Yesterday, at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Toyota unveiled the open-top version of its new GT86 sports car. Of course, everyone expects to see this version put into production very soon. What now looks like a certain thing was once pretty uncertain; maybe this is why Toyota opted to initially offer a concept version first.
According to Toyota chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, the company would only think about other variants after the GT86 proved itself a successful model. Now that it has shown its worth and an open-top concept is upon us, it looks like more versions are inevitable.
It looks like along with the convertible version, the future will also bring a more powerful version. He suggested that such a model could use a hybrid system similar to the "IMA" system used on the Honda CRZ. This is a potential suitor because an electric motor assist could provide substantial low-rpm torque boost for the boxer engine without affecting throttle response, fuel economy or emissions.
Since such a system will add a considerable weight, Toyota engineers will have to look for solutions to reduce the final weight so it does not affect the weight distribution. Fortunately, TRD has had no issue removing 100 kg (220 pounds) from the GT86, so dropping the necessary poundage shouldn’t be too tough.
Ah, so Facebook does have its uses besides posting random funny pictures, arguing politics and stalking your ex, as we have come across several teaser images from various manufacturers in the past week. Just today we were lurking around on Ferrari’s Facebook page and came across a few images that may pique your interest just a little bit.
The subject matter in the photograph just so happens to be none other than the reclusive and elusive F70, F150 New Enzo, or whatever you call it. Unfortunately, these images really show us next to nothing, but we do get a nice look at the dual tailpipes hanging out of the back end – something everybody knew it would have – and what looks to be a shot from inside the cabin overlooking the sleek, sloping hood. The latter image is likely the most revealing, as we now get a good look at the massive fenders and a little more detail of the front end.
Fortunately, we are on the final countdown to the official unveiling of this Enzo successor. We can’t wait to see the car and find out exactly what Ferrari plans to name its new machine. Check out the gallery below to see the two new images.
Well, the Chevy SS Performance cat is out of the bag and we got a nice an heavy dose of it yesterday. On the surface, we like it, but our feelings are really lukewarm, as it truly seems to be lacking something. First of all, its styling is a little “blah,” for lack of a better word, and its suspension and braking systems are dated at best. The front braking and suspension systems are okay, for the most part, but the rear features technology from the late-1980s.
Don’t get us wrong, however, we love the 415-horsepower V8 powerplant, the TAPshift six-speed transmission and the nasty 3.27-to-1 rear end ration. We even fell in love with its “about 5-second” 0-to-60 time. It’s just the glaring lack of aggressiveness and the rear handling components that leave us scratching our heads.
The starts our speculating minds working. We are wondering if GM intentionally left this model a little simple to leave room for model growth. Maybe GM wants to see how well the SS sells and how many people really dig in and help out the SS with aftermarket suspension systems and more aggressive body kits.
Of GM sees lots of sales and lots of people tweaking the SS, it could release a higher-performance model. Something like the 1LE package, where minor tweaks to the suspension and braking systems, and the aesthetics to make it a better handler is the most likely of paths. However, a ZL1-like package to bump the ponies over 500 to help it better compete with the Charger SRT8 may be a possibility too.
Right now, we are simply thinking out loud, but it would be downright cool to see a full line of SS Performances to choose from.
Here we go, folks. The 2012 model year was the last for the current Aston Martin DBS, but Aston Martin fans will be kept busy with the 2013 DBS Ultimate, which is little more than a slightly upgraded version of the Carbon Black model, but a limited edition nonetheless. Once the novelty of that model wears out, the newly redesigned Vanquish will be here and ready to soak up the spotlight. In the past few months, we have seen plenty of spy shots of the new supercar, but Aston Martin has finally decided it was time to offer full details on the new Vanquish. As you probably know, the new DBS successor not only received a completely new design, but it also revived a legendary name: Vanquish.
The reasoning behind the name choice was explained by Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez, himself: "Today’s Vanquish is the ultimate expression of Aston Martin design ethos, engineering innovation and technical ability. It offers luxurious, continent-crossing capability and pure driving excitement without compromise. Bearing the same name as the iconic original Vanquish that did so much to cement Aston Martin’s reputation as a maker of great GT cars in the modern era, I believe the car unveiled today once again puts this great British brand at the top of its class."
Did the British brand overshoot, or did it just find a way to catapult sales?
UPDATE 02/15/2013: Aston Martin has unveiled yet another cool video for its latest Vanquish supercar, this time presenting the engineering behind this incredible super GT. Enjoy!
Hit the jump to read more about the new Aston Martin Vanquish and decide for yourself. Full story
Who is Tyler Witte? Just like you, we have never heard of the guy before watching this video. In short, he is a 25-year-old driver from Cincinnati, Ohio. “Okay, why is he featured on Top Speed” may be your next question. It’s because he is our kind of guy: he has an incredible passion for cars and most importantly, he developed the car of his dreams from the ground up.
His car is not the best car we’ve seen, as it’s just a Subaru Impreza that he "bought from a friend," but the fact that he invested tons of his own money into transforming that car into an amazing rally racer makes him a man cut from the TopSpeed cloth. Yeah, there are better cars out there that teams with millions of dollars have built, but to see a man without a silver spoon in his mouth pull this off is inspiring.
Everything he did on the car, he did by himself; from bending, cutting, notching and welding the roll cage to assembling the transmission’s guts.
You can see the results of his hard work by watching the above video that includes some fun obstacles and stunts at a private rally facility. We wish Mr. Witte the best of luck!
