All posts in “Cars”

Want a Funky Vintage Off-Roader on the Cheap? Check Out This Subaru Pickup

Everyone appreciates a vintage off-roader. But Broncos, Defenders, and Land Cruisers will cost you dearly in this day and age. Pristine, capable and legendary just isn’t going to happen on a budget.

You can still get something rare, quirky, and fun on the cheap, however: check out this 1986 Subaru BRAT pickup currently up for auction on Bring a Trailer.

BRAT, for the record, stands for “bi-drive recreational all-terrain transporter.” This truck was a light-duty pickup Subaru sold in the U.S. from 1977 to 1987. It’s basically a Subie version of the Chevy El Camino — a car where the Japanese company took a two-door wagon, chopped the top off the back, and made a truck. It was sort of the 1970s equivalent of the Subaru Baja. Ronald Reagan once owned a BRAT; one also makes a brief appearance in the film Napoleon Dynamite.

Yes, those are horrifically unsafe open-air jump seats in the cargo bed. Subaru used those as a ploy to get this vehicle classified as a passenger car instead of a truck to avoid the 25 percent “chicken tax” tariff that the federal government slapped on imported light trucks in 1964. Subaru had stopped including them on the BRAT by 1986, but this Subie has the seats from a previous model retrofitted. Other notable stock peculiarities include the t-top with removable glass panels and the spare tire mounted under the hood. The seller also added a winch.

For extra rarity, this Subie has a swapped-in EA-81S engine from the early 1980s. That gets paired with a four-speed manual transmission and a four-wheel-drive transfer case, to create a capable (if not very powerful) off-roader.

The high bid on this 1986 BRAT, as of this writing, is still under $7,000. Sadly, while it is a California car and California seems like the ideal place to enjoy the BRAT’s open-air majesty, the seller asserts that it will not pass California smog regulations.

Hotel Kesselspitze Obertauern Review

The Hotel Kesselspitze in Austrian ski resort Obertauern recently received their fifth star. Enough reason for us to stop by and check it out ahead of the upcoming ski season.

Obertauern is part of Salzburg state and lies on the top of the Tauernpass. With ski lifts and slopes running around the town on all sides it offers an incredible amount of ski-in, ski-out accommodations. Thanks to its high elevation it has gained a reputation as one of the resorts with the highest snow guarantee in Austria.

The hotel Kesselspitze is located right next to two chair lifts; the Achenrainbahn and the Schaidbergbahn. Both are part of the ‘Tauernrunde’ – a ski lap of the Tauern mountains which can be completed in clock- and counter-clockwise direction. The town with its popular apres-ski bars is a 10-15 minute walk or short ride away from the hotel.

Obertauern & The Beatles

In 1965 the Beatles came to Obertauern and produced part of their film ‘Help’ in the ski resort. During their stay they performed in a hotel in town, their only ever concert in Austria. Until today the visit of the Beatles inspires international visitors to come to Obertauern for ski- and apres-ski action.

Rooms & Suites

The Hotel Kesselspitze has 66 rooms and suites including 5 new rooms and one apartment in chic country style. Highlight is the 70m2 presidential suite with a private sauna and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. Each room class features a distinct style but all share a high standard of finishing including flat screen TV, mini bar and modern bathrooms.

Restaurant & Bar

The hotel has one restaurant called Jagdstube serving a daily gourmet menu with extensive buffet of salads and starters. The food is excellent and included in most room rates. Across the lobby from the restaurant guests will find the Einhorn-Bar with a slightly chintzy but cozy lounge and bar area.

The Spa

The spa at Kesselspitze was renovated in 2016 and features everything from an indoor pool, outdoor whirlpool and aroma steam bath to several saunas and a sole rock cave. It is a nice place to relax after a long day on the slopes and watch the snow flakes as they swirl down outside.

Conclusion

The Hotel Kesselspitze is a very nice place to stay if you are looking for a ski-in, ski-out hotel in a resort with some of the best snow in Europe. Comfortable rooms paired with a quality spa offering and excellent food round up a very good offering.

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China Rivals Middle East with Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce Monster Truck!

The middle east has a reputation for some of the craziest rides. In the past we have seen all sorts of wraps, a batmobile replica and the world’s biggest SUV (based on a Jeep Wrangler, Dodge Dart and Oshkosh M1075 military truck). These insane creations have slowed in recent years though. It seems that China has stepped up!

A video recently made its way onto social media showing a group of Chinese friends having fun in the sand dunes. Their ‘toys’ include custom Lamborghini Aventador and Rolls-Royce Phantom Drop-Head monster trucks!

The group also use a Mercedes-Benz G500 4×4 with a Rolls-Royce Ghost grille transplanted onto the front, and Rolls-Royce rims at all-four corners. One of the most insane creations is an SUV, not dissimilar to the Arab vehicle, which also features a Phantom grille, eight axles and a Jeep Wrangler body!

