Warm Up Those Sub-Light Engines, We’re Going For A Ride – Examining The Vehicles From ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’
Can you feel it? The nerdiness is growing stronger. Every passing day brings us a little closer to the release of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ and soon, we’ll all have a juicy heap of fresh pew-pew to indulge in. But before the official release on December 15th, we’re whetting out appetites with the first trailer, which arrives chock-full of laser-filled awesomeness designed to up your midi-chlorian count to remarkable new levels. We’ve examined the two-minute teaser in-depth and picked out all the cool vehicles contained within, because like you, we’re suckers for sci-fi engineering.
In total, we saw seven types of ships and vehicles worth talking about, including old favorites, and a few previously unseen machines we can’t wait to learn more about. Like any good trailer, ‘The Last Jedi’ left us with more questions than answers, but that’s half the fun right?
The speculation is strong with this one, so read on.
Continue reading to learn more about the vehicles from the ‘The Last Jedi’ trailer.
The 8 Great of Fate – the Cars of ‘The Fate of the Furious’
It was all going so well. The crew was settling into their own routines, finally finding a little refuge from the crazy life they lived before. Then she appeared, and suddenly, the quiet life got a whole lot louder… That’s right folks, the eighth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise has arrived. And what an arrival it’s been. The movie reportedly took in $532.5 million over the weekend, making it the biggest worldwide debut ever. And what’s not to like? Explosions? Ridiculous stunts? Enough corny dialogue to fill Iowa? Check, check, and oh yeah, that’s a check. But of course, if you’re reading this on TopSpeed, then I know what you’re looking for – cars, glorious, gas-burning, flame-spitting, tire-roasting cars.
Whether they’re racing through the streets, tearing up an ice sheet, or flying through the air, we know you’re in it for the cars. Thing is, at this point, we’re taking a broad approach to that term, happily including a wide assortment of vehicles, several of which don’t even have wheels. Translation – tanks and trucks are welcome.
So with that, here are the eight big ones to look for in ‘Fate of the Furious.’ Let us know your favorites in the comments.
Continue reading to learn more about the cars of Fast & Furious 8.
The Brand-New BMW M4 CS Is a GTS without the Big Wing
Last week we saw a bunch of great cars debut at the New York Auto Show, while this week we’re going to Shanghai, China, for more new vehicles. But, while carmakers unveiled their new products in New York and Shanghai, BMW took the wraps of its latest performance car outside these auto shows. Needless to say, it’s stealing the show because this new car is the highly anticipated M4 CS.
Designed to bridge the gap between the M4 with the Competition Package and the wild M4 GTS, this Club Sport-type coupe sports a number of custom features inside and out and a tweaked inline-six engine.
On the outside, it’s heavily based on the GTS, sharing almost the same aero kit and design, sans the big rear wing. However, the limited-edition M4 comes with an exclusive front splitter made from exposed carbon-fiber and a redesigned Gurney trunk lid spoiler. It also shares the OLED taillights and the carbon-fiber-reinforced (CFRP) engine hood and roof, which pretty much makes it an M4 GTS without the wing.
Things are of the same variety inside the cabin, with the usual M4 interior complemented by race-oriented features like M sports seats trimmed in leather and Alcantara and pull loops on the door panels. The latter are made from compacted natural fibers and have a unique look.
Arguably the most important changes were operated under the hood, where the turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six engine roars to the tune of 460 horsepower. That’s 10 horses more than the M4 with the Competition Package, but 33 horses less than the M4 GTS. Hitting 60 mph with the standard dual-clutch automatic takes 3.8 seconds, a tenth-second less than the standard M4. The GTS remains the quickest at 3.7 ticks though. The top speed of the M4 CS remains locked at 174 mph, the same figure you get with the M Driver’s package. That’s 19 mph more than standard top speed of M cars, but its 15 mph below the GTS’.
