Between 2016 and 2020 the list of supercars will include the Ford GT, the Mercedes-AMG Project One, the Aston Man Valkyrie, and at least one new car from Ferrari. But what are sports cars fans with smaller wallets supposed to do? We have some great cars like the Miata and BMW is bringing a Z4 replacement soon, but so many great cars don’t exist anymore. Especially in the “affordable” range.
So we started talking in the office about what sports cars we want to see revived, and we settled on a pair of classic sports cars and one car that is officially dead, but not out of showrooms yet. The Porsche 944, Honda S2000, and the Dodge Viper are all in our dream garage of dead cars we want to return. Keep reading to find out why!
It has been reported that Mercedes-AMG’s upcoming Project One will break the six-minute barrier at the Nurburgring.
We need to start out with a disclaimer that none of this information is reliable, so please find a grain of salt big enough to melt the iceberg that sank the Titanic. With that out of the way, let’s look at the rumor and what it might mean.
Last night Nissan finally unveiled the all-new 2018 Leaf, and it’s a massive improvement over the old car. The biggest news for EV fans will be the new 150-mile range. That’s nearly double what the original Leaf launched with. It’s even easier on your wallet with a starting price under $30,000, making it nearly $700 cheaper than the current model. But the best improvement is the all-new electric motor. The old car made a useable, but unimpressive 107 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque. But the new 2018 car makes 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, and that is more amazing than you realize.
Let us put those power numbers into perspective. The Volkswagen 2.0L TDI engine, the best “performance” fuel-economy engine on the market before the Dieselgate scandal destroyed everything, produces 150 horsepower and 238 pounds of twist.
Nissan just made a viable alternative to scorned TDI buyers.
True, the TDI had some other advantages like a massive 600+ mile range before needing to be refueled, but on a pure day-to-day performance perspective, the new Leaf might work. If you bought a TDI to make your daily commute, and you still want something that is good for the environment while providing the same level of thrust, maybe you should call your Nissan Dealer.
Yes, we do know that other alternatives like the Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model 3 have even more power and performance, but those cars also have much higher price tags. We aren’t sure about you, but we feel like people buying $26k Volkswagen’s might not be able to afford the $38,000 asking price of a Bolt.
But what do you guys think? Is the new Nissan Leaf good enough to be a real competitor in the market now? And if you are a former TDI owner, please let us now, and be sure to give us your thoughts on this new car.
The Fastest Car In The World Is A Ford?!
The title for “fastest car in the world” is a pretty hotly contested one. Officially, the old Bugatti Veyron Super Sport holds the record at 268 mph. The new Bugatti Chiron is estimated to reach speeds of nearly 280, but it hasn’t been officially tested yet. And then we have the Hennessey Venom GT which hit 210, technically beating the Veyron, but there are several factors that disqualify it from meeting Guinness Records requirements.
Ferrari unveiled the 458 Italia in 2010, then followed that up with the more precise and track-ready 458 Speciale in 2014. As is the tradition with all modern mid-engined Ferraris, Maranello creates a great car, then a year or two later it chops the top off of it to create a roadster version. We knew it was coming, but now the convertible version of the Ferrari 458 Speciale is here, and it’s calling it the “A."
It may be a silly name, but that A stands for Aperta, the Italian word for open. This is also more than a simple roofless version of the 458 Speciale; the Speciale A features the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 the company has ever used in a spider. Compared to the old 458 Spider, this new machine is faster and more powerful, and Ferrari was even able to keep the weight down. This new car only weighs 50 kg (110 pounds) more than its hard-top sibling.
If you want one, you need to get your order in yesterday. Ferrari is limiting this new car to just 499 units. We don’t know how many of those are slated for U.S. consumption, but rest assured it won’t be a lot. If you are undecided about taking home one of these beauties, hit that jump and read our full overview of this incredible new Italian convertible.
Updated 08/18/2017: We added a series of new images taken during the 2017 Monterey Car Week.
Continue reading to find out more about the Ferrari 458 Speciale A.
2017 Ford GT
The Ford GT40 was a purpose-built car that was designed to put Enzo Ferrari in his place at Le Mans, and it did just that. Unfortunately, it was only produced for two years before being discontinued but, for 2018, Ford debuted the second generation that will be known as the Ford GT.
On the outside, there are plenty of hints that point back to the GT40, like the overhang at the front fascia and the air intakes behind the rear doors, but otherwise, the car is sleeker and looks much more modern and supercar-ish. Inside, the car is built for control and usability. The seats are integrated into the shell to give the drive a better overall feel, and the car features an adjustable steering wheel and pedals. There are two display screens and soft touch surfaces here and there. While it was expected to use a turbocharged version of the flat-plane crank V-8 from the GT350 Mustang, Ford decided to go with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost unit with twin turbochargers. No specifics have been provided as of yet, but it should deliver at least 600 horses.
The best news so far is the fact that Ford decided to skip going with an all-wheel-drive setup, and instead decided to stick with the traditional rear-wheel-drive orientation, making the new Ford GT a true driver’s car. All told, the new Ford GT is hands down, the best supercar to ever be developed in the history of the blue oval brand. With a legendary history behind it and modern materials throughout, the Ford GT is sure to recreate and surpass the Ford GT40’s success.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford GT.
2016 - 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang
Ford gave birth to the GT350 nameplate in 1965, the same year when Carroll Shelby was commissioned to build high-performance versions of the first-generation Mustang. Built in 1965 and 1966, the initial GT350 was not just lighter than a regular Mustang, but more powerful too. Originally rated at 271 ponies, the ’Stang’s 4.7-liter V-8 was uprated to deliver 306 horsepower at Shelby American’s shop, where it would also be equipped with heavy-duty rear axles, larger rear drum brakes, and front disc brakes. All 1965 models were painted Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue stripes, while the 1966 model year brought more colors to the car. The GT350 continued in 1967, 1968 and 1969 with more cosmetic changes that performance updates. The GT350 moniker disappeared until 2011, when it returned for the fifth-generation Mustang. As the redesigned pony rolls into dealerships for the 2015 model year, the Shelby GT350 has made yet another comeback as a track-prepped version of the sixth-gen Mustang.
Introduced for the 2016 model year, the first Shelby Mustang GT350 to feature an independent rear suspension is Dearborn’s answer to the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. The body panels were reshaped into a more aerodynamic and aggressive shape, including a completely new front section, while the GT’s standard 5.0-liter V-8 was replaced by a slightly larger unit specifically developed for this muscle car. But enough with the spoilers. Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about the new Shelby GT350.
Updated 06/28/2016: Ford dropped a new video featuring David Patterson "That Dude In Blue" tackling the GT350 Time Attack at the Ford Performance Octane Academy. Hit "play" to watch the new video.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Ford Shelby Mustang GT350
2016 - 2018 Audi TT
The Audi TT entered its “third generation” for the 2016 model year. Despite it being considering a new-gen model, it continues on it typical Audi fashion looking much like the model it succeeds. On the outside, it got a redesigned grille, new headlight and taillight lens layouts, slightly restyled side profile and slightly different fascias. On the inside, the cabin looks like it got more of a makeover than a redesign. The HVAC vents now sit higher; the infotainment display isn’t integrated into the center stack, and the car now comes standard with Audi’s virtual cockpit. Outside of this, there were minor nips and tucks here and there, but nothing extreme. Under the hood, European customers can find a 2.0-liter diesel or a 2.0-liter gasoline-powered engine. European-spec models range between 184 and 310 horsepower. U.S.-Spec customers only get the 2.0-liter gasoline unit that delivers either 220 horsepower in the standard TT or 292 horsepower in the TT-S.
All told, the interior is cleaner and more simplified than before, and the engines are new for this generation. Audi still has a bad habit of making new cars look a lot like old cars, but somehow it continues to work for the company, so to each their own, I guess. Its competition is very strong too, as its primary competitors are models like the rear-wheel-drive BMW 2 Series or the Nissan 370Z, both of which offer better power output in the right trim.
So, does the new Audi TT have what it takes to best brands like BMW and Nissan? Check out our full and detailed review below to decide for yourself.
Updated 05/16/2016: Audi announced prices for the 2017 TT, in both standard and S version, and announced a series of small updates for the compact sports coupe. Continue reading to learn more about what 2017 brings new to the lineup and how much the changes will cost you.
Continue reading to learn more about the third generation Audi TT.
Ferrari has been selling delicate, aggressive and beautiful cars with the Prancing Horse emblazoned across the hood for 60 years here in the United States. From legendary machines like the 250 GTO, to modern marvels like the Ferrari FF, the Italian company has been showing the world what a supercar should be. Now to celebrate this milestone of six decades, Ferrari has created an ultra-limited model exclusively for its American customers. Dubbed the Ferrari F60America, this special edition machine comes with a V-12 engine, no roof and a price tag of $2.5-million.
The car is based on the most powerful GT car that Ferrari currently sells, the F12 Berlinetta. The 6.3-liter carries on unchanged, but visually the car has received a very thorough overhaul. Every piece of this car’s design has been created to pay homage to the previous 60 years of Ferrari heritage. Only ten of these cars are being produced, a nod to the 10 GTS4 NART Spiders that Ferrari imported for US customers on the request of Luigi Chinetti. Luigi Chinetti was the founder of Ferrari’s North American Racing Team, and the white stripe across the exterior of the car pays tribute to the team’s preferred livery.
This is easily one of the most limited and sought after Ferrari models in decades. As such, all 10 models were already sold before the car was even announced.
Updated 01/25/2016: The first out of ten F60 American units was delivered during this weekend during the 25th annual Palm Beach Cavallino Classic.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Ferrari F60America.
This is the new Infiniti Q70, just announced at the New York Auto Show, and at first blush you may not peg it as a new or refreshed model. To be honest, not much has changed since it was still called the M Sedan. There have been some visual changes to distinguish the new 2015 model from the current 2014 version, but by and large this is the same swoopy and fluidic sedan Infiniti has been selling since 2010.
That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as I think the Q70 is one of the best looking cars in the class.
The big news for the 2015 car is the addition of new technology and the announcement of a long wheelbase Q70L, specifically created to cater to the booming Chinese markets. Thankfully for those of us who enjoy the idea of extra rear legroom, the Q70L will be coming to the U.S. and other important Infiniti markets. This isn’t a China exclusive like so many long wheelbase models tend to be these days.
Updated 01/15/2016: Infiniti announced prices for the 2016 Q70 luxury sedan which is now on sale at dealers nationwide. For 2016 model year the Q70 continues unchanged, with the only update including two new exterior colors: Hagane Blue and Majestic White (with premium pearl finish).
Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti Q70.
When asked about the possibility of a Hellcat powered RAM truck, CEO Bob Hegbloom offered up little more than a “No.” He did finish up with a simple statement, “there are other areas of Ram Ram’s business with a bigger opportunity,” and opened the door for much greater things. We may not get a Hellcat Ram, but what about another Chrysler product; specifically the Jeep Grand Cherokee? This is what we think a Jeep Grand Cherokee Hellcat would look like. We also have some solid evidence that it is actually coming.
For starters, the Grand Cherokee is no stranger to high-performance variants with the SRT-8 model, so moving the range up-market should be an easy move. Second, with machines like the Range Rover Sport SVR on the market, Jeep could be looking to join the high-performance action. Of course, the most damning piece of evidence we have is the trademark from FCA for the name “Trackhawk.” If you are familiar with Jeep’s naming schemes, “Trailhawk” is a name used for hardcore off-road models of the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee. Now it’s not a stretch to see Jeep use the “Trackhawk” name for an ultra-high-performance variant.
With that in mind we had our trusty in-house rendering artist whip up some great shots of what this new Jeep might look like.
Update 01/14/2016: Jeep CEO Mike Manley confirmed the Grand Cherokee Hellcat at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. We’ve got him on video making comical remarks to a journalist’s plea for the 707-horsepower supercharged V-8.
Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep SRT Hellcat.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is an impressive car from any standpoint. It is the best-selling roadster in the world, it’s the most produced roadster of all time and it is also the most road-raced car in the world. With the all-new, fourth-generation Miata arriving soon, Mazda has seen fit to grace the world with a new MX-5 Cup model. And I really mean grace the world. After years of being a U.S.-only, one-make race series, Mazda is opening up the MX-5 Cup races to Europe and Asia as well.
