News flash: Mercedes-Benz Canada just revealed an impressive new C-Class and the market responds by purchasing more SUVs. While a redesigned C-Class will certainly increase the model’s sales, it shouldn’t…

Mercedes reveals sleeker, sportier looking 2022 C-Class

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Mercedes-Benz Canada will offer a new C-Class sedan for 2022, but most buyers will opt for one of the brand’s compact SUVs.

News flash: Mercedes-Benz Canada just revealed an impressive new C-Class and the market responds by purchasing more SUVs.

While a redesigned C-Class will certainly increase the model’s sales, it shouldn’t go unnoticed that only 684 C-Class sedans were sold into the Canadian market during the first three months of 2021. This represented a downturn of 26.9 percent compared to Q1 of 2020, although ever-growing interest in SUVs over cars wasn’t the only factor at play in our whacky new car market. Low interest rates have done their job in propping everything up, despite the repeated economic shocks our systems have experienced via the health crisis et al, but the overarching automotive theme remains changing tastes.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
A new frowning grille combines with additional styling upgrades for an all-new 2022 C-Class.

A decade or so ago the C-Class fought for luxury sector dominance with BMW’s 3-Series, but now both cars aren’t even playing second fiddle to their utilities counterparts, they’re deep into the second row of backup string players. Adding a little clarity to this scenario is the C-Class’ third-place standing in Mercedes first-quarter retail hierarchy, with significantly more popular models including the similarly sized GLC compact luxury SUV selling 1,778 units during the same three-month period (1,094 more than the C-Class), and the GLE mid-size luxury SUV finding 1,598 buyers (and outselling the E/CLS-Class’ 341 deliveries by 1,257 units).

This story is nothing new, but instead supports the reasoning behind C-Class’ competitors bowing out of the market. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the end of Jaguar’s XE and Lincoln’s MKZ, while a number of previously popular luxury sedans are the sole remaining body styles in their respective lines, with their coupes, convertibles and wagons having been nixed (more on this in a moment).

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
New character lines on the hood and sides help distinguish current and future C-Class models.

The only Mercedes’ car to challenge the SUV-winning trend is the entry-level A-Class, which together with the CLA-Class (a four-door coupe that rides on the same underpinnings) earned 1,001 new buyers compared to the GLA and GLB subcompact luxury SUVs’ collective 609, but this anomaly likely has more to do with the A’s relatively inexpensive pricing that results in an affordable gateway into revered Mercedes-Benz ownership.

Back to wagons, a diehard niche of Mercedes enthusiasts will be sad to hear their beloved C-Class Wagon will be dearly departing from North American markets for 2022, so grab a new AMG C 43 4Matic while you can. The fifth-generation (W206) C will now soldier on with its Sedan, Coupe and Convertible body styles, leaving enhanced cargo-carrying duties to the aforementioned GLC and GLC Coupe SUV models, within the compact luxury sector at least—the E-Class Wagon soldiers on in three trims, including the sensational AMG E 63 S 4Matic.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Triangular LED taillights are two of the most noticeable changes from the rear.

With this bit of Mercedes spring cleaning out of the way, the new C should please all that lay eyes on it. It wears the luxury brand’s sportier new styling from front to back, including the new frowning oval sport grille now found on the aforementioned A and CLA classes, as opposed to the outgoing smiling one (its ends now point downward instead of upward). Additionally, new more angular Performance LED headlamps wrap farther around the front fenders, plus a revised lower front fascia flows more effortlessly from side-to-side. The hood now features two stylish new character lines, reminiscent of those found on the classic ‘50s-era 300 SL.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Unfortunately, the C-Class Wagon has been discontinued in our market for 2022.

Looking rearward, Mercedes did away with the outgoing model’s graceful beltline crease that previously swept downward through the rear door before disappearing below its handle, the new car’s flanks less curvaceous, but the lower upward crease remains intact.

The new C’s two-piece taillights might be its most noticeable update, as the old car’s less distinct ovoid blobs have been replaced with nice sharp triangular lenses (can you tell which ones we like better?), also similar to those found on the A-Class. Lastly, new 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels round out the design changes, plus new exterior paint colours of course.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
The new C-Class bypasses the dual-display in one MBUX system for two separate screens.

The current C-Class is the last remaining Mercedes-Benz with a conventional dash layout, either incorporating mechanical analogue dials flanked by a centre multi-information display or a fully digital gauge cluster with the same curving metal shrouds all around, this fully separated from a smallish tablet-style infotainment touchscreen perched atop the centre stack. All other models within Mercedes’ lineup received a version of the fancy MBUX two-in-one conjoined digital gauge cluster and infotainment touchscreen setup.

It’s now clear the brand’s second-best-selling sedan will never see that much-praised layout, but instead get something similar to the entirely new S-Class (which initially ushered in the MBUX dash design). Both sedans feature a fresh new approach to the MBUX layout, incorporating digital gauges ahead of the driver in a fixed horizontal tablet-style cluster, plus a massive vertically positioned display on the centre stack, not dissimilar in size to that found in a Tesla, albeit flowing almost seamlessly into a curving lower centre console.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
The C’s fully digital driver display is nicely framed by an all-new steering wheel.

It’s artfully executed, especially when accompanied by high-gloss carbon fibre weave as seen in this story’s accompanying press photos. The centre display should be easier to reach than either the current MBUX or outgoing C-Class designs, plus much more capable of hosting multiple functions simultaneously. This will be important, as it appears Mercedes is saying goodbye to its console-mounted touchpad and surround switchgear, the minimalist look more attractive and elimination of redundancies likely less expensive to produce.

Integrating haptic feedback makes clear that Mercedes wasn’t cutting corners, mind you, or for that matter including over-the-air software updates, not to mention biometric authentication via voice or fingerprint scanning. Touching the scanner makes pre-selected memory adjustments to the driver’s seat, radio station, and more, the latter including the ability to purchase apps (and possibly other items) from the Mercedes Me store. What’s more, the head-up display in front of the driver uses augmented reality to project real-time visuals onto the windshield.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Get ready to be impressed by the C’s new infotainment touchscreen and its myriad features.

The driver isn’t the only benefactor from new C-Class upgrades, however, because everyone should enjoy a bit more comfort from the car’s greater overall length and width. This means front and rear passengers gain legroom and shoulder space, important in a segment that sees some competitors nearing mid-size dimensions.

Offsetting the increased dimensions while parking is a rear-wheel steering system, an unusually welcome addition in this compact luxury category. Likewise, the new C 300 4Matic’s advanced tech extends to the powertrain, which combines a standard 48-volt integrated starter-generator (ISG), or mild hybrid system, with Mercedes’ well-proven 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and mostly carryover nine-speed automatic transmission.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
The new C-Class will ditch Mercedes’ usual console-mounted touchpad and surround switchgear.

The electrified portion of the drivetrain provides 20 additional horsepower and 147 lb-ft more torque in certain situations, totaling 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of twist, but strangely this new 2022 model is a fraction slower than the outgoing 2021 C 300 4Matic—go figure. The drivetrain allows gliding, boosting and kinetic energy recovery, however, so it should be ultra-efficient as far as gasoline-powered mild hybrids with all-wheel drive go.

