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Europe

Europe

Just about every day, we see a new on-car camera shot that is exhilarating, but it’s always lacking something. This “something” that they always lack is the "real" feeling of the driver’s point of view, as the camera is usually connected to the car or on the top of the driver’s helmet.

Well, F1 Driver, Lucas di Grassi decided that it was time to give us a real-life driver’s-eye view of him racing his open-wheel car. He accomplished this by placing a small camera directly in front of one of his eyes, so he was literally driving with just one eye.

Granted, there were no other drivers on the course, but to see him navigate the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the rain was a thing of beauty. In addition, he gave us a taste of some of the speeds they drive by getting his car up to 280 km/h (174 mph) at the 2:45 mark, which is impressive enough in the rain, but with just one eye is simply nuts.

Take a look at the above video to get a true driver’s-eye view of the craziness that F1 drivers have to deal with every race day. It’s pretty intense to say the least.


On August 27, 2012, U.K. banks are closed for a holiday and supercars are set to run wild in celebration of this holiday. At the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, the Supercar Showdown will take place and we will all get a good glimpse and listen to what these cars have to offer.

Some of the cars in this year’s Supercar Showdown include: Jaguar XJ220 , Ferrari F40 , Ferrari F50 , Ferrari 360 Spyder , Lamborghini Gallardo , Mercedes-Benz SLS , Ultima GTR Can-AM, Lightning GT Carbon, Ascari KZ1 GT3 racecar , and Aston Martin GT2 . That, of course, is not an exhaustive list of all of this year’s participants, but it gives us a great idea of what to expect.

The guest list also includes a laundry list of car clubs that are sure to bring numerous hot cars to the National Motor Museum. This year, there will be a course set up in the museum’s parking lot, so you can watch these supercars do what they do best, navigate a road course, though we doubt it will be a timed race, but rather a friendly drive.

You also can get involved in the show, as you can vote on the People’s Choice Award for the best supercar at the show. The winner of this award receives a 60th anniversary Beaulieu trophy and tons of bragging rights.

To get into the show, all you need to do is purchase a general Beaulieu attraction admission ticket and you’re good to go. You can get tickets online at the rate of ₤18 for adults, ₤16.65 for those 60 years and older, ₤10.80 for those 13 to 17 years old, and ₤8,95 for those 5 to 12 years old. Alternatively, you can pick up family admission tickets, which are good for two adults and up to three children for just ₤47.25. This ticket also gives you admission to the museum, World of Top Gear, On Screen Cars, Beaulieu Abbey, and Palace House and Garden.

We are always writing article about this and that sports cars trekking around the famous Nürburgring course in Germany, which we have nicknamed the `Ring out of necessity. We have even seen some not-so-sporty cars lapping the ring, like a CR-V that found out it did not belong on a race track. We never really gave any thought to the financial health of our favorite circuit.

According to a report from Germany, the `Ring is in some serious financial trouble and is in need of a financial bailout. Officials running the Nürburgring have reached out to the European Union for a roughly €13 million bailout, but the EU has said “No way.” In addition to the denial of funds, there is also a pending investigation on a €524 million payment the `Ring and its surrounding attractions – an amusement park, mall and hotel – received.

The reasoning behind this investigation is that German Land Rhineland Palatinate (RLP) provided the €524 million in funds for the building of the aforementioned leisure activities under the guise of tourism. It was later found by the EU that the Nürburgring was already in financial chaos at that time and the funds are seen as a potential bailout, which requires EU approval.

Ultimately, the Nürburgring has already filed for bankruptcy and its future will be decided by either the courts or its new owners.

We knew that the `Ring was in some trouble back in 2010 when the Save the Ring group was formed, but we never would have expected this. We guess Porsche is likely happy with its decision to buy its own track , as the `Ring very well may not exist in just a few years. We hope that is not the end result, but it is a distant possibility.

Shortly after releasing the Twingo RS Red Bull Racing RB7 and the Clio RS Red Bull Racing RB7 , Renault is continuing to expand its Red Bull Racing Edition line-up with a new special edition, this time based on the Megane RS . Sales for the Renault Megane RS Red Bull Racing Edition will be available in 24 countries across Europe and will begin in late Summer 2012.