The suspension of the new BMW M4 CS largely mirrors that of the M4 with the Competition Package, but the control systems for the Adaptive M suspension, DSC and Active M Differential have been modified. As a result, the M4 CS lapped the Nurburgring in 7:38 minutes, making it the second-quickest Bimmer on the ’Ring, after the M4 GTS, which is around 10 seconds quicker. The CS’ time is actually pretty impressive, making it as quick as the Lexus LFA and Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. At the same time, it’s quicker than the McLaren Mercedes SLR and the previous-generation Porsche 911 GT3.
The exclusive, limited-run, M4 CS will be priced from €116,900 in Europe. U.S. pricing and availability is not yet known.
Continue reading for the full story.
2017 6 Hours of Silverstone - Race Report
Under a firm layer of heavy dark clouds, over 25 cars flashed down through Abbey to officially begin the 2017 season of the FIA World Endurance Championship with the traditional Tourist Trophy. Toyota was viewed as the favorite by many but it proved to be a much closer contest at the sharp end, a situation that was echoed all the way down the grid in what can only be described as an exciting six hours of racing.
In the preview I laid down late last week I decided to keep my wits about me regarding Toyota’s advantage against Porsche coming to Silverstone. As I mentioned in that piece, Toyota opted to debut its high-downforce aero package while Porsche brought its Le Mans-ready, low-downforce package. With Silverstone not being anymore the super fast airfield track it once was, Toyota’s added downforce should have given the Japanese-German outfit the upper hand by a clear margin over the reigning World Champions. Qualifying showed that this could be the case but the race was a different kettle of fish.
Toyota Gazoo Racing was coming into qualifying off the heels of dominating all the way through free practice. This was to be the norm in qualifying as well, Kamui Kobayashi managing a a personal best of 1:36.793 to put the No. 7 TS050 in pole. After debutant Jose-Maria Lopez’s turn at the wheel, the car dropped to fourth, but Mike Conway brought it back to P1 thanks to a sturdy 1:37.800 that put the trio’s average at an unbeatable 1:37.304. The other TS050 was close behind, Buemi, Nakajima and Davidson sharing front row with their average of 1:37.593 that surpassed Porsche’s best average by over a second. That time was managed by the No. 1 crew while the No. 2 919 was almost half-a-second behind. If the gap between Porsche and Toyota was to be expected, less so was the huge leap down the order to find the ByKolles – the only non-hybrid P1. Yes, the Nissan-engined car was never thought to be a threat to the front-runners, but it was even beating four P2 ORECAs!
Pierre Thiriet and 2017 Sebring 12 Hours winner Alex Lynn got pole in LMP2 for G-Drive racing, their 1:44.387 average being less than a tenth quicker than that of Nicolas Liperre and Matt Rao who put Alpine on the front-row in the virtually spec secondary prototype divison. Jackie Chan DC Racing’s No. 38 ORECA was third via a 1:44:591 that was below the best that any of the two Vaillante-sponsored Rebellion crews could do.
Ford dominated GTE-Pro qualifying with Priaulx and Tincknell pleasing the home crowd with an unrivalled 1:56:202 average time between the two of them. Sam Bird and Davide Rigon were roughly eight-tenths-of-a-second behind for AF Corse in their No. 71 488 GTE. Third was the venerable Vantage of Thiim and Sorensen who partnered for a 1:57:117 average that would have been slower than that of the No. 66 Ford if Stefan Mucke wouldn’t have had his best lap deleted for exceeding track limits. As it was, Mucke and Co. started fourth in the other GT run by Chip Ganassi Racing UK. It was Porsche who found themselves lacking pace, the new mid-engined 991 GTE qualifying seventh and eight.
Portugal’s Pedro Lamy teamed up with Paul Dalla-Lana for yet another pole position in GTE-Am. This time, the No. 98 Vantage beat the Spirit of Race Ferrari and the No. 77 Proton Racing Porsche.
With the starting order now set in stone or, rather, set on the time sheets, it was all about the race. Under the watchful eyes of FIA President Jean Todt – probably reminiscing of his Peugeot days in the early ‘90s – all cars lined up for the flying start on Easter Sunday; It was an important moment for Toyota.
