The FT-86, in case you’ve forgotten, was to be an affordable entry level sports car developed in a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru. The original concept was a front engine, rear drive coupe with a 200 horsepower boxer motor and a $20,000 price tag. Originally set to hit the market in 2011, the project has been hit by a seemingly endless string of delays, and the latest speculation on a launch date has it hitting dealer showrooms some time next year. Left Lane News tells us that the FT-86 will make an appearance at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show in December, but it isn’t clear whether or not a prototype or production car will be exhibited.
If you’ve been saving your lunch money to put down on the new (to the U.S.) Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200, Autoevolution tells us that pricing will begin at $11,999 for the non-ABS versions. That’s a lot of brown bag lunches, and it’s comparable to what you’d spend on a base 1100cc Ducati Hypermotard ($11,995). On the flip side, that’s a lot less than KTM wants you to spend on their 990 SMT, which stickers at $13,998. The Aprilia puts out 130 horsepower, which is considerably more than either its Italian or Austrian rival. The Aprilia beats the Duc, which by 35 horsepower and the Katoom by 16 horsepower, which should make the Aprilia the hoonmobile of choice. If the 750cc Dorsoduro was fast, the 1200cc Dorso promises to be stupid fast.
* LL1 Class 1
Car and Driver magazine has been pumping out high quality automotive material since 1955. They test everything from budget minded automobiles to high-end super cars to bring us some great opinions and test results. Over the past 5 years Car and Driver has started a tradition called the “Lightning Lap Roundup” in which they take the best cars from different price brackets and pit them in a head to head competition to see who comes out on top. Price points range from $0-$30,000, $30k-$60k, $60,000-$120,000, $120k-$240k and $240k and up. From the standpoint of a performance enthusiast this test is gold, as it helps performance minded guys like myself go forth and hopefully make the right decision about which car to purchase next. Personally, I’ve got my eye set on a 2011 Ford Mustang GT. I’ll take a silver one with the Brembo brake package, a 6-speed and 3:73 gears. These video’s are not only well done, but great fun to watch, so click play and enjoy.
For all video’s head on over to CarandDriver.com.
I haven’t seen Jay Leno smile this much since he got the Tonight Show. And the thing that put that smile on his substantial visage? A 65-horsepower three-wheeled commuter vehicle, the Persu tilting trike. The aerospace-inspired contraption is actually the Carver One, a Dutch invention that didn’t quite make it off the ground. Thankfully, the technology has been licensed by Persu, who plans to sell it stateside with a new, sleeker body and a hybrid drivetrain.
It seems like just yesterday when we were all in awe of this new little car that looked like nothing more than an engine with some plumbing attached to it. I speak of course about the Ariel Atom, a car that changed the rules when it came to lightweight super cars. At first glance the Atom looks as though it’s not a finished automobile, and for all intents and purposes, it isn’t. The Atom consists of what is basically a tubular exoskeleton, with a few seats, an engine and some suspension components bolted onto it. By taking such a minimalist attitude towards the car the Ariel Atom has managed to rip off some of the fastest 0-60 times in history to the tune of 2.9 seconds.
No road-going car in the history of the automobile sums up the Colin Chapman philosophy of “adding lightness” better than the Lotus 7, which lives on to this day in the form of the Caterham Roadsport and Superlight series. The cars weigh next to nothing, since luxury amenities are limited to things like seats, a steering wheel and a windshield. They’re considered to be among the best track-day toys you can buy, but they’re less than pleasant to drive on the roads to and from the track. Worse, they’re ugly as sin, since aesthetics were never considered in the vehicle’s design. Headlights and turn signals are tacked-on afterthoughts, as are the front fenders. The nose of the car is a giant grille, which gives the Caterham the appearance of a shell-shocked amphibian. Sure it’s fast, but it’s as sexy as John Madden in a dress.
Do you have a jones for the BMW 1 Series M we last showed you here? If so, Left Lane News tells us the price will start at $45,000, so now you know exactly how many internal organs and how much blood plasma you need to sell to afford one. You also have a pretty good idea of how long you’ll be eating Top Ramen, enhanced with squirrel meat (gamey, but nutritious). Like everything else, however, that price comes with a giant caveat: first, it’s the base price before you start adding options. When was the last time you saw a BMW on a dealer lot without $5,000 to $10,000 (or more) worth of tacked-on, factory-installed goodies (bratwurst scented air freshener, with BMW Roundel: $500). Next, and this is a big one, BMW will only import 1,000 1 Series M coupes to the United States. The law of supply and demand would dictate that each dealer throw a considerable amount of “ADM”, or Additional Dealer Markup, onto the price of each car sold.
Last time I checked, amateur racers on a budget had a hard time spending close to $80,000 on a race car. The grassroots racing movement is so because it’s made up of enthusiasts and hobbyists who flog there cars on the weekends, therefore it concerns me when I see things like this new Ford Mustang Boss 302S. The cars itself is a pretty hairy unit that will give Mustang enthusiasts everything they’ll need to go out an play on track with the big boys. Developed by Ford Racing the new Boss 302S is said to be one pretty competitive package according to Engineering Manager at Ford Racing, Mark Wilson.
“The enthusiasts who purchase the BOSS 302S will be competitive in both the World Challenge GTS and the NASA American Iron Series. We look forward to adding their names to the BOSS 302′s racing history.”
At RideLust, not a month goes by that we’re not crying “foul” over some EU-only sport sedan or hot hatch. “Americans don’t buy hatchbacks”, we’re told, or, “it would be too expensive if we sold it in the states”. I’ve heard all the excuses, but it doesn’t numb the pain of being excluded from cars like Ford’s Focus RS. It even appeared that VW would pass us by with the 2011 Golf R, the long awaited successor to the Golf R32. As you may have guessed, VW was unhappy with the exchange rate between Euros and U.S. dollars, and felt that the Golf R would be too expensive in the United States.
PROs: Obscenely fast, outstanding carbon ceramic brakes, a truly useful super car that can be driven daily.
CONs: Sub-par interior, handling may be twitchy for some, shaking off that old Corvette stigma.
FINAL THOUGHT: The 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a hammer of an automobile that gives you all the super car performance you’ll ever need in a package that costs a hell of a lot less then its competitors.
When I found out that I was going to take possession of a 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with the Ultimate Performance Package for a week, I was more then a little excited. You see I’m a big Corvette fan as I truly believe that out of all the sports cars on the market today, the Corvette gives you the best bang for your buck. They pack gobs of power, handle like rock stars, have a traditional front engine rear-drive layout and lets face it, look aggressive as hell. It used to be that the Corvette had a reputation as a mid-life crises machine that was only purchased by balding baby boomers wearing gold chains. Now, while that may have been true years and years ago, I’m here to tell you to forget it, because truth be told, this car kicks some serious ass.