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B&M 80641 Universal Auto / Automatic Trans Aluminum T-Handle Shift Knob
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Archive for the ‘sports cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin DB11 S

Introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the iconic DB9, the Aston Martin DB11 brought the British carmaker into a new era, one that finally sees the old VH platform retire. Now using lighter underpinnings engineered with help from Mercedes-AMG, the grand tourer is more than capable of competing against its more modern rivals. However, the DB11 is still a long way from becoming a proper vehicle lineup, with the V-8 and other iterations still under development. But this may end by the end of 2017, as Aston Martin is already testing a higher performance version of the coupe.

Spotted on public roads for the very first time, the beefed-up DB11 uses a new aerodynamic package that includes a reworked bumper, new side skirts, and a race-inspired diffuser at the back. Although Aston Martin has yet to confirm it is working on a new version and there aren’t many hints out there, I believe that this is a more powerful variant of the DB11. Several reports suggest that it could wear an “S” badge, just like the upgraded version of the Vanquish. Nothing’s official yet, but this test car is definitely not the upcoming V-8 model that will slow below the V-12.

Expect this new model to break cover by the end of the year, probably before the BD11 Volante will be unveiled in early 2018. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about the DB11 S in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin DB11 S.


PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 Turbo

The 991.2-generation Porsche 911 may be just a year old, but the German company is already working on the next iteration of the iconic sports car. Likely to be called the 992, the upcoming 911 is already being tested on public roads according to our paparazzi, who just sent us the first pictures with the coupe.

Although the 992-gen 911 looks identical to the current model, that’s not to say that the upcoming sports car will carry over unchanged on the outside. The reason for the similar looks is that the 992 is still in its early stages of development, and thus Porsche uses the body of the current model, albeit with some modifications.

We don’t know much about the next-generation 911, but Porsche is working on a brand-new platform and new version of the existing engines. Alongside the standard model, Porsche will also launch a new Turbo variant, which will be sportier and will use a more powerful drivetrain. There’s no official word as to when it will arrive, but I expect it to break cover sometime in 2018. However, we should see an update model with the new styling features on the road by the end of 2017. Meanwhile, find out what we already know about the upcoming 911 Turbo in the speculative review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 992-generation Porsche 911 Turbo.


PostHeaderIcon You Can Now Configure The Porsche 911 GT3 Of Your Dreams

Priced from $143,600 before options and delivery, the Porsche 911 GT3 isn’t exactly an affordable sports car. But, even though most of us can’t afford one, it doesn’t mean we can’t dream about taking a GT3 home some day. And the configurator for the new 911 GT3 is here to encourage you to do just that by designing the sports car of your dreams.

Although not as customizable as other high-profile supercars, the new 911 GT3 comes with plenty of options inside and out. The exterior can now be ordered in several colors, including the Lava Orange that Porsche introduced on the GT3 RS and Miami Blue, a light shade of blue with a hint of turquoise. These colors, alongside the familiar Carmine Red and Chalk, are the most expensive, being priced from $4,220. The metallic range, which includes seven options, including Graphite Blue and Sapphire blue, costs $720. If you’re looking to save some cash, you can go with the four, no-cost standard colors – black, white, Guards Red, and Racing Yellow.

Moving over to wheels, the 911 GT3 is restricted to a set of 20-inch, double-twin-spoke rims. However, they can be finished in either satin aluminum, satin platinum, satin black, and satin black with a Guards Red outer lip. These options cost $1,220, while the red lip adds another $700.

More customization is possible via Porsche Exclusive, which offers a range of exterior options such as painted logos and lettering, black headlamps with PDLS, body-colored side skirts, gloss black door handles and lower mirror caps, carbon-fiber upper mirror caps, and aluminum look fuel cap. The black headlamps are the most expensive at $2,900, while the carbon mirrors fetch $1,420.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon AMG-Powered Aston Martin DB11 Could Debut in China

Aston Martin may have skipped out on creating a production version of the DB10 used in the most recent James Bond film, but that’s okay. We ended up getting the DB11, a vehicle built on a new, lighter architecture that included parts engineered by none other than Mercedes-AMG. The DB11 made its debut in mid-2016 and showcased the brand’s new 5.2-liter V-12 that had some 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of wholesome goodness. But, with that platform having plenty of AMG DNA at its core, that also means the DB11 is expected to get a version of the 4.0-liter, Biturbo, V-8 that was launched in the Mercedes-AMG GT. If Car News China is to be believed, the AMG-powered DB11 will make its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show next month.