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2017 New York International Auto Show – Best In Show
After all the crazy awesomeness that was the Geneva Motor Show back in March, it was hard to expect that the follow-up act in New York could offer much to hold our collective attention. Thankfully, we were proved wrong thanks to a fine selection of debuts in the Big Apple, including some nice production rides, a well-executed concept, and a pair of over-the-top performance machines from FCA. Drawing a blank? No worries – we’ve got you covered with our list of the best debuts from the 2017 New York International Auto Show.
If you have been paying attention, then the first two entries on this list shouldn’t be a surprise at all. Complementing these two outrageous speed-makers is a production luxury SUV and an off-roading SUV concept, the inclusion of which shouldn’t be all that surprising either, considering the segment’s popularity in the U.S. In reserve, we’ve also got something unexpected – a brand-new production wagon.
These are our picks for the top five best debuts from New York in 2017, but we wanna know – what were your favorites? Are they listed here, or did we miss them? Let us know in the comments!
Continue reading for the best debuts from the 2017 New York International Auto Show.
2017 World Endurance Championship Season Preview
This weekend, at Silverstone, will mark the beginning of a new era for the World Endurance Championship. An era without Audi in the top-tier LMP1 category and an era with a brand-new fleet of LMP2 machinery to further compound the mix. Porsche will also debut their new mid-engined 911 in GTE-Pro - that will never see series production. If those aren’t strong enough reasons to make you want to follow the WEC in 2017, I don’t know which are.
Established in 2012 as the natural evolution of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, the World Endurance Championship in its current form is an attempt by the FIA to bring endurance racing back to the position it once occupied – right behind Formula 1, of course.
The sixth season of the World Championship is set to kick off without one of its core teams on the grid – Audi Sport Team Joest. The German manufacturer, heavily hit by the Dieselgate scandal that shook the Volkswagen Group to its core, pulled the plug on its LMP1 program after a staggering 18-year-long stint at the sharp end in sportscar racing. This leaves only Porsche and Toyota to battle it out for overall honors while the whole grid will be made up by no more than 27 cars across the four categories: LMP1, LMP2, GTE-Pro and GTE-Am.
Beyond Silverstone, we have eight other rounds to look forward to, one of which being the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans. The blue riband event is the only one to last more than six hours and is also the one that gathers the biggest crowd and the biggest grid. This weekend’s stop in the UK will be followed by the Spa-Francorchamps Six-hour race on May 6-7, then by Le Mans on June 17-18. The Six Hours of the Nurburgring is next after a month-long hiatus on July 16. An even longer break stands between the German round at the trip across the pond for the American races. First off is the Six Hours of Mexico on September 3. This is then followed by the popular Six Hours of COTA on 16 of the same month. Mid-October brings us the Japanese six-hour race at Fuji on the 15 as the final two races are slated for November. Second to last are the Six Hours of Shanghai on November 5 followed by the season-ending Six Hours of Bahrain on the 18th.
While it seems, looking over the grid size and car count per classes, that the WEC’s growth has stopped, things aren’t as bad as they seem and the future still looks bright for the world’s premier sports car endurance racing championship.
Continue reading for the full story.
Play by Play: Watch the Dodge Demon’s Debut in all its Glory
The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is a secret no more. Surely by this time you’ve read the stats and seen the incredible wheelie this drag-pack special does when launching hard off the line. If not, check out our full review here. We’re here to talk about Dodge’s big reveal – the big party that went down Tuesday night, just hours before the kickoff of the 2017 New York International Auto Show.
It started off at 8:00 p.m. with a tedious countdown. Mopar fans, along with Chevy and Ford folks, watched in anticipation for the Demon. THREE… TWO… ONE… the timer runs out and TV personality Chris Jacobs introduces Dodge’s huge display, along with the crowd of people live streaming the event from around the world. The pleasantries move along when NHRA Top Fuel Dragster Leah Pritchett joins Jacobs to banter about the Demon. Turns out, she’s not just some spokeswoman or pretty face, rather she actually helped test the Demon during its development. How cool is that?
