Continuing from Part I of the SMMT Test Day 2013 series, where I test drive the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo, the 2013 Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC, the 2013 Toyota Auris Hybrid, the 2013 Toyota GT86 and the Toyota AE86.
I was pleasantly surprised to be invited to the 2013 Test Day of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), given our relatively minor presence among the British press. It is a great step for Techshake, a golden opportunity to network with motor manufacturers as well as to drive the latest cars in the market.
An almost audible gasp from the automotive world was heard when Porsche announced – unapologetically – that the newly revealed 991 GT3 will come equipped with Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) only. It will be the first time ever in the GT3’s history that a manual gearbox will not be offered. Apart from the change of the Mezger engine to the new, completely unrelated direct fuel injection (DFI) engine of the lesser 911 models, Porsche’s decision on PDK has got to be the single most talked about controversy surrounding the 991 GT3.
I have always considered the XF’s looks to be severely compromised because of its awkward-looking headlights with ‘exposed eyeballs’. But now that is all gone – the facelift has fixed the last blemish of the design, and now the XF looks complete – it is, from bumper to bumper, absolutely handsome.
The entire automotive world had its eyes pinned on Toyota. The largest carmaker in the world was about to create one of the world’s most affordable rear wheel drive (RWD) coupés, equipped with a limited slip differential (LSD) and promising low weight, a hunkered stance that suggested a low centre of gravity and a short, compact wheelbase. It was a nostalgic return for Toyota to creating truly desirable sports cars again.