McLaren Unveils Speedtail Prototype, Names It "Albert"
Some 25 years after the McLaren F1 burst into the scene, it’s one true successor, the McLaren Speedtail has finally arrived. Ok, so the production Speedway isn’t here yet, but McLaren has unveiled the first hybrid powertrain prototype of the Speedtail, complete with an actual name that pays homage to the same street in which its predecessor, the F1, was conceived. The Speedtail prototype will no longer use its “MVY02” internal designation. Instead, we should all get used to calling it “Albert.”
Hot hatches have a major problem on their hands. Perhaps one they will not be able to overcome. Ever. This is the plot:
You are in your late twenties or early thirties, and you want something mad, rowdy, and catchy for yourself, but, as usual, the budget is a bit tight. A hot hatch seems to be the perfect fit for your dream Sunday morning stint in the mountains (or the occasional illegal drag race in the middle of the night down in Mexico.) A lot of “hothatchness” now resides in the 300 horsepower range, can hit 60 mph in low 5 sec (some even quicker) and have features with strange names like torque vectoring, damper control, dual-axis struts, and titanium exhausts.
You’ll buy one and be happy for a short while. However, after you actually find out that you simply do not have the time to visit twisties in the mountains (or will ever go down to Mexico, for that matter,) a strange thing will happen. The Audi SQ5 diesel SUV with a mildly reprogrammed ECU will line up next to you. Behind its wheel sits a middle-aged man with a smirk on his face, eager to impress whoever sits next to him. Your hatch and your heart are ready to rumble.
Launch control on, sweaty palms on the steering wheel, and eyes on the traffic light.
The black diesel SQ5 TDI SUV will smoke you, literally and figuratively. You’ll try to reason with the situation driving in your hot hatch with massive exhausts, shouty spoilers, and red paint job, but deep down you will have one thought, and one thought only - “WTF am I doing with my life?”
Do you not think this is a problem? Just take a look at how many overpowered SUVs are sold every year!
Now, this may not be the only reason why hot hatches are going overboard with power, technology, and, ultimately, price, but it is a part of it. Apart from being fast, they need to be cool or incredible in some [expensive] way and offer something more than just being fast.
These are all hot hatches with engines developing 300 horsepower or more. They were all made to liven up your life before someone with an SQ5, or its likeness takes it away from you in 5 seconds. Or less.
10 Things the Ferrari Purosangue Needs to Take on the Competition
Ferrari will build an SUV. I am not joking, the company made an announcement. It will be called the Ferrari Purosangue. That’s the official name of the Ferrari SUV. Ok, Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri implicitly said that he does not want to hear “that word” in the same sentence with the word Ferrari. “That word” being SUV. Ok, Camilleri, I will not do it. Ever. The new Ferrari... truck… will be the most amazing piece of technology ever attempted with the “that word” layout. Luckily, we do know a thing or two about the new Purosangue.
Digression: Is the word crossover any better? Maybe, but I feel it sounds too soft for the status of a Ferrari. The Honda CR-V is a crossover for crying out loud.
The new Purosangue may take a layout similar to what we have been accustomed to with the onslaught of performance SUVs, yet the Italians promised to make it a proper thoroughbred. Incidentally (not really), Purosangue translated from Italian actually means thoroughbred. Is it just me, or the name Ferrari Thoroughbred (in English) wouldn’t sound bad at all? We have a Superfast and we like it, don’t we? Enough with the strange ideas. Purosangue it is.
Christopher Smith of Motor1 explained how to pronounce it:
“PUR-o-SAN-gue. There are four syllables, with emphasis on PUR and SAN. Phonetically speaking, start with PUR, as in a cat purring. From there just say a soft O as in oh, then SAN with a long A sound like saahn, and finish with GUE, which sounds like way but starting with a g – gway. PURR - oh - SAAHN - gway. See? It’s totally easy.”
2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125
Indoctrination is best started young, and Kawasaki shows that it agrees with that assertion with its new-for-2019 Ninja 125 targeting the youngest riders within the tiered licensing system favored by much of the EU and UK. The A1 bracket’s restrictions are fairly severe, and it takes a special machine to balance the limited performance requirements against what it takes to make something actually fun to ride. Kawi’s littlest Ninja brings the right blend of small-bike power and big-bike handling to the table to fit that bill, so today I want to check out this exciting new ride and see how it stacks up against the competition from some of the other big four.
