BMW has officially unveiled the third generation M6, in both coupe and convertible versions. The M6 badge was first used back in 1987 and since then, the model has evolved into a powerful, athletic, focused, luxurious and efficient sports car. On the US market, the M6 Coupe was the last to arrive and went on sale in the late Summer of 2012 as a 2013 model.
As many rumors suggested, the new M6 has dropped its V10 engine in favor of a new 4.4-liter V8 equipped with M TwinPower Turbo Technology. Despite its lower capacity, the new V8 develops a total of 560 HP (an increase of 5 HP over the previous model) and a peak torque of 500 lb-ft. The engine is mated to a newly developed 7-speed double-clutch transmission designed to handle the high torque and high revving nature of the engine.
The new M6 Coupe will be immediately recognized as an elegant and sporty 6-Series, but it gets the usual M styling design cues that make it look sportier and more powerful. These elements include wider air intakes, stunningly contoured headlight units, the newly designed M kidney grille, which bears an "M6" badge, and powerful 19-inch M light-alloy wheels.
UPDATE 11/20/2012: BMW USA has transformed the M6 into the most interesting project: an M print. Using very interesting technology and Matt Mullins, Chief Driving Instructor of the BMW Performance Driving School, behind the wheel, the M6 was used to create unique autographs for M fans nationwide. Check out the the video after the jump!
Hit the jump to read more on the BMW M6 Coupe.
Most new cars we feature are the creations from the world’s multibillion dollar automakers and are not very close to the heart. This New Stratos on the other hand is the realized dream of one man who poured his heart, soul, and a ton of his own money into the project. The labour of love involving automotive parts supplier, Michael Stoschek, has taken 24 years to materialize, all starting out from a friendship forged at a Lancia Stratos event held in Alta Badia back in 1986.
Michael, a self-confessed uber fan of the original Stratos, decided to create his own new version of the classic Italian Rally superstar. The outcome of all the hard work and passion, we have to say, is utterly amazing. To prove the passion this part-time racer has for the original, he has even bought the trademark rights for the Stratos name from Lancia – which we can assure you didn’t come cheap.
The resemblance to the original is uncanny, yet everything has been updated and made better, without losing any of the nostalgia and old school appeal. The overall “wedge” shape is still the same and the powerplant is still from Ferrari – albeit louder and more powerful. The New Stratos shares a large amount of its underpinnings with the Ferrari F430 Scuderia – which is a brilliant car. If that’s any indication of how this car will ride, handle, sound, and perform, we are in for an absolute treat of automotive euphoria.
UPDATE 02/14/2011: The 2010 One-Off Lancia Stratos may not be a one-off for very much longer. So far 40 potential buyers in Europe and other regions have expressed in interest in purchasing the Ferrari-based model, and plenty more are expected to climb on the bandwagon. If a small series is produced, rumors suggest that each unit will cost about €400,000, or around $545,000 at the current exchange rates. Something tells us that Michael Stoschek - the owner of the one and only 2010 Lancia Stratos so far - may not be too happy with his exclusive ride getting cloned, even if it is only for about 40 other people.
UPDATE 05/10/2011: Michael Stoschek took his brand new Lancia Stratos for a spin on the race track. Hit the jump for the video.
UPDATE 06/27/11: Michael Stoschek had the New Lancia Stratos built for only one reason: racing. In the latest video, Stoschek rides his brand new ride with Dieter Hawranke as he blasts off along the streets of Zwickau during the Sachsen Rallye 2011. Check out the video after the jump to see the New Stratos run rampant on concrete!
Hit the jump to continue reading.
The seventies brought us things like bell bottom jeans, the Village People, and of course, a slimy-haired John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. In the car world, it was a time where muscle cars were well and truly in their element. Whilst Detroit was reveling, there was also a revolution going on, but one that would blow the lid off car design norms. It was all happening in the house of Bertone and the car in question was poised to re-write history in the worlds of car design and Rallying. It was, of course, the revolutionary Lancia Stratos HF.
With its striking good looks, the car was a unique design that was unparalleled at the time. What also made it special was the fact that it was built from the ground up for one purpose: to win the World Rally Championship. It is very seldom that you come across cars that are designed as race cars and then turned into road cars – usually it’s the other way around. Other examples that share this rare trait include the Maserati MC12 and Mercedes CLK GTR. The road going version was only produced so that homologation criteria could be met in order for it to enter the Group 4 class of the Rally World Championship. And for that reason, like the Maserati and Mercedes, it had quite a few shortcomings in the real world. Its performance wasn’t one of them – largely due to the mid–mounted Ferrari V6 engine form the Dino - after all Ferrari was owned by Fiat and the Stratos was developed as a race car.
Hit the jump for the full story.
The 2010 installment of theRace of Champions proved to be a very closely fought affair that threw up a surprise winner in debutant Filipe Albuquerque. The 25-year-old Portuguese driver currently pilots an Audi RS4 in the Italian Superstars V8 series and qualified for the RoC 2010 by winning the South Europe contest held this past August.
Relatively unknown in comparison to the star-studded lineup, Albuquerque out drove the likes of seven-time F1 Champion Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost. The rookie found himself in the Grand Final up against veteran WRC Champion and three-time RoC winner, Sebastian Loeb, where he eclipsed the rally ace 2-1 in a tooth and nail head-to-head battle.
The parallel track at the ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf provided hot and heavy action over the weekends’ events including a quarterfinal that saw a “too cautious” Michael Schumacher losing out to younger compatriot and newly crowned F1 Champion Sebastian Vettel. F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen was involved in a bad crash, but luckily he and his girlfriend - a passenger at the time - are both fine.
Hit the jump for the top drivers’ comments & the Highlights video
As is the norm with AC Schnitzer, better performance and aesthetics are developed with the highest quality and precision for any BMW. The new F11 5 Series Touring is no exception, and today we introduce to you the latest offerings from Aachen, Germany scheduled to be unleashed at the Essen Motorshow. The 5 Touring is built and designed for practicality and ease of use. Now, thanks to AC Schnitzer, practicality has a pretty face and the show to match the go.
