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The Isle of Man’s 37.75-mile, 200-turn Mountain Race Circuit is one of those tracks that test a person’s endurance over a pretty long distance. It’s a little more than two-and-a-half times the length of the Nurburgring so you can expect it to be as daunting as any race track in the world, even for the standards of superbikes that race in the circuit every year.

That’s why we found it surprising to find out that a Subaru Impreza WRX STI broke the lap record for a four-wheeled vehicle in the track after the record stood for 21 years.

Driven by former British Rally champion and WRC veteran Mark Higgins, the Impreza WRX STI clocked an impressive - by its standards – time of just under 20 minutes, with an average lap speed of 115.356 MPH, breaking the previous lap record by more than two minutes. Late rally veteran Tony Pond set the previous record back in 1990 while driving a Rover 827 Vitesse.

Congratulations to both Subaru and Mark Higgins for the new record and here’s to hoping that we won’t have to wait 21 years for this record to be broken.

UPDATE 06/23/2011: Subaru has released a 5 minute 25 second video highlighting rally driver Mark Higgins’ lap that averaged 115.356 MPH. Towards the end of the video, Higgins tells the tale of when he lost and then regained control of the Subaru.

Hit the jump for details on the Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man and to see what Higgins has to say about the record breaking lap.

UPDATE 11/07/2011: The WRX STI Isle of Man TT Mark Higgins has been displayed at this year’s SEMA Show and this was the perfect opportunity for us to give you some live pictures of the car. We hope you will enjoy them. Check the picture gallery to see them.

Looks like we may have to wait a couple more weeks to get our Top Gear fix.

Earlier rumored to debut on June 12 , everybody’s favorite automotive show is now reportedly set to begin its 17th season on June 26, 2011. The Applause Store - the company that handles tickets for Top Gear - has posted the filming dates for this summer’s season of Top Gear with the first episode scheduled for June 22. Since episodes are filmed the Wednesday before they air, we can therefore deduce that the first episode will air on June 26th. That’s just 19 days away! Five more episodes will then air each Sunday after that until July 27, which means that the season finale will be aired on July 31. ending on July 31st.

While BBC2 has yet to confirm the season schedule, this timeline looks to be far more legitimate than the earlier date of June 12. So if you’re getting excited about this Sunday, you might have to hold off your expectations for another two weeks.

One of the most iconic British sports cars of the 60’s and 70’s is set to be revived by Jensen International Automotive as they hearken back to the nostalgic days when the legendary Jensen Interceptor prowled through the streets of the world.

While official details about the car are still being kept under wraps, we do know a few things worth mentioning, including the powertrain that will come tucked in under the hood. While it was rumored to carry the 6.2-liter V8 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette , the word now is that the Interceptor R - the name it has been given - will carry a Dodge Viper -sourced 8.3-liter V10 engine with an output of 510 horsepower and 535 lb/ft of torque.

The car is scheduled to debut in July at which point we’ll officially get a good look at the second coming of one of Britain’s most popular sports cars. Best be warned though, the Interceptor R is expected to be a hot item and thus, will carry a price tag deserving of its stature. How much is it going to cost? Nothing official has been laid out, but the rumor is that it could hit as high as around $171,650.

The original Jensen Interceptor was a GT-class car that was completely hand-built by Jensen Motors from 1966 to 1976 in the United Kingdom. Engine options available at that time for the Interceptor included a Chrysler-sourced 6.3-liter V8 engine and, later on, a more powerful 7.2-liter V8 engine that produced somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 horsepower.

UPDATE 09/20/2011: We’ve just received fresh details about the future Interceptor R! CPP Global Holdings, the British group that bought Bowler earlier this year, will be in charge of developing and building the Interceptor R. Eventually, CPP will also be in on finalizing and assembling the car in 2014.

If you had any more skepticism as to how far Ferrari has expanded its merchandising arm, look no further than this special edition Ferrari helmet courtesy of Newmax.

