The Rental Car Rally sounds like a pretty fun thing to do, especially if you’ve got the time to do it. The event, which is a race from New York up to Montreal, isn’t exactly a straight-forward race. Instead, it’s got a little bit of the Amazing Race vibe going on with certain checkpoints racing teams have to go to in order to complete the race.
Last August, the latest Rental Car Rally was staged and the normal six-hour ride from New York to Montreal ended up far longer than the teams could have done without the checkpoints. But as explained by these beautiful ladies from Quebec - in the native language of French, no less - the teams had to stop at a number of locations, including an abandoned psychiatric hospital that "may have been haunted," a curiously-named theme park called the "Holy Land," and an old summer resort that allegedly only allows ghosts as its visitors.
Doesn’t sound like our kind of checkpoints.
With only rental cars allowed and a $500 prize in loose change waiting for the winners up in Montreal, the Rental Car Rally just might be the silliest race we’ve seen in a while.
Nothing silly about these hot French-Canadians, though.
If there is one person that knows the Nürburgring, it is Sabine Schmitz. No, she’s not some crazy test driver that is hired to test all of the latest and greatest sports cars. Rather, she was once known as the `Ring Taxi, as she was responsible for driving an M5 around the ring to pick up drivers whose cars had either broken down or wrecked. She claims that she has circled the famed racetrack over 20,000 times. Yeah, we think she is an expert.
Well, she is now taking to driving new cars around the track, since retiring from taxiing around racecar drivers (and wannabees). Her latest test was of the soon-to-be-released Exagon Furtive-eGT, which is a French-built EV. It’s claimed to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.5 seconds and hit an electronically limited 155 mph top speed (179 mph without the limiter). So, how did it actually perform?
Schmitz came back with rave reviews on this EV. She is quoted saying “I was very surprised about the grip and the power” and that “you’re [going] fast, but it feels like you are going so easy.” She went on to rave about the brakes and suspension systems too, saying that it’s like “sitting on a cloud.” She also talked about how it has an extremely low center of gravity, which is something that she doesn’t often see in a car like this.
From the sounds of it, the Furtive-eGT is a smash hit, but we won’t know until it officially hits the market. We don’t know exactly when it will go on sale or if it will be available in the U.S., but we do know that it’ll make its debut at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
This may finally be the competition that Tesla has been lacking to date, but we’ll see. It is certainly off to a good start.
We all knew that the Formula E series was on the cusp of becoming a reality, as its plans outlined a 2014 debut. Despite the planning, there simply wasn’t the funding available to get the series going. The key word here is “wasn’t,” as the FIA has just inked a commercialization deal to form Formula E Holdings (FEH), which better assures the 2014 debut of the all-electric racing series.
The new promoter of the Formula E series is now FEH. FEH’s anchor investor is a London-based businessman by the name of Enrique Bañuelos. Alejandro Agag takes the reigns as FEH’s CEO overseeing Formula E. There are other folks with significant involvement with the project, including: Lord Drayson, Managing Partner of Drayson Racing Technologies, and Eric Barbaroux, Chairman of the French electric automotive company "Electric Formula."
We will start seeing test runs of Formula E in 2013 and its debut is pretty much set in stone for 2014. While the cars are super fast – 0 to 60 in three seconds and a 137 mph top speed – they can only run on a single charge for about 25 minutes. This lack of longevity means that each team will have to field two cars and two drivers. Instead of stopping for fuel, as seen in other racing series, teams will be pitting to swap cars and drivers. It’ll be interesting to see how teams streamline this process and still remain within the series’ rules.
We can’t wait to see what this series has to offer and the kind of technology that it will eventually lend to typical street cars. We’ll keep a close eye on the development of the Formula E series and keep you updates.
Click past the jump to read the full press release.
For the most part, when you get together a big group of tuners – we mean real tuners, not some dude that throws 500 lbs of plastic and chrome on his ride and calls it a “tuner” car – there are several clear divides. One of the biggest divides is between the Nissan group and the Toyota group. As the No. 2 and 3 import tuner cars, respectively, there is no love lost between them. In real life they respect each other – for the most part – but under the hood, they despise one another.
