Porsche has spent years working on their 911, but while that might be their ultimate sports car, the Boxster is one of their best sellers. It was first seen as a disgrace to the Porsche name, as it was smaller and not as powerful, but once the Cayenne came along, all was forgiven.
The first ever Boxster was introduced in late 1996 as a 1997 model and a 2.5-liter flat six-cylinder engine powered it. Three years later, the new Boxster S variant was introduced with a larger 3.2-liter motor, while the base model received a more powerful 2.7-liter engine.
More changes came in 2003, 2005, and then again in 2007, when the Boxster got some of the stuff from the baby 911, called the Cayman. In 2009, the Boxster models received several new cosmetic and mechanical upgrades that upped the power and performance.
The changes kept coming and the Boxster kept taking them all in. Now the Boxster has been updated one more time and is looking better than ever.
This speedy lap time means the Boxster S is faster than models like the Corvette C6 (7:59), the Viper SRT-10 (7:59), and the C63 AMG Coupe (8:01) - which are far more powerful than the tiny Boxster. This result also makes the new generation better than the model it replaces which had a lap time of 8:10.
UPDATE 06/08/2012: Porsche has found a very interesting way to promote the new generation Boxster: the company displayed the 2013 Boxster S and some members of its iconic lineage - the 550 Spyder and the Carrera GT - at Grand Central Terminal. Check out the video by clicking in the image above!
The BMW Z4 is a relatively young model on the market. Its first generation was announced in 2002, and became a very successful model on the market thanks to its beautiful design language and its relatively cheaper price compared to other sports cars.
At the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, BMW brought out the second generation Z4. And, next to a new design language and new engines, the E89 model came with big changes to the line-up: the coupe version was dropped and so was the previous M version. Instead, BMW offered a Z4 sDrive35is version - the most powerful Z4 currently available on the market.
On the US market, the current Z4 line-up includes the Z4 sDrive28i,
the Z4 sDrive35i, and the Z4 sDrive35is with prices ranging from $48,650 to $64,200. In Europe, customers can also opt for the sDrive20i, sDrive23i, or sDrive30i.
In early 2011, Mitsubishi announced that it will be discontinuing one of the marquis economy sports cars of the last two decades, the Eclipse. The Eclipse lived a rather odd life, starting out with two nearly identical siblings in the Plymouth Laser and Eagle Talon. After the elimination of the Laser, the Eclipse and Talon remained, turning into two of the most beautiful economy sports cars ever built, in 1995.
In 1998, Eagle folded and only the beautiful Eclipse remained, but the death of its sibling didn’t set too well with the Eclipse, as after just one year of being on its own, it morphed into a rather ugly and over-styled pig that required a V-6 engine to be even remotely fun to drive.
In 2006, Mitsubishi finally came to its senses and realized that the new body style just wasn’t doing the “Eclipse” name justice, so they went back to the drawing board and created a rounder Eclipse that more closely resembled the one from the late-90s. Oddly enough, this new sportier Eclipse is actually heavier than its predecessor, but that certainly does not take away from its beauty.
In the earlier years, when a car was on its last production year, the final model to roll off of the production line was kept by the manufacturer and stored. In more recent years, the last model typically ran off of the production line like any other model and became lost in the sea of models. Mitsubishi seized this opportunity to fully customize the final Eclipse, which is an SE model, so that it was truly a one-of-a-kind vehicle. Now this brand new Eclipse is up for sale by RK Motors Charlotte.
Click past the jump to read about this custom 2012 Eclipse SE final model.
At one point I really wanted an RX8, almost to the point of doing whatever it took to get the money for one. Well, after a promotion, I managed to get one and was sorely disappointed by it. Well, an Egyptian man decided to put the words “I’ll do anything” into action in an extreme way.
In Egypt, as with many developing countries, vehicles are very expensive and even more so when considering a luxury ride like a BMW 1M. With a $150,000 price tag in Egypt – more than triple its U.S. price – this wise fellow decided that the 1M was not in the cards for him now. Instead of giving up altogether, he decided to build something better than his dream car.
He began his quest with a stock BMW 120d, which once boasted a 161-horsepower 2.0-liter diesel engine, and completely stripped it down. He then pulled an S65 V-8 monster from an M3, which pumps out 414 horsepower, and dropped it in his 120d. Well, “dropping” the engine in included some motor mount and ECU modifications.
This young man then installed the M3’s suspension onto the 120d, added 1M body panels, slapped 19-inch wheels on it, and last, had a custom exhaust and driveshaft fitted to it. In the end “hatembmw,” as he goes by on a popular BMW forum, invested about $45,000 to modify his 120d into a monster that would likely annihilate a 335-horsepower M1. As detailed as this process is, this entire project took him just eight weeks to complete – three to four weeks on mechanical stuff and four weeks on the body.
All we can do is tip my hat to hatembmw… Good show, my friend, good show indeed. Enjoy the videos, we know we certainly did.
Rumors about an Audi R4 sports car have been circulating for a very long time now. Audi has denied its existence a few times, but Volkswagen announcing three different production versions of the BlueSport concept has brought the R4 back out on the table. The first rumors suggested the model would be revealed in 2010, but that was obviously not the case. The R4 will actually be revealed in 2014 as a 2015 model and will share its platform with the new entry-level Porsche and Volkswagen two-seaters.
When talking with AutoCar about the new R4, an Audi source said: "We have not abandoned plans for a roadster along the lines of the E-tron Spyder. We have reached a stage where we are moving forward and are now in the process of progressing the business case further, but it won’t go on sale until after the third-generation TT."