A plug-in hybrid would be nice for nabbing those special parking spots close to the shopping mall entrance, or whisking down the HOV lane unimpeded during rush hour (depending on your jurisdiction’s regulations), while they provide a bit of pure electric propulsion too, over short distances, but no PHEV will be offered in Canada. One does exist, incidentally, providing a shockingly good 100 kilometres of EV range, but for reasons only those within Mercedes-Benz Canada’s inner circle know, you won’t be able to get your hands on it.

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
A longer and wider 2022 C-Class should be more comfortable at all positions.

As for ultra-powerful six- and eight-cylinder AMG variants, no announcements have been made yet. Still, reports have been made that next-gen C-Class AMGs will receive electrically-assisted four-cylinder engines with varying outputs, not unlike Volvo’s T8 and Polestar Engineered models. Their focus will be primarily on performance over fuel efficiency, although meeting regulations will be high on their priority list too.

Now that we’re talking practicalities, the new C-Class will come packed full of advanced driver assistive systems, even as much as the new S-Class, with all the usual features now supplemented by the capability of recognizing stop signs and red lights, plus steering assistance that helps a driver maintain their lane up to 210 km/h (where legally allowed).

2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan
Almost as fast and a lot more efficient, the new C-Class features a mild-hybrid drivetrain.

The new 2022 C 300 4Matic will go on sale later this year, with pricing and trim details available before launch. Until then, Mercedes-Benz Canada is offering up to $5,500 in additional incentives on the 2021 C-Class, with CarCostCanada members saving an average of $2,437. To find out more about saving money with CarCostCanada, which provides information about factory leasing and financing deals (when available), manufacturer rebates (when available), and dealer invoice pricing that can save you thousands when negotiating your next new car deal, visit CarCostCanada’s “How it Works” page, and be sure to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Google Play store or Apple store too.

The C-Class: Rapid-Fire Questions to Dirk Fetzer (1:07):

The New C-Class Sedan: An Intelligent Comfort Zone (0:49):

The New C-Class Sedan: A Connected Comfort Zone (0:56):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Mercedes-Benz

Porsche has once again earned top spot amongst premium brands in J.D. Power most recent 2021 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study. It’s the second time in three years that Porsche was awarded first place…

Most “trouble-free” premium brand Porsche nabs first place in JD Power CSI

2021 Porsche Macan GTS
After earning top spot in its class for dependability with its latest Macan, JD Power awarded Porsche with its highest CSI score for 2021.

Porsche has once again earned top spot amongst premium brands in J.D. Power most recent 2021 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study.

It’s the second time in three years that Porsche was awarded first place in the luxury sector, and this happened just a month after the brand earned a “most trouble-free new car overall” ranking for its 911 sports car in the same third-party analytics firm’s latest 2021 Vehicle Dependability Study, and the Macan achieved the highest position possible in its “Premium Compact SUV” class.

“Our dealers worked hard for our customers throughout the initial lockdowns of the past year and subsequent social distancing and health measures to make sure they could rely on Porsche,” stated Kjell Gruner, President and CEO of Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA). “We are continually striving to not just meet, but exceed the high expectations of our customers – and it’s vital that the quality of service must live up to that vision.”

2021 Porsche 911 Carrera S
The 2021 Porsche 911 earned the highest overall score amongst luxury vehicles in JD Power’s latest Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS).

The J.D. Power CSI Study measures “customer satisfaction with service for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of 1- to 3-year-old vehicles,” with the survey’s latest data collection period having taken place from July 2020 through December 2020. More than 62,500 new vehicle owners responded to this CSI study, allowing for a comprehensive ownership base to draw results from.

Porsche garnered 17 additional points since last year’s CSI study, incidentally, with its 2021 results totalling 899 points out of a possible 1,000. The automaker’s retail outlets were ranked in either first or second place in each of the survey’s five categories, which include Service Facility, Service Advisor, Service Initiation, Service Quality, and Vehicle Pick-Up.

2021 Porsche Macan GTS
According to JD Power, less things break on Porsches, and when they do (or its customers just need a service), they’re treated better by Porsche dealers.

Porsche currently sells six models within the Canadian premium car market, or seven if we were to split up the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster body styles (not to mention the 718 Spyder). The six include its entry-level 718 mid-engine sports cars, the iconic 911 series, the Macan entry-level compact luxury crossover SUV, the Cayenne mid-size luxury SUV, the Panamera four-door luxury coupe/sedan, and the new fully electric Taycan four-door coupe/sedan.

According to CarCostCanada, Porsche is offering all models with zero-percent financing, so follow the links embedded into each model’s name (above) to see their body style and trim pricing, to configure a car with all of its colours and options, and learn about any other manufacturer incentives that may be available. Also, be sure to find out about a CarCostCanada membership so you can access dealer invoice pricing that can save you thousands when negotiating your next deal, and remember to download the free CarCostCanada app so you can access all of this important information when you need it most.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

It was fewer than six months ago that General Motors revealed its upcoming Hummer EV pickup truck to much fanfare, a move that simultaneously reintroduced the US military’s SUV brand into the civilian…

Fully-electric Hummer SUV to join GMC’s Hummer EV Supertruck for 2024

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The new GMC Hummer EV SUV completes the Hummer EV family (so far). We think it looks fabulous and performs even better.

It was fewer than six months ago that General Motors revealed its upcoming Hummer EV pickup truck to much fanfare, a move that simultaneously reintroduced the US military’s SUV brand into the civilian market, and gave GMC its first electric vehicle. Now the General’s truck and SUV division has followed their EV Supertruck up with an electrified SUV that will do its part in repairing the once-maligned Hummer name.

Yes, Hummer, which was previously stigmatized as a gas-guzzling, anti-environmental brand, will no longer be a standalone marque within the General’s ranks. This makes a great deal of sense from a retail distribution perspective, being that GM needs to maintain its simpler four-brand stance in order to reduce marketing costs, compared to the high price of promoting the multitude of brands it once oversaw.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The SUV rides on a shorter wheelbase than the pickup truck, making it more manoeuvrable on and off the road.

The new GMC-controlled sub-brand will take advantage of Hummer’s strong name recognition within the 4×4 overland community, and the emissions-free EV powertrain means that its brand image will no longer be plagued by its supposedly polluting predecessors.

To be fair to the Hummer brand’s original four models, the flagship H1 was mostly turbo-diesel powered and therefore fairly efficient for a military-spec off-roader, while the H2 (and H2T pickup) was based on the full-size Chevrolet/GMC Tahoe/Yukon, which were actually friendlier on fuel than some other full-size 4x4s of the era. The fact they remain popular models within GM’s SUV lineup shows GM may have made a mistake in letting the Hummer brand go as part of their restructuring.

2024 GMC Hummer EV Supertruck
The GMC Hummer EV Supertruck isn’t the brand’s first pickup, those being the Chevy Avalanche-inspired H2T and Colorado-based H3T.

Likewise, the mid-size H3 and H3T (pickup truck) were based on the previous-generation Chevrolet/GMC Colorado/Canyon trucks, so therefore the brand didn’t suffer as much from gasoline gluttony as it did from being targeted by environmental activists using it as a sacrificial mechanical scapegoat.

