So long F-Type, world’s fastest electric vehicle, 10 best (and worst) cities to drive in
Jaguar’s last gas-powered sports car ends run in style
Intake: The Jaguar F-Type will bow out after the 2023 model year—exactly 75 years since the launch of the XK120. In celebration the supercharged V-8 coupe and convertible will be offered in special “75” editions with unique badging, gloss black five-spoke or diamond-turned 10-spoke, 20-inch alloy wheels, plus an interior black pack, and stainless steel tread plates. Giola Green metallic paint is a new option, and its five-liter motor comes in two states of tune. The standard 444-horsepower F-Type comes in rear or all-wheel-drive, while the potent R sends its 575 horses to all four wheels. Prices from $76,700 to $111,200.
Exhaust: “A fitting celebration of combustion engine performance before Jaguar becomes a pure electric modern luxury brand from 2025,” is how Jaguar describes the F-Type’s swan song. The British brand’s push move to EV will be spearheaded by crossovers rather than sports cars, but with the amazing reception of the Polestar 6 coupe/convertible perhaps Jaguar will reconsider. —Nik Berg
0 to 62 mph in 1.46 seconds is a new world record
Intake: A group of German university students has built the fastest accelerating electric car on the planet. GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart‘s carbon fiber single-seater deploys four wheel hub motors and an air cooled battery, and was put together to compete in the Formula Student competition. The snappily-named E0711-11 EVO is so light, at 380 pounds, that it can be picked up by four people, and so rapid that it takes only a matter of a few yards to hit its acceleration target. Each wheel motor produces 39.1 kW (53 horsepower) and the battery pack is 7.7 kWh. Nabbing a new Guinness World Record of just 1.46 seconds to accelerate from 0-62 mph it’s perhaps not surprising that GreenTeam’s car also won Germany’s Formula Student competition.
Exhaust: This is more evidence electric cars don’t have to be heavyweight crossovers. Ariel, McMurtry and now these students have shown that it’s possible to get massive performance without a mass of batteries, while over at Citroën the oli concept proves that weight saving has huge benefits for more practical transport as well. Here’s hoping for a more lightweight electric future. —NB
Nissan Versa gets an update for 2023
Intake: The modest Nissan Versa may be a hard car to get excited about, but it’s a strong seller for Nissan to buyers looking for cheap transportation, and likely multiple Uber drivers. Debuting this weekend at the Miami Auto Show, the 2023 model gets changes to the front fascia with an updated version of the brand’s V-motion grille, new Nissan brand logos inside and out, a new 17-inch alloy wheel design for Versa SR and a new Gray Sky Pearl paint color for the SV and SR models. The SR gets a center console with armrest, an eight-inch touchscreen, Intelligent Cruise Control, automatic climate control, a Wi-Fi hotspot and NissanConnect services, which includes the ability to control select vehicle features from compatible smartphone or smart watch apps. All Versa models have a standard 122-horsepower 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine, paired with a five-speed manual transmission (S only) or an Xtronic CVT transmission. Fuel economy is rated up to 32 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg for Xtronic CVT models.
