No official details on the time have been released just yet, but according to Bridge to Gantry, a 2013 GT-R with Nismo lightweight wheels and carbon-ceramic brakes (yes, like those seen on the Track Pack) was testing at the Green Hell. The best part is that Toshio Suzuki, the record-breaking test driver of Nissan, was behind the wheel.
We expect to see an official confirmation of these results soon, as sell as a video of the event. Stay tuned!
We are all waiting with baited breath for the release of the Porsche 918 Spyder and every little bit of information we get is quickly gobbled up and processed. However, we had yet to hear any real track numbers for this awesome hybrid machine. Sure ,we know that it will boast an 795-horsepower drivetrain that uses a 4.6-liter V-8 gasoline engine and a pair of electric motors and will hit 60 mph in just about 3 seconds.
Still, that just is not enough information for us, but we just got our first taste of real life track information on the 918 Spyder and it’s all good. It recently completed the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap and pulled in a time of 7:14. Depending on the fractional seconds, this will place the 918 Spyder as the fifth, sixth, or seventh fastest car to ever take on the Nordschleife lap.
In addition, this puts it a full 18 seconds faster than the touted Carrera GT that it replaced. One thing to keep in mind is that the 918 that tested on the ‘Ring and got the fastest time was equipped with what Porsche calls the “Weissach package.” According to what we hear, this package includes upgraded brakes, a 6-point harness, air-conditioning delete, radio delete, and other weight-saving measures, so don’t go thinking that every 918 Spyder under the sun will lap the bankrupt , yet safe, Nürburgring.
Now with our whistles wet with fresh 918 details, we can rest easy for the day knowing that the 918 at least performs on the track as we have always hoped and expected.
The official debut of the new generation BMW M3 is still a few months away so, until then, all we can do is enjoy all of the spy shots and videos we can find. This latest video is a three minute compilation of the M3 in various settings performing different maneuvers and driving actions on and around the Nurburgring race track.
The next BMW M3 will be powered by an inline 6-cylinder engine that will deliver about 450 HP and will be mated to both a DCT and manual transmission (both versions have been spotted testing). The engine will feature a strengthened aluminum block with a heavily modified cylinder head that will help it deliver the best-in class fuel economy.
The new BMW M3 will be making its official debut in late 2013 or early 2014, but a concept version will arrive at an earlier date.
This very cool 1.0 liter engine delivers a total of 205 HP and is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. This is enough power to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds and up to a top speed of 158 mph. The vehicle completed the 20.832 km (12.94 mile) Nordschleife circuit at an average speed of 105 mph.
"We wanted to prove that size doesn’t matter by showing everyone what an amazingly capable engine we have developed in the 1.0-litre EcoBoost," said Roelant de Waard, vice president of Marketing and Sales, Ford of Europe. "What better way than by beating some of the best supercars in the world on the Nordschleife, while using a fraction of the fuel."
If there is one person that knows the Nürburgring, it is Sabine Schmitz. No, she’s not some crazy test driver that is hired to test all of the latest and greatest sports cars. Rather, she was once known as the `Ring Taxi, as she was responsible for driving an M5 around the ring to pick up drivers whose cars had either broken down or wrecked. She claims that she has circled the famed racetrack over 20,000 times. Yeah, we think she is an expert.
Well, she is now taking to driving new cars around the track, since retiring from taxiing around racecar drivers (and wannabees). Her latest test was of the soon-to-be-released Exagon Furtive-eGT , which is a French-built EV. It’s claimed to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.5 seconds and hit an electronically limited 155 mph top speed (179 mph without the limiter). So, how did it actually perform?
Schmitz came back with rave reviews on this EV. She is quoted saying “I was very surprised about the grip and the power” and that “you’re [going] fast, but it feels like you are going so easy.” She went on to rave about the brakes and suspension systems too, saying that it’s like “sitting on a cloud.” She also talked about how it has an extremely low center of gravity, which is something that she doesn’t often see in a car like this.
From the sounds of it, the Furtive-eGT is a smash hit, but we won’t know until it officially hits the market. We don’t know exactly when it will go on sale or if it will be available in the U.S., but we do know that it’ll make its debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
This may finally be the competition that Tesla has been lacking to date, but we’ll see. It is certainly off to a good start.
Building a racecar is a tall task, but building one that is to endure the stresses of running at full bore for 24 hours is a real test. Since 2008, Lexus and Gazoo racing have partnered up to bring the Lexus LFA to SP8 endurance class. Every year that the LFA took to the starting grid at the Nürburgring 24, there were issues. Be it a vehicle-disabling wreck, mechanical malfunction, or simply poor performance, the team never finished higher than 41st overall.
