2020 Toyota Supra – Video Review
Since the end of the fourth-generation Supra in 2002, fans have been begging for a return of the Supra. While in between, we were given a severely insufficient Toyota 86 to hold our tongues; finally, the Supra has made its return. An exoskeleton of the BMW Z4, Toyota has built upon that along with a little Toyota flare to become the by-product of the next great sports car.
Underneath, the Supra shares a platform, running gear, engine, gearbox, and large chunks of the interior with the latest Z4. Not being the first example of Toyota partnering with others to collaborate on a version with a Toyota badge. (Subaru BRZ/Scion FRS/Toyota 86).
But this partnership is different because the Supra is a huge deal. It’s not a run of the mill newly introduced small coupe. The Supra badge has a history as a staple in Japanese car culture alongside the greats like the Honda NSX, Nissan Skyline, and Nissan GT-R.
While the DNA is the same, The Supra, in my opinion, is better looking than the Z4, no doubt about it. It’s well proportioned, striking, and eye-catching throughout.
Under the hood sits BMW’s B58 single turbo 3.0-liter straight six, developing identical power figures (335bhp and 369lb ft of torque) to the Z4 M40i. This is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. 0-100km takes 4.3 seconds. The body is more rigid than the Lexus LFA’s, weight distribution is 50:50. Leaving aside the BMW controversy, you’ve got to admit it looks good on paper.
It’s excellent to drive. The Supra is crisp, responsive, well connected, confidence-inspiring, and quick. The fact that Toyota has been able to take the same mechanicals as BMW and shape them into a proper sports car that’s perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Supra. But it is not all entirely successful, so let’s start there. The paddle downshifts can be a fraction delayed and upshifts can surge on you.
Similarly, the engine has plenty of mid-range shove, but at higher RPM’s there’s not much point. The brakes do fade, but it does have bigger brakes, using 13.7-inch vented discs in front and 13.6-inch vented discs in the rear, 1.0 inch and 0.8 inches larger than the old car (which also had vented discs). But it’s the good stuff that dominates the experience. The front wheels unfailingly go where you aim them, and the rear axle is communicative and well supported. What this means is that the Supra moves into corners well, and it gets out of them well, too. The steering set-up – especially in Sport (that or Normal are your only choices) – is lovely, well-weighted, and responsive. It’s too light in Normal. Turning is decisive, and it feels agile, thanks to its short 2,470mm wheelbase.
Here is the thing; we can forgive the non-Toyota engine, but it’s hard to forgive the lack of innovation in the cabin. The Supra is a BMW inside. Of course, this means it’s got the material quality and tactility it wouldn’t have had otherwise, and some people will see that as a plus. And once again, if you aren’t familiar with BMW, it’s not going to offend you. But here’s Toyota, the world’s largest car company, having slapped a body on top of a BMW, It’s just an odd thing to do with a brand with such history for Toyota.
The rev counter is Toyota’s own, but the steering wheel definitely isn’t. The same goes for the heating controls, graphics, USB slots, switchgear, door handles, etc. Ignoring the BMW influences then: the driving position is excellent. You sit low, the standard seats wrap around your back as bucket seats do, however over the shoulder visibility is horrible. Two seats and two people have adequate space inside. The infotainment is intuitive as BMW’s go. No complaints as the rotary are easy to manage and operate.
After all is said and done, it’s like BMW built a better Toyota. It’s impossible to separate the new Supra from its underpinnings – not least because they are always staring you in the face when you get in. But in the end, Toyota has built a very talented driver’s car. It’s a very complete coupe. Big enough inside, well equipped, handsome, rapid, and good-natured. It’s grown-up yet compact, agile, and smooth. It’s a smart piece of engineering. A car you’d enjoy driving anywhere, a car that probably strikes the best compromise of GT and sportiness of any car in its class.