In their usual fashion, the German tuners have developed a tasty list of aftermarket options for the otherwise mundane 5 station wagon. Packages are currently only available for the 5 series diesel derivatives – petrol upgrades are currently being developed. At the center of the new options are the AC Schnitzer performance upgrades that include a stainless exhaust, modified ECU, and stiffer lowering springs. After the conversion, the BMW 530d develops an impressive 286 HP and the uprated 535d now produces an impressive 360 HP, whilst the 520d and 525d develop a powerful 218 HP and 245 HP respectively.
Full story and press release after the jump.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you! Ariel have indeed gone completely bonkers and fitted a bespoke V8 engine to the already madly fast, and madly exciting Ariel Atom. The Atom is a refined vehicle that actually works on the road, allowing it to represent the best track day experience. This new V8 version takes crazy to new heights thanks to minimal weight and 500HP – that may not sound like much, but when you consider that the car weighs as much as a postage stamp on a diet, things start to get very extreme indeed.
The Ariel Atom is sort of like a lean, mean, sophisticated bare knuckle boxer that has mastered all forms of martial arts. Lean and mean because of its no frills, barely-there construction; sophisticated because it’s clever; and bare knuckled because it’s raw and uncensored. Something like a Gallardo Superleggera, which can be described in the same context as a WWE Superstar – all drama, flash and very capable - can still be considered slightly under talented in comparison to the Atom. As powerful, but three times heavier than this new Atom V8, anything in the Gallardo’s league, and in fact higher, would flounder against it on pretty much any given stretch of road or track.
Production for this amazing machine will be limited to just 25 units - each getting a commemorative plaque and unique engine to match.
Hit the jump for the full details on the Ariel Atom V8 500
The sport of Drifting is catching on like wildfire the world over, and that’s not exactly surprising considering it carries the most entertainment value of any motorsport out there. Even F1 has become mundane with cars lapping continuously in a “follow the leader” fashion for two hours. There isn’t much in the form of action, except when spectacular crashes happen, sending carbon fiber shrapnel everywhere. Not exactly safe, but it’s action nonetheless. Yes, aerodynamics make it difficult to overtake blah blah blah.
Drifting brings together the most exciting aspects of our favorite forms of racing in an exciting showcase. What could be better than watching massive horsepower cars going sideways, door to door with each other at breakneck speeds with smoke bellowing out their arches? Okay, well, participating would be better, but not all of us have the type of skill and precision needed to pull off some of these stunts. Of course, some may, so learning a bit about the best vehicles to take out onto the track is important.
The recipe for a great drift car is a generic affair with the following characteristics at the fore: RWD (Duh!), good chassis balance, engine tuneabilty, a limited slip differential, and obviously accessible tuning parts to make the aforementioned a reality. In the list below, you will find a short description on what unique attributes each of the cars bring to drifting, and hopefully will give you a better understanding of the sport and what building a good drift car requires.
Hopefully this will get you swatting bugs with your side windows in no time. Proceed with caution though, as this is a highly addictive adrenalin rush waiting to happen.
Hit the jump to see the list.
The 22nd and final round of the coveted WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) was held in the gambling hub of Macau this weekend, setting the stage for a Chevrolet world-first. The Chevy Cruze race cars went down in history by being the first ever Chevrolet or GM race outfit to win a double Championship in any FIA sanctioned World Championship series.
After finishing second in Race 1 at Macau, Yvan Muller took the Championship with 331 points – a full 55 points clear of his nearest rival, Gabriele Tarquini. The weekend proved to have a fairy tale ending to what was a stellar season for the Cruze race cars, finishing on the podium in no less than 21 of the 22 races, also ensuring Chevy the constructors’ title for 2010.
Credit also needs to go to Mullers teammates Alain Manu and Rob Huff for their performances this weekend and throughout the season. Unfortunately for Huff, he finished tied on points with Tarquini for second place in the championship, but had to cede the runner up spot to the Italian due to his higher number of victories during the season.
The competition was stiff from other manufacturers that included SEAT diesels and the BMW 320si, making Chevy’s achievement all the more satisfying.
Hit the jump for the drivers’ comments.
The Fiat 500 is adored because of its cute and retro styling, and now German tuners, Hamann, and suspension specialists, H&R, have given us even more reason to like the little runabout. This tuned version is due to debut at the Essen Motorshow in Germany going on from November 27th through December 5th.
To add a little funk to the hatchback, Hamann upped the power from 135HP to a GTi-worrying 275HP thanks to some clever ECU tuning and a new exhaust. They also kitted the 500 out with new bumpers, sideskirts, and two-tone Hamann wheels that reveal the beefed up braking system. We’re not sure on the body vinyl yet, but do love the performance potential from the sorted 1.4 liter turbo mill under the bonnet.
Power without control means nothing – especially in a small FWD car. So, to help make full use of the new-found ponies, H&R have developed a lowering kit for the Hamann 500 that gets it lower to the ground, promoting nippy handling and good driver feedback. They also fitted a set of their billet wheel spacers to beef up the appearance of the cute car that will surely get it noticed more often while helping out the dynamics as well.
Lotus fans had bewildered looks on their faces when the company unveiled no less than five concept models at the Paris Motor Show last month. However, these reactions weren’t so much because of the number of new cars they were being bombarded with, but more so because they couldn’t really relate to them. The car-loving public has a certain mindsight when it comes to Lotus models, and that mindset stems from company founder Sir Colin Chapman’s old adage and philosophy of "simplify, then add lightness." Now, all of a sudden Lotus models have gone from skinny supermodels to full-figured glamour girls instantaneously, sending Chapman’s philosophy straight out the window.
The public’s reaction is completely understandable considering that this phrase is famous the world over and largely represents what a Lotus is all about and, more importantly, why people buy them. Now Lotus has completely altered their brand identity and values, and therefore run the risk of alienating their market. So, why the change of heart?
Hit the jump to find out.
German Wheel manufacturers, AEZ, have come up with what has to be the most innovative Christmas competition we’ve seen this year. The concept centers around an advent calendar on their website that features hidden gifts ranging from cheaper to more expensive options that are denoted by the number of stars they possess.
Starting from December 1st, the competition will run through to the 24th, offering visitors daily lucky draws for prizes that include a day with your dream car, a romantic two night stay for you and your partner in an igloo, and a communal sailing course aboard a yacht. They might be a bit quirky, but definitely out of the box. You could choose to keep the gifts for yourself or transfer them to a friend or family member – something out of the ordinary for competitions.
