Long Term: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: July/August 2013

Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Hyundai, Long-Term Garage

Long-term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

If you’ve been reading the past several updates on our long-term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, you may have noticed a trend developing. This is a flawed vehicle. Not critically so, but for many of our editors, this vehicle’s annoying attributes are indeed outweighing the good. What may not be obvious, though, is that the deck is kind of stacked against the Turbo model.

See, a Veloster with its base powertrain and less of the gimmicky, look-at-me styling is a solid, fashion-forward, nicely packaged hatchback at a good price. Our issues haven’t so much been with the Veloster itself, but with the unfulfilled expectations of hot-hatchery that the Turbo brings to the equation.

For this update, then, I will focus on a common bridge between the two Veloster models: the cars’ top-end infotainment systems. Tack on the Style and Tech packs on the standard Veloster or the Ultimate Package on a Veloster Turbo, and you’ll get the same Blue Link infotainment system, touchscreen navigation and eight-speaker Dimension stereo (a standard item on the VT).

Continue reading 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: July/August 2013

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: July/August 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Long Term: 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: July/August 2013

Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Hyundai, Long-Term Garage

Long-term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo

If you’ve been reading the past several updates on our long-term 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, you may have noticed a trend developing. This is a flawed vehicle. Not critically so, but for many of our editors, this vehicle’s annoying attributes are indeed outweighing the good. What may not be obvious, though, is that the deck is kind of stacked against the Turbo model.

See, a Veloster with its base powertrain and less of the gimmicky, look-at-me styling is a solid, fashion-forward, nicely packaged hatchback at a good price. Our issues haven’t so much been with the Veloster itself, but with the unfulfilled expectations of hot-hatchery that the Turbo brings to the equation.

For this update, then, I will focus on a common bridge between the two Veloster models: the cars’ top-end infotainment systems. Tack on the Style and Tech packs on the standard Veloster or the Ultimate Package on a Veloster Turbo, and you’ll get the same Blue Link infotainment system, touchscreen navigation and eight-speaker Dimension stereo (a standard item on the VT).

Continue reading 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: July/August 2013

2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo: July/August 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Porsche, First Drives

A Wicked-Fast Street Legal Multi-Tool

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Walter Röhrl was carving up the circuit in the Porsche 911 Turbo S like a skilled Jedi Master – and I was sitting next to him, mesmerized by the breathtaking show. I had strapped myself securely into the front passenger bucket of the all-new coupe less than a minute earlier, expecting nothing more than a few quick laps around a track at the hands of another celebrated race driver. Been there, done that. Many times, actually.

Yet this was different. Röhrl was not only calculated and methodical in his approach, but his rally-tuned cerebrum appeared to be actively reading available grip levels while he was effortlessly tossing the all-wheel-drive Porsche into each corner at gut-wrenching speeds. His hands were moving rapidly, sending tiny steering corrections to the front tires, and he was using every inch of the track to extract more speed. We launched over a curb, dropped a wheel in the dirt and then drifted around a wide off-camber turn. His human precision and focus was astounding, and the performance he was extracting from the machine was just short of breathtaking.

Few drivers are as gifted as Walter Röhrl – and few vehicles are as capable as the new Porsche 911 Turbo.

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2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Porsche, First Drives

A Wicked-Fast Street Legal Multi-Tool

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S

Walter Röhrl was carving up the circuit in the Porsche 911 Turbo S like a skilled Jedi Master – and I was sitting next to him, mesmerized by the breathtaking show. I had strapped myself securely into the front passenger bucket of the all-new coupe less than a minute earlier, expecting nothing more than a few quick laps around a track at the hands of another celebrated race driver. Been there, done that. Many times, actually.

Yet this was different. Röhrl was not only calculated and methodical in his approach, but his rally-tuned cerebrum appeared to be actively reading available grip levels while he was effortlessly tossing the all-wheel-drive Porsche into each corner at gut-wrenching speeds. His hands were moving rapidly, sending tiny steering corrections to the front tires, and he was using every inch of the track to extract more speed. We launched over a curb, dropped a wheel in the dirt and then drifted around a wide off-camber turn. His human precision and focus was astounding, and the performance he was extracting from the machine was just short of breathtaking.

Few drivers are as gifted as Walter Röhrl – and few vehicles are as capable as the new Porsche 911 Turbo.

Continue reading 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S

2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Corvette Z06 to be renamed Z07, come with twin-turbo V8?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Chevrolet, Luxury

According to a report in Car and Driver, the new C7 Corvette version of the Corvette Z06 will pick up practically where the ZR1 left off. First, they predict it will graduate to being called the Z07; if so, it will be the next General Motors Regular Production Code (RPO), like Z28 and, yes, Z06, to become a model name.

