The rate at which manual transmissions are slowly being offered in fewer and fewer cars simply blows our minds here at TopSpeed. There are few driving pleasures which can match up to performing a picture-perfect upshift, or even better, performing a perfect downshift with some heel and toe action thrown in. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people are not petrol heads, and only use cars to get from point A to point B.
However, there is a silver lining in this seemingly never ending cloud of darkness. Sources very close to Porsche have leaked to Teamspeed that the upcoming 2013 Porsche 911 GT3 will come standard with a manual transmission, with the technologically-advanced, yet less satisfying, PDK transmission set to be available as an optional extra.
Automotive and Porsche enthusiasts all over the world, you may now take a deep sigh of relief. With some of Porsche’s main competitors including Ferrari and Lamborghini phasing out manuals, we only assumed Porsche would follow suit, but thankfully, we were mistaken.
Don’t get overly excited however, as manual Porsches will eventually be a thing of the past, and if this report holds water, the 2013 Porsche 911 GT3 may be the very last Porsche to come with three pedals. If demand is high enough for the manual, Porsche will likely also offer it in the 911 GT3 RS which would likely make a debut 12 to 18 months after the GT3.
So, the moral of the story. Well, if you’re looking for a new Porsche, don’t go with the boring old Carrera or Carrera S, wait for the 911 GT3 to come out and order it in a manual, as we cannot foresee a world without real drivers cars!
Porsche’s only turbo engines are found in the 911 Turbo, the Cayenne Turbo, and the Panamera Turbo, but that all may change soon. Porsche is planning on replacing natural aspiration with turbocharging in a series of other models, including the model set to carry the previously rumored four-cylinder engine.
These new turbo engines will have the advantage of delivering more horse power, as well as reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The car will also be equipped with a turbo engine that will sound completely different, which certainly matters when comparing sports cars.
In an interview with Dutch magazine, Autovisie, a Porsche technician offered a few more details on this upcoming technology: "Turbos are purely for improving the performance and are still only used on the top models. But the combination between smaller engines and turbocharging is a very promising way to lower the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Because of these two factors we will be offering turbo engines in models below the top series in the future. A four-cylinder boxer engine with a turbo is conceivable. But as before, the name 911 Turbo will only be for the model with the highest level of performance used."
We’ll see if we can dig up more information to pass along, so stay tuned!
Image above is a rendering of the 2013 Porsche 911/991 Turbo.
The Lexus LF-A Nurburgring Edition has been out for quite some time now, but the US market has just received its first unit. Lexus has placed a set of images of the first LF-A Nurburgring Edition during the car’s official delivery on the US land on their Facebook page.
While most may remember the Nurburgring package when it was placed on an LF-A with very cool orange exterior finish, it looks like the American customer opted for a white exterior paint combined with a bare carbon roof and a contrasting red interior. It still looks pretty amazing, though.
While a standard LF-A will cost you $375,000, the optional Nurbrugring Package will add an extra $70,000. For the money, customers will get an extra 10 HP and numerous carbon fiber elements: a larger front spoiler, fin-type side spoilers, and a fixed rear wing. The car has already lapped the famous Nurburgring in only 7 minutes and 14 seconds, so it’s definitely worth the money being dished out!
In the modern era of automobiles, most customers want to have their cake and eat it too, meaning they not only want great fuel economy and a low price, but they also want a well-performing vehicle. Enter the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic with a 1.8-liter four cylinder engine that gets a respectable 25 to 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. This is all well and good, but what about those looking for more miles per gallon.
Greater miles per gallon is the exact purpose for Chevy offering an optional 1.4-liter engine. Instinctively, you may assume that this more fuel efficient 1.4-liter engine may require a sacrifice of power, but GM bolted a turbocharger onto this Ecotec engine, boosting it to the same 138 horsepower as the 1.8-liter. It also produces 23 more pound-feet of torque than the larger 1.8-liter engine. In addition to its added torque, this boosted 1.4-liter gets 33 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway, and zips the Sonic from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.8 seconds – we’re not talking a Ferrari, but that’s still impressive.
Unfortunately, for those that desired an automatic transmission, the turbo 1.4-liter engine was not an option, as it was only available with a six-speed manual transmission. Well, GM decided to answer the demand for an auto-equipped Sonic turbo, as the auto giant announced that it will now offer an optional six-speed automatic transmission on the 2012 Sonic Turbo. This new turbocharged, automatic-equipped 2012 Sonic will accelerate to 60 mph in eight seconds, per GM, which is significantly faster than its closest competitors, which include the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, and Hyundai Accent.
On top of the impressive acceleration time, the auto equipped Sonic turbo will get you 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. All of these features combined, plus the 2012 Sonic’s modern and stylish exterior, make us wonder why you are still reading this and not picking one up now… Or are we talking to ourselves here?
Click below to read the official press release from GM. Full story
At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari unveiled the Vettura Laboratorio HY-KERS - the company’s first attempt to create a hybrid vehicle. Now in an interview with Autocar, Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa has confirmed that the Italian company is working on a V12 hybrid engine that will most likely make its debut in the upcoming Enzo. This hybrid engine comes as a followup to the V12 used in the new F12 Berlinetta, which Ferrari has called “the first in a new generation of V12s.”
"We will roll out new technology that is there first and foremost to introduce a green factor to our cars and ensure that we can keep our product where it is in terms of CO2."
