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Posted on by Christian Moe +  

It is infuriating that this news even deserves printing, but when faced with massive change and new technology consumers are overtly concerned. After a pair of isolated incidents that resulted in Tesla Model S vehicles to catch on fire, due to a damaged battery pack, Tesla has designed an entirely new underbody protection system that uses multiple stage of protection, as well as exotic materials like titanium.

Let us just clear the air first. As Tesla claims in its press release, the odds of any Model S catching on fire are far less likely than in a standard gasoline-powered car. According to Tesla there were more than 200,000 gasoline car fires last year in the United States alone. Compared to two Model S fires. In North America. One of the fires was a result of a collision that happened at more than 100 mph. Would you be even slightly concerned if a car crashing at 100 mph had burst into a fireball?

Nevertheless, people were concerned about safety with the Model S, so Elon Musk and the gang have responded. The new underbody system has been created to prevent punctures and damage from any sort of road debris collision from concrete to hardened steel. During testing, Tesla even mounted pointed objects into the test surface at the perfect angle to force a "piking" event, and the new protective system successfully prevented any damage.

The Tesla Model S was already one of the safest vehicles currently in production, and now it might just be one of the safest vehicles in all of existence.

Click past the jump to read more about the Tesla Model S’s triple underbody shield.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

The new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is more than just another Camaro with a huge motor. As we have shown with videos about wheel design and alterations to the Chevy Bowtie , Every piece of the Z/28 is built to perform. In this latest video, Mark Stielow, the program engineering manager for the project, covers all the new aerodynamic changes that have been made to the car to make it a Nurburgring-blistering beast.

Starting with the nose of this beast, the Z/28 features a large front lip spoiler to create downforce. Mark is quick to point out that this front splitter is much larger than the unit sold with Chevrolet’s other track-focused Camaro, the 1LE . Not only is this front splitter larger, it is steel-reinforced and mounted to the bumper beam of the Camaro to allow it to withstand up to 200 pounds of force. The hood of the car features a revised heat extractor that is made from carbon to reduce weight, and it features a more open design to improve cooling.

Around the side, there are gurney lips in front of the front wheels, the side sills reduce drag and improve downforce, and the whole car sits a full 33 mm (1.3 inches) lower, thanks to a new suspension setup. You can’t see it normally, but there is a large bellypan under the front of the car as well.

There are few more changes, but we don’t want to ruin the whole video for you. All we can say is that GM went above and beyond in creating the new Z/28, and we love every square inch of it.

Car paparazzi extraordinaire Shmee150 recently paid a visit to Arash Motorcars , proving once again that when it comes to sniffing out the fastest machines on the planet, this guy is one of the best in the business. His latest video is more like a 30-minute episode of diving into everything and anything that has to do with one of the most highly regarded niche supercar builders in the world.

Speaking with Arash Farboud himself, the two discussed, among other things, the company’s latest pride and joy, the AF8 supercar.

It’s already known in and out of the industry that the AF8 is one shiny piece of metal and carbon fiber with matching performance credentials to boot. The floor of the supercar is actually made from Kevlar-carbon composite to provide “ballistic” protection against stones and road debris, and lest we forget, the AF8 is powered by an insane, GM-sourced, LS7 7.0-liter V-8 that produces 550 horsepower, enough to push the AF8 to 200 mph.

There’s more to just the discussion of the AF8 in this video so we’re advising everyone to watch the whole episode to get a full idea on how Arash has established itself as one of the finest exotic car builders in the world.

Chris Harris is always dependable for having a jolly good time during his video reviews, and this one of the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe is no different. Tire smoke, sideways shenanigans, and fast lap times are a guarantee.

At the beginning, Harris gives an honest opinion of the Jag’s interior. He takes issue with a few points throughout the cockpit, noting the random bit of low-rent materials, miss-matched type fonts, and odd ergonomics. The imperfections are far from a deal breaker though as he can’t seem to get over the F-Type’s exterior aesthetics – especially its “incomprehensibly attractive posterior.”