Of course, there’s no official announcement as of yet, so specifics are still up in the air, but rumor has it that it will pump out around 530 horsepower – a figure that puts it about 70 horsepower shy of the V-12 powered DB11, which kicked out 600 horsepower and 516 pound-feet. According to the source, the DB11 V-8 will start out at 2.75 million yuan, or about $400,000 – about $70,000 cheaper in China than the V-12 model. And, since the V-8 is just below the 4.0-liter threshold, it will offer an attractive savings over the V-12 model thanks to it being in a lower tax bracket.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Godzilla is Coming to New York!

Nissan made a serious update to the GT-R for the 2017 model year, debuting it to the U.S. at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Little time had passed, and Nissan started shooting information out about the GT-R Nismo and all of its 600-horsepower, track-day goodness. By the time September of 2016 rolled around, we were learning about the GT-R Track Edition, a model that slots between the standard road-going model and the Nismo. Unfortunately, at the time, we hadn’t heard anything about it coming to the U.S. or what its specifications would be if it did. Well, with the 2017 New York Auto Show right around the corner, the Track Edition is about to make its U.S. debut before going on sale in late summer as a special-order model.

Basically, the Track-Edition GT R is like a genetic experiment gone right, with the car borrowing some features from the Nismo while maintaining the same power delivery of the GT-R Premium model. That means it will have a total of 565 horsepower here in the U.S., but will have the looks of something a little more fierce – kind of like the perfect storm. When it does go on sale, you’ll have to order one and wait in line, and will be asked to pony up at least $127,990, before options, taxes, and delivery.

“The new GT-R Track Edition gives buyers a specialized model, one true to GT-R heritage and available only by special order,” said Michael Bunce, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “Building on the major upgrade to every GT-R for 2017, the Track Edition is an amazing package inside, outside and under the skin.”

Keep reading to learn a little more about the Nissan GT-R Track Edition.


PostHeaderIcon Will Ford Jump on the Performance SUV Bandwagon?

We have this undying love for SUVS – so much so that the market has been flooded in recent years and you can’t step outside your front door without seeing at least three in most areas. But, we also have a love for performance and large output figures, and that’s why the performance SUV market is slowly starting to take a hold. Just because your daily driver is big and bulky doesn’t mean it can’t be fast too, right? Well, we’re starting to see a number of models. Think about the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT or the Dodge Durango SRT. Or, how about Audi’s SQ5 and SQ7 SUV, and Porsches rang-topping versions of the Macan and Cayenne? These are all SUVS or crossovers that have the credentials of a performance vehicle. Well, now it looks like Ford is considering jumping into the high-performance SUV pool as well.

That’s right; in an interview with Car Dealer Magazine in the U.K., Ford’s performance Chief, Dave Pericak, all but confirmed that an RS-badged SUV could be in the blue oval’s future. When asked specifically about it, Pericak said, “I think customers love performance. I think the definition of what that means for an SUV might be different than what it means for a Focus or for a Fiesta. But I think that we’ve seen, even in the US and globally, that people like aggressive-looking cars, they like sporty, they want the power and pick-up and engine improvement, so I think the answer is yes. SUV customers would appreciate performance, for sure.”

So, it’s quite possible that we could see an RS-badged Ford SUV sometime in the coming years, but what model will it be? Keep reading to hear our predictions and learn a little more about it.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Porsche introduced the 911 GT2 in 1992, on the 993-generation sports car. It was initially built to meet homologation requirements for motorsport and it featured wider fenders and a larger rear wing compared to the standard model. Unlike the RS and the GT3, the GT2 used a turbocharged engine. Discontinued in 1998, the GT2 returned on the 996 generation between 2002 and 2005, and was resurrected once again on the 997-gen 911 in 2008. In 2010, two years before the GT2 was again retired, Porsche launched the 911 GT2 RS. Much like the GT3 RS, the GT2 RS weighed less and had a more powerful engine than the non RS version.