The video ends with a look around a military spec Mercedes-Benz G Wagon, fitted with a set of caterpillar tracks and advertised for sale at the price of 1.5 million yuan, 195,000 euros.

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2020 Audi R8 RWD Coupe and Spider Revealed

Joining the refreshed Audi R8 range is the Audi R8 RWD. Both the Coupe and Spider were revealed this week with the same range of updates as the all-wheel-drive version. The 2020 Audi R8 RWD is available to order immediately, for an early 2020 delivery.

Design

2020 Audi R8 RWD Coupe and Spider

Audi has updated the single-frame grille for the new R8, it is broader and flatter. Alongside the wider air intakes, it fills the front better than ever before. As with most of Audi’s range, the bonnet incorporates a new air vent reminiscent of the historic Audi Quattro rally cars.

The rear diffuser is mounted higher. It includes two oval tailpipes. The engine compartments also adds a choice of plastic or carbon fibre air filter cover.

The two sideblades are what sets the Audi R8 RWD apart from the rest of the model range. The RWD gets a glossy mythos black, top blade with the bottom blade finished in the vehicle colour. The front blade, the side sill inserts and the diffuser are painted in gloss black as standard with carbon fibre option. The exterior colour is new too, kemora gray.

Drivertrain

2020 Audi R8 RWD Spyder Top Down

The Audi R8 RWD retains the 5.2 litre V10, this time producing 540 hp and 540 Nm of torque. The power is delivered to the rear wheels via a seven-speed S tronic gearbox and a mechanical locking differential.

The Coupe hits 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, with the Spyder taking 0.1 seconds longer. Top speed is 320 km/h for the Coupe and 318 km/h for the Spyder.

In sport mode, the Audi R8 RWD’s Electronic Stabilization Control system, suspension setup and control systems allow controlled drifting.

Availability

2020 Audi R8 RWD Spyder Interior

Otherwise, the Audi R8 RWD is broadly similar to the other quattro-powered Audi R8’s. It is built at the “Böllinger Höfe” production facility at Neckarsulm. In Germany, pricing will begin from EUR 144,000 for the Coupe and EUR 157,000 for the Spyder.

Competition

Competition at this price range is relatively limited. In Europe, you could get a McLaren 570S or Honda NSX for similar money. Both are mid-engined, the R8 gets a slightly larger V10 powerplant.

If you are looking elsewhere, your options are limited to front-wheel-drive competitors, unless you spend a bit more and move up to the Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari F8 Tributo or the McLaren 720S.

The Mercedes-AMG GT R, Aston Martin Vantage and Porsche 911 Turbo S could all be considered the competition. Which one you choose will be down to personal preference.

Gallery

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Pagani titillates Grand Central Terminal commuters with supercar display

Pagani Automobili picked one of the single busiest points of mass public transportation in the world to present some of the most exclusive and individualistic personal mobility methods on the planet. Not since the Yugofone exhibit has such a magnificent piece of automotive art graced the floor of New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. Pagani brought five Zondas, including the first production model ever built, and a Huayra Roadster BC to show off for four days in Manhattan’s iconic building.

From Nov. 5 to Nov. 8, 2019, between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, Grand Central commuters are getting a jarring dose of opulence as they pass through the terminal’s main floor. The Paganis, which span the company’s relatively young history, provide a pointed contrast to the commuter trains most passersby are heading to or from. 

“Grand Central Terminal, a globally recognized transportation hub with timeless design and beauty, is an iconic location where many immigrants arrived and began their American Dream,” Horacio Pagani said in a press release. “As there are significant parallels between their journeys and mine, I am honored to tell my story here. I hope New York City residents and visitors passing though will enjoy seeing my work and learning about how the commitment to sacrifice, hard work and passion can help anyone realize their dream.”

The cars on display include the Zonda No. 001, a Zonda F, a Zonda R, a Zonda Cinque, a Zonda HP Barchetta, and a Huayra Roadster BC, which was unveiled in summer 2019. The Zonda No. 1 is the rarest of the bunch, but the Cinque is one of five, and the Barchetta is one of three. Displaying all six together before an estimated 750,000 people who pass through Grand Central each day is the rarest aspect of all, as they might not come together again soon, or ever.

Forget Black Friday; Grab These Great Child Car Seats for 50% Off Now (But Act Fast)

The day after Thanksgiving that’s commonly known as Black Friday is still three weeks away, but Target is getting in on the act early, with massive 50-percent-off deals on child car seats. Buying those car seats can be confusing and expensive; these Target deals can make doing the entire process for the first time (or picking up a second seat) easy and incredibly affordable.

