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Porsche 918 Spyder gets another recall05/26/2015
Porsche has initiated a second “precautionary” recall for the $845,000 hybrid 918 Spyder, this time for an inspection of the electrical wiring harness for a radiator fan.
The recall affects 223 vehicles in the United States that were manufactured before the end of April 2015. Porsche says the harness could be damaged by one of the carbon fiber components on the car.
205 Porsche 918 Spyders were recalled for defective chassis parts late last year.
As a quick refresher, the 918 uses a 4.6-liter V8 and two synchronous electric motors to deliver 875 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque. Power is fed to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual.
Owners will be contacted by Porsche soon; the service visit will, of cours
BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept
The Roundel goes retro at Villa dâ€™Este05/26/2015
The covers came off the BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage concept at the 2015 Concorso d’Elegance Villa d’Este over the weekend, and there’s much more to the lime green two-door than that oversized rear wing. There’s a smaller, roof-mounted spoiler, also lime green. Plus more swoops and curves than we can count. Most of those are lime green as well. Add in a racing-inspired interior that manages to make room for a luxuriant swath of hardwood on the dash and you’ve got a very striking concept fueled by some serious performance heritage.
The 3.0 CSL Hommage was inspired by the classic, successful 3.0 CSL homologation special -- and its racing counterpart -- introduced in 1972. Like its nominal predecessors, the new concept chips away at mass with the most advanced lightweight materials available. Back in the '70s, that would have been aluminum. Here, BMW has used carbon fiber, leaving the composite material exposed wherever it’s been deployed.
The big difference between the original 3.0 CSL and its modern concept counterpart is that the former car was actually built, sold and raced. The Hommage concept is likely to remain a one-off, and we’d be surprised if it will ever be driven in anything approaching anger.
2015 Toyota Avalon Hybrid review notes05/25/2015
DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: The Avalon is part of a dying breed -- the full-size sedan; it's kind of a shame, because some of the best mass-market examples of this traditional body style are on sale today, including the Avalon XLE Hybrid.
Setting aside what already makes the Avalon one of my favorite full-sizers -- interior refinement, space and build quality -- this may also be the first hybrid I've driven that made me wonder why anyone would buy the straight gasoline version. This powertrain is absolutely seamless, uses barely any fuel and, when needed, can deliver gobs of electric torque for a push the V6 Avalon can only dream of. Yes, the regenerative brakes take a bit of mental recalibration, but once you've got a feel for them the car is remarkably satisfying to drive.
This generation of Avalon is blessed with one of Toyota's best interior designs ever -- it's big, bright and airy, and manages to feel as though it belongs in a more expensive car. The touch-sensitive switchgear lives on a corrugated panel that doesn't show fingerprints, and little cutouts demarcate "buttons" to help guide your finger. The effect manages to look just as elegant as Cadillac's CUE or the previous upper trim ranges of MyFord Touch, but it's more intuitive.
2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe review notes05/22/2015
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Interesting to get out of the long-term F-Type Jag and into this. In some ways they’re completely different cars, in some ways they’re similar -- they both look terrific and go like stink.
The S63 is just gorgeous inside and out. Not flashy (well OK, maybe a little flashy), but curvy and beautiful. Dignified. It wafts along in town like the luxury car it is, but tromp on the gas pedal and whoa baby!! Hang on! In the conditions I drove it in (rain, wet slick pavement) I came nowhere near the potential here. Not even close, even with the all-wheel-drive stability. I’m sure the car could take way more than I threw at it, but I’ll be damned if I was going to be the dork who banged it into a clapped-out Escort.
Benz quotes a sub-4.0 second zero-to-60 time and I have no reason to doubt. The 577-hp, twin-turbo V8 feels like, well, 577 hp. Vaughn once called the hp number “meaty.” I’ll say -- the coupe’s a rocket. Midrange speed and power, say 35-80 mph, is even more impressive than 0-60 -- that’s where the car really feels like a missile. For a 4,678-pounder, it’s remarkable. In fact, it is for most any car.