And if you thought a hybrid Corvette was a sharp point of discussion, how about a production version of the small-block V8 with a displacement of “significantly less than 6.2 liters” aided by twin-turbos? That’s what CD believes will rest under the hood of the Z07, citing the ever-present concern for fuel economy and the fact that bitumen burners from Cadillac have given up supercharging for turbocharging. The horsepower number is predicted to be an even 600, which would be a 95-hp jump over the current Z06 and just 38 less than the late, great ZR1. Helping to keep control of all that truculent muscle will be larger tires encircling carbon-ceramic stoppers, but CD is mum on other specific changes.

The mooted price: $100,000. This might be the most fabulous new spec of all, seeing as it would represent a $24,400 increase over the Z06 and just a $12,600 undercut of the ZR1. Compare and contrast: in 2001, the first year of the Z06, the MSRP of a 350-hp Corvette coupe was $40,725, the MSRP of the 385-horsepower Z06 was $48,500; if CD is correct, the 2014 Corvette’s sea level will be established by the 455-hp Stingray that costs $51,995 and in 2015 we’ll be staring down the twin, forced-induction barrels of a 600-hp, twin-turbo Z07 that starts at six figures and that could still be leaving room for a new ZR1 late in the model’s lifetime.

Corvette Z06 to be renamed Z07, come with twin-turbo V8? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Sep 2013 16:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Corvette Z06 to be renamed Z07, come with twin-turbo V8?

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Chevrolet, Luxury

According to a report in Car and Driver, the new C7 Corvette version of the Corvette Z06 will pick up practically where the ZR1 left off. First, they predict it will graduate to being called the Z07; if so, it will be the next General Motors Regular Production Code (RPO), like Z28 and, yes, Z06, to become a model name.

And if you thought a hybrid Corvette was a sharp point of discussion, how about a production version of the small-block V8 with a displacement of “significantly less than 6.2 liters” aided by twin-turbos? That’s what CD believes will rest under the hood of the Z07, citing the ever-present concern for fuel economy and the fact that bitumen burners from Cadillac have given up supercharging for turbocharging. The horsepower number is predicted to be an even 600, which would be a 95-hp jump over the current Z06 and just 38 less than the late, great ZR1. Helping to keep control of all that truculent muscle will be larger tires encircling carbon-ceramic stoppers, but CD is mum on other specific changes.

The mooted price: $100,000. This might be the most fabulous new spec of all, seeing as it would represent a $24,400 increase over the Z06 and just a $12,600 undercut of the ZR1. Compare and contrast: in 2001, the first year of the Z06, the MSRP of a 350-hp Corvette coupe was $40,725, the MSRP of the 385-horsepower Z06 was $48,500; if CD is correct, the 2014 Corvette’s sea level will be established by the 455-hp Stingray that costs $51,995 and in 2015 we’ll be staring down the twin, forced-induction barrels of a 600-hp, twin-turbo Z07 that starts at six figures and that could still be leaving room for a new ZR1 late in the model’s lifetime.

Corvette Z06 to be renamed Z07, come with twin-turbo V8? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Sep 2013 16:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Autocar pits McLaren MP4-12C against turbo Toyota GT86

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Scion, Subaru, Toyota, UK, Racing, Comparisons, McLaren

Autocar pits a Toyota GT86 Turbo against a McLaren MP4-12C on track.

The Toyota GT86, in all of its forms, is one of the best-handling cars money can buy, a trait that can put a smile on the faces of all but the most jaded car enthusiasts. But if good handling isn’t what they’re looking for, then what is? Our first guess would have to be more power, something the 200-horsepower Toyota would benefit from. Autocar tries out that theory by driving two turbocharged GT86s on track, then pitting the more powerful one against the 616-hp McLaren MP4-12C in a track battle.

The first GT86 turbo Autocar‘s Steve Sutcliffe drives makes around 255 rear-wheel horsepower and a bucket-load more torque than the stock car. That’s plenty of power to either have a lot of fun or get into a lot of trouble. But the GT86 that Sutcliffe tails in the McLaren is race-prepped, stripped to the bone and wears slicks to harness a heavy-hitting 335 hp at the wheel. Weighing in at under 2,500 pounds, the Toyota can’t overcome the MP4-12C’s power-to-weight ratio of 5.3 pounds per horsepower, but it comes pretty close.

Enjoy a lot of chasing and drifting fun in the video below!

Continue reading Autocar pits McLaren MP4-12C against turbo Toyota GT86

Autocar pits McLaren MP4-12C against turbo Toyota GT86 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: Kia Track’ster still on table, Soul turbo possible

Filed under: Concept Cars, Plants/Manufacturing, Hatchback

2012 Kia Track'ster concept live at Chicago Auto Show

The Soul is a massive success – no news there.

