Autos

2021 BMW M4 First Look: Hello, M Drift Analyzer!

It’s comforting to know that not even a global pandemic can stop the inexorable march forward of BMW’s pursuit of power, torque, and driving fun. Proving our point is today’s virtual rollout of the 2021 BMW M4, sporting the spectacular new S58 engine available in two states of tune and with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions. There’s even a new M Drive Professional suite of onboard performance analyzers, including M Drift Analyzer and M Laptimer, and soon it will even offer M xDrive performance all-wheel drive. Hey, driving your own car fast around a track is de facto social distancing, right? How Much Power Does the New M4 Have, Anyway? We first sampled the new, mighty S58 engine in the BMW X3 M and X4 M SUVs and in the Competition models of each. Under ...

2021 Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid First Drive: A Turbo for the Geek Squad

As we noted in our first look of the 2021 Porsche Panamera, Zuffenhausen is worsening the “paradox of choice” customers face when trying to select their ideal powertrain, by dropping two engine offerings but adding three new ones. We’ve just driven the middle of these new engines—the plug-in electric-boosted twin-turbo V-6 Panamera 4S E-Hybrid that makes 552 hp and 553 lb-ft. That output rating has Porsche casting this new model as a greener proxy for the departed 550-hp/567-lb-ft twin-turbo-V-8-powered Panamera Turbo. Is it? 2021 Porsche Panamera 4S E-Hybrid: Performance We haven’t mounted our Vbox gear yet, but Porsche says trading two cylinders for an electric motor and battery only blunts the 4S E-Hybrid’s launch-controlled 0-60 mph time by 0.1 second rela...

Aston Martin Slashes Prices on the DBX, Vantage

Good news if you’re looking to buy an Aston Martin: The automaker is slashing prices by tens of thousands of dollars on certain models. Buyers will see price reductions on the 2021 Aston Martin DBX, Vantage Coupe, and Vantage Roadster. See all 41 photos Meanwhile, the 2021 Aston Martin Vantage Coupe now costs $142,086, regardless of whether you opt for the seven-speed manual or the eight-speed automatic. That’s a price reduction of $7,000 for the manual and $14,000 for the automatic. On the Vantage Roadster, prices now start at $150,086, a drop of $14,000. The Vantage Roadster is available exclusively with the automatic transmission. All of these vehicles make use of the Mercedes-AMG-developed 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. The engine delivers 542 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in the D...

Yeah, Buddy: 2021 Ford Bronco Sasquatch Will Offer a Manual After All

Citing feedback from reservation holders, Ford confirmed it has decided to offer the Bronco’s seven-speed manual transmission with the Sasquatch gear on both the SUV’s two- and four-door body styles. As a refresher, the gearbox is a Getrag-sourced 7MTI550 seven-speed manual, with six forward gears in a conventional pattern and a crawler gear (marked “C”) located left and down from the first set of gates. The crawler gear—also known as a granny gear—is a super-low ratio that allows the Bronco to, well, slowly crawl over almost anything in its path. (For more, check out our explainer on crawler/granny gears.) The Sasquatch package is available on every Bronco—base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, and Badlands, and standard on First Edition and Wildtrak—and bring...

Toyota GR Super Sport Hypercar Makes Surprise Debut at Le Mans

This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans was all about Toyota. Again. For the third year in a row, the Japanese brand took the checkered flag at the famed French endurance race. But Toyota didn’t simply make news for winning the race. In fact, the company made sure to steal the spotlight just before the green flag fell by publicly showing off a prototype mule of its forthcoming hypercar, the GR Super Sport. See all 12 photos This was no static display, either, as the low-slung camouflaged car made its way around Circuit de la Sarthe. Predictably, the GR Super Sport appears to crib many of its design cues from the Le Mans-winning TS050. Bulging front and rear fenders, a pointed schnoz with space for a proper Toyota badge, a wide front splitter, and a large rear wing all give the gasoline...

Touring Superleggera’s Aero 3 Is an Ode to an Italian Legend

Before you consider the new Touring Superleggera Aero 3, think of Carrozzaria Touring Superleggera itself, the Milanese coachbuilder and design house that thrived in the 1930s-1960s. You’re instantly prone to visions of the gorgeous, streamlined, almost fragile-looking automotive creations that emerged from its doors. Those cars often did so with Touring’s signature Superleggera or “super lightweight” construction methods, which stretch nearly paper-thin alloy panels over featherweight tubular structural frames. The first car to feature this Superleggera styling was a special 1937 Alfa Romeo 6C 2300 B earmarked for the famous Mille Miglia 1000-mile open–road race occurring in the same year. It’s fitting, then, that Touring’s new Aero 3 pays a homag...

