Back in August 2012, Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid established an impressive speed record of 185.394 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Just a couple of short months later, the vehicle returned to the scene of the victory to break its own record, and succeeded in doing so! The car averaged 186.313 mph over two runs during the SCTA’s World Finals event, eclipsing the previous record by 18.8 mph. Even more impressive is that, during the first round, it hit a top speed of 187.147 mph.
For those who do not remember, the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid combines a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline generating 150 HP and 184 lb/ft of torque with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery that produces an additional 27 HP. The battery consists of 60 individual cells with a combined energy capacity of 5 Ah.
"We’re very proud that the Jetta Hybrid has not only posted the fastest speed for a hybrid at Bonneville, but that it has gone out and broken an SCTA land speed record as well," said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, Volkswagen Group of America. "Achieving this record at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class, offering excellent fuel economy while retaining the fun-to-drive nature expected from a Volkswagen."
Top Gear is at it again. If you don’t remember, several months back they brought us the “Deadly 720” – the world’s first ever double loop completed by a car. Well, Guinness was on location and awarded Top Gear the “official” world record for the stunt.
Apparently that world record combined with their latest record for being the most widely watched factual TV show are not enough, as the Top Gear boys, fresh off of a new contract, are bringing back the “Deadly 720.” This time around they will add in a new element to the double loop, allowing them to set yet another record, according to Top Gear’s creative director Rowland French.
In a statement, French said: “The original Deadly 720 was as far as our experience, technology and bravery allowed us to go and we’ve been inundated with messages from the British public asking us to perform the stunt in the UK this year,” explained French. “The restless nature of the production, however, means I was keen to do something different and shoot for another World Record. The only way to do that is push the boundary further and create an even more extreme stunt. We started working on the project almost immediately after the South African stadium show and have been in rehearsals for weeks. This stunt will break new ground and I can’t wait to see the looks on the audience faces when we reveal it at the NEC.”
We’re not too sure what this new addition will be, but we’re sure it’ll be interesting nonetheless. The record will be attempted at the Top Gear Live show taking place at the Birmingham NEC from October 25th through the 28th.
We’re sure there will be plenty of hints and clues in the coming weeks, so we’ll bring you up to date with each update.
Click past the jump to read Top Gear’s press release.
When Toyota Motorsport GmbH developed the TMG EV P001 specifically to set the electric vehicle lap record at the Nürburgring, we knew Toyota was onto something special. Then it released a follow up to the P001 specifically to run in the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and set a new EV record of 10:15.380 up the hill, and we were simply blown away.
Toyota then decided it was time to put the P002 to the test and see if it could beat the P001’s record-setting time around the `Ring. The P002 did not disappoint, as it smashed the P001’s record by 25 seconds, placing it in the top-15 times ever on the Nürburgring (at the time).
With the TMG EV P002 firmly situated in the history books, we felt it was the right time to take a closer look at this purpose-built race car and see what it’s like under the microscope.
Click past the jump to read our full review on the TMG EV P002.
At the Paris Motor Show, Motor Trend had a very telling sit down with Porsche CEO, Matthias Müller, about several of the upcoming models. This interview not only uncovered the fact that the entire lineup will be undergoing a facial and rump redesign, but also that a new, ultra-powerful hybrid drivetrain will grace the Cayenne in 2014. Almost missed amongst this plethora of new Porsche goodies was a statement by Müller that Porsche is hoping for a sub-7-second time around the `Ring,
If you recall correctly, the 918 Spyder recently screamed through the Nürburgring at an unreal 7:14. When asked about what this awesome time means to the 918, Müller said “That means this car will be a huge – huge – milestone for Porsche. One year ago we had a target of 7:20-7:22 or something. Last week one of our engineers drove one lap in 7:14. The record is 7:11. So I suppose at the end of the year, we will have a new record at the Nürburgring.” The record in question is not the overall record, but rather the major automaker record, now held by the 2010 Viper ACR.
Müller was later asked how fast he thinks the 918 Spyder can lap the `Ring and he replied “If we’re lucky, it will be under 7minutes… but, I don’t know, we’ll see.” With the overall Nürburgring record, held by the Radical SR8 LM, sitting at 6:48 might Porsche be shooting for the overall crown too?
