The boys from Top Gear USA were back this week and they are starting to pick up a little bit of speed in terms of entertainment value. The discussions still tend to be a little too rehearsed, but we didn’t want to turn off the television as soon as they started talking. Well, except for when Adam opened his mouth, but we’re used to that.
The main focus this week was trying to figure out which truck was the best in America. After spending the entire first episode trying to convince us all that pick-up trucks could be convinced by two-door models, this was a welcome change. Other segments included battling it out between the Local Motors’ Rally Fighter and an airboat, and a trip around the Top Gear test track with actor/comedian Bill Engvall.
Hit the jump to check out the full details on Top Gear USA: Season 2 Episode 3.
When most people just see a Nissan GT-R, they are in awe of this seminal feat of engineering. This car offers super car performance and practicality that perhaps makes it the best daily driver on the road today. Yet the Chicago based tuning company, AMS Performance, looked at the GT-R and set themselves a monumental engineering challenge. Cue dramatic music; they set out to build the fastest GT-R . To make this daunting challenge even harder the engineers from AMS kept the GT-R’s stock interior and amenities like air conditioning.
So did these engineers from Chicago accomplish their lofty goal? The answer is a resounding yes. This car posted the fastest GT-R quarter mile in history, posting a time of 8.97 second a astonishing 169 miles an hour.
Check out the video of this record breaking quarter mile run!
You could say that the driver of the Ferrari 458 Italia was a little too eager in making his rival Dodge Viper eat his dust. You could even say that his heart was a racing a little and the adrenaline got the better of him. But to start a drag race like this with so many people watching? A little embarrassing, if you ask us.
Watch the video and you’ll see the Italian supercar and the American sports car in a nice and friendly quarter-mile race. Everything looks ready to roll except that when the light turned green, the 458 Italia went backwards. As in reverse. As in ’oops’.
The driver’s brainfart caused him to shift his car’s dual clutch auto transmission into reverse, which would have probably been more understandable if he wasn’t sitting behind the wheel of a 458 Italia.
But a car of that stature to start a drag race in backwards fashion is just well beyond humiliating.
Check out the video and watch the drag race folly at the 0:39 mark.
What looks like a seemingly ordinary Audi A5 is anything but normal when you look at what’s sticking out of its rear end. Dressed in a polished white garb, this particular A5 has been stripped bare of just about everything except for the body panels. What it now has, though, is a 1,000-horsepower turbocharged drag engine complete with a parachute on its behind and a full roll cage for safety.
The work was done by Jens Eklund and his team over at Eklund Racing, no strangers to turning Audis into 1,000-horsepower vehicles of mayhem. Apparently, their appetite for cars of mass destruction is once again being satiated by this unassuming A5.
Just goes to show how far boost junkies will go to to get their fix. We’re just hoping that they didn’t remove the seat belts like they did to just about everything else.
There are plenty of photos of this one-of-a-kind Audi A5 at your disposal. But more important than the photos is a 12-minute video of the car in action. Best be warned, this isn’t like any Audi A5 you’ve ever seen in the past.
Henry Ford introduced the automobile to the masses with his less expensive vehicles built on an assembly line. Once cars were being used widely, it was only a matter of time before the human love of competition took over. Dry lake beds and two lane strips of roadway became the first places to test your vehicle against another driver. These non-sanctioned events were essentially illegal drag races that took place throughout the country. A few fans of this growing competition began developing rules and regulations that have led to the NHRA or National Hot Rod Association that we know today.
Speed demons were able to break the 100mph barrier on the Muroc dry lake bed in California’s Mojave Desert, but it was not until 1950 that a man by the name of C.J. Hart was able to open the first official drag strip for racing. As soon as people saw the opportunity to race in safer and well-timed events the sport of drag racing was truly born. This first drag strip ran races until 1959 and by that time the NHRA had multiple national events taking place throughout the United States.
The NHRA has become a larger success than anyone could have imagined and now comprises 80,000 members. Wally Parks was the associations first President and once noted, “we did have ambitions of its becoming a national sports entity. We weren’t planning or marketing geniuses or anything like that. Things happened and we went with our instincts.”
Hit the jump for more details on the History of Drag Racing
In the high-octane, torque-twisting world of the drag strip, a paradigm shift is slowly taking shape with the most unlikely of cars leading the way. Unassuming look aside, the “Black Current” Volkswagen Beetle EV by Oliver Young is an electric vehicle that has done some serious damage on the drag strip becoming the first street-bodied EV to post a nine-second, quarter-mile time. That time looks more impressive when you take into account the fact that this little Beetle once destroyed a Tesla Roadster on a drag strip.
