accented by an all-digital instrument cluster up front. The center console still sits high above the tunnel while the seats are lower to give that true sports-car feel and the revised door trim panels give the new Vantage a true exotic feel. Standard features include satellite navigation, DAB radio, and iPhone and iPod integration with audio streaming. Very nice 2+2 layout, if I do say so myself.

Aston Martin Vantage Drivetrain and Power Output


The 2018 Aston Martin Vantage Comes to Strike Fear in Porsche and Mercedes Purists Everywhere - image 746487
“Under the hood of this beast sits a mid-front-mounted, Biturbo, 4.0-liter V-8 that’s good for a staggering 503 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 505 pound-feet at 2,000 rpm”

Under the hood of this beast sits a mid-front-mounted, Biturbo, 4.0-liter V-8 that’s good for a staggering 503 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 505 pound-feet at 2,000 rpm. Sure, that doesn’t seem like much in a world where some cars are easily topping 700 ponies, but that’s a huge improvement over the outgoing V-8. So much so, in fact, that the new Vantage delivers 83 ponies and 144 pound-feet more than the outgoing base model. Shifting duties are handled by a ZF eight-speed automatic that sends all that torque back to an electronic differential in the middle of the rear axle. Keep in mind, folks, this is the first time an Aston Martin has had an electronic differential, so it’s a big deal and a huge step up for performance and torque distribution at the rear axle. 60 mph comes in as fast as 3.5 seconds under the right conditions and top speed, well that comes in at 195 mph – 5 mph higher than the outgoing model.
Needless to say, Aston Martin wasn’t fooling around, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re busy updating our full review of the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage right now, so take a look at that in the coming days to learn even more about the second-gen Vantage!

Drivetrain Specifications


The 2018 Aston Martin Vantage Comes to Strike Fear in Porsche and Mercedes Purists Everywhere - image 746510
Engine 4.0 litre twin turbo V-8
Horsepower 503 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 505 LB-FT @ 2,000-5,000 RPM
0 to 60 mph 3.5 seconds
Top Speed 195 mph
Transmission ZF eight-speed automatic transmission
Fuel tank capacity 73 litres
Min Dry Weight 3,373 Lbs
Weight Distribution 50:50

References

Aston Martin Vantage


The 2018 Aston Martin Vantage Comes to Strike Fear in Porsche and Mercedes Purists Everywhere - image 746607

Read our full review on the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage.



Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon Take a First Look at the Aston Martin Vantage

The new Aston Martin Vantage is here, taking the original design and morphing it into what it was always meant to be. It’s wider, lower, sexier, and proportioned just right. Highlights include a larger grille up front that sits lower and is integrate into the front spoiler, a wider presence out back, bubblier greenhouse, and a more aggressive design overall. Under the hood sits an all-aluminum, 4.0-liter V-8 that’s good for 503 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 505 pound-feet at 2,000 rpm.

That accounts for an increase of 83 horsepower and 144 pound-feet over the outgoing base model! That’s a huge increase. Shifting duties are handled by a ZF eight-speed auto while the rear wheels are controlled by an electronic differential – a first for Aston Martin. Now that you know about the goodies under the metal, check out this video from YouTuber Shmee150 as he goes over all the finer details in this first look!

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 4.0 liter twin turbo V-8
Horsepower 503 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 505 LB-FT @ 2,000-5,000 RPM
0 to 60 mph 3.5 seconds
Top Speed 195 mph
Transmission ZF eight-speed automatic transmission
Length (Inches) 175.78
Width (incl Mirror Caps) (Inches) 84.76
Width (excl Mirror Caps) (Inches) 76.45
Height (Inches) 50.11
Wheelbase (Inches) 106.45
Fuel tank capacity 73 liters
Min Dry Weight 3,373 Lbs
Weight Distribution 50:50

References

Aston Martin Vantage


The 2018 Aston Martin Vantage Comes to Strike Fear in Porsche and Mercedes Purists Everywhere - image 746607

Read our full review on the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage.



Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans

The Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition is a saucy little number, isn’t it? Thanks to General Motors and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, you now have a chance to become the first owner of the special edition sports car when it goes up for auction at the upcoming Barret-Jackson Scottsdale event this coming January. Proceeds from the sale from the auction will go to the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative, a charity that focuses on supporting post-9/11 veterans and helping them transition back to civilian life. The charity is supported by no less than former US President George W. Bush.

The Corvette Carbon 65 Edition made its debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show in April, created in no small part to Chevy’s motivation to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the legendary sports car. The car itself isn’t a special edition in the traditional sense of the phrase. Instead, the Carbon 65 Edition is a package that can be added to either coupe or convertible versions of the Corvette. The package consists mainly of exterior and interior upgrades, and Chevy is only creating 650 of them. That “numbered” status is a big part of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition’s appeal, and the fact that the first-of-its-kind is headed to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction makes this specific model all the more desirable. So is the fact that it will be signed by President Bush himself. That’s an extra shot of provenance for a special edition package that breathes new life into the iconic American sports car.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Start the new year off with an auction score!


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712469
“Proceeds from the sale from the auction will go to the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative, a charity that focuses on supporting post-9/11 veterans and helping them transition back to civilian life”

I don’t suppose that there any more lingering doubts about the appeal of the Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition. It’s numbered to just 650 units all over the world, so there’s a specific figure attached to its status of exclusivity. It also comes with plenty of exclusive features, beginning with significant modifications to the Corvette’s body. Some of the more obvious of these exclusive options include a Ceramic Matrix Grey finish on all the visible carbon fiber elements in its body. Coupe models of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition also gain a carbon fiber hood section, carbon fiber roof, and blacked out wheels with their own carbon fiber logo center caps. On the other hand, convertible models stand to get carbon tonneau inserts. Step inside, and the cabin of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition is treated to a Jet Black suede upholstery with matching gloss carbon fiber trim and a carbon fiber steering wheel. Blue stitching throughout adds color while the “Carbon 65 Edition” sill plates make for perfect identifiers of the car’s special edition status.

Each of the 650 units of the Corvette Carbon 65 does not come with any engine upgrades. The good news is that, as well as coming in either coupe or convertible versions; the package is also available to different versions of the ‘Vette. If you opt for the Corvette Grand Sport, you stand to get a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Spend a little more on the car, and you can get the Corvette Z06 that comes with a supercharged LT4 engine and an output of 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Both variants of the Corvette include options for a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712470
“Prices for the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition vary depending on the variant, though the cost of the package itself is fixed at $15,000”

Prices for the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition vary depending on the variant, though the cost of the package itself is fixed at $15,000. Get the Grand Sport 3LT trim that starts from $76,190, and you’re looking at total cost of $91,190. Loosen those purse strings a bit more, and you can avail of the Z06-based Corvette Carbon 65 Edition in either coupe or convertible versions for a total cost of $104,390 and $108,390, respectively.