To drop 11 seconds from the 918’s current lap time will be quite a feat and to drop 23 seconds – the time needed to match the record – is downright impossible. To hit the sub-7-minute mark, however, Porsche would need to turn its attention to creating an all-out racing version of the 918 and scratch its attempts to keep it a true production model.
Doing the rough math, the record-holding Radical SR8 lapped the ring with a 0.632 horsepower/kg rating and Porsche estimates that the 795-horsepower 918 with the “Weissach package” weighs just 1,665 kg. That puts the 918 at a 0.447 horsepower/kg rating. This means, in theory, Porsche needs to do one of two things to even come close to the SR8’s heels. The two options are either drop the 918’s weight by an additional 407 kg, which is nearly impossible, or increase its output to about 1,050 horsepower. The latter certainly sounds like the more obvious and possible route. We, of course, cannot take into account vehicle handling and driver skill, as those two variables can sway significantly based on track conditions and other uncontrollable variables.
We’ll keep an eye out to see if Porsche can really pull this off.
So when we are reviewing supercars with killer V-8 engines, we are typically talking about 300-plus cubic-inches and hundreds of horsepower. Well, in the world of scale-model building, you have to take all of that muscle and scale it down to a size that can fit into a one-quarter scale model, and that takes some serious engineering.
For anyone that has ever assembled an engine, you know that keeping track of everything, putting the valves in correctly, seating the rings property, and other steps are immensely tedious, due the their complexity. Imagine doing so with everything shrunk down to a quarter of its original size.
That just so happens to be the specialty of Conley Precision Engines, and it has also just released for sale the world’s smallest supercharged, four-stroke V-8 engine. The Conley Stinger 609 displaces 0.1 liters, 100 cc, or 6.09 cubic-inches, depending on which standard of measurement you follow. Regardless of the measurement semantics, this engine is tiny, as it measures just 14 inches long x 6 inches wide x 8.25 inches tall and weighs in at a svelte 11.25 lbs.
As for power, this relative beast can crank out 5.5 horsepower at 9,500 rpm in its naturally aspirated state and hits 9 horsepower when you bolt up the optional supercharger. It’s the latter version that earns this engine it notoriety as a world-record holder.
You can have this engine for a base price of $5,695. Additionally you can add in stainless steel manifolds for $279, a set of polished-stainless manifolds for $595, painted valve covers for $125, high-duration camshaft for $279, and a supercharger for $1,695. That means in total, you can spend upward of $8,353 for this engine – obviously the price isn’t one-quarter scale.
Nine horsepower may not sound like much on the surface, but put in a one-quarter scale car, you will have a car that will easily eclipse the 100 mph mark. To boot, Conley engineered the engine to have the same rumble as any classic muscle that came from Detroit, just a little more high pitched.
For those who do not remember, the Bloodhound SSC is a rocket built by current land-speed record holders, Richard Noble and Andy Green. A few years ago, these gentlemen attempted to break the 1000 mph barrier and after a few years of reworking the vehicle, they are back again to achieve this very goal.
Up until now, all we’ve had for this vehicle were a few teaser images and sketches, but Noble has announced that this rocket system will be tested in its entirety for the first time at Newquay Cornwall Airport. During this test, the SSC will be using a EJ200 Eurofighter Typhoon engine to hit a top speed of 230 mph, after which barrier the rocket firing sequence will begin. Previous details suggested that this sequence will begin after the 300 mph barrier is hit.
The world record attempt will be made late next year, or very early in 2014. The test will be public, so anyone living or visiting the United Kingdom, may want to swing by and check out this fascinating attempt. The previous record was an impressive 763 mph hit by RAF pilot Andy Green driving Noble’s ThrustSSC.
The Nürburgring may not be an official specification, but it is certainly an avenue for manufacturers to gain a little bit of bragging rights. In August 2011, Toyota earned its `Ring stripes by whipping its TMG EV P001 prototype electric car around the 12.92-mile track in just 7:47.79. This puts it within 30 seconds of the likes of the Nissan GT-R and Viper ACR, and just 33 seconds off of the pace set by the Porsche 918 recently.
