Tested: Is the Genesis G70 Still a Driver’s Car With the 2.0T Engine?

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 09:00

Here’s a story you’ve heard before: “[Upstart manufacturer] creates sports sedan to take on the BMW 3 Series.” It’s a tale as old as the 3 Series itself, with new chapters added every few years as ambitious brands take their turn at rivaling the German standard-setter. With the Genesis G70, 2019 marked the shortest time from brand establishment to Car of the Year win. The Genesis G70 win is especially impressive considering it’s the three-year-old brand’s first effort in the segment. Recently, we spent time in the base-engine G70 2.0T and wondered: Would the G70’s prowess as a driver’s car still shine through? And, crucially, could it hold its position against the 3 Series?

Our G70 2.0T tester’s 2.0-liter turbo-four produces 252 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, compared to 365 hp and 376 lb-ft from the 3.3T model’s 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6. Acceleration drops accordingly; its 0–60 time of 6.2 seconds is a second and a half behind the six-cylinder version of our Car of the Year champ. It’s also slower than all-wheel-drive Audi A4s we’ve tested; those cars hit 60 in 5.0–5.4 seconds despite having identical displacement and horsepower.

The four-cylinder G70 completed the quarter-mile sprint in 14.7 seconds at 93.9 mph, falling behind the Mercedes C 300’s 14.1 seconds at 99.9 mph. Supposedly the Genesis has launch control, but road test editor Chris Walton found it didn’t help—enabling it produced “a little chirp from the tires, then the engine bogs a bit. Trying various rpm brake releases produced nearly identical runs.”

Outside of a dragstrip, however, the 2.0T model doesn’t leave the driver wanting for acceleration. Clearly it’s turbocharged; there’s a bit of lag as power arrives a moment after the driver’s input. Keep it on boost, though, and it rushes toward its 6,200-rpm horsepower peak. Genesis attempts to amplify the experience by playing an artificial engine note inside the cabin, but its organic delivery had us wondering what effect it had.

In casual driving, the Genesis-designed eight-speed automatic transmission shifts with just enough feeling to let the driver know something’s happening. Hit the upshift paddle under generous throttle, and it responds with a satisfying kick into the next gear. However, the downshift paddle wasn’t so reactive. In real-world and track testing, multiple taps often wouldn’t engage a lower gear while braking.

Annoyingly, there’s no manual mode—the G70 returns to automatic shifting if you hold a gear too long, or whenever you come to a stop. For permanent manual mode, Genesis notably offers the G70 2.0T with a six-speed stick. The company knew the take rate for the manual would be low, and to date it’s only sold a handful of cars so equipped. Still, the automaker did it to capture the attention of enthusiasts, who would hopefully recognize the newcomer brand keeps their interests in mind.

The 2.0T drivetrain didn’t wow us like the 3.3T did, but the smaller engine cuts 119 pounds of mass over the front axle, yielding an improved 51/49 percent front/rear weight distribution. That seemed to parlay the balance we praised in our Car of the Year writeup. However, in figure-eight handling testing, testing director Kim Reynolds found where the G70 might concede to the 3 Series. Despite the Genesis weighing only 13 pounds more, its steering feels heavier and less natural than the BMW’s: “A bit wonky and more artificial, but I don’t want to be too critical—it’s fun,” he wrote.

That weighty steering complements the excellent chassis tuning, an element that’s continuously evident in the G70’s drive. The taut suspension and stiff body communicate what the tires are passing over, but the ride is supple, not harsh or crashy. We might not call it nimble, but it’s always poised. This isn’t a car you toss around, rather one in which you plot a flow down the road—equally enjoyable in highway cruising and backroad exploration. This is where the G70 earns its sport sedan credentials. The overall feeling it provides is one of connection, refinement, and solidity.

Those adjectives describe the interior, too. It looks and feels high quality, with hardly a surface that could be described as cheap. Our car’s lovely black-over-brown interior was a hit among testers and passengers. Quilted leather seats have bolstering that strikes harmony between sport and luxury. The door panel, center console lid, and transmission tunnel are comfortably padded where the driver might rest their extremities. Brightwork on trim, knobs, and buttons isn’t genuine metal but—like everything in the cabin—presents a substantial feel.