Now, however, GMC’s upcoming Hummer sub-brand could very well become an icon of zero-emissions righteousness. Then again, with zero-to-100 km/h taking just over 3.5 seconds, putting it neck-to-neck with Jeep’s outrageously potent 707-horsepower Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, not to mention dwarfing Land Rover’s new wilderness-conquering Defender (that it’s not stylistically dissimilar to) when it comes to exterior width, the new Hummer SUV wasn’t exactly designed to go up against Nissan’s Leaf for kilowatt cost per kilometer.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The new Hummer EV SUV provides buyers with performance, utility and customization choices, with GMC ready to offer close to 200 accessories at launch.

Tesla has proven that it’s ok to produce ridiculously fast cars, as long as the power unit is electric. Hummer will ride on Tesla’s bandwagon, the latter brand already making a couple of crossover SUVs and soon adding a pickup truck, so far dubbed Cybertruck and about as whacky looking as automotive designs get (we expect the production model to appear a bit more mainstream).

The Tesla and Hummer trucks will be joined by rival electric pickup truck (and SUV) makers including upstarts Alpha, Bollinger, Canoo, Fisker, Hercules, Lordstown, Nikola, and Rivian, while the upcoming Ford F-150 EV should eventually do epic battle against GM’s own Chevrolet BET (Battery Electric Truck—we hope they come up with a more engaging name), leaving Nissan’s Titan Electric Truck to pick up the scraps. Who knows how many of these will ever see the light of day, but some certainly will.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
Despite its blocky, bulky design, the new Hummer SUV will be ridiculously fast and agile.

Barring an economic meltdown, GMC’s new Hummer pickup will be one of the survivors, as will the just-released SUV. The two models’ performance won’t be detuned in production form either, with the truck’s top-line “3X” powertrain making a mind-blowing 1,000 horsepower that results in sprints from standstill to 100 km/h of just over 3 seconds. That’s Corvette territory performance from a truck that probably carries twice the curb weight, the speedy acceleration partially due to 11,500 lb-ft of instantaneous torque from its three electric motors.

You heard that right, both Hummer models’ top-line “3X” powertrain option are three times more fun than electric vehicles with just one motor. The SUV is “only” good for up to 830 horsepower, albeit the same 11,500 lb-ft of torque. The mid-range “2X” engine utilizes two electric motors for up to 625 horsepower and 740 lb-ft of torque, resulting in a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of roughly 5 seconds, incidentally, which will no doubt be enough for most buyers. Lastly, a base model merely dubbed EV2, featuring 400 volts of charging capability compared to the 2X and 3X models’ 800-volt/300kW charging systems, will be the entry-level gatekeeper.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
Original Hummers are legendary for their off-road prowess, so we should expect nothing less from the new electric version.

“GMC’s HUMMER EV SUV offers an exceptional balance of on-road performance and off-road capability, enhanced by a unique structure that allows for our signature open-air experience,” said Al Oppenheiser, Hummer EV chief engineer. “New features debuting on the SUV reinforce its role as a tactical tool in almost any situation.”

When the truck arrives in the fall of 2022 as a 2023 model, it will come in special “Edition 1” trim with its strongest performance setup, as will the SUV when it shows up in early 2023. Base SUV trims will arrive in the spring of 2024, probably for the 2025 model year, with other trims spaced out in between.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
An Infinity Roof with modular Sky Panels comes standard, creating an open-air experience for all aboard.

Range, the all-important question most EV buyers ask of their new ride, is 482 km for the SUV and 560 km for the truck, the difference due to four additional Ultium battery modules (24 compared to 20) fitting within the span of the latter vehicle’s 3,444-mm wheelbase—the SUV’s wheelbase is 226 mm shorter at 3,218 mm. A less potent base SUV, stocked with just 16 modules, should be good for more than 400 km of range in optimal circumstances. All trims feature GM’s new double-stacked battery pack, which comes as part of an interdependent body/battery structure to enhance the vehicles’ rigidity.

“The HUMMER EV’s body protects the battery, while the battery supports the structure,” added Oppenheiser. “That means the battery pack itself is a structural element, which enables a truly open-air experience and a rare combination of extreme off-road capability and smooth on-road performance in a body-frame integral platform.”

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The Hummer SUV is practical too, featuring plenty of cargo space in the back, plus this “frunk” (front trunk) made possible thanks to its unique electric powertrain layout.

GM Canada is promising a base price of $88,898 (plus freight and fees) for that 16-module base EV2 model, but it’ll be the only Hummer SUV to slip below the six-figure price threshold. The 2X, alternatively, will be priced at $104,898 and 3X from a minimum of $119,398, with the Edition 1 setting early adaptors back $125,898.

Once near flagship Range Rover price levels, however, why not go for the gusto by opting for an Edition 1 with its Extreme Off-Road package, a mere $131,898 being the price of entry for underbelly skid plates that GMC actually calls “armour”, plus rock sliders, front eLocker and rear virtual locking differentials, HD ball-spline half-shafts, and 22-inch alloys wrapped in 35-inch-OD Goodyear Wrangler Territory MT rubber, not to mention front- and rear-facing UltraVision underbody cameras (with a wash system) to help you skirt over untoward obstacles.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
GMC calls the Hummer SUV’s cabin a “low-contrast Lunar Shadow interior”… ok. We just think it looks great.

Such extras should work wonders with the SUV’s already standard Crab Walk technology, which adjusts the standard four-wheel steering system so that all wheels are pointing in the same direction for diagonal mobility, while its air suspension with Extract Mode actually increases ground clearance to a maximum of 406 mm (16.0 inches) on the fly, helping the Hummer walk up and over tall rocks, roots, mud holes, etcetera.

For those willing to potentially scratch up their Hummer EV, it should at least be equal to its diesel and gasoline predecessors when off-road. The e4WD system’s ability to power a single wheel at a time should prove very helpful in slippery conditions, as should its 330 mm (13 inches) of suspension travel, ability to climb 60-percent grades while going forward or reversing, capability of scaling 457 mm (18-inch) vertical obstacles, and skills at fording more than 600 mm (two feet) of water.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster will make configuring the Hummer SUV’s controls easy.

Some noteworthy options will include a “multisensory, interactive experience” called Watts To Freedom, which provides special audio from the Bose sound system, plus kinesthetic sensations via the haptic driver’s seat, and visuals through custom displays that show the SUV’s performance mode as “armed and ready.” It’s all customizable in GMC’s My Mode, which lets drivers personalize driving features such as steering and suspension settings, as well as the SUV’s acceleration response and even the sound the motors make.

An Infinity Roof, along with modular Sky Panels come standard, creating the open-air experience chief engineer Oppenheiser described earlier. This will be ideal when trekking through the wild on a sunny day, whether actually enjoying the wilderness or navigating the urban jungle.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
The 13.4-inch centre touchscreen provides all the expected infotainment features, plus access to more than 175 underbody camera views.

The five-occupant SUV should be plenty practical, with its spare tire hanging on a powered side-swinging tailgate that opens up “wider than the vehicle itself.” GMC promises “an unimpeded 48-inch opening” and up to 2,316 litres (81.8 cubic feet) of cargo space when the rear seats are lowered. Additionally, more storage space can be found below the load floor, plus another compartment is integrated within the cargo area’s sidewall.

Speaking of wide, a large 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster gets joined by an even bigger 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen at centre. Integrated within, the “In-vehicle Energy App” both monitors energy usage and can be used to set up charging schedules, condition the battery temperature, and more.