2021 Nissan Maxima Gets Feature-Filled 40th Anniversary Edition

We don’t completely agree with Nissan’s claim that the Maxima is a sport sedan—its too soft and lacks the ultimate agility that aligns with the best of that breed, but we will go along with the idea that it’s a sporty sedan. We appreciate its potent V-6 engine, well-tuned ride, and plush interior. For 2021, the Nissan Maxima gets a little but sweeter—but no sportier—thanks a new special edition celebrating the nameplate’s 40th anniversary in the U.S. We know, right—can you believe the Maxima’s been around for four decades? It indeed has, launching as a trim of the Datsun 810 in 1981 and subsequently becoming Nissan’s longest-running nameplate in America, and this special version of the current, eighth-generation car features a variety of cosmetic up...

Jaguar’s XJR9 Is a Bonkers British Racer and Le Mans Legend

Sir John Egan, the man who pulled Jaguar out of the state-owned morass that was British Leyland, was a shrewd salesman. He knew Jaguar had enough money to launch the XJ40 sedan in 1986, but not a lot more. He realized the company’s long-term future, therefore, lay in persuading one of the global auto giants to fund the ongoing R&D needed to improve the XJ40 and build a replacement for the aging XJ-S, as well as invest in the news that Jaguar would be returning to Le Mans in 1986 with a factory-backed team, and aiming for an outright win, delivered exactly the sort of image-building media coverage Egan wanted. Built and developed by Tom Walkinshaw’s TWR Racing Team, and painted in the distinctive purple, white, and yellow of the team sponsor, the Silk Cut Jaguar XJRs became ...

2022 Jeep Wagoneer: What We Know About the Full-Size SUV

Where Does the Wagoneer Fit in Jeep’s SUV Lineup? That’s the big question among observers, and a key clue is hiding in plain sight right on the Grand Wagoneer concept: a lack of Jeep badging. Like the new Ford Bronco “family,” Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will serve as a subbrand under the broader Jeep umbrella. Both will sit atop the Grand Cherokee in the lineup, and both will use the same Ram 1500-based platform and three-row layout. How Will Jeep Differentiate the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer? Since we haven’t seen the production version of either the Grand Wagoneer or the regular Wagoneer, and only a concept version of the former, we don’t know for sure. But we can certainly fill in the blanks based on what Jeep has inferred. We’ve referred to th...

2020 Honda e First Drive Review: Electrified Object of Desire

The 2020 Honda e and the original Acura NSX have a few things in common. They are both rear-wheel drive. They both roll on a staggered tire setup, the rears wider than the fronts. And they are both among the most desirable cars Japan’s most individualistic automaker has ever built. The Honda e is not Honda’s first all-electric-powered vehicle—the company has been working on EV technology since the late 1980s and has released several production battery electric vehicles, including the EV Plus, a handful of which were made available on a lease-only basis in the U.S. in the late 1990s. But Honda has never truly embraced the EV, preferring instead to spend precious R&D time and money on fuel-cell powertrains that combine the zero tailpipe emissions of an electric motor with the...

2020 Cadillac CT6 4.2TT AWD: We Test the CT6’s Blackwing

This should’ve been it. The American luxury/performance flagship sedan to finally stand up to V-8-powered German sedans like the Mercedes-AMG E 63 and S 63, BMW M5, M6 Gran Coupe, and 750i, and Audi RS 7 and S8 cars (and maybe even the Lexus GS F) that have dominated the continent-crossing swift-sedan market forever. But before we even got a chance to properly test a 2020 Cadillac CT6 4.2-liter twin-turbo Platinum powered by the mighty Blackwing V-8 introduced in 2018—let alone compare it against its competitors—the car was cancelled. Production ended in January. Powertrain Fitness It’s a crying shame, really (and probably a fire-able offense for the decision makers involved) to have designed and developed this high-tech engine from scratch, only to sell fewer than 1,400 exampl...

Jaguar’s Late 20th Century Woes: From Failed Le Mans Bid to Management’s Missteps

The 1955 Le Mans race is grimly remembered for Mercedes driver Pierre Levegh’s horrific crash on the pit straight, which claimed the lives of more than 80 spectators. But it’s an event that also deeply affected Jaguar: The only son of company founder Sir William Lyons, John, was killed in a car crash en route to the race. John Lyons was just 25 years old when he died, and it is by no means certain he would have succeeded his father at the helm of Jaguar. But the lack of a successor is often cited as one of the reasons Sir William abruptly decided to merge Jaguar with the British Motor Corporation (BMC)—the company that owned Austin, Morris, MG, Riley, and Wolseley—in 1966. The delicate, six-month-long merger negotiations put the XJ13 program on hold, a fatal delay that meant it...