Corvette Z06 race cars to arrive in batches of 10, Toyota’s first EV SUV, Porsche’s flat-six party rages on
Corvette Racing targets modest initial run for Z06 GT3.R
Intake: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither shall Corvette Racing build a thriving GT3 customer program. Speaking with Sportscar365, GM’s sports car racing program manager Laura Wontrop Klauser revealed that Chevy is targeting a first year run of 10 units for its new turn-key Corvette Z06 GT3.R race car. The car, which is set to debut in 2024, is based heavily upon the road-going Corvette Z06. Klauser said that the modest targets reflects Corvette Racing’s need to gauge interest. She also said that early efforts will primarily focus on U.S.-based customers and teams.
Exhaust: If we’re speculating, we’d bet there will be no shortage of racing teams in the states that would love the idea of running a Corvette. But it all comes down to who’s making the calls and writing the checks. What’s more, compelling GT3 programs already exist from the likes of Porsche and Acura—Chevy is hardly the first to discover this goldmine. We’re hoping all ten units get snatched up right away so that we see more Z06 GT3.Rs on the grid in due time.
Porsche Taycan gains GTS model
The all-electric Taycan has a new GTS model to slot in between the 4S and Turbo. Its 590 hp compares with the 462 hp offered by the 4S and the whopping 670 hp of the Turbo. There’s a SportDesign front fascia and side skirts with GTS logos, a gloss-black rear diffuser and 20-inch Aero Design wheels with a satin black finish to distinguish it from its stablemates. Suspension and performance equipment comes from the Turbo, re-calibrated for the GTS. Most notably the GTS comes in a new fastback version called Sport Turismo. This more road-focused version does away with the Cross Turismo’s wheel arch cladding, and sits as low as the sedan. Prices start at $131,440 for the GTS sedan and $133,300 for the Sport Turismo.
Exhaust: There’s something for every Porschephile in L.A. Fast road drivers get the awesome GT4, wannabe racers get the Clubsport, and EV-evangelists get the Taycan GTS. Now that’s German democracy in action.
TVR Griffith delayed again with an EV in the offing
Intake: The rebirth of British sports car maker TVR has been pushed back to late 2023 according to Evo, but it’s not all bad news. The company has announced a partnership with Ensorcia Metals Corporation to bolster its funds and to develop an electric powertrain to future-proof the firm. TVR’s “new” Griffith was first revealed in 2017 and the V-8 powered machine attracted plenty of pre-orders. Those buyers will need a lot of patience as production is still quite some time away, despite the company enlisting Gordon Murray to streamline the manufacturing. Ensorcia’s investment is also said to be used for developing a new electric vehicle for the second part of the decade.
Exhaust: The TVR saga drags on, but hopefully all the funding is now in place and this striking sports car will finally reach the road.
Toyota joins EV fray with “bZ4X” SUV
Intake: Toyota is finally hopping into the all-electric game with the new bZ4X SUV. It’s built on the same e-TNGA platform that will also underpin the Subaru Solterra, which should also break cover later today. Set to arrive in U.S. dealers in the middle of next year, the bZ4X boasts a manufacturer-estimated range of up to 250 miles per charge in certain configurations. (In this case, the XLE front-wheel drive variant.) There’s a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack for front-drive models, and a 72.8 kWh pack for all-wheel-drive variants. Front-drive models will get one 201 hp AC synchronous motor on the front axle, while AWD bZ4Xs will get a pair of 107-hp electric motors, one for each axle.
Exhaust: Let’s discuss that name: Are we talking about a microwave oven or a car? When will automakers learn that using a hodge-podge of numbers and letters makes products forgettable and interchangeable? Horrible name aside, it’s good to see Toyota jumping into the pure-electric space. We’re a bit worried that the all-wheel-drive model won’t be able to clear 200 miles of range in a single charge, which seems like the lowest bar you need to clear as a new EV in this space.
Porsche doubles down on N/A mid-engine track monsters
Intake: Porsche has opened the doors on the Los Angeles Auto Show with a range of spicy new models for road and track. First is a new road-legal flagship for the 718 series, the Cayman GT4 RS. Porsche first announced that a Cayman was getting the RS badge late last month, though rumor had been swirling for months, and now Stuttgart’s revealed the information we really craved: Output and powertrain. The first RS-badged Cayman gets the 500-hp flat-six that previously starred in the 911 GT3. Naturally aspirated and displacing 4.0 liters, and also sporting a dry-sump oil system, this mill is distinguished from the 911-derived four-oh in the Cayman GT4 by its six independent throttle bodies. And, of course, 155 more hp. Unlike the most recent GT4, the RS is PDK-only. Proof of concept comes in the GT4 RS’s Nürburgring lap time which is 23.6 seconds faster than that of the regular GT4. It can be yours for $141,700 plus delivery.
For those who take their track work even more seriously, welcome to the newest 718 Cayman GT RS Clubsport (gallery below), which comes race-ready from the factory. With an engine plucked straight from the 911 GT3 Cup car it’s some 18 percent (75 hp) more powerful than its predecessor and redlines at a glorious 9000 rpm. Suspension is fully adjustable, and aerodynamics are enhanced with front dive planes and a larger spoiler. The rear wing (also a 911 GT3 goodie) is adjustable and features a Gurney flap. Extra race accoutrements include a welded-in cage, Recaro seat with six-point harness, plumbed-in fire extinguisher and even an air-jack system for speedy pit stops. Your entry to the grid will cost $229,000 plus taxes.
Exhaust: Electric power may be on the horizon for the Cayman (and Boxster), but Porsche is keenly aware of both its dedicated motorsports audience and its existing arsenal of internal-combustion track weaponry. The flat-six party rocketh on.
KTM gives hooligans a wheelie cool holiday gift
Intake: The thunderous roar of the KTM 1290 Super Duke is not new to the streets and track worldwide, but for 2022 tat roar will be recognized as just a bit more potent. Engine power remains the same but the chassis gains more capability by way of semi-active WP suspension both front and rear. Rear spring preload can be adjusted up to 20mm by way of the TFT dash, which also offers pre-tuned comfort, street, and sport modes. Opt for the new Suspension Pro package and gain three more modes: track, advanced, and automatic. Track is obvious, “advanced” allows user adjustments on nearly all aspects of suspension tuning with a few button clicks, and automatic puts an on-board computer to work at adjusting things perfectly at a seamless pace.
Exhaust: The KTM 1290 Super Duke is the go-to bike for riders who want to live a life just on the verge of losing their license. The updates for 2022 give a little more safety net on a very aggressive machine. While the SD appears to be a simple big brute on the surface, more technology blended in looks like a positive at first glance.