Virtual Car Show

WHM x AutomotiveMap Virtual Car Show: April 18, 2020

The McLaren 720S is known for being an engaging, athletic drive whether you're cruising on the highway or carving up the twists of Angels Crest Highway.

Photo courtesy of Post Oak Motors

This week's Virtual Car Show entries are as varied as America itself. From a vintage Chevy (or two) to a modern Ferrari there's something for everyone.

As you scroll down the page, you'll notice that at the end of this week's show, you have the opportunity to vote on the "Best in Show". Please do so. The winners will be announced on April 19 on AutomotiveMap's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds.

Click here to register your car for the next Virtual Car Show.

See all the Virtual Car Shows here.

2019 Ferrari 812 Superfast

Photo courtesy of Post Oak Motor Cars

This pony will roar. It's a 2019 Ferrari 812 Superfast with a 6.5-liter V12 engine that is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission and achieves 800 horsepower.

The car's Bianco Avus exterior is paired with a red interior and checks many options boxes. It has yellow brake calipers, a carbon fiber driver zone with LEDs, carbon fiber central bridge, colored inner details, colored safety belts, carbon fiber dashboard inserts, horse stitched on headrests, colored mats with logo, heat insulated windscreen, 'Scuderia Ferrari' shields, front and rear parking cameras, Daytona racing seats, and racing seat lifter.

It rides on 20-inch forged dark painted wheels. *chef's kiss*

The car is available for sale at Post Oak Motor Cars and has a price tag of $369,950.

2020 Porsche 911

2020 Porsche 911

Photo courtesy of Christian Brown

Why get a Porsche 911? "Because it's ... iconic," said the owner of this 2020 model, Houston, Texas resident Christian Brown.

The car was first introduced in September 1964 and has undergone continuous development while still holding true to its design heritage. A new, eighth generation of the car debuted in 2019 and given the 992 designation. It's available in an expanded number of varieties for the 2020 and 2021 model year including the 911 S Turbo, which is the fastest 911 to date.

1957 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery

Photo courtesy of Craig Bethscheider

Craig Bethscheider of Cypress, Texas traded for this 1957 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery in 2016, marking his 50th '57. The only thing he's updated since he purchased it is the drivetrain, which now features modern components.

The car was originally produced under the Chevrolet One-Fifty line and 1957 was its swan song. For '58, the One-Fifty lineup was replaced by the Delray.

2005 Chevrolet Corvette Z51

Photo courtesy of Craig Beecher

The LeMans Blue paint job is the key reason Craig Beecher owns this 2005 Chevrolet Corvette Z51. He said, " I hunted for this car, nation wide. It just popped up, 50 miles from me, one morning." He paid $18,000 for it in 2019.

Since purchase, Beecher has modified the car a bit. There's a new Borla back axle, Hurst shifter, and SLC cold air intake.

The car already came with the the Z51 package, which includes a stiffer suspension, larger brakes than the typical 'Vette, a six-speed manual transmission with shorter ratios, and a transmission-oil cooler. Legendary Car & Driver editor Csaba Csere was impressed with the car's performance with the added package, giving it high marks when it was new.

2018 McLaren 720S

Photo courtesy of Post Oak Motor Cars

In the words of Tim "The Toolman" Taylor, "More power!" This 2018 McLaren 720S has gotten the Hennessey Performance HPE900 Performance upgrade giving it 890 rwhp - up from the 710 bhp it comes with out of the factory.

Its already race-like prowess is further enhanced by the 720S Performance Package, MSO defined cargo fiber steering wheel, MSO defined carbon fiber steering wheel paddles, silver brake calipers, 5 twin-spoke lightweight forged wheels, HomeLink system, vehicle lift, secondary interior components in carbon fiber, power steering column, electric and heated memory seats, sports exhaust, and a 12-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system. It wears a Pearl White exterior and black interior.

The car is available for sale at Post Oak Motor Cars and has a price tag of $304,950.


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The 2020 Toyota Yaris punches above its weight.

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

Folks are always fascinated about what I do for a living. "Oh, you drive a different car every week? That's so exciting!"

What follows is a fairly predictable set of questions. "What's your favorite car?" (Rolls-Royce Wraith). "Have you ever driven on a race track?" (Numerous times.) "What's the fastest you've driven?" (180 MPH in a Porsche Panamera on the Autobahn in Germany.)

But then I'll start asking them questions, trying to learn about what they drive and why. What car do you have and why did you buy it? What other cars did you consider? What do you look for in an automobile?

2020 Toyota Yaris The Yaris has Toyota looks up front.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

It's my own form of market research. I can't review a car if I don't understand who my reader is and how to best guide them. It's part of why I don't dive too deep into horsepower and performance figures — I've found that, performance cars excepted, most vehicles perform adequately for the everyday tasks that people buy them for.

