sports cars

sports cars

  Sports Cars are engineered to go around corners and straight lines as fast as possible. They are usually expensive, dangerous and so much fun that everybody wants one. Owning a sports car is a gratifying experience but it will cost you money and back pain as they are usually expensive to maintain and not very comfortable. But who cares as they look like supermodels at the beach.

It’s no secret that carbon fiber is one of the latest breakthrough materials that provides a high-strength, low-weight solution to nearly any problem. Today it is used in making body panels, support bracing, and even entire monocoque chassis. But now, companies are developing complete one-piece carbon-fiber wheels. Jay Leno takes a look at Carbon Revolution, a company that is on the brink of releasing its carbon-fiber wheels to the marketplace, including to an undisclosed OEM automaker. Yep, soon we’ll see a mainstream automaker release a vehicle rolling on a set of carbon-fiber wheels.

Brett Gass, Executive Director for Carbon Revolution stopped by Jay’s garage to show off the new wheels. Weighing in at roughly 15 pounds, the carbon-fiber wheels weigh an average of five pounds less than a set of lightweight aluminum wheels normally found of today’s sports cars. Gass also elaborates on how his wheel is certified by the German government to pass all safety and strength requirements.

To test the wheels, Jay, Gass, and a group of friends head out to Willow Springs Raceway in a 2008 Porsche 911 GT3 RS . Besides a sideways slip into the dirt by Jay, the carbon fiber-shod Porsche holds the road. The group of guys talk about how standard, lightweight aluminum wheels flex, while the carbon-fiber rims don’t. The premise seems a little far-fetched to me that a novice driver in a borrowed car can feel the aluminum wheels flex, though I don’t doubt the benefits of lighter wheels. Either way, it’s an interesting look at the future of wheel design and construction.

The mid-engined Porsche Cayman was launched in 2005. Essentially a coupe version of the Boxster , the Cayman has become increasingly popular with customers as a more affordable and balanced proposition to the range-topping 911 . The first-generation coupe came with 2.7-, 2.9-, and 3.4-liter, flat-six engines with as many as 321 ponies and 273 pound-feet of torque. A facelifted Cayman was introduced in early 2009, while the redesigned model arrived in showrooms in 2013, this time powered by 275-, 325- and 340-horsepower engines. As we’re moving closer to 2015, the Germans are preparing a mid-cycle refresh for the still-new Cayman.

As with most Porsche facelifts, the Cayman will only receive minor exterior and interior changes. However, more important things are set to occur under the rear hood, where an array of four-cylinder engines are expected to show up. Details are thin as of September 2014, but Porsche is keen on improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions across the lineup and it seems both the Cayman and the Boxster will lead the way.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Porsche Cayman.

Ever wondered what Ferrari would look like if it became, to quote former CEO Luca di Montezemolo, “American?" Well, Jalopnik writer and artist Jason Torchinsky did just that, creating a series of hilarious Ferrari-based renderings that show a number of models receiving America’s unabashed imprint.

The F12 Brougham and the FF Sportwagen could actually pass of as legitimate Ferraris if you’re looking at them while in an inebriated state, but that’s the extent of it. The rest of the renderings take a turn for the insanely hilarious. There’s the 458 Montana SUV that looks like a moustachioed 458 on PEDs; the 458 Eagle with “vertical stabilizing fins” and a Pontiac Firebird-inspired eagle hood graphic; the 458 Rebele with welded doors and General Lee-inspired livery; and the three-wheeled Florida T with an exposed supercharger and a meth-dispenser system.

But the coup de grâce is the limited edition LaFerrari Van that might actually make for a pretty decent family car if not for the fact that it isn’t real.

Well done, Jason. Well done. Somewhere Ferrari executives are typing up a cease and desist letter.

Click past the jump to see how Ferrari’s lineup will look like if it really was becoming "American."

Image Credit: Jason Torchinsky
Images used with the express permission of Jalopnik.

Source: Jalopnik

Rumors about the Mercedes AMG GT started as early as 2012, and for a short period of time, it was believed that the new SLS AMG would be called the SLC. Obviously, this is not the case, as Mercedes and AMG have chosen the GT name for the sports car that comes to replace the aging SLS AMG as the company’s halo rig. Essentially the baby brother of the SLS, the AMG GT comes as a new competitor for the Porsche 911 just as we’re heading toward 2015. Compared to the SLS, the Mercedes-AMG GT is lighter and slimmer, making use of even more carbon fiber and aluminum. In a shocking twist of SLS insult, the GT is devoid of gullwing doors.