Development of the GT2 RS began in 2007, one year before the 997 GT2 was unveiled, as a skunk-works effort. It was dubbed “project 727,” a number based on the Nissan GT-R’s 7:26.7-minute lap time around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. In 2010, the GT2 RS beat the GT-R’s time by an impressive nine seconds, stopping the clock at 7:18. Although Nissan improved the GT-R’s time in 2011 and 2013, it didn’t manage to overtake the GT2 RS until 2015, when the Nismo-prepped version lapped the German track in 7:08.

When it was launched at the 2010 Moscow Auto Show, the GT2 RS marked the absolute climax of the 911 range, becoming the fastest, lightest, and most powerful road-going Porsche to have ever been created. Production was limited to only 500 units, which gave the GT2 RS collectible status as soon as it hit the streets.

Continue reading to find out more about the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.


PostHeaderIcon Will The Chevy Corvette get an Active Aero System in the Near Future?

If you’ve been paying attention lately, you know that the Lamborghini Huracan Performante made that amazing, record-setting lap time at the Nurburgring. You should also know that it was able to complete that lap thanks to an active aero system that is known as “Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva,” a system that allows the car to remain a little loose in the straightaways while achieving maximum downforce when cornering. Well, Lambo is the only brand that has been working hard on active aero systems as Chevy has also been hard at work, and according to a patent that was published on March 23, 2017, the Corvette could be the first in line to get the GM designed, active aero system.

That’s right; the patent itself gives a pretty fair breakdown of the system but shows that it has been designed around the Corvette. And, that points to something really important: A hardcore track-focused Corvette could be in the works! Of course, we don’t know this for sure, and like some patents, this one could fizzle away into nothing. Autoguide even contacted Chevy Communications to ask about the active aero system, and the only response it received was “We have no comment at this time.”

So what does this active aero system consist of? Well, keep reading to learn more about it.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Honda Releases Industrial Strength Civic Type R Teaser: Video

Hey! You there! Auto enthusiast! Are you excited for the impending invasion of the first Type R’d Honda to ever get shipped stateside? Do you dream of wings and red badges and 20-inch wheels and triple exhaust pipes? Do you spend your days fantasizing about 300 turbocharged ponies rampaging at the dip of your right foot? Well, you’re in luck, because all that goodness will soon become a reality with the arrival of the new Civic Type R. Word has it the first units will arrive sometime this spring, so to tide you over, Honda is offering up this 1-minute teaser video.

The vid is set in an industrial park and showcases the FWD maniac amid a host of hype-building effects – reverse smoke billows, red lasers… that sort of thing. It’s a fun little clip that does a good job in highlighting the CTR’s extreme exterior styling, as well as some of the goodies equipped in the cabin. But make sure to stick around for the end, where we get about eight seconds of burbling, popping exhaust noise as the CTR speeds away at full throttle, cracking through the manual six-speed shifter in the process.

Unfortunately, the whole thing isn’t much more than a shameless teaser to stoke the flames of desire amongst fans, and no new info can be gleaned from watching it. But hey – if you’re CTR lover, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon You Can Now Personalize Your McLaren Sports Series With More MSO Upgrades

If you own a model as prominent as a McLaren, you can’t just throw on some aftermarket parts or paint if you want some individualization. I mean, after all, people have literally been killed for less. But, that’s okay, because McLaren Special Operations has your back, and has just announced a whole new range of protective and personalization parts for models from the Sports Series, including the 540C, 570S, and 570GT. The parts don’t only bring the ability for current and new owners to personalize their rides, but also offer a bit of weight savings as well.

