Toyota 86 gets twin-charged

This year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed will see Toyota’s GT86 (known in South Africa as the 86) TRD joined by a twin-charged sibling tuned by Gazoo Racing to develop 235 kW. Although the concept has been developed with motorsport in mind, it is technically road-legal.

The GRMN Sports FR Concept features a twin-charger (sequential super- and turbocharging) set-up for the existing 2,0-litre engine that hikes the outputs up from 147 kW and 205 N.m to 235 kW and 422 N.m of torque. Toyota and Gazoo racing have not yet divulged any details regarding performance, but it’s fair to say that this model will require less provocation to get it sideways than its stock stablemate.

Gazoo Racing has also tacked on an in-house-developed sports exhaust system while uprating both the suspension and brakes.

The GRMN Sports FR concept features a suitably sporty body kit comprising sculpted side skirts, deeper front and rear valances and a prominent rear wing. The whole shooting match rolls on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels shod with 245/40 R18 rubber up front and 265/35 R18s at the rear.

We recently procured pricing for Toyota’s eagerly awaited rear-wheel drive sports coupé, and while there is a great deal of excitement surrounding this newcomer it has to be said that the 147 kW normally aspirated 2,0-litre model appears to be just the tip of the iceberg.

While the TRD version only features a specialised body kit and race-tuned suspension, there is talk of a production 86 variant with a forced-induction powerplant as well as a possible turbocharged version of the mechanically similar Subaru BRZ. Watch this space!


Google co-founder: Ride in robot cars within 5 years


(Credit: Screenshot by Charles Cooper/CNET)


If you’re excited about the day when your car drives itself, you may not have too wait long.

Google cofounder Sergey Brin said Google will have autonomous cars available for the general public within five years.

“You can count on one hand the number of years it will take before ordinary people can experience this,” he said at the signing of SB 1298, which establishes safety and performance standards for cars operated by computers on California roads and highways.

The new law, which puts California in line with Nevada and Florida–two states that have had similar laws in place–will allow a licensed driver to test the car. The bill had some opposition early on, with detractors fearing the bill didn’t provide enough oversight to guarantee the safety of truly driverless cars, but more discussion and a revision of the bill let the bill slide through the Legislature.

Google has already put in 300,000 miles of testing with its self-driving cars. Brin said the company will focus on improving sensors and hardware failure support for the technology. He said any obstacles for the technology will be the same as any system that can fail, such is the case with something like airplane flight.

“It’s a long list of things that humans have coped with in the past,” he said. ~ Donna Tam

2013 BMW xDrive 1-Series Set For Paris Debut


BMW has announced that the Paris Motor Show will serve as a launch platform for their first ever all-wheel drive version of the 1-Series. The compact model will of course be getting the xDrive system, which distributes drive torque variably between the front and rear axle.We had first heard about the availability of BMW’s intelligent all-wheel drive system (xDrive) on the 1-Series during the presentation of the three-door hatchback model back in May, and now the Bavarian automaker will hold the world premiere of these variants together with a new entry-level diesel option for the range.

BMW’s all-wheel drive system will currently be offered on two 1-Series hatchback models, the 120d xDrive and the sporty M135i xDrive and lastly the new entry-level diesel model, 114d.

The 120d xDrive-

The 120d xDrive is powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel generating 181Hp (184PS) and enabling acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 7.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 225 km/h (140mph).

BMW says it’s average fuel consumption will be of 4.7 to 4.8lt/100km (up to 49mpg US or 58.9mpg UK) and a CO2 figure between 123 and 126 g/km, depending on the tire format selected.

The sporty M135i xDrive-

Sitting at the top of the range is the M135i xDrive that gets a 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six producing 315hp (320PS) and 450Nm (332 lb-ft) linked to a standard 8-speed automatic transmission.

The AWD system helps the M135i shave 0.2 seconds off the 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint compared to the RWD model with the automatic transmission and 0.4 seconds over the RWD version with a six-speed manual at 4.7 seconds.

It has an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155mph) and returns an average fuel consumption on the EU test cycle of 7.8 lt/100km (30.2mpg US or 36.2mpg UK) and a CO2 emissions level of 182g/km.

The New Variant – 114d 

The third new model to join the ranks of the 1-Series range is the new entry-level diesel 114d that is equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder unit delivering 94hp (95PS) at 4,000 rpm and 235Nm (173 lb-ft) between 1,500 and 2,750 rpm.

The 114d completes the standard sprint in 12.2 seconds enabling to a top speed of 185 km/h (115mph). Its average fuel consumption is 4.1 to 4.3 lt/100km (up to 57.4mpg US or 68.9mpg UK), while the relevant CO2 emissions rating is between 109 and 112 g/km, again depending on the tire and alloy wheel sizes.

Other concepts will include the previously revealed i3 electric minicar and i8 plug-in hybrid sports car, as well as the C evolution electric scooter prototype.

On top of this, BMW also plans to present its latest suite of ConnectedDrive infotainment technology, which includes the automaker’s updated satellite navigation system, new iDrive Touch setup, Dictation Service and LTE Mobile Internet.

Stay tuned for more details and all the photos of BMW’s Paris Motor Show, once the show kicks off on September 27.