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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

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 AWD performance car

The Subaru WRX is all-new for 2022

The new WRX's body cladding is already stirring up controversy.

Subaru

The Subaru WRX is a rally-bred performance car that offers a unique mix of rowdy all-wheel drive fun, a value price, and youthful styling. The car is long overdue for an update, though, and Subaru is doing just that for the 2022 model year. The fifth-generation WRX is all-new, and features a more powerful engine, along with several go-fast upgrades.

2022 Subaru WRX Both a manual and an automatic transmission will be offered.Subaru

A new GT trim joins the WRX lineup for 2022. It features a new automatic transmission, adaptive dampers, and drive mode selections. With various customization options available to the driver, the system offers up to 430 different settings combinations. The GT's interior adds Recaro seats wrapped in Ultrasuede with red stitching. The GT also gets exclusive 18-inch wheels.

Though still a Boxer engine, the 2022 WRX's powerplant is new and more powerful than before. It delivers 271 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, as well as a broader torque curve. Subaru says that the larger engine plus an electronically controlled turbo wastegate and air bypass valves improve responsiveness and acceleration.

2022 Subaru WRX A larger 11.6-inch infotainment screen is on board. Subaru

All WRX models come with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel drive system and active torque vectoring, which can shift power to individual wheels that need the most traction. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a new Subaru Performance Transmission is available, which features faster shifts and other features to improve performance.

The 2022 WRX also gets a tech upgrade that brings a large 11.6-inch tablet-style touchscreen. It runs Subaru Starlink infotainment, handles HVAC and vehicle controls, and offers split-screen functionality for two apps to run simultaneously. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and HD radio. An upgraded version of the system also offers navigation with three years of free map updates.

2022 Subaru WRX Subaru will offer a new GT trim with upgraded suspension and finishes.Subaru

As it has done with many of its other vehicles, Subaru is equipping every WRX with its EyeSight suite of advanced driver aids. The packge includes lane departure prevention, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and more. A new available automatic emergency steering system works with the car's pre-collision braking feature to help avoid collisions at speeds under 50 mph.

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The 2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade is a fresh edition for the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

One of Toyota's most efficient cars is getting the blackout treatment. Like other Nightshade editions Toyota puts out, the 2022 Prius Nightshade has all the requisite black accents while maintaining its heralded powertrain.

The 2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade is available in front- and all-wheel drive. Buyers can add the treatment to Prius L Eco, LE, LE AWD-e, XLE, XLE AWD-e and Limited grades. It comes in the buyer's choice of Midnight Black Metallic, Super White, or Silver Metallic paint job. Front-wheel drive models ride on standard 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels while AWD-e cars get 15-inchers with black insert and lug nuts.

The exterior of the car also gets black headlight accents, mirror caps, door handles, color keyed rear deck spoiler and shark fin antenna.

2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

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Each of the models is powered by the Prius's 1.8-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, which is paired with two electric motors. A continuously variable transmission is standard. All-wheel drive models get an EPA-estimated 51 mpg in the city, 47 mpg on the highway, and 49 mpg combined. Front-wheel drive versions do a slightly better 54 mpg in the city, 50 mpg on the highway, and 52 mpg combined.

Inside there are standard SofTex-trimmed trimmed, heated, power adjustable front seats and a SofTex-trimmed heated steering wheel and semi-gloss black center console. A 7-inch infotainment touch screen is standard, as is a six-speaker JBL sound system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa come on every model, as are an auxiliary jack, three USB ports, a wireless phone charger, and one 12-volt outlet.

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard and includes a pre-collision system with low-light pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, bicyclist detection, lane departure alert, automatic high beams, and road sign assist.

All Prius models come with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Toyota's hybrid battery warranty is for 10 years or 150,000 miles from the vehicle's in-service date, whichever occurs first. The hybrid system warranty is for eight years or 100,000 miles from the vehicle's in-service date.

This latest member of the Nightshade family means that there are 11 Nightshade editions in Toyota's stable. The Prius is the first hybrid to get the treatment.

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