Then again, the best way to get some provenance to go with your Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition it to make a run at the first-production model that’s signed by a former POTUS when it goes under the hammer at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale on January 2018.

References

Chevrolet Corvette


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712469

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition.



Read more Chevrolet news.

PostHeaderIcon Bad News for BMW purists: Next M3 and M4 Could Go AWD

First introduced in 1985, the BMW M3 quickly became known as “the ultimate driving machine.” The German brand exploited the term for more than three decades now, but a lot of BMW enthusiasts agree that the newer M3 and M4 are no longer the driver’s car that the first generation cars used to be, mostly due to being loaded with too much technology and driver aids. Whether this is true or not is a matter of how you look at modern sports cars, but old-school gearheads won’t be happy to learn that the next-generation M3 and M4 could go all-wheel-drive.

The news comes from Car Magazine, which claims that the M3 is set to take the same path as the M5, which was recently unveiled with standard all-wheel-drive. Since the M3 and M4 share the same underpinnings, the two-door coupe will also distribute power to all corners. As BMW pointed it out a few months back, the new-generation M5 was first engineered as a traditional, RWD sedan. But the company soon realized that the M5 didn’t handle longitudinal acceleration, and it decided to go with an all-wheel-drive layout. With the next-generation M3 looking to push the envelope well beyond that of the current model, AWD is likely to become a viable option for the compact too.

Continue reading for the full story.

No Need to Panic Yet


2018 BMW M4 - image 702098
“Although nearly all reports suggest that the M3 could go AWD, the switch might not be as radical as the M5's.”

Although nearly all reports suggest that the M3 could go AWD, the switch might not be as radical as the M5’s. While the latter comes standard with all-wheel-drive, the M3 could get xDrive as an option. Which should keep diehard enthusiasts happy. However, with Audi offering standard Quattro systems in the RS4 and RS5, it wouldn’t be completely shocking for the M3 and M4 to become AWD-only cars. On the flipside, this move would leave the Mercedes-AMG C63 as the only high-performance, German-made premium compact with rear-wheel-drive. It’s definitely a tough decision. An AWD M3 will bring superior performance and handling but would put an end to three decades of rear-wheel-drive tradition. And needless to say, it would upset BMW purists.

The next-generation M3 and M4 are expected to carry on with a new version of the twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine, which could develop close to 500 horsepower. The eight-speed automatic could become the only transmission option if the compact switches to AWD. At the same time, if RWD remains an option, it could be restricted to a manual transmission.

The new M3 is expected to launch sometime in 2020. The next-generation 3 Series will probably arrive by the end of 2018.

References

BMW M3


2015 BMW M3 - image 554300

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M3.

BMW M4


2018 BMW M4 - image 725565

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4.

PostHeaderIcon The New Corvette ZR1 Is the Mel Brooks of Sports Cars

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

When you’ve been around as long as I have, you realize that cinematography is going downhill. Yes, I know, new movies have a ton of cool special effects and CGI is getting better and better, but movies have been lacking substance for decades now. The fingers on my two hands are enough to count the great movies I’ve seen in recent decades. The rest of them… well, the same cliches and expensive struggles to make up for the lack of originality with fancy special effects and computer-generated imagery. This might piss you off, but all those superhero movies, the James Bond franchise, and the latest sci-fi stuff suck. Things get worse in the comedy business. I can’t say I laughed too much during 2017’s best-rated comedy films. Mel Brooks and John Cleese may still be alive as of 2017, but comedy screenwriting is as dead and stiff as a doorknob.

Oh, you’re probably wondering what’s with all the movie hate in a Chevrolet Corvette article. Well, it’s all Chevy’s fault. Don’t know if you noticed this, but its press release for the Corvette ZR1 end with the phrase “it’s good to be the king!” As in the new ZR1 is the king of the Corvette reign. Or maybe even the king of the sports car business. That’s cool for marketing, but what you might not know is that the phrase is taken word by word from “History of the World,” an anthology comedy film written, produced, and directed by Mel Brooks. It was launched in 1981, and it became a classic. And, in case you haven’t seen it yet, which is very likely if you think the “American Pie” series is funny, the “it’s good to be the king” phrase is used in its final sketch, “The French Revolution,” by King Louis of France, played by Mel Brooks.

Continue reading for the full story.

Corvette with a mustache

The king is depicted as a pervert. A smug person that’s only interested in his own well-being. He’s playing chess with real people on a huge board in the yard and makes up his own rules to win games. He gropes women living in and around his castle and requests sexual pleasures to fulfill his duty as king. Oh, and he has a tiny mustache, a mole on his right cheek, and a wig. And like any king out there, he wears a golden crown. Here, have a look at some highlights from the said scene.

Granted, the Corvette ZR1 doesn’t come with a mustache or a mole, but it comes with a bad attitude.

It will grope pretty Japanese sports car on the race track before leaving them behind in a trail of smoke. And it’ll yell “it’s good to be the king” as it crosses the finish line. Giving a crap about others would be the last thing on its mind. It’s the king of the Corvette dominion and a solid candidate to rule the sports car market. And that’s what kings do. They are smug, vain, and arrogant. And needless to say, the Corvette ZR1 is definitely a pervert by way of exterior design, drivetrain, and performance.

Okay okay, I might like Mel Brooks’ work a tad too much but there’s must be a reason why Chevy ended its press release the way it did. Either the person who wrote it is also a “History of the World” fan or Chevy is trying to prepare the competition for what’s coming when the ZR1 hits the streets and the race tracks. Fear the mustache! And supercharged V-8 engines!

References

Chevrolet Corvette


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744530

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon New Aston Martin Vantage Hits the Track Before Next Week’s Launch

Set to be unveiled next week, the new-generation Aston Martin Vantage just made a new appearance in a short teaser movie. This time around, the British coupe is showcased going sideways under heavy throttle. All in slow motion with the rear wheels spinning wild and leaving marks on the tarmac. The footage is really short, and the car is still wrapped in camouflage, but it’s surprisingly satisfying to see the Vantage do what it knows best on a race track.

Many details are still under wraps, but we do know that the Vantage will get many design cues from the Aston Martin DB11. The DB10 one-off, which the company built for the James Bond “Spectre” movie should also leave a mark on the exterior styling. Inside, it should get new features and all the state-of-the-art tech seen in the DB11. Likewise, the latter’s twin-turbo V-8 and V-12 engines should provide motivation. Enjoy the teaser and stick around for updates on the new-generation Vantage next week.

