Porsche 911 GT3


Enough with the leaks and speculation. Here it is. The 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. The ultimate naturally aspirated 911 and the 997's motorsports-infused swan-song.

As the name would suggest, this latest limited-edition 911 packs a 4.0-liter flat-six derived from the 911 GT3 RSR racer, complete with forged pistons, titanium connecting rods and a crankshaft pulled directly from its track-bred descendent. The result is the most powerful normally aspirated 911 to date, with 500 horsepower peaking at 8,250 rpm and maximum torque – 339 pound-feet – coming in at 5,750 rpm.

That massive engine partnered with a host of lightweight kit (carbon fiber buckets, front fenders, luggage compartment lid and "weight-optimized" carpets) allows the 2,998-pound (wet, mind) GT3 RS 4.0 to run to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, crack 124 mph in less than 12 seconds and top out at 193 mph.

A six-speed manual is the only gearbox available and the Carrara (their spelling) White paint comes standard, along with central twin exhausts, massive rear wing and the first production application of air deflection vanes on both sides of t
he front bumper (dubbed "flics") to improve stability and exert an extra 426 pounds of downforce at speed.

And before you ask, the RS 4.0 ran the Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 27 seconds, putting it in contention for one of the fastest production cars ever run around the Nordschleife.

If you've got $185,000 laying around in your hedge fund, get your orders in now. Only 600 will be produced when sales begin later this year. Full details in the press blast after the jump.


Porsche 911 Turbo S


What is it?
Porsche’s response to customer demand for a faster, more focused version of what already ranks as the fastest and most accelerative car in its range, the four-wheel drive 911 Turbo. If it steals back a little business from the ever-keen independent tuning outfits, so much the better. It costs £123,263. 

Technical highlights?
Reworked turbos and higher boost pressure lift power and torque to 523bhp and 516lb ft, gains of 30bhp and 37lb ft respectively, but the Turbo S is no thirstier with a combined consumption of 24.8mpg. Porsche Torque Vectoring, which varies the driveto each individual rear wheel to achieve a more neutral cornering balance and enhanced traction when pressing on, is standard on the S. It also gets the SportChrono pack - which includes launch control and gives keener throttle, damper and stability control settings at the touch of a button - and dynamic engine mounts for improved rigidity and transitional handling characteristics. Ceramic stoppers, dynamic cornering headlights, two-tone leather carbon-shelled sports seats and 19-inch RS Spyder alloy wheels are all included in the S spec. And’s there’s no manual option – it’s 7-speed PDK and paddles or nothing. 

What’s it like to drive?
If acceleration, grip and stopping power are priorities, pretty damn awesome. The 911 Turbo S is as quick to 60mph as a McLaren F1 and is only half a nose behind at 100mph. Hugely torquey engine and lightning-fast PDK double-clutch shifts combine to deliver massive, horizon-hauling thrust in return for a modest flexing of your right ankle. The engine note is more whoosh than wonderful and the whole driving experience lacks the intimate precision, instant agility and bristling tactile and sonicfeedback of the GT3’s but there’s no denying the Turbo S’s blistering pace on any type of road, wet or dry. Or the relatively modest demands on driver talent needed to achieve it.

How does it compare?
If you’re looking for the purest and most exhilarating 911 experience, we’d have to point you in the direction of the GT3 RS. The Turbo S feels like a relatively blunt object by comparison. You’ll pocket a tidy saving as well. Ferrari’s more expensive 458 Italia has a much more engaging supercar vibe and a real sense of F1 technology transfer. But it can’t live with the Porsche’s pace.

Anything else I need to know?
All this comes in £130,791 soft-top form as well which, in the final analysis, probably tells you all you need to know about the Turbo S – an engine tweak and options bundle rather than a thoroughbred, but a crowd-pleaser all the same.

Audi R8


The 2012 Audi R8 ranks 2 out of 5 Exotic Sports Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 51 published reviews and test drives of the Audi R8, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

Reviewers love the 2012 Audi R8 for its impressive performance and aggressive styling, but unlike some other exotic sports cars, the R8 is also comfortable.

The 2012 Audi R8 continues to impress reviewers with its exotic sports car performance and comfortable ride. The R8’s combination of an adaptive suspension, which adjusts to road conditions and driving style, and road-gripping all-wheel drive make this Audi a competent performer, but reviewers say that those features also make it a sports car that you could use as a daily driver. Kelley Blue Book writes, "It's an incredibly capable performance machine, yet every bit as luxurious as it is sporting."

The R8 has three engines available for 2012, and while only 90 U.S. buyers will be able to purchase the 560-horsepower R8 GT, reviewers say that the base 430-horsepower R8 4.2 is a competent performer and an excellent value in its class. The R8 5.2 is no slouch either with 525 horsepower on tap.