After a full rundown of the inner bits, Harris gets down to business making the Jag dance around the corners of some picturesque mountain road. The F-Type’s ability to be a subdued Grand Touring car is astonishing given its beastly on-track attributes and unbridled 550 horsepower prancing from its supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8. Even with the traction control off, Harris says the car is so predictable, so well handling that it’s a cinch to drive fast. Getting the tail out is a simple task with 502 pound-feet of torque on tap.

At the track, however, things are even better. With the computer in the right settings and the tires warmed up, the F-Type scoots around with surprising purpose. Its visceral sounds and ostentatious exhaust calls like trumpets of triumph as the Jaguar barrels around corners like it was a Porsche 911 . Its steering, in fact, Harris enjoys more than the 911’s — a car as a whole, he later says, has become “weak" these days.

Harris ends the review by concluding the F-Type might just be the best Jaguar has built since the iconic E-Type of the 1960s. “This is,” he says, “might be the E-Type of my generation.”

They’re finally here, folks, the Boxster and Cayman GTS. Let’s not beat around the bush, and we’ll dive right into the stuff that you really want to read about. Under the hoods of these two models is an updated 3.4-liter six-pot that pumps out an extra 15 horsepower. This puts the Boxster GTS at 330 horsepower and the Cayman GTS at 340 ponies. Each model also gained 10 Nm (7 pound-feet) of torque, driving them to 280 pound-feet in the Cayman and 273 pound-feet in the Boxster .

Both models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and the Sport Chrono package. Optional on both models is the PDK transmission with the Sport Plus button. With the optional gearbox in place, the Boxster GTS and Cayman GTS hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 and 4.6 seconds, respectively. With the manual transmission, the Cayman hits 285 km/h (177 mph) and the soft-top Boxster hits 281 km/h (175 mph). On top of this impressive performance, the newest additions to the GTS lineup are both Euro 6 compliant and have a fuel consumption rating of 8.2 l/100 km.

Keeping the new GTS models stable in the twist PASM, 235/35R20 and 265/35R20 on the front and rear, respectively, wrapped around Carrera S wheels.

The Boxster and Cayman GTS will hit dealers in May 2014 and will sit at the very top of their respective lineups. They won’t come cheap either, as the Boxster GTS checks in at €69,949 ($97,306 at the current exchange rates) and the Cayman comes in at €73,757 ($102,603), respectively, in Germany.

We have full reviews of both models in progress now, so stay tuned to TopSpeed to read all about the new GTS model.

Click past the jump to see some comparisons between the standard Boxster and Cayman, and the new GTS models.


We’ve been keeping a close eye on the roasting Porsche GT3 debacle unfolding over the last month or so with little information to go on. However, Porsche has unofficially announced the findings from its investigation and the company’s apparent remedy to the conundrum. Porsche will be replacing every 2014 GT3’s 3.8-liter engine.

A GT3 owner posted a letter from Porsche on an owner forum explaining the issue and Porsche’s plan to rectify it. According to the letter, damage is caused by “loosened piston rod screw connection which damaged the crankcase,” in the case of at least two GT3s. The letter continues saying a new screw connection is currently being tested.

In our estimation from the statement above, the 3.8-liter flax six threw a rod that damaged the crankcase and resulted in a fire. Perhaps shrapnel from the exploding block ripped through a fuel line, resulting in the blaze seen in the picture above.

When Porsche concludes the updated hardware will work, “we will be installing new engines with optimized piston rod screw connections in all 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 vehicles.” The letter goes on to say the Porsche will begin scheduling services and owners will be getting more information within the next three weeks.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking news on this story.

Click past the jump to read Porsche’s letter and more about the Porsche 911 GT3 and to read the letter from Porsche.

Source: Rennlist

Ever since Jeep unveiled the new 2015 Renegade at the Geneva Motor Show , the world has gobbled up every bit of information about the new crossover . Small, practical, useful, fun, and sporty — Chrysler’s newest Jeep has all the same Jeep ingredients we’re used to, but has packaged it in a very unique way.

