How long has it been since MINI first unveiled the John Cooper Works Coupe? Yeah, it was only a few days ago, but that hasn’t stopped the German automaker from making a race-spec version of their latest pride and joy to compete at the "SP 3T" class of the 2011 24 Hours of Nurburgring.
So, ladies and gentlemen, we’re presenting the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance Racer. Take a good look at it in all its shiny and sparkling glory because there’s a good chance that it’s going to be a little worse for wear after it attempts to run for 24 hours straight together with some of the fastest racers on the planet.
Apparently, MINI has taken itself to task in entering the 24-Hour race at Nurburgring in an attempt to take the next step in auto racing after years of plying its craft in the MINI Challenge sprint race. You might also recall that MINI is also entering the World Rally Championship this year with their sand and dust challenger, the Countryman WRC .
Something tells us that this won’t be the last time we’ll see MINI enter a completely new racing event that’s different from what they’re used to, but that’s getting ahead of ourselves. For now, we’re here to talk about their Nurburgring steed, the JCW Coupe Endurance.
More details on the MINI John Cooper Works Coupe Endurance after the jump.
Fans of the Gran Turismo franchise are about to have one of their biggest dreams come true when the Nurburgring race finally gets underway. No longer will they have to watch the GT500 "Stealth" GT-R in its computer generated form because GT5 creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, will be driving the vehicle in the Nurburgring 24 Hours this weekend. We’re guessing hours of GT5 play time have finally gotten to the driver and he wants to return to racing to experience the true fire behind his creation.
Okay, so technically, the Nissan GT-R driven by Yamauchi won’t have all of the bells and whistles that the "Stealth" model in the game has, but what the crew has done is remodeled the exterior to match that of the popular GT5 sports car. Yamuachi is teamed up with Tobias and Michael Schulze of Autohaus Schulze and Yasuyoshi Yamamoto, founder of Japanese tuning shop Opera Performance.
We’re keeping an eye on car number #71 during the 24h race, as last year Yamauchi competed in several VLN races at the Nurburgring in a race-prepped Lexus IS-F, earning a class victory in the four-hour event and taking fourth-in-class at the 24-hour race.
Looks like Toyota and Gazoo Racing will be bringing more than just the Lexus LF-A to the Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race this week. In a surprising announcement, the Japanese automaker will also bring their new mid-engine convertible hybrid concept to Nurburgring, which they’ve christened as the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II.
An updated version of the first concept that was introduced at the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon, the GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II is an MR2-based hybrid concept that features plenty of styling cues from the fabled MR2 sports car. It was also designed in a far more aggressive detail befitting of its status as a new-age hybrid concept car.
In addition to the advanced convertible design language of the car, Toyota and GRMN (Gazoo Racing tuned by MN2) also improved on the car’s mid-engine sports-hybrid AWD system that now carries a 3.5-liter Type 2GR-FXE V6 engine that produces 249 horsepower to go with a front electric motor that bumps up the output to 299 horsepower.
So far, these are the only details we have of the new GRMN Sports Hybrid Concept II, but rest assured, we’ll have more details when the car makes its official debut at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring this weekend.
It looks like the V12 Zagato Racer won’t be the only Aston Martin model participating in the Nürburgring 24-hour race in Europe and the Spring Mountain 24 hours in Nevada. The Rapide will also be making its presence known at the race, first to demonstrate the durability of Aston Martin’s four door sports coupe, then to help raise money for charity. Surely this has something to do with the fact that the company has been experiencing slow demand for the luxury sports sedan and has since chopped production for the Rapide from 2,000 units all the way down to 1,250 per year. Since they took care of cutting costs - Step One - we’ll do our part in helping them out with Step Two: Marketing.
Julian Jenkins from Aston Martin the Americas, said: "Since its launch, the Rapide has been popular with customers looking for an exclusive sports car with a combination of exhilarating performance, handcrafted style, and added four-door practicality. As well as raising money for Heart for Japan, this 24-hour initiative will give us an opportunity to showcase the endurance capabilities of the Rapide which in turn demonstrates its everyday usability and durability."
"We’re truly excited to participate in this challenge. Since the Rapide made its racing debut at last year’s 24-hour race at the Nurburgring, we wondered how a street version would compare if driven continuously for a day over a closed circuit. Seeing how close we can get to the race distance covered last year will be an excellent measure of the car’s real-world performance."
The Rapide is going to need all of the publicity it can get in order to jumpstart the vehicle’s reputation once again. It shouldn’t be too difficult, though. We are talking about an Aston Martin after all.
The BMW 1-Series M Coupe ’s highly anticipated turn at the Nurburgring finally took place. SportAuto took the newest addition to BMW’s M family for the cursory timed lap around the world’s most famous race track. After their session around the Ring with the 1M Coupe, the results finally came in: eight minutes and 15 seconds.
As far as we’re concerned, the figure is both impressive and disappointing. It’s impressive because it beat out the lap times of some of its notable competitors, particularly the 320-horsepower Porsche Cayman S , which clocked in two seconds slower than the 1M Coupe, as well as the two Audi sportsters, the TT RS , and the RS3 Sportback .
On the flip side, SportAuto was the first to admit that the 1-Series M Coupe’s time could have been faster if not for the racing compound tires and the stiff suspension at which the 1-Series M Coupe was configured. While we certainly can’t blame SportAuto for the time they posted - 8:15 is impressive by most accounts - they did open the door for the BMW sports car to post an even faster time around the Nurburgring if it’s properly set-up.
When that will be is still anyone’s guess, but the gauntlet has definitely been thrown down.
It’s only been a short time since the Renault Megane RS 265 Trophy’s official launch and it has already added a very impressive achievement to its record; it established an amazing Nurburgring lap record for a front-wheel drive vehicle with a time of 8 minutes 7.97 seconds. The previous record was held by the Megane Renaultsport R26.R which completed the lap in 8 minutes and 17 seconds on June 23, 2008.
The time posted at the Nürburgring puts the Mégane Renaultsport 265 Trophy on a completely new level of performance that allows the vehicle to be put alongside supercars with power outputs at or greater than 500 HP. This was done with an extra 14.7 HP (11kW) on tap, careful set-up work, and specific Bridgestone RE 050A (235/35 R19) tyres chosen by RenaultSport engineers. These things, plus the vehicle’s "carefully-tuned Cup chassis, the dampers, the fade-resistant brakes, the Recaro seats, the power of the 265hp engine, the ready availability of torque between 2,500 and 5,000rpm" is what development driver, Laurent Hurgon says helped achieve the new record.
In Hurgon’s words: "The Nordschleife is a legendary course. Its length and layout, which is very different to that of a conventional circuit, make it a unique and technically demanding challenge. Its difficulties are extremely varied, ranging from fast and even very fast in places to much twistier and slower portions. Turns like ‘Karusell’ and ‘Pflanzgarten’, for example, make huge demands of the car and driver alike, yet Megane Renaultsport Trophy is very much in its element here and feels particularly reassuring despite the uncompromising nature of the terrain."
For 2012, the Corvette ZR1 is powered by a 6.2 Liter LS9 aluminum block V8 engine with a total of 638 hp at 6500 rpm and 604 lb.- ft. of torque at 3800 rpm. With this output the ZR1 can hit an impressive top speed of 205 mph.
A week ago, word spread around that the new and reinvented 2012 Nissan GT-R managed to post the fastest Nurburgring lap time among all of the Godzillas that have run a fast lap in the world-famous race circuit. It actually slashed off 2.48 seconds off of the previous best – 7:26.00 seconds - for a GT-R , posting a time of 7:24.22 seconds.
Impressive as the numbers are, the question that a lot of people have been asking is how the 2012 GT-R can compete with the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 . While the numbers should be close, we found a ‘top-bottom’ comparison video that should put all the debates to rest.
It runs the full-length of a Nurburgring lap so it’s over seven minutes long. But if you really want to know which sports car holds bragging rights over the other, then the video is a must-see for you.
We’re gonna give you a little spoiler, though. This lap-time showdown between the GT-R and the ZR1 is a lot closer than you think. Check out the video and find out who can lap the Nurburgring faster than the other.
One BMW M3 GTS looks amazing and two of these babies are even more impressive. Now get three of them at the same place at the same and it’s like your wildest dreams have come true, and this is exactly what happened the other day on the famous Nurburgring race track.
Three beautiful and sparklingBMW M3 GTS models were on the Nurburgring taking a few laps together solely for the amusement of the people watching them because, let’s face it, other than driver technique, the competition is pretty dead on.
As a reminder, the BMW M3 GTS is powered by a 4,400 cc V8 engine that delivers a total of 450 HP. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in 4.4 seconds and top speed goes up to 189 mph. Lots of the interior parts have been removed which allows for a reduction in weight to 3284 lbs.
The Nurburgring is the unquestioned king of all race tracks in the world, home to not just the most prestigious races in the racing circuit, but also commercial cars looking to test their wares against the competition. You know all that talk about the ‘Nurburgring Lap’?
That’s a very critical piece of information for automakers far and wide to determine how their sports cars measure up against the competition. Over the years, there have been numerous claims to the lap record for a street-legal production vehicle through whatever loophole you can think of. While some cars are considered street-legal anywhere in the world, other models like the Pagani Zonda R, the Gumpert Apollo, the Ferrari 599XX , and the Ultima GTR don’t have that all-encompassing breadth of legality. They’re legal in some parts of the world and illegal in other parts and thus aren’t counted in the standings. As such, a lot of people have trouble putting those cars in the same league as the ‘street-legal-worldwide’ category – and rightfully so.
So to sort out all the information and determine which street-legal car can truly stake claim for being the fastest of the lot in the ‘Ring, the Nurburgring track blog Bridge to Gantry decided to dig up the lap times and found that the real ‘King of the Ring’ is none other than the 2008 Dodge Viper ACR.
The list is classified as the “Fastest Production Car Lap of the Nurburgring” with the Viper ACR actually ranking seventh with the four aforementioned supercars higher on the list together with the Donkervoort D8 270 RS and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS .
Of all the cars ahead of the Viper ACR, only the Porsche GT2 RS could have a possible stake to the title, but according to the guys at BTG, the lack of video evidence is the only thing that’s keeping it from wrestling the crown of ‘King of the Ring’ from the Viper ACR.