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2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo – A Practical Sports Wagon

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The Porsche Taycan is, arguably, the most important vehicle from Porsche since the 911 made its debut nearly six decades ago. It is Porsche’s first car designed to be an EV first unless, of course, you count the 1898 Egger-Lohner C.2 Phaeton that was designed by none other than Ferdinand Porsche with an octagonal electric motor that delivered 3-5 horsepower and could hit up to 25 km/h – about 15 mph.

But, I’m getting off topic, so I digress….. for now.

Back to the point at hand, the Taycan is a major step forward for the Porsche brand as it symbolizes its future and is the first major step in the brand’s step to mass adoption of electric vehicles. The problem with the Taycan, however, is that the shift away from fossil fuels and into electric vehicles is just beginning and the Taycan wasn’t exactly as practical as it could be. Now, however, with the introduction of the Taycan Cross Turismo, Porsches major electric halo car – at least for now – is now more appealing to both families and those that need to haul a fair amount of cargo.

To put this into perspective, the Taycan sedan offers up between 12.9 – 14.3 cubic-feet of cargo room, depending on the trim, with the parcel shelf in place. The Cross Turismo, however, offers up 14.3 – 15 cubic-feet, plus the rear seats lay down, expanding to a maximum of 42.8 cubic-feet. You also get the same 2.9 cubic-feet of cargo room in the frunk. On top of this, rear passengers even have a bit of extra room because the Cross Turismo has an extra 3.6-inchs of headroom in the rear. Front passengers benefit from just under half an inch, but it’s still an improvement, nonetheless.

So, with this in mind, it’s easy to conclude that the Cross Turismo in more practical than the sedan, especially for families. But here’s the real kicker. The Cross Turismo is only available with the 93.4-kWh battery pack (normally a $6,000 option on the lower sedan trims) and even the entry level Cross Turismo is AWD. This explains why it starts out $11,000 more expensive than the sedan, but the tradeoff seems pretty fair.

Like its sedan counterpart, the Cross Turismo is available in four trim levels, with the entry level model being the Taycan 4. Moving up the line, you’ve got the 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S. Performance is right up there with the sedan as well, with the sprint to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) being just one-tenth of a second slower. Power output ranges from 380 horsepower up to 625 horsepower (or up to 760 horsepower with launch control ont eh Turbo S model). Electric range is also decent, with estimates coming in between 241 and 289 miles depending on the trim level.

Porsche Taycan 4 Cross TurismoPorsche Taycan 4S Cross TurismoPorsche Taycan Turbo Cross TurismoPorsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo
Horsepower380 HP490 HP625 HP (680 HP with Launch Control)625 HP (760 HP with Launch Control)
0 to 100 km/h5.1 seconds4.1 seconds3.3 seconds2.9 seconds
Top Speed220 km/h240 km/h250 km/h250 km/h
Range389 – 456 km388 – 452 km395 – 452 km388 – 419 km

Pricing starts out at $92,250, but now that the configurator is up and running, the most expensive the Taycan Cross Turismo can go beyond the $240,000 mark as reported by Motor1 if you go crazy with options. Porsche expects to start delivering the Cross Turismo in summer of 2021 unless there are unforeseen delays due to the current global health pandemic.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance – Putting the V-8 Back Into The Compact Sedan

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If The V-6 Powered Lexus IS wasn’t enough for you, then boy do I have some good news for you today. Lexus has just revealed the IS 500 F Sport Performance, and with it comes a brutal 5.0-liter V-8, and aggressive design package, and enough weight savings to make the weight gain from the larger engine negligible at best (it’s 143 pounds – 64.96 kg -heavier to be exact).

As the very first model in Lexus’ new F Sport Performance lineup, the 5.0-liter V-8 delivers a total of 472 horsepower (352 kW) at 7,100 rpm and 395 pound-feet (525.5 Nm) of torque as low as 4,800 rpm. According to Lexus, this is enough power to propel the 3,891 pound (1.765 kg) IS up to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds while somehow maintaining an average highway fuel economy rating of 24 mpg. Inspired by the RC F, the IS 500 F Sport Performance also features a new quad exhaust system with dual-stacked tail pipes, and a “ferocious” sound.