While it’s not the fastest quarter-mile time ever posted by an EV – that title belongs to the Current Eliminator, which covered the same distance in seven seconds at 160 mph – the Black Current does hold the record for being the fastest ‘street-bodied’ EV in the world - at least until proven otherwise.
For now, though, Oliver Young can stake claim to this tremendous achievement and on a grander scale, he and his ‘Black Current’ Beetle EV are giving EVs the proper exposure in the world of drag racing, something that was unheard of as late as a decade ago.
More details on the Volkswagen Beetle EV “Black Current” after the jump
Crazy as it sounds, there are just people that have nothing better to do with their money than waste it away on a meaningless drag race between an American classic and an Italian thoroughbred. Yep, you read the title right, too: a $400,000 bet to see which car is faster in a quarter-mile run.
Can you say nuts?
Dan Bilzerian owns what’s described as a tuned-up 1965 427 Shelby Cobra and with nothing else better to do, he decided to engage his friend Tom Goldstein to race against the latter’s 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia in a good old fashion quarter-mile drag race. But instead of settling for bragging rights or a Diet Pepsi at the vending machine, the two men decided to raise the stake to the tune of $400,000.
One race. One winner. One $400,000 bet. Unbelievable.
In what will go down as one of the most expensive “friendly” bets we’ve ever seen, the two buddies bring their machines to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to settle the score and, more importantly, who takes home that ridiculous amount of money.
So, who won? Well, something like this doesn’t deserve a spoiler. Check out the video after the jump and find out.
On paper, this match-up between a Lamborghini Gallardo and a scooter looks to be as lopsided an encounter the likes of which we haven’t seen since Randy Couture pummeled James Toney into submission a minute into their encounter in UFC 118 a month ago.
We already know what a Gallardo is capable of, but to even the playing field – somewhat, at least – the challenging scooter, dubbed the JetVespa, was outfitted with a rocket engine. Will the added power be enough for the diminutive JetVespa to stage an upset over the mighty Lamborghini on par with the 1980 Miracle On Ice?
In the interest of spoiler alerts, we won’t spare you the details because you have to watch the video to find out. We’ll tell you something, though. The Gallardo/JetVespa throw-down was a lot more competitive than we initially thought. Then again, it wouldn’t be as awesome if the result was predictable, right?
Okay, does anyone else think this whole crazy horsepower thing is getting completely out of control? Yeah, we don’t either, but we thought it would be interesting to ask anyway. The reason we asked is because Vauxhall will be unveiling their most powerful and fastest model ever at the VXR Power Festival in Northamptonshire on August 28th-29th. It’s called the "Red Victor 3" and it will be powered by an 8.8 liter twin-turbocharged GM V8 engine that delivers a total of 3000 HP. Take a minute to let that soak in....
The car was inspired by Vauxhall’s original 1967 Victor FD and is a collaboration between VXR and the Red Victor team who will be partners for the 2011 MSA Pro-Modified Drag Racing season. The team is predicting a top speed, to begin with, of 240mph in the quarter-mile. This should be achieved in 6.5 seconds. For those of you who do not know, their last project (Red Victor 2), was capable of nearly 200mph in the quarter-mile and was able to make it from 0-153mph in 4.8 seconds.
"We’re sure visitors to the Power Festival will make a B-line for the Victor,” said Stuart Harris, Vauxhall’s Group Product Manager. "We’re really looking forward to working with Andy Frost, Red Victor’s creator, and his team next year and see this as a great match for the VXR brand." Yes sir, and we are looking forward to seeing the Red Victor 3 in action. It’s going to be killer.
You think a supercharged 750 horsepower Russian Porsche 997 Turbo SPI750 by Switzer Performace Innovation can hold its own against its supercar brethren in a good ol’ fashion drag race?
If you’re having trouble answering that question, you’re in luck because somebody’s going to answer it for you. That ’somebody’ - or some bodies - happens to be the folks from Dragtimes.info and the drag race-addicted members of GT-Board happen to have a number of supercars ready to meet the challenge that is the SWI-tuned Porsche 997 Turbo.
We’re not spoiling the results for any of you, but one thing that you guys can be absolutely certain of is that these cars are no lightweights by any stretch of the imagination. So you better gear yourself up for a slobberknocker of a race - or three.