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2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Revealed

Today, Chevrolet unveiled its new range-topping Corvette Z06 model. This marks the return of the Z06 moniker – and all the amazing things it has always stood for – for the first time in the latest C8-generation of their infamous sports car (turned mid-engine supercar). During the livestream, the world got its first look at the most track-focused and performance-oriented iteration of the American automaker’s halo product, with basketball superstar Devin Booker and automotive personality Emelia Hartford co-curating all the latest revelations to a global audience.

“A global supercar, which is tantalizingly attainable.”

– Justin Bell, former British race car driver

The team in charge of the development of the Z06 are confident that their latest model will elevate the car to true global superstar status; for the first time, the automaker will be producing right-hand-drive versions of the Corvette to cater to overseas customers, of whom are already demanding more than what the company says they can readily supply.

You can tune in to the recording of today’s unveiling event on YouTube, below.

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Engine & Performance

“It’ll perform with the best of the best worldwide… bringing all of our track experience to the everyday enthusiast.”

-Tadge Juecther, Corvette Chief Engineer

In the months prior to the camo coming off, we’d been teased with a couple video snippets of what the new Z06 has on tap; and Chevrolet has made it abundantly clear that their latest Corvette model is a derivative of their latest race-bred technologies and unyielding philosophies.  More recently, another promo video made a brief nod to the new Z06’s flat-plane crank engine – dubbed the LT6 – being able to rev all the way to 8,600 rpm. The design team was tasked with achieving this without the use of forced induction (like how a supercharger was used in the previous-gen Z06), and blimey the naturally-aspirated unit sounds fantastic. This is in large part due to a specially engineered “reverse megaphone” exhaust which provides harmonic bliss for the driver and cabin, and for those admiring from the outside.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Tachometer

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Tachometer

We now know that the 5.5L naturally-aspirated V8 produces 670 hp @ 8,400 rpm and 460 ft-lb of torque; this is in fact more than that of the C8.R race car (also seen in the video material linked above), which is limited to 500 hp due to IMSA regulations. Aluminum forged pistons and titanium connecting rods are used to enhance the Z06’s performance potential and provide drivers with the ultimate in “mechanical feel”.

Handcrafted by Chevrolet master technicians, the engine pulls strong throughout the entire rev range and is the most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 engine in a production car; not just in a Corvette, but in any car around the world, mind you. This all-modern all-American V8 is mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission which sends power – in a much more traditional sense – exclusively to the rear wheels. Chevrolet has claimed that 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds is attainable with the Z07 Performance Package included (more on that below).

“The LT6 truly opens the doors to what we can do with a small block V8.”

Chassis & Braking

“Even though the numbers are incredible, it’s not really a numbers car.”

-Tadge Juecther, Corvette Chief Engineer

The architecture for the Z06 has been recalibrated and fine-tuned in order to extract the full performance potential of the Corvette chassis. For starters, this means a 3.6″ wider stance than the Stingray, with redesigned body panels fashioned to accommodate it; and for the first time, the Z06 will feature a standard double staggered wheel/tire setup from the factory which features 20″ (front) and 21″ (rear) wheels, with 275-series and 345-series tires fitted on them respectively. This design takes full advantage of the C8’s rear-biased weight distribution, helping to put power to the ground with greater efficiency than any other Corvette road car before it.

The available Z07 Performance Package really takes things to the next level, and has been specially made for those who are looking to maximize the Z06’s abilities on the race track. Amongst the equipment included are carbon fiber wheels (which shed 41 lbs of unsprung weight compared to the standard forged aluminum wheels), carbon ceramic brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. It also incorporates the otherwise optional Aggressive Aerodynamic Package, which adds a v-shaped carbon fiber rear wing, front dive planes and a more aggressive splitter. When equipped with the aforementioned hardware, the Z06 can produce up to 734 lbs of downforce at 186 mph, though unfortunately, the rumors about there being certain “active” aerodynamic elements, didn’t come to fruition.

“It has all of those feelings of a race car… fundamentally, it’s a race car you can drive on the road.”

– Ollie Gavin, legendary Corvette Racing driver

Design & Styling

“We respect our past, but we’re always moving forward.”

-Tadge Juecther, Corvette Chief Engineer

Many of us are still lingering in the “hangover” phase, since the day Chevrolet transformed the Corvette into a mid-engined supercar; one that has become much more a contemporary of European flair, than American pragmatism. Nevertheless, those of us who have gotten over it will be more than delighted with the trajectory on which the Z06 continues to take the C8 platform.

In spite of its performance-biased nature, Chevrolet will offer the Z06 in both coupe and convertible configurations – important for traditional fans of the brand – with a plethora of exterior colors, interior packages, and wheel packages offering no shortage of possible permutations. There’s room for generous servings of carbon fiber inside and outside the car, including a carbon roof and carbon interior accenting. You can also spec your Corvette with luxurious leathers, with the Adrenaline Red Leather Trim Package adding both popping-contrast and sleek refinement to the cabin. Chevrolet says that there are more than 11,000 unique combinations of options to make the car bespoke to your personal tastes.

Regardless of how you end up customizing your Z06, there are some things which will be standard for all cars. This includes larger wheels, beefier tires and a wider stance compared to that of the Stingray. Flared quarter panels and front fenders, along with unique and exclusive Z06 front and rear facias, further set the car apart from the rest of the C8 lineup. Replaceable spoiler wicker bills, rear brake cooling ducts, a removeable front fascia panel and front underwing stall gurneys all serve the important purpose of increasing downforce, reducing drag and cooling drivetrain and brake components. The aforementioned Z07 Performance Package turns all of that up to 11, while providing the Z06 with a much more aggressive and purposeful silhouette.

Inside, expect features such as the 12.0″ digital gauge cluster, heads-up display, heated and ventilated seats, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto to be standard. Two tiers of Bose stereo systems will also be offered to enhance the grand touring experience, while a Performance Data Recorder is also available for those who wish to analyze their driving on the race track (or public roads too, if that’s your thing).

Pricing & Availability

Chevrolet has stated that production of the Corvette Z06 will begin in mid-2022 and that the car will be designated as a 2023 model, so we can expect the first deliveries to start trickling in by next summer. The official website suggests that they’re currently entertaining  “inquiries” for the Z06 – and you can even start designing your own – although no official word on pricing has been publicly provided yet.

For now we can only speculate, and if past performance is the best indicator of future performance, then we should expect the new Z06 to start at around $90,000 USD; this would put it at about $30,000 more than the base car’s starting MSRP, which seems reasonable based on statistics and history. This is of course before any of the boxes for optional hardware are ticked, but the car remains an absolute bargain for everything that’s on tap, nonetheless.

Verdict

“The Z06 is the next chapter in a very long book.”

It feels like yesterday when Chevrolet had released their new mid-engine performance car, in the process breaking with the decades-old convention of what the Corvette has always been. That was a feat on its own, as the world witnessed the moment with delight; and now, the Corvette Z06 has arrived to elevate our senses to a whole new level. Like every C8-generation model before it, the Z06 allows the Corvette to punch well above its weight class and take on much more expensive (but not necessarily more sophisticated) competition.

The Z06 looks to take this fight to our favorite stage – the race track – where it can have uninhibited access to its exotic-slaying arsenal, and go toe-to-toe with the very best high-performance road cars on the planet. With its 670 hp flat-plane crank V8, unbelievably attainable exotic performance, and near-unlimited customization options, there’s no reason the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 won’t become an absolute hit amongst impassioned loyalists, data-driven pragmatists and everyone in between – it’s a true winner in every regard.

Under similar pretenses, the Honda NSX forever altered the supercar landscape back in 1990. Will the latest Corvette do the same today? It sure as heck looks like it.

Image Gallery

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[Review] 2022 Audi TT RS

For those not in the know, Kyalami Green in Audi-speak is a bright shade that closely resembles Porsche’s more aptly-descriptive Viper Green. That name at least tells you this is a green hue with fangs—a green that stands out like no other and which attracts the attention of others.

While reviewing this car, I was even asked by two gentlemen in the supermarket car park if they could photograph it. And on my return, there was a middle-aged lady hovering around Ingolstadt’s fiery little coupe, muttering flattering words in its direction.

Hoping some of the compliments might have been aimed in my direction, I said to this lady how unusual it was for a grey-haired old codger like me to be piloting a sporty machine decked out in such a daring colour. “Ah no,” she opined, “you look cool in it!” Happily, my wife heard every word but pretended not to have done so—although she did admonish me for having the drive mode set in DYNAMIC, which maximises all the stunning aural effects that envelop the TTRS on the move.

Front view of green 2022 Audi TT RS

2022 Audi TT RS Design

Exterior Details

On a more serious note, it’s not just the colour that attracts the eye in the case of this Audi supercar. It’s as much the simply fabulous, glossy paint finish and the wafer-thin shut lines together with the beautifully detailed (optional) gloss black trimmings that all combine to massage the senses.

The basic shape of the TT is familiar enough, having retained most of the eye-catching yet simple elements of the revolutionary original, and although its dimensions have grown across the three-and-a-bit generations that have followed, it remains a compact sportster endowed with decidedly cosy cabin dimensions exaggerated by the marked roof curvature and long, sloping tailgate.

As you might expect, opening and shutting the two hefty doors is a pleasure, thanks to the reassuring thunk they make and the precision feel of the process—the effortlessness of which almost seems surreal within a structure solid enough to make a Tiger tank feel like a packet of corn flakes. All of this simply reinforces the feel good factor.

Cabin of 2022 Audi TT RS

Interior Details

For those lucky souls who enter the cabin, there are even more details to appreciate. Take a close look inside the door jambs and around the sills and you’ll notice that the paint finish is consistently flawless (and that nasties such as spot weld points are absent).

This fastidious detailing is maintained throughout the cabin, which in this instance featured gorgeous quilted nappa leather and alcantara seating, as well as acres of soft-touch surfacing and a mix of textures including (optional) carbon fibre.

It’s certainly a cosy environment, although the low seating position and proximity of the beautifully lined roof ensure that entering and exiting needs a conscious effort for a frame as well worn as mine.

Finding a perfect driving position is not difficult though, thanks to the multi-adjustable seating and leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed steering wheel, which also sports alcantara inlays (as does the stubby shift lever).

This is what I call, in relative terms, old school Audi detailing. Hard surfaces are hard to find, and rotary MMI controllers and tactile switch gear provide functionality beyond mere touch. This makes operating the brilliantly informative and clear multi-functional driver display more intuitive than might be the case in some of the later Ingolstadt productions, where the eye needs to wander off the road. Truth be told, though, the ambience of the TT is not so much luxurious as it is clinically precise.

Cabin display of 2022 Audi TT RS

Cabin Display

The extent of the information on display is terrific and includes:

  • Front and rear camera images
  • A G-meter
  • Boost levels
  • Sat nav
  • Audio
  • A full run-down on the car’s state of play, with details like:
    • Fuel consumption
    • Range/level
    • Odometer
      Dual speedo displays
    • Engine revs
    • Tyre pressures
    • And more

Naturally, there’s also cruise control on board, along with keyless stop/start, auto air con, electric folding mirrors (optional gloss black in this instance), and electric one-touch windows.

Trunk of 2022 Audi TT RS with rear seats folded

2022 Audi TT RS Comfort

Two occupants will enjoy the low-set front pews that offer more support than observation alone might suggest, but the vestigial and very upright pair of seats in the rear are there to transport wee ones on urban hops only. They’re much more useful when folded to extend the surprisingly capacious (if shallow) load area that provides 305L (10.77cu/ft) with seats in place.

Engine of 2022 Audi TT RS

2022 Audi TT RS Performance

Those fortunate enough to own a set of keys for such a sporting bolide will be much more interested in what lurks under the clamshell bonnet, and here the TT RS truly excels. The straight-five injected and turbocharged engine has been refined over the years, during which time it has earned a multitude of international awards.

Notwithstanding its ballistic 294kW (395HP)/480Nm (354lb/ft) peak outputs, it idles with unusual smoothness and lack of aural fuss. But give the gas pedal a decent prod and those five cylinders, with their unusual firing order, transform into a snarling, mildly off-beat symphony that’s sure to be accompanied by the broadest of smiles and simply devastating forward momentum.

Audi’s famed quattro driveline ensures that no energy is fruitlessly expended in spinning wheels as the scant 3.7 second 0-100km/h (62.2 mph) elapsed time indicates—but this diminutive coupe does more than scamper off the line like a scalded hare.

With the aid of a slick and decisive 7-speed dual clutch S Tronic gearbox that’s very willing to drop cogs in DYNAMIC mode in particular, this engine has muscles to flex from as low as 2000rpm. Traversing urban roads with constantly variable traffic flows never triggers a feeling of lethargy from the five-pot mill.

Indeed, it is rarely necessary to employ the services of the wheel-mounted paddle shifters, since the transmission boasts sufficient grey matter to do the right thing most of the time. If the mood arises, though, using a heavy foot and flexible fingers to work those shifters really does produce the most electrifying performance—aided by activating the sound flap in the exhaust system, which terminates in two large circular pipes that warn would-be-challengers to approach with caution.

For the record, this test unit featured the deletion of the usual 250km/h (155mph) speed limiter to allow for a top speed of 280km/h (174mph).

Green 2022 Audi TT-RS parked on side of road near ocean and mountains

This car’s straight line performance is nothing less than electrifying, as are the brakes. But the RS does more than leave vapour trails in its wake, as its small dimensions, huge 255/30ZR20 Pirelli P-Zeros, quattro drivetrain, inherently stiff springs, and (optional) adaptive suspension prove. All these inputs combine with surprisingly responsive steering to produce a machine that can change direction with pleasing certainty, backed by limpet-like grip.

Sure, it’s not a scalpel in the mould of a Porsche Cayman, but to expect such precision would be a tad unfair, given that the Audi’s underpinnings owe more to a Golf hatchback rather than an out-and-out sportscar. What it offers is a ride, even in the sportiest setting, that feels distinctly firm—but with a measure of pliancy that blunts the worst effects of sharp ridges and deep-set manhole covers (even if it doesn’t entirely eliminate them).

Close-up of tyre on 2022 Audi TT RS

As might be expected, that sport-biased rubber can set up a bit of a din on coarse tar. But in cruise mode on smoother surfaces, the TT RS is decently refined, thanks to excellent suppression of wind noise and an almost total isolation of mechanical interference—until that gas pedal is exercised in a downward direction!

Side view of green 2022 Audi TT RS

2022 Audi TT RS Mileage

Speaking of gas, the RS recorded a fuel consumption of 11.9L/100km (19.77mpg (US) over a weeks’ varied use with plenty of urban running and bursts of acceleration thrown in. However, a specific motorway check over 30-minutes’ running at around 130km/h (80mph) produced a most encouraging 8.2L/100km (28.68mpg (US).

Rear view of green 2022 Audi TT RS

Final Thoughts on the 2022 Audi TT RS

Sadly, it seems this Audi TT RS will be the last of the breed, as politics and a change of priorities in the world of car manufacturing will soon see the end of fossil fuelled vehicles, especially those of this ilk. Anyone seeking a last chance to take ownership of a surprisingly practical compact sports coupe with stunningly classy build quality and a level of performance almost unmatched in this price range should take the bull by the horns without delay. If all these gloomy predictions do indeed come to pass, then the RS is a truly marvellous swansong for the TT concept.

Officially Confirmed: Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS

Porsche has confirmed under no uncertain terms that there will be a 718 Cayman GT4 RS model. This comes after many months of testing camouflaged mule cars (with accompanied spy shots) which had long hinted that the GT4 RS was going to be a real thing – we finally know that this will indeed be the case. Porsche has stated that they are in the process of wrapping up the final stages of testing.

As part of the first phase of this official news, Porsche has released the first sans-camo photographs of the car. Beyond that, not much is really known about the car – that information will be revealed in November, when the car is scheduled to have its full unveiling ceremony. However, we do know one very important thing for sure: it set a blistering lap time of 7:04.511 at the Nürburgring Nordschleife. This is some 23.6 seconds quicker than the 718 Cayman GT4, suggesting that virtually no part of the car was spared the ‘RS’ treatment.

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The GT4 RS will come equipped with a 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-6, though Porsche has not yet provided any horsepower figures. Besides being obviously more than that of the GT4, many media outlets are predicting that it could make as much as 500 hp, especially considering the measurable difference in their ‘Green Hell’ lap times. Other telling differences can spotted visually, with the GT4 RS being subject to the customary aerodynamic transformation. This includes a more aggressive front splitter, front fender vents, and a swan-neck rear wing (similar to that of the 992 GT3).

As the ultimate performance model in the 718 range, the GT4 RS will likely follow suit with other existing ‘RS’ models and come exclusively with the PDK transmission. Those who would prefer to opt for a manual transmission will probably have to look at the regular GT4, or wait for Porsche to release some sort of 911R-equivalency for the GT4 RS. On similar grounds, the possibility of a Boxster Spyder RS is also highly unlikely.

Lastly, pricing; yes, we’re still waiting for more details on this subject as well, and it could be a particularly tricky one to predict in the meantime. Needless to say, the GT4 RS is not only well within 911 territory, but it is also just steps away from infringing on the latest GT3. It’s obviously not going to be priced the same as the latter – that would be marketing suicide – but it may as well come pretty close. It’ll be somewhere between the price of a GT4 ($100,200 USD) and GT3 ($161,100 USD), likely on the higher end. Our guess would be a base price of around $140,000 USD. We look forward to providing more details as they become available.

New Cars Powered By V8 Engines

In almost all cases, manufacturers who choose to equip their cars with a V8 engine do so knowingly and deliberately. After all, such engines represent the first big step in crossing over a threshold to a place where performance becomes the sole focus; efficiency and economy are often not even invited as guests for a ride-along in the back seat.

With a quick glance at the back mirror, those pesky 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines begin to disappear into the horizon. Then, with the proverbial “pedal-to-the-metal,” the V8 power plant unanimously declares “all-in” with a roar—because this journey is all about thrill-seeking and checking things off the bucket list.

As you begin to drive off towards the sunset, you’ll probably receive the odd jeer from EPA employees, people who hate nice sounds, and various other types of sticklers. But nothing’s going to stop you from reaching your destination. At the end of this journey begins a new one; at the race track perhaps, or maybe the backcountry roads and mountain highways?

Here are all the new cars powered by V8 engines—including sports cars, supercars, and hypercars—available for purchase in 2021.

Aston Martin

2021 Aston Martin Vantage

  • Base price: $149,086
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 505 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

The Aston Martin Vantage is Aston Martin’s “entry-level” sports car. Its singular purpose is raw and unwavering: to overwhelm the senses through its world-renowned design, agile performance, and dedicated craftsmanship. Its heart beats with a high-powered 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8, producing that visceral Aston Martin roar.

New for the 2021 model year, the Aston Martin Vantage Roadster is the drop-top version of the British automaker’s gateway car. It continues to embody all the same awesome characteristics of its fixed-roof counterpart, amplifying the overall experience with that wind-in-the-hair feeling only the Roadster can provide.

The Aston Martin Vantage AMR is a new breed of predator—95 kg lighter than the base model and boasting a seven-speed rev-matching manual transmission. This is a beast designed to deliver pure, engaging, manual performance—Aston Martin’s interpretation of a “true driver’s car.” Only 200 will be produced.

2021 Aston Martin DB11

  • Base price: $198,995
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 513 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 s
  • Top Speed: 208 mph

The Aston Martin DB11 is the most powerful and efficient ‘DB’ production model in Aston Martin’s history. Available as a coupe or Volante with the optional 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12 or standard 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the DB11 takes Aston Martin’s grand touring heritage to unprecedented heights.

New for 2021 are the optional Shadow Edition models. Their blacked-out trim packages add subtly sinister touches to Aston’s DB11 coupe and convertible. With a black-painted grille, 20-inch wheels, and badging, the Shadow Edition bits add an extra hint of aggression to the DB11’s svelte bodywork.

The Aston Martin DB11 AMR is the new flagship car of the DB11 range. However, unlike the other models, it comes exclusively with the top engine option—a 5.2L twin-turbocharged V12.

Audi

2021 Audi RS 6 Avant

  • Base price: $110,045
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 591 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Probably the hottest performance-oriented station wagon on the market right now, the 2021 Audi RS 6 Avant sheds the conservative styling of the car it is based on but remains in line with the high-performance estate concept. Derived from the already-excellent Audi A6 sedan, this souped-up station wagon adds RS-specific bodywork and exclusive go-fast goodies.

The Audi RS 6 Avant is a powerful car with a mild-hybrid powertrain. At its heart is a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The results are impressive, too—the car can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. This is the first RS wagon to come to America, and Audi wants to make it count.

2021 Audi RS 7

  • Base price: $115,045
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 591 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,050 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

The Audi RS 7 Sportback is what you get when you take the RS 6 Avant’s engine, then place it in a sleeker Audi Sportback frame. The resulting Audi RS 7 Sportback is an aggressive and beautiful car, with the specs to back up its appearance. This strikingly athletic yet elegant four-door sports car is the perfect blend of practicality and performance.

At the heart of the car is the twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine with a mild-hybrid system, which puts out a whopping 591 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. Like the RS 6, it can go from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 mph.

Bentley

2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8

  • Base price: $198,725
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 542 hp
  • Torque: 569 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

The Flying Spur gets a new model for 2021. Known as the 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8, the biggest difference for this trim is the use of a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 engine that produces 542 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque; it also features cylinder deactivation for improved fuel economy. Bentley says more of its customers want to hustle their cars around instead of being chauffeured and that the more efficient and fun V8 Flying Spur will be the more popular choice with this crowd.

2021 Bentley Continental GT V8

  • Base price: $207,825
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 542 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

With a lively V8 engine delivering irresistibly dynamic performance, accompanied by the sound of its uniquely emotive burble, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 offers a truly engaging driving experience. A grand tourer that makes every journey breathtaking. The Continental GT V8 is exceptionally responsive, delivering breathtaking acceleration accompanied by the irresistible sound of a Bentley V8 engine.

