By on February 24, 2020

It’s well established by now that electric driving needn’t be an exercise in sedate tree hugging. Horsepower and performance are just as big a driver in today’s marketplace as the old issue of range, at least according to the minds behind the slew of potent EVs coming down the pipe.

Having just released its Euro-market ID 3 electric hatchback, soon to be followed up by an ID 4 compact crossover and a range of larger models, Volkswagen is considering a sportier application for its dedicated EV architecture. (Read More…)

By on February 13, 2020

Dave Pericak, former head of Ford Performance and now responsible for the brand’s icon models, told CNET on the sidelines of the Chicago Auto Show that evolving environmental regulations have forced the automaker to reassess how it views performance.

“A lot of countries are changing regulations so quickly, and so much, they’re almost forcing the performance products out,” he said.

“Our job is going to be two-fold,” Pericak continued. “One is to figure out how to continue to make performance that will exist in some of these regulated countries, even our own, and how do you do it so it’s a global offering?”

It’s a good question. Environmental regulations have indeed forced automakers to downsize displacement and re-familiarize themselves with turbocharging. Electrification is an option growing in popularity too, with many global automakers tossing battery packs into vehicles of all sizes at no small cost to themselves.  (Read More…)

By on January 23, 2020

This is a tidbit we certainly hope is true. After Cadillac was forced on the defensive for debuting a V-badged CT5 sedan widely seen as lacking in the power department, word comes that a wilder variant with a very familiar heart is just around the corner.

The brand is expected to stage a return of the powerplant that made the new model’s CTS-V predecessor great. (Read More…)

By on December 20, 2019

The fun police, also known as European regulators, are causing sleepless nights for that continent’s automobile manufacturers, all thanks to their imposition of ultra-stringent Euro 6 emissions standards.

You’ve already read about Mazda cutting back on 2.0-liter MX-5 sales in the UK to lessen the brand’s fleetwide emissions output. Now, Mercedes-Benz’s performance arm might have to cull a great number of AMG-badged vehicles to keep itself in good standing. (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2019

Rare Rides previously featured two vehicles that resulted from racing legend Carroll Shelby’s association with Chrysler in the Eighties. The first was a rakish and special Charger GLHS liftback, followed a few months later by the Shelby Dakota. Both of those examples wore their Dodge badges proudly, front and center amongst the additional Shelby tinsel. But the 1987 CSX took a more independent approach to branding.

(Read More…)

By on August 21, 2019

Image: Audi

Months of teasing gave way to an admission of intent late Tuesday. After dangling Avants wagons of yesteryear in front of social media watchers since the spring, Audi finally came out and admitted the beastly RS6 Avant wagon will make its way stateside.

Sporting all-wheel drive, a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8, and endlessly customizable drive settings, the next-generation RS 6 Avant lands in America in 2020, but don’t expect to see many polluting showroom floors. (Read More…)

By on August 13, 2019

Image: Acura

Acura pulled the digital wraps off its Type S Concept two days ahead of its public debut at Monterey Car Week, heralding the Type S designation’s return to the brand’s model line. The car seen here hints at what to expect of the looming next-generation TLX and its confirmed Type S performance variant.

“Performance.” That implies something more than just a racy appearance package and maybe an upgraded brake and suspension setup, right? Ideally, yes, but in this case Acura does promise more “go” to back up the show.
(Read More…)

By on June 3, 2019

2017 ford fusion sport

It doesn’t come as a surprise, but it still hurts to learn that Ford’s modern-day take on the ’60s family performance sedan will die with the 2019 model year.

While the automaker’s doomed Fusion nameplate will live on for 2020, the brawny, all-wheel drive Sport variant will not. The automaker confirmed the model’s discontinuation on Monday, meaning performance-minded Blue Oval breeders must now turn their attention (and lust) to the brand’s ST-badged crossovers. (Read More…)

By on May 14, 2019

In today’s episode of Surprising Bedfellows, we find the corporate duo of Hyundai/Kia throwing money in the general direction of Rimac. Technically titled Rimac Automobili, it’s the Croatian high-performance EV company known for making the outrageously fast Concept One supercar, a vehicle thrust into the public eye when Richard Hammond binned one at a Swiss hillclimb. That was a wreck from which he mercifully has recovered. Legend has it that the subsequent media exposure helped the company sell three units that same day.

