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rally cars

rally cars

When it comes to bragging rights attached to production cars, most automakers quote the electrifying Nurburgring lap times achieved by their hatchbacks or supercars. Subaru , however, is taking pride in a benchmark set on course that’s more familiar to motorcycle riders than sharp-witted, fast drivers - the Isle of Man TT road course.

Three years have passed since a 2010 Subaru WRX STI driven by three-time British rally champion Mark Higgins set the car lap record at 19 minutes and 56.7 seconds, and the same team returned to the Isle of Man to improve the benchmark. And Higgins did so by hooning a 2015 WRX STI around the track and past the finish line in only 19 minutes and 26 seconds, smashing his previous record by no less than 30 seconds.

Durring his attempt, the British driver managed to reach an average speed of 116.47 mph and a top speed of 162.9 mph, two figures that are also superior to the ones he touched back in 2011. According to Subaru, the WRX STI used for the record-breaking course is a stock, U.S.-spec model that received some updates, including a FIA-approved roll-cage, racing seats, improved springs and dampers, and a fire suppression system. Additionally, the sedan was fitted with Dunlop Derezza at all four corners and had its speed limiter - normally set at 155 mph - removed.

Click past the jump to read more about Subaru’s Isle of Man record.

Bragging rights are a funny thing when it comes to setting records in the auto industry. Everyone shoots for it and once they achieve it, they try to break their own records in an attempt to become better than...themselves. So excuse Subaru for trying to show that it’s better than what it was in 2011 when it set the four-wheeled lap record on the world-famous Isle of Man TT course. That’s because the Japanese automaker is shooting to break the 19 minutes and 56.7 second lap time it set three years ago with British rally champion Mark Higgins.

Later this month, Subaru will once again go to the Isle of Man, only this time it’s bringing the 2015 WRX STI performance saloon to the record attempt. Common sense suggests that since the old record was set by the WRX STI’s predecessor , the 2015 model should have little problem blowing that lap time record away, right?

Well, it’s still easier said than done, especially when you take into consideration how tricky it is to run through a lap without damaging the car. On that end, Subaru did its part by giving the WRX STI some sturdier safety equipment, including adjusting the springs and dampers, as well as fitting the car with a roll-cage, race harness and fire suppression system.

Preparation’s the easy part, but actually achieving what you set out for is the tough part. Hopefully, Higgins and Subaru get to toast to another year of having the fastest time around the Isle of Man TT course.

Pictured Above is Subaru’s 2011 record-setting run at the Isle of Man.

Click past the jump to read more about the Subaru WRX STi.

The inaugural FIA World Rallycross Championship is set to open its season this weekend at Montalegre, Portugal, and just ahead of the start of this new series, one team has already dropped teasers on the car it plans to use for the year. EKS is competing in the World RX Championship and its got a driver in Mattias who has won just about everything he’s competed in. More importantly, Ekström and EKS are preparing a hellacious race car in the name of the EKS Audi S1 Supercar.

The car itself is based on the Audi S1, except that this one has been modified and customized for the sole purpose of turning it into a powerful race car. Preparations to turn the EKS S1 Supercar into a full-fledged racer are already underway, and the early returns are nothing short of incredible. One of the details that has been divulged about the S1 is its powertrain, which comes in the form of a 2.0-liter turbo four with 600 horsepower, all-wheel drive and a 0-to-60-mph time of 1.9 seconds.

Ekström will be debuting the S1 Supercar in time for the World RX stage of Great Britain, the second race of the World RX season. The Swedish driver is going to compete against an impressive lineup of drivers that include Tanner Foust, Ken Block, and Jacques Villeneuve. But with a car like the EKS S1 Supercar at his disposal, we’re confident that Ekström and EKS will field a competitive team in the first season of the World RX Championship.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S1 Supercar By EKS.

Source: EKS Facebook

The importance of Volkswagen ’s Polo R WRC racer cannot be overstated. Designed specifically for the new rules that went into effect for the 2013 season, the Polo R dominated the World Rally Championship, knocking Citroen from the top of the podium for the first time in nearly a decade.

That last fact is what needs to resonate the most. The Polo R WRC ended a nine-year domination of the sport. When you have one man, or one team that is unstoppable in any form of competition, it ceases to become a competition. When you know who will win, it isn’t very much fun to watch, unless you happen to be a fan of the winner.