Unfortunately, all this goodness doesn’t come without some bad news, and I’m sorry to tell you that there is no manual transmission available for the IS 500 F Sport Performance. Shifting duties are handled by the same eight-speed automatic found in the IS 300 and IS 350 RWD. The standard Dynamic Handling Package includes adaptive suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential. Yamaha was actually tapper for the rear performance shocks to improve bother stability and structural rigidity. To accommodate the extra power and performance, Lexus has increased the front brake discs from 13.1 inches to 14.0 inches and the rear brake discs from 11.7 inches to 12.7 inches.

Pricing for the new IS 500 F Sport Performance has yet to be announced, but it goes on sale this fall (2021). With the current range-topping IS 350 F Sport commanding between $42,900 (RWD) and $44,900 (AWD) expect the IS 500 F Sport Performance to hit the wallet for at least $54,000 before options taxes and pricing.

How Does the Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance Compare to the BMW M3?

If you can get past the BMW M3’s massive bucktooth grille, you’ll find that the M3 is a fine piece of automotive art aimed at the hearts of those that want the best in comfort, luxury, and performance in a relatively small package. Interior materials and technology are on point – BMW’s infotainment system is one of the best in the business – and the M3 is almost always very engaging to drive. In terms of performance, you won’t get the same V-8 growl that you’ll get form the Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance, but that twin-turbo inline six doesn’t sound bad either. Hitting you with 472 horsepower (+1) and 406 pound-feet of torque (+11), the M3 is just as good on paper.

It’s only 51 pounds lighter than the F Sport Performance but it manages to run up to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, beating out the IS500 by 0.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, but with the right performance tires and speed limited disabled, you’ll max out at 180 mph. The M3 doesn’t come cheap, though, commanding at least $69,900, so there’s a good chance that the IS 500 F Sport Performance will be considerably cheaper when everything is said and done.

Lexus IS 500 F Sport PerformanceBMW M3
Engine5.0-liter V-83.0-liter, Twin-Turbo, Inline-Six
TransmissionEight-Speed AutomaticSix-Speed Manual
Horsepower472 @ 7,100 RPM473 @ 6,250 RPM
Torque (lb-ft)395 @ 4,800 RPM406 @ 2650 RPM
Curb Weight3,891 LBS3,840 LBS
0-60 MPH4.5 Seconds4.1 Seconds
Top Speed165 MPH (est)155 MPH (lmited) 180 MPH (track)

2022 Cupra Formentor VZ5

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Three years in and SEAT’s standalone brand, Cupra, has finally launched its very first true performance vehicle. Okay, well, maybe it’s not the first, but it is the most powerful. In fact, it’s so powerful that it’s on par with the Audi RS Q3 and – believe it or not – is even powered by the same 2.5-liter inline-five engine. That’s where the similarities stop, however, as this isn’t just a rebadged Audi. No, no, no. Cupra designed the Formentor VZ5 from the ground up to, at least for now, serve as a halo car of sorts.

Under that curvy, muscular hood the 2.5-liter inline-five delivers a cool 385 horsepower (287 kW) and 354 pound-feet (480 Nm) of torque. To put this into perspective, the VZ5 delivers more torque than the RS Q3  but does fall just a bit shy in the horsepower department, lacking just 9 ponies in total. The VZ5 is only available with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission, but power is shunted to all four wheels. What does this mean for performance? Well, a lot, actually.

According to Cupra, the Formentor VZ5 can sprint to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.2 seconds and will top out at an electronically limited 155 mph. The real kicker here is that the VZ5 is actually quicker to 62 mph than the RS Q3, which makes the sprint in 4.5 seconds and maxes out at the same limited top speed. Compared to the base Formentor, the VZ5 sits 0.4 inches (10 mm) lower with model-specific 20-inch wheels and larger 18-inch brakes with six-piston Akebono calipers. The latter are finished in a copper color to match those massive alloy wheels. A more aggressive rear diffuser and those Lexus F-like exhaust tips round out the package.

Cupra hasn’t announced pricing for the Formentor VZ5 quite yet but has said that order books will open to the public in the fourth quarter of 2021. With that in mind, we’re speculating that the VZ5 could carry a price tag somewhere close to the €60,000 since the model that sits underneath it – the 306-horsepower Formentor VZ 2.0 TSI starts at €44,920. The big takeaway, here, however, is that the VZ5 will actually be a cheaper, faster alternative to the RS Q3, which starts out at €73,790. The only downside is that Cupra is capping production of the VZ5 at just 7,000 units so supply will be somewhat limited.  