The Graco Nautilus 65 3-in-1 booster seat, normally $180, is on sale for $90. The Graco Slim Fit 3-1 Convertible Car Seat, usually $230, is on sale for only $115. Those two seats together can take care of all of your car seat needs from infancy through adolescence for a little over $200.

Many parents will opt for an infant car seat instead of a convertible seat for the first year. This type of seat allows you to move the potentially sleeping child from the car to a stroller quickly and easily. The Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 LX Infant Car Seat, which includes the car seat base, is on sale for just $100.

If you want to score these great car seats for a super low price, you must act fast. These Target deals expire on November 9, which is this Saturday.

Gear Patrol also recommends:
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat ($200)
Bugaboo Turtle by Nuna Car Seat ($349)
Britax Advocate ClickTight Convertible Car Seat ($385)

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge Revealed

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan has now received the Black Badge treatment. Rolls-Royce announced the model earlier today. The Black Badge emerged for the Wraith and the Ghost in 2016 followed by the Dawn in 2017.

The Black Badge models are described by Rolls-Royce as being “highly dynamic and wilfully rebellious in aesthetic”. According to the British manufacturer, the cars are defined by “…the taste patterns of an emerging generation of super-luxury consumer.” If the standard Rolls-Royce Cullinan is a traditional set of Gucci Loafer, the Black Badge is the equivilent of Yeezy’s. On trend with the youth.

The Cullinan has been around since 2018 and in that time we have seen some very edgy (and personal) specifications. For the black badge, Rolls-Royce ramps the number of paint options up to 44,000 with the further option of an entirely bespoke paint job. The most popular is actually relatively simply signature black. The deveil is in the detail though, as the multi-layer paint is meticulously applied and hand polished 10 times.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge Rear

On the Cullinan Black Badge, the spirit of ecstasy is finished in high gloss black crime which extends, for the first time, to the mounting plate. This carries across to the front grille surround, side frame finishers, boot handle, boot trim, lower air inlet finisher and exhaust pipes.

All-new 22-inch forged alloy wheels are reserved exclusively for the Black Badge Cullinan. They hide the first painted calipers, finished in high gloss Red paint.

Inside, the vaneer is a naked-weave carbon-fibre finish, creating geometrical shapes. Each leaf is finished in six coats of lacquer and left to cure for 72 hours before it is hand polished. It takes 21 days and is alligned with the 232 other pieces within the car during the quality assurance stage.

Rolls-Royce Cullinan Black Badge Seats

The Starlight Headliner is finished in black leather with 1,344 fibre optic lights reflecting the sky at night. Eight shooting stars dart over the front seat occupants on occassion. Forge Yellow is a brand new leather colour created specifically for the Rolls Royce Cullinan Black Badge. An Infinity lemniscate motif is embroidered into the fold-down rear arm-rest.

Beyond the aesthetics, Rolls-Royce bring a few engineering updates to the 6.75 litre V12 engine. It gets a new exhaust system, accessed in its fullest form by a ‘Low’ button on the gear selector. A 29 hp boost sees the Cullinan produce 600 hp and 900 Nm of torque for the first time.

Pricing won’t be released. If you can afford one, you likely won’t even need to ask!

Gallery

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2019 SEMA Show Mega Photo Gallery | Wild West show

LAS VEGAS — Car shows across the planet are struggling, as automakers look for fresh ways to reach the buying public. But out in Las Vegas at the SEMA show (SEMA stands for Specialty Equipment Market Association, in case you didn’t know), things have seemingly never been better. This year’s show has 2,400 exhibiting companies with 3,000 products on display, filling five halls. Off-road, performance, racing, hot-rods, coolness, weirdness — there’s something different around every corner.

The show ends Friday, so unless you’re about to hop a plane, you might just miss it. But here, from the comfort of your own home or cubicle, are the highlights — 45 cars that caught our eye. So sit back, crack a Zima and SEMA it up:

2020 Acura RDX with Concept A-Spec AccessoriesAcura shows off RDX accessories and 2020 NSX at SEMA

B is for Build Twin-Turbo V8 Huracan Widebody2015 Lamborghini Huracan is getting twin-turbo Chevy power for SEMA

Button Built Ferrari BB355TTToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

2020 Chevrolet COPO Camaro John Force Edition – The Force is with you in this one-off Chevy COPO Camaro

2021 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Dusk Edition – 2018 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Midnight and Dusk Editions to debut at SEMA

Chevrolet Performance E-10 ConceptChevy truck transformed from farm work to 450-horsepower electric hot rod

2021 Chevrolet Silverado HD Carhartt Special EditionYou’ll know the 2021 Chevrolet Silverado 2500 HD Carhartt Special Edition when you see it

2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak2020 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak comes solely with supercharged power