To start off, MSO is offering indoor and outdoor car covers, branded floor mats, and branded luggage bin mats. It’s also offering a new front skid plate that will protect the front diffuser should things get a little rough and the front end winds up coming in contact with the pavement. But, what’s more important are the new wheel designs that are available in stealth, silver, and diamond cut finishes, and there’s a new list of lightweight, colored brake calipers to choose from as well. But, on a deeper level, MSI is now offering a full range of carbon fiber parts for the exterior that include the side intakes, mirror casings, side skirts, aero blades, front splitter, rear bumper, rear wing, rear diffuser, and the rear deck and plenum cover. These are offered in three different packs, but can also be purchased individually. The will provide some weight savings over their standard equivalents as well.

But, it doesn’t stop there, either. The interior of the aforementioned models can also be customized with some extra carbon fiber as well. There are four components to choose from, including carbon fiber switch packs with IRIS surround, carbon fiber upper speaker surround, carbon fiber sill finisher with McLaren branding, and carbon fiber side tunnels.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Ferrari 488 Spider 4XX Siracusa by Mansory

There are tuners who are best known for their visual stylings while there are others who are recognized for the power upgrades they offer. Then there’s a tuner like Mansory, which blends all of these elements together to create programs like the one it gave to the new Ferrari 488 Spider. The kit itself is called “4XX Siracusa,” and those who routinely follow the aftermarket tuning scene will know that Mansory has used this name before, previously on the Ferrari 458 Italia back in 2011 and most recently on the Ferrari 488 GTB. Now it’s the 488 Spider’s turn and, as expected, there’s a lot going on here, including power gains that elevate the car’s output to within 800 horsepower.

In a lot of ways, this is to be expected considering that this is Mansory we’re talking about. The German tuner has routinely prepared some of the most polarizing programs in the business. For the most part, Mansory’s offerings are hit or miss, but whether we like them or not, there’s no denying that they’re all worth talking about, for better or worse.

Take this 4XX Siracusa kit for the 488 Spider as an example. Technically, the upgrades themselves are similar to the ones the 488 GTB received last year, right down to the split rear spoiler. But there is difference in how the upgrades react to the body style of the supercar, which is why we’re here to talk about it.

No matter which side of the fence you’re on regarding Mansory, the tuner always incites discussion, which in itself makes it worth talking about. This new Siracusa program for the Ferrari 488 Spider is a pretty good example of that.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ferrari 488 Spider 4XX Siracusa by Mansory.


PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Vantage AMR Pro Concept

Around since 2005, the current-generation Aston Martin Vantage might seem a bit long in the tooth, but it’s still one of the finest luxury grand tourers you can buy. Updated over the years and offered in numerous limited-edition models, the Vantage will definitely be missed when a new generation comes around. But, the current iteration isn’t going away anytime soon and Aston Martin decided to spice things up by including it in its brand-new AMR program, which was launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

If you’re familiar with the company’s intense racing program, you probably already know that AMR stands for Aston Martin Racing. The reason why the Brits are using the same letters for this project is because all non-racing AMR cars will be inspired by the successful GT3- and GT4-spec racers you’ve seen on the track in recent years. In short, Aston Martin just launched its very own high-performance department. And the good news is that it will make both road-legal and race-ready models.

Specifically, the AMR lineup will include two types of cars. There will be plain AMR versions closely related to their road-going counterparts and AMR Pro cars on the more extreme side of things. This Vantage falls in the latter category and the AMR Pro badge also means that its development was led by the Q by Aston Martin Advanced Operations, the department that helped create vehicles such as the Vantage GT12, Vantage GT8, and the Vulcan.

Although just a concept here, the Vantage AMR Pro is set to become a full-fledged, fully customizable production model, joining the Rapide AMR concept that was also displayed at the Geneva Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vantage AMR concept.


PostHeaderIcon Is This The Long Rumored Ferrari Dino We've All Been Waiting For?

Back in the late 1960s, Ferrari decided it wanted to create an “affordable” lineup of vehicles, ones that would be able to take on vehicles like the Porsche 911, and the Dino name – which honored Alfredo “Dino” Ferrari – was born. The idea was that the Dino name would be used on non-V-12-powered vehicles, while the V-12 models would continue under the Ferrari name. Between 1968 and 1976, Ferrari launched a few different “Dino” models, including the Dino 206 GT, Dino 246 GT and GTS, and the Dino 308 GT4 2+2. In 1976, the Dino name was discontinued in favor of the Ferrari name. More recently rumors have been flying that the Dino would make a return, and in mid-2015, Sergio Marchionne even stated that Ferrari would bring back the nameplate – it wasn’t a question of if, but when. It’s been a long time coming, and we’ve seen what looked to be a 458-mule testing back in late 2015, but since then the trail has gone cold. Until this morning, that is, when we received a new set of spy shots that could very well be the V-6 powered Dino the world has been waiting for.

