Pontiac of the Month

Ungerdog's 2006 G6 GTP

2016 August
of the Month

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  • Posts

    • -When Mazda announced last year that its purpose-built MX-5 Miata Cup race car would sticker for $53,000, we lauded the racer’s affordability. Having sold 108 (!) MX-5 Miata Cup cars, Mazda and Long Road Racing, its partner that actually assembles the Miatas, is gearing up for a second year of production and has implemented a few changes. The good news is that the changes improve the Miata race car. The bad news is that the price has gone up. -Although race cars don’t exactly follow model years, it’s safe to categorize the updated Miata Cup car as being ready for the 2017 racing season. The price rises from $53,000 to $58,900, thanks to a new racing-spec transmission, motor mounts, differential-housing bushings, and engine-computer tweaks. The changes are aimed at enhancing the car’s durability, namely the gearbox, which keeps a number of stock components but has been upgraded to last longer between rebuilds. Mazda has been rolling out the changes to existing customer cars (remember, the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup is a spec racing series, so the cars must all be the same), and it’s even throwing current owners an incentive to buy the new car (should they want another): Buy a new MX-5 Cup car by mid-September, and the price will be the same as last year. After that point, it jumps to the new, higher price. - -- - 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF: The Fastback You’ve Been Waiting For, Only Better- 9 Things You Need to Know About the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Cup Race Car- Mazda MX-5 Miata Research: Full Pricing, Specs, Reviews, Photos, and More- --Nearly $60,000 may seem steep for, well, a Miata, but consider that this is a brand-new turnkey race car. It comes with a full safety cage, a sealed engine, a stripped interior—basically everything you need to go racing save a seat, which Mazda specifically leaves out so drivers can pick their favorite chair. Front-running used Spec Miatas, based on either the first- and second-gen Miata, can cost nearly $40,000, so to be able to purchase a new race-prepped Miata for a bit more seems worthwhile. - -View the full article
    • -Last year, as Volkswagen Group’s diesel-emissions-scandal snowball began to roll down the proverbial hill, the automaker stated that every brand and model line would be put under financial review. This was as sensible move, as the scandal’s cost to VW could stretch well into the billions, meaning any nonessential projects could understandably be dust-binned for the company’s greater financial good. Per Automotive News, this is exactly what’s happening, in part, to VW Group member Porsche’s anticipated “960” mid-engine supercar. -We say “in part” because the 960, an exotic piece intended to fill in the space between the sold-out 918 hypercar and the 911 Turbo S in Porsche’s lineup, hasn’t been outright canned yet. It has, however, been subjected to lengthy delay, apparently in an effort to rally funds for settling the obligations due from Volkswagen’s diesel-emissions cheat. Originally slated to debut by 2019, the 960, according to Automotive News, won’t appear until 2026. The pricey (think $250,000) Porsche is hardly Job One in the halls of VW. -- - 2017 Porsche Macan GTS Tested: More Hot Hatch than Crossover- Porsche 911 GT3 RS Tech Dive: Why It’s the Best 911 of Them All- Porsche 718 Cayman Research: Full Pricing, Specs, Photos, Reviews, and More- --However pragmatic the decision, color us sad. Early details of the 960’s layout and features have us salivating: A quad-turbocharged flat-eight engine, possibly with variable-compression-ratio technology (similar to that just revealed by Infiniti), bolted into the middle of a sweet body. With McLaren breathing down Porsche’s neck by offering exotic-looking goods such as the 570S priced in 911 Turbo S territory, Porsche could use a proper supercar-supercar to play in the $250,000–$350,000 space, where it would battle the McLaren 650S, Ferrari 488GTB, and Lamborghini Huracán. (The outgoing 918 Spyder, by the way, cost just shy of $1 million.) The Porsche could ride on the new VW Modular Sports Car architecture, which eventually will underpin every sports car in the automaker’s lineup, and even a future Lamborghini and an Audi. In the meantime, get ready to wait. -View the full article
    • -In the United States of America, the only usual sop to ostentation in the face to death is that the vehicle carrying the deceased to his or her final resting place has historically been built on a luxury automobile’s chassis. Japan, on the other hand, flips the script. True, the 1983 Crown was not the most pedestrian model in Toyota’s line, but compared to a Cadillac or Lincoln of the day, it’s a spare vehicle. But on an American hearse, about the only additional nods to the post-mortem sybarite are a vinyl-covered roof and ornamental carriage bars. Let’s just say the Japanese went a bit further with this one. - -While American-fashion funeral coaches exist in the Land of the Rising Sun, they’re referred to as “foreign style.” A properly Japanese hearse is gussied up like a rolling temple; it’s a machine with all the collective subtlety of an entire bosozoku gang’s worth of Hondas, Yamahas, and Suzukis. This particular model features straight-six power, a four-on-the-tree shifter, and round headlamps, suggesting it was crafted from a van/taxi-spec Crown, rather than one of the more uplevel models. - -But who needs fanciness up front when such a shindig’s a-ragin’ in the rear? The cargo area features what appears to be pale-gold brocade wall-and-upholstery, a quartet of ornate lanterns mounted from the ceiling, and of course, the mandatory lace curtains with additional bamboo privacy shades. And won’t you dig those chrome inner fenders? Outside? What is there to say about the coffin compartment’s exterior other than it’s wildly customized with stamped-brass plates featuring a floral motif. The photos tell the story much better than we could. - -The seller claims the hearse is straight and rust free; that the only real issue is a gummed up carb from having sat in storage. The ask is a pretty heavy $39,500, but c’mon, you can’t buy a pagoda in Kyoto for that. And given that a ’71 280SL just went for $209k at Pebble Beach, you’d be hard-pressed to find a nice Pagoda for that amount, either. Viewed in the right light, it’s peanuts. Just think of all the funeral-crashing fun you’d have in the thing! If this isn’t an automobile built for hijinks, there’s not a vehicle around that is. -- - Cadillac Deville Masterpiece- Paint It Black: The Not-So-Humble Hearse Gets Its Day in the Sun- Toyota Full Coverage: News, Reviews, Photos, and More- --Not to mention, when it’s your time to go, you’ll be all set in the transport department. Have you had to shell out to have a person interred lately? It ain’t cheap. Any penny spent on this beauty is some fraction of a penny saved when you shuffle off this mortal coil. No, you can’t take it with you, but at least you’ll arrive in your final resting place in grand style. - -View the full article
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