In our weekly scrounge to try and dig up an interesting photo for you folks, we came across something rather interesting that we had forgotten all about. In 1995, GM decided it was time to overhaul the Cavalier and axe the Sunbird altogether. With the exit of the Sunbird came the introduction of the “sportier” Pontiac Sunfire – ah, GM’s creative naming department struck gold there. What we tend to forget is that the Sunfire project started in the early-1990s and was far different than the end result.
To think that the crappy Sunfire was actually a hot concept car with true sports car appearance and likely matching performance numbers seems preposterous, but it’s true. From this photo, you can see just what GM was working on and, on the outside, it was a stunner. Now, inside was a different story. You can see the huge, clunky 1990s GM buttons on the center of the steering wheel and a plethora of these eyesores on the center console too.
One of the advertising gimmicks on this flier, which was distributed at car shows, was the remote-control CD player. This was for those people that just did not have the energy to move their arm the foot or so, needed to touch the CD player’s buttons. What innovative thinkers GM was in the 1990s, right?
Anywho, we need to thank Flickr user Hugo90 for the laughs we got from this blast from the past. Make sure to check out his entire photo stream here, as he has tons of awesome pictures and fliers from various car shows.
Get your seat belts ready and fasten up, McLaren fans!
The British automaker has released a one-off, race concept that will blow your socks off. The car is called the 12C Can-Am Edition and is based on the MP4-12C GT3 race car. The only difference is that the 12C Can-Am Edition is far and away more powerful than its GT3 cousin.
Set to debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance organized in California, the 12C Can-Am Edition is what happens when you have an automaker as devoted to the meticulous and obsessive pursuit of performance like McLaren put their thinking hats and build a car that’s just way too cool for words.
It’s been dressed in the company’s now iconic McLaren Orange paint scheme, further adding a touch of Woking to its overall appeal. Add that to a boat load of aerodynamic modifications combined with enhanced performance capabilities and it’s easy to surmise exactly why McLaren is taking pride in this one-off race concept.
UPDATE 11/19/12: The McLaren MP4-12C Can-Am Edition is headed to production. How much is it going to cost? Find out after the jump!
Find out more about the McLaren 12C Can-Am Edition after the jump Full story
The DeltaWing, which most people know as the “Nissan” DeltaWing, took a run at the Le Mans series and was doing well until a wreck put it out of commission. What some people may not know is the fact that the group that put together the DeltaWing were originally attempting to put it into play in the INDYCAR series. That never happened, and the rest is history.
With the Indy Lights series gaining some notoriety and its base chassis, the Dallara, getting on in age, Indy is now seeking a new manufacturer to build a base chassis to replace its aging unit. Now the entire group, less Nissan, is pitching the DeltaWing to become the successor to the Dallara. To achieve this task and even be considered for Indy Lights, the group needs to fit the DeltaWing with the required paddle shifting capability, upgraded data systems, and alternative fuel considerations.
Overall, the DeltaWing looks like it would be a shoe-in, if it can get those few requirements taken care of. However, there are five or six total entrants trying to win this spot in the Indy Light series, so the Delta Wing group needs to focus on getting the car perfect, so they can get it into the circuit.
For now, this is just another pipe dream for the DeltaWing, but so was its entrance into the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It succeeded in getting into that race, though it didn’t last for more than half of the race.
We’ll keep you updated on this race to the Indy Light series and let you know once Indy makes its final decision.
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg in Germany is the home of the Porsche Museum, which holds roughly 500 various Porsche models, some of which are the rarest Porsches in the world. In the same city is a secrete compound that Porsche has purchased to store its priceless pieces when they are not being displayed.
As you would expect, there are some very exciting models in this storage facility, including a family car that Porsche was experimenting with for the Chinese market. The above video is the first of a series that will go through the various cars in this storage facility and let you in on all of the little details on each vehicle.
This debut video basically has just enough time to outline the Porsche Museum and the storage facility, as well as one ultra-rare model. This model in question is the first ever Porsche 911 Turbo. This model was specially built as a birthday present to the daughter of Ferdinand Porsche, Louise Porsche. Unlike every other 911 Turbo, this model actually lacks the “Turbo” badge on the rear, something that she specially requested.
In all, this introductory video is pretty awesome, but we can’t wait for part two. The second part will include a wider array of vehicles stored in the facility, including: 996 Bulletproof, 906 Ollon-Villars Hill Climb, FLA Concept Study, 924 World Record Car, 928 Convertible Prototype, 908 Targa Forio, and 984 Porsche Junior.
Stay tuned, as we will drop the second video as soon as we get our hands on it.
BMW’s M division has been long known for doing some pretty crazy things with its cars. We’ve ended up seeing most of their crazy experiments on the roadways in one form or another, but one experiment was so intense that it was axed before it ever saw the light of day. This program was to stuff a V-12 engine into the compact Z3 roadster, which saw production from 1996 through 2002.
This project was kept so tightly under wraps that apparently, BMW had forgotten all about it and just released images of this prototype on Monday. The V-12 stuffed between the Z3’s fenders is unknown for certain, but we can assume that it is the same plant that powered the much larger 750iL, which was a 5.4-liter that pumped out 325 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque.
While that’s a ton of power for such a little car, the 5.4-liter engine is far heavier than the 4- and 6-banger engines the Z3 came with. This likely caused some serious handling issues, causing M to scrap the ill-planned idea pretty quickly.