Factory Five Romulan V12 SupercarFactory Five developing new supercar with 755-hp LS V12

Foose Jaguar E-Type Chip Foose cooks up a custom 1974 Jaguar E-Type for SEMA

Jay Leno’s GT500-powered 1968 Ford BroncoThis classic Ford Bronco has a modern GT500 engine and a manual

Ford F-Series CustomsFord previews custom F-150s and Mustangs for SEMA

Ford F-Series Super Duty CustomsCheck out the Ford Super Duty lineup rolling into SEMA 2019

Ford Mustang CustomsFord previews custom F-150s and Mustangs for SEMA

Ford Mustang LithiumLithium Mustang EV from Ford and Webasto is lightning in an bottle for SEMA

Ford Ranger Customs2019 Ford SEMA builds feature off-road-ready Rangers and wild Transit Vans

2020 Ford Ranger RTR 2019 Ford SEMA builds feature off-road-ready Rangers and wild Transit Vans

Ford SUV CustomsFord will bring more than 50 tricked-out vehicles to SEMA: Here’s a preview

Hennessey Jeep Gladiator Maximus Hennessey Maximus turns 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a 1,000-horsepower monster

Honda Civic Si Formula Drift CarHonda to show custom 1968 S800 Coupe, three Civic Si builds at SEMA

Honda CR-V CustomsHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Rally PassportHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Ridgeline HFP ConceptHonda CR-V, Passport and Ridgeline highlighted at SEMA

Honda Vintage VehiclesHonda to show custom 1968 S800 Coupe, three Civic Si builds at SEMA

Hyundai Kona Ultimate ConceptHyundai Veloster N ‘Type R Killer’ and lifted Kona on their way to SEMA

Hyundai Veloster N Performance Concept2020 Hyundai Veloster N Performance Concept gets an aftermarket makeover

Hyundai VelosterRaptor N ConceptHyundai Veloster N ‘Type R Killer’ and lifted Kona on their way to SEMA

Jack Roush Edition Mustang Jack Roush Edition Mustang brings 775 horses to Ford’s pony car

Mopar Lowliner Concept1968 Dodge D200 ‘Lowliner’ adds low-down diesel torque to a lowrider

Moparized Jeep Wrangler RubiconRam 1500 diesel overlander, off-road Jeep Wrangler show present and future of Mopar

Nissan Global Time Attack TT 370Z ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Frontier Desert Runner ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Kicks Street Sport ProjectNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

2020 Nissan Titan with Genuine Nissan AccessoriesNissan Frontier 600-hp desert-runner, 370Z with 750 hp lead assault on SEMA

Nissan Titan XD Dually Project

1958 Plymouth Fury ‘Christine’ Tribute 1958 Plymouth Fury ‘Christine’ tribute has a 1,000-hp Hemi crate engine

Quintin Brothers Dodge ChallengerThis Dodge Challenger was stolen, used in police chases and recovered all in the week before its SEMA debut

Ram 1500 Rebel OTGRam 1500 diesel overlander, off-road Jeep Wrangler show present and future of Mopar

Ring Brothers 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ValkyrjaRingbrothers 1969 Chevy Camaro ‘Valkyrja’ ready to take SEMA to Belgium

Ruffian Ford MustangToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

Russell Built Porsche 911 BajaToyo Tires will bring another wild catalog of rides to SEMA

Shelby GT500 Dragon SnakeShelby brings Dragon Snake GT500, Super Snake F-150 truck to SEMA

Speedkore AWD Twin-Turbo Dodge Charger WidebodySpeedkore AWD twin-turbo Carbon Charger, best birthday gift ever

Toyota Avalon TRD Pro ConceptToyota floods SEMA with a slew of Supra concepts

Toyota GR Supra CustomsToyota floods SEMA with a slew of Supra concepts

The Tesla Pickup Truck: What You Need to Know

Electric pickup trucks have begun to appear in nascent form over the last few years; witness the Rivian R1T and the Bollinger B2. Now, however, the big dog in EVs is about to climb into the field.

Elon Musk has teasing a forthcoming Tesla pickup truck since the early 2010s — and now, the teasing is over. Musk has confirmed via Twitter that the “Cybertruck,” as he calls it, is happening very soon. Here’s what you need to know.

When will the Tesla pickup debut?

After numerous, well-chronicled delays, the launch will be November 21, 2019 in Los Angeles. Musk noted that Blade Runner began in November 2019 in Los Angeles.  That date is particularly convenient from a PR perspective, since many auto journalists will be in town for the L.A. auto show at that time. It also may be timed to steal a bit of thunder from Ford’s “Mustang-inspired” electric crossover that debuts a few days before.

What will the Tesla pickup look like?

