Tony Dewhurst
About the author
view thumbnails grid view horizontal compact blog view
The ABT R8 GT R – Testing at the Nurburgring

The ABT R8 GT R – Testing at the Nurburgring

Sure, theAudi R8 is not exactly snail like and this is even more so once the sports car has been tuned by ABT Sportsline. The result is a real workhorse, which does not just hint at power, but also doesn’t have a single gram of fat on its body. With this limited number version of the R8 GT R (only 25 units were produced), engineers and designers have gone one step further: they have experience from motorsport flowing into the design and all the components have been systematically trimmed to ensure a light-weight construction and optimal weight distribution. As a result, not just the bonnet, front and rear aprons, the adjustable rear wing or the tailgate are made of carbon, but the outline edge on the rear, the external mirrors, and the door panel are also made of the same material. The side windows are made of Makrolon - the high-tech polycarbonate does not just reduce weight, but also has impressive strength properties. The result ends up being an ABT R8 GT R that is a proud 100 kg lighter than its counterpart.

Read more
England Smashes the Landspeed Record

England Smashes the Landspeed Record

With a Kawasaki Powered Lawnmower

In England the motorsport heritage is very much a deep rooted affair. People say it is in our DNA so, needless to say, we have in our times had some true inspirational speed fanatics who have left their mark in history.

For example, we had Donald Campbell who was responsible for the water speed record at Ullswater in Cumbria on July 23, 1955, where he set a record of 215 mph (324 km/h). Who then unfortunately died in his pursuit for speed after his Bluebird K7 flipped at speeds of more than 300mph in subsequent attempts.

Now, his nephew Don Wales has followed in his footsteps as a record breaker, wearing his flame retardant racing suit and armed with a Kawasaki Powered Countax ride-on lawnmower (AKA “Project Runningblade”). We caught wind of this project earlier this month so we had to make sure we brought the results when they came to be. The results were simple; the duo of man and machine have smashed the old 80mph record with a speed of 87.833 on Pendine Sands in Wales.

Enjoy this piece of automotive history.

Read more
2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C

2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI Spec C

The new 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI saloon was officially unveiled at the 2010 New York Auto Show, but our spy photographer has captured the big-winged saloon testing at the Nürburgring.

At first impression, it seems the car is nothing more than the European version of the high-performance saloon. Upon closer inspection, however, there are some differences clearly suggesting that the STI seen here may very well be a prototype for a Spec C model. This is especially convincing since most white Japanese cars are usually special editions.

These differences include the matte black alloys, gold color brembo brake calipers, and the front lip spoiler, all of which were not shown on the show car, but are standout features on the JDM Impreza STI Spec C hatchback.

If it does turn out to be a Spec-C expect a power hike over the standard 305hp to around 350hp. There should also be a weight reduction from the use of a smaller battery, aluminum body panels, and a revised firmer suspension including a more track focused limited slip differential.

Read more
BMW M1 at the ADAC Zurich 24H Classic Race

BMW M1 at the ADAC Zurich 24H Classic Race

One of the most under reported and interesting races are the historic car races still happening around the world. Most recently at the Nürburgring 24h, the Classics undertook a classic 3h endurance race on the Nordschleife in Germany.

One car stood out from the impressive line-up and it is good to see that the Nelson Piquet 1980 car was on show at the 2010 ADAC Zurich 24h Classic race with a respectable best laptime on the Nordschleife and the GP circuit of 9:28.

This line of historic BMW M1s were produced by German automaker BMW from 1978 to 1981 and were the only mid-engined BMWs to be mass produced.

In the late 1970s, Italian manufacturer Lamborghini entered into a contract with BMW to build a production racing car in sufficient quantity for homologation into Group 4.

The result was the hand-builtM1 coupe that was sold to the public from 1978 to 1981 under the Motorsport division of BMW.

Read more
Ford Focus RS500 Driven VMAX on German Autobahn

Ford Focus RS500 Driven VMAX on German Autobahn

The Guys at Autoexpress have had the first drive of the Exclusive RS500 Focus.

This Limited Edition of only 500 units with 345bhp will mean the book speed if 165mph (264 km/h) is possible lets see how they do.

