To sum up: Volvo's first EV and madly priced Subaru S209
Another quiet week as we approach the Tokyo motor show starting on the 25th, Porsche though has been busy, unveiling the 4S Taycan variant and Sports Cup Edition Cayman GT4. Subaru has also announced some insane pricing for the limited S209 model, while Volvo has sensibly stepped into the growing EV market.
Volvo's First Electric Car
Volvo has revealed its much-anticipated XC40 recharge model, the first fully electric production car from the Swedish company. The new EV variant utilises a twin-motor setup that allows for the equivalent of 402bhp, while giving 248 miles of range on the WLTP cycle. One motor sits on each axle, giving four-wheel drive and allowing for 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds.
An underfloor 78kwh battery provides power; this has lowered ride height and reduced load capacity. Otherwise the car is externally and internally the same as the standard XC40 model. The new tech has caused an increase in weight however, from circa 1500kg for an ICE version to 2150kg for the new EV model.
The XC40 Recharge forms part of Volvo's plan to produce five EV models by 2025 and become carbon neutral by 2040. They will be hoping for sales success from the Recharge, set to go on sale in summer next year, pricing is expected to be around £50,000.
Limited Edition Sports Cup GT4
To mark the 15th anniversary of the 'Porsche Sports Cup Germany' series, Porsche have announced their limited-run, Sports Cup Cayman GT4. The Sports Cup series is a customer and club sport race series based in Germany and hence the new vehicle is only available in Deutschland. Though I'm sure a few Euros could change this...
Speaking of Euro's the car is predicted to cost around £80,000, up from the standard vehicles £75,348. This extra cash gets you a whole lot of red design features, both on the exterior and interior. It also gives you white or black paint as well as the race-inspired livery as seen above. Little has changed outside of the new design features, though you do get some special engraving on the doorsills and centre console to remind you of the limited nature of this car.
The 4S Will Take you Further
Porsche has also unveiled a 4S variant of its Taycan model, to sit below the Turbo and Turbo S as the current 'entry level' Taycan. The 4S features a decrease in power thanks to slightly smaller electric motors, meaning slightly less performance but encouragingly an increase in range. The 4S will allow you to travel 287 miles between charges, with the Performance Battery Plus option ticked, compared with 256 miles in the Turbo S.
The new 4S is slower than the Turbo models, that said, it still provides up to 563bhp on overboost with the Performance Battery option (522bhp without). This gives the car a 0-62mph time of 4 seconds and a 155mph top speed, hardly slow then. The 4S is separated visually from other variants with different wheels and generally less aggressive styling features. The most impressive number attached to the new 4S however is the price. At £83,367, the 4S is over £50,000 less than the top-of-the-range Turbo S; this seems a huge price jump when you consider the small performance difference and extra range provided by the entry-level model. Order books are now open, with deliveries beginning in 2020.
I'm Sorry Subaru, How Much?
Following its reveal earlier this year, Subaru has announced pricing for its very special, limited-edition STi S209 model. The price is an astounding $63,995 (circa £50,000) or more than a base model C8 Corvette. Those of you outside the USA need not be concerned however, as you can't buy it at all. The model is headed for American shores only.
The car has featured a full overhaul, going some way to justifying the large jump in price. The engine has had internal changes and a new HKS turbocharger attached, along with extra cooling parts to keep it all in check. Suspension has also been altered with a wider track, alongside a driver-controlled toque split and locking differentials. Behind new 19' forged BBS wheels sit bigger Brembo brakes, featuring six piston calipers at the front and two piston items for the rear. The new car will certainly be capable on both the road and track.
For aesthetics and function, the Subaru's bodywork has grown, with wider arches and corresponding wheel arch extensions to cover the increased track. The car will certainly stand apart from regular WRX STi models, with a stacked rear wing and aggressive front canards.
Whether the changes are worth the asking price is up to the prospective customers, but their investment will be partially protected by the cars rarity, with only 200 set to be built. Those of us outside the US will have to wait patiently for information on the rumoured hybrid replacement, supposedly appearing in the next couple of years.