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Special edition of Subaru's 'Launch Control' details building of Travis Pastrana's 2020 STI

The specialized car delivers over 800 horsepower.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

A new two-part miniseries details the building process of the wildest Subaru ever constructed. The multi-episode arc is the capstone of Season 8 of the award-winning "Launch Control" documentary series and is entitled "Road to Gymkhana".

In May 2020, Subaru made the announcement that it was returning to Ken Block's popular "Gymkhana" video series with Travis Pastrana behind the wheel of a specially configured Subaru. It wouldn't be Pastrana's first trip around the "Ghymkana" block. The five-time U.S. rally champion, freestyle motocross pioneer, action sports icon and stunt expert has made cameo appearances in the fifth and tenth installments of the series.

"Launch Control" features "Road to Gymkhana" miniseries

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

According to a release, the episodes break down as follows:

"The miniseries' first episode picks up on a challenging Day 1 of the Annapolis shoot and tells the story of the early build in a series of flashbacks—from initial planning and design in the shadow of early COVID-19 lockdowns, to the challenge of transforming a production Subaru shell into a high-flying Gymkhana machine, including the development of a custom 862-horsepower Subaru Boxer engine for the project.

"Episode 2 covers the remaining three days of the shoot as Pastrana and the Subaru Motorsports USA team deliver more of the video's signature stunts—including the high-speed country road jump, the dock-edge slide, and tandem donuts with a cameo from teammate Scott Speed—while delving deeper into advanced aerodynamics and the high level of detail needed to complete the build."

For Pastrana's WRX STI, Subaru paired with Vermont SportsCar to push a production-based sedan to the limit of what was possible. The exterior of the car features a cabin body with a "wildly aggressive" wind tunnel-proven aero package. Its custom-made Subaru boxer engine sits under the hood. It also has a flame-spitting hood exit exhaust, long travel suspension, and a race-ready interior built to Pastrana's specs. It rides on Method wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan tires.

"Gymkhana 2020 was my chance to take the series in a direction no one had seen before, and Road to Gymkhana is beyond anything fans have seen from Launch Control," said Pastrana. "The level of engineering that went into building this crazy STI, and the effort from the Subaru team to make it happen, especially with everything 2020 threw at us, it was just massive."

The award-winning "Launch Control" documentary series returned December 2 for its eighth season. The show airs on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. Season 8 picks up where Season 7 left off with the Subaru team having just won the rally and rallycross championships but the future of the team is uncertain with drivers changing and COVID-19 taking hold.

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New sports car

2022 Subaru BRZ pricing announced

The BRZ is all-new for 2022.

Subaru

Earlier this year, Subaru announced the all-new BRZ sports car, which is coming this fall to replace the previous generation of the car that was discontinued in 2020. It, along with its Toyota cousin, the 86, get more power, updated interiors, and better technology than their predecessors.

The BRZ Premium is the base trim of the car. It starts at $28,955 after destination. Adding an automatic transmission drives the price up by $1,600 to $30,555. The BRZ Limited starts at $31,455 after destination, which shifts to $33,255 with an automatic transmission.


2022 Subaru BRZ The BRZ's compact size and manual transmission make it enthusiast friendly.


The 2022 BRZ gets a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder Boxer engine that produces 228 horsepower. Part of the appeal of small, sporty cars like BRZ is that they are infinitely more fun to drive than larger, more computerized vehicles. To that end, the car comes standard with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission. Buyers can opt to swap in a six-speed automatic transmission, but that almost defeats the point of the car. A Torsen limited-slip differential, vehicle stability control with track mode, and 17-inch wheels round out the car's standard performance features.

Inside, the BRZ comes with an 8-inch touchscreen that runs Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM radio, and dual-zone automatic climate controls. A new gauge cluster display can show amps, coolant temperatures, or the car's lateral g-forces, and when track mode is engaged, the tachometer shifts from a circular to a color linear graph.


2022 Subaru BRZ An updated interior and tech are highlights of the new BRZ,

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The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition is a fresh addition to the company's lineup.

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

Double takes aren't always good. In a curious twist, Toyota has decided to give its Highlander SUV bronze accents as part of a special edition model for 2022. The 2022 Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition will be positioned between the Hybrid XLE and Hybrid Limited in the company's lineup.

Each 2022 Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition gets bronze-colored accents on the exterior and interior, including 18-inch bronze wheels, bronze interior stitching, illuminated bronze door sills, and SofTex-trimmed seats with a fabric insert and bronze stitching. The SUVs also have unique floor and cargo mats.

Toyota will offer the new model with either a Cement or Wind Chill Pearl paint job.

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition

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

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The new three-row SUV builds on the Highlander Hybrid XLE and is available in front- or all-wheel drive. It has the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine and two electric motors as other Highlander Hybrids. It gets an EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined.

It gets hands-free power lift gate, rain-sensing wipers, a digital rearview mirror, 1500-watt power outlet, puddle lamps with the Highlander logo, in-dash ambient lighting, driver seat memory, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, and LED daytime running lights.

Some of the model's equipment is part of revisions to the Highlander product line for 2022 including a height/tilt power-adjustable passenger seat. For 2022, that feature will be standard on Highlander XLE and above trim levels.

Every new Highlander comes standard with Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty. A 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty is also standard. Highlander Hybrid models have their hybrid components covered by a eight-year/100,000-mile warranty and the hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles. The battery warranty is transferrable between owners.

The 2022 Highlander Bronze Edition also comes with ToyotaCare, which covers normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and two years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage.

Pricing for the new SUV has yet to be announced.

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