2022 Porsche 911 GT3

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The 992-Gen Porsche 911 has been revealed as a track-bred, road-going monster of a car that’s wider and more powerful than its predecessor but, shockingly, nearly the same weight. Under that muscular hood sits a naturally aspirated flat-six that produces 502 horsepower (374 kW) and 346 pound-feet (469 Nm) of torque. The engine is capable of revving all the way up to 9,000 rpm, features six independent throttle bodies (one for each cylinder), and a brand-new set of light-weight pistons. Shifting duties are handled by Porsche’s seven-speed PDK automatic by default, but you can opt for a six-speed manual if you prefer.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Exterior

With the PDK transmission, the 911 can print to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 3.2 seconds and will continue to hold you against the seat all the way up to 197 mph. Porsche was able to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 6 minutes and 59.927 seconds. For a bit of contrast, the last-gen 911 GT3 made the same run in 7:12.7 while the last GT3 RS did it in 6:56.4.

More interestingly, however, is that the 992-gen 911 GT3 doesn’t share a single suspension component with the standard 911. Instead, Porsche went with a double-wishbone setup in the front as opposed to having an independent MacPherson strut in each corner. Compared to the normal 911, the GT3 features integrated cooling ducts in the front along with an adjustable lip spoiler and diffuser. The rear features a manually adjustable swan-neck spoiler. Compared to the standard 911, the GT3’s track is 1.9-inches wider, which translates to better handling at higher speeds, among other things.

To save weight, Porsche has composed the hood, rear wing, spoiler, and optional roof out of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. The glass all around the cabin is also super thin to help shave off a few pounds. The wheels – 20-inch in the front and 21-inch in the rear – are around 3.5 pounds (1.6 kb) lighter than those on the last-gen GT3 and if you want to pay for them, you can get the same set of street-legal track tires Porsche used to make the Nürburgring run.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3 Specifications

Engine4.0-litre six-cylinder boxer
Horsepower502 HP
Torque346 LB-FT
Transmissionseven-speed PDK
0 to 60 mph3.2 seconds
Top Speed197 mph

2022 McLaren Artura

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McLarens’ first hybrid car was, as you probably know, the P1 – a 903-horsepower (673 KW) beast of a machine that could make it to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 2.8 seconds and boasted an electric range of just 19 miles (31 KM). The P1 made its debut back in 2012 and the price tag was so close to seven figures that it wasn’t even funny. Fast forward to 2022, and the McLaren Artura – the brands first series-production high-performance hybrid — takes the throne as a more affordable hybrid supercar.

2022 McLaren Artura

Hidden away behind that tub of carbon fiber and high-end materials sits a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 that produces 577 horsepower (430 kW) and 431 pound-feet (584 Nm) of torque all on its own. The electric motor that’s paired with the new, eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission (it’s located within the transmissions’ bell housing, to be more exact) packs an additional punch of 94 ponies (70kW) and 166 pound-feet (225 Nm), making for a total system output of 671 horsepower (500 kW) and 593 pound-feet (804 Nm) of torque. Those figures might not be quite as sexy as what the P1 offered way back in 2012, but the Artura isn’t lacking in performance when you drop the hammer. 0-62 mph comes in just 3.0 seconds (0.2-seconds slower than the P1) and top speed is limited to 205 mph.

The Artura’s electric range is equal to the P1 at 19 miles, but with plug-in capability that allows you to charge up to 80-percent in 2.5 hours via the standard EVSE charger. The battery itself has a 7.4 kilowatt-hour capacity and is comprised of five lithium-ion modules that are good for 1.48 kilowatt hours each.

With all of this said, I’m sure you’re probably asking how the Artura is almost as fast as the P1 with the same range and way less power. Well, the Artura is the first vehicle in McLaren’s lineup to be built upon the company’s new carbon lightweight architecture (MCLA) that’s designed specifically for vehicles with hybrid powertrains. Thanks to wide usage of aluminum and carbon fiber, the vehicle can take proportions that you see here while keeping weight in check. All told, the Artura weighs just 3,303 pounds (with a 3,075-pound dry weight), making it 108 pounds lighter than the P1 despite the P1 sharing the same dry-weight figure. The Artura is also more aerodynamic than the P1, so that works in its favor as well.

McLaren Artura – The First With Active Safety Features

Believe it or not, no McLaren on the road today features any of the usual active safety systems that we’ve all become rather accustomed to. Thanks to the new MCLA architecture, McLaren has been able to integrate adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, high-beam assist, and road sign recognition. The Artura is also the first of many to come that feature McLaren’s new infotainment system (known as MIS II) that includes an HD touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a new track telemetry software with a Variable Drift Control function that you’re only supposed to use on the track (so don’t get any ideas).

