Not a lot of people remember that Ginetta was founded by the four Walkett brothers - Bob, Ivor, Trevor, and Douglas - from Sufford, England in the late 50’s. The brand has since changed hands a couple of times, most recently in 2005 when it was bought by LNT Automotive.
We bring this up because the original owners of Ginetta are making a return in the industry, only this time, they’re starting up a new brand that has been creatively christened as Dare.
Fancy name notwithstanding, the Dare is a sports car that’s being prepared to take on the likes of the Lotus Elise and, in a somewhat ironic twist, the Ginetta G60. Full details have yet to be revealed but the early word is that the Dare will carry a rear-mounted 2.0-liter Ford Ecoboost turbo engine that will pack an impressive 250 horsepower. It’s not quite to the level of the 310-horsepower output of the G60, but it’s fairly close enough to be given serious consideration, especially when you consider that the Dare is expected to weigh only 750 kg/1,653 lbs, around 330 kg/728 lbs lighter than the G60.
The best part is that the Dare, which is expected to make its debut next year, has an estimated price tag of just £30,000 ($47,000 at the current rates), an amount that’s a little more expensive than the Ginetta’s entry-level G40 sports car.
The countdown to the 2012 London Olympics is on its last legs, and as such, MINI is preparing to give British athletes a proper motivational boost with a new promotional video featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
The video features a handful of 2012 MINI London Special Edition models - nine in total! - with members of the world-famous London Philharmonic Orchestra each getting into one of the models to play a unique version of the British national anthem.
Instead of their instruments, they’re musical equipment this time around is the car’s horn. Pretty sweet, if we do say so ourselves.
We don’t doubt the talent of these guys in blending anything that makes a sound into a unique composition, but this really does take the proverbial cake. If you’re a British athlete and you get to watch this video, how can you not be motivated.
Heck, it even got our juices going, no small feat considering we have the athletic competency of a living room couch.
The SEAT Ibiza is not what most enthusiasts would qualify as a hot-hatch, except when fitted with the 1.4-liter TSI or 2.0-liter TDI engine, which produce 150 PS (147 horsepower) and 143 PS (141 horsepower), respectively. Leingarten-based custom auto enthusiasts, JE Design, has managed to turn even the lower-level Ibiza models into a semi-hot hatch, or at the very least, a sharp-looking and peppy hatchback.
The 2012 SEAT Ibiza is available in three body styles, 3-door hatch, 5-door hatch, and station wagon. The JE Design kit is built to fit any of the body styles that the Ibiza comes in. The SEAT Ibiza itself starts at €9,995 and ranges up to €16,340. This upgrade kit, of course, goes on top of the cost of the car, but with the SEAT Ibiza’s low cost, the entire package becomes rather affordable.
Click past the jump to read what JE Designs has done to make the SEAT Ibiza more stylish, comfortable, and even a little bit faster.
Radical has become one of those car companies that just “gets it.” They understand that not everyone is a multi-millionaire that can afford to drop several hundred thousand dollars on a racecar as an amateur. Radical-built sports cars like the SR4, PR6, and SR3 all come in at under $100K, so even a lower-budget racer can get into the sport.
For those that are a little more seasoned in racing and have the extra capital to spend, Radical can certainly cater to you too. One model that caters nicely to this group of more affluent racers is the Radical SR8 RX. This model sits just below Radical’s range-topping SR9, and is defines as “quite simply the world’s fastest production sports car.” The SR8 line is even the world record holder for fastest time around the famed Nürburgring, as its LM variant tackled the `Ring in just 6:48.
So how does the SR8 RX stack up against the rest of the racing world?
Infiniti has just added a new version to its M35h line-up: the new M35h GT arrives in Infiniti dealers from July and will be priced from £41,101 - or about $65,000 at the current exchange rates. With this price the new GT model is about £3970 ($6,200) cheaper than the current Premium version.
The M35h’s hybrid system combines a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 68 HP electric motor mated to a 7-speed Adaptive Shift Control (ASC) automatic transmission. This system helps the sedan to deliver an impressive fuel economy of 29 mpg (combined).
The new GT version is offered with an impressive list of standard equipments including a 16-speaker Bose® surround system, Infiniti’s latest Connectiviti+ navigation/entertainment system, semi-aniline leather seat facings, heated and ventilated front seats, bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS), alloy wheels and White Ash wood trim finished with real silver powder.
"Cost of ownership is an important consideration in any new car purchase. With the M35h GT grade it now means that the P11D values have been reduced and along with the recently improved CO2 rating there are lower bills for companies and for their drivers," said Infiniti UK Fleet Sales Manager, Simon Lewis.
Okay, it is odd enough to say that the NissanLeaf is running at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, but it’s even odder to say that it actually set a lap record there. This strange record set at Goodwood was the fastest time up the famed hill while driving in reverse. That’s right; they drove the entire 1-mile Goodwood hill in reverse.
There are some people in this world that have a hard enough time backing out of their driveways, let alone driving a mile in reverse. Then again, many years ago, I had a friend drive his 1980’s Civic CRX in reverse the entire 3-mile trek home, after his transmission got stuck in reverse gear.
In order to set this record, the team that worked with Terry Grant, the lucky driver stuck taking on this task, actually removed the reverse speed limiter, so he could essentially drive the Leaf in reverse just as fast as he could. Well, he definitely didn’t hit top speed, as his best time came in at 1:53, which equals out to an average speed of about 30 mph.
