Opinion

Models

view grid view horizontal compact blog view
Yamaha OX99-11: The Formula One Powered Supecar Designed by a Motorcycle Manufacturer

Yamaha OX99-11: The Formula One Powered Supecar Designed by a Motorcycle Manufacturer

This is Yamaha’s 1990s V-12 formula one-inspired supercar that never made it

Yamaha is a company mostly associated with motorcycles and musical instruments. There are also the occasional collaborations between Yamaha and certain carmakers – mostly (but not limited to) Toyota – where they design engines for high-performance vehicles. Some more notable examples are the Toyota 2000GT, Ford Taurus SHO, Lexus LFA, and others. What many don’t know, however, is that in the 1990s, Yamaha decided to build a car of its own. It was called the OX99-11 and although it ultimately failed, there are many interesting facts about this weird-looking supercar, which we are now sharing with you.

Read more
2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 Wagon - Driven

2021 Mercedes-Benz E450 Wagon - Driven

Why buy an SUV when you can have an amazing and sporty wagon instead?

Being on the market since 2017, it might seem logical to glance over the Mercedes E-Class until a new-gen model arrives in a few years. That actually couldn’t be further from the truth because the E-Class lineup was refreshed for 2021 with new technology, and updated appearance, and a more efficient powertrain. We’ve been itching to see how the new E-Class stands after its most recent refresh, so Mercedes let us spend a week with the E450 Wagon. It didn’t take long for us to realize that the fifth-gen E-Class has aged well, and in fact, we’d take the E450 Wagon over most SUVs – how’s that for a plot twist?

Read more
2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven

2021 Ram 1500 TRX - Driven

The Ram 1500 TRX can pamper you with its luxurious interior and make you wet your pants with its brutal on- and off-road performance at the same time

For very many years, the Ford F-150 Raptor was the only off-road standalone model you could get straight from the factory. Ram, however, decided to come up with a rival for it and announced its intention by coming up with a concept performance off-road truck in 2016 called the TRX. Pretty much everything we saw there made it to the production version as well.

Fast forward to 2020, Ram launched the TRX as a Raptor-killer by upping the ante in almost every single department. The TRX was introduced with a supercharged V-8 that makes over 700 horses, impressive off-road equipment and specs, and an uber-premium cabin. Given all the bells and whistles Ram offered, there was no way this was going to be an inexpensive truck. Ram priced it at $69,000 at launch in the ‘base’ form. At that time, it was clearly positioned above the Raptor as they both had a significant price difference.

While this is a truck that you definitely want, is this a truck that you actually need? A white 2021 Ram TRX arrived at TopSpeed and we find out the answer to that.

Read more
2021 Kia K5 GT-Line - Driven

2021 Kia K5 GT-Line - Driven

When opting for the AWD model might not be the best move - unless you actually need AWD

After two decades and four generations in U.S., Kia has decided to globally rebrand the Optima as the K5 – a name it had be using for the Optima in the Korean market since 2010. With the name change came a much sportier exterior, a simple yet attractive interior, and a pair of engines that split the difference between great fuel economy and great performance – you can have one or the other. In early 2021, we had the opportunity to spend a week with the more economical K5 with a 1.6-liter inline-four that was good for 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Fast forward a few months, and Kia graced us with the K5 GT-Line AWD, which comes at a $1,600 premium over the FWD model plus a few extra standard goodies, including a special “Snow Mode.” Is it necessary to have a K5 with AWD, though?

Read more
Toyota Still Makes This Nearly Four-Decade Old Land Cruiser, and we Never Got One

Toyota Still Makes This Nearly Four-Decade Old Land Cruiser, and we Never Got One

Nearly 40 years old, and still in production, the Land Cruiser 70 Series never landed on U.S. soil - Here’s why.

In an age where every other SUV is either going electric or is looking to conquer the Nordschleife, here is something refreshing. This is a basic, bare-bones rugged off-roader. Behold, the 70-Series Toyota Land Cruiser, which believe it or not, you can still buy as a brand new vehicle in some parts of the world in 2021.

Read more
How The 1995 Alfa Romeo Castagna Vittoria Resurrected And Old Coachbuilding Name

How The 1995 Alfa Romeo Castagna Vittoria Resurrected And Old Coachbuilding Name

This Weird Looking Alfa Romeo Resurrected the Castagna Coachbuilding Name

Many would argue that aesthetics would outlive everything. All cars eventually become old and obsolete in terms of technical specs, except high-achievers, such as the McLaren F1 or Bugatti Chiron SS. The point is, eventually, aesthetics become the main definitive characteristic for most cars, and this is what people will remember. Some cars, however, are just weird, like the Alfa Romeo SZ/RZ we recently covered. then you’ve got cars like the Castagna Vittoria, which is named after the synonymous coachbuilder from Milan, that is just as weird and even more obscure.

Read more
Here's Why the Porsche 996 was the Best Porsche 911 When it Came Out

Here’s Why the Porsche 996 was the Best Porsche 911 When it Came Out

The Porsche 996 gets a lot of hate, but there are a lot of good things about it

The Porsche 911 is a car that doesn’t need an introduction. Since 1964, the rear-engine sports car from Stuttgart has set the benchmark for performance cars around the globe. That said, every family has a black sheep, and sadly, the 996 generation of the Porsche 911 has been branded as one. According to many, it was a deviation from Porsche’s traditional way of doing things, but we are here to tell you that the 996 was, in fact, superior to all its predecessors when it came out - here’s why.

