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Car News

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Having taken delivery of his brand new McLaren P1 supercar — the first US-spec version to cross the Pond — Jay Leno is probably busy driving Britain’s most anticipated vehicle for the 2014 model year as we speak. And we bet he’s grinning from ear to ear while with all 903 horsepower at his disposal.

Coincidentally, the most recent episode of Jay Leno’s Garage also focuses on a British car. One that comes from a different era and in a package that’s more about lightness and precision handling than extreme horsepower. We’re talking about the Lotus Elan 26R.

Launched in 1963, the Elan was a small sports car that measured only 145 inches in length and tipped the scales at just 1,516 pounds. To draw a better picture of what the Elan was about, the third-gen Mazda MX-5 is about 158 inches long and weighs around 2,500 pounds.

Developed using Colin Chapman’s "simplify, then add lightness" design, the featherweight Elan didn’t need more than a 1.6-liter, inline-four engine and 105 horsepower to take on public roads or race tracks at high speeds. Of course, the tiny vehicle quickly became a popular race car .

Getting back to Jay Leno, he already owned a 1969 Lotus Elan, but his garage lacked a track-prepped 26R. That hole was obviously filled recently, when Jim Hall completed the roadster you’re about to see in the video above. The project started from a regular 1966 Elan, which means we’re not dealing with an authentic 26R, but judging by the amount of work it was put into the roadster, it’s safe to assume that Leno’s right by saying this is "the ultimate Elan".

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

If you are one of the rarified individuals that spends your time deciding which six-figure watch to wear to work today, you are likely a huge fan of the Robb Report; the magazine dedicated to only the most luxurious and interesting spectacles of consumerism, culture and travel in the world. Now in its 21st year, the Robb Report Car of the Year award has become quite the top prize for high-end automakers like Aston Martin , Bentley and Lamborghini . The winner this year, chosen by the largest percentage of voters ever, was the incredible Ferrari F12berlinetta .

The Robb Report Club, a collection of readers and top executives made up the 100-member-strong judging panel to choose between a collection of machines that included the likes of the Aventador Roadster , M6 Gran Coupe , SRT Viper and much more. Hands down though, the judging team agreed that Ferrari’s monstrous V-12 power, exquisite road-handling abilities and high level of design and craftsmanship held it aloft the competition.

For a full run down of the whole competition, as well as the voting totals, you can pick up this month’s issue of the Robb Report in stores now, or you can download the special interactive digital version. Here is the full collection of contenders, excluding the Ferrari , listed in finishing order.

Audi R8 V10 Plus
Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster
Aston Martin Vanquish Volante
BMW M6 Gran Coupe
Bentley Flying Spur
Porsche Cayman S
Porsche Panamera Turbo
Jaguar F-Type V8 S
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe
Mercedes-Benz S550
Maserati Quattroporte GTS
Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography
SRT Viper GTS.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari F12berlinetta.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

It is infuriating that this news even deserves printing, but when faced with massive change and new technology consumers are overtly concerned. After a pair of isolated incidents that resulted in Tesla Model S vehicles to catch on fire, due to a damaged battery pack, Tesla has designed an entirely new underbody protection system that uses multiple stage of protection, as well as exotic materials like titanium.

Let us just clear the air first. As Tesla claims in its press release, the odds of any Model S catching on fire are far less likely than in a standard gasoline-powered car. According to Tesla there were more than 200,000 gasoline car fires last year in the United States alone. Compared to two Model S fires. In North America. One of the fires was a result of a collision that happened at more than 100 mph. Would you be even slightly concerned if a car crashing at 100 mph had burst into a fireball?

Nevertheless, people were concerned about safety with the Model S, so Elon Musk and the gang have responded. The new underbody system has been created to prevent punctures and damage from any sort of road debris collision from concrete to hardened steel. During testing, Tesla even mounted pointed objects into the test surface at the perfect angle to force a "piking" event, and the new protective system successfully prevented any damage.

