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Monaco is pretty well known as the land of supercars, as it has arguably the highest concentration of supercars roaming its streets than any other country in the world. With all of these supercars, it makes life a little difficult for law enforcement to catch speeders. Often times, cars are simply flagged down by foot patrol officers, because Monaco officials know that chasing down a high-powered Lamborghini is fruitless.

Another thing about Monaco, which we know from the Grand Prix of Monaco, is that its roads are chock-full of crazy twists and turns, so agility may be even more important than overall speed. So what are the Monaco Police to do when they finally decide it is time for a crackdown on these crazy drivers? Well, buy one of the most lightweight and agile supercars in the world, the KTM X-Bow R by MTM, of course.

This MTM-tuned KTM X-Bow R pumps out a low-for-a-supercar 400 horsepower from its 2.0-liter engine. It makes up for this relative lack of power by being the Calista Flockhart of supercars and weighing only 1,700 lbs. To give you a better idea of how awesome this car is, it only has 4.25 lbs per horsepower, which is drastically better than that Lamborghini Aventador’s 4.96 lbs per horsepower and the Ferrari 599 GTB’s flabby 6 lbs per horsepower.

The only supercar to beat the KTM X-Bow R by MTM in weight-to-power is the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 , which comes in at 4.15 lbs per horsepower. Now that is some impressive company to be in.

If you still don’t believe us that the KTM X-Bow R by MTM is the car to be chasing down supercar speeders in Monaco, have a look at the video of the police testing it after the jump. That should be plenty to convince you that it is one bad-ass supercar killer.


A few weeks ago, we let you know that the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione became the hottest thing to lap the Nürburgring, as it crushed the old Ferrari record around the Ring by over 7 seconds. Well, the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione was again the hottest thing on four wheels on the Ring, but this time in the literal sense. Yup, while in the pits at the Nürburgring, a small amount of fuel hit the red hot engine and… Well, you can fill in the blanks.

Needless to say, the rear end of the Ferrari became quite the fireball, thanks to racing fuel meeting the freshly raced engine. Fortunately, the picture of the fire makes it look a lot worse than it actually was, as the team was able to douse the fire and get the car back onto the track. We guess that all part of the typical pit crew day, huh?

What’s even more impressive is following this fire, the team managed to regroup and end up taking 1st place in the Alternative Energy Class in the 2012 24 hours of Nürburgring, which it entered as a hybrid, and 12th overall. Good job to the team for their racing and fire-fighting abilities!

Arrinera Venocara Concept

Okay, so we wrote a nice review about the Arrinera Venocara supercar hailing from Poland and we make the observation that this car “looks a hell of a lot like a Lamborghini.” Apparently, the Polish media thought the same, as Jacek Balkan outright accused Arrinera of building this new supercar from a Lamborghini kit available through Polish kit car manufacturer Bojar. Later, Arrinera’s CEO Lukasz Tomkiewicz adamantly denied all accusations and even addressed the usage of an Audi A6 C5 air conditioning panel and instrument cluster.

We can admit that the resemblance between the Lambo and the Arrinera Venocara is striking, but the automotive world is chock-full of copycats and information sharing, so it may just be happenstance. We are not prepared to pass judgment until we put all three of the vehicles in question, the Lamborghini Reventon , the Bojar El Toro Kit, and the Arrinera Venocara on trial in TopSpeed court.

We will closely examine all of the evidence on each car and come to our final ruling as to whether or not this truly is a slightly modified kit car to help boost the blossoming company’s stock, or simply a case of copycatting gone too far.

Click past the jump to view the entire TopSpeed trial…

Following in the trail blazed by the likes of the Savage Rivale GTS and the Spyker C12 Zagato comes another super car bearing the proud colors of the Oranje.

This new piece of four-wheeled exoticness goes by the name of Vencer Sarthe, a hand-built model by the fine folks of Vencer, who apparently want to break into the growing super car market of the European country.

Despite looking a little bland for a super car - the rear end looks like a boring mess of blah - the Sarthe boasts of the finest materials that are "supercar worthy." For example, the entire body is made out of carbon fiber - always a good thing - while also carrying a space frame chassis that’s been built of steel and chrome-moly tubing. It rides on a new set of either 19" or 20 alloy wheels. Again, that’s cool to know.

More than that, the Sarthe’s calling card - as with any other exotic for that matter - is its power train. Packing a mid-mounted V8 engine, the Dutch super car is capable of producing 503 horsepower and 480 lb/ft of torque while mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Those figures translate to a 0-62 mph time of just 3.8 seconds with an impressive top speed of 202 mph.

As with most niche super car models, don’t expect a mass produced Sarthe anytime soon. Vencer has already said that production will be very limited and we’re not about to start questioning that decision.

After all, for a company that’s still looking to break into an extremely competitive industry, testing out the waters sounds like a pretty good idea.

As always, the Grand Prix of Monaco provided a fairly spectacular showing, likely one of the few in this year’s F1 series. As most would expect, Circuit de Monaco lap-time record holder and five-time winner, Michael Schumacher took the pole position, but officials forced him back five grid positions after he caused a collision during qualifying. With the technical nature of Monaco, that pole position is very important and Schumacher’s penalty was an ominous sign that this would not be a good race, as he retired due to fuel issues 63 laps in.

Schumacher’s penalty propelled Red Bull’s Mark Webber into the pole position. Webber held onto that pole position, despite a lead change during a pit stop, and took home the checkered flag on a rain-coated Circuit de Monaco. As we said in our preview of the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco , this race had some serious overall points influence, as the leaders were only separated by a few points each.

This victory for Webber places propels him up to a second place tie with Sebastian Vettel at 73 points and puts Fernando Alonso, who finished third, in the points lead at 76. An impressive run by Nico Rosberg placed him in second, just behind Webber, proving that his wide margin of victory in China was not just a one-time deal. This superb finish by Rosberg jumps him up two slots to fifth place overall.