AEZ is also raffling off interesting non-cash prizes, such as an instant camera or a photo album with fantastic photographs. More info will be revealed on the AEZ chocolate advent calendars, which will be raffled off at the Essen Motor Show at the end of November and we’ll keep you posted. The info will include the name of the respective daily prizes as well as their value, which is indicated by a maximum of six stars. It goes without saying that AEZ has hidden a very special gift behind the last door of the calendar, but they’re being very tight lipped about it. We can’t wait to see what it is.
Marek Denko, a self confessed fan of the Mad Max Trilogy, has created a virtual concept of his perfect post apocalyptic Buggy. The images look very cool, but the concept as a whole is even cooler. Denko initially started this project in his spare time and found that it had consumed him half way through, taking him a total of four months to create. We’re sure Mad Max would approve of the rugged go-anywhere design and the uncanny improvisation in the materials used to construct it.
The most exciting part has to be the jet engine strapped to the back of the thing – probably packing enough power to kill any supercar we’ve featured in the acceleration stakes. There is a normal combustion engine top, fitted conventionally at the front for days when fuel is a premium. Another cool and dangerous award goes to the side-mounted fuel tanks, which are fireballs waiting to happen in the event of a side impact. That would be all well and good, until you catch sight of the exhaust system. The pipes actually run under and around the fuel tanks, heating the fuel as you drive – definitely not Euro Ncap approved!
The Buggy is pictured in various environments in the gallery below, highlighting the terrain Denko turned to for inspiration. He used 3DS Max for all modeling work and Photoshop to create or adjust textures. Rendering was taken care of with V-Ray software. We love the idea behind the buggy and wouldn’t mind a fleet of them to race on the weekends.
Formula Drift and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management are joining forces to bring Formula D to the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi in what will be an inaugural invitational event. Eight of the series’ top drivers and their cars will be transported to the UAE for what will be the first world-class drift event in the Persian Gulf region.
“The partnership with Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management is a perfect fit to introduce the Formula DRIFT UAE Invitational Competition,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Even though drifting has been to the UAE before, we are excited to bring a world class combination of the world’s most advanced circuit along with the world’s leading drifting series.”
The lucky drivers include 2-time Formula DRIFT champion and 3-time X-Games Gold Medalist Tanner Foust, 2010 Formula DRIFT rookie of the year and past Scandinavian champion, Fredric Aasbo, 2009 Formula DRIFT champion, Chris Forsberg, Darren McNamara, Ryan Tuerck, and Daijiro Yoshihara. Two more spots are still up for grabs and will be announced at a later date. This is exciting for the sport and will mark a historic world first come February 25th next year.
Richard Cregan, Chief Executive Officer of the Yas Marina Circuit had this to say: “I am delighted that motorsports fans in Abu Dhabi and the UAE will get to experience the spectacle of Formula DRIFT at Yas. Drifting will add a new dimension to the range of motorsports offered here and I believe it will attract a large following, just as drag racing has.”
The inaugural event will serve as a perfect pre-season taster for the 2011 championship and provide the drivers with good practice in searing desert temperatures, which should test both man and machine to their limits.
Nothing grips us at TopSpeed more than a seriously dangerous car chase scene while munching on popcorn and sipping on a cold one. Be it special effects or balls to the wall stunt driving, the action entertainment factor is undeniable and just another reason to love the movie industry. They get to do things we mere mortals only dream of doing with cars we only dream of woning. Every new blockbuster brings faster, harder, and more dangerous antics than before, keeping us glued and wanting more.
This collection spans more than thirty odd years proving that older movies with real stunts and no CGI still get our blood pumping, especially when you consider the dangers faced by stuntmen all those years ago. There are hot women, exotic metal, loads of tire screeching, crashes, and huge jumps to reminisce about. Here then, is our tribute to the best individual car stunt scenes Hollywood has to offer.
Hit the jump for the list.
The most successful race car of all time is set to meet some of the most successful race drivers of all time at this years’ Race of Champions. The event is an absolute riot of fun and includes cars and bikes from all forms of FIA Motorsport. At the end of every year, newly crowned Champions of their respective disciplines are pitted against each other in head to head battle. Drivers are asked to step out of their comfort zone by performing on a make-shift course in cars they don’t usually drive – which makes for interesting and entertaining racing. Not to mention the fact that all around driving skill is absolutely pivotal to success. Ever wondered how Sébastien Loeb would fare against Michael Schumacher, both driving Porsche GT3 Cup cars? Well come November 27th-28th in Dusseldorf we’ll find out.
The 3.8 liter 450 hp 911 GT3 Cup will be one of many uber cool cars being used at this years’ event and American Le Mans winner and ROC newbie, Jeroen Bleekemolen, will hope that he can drive as many heats as possible behind the wheel of his Porsche to gain an advantage over the superstar lineup. Drivers will experience superb handling and 8500RPMs of aural pleasure that is rivaled by few other cars. Traditionally, the course is tight and will allow the GT3’s handling ability to come to the fore. We look forward to all the action.
Hit the jump for the ROC 2010 trailer video.
After seemingly countless delays, GT5 will finally be released on November 24th – just in time for Christmas. What’s even more exciting is that Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) and Polyphony Digital Inc., in partnership with Nissan North America, have announced the opportunity of a lifetime for GT gaming and racing enthusiasts. They are about to make thumb bandits’ dreams come true by giving gamers the opportunity to experience a proper professional racing experience. Similar to the setup in 2008, the GT Academy 2010 will be launched on December 1st in North America and will serve as a platform for fans of GT5 to see if their Playstation skills match up to their real world racing ability. The GT Academy will challenge gamers and racing fans alike across the U.S. to compete in a series of predetermined online time trials. The cars will obviously be various Nissan models that will built up from road going versions through to hardcore race-spec machines.
Hit the jump for details on the competition and how to enter.
There are few car makers that evoke more emotion and passion than Ferrari. For decades their cars have captivated hearts and minds of young and old, male and female alike, and form the epitome of what driving at the very highest level is all about. Self proclaimed “Angry Car Designer” Sasha Selipanov has penned what has to be the most beautiful concept Ferrari of the last 30 odd years. No doubt the German designer has the Maranello design studios and the likes of Bertone and Pininfarina going green with envy. As Selipanov is not on the Ferrari pay roll, this isn’t an official concept and will likely never go any further towards production than it currently is – very very far away! As unfortunate as that may be, that doesn’t stop us from appreciating and ogling at the masterpiece he has created.
