Volkswagen Cranks Golf R to 328 Horsepower

Wolfsburg has reached into its bag of tricks and pulled out one powerful rabbit. When it goes on sale, the next VW Golf R will pack 328 horsepower, thirteen more than the old model, and should scamper to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds.

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2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition Review - Ridiculousness

Toyota is a sleeping giant. They’ve been building solid-but-boring cars, trucks, and crossovers for several decades, succeeding due to a legacy of anvil-like reliability. Of late, they’ve outsourced their sporty cars to other automakers or stuck the TRD badge on things like the Camry to which no sane mind would think to look for sportiness.


Disclaimer - I kinda dig the TRD Camry. 


But in the background, somewhere beyond the company that builds pickup trucks, SUVs, and even forklifts, you simply had to know there lingered a cadre of enthusiasts. A merry band of gearheads who would not rest until they had something they could build and enjoy by themselves. While it started with the rally-inspired GR Yaris overseas, we husky Yanks couldn’t be trusted to squeeze ourselves into such a wee hatch. Instead, we see this 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition. From what I can deduce using online translators and my butt dyno, Morizo roughly translates as batshit insane.

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Acura Integra Type S Launches This Summer With 320 Horses

Acura is cranking the wick – and the whip – on its Integra, caring not one whit what nattering keyboard warriors have to say about the thing having (gasp!) four doors. Y’know, just like the original car did. Go back to your stale popcorn, Seth.


Anyway, we’re glad for any sports-oriented machine that is packing a manual transmission and isn’t the shape of an SUV. 

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The Right Spec: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla

Say what? A generation of drivers generally knows the Corolla as a beige sedan acting as a rolling roadblock in afternoon traffic. But as part of a continuing example of how having a true gearhead – Akio Toyoda – at the head of a car company can do wonders for entertaining product development, the three hundred horsepower GR Corolla has rolled out and dragged the nameplate into conversations with machines like the Civic Type R and other hot hatchbacks.

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Acura Integra Type S in Development, Could Make 300+ HP

Traditionalists wept into their VTEC systems when Acura brought back the storied Integra nameplate on a – gasp! – four-door hatchback on the auto show circuit last year. Those people, of course, conveniently forget that’s precisely the body style in which the original Integra was hewn, to say nothing of the relief felt by many to see Acura slowly moving away from the moronic whateverX naming scheme they’ve deployed for two painful decades.


They had a point about performance, however. Acura seems set to right that wrong with an upcoming Integra Type S, packing 300+ HP and a six-speed manual, for the 2024 model year.

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Ford Escort GT
Ford sold Escorts in North America from the 1981 through 2003 model years, with the ’91 and later cars based on Mazda designs. I’ve never been much interested in the 323/Protegé-derived Escorts, instead keeping a junkyard lookout for the increasingly rare Dearborn– designed 1981– 1990 machines and especially the hot– hatch Escort GTs. Here’s a once-mean-looking black ’86 Escort GT in a Colorado Springs self-service yard.
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2022 Volkswagen GTI Review - Generation Revelation?

In some cases where a product is offered in a series, each successive generation is improved and is greater than the last. In other cases, the maker hits upon relative perfection early and later generations can never quite live up to the legend. In the arts, for example, while Indiana Jones fans can argue the merits of Raiders of the Lost Ark versus The Last Crusade¸ you won’t find any sane person suggesting that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is anything but a dank shadow of the past glories. Similarly, my fanatic daughter tells me that the third book (Prisoner of Azkaban) in the Harry Potter series is the best, and all other editions pale.

We are now looking at the eighth generation of hot hatches from Wolfsburg with this, the 2022 Volkswagen GTI. Is it the greatest GTI ever, or has Indy jumped into a lead-lined refrigerator with this latest redesign?

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Dial R for Racing: Honda Teases Next Hot Civic

With some copies of the existing Civic Type R trading for exorbitant sums, it should come as no surprise that the Big H has been working on a new iteration based on the latest-gen Civic introduced earlier this year. While there are still plenty of details up in the air – powertrain and price to name just two – these official images give us a great indication of what the thing will look like.

Spoiler alert: It won’t be as startling as the last one.

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Toyota Corolla GR Lurks in Official Instagram Post

Like it or lump it, social media is now an outsized part of official corporate communications. It’s to the point where these channels have been seen exclusively used as platforms for official reveals of new models, depending on the demographic an automaker is trying to target. This time around, Toyota has snuck a shadowy reference to an upcoming hot hatch in the background of an otherwise innocuous post about the Corolla Hatchback.

