Car news

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

When Porsche unveiled the 919 Hybrid , the race car that brought it back to top-level endurance racing after a 15-year hiatus, the company said it was named like that because it follows the tradition of the 917" and "acknowledges the embarkation into the hybrid future" with the 918 Spyder .

The three vehicles are obviously very different aside from the badge. They are powered by dissimilar engines and have different underpinnings. However, the 917, the 918 Spyder and the 919 Hybrid are all motivated by the same thing, Porsche’s passion for racing and track performance.

We knew these awesome machines would eventually meet face to face ever since Stuttgart established the link, and we were hoping to see the family reunite at the Le Mans track, before this year’s race. But Porsche brought all three cars together two months earlier to use them at the preview evening of the new Macan crossover in the United Kingdom.

Since we’re already familiar with the 918 Spyder supercar and the 919 Hybrid, which will be seen in action throughout the 2014 World Endurance Championship season, let’s have a closer look at the 917, the vehicle that introduced Porsche to Le Mans success.

Click past the jump to learn more about the Porsche 917

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Land Rover has yet to bring the Range Rover Hybrid to the United States, but the fuel-sipping SUV is already available in Europe and, according to the company, it will go on sale in China next month as well.

The big news, however, is that the world’s largest automotive market is also getting the hybrid powertrain in the long-wheelbase version of the Range Rover , allowing Chinese customers to enjoy an extra 186 mm (7.3 inches) of rear legroom.

Developed on the same Silk Trail expedition know-how that led to the creation of the regular Ranger Rover Hybrid, the long-wheelbase version benefits from the same powertrain and performance specs.

At the heart of the SUV lays a 3.0-liter, SDV6, turbo-diesel engine and a 35-kW (47-horsepower) electric motor that combine to deliver 335 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Connected to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, the combo enables the vehicle to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, while top speed is rated at 135 mph.

When used on electric power alone, the SUV has a range of only one mile and can reach a top speed of 30 mph. Moving over to what matters the most to a hybrid — fuel efficiency — the Range Rover LWB promises to return up to 37 mpg combined, a figure unchanged versus the regular wheelbase model. Additionally, regenerative braking helps recharge the batteries while you bring the SUV to a stop.

While Chinese deliveries will commence in the fourth quarter of the year, details as to when the Range Rover Hybrid will cross the Pond to North America are still unavailable. However, U.S. dealerships should get it by the end of 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Range Rover Hybrid Long Wheelbase.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

Happy Thursday everyone! It is time once again for the TopSpeed Podcast. This week we are a man down as Mark is in North Carolina checking out the all-new 2015 Hyundai Genesis . We are very jealous of him, and poke lots of fun.

Once we get down to business, we cover Weekly Wheels in which Justin discusses a very expensive tiny Mazda, and I wax poetically about how freaking fast the Nissan GT-R is.

News this week is once again full of auto show happenings. We discuss our best and worst picks for New York , cover a few pieces of the NYC show we missed last week, and then we talk about some of the reveals that took place at Beijing. Some of the Beijing news included the new VW NMC concept and the Audi TT Offroad concept.

This week we did also do video! It should be uploaded later tonight and we will update the post tomorrow

The Questions and Answers segment was short this week as we only had one submission, so don’t forget to send us questions in the comments, on the Twitters (@TopSpeedPodcast) or in an email: Podcast@TopSpeed.com

Since there is only two of us, we decided to put Own Drive Burn on hold until Mark returns. Don’t forget to send us suggestions for those as well.

We want to thank everyone for listening, and we hope everyone has a great weekend. If you liked this week’s Podcast, why don’t you give us a rating or a review over at iTunes. It makes us feel happy inside when you do that. Click play below or above to listen to the podcast.

Weekly Wheels: Mazda3 , Nissan GT-R
Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler


Lapping the Nurburging in under seven minutes has become a regular occurence among the most powerful supercars in the world. But unbeknownst to most people is another battle among front-wheel-drive production vehicles to break the eight-minute mark around the ’Ring. Renault is one of those companies that’s vying for that record and it’s prepared to break that mark with a new campaign to finally lap the Nurburgring in under eight minutes.

The company’s performance arm, Renault Sport, is preparing a car that has one purpose in life: setting a sub-8-minute lap and reclaim the record set by the Mégane Trophy in 2011 when it clocked a time of 8:07.9.

That time has since been broken by the Seat Leon Cupra 280 last month when it clocked a time of 7:58.4, making it the first front-wheel-drive production car to clock a lap time of under eight minutes. But Renault isn’t prepared to concede the record just yet, so the company has a new campaign with the social media hashtag #Under8 to reclaim the record.