Genesis’ decision to forgo a dial or touchpad for infotainment control is appreciated. A fixed 8.0-inch screen centrally mounted on the dashboard responds quickly to touch inputs. Graphics aren’t among today’s best, but integration with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto is fairly seamless. The screen’s positioning may be suboptimal for shorter drivers, but its location and function seems natural and sensible. Sensible, too, is how the instrument cluster display between the gauges works; toggles on the steering wheel let the driver access key functions on the move. All climate tasks can be controlled by physical dials and buttons on the center console.

A few quirks and confusions indicate this is a first-effort car. The navigation system SD card, which will almost never be accessed, is smack in the center of the dashboard, displacing more useful buttons next to it. Several times on our tester, switching drive modes while using Apple CarPlay garbled our music, requiring an on-off of the audio to fix. The head-up display spontaneously disappeared between drives. We eventually found it, positioned in a way that couldn’t be safely viewed while driving. It wouldn’t adjust back into sight, as if the projector shifted entirely. Adaptive cruise control cut out at the same time, and no number of vehicle restarts got it going again.

Although Genesis is a subbrand of Hyundai, little about the G70 indicates that it shares parts with a non-luxury brand. Yes, the lower door cards are plastic, and the infotainment is what you’d find in any Hyundai. But if Genesis saved development dollars there and spent more on improving the way the car drives, it’s a worthwhile trade-off. At $44,895, our fully loaded G70 2.0T Dynamic rings up many thousands of dollars less than similarly equipped competitors.

We summed up our 2019 Car of the Year report by praising Genesis for “accomplishing the near impossible: It built a better 3 Series.” Again, in a recent comparison, the G70 2.0T beat the 330i (but was bested by the Tesla Model 3), our testers saying the Korean car “represents the pinnacle of a segment.” To answer our earlier questions, yes, the G70 is still excellent even with the smaller engine. And yes, it still beats the 3 Series.

2019 Genesis G70 2.0T BASE PRICE $35,895 PRICE AS TESTED $44,895 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan ENGINE 2.0L/252-hp/260-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4 TRANSMISSION 8-speed automatic CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,659 lb (51/49%) WHEELBASE 111.6 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.5 x 72.8 x 55.1 in 0-60 MPH 6.2 sec QUARTER MILE 14.7 sec @ 93.9 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 106 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.94 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 25.2 sec @ 0.72 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 22/30/25 mpg ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 153/112 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.78 lb/mile

The post Tested: Is the Genesis G70 Still a Driver’s Car With the 2.0T Engine? appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2019 Honda Accord Hybrid: Why I’d Buy It – Zach Gale

Motortrend News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 09:00

“What car should I buy?” It’s a question consumers ask themselves every day, but what would senior production editor Zach Gale drive? Keep reading for the answer, and see other editors’ picks here.

When I turn the knob, I giggle. It’s stupid, I know, but turn a 2019 Honda Accord’s temperature dial, and watch as the accent lighting turns blue or red, depending on whether you made the air hotter or colder. Cool, right? If I were in the market for a new car, however, green is the most important color to me. Because I believe humans are doing serious damage to the planet, my new-car purchase would be limited to hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and full EVs. But as I mentioned in my Toyota RAV4 Hybrid fantasy-SUV buying story, I’m cheap. So regardless of my personal budget, I’m not interested in cars that cost too much to begin with and then slap you with enormous maintenance bills down the road.

The smaller Insight hybrid sedan would probably meet my needs most of the time, but I prefer the Accord’s interior and higher seating position. Upgrading to a midsize sedan means more rear-seat space. And since I haven’t selected the gorgeous-for-a-midsize-sedan Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid, my new car will actually come with a full-size trunk. That’s right, if you go for the hybrid version of the spacious Accord, trunk space goes from 16.7 cubic feet to … 16.7 cubic feet. The Ford’s many hybrid displays make commuting more fun, but the Fusions aren’t as roomy for people or cargo. So I’ll stick with Honda even though I’m tempted to snag a great deal on a Fusion before they disappear from dealer lots.