2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 53 AMG – Automotive Video Review
The most impressive innovation found in the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS 53 AMG is the new, electrified 3.0-litre engine that offers twin-turbocharging by way of a traditional exhaust gas turbocharger and the new electric auxiliary compressor. This provide almost instantaneous boost, as when the CLS 53 is starting at zero, the electric auxiliary compressor can immediately build up a high-pressure charge, delivering a faster increase in torque for acceleration until the large conventional exhaust gas turbocharger is deployed. As a result, the CLS 53 is able to zip around, with a glorious turbo lag-free response. It is as if this car gets all the benefits of both a supercharger and a turbo for all our lead foot needs. The new 3.0 L. engine provides the CLS 53 with 429 hp and a maximum torque of 384 lb-ft. The electrified EQ Boost starter-alternator briefly provides an additional 21 hp, plus 184 lb-ft of torque while still feeding the new 48 V on-board electrical system. This impressive new system clearly works as the CLS 53 4MATIC+ rockets from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds.
The newly available 48 V on-board electrical system is also available to provide the CLS 53 with more robust traditional functions like; shifting, gliding and restarting of the engine by the start/stop function.
The new Mercedes CLS 53 features the twin-blade, silver chrome radiator grille, previously reserved for the V8 Performance models. As standard, the CLS 53 comes with 19-inch light-alloy wheels with optional 20-inch wheels available to add another layer of opulence if you so wish
The optional ENERGIZING comfort control is another interesting highlight on this vehicle. It links together the numerous comfort systems in the vehicle and harmonizes their specific functions such as; air conditioning and seating heating, cooling, and massaging, steering wheel heating, lighting and audio. Depending on your selection it generates a unique environment that Mercedes claims can enhance well-being and the drivers experience.
Finally, the CLS 53 4MATIC+ features the latest generation driving assistance systems pioneered in S-Class. Standard features are Active Braking Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, and ATTENTION ASSIST. Other standard features include PRE-SAFE®, the occupant-protection system, and the new PRE-SAFE® Sound, which prepares your hearing for any accident noise when the car believes there is a risk of a collision.
- MSRP $92,000
- 3.0-litre 6-cylinder in-line engine
- 429 hp at 6100 rpm with and additional 21 hp of boost
- 384 lb-ft at 1800-5800 rpm with an additional 184 lb-ft available
- AMG SPEEDSHIFT TCT 9G transmission
- Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.5 s
2019 Jaguar F-Type – Automotive Review
From a turbocharged 4-cylinder kitty, to a roaring 575hp SVR lion, the Jaguar F-Type is the classic sportscar you expect from Jaguar. With a long history of sexy coupes and convertibles the F-type easily picks up the pouncing cat logo and runs with it. We got the chance to drive multiple different models in different configurations, and each one completely satisfied that sportscar itch. Getting behind the wheel of the F-Type SVR, kicking it in sport mode and dropping the top I was grinning from ear to ear; with each eye widening roar from under every overpass on Hwy 1 back from Vancouver… Don’t even get me started on the sound it made in the tunnel
(+) – Available in so many different options, there is a F-Type for everyone
(-) – Classic 2-seater sportscar, don’t expect to have many guests
Only real new thing in the 2019 is the Touch Pro infotainment system with a 10-inch touchscreen.
Comparisons (F-Type SVR – CAD 143,500.00 As Tested)
- 2019 Porshe 911 Carrera – $111,000 – 4.2s 0 – 100 km/h
- 2019 Mercedes SL 550 Roadster – $128,900 – 4.3 sec 0-100 km/h
- 2019 Aston Martin Vantage – £123,850.00 – 3.6 sec 0-100 km/h
The Jaguar F-Type was a really fun car to drive around town. It was low to the ground and had a tight glove like sports car type feel, but when you want that, this jag is what you are looking for. Sure, it’s maybe not an economic friendly daily drive, but that is not what this car wants to be. The F-Type wants to be both seen and heard, and when you are behind the wheel, that is completely okay.
2019 Jaguar F-Pace SVR – Video Review
- MSRP $92,000 CND
- 5.0-Liter V8 550 HP
- 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3
- F-PACE SVR 8-speed automatic QuickShift transmission
- F-PACE All-Wheel Drive system uses Intelligent Driveline Dynamics software for agile handling and to minimize understeer.
- Perforated Windsor leather
- F-TYPE-inspired Variable Valve Active Exhaust System featuring quad tailpipes
- Optional 22” Forged alloy wheels
2019 BMW M850i – Video Review
While it has come a long way since its very first introduction in 1989, the BMW M850i remains one of those cars made only for the affluent. It is smaller in length than the 7 series and even the 6 series. However, the 8-series BMW styling can only be directly compared with the Gran Coupe. Sculpting in the double-bubble style racing roof, with a gaping air intake in the frontend and subtle swivels in the hood, the BMW M850i provides a design unlike any other in the BMW line-up.
