We all know and mostly love the WRX STI that Subaru pumps out each year. The latest model produces a stout 305 horsepower and 290 pound feet of torque through Subaru’s famed AWD system, all for a relative bargain of $34,000. Unfortunately, the STI nameplate has never extended beyond the WRX lineup.
That may become a thing of the past, as Subaru debuted its Forester TS, which is tuned by STI to pump out 259 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque from its 2.5-liter 4-banger, to its newest market – Russia. What in the world does an STI-tuned Forester in Russia have to do with more STI models in other countries? Well, according to a report by Autocar, this is simply a test market.
This test will gauge the demand of an STI-tuned car, besides the WRX, in a market other than Japan. A Subaru insider was quoted as saying “It’s clear that STI’s abilities and experience could work on other cars in other markets,” and “Confining them to WRX projects doesn’t make sense when the demand is there.” This would lead us to believe that if the Russian Forester TS succeeds, then Subaru would be start expanding its STI lineup in other markets, like the U.S.
All we can hope for it that the Forester TS takes hold in Russia and Subaru decides to expand the STI lineup in the U.S. to the Subaru BRZ . We know that’s beating a dead horse, but this insider info really shows that this is becoming more of a possibility. This also points to the possibility of a turbocharged Forester STI coming to the U.S., which could give Subaru some much needed help fending off the turbocharged 2013 Ford Escape .
Who knows, we may just run into a performance crossover SUV war soon.
Hmm, that’s kind of scary... We guess little Billy and Sara would always make it to soccer practice on time.
For the most part, when you get together a big group of tuners – we mean real tuners, not some dude that throws 500 lbs of plastic and chrome on his ride and calls it a “tuner” car – there are several clear divides. One of the biggest divides is between the Nissan group and the Toyota group. As the No. 2 and 3 import tuner cars, respectively, there is no love lost between them. In real life they respect each other – for the most part – but under the hood, they despise one another.
This is why you never see a Nissan-meets-Toyota kind of monster build. You’ll see domestic engines in Hondas and vice versa, but you never ever see someone take a Nissan car and drop a Toyota powerplant in it. Well, until now!
Steven Mills, in collaboration with ISS Forged and Tech 2 Motorsports, decided, like many others in the world, that the VQ35 engine found in his 350Z was not up to snuff, even with a wide array of mods. So he yanked it out and dropped in a Nissan powerplant. Oh, you would like to know what engine he swapped it out for. You will be surprised, we are sure of it.
Click past the jump to find out about the engine and read our full review.
Last year, we showed you the GreenGT LMPH2 model that was invited to the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans , but did not race. Now that Green GT has nearly mastered its art of alternative fuel usage, it is set to enter its newest invention, the GreenGT H2, to the 2013 running of the Le Mans endurance race.
This H2 is nothing short of an impressive piece of work, as it boasts a pair of three-phase electric motors that each produce 200 Kw of power, which equals out to 544 horsepower reaching the rear wheels. What’s even more impressive is the astounding 4,000 Nm (2,950 pound-feet) of torque these motors create – no, that’s not a typo, two-thousand nine-hundred and fifty pound-feet. Being this is fully electric, we assume that this massive torque amount is instantly available.
Now, in order to run an electric motor, you need batteries, right? Not so fast. You’re forgetting about the oft-left-out fuel cell technology. The H2 uses a hydrogen fuel cell to produce the electricity the motors require. The only emissions produced are in the form of water vapor and heat.
You may think that the GreenGT will run away from the competition with its 2,950 pound-feet of torque and 544 horsepower, but you have to remember that this technology is still in production. The GreenGT H2 can only run for a solid 40 minutes at a time before needing its composite tanks refilled with hydrogen.
We’re excited to see the GreenGT H2 in action and this is really our front runner as the eventual replacement for gasoline power in auto racing. It may even wind up in personal cars too.