Craig Jackson, namesake of the Barrett-Jackson car auctions, then speculates on how much the first production Challenger Demon might sell for. “It’s hard to say, but based on what the Hellcat did at $825,000, it’ll be a lot.” Jackson isn’t kidding. The Demon might indeed break auction records when it goes under the hammer sometime this fall.
Then things start rolling with a big, yellow Viper. Yeah, it’s not the Demon, but you won’t want to miss the big, smoky, tire-shredding video but out by Dodge and Pennzoil. You won’t even care it’s a marketing stunt.
Continue reading for the full run-down on Dodge’s Demon debut.
Here’s Why the Challenger Demon Isn’t as Great as it Could Be
So the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is all official now and everyone is drooling over the spec sheet. I can’t blame you for doing that. The Demon is an incredible machine and pretty much gives both Ford and Chevrolet the finger, but there’s a bit of problem. Once you’re done with the champagne over the juicy 840-horsepower rating and the ridiculous 0-to-60 and quarter-mile times, go check the transmission section. See? There’s no manual. Now why would you build the ultimate road-legal dragster and sell it with an automatic transmission only?
Okay, I get that the eight-speed auto makes the damn thing go faster and inexperienced drivers may do some damage to the drivetrain with a manual, but at least give enthusiasts an option. Let’s face it, many Demon customers will probably buy it so they can finally have that road-legal Drag Pak they’ve been dreaming about. Not giving them the option for a stick and a clutch pedal is like selling burgers without the meat. Sure, they could be really tasty and have the most exclusive ketchup in the world, but they still lack the essential ingredient in a burger: the juicy meat!
The Demon is a throwback to the 1960s, the golden era of factory-made drag cars. That’s when GM, Ford, and Chrysler rolled out NHRA-spec hot rods on a regular basis and output was just as insane. But unlike 50 years ago, Dodge offers a unique vehicle that won’t get a proper competitor from Ford or Chevy anytime soon, which makes it plain silly not to offer a manual option alongside the automatic. Cars like the Demon are meant to be driven fast and hard, with a stick. Just like Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins used to do back in the day.
Now watch the video and tell me you don’t want to abuse a stick shift in a Demon!
The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Is Big And Dumb And Pointless And I Really Want To Drive It
In case you haven’t noticed, let me be the first to tell you – there’s some really weird things going on in the auto industry these days, especially when it comes to performance machines. Some of the fastest cars on the planet are hybrids (Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder and McLaren P1), and the all-electrics aren’t that far behind. But probably the weirdest trend of them all is the performance SUV craze. These are two terms that make for strange bedfellows – “performance,” as in going fast, and “SUV,” as in big and tall and heavy and utilitarian. These things shouldn’t go together, but go together they do thanks to cutting-edge engineering magic. Performance SUVs seem to flaunt their resistance to the laws of physics, and the latest entry in this segment (and perhaps one of the most celebrated) is the vaunted Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, a Hellcat-powered off-roader-turned-dragster that promises tire-shredding power and absurd speed potential in a tall-bodied package. It’s big, dumb, and completely pointless. And I really wanna drive it.
I’ll explain. When I first heard the rumors Jeep was fixing to stuff an SUV with Hellcat power, I was perplexed. I found the idea of a 700-horsepower SUV to be absurd and unnatural. If acceleration and speed is what you’re after, why go to the trouble of making it happen in a body style so out of line with that stated goal?
I still feel that way now, and probably always will. For the price of a Trackhawk, you could easily get two vehicles to fill the dual roles of speed-maker and utility hauler, each of which would do their respective duty better than a single Trackhawk ever could.
But that still doesn’t mean I don’t want to drive this thing.
Continue reading to see what I’m talking about.
Exclusive Interview: We talk Camaro ZL1 1LE with Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser!
The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE has made plenty of headlines over the last year thanks to spy shots, a wreck on the Nürburgring during development, and a persisting rumor it was the upcoming Z/28. Big aerodynamic surfaces helped fuel that rumor, but alas, Chevy’s top dog Camaro is supercharged – something Al Oppenheiser says isn’t in the Z/28’s bloodline.
