Chevy: Burning Corvette tester not hybrid, off-road Huracán nears, 2023 GMC Canyon due next week
Chevy: Burning Corvette prototype not hybrid
Intake: A C8 Corvette test mule was filmed in Spain engulfed in flames—a scary sight. Chevrolet was recently testing hybrid Corvettes on the Nürburgring, and other test mules testing nearby seemed to be operating with electric power, leading to speculation the scorched car was indeed an E-Ray test mule. A Chevrolet spokesperson said that “A Corvette development vehicle undergoing extreme testing by one of our suppliers this week had a thermal incident. All who were involved are safe as this is our top priority. We are investigating the situation with the supplier.” Chevy followed up with Road & Track to quash rumors of a hybrid powertrain at play, clarifying that the vehicle was “a specialized testing mule with a setup that’s not indicative of what an actual customer would receive.”
Exhaust: It’s a bit trite to say it, but this is precisely why test mules exist. The final stages of testing are designed to expose issues ranging from inconvenient to catastrophic, and you don’t have to look too far to find other test vehicles that have met a similar fate, both with and without electrified powertrains. More details about this incident may come to light in the coming weeks, but unless a rash of fiery Corvette prototypes develops in the coming months, we wouldn’t get too worried about the Corvette’s battery-assisted future. —Brandan Gillogly
Now $13K more, 2023’s V-6-only G90 is still cheaper than an S-Class
Intake: After five years of producing its flagship sedan, Genesis is rolling out a second generation G90. We’ve known that the 2023 G90 would axe the 5.0-liter V-8, but we now know full specifications and, finally, price. The entry-level model costs $13,450 more ($89,495) thanks in part to the addition of all-wheel drive (formerly a $2500 option), a digital key, sunroof, massaging front seats, and laminated glass. The G90’s twin-turbo six-cylinder increased displacement from 3.3 to 3.5 liters, making 10 more hp than last year. The higher trim level ditches the straightforward V-8 for the same V-6 paired to a 48-volt mild hybrid system and an electric supercharger, creating a combined output of 409 hp. The e-Supercharged G90 also includes extras like 21-inch wheels, rear-wheel steering, ventilated and massaging rear seats, and an air suspension for $98,700. Exterior styling is noticeably edgier on either G90, and the standard-equipment list on each is extensive: the only options to choose are powertrains, and paint/interior colors.
Exhaust: Genesis salespeople told us back in December of 2021 that no one strolls in looking for the G90 V-6, but what happens at the dealership isn’t necessarily heard by the Mothership. So mere months later, there’s no V-8 in sight for the flagship. And the e-Supercharged Hybrid G90 feels like a letdown on paper, adding complexity to the more powerful V8 (420 hp) while adding a whopping $20k to the asking price. Seriously, Genesis? By not straying over six figures, the G90 preserves its status as a bargain alternative to the venerable S-Class, but those who covet truly old-school luxury—the entire point of a posh, full-size sedan in an age of crossovers—will be scrounging the used market for those 5.0 Premiums. Or perhaps leasing an S580 from Mercedes-Benz?
Urus SUV spurs record profits for Lambo as off-road Huracán nears
Intake: Lamborghini has just posted its best-ever six-month sales figures—and quietly announced three new models, two based on the Urus SUV and one on the Huracán. The Italian supercar maker delivered 5090 vehicles between January and the end of June 2022, representing an increase of almost five percent. Even more importantly, the Sant’Agata Bolognese firm saw its turnover clear $1.35 billion (up more than 30 percent), and operating profits skyrocketed by almost 70 percent, to $433 million. “We have come to the end of an exceptional first half of the year, despite ongoing uncertainty caused by the geopolitical situation. The outlook is equally positive, with orders taken already covering the whole of 2023 production,” says chairman and CEO Stephen Winkelmann. America remains Lamborghini’s biggest market, taking 1521 cars so far in 2022 and accounting for 34 percent of worldwide sales, while it’s the Urus SUV which takes the lion’s share of the lineup, accounting for 61 percent of Lamborghinis sold.
Exhaust: Love or loathe it, the Urus has powered Lamborghini to unprecedented profits. Thanks to the success of this super SUV, Lamborghini can afford to replace the long-in-the-tooth Aventador and carve its own path towards inevitable electrification. Expect the first of the new-product trio to arrive in August, with the Huracán project debuting as a production version of the off-road-oriented Sterrato (2019 concept and spy photos from January of 2022 shown below). — Nik Berg
Paul Stephens’ 993R takes a swipe at Singer
Intake: British Porsche specialist Paul Stephens has completed a restomod for air-cooled aficionados who like their 911s from the ’90s. The company’s Autoart 993R is based on a narrow-bodied Carrera 2 and “no nut or bolt has been left unturned, no panel unscrutinized in the pursuit of perfection.” The project was based on a customer brief to “take a 993 and make a 25 percent improvement in every area” and has taken more than five years to complete. The body is seam-welded and the steel hood has been swapped for a Porsche Motorsport aluminum version, while the engine cover and bumpers are custom fabricated in carbon fiber. The rear wiper mechanism and sunroof were ditched and the electric mirrors replaced with lighter units. Inside there are carbon-fiber Recaro seats and composite trim panels. Despite having an integrated rollcage, the mass has been reduced by almost 400 pounds. The engine specification is no less impressive: Stephens increased displacement to 3.8 liters and added 993 RSR barrels and pistons, individual throttle bodies, and Pauter con rods. The oil pump, crankshaft, and bearings hail from a 997 GT3. The exhaust is a modified Cargraphic unit. The net result? 335 hp, with a 365-hp version also available. Power is channeled through a 993 G51.21 six-speed manual transmission to a Wavetrac limited-slip differential. Suspension is an adjustable Porsche Motorsport setup, and the brakes are the same as those fitted to a 993 RS. For a final flourish, Stephens added 18-inch 996 GT3 RS wheels. It hasn’t let slip the price but is open to inquiries.
Exhaust: Stephens has taken the 993 to 996 GT3 levels of performance but retained a more classic look—and, all importantly, stuck to a naturally aspirated, air-cooled engine. Now that California’s Singer Vehicle Design has concluded its run of “Classic” 964s and is switching to Turbos, Stephens might have cornered a new and lucrative market for the last of the air-cooled 911s. —NB
2023 GMC Canyon teased in top-tier, off-road spec
Intake: Hot on the heels of the recent introduction of the 2023 Chevrolet Colorado, GMC gives us a teaser of its mid-size truck before next week’s official introduction on August 11. Details are still sparse, aside from the knowledge that last year’s AT4X luxury off-road package (for the full-size Sierra) will be available on the Canyon. And it certainly looks the part, with a wide stance and a bull bar with integrated LED lighting highlighted in the singular teaser shot provided.
Exhaust: Well, isn’t that special? Perhaps there was no need to go all out with a new release, as Chevy already spilled the beans on the Colorado. That said, GMC likely will add a few tricks to the Canyon ATX4 that will make it just a little bit better than its Chevrolet counterpart, just like it did with the front and rear e-locker differentials exclusive to the the Sierra AT4X. After spending some time with the 2022 Colorado ZR2 Bison earlier this year, we can’t wait to see what the all-new platform in AT4X spec has in store for us. — Sajeev Mehta