The McLaren Artura will be available in base form at $225,000 (so about 25-percent of what you’d have paid for a P1 way back when) with a long list of standard features that include,

  • Power adjustable seats
  • Smartphone mirroring
  • Nose lift
  • Power-folding mirrors
  • Heated mirrors
  • Soft-close doors
  • Homelink

Three other trims will also be available with the next level up being Performance, followed by TechLux and Vision, all three of which will have their own distinctive features and functions.

10 Secrets About The Ferrari F40 That Few People Know

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Image Credit: RM Sotheby’s

If you’ve landed here, and are somewhere between your late 20s and early 40s, then there’s a good chance that you or someone you know had a Ferrari F40 poster hanging on the bedroom wall. The F40 was introduced in 1987 and celebrated Ferrari’s 40th anniversary while, at the same time, ultimately serving as the last vehicle to be launched by Mr. Enzo Ferrari himself. So what made the Ferrari F40 so special? Well, keep reading to find out!

The Ferrari F40 Was Designed to Conquer the Porsche 959

In the late 1980s, Porsche had a real masterpiece on its hands. The 911-based Porsche 959 was the most technologically advanced vehicle for the time, being built for FIA Group B racing but homologated to street-legal standards in just a little over 200 examples. Its 2.8-liter, twin-turbo, inline-six was good for 444 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque – enough to classify it as a real-life supercar at the time and to make it the world’s fastest car at the time, being able to hit 197 mph. While Porsche was developing the 959, Ferrari was working on its own Group B fighter – the 288 GTO Evoluzione. There were five of them produced, as a matter of fact. But, just like Porsche, Ferrari never got to race in Group B because FIA shut it down before either got the chance. With a brutal street legal track car in Porsche’s stable, Ferrari couldn’t sit on the sidelines. Enzo Ferrari told his engineers to “build a car to be the best in the world,” a statement that put Porsche and the 959 in the crosshairs, and those five obsolete 288 GTO Evoluzione prototypes became the basis for the Ferrari F40.

The Ferrari F40 Was Powered By A Modified Version of the 288 GTO’s Engine

Image Credit: RM Sotheby’s

Ferrari may have started out with the 288 GTO’s 2.85-liter, twin-turbo V-8, but that’s now how things ended up by the time production started. Where the 288 GTO’s V-8 delivered 394 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 366 pound-feet of torque at 3,800 rpm, Ferrari was able to boost that all the way up to 471 horsepower and 426 pound-feet of torque. The engine’s displacement never changed (the F-40 was technically designated a 2.9-liter), but other tweaks to the fuel-injection system, turbochargers, and valved train netted a hefty increase of 77 horsepower and 60 pound-feet of torque. This power output allowed the F-40 to hist 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds 0.6-seconds faster than the 288 GTO. Of course, this was still slow compared to the Porsche 959, which made the same sprint in just 3.6 seconds.

 Demand for the F40 Forced Ferrari to Second Think It’s Production Cap

Image Credit: RM Sotheby’s

When the Ferrari F40 made its glorious debut, Ferrari pledged to build just 400 examples, each of which would command a starting price of $400,000 – about five times what you would have paid for a 288 GTO at the time. To put this into perspective, if you adjust for inflation, the Ferrari would have cost you around $900,000 in today’s money. That said, Ferrari massively underestimated the desire of its client base as customer interest far exceeded the original production cap of 400. When Ferrari reached that cap, it just continued building cars. When all was said and done Ferrari built a total of 1,315 F40s, only 213 of which landed in the United States.

Demand Is Still High Today, But The Prices Have Skyrocketed

Much like an rolling piece of art, the Ferrari F40’s value has only increased over the years. Way back in 1990, for example, Formula 1 champion, Nigel Mansell, bought one for a cool £1 million, which converted to around $1,7 million at exchanges rates back then. That set a new record that held strong for more than three decades when it was finally beat out in the 2010s. Nowadays, you can find them for around $1.4 and $1.7 million, with auction houses like RM Sotheby’s, Barrett-Jackson, and Mecum selling plenty over the last 5 or 6 years.