Oppenheiser gave us an exclusive interview at the 15th annual Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida. It was there the rights for the first production 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE were auctioned. Not surprisingly, Hendricks Motorsports placed the final bid of $250,000, all of which went to the United Way. When that first ZL1 1LE will be produced is still under wraps, but Oppenheiser says it will begin production with the standard 2018 model Camaros sometime within the next quarter.
What’s more, Hendricks will witness the ZL1 1LE come to life at Chevy’s Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant in Michigan. Hendricks will also be the first to start the car, which will have the VIN of 001, and drive it off the assembly line.
And though much about the ZL1 1LE is under wraps, not everything was hush-hush in our conversation with Oppenheiser. In fact, a few nuggets of unreleased info slipped out, giving us an unprecedented glimpse at the upcoming Camaro track star.
Continue reading for more information.
What Are The Craziest Supercar Interiors That Money Can Buy?
We’re gonna be honest here – supercars are just getting ridiculous these days. Let’s start with the performance. We left the 200-mph barrier a long time ago, and the tip-top shelf performance vehicles these days are pushing ever closer to 300 mph thanks to absurd four-figure power numbers, advanced aerodynamics, and spaceship composites under (and over) the skin. Or you could talk about the cost – if you’ve got the connections and the bankroll, it’s not all that difficult to spend millions and millions on just one of these machines. Indeed, the term supercar has taken on new meaning over the past couple years, and that includes evolved cabins to match the insane spec sheets. To celebrate that fact, we’ve assembled the top five craziest supercar interiors that money can buy, right here for your reading and viewing pleasure.
Over the top is a gross understatement when it comes to the following five cars. These things offer levels of opulence usually reserved for mansions, accomplishing the dual goals of looking good and going fast thanks to next-level design, materials, and execution.
Some of them are beautiful, some of them are weird, but all of them are insane in their own special kind of way. Which would you prefer? Or better yet, did we fail to include a crazy supercar interior that tops these five? Let us know in the comments section.
Continue reading to learn more about the craziest supercar interiors that money can buy.
2017 IMSA Sports Car Grand Prix at Long Beach - Race Report
From the long and wide stretches of Sebring Raceway, the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship motley gang went to the winding streets of Long Beach, California. The shortest race of the season proved to be every bit as exciting as the first two, mixing controversy, drama and some great on-track battles in a space of just 100 minutes between the waving of the first green flag, to the appearance of the white flag.
The streets of Long Beach were as packed as ever come the end of last week as teams from a number of series were preparing for the Long Beach Grand Prix. Indycars were on site, as well as the IMSA crews, the Pirelli World Challenge folks and, last but not least, a group of Can-Am cars. These were slated to run for the first time ever at Long Beach in what was a true spectacle for both the eyes and ears. Such cars as the Shadow DN4, the McLaren M8F or the Lola T70 made their way through the 1.9-mile-long street course for a couple of demo races that got everyone in the mood for the races of the modern cars – maybe not as dramatic but surely not forgettable.
Ricky Taylor proved to be the quickest in qualifying with his 1:13.549 being a lap record for the Prototype class. It was also the second podium in the last three editions of the Long Beach Grand Prix for Wayne Taylor Racing’s driver who was 0.2 seconds quicker than Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 10 Action Express Racing Cadillac. Tristan Nunez was third for Speedsource Mazda, but his 1:14.393 was almost a second off the pole time. It was JDC/Miller Motorsport on the fourth spot of the grid while the third Cadillac of Dane Cameron and Eric Curran qualified fifth. One car did not take part in the Prototype qualifying, precisely the No. 90 VisitFlorida.com Racing Riley LMP2 which was crashed in practice by Renger van der Zande, the Dutch going straight into T1 after he lost front brake pressure, the cause of the failure yet unknown.
