On a postcard-perfect day in the Provence region of France, we agree to keep our phones tucked away in our bags. In a convoy, we pass through the security gate of the former Michelin, now BMW proving ground in Miramas and wind our way to a garage on the other side of the enormous facility. Our hosts are a small handful of immensely friendly, obviously proud, and enthusiastic engineers responsible for bringing the BMW Z4 convertible back to our roads next spring. They’ve been at it for five years—or three years before the last Z4 disappeared from our showrooms after the 2016 model year. Why? BMW’s not-so-secret arrangement with Toyota to co-develop a coupe-only Supra sports car in exchange for valuable, forward-thinking battery and hybrid technology was too good to pass up. Impressions of Scale Feeling a bit like stowaways or spies, we catch our first glimpse of a pair of near-production-spec Z4s in full camo—including black interior shrouds. Having only seen the … [Read more...] about 2019 BMW Z4 M40i Prototype Review: BMW Breathes Life Into a Forgotten Droptop
Top secret supra
The gold Toyota Supra built by Japanese tuner Top Secret is one of the most memorable vehicles to ever come out of the JDM tuning scene. Famously built and driven by company founder ‘Smokey’ Nagata, the Top Secret Supra was once driven to 197 mph (316 km/h) on a public highway in the UK at night and with rain falling. It later sprinted to 222 mph (357.6 km/h) at Nardo during a high-speed run in 2008. The sports car doesn’t get driven on the road all that often any more, but That Racing Channel on YouTube recently had the opportunity to jump into the passenger seat. Despite being 20 years old, the car still runs very well and turn heads unlike any other Supra on earth. The twin-turbo V12 also creates a unique driving experience. Beyond its gold paint, the Top Secret Supra stands out from the crowd with its custom bodykit that includes an overhauled front fascia looking unlike anything to ever wear a Toyota badge. The bodykit also widens the car by 100 mm and reportedly … [Read more...] about Riding In Top Secret’s Legendary 943 PS Toyota Supra Is Amazing
When I heard that Trap Team had acquired the Top Secret Supra that went up for auction late last year at the Tokyo Auto Salon, and that I’d have a chance to see the car in a few days, I didn’t believe it. Seriously, I flat-out did not believe what I was reading. I’d heard that my source had a knack for talking things up, so to speak, but then another guy I was introduced to also mentioned the car as well as the shop that owned it. It was this second source who delivered for me, getting me in touch with Trap Team and setting up a little meet and greet. There were a number of other cars worth a good look (read: Skylines) in their private warehouse a half an hour away, but in their friend’s air-conditioned garage was the car I was personally most interested in. I will get into the others later, but this JZA80 deserves special attention first. This thing is the stuff of legend, you know? While I wasn’t all that … [Read more...] about Guess Where? Top Secret’s V12 Supra
I can honestly say there’s no show quite like the Tokyo Auto Salon. There are other tuner shows like SEMA and the Essen Motor Show, but the TAS has its very own and unique style. When the rest of the world is oohing and aah-ing over the latest tech and the latest trucks, this unmistakably Japanese show is where things get wonderfully weird. It’s not a big show, despite over 880 vehicles displayed across 11 halls. You can do a lap of the whole thing in about two hours. Of course, you’ll need more time to take everything in. For 2018, 319,030 people were in attendance over the three days it was held, making it the fourth year in a row where attendance has been over 300,000. It’s a show that just gets bigger every year. There’s good reason why TAS is held every year and the Tokyo Motor Show is every two years: It’s just a more enjoyable event to attend. What started off as the “Tokyo Exciting Car Show” back in 1983 (I wish they had kept … [Read more...] about The 2018 Tokyo Auto Salon Is A Delightful Celebration Of Weirdness
It’s a different atmosphere inside the redesigned 2019 Toyota Avalon. Sure, the Avalon’s steering wheel buttons, instrument cluster, and gear stalk will look familiar to Camry drivers, but the rest of the package has evolved into something more special. And it should be, considering the 2019 Avalon starts at $36,395, or more than $10,000 above the starting price of a base-model four-cylinder Camry—which nonetheless shares many of the larger Avalon’s underpinnings. The interior’s relative improvement versus its midsize sibling is the 2019 Avalon’s biggest step forward compared to its predecessor. We drove Toyota’s new flagship sedan and, while sitting inside a string of new Avalons, interviewed Alan Schneider, senior principal designer at Toyota’s Southern California CALTY design studio. Keep reading for more on the car’s cabin. Watch Toyota GR Supra Racing Concept Preview ? Watch Toyota GR Supra Racing … [Read more...] about 2019 Toyota Avalon Interior Review: Not a Camry-Plus
Supported by Automobiles By NORMAN MAYERSOHNMARCH 6, 2018 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story Whenever the international auto show circuit arrives in Frankfurt, Tokyo or Detroit, the exhibition halls brim with national pride as the host nation’s automakers assemble elaborate displays. But when the industry convenes to introduce its newest offerings in Geneva each year, there are no native brands to lay claim to a home-court advantage.This unusual circumstance — neutral territory in a sophisticated multilingual city — confers a special character on the Geneva International Motor Show, which opens to the public on Thursday after two days of press previews. The show runs through March 18 at the Palexpo convention center.Swiss prosperity, so evident in Geneva, sets the tone, and for the show’s 88th edition there is plenty of cause for optimism. Passenger vehicle sales in the European Union increased by 3.4 … [Read more...] about Amid Optimism, Automakers Pack Geneva With What’s Next
five-year history of posting scoops, has leaked more secrets on the coming Toyota Supra. Instead of clarifying what we can expect from Toyota's rebooted hero car, these new rumors confuse the issue — and if they're true, the new Supra gets further away from the thrill of the old Supra every time we hear about it.For starters, ynguldyn says the coupe "will be Toyota in name and body design only." We already knew that the Supra's interior came bundled from the BMW parts bin, but now we're told that the Supra will use the "same options, same colors, same interior materials." What's more, some of those colors will also come from the BMW bin, and hark back to near the time the last Supra disappeared: Glacier Silver, Atacama Yellow, and Crimson Red, anyone?Last we heard on Supra engine choices, Autocar reported there'd be one engine, an inline-six, in four states of tune. The Bimmerpost thread counters that, saying the Supra will get three engines — two four-cylinders and a … [Read more...] about Toyota Supra to be little more than a rebodied BMW Z4?