After first seeing patent drawings of the upcoming Audi RS5 Convertible, the car has finally been caught testing around the Nürburgring race track. The spy images reveal a bigger front spoiler,bigger brakes and wider fenders. At the back, however, it’s still S5 business as usual, with narrower rear fenders and S-type quad exhaust pipes. The model will also get new LED lights, a larger diffuser, and a rear spoiler that extends automatically at 74.56 mph.
As with the coupe version, the convertible version will use a standard 4.2 liter V8 engine with a total of 450 HP at 8,250 rpm and a peak torque of 317.15 lb-ft available between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in 4.6 seconds, while top speed will be limited to 155 mph. The top speed can be increased to more than 170 mph upon request.
Porsche has announced that they will be entering an improved version of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid into the upcoming Nürburgring 24 hour race on June 25, 2011. The hybrid system will combine the same 480 HP 4.0 Liter flat six engine delivering the same 480 hp with two electric motors that each produce 100 HP, as opposed to the original 75 HP each. The weight has also been lowered from 1,350 to 1,300 kilograms, or 2976 lbs to 2866 lbs.
"We’ve collected a great deal of information from our races on the Nürburgring, at the ALMS race at Road Atlanta in the USA, as well as from the ILMC race on China’s Zhuhai circuit, which was an invaluable help for the further development of our racing laboratory," says Hartmut Kristen, head of Porsche motorsport. "The emphasis of our work was on improving efficiency. That means we want to keep the lap times consis-tent with 2010 but use less energy, hence less fuel. In this way, we support future developments of road-going, sporting hybrid vehicles."
UPDATE 10/06/2011: The new GT3 R Hybrid made its debut at this year’s Laguna Seca, racing its way to a victory! Check out Porsche’s new video showing off the GT3R in action during the race by clicking on the image above. Enjoy!
Hit the jump to read more about the 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid Version 2.0. Full story
Sometimes it may seem as though German models rule the roost in the high performance sports car segment, but those models may have learned a valuable lesson today. Jason Laird, GM’s Executive Director for Product and Technology Communications, posted the following on his Twitter account: "Mark Reuss just confirmed ZL1 Camaro lapped Nurburgring in 7.41.27."
GM hasn’t confirmed the official time of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s lap, but so far it sounds as though it is completely legit. Once confirmed, it will place the new ZL1 just a notch under the new generation Porsche 911’s recently reported time of 7 min. 40 sec.. It will also prove that the Camaro is faster than models like the Audi R8 V10 and the Porsche GT3 which lapped the ring in 7:42. We’re interested in knowing what the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 will have to say about this.
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is powered by an LSA 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that delivers a total of 580 HP at 6,000 rpm and 556 lb/ft of torque at 4,200 rpm. This power is just enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds.
Updated 10/06/2011, 14:00: General Motors has just confirmed that the ZL1 has lapped the Nurburgring race track in 7:41.27, nearly 40 seconds quicker than a Camaro SS tested at the legendary German track in 2009. The car was driven by Camaro Performance Engineer Aaron Link and raced the track with no modifications. "The Nurburgring is unlike any track in the world," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. "Each lap includes fast straights, sweeping off-camber turns, hairpin corners, and elevation changes. In order to do well on the ‘Ring, the car has to do everything well – including acceleration, braking, and lateral grip. Breaking an eight-minute lap in a 2+2 production car is a tremendous accomplishment, and validates that the Camaro ZL1 will truly be track-ready from the showroom."
Put back the champagne in the freezer, Lexus; you’re just-set record lap time of 7:14 around the Nurburgring has been broken. How’s it feel to hold one of the auto world’s most famous titles for less than a month?
You can blame Chrysler’s SRT team for that because the latter went to the ’Ring with only one thing in mind: get under 7:14 in one lap. And just as records are always meant to be broken regardless of how fresh they are, Chrysler’s Dodge Viper ACR blasted around the Nurburgring in a blistering time of 7:12. The exact time has yet to be released - there are tenths of seconds in that equation - but make no mistake, it’s more than a second faster than the 7:14.6 time the Lexus LF-A Nurburgring Package achieved earlier this month.
We are sure there are people over at the Lexus camp that are clearly not happy with this latest development. But like we said, records are meant to be broken. The Dodge Viper ACR has raised the bar and dropped the gauntlet on everybody else. Now its up to one of the rest to answer back.
UPDATE 09/27/2011: Chrysler has finally brought out the official confirmation for the Nurburgring record set by the Viper ACR on Sept. 14, 2011. "We’re extremely proud to set the lap record for a second time at the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife," said Ralph Gilles, President and CEO – SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC. "Our team returned to Germany knowing we’d left some time on the track when we set our first lap record, so this effort shows the incredible depth and capability the Viper ACR has by running a full 10 seconds faster than we did in 2008."
The new generation Porsche 911 has been improved significantly, with new technologies, a new engine, and a weight reduction of about 100 lbs pushing it to a level never before seen for the Porsche. The proof is in the pudding and today’s dessert is Nurburgring flavored. The new 911/991 Carrera S has managed to lap the famous circuit in only 7 min. 40 seconds, about 13 seconds faster than the previous model and matching that of the previous generation’s race-ready 911 GT3.
After reporting this time, Porsche 911 vehicle line director, August Achleitner said: "It is not so important for us; it is just for comparison." Funny, all we heard was blah, blah, blah, everyone else needs to get ready! This new time set by the Carrera S opens up all kinds of doors for the rest of the 911 models. For example, if the Carrera S model’s lap time matched that of the previous GT3, then what can we expect for the new GT3? And how about the 911 Turbo? Are we looking at a vehicle that will be able to smash the 7m 24 sec record set by the Nissan GT-R?