If you look closely, you will see design cues from cars in the current Ferrari model lineup, such as the headlights – which resemble those on the 458 Italia. There are obvious elements in the mix that take us down memory lane to the 60s Ferrari GTO models that are, to this day, utterly beautiful. The proportions bear resemblance to an Aston Martin and the overall shape seems to mimic an early Corvette with those trademark curvy hips and wide rear girth. The oh-so-sexy rear end has taillights that look a lot like those on the new Camaro and while we liken all of these elements to cars that exist, there is no detraction from its originality and how well the entire package comes together. It’s mean yet gorgeous at the same time, which begs the question; is true beauty in the eye of the beholder or the creator? Maranello, take note and bring us something like this. We dare you!
BMW’s new generation 6 Series Convertible has been spotted in rural Pennsylvania, and its similarities to the BMW 6 Series Coupe Concept unveiled at the Paris Motor Show are there for all to see.
The new 6 Convertible features the shorter overhangs and wider fender flares than the current model, with dimensions that slot it nicely between the new 5 Series and the 7 Series. The corona ring headlights seen in the new 6-Series Coupe are also retained for the Convertible. The taillights are smaller than the outgoing version and feature the L-shaped LEDs. Although first reports were claiming a hardtop 6 Series Cabrio, all the latest information we received thus far point towards a conventional soft top.
The new BMW 6 Series will feature a combination of diesel and petrol offerings. The top of the range diesel model will be the 640d, powered by the N57 turbocharged straight-6 common rail diesel engine outputting 306 horsepower. The 650i will be the highest offering powered by the 4.4 liter V8 Twin-turbo engine found in the other 50i models – until the new M6 of course. The first U.S. 2011 6 Series model will debut in March of next year in the form of BMW 650i Convertible.
UPDATE 11/05/2010: We finally have an official launch date for the next generationBMW 6-Series: March 26, 2011. BMW UK has placed an invitation on their official web page for those who are interested in being the first to hear about the future convertible.
This is the ultimate bar room and barbecue debate that has been raging on for years and will no doubt persist for years to come. What makes a car cool? Is it cutting edge technology, timeless and sexy good looks, or ultra high performance?
We think it’s all of those features and then some. In addition to a combination of those factors, we’d like to think that a cool car can be defined as something that has influenced our attitude and thinking towards how we perceive what a car is and stands for. Some of them have an intangible quality that has captivated our hearts and minds.
Here then is our Top 50 coolest cars of all time. This is obviously a very subjective and contentious topic so feel free to leave your comments, criticisms, and additions at the bottom of the page.
Hit the jump for the hallowed list.
If you’re a Porsche fan then you no doubt love the work done by the guys at TechArt. The German-based Porsche tuning gurus are famous for their cutting edge aesthetics that add a very sinister characteristic to the latest offerings from Zuffunhausen. Their primary expertise however, lies in making Porkers go like hell. For those of us who are fans of their work and the brand, there is a more accessible option to getting your hands on a piece TechArt that doesn’t involve owning a Porsche – their brand new 2011 calendar.
The memorabilia in question is a calendar based on their slogan “365 days of personality” and offers an exciting journey through the TechArt world. Twelve attractive images, one for each month, depict the majestic side of race-bred customization. Highlights include the TechArt Magnum based on the Porsche Cayenne as well as the TechArt GrandGT Program for the Porsche Panamera.
The images are uniquely themed and expertly shot by Bildermeister in 70 x 50 cm format and production is limited to just 2000 units. This would make an ideal Christmas gift that exudes style and class, going down well with any petrolhead. You can also go the extra mile and purchase wall-sized hi-res posters of any of the images that tickle your fancy. Pricing is set at a reasonable €29.80. You can order yours TechArt’s official page.
Hit the jump for some sample images
The Cruze already has a pretty decent “globalized” look to it from the factory that is better than the outgoing Cobalt. Sold in over 60 countries worldwide, this car represents a sizable part of GM’s global market share, meaning it has to be very good to meet the demands of consumers – and it is. The 1.4 liter turbocharged 4-pot under the bonnet provides sufficient power whilst still maintaining great gas mileage. But as we on TopSpeed know, like anything else from the factory, it could be better, and that’s why the Z-Spec Concept has been created.
Chevrolet wanted to create a unique showcase of an Americanized, sporty-looking Cruze, fitted with a range of factory-engineered parts to set it apart from your average model. More and more people are customizing their vehicles and Chevy have now created a means for their customers to do so through the Z-Spec. One of the cool features apart from the additions to the car itself, is that all these accessories are available as optional parts from your dealer, meaning you can build their cost into your monthly repayments. We particularly like that.
Hit the jump for details of the modifications.
Based on the ballots counted from the exhibitors at this years’ SEMA Show, the Camaro has been selected as the “Hottest Car” for 2010. The criteria included the number of aftermarket accessories available for that particular model and its popularity with exhibitors. There are a host of aftermarket accessories for most Chevrolet models, but none with as many as the Camaro – cementing its position at the top of the admiration list.
Products on show include those that enhance performance, convenience, appearance, and comfort. “More than any other venue, the cars exhibitors and attendees bring to SEMA embody the passion and excitement of car enthusiasts everywhere,” said John Fitzpatrick, Chevrolet Performance Cars marketing manager. “Based on the sheer number of Camaros displayed on the floor, and parked in the adjacent lots, the Camaro is clearly the hottest car of the show.”
We’ll be sure to bring you the pick of the bunch later this week.
Hit the jump for the award video.
Yet another small Chevrolet is making an impact at this years’ SEMA show in Las Vegas. This time it’s the smallest member of the Chevy family – the diminutive Spark. Set for launch in the US, the Spark is difficult to picture on American roads because of its town-car attributes.
This new generation is slightly bigger than its predecessor, which should help the situation. The car has angular lines and big headlights that are accentuated by the bow tie grille. The designers for this Z-Spec Concept would have their work cut out for them to turn this pumpkin into a worthy carriage. The Z-Spec program was launched by Chevy to give small car customers the opportunity to factory-customize their cars in a fun unique way
"The Chevrolet Spark will cause people to rethink their perceptions of what a small car can be – particularly when it comes to design and performance," said Paul Arnone, lead designer. "The Spark Z-Spec concept incorporates a blend of Chevrolet-designed exterior and interior enhancements."