What’s become very clear is that Renault is leaving no stones unturned in this new pursuit, enlisting the help of companies like Michelin, Akrapovic, Öhlins, and BRM to help it break the Leon Cupra 280’s record. The company has made no announcement on the car it will use for this record-breaking attempt, but all signs seem to point to a new and improved iteration of the Megane .

Renault Sport has set a timetable for a June attempt at breaking under eight minutes and if there’s one thing we’ve come to know about automakers and their bragging rights, the company will treat this attempt with the seriousness it deserves.

Click past the jump to read more about Renault’s previous Megane RS 265 Trophy Record.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Ferrari’s LaFerrari XX project has barely commenced, but it appears the Italians are already charging toward setting a new Nurburgring lap record for track-only vehicles.

Word has it the Maranello stable has already managed to run the famous course in 6:35, with an official announcement in the coming months. If the rumor proves to be true, the LaFerrari XX will become the fastest production-based, track-exclusive car around the `Ring, surpassing the Pagani Zonda R and its 6:47.50 lap.

Although the LaFerrari XX won’t be able to challenge the production car record, due to its track-only purpose, the track-only supercar will also be faster than the Porsche 918 Spyder , which clocked a 6:57 lap last September. The company has yet to announce a Nurburgring lap for the road-legal LaFerrari .

Additionally, the new racer will smash the records set by the Ferrari 599XX and the 312T, the Prancing Horse’s only race cars to have lapped the track in less than seven minutes. The former achievement was record in 2010, while the latter dates back to the 1975 Formula One season.

Click past the jump to read more about the LaFerrari XX.

Source: Autoguide

One of the less talked about but no less exciting cars of the Beijing Motor Show is this Lexus of China-built CT BG 200h. Customized with a “more personalized design language,” the concept looks the part of a racer with its carbon-fiber exterior bits and bespoke paint job.

The concept is based on the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport , though this finished product drastically builds off the stock car. The large spindle grille has new mesh, while the front chin splitter is much larger and includes little winglets on corners. The added aero work continues around the side with finned rocker panels and finned rear bumper edges.

Out back, the carbon-fiber rear fascia is much more aggressive in looks and functionality. Topping the car is a carbon-fiber wing mounted atop the rear hatch for additional downforce. The unique black and white paint scheme accented with gold stripes and black thin-spoke wheels, give a whole new look to the otherwise average CT 200h.

The décor inside the concept is of a similar motif, sporting carbon-fiber pieces and continuing the exterior color combination.

Unfortunately, Lexus hasn’t mentioned anything about matching the exterior’s racy theme with more horsepower or a retuned suspension. Looks like the concept — which it will likely stay — must make do with the ho-hum 134 horsepower from the 1.8-liter I-4 and the hybrid drive system. That means 0-60 times will still take 9.8 seconds and its top speed will be limited to 113 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus CT BG Concept.

Source: Car Watch
Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

The redesigned Mercedes-Benz C-Class is still nearly six months away from arriving in U.S. dealerships, and official pricing has yet to be announced, but thanks to a full order guide that surfaced on the Internet recently, we are able to have a look at the vehicle’s packages and optional features.

Before we dive into the details, we will remind you that the C-Class will be offered in three version in the United States. The C300, which is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, will be sold in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive, while the C400, with the brawnier 3.0-liter V-6 under the hood, will come with all-wheel drive only.

According to Benz Report, the 4MATIC version of both the C300 and C400 will show up in Mercedes-Benz dealerships in September, while the C300 with rear-wheel drive will roll-out a bit later, sometime in the first quarter of 2015.

Two packages will be available for the C300 and C300 4MATIC in addition to the standard model, Sport and Luxury. The latter, which is standard on the C400, is priced at $2,500, while the former, which is exclusive to the C300, costs $650.

The more expensive bundle will add AMG-like exterior styling and 18-inch AMG wheels, sport suspension and perforated discs for the front brakes. Inside, Sport Package highlights will include sports seats, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel, aluminum pedals and a Black Ash, open-pore wood trim. The Luxury Package, on the other hand, will only bring a more comfortable suspension, a set of 17-inch multi-spoke wheels, a different front grille and a choice of Burl Walnut trim or Linder wood for the cabin.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes C-Class.

Source: benzreport

British-based owners of the Porsche 911 GT3 are banding together to demand compensation for costs incurred stemming from the recall of the sports car last February after two GT3s caught fire earlier this year. Customers behind the GT3 Worldwide Action Group aren’t too happy that GT3 owners from other parts of the world are getting compensated for their affected cars while those in the UK are getting nothing.