References

Aston Martin Vantage


2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 728545

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage.



Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon “The City Rallyist” Attacks The Night In A Subaru WRX STI: Video

When the sun sets, the city comes alive. The pedestrians are in bed, but street lamps and neon glow provide the backdrop as growling internal combustion monsters begin their nightly prowl. If that’s the sort of stuff you’re into, then this 2-minute, 16-second video from TeamRoad Studio is sure to delight. Shot in the South Korean capitol of Seoul, the video features the high-speed exploits of a modified blue GDB “peanut eye” Subaru WRX STI, complete with gold wheels, a massive rear wing, and a rumbling exhaust note. The Scooby looks amazing blasting around the city, flashing between the shadows in a flurry of atmospheric blow-off valve chirps.

Granted, some of the footage is sped up, and it doesn’t look like the production team broke any laws to capture the shots (maybe that little bit at the very end is an exception). Regardless, the editing really gives you a sense of speed, and the Six Star icon we all know and love is glorified to satisfaction. Good stuff, no doubt about it. We can’t wait to see what TeamRoad Studio comes up with next.

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 700139

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.

PostHeaderIcon The Most Expensive DeLorean Isn’t Even A DeLorean

“Back To The Future” is one of the most iconic movie trilogies of all time. Besides the original “Star Wars” films, BTTF has one of the largest cult followings in Hollywood. No other proof is needed beyond the amount Bill Shea paid at auction to acquire the only privately held DeLorean Time Machine in existence – $541,000. Yet despite the car’s historic and cultural status and being only one of three screen-used DeLoreans still in existence, this car isn’t really a DeLorean at all.

When it came time to shoot the desert scenes in “Back To The Future Part III,” director Robert Zemeckis needed a car that could handle the off-road abuse. With the backing of Universal, a third-party off-road shop was contracted to build a modified version of the iconic stainless steel car. The shop basically combined the DeLorean’s body with a tube chassis and four-cylinder from a Volkswagen Beatle. The dune buggy-like suspension was perfect for blasting through the sandy desert. A roll cage was integrated into the car’s roof, while unnecessary parts like air conditioning and gauges were left out. The result is a DeLorean look-alike with a custom chassis and a carbureted, air-cooled, four-cylinder with somewhere around 60 horsepower.

The car’s history remains interesting after the film’s 1990 release. It includes years of disrepair and neglect, a restoration by Hollywood custom car builder George Barris, a second restoration by a BTTF fan, and finally becoming the most expensive DMC to ever be auctioned. Watch the video for the full story.

References

DeLorean DMC 12


DeLorean Will Restart Production In 2017 - image 663614

Read more DeLorean DMC 12.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster – New vs. Old

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

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

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

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interior


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

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

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

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

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

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

Drivetrain


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pricing


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

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

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

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

Conclusion


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

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

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

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

PostHeaderIcon GA Police Officer Hits 140 mph Chasing McLaren 720S in High-Speed Chase

A Georgia Police Officer got the chance to push her police-spec Dodge Charger to the limit this past weekend when a man in a McLaren 720S casually passed her doing north of 100 mph on a public highway. It didn’t take long for the officer to hit the blues and take chase. Nobody was injured in the chase that lasted just a couple of minutes, but the driver – a Dwayne Sherwood Pope – was charged with speeding, DUI less safe, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, and – get this – driving with an expired tag.

All told, the dash cam video lasts nearly a half hour, but for the most part, the action is over with within a few minutes. The Dodge Charger which, in police-spec, has a top speed rating of 155 mph when powered by the 5.7-liter, HEMI, V-8.
There’s no word as to what engine this officer put her foot into, but it did keep up with that McLaren 720S quite well. We’re still not sure why he stopped, considering the 720 S is rated up to 212 mph, it could have quite easily gotten away. Something tells us that the man was telling the truth about pulling over when he noticed the lights – after all if he did intend to run, that cop car really didn’t stand a chance.

Fortunately, for him, and anyone else on the road, that wasn’t his intention otherwise things could have been a lot worse than a DUI charge, had he really pushed it to the limit. After all, he did have “three drinks.” Check out the video below and let us know what you think.

References

McLaren 720S


2018 McLaren 720S - image 708582

Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.

Dodge Charger


2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit - image 645602

Read our full review on the 2016 Dodge Charger Pursuit.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster

Back in 2008, a little upstart EV company named Tesla threw a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor into a Lotus Elise and called it the Roadster. It was the very first model to bear the Tesla badge, and it was the first highway-legal series production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles in a single charge. Now, nearly 10 years and several remarkable models later, Tesla is at it again, revealing a second-generation Roadster in a surprise debut alongside its new all-electric semi truck. While it’s still several years away from hitting public roads, Tesla dropped a variety of specs and numbers for the Roadster 2.0, and long story short, this thing is shaping up to be an absolute monster. If it really can do everything that Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims it can, the second-gen Roadster will set numerous performance records, including quickest to 60 mph, quickest to 100 mph, and quickest in the quarter mile. And that includes internal combustion-based production vehicles, by the way. It’ll also set new standards for EVs in the realms of range per charge and top speed. This is faster than Insane Mode. This is faster than Ludicrous Mode. This, dear readers, is straight up Plaid.

While we knew Tesla had a new Roadster coming down the pipeline, few would have guessed what it might be capable of. We even put together a speculative piece about a potential Tesla supercar a while back, but it turns out the California automaker combined the two ideas into one incredible world-beater. “The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” says Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is gonna feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.” Indeed, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is framed as a bona fide halo car, an ultra-quick speed machine that’ll show Tesla’s true performance potential. Read on for the details.

Updated 11/17/2017: Tesla just revealed the new Roadster!

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

Exterior


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746107
  • Most aggressive design Tesla has ever made
  • Compact dimensions
  • Active aerodynamic elements

While the original Roadster showed its Lotus bones through the bodywork, the Roadster 2.0 is all-new. It looks like the progeny of a Model 3 and modern Acura NSX, with the familiar Tesla fascia, now drawn back and pointy with slim arrow-like headlights that fall into hugely flared fenders. The stance is low and wide, with prominent cuts in the lower front bumper, side skirts, and rear end. The proportions move the cabin back, enhancing the front hoodline.

Yeah, you know it looks good. In fact, we’d say we pretty much nailed it with our original Tesla supercar rendering –


2020 Tesla Supercar - image 721328

Note: TopSpeed Tesla Supercar rendering pictured here.