Lamborghini’s “entry-level car,” if you want to call the $187,000 Gallardo “entry level,” is getting on in age and we already know that a successor is due out in 2014. We also know that the Gallardo came in a dizzying amount of formats, trim levels, body styles, and special editions, which tended to confuse the casual Lamborghini buyer and was somewhat intimidating.
In an interview with Car and Driver, Lamborghini America COO, Michael Lock, let us know that the Gallardo’s successor, which may be named the Huracán, will be a much simpler lineup to navigate. It’s not that Lambo will eliminate all of the options, but rather streamline them into precise packaging. The basic configurations — coupe, convertible, all-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, and lightweight — will be available, but you will not be able to walk into a dealership and pick a Lamborghini that meets every spec (i.e. convertible, all-wheel drive, and lightweight).
That will be a relief to most buyers, as is the much needed elimination of the aging Gallardo. We will continue keeping an eye out for news on the upcoming Gallardo replacement and let you know as soon as we hear something. We expect to start seeing a lot more details rolling down the pipe by the end of this year and we should see an actual production concept sometime in early-2013.
Also addressed in the meetup was the manual transmission option making a return in the Gallardo’s replacement. It was confirmed by Lambo’s COO that the manual option will not return in this model, or ever again to the Lamborghini lineup.
After a healthy drought between Bahar-and-Lotus divorce articles, we have now started a new streak for this dysfunctional divorce. We recently learned that Lotus is auctioning off Bahar’s custom 2002 Lotus Esprit and it may be a fund-raising effort for their upcoming legal battle with its former CEO.
You guessed it. It is now official that Bahar has filed a high-court suit against Lotus for wrongful termination. The suit is reported to be worth ₤6.7 million and is against both Lotus and DRB-Hicom, with the former being the first defendant and the latter being the second in the case.
According to a report from DRB-Hicom, it opposed Bahar’s accusations and is prepared to defend them vigorously. In addition, DRB-Hicom has filed a counter-suit against Bahar, likely for misuse of corporate funds, as he was renting a house on Lotus’s dime, which isn’t a big deal, but dumped tons of money on having the rental property refurbished, using Lotus funds, allegedly.
In a statement, DRB-Hicom stated "The exact quantum of costs arising from the claim cannot be determined at this point in time... We will make the requisite announcements when appropriate." That sounds like corporate-ese for “we are trying to dig up every last penny that Bahar used without permission and add it up to really make him look bad.”
For now, this is all the news we have on this front, but we’ll keep you up to date on this lawsuit as it progresses.
There are three types of accidents in the world of car racing: expected, freak, and “how in the [insert favorite expletive] did that happen?” Well, an accident involving an AMG racecar, air line, and four Mercedes DTM crew members falls into the latter of those three categories.
This is a clear example of a pit crew simply not following the most basic of pit rules: clean your crap off of pit lane after you’re done and secure your air hose properly until you are ready to use it. After a fairly quick pit stop by the AMG coupe during practice at Zandvoort on Friday, the coupe speeds away. The crew directly in front of the car apparently left their air hose dangling over the track in anticipation of a pit stop of their own and the car’s rear spoiler caught the hose.
Well, the hose turns into a massive bull whip with a crack that would make Indiana Jones feel inadequate. As it whips around, it catches four crew members and drops three to the tarmac. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, as Mercedes has released a statement that three of the four were released from the hospital and are back on the job, but one remains in the hospital with serious, but not life threatening, injuries.
From the 1:10 mark to the 1:15 mark, you can see the accident in slow motion and you can really get a look at how lazily wrapped the air hose is. The hose that the Mercedes hit was hanging halfway down, whereas the rest of the hoses in pit lane are tightly wrapped and well above the top of the spoiler.
We’re sure this team is in for a quick and harsh lesson on pit-lane maintenance and organization. Then again, getting bull whipped by an air hose may be lesson enough.
