Car News

BMW’s brand-new Family Active Sports Tourer (FAST) is inching closer to production. A batch of new spy shots we just received in our inbox reveals the Germans have begun testing the MPV-like crossover outside city limits, as they’re looking to asses the vehicle’s behavior and fuel consumption on longer routes.

Sure, the FAST is still a long way off with the official launch to take place sometime in 2015, but these extensive testing sessions can only mean one thing: BMW wants this new niche vehicle it’s creating to make a major impact on today’s unforgiving market.

The prototype spotted stretching its legs somewhere in Germany is actually the same crossover we saw in early July 2014. The vehicle is still covered in swirly camouflage, with nearly no details left out in the open. In fact, very few things have changed so far, as BMW continues to focus on chassis and powertrain testing.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW FAST.

The return of the Toyota Supra is inching closer and closer to reality. You probably can’t tell by reading this, but you can imagine us doing our happy dance now that more details about the sports car are coming to light. MotorTrend has the latest on the Toyota -BMW collaboration and sources close to Toyota have told the auto site that the all-new Supra will be a plug-in hybrid.

We’re not surprised about this news, especially in today’s world where hybrid technology has become universally embraced within the industry. MotorTrend’s sources also indicated that the new Supra will use a BMW-sourced, turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. This powertrain will then be combined with the Japanese automaker’s new super-conductor hybrid technology.

This kind of setup isn’t exactly new to Toyota, as the company has already tinkered with a similar package on the Yaris Hybrid R Concept that was first introduced at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show . Toyota even took it a step further when it used this system in the TS040 Hybrid race car at the 24 Hours of Le Mans last month.

So what does this all mean for the new Supra? For one, it’s going to be vastly different from its predecessor, which featured a turbocharged, 3.0-liter engine the last time we saw it. That model was good for 320 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque. This time around, the new Supra’s hybrid engine is expected to be slightly more powerful, with an estimated output of somewhere north of 400 horsepower.

It’s not that big of an increase but the improved efficiency should do wonders in making the Supra a more pleasurable ride.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW-Toyota sports car.

Source: MotorTrend

Don’t look now, but Bentley’s plan for world domination is beginning to take shape. Okay, it’s not really as dramatic as that, but it might as well be for the British automaker and its plan to expand its lineup to include a two-seater sports car that could be based on the Audi R8 . Bentley chairman and CEO Wolfgang Durheimer told Autocar that he wants to build the two-seat sports car and a new convertible slotted between the Continental and the Mulsanne "provided a business case for each can be made".

Durheimer thinks that a two-seat sports car would be a good addition to the Bentley lineup. We don’t necessarily subscribe to the thought of turning Bentley into somewhat of a mainstream brand, but we’d be lying if we said that we’re not interested to see what this model would look like. There appears to a belief that the two-seat Bentley could be based on the Audi R8 , which isn’t a bad place to start. It could also take on a new look that would be different from the Continental and the Mulsanne. Why not dust off the old Lamborghini -based Hunaudieres concept from 1999 and see if Bentley designers can find inspiration in it?

That would be an interesting wrinkle, should the company go in that direction. As far as the engine is concerned, we’re dubious on the thought that Bentley gives it anything bigger than a V-10. A more likely scenario could be a revised V-8 or a smaller-displacement V-10.

Note: 1999 Bentley Hunaudieres pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about Bentley’s future entry-level coupe.

Source: AutoCar

U.S. Highway 129, cutting through the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, is a ribbon of tarmac that spans the gap from Tennesee to North Carolina. The section of the road that cuts through Deal’s Gap is known as the Tail of the Dragon, and it is regarded as one of the best driving roads in the world. With 318 turns in a span of only 11 miles, it is easy to see the appeal. Still, with so many sharp hairpin turns and sheer drop-offs on one side, the Dragon is not to be trifled with. Since 1995, nearly 40 people have lost their lives on this tiny strip of asphalt.

