Japan graced with rare Camaro, Honda tweaks ’22 Super Cub engine, a snail-infested Aston Martin
Chevrolet graces Japan with 10-unit run of Wild Cherry Camaros
Intake: The two most famous Chevrolet cars—the Camaro and the Corvette—are for sale in Japan, and there’s a special 2022 Camaro just for JDM buyers. The “Wild Cherry Edition” Camaro is a color-and-trim package reminiscent of the JDM Camaro Heritage Edition from 2020, except with a more limited production run (10 units instead of 90) and a single trim level: the entry-level LT/RS coupe, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot making 271 horses. This Wild Cherry Edition is finished in a “special deep red limited color” with silver rally stripes and a black interior with Adrenaline Red accents. This rare bird has an MSRP of 5,990,000 yen (about $52,600), which is 300,000 yen (roughly $2600) more than a regular LT/RS coupe. The GM Japan press release concludes with, in the words of Google Translate, a promise that: “We will deliver a special time to unleash your heart.”
Exhaust: While a Camaro limited to only 10 units would be a cause of great collector celebration here in the states, it probably represents a large percentage of Camaro sales in Japan. Older Camaros were reported to be limited to 120 copies in the land of the rising sun, and considering Camaro sales in the U.S., the JDM Camaro likely remains a niche product to this day. The $2600 price bump for a unique paint job, interior colors, and no performance modifications sounds a bit steep, but it’s probably a small price to pay for an extra level of exclusivity for a vehicle that no one expects to spot on a Japanese road.
Polaris Slingshot gets even more customizable for 2022
Intake: Everyone’s favorite urban three-wheeler is getting a few changes for the 2022 model year. The Polaris Slingshot will feature four trim levels, including the reintroduced SLR, which sits above the SL but below the top-dog R. The SLR trim boasts a 203-horse inline-four (as does the R) and a two-tone paint job. There’s a new vented fiberglass hood that’s stock on the R models and available for all other 2020 through 2022 models. A new $1799 excursion top will provide tool-less install and increased headroom for the occupants compared to the currently available soft top. All 2022 R models will now come standard with four-piston Brembo brakes with front rotors 14 percent larger than the standard discs on other models. Other models can spec the Brembos as an upgrade. 2022 Slingshots will cost anywhere from $19,999 for a Slingshot S with a manual to $34,499 for a Slingshot R with an automatic. The 2022 models should be in dealers early next year.
Exhaust: The Slingshot’s appeal lies in its total lack of subtlety, and these model year updates offer even more customization for a vehicle that’s all about self-advertising. The Brembo brakes are a neat hardware upgrade, but don’t expect Slingshots to be out in force at your nearest track day because of new stoppers.
Radford reveals performance figures for the Type 62-2
Intake: Radford’s close ties with Formula 1 were demonstrated as founder Jenson Button and Colin Chapman’s son Clive put a John Player Special Type 62-2 through its paces at the Lotus test track. The JPS edition of the Lotus-based two-seater is powered by a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 and during testing achieved a 0 to 62 mph run in 2.9 seconds. Zero to 124 mph was dispatched in 8.4 seconds and the car reached its 186-mph electronically limited V-max as well. Only 62 Type 62-2s will be built and just 12 of those will be the highest-performance JPS version. Prices have yet to be revealed, but buyers are guaranteed a track day with Button as part of the deal.
Exhaust: Having proven the Type 62-2’s straight-line speed, Radford’s next job will be to fine-tune the chassis, says Button. He continues: “To finally drive the Type 62-2 for the first time was obviously a very special moment, the cockpit already feels like home! The car felt great, well balanced in high and low-speed corners, and ran faultlessly all day which is the perfect base for the months of setup tweaking that will follow for me. We want to ensure that this car is a pure driver’s car that pays both due respects to the DNA of Lotus but also delivers the luxury of a Radford.” With Geely-owned Lotus rapidly transitioning to an electric-only portfolio studded with SUVs, expect the Type 62-2 to draw an increasing amount of attention from Lotus loyalists.
Honda’s 2022 Super Cub is more efficient, powerful
Intake: The Honda Super Cub is the bike that brought to life the tagline, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” Now, for 2022, the Super Cub’s engine gets a slight update with a revised stroke. The new 63.1-mm stroke stands to bump the efficiency of the fuel-injected 124cc single, as well. A small power bump could be expected, but likely not a significant one. Honda also claims that the new model has lost two pounds in overall weight.
Exhaust: The change from a 52.4 x 57.9-mm cylinder to a 50 x 63.1-mm one maintains displacement (a boon for tax and licensing purposes) while giving riders a small power bump. The weight loss may seem like a minor detail, but these Super Cub models are already lithe little machines, and those small savings can make for a better handling bike with a marginally better carrying capacity.
Ligier dips into its Le Mans parts bin to build you a sports prototype
Intake: Founded in 2013, Ligier Automotive traces its roots to the moment when businessman and gentleman driver Jacques Nicolet decided to get into the race car–building business. Now operating under the name of erstwhile F1 team owner Philippe Ligier, Ligier Automotive is best known for building endurance racing prototypes, the types you’ll see competing across the pond at Le Mans or stateside in IMSA’s LMP classes. The company has just announced its first in-house model, a sports prototype called the JS PX that, in theory, is capable of besting the current LMP1 track record at Le Mans (3:14.791, set by Kamui Kobayashi in 2017) by two seconds. Ligier’s own twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-6, mated to a six-speed Hewland TLS-200 sequential gearbox, powers this carbon-monocoque racer—that’s 825 hp in a vehicle that weighs just 2006 pounds. A quartet of six-piston Brembos handles deceleration duty.
Exhaust: Ligier has benefited tremendously from the swelling numbers of gentlemen LMP2 and LMP3 drivers. With this track-day special, and its successors to come, the firm is clearly looking to exploit this small but well-heeled group for the kind of profit that has traditionally been the exclusive province of the road-going supercar makers. Ligier makes big bucks and the owners get performance to shame today’s gelded hybrid prototypes. The only losers in this game are the Miata owners who have to share a green-group track day with them.
The worst Lagonda in the world is being rescued… and electrified
Intake: A rust-riddled, snail-infested 1982 Aston Martin Lagonda is being resurrected in the U.K. The car is a total basketcase with seemingly hardly any solid steel left. YouTube channel Furious Driving has documented the disassembly of the Aston, during which the mechanic at restorers Lion and Fox actually puts his foot through the floor. “Fred Flintstone would be proud,” suggests the video host. As well as electrifying the car the new owner is planning to add a host of today’s technology include remote preselection of the driving position, driving mode, and suspension. “It’s going to be a very advanced, clever piece of technology, hidden in some seriously retro clothes.”
Exhaust: Electrifying classics is controversial, especially if it means taking a serviceable internal combustion engine out of commission. However, given that this Lagonda is little more than iron oxide, that’s a moot point. We’re looking forward to the progression of this ambitious project.