TN's Best Performance Car Stories of 2016
Lots of people will argue the definition of a proper sports car, so while I was inclined to call this piece TN’s Best Sports Car Stories of 2016 – I know that far too many people would cry foul at my including the likes of the 4-door sedans on the list, even though they are among the best-performing cars sold in the US.
This is why I went with “Best Performance Car” stories of 2016, as on this list you will find a hybrid supercar, several high performance sedans, several American muscle cars, a few smaller performance cars and even a Toyota with a Ferrari engine. These might not be the biggest performance car stories of 2016, but as we close the door on the year – these are most certainly some of the most interesting performance car topics of the 2016.
Acura – The NSX Cometh
The supercar world has been waiting for the rebirth of the Acura NSX for years, but in the summer of 2016, the new Japanese hybrid supercar officially started production in Ohio.
Audi – Dieselgate Kills a Performance Engine
Other than the fact that Audi had to minimize their racing programs, “Dieselgate” really didn’t have much impact on the American performance car market. However, due to the costs of the litigation surrounding Dieselgate, Audi was forced to pull the plug on their project of putting a new 420hp engine in their TT.
BMW – Jeremy Clarkson Loves the BMW M2
Jeremy Clarkson is easily one of the most opinionated men in the automotive media world while also being one of the most critical. When Clarkson hates a car, he is quick to explain why and it seems that he dislikes more cars than he likes. That makes his praise of the BMW M2 even that much more important.
Chevrolet – Corvette ZR1 Testing with the Hellcat
Over the past year, we have talked plenty about the long-rumored return of the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. A few months back, someone who was quick with their camera phone caught video of a handful of what we believe to be C7 Corvette ZR1 test cars leaving a gas station with an array of other performance cars – including the 707hp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. (More on the next page)
Dodge – Hellcats Storm Bondurant
The Hellcat-powered Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger are easily the most talked-about cars to hit the American performance market in the past decade, with the 707 horsepower supercharged Hemi making these cars the quickest, fastest and most powerful of their kind on the market today. Along with the Dodge Viper, the Hellcat Challenger and Charger were named the official cars of the Bondurant Racing School and Patrick Rall was fortunate enough to attend Bondurant to drive the Dodge performance cars – and the action was all caught on film.
Ford – First Hint of a GT500
The new Shelby GT350 Mustang continues to be the hottest horse in the Ford stable, but someone on the Ford IT team slipped up earlier this year, posting information on the Shelby GT500 on Ford.com. This was the first official mention of a new GT500 and while it was quickly removed – this all but guarantees that there is a new Shelby GT500 Mustang coming and it will likely look to rival the Hellcat Challenger.
Lexus - F Versus V
Lexus has made a big push in the performance car world this year, rolling out new high powered models to challenge the best in the luxury world. John Goreham had a chance to test two of those Lexus perofmance models – the GS F and the RC F – on the race track against the Cadillac ATS-V so see how Japan’s lxuo-sport models compared to a similar model from the USA.