A six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automated manual transmission is available on the 4.2 and 5.2 trims, while the R8 GT gets the automated manual as standard equipment. Most reviewers prefer the standard manual transmission, saying that the automated manual can be a bit sluggish.

Inside, reviewers find the R8’s interior to be comfortable and precision-crafted with high-quality materials, but there are a few concerns. The first is the R8’s limited cargo space. At just 3.5 cubic feet, the R8’s trunk is tiny, even by exotic sports car standards. Don’t expect to pack the R8 for a weekend trip. Second, many test drivers dislike Audi’s Multi Media Interface. Some reviewers say that it’s confusing because it absorbs too many entertainment and navigation functions.

However, the automotive press agrees that if you can live with these quirks, the 2012 Audi R8 offers performance, comfort and style at a price that undercuts many of its exotic sports car rivals.
Other Cars to Consider

Starting at about $114,000, the Audi R8 costs considerably less than many exotic sports cars. However, there are similarly priced sports cars that match the R8’s performance.

Starting at $137,500, the Porsche 911 Turbo splits the price difference between the R8 4.2 and 5.2, but exceeds both when it comes to acceleration. Its twin-turbocharged flat-six produces 500 horsepower, and like the R8, the 911 Turbo’s standard all-wheel drive provides impressive grip. Porsche says that the 911 Turbo will sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds with the six-speed manual or 3.4 seconds with the automatic Porsche Doppelkupplung transmission. That’s at least a half second quicker than the $149,000 R8 5.2 and a full second faster than the R8 4.2.

If you like the brisk acceleration of both the 911 Turbo and the R8 5.2, but want to spend less, don’t overlook the Corvette ZR-1. At $110,300, the ZR-1 costs nearly $4,000 less than the R8 4.2, but that doesn’t mean the ZR-1 is short on power. With its 638-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 and six-speed manual transmission, Chevrolet says that the ZR-1 rockets from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds, which is just as quick as the 911 Turbo with the automatic transmission. However, the ZR-1 has rear-wheel drive. If you’re looking for a performance car with all-wheel drive grip, you might prefer the Audi or the Porsche.
Audi R8: The Details

The 2012 Audi R8 comes in either coupe or Spyder (convertible) body styles, and is available in three different trims that differ based on their performance capabilities. The R8 4.2 comes with a 4.2-liter, 430-horsepower V8 engine and a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automated manual transmission is optional. The R8 4.2 coupe starts at roughly $114,000, while pricing on the 4.2 Spyder begins slightly less than $128,000. Standard equipment on the 4.2 includes heated, 10-way power-adjustable seats, Bluetooth and a seven-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack, satellite radio and a six-disc CD changer. Options on the R8 4.2 include navigation, an iPod connection, 12-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo and Audi’s Convenience Package, which adds features such as a backup cameraand front and rear parking sensors.

If you want more power, opting for the R8 5.2 will get you a 5.2-liter, 525-horsepower V10, as well as additional standard features that include LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors with backup camera, navigation and a 12-speaker Bang and Olufsen stereo with an iPod connection. The R8 5.2 coupe starts at $149,000, while the 5.2 Spyder rings up at less than $163,000.

New for 2012 is the limited-production Audi R8 GT, which starts at almost $197,000. The R8 GT weighs in at 180 pound less than the R8 5.2 and features a 560-horsepower, 5.2-liter V10 engine, six-speed automated manual transmission and sport-tuned coil-over suspension. Audi says in a press release that the R8 GT has a top speed of 199 mph and will sprint from zero to 62 mph (100 km) in just 3.6 seconds. Only 333 R8 GTs will be made, and only 90 of those will be sold in the U.S.

Toyota Supra


The first Toyota Supra's appeared in Japan in 1978, and production continued until 2002, with the car undergoing three major revisions culminating in the Mk IV twin turbo Toyota Supra of 1993 - 2002.The Mark IV Toyota Supra was offered with two different engine options; a naturally aspirated 2JZ-GE, 3.0 litre, straight 6 with 220 horsepower and 210 ft/lbs of torque, and a 2JZ-GTE 3.0 litre twin turbocharged straight 6 with 320 horsepower and 315 ft/lbs of torque.

For many, part of the twin turbo Toyota Supra's attraction comes from the easily upgraded power output. 450 - 500 horsepower can be had out of the stock turbos with a free flowing intake and exhaust system coupled with an aftermarket boost controller.