We’ve just finished up in San Diego at the launch of the 2014 Kia Soul (sit tight for our First Drive next week), and we’ve learned a few things about the Korean automaker’s box-car future.

In the main, the Soul is a massive success – no news there – with Kia officials telling us that the US is gobbling up 80 to 90 percent of production coming out of the company’s Gwangju plant. Counterintuitively, it’s doing so well that its demand is actually hurting the viability of potential spinoff models like the 2012 Track’ster concept shown above, along with other variants. The issue is production capacity – or rather a lack thereof. In 2012, the Soul sold 112,000 copies here (its best-ever performance) and Michael Sprague, Kia’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications, says “we could have sold a lot more.” The problem is, Kia Motors America can’t get any more units, the factory is running flat-out. Thus, with the standard car selling so well, there’s no room and little incentive to develop new models.

Response to the widebody Track’ster was off the charts.

That isn’t going to stop Kia from coming to market with a Soul EV, which is expected to be shown at a US auto show some time this upcoming season, but it is making it hard to justify adding something like the Track’ster or a Soul turbo. This, despite company officials telling Autoblog that they’d love to see the 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo from the recently introduced 2014 Forte SX snugged in the Soul’s engine bay. The engine fits and the new K platform is up to the task, but there’s also the question of price – Executive Director of Product Planning, Orth Hedrick, tells us that such a model would likely have to cost around $2,500 more, and the automaker isn’t sure they want the Soul’s pricing bandwidth to extend that high, especially with the turbocharged Sportage already available.

Sprague admits response to the widebody Track’ster was off the charts and the project is still very much on the table, but to hear him tell it, the model sounds unlikely as long as the Soul continues to be capacity constrained. Reading between the lines a bit, it would seem that if US demand continues to be as robust as it has been, Kia is going to have to find a way to build the Soul in North America soon – possibly by expanding its West Point, Georgia plant, which is itself maxxed out building the Optima and Sorento. Given how long it would take to build out and tool up West Point, though, it seems like the Track’ster’s window of viability is closing. In the meantime, the buying public will have to be happy with the redone styling of the Track’ster-influenced 2014 Soul.

Kia Track’ster still on table, Soul turbo possible originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Auctions: eBay Find of the Day: 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe is showroom fresh

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Auctions, Ford

1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe

There’s an ultra-rare Ford Thunderbird for sale on eBay, although it’s not quite the T-Bird you’re probably thinking. This is a 1987 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe, complete with a five-speed manual transmission and just a shade over 13,000 miles on the clock. The condition is said to be mint, and judging by the interior and exterior pictures, we’re inclined to believe the seller. The paint is glossy and the interior looks showroom new, while the underbody is stunningly clean for a 26-year-old car.

Underhood sits a 2.3-liter, intercooled and turbocharged four-cylinder (also found in the Mustang SVO) that was producing 190 horsepower when it left the factory. Inside, the five-speed manual transmission adds to the car’s rarity. The vehicle’s sole owner has been as immaculate with the paperwork as he has with the rest of the car – it’s all there, including brochures and other product material.

The eBay auction ends tomorrow at midnight (9:00 PM if you’re on America’s west coast). Bidding has reached $10,200, and there’s still plenty of time to get in on this future classic. The vehicle is located in Millstone Township, NJ.

eBay Find of the Day: 1987 Ford Thunderbird Turbo Coupe is showroom fresh originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: New entry-level Caterham Seven to get turbo’d Suzuki 3-cylinder

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, MISC

Caterham's next entry level car will have a 660cc Suzuki three-cylinder engine.

Caterham is lowering the price and adding lightness to its newest entry-level Seven, with a sub-17,000-pound ($26,061) window sticker and a new engine from Suzuki, a 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder mill that will produce less horsepower than the current 125-hp entry level model (it was not mentioned if the Suzuki-powered Seven will replace any models). The new, lightweight engine complements a re-engineered chassis featuring major suspension revisions.

Without releasing actual horsepower or fuel efficiency numbers, the automaker said in a release that the Suzuki engine is the smallest, cleanest and most efficient engine ever used in a Seven. That’s not surprising when considering that the engine we suspect Caterham will be using was designed for Suzuki’s kei cars in Japan, such as the MR, which are restricted to a maximum of 660cc and 63 hp.

“Our intention for this car is to offer the joy of the Seven in distilled form, so the new entry-level car is lighter, cheaper, more economical and more accessible than ever,” says Caterham Cars CEO Graham Macdonald. Check out the press release below for a few more details, and sit tight for word on North American availability.

Continue reading New entry-level Caterham Seven to get turbo’d Suzuki 3-cylinder

New entry-level Caterham Seven to get turbo’d Suzuki 3-cylinder originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 14:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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