Tag: sports car

By on August 8, 2019

2019 BMW M2 Competition front quarter

Water always finds a way. Our land masses are shaped by the movement of glaciers over millennia. Our geopolitical lines are often defined by bodies of water, be it a lake, river, or ocean. Importantly to this audience, many of our greatest roads owe little to a civil engineer and all to the meander of a mountain stream.

Water finds a way, trickling from the hillside to create a damp path across one of those roadways, just over a blind ridge beyond which a sextet of motorcyclists have stopped in the middle of a narrow roadway to discuss something most certainly of incredible importance.

Turns out other liquids find a way, too, as a wee bit of wee might have leaked as I engaged any number of acronym-laden safety mechanisms designed in Bavaria to prevent headlines such as “Journalist Slaughters Six.” With the slightest sideways step, the 2019 BMW M2 Competition heeled and heeded my commands upon the two leftmost pedals, and after a few minutes to reset my blood pressure and mutter contempt for the idiot bikers, I proceeded to enjoy the rest of my drive with a massive grin.

(Read More…)

By on February 20, 2019

This one is sure to set tongues wagging and keyboards clacking. The return of the mighty Supra nameplate is — depending to whom you speak — either an abomination the likes of which the motoring world has never seen, or a wonderful harbinger of all things fun and sporty.

For the record, your author is in the latter camp. Don’t @ me.

Three trims of the are new Supra available at launch: Base 3.0, Premium 3.0, and a Launch Edition. Is the entry-level model worth a mention? Or should one proceed directly to one of the more expensive options?

(Read More…)

By on July 16, 2018

Nissan launched the GT-R as successor to the high-performance Skyline variant of the same name. Considering the old platform’s reputation as a giant slayer, expectations were incredibly high, but Nissan surpassed them when it launched the GT-R in 2007. The following year, “Godzilla” reached American shores to embarrass most everything on four wheels — getting a little faster every year until it plateaued around 2013.

While still one of the quickest vehicles most people will ever lay their chapped and quivering hands upon, the R35 GT-R is no longer impervious to counterattacks and remains fairly expensive. It’s also getting very old. A technological marvel when it debuted, the GT-R has lost its edge and has gone from a totally unbelievable sports car to one that’s just stunningly impressive.

Nissan can’t have that.  (Read More…)

By on September 12, 2017

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package: - Image: PorschePlymouth Superbird. Lamborghini Countach. BMW 3.0 CSL. A80 Toyota Supra. Ford Escort Cosworth. Acura Integra Type R. Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

Some cars are indellibly linked with the rear wing that sat atop their trunklids. In some cases, the spoilers weren’t mandatory, but in your mind’s eye, you always envision the WRX STI and Countach with large aerodynamic addenda.

Certainly not every edition of the Porsche 911 is fitted with a rear wing. But from ducktails to speed-sensitive units to gigantic struts supporting flat planes, the Porsche 911’s shape has been connected to additional rear bodywork for decades. The faster the 911, the more likely you were to find an extra piece affixed to the “911” above its engine.

But times, they are a-changin’. And in an attempt to mute the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 for a mature, purist clientele, a new Touring Package deletes the GT3’s fixed rear wing and forces the fitment of a six-speed manual transmission.

Touring Package cost?  (Read More…)

By on July 26, 2017

2018 Ford Mustang GT rear - Image: FordThe 2018 Ford Mustang GT, freshly facelifted and powered up, will cost you 6 percent more than the 2017 Ford Mustang GT.

The base price for a Ford Mustang EcoBoost falls to $26,085, a $610 drop as Ford eliminates the basic Ford Mustang V6 from the lineup and moves the EcoBoost downmarket to aid affordability. Now with 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, the least expensive 2018 Ford Mustang is $400 more than the least expensive 2017 Ford Mustang.

But it’s the 2018 Mustang GT, now priced from $35,995, that’s growing increasingly expensive. A $1,900 jump is nothing to sneeze at, particularly given the speed with which the $40K barrier is now crossed.

Non-Shelby Mustangs can get pricey in a hurry. (Read More…)

By on June 8, 2017

2018 Porsche 911 Turbo Exclusive Series - Image: PorscheLet’s stop beating around the bush. The Porsche 911 Turbo S is slow.

At first, the upgrade from a proletarian, 370-horsepower 911 to the 540-horsepower 911 Turbo sounds momentous. But, pfft. Puh-leeze.

The 911 Turbo S should therefore be the answer. 570 horsepower. Nought to 60 in 2.9 seconds. 205 miles per hour.

But I remain unimpressed. You remain indifferent. The Porsche 911 Turbo S is found wanting.

Porsche recognizes this. Porsche has heard our demanding cries for a genuinely fast car. This is the Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series. It is very exclusive, very expensive, and finally, the 911 Turbo S is sufficiently quick. (Read More…)

By on March 16, 2017

2017 Mazda MX-5 RF, Image: © 2017 Seth Parks

Let’s get right to it. Retractable hardtop MX-5 owners will pay a 113-pound penalty for their motorized, targa-topped fun. 113 pounds. Mazda engineers and marketers do not take that sum lightly. But we can, because unless you are stripping down your Miata for competitive track work — in which case you will select the softtop anyway — you will not feel the difference.