The new car builds on the decades of racing experience that Mazda has accumulated running its one-make racing series and puts it to use to create the best racer to ever wear the MX-5 badge. The car is fully race prepped with a roll-cage, stripped interior, new wheels, competition rubber and a full body kit. If you want one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get into real road racing, the Mazda MX-5 Cup car is your best bet.
Mazda just released the newest version of this machine at SEMA, and short of things like horsepower ratings, we have all the major details about this open-top racer. Just hop past the break to check it all out.
Updated 10/01/2015: Mazda announced prices for its new MX-5 Cup race car - Mazda Motorsports’ first-ever ready-to-race Miata. The car is priced at $53,000 and is now available for order at www.MazdaMotorsports.com. First deliveries are scheduled to begin later this year.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 Cup Racecar.
2015 Koenigsegg One:1
The Koenigsegg One:1 was built in just seven examples with the first being a working prototype. The name “One:1” is derived from the car’s amazing horsepower-to-kilogram weight ratio, which as you probably guessed is 1:1. A sibling of the 2013 Koenigsegg Agera R, the One:1 effectively raised the bar for performance and was dubbed the world’s first megacar, being able to produce a total of 1 megawatt of power (about 1341.02 horsepower.) It also produced a maximum torque of 1011 pound-feet at 6,000 rpm. The most interesting part is that the One:1 is able to run on a number of different fuels, including normal gasoline, race fuel, and believe it or not, E85 biofuel. All six production models were sold out before the car even made its official debut, claiming around $2.4 million from the deep pockets of each purchaser.
The Koenigsegg One:1 pretty much became an immediate legend in the supercar world, but as far as power goes, it has already been trumped by the 2017 Koenigsegg Regera. Be that as it may, the One:1 still paved the way for the next-gen models that will build upon the highest performance standard of any supercar manufacturer on this planet. With that said, let’s take a good look at the world’s first megacar and everything that makes it one of the best models ever to roll out of Koenigsegg’s manufacturing facility.
Updated 08/13/2015: The new Koenigsegg One:1 will be making its North American debut during Classic Car Week in Monterey, California. The model to be displayed in the States is the last from the six customer cars built by Koenigsegg and will be delivered to its American owner in the near future.
Click past the jump to read more about the upcoming Koenigsegg One:1.
Fiat has unveiled its latest refresh for the 500, giving the diminutive hatch a tweaked exterior style, a much improved interior appointment, and an updated drivetrain, all with that characteristic 500 flair. For the 2016 model year, the 500 isn’t a dramatic departure over the outgoing model, but it does well to keep the iconic model feeling new.
Keeping the 500 from going stale is critical for Fiat, as the automaker has been inconsistent when it comes to moving units as of late. After all, the 500 is one of the brand’s most visible products, with a history of offering the masses style, self-expression and mobility, all without breaking the bank.
Originally offered on July 4th, 1957, the “new” Fiat 500 was reintroduced in 2007, and now, eight years later, Fiat hopes to continue to capitalize on its heritage with a modern take on the old 500 vision. So far, the 500 has done well to capture buyer’s interest, with 1.5 million vehicles sold worldwide since 2007.
All told, the 2016 model offers a renewed look at an old favorite.
Updated 07/03/2015: Fiat dropped the official details on the revised Fiat 500 with just one day before its world debut.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Fiat 500.
My hotel room overlooked the Staples Center, where our grid of cars was awaiting our arrival. I could just see the AnastasiaDate and AsianDate cars 20 stories below me. This morning I could peek out and see the swarm of Gumball personnel attempting to get everything ready for the final drive. I too readied myself for the day. We would be taking the long way to Las Vegas by traveling through Death Valley. The location had long been on my bucket list of locations to visit, and now I was to be given the chance. Sadly I was scheduled merely as a passenger this trip. Despite a deep and primeval desire to push that yellow Camaro through the empty valley, I was told I would merely have to ride along this time. But then I happened to be the beneficiary of fortuitous timing.
Continue reading to learn more about Day 6 of the 2015 Gumball 3000 Rally.
After surviving the lengthy swim in the alcohol ocean that was Gumball Air and the treacherous desert drive down the mountains into San Francisco, I was excited to enjoy the cool and wet air of the Frisco Bay to start my morning. Today was another decent day for Team AnastasiaDate and Team AsianDate, with two short legs on the way to Los Angeles, separated by a stop at Button Willow racetrack, a slab of tarmac I have always been interested in visiting. This turned out to be one of my favorite days of the entire trip.
Continue reading to learn more about Day 5 of the 2015 Gumball 3000 Rally.
After the beating that Team AnastasiaDate.com and Team AsianDate.com took coming through Germany with the death of the Red Camaro, everyone was excited about our hopefully easy day. All we had on the schedule was a flight to Reno and then a short drive to San Francisco. In actuality, we were headed straight into the longest, toughest and most exhausting day of the entire rally.
Continue reading to learn more about Day 4 of the 2015 Gumball 3000 Rally.
It took months of rumors, spy shots, speculation and leaks, but the newest member of the Land Rover family is finally official and we have all the details. Say hello to the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
Much like the Range Rover Sport, the new Discovery Sport is a smaller and faster version of a car that wears a similar name. It has an all-new design that is very similar to the Discovery Vision Concept that bowed earlier this year. The new model is loaded to the gills with new technology, and it features some of the nicest design touches ever fitted to a Discovery.
To make the most of this new, stylish shell, the engine and modern nine-speed ZF automatic transmission from the Range Rover Evoque are combined with an advanced AWD system to create a dynamic and capable machine.
If you want to know all the exact details like horsepower, ride height and available extras just click through to read our full coverage. We even have a whole collection of nice high-res photos to go with it. Enjoy.
Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Discovery Sport.
The morning after the Copenhagen party was rough for most people. We were heading to Amsterdam, and we had a ferry crossing scheduled, so this was the earliest morning of the trip so far. With a meet-up time of 7a.m. and a scheduled departure of approximately 7:15, we were getting into our cars closer to 8 a.m. Things are going great this morning. It was the first small problem in what would turn into a day full of delays, problems, small explosions and a tale of kidnapping for Team AnastasiaDate.com and Team AsianDate.com.
Continue reading to learn more about Gumball 3000 2015: Day 3
Jet lag is the worst. Despite being nearly 1 a.m. when I took my early leave from the rest of the Anastasia Date and Asian Date teams, I was up and wide awake at 0530; hours before we were scheduled to meet up in the lobby to start our day. I decided to take some time to wander around, just as I did in Stockholm. Again, just like Stockholm, the city seemed abandoned, the only sound being that of the various fountains and chirping birds. It turned out that I would need this moment of serenity, as the day would be filled with more chaos.
Continue reading to learn more about Gumball 3000 2015: Day 2
The party last night was brutal. Some of my colleagues didn’t get back into their rooms until 5 a.m., and while sitting at breakfast, more than one of them complained of being still drunk from the previous night’s debauchery. We would load up the cars and start our journey in just a few hours. They had better sober up quickly, because Gumball waits for no one. Oslo awaited the arrival of Team AnastasiaDate and Team AsianDate, and I certainly didn’t want to keep the beautiful city waiting.
Continue reading to learn more about Gumball 3000 Day 1
Day 0 at Gumball 3000 is one of the busiest, most hectic and most exciting days of the entire rally. All of the cars finish arriving, the last of the vinyl sponsor wraps goes on, driver registration happens, the swag room is open, and all of the seemingly millions of small last-minute things compound into one large problem that needs fixing. With one of our journalists missing and communication systems failing, among other issues, our trip didn’t start out smoothly.
Continue reading to learn more about Gumball 3000 Day 0
Today is the big day, folks. I am in Stockholm and the 2015 Gumball 3000 Rally is kicking off tomorrow. We will be updating the site with new posts, photos and videos as much as we can, but I know that some of you just don’t want to wait for us to publish new articles. If you love social media, or you just want to keep up with what is happening in real time, there are several ways you can follow my trip.
Just continue reading to find out how to find me on social media.
Covering a trip like the Gumball 3000 can be a difficult task for just one person, and it requires the right set of equipment to get it done. You have to have equipment that is compact (There is very limited room in the AnastasiaDate cars), but powerful enough to do the kind of quality work that you guys deserve. In our lead up to Gumball, I thought it would be fun to take a quick look at what equipment I am using to make sure that you guys get the best coverage of this amazing event that I can manage. From the various cameras, to my powerhouse laptop, and all the random pieces in between, let’s dive into my bag.
Read on to learn more about the gear I am using to cover Gumball 3000 2015
Just in case you missed it, TopSpeed.com has been invited back to take part in the Gumball 3000 rally again this year. While last year saw Team AnasatasiaDate roll around in a Lamborghini, this year the team is kicking it old-school with some American Muscle. We have two modified and restored 1969 Camaro Z/28s to run around the world in.
Before the rally kicks off, lets stop and take a closer look at the two cars that we will be driving in this year’s rally. With almost 1,000 horsepower between them, these two beasts will demand just as much attention as any Lamborghini ever would.
Continue reading for the full story.
Last year I spent just three days with the Gumball 3000 crew and in that time I saw supercars set things on fire, got trapped in an elevator in New York, met superstars like Deadmau5 and Xzibit, and of course I drove around with stunningly beautiful women and an astonishingly fast Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder. Well this year I’m going back, and it’s going to be bigger and better.
AnastasiaDate has invited me back, but this time for the whole trip. That means 10 wild days of Gumball madness to share with you guys. This year’s journey starts in Stockholm Sweden, winds through Norway and Denmark, and eventually sees us end all the way on the west coast of the U.S., with stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. AnastasiaDate also has a sister company called AsianDate that is sponsoring a car as well, so that means there are two wild machines to bomb around in this year.
Continue reading to learn more about TopSpeed’s trip for the 2015 Gumball 3000 Rally
This morning at the Detroit International Auto Show, Subaru has officially unveiled the car that every enthusiast has been waiting for, the next-generation WRX STI.
Unfortunately, it appears that Subaru has not fulfilled all the dreams of the Internet masses. The new car makes no major strides in terms of engine output or design, and a wagon variant is still nowhere to be found.
What the latest STI forgoes in engine changes, it more than makes up for in chassis redesign. With a stiffer chassis and a new Active Torque Vectoring system, this latest STI should set a new a benchmark for how a bargain hoonmobile should handle. As an added bonus, the new STI looks to change perceptions on interior build quality and refinement.
Does this new AWD rocket really have what it takes to make the faithful fans of this rally-bred machine happy?
Updated 04/23/2015: Subaru announced prices for the 2016 WRX STI, which will arrive at dealers this summer. The model continues unchanged from the previous year, except the addition of the new STARLINK™ multimedia system.
Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru WRX STI.
Audi updated the RS7 for the 2015 model year, bringing improvements to the exterior and interior. On the outside, the car gets a new Singleframe headlamp design with LED running lamps, a slightly altered front fascia, revised taillights, and a sharper radiator grille. Furthermore, Audi has added four new colors to the color pallet, including Floret Silver, Glacier White, Mythos Black, and Sepang Blue. On the inside, the car got an updated instrument cluster, new shifter paddles, new air vents, and an update to the standard MMI infotainment system. Audi didn’t do much to the 4.0-liter V-8 under the hood, so it produces 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, there are two optional “dynamics” packages available offering a top speed of 174 mph or 190 mph, depending on which package is chosen.
As always, the RS7 can easily trump a lot of sports cars out there, and proves to be a strong competitor for similar vehicles from BMW’s M performance division and Mercedes-AMG. That’s a pretty bold statement for a car that has only been around since 2013, but with 500 ponies on tap, there is plenty of oomph to back it up. Considering 2015 was really just a facelift, there should be a new model sometime before the end of the decade.
For 2016, the model carried on unchanged from the previous year’s facelift, as did the starting price of $108,000. So, why don’t we take a look at the 2015 – 2016 Audi RS7 and talk about all fine print that we haven’t covered yet.
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS 7 Sportback.
