Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Porsche is bringing back the 911 Sport Classic to capitalize on nostalgia again, Toyota introduces manual option to Supra 3.0 models for the lucrative “no manual no buy” market, Acura announces near $30k MSRP for Integra, Nismo is taking a race-prepped Z to the Fuji 24 Hour, and Ram says we’ll see their first EV this fall.
Porsche 911 Sport Classic
The last time Porsche came out with a Sport Classic, Lewis Hamilton also had a shit car. And the world was also on fire probably. So it’s a perfect time to bring back the limited-edition enthusiast bait that is the 911 Sport Classic. But unlike last time, this one is coming to the US, so you might actually get to see one.
The name really says it all here. Imagine the classic 911 style in its most iconic iterations over the years. A lot of the best design elements from those cars are reimagined here on the 992. The car is based on the 911 Turbo but features a front fixed splitter, a carbon fiber reinforced plastic hood which dips in the center, and of course that ducktail spoiler. Additionally, its rear fenders are lacking the air intakes that normally feed the mighty turbo flat six. This was a major engineering challenge for Porsche and required new ducts underneath the ducktail spoiler to feed combustion air into the engine.
And it wouldn’t be a heritage Porsche without Fuchs-inspired 20″ front and 21″ rear wheels with a center lock hub. Heritage-inspired paint options are a must as well and Porsche gives you four choices. Unique to the car is a Sport Grey Metallic with light Sport Gray painted stripes – the base color takes inspiration from Fashion Grey, a color first applied to the Porsche 356. You can also get a non-metallic black, Agate Grey Metallic, or Gentian Blue Metallic.
Porsche’s throwback theme continues inside with a 60s and early 70s vibe made possible by a mix of leather and cloth upholstery. Semi-aniline leather in black and “Classic Cognac” plus Pepita cloth inserts are properly retro while also being of high quality. Porsche adds that this is the first time since the 918 Spyder that this “particularly supple and natural feeling grade of leather” has been used, for all none of you keeping track. Meanwhile open-spore, dark Paldao wood trim contrasts the light Classic Cognac color.
Additional interior touches include an analog tachometer in a beautiful retro style. With a white needle and scale markings alongside green numbers and accents, it’s enough to make one lament the mainstream use of digital gauge clusters. The dash-mounted Sport Chrono clock gets the same treatment as does the Porsche Design chronograph that owners will be able to buy as well for probably $600,000.
As mentioned earlier, this car is built on the 911 Turbo. That means it’s also mostly a 911 Turbo underneath. It sports the same 3.7-liter twin-turbo flat six but its detuned from 572 horsepower and 553 lb.-ft. of torque to 543 horsepower and 442 lb.-ft. of torque. There’s a pretty good reason for that though – it’s to protect the seven-speed manual transmission that’s exclusively available. That transmission is also powering the rear wheels only, so there’s probably a sense of “making sure the driver doesn’t die” going on as well. Still, this RWD 911 is making more power than the 997 GT2 (but less torque).
Porsche includes basically every performance option available as standard. That means Porsche Carbon Composite Brakes with black calipers, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, Rear Axle Steering, Sport Chrono, specially modified Sport Exhaust, and Porsche Active Suspension Management with a 10mm drop. They also had to slightly decrease front axle spring rates as it no longer has the weight of an AWD system up there.
Put that all together and you’re sure to have a sensational driving experience out of a truly special car. It’s a shame that with only 1,250 models scheduled worldwide, you’ll see this flogged on your favorite YouTube channels when the embargo lifts until they all end up in collections. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet. You and I probably don’t want to know.
Toyota Supra gains manual option
The Toyota Supra has remained controversial since its launch in 2019. From “it’s just a Z4” to “it’s not exactly like the car from 25 years ago”, it’s been a tough sell for most claimed auto enthusiasts on the internet. But probably the biggest complaint is that it lacked a manual transmission. The “no manual no buy” crowd ate this one up. Other BMW models with the same powertrain offered one, so why not Toyota?