Of course, it’s not the most streamlined Tesla we’ve ever seen, but we like it like that. Drag doesn’t seem to be a major problem here, as you’ll find out in the drivetrain section below. What’s more, it’s obvious the Tesla Roadster 2.0 comes equipped with active aero elements that will surely keep it planted while exploring the car’s absurd speed potential, then recede back to eke out a few more miles while cruising.

Interior


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746109
  • Large touchscreen provides the inputs
  • Highly bolstered sports seats
  • Clean layout and design
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • “Capacious” storage space
  • Targa top offers unlimited headroom

The space age aggression continues inside, where we find a simple dash and control layout. The user inputs are dominated by a large touchscreen, which stretches down through the center of the cabin to provide readouts on navigation, road speed, and similar stats. The seats are contoured and highly bolstered, while the color scheme incorporates large swaths of primary colors that enhance the natural “clean” feel of the layout.

The steering wheel is a tiny, rectangular thing that looks like it came straight out of Star Trek. Lots of brushed metal and carbon give it that premium sports vibe you’d want from the segment. There’s also a G meter to show you just how hard you’re bending the laws of physics.

“Lots of brushed metal and carbon give it that premium sports vibe you’d want from the segment. There’s also a G meter to show you just how hard you’re bending the laws of physics.”

However, while you might expect very little practicality from a machine like this, the Roadster 2.0 actually has a lot to offer as a simple means of transport. The seating arrangement accommodates up to four passengers in a 2+2 layout, and while Musk admits that “you can’t put giant people in the rear seat,” the fact is has one at all is pretty impressive. Add to that a “capacious” storage space, undoubtedly mostly thanks to the extended frunk (Tesla’s term for the spot under the hood left empty by the all-electric powertrain), and this thing should be able to swallow enough luggage for at least a weekend getaway.

Finally, a removable targa top opens up the Roadster 2.0 to unlimited headroom. And that’s great, because after all, anyone driving a Tesla obviously cares about enjoying lots of fresh air, right?

Drivetrain


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746108
  • Potentially sets multiple world records
  • 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds
  • 0-to-100 mph in 4.2 seconds
  • Quarter mile in 8.9 seconds
  • 250+ mph top speed
  • 620 miles of range per charge
  • 7,376 pound-feet of torque
  • Three motors, 200-kWh battery

So it looks awesome and the cabin makes you feel like firing off some photon torpedoes. That’s all well and good, but by far the most impressive thing about the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is its powertrain technology. The specs getting tossed around are almost absurd, but if they turn out to be real, the Roadster 2.0 will break multiple world records.

Here’s the score – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make this Tesla the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the 0-to-60 mph test. A run from 0-to-100 mph takes 4.2 seconds, another record for production cars. Finally, the quarter mile takes just 8.9 seconds, which would make the all-electric the first production car to break the 9-second barrier in the benchmark.

And take note – these are records for all production cars, not just EVs. Impressed yet?

“These are records for all production cars, not just EVs. Impressed yet? ”

We sincerely hope Tesla can actually follow-through here, and based on the automaker’s resume, it most likely will. After all, the Model S P100D can already hit 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds.

Incredibly, these numbers represent the base model Roadster 2.0, which means Tesla is cooking up even quicker iterations for the future, with a possible reveal hinted at next year.

Now it’s time to talk about the EV-specific records this thing could set. First up – top speed, which is stated to exceed 250 mph top speed. That would make it the fastest production electric car ever made by a huge margin, and place the Roadster 2.0 amongst the fastest of the fast from the world of internal combustion. Range per charge is rated at 620 miles, which is again, the most of any electric car ever made, and a total game-changer for EVs. It would make the Roadster 2.0 the first production all-electric passenger vehicle to do more than 1,000 km at freeway speeds in a single charge. Say goodbye, range anxiety.


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746104
“Torque figures are rated 10,000 Nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, a figure that even Musk agrees is “stupid.””

Making it all work is a new 200-kWh battery pack, which sends its prodigious flow of electrons to three motors, one up front two in the rear, which means it’s also got AWD grip. Horsepower figures are still forthcoming, but apparently torque figures are rated 10,000 Nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, a figure that even Musk agrees is “stupid.”

Finally, torque vectoring helps it handle. We don’t know how much this thing weighs, but we’re guessing it’s probably pretty heavy for its size, so it’s likely not the liveliest thing ever in the corners. Still, 10,000 Nm of torque can fix a lot.

Tesla Roadster 2.0 Performance
0-to-60 mph 1.9 seconds
0-to-100 mph 4.2 seconds
Quarter mile 8.9 seconds
Top speed 250+ mph
Range per charge 620 miles
Battery pack 200 kWh
Electric motors 3 (one in front, two in rear)
Torque 10,000 Nm

Prices

Although previously scheduled for a release in 2019, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 has been pushed back a year to 2020. Tesla is taking reservations now at $50,000 a piece. The final sticker is expected to be around $200,000.

What’s more, Tesla is offering the first 1,000 units as part of the special edition Founder series. Perks for the Founder series are currently unknown, but pricing sees a rise to $250,000, and interested buyers are required to front the full quarter million bucks up front to reserve theirs.

Competition

NextEV NIO EP9


There's A New King Of The Nürburgring And It's Not Who You Think - image 716730

Based out of China, NextEV is already on the EV supercar scene with its NIO EP9. Crafted from carbon fiber, the NIO EP9 does its performance dance thanks to four electric motors producing a combined 1,314 horsepower. Acceleration and top speed can’t touch the Roadster 2.0, with 2.7 seconds to 62 mph and a maximum of 195 mph. However, this thing’s handling might have the Tesla beat, with active suspension and aero helping it pull up to 3 G’s in the twisties.

Rimac Concept_One


2017 Rimac Concept One - image 666768

Here’s another battery-driven slab of speed, this time coming from the Croatian-based manufacturer Rimac. Producing upwards of 1,072 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, the Concept_One can snap off a run to 62 mph in 2.6 seconds, while maxing out at 221 mph. AWD keeps it sticky.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746100

While it’s possible the Tesla Roadster 2.0 will look and go a bit differently when it finally hits the public streets in 2020, odds are this early preview is pretty close to the mark already. And that’s a truly incredible thing, if you think about it. Both competitors listed above are at least four times as expensive, and can’t come close in terms of sheer all-electric muscle. Throw in the fact the Tesla breaks 1,000 km per charge and even has space for luggage, and it quickly becomes obvious that the California automaker is launching a new epoch in the world of the automotive.