These parts, like the items for the Cruze Z-Spec Concept, will be available through local dealers and can be built-in to your monthly payments. That makes this car very appealing to those on a budget that want to stand out form the crowd.
Hit the jump for details on the modifications
The Zwartkops track, outside Pretoria South Africa, was ablaze with modified M cars and other exotic metal. Contenders were out to break the fastest times set in the various classes, determined by engine type, horsepower, and driveline options.
Everything from E30 M3s to Ultima GTRs were in attendance and that made for very interesting racing. The track itself has a 2.4km lap with medium to low speed corners, ideal for amateur racing (check out the layout image). The group of guys were from all walks of life and had varying levels of experience. Season campaigners Stuart Kidgell (the Flying Doctor) and Manny Ribeiro were quick from the outset, posting times close to the magical one minute mark. The lap record is a 58.839 pass held by Andre Bezuidenhout in a Dallara F1 Cosworth machine. The Trafoyer brothers had a good showing with elder sibling Mike in his E36 M3 Turbo taking overall honors. The Ultima came in second for the day with Marco Viera rounding off the podium in his E36 M3 Turbo.
The racing was very entertaining thanks to good inter rivalries in the club and a somewhat gung ho approach! TopSpeed got to ride shotgun in a race-prepped E36 M3 baring the colors of Johnny Cecotto for a full session.
Hit the jump for details on the mad ride.
Photos Courtesy: Graham Smith
There has been much excitement following Audi’s first ever appearance at SEMA, with show goers anticipating great things from the German marque. They failed to disappoint by unveiling a very cool wireless charging system.
Everybody hates annoying wires in their daily lives, especially in their cars. How many times have you had your phone plugged into the lighter socket and it rang. You answer it and realize the cord isn’t long enough to reach your ear. It may seem inconsequential, but we assure you that it is both annoying and impractical.
Audi Electronics Research Lab have, in collaboration with Qualcomm Incorporated and Peiker, developed a very effective solution to charging your mobile device while on the move. The technology works using a single connection that ensures the device is also close at hand. Arguably its best attribute is that it still maintains both Bluetooth and Wireless abilities while connected, meaning you can still surf the net or transfer data all while the device is charging. The system will be available as an option in their vehicles next year.
The wireless charger is another example of how Audi is enhancing its customer convenience through innovation in electronics and connectivity, said David Tait, Audi of America lead After Sales executive. "The Audi experience is one that continues to evolve, even as owners discover new ways to enjoy their vehicle and integrate its benefits into their lifestyle. We’re very pleased to introduce one more example of that with the hassle-free, wireless charger," said Tait.
Hit the jump for other interesting Audi innovations at SEMA.
The 7th and final round of the “Dotz King of Europe” drifting series was held at the Greek port of Heraklion and brought with it spectacular entertainment. All 30 drivers from all over Europe assembled to battle it out for supremacy around the moderate course, set to the back drop of multi-million Dollar Greek Cruise liners and container ships.
Bulgarian Drifter Todor Dunev had a good year, taking three out of a possible seven victories this season, with one second place finish. Despite being knocked out early in the final round, his consistency ensured his coronation.
The event attracted around 5,000 fans who were treated to crazy door-to-door battles in the quarter finals between local hero Apostolis Xrysanthakopoulos in his red Nissan S13, and Adam Kerenyi in the 3.8 liter E36 BMW - the battle twice ended in a draw before Kerenyi finally lost out. The decision may have been controversial, but the Greek driver went on to show his talent in the subsequent pairs. In the semi-final he knocked out championship Tudor Dunev in his Nissan S13. He eventually defeated Papapasxos in the final to win the round.
The boys enjoyed Autographs from Dotz girl, Dani, and good times were had by all. The 2011 season kicks off pretty soon and should be bigger and better than ever!
Chevrolet, along with various other manufacturers, are now wholly catering for the most die hard fans of the brand – the aftermarket enthusiasts. The Synergy Series of limited edition Camaros will feature a new, differently themed customized model each year. The first Camaro Synergy model was the 2010 Synergy Green special-edition car. As you would expect, the Camaro Synergy Series 2011 model contains a mix of exterior and interior accessories that sets it apart from the normal Camaro. These include an exclusive gray interior with red accent stitching throughout, which is based on the Camaro Chroma, a show car first exhibited at SEMA in 2009.
Some of what you can look forward to includes Cyber Gray paint, a Chevrolet accessory grille and ground effects package, 21-inch painted wheels, and a body colored antenna. Inside, it’s all as special as a Camaro gets, with a bit more of an individualistic feel. The gray theme is carried through from the exterior with matching gray leather and red stitching on the seats, steering wheel, door panels, console lid, shifter boot, shift knob, and headrest. A red instrument cluster and accent lighting gets the nod over the boring stock items. The Silver Ice interior accessory trim kit and floor mats with red border and silver Camaro lettering look right at home in the Synergy model. Functional and cool additions are the footwell and cupholder lighting.
Performance mods also appear on the special addition – the 6.2 liter LS3 V8 is mated to a six-speed manual tranny along with sports a Hurst shifter and red cam covers to identify the power hike. Stopping is courtesy of Brembo brakes, complete with matching red calipers that sit lower to the ground thanks to the Pedders suspension lowering kit.
We’ll find out more about the Synergy Series when we hit the SEMA show floor this week!
Contrary to popular belief, ABT can do more than just make your VW, Audi, SEAT, or Skoda look better. They offer a range of power upgrades as well, with their latest being an ECU (Engine Control Unit) upgrade to boost power and performance on 1.2 and 1.4 liter TSi turbocharged lumps.
The award winning engine is a great platform to work from thanks to its class and industry leading qualities, which include good fuel economy, an excellent power to weight ratio, and low carbon emissions. The basic ABT philosophy is to enhance the power output so that it equals that of the next size engine in its class. For example, a 1.2 liter TSi develops 105 HP (77 kW). After fitting it with the ECU, output is upped to 140 HP (103 kW), which is equal to that of the factory 1.4 liter unit. This equates to a gain of around 15% which will surely be felt when driving in both day-to-day scenarios as well as when you’re in a hurry.
