Just weeks ago, Spanish F1 driver Maria de Villota was in a horrific crash during testing of her new Marussia MR-01 racecar. In fact, it was her first test drive ever and the injuries were apparently very serious. The only injury we were made aware of initially was the fact that she lost an eye.
Fortunately, the injuries were not so severe to put her life in direct risk, as it was just announced that she was released from the hospital. There was some speculation that Maria would require brain surgery, but following some testing, it was found that there wasn’t any damage that would require this risky surgery.
Though she will not spend any more time in the hospital, physicians will continue to monitor her at home to assure that her recovery stays on schedule. She will be undergoing surgery to repair damage done to her face during the accident, so we wish her the best in the rest of her recovery and her future plastic surgery.
Marussia has also officially chalked the crash up as a combination of several driver errors. The first error was that she was unable to find the clutch lever, which was in an unexpected position because the wheel was not centered. Also, when she came into the pits, de Villota forgot to press the neutral button to keep the car out of gear. These are all freak lapses that most F1 drivers remember almost instinctively, but while testing a new car, these steps can sometimes be forgotten.
On an aside, Maria will likely have to take significant time off, as the FIA does not issue international licenses for five years following the loss of an eye. This give the brain time to adjust using just a single eye.
Our best wishes go out to Maria de Villota and we hope for a speedy recovery.
Just the other day, we were able to snag a spy video of the upcoming Porsche 918 Spyder at the Nurburgring race track in Germany, but now it looks like the hybrid sports car has found its way to Valencia, Spain where not one, but three 918 Spyder prototypes were caught testing. One of the three prototypes appear to be the exact prototype our spy photographers caught testing at the Nurbrugring, but the addition of two other prototypes means that Porsche is extensively testing their next halo car before launching it on the market in September 2013.
The production version of the 918 Spyder will combine a race-derived 4.6-liter V8 engine with two electric motors for a total output of 762 HP and 552 lb-ft of torque. On the US market, the model will be priced at $845,000 and the European market will be able to snag it up for 645,000 Euro. The only problem is that there will only be 918 units of the Spyder built and they are already sold out!
Back in May, we were teased by a relative unknown in the automotive world - Spanish automaker, Aspid - as it was set to unveil a new and secretive sports car. Up until that point, the only car that Aspid manufactured was the SS, which is a semi-open-wheel two seater more known for its agility than anything else.
Well, now Aspid is prepared to expose this all-new sports car to the world, and it has sent us a few PR images and a ton of info via email. Doing what we do best, we will critique this car and find out if it is really up to the task of competing with the Porsches and other sports cars of the world.
While this car looks very awkward and a little bit like something out of a Sci-Fi flick, it is actually rather conventional when sat next to its sibling, the Super Sport. In terms of performance, this new Aspid certainly talks a really big talk, but does it really have the bite to match up with its bark?
Click past the jump to find out if this Aspid GT-21 is up to the task of taking on the big boys in the industry.
Spain hasn’t had a whole lot be happy about these days given the state of their economy. But if there’s one silver lining, they can always say that they’re becoming a player in the sports car market.
Their latest offering is called the Tauro V8 Spider, a two-seater roadster that looks a whole lot like a winner in our books. According to Motorpasion, the front-engine Tauro V8 Spider carries a bespoke bodywork and was derived from the now deceased Pontiac Solstice, but comes with a minor twist: it’s got a GM-sourced 6.2-liter V8 LS3 E-Rod engine that produces a whopping 440 horsepower at 6,200 rpm 432 lb/ft of torque and mated to a manual six-speed transmission. Optional engine upgrades, depending on how extensive you’d want it, can allow the car to receive as much as 650 horsepower. That’s super car territory, in case you didn’t know.
Other mechanical details featured on the Tauro V8 Spider include a limited slip differential, independent suspension on both axles with double wishbones, monotube shocks and springs, ventilated disc brakes with piston calipers, and an optional GM automatic paddle-shift transmission.
Only 30 units are expected to be produced for the time being, with each model - customized to a specific customer’s needs and wants - coming in with an estimated price tag of €100,000, or $126,699 at the current exchange rates.
The last time we saw or heard from IFR Automotive was back in 2008 when they introduced the Aspid sports car at the 2009 London Auto Show. If you recall, the Aspid was presented as a 700 kg/1543 lbs sports car that was designed like a futuristic Morgan and packed a walloping 400 horsepower, good enough to produce a 0-60 mph time of just 2.8 seconds.
That was four years ago.
This year, the Spanish automaker is returning with a new version of the Aspid sports car, one that has come with a new teaser and a rather intriguing tag of "Keep watching your mirrors, a new Aspid is coming."
