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Aston Martin Valkyrie deliveries to start mid-2021

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Aston Martin Valkyrie

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost five years since the Aston Martin Valkyrie was first previewed as a concept.

We’ll remind you that the Valkyrie was presented with help from Formula One star Daniel Ricciardo, who at the time was driving for Red Bull Racing, a technical partner of the hypercar project. Since the reveal Ricciardo has gone on to drive for Renault and has now switched again to McLaren. Yes, it’s been a long time.

Aston Martin Valkyrie

Now imagine what the wait must feel like for the future owners. To ally fears that the project might be canceled, new Aston Martin CEO Tobias Moers has featured in a video sent out to reservation holders confirming a mid-2021 start of deliveries. That’s close to two years later than originally planned.

“I apologize that it’s taking a little longer than we promised you,” Moers said in the video, a copy of which was posted online on Tuesday by Road & Track. “But now we’re on the run with Valkyrie. There’s still a path to go. There’s still a lot of things to go, but I’m confident that we’ll have the car available to you as our customers by mid ’21.”

Tobias Moers

Tobias Moers

Developing a hypercar is no easy task, as Moers is well aware of as the former head of Mercedes-Benz AMG. The One hypercar being developed by AMG was also originally due in 2019 but, like the Valkyrie, will now start deliveries in 2021. The ensuing battle is going to be epic.

Perhaps coming as no surprise, Moers also said in the video that the Valkyrie is “more sophisticated than anything I saw in my past, recently in my career, in my whole life.”

Aston Martin Valkyrie's 6.5-liter V-12

Aston Martin Valkyrie’s 6.5-liter V-12

While it doesn’t have the F1 engine of the One, the Valkyrie still boasts a combination of lightweight carbon-fiber construction, trick aerodynamics developed by the Red Bull Racing Chief Technical Officer Adrian Newey, and around 1,160 hp generated by a Cosworth-developed 6.5-liter V-12 paired with a KERS-style hybrid system. Valkyrie owners are in for a real treat as the V-12 sounds just like an F1 engine from the 1990s, thanks in part to its 12-into-1 exhaust design.

There will only be 175 Valkyrie owners all up, with 150 of them getting the road-going version of the Valkyrie and the remaining 25 getting the even faster Valkyrie AMR Pro track edition. Unfortunately, there will no longer be a dedicated racing version for the World Endurance Championship’s new Le Mans Hypercar category, meaning we won’t get to see the Valkyrie in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Autos

Porsche 911 GTS bows for 2022 as a 473-hp coupe, convertible, or targa

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2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

The GTS model has become so ubiquitous across the Porsche lineup that it’s hard to believe the first 911 Carrera GTS debuted only 12 years ago.

On Tuesday, Porsche revealed the 992-generation 911, which will be available in coupe and cabriolet body styles with rear- or all-wheel drive, as well as the targa body style with all-wheel drive.

GTS models usually offer a little more of everything—power, performance, and equipment—and usually at a price lower than those options sold separately. The 2022 911 GTS is no exception.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

On the power front, the new GTS features a 473-hp version of the 3.0-liter turbo-6 that powers other 911s. That’s 30 more hp than the S model and 23 more hp than the 991.2 generation GTS, and the 420 lb-ft of torque represents bumps of 30 lb-ft and 15 lb-ft, respectively.

When equipped with the 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the 911 GTS will hit 60 mph from a stop in just 3.1 seconds, which beats the 991.2 911 GTS by 0.3 second. The engine makes more sound as well thanks to a standard sport exhaust system with specific tuning and less sound-deadening material.

The GTS coupe and cabriolet models get a modified version of the suspension from the 911 Turbo. It comes with adaptive dampers, lowers the car 0.4 inch, and features rear helper springs that Porsche says maintain tension on the main springs to keep rebound characteristics consistent. The 911 GTS Targa uses the standard Targa’s suspension. Porsche makes rear-axle steering standard, and adds aerodynamic underbody paneling to all 911 GTS models.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

The brakes also come from the 911 Turbo, and all GTS models are outfitted with center-lock alloy wheels with a design derived from the 911 Turbo S.

Buyers will also be able to opt for a Lightweight package for the first time that will cut 55 lb from the car by removing the rear seat, and installing carbon-fiber bucket seats, lightweight glass for the side and rear windows, and a lightweight battery.

Porsche gives the 911 GTS models some exterior clues aside from the GTS badges. The front lip spoiler, wheels, engine cover grille, and GTS scripts are all satin black, and the targa bar on Targa models is black.  The headlight trim, daytime running light surrounds, and tailights are darkened, and the trim for the front end, rear end, and side sills is from the SportDesign package.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

Inside, the 911 GTS gets a GT Sport steering wheel, the Sport Chrono package with its steering wheel mode switch, and synthetic suede on the steering wheel, seat centers, gear lever, door handles, armrests, and center console lid.

The 911 GTS will be one of the first Porsches to get the next generation Porsche Communication Management infotainment system. It has larger icons on its touchscreen, and the home screen can now be personalized. Improved voice recognition responds to the words “Hey Porsche,” and Android Auto compatibility is added, as is wireless Apple CarPlay.

The 2022 Porsche 911 GTS goes on sale in early 2022 with a starting price of $137,050 for a 911 Carrera GTS. The 911 Carrera 4 GTS costs $145,350, the 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet runs $150,850, and both the 911 Carrera GTS 4 Cabriolet and 911 Targa 4 GTS are priced at $158,150.