Corvette Racing scored the pole in GT-LM thanks to Jan Magnussen’s 1:16.609 which was less than tenth of a second quicker than Joey Hand’s best lap in the No. 66 Ford. Hand was on an even quicker lap with three minutes left to go when his team-mate, Richard Westbrook, spun and crashed his No. 67 Ford GT which caused a session-ending red flag that denied Hand a chance to get pole. Also denied of a chance was Risi’s Toni Vilander whose starting position, third, could have been better as the Finn was quicker on his last flyer on which he spun out. Fourth was the best that Porsche’s No. 912 could do. The other 991 GTE did not take part in qualifying after Patrick Pilet’s shunt in practice that called for a partial rebuild of the mid-engined car. Bill Auberlen could do no better than fifth for BMW Team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing – thus missing out on the chance to score three consecutive poles at Long Beach in three years.
GT-D pole went the way of Bryan Sellers and Paul Miller Racing. The Lamborghini driver reeled off a 1:19.243 to beat Jack Hawksworth whose bid for Lexus’ first pole fell short by just 0.033 of a second. Daniel Morad was third for Alegra Motorsport while Corey Lewis put Change Racing’s Huracan on fourth, right ahead of Lawson Aschenbach’s R8 entered by Stevenson Motorsport. 3GT Racing’s other Lexus did not take part in qualifying after Scott Pruett damaged the No. 14 quite badly in a practice crash.
With qualifying done, everyone was ready for the race which promised to be more busy than ever as never before had the GT-D cars taken part in the Long Beach round which was, in the past, welcoming only the Prototypes and the GT-LM teams. 34 cars were entered and 33 would take the start on Saturday afternoon.
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Pops’ Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing
Have you noticed how today’s automotive strategy is built around gibberish? I swear cars are more about PR talk than anything else. Take Cadillac, for instance, which spent recent years blabbing about how it will get back on the horse in the luxury market with new vehicles with better everything. Well, it’s 2017 and Cadillac still sucks. It sucks so bad that the XT5 crossover outsells the company’s entire sedan lineup. In march, it sold 5,280 XT5 crossovers compared to 4,701 ATS, CTS, XTS, and CT6 sedans combined.
Yeah, I know, crossovers are a big deal now. But you know what? The XT5 isn’t much of a Cadillac. It’s just a bigger hatchback Chevrolet thingy with fancier styling and extra features inside. The CT6 is a true Cadillac, but 1,000 units a month ain’t gonna cut the mustard. But hey, 1,000 CT6s sold in the U.S. in one month is definitely better than sales of 761 examples in Europe in 2016. Even Lamborghini sold more cars on the old continent. A better chance of running into a Lambo then a Cadillac in Europe, now that’s how you know you have a problem buddy!
Another thing that grinds my gears these days is the hypocrisy surrounding Ferrari. Just a few days ago Sergio Marchionne said an all-electric Ferrari may become reality in the future, with the brand looking to join the Formula E series. This comes from the same man that labeled the Ferrari EV as an "obscene concept" a while back. He also said "you’d have to shoot me first" before such a supercar would be developed. Well, he just pointed a shotgun at himself. It goes to show that you can no longer trust company executives these days. And what’s the deal with banning the pink color from the lineup? It’s not fitting for your "whole ethos" you say? What does that even mean? Are you talking about the same ethos that sold Ferraris to Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton? In that case, pink would definitely hurt the ethos. And a few butts...
Speaking of which, what’s the deal with the new Civic Si? Is this thing supposed to fill the gap between the regular model and the Type R? Sounds like a fine idea, but this isn’t something you can do with 205 horsepower. Especially when the Type R has 306 horses. The really annoying thing is that the new engine is only as powerful as the one in the previous Si. And we’re talking about a turbocharger here. Yeah, so the new Civic is lighter and performance is better, but come on Honda, give people that can’t afford the Type R something to work with. It’s like the executives voted to frustrate Civic Si owners with just a mild improvement on a car that’s significantly better chassis- and tech-wise. For the first Si to use turbocharging, this car is a big disappointment. I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with this strategy of keeping things tempered. A 250-horsepower Si wouldn’t kill the Type R, but it would make customers happier and render the Golf GTi and Fiesta ST useless.
If I wouldn’t be so lazy in the morning I’d definitely accept heading Honda’s market strategy department.