Like the mule we saw in late 2015, this mule is also based on the 458, but it’s sporting a cue or two that hint at this being the real McCoy. As such, the pictures you see here could very well be the proof we’ve been waiting for. Is the Dino program back on track after going cold more than a year ago? Well, keep reading to learn more about it.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Sport Compact Invasion – Breaking Down 5 Of The Best Pocket Rockets

Small cars can be really, really fun. Sure, it’s not uncommon to see the compact segment associated with less than thrilling prospects, such as commuter mules and plain-old boring A-to-B transport, but if you do it right, the pairing of diminutive size and low curb weight can be the right recipe to make something thrilling, something to get your juices flowing. Whether it’s attacking cones at the autocross, slinging dirt on a rally cross course, zipping between the apexes on the road course, or charging up a deserted mountain road on the weekends, a sport compact is the right fit for a wide range of speed lovers. This is the realm of the pocket rocket, a giant slayer with a mean little attitude and a whole lot of potential. If you like mixing your performance with a compact body style, there are lots of options out there. Here’s the top five.

For this comparison, we chose the following entries – the Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R, Mini Cooper Hardtop John Cooper Works, Subaru WRX STI, and Volkswagen Golf R. All are turbocharged and slot in around the $35,000 mark. While there are other options available, these are some of the most popular. As such, we looked at the styling and aero, interior comfort and convenience, engine and drivetrain, chassis and handling, and of course, the price and optional equipment. We also looked at some of the more intangible characteristics of each entry.

Are you looking to get into a new sport compact? Read on for the info you need to know.

Continue reading for a breakdown of five of the best pocket rockets.


PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 Turbo S GTStreet R by TechArt

The business of tuning Porsche sports cars is a big one. It can also be an expensive one depending on where you go. Still, Porsche owners, particularly those who have the 911, have shown little hesitation in giving their sports cars these programs, partly because of the need to unlock the car’s full potential and partly because, well, they can. One tuner that has proven its worth in this regard is TechArt, the same German aftermarket company that recently gave us this beauty of a tuning kit for the Porsche 718 Cayman. Seems fitting then that with that upgrade comes another one for the 911, and it’s one that most of us are all too familiar with. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the new Porsche 911 Turbo S GTStreet R by TechArt.

The GTStreet program goes back a long way with some of the earliest iterations developed for previous-generation 911 models. This new one, though, is for the incumbent model, the same 911 Turbo S that tuning rival Gemballa used to develop its own new version of the Avalanche program. In a lot of ways, there are some shared similarities between what Gemballa’s Avalanche program is offering to that of TechArt’s GTStreet R kit. There’s the obvious power enhancement, which in the case of the latter, can go up to as much as 720 horsepower. There’s the unmistakable aerodynamic kit, which, as you can see in the photos, is as audacious as it is mesmerizing.

Best of all, there’s the unmistakable attention-to-detail that only a tuner like TechArt can provide. The company, after all, made its bones developing aftermarket kits for Porsche models and this new GTStreet R program is just the latest example of that peerless drive to be the best in its market.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 Turbo S GTStreet R by TechArt.


PostHeaderIcon Lexus LC 500

The Lexus LF-LC originally debuted at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and since then, Lexus debuted the LF-LC Concept 2. Later in 2015, we got our hands on some spy photos of the LF-LC testing under camo in production form. It has been few years of constant teasing, but Lexus has finally unveiled the Lexus LC500 – the production variant of the LF-LC that we’ve been waiting for.

As you can see from a quick look, the LC500 isn’t all that different from the previous LF-LC concepts that we’ve seen. It is still the same low-sitting, dramatically styled coupe that will probably prove to be the best thing to come out of Lexus in a long time. With its unveiling, we’ve learned a lot about the 2+2 coupe that promises to be the future of Lexus, and to be honest, I can’t wait to see it on the street.