Truth be told, the helmet isn’t actually for racing purposes, but more so for safety while riding two-wheeled vehicles. Yep, you read that right. Ferrari Ferrari is getting involved in the dirty and grimy world of scooters, bicycles, and motorcycles by introducing a special edition Ferrari Style helmet designed by no less than fashion icon Newmax.

Ironically speaking, this particular helmet was designed as a tribute to
Ferrari’s historic Maranello tradition. Among the elements that make up this helmet include satin-finish aluminum and metalized thermoplastic details. The helmet has been dressed in a genuine leather trim with an embossed Ferrari logo providing the perfect finishing touch. Its outer shell is made from advanced thermoplastic polymer with a high gloss scratch-resistant finish while the visor is manufactured using injection molded scratch-resistant polycarbonate and offers excellent visibility in all conditions. Likewise, the helmet also comes lined with an anti-allergic and antistatic two-tone Dupont technical fabric just in case you might need it.

The whole point of this Ferrari Style Helmet by Newmax is to give consumers the feeling of Italian stallion leather on their body without actually having to buy an actual car. Together with Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina, the Italian automaker has produced countless of merchandising items, some more fit to their stature than others.

When it comes to safety, though, Ferrari doesn’t take a backseat to anybody, even if it means charging a price tag of €299, or about $420, for a motorcycle helmet.

Two years ago, British manufacturer Eagle introduced the world to their rendition of the Jaguar E-type with the E-Type Speedster at the Salon Prive. The car was light, fast, and it gave the driver hassle-free driving when compared to the E-Types of yesteryear. Now the company has reworked their modern day classic with an even lighter version called the Eagle E-Type Lightweight Speedster, scheduled to make its debut at the Salon Prive at Syon House in west London on June 22-24, 2011

Eagle is well-known for their dedication to the development of Jaguar’s E-Types and have been restoring and selling them since 1982. Their passion for the E-Type is what lead them to create a model that throws back to the design of Jaguar’s Lightweight E-Type race cars built in 1963, but with a modern twist and a more powerful engine.

The Eagle Lightweight Speedster only weighs 2,200 lbs and that weight is powered by a 4.7 liter, aluminum in line 6 cylinder engine that delivers an impressive 310 HP with a peak torque of 340 lb-ft.

UPDATE 07/09/12: The folks over at Eagle Speedster have released a fresh batch of high-res photos of the gorgeous sports car, which you can check out in the gallery!

Hit the jump to read more about the Eagle E-Type Lightweight Speedster.

We’ve been hearing a lot of news from the world of Top Gear recently and arguably the biggest news of all is about to be laid out to all of you. Yes, dear folks, the 17th season – has it been that many? – of Top Gear is headed back to the tubes beginning on June 12, 2011.

The news was first reported by FinalGear.com - as good a source as any Top Gear-related website out there – which bared Top Gear’s return after it was first divulged in the May issue of the Dutch edition of Top Gear magazine. Us here in America will get a double dose of the fun too as the first season of Top Gear USA will start to be sold in DVD form on July 19 .

As far as what’s in store for us with season 17 of Top Gear, well, your guess is good as ours. But we’ve seen Clarkson and May push a Nissan Leaf and there have been reports that the McLaren MP4-12C posted the fastest lap on the Top Gear track . Yep, its looking like just a regular season of Top Gear; one full of laughs, surprises, and controversies.

Source: Final Gear

In the high-octane, torque-twisting world of the drag strip, a paradigm shift is slowly taking shape with the most unlikely of cars leading the way. Unassuming look aside, the “Black Current” Volkswagen Beetle EV by Oliver Young is an electric vehicle that has done some serious damage on the drag strip becoming the first street-bodied EV to post a nine-second, quarter-mile time. That time looks more impressive when you take into account the fact that this little Beetle once destroyed a Tesla Roadster on a drag strip.

While it’s not the fastest quarter-mile time ever posted by an EV – that title belongs to the Current Eliminator, which covered the same distance in seven seconds at 160 mph – the Black Current does hold the record for being the fastest ‘street-bodied’ EV in the world - at least until proven otherwise.