The Jaguar F-Type was launched in 2012 as a spiritual successor to the E-Type. At first as drop-top only, the F-Type received a coupe version in 2013. The sports car was received with great enthusiasm, often being labeled as a stout competitor for the Porsche 911. Available with a range of supercharged V-6 and V-8 powerplants, the F-Type’s output ranges from 335 to 567 ponies, numbers that speak volumes about Jaguar’s intentions with its stylish sports car. While owning a wild and exciting rear-wheel-drive sports coupe like the new Jaguar F-Type sounds like an absolute blast, there is a large part of the population that likes their sports cars with a little less drift and a lot more traction. Just look to the sales of the Audi R8, Audi TT, and the Porsche Carrera 4 for evidence of that. Jaguar is well aware of the customers it may be losing in the colder regions of the world by only offering a rear-wheel-drive coupe, so it’s now offering an all-wheel-drive versions of the F-Type R and S for the 2016 model year.
Set to make its global debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 19th, the AWD F-Type made its first official appearance in the Hakskeen Pan desert in the Northern cape of South Africa, where Jaguar joined the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record program during its first high-speed testing session. Not because the F-Type is a record-breaker now that is sports all-wheel drive, but because Jaguar is the new main partner of the Bloodhound Project. Still, it’s a good way to showcase a vehicle that’s quicker than its RWD counterpart.
Updated 03/23/2015: Jaguar revealed prices for the entire 2016 F-Type lineup, including the recently launched AWD version. The model will arrive in dealerships starting in April at a starting price of $84,800. Continue reading for the full lineup price list.
Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar F-Type AWD.
2015 F1 Practice Sessions: What You Need to Know
The last few weeks have been the open practice sessions for the upcoming 2015 season of Formula One, and there has been quite a bit of excitement. 2014 was a rough season for most of the competitors, thanks to the massive rule change to smaller, turbocharged engines, aerodynamic changes that reduced downforce, and new fuel restrictions.
This new season sees subtler rule changes, so teams are more prepared for what is coming next. That said, there was a huge driver mix-up at the end of last season, and this is the first chance for drivers to really test their new cars. In short, this is the first chance spectators get to see who has improved, who looks promising to win, and who is going to have new challenges to overcome.
We only have two weeks until the first race of the season, so keep reading to find out what we learned these last three weeks, and find out what you need to watch for in Melbourne.
Keep reading to learn more about the F1 2015 Pre-season testing results.
When it comes to the mid-size truck market, what was once a booming segment has dwindled in recent years to just a small handful of models. Since its introduction back in 1997, the Nissan Frontier has garnered strong sales that have permitted the truck to survive when names like Ranger and Dakota couldn’t. The latest generation of the Frontier arrived in 2004, and Nissan is replacing it with an new model later this year, but how well has the current model aged in the last 10 years?
Nissan sent me a decked out, off-road-ready Pro-4X model to test so I could find out. I have tested other Frontiers over the last few years, but this model comes loaded with more performance, equipment and luxury than any other Nissan truck I have driven. With an upgraded suspension, 4WD, a locking rear differential and chunky tires, this Frontier was just begging to flogged.
And flogged it was. Over the course of my time with the Frontier it tackled daily commutes, farm work, off-road shenanigans, and the snow and ice that came from one of the worst winter storms my current home state of Tennessee has seen in more than a decade. I think I have a pretty solid handle on just how well this machine performs.
Read on to learn more about the 2015 Nissan Frontier Pro-4X
We know that a new 911 Turbo is coming soon, and we already have a pretty large collection of spy shots of the various mules running around. One thing we never managed to get a good shot of though, was the car’s interior. That all changes today, thanks to our crafty spy photographers. They caught one of the Turbo test cars parked after some cold-weather testing and got close enough to get a really crisp shot of the cabin.
The changes seem subtle, but they could have an impact on ergonomics and usability. The infotainment system looks like it is getting an overhaul, and the control layout of the sport functions may see its first major change in a decade.
If you want to take a closer look at what changes are coming, continue reading for more photos and our in-depth analysis of what we can see different.
Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 911 Turbo Facelift.
I am testing a set of winter tires from Cooper Tire to see how much benefit a driver in the snow belt will receive, and so far I have learned a lot. With lots of ice, slush and just plain freezing temps on clear roads, I have discovered why winter tires are a smart purchase. That said, I really can’t give a full review of these tires unless I get a chance to test them in real heavy winter conditions. As it happens, Cooper was holding a winter-tire testing event in Canada, and our tires were on the list of included products.
I asked if I could follow the team up to Canada to give the tires a good flogging on ice and snow, and they were more than happy to oblige. As a bonus I got a chance to test out a new all-season tire that is supposed to be nearly as good as winter rubber in the snow, I was able to test a more performance-oriented SUV winter tire, and I even learned how to drift a BMW on ice. If you remember the mayhem that happened the last time I got to be a tire tester, well, it happened again. This time we killed a Jeep though, not a Corvette.
Continue reading to find out more about the Cooper Tire Winter Tire Testing Program
There is a very special significance in owning the first of something. It can mark the beginning of an era, the start of something great, and in this case, the genesis of one of General Motors most-loved nameplates. Back in the spring of 1966 a company called Fisher Body began working on a car that wore VIN number N100001. The project was top secret, and even Fisher didn’t know that what they were creating was in fact the first Camaro.
Since its debut, N100001 has had a wild existence where it has passed through the hands of nearly a half-dozen owners. After the nearly five decades since it first rolled on its own power, N100001 has been located and fully restored to its original factory condition. In the entire car, the only two parts that are not genuine Chevrolet pieces are one seat cover and the carpets.
The story behind this car is a great one, and you can catch all the details about it in this video from the Pilot Car Registry. The video covers every previous owner, the car’s first construction and unveiling, and finally its restoration. The video is 18 minutes long, but if you are at all interested in the history behind a legendary classic like this, it is worth the watch.
Continue reading to learn more about the first Camaro ever built.
Let’s start with the big obvious disclaimer. Street racing is stupid, it is against the law, and it takes lives. Don’t do it. Serioulsy, it’s bad. Now that we have that out of the way, I would like to present you with three and a half minutes of supercharged American awesomeness starring the new Dodge Challenger Hellcat, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the Mustang Shelby GT500. That
This isn’t a review video or anything fun like that, but rather it’s a quick visual look at each of the cars followed by lots of highway digs. There is plenty of gratuitous noise involved for your enjoyment. If you were hoping to see a three-way romp between the cars though, sadly you are out of luck. The first half of the video is the Z06 against the Challenger, and then towards the end the Corvette magically disappears to make way for the most powerful factory Mustang ever built.
There are only two quick runs against the GT500 before the arrival of the local police put things quickly to a halt. The video is tons of fun to watch, and it is full of glorious noise from exhaust wail to supercharger whine and everything in between.
But seriously, don’t try this at home.
Continue Reading to learn more about the three American supercars in this video.
I may have fallen in love with the Cadillac ATS when I reviewed it a few weeks ago, but my praises don’t prevent a car from having issues. Edmunds is now reporting that the Cadillac ATS will soon be subject to a national recall for the car’s sunroof. GM has confirmed the recall is happening, but there has yet to be an official notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The recall itself covers the switch to operate the sunroof, and not actually the panel itself. If you are an owner, and start sweating about a leaky sunroof, you have nothing to worry about. The problem with the switch stems from the amount of force necessary to operate the closing mechanism. If even partially depressed, the sunroof will close. While hardly a real problem, that switch does not meet the government mandated safety standard for activation pressure, and so it must be fixed.
Once the recall passes through all the regulatory necessities to become official, GM will begin notifying the owners who own a model with the suspected defect. If you own one of the nearly 67,000 affected vehicles, a quick a trip to a dealer will see a new trim plate installed for the switch that should correct the issue, but wait until you get your letter. If you are buying a new ATS, the car will be repaired before it is allowed to leave the dealer lot.
Continue reading to learn more.
The world of Fast & Furious is colliding with the world of Forza and it is amazing. To celebrate the release of the upcoming Fast 7 movie, Universal Studios and Xbox have gotten together to create Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious.
This crazy combination sees a collection of cars from the various movies make their way into Forza Horizon 2’s idyllic southern French countryside. You start off getting recruited by Tej Parker, and his in-game character is actually voiced by Ludacris. Your job as new driver for the crew is to help secure all the cool cars they need for their next mission.
Best of all, this is a standalone expansion. That means that you don’t need to own Forza Horizon 2 to play it or download it. And did I mention that it’s free? The Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious game launches on March 27th, and it will be a free download until April 10th. If you miss out on the two-week launch window, the game will jump up to $10 in price. It will be available on both Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles, but certain features, like access to the Forza Hub app, are exclusive to Xbox One.
If you ever wanted to bomb around in that sweet Charger R/T that Vin Diesel drove in the movies, this looks to be your best chance.
Continue reading to learn more about "Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious."
Tesla is making headlines left and right these days, but a few years ago, when Tesla was first born, there was a second budding American car company that also wanted to make its mark on the electric car market, Fisker.
Born from the brain of the legendary automotive designer Henrik Fisker, the man that helped bring us the Aston Martin DB9, Fisker Automotive was created to meld the sex and excitement of the automobile with building materials and drivetrains that were far more ecologically conscious. The result was a stunning machine named the Karma, which used an EV drivetrain with a gasoline range extender, similar to the Chevrolet Volt and BMW i3. Sadly in 2013, just two years after production started, the company filed for bankruptcy.
Since the bankruptcy, a Chinese parts company called the Wanxiang Group snapped up Fisker, and now Reuters is reporting that the automaker will be reborn under the name Elux.
Continue reading to learn more about Fisker’s future plans.
It’s getting ever closer to production and that means that we have more chances than ever to spy it out in the open. That’s right, folks, we have more spy shots of Bentley’s upcoming Bentayaga SUV out doing some cold-weather testing way up north in Sweden. This new high-riding luxury machine is based on the same platform as the upcoming Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne. That means weight should be relatively low (for a Bentley) and the company is promising lots of performance. Bentley is claiming this will be one of the world’s fastest off-roaders, with a top speed in the 200 mph ballpark.
We still don’t have a lot of info, and these spy shots are not doing a lot to help. Each car is covered in lots of heavy plastic cladding that serve to hide the real details underneath. Things to notice do include the massive brakes tucked under those alloys and the dual exhaust outlets that appear to each house two exhausts. Bentley may be pushing some sort of quad exhaust system. Bentley is expected to pull the sheets off this thing later this year, so there is not too much longer to wait.
Continue reading to find out more about the future Bentley Bentayga.
Fernando Alonso’s new Formula One relationship with McLaren Honda is off to a rocky start. After several malfunctions limited time in testing, Alonso has now been involved in a violent collision. The accident happened Sunday afternoon right before the lunch break, when Alonso left the track at Turn Three of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This turn is normally a 150 mph turn, and it is widely regarded as one of the most challenging corners on the calendar. Thankfully it appears that Alonso was traveling at a far slower speed than the usual 150 mph; Sebastian Vettel was directly behind Alonso on track and stated “The speed was slow - maybe 150kph (93 mph).”
After the collision Alonso was airlifted to the local hospital for testing, and he was held overnight as a precaution. According to Team Boss Eric Boullier, Alonso suffered a concussion, but otherwise was unharmed. It’s good to hear that he received very few injuries, and he should easily be able to compete this season.
The Maserati Alfieri concept is easily one of the best-looking and most-exciting cars to hit the scene in the last several years. Its compact size and incredibly dynamic styling make it look like a supercar of the future. Well it seems that Maserati is going to be doing everything it can to make sure this new coupe drives as well as it looks. AutoGuide sat down with Maserati’s Chief Marketing Officer, Saad Chehab, at the Canadian International Auto Show to talk about this new car, and they got a lot of juicy details.
First and foremost, Saad promises that the Alfieri will be “a true sports car.” This will be accomplished by keeping the car small, making sure it is as light as possible, and getting all the details right like style and sound. The quote AutoGuide gave has Saad saying “We’re all about the f#cking sound.” Certainly sounds like they have their priorities in order for a car that is supposed to sell on its merits of passion and excitement.
Click "Continue Reading" to learn more about the Maserati Alfieri.
Take one of the most handsome and interesting vehicles from history, combine it with the mind of a world-renowned fashion designer and garnish the whole package with a touch of Swiss horoligcal expertise. The result is a stunning timepiece that wouldn’t look out of place at any royal palace.