Well that changes for the 2023 model year Supras equipped with the 3.0-liter turbocharged straight six. All Supra 3.0 models will be available with a six-speed manual transmission that was reengineered specifically for the car. Taking an existing transmission housing, driveshaft, and gear set, they removed elements that were not required, such as the acoustic package, and reduced weight. A newly engineered large diameter clutch with reinforced diaphragm spring help ensure it can withstand the power and low-end torque the straight six offers.
Toyota’s “intelligent Manual Transmission” (iMT) can be toggled on or off by the driver while in Sport mode. When it’s on, it optimizes engine torque at the moment of clutch engagement and release. The goal is consistent engine performance when shifting gears. Toyota also shortened the final drive ratio from 3.15 (in automatics) to 3.46. They also had to slightly rework the layout of the center console and control panel to clear enough space for the shift lever and the driver’s hand.
To commemorate all the prayers answered from the #savethemanuals crowd who were never going to buy the car anyway, Toyota are releasing a special edition “A91-MT” Supra for the 2023 model year only. It’s limited to 500 units and comes with some exclusive interior and exterior finishes. It’s furnished with Cognac leather seats, a GR logoed Alcantara shift knob, and a 12-speaker JBL sound system inside.
The exterior is set apart by a red Supra badge, red GR Supra emblazoned brake calipers, and unique forged 19″ Frozen Gunmetal Gray wheels. Pop the hood and your eyes will catch the red strut tower brace, because race car. This model is available in just two colors – Matte White and CU Later Gray (amazing name).
Pricing has not been announced for either the A91-MT edition or any of the other manual-equipped Supras. Deliveries are expected to commence later this year.
Acura Integra starts around $30k
Acura has kept their promise to set the 2023 Integra’s starting price “around $30k”. Mostly. When the all-new luxury compact arrives in dealers early June, it’ll carry an MSRP of $30,800 – not including $1,095 for destination charges. So realistically, $31,895 out the door is as low as you’ll be able to go. That’s if your dealer isn’t an asshole.
Prices go up a decent bit as things like A-Spec and the Technology Package are thrown in, but the jump in price is far from the worst you can find out there among luxury brands. The Integra A-Spec starts at $33,895 while the Integra A-Spec with Technology Package starts at $36,895 – both prices reflect destination charges. And if you want to ditch the CVT in your A-Spec w/ Tech Package for the segment’s only manual transmission, your price will not change.
This is the part where I drive engagement to boost #SEO stats by asking you theoretical questions as if you were looking to potentially buy this car and the only thing influencing your choice is this article, when in reality we both know that’s not the case. At this price, does the Integra catch your attention? Or do you believe your money is better spent elsewhere?
Nissan shows off Nismo-prepped racing Z
Nissan is in the process of rolling out the new Z globally and Nismo has already gotten their hands on one. For no particular reason I’m sure, they have built two race-prepped but still close to production Nissan Zs and will be competing in the NAPAC Fuji SUPER TEC 24 Hour Race on June 4th. One will be fielded by Nismo in the ST-Q class while Max Racing will compete in the ST-3 class.
The sorts of modifications done to both cars were not disclosed. The ST-3 class mandates 2,001cc-3,500cc 2WD vehicles which appear to be very close to production (at least by usual race car standards). ST-Q on the other hand is a non-competitive class for special racing projects. From the few pictures we have, nothing seems particularly crazy about these cars. No engine swaps, no massive aero, just the sort of race car that an enthusiast could build themselves. Or maybe the kind of car Nismo could build and then sell. The translated press release states they will “aim to develop an exciting race car suitable for Z” using the data they can collect from having two cars compete in the grueling 24 hour race.
What happens after that is anyone’s guess. Maybe customer racing cars with a road-going Nismo variant? Maybe a GT4 race car? Either way, Nissan is building cool shit again and we love it.
Ram’s EV pickup debuts this fall
As Ford was celebrating the first production Lightning pickups rolling off the assembly line, Ram butted in to give us all a friendly reminder that Ford won’t be alone for long. “Time to steal some thunder”, read a tweet from the official Ram Trucks Twitter account. They dropped a short teaser clip, a link to a Ram Revolution microsite, and a Fall 2022 promise.
So we’ll know more about their first all-electric offering sometime before December 1st or 21st, depending on what your definition of fall is.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.