It looks like the future just got a whole lot brighter.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Still three years out
    • Likely to be delayed multiple times

References


2007 Tesla Roadster - image 233849

Tesla Roadster


2015 Tesla Model S 70D - image 625893

Tesla Model S

Rendering


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 638858

PostHeaderIcon Top 10 Greatest Chevrolet Corvettes Ever Built

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

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

Continue reading for the full story.

1955 Corvette V8


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

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

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

1962 Corvette Grand Sport


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

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

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

1961 Corvette Mako Shark


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

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

1967 Corvette Sting Ray L88


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

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

1969 Corvette ZL1


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

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

1988 Corvette Callaway Sledgehammer


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

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

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

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

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

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

1990 Corvette ZR-1


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

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

2001 Corvette Z06


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

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

2009 Corvette ZR1


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

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

2018 Corvette ZR1


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

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

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

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Makes Surprise Debut Of Next-Gen Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster 2.0

Following the debut of its new semi truck, Tesla dropped a bombshell with the surprise reveal of its second-generation Roadster. The specs on this thing are simply outlandish – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make it the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the test. The sprint to 100 mph will take 4.2 seconds, while the quarter mile is dispatched in 8.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at over 250 mph. Torque output comes to a mind-bending 10,000 Nm (that’s 7,376 pound-feet, by the way). This thing is a world-beater in every single sense, capable of setting multiple world records, and Musk knows it, quipping that the new Roadster is basically a “hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” and that after driving the Roadster 2.0, internal combustion would feel like “a steam engine with a side of quiche.”

No kidding. Not only do the acceleration specs blow away the current crop of dino juice sports cars, but the new Tesla Roadster also has the stamina to back its insane performance. Packing a 200-kWh battery and three motors (yep, its AWD), range-per-charge is an astonishing 620 miles on the highway, which means it would have the most range of any production electric car ever made. Throw in the 2+2 seating arrangement and some decent storage (frunk for the win?), and you can bet the big makes are feeling the heat right about now. And oh yeah, it also looks fantastic, rocking a targa top for extra headroom if you want it. The cherry on top? This is the base model, which means more range and more speed are on the way.

Availability for the second-gen Tesla Roadster is scheduled for 2020. Pricing will be around $200,000, although the first 1,000 units will be dubbed the Founder series and will cost at least $250,000. Reservations are open now, with a $50,000 deposit required for the standard model and the full $250,000 required to reserve a unit from the Founder series.

PostHeaderIcon Saleen to Bring New S1 Sports Car to L.A Auto Show

Founded in 1983, Saleen is mostly known for creating various tuning packages for the Ford Mustang. More recently though, Steve Saleen began modifying Dodge Challengers and Chevrolet Camaros too, and even launched an upgrade for the Tesla Model S electric sedan. But Saleen also built a supercar. Launched in 2000 as the S7 it became one of America’s iconic supercars and received a lot of praise for its impressive performance and that it went on to win a few important racing championships. But despite having a few successful decades, Saleen had to cope with severe financial issues in the 2010s. A merger with Chinese firm Jiangsu followed, which expanded Saleen’s presence in markets outside the U.S. Now, the California-based brand announced its first original design since the S7. It’s called the S1 and will make its U.S. debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Unveiled in China earlier this month, the S1 is significantly smaller than the S7 and gains Saleen access to the small sports car market. But despite being an original design on the outside, the S1 is actually based on the Artega GT, which was produced between 2009 and 2012. The German automaker went bankrupt in 2012 and Saleen bought the rights to the GT’s platform. Interestingly enough, the underpinnings are actually based on the ones that Lotus developed for the Evora in the late 2000s. Just like the S7, the S1 uses a Ford engine, this time around a 2.3-liter EcoBoost unit similar to that found in the Mustang EcoBoost and Focus RS. The engine was tuned to generate 450 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque.

There’s no word on U.S. availability, but Jiangsu Saleen plans to build some 150,000 units per year starting mid-2018, when its factory in Rugao, China will be completed. An electric version of the S1 is also in the books, but no information has been released as of this writing. We should find out more at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show later this year, so make sure you stick around for an update.

References

Saleen S7


2001 Saleen S7 - image 13872

Read our full review on the 2001 Saleen S7.



Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon BMW i8

2020 BMW i8

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

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

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

Exterior

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Interior

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

    2020 BMW i8 - image 521247

    Note: current BMW i8 pictured here.

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

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

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


    2020 BMW i8 - image 522671

    Note: current BMW i8 pictured here.

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

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

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

    Drivetrain

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

    2020 BMW i8 - image 518243

    Note: Drivetrain of the current BMW i8 pictured here.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

    Prices


    2020 BMW i8 - image 745539

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

    Competition

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

    Nio EP9


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

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

    Conclusion


    2020 BMW i8 - image 744860

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

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

    References

    BMW i8


    2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

    Read our full review on the current BMW i8.


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

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


    2017 BMW i8 – Driven - image 732595

    Read our full driven review on the 2017 BMW i8.


    2018 BMW i8 Spyder - image 716249

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

    PostHeaderIcon Corvette ZR1 Convertible by Xtomi

    Chevy just released its new Corvette ZR1, and the spec sheet is just this side of insane. All told, this thing is the fastest, most powerful production Corvette ever created, with a thumping supercharged V-8 under the hood, advanced adaptive suspension components and tuning, and more wing than an international airport. All good stuff, no doubt, but what happens when you take off the roof? To find out, X-Tomi Design put together a rendering, and long story short, we approve.

    The ZR1 convertible bears the same upgraded front fascia as its hardtop sibling, with aggressive, angular front intakes, a large splitter, and a taller hood to accommodate the bigger blower underneath. The wheels, fender vents, and enormous rear wing are also a carryover. Up top, though, you’ll notice the expanded headroom. If we’ve got your attention, then you’re in luck, because word has it a factory-made ZR1 convertible will break cover soon, possibly alongside the coupe version later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Read on for the details.

    Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible by X-Tomi Design.

    What Makes The 2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible By X-Tomi Design Special


    2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible by Xtomi - image 745417

    While overall we like the rendering, we can’t help but point out that it looks a little silly with that carbon fiber monstrosity hanging off the tail – indeed, cutting the roof off the ZR1 would do a good job in screwing up its formidable aerodynamics package. Chevy says the coupe makes close to 1,000 pounds of extra stick at speed, a vital feature when considering the ZR1’s 210-mph top speed. So what effect would a convertible have on performance?


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744527
    “Cutting the roof off the ZR1 would do a good job in screwing up its formidable aerodynamics package.”

    Luckily, recent spy shots seem to reveal that the factory convertible will get a few tweaks, including a less aggressive wing in back. The rest of it should be identical to the hardtop version, with as much as 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque on tap from a boosted 6.2-liter V-8. Magnetic ride suspension and a seven-speed manual transmission round it out, although we’re guessing convertible lovers will instead go for the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox.