In 2012, the team showed up at the Nürburgring as humbled as they had ever been, calling themselves rookies, despite five years of running the race. The humbleness and hard word paid off for the team this year, as is took home the top spot in the SP8 class and 15th place overall. This was the first time since the Dodge Viper GTS won in 2001 and 2002 that a non-German automaker won the SP8 class.
In celebration of this notorious victory, and the five years of knuckle busting wrench turning and headache-inducing engineering that Lexus and Gazoo has endured, the two have released a video chronicling its journey to success. Sure, the video is very short – only 4:14 – but the detail covered in such a short period of time is simply incredible.
The team lets you into the action and if you don’t get into the video, you may want to check your pulse real quick. There is some awesome sound too, so make sure you have your speakers or headphones cranked up.
A report from our friends over at World Car Fans is stating that the Nürburgring cannot afford to host any F1 events in 2013, as it cannot foot the sanctioning bills. That totally negates the rumors about Ecclestone waiving fees or he has rescinded or simply forgotten that offer. According to the report, Nürburgring officials and F1 will go into talks soon to try and keep F1 racing at the `Ring.
Either way, we feel that Eccelstone needs to step up and waive these sanction fees, so that racing can continue at the Nürburgring. The `Ring without F1 racing, just doesn’t quite feel right to us. Nürburgring officials are confident and vow that they can still turn a profit without F1 races, but we are fairly certain that if they miss any races, they are going to have trouble continuing the recovery process.
We will keep a close eye on this whole situation and try to figure out what in the world is going on between the Nürburgring and F1.
Okay, car commercials tend to get just a little extreme and us Americans only get to see a fraction of them, due to certain makes not being sold in the States. One automaker that is not currently selling cars in the U.S., but does well in other markets around the world, is Renault . Part of its success may be due to its crazy commercials, like the one above.
Two women of near equal beauty – racecar driver and French TV presenter, Margot Laffite and a cute blonde known only as “Jenny” – whip a Twingo R.S. around the Nürburgring. The racing is great and the women are superb, but Renault had to add in a slight twist. That twist was to challenge “Jenny” to hold a fish bowl full of water and a fish while Laffite winged this hot hatch around the `Ring.
The reactions of “Jenny” are classic and the enjoyment in Laffite’s face as she scares the crap out of this “Glam passenger” are priceless. To make things a little more interesting for the guys, this well-built passenger is wearing a white shirt, and we all know what a white shirt plus water equals...
Put your tongues in your mouths, guys, she’s wearing a blue bra, so there’s nothing to see, unless wet lingerie is your deal.
In all, the video is pretty sweet and we can’t wait to see the next edition in Renault’s “Challenge Us If You Can” video campaign. Keep it here to get the latest videos as the become available.
In the 11th hour, German officials have come through for their famed racetrack, the Nürburgring. The Ring had been in a bundle of issues, mostly caused by the decision to use public funds to build a roller coaster and a hotel in the vicinity of the track. This loan ultimately went into default and the European Union was, and presumably still is, investigating the legality of these funds.
This latest loan was provided by the German state Rhineland-Palatinate (RLP) and totals €254 million ($312 million at the current exchange rate) to help keep the track afloat and ultimately assure that its original loan is paid back.
The Christian Democrats (CDU) were strongly opposed to the loan and even went as far as to say it violates the EU’s competition laws. The German finance minister rejected the CDU’s questions of legality and continued on with the loan.
So for now, we can consider the Nürburgring safe, but for how long? If it spiraled toward bankruptcy once for reasons that appear unresolved, what’s going to prevent it from doing so again? For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.
We are also interested to see if Bernie Eccelstone will hold true to his offer to help the Nürburgring by offering sanction-free F1 races next year. With the condition of worldwide road racing leagues deteriorating, we are willing to bet that Eccelstone forgets his promise pretty quickly now that the Ring is not in immediate danger.
Even though the Nürburgring is hanging on by a loosely tied thread at this time, it is still the setting where cars are made or broken, which is partly why we are all so confused as to why it is in financial ruins. Despite now owning its own track, Porsche is still looking to the `Ring to help build more excitement around its upcoming 918 hybrid model.
Porsche has just officially debuted its 918 Martini Racing wrap and has also announced that it expects big performance from its 918 model. This performance comes in the form of an expected lap time around the Nürburgring of less than 7:22.
That seems like an extremely fast time, we know, but that is also very conservative, considering the less powerful Porsche GT2 RS completed a lap around the famed raceway in 7:18. We anticipate a time nearer to the 7:15 mark than the 7:22 mark and we expect it to turn this lap time with some consistency.
Regardless of how far under the 7:22 mark the 918 comes, there is only one thing to say and that’s “Dayum, that’s fast.” Sub-7:22 times are only achieved by a small handful of cars, like the Viper ACR , Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition and Gumpert Apollo Sport . That’s some pretty impressive company to keep for a newcomer onto the supercar scene, especially one that boasts an anticipated 78 mpg rating.