With the new Bentley Continental GT V8 Convertible, open-air grand-touring is always exhilarating. With its spirited V8 engine, innovative technology, sleek, contemporary design, and exquisite attention to detail, you are both completely in touch with the road beneath you and fully connected to the world around you. A great all-around GT that is our top pick when it comes to both value and overall experience.

BMW

2021 BMW M5

  • Base price: $103,500
  • Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Updates for 2021 are not under the hood for the M5. There have been no changes in the power department, but the M5 does receive a freshened-up appearance with redesigned front and rear bumpers, new headlights and taillights, and a larger grille. Convenience features such as a larger touchscreen, Android Auto, and cloud-based navigation have also been added.

Where else can you walk into a dealership and buy a sedan that has 600+ hp, all-wheel-drive traction, four doors, and stunning performance both in a straight line and on the race track? This car can really do it all, which more than justifies its 6-figure price tag. The 2021 BMW M5 is more than just your regular sports sedan; it is an epic sports car and the leader in its class.

For us, it’s really a no-brainer to spend the wee-bit extra to step up to the BMW M5 Competition. Just a touch more powerful, the M5 Competition comes with 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. Where you really get your money’s worth is through the stiffer dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars, and a .28” lower ride height.

All things considered, the M5 Competition is a sharper, stiffer, and even more performance-oriented version of the M5.

The Competition model gets a new full Merino leather color scheme, a new Track drive mode, and new shock absorbers. These dampers benefit from a recalibrated control system that BMW says should improve ride comfort, especially at high speeds.

2021 BMW M8

  • Base price: $133,000 (Coupe), $142,500 (Conv), $130,000 (Gran)
  • Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Big updates for 2021 include BMW announcing that the coupe and convertible versions of the M8 will no longer be available in North America, with the Gran Coupe remaining as the sole body-style option. The Gran Coupe can also be optioned with a new Donington Grey Metallic paint.

The BMW M8 is available in three body configurations: coupe, convertible, and Gran Coupe. It borrows its twin-turbocharged 4.4L V8 engine from the M5, which makes 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. The M8 also gives drivers the ability to switch between all-wheel drive and 100% rear-wheel drive, making the car both thrilling and well-suited for any situation thrown its way.

In keeping with the Competition formula as used in the rest of the lineup, the Competition version of the M8 offers up a more hardcore, track-focused version of the base car. The BMW M8 Competition also borrows its engine from its M5 counterpart, producing an additional 17 horsepower over the regular M8. While we don’t expect many M8s to show up to the race track, the Competition package is nevertheless a worth-it option for the more discerning pilots out there.

This car is available in coupe, convertible, and gran coupe body styles. However, only the gran coupe body style is available for the US market.

Chevrolet

2021 Chevrolet Camaro (LT1, SS)

  • Base price: $34,000 (LT1), $37,500 (SS)
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 455 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 455 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.1 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

The Chevrolet Camaro LT1 is the model’s first foray into V8 territory, which allows it to offer a relatively low-priced entry into the world of 8-cylinder performance. Already producing as much as 455 hp, the LT1 is a fantastic choice for those who want an unadulterated, no-nonsense sports car. Stepping up to the 1SS and 2SS doesn’t add any more power, but it provides more performance and convenient amenities—such as a transmission cooler, rear Brembo brakes, magnetic ride control, wider wheels, a different front bumper, and a standard 8″ touchscreen.

2021 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

  • Base price: $63,000
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 650 hp @ 6,400 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 3,600 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 198 mph

Step up to the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and you’re looking at a 650 hp supercharged version, making it the most powerful Camaro available. Driving this car can make 0-60 mph happen in a blistering 3.5 seconds. The all-new range-topping Camaro ZL1 is slated to come with the Corvette’s Z06 engine as standard, providing phenomenal value when it comes to performance.

The track-oriented 1LE package adds performance upgrades that allow the car to handle and brake more capably. It is available in coupe and convertible body styles, and it offers drivers their choice of an engaging manual transmission or a lightning-quick automatic.

2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (C8)

  • Base price: $60,995
  • Engine: 6.2L naturally aspirated V8
  • Power: 490 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.0 s
  • Top Speed: 194 mph

Probably the most exciting thing to come from the American brand (and perhaps the entire automotive industry) for a long time is the new mid-engine 2021 Chevrolet Corvette C8. It is expected to go full-tilt against the likes of exotic brands such as Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren on the performance front while costing substantially less to own.

On paper, its bang-for-buck looks untouchable and potentially industry-disrupting. It comes in both coupe and convertible body styles.

Dodge

2021 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

  • Base price: $61,270
  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 717 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

While the Challenger can be purchased with a V8 engine (starting with the R/T models), we’re going to focus on the Hellcat models here. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat continues to evolve, with the 2021 model year treating fans and enthusiasts to even more madness (and variety) than ever before.

While the supercharged 6.2L V8 engine is a mainstay, the coupe can now be configured with up to 3 different engine options—Hellcat, Redeye, and Super Stock—which produce 717 hp, 797 hp, and 807 hp, respectively. These options allow it to become one of the most powerful production cars in the world.

Widebody packages are available for both the base and Redeye trims (and come standard on the Super Stock) to give the car an even more pronounced and aggressive appearance —one that certainly matches the monster lurking beneath the hood.

2021 Dodge Charger Hellcat

  • Base price: $72,670
  • Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 717 hp @ 6,450 rpm
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 196 mph

The Dodge Charger is, for the most part, the sedan version of the Challenger, and it too offers up the company’s exclusive Hellcat experience. For 2021, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat—and its new Redeye version—are offered exclusively with the widebody package. These versions produce 717 hp and 797 hp (respectively) from the same 6.2L supercharged V8 used in the Challenger, although no “Super Stock” version is available for the Charger. Yet.

Ferrari

2021 Ferrari Portofino M

  • Base price: US$245,000
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 hp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
  • 0-124 mph: 9.3 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

The Ferrari Portofino has been, for a couple of years, the Italian marque’s 2+2 grand touring cabriolet. It was, and still is, a powerhouse of comfort and technology—as capable of crossing continents as it is of driving a few blocks to the grocery store.

Now, however, it is getting its first refresh, thanks in large part to the success of the Ferrari Roma, which itself was a hardtop coupe evolution of the Portofino. Named the Portofino Modificata, it is shortened to Portofino M for branding purposes.

The highlight of this update has to be the newly developed eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The everyday drop-top has also been refined on some other aspects, which now makes it even more convenient. A boatload of safety tech has also been added—plus, now the engine offers 20 hp more.

2021 Ferrari F8 Tributo

  • Base price: US$276,000
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 hp @ 8,000 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 s
  • 0-124 mph: 7.8 s
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

Billed as the replacement for the 488 GTB, the Ferrari F8 Tributo inherits much of the outgoing model’s DNA. Mind you, this is largely (if not entirely) a positive thing, as the F8 Tributo notably improves in areas that had room for it while retaining the essence of what worked so well before.

Considered the ‘entry-level’ mid-engined car in the Ferrari model lineup, the F8 Tributo is nevertheless more than the sum of its parts; it is a highly-capable all-rounder, standing out amongst an expanding club of ‘everyday supercars.’

Producing 710 hp at a screaming 8,000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at an accessible 3,250 rpm, the F8 Tributo’s 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 is nothing to balk at, despite being standard for the times.

The Ferrari F8 Spider replaces the 488 Spider and is officially on sale in Ferrari dealerships. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.9-liter V-8 that produces 710 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque.

The Spider is rear-wheel drive, and a seven-speed automatic transmission changes the gears. Peak torque comes earlier in the rev range than the 488. The aero kit, headlights, taillights, and body also look different than the 488 GTB.

We drove both the F8 Spider and Tributo back-to-back, and our pick is the Spider. It is just as fast and dynamic as the coupe—but it feels faster, louder, and more visceral—thanks in part to its open top.

Like the F8 Tributo, the 2021 Spider accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds on its way to 124 mph in just 7.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 211 mph. Fast enough, I think!

2021 Ferrari Roma

  • Base price: US$222,630
  • Engine: 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 hp @ 7,500 rom
  • Torque: 560 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 s
  • 0-124 mph: 9.3 s
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

This vehicle is stunning to look at, with a minimalist (by today’s standards) grille and a shark-nose front end. It’s long, lean, and so utterly Ferrari that it makes all the right places on a true car enthusiast ache with desire.

Inside the car, you can see one of the most high-tech cabins of any Ferrari. There’s a large digital instrument cluster, a unique vertically-oriented infotainment screen in the center with some controls in front of it, and the passenger has their own small horizontally-oriented infotainment screen.

Now onto even better stuff; the rear-wheel-drive Ferrari Roma gets a 3.9L twin-turbocharged V8 engine with new cam profiles and a speed sensor that allows the maximum rpm to rise by 5,000 rpm. In other words, this is an Italian Stallion that can truly sing. The engine also has a single-piece exhaust manifold designed to make the most of its efforts. All told, it makes 612 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque.

2021 Ferrari 488 Pista

  • Base price: US$350,000
  • Engine: 3.9 liter twin turbo V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.85 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 5.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

The Ferrari 488 Pista is the marque’s latest Special Series model, and, following in the footsteps of its predecessors, it epitomizes the pinnacle of Ferrari road cars. Ferrari’s naturally aspirated V8s shrieked and snarled into the redline; the Pista barks and roars its way there. A different special series animal for sure, but an animal nonetheless. Almost perfect.

The Ferrari 488 Pista Spider is powered by the same engine used in the coupe, a twin-turbocharged 3.9L V8, which produces a magnificent 711-horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. The Spider is a convertible with a removal hardtop, though some would argue it functions more closely to a targa top vehicle. The Spider weighs 200 pounds more than the coupe.

2021 Ferrari SF90 Stradale

  • Base price: US$507,000
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, plus 3 electric motors
  • Power: 989 hp (combined)
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • 0-124 mph: 6.7 s
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

The Ferrari SF90 Stradale is a stunning new hybrid supercar that produces 989 hp from a plug-in hybrid powertrain. This hybrid setup utilizes a twin-turbocharged 4.0L V8 combustion engine linked with three electric motors.

Two of those electric motors are mounted on the front axle, and one is mounted between the engine and the gearbox. The combined maximum output of the V8, together with the electric motors, makes this Ferrari good for 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. This powertrain is the most powerful of any Ferrari and easily places the SF90 Stradale atop the Ferrari lineup.

The car also features an all-new chassis made of carbon fiber and aluminum. The sleek body panels and its aerodynamic shape help the model produce a whopping 860 pounds of downforce at speed; the whole profile of the car is extremely low, allowing it to slice through the air at high speeds. It also has a two-piece rear wing, derived from the company’s participation in Formula 1 racing.

Ford

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1

  • Base price: $53,400
  • Engine: 3.5L Twin-Turbo V6
  • Power: 450 hp @ 5,000 rpm
  • Torque: 510 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 5.1 s
  • Top Speed: 107 mph

Instead of starting with the Mustang GT, we have moved straight to the limited-edition Ford Mustang Mach 1, which gets a 480-hp version of Ford’s 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8 engine. The Mach 1 comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, while a 10-speed automatic is an optional add-on. There is a unique front end and heritage-inspired look with black stripes on the hood and bodysides.

The car also benefits from advanced aerodynamic and cooling upgrades, courtesy of the awesome Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT500. We recommend opting for the Mach 1’s Handling package to experience the full potential of the model.

2021 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

  • Base price: $72,900
  • Engine: 5.2L supercharged V8
  • Power: 760 hp @ 7,300 rpm
  • Torque: 625 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

There’s a lot to love about the GT350’s bigger brother (especially with the GT350 being discontinued for 2021)—the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. It’s the most muscular of all of Ford’s vehicles, but it’s not just fast in a straight line with its supercharged 760 hp V8. The car can make its way around the twists and bends of the most technical racetracks quickly, too. It’s almost as quick as a Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the track, according to some credible sources.

Jaguar

2021 Jaguar F-Type R

  • Base price: $103,200
  • Engine: 5.0L supercharged V8
  • Power: 575 hp @ 6,500 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 186 mph

The Jaguar F-Type R has seen its engine output increased for the 2021 year, gaining 25 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque over the previous year’s entry. The engine is exclusively mated to an all-wheel drive version.

The platform remains unchanged, with updates to the exterior and interior that keep the model feeling fresh and consistent with the rest of its lineup. New LED headlights and taillights, a revised front and rear bumper, and a new infotainment system are amongst the new offerings.

Available in both coupe and convertible form, the F-Type R sports car is now the highest F-Type trim in the lineup and is equipped with an arsenal intent on squaring off against the likes of the Porsche 911 and comparable Mercedes AMG models. With sharp handling and blistering acceleration—thanks in large part to its all-wheel-drive system—the F-Type R makes for a padded spec sheet and costs less than most of its competition.

Koenigsegg

2021 Koenigsegg Jesko

  • Base price: $2,800,000
  • Engine: 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 1,600 hp
  • Torque: 1,106 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • Top Speed: 300+ mph

Koenigsegg’s new Jesko hypercar, named after his father, who helped him start his company, claims over 300 mph as its top speed. While Koenigsegg hasn’t yet proven this in the real world, the Agera successor has achieved this feat in simulations, and the company certainly believes it to be as good as true.

There are two different versions of the car; Koenigsegg designed one for a high-speed run (called the Absolut) to achieve the aforementioned 300+ mph, and another with some serious downforce for the racetrack. No matter the variant, you get a new carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, a new suspension setup, redesigned engine, and a special gearbox.

2021 Koenigsegg Regera

  • Base price: $2,000,000
  • Engine: 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8 + 3 electric motors
  • Power: 1,500 hp
  • Torque: 1,475 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 s
  • Top Speed: 255 mph

The 2021 Koenigsegg Regera is definitely part of the small and exclusive group of hybrid hypercars. Koenigsegg launched the model at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, and since then, it has generated much hype amongst many car lovers and enthusiasts.

Besides a regular engine, the Koenigsegg Regera also carries an electric unit that produces up to 700 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque with a 4.5 kWh liquid-cooled battery pack. As a result, the car—in combination with its 5.0L twin-turbocharged V8—produces an amazing 1,500 hp, simply making it the most powerful hybrid hypercar in the world.

Lamborghini

2021 Lamborghini Urus

  • Base price: US$218,009
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 641 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 sec
  • 0-100 mph: 7.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

Yes, we know that the Lamborghini Urus is, by all accounts, an SUV. However, it’s also a Lamborghini, and this list just wouldn’t be complete without one. It really doesn’t matter anyway because the Urus is practically a supercar, and it has the credentials to back it up.

The Urus is powered by a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that is good for 641 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque. Performance is astonishing for the big SUV, with the 0-60 mph trek over in a mere 3.2 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 190 mph.

It looks aggressive, and we think it has just the right level of Lambo styling cues without going overboard. On the inside, the Urus has decent luggage space and a generous helping of electronics and infotainment equipment. The Urus remains Lamborghini’s only sport utility vehicle in the lineup for the 2021 model year.

Self-proclaimed as the world’s first Super Sport Utility Vehicle, we like to call it a luxurious, sporty SUV—where outlandish performance meets comfort and versatility. It offers best-in-class driving dynamics and is easily the best-performing SUV on the planet. The Lamborghini Urus is anything but your typical grocery hauler.

Lexus

2021 Lexus LC500

  • Base price: $92,950
  • Engine: 5.0L naturally-aspirated V8
  • Power: 471 hp @ 7,100 rpm
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.9 s
  • Top Speed: 168 mph

The range-topping Lexus LC500 luxury coupe continues to use the same naturally-aspirated V8 power plant seen in the rest of the brand’s performance lineup. Notable features include the adjustable suspension, which serves to provide a remarkable fusion of performance and comfort.

For 2021, the car remains virtually unchanged, although Lexus has recently released a convertible version of the LC500. The convertible roof will open and close in about 15 seconds and can be operated at speeds up to 31 mph. That’s pretty impressive.

Because of the open-top, the car required some additional structural components for rigidity but remains mechanically identical to the coupe otherwise.

Maserati

2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo

  • Base price: $109,890
  • Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 580 hp @ 6,750 rpm
  • Torque: 538 lb-ft @ 2,250 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 4.0 s
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

Car and Driver said of the Ghibli, “As a sports sedan, the Ghibli’s a winner, but it doesn’t live up to expectations on the luxury side of the spectrum.” The Maserati Ghibli Trofeo offers more of the same—but with more power, more fun, and more performance. These additions work extremely well, and for enthusiasts, this model offers a nice upgrade to the car they know and love.

2021 Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

  • Base price: $142,390
  • Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 580 hp
  • Torque: 524 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.2 s
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

The Quattroporte is a good car, but not a great one. It sits in a kind of limbo area where it is both a GT and also a sports-focused car.

Fortunately, the addition of the twin-turbo V8 makes it way better. It becomes more powerful, more sporty, and the performance is transformed. This year, it becomes a car that a true enthusiast can love—the Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo.

McLaren

2021 McLaren 540C

  • Base price: US$184,900
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 533 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 398 lb-ft @ 3,500-6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 10.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

This car’s an entry-level assassin. A mid-mounted 533-hp 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 drives the rear wheels of the 540C. Despite its lower price, the McLaren 540C inherits performance-aiding technologies from its pricier siblings, such as a system that applies the brakes to a rear wheel to help the car around corners.

Boasting 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-124mph in 10.5, a top speed of 199 mph, and a power-to-weight ratio of 412 horsepower per ton, this is definitely a car for impressing your friends. What more could you want for your money?

2021 McLaren 570S Coupe

  • Base price: US$191,100
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.5 sec
  • Top Speed: 204 mph

This is the car you buy when you are sick of your Porsche. It is a true sports car experience: very driver-centric and with truly epic performance. We have found the McLaren 570S as the perfectly positioned car in the McLaren range.

It has more performance than you could ever need on the road. It is lightweight, has direct steering, and has amazing driving dynamics. It looks like a supercar but also comes with enough interior amenities to be comfortable as a daily driver.

Between a 911 Turbo or 570S, I know which one I’d take. Queue the 570S, please.

2021 McLaren 570S Spider

  • Base price: US$211,300
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.6 sec
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

Basically a 570S with a retractable hardtop, the McLaren 570S Spider is awesome. Gone are the days where convertibles were compromised; McLaren seems to have figured out how to make them as good as their coupe siblings.

The Spider has the same twin-turbo V8 as the coupe, as well as the same carbon fiber MonoCell II chassis. Take the top down (15 seconds), and you add a whole host of sounds and sensations that are unique to the Spider. Performance is on par with the 570S coupe (within a 10th of a second to 60 mph and 124 mph).

2021 McLaren 570GT

  • Base price: US$203,950
  • Engine: 3.8L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 562 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 443 lb-ft @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.4 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 204mph

Practical, Fast, Luxurious. The McLaren 570GT is an intriguing model to consider now that the company has launched a focused GT model. It adds extra comfort and practicality to the 570 body style. Performance is still tremendous, but it takes the edge off in some ways (which is good).

Every bit a McLaren, this car is optimized for the road, turning the ultimate sports car experience into one that’s perfect for daily use, longer journeys, and weekends away. It has a practical, real glass hatch for extra storage, and its panoramic glass roof makes the car feel airy and spacious.

2021 McLaren 600LT

  • Base price: US$242,500
  • Engine: M838TE 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 592 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500–6,500rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 204 mph

The limited-edition McLaren 600LT is the ultimate version of McLaren’s 570S/GT range (think of it like the 458 Speciale as to the 458). It uses a variation of 570S’ McLaren’s twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8, in this guise making 592 horsepower and 457 lb-ft of torque.

It has a dual-clutch automatic transmission and is rear-wheel drive. The handling is perfectly balanced and reassures you with its predictable nature, making the ride a little firm due to its track-nature approach.

Standard carbon-ceramic brake discs, extensive carbon fiber, and that massive wing let you know this is a limited edition car designed for the track. It’s as capable of eye-watering performance it is deserving of the LT name.

2021 McLaren 600LT Spider

  • Base price: US$256,500
  • Engine: M838TE 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 592 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500–6,500rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.4 sec
  • Top Speed: 201 mph (196 mph with top down)

Like the 600LT coupe, a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 with 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque shoots the McLaren 600LT Spider to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. Getting to 124 mph takes just an extra two-tenths of a second compared to the hardtop. You step on the throttle, wait for a tinge of turbo lag, then boom, the ferocious revving and blistering straight-line speed hit you. Rinse and repeat.

Unlike most convertibles, this Spider will also handle in the corners. It is easily my favorite car on the market today. There is no shortfall versus the coupe; this is an epic car that loses nothing to its sibling. This is what a supercar is meant to be: an enchanting machine.

2021 McLaren 620R

  • Base price: US$300,000
  • Engine: 3.8 L M838TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 457 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 8.1 sec
  • Top Speed: 200 mph

The car is basically a 570S GT4 race car for the road. It’s a limited-run coupe that McLaren will build only 350 of. The McLaren 620R is the most powerful of the Sports Series range.

That engine makes a monstrous 612 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. The car also gets the 570S GT4’s suspension, braking parts, and many of the different adjustable aerodynamic components. The price of this speedy car is a whopping £329,000 in the UK, including taxes.

2021 McLaren GT

  • Base price: US$210,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TE twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 612 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1sec
  • 0-124 mph: 9.0 sec
  • Top Speed: 203 mph

This car offers luxury and refinement, the McLaren Way. The McLaren GT—which stands for ‘Grand Tourer’—is the British automaker’s first attempt at something other than the raw, unadulterated performance conduits they’ve been known for producing in the past.

The car retains the ubiquitous mid-engine layout seen throughout the rest of the McLaren lineup. It is based on the same exceptional platform used on the 570S—namely, its Monocell II-T carbon-fiber chassis. Despite this, McLaren has gone to great lengths to ensure that the GT also creates its own unique identity, with two-thirds of components used on this model also being exclusive to it.