The Accord Hybrid has another advantage over the more attractive Ford: acceleration. The Honda hits 60 mph in a MotorTrend-tested 6.7 seconds, quicker than any hybridized Fusion. That’s also quicker than a base-engine Accord or Clarity plug-in, which is the other car I’d strongly consider. I remember being impressed by the Clarity’s ride, and its EV range is exceptional. The overstyled Clarity plug-in will get you 47 EPA-rated miles on EV power before the gas engine turns on to power you through another few hundred miles.

The truth is that I wavered between the Clarity plug-in and Accord hybrid while writing this story. The Clarity’s matte wood-like trim and suede-like trim feel upscale, but I prefer the Accord’s higher infotainment screen placement and volume knob for when my husband is serving as in-car DJ. Driven back to back on the world-class driving roads near me in Southern California, I bet the Accord—which is about 700 pounds lighter—will be more fun. With no stylistic middle ground between these two cars, I’ll drive the more subdued Accord even though I prefer the last-gen model’s wheel design to the current one.

The Clarity would be better for avoiding visits to the gas station, but as it is, the Accord Hybrid’s 48/48 mpg city/highway rating and 600-plus-mile driving range mean I won’t need to refuel often. I’ll take mine in Touring form (for the ventilated front seats), wearing Obsidian Blue Pearl paint and a black-chrome grille to avoid the Accord’s overchromed stock look.

The post 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid: Why I’d Buy It – Zach Gale appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

MAG puts industrial airport sites on market for £500m

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 00:00
The portfolio includes income-producing assets at Stansted, Manchester and East Midlands airports
Categories: Property

Caldecotte Lake office returns to the market

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 00:00
Columbia Threadneedle puts Milton Keynes’ biggest business park on sale for £38m
Categories: Property

NCP targets 300 new sites in expansion drive

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 00:00
Parking operator NCP plans to increase its national footprint by 300 sites in the next five years.
Categories: Property

Growthdeck launches commercial property arm for private investors

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 00:00
Investor network Growthdeck has launched a commercial property arm aimed at private investors.
Categories: Property

AEW grabs Lichfield logistics site

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 00:00
AEW has acquired a development site in the West Midlands for a 431,500 sq ft speculative logistics scheme.
Categories: Property

Number of people using co-working space in UK hits 1.3 million

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 00:00
The number of people using co-working space in the UK rose 10% in the past year, according to a survey by blockchain-powered shared workspace provider Primalbase.
Categories: Property

BidX1’s June result falls £3m short of previous sale takings

Property Week News Feed - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 00:00
Auction house scored 82% success rate but £4.5m raised was lowest since firm’s launch in December 2018
Categories: Property

WATCH 24 Hours of Le Mans Flag-to-Flag Coverage HERE!

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 22:28

There’s nothing quite like the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and now you can get live flag-to-flag coverage with MotorTrend! Starting at 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. PT on Saturday June 15, catch the 87th 24 Hours of Le Mans on the MotorTrend app, on MotorTrend TV, and right here.

And if you’re interested in catching coverage of live practice and qualifying sessions, we’ve got that, too.

So what are you waiting for? Check out our coverage of the 24 Hours of Le Mans here!

The post WATCH 24 Hours of Le Mans Flag-to-Flag Coverage HERE! appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

15 Awesome Turo Cars for New College Graduates

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 20:00

Congratulations, college graduates! Receiving your diploma represents the culmination of a lifetime of work. Soon, you’ll realize you have another lifetime of work ahead and must learn to navigate the real-world challenges your professors never taught you about. But there’s a fleeting period in between that’s worthy of celebration—what better way to spend it than with an exciting drive?

Turo is a car-sharing marketplace where you can book other people’s cars. Focused less on basic transportation and more on enthusiast enjoyment, Turo has more than 350,000 vehicle listings divided among 850 makes and models that (almost) anyone over the age of 21 and with a valid driver’s license can book. Recent college grads seeking an unforgettable way to celebrate their accomplishment should check out Turo. Prices may vary depending on location or demand, but these examples give an idea of the awesome cars you can drive.