Despite being only an hour from my house, I have never tackled the Tail of the Dragon. Sitting in my driveway is one of the latest and most advanced toys from the house of Porsche, a 2014 Panamera S e-Hybrid . What better vehicle to tame the Dragon with than a plug-in hybrid that is over 16-feet long and costs more than my house? Best yet, I got news that a plug-in charging station had just been installed at the top of the mountain and nobody had used it yet.

I took it as a sign that I needed to be the first. I pointed the big Porsche south and went hunting for Dragons.

Read on to see how my first trip to U.S. 129 went.

Production of the Ford GT may have ended in 2006, but the American supercar is still roaming the streets and charging the tracks in 2014. After many successful racing seasons throughout its production years and after, the race-spec GT is still alive and kicking, thanks to a number of companies, with one of them being Lambda Performance.

Still racing GT3-spec versions of the Ford GT, the German outfit had a successful ADAC GT Masters campaign in 2013, when it won three events. The Ford GT faced stiff competition from newer vehicles like the Corvette Z06.R , the Porsche 911 GT3 and the Audi R8 LMS Ultra , and famous teams such as Callaway , Abt and Phoenix Racing.

To achieve these impressive results, Lambda performed many modifications to the GT, consisting of an updated, race-spec gearbox, an in-house designed air box, an updated suspension, some electronic mods and new wheels. A Lambda, design aerodynamic package was also fitted, while the stock, supercharged, 5.4-liter V-8 was replaced by a race-optimized unit. Naturally, Lambda used a Roush Yates, 5.3-liter V-8, a mill that has a proven racing record to its name and generates 575 horsepower in the Ford GT.

Although Lambda Performance is no longer racing in the ADAC GT Masters as of the 2014 season, its GT GT3 remains an awesome track machine. Its unique appearance and distinguished sound are surely missed in Germany and the video above comes to show you why. Can you name a race car that sounds as enthralling as the Ford GT? The comments section is all yours.

BMW’s teaser showing what appeared to be a high-performance version of the 2 Series coupe turned out to be nothing more than an M235i , and not the M2 we were hoping. Fortunately, the photo was actually previewing a two-minute video showing BMW’s latest driftmob in Cape Town, South Africa. What’s a driftmob, you may ask? Well, it basically consists of several vehicles, in this case M235i coupes, drifting together based on a specific, preset scenario.

For this epic driftmob, BMW also brought together some of the best drifters in the world, including world champion Rhys Millen and the likes of Rich Rutherford, Samuel Hubinette, Conrad Grunewald and Daijiro Yoshihara. The result is about 90 seconds of tail-happy BMWs burning their tires in a roundabout. Not only that, but the coupes dance together with the utmost precision in a performance worthy of an automotive Oscar.

Furthermore, the footage shows just how what an awesome machine the M235i is, although some modifications were required for the scene. The DSC was turned off and the handbrake and gearshift levers were optimized for easier control, but that doesn’t mean the M235i is less drifty in standard guise. However, you shouldn’t try this on public roads, but rather test your skills on a race track or traffic-free road course.

Click past the jump to watch two more videos.

It is no secret that we all love Miatas here at TopSpeed.com. The tiny roadster is built for nothing but pure driving pleasure, and it delivers in spades. There are a few though that feel the Miata’s small, four-cylinder engine is just not powerful enough to really exploit the incredible chassis. Flyin’ Miata falls into that group, and it has earned a reputation for making some of the best modifications that include chassis bracing, turbo kits, supercharger kits, suspension and brake upgrades, and V-8 conversions.

If you want your Miata to go faster, handle better and stop quicker, there isn’t a finer team I know of than the crew at FM.

As you read this, I am on my way to their headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado to see the operation, look at what new goodies they have coming, and of course, I am going to drive a whole pile of modified Miatas.

I will be covering a lot of what I see and learn on the site in the next week or two, but if you want to follow along live, you can check out the social media links posted after the break. Also after the break is a quick look at some of what I will be driving and doing this week.

