In the early-1960s, Ford had gained an interest in long-distance road racing and decided it was time to invest in a car that could compete in the likes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. In 1963, Ford and Ferrari struck a deal for production, but Ferrari cut the project off after they couldn’t come to an agreement as to whether Ford could participate in the Indy 500 or not.
Ford then decided if Ferrari wasn’t going to work with them, they were going to beat them. Ford negotiated with both Lotus and Lola before deciding to go with Lola, but the car was a complete mess and retired much more than it finished. After the 1964 Nassau race, Carroll Shelby stepped in to right the ship.
Between 1966 and 1969, the GT40 went on to win the Le Mans an impressive four times in a row, entrenching it in racing history and propelling Carroll Shelby even further into legendary status. Following the 1969 model year, the GT project was shut down and the GT40 production stopped at just 107 cars, ending its impressive run.
Check out our full review on the GT40 after the jump.
World speed records are usually associated with vehicles like the Bugatti Veyron, which can hit a high mark of 267 mph and look great while doing it. Advances in hybrid technology, however, have now made it essential to include vehicles like the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid on the list of top speed records. No, the Jetta was not able to dominate the Veyron’s top speed, or even come close to it, but it has achieved a land speed record of its own at the Bonneville Salt Flats. During the Southern California Timing Association’s Speed Week at Bonneville, the Jetta Hybrid was able to record a 185.394 mph top speed, marking the fastest speed ever achieved by a production-based hybrid on the Bonneville Salt Flats.
"Achieving this speed at Bonneville shows that the all-new 2013 Jetta Hybrid is a distinctly different offering in the compact hybrid class,” said Jonathan Browning, CEO and President, VW Group of America. “As well as being expected to achieve combined fuel economy of 45 mpg, the Jetta Turbo Hybrid also retains the fun-to-drive nature you expect from a Volkswagen in a segment dominated by less exciting vehicles.”
The 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged gasoline powerplant generating 150 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque. The gasoline engine is then combined with a 20kW electric motor with a lithium-ion battery that’s produces an additional 27 HP and weighs less than 80 lbs. The Jetta’s top speed record was achieved by implementing a few changes to the setup. Volkswagen R&D in Wolfsburg, Germany modified the engine to provide a few more ponies, while A-Salt Racing and Advanced Product Engineering, based in Camarillo, California, provided project integration and other modifications. Everything was finalized with an engine calibration and a once-over by the folks at the Volkswagen Test Center California in Oxnard, CA
When Chevrolet built the COPO Camaro to run in the National Hot Rod Association, it did so with the expectations of it being a true world-beater.
While Chevrolet’s faith on the COPO Camaro has always been unquestioned, the car still turned a number of heads at a recent drag event by breaking the nine-second, quarter-mile barrier without even breaking a sweat.
In this video, the rocket of a car ran its 327-cubic-inch engine with a 4.0-liter blower and blasted it from a stand-still position to a quarter-mile time of just 8.88 seconds at a speed of 142.09 mph.
Compared to past performances of the COPO Camaro’s chief rivals, particularly the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet and the Mopar Challenger Drag Pak, those cars have some serious catching up to do if they hope to keep up with the COPO Camaro’s blistering quarter-mile time.
Check out the video and see how scintillatingly fast the COPO Camaro really is.
When we decided to pit the two top supercars against one another, the list had to include the Bugatti Veyron, the Goliath of the supercar world. Its competitor, on the other hand, wasn’t nearly as clear cut, as there are numerous cars that you can match up against the Veyron and get a good fight.
The first one that we looked at was the Hennessey Venom GT and its 1,244-horsepower V-8. In all honesty, the Hennessey just feels more like a kit car to us, thanks to its Lotus Elise base. Granted, that’s one bad-ass, Bugatti killing kit car, but it still just didn’t feel right to us.
After spanning the globe trying to find a good competitor, we ended up right back in the U.S. with the all-new SSC Tuatara. This limited production supercar definitely has the power to handle the likes of the Veyron on paper, but we really need to dig in deep to see what really happens when we put them up against each other.
To find out who wins you’ll have to click past the jump.
Typically the words “eco-friendly” and “performance” don’t mix together well, but sometimes they pull it off. A great example of a successful attempt is the ACAT Global Ferrari 575 by JBR Motorsports. ACAT Global specializes in making less expensive and lighter catalytic converters, whereas JBR focuses on building bad-ass race cars; a match made in heaven. This modified Ferrari 575 is set to take on one of the largest challenges in the world, and that is to overtake the world land speed record – in the Grand Touring class, of course – at the Bonneville Speed Flats.
