Millennium Jade returns to the GT-R, Rolls-Royce imagines a dump truck, Mazda refines ’22 CX-5
Nissan blesses R35 GT-R with the rarest, most nostalgic Skyline hues
Intake: Nissan has given the GT-R an extended lease on life with two new “T-spec” editions for 2022, but the real news for Skyline geeks isn’t the various hardware upgrades. It’s the return of two paint colors: Midnight Purple and Millennium Jade. The latter has been painstakingly recreated to match the original frosty green; the former is a sympathetic, color-changing addition to the three-fold family of Midnight Purple. As for the performance upgrades: Both the Premium Edition T-spec and the Track Edition Engineered by NISMO get carbon-ceramic brakes and a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, while the Premium Edition T-spec gets Rays forged alloy wheels finished in bronze, a green interior (shown below), and lightened suspension parts. The Track Edition swaps in a carbon-fiber roof and trunk lid to shave a few pounds. The engine choice remains a twin-turbo V-6 (VR38DETT) in 570- or 600-hp tune. Nissan will only produce 100 T-specs total, whether Premium or Track Edition, and they will be exclusively available in Japan via lottery. Cost, converted to USD, is $144,993 (Premium Edition) or $163,012 (Track).
Exhaust: Nissan’s resurrection of these two nostalgic colors is far more significant than Ford’s addition of a retro-inspired green to the reborn Bronco. As GT-R aficionados will be quick to tell you, Millennium Jade was only offered on the 2002 V-Spec II Nür and the M-Spec Nür, the send-off, high-performance editions of the R34 generation and some of the most desirable models in the JDM collector market today. According to GT-R Registry, only 300 cars were ever painted in this icy hue. Midnight Purple has appeared in three variants, designated by Roman numerals, the last variant as Midnight Purple III, which ended production in 2000. To our eyes, the Midnight Purple worn by the above R35 hews closer to the darker, original shade on the R33 than the iridescent MPIII worn by the R34. Bravo, Nissan—your JDM fanbase is feeling the love.
Forza Horizon 5 embraces modified muscle and off-roaders
Intake: Forza Horizon 5, the latest installment in the long-running Xbox-exclusive racing-sim series, has added to the list of cars that will be featured in the game, which currently stands at 427 and growing. Vehicles you can pilot include everything from a Willys MB and a ’32 Ford five-window coupe to the latest in exotics from Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Pagani. Want to drive a Corvette? The game has all eight generations on tap. Sports cars, muscle cars, mean SUVs, and customized vehicles from Hoonigan are all part of the mix. Off-road vehicles are covered too, including Chevy Colorado ZR-2, Ford Bronco R, Ram Power Wagon, and Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. You can even get behind the wheel of a futuristic Warthog from the Halo video game series. The game’s developers claim that “the new additions to our roster are the most diverse they’ve ever been in Forza history” and they’re not even done adding vehicles.
Exhaust: Considering the amount of research that goes into developing these car profiles, a racing sim is not a bad way to get a taste of how some rare (and sometimes fictional) engines sound, and the graphics keep improving. There may be a couple of us on staff that will pick up a copy of this latest Forza Horizon. It isn’t as satisfying as an actual track day, but you spend a lot less on tires and fuel.
Range Rover Sport SVR crashes the 007 launch party
Intake: The Bond Edition Defender isn’t the only Land Rover on Her Majesty’s secret service in No Time To Die. Two Range Rover Sport SVRs were brought in for a 4×4 chase and, from the looks of this freeze-frame, they went so off-road they took to the air. “I was really keen to shoot a Bond chase sequence off-road, in a really challenging environment and the Range Rover Sport SVR was the perfect choice for this part of the story. We shoot everything for real so we’ve pushed it to the absolute maximum and the pursuit promises to be one of the memorable set-piece moments of the film,” says stunt coordinator Lee Morrison. Catch the action in movie theaters this month (October 8 in the U.S.) or hit up the Land Rover configurator to build your own No Time To Die–spec SVR. Choose Eiger Grey paint, 22-inch gloss black alloys, the Carbon Pack, and a carbon-fiber vented hood, and you’ll look like you’ve rolled right off the set.
Exhaust: Car makers are certainly making the most of the marketing opportunities presented by 007. If you say (Dr.) No to a Land Rover, then Aston Martin will build a Bond Vantage. While we’re on the subject of licenses to make a killing, why not pick up a pair of Adidas x Bond Ultraboost sneakers for $160 and an Omega 007 watch for $8100?
Rolls-Royce mines hybrid power for dump truck concept
Intake: Rolls-Royce Power Systems’ heavy industries division, dubbed mtu, in collaboration with Flanders Electric, has announced plans to unveil a hybrid haul truck concept that could help cut CO2 emissions by as much as 30 percent. The concept will break cover at this year’s MINExpo, currently taking place in Las Vegas. The hybrid system features a 12-cylinder diesel mining engine plus a battery pack with an unspecified capacity. The architecture will allow the batteries to be recharged when the truck is rolling downhill down into the mine, and the stored energy will help assist in propelling the massive vehicle back up the hill laden with a bed full of mining material. In tests, Rolls-Royce said it found that the hybridized system matched the performance of the larger V-16 engine while reducing emissions in the process.
Exhaust: You’re forgiven if you were expecting a life-size Tonka truck with a champagne chiller and a headliner filled with constellations. However, Rolls-Royce is as renowned for its large industrial engines as it is for the Ghost and the Wraith, and this sort of heavy engineering is equally as impressive in our eyes.
Mazda refines CX-5 in the twilight of its platform
Intake: For the 2022 model year, Mazda’s best-selling SUV gets a light aesthetic upgrade and practical hardware and interior changes. Starting outside and up front: The silhouette of the lighting elements in the headlights is more geometric, and the grille texture is more 3D than flat mesh. New wheels, unsurprisingly, join the mix for ’22, though now you don’t have to choose between front- or all-wheel-drive: Mazda’s i-Activ AWD system now comes standard. Underneath this crossover’s handsome sheetmetal, increased frame rigidity and retuned suspension dampening further alleviate road noise and increase ride comfort. Inside, you’ll be able to select multiple drive modes, a first for the CX-5, from the comfort of redesigned seats. The blessedly traditional six-speed auto has also received some massaging to provide smoother acceleration. Fans of a sportier vibe will enjoy the gloss black- and red-accented interior of the 2.5 Turbo trim, which replaces the Grand Touring Reserve model.
Exhaust: This is likely the last slew of changes before Mazda’s best-selling vehicle changes to a hybrid architecture. Mazda aims to include electrification in every one of its models by 2030, and the plug-in-hybrid, inline-four platform the OEM previewed this summer is a likely candidate for the next-gen CX-5.
Lamborghini has another nostalgia play up its sleeve
Intake: “50 years ago, it paved the road to the future.” That, and lots of artful leather stitching and cutting, comprise most of the 1:04 trailer released yesterday by Lamborghini. There’s also a glimpse of a blocky, black-leather-covered seat, reminiscent of the chair in the original LP500 prototype. A white-on-black, retrotastic gauge gets some attention, along with a pan of the criss-cross leather-stitching on a steering wheel. It concludes with a brash engine note that, to our ears, has some V-12 wail to it …
Exhaust: Given that the original Miura P400 debuted in ’66, this is probably some sort of heritage-forward tie-in arriving hot on the heels of the recently revealed Countach LPI 800-4—a nameplate that is celebrating its 50th this year. A modern, retro take on the classic Lambo interior seems likely.