Volkswagen can’t afford to rest on its laurels though. The 2014 season represents a whole new competition, and Citroen is no doubt making plans to take back the title of World Champion.

As such, Volkswagen has announced its car for the 2014 WRC season, and it has been kind enough to share a few of the important changes it has made. Apart from the obvious visual changes on the new rally car , Volkswagen has spent much of its time perfecting engine components and improving the overall stability of the car through ECU flashes and the alteration of chassis components. Other than the 315-horsepower four-pot under the hood, Volkswagen didn’t dive too far into the details of what’s changed under the skin, as it is hoping to surprise its rivals once again this year.

The first race of the season, Rallye Monte Carlo, is taking place this week and Volkswagen is off to a promising start as they secured the fastest time in the testing stage. That said, Citroen was only 1.2 seconds off pace, and only 3.5 seconds separate first and seventh, so the racing should be close.

Ladies and Gentleman, Volkswagen has brought the excitement back to the World Rally Championship.

Click past the jump to read more on the WRC.

Posted on by Pratyush Rout  

Back in 1984, Porsche looked to be a key part of Group B racing in an effort to develop and explore technology for it’s road-going cars. After a weak start and two years of lackluster performance though, the Rally 959 in 1986 went on to achieve a 1-2 finish at the Paris-Dakar. However with the cost involved with motorsports, the viability of the project, along with the knowledge gained in racing decreasing, the Rally 959’s days of driving over rough dusty terrain came to an end.

Today, almost 30 years later though, with all the speculations about Porsche’s return to rallying with a possible rally version of the 911 to be unveiled at the Beijing Motor Show. it seems we could soon see some new Porsche’s swapping asphalt with rough terrain.

So to visualize what the rumored rally car - dubbed the 911 Safari, could look like, we at TopSpeed decided to prepare a set of renderings for you.

Click past the jump for the complete set of renderings of the 911 Safari

It may have taken longer than a lot of people would have liked, but that’s the price you pay if you’re a company that’s looking to break ground in a racing series it hasn’t entered since 2003..

After a year of testing and development, Hyundai has finally pulled the covers off of the i20 World Rally Championship racecar. And if we do say so ourselves, it looks positively glorious.

The unveiling happened at a recent event in Frankfurt when the Hyundai Shell World Rally Team officially announced that it had finally wrapped up the project in time for next season’s WRC season. Lead driver, Thierry Neuville, was given the honor of presenting the car with teammate Juho Hänninen serving as the driver of the second vehicle.

Earlier this year, Hyundai presented an updated version of the racecar at the Geneva Motor Show yet it was clear that the show car at the event was still a long ways away from being completed. This one, though, is the final product, and it comes complete with all the cursory aerodynamic modifications set to rally specifications, not to mention a cavalcade of graphics and liveries that show all of the team’s partners for next year’s WRC season.

Updates to the chassis and suspension were of importance for the team, seeing as it will be tackling a racing series that will feature its share of bumpy roads. There’s also a new rear wing, a front spoiler, and an interior that’s been redesigned specifically for rally purposes.

Based on our estimates, the 2014 Hyundai i20 WRC racecar is likely to receive a 1.6-liter, in-line-four engine that produces close to 300 horsepower, which should be good enough to hit 60 mph in five to six seconds to go with a top speed of about 160 mph.

Click past the jump to read about the previous incarnation of the Hyundai i20 WRC, the one that we saw at Geneva last March

Posted on by Simona  

The 2002 Mini Cooper S is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine with an output of 163 horsepower — a pretty high number for such a tiny car. That said, why be satisfied with just one 1.6-liter engine, when you can have two?

Like this particular Mini Cooper, which was prepared by Jacques Andres and reviewed in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage. This car was specially designed to run the 25 Hour of Thunderhill Endurance Race and is powered by two 1.6-liter, supercharged four-cylinders sending power to all four wheels.

The two engines develop a total of 500 horsepower and each engine can be operated individually, or simultaneously, but each needs to be started separately.

Check out the video to see what Jay Leno thinks about this very cool Mini Cooper. As usual he pushed the car to its limits to see how good it really is.