That brings us to this week's car, which is perhaps one of the least-interesting cars I've tested — but in a very good way. The sub-$20,000 2020 Toyota Yaris Hatchback is aimed solidly at folks who want an affordable, entry-level vehicle that's safe, practical, and with just a touch of luxury-ishness.

My tester was the (slightly) fancier XLE trim, pricing out at $19,680. It's equipped with an adequate if unexciting 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine churning out a whopping 106-horsepower. The engine might be tiny, but it comes with the added bonus of 32/40/35 mpg (city/highway/combined) fuel economy. It's paired to a six-speed automatic transmission (and a real transmission too, not a continuously variable unit that some folks love to hate).

2020 Toyota Yaris The hatchback is convenient but the car also comes in a sedan variant.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

It has 16-inch wheels, a bunch of airbags, LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a seven-inch color touch screen complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It has push-button start, keyless entry, and power windows, locks and mirrors. Oh, and there's automatic climate control too, which I've seen missing on cars that cost way more than this.

Here's where things get a bit confusing. Toyota sells the Yaris in other markets around the world, and it's their own in-house vehicle. But the Yaris sold in America is a rebadged Mazda2 that's assembled at Mazda's facility in Salamanca, Mexico. It's related to the Toyota Yaris sedan which used to be called the Scion iA, which is also built by Mazda, but also has the Toyota brand on it.

Whatever.

2020 Toyota Yaris The Yaris rides okay, about what you’d expect for a sub-$20,000 vehicle.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

I've driven a lot of Mazdas and a lot of Toyotas, and it's obvious to me that this is a Mazda. That's not a bad thing. Mazdas vehicles have punched above their weight for a long time (I had a 2011 Mazda3 for years, and I've praised them frequently in these pages), bringing both upscale materials and design to lower-priced segments. That's true here too. The Mazda2 — I mean, Toyota Yaris Hatchback — doesn't feel like a stripped down econobox. It's small and maneuverable and the engine, though a little noisy, gets you through traffic nicely.

It's a great new car for a teenager or for someone looking to spend as little money on a new car as possible. New cars, after all, come with new car warranties and can appeal to folks who don't want to imagine what came before when buying something used.

The Yaris competes with the Honda Fit, which is a perennial favorite in this class, and it seems a little nicer and a little more polished, though with less rear-seat legroom if you anticipate carrying adults back there.

2020 Toyota Yaris Even low-cost models have an infotainment screen these days.Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The front is comfortable and attractive enough, with solid buttons and knobs and dials that are all pleasing to touch and fiddle with (which isn't as common as you'd think). It seems to be a better car than it's bargain-basement price would indicate, with a solid ride, comfortable seats and two reliable names behind it.

I took it to Costco (as I have with all my COVID-era test drives) and, with the 60/40 seats folded down, was able to fill it with ease. It swallowed up toilet paper and paper towels and a case of Diet Dr. Pepper and all manner of other things. It's no Rolls-Royce Wraith, but I'd be happy to recommend the little Yaris to someone looking for a new car that won't break the bank.

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The 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback has debuted but Americans will have to wait around six months to get one.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The Audi Q5 Sportback takes the traditional dimensions of the Audi Q5 and shaves some off the back of the roof to creating a more sloping design. The result is a model that fits right into Audi's lineup.

At the front of the new all-wheel drive model is an octagonal Singleframe grille that is flanked by large air inlets. The car's headlights feature daytime running lights with the buyer's choice of LED or matrix-design LED technology. At the rear are taillights that feature OLED lighting technology split into three ties of six segments each.

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Like the roof, the car's windows taper as the design of the vehicle flows backward. Its rear bumper appears to be high-mounted.

Base Audi Q5 Sportback models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system to to deliver 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can upgrade to the 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

The SQ5 will come standard with adaptive dampers and has an available air suspension and dynamic steering capability.

Each model has Audi's new MIB 3 infotainment system, which can be optioned to include a 12.3-inch digital display in front of the driver as well as virtual cockpit and head-up display technologies. At the center of the dashboard is a 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen with navigation. The system allows for multiple user profiles.

The Audi phone box and a Bang and Olufsen sound system with 3D sound are available.

Inside the cabin, the car has a rear bench seat the can be shifted laterally as well as forward and aft. The seat also reclines.

Each Q5 Sportback comes with a standard hands-free power tailgate.

Buyers can option their model to include numerous driver assist systems including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, standard Audi Side Assist and Audi Pre Sense Rear, lane departure warning, and Parking System Plus.

The 2020 Audi Q5 starts at $43,000. Expect the Sportback model to be slightly pricier when it arrives in the U.S. in the first half of 2021. It will be assembled at the San José Chiapa plant in Mexico.

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