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744531
    “The real question is how a roofless ZR1 will hang on the track.”

    The real question is how the roofless ZR1 will hang on the track. The aero will likely be much less effective, and with no top, the car’s torsional rigidity will take a nosedive, affecting how it corners as a result. Basically, it’ll be pretty sloppy, especially with all that tire that’s stuffed in the corners. Chevy’s engineers might counter this with additional bracing in the flanks, but that’ll inevitably increase the car’s curb weight, once again hampering performance.

    Either way, we’ll keep an eye out for any further developments. What do you think? Does a ZR1 convertible make sense to you, or does it neuter this latest ultimate ‘Vette? Let us know in the comments!

    Drivetrain Specifications

    Type: LT5 6.2L Supercharged V-8 with direct and port injection
    Bore & stroke (in / mm) 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
    Block material: Cast aluminum
    Cylinder head material: Cast aluminum
    Valvetrain: Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
    Fuel delivery: Direct and port injection
    Horsepower 755 HP @ 6,300 RPM (SAE certified)
    Torque 715 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM (SAE certified)
    Transmission 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match
    8-speed paddle-shaft automatic
    Fuel economy city/highway 15/22 mpg (manual)
    13/23 mpg (automatic)
    Front Suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, Magnetic Selective Ride Control
    Rear Suspension: Short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone, cast aluminum upper and lower control arms, transverse-mounted composite spring, Magnetic Selective Ride Control
    Steering Type: Variable-ratio rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
    Turning Circle (ft. / m): 39.2 / 11.6
    Brake Type: Front and rear power-assisted discs with two-piece carbon ceramic matrix rotors; fixed six-piston aluminum front calipers and fixed four-piston aluminum rear calipers
    Brake Rotor Size (in / mm): Front –15.5 / 394
    Rear –15.3 / 388
    Wheel Size: Front: 19-inch x 10.5-inch
    Rear: 20-inch x 12-inch
    Tire Size: Michelin Pilot Super Sport run-flat (std.)
    Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 (ZTK)
    Front: P285/30ZR19
    Rear: P335/25ZR20

    References

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

    Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

    Chevy Corvette Stingray


    2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - image 526921

    Read our full review of the 2014 – 2017 Corvette Stingray

    Latest Corvette News


    1969 Chevrolet Corvette 427/430 L88 - image 639510

    Or, read our full review on the 1969 Chevy Corvette 427/430 L88

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

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

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

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

    Exterior

    McLaren 570S


    2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651521

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

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

    McLaren 570S – exterior dimensions

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

    Porsche 911 Turbo S


    2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658139

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

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

    Porsche 911 Turbo S – exterior dimensions

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

    Mercedes-AMG GT S


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567786

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

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

    Mercedes-AMG GT S – exterior dimensions

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

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744658

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

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


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

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

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

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – exterior dimensions

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

    Interior

    McLaren 570S


    2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 624316

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

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

    McLaren 570S – interior dimensions

    Cargo room 5.3 cubic feet

    Porsche 911 Turbo S


    2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658190

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

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

    Porsche 911 Turbo S – interior dimensions

    Cargo room 5.1 cubic feet

    Mercedes-AMG GT S


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567801

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

    Mercedes-AMG GT S – interior dimensions

    Headroom 39.5 inches
    Cargo room 10.1 cubic feet

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744535

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

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – interior dimensions

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

    Drivetrain

    McLaren 570S


    2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651841

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

    McLaren 570S – Drivetrain Specifications

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

    Porsche 911 Turbo S


    2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658189

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

    Porsche 911 Turbo S – Drivetrain Specifications

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

    Mercedes-AMG GT S


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567803

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

    Mercedes-AMG GT S – Drivetrain Specifications

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

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744533

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

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

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

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

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – Drivetrain Specifications

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

    Chassis And Handling

    McLaren 570S


    2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651842

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

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

    Porsche 911 Turbo S


    2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658185

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

    Mercedes-AMG GT S


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567780

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

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744532

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

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

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

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

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

    Prices

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

    Conclusion


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    References

    McLaren 570S


    2016 McLaren 570S Coupe - image 651283

    Read our full review on the 2017 McLaren 570S.

    Porsche 911 Turbo S


    2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658178

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

    Mercedes-AMG GT S


    2016 Mercedes-AMG GT - image 567791

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

    Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

    Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

    PostHeaderIcon Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS

    When it unveiled the 2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 in February 2015, Porsche finally did what gearheads had been asking for a very long time: it allowed the mid-engined Cayman to live up to its true potential, which had been kept leashed to prevent it from being faster than the base 911. Now that the first Cayman GT4 has come and gone and the mid-engined sports car it was based on received its mid-cycle update, it’s time for a new track ready coupe.

    Ever since the first GT4 was announced, enthusiasts have been asking themselves whether Porsche will take things up a notch and develop a GT4 RS. But, despite favorable rumors and the fact that an RS version would make sense, a more powerful GT4 has yet to happen. This could change with the upcoming model, which has just been spotted testing on public roads. And even though there’s no confirmation whether it will be called the GT4 or GT4 RS, the new coupe will definitely pack a significantly beefed-up engine. So I’m tempted to go with an “RS” badge.

    Updated 11/15/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 out for a new testing session – and as you can notice the exhaust pipes have moved out a few inches on each side.

    Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Cayman GT4 RS.

    Spy Shots

    November 15, 2017 – Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 caught testing once again


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - image 745389

    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - image 745396

    Why Porsche Needs an Updated Cayman GT4?


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - image 637442
    “Imagine all the fun you could have with a lighter and more powerful Cayman.”

    Before we jump into the details, let’s discuss why Porsche would even need a more capable Cayman GT4. As a full-fledged GT in the Porsche lineup, it would be weird for the GT4 not to evolve into a traditional nameplate like the 911 GT3. It could also use an “RS” badge, either in addition to the GT4 or as a replacement model. Even the turbocharged 911 GT2 got upgraded into an RS at some point, so why skip the Cayman GT4? I’m not looking for reasons against it, but I’m sure some might argue that the RS badge is restricted to the 911.

    Fortunately, this isn’t true, as Porsche already used it (to some extent) on the 718 race car of the late 1950s. So using it for the Cayman wouldn’t hurt Porsche’s heritage, especially now that the Cayman also sports a “718” emblem. Also, the GT4 could be both lighter and more powerful. Porsche could use even more carbon fiber to shed more pounds and squeeze more power from the flat-six engine. Just imagine all the fun you could have with a lighter and more powerful Porsche that benefits from all the advantages of a mid-ship layout.

