Chevy’s LT4-powered Beast concept, a Porsche 356 in Antarctica, Toyota AE86 parts back in production
Chevy reveals The Beast, an LT4-powered desert runner concept
Intake: Chevy is embracing SEMA-style absurdity: Meet “The Beast”, an LT4-powered vision of what high-performance desert running could look like in the future. The Beast rides on a modified Silverado chassis but sports a 650-horsepower supercharged V-8 crate engine under the hood. There’s room for four, and conventional doors are replaced by little bar half-doors, allowing all four seats open access to the wind and sand. Alongside The Beast, Chevy will bring to SEMA other trucks and SUVs including a conventional Silverado ZR2, a Colorado ZR2 Extreme Off-Road, a Silverado 3500HD Hoonigan concept, a Tahoe Z71 Overlanding concept, and more.
Exhaust: We’re getting major Halo Warthog Vibes from The Beast. It looks like a riot—almost like a full-size version of the popular side-by-sides that you’d see out on your favorite trails. It has us wondering: Is there a world in which we might see the LT4 stuffed between the frame rails of an extreme version of the Silverado ZR2? Such a machine would be a welcome contestant into the top-tier desert truck battle against Ford’s F-150 Raptor and Ram’s Hellcat-powered TRX. Props to Ford’s Bronco DR, which is more of a real thing, but The Beast supplies that that wide-eyed-kid feeling in droves.
Brinkerhoff unveils the modified Porsche 356 that she’ll race in Antarctica
Intake: Renée Brinkerhoff and her Porsche 356A are ready to complete her 20,000-mile quest to race the German sports car on seven continents, but it won’t be easy. The final 356 miles will be held in the snow and sub-zero temperatures of Antarctica. Brinkerhoff and her team recently released new images of her highly modified Porsche, which chief engineer Kieron Bradley fitted with skis and tracks to take on the polar terrain, along with other customized safety features. Valkyrie hasn’t announced an exact date for the attempt, but we’re told it will likely happen next month. Brinkerhoff and Valkyrie Racing’s Project 356 hope to raise $1 million to help rescue victims of human trafficking.
Exhaust: Renée Brinkerhoff’s amazing philanthropic journey was originally scheduled to be completed in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back a year. The long wait hasn’t dampened the team’s enthusiasm—or ours. There’s a lot to be excited about, both competitively and philanthropically, and we’ll be watching closely … while cheering them on from 9000 miles away.
Toyota releases repro parts for the AE86 Corolla
Intake: Drifters around the world will be smoking their tires in delight as Toyota Gazoo Racing has announced a slew of reproduction parts to keep the AE86 power sliding long into the future. Now almost 40 years old, the AE86—also known as the Corolla Levin or Sprinter Trueno—gained a cult following after it appeared in Japanese manga Initial D with tofu delivery boy Takumi Fujiwara sawing at the wheel. The car’s light weight and rear drive made it perfect for executing dirt drop drifts on the mountain roads of Japan and helped spawn a spectacular new motorsport. Toyota is now remanufacturing brake calipers, steering knuckles and rear driveshafts which will be available at dealerships worldwide. More details can be found on Toyota’s heritage parts website.
Exhaust: Once more Toyota shows that it treats its fans right, topping up the remade parts for the A70 and A80 Supra, the 2000GT, and 40 Series Land Cruiser that are already in the catalogue. Local rivals Mazda, Honda, and Nissan have are also supporting fans with parts for the RX-7, NA Miata, S2000 and RB26 GT-R. Good on ’em.
Audi A8 enhanced for 2022
Intake: Audi’s flagship sedan has been given a facelift for 2022. Visual changes amount to a restyled grille, more upright side intakes, and new headlights at the front end, with a set of chrome clasps at the rear, and customizable tail lights featuring digital OLEDs. The interior adjustments include a swanky ambient lighting system using Matrix LED lights, and sustainable Dinamica microfiber for the door panels. Two HD screens are fitted to entertain rear seat passengers when they’re not tinkering with the 18 pneumatic cushions in the relaxation seats. Under the hood, the only significant change is the fitment of a bigger battery to the three-liter TFSI plug-in hybrid V-6, which gives increased performance and range. The new A8 and S8 will be available in Europe from December with the U.S. to follow.
Exhaust: There’s not actually much too surprising here, and it’s logical to expect that the A8 and S8 won’t be around for very long before they’re replaced by Project Artemis, Audi’s all-electric rival for the Mercedes-Benz EQS.
Get the good kind of blues with Mopar’s limited-run ’22 Durango
Intake: 2022 marks the 85th anniversary of Mopar, and it’s chosen to celebrate the occasion in style with a limited-run Dodge Durango. Mopar’s rendition of the SUV debuts a factory-customized package that’s available in either White Knuckle or DB Black paint, and themed with a Mopar Blue stripe, badges, and accents throughout. This special-edition Durango sports Dodge’s 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and a TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as retuned adaptive suspension and an electronic limited-slip rear differential. A lowering kit drops the ride height one inch, and 20-inch wheels help add to the aggressive look. To get the $3995 Mopar package, you’ll need to spec a 2022 Dodge Durango R/T AWD with the Plus Group and Tow ‘N Go Package. Production is limited to just 250 units in North America (200 for the US and 50 for Canada), and orders will open in Q1 of next year.
Exhaust: Rare Durangos are hot items, and this latest offer from Mopar is bound to be just as tantalizing for its edgier curb appeal. Expect these to go quick; $3995 is a small price to pay to become 1 of 250, while also getting the utility of a do-it-all towing behemoth.
Honda’s 2022 Civic Si stars under $30K
Intake: Pricing for the 2022 Civic Si is out, and the perennial front-drive favorite remains surprisingly affordable. Including a $1015 destination charge, you can get into a Civic Si with a 200-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for just $28,315. For that price, you’ll get a standard rev-matching six-speed manual transmission, a limited-slip front diff to claw out of corners, and sport-tuned suspension. For even more grip, Honda will offer higher-performance summer tires as a $200 option, bringing the out-the-door price to $28,515. The new Si boasts a re-tuned engine with a broader power band, stiffer springs, firmer dampers, and thicker anti-roll bars.
Exhaust: That’s a fair bit cheaper ($3675, sans summer tires on the Si) than the new Jetta GLI, which begins at $31,990. The Jetta boasts more power from its 2.0-liter turbo four (228 vs. 200 in the Si), but don’t expect the Civic to feel underpowered. If the new Si carries the lithe handling characteristics of the outgoing version, 200 ponies should be plenty for a smile-filled romp down your favorite backroad. All-told, we’re just happy there’s more than one choice for a four-door sedan with a row-your-own option—both even come standard with the manual!