Be good to have seen a GPS readout of the speed to confirm though, Pictures of the car on test at the Nurburgring in Germany.

EMBED this video http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/videos/featuresvideos/252343/165mph_in_the_focus_rs500.html

Read more
Massive Lamborghini Gallardo crash in Super Trofeo leaves driver in intensive care

Massive Lamborghini Gallardo crash in Super Trofeo leaves driver in intensive care

Despite the safety precautions in place in most competitive races, there’s always that possibility that something could go wrong. That wasn’t any more evident than in Round 4 of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Cup that was held recently.

The Lamborghini Super Trofeo Cup saw a massive accident during Round 4 of the season. From what we can tell, the number 22 Gallardo LP560-4 driven by Giorgio Bartocci got off into the gravel on the last turn before the front straight.

The driver’s side door flew open as the car span down the tarmac. When it finally came to a stop, the Gallardo turned into a fireball.

Fire crews initially took longer than expected to pull the driver from the wreck and were seen using hand held fire extinguishers to battle the blaze. The FIA is expected to investigate the incident. Surprisingly, Bartocci survived the ordeal and is currently in intensive care with 1st degree burns and a fractured leg .

 

Read more
2007 RUF CTR3 at the Nurburgring

2007 RUF CTR3 at the Nurburgring

Earlier, at the Michelin Tuning and Bespoke auto manufacturer’s day at the Nurburgring in Germany, Porsche outfitter and tuning outfit, RUF, fetched along the mighty looking Ruf CTR 3 and allowed me a few passenger laps. Like all RUF models, the CTR 3 is Porsche based, but the origin of its chassis has never been disclosed. I suspect 60% of the chassis to be reconstructed from the front wing and slightly longer wheelbase to accommodate repositioning of the twin-turbo flat-six boxer engine. The CTR3’s ambition and heritage was to replace the now legendary 469bhp CTR ‘Yellow Bird’ and the 520bhp CTR2 that followed a decade later.

Using essentially the same motor as Ruf’s 911-based Rt 12, but with an additional 50hp, the CTR3’s 700bhp is supported by a jaw thumping 656lb ft of torque at 4000rpm. Therefore directing all the power to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gear box. This thrusts the CTR3 to 0-124mph in 9.6sec. However, no matter what the figures tell you, on the Nordschleife in Germany, I expected it to be restrained in the many uncompromising corners of the northloop.

This definitely was not the case. Immediately after leaving the car park and cruising down through Tiergarten, I realized this was no normal press lap. Hatzenbach and Quiddelbacher were a blur and I was overwhelmed by the power and low end lagless power delivered by the twin turbochargers.


Want more of the ride? Hit the jump!

Read more
Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster test mule spotted at the Nürburgring.

Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster test mule spotted at the Nürburgring.

Our spies have spotted the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Cabriolet sneaking a quick lap on the Nurburgring in Germany.

The spy shots do not reveal the Cabriolet hood fitments as they are still hidden under camouflage, but the active air brake is visible providing more traction under braking.

The power plant will be provided by a 6.3-liter V8 with 563 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque as seen on the Mercedes SLS Gullwing. This should allow the Cabriolet to accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.0 seconds before topping out at approximately 192 mph.

There is also speculation that there could be a Targa top due to the zips on top of the camouflage, but only time will tell if these rumors are true.

Read more
Volkswagen Golf Mark VII Spyshots

Volkswagen Golf Mark VII Spyshots

Spotted in Test at the Nurburgring

Our spies have the latest spy shots of the next-generation Golf VII test mule at the Nürburgring Northloop circuit, after the Golf renderings previously revealed on TopSpeed

The 2013 MkVII Golf chassis sits underneath this vehicle and is the MQB platform which will be used on the VW Sharan and the Audi S3. As a reminder, the MQB platform will serve as the platform for all of VW’s small to midsized transverse-engined family cars as part of their ten year plan for all of their vehicles to adopt one of four platforms.

There is no detailing for the VW Golf on display apart from the flared arches hidden under the camouflage and there are no differences in the interior.

We expect this mule to begin stripping away its camouflage to reveal more details throughout the year as it is still in the Franken build stage of development. We also expect to see an R32 variant which could be used in an uplifted version of the 2.5 liter 5 cylinder turbocharged engine as seen in the TTRS, to compete with the Ford Focus RS and the Renault Megane Sport 250.