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV
So what do you think? Can you see yourself driving the new 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV in a couple of years?

Tech in mind, a Digital Key lets owners use their smartphone as the key fob, while the SUV’s HD Surround Vision parking camera provides up to 14 camera views. The previously noted UltraVision underbody camera system offers up to 176 camera views, incidentally, plus a bevy of Off-Road Widgets provide performance readouts for off-road driving scenarios such as “ride height and eLocker engagement, compass headings, pitch/roll status,” and more.

All Hummer EV models can also be had with an updated version of Super Cruise, GM’s much-lauded semi-autonomous driver assistance technology that allows for hands-free driving on compatible highways. The updated system even includes new automatic lane changing.

If that wasn’t techie enough, DIY folks and campers will love the new optional Power Station generator that provides 19.2 kW of AC charging/generator functionality for accessories (120V/25A/3kW) and the ability to charge other EVs (240V/25A/6kW).

More detailed option pricing will be available closer to launch, as will the ability to configure the new Hummer EV models online. The SUV’s special Moonshot Green Matte paint will no doubt be on offer, as will a diverse palette of standard and optional metallic colours.

 

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | EXTRACT MODE | GMC (0:15):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | “Another Revolution” | GMC (3:30):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | THE NEXT ALL-ELECTRIC SUPERTRUCK | GMC (1:31):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | WHAT TWO CAN DO: TEASER SIX | GMC (0:30):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | ARRIVAL: TEASER FIVE | GMC (0:15):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | ANTICIPATION: TEASER FOUR | GMC (0:15):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | WITNESS: TEASER THREE | GMC (0:30):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | IMAGINE: TEASER TWO | GMC (0:15):

GMC HUMMER EV SUV | COUNTDOWN: TEASER ONE | GMC (0:15):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: General Motors

Porsche Canada has just released pricing for the all-new 502-horsepower 2022 911 GT3, which will start at $180,300. The updated model is now ready to configure and order on the automaker’s retail website,…

Porsche Canada reveals 911 updates and pricing for the 2022 model year

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 can be yours for $180,300, plus freight and fees.

Porsche Canada has just released pricing for the all-new 502-horsepower 2022 911 GT3, which will start at $180,300. The updated model is now ready to configure and order on the automaker’s retail website, and at your local Porsche retailer, after which deliveries will arrive this coming fall.

Additionally, you can already configure each and every 911 body style and trim for the 2022 model year on Porsche’s retail site, with pricing for the base model increasing from $113,000 for the 2021s to $115,000 for 2022s.

The increase is for good reason, being that Porsche has updated the comfort and communications systems in every new 911 model. Porsche connected services have now been expanded thanks to the adaption of the automaker’s newest Porsche Communication Management (PCM), which features a standard 10.9-inch touchscreen integrating a new simplified interface that was inspired by the version initially used in the new Taycan electric. The revised PCM combines entertainment, navigation, comfort and communications systems into one flexible layout boasting numerous personalization options.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Pricing for the updated 2022 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet starts at $129,600, while the Carrera coupe can be had for $115,000, which is $2,000 more than last year’s version.

What’s more, the PCM system update marks a trial period extension for Porsche’s connected services, which has grown to 36 months, from 12 months in previous model year 911s. After the three years are up, connected services is continuable via subscription.

Porsche Connect, which comes as part of the connected services package, integrates a bevy of useful features including Voice Pilot that responds to natural language prompts available by saying, “Hey Porsche.”

Also new, the Navigation Plus system now features real-time traffic information, as well as online map updates, plus a calendar and Radio Plus.

2022 Porsche 911 Turbo S
Porsche’s current fastest model, the 2022 911 Turbo S, can be had for $235,600.

Newly added Android Auto is a first for any new Porsche vehicle, and will be much appreciated by the majority of smartphone users who own Android-powered devices. The new PCM continues to integrate with Apple CarPlay too, via wireless and wired connectivity.

There’s good news for lovers of every music genre too, not to mention those who enjoy talk radio on all types of subject matter, and more, because a three-month trial subscription of SiriusXM satellite radio with 360L is now standard.

Additionally, just like with Taycan, all 2022 911 models can feature direct integration of Apple Music and Apple Podcasts when an Apple service subscription is purchased.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
All 2022 911 models receive updates to the brand’s PCM infotainment system, plus other standard and optional technologies.

Technology in mind, PDK transmission-equipped 911 Carrera, Targa, and Turbo models can now be upgraded with Remote ParkAssist for 2022, which allows the driver to remotely move the car in or out of a parking space via their smartphone when standing outside.

What’s more, Remote ParkAssist is bundled together with Active Parking Support, controlled via the updated PCM. A new 3D Surround View parking camera is optional as well, as is Rear Cross Traffic Alert with Lane Change Assist.

Over and above the new $115,000 base 911 Carrera, the same coupe body style can be upgraded to AWD-equipped Carrera 4 trim from $123,400, or you can get into a Carrera S for $133,100, and Carrera 4S for $141,500.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera
All 2022 Porsche 911 models, including this base Carrera, comes with standard Android Auto smartphone connectivity, plus a three-month trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio.

The updated 2022 911 Carrera Cabriolet starts at $129,600, while removing the top in AWD guise results in the $138,000 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, with the Carrera S Cabriolet available from $147,700, and Carrera 4S Cabriolet from $156,100.

Porsche’s 911 Targa is a good choice for those wanting the best of both coupe and convertible worlds, with the Targa 4 starting at $138,000, and Targa 4S from $156,100, while a trio of 911 Turbo models have the ability to reach the race car-like levels of performance, with 2022 pricing starting at $198,400 for the Turbo, $213,000 for the Turbo Cabriolet, and $235,600 for the Turbo S.

Lastly, the car Porsche considers “the most focused and agile ‘992’ generation car yet” can only be had in one single trim, but no doubt those lucky enough to get into a new 2022 911 GT3 won’t mind spending its relatively reasonable (for what it can do) $180,300.

2022 Porsche 911 Carrera
The 2022 Carrera 4 Cabriolet starts at $138,000, with the Carrera S Cabriolet available from $147,700, and Carrera 4S Cabriolet from $156,100.

CarCostCanada will no doubt update its 911 coverage to include a 2022 Porsche 911 Canada Prices page soon (the info only dropped today), but for the time being the 2021 Porsche 911 Canada Prices page is showing factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent, plus average member savings of $2,250, if you can find one. Learn how CarCostCanada can save you thousands off your next new car purchase, by informing you about the latest manufacturer leasing and financing deals, factory rebates, and always available dealer invoice pricing. Also, make sure to download the free CarCostCanada app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, so you can have all of this valuable information at your fingertips when you need it most.

As noted earlier, the 2022 Porsche 911 is available to order now, with deliveries expected this fall.

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

It’s no secret that trucks aren’t updated as often as cars, although this has been changing in recent years due to peoples’ tastes shifting from sedans, coupes and wagons to more utility-oriented…

Redesigned 2022 Nissan Frontier will have you quickly forgetting its antiquated predecessor

2022 Nissan Frontier
The entirely new 2022 Frontier says goodbye to 16 years of the previous model, and hello to a much more modern and exciting design.

It’s no secret that trucks aren’t updated as often as cars, although this has been changing in recent years due to peoples’ tastes shifting from sedans, coupes and wagons to more utility-oriented offerings. No matter, because no one, including those within Nissan’s inner circle, could’ve likely guessed the Frontier would still be trucking along mostly unchanged after 16 years of production.