The special racing edition of the Renault Megane is painted in a very cool Etoile Black exterior color combined with the contrasting use of Renault’s Sport’s emblematic Sirius Yellow for the F1-style front blade, door mirror housings, and diffuser. There is also a black checkered flag pattern decal on the roof and a Red Bull Racing logo on the sides.

For the interior, Renault is offering Recaro bucket seats, a specific gear lever knob, and a numbered plaque. The special edition will also come with a Cup chassis, a limited slip differential, and red brake calipers as standard, as well as an R.S. Monitor that takes its inspiration from the on-board telemetry systems seen in motor racing. This system allows purists to adjust the parameters of the driver aids and benefit from the display of data on the dashboard.

Ever since the official launch of the new Toyota GT 86 , Scion FR-S , and Subaru BRZ , there have been an increasing number of reviews that attempt to provide the full picture surrounding these cars. We are confident in saying that NONE of the reviews published are anywhere near as amazing as the one done by Nino Karotta.

In his review, Karotta crossed Europe in a Toyota GT-86 , going through the twisting mountains of France, continuing on to the German Autobahn, and ending in Austria where he put it up against his own AE86. We won’t tell you how the GT-86 did against the old school AE86; we’ll let you see for yourself!

The most mind-blowing part of this video isn’t just the thorough review of the vehicle, but the intensity in which it was created. It features great camera angles, outstanding editing, and even great music. Overall, it was a dynamic review for an outstanding vehicle, and you get about 21 minutes worth of it. Enjoy!

As a reminder, the Toyota GT-86 is powered by a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated flat-four engine, the result of a joint development between Subaru and Toyota Toyota , combined with D-4S technology (direct injection combined with port injection). This engine produces 200 HP at 7000 rpm and maximum torque of 151 lb-ft at 6600 rpm and is mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission.

In honor of the recent release of “The Amazing Spiderman” TopSpeed brings to you what happens when Spiderman, bearing full-on spidey senses, hops behind the wheel of an F2 car. Well, not really, but this 19-year-old racer, Dino Zamparelli, certainly looked like he had the web shooter’s reflexes at a recent race.

As Zamparelli was pulling away from a yellow flag, which was caused by an earlier wreck, he got up to about 150 mph when suddenly out of the mist appeared a group of very slow-moving cars. Most of us would have likely soiled ourselves and started crying for our mommies, but not Mr. Dino. Nope, he quickly swerves to the left and narrowly avoids the rear, left side of the car in front of him.

On top of his impressive reactions, he also managed to gain a full four positions in the race in the process. How in the world he managed to pull that maneuver off in the pouring rain, with a soaking wet track, and no cockpit to keep the rain from beading up on his helmet’s visor is beyond us.

After he regains control of his car, you can tell that he takes just a few seconds to recollect himself and wonder what the hell just happened. Just a few seconds it was too, as he quickly downshifted after that brief pause and continued on as if nothing happened.

Check out the above video to see this amazing driving feat by this young man.


Chevrolet popped into the FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2005 with a fully modified Lacetti and was a near immediate success. In 2008, Chevy switched over to a modified Cruze and the wins kept coming. Actually, Chevy pretty much dominated the series for eight years, taking home the checkered flag in 59 races, taking home two drivers’ championships, and two constructors’ championships.

Despite all of its success, Chevy has chosen to end its stay in this not-so-popular racing series following the 2012 season. This comes as quite a surprise, given the fact that Chevy once again leads the drivers’ championship and constructors’ championship boards this year. Rarely does a manufacturer have such success in a series and chooses to pull out so sudden.

A silver lining to this announcement is that it is just mid-season, so all of its drivers and other various workers can try to find work elsewhere in the series or maybe in other racing series. With all of the success it has had, we are willing to bet that all of the employees and drivers on this team will have no trouble at all finding work, and some may even move onto bigger and better things.

The exact reasoning for Chevy pulling out was not given. We can connect dots pretty well and when you have a brand that is struggling to sell in Europe, despite its success in a European racing series, it is obvious that pouring money into said European racing series is throwing good money after bad.


