Car News

It’s been only a week since we’ve seen the first LaFerrari crash , and the first fire-related incident involving the company’s brand-new supercar have surfaced the Interwebz via Instagram. The details are pretty thin, but it appears the incident occurred during the Trento-Bondone rally, which was attended by a large number of Ferrari s, including the LaFerrari depicted above.

According to various reports, the red-painted LaFerrari started smoking while roaring up the hillclimb event, but details as to what might have happened under the hood are nonexistent. All we know is the photo taken right after the event suggests the LaFerrari’s rear end suffered some fire damage before an extinguisher jumped in to cool things down. Granted, the damage is limited to the slight burns seen on diffuser and the powder stains covering most of the rear fascia, but we can’t help wonder whether or not the LaFerrari is facing some fire-related issues of its own.

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s fire problems.

Source: Instagram

The hype over the 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat ’s 707 horsepower hasn’t died off since Dodge proclaimed that information on its 100th birthday July 1, 2014. Now the fun begins. First up: gratuitous burnouts. Yep, what would an American muscle car be without the ability to lay down a smoke screen thick enough for a war zone? Well, it seems the SRT Hellcat has that ability and then some, as this video proves.

Put on by the guys at Car & Driver, the two Challengers challenge each other to the best burnout. This sort of hooning comes easy with 650 pound-feet of torque getting both tires loose and a monstrous 707 horsepower to keep them spinning. You almost feel sorry for the Pirelli P Zero Nero tires. Almost.

What’s more, those 707 horses not only make the SRT Hellcat more powerful than Dodge’s own SRT Viper , but more powerful than any other muscle car in history. It’s all thanks to a supercharged, 6.2-liter, HEMI V-8 with beefed up internals and a 14,600-rpm redline on the Lyshoim-style supercharger. The HEMI engine is mated to a six-speed TF-6060 manual unit from Tremec.

We look forward to seeing some actual numbers from the drag strip, including both 0-to-60-mph and quarter-mile times. Until then, we’ll know the Challenger SRT Hellcat is one awesome burnout machine.

It was a day early, but we hope you enjoyed this week’s episode of the TopSpeed Podcast . There was the usual bit of silliness, a fair amount of arguing and we even managed to talk about some car stuff.

As always, we want to say a very special thanks to our live viewers.

For Weekly Wheels, I discuss my time with the Prius V , Mark talks to us about what he thinks I got wrong with the Lexus RX 450h , and Justin tells us how much he liked the new 2015 Honda Fit .

For news stories we cover the new fourth-generation Miata engine and reveal date, talk about Mercedes bringing back the Maybach name, and we cover our exclusive news of Kahn Design moving into car production.

After that we spend some time with Mark talking about the 100-year anniversary of Dodge , how they are celebrating with a 707 horsepower Challenger, and end with a look at the future of the rock-crawling Jeep Wrangler . To finish the news, I had a few things to say about a faster Alfa Romeo 4C and looked at how you can buy a cheap Porsche Boxster or Cayman next summer.

For our viewer-question segment we talk about cars that can do epic burnouts, cars we want to see do epic burnouts and then we talk about racing video games. With the video games we take a second to look at our all-time favorite games and touch on the games that are coming out in the next six to nine months. There is even a sneak peak at a new piece I am working on.

To end the show we do our traditional Own, Drive, Burn and it was easily the hardest one we had yet. We have to choose between a legendary classic Porsche , Ferrari and Lamborghini .

If you liked the show, let us know in the comments. If you didn’t like the show, let us know that too. Apart from the comments, you can reach us on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast or by email, Podcast@TopSpeed.com. Don’t forget, if you like the show but can’t always make it the to site to watch or listen, you can subscribe to our cast on iTunes.

Stay safe this weekend, and we will see you guys next week.

To say simply that Jaguar has been making some cool cars over the last few years would be a monumental disservice to the brand and the work it’s doing. From the complete line of R-S models, the introduction of the F-Type roadster and coupe, and the heritage classics like the Lightweight E-Type project. Of all the interesting and cool things that Jaguar has made, the special Project 7 concept car was easily my favorite. Now Jaguar has decided to make a production version, and it has 567 horsepower. If you aren’t caught up on your Jaguar history, that makes this the most powerful production car to ever come from the team in Coventry.

XCAR was lucky enough to catch some time with Ian Callum, the head of design at Jaguar and the man who penned Project 7, as well as John Edwards, the Managing Director of the Special Operations division at Goodwood . They get a thorough look at the car and get some great insight into how and why the car was created along with some info on why this car is so special. Some of the highlights include a weight cut of nearly 200 pounds, a limited production run of only 250 units, and deliveries are set to start next spring.

If you are one of the lucky few who gets to claim the keys to a Project 7, please drive it. I really want to see one of these in motion on the road one day.

SUV s are a great thing, but sometimes you just need more. That’s where this comes in. It started life as a 2000 Ford Excursion and was transformed into the colossal beast you see here by a company called JD3 out of Tucson , Arizona. Affectionately nicknamed Rockzilla, this goliath is powered by a stock 6.8-liter V-10 backed by a stock transmission, transfer case, and axles directly off the donor Excursion. There are plenty of aftermarket parts, however, like the 54-inch Michelin tires and hand-welded exoskeleton.

