I’m sitting in the passenger seat of a prototype Porsche 992, gaining a rare glimpse into the next generation of one of the world’s most famous sports cars ahead of its debut at the LA Motor Show later this month.
Enthusiasts were wary when the Elise SC arrived in 2008. After all, the svelte Lotus had always been about lightness, purity and immediate response – yet the SC variant, for the first time in the Elise’s history, eschewed natural aspiration for supercharging. Continue reading >>>
Some say sports cars are in serious trouble.
Generally speaking, yes, it could be argued that sports cars have lost popularity in recent years, and some reports say that sales are down.
Sports cars, it is argued, are losing ground because they can’t take the family to Costco, are surrounded by massive SUVs, and have no use in an Uber-dominated world.
But hold on a minute. Before we go writing the obituary for the high-performance sports car, let’s remember a few things.
I wonder why more car companies haven’t built competitors to the Subaru WRX.
There’s a great write-up of the entire history of the WRX over at Road & Track, which I encourage you to read if you’re new to the car’s culture. Established WRX fans are already well versed in the vehicle’s evolution and beyond stoked about the concept for a next version.
While America was introduced to the WRX in 2002, other countries (including Japan, the U.K., and Australia) have known the rally racer since 1997. That’s plenty of time for competition to spring up, but it never really did, save for the Evo.
The WRX is so different because it came from rally racing roots, is all-wheel drive, and can be had in either sedan or wagon form. That makes the car perfect for families that need to haul serious… stuff. Other carmakers just don’t have the pedigree to build a car like the WRX.
Toyota, though, could offer something similar, but with its own twist.
If you’ve turned on your TV, logged onto the Internet, or picked up a newspaper in the past week, chances are you’re at least generally aware of what’s currently happening with Volkswagen. But if you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a summary: Volkswagen made an amazingly efficient, clean diesel engine…that ended up not being so clean. By using a defeat device, VW’s 2.0-liter diesel engine was able to pass the EPA’s emissions tests while actually polluting at a rate of up to 40 times the tested numbers. The audacity of the transgression is shocking enough, but now that the investigation has begun to expand beyond VW’s 2.0-liter TDI 4-cylinder, the entire future of diesel-powered cars may be in question.
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think Toyota should build an inexpensive sports car.
If you know anything about me, you know I’m a freak about sports cars. I clamor for rear-wheel-drive, manual-shift, great-handling coupes and roadsters. I was thrilled when the Subaru BRZ came out, and I’ve gushed about the new Porsche Boxster and basically all iterations of the classic 911.
My brother-in-law races Miatas, and my father-in-law raced Porsches in his younger years.
I love sports cars and everything they represent.
There have been rumors that Toyota would build a sub-$20,000 RWD sports car, but, believe it or not, I don’t think it should.
Catching a glimpse of a supercar in my town is a rare event, so when I pulled up to my neighborhood grocery store yesterday and saw an Aston Martin Vantage in the parking lot, I lost my marbles.
The Vantage isn’t the most exotic or rare car in the world, but it’s one of my favorites. My wife is a car girl and appreciates fine automobiles but isn’t as easily impressed by anything that isn’t a Porsche. As I touted the Aston’s low-slung profile and sleek shape, she said something that took me off guard.
There are a couple of quotes we need to address today. The first is from Automotive News:
“The sports car market is roughly half of what it used to be,” Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales, said in an interview at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Munich. “Post-2008, it just collapsed. I’m not so sure it’ll ever fully recover.”
In Europe and North America, the car’s role as a status symbol has diminished, with SUVs and crossovers becoming ever more popular.
The second quote expands on the first, and comes to us by way of The Truth About Cars:
Increased congestion, urbanization and a demonization of speeding (backed by harsh, if not draconian penalties) has made the notion of a sports car an outmoded one for many people. Even the latest 991 Porsche 911 GT3 has abandoned the manual transmission.
Do we, the sports car fans of the world, have something to worry about?
Since 1905, Geneva has come to be the world’s most important auto show. We can’t show you all of them, but here are some of the more notable sports cars displayed. We find them alternately weird and wonderful. Some you’ve already heard about; some not.
You did hear this morning about the good, the bad and the ugly from our own tgriffith. He also wrote earlier about the Infiniti Emerg-E concept (above), which is not only stunning but breaks new engineering ground. Enough with the latest Ferraris, Porsches and Aventadors!
Infiniti has created something light, fast and electric with an assist from Lotus. Details are here, but basically power derives from a 3-cylinder range-extender engine (47 hp) plus over 400 hp from electric motors driving the rear wheels. Top speed is limited to 130 mph, which is certainly sufficient, and 0-60 mph comes in 4 seconds. Now if they would only change the goofy name.