Unconventional for a McLaren and for a mid-engined car respectively, are its particularly luxurious interior and over 20 cubic ft. of storage space. Despite its supposed layout handicap, the McLaren GT is not outdone here by the likes of Aston Martin, offering plenty of room for bags, skis, and a week’s worth of luggage. The new infotainment system also helps to facilitate a comfortable cross-country cruising experience.

2021 McLaren 720S

  • Base price: US$300,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 212 mph

The McLaren 720S is a sensational supercar, easily the best of the current breed. It has a twin-turbocharged 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 710 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque. It looks gorgeous too.

The 720S has advanced suspension that does a remarkable job of smoothing out imperfections while being sporty and keeping the car flat when pressing on. It boasts unrivaled chassis tuning, absurd amounts of speed, unparalleled acceleration numbers, and a package that looks stunning. This is simply the best supercar for sale today and the sweet spot in McLaren’s current model range.

2021 McLaren 720S Spider

  • Base price: US$315,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 710 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.9 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.9 sec
  • Top Speed: 212 mph (202 mph with top down)

The latest iteration of the current 720S—monikered “Spider”—is a convertible variant of the 720S, which comes with a folding hardtop. The McLaren 720S Spider retains the same DNA as the Coupe, utilizing a modified version of its carbon-fiber tub chassis to accommodate the folding roof and its mechanism.

Thanks to its brilliant aerodynamic design, the Spider still achieves a remarkable top speed of 202 mph with the top folded. McLaren does a lot of things better than anyone else, and producing convertible variants that are as good as its coupe counterparts is no exception.

2021 McLaren 765LT

  • Base price: US$368,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 755 bhp @ 7,500 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 7.2 sec
  • Top Speed: 205 mph

The McLaren 765LT replaces the 675LT as the newest limited-production track car in McLaren’s Super Series range. As with previous LT models, weight-saving is the key focus for the 765LT, losing 160+ lbs compared to the 720S.

For the first time, McLaren has also adjusted some of the 765LT’s inner workings. Horsepower from the 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 engine has been upped from 710 hp to 755 hp, and torque is rated at 590 lb-ft—an increase of 22 lb-ft.

2021 McLaren Senna

  • Base price: US$960,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 789 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

Named after Formula 1 driver Ayrton Senna, the McLaren Senna is a track-focused hypercar. Its aggressive appearance tells you immediately that this thing is designed to destroy lap times.

The McLaren Senna is the fastest McLaren road car ever around a racetrack, with downforce numbers up there with proper race cars. It is an intensely involving and immersive experience.

With a dry weight of 2,600 pounds, it delivers the fastest lap times of any road-legal McLaren to date. There is also a track-only version of the Senna, known as the Senna GTR.

2021 McLaren Senna GTR

  • Base price: US$1,800,000
  • Engine: 4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 813 bhp @ 7,250 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.8 sec
  • Top Speed: 211 mph

A More Hardcore Senna. Adding some track-focused updates to the McLaren Senna hypercar gets you the McLaren Senna GTR. Freed from all road and motorsport rules, it pushes things to the max.

Pared-back, pumped-up, then unleashed for track use only—it is, simply put, ferocious. We’re talking 1,000 kg of downforce and a power-to-weight ratio of 684 horsepower per tonne. This is a serious car for the serious racer (or a seriously rich person who wants to be a racer).

This isn’t a road car, folks, so don’t even think about it if you are looking to burn a few million dollars on something you can drive to your local cars and coffee meets.

2021 McLaren Elva

  • Base price: US$1,900,000
  • Engine:4.0 L M840TR twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 804 bhp
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: < 3 sec
  • 0-124 mph: 6.7 sec
  • Top Speed: TBD

The McLaren Elva is a completely roofless and windscreen-less Speedster. McLaren will fit a permanently fixed windscreen where legislation (or the customer) requires it, but all other cars will be built without a windscreen for a true open cockpit feeling.

The Elva shares the Senna GTR’s 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8, with the addition of a new exhaust system for the proper auditory experience. All told, the engine makes 804 hp, which is up from the Senna GTR’s 789 hp. The car also gets a cross-linked hydraulic suspension system, carbon-ceramic brakes with titanium calipers, and a feather-light curb weight.

McLaren hasn’t yet specified what the Elva tips the scales at, but the company claims it will be the lightest McLaren road car in the lineup. The McLaren factory will build just 399 examples of the Elva.

Mercedes

2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63

  • Base price: $68,100
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 469 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s
  • Top Speed:155 mph (limited)

Upgrading the 2020 Mercedes-AMG C 63, this year’s model offers a handcrafted biturbo V8 and paddle-shifted multi-clutch 9-speed to put 469 hp in your hands.

Adaptive AMG Ride Control and a limited-slip diff make it quick on its feet, and it has an exquisitely detailed cabin. It’s available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG C 63 S

  • Base price: $75,700
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 503 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.8 s
  • Top Speed: 155 mph (limited)

A handcrafted biturbo V8 unleashes 503 hp and class-leading torque. Aggressive style envelops advanced new technologies. And from the cabin, innovation and inspiration lead to invigoration in every curve and on every surface. The Mercedes-AMG C 63 S is available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S

  • Base price: $107,350
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 196 mph

With a handcrafted 603 hp and variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S Sedan is one of the quickest Mercedes-AMG models yet. It’s also one of the most rewarding and luxurious sedans ever to take track tech to the road.

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon

  • Base price: $111,750
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 627 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s
  • Top Speed: 180 mph

Sending 603 handcrafted horsepower deftly to the pavement via variable-torque AMG Performance 4MATIC+, the E 63 S Wagon outperforms any other wagon on the road. Is it a spacious supercar or a fast family car? Only one way to find out: open it up.

2021 Mercedes-AMG S 63

  • Base price: $151,600
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 603 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
  • Top Speed: 190 mph

With 603 handcrafted horsepower and torque-vectoring AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive, the AMG S 63 might be the most self-assured sedan on the road. Its innovations and appointments make it one of the most reassuring, too. However, it is going to be replaced by a newer model soon. Available in coupe, sedan, and cabriolet body styles.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63

  • Base price: $140,600
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 577 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.3 s

It has twice the doors and twice the seats of any AMG GT before it. Yet it builds on every dominant trait: Brilliant handling. Exquisite appointments. Seductive style. And a handcrafted biturbo V8 sending 577 hp to its four wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S

  • Base price: $161,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 630 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 664 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 s

The S version of the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 offers all of the same advantages, but with an extra kick in the power department. Its biturbo V8 sends a whopping 630 hp to its four wheels.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT / GT Roadster

  • Base price: $115,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 469 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 1,900 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 s

Developed from the racetrack up to be a pure sports car, the AMG GT’s 469-hp dry-sump biturbo V8 and rear transaxle help create an ideal balance of reduced weight, control, confidence, and composure.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT C / GT C Roadster

  • Base price: $150,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 550 hp @ 5,750 rpm
  • Torque: 502 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.6 s

The coupe version of the AMG GT adds extra power with a 550-hp dry-sump biturbo V8 engine and rear transaxle. Drivers still get all the performance and control the convertible version offers, creating an unparalleled experience.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT R / GT R Roadster

  • Base price: $162,900
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 577 hp @ 6,250 rpm
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 2,100 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 s

The 577-hp AMG GT R condenses half a century of motorsports success into a single Nürburgring lap. Lightened, sharpened, and strengthened, its racing DNA is evident in every fiber of its body, chassis, and soul.

2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series

  • Base price: $325,000
  • Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8
  • Power: 720 hp @ 6,700 rpm
  • Torque: 590 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 s

The Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series marks the return of an iconic name to the world of super sports cars. It’s as unorthodox as it is untamed. This car has emerged from uncompromising engineering paired with unprecedented performance—especially on the race track.

Honda Civic Type R Sport Line: An In-depth Look

Introduction

Now more than ever, I think it’s accurate to say that the “gentleman’s sports car” is in vogue. Made popular by the likes of Porsche – currently exemplified by the 911 GT3 Touring, in their case – there’s a growing call for performance models to start offering a less extroverted version of themselves. Of course, this does not have to come at the exclusion of automakers continuing to produce their more race-inspired cars, but rather as a complement to them. For an increasing number of car enthusiasts, less often means more, and subtlety is what makes the ultimate statement.

Let’s also establish the fact that the CTR is every bit as deserving as any other car that gets featured on our website. From a performance standpoint, the car is a proven winner: I continue to see this in person at just about every track day I attend where, when under the control of a capable driver, the Type R always gives exotic cars a run for their money and humbles more of their respective owners than they’d prefer to admit.

Honda Civic Type R Race Track

Now with that settled, Honda has followed a tried-and-tested formula with their latest rendition of the CTR – the Honda Civic Type R Sport Line. As the third distinctive variant (with the standard and Limited Edition models being the other two), the Sport Line model looks to scrap the boy racer image, with a more refined and grown-up persona to take its place. This is an evolution of visual details above all else, with the absence of a large rear wing being, by far, the most notable difference. Other relatively discreet changes – such as smaller 19″ wheels, plus the removal of most of the red exterior accents – collectively proclaim that the Sport Line is more about class than it is about sass.

Engine & Performance

Under the skin, the Sport Line shares all of the same underpinnings with the regular model. After all, the whole philosophy behind the “gentleman’s sports car” has never revolved around emasculating the car’s performance credentials. With all that being said, nothing has been changed in this department.

The CTR Sport Line continues to be powered by Honda’s most advanced K series engine to date – the turbocharged K20C1 – which sends up to 306 hp @ 6,500 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm to the front wheels. This allows the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 168 mph. Mated to the engine is the same super-slick-and-buttery-smooth 6-speed manual transmission, which continues to be one of the CTR line-up’s most defining and impressive features.

These figures are virtually identical to the standard model, suggesting that the larger rear wing produces no drag penalty (and likewise offers no advantages) for those popular (albeit not truly meaningful) performance metrics. The CTR Limited Edition, however, can hit a higher top speed of 180 mph thanks to its lower weight.

Chassis & Handling

One complaint I have about the pre-2020 cars is that the electric power steering felt a bit numb and was way too light for a sports car. While this probably encourages more swashbuckling inputs from the driver – which is sometimes good for getting the front-wheel-drive car to properly rotate during turns and even get the rear end to slide a bit – I would’ve preferred a more analog experience.

After being released in 2016, Honda presented an updated version of the CTR at the 2020 Tokyo Auto Salon. Subsequent production models, including the Limited Edition and now the Sport Line, are based on that car, of which changes included a modified front suspension with new dampers. Honda claims that this should allow the car to handle more smoothly and steer with improved feel.

The most notable transformation for the Sport Line, other than the absence of the massive rear wing, would be the use of 19″ wheels (instead of 20″ as used on all other models). Not only is this a more understated styling cue, but it also gives the Sport Line an extra inch of tire sidewall, which helps improves ride quality and comfort on public roads. The chassis and suspension remain otherwise unchanged compared to the standard model; it’s hard to tell if the performance-related side effects from what effectively appears to be a cosmetic revision were intentional. Either way, it blends in well with the whole image of the car.

Honda Civic Type R Sport Line Rear

Feelings aside, the Civic Type R became the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Nürburgring when it set a time of 7:43.80 back in 2017. So it is, by all accounts that matter, a legitimately fast car around the track. I would expect the newer versions of the CTR – particularly the Limited Edition model – to be even faster.

Design, Styling & Interior

Some other improvements to the 2020 CTR included a larger front grille being fitted to improve engine cooling, which the Sport Line is also the beneficiary of. Then, of course, there’s the aforementioned removal of the large rear wing, which is replaced by a much smaller decklid spoiler. The deletion of the red stripping normally highlighting the front lip, side skirts, and rear valance is a more subtle hint of the Sport Line’s pedigree, while the 19″ wheels provide the finishing touches on a more unassuming combination of form and function. Otherwise, the rest of the parts bin remains communal in all regards to exterior styling.

In terms of appearances, I’d like to think of the new Sport Line as what would happen if you gave a 20-year-old a $7,000 budget and a base Civic, then told them to option it using only OEM Honda parts (and that the standard rear wing was no longer available). That is neither a compliment nor a dig at the car’s subjective styling but more of an observation.

Inside, extra sound-deadening materials have been installed to enhance the grand touring experience, while black fabric seats replace the more popping red ones. The only immediately identifiable traits which suggest that the Sport Line is indeed still a Civic Type R are quintessential and iconic red Honda badges on the front grille and rear bumper, as well as the red Brembo brake calipers.

Honda Civic Type R Sport Line Seats

In the end, the more indistinct styling of the Sport Line won’t prevent the latest Civic Type R from remaining a polarizing figure amongst the car enthusiast community. Those who love it love it, but overall the CTR has never been overwhelmingly popular for its looks. In a way, this speaks volumes about how great of a performer it has to be in order to continue garnering the huge amount of praise it receives. So, did the Sport Line transform the CTR from a lively teen heartthrob to an introspective silver fox? Perhaps not, but overall, its intentions are completely transparent, so mission accomplished, I suppose.

Pricing

The Honda Civic Type R Sport Line will have an MSRP of £34,450 in Europe, though it will not be available in North America, at least for now. With the closure of the UK-based Swindon plant in 2019 – where the vast majority of CTRs were produced – there has been a much lower supply of new examples worldwide. This has been reflected in the soaring values of CTR models on the used market. Dealers were often seen listing brand new examples for way above their sticker prices, although Honda’s corporate branches have been cracking down on this practice as of late. Still, getting hold of a brand new CTR remains more challenging than it was in the past.

Verdict

supercars.net – 9/10

Honda Civic Type R Sport Line Side

For the US marketplace, it is clear that Honda is happy with keeping the status quo of this “hot market” for CTRs, though Honda North America executives have not ruled out the possibility of bringing the Sport Line to our shores. For now, the company believes that the current roster of the standard car and Limited Edition model provides a happy medium for both the company and its loyal customers. I have to say, I agree with this decision; as much as I’d like to see the Sport Line over here, I think the “gentleman’s sports car” concept is more openly embraced on the other side of the Atlantic.

Objectively, the Honda Civic Type R Sport Line is a transparent, if not outright gimmicky, attempt at giving Honda’s popular sports car broader appeal. Aimed particularly at what looks to be an older and more mature customer base, the Sport Line ticks enough of the boxes that you’d expect; however, it ultimately falls short of shaking its reputation of being a predominantly younger enthusiast’s kind-of-car, even sans the massive rear wing. The upside? It’s still very much the Civic Type R we’ve come to love – and that’s not a bad thing.

What Other Experts Are Saying

Top Gear – 9/10

Honda Civic Type R Sport Line Top Gear

Porsche 911 (992) GT3 Cup: An In-depth Look

Introduction

The world caught its first glimpse of the new 992-gen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car back in December 2020, at about the same time that we were treated to a teaser of the yet-to-be-released production road car. 

Ironically, more details were revealed about the race car than the road car at that point. Thus, we originally found ourselves relying on the Cup car – which we knew would make 510 hp and run on synthetic fuel – to give us clues on what the street-legal GT3 was going to look like, and not the other way around. But even then, most of the information remained vague. 

Fast forward to mid-February 2021, with Porsche finally pulling back the curtains and officially unveiling the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 via digital livestream on YouTube. Rather quietly – under the shroud of all the fanfare surrounding the road car – Porsche also got the ball rolling for the 992-gen GT3 Cup car, delivering the first 23 examples to customers.

New Era, Better Cup Car

As is the case with any automobile (and especially one of the 911 GT3’s caliber), development of the production car – and by association, the Cup car – was years in the making. Jan Feldmann was appointed Project Manager for the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, making him ultimately responsible for bringing the many different departments together needed to produce a pure-bred race car.     

The very beginnings of this project can be traced back as far as 2018, with things really beginning to take shape by early 2019. The undertaking was huge, but the message was simple: “build a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car that had better performance, a more aggressive design, and greater durability than any other before it.”

We all know that these types of challenges are nothing new to Porsche, who seem to be on a perpetual winning streak of building a better car than the ones made before it. However, this particular Cup car did present a unique obstacle for Feldmann and his team, as Porsche sought to have it run on synthetic fuel rather than conventional gasoline. The immediate goal here was to achieve a significant drop in carbon emissions, which the new Cup car has proven to be possible.

It also serves as a laboratory for the potential trickle-down of eFuels to production road cars. Producing a competitive race car that uses eFuels is surely going to have huge implications for the company down-line; Porsche have already hinted that this manner of powering some of their production cars (alongside EVs) is at the forefront of their future developments. The company’s altruistic stance on this is reflected in their desire to make eFuels accessible for all manner of combustion-powered machines.    

As the seventh iteration of this one-make race car, the new 992 GT3 Cup will be carrying on a great legacy. Since 1990, Porsche has produced 4,251 units of this world-class machine; all of which have been built alongside Porsche’s production road cars at Zuffenhausen, and will continue to be in the case of the 992.

To The Races

Early adopters of the new Cup cars were invited to a private testing session to give the race car its first real shakedown on March 8, 2021. Considered to be one of the world’s most unforgiving race tracks (one which demands everything from a car’s chassis) Sebring International Raceway would host this event. Keeping in the mindset of “if it’ll survive here, it’ll survive anywhere”, the car performed remarkably in every metric and duly impressed the Porsche brass and customers alike.    

This was not just a preamble for the cars, but for the drivers as well, who would then compete on the same track just 9 days later at the 12 Hours of Sebring – the inaugural event for the 2021 Porsche Carrera Cup North America season. Since then, the competition has made its rounds to Circuit of the Americas, Watkins Glen, Road America and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The full schedule can be viewed here. 

Also, a special shout out to my fellow Canadian, Parker Thompson of JDX Racing, who continues to compete for a top 3 position in the series. He won the most recent event which took place at Indianapolis, where he also set the fastest lap of the race. All the best, Parker!

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rolling

“Being able to introduce the new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car in our own debut as Porsche Carrera Cup North America is a great honor. It is among the first of many key elements that makes Carrera Cup special for our customers here. While we will have multiple unique details which set the Carrera Cup North America apart, like a bespoke paddock experience and Michelin Pilot race tires, the most obvious and quickly recognizable to the fans will be the latest and greatest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car. Not only is this special on this continent, but it is also special worldwide. People will be able to watch the future of Porsche one-make racing for the first time at our series’ debut at Sebring on March 17 – 19.” – Brian Blocker, Series Director of Porsche Carrera Cup North America

Engine & Performance

The Stats

The new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car continues to fashion a 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine, which is the same as that used in its predecessor as well as the 992 GT3 road car. In its latest evolution, the engine produces 510 hp @ 8,400 rpm – up from 485 hp @ 7,500 rpm in the outgoing race car – and 347 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm. 

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Pit Lane

Arguably more significant than the 25 hp bump, is the fact that the water-cooled flat-6 engine runs on synthetic fuels – a feature that could revolutionize how motorsport race cars and production road cars look going forward. Porsche also claims that the engine is more robust than ever and requires less routine maintenance than the forgone “Mezger” engines used in the previous cars. This means that the car should be good for 100 hours of track-duty, before requiring any maintenance checks.      

The Components

Unlike the road-going car, the GT3 Cup race car opts for a single intake system instead of the more ‘blingy’ individual throttle bodies, as a matter of simplicity for race engineers and mechanics. The car also comes with three interchangeable exhaust systems which allow for compliance within different race series’ rules and decibel limits.

The 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-6 engine is mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission, which is electronically controlled using steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The most notable improvements to the drivetrain, which include new driveshafts, make for a much more durable race car. 

Porsche says that the GT3 Cup car’s transmission only needs inspecting once every 60 hours of racing, with the comprehensive servicing/rebuilding interval being double that. More time on the race track. Less time in the garage. A clearer path to victory.  

Chassis & Suspension

The new 992 GT3 Cup has significantly enhanced safety features compared to the outgoing 991.2 equivalent, with extra reinforcements added to make the safety cell – which ultimately protects the driver – much stronger. The net increase to total weight is about 35 kg, though it is important to note that the car has shed mass other areas to help mitigate the additional encumbrance. 

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear

This is achieved by using more aluminum than ever before, with roughly 70% of the new Cup car’s components being made of the lighter material (and the rest with steel). A generous serving of carbon fiber can be found on panels such as the doors, engine cover and rear wing, while all windows are made out of polycarbonate.  

Overall, the 992 Cup weighs 2,778 pounds – up from its predecessor’s 2,701 pounds – which isn’t insignificant in race car terms; however, it now comes with the extra protection and heightened safety standards that are part and parcel of building a car that is now faster than ever before. 

One of the biggest changes to the new GT3 Cup car is via its suspension geometry with the introduction of a double-wishbone suspension setup in the front. This design is inherited from the mid-engined 911 RSR race car, and is also a characteristic shared with the new 992 GT3 road car, which also debuts with this same feature.

This change is significant in that the shock absorbers are only affected by axial forces, and no longer to lateral forces. In essence, this will improve handling performance and allow for more precise road manners and enhanced turn-in capabilities. The rear end continues to utilize a 5-point multi-link suspension system which also borrows its valve design from the 911 RSR. The new GT3 Cup car will also feature fully electro-mechanical power steering for the first time, which will improve the car’s reaction to driver inputs while providing greater feedback. 

Aerodynamics

As expected, the new 992 GT3 Cup also features improved aerodynamic performance compared to the outgoing race car, with the new adjustable ‘swan neck’ rear spoiler being the most visually-telling change in this regard. 

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear Wing

This design – also adopted for use on the 992 GT3 road car – is an improvement on the more traditional shape, allowing for greater downforce while simultaneously reducing drag. New NACA-style air ducts at the front of the car also help to channel airflow throughout the body and assist with engine and brake cooling.  

The overall footprint of the car has also been increased, with a wider body and larger overhangs improving downforce but also making for bigger dimensions. However, as part of the total package, these changes work in tandem with the rest of the car in striking an optimal balance which ultimately makes for a faster, better and safer car. 