Well, Toyota obviously wants a little more bragging rights, as it took to the ’Ring again in its 469-horsepower, 663-pound-feet TMG EV P002 and crushed its own record. By “crushing,” we mean knocking 25 seconds off of its original record time by lapping the `Ring in just 7:22.329. Let’s put that in perspective for you here…
The Dodge Viper ACR lapped the ring just 0.229 seconds faster in 2009. The TMG EV Prototype beat the C6 Z06 Corvette by 0.369 seconds, the Porsche 911 GT2 RS by 1.671 seconds, the Nissan GT-R by 1.89 seconds, and so on. Needless to say, the TMG EV prototype definitely put itself in some elite company and is now just 32.329 seconds away from the record set by the Radical SR8 LM. Given the fact that this Toyota prototype shaved 25 seconds off of its lap time in just a year, getting the overall record may be a possibility in coming years.
We’ll see if Toyota decides to try to reel in that record or if it is happy just being in the top 15 of Nürburgring times. Congrats to the folks at Toyota for an impressive run.
Just days after Heffner Performance launched their package for the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera to an 8.72 second quarter mile at 169 mph, Underground Racing is answering back with a Superleggera package of their own. The difference? Underground Racing’s Gallardo has made Heffner Performance’s quarter mile record time a distant and short-lived memory. The Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera by Underground Racing ran the quarter mile in 8.35 seconds at a speed of 181 mph.
The new Gallardo Superleggera package was specially developed for a customer who gave Underground Racing the following guidelines: "Do anything you want to it! As long as it drives like a street car and is the baddest Gallardo on the planet."
As a result of the not-so-strict guidelines, the Gallardo Superleggera by Underground Racing received a Stage 3 engine upgrade for its 5.2L V10 engine, "Quiet" Helix Billet 1st - 6th gear set and final drive gears, and a full "factory synchronized" transmission that uses all of the OEM E-Gear operating system. These additions gave way to a monstrous 1,750+ WHP (1,100 on pump gas), all while maintaining its street-legal status. The only other added feature is the new set of 18" wheels from HRE, but who really cares when you’re talking about a Gallardo Superleggera that produces that much giddy-up?
While the folks in France are checking out the new rides at the Paris Auto Show, in the UK, people are keeping themselves busy breaking records. A battery-powered Lotus Elise developed by utility company, Ecotricity, has reached an average speed of 151 mph near York today. Behind the wheel was 21-year-old Nick Ponting, who managed to smash the previous record of 137 mph set by a Bluebird Electric in 2000.
The Nemesis completed two runs along Elvington Airfield over a one mile distance, with Nick Ponting breaking the record on the first set of consecutive runs with an average speed of 148 mph. The electric supercar achieved this record with the use of two electric motors that develop a total of 330 HP. This setup also sprints it from 0 to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds.
Dale Vince OBE, founder of Ecotricity said: "This is brilliant. We built the Nemesis to smash the stereotype of electric cars as something Noddy would drive – slow, boring, not cool – and I think we’ve done exactly that today. Hopefully this will further stimulate debate about the future of transport in Britain and how we’ll be getting around when the world runs out of oil. What we’ve been able to demonstrate is that wind-powered cars are not just feasible, but can be a load of fun."
No true automotive junky can channel surf past Top Gear without at least stopping for a few minutes. Even if you can’t stand the show; the cars are bad ass, the driving is borderline insane, and Jeremy Clarkson’s snarly, sarcastic and brash attempts at humor are downright unsettling. That’s pretty much exactly what we love about the show.
Well, this extremely popular show – now watched in 212 territories around the world – has officially been named the “Most Watched Factual TV Program” by Guinness World Record. As expected, Jeremy Clarkson was front and center to accept the award with the rather bland “I am very proud to be associated with such a factual program” statement. Oh Jeremy, you are man of so many words…
Regardless of the “Eh, whatever” response, we tip our hats to the empire the Clarkson and his cohorts have built since 1977.
We tried finding out who owned the record before Top Gear, but the record seems to not exist in the 2012 edition of the book… Hm, interesting… We did, however, find out that you can submit your own world record. We wonder if there is a weird publicity stunt behind all of this. Nah, they would never…
Plus, Clarkson just looks oh so happy holding that plaque in the press image.