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SSC Tuatara Striker and Aggressor unveiled with up to 2,200 horsepower

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SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC’s been busy. In January it set a production-vehicle land-speed record of 282.9 mph. Now the automaker’s ready to expand the Tuatara lineup.

On Thursday, the Washington-based supercar maker announced the Tuatara Striker and Tuatara Aggressor. The new models evolve the hypercar with more downforce, more power, and more customizable options.

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

The Tuatara Striker is a high-downforce model with an aggressive body kit. A fixed rear wing with a vertical stabilizer augments the standard Tuatara’s active rear wing and a massive new rear diffuser sits below. A new splitter with integrated dive planes sits up front while the sides have vaned side rockers. The new aero kit delivers about 1,100 lb of downforce at 160 mph, compared to the 362 lb produced on the standard Tuatara, according to SSC. The design puts 45.4% of the downforce on the front axle and 54.6% on the rear. SSC designer Jason Castriota said more than 1,000 hours were spent in CFD to design the Striker’s aero package to create downforce with a minimum drag penalty.

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

The Tuatara Aggressor model uses the Striker’s aero kit, as part of a package to make the supercar making a track-only weapon. SSC said customers will be given the freedom with the Aggressor to customize the supercar to “near limitless” levels in terms of performance, appearance, and options. A carbon dashboard is standard, and customers will have the option to customize their own racing seats, five-point racing harness, and carbon-fiber roll cage. Customers will also have the option to use Lexan windows and a stripped-down bare carbon-fiber interior without sound deadening for weight savings. Buyers will be involved in the build of their specific car, and the design of the exhaust system and the sound it makes will be tailored to their liking; SSC will even let customers make the car as loud as they want because it won’t have decibel restrictions as a track car. Track slicks will also be optional.

Striker models are powered by the Tuatara’s 5.9-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 1,350 hp and 984 lb-ft of torque on 91-octane pump gas and 1,750 hp and 1,322 lb-ft of torque on E85. A 7-speed automated CIMA gearbox sends powers to the rear wheels with gearing optimized for a top speed of 270 mph and better acceleration when exiting low-speed corners compared to the standard Tuatara.

Aggressor models come with 1,350 hp, but they can be optioned to produce of 2,200 hp and 1,604 lb-ft of torque on E85 thanks to a more aggressive camshaft, higher compression, and more boost.

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC Tuatara Striker—Image credit Castriota Design with LLM Design

SSC will build 100 total units of the Tuatara and Tuatara Striker along with 10 units of the track-only Tuatara Aggressor for a total of 110 Tuataras. That’s 10 more units than originally planned, though the 10 Aggressor models won’t be street-legal. Striker and Aggressor models add at least $199,000 (depending on options) to the Tuatara’s $1.95 million price. All three models are said to be in production now in Richland, Washington, with at least one Aggressor and multiple Striker build slots already spoken for. SSC CEO Jared Shelby told Motor Authority build slots are still available for customer deliveries in 2022, but he wouldn’t comment on how many of the 110 Tuataras are spoken for thus far.

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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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