Car News

As petrol-heads, we all universally love certain things. There is the speed of a fast car , the steering of a proper sports car , and the look of well-designed exotics. We also tend to love the thrill, adrenaline and camaraderie that comes with a track day. In fact, of all the great things that car lovers do, I think the track day may be the single greatest combination of everything that we love. You have the friends, you have beautiful cars to look at, and now thanks to the proliferation of track-day-specific cars, you can have all the speed and handling you want without owning something with a Ferrari badge.

After my recent track experience at the Flyin’ Miata summer camp, I have found myself obsessed with lightweight track-ready cars. Lots of these machines are relatively cheap in terms of a track car, and many of them you can even build yourself with a few friends and few weekends in the garage.

I decided that I would search through the collection of cars currently available and pick out five of the best. I made sure to cover cars from all price brackets, and I included cars that you can build yourself, as well as fully-built turn-key cars that you just pick up and flog immediately. I also wanted to stick to pure track cars, and I stayed away from the track-prepped versions of standard road cars.

Take a peek at my choices and tell me what you guys think. There are lots of other great choices out there, so make sure to let me know which ones you think I should have included. They make the cut next time.

Continue reading to find out what are five of the best track-day cars

Audi appears to be readying the next version of the popular A4 sedan. Our spy photographer captured these images in Europe as the driver had seemingly stepped away. Though the outside still looks like the current-generation A4, this is certainly an Audi test mule. The hood appears to be secured by latches, there are odd caps over the center of the wheels, and the interior is loaded with testing equipment and black coverings.

Lucky for us, the driver apparently forgot to drape the covers over the dashboard, giving an open view to the camera. The most noticeable difference is the placement of the infotainment screen. No longer is it housed within the dash, but is perched atop the dash like the current A6 . It also appears the vents within the center console have grown larger.

What’s more, the center display in the gauge cluster shows an overview of the car, or what really looks to be an A4 Avant. Perhaps this is what the next A4 Avant will look like? Another clue is that 6,000-rpm redline on the tachometer, suggesting the current 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four is under the hood. Audi’s battery of tests also appears to include some light towing as the A4 is complete with a hitch sprouting from under its bumper.

It will likely be late 2015 before Audi releases the updated A4 as a 2016 model, so we have a while to wait. Then again, if Audi engineers keep leaving test mules uncovered and unattended, we may get a sneak peak long before then.

Click past the jump to read more about 2016 Audi A4

BMW introduced the 1 Series compact in 2004. Initially available only as a five-door hatchback , the 1 Series gained a three-door version and two-door coupe and convertible iterations in 2007. While the first-gen hatchback was redesigned in 2011, the coupe and convertible models remained in dealerships until 2013 and 2014, respectively. In 2011, BMW launched the second-gen five-door hatchback, while the three-door version followed in 2012. Three 3.0-liter, inline-six powertrains were offered in the United States. The entry-level 128i model came with 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet, the mid-range 135i had 300 horsepower and pound-feet, while the 135is cranked out 320 ponies and 317 pound-feet. As we move closer to the 2015 model year, BMW is readying a mid-life refresh for the second-generation 1 Series.

Expected to debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, the facelifted 1 Series receives updated front and rear fascias, a slightly revised interior and mild upgrades under the hood. Our spy photographers have already spotted a test vehicle on the road with less than two months before its debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 1 Series

2014 is shaping up to be a great year for Ford . The redesigned Mustang is set to go on sale as the first version of the pony to reach global markets, while the new-generation F-150 introduces the aluminum body to the pickup-truck segment. New additions also include the revised Expedition SUV and Transit van, introduced for the first time in North America as a replacement for the long-running E Series .

2015 will be equally busy, with several new or refreshed vehicles to hit dealer lots. The new Super Duty trucks, the Edge crossover, and the restyled Focus are the most important additions that come to mind. But Ford has a lot more going on for the remainder of the decade, according to Automotive News, who managed to obtain more details about what Ford may have in store for the next three years. Read on to find out more about Ford’s future product plans.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford’s upcoming vehicle lineup

Already 10 years old, the Aston Martin DB9 will continue to be around until 2016, when the British automaker will unveil its successor. Whether the next-gen model will still carry the DB9 moniker or not is still unknown, but a report coming from Autocar claims Aston Martin has submitted trademark filings for names DB10 through DB14.

Although these trademarks could be used for five different models, Aston Martin is expected to pick the DB10 name for the next-generation DB9. The Brits are known to move forward with the numerical denomination of its models to emphasize the advances made in terms of design and performance. However, Aston Martin skipped on the DB8 name, jumping from DB7 to DB9 in 2004. That being said, the next-gen DB could very well be launched as the DB11, with the DB10 trademark filed just to protect the numerical denomination.

Scheduled to go on sale for 2017 model year, the next-generation DB9 will ride on a brand-new modular platform and feature a twin-turbocharged V-8 engine built by Mercedes’s AMG division.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB9

Source: Autocar UK

The Scion FR-S and its corporate cousins the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86 are still relatively new to the sports car scene, having been launched in 2012. The cars represent an interesting alliance between Subaru and Toyota , two Japanese automakers, with Toyota taking care of the design work and Subaru handling the greasy bits underneath.