Ralph Lauren is infatuated with classic and luxury automobiles, and he owns one of the world’s finest specimens of the breed with his 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic Coupe. He has used this fine piece of automotive history as the inspiration for the design of a new wristwatch that has been dubbed the Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive Skeleton. A black stainless steel case houses the caliber RL 98295 18-jewel mechanical movement that is topped with a bezel made from Amboyna burl wood. The face and the movement combine in a visual symphony of black, gold and white that makes it look incredibly luxurious, but also instantly classic. It really is a work of art.
Like the car on which it’s based, if you have to ask how much this timepiece costs, you can’t afford it. MSRP sits at the $35,000 mark.
Click past the jump to read more about the Ralph Lauren Automotive Skeleton Watch.
Taking care of a timeless classic like a Ferrari F40 is not an easy or cheap thing to do. The car now carries a value near the $500,000 mark and it will only continue to climb from there. To make sure a piece of automotive magic like this looks its best, you need the best care and maintenance. In this new video from /Drive, the team takes a look at caring for and restoring the paint of a gorgeous, red F40.
This video that is filled to the gills with tips on how to properly prep, clean, polish and buff paint on any car, not just a nearly priceless exotic. It does run a little long at more than 16 minutes, but if you have ever been interested in the finer points of paint detailing, it is well worth a watch. Maybe you can learn a few new tricks to keep your own car looking showroom fresh.
If you do make it through the whole video, you get one last little surprise of seeing this Prancing Horse parade through the city streets at night. This may be a video about paint, but it’s still a video from /Drive, after all.
Jay Leno loves a good Jaguar XK, and there plenty scattered around his glorious garage. When it comes to restoring these historic machines and keeping them in top condition, Jay turns to Jason Len, one of the most respected XK restorers in the world. But this video isn’t about one of Jay’s cars, rather its about a car that belongs to Jason Len. See, when you spend your life working on restoring the same cars to the same factory condition over and over, you get a little tired of the monotony. To break up this never-ending stream of cars, Jason decided to create a one-off custom XK that is unlike any other on the road.
What started life as a 1951 Jaguar XK 120 has been converted into a custom speedster with a modified engine from an E-Type, custom bodywork and killer side-exit exhaust outlets molded into the front fender. Underneath is a custom tube-frame and a modern manual transmission, and the engine is fed from a race-spec fuel cell in the back. Most of the video is dedicated to a close in-shop look at the car and all of the modifications, but toward the end Jay finally takes it for a spin and it is glorious. The sound quality is a bit rough thanks to the wind noise, but hearing that straight-six engine bellow and howl as Jay drives around is the best. This is a rolling piece of modern art with a classic twist and a great noise. Press play and enjoy this great one-of-a-kind machine.
We’ve all been there. You get up to head to work, or your driving down the highway when suddenly your car dings and there is a lovely check-engine light on the dash. This is soon followed by a trip to a local parts store to have the code checked for free, followed by a lengthy discussion with some mechanic somewhere about the problem with your car. Unfortunately many shops, especially dealers, don’t want to take your word for it and demand to run the codes themselves, at a cost to you.
If you are a fan of doing things yourself, and you want to put an end to annoying scenarios like this, maybe you should check out this nifty little device from Lemur. It’s called the BlueDriver, and it’s a Bluetooth-enabled OBD-II scanner that pairs to your smartphone. Not only is it a tiny tool that is always connected to your car, it lets you show your diagnostic codes to any mechanic on the spot. No more arguing about what the code reader at the parts store said. We have seen tools like this before, but Lemur thinks theirs is one of the best.
I’ve been testing one for a few months now. I’ve had it in everything from my Volkswagen Golf to a Porsche 911, and I have a lot to say about this little thing.
Read on to learn more about the Lemur BlueDriver OBD-II reader.
Formula One is sport that is as much about the drama and excitement as it is about the speeds and lap times. It is the highest echelon of motorsports, where only the greatest drivers compete in what are some of the fastest cars on the planet. It’s an emotional series that combines both glory and disaster with velocity and noise.
Or at least it used to be.
Over the last few years, new regulations regarding fuel efficiency and safety have removed a lot of the excitement and appeal of F1. The speeds have been reduced to save fuel, the noise of the new V-6 engines is disappointing to say the least, and the newest cars have lost all their visual aggression and sex appeal.
For Ferrari, this last transgression is the worst of all, and they are looking to change it with this new concept racer. The new car is a dramatic restyle of current F1 design Formula, and Ferrari feels that it can be created without completely upending the current rules system. Best yet, Ferrari is looking for input from you. Just hit this Ferrari F1 Concept link, and scroll to the bottom.
Continue Reading to learn more about the new Ferrari F1 Concept car
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the oldest and most successful crossovers on the market. It started sales way back in 1995, making this year the 20th anniversary of the nameplate. The RAV4 rolled into a new generation in 2014, which carries on into 2015 with very few changes. To celebrate the anniversary, Toyota does offer a special Blizzard Pearl Premium Package that adds a new Blizzard Pearl paint and 18-inch alloy wheels with a two-tone color scheme. Sadly, my 2015 model didn’t come with the new paint color.
Since this is my second RAV4, and very little has changed over the model years, I decided to use this as a chance to really test some other aspects of the RAV4. My last model got great fuel economy, but I spent more time than average on the highway, and I didn’t use it to move too much cargo, nor did I attempt to take it off-road. This time around I put the RAV4 through much more rigorous testing to see how it really holds up under pressure.
We all know LEGO is awesome with kits for the Mini Cooper and the Tumbler Batmobile, but LEGO Technic is even more awesome than normal. Technic sets add cool things like motors with functioning pistons, pull-back motors and more. They even sold a 2-foot-long Formula One car. Now the team behind Technic is at it again. Over the last few months they have come out with a whole new set of Technic sets that are better than ever. While they have the traditional sets of things like large construction equipment, there are new sets for a prototype Le Mans racer, a formula off-roader, a land-speed record car and a performance motorcycle.
Most of the kits also feature a secondary build that lets you build two entirely different models from the same kit. After the jump we have a quick overview of each model, its secondary build and a video straight from LEGO to give you an idea of how they each model looks and functions.
Continue reading to learn more about the latest LEGO Technic sets
Lotus has teased that it would be announcing something exciting and new at Geneva, and it seems that we now know what it is bringing. While many Lotus fans were hoping for a new car, it seems that all we will be getting is refreshed Evora. If you need proof, just take a look at these new shots from our spy photographers. They caught a new Evora covered from head to toe in camo running around the streets of Britain.
Lotus is strapped for cash, so the changes seen are minor. The bumper has been refreshed slightly, and the side sills look to have been altered. The new shape may make it a touch easier to get in and out of the car. The headlights also look to have been slimmed up just slightly. Curb weight should get cut, and the Toyota V-6 engine should be massaged to produce just a touch more power. New exhaust and a revised intercooler should help with the boost in performance.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Lotus Evora.
Over the last few years, Cadillac has been drastically trying to redefine its brand image from the old stodgy ferry of retirees in Boca to a legitimate competitor to the big German luxury players. The first real step was the CTS sedan. It was sized to compete with a BMW 5 Series, but at a bargain price. After years of success with the CTS, Cadillac decided it was time to attack the biggest badge in the business, the BMW 3 Series. The new compact sports sedan wore the name ATS, and it was good. It has been one year since the ATS sedan arrived, and Cadillac has now graced the world with a sleek two-door coupe to tackle the BMW 4 Series.
I love the Bimmer, but I wanted to see if America could really hang with the Germans. Fast-forward to last week, when a beautiful ATS Coupe rolled into my drive for a full week of testing. My model had the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that makes it very competitive with a 428i. BMW would show no mercy on the road, so neither did I. Several hundred miles, many gallons of gasoline and one mostly ruined pair of tires later, I had decided which I thought was best. Read on to learn my decision.
Read on to learn more about the Cadillac ATS Coupe.
Since its inception, very little has changed about the toolbox. There have been some improvements in organization or material construction, but as a whole the toolbox as we know it has been little more than a metal tub to hold your wrenches. A new startup has created what it is calling the Coolbox, and it’s the first toolbox that seems built for today’s homeowner. The Coolbox is a toolbox like many others, but the team behind the design has tried to cram as many useful features as possible into a single plastic shell. There is a magnetic parts tray, dry-erase board, Bluetooth stereo, clock, extension cord, power outlets, USB ports, integrated battery, tablet stand and flood light all integrated into the construction. The interior of the Coolbox is even segregated in a way that you could use part of it as a cooler.
The product is not for sale yet, but the team behind it has hit Indiegogo for funding. Within in a day it had hit its goal of $50k and has since raised over $146,000. If you want a Coolbox, the cheapest way to grab one is by jumping into the crowd-funding program with a donation of $160. That is savings of $130 over the estimated retail price of $299. To get a better look at what features are included in the Coolbox and to see how it functions, just click that play button above to watch the video.
The Lexus CT 200h is in many ways just a tarted-up Prius. It uses the same engine, transmission, batteries and electric motor that all make up the Toyota Synergy Drive. The Lexus CT 200h even has a variation on the same strange shifter that the Prius uses. But where the Prius is all about function over form, the CT 200h adds a dash of Lexus luxury, a nicer exterior and an improved suspension setup for sportier handling.
I loved the 2014 Prius V I tested a few months back, but will better styling and a much tauter suspension finally be the push I need to really recommend a Toyota company hybrid? With its aggressive styling and stiffer chassis, the Lexus CT 200h almost seems like it could be a luxury hot hatch. For the new 2015 model, Lexus also added some new extras like the F Sport wheels to lower trim models to make it look even better.
After I had so much fun flogging the Prius V, I couldn’t wait to jump into the little five-door. Sadly, things weren’t as rosy as they appeared to be on paper.
Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Lexus CT 200h
A few weeks ago I asked if you should use winter tires on your car, even if you don’t see that much snow. Well I have since slapped a set of winter rubber from Cooper Tire on my daily driver and have spent a few weeks trekking through the gray, wet and slushy mess that is winter in East Tennessee. So far the tires have seen rain storms that turned to ice storms, snow in the Appalachian mountains, clear roads but with temperatures in the single digits, and even a few random warm days with temps near 60.
Overall in the last month or so, I have experienced three of the four seasons with my winter tires and I have lived to tell the tale. But more than that, I have learned a lot about what makes my tire choice a smart decision in this climate, and what makes it seem less intelligent.
Continue reading to learn more about the Cooper Tire WM-SA2
The Dodge Charger is one of the most impressive cars on sale to wear a badge from an American company. It features a relatively sophisticated suspension setup, a rear-wheel-drive architecture like its German rivals, and if you order it with the 707 horsepower Hellcat V-8, it is the fastest and most powerful production sedan in the entire world.
When I got word that I was getting one of these big American sedans to test, I got excited at all the possibilities. Could I get a Hellcat model? Will it have the Hemi V-8? Will the new styling for 2015 look as good in person as it does in photos? All of these thoughts were running through my head as the mostly bone-stock V-6 Charger rolled into my driveway.
I am not ashamed to say that I was a little disappointed that I had been given the rental-fleet special rather than a fire-breathing V-8, but I was still prepared to give this car a fair shake. After a full week and several hundred miles, would this car be worthy of the Charger name, and is it worth your money?
You’ll have to read on to find out my full thoughts, but I can say that my final verdict on the Charger surprised me.
One of the best parts about my job is the ability to try out cars and trucks of all different shapes and sizes. I get to experience fast and rare machines like Lamborghinis and Nissan GT-Rs, but I also get to test things like the Toyota Prius and Nissan Versa. Nothing could have really prepared me for what showed in my driveway the other day though; the new 2015 Nissan NV200 cargo van.
With just two seats, a rubber floor, and no headliner, this was a true workman’s van that was created to make the lives of small business owners across the world easier. I’m never one to shy away from testing a car though, so over the following week I spent as much time as possible beating the Nissan NV200 as hard as I could. I drove it through muddy fields and rough gravel trails, I filled it with hay and horse feed, and I even tried to put some random things inside of it like a motorcycle.
Despite everything I threw at it, the little panel van just begged for more. It’s a smartly designed machine with solid fuel economy, intelligent details, and a face only a mother could love.