Ever since crossovers became a hot thing in the early-2000s, seemingly every car manufacturer has taken the leap into the nearly full crossover pool. The newest market is the compact crossover market, which is just getting started. Fiat has decided that it’s going to get into this side of the pool early on with a 500-based crossover.

This new crossover, which is set to debut in Europe next year, will add to the growing 500 lineup, which currently includes the 500, 500C, 500L and the 500 Abarth. This new vehicle, which the consensus says will be dubbed the 500X, will feature three different engines, Fiat’s two-cylinder turbocharged TwinAir engine, a 1.4-liter and a 1.3-liter turbo-diesel, and will be based on the 500L’s chassis.

If this model makes it to the U.S. – nothing is concrete on a U.S. release yet – it will have stiff competition from the MINI Countryman and a slew of new arrivals. No renditions or teaser images have been released yet, so we are all stuck using our imaginations. I seem to picture something similar to the Suzuki X-90 – one of my top-10 cool, yet ugly, cars – but with a hatch.

We honestly do understand Fiat’s slow-moving tactics here, but buyers are soon going to grow tired of the 500 model. Making subtle changes to an existing model to build buyer interest is a safe bet at first, but eventually buyers will start wondering what’s next and lose interest altogether. It has only been a year since Fiat’s return to the U.S., but it might be time to start considering moving more models to the U.S.

Then again, Fiat is on a slippery slope, as it is also trying to keep Chrysler’s head above water while trying to reintroduce its brand to the U.S. So let’s cut them some slack, for now…

Updated 07/04/2012: During the official debut of the new 500L, Fiat has also dropped some teaser images and a video on the upcoming 500X that will go on sale sometime in 2014. Hit he jump for the video. (Omniauto)

Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept

We love gossip just about as much as a 16-year-old schoolgirl, but our gossip is about [ahem] manly stuff; you know? Things like the rumor out of France that Renault will in fact re-launch the Alpine brand that it shuttered up a little less than two decades ago. You read that right, the Alpine sports car brand is returning… if the rumors are true.

According to comments made by Renault chief of design, Laurens van den Acker, the French automaker is trying to develop a car that is more similar to the A110Berlinette from the `60s and `70s and that it is trying to do with Alpine what BMW has done with MINI . Now, before you go getting all excited about seeing a production model of the A110 concept, you can scratch that, as Renault wanting a design similar to the `60s and `70s Alpine A110 nixes that possibility.

To add some validity to the reports, Jean-Pascal Dauce, Renault’s motorsports department head, was reported saying that they anticipate producing 5,000 to 10,000 Alpines per year. Rumors also point to this limited lineup of sports cars running between €35,000 and €40,000 ($44,000 to $50,000), which makes them relatively attainable.

The final tidbit of info leaked is that Renault is anticipating its release to occur sometime in 2015. Unfortunately, there is no information on whether the new Alpine lineup will be available in the U.S. or not. We are certainly hoping that it does, given what we have seen from the A110 concept.

We’ll keep you posted on anything else that comes across the rumormill.

Saab 9-3

Just when we thought that the Saab saga was reaching its closure, a new wrench gets thrown into the mix. When NEVS purchased Saab’s assets a little while ago, we were under the impression that this sale included the rights to the “Saab” name and logo. According to reports coming out now, this is not the case.

Apparently, the sale of Saab only covered the failed Swedish automaker’s physical assets. The truck-building company, Scania, and Saab AB still own the rights to the Logo and the “Saab” name. For NEVS to legally use the name, both Scania and Saab AB will need to sign off on the usage, and the companies are reportedly in talks about how to handle this.

We would assume that Scania has no issues at all and just wants a piece of that Saab resurrection pie. Saab AB, on the other hand, still runs Saab’s line of parts, which was not included in the bankruptcy. Saab AB could benefit by using this opportunity to negotiate their way into new dealerships when NEVS starts rolling out new electric-powered Saabs. Saab AB also has to consider protecting its brand image, and it NEVS completely botches this revival, it will make Saab AB look bad as well.

We’re confident that a deal will be struck between the three companies to allow NEVS the rights to the name and logo, but Saab AB will likely have a heavy hand in how the name is used.

As always, we’ll keep you updated as additional information comes to the surface on this seemingly endless Saab saga.


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