Stability & Traction Control Systems

While driver assistance systems such ABS and traction control are optional on the GT3 Cup, they are pre-programmed into every car’s onboard ECU; they can be toggled on or off using a unique digital code. 

However, the majority of these driving aids are prohibited in professional categories of competitions such as the Porsche Carrera Cup North America – pro-am and amateur racers are typically given more leniency when it comes to racing with assists turned on.  

Brakes & Tires

The new 992 GT3 Cup car utilizes Brembo steel brakes for stopping power, forgoing the more exotic (but less reliable) carbon-ceramic setup which is an option in the road-going GT3. The brake calipers utilize a special “quick release” mechanism, which allows for faster brake pad changes during pit stops. Brake bias can also be adjusted on the fly from the cockpit using a rotary knob located on the switch panel.  

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear Quarter

Thanks to wider fenders and a larger body, the new race car can also accommodate a beefier wheel / tire combination than before – by default, this equates to 12” wide wheels in the front and 13” wide wheels at the rear, each wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport race tires.

Design, Styling & Interior

Speaking in greater detail about the car’s increased width, the new 992 GT3 Cup is built upon the wider platform of the 911 Turbo production car, rather than the narrow-bodied variants as was the case for the previous Cup car iterations. Add to that, even wider fenders after the fact, and you have a front and rear track which has been widened by 1.8” and 1.1” respectively.  

The car’s body panels are made of either aluminum or carbon fiber; considerations have been made for reductions not just in weight, but in cost as well. For example, panels that are more susceptible to taking damage during customary track incidents – such as bumpers and fenders – are made from the less expensive aluminum.   

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Interior

Inside, the GT3 Cup is fitted with a 10.3” center monitor which displays important information to the driver. The steering wheel is transplanted from the GT3 R and has carbon fiber paddle shifters attached. The dashboard can also be customized to the driver’s preferences.

Pricing

According to Porsche Motorsport, the new 992-gen Porsche 911 GT3 Cup “is now delivered with a complete accessory kit, which includes, for example, all special tools and wishbone spacers required for track adjustment.” 

As for the price? Each Cup car will cost the equivalent of €225,000 (roughly US$275,000).

This of course, does not include any of the costs associated with funding a race team or the other post-purchase expenses required to keep the car running and staying competitive. Deliveries began in February 2021, with testing and the first 5 Porsche Carrera Cup North America races already having been concluded at the time of this writing. The series will be making its next stop at Virginia International Raceway, before wrapping up at Road Atlanta.

Specifications Summary

Engine

Configuration Flat-6
Location Rear, Longitudinally-mounted
Construction Aluminium Alloy Block and Head
Displacement 3,996 cc / 243.9 cu in
Bore / Stroke 102.0 mm (4”) / 81.5 mm (3.2”)
Valvetrain 4 Valves / Cylinder, DOHC
Fuel Feed Fuel Injection
Lubrication Dry Sump
Aspiration Naturally-aspirated
Power 503 bhp / 375 kW @ 8,400 rpm
Torque 470 Nm / 347 ft-lbs @ 6,150 rpm
Redline 8,750 rpm
BHP/Liter 126 bhp / liter

Chassis & Drivetrain

Chassis Aluminium and Steel Monocoque
Front Suspension Double Wishbones
Rear Suspension Multi-link
Steering Electro-mechanical Power Steering
Front Brakes Ventilated discs, 380mm (15”), 6-pot caliper
Rear Brakes Ventilated discs, 380mm (15”), 4-pot caliper
Gearbox 6-speed Sequential
Drive Rear-wheel Drive

Dimensions

Weight 1,260 kg / 2,778 lbs
Length / Width / Height 4,585 mm (180.5”) / 1,920 mm (75.6 in) / N/A
Wheelbase / Track (fr/r) 2,459 mm (96.8”) / N/A / N/A
Fuel Tank 110 Liters (29.1 Gallons [US] / 24.2 Gallons [Imperial])
Wheels (fr/r) 12” x 18” / 13” x 18”
Tires (fr/r) 30/65 – 18” / 31/71 – 18”

Porsche 911 (992) GT3 Cup Photo Gallery

Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Front Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Side Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear Wing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Steering Wheel Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Bonnet Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rolling Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rolling Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rolling Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Pit Lane Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Side Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear Wing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Top View Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Tire Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear Quarter Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Rear Quarter Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Door Card Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Interior

Video Gallery

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Official Press Release

Porsche Premiere. Newest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Race Car to Make Testing Debut with Newest One-Make Series.

02/08/2021

Porsche Motorsport Weekly Notes

The Porsche Carrera Cup North America will be a leader in many ways entering its debut season in 2021. Among the firsts for the entrants into the new championship – the highest of the one-make series on the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid North America – will be the privilege as the earliest to test and race the newest Porsche 911 GT3 Cup competition car worldwide. Porsche will host an open test for all full-season entrants in the series at Sebring International Raceway on March 8 – 9. The private test will include the first 23, 2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars produced and delivered worldwide, as well as a limited number of previous generation cars. Following the two-day private event on the 3.74-mile, 17-turn race course in Sebring, Florida, entrants will make the international competition debut for the first race variant of the type 992 generation of the iconic 911 platform on March 17 – 19 during the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring weekend.

North America holds the honor of being the first to see the most produced factory race car in the world in Central Florida. It will be followed by its Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup premier March 30 at Zandvoort in The Netherlands. Other Carrera Cups will follow.

The seventh cup-car iteration will carry forward a great legacy. Since its 1990 forerunner, Porsche has built 4,251 units of the globally successful one-make cup racer. Of its immediate predecessor alone, 1,410 cars rolled off the 911 assembly line in Zuffenhausen, Germany: 673 vehicles from the 991.1 generation and 737 from the 2017-launched 991.2 generation.

Producing 510 hp (375 kW), the new-for-2021 machine exceeds the output of its immediate predecessor by approximately 25 horsepower. Moreover, the new GT3 Cup car can run on synthetic fuels, which significantly lowers CO2 emissions under racing conditions. The completely new Cup 911 race car is expected to cut lap times, depending on the track layout, by an astounding one-percent – an almost unheard of gain made year-to-year. Delivery to teams will begin in February 19 with the first production allocation scheduled to be delivered to North America.

The groundwork for the latest model was laid in 2018. Concrete development began in early 2019. The main development goals of the team led by project manager Jan Feldmann were to further improve performance, achieve a more aggressive design and greater durability with less outlay in terms of time and maintenance. The result is reflected in many aspects of the new racing vehicle, which, like its predecessor, is built on the production line in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen alongside the 911 road models.

One of the most striking features of the new 911 GT3 Cup is its optimized aerodynamics and the overall more muscular appearance. This is partly thanks to the wide, turbo-spec lightweight body that is being used for the first time in the Cup car. This improved aerodynamic efficiency ensures more stable handling, particularly in high-speed corners.

Optional vehicle functions such as ABS or traction control are already stored in the car’s onboard ECU. They can be activated via a digital code. In the Porsche Carrera Cup North America as well as the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the majority of these driving aids are switched off in the professional classes. The focus of Carrera Cup and Supercup is on the talent of the drivers not the race car.

While the rear axle in the new Cup car essentially remains unchanged compared to the production 911 model, the front wheels are now controlled by a double wishbone suspension and Uniball bearings – like in the Porsche 911 RSR, the top racing model in the Porsche lineup. Through this, the shock absorbers/dampers are no longer exposed to lateral forces, only axial forces. This ensures more precise turn-in behavior and gives the driver a better feeling for the front axle. The shock absorbers have also inherited the cutting-edge valve technology from the Porsche 919 Hybrid LMP race car and 911 RSR. Fully electro-mechanical power steering has been introduced into the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup for the first time this year as well. While the car remains true to its Porsche roots in feel and performance, drivers who have experienced even the most recent generation of “Cup car” will have to adjust to the new, more precise handling of the newest generation. This puts a premium on the first test session at the fast, and bumpy, central Florida race course.

In terms of the engine, the 911 GT3 Cup remains true to the naturally-aspirated principle. In its racing version, the four-liter, water-cooled flat-six engine develops 510 hp (375 kW). The engine is connected to the sequential, six-speed gearbox with gear changes being made via a paddle shift on the steering wheel.

Entrants will take delivery of their new Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race cars beginning February 19. To help maintain a level playing field for all customers, regardless of their designated delivery slot, teams will not be allowed to test the cars on track prior to the Porsche Motorsport North America-managed Sebring test on March 8. To learn more, please visit www.PorscheCarreraCup.us

2021 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring: An In-depth Look

Introduction

When we attended the livestream unveiling of the 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3, it quickly became evident that the folks from Stuttgart had come good on a number of proclaimed and unspoken promises – the new car was far superior to those that came before it, proving that Porsche is not lacking on the level of innovation that’s required to make something so amazing, even better. The event also provided an opportunity for the gaffer to speak about some of the other commitments from the automaker, such as the development of eFuels and the confirmation of an upcoming Touring version for their latest GT car.

For those already in the know, the GT3 Touring model is as exceptional as it has become familiar over the past few years, particularly to the most diehard driving purists and deeply-rooted Porsche enthusiasts. For those wondering, “Hey, what’s the diff?”, the Touring is essentially a gentleman’s version of its otherwise track-focused road car; based on a less extroverted and more purist-centric blueprint, the Touring forgoes some key features from the regular car.

The most notable of these would be the removal of the static rear ‘swan neck’ wing, which has become one of the most defining and differentiating elements of the 992 GT3. It has been replaced by an electronically-controlled retractable wing, which in theory, would serve most of its function under race-track conditions; otherwise, expect the Touring to appear as the wing-less, more unassuming version of itself, in almost all other cases.

In actuality, this helps the car blend in more with the non-GT lineup of 911 cars, rather than simply being a less attention-grabbing version of the GT3. Subtlety is the leading philosophy here – nevertheless, those who know, really know. With that said, this is always one of the best things about owning a Touring model. It’s part of a special ensemble that plays to a small and exclusive audience. These days, being in that kind of company is priceless; in this era where society caters more to bigger egos and louder mouths, the longing to appear as something less, can’t be faked. If anything, it takes some bravery to pull off.

Interestingly enough, the 992-generation GT3 Touring model does come with the (no-cost) option to add PDK, though we reckon that manual transmission models will reign supreme as the overwhelming favorite, and for good reason. After all, it makes little sense opting for the former, in the same way that someone would make the argument for having a manual transmission in the GT3 RS because they wanted access to the fastest lap times possible from the car. In any case, Porsche has a proven track record when it comes to satisfying just about every niche via its GT lineup, with the Touring model being one such product of their open dialogue with customers.

Touring Evolution

For the genesis of the GT3 Touring, we go back to the 991-generation when the series’ first 911 GT3 was released in 2014. It came exclusively with the PDK transmission. This was followed by a bit of an outcry from Porsche customers, who felt that at the very least, the option of a manual transmission for GT3 should’ve been on the table from the get-go. Hindsight is always 20/20, and only after-the-fact is it easy to see why a GT3 Touring slots in so perfectly into the 911 hierarchy – it’s the sweet spot or those who desire a 911 grand-tourer and want a bit more than what the GTS offers, but find the Turbo models (for which a manual transmission was not offered) a bit too farfetched.

Stuttgart heard, and they delivered, though the introduction of the Touring model didn’t happen overnight. The first serving of appeasement came in the form of the manual-transmission-only 911R (which is actually more closely based on the 991.1 GT3 RS model) before a proper commitment was provided for the 991.2 GT3 in 2017, with the debut of the official Touring designation. It was the first time the 991-generation GT3 could be had with a manual transmission (including the regular model), with the Touring model being exclusively offered with the stick-shift for this iteration.

If you wanted a post-997-generation 911 GT car with a manual transmission, the 2017 GT3 and GT3 Touring were the automaker’s first offering at a relatively reasonable price point; the rarity of the 911R and the fact that it’s basically an RS model, see it demanding inflated prices to this day. With that being said, I don’t think many would have opposed the new 992 GT3 Touring continuing its exclusive relationship with the manual. But it can’t be argued that the PDK opens up more options for a wider range of buyers, which should equate to a larger market share and translate to bigger profits; it makes sense from a business standpoint.

However, we urge buyers of the new GT3 Touring to go all-in on the purity it has on tap, particularly when it comes to being a road car. If lap times are your priority, PDK (on the regular GT3, or the upcoming ‘RS’, if possible) is the way to go. Leave the PDK for what it’s good at. Keep efficiency and essence separate. It’s good for resale value too – maybe you’ll thank me later. Speaking of the 911R, perhaps a 992 iteration is in the pipeline? Though this time, we reckon it will be more in parallel with the RS program from the get-go (as it ended up being the first time), rather than a knee-jerk reaction to the lukewarm reception of a manual-transmission-less GT3. One can only hope!

Engine & Performance

  • Engine Type & Size: 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-6
  • Horsepower: 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm
  • Torque: 346 lb-ft @ 6,250 rpm
  • Transmission: 7-speed PDK, 6-speed manual
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 seconds (PDK), 3.7 seconds (manual)
  • Top Speed: 199 mph

Porsche has continued the use of the naturally-aspirated 4.0L 9A1 flat-6 power plant in the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3, with that engine carrying over untouched in the GT3 Touring. The only key differences between the 9A1 and the engine used in the Cup race car, are the exhaust system and ECU. Otherwise, those two engines share virtually all the same components, such as individual throttle bodies. As such, the new GT3 needed no “sound engineering” and inherently sounds amazing.

With its astronomical 9,000 rpm redline, the GT3 Touring produces 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm and should likewise achieve hugely similar, if not identical figures as it pertains to 0-60 mph times and top speed. Like the regular model, the Porsche 911 GT3 Touring comes with two transmission options, though as mentioned before, the 6-speed manual is expected to be the much more popular choice for buyers of this model. The GT3 and GT3 Touring continue to use the 7-speed PDK transmission, instead of a version of the 8-speed used in the rest of the 992 line-up.

Purists, rejoice! Dr. Frank Walliser – Vice President of 911 and 718 Product Lines – said that we shouldn’t count on the GT3 going electric or even hybrid, anytime too soon. It is much more likely that Porsche will transition to using synthetic fuels for motorsport and its GT line of production cars, before even considering going full-on EV. This aligns with Porsche’s intention to keep the naturally-aspirated engine alive for as long as possible – regulations and emissions standards will serve as the eventual ultimatum.

Chassis & Handling

Aerodynamics & Weight Reduction

The new 992 GT3 spent more than 160 hours across 700 simulation sessions in the wind tunnel. It generates 50% more downforce than its predecessor and up to 150% more downforce in its “high downforce” setting. Porsche has claimed that the retractable spoiler on the GT3 Touring model – while fully extended – is able to generate the same amount of downforce as the regular model’s affixed version, though it is unclear if they are including the “high downforce” setting in this comparison.

Otherwise, the GT3 Touring uses all of the same aero components including an adjustable front diffuser and a fully closed rear diffuser, which on its own generates 60 kg of downforce at top speed. Its low weight of just 1,413 kg is achieved with a myriad of lightweight components, and next to an equally-optioned GT3, it should weigh in about the same. This includes a carbon-fiber hood, roof, and rear wing, along with other items such as a super lightweight battery, lighter wheels, ultra-thin glass, carbon-fiber cross members, and lightweight interior appointments. Essentially, the 992 GT3 and GT3 Touring have achieved the same weight as their predecessors, but are loaded with a lot more technology.

Suspension & Chassis Control Systems

In this department, the GT3 Touring is also identical to the GT3. Expect the same 911-RSR-inspired handling characteristics that are spearheaded by the introduction of a new front suspension setup consisting of unequal-length control arms instead of conventional struts, making it the first time a double-wishbone suspension configuration is used in the front of a GT3. This will provide better tire contact through turns and during moments of compression and rebounding. Porsche’s new adaptive dampers are capable of adjusting every 10 milliseconds, which means the spring rates have doubled without affecting the ride quality of the GT3.

There are three available driving modes: Normal, Sport, and Track, which all provide varying degrees of driver-aid involvement and chassis settings. Aside from providing the most firm, performance-biased setup with the least amount of computer control, initiating Track mode also changes the instrumentation and displays to “Track View”. This compiles all pertinent information to the immediate field of view of the driver. Important details such as oil temperature, oil pressure, tire pressures, and shift indicators, are all in plain sight and easily visible.

Brakes & Tires

Both the GT3 and GT3 Touring draw their standard features and optional equipment from the same parts bin, with the latter car also coming standard with cast-iron rotors and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Likewise, upgrading to carbon-ceramic brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires, remain as options.

Design, Styling & Interior

This, of course, is where the GT3 Touring truly begins its quest to make a name for itself, with both of the current GT3 variants being virtually identical otherwise. It really comes down to what kind of visual signals you’re intending to give off while driving the GT3 (and the resulting levels of attention you want to grab or avoid). It’s not even a question of aerodynamic performance either – as many would understandably expect – with the downforce generated remaining unchanged regardless of whether you go fixed-wing or adaptive. Porsche was adamant on lending to its mantra that subtlety doesn’t need to come with any penalty, and made sure the GT3 Touring was engineered and designed in such a mold.

There are a number of other aesthetic details that are unique to the Touring model as well, though they’re not as individually pronounced as the rear spoiler changes. In keeping with the now deep-rooted philosophy of Touring models, standard features such as painted front bumper inserts, aluminum window trimming, and an interior wrapped in leather and brushed aluminum (in place of Alcantara and carbon fiber), give the latest GT3 variant a more reserved persona.

That’s not to say that the Touring has been in any way, emasculated as a GT car; if nothing, it’s simply a more mature version of itself. After all, the remaining presence of distinguishable cues such as carbon fiber bonnet vents, a front bumper with large air intakes, and a signature GT-department engine cover, provide enough hints that this isn’t just a fancy looking Carrera S. While you can spec a Touring model to be as hardcore as its more track-purposed stablemate, do so with some introspection.

For example, as cool as those lightweight carbon fiber bucket seats are, they make getting into and out of the car more difficult. This would make the case for the Touring model being a more dedicated daily driver, a bit harder to argue. Before checking all the boxes on the options list, just know what you’re getting (and why), and you won’t be disappointed. Overall, the silhouette of the new 911 GT3 Touring remains a largely familiar one – and that’s not a bad thing.  In fact, this is probably great news for Porsche and GT3 enthusiasts, who would contend that there was never anything wrong with the previous GT3 in the first place.

No confirmation yet on whether the Club Sport Package (roll cage, 4-pt harnesses) will continue to be a no-cost option, as it is in the regular GT3. If it is, it would probably only be for the European markets anyway – this package was not available on past iterations in North America due to safety regulations. Again, like PDK, the Club Sport Package kind of clashes with the whole purpose of the Touring model, in our opinion. Paint to Sample (aka, custom paint colors) will also be available for GT3 Touring examples.

Pricing

Base MSRP for both the GT3 and GT3 touring are the exact same: US $180,300. So while less is not more, more is not less either.

The good part about this is that you only have to worry about making your decision – on what GT3 variant you really want – based on your personal tastes, and not be forced into one because of a difference in price.

We see this as nothing but a good thing. Just pick what looks better to you. Which to be fair, might be easier said than done – oh Porsche, you make things so, so interesting.

Verdict

supercars.net 10/10

Porsche GT3 Touring Side View

“The Porsche 911 GT3 Touring is back. If this latest 992-generation version is any indication of Porsche’s commitment to this model, then it should be safe to say that it’s also here to stay. The Touring makes sense for those who envision their GT3 more as a daily mode of transportation than a track specialist, although there is nothing to suggest that it is not comfortable of filling both those roles either.

GT performance is good enough for any paved road – and that includes the race track – but we reckon that the Touring variants were created for a certain type of personality. There are few other cars, especially today, that can invoke an idealized sense of connection and purpose like a GT3 Touring (with a 6-speed manual transmission) can. Its unpretentious demeanor, in a somewhat ironic way, rounds off things with the bold statement that less really can mean more.”

What Other Experts Are Saying

Top Gear – 10/10

Two Porsche GT3 Touring models

“The numbers don’t matter. And that’s an important point to make. Because if they do matter, go and buy electric. You’re looking at the Touring for the wrong reason. This is a car for feels.”

Full article

Car Magazine – 5/5

Porsche GT3 Touring Rear View

“Track drivers will want the GT3’s genuine downforce. But for the rest of us the Touring Package is the definitive road-going ‘event’ 911.”

Full article

Evo – 4.5/5

Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Side View

“There are few, if any, more rewarding, engaging, or intense experiences for those in pursuit of the thrill of driving.”

Full article

Image & Video Gallery

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo: An In-Depth Look

Introduction

With the introduction of the new Cross Turismo range of Porsche Taycan models, we’re now entering the second act of the company’s electrification strategy. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo carries over the EV-platform and performance from its sedan counterpart, then amalgamates them with the utilitarianism of a sporty crossover / estate. What this means is that you can expect the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack).

While a number of the Cross Turismo models’ design elements bear an obvious resemblance to the sedans, they offer something very distinct as well. Aside from the glaringly obvious visual and utilitarian differences that are on tap, all CT models feature a longer roof which flows into its estate-like silhouette. This allows the CT models to have up to 43 cu. ft. of cargo space – compared to the sedan’s 14 cu. ft – plus an additional 36 mm of headroom for rear-seated passengers. The Cross Turismo also comes with significantly more ground clearance too, along with a “Gravel Mode” which is unique to the CT range. 

Adding the optional Off-road Design Package gives the car an even more pronounced statement of intent; one that suggests that the Cross Turismo can go places and perform tasks that the regular, more sportscar-oriented Taycan cannot. The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is currently available in four distinct trim levels – 4, 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S – with relative performance figures and standard features across the range, mostly in parallel with that of the sedans. The gap in performance (and price) between the 4S and Turbo models suggests that there is ample room for a GTS model to naturally slot in some time down the road, but we will have to wait and see.

