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.

My eyes were tired, and the sun was unnaturally bright for 7 a.m. on Tuesday, but the warm Texas weather gave me satisfaction as I opened the balcony door. In just a few short hours I would be throwing cars around a racetrack as I began my one-day crash course on tire testing and comparisons.

I’ve been on worse assignments.

The event was put together and hosted by Cooper Tire. The American tire company, one of the last still operating in the US, has just released the new CS5 line of premium touring tires. With more than 2-million testing miles, and built as a replacement for the company’s best-selling tire ever, the CS5 is quite an ambitious project. Oh, Cooper is also celebrating its 100th anniversary as well. Somehow, I have been invited along with a selection of my colleagues to put this new tire through its paces.

The day would consist of laps around both dry and wet circuits to test the tires abilities, and Cooper had brought along some competition for us to compare against as well. Our weapons of choice included the new BMW 328i and some V6-powered Ford Mustangs .

I would learn a lot about tires, myself, and the breaking point of a C7 Corvette’s rear differential.

Read on to learn more about my day as a tire tester and find out how I did

Yes, these are actually spy shots. It seems that the crew at Porsche is getting really smart about disguising its test mules. Thankfully, our shooters are just too eagle-eyed to be caught off guard.

What we appear to be looking at is the upcoming 911 GTS Coupe .

If you remember a few months ago, we actually had spy shots of a convertible doing winter testing that featured a lot of the same identifying features of this two-door. Now from the front, the car appears to be any normal 991-generation Carrera (or nearly any Porsche for that matter), but jump to the rear and things quickly get different.

First, take a good look at that exhaust. There is no Porsche 911 model on sale today with this large, center-mounted, dual-exit design. It actually looks more like the exhaust for the Golf R than a 911. This also leads us to believe that you should look for a more powerful version of the car’s flat-six engine to be hiding inside.

The second giveaway is more subtle, but a close eye will notice that the rear appears to be covered in some sort of weird tape or plastic. There is deformation around the taillamps and the center of the bumper. This is a good indicator of the GTS status, as the last GTS was released as part of the mid-cycle refresh. That tape could be hiding a slightly revised bumper and lighting assembly that will debut on the refreshed car.

Slightly better looking, and slightly faster. It sounds like a win to me.

Click past the jump to read more about Porsche 911 GTS Coupe.

The folks over at Hennessey Performance have a lot of reasons to be proud these days. Not only were they able to build a bad-ass supercar like the Venom GT , but they can add a whole lot of power and enhancements to just about any vehicle out there, be it a Chevrolet Corvette Stingray or a Cadillac Escalade . The tuner’s most impressive achievement, however, is being able to smash the world speed record for production cars — held by the Bugatti Veyron — with its Venom GT that packs a whopping 1,244 horsepower and 1,155 pound-feet of torque under the hood. Sure, the record won’t make it into the Guinness Book of World Records due to the lack of second run and low production numbers, but we all now that the benchmark is now in the hands of an American company.

The record run saw the Venom GT reach 270.49 mph at the Kennedy Space Center took place about three months ago. And if you haven’t seen the video yet, you’ve been living under a huge, heavy rock. The reason we’re bringing this achievement back into the spotlight is because the run was featured in Pennzoil’s "Breaking Barriers" series, in a video that reveals never-before-seen footage and some of the obstacles the Hennessey team had to overcome along the way.

Breaking a speed record owned by a car built by a multimillion-dollar empire such as the Volkswagen Group ain’t easy. What makes things even more impressive is that, compared to VW, Hennessey is just a tiny group of passionate gearheads that are motivated by more than just volume sales and profits — one of the reasons we love Hennessey so much. That’s reason enough for you to watch this 7-minute video and learn why the Venom GT is way cooler than the Bugatti Veyron.

If you pay any attention to the TopSpeed Podcast , it will have become abundantly clear that we all like Porsches, and that the Cayman is top on our list for greatest driver’s cars. With the recent spy shots of the Porsche Cayman GT4 , we thought it was time we took a quick look at what makes the new potential Cayman special, and what it may mean for the rest of the Porsche family.

The birth of the Cayman was purely to fill a gap in Porsche’s lineup. It was an artificial car with artificial specifications. It had an engine, horsepower rating, top speed and price, that was exactly between the Boxster and the 911.

Thanks to its mid-engine design the Cayman has always felt like the better handling car, but Porsche refused to let it eclipse the power or performance of the 911. That seems until now, anyways. If the rumors about the GT4 Cayman are correct, it is positioned to be a better car than the base 911 Carrera , and potentially even the RWD Carrera S. If true, this could make the GT4 Cayman one of the best driver’s cars Porsche has ever created.

Read on to find out what makes the Porsche Cayman GT4 so special

Oh, the things we see on eBay . The commerce site has and will always have some interesting items up for sale or auction. That was no more evident to us than when we happened upon a restored 1988 BMW M5 that actually looks pretty good given its age. According to the seller, this particular M5 has been restored to serve as a nice "daily driver," the kind that can take you from point A to point B in style and without any mechanical problems. Given that its essentially a 26-year old car, such ringing promises are good to hear.

More impressive in this case is the car’s reported forays in the drag strip back in its day. It can supposedly run a quarter-mile in 13 seconds, no small feat for any sports car by today’s standards.

But you’re not getting just any M5 either, as it was also given a series of upgrades. These upgrades include the installation of a new throwout bearing and new transmission output shaft and shifter seals. The best of the updates is a hot new engine that not only adds some extra firepower, but also had just 17,000 miles on it when the owner dropped it into the car.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1988 BMW M5.