Akio Toyoda, a Master Driver and Chief Brand Officer for Lexus, said, “The LC 500 has been an important product for Lexus and me personally. A few years ago, we decided to guide the future of the brand with products that had more passion and distinction in the luxury market. This flagship luxury coupe’s proportions, stunning design and performance make a strong statement about our brand’s emotional direction and will grow the Lexus luxury appeal globally.”

Of course, it’s not like you’ll see one at every corner. We’re not aware of pricing yet, but given the dramatic design and the details at hand, the car is sure to be reserved for those of the wealthier population. With that said, let’s take a look at Lexus’ new flagship luxury coupe and all the greatness that is Lexus LC500.

Update 3/20/2017: Lexus has announced pricing for the Lexus LC 500 and LC 500H. Check out our prices section below for all of the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Lexus LF-LC.


PostHeaderIcon A Tuning Company has Managed to Get more than 600 Ponies out of the Giulia Quadrifoglio

The addition of computers into computers has made it increasingly easy for manufacturers to control an engine’s power output. Most of the time, manufacturers keep engine tunes toned down for reliability and longevity, but other times the same process is used to tone down the engine in one trim while allowing it to be more powerful in another – one prime example of this is the Infiniti Q50 3.0t and the Q50 Red Sport 400. Both use the same 3.0-liter, but the Red Sport 400 delivers an extra 100 ponies. Well, tuning firm Pogea Racing GmbH has unlocked the potential of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and managed to squeeze out a staggering 604 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 94 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of pavement-chewing torque.

The best part is that the tuning firm managed to do so without adding on any aftermarket parts – it’s all computer tuning. There’s no word as to reliability issues down the road, but some express concern for the increased output per liter from the 2.9-liter V-6 that motivates this Italian beauty. In stock form, that 2.9-liter manages to pump out 174 horsepower per liter, but with the engine putting out 208 horsepower per liter, there could be a strain on internal components, as they may not have been designed to accommodate quite so much power.

The tuning firm seems to be confident that it could produce as much as 690 horsepower with tuning, but in the Instagram post announcing the 604-pony tune, it said that the 604 horsepower and 553 pound-foot output seems to be the limit of the car’s hardware. That means that going any higher would likely require a reworking of the engine heads and lower end, and could potentially be rough on the transmission as well. Either way, one of the hashtags included with the post were #700pssoon (700ps s about 690 ponies), so it’s quite possible the tuning firm will eventually add in some reworked internal components. If so, who knows how much power the 2.9-liter could make if built with strong enough components.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon New Lotus Elise Sprint Edition Is Lighter, Quicker

Introduced in 1996, the Lotus Elise has been redesigned twice, with the most recent, Series 3 model launched in 2011. For 2017, Lotus upgraded the sports car in order to keep it fresh until the fourth-generation model arrives in a couple of years.

The facelift isn’t exactly spectacular on the outside, but the Elise does benefit from redesigned bumpers, new headlamps, and a host of weight-reducing elements. New features include carbon-fiber front access panel, roll hoop cover, and engine hood, a polycarbonate rear screen, and forged alloy wheels. Inside, the Elise received more attention. Lotus redesigned the center console, which now resembles the Exige, and updated the graphics of the instrument panel. The carbon race seats are also new, as is the open-gate gear select mechanism borrowed from the Exige Sport 350.

The Elise now comes with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity, while carbin sill covers, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and new Electric Light Blue upholstery are offered as options.

The Sprint Edition gets its juice from either the naturally aspirated, 1.6-liter or the supercharged, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder. The smaller engine cranks out 134 horsepower and 160 Nm (118 pound-feet) of torque in the base Sprint model, while the force-fed 1.8-liter pumps out 217 horsepower and 250 Nm (184 pound-feet) in the Sprint 220 version. More importantly, the drivetrain and chassis also benefit from new weight-saving measures, including a lightweight lithium-ion battery, AP Racing calipers up front and Brembo clamps to the rear. Optional two-piece brake discs are available.

