On this week's Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Green Editor John Beltz Snyder and Associate Editor Reese Counts. We talk about driving the updated, turbocharged 2018 Mazda6, 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo 4S Sport Turismo and the 2018 Nissan Titan S 4x4 King Cab. We also discuss aftermarket parts for the Chevy Colorado, pick our favorite 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels and, as always, help a listener buy a new car in our "Spend My Money" segment. Autoblog Podcast #541 Your browser does not support the audio element. Get The Podcast
The current F30 generation BMW 3 Series is nearing the end of its life. BMW's smallest sedan debuted in late 2011. Since then, both the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4 have undergone a full redesign. The same goes for the 3 Series larger siblings, the 5 Series and 7 Series sedans. It appears a new model is on the way, and our spy photographer caught it undergoing winter testing with a very eclectic group of friends.
We caught a glimpse of the new BMW M3 late last year. As much as we enjoy the hopped up variant, it's not going to be the model's volume seller. Compared to that car, the regular 3 Series appears to sit slightly higher. These photos may show the all-wheel drive xDrive model. Those tend to sit slightly higher than their rear-wheel drive siblings. The fenders are more narrow and the bumpers are less aggressive. Still, with the split grille and now instantly recognizable lighting, it's obvious what's resting under the camouflage.
Subaru now claims to have the fastest sedan to circle the Nurburgring. Its (deep breath) WRX STI Type RA NBR Special finished a lap of the famed German racetrack in an incredibly fast 6:57.5. That's just half a second behind the Porsche 918 Spyder hypercar.
Of course, this WRX STI is a specially-built racecar, a rather distant cousin of the WRX STI Type RA production car that takes its name from this race car. The Type RA NBR Special is an upgraded version of the car Subaru took to the Isle of Man time trial last year, where it broke Subaru's old record. The car was built by Prodrive, and it features a 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four made for rally use. It now makes over 600 horsepower at 8,500 rpm, which is 50 more than it made last year.