Mercedes-AMG wanted to show you its new SL Roadster, a 2+2 seater, testing its 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system at a private proving ground in Sweden near the Arctic Circle. In typical Mercedes fashion, they said it was as much a test of the Roadster’s convertible top as it was the all-wheel-drive system under these harsh conditions.
Toyota may have a new Celica in the works, according to gr86.org. While filing a trademark for Celica at this point in time seems to be rights retention more than anything, there is a trademark limitation of three years. After that time, Toyota would be required to re-apply to retain their rights to the iconic name.
The Hennessey Venom F5 supercar has been unveiled in advance of 2021 customer deliveries. The all-new Venom F5 is built to deliver what the company declares is an exhilarating all-around driving experience, coupled with unparalleled performance. With its power, low weight, and vehicle dynamics, the F5 brags about its handling, and how you may have a truly visceral experience behind the wheel.
Zero to sixty in 3.8 seconds, or 0.3 seconds faster than the outgoing version, the 2021 Jaguar F-PACE SVR is also said to be 2 mph faster, with a top speed of 178 mph. The real question is where outside of Iredell County, North Carolina, scene of NASCAR racer Kyle Busch’s infamous 2011 speeding ticket (128 mph in a 45 mph zone), could you get anywhere near those limits?
Between Mopar’s 707-horsepower Hellcat engine and Honda’s 306-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter from the Civic Type R, the crate engine gods have smiled on both axles today.
Like Mopar, Honda took advantage of this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas to announce the availability of the front-drive monster’s engine in standalone form. No doubt this news immediately inspired visions of the cobbled-together HR-V Type R you really wanted, but be warned. This engine comes with an asterisk.
This should lead to more than a few odd pairings. Mopar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ performance and aftermarket parts division, will now offer a Dodge SRT Hellcat engine — the company’s 707 horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 — minus the car.
Dubbed the “Hellcrate,” the warranty-backed engine and associated kit was unveiled Monday ahead of this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. This means Mopar fans looking to own a 707-hp beast have other options than just visiting an FCA dealer and signing on the dotted line for a new vehicle.
Honda’s new Civic is a heck of a car, even if the styling is polarizing. But it’s not a performance car like Civics of old, where mixing and matching engine and transmissions from other models could yield a very quick ride with a stratospheric redline. Enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting the Si and Type-R trims, which promise plenty of power — but what of those who already have a car, or need features the high-performance cars don’t have?
Enter Hondata, the firm that’s been tuning Honda engine management systems for years. It’s been the industry leader for those looking to do those engine swaps, and has developed software and devices to add performance to the factory ECU.
Recently, Hondata released its FlashPro for the newest Civic powered by the 1.5-liter turbo engine, and I had a chance to drive a Hondata-tuned 2017 Civic.
Even stock, the new turbo Civic is faster in the quarter-mile than the previous-generation Civic Si, so the extra performance should be impressive.
For the automotive aftermarket, SEMA is all about showing off the latest and greatest gear, and more often than not that comes in the form of vehicle builds around the Las Vegas Convention Center. There’s everything from mild to wild, but there’s also plenty of trucks and SUVs that go so far over the top that they reach a level of absurdity.
That leads us to this collection of trucks. Although fitted with suspension lifts and aftermarket wheels, in spite of the aggressive tires these trucks and Jeeps at the 2016 SEMA Show will live their lives on asphalt and never see the dirt.
I hate it when people get ripped off. And judging by your reaction to Bark’s piece last week about a dealer in Florida, you hate it too.
The latest con job to be posted to the Interwebs involves someone who’s no stranger to crime: John Hennessey. The Texas-based tuner of extraordinary supercars, Hennessey Performance Engineering, might not be building cars as exclusive as it purports — that is if it builds them at all, reports Jalopnik.
If you missed your chance getting into a limited edition Ford GT supercar last week, your EcoBoost-powered dreams might not be over.