Musk has stated the truck will have a “cyberpunk” motif. He has described it as something out of Blade Runner and the “armored personnel carrier of the future.” Tesla dropped a (notably unhelpful) teaser for it during the Model Y crossover launch. Speculation about its looks has ranged from a fairly generic pickup shape to something resembling a Mars rover.

How capable will the Tesla pickup be?

Very. Musk has said the Tesla pickup will deliver better towing and payload capabilities than the Ford F-150. It will also have better on-road performance numbers than the base model Porsche 911, according to Musk. Given the “ludicrous” performance we’ve seen from Tesla’s electric motors, meeting those claims is more plausible than most would suspect.

What will the Tesla pickup’s range be?

A large truck should be able to carry more batteries than other Tesla vehicles, like the Model 3 we tested in California earlier this year. Musk has noted there would “definitely” be an option for a 400-500-mile EPA-rated range.

How much will the Tesla pickup truck cost?

Musk stated the Tesla pickup’s target base price should be at or slightly below $50,000. Though, as with the claimed $35,000 Model 3 that exists largely in theory, it’s not certain what that will mean in practice, or when Tesla will reach that goal.

How many people will it hold?

Musk has said the truck will hold up to six people. He also promised the driver’s seat will be spacious enough to accommodate former wrestler Andre the Giant, who stood 7’4” with a listed weight of 520 pounds.

Will the Tesla pickup face competition?

Yes. Tesla’s initial forays with the Roadster, Model S, Model X, and Model 3 defined new markets for electric vehicles. With the Model Y and now the pickup, Tesla will face stiff competition. Rivian will debut its R1T pickup next year, and an electric version of Ford’s iconic F-150 should be soon to follow.

Big Supercar and Hypercar Collection Set for Saudi Arabia Auction

Saudi Arabia has traditionally been a closed state in the sense that it imposed severe restrictions on visitation for tourism purposes. These traditional rules were relaxed recently with the introduction of a travel visa system for foreign travellers and a general relaxation of strict Islamic traditions for foreign visitors.

As a result of looser restrictions, it has been possible for the Arab state to launch a number of events. One of the biggest is the Riyadh Car Show which celebrates its inaugural event later this month. The car show is set to bring together some of the flashiest supercars and HyperCard from around the world.

The event will also provide a platform for a jaw dropping auction. Auctioneers Silverstone Auctions, have announced a star-studded roster, combining offerings from many of the world’s biggest manufacturers. The lot list gives Pebble Beach auctions a run for their money.

Among the headline lots is a unique Pagani Zonda Riviera, which hits the auction blocks alongside two other Pagani Huayra models. There is one of 5 Italdesign Zeruno’s, a McLaren P1 Carbon Edition, a Mansory Bugatti Veyron, a Gemballa Mirage GT, a Bugatti Veyron Nocturne, a Bugatti Chiron Sport and a Gumpert Apollo S.

Of course, the above is just a cross section of the lots which caught our eye. There is plenty more on offer. Many of the cars appear to have been on offer with Saudi Arabian car dealers in the past. Silverstone Auctions’ event takes place on 22 November 2019, a week before RM Sotheby’s inaugural Abu Dhabi auction. That auction also features a one-off Zonda. It will be interesting to see the results!

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2020 C8 Chevy Corvette’s official 0-60 mph time: 2.9 seconds

Official acceleration times are finally here for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. Chevy revealed the times today for both the regular Stingray and a Stingray with the Z51 package.

With the Z51 package, the Corvette is said to hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. A base Corvette completes the same task in 3.0 seconds flat, according to Chevrolet. Chevy’s promise at the reveal event was “under three seconds,” and the Z51 with its extra 5 horsepower and 5 pound-feet of torque is able to make good on that promise. The difference between 2.9 seconds and 3.0 seconds is rather minimal, so don’t be too down on yourself if you buy a C8 without the Z51 package. Chevy didn’t reveal times for the C8 Convertible. It also states: “Performance numbers may vary, as different climates, tire conditions and road surfaces may affect results.” No surprises there.

Quarter-mile times are also available. Chevy claims both the base and Z51 package Corvette will complete the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds. The only wrinkle here is the respective cars’ speed at the end of the drag strip. The base car will be doing 123 mph, while the Z51 package car will be doing 121 mph. Chevy told us the lower final speed is entirely due to aerodynamics — the Z51 package adds a front splitter and rear spoiler that produces more downforce than the base Corvette, adding aerodynamic drag in the process.

For some comparison, the 2019 ZR1 ran to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. That’s barely faster than even a base Corvette now, a testament to the optimization of the entire car with the mid-engine layout. We can’t even begin to fathom how quick higher-performance variants of the C8 will be down the road, but it’s going to be fun to watch where the Corvette goes from here.