Continue reading for my review of the Kawasaki Ninja 125.
2018 Volkswagen California 30 Years Special Edition
Volkswagen celebrates the 30th anniversary of its sun-chasing California campervan with a special edition model of which only 999 examples will be built with a choice of three engines. The 30th anniversary Californias will be priced at $83,570 in the U.K.
Originally, Westfalia was the company that converted a variety of Volkswagen vans for use as mobile campers - which were known as VW Californias. This tradition dates back to 1988, but it all ceased in 2001 when Westfalia was bought by Daimler-Chrysler. From that point on, Volkswagen manufactured their own campervans with help from the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles arm.
Watch the 2019 Ford Focus ST-Line Make a Top Speed Run on the Autobahn
Most of the autobahn top speed runs we’ve seen over the years usually involve a high-powered German sedan with its governor disabled. This time, we’ve got something a little different. Ever wonder what it’s like to push the new Ford Focus ST-Line to its limits? Now’s your chance to find out, with this point-of-view take from AutoTopNL.
Listen to the 2019 McLaren Speedtail Purr as It’s Moved Out of McLaren’s HQ
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been falling over backwards to get a handle on McLaren’s latest über speed machine, also known as the Speedtail. Now we’ve got some footage in hand of the Speedtail idling and rolling around at McLaren’s headquarters, giving us an in-motion view of the hypercar and an ear-full of its burbling exhaust at idle.
Hyundai Palisade Leaked Ahead of L.A. Debut
Fuel efficiency may not be the prime concern when looking to purchase a sports car, but these days the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Long gone are the days when you had to sacrifice pretty much everything in order to drive a fun car that put a smile on your face - these days you can have your sporty cake and also eat it, and these are the cars you can do it in. All models below blend twisty road enjoyment with some manner of fuel-sipping tech on top of their improved practicality and day-to-day usability compared to equivalent models of decades past.decades past.
2020 Toyota Corolla Sedan Will Debut This Week
The sedan version of the new Toyota Corolla will officially debut this Thursday, November 15, according to a tweet from the Japanese automaker’s American account. Unveiled in hatchback form at the 2018 New York Auto Show, the four-door Corolla will make its first public appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 30.
2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series
Introduced in 2014, the Mercedes-AMG GT is no longer the company’s flagship sports car, but a full lineup of vehicles. In three years, AMG not only developed a Roadster but also launched a higher performance coupe and a beefed-up convertible too. Oh, and it also created two different race cars based on the GT. In all, the AMG GT includes seven members, which is darn impressive. But Mercedes-AMG won’t stop here. Although rumors of a Black Series model have yet to be confirmed, recent spy shots suggest that such a version is indeed underway. And we might just see it in the metal in early 2019.
With the GT R in showrooms, a Black Series model might not make much sense, but Mercedes has plenty of room to either slot it between the GT S and GT R or place it above everything else as a range-topping model. The latter scenario is more likely, so we could get an AMG GT with close to 600 horsepower and built in a very limited run. We should find out more later this year, so make sure you stick around for updates. Meanwhile, have a look at my speculative review below.
Updated 11/12/2018: Our spy photographers caught the beefed-up GT R testing on public roads again! Check out the photos in the gallery section.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.
1960 Jaguar XK 150 S 3.8 Drophead Coupe
The Jaguar XK 150 was the final evolution of the original XK launched in 1949 and, as such, it was the most refined and the most powerful of them all. The S version came with a 3.8-liter engine from the Mark IX that developed 265-horsepower, impressive for the year 1960.
Just like its predecessor, the XK 140, the XK 150 was larger than the original XK 120, but it received some aesthetic improvements to make it look more modern. It originally came with the 3.4-liter DOHC inline-6 XK engine which developed 182 horsepower thanks to the updated cylinder head. The first XK 150s were sold in FHC (fixed-head coupe) specification with the drophead coupes arriving in 1958.
The XK 150 was kept in production until the end of 1960 when the final XK 150s were built for the 1961 model year. The following March, the E-Type was announced, and we all know how that went. But the appearance of the E-Type does not diminish the importance of the XK 120, and its XK 140 and XK 150 brethren, and the fact that now there’s an increasing market for these lush sports tourers.
