Porsche puts new spin on turbocharging, Honda’s surprisingly handsome HR-V, hi-po Escalade looms large
Porsche patent puts a new spin on electric turbos
Intake: A patent application filed by Porsche provides a new spin on turbocharging. The system has no less than three turbines, but they work together in a rather novel way. Two small spinners are places in the exhaust system and, rather than providing boost, they’re used to generate electricity. That juice is then deployed to power a motor driving a compressor which feeds the engine. This means that the amount of boost supplied is completely independent of engine speed, while the motor that powers it doesn’t sap any energy from the combustion engine, since it’s driven by waste gasses.
Exhaust: Electrically powered compressors have been used before—in the Mercedes AMG E53, for example—but the way Porsche is proposing to generate that electricity is new. Alongside its EV plans Porsche is pushing e-fuels as a way to keep the combustion engine, and driving enjoyment, alive. This turbocharging innovation could be added to the mix.
GM launches CarBravo, gives hell to Carvana
Intake: General Motors is taking a page from Carvana’s online retail success with a nation-wide service to sell used vehicles. Given the name CarBravo and bestowed with a smile-inducing logo, the digital retailing platform offers the used vehicles of their franchised dealerships, regardless of the inventory’s affiliation with GM. The program is set to launch this spring and leverages the sales and service support of their dealer network. CarBravo met with positive impressions in its pilot stage, and GM dealers are enrolling with the program as we speak.
Exhaust: It’s great to see an established automaker take its clout to the highly profitable, shockingly well-hyped world of used cars. To wit, Carvana’s digital retailing platform (and eye-catching vending machines situated on major highways) currently garner it a stock price roughly triple that of General Motors. Considering Carvana’s inability to title vehicles in a series of high-profile incidents (whereby the State of Florida officially threatened to revoke its dealer license at the end of this month) perhaps leveraging a network of trained retailers has merit. The remaining concerns center around getting full participation from GM franchises and ensuring that CarBravo itself isn’t conflicting with the one-stop shopping tools already present at dealer groups with dissimilar brands (such as Asbury Automotive’s Clicklane or Group 1 Automotive’s Acceleride). Both issues are likely trivial, as it doesn’t matter how dealership inventory gets sold, as long as every piece of software cost-effectively helps move the metal.
A Ferrari frenzy is coming to RM Sotheby’s in Paris
Intake: RM Sotheby’s Paris sale on February 2 will see a collection of 28 Ferraris go under the hammer, all without reserves. The cars come from French racer Marcel Petitjean, and date from 1959 to 1989, and there’s also a smattering of parts and automobilia thrown in. The headline-making sales are bound to come from a 1985 288 GTO, which the auctioneers anticipate will sell between €2.4 and €2.6 million ($2.7M–$3M), a 1966 275 GTB/4 estimated at up to €2 million ($2.3M), and a 1959 250 GT Series II Cabriolet which is expected to fetch up to €1.1M ($1.3M). However, there could be a few bargains to be had as well, with estimates as low as €35,000 ($40,100) for a 1987 Mondial 3.2 Cabriolet, a 1975 Dino 208 GT4 and a 1984 400i. A €10,000 ($11,400) Ferrari F1 Go-Kart and a €20-30,000 ($23,000–$34,000) Daytona Junior also look like fun—and rather more affordable than the Testa Rossa J we drove recently.
Exhaust: The first major Ferrari sale of the year could well set the tone for Prancing Horse prices in 2022. Want more hearty auction coverage after this amuse-bouche? Check out Hagerty Insider, our online website dedicated to analyzing the collector car market.
Honda’s next HR-V looks … good?
Intake: Honda has shared two wintery renderings of the upcoming 2023 HR-V, the company’s smallest crossover for sale in North America. A drastically remodeled new face and a new greenhouse are on display thanks to two perspectives. This shows the HR-V’s lights and grille to be more distinct than the current brand look shared across cars and crossovers.
Exhaust: While renderings tend to paint in the best possible light, we like what we see so far. The fascia is far more athletic than that of the current HR-V, which is a bit dowdy. As for the rear three-quarter look—is it just us, or is there a hint of Porsche Macan influence? If Honda’s most affordable crossover manages to look this good in the flesh, the Japanese brand will have another hit on its hands.
Honda stirs but does not shake 2022 moto lineup
Intake: Honda is a brand that offers motorcycles in just about segment and for 2022 it’s giving updates to bikes in three of the most popular categories—adventure, sport, and cruiser. The Africa Twin comes in two trims but for the upcoming model year, the gap between the two closes slightly, as the standard model will now be equipped with the same rear carrier as the more distance-focused Adventure Sports ES. The standard trim will also get a shorter windscreen to improve visibility. The CBR1000RR, on the other hand, gets a light refresh to slot it in as the more affordable performance offering compared to the out-and-out, track-attack CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP. Finally, the Rebel gains a new matte silver color option to keep the entry-level cruiser interesting for new and experienced riders alike.
Exhaust: While Honda’s lineup rarely boasts the most technologically advanced bikes, the brand is buoyed by a reputation for building reliable products that deliver engaging riding experiences. None of these 2022 updates are radical, but, as they say—if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The base machines themselves are solid enough that minimal changes are plenty to keep these bikes competitive in their respective market segments.
Does supercharged V-8 goodness loom on the Escalade’s horizon?
Intake: A spy video captured a camouflaged but easily identifiable Cadillac Escalade test mule and the exhaust tips and exhaust note both point to a high-performance V-8. Considering the Escalade is currently equipped with GM’s most powerful naturally aspirated pushrod V-8, logic would say this will be a version of the supercharged LT4 that produced between 650 and 668 hp since its debut in the C7 Corvette Z06.
Exhaust: The market for high-power and high-dollar luxury SUVs has seemingly never been stronger, we’re only surprised it has taken this long for Cadillac to put a supercharged V-8 into an Escalade. With the upcoming Hummer SUV on the horizon and other full-size electric SUVs sure to follow, this may mark the last peak of internal-combustion Escalades.
Liberty Walk dresses up an NSX-based 2000s oddball for Tokyo
Intake: No Tokyo Auto Salon would be complete without an appearance from famous (infamous?) Japanese tuner and widebody-kit-maker Liberty Walk. The shop’s project are always provocative, but this time Wataru Kato picked a truly strange canvas: The Mitsuoka Orochi. No, not Mitsubishi… this 2000s-era Japanese sports car is based on the NSX platform but, strangely, doesn’t share its Honda engine. Instead, à la Lotus, Mitsuoka chose a Toyota V-6 to sit amidships. Misuoka didn’t do much to the engine, however, and despite a name derived from a mythical eight-headed Japanese dragon, this 233-hp sportster was no fire breather when stock. First shown in concept form in Tokyo in 2001, Liberty Walk is completing the circle with this be-winged, race-liveried creation. Hopefully they’ve worked a little magic on the powerplant, too.
Exhaust: Sure, it looks like some deep-sea fish, and the name rolls off the tongue like wasabi—but we’re delighted to see Liberty Walk celebrating a weird 2000s oddball of Japanese automotive history alongside its usual fare of late-model exotics and reputable ’80s classics. In case you think the good ol’ U.S. never dreamed anything this weird … we raise you this ’99 Oldsmobile “4-4-2” show car.