According to Amedeo Felisa, this system won’t just be used to increase the total output, but will be a good way to save energy. The company’s new technology is expensive at the moment, but Ferrari hopes it will find a solution to reduce costs in the near future and use it for all Ferrari models.
"I’m not saying when, but it is possible that this technology will be on all Ferraris. It has been designed to fit all our future architecture, and if we go ahead it will be fitted as standard. It is not the sort of thing you offer as an option."
You know how some people have eclectic tastes when it comes to colors? Well, this video will show you somebody who seemed to think that a combination of a matte black exterior paint finish and a pink interior was a good idea.
But just like anybody that has enough money to buy an Italian supercar like the Lamborghini Gallardo, they can pretty much do whatever they want with it - even if the interior does pose a little bit of an eyesore for us.
At the end of the day, all the fancy colors and what-have-yous are all irrelevant compared to what’s truly important on a Gallardo: the guttural noise of that 6.5-liter V10 engine that produces in excess of 650 horsepower.
Check out the video and see if you’re digging the matte black-and-pink color combination. Some folks might like it, while others might cringe. But hey, at least it’s going to get some serious attention wherever it goes, right?
CFC StylingStation, based in Neuss, Germany, has once again offered a tuning package for the Volkswagen Golf VI GTI. The once vinyl body specialists branched out in 2010 and tried their tuning skills on the 2010 Volkswagen Golf GTI, and now they’ve outdone themselves with the 2012 Volkswagen Golf GTI package. They call the finished product the Leitgolf. For 22,900 Euro, or about $30,000 USD, CFC StylingStation will not only upgrade the performance, but will also totally change the look of your 2012 Golf GTI.
After adding a Kerscher front bumper and widening the fenders by 2.5 cm, CFC gets to their area of expertise and wraps the body with matte grey vinyl. The Leitgolf’s roof gets high gloss carbon fiber vinyl, while the emblems, passenger’s side front fender, fuel door, and the inner part of the front bumper grille get covered with an awesome looking comic book style collage that CFC calls "Sticker Bombing." Vinyl lettering on the rear passenger glass simply reads "I Love Haters." CFC then adds a carbon fiber kit that includes a front lip spoiler, side sills, mirror caps, rear diffuser, and an engine cover.
Hit the jump for more details on the Volkswagen Golf VI GTI "Leitgolf" by CFC StylingStation. Full story
This 14-minute documentary features the Pagani Huayra and the companies that helped make it the beautiful combination of art and technology it has become. The video explores the Huayra’s air and wind inspired carbon fiber and titanium body design, the hand-built 6.0L twin-turbo AMG V12, the hand-assembled MHG custom tuned exhaust, the tailor-made Dani Group leather interior, and the 1000 components that are made by ASPA, including the Huayra emblem that is cut from a solid block of aluminum in a 24-hour process.
The Huayra is built with what are most likely the highest standards in the industry. Every part of this car is produced to utter perfection. Perhaps the most beautiful piece of technology on the Huayra is the active aerodynamics system: The car’s computer system monitors its behavior, and aerodynamic surfaces on all four corners of the car adjust accordingly, with the back two surfaces even acting as emergency brakes to assist the lightweight Brembos at high speed. This is not just a supercar; it is the supercar that the Ferrari F12berlinetta and Lamborghini Aventador dream about at night.
The Pagani Huayra’s V12 engine makes 700hp and 740lb-ft. of torque. The 2,970 lb. supercar is capable of hitting 230 mph, though Pagani Automobili focuses more on dynamic driving than top speed. The Huayra was supposed to hit the U.S. market this year, but the NHTSA forced a delay by blocking U.S. sales until advanced airbag systems are installed in every car. Pagani argued that implementing the advanced airbags would cost millions, but ultimately decided to spend the extra production money. The safer Pagani Huayra will likely go on sale in America in 2013 and is expected to cost a cool $1.4 million.
Let us know what you think of this amazing work of art in the comments below.
We already know that Chevrolet has started the working on the next generation Camaro, but today, Al Oppenheiser, Camaro’s Chief Engineer, is offering up new details on the car that is due in the fall of 2015. According to him, the new Camaro will get a choice of smaller engines and will most likely be lighter compared to the current generation, but the company will try to keep its design untouched.
"We always get hammered for mass, and that’s not going to be getting easier going forward. Displacement, number of cylinders, all of these things you need to think about."
The timing for this new Camaro shouldn’t be at all surprising considering Ford is already preparing a facelift Mustang for 2015 with an exterior update and either a turbocharged V6 or even a turbo 4-cylinder. Chevrolet’s target will be to stay as successful as they currently are: "We always have to stay fresh and ahead. [But] we do not want to lose the fact that we have nearly 40 percent of the market."
The Q5 is about to receive an update, just like all of the other models in the Audi line-up, and that new facelift version of the SUV has been caught testing yet again during these fierce winter conditions. The prototype now has a white exterior paint finish, but our spy photographers were also able to get close enough to take a picture of the interior for the first time. The interior is fully covered which can only mean that it will get a major refresh.
As far as the exterior is concerned, the Audi Q5 facelift will receive a new hexagon grille and added chrome around the air intakes in the front bumper, even though they are black on this prototype. Changes to the technical parts of the SUV will include new electromechanical steering, new damper settings, and a revised rear suspension.
The current Q5 is only being offered with one gasoline engine and two TDI units, but expect to see a few more changes under the hood when the facelift arrives on the market in 2013.