Toyota Ft-Hs Just Around The Corner?
Most of you probably remember Toyota's FT-HS hybrid sports coupe concept, which many have speculated is the forerunner to the next-generation Supra. While billed as a hybrid, the FT-HS is no limp-wristed treehugger. Its 3.5L V-6 and electric motor delivers 400 hp to the rear wheels and enables the Hybrid Sport to accelerate from 0-60 in around 4 seconds-performance that is more than worthy of the Supra name. Up until now the FT-HS has remained just a concept car, but as we went to print fresh news from Toyota suggested that we may yet see it arrive in production form.
A recent press release from Toyota announced that the automaker will be unveiling two completely new hybrid models at the upcoming Detroit auto show in January alongside the new Prius, with one being badged a Toyota and the other a Lexus. Toyota already has a couple of boring, soulless eco-cars in the Prius and Camry hybrid, so will they finally be adding some zing to their petrol-electric range with the new car? Honda's already getting in on the hybrid sports car game with their CR-Z and Nissan has expressed interest in a fuel-sipping sportster of their own, so hopefully the world's largest automaker will follow suit in Detroit.
Mazda Gets Generous, Extends Rx-8
Engine Warranty To Eight Years
All you rotor fiends out there are probably sick of hearing people describe your beloved rotary engine as troublesome, unreliable, and difficult to maintain. Mazda, too, is a big fan of the ol' spinning triangle, and to silence the critics they've decided to extend the engine warranties for all North American RX-8s to eight years or 100,000 miles.
It's a tremendous vote of confidence from Mazda, the brand that without a doubt helped popularize the Wankel rotary as a high-performance engine since introducing it to its model lineup back in 1965 with the Cosmo Sport. The extension is retroactive too, meaning that not only do new owners benefit from the huge warranty, but existing owners also gain this extra cover.
Not having to worry about your engine blowing up for the better part of a decade sure is comforting, and no doubt Mazda will be able to snare a few more RX-8 customers with this very enticing carrot. Unfortunately, those of you who have managed to bolt a turbo or supercharger to your Renesis will miss out, as modifications automatically void the warranty. Then again, when did we ever really care about warranties, anyway?
HKS Releases Wrx Sti Upgrades
HKS USA announced its new parts lineup for the '08 Subaru WRX STI, with everything from filters to exhaust tips on offer.
If you want to keep your STI on the factory side of things, then HKS has got you covered with its super hybrid air filter, super SQV blow-off valve, Legamax premium rear exhaust and muffler and twin DLI ignition amplifier. For those who want something a little more hard-core, then HKS also offers its sport turbo upgrade, 75mm cat-back racing exhaust system, front-mount intercooler, and Hipermax III coilover suspension.
As we went to press the prices for the turbo, cat-back, intercooler, and coilovers had yet to be announced. However, the blow-off valve will set you back $365, the ignition amplifier $660, and the Legamax rear muffler $1,195, while the low-restriction air filter will cost you a measly $40. Head over to www.hksusa.com to check out the range.
'09 Infiniti G37 Coupe Gets AWD
Infiniti's two-door sports car, the G37 Coupe, will be available with all-wheel drive for the '09 model year, which means that it should already be rolling into dealerships by the time you read this.
The bad news is that it will only come with an automatic transmission, but don't get too disappointed; it's a clever seven-speed electronically controlled box, with a manual mode and downshift rev matching to keep all you cashed-up enthusiasts happy.
It might weigh a fair bit more than the standard driveline, but just imagine the possibilities once people start junking their all-wheel-drive G37s. With the upcoming Z34 370Z riding on the same FM platform as the G37, making your own all-wheel-drive Z out of a crashed G37 and the rolling shell of your 350Z/370Z should be a cinch. Add a couple of turbochargers and voil: your very own mini GT-R.
Toyota Goes Mental, Creates Aygo Crazy
OK, so compact cars like Toyota's Aygo aren't exactly the most exciting automobiles around, but what if you take the entire engine and drivetrain from a Toyota MR2 Spyder and place it behind the driver seat of an Aygo? What happens if you also decide to bolt a Toyota Motorsports turbocharger kit to that engine and hook up a pair of enormous Brembo brakes to the front hubs? You get one hell of a hatchback, that's what.
Toyota calls it the Aygo Crazy (get it?) and with 200 hp available from that force-fed four-pot, it has no trouble pushing its 2,314-pound frame around a skidpad. Adopting the MR2's rear subframe has also meant the woeful torsion beam rear suspension of the standard Aygo's been deleted, while TEIN dampers and springs keep the Aygo Crazy cornering hard. The transmission is the standard five-speed manual found in the MR2, and the whole package is said to be good for a 5.7-second 0-62 sprint, with a top speed of around 127 mph.
Unfortunately, you can't buy one. It's a $198,000 engineering study commissioned by Toyota Europe, and it's unlikely that anything like this will ever be seen in a Toyota showroom with a sticker on its window. However, if you're thinking your subcompact could do with a bit of the Aygo Crazy treatment, then mid-engine nirvana is but a wrecked MR2 and a gas axe away.
Rumor: Z34 Lineup May Get
By the time you read this Nissan's next-generation Z car, the Z34 370Z, should have made its debut. We already know that it'll come with the same VQ37VHR 3.7L V-6 as the G37 coupe, however fresh rumors suggest that the Z34 model range may eventually feature a V-8-powered flagship with enhanced styling that harks back to the Z's roots.
Shinjiro Yukawa, chief of production on the Z34 project, allegedly told a Japanese magazine that a special edition V-8 model with a 240Z-style "G-Nose" could appear, which would make it the first Z car to be powered by a non-six-cylinder engine. Such a car shouldn't be too hard to create either, with the Z34's FM platform being shared with the Infiniti M45 and FX50, both of which are powered by rather grunty bent-eights.
If the rumors turn out to be true, then a V-8 Z is bound to upset the purists. Still, if the engine of choice winds up being Nissan's new 390hp VK50 then we're sure that'll shut up all the haters. After all, there's no replacement for displacement, right?