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.
After a successful run with McLaren, Lewis Hamilton became likely the hottest free agent in recent F1 history. There was a lot of debating and speculation that Hamilton had already signed with Mercedes, who only just recently signed the Concorde Agreement after rumors that it may leave F1, and that McLaren refused to match. It looks as if all of the Hamilton-to-Mercedes rumors were true, as Mercedes has officially announced the signing of Hamilton through the 2016 season.
This signing comes on the heels of McLaren, Hamilton’s former employer, announcing that it had signed the up-and-coming Sergio Perez. An unfortunate byproduct of Mercedes bringing in this young blood means the old blood, in the form of Michael Schumacher, is out of a job. There is some speculation that Schumacher will head back into retirement, but other rumors are placing him with Sauber, taking the spot vacated by Sergio Perez’s jettison to McLaren. Ah, and the evil circle of F1 continues…
It is up for debate as to whether Mercedes or McLaren got the better end of the deal, as you have a proven talent in Hamilton who had some struggles last year. But on the other hand you have the 22-year-old Perez with an impressive three podium trips last year and is heading into the prime of his career.
Either way, both Mercedes and McLaren got their guys and both Hamilton and Perez will likely continue strong in the coming years. Also announced today by Mercedes is that 3-time F1 champ, Nikki Lauda, will join Mercedes as a non-executive chairman.
Australia’s V8 Supercars Series is one of the most unheralded, yet ultimately exciting, racing series in the world. Long being the turf of Ford and Holden, the 2013 season will see the invasion of international automakers like Nissan and Mercedes-Benz.
But if these two brands are to make an impression, they’re going to have to go past old guard Holden and its new Commodore V8 Car of The Future Race Car. Built and co-developed by Walkinshaw Racing, the new Commodore stands in the way as the old guard that’s ready to put the newbies in their rightful place.
The matte finish carbon fiber body with matching gold accents offer a study in intimidation akin to the colors of Lotus. Power, on the flip, comes from a Chevrolet sourced 5.0-liter V8 engine that produces north of 600 horsepower, enough kick to give new participants a rude awakening yet efficient enough to meet Car of the Future racing regulations.
Needless to say, the new Commodore V8 Car of the Future Race Car is a mighty contender to keep the title on Australian soil. Any of the new - and foreign - automakers will have to deal with this Australian powerhouse if it hopes to make a successful run at the V8 Supercar Series next year.
Electronic Arts (EA) has released a new video about Need For Speed that details the Most Wanted Single Player campaign, as well as the Fairhaven City. This is the home of the 10 Most Wanted drivers, who stand in your way of becoming the Most Wanted. With all of the cars being available at the start, if you can find it, you can drive it.
The game comes with an Easy Drive system that allows for truly seamless driving experience with no pausing necessary. This system will offer the players the possibility to drive or go directly to a race’s starting line, and swap cars and performance mods without having to leave gameplay or leave the open-world behind.
The all new features of Autolog 2 will help you earn Speed Points which contribute to unlocking performance modifications and secure your rank on The Most Wanted List.
Hit the jump to watch Need for Speed Most Wanted Multiplayer Trailer. Full story
We are all waiting with baited breath for the release of the Porsche 918 Spyder and every little bit of information we get is quickly gobbled up and processed. However, we had yet to hear any real track numbers for this awesome hybrid machine. Sure ,we know that it will boast an 795-horsepower drivetrain that uses a 4.6-liter V-8 gasoline engine and a pair of electric motors and will hit 60 mph in just about 3 seconds.
Still, that just is not enough information for us, but we just got our first taste of real life track information on the 918 Spyder and it’s all good. It recently completed the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap and pulled in a time of 7:14. Depending on the fractional seconds, this will place the 918 Spyder as the fifth, sixth, or seventh fastest car to ever take on the Nordschleife lap.
In addition, this puts it a full 18 seconds faster than the touted Carrera GT that it replaced. One thing to keep in mind is that the 918 that tested on the ‘Ring and got the fastest time was equipped with what Porsche calls the “Weissach package.” According to what we hear, this package includes upgraded brakes, a 6-point harness, air-conditioning delete, radio delete, and other weight-saving measures, so don’t go thinking that every 918 Spyder under the sun will lap the bankrupt, yet safe, Nürburgring.
Now with our whistles wet with fresh 918 details, we can rest easy for the day knowing that the 918 at least performs on the track as we have always hoped and expected.
Rarely do we get a chance to really dig into new braking systems, as the modern hydraulic system has very little room left for improvement. Typically what we run into is cars simply adding more pistons to the caliper, like the 6-pot units found on the Lamborghini Aventador, or larger rotors to help disperse some heat.
Industry front-runner, TRW, is finally getting closer to releasing an all-new braking system that should render the aging hydraulic system obsolete. This Integrated Brake Control (IBC) system will eliminate the need for a master cylinder, brake booster, valves, electronic stability control, and all of the related wires, hoses, and pipes, to replace it with a single unit that does it all.
The IBC uses a brushless electric motor to activate and deactivate the brakes in accordance to the driver’s input. This system can also use the vehicle’s computer system to activate and deactivate the braking system, so it will also help streamline the self-driving cars that are right over the horizon. In order to keep the natural feel of the current hydraulic brake systems, TRW is planning to fit a secondary hydraulic system that accepts the driver’s input.