F40s With Thin Paint Are Rare and Worth Considerably More (and Are Also the Oldest)

Image Credit: RM Sotheby’s

The Ferrari F40 was a no nonsense machine designed with a minimalistic approach that can be seen inside and out. This is especially true for early models, which feature paint that’s so thin that you can actually see the Kevlar weave of the body panels through the paint. Why in the world would a $400,000 car have paint so thin? To save wait. In fact, Ferrari was so anal about reducing weight that it used less than two liters of red paint on each production model. As a frame of reference, a nice finish on a Ford Mustang takes about 3.5 liters when everything is said and done. Many customers didn’t like how thin the F40’s paint was, so a large portion of F40s were refinished with a thicker coat of paint, making the few that remain with original pain that much more valuable.

Ferrari’s Desire To Keep The F40 Light Was Felt By The Driver, Literally

Image Credit: RM Sotheby’s

As Ferrari transformed its Group B racing prototypes for road use, the decision was made to keep them as track worthy as possible. So, keeping the weight low was of paramount importance, and the lengths that Ferrari engineers went to is proof of this. In fact, the F40 had zero driver aids – not event power-assisted brakes, ABS, or power steering. Carpet, sculpted door trim, and even door handles were left in the parts bin too. But that’s not all. The Ferrari F40 didn’t even come with air conditioning. Yes, a $400,000 car without air conditioning. It sounds crazy, right? Well, it’s true. However, later models that did hit the U.S. market were fitted with air conditioning because the F40’s cabin got extremely hot from the engine.

The Ferrari F40 Was Impressively Light

All the work to keep the F40 light, like going with extra thin exterior paint cutting pretty much any convenience feature you can think of, actually paid off. When all was said and done, the F40 tips the scales at just 2,433 pounds, making it nearly 800 pounds lighter than its nearest competitor, the Porsche 959, which had a curb weight of 3,214 pounds.

The Ferrari F40 Didn’t Exactly Feel Like An Exotic Car On the Road

Image Credit: RM Sotheby’s

If you pay six figures for a car, it should drive like a dream, right? Well, one would think, but that wasn’t the case with the F40 at all. In fact, all the effort that went into making the F40 light also, to a certain extent, made it drive like crap. The steel tube chassis was beyond being dated technology, and you could apparently feel the entire car flexing when you push it to its limit. You don’t have to take our word for it, though. Gordon Murray, the father of the McLaren F1 told Motor Trend (in the 07/1990 edition) that the door panels even rattled once you got the chassis to start flexing:

“It’s the lack of weight that makes the Ferrari so exciting. There’s nothing else magic about the car at all…They’re asking two- and three-inch-diameter steel tubes at chassis base datum level to do all the work, and it shows – you can feel the chassis flexing on the circuit and it wobbles all over the place on the road. It really does shake about. And, of course, once you excite the chassis the door panels start rattling and squeaking. Whereas the other cars feel taut and solid, this one’s like a big go-kart with a plastic body on it.”

Motor Trend Issue 07/1990

Car and Driver had a similar experience, calling the F40 a “wrecking ball” and saying that “the F40 has made our knees tremble involuntarily, our hearts do little stutter steps, and it made our palms disgustingly wet.” Of course, none of this stopped the from being the poster car of the 80s and 90s for every car-loving child and teen on the planet (well, probably).

The Ferrari F40 – You Want Basic, We’ll Give You Basic

Image Credit: RM Sotheby’s

By now you know that the F40 was pretty heavily criticized in some regard. The interior rattled like a 20-year-old GM product, the chassis flexed during hard maneuvers, and it was even considered a nightmare to drive in some circumstances – all while still being considered one of the greatest cars ever made. See, Ferrari didn’t care about all the criticism coming in and, in fact, had expected it because the F40 wasn’t built for everyone. A Ferrari marking executive was quotes as saying “customers had been saying our cars were becoming too plush and comfortable. The F40 is for the most enthusiastic of our owners who want nothing but sheer performance.” 

In other words, Ferrari got tired of hearing that its cars were too comfortable and decided to give all the folks complaining exactly what the wanted – a no nonsense car that belonged on the track more than it did the road.

Don’t Forget About the Super Rare F40 LM

Image Credit: RM Sotheby’s

If you follow the exotic car world, you know that Ferrari’s clientele have some very interesting (and dare I say demanding?) taste, and 471 horsepower just wasn’t enough. To appease just a small handful of Ferrari owners, Ferrari turned around and made the F40 LM (LM for Le Mans). The Ferrari LM, however, goes beyond rare as there were only two built, after which point Ferrari decided to stray from the iconic endurance race and retitled the car F40 Competizione. Another eight were built before Ferrari pulled the plug. Beyond being extremely rare, all 10 of these cars delivered an impressive 691 horsepower and could reported top 228 mph.

