A Porsche to make Prince jealous, 20 years of Mini in U.S., sneak close to plug-in Lambo
Would you shrink from bidding on this violet Porsche 911?
Intake: This 1990 Porsche 911 listed for auction on Car & Classic is purple. Profoundly purple. Intensely iris. Acutely amethyst. Violently violet. Externally and internally purple. The wheels, under-hood carpet and soft-top are disappointingly lacking in color (though the tonneau didn’t escape), but the rest of this four-wheel-drive could have turned Prince purple with envy—even the steering wheel is wrapped in leather dyed to match. Why, you ask? This Porsche was built by the manufacturer as a show car to display its customizing capabilities to the public. It remains numbers-matching to this day. Known as the “964” generation to marque aficionados, the 911 launched in 1989 as a rather futuristic car, due to the smooth integration of its body-color bumpers and front bodywork with the body itself. While the car looked suspiciously like it might be a mere reskin of the previous generation, the 930, 87 percent of its components were new or redesigned, according to Porsche. This one uses a 3.6-liter, air-cooled flat six making 247 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque—enough, with the manual transmission, to reach 60 mph from rest in the mid-5s.
Exhaust: Typically, convertibles are worth more than their hardtop siblings, but Porsche’ 911 bucks the trend. A two-wheel-drive, hardtop 911 from 1990 in #2 (Excellent, or “drives like new”) condition is worth $119,000. A four-wheel-drive convertible like the one above? $62,000. However, we’d expect the unusual hue of this example to close the gap. —Antony Ingram
Mini marks two decades in the U.S.A. with Cooper special
Intake: It’s 20 years since the “new” Mini made its American debut. Celebrating this Mini milestone is a new 20 Years Edition of the 2023 Cooper S Hardtop 4 Door, available in the same Chili Red as the launch model back in 2002—plus Pepper White and Island Blue for a tri-color tribute to the American and British flags. These body colors are combined with a silver roof and mirrors, with piano black for the arches, sills, and fascia trims. Black, 17-inch alloy wheels wear all-season tires, and black roof rails extend the Mini’s carrying capacity, while a panoramic moonroof expands the view upwards. Inside there are carbon-black leatherette seats, a Nappa leather-trimmed steering wheel, anthracite headliner, and more piano black trim. Yours for $37,165, and in dealerships this month.
Exhaust: It may have seemed massive at the time compared to the original Mini of the Swinging Sixties, but the 2002 Mini Cooper itself is now dwarfed by the current range, which has scaled up further still over the past 20 years. Agile and entertaining, and supercharged in its swiftest form, is it time to consider the “new” Mini a modern classic? —Nik Berg
Logitech’s new gaming gear is loved by Lando
Intake: If you want to raise your sim-racing game to Formula 1 heights, Logitech reckons it has the answer with its new G PRO wheel and pedals. Compatible with Playstation 4/5, Xbox Series X/5, and PC, the wheel includes a direct-drive motor which delivers a mighty 11 newton meters (8.1 lb-ft) of force feedback torque. It also boasts magnetic gearshift paddles, twin clutch paddles, customizable settings, and a quick-release mount. The pedal box comes with a load cell brake for realistic feel, and all pedals can be adjusted for position and firmness. McLaren F1 racer Lando Norris says: “Logitech’s PRO Racing Wheel makes the sim racing experience incredibly realistic. I’m able to feel the conditions of the track and how the car changes during the race, which is game-changing. When using this wheel at home, I feel like I’m right there on track.” At $999 for the wheel and $349 for the pedals, elevating your online racing career to Lando levels isn’t cheap, however.
Exhaust: For home racers seeking a more serious simulation, this looks like a good alternative to the dominant Fanatec gear. If you want to pretend you’re driving for a factory team, you could go even further with an OEM-approved sim setup from Prodrive, Aston Martin, or Pagani. —NB
Sneak close to Lamborghini’s plug-in hybrid
Intake: We last spotted the hybrid successor to Lamborghini’s Aventador back in March of 2022—but only from a distance. Now, our photographers have snuck right up to the minimally camouflaged tester. The shin-threatening diffuser we spotted before is gone, revealing a rear end strongly tapered on top and bottom to showcase that four-pipe exhaust. Its absence could indicate that Lamborghini is already preparing mild and wild versions simultaneously … or that engineers have temporarily removed the component. Our money’s on the latter, since the rest of the aero kit spotted in March is present: The front air dam and the side skirts, specifically. The Y-shaped, high-mount brakes lights are clearer than ever, recalling not the octagonal elements of the old-is-new Countach but the angular blades of the Terzo Millennio—an all-electric concept build in collaboration with MIT and unveiled in 2017. Since this is a hybrid model, we’re guessing the similarity is no coincidence.
Exhaust: Fret not, because Lamborghini’s CEO has promised that the heart and soul of this Lambo will be a V-12—with no sort of forced induction, either. Though the electric drive will undoubtedly boost off-the-line performance, expect the hybrid system’s main virtue to be a short-range, electric-only mode to skirt Europe’s increasingly strict emissions regulations. Lamborghini isn’t sidelining its favorite motor—it’s extending the V-12’s life. —Grace Houghton