Audi RS 5

The Audi RS 5 combines the R8’s engine with a slinky 2+2 coupe body. That 4.2-liter V-8 channels 450 hp through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, while Quattro all-wheel drive provides traction and grip. The RS 5 has rear seats, so you can even squeeze friends in the back. This one on Turo is painted special-order Solar Orange, so it looks as quick as it goes.

Ford F-150 Raptor

Physics majors should avoid the Ford F-150 Raptor—its performance will defy everything you thought you knew. The Raptor has 450 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque on tap from its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6, enough to get the 5,500-plus-pound truck from 0 to 60 in just over 5 seconds. When the going gets rough, electronically controlled Fox shocks eat up any terrain. One Turo host calls his Raptor “Simply the king of trucks,” and we’re inclined to agree.

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Some say a degree is the key to unlocking a successful career. Dodge says the red key will unlock the Challenger Hellcat’s full horsepower. That’s 707 to be exact, whereas the black key the car also comes with only allows a mere 500. This Hellcat—equipped with a six-speed manual transmission—offers the red key so you can experience the full effect of its now-legendary supercharged V-8.

Porsche 911 Cabriolet

You graduated from a prestigious institution—now step into another one. The Porsche 911 is an icon; the superlative sports car that’s been around longer than the mattress in your freshman dorm room. There’s a huge range of options available for the 911, exemplified by this Carrera Cabriolet—check out its captivating full red leather interior.


Didn’t party enough in college? Book yourself a BMW M2. Its short wheelbase and turbocharged inline-six engine make a car that’s ready to get rowdy. We’ve measured 0–60 times in the mid-4-second range, and the car’s configurable drive modes let the driver dial in the feeling they like the most. With bulging fenders and aerodynamic bumpers, the M2 looks ready for fun, too, especially when finished in Long Beach Blue.

Toyota 4Runner

The final weeks leading up to graduation are a grind, and after it all, you might just want to get out there and chill. Wherever out there may be, the Toyota 4Runner will get you there. It’s a legitimate adventure mobile, with body-on-frame construction, four-wheel drive, and big tires. Adding a pop-up tent to the roof provides a place to stay while on your vision quest.

Porsche Cayman S

A challenge of higher education is learning to balance focus and fun. When it comes to cars, a mid-engine layout provides that balance every time you drive. Mid-engine cars have an optimized weight distribution and center of mass, resulting in excellent handling and control. The Porsche Cayman is one of the best ways to experience that balance, and S models provide it with extra power.

Lotus Elise

Sparse and lean might be the best lifestyle to stretch a college budget, but applying those adjectives to sports cars increases enjoyment. History majors may recall Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s adage “simplify, then add lightness,” which aren’t necessarily words to live by, but are represented beautifully in the Elise. It weighs just over 2,000 pounds, and provides a visceral driving experience that cars more powerful or high-tech can’t match.

Jaguar F-Type S

The “things that will look good forever” list received another addition: the Jaguar F-Type. Its styling verges on simplistic, but in a way that exudes elegance and performance. Speaking of performance, the F-Type’s supercharged V-6 or V-8 provide plenty of it. Rolling up in an F-Type says you’ve made it—or in this case, you’ve made it through college.

Jeep Wrangler

A sad truth of graduating is that you and your best friends will go your separate ways. You’ll keep in touch, but the duties of work and life inevitably pull you in different directions. With four doors, four-wheel drive, and a big cargo area, the Jeep Wrangler is perfect for celebrating the good times together before reality kicks in. Take the roof off, pile in, and hit the open road.

Ford Focus RS

Maybe you’ve already got a job lined up post-graduation, and you need to get settled somewhere new—fast. The Ford Focus RS can help make that happen, with a spacious hatchback cargo area that can fit a bunch of your stuff inside. Plus, there’s the 350-hp turbocharged I-4 under the hood to hastily dispatch trips to the store for the things you inevitably forgot at home.