Read more
2022 Kia Carnival - Driven

2022 Kia Carnival - Driven

This is the Sedona with a new name, imported directly from South Korea

The Kia Carnival name might sound new to you, but Kia has been using it for this exact minivan in various markets since its introduction since 1998. Up until this point, you’ve known it as the Kia Sedona, but with the transition into the fourth-generation – which has been on sale in South Korea since September 2020 and in parts of Europe as of March of 2021. It will hit the North American market in July of 2021, but we managed to get behind the wheel of the new Carnival beforehand. This is what you need to know about the 2022 Kia Carnival.

Read more
10 Things the Ferrari Purosangue Needs to Take on the Competition

10 Things the Ferrari Purosangue Needs to Take on the Competition

It Is Not An SUV, But It Is A Ferrari Utility Vehicle

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.”

OK? OK!

Read more
2021 Nissan Versa - Driven

2021 Nissan Versa - Driven

Is Nissan’s mini sedan still a good option despite the continuous decrease in sales year over year?

The current N18, third-generation Nissan Versa was released in 2019 among falling sales in a dying segment. Featuring Nissan’s latest design language, revised technology, and better materials, but it’s still one of the last few remaining subcompact sedans on the market, and the lack of interest is so obvious it hurts. In 2019, Nissan sold 66,596 Versas in the U.S., 2,369 in Canada, and 88,707 in Mexico, while the 2020 model year saw those numbers drop to 48,273, 125, and 68,013, respectively. That leaves us to wonder: Is there something inheritantly wrong with the Nissan Versa’s recipe, or are falling sales just the result of the COVID pandemic and a general lack of public interest in small sedans? We spent a week with the Nissan Versa to find out.

Read more
Tailgate Aerodynamics: Does Removing A Tailgate Really Result In Better Fuel Efficiency?

Tailgate Aerodynamics: Does Removing A Tailgate Really Result In Better Fuel Efficiency?

Removing tailgates from pickup trucks was once a trend and would apparently save you gas; but it was actually the opposite

Do you remember that trend from back in the day wherein owners removed the tailgates from their pickup trucks? While some just left it open, a few put a safety net in its place. I can’t vouch for any of them, but I’m sure the reasoning behind it was to let the air flow through the net, thus aiding aerodynamics. In return, you’d get better fuel economy and better performance. If you wondered the same, I’m sorry to burst your bubble because that’s not the case. In fact, it would have adverse effects on your performance and economy.

Read more
Toyota Celica SS III - The Forgotten Rival to the Integra Type-R

Toyota Celica SS III - The Forgotten Rival to the Integra Type-R

Why didn’t the Celica SS III get the popularity of the Integra?

JDM cars have one of the largest cult followings of all cars and for a good reason. In particular, the cars from the 1990s seem to have the most substantial fan base. That said, for one reason or another, some cars have are more iconic than others that have similar performance. When we talk about front-wheel-drive cars, one of the most iconic models is the Honda Integra Type-R. However, many have forgotten that Toyota had a similar car that has been largely overlooked – the Celica SS III – and there are many reasons why it’s as good as the Type-R.

Read more

Latest Driven Reviews:

1997 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution - An Unappreciated Dakar Raider

1997 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution - An Unappreciated Dakar Raider

The Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution is a street-legal Dakar raider that’s relatively affordable

It’s no secret that Mitsubishi is a pale shadow of its former self. Having numerous successes in rallying, the brand has switched to making bland, cheaply-made crossovers and compact cars. Although Mitsubishi currently finds itself in a state of survival (they put the Eclipse name on a crossover), things were quite different in the 1990s. Not long ago, we talked about the 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse Ralliart, which was essentially the two-door “EVO” everyone wanted but never got. But long before it, there was this – the short-wheelbase-only Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution. And there’s a lot to say about it.

Read more
2021 Kia Sorento - Driven

2021 Kia Sorento - Driven

The 2021 Sorento comes with a bold exterior, plush interior, and a set of new engine options including a highly-efficient plug-in hybrid

The 2021 model year marks the fourth generation of the Kia Sorento. The previous generations were soft, curvy, and rounded, but the 2021 model is boxy, sexy, and a lot sharper. The company has pinned the SUV on a new platform, and has introduced new hybrid and plug-in hybrid engine options. The cabin feels fresh, more spacious, and can be had with captain chairs in the second row. All in all, the family SUV is a huge improvement over the outgoing model. The 2021 Kia Sorento recently arrived at TopSpeed headquarters and we have to say, it is pretty darn impressive.

Read more
Pickup Truck Tailgate War: Which Automaker Offers The Best Tailgate?

Pickup Truck Tailgate War: Which Automaker Offers The Best Tailgate?

While Ram and GM offer tailgates that can do all sorts of tricks, Ford is still stuck with a conventional tailgate, but with job-site functionality

Trucks are the best-selling products for most automakers who have pickups in their arsenal. The competition between the three American truckmakers – Ford, GM (Chevy and GMC), and Ram – is cutthroat and they are constantly finding ways to innovate. A few years back, they decided to do something about the tailgate and make them more functional and versatile. And, the result of this was more than just a piece of metal that opens and closes and safeguards the cargo kept in the bed.

The creative folks at Ram came up with the Multifunction Tailgate and the brains at GM came up with a MultiPro tailgate. Ford, despite being the best-selling truck brand for decades, is yet to catch up on this trend. But, it has made some tweaks and additions to its power tailgate. So, which one is the best?

Read more