We also learned that C8 production is officially delayed until February 2020 today. Chevy didn’t say when in February, but the delay was entirely due to the UAW strike. Expect the first deliveries to be at the tail end of winter or the beginning of spring.

BMW M2 CS Officially Unveiled

Small, high-performance BMW’s have always sold well. The BMW M2 CS will be hoping to join the long list of coveted compact two-door coupes, BMW has gained a reputation for. The standard versions of the M2 have always received glowing reviews, we expect that the newly released BMW M2 CS will be no different!

Design

In terms of what BMW has added, the M2 CS gets a new front splitter, gurney spoiler lip for the boot lid and a redesigned rear diffuser. The parts increase downforce and improve cooling.

The bonnet gets a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic replacement with a central air vent for improved cooling. It also has the benefit of slashing the weight in half.

The M2 CS finally gets the BMW M trademark carbon fibre roof. The roof bows and insulation have been removed to save weight, which also reduces the centre of gravity.

To finish things off, the mirrors are new carbon-fibre units and the exhaust is redesigned, constructed from stainless steel. The Misano Blue metallic paint finish is unique to the CS.

Drivetrain

The M2 CS sticks with the 3.0-litre inline-six. Power is boosted to 450 hp and 550 Nm of torque. Those figures are a 40 hp boost over the M2 Competition.

The CS now sprints to 100 km/h in just 4.0 seconds and on to a 280 km/h top speed.

The power is routed through a choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed M double-clutch box. The former is standard, the latter an optional extra.

Suspension

As standard, the M2 CS uses Adaptive M suspension with three modes. Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes do exactly what you would expect. The electric power steering has been fine-tuned for the CS.

The standard braking system consists of a set of 400 mm diameter front brake discs, smaller 380 mm discs are fitted to the rear. The discs are stopped by six-piston callipers and four-piston callipers at the back. Options include M carbon-ceramic brakes, Active M differential and M dynamic mode.

The M2 CS carries over the carbon strut brace found in the M2 Competition.

At the tarmac, a new Y-spoke forged wheel is shod with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. The finish is gloss black as standard or matt gold as an option.

Interior

Inside, the M2 CS retains the four-seater setup. The upholstery is a blend of carbon fibre, merino leather and Alcantara. The door pulls and panel trim is carbon fibre, for maximum sporting looks. The components save as much as 50% weight over conventional parts.

The door jumps include a sill plate with M2 CS badging and a set of lightweight M Sport seats lifted from the M4 CS. An M Sport steering wheel is an option, covered in Alcantara.

Competition

Red Porsche 718 Cayman GT4

In terms of competition, the M2 is difficult to match to a direct competitor. With its rear-wheel drive, small coupe setup, options are limited.

Those that look at the C 63 are more likely to consider the M4 as the natural competitor. Competitors on the other end of the scale might stretch to the Toyota Supra or the Apline A110. Neither have the same hardcore focus.

Cars like the Porsche Cayman GT4 might appeal if you are willing to sacrifice the rear seats for a similarly hardcore experience (with a heavier price tag). The Audi TT RS might also look attractive at this price point.

Availability

The BMW M2 CS will also form the basis for the BMW M Motorsport’s new amateur racing program for the 2020 season. The BMW M2 CS will be available at €95,000.

Gallery

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Acura shows off RDX accessories and 2020 NSX at SEMA

Following its successful season on the track, Acura speeds to SEMA to showcase a range of performance and race vehicles as well as a new line of concept A-Spec and Acura-branded accessories. Also on the luxury division’s stand will be the Type S Concept sedan and the 2020 NSX, both unveiled in Monterey Car Week in August, the latter wearing the classic Indy Yellow Pearl exterior paint.

Acura will show off its accessories on a 2020 RDX. Carbon fiber is the name of the game for its concept A-Spec treatment, used on the grille surround and on the lower front fascia, lower side sill, rear diffuser, lower doors and side mirror caps. There’s also a dark chrome theme on the rear Acura badge and A-Spec emblems. A-Spec is offered as a sport appearance trim on the RDX and is supposed to be part of all core Acura models in the future, so we’ll see whether this “concept” A-Spec packages eventually makes it way, whole or in part, to future variants.

The Acura Genuine Accessories to be shown on the same RDX, by contrast, are available IRL and include roof rails and crossbars, replete with a fork-mount bike attachment, 20-inch wheels with a custom dark tint finish, black lug nuts, black chrome emblems, a carbon-wrapped tailgate accent, illuminated A-Spec trim on the door sills and A-Spec carpet floor mats. It’s topped with a Thule cargo box.