Ferrari F40 Drivetrain Specifications

Engine TypeRear-Mounted, Longitudinal, 90-Degree V-8
Bore and Stroke82 x 69.5 MM
Unitary Displacement367.03 CC
Total Displacement2936.25 CC
Compression Ratio7.7:1
Maximum Power478 HP (351.5 kW) @ 7,000 RPM
Power Per Liter163 HP Per Liter
Maximum Torque426 Pound-Feet (577 NM) @ 4,000 RPM
Valve ActionTwin DOHC, 32 Valve
Fuel FeedWeber-Marelli Electronic Injection
Air InductionTwin Turbo
IgnitionWeber-Mareli Single Plug Per Cylinder
LubricationDry Sump
ClutchTwin Plate
Transmission5-Speed Manual (+Reverse)
Top Speed201 MPH (324 KM/H)
0-60 MPH4.1 Seconds
0-400 Meters (1312 Ft)11.9 Seconds
0-1000 Meters (3,280 Ft)20.9 Seconds

Source: All photos courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The Copen GR Sport Is the Toyota Sports Car You Didn’t Know Existed

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Toyota’s Gazoo Racing actually worked over the Copen Kei car, and it’s awesome

You obviously know about the Toyota GR Supra, and you probably know about the Toyota GR Yaris, but did you know that GR Racing has an entire lineup of road vehicles? The GR Sport lineup includes models like CH-R GR Sport, Corolla GR Sport, and even a Prius GR Sport. Outside of this, though, there’s the car you see here, the Copen GR Sport, and it’s the coolest little Toyota sports car that you need to know about.

The Copen GR Sport serves as the entry-level GR Sport model, but it’s only available in Japan. As you’d expect from a GR model, the exterior is adorned with aggressive front and rear fascias, a larger grille, and there’s even a set of tiny, matte grey, BBS Wheels. If it doesn’t look good enough, there’s a number of optional exterior accessories, including a GR front spoiler, side skirts, and a trunk spoiler.

What’s more interesting is that this little Kei car even features GR-Sport branded Recaro seats inside, a leather wrapped Momo steering wheel, and a GR-specific instrument cluster. You can even see hints of carbon fiber here and there. Naturally, the car is a two-seater, though, but it won’t feel quite so cramped once you lower the top – something that makes the Copen GR Sport fairly unique as here in the U.S. Toyota doesn’t sell a true-to-life convertible.

So, what about performance? Well, the Copen GR Sport is powered by a 0.6-liter (660 cc) turbocharged engine that makes just 63 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque. The five speed manual transmission would be my preference, but there is also a CVT transmission available with seven simulated gears and paddle shifters. Toyota hasn’t gone into details about sprint time performance or quarter-mile times, but the GR Sport model features improved body rigidity and enhanced suspension tuning. This is achieved collectively by the updated front brace, retuned spring rate, and improved power steering.

It might be a little kei car that you can’t have here in the U.S., but from the right angle it kind of looks like a mini Honda S2000. Make no mistake, this is probably one of the coolest kei cars from a mainstream manufacturer on the planet. Pricing starts out at 2,380,000 Yen with the five-speed manual transmission pushing the price up to 2,435,000 Yen. At current exchange rates, those prices translate to $22,767 and $23,200, respectively.

The Toyota Supra 2.0 Is the True Driver’s Car

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The 50:50 weight distribution alone is enough to make the Supra 2.0 better than the Supra 3.0

Despite the seemingly common consensus, a car’s power output only plays a small role in how good of a car it really is. Aerodynamics, for example can make a big difference in terms of both acceleration, top speed, and handling. The same can be said for curb weight and weight distribution. And this is the basis of my argument that the Toyota Supra 2.0 is the better car, despite its bigger brothers massive difference in power output. If you go with the 2.0, you’ll add an extra second to your 60-mph sprint, but that second only counts when you’re going in a straight line. Stack the four-cylinder Supra against the six-cylinder on a curvy road, and the the smaller engine will win every time. Let me tell you why.