This isn’t just a one-off vehicle though. JD3 has built more than 75 Rockzillas, all custom ordered to the buyer’s desires. Don’t want to wait four months to have yours built? Luckily, this one currently up for auction on Ebay. For a cool $72,000, this particular Rockzilla is ready to roll over nearly any obstacle in its path.

Click past the jump for the full run-down

Source: eBay

Until 2013, when the Seven 620 R was introduced, the Superlight R500 was Caterham’s most powerful and track-focused sports car ever produced. As of 07/08/2014, the R500 became a thing of the past as the British automaker built the last example of this extreme sports car . Chassis number 174 puts an end to a six-year production run in which the Superlight R500 helped cement Caterham’s reputation as a world-renowned sports car manufacturer.

Powered by a Ford -sourced, 2.0-liter Duratec engine rated at 263 horsepower and tipping the scale at a little over 1,100 pounds, the Superlight R500 hits 60 mph from a standing start in only 2.88 seconds. That’s quicker than many supercars out there and a benchmark very few vehicles can improve upon. Built with track performance in mind, the R500 managed to lap the Top Gear test track in 1:17.9 minutes, nearly half a second faster than the Bugatti Veyron . With so many credentials to its name, the Superlight R500 will definitely be missed.

Click past the jump to read more about the Caterham Superlight R500.

It seems General Motors is not the only automaker busy recalling cars these days. German manufacturer Volkswagen has ordered U.S. and Canadian dealers to halt sales for about 800 units of its 2015 Golf and Golf GTI hatches, quoting front suspension issues. Sure, 800 cars is nothing compared to the millions of vehicles GM has to fix, but we’re talking about a brand-new and highly acclaimed model.

Although Volkswagen has sent notifications to stop 813 Golfs from leaving U.S. and Canadian dealer lots, 1,634 hatches affected by this problem have been already sold to North American customers. The stop-sale order sent to dealerships says the "front stabilizer links in the affected vehicles were installed with too little torque," which could cause them to come loose detach entirely, affecting the car’s steering, Automotive News reports.

According to Jalopnik, the German automaker plans to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the defect, meaning owners will soon receive a recall notice. The affected hatches will have their faulty front stabilizer links replaced at no cost to the customers. Volkswagen is not aware of any crashes and injuries as of 07/08/2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Audi has been working on a facelift for the A1 for almost a year now, and it appears the revised hatchback is almost ready to make its public debut. Our spy photographers caught the supermini on the move somewhere in Southern Europe, where the Germans are testing the final tweaks operated on the vehicle’s drivetrain and chassis.

Although the A1 is still hidden under swirly camouflage, most of its visual updates are obvious and it seems we’re looking at the milder version of the hotter S1 . Our paparazzi weren’t able to take a peek inside, but don’t expect to see major improvements in that department save for some additional trim options and maybe a slightly revised center console.

Same goes for the engine lineup, which will mostly remain unchanged, with only minor improvements as far as power, fuel efficiency, and CO2 emissions go. Expect it to arrive with the same 1.2-liter TFSI, 1.4-liter TFSI, and 2.0-liter TDI in showrooms, although the range-topping version might carry a turbo 1.8-liter with 192 horsepower under its hood. We will find out more about that when the 2014 Paris Motor Show kicks off in October.

Click past the jump to read more about the revised Audi A1.

Kahn Design , the British company Known for customizing a wide range of Land Rover vehicles and other SUVs and crossovers from various companies, is about to embark on a new adventure. The self-titled automotive fashion house has just announced a partnership with Ant Anstead, the mastermind behind sports car manufacturer Evanta, which will result in Afzal Kahn’s very first production vehicle.

The first project to carry the Ant-Kahn badge, a two-seater, open top speedster christened Evanta Barchetta, will be unveiled at the Goodwood Revival motor show on September 12th, 2014, TopSpeed has learned. The sports car will follow in the footsteps of the classic British race cars of the 1950s and feature a sleek design inspired by the likes of the Aston Martin DBR1 or the Jaguar D-Type.

Make no mistake though, the Evanta Barchetta won’t be just a mere copy of the fabulous sports cars that used to storm the tracks back in the day. Kahn and Anstead will not only focus on traditional coachbuilding methods, but use the latest technologies to deliver a powerful and light speedster worthy of its Le Mans -winning ancestors.

Click past the jump to read more about Kahn’s future plans.

Like all of you gearheads, we love track battles. We love it even more when they feature two sports cars that have a lot to prove to us and in some ways, against each other. That’s what we think of the Porsche Cayman and the BMW M235i when you line them up side by side. EVO recently had the opportunity to test both on the track and see which of these two pocket rockets had the upper hand over the other.

It’s important to find an answer, especially when you have two cars that were built to compete against each other. It’s the kind of direct competition that makes a huge deal in the sales figures of both vehicles.

EVO’s Jethro Bovington took both cars out for test runs and came away impressed with both of them. He also had some issues with both cars, but that’s understandable when you place a premium on objectivity.

Bovington ended up determining a clear-cut winner between the Cayman and the M235i, but the time difference was slight. The Cayman has a huge horsepower and torque deficiency when compared to the M235i — 47 horsepower and 119 pound-feet to be exact — but it is lighter, and nimbler than its BMW counterpart. So, which one do you think performs better in Evo’s test? You’ll have to check out this awesome video to find out.


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