According to TRW’s research, this system gives “remarkable braking performance and ESC capability.” It is also capable of placing one g of decelerating force on a car in just 150 milliseconds – yeah, that’s fast.
Not only will this system translate into better braking performance and integrate ESC and braking into one clean unit, but it is also good for a 3 kg (6.6 lbs) in weight savings. That may not seem like much on the surface, but in the market as it is today with supercars heading into exotic metals just to save 100 lbs over their competitors, a 6.6-pound savings in the braking system is a huge deal.
According to the presser, this system should be ready and in vehicles by the 2016 model year. We are willing to bet that it makes it into only high-end racing cars first and street cars will follow suit after successful testing in several racing series.
Click past the jump to read TRW’s full press release.
Autoweek America Adventure is holding a 7-day-long rally sponsored by SRT on October 24th, which runs from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Los Vegas. Along the way, drivers are required to endure certain tasks and tests to earn points. In a way, it is a race between the two cities, but speeding is strictly prohibited and you lose points for it.
You must also navigate the route perfectly and hit each checkpoint at a certain time. If you are too early or too late to the checkpoint, you lose points. At the end of each day, the team with the most points gets a key and at the final rally event, the SEMA show, the key holders will all try their keys in the ignition of a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8.
Whoever’s key starts this mighty luxury car gets to drive it and its 470-horsepower, 6.4-liter V-8 engine home, netting themselves a free $47,670 car.
The entry process is pretty simple; just head over to the Adventure America website and bang your mouse on the “Register” link at the top of the page. From there, just enter all of your information and the information of you teammate(s), then pay your $5,000 registration fee for your team – c’mon, you didn’t think it would be free, now did you? You have to have a car that can at least make it to and from Las Vegas too.
That five grand, however, pays for all of your hotels, meals, drinks, and track fees during the trip, plus it pays for your entrance into the SEMA show. Also, if you use the promo code “Fox 12” during your registration process, you get to use a Dodge Challenger or Chrysler 300 rental car to get you to or from Los Vegas, courtesy of Fox Rent-a-car.
So check it out and see if you can get yourself into a brand new 300 SRT8!
Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary is our kind of guy. Not to say that we’d decline a chance to meet the President of the US, Barack Obama - in the White House no less - but we appreciate a true petrol head when we see one.
Apparently, Clary, who won gold at the 2012 London Olympics in swimming, decided that he’d rather spend a day of his life jumping at a chance to ride a stock car than to shake hands with the Commander-In-Chief.
The date for Clary’s White House invite was September 14 when the White House would be holding a special event for US Olympic athletes. The date, however, posed a scheduling conflict for Clary, who decided that getting to test drive some stock cars and attending the MAVTV 500 IndyCar event in Fontana, California the next day was higher on his bucket list than meeting the leader of the free world.
Clary has made no bones about his passion for motorsports, having already gone on record to say that he wants to become a full-fledged race car driver once his swimming career comes to an end.
Here’s to hoping the White House understands this snub. After all, this is still America, right?
To say that we’ve been waiting for this car pack to arrive can be construed as a massive understatement. If you’re wondering why, look no further than the featured car of Forza 4’s September Car Pack: The SRT Viper GTS-R.
Back in June, we got to play around with the SRT Viper - included in the June pack - in the game. Now, though, things get a little juicier with the inclusion of the SRT Viper GTS-R that competed in the ALMS series over the summer into Forza’s latest car pack. Both cars, #91 and #93, have been added to the game, which means that we can have double the fun destroying the competition with these two venomous bad boys finally in the game.
In addition to the pair of Viper GTS-R’s, Forza’s September Car Pack will also include the 1968 Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, the 1960 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, and the 2011 Citroen DS4, among others.
Check out the preview video of Forza 4’s September Car Pack!
We are all patiently awaiting the release of the Acura NSX, which we all anticipate launching in 2015 featuring a hybrid-drive system of some sort. If you consider trying to dig up any little bit of information possible to satisfy our cravings as being ”patient.” As we wait, a report from Speed points toward Honda working on motorsport plans for its upcoming supercar as early as 2014.
Speed interviewed Steve Erickson, the vice president of Honda Performance Development (HPD), about this potential and he said “In America, there’s only a couple of sports car options for us. But certainly, I think Le Mans is ultimately where it make great sense to have a car to show its prowess. But I think it all depends on where the regulations go in the future.”
From that quote, we can only think that he is talking about entering the NSX into the American Le Man Series (ALMS), which recently announced a merger with Grand Am. The issue with the regulations is the fact that ALMS does not allow hybrid drive in its GTE class, but Grand Am had already announced that it would launch a GX class for hybrids in 2013.
So the final decision on that depends on whether the new merger adopts the GX class plans of Grand Am, or retains the ALMS ban on hybrid drive.
Another point that HPD is trying to hammer out is whether this will be a full-factory endeavor or if HPD will simply develop the cars and sell them to private customers for racing.
According to Erickson, the decision is “down to internal discussions” and they are trying to figure out “where does it make the most sense to race it?” From those two excerpts we can tell that the new NSX will see time on the race track, it’s just a matter of which race track we’ll see it on and when it will show up.