You know what else seems cool but we won’t get to enjoy it to its full potential? Lynk & Co.’s new concept sedan. Lynk & Co. is a Chinese brand own by Geely, the same firm that acquired Volvo a few years ago, and it’s about to unveil this crazy four-door. When it comes to Chinese products I’d rather stick to Zhajiangmian (Google it!), but this concept sedan is one I’d very much like to drive. Just look at it! It’s got so much muscle, suicide doors all around, and a sporty silhouette. And it’s all built around Volvo’s latest architecture. But you know what? I won’t get to drive this thing and neither will you. Because concept cars either remain concepts or go into production looking like crap. And like Trump likes to say, you can’t trust the Chinese anyway!
Finally, the healthy discounts that Chevy is offering for the SS nowadays remind me that the sedan has been discontinued and there won’t be a successor since the Holden Commodore it is based on is dead. Well screw you Chevrolet! You finally had THE performance sedan and you just screwed things up. "But, but Holden is no longer building cars in Australia," you might say. Shut up, that’s a lame excuse! There’s plenty of ways to develop one here in the States, but no, GM would rather do a Corvette SUV instead. And don’t get me started on the new front-wheel drive Commodore... It’s a good thing Dodge keeps milking the Challenger and Charger to deliver no-nonsense muscle cars.
Chevy Brings the Heat with Performance-Minded Tahoe
Chevrolet is finally adding the Corvette-derived 6.2-liter EcoTec3 V-8 to the Tahoe. For the 2018 model year, Tahoe customers will be able to order the 420-horsepower V-8, paired with several performance parts as Chevy’s new Rally Sport Truck Package, or RST. Included is GM’s new 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed with Ford and found in the Camaro ZL1 and F-150 Raptor. Larger brakes, a free-flowing Borla exhaust, 22-inch wheels, and a monochromatic appearance package round out the RST option. The Chevy Suburban is also getting the RST, but sadly without the larger V-8.
This is a big deal for several reasons.
First and most obvious, this marks the first time the Tahoe is available with the 6.2-liter. Second, this is the first street-performance package ever offered on the large SUV. And unlike most other “special edition” packages offered by Chevy, this one actually improves performance.
Beyond the powertrain upgrades, the Tahoe RST gets Magnetic Ride Control with a performance calibration; larger, 16.1-inch Duralife front brake rotors squeezed by six-piston Brembo performance brakes; and a Borla dual exhaust system Chevy says adds 10 horsepower at the wheels thanks to a 28-percent improvement in flow. These speed parts, along with the powertrain upgrades, are part of the RST’s optional Performance Package. The Tahoe RST is rated to tow 8,400 pounds and is expected to hit 60 mph in less than six seconds.
Sadly, Chevy is not offering the 6.2-liter, 10-speed auto, or Magnetic Ride on the Suburban. RST-equipped Suburbans will only receive the monochromatic cosmetic upgrades and have the option of upgrading the brakes and exhaust.
The Tahoe and Suburban RST will arrive in Chevy showrooms beginning this fall. Pricing has not been announced, but we’ll speculate on that down below. Be sure to click below to continue this story, along with leaving your comments.
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2019 Toyota Tundra
The current Toyota Tundra has been around since 2007, with only a modest update for the 2014 model year. This makes Toyota’s full-size truck the oldest in the segment, falling well past its competition. News from Toyota is nearly nonexistent on an update, but there is a solid case for 2019 being the target year. In typical Toyota fashion, a game-changing update isn’t expected, but rather a well conceived renewal of what works. In an attempt to capture this, we’ve created a rendering that plays off the Tacoma’s detailing yet still captures the Tundra’s main theme.
As for what’s under the bodywork, well, there is speculation Toyota will employ its newest D-4S dual fuel injection technology into a heavily revised, if not all new, V-8 engine. An eight- or 10-speed automatic transmission might be in the works, while a strengthened steel frame gives the pickup a stronger backbone.