Dave Pericak, director of Global Ford Performance, recently told Autocar that the 600-plus horsepower heart of the GT could beat on — in other low-volume specialty models.
Is the 707 horsepower Dodge Hellcat too weak for you? Do you miss the 662 hp Shelby GT500? Do you love the sensual whine of a supercharger pulley? Well, a Ford dealer in Ohio has the car for you.
Lebanon Ford of suburban Cincinnati is a Roush Performance dealer, and has decided to offer the base 2016 Mustang GT with a Roush Stage 2 supercharger for under $40,000.
This undercuts the Challenger Hellcat by nearly $25k, meaning you could pick up a new Fiesta ST with the difference, or perhaps a few sets of tires. You’ll need them.
Craigslist can be a great place to waste a few hours browsing oddities or finding your next money pit of a project car. I have a few projects but one of my more nostalgic goals is to find a Yugo to add to my collection.
Most examples of the Yugo that pop up online are usually in a non-running state or resemble Swiss cheese, but the crew over at BangShift found the oddest one of them all.
Attention, racecar enthusiasts: Your Congressional representatives are looking out for you!
Normally, this phrase would be met with suspicion and outright fear, but for those fighting the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulation on racecar conversions, it’s the best news they’ve had in weeks.
A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress would protect the track-only use of modified street vehicles for use in competition, a practice the EPA is seeking to prohibit.
There may be a quicker one coming.
That’s if you believe what Autocar reported Thursday. According to the British publication, Ford engineers in Europe are already be whispering there could be a lighter, quicker version of the 2016 Ford Focus RS coming. Engineers are reportedly aiming for a sub-4 second 0-60 run.
The increased performance won’t come by way of a bigger engine however — the laws of thermodynamics in cramped spaces preclude a bigger bolt-on snail, apparently — but rather the ol’ Colin Chapman route: adding more lightness.
Many in the Volkswagen diesel community are fanatical about their fuel economy and are understandably angry that a fix for the current emissions scanda l may see them lose fuel economy in order to lower NOx output. The aftermarket community has provided modifications for the DPF and Adblue systems in the past, meaning there’s good chance they’ll provide parts and tuning to revert any changes Volkswagen may implement on the affected models.
This one we should have seen in the cards already: Last month, Volvo announced that it purchased Volvo tuner Polestar to bring in-house and churning out more models for eager hands.
Last year, Volvo announced it had developed a triple-turbo, 2-liter four that could produce 450 horsepower.
It’s entirely likely, TTAC has learned, that the two will meet in a Polestar-branded XC90.
Details about the car were few and far between, but the engine combination and newly branded vehicle would up the ante on what Volvo powertrain chief told Auto Express earlier this year.
Instead of slotting between the 316-horsepower XC90 T6 and the 400-horsepower hybrid T8, the Polestar version would offer the 450-horsepower variant, with a 48-volt supercharger boosting twin turbochargers on the craziest family crossover.
When the next Audi TT RS arrives in the U.S. in 2017 (and earlier elsewhere), it will be so advanced that you won’t even have the option of “shifting gears” in a “manual” fashion.
Isn’t it nice of Audi to make that decision for us? Decisions — like coordination — are pretty difficult, after all.
After the sale of Polestar to Volvo, the Swedish automaker is cranking up output and bringing more than double the number of high-performance sedans and wagons to the U.S. for 2016.
Also, there will be more wagons than sedans wearing Polestar badging this time around, as Volvo states 60 percent of the 265 total Polestar units will be V60 models.
It seems enthusiasts aren’t the only folks looking for a little more performance from the rear-wheel drive Subaru BRZ. Subaru of America COO Tom Doll would also like a little more performance — in terms of sales — from the sports car co-developed with Toyota.
Thankfully, he sees the best way to increase interest in the BRZ is to give us what we want.
First it was the Toyobaru triplets. Now it’s the MX-5.