In terms of performance, the M850i has shed the V12 -engine option from 1989 and replaced it with its twin-turbocharged and intercooled dual overhead cam 32-valve V-8 engine. This is propelling the driver to 100km/h from a standstill in 3.7 seconds thanks to its launch-control program, 523 horsepower, and 553 lb-ft of torque. Controlling that power the M850i series is the equipped adaptive steering control, and awd control. The technology seamlessly displaces power to each of the four wheels as needed in order to maintain control through corners, and launch off a standstill. During testing, this car experienced less than ideal weather conditions, and surprisingly, the M850i felt solid on every type of puddle, corner, and bump. To top it off, the counterbalanced wheels with 245/35R-20s up front and 275/30R-20s out back improves its handling.
The BMW M850i starts at $124 000, but given all the optional packages including executive package which includes a crystal gear shift, professional driver assistance, and optional carbon-fiber roof the price quickly climbs to $136 860. Buyers are going to have to consider spending the extra dollars to climb from a 6 series to 8 series for more-or-less prestige status. In any regard, the BMW M850i was a pleasure to drive, for a more in-depth analysis, please check out our video review:
- Starts at $124 000
- Engine: twin-turbocharged and inter-cooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block, and heads, direct fuel injection producing 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode
- Dimensions: Wheelbase: 111.1 inches / Length: 191.2 inches / Width: 74.9 inches / Height: 53.0 inches / Trunk volume: 12 cubic ft / Curb weight: 4643 lb
- Fuel consumption (combined): 11.5L/100km
2018 Nissan 370Z NISMO – Automotive Review
Main Changes for 2018
- Dunlop SP Sport MAXX GT600 high-performance tires
- Same tread pattern as the Nissan GT-R
- EXEDY® L-PEC high- performance clutch
- Nissan 307Z NISMO starting at $48,298 CAD
- GT-R-inspired functional and fully integrated aerodynamic body pieces
- 0 inches longer and 1.0 inch wider than a standard 370Z Coupe
- Three exterior colors are offered: Solid Red, Pearl White, and Magnetic Black.
- Standard Advanced Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and Active Sound Enhancement (ASE) systems
- 7-litre DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL)
- 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm
- 18 horsepower more than a standard 370Z Coupe
- and 276 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
- 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm
- Close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission with standard SynchroRev Match
- Fuel Economy
- Combined 11.5L/100km
2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR – Automotive Review
Hosting numerous races up until its closure in 1984, we thought we would relive some of the tracks former glory by unleashing the menacing 575-horsepower V8 supercharged Jaguar F-Type fully equipped with all the technologies expected of the SVR badge. Now while this Jaguar was more than capable of screaming down some fresh new asphalt at a furious pace, the now-retired Langley track is more suitable for walking your dog, over racing a cat. However, the 2018 Jaguar F-type SVR literally screams, with the assistance of Active Exhaust,® button located inside the cockpit, you are able to release at any speed a race-car inspired crescendo that was once so prominent at his now historic site.
Whether it’s gliding through the tight corners of the track or cruising through the city, the handling is magnificent. The use of the double wishbone aluminum suspension and the Electric Powered Assist Steering (EPAS) enables you to tame the amount of power effortlessly around corners. Throughout testing, I was able to conclude that dynamic mode was very relative to the throttle and circumstances. Maneuvering through a corner at an increased pace, you can feel the technology take control, preventing understeer and improving handling. This is in large part to the technology added inside the F-pace’s core. The torque vectoring provides independent brake control to the inside wheels while the Electronic Active Differential® delivers the torque to the rear wheels when exiting the corner. The jaw-dropping stature of the brake calipers is one thing, but the functionality is another. It’s the most powerful brake system available from Jaguar and just adds to the high class of performance for this F-Type SVR
The stunning retro sky blue, accompanied by a plethora of carbon fiber accents demands your attention at every turn. Our first impression was one of excitement and awe, and we are sure it will catch your eye too in with our cinematic review of this 2018 Jaguar F-Type SVR.