Author - Byron Hurd

Driven: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS

img_5110

Photos by the author

To say the Panamera has been a controversial car for Porsche would be underselling it. If you look back, it represents the culmination of everything hardcore 911 purists declare to be anathema. It’s water-cooled, it’s front-engined, it’s V8-powered, and it comes with four doors and a nigh-on-endless order sheet littered with luxury-oriented features. If your litmus test for what should be available on a Porsche goes no further than “will it make it faster?” then your hostility is not unexpected. But don’t make the mistake of assuming the Panamera lacks performance features. Far from it, but they’re only a piece of the bigger package.

Read More

Speed Read: 2012 Kia Soul+

Photos courtesy of Kia

When John attended the Kia Soul media drive a year ago, he had mostly good things to say about Kia’s refreshed Scion alternative. John’s first drive was actually the third time somebody has written about the Soul for Speed:Sport:Life, and today, after driving a 2012 Soul+ for a week, we mark the fourth. You can find Zerin’s piece on the 2010 here, Cherise’s second look here, and John’s first drive of the refreshed lineup here. John’s piece contains technical information about the new engine offering in our Soul+ tester, so if you’d like to know more about Kia’s two-liter engine (or the rest of their new powertrain lineup), that should be your first stop.

Read More

Shelby formally announces 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Super Snake packages and pricing

002

It’s a Mustang-friendly month here at Speed:Sport:Life. Shelby’s Super Snake tuning packages for the 2013 GT500 were revealed yesterday, and after looking over the specifics, we like what we see.  The biggest news in our eyes is that the Super Snake packages can be had with either the GT500’s stock 3.31 rear end or a 3.73.  Depending on the power package you select, 3.73s may put you out of reach of the stock GT500’s 200mph top speed, but if you’re the type who likes a race track, be it of the straight or winding variety, the shorter gears may be to your liking. For a street Shelby, the 200mph bragging rights may trump absolute acceleration.

If $28,995 for the 662-horsepower package and $39,995 for the go-big-or-go-home 850hp variant sound reasonable to you, remember that these prices are on top of the retail-delivered GT500 that you’ll need before you ring Shelby. That said, there aren’t many 850hp turnkey cars out there for ~$95,000, so it’s still a bit of a bargain.

The full announcement is posted below, after the gallery from Shelby American. Enjoy.

Read More

Speed Read: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500

 

img_9394

In early August, Speed:Sport:Life teamed up with Effort Racing and MSR Houston to pit seven performance monsters against each other in the ultimate track day shoot-out. We’ll have those results for you soon, but in the meantime, we’d like to share some highlights of our weekend with a couple of American monsters. This week, we’re featuring the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500. Photos by Zerin Dube.

662 horsepower. 200mph. $54,995. Mustang. If that’s not enough for you to make up your mind about the 2013 Shelby GT500, then you’re one of few non-partisans in the ongoing battle between Ford’s refreshed Mustang and the entire known world of performance cars. Get comfortable then while I explain to you why you should appreciate the second-coolest car of 2013. Read More

Long Haulin’ — Audi A6 3.0T vs. Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec (Part II)

Lead photo by Byron Hurd; interior/underhood shots courtesy of the respective manufacturers.

When we left off at the end of part one, we had just arrived in Daytona Beach after a 14-hour trip down I-95 from Annapolis. Both cars had proven able and willing to handle the long haul, but the Audi A6, despite its disappointing tires and confounding ergonomics, was just edging out the Genesis R-Spec as our preferred ride. Click on in for the conclusion and thoughts about long-distance alternatives to these $50k cruisers.

Read More