Though the cars have been well received by journalist and enthusiast the world over, it seems sales, at least in the U.S., arn’t living up to the hype with just over 40,000 FR-S units moved since 2012 and roughly 18,000 BRZs sold. That’s an oddity considering just how well the cars fulfill the sport car checklist.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a Scion FR-S getting to know its personality. My tester came equipped with nothing more than optional six-speed automatic transmission. No navigation or SiriusXM; just an honest sports coupe with a willing powerplant and skinny tires that made driving anywhere an exciting event.

Click past the jump for the full rundown of the 2014 Scion FR-S

The Corvette hit showrooms in 1953 with a petite six-pot under its hood and a sluggish 10-plus-second 0-to-60-mph time. Sure, it was slow and rather un-Corvette-like, but it was the model that launched the greatness that is the Corvette. The C1 Corvette was also the last time we saw a production model without pop-up headlights before the C6 generation debuted in 2005. In 2014, the C7 hit the market with heavily revised styling. Following that up was the Z06 in 2015 that made all the Euro supercars stand up and take notice and now we have a convertible version of the mighty Z06..

The big deal about it is that this is the first factory-built Corvette Z06 Convertible since 1963, when Chevy introduced the said package as a performance update for endurance racing. It was actually called "RPO Z06" and included a larger-diameter front anti-roll bar, a vacuum brake booster, a dual master cylinder, larger shocks and stiffer springs.

Because it also came with a gas tank that was nearly double the size of standard 20-gallon tank, the package was only available on coupe models at first. However, the manufacturer says that one convertible was fitted with the Z06 bundle that year.

Getting back to the newly-revealed model, Chevrolet claims the Z06 Convertible represents "the culmination of more than four years developing an all-new, all-aluminum structure." You see, because the new structure is much more stiffer than the previous Z06, the drop-top sports car needed no structural reinforcements, which means its curb weight won’t be affected by missing a fixed roof.

Update 8/22/2014: GM has revealed the Corvette Z06 Convertible’s base price of $83,995. See all of the details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible.

The Corvette hit showrooms in 1953 with a 150-cubic-inch six-pot under its hood and a 10-plus-second 0-to-60-mph time. It was no speed demon, but it was the foundation that the greatness that is the Corvette was build upon. The C1 Corvette was also the last time we saw a production model without pop-up headlights before the C6 generation debuted in 2005. In 2014, the C7 and its wild, European styling hit the market, giving Ferrari and other premium brands a reason to check out what’s going on in America. Following that up was the Z06 in 2015 that made all the Euro supercars stand up and take notice.

With the new 2014 Corvette Stingray already in showrooms, we all knew that we were going to soon see a more powerful version. And now that has become a reality, as Chevrolet revealed the potent 2015 Corvette Z06 at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.

The Corvette Z06 will keep enthusiasts happy until the the new ZR1 model hits the market, if it ever finds its way onto the market.

Just like the previous Z06 , the 2015 model, will be offered with a more aggressive exterior look, a more powerful engine, sport suspension and a new, high-performance brake system. General Motors is also offering an optional Z07 kit that will transform the new Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce - in fact the best in any GM model ever.

Update 8/22/2014: GM has revealed the Corvette Z06’s base price of $78,995. See all of the details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

You can file this in the "saw that coming" file, but Lamborghini is going to be making multiple versions of its new Huracán over the next few years, including a rear-wheel-drive model. This news comes courtesy of Autocar, who managed to get a few words with Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann after the reveal of the new Huracán Super Trofeo at Pebble Beach last week. The key phrase Winkelmann uttered was “why should we not do a rear-drive option?”

There was a limited run of RWD Gallardos that started with the special LP550-2 Balboni Edition . After the Balboni came another limited run Bicolore special edition , and finally Lamborghini just began offering a base level RWD car. It makes sense that the Huracán will follow this same tradition, but Autocar expects the RWD model to be a special, high-end creation that will carry a higher price and more limited production numbers.

Before the RWD model arrives, expect a convertible Spyder version to arrive next year, with a higher performance variant a year or two after that. There will inevitably be lightweight versions as well, and this may be where the RWD comes into play. Cutting the AWD system from under the Huracán is likely to save 100 pounds or more.

Click past the jump to read about the Lamborghini Huracan

Source: Autocar UK

Have you noticed how more and more pickup trucks have come to match regular cars in terms of fancy, luxurious convenience features and technology ? Gone are the days when trucks used to feature a simple dash, a vinyl-wrapped bench, and roll-down windows. Nowadays, truck drivers travel in comfy leather seats and benefit from infotainment systems and other electronic gadgets. Heck, the 2015 Ford F-150 can even be had with massaging seats. The trend isn’t exactly new, however. Back in the 1970s, Detroit began offering visual features initially available on muscle cars on its trucks too. The second-gen Chevy C/K, for instance, was offered with the same Rally wheels and stripes that could be ordered on the Camaro . And it looked downright cool, too. Fast forward to 2015, Chevrolet is expanding the Silverado lineup with a Rally Edition model.

Although unrelated to the aforementioned C/K, the Silverado Rally Edition is only about enhanced visuals. The two distinct packages, available on 1500 Double Cab and Crew Cab pickups, add a tad of fancy to Chevy’s bread-and-butter truck without meddling with its drivetrain. Read on to find out what makes this special-edition Silverado special.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Silverado Rally Edition


1 2 3 4 5 next >
Back to top