The 2020 NSX will wear the Indy Yellow Pearl color in homage to the old Spa Yellow, one of two yellow paints offered with the first-generation version of the supercar and a favorite among collectors. It joins two generations of championship-winning NSX cars: the 1990 pre-production model driven by Hall of Famer Peter Cunningham to 14 wins and 26 podium finishes between 1991 and 2002, and the NSX GT3 Evo that has won multiple IMSA and SRO races. The carbon fiber-bodied supercar with custom-designed livery is offered for sale globally for around $525,000, Acura says.

Special Report: The McLaren 720S Spider is Britain’s Finest Export

Be warned, this tale features the B word, Brex*t. The title has been coined to address the colossal saga that is the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union and must be one of the most used words in international news in the past three years. There have been amendments, referendums, prorogations, high court rulings and even Queen’s Speeches. I shall not dwell, you’re not here for politics, but for automobiles.

Ever switch on the 10 o’clock news and see politicians being ferried from conference to conference in rather dull executive limousines? The best you can hope for is a Mercedes-Benz S Class, black on black, of course. This got me thinking, it was the night before the final European Union Summit that would be deliberating the latest iteration of the Brexit deal, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first attempt. Tomorrow, news agencies from across the world would crowd and jostle outside Le Berlaymont to catch a word from the 27 EU leaders that would be reviewing the latest version of proposed deal.

What if BoJo didn’t arrive in a mundane, vanilla S Class or Jaguar XJ, but instead stunned the crowds by representing British business, an example of the very businesses that will be impacted so significantly by the outcome of this tumultuous series of events? I felt Boris needed a helping hand, I took matters into my own palms. The next morning I left home at 0630 on a mission to not only improve Boris’s image, but to showcase one of the finest exports that Britain produces. It is an example of why the UK is one of the worlds leading automotive manufacturing countries, and why trade deals with the UK should never be doubted, but encouraged.

The ambassador of choice was perfect. Bentley and Rolls-Royce are British brands, but are both now parts of Audi and BMW, respectively. Jaguar is Indian and Lotus Chinese. Caterham and Morgan are British, but neither are known internationally as representing the best of British, more cottage industry forerunners. There is only one brand suited to this endeavour – McLaren.

I recently was on the continent in a McLaren GT, a car that left me somewhat conflicted and confused. Having previously driven to Paris and back to London in a single day in a 720S, I was in no doubt that it doubled as both a track monster and a capable GT car. To reaffirm my thoughts, I had a 720S Spider for the ride to Brussels to see if the additional 49 kilograms for the roof mechanism would alter the driving characteristics and if the GT would make more sense for such a journey.

One thing that does not change, roof or no roof, is the fuel economy. It is abysmal, even when trundling towards the Channel Tunnel with the cruise control set to a smudge above the speed limit. Seeing anything above 23 miles per gallon was a rare treat. Boris’s refusal to take no deal off the table had sent the pound into a tizzy and fuel prices were through the roof, premium unleaded was emptying my wallet faster than the my ex girlfriend – just as thirsty too. Best not to worry about saving fuel and instead blow it to thy kingdom come with a smile on your face and bangs and cracks coming from the twin exhaust pipes.

A grey drive to Folkestone, quick Starbucks and a deep breathe in to squeeze onto the train later, it was time to cruise across the Continent. Well, part of it at least. It is always surprising how quickly the French autoroute gives way to terrible Belgian tarmac. With the active panel engaged and the handling and drivetrain toggles in comfort, the 720S cruises quietly and somewhat comfortably. The hydraulic suspension is fabulous and plaint. It is upset by bigger holes and cracks in the road, but it is a tradeoff worth making for the terrific handling through the bends on more engaging roads. One element that, still, cannot be faulted is the steering. It remains hydraulically assisted and a pleasure to work with.

The mighty torque is impressive too. The gearshifts are as great as you would expect from a McLaren dual clutch, but when touring you need not be pulling the left carbon paddle for downshifts as you can ride the torque in the upper gears. This is, of course, when the revs are above 2,500rpm, there is a world of lag below this threshold. As the kilometres trickled by, the weather worsened and the chances of experiencing the 720S Spider with the roof down diminished. A special mention, once again, to the awesome rear window that can be lowered or raised regardless of the roof being up or down. It is a great way to enjoy both fresh air and that hard edged engine tone, even when it is raining.

This car featured a clever and very expensive option, an electrochromic glass roof panel. This meant that the panoramic glass was able to go from fully clear to dark in a couple of seconds. It is cool and strangely satisfying to press the button and watch the glass ceiling change from ‘shade mode’ to ‘full sunlight’.

Other interior highlights included the luxurious Cognac leather in this ‘Luxury’ spec 720S. The 720Ss I had previously driven were all configured in ‘Performance’ trim meaning there was far more Alcantara and less leather to be found. The quality of the leather is great, as is the colour, my opinion of course. The infotainment is a generation behind the updated McLaren GT system, but I was not a huge fan of the update and the older system felt no less capable as it also lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems.