The same treatment is available for the 1.4 liter TSi – power is increased from 180 HP (132 kW) to 210 HP (154 kW), which brings it on par with the Golf GTI. With less weight and more power, one can safely conclude that the likes of the Polo GTI or the Ibiza Cupra with the ABT enhancement will show up the benchmark Golf GTI in the performance stakes.
ABT claim the fuel economy remains unchanged even with more power – no doubt a useful feature with apparently no downsides. There are a host of other tuners who offer similar products with much higher gains, but the ABT guys “play it safe” to maintain fuel economy and reliability.
Christmas is just around the corner once again and gift choices are an important decision to make to get you in the good books of that someone special. Hopefully we at TopSpeed can help out a bit with this new range of exclusive gents’ accessories.
GTO Engineering have been very closely linked to Ferrari for around 30 years now – mainly due to the fact that they locate, refurbish, and reconstruct historic Ferrari cars and components. Their fastidious approach to quality and engineering has secured them the rights to produce an exquisite line of very cool and sought-after trinkets. Anything from the extensive range is guaranteed to impress us petrolhead types. Their designs have been created to reflect signature Ferrari components that include classic steering wheels, spinners, ignition mechanisms, carb trumpets, shift gates, tire tread, or even connecting rods! To boot, each item carries the approval of an expert classic Ferrari engineer, to ensure accuracy down to the smallest detail – now that’s cool!
The range is created to suit almost any budget, with items available in the finest sterling silver, gold or even ‘RFM’ (Real Ferrari Metal), and include cufflinks, tie pins, key fobs, and money clips. For those with a bigger budget, they offer a bespoke option, allowing the purchaser to design and create pieces to order, for a gift that is unique and totally personal. Gents’ wallets are also offered, beautifully crafted in leather and replicating the interior designs of iconic, classic Ferraris.
Starting prices are from £68 and you can place your order on GTO London’s official page.
The Chevrolet booth at this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas (Nov 2-5), is sure to be abuzz with tech-minded petrolheads and Corvette ZR1 fans alike, but not for reasons you’d expect. Usually there would be a handful of modified ZR1’s along with the latest offerings from the brand, but this year sees a very cool live exhibit. Blue collar heroes, as we like to refer to them, will be hands on, assembling from scratch, a supercharged LS9 6.2 liter V8 for all to see.
Show-goers will be able to marvel at the workmanship that goes into an LS9 powerplant and for the first time, ask any questions they might have. The reason behind this is to market what Chevrolet calls the Corvette Engine Build Experience. In essence, this offers Corvette buyers a unique opportunity to build their very own engine that will end up in the car they have ordered. The exercise will take place at General Motors’ Performance Build Center (PBC) in Wixom, Michigan.
Hit the jump for full details.
This years’ MPH Show will no doubt amaze, particularly due to the UK Premier of the oh-so-sexy Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster.
The aptly named “Cinque” (chink-weh), meaning five in Italian, will make its UK debut at the MPH Show, Earls Court between 4-7 November. The limited model is super exclusive due to the fact that they are only making five of them - ever. This particular model is the last one to leave what has to be one of the most exclusive production lines ever created. The Roadster produces an Enzo-slapping 678HP from its Mercedes AMG V12. 0-60 is dispatched in 3.4 seconds and it will run on to over 200mph. The subtle differences between the Cinque Roadster and the “normal” Zonda include a carbon/Titanium chassis that has undergone a re-design to increase strength and rigidity. This allows the removal of the roof without comprising safety all whilst minimizing the amount of weight added to achieve this. Zondas have traditionally been very loud cars in both looks and the beautiful melody exiting the quad exhaust, and the Cinque takes this to all-new highs. The bodywork features more Carbon vents, fins and intake that any other road car you’re likely to come across and we love it! If you want one, you sadly cannot have one, as they are all sold. How much do you ask? A cool £1.3 million, making it more expensive than a Veyron.
Suspension experts Eibach have released their celebrated Pro-Kit for the compact Audi A1.
Being a new platform and the smallest Audi to date, the A1 is a very inviting prospect for aftermarket modification. The reasons are simple; there have a multitude of engine options available, being compact means it’s cheap to run and insure, and of course, the A1 features legendary Audi build quality. As is the philosophy with tuners, everything that comes from the factory can be made better and unique, to suit the taste of the person driving it. You can’t really fault that mentality.
What better way to start customizing your A1 then with a set of Eibach Pro-Kit springs and wheel spacers. The springs lower the car and thus the center of gravity, aiding in handling performance. Aesthetics are covered too, with the new, slightly more menacing stance that’s sure to give the little runabout more street cred. Slap on a set of their billet wheel spacers and the overall track increases for better response and stability while carving up your favorite mountain road. Quality with Eibach is never in question - the German manufacturer is TUV approved so you know their million mile warranty is worth every penny you spend.
The entire Porsche establishment in Stuttgart are mourning the death of legendary racer and Porsche brand ambassador, Paul Ernst Strähle. He was one of the most successful and best-known racing drivers during the 1950s and 60s. Strähle died of natural causes last Wednesday at the age of 83 in Schorndorf, his place of birth.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, Executive Vice President for Research and Development at Porsche, paid tribute to the deceased racing driver: “Paul Ernst Strähle was one of the most important and most versatile motorsport pioneers in post-war Germany. Through his success in numerous international races, he became a leading ambassador for German autosport. Porsche has lost a long-standing friend and companion who actively supported the company and particularly our motor sports department from its beginnings up to the present day.”
Paul Ernst Strähle was the son of the Swabian aviation moghul Paul Strähle. After the end of the Second World War, he successfully completed a mechanical apprenticeship in his parents’ car and motorcycle business which he then built up into a successful Volkswagen and Porsche dealership a few years after.
Hit the jump for Paul’s accolades and full story.
We feature quite a bit of new aftermarket on TopSpeed, but this is the first time AEZ have made it into our pages. Reason being, that this wheel has a unique design cues, following the companies sponsorship of yacht racing.
The aptly named AEZ Yacht wheel features a monoblock, single piece design that is available in a multitude of sizes, with all weather characteristics. The spoked design breaks powerfully out of the center of the wheel, reminiscent of a grapnel anchor – an integral part of sailing kit. The wheels’ all weather characteristics are achieved by the use of a robust and transparent high-gloss coating, that is resistant to snow, mud, and grit.
