Drive has shot yet another amazing video. A few months ago, Drive got the chance to shoot inside the Pagani factory, and the fellas are ready to try and trump that video with their latest visit. This lastest trip takes the boys the famous Nürburgring race track, which really isn’t a huge deal. What is a huge deal is that they got to spend time at the Jaguar test center.
Jaguar’s test center is hidden on a side road just outside the northern loop of the Nürburgring, more precisely in the Industrial Park — AKA the “Area 51 of cars.” The guys over Drive got a tour of the test facility with Phil Talboys, head of European Test Operations for Jaguar, and took a lap around the Nordshliefe with Sascha Bert, the Jaguar test driver who set the XKR-S lap record.
All we can say is sit back and enjoy! You’re sure to be amazed by the hell that Jag puts its cars through when testing. Then again, with some of the issues the once-great Jaguar has had in recent years, it doesn’t surprise us that the test cars get thrashed to their breaking point.
Back in July, Mini announced that its John Cooper Works GP clocked in an impressive time of 8:23 at Nürburgring, giving due justice to its designation as the fastest production MINI ever.
We’re saying this because a recent video from Sport Auto shows test drive editor Christian Gebhardt getting behind the wheel of a Schirra Motoring MINI Cooper endurance race car, which proceeded to hit the Nurburgring and post a time of 8:58.
It’s an impressive time in its own right, but well short of what the JCW GP accomplished a few months ago. It smashed this time despite the fact that this endurance car comes packed with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that has been equipped with new pistons and high-performance camshafts, netting an output of 300 horsepower and 302 pound-feet of torque while achieving a 0-to-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph.
As an endurance race car, the Shirra Motoring MINI Cooper was fitted with a new aerodynamic body kit that comes with a new front bumper, extended wheel arches and a prominent rear wing. The vehicle also carries a track-oriented suspension, high-performance brakes and a set of Michelin racing tires.
Regardless if it failed to sniff the JCW GP’s Nurburgring lap time, 8:58 is still a pretty awesome time any way you slice it.
In the past few months, we have seen three different Lexus LF-A prototypes testing around Nurburgring: the AD-A, the AD-B, and the AD-X. Our hopes were dashed when we realized these prototypes were nothing but special one-off models and that they would not provide any indication of what the future held for an LF-A special edition, but social media has come through for us again.
Lexus race car driver, Akira Iida, has posted a cool teaser video for a future LF-A GTE Race Car on his Twitter account. The first details suggest that this race car will be used in the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it is also rumored to be battling the lines at the Nurburgring 24 Hours. One thing is for sure, though, Akira Iida will be behind the wheel no matter which race this vehicle stars in!
Lexus has yet to offer any details on their new race car, but Akira Iida seems to be the second-best source on the matter, so we’ll take his word for it. Stay tuned!
7:14. That’s the current record time held by the Lexus LF-A around the Nurburgring. Pretty impressive, right?
Well, it looks like Lexus thinks it can do better and last week, the Japanese automaker took to the Nurburgring to attempt a single lap with their latest one-off LF-A model, the AD-X.
The video shows us glimpses of the LF-A AD-X’s hot lap around the Nurburgring. It doesn’t say whether the ADX was able to break its namesake’s record, but with all the modifications fitted into this one-off race car - the enormous rear wing, the small winglets, and the carbon fiber diffuser are only a few of the modifications done to this mighty racer - we’d be disappointed if the AD-X wasn’t able to shed off a few seconds off of the LF-A’s Nurbugring lap record.
The video comes courtesy of BridgestoGantry.com and even they don’t know if the LF-A AD-X managed to break the record, but like they said, if the one-off race car was able to do it, you can be sure that Lexus will tell the whole world about it sooner than later.
BMW is trying to come back from it 5-Series GT disappointment by offering a GT of its most popular model: the 3-Series. The 3-Series GT is the third model in the 3-er lineup and is taking its turn on the Nurburgring, providing a spectacular show of lifting its wheel during the famous Karussell turn.
BMW has seemingly learned from the 5-Series GT’s less than stellar sales by adopting a sleeker design for the new 3-er GT. The model will be built on the LWB platform from the Chinese version of the 3-series sedan and will therefore offer more interior room for the rear passengers. The new 3-Series GT will drop the twin-door hatch design in favor of a normal one piece hatch. It will also be 15 inches longer than the standard model and offer the added bonus of more headroom due to the shooting brake layout. The four-door coupe designed body will combine a set of raised, sliding rear seats with a high lifting tailgate that should make accessing the larger cargo area trouble-free.
The engine and transmission line-up will be shared with the standard 3-Series, meaning that customers will have a choice between four engines - two petrol and two diesel - with power ranging from 163 HP to 306 HP. It is rumored that BMW will also offered a range of smaller engines, but we do not expect to see an M version for it.
The significant drop in cammo for the BMW 3-Series GT leads us to believe that the launch will be here sooner rather than later, so stay tuned!
As we all expect, Mercedes has been hard at work testing out its upcoming SLS AMG Black Series, making sure its 600-plus-horsepower engine, upgraded suspension, and brakes are up to the task of daily use and high speeds. One place that every supercar needs to test at is the Nürburgring. Well, with the Nürburgring comes some of the most spectacular wrecks ever.
This time around, the SLS Black Series prototype got the short end of the `Ring’s stick, as it was smashed up in a wreck on the Dӧttinger Hӧhe section of the track – one of the fastest sections – and went up in flames. Fortunately, the engineers in the car were unharmed, proving that Mercedes put some serious work into the SLS’s safety devices and that the `Ring has some fast safety crews.
Before everyone gets up in arms about a Benz burning, don’t get too worried, as a wreck of this nature is bound to cause some flames and likely has nothing to do with the quality of the prototype. It is rather unfortunate to see such an expensive piece of experimental metal and carbon fiber go up in smoke, but we are willing to bet that Mercedes has a few more of these in the stable and the funds to build a new one, if needed.
What’s even cooler is that we actually got our hands on a few spy shots of the aftermath from this wreck. On top of the carnage, you also get a good look at this upcoming model with most of its camo… well, burned off…
The Renault Clio RS sees regular use as Nürburgring Taxis, and German tuner, Cam Shaft, felt it was time to release an upgrade kit inspired by these Nürburgring cabs. Now, when we say "inspired by," we use the term rather loosely, as this modification is rather extreme, especially the aesthetics.
The exterior is wrapped in a Graphite Metallic wrap, so the color matches that found on the `Ring taxis, but you get a smattering of lime green on the mirrors, one on the hood (which also boasts a skull decal), and one on the driver side rear quarter panel. The windshield features a rather ominous “Move Right>>” decal that is inverted so you can read it in your rearview mirror. You also get a set of powder-coated lime-green 17-inch rims wrapped in 215/45R17 Kumho rubber.
On the inside, you get a rear-seat and upholstery delete and a lime-green roll bar installed. You also get a set of Recaro racing seats with “Renault Sport” stitched into the headrests. Also added into the interior are several interesting “sticker-bomb” wraps around the center stack bezel, center vent bezel, armrests, and the door sail panels.
If the wrap, interior, and “International Motherf*cker Crew” decals are not extreme enough, what’s under the hood and under this hot hatch’s skin just may seal the deal. On the corners are H&R coilover units to help this hatchback handle the `Ring’s curves and a set of larger brakes borrowed from an Mk2 Renault Megane R26R. Under the hood is the 2.0-liter engine that any Renault Clio RS owner would recognize with a pair of changes, a reprogrammed ECU and a K&N sports air filter. These combine to boost the power output of the 2.0-liter 4-banger from 197 horsepower to 222 horsepower.
There’s no official pricing available on the tune just yet, but we’ll get you a price once Cam Shaft releases it.
At the Paris Motor Show, Motor Trend had a very telling sit down with Porsche CEO, Matthias Müller, about several of the upcoming models. This interview not only uncovered the fact that the entire lineup will be undergoing a facial and rump redesign, but also that a new, ultra-powerful hybrid drivetrain will grace the Cayenne in 2014. Almost missed amongst this plethora of new Porsche goodies was a statement by Müller that Porsche is hoping for a sub-7-second time around the `Ring,
If you recall correctly, the 918 Spyder recently screamed through the Nürburgring at an unreal 7:14. When asked about what this awesome time means to the 918, Müller said “That means this car will be a huge – huge – milestone for Porsche. One year ago we had a target of 7:20-7:22 or something. Last week one of our engineers drove one lap in 7:14. The record is 7:11. So I suppose at the end of the year, we will have a new record at the Nürburgring.” The record in question is not the overall record, but rather the major automaker record, now held by the 2010 Viper ACR.
Müller was later asked how fast he thinks the 918 Spyder can lap the `Ring and he replied “If we’re lucky, it will be under 7minutes… but, I don’t know, we’ll see.” With the overall Nürburgring record, held by the Radical SR8 LM, sitting at 6:48 might Porsche be shooting for the overall crown too?
To drop 11 seconds from the 918’s current lap time will be quite a feat and to drop 23 seconds – the time needed to match the record – is downright impossible. To hit the sub-7-minute mark, however, Porsche would need to turn its attention to creating an all-out racing version of the 918 and scratch its attempts to keep it a true production model.
Doing the rough math, the record-holding Radical SR8 lapped the ring with a 0.632 horsepower/kg rating and Porsche estimates that the 795-horsepower 918 with the “Weissach package” weighs just 1,665 kg. That puts the 918 at a 0.447 horsepower/kg rating. This means, in theory, Porsche needs to do one of two things to even come close to the SR8’s heels. The two options are either drop the 918’s weight by an additional 407 kg, which is nearly impossible, or increase its output to about 1,050 horsepower. The latter certainly sounds like the more obvious and possible route. We, of course, cannot take into account vehicle handling and driver skill, as those two variables can sway significantly based on track conditions and other uncontrollable variables.
We’ll keep an eye out to see if Porsche can really pull this off.
Let’s face the facts, as automotive reporters, we love to get our grimy hands on the steering wheel of as many cars as possible and see what they can do. The reality of the situation is that some car manufacturers simply don’t let us. They will, however, allow us to do a “ride story” which puts us in the passenger seat while a professional driver from their company shows you what the car can do. Often times, this driver knows the car like the back of his hand and knows precisely how to make it look great.
For that reason, ride alongs often suck and we usually just give it an “Eh, no thanks.” Well, even the likes of Chris Harris sometimes get the “ride story” treatment, but for good reason. This time around, the ride-along opportunity comes in the passenger seat of the yet-to-be-released Porsche 918 Spyder – a car that none of us would decline a ride in. To boot, this ride along is set to take place in the Nürburgring, where the 918 Spyder completed an impressive 7:14 lap time. That’s one ride along that even Chris Harris can’t decline.
The video is extremely telling, as Harris gets the chance to grille one of the folks closely involved in the 918’s production and gets some really good information on its drivetrain, frame, and, most importantly, its awesome engine. We also get a good listen of how the 918 Spyder sounds from the inside, which is just as impressive as the information Harris drags out of the Porsche rep.
By far the most impressive sound from inside the car is when the driver switches this Porsche from “Silent Mode” to “Full-Race” mode. The sound of that flat-plane crank pumping the titanium connecting rods at the push of a button is enough to make any auto buff’s day.
Have a look and listen, it is well worth the time spent!
Porsche has unveiled a very cool video featuring the new Porsche 911 Carrera S during a very hot lap around the Nürburgring track. With racing driver Timo Kluck behind the wheel, the car managed an impressive lap time of 7:37.9 minutes. This an impressive result considering, at the vehicle’s official launch, Porsche had announced that the car could lap the ’Ring in 7:40.
The Porsche Carrera S is powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six with direct injection engine that delivers a total of 400HP and sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds or 4.1 seconds when equipped with the Sport Chrono Package. The Carrera S can hit a top speed of 180 mph.
Enjoy one lap of the Green Hell in a Carrera S, but make sure you turn up those speakers first!