This is why you never see a Nissan-meets-Toyota kind of monster build. You’ll see domestic engines in Hondas and vice versa, but you never ever see someone take a Nissan car and drop a Toyota powerplant in it. Well, until now!
Steven Mills, in collaboration with ISS Forged and Tech 2 Motorsports, decided, like many others in the world, that the VQ35 engine found in his 350Z was not up to snuff, even with a wide array of mods. So he yanked it out and dropped in a Nissan powerplant. Oh, you would like to know what engine he swapped it out for. You will be surprised, we are sure of it.
Click past the jump to find out about the engine and read our full review.
Last year, we showed you the GreenGT LMPH2 model that was invited to the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, but did not race. Now that Green GT has nearly mastered its art of alternative fuel usage, it is set to enter its newest invention, the GreenGT H2, to the 2013 running of the Le Mans endurance race.
This H2 is nothing short of an impressive piece of work, as it boasts a pair of three-phase electric motors that each produce 200 Kw of power, which equals out to 544 horsepower reaching the rear wheels. What’s even more impressive is the astounding 4,000 Nm (2,950 pound-feet) of torque these motors create – no, that’s not a typo, two-thousand nine-hundred and fifty pound-feet. Being this is fully electric, we assume that this massive torque amount is instantly available.
Now, in order to run an electric motor, you need batteries, right? Not so fast. You’re forgetting about the oft-left-out fuel cell technology. The H2 uses a hydrogen fuel cell to produce the electricity the motors require. The only emissions produced are in the form of water vapor and heat.
You may think that the GreenGT will run away from the competition with its 2,950 pound-feet of torque and 544 horsepower, but you have to remember that this technology is still in production. The GreenGT H2 can only run for a solid 40 minutes at a time before needing its composite tanks refilled with hydrogen.
We’re excited to see the GreenGT H2 in action and this is really our front runner as the eventual replacement for gasoline power in auto racing. It may even wind up in personal cars too.
There are three types of accidents in the world of car racing: expected, freak, and “how in the [insert favorite expletive] did that happen?” Well, an accident involving an AMG racecar, air line, and four Mercedes DTM crew members falls into the latter of those three categories.
This is a clear example of a pit crew simply not following the most basic of pit rules: clean your crap off of pit lane after you’re done and secure your air hose properly until you are ready to use it. After a fairly quick pit stop by the AMG coupe during practice at Zandvoort on Friday, the coupe speeds away. The crew directly in front of the car apparently left their air hose dangling over the track in anticipation of a pit stop of their own and the car’s rear spoiler caught the hose.
Well, the hose turns into a massive bull whip with a crack that would make Indiana Jones feel inadequate. As it whips around, it catches four crew members and drops three to the tarmac. Luckily, no one was seriously injured, as Mercedes has released a statement that three of the four were released from the hospital and are back on the job, but one remains in the hospital with serious, but not life threatening, injuries.
From the 1:10 mark to the 1:15 mark, you can see the accident in slow motion and you can really get a look at how lazily wrapped the air hose is. The hose that the Mercedes hit was hanging halfway down, whereas the rest of the hoses in pit lane are tightly wrapped and well above the top of the spoiler.
We’re sure this team is in for a quick and harsh lesson on pit-lane maintenance and organization. Then again, getting bull whipped by an air hose may be lesson enough.
Building a racecar is a tall task, but building one that is to endure the stresses of running at full bore for 24 hours is a real test. Since 2008, Lexus and Gazoo racing have partnered up to bring the Lexus LFA to SP8 endurance class. Every year that the LFA took to the starting grid at the Nürburgring 24, there were issues. Be it a vehicle-disabling wreck, mechanical malfunction, or simply poor performance, the team never finished higher than 41st overall.