Mercedes-AMG C 63 S

We all knew that one guy in college who spent all his free time in the gym. He began freshman year as a skinny kid but by graduation had built himself into a beast. That’s much like the evolution from the regular C 300 to the C 63 S. It starts as soft and restrained and transforms into brawny and hard-edged. What better way to show off that power than by letting the top down?

Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo is still finding its footing in the U.S. market, but the brand proudly displays its Italian heritage. That’s fully evident in the 4C, a miniature supercar with a carbon-fiber chassis, mid-mounted engine, and passionate styling. Driving it is certain to generate smiles, for those inside and outside the car.


The M3 seems to be built for those torn between two life stages: on one side a responsible adult who must tend to work or family, on the other a bright-eyed kid with verve and spirit for the future. In other words, it’s the perfect car for a recent college graduate. This one on Turo has 20-inch wheels and an upgraded cold-air intake.

Tesla Model 3

Today’s college graduates are entering an era of automotive electrification. Those soon-to-be professionals will continue to shape the car industry and may well guide us toward a fully electrified future. What better way to experience tomorrow, now, than in a Tesla Model 3?

Photos courtesy of Turo

The post 15 Awesome Turo Cars for New College Graduates appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Classic Mustangs! See Vintage Pony Cars From the 55 Years of Mustang Show

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 20:00

Typically, most car shows are dominated by late-model cars, and that’s also true of Mustang events. The 55 Years of Mustang show at Charlotte Motor Speedway, however, was packed with the early model Mustangs that Mustang Monthly fans are fond of, and we tried to capture every single one of them here, so check out the gallery below. And if you attended the event, you should be able to find your car!

This article was originally featured on Mustang Monthly. For more stories like this, check out the Mustang 360 Network.

The event kicked off with the opening of the new Mustang Owner’s Museum ( in Concord, North Carolina, just a stone’s throw from Charlotte Motor Speedway where the car show and open track portions of the event. Thursday saw a mostly filled infield car show, while Friday experienced heavy rain around noon, more of less washing out the show for the day. Saturday dawned cloudy but the rain stayed away, for the morning at least, and the soundtrack was once again filled with open track cars on Charlotte’s banked race track mixed with the murmur of the crowd of Mustang owners and spectators.

More on the Ford Mustang:

The post Classic Mustangs! See Vintage Pony Cars From the 55 Years of Mustang Show appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

Mid-Engine Corvette: Patent Hints at Potential Active Aero Bits

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 19:55

The countdown is underway–GM will debut the 2020 Corvette Corvette on July 18. Among the very few concrete details we have, it will bear a new logo and sport a mid-engine layout. Countless pieces of the puzzle remain up in the air, such as whether or not it will receive turbochargers and dual overhead cams. Adding more questions to the list, GM recently received a patent for an active aero system that we think could make its way to the new ‘Vette.

Issued on June 11, the patent details a system with “an air deflector moveably mounted to the vehicle body.” According to the document, sensors measure the distance to the ground, and this determines how the air deflectors are positioned. The system includes “a mechanism configured to selectively vary a height of the air deflector relative to the road surface and a position of the air deflector relative to the vehicle body to thereby control a movement of the ambient airflow relative the vehicle body.” The patent was uncovered earlier this week by, so head over there to check out the full document.

While the text doesn’t mention the Corvette specifically, sketches in the patent clearly show this sports car. Another aero bit that could make its way to the Corvette is an adjustable splitter system, of which one portion is fixed to the vehicle body and a second one moves to improve airflow. GM has filed for a separate patent related to this technology.

It’s likely the mid-engine Corvette will feature a dual-overhead-cam twin-turbo V-8 driving the rear wheels. We don’t know how much power the car will make, but it should offer 4.2-liter and 5.5-liter displacement versions. Earlier this year, we saw the interior of a Corvette prototype, sporting a new two-spoke steering wheel, a control knob for the infotainment screen, and a long row of climate controls on the right side of the center console. We’ll have to wait and see if all these details will make it to production.


The post Mid-Engine Corvette: Patent Hints at Potential Active Aero Bits appeared first on MotorTrend.