Today, the EV company announced a $90 million partnership with the Korean giants. They’ll be working together to develop an electric version of Hyundai Motor’s N brand midship sports car and a high-performance fuel cell electric vehicle.

Wait, what?

(Read More…)

By on January 29, 2019

There’s no shortage of F Sport models populating the Lexus lineup, but those efforts amount to little more than an appearance package designed to foist some of the aura of the brand’s F performance division onto pedestrian models. There’s no additional power.

While the brand already has two F models in the form of the GS F and RC F, there’s groundwork afoot to identify the right crossover for F duty. Surely you’re not surprised. (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2018

 

There are plenty of performance cars from the pages of history whose greatness has been recognized — Integra Type R, Focus RS, anything with GTI appended to its name. A few, however, have slipped through the cracks.

Time is kind to some cars, with their stock rising only long after they’ve gone out of production, but a few never get the recognition they deserve. I’ve got two examples right here … and they’re both from Detroit.

(Read More…)

By on September 20, 2018

Something needs to carry Cadillac’s performance banner into the future, and, with three of its four sedans slated for execution within the next year, GM’s luxury brand has decided the sole remaining car should be it. Tough decision, that one.

At least it’s not the XT5.

Late Wednesday, Cadillac announced the flagship CT6 V-Sport, bowing for the 2019 model year, will henceforth be known as the CT6-V. In the Cadillac stable, V-Sport models see a significant uptick in power, with the real scorching stuff carrying a -V signifier. Luckily, the CT6 V-Sport stands to gain an engine of considerable output when it arrives in the spring. (Read More…)

By on August 20, 2018

Hyundai has spend the majority of its life as a value company. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s not a role that comes with a lot of prestige or upmarket appeal. It’s ready to grow up. However, for an automaker, part of growing up includes a performance line. Because you can’t be a serious carmaker if you don’t have an iconic brooch for specially designed vehicles — and the emblem that sporting Hyundais will wear is the mighty N.

Last year, Hyundai revealed the i30 N for the European market. This caused an uproar in North America because it appeared as if the company was producing something created for the sole purpose of besting the industry standard for hot hatchbacks — Volkswagen’s GTI. Fortunately, the South Korean brand decided to throw us a juicy bone by unveiling the Veloster N a short time later.

The model takes the i30 N’s 271-horsepower 2.0-liter engine and places it inside of a slightly different (more aggressive) body. Hyundai is confident it will be a success and, based on how things are playing out in Europe, it has every right to feel that way.  (Read More…)

By on July 18, 2018

Ford promised a gutsy middleweight crossover that it hopes will satisfy enthusiasts after the automaker finishes eliminating the majority of its sporting passenger car segment. For 2019, the Edge ST replaces the standard Sport trim — resulting in added performance and a higher price.

However, it seems like the inflated MSRP will be worthwhile. At $43,350, the Edge ST plays host to a specially tuned 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 that generates 335 hp and 380 pound-feet of torque — a not immodest improvement over the Sport. It also gets a new eight-speed transmission, all-wheel drive, performance seats, and implements a specially tuned suspension. Considering all of that comes in at roughly $1,500 more than the trim it’s replacing, we’d say the Edge ST is looking like a bargain. (Read More…)

By on May 31, 2018

The final 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon rolled off the production line at Fiat Chrysler’s Brampton Assembly Plant on Wednesday. While the Ontario facility continues building the Chrysler 300, as well as Dodge’s Charger and Challenger, the drag-focused Demon’s time on Earth has passed.

Currently a black-on-black beast, the car will be repainted “Viper Red” before joining the last Dodge Viper ever made at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast Auction. The duo will be part of a packaged lot, representing the final chance to own either vehicle with no miles on the odometer, with all proceeds from the sale benefitting the United Way.  (Read More…)

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