Available Trims

2021 Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo

  • Base Price: US$90,900
  • Engine: AC Permanent Synchronous Motor
  • Power: 375 hp (469 hp w/ Overboost Power and Launch Control)
  • Torque: 368 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.8 seconds
  • Top Speed: 137 mph

The Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo is the entry-level offering within the CT range, with its performance figures most comparable to the base rear-wheel drive Porsche Taycan sedan. It does get a boost over the aforementioned, thanks to the larger 93.4 kWh battery and all-wheel drive coming standard.

For those who have a budget in mind and are willing to forgo a bit of performance in order to partake in Porsche’s interpretation of fully-electric-practicality, the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo is a great choice priced at well under 6-figures before options.

2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo

  • Base Price: US$110,300
  • Engine: AC Permanent Synchronous Motor
  • Power: 482 hp (562 hp w/ Overboost Power and Launch Control)
  • Torque: 479 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
  • Top Speed: 149 mph

The Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo is the second offering in the CT range, and costs $6,500 more to get into than its sedan equivalent. However, it is important to note that the 4S Cross Turismo comes standard with Performance Battery Plus (93.4 kWh battery) while the 4S sedan does not. Both models share the exact same performance specs when equipped with the 93.4 kWh battery, with the CT a smidge slower from 0-60 mph due to the extra bit of weight. 

In our opinion, we feel that the 4S Cross Turismo offers the best balance of price, performance, and practicality out of all the models in the range. Where the Taycan sedan is more of a high-performance sports car, the CT is targeting the more pragmatic, family-oriented buyer; one who is more likely to find that the performance of the Turbo and Turbo S models go well beyond what is needed for the task at hand.

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo

  • Base Price: US$153,500
  • Engine: AC Permanent Synchronous Motor
  • Power: 616 hp (670 hp w/ Overboost Power and Launch Control)
  • Torque: 626 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 3.1 seconds
  • Top Speed: 155 mph

For those who want to enjoy their Taycan Cross Turismo for more than just family road-trips and running errands around town, the Turbo offers insane performance if you also fancy a weekend session at the race track or straight-line launches on the empty country backroads. 

The Turbo generates up to 670 hp and can complete 0-60 mph in just 3.1 seconds, transforming the car from reliable kid-hauler to practical supercar. Among other things, the Turbo will also come standard with more features, which include  20” Taycan Turbo Design Wheels and larger brakes compared to the 4 and 4S models. 

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo

2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo

  • Base Price: US$187,600
  • Engine: AC Permanent Synchronous Motor
  • Power: 616 hp (750 hp w/ Overboost Power and Launch Control)
  • Torque: 774 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.7 seconds
  • Top Speed: 155 mph

The Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo is for those who desire performance without compromise and want to make the ultimate statement in a Porsche Taycan. While the practicality of the CT’s station wagon platform still remains, there is no doubt that it plays second fiddle to the performance credentials that only a Turbo S can offer.  

Generating up to 750 hp, Porsche claims that the Turbo S Cross Turismo is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in just 2.7 seconds. However, a number of independent tests have been able to complete this feat in even less time, revealing hypercar credentials which are likely to overshadow the car’s inherent utilitarian qualities. 

The Turbo S also comes standard with more equipment than any other CT model, with Porsche Carbon Ceramic Brakes (PCCB), Sport Chrono Package and Adaptive Sport Seats Plus (18-way) available at no extra cost. The car is also equipped with  20” Taycan Turbo S Design wheels, which can be upgraded to the 21” Cross Turismo Design Wheels for free.   

Engine, Drivetrain & Performance

As mentioned earlier, all Taycan CT models will come equipped with the same 93.4 kWh battery as standard to complement the compulsory all-wheel drive. Each of the 4 trims (see above) unlock increasing stages of power as you move up the roster, with the range-topping Turbo S capable of some 750 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque. The 2-speed transmission also carries over and continues to be a stand-out feature amongst other EVs, with the platform allowing for improved battery performance and efficiency.  Regardless of the power on tap, you can expect the CT models to exhibit the very same sensations and driving character as their sedan counterparts. Acceleration and throttle response are instantaneous in relation to pedal inputs, with power delivered ever so smoothly, even while at times brutally so, particularly in the Turbo and Turbo S models.

“One pedal driving” continues to elude the Taycan CT’s skillset; this is where other EVs – like Teslas – can almost be exclusively driven using only the accelerator, as merely taking the foot off the pedal is sufficient to bring the car to a stop in most situations, making the brake pedal more of a luxury than a necessity. I’m not a fan of this, but apparently many people are – frankly, I think it’s a good thing that Porsche has forgone this feature on their cars, as it would be an uncharacteristic one, to say the least. Electric Sport Sound continues to be a trademark on the Taycan CT (though optional on the lower models), providing artificial engine noises orchestrated through a sci-fi symphony.

Most critics believe that the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo hits the sweet spot in the range, with its 482 hp (562 hp w/ Overboost) deemed to be more than sufficient for what most buyers – whom have the CT shortlisted – would be in the market for. I definitely share this sentiment, as 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds is just fine for a family hauler. Nevertheless, the Turbo and Turbo S models showcase the true potential of Porsche’s fully-electric performance line-up, and are impressive machines which should have no problems wooing thrill-junkies who have the means to buy one.

Battery, Range & Charging

It’s the same 800-volt battery architecture powering the car, with 93.4 kWh (of which 83.7 kWh is usable) as the standard fare on all models (certain sedan trims could be had with a smaller 79.2 kWh pack). EPA range estimates are known to be excessively harsh compared to the majority of real-world results, and this trend predictably continues for the Taycan CT.

Here are the EPA range estimates for the 2021 Cross Turismo models:

  • Taycan 4 Cross Turismo: 215 miles
  • Taycan 4S Cross Turismo: 215 miles
  • Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo: 204 miles
  • Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo: 202 miles

These figures are almost identical to that of the sedan, and likewise, real-world results have similar variances from that of the EPA’s findings. Based on the former, you can expect about a 20-25% increase in mileage for each tier, meaning your Taycan 4 Cross Turismo for example, should get closer to 275 miles of range under normal and reasonable conditions.

Charging speeds are the same across the entire Taycan range, with the Taycan CT also able to boost from a state-of-charge of 5% to 80%, in as quickly as 22.5 minutes at a DC fast charging station. On my personal Taycan 4S sedan, I’ve determined this to be essentially accurate.

Chassis & Handling

Despite being an obviously bigger car, Porsche has impressively kept the weight increase of the CT compared to the sedan to just 25 kg, which was likely no easy feat considering the car’s overall 2,320 kg footprint. In addition to coming exclusively with all-wheel drive, the Taycan CT also has the three-chamber air suspension (PASM) as standard. In CT guise, this allows the car to be raised up to 30 mm higher off the ground than the sedan, while revised wheel mounts, strut supports and a self-levelling system were adapted for the more utilitarian purposes of its cross-over / estate platform. The double wishbone front with multilink rear configuration is also carried over.

The CT also shares the same 5 selectable driving modes: Range, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. Exclusive to the CT is a new “Gravel” mode which Porsche says, gives the car more “Bad Road Capabilities” by managing torque distribution and other chassis behaviors to be more harmonized with roads of a non-paved persuasion. Back on tarmac, the CT presents phenomenal ride quality and comfort, blended with remarkable performance and speed, all the while being discreet and unassuming as it goes about it. It’s something you have to experience to truly understand the level at which this is all achieved.

In the most extreme test of the CT’s chassis and handling, I would expect it to perform not dissimilarly to that of any of the all-wheel drive sedans. I do have some of my own data to share after taking my personal Taycan 4S on to the race track, which is laid out in point-form below:

  1. While it’s ultimately impossible to disguise the Taycan’s hefty weight and large footprint, the car has been phenomenally designed to handle it, and then some. The ultra low center of gravity – inherent from the battery’s weight and placement along the floor of the car – adds a new, impressive dimension to high-performance driving that is difficult to duplicate in a petrol engine road car.
  2. Smooth, with no nonsense near the limit. The Taycan is a confidence-inspiring performer, that feels safe without being intrusive, and shows a wild side without needing to be unrefined. Those who believe that an enjoyable track car can’t exist without the ruckus of a screaming exhaust, clunky noises and a tooth-grinding suspension, will probably have their minds changed after driving an EV that has Porsche DNA coursing through its veins.
  3. Combination of electric motor (regen) braking and actual braking (pads and rotors) is quite the dynamic duo in tethering the 5,900 pound Taycan. So effective is the former’s performance, that carbon ceramics would certainly be overkill for the street, while an argument can be also be made for the same (to a lesser degree, of course) on the track. Nevertheless, to squeak out the extra bit of performance in a min-max fashion, PCCB is obviously a required option.
  4. The OEM tires – in my case, Michelin Pilot Sport 4 XL – are a good match for any type of environment, including the track. However, I felt that they were certainly the weak point of the car when it came to high-performance driving and without question, a set of stickier tires such as r-compounds (or these) would have a transformative effect on the experience – as they would in any vehicle transitioning from street tires to track tires. I suspect range would suffer noticeably with the increased grip, though.
  5. PTV Plus and Rear Axle Steering (which came as part of the optional Performance Package) help rotate the car in ways that would initially be thought of as impossible for a 6,000 + pound machine (including driver), even with its uniquely low center of gravity in play. At your command is a level of precision and agility you would normally expect from cars which are mechanically much more nimble. Yes, electronics are at play here to make it possible for the Taycan to provide its “just point and go” capabilities, but as with any Porsche these days the car is remarkably tactile and driver centric.

Brakes & Tires

Let’s start with the Turbo S, which comes fitted with almost unnecessarily large and expensive brakes – I say ‘almost’, because if you do take your car to the race track, then cheers to that! Otherwise, the gigantic 420 mm carbon ceramic brake discs and 10-pot brake calipers will certainly be overkill for any road with a speed limit attached to it. This is particularly true when considering that braking forces up to 0.39G are achieved entirely by the electric motors – more than enough to come to a full-stop in everyday situations – with no pad-to-rotor contact being made until that threshold is broken.

2021 Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo brakes

All that being said, the regular steel brakes (or surface coated brakes) will do just fine for the 99% of situations that 99% of Taycan drivers will encounter. Regen braking can be toggled on or off by a switch on the steering wheel, though as mentioned before, one pedal driving isn’t part of the deal; part of what makes it drive more like a sports car, and more like a Porsche. I’m game.

Michelin Pilot Sport 4 XL tires continue to serve as the primary OEM offering for the CT. That’s good and all, but it leaves many of us wondering why an all-terrain tire option isn’t also available from the factory, given the additional talents the CT has stored in its locker.

Design, Cabin & Amenities

Exterior

By nature of its body style and design, the CT offers more cargo space and a smidge more passenger room than the Taycan sedan. In terms of actual outcomes, this equates to an additional 30 cu. ft. of cargo space and about 36 mm of rear headroom (legroom is roughly unchanged). The CT is also 11 mm longer and sits 20 mm higher from the ground than its stablemate, while each are in their default ride settings. The aforementioned Gravel mode will lift the car an additional 10 mm.

Should off-roading or more adventurous excursions be more your flavor (or if you simply like the look, which is just as fine) then we highly recommend the optional Off-road Design Package which is available on all CT models. This package adds black lower body cladding which functions as debris-protection, while giving the car a more rugged, purposeful appearance. As the default, the package also has the car sitting at the higher Gravel mode ride height, but given that these settings can easily be toggled after the fact, makes it sort of a moot point.

Interior

With over 41 cu. ft. of cargo space with the seats folded down, the Taycan CT is sufficiently equipped to meet tackle most utilitarian demands, though competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon manage a lot more with around 64 cu. ft. at its disposal. The extra-long roof doesn’t translate to any more legroom than in the sedan – or even that much more headroom, at just an additional 36 mm – but it certainly creates the sensation of a much more spacious interior.

Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo Interior

Those who have already ridden in the Taycan sedan will otherwise note that the two cars are virtually identical inside, with a minimalist touchscreen user interface and control panel at the heart of the driver’s cockpit. Despite being an crossover / estate, the driving position continues to be low-slung and sporty-feeling, with front and rear visibility likewise providing more of a sportscar POV than that of an SUV. That’s fine, as I don’t think Porsche was ever trying to market the car as being the least cool of the Taycan siblings.

As is the case with any Porsche car these days, options – of which there are a plethora – can make or break your build-sheet (and bank account). Anything from an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel to a vegan leather interior is available as an option, and there is no shortage of selectable features to customize the car to one’s personal tastes and exacting demands. There are certain options that I think everyone should strongly consider though, such as the extra rear seat (to make it a true 5-seater instead of a 4+1), the performance roof box and heck, even the rubber floor and rear boot mats. On a car like this, it just makes sense to have all of those things on hand. At worst, it would only be good for resale value.

Verdict

supercars.net – 9/10

“These are still early days for the Taycan, its Cross Turismo derivative, and the EV ecosystem as a whole. If not for some of the challenges facing early adopters who have to contend with the likes of charging infrastructure playing catch-up in most places around the world, the notable effect that cold weather can have on range, and other distinctly-EV obstacles, it wouldn’t be farfetched to praise the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo for achieving perfection as an all-rounder car. It’ll have to get a 1-notch-down from being just that, until improvements in technology can adequately address such issues. For now, let’s hope we can move the needle up to a ’10’ sometime in the near future.”

What Other Experts Are Saying

Top Gear – 9/10

“The most complete fast estate available today. And perhaps the best electric car, too.”

Link to full article

CNET – 8.9/10

“With plenty of power, range, comfort and convenience, the base Taycan 4 is all the Cross Turismo you really need.”

Link to full article

What Car? – 5/5

“It’s hard to think of a car that could keep pace with the Cross Turismo in Turbo guise cross-country.”

Link to full article

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2022 Ferrari 296 GTB Unveiled

Ferrari ‘F171’

Around one week ago, Ferrari had publicly announced that they would be unveiling a brand new model on June 24, 2021 via livestream on social media problems. Since then, Ferrari has been mostly coy about details regarding their “new revolutionary Prancing Horse sports car”, though they did provide a teaser video on Facebook a day before the official reveal. It provides the first real glimpses of the car – in its entirety – while it gets driven in the countryside by Scuderia Ferrari Ambassador and F1 Client Driver Coach, Marc Gené.

Most rumors were suggesting that it would be a twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid supercar, and prototype/mule car spy shots have been assigned with the codename ‘F171’. It was also suggested that this new Ferrari will slot in under the F8 Tributo, becoming the company’s latest ‘entry-level’ mid-engined supercar. This primed the car to become a number of different things, which included:

  • The possible revival of the Ferrari Dino. This is getting a lot of airtime amongst Ferrari’s most hardcore fans, who have been longing for the return of this legendary badge. Although the new car will be a hybrid, it is the first time since the Dino that Ferrari has used a V6 engine. Hmmmm!
  • Direct competition for the recently released McLaren Artura, which also interesting features a twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid drivetrain. As 6-cylinder platform, it is likely that Ferrari also has its sights aimed on other similarly-propelled models such as the Porsche 911 Turbo/Turbo S.
  • The second Ferrari hybrid car – after the SF90 Stradale hypercar – which is also capable of moving on the power of its electric motors alone (albeit for limited distances).

It’s June 24: Here’s What We Now Know For Sure

Official Name

Ferrari 296 GTB

Sorry, Dino romantics. It just wasn’t meant to be. The ‘296’ in the name represents the car’s 2.9L displacement via a 6-cylinder layout for the internal combustion component of its hybrid drivetrain. ‘GTB’ stands for ‘Gran Turismo Berlinetta’, a traditional Ferrari moniker reserved for some of its finest rear-mid-engine 2-seaters in the past, with the 296 GTB therefore a continuation of that lineage.

Where It’s Positioned In The Ferrari Roster

The Ferrari 296 GTB is not a replacement for any models formerly or currently in its product range, with Ferrari stating that it is “creating its own segment”. As we already knew, the 296 GTB is indeed billed as the new ‘entry-level’ mid-engined supercar and is being touted as the automaker’s latest ‘gateway’ to experiencing Ferrari’s race-bred DNA.

During the livestream unveiling, Ferrari went straight to the point, immediately comparing the rear-wheel driven 296 GTB to none other than the brand’s range-topping Ferrari SF90 hypercar. This is an apples-to-apples comparison after all, as the SF90 also has a hybrid powerplant and is only one of two such cars with the 296 GTB now part of the family.

Something along the lines of how the SF90 is for those who want to experience the “peak of performance”, while the 296 GTB gives drivers the opportunity to reach the “peak of emotion”. Basically a clever way of saying that it’s not as fast and not as expensive – but for most people, probably just as good. Plus you don’t have to be Sainz or Leclerc to fully enjoy it.

Ferrari reiterated this by going as far as saying that it believes it to be the “most fun car to drive in our product range”, both on track and on normal roads.

Their “Fun to Drive” philosophy has always been a key component of any Ferrari car, and the 296 GTB is further emboldened by it”. Three ingredients are required to make this happen per Ferrari. The first is ‘sound’ – the symphony provided by the engine. The Second is ‘perceived acceleration’ – not just 0-60 mph and 1/4 mile times, but also how the car transmits the sensation of speed to the driver. The third is ‘go-kart feeling’ – how well the car responds to driver input and its connection to the road.

The epitome of sportiness, performance, and driving thrills at their best. Best in-class performance. Absolute fun to drive. “The best way to explain it, is to drive it”, Ferrari states. Valid point.

And, there’s more!

Ferrari 296 GTB Assetto Fiorano

Also available is a more hardcore version of the car known as the Ferrari 296 GTB Assetto Fiorano, which is named after the company’s iconic test circuit. Not many specifics were revealed about this version, but we were told that it will feature the extensive use of carbon fiber to further reduce the weight. In addition, it will be equipped with a race-derived suspension – for more extreme handling abilities – and racing harnesses. The Assetto Fiorano also gets its own special livery.

Specifications

Engine

  • 2.9L twin-turbocharged V6 hybrid engine mounted in 120 degree “hot V” configuration
  • 663 hp produced from petrol engine
  • 830 hp combined total with electric motor
  • Almost zero ‘turbo lag’ and instant response from throttle
  • Most powerful drivetrain in its segment, producing 221 hp per liter – a new world record.
  • 8-speed dual clutch transmission which is ‘fastest shifting’ in the market
  • Lightweight 7.45 kWh battery provides ~25 km of range when car is powered exclusively by electric motor
  • 0-100 km/h: 2.9 seconds
  • 0-200 km/h: 7.3 seconds

Chassis

  • New vehicle dynamic controls
  • Reduced weight as much as possible – achieves a 1.77 kg per hp ratio
  • Wheelbase is 50 mm shorter than the Ferrari F8 Tributo – less inertia and more agility
  • 6 sensors to help control better the car – includes ABS ‘Evo’ system, which helps to reduce braking distance by almost 10%
  • Light, sleek and compact architecture

Design

  • Modern interpretation of classic Ferrari DNA
  • Rear: Kammtail design with jewel-like tail lights integrated with active rear spoiler. Centrally-positioned tailpipe.
  • Front: Air intakes integrated with modernized ‘tear-drop’ headlights. Suspended front splitter, similar to that of F1 cars.
  • More compact than any other Ferrari available right now because of its short-wheel base
  • Interior: Same design language as exterior – perfect marriage between sportiness and elegance. Ergonomics spot-on. Classic “canceletto” center console. Carbon-fiber bucket seats. Lots of carbon-fiber, metals and high quality leathers.

Pricing & Availability

We’re expecting the first examples of the Ferrari 296 GTB to be delivered in early 2022. No specific word on pricing yet, though it is expected to hover around the F8 Tributo’s base MSRP of US$277,000.

We will provide updates on pricing when more information is available, as well as an in-depth review of the car once journalists have a turn at it.

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2022 Rimac Nevera: An In-depth Look

Introduction

At this very moment in time, if any of us were asked to write down a list of countries renown for producing supercars (or hypercars), it would likely turn out to be a redundant exercise. After all, almost everyone would come up with essentially the same answers; surely you’d have Italian stalwarts – Ferrari and Lamborghini – in the mix along with Porsche, McLaren and Bugatti. Fewer would make an argument for the more mainstream brands to be included, with the likes of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and heck, even Nissan, all proving in recent times that they too possess the wizardry to create some of the best performing automobiles on the planet. An even smaller (and more gear-headed) group than that, would not let us forget about “boutique” automakers such as Koenigsegg, Pagani and Hennessey.

Rimac Automobili

Ladies and gentlemen, all of that is about to change; here enters a new challenger whom hails from Croatia. The company known as Rimac Automobili – founded by its namesake, Mate Rimac – is a relatively small hypercar producer based in the Western Balkans. With a population of just 4 million people and no history of whatsoever when it comes to automobile production, Rimac is a bit of an enigma. However, the country is no stranger to seemingly improbable events. Not many people are aware, but Nikola Tesla – one of main the pioneers of electricity as we know it – also came from this part of the world.

To what degree this fact has influenced Mate Rimac and his company to focus on exclusively producing electric vehicles is up for debate, but this whole story is at the very least, a serendipitous one. Ironically, this could also give Rimac a more legitimate claim to commercializing the name of “Tesla”, though it doesn’t appear that Mr. Rimac is too concerned about getting into a bureaucratic joust with Elon Musk. Declaring war on who can produce a better electric car, though? Game. On.

Rimac has actually been around since 2009, and only recently showcased its first finished product to the world (much more on that below). Prior to this, the company has been hard at work perfecting their new electric hypercar and had unveiled two concept cars along the way – first the C_One, followed by the more production-ready C_Two. These were by no means audacious or far-fetched prototypes produced to generate little more than some fanfare and a few deposits from the wallets of billionaire prospective owners.