Click past the jump for the full review
If you love cars, you are pretty well catered-for in the world of video games. With long-standing franchises like Need for Speed, Forza Motorsports, Grid, and Gran Turismo, and more coming every year, it is very easy to get your four-wheeled fix in a digital space. If you prefer the two-wheeled world of motorcycles though, you are left a little wanting. There are some great games out there, like the Moto GP series and Trials HD, but the pickings are much more slim. Well, gaming developer Milestone is looking to bolster the market a bit with the new game MXGP. MXGP is the officially licensed game for Motocross, and as such it features tracks and riders from the current championship series.
That means you get 60 riders, 60 bikes, and 14 different tracks.
What makes MXGP interesting is a focus on the special characteristics that make Motocross interesting and exciting. While car sims focus on tire physics, MXGP has a dirt physics system that sees the tracks get molded, altered and formed by the bikes, just as you would see in a real race. Couple this with a fun and advanced control scheme that takes driver balance into consideration, and you end up with a game that doesn’t really feel or play like anything else on the market.
Being different is not enough to make a game great though. I spent a few weeks digging through the various racing series, modes and features that MXGP has on offer to decide if its worth a buy, or if it’s little more than some fancy features wrapped around a boring game.
Read on to learn more about MXGP: The Official Motocross Video Game
Rowan Atkinson is quite the interesting fellow. A mainly comedic actor who made his name playing characters like Black Adder and Mr. Bean, the genial man has spent much of his spare time and wealth indulging in his real passion of cars. While he has owned dozens of machines over the years from exotic names like Ferrari and Aston Martin, one of his most prized automotive possessions is his McLaren F1. It has been one of his main daily drivers over the years and he has amassed a relatively astronomical 40,000 miles on the clock.
During that time, it has seen countless motorway journeys, many school runs and even a few days at the track. It has also seen the wrong end of an insurance adjuster twice. The first time Atkinson merely wrinkled it a bit, but his second crash nearly tore the car completely in half. Now after 17 years of ownership, — the longest tenure of any car he has owned — Mr. Bean has decided it is time to sell his beloved supercar.
If you are unfamiliar with the F1, you must be on the wrong Website for starters, but allow me to freshen your memory. This was an ultralight, ultrafast carbon-fiber supercar created by McLaren and it redefined the automobile. Powered by a BMW-sourced, V-12 engine that produced 627 horsepower, the F1 was capable of reaching 240 mph, making it the fastest production car in the world. A title it held for more than a decade until the Bugatti Veyron arrived. The car had many technical quirks over others on the market like its three-person seating with the driver mounted center, and the passengers slightly rearward and to each side. It also had an engine bay lined with gold foil, because gold is the best conductor of heat.
Sadly, Rowan Atkinson has finally decided it is time to part with his machine, so in just a few weeks’ time, this incredible supercar — one of only 107 ever built — will have a new owner. That said, if you were hoping the high mileage and multiple collisions would make this thing a bargain, you better think again. As it stands, the car is being offered for no less than $12 million.
Click past the jump to read more about the Rowan Atkinson’s McLaren F1.
The Detroit Auto Show brought us both the announcement new 2017 Ford GT and Forza Motorsports 6, and it was glorious. The announcements came together as the Ford GT is going to be the hero car of the new Xbox One racing game, and it will appear on the box art. The Ford GT is more than a simple model for the front of the game as Ford and Turn 10 studios are working together to make sure the Ford GT in the game is as accurate as possible to real life.
Part of that collaboration means exclusive access to the car and its design team. This was shown today with a new video from Turn 10 and Microsoft that goes in depth into the design and creation of Dearborn’s newest supercar. The video features interview footage of several of the key people involved in bringing this carbon-fiber supercar to life, and it gives you an idea of just how passionate and dedicated they are to their craft. It’s a great watch.
Plus it gives you a really nice and really close look at all the interesting and subtle details that make this car special and unique. I think I need to go watch it again, actually.
When it comes to auto shows, there are two things you are guaranteed to see. The first is obviously cars, but around all those new cars there is bound to a huge collection of models. The car show girl is not a new phenomenon, but thanks to a new piece over at the Wall Street Journal, we have some insight into just how much they get paid, and we learnt that there is a lot more involved than just looking pretty.
The pay to stand in front of a new car at Detroit was upward of $1,000 per day, but each girl is highly trained professional that is packed with knowledge of the car, but also with intelligence-gathering skills. These women are talking to all the auto show visitors not to cure their own boredom, but to gather important candid thoughts on the new models. They are told to look for any information that covers thoughts on colors, design, and more.
These “product specialists” aren’t always just fly-by-night hires either like most people think. Maria Fotiu is the name of the young woman found by the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, and she has been with the Volt since 2011, traveling all over the country collecting thoughts and impressions that show goers had about this range-extended EV. Many of the changes that have been made to the new Volt are directly due to her efforts at car shows.
You may not agree with the act of putting models on the show floor with new cars, and there are lots of reasons to not agree with it, but it is nice to hear that these women are paid well, highly trained and serve a purpose that goes well beyond eye-candy. If you are interested in learning more, the full piece at WSJ is a pretty fascinating read.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Detroit Auto Show Girls.
Not long after Mercedes-Benz introduced the world to the swoopy and affordable CLA, we began hearing whispers of a more practical Shooting Brake version that would soon make its way to dealers. The First CLA began rolling off assembly lines in January of 2013, and now just two years later, Mercedes has officially announced that the Shooting Brake variant of the new CLA is in production at the same Kecskemét plant.
With a full 27,000 units of the standard CLA sold in the U.S. last year, double from 2013, and record sales around the globe, Mercedes is poised for huge growth worldwide and they are hoping that the increased practicality of the Shooting Brake will help push those numbers. Sadly for those of us here in the States we still have no confirmation of the long-roof version will actually make it to our shores.
If you live in Europe, Asia or one Mercedes’ other large markets you can start ordering your CLA Shooting Brake in one of six models ranging from the CLA 180 up to the AMG tuned CLA 45 AMG version. Retail price in Germany is €29,809.50 for the base 180 and go up to €57,268.75 for the AMG model.
Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake.
Forza Horizon 2 and The Crew are fun racing games, but they don’t offer much for the player looking for a simulation racer. Forza 6 was just announced but it won’t be out until October or November 2015. If you are an owner of a new console and you want a new simulation racer, Project CARS should be the game you are waiting for. Built over several years using a huge crowd-sourced team, Project CARS is shaping up to be the most beautiful racing game ever created, and it should arrive with more cars and more tracks than any racing game that has come before. It also offers those fancy features everyone is looking for like dynamic lighting and weather.
If you haven’t heard of Project CARS, or you don’t believe my claims about it being the best looking racing game ever created, just take a few seconds to watch the latest trailer for the game here. This is using the latest build for the game, and it should be very close to final code. This shows dozens of interesting cars and locations, as well as the fancy weather the game offers.
If this is your next racing game and you own a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or reasonably powerful gaming PC, you can snag a copy starting on March 17th here in the States. If you call Europe home, the game will hit shelves on March 20th.
Infiniti is making headlines with cars like the GT-R powered 2014 Q50 Eau Rouge and 2014 Q60 coupe, but before all the performance machines, before Johan de Nysschen and Andy Palmer jumped ship, and before the new naming scheme, the luxury division of Nissan was working on the LE concept. A more luxurious version of the then-new Nissan Leaf. Over the years since the debut of the LE, Infiniti has moved its focus to growing the brand with more aggressive and better selling models leaving the electric concept to gather dust.
Now almost three years since it was introduced, USA Today has published a story saying that the project is now officially off the table. The news came from the preview event of the Q60 concept reveal at the Detroit Auto Show. Michael Bartsch, Infiniti’s vice president for the Americas, said the company needed “to be a little pragmatic.” A luxury version of the Leaf just isn’t a volume seller like Infiniti needs.
That doesn’t mean an electric powered Inifniti is completely out of the question, but expect Nissan to wait for improved battery tech, and expect the new car to be a bit larger to better compete with the upcoming 2017 Tesla Model 3. For now though, just expect more exciting volume models to come from the Japanese luxury brand.
Click past the jump to read more about Infiniti’s electric plans.
Unless you have been living under the world’s largest rock, you should be well aware that Top Gear is coming back to your television screens in just a few days for Series 22. To lead up to this momentous new series, the Top Gear gang got together for a new style of preview they called “An Evening With Top Gear.”
In this talk show-style program that was broadcast around the internets, you get a chance to chat with the presenters, ask questions live and get a peek at what is coming for Series. If you have an hour of time, it is certainly worth the watch. The boys take supercars to Australia to be cattle farmers, race across St. Petersburg in Russia, have a race against Top Gear USA, and test cars like the Lamborghini Huracán, BMW i8, and the Ferrari LaFerrari. It’s all incredible and I can’t wait.
There are lots of great questions asked, and the presenters share a lot of fun stories and special moments from their time during the production run of the program. Just stop reading and press play. I promise it’s worth the time.
The new series starts next Sunday January 25th in the UK on BBC2.
When it comes to crazy prices at car auctions, Ferrari takes the cake for classic machines. Lately though there has been a big push to put all-new cars on the auction block for charity, and the new Corvette has been setting the auction hammer alight. GM offered up the first production Corvette Stingray and Stingray Convertibles to auction where they went for $1.05 million and $1 million respectively. With the release of the new Z06, GM once again turned to a charity auction to sell the first one off the line. Again, it sold for an eye-popping $1 million dollars. Now with the topless Z06 models rolling through Bowling Green, GM decided to go four for four with auctions and sent this one to Barret-Jackson. While this latest model didn’t break the seven-figure mark that the previous three Corvettes did, this Z06 still managed to climb to $800,000 before the gavel fell.
While that is a lot of scratch to pay for a car with an MSRP below $100k, don’t forget that all proceeds go to charity, which in this particular case, was United Way.
Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible.
If you are a fan of the house that Colin Chapman built, I have some news that will potentially bring you great joy. Lotus has sent out a new press release teasing that the company will reveal “an exciting new car” at the Geneva Motor Show in March. No information is given, but the company assures us that the new machine will “will remain true to its core pillars of lightness, performance, and driving purity by embodying all of them in a most desirable package.” We can only hope.
Lotus is coming off a great year, with a 54-percent sales increase over the last nine months compared to the previous year, but that still only equates to 1,565 cars sold.
Now if it seems like I am apprehensive and dismissive about this piece of news, it is because I haven’t forgotten the Paris Motor Show display of 2010 where Lotus announced five all-new concepts that were slated to hit production that included new Elan and Esprit models. Since that time, every single one of those models has been scrapped. While there is a chance that this new success will see Lotus reveal an all-new car that will light the fire of every sports car enthusiast, the likely story is that the long rumored refresh of the Evora will be the news; once again crushing my little Lotus dreams.
I am hoping for the best, but don’t be surprised when an Evora with a new bumper arrives in Geneva.
Click past the jump to read more about Lotus’ reveal in Geneva.
The Nissan Murano arrived in 2003 and it ushered in a new era for Nissan. It was Nissan’s first crossover for the States, and it was supposed to be a more luxurious alternative to the utilitarian products the company offered like the Xterra. It used the same VQ engine that is found in the Maxima and the 350Z, and it was offered with AWD. In 2007 Nissan introduced the second-generation car that was more luxurious, had a pile more standard and available features, and it had some nicer looks. I had a chance to review a 2012 model and I thought it was wonderful to drive. While it was pretty, it didn’t stand out much from the competition, and the available equipment was only on par.
Now for 2015 Nissan has bestowed upon the world an all-new Murano, and it is the mot radical change Nissan has made to any of its models in about it a decade. It makes use of an all-new design that looks to set the future design direction for the whole company, and it looks like a concept car that accidentally hit showrooms. New interior design, a modified CVT transmission, and new standard and optional equipment all come together to create a crossover that is not only the best in Nissan’s lineup, but potentially the best one on sale today.
Nissan gave me the chance to spend a whole week with one of these new five-door family haulers to see if it still drives as good as the old one.