Currently the oldest non-commercial design available new, Nissan will pass this baton down to its own 370Z when the all-new 2022 Frontier arrives later this year, unless the Japanese automaker shocks us all with an earlier than expected release of the legendary sports car, of which today’s version now has a dozen years to its credit. Both will be important to Nissan’s success, albeit the new 400Z (as most are calling it) is more about enhancing the brand’s performance image, while the Frontier should do a good job of bolstering its bottom line.

2022 Nissan Frontier
The redesigned Frontier presents a fairly unique look within a hotly contested mid-size pickup truck market.

Of course, trucks are important for a mainstream brand’s image too, and just by appearances the Frontier should appeal to the masses. That will be important, as Nissan has lost a lot of market share to mid-size pickup competitors, most of which have introduced multiple redesigns since the last Frontier was new. Toyota’s Tacoma remains top of the list, followed closely by GM’s Chevy/GMC Colorado/Canyon (fraternal) twins and more distantly by Ford’s Ranger, which were all discontinued and resuscitated in recent years, and while no definitive word has surfaced about a revised Dodge (Ram) Dakota, Jeep anted up with its highly successful Gladiator a few years ago. Even Honda’s Ridgeline, the only mid-size pickup truck the Frontier still outsells, has seen upward sales momentum since its more rugged 2021 refresh, so it’s a good thing Nissan’s new Frontier will soon be ready to do battle.

2022 Nissan Frontier
Rugged looking and fully capable, the new Frontier should be a force to be reckoned with.

The 2022 Frontier arrives with boxier styling that pays some angular homage to the brand’s old Hardbody pickups of the ‘80s and ‘90s, albeit the new look gives more respect to Nissan’s full-size Titan, particularly the front door window cutouts that, like Ford’s F-150, are kinked to aid visibility. It seems influenced by GMC’s just-noted Canyon too, at least before the domestic truck said goodbye to its arguably better-looking rectangular grille and hello to a much deeper, chunkier version this year. Any resemblance to the Canyon will hardly be an issue for Nissan fans, however, as the new Frontier’s styling will be unique enough, is plenty rugged, and boasts lots of up-to-date LED touches.

2022 Nissan Frontier
Nissan uses LEDs to give the new Frontier’s headlamps special character at night.

Speaking of up-to-date, nothing from the old Frontier will be pulled forward into this new iteration’s cabin, which is a very good thing. The new model’s styling has been completely reimagined, and appears so refined that Nissan should really be considering a new Xterra based on the same platform. Where the old truck’s dash is rounded in retrospect, the new design is just as bold and blocky as the exterior styling, although in a more conservatively tasteful way. Stitched soft-touch synthetic appears padded ahead of the front passenger, as do the grip-like sides of the lower centre console, the example shown no doubt in higher-end Pro-4X trim thanks to its sporty orange/red highlights and premium-level finishings.

2022 Nissan Frontier
Pro-4X trim gets a sportier appearance package with lots of blacked out trim.

A mostly analogue gauge cluster features a large colour multi-information display at centre, par for the course these days, which should come packed full of functions, while the sizeable standard 8.0-inch touchscreen atop the centre stack boasts Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and all the other expected base functions, backup camera included, with that parking camera upgradable to an Around View surround monitor seen within a larger 9.0-inch display in higher trims. Likewise, wireless charging (albeit no wireless CarPlay) is now on the options menu, as is nine-speaker Fender audio in the Pro-4X.

2022 Nissan Frontier
The Frontier’s bed can be had with a track-mounted tie-down system, plus bright LED lighting.

Speaking of the Pro-4X, which is Nissan-speak for a serious professional-grade mud-slinging, rock-crawling 4×4, improvements include a special set of Bilstein shocks plus underfloor skid plates covering the transmission and gas tank, while cool red tow hooks can be found up front, and a special orange/red-enhanced version of Nissan’s new logo gets stamped front, back and inside.

2022 Nissan Frontier
Seen here in sportier Pro-4X trim, the Frontier gets modernized electronics and much more luxury than the outgoing model.

The 2020 Frontier (there is no 2021 model) included S, SV and Pro-4X trims (and can be had with zero-percent financing right now), plus a Midnight Edition that won’t likely be repeated for the 2022 model year, but may be revisited at a later date. Reportedly, a sporty Nismo edition will arrive at some point in the future too. The three main trims will once again be offered for 2022, although a more simplified lineup will discontinue two-wheel drive variants in Canada, other than a fleet-only base King Cab S work truck.

2022 Nissan Frontier
A nine-speed automatic comes standard, while wireless phone charging is available.

This last point clarifies that the smaller King Cab and more accommodating Crew Cab will both make a return, with the former available across the entire model range and the latter only unavailable with base S trim. This said, Canadian Frontier buyers can get Pro-4X with the King Cab, which will be a bonus for those preferring bed space over interior roominess.

Once again, the King Cab provides a six-foot bed, leaving the shorter five-foot bed for the Crew Cab, other than when the long-wheelbase SV model is chosen, which increases the span between axles from 3,200 mm (126 in) to 3,550 mm (140 in).

2022 Nissan Frontier
The new Frontier should definitely improve comfort and refinement.

Unlike the US-spec Frontier that received a new 3.8-litre V6 and nine-speed automatic two years ago, this all-new 2022 model will be Canada’s introduction to the much more advanced, fuel-friendlier combination. The engine puts out 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, which should be plenty of fun off the line, highly capable during highway passing manoeuvres, and especially enjoyable when attacking the wild.

Off-roading in mind, all retail Frontiers get Nissan’s part-time shift-on-the-fly 4WD system featuring 2WD, 4HI and 4LO driving modes that connect through to an electronically-controlled transfer case. Hill start assist and hill descent control are included too, while the Pro-4X receives an electronic locking differential.

2022 Nissan Frontier
Rear seat roominess should be competitive.

Standard four-wheel drive means the Canadian-spec Frontier’s maximum tow rating will be limited to just 2,944 kilograms (6,500 lbs), compared to US-specified two-wheel drive models that are good for up to 3,408 kg (7,500 lbs). Both trailer weights are impressive, however, especially when comparing some in this class that can only tow up to 2,268 kg (5,000 lbs).

Wholly on the positive, Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite of advanced driving assistive technologies come standard in Canada, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert with auto-braking, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise control.

The new 2022 Frontier will arrive this summer, with pricing and trim details expected before launch. Until then, make sure to check out our full photo gallery above, and enjoy all the videos Nissan provided below.

 

 

The All-New 2022 Nissan Frontier​ (0:06):

All-New 2022 Nissan Frontier (0:15):

2022 Pathfinder and Frontier Reveal (14.39):

2022 Nissan Frontier LIVE Walkaround & Review (6:40):

How big is the truck bed? | 2022 Nissan Frontier Q&A (0:37):

How much can the Frontier tow? | 2022 Nissan Frontier Q&A (0:33):

2007 Nissan Frontier Driven More Than 1 Million Miles (5:34):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Nissan

Focusing on practical considerations when spending between $120,000 and $220,000 on a new car might not seem rational to those not able to do so, but not providing stowage for multiple bags of golf clubs…

Porsche gets practical with its new Taycan Cross Turismo EV

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
The new Taycan Cross Turismo looks much the same as the regular Taycan coupe up front, other than black body cladding around the fenders and down each side.