They were a solid, working proof of concept that showed Rimac was on to something – something game-changing. Even the old boys club took notice, with the likes of Porsche – who recently increased their stake in the company – and Hyundai pouring significant investment into Rimac. This alone tells us how important Rimac’s work is (and will be) to the broader automotive landscape, and is not just a one-off glamour project like so many other cars produced by smaller automakers. There’s no doubt that the R&D – particularly as it pertains to battery technology – from this project is being shared with the big guns, in exchange for their funding.

Nevera

Yeah, so naming your car the ‘Nevera’ is a bit of a weird one to English speakers. In fact, it’s an ominous (if not humorous) name which beckons any variation of “dad joke” in the essence of “2.4 million dollars!? I Nevera liked electric cars anyway!” It also has the potential to be cannon fodder for Tesla’s occasionally combative (i.e. Elon Musk tweets) marketing strategy. Pun vulnerabilities aside, understanding the origins of the name will help things make a lot more sense; the Nevera is named after an electrically-charged storm which often occurs on Croatia’s Mediterranean coastal line.

Rightfully so, as the Rimac Nevera is powered by four electric motors and has already proven itself to be a world-beater – and not to a detriment to the world itself (quite the opposite actually). Living up to its name, the zero emissions hypercar has certainly created a storm by repeatedly humiliating the Ferrari SF90 in a drag race and setting new production car records in the process. ‘Nevera’ is for the most part, just the new official name for the C_Two rather than a vastly more superior variant of it, although production versions will be delivered with some final tweaks and refinements.

As an automotive outfit Rimac might be small on scale, but it is the complete opposite when it comes to its impact. This car is going to redefine the hypercar, which to this point, has already been redefining what an automobile could and should ought to be. Limited to a production run of only 150 units, the Rimac Nevera is the next and most obvious step forward in this evolution. If you’re clinging to any reservations you might have about a future with EVs, the Nevera is here to put an end to that.

Performance & EV Drivetrain

Although it is not the first EV to be powered by 4 permanent magnet electric motors, the Rimac Nevera does come with its own unique electric drivetrain design. By strategically placing a pair of 200 kW electric motors in front and another two 500 kW electric motors in the rear, the engineers were able to give the rear-biased Nevera an ideal 48:52 (front:rear) weight distribution. However, a deeper inspection reveals more intricacies in the design, as the planetary gears for each of the 4 wheels are purposed in such a way that the Nevera is also optimally balanced from left to right as well. Genius.

It’s probably a good thing that this Rimac was built with a predisposition to exhibit ballet-like agility, because it’s going to need all the grace in the world to tame all that’s brewing within. In combination, all of the 4 electric motors can generate up to 1,914 hp (1.4 mW) and 1,740 lb-ft of torque (2,360 Nm). This allows the Nevera to absolutely annihilate the popular 0-60 mph benchmark in just 1.85 seconds, with an equally impressive 1/4 mile time of just 8.6 seconds – good enough to make it the fastest production vehicle ever made, by some margin. Top speed is stated as 258 mph (412 km/h).

Amongst a variety of systems marshalled by its supercomputer of an ECU, is an incredibly advanced torque vectoring system which is responsible for distributing power to the wheels in both a safe and performance-optimized manner. The Nevera is equipped with a pair of single-speed gearboxes; one located at the front, the other in the rear.

Battery & Range

No matter how insanely quick this car is, it would actually account for very little if its battery range made the driving/owning experience more of a novelty, rather than one with some semblance of practicality. I mean, what use would 1,914 hp be if you had to break a sweat about whether you’d manage a round-trip to the Whole Foods 5 mins away on a full charge? Thankfully, these fears should be put to bed almost as quickly as the Nevera can do 0-60 mph, with Rimac claiming an impressive range of 340 miles (550 km) WLTP. 

Now, don’t expect this type of range if you’re regularly hooning the car around town or on the race track. Regardless, for a car of this nature, it’s still more than most people would’ve expected. How does it manage this feat? Well for one, the Nevera is equipped with a massive 6,960-cell 120 kWh battery which sits low (in an ‘H’ shape) under the car’s flooring. This battery architecture was all designed and built in-house by Rimac – and if it sounds familiar, that’s because the Porsche Taycan uses the same design, which it also derived from Rimac.

Chassis

The Rimac Nevera tips the scales at around 2,150 kg, so while it’s not necessarily heavy for an EV, it’s certainly a bit stout compared to the typical supercar or hypercar. In otherwise normal circumstances, that would make the Nevera’s large frame more burdensome to accelerate, difficult to slow down and a chore handle. But it’s pretty clear that the Nevera is no ordinary automobile and it demonstrates exactly none of the aforementioned shortcomings. Despite the extra weight to lug around, the Nevera’s drivetrain and battery design contribute to a 48:52 front-to-rear weight distribution, which is at least on par with contemporary hypercars. Like other EVs on the market, it too benefits from having much of its weight sit near the ground and inherently possessing a low center of gravity.

In terms of good ol’ nuts, bolts and sheet metal (oh, and carbon fiber), the Rimac Nevera is also as advanced as things can get in that area.  The chassis is made entirely of carbon fiber, which Rimac claims, makes it the most rigid production car ever made. They’ve gone on to specifically state that it is about twice as solid as a Lamborghini Aventador; at this point, it would be a big ask to doubt them on this, especially when considering that it features a bonded roof, integrated battery housing and rear subframe as part of the design.

As for braking, the Nevera is equipped with massive 390 mm Brembo carbon-ceramic brake discs and 6-pot calipers. Per standard EV functionality, the hypercar also benefits from regenerative braking (which, surprise, surprise, Rimac also claims is the most effective of its kind). This not only equates to greater stopping power, but also a higher level of battery charge being restored from braking. An electro-hydraulic brake booster simulates the undulations of a more traditional braking system to give drivers all the feedback they need with regards to when to brake, and how much pedal force is required. Rimac has also stated that the forces from regenerative braking alone, are sufficient enough for “one-pedal driving” in most normal driving circumstances, though I’d suggest refraining from using this technique for anything other than demonstrative purposes.

Control Systems

We understand that the Nevera’s main ECU is actually comprised of 77 smaller computers which are programed to obey millions of lines of code. It’s responsible for controlling anything ranging from torque vectoring to active aerodynamics, and even self-driving capabilities. The Nevera also comes with a number of driving modes. Range and Comfort mode are probably what you’d be using for civil excursions around town, while Track and Drift mode are pretty self-explanatory – particularly when it comes to how soon you’ll need to throw on a new set of tires. There are also 2 Custom modes which will allow drivers to punch-in more individualized settings, while Sport mode would probably be the most centrist on the presets spectrum.

The aforementioned torque vectoring system has a special name: Rimac All-Wheel Torque Vectoring. R-AWTV is able to process 100 calculations per second, which ultimately allows the system to be both extremely predictive and responsive in its adjustments. This translates to an optimal cohesion of safety, comfort and handling precision, regardless of whether the car is being driven at the limits on the race track, or well within its potential on the city streets. Steering is also fully assisted, by an electric motor, fittingly. While not necessarily the most natural nor analog feeling steering system you’ll put your hands on, it is perfectly harmonized with the Nevera’s overall drivetrain and chassis setup. Each driving mode provides a different level of “involvement” in this regard.

Rimac is working on an “AI Driving Coach” program, which should be ready before the first examples roll off the production line. This system uses, as its name implies, an artificial intelligence which guides drivers while they’re on a race track. Using visual and audio aids, the AI will give drivers real-time tips on how to improve their lap times. An “augmented-reality” racing line will even be available for a select group of renown international race circuits. Awesome.

Design

The Rimac Nevera’s overall design philosophy is deeply rooted to aerodynamic and performance principles; it is anything but a gaudy and non-functional showpiece. It does present a contemporary silhouette as far as the mid-engine hypercar template is concerned, but as is the case with the rest of the car, the devil is in the details. Naturally, pictures will do the most justice when it comes to describing the car’s appearance, but I am obliged to at least attempt doing as much using less-than-a-thousand words.

After all, fitting a massive “H-shaped” battery within the confines of such a sublimely proportioned car must have been no easy feat. Especially when considering that its aerodynamic efficiency is over 34% better than that of the early C_One prototype. Carved in the right mold then meticulously positioned, are a combination of diffusers, splitters, fenders, wheel-arches and bumpers, which form the Nevera’s body shape.

At the front of the car is an intricate bumper with a carbon fiber splitter; one of the essential components of the Nevera’s active aerodynamics. Air intakes are strategically located to increase air-flow and provide cooling for the front brakes and electric motors. The bonnet features a large vent to allow trapped air to escape, while also improving downforce over the front wheels. Like most other exotic cars, the Nevera also features rear-fender intakes which draw-in air channeled by the car’s deliberate side profile. Instead of feeding air into a throttle body or a pair of turbochargers, they are used to cool the battery and electric motors in this particular application.

A retractable rear spoiler and motorized rear diffuser – both of which can move independently of one another – complete the active aerodynamics system. Speaking of that, this system – when toggled into the high-downforce mode – can increase downforce by up to 326% compared to its low drag setting. One of the most notable styling cues of the Nevera is its use of “butterfly” or “gullwing” doors, which were engineered in such a way that getting in and out of the car is not as difficult compared to previous applications of this design.

Interior

It would be easy to forgive Rimac, if not applaud them (hardcore enthusiasts usually endorse spartan-ism), should they have sold us short on the interior, but that was never going to be part of the Nevera’s blueprint. In no uncertain terms, the cabin is an exciting mixture of high tech amenities and quality refinements; the car’s interior serving as a largely blank canvas for bespoke customization based on the customer’s tastes. This means that any choice of seat materials, carbon fiber pieces, colors, etc. are at the behest of the buyer.

What is uniform across every build is the use of rotary knobs throughout the driver’s control panel. One of those knobs allows the driver to toggle between the 7 driving modes, while other knobs control functions such as traction/stability assists, front/rear power distribution, and the sound system volume. Rimac also supplies a proprietary infotainment system on the Nevera, which displays pertinent information on its graphical user interface. This is projected through LCD screens; the one closest to the passenger provides real-time data including torque distribution, g-forces and other performance-related tidbits, while the more central unit is your typical infotainment hub which controls features such as navigation, climate control and audio. Telemetry from each driving session can even be downloaded and analyzed on a computer.

The Nevera needs to be an absolute Einstein of a car to compute all of this simultaneously, and central to all this genius is the car’s use of the latest version of NVIDIA’s Pegasus operating system. This helps to process information from the multitude of inputs the Rimac uses to collect and make sense of data – this includes no fewer than 12 ultrasonic sensors, 13 cameras and 6 radars. Not to mention, the car will indeed be equipped to handle autonomous driving and will also be coming with the aforementioned driving coach feature, meaning that AI is at the core of the Nevera’s overall functionality. This thing puts Teslas to shame, not just in terms of performance, but also as it pertains to being a so-called “tech car”. Incredible.

Pricing & Availability

Rimac will be limiting production of its Nevera EV hypercar to just 150 units worldwide. Each example will start at around US$2,400,000 and will go up from there based on how bespoke-y the customer decides he or she would like to be. As is the nature of such automobiles, there is a general and unspoken consensus that all units have already been matched with a buyer, and that the Nevera won’t really be “for sale” in the way that most people are familiar with.

Verdict

Top Gear

“The first true pure-electric hypercar is a sensation, as is the company that makes it.”

Full article 

carwow

“Put quite simply, the Rimac Nevera is the most exciting electric vehicle on the planet. It’s phenomenally expensive, but its performance is out of this world.”

Full article

Car and Driver

“Hypercars like the Nevera aren’t for everyone, but there’s no denying its significance as the moment a battery-powered car toppled the Bugatti Chiron.”

Full article

Image & Video Gallery

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2022 Audi e-tron GT: An In-depth Look

Introduction

The 2022 Audi e-tron GT is the four-ringed company’s first entrant into the high-performance EV weight class. It looks to shake up a playing field which includes the likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan, the latter of which it shares many of the same underpinnings. Specifically, the two cars – which were developed in tandem by the Volkswagen Auto Group – both utilize an identical 800-volt battery architecture, with dual electric motors and a two-speed transmission responsible for sending power to all four wheels.

In a visual context, I would be hard-pressed to refer to the duo as “twins” as they share very little else in common – other than perhaps their side profiles – thanks to the e-tron GT having distinctly Audi signatures throughout its design elements. The cars are also packaged very different, with Audi currently only offering their product in two distinct trims – e-tron GT and RS e-tron GT – which both come exclusively with all-wheel drive, whereas Porsche offers their base Taycan with a rear-wheel drive configuration, plus a myriad of other trims with the Cross Turismo models now available.

This isn’t the marque’s first EV model, as it joins up with a roster currently occupied by Audi’s e-tron SUVs. However, the e-tron GT does have the distinction of becoming the first fully-electric car to don the company’s legendary RS badge via the highest and most expensive trim level currently on offer. The base model e-tron GT predictably comes with less of the go-faster, stop-harder and look-sexier ingredients that are typically reserved for an RS model, but it does share the same 93.4 kWh battery with its more glamorous stablemate.

Audi has marketed the e-tron GT as a fully-electric grand tourer, as a opposed to a sports saloon EV like the Porsche Taycan. This sets clear expectations right away of what makes the e-tron GT an entirely unique offering – not quite as powerful (compared to the Turbo and Turbo S), a little less nimble and sharp in the handling department, slightly more utilitarian with extra cargo room and a typically impressive Audi-esque interior.

All e-tron GT models will be produced at Audi’s Neckarsulm factory in Germany – where the same can be said for the company’s flagship R8 – with the goal of rolling up to 10,000 units off the assembly line every year. This would be less than half of the number of Taycan models delivered world-wide in 2020, so the two cars certainly can’t be compared like-for-like in that regard. Audi has ultimately done a fantastic job at making the e-tron GT look and feel like one of its own, and allays the fear about it being merely a reupholstered Porsche Taycan – it truly is a legitimate and unique player in this rapidly growing segment.

Engine, Drivetrain & Performance

The entry-level e-tron GT  produces 469 hp, which can be boosted up to 523 hp when using launch control. This is good for 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 152 mph, making it most comparable to the Porsche Taycan 4S which ends up being a smidge quicker using the same measuring stick. Stepping up to the RS model will net you 590 hp with 637 hp available in overboost mode. This allows the RS e-tron GT to complete the 0-60 mph sprint in 3.3 seconds, which is slower than Tesla and Porsche’s quickest EV models by 1.3 seconds (Model S Plaid) and 0.8 seconds (Taycan Turbo S) respectively.

Aside from the statistically-driven performance figures, the cars also differ from their competitors in less black-and-white, yet just as meaningful ways. For one, Audi engineered the e-tron GT to deliver its power in a more linear and progressive fashion – much like an internal combustion car – as opposed to being the torque-monster that we’ve come to expect from most performance-oriented EVs. This feature will certainly sway buyers who desire a more traditional driving feel, and are less inclined to be amused by the gut-busting characteristics of the e-tron GT’s closest rivals. The e-tron GT also gets more usable battery capacity, managing to squeeze out 85 kWh – compared to the Taycan’s 83.7 kWh – from its 93.4 kWh lithium-ion energy source. On paper, this should translate to a bit more range, all other things being equal.

Ultimately, the e-tron GT was always going to share certain characteristics with its German cousin through its sharing of the same platform. Afterall, the two-speed transmission which was once exclusive to Zuffenhausen, allows for an optimal balance of performance and efficiency. The e-tron GT will drive a lot more like the Porsche than the Tesla – which is a good thing in my opinion – particularly as it pertains to what is referred to in the biz as “one pedal driving”. This is where the latter cars can almost be exclusively driven using only the accelerator as merely taking the foot off the pedal is sufficient to bring the car to a stop in most situations, making the brake pedal more of a luxury than a necessity. I’m not a fan of this, but apparently many people are.

Another similarity with the Taycan is the use of an artificial “engine” noise to replace the roar of the inline-6 or V8 which would otherwise be expected to power the car. Dubbed ‘e-tron sport sound’, this sci-fi-derived soundtrack gently wails through speakers placed both inside and outside of the car and varies based on throttle inputs and speeds. This is a standard feature on the RS and optional on the base model.

Battery & Range

As mentioned before, every e-tron GT model – including the RS – comes standard with a 93.4 kWh battery (of which 85 kWh is usable). On the entry-level e-tron GT, Audi has officially claimed up to 238 miles of driving range, putting it slightly higher than that of the Porsche Taycan 4s. We’re still waiting to hear the official word on how the RS will fare in the range department, although it is expected to fall short of the aforementioned due to the extra juice required to dole out all that extra horsepower.

With regards to charging, the e-tron GT is inline with other performance oriented EVs on the market today. It is able to get from 5% to 80% of its battery capacity in around 20-odd minutes using a standard 270 kW DC fast charger.  Last but not least, the advanced cooling system integrated into the 800-volt architecture allows for more repeatable performance than your typical Tesla as overheating issues are far less likely to interrupt your customary hoon sessions.

Chassis & Handling

Like the Taycan, you can expect the e-tron GT to be remarkably responsive and precise – particularly when had with four-wheel steering – but more like the typical Audi, it could feel rather numb at lower speeds. That’s not to say that the e-tron GT doesn’t go where you’re pointing it. Just don’t expect the same level of feedback and weight tantamount to that of the Porsches. Ultimately, Audi still got the handling duly on point, especially as it pertains to being a grand tourer; if anything it does have a bit more body roll than the Taycan, but probably not enough to notice unless you were to drive each car back-to-back on a race track.

The Audi e-tron GT comes standard with a three-chamber air suspension system which allows for the driver to optimize the car for a variety of driving situations ranging from daily city excursions to canyon runs or even track use. Whether comfort or stiffness is what you require at any given moment, the selectable suspension settings have you covered. The air suspension can also lift the car by up to 0.8″ so that speed bumps and curbs can be negotiated with less fanfare.

Brakes & Tires

Braking is a similar exercise with comparable outcomes to that of the Porsche Taycan. This means that any braking forces within 0.3G are achieved entirely by the electric motors, with pad-to-rotor contact a relatively rare occurrence within the confines of non-aggressive driving. Subsequently, the standard steel brakes should suffice for just about any situation on public roads while the optional carbon ceramics are there for anyone who likes playing the min-max game when it comes to stopping power. Brake regeneration can also be toggled using controls on the steering wheel.

Working with the suspension, the e-tron GT’s ride quality is incredibly compliant when driven on the 21″ wheels and even more so when equipped with smaller 19″ wheels. Audi has looked to Goodyear to provide the OE tires on the e-tron GT as it did for its electric SUVs, this time using specially-designed Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 5 tires.

Design, Cabin & Amenities

Exterior

For those who care to measure, the Audi e-tron GT further differentiates itself from the Taycan by being a tiny bit longer, slightly narrower and just a whisker taller than the Porsche. This hardly makes it a mini-van, comparatively speaking, as the e-tron GT strikes a sleek, aggressive and sporty silhouette nonetheless. The e-tron GT has Audi’s DNA chiseled (quite literally) all over it, and that extends well beyond the four-ringed emblem sitting center stage.

At the front, there’s that familiar looking grille (albeit solid) and distinctive headlight design which doesn’t deviate far from the family tree. It’s a lot busier than the Taycan’s minimalist, yet somehow more exotic fascia, but I reckon this is a welcome change for buyers from either faction who prefer that there be less in common between the two vehicles.  The e-tron GT has one of the most exceptional looking rear ends of any car on the market today, with a rear lightbar connecting the decidedly Audi-esque LED taillights. The rear diffuser is a lot more pronounced compared to the Taycan’s as well – it looks really good, and I’m sure it’s very functional too.

Carbon side mirrors and a full carbon roof are also options, and can also be had as part of the Carbon Black and Carbon Vorsprung packages for the RS variants. The e-tron GT also has its own unique selection of wheels, of which the pricier choices come with functional aero blades to improve help improve driving range. Manufacturer exclusive paint colors such as Tactical Green are also available to further differentiate your e-tron GT from any other car on the road.

Interior

If there is one thing that Audi is universally recognized for, it would be the quality and design of their interiors. For the e-tron GT, Audi has decided to follow the more traditional formula that has earned them this reputation rather than embark on something groundbreaking as might have been the expectation, with the e-tron GT being a new EV and all that jazz. This equates to a palatable balance of touchscreen elements and actual plastic buttons, with a 12.3″ digital instrument cluster and a 10.1″ infotainment screen surrounded by physical toggles for the likes of climate control, driving modes, heated seats, and so on.

The finishes and materials inside the cabin are that of Audi’s highest standards, with no shortage of available luxury and convenience offerings. This includes features such as ambient interior lighting, heads-up display, heated/ventilated front seats with massage, etc. The rear outboard seats provide ample legroom, but its headroom is less generous, and the middle seat is more courteous than comfortable.

Expect to see plenty of high-quality leather upholstering and metal accents, with a generous dose of Alcantara and carbon fiber coming standard in the RS. If a more vegan approach is desired, Audi offers leather-free artificial hides made from recycled plastic bottles and old fishing nets.

For driver assistance, forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking come standard while blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning w/ lane-keeping assist are available as options.

Thanks to its dimensions, the e-tron GT is the marginally more utilitarian option compared to the Taycan with its 405L of rear cargo space plus another 81L in the ‘frunk’. That makes for ample space for luggage behind the back seats and a few grocery bags stacked up front. Two adults will be a snug but comfortable fit in the back, but rear visibility could become an issue if this arrangement is frequent enough. The standard rear-view camera and optional 360 degree camera should alleviate much of those problems, though.

Pricing

The entry-level 2022 Audi e-tron GT (Premium Plus) starts at US$99,900, while the Prestige package will add another US$7,200 on top of that. Stepping up to the RS e-tron GT will take you up to US$139,900 before options. All models come standard with all-wheel drive and a 93.4 kWh battery.

Verdict

What Other Experts Are Saying

Top Gear – 8/10

“A handsome four-door GT that plays to Audi’s strengths, with a blistering turn of pace.”