Exhaust: The darling of the rental car fleet, the Nissan Versa remains one of the better small cars for those of us who maybe can’t afford to drive what we want, instead have to drive what we can afford. Prices will be announced closer to its on-sale date later this fall. —Steven Cole Smith
10 best, and worst, cities to drive in
Intake: The financial website WalletHub.com compared the 100 largest cities across 30 key metrics to rank the quality of driving in each city. The data set ranges from average gas prices to annual hours in traffic congestion per auto commuter to auto-repair shops per capita. The findings for all 100 cities can be found here. Here’s the top 10, and the bottom 10. Top 10: 1. Raleigh, North Carolina; 2. Plano, Texas; 3. Corpus Christi, Texas; 4. Greensboro, North Carolina; 5. Winston-Salem, North Carolina; 6. Lincoln, Nebraska; 7. Jacksonville, Florida; 8. Arlington, Texas; 9. Garland, Texas; 10. Orlando, Florida. Now the bottom 10: 91. Los Angeles, California; 92. Seattle, Washington; 93. Baltimore, Maryland; 94. Washington, D.C.; 95. New York, New York; 96. Chicago, Illinois; 97. San Francisco, California; 98. Oakland, California; 99. Detroit Michigan; 100. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Exhaust: Having had considerable experience in a number of these cities, some of these findings are a little surprising. One interesting factoid: Plano, Arlington and Garland, Texas, are all essentially suburbs of Dallas, yet Dallas itself ranked 44th. —SCS
Beef up your Ford Bronco with Werewolf4x4 kit
Intake: Does the $250,000-and-change starting price of a Mercedes-AMG G 63 4×4^2 have you down? Ukrainian-based Werewolf4x4 has the solution, provided you have a Ford Bronco on hand. For $16,000 plus shipping, the company will sell you a portal axle kit for your Ford Bronco that will add an additional 5.1 inches of ground clearance to your Blue-Oval-badged 4×4. The kit features a 1:1.35 gear reduction to aid with crawling, and Werewolf4x4 recommends 38-inch tires to accompany the kit. Adding the portal axles to a non-Sasquatch Bronco will net you north of 13.4 inches of clearance, while Sasquatch-equipped Broncos will boast more than 16.8 inches. (The added 1.5-inches or so of clearance from 38-inch tires would put total clearance north of 18 inches!) The kit includes the four portal axles themselves, as well as 2 brackets for the rear axle, two rear axle shafts, a four-piece air breather kit, and two revised steering knuckles for the front wheels.
Exhaust: Considering that you can scoop a two-door, base-spec Bronco with the Sasquatch package for as little as $40,280, you’d be looking at an absolutely wild machine for less than $60,000, by the time you factor in shipping costs for the kit. That’s a considerable discount over something like the AMG 4×4^2! That said, we’d recommend a four-door version; we tested a two-door Black Diamond with the Sasquatch package earlier this year and we can’t imagine what an extra six-plus inches of ground clearance would do to this thing’s already somewhat tippy nature. Then again, the world is your oyster. Shine on, you crazy Bronco riders. — Nathan Petroelje
It seems that everyone has gone nuts….
The end of Jaguar being interesting for me. Next…
Yep, look up what happens to electric cars that get salt water flood damage.
“Electric” is going to kill a lot of car companies……in my opinion. By the time they realize what a boondoggle they’ve bought into, it’s going to be too late to recover!
New York, New York is among, if not the most pleasant big city to drive in but the rankings considered so many other factors the results could’ve been skewed any way they desired.
I was a salesman who traveled extensively; I’ve driven in most of these cities. How could Houston not be on the list of the worst 10 cities to drive in list??
I find it curious that, given the number of “rugged” crossovers these days (like the Wilderness Subarus), that the idea of aftermarket portal axles for crossovers hasn’t developed (or as factory options available on those “rugged” trim levels). It would provide a lower gearing and ground clearance boost in one fell swoop. It certainly is not (as I’ve heard some claim) due to the lack of solid axles, as portal axle kits are readily available on the aftermarket for independent suspension UTVs such as the Honda Pioneer and Honda Talon. I could picture a portal axle kit on the Bronco Sport, the Jeep Cherokee, etc as being a hot seller, especially with a mild gearing reduction.
The XK’s, the 120 through the 150, are four-wheeled sex. No question. Elegant, beautiful, mechanical, strong and open air. Nothin else comes close. That said, I look forward to the electric Jag. The XK’s were revolutionary but based upon decades of experience. Some, much, of their technology was pre-war. Consider the electro-mechanical overdrive. Planetary gears. Like the 10-speed computer-controlled transmission of today.
I am immensely fond on my old British machinery. But at 73, I am as much a man of tomorrow as I am of yesterday
Jaguar has lost it’s way. Started back in 2010. Such a shame for one of the most iconic brands in history.