Details are scarce at this point, but we do expect the car to look like a bigger version of the 2008 Aspid to go with a more powerful and technologically advanced engine than the 2-liter engine its predecessor came with.
More details are sure to follow when they become available.
We’ve all but come to associate Gymkhana with Ken Block, and rightfully so because the latter has turned it into a global phenomenon.
But even if Block is considered the godfather of Gymkhana, it doesn’t mean that he’s the only one that can do it.
In this video - it’s actually more of a full-scale production - we are introduced to the Porsche Gymkhana, a 13-minute thrill ride complete with insane drifting action, incredible soundtrack music, and, since we’re calling it the way we see it, some pretty less-than-stellar acting.
Instead of focusing on the acting chops of some of the actors in the video, we’re going to focus on the insane driving skills exhibited by no other than Modesto Martin. Somewhere, Ken Block is probably taking serious notice of this video because quite frankly, it’s right up there with any of the Gymkhana videos he’s done in the past.
So do we see a response coming the near future? We certainly hope so.
How odd would it be for rally fans to see a Nissan, let alone an Infiniti, getting its tires dirty in the world of rallying? The Japanese automaker isn’t exactly a name synonymous with rally racing, so you might need to excuse us for being a little apprehensive when word broke out that an Infiniti G37 S Coupe would be part of the Spanish Rally Championship.
Turns out, though, the G37 S Coupe will not be doing any rally racing of its own. Instead, it has been tapped as the official rally-spec safety car of the SRC. Color us surprised with this bit of news.
To cope with the rigors of the rally world, the G37 S Coupe’s chassis and suspension were strengthened. Among the new additions to the car’s make-up include new Bilstein dampers, upgraded brake pads, its very own light bar and siren, a roll cage, a new set of Sparco race seats and harnesses, a fire suppression system, and high-performance Michelin tires.
Other important features added to the rally safety car include a GPS navigation system and a plethora of communications equipment developed to assist the car in case of an emergency.
In terms of powertrain, the G37 S Coupe safety car will have the same output coming out of the standard 3,696cc 24-valve V6 engine – 320 horsepower – and will be mated to the standard six-speed manual transmission.
Infiniti may not be all that known in the world of rally racing, but if the company ever needed to get its feet wet in the often dusty and muddy world of rallying, this could be the first step in doing so.
Jaguar is celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its most iconic models, the E-Type, this year. So to commemorate this occasion, the British automaker has released a new Spain-exclusive, limited-run Jaguar XK “Spring Edition”, complete with a myriad of aesthetic upgrades on both the exterior and interior of the car.
While we completely dig all the styling improvements that were made for the Spring Edition XK, we’re a little bothered because the car is only being sold in Spain, which means that unless we can have one imported to the US, then we’re going to have trouble getting this unique Jaguar XK model.
Having said that, the Jaguar XK is still one fine piece of machinery, regardless if it comes with special trims or not. We admit to having once lost some affinity for the Big Car in the past, but with their slew of newer and more recent models, including the XK Coupe and Convertible, our approval rating for this British automaker is steadily rising back to its former stature as one of Europe’s finest.
Details on the Jaguar XK Spring Edition after the jump.
A couple of weeks ago, the Ascari race track in Marbella, Spain played host to Pagani and a number of the Italian marquee’s exclusive customers for a nice track-day that included the official presentation of the Pagani Zonda R to the invited guests.
If that and the fact that these guys could run around the track for the whole day wasn’t enough, a couple of special edition Zondas were also in attendance: two Zonda supercars that bear the names ‘Cinque’ and ‘HH’. The man behind the Zonda HH, American David Heinemeier Hansson was also in attendance at the event to personally receive his one-off supercar from Pagani and test it out on the track.
With all these mouth-watering Zondas in one location, it’s hard to find a better place on the planet than the Ascari race track when Pagani held its track day there about two weeks ago. We don’t have any Zondas in our near future so it’s unlikely that we’re going to get invited to any track meets any time soon so we’ll just have to settle for photos.
Tasteless jokes aside, the story on how that 360 Modena caught fire is a doozy. Turns out, it belonged to somebody who decided to rent out his supercar through a rental agency for $1,500 to an Arab prince who ended up crashing it to oblivion. And all of that happened before the car started catching fire.
Two things that we’re dying to know: One, how in the world did the owner feel when he found out his Ferrari was totaled beyond repair and all he got out of it was $1,500. You can’t even buy a dinged-up Pinto with that money. Second, how can an Arab prince rent out a Ferrari when he probably has like a hundred of them tucked in his garage?
Although we don’t know what came out of this mess, the only redeeming part about this is that the Arab prince can probably afford to replace the 360 Modena with another Ferrari, or maybe something even better. If we were the owner of the car, we’d be thinking somewhere along the lines of maybe a Pagani Zonda.