Focusing on practical considerations when spending between $120,000 and $220,000 on a new car might not seem rational to those not able to do so, but not providing stowage for multiple bags of golf clubs can be a dealbreaker for plenty of would-be buyers in any class.

Enter Porsche’s Taycan Cross Turismo, a more pragmatic approach to the blisteringly quick, sport-luxury EV revolution. Building on the Taycan four-door coupe introduced last year, Porsche has raised and extended the rear roofline, resulting in a sort of sport wagon-like shooting brake design, not unlike the German brand’s own Panamera Sport Turismo.

Altogether, the new Cross Turismo adds 793 litres (28.0 cu ft) of available cargo capacity for a new maximum of 1,200 litres (42.4 cu ft), which is a big step up from the regular Taycan’s 407-litre (14.4 cu-ft) trunk; not including the 81-litre (2.8 cu-ft) “frunk” (front trunk) included with both models.

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
A quick view from behind shows the new Taycan Cross Turismo was built for more practical EV applications.

If you still need more room, Porsche will supply you with a specially made roof-top cargo carrier that’ll hold fast up to 200 km/h, just in case you want to do a few laps on the track when before heading home from skiing (those who ski at Quebec’s beautiful Mont Tremblant may want to invest in this accessory, being that the fabulous Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant is only a few minutes away in St. Jovite).

Just like the regular Taycan, the new Cross Turismo can manage such speeds and more (from 220 to 250 km/h depending on trim), due to housing the same 800-volt battery-electric plug-in power unit. The impressive lithium-ion Performance Battery Plus provides a total capacity of 93.4 kWh, which should allow the new wagon-style model similar maximum range to the regular Taycan four-door coupe, at about 320 kilometres between charges depending on weather conditions, driving styles and other factors.

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
The new Cross Turismo has style in its corner, while the top-line Turbo S is amongst the best performing EVs currently available.

One hundred kilometres of range can be had after just five minutes of charging when hooked up to a DC fast charging station, by the way, but expect considerably more time invested for the usual 80-percent top-up during a normal 240-volt charge.

The time to charge will change depending on model chosen too, as will the Taycan Cross Turismo’s performance from standstill to 100 km/h. The “laggard” of the bunch is the base Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, which still blasts past 100 km/h in a speedy 5.1 seconds thanks to its 375-horsepower dual-motor electric powertrain. Upgrade to the 4S Cross Turismo and you’ll see a full second get chopped off its zero to 100 km/h time, due to 482 horsepower at all four wheels.

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
An available Off-Road Design package increases ride height by 30 mm (1.2 in), ideal for such situations.

Porsche hilariously uses its “Turbo” moniker for top-tier trim designations, incidentally, but take heart that few on-road rivals will be laughing at your car’s silly name when it leaves them trailing behind in literal dust. The near top-line Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo makes a respectable 616 horsepower that results in a scant 3.3-second sprint from zero to 100 km/h, while the Turbo S Cross Turismo’s mind-blowing 750-horsepower power unit breaks the 3-second barrier completely, managing the feat in just 2.9 seconds with launch control engaged.

All Taycan Cross Turismo trims use an identical chassis and adaptive suspension design as the regular Taycan coupe, not to mention standard all-wheel drive for excellent all-weather traction. Even better, Porsche provides a standard “Gravel Mode” as well, which adjusts the car’s throttle response and chassis control for optimal grip on slippery surfaces.

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
A future rally car? Probably not, but it’s nice to know Porsche won’t be forgetting its Paris-Dakar heritage as it’s transitioning to electric.

What’s more, Porsche will add even greater crossover SUV-like presence to the new Taycan five-door via an available Off-Road Design package that increases ride height by 30 mm (1.2 in) while providing a more capable appearance with mud flaps and other rugged upgrades.

Speaking of appearances, the new Cross Turismo pumps up the regular Taycan’s flanks with SUV-like matte black cladding around the wheel cutouts, along the rockers, and at each end, the latter extremities enhanced further via silver undertrays.

Take note that customers will start taking delivery of the new Taycan Cross Turismo this summer, so contact your local Porsche retailer if you want to be one of the early adopters. Pricing starts at $119,900 for the base Taycan Cross Turismo 4, and moves up to $126,800 for the Taycan Cross Turismo 4S, $178,000 for the Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo, and finally $218,000 for the top-line Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S.

2022 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
The Taycan Cross Turismo has been planned with playful performance in mind.

Of note, the Cross Turismo’s base power unit is not available in the regular Taycan coupe, so the two models’ base pricing aren’t wholly reflective of each other. Where the 2021 Taycan 4S starts at $120,500, it uses the Cross Turismo’s more potent 4S powertrain. A more direct price comparison can be made against the $126,800 Taycan Cross Turismo 4S, showing a reasonable $6,300 price increase for the newer crossover body style. Cross Turismo Turbo and Turbo S trims are an even better deal, only costing $3,000 more than their Taycan coupe equivalents.

A quick glance at CarCostCanada’s 2021 Porsche Taycan Canada Prices page will show the differences, and allow you to configure the current coupe model as well. Porsche is offering the 2021 Porsche Taycan coupe with factory leasing and financing rates from zero percent, by the way, while all CarCostCanada members will receive access to additional important information, such as manufacturer rebates when available, plus dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands more on any vehicle currently sold in Canada. Learn how an inexpensive CarCostCanada membership will save you money when purchasing your next new vehicle, and while you’re at it, be sure to download their free app so you can have all this critical info at your fingertips when you need it most.

 

The All-New Taycan Cross Turismo (1:29):

Taycan Cross Turismo: Digital World Premiere (17:40):

Taycan Cross Turismo – Inner Space (2:30):

The Camouflaged Taycan Cross Turismo Hits the Road (1:57):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche

First things first, the 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance isn’t exciting news because of any styling updates. Lexus made most of those with the current turbo-four- and V6-powered 2021 IS models, resulting…

Lexus unveils awesome 472 horsepower IS 500 F Sport Performance

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Lexus will amp up its entry-level sedan for 2022. with the new 472-hp IS 500 F Sport Performance.

First things first, the 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance isn’t exciting news because of any styling updates. Lexus made most of those with the current turbo-four- and V6-powered 2021 IS models, resulting in an attractive refresh that sharpened the already angular sedan to a finer point, with newly formed edges, an even more dramatic spindle grille, and an LED taillight treatment seemingly inspired by Lexus’ UX subcompact crossover. What makes the IS 500 awesome is the 472 horsepower V8 stuffed below a new aggressively domed hood.

Design does play its part. The new hood bulges up two inches for a more pumped-up level of IS masculinity, plus Lexus slightly widened the front fenders, modified the both bumpers, and beneath the bodywork, moved the radiator forward to accommodate the engine. Most of the model’s metal brightwork has been eliminated too, excepting the stylized “L” badge at both ends, the thin highlights on each two-tone gloss-black and body-colour mirror cap, the dazzling split-10-spoke 19-inch Enkei lightweight alloy wheels, the massive quad of “throaty” circular “dual stacked” tailpipes, and all the model and trim designations, the IS 500’s deck lid badge notably changed.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
The V8-powered IS 500 F Sport boasts four double stacked tailpipes that Lexus says sound “ferocious”!