Read full review here

Car and Driver – 8.5/10

“The Audi e-tron GT excels as a stylish and sporty EV, but it’s pricier than a Tesla Model S and lacks a long driving range.”

Read full review here

EVO – 4/5

“The entry level e-tron GT is another great grand tourer but question marks remain over touring range ability.”

Read full review here

Car Magazine – 4/5

“By bravely focusing on true GT performance, Ingolstadt has diverted the e-Tron GT from an unexciting also-ran to a fascinating new addition to the Audi range.”

Read full review here

Auto Express – 4.5/5

“The Audi e-tron GT is another worthy entry in the luxury electric car market. It’s just the right mix of the new and the familiar, and it has a fair degree of separation from the Taycan because it’s a more comfortable electric grand tourer.”

Read full review here

Our Thoughts

So, what is it really? A simple reskin of the Porsche Taycan or a performance-EV contender in its own right? I think Audi addresses that big elephant in the room with a level of assertiveness that would make both e-tron GT and Taycan owners just as happy as the other with their choices.

It really comes down to looks, and to a large degree what your preference is towards either a 4-door grand touring EV, or a Sports Saloon which happens to be fully-electric. Hint: The e-tron GT is the former, as it’s literally in the name (GT is indeed meant to be an abbreviation for “grand tourer”). Think of the e-tron GT more as the gentleman and the Taycan more as the rebel; the Porsche perpetually taunting you to push it harder, while the Audi is there to keep things more civil and reserved. So, if you are a performance junkie who seeks the fun-factor above all else, you will get your fix in the Taycan, but do note that this will also come at an extra cost.

That’s because Audi made sure to play to its much-proven strengths when it came to the e-tron GT, as revolutionary as the car already is and may yet turn out to be. Dependably handsome aesthetics which are deeply rooted to the company’s philosophy. A familiarly high-class interior built around delivering comfort and quality. Superb performance and the heritage of the RS badge. All of things are done right, and done the Audi way.

With the Taycan and the e-tron GT both existing in their own elements, the latter car can also set its sights – through unmuddied waters – on the Tesla Model S. While the range and top-end performance figures are lacking behind the California-made EV, there is no doubt that the Audi provides a recognizable and trustworthy package in its electric grand tourer – comfort, elegance, and dependability, while manifesting a non-violent genre of sportiness.

It certainly deserves to be in the mix with these EV heavyweights and is by far the most exciting new car Audi has produced in quite some time. We hope that this is a sign of things to come; a car like the e-tron GT is just begging for an Avant version too, don’t you think?

Image & Video Gallery

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2022 Ferrari 812 Competizione / Competizione A: An In-depth Look

Ferrari 812 Competizione

Late last month, Ferrari revealed some of the core details surrounding the latest iteration of the company’s 812 Superfast grand tourer. We were teased with the likes of a 819 hp naturally-aspirated V12 engine which revved all the way up to 9,500 rpm, and albeit for a few photos to satiate the world’s collective visual vortex, little more was as explicit when it came to the specifics. After the unveiling today which was streamed live on various social media platforms, we now know a lot more, as was promised.

Ferrari 812 Competizione A

First, the name: it’s officially known as the Ferrari 812 Competizione. But, it can also be called the Ferrari 812 Competizione A. That’s because Ferrari surprised us by unveiling not one, but two versions of this hardcore 812 Superfast variant right from the get go. The latter – meant to replace the 812 GTS – is a Targa counterpart which features a removable carbon fiber roof panel which can be neatly stowed away in a special made-to-measure storage compartment. Besides the obvious aesthetic differences born from having an open-top configuration, the two cars are identical mechanically.

Performance

Both the Competizione and Competizione A will be powered by the same 6.5L naturally-aspirated V12 engine. In addition to producing 819 hp and possessing a symphonic 9,500 rpm of vocal range, we now also know that it also churns out 512 lb-ft of torque. Those are the peak figures of course, which are attainable at both 9,250 rpm and 7,000 rpm respectively.

Based on the power plant used in the regular 812 Superfast models, the engine needed to be revised to get it perform the way Ferrari was intending. The prancing-horse engineers started by redesigning the pistons and fitting lightweight titanium connecting rods to the assembly, so that the engine could be pushed harder and at a higher frequency than ever before. Naturally, new cylinder heads were also in order, as were F1-derived carbon-coated cams. The air intake system has also been remodeled to ensure that the V12’s cardiac requirements are being satisfied.

The engine remains mated to the same 7-speed dual-clutch transmission equipped on the regular Superfast, though the unit on the Comp cars has been re-calibrated to shift about five percent faster.

The overall result – more horsepower, a bit less torque and an extra 500 rpm to boot. Off-paper, this translates to stellar performance figures:

  • 0 62 mph: 2.85 seconds
  • 0-124 mph: 7.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 211 mph
  • Lap time (Fiorano Test Track): 1:20

These are approaching hypercar credentials, and all of this is achieved in the absence of turbochargers or a hybrid set-up. Speaking of hypercars, it’s just 0.3 seconds off the pace of a LaFerrari and a distinguishable 1.5 seconds faster than the regular 812 Superfast at Fiorano. While these are all based on the coupé version of the car, we imagine that the Competizione A would only suffer a very miniscule performance penalty, if one is even measurable at all. Such are the standards set these days by Ferrari cars of this caliber.

Aerodynamics & Design

The 812 Competizione manages to generate 30 percent more downforce than the 812 Superfast. At the front, larger air intakes flank the grill, which is enclosed by a more aggressive bumper with fins at each end appearing to function as integrated canards; a massive front splitter is then added for good measure. Air vents right behind each of the rear wheels and a reimagined carbon fiber diffuser also form part of the organism responsible for optimizing any air flow going under, through or over the VS’s silhouette. This design also helps to ensure that the engine, brakes and other heat-soaking components get adequate cooling.

Ferrari 812 Competizione

The aforementioned front diffuser opens up when the car is travelling at over 155 mph, while the the rear diffuser now spans the full width of the Comp car’s haunches, which in turn also required a rejig of the original exhaust system design. The rear spoiler remains integrated with the body, but has also been made higher, wider, and more optimized for performance in conjunction with the diffuser.

One of the most notable changes takes place at the back end of the car, with the rear glass being replaced by a body-colored panel which could be best described as a “super-louver” made from carbon fiber and aluminum. This is one element of the Competizione’s extreme-downforce mandate, which comes at the loss of some of the regular car’s utilitarian demeanor. The Competizione A instead, gets a bridge between the flying buttresses, which plays much of the same role as said “super-louver” while also incorporating the Targa design.

Chassis & Handling

The 812 Superfast VS will continue to embrace Ferrari’s most impressive tech, with familiar features such as the Side Slip Control 7.0 (SSC) traction and stability control system, and rear-axle steering coming standard. The latter system is notably impressive and is unlike any other similarly functioning system in a road car today, with each of the rear wheels able to turn at different angles independently of one another. Ferrari says this will improve rear stability and handling precision, which should be particularly useful in an 819 hp rear-wheel drive machine.

Typical of just about every performance-biased special edition car ever produced by Ferrari, is a strict carbon fiber diet – and this is no different for the upcoming Ferrari 812 Superfast VS. Owners should expect a healthy serving of the carbon fiber good stuff – inside and out – which not only upgrades the car aesthetically, but also allows for the just-as-important art of weight reduction.

With all options exhausted, including the carbon fiber wheels, the Competizione weighs about 38 kg less than the 1,525 kg Superfast, bringing it barely within the 1,400 kg range. No official details yet on how much the ‘A’ tips the scales, but the expectation is that it will be slightly heavier than the coupé – extra reinforcements, bracing, et al – despite all the extra carbon fiber that went into the Targa design.

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires will come standard on both of the Comp cars, with 20″ wheels wrapped in 275/35 and 315/35 in the front and rear respectively. These are the latest evolution of Michelin’s tried-and-tested street-legal extreme performance tire, and offer much more grip than previous iterations at the cost of a lower wear rating. The Competizione and Competizione A are ready to conquer to Nürburgring right from the showroom floor.

Pricing

Ferrari says that the Competizione coupé will have a base price of US$598,567, while the Competizione A will be quite a bit more expensive, starting at US$694,549. Production has already begun, with the first deliveries scheduled for early 2022 the coupé, and about a year after that for the Targa. Word on the street is that all allocations have already been sold / spoken for.

Official Ferrari press release can be viewed here.

Image & Video Gallery

Ferrari 812 Competizione

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FOR SALE: 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT

The Ferrari Dino sits on the must-have list for many sports car enthusiasts. Today, one has been posted to BringATrailer with only 14 days left on the auction. This 1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT is one of 255 to roll out of the Modena factory finished in Blu Dino Metallizzato. Right now, the bid sits at $155,000 but will likely bring double or even triple that figure.

1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT FrontThe car is powered by a numbers-matching 2.4-liter V6 and paired with a five-speed manual transaxle. The interior features tan vinyl with beige cloth seats and Veglia Borletti instrumentation with only 57K miles on the odometer. Over the last three years, this Dino has received new windshield seals, rubber trim, freshening of the Cromodora wheels, a brake system refresh, new Koni suspension, carburetor rebuild, and many other maintenance items you would want to be addressed for this vintage. 

1972 Ferrari Dino 246 GT interior

This gorgeous Ferrari is just one of the many cars to be sold from DriverSource’s Spring Motoring Collection. Some of the other vehicles come in the shape of an E30 M3, Aston Martin DB4, Euro 1975 BMW 3.0CSi, to name a few. If I miss out on this timeless Dino 246 GT, I can settle with another low-mile euro car from the DS collection. 

DriverSource Sping Collection 2021

Check Out an Exclusive Clip Top Gear Series 30 Premiere Episode!

It’s been a few weeks since we gave you a peek into the 30th season of BBC’s Top Gear with an action-packed trailer full of sentiment and screaming exhausts. That trailer gave car enthusiasts worldwide another thing to look forward to and I’m glad to bring you another exclusive clip from Top Gear’s premiere episode airing this Sunday, April 25th, 2021. 

Sunday’s episode takes a trip down memory lane for presenters Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, Chris Harris, and Paddy McGuinness as they are serving up a full-blown plate of pure nostalgia by taking their dads’ cars out but instead of being in the backseat like they once did, they are now taking the wheel. Sunday’s episode you’ll join them on a trip packed with motorsport and of course lots of dad-related shenanigans. 

Freddie picked up a Ford Cortina, Paddy got a Ford Fiesta, and Chris chose a BMW 323i – all cars their dads drove. 

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In this clip, the trio can be seen in Top Gear fashion with a drag race on an airstrip with their dads’ cars to see who could come closest to maxing out their respective speedometers. Though the trio wasn’t aiming for the fastest dad car, it’s comforting to see the E21 BMW cross the line first. 

Later on, in Sunday’s episode, the guys participate in a time trial around a rally course competing against The Stig’s dad and then race to catch the ferry to Windermere. Chris Harris will also be taking on the Lamborghini Sian – the Italian supercar company’s most powerful supercar – and answering the question of “What does a ‘supercapacitor’ do?”.

Sunday will be sure to bring lots of nostalgia, dad jokes, and bleats of Lamb-orghini’s!

2022 Porsche 911 GT3: Video Review Roundup

Porsche 911 GT3 Reviews

About 2 months have passed since the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 was unveiled via digital livestream on Youtube. While the Porsche brass were by all means generous with providing the important details regarding their latest 992-generation model, the next move was to get the car into the hands of mainstream journalists; their respective megaphones would be used to propagate the message that the new GT3 is everything Porsche described it to be, and more.

Well, after being afforded ample time to become intimate with the car, that moment is now upon us. Today, some of the most renown and respected automotive media outlets published their findings for global audiences to digest.

Here’s what they had to say.

Top Gear

2022 GT3 Top Gear

“It’s more apparent than ever that the 911 GT3 is part of a famous motorsport bloodline. Another phenomenal car.”

Click to read full article

Motortrend

2022 GT3 Motortrend

“What’s now the only naturally aspirated 911 was worth the wait.”

Click to read full article

RoadShow (CNET)

gt3 CNET

“Porsche’s newest 911 is exactly what a GT3 should be.”

Click to read full article

motor1.com

Porsche Taycan 4S – 9-Month Ownership Update

Hello again, everyone. It has been some time since my last post, where I provided a relatively thorough review of what it’s been like living with and owning a 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S in Canada.

To be frank, not a lot new has happened since that time; other than waiting for a brisk winter to thaw out, acquiring a couple of Taycan-related accessories, and a big software update for the car. The latter event sounds significant – and probably is in the grand scheme of things – but I wouldn’t go as far to say that it has transformed my personal experience with the car in any notable or measurable fashion. Perhaps to get the most out of the new upgrades, another excursion to the race track is in order…

I suppose there’s a silver lining that comes with the absence of having much to write (or rant) about, which would ultimately be a testament to the car’s lack of fuss and a nod to its inherent qualities. Plus, that leaves more time to write about other exciting things in the “T’s Corner” pipeline, of which details will be revealed in future posts :).

Now, more on this completely FREE software update (a big thanks again to Porsche Centre Calgary for the amazing service): it applies to 2020 model year cars, and in the most simplistic of terms, essentially updates it to a 2021 model. If you are a 2020 Taycan owner, you should have by now received a call from your dealership and been scheduled in for the service. Expect to drop off the car for the whole day.

Below is a list of what’s being updated:

“The update doesn’t affect range, but it does appear to boost performance slightly. In its press release, Porsche Cars North America noted “re-calibrated software for control units responsible for powertrain and suspension control, resulting in further improved driving dynamics and performance.”

The North American release didn’t mention specific numbers, but a European release said the Taycan Turbo S is now 0.2 second quicker from 0-124 mph, at 9.6 seconds.

The update also adds the SmartLift system from the 2021 Taycan, which automatically remembers locations where extra clearance is needed—such as speed bumps and steep driveways—and raises the adaptive air suspension when needed.

Also included is an upgraded navigation system with lane-specific information and in-depth traffic information, as well as Apple CarPlay. Customers with an Apple ID can access Apple Podcasts (including video streaming) and Apple Music lyrics. Cars equipped with ambient lighting can even change the lighting color based on what’s playing.

A Charging Planner lets drivers set the charge rate and what percentage the battery charges to. However, the update doesn’t enable Plug and Charge, which lets drivers simply plug in and charge and pay automatically through a pre-selected payment method. Porsche had to make hardware changes to the 2021 Taycan for that feature.

Customers also have the option for more Functions on Demand that can be added after the point of sale, either permanently or through a monthly subscription. The latest update adds active lane control and Porsche’s InnoDrive, which can take over the controls in some highway driving conditions, alongside the previously available Intelligent Range Manager.”

-via Motor Authority

So in essence, the car is going to drive slightly better and have a more comprehensive serving of comfort and convenience features. I would’ve preferred more range over being able to listen to Apple Podcasts, but in the end being given free access to these updates mostly eliminates the FOMO that would’ve otherwise come with being an early adopter. It will be interesting to see how long Porsche will be extending free software updates and to what degree. Hopefully for as long as I own the vehicle, as this could only be good for resale value granted that the car’s hardware doesn’t significantly change for newer model years.

It’s like a Genius Bar, but for cars.
If only it was always this easy to upgrade to the latest model…
A glimpse into what servicing a Porsche EV looks like.

What else… oh yes, I installed some wheel spacers for use with the summer/track set of aftermarket Advan GT wheels I have on the car right now. Even though these wheels shared virtually all the same specs with the OEM 20″ wheel options for the Taycan, the rear wheels in particular, appeared to be a fair bit more sunken. 20mm H&R wheel spacers seem to do the trick (and 7mm in the fronts were added for good measure).

I also purchased a SeaSucker Talon Rack so I can lug my road bike around, while unwittingly creating a monument of the city’s latest emissions-fighting dynamic duo, in the process.

-T

Chris Harris Gives His Take on BMW’s New M3

Top Gear UK’s, Chris Harris recently reviewed the 2021 BMW M3 Competition. His thoughts came from his experience with the M3 on a closed track.

The new 2021 BMW M3 comes with a fresh redesign that been talked about for the past few months prior to its release. BMW has been getting teased about the massive grille on the front of the car – these comments are coming from everyone including BMW enthusiasts.

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Chris Harris was not only puzzled about the animated and obnoxious grille affixed to the new M3 but also the lack of fitment and stance of the car. He compared the new G80 M3 to the previous generation (F80) and his comments were spot on. He pointed out that the previous generation looked perfect in almost every way especially how the body appeared to have been “wrapped” around the wheels. This was not the case for BMW’s new M3 – it lacks wheel fitment, fancy-looking mirrors, and an attractive front end. 

Chris Harris BMW Review

The G80 M3 comes with a twin-turbo inline-six capable of 510 horsepower and 480lb-ft of torque. It also comes sporting a ZF automatic transmission instead of the previous generations’ DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission). Harris felt there was a bit of transmission lag during his time on the track but surprisingly mentioned there was virtually no turbo lag. 

Looks aside, Chris Harris thought the new M3 was fantastic. The chassis was nice and tight, the handling and steering inputs were precise, and the carbon fiber seats were absolutely perfect. The news M3’s steering wheel looks to be packed with buttons resembling a calculator but now we’re getting picky. 

2021 BMW M3 Comp

The BMW R&D team appears to be fans of arcade games as they have incorporated an “M drift analyzer” into the car giving the driver statistics on distance, time, and speed of drift. This sounds like fun until you get busted for attempting to beat your “high score” on your way home from the race track. 

Chris was impressed overall with BMW’s new M car but felt it was less “raw and angry” than that of previous generations. But BMW did not miss the mark, they just changed its destination with the new G80 M3.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3: Ultimate Guide

Introduction

Earlier today, Porsche unveiled its new 992-generation Porsche 911 GT3 via digital livestream on YouTube. First deliveries are currently scheduled to begin sometime in the later half of 2021, where it may likely be designated as a 2022 model. This new GT3 becomes the seventh iteration of one of Porsche’s most established and beloved automobiles. More importantly, it continues to embody the spirit of previous GT3 models by amalgamating all that is awesome about the 911 – and the Porsche brand – in a single road car.

The first Porsche bigwig introduced by presenter Sarah Elsser to offer insight into the project, was Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser – former Porsche-Motorsport chief and current VP of the 911 model line. Dr. Walliser began by speaking candidly about the pressures associated with perpetually improving the GT3, but felt that the development team has fulfilled this goal with hard work; all of this, while facing the monumental challenge of navigating stricter emissions regulations and an industry-wide transition to EVs.

Andreas Preuninger – Director of Porsche’s GT program – was the next appear, first by driving the GT3 from behind the curtains and onto the stage, while making sure to throw in a few revs of the engine to excite the viewers. Once out of the car, he immediately reiterates the tremendous undertaking that was required to create the 992 GT3 , stating that it was “…the most complex, demanding task over the last three and a half years…” but asserts that “…the end product is the most extreme and exciting GT3 ever made.”

Finally, testimonials by Porsche racing legends Jörg Bergmeister, Lars Kern and Walter Röhrl really hit home just how incredible the car is, from sources that are as credible as it gets. All of them were particularly impressed by how much an improvement the car was compared to its predecessors, justifying the earlier proclamations made by Walliser and Preuninger.

Below are some key takeaways from the presentation.

Presentation Synopsis

Walliser: He talks about improving the naturally-aspirated engine, aerodynamics, chassis and suspension for the 992 GT3. Aside from the obvious technical features needed to make the GT3 better than ever, Walliser displays his deep-rooted understanding of driving enjoyment, depicting how important it was to preserve the spirit of the GT3 car from previous years, and “…bring this baby to life”.

To him, the GT3 is the 911. This is something he says “…can be immediately understood when driving in the countryside, or at the race track. That is the essence of the GT3 and what has made it so special over all the years.”

Getting back into the technical side of things, Dr. Walliser would go on to iterate that while the new GT3 has a bigger footprint, the extensive use of lightweight materials throughout have kept the weight the same as its predecessor. He glosses over a number or items, such as a carbon-fiber roof, carbon-fiber hood and ultra-thin glass, which Preuninger would go into a bit more detail later on.

Preuninger: When speaking about the technical details of the GT3, Preuninger starts by mentioning the 4.0L naturally-aspirated engine with a 9,000 rpm redline, which carries over from its predecessor with some improvements. The 510 PS (502 hp) engine he says, is “…one of the most emotionally involving engines out there.”

But the enhancements don’t stop there. “Bigger wheels, bigger brakes, wider rims.” In normal circumstances, this means more weight, which he addresses by stating “It’s a little bigger…a little bit more competent. It needed some lightweight trickery to keep the weight down, and that is dispersed all over the car. So, all boxes ticked.”

How is this achieved? He points to the carbon-fiber hood, roof and rear wing mentioned earlier by Walliser. Also introduced were some things that weren’t shown up close, such as a super lightweight battery, lighter wheels, carbon-fiber cross members, lightweight interior appointments, etc.  The weight reduction was very much an exercise of shedding “5 kg here, another 1 kg there, 3 kg somewhere else, and so on”.

The end result is a weight of just 1,435 kg, hitting the “sweet spot for a driver’s car and perfect track tool for the weekend.” Essentially, the 992 GT3 has achieved the same weight as its predecessor, but is loaded with a lot more technology. For the first time, a double wishbone suspension configuration is used in the front of the car. One of the most visually notable changes is the swan-neck rear wing derived from the 911 RSR competition car, which further emphasizes the link between Porsche’s race cars and its road cars. “What works on a race car, works on a street car, doesn’t it?”

Bergmeister: “Obviously, as a race car driver, when you get in a street car you have to lower your expectations. But on that car especially, I was shocked, how good it is… it’s so close to a race car, it’s really, really impressive.” As part of a response during the Q&A session, Bergmeister remarked that the GT3 impressed him most in the high speed sections of the Nürburgring, and that it was comparable to the 991.2 GT3 RS. “It hardly pitches when you brake, transition phases are very neutral. It has more downforce. It is the best street car we’ve ever driven in our lives“.

