Justin Cupler is the editor in chief of these TopSpeed.com pages, and he’s been a member of the team since 2012. Justin’s love for cars started back when he was just five years old, helping his dad work on his 1957 Chevy Bell Air and then his 1966 Chevelle SS. Justin’s love for car’s became a career when he began working on cars in the mid-2000s, then he moved into repair shop management shortly after.
After growing tired of fixing other peoples’ car problems, Justin earned a certificate in radio and television broadcasting, and dove into the world of talk radio and television. Following a short stint in radio, he then moved into the print journalism, and began writing for various automotive sites, including Cars Direct, Internet Auto Guides, Ebay Motors, and many more.
Justin loves his family first, but second in line is his 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 that he aiming to crest the 300-horsepower mark with. It’s a little rough right now, but we call that "character."
Next week we’ll have two major auto shows that most of you likely already know about: one in Los Angeles and one in Tokyo, Japan. There is, however, a smaller show that is coming up in China, and that it the 2013 Guangzhou Motor Show . Despite its relatively small size, Lexus has chosen this show to debut the updated Lexus CT 200h .
With just a few days before its official debut, which occurs on November 21st, Lexus has unveiled the first details and a few images of the revised hybrid hatchback.
According to Lexus, the2014 CT 200h will adopt the signature Lexus spindle grille, newly designed alloy wheels and a revised rear appearance with a "more horizontal structure."
Lexus didn’t give up any of the details on its powertrain, but we expect to see the same hybrid system, with the possibility of a few more horsepower and some fuel consumption improvements. This means you can expect to see a 1.8-liter gasoline-powered four-pot with a pair of electric motors that combine to put down 134 horsepower at least.
Updated 11/29/2013: Lexus announced prices for the 2014 CT 200h, which will go on sale in late January or early February 2014. Prices will start from the same $32,050 as the 2013 model, plus processing and handling fee of $910.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus CT 200h and to see a side-by-side comparison of the 2013 and 2014 models.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the TopSpeed readers, we hope that your Turkey Day is off to a great start. We all know the importance of Thanksgiving here in the U.S., but this day is also a very special one for the automobile racing industry.
On this day, 118 years ago — in 1895 for those that don’t have a calculator handy — America’s first ever automotive race , the Chicago Times-Herald Race, took place. It was a 54-mile journey from Jackson Park in Chicago to Evanston, IL and back, and it included just six cars at the starting line — two electric cars and three gasoline-powered cars.
Only four of the cars actually finished, and the highest top speed during the race was a sluggish 7.5 mph. The winner, Frank Duryea, managed to complete the icy course in nine hours, netting a $5,000 prize in the process (about $140,000 by today’s dollar value), and the second-place finisher took another two hours to reach the start-finish marker, which was a boulder near the Museum of Science and Industry.
This rock is now legendary in the automotive racing industry, as it marks the beginning of one of the biggest industries in America. Each and every year, a group of 100, or so, exotic cars and motorcycles make their way to "The Rock" on Thanksgiving day to celebrate the race (weather permitting). And this year is no different. The celebration typically kicks off around 9 a.m.
So, if you have some extra time between cooking and stuffing your face with Turkey, you should swing by and check out some of the cars and see the most famous rock in racing history! For those that don’t know, "The Rock" is southwest of the Museum of Science and Industry. Simply take the Museum exit on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and look for the line cars; you can’t miss it.
Check out a map of the original race after the jump.
We’re pretty sure that most of you have heard, or maybe even said, "man, I would give my left nut to get that car." We are also pretty sure that anyone who has uttered those words would likely back off of them when the opportunity presented itself. Well, we found one man that took someone up on the offer... sort of.
Enter in Mark Parisi, the man that essentially sold his testicle to buy his dream car, a Nissan 370Z . He announced on CBS’s show The Doctors that his testicle will go to medical science research and that his reward for the donation was a cool 35k. Just enough to buy the 370Z that he so dearly desired.
We don’t know about you, but selling off one-third of your manhood for a $35,000 Nissan seems a little crazy, but that’s just our opinion. Now, we may have a tougher debate if said manhood removal would net us a Ferrari LaFerrari or a Porsche 918 Spyder . We guess everyone has their price...
Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan 370Z.