Categories: Property

2019 Honda Passport earns five-star crash-test ratings from the NHTSA

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 18:00
The 2019 Honda Passport aced the federal government's crashworthiness tests, the automaker said Wednesday. However, the 2019 Passport didn't ace the tests. The five-seat crossover SUV earned four stars for the frontal crash test overall, five stars in the side-impact assessments, and four stars in the calculated rollover risk measurement. Overall...
Categories: Property

2020 Hyundai Palisade priced, Lexus LC convertible debut, ChargePoint and Electrify America team up: What's New @ The Car Connection

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 16:33
2020 Hyundai Palisade crossover SUV priced from $32,595, undercuts Kia Telluride The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is ready to battle for families across the U.S. The three-row crossover SUV will arrive on the frontlines with a $32,595 starting price, Hyundai said Tuesday. Nearly 7K BMW SUVs, small cars recalled to fix airbag issues A handful of new BMW...
Categories: Property

CBRE to revamp London HQ

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 15:46
CBRE has begun a major redevelopment and extension of its UK headquarters at Henrietta House, London.
Categories: Property

1.2M Ford Explorer SUVs recalled to address suspension component

The Car Connection News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 15:35
About 1.2 million Ford Explorer SUVs have been recalled over a suspension part that may crack over time. The automaker said this week the recall involves 2010-2017 Ford Explorer models. Specifically, the issue affects SUVs that experience "frequent full rear suspension articulation." The actions may eventually lead to a toe link fracture in the...
Categories: Property

Co-working entrepreneur to launch Manchester co-living scheme

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 12:51
Colin Shenton, the founder of ‘pay-per-minute’ co-working company Ziferblat, is set to launch a co-living scheme in Manchester.
Categories: Property

The Green Group signs in Trafford

Property Week News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 12:47
Logistics provider The Green Group has agreed to take a 62,000 sq ft, grade A warehouse facility at Trafford Park.
Categories: Property

Five Cars, Three Lap Records, Go!

Motortrend News Feed - Thu, 06/13/2019 - 11:00

None of it was planned. But somehow, on a Tuesday in late April on the big track at Willow Springs International Raceway, we found ourselves in possession of five vehicles capable of breaking three different lap records.

The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ would Challenge the Porsche GT2 RS for the overall production car lap record; both the Lambo Urus and Porsche Cayenne Turbo could vie for the BMW X6 M’s SUV lap record; and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and Jaguar Project 8 each could grab the sedan record from the Cadillac CTS-V. Our resident pro racer, Randy “Father Lap Time” Pobst, was there. It all just sort of fell in our lap.

For months and months I’d been begging/bugging Lamborghini to let our test team have a crack at both the Urus and Aventador SVJ. I’d driven both, but with the exception of Scott Evans and a trip to Iceland with an Urus, no one else had touched either car. I wanted the rest of our team (plus, like, you know, the world) to know what crazed yet competent performance monsters Lambo had built. The trick is, when you strap on instruments to test Lamborghinis, the Italian automaker likes it if an engineer or two is present. That’s Lambo’s rule and there’s nothing we can do about it. Finally, the email showed up. Tuesday April 30 would be the day. Sweet.

As it turned out, two other things were happening that fateful week. For one, since we knew we’d have our greedy paws on the Urus, it was time to stage our now annual Best Driver’s SUV competition, the winner of which gets a ticket to play in the Best Driver’s Car festival this July.

Last year we chose the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio to represent the steroidal, yet nominally off-roadable machines. This year besides the Urus we had the Bentley Bentayga Speed, Jaguar F-Pace SVR, and Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Without boring you to tears, I spend a bizarre amount of time discussing racetracks with the fine people at Porsche. Meaning they knew we’d be lapping the Urus. Would we mind lapping their new uber-Cayenne while we were at it? Not at all!

The other happening was an episode of Head 2 Head, the car comparison show hosted by myself and Mr. Jethro Bovingdon, available on the MotorTrend app, which had to be filmed during the same time period. Hey, why not split costs between various departments and film the track portion of that episode the same day we lap the Lambos and the Porsche? No one could think of a reason not to. Right, on with it.