Nobuhiro Yamamoto, program manager for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, has crushed the dreams of those looking for more factory horsepower from the fourth-generation roadster. In short, if you want to “get hung up on numbers,” look elsewhere.
Nobody at Nissan is talking about IDx.
That’s what we learned from Pierre Loing, Vice President of Product Planning for Nissan North America. But, there’s a chance certain styling elements could make their way to other products, or possibly even a front-wheel drive performance option below 370Z.
While at the 2016 Nissan Maxima media preview in Nashville, Tennessee, we had a chance to prod Loing on what could be the future of IDx considering its overwhelmingly positive reception in Tokyo and Detroit.
This well-traveled Houstonian thinks his town is Pistonhead Nirvana, proven every month via fanboi scale and diversity at Cars and Coffee gatherings. Or with every 1000+hp racer on at Texas2k, every shoestring budget’d LeMons racer and Art Car fanatic: it’s all here. Except there’s nothing like Houston SLAB culture.
A confession: I know automotive subcultures, no matter which socioeconomic population nurtures it, always raise the ire of outsiders. My response? Every generalization about SLABs applies to anyone building a custom, race or show car. We are all the same, deal with it.
German tuner Ruf is coming to China. He did what everybody should do who is setting up shop in another land: Do thorough market research. When he asked what Chinese like, the answer was: “Long!” With that in mind, Ruf made what the Chinese market (possibly) wants: A stretched Porsche Panamera.
Typically, when a focused, well-branded company like BMW buys storied brands and then tries to combine them, the results are less than ideal for all involved. Thus far, BMW had actually been doing a fantastic job with its MINI and Rolls-Royce franchises, expanding into new niches while revitalizing potent brands with high-quality products. But putting the two together? It’s not clear how many buyers will line up for this Rolls-fettled MINI Goodwood (price estimated as high as £50,000), but at least the thing has good historical precedent in the Peter Sellers Mini-Rolls. And compared to some of the modern attempts to create premium city cars (hello Aston Cygnet), that makes this über-priced MINI-mashup something more than a mere cynical play for profits and C02 emission average reductions. In fact, it’s something of a tribute to BMW’s stewardship of two brands that could well have been botched over the past decade or so. Hit the jump for details on the Mini Goodwood’s posh appointments.
With electric cars becoming the new big thing among car lovers with more money than sense, it’s clear that the world’s many tuning houses will try to get in on the action sooner or later… but how? Brabus has offered tuning packages for the Tesla Roadster since shortly after the EV sportscar launched, but the treatment has always been basically skin-deep: wheels, spoilers, lighting, and best of all,
several simulated engine sounds including that of a typical V8 combustion engine, a racecar engine and two futuristic soundscapes named ‘Beam’ and ‘Warp.’
Which is all well and good, but it highlights a real problem: tuners simply can’t improve the performance of EVs without replacing the batteries or reprograming the entire car. For a company like Brabus that’s used to turning crazy-fast Benzes into super-crazy-fast ‘bahn burners, this has to be a frustrating state of affairs. So what’s a tuner to do? Instead of dialing up the power, the future of EV tuning may just be in making these already-green cars even greener.
I’m going drifting. I’m going drifting dressed in the finest English brown velour ever to roll out of Dagenham, England. I’m going drifting in what this week’s Curbside Classic should have been, a 1983 Ford Sierra. And with that, I rejoin TTAC after a long hiatus due to our wonderful country sending me to various deserts to hunt for Osama bin Laden.
I have survived, although my Hilux did not after one ill-placed Taliban rocket sent shrapnel through the radiator. I also relish returning to write for one of the finest audiences I know, the Best and Brightest.
It’s been some time since since we had a “ Trade War Watch” on mounting trade tensions in the auto industry, and thank goodness for that. In this economic climate of cuts, currency swings and bankruptcies, what we need are things which will make the situation worse, right? In May I reported about how the EU put a 20.6 percent tariff on aluminium wheels from China. The EU did this in response to complaints from domestic manufacturers. Naturally, this left a sour taste in China’s mouth. Well, over 5 months later, you’d think that the EU would have calmed down and this nasty business would be swept under the carpet, right? Erm, not quite….
