Europe

Europe

This picture may be a little old — from the 2007 Goodwood Festival of Speed rally — but it still captures the essence of rally racing. Not only are rallys hard to photograph because of the limited angles you have, but the high speeds and bouncing that the cars do make it nearly impossible.

Well, Kolin Tregaskes caught Colin McRae’s Subaru WRX heading up the Goodwood Forest Rally at the Festival of Speed . Yup, Goodwood has more than just an awesomely technical road course.

You get to see this blue rocket propelling between the trees, likely at speeds most of us would not hot on the interstate, let alone off road. In his trail is nothing but a light cloud of dust.

Even with Tregaskes’ steady hand and likely high-end digital camera, the violent bouncing of McRae’s car still comes through as a light blur. This makes you wonder exactly how these rally drivers can even see the path they are piloting.

Nice grab by Kolin Tregaskes. Make sure to catch his entire Flickr portfolio here to see other great shots.

Source: Flickr

Few men get to have as much fun as Chris Harris does, as he is constantly beating the hell out of cars and getting paid to do so. So for the most part, we all live vicariously through his videos. In his latest installment, he takes on a car that we haven’t seen too much of here in the states, but is vastly popular, per Harris’ video, in the European market.

This elusive slab of carbon fiber and tubular steel is the BAC Mono . In the terms of a race car, its 280-horsepower 2.3-liter Duratec Ford engine with Cosworth-built pistons and forged rods is paltry. However, when you mate that up to a flat-shifting, paddle-shift, 6-speed trans, and a 540 kg (1,190-pound) chassis and body, you have one mean machine.

This British rocket hits a top speed of 170 mph and sprints to 60 in just 2.8 seconds – not too shabby for a glorified Focus engine, huh? Add in a rain-soaked track with plenty of twists and turns with Chris Harris behind the wheel, and you have a whole lot of BAC Mono tail wagging. Despite all of the oversteer, Harris repeatedly boasts how easy the Mono is to control. This becomes obvious when he doesn’t spin it out even once, despite swinging that tail end out pretty wide at times.

Check out the above video to see for yourself. If you’re able to, crank up the volume too, so you can get a good listen to that high-revving Ford power plant.

Source: YouTube

Okay, car commercials tend to get just a little extreme and us Americans only get to see a fraction of them, due to certain makes not being sold in the States. One automaker that is not currently selling cars in the U.S., but does well in other markets around the world, is Renault . Part of its success may be due to its crazy commercials, like the one above.

Two women of near equal beauty – racecar driver and French TV presenter, Margot Laffite and a cute blonde known only as “Jenny” – whip a Twingo R.S. around the Nürburgring. The racing is great and the women are superb, but Renault had to add in a slight twist. That twist was to challenge “Jenny” to hold a fish bowl full of water and a fish while Laffite winged this hot hatch around the `Ring.

The reactions of “Jenny” are classic and the enjoyment in Laffite’s face as she scares the crap out of this “Glam passenger” are priceless. To make things a little more interesting for the guys, this well-built passenger is wearing a white shirt, and we all know what a white shirt plus water equals...

Put your tongues in your mouths, guys, she’s wearing a blue bra, so there’s nothing to see, unless wet lingerie is your deal.

In all, the video is pretty sweet and we can’t wait to see the next edition in Renault’s “Challenge Us If You Can” video campaign. Keep it here to get the latest videos as the become available.

Audi officially buys Ducati

Okay, for ease of understanding we always just place Lamborghini under Volkswagen AG’s umbrella, but in reality, VW owns 99 percent of Audi AG who in turn owns Lamborghini ... got it? In a third party, back-door kinda way, yes, VW does own Lamborghini... sort of. So earlier in the year, we mentioned that Audi had secured the Italian motorcycle builder, Ducati, for about $1 billion.

According to Audi’s financial report, it is not the owner of Ducati . How in the world does that kind of error slip through the cracks, right? Well, apparently, Audi follows the same school of thought as its parent company, Volkswagen AG, and tries to push the bounds of legality to get things done, a la Porsche getting a share of VW to exempt VW from paying taxes on the buyout .

Instead of Audi buying Ducati, Lamborghini actually bought it. This does two things for VW, Audi, and Lamborghini. First, it allows it to retain its Italian roots and secondly, it helps push Lamborghini’s overall fuel economy and emissions closer to the European standards that have plagued it in recent years.

So VW has found a way to slither its way through the EU rulebook and find a way around a very important law. Touché, VW, we bow to your supreme rule-bending abilities and the way you do it without us even noticing sometimes.

From the people that once brought us the Prombron and subsequent variants of arguably one of the most unique armored cars in the world, Dartz is back with yet another creation: the Nagel Dakar. If the name strikes a bell, we’ll point out that the Nagel Dakar is named after Russian racing driver Andrew Nagel, the second place finisher at the 1912 Monte Carlo Rally.

Just like the Prombron, Dartz is wasting little time building up the Nagel Dakar, even going to the curious length of introducing it under a new class of cars it’s calling B.N.U.D.S.

So what exactly is B.N.U.D.S.? We’ll save that for information after the jump. For now, Dartz’s introduction of the Nagel Dakar comes with a pair of renderings to give us an idea on what the car looks like. Suffice to say, it looks exactly what Dartz has come to be known for in the industry: the creators of some of the most unique machineries in the world.

Find out more about the Nagel Dakar - and what B.N.U.D.S. means - after the jump.

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.


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