Building a racecar is a tall task, but building one that is to endure the stresses of running at full bore for 24 hours is a real test. Since 2008, Lexus and Gazoo racing have partnered up to bring the Lexus LFA to SP8 endurance class. Every year that the LFA took to the starting grid at the Nürburgring 24, there were issues. Be it a vehicle-disabling wreck, mechanical malfunction, or simply poor performance, the team never finished higher than 41st overall.
In 2012, the team showed up at the Nürburgring as humbled as they had ever been, calling themselves rookies, despite five years of running the race. The humbleness and hard word paid off for the team this year, as is took home the top spot in the SP8 class and 15th place overall. This was the first time since the Dodge Viper GTS won in 2001 and 2002 that a non-German automaker won the SP8 class.
In celebration of this notorious victory, and the five years of knuckle busting wrench turning and headache-inducing engineering that Lexus and Gazoo has endured, the two have released a video chronicling its journey to success. Sure, the video is very short – only 4:14 – but the detail covered in such a short period of time is simply incredible.
The team lets you into the action and if you don’t get into the video, you may want to check your pulse real quick. There is some awesome sound too, so make sure you have your speakers or headphones cranked up.
Criminals are all too often not the brightest bulbs in the pack and this usually results in them using something like a 1989 Dodge Shadow as their getaway car. Well, not to compliment a robber, but this UK thief took planning to a whole new level and stole himself a real getaway ride, a 450-horsepower Audi RS5 .
After his 16th robbery of a UK business, he took off in the RS5 and the police could hardly keep up – seeing the cars they drive, it is no surprise. The dude even outran a helicopter. It wasn’t until he decided to make a stopover at a local apartment complex that he was tracked down and busted.
The police estimated that he was doing upwards of 180 mph during the chase and by the looks of the helicopter camera, his tires gave way at some point and he was shooting sparks from the rims – a tribute to that wonderful Quattro AWD system, if I may add.
In all, this 65-mile run from the cops in a stolen Audi beast – and the multiple robberies – landed this thief in jail for nine years. A rather light sentence for all of those crimes and an extremely fast police chase. We guess they do things a little differently in the UK.
Anyways, check out the above video to see all of the craziness. You’ll notice that the cameras are pretty choppy in the beginning, but the chase section is nice and smooth.
China has really become quite the unexpected hotbed of supercars and this next one is very surprising. Someone has caught a video of a Pagani Zonda Cinque doing a number of donuts outside of the Chinese Supercar Club. Keep in mind the rarity of the Cinque ... There were only five of them ever built – yeah, f-i-v-e – and each one costs €1.3 million ($1,631,760) at the current exchange rates). We would be damned if we had one of those five and were out in in the rain, let alone doing donuts in the rain.
Then again, is this really a true Cinque? It’s honestly really hard to tell, as the camera is too far away. The exhaust tone sounds almost identical to every other Cinque video that we have seen, but the engine just doesn’t seem as quick to respond as others we have seen. Then again, the driver may just be feathering the accelerator lightly.
You be the judge by checking out the above video. If it is the real deal, this is the unicorn of all car videos. If it is a kit car – remember, China pretty much invented knocking off high-end sports cars – then it is one hell of a knock off, but it is still a complete fail...
What do you think, real or fake? Let us know in the comments.
On August 29th, the Moscow International Automobile Salon 2012 kicks off and it is scheduled to run through September 9th. For this upcoming show, TOPCAR has put together an entrant in the form of a 2012 Porsche Panamera customized to the gills. This Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR is actually the 9th edition of 25 upcoming Stingray GTR models.
We are not necessarily huge fans of the Panamera and even less of fans when it comes to customized models. So many companies tend to go way overboard restyling the Panamera and they actually end up taking away the little character that this Porsche sedan actually has.
TOP CAR has taken to this Panamera from top to bottom, decking out its interior, exterior, engine, and even the brakes in an attempt to not just make it look better, but run with the best of them. Can TOP CAR really pull off the nearly impossible by handing us a well-designed Panamera with accents where they need to be, or did they just roll out another Panamera hack-job like we usually see?
Click past the jump to read our full review to see how it stacks up.