The 992 GT3 achieved a sub-7-minute (6:59.927) lap time at the Nürburgring. This is an absolutely insane, 17-seconds-faster than its predecessor and essentially the same time as the 991.2 GT3 RS, backing up all statements made by Bergmeister, Kern and Röhrl. This also sets the tone for the soon-to-follow GT3 RS – will a 6:40 lap time be possible?! Shortly after the livestream, Porsche uploaded onboard footage at the Nordschleife with Lars Kern behind the wheel, as well as the official ad for the car.

Engine & Performance

  • Engine Type & Size: 4.0L naturally-aspirated flat-6
  • Horsepower: 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm
  • Torque: 346 lb-ft @ 6,250 rpm
  • Transmission: 7-speed PDK, 6-speed manual
  • 0-60 mph: 3.2 seconds (PDK), 3.7 seconds (manual)
  • Top Speed: 197 mph

Porsche has continued the use of the naturally-aspirated 4.0L 9A1 flat-6 power plant in the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3. The only key differences between the engine used in the race car and the one used in the 992 GT3, are the exhaust system and ECU. Otherwise, the two engines share virtually all the same components, such as individual throttle bodies. As such, the new GT3 needed no “sound engineering” and inherently sounds amazing. With its astronomical 9,000 rpm redline, the GT3 produces 502 hp @ 8,400 rpm and 346 lb-ft of torque @ 6,250 rpm. 

The GT3 will continue using the 7-speed PDK transmission, instead of a version of the 8-speed used in the rest of the 992 line-up. In essence, this saves weight (40 lbs) and makes for a better synergy with the GT3 and its intended application. But if you’d like a more hands-on approach, Porsche will offer the new GT3 with an optional 6-speed manual transmission as well.

Purists, rejoice! Walliser said that we shouldn’t count on the GT3 going electric or even hybrid, anytime too soon. It is much more likely that Porsche will transition to using synthetic fuels for motorsport and its GT line of production cars, before even considering going full-on EV. This aligns with Porsche’s intention to keep the naturally-aspirated engine alive for as long as possible – regulations and emissions standards will serve as the eventual ultimatum.

Chassis & Handling

Aerodynamics & Weight Reduction

The new 992 GT3 spent more than 160 hours across 700 simulation sessions in the wind tunnel. It generates 50% more downforce than its predecessor, and up to 150% more downforce in its “high downforce” setting. For the first time, the GT3 features an adjustable front diffuser and a fully closed rear diffuser, which on its own generates 60 kg of downforce at top speed. This means that now, both front and rear aerodynamic components are fully adjustable and can be manually set to one of four positions.

Its low weight of just 1,435 kg is achieved with a myriad lightweight components. This is includes a carbon-fiber hood, roof and rear wing, along with other items such as a super lightweight battery, lighter wheels, ultra-thin glass, carbon-fiber cross members, and lightweight interior appointments. Essentially, the 992 GT3 has achieved the same weight as its predecessor, but is loaded with a lot more technology.

Suspension & Chassis Control Systems

Porsche’s seventh iteration of the GT3, shows an unwavering dedication to the precision that has influenced the GT line of cars since day one. Inspired by the 2013 911 RSR competition car, the 2022 911 GT3 will receive a new front suspension setup consisting of unequal-length control arms instead of conventional struts, making it the first time a double wishbone suspension configuration is used in the front of a GT3. This will provide better tire contact through turns and during moments of compression and rebounding. Porsche’s new adaptive dampers are capable of adjusting every 10 milliseconds, which means the spring rates have doubled without affecting the ride quality of the GT3.

There are three available driving modes: Normal, Sport and Track ,which all provide varying degrees of driver-aid involvement and chassis settings. Aside from providing the most firm, performance-biased setup with the least amount of computer-control, initiating Track mode also changes the instrumentation and displays to “Track View”. This compiles all pertinent information to the immediate field-of-view of the driver. Important details such as oil temperature, oil pressure, tire pressures and shift indicators, are all in plain sight and easily visible.

Brakes & Tires

Porsche will continue to offer the GT3 standard with cast-iron rotors and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires. Likewise, upgrading to carbon-ceramic brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires, remain as options.

Design, Styling & Interior

Overall, the silhouette of the new 911 GT3 remains a largely familiar one – and that’s not a bad thing.  In fact, this is probably great news for Porsche and GT3 enthusiasts, who would contend that there was never anything wrong with the previous GT3 in the first place. One of the most visually notable changes is the “swan-neck” rear wing derived from the 911 RSR competition car, which further emphasizes the link between Porsche’s race cars and its road cars.

The Club Sport Package (roll cage, 4-pt harnesses) will be a no cost option. However, this will probably only be for the European markets. This package was not available on past iterations in North America due to safety regulations. I anticipate that the aftermarket will step-up to fill the void with some quality products, though.

The Touring trim was confirmed by Preuninger, and there’s no reason this won’t be available state-side once again. Though he believes the standard trim is the most complete representation of the GT3, he acknowledges the appeal of the GT3 Touring for the “gentleman” crowd, who want something a bit more understated. He goes on to affirm that the Touring trim is very popular, and will therefore make a definite return for the 992.

Walliser also announced that Paint to Sample (aka, custom paint colors) will be available for the GT3 line-up. The program will commence sometime later this year. On the subject of paint, the new GT3 will be available in 14 standard colors when orders are open. 

Galleries

Image Gallery

“The emotions and the joy of driving. That’s why we desire the car from the heart to the stomach” – Andreas Preuninger

Official Videos

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Video Review Gallery

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Official Press Release

02/16/2021

Porsche takes the new 911 GT3 off the leash. The seventh edition of this high-performance sports car was also developed in close collaboration with Porsche Motorsport. It transfers pure racing technology into a production model even more consistently than ever before.

The double wishbone front axle layout and sophisticated aerodynamics with swan neck rear wing and striking diffuser originate from the successful GT race car 911 RSR and the 375 kW (510 PS; 911 GT3: Fuel consumption combined 13.3 – 12.4 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 304 – 283 g/km) four-litre six-cylinder boxer engine is based on the drivetrain of the 911 GT3 R, tried and tested in endurance racing. The acoustically impressive, high-revving engine is also used practically unchanged in the new 911 GT3 Cup. The result is a brilliant driving machine: efficient and emotional, precise and high-performance – perfect for the circuit and superb for everyday use.

The distinctive strength of the 911 GT3 lies in the sum of its characteristics. With a top speed of 320 km/h (911 GT3 with MT: Fuel consumption combined 13.3 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 304 g/km) and 318 km/h with PDK (911 GT3 with PDK: Fuel consumption combined 12.4 l/100 km, CO2 emissions combined 283 g/km) it is even faster than the previous 911 GT3 RS. It accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds. Porsche also offers the new model with a six-speed manual transmission for a particularly puristic driving experience.

Aerodynamics from motor racing

The sophisticated aerodynamics benefit from the experiences gained from motor racing and generate significantly more downforce without noticeably affecting the drag coefficient. In the performance position, the manually set wing and diffuser elements significantly increase the aerodynamic pressure for high cornering speeds.

This is the new 911 GT3

This is, however, reserved strictly for outings on the circuit, as it is there that the 911 GT3 can play all its trump cards. During final testing, it lapped the Nuerburgring-Nordschleife, traditionally the ultimate proving ground for all sports cars developed by Porsche, over 17 seconds quicker than its predecessor. Development driver Lars Kern took just 6:59.927 minutes for a full 20.8-kilometre lap. The shorter 20.6-kilometre track, which had previously served as a benchmark, was completed by the 911 GT3 in 6:55.2 minutes. Running on the optionally available Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres, the new model consistently delivered its performance over several laps in the expert hands of Porsche brand ambassador Jörg Bergmeister. For Bergmeister, it is “by far the best production car” that the experienced professional driver has ever driven in the “Green Hell”.

Despite a wider body, larger wheels and additional technical features, the weight of the new GT3 is on a par with its predecessor. With manual gearbox it weighs 1.418 kilograms, with PDK 1.435 kilograms. The front bonnet made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), lightweight glass windows, optimised brake discs and forged light-alloy wheels ensure weight discipline, as does the cover for the rear seat compartment. The lightweight sports exhaust system reduces the weight by no less than ten kilograms. With infinitely electrically adjustable exhaust flaps, it harmonises a highly emotional sound experience with the Euro 6d ISC FCM (EU6 AP) emissions standard. The combined consumption of the 911 GT3 is 13.3 litres/100 km (PDK 12.4).

Cockpit of the new 911 GT3 has racing genes

Its racing genes are expressed in practically all the details of the new 911 GT3. The cockpit is in line with the current model generation. A new feature is the track screen: at the touch of a button, it reduces the digital displays to the left and right of the central rev counter, which reaches up to 10,000 revs, to information such as tyre pressure indicator, oil pressure, oil temperature, fuel tank level and water temperature, which are essential when driving on the circuit. It also includes a visual shift assistant with coloured bars to the left and right of the rev counter and a shift light derived from Motorsport.

The interior of the new 911 GT3

Especially for the Porsche GT models, customers are increasingly requesting customised equipment. For this reason, the Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur range is also available for the new 911 GT3 and is supplemented by GT 3-specific options such as a lightweight roof made of exposed carbon fibre. Other highlights include exterior mirror tops made of carbon, darkened LED matrix main headlights and matching Exclusive design rear lights with an arc of light with no red components. Guards Red or Shark Blue painted wheel rims enhance the black alloy wheels. In the interior, equipment details such as the dials for the rev counter and Sport Chrono stopwatch, seatbelts and trim strips set elegant accents in the body colour or other desired colour.

As exclusive as the 911 GT3 itself is the individual chronograph that Porsche Design offers exclusively to customers of the high-performance sports car. Like its motorised role model, it boasts a dynamic design, consistent performance and high-quality workmanship. Its housing reflects its Motorsport genes. Just like the connecting rods of the GT3 engine, it consists of robust, lightweight titanium. The timepiece is powered by an individual winding rotor reminiscent of the wheels of the 911 GT3. The coloured ring of the dial can be customised in the paint colours of the 911 GT3.

Info

The delivery of the new 911 GT3 is set for May 2021.

A Look Back: The 2004 Chevy Nomad

Looking Back at the 2004 Chevy Nomad Concept Car

In the early 2000’s, many American car manufacturers began introducing re-imagined, retro-looking concept automobiles that were a literal “throwback” to the vehicles of the 1950s and 1960s.  Many of these cars served as the manufacturer’s featured centerpiece at their respective displays on the International Auto Show circuit.  Some of these cars – such as the Chevy Camaro, the Chrysler PT Cruiser, and the Dodge Challenger –  would find such favor at these shows that they’d move past the concept phase and actually see the proverbial “light at the end of the production tunnel.”  Unfortunately, a great many more of these automotive masterpieces served a singular purpose.  Namely, attract consumers to the shows so that they could see the future wares that automobile manufacturers planned to introduce for the coming model year.

The 2004 Chevy Nomad Concept car.
The 2004 Chevy Nomad Concept car.

In 2004, Chevrolet introduced the world to a re-imagined Chevy Nomad.  The Nomad was first introduced at the 2004 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  This concept vehicle, while inspired by the Chevy Nomad of the 1950s, was more closely related to General Motors new Kappa rear-wheel-drive platform and served as the precursor to both the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Curve concept cars.  The designers of the 2004 Chevrolet Nomad wanted to deliver a contemporary version of the classic 1954 Chevy Nomad Concept car, which in turn had been inspired by the 1953 Corvette.

The car featured round headlights gently curving front fenders, a Corvette-inspired grille, forward-leaning B-pillars, a single rolled fascia under the tailgate, and an exaggerated tailgate with chrome ribs that was very reminiscent of the car’s much older counterpart. While each of these design cues was reminiscent of and paid homage to the 1954 Motorama car, the 2004 version also integrated some of the latest 21st-century technology into its DNA.  This new Nomad featured LED headlight and taillight assemblies.  With both sets of lights (front and rear) fully integrated into the car’s aesthetic, the LED lighting was selected for its bright luminescence as well its high degree of visibility, even from a moderate distance.  Like the 1954 Nomad, the majority of the body panels on the 2004 version were constructed of fiberglass. The fitment of the panels was vastly improved over the original Corvettes of the early 1950s.

The 2004 Chevy Nomad Concept car.
The 2004 Chevy Nomad Concept car.

Moving inward, the car’s interior featured a semi-circular speedometer with a top speed of 150 miles per hour.  This speedometer was integrated into an instrument cluster that gave the dashboard a three-dimensional appearance with its anodized blue aluminum background and special recessed lighting.  Other niceties of the car’s interior included black leather seats along with special “bowtie” insignias that ran the length of the dashboard.  Even the driver and passenger seats appeared to undergo a transformation.  For 2004, both the driver and passenger seats were given specialty badging on their headrests.

The latest Nomad featured a sport-car based platform akin to the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Skye, both of which were developed into production models around this same platform.  The car featured independent front and rear suspension attached to a rigid chassis that used a pair of full-length, hydroformed frame rails as its foundation.  The 2+2 passenger configuration (4 passengers total) sits on a 107-inch wheelbase.  The car was powered by a 250-horsepower DOHC turbocharged Ecotec 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed Hydramatic 5L40-E electronically controlled automatic transmission.

The 2004 Chevy Nomad Concept car.
The 2004 Chevy Nomad Concept car.

Why introduce a 2+2 station wagon?  Why even bother designing one?  The answer is actually pretty straight-forward.  The Nomad was designed to be a “practical” sports car.  Unfortunately, General Motors had already made the decision to discontinue both the Pontiac and Saturn lines as part of a corporate restructuring.  As the Nomad would have likely been built at the same plants as the Sky and the Solstice, the project never moved beyond its concept phase.

Porsche Taycan 4S – 6-Month Ownership Review

Introduction

Hello again! For those of you who have been following “T’s Corner” closely, you would have become quite familiar with my adventures in a 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S. It has now been about 6 months since I first took possession of the vehicle. Along the way I have shared some of my experiences with the car; mainly, what it’s like to drive one on a daily basis, and even how it performed at the race track. 

Since I picked up the car in June, this meant I could go pretty gung-ho in first 3-4 months in terms of pushing the performance limits of the car and just enjoying it. In the first month of ownership, I had driven the car almost 3,000 km and had the opportunity to take the car to a local circuit before winter rolled in. Such was the fun that I was having, that taking a deeper dive into challenges with charging, the colder weather that was on its way (which significantly affects range), and the real cost of ownership, were put on the back burner – the latter two of which, just simply required more time to pass.

Since October, my experience with the Taycan has been a more hunkered-down one – the general global social climate as well as the winter season touching down where I live, serving as the one-two punch that has delivered these circumstances. Some would say that this is in essence, a more normalized and civil experience of the car, which likely more owners (current or prospective) can relate to – i.e. race track experiences and driving 3,000 km in a month, is probably something that a very small percentage of owners will really be interested in knowing about.

So in this post, instead of speaking in terms of lateral Gs, I’ll be focusing more on things like kWh/100 km (efficiency), general ownership costs, and what it’s like living with a Taycan during a cold (Canadian) winter season.

Cost of Ownership

Maintenance

First off, I should mention that the car has been into the dealership twice for service. Mainly for software updates, one recall for a water hose, and a PCM-related issue (which resolved itself). I don’t want to get into too much detail with the latter – which was a minor inconvenience rather than a material issue – but I will say that my local Porsche dealership (Porsche Centre Calgary), has been phenomenal to work with. I suppose it’s also important to mention that there has been no cost for any of my visits so far.

Electricity Costs

So with 6 months now passed – and with maintenance costs aside (of which there have been none) – the true cost of ownership falls entirely on what I’ve paid to keep the car juiced up. In terms of my charging habits, nothing much has changed since I’ve owned the car. I do 99% of my charging from home, and the other 1% at commercial charging stations. The latter method of charging could actually become much more important into the future, for reasons I will mention below.

First, here are the last 3 months of my electricity usage and costs, per my utility bills starting in November 2020.

The November and December bills give a pretty good indication of what my total electricity costs were (keep in mind, this is for my entire household, not just for charging the car, so there are other variables at play here). It looks like the January bill accounted for some corrections from the previous months, but did not appear to affect my average costs too much. To offer some perspective (which I covered in one of my very first “charging experience” posts), my total household electricity costs seemed to average at about $60 per month before I ever had an EV to worry about.

Keeping things simple – and based on the data from these bills – I think it’s safe to say that keeping the Taycan charged at home is costing me on average, about $100 per month more than when I wasn’t charging it. Given that I was driving about an average of 1,200 km – 1,500 km per month during those months (which had some very brisk days, leading to higher charging demands), the cost of keeping a Taycan running remains both very low and a highly attractive feature of the car.

Rate Riding

A rate rider “is a temporary credit or charge that is added to your monthly bill on behalf of the electricity or gas distributor. A rate rider collects or refunds the difference between actual and estimated costs for delivering energy”.  I bring this up because I had a very informative conversation with a prospective Taycan owner and highly respected car enthusiast, and the topic of rate riding came up.

Now, this has not applied to me yet, but in simple terms it has meant that some Taycan owners in my city have incurred electricity bills with increases of around $1,000 or more. As mentioned before, there are obviously lots of variables at play here, but it looks as though these rate riding costs are tacked on when the utility company detects an abnormal level of energy consumption and charges users in anticipation of a much higher adjustment.

As I indicated before, these bills encompass distribution for entire households and not just the outlet for the car, so it’s never going to be easy to pinpoint why someone is paying so much more for electricity when the same car is being charged in their garage, ceterus paribus. 

There are a couple of things I will say for certain though. The first, is to become familiar with how utilities work in your local area – as has been evidenced, this can not only greatly differ within your own city, but is likely to vary significantly in different provinces, states, countries, etc. Perhaps contacting your energy provider ahead of time to let them know you will be charging an EV at home going forward, will change the scenario.

The second is to charge your car strategically. What I mean by this, as alluded to before, is by using commercial charging stations more often as part of your charging routine, if required. The local 800V charger – not too far from my house – can deliver a ~60% charge in about 20 mins, costing around $7.00. Use commercial chargers if you need to fill up a lot of juice at once (i.e. you’re sitting at about a 20% charge). Reserve the home charger for “top-up” use only, plugging it in only when you’re at about a 70% charge or higher. Assuming that this all works the way I think it does, you’ll be able to leave home everyday with a full charge and not worry about the huge dump of electricity required to go from 0% – 100% , which could trigger the rate riding.

With my driving habits the way they are and with my utility bills having stayed consistent, it is unlikely that I will have to explore this avenue. But it’s good to know the option is there if I ever need to exercise it, plus others should be aware of this potentially significant matter. After all, paying $1,000 per month to keep your EV charged will certainly defeat the purpose of owning one, amongst other things.

Winter Driving

I’ve had a good 3 months to really test the car in winter conditions, and I must say that the performance has been as good as expected if not better. Paired with a set of Continental WinterContact TS 860 S tires, grip has never been an issue for the Taycan 4S. The air-suspension is particularly useful when the snow is a bit deeper, as being able to raise the car in situations that call for it, has been extremely convenient to say the least.

The only issue during winter – which is an EV-wide one, and not just specific to the Taycan – is that of range.

Here are my findings, having been able to drive the Taycan in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind these are all what I achieved while in Range mode, with a combination of city and highway driving speeds – i.e. realistic driving scenarios, not intentional hyper-miling exercises. 

Ideal/Warm Weather:

17-20 kWh/100 km = ~500 km of range

Cooler Weather (between -10°C and +5°C):

22-25 kWh/100 km = ~400 km of range

Extreme Cold Weather (between -30°C and -15°C):

28-32 kWh/100 km = ~300 km of range

As you can see here, range drop-off can be significant if it gets cold enough. Expect as much as a 40% drop in range in extreme cold weather conditions. From what I can tell, there has been no detriment to performance when driving in such conditions, but you will definitely need to be prepared for significantly heavier charging demands.

Does this make the Taycan less enjoyable in winter? Maybe, a little. If your range anxieties are getting the best of you, reserve driving your Taycan during the winter only for when it is a bit warmer out (i.e. cooler weather as opposed to extreme cold weather). If you want to use your Taycan for a longer excursion to the ski hills, I say go for it! – just plan your route, and charge-up accordingly.

6-Month Review

I’m really happy with the car.

Not having to pay for gas has been a real boon. My other cars – particularly my V8 SUV, which I use from time to time during winter – are certainly not sippers of the petrol stuff, so having an EV makes this feeling all the more distinguishable.

For all intents and purposes, it costs me $100 a month to keep the Taycan juiced-up – a more than reasonable cost to incur for the amount that I drive it, and the superb performance it has on tap at all times. At this juncture, it hasn’t cost me anything to own in terms of maintenance or repairs; although, being well within the warranty period is certainly helpful here.

I do also have to add that Porsche seems to be keeping tabs on issues that have arisen for Taycan early adopters. They get resolved quickly, or at the very least, Porsche is aware of the issues that get brought up, and are often already working on a fix when they do. That’s reassuring from the company, and is another factor of what has made owning a Taycan so enjoyable.

Issues that I have experienced personally are all what I would consider “first world problems.” – Apple Car Play intermittently not working, the LTE connection dropping, Range mode being finicky at times. Note: the latter two issues seem to have been permanently fixed. More compelling issues have been brought up by other owners on forums and Facebook groups, but I won’t delve into those; this is a blog about my own personal experiences, plus those problems seem to be very few, far between and often resolved immediately by Porsche. Some are even caused by user error.

The Porsche Taycan 4S remains a phenomenal car to drive, even in winter climates. During a big snow dump a few weeks back, lots of people were getting stuck in the snow. The Taycan just went about its business like the omnipotent force it is – it isn’t just a “California specialist”. I am looking forward to the summer, though!

-T