Read more
MTM Audi R8 GT3-2

MTM Audi R8 GT3-2

After being at the ADAC Zurich 24h where the parade lap was dominated by the front grid of the Audi R8’s, the lead car was the recently revealed Audi R8 GT.

I have been following this car since the folks over at MTM informed me of the forthcoming R8-GT3-2, which is on the V8 platform.

So, if your looking for some forced induction on your Audi R8 and more of a driver’s experience then the guys at MTM are the ones to see.

The MTM crew will fit a supercharger and rip out the Quattro leaving you with 560hp through the rear wheels.

• MTM R8 GT3-2 undertakes a new driving experience

behind the Audi steering wheel

• 560 HP (412 kW), 580 Nm, 3.9 seconds, Vmax 317 km/h

• Technical finesse and details for an exceptional sportscar

Wonder what the end result would be with the MTM forced induction on the V10 considering the German press recently crashed the above car.

Read more
2011 Opel Astra Sports Tourer

2011 Opel Astra Sports Tourer

Our Auto Spies in Germany have captured photos of the 2011 Opel Astra Sports Tourer while it took its laps around the Nurburgring circuit. Inspired by the larger Insignia Sports Tourer, the Astra Estate is evidently longer than its hatchback brother which should translate to a larger, deeper boot space.

The front of the car is void of any camouflage due to the fact that the brand has decided to leave it unchanged from the previous model. The car still has its rear end covered with camouflage, but the rear light clusters look to be similar to the current Astra line-up. The only difference is the lower reflector lights look to have been relocated into the bumper instead of being underneath it.

The estate will use the same engine line-up as the five-door hatch, which means a petrol range stretching from a 1.4-liter naturally aspirated four-pot up to a 180 horsepower 1.6-liter turbo and a comprehensive diesel range that tops out with a 160HP 2.0-liter CDTi.

Check out the full story plus a video of the Astra doing its laps around the Nurburgring after the jump.

Read more
G-Power M3 GTS-2 At the Nürburgring

G-Power M3 GTS-2 At the Nürburgring

After our earlier article on the release of 2 special G-Power M3 models, to coincide with the winning BMW M3 GT2 at the 38th ADAC Zurich 24h race at the Nürburgring, G power turned up to tune the 600hp street born racer on its intended stomping ground. They also shared with us some live shots of it lapping the Nordschleife.

Zoran Zorneke, CEO of G Power, explained that the supercharger was a fitting addition to tackle the Nordschleife due to its low end torque. He also explained that the suspension and some of the boost mappings were still in progress on the car to finalize the best set up for the track.

The car’s exhaust note was the usual throaty blipping characteristic of the V8 M3 along with an ASA T1-522 radial compressor whine to remind us of its forced induction engineering. One thing that was surprising, considering its weight reduction of nearly 150kg, was that the car was in no way stripped as with the usual racer.

We look forward to the video of the laps they were filming earlier, but here are some shots to tie us over in the meantime.

Read more
2012 Mercedes CLS Uncamouflaged Spyshots

2012 Mercedes CLS Uncamouflaged Spyshots

This is the first time we have seen fully uncamouflaged spyshots of the 2012 Mercedes CLS so we expect a press release from Mercedes in the next few days.

As you can see from the pictures, the CLS features a much more angular, aggressive nose than the car it replaces. We can also see that the creased shoulder line which runs from the top of the front wheel arch backwards and the dramatically flared rear wheel arches, which look like those on the Bentley Continental, have all made production. The rear lights and shaped exhausts also stand out, giving the rear of the car a more obviously sculpted appearance than the previous generation CLS.

This particular model is the CLS 350CGI, equipped with the firm’s V-Generation 3.5-liter engine which produces 302bhp and 370Nm. It features Mercedes’ fuel-saving BlueEfficiency technology and is the engine that is also featured in the Shooting Break concept.

More details and the full official set of pictures will be made available ahead of the car’s debut at this October’s Paris Motor Show. Meanwhile, check out the previous test mule shots in the gallery for reference on how the car was camouflaged before.

Read more