13th September 2014

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13th September 2014

Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 
Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT
Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 

Mercedes Launches a 911 Killer: The 2016 AMG GT

Developed entirely in-house at Mercedes’ performance division, AMG, the new GT is a track-ready coupe daring to compete directly against Porsche’s 911 for both hearts and wallets. The newly-developed front-mid-mounted powerplant is a masterpiece that features internal turbochargers and dry-sump lubrication. Available in two trims, the GT will offer 462 horsepower and the GT S will pump out 510. Pricing has yet to be announced. 

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10th September 2014

We’ll be taking part in the annual Northwest Automotive Press Association’s annual sports car tour over the next couple days. This involves driving hardware, like this lovely Alfa Romeo 4C, through some amazing roads in Oregon. Look for clips from this event in upcoming episodes of Extra! We’ll be taking part in the annual Northwest Automotive Press Association’s annual sports car tour over the next couple days. This involves driving hardware, like this lovely Alfa Romeo 4C, through some amazing roads in Oregon. Look for clips from this event in upcoming episodes of Extra!

We’ll be taking part in the annual Northwest Automotive Press Association’s annual sports car tour over the next couple days. This involves driving hardware, like this lovely Alfa Romeo 4C, through some amazing roads in Oregon. Look for clips from this event in upcoming episodes of Extra!

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Jaguar Takes Fight to BMW 3-Series with 2016 XE

8th September 2014

With much fanfare and celebration for all things that are England, today Jaguar launched the all-new XE mid-size sport sedan. Though I guess to be proper we should use the English term “Saloon” instead. Whatever you call it, this new XE carries on the Jaguar tradition of building cars that look stunning.

Under that sleek bonnet (only .26 drag coefficient overall) is one of two engines: a supercharged 3-liter V6 petrol unit good for 340hp, with a 0-60 run of only 4.9 seconds (claimed) and a top speed of 155mph (electronically limited). Another option will be a 2-liter four-banger diesel engine that claims 75 imperial miles to the gallon. (Note that Imperial gallons are less than US gallons.)

No idea which, if either, of these engines will be available domestically. Still, this is an exciting development from Jaguar. The F-Type is a wonderful little car, but  price and size limits its appeal. With the XE there’s finally going to be a Jaguar that can fit into anyone’s life and we welcome it, though the folks at BMW may be less than thrilled.

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Lexus Announces Track-Ready 2015 RC F

4th September 2014

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A Lexus that is designed to excel on the track as well as the street. That’s the mission of the 467-horsepower RC F. Featuring the most powerful Lexus V8 to date (51 more horses than the now-discontinued IS F) the RC F  also claims to come with track-engineered chassis, drivetrain and brakes. In other words, if the press release is accurate, Lexus is offering a full combo platter of enthusiast driving pleasure. 

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Lower, longer and wider than the standard RC, all the flourishes and fancy bodywork on the RC F serve a purpose: from providing improved aerodynamics, to increasing airflow through the oil cooler. 

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We’ve given Lexus some guff for sticking the “F” badge on cars willy-nilly, but considering the RC F has been tuned on both Fuji Speedway (namesake of all “F” branded cars) and the Nürburgring Nordschleife, it seems this one may have earned its badge. 

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Because even sports cars need to be economical these days, the RC F engineers employed some witchcraft to make the V8 under its bulging hood even better than it was in the IS F. Redline has been increased 300 RPM to 7100, compression ratio is up to 12.3:1 (from 11.8:1 in the IS F). The engine also employs an Atkinson Cycle at cruising speed to improve fuel economy (TBD). Cooling of both the engine and the transmission has also improved, to increase longevity during trackdays. 

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The only transmission is the 8-speed Sports Direct Shift system. In other words, an automatic. But not just any automatic. This one has a bevy of options including a, you guessed it, trackday mode called S+. In this mode it will shift harder, faster, blip the throttle on aggressive downshifts and even hold or select gears based on G-sensor inputs. 

We look forward to driving this one soon. Maybe a BMW vs. Lexus shootout is in order?

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3rd September 2014

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3rd September 2014

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16
2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery
On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)
The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 
Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.
Development Specifications:
Body type: Open-top sports carSeating capacity: 2 personsOverall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mmWheelbase: 2,315mmEngine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engineTransmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmissionFront suspension: Double wishboneRear suspension: MultilinkSteering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discsTires: 195/50R16

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Launch Gallery

On Wednesday, September 3, Mazda hosted multiple launch events around the world to unveil the 2016 MX-5 Miata. Here in the USA the car made its public debut in Monterey, California, with Duran Duran (who looked somewhat bored with the whole affair) as the backing band. (Event photos: Shige/KURUMAG)

The car appears to be smaller than the outgoing model (confirmed in the development specs, below.) It also has much sharper lines. Engine specifications are not yet known, but it will likely come standard with a Skyactiv-G engine with about 150hp and a 6-speed manual transmission. Mazda, it seems, didn’t want to give too much away on this initial reveal. 

Watch the walk-around video from the reveal.

Development Specifications:

Body type: Open-top sports car
Seating capacity: 2 persons
Overall length x width x height: 3,915mm X 1,730mm X 1,235mm
Wheelbase: 2,315mm
Engine SKYACTIV-G: direct-injection gasoline engine
Transmissions: SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission
Front suspension: Double wishbone
Rear suspension: Multilink
Steering: Electric Power Assisted Rack & Pinion Steering (EPAS)
Brakes (front/rear): Ventilated discs / Solid discs
Tires: 195/50R16

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3rd September 2014

Spy Photo: Production Toyota FCV?
Today our photographer captured a vehicle that “was full of Japanese people, not happy I was photographing their car.” Can you identify what it is? We’re guessing it may be a next-generation Toyota Prius sedan? What do you think?
Update: It’s a Toyota FCV, a fuel-cell vehicle due Summer 2015 in the USA. This looks like a pre-production model. Spy Photo: Production Toyota FCV?
Today our photographer captured a vehicle that “was full of Japanese people, not happy I was photographing their car.” Can you identify what it is? We’re guessing it may be a next-generation Toyota Prius sedan? What do you think?
Update: It’s a Toyota FCV, a fuel-cell vehicle due Summer 2015 in the USA. This looks like a pre-production model.

Spy Photo: Production Toyota FCV?

Today our photographer captured a vehicle that “was full of Japanese people, not happy I was photographing their car.” Can you identify what it is? We’re guessing it may be a next-generation Toyota Prius sedan? What do you think?

Update: It’s a Toyota FCV, a fuel-cell vehicle due Summer 2015 in the USA. This looks like a pre-production model.

 ·  comments
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