About a year ago, a mutual friend introduced me to Uwe Gemballa. He looked a bit like a pimp from central casting: bleached blond hair, a flashy watch, gold chain. He tuned Porsches. He wanted to import Gemballas to China, and could I help him? Like many China deals, that deal never got off the ground. And as I read the news today, I think to myself: I’m glad it fizzled. Dodged that bullet. Literally.
TTAC Commentator Rehposolihp writes:
I drive a MKV GTI and despite it being a car that always brings a smile to my face when its working…well, just having to make that last qualification doesn’t bode well for me.
Combine that with a warranty on the verge of expiration and I’m fairly sure I should run away now.
The only thing I’ve done to it is popped on a boost gauge, and purchased an ECU flash (which can be locked back into stock), because I wanted to be reminded that I drive a turbocharged car from time to time. Before I start snapping photos and trying to sell should I replace it back to stock? I may have possibly broken the poor original vent assembly into tiny little pieces in my clumsy attempt to remove it, but the surrounding bits still look good. So – is the minor hassle of replacing it back to stock going to net me a profit, or am I over thinking a boost gauge?
With commentary on today’s Acura TL review struggling to move past the sedan’s jarring styling, this seems like a good time to discuss alternatives to the TL… or, at least the alternatives to that jangly beak. Remember, even if you like your TL enough to get past the “distinctive” looks, the rest of us still have to look at it. Here, for your consideration, are a number of ways to improve the looks of the TL, starting with Acura’s official cure, the “Full Nose Mask.”
Now that we can basically predict the styling of future Buicks by putting waterfall grilles on current Opels, and the brand’s biggest market is China, it’s safe to say that Buick is no longer a particularly American brand anymore. It should come as no real surprise then, that it took a German to build the Ultimate Buick. That “B” on the grille stands for Bitter, an old-school German tuning house that has been to Opel what Alpina is to BMW. But because Erich Bitter has spent his life improving mass-market cars rather than Bavarian bahnsturmers, he brings a unique approach to the Opel Insignia, also known as the Buick Regal. In fact, you could almost call it more Buick than Buick.
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- Jeff S We have had so many article about gas wars. A lighter subject on gas wars might be the scene from Blazing Saddles where the cowboys were around the campfire and how their gas contributed to global warming or was it just natural gas.
- Jeff S We all have issues some big and most not so big. Better to be alive and face the issues than to be dead and not have the opportunity to face them.
- NJRide Now more than ever, the US needs a brand selling cheaper cars. I know the old adage that a "good used car" is the best affordable transportation, but there has to be someone willing to challenge the $45k average gas crossover or $60k electric one that has priced out many working and middle class people from the market. So I think Mitsu actually may be onto something. Call me crazy but I think if they came up with a decent sedan in the Civic space but maybe for $19-20k as opposed to $25 they might get some traction there's still some people who prefer a sedan.However, I just compared a Trailblazer on Edmunds to an Outlander Sport. Virtually same size, the Trailblazer has heated seats, keyless ignition and satellite radio and better fuel economy for almost same price as the Mitsu. Plus a fresher body and a normal dealer network. This has always been the challenge off brands have had. Mitsu probably would have to come in $2-3k less than the Chevy unless they can finance more readily to the subprime crowd.
- MaintenanceCosts At least on the US West Coast, Waze is perfectly happy to send cut-through drivers down residential streets or to disregard peak-hour turn or travel restrictions. I hope if it's going to be standard equipment the company starts taking a more responsible approach.
- MaintenanceCosts I'm more curious about the effect (if any) on battery lifetime than range. Drawing current faster creates more heat and if that heat is not promptly drawn away it could affect life of the cells.I agree this sort of thing can make sense as a one-time option but is consumer-hostile as a subscription.