To say we’re tingling with excitement would be an understatement.
The Peugeot EX1 Concept’s hold on the electric vehicle speed record at the Nurburgring may soon be under siege by a Japanese automaker that’s looking to blow away the EX1’s record time of 9:01.1338.
The car comes courtesy of Toyota and while they’ve yet to say the official name of the EV racing prototype, they’ve made no bones about their intention of destroying the existing EV record lap time at the Green Hell on August 29, 2011.
According to Toyota, the EV Racer - we’ll call it that for now - comes with a 41.5 kWh lithium-ceramic battery that powers two electric motors, producing an output of 375 horsepower and 590 lb/ft of torque. The whole set-up allows the race car to hit 0-62 mph in just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 162 mph.
We’ll reserve our judgments until Toyota hits the Nurburgring for their record-breaking attempt because the EX1’s time for an EV is pretty impressive. Having said that, we’re pretty optimistic that they’ve got the resources to stake claim to the record once they’re attempts are all said and done.
UPDATE 08/30/2011: After over a month of anxiously awaiting the specific date for the attempt, we now hear that the Toyota EV Racer has finished with a record time of 7:47.79 - smashing the previous record of 9:01.338 established by the Peugeot EX1 Concept back in May 2011. With this time, the Toyota EV Racer created by Toyota Motorsports GmbH (TMG) can brag of being 30 seconds shy of times achieved by some great sports cars, like the Nissan GT-R, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, and Dodge Viper ACR.
For quite some time now, Toyota has been chugging away at an electric racer, preparing it for what they hoped would be a record-breaking lap around the famous Nurburgring. After over a month of anxiously awaiting the specific date for the attempt, we now hear that the Toyota EV Racer has finished with a record time of 7:47.79 - smashing the previous record of 9:01.338 established by the Peugeot EX1 Concept back in May 2011. With this time, the Toyota EV Racer created by Toyota Motorsports GmbH (TMG) can brag of being 30 seconds shy of times achieved by some great sports cars, like the Nissan GT-R, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, and Dodge Viper ACR.
The Toyota EV Racer is powered by a pair of electric motors sourced from Evo Electric that deliver a total of 375 HP and 590 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a single speed gearbox, the EV Racer will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and will hit a top speed of 161 mph. All this while also getting a range of 124 miles.
Toyota Motorsports GmbH (TMG) Communications Officer, Alastair Moffitt, told MotorAuthority that much of the electric drivetrain powering Toyota’s new prototype is based on knowledge gained in the development of the Kinectic Energy Recovery System (KERS) used in its original F1 cars. According to Moffitt, the project is a valuable chance to test high-performance electric powertrains in a real motorsport environment, giving TMG’s engineer’s a chance to learn more about cooling, battery performance, motor performance, durability, etc.
This is only the beginning folks. While Bugatti focuses on SSC and Koenigsegg as competitors for the world’s fastest car, other automakers will be sliding in line to create bigger and faster electric vehicles. When these two worlds collide is anyone’s guess.
Check out the video of the EV Racer’s record breaking lap by clicking here!
A lap around Nurburgring’s 73 turns is challenging even in what is deemed normal driving conditions, but take those 73 turns on a rainy day, in an open-wheeled vehicle while taking corners sideways, and that challenge is multiplied by about 100. Thankfully, Andreas Gülden, chief instructor at the Nurburgring Racing Academy, has the experience and skills to teach us all a little something on how this particular challenge is dealt with.
In this video, watch Gülden for a little over 12 minutes as he makes his way around the Nurburgring in a lap that would make even the Stig green with envy. And remember, please don’t try this at home. As previously mentioned, Gülden is a professional and this is a professional situation that needn’t be copied by amateurs. Heed the warning and don’t be a jackass.
When people drive fast vehicles at high speeds, accidents are bound to happen. When these people happen to be professional Formula One race car drivers, the numbers of accidents decrease, but still exist. Just ask German F1 driver, Adrian Sutil, who had a little trouble keeping the Gumpert Apollo steady during some testing at the Nurburgring.
Apparently, Sutil was in the middle of testing when he lost control and crashed the Apollo. The Apollo escaped with just a few repairs, but apparently Sutil suffered a few broken teeth. No other injuries were reported.
As a reminder, the Gumpert Apollo is powered by a 4.2-liter bi-turbo 8-cylinder engine and weighs in at around 2400 lbs. It can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and can hit a top speed of 225 mph. Apparently, it’s a little more difficult to keep a 700 HP supercar at bay than it is a Formula One car. Okay, not even we believe that, but we’re sure the F1 cars have more safety devices in place just in case an accident does occur.
The new generation Lexus GS is shedding some of that heavy camouflage it has been donning lately and finally taking shape. New spy shots taken at the Nurburgring race track in Germany clearly show the Lexus LF-Gh-inspired sedan sporting the split front grille, a new set of wheels, and new headlamps with LED technology.
It still may be too early to tell, but it’s been suggested that the new generation Lexus GS will be built on a brand new platform, making it sportier and more efficient than the previous model. From these spy shots, it does look like the wheelbase has grown a bit, but the jury’s still out on whether or not these rumors are true.
As for the engine lineup, the 2012 Lexus GS will keep its direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine on board. This engine produces 303 HP at 6,200 rpm and 274 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. The big news in the engine department comes with a new top GS model, the GS-F. This model will be powered by a 5.0-liter V8 engine with an output of about 450 HP. Being since this is Lexus and they are trying to grab hold of the greener market, a hybrid version has also been confirmed.
Expect to see the new generation Lexus GS launched sometime in 2012, but until then, check back with us for more details surrounding Lexus’ new and improved sedan.