Besides being a unique vehicle in the Jeep lineup, the Renegade is also set to be one of Jeep’s most popular. Built in Italy in cohorts with Fiat , the Renegade will be sold globally. Its small size, fuel-efficient lineup of engines, and four-wheel-drive systems will help it conquer the competition.

We’ve already told you about the all-new Renegade here , but now we’re bringing you a condensed version – a top 10 list of notable features Chrysler hopes will put the Renegade on top.

Click past the jump for an overview of the 2015 Jeep Renegade

Red Bull pulls out the computer-generated stops in this video, explaining in amazing graphic detail the changes within Formula One ’s 2014 rulebook . The changes are numerous and extensively alter the race cars ’ makeup, but as Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel elaborate in the short video, will make the cars more powerful, fuel efficient, and safer.

The main changes consist of a new nose, front wing, rear wing, engine, transmission, and enhanced energy recovery system. Starting with the engine, the V-8 and seven-speed transmission are swapped out for a turbocharged 1.6-liter, V-6 and new eight-speed gearbox. The V-6 features a higher compression ratio, a massive turbo and a new rev limiter set to 15,000 rpm. However, teams are now allotted only five complete engines per season rather than eight.

Helping the V-6 out is the energy recovery system. It now has two generator units producing an extra 160 horsepower on top of the 600 horsepower from the engine. The new generator gathers rotational energy from a turbo-like spool within the exhaust system while the carryover generator still uses regenerative braking. Collecting all that power is a battery pack capable of holding 10 times the amount of energy – giving the car 33 seconds of battery power per lap over the 6.6 seconds of the outgoing unit.

The Formula One season begins March 14 in Melbourne, Australia and will continue through the end of November.

Mercedes is rolling out an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission slotted for fitment within the brand’s sedans and wagons, starting with the E 350 BlueTEC . Mercedes says the transmission will not only help conserve fuel, but will decrease in-car NVH levels and reduce exterior noise pollution, while providing smoother shifts at faster intervals than the outgoing seven-speed 7G-TRONIC transmission it replaces.

While its just now becoming available in the E 350 BlueTEC, the 9G-TRONIC will become common across the Mercedes lineup. Expect to see the unit find a home within the S-Class next, followed by C-Class , and possibly the CLA-Class . Engineers designed the transmission to be compatible with rear- and all-wheel-drive application, and even mild and full-hybrid systems. Basically, the 9G-TRONIC will be Mercedes’ bread-n-butter ‘box.

To meet the wide range of demands, engineers built the transmission to shift quickly and smoothly without any overly-perceivable shift points in its normal mode and sharp, direct shifts when placed in manual — and even more so in S mode. The gearbox is also able to shift over multiple gears for fast acceleration and deceleration. For example, the 9G-TRONIC can shift from 9th gear to 5th gear if the driver floors the accelerator. Conversely, the transmission can seamlessly shift from 3rd gear to 9th gear after a hard acceleration run up an interstate on-ramp.

What this means for performance, both on the track and in between gas stations, is simple: more gears equals lower revs when cruising and therefore increased fuel efficiency while faster shifts mean quicker overall performance numbers.

Click past the jump for more info on the 9G-TRONIC and the E 350 BluTEC

Posted on by Tushar  
Audi Sport Quattro Concept

With 2013 wrapped up, our eyes are all set on the months to follow. In 2014, car makers will congregate for the Detroit Auto Show amidst chilly winter weather. One car that could steal the limelight is the 2015 Audi Quattro .

CAR Magazine has voted it as the "Most Wanted Car of 2014." The publication has high hopes from Audi , which is set to revive an iconic car that had ruled the world rally circuit for years.

The Audi Quattro Concept was unveiled at the 2010 Frankfurt motor show. and soon after word spread about the Quattro being considered for production. Audi officials went on record saying that the public had appreciated the concept shown at Frankfurt and a limited-production run could be possible.

The Audi Sport Quattro Concept is the modern interpretation of the famous, championship winning machine from 30 years ago. We could see the first production prototypes at the Detroit show with sales beginning in 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Sport Quattro Concept

Source: CAR Magazine

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