2021 Toyota Supra 2.0

The 2.0-liter engine found under the hood of the four-cylinder Supra sounds like a major turn-off at first glance, but it does produce a decent 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That accounts for a 128-horsepower and 83 pound-foot deficit over the six-cylinder model. Be that as it may, the four-cylinder Supra can still make it to 62 mph (100 kph) in 5.0 seconds, just 1.1-seconds slower that its six-cylinder counterpart. In this case, however, the good definitely outweighs the bad…

Toyota Supra 3.0Toyota Supra 2.0
Engine3.0-liter twin-scroll turbo six2.0-liter, four-cylinder
Horsepower382 HP255 HP
Torque368 LB-FT295 LB-FT
Transmission8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters
0 to 60 mph3.9 seconds5.0 seconds
Top Speed155 mph155 mph

The 2.0-liter Toyota Supra benefits from a number of enhancements, and it all starts with the fact that the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine is smaller and lighter. Because of its size, the bulk of the engine’s weight is positioned closer to the center of the vehicle. Remember, the 3.0-liter Supra has BMW’s inline-six, which means the engine’s weight extends much further into the nose, ultimately making it front-heavy. But with two less cylinders, Toyota is able to achieve a 50-50 weight distribution in the four-cylinder model. That means the car will handle impressively well and much better than the six-cylinder model. This is the story told by loyal fans of the four-cylinder, EcoBoost Mustang, and the case will be the same with the Supra – the cars with larger engines just won’t be able to outmaneuver their less-powerful counterparts.

All told, the four-cylinder Supra tips the scales at 3,181 pounds or around 220 pounds (100 kg) lighter than the six-cylinder model. And, despite the decrease in power and longer sprint times, the four-cylinder Supra will still max out at a limited 155 mph.

But the Supra 2.0 Certainly looks different inside and out, right? Actually, no, it does not, at least not in ways that would really matter.

At a glance, there’s actually nothing that will standout and say “I’m a four-cylinder Supra.” Toyota has decided to skip on adding random “2.0” badges or anything of the sort. The entry-level “Live” specification will come with 18-inch alloy wheels, an 8.8-inch infotainment display, a four-speaker audio system, and Alcantara sports seats – not bad for an entry-level model. Naturally, there’s plenty of safety equipment too, including:

  • Pedestrian detection
  • Cyclist detection with braking
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Intelligent speed assist
  • Road sign assist

There will also be three optional packages to choose from, the most important of which being the Sport package, which includes upgraded brakes, variable suspension, and an active differential. You probably won’t want to pass up the Premium package, either, as you’ll get the 12-speaker JBL audio system to go with power seats, and a few other goodies.

In the end, and as of the time of this writing, you’ll have to pony up $42,990 before options and taxes to get your hands on a Supra 2.0. That makes it precisely $8,000 cheaper than the Supra 3.0 with BMW’s inline-six. So, while saving $8,000, you’ll get a car that dominantly handles better in almost every circumstance and, if you want more power, you have a decent chunk of change left to make some modifications. If you ask me, that’s a win-win.

The Audi E-Tron GT Is More Than a Rebadged Porsche Taycan

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After a concept and more teasers than we can count over the course of a couple of years, Audi has finally revealed the E-Tron GT. With Audi and Porshce being under the same parent company, it’s no surprise that the E-Tron and Porshce Taycan share some of the most expensive bits under the skin. So is the Audi E-Tron GT just a rebadged Taycan, or is there more to it? Well, truth be told, there’s a hell of a lot more to it.

Before I dive too deep into some specs, yes I will admit that the Prosche Taycan is more powerful than the E-Tron Gt in some forms, and it does offer more torque. The Taycan is even faster to 60 mph than its E-Tron equivalent. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better. In fact, one could argue that the Audi T-Tron is definitely sportier and even more attractive. Even better yet, it’s about the size of the A7, give or take an inch here or there, so there’s plenty of space inside. So, what makes the E-Tron better? Well, it offers up more range as long as Audi hasn’t made the same mistake Porsche did before it released the Taycan.

I’ll be the first to admit that I laughed and criticized Porsche for the downright laughable range offered by the Taycan. 227 miles at best – a figure that can be beat by $40,000 commuters – isn’t exactly what we expected in the late 20-teens. Now that the E-Tron has been revealed, I have to admit that I’m a little impressed. If Audi’s predictions hold up, the E-Tron GT will offer as much as 298 miles on a single charge. The more powerful RS E-Tron GT comes in at 232 miles of range. In comparison, the Taycan 4S will net you just 227 miles on a good day (71 miles shy) while the Taycan Turbo falls 20 miles short of the RS E-Tron GT. Of course, I should point out that the E-Tron’s figures are based on Europe’s WLTP scale which is very lenient when it comes to electric range.  Real world range for the E-Tron will likely be somewhere in the range of 250 mile for the base model and 220 or so for the RS model.