The current street-legal car lap record at Big Willow is held by the Porsche GT2 RS with Randy Pobst behind the wheel. In similar setup, it also has scorched Laguna Seca, Road Atlanta, and most recently Road America. The car is a metronome. A very quick metronome.

When we first heard about the GT2 RS, it was under the guise of setting the production car lap record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a time of 6:47.25 with Lars Kern at the wheel, smashing the Lamborghini Huracan Performante’s previous record of 6:52.01. Almost a year later, the Aventador SVJ piloted by Marco Mapolli obliterated the GT2 RS’s record with an astonishingly quick lap of 6:44.97. Given that, could Randy and the Lambo SVJ beat the Porsche GT2 RS on our home track?

No, not even close. The best Pobst could muster was a 1:24.92 lap, good enough to put the SVJ in 13th place all time, but nowhere near the GT2 RS’s 1:21.08 record. Nearly 4 seconds off the pace is equal parts confusing, disappointing, and upsetting.

What happened? The Lambo’s brakes seemed to be the culprit. Randy despised them. “The effing thing won’t stop!” he hollered at me when he pulled in. And you can bet your racing suit he didn’t actually say, “effing.” I’d also bet that the SVJ’s magnetorheological dampers were freaked out by Big Willow’s notoriously awful (meaning rough and bumpy) surface. The Corvette Z06—which rides on nearly identical dampers—had a similar issue. The Corvette team spent two weeks on Big Willow coming up with a bumpy road setting that knocked nearly a second off the lap, 1:25.76 down to 1:25.00. Lamborghini didn’t take such measures at Willow when it developed the SVJ. Anyhow, Porsche’s record is not only safe for now, but Porsche thinks there’s another half a second in there somewhere.

On to the SUVs. We agree, SUV lap times are silly. But until you people stop buying them (I own a hatchback and a wagon) this is how it’s going to be. The BMW X6 M went around Big Willow in 1:32.36, quicker than any SUV we’ve ever tested, including the Jeep Trackhawk (1:34.54) and the hunchbacked Bimmer’s shameless clone, the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe (1:36.00). Call us crazy, but the X6 M is quicker around Big Willow than a BMW M3 (1:32.51).

The Urus and the third-gen Cayenne Turbo had their work cut out for them. Porsche was up first, and as Porsches are wont to do, it beat the BMW by nearly a second, posting a 1:31.59. That new record stood for at least 20 minutes. Then, the Lamborghini Urus crushed it, popping off a 1:30.87. How quick is that? Nearly as fleet as a BMW M6 Gran Coupe (1:30.66). Not bad for an SUV that stands at nearly 5,000 pounds. Lambo was one for two, and so were we.

Next up, sedans. Before we get started, I should point out that this isn’t the cleanest record. Here’s why: the ludicrously named Porsche Panamera Turbo S e-Hybrid Sport Turismo went around Big Willow in 1:29.33. Thing is, that’s not a sedan, that’s technically a station wagon. So yes, if we were talking about four-door lap records, that 5,320-pound plug-in hybrid is quicker than the third-gen 2018 Cadillac CTS-V (1:29.69). However, it’s our pie and we’ll slice it however we like. Meaning that we should probably test the non-Sport Turismo version of the big Panamera. But, for purist reasons, the Caddy is the sedan lap record holder.

Er, was. The Alfa Romeo gave it a good go, but with “only” 505 horsepower (the weakest car we tested that day by a lot) it was no match for the 640-hp CTS-V. A 1:31.80 lap puts it ahead of the X6 M, but nearly 2 seconds off the Cadillac’s lap. The last chance belonged to Jaguar. Guess what? By the skin of its teeth, the $190K, AWD, 592-hp 2019 XE SV Project 8 put down a 1:29.59 lap, beating the CTS-V by 0.1 of one second. Boom, boom, boom. Out go the lights.

So there you have it. One day, five cars, three records, and two new benchmarks set. Really, three new records, though the poor Porsche’s only stood for the briefest of moments. The best part of all this, at least from my perspective? We’ll randomly do it all over again on some unknown, unspecified day in the future. Go serendipity, go!







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