Continue reading to learn more about the all-new 2015 Nissan Murano
I think that one of the most interesting cars made in the last decade was the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet. I love the risk and the absurdity of it, but ultimately it was a sales failure. The car was ugly, and the awkward soft top killed most of the space and utility. But this failure doesn’t seem to have deterred the fine folks at Land Rover, because a Cabrio version of the stylish Range Rover Evoque has been spotted out in the wild by the kids at Auto Express.
When the Evoque debuted a few years ago, the world swooned over its sleek and dynamic styling, and more than a few people thought it would look great without a roof. Not long after Land Rover gave the world a glimpse of what such a machine would look like when it revealed a convertible concept at Geneva. That was 2012 though, and since then there had been no real word about an open-top Evoque and the world assumed the project dead in the water. Now Auto Express is saying the production version could debut as soon as Goodwood in June.
Based on the spy shots, the production version looks nearly identical to the concept, but it gets rid of the finicky clip-on top for a more traditional electric fabric roof. If you are one of the few that really likes to test your Evoque’s off-road chops, Land Rover didn’t forget about you. Word has it that Land Rover has been hard at work creating a very advanced Roll Over Protection System that won’t inadvertently deploy when tackling a particularly rough trail.
The New convertible Evoque may bring more to the table than just a new body style. Considering the current Evoque is four years old, Auto Express speculates that the Cabrio may bring with it a design refresh for the entire family of Evoque models. With the rumors we have of the high performance Evoque SVR coupled with this news of a convertible model, the Evoque family is quickly becoming one of the most exciting models in the storied British brand’s portfolio.
As always, we will keep our eyes and ears open for more news on this developing story. Keep it locked to TopSpeed.com for all the latest as we get it.
Click past the jump to read more about the Range Rover Evoque Convertible.
Certain car companies have begun to re-emphasize the level of quality and craftsmanship that can be offered in cars when you have employees that specialize. Many companies like Nissan, with the GT-R, use specialized manufacturing for engine construction. The result is a special engine that bears the name of its creator emblazoned under the hood. Chevrolet took this one step further a few years ago when they offered their “Engine Build Experience” for buyers of the Corvette ZR1. This allowed buyers to have a hand in crafting their specific car, and it was a big hit for the American company. The ZR1 may be dead, but the Engine Build Experience will live on thanks to the new Z06.
Starting this March, buyers who want a shiny new Z06 to park in their drive, can tick the option box labeled PBC to build their engine themselves. PBC is short for Performance Build Center, and the option tacks $5,000 onto the sticker. That may seem like a stiff bill to save GM some money on labor costs, but in actuality there will be a normal engine assembly technician with you every step of the way to supervise and make sure nothing goes wrong. You will also get a personalized engine plaque with your signature mounted to the engine as well as professional photography of the whole ordeal.
For that extra bit of awesome, GM is quick to remind buyers that they can also choose the R8C option for museum delivery. This will give them a VIP tour of the plant and allow them to drive their new Corvette home from the National Corvette Museum, located across the street from the factory.
If you want a new Z06, and you want your car to have that little extra personal touch, then this seems like the best way.
Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
The new-generation Mercedes S-Class made its world debut on May 15th, in Hamburg, Germany and it comes with lots of good news. Along with the new S-Class, Mercedes is using this new sedan to revive the old Maybach brand. The new model and sub-brand, now known as the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, promises to be one of the most luxurious machines ever created.
The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class sees a size increase of 8-inches in both overall length and wheelbase. This adds more interior space for the discerning passenger who demands nothing but the greatest in luxury. There is a range of models that scales from the S500 to the S600, with engine choices that include eight or twelve cylinders.
Mercedes officially unveiled the new car in both the USA and China nearly simultaneously at both the Los Angeles Auto Show here in the states and at Guangzhou in China.
Updated 01/16/2015: Mercedes announced that the all-new Maybach S600 will be put on sale in April 2015 at a starting price of $189,350, excluding $925 destination/delivery charge.
Updated 01/23/2015: We’ve added a series of new images from the car’s official debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Check the new images in the "Pictures" tab.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Mercedes-Maybach S600.
TOP GEAR IS COMING BACK! If you were not aware, the new series of Top Gear is starting in just a few days and the team is up to their usual antics by dropping lots of silly trailers and preparation videos. The latest one is a full trailer done entirely in Legos, in a fashion very similar to The Lego Movie.
While there is no crazy car footage in this preview to Series 22, we do get about two minutes of silly banter and comical situations staring brick-sized versions of our favorite three presenters. There are even bits and pieces of The Stig involved in the short.
I too lament the lack of car footage to show off what special and wild things that the boys have been up to over the last few months, but this is still a nice change of pace. I expect a new trailer that is all live-action clips from the show to arrive in another few days. Keep your eyes here on TopSpeed.com and we will be sure to have that on the site for you as well.
While you watch this video and patiently wait for the new series to start, why don’t you hop down into our awesome comments section and let us know what cars you hope to see on this new series. I can’t wait to see If Jeremy drives and likes the Porsche 918. He said if it was better than the McLaren P1 he would change his name to Jennifer. I am waiting to see if that happens.
In the wild and crazy hecticness that was the Detroit Auto Show, one announcement seemed to slip by a lot of us unnoticed. Along with the introduction of the new 2017 Ford GT Supercar, Microsoft announced that Forza Motorsport 6 is coming to an Xbox One near you later this year. They announced it along with the Ford GT, because the new carbon-fiber machine is the cover car for the new game. It should represent the first chance players have to explore this two-door in a digital space.
Now there is very little known about the game aside from its name, this is just an announcement of its existence. Dan Greenawalt, the creative director at Turn 10 did say that there will be gameplay footage at this year’s E3 expo in June. One thing we know is that it will be a BIG game for Ford. Not only do we have the new GT joining the ranks of driveable cars, but the newly announced 2016 Mustang GT350 and new 2017 F-150 Raptor will also be in the game.
As an extra-special bonus to TopSpeed readers, I am going to get a chance to ask some of the dev team a bunch of questions about this game in a special interview. If you have a question to ask Turn 10, drop them in the comments and I will include the best ones for my interview. You only have until Monday to get those questions in though, so don’t delay.
If you want to see how great the new game could look, take a peek at the video after the break to see the new Forza 6 version of the Ford GT along with a quick snippet of footage from the live unveiling. Enjoy.
Click past the jump to read more.
This Detroit Auto Show has been a wild one. Infiniti announced two new cars, Ford rolled out a new 2017 Raptor, the 2017 GT, and the 2016 Shelby GT350R Mustang, and now we have Land Rover jumping in to let the world know that it is bringing diesel engines to the States. Both the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport are going to be offered in a Td6 trim that will go on sale in the fall of 2015.
The Td6 engine is a 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine that makes use of turbocharging to push horsepower to a healthy 254 ponies, with torque coming in at a hearty 440 pound-feet. Best yet, all 440 pounds is available at just 1,750 rpm. Lovely.
While the thick wave of low-end torque can be great for off-road uses, the real joy of going with diesel is fuel economy. Preliminary fuel mileage numbers for the Range Rover Sport Td6 are 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined. That may not sound like great numbers, but remember these are Land Rovers; that combined figure is a 32-percent increase over the supercharged gasoline V-6. Range is now up to 658 miles.
We also shouldn’t forget about Land Rovers sibling Jaguar in this news either. We already know that Jaguar is bringing the new XE sedan to market with a 2.0-liter diesel, but expect a modified version of this new Td6 motor to find a home in the freshly announced Jaguar F-Pace SUV.
Keep it locked on TopSpeed for more news about all the crazy stuff coming out of Detroit including full-length profiles on the cool new cars that got announced.
Porsche has a very predictable model lineup. For decades, the German company has released a 911, then followed that with a set of variations that alternate between coupes, convertibles, rear-wheel-drive models, all-wheel-drive models models, Targa, Turbo and various horsepower iterations of standard, S and GTS. Despite a wide array of models, one 911 that has never existed is a Targa version of the powerful naturally aspirated 911 GTS with all-wheel drive. That all changed at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show with the 911 Targa 4 GTS.
The Targa 4 GTS 911 is exactly as it sounds. Porsche has taken the classic Targa with its removable roof panel, but has fitted it with the powerful 430-horsepower, flat-six engine and Porsche’s advanced AWD system. The GTS is a great model for buyers who want the roofline and strength of a coupe, but want the open-air experience afforded by a convertible.
Thanks to a host of included bonus options inside and out, the new Targa 4 GTS is the fastest, most powerful and most luxurious naturally aspirated Targa 911 you can buy as of 2015.
Updated 02/02/2015: Porsche unveiled a new video showing the new Targa 4 GTS in action. Enjoy!
Continue reading to find out more about the Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS.
If you got a new Xbox One for the holidays, or you picked up a copy of Forza Horizon 2, Microsoft has a present for you. A new DLC pack of cars titled the G-Shock Car Pack is now available, and it might be one of my favorite packs yet. The pack comes with six cars for $5, and like all good Forza updates it has a nice selection of cars for various types of racing. There are two bargain performance cars from the modern era with the Mazdaspeed 3 and Nissan’s IDx Nismo concept, and there are a pair of off-road warriors with the SVT Raptor Shelby and the 1975 Ford Bronco. The last two cars are special in their own way, and they are both considered cult classics: the Subaru Brat GL and the 1953 Ferrari 500 Mondial.
What makes this pack so great for me is the sheer collection of wildly different cars. The Mondial is one of the few four-cylinder Ferraris ever made and the Nissan IDx Nismo is one of the most interesting concept cars to show up in years. I also love the wild insanity that is driving the Subaru Brat and the Ford Bronco across the European countryside in Forza Horizon 2.
Like all previous car packs, this is only available for the Xbox One version. It is available right now.
Click past the jump to read more about Forza Horizon 2’s new G-Shock Car Pack.
If you thought it would be borderline impossible for Ferrari to create a machine that was more insane or exciting than the new 2015 FXX K, well you are right, but the company is wiling to try. In a recent story over on Autocar, company test driver Marc Gené says “Right now, I think we cannot improve that car, but no doubt something will come up. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens, but it won’t be in two years.”
Ferrari has made Evoluzione versions of both the FXX and the 599XX, so it was expected to see an upgraded version of the FXX K. Gené says that we shouldn’t expect more power, as the 1,021 ponies the FXX K already has is pretty much a maximum as far as things like grip and traction are concerned. Rather he says that we should look to see a modified version of the FXX K with better efficiency, revised aero work and a lower weight. There could also be handling improvements with active aero and electronics adjustments.
Sadly that is all the information that was provided but it does at least show that Ferrari doesn’t think they have built the perfect car, or the ultimate performance machine.
Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari FXX K.
Another day, another set of spy shots of Porsche’s still technically unconfirmed 2017 Cayman GT4. Over the last few months we have captured dozens of photos of this incredible car running around, and thanks to a goof on Porsche’s website, we even know that the car will actually carry the GT4 name. Now we have another trio shots that show the car completely undisguised, but this time the car is wearing what should be the production wing, as well as factory wheels. Previous cars have worn a more functional, but less traditional wing that was likely used for simple aerodynamics testing coupled with plain black rolling stock.
The car looks exactly as we expected it to, and quick comparison against our initial rendering shows that we basically nailed it in most every detail. Obviously, these photos still don’t provide us with any more confirmed details, but it does add some fuel to the fire that this car will in fact be unveiled in just a few days at the Detroit Auto Show. I see no reason why a car this complete won’t make a debut as soon as possible.
When it does arrive expect it to be the fastest Cayman ever created, and it should be the first Cayman that is faster than a new 911. This car represents a huge shift in the way Porsche creates its car lineup, and it’s very exciting. We expect a modified version of the engine from the Cayman S that is pushed to more than 375 horsepower, a whole host of weight saving improvements, and a tighter more aggressive suspension setup.
Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Cayman GT4.
In the 1980s the world was just coming off the gas-crunch of the `70s, and it had a taste for insanely fast machinery thanks to the Group B racing boom in rally and road cars. Porsche decided it wanted to use the racing regulations as a test bed for future models, so it took a 911 and used it as a rough base to create the 959, one of the greatest cars the world had ever seen. Originally codenamed the Gruppe B, the 959 would make use of an incredibly advanced electronic all-wheel drive system, some of the most advanced body materials available in the world, and a whole host of electronic aids that set the blueprint for today’s supercars. When the car finally hit showrooms in 1986, the Porsche 959 was the fastest street-legal car in the entire world.