The Tesla Model S was already one of the safest vehicles currently in production, and now it might just be one of the safest vehicles in all of existence.

Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S’s triple underbody shield.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

The new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is more than just another Camaro with a huge motor. As we have shown with videos about wheel design and alterations to the Chevy Bowtie , Every piece of the Z/28 is built to perform. In this latest video, Mark Stielow, the program engineering manager for the project, covers all the new aerodynamic changes that have been made to the car to make it a Nurburgring-blistering beast.

Starting with the nose of this beast, the Z/28 features a large front lip spoiler to create downforce. Mark is quick to point out that this front splitter is much larger than the unit sold with Chevrolet’s other track-focused Camaro, the 1LE . Not only is this front splitter larger, it is steel-reinforced and mounted to the bumper beam of the Camaro to allow it to withstand up to 200 pounds of force. The hood of the car features a revised heat extractor that is made from carbon to reduce weight, and it features a more open design to improve cooling.

Around the side, there are gurney lips in front of the front wheels, the side sills reduce drag and improve downforce, and the whole car sits a full 33 mm (1.3 inches) lower, thanks to a new suspension setup. You can’t see it normally, but there is a large bellypan under the front of the car as well.

There are few more changes, but we don’t want to ruin the whole video for you. All we can say is that GM went above and beyond in creating the new Z/28, and we love every square inch of it.

Car paparazzi extraordinaire Shmee150 recently paid a visit to Arash Motorcars , proving once again that when it comes to sniffing out the fastest machines on the planet, this guy is one of the best in the business. His latest video is more like a 30-minute episode of diving into everything and anything that has to do with one of the most highly regarded niche supercar builders in the world.

Speaking with Arash Farboud himself, the two discussed, among other things, the company’s latest pride and joy, the AF8 supercar.

It’s already known in and out of the industry that the AF8 is one shiny piece of metal and carbon fiber with matching performance credentials to boot. The floor of the supercar is actually made from Kevlar-carbon composite to provide “ballistic” protection against stones and road debris, and lest we forget, the AF8 is powered by an insane, GM-sourced, LS7 7.0-liter V-8 that produces 550 horsepower, enough to push the AF8 to 200 mph.

There’s more to just the discussion of the AF8 in this video so we’re advising everyone to watch the whole episode to get a full idea on how Arash has established itself as one of the finest exotic car builders in the world.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

We may be all hot and bothered with the new Lamborghini Huracan , but technically the Gallardo is still the Lamborghini to buy today. As a quick reminder of why the Lamborghini Gallardo rose to stardom to become the best-selling model in the Italian automaker’s history, we have a pair of videos that show off what the fastest and most capable Gallardo, the LP750-4 Super Trofeo can do.

The first video is a simple dyno run, but it lets you get a good close-up dose of V-10 wail. Final numbers are 509 horsepower. At the wheels. Just be a bit careful with the audio on this one, it starts mid dyno run, and it’s a little loud.

The next video lets you get a good look at what all that power can do. It is a set of three drag races with the first two being against a new 991-generation Porsche 911 Turbo . After more than 10 years in production, the Gallardo was getting a bit long in the tooth, but as these videos show, it certainly aged well.

Click past the jump for the drag racing video.

Source: Dragtimes

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has big plans for Alfa Romeo now that the brand’s direction has been set. Determined to bring Alfa back to profitabilty, the Italian auto conglomerate is looking for help within its ranks, namely that of Ferrari .

Fiat’s plan is pretty clear now that interest in the Alfa Romeo 4C has increased attention to the entire Alfa line. It’s out with old and in with the new, it seems, now that plans to develop a whole spate of Alfa vehicles are in the horizon. The plan includes a new line of rear-wheel-drive sedans and SUVs to supplement the 4C with a target date set for 2016.

But there’s more, or at least Fiat has more in store for Alfa other than the new standard model lineup. High-end versions of Alfa Romeo will also be produced, and that’s where Ferrari comes into the picture.

Reports indicate that these models will use engines developed by Ferrari with the intention of building more performance-oriented vehicles besides the 4C. Could there be an Alfa supercar in the future?

