New Z continues racing legacy, GR Corolla finally bound for U.S., Porsche’s 1292-hp EV vision
Rejoice, all ye Nissan faithful: The new Z is going racing
Intake: Nissan is taking the new Z racing. The Japanese marque just revealed a brand-new Nissan Z GT500 race car at Fuji Speedway in Japan, which the firm says will compete in the Japan-only Super GT racing series beginning next year. The car looks wicked–the classic lines that have us adoring the production Z are still there, but now there are box flares, dive planes, and a honking rear wing on the back. GT500 is the quicker of the two classes in the Super GT series, with GT300 being the slower one. GT500 cars have far more downforce than their GT300 counterparts, which helps them turn much quicker lap times.
Exhaust: There’s precedent for the Z going racing, whether it’s in SCCA C Production with the S30 240Z, IMSA in the 90s with the Z32 300ZX, or JGTC with the Z33 in the 2000s. We’re thrilled to see the new Z gearing up to bang beautifully boxed fenders with other Super GT cars in the GT500 class. Now, if Nissan would bring this bewinged Z stateside to race in GT4 …
This aerodynamic ’55 Vincent rightfully commands a princely sum
Intake: When it comes to volume of bikes produced, Vincent is one of the most exclusive. Look within the company’s catalog, and you’ll find the rarest of the rare. One such machine is the latest ride featured on Jay Leno’s Garage: a 1955 Vincent Black Prince. This motorcycle was sold as a luxury mode of transportation, complete with full weather protection and fiberglass covers that hide the engine and most of the rear frame and wheel. Sadly, it failed to excite either potential customers or and dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts. This Black Prince certainly was ahead of its time—and fared poorly because of it.
Exhaust: The Black Prince was a motorcycle built for purpose in a time when most chose bikes for all-out speed and drama—similar to today. On top of that, its gorgeous 998cc V-twin hardly deserves to be hidden behind heavy, dark fairings. Like most Vincents, though, if you take the Black Prince for what it was and not what you want it to be, it is a wonderful motorcycle. Jay points out that the fairings work and only limit top speed by a few miles per hour. A worthy sacrifice for the comfort of riding out of the turbulence and weather.
Toyota teases a GR Corolla to take on the Civic Type R
View this post on Instagram
Intake: Toyota U.S.A. has given fans a glimpse of the hottest Corolla to ever reach American soil. In the Instagram image above you can clearly see a massive rear diffuser, chunky roof spoiler and, all-importantly, the GR-Four nameplate. That signifies not just all-wheel-drive but also power from Gazoo Racing. In a separate image of the upcoming Corolla’s interior, internet sleuths spotted an easter egg on the dashboard display. The clock on the dash reads G:16, which is believed to be a reference to the G16E-GTS engine code of the pocket-rocket (and Europe-exclusive) GR Yaris. If the GR-Four Corolla gets the same engine as its sibling, that means it’ll be fitted with a 260-hp, 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder unit. In the smaller, lighter Yaris it’s good for 0 to 62 mph in 5.3 seconds and a 143-mph top speed. Yowza.
Exhaust: Not since the AE86 has the world been this excited about a Corolla. The fact that it’s Toyota’s American arm teasing the car is surely a sign that it will arrive here in 2023 and take the fight to the Type R and Golf GTi.
Aznom’s Palladium has a party in the UAE, and you’re not invited
Intake: Aznom, the Italian product design studio and former creators of the Atulux luxury off-roader (think 2019 Ram 1500 with a GMC Envoy XUV body) have taken things to the next level with a twin-turbocharged, 850-hp luxury truck with a BMW X6-style coupe roofline. It’s called Palladium and it is also based on Ram truck architecture (witnessed by the doors and interior). No matter, it’s clear Aznom is upping its coach building skills with bespoke fascias and, more importantly, radically unique side stampings and roof panels. While the Palladium’s photo album clearly shows the craftsmanship, there’s a release party tomorrow for attendees at the Waldorf Astoria in Ras Al Khaimah, which is one of the Emirates that’s part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Exhaust: Are you sensing shades of the Lamborghini LM002? The Palladium’s suggested “infinite possibilities of customization” takes Lamborghini’s original off-roading demographic to new levels of craftsmanship. Only problem with this plan is the fact that the Rolls Royce Cullinan exists—and once you open the Roller’s portal, the dash doesn’t look like something that normally sits next to a Dodge Avenger on a buy-here-pay-here car lot (see gallery below). The unique-ish sheetmetal is admirable, but items like a Ford Gran Torino–worthy opera window and a front clip that’s reminiscent of the Hongqi H9 do not a luxury vehicle make. Except they do and will, because anything goes at this price point, and Palladium ownership is likely to be a rare and exclusive club.
Anyone can race this Porsche concept in 2022
Intake: Porsche has unveiled its latest racing concept and anyone can drive it. Anyone with a Sony Playstation and Gran Turismo 7, that is. For the launch of the most eagerly-anticipated game of 2022 Porsche has developed its first Vision Gran Turismo vehicle. Existing only in the digital world, the car nevertheless has a basis in reality. The electric-powered prototype takes the design language of the Taycan and applies it to a machine that appears to have a lot in common with the real-life electric Mission R. While the Vision Gran Turismo looks less aggressive and lacks the extensive aerodynamic aids of the Mission R, it does share similar proportions, including the pronounced front wings and twin rear nacelles. In the virtual world this all-wheel drive concept has 950 kW (1292 hp) with overboost, will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 2.1 seconds and from 0 to 120 in 5.4. Top speed is 217 mph, while the range is 310 miles. You can experience this performance for yourself when Gran Turismo 7 is released on March 4, 2022.
Exhaust: Porsche follows brands including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Lamborghini, Honda, Hyundai, Peugeot, Jaguar, Mini, Mazda, and McLaren in producing a Vision vehicle just for Gran Turismo.“We can engage young and digital target groups in the place where their automotive dreams are born: the world of gaming,” says Robert Ader, vice president of marketing at Porsche AG. “The partnership with Polyphony Digital and Gran Turismo is a perfect fit for Porsche, because motorsport—whether real or virtual—is part of our DNA.”
Honda Passport drops base model for 2022, adds ruggedized TrailSport trim
Intake: Just three years since its debut, the third generation of Honda’s Passport is looking to move more upscale—and, potentially, further off-road. 2021 will be the final year that customers can purchase Honda’s largest two-row SUV in base “Sport” trim ($34,015). Beginning with the 2022 updates, your cheapest ticket to the Passport is the leather-trimmed EX-L, which starts at $39,095 for 2022 and was previously the second in a four-trim range. As Honda PR rep Lynn Seely says, this changes falls into a portfolio-wide effort to “better align availability with demand” by “compress[ing] the number of trims available.” For the 2022 Passport, however, the total number of trims remains at four thanks to the addition of the ruggedized TrailSport model. For $43,695, your family hauler gets Honda’s torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system and a 10mm increase in track width, complemented by a set of black 18-inch alloys clad in 245/60R18 rubber, orange TrailSport badging inside and out, and silver-painted skid plates. If you’re more fluent in Subaru, you can think of the Passport TrailSport as an Onyx Edition: a mostly aesthetic upgrade with minor mechanical changes.
Exhaust: Dramatic dirt-flinging antics aside, this fairly light off-road treatment is entirely appropriate for the Passport. This SUV is essentially a family vehicle, and its off-roading will likely be confined to dirt and/or gravel roads. If you dig a little off-road frosting on your Honda-badged kid-hauler, the TrailSport is your bet. If you’re willing to stray from the Honda fold, however, the Outback Wilderness is more visually imposing and significantly cheaper.