This said, being that the IS 300 and IS 350 are the sportiest sedans Lexus offers, they’ve been mostly de-chromed already, with some 2021 trims blackened out even more so thanks to dark-painted wheels. The IS 500’s only notable differentiator is the addition of dark chrome side window trim, a tiny IS F Sport rear deck lid spoiler, and a new diffuser-style rear bumper required to house the enhanced exhaust system.

Likewise, changes are subtle inside as well, with black “F SPORT” designations on the door sill plates and steering wheel, the latter heatable and leather-wrapped, of course, while the throttle, brake and dead pedals have also been upgraded from the IS F Sport catalogue. Completely unique to the IS F 500, however, is the startup animation in the mostly-digital primary gauge cluster’s multi-information display. As for the rest of the interior, it’s much like the IS 350 F Sport.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
The IS 500’s domed hood looks seriously aggressive.

In other words, the IS 500 F Sport Performance is a sleeper. We’re ok with that, especially when it’s got what it takes to go head-to-head with its more aggressively penned rivals. Before listing off its competition, however, a rundown on some specs is necessary. Lexus’ well-proven 5.0-litre V8 not only puts out 472 horsepower in this iteration, but it nearly matches that thrust with 395 lb-ft of twist. This nearly matches the same engine’s output in the mighty LC 500 sports coupe and convertible, the IS version adding a single horsepower and losing three lb-ft of torque, but either way it’s a significant upgrade over the next-best IS 350 that only puts out 311 horsepower and 280-lb-ft of torque, or even the old 2014 IS F’s 5.0-litre V8 that made 416 horsepower and 371 lb-ft.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
These split-10-spoke 19-inch Enkei lightweight alloy wheels look sensational, but cleaning them will take patience.

Back to the competitors alluded to a moment ago, top of the list is Alfa Romeo’s Giulia Quadrifoglio, good for a phenomenal 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque, while BMW’s M3, the segment’s longest running entrant, would still be daunting to go up against in either 473-horsepower regular trim or 503-hp Competition form. Unlike the IS 500 that looks similar to its less potent brethren, it’s easy to spot a new M3 from a mile away thanks to its unorthodox bucktooth grille and more daring styling departure from regular 3 Series trims (for now), whereas Mercedes-AMG is more discreet, albeit unique enough when compared to regular C-Class models. It hits this market with three four-door variations, the 385-hp AMG C 43, 469-hp AMG C 63, and 503-hp AMG C 63 S.

Audi’s directly competitive compact luxury sedan offers nothing anywhere near as formidable, although the 349-hp S4’s similarly sized RS 5 Sportback sibling puts out a respectable 444-hp and looks fabulous doing so, not that anything in this class lacks style. It also should be noted that Cadillac will soon enter this segment with its new 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, providing a standard manual transmission, rear-wheel drive, and a 472-horsepower twin-turbo V6.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
The IS 500 F Sport’s interior hasn’t been upgraded much from the regular IS 350 F Sport.

Honourable mentions include Volvo’s new S60 Polestar Engineered, which is good for 415 hp from a turbocharged, supercharged and plug-in-hybridized four-cylinder; the Swedish brand certainly earning points for maximizing efficiency, while Infiniti’s 400-hp Q50 Red Sport 400 is wonderful, but not quite in the same league. We’d also be remiss for not mentioning Tesla’s top-line Model 3 that makes 480 instant electrified horsepower along with 471 lb-ft of torque. We should also expect Hyundai’s new Genesis luxury division to soon arrive with some super sedans and SUVs of its own, this compact luxury four-door segment currently filled with the impressive, albeit nowhere near as powerful G70. This in mind, and factoring in the IS 500’s choice of Lexus’ mid-performance “F Sport” naming protocol, could Lexus be saving the vaunted “F” badge for an even more capable super sedan? Let’s keep our collective fingers crossed.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
The IS 500 gets its own gauge cluster startup graphic.

Unlike some of the just-mentioned rivals that utilize all-wheel drive, the IS 500 sends all of its abundant power through the rear wheels via the same quick-shifting eight-speed Sport Direct automatic transmission already used by V6-powered rear-drive IS models, complete with Custom, Sport S and Sport S+ engine and transmission mode settings, the latter also adjusting EPS steering assist and shock damping force, resulting in a 4.6-second sprint from standstill to 100 km/h, accompanied by a “ferocious” sounding exhaust note to “perfectly amplify the new V8 engine,” or so says Lexus in their press release.

Keeping all that power in check is the very effective Dynamic Handling Package that’s also found under the US-spec IS 350 RWD F Sport (AWD is standard in Canada), which features an Adaptive Variable suspension with Yamaha rear performance dampers along with a Torsen limited-slip differential, but unlike the less capable IS, the 500’s brakes have been upsized with 14-inch two-piece aluminum rotors in front and 12.7-inch rotors at back, plus special cooling ducts to optimize their binding power. Making handling and braking even more manageable is minuscule weight gain over the IS 350 AWD F Sport, the new IS 500 only adding 5 kilograms for a total of 1,765 kg.

2022 Lexus IS 500 F Sport Performance
Even the front seats are identical to the IS 350 F Sport’s, making us question whether an even more performance-oriented IS F is also on the way.

We can expect the North American-exclusive 2022 IS 500 F Sport Performance to arrive this fall, with pricing and additional details made clear closer to its availability. Until then, Lexus is offering factory leasing and financing rates from just 2.8 percent on 2021 IS 300 RWD, IS 300 AWD, and IS 350 AWD models, or if you can still find one, up to $4,000 in additional incentives for 2020 IS models. Check out CarCostCanada for all these details and more, including manufacturer rebates when available, plus dealer invoice pricing all the time. Learn how the CarCostCanada system works, and make sure to download their free app from the Google Play Store or Apple Store.

Also, check out our complete photo gallery above, and enjoy the video that follows…

Introducing the Lexus IS 500 F SPORT Performance (2:15):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Lexus

If anyone was expecting the new 2022 GT3 to somehow fly under the radar, think again. It’s an eyeball puller for sure. Not as supercar-like snazzy as the old (and most likely next) GT2, but it’s immediately…

Awesome new 911 GT3 gets more power, better handling and stunning new styling

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
This ultimate track star can be yours for the street now that Porsche’s unveiled the 2022 911 GT3.

If anyone was expecting the new 2022 GT3 to somehow fly under the radar, think again. It’s an eyeball puller for sure. Not as supercar-like snazzy as the old (and most likely next) GT2, but it’s immediately clear this is no ordinary 911.

Porsche just pulled back the digital curtain on its latest heartthrob, and now this brilliant blue missile is the talk of the town. A new twin vented carbon-fibre hood will give those in the know a hint that it’s time to move out of the fast lane, at which point they’ll quickly see the new GT3’s backside, gigantic swan-neck carbon-fibre wing and CFRP rear diffuser included. All of these aero aids add 50-percent more downforce than a regular 911 in their default setup, or up to 150 percent more downforce at 200 km/h when some adjustments are made.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
Porsche has added 10 additional horsepower to the upgraded 4.0-litre flat-six.