That’s still an insane feat, though, as driving a car in reverse at 30 mph is definitely not a simple thing, but to traverse the Goodwood’s twisting track is a completely different animal. Hats off to Terry Grant and his team for coming up with such an insane idea and actually executing it.
You can see one of the videos of this stunt above and the other two can be found after the jump.
Despite having more special edition versions than any model in recent history, the Mazda MX-5’s popularity doesn’t appear to be waning any time soon.
Over in the UK, the Japanese sports roadster is still a hot ticket, so much so in fact that Mazda has decided to give the UK market yet another special edition model of the MX-5.
Say hello to the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition.
Available in two variants - one for the soft-top and one for the folding hard top - the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition distinguishes itself from the rest of its MX-5 peers with a host of aesthetic alterations, including a race car-inspired exterior graphics, black detailing around the front grille and front fog lights, ‘Kuro Edition’ badging all over the exterior, and a new set of 17" alloy wheels. The special edition model also gets a new rear sports bumper, a larger sports exhaust, and a choice of three different color options: Velocity Red Mica, Crystal White Pearlescent, and Brilliant Black.
Inside, the MX-5 Kuro Special Edition gets treated to Stone and Black heated leather seats, Stone leather door inserts, red stitching, a silver interior panel with red accents, alloy pedals, and floor mats with a race-inspired logo.
The soft-top variant of the Kuro Special Edition will come with a 1.8 liter engine that nets 126 horsepower and 123 lb/ft of torque while the hard-top model will be powered by a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that produces 167 horsepower and 158 lb/ft of torque.
200 units of the soft-top model will be available in the UK at a price of £18,495 ($28,890), while 400 of the hard-top variant will be available at a price of £21,995 ($34,350).
When a company thinks highly enough of itself to dub its cars “Radical,” it had better deliver on what its name alludes to. Well, Radical Sports Cars has been at it since 1997 and its sole mission is to build affordable cars that you can take out to the track and crush the opposition. That sounds pretty “Radical” to us.
The Radical PR6 is what its builder defines as a “versatile racer that’s at home on both track and hill.” This model sits directly above the entry-level Radical car, the newly released SR-1, which is pretty bad-ass in its own right.
The PR6 is a true “racer’s car,” focusing more on technical aspects, like lightweight body panels, precision suspension, and well-tunes gearbox, as opposed to brute strength, like other race car manufacturers. This is the type of car that can go out and wallop a 500-horsepower Corvette on the track, leaving the `Vette driver speechless when he learns how little power this compact racer is putting out.
So how much power does it really have and what makes it so darned special?
You’ll have to click past the jump to read our complete review and find out.
World records are a funny thing, because you can easily set something just by thinking up a new thing that no one else has. Once you do it, you’re the record holder, until someone else does it. Ferrari of North Europe did something of that sort in 2007 by setting the Guinness world record for number of Ferraris in a Parade, which ended up being 385 cars.
The record was broken recently with a total of 490 cars and Ferrari North Europe plans on reclaiming this title in September. Ferrari has already accumulated more than enough entrants (600) to beat the record, but it wants to make it stick by hitting the 1,000-entrant mark. The event will take place at Ferrari Racing Days at Silverstone Circuit on September 15th and 16th.
Ferrari owners get into the Ferrari Racing Day event free of charge and can even register for the Guinness word record attempt by clicking here.
The rules of the world record attempt are pretty straightforward. The cars must travel over a distance of more than 2 miles with a distance of no more than two car lengths between each other. Simple enough, huh?
So, not only can you get free tickets for taking part in the record-setting event, but you can be forever be recognized as part of a world record in Guinness – whatever that’s worth these days. Either way, the Ferrari racing days event is always a blast, and getting free entry makes it all the better.
Click past the jump to read Ferrari’s full press release on the matter.
There are two things that Caterham shares with Lotus. The first is that they both are U.K.-based companies and the second is that they both had Ansar Ali as an executive in the company. Short of that, the two companies have stark differences. The biggest difference being that Caterham stayed focused on its racecar-building division, then slowly started working itself toward street cars, thus keeping it profitable. Lotus, on the other end of the spectrum, has been trigger happy lately and has lost millions of dollars.
Well, the man given a lion’s share of the credit for Caterhams’s success, Ansar Ali, has stepped down from his post as Managing Director of the successful company. The resignation is certainly not forced, as Caterham chairman, Tony Fernandes, poured a heavy helping of praise over top of Ali as he departed and this can only point to the fact that Ali is leaving for another job, a la the former Audi CEO bolting for Infiniti.
On paper, the destination is obviously Lotus. Do the math, it is a struggling company, much like Caterham was prior to Ali taking the reins, it lacks a CEO since Dany Bahar’s termination, and there is already a history between Ali and Lotus. Add in the fact that Ali is already in the U.K., where Lotus is based, and you come up with a perfect match.
If Ali is heading to Lotus, don’t expect an immediate announcement, especially given the rumors of Bahar suing Lotus. Lotus would be wise to bring Ali on as a special consultant for a few months until the Bahar storm settles down.
We’ll keep an eye on where Ali lands and let you know as soon as we hear anything.