The MKIV Supra's turbochargers operate in a sequential format where, at first, all of the exhaust gasses are routed to the first turbine for reduced lag. This results in increased boost and enhanced torque as low as 1800 rpm. Approaching 4000 rpm, the exhaust gasses are routed to the second turbine for a "pre-boost" mode, although none of the compressor output is used by the engine at this point. Around 4500 rpm, the second turbo's output is added to the intake air, and both turbos operate in parallel. The sequential operation of the Toyota Supra's turbos allow for improved low-end response.

The Mark IV Toyota Supra, although no featherweight, was extensively lightened compared to the previous generation. The use of aluminium for the hood, targa top, front crossmember, oil pan, and upper A-arms helped. As did dished out head bolts, a magnesium steering wheel, plastic petrol cover, and a gas injected rear spoiler. Despite having more features such as dual airbags, traction control, larger brakes, larger wheels, and larger tires, the MK IV Supra was at least 45 kgs (100 lbs) lighterthan the outgoing model.

External review by AJI:

The MKiv Toyota Supra saw an extensive weight reduction diet over the previous version of this model. At a time when Supercars were being produced left right and centre, Toyota decided to get in on the act with the MKiv. Honda had already realeased the NSX and Nissan with the Skyline and the 300ZX, and with Europe and its choices of British, Italian and German high performance cars the Supra was fitted with a twin turbo setup and the export version hit the market with 326bhp as standard.

The export version of the Supra was the highest specification version of the Supra, this is strange as the Japanese home market versions are usually this way. So therefore this saw the export versions fitted with stronger steel turbos, bigger brakes, bigger fuel injectors, glass headlights, full leather interior, and generally more 'toys'. They were all twin turbos and came in either 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. The export MKiv was generally over engineered, it therefore produces a car that can easily be tuned to the 450-500bhp area without the need to upgrade vital internal parts. The getrag 6-speed gearbox is a good strong unit and the 6- cylinder engine is a racey unit with plenty of torque.

The export Supras were tested and produced a 4.9sec time to get to 60mph. The top speed of the export versions is 180mph, and 6th gear if it were allowed would result in a top speed of 196mph if the car had the power to get there.

The Japanese home market versions of the Supra came with a large tick-box on the specification lists. But the two main models were the RZ (the twin turbo) or the SZ (the normal aspirated version). Later in the production line the GZ was released which was basically an RZ with all the extras ticked. And later still the Japanese home market version went through a facelift giving it the bigger brakes and other details which included a modification to the front bumper.

The engines between the J-spec and the export version has some considerably differences. The turbos were ceramic as opposed to steel, the fuel injectors were smaller and although the torque figure was still very coparable to the export version the bhp figure was slightly down.

The J-specs had a top speed of 170mph due to the slightly lower bhp figure. And, they got to 60mph in 5.1sec. The automatic versions always had slightly worse performance figures due to the power loss through the transmission, but the auto box is still considered one of the best on the market.

The Euro-spec version of the export model saw the inclusion of a bonnet vent to aid cooling to cylinders 3 and 6, the Japanese home market and US export version never had a bonnet vent. Some home market Supras appeared with no rear spoiler, this is down to the tick-boxes on the spec. list.


Toyota Prius


The 2012 Toyota Prius ranks 10 out of 19 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 34 published reviews and test drives of the Toyota Prius, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The 2012 Toyota Prius isn’t the fastest or best-handling car, but auto journalists say its excellent fuel economy ratings will appeal to green car shoppers.

Reviewers say that if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient car, the 2012Toyota Prius should be high on your list. Its fuel economy ratings are some of the best in the industry, excluding all-electric cars. For 2012, Toyota introduced the all-new Prius Plug-in. Like the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt, the Prius Plug-in lets owners charge the battery by plugging it into a standard wall outlet. Reviewers like that the Prius Plug-in’s battery can be recharged in three hours or less, depending on the wall outlet’s voltage.

The 2012 Prius is well-liked by test drivers for its quiet cabin, spacious trunk, high-tech electronics and comfortable ride. The Prius gets knocked for its soft suspension, squishy brakes, numb steering and lackluster acceleration. The automotive press says that if fuel economy is your top priority, the Prius is a top contender and worth a test drive. However, if you’re looking for something engaging to drive, this isn’t the car for you. They say its hybrid powertrain is extremely boring when you’re behind the wheel.

Other Cars to Consider

Although the Honda Insight is the Prius’ obvious contender since it looks so similar, it ranks poorly among hybrid cars. A better car to consider is the Ford Fusion Hybrid. It has a higher base price, but test drivers like its roomy interior and good fuel economy. Although is uses more fuel than the Prius, test drivers say it’s a good option if you’re looking for a green car with the practicality of a midsizesedan.

If you’ve got more money to spend, the Chevrolet Volt is worth a test drive. It features a similar drivetrain to the Toyota Prius Plug-in, but the Volt’s drivetrain is more versatile. The Volt’s electric-only range is longer, and it’s more efficient when operating on electric power alone. However, the Prius does get better fuel economy in gas/hybrid mode.

