After an impressive 33-series run, the world’s most popular motoring show won’t be returning for the foreseeable future. The decision comes after a massive wreck at the show’s test track at England’s Dunsfold Park Aerodrome led to significant injuries to presenter (and former cricket all-star) Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff. Now, this is nothing new for Top Gear; it seems like only yesterday that former presenter Richard Hammond was even more severely injured in a crash involving a rocket-powered car and there have been a number of other incidents surrounding the show. Seems that BBC has had enough, and has pulled the handbrake. We’ll see what happens going forward but regardless, it’s not a great time for car programs the world over, especially when you consider…
Time to Move on for The Grand Tour Trio
…that only a couple of days after BBC broke the news about Top Gear, it informed readers that James May, the aforementioned Richard Hammond and Jeremy Clarkson have finished filming their last episode of The Grand Tour. The trio jumped to the Amazon Prime show in what seemed like mere seconds after they left Top Gear in 2015. All three presenters have left the show and as of right now, the jury is out on whether or not the show itself will be continuing. According to BBC.com, however, Amazon may be “exploring a new incarnation of the show”.
Either way; it’s been a dreary month for those that love their car programs.
Porsche Panamera Gets Primed with More Tech, Power
With the new Cayenne SUV having just dropped, it’s time for another people-moving Porsche to get a little work done. For the 2024 Panamera, that means it’s longer, looks wider but isn’t, and is more powerful both at base (348 hp and 368 lb-ft) and in Turbo form (670 hp and 685 lb-ft). Inside, the front passenger now gets a digital display to call their own, and they – along with the rest of the occupants – will be more comfortable as well with standard air suspension across the whole line. If you want even more suspension tech, you can turn to the E-Hybrid models as they get new Porsche Active Ride tech that further reduces roll, dive and squat. Styling-wise, as is the Porsche way, you have to look pretty closely to spot the differences with the old car. The main thing is the addition of standard Matrix LED headlights that provide a 32,000 pixel system that can look half a kilometre down the road. The deer will be happy.
Instead, what Genesis has done is create a “timeless design rooted in the essence of motorsport,” according to John Krsteski, Genesis senior chief designer. The result is a low, sleek, cab rearward grand tourer with massive 3D effect wheels that has a drag coefficient of 0.34. This is no powerless prototype, either; under that long, sleek hood sits a twin-turbo V6 engine that makes – wait for it – 1,071 horsepower and 986 lb-ft of torque. Now, those figures likely come with a lot of asterisks because game developer Polyphony Digital stipulates that since Gran Turismo 7 players will be able to race one of these in-game, it needs to have an engine of some kind that they can model. But still: one can’t help but imagine…
It’s Viva Las Vegas for Verstappen
The inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, while not really coming off without a hitch, as it were – just ask the many Vegas residents about having their streets closed for weeks to accommodate it – still made for some entertaining racing with Dutchman Max Verstappen coming from back on the second row (behind Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr.) to take the crown for Red Bull Racing in his Honda, beating second-place Leclerc by just over two seconds when all was said and done. For his part, Leclerc fought till the bitter end, snatching P2 from Red Bull driver Sergio Perez on the last lap. Verstappen followed the win up with another at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, leaving him with 575 points and the driver’s championship, finishing with a 290-point lead in the driver standings over teammate Sergio Perez. Red Bull Racing, meanwhile, finished first in the constructor’s championship with 860 points, a clear 451-point lead over second-place Mercedes.
TLX Next: Acura Drops Hints About 2024 Mid-Size Sedan
For 2024, Acura’s flagship sedan will be getting a new front fascia that adds a frameless grille borrowed from the TLX Concept seen during the 2019 edition of the Monterey Car Week. The A-Spec model, meanwhile, gets enlarged dual exhaust outlets, gloss black rear spoiler and new 19” wheels. The top-spec Type S, meanwhile, gets a new grille of its own with a diamond-grille mesh that improves airflow to the twin-turbo V6 sat behind. It also gets unique wheels, measuring 20” and finished in gloss black.
Inside, we find a new 12.4” digital gauge cluster and 12.3” infotainment display – that’s larger than previous – and also Amazon Alexa, which is new to the TLX. A host of driving aids have either been added or improved upon for this iteration, including an expanded AcuraWatch driver assist suite that provides a wider field of view for the forward cameras, meaning more obstacles can be seen and thus, avoided.