While its bones are a 911 underneath, the 959 is a completely separate model of car that shares very little with its donor. The engine used a hybrid air- and water-cooled design, came with a pair of turbochargers, and it produced 444 horsepower. The 959 is the template for the modern supercar in almost every way. As a road car, it was the first to ship with tire pressure sensors, magnesium wheels (with hollow spokes no less), and an active differential. On top of all of its other accolades, it was also the first mass-produced car to come with a six-speed manual. Even today there are few cars on sale that can match the speed, pace and excitement provided by this incredible Porsche.
Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 959
When it comes to the pinnacle of motor racing, there are none who are greater than the drivers of Formula One. If you are going to learn from a former racer, why not learn from one who hails from this greater level of skill and dedication? Allen Berg Racing Schools are the only programs in the United States that feature a former Formula One driver on the roster of senior instructors. Allen Berg is a Canadian driver with experience in Formula One, Formula Two, Formula Three, Formula Atlantic, Touring Car and Sport Prototypes.
In his teaching career, Berg has held positions with BMW, Skip Barber, Derek Daly, Motorsport Racing School and Calgary Sports Club. Now Berg has set out on his own to create the premier formula car racing programs in America. As a bonus, Berg also ran his own team in the North American Toyota Atlantic Series, giving him valuable insight into the administrative side of racing. This can be used to teach his students valuable lessons in how a race team is run.
With six different course levels and schools at five different facilities around the United States, Allen Berg Racing Schools offer some of the best programs available to anyone looking into open-wheel racing.
After the jump we collected all the information you need about the various courses and tracks used in this prestigious program. We even have prices so you don’t have to bother navigating the Allen Berg site looking for any extra information. Hit that break and learn more about this incredible racing school.
Continue Reading to learn more about Allen Berg Racing Schools
Whether it is the freezing temperatures of winter, or simple forgetfulness regarding your parking lights, dead batteries can happen to all of us. The classic way to handle the issue with a helpful friend and pair of jumper cables, but recent years have seen a rise in “jumper boxes" or large battery packs that can jump start a car. The problem with these packs is that they are large, quite heavy and thanks to their battery technology, had a bad habit of going dead if they sat in the back of a car. Well, using new lithium technology like that found in the batteries of a Tesla Model S, the company Noco has created a new and more user-friendly way to jump start a dead car. While Noco sells many jumper boxes and battery chargers, their new GB30 Genius Boost is one of the newest and best products they make.
Recently Noco reached out to see if I would be interested in giving this multi-use device a test to see what I thought about it. The company claims you can jump just about anything from a Ford Fiesta to a Chevrolet Silverado, and I was eager to try it out. After a few months of playing with it, it has become one of the most useful items I own. It does much more than just jump start car. Find out what all the Genius Boost can do after the break, and learn why I love it. As a bonus, we have a whole collection of videos showing this cool product in use.
Continue reading to find out more about the Noco GB30 Genius Boost.
It pretty obvious by now that we love Legos here at TopSpeed, and nothing is more exciting then when Lego and cars come together. With the crazy Lego Batmobile Tumbler, the sweet Mini Cooper we built or even the collection of movie cars made from Lego there is always something cool out there for car lovers. Now one enterprising individual with the username bricktrix_Carl is attempting to get Lego to create a Caterham Super Seven model, and we approve.
Lego Ideas is a great program where anyone can submit an idea, and then people can vote on those ideas. Any project that gets bumped to 10,000 supporters will be considered by Lego to be an official set. Both the Ghostbusters and Back to the Future cars we built were Lego Ideas projects.
The current prototype update is of the Caterham 620R and it features a removable hood, engine, Tonneau cover and nose cone. There is also a small trunk for a Lego jack and tools similar to the trunk on the Mini. There are currently three built models on the Lego site in three different colors. We have a blue 620R with orange strips and a pair of Super Sevens, one in green with yellow stripes, and one yellow with silver stripes. With full engines seat harnesses and a roll bar, these cars are about as accurate as you could ever hope to get with plastic bricks.
The Caterham has only been on the site for about a month now, but it has almost met the halfway point for consideration. If you would like to see this project succeed, why not take a moment and show your support.
Everyone here at TopSpeed wishes you the best of luck in making this happen, bricktrix_Carl. And seriously Lego, we think this needs to happen. I’m pretty sure more than one of us here at the office would buy one.
You can see more photos of the various Caterham cars and other projects that bricktrix_Carl is working on at his Flickr page.
How does Porsche ensure that every 2015 911 GT3 is properly put together and all of its systems are working properly? Well it has a huge testing facility of course. The facility is very German and very nerdy in all the ways that I love. Porsche has released a video that shows the testing facility in motion and it is amazing. Each car that comes through is fitted with special plastic body panels that are marked and padded to protect the cars, but I am sure the automaker also tests for panel inconsistencies.
While in the facility the cars have their gas tanks, and various reservoirs filled and tested, they have the wheels aligned, get a thorough visual inspection and more. Now sadly this video has no commentary so you are left to figure out what is happening on your own, but even with nothing but the hum and buzz of the dozens of machines and robots checking things over the video is fascinating to watch.
If you have ever wondered what extra steps each car goes through at Porsche to make sure it meets expected levels of quality, this is a great place to start. And no, I didn’t see a test for engine fires or missing PDK Sport buttons, so I am going to assume they got those parts worked out before they made this video.
If you are a gamer and a car fan, there are literally dozens of games out there for your enjoyment. Just this year alone we have already tested Forza Motorsports 5, Forza Horizon 2, F1 2014, Grid Autosport, and The Crew. If you enjoy your motorized fun when it happens on two wheels, games that follow your passion are much more scarce. When I was offered the chance to review the latest installment of the Moto GP racing game, I couldn’t turn it down.
In reality, Moto GP is one of the most exciting forms of motorsport. Apart from potentially rally racing, I don’t think any other professional motorsport focuses on driver skill for success. The racing is fast, dangerous and incredibly technical. This will be my first experience with any motorcycle racing sim, and I am excited to see if MotoGP 14 can channel the excitement and suspense of bike racing in the same way that games like Forza channel the thrill of driving a car.
What I found was a game with some great features and few nagging issues, but did the good outweigh the bad? Read on to find out.
Read on to learn more about MotoGP 14
What does BMW have to do with TVs, Cell Phones and Wireless Weight Scales? They are all going to be trying to wow the thousands of people gathered in Las Vegas next week for CES. CES is the Consumer Electronics Show, and it is a yearly convention where companies from all over the world gather to show off their latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos. Over the last few years more and more automakers have used the show to demonstrate new and interesting technology that was going to make its way to customer cars in a few years. This year BMW is charging into CES with a new concept car that is focused on demonstrating new and exciting lighting technology that uses lasers and OLEDs.
BMW’s first production laser headlight system called Laserlight debuted on the futuristic i8 hybrid sports car. At CES, BMW will demonstrate the newest iteration of Laserlight that uses various sensors, cameras and driver assistance systems to create a headlight that has twice the range of conventional headlights — up to 600 meters (1,968.5 feet). To put that distance into a more recognizable form, that is a distance of more than one-third of a mile.
BMW is also looking into incorporating OLED technology. OLED is an acronym for organic light emitting diode, and it is similar to LED technology, but it has some distinct advantages in terms of brightness, color clarity, heat production, energy usage and size. The 2014 BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept used this technology in the tail lights. While LEDs are a “point” light source, meaning the all the light comes from a single point, OLEDs emanate a uniform light across the entirety of their surface. The elements themselves are extremely thin at just 1.4 mm thick. OLED technology has been in use in several cellphone displays for a few years now, but BMW wants to use this new and exciting technology in cars.
Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s intelligent laser lights.
The Chrysler 200 has a long and muddled history dragging behind it. Born from the ashes of the tarnished and dented Sebring nameplate, new parent Fiat wanted the 200 to stand tall with a collection of new engines, features and a new interior design. With its debut in 2010, it was obvious that Chrysler had the ability to recover from its past mistakes. For 2015 we have the new second-generation 200. It looks better, has a new transmission and the interior has been loaded with the best luxury and technology available.
I was impressed with the last 200 for its sudden refinement and quality over the car that birthed it, but I wasn’t sure if it was the best choice in such a competitive segment. With the 2015 car Chrysler is promising a lot has been improved in ride, comfort, luxury, and technology. As the swoopy four-door pulled into my driveway for my weeklong test, I was intrigued. I had more than 500 miles of hectic holiday driving ahead of me. I was ready to see if the 200 would be a willing companion.
Read on to find out more about the 2015 Chrysler 200C
Sir David Brown is a name that is recognizable to many auto enthusiasts. After all, this is the man who bought Aston Martin after World War II and created the automaker we know today. Now there is a new David Brown entering the automotive world, but he has no relation to the man from Aston. This new David Brown is starting his own automotive company, David Brown Automotive, and he is releasing his own luxurious GT Coupe to steal the hearts, minds and wallets of the world. David Brown has teamed up with former Jaguar Land Rover designer to create a car dubbed the Speedback GT. The car was revealed this spring at the Top Marques Show in Monaco, and it looks incredible. The car is built on the chassis of a Jaguar XKR, and the body holds a special nostalgic appeal that harkens back to the 60s. The cars are all built by hand using traditional coachwork techniques, and so each one will be just slightly different and unique. Currently there are only plans to manufacture 100 of these rolling pieces of art.
With an aluminum shell, and a supercharged V-8, this machine is sure to have the speed to match its looks.
Click past the jump to read more about the David Brown Automotive Speedback GT.
The Lexus GX 460 feels like a dinosaur on the road. Much of its underpinnings are shared with the 4Runner and have been around for more than a decade. The second-generation SUV debuted in 2009 with a new and more powerful engine as well as some revised suspension and equipment pieces, but it still retained the same body-on-frame chassis that the model debuted with way back in 2002. For 2014, Toyota has taken the second-generation machine and slapped a new coat of paint on it with some small visual tweaks and the new family “spindle” grille. Our 2015 model carries on with no major visual changes, but adds some new interior technology to the mix.
With modern crossovers dominating the market, is there room on the sales floor for an old-school, 5,000-pound SUV with legitimate off-road prowess? America’s love affair with the classic SUV has long since died, but after a week with this gigantic bruiser I couldn’t quite figure out why. With a true four-wheel drive system capable of tackling the tough stuff, a solid three-ton tow rating and seating for seven, the Lexus GX ticks off every box on my list.
Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Lexus GX 460.
Top Gear is coming back soon, and to celebrate the team has created a wonderful little teaser that features everyone’s favorite racing driver: The Stig. The video follows The Stig as he goes on vacation for a few months to get away from the Dunsfold Airfield. The video is only a minute long but The Stig, equipped with his Lamborghini Aventador rental car, manages to visit several countries that range from Australia to Italy.
Once the trip is over he returns his car in slightly used condition and returns home to the Top Gear Test Track to get started for Series 22. Aside from a slow-motion and rainy drift in an F-Type R Coupe, there is nothing here that hints to what the new series will hold. Pity. There is also no word on the exact starting date of the new set of episodes, just a “Coming Soon” promise.
Still, it’s great Top Gear humor in true Top Gear form and I really enjoyed it. If you want a minute of fun and automotive satisfaction, this should do nicely. When you get done, make sure to hit those comments and shout off about what cars you would love to see in this new series.
When it comes to racing schools the name Bob Bondurant comes up a lot. With the largest purpose built training facility, the largest collection of student cars, and one of the largest collections of student programs, the Bondurant Racing School is the biggest and one of the best options for anyone looking to improve their driving skills.
The school is also one of the oldest names in the world of advanced driving instruction, with a history that dates back to 1968. The school is set up to be a one-stop location for students from all walks of life to come and learn. There is a giant skidpad, four tracks, and multiple configurations of courses for advanced students. From karts to stock cars, there is something here for everyone.
If this sounds like something you may be interested in checking out, we have gathered all the information you would need after the jump. We have a breakdown of many of the courses, cars used, costs and more. When you get done checking it out, why don’t you hit the comments to let us know which course you would most like to take.
Click past the jump to read more about the Bob Bondurant Racing School.
