For those looking to get into some Bavarian wheel-to-wheel racing action, the Spec E30 race class is a fantastic option. Focusing on spec-built, second generation BMW 3-Series coupes and sedans, the Spec E30 class offers an alternative to Spec Miata and Spec Racer Ford classes for those looking to try something a bit different. With relatively low costs to build and run, along with the spec build requirements, Spec E30 rewards driver skill above all else
The 3GT will come to market with the 3.0-liter, turbocharged six-pot found in the 335i, along with two different versions of the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. Diesel offerings consist of a pair of 2.0-liter, turbodiesel four-pots. There’s no exact information on power figures, but we’d strongly assume power will be identical to 3-Series Sedan levels for each respective engine. Like the sedan, a six-speed manual is standard, while an eight-speed automatic is an optional goodie.
BMW will be showing this, the 3-Series GT, at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Despite not being slated for an unveiling until next month, though, images have leaked out well ahead of time. To be fair, the 3-Series GT is not as big of a travesty as the 5-Series GT, a vehicle that’s failed to win over buyers, in part because of the awkward proportions of its fastback rear end.
Traditionally one of the first announcements of the North American International Auto Show, we now know the winners of the North American Car and Truck of the year.
Our first reaction? It looks like it was styled by an angry man with a samurai sword. That isn’t a bad thing. It’s exactly the sort of aggressive design we’ve been waiting for from Lexus, and there’s perhaps no more important of a vehicle for it to appear on than one that’s meant to do battle with the Cadillac ATS and BMW 3-Series.
The Kia Optima SXL is a handsome vehicle, both inside and out. Our Snow White Pearl tester looked especially classy, and the black and chrome accents didn’t make it look too gaudy. Even with the eighteen-inch chrome wheels—a part of the Limited Package that comes with the SXL—it didn’t look at all offensive, and actually appeared to be a tasteful use of the shiny stuff. Even the housings for the (power folding) side mirrors look nice on this car. Plus, the Limited gets a set of LED daytime running lights and red brake calipers to help set it apart form the rest of the crowd in a subtle yet fashionable way.
Maybe the hard part for enthusiasts to understand is where the Regal GS fits in the automotive pantheon. From our time in the car, Buick isn’t trying to build a 335i or an Evo (or a successor to the GNX). Instead, the company is trying to build something that is nicer than an Accord V-6 or a Maxima; something competitive with Acura, and Lexus (ES/IS), and Volvo, but at a slightly lower price. That means the cars have to look classy, be luxurious and then, in the case of the GS, be fun to drive. Thus, we think the Regal GS is a sporty luxury sedan, not a sports sedan. At that it seems to succeed like few other cars we’ve driven lately.
It’s been a darn good year for the auto enthusiast. We’ve seen the launch of an all-new BMW 3-Series, the hugely anticipated Scion FR-S, a worked-over Hyundai Genesis Coupe, and a bevy of other new performance cars. One of the biggest names, that we’re stuck waiting on until the end of the year, is the all-new Ford Focus ST.
Cadillac has officially taken the wraps off its new BMW 3-Series fighter, the ATS. There will be three engine options, with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder powering the base model. Uprated models will feature either a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with 270 horsepower or the 320-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 from the bigger CTS. Power will be sent to the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive will also be available.