With the GT270, BBR focused most of its attention on upgrading the engine. For this, the tuner added a turbocharger, an upgraded exhaust manifold, an intercooler, and an ECU calibration. As a result the engine now delivers a mighty 268 horsepower at 7,350 rpm — a 110-horsepower bump over the standard 2.0-liter Sport Tech model. Torque also jumped to 200 pound-feet available — an 88 pound-feet boost — from 3,000 rpm to 7,000 rpm. As a result of the added power, the MX-5 now sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds and hits a top speed of 150 mph.
The ECU tune also includes three driving modes. In Mode One offers up fast response from the throttle in road driving; Mode Two adds a launch-control system set at 3,800 rpm, automatic throttle lip and full-throttle gearshifts; Mode Three is an economy mode; and Mode Four is a valet mode that limits the engine speed to 3,500 rpm, so valets can’t go all Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on your MX-5.
This 268 horsepower makes the GT270 is the most powerful MX-5 built to date by this well-known tuner. With this comes the need for an updated driveline, so BBR added in an Exedy clutch for extra bite.
In order to handle the extra power, buyers can also equip the MX-5 GT270 with an optional performance suspension upgrade offered by Koni. This new suspension system includes adjustable dampers and new lowering springs that will bring the tiny roadster closer to the ground and increase its ability to handle the twisty stuff.
Also available for an extra fee is an optional performance brake system that features EBC Yellow Stuff pads, stainless-steel brake lines and Castrol SRF brake fluid.
A third optional upgrade is a 2.5-inch-diameter stainless-steel exhaust system with sports catalyst. This exhaust system allows the engine to exhale more effectively, which bumps its out put to 302 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to get the Miata to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and up to 165 mph by our estimations.
The BBR MX-5 GT270 is limited to only 100 units, and will be priced from £29,995 - or about $48,500 at the current exchange rates.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 GT270 by BBR.
Once Wintertime falls upon us sports car owners, we typically park our babies in the garage for the season to avoid slipping and sliding all over the place in the snow and ice. Well, Goodyear has released a tire that helps eliminate slipping and sliding and is sized just right to fit your sports sedan and coupe.
Enter in the all-new Goodyear Ultra Grip 8, which is available in 11 popular sports sedan and coupe sizes, including ones that fit the Audi A6 , Cadillac CTS , BMW 3 Series and many more. These tires feature a saw-shaped center section to help plow the snow out of the way when braking and variable-edged angle to grip firmly in the remaining snow and ice under the tire. Additionally, the Ultra Grip 8 features a directional pattern that helps usher water away after the snow melts.
Another common complaint about sports cars in the Wintertime is the fact that the tires never properly warm up, leaving the sidewalls and tread stiffer than normal, which lowers ride quality and reduces handling capabilities. Well, Goodyear solves this with its special blend of polymers and silica to keep the rubber compound soft and tacky, even in very cold conditions, so you can enjoy the twisties below freezing without drastically reducing handling capabilities.
We’ll get a full review on the all-new Goodyear Ultra Grip 8’s as soon as possible, but like all Goodyear tires, we expect them to live up to the hype.
The first rumors about a new Maserati sedan placed under the current Quattroporte appeared at the beginning of 2010, but after a couple of months of heating up the air waves, the new car fell by the wayside while everyone made room for the new Audis, Ferrari s, and such. Now, with just two weeks before the car’s official debut in Shanghai, Maserati has dropped the first details on its latest addition to the lineup.
Based on the same platform as the new generation Quattroporte , the new Ghibli sedan features a sportier character when compared to its big brother. Also, unlike previous rumors, for the new Ghibli, Maserati will only use two V-6 engines, while the V-8 engine used in the Quattroporte won’t be used.
Maserati revealed nothing on the car’s price just yet, but considering the new Ghibli will play a significant role in Maserati’s growth plan to sell 50,000 cars per year, we expect the price to be kept somewhere in the $70k area.
UPDATE 07/26/13: Maserati unveiled a series of new high res images for its latest sedan: Ghibli. Check out the picture gallery to see them all.
UPDATE 09/30/13: Maserati unveiled a new video featuring the new Ghibli tested inside the climatic wind tunnel in which unusual weather conditions are recreated: it can go from temperatures close to -30°C to more than 60°C.