No word on that yet, but Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has made no bones about his intention of turning Alfa around. And with the company boasting more resources now that Chrysler is in the mix, the time has come for all that planning to come to fruition.

It’s now or never for Alfa Romeo and with it comes an all-hands-on-deck attitude for the entire company. Everyone’s going to get involved to bring the company back from the dead, and with six new Alfas planned for the next five years, the plans are finally being set into motion to see whether Alfa still has some juice left on it.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Alfa Romeo SUV

Chris Harris is always dependable for having a jolly good time during his video reviews, and this one of the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is no different. Tire smoke, sideways shenanigans, and fast lap times are a guarantee.

At the beginning, Harris gives an honest opinion of the Jag’s interior. He takes issue with a few points throughout the cockpit, noting the random bit of low-rent materials, miss-matched type fonts, and odd ergonomics. The imperfections are far from a deal breaker though as he can’t seem to get over the F-Type’s exterior aesthetics – especially its “incomprehensibly attractive posterior.”

After a full rundown of the inner bits, Harris gets down to business making the Jag dance around the corners of some picturesque mountain road. The F-Type’s ability to be a subdued Grand Touring car is astonishing given its beastly on-track attributes and unbridled 550 horsepower prancing from its supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8. Even with the traction control off, Harris says the car is so predictable, so well handling that it’s a cinch to drive fast. Getting the tail out is a simple task with 502 pound-feet of torque on tap.

At the track, however, things are even better. With the computer in the right settings and the tires warmed up, the F-Type scoots around with surprising purpose. Its visceral sounds and ostentatious exhaust calls like trumpets of triumph as the Jaguar barrels around corners like it was a Porsche 911 . Its steering, in fact, Harris enjoys more than the 911’s — a car as a whole, he later says, has become “weak" these days.

Harris ends the review by concluding the F-Type might just be the best Jaguar has built since the iconic E-Type of the 1960s. “This is,” he says, “might be the E-Type of my generation.”

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

If you listened to the Episode 004 of the TopSpeed Podcast, you’ll know that we all love the idea of Volkswagen creating a Golf R Wagon. While there are plenty of questions we don’t have answers to - will it be sold in the US, will it get more power to make up for the extra weight, will it even be affordable, etc. – one thing is certain, Volkswagen is making sure it will be blast to drive.

Just after we got our first spy shots of the Golf R Wagon sitting still, we now have photos of Volkswagen blasting this thing around the Nurburgring. Yes, that Nurburgring. Talk about having confidence in your cars.

If you missed the first post, the new Golf R Wagon will essentially just be a stretched version of the new Golf R . That means it gets motivation from a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that is good for about 300 horsepower, and power is sent to all four wheels through Volkswagen’s trick Haldex-based AWD system.

Be careful not to drool on your keyboard. We hear it can cause electrical issues.

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

Jay Leno has taken delivery of a new supercar . What else is new, right? This time, though, Leno’s new baby isn’t just any supercar; it’s actually the first US-Spec McLaren P1 delivered to a private owner.

McLaren of Beverly Hills made the confirmation of Leno’s historic new ride and boy, is it pretty to look at. Dressed in a Volcano Yellow finish, Leno’s new prized purchase —all $1.4 million worth — is as groundbreaking as it comes in the supercar world.

Featuring a litany of technological advancements, the P1 is the crowning achievement of McLaren engineering. The P1 that has taken the mantle of being the fastest and most powerful McLaren ever built. And it runs on hybrid technology, too.

Leno has never been shy about tossing his money around when it comes to high-prized exotics. The comedian is a well-documented gearhead with a car collection that would make Imelda Marcos’ shoe collection look tame by comparison. But without the Late Night money rolling in any longer, he may need to tap Jimmy Fallon for a loan if he keeps up at this pace.

Regardless, bow he gets to add another car to his collection, much to his enjoyment and much to our collective envy. Be easy on your new bird, Jay Leno!


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