This failed project has now become public knowledge, as the images are plastered on BMW M’s Facebook page, though they don’t tell us exactly what their plans were for it.
Have a look for yourself and imagine how much fun this thing would be in a straight line. Then think about how scary it would be to have to attempt to take a sharp bend.
The new Honda Civic is getting its first taste of official racing in the FIA World Touring Car Championship. In preparation for its full entry in the 2013 season, the Civic WTCC race car is going to be thrown into the fire beginning at Suzuka in October. From there, it will enter three races and will be driven by Tiago Monteiro.
With October less than two months away, the Japanese automaker is giving its new racer one last test run at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, Italy. The car itself is based on the European Civic hatchback model where it carries a host of special aero packages, including an extended front and rear skirt, a large rear wing, and an interior that’s been fully customized to handle the rigors of full-fledged auto racing.
Most importantly, the Civic WTCC will not be carrying a standard engine, but rather a bespoke 1.6-liter 4 cylinder direct injection turbocharged HR-412E engine. No details on output have been released yet, although Daisuke Horiuchi, WTCC Development Project Leader at Honda R&D, has said that this particular engine could have a future in production models.
"We believe the innovations that have led to this revolutionary engine will also lead to benefits beyond the race track, helping us to further increase the efficiency of our road car engines," he said.
Looks like there’s more to the Honda Civic WTCC Race Car than meets the eye. Could it be that whatever lies under the hood of this race makes its way out of the track and into public streets in the future?
While it’s tempting to find that out now, it’s probably more important for Honda to give the race car the full shakedown first leading up to its racing debut at Suzuka this October.
UPDATE 09/27/12: The Civic WTCC Race Car made its auto show debut at the Paris Motor Show where Daisuke Horiuchi, the WTCC Development Project Leader at Honda R&D, had the following to say about the new HR-412E engine that will be powering the race car. “In the continuous technological development of an internal combustion engine, the thermal efficiency is the essential key for improvement," he said. "This HR412E was born from such thought process: aiming for higher efficiency."
The fellas over at Speedhunters.com have found a pretty good way to spend their time. Together with KW, the two companies have paired up to build a special Toyota GT-86 drift car that comes with a ridiculous body kit and an even more ridiculous Toyota Supra engine. It even has a cool new name: the 86X.
To give the car a decidedly drifty look, Speedhunters and KW fitted a TRA Kyoto 6666 Customs GT Rodeo Special Rocket Bunny wide body prototype fender conversion on the sports car to go with a new livery design that was done by the fine folks over at As Technical University. In order to give the car a full drifting dress down, the entire interior was modified to serve its drifting purpose. Instead of the usual digs that come with a GT-86, KW and Speedhunters took all the unneeded components out in favor of FIA seats, a GS Performance steering wheel, a Takata FIA harnesses, an automatic circuit breaker setup, custom dashboard switches, a throttle pedal assembly, and a custom steering column.
The 86X Drift Car will also be set up with two different 2JZ-GTE Supra engines, one of which produces 640 horsepower and 605 lb/ft of torque. The second engine - a 3.4-liter 2JZ-GTE Supra engine - will produce a staggering 800 horsepower and 738 lb/ft of torque. The powertrain is then mated to a four-speed transmission from Mid-Valley. The car also uses an Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) triple disc race clutch and an ACT custom flywheel, a driveshaft courtesy of Ingar at Powertrain, and rear axles by The Driveshaft Shop.
All in all, the project took only 37 days to finish and has already competed in a number of drift competitions in Europe.
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.
The Porsche 918 Spyder has become an extremely sought-after supercar, and considering that it’s still in its prototype stages, it’s become one of the most highly anticipated ones too.
Now we know how automakers are careful with divulging too much with their prototype models so they resort to the tried-and-tested method of dressing these models up in camouflage. Porsche has obviously done this on numerous occasions, but for the 918 Spyder, they’re taking a slightly different route.
Together with long-time partner Martini Racing, the German automaker has revisited the iconic Martini Porsche race cars by dressing up the 918 Spyder Prototype in the legendary Martini livery.
Development of the Porsche 918 Spyder is still ongoing with the car now moving its extensive testing phase to the Nurburgring. Apparently, riding around one of the most famous tracks in the world has conjured up nostalgic emotions and the result is one of the most awesome liveries to ever be dressed on a Porsche.
Hit the jump for more information on the Porsche 918 Spyder Martini Racing Prototype. Full story
When the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was postponed last month because of the Colorado wildfires, it was met with understanding from a lot of people given the circumstances, but also with hints of disappointment from fans of the event.
But all’s about to be forgiven when the 90th installment of the event kicks off on August 12. One vehicle that comes as a late entry into the party is this insane Acura NSX from the guys over at LoveFab in Traverse, Michigan. We say that word "insane" because the car features a ridiculous engine under its hood in the make of a twin-turbo C96S engine that produces a whopping 850 horsepower.
Needless to say, those numbers are tantamount to what you’d expect from cars that will be participating at Pikes Peak. Will the LoveFab NSX have what it takes to steal the show?
That remains to be seen, but it sure wouldn’t hurt that it has 850 horsepower to lean on to.
Check out videos of LoveFab’s Acura NSX by clicking on the photo above!