The wheels themselves are available for various applications; larger sizes for SUVs and smaller for passenger cars. Currently the Yacht is available from 15” to 18” for passenger cars and the Yacht SUV is made in 19”, with a 20” joining the lineup in spring next year.
Prices for Yacht wheels can be attained by calling AEZ directly.
The 2011 Iron & Lace Custom Motorcycle and Centerfold Model Calendar features the world’s top custom bikes together with sexy centerfold models in revealing lingerie. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Photographed by Jim Gianatsis, Iron & Lace offers a 16-month revealing look at the world’s top award-winning bikes from the LA Calendar Motorcycle Show Calendar Bike Building Championship and the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building. Included is the Best of Show winning bike "One Eyed Jacks" from Kenjo Nagai / Ken’s Factory, Japan, and "Rambler" from Dave Cook Custom Choppers. In addition, you’ll find the Metric V-Twin winner "LoLA" built by Jim Giuffra and the AFT Metric Customs Model Agency girls.
Other class winning bikes include Chris Flechtner’s Speed Shop Design Pro Class winner, Ron Simms’ "Rooster" Bar Hopper Class winner. The other show stoppers include two cool customs by Todd Silcato / Todd’s Cycle, the Roehr Supercharged 1250cc V-Rod Superbike, a Jesse Rooke street tracker, and a retro Ducati V-twin cafe racer built by Shinya Kimura / Chabott Enginering for actor and motorcycle enthusiast Brad Pitt.
Hit the jump for more pics and details on how to get yours.
This weekend saw the first-ever high speed drift event at the famed South African Grand Prix circuit, Kyalami. Most of you might not know that South Africa has a thriving aftermarket and racing scene, probably because the mention South Africa brings forth images of the Safari and some wild animals, but, even though drifting is in its infancy stages, the passion and dedication towards the sport is just as high as anywhere else.
Kyalami played host to SuperDRIFT this weekend – South Africa’s first high speed event to be staged at the Grand Prix circuit. The event featured drivers with various skill levels from across the country in a bid to separate the “men from the boys” so to speak. The aim was to setup a precursor to the initial Pro Championship planned for next year – with the Top 16 of the 32 contestants gaining automatic entry for the first round. With that in mind, the guys took to the track to let it all hang out, impressing even the International experts in attendance, who were pleasantly surprised by the budding talent South Africa had to offer. Cars included everything from 4 cylinder BMWs to 850HP Turbocharged 350Zs.
Hit the jump for the full story and pics.
Automakers the world over have been using composite materials such as carbon fiber on their race cars for quite some time. The material is five times lighter than normal steel and yet twice as strong. Until now, mass produced vehicles could not feature exposed carbon panels, due to the way they degrade thanks to the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays. With no other choice, automakers just chose to paint them, leaving the naked weave of the carbon material as a very sought after aesthetic – especially on cool fast cars, needing that race-bred look.
Mark Voss, senior design engineer of the Corvette ZR1, explains: “Everyone said it couldn’t be done, and we were crazy for trying.”
Undaunted, Voss and his team toiled away for three years to develop a high gloss, UV-resistant clear coat that now allows exposed carbon fiber panels on the body of the ZR1. The high-tech coating also protects the components from stone chips and scratches. No cheap carbon look rubbish for the ZR1 then. Instead the roof panel, roof bow, rocker moldings, front fascia splitter, and the underside of the hood will all get new panels that will feature the exposed-weave carbon fiber. The ZR1 has carbon fiber floor panels as well, although not in the exposed-weave format.
Hit the jump for the full story as well as a video that explains the new technology.
To mark the Prius’ ten year anniversary in the UK, Toyota GB are offering a 1000-unit, limited production run Prius that is sure to turn some heads. Hybrids are known for being notoriously uncool and bland, but Toyota is out to change mindsets in a big way. The new Prius, dubbed “Generation X” is aimed at a more style conscious buyer, who still has the environment and epic fuel consumption on their minds. The cool factor comes in the form of a sporty bodykit, comprising of new front and rear bumpers, and side skirts.
Complimenting the look are 17” multi-spoke alloys with an anthracite finish and tinted windows for more privacy. Inside, you’ll find new leather seats, complete with embossed 10th Anniversary logo, along with all the usual creature comforts of the T Spirit model (Navigation with integrated sound library, Bluetooth, rear parking monitor, Intelligent Park Assist, cruise control, smart entry and start, rain-sensing wipers and head-up display). The limited edition Generation X is available only in two colours, Pearl White and Astral black, making them easily identifiable and the most exclusive Prius models yet.
Toyota claims that even after the makeover, the fuel consumption and tax friendly features of the Prius are 100% maintained – 70.6mpg and 92g/km combined cycle consumption and CO2 emissions. So, basically there’s no downside to this special edition.
A Generation X can be yours for £26,150 ($41,500 at current exchange rates) and orders are now open, with deliveries starting in winter. We think it’s safe to say we really like the approach to making Hybrid technology more appealing, and hope to see other manufacturers follow suit.
The number of iPhone users worldwide is growing at an incredible rate, and Aachen-based tuning concern, AC Schnitzer, have recognized this trend and plan on embracing it by the introduction of a car configurator app for youriPhone. This app brings consumers closer to showrooms by allowing them to choose a model from BMW or Mini and customize it using available AC Schnitzer parts.
Users can either use an existing image from their gallery, or take an image of their car via the app, and start customizing right away. The app depicts the car in a montage of generated renderings in a tasteful presentation that will no doubt have you ordering parts in no time. Other features include a product showcase, where you can view images and videos of project cars to help you get acquainted to the world of aftermarket Schintzer madness. The app is available as a free download in the iTunes store.
A test mule for the BMW 1-Series Convertible was spotted and captured by those wonderful camera-wielding spies we love so much. The new vehicle features the same styling revisions seen on the Coupe model, meaning the Convertible receives the updated LED technology, revised front bumpers, and restyled air intakes. New exterior colors, wheel options, and interior trims are the newest addition to the popularBMW. Expect a redesigned M-Sport kit that will also be offered as a separate option pretty soon. Inside, the changes are minimal, mostly centering around new trim options.