I’ll be the first to admit that I laughed and criticized Porsche for the downright laughable range offered by the Taycan. 227 miles at best – a figure that can be beat by $40,000 commuters – isn’t exactly what we expected in the late 20-teens. Now that the E-Tron has been revealed, I have to admit that I’m a little impressed.

If Audi’s predictions hold up, the E-Tron GT will offer as much as 298 miles on a single charge. The more powerful RS E-Tron GT comes in at 232 miles of range. In comparison, the Taycan 4S will net you just 227 miles on a good day (71 miles shy) while the Taycan Turbo falls 20 miles short of the RS E-Tron GT.

Of course, I should point out that the E-Tron’s figures are based on Europe’s WLTP scale which is very lenient when it comes to electric range.  Real world range for the E-Tron will likely be somewhere in the range of 250 mile for the base model and 220 or so for the RS model.

How can the Base E-Tron GT offer up to 70 miles of range over the Taycan despite offering up 40 extra horses and falling just a few pound-feet short in the Torque department? That’s a good question, but part of it boils down to the E-Trons impressive drag coefficient of just 0.24. The E-Tron is still one-tenth of a second slower to 60 mph than the Taycan, but that’s a small price to pay for having all that extra range on hand.

Overall, I have to mark the E-Tron as the better model. Design-wise the E-Tron trupms the Taycan in every way. In terms of performance it does fall just a hair short, but all that extra range goes a long way – literally. Here’s a list of the full specs so you can compare the E-Tron and Taycan yourself:

Audi E-Tron GTAudi RS E-Tron GTPorsche Taycan 4SPorsche Taycan Turbo
Horsepower469 HP590 HP429 HP616 HP
Torque464 LB-FT612 LB-FT472 :B-FT626 LB-FT
Overboost HP522 HP637 HP522 HP670 HP
Overboost Torque472 LB-FT612 LB-FT472 LB-FT626 LB-FT
0-60 MPH3.9 Seconds3.1 Seconds3.8 Seconds3.0 Seconds
Top Speed152 MPH155 MPH155 MPH161 MPH
Range298 Miles (WLTP)232 Miles227 Miles212 Miles

The Ferrari 812 GTO Aperta Represents the End of an Era

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Ferrari’s history with V-12 engines goes all the way back to the 1948 Ferrari 166 F2 Formula Two racer and many of the brands cars over the past 70 years have been offered with a V-12. The Ferrari 250 GTO, arguably the most desirable Ferrari ever made boasted a V-12 engine. So did the 365 GTB4 Daytona, the Testarossa, and even the 456 GT Venice station wagon. More recent V-12 models included the Ferrari FXX, F12berlinetta, and the controversially named LaFerrari. All this history of incredible power and performance could be coming to an end as new reports are suggesting that the upcoming 812 GTO Aperta could, in fact, be Ferrari’s last front-engined, naturally aspirated V-12 – marking the end of an era and opening a door to the future.

Before I dive too deep into that, let me just point out that Ferrari has even admitted that the V-12 was eventually going to get put down, as explained to Autocar when the brand’s CTO said the firm would try to keep it around as long as possible. And, we know that the Purosangue SUV will likely be offered with the V-12 as well. Beyond the 812 and Purosangue, however, Ferrari’s V-12 could be shelved forever.

Ferrari 6.5-liter V-12 from the Ferrari 812 Superfast

As for the 812 GTO Aperta, it is expected to be a spiritual successor to the 599 GTO, and while there’s not a lot known about it at this time, it’ll likely be produced in just 812 examples – the same example set by the aforementioned 599 GTO.  That massive 6.5-liter should be massaged to deliver a little extra oomph over the 812 Superfast’s current output of 780 horsepower, but how much remains to be seen. The big changes will come in the way of aerodynamic enhancements and chassis tweaking that should improve maneuverability. Pricing will be somewhere in the range $700,000, a huge premium over the 812 Superfast but definitely well worth it.

So what happens after Ferrari’s V-12 is gone? Well, Ferrari has no choice but to embrace forced induction to a larger degree. There haven’t been too many Ferraris with forced induction in the past, but there have been a few. Furthermore, an old patent from 2018 showcased what could have been a four-banger with forced induction – something that could be used alongside some brutal electrification. Will Ferrari go all-electric in the near future? I highly doubt it, but give it 5 or 6 years, and I’m willing to bet we’ll definitely see some hybridized cars with smaller engines.