To sum up: Supra GT4 ready to rock and manual 992 911's inbound
This week Toyota's performance arm Gazoo Racing have scheduled to open up order books for the Supra GT4 racecar in March 2020. Meanwhile Lamborghini have revealed two track-only special models and Gemballa have announced that they are planning on manufacturing their own hypercar. PSA and Fiat Chrysler have confirmed the rumours and recent news surround their merger, with plans for a 50:50 share of a combined company, Porsche meanwhile has given us the news we have been waiting for with a manual gearbox in the recently released 992 911 Carrera S models.
Supra GT4 - Get Your Chequebook Ready
The new track-only GT4 from Toyota will be available to order from March 2020 in Europe, Toyota have announced this week. North American deliveries are expected to start in August 2020, followed by Asian orders in October. Prices will start at a little over £150,000 plus taxes (circa $195,000 at the current exchange rates).
The GT4 builds on the road car with more power and chassis upgrades to make it competitive on the track. The car starts with the same 3.0-litre straight six as the road car, with power upped to 430bhp via engine management and exhaust enhancements. Upgraded driveshafts and a mechanical locking rear differential complete the powertrain set-up.
Brakes are improved via larger discs with Brembo calipers, 6-piston at the front and 4-piston at the rear. While the wheels are 18-inch OZ racing items shod with 305-section Pirelli tyres. Suspension has been upgraded with KW dampers and competition springs. Inside the road-car interior has been stripped replaced by the usual racing paraphernalia of roll-cage, fire extinguishers and bucket seats with harnesses.
Lamborghini Tease Two Track-Only Models
Lamborghini, this week has teased a V12 hypercar, set to debut in 2020. The company has also revealed it's Urus ST-X, a track version of it's performance SUV. The track-only hypercar will utilise the 6.5-litre V12 from the Aventador, but more unhinged in this application, producing 819bhp. This will likely lead to performance figures even more impressive than the Aventador SVJ's 2.8 second 0-62mph time and 217mph top speed.
The shape in the teaser is familiar Lamborghini styling, the body utilising multiple carbon panels alongside it's carbon monocoque and steel roll cage. The car will use a 6-speed sequential gearbox from Xtrac, before deploying via a mechanical locking differential. Brakes are Brembo, while the wheels are wrapped in Pirelli tyres.
The Urus ST-X meanwhile has been officially set to become the world's first racing 'Super SUV'. The car will utilise the twin-turbo V8 from the road-going model, though the race model will have a reduced weight figure thanks to carbon panels and a partially stripped interior. The car will make it's debut at the 2020 Super Trofeo world final in Misano, with celebrities facing off against class winning drivers on a specially prepared track.
The German-based manufacturer usually associated with customising Porsches, has turned it's attention to building it's very own hypercar. They promise this to be 'one of the last pure sports cars', emitting the use of hybrid technology, sticking with an old school mixture of an internal combustion engine and manual gearbox. The company has set benchmarks for the car including a 2.5 second 0-62mph time and 6.5 seconds for the sprint from 0-124mph.
The released early sketches show a mid-engine layout, housed within a typical supercar shape, utilising a cab-forward profile and long tail. An early prototype is likely to appear early in 2020, with the company now accepting the first deposits even though the price point is as yet undefined.
PSA and Fiat Chrysler to Become One
This week the two firms have confirmed the talk of their merger, to become one of the automotive industries biggest brands. The brands hope that this will foster a new era of R&D and innovation, meeting emissions and efficiency challenges of the near-future. This will likely also lead to cost and time savings, sharing car platforms, particularly those used to underpn future electrically powered vehicles.
The deal, with firms taking 50/ 50 stakes, will see the creation of the industries fourth largest manufacturer in terms of global sales. Their combined 8.7 million sales, is smaller only than the VW group, Toyota and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance. The new company sees the formation of the following brands: Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Citroen, Chrysler, Dodge, DS, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia, Maserati, Opel, Ram and Vauxhall.
Both brand groups will be hoping for great success, improved sales and increases in profits over the next few vital years. As interested fans of some of their current vehicles, we can only hope that this merger leads to some platform sharing that we are more akin to. The sort of platform sharing that has made cars like the Subaru BRZ and Toyota Supra come to life, where without the help from another brand they likely wouldn't exist. Time for a new Lancia sports car? We can only dream.
Porsche Finally Announce a Manual Gearbox for the 992 911
It's here, the moment many 'old-school' 911 fans have been waiting for, Porsche have revealed the details of the three-pedal variants for it's latest 992 iteration 911. Due for arrival in mid 2020, a manual option will be available on the Carrera S and 4S models. The 7-speed manual 'box will be a no-cost option for both the coupe and convertible 911's but will only be available with the Sports Chrono package option ticked.
The manual cars will receive an auto-blip rev matching function, for easy downshifts as well as a mechanical limited-slip differential. Despite this, as you would expect, performance figures for the manual variants are slightly less impressive when compared with the PDK equipped vehicles. 0-60mph (note 60 not 62) comes in around 4 seconds (3.3 seconds 0-62mph for the PDK), though top speed will likely remain the same at 190mph. The weight meanwhile will reduce by around 40kg when compared to a PDK equipped vehicle, making the manual Carrera S the lightest in the entire 992 911 range.
Pricing for the UK is yet to be announced, with details for European markets expected soon. The no-cost option is currently only detailed for American markets, as the biggest seller for 911's. Cars will be on-sale next year and I for one am excited to hear about what the journalists experience behind the wheel of the new manual 911's.