The Tundra’s reach into the luxury truck stratosphere is also expected, with upscale equipment and niceties added to the 1794 Edition and Platinum models. Toyota could also introduce a new Limited Platinum model as a range-topping trim, just as on the Highlander. Trucks like the Ford F-150 Limited and GMC Sierra 1500 Denali offer luxuries far beyond what’s available on the Tundra. The remaining trims will likely carry over, including the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro. The three cab configurations are expected to make the generational jump, including the Regular Cab, Double Cab, and CrewMax cab.
For more speculation on the 2019 Toyota Tundra, click “continue reading.”
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2018 Aston Martin DB11 S
Introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the iconic DB9, the Aston Martin DB11 brought the British carmaker into a new era, one that finally sees the old VH platform retire. Now using lighter underpinnings engineered with help from Mercedes-AMG, the grand tourer is more than capable of competing against its more modern rivals. However, the DB11 is still a long way from becoming a proper vehicle lineup, with the V-8 and other iterations still under development. But this may end by the end of 2017, as Aston Martin is already testing a higher performance version of the coupe.
Spotted on public roads for the very first time, the beefed-up DB11 uses a new aerodynamic package that includes a reworked bumper, new side skirts, and a race-inspired diffuser at the back. Although Aston Martin has yet to confirm it is working on a new version and there aren’t many hints out there, I believe that this is a more powerful variant of the DB11. Several reports suggest that it could wear an "S" badge, just like the upgraded version of the Vanquish. Nothing’s official yet, but this test car is definitely not the upcoming V-8 model that will slow below the V-12.
Expect this new model to break cover by the end of the year, probably before the BD11 Volante will be unveiled in early 2018. Meanwhile, let’s have a closer look at what we already know about the DB11 S in the speculative review below.
Updated 04/04/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Aston Martin BD11 out for a new testing session.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin DB11 S.
April Fools’ 2017 – Recap
As if we haven’t heard enough about “fake news” lately, April 1st usually bring with it an expectation of tricks and pranks. The auto industry is more than willing to get in on this annual tradition, and 2017 brought out all kinds of entertaining, hilarious, and otherwise bizarre April Fools’ jokes from the world of cars. And uh, yeah, we too might be guilty of yanking your chain, dear reader.
So, to help you get your feet back on the ground, and possibly eke out a chuckle or two, we’ve recapped all the big jokes right here in this article. Included is a featherweight supercar, an emotive car horn, a high-performance tractor, cats in hats, and a whole lot more, plus all the pranks we here at TopSpeed managed to come up with.
Which begs the question – which of these ideas are worthy of a shot at making it in reality? Or, to say it another way, which of these jokes shouldn’t be jokes at all, but real? Let us know in the comments!
And, as always, enjoy!
Continue reading for the full April Fools’ 2017 recap.
2018 Bentley Continental GT
The Bentley Continental GT has been a huge hit for Bentley and Volkswagen AG since its launch in 2003, but the problem is that the car really hasn’t changed that much over the years. Sure, the facelift brought tweaked styling, a new V-8, and reworked interior, but it still takes a keen eye to spot the differences between the first Conti and those built after 2011. It’s likely that a $200,000 grand touring Bentley coupe/convertible wasn’t a huge priority for VW coming out of a global recession, but now with high-end luxury cars back in full swing, the third-gen Continental GT is on the way.
Considering the Continental GT was just updated for 2016, the all-new model probably won’t debut until 2017, which means it will be coming at a time when a lot of new customers are about to make their way into the Bentley showrooms thanks to the all-new Bentayga SUV. When it does arrive, expect the redesigned Continental GT coupe to eventually spawn the familiar lineup of models, including the GT Speed, Convertible and Flying Spur sedan.
Although there are still a few months before the new Bentley Continental GT is introduced, we’ve gone ahead and put together a rendering using the styling direction of the 2015 EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept revealed at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. In addition, we also have several spy shots of the many prototypes that Bentley tested through 2016 and 2017.
Updated 03/24/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Continental GT out for a new testing session and this time the prototype is revealing more of its design elements.
Continue reading to learn more about the next generation Bentley Continental GT.