France

France

"Gentleman Edition" might be a weird name to call a special-edition model, let alone one with the unbridled fury of a 2014 Nissan GT-R , but that’s what Nissan is calling it.

The GT-R Gentleman Edition.

Odd name choice notwithstanding, the GT-R Gentleman Edition is very limited, as only 10 of these babies will be made. No more. No less.

It’ll only be sold in France, which is a bummer, but for those lucky enough to get one, you get the treat of a limited run GT-R that that’s slotted just above the Black Edition, of which its equipment is based on.

As for the car itself, the GT-R Gentleman Edition only comes in an equally limited Grey Squale finish to go with an amber red leather interior. The latter, in particular, also boasts of hand-sewn seats, as well as more leather coverings on the gear shifter knob, lever gaiter, handbrake, door panels, and table passenger-side edge.

More than just a fancily dressed GT-R, the Gentleman Edition also comes with some special add-ons, including: a special bag, glasses case and covering pockets that are stitched in leather.

Finally, specific identification titanium can be found on the front fender while a numbered customizable titanium placard is displayed on the dashboard just to show everyone that this car is only 1 of the 10 Gentleman Edition GT-R models Nissan is building.

Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan GT-R

Mini has unveiled a special-editionJohn Cooper Works Countryman to celebrate the company’s huge success their triumph in the Dakar Rally 2013 where Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret have driven their MINI ALL4 Racing to overall victory. This new special edition, dubbed the ALL4 Dakar Winner, will be limited to only 11 units - a tribute to Peterhansel’s 11 Dakar wins and it will be sold exclusively in Peterhansel’s home country of France.

On the exterior, this special edition uses the same colors seen on the MINI ALL4 Racing: a matte-black body combined with special bright-green racing stripes. The exterior will be distinguished by Dakar Rally winner’s logo and the Peterhansel’s signature on the bonnet. As with any other special edition, the new John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4 Dakar Winner received new 19-inch light-alloy wheels in Cross-Spoke Crusher design.

On the interior, the same black used on the exterior is combined with green contrast stitching on the gearshift lever gaiter and floor mats and, green stripes on the center console. Each unit will also be further identified by a special-edition logo and with the serial number placed above the glove compartment.

There is no mention of performance upgrades, so we can only assume that this special edition retains the same 211-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that is good for 221 pound-feet of peak torque. This sprints the JCW Countryman to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds.

Trying to stop a Range Rover driving at a speed of 150 km/h (93 mph) is not always a good move. Three French police officers have learned it in the most tragic way, as two of them - age 32 and 40 - were killed and the third one, aged 54, was seriously injured.

First details suggest that the police officers were chasing the Range Rover for multiple infractions of the road. The police car - a Ford Mondeo - tried to block the SUV, which apparently had no intention to stop and the impact was of a "rare violence."

The Range Rover driver - age 22 - has a pretty hefty criminal record, as he was involved multiple small thefts and drug trafficking, and was arrested five times for driving offenses. Initial reports suggest that during this incident he was under influence and medical reports revealed 1.4 grams of alcohol per liter of blood, while the limit is 0.5 grams / liter of blood. He was also without driving license.

We caught a glimpse of the Peugeot Onyx Concept a few weeks ago on Peugeot’s Facebook page. Peugeot, however, chose to be a little coy and not actually release the information, but we managed to peg it down as the Onyx.

Peugeot has now decided to spill the beans about its fancy new concept joining it at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, the Onyx Hybrid. Peugeot has released more detailed specifications and some pretty detailed pictures of this new supercar. And this car is much more impressive than any of the initial rumors could have ever alluded to.

Though the press release shows us no indication of when Peugeot plans to officially unveil the Onyx to the public, we can safely assume that it will be at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. Even without the official public reveal, all of the information and images that Peugeot has released, we can now pass a detailed review of Peugeot’s supercar concept on to you.

UPDATE 09/17/2012: Peugeot has touched base with us to say that the Onyx’s gasoline engine puts out 1160 Nm (855 pound-feet) of torque and the electric motor puts out 280 Nm (206 pound feet) of torque for a combined 1,061 pound feet of peak torque. They also let us know that Onyx will not ever be produced (duh), but it is rather just a future styling and technology piece.

Click past the jump to read all about this supercar concept and to find out when and if Peugeot plans to put it on the market.

About 15 months ago, Renault was neck-deep in an espionage case that involved three executives allegedly selling electric vehicle information to China and funneling money into illegal accounts. It later came out, following a French investigation into the firing of the three executives, that the executives were not involved in industrial espionage and that they were wrongfully terminated.