Yes, as exciting as the GT3 is to gaze upon, it’s no doubt much more fun to drive. For 2022, Porsche has improved the car’s 4.0-litre flat-six for a considerable 10-horsepower gain resulting in 502 ponies, while torque remains 346 lb-ft. It’s all done sans turbocharging, the GT3 the only 911 offered without exhaust boost. Instead, the 4.0-litre engine relies on cubic centimeters, plenty of trick technology like the six throttle butterflies added to extract that extra 10 horsepower just mentioned, and an incredibly high rev limiter of 9,000 rpm. That’s stratospheric for a horizontally opposed engine, incidentally, this configuration normally ideal for low-end twist albeit not that great for spinning in the lofty zone, but Porsche continues to work its magic and GT3 owners are the benefactors.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
Handling is improved via a new double-wishbone front suspension and a revised five-arm rear setup.

The lack of a turbo isn’t the only absent component putting the GT3 at odds with all other 911 models, incidentally, the other missing link being a seventh gear in its manual transmission option. As is the norm with all 911s, the GT3 can be had with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated PDK for paddle enthusiasts, but unusually it’s a no-cost option and not wholly related to updated version introduced last year, but instead is sourced from the previous 2019 GT3 thanks to that transmission’s 18-kg mass reduction and extremely quick response to input.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
The new swan-neck wing can add up to 150 lbs of downforce at 200 km/h.

Likewise, the just-noted six-speed manual gets pulled forward from the past, although this unit is the same as used in the fabulous 718 Spyder and 718 Cayman GT4, unlike every other 911 that uses Porsche’s seven-speed manual. The six-speed is lightweight as well, features rev-matching capability to make novices sound like heel-toe pros, and is lauded by all critics for its sublime operation. So good is the six-speed manual, that 68.7 percent of Canadian GT3 buyers previously went with the DIY option. This also speaks well for the type of performance enthusiast the GT3 attracts, one that appreciates the classic thrill of a mechanical masterpiece over speed for the sake of speed. The PDK is quicker, needing just 3.4 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill, while 200 km/h requires a mere 10.8 seconds.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
The new 911 GT3 looks fast even when it’s standing still.

Whether you choose the manual or PDK option, both come standard with an entirely new double-wishbone front suspension. As is appropriate for the GT3, the new front suspension design was developed by Porsche’s sports car racing team for the Le Mans-winning 911 RSR. The GT3 is its first application in a 911 production car, allowing a more rigid spring setup and greater camber stiffness that does a better job of isolating the dampers from transverse forces that might otherwise upset the apple cart, so to speak. Porsche promises better handling overall, which is what matters to us.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
The GT3 has already proved its mettle on the track, placing 11th overall amongst production cars at the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a lap time of 6:59.927 minutes.

The GT3’s five-arm rear suspension is upgraded too, now including more ball joints for the lower wishbones as well as spherical bushings, and special shocks. This means the new GT3 is a much better track car, but it also translates into a better every day commuter and a much more capable companion when straight lines start to wind in the outskirts of your city.

With this in mind, the quicker responding front and rear shocks are joined by standard rear-wheel steering, the latter capable of turning the rear wheels up to two degrees in the same or opposite direction, depending on whether they’re improving high-speed stability or aiding parking manoeuvres.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
Call your dealer and maybe they’ll be willing to let you try it out on a local track… after placing your deposit on the new CFRP hood.

What’s more, the old GT3’s already large 380 mm front brake rotors are now upsized to 408 mm, while also weighing 17 percent less, and just like the upgraded brakes can potentially save the GT3’s owner from misjudging the rate of closing speed before a corner, Porsche has included a front axle lift system for saving the carbon fibre front lip spoiler from scraping the pavement below when overcoming large speed bumps are steep driveways.

The lip spoiler, new hood, massive wing and rear spoiler aren’t the only exterior components made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic, by the way. Additional body panels include the rear fenders and, optionally, the roof. Porsche also makes “road-approved circuit rubber” available, while buyers can even add a rear roll cage via a Clubsport package (not available in all markets). There’s no extra charge for the all-new battery, mind you, which is 10 kilos lighter than the one used for the outgoing GT3. When reduced mass is combined with all the engine grunt noted earlier, the new manually-shifted GT3 has an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 2.8 kg/PS.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
The GT3’s interior is improved like all new 911s, plus it gets loads of suede-like Alcantara.

That weight can be reduced more, although most buyers probably won’t want to delete the rear wing. If you find it a bit over the top for your liking, however, a Touring package will swap it out for the power-adjustable spoiler used in the regular 911.

You can bet Porsche left the rear wing intact for its timed lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which at 6:59.927 minutes leaves it just outside of making the famed racetrack’s top-10 best production cars ever list. To be fair to the GT3, four of the 10 cars that beat its time are Porsche products, including the mighty 911 GT2 RS that managed a shocking 6:47.25-minute lap, plus a previous-generation GT3 RS that ran the ring in just 6:56.4 minutes. Nobody should expect a turbo-less 911 to beat Porsche’s renowned 918 Spyder either, and it didn’t, but it was certainly close to the supercar’s 6:57-minute time, while another GT2 RS managed a respectable 6:58.28 minutes. More importantly, the new GT3 lapped the punishing road course faster than every Ferrari and McLaren that ever attempted a run, not to mention every Chevy Corvette or Nissan GT-R. Only Radical SR8s (if you’ve never heard of this barely street-legal track car, you’re not alone), two Lamborghini Aventador SVJ LP770-4s, and a Mercedes-AMG’s GT Black Series managed to lay down faster laps, with the Merc being quickest of all comers.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
The six-speed manual gearbox is reportedly fabulous, while that circular piece of jewelry on the lower right is a special Porsche Design watch that’s available exclusively to GT3 owners.

If you ask most sports car buyers, 911s are more comfortable for daily use than any mid-engine exotic, and therefore easier to live with than all of the above, except for maybe the Mercedes. As you might expect, all of the new 911s improvements are included with the GT3, plus the model’s usual mega dose of suede-like Alcantara on the steering wheel rim, seats, etcetera. Those seats were designed with performance in mind, but they’re still suitable for day-to-day use.

Now comes the time to decide. There will be no fence-sitting with this car, because every last one will be snapped up quickly. Added to the rarity of any GT3, looms an era that may soon make its naturally aspirated 4.0-litre engine a much-lamented thing of the past, so make your mind up quickly and then immediately talk to your local Porsche Canada dealer. The new GT3 will be available to order soon, with cars being delivered in the fall.

2022 Porsche 911 GT3
Supportive seats look perfect for Sunday morning autocross courses.

For those still unsure or not in a tax bracket that makes such decisions possible, we recommend to the full allotment of images in our photo gallery above, plus the trio of great videos that follow, while others that just can’t wait until the fall to get their hands on a new 911 may want to know that Porsche is currently offering factory leasing and financing rates on 2021 models from zero percent. To find out more, check out CarCostCanada, where members save an average of $2,875 on their new 2021 911 purchases, by getting access to manufacturer rebate information and otherwise hard to get dealer invoice pricing. Learn how the CarCostCanada system works, and make sure to download their free mobile app at the Google Play Store or Apple Store now.

 

The new 911 GT3: Time is Precious (2:35):

The New 911 GT3 at the Nürburgring (1:33):

The New 911 GT3: Onboard at the Nordschleife (7:33):

Story credits: Trevor Hofmann

Photo credits: Porsche