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New MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition takes inspiration from 1964 Monte Carlo Rally

The new MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition is named after a famed Irish rally driver.

Photo courtesy of MINI

Down country roads, up mountains passes, through ice and snow, and around tight corners. The 1964 Monte Carlo Rally was the stuff of legends - a David versus Goliath story - and its winner surprised most everyone. Irish rally driver Patrick "Paddy" Hopkirk and his English co-pilot Henry Liddon took home the winner's trophy in a MINI Cooper S.

Overnight, Hopkirk became the U.K.'s most famous rally driver. The MINI too made a transformation becoming known as both rally and on-road competent. It was the brand recognition still automakers dream of when they enter their models in rally across the world, like the annual Rebelle Rally in the U.S., which was won by a Rolls-Royce Cullinan last year.

Paddy Hopkirk poses with the trophy he won at the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally next to the car bearing his name.Photo courtesy of MINI

It's been 56 years since that victory. MINI will commemorate the win this year with the 2021 MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition. Based on the Mini Cooper S Hardtop 2 Door model, the special edition will have features inspired by the rally-winning Mini.

The modifications for the special edition start at the roof where it wears a white paint job then moves down to the body of the vehicle, which is painted in Chili Red. The rig rides on 17-inch John Cooper Works light-alloy wheels that feature a Track Spoke Black design. The frame and horizontal brace of the radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black, as are the inserts for the lower air intakes, the opening in the hood, the door handles, the fuel filler flap, the tailgate handle, the MINI logos at the front and rear as well as the surrounds for the headlights and rear lights.

The side scuttles wear the number 37, just as Hopkirk's MINI did during its race. In a modern twist, the car adds LED headlights and Union Jack embellished taillights to the mix.

2021 MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition

2021 MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition

Photo courtesy of MINI

Hopkirk's name is shown throughout the model. There are tickers with the inscription "Paddy Hopkirk Monte Carlo". A single white hood stripe on the driver's side, which like the tailgate and decorative trim strip on the passenger side of the edition model, bears the signature of the 1964 "Monte" winner. MINI LED entry sills bearing the name "Paddy Hopkirk".

Additionally, the number and letter combination 33 EJB of the license plate of the 1964 Monte Carlo winning car is shown on the bonnet strip using 3D effect graphics.

The MINI Excitement Package and Comfort Access are also included in the MINI Paddy Hopkirk Edition, which will be available at U.S. dealerships in November. Pricing has yet to be announced.

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New hot hatch

This is the 2023 Toyota GR Corolla

The GR Corolla is headed for our shores later this year.

Toyota

Car enthusiasts in the United States frequently have to watch as automakers release wild performance cars, particularly hatchbacks and wagons, that we can't get. Surprisingly, it's Toyota that is here to save us all. The automaker's GR Yaris hatchback made waves in global markets when it landed a couple years ago, and now it's bringing a beefed-up GR Corolla to the U.S. that will get many of that car's rally-inspired go-fast bits.

Two trims will be available at launch. The "entry-level" model is the Core trim, which comes later in 2022. In 2023, Toyota will release a limited Circuit Edition that gets upgraded performance components and a nicer interior.

The Corolla hot hatch shares its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with the GR Yaris, but in the Corolla it got a bump to 300 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The car comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and Toyota's GR-Four AWD system. The driver can change the GR's power distribution to suit the situation and driving style. The system can send up to 70 percent of power to the rear.

2023 Toyota GR CorollaThe GR Corolla gets a turbocharged three-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive.

Though it's based on the standard car, the GR Corolla is wider than its counterpart, and features more weld points for better structural rigidity. Toyota says it used extensive structural adhesive throughout as well, which should further improve handling. The car rides on 18-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires standard.

The GR's interior features a driver-oriented setup with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a short-throw shifter positioned for easy reach by the driver. The Core trim comes with cloth upholstery and the Circuit Edition gets suede and synthetic leather. Both models offer sport seats with GR logos and the Circuit Edition brings heating for the front buckets.

Toyota will offer three packages to upgrade the Core Edition:

  • Performance package: front and rear Torsen limited slip differentials (LSD)
  • Technology package : JBL premium audio, navigation, and wireless smartphone charging
  • Cold Weather package: Heated front seats and heated steering wheel

2023 Toyota GR CorollaA six-speed manual transmission is the only option. Toyota

Toyota hasn't given out pricing details for the GR Corolla, but we should learn more soon. The Core trim is due out later this year and the Circuit Edition will be sold as a 2023 model year exclusive for the car's first year on sale.

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The event takes place across a 1,000-km desert route.

Performance Communications

Off-road racing events are gaining popularity, but as with other aspects of motorsport, women are generally underrepresented. Following the lead of Rebelle Rally, an all-women American event, a new navigation rally will take place next week in Saudi Arabia. Rally Jameel will run see competitors running between 300 and 500 kilometers a day in hopes of achieving navigational excellence in the Saudi desert.

The event is scheduled to take place between March 17 and March 19, and will feature 33 two-person teams from around the world. Seven of the competitors are from the United States, but all of the competing women will be faced with a 1,000-kilometer race route that runs from Ha'il to Riyadh.

Rally Jameel33 two-person teams will compete.Performance Communications

Competitors will field a variety of AWD and 4WD vehicles, including models from Toyota, Lexus, and Porsche. The idea is that the vehicles should be normal, everyday models, instead of purpose-built off-road racers. Rather than speed, the event prioritizes navigational precision. Participants can use navigation tech and a digital road book, and must focus on their routes to achieve the best timing.

Rally Jameel takes inspiration from the Rebelle Rally, the first women's off-road navigation rally in the U.S. Rebelle organizers blessed the Saudi Arabia-based event, and Jameel will see at least one competitor that competed in the event, Sedona Blinson. Abdul Latif Jameel Motors, a Toyota Saudi Arabia dealership, initiated the event, along with Bakhashab Motorsport.

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