The hardtop does absolutely nothing to diminish the balanced, driver focused, analog pleasure of the fourth generation MX-5. And for the purists, consider your baby may one day only be visible in the rearview mirror if Mazda can not expand the audience for this little icon.

(Read More…)

By on February 4, 2017

2016 Nissan 370Z NISMO, Image: Nissan

Nissan is finally ready to give us a look at the next-generation Z sports car — and just in time, too.

According to a report from Japan’s Best Car magazine, the Japanese automaker will unveil a Z concept at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show in October. Earlier rumors suggested a next-generation Z car could take the form of a crossover, based on Nissan UK’s Gripz Concept, but it seems it’ll be a traditional rear-wheel-drive coupe with similar proportions to the current car.

By on January 17, 2017

2017 Porsche Cayman S Side at Massey Hall, Image: © 2017 Peter Bleakney

Replacing the lead singer in an iconic rock band is a thankless task. Van Halen fans never fully embraced Sammy Hagar. Paul Rodgers’ recent stint as lead singer with Queen was okay, I guess, and Axl Rose is now screaming it out in front of AC/DC. All fantastic singers and more than worthy in their own right, but how to you replace David Lee Roth, Freddie Mercury and Brian Johnson?

Enter Porsche’s 2017 reboot of its beloved mid-engine Boxster/Cayman. Same deal. The operatic flat-sixes that have propelled this duo since their respective inceptions sing no more, replaced by a pair of gruff turbo flat-fours.

Oh, the conundrum.

(Read More…)

By on November 25, 2016

2017 Subaru BRZ Front 3/4, Image: © 2016 Jeff WIlson

Back in May of this year, TTAC reported the list of changes coming for the 2017 Subaru BRZ and asked if what amounted to a rather modest workover would get consumers excited enough to reverse the sports coupe’s declining sales trend.

Having spent a week acting barely responsible in Subaru’s only two-wheel-drive offering, my belief is no, the BRZ will not buck the trend. After commuting in it, doing school pick up duty and grocery runs — all in a most irresponsible way, revving the little four-cylinder boxer engine to redline again and again — I expect there will be a blip on the sales radar this year. Sadly, I also expect the BRZ (and its Toyota 86 twin) to slowly slip into automotive obscurity.

This terribly depressing thought has mostly to do with declining overall consumer interest in fun, driver-oriented cars, and it does nothing to celebrate what a wildly fun machine this is.

(Read More…)

By on November 20, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE pulled over by police

It’s fall in the Mojave Desert. Morning greets us with a cool and blinding brightness at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada. Several of us mill about like the speed freaks we are, anxiously awaiting our next fix, sipping coffee, smoking cigarettes, pacing in anticipation.

And then it happens: someone hits the little rectangular start button on the SS 1LE to my left. Synapses fire up in unison with the 6.2-liter LT1 V8, brain buzzing to the rhythmic burble pouring from the quad tips of the Camaro’s Active Exhaust, one swift kick of the right foot away from liberating bliss.

(Read More…)

By on August 4, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

There’s already plenty of evidence of a looming mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette variant, but multiple sources with knowledge of General Motors’ plans now say the near-mythical model will absolutely arrive in early 2019.

Insider sources told The Detroit News that not only will a mid-engine ‘Vette bow in 2019, it will soon be the only Corvette offered by GM. (Read More…)

By on May 27, 2016

2016 BMW M2 Front 3/4, © 2016 Bradley Iger/The Truth About Cars

For decades BMW worked tirelessly to cultivate a reputation for building performance machines that could hit above their weight classes. Although the 2002 is a well-regarded classic, and the homologation special M1 is a bonafide supercar of its era, it wasn’t until the debut of the E30 M3 in 1986 that BMW’s high-performance road cars really started to find favor with the general public.

In recent years, BMW has sought to recapture some of that E30 magic with cars like the M235i and the 1M before it. While both of those models have their virtues, they fall short of the mark largely by way of an unidentifiable, intangible element. After a stint behind the wheel of the M2, I discovered that “fun” is that elusive character trait, because this car has it in spades.

(Read More…)

By on January 27, 2016

Opel-GT-Concept-298987

Guess what, enthusiasts? The automakers are lying to you. See that red tire? It may as well be a giant red X written across your hopes and dreams of a small, nimble, rear-wheel drive coupe.

The Opel GT Concept is just that — a concept. And it isn’t the first time GM has pulled this trick this year. Actually, if you look back over the past few years of General Motors rear-wheel drive, two-door concepts, only the Camaro and Cadillacs have come to fruition.

(Read More…)

By on January 22, 2016

DSC_0492-1

As I exit the sleek, svelte coupe and to buy some ice cream, the car is crackling and popping like a campfire doused. I feel there’s something contradictory about this. After what I did for last hour or so — blasting around back roads at speeds far above socially acceptable levels, manhandling the tiller just to keep it straight under throttle, thundering through hairpin turns and using massive traction provided by a limited-slip diff — I should be doing something manly. Chomping on a fat steak and downing a beer; not licking a sweet cone filled with a frozen, sugared dessert. And the car behind me should be a butch, masculine coupe; not a curvy, chic little Peugeot.

(Read More…)

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