JRB and ACAT have been tight lipped about what this Ferrari 575 has behind the rear seats, but we are 100 percent certain that it is a little more than the standard 515-horsepower 5.8-liter V-12 that the stock 575 boasts. Granted, that engine is good, but certainly not enough to beat out the Ferrari record of 232 mph.
The exterior of the Ferrari 575 is draped in a coat of French Blue Ferrari Racing paint with graphics by custom-graphics-extraordinaire, Troy Lee, but the remainder of the exterior modifications are still unknown at this time. We are certain that the Ferrari will boast a lower ride height to help with aerodynamics and a series of diffusers on the rear to help reduce the drag on the rear of the Ferrari.
As we approach the August 11th debut of the Ferrari 575, given it passes its 3-day testing phase, we will learn more about this super-fast Ferrari. We will pass information along to you, as we receive it.
Click past the jump to read the press release regarding its record-setting attempt.
Even though the Nürburgring is hanging on by a loosely tied thread at this time, it is still the setting where cars are made or broken, which is partly why we are all so confused as to why it is in financial ruins. Despite now owning its own track, Porsche is still looking to the `Ring to help build more excitement around its upcoming 918 hybrid model.
Porsche has just officially debuted its 918 Martini Racing wrap and has also announced that it expects big performance from its 918 model. This performance comes in the form of an expected lap time around the Nürburgring of less than 7:22.
That seems like an extremely fast time, we know, but that is also very conservative, considering the less powerful Porsche GT2 RS completed a lap around the famed raceway in 7:18. We anticipate a time nearer to the 7:15 mark than the 7:22 mark and we expect it to turn this lap time with some consistency.
Regardless of how far under the 7:22 mark the 918 comes, there is only one thing to say and that’s “Dayum, that’s fast.” Sub-7:22 times are only achieved by a small handful of cars, like the Viper ACR, Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition and Gumpert Apollo Sport. That’s some pretty impressive company to keep for a newcomer onto the supercar scene, especially one that boasts an anticipated 78 mpg rating.
If you’ve ever been to a tire shop for four brand-spankin’-new tires, you can typically expect to sit around for at least an hour. If you show up on a Saturday, you had better just drop off your car and come back in three or four hours. That is, of course, unless you are F1 driver Jenson Button.
At the German Grand Prix on Sunday, Button was in 3rd place and pulled into the pits for a new set of tires, which you can typically expect to lose at least one position when doing. Button, on the other hand, pulled in and didn’t even lose a single position. It’s not because the car trailing him was so far behind, but rather because his pit crew was ridiculously fast. They lifted the car, removed four tires and rims, and installed four new tires and rims in 2.31 seconds.
That’s not only insanely fast, but it is also a new world record. One YouTube user managed to get a shot of the record-breaking pit stop and posted it for all of us to see. Literally, if you blink, you’ll miss almost everything.
Check out the above video to see just how fast this crew gets this job done. The lightning-fast work of Button’s crew also enabled him to overtake the No. 2 slot, as Sebastian Vettel pitted shortly after Button.
Nissan wasn’t the only one to establish a world record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, even though theirs was probably the strangest: they drove the entire 1-mile Goodwood hill in reverse. A British racing team called Drayson Racing - don’t worry if you’ve never heard about them, we hadn’t either - managed to create an all-electric Le Mans Prototype that became the fastest electric car at Goodwood using the two years of experience the company has had at the Le Mans series.
Called the B12/69EV, this electric prototype was built on a Lola racing chassis and is powered by a pair of electric motors that develop an impressive 850 HP. With this amount of power, the car ran the 1.16-mile hill climb in an impressive 53.53 seconds. smashing the previous times established by both the Nissan Leaf NISMO RC - 60.18-second - and the Tesla Roadster - 58.77 seconds.
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.
Over the weekend, Hot Wheels’ own version of the double-loop record was attempted by stunt driver Greg Tracy and the one-and-only Tanner Foust. You remember Top Gear Live’s version of the double-loop record attempt last month?
Well, Hot Wheels’ has seen their hand and is raising with their own version. The stunt was attempted at the X-Games in Los Angeles, and true to expectations, the attempt was successfully executed.
Greg Tracy hit the double loop first followed shortly by Tanner Foust. Once both drivers successfully completed their double-loop run, they decided to finish with a flurry and do a pedestrian on-ramp jump much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
Check out the video of the attempt and tell us if this attempt was more impressive than the one Top Gear Live pulled off a month ago.
If you haven’t seen it, you can check out the Top Gear stunt after the jump.