Renault found out exactly what crow tasted like, as they compensated the fired executives for lost salary and defamation, but apparently there was a little leftover crow, as 15 months after this all took place, the company’s COO, Patrick Pelata, has submitted his resignation. This isn’t the first time Paleta has submitted a resignation, as he entered one shortly after the case went sour, but Renault’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn, rejected the resignation. Renault accepted the resignation, but instead of outright losing Pelata, Renault placed him in an advisory role in the Nissan -Renault Alliance.

This time, however, the resignation will stick, as Renault has announced that effective August 16th, Paleta will step down from his post in the alliance. According to reports, there is no information on where Pelata will land, but we are certain he will find a new home, despite the false espionage case.

We’ll let you know where he ends up as soon as we find out.

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.

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

Posted on by Brad Anderson

Every form of motorsport carries risk but generally speaking, this risk is only relevant to the actual racers and their pit teams as spectators are usually shielded from danger with high fences and strong tire walls.

However, rallying does not offer the level of safety which NASCAR and Formula One do, as onlookers can get within inches of speeding race cars and as a result, rallying is unquestionably one of the most dangerous motorsports in the world, if not the most dangerous.

Rallying is so dangerous in fact that the Group B rally series was cancelled predominantly because of the risk to onlookers. Unfortunately however, modern day rallying involves almost all of the same risks and it is that exact risk to spectators’ lives which recently killed two fans and injured 17 more, when a French rally car lost control during a race before careening into the group of spectators.

No names of those injured or killed have been released, but one of the casualties was reportedly a race marshal, while numerous children were also injured in this tragic accident. The event took place near Toulon, along France’s Mediterranean coast and is said to have been caused due to driver error, where they reportedly made a mistake at an intersection and plowed into the crowd rather than taking a sharp right turn.

Dominique Demeyer, another driver taking part in the event who witnessed the crash said, "The car took off straight ahead. It crashed into a first row of spectators before peeling off and mowing down other people who were further off."

Despite the obvious carnage caused by the event, it’s currently unconfirmed as to whether the driver will face any criminal charges - possibly on count of manslaughter – as he managed to walk away with just minor injuries.

Source: BBC News

Now that Maybach is out of the picture, Daimler’s presence in one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals - the 2012 Cannes Film Festival - now hinges on Mercedes-Benz.

The German automaker is responding in golden fashion by bringing in a fleet of its vehicles covered in...gold. If the glitz of all these golden Mercs serving us certifiable shuttle vehicles, Mercedes is also dressing up one car, a 2013 Mercedes SL65 AMG, in gold where it was displayed in all its shining and shimmering glory at the Cinema Against AIDS Gala being organized by the amfAR foundation at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 24.

In addition to having their gold-covered fleet vehicles, Mercedes will also be hosting a plethora of events during the event, one of which is a test drive session of all its latest models. This session will be open to the public and will take place along the French Riviera. And lastly, Merc’s performance division, AMG, will be sponsoring a handful of events, particularly the "Le Club by Albane" at the J.W. Marriott hotel and the “IWC Filmmakers Dinner” at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 21st.

So if any celebrity is looking for a ride to Cannes, it probably won’t be too difficult to spot any one of these golden Mercedes vehicles. Then again, you can skip all that and pull off a Kanye West and just drive to the event in a Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss .

The Talbot line of racecars had quite a storied racing history, despite the fact that they were constantly out-powered by the likes of Maserati , Mercedes-Benz , and Alfa Romeo . Talbot always relied on its impeccable fuel mileage and extreme durability to conquest these giants of the race world in endurance racing, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

By far, Talbot’s biggest achievement was its 1-2 finish in the 1950 24Hours of Le Mans, using T26 Grand Sport and a Talbot-Lago Monopasto. The chassis that was originally scheduled to run in the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans, chassis No. 110057, but hit a few snags and was not quite ready for the race. Following the victory, the driver of its replacement in the Le Mans purchased it and began its racing history.

Unfortunately, this 1950 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport had none of the success that its replacement had, as it had a long string of did-not-finish results stretching from 1951 through 1953. The curse of 110057 came to a head when Guy Mairesse was tragically killed in it when he crashed this T26 during testing at Coupe de Paris at Montlhèry.

After that tragedy, its owner at the time, Georges Grignard, parked it in its transporter and laid little more than an eye on it for four years until a savvy T26 enthusiasts, and its current owner, caught wind that one was sitting unused at Grignard’s house. The purchase almost never happened, as it was reported that Grignard wanted an unreasonably high price for this crashed racer, but apparently the two eventually came to terms.

If you have ever wanted to own a piece of Le Mans history, this is the time, as RM Auctions is offering chassis 110057 up for auction on May 12, 2012. Despite its cursed past, this is a rare model that is sure to fetch a premium and will only continue to go up in value.

Click past the jump to read our full review


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