The Audi A1 is all set to get a much needed facelift for the 2014 model year, but that’s not all that will be happening with Audi at that time. According to a report from “sources within Audi,” the A1 facelift will also bring about the introduction of the S1 – a higher-performance variant of the compact hatch.
We expect this hot hatchback to come equipped with a 2.0-liter TSFI engine that is tuned to pump out 220 to 240 horsepower, but nothing is confirmed just yet. We also assume that the S1 will feature Audi’s famed quattro all-wheel-drive system. This would likely translate out to a 5-second run to 60 mph and a top speed nearing 155 mph.
Now it’s time for the bad news. Also reported by these supposed “insiders” is that the Audi RS1 is officially off the table. This 300-plus-horsepower hatchback is said to be a no go because officials think it would be too expensive to market in the compact hatchback realm. We can certainly see where this could be an issue with the Focus ST dominating the class at just over $20K, but there is definitely a market for a $30K-plus high-performance hatchback in our opinion. We’re willing to bet that the S1 will test the market and if it performs well, the RS1 will launch.
We’ll see what happens.
Oh boy, Fisker has been run through the ringer in the past year, or so, but Henrik Fisker remains optimistic that everything’s going to be all right. During the Chicago Auto Show, Mr. Fisker was heard saying that he anticipates the Karma’s production to restart “fairly soon” after its recent halt.
To recap the recent struggles: Fisker first had tons of cars destroyed by Hurricane Sandy; their insurance company denied the claim for said damaged vehicles; A123 – their battery supplier – went belly up; and the aforementioned temporary cessation of the Karma’s production. We’re not even going to get into the fire issues that marred the company’s image for a period of time.
With the approval of the sale of A123 to Wanxiang Group – a Chinese firm – one step in the restart process for the Karma is nearly complete. Fisker is still relying on an outside consultant to straighten out its business practices to save it a little cash and for an investor or strategic partner to bring in a little extra operating capital.
We are thoroughly convinced that the Karma is a quality luxury sedan, despite its earlier issues, so we are hoping that its production will restart without a hitch and that it will ultimately succeed. We’ll continue following the Karma saga and update you as more details emerge.
We have seen the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf hit the market and the concept version of the Golf VII GTI. Naturally, the next step is the unveiling of the Golf VII R.
Today, Volkswagen has dropped a first teaser image of the seventh-generation Golf R concept. Volkswagen took the creative route with this teaser and, instead of showing an indistinguishable close up of some random part of the hot hatchback, it placed the concept in a virtual block of ice to disguise its features.
Even though this teaser reveals nearly nothing, you can still make out larger air intakes in the front bumper and the overall “R” persona. Under the hood, the new Golf R will get a 2.0-liter TFSI engine with an output in the range of 290 horsepower. The engine will be connected to a six-speed manual or a six-speed DSG and will send power to all four wheels via a Haldex all-wheel-drive system. Of course, top speed will be limited to only 155 mph, but we expect a little improvement on its 0 to 60 mph time.
Thawing will begin 14 days from now and the official unveiling will be made at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.
Volvo unveiled the S60 Polestar Concept at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show and it caught everyone’s attention, thanks to its impressive 508-horsepower output and its announced top speed of more than 186 mph. So it’s no surprise that Jay Leno decided to review the concept.
In the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage, he had invited Hans Baathm, Managing Director at PoleStar Performance, who explains the idea and the technology behind the S60 Polestar Concept.
The S60 Polestar is powered by an inline six-cylinder engine that is tuned to deliver an un-Volvo-like 508 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque. With the extra 208 horsepower, the S60 Polestar will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 186 mph.
Watch the video to see if Jay Leno will take the S60 Polestar over the BMW M3.
So we’ve already seen the new Corvette Stingray and we have already given you our take on what we think the Corvette Stingray Convertible will offer, so what’s left? Well, we still have yet to see or hear anything about the Corvette Stingray Z06. As we told you before, we highly doubt that GM would simply skip the Z06 this year. Rather, it is holding this release as its “Ace in the hole.”
We honestly think we’re in for something big and we’ve released a rendering of what we think it’ll look like. As for styling, we’ll see the usual additions, including staggered wheels to allow for more meat on the back end, front lower-lip spoiler, a set of ground effects down the side and brake-cooling ducts just aft of the rear wheels. On top of that, we’re willing to bet that GM chooses to black out the silver strikethrough in front grille, giving the front end a sportier look and less of a Jan-Brady-headgear look.
All of the aesthetics are well and good, but what’s under that hood? To be perfectly honest, we really have no idea. GM could totally ruin our Corvette high by dropping the same old 7.0-liter V-8 with 505 horsepower on tap. Sure, that is still a stout engine, but the C7 generation is all about change, right?
We’re leaning toward seeing the long-rumored 5.5-liter V-8 engine with a touch of boost via a supercharger or a pair of turbochargers. We would expect to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 525 to 550 horsepower from this type of engine.
Delivering the power to the rear wheel – car gods forbid Chevy from slapping AWD on a `Vette – will likely be a retuned version of the six-speed automated manual transmission found in the base model. Given the 2012 Z06 hits 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, GM is likely shooting for the 3.5-second mark with the Z06.
For now, however, this is all speculation, and we’ll bring you more official info as it is released. Stay tuned!
Image Note: The above image is a TopSpeed rendering of the Corvette Stingray Z06, not an official image