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Toyota Wants to Expand GR Performance Arm

Toyota is reportedly taking the performance aspects of its brand, which some of our readers might recall has been a little spotty, very seriously and has begun making plans to broaden the horizons of the Gazoo Racing (GR). The sub-brand, which seems to be gradually supplanting Toyota Racing Development (TRD), has introduced a slew of GR-badged models in Asia and Europe and will be affixing the title onto the returning 86 coupe. It has also slapped the performance designation onto the current-generation Supra here in North America, with no intention of stopping there.

According to Bob Carter, executive vice president of sales for Toyota North America, the Japanese manufacturer wants to extend the GR treatment to even more models.

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2020 Honda Civic Si HPT Review - A Blank Canvas

There was a time, not all that long ago, when I was all about Honda. I’ve lost count – at least seven variants of the big H have spent time in my various garages. Once, I even owned a Civic race car – no, it never raced in my care, but that’s a long story for another day.

Honda, despite the staid image presented by the majority of the lineup, makes it clear there are some gearheads building their vehicles. Full disclosure – some of those gearheads are friends of mine. They’ve always offered a few cars that make the experience of driving a genuine joy. Many have worn the red Si badge on the trunklid.

The thing is…after spending a week with the latest 2020 Honda Civic Si HPT, I don’t feel like I’ve driven the best that Honda can do. It leaves me wanting more. And that baffles me.

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Brand Boost: Mazda 3 Gearing Up to Suck Air

A report earlier this year may have been what many longtime Mazda fans yearned to hear: that the company stands prepared to dump extra horses on its compact 3 sedan and hatch. Floundering since its launch, the little 3 could use a boost — in a number of ways.

Model codes ripped from a dealer’s computer system seemed to indicate a greater level of performance was on the way, and on Thursday Mazda confirmed just that.

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Toyota: Is It Heat That You Want, Fellow Americans?

Toyota appears to be ready to answer a call, hinting at — but stopping short of confirming — the future arrival of a small car with outsized performance on American shores.

The automaker’s U.S. arm greeted Thursday by gathering up consumers who’d like to hear more about a GR-badged hot hatch from the company. GR meaning Gazoo Racing, an abbreviation already slapped on a two-door Yaris screamer not available on this continent. Boasting a very blown three-cylinder and all-wheel drive, this Yaris is not your coworker’s wife’s commuter. Nor will its one-size-up sibling be anything to scoff at.

Toyota clearly sees opportunity in the compact hot hatch space, and rumors and trademarks have spoken to this for some time. Today, Toyota’s speaking about it.

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Junkyard Find: 2001 Volkswagen GTI VR6

Because high-performance German cars require exactly the sort of regular maintenance and attention that most American car owners aren’t so good at doing, I find plenty of nice-looking factory-hot-rod Audis and VWs and Mercedes-Benzes during my junkyard travels. Most of those cars get scrapped because something expensive broke and the third or seventh owner wouldn’t or couldn’t spring for the repair.

Today’s Junkyard Find is different, though — here’s a GTI GLX that was running well enough to drive to the crash, found in a Denver-area self-service yard.

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Homologation Special: Toyota Teases Yaris GR-4

Toyota has teased the upcoming GR Yaris Prototype, scheduled to debut at the Rally Australia on November 17th. Based on the TNGA Yaris, we’re unlikely to see it stateside. However, Toyota expanding its Gazoo Racing lineup is still good news. The bigger it gets, the more likely we are to finally get one here.

Dubbed the GR-4, the vehicle appears to be a homologation car, allowing Toyota to run in the 2020 World Rally Championship. That WRC connection also means all-wheel drive and an amped-up powertrain are practically guaranteed.

With the debut relatively near, Toyota isn’t interested in giving away many details. But we can clearly see from the teaser image that the GR-4 has some seriously flared wheel arches — at least in the rear — and a lowered roofline. It’s going to be a very different animal from any Yaris previously encountered.

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  • Carson D I hadn't seen a second-generation Courier with a Mazda engine before. I've seen a few with Ford engines. There was one at the Cox Driving Range that they used to collect golf balls. Golf would definitely be more entertaining to watch if they used moving targets.
  • Tassos ooops, Tim, you missed this one. Would make a lovely "Tim's used car of the day". It satisfies all the prerequisites except the wildly overpriced bit.
  • Tassos ASTON AND BOND BY A MILE. While Aston Martin sells a TINY FRACTION of what even the rarified Ferrari and Lambo sell, it is unbelievably well known. Credit the idiotic, but hugely successful and sometimes entertaining James Bond Movies.
  • Tassos 1988? Too young for me. It's all yours, Tim... BAHAHAHAHA!
  • Gray Awesome. Love these. But, if I had the money for a Fox-body, there is a clean '84 GT 350 here for little more than half the price.