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2022 Lexus IS F Sport Performance rekindles IS F with 472-hp 5.0-liter V-8

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2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance

Boasting a V-8 engine and bodywork straight out of a tuner magazine, the Lexus IS F ushered in a new era of performance at Toyota’s luxury brand in 2008. Now the 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance looks to rekindle some of that fire by bringing back V-8 power.

The IS 500 is the first F Sport Performance model, sitting above the F Sport models, but below full-fat F models like the RC F, in the Lexus hierarchy. So the IS 500 isn’t quite a successor to the IS F, but it’s pretty close.

Under the hood sits Lexus’ naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8, which produces 472 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque in this sedan. It drives the rear wheels through the same 8-speed automatic transmission used in other IS variants.

The IS 500 tips the scales at 3,891 pounds, just 143 pounds more than a V-6 IS 350 F Sport, according to Lexus. The automaker quotes 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds, with estimated fuel economy of 24 mpg highway, but the company doesn’t mention a top speed.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance

On the handling front, the IS 500 comes standard with the Dynamic Handling Package that’s normally an extra-cost option on rear-wheel drive IS F Sport models. It includes adaptive suspension and a Torsen limited-slip differential, plus a laterally mounted Yamaha performance damper that strengthens the structure for low-speed comfort and high-speed agility and stability.

The V-8 sedan also gets larger 14-inch front and 12.7-inch rear brake rotors than other IS models, and additional brake cooling.

It won’t be as easy to spot an IS 500 as  it was to spot an IS F. Styling changes are fairly subtle, including a two-inch hood bulge, a lengthened front bumper and fenders (to make room for the V-8), model-specific Enkei 19-inch wheels, quad exhaust tips, and a rear lip spoiler.

Interior styling features carry over from the IS F Sport, meaning the IS 500 gets an F Sport steering wheel, scuff plates, and pedals.

The 2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance is scheduled to arrive at dealerships this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

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Watch the 2021 Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar storm Monza

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2021 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Le Mans Hypercar race car

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus completed the build of its 007 race car in late February and in the weeks since the crew has been racking up test laps at racetracks in Italy. The most recent test was at Monza, located just outside of Milan.

Video from YouTube channel MattyB727 shows the 007 in action and provides us with a taste of the race car’s sweet-sounding V-8. The engine is a bespoke 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 developed by France’s Pipo Moteurs which has built engines for a number of race teams, most successfully with Peugeot and Ford in the World Rally Championship.

SCG will field the 007 in the 2021 World Endurance Championship’s new Le Mans Hypercar class under the team banner Glickenhaus Racing, and will contest the premier event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It will compete against Toyota with the GR010 Hybrid and ByKolles with the PMC Project in the LMH class.

2021 Toyota GR010 Hybrid Le Mans Hypercar race car

2021 ByKolles PMC Project Le Mans Hypercar race car

2021 ByKolles PMC Project Le Mans Hypercar race car

SCG originally planned to build just two 007s for the 2021 WEC season, but with organizers last week announcing the 24 Hours of Le Mans is to be pushed back from June to August, the company is willing to build a third car for anyone interested in competing in the French endurance classic. The cost is a cool five million euros (approximately $5.93 million).

Handling the production of the 007 is Italy’s Podium Advanced Technologies. SCG has confirmed that the race car can be converted into a road car, at extra cost. Per the LMH regulations, SCG will also need to launch a road car with a similar powertrain concept to the 007.

Under the revised 2021 WEC calendar, the official pre-season testing will now take place at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps April 26-27. The first race of the new season will take place on May 1, also at Spa. The 24 Hours of Le Mans will run Aug. 21-22.

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2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer set for Mar. 11 reveal

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2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The Jeep Wagoneer’s return is imminent.

Jeep will take the covers off a new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer on March 11, with the reveal scheduled for 12:00 p.m. EST.

Both SUVs arrive as 2022 models and should be at dealerships in the fall, though exact timing hasn’t been announced.

Both will be full-size, three-row SUVs but the Grand Wagoneer will be an extra-plush option, designed to target the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. The regular Wagoneer will be more your Chevrolet Tahoe or Ford Expedition alternative.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

There will also be the choice of a stretched body similar to what rivals are offering, though this option could end up limited to the Grand Wagoneer. In range-topping guise, we could be looking at a price tag nudging $100,000.

The teaser video above doesn’t reveal much but our own spy shots of prototypes and last fall’s reveal of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept hint strongly at what’s to come. The SUVs will be big and bold and characterized by Jeep’s signature seven-slot grille and squared-off wheel arches.

Underpinning the vehicles will be a modified version of the platform from the latest Ram 1500 pickup. An independent rear suspension should contribute to a smooth ride and air suspension will be available for those that desire extra comfort. All Wagoneers will feature an 8-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive will be standard, and four-wheel drive will be available.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept

Powertrains should be the familiar 3.6-liter V-6 and 5.7-liter V-8 found in multiple Stellantis vehicles sold in North America. Mild-hybrid tech may be standard and a plug-in hybrid is expected at some point, perhaps as early as next year. We’ve got our fingers crossed that the Hellcat 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 makes its way into a Trackhawk.

Production will be handled at Stellantis’ Warren Truck Assembly plant in Warren, Michigan.

Note, Jeep fans looking for a three-row SUV have another option this year with the introduction of the 2021 Grand Cherokee L. It starts sales this summer with a base price of $38,690, including destination.

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Porsche lifts stake in Rimac to 24%

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Mate Rimac

Porsche’s board on Monday agreed to increase the company’s stake in Rimac to 24%, up from the current 15%.

The transaction will cost Porsche 70 million euros (approximately $83 million) and the increased stake won’t exercise a controlling influence. Porsche first invested in Rimac in 2018 and previously increased its stake in 2019.

Other key investors in the Croatian electric-vehicle technology company include Hyundai Motor Group, as well as its own CEO and founder, Mate Rimac, who has the biggest stake.

Porsche hasn’t ruled out further increasing its stake. There have been rumors since last September that Porsche’s stake could be increased to 49% in a deal that would see fellow Volkswagen Group brand Bugatti transferred to Rimac. While there was no mention of Bugatti in Monday’s announcement, Porsche CEO Oliver Blume only in February said Bugatti and Rimac were a good fit.

However, comments made by Rimac on Monday suggest that Porsche and Rimac may prefer to stay independent.

Mate Rimac

“With many car manufacturers across the world being Rimac customers, it is important, both for Rimac and Porsche, that we remain an entirely independent business,” he said.

Rimac is arguably best known for its Concept_One battery-electric hypercar which will soon spawn a successor code-named the C_Two. However, the company’s main business is supplying EV technology such as battery and drive systems to other firms, including Porsche in the near future. Porsche has confirmed that it’s placed its first order for components with Rimac.

“Mate Rimac and his team are important partners, especially when it comes to supporting us in the development of components,” Lutz Meschke, head of finance and IT at Porsche, said in a statement. “Rimac is well on its way to becoming a Tier 1 supplier for Porsche and other manufacturers in the high-tech segment.”

But Porsche isn’t the only side benefiting from the growing ties it has with Rimac. Rimac also benefits from Porsche’s production and product development expertise.

The latest announcement comes just weeks after it was reported that VW Group is considering a Porsche spinoff. According to reports out of Germany, VW Group is considering floating up to 25% of Porsche to raise funds for its extensive EV and software development programs.

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