2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet
When summertime arrives here at Motorweek, convertibles become very popular. Add the fact that our latest drop top was a Porsche 911 Turbo S, and well… the keys, as well as the car, always seemed to be “gone missing”. Fortunately, we were able to get some work done with it too. So, here’s our latest sun burned jaunt, Porsche style!
There may be more race-ready 911s that you can buy, but the Porsche 911 Turbo S is still the top dog in a lineup that now consists of some 20 911 variants. And this 2018 Cabriolet body style not only allows you to get in touch with nature while you’re streaking around your favorite back roads, but it make sure everyone knows who’s behind the wheel too. Whatever your motivation, you’ll find plenty to love here.
Of course one of our favorite things about any 911, is launch control. It’s equal parts brutality, simplicity, and rocketry; allowing you to leap off the line no matter where you are, with maximum effect.
The pure visceral experience starts when you release the brake and slingshot off the line. All-wheel-drive traction gets you going in a haste; but prepare to do some quick steering, as depending on which wheel is getting the most grip, things can get interesting rapidly too.
60 miles-per-hour arrives in just 2.9-seconds; stupid grins on your face, even quicker. And it all happens with intake, exhaust, and engine noises creating a harmony of awesomeness; as the turbo-6 pushes you down the track like a frightened gazelle.
No matter how many times you rip off sub-eleven second ¼ miles, it never gets old. This 911 Turbo S can do it in 10.8-seconds at 129 miles-per-hour.
After coming down from that adrenaline high, you can appreciate that all of this happens because of the 580-horsepower and 516 lb-ft. of torque that pours from the 3.8-liter twin-turbo flat-6. Last year saw new turbos added, as well as a Dynamic Boost function that maintains boost pressure even when you ease off the throttle, or when the 7-speed PDK triggers a shift.
Amazing brakes are nothing new to 911s or Porsches in general, but the way these 6–piston calipers grab the ceramic brake discs that are standard on the S is truly epic. Stops from 60 take just 90-feet.
Running through a simple slalom course at our drag strip, is truly no test for this 911; but you do get a small taste of the insane grip, sharp turn-ins, and ultra-flat handling that the Turbo S has to offer. Does the fabric roof overhead compromise anything? Perhaps, but not that we could tell here.
And we all know the Turbo S is no one trick pony; once you’re done seeking low e.t.’s, or slicing up the slalom like a Ginsu knife, it’s just as rewarding heading to your favorite far off place.
Seeing 911s on the road is not exactly a rare occasion; yet our Guards Red Cabriolet still garnered its fair share of attention. People may not always know why, but they can sense there’s just something special about this 911.
Top or no top, the look is all classic Porsche; round headlights, smooth body, wide hips, the whole package. This Turbo S of course, rides on 20-inch center-lock wheels.
Not surprisingly, top operation is as speedy and efficient as the rest of the car.
Sitting inside, everything just feels right, with all of the important stuff falling readily to hand.
The up-sweeping center console still hosts plenty of physical buttons. Meanwhile, Porsche’s touchscreen interface has steadily improved…it’s now quite intuitive.
Seats have a “business first” feel, with that business being keeping you in place at high speeds on a road course; yet they are plenty comfortable for leisurely-long drives through the countryside.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are not painful at all for a car with this much performance; 19-City, 24-Highway, and 21-Combined. We averaged 22.1 miles-per-gallon of Premium. So that’s an only slightly worse than average Energy Impact Score of 15.7-barrels of yearly oil use, with CO2 emissions of 7.1-tons.
And then of course there’s the matter of pricing. While the 911 Turbo starts at $162,850, stepping up to the 580 horse S Cabriolet will cost you $204,050.
But, be still that racing heart, as you can get the 911 Carrera Cabriolet…with only 420 horsepower…for about half that.
Still, the 2018 Porsche 911 Turbo S remains our aspirational vehicle, and it has managed to stay relevant despite a new upstart supercar arriving almost weekly. There’s still nothing else on the road quite like it.