2020 BMW 3 Series Touring
The current BMW 3 Series, otherwise known as the F30, is up for replacement this year, giving way to the upcoming seventh-generation model. Also known as the G20, the fresh Bimmer ‘3 is expected to appear in full production form at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, and with it, a selection of body styles and powertrain configurations will follow. Chief among these will be the Touring model, otherwise known as the “estate” body style. Over here in the U.S., we know it as the Sports Wagon. The new 2020 3 Series Touring was recently spied out and about, undergoing testing in real-world conditions to shake down any possible problems ahead of its debut, so read on for our full speculative review.
Update 11.12.2018 - Our paparazzi spotted the German wagon on a trailer with less camouflage than usual. Check it out in the gallery section.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 BMW 3 Series Touring.
Is this Proof that Cadillac Is Making a Mid-Engined Sports Car?
It’s no longer a mystery that GM is working on a mid-engined Chevrolet Corvette. The sports car has been spotted testing numerous times, we’ve seen sketches of the interior, plans of the engine, and even leaked pricing information. But General Motors may be hiding a vehicle based on the upcoming C8-generation Corvette: a mid-engined Cadillac.
Best Used Off-Road SUVs 2016
SUVs have played a dominant part in the industry. SUVs help you conquer places no other vehicle can. More or less, every segment in the auto industry has seen a make-shift revolution except SUVs. They’re still rugged, butch, and intimidating as ever. In fact, these beautiful monsters age gracefully and are known for their longevity and reliability. See the Landcruiser for example; or even the 4Runner. They’ve been around for decades and are still selling strong. Here is a list of 5 ultimate, off-road SUVs of 2016:
ve supercars, with a total power output of 5.415 horsepower, are here. I am sure that you simply do not know enough about them. Modern supercars and hypercars you have probably never heard of are quite numerous actually. Apart from these, I could have also listed the Rezvani Beast, the Trion Nemesis RR, the Apollo Arrow, the Arash AF10, the Devel Sixteen, and the Arrinera Hussarya, among others. But what is the point as many of these will simply cease to exist as time plays its dirty game and erases them from history. Yet, the five I chose may stick around a bit longer than expected.
Subaru Might Be Planning a Return to WRC With New Hot Hatch
Subaru is one of the most revered names in rallying history and, along with archrival Mitsubishi, has been absent from top-level WRC competition for a decade. Now, however, Japanese sources point to a possible resurgence of the Subaru WRC program.
Subaru built its reputation in rallying over a relatively short period of time. the Subaru World Rally Team was formed in 1989 and was active for less than two decades from that point on. But, in those two decades, Subaru put forth some of the most amazing machines ever seen on the WRC scene and promoted some of the sport’s most beloved drivers with names like Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg immediately springing to mind.
Sadly, Subaru isn’t part of the WRC anymore, although a no-limit rally car based on the Impreza has been seen competing to this day, however, it’s mainly racing in Asia and the Rally U.S.A. series, not in Europe. This is all about to change if rumors regarding a return of the Subaru World Rally Team in 2020 turn out to be legitimate.
11 New Retro-Styled Cars Available Today
Retro styling done right in the automotive world can result in a car that buyers instantly feel drawn to because they remember the original from their childhood. Granted, if done wrong, it can look really hideous and out of place, but you won’t find any of those here.
When mainstream manufacturers do it, they spend a lot of time and money to get it just right, and it really shows. Many of these retro-styled cars are bought first and foremost for the way they look, but they are actually just good cars overall. I’ve assembled the ones you can buy new right now, in the list after the jump.
My Top Concept Bike Picks From 2018 EICMA
As much fun as it is to see all the new bikes that are already slated for production and release, it’s the [concept bikes-<mot297] that really do it for me. The EICMA show presents a number of such items, so join me while I give a run-down of some of my favorites.
Continue reading for a look at my favorite concept bikes from 2018 EICMA.
5 Incredible Automotive Facts
I have five more incredible automotive facts for you. This time, we are visiting a period when car tires had one of the biggest evolutionary steps. After that, you will learn a cool fact about the Shelby GT350 and the way it actually got its name. Both of these facts, however, pale in comparison to a something very interesting about eh Bentley Mulsanne. For that, I’m talking about luxury and excessiveness. That’s it.
Well, without further ado, enjoy: