Factory matte black Ferrari Enzo heads to auction

Factory matte black Ferrari Enzo heads to auction

The only Ferrari Enzo delivered from the factory in matte black is headed to auction with RM Sotheby’s. It’s scheduled to cross the block at the auction house’s Sassuolo, Italy, sale, running December 5-7.

Matte black was not a standard color for the Enzo, but of the 400 cars completed, 20 were “Extracampionario” cars finished in custom colors like Bianco Avus white. Part of the latter group, this car—chassis number 136069—was commissioned by a member of the royal family of Brunei, according to the auction listing.

2004 Ferrari Enzo (photo via RM Sotheby's)

2004 Ferrari Enzo (photo via RM Sotheby’s)

Over decades, the Sultan of Brunei and his family assembled a vast car collection that once numbered over 5,000 cars. Many of these cars were customized. For example, the Sultan ordered up a Jaguar XJ220 with unique bodywork by Italian design house Pininfarina. Compared to that, a one-off paint job was a relatively easy request to accommodate.

The build of the matte black Enzo started Jun. 8, 2004, and the car was completed on Oct. 15 with black leather upholstery and carpets to match the exterior. It was kept at the Brunei royal family’s London residence for a time before being brought over to the Asia-Pacific region, according to the auction listing.

2004 Ferrari Enzo (photo via RM Sotheby's)

2004 Ferrari Enzo (photo via RM Sotheby’s)

The car recently underwent a cosmetic restoration by Carrozzeria Zanasi, the official paint shop for Ferrari’s Tailor-Made personalized cars and Icona one-offs. Totaling over 110,000 euros (about $113,000 at current exchange rates), the work included a full repaint, replacement of headlights, taillights, and engine-cover glass, and replacement of some interior switchgear that can get sticky with age.

The Enzo was Ferrari’s flagship supercar of the early 2000s, picking up where the F40 and F50 left off. It was also the last of these Ferrari flagships to have a naturally aspirated, non-electrified V-12, in this case a 6.0-liter engine producing 650 hp and 485 lb-ft of torque. The Enzo’s successor, the LaFerrari, introduced hybrid power, and that will likely continue with an apparent LaFerrari successor we’ve spotted testing.

Review: 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T makes performance simple

Review: 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T makes performance simple

Enthusiasts who don’t want to spend $140,000 on a Porsche 911 can rejoice because the 911 Carrera T is back for 2023. Its build configurator is simple, its packaging is delightfully pure, and at $118,050 (including destination) it borders on reasonably priced. Well, for a 911.

After an afternoon with the 2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T on the winding roads of Angeles Crest National Forest just outside Los Angeles, I can say this is all the 911 the purist needs (though, the 911 Dakar speaks to me), and it makes sense in all the ways enthusiasts claim they care about.

Monte Carlo Rally 1968: Vic Elford and David Stone in a Porsche 911 T 2.0 Coupe

Monte Carlo Rally 1968: Vic Elford and David Stone in a Porsche 911 T 2.0 Coupe

History lesson

The origin of the 911 Carrera T dates back to the 37th running of the Monte Carlo rally in 1968. The T, which meant Touring and still does, not only made its debut, but won the race.

The concept back in 1968 was the same as it is today: make it lighter, and make it fun.

It took 50 years for the T to return in 2017 with the 991.2-generation 2018 911 Carrera T. Porsche muddied the waters with that model by offering certain options that people didn’t choose.

Since then, the T lineup has been expanded. In 2018, the 718 Boxster T and Cayman T arrived. Earlier in 2022, the 2023 the Macan T came into reality.

Now, the 911 Carrera T has returned. I’m damn glad it has.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

The best bits

The 911 Carrera T starts life as a base 911 with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter flat-6 rated at 379 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque. Then it starts grabbing upgrades from the 911 S’s bin.

In a world of 572-hp 911 monsters, the base car’s power output might not seem like a lot, but it’s more than enough to land yourself in jail. Disclaimer: I didn’t land in jail.

After a hot second and about 2,000 rpm the two small turbos kick in and the 911 slingshots forward with linear power delivery all the way to its 7,000-rpm redline.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

The flat-6 sings through a gloss-black tailpipes attached to a sport exhaust system with active baffles. Hit the toggle switch on the dashboard to open those valves. Your ears will thank me as they take in the flat-6’s mid-range symphony. That soundtrack is louder than in a base or Carrera S due to less sound deadener and thinner, lightweight glass. After hours of wringing out the flat-6, neither I nor my drive partner had a complaint.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

The T comes standard with three pedals (rejoice!). The 7-speed manual transmission is not available on the base 911 and comes as an option on the Carrera S, so the T is the most affordable way to get a manual 911. Porsche even shortened the shifter by 0.4 inch to make it more comfortable to shift, not that I really noticed the delightful shifter’s shorter height.

Porsche spokesperson Luke Vandezande told Motor Authority the last-generation Carrera T had a 70% manual transmission take rate, which was one of the highest both in the U.S. and globally. For those who hate fun, live their lives by the tenths of a second it can save in the 0-60 mph run, and don’t want to #GiveAShift, a quick-shifting 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is a no-cost option.

The T isn’t the quickest 911, but does it really matter? It still hits 60 mph from a stop in just 4.3 seconds with the manual transmission (3.8 seconds with the dual-clutch) and reaches a top speed of 181 mph.

A limited-slip rear differential with torque vectoring capability ripped from the Carrera S is standard. It’s not available on a base 911, and it helps put the power down in a stable fashion while ripping around canyon roads.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

The rear-wheel-steering system from the Carrera S can be optioned, but my test car wasn’t fitted with it. While a nice upgrade, it’s not necessary as the car rotates quite well without it, and I wouldn’t spend the money.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

Porsche’s carbon-ceramic brakes aren’t available on the latest generation Carrera T despite making an optional appearance on the last-gen model. The reason? The take rate was only 10%. The people have spoken. Besides, the Carrera T is a street-oriented 911, not some GT3 race car. The standard steel brakes never smoked, faded, or even smelled after I spent hours thrashing them at speed up and down the canyon roads.

Porsche throws its PASM sport suspension, which includes adjustable dampers and a 0.4-inch lower ride height, onto the T, and the dampers adjust at the touch of a toggle. While I left them in their softer setting, my drive partner opted for Sport mode. Both settings control body motions without ever becoming too firm or jittery. Angeles Crest’s pavement can undulate in sections, which unsettles less composed suspensions, but the Carrera T just soaked up the road’s unseen imperfections with aplomb regardless of mode. It may be a great canyon cruiser, but the 911 Carrera T feels comfortable enough for a cross-country road trip.

Porsche’s electric-assist power steering is among the best in the business, and the Carrera T’s is no different. Unchanged from the base 911, the precise and direct steering communicates what’s going on at the wheels well through the steering wheel. My fingertips could sense when the rubber was starting to reach the edge of its adhesion. My test car was fitted with the $280 Power Steering Plus option, which makes the steering lighter at slower speeds. I wouldn’t spend the money on this option as it artificially boosts the steering assist and doesn’t feel natural in a parking garage. Plus, why pay $280 to skip arm day?

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

Visual giveaways

Despite the lack of a big wing and prominent vents, the Carrera T isn’t hard to pick out in a parking lot full of 911s.

It features a 911 Carrera T graphic along the lower portion of the doors and a badge on the rear end. The mirror housings are a contrasting Agate Grey color, which would drive me crazy as dark colors attract rock chips (probably should cover those in a PPF clear shield). The staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels are painted Titanium Grey and sport 245/35 and 305/30 rubber in the form of grippy Pirelli P Zero tires.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

Inside, the dead giveaway this isn’t a base 911 is the lack of a rear seat. The rear seat delete is standard, though the 2+2 configuration can be added back as a no-cost option. Cutting the rear seat saves 17.6 pounds.

Even the battery is a smaller and lighter unit. It’s that kind of attention to detail the Carrera T aims for and delivers in its pursuit of putting the perfect package together for enthusiasts.

The standard Sport Chrono Package, which is an option on the Carrera S, adds additional drive modes, a drive mode selector to the steering wheel, an analog and digital clock to the center of the dashboard, and active engine mounts.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

Porsche swaps in a GT Sport steering wheel that feels natural in the hands and sports a classic look. It’s the perfect diameter, not too small, not too big, but just right. While 18-way adaptive sport seats or light-weight fixed-back carbon-fiber bucket seats are available (I recommend buyers make sure they can get comfortable in the carbon buckets before ordering), my tester featured the T’s standard 4-way power seats with extra firm padding. The seats are finished in an almost mesh-like cloth material Porsche calls Sport-Tex that looks and feels great. With power height and back adjustments and manual fore and aft adjustments, these seats feel like a throwback to simpler times, and they are supportive and comfortable to boot.

The shiny piano black center console inlays will surely attract scratches in the early days of ownership.

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

2023 Porsche 911 Carrera T

Enthusiasts for Touring

All in, the Carrera T is 100 pounds lighter than the base 911, though few, if any, drivers will be able to notice the difference. Enthusiasts will notice, however, that the best bits from the Carrera S (some of which aren’t even standard on that model) come as standard or optional on the T.

With the return of the 911 Carrera T, Porsche has packaged a sports car that makes performance, and enthusiast options, simple to obtain. It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s a value in 911 land. It may be about saving money, but I’d personally recommend ponying up $11,430 for my tester’s Paint to Sample Gulf Blue paint. Chef’s kiss.

Porsche provided access to a 2023 911 Carrera T for an afternoon on great roads for Motor Authority to bring you this firsthand report.

2023 Buick Electra E5 spy shots

2023 Buick Electra E5 spy shots

Buick’s mystery electric crossover that was recently spotted testing has been confirmed as the Chinese-market Electra E5.

The first photos and details on the electric crossover recently surfaced on the website of the China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and have since been republished on popular Chinese automotive website Autohome.

According to information from the Chinese government website, the Electra E5 measures 192 inches long, making it similar in length to the upcoming 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV, which measures 190 inches long. The most potent version will have approximately 240 hp and be capable of reaching a top speed of 112 mph.

2023 Buick Electra E5 - Photo credit: Autohome

2023 Buick Electra E5 – Photo credit: Autohome

2023 Buick Electra E5 - Photo credit: Autohome

2023 Buick Electra E5 – Photo credit: Autohome

It’s possible the Electra E5 will also ride on GM’s Ultium EV platform, like the Equinox EV.

There’s nothing remarkable about the design apart from headlights that are similar to the design featured on Buick’s Electra-X concept unveiled earlier this year. At the rear, the taillights feature three vertical elements that mimic Buick’s Tri-Shield logo.

The Electra-X concept introduced a design language marked by clean, futuristic lines and light, airy interiors, according to the automaker. It also specifically previewed EVs bound for China, Buick’s biggest market, meaning the Electra E5 is unlikely to end up in the U.S.

Buick Electra-X concept

Buick Electra-X concept

Buick has confirmed two Ultium-based EVs will be in U.S. showrooms by the end of 2023, both of them SUVs. One will have conventional proportions, while the other will have a more coupe-like profile. The U.S. EVs, which may be called Electra and Electra GS, respectively, will feature styling more like Buick’s Wildcat EV concept unveiled earlier this year.

Look for the Electra E5 to make its formal debut in 2023 as well. It will likely be followed by several more Electra-badged EVs in China as Buick has trademarks for “Electra E1” through “Electra E9,” pointing to a whole family of them.

The Electra name was a fixture in Buick’s lineup for decades. It first appeared for the 1959 model year and lasted until 1990.

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale goes plug-in hybrid only in US

2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale goes plug-in hybrid only in US

The 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale will be offered exclusively with a plug-in hybrid powertrain in the U.S. when it finally goes on sale here early next year.

The information was confirmed to Automotive News (subscription required) last week by Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.

The handsome compact crossover was revealed in February with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 and a plug-in hybrid system consisting of a 1.3-liter turbo-4 for the front wheels and an electric motor for the rear wheels.

A company spokesperson told Automotive News the reason to drop the 2.0-liter engine was a need to reduce CO2 emissions, especially in the states that follow the strict emissions rules pioneered by California. The addition of the plug-in hybrid Tonale will help Alfa Romeo reduce its average emissions by 40%, Imparato said.

Jean-Philippe Imparato

Jean-Philippe Imparato

The plug-in hybrid is the more potent powertrain. It delivers a combined 272 hp versus 256 hp from the 2.0-liter engine.