With the launch of the new Renault Clio , it was only right for Renault to also give an update to its existing rally car , the Clio Renaultsport R3. After all, it’s been seven years since the R3 first hit the rally scene so it’s high time that a new one shows its face, right?

Well, Renault Sport Technologies is acquiescing and has released new information about the R3’s successor, the Clio Renaultsport R3T rally car. Set to launch in 2014, the R3T was built to comply with current FIA R3 regulations, which will now come with at least a turbocharged version of the car’s existing 1.6-liter engine that Renault Sport engineers have continuously adapted to racing specifications.

In addition to the revised engine, the R3T will also come with a host of modifications, specifically built and developed for rally purposes. Among these include a new six-speed sequential transmission with optional steering-wheel paddle shifters in the asphalt version, as well as specialized equipment, including Sadev gearboxes, Sachs shock absorbers, PFC brakes, and Cosworth electronics.

All these updates should give the Clio Renaultsport R3T an impressive package that will create interest from rally teams all over the world. The model isn’t expected to gain approval until the latter part of 2014, but Renault wants to make sure that the returns end up becoming worth the wait.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Renault Clio

Source: Rev

The popularity of the Toyota GT 86 has resulted in the sports coupe being transformed in a variety of ways, but in all that time, it’s never been turned into a rally car.

Well, Toyota’s motorsport partner TMG wants to change all of that with the introduction of the Toyota GT 86 CS-R3 — a rear-wheel-drive rally car based on the GT 86 . The company is targeting the FIA’s new R3C rally category and it’s prepared to go balls to the wall with the rally-spec setup of the CS-R3.

For starters, TMG says its planning to use the GT 86 CS-V3 an endurance racecar based on the sports coupe, as the baseline for the rally racer. Engine modifications are on tap, as are improved brakes, a new transmission, and what we can only imagine to be an aesthetically pleasing body that will exude that go-get-dirty rally spirit.

The CS-R3 is also being built to compete in the World Rally Championship with its intended class being the lower R3 division. Nevertheless, the car is expected to be finished and ready for customer teams in time for the 2015 season, giving TMG and Toyota enough time to work their magic in giving the GT 86 CS-R3 a new rally twist. No word on pricing yet, but expect an announcement in the next several months.

Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Toyota GT 86 CS-V3

Posted on by TB +  

Updated 10/17/2013: This review has been updated with video reviews of the GSR version, and a memory-card full of high-resolution photos of this Cosmic Blue stunner.

Since spending a week with Mitsubishi’s gorgeous 2014 Lancer Evo GSR, I came to appreciate many things that make this such an incredible lap attack car, but also a great daily driver with incredible torque.

The legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution returns for 2014 with a new touchscreen infotainment unit to enhance the interior of one of the finest road-going rally race cars ever produced. The Evo’s flypaper grip on tarmac, snow and gravel continues with two trim levels and sprint times that are as low as 4.5 seconds to 60 mph.

The Mitsu ’s competitive landscape has changed significantly since this Evo X generation arrived more than four years ago. It largely demolishes the current-gen the Subaru WRX STi on all but the roughest gravel roads, but this comes with a higher-than-expected cost.

With prices creeping past the $40,000 mark on well-optioned 2014 Evolution MR models, the modest Lancer variant now faces competition from the more-powerful BMW 135i and upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG . These Germans are each packing well over 325 horsepower and are able to match the Evo’s turbocharged punch with much-more-refined image and interior comfort levels.

While it is true that prices can climb to the luxury level in MR trim with options, the most accessible Evo remains the $35,000 GSR model with a five-speed manual and fewer pricey party tricks in the suspension and transmission. All Evo’s, of course, leverage the brilliant computer-managed AWD system with its crushingly effective yaw control and active torque vectoring.

The Evolution’s cult audience is thrilled to have this 10th gen car available for another year. More time on the market also means a huge pool of aftermarket support and even factory accessories like front and rear strut braces, a front air dam and full racing body kits – right from the local Mitsubishi dealer.

Are the Evo’s world-beating capabilities still intact and on top in one of its final years on the market? Will this generation be known as one of the best when the long-rumored hybrid powertrain brings changes to the Evo’s driving style in 2015 or 2016?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, with detailed comparisons between the Evo GSR manual and the Evo MR twin-clutch models.


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