In a letter sent to Porsche AG senior management, the GT3 Worldwide Action Group is demanding a compensation of £145 ($243) per day payable from February 18, the day when owners were first advised by Porsche to stop driving the GT3 because of problems with piston-rod connectors that has forced Porsche to take the unprecedented step of replacing all of the car’s engines .

The compensation being sought by these owners is intended to cover lease costs, deprecation, reduced warranty, insurance costs and lack of intended use. On top of that, the group also wants Porsche to pay &euro100 ($138) a day for customers whose cars are still in production and 50 euros for owners who have paid a deposit but have yet to be given a build slot.

It seems like a fair deal given that according to a statement the group released, U.S. owners of the GT3 are being compensated $2,000 a month for the duration of the recall while owners in Germany are getting &euro175 ($241) a day, the same amount the group is seeking for British-based owners of the sports car. The UK’s Daily Telegraph has even corroborated these claims, saying that it had seen email from Dubai Dubai ’s official Porsche dealer confirming to one GT3 customer that it will pay the owner $12,000 in compensation for the recalled GT3.

But UK customers have so far received nothing in compensation from Porsche, and the group, which represents around 30 to 35 owners in the UK, are rising up to force Porsche to pay them up. “We are massively disappointed by the way the manufacturer has conducted itself with its lack of transparency and blatant discrimination between markets,” Sunil Mehra, the founder of the group, said.

Interestingly enough, one of those British-based customers who was forced to return the Porsche 911 GT3 was McLaren Automotive . Turns out, McLaren brought a GT3 and had plans to use it as it prepared to develop the McLaren P13 , the company’s two-seat sports car that it plans to launch as a direct competitor to the Porsche.

Click past the jump to read about Porsche GT3’s fire problems.


Just when it seemed like the Middle East couldn’t get any cooler from an auto industry standpoint, news of a new track-focused sports car has come out. This is the Dubai Roadster, a sports car project that reportedly is the brainchild of an Emirati racer.

Judging by its looks, the Dubai Roadster looks every bit as aggressive as its name indicates. Not much has been released as far as details are concerned, but the Roadster does have all the physical attributes to be treated as a bonafide track racer. The aggressive front bumper is pretty evident and the swooping, vented hood gives the physical look of a car that’s born for racing. LED-infused headlights are also part of the treatment, while out back, a large rear wing and roll bars can be clearly seen. The overall shape screams of a track car that’s aerodynamically suited to be be quick and agile, two attributes that cars like the Roadster should be.

In terms of power, the Dubai Roadster will reportedly come with a transversely mounted, V-8 engine that can produce as much as 400 horsepower, all while weighing 1,653 pounds. The numbers certainly speak for themselves, and its origin points to a car that has some significant financial backing.

It’s still unclear how far along the Dubai Roadster is in its developmental phase, but if everything goes according to schedule, as we expect it should be, the Roadster could be ready in time for the Dubai Motor Show next year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dubai Roadster.

Image Note: The above image is an artistic rendering, not the actual Dubai Roadster.

Source: WCF

Audi’s latest remake of the TT Coupe and Roadster could potentially pave the way for an entire family of TT-based cars, including the Offroad concept seen at the Beijing Motor Show.

In an interview with Autocar, Audi boss man Rupert Stadler mentioned some fairly revealing information regarding the idea. “The TT can be a family,” Stadler said. “This concept shows that we can do it as long as the genetic code is kept.” This sort of ‘genetic code’ of sorts is what makes the TT unique, including the wheels arches, unique side windows, the exterior lighting, and the interior themes.

What this means for Audi, and more specifically for the TT, is a series of cars all based on the same platform, but with different seating configurations, number of doors, and possibly several powertrain options. It seems the sky is the limit for the TT except for the one design direction that Stadler specifically shot down: a bigger sedan. “The TT should be an icon and that icon has to be respected and that means a compact car that sporty to drive.

Still, that leaves options like a three-door hatch, a two-door shooting brake, the Offroad concept (pictured above), or a smaller four-door compact sedan like the one Audi Technical Chief Ulrich Hackenberg hinted at last month. This sort of sedan would compete nicely with the hot-selling Mercedes CLA and BMW M235i. However, it does seem this sort of compact sedan might cannibalize Audi sales elsewhere in its lineup, namely the A3. Perhaps Audi will include enough differentiation to separate the cars in terms of performance, intended function, and targeted audience to make production of both make sense.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi TT Offroad.

Source: AutoCar

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