New Supra GT4 priced at $184,263, best of BMW at auction, Caterham says Seven is safe
Toyota GAZOO introduces updated Supra GT4 — go racing for $184,263
Intake: The Supra has been a profoundly successful car for Toyota in road racing since it was introduced in 2020. To keep it in the forefront, Toyota and its GAZOO Racing arm are introducing an EVO version for 2023, which will make its debut in January at the Rolex 24 at Daytona weekend, racing in the first round of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge season. GAZOO Racing development engineers focused their efforts on brakes, handling, and engine development. Thanks to an improved brake system design, new ABS settings, latest KW Automotive damper technology, and updated antiroll bar specification, the GR Supra GT4 EVO will deliver improved handling and higher cornering speeds, the company says. Power continues to come from a 3.0-liter inline turbocharged six-cylinder with a modified ZF transmission with paddle shifters. The engine has a modified torque curve, improved cooling, and other enhancements. Wheels are 18-inch OZs, brakes are Brembo, the racing seat is OMP, and the car comes fully caged.
Exhaust: The order banks opened last week for the 2023 Supra GT4, at a price of $184,263, race-ready. An EVO kit will be available to update the Supra GT4s that are already on the racetrack. The GT4 class is exceptionally tough, with cars like the Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M4, Mercedes AMG GT, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Porsche 718. —Steven Cole Smith
Ford gives dealers more time to accept their electric proposal
Intake: Ford is giving some members of their dealer network an extra month to decide if they will spend the necessary cash to upgrade their facilities and modernize their business practices for electric vehicles. Both the “Model e Certified Elite” option ($900,000 investment) and the “Model e Certified” alternative ($500,000 investment) had an October 31 deadline, but Automotive News reports this has been pushed back to December 2 to accommodate more retailers. For now, dealers that do not opt-in will eventually be excluded from selling Ford’s electric vehicle portfolio, but no discussions of terminating a dealer’s franchise agreement over this proposal have taken place.
Exhaust: While big dealer groups like AutoNation and Penske probably jumped on Ford’s bandwagon weeks ago, these are never easy decisions for retailers run by a smaller group of people. The prospects of lower vehicle sales, extra overhead from empty parking lots (that may never be full of inventory again), and tighter margins only makes things tougher, considering how much the facility upgrades cost up front. Losing the ability to sell an EV over sticker price means it will take longer to offset the upgrade cost, so perhaps this “return on investment” is worse than initially anticipated? —Sajeev Mehta
The best of BMW goes to auction at RM Sotheby’s
Intake: It’s a home advantage as RM Sotheby’s offers up 26 BMWs (and six more from BMW group brands) at its upcoming Munich auction. Gathered under The Bavarian Legends Collection, road cars, race cars, and motorcycles feature in this stunning gathering of BMWs great and small. Talking of small, the oldest car on sale is a little 1928 Dixi 3/15 DA-1 Open Tourer, built under license from Austin, and effectively the first BMW. Within just a few years the sporty 1934 315/1 and 1936 319/1 Roadsters were on sale, followed by the iconic 328 Roadster of 1938, and all are up for auction. From the post-war era the standout models are a 1958 507 Roadster, a sleek 502 3.2 Super sedan, and a 1959 Isetta 250 bubble car. It’s the 1970s and 80s that really dominate this sale of Bavarian beauties, though: a 1972 3.0 CSi, a 1975 3.0 CSL “Batmobile,” a 1980 M1, an ’89 M3, and an ’87 M6, plus a pair of drop-doored Z1s from 1989. Among the non-BMW badged models are a pair of Minis and a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. The full collection is offered without reserve at Munich Motorworld on November 26 and can be viewed at RM Sotheby’s now.
Exhaust: This is the ultimate BMW garage sale, with something for everyone. Every car appears to be a low-mileage minter, with concours winners, last-of-the-line models, and very limited-run specials included in the catalog. If ever there was an opportunity to gauge the direction of classic BMW values in 2022 this is it. —Nik Berg
Caterham won’t ditch the Seven to go electric
Intake: Tiny (in every sense) British specialist car maker Caterham is planning to build a new two-seat electric sports car, but it won’t be a replacement for the Colin Chapman–designed Seven. Caterham boss Bob Laishley told Autocar “It will be prettier and more modern than a Seven – those will be big points of distinction – and maybe it will have a roof. We’re designing it as a pure EV from the start, with rear drive only, and it will be registered under SVA rules.” Although in its home country Caterham faces a 2030 ICE ban and will have to have an electric car on the market soon, Laishley believes that the U.S. market will keep the classic Seven in production for years to come thanks to “Show and Display” rules which would continue to allow the car to be sold and driven in America.
Exhaust: The electrification of Caterham is inevitable, but the company isn’t losing sight of its founding principles. “This will definitely not be a Seven, but it’ll have all the characteristics today’s Caterham customers know well: lightness, simplicity, agility, and performance,” says Laishley. —NB
Electric car sales hit 18 percent in California
Intake: According to Electrek.com, new electric vehicle sales have hit 18 percent in California. As you’d suspect, that’s far greater than the overall U.S., where the percentage is about six percent. Despite the push towards electric by almost all automakers, Tesla still owns about two-thirds of the U.S. market, and the company hasn’t had access to EV incentives for years. Of the 576,000 EVs sold in the U.S. so far in 2022, over 250,000 were in California. We’re lagging behind a lot of countries, Elektrek says, as Norway, for example, is over 80 percent electric. Sixteen percent of new car sales in Europe are electric, says CleanTechnica.com.
Exhaust: Elon Musk may be the most mercurial man in America, and despite all the lawsuits and ancillary interests he has, somehow Tesla stays the course. California is critical to the success of EVs; without its sales, U.S. EV adoption rate would probably be about four percent. —SCS