In 2012, the team showed up at the Nürburgring as humbled as they had ever been, calling themselves rookies, despite five years of running the race. The humbleness and hard word paid off for the team this year, as is took home the top spot in the SP8 class and 15th place overall. This was the first time since the Dodge Viper GTS won in 2001 and 2002 that a non-German automaker won the SP8 class.
In celebration of this notorious victory, and the five years of knuckle busting wrench turning and headache-inducing engineering that Lexus and Gazoo has endured, the two have released a video chronicling its journey to success. Sure, the video is very short – only 4:14 – but the detail covered in such a short period of time is simply incredible.
The team lets you into the action and if you don’t get into the video, you may want to check your pulse real quick. There is some awesome sound too, so make sure you have your speakers or headphones cranked up.
It was confirmed that the Juke-R will hit production, based on the 2012 GT-R specs, so this means it is time to pit it against some of the best sports cars on the planet. Car and Driver did just that with a great piece pitting the Juke-R against the best Porsche has to offer, the 911 GT2 RS. We need to keep in mind here that the test-model Juke-R is based on the initial run GT-R’s drivetrain, including its 495-horsepower, 3.8-liter (the video says 3.7-liter for some reason) V-6 twin-boost engine. The production Juke-R will come with the 2012 GT-R specs, including a boost to 530 horsepower, but will also cost about $590,000. No, that’s not a typo.
In the other corner sits the $245,000 Porsche 911 GT2 RS, which boasts a 620-horsepower 3.6-liter flat-6 and a significant weight advantage. In the video, this crazy driver decides to take the cars to Bedford Autodrome and put their lap times to the test. Following that test, the team hits up an airfield and puts the two to a 1-mile test.
Putting a 620-horsepower GT2 RS against a heavier Juke-R with a 125-horsepower deficiency typically means a win on all fronts for the GT2 RS. However, this test involves a slightly wet track and the Juke-R features the GT-R’s impressive AWD system, so the Juke-R just may come out on top.
To find out, you’re going to have to check out the video. Not only is the video chock-full of racing action, but it also features some kick-ass slow-motion scenes that will blow your mind and tons of sweet, sweet noise.
The dangers of auto racing aren’t limited to just race drivers; in some instances, especially when they get really too close, spectators open themselves up to the same risks as the drivers.
Unfortunately, that reality reared its ugly head last weekend in Serbia during the FIA European Hillclimb Championship when a Mitsubishi rally car lost control on one of the turns before hitting a crowd that was sitting a little too close to the action.
The high-speed crash had fatal results, with three spectators dying when the rally car barreled its way toward them. The video that was captured of the crash is only 17 seconds long, but it was long enough to paint a real picture of what happens when things go terribly, terribly wrong.
Organizers of that event immediately banned all spectators from staying in the area, but it was a case of being too little too late.
Watch the video and see how the crash came about. If for nothing else, it’s a far cry from the video we saw last week of a rally driver performing an unbelievable save with, coincidentally, another Mitsubishi rally car.
We love car chases in movies and we love them even more when they involve beating the hell out of expensive cars. Well, “The Last Stand” just so happens to feature just that. In its trailer, we have found that it shows a Camaro ZL1 and a Corvette ZR1 in a high-speed chase that eventually lands itself in a corn field.
While the scene is short in the trailer, it is certain to pack a load of action in full length. In general, the movie looks like it’ll be pretty bad-ass, if you are the type that loves shoot-em-up bad-guy flicks... And I am one that loves those flicks.
When you add in the fact that three of my favorite actors are in it — Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, and Peter Stormare (John Abruzzi from “Prison Break”) – I just may be willing to pony up the $55, or whatever theaters are charging these days to see a movie. The two awesome cars duking it out are just the icing on the cake.
So check out the above trailer and keep a keen eye out at the 1:07 mark to get a glimpse of Arnie behind the wheel of the ZL1 and ramming the ZR1 into the corn field. Tell us what you think of the trailer and the fact that the production crew likely destroyed about $170,000 worth of cars in that one scene. Let us know what you think or have heard about this movie in the comments.