Source: eBay

The Nissan 370Z Nismo is a cool, nippy sports car at 350 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. Drop the hammer and it will reward you with fast-enough acceleration and precise handling. Do that on the track and you’ll be able to sweep the asphalt with a lot of famous and more expensive cars.

But despite its abilities, I always thought the 370Z lacked the looks most enthusiasts are expecting to find on a sports car of this caliber. Its face is just too clean and polished, without any of the sharp cues that make you scream in agony as you’re being chased by one.

Fortunately, that has come to an end today when Nissan took the wraps off the facelifted 370Z Nismo. The Japanese-built sports car has finally received its much-need rhinoplasty, one that throws the boring look to the dumpster and puts a new, "eat my dust" face on the hot coupe .

Of course, the 2015 370Z Nismo is not only about a new, evil grin. The folks over at Nismo have been working hands deep to upgrade the chassis and the suspension system, while developing brand new sports seats with Recaro, the industry’s main provider of high-performance shells.

I was a bit surprised to discover Nissan chose to keep output figures unchanged, but aside from that, it had done a great job to bring the 370Z back in the spotlight.

Updated 05/19/2014: Nissan unveiled a new set of images and a video taken during the car’s official debut at the annual ZDayZ gathering in North Carolina. Check the picture gallery to see all the new pictures.

Updated 08/08/2014: Nissan announced prices for the 370Z Nismo which is on sale now at Nissan dealers nationwide. Prices will start from $41,990 for the base 370Z Coupe Nismo 6MT and will go up to $46,790 for the 370Z Coupe Nismo Tech 7AT version. Details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan 370Z Nismo.

The age of customized and personalized vehicles is alive and strong. In fact, many manufacturers have taken this route to ensure a level of uniqueness for their customers. One such automaker is Porsche , and judging by how it spruced up this Boxster S in a sparkling in blue, you can tell that the German automaker’s Porsche Exclusive program is doing quite well on its own.

There aren’t a lot of wholesale changes made to this Boxster S to make it look completely new. On the contrary, it’s full of subtle modifications that all add up to an incredible visual treat, the kind that customers will definitely want to get their hands on.

The Porsche Exclusive options fitted into this sports roadster includes a the new Riviera Blue paint job that is nicely complemented by doses of black on the exterior mirrors, the headlight cleaning system covers, the rear side air intake grilles, the "Boxster S" graphics on the doors. All these new trimmings were specifically modified to give a smooth blue-and-black look to the Boxster S, and yes, they do bring out a new level of sporty aggression to the baby Porsche, don’t they?

There is a handful of other upgrades to this particular Boxster S, details of which you can check out after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Boxster S in Riviera Blue by Porsche Exclusive.

While the three Type 64 cars ultimately were little more than an engineering exercise, it provided Porsche with the knowledge it needed to create the Type 356 . The body shape was an extension of what Porsche began with the Type 64, and the teardrop shape still looks attractive to this day.

The birth of the Type 356 was not an easy one. With World War II raging, and Allied forces carpet bombing large portions of Germany, Porsche packed up and escaped to Austria. Porsche set up shop in an old sawmill in Gmund, Austria which is why the car carries its odd title.

Despite having packed up and moved to a sawmill, the 356 was still built using some of the most advanced materials and engineering possible. The bodies were all hand-hammered from sheet aluminum, and the chassis was a very stiff pressed-steel unit that was formed into a single unit with the floor. You could almost think of it as an early monocoque.

Beyond the futuristic production, the 356 featured full-independent suspension in all four corners. With that suspension setup and its lightweight, the Gmund Coupes were natural-born racers.

The car you see here is 356/2-017. It is number 17 to be produced and one of the oldest known living examples. While in Gmund, Porsche only managed to create a total of 50 to 52 Gmund Coupes (numbers are unreliable as to exact production). After those first 50, or so, cars were produced, Porsche returned to Stuttgart, ending the production of “Gmund” 356 models. Porsche still continued to make the 356 after it returned to Stuttgart and eventually produced around 76,000 of the cars in total.

We’ve barely reached the halfway point of the year and it seems BMW’s newest addition to its M family has been in the headlines so much we’ve seen one incarnation of the sports car after another in various racing series all over the world. And just to drive home that point, BMW Abu Dhabi has released a new batch of photos of the M4 Coupe in the middle of a tire-smoking drifting session, all while sporting BMW’s official racing colors.

Those unmistakable BMW racing graphics look pretty sexy on the M4, don’t they?

Not a lot of BMW models can proudly wear those colors and make it look like they were born to be dressed in them. The M3 was usually the car getting the racing garb and for good reason. But with the arrival of the M4 Coupe and BMW’s decision to keep the M3 a sedan from here on out, it does look like the baton is finally getting passed to the newest member of the M family.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M4 Coupe.

Source: BMW Facebook

We’ve already discussed all of the details around the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 earlier, when GM introduced the sexy, yet track-capable drop-top at the New York Auto Show . And we were pretty impressed with the fact that Chevy managed to keep weight to a minimum after chopping its roof off.

The staggering power, the projected performance and the aerodynamic body kit are the other reasons that will make grovel at its wheels, but have you heard the way this beast of a car sounds like when the ignition fires up that supercharged, 6.2-liter, V-8 mill? You might be the biggest Corvette hater in the world, but if your heart doesn’t start pumping faster after hearing a Z06 idle, then you’re NOT a petrolhead and you should go hang around a bunch of Toyota Prius .

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, then you should know that the 2015 Corvette Z06 received a brand-new LT4 engine that’s set to generate at least 625 horsepower and 635 pound-feet of torque. Those figures should be enough to propel the coupe from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.4 seconds, with the convertible to be a tad slower at 3.5 seconds.

The sports car won’t hit the streets until the first quarter of 2015, so make sure you watch the video above if you’re looking for some early exhaust note action.


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