Less dramatic as far as design and power go, the GT also comes with a cheaper price tag compared to its brother. Read on for the full details surrounding Stuttgart’s latest road-going "silver arrow".

Updated 09/12/2014: Mercedes unveiled a new video showing the new AMG GT in action at the "Circuit of the Americas." Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the future Mercedes-AMG GT.

Luca di Montezemolo’s abrupt resignation as Ferrari president (effective October 13th) caught a lot of people by surprise. It was a bombshell, to say the least, but don’t start feeling bad for Ferrari because the company, largely due to di Montezemolo, is raking in a whole lot of money these days. Even in the U.S., Ferrari’s revenues have never been healthier, especially after selling 1,062 cars in the first half of 2014. That unprecedented success also coincides with the 60th anniversary of the Italian automaker in the U.S., which we all know is a pretty big deal. It’s so big, in fact, that Ferrari’s planning to commemorate the occasion by releasing a special edition Ferrari exclusively for America.

Details are still sketchy at this point, but Ferrari did say that only 10 units of this yet-to-be-identified model will be released. In other words, that’s exclusive with a capital "E." Let the speculation begin on what this model’s going to be. If I’m going to guess, I think it’s going to be based on the Ferrari California T . I have no intel whatsoever; I just have a hunch.

Aside from this limited-edition Ferrari, the company’s plans for the U.S. also include selling even more models in the second half of the year. In addition to more sales, the company is also planning to have a charity initiative and what di Montezemolo describes as “a major event in Los Angeles to bring together all our American clients and collectors."

Maybe that’s the time and place we see this limited edition, U.S.-only Ferrari. It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s future special edition.

The appointment of former Nissan executive Andy Palmer as the new CEO of Aston Martin has opened deeper talks between the British car maker and German auto conglomerate Daimler . Reuters is reporting that Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche is “fundamentally open” to deeper talks with Aston Martin so long as Palmer wants to have one.

That appears to be a certainty given Palmer’s attempts to persuade Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn to invest in Aston Martin when he was still with Japanese manufacturer. Those discussions didn’t amount to anything and many in the industry believe that it was a factor in Palmer jumping ship — or cars — to the British automaker.

Now that he’s with Aston Martin, Palmer’s close relationship with Daimler during his time at Nissan is expected to play a big role in Aston Martin’s dealings with the German luxury car maker.

Daimler already owns five percent of Aston Martin and the two companies have existing engine deals with each other, including a tie-up to develop a new generation of AMG V-8 engines.

Don’t be surprised if talks between the two sides heat up soon. Daimler’s open to it and with Palmer now the CEO of Aston Martin, the pieces are in place for that to happen.

Click past the jump to read more about the Daimler-Aston Martin partnership.

Source: Reuters

Liveries and sponsors are an important part of motorsport. No wonder certain models are best recognized when wearing the colors of Martini, Gulf Oil or even Coca Cola. Take Porsche for instance; the Germans have scored some of their most important racing wins while wrapped in Martini, Gulf and Rothmans liveries. The 911 , 935 , 936, 956 and the 962 are all related to these brands. But there’s a certain livery that’s often overlooked when it comes to Porsche. The white, red and blue of Brumos Racing , a team established by Peter Gregg in Florida, in 1971.

A race driver himself, Gregg took on the IMSA GT Championship with sponsorship from Brumos Porsche, a dealerships that had been importing rear-engined sports car into America since 1959. Granted, Brumos never reached the heights of the Gulf- and Rothmans-sponsored Porsches, but it did win the 24 Hours of Daytona four times. Its first success dates back to 1973, while the most recent win occurred in 2009. Brumos’ career also includes appearances in the Can-Am series with the incredibly fast 917. Although the company folded in 2013, its white cars adorned by red and blue stripes remained iconic figures among endurance racing aficionados.

To honor Brumos Porsche and its successful track record, the Germans launched a special-edition 911 Carrera GTS in 2012. Dubbed B59, it consisted of only five bespoke units that came in Carrara White with the famous Brumos stripe design. These sports cars also payed tribute to Hurley Haywood, who raced Porsches for around 20 years and played a big part in Brumos’ success. All five were delivered to the United States, where they found homes in collectors’ and Brumos enthusiasts’ garages. Some keep them alongside other Porsches, while others store them in garages that also include British vehicles and pure American muscle cars .