    Exterior

    left
    right
    “The new track car will be a mix between the previous Cayman GT4 and the facelifted 718 Cayman.”

    The test car isn’t exactly relevant here, mostly because it doesn’t have all of the features that make the GT4 unique, but it’s by no means difficult to imagine what this track-ready sports car will look like. Simply put, it will be a mix between the previous Cayman GT4 and the facelifted 718 Cayman.

    That said, look for Porsche to put all those aero features on the 718 Cayman’s new styling cues. Up front, highlight will include a slightly wider front end with a new bumper that will include wider vents. Naturally, the bumper will have a more aggressive design, the intakes will be bigger, while the splitter will suggest that you’re looking at the Cayman’s 911 GT3 equivalent. It will also have the new bi-xenon headlamps or the optional units with four-point DRLs.

    Onto the sides, the wider wheel arches and beefed-up side skirts will be complemented by the new character lines above and below the side intakes and the revised door handles. Also look for new mirror caps and redesigned wheels, likely measuring 20 inches.


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - image 715698

    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - image 715699
    “Much like the standard 718 Cayman, the GT4 will change dramatically around back.”

    Much like the standard 718 Cayman, the GT4 will change dramatically around back. It will sport new taillights with 3D LEDs and four-point brake lights, as well as the vintage-looking black trip with integrated “Porsche” lettering. This features was first used on 1990s 911 Carreras and looks absolutely gorgeous on the Cayman. The wing and aggressive diffuser that make the GT4 stand out in the lineup will also get significant changes for improved performance.

    All told, the 718 Cayman GT4 will retain the nameplate’s already familiar looks, but it will boast a more modern feel.

    Interior


    2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 - image 615251

    Note: Previous Porsche Cayman GT4 interior pictured here.

    “Much like its predecessor, it will have sports seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara for improved lateral support.”

    Inside, the new 718 Cayman GT4 will come with a number of extras compared to the standard model. Much like its predecessor, it will have sports seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara for improved lateral support and a smaller sports steering wheel.

    The Sport Chrono Package will be standard, as will be the “Sport Plus” button that stiffens the suspension, sharpens throttle response, and quickens the steering. The Track Precision App, likely in upgraded form, will enable drivers to gather data while on the track. Options should include carbon-fiber racing bucket seats, among other motorsport-inspired goodies.

    On top of the GT4-specific features, look for all the updates that came with the Cayman’s facelift. The list includes a revised dash with new A/C vents and an updated instrument cluster. You’ll also be able to add USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Porsche Car Connect, and even a premium sounds system should you be willing to sacrifice the car’s tremendous lightweight nature.

    Drivetrain


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - image 637563
    “There's no doubt that the GT4 will be the quickest and most powerful Cayman ever made, but the drivetrain is still a mystery as of this writing.”

    There’s no doubt that the GT4 will be the quickest and most powerful Cayman ever made, but the drivetrain is still a mystery as of this writing. As you might remember, the 718 Cayman went turbo all the way, with both the 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines using forced induction. There have been reports that the GT4 might continue as a naturally aspirated car, but again, the specific engine is unknown.

    “The Germans could also use a detuned version of the 4.0-liter in the 911 GT3 RS.”

    Logic dictates that Porsche would go with an uprated version of the 3.8-liter flat-six that the previous GT4 borrowed from the 911 Carrera S, but the Germans could also use a detuned version of the 4.0-liter in the 911 GT3 RS. Either way, the flat-six will crank out well in excess of 400 horsepower. My bet is on around 430 horses, which will be a nearly 50-horsepower increase compared to the outgoing, 385-horsepower coupe.

    The more powerful engine and revised chassis components will also return improved performance. With the previous GT4 able to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, the revised track could hit the same benchmark in under four seconds. Top speed should also increase from 183 to around 187 mph.

    Prices


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - image 715615

    It’s way too early to talk about prices here, but it’s safe to assume the GT4 RS will become the most expensive Cayman ever. With the previous GT4 priced from $84,600, the revised coupe will likely cost $90,000 before options.

    Competition

    2016 Lotus Evora 400


    2016 Lotus Evora 400 - image 617787

    Since 2009, Lotus has been giving the Cayman a good run for its money with the Evora. For 2016, the Brits have updated the sports car with a new body shell and a more powerful engine, making it a suitable competitor for the Cayman GT4 and the upcoming RS. The updated supercharged, 3.5-liter V-6 is now capable of 400 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque, which should be enough to pose a threat to the GT4 RS. The extra grunt also enables the Evora 400 to hit 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds and top out at 186 mph. This race car for the road will arrive in the U.S. with a sticker set at $89,900, which puts it on par with the GT4. Those not keen on rowing their own gears, the Lotus comes with an optional automatic transmission.

    Find out more about the Evora 400 in our detailed review here.

    2014 Alfa Romeo 4C


    2014 Alfa Romeo 4C - image 505229

    Alfa Romeo’s first mass-produced vehicle to arrive in the U.S. since 1995, the 4C is a milder proposition to the Cayman GT4 RS. Unlike the Porsche, it carries a much smaller, turbocharged, 1.75-liter four-banger rated at “only” 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Though it’s less powerful than the base Cayman, the 4C is quite quick in a straight line, needing only 4.5 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill. It might not be as track-focused as the Cayman GT4 RS, but it’s significantly more affordable at $54,000. There’s no word as to whether Alfa Romeo plans to build a more hardcore version of the 4C, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see one hit the streets in a couple of years.

    Read more about the Alfa Romeo 4C here.

    Conclusion


    2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS - image 715606

    Though the Cayman GT4 is arguably the hottest compact sports car around, it’s hard not to dream about a more powerful version, especially since the first GT4 is long sold out. The GT4 RS would combine everything Porsche has learned while developing the new 911 GT3 with the advantages of a mid-ship configuration, which would result in a tremendous race car for the road. Moreover, a GT4 RS would also enable Porsche to develop a racing program for the Cayman and offer privateers a more affordable alternative to the 911. In the meantime, all we can do is keep our fingers cross for the Cayman GT4 RS to happen as soon as possible.

    • Leave it
      • Not confirmed for production yet
      • Would be pretty expensive

    Update History

    Updated 05/09/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 out for a first testing session.

    PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Plans To Unleash The New Corvette ZR1 At The Nurburgring

    With Chevrolet blowing the doors off to signal the arrival of the incredible Corvette ZR1, now the sole holder of the title “most powerful Chevrolet car in history,”
    we all knew that it would only be a matter of time before the discussion about the sports car turned to its possible exploits at the world’s most famous race track. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that barely a few days have passed since the Corvette burst into our lives and yes, there’s already talk of it conquering the Nurburgring.