As Brussels neared, the rain relented and there was time to relish precious minutes with the roof down. Heated seats work brilliantly to negate wind chill and the car looks utterly spectacular in shop front reflections. Say what you like about the eye-socket headlamp design, few will argue that the 720S does not look like a missile from its side profile. The well behaved demeanour from the motorway cruise continues in the congestion of Brussels. The Start-Stop system decided to go on strike, other than that the 720S Spider was flawless around town. Visibility was good, the ride supple and the turning circle…acceptable. Things are a little scarier when squeezing through narrow gaps or high kerbed car parks, more a case of driver fear and being unfamiliar with the supercars dimensions.

As the infamous Berlaymont building neared, Theresa May had been collected, riding shotgun and Boris Johnson jumped in behind the wheel. The time had come to change the bumbling Prime Ministers image once and for all. Passers by gasped and laughed in equal measure. Camera phones flashed and selfies were taken. It seemed that it was mission accomplished, a hypothesis that was all but confirmed later that day when Boris Johnson announced that Jean Claude Juncker had accepted his governments proposed deal. I’m not saying that it had anything to do with the McLaren or my mission…but maybe, just maybe, it did.

In another bizarre ‘coincidence’, McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt confirmed that McLaren Automotive will keep production entirely UK based despite Brexit in an interview to CNBC on the same day. He continued saying that the firm is ‘born and bred’ in the UK. The brand is one that is proudly British and one that should be celebrated. The McLaren F1 is, arguably, the greatest car ever and when the 12C rolled off the production line in 2011 a new era was born. McLaren seemingly came out of the blue and shattered any complacency that the likes of Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini had, pushing performance to new levels.

Almost 9 years on, McLaren continues to push it rivals to the extent that it is difficult to compare its offerings to that of the aforementioned rivals. The 720S is pitched against cars like the Porsche GT2 RS, Ferrari 488 Pista and Lamborghini Huracan Performante – hardcore special edition models that are stripped out track animals. The 720S obliterated the trio in a number of tests and it is the ‘standard’ car complete with creature comforts and touring credentials that make it just as usable as the McLaren GT. The LT model is expected to demolish its European rivals. McLaren Automotive represents the best, not only of British, but supercars produced anywhere in the world. Brexit or not, deal or no deal, McLaren will continue to be a flag bearer of British innovation and technology for years to come.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER

Jaguar C-X75 From James Bond’s Spectre is up for Sale

A rare Jaguar C-X75, used in the James Bond film Spectre, has been announced to join RM Sotheby’s first Abu Dhabi auction. The auction is set to coincide with the finale of the Formula 1 2019 championship. A wealth of headline lots has already been announced with the Jaguar joining the best collector cars from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Pagani.

What makes this auction lot extremely rare is the fact that, although versions clearly made their way to the general public, the Jaguar C-X75 never officially made production. It was born from a concept car Jaguar released at the Paris Motor Show 2010, at a time when it was considering whether to offer a hypercar. The original concept centred around a four YASA electric motors recharged using two diesel-fed micro gas turbines instead of a conventional four-stroke engine. The idea would have been unique had Jaguar chosen to give production the red light. They didn’t and the project died a death until it caught the attention of Spectre’s production team.

Upon the production team’s request, Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations produced six Jaguar C-X75 mock ups for use within the film. These cars were built through Williams Advanced Engineering, Jaguar’s original collaborator on the C-X75 project. All six cars were used to film sequences of Spectre and to promote the film.

One of those cars will be offered for sale at the RM Sotheby’s soon. Chassis number 1 was the first of four versions built for stunt car purposes. This particular example was used for the car chase through the Italian capital, driven by one of the villains, Mr Hinx.

Rather than using Jaguar’s unconvential setup, the Spectre Jaguar C-X75’s use a more dependable V8 engine from the F-Type which was installed behind the drivers seat. A six speed Ricardo gearbox and rear-wheel drive setup allowed for extreme stunts. This sat on a tubular spaceframe made of extra-thick steel tubing with a World Rally Championship specification suspension system.

Interestingly, this particular example has spent a little over a year at UK supercar dealer Kaaiman’s. It was an attractive shade of blue during that time and it is not clear whether the car is being ‘flipped’ by a new owner. RM Sotheby’s explain that it was originally sold to a British collector in May 2016 and has been displayed twice at the Chateau Impney Hill Climb, once at the Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, and once each at the esteemed Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance and the 2019 Silverstone Classic.

It joins an auction that includes lots such as a rare Aston Martin One-77, a 2002 Ferrari F002 and an extremely rare Pagani Zonda Aether.

GTSPIRIT NEWSLETTER