This statement can be translated into the fact that the R4 won’t hit the market until late 2014 and it will be designed in such a manner that it won’t hurt the sales of both the Audi TT and the Audi R8 supercar, meaning it will be placed somewhere in the middle.
UPDATE 10/26/2011: During an interview with British magazine, AutoExpress, an Audi insider has confirmed that the future R4 will feature both a 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo producing around 400bhp and a hybrid powertrain: "Even in our sports car ranges, customer demand for efficiency is increasing." The model will be offered in both roadster and coupe versions and Audi hopes to sell around 10,000 units a year.
Toyota’s premium brand, Lexus, has officially introduced their new IS Convertible with the hope that it could enter a market long dominated by its European counterparts, including BMW and Audi. Characterized as a stylish convertible with luxurious amenities, the 2012 IS Convertible offers plenty of that and so much more.
The sophisticated machine capably blends the stylishness and sportiness of a convertible with the more tuned-down approach of a coupe in one package. There’s plenty to like about the car, from the easy transformation of coupe to convertible and vice versa in just 21 seconds all the way to the new Nebula Gray Pear exterior finish.
The choice of trim for the IS Convertible, whether its the 250C or the 350C, also offers a choice of powertrain, from the more fuel efficient 2.5-liter V6 for the former and the more powerful 3.5-liter V6 for the latter.
For the 2012 IS-C, versatility is the name of the game. And whatever trim option you choose, you’ll be certain to get a car that gives you exactly what you’re looking for.
Find out more about the 2012 Lexus IS Convertible after the jump.
In the world of mid-size mom mobiles, style is often a hard thing to find. When you examine the field most fit in the background as opposed to the centerfold. As Benjamin Franklin once said "A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body." Most of the luxury mid size SUV’s fail to deliver this food and fire to the consumer. This precedence of indifference ended when we walked to the parking lot and gazed at the 2012 Mercedes Benz GLK 350.
What struck us about this is the graceful angles of the GLK that set it apart from the rest of the field. Although the GLK has only been in production since 2009, it has taken lessons from others in the field. The interior looks like it can stand up to your Lab and yet also haul the kids to school in the morning. The teflon interior is very comfortable which makes that early morning commute with kids in tow that much more bearable. On top of all this utility, you actually get some sport in your SUV (imagine that!). The GLK makes the most mundane tasks like merging onto the interstate quite fun. When you press the loud pedal you are pleasantly surprised and the engine emits a raspy bark akin to Tom Waits impersonating a seal.
More details on the 2012 Mercedes Benz GLK 350 after the jump.
When Mazda first introduced its Wenkel engine in 1961, the automotive world was set alight it. Soon after, many manufacturers clamored to build their own. This engine was an automotive Gibraltar, no matter the challenges it faced, the Wenkel soldiered on. These challenges came from every angle from new emissions standards in 1970 to an oil crisis three years later, in addition to innumerable engineering issues. Mazda cultivated their Wenkel engine and planted it in their sporty RX-7 and it was an instant hit. Even when the RX-8 emerged as a successor to the RX-7 in 2001, the Wenkel heart beat on. Now as the RX-8’s production run is scheduled to end in 2011, a steady stream of rumors about the current Wenkel engine’s successor have flown past our desks.
First, we are going to ask all Mazda fans to take a deep breath. Okay, now that that is taken care of, we have some bad news according to Ward’s Auto Mazda is considering putting the new engine development on hold. The reason for this cutback was that at this time of economic woe, Mazda was looking for a way to reduce expenses and apparently this new engine program is very expensive.
We hope that even as the bean counters are clamoring about diminishing profit margins, Mazda continues to develop this engine. It provides the RX-8 and it’s successor with fantastic high performance and, in the era of pretty and almost all identical cars, Mazda offered a unique take on a sports car. We all hope that Mazda comes to their senses and keeps this iconic power plant.
The Infiniti FX is the Nissan-owned company’s mid-size luxury crossover SUV. It was released back in 2003, along with its main competitors, the Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC90. Its first generation lasted six years on the market before it was revamped and given another chance at increasing sales for the Japanese automaker.
The second generation Infiniti FX was launched on the market in 2009, and despite the fact that it has had a less than stellar performance, its sales are still stable and have lead Infiniti in their expansion to new markets all over the world. For the 2012 model year, the FX has been revised with subtle styling changes inspired by the Essence Concept and has received an extra version in the "Limited Edition" for the FX35 AWD.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2009-2012 Infiniti FX.
When the BMW 1-series was debuted in the US as a 2008 model, comparisons were immediately made to the iconic BMW 2002. We were skeptical of this little coupe trying to cash in on the legacy of classic BMW models, but as we got behind the wheel of this BMW Mighty Mouse, we quickly realized it stuck to a successful sports car formula. This equation references classic BMW performance and yet moves the marque forward. When you get behind the wheel of the 2012 BMW 128i it’s like hearing your favorite Eagles song, it takes you back to a simpler time. This time capsule also teaches a new generation what a sports car can be.
The micro-sized sports car that is the BMW 128i has proved very popular since its introduction for the 2008 model year. The 128i is a new take on the BMW philosophy of excellent handling and superb engineering. Whereas many models in the line are now turbocharged, the 128i stubbornly sticks to the naturally aspirated inline 6. In addition to this, BMW "roots album" presents the full package for a driver that wants a car with two distinct personalities: a) a cheap and "chuckable" sports car and b) a pleasant everyday driver. These personalities always meet in the middle and never force the driver to pick which he wants.