- Engine: 3.8 liter
- Horsepower: 580
- Torque: 516 lb-ft.
- 0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds
- 1/4 mile: 10.8 seconds @ 129 mph
- EPA: 19 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 15.7 barrel of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 7.1 tons/yr
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Crossed Up Corolla Gets More Efficient
Toyota offers a hybrid powertrain in just about everything they make, so it did seem odd that last year, when they debuted an all-new SUV version of their long-time best-selling Corolla, a hybrid was nowhere to be found. Well, it didn’t take long for Toyota to correct that situation, delivering this Corolla Cross Hybrid for 2023.
With prices for everything seemingly going up daily, we can all use a little more cost efficiency in our lives. That’s a mission that Toyota has been undertaking for some time now and continues to do it with this 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.
The Alabama-built Corolla Cross arrived just last year as Toyota’s attempt to bring their best-selling nameplate into the SUV era, and give them an additional entry into the most popular automotive segment going right now, small crossovers.
There are some RAV4 styling cues here, but the Corolla Cross is mostly its own deal, and the Hybrid is more than just a fuel efficient option, it has added performance too. So, it’s offered only in Toyota’s S line of trims S, SE, and XSE, where the standard Corolla Cross is available in base L, LE, and XLE.
There are some differences outside, most notably unique front and rear fasicas; the front with a much more aggressive look, with larger grille and blacked-out trim.
Black trim and logos in back too, along with a redesigned bumper; plus, you can optionally go 2-tone by adding black paint to the roof.
Great packaging has it feeling roomier inside than most small 5-seat utes, straddling the line between subcompact and compact. And seats are way more comfortable than your typical urban-minded utility.
In fact, the entire interior feels quite upscale, and the layout will be very familiar to those stepping up from an actual Corolla.
Those who put off buying a Corolla Cross until now will be rewarded with upgraded infotainment, as all Hybrid’s will come with Toyota’s latest 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard.
The Hybrid’s small battery is located under the rear seat, so there’s minimal loss of rom, with a good 21.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space available; expanding to 61.8 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s fuel-sipping ways are courtesy of the 5th generation of Toyota’s Hybrid System which outputs a combined 196-horsepower through its trio of electric motors and naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. One of those motors operating strictly the rear axle for standard all-wheel-drive.
At our test track, there was a nice little chirp of the tires off the line, but that’s where the excitement ended.
So while a 7.5-second trip to 60 may not raise your blood pressure, it’s a full 3-seconds quicker than the standard Corolla Cross we tested last year. We’ll take that!
CVT automatic means engine revs and engine noise both hang relatively high throughout the whole ¼-mile, which took us 15.6-seconds to complete, finishing at a reasonable 90 miles-per-hour.
The Hybrid also gets a “sport-tuned” suspension, and indeed it felt light and nimble through our cone course, very neutral too, with no noticeable understeer or oversteer. Steering was light but still provided good feedback. With some grippier tires, this would certainly give the best handlers in the segment a run for their money.
But the real reward comes in Government Fuel Economy Ratings which are 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined. We averaged a great 43.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular; that’s a 40% increase over the 30.9 miles-per-gallon we averaged in the standard Corolla Cross last year.
But, that does come at a cost, though it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with separate trim families, but pricing starts at $29,320 for the Hybrid, about 3-grand over a base all-wheel-drive non-hybrid. Top XSE comes in at $32,400.
As influential as Toyota is in spreading the hybrid doctrine, it was indeed odd that the Corolla Cross arrived last year without a hybrid option. Smartly, it didn’t take them long to right that wrong, as it was always part of the plan, and the Corolla Cross has benefitted from it greatly. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is not just more efficient, it’s more capable, and a much better small utility all around.
- Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 196
- 0-60 mph: 7.5-seconds
- MW Fuel Economy: 43.3 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: e-CVT
- Torque: 139 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined