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!
The Nürburgring may not be an official specification, but it is certainly an avenue for manufacturers to gain a little bit of bragging rights. In August 2011, Toyota earned its `Ring stripes by whipping its TMG EV P001 prototype electric car around the 12.92-mile track in just 7:47.79. This puts it within 30 seconds of the likes of the Nissan GT-R and Viper ACR, and just 33 seconds off of the pace set by the Porsche 918 recently.
Well, Toyota obviously wants a little more bragging rights, as it took to the ’Ring again in its 469-horsepower, 663-pound-feet TMG EV P002 and crushed its own record. By “crushing,” we mean knocking 25 seconds off of its original record time by lapping the `Ring in just 7:22.329. Let’s put that in perspective for you here…
The Dodge Viper ACR lapped the ring just 0.229 seconds faster in 2009. The TMG EV Prototype beat the C6 Z06 Corvette by 0.369 seconds, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS by 1.671 seconds, the Nissan GT-R by 1.89 seconds, and so on. Needless to say, the TMG EV prototype definitely put itself in some elite company and is now just 32.329 seconds away from the record set by the Radical SR8 LM . Given the fact that this Toyota prototype shaved 25 seconds off of its lap time in just a year, getting the overall record may be a possibility in coming years.
We’ll see if Toyota decides to try to reel in that record or if it is happy just being in the top 15 of Nürburgring times. Congrats to the folks at Toyota for an impressive run.
The Nürburgring, we’re sure, has seen plenty of animal casualties throughout its life span. Many of deer, squirrels, rabbits, and other fauna have likely tried their luck crossing it, only to be met by the front splitter of many supercars.
This time around we get to see a little bit different of an animal meet a high-speed vehicle, as an eagle of some sort – hopefully not bald – decided to soar into the flight pattern of a Nissan GT-R as it circled the `Ring. The predatory bird smacked the top passenger side of the windshield while the GT-R was going roughly 140 mph and flew right over the top of the car.
The thud alone is telling of exactly how hard the bird hit and the damage to the glass in the pictures shows you that the bird was likely not in great shape after this battle with Godzilla. “Ouch” is an understatement for this one.
So what’s a car buff to do when Nissan completely crushes your dreams of ever owning a Nissan Juke-R by building only a handful of them and charging €500,000 ($649,550 at the current exchange rate) for it? Build your own, silly. Then build more, market it, and hope to God that Nissan doesn’t sue you into bankruptcy.
Well, this is exactly what Russian Company, Shpilli Villi Engineering, has done – well, almost. So far Shpilli Villi has only built a one-of model and it’s downright ignorant. This custom-built Juke-R features the GT-R ’s 3.8-liter V-6 engine, but Shpilli Villi fitted it with a pair of HKS turbochargers and what sounds to us like the GT-R’s transmission and driveline too. This is good for a whopping 700-plus horsepower on regular pump gas or over 800 ponies when you manage to get a little 109-octane petrol in it.
This one-off Godzilla-meets-Juke features a coat of white paint – unlike the official Juke-R – a set of monstrously wide rims, wheel flares and a center-dump exhaust that produces all sorts of awesome tones. Though the images are a little scarce and the videos don’t show much of it, you can make out that this Juke-R does boast at least the instrument panel from the GT-R, but reports indicate that it has the entire GT-R interior.
What’s best is that the creator of this monster took it to the Nürburgring and let it loose, all while taking plenty of videos for us to see. We’re still trying to dig up more information on the vehicle, but at this point there isn’t much available on it. The only other bit of information we have is that Shpilli Villi will be building and selling these Juke-Rs to customers.
The Honda Civic Type R is one of those cars that import tuners – regardless of their make preference – would give just about anything to get their hands on. We knew that Honda was working on an all-new Civic type R, thanks to a few savvy spy photographers, but the details were still rather sketchy on when and where it would be released.
Well, with a news release that Honda sent out today, we have found out that the Civic Type R is a certainty and that this beast will hit the market in 2015. Unfortunately, this model will remain a fabled unicorn for the U.S. market, as Honda also announced that the Type R will be developed specifically for the European market – what a bummer.
According to Honda, the Civic Type R will apply technologies developed while preparing for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC). Given its WTCC roots, Honda has huge expectations of its 2015 or 2016 Civic Type R, as it also announced that it is aiming to make the Civic Type R the fastest front-wheel-drive car to ever lap the mighty Nürburgring.
Reports are showing that the Civic Type R will arrive with between 220 and 230 horsepower, putting it far short of the Renault . Plus, if Honda is planning to use its aging i-VTEC technology, there is simply no way the Civic Type R can produce the torque required to navigate the `Ring fast enough to beat the Renault’s time. The only way that Honda can expect to pull off this feat is to add a little boost to its VTEC engine to pump up the bottom-end torque and top-end horsepower, or simply create the most ridiculous power-to-weight ratio by deleting half of the body panels…