From the looks of it, this season is shaping up to be a rather close points race with a few new faces near the top. Unfortunately, the leader board, for the most part, looks identical to the 2011 and 2010 seasons. The lack of parody in F1 has really been its Achilles heel in recent history. An overall points victory by Nico Rosberg would certainly be a push in the right direction for F1, so we’ll keep a close eye on his performance.

Click past the jump to see the complete placement board for the 2012 Grand Prix of Monaco and the overall points standings.


One feature that automakers have teased us with and even installed on concept cars is an LED screen and camera in the place of the old-style rearview mirror. With all of the cameras placed all around cars these days, like Subaru Subaru ’s EyeSight system and the various backup cameras, we are surprised this hasn’t become a reality. The assumed reasons for rearview screens not taking the place of rearview mirrors are NHTSA and DOT regulations.

Honestly, we don’t see why the NHTSA and DOT would think a hunk of glass glued to the windshield is safer than a crisp LED image from an HD camera. Then again those two government offices – as with all government offices – make strange regulations. Apparently an LED screen and camera are plenty for Audi’s future Le Mans cars, as the automaker has just announced, via a press release, that its closed LMP prototype will run with an AMOLED screen in place of the mirror and a rear-mounted camera feeding the images to the screen.

The main reasoning behind this is that the LMP prototype’s cabin is fully closed, with exception of the front windshield, so a rearview mirror would display nothing but the rear wall of the cabin. So, if this technology is good enough for racecars, why are we not seeing it installed in street cars yet? Well, we just very well might, as you likely do not remember, but the rearview mirror was not used on motor cars until Ray Harroun’s Marmon “Wasp” used one in the first Indianapolis 500, in 1911. It later became standard per NHTSA regulations for all cars to come with this item, thanks to its overwhelming success in racing.

Odds are that if this system is successful in racing that the NHTSA will adopt it, especially given the fact that rearview cameras are soon to become mandatory on all vehicle.

Click past the jump to read the full press release.


Back in 2007, a well-planned three-way deal between Renault, Nissan and Daimler brought these three automotive powerhouses together. This deal wasn’t necessarily massive, as it only resulted in Daimler getting a 3.1 percent share of Nissan and Renault Renault , and Nissan and Renault getting 1.55 percent of Daimler each. Basically this deal was just to allow the three automakers to freely share their technologies and testing.

It looks as if Renault is pretty close to calling on Daimler to make good on its deal, as Renault is working on a new flagship sedan that will use some Mercedes-Benz parts. This new flagship model is not all Renault is looking ahead to, as the French automaker is also debating releasing an entire lineup of luxury car with Daimler’s help.

The details are still rather sketchy, as they are still in preliminary talks and a lot of the information is from unconfirmed sources. One of the names for the new make that is being tossed around is Initiale Paris, which was once used on a 1995 Renault concept car.

Image Note: The images used are of the 1995 Initiale Paris concept car

Rarely is something both the slowest and the hardest at the same time, but that all goes out the window when you’re talking about the Grand Prix at Monaco. For the majority of the F1 season, the drivers get to open up their cars a good bit. At Monaco, those chances to go wide open are limited to about three, as there are only a three extended straightaways on the track.

Besides those three straights, drivers get to deal with a plethora of intense twists and blind turns that require great care to negotiate correctly. These tight turns all amount to Monaco being the lowest average speed course on the F1 circuit, and arguably the hardest one on the circuit.

Well, the 70th running of this ultra-technical road course is due to start on May 27, 2012 and we’re going to provide a quick preview of what’s to come.

Click past the jump to read all about the Grand Prix at Monaco

Just recently we showed you how Peugeot was using a painfully limber dancer to help sell its newest vehicle, the 208. Peugeot has now released that there has been a new model of the 208 that has been in production since it became a concept. This new model is the 208 R2 Rally Car.

What’s better is that Peugeot is not only using this model as the replacement for the 207 Super 2000, but the French automaker is also offering this FIA-approved rally car for sale to the general public. That’s right, if you are looking to get into rally racing, you can walk into a Peugeot dealership, actually the Peugeot Sport Racing Shop, lay down a large sum of money and walk out owning a “rally ready” hatchback.

With some certainty we can say that the chances of the 2013 208 R2 Rally Car having the exact same specifications as Peugeot’s actual rally model are very low. Having said that, this model comes already certified and you can jump into lower level rally races and possibly take home some cash prizes.

Click past the jump to read our full review.

The Rondeau-built M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car is a true piece of Le Mans history, as it currently holds the title for most starts at Le Mans (10). With the amount of stress put on Le Mans cars today, this record is likely to stand for quite some time.

The M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car made its debut in 1978 in the GTP class of the Le Mans 24 Hours race with two drivers, Bernard Darniche and Jack Haran. In its debut race, the Rondeau M378, or “Old Number 1” as it was nicknamed, took a somewhat disappointing 9th place. The following year, Old Number 1 was tweaked to M379 specifications and wound up pulling in 3rd overall and 1st in the GTP class.

The Rondeau M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car saw plenty of success through the 1970s, but the 1980s were far less kind to it. As technology continued advancing, the Rondeau M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car just couldn’t keep up. It all bottomed out in this record holder’s final race, as it ran in and finished the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours race, but was not classified.

Shortly after its last race, the Rondeau M378 Le Mans GTP Racing Car went on to be sold off to an American collector, who raced it in the 1998 Monterey Historics race.

If you are looking to own a piece of Le Mans history, few stack up to this car’s legacy, but is this a good item to look into purchasing when it goes to auction on May 11th through 12th?

Click past the jump to read the full review.


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