Despite the Grand National’s fame and success in the 80’s, there is a surprising amount of people who have never heard of this car. Introduced in 1982 to roaring applause and exiting the stage in 1987 to a thunderous standing ovation with the GNX, the Grand National was the pinnacle of performance in the 80’s. We recognize this is kind of a silly thing to say about a Buick, but it’s absolutely true.
The current third-generation BN Mazda 3 is hands-down one of the most handsome hatchbacks on the market. It follows the Japanese automaker’s exterior design philosophy that’s become a hallmark feature of all Mazda vehicles in the last few years. The 5-door hatchback Mazda 3 is $1,300 more expensive than its 4-door sedan counterpart, but it provides almost double the cargo space with the rear seats folded. Other than that, there are no real differences between the two body styles. MY 2019 will, however, bring at least one important update to the powertrain department, and likely an entire body revision.
Powered by an updated version of the 8.0L W16 found in the Veyron. The Chiron features four turbochargers and is capable of 1,479 hp and 1,180 lb-ft of torque. Peak torque is available at 2,000 rpm, helping the Chiron achieve a 0 to 60 mph time of just 2.4 seconds. In tests, the Chiron has hit 250 mph in 32.6 seconds. While the top speed is electronically limited to 261 mph, Bugatti believes an unfettered Chiron can reach 288 mph.
Sure, car manufacturers have their own test car drivers but they tend to be professionals who are into professional driving their whole life. However, there is a whole other type of factory test drivers. If you have a college degree in automotive or automotive engineering or have been in the automotive industry for years, you can actually land a job as a factory test driver. In short, you could drive prototypes of upcoming vehicles, affect the tune of the finished product and enjoy it all while simply driving in different conditions.
As always, the Volkswagen Golf offers better interior quality and overall feel than all of its direct competitors, and GTI models hit the sweet spot in terms of bang for your buck. The GTI has been an exceptional car for decades now, and will again be one of the best hatchbacks 2019 brings our way.
The Honda S2000 is arguably one of the most iconic roadsters of the 21st century. While there are plenty of ‘Club Racers’ for sale right now, you should know that most of them aren’t real. In fact, the CR trim was only produced stateside for two years (’08-’09) during which only 699 of the planned 2000 examples were made, making this car exceedingly rare.
To build the 429 engine, Ford took its 385 engine added four-bolt mains, a forged steel crank and connecting rods, tossed on aluminum cylinder heads with ”crescent” combustion chambers, and eliminated the head gaskets. Ford then topped it off with a Holley four barrel carb. The result was an engine rated at 375 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.
As if that is not enough, the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita is powered by a 4.8L V8 that is capable of 1018 hp, blasts from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and will hit 120 mph in 13.55 seconds. With a top speed of 255 mph, the CCXR Trevita is capable of 1.5G of lateral G-force. All that for the rock bottom price of $4.8 million. The price tag may be part of the reason that Koenigsegg only built a few of these hot cars.
The Plymouth Road Runner made no pretense about being a family sedan with an upgrade package. It was built for balls out speed and delivered in spectacular fashion with the 426 Hemi engine installed.
Sure, it weighs in at nearly 4,000 lbs, but it’s no slouch. Speaking of the SH-AWD (SH stands for Super Handling), that’s the model you’ll want to go for. It features some really intelligent engineering that allows the car to cruise at highway speeds with a 90/10 front/back power split, but can allocate up to 70% of power to the rear wheels for acceleration. On top of that, it can send 100% of that 70% to either of the back wheels independently, making this car one hell of a cornering machine.
These RWD monsters are still somewhat pricey due to rarity compared to the sedan and coupe models, but you can expect to find some examples in the ballpark of $45,000. That’s really not bad at all though when you compare this car to the likes of the Porsche Panamera and wagon offerings from Mercedes AMG.
EV owners would likely agree that General Motors would be better off investing in their supercharger network rather than investing in the Bolt directly. The small hatchback isn’t capable of making interstate trips as things stand right now not if you’re unwilling to commit to almost a half-day stop for a recharge, in any case. Since its undercutting most of its competitors in terms of price, as soon as GM improves its rapid charging station network, the Chevy Bolt stands a chance of becoming one of the best hatchbacks 2019 will have to offer.
The Japanese manufacturer’s cars are efficient and fun to drive mostly thanks to their revolutionary SkyActiv-G engine technology. Mazda isn’t resting on its laurels, though, and is preparing a whole new generation of SkyActiv-X powerplants. These new engines will be able to use extremely lean fuel mixtures like the homogeneous-charge compression-ignition engines.