Toyota Prius: The Details

The 2012 Toyota Prius comes in two versions: hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The Prius hybrid is available in four trim levels: Two, Three, Four and Five. The Prius Plug-in hybrid only comes in two trims: standard and Advanced. Some entertainment features have changed for 2012, but overall, the Prius sees minor changes. The Prius Plug-in is a new model for 2012. The larger Prius V and smaller Prius c are reviewed separately



Lotus Exora

 

The Lotus Evora is essentially a stretched version of the no-longer-sold-here Elise and Exige. Designed for touring rather than track days, the Evora is roomier, more comfortable, and marginally more practical than the Elise and Exige. However, it's still a Lotus, which means that outstanding driverfeedback, sublime handling, and spot-on driving dynamics all come standard. A mid-mounted, Toyota-sourced 3.5-liter V-6 provides 276 hp in the Evora; tacking on a supercharger helps the Evora S put out 345 hp. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. 

There is a new automatic, dubbed Intelligent Performance Shift, that can be manually operated via steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The automatic is available only with the normally aspirated engine, but Lotus purists should really stick with the manual gearbox. There is a long list of changes and tweaks for 2012, including the trickle-down to the base Evora of some items that were previously exclusive to the Evora S, such as a noisier exhaust and a close-ratio transmission. 

Standard equipment is pretty much limited to such things as power windows and locks; options include touch-screen navigation, a backupcamera, heated seats, and seven different wheel designs. The Evora can be specified as a two-seater, with a small bench behind the driver's seat, or a two-plus-two, but the rear seats in this case are exceptionally tiny. Now that the Elise and the Exige are no longer sold here, the Evora is the only way to get behind the wheel of a new Lotus.

 

Proton Espire

 

It’s one of the things that makes Malaysia unique – a popular expremiere who as the adviser to the national car company, can scoop all of the motoring publications in Malaysia when it comes to test driving and revealing the first details of the upcoming P321A! Our exPrime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir has test driven Related PostsF1: McLaren reveals its 2012 challenger – the MP427Goodies list in conjuction with Federal Territories Day 2012 Proton P321A Tuah spotted on carrier along the GuthrieProton P321A Tuah interior revealed for the first time! Is this the new Proton Tuahbased Persona R (P321A)? Proton Espire (Persona R) renderings from GLC Open DayProton Tuah (Persona R) prototype spied again in KLProton Tuah Concept spotted on the ELITE highway! Proton Tuah Concept previews next generation Persona!Peugeot 207 teaser reveals first details of Malaysian specs.

 

There was an event called the GLC Open Day held over the weekend of 2426 June at KL Convention Centre. It was a government effort to educate the public on the unique roles played by various GLCs, and participants included GLICs such as the EPF, Khazanah Nasional and PNB to GLCs like Malaysia Airlines, Axiata, Related posts:Proton Tuah (Persona R) prototypespied again in KLProton Tuah Concept previews next generation Persona! Proton Persona SE now on sale for RM59,800 Proton Persona launched in the UK market.

An unofficial date for the launching of Proton P3-21A has revealed by the Proton sales advisor, which will set at the date 15th March 2012. There also a rumours pricing for the Proton P3-21A which is between from RM63,000 to RM73,000.

Honda Jazz Hybrid

 

Honda has announced a hybrid version of its popular Jazz supermini that will go on sale here early in 2011, after a debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.

Despite being smaller and cheaper than the Insight - with which it shares an identical petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain - the Jazz's CO2 and fuel consumption figures will be slightly less economical as the supermini is taller and therefore less aerodynamic.

It is, however, more spacious. Pricing has not been announced, but it should sit well below the £16,225 of the cheapest Insight.

Honda has not yet released economy and emission data, but the lowest polluting versions of the Insight emit 101g/km of CO2, while the heavier, bigger-wheeled models generate 105g/km. The Jazz figure will probably sit closer to 105g/km. Either way that's less competitive than the Polo Bluemotion (91g/km) and the Fiesta Econetic (98g/km) produce, although their diesel engines will generate more emissions of other kinds. The standard Jazz issues 125g/km of CO2.

As with the Insight the Jazz is a parallel hybrid, its electric motor is sandwiched between the 1.3 litre petrol engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. The battery is mounted under the boot floor and will be capable of propelling the Jazz for short distances under electric power alone at low and medium speeds.

The Jazz is the world's first hybrid supermini, and will be distinguished by revised, blue-edged headlights, clear rear lights, a new grille, restyled bumpers and chrome tailgate décor, while inside the dashboard is of a darker shade to contrast with the blue instrument lighting.

 
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