For now, though, Oliver Young can stake claim to this tremendous achievement and on a grander scale, he and his ‘Black Current’ Beetle EV are giving EVs the proper exposure in the world of drag racing, something that was unheard of as late as a decade ago.

More details on the Volkswagen Beetle EV “Black Current” after the jump

Source: NEDRA

Project Kahn is one of those tuning companies that never runs out of tuning projects. A few weeks after it released the Maybach 57 Wedding Commemorative Edition , the British tuning firm headed by Afzal Kahn has another one in the oven. This time, it’s an upgraded Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe that comes with plenty of aesthetic modifications.

Adding on to what is already a high-brow look, Project Kahn gave the Phantom a shadow-line finish to go with clear side lights, head light surrounds, window surrounds, rear light surrounds, and under floor lighting. On top of that, the British tuner added a bullet resistant glass to fit into their high-security profile. And to round out the aesthetic goodness, Project Kahn fitted the Phantom with a new set of diamond-polished 22” Kahn Silver Mist Rolls Royce wheels.

Meanwhile, the interior of the Phantom, at least according to Project Kahn, can be tailor-made depending on the customer’s tastes and whims. In a statement, the company said: “Inside is a complete bespoke interior design service available to suit individual tastes. By buying a Project Kahn vehicle, you are given the opportunity to really make it your own.”

For those that can afford this car and all the upgrades Project Kahn offers, feel free to knock yourselves out. For the rest of us lemmings, these photos are about as good as it gets.

This latest special edition from Ford doesn’t exactly serve as a worthy alternative for a Nissan GT-R , but the company has graced it with the GTR name nonetheless. The special edition Ford Fiesta GTR was created by Ford dealer Steve Chamber and will be limited to only 250 units. If you are a UK resident, the car can be yours for £249 per month.

The new Fiesta GTR will be distinguished by a sportier look featuring an impressive White paintwork and a gloss black roof, a new set of 17" Rimstock black alloys, a lower front bumper, side sills, and a roof spoiler. On the interior, there will be a sticker on the dash and door sills that will indicate the number of your car.

Despite its aggressive look, the Fiesta GTR is based on the entry level version of the Fiesta , meaning customers will only be receiving a model powered by a 1.25-liter petrol engine that delivers a total of 59 HP. This is enough power to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 16.9 seconds, while delivering 51.4mpg. A far cry from the 3.8L V6 engine producing 485 hp and 434 pound-feet of torque found in the Nissan GTR.

What’s the deal with all these automakers each coming out with their own set of new bicycles? In the last two months, we’ve seen something new from Audi , McLaren , Range Rover , and Maserati , none of which can be described as anything close to being a four-wheeled vehicle. Bicycles. That’s been the ‘in’ thing these days, and lo and behold, another brand has decided to jump on the bandwagon with the launch of their new – and collapsible – bicycle.

The irony of the bicycle’s uninspiring name given by a brand that’s usually the most creative of the lot isn’t lost on us. But nonetheless, here it is: the MINI Folding Bike. The bicycle is built around a lightweight aluminum frame that can be folded in mere seconds to be stowed inside the car’s trunk – preferably a MINI, we suppose. In addition to the frame, the bicycle’s crossbar, handlebars, and pedals also fold up while the gel seat retracts to save up even more space for when the bicycle is ready to be stored in the trunk. To add to the convenience of it all, the bike only weighs around 11 kilos, which is somewhere around 24 lbs, making it extremely lightweight even relative to the other new bikes we’ve seen in recent months. And to top it off, the MINI Folding Bike also comes with eight gears, a pair of 20-inch wheels with mud guards, an under-seat pouch, and a Teflon-coated chain.

We’ve seen some nicer looking bicycles, particularly the Audi Duo. But in terms of overall style, performance, and ease-of-use, this MINI Folding Bike is one that’s definitely right up our alley.


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