Tipping the scales at 798 kg (1,759 pounds), the Elise Sprint Edition is 41 kg (90.3 pounds) lighter than the standard model and 26 kg (57.3 pounds) lighter than the Sport version. As a result, the Elise Sprint has a power-to-weight ratio of up to 168 horsepower per tonne, while the Sprint 220 comes in at 257 horsepower per tonne. Naturally, the sports car is quicker than ever before, needing 5.9 and 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start with the 1.6- and 1.8-liter engines, respectively.

The updated Elise carries over the same suspension setup as before, with fully independent double wishbone suspension and a front anti-roll bar, coupled with Bilstein high-performance gas dampers and Eibach coaxial coil springs front and rear. Being lighter than the preceding model, the spring rate was marginally increased in order to retain the classic ride the Elise is known for.

The Sprint Edition goes on sale in April 2017 from £32,300 (around $40,050 as of March 2017).

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon This Is How Much You'll Need To Save To Buy The Honda Civic Type R

The long wait is over. Yes, you read that right. The long wait is finally over. The Honda Civic Type R, arguably one of the most anticipated U.S.-bound performance models in a long time is set to make its arrival this summer. The hot hatch is scheduled to go on sale sometime in June or July 2017 – Honda’s press release did say “late spring” – and will carry a price tag that will be “in the mid-30k range.”

Okay so the timetable and price of the Civic Type R are not yet official, but that’s really an academic point, especially for those who have waited years for the hot hatch to make its way in U.S. soil. See, for those who aren’t familiar with the Type R’s history, the model has actually been around since 1997, spanning five different generations, including the one that was unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. In all that time, the four previous-generation Civic Type Rs never made their way to the U.S. Sure, they were sold at one point or another in places like South Africa, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, but the U.S. had always been shut out of the hot hatch despite the fact that the country remains one of Honda’s biggest markets.

None of that matters now though because the 20-year wait is finally coming to an end. The Honda Civic Type R, with its luscious 306-horsepower and 295-pound-feet of torque capabilities will be roaming American streets. It’s worth noting though that the U.S.-spec Civic Type R will carry slightly less power than the international-spec cars, which will have 315 horsepower at its disposal.

The disparity in output probably won’t matter in the long run given how long U.S. customers have waited to get their hands on the car. So while all of us wait for “late spring” to arrive, we can at least look forward to the car making an appearance at the 2017 New York Auto Show where it will be on hand together with the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and Honda Clarity Electric models, both of which will be making their global debuts at the event.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Toyota 860 Special Edition

Ever since it arrived in 2012, the Toyota 86 has always been the sports car that had enough, but still left a lot of people wanting more. It’s the equivalent of a solid basketball team that’s one player away from being a true contender. Toyota knows all about this, but the measures by which it has addressed the issues of the 86 – never got more than an extra five horsepower in its life – has left the sports car in a continued state of just being “good enough.” Apparently, for the Japanese automaker, improvements come in the form of special edition models of the 86 and in the five years that it’s been around, it has had its fair share of SEs, including but not limited to the Blackline, the Yellow Limited, the Primo, and the Style CB. Now, we have the 860, the latest in a long line of special edition 86s that counts special trim and upgraded equipment as its two biggest selling points.

Say what you will about Toyota’s hesitance in ratcheting up the 86’s power and performance capabilities, but you can’t deny that the company isn’t trying to create plenty of differentiation for the sports car.

So what exactly can we expect from the 86 “860” Special Edition? Well, if you’re a fan of cosmetic upgrades and a spruced up interior that carries a long list of shiny new equipment, then you might want to stick around and see what Toyota has with its latest special edition 86. Remember, even without the extra power that we’ve long craved for, the 86 is still a good option for an entry-level sports car, provided of course that you get a trim that suits your style. With the 860 Special Edition, you’re going to get your fill of new additions. The only question is whether these additions are enough to make you want to pay extra for the chance to own the newest special edition 86 to come out of Toyota.

I’ll be honest; it’s hit or miss. But if somebody ends up liking, we’re not going to stop them from making that dive.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Toyota 86 “860 Special Edition”


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