    Corvette Chief Engineer, Tadge Juechter, broke the news to Road &Track, saying that Chevy will, in fact, attempt a flying lap around the 12.9-mile Nordschleife section of the ring with the goal of posting a lap time below seven minutes. Considering that only four street-legal, production cars – the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Lamborghini Huracan LP640-4 Performante, Porsche 918 Spyder, Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 Superveloce – have ever accomplished that feat, the Corvette ZR1 is most certainly shooting for the stars and making no apologies about it. Since that planned trip to Germany isn’t for another few months, expect the discussion surrounding the ZR1’s potential to build up ahead of its eventual run at the ‘Ring. Hopefully, that happens sooner than later because with what the ZR1 is packing – 755 horsepower and a menu of advanced aero tech – that goal appears to be there for the taking.

    Continue after the jump to read the full story.

    Can the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 actually do it?


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744528
    “Chevy will attempt a flying lap around the 12.9-mile Nordschleife section of the ring with the goal of posting a lap time below seven minutes”

    It’s too early to tell at this point, but based on its power numbers and the fact that it’s dripping in aerodynamics, I’d rate the Corvette ZR1’s chance of pulling a sub-seven minute lap time at the Nurburgring as “pretty good.” I’m not going to go so far as to say that it’s an absolute certainty, though, because if you really think about it, there should be more than just four production cars to post that kind of time in the track. But, whether its driver nerves, inclement weather, or just straight up underestimating the challenges posed by the track, a lot of cars that looked to be locks on paper failed to live up to the hype.

    That said, I am confident that the Corvette ZR1 can not only accomplish it, but do so handily. It certainly has the power to get the job done. It should have the pace too, considering that there’s a good chance that this car can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in around 2.5 seconds and hit speeds in excess of 210 mph. Combine all that with Chevrolet’s focus on making the car potent in aerodynamics and handling, and you have a machine that looks to be poised to break a few lap records in the process. I won’t go so far as to say that it can break the 911 GT2 RS’ record lap of 6:47.25 at the ‘Ring, but I do think that, if everything breaks right for Chevy during the Corvette ZR1’s run, the latter has a chance to approach – maybe even eclipse – the 6:55 lap time of the Porsche 918 Spyder.

    Only time will provide the answer to the question we’ve all been asking so, hopefully, the ZR1’s run at the ‘Ring takes place early next year. It’d be a shame to start building up the hype this early only for the buzz to lose its sustainability. Let’s get to it, Chevrolet. You’ve done great work with the Corvette ZR1. Now it’s time to unleash it and see what it can really do with the eyes of the world watching it.

    10 fastest cars around Nurburgring

    References

    Chevrolet Corvette


    2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744658

    Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.



    Read more Chevrolet news.

    PostHeaderIcon Batteries and Motors: Even the Subaru WRX STI is Gonna Get ‘Em

    Evs and hybrids are slowly taking hold and, wouldn’t you know it, an exec from Subaru just hinted that the next Subaru WRX STI could go hybrid as well. That’s the word from David Dello Stritto – Subaru’s Sales and Market Manager in Europe – who told Autocar that the current 2.5-liter, whistling, boxer-four just “can simply not exist in the future.” He didn’t go into detail other than that, really, but did say that “Subaru is looking at market developments” and will “make its future plan with this information in mind.” Does it mean that the Subaru WRX STI as we know it will perish after the end of its current lifecycle? Nope; and all of this hybrid talk could be a very good thing.

    See, that 2.5-liter, turbocharged mill is just kind of old school and a little dirty. To put it simply, it can’t keep up with emissions regulations that are getting stricter by the minute (not literally, but they might as well be.) This has caused a number of cars to be axed altogether, and if that happened to the WRX and STI, then you know they would probably come back as an SUV as Mitsubishi has done with the Eclipse name. Thank God that’s not going to happen here. Instead, rumor has it that the next WRX STI, which will be built on the same Global Platform that supports the new Impreza, will get its go-juice from a 2.0-liter boxer engine up front (turbo of course) and a motor-driven axle out back, something that would allow Subaru to maintain its all-wheel-drive setup and keep up with those pesky regulations to are just determined to kill anything and everything that we find fun and enjoyable. Keep reading for more of the good stuff.

    Motor-Driver Rear Axle… Are You Serious?


    2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 702498
    “What we could end up seeing is a WRX STI with more power than before and better, more predictable torque distribution”

    Yes; Yes, I am. Of course, there’s no telling how well that kind of system will compete against the current Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system, but I wouldn’t hold my breath expecting Subaru to drop the ball. They saw firsthand what happens when a brand lets their resident rally car go stale – just look what happened to the Mitsubishi Lancer… sigh. Something tells me that a small battery – just big enough to keep a constant flow of juice to that rear motor with regenerative charging from the brakes and flywheel – will be paired with a decently powered motor. What we could end up seeing is a WRX STI with more power than before and better, more predictable torque distribution… if that’s something you could really beat on the current STI anyway.

    Either way, the good news is that the WRX and STI names aren’t going anywhere, and they damn sure aren’t getting stuck onto the ugly duckling with a height problem (Sorry Mitsubishi Eclipse and EVO badges, you deserved better.) The next WRX and STI should arrive for the 2020 model year riding proud on that new Subaru Global Architecture that should make them more rigid and safer than ever. And, even better yet, they will take design cues from the Viziv Performance Concept that Subaru showed off not that long ago. Of course, it won’t have those painfully sharp lines or all that carbon fiber, but we can sure hope, right?

    Current Subaru WRX STI vs the Competition


    2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 702528
    Ford Focus RS Volkswagen Golf R Subaru WRX STI
    Engine 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine 2.0L inline four cylinder 2.5-liter flat four-cylinder “boxer”
    Horsepower 350 HP @ 6,000 RPM 292 HP @ 5,400 RPM 305 HP @ 6,000 RPM
    Torque 350 LB-FT @ 3,200 RPM 280 Lb-FT @ 1,800 RPM 290 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM
    0 to 60 mph 4.7 seconds 5.3 seconds 4.6 seconds
    Top Speed 165 mph 155 mph 160 mph
    Transmission 6-speed manual 6-speed manual 6-speed manual
    Fuel economy city/highway 19/25 22/31 17/23
    Curb weight 3,459 Lbs 3,282 Lbs 3,391 Lbs

    References

    Subaru WRX


    2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 702499

    Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.


    2018 Subaru WRX - image 700158

    Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX.


    Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740460

    Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept.

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