Updated 11/22/2013: The Maserati Ghibli made its North American debut at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, and it will hit showrooms in early 2014 at a starting price of $65,600. This will surely help Maserati boost its sales to 50,000 cars annually by 2015. (Car and Driver)
Hit the jump to read more about the future Maserati Ghibili.
America’s original pony car will be turning 50 in the next few years, andFord is celebrating the monumental birthday by taking its maiden voyage overseas. The 2015 Ford Mustang will find its way into right-hand-drive markets, such as England, Japan and Australia. Moreover, for the first time in the Mustang’s history, England and Australia studios will aid in the design of the new-generation muscle car. Add that to the fact that the 2015 Mustang will receive independent rear suspension for the first time ever, with exception of the Cobra version a decade ago, and the Mustang suddenly becomes a hot topic among enthusiasts.
With such dramatic changes in the geographical availability of the Mustang, as well as the move away from the cheaper live axle, not much else has to change in order for this new-generation Mustang to find its new niche in the 2015 model year. That being said, expect the updated muscle car to get a radical redesign while still staying true to its overall look and style.
The 2015 Ford Mustang will debut on December 5th, 2013, but Ford did not announce the venue.
Updated 11/19/2013: Ford revealed, in a rather sneaky way, on the Mustang YouTube channel that it will unveil the sixth-generation Mustang on December 5th, 2013.
Updated 11/22/2013: Ford has officially confirmed the 2015 Mustang’s unveiling on December 5th, via a short statement. It will be unveiled on the 5th at 12:01 a.m. in six cities around the world: Dearborn, MI; New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Barcelona, Spain, Shanghai, China; and Sydney, Australia. Ford will also release one teaser videos of the new Mustang on its Instagram page per day for the 15 days leading up to its reveal. Ford also revealed a teaser image that you can see after the jump.
More details on the 2015 Ford Mustang after the jump.
When Nissan unveiled the new Juke Nismo , it also announced that it was simply the tip of the iceberg for the new Nismo family. We have already seen the GT-R Nismo that followed it, and now a new Sentra Nismo Concept. This concept is on display next to the GT-R Nismo at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show , and we have big hopes to see it put into production.
The concept features the usual Nismo elements, like the more powerful engine, the aerodynamic kit, tuned suspensions and a high performance braking system, red accents all over and, of course, a sporty interior.
The Sentra Nismo Concept rocks a Bright Pearl White exterior paint combined with a carbon fiber pattern on numerous exterior elements and the staple Nismo red line on the front spoiler lip, the side skirts, the rear spoiler and the exterior mirrors.
Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan Sentra NISMO Concept.
Remember when Porsche released the Cayenne ? Remember all the people in their Porsche owners club shirts sitting around and telling you about how this new SUV was a disgrace to the Porsche logo and that all the company should design and produce are 911 variants? Well, the Cayenne turned out to be a real success, so the company decided to further expand its SUV lineup with the addition of a new model placed under the Cayenne.
After being tested for a very long time, the new Macan finally made its world debut today at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Initially the model was rumored to be called "Cajun," but Porsche opted for "Macan" - a name coming from the Indonesian word for tiger. This means that the new model will be "powerful and ready to pounce at any time, yet light-footed and tenacious on off-road terrain."
On the U.S. market Porsche will only offer the Macan S and the Macan Turbo versions, with prices starting from $49,900, but Europeans will also enjoy a diesel version.
Updated 11/20/2013: This review was updated with the official details, images and specs.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Porsche Macan.
The Lexus RC has been one of the most hotly anticipated reveals by the Japanese automaker in recent years, and we finally got to see it at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show . Let us tell you, it certainly did not disappoint.
At the Tokyo show, Lexus actually revealed both the gasoline and hybrid versions of the RC, and as no surprise, it adopted a design language similar to what we have seen with the recently unveiled IS Sedan , but taken to a sportier level and sans the two rear doors.
The new RC is defined by aggressively contoured lines, the trademark Lexus spindle grille, the usual triangular headlamps and a cockpit specially designed for optimal driver and passenger enjoyment.
Since Lexus already trademarked the "RC F" name, we expect Lexus to reveal the RC F a few months after the standard version, most likely at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show .
Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus RC.