Spiced-up “base” R8 promises a drifty good time, Lexus’ new LX inbound, Kawasaki goes green

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Audi

Audi’s spiced-up “base” R8 V10 promises a drifty good time

Intake: After offering North American customers a RWD version of the R8 last year, Audi is once again letting us get a bit drifty with our Teutonic V-10 supercars and increasing the horsepower at the same time. While the previous R8 V10 RWD came with a healthy 532 hp, the latest model cranks out 562 from its naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V-10. The 2022 Audi R8 V10 has a starting MSRP of $150,195, including destination, and is also available as a Spider. If AWD is a must-have, rest easy: the 602-hp R8 performance Quattro will still be in showrooms.

Exhaust: We’re thrilled the ten-cylinder R8 is still kicking. Audi noted that the RWD R8 will allow drivers to get a little bit sideways in Sport Mode, meaning that this less-expensive R8 variant, while not as quick off the line, may be even more lively and fun when you get it on the track to cut loose.

Mazda plans for new two- and three-row SUVs

Mazda Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030
Mazda

Intake: Mazda has shared plans to bring a slew of SUVs to the North American market in the next few years. The CX-5 will be replaced by the CX-50, which will fill a similar position in the lineup and is part of the “Small Product” portfolio that includes the Mazda 3 and CX-30. A “Large Product” platform will underpin larger SUVs, including the two-row CX60 and CX70 as well as the three-row CX80 and CX90. The CX70 and CX90 will be based on a widened version of the platform and will be headed to the North American market with both a turbocharged inline-six powerplant and a plug-in hybrid option. A new EV platform that will debut in 2025 will usher in even more new vehicle options.

Exhaust: This shift to turbocharged inline-six power and a longitudinal RWD platform seems to indicate Mazda is serious about delivering an improved driving experience. The brand has done a solid job with its current lineup of people-movers, so these new SUVs could elevate the driving experience to sway buyers that might have otherwise looked to a more luxurious brand for their sporty SUV needs.

All-new Lexus LX stomps around in the desert, debuts next week

Lexus LX_teaser_image
Lexus

Intake: We’re only five days away from meeting the next generation of Lexus’s largest SUV, which, judging from Toyota’s new full-size architecture, should live up to its “all-new” billing. Besides a teaser video of this body-on-frame luxobarge charging around in the desert, all the factory has confirmed for now is the LX 600 model previewed above. The fourth-gen truck will adopt light signatures that mimic the angular taillights of its RX sibling in flattened form. A wide-spaced L E X U S across the rear takes a page from the Grand Wagoneer playbook (and the VW Tiguan’s, but who’s counting?).

Exhaust: Toyota has decided not to bring its most recent Land Cruiser stateside, much to our dismay—but, since the modern-day LX shares its body-on-frame platform with the ‘Cruiser, it’s very likely that this Lexus will be the U.S.’s luxury-laden taste of otherwise forbidden fruit. The Toyota Tundra is also in that same TNGA-F-architecture family, and its spec sheet may offer more hints at the upcoming LX: a 3.5-liter hybrid V-6 as the top-tier engine, making 437 hp and 583 lb-ft, plus multilink rear suspension that accommodates air ride. Icing on the cake: expect the LX’s infotainment system to ditch the touchpad entirely and feature the 14-inch touchscreen found in upper trims of the ’22 NX. 

Gordon Murray’s T.50 will be glorious at Goodwood

T50 overhead side profile
Credit: Gordon Murray Automotive/Richard Pardon

Intake: The ultimate analog hypercar, Gordon Murray’s T.50, is to make its first public appearance at the Goodwood Members Meeting. The event, which runs from October 16–17, is only open to Fellows and Members of the Goodwood Road Racing Club, but the action will also be streamed on YouTube. It will be the first time the 3.9-liter, 653-hp Cosworth V-12-powered carbon-fiber hypercar has been driven in anger around a race circuit and therefore the first chance to hear that amazing motor at its 10,000-rpm limit.

“There’s no better place to show and demonstrate the T.50 than the Goodwood Members Meeting,” says Murray. “It’s been frustrating not to be able to show our supercar before, but for everyone intending to visit Goodwood, it will certainly be worth the wait. I’m looking forward to it—it’s going to sound superb.”

Exhaust: Murray’s first own-brand car, the ultra-light Rocket, made its debut at Goodwood in 1993, so it’s fitting that the T.50 should be hurled around the famous circuit on its first public showing. The lucky Brits in the crowd had better have their ear-defenders ready.

Kawasaki is taking green to the extreme with an all-electric lineup

2021 Kawasaki H2 SX-SE front three-quarter action
Kyle Smith

Intake: Kawasaki says all its motorcycles sold in developed nations will be electric by 2035. Ten new two-wheeled EVs are set for launch alongside ICE models by 2025 in the U.S.A., Canada, Europe, Japan, and Australasia, and a decade later all Kawasaki will be purely electric. The company is also said to be working on hydrogen-fueled bikes, burning the universe’s most abundant element in combustion engines rather than using it to generate electricity in a fuel cell.

Exhaust: Kawasaki is stealing a march on its homegrown rivals by beating Honda and Yamaha to its green dream. Honda says that it will be 100 percent electric by 2040, while Yamaha has set a less ambitious (or more realistic, depending on your perspective) target of making 90 percent of its models electric by 2050.

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