If there is a special modification or car that you want to know about, drop it in the comments. I will do whatever I can to get your questions answered. For now, just hit that jump to get a sneak preview of the mess I’m getting into over the next few days.

Click past the jump to read more

The Nurburgring has seen another record fall on its hallowed grounds, only this time the record-setter is the Range Rover Sport SVR . Yes, Range Rovers are SUVs, although you probably knew that by now. But the Range Rover Sport SVR is still something else and it proved as much when it lapped the legendary race track in 8 minutes and 14 seconds.

That isn’t just a fast lap time; it’s record-breaking lap time that has earned the Range Rover Sport SVR the distinction of being the fastest production SUV to lap the Nurburgring.

Don’t sleep on the Range Rover Sport SVR’s accomplishment because it’s an incredibly impressive lap time for an SUV that just made its debut at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed in June. It didn’t take long for it to make quite an impression, right? Of course, what else would you expect from an SUV that features a 5.0-liter, supercharged, V-8 engine that pumps out 542 horsepower?

The Range Rover Sport SVR isn’t expected to hit dealerships until next year. But as early as July 2014, the SUV has already established itself as one of the fastest and most powerful SUVs in recent years.

Don’t be surprised if the Range Rover Sport SVR turns into a sales hit when it becomes available next year. With a record-setting lap time on its mantle, there’s no reason to believe otherwise.

Click past the jump for more details on Range Rover Sport SVR’s record at Nurburgring.

Hey everyone, welcome to Episode 022 of the TopSpeed.com Podcast.
This week is a little weird, so let me start with an apology. I am traveling this week, and I have some pretty terrible internet. The result is that the first 10 minutes or so of the show is pretty laggy and hard to listen to. Thankfully we came up with an idea to fix it, and the show gets better. So, thanks for sticking with us, and sorry about the technical issues.

Once the show finally gets moving, we cover Weekly Wheels in which Mark discusses the Cadillac CTS and I talk about the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid . Sadly, Justin had no new toys last week.

For news we covered a lot of topics from the new CTS-V and the Ford Mustang SVT on the Nurburgring , to special one-off versions of the BMW i8 and the new Polaris Slingshot. A Corvette powered Darth Vader helmet and the death of the VW Eos also make an appearance.

We make our way over to viewer questions and take a minute to discuss what cars we are most looking forward to next year, and we talk about how well our wives can drive. That part got a little strange…

We finish out the show with a trio of James Bond cars in Own, Drive, Burn.

We want to thank everyone who stuck with us through the live show, and I would like to apologize again for the issues at the start of the show. Normal service will resume next week.

Have a safe week, and a wonderful weekend everyone.

You know what’s more impressive than hearing the acceleration of the Lamborghini Huracan ? Hearing two of them. But you know what’s better than hearing two Huracans accelerating? Hearing 13 of them. Yep. 13 Lamborghini Huracan supercars taking turns stretching their legs in Lamborghini’s Sant’Agata Bolognese headquarters. This video comes courtesy of YouTube user “NM2255,” who looks to have spent a great deal of time camping outside Lambo’s Italian base just to see the Huracans in action.

Not only was he lucky enough to see one Huracan, he saw 13 of them in different colors. Some of the models came with wraps on the front end, which made us wonder if Lamborghini’s already preparing a different version of the Huracan or if these were simply for protection? We don’t know that at this point, but what we do know is that the Huracan is looking more and more like a worthy successor to the Lamborghini Gallardo .

It already has the look and spirit of a true Raging Bull and it’s got a 5.2-liter, V-10 engine that produces an impressive 602 horsepower and 412 pound-feet of torque.

Just by watching NM2255’s video, you can immediately tell that the Huracan is everything it’s been hyped up to be, and then some. It’s no longer an exaggeration to believe that Lamborghini’s new baby is poised to take the popularity of the Gallardo and bring it to a new level.


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