They all share a common passion that has been captured brilliantly in the video above. Hit the play button to meet the owners and the story behind Brumos and Hurley Haywood.

Well, well. It seems that when I predicted that the trademarking of the Zora name by GM would lead to a mid-engined Corvette , I wasn’t just full of hot air. Since I wrote my first piece and clamored on about the mid-engined future in the TopSpeed Podcast , both Motor Trend and Car and Driver have written pieces claiming this to be the truth. We already covered the piece by Motor Trend, but the details from Car and Driver are fresh.

Currently the only way to read the C&D story is to pick up their newest issue on newsstands, but the crazy kids over at Jalopnik have been kind enough to give us a rough rundown of the major points.

First off, we know for fact that Chevrolet is already actively developing the C8 Corvette. Second, the new car will be a mid-engined machine that wears the badge “Zora ZR1.” It will be positioned as flagship for the brand and will likely be the first C8-generation car to arrive. The car will be a very low-volume model that will carry a price that is estimated around $150,000. As it is today, the car will still continue to be powered by an aluminum, small-block, GM engine.

To make this new machine, the current frame will need some heavy modification, but C&D seems to think that current platform has the ability to be used for the job. On that same note, the robotic manufacturing that was setup to create the current C7 can be altered to create the new frame with what seems like little effort.

Expect more carbon to be used if this new mid-engine car makes it to existence. Currently GM uses the carbon stuff for items like the fenders and hood, but the doors are still fiberglass. This will change for the Zora ZR1 and a carbon composite of some sort will be used to decrease weight and increase strength in the doors. Suspension and braking components are unlikely to change too much from the current kit used on the Z06 .

As always, we will keep you up to date on all the news as we can get it.

Note: Standard Chevrolet Corvette Stingray pictured here, but our rendering team is hard at work creating a preview to the Zora ZR1.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Zora.

Source: Jalopnik

BMW announced its new 2 Series convertible, including the M235i and this 228i, in September 2014. While the M235i will be the choice of most enthusiasts and weekend track rats, the standard 228i and the 228i xDrive will be the ones found at Whole Foods and Macy’s, and will constitute the bulk of 2 Series sales. That’s not a bad thing, however, as the BMW’s latest drop top checks all the right boxes for topless automotive fun.

A high-strung, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine comes boosted by a twin-scroll turbocharger and is backed by an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters or a six-speed manual. The quick-shifting flappy paddle helps the 228i hit 60 mph in a surprising 5.7 seconds. What’s more, the 228i’s chassis share many of its designs and parts with the 228i coupe, giving it some street cred right out of the box.

The 228i xDrive brings an extra level of usability to the 2 Series Convertible’s lineup. With a normal torque split favoring the rear axle, the xDrive 2 has plenty of sport still in its chassis. However, when the weather turns rough, all four wheels grip the road. The xDrive system even makes itself useful in the dry, helping the 228i xDrive knock a tenth of a second off the 228i’s 0 to 60 mph time.

While the now-dead 1 Series may have been the first drop-top contender in the premium sub-compact segment, the new 228i and 228i xDrive take the legacy into the future. If 1 Series 130,000 units sold worldwide is any indication of the 2 Series Convertible’s potential success, BMW’s latest convertible will have no trouble finding homes.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2-Series Convertible.

Like most high-performance vehicles, the BMW M3 was the perfect platform for a dozen special-edition models throughout its history. Who can forget about the E36-based GTR and the E46-based CSL , or even the Cecotto and Ravaglia editions of the first-generation M3? Then there’s the GTS, arguably one of the best-performing M3’s in history. Launched for the 2010 model year and built in only 250 units, the GTS was a more powerful and lighter version of the E92 M3 . The coupe was powered by a 4.4-liter V-8 rated at 444 horsepower and weighed 300 pounds less than the standard M3. These specs made it incredibly fast in the 0-to-60-mph sprint, which took only 4.2 seconds, and quite popular with collectors. All 250 units sold immediately, despite a sticker of €115,000 ($149,000 as of 09/11/2014). The E92 GTS remained the sole GTS built to date, but it seems the Germans have a new iteration underway, this time around based on the M4 .

That’s the word from our skilled photographers, who spotted what appears to be a track-prepped version of the M4 set to carry the GTS moniker. And although BMW has done its best to parade it as a MotoGP Safety Car , we have reasons to believe this coupe is more than just a pace setter.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M4 GTS.


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