Winter tires seems to be a collection voodoo and marketing claims to most normal people in the world, but in the cold-weather compounds have been seeing a rise in popularity. With that increase in public awareness, there has been a large collection of myths and misunderstandings spread about them as well. I have met people think that winter tires only work in the snow, while others think that using them will hurt your fuel economy and NVH.
Living at the base of the Smokey Mountains, I find my car has to endure a wide collection of various weather scenarios in the winter, and I wanted to see if a good set of winter tires would have a positive effect in such a transitional area. Thanks to my proximity to the mountains, and the wild weather of Tennessee, there have already been weeks wear I was driving in sunny 60-degree weather on Monday, only to have snow falling on Wednesday.
With rubber compounds that are created to not only handle snow and ice, but to generally improve traction and drivability on clear roads when the weather drops, I felt like maybe I should give winter tires a chance to see how they affected my car. My Volkswagen Golf was in need of new tires anyways, so I felt this was the perfect opportunity. I gave the cool kids over at Cooper Tires a call to see if they had any suggestions for me, and they were kind enough to send me a new set of shoes for my VW.
Over the next several months I will be reporting back on my thoughts about how they feel, how they handle, and how they wear during a wild winter in TN. With ice storms, random snowfall, random warm swings and lots of rain in temps just above freezing, it’s the perfect chance to see if winter rubber really is a better option than a set of all-seasons.
Read on to learn more about our new tires, and why winter rubber is a good idea
SSo when all the chaos of the holiday morning has come and gone, you are sitting there in a pile of discarded paper, tape and bows. In front of you sits the shiny box to a brand new video game console. You must have been very good this year. But now that you have a brand new Xbox One or PlayStation 4, you are going to need the right racing games and accessories to get the most out of it.
We decided to make you a big list of every great racing game, and every necessary accessory to have the most automotive fun with your new gaming machine. We have broken it up by console, and then further separated it into games and accessories to make it easy to find what you need.
As a bonus, there are a few little extra items at the bottom for owners of PS3 and Xbox 360 systems who want to get themselves a little something with their holiday cash.
Don’t forget; after you make it through the list, be sure to comment with what you got for Christmas, and list which item on this list is your favorite.
Continue reading to see our list for best racing games and accessories for your new console.
The Yaris is Toyota’s smallest and cheapest offering here in the United States, and it has long been a favorite of urbanites and college kids. With strong opposition coming from the Nissan Versa, the Chevy Sonic and an updated Ford Fiesta, Toyota decided that for 2015 the tiny hatchback would be getting a full visual refresh inside and out and to keep it interesting and desirable for buyers until the new car arrives in a few years.
Toyota wrapped the whole front in a new and interesting fascia that is closer to the family lineup, added more sound dampening materials to decrease NVH, and equipped every car with a new Entune stereo system. Our very own Mark spent a few days earlier in the year at the official press launch and came away impressed, but now it’s time for the real test. I have the new 2015 Yaris sitting in my driveway away from the glitz, glamour and watchful PR eyes of the press event. I have a full week on my local roads to give the new car a thorough test.
Are the upgrades enough to keep the car interesting in an increasingly competitive market? Read on to find out.
Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Toyota Yaris
If you are an owner of Acura’s newest flagship car the 2015 RLX, you should probably give your local dealer a ring. It seems that Acura is recalling nearly 10,000 models of RLX sold in the United States for a headlight issue. For a reason that was not thoroughly explained, the reflective lining in the back of the headlamp housing can delaminate and come off. If this happens, the headlights should still function just fine, but they will likely have diminished brightness. The main reason for the recall is that without the lamination in place, the car is in violation of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 and that technically makes the illegal for road use.
Thankfully there have been no reported crashes, deaths or injuries resulting from this defect. It is recommended that if you are an owner that you call your Acura dealer as soon as you can to see if your car is one of the 9,700 units affected. Otherwise, Acura will begin sending out notices in the mail to affected owners in February 2015. If you don’t like talking to your dealer, and you don’t want to wait until February, Acura says that owners can also do a search at recalls.Acura.com to see if their car is one of the defective models.
Click past the jump to read more about the Acura RLX.
There is a sad truth to our world that nobody seems to acknowledge; America has the most laughable and pointless driver education and licensing system in the modern civilized world. As it sits, most states on the U.S. offer no driver education in schools, and of the few that do offer driver’s ed they likely use programs that were created shortly after World War II ended. Every year, tens of thousands of American’s lose their lives to automotive crashes, and auto deaths are the No. 1 killer of teens.
When Alan Brown lost his son to an accident, he decided it was time to push a new form of driver education into his state of Georgia. He wanted to push the widespread adoption of simulator training. What he accomplished with this mission is nothing short of miraculous. The Verge has written a long and compelling piece compiling data from all around the nation about auto fatalities, simulator training and the effect it has. Alan Brown had a law passed in Georgia that saw fines for traffic violations increase to pay for new simulators for high school students. Since the simulator training began, the state has seen teen auto deaths drop by 60 percent. That accounts for one saved life every two days.
To get the full effect of the changes and advantages that come with the move to simulators, your best bet is to read the full piece over on The Verge. It is well written, compelling and loaded with incredible facts and statistics. One thing that is important to consider about the effectiveness of simulator training comes from the government. Professional pilots, NASA astronauts and every branch of the military uses simulation training heavily and often to increase competence of a skill and improve safety ratings. If it’s good enough for NASA to teach people how to fly a spaceship, it should be more than good enough for us to save the lives of the next generation of Americans.
What do you guys think about the use of simulators to help train new drivers how to handle dangerous situations? Is this a great idea, a waste of money, a silly pipe dream or a powerful use of technology to save lives? Sound off in the comments below to let us know.
Click past the jump to read more about driving simulators pro and cons.
It has been teased, speculated and rumored, but Autoweek has come out and is claiming that a new supercar from the Blue Oval is confirmed. There will be a successor to the Ford GT, it will debut in a few weeks at Detroit, and it will be used to tackle a whole series of endurance races including the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With Ford’s 50th anniversary of its first overall win at Le Mans with the Ford GT40 happening in 2016, it only makes sense.
Now Autoweek isn’t saying much, but it is claiming that a reliable inside source has confirmed that there will be a new GT street car and racer. While there is very little info given on the street car — the source couldn’t even confirm if it would be called the GT or not — there is a whole pile of juicy info about the upcoming racing program.
Let’s start with the big stuff. There will be two factory-backed cars competing starting in 2016, and they will be campaigned by Chip Ganassi Racing of NASCAR, Tudor Series and IndyCar fame. Ford’s long-time racing partner Multimatic Motorsports in the great white North of Canada will build the race version. According to the report, the cars will be piloted by an all-star team of veteran racing drivers that includes Scott Pruett and Joey Hand.
Despite all of the evidence for the racing car, the Autoweek’s source goes on to say that when the road car is revealed by Ford in a few weeks that there will likely be no confirmation or announcement of the racing program.
When it comes to the road car, Autoweek says, the new design will be dynamic and interesting, but it won’t really be retro in the same way the last Ford GT was. It also gave no information on engine options, but we already speculated that the new GT would likely use a turned-up version of Ford’s new flat-crank V-8 found in the 2016 Shelby GT350.
One thing is for certain, with Ford’s Detroit Press Conference scheduled for Monday, January 12, we don’t have long to wait to see if this is all correct. It seems that TopSpeed’s 2014 Performance Car of the Year may soon have some competition.
Continue reading to find out more about the new Ford GT successor.
Now that the 2014 season of Formula One has officially come to an end, the mystery surrounding the various drivers being shuffled between teams has finally come to a close. Sebastian Vettel is moving to Ferrari to occupy the seat vacated by Fernando Alonso, and in turn Alonso is headed to McLaren. With the announcement, there was a lot of discussion on who would drive with the Spaniard. Jensen Button is not aging as gracefully on the grid as many might have hoped and his rookie partner Kevin Magnussen would take the seat.
This is quite easily the best move McLaren could have ever made, but it’s a terrible decision for Formula One racing and its fans.
I promise I’m not daft, you just need to look at what keeps the sport entertaining and interesting. We love underdogs, we love new heroes, and we love great rivalries. By adding more names to the roster and changing out the old guard, we can keep creating new and exciting stories to get invested in. Instead we are stuck in a group of classic names with new logo strapped to their helmets fighting over the exact same thing they always have been.
Click past the jump to read more about why this change is great for McLaren and terrible for F1.
If you haven’t been living under a rock, you are probably aware that the a new James Bond film has been announced and it is called Spectre. With this announcement, Aston Martin revealed that 007 would be rolling around in an all-new car called the 2015 DB10. Jaguar has now jumped into the news with this piece from Autocar saying that Jag’s hybrid supercar concept, the C-X75, will be the machine of choice for the villain in the upcoming film.
Autocar is saying that for production purposes the turbine-powered hybrid system will be dropped in favor of the companies supercharged, 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that they will borrow from the F-Type. With Jaguar currently pushing its “Good to be Bad” campaign with some of Hollywood’s biggest British baddies, this seems to tie in nicely.
Jaguar has been contacted but will not confirm nor deny that the C-X75 will be featured in the upcoming film. If Bond is going around in the Aston Martin with the bad guy piloting a C-X75, it gets my hopes up that there will be some really great chase scenes in the upcoming film. In my opinion the Daniel Craig Bond movies have been sorely lacking in excessive chase-scene footage.
With every morsel that sneaks about this new film I get more and more excited.
Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar C-X75.
Want to learn how to handle a car like Ken Block? Well why don’t you take a trip up to the same New Hampshire rally school he first attended? Team O’Neil rally school is located in Dalton New Hampshire and it is where the King of the Hoons learned the ropes and started his journey to international stardom in the rally world.
The school was started by Tim O’Neil, a factory rally driver who drove for both Volkswagen and Mitsubishi during the late 1980s and early 90s. During his time driving professionally, he racked up five U.S. and North American Rally Championships and became one of the very few American drivers to compete on the international circuit.
After working for a few years with manufacturers to train drivers, Tim decided to open his own school. He designed and constructed the skid pad, slalom, and multiple miles of the road courses that surround the school. Since the school opened in 1997 Tim has personally developed and shaped the curriculum, trains all the instructors and to this day he oversees operations to constantly learn from and improve the school.
Click past the jump to read more about the Tim O’Neil Rally School.
When Nissan brought me its cheapest hatchback, the 2014 Versa Note, earlier this year I found myself impressed with its nimbleness, abundant interior space great features despite its bargain price. I did wish it was a little faster, and the CVT isn’t the best, but in general I recommended it as a great bargain runabout. For 2015, Nissan has the new sportier looking Versa Note SR, and the automaker sent it my way for a week of testing (read: flogging). The new car has revised visual cues inside and out, and the equipment list is a little different than my last Versa. Best yet, it’s even a little cheaper than the last one I tested as well.
Does the new looks and revised interior make this car even better than the old model? Does the lowered price and reduced equipment options make it a better deal or a drearier place to spend time? Did that CVT magically get any better?
All those questions and more are answered after the break.
Continue reading to find out more about the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR
Tesla is dominating the electric market and Audi doesn’t enjoy that. With a huge internal development push to create viable alternative-fuel vehicles with the TDI diesel, H-Tron and the E-Tron electric programs, the German company is getting ready to tackle the mainstream with a whole portfolio of products. According to Bloomberg, Audi is going to tackle the upper-class EV market with an E-Tron branded electric crossover designed to tackle Elon Musk’s new Tesla Model X. The goal is to have this car on the market in just two years for the 2017 model year.
Audi also plans on offering an electrified version of the R8 supercar next year, and the plug-in hybrid A3 E-Tron should start deliveries soon. Tesla has proved that buyers are willing to invest in high-quality electric automobiles, and this will soon be the next big sector of market growth. If Audi can get the new E-Tron crossover out the door before Tesla releases the Model X, it will reap the benefits of a completely untapped market.
With Volkswagen, Audi’s parent company, chasing the goal of being the largest auto maker in the world, tapping into new markets and pushing new technology is a smart and aggressive strategy. If you are a fan of electric or other alternative-fuel vehicles, things are going to get very exciting very soon.
Click past the jump to read more about the future Audi electric SUV.