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Hyundai teases Elantra N sport sedan

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2022 Hyundai Elantra N teaser

If you thought the 201-horsepower Elantra N Line was the end of the performance road for Hyundai’s compact sedan, then you’d be wrong.

On Monday Hyundai released two teaser images providing a glimpse at the 2022 Elantra N featuring multi-spoke aluminum wheels hiding red N-branded brake calipers, extended side sills, and a trunk-mounted spoiler. The automaker said the hottest version of the Elantra will be revealed in the coming weeks.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N teaser

In a video released in September to promote the new Elantra N TCR race car, a prototype for what’s presumably a full-fledged Elantra N is revealed at the end.

The car’s development is hardly a surprise as a prototype was spotted in August running near the Nürburgring.

Like the Elantra N TCR racer, the road car is expected to sport a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, with drive to the front wheels only. The same engine configuration in the i30 N sold overseas, as well as our own Veloster N, develops 250 horsepower in standard guise and 275 with an available performance pack.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Hyundai Elantra N spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Hyundai Elantra N spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Hyundai Elantra N spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Hyundai Elantra N spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Hyundai Elantra N spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The Elantra N should also pick up the N-tuned 8-speed dual-clutch transmission that was just made available on the i30 N and Veloster N for 2021, and hopefully a 6-speed manual will be available for drivers who want that third pedal. The tamer Elantra N Line will offer the choice of a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.

From the prototype spotted in August, we know the Elantra N will be fitted with larger wheels and brakes than the Elantra N Line, along with a fixed rear wing that Hyundai’s now confirmed. There is likely to be racier mods inside as well, such as lightweight bucket seats, Alcantara trim, and N-brand badging.

The Elantra N Line arrives in December as a 2021 model. The Elantra N will likely arrive next year as a 2022 model.

The Hyundai N performance squad has a busy year ahead. It’s also working on i20 N and Kona N models, the latter of which we should see in the United States. A Sonata N Line and dedicated N sports car are also coming, with the latter possibly coming with battery-electric power.

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2022 Audi RS 3 to add rear torque splitter, hit 62 mph in 3.8 seconds

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2022 Audi RS 3

The next generation of the raucous little Audi RS 3 compact sedan is coming for 2022, and it promises even more fun and performance. Audi released teaser images on Monday and revealed information about the car’s performance and new RS Torque Splitter rear differential.

The RS Torque Splitter replaces a simple limited-slip differential that lacked the ability to vector torque between the rear wheels. This is a Haldex differential with multi-disc clutches on each rear axle shaft that apportions power between the rear wheels, sending up to 1,290 lb-ft of torque (after torque multiplication from the driveline) to the outside rear wheel. The torque vectoring will surely provide better handling by combating both oversteer and understeer. It also enables Audi to add a new RS Torque Rear mode that allows the RS 3 to drift. The RS 3 also has RS Performance, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and RS Individual modes, plus a new Efficiency mode. The modes change the behavior of the torque splitter, engine and transmission, steering assistance, adaptive dampers, and exhaust flaps.

2022 Audi RS 3

Audi says the RS Performance mode offers the best track performance and is calibrated for the newly available Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires, which amount to  R-compound semi-slicks.

The stability control also has standard, sport, and off modes. Sport mode automatically accompanies RS Performance mode.

The RS3 has always been a delightful oddball with its turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, and it continues down that path. The 2.5-liter turbo-5 will have 401 hp, slightly more than the European version. Audi has also confirmed torque rises from 354 lb-ft to 369 lb-ft. The horsepower comes on earlier at 5,600 rpm, and the additional torque, which hits its peak between 2,250 and 5,600 rpm, aids acceleration at low revs. That power vaults the RS 3 from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds and sends it to a top speed of 180 mph when equipped with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes. Other versions top out at 155 and 174 mph.

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

Power runs to all four wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with what Audi calls a sportier gear-ratio spread.

A new modular vehicle dynamics controller captures data about the car’s lateral dynamics and coordinates the torque splitter, available adaptive dampers, and torque at individual wheels to help improve the car’s agility.  torque control for high-precision steering and handling.

The RS 3 will come with a choice of suspensions. The standard version will come with new shocks with valves that react quicker on rebound and compression. An RS Sport suspension uses adaptive dampers with comfort, balanced, and sporty damping curves. To add more grip in turns, the suspension now has almost 1 degree of negative camper. Audi modified the pivot bearings for the additional negative camber, and used stiffer bearings, subframes, and stabilizer bars. The rear suspension has separate springs and dampers, and a four-link independent design. The car sits 0.4 inch lower than the forthcoming 306-hp S3, and the front track is 1.3 inches wider while the rear track is 0.4 inch wider.

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

2022 Audi RS 3

Audi equips the RS 3 with variable-ratio steering that speeds up as the steering angle increases.

The photos Audi has provided show that the RS 3 will be offered in sedan and hatchback body styles, though the U.S. will likely only get the sedan. While the car is lightly camouflaged in the pictures, it also shows more than we’ve seen in spy shots. It likely gets the slightly longer body of the A3 and S3, it has more body sculpting, the grille is wider and features a honeycomb pattern, and we see new vents behind the front wheels look like gills and are likely there to take hot air out of the engine compartment.

Watch for full information on the next-generation Audi RS 3 to be released later this year.

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