Going with an electrified-only Tonale family will also help customers adjust as Alfa Romeo prepares to go the full-electric route as soon as 2026.

U.S. buyers still keen on the 2.0-liter engine will find it in the related 2023 Dodge Hornet, which arrives in December. The Hornet and Tonale are twins under the skin, and even share a plant in Pomigliano, Italy.

While the 2.0-liter engine in the Hornet will match the Tonale’s original 256-hp rating, the plug-in hybrid setup will deliver 288 hp in the Hornet.

2023 Acura TLX starts at $40,745, adds free service

2023 Acura TLX starts at $40,745, adds free service

The 2023 Acura TLX enters the new model year with minimal changes, the most significant being newly standard AcuraLink telematics services.

Customers now get three years of these services free of charge, including Security and Remote packages. The Security package includes automatic collision notification, an emergency call function, enhanced roadside assistance, and an app to wipe personal data. The Remote package includes Amazon Alexa connectivity, remote engine start and vehicle locking/unlocking, a stolen vehicle locator, and a find-my-car function, among other features.

2023 Acura TLX Type S PMC Edition

2023 Acura TLX Type S PMC Edition

Acura also added a standard complimentary maintenance package for the first two years or 24,000 miles of the vehicle’s life span, whichever comes first. It covers oil and filter changes, tire rotations, and inspections, and is also transferrable to subsequent owners.

No other changes are expected, but the current-generation TLX only dates back to the 2021 model year, so it’s still fairly fresh. The standard version still uses a 2.0-liter turbo-4 making 272 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission with standard front-wheel drive or an optional Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.

2023 Acura TLX Type S PMC Edition

2023 Acura TLX Type S PMC Edition

The Acura TLX Type S continues with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 producing 355 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, with standard all-wheel drive. Acura in July announced a special PMC Edition of the TLX Type S, orders for which opened in October. The name comes from Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center, and as with previous PMC Editions, the TLX Type S PMC Edition gets special paint colors applied with the same tender love and care once reserved for the NSX supercar that was previously built there.

Pricing for the 2023 Acura TLX starts at $40,745 with destination. That’s up from about $39,000 at the start of the 2022 model year. The TLX Type S starts at $56,445, which is up from about $54,000, while the PMC Edition costs $63,995.

Porsche 911 Dakar, Genesis X Convertible concept, 2023 Toyota Prius: This Week’s Top Photos

Porsche 911 Dakar, Genesis X Convertible concept, 2023 Toyota Prius: This Week’s Top Photos

The lifted Porsche 911 Dakar finally made its debut at the 2022 Los Angeles auto show. With a raised ride height, all-terrain tires, and a price of $223,450, it just might be the coolest production car Porsche will make next year. Unfortunately, only 2,500 Dakars will be made for 2023.

Delivery of the final Lamborghini Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae coupe - Nov. 2022

Delivery of the final Lamborghini Aventador LP 780-4 Ultimae coupe – Nov. 2022

Lamborghini delivered the final Aventador coupe. Marking the end of an era, the naturally-aspirated V-12 engine will be discontinued as the supercar automaker ushers in the electrified era.

2023 Toyota Prius

2023 Toyota Prius

The 2023 Toyota Prius made its debut at the Los Angeles auto show. With a shockingly sharp design, 194 hp (up from 121 hp), and an estimated 57 mpg combined, the new Prius might be both efficient and desirable.

New Fiat 500e

New Fiat 500e

In a surprise twist of fate, the Fiat 500e returns to the U.S. in 2024 as a pure EV. The first-generation 500e was a riot to drive, but Fiat Chrysler Automobiles lost money on each one sold. Here’s hoping the new 500e is just as fun to drive as the first model.

2024 Subaru Impreza

2024 Subaru Impreza

The 2024 Subaru Impreza debuted with large changes to the lineup: the sedan is dead. When the 2024 Impreza goes on sale in the spring of 2023 it will only be available in hatchback form, and a new sportier RS model joins the next-generation lineup.

Genesis X Convertible concept

Genesis X Convertible concept

The Genesis X Convertible concept kicked off the auto show festivities and made the case for a sexy electric grand tourer. While only a concept, the design of the X Convertible looks nearly production ready.