The only major upgrade comes from the technology area. The new ConnectedDrive system will be featured in the facelifted model. We expect the drivetrain options to remain largely unchanged for the majority of the lineup. The King of the 1 Series family will be the new 1 Series M Coupe which makes its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2011.
This year has been a very successful year for both the Cayenne and the Panamera, with the newly launched SUV selling just under 30,000 units since its launch in May this year, and the luxury saloon in tow with just under 22,000 sales. These sentiments have been echoed by the awards they have managed to amass in such a short amount of time.
Judges and readers from the world’s top motoring magazines have put their opinions down on par during extensive surveys discussing the best cars for 2010 – in a plethora of categories. The guys at Porsche have much to be proud of with both cars taking home numerous accolades each. Both the Panamera and Cayenne have enjoyed the favor of knowledgeable journalists and the public alike, which goes to show just how popular they are.
Hit the jump to read all about the tons of awards presented to these two models.
We love LSD Doors for obvious reasons; the “wow factor” is undeniable and to sweeten the deal, the quality is at an all time high for the E9x M3.
Many will argue that the current M3 has very subtle aggression – an aspect of its styling that some fans are critical of - but what better way to announce your arrival than with a set of scissor doors? This is the perfect mod for showgoers as it gives the M3 a certain edge over the usual kitted out versions with aftermarket wheels, etc.
LSD kits of old could be problematic especially if not fitted 100% accurately. Now however, LSD Doors have refined the design and enhanced the quality of their product exponentially. They have a full range of three way adjustment and an all-new GRS (Guided Roller System), which ensures that even the most ham-fisted of operators cannot damage the doors or hinge systems. The system has been crash tested by the EEC where it passed with flying colors, and since, has been awarded the coveted TÜV (German Control Board) stamp of approval. In addition to this, they have included a locking mechanism to keep the door in the open position – a useful feature for windy days.
The kit has now been separated to make it more affordable. You can purchase a complete kit (hinges and cable sets, bolts etc) or each hinge separately and build upon it at your leisure. All of this is now a reality for the E9x M3 (E90 sedan, E92 coupe, E93 convertible) for €1749. There has never been a better time to give your M3 wings!
Following testing conducted by US NCAP, the 2010 BMW 5 Series has been awarded a full house 5 star safety rating.
BMW has long been the benchmark in the luxury segment for its quality of build and dynamic driving ability, and now with a 5 out of 5 in crash testing, it’s also maintaining elevated levels of safety. In addition to this the new 5 was also awarded a special accolade in recognition of its Assist Advanced eCall - an advanced emergency call system with automatic localization and accident severity detection. Whether BMW have the upper hand in the aesthetics department, we’re not so sure. It definitely is a step in the right direction compared to the old model.
Consumers these days have safety high up on their most sought after features list when purchasing a new car, particularly a family saloon, so this rating should translate into higher profits for the German automaker.
Amongst all the hype about hybrids and electric vehicles, here’s a refreshing look at Mercedes’ all new V8 engines – yes please! Hybrids and EV’s are driving us crazy. They dominate the news, world conferences, and pretty much everything in between. Apart from them being deeply unexciting and bland, they are stupidly weak in the area of performance. Thank God for Mercedes Benz! The Germans have released specs of two brand new V8 engines and guess what? Not an electric motor in sight!
US journalists will soon be taking their first drives through New York’s Hudson Valley region in all-new direct injection biturbo V8-engined CL model. The new-from-the-ground-up 4.6-liter V8 engine has a 20 percent smaller displacement than its predecessor, but generates 429 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque - 12 percent more horsepower and 32 percent more torque than the engine it replaces - yet fuel economy is improved by about 10%. This new engine is available in the restyled 2011 CL550 4MATIC.
The second engine making its debut is the hand-assembled high-performance 5.5-liter AMG V8 engine, featuring the use of stop/start technology as well as twin turbochargers and direct injection. This new engine produces 536 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque while at the same time achieving an estimated 20 percent improvement in fuel economy. Mated to the award-winning 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT transmission, this new engine is available in the 2011 CL63 AMG coupe and S63 AMG sedan. For even more performance the optionally available AMG Performance Package increases engine power to 563 hp and 664 lb-ft. for torque; top speed also increases to 186 mph. Thank you, Mercedes, for saving us from another boring engine discussion!
The Japanese carmaker has bold claims about its ground-breaking technology with efficiency at its forefront. With a statement like that you’d be expecting news about a novel EV or hybrid, but that is not the case with Mazda’s SKYACTIV tech. Instead they have somewhat re-engineered conventional platforms and technology that make up basic internal combustion. It’s safe to say then, that the results are quite impressive. SKYACTIV centers around optimizing all aspects of a vehicle: chassis and suspension, engine and transmission, and of course, the body.
Takashi Yamanouchi, President and CEO, said, "Mazda is renewing its entire powertrain and platform lineup at the same time as revolutionizing every manufacturing process from R&D through to mass production. There have been no compromises in addressing conflicting goals. Instead, we have implemented a ’breakthrough’ approach to technical innovation in all areas that has produced incredible, unexpected results. One of our success stories is the next-generation engine that will first appear in the Mazda Demio (Mazda2 elsewhere). Achieving an outstanding 30 kilometers per liter fuel economy, the SKYACTIV Demio will be a fun-to-drive fuel sipper that will satisfy anyone’s desire for driving pleasure. And there will be many more exciting new products coming to the Mazda lineup in the years ahead."
Hit the jump for details and the full story.
As if the 457hp Mercedes C63 AMG needed more power. Along come Cargraphic with a simple but deadly recipe that results in a few more ponies from the already brutal 6.2l AMG V – up to 570hp of them to be exact.
We already know that as far as small fast German saloons go, the Merc is pretty much King of the Hill in terms of straight line performance. You would think, then, that someone would come along and introduce a handling package or two. But no, Cargraphic have answered the prayers of the power-hungry by piecing together an 113hp and 100Nm upgrade package that’s sure to tear up tarmac near you. This is accomplished just by fitting a new stainless steel header and exhaust system, and remapping the ECU. For what’s commonly known as stage 1 upgrade, that’s a huge gain, and its clever too – optional extra butterflies can be remotely controlled from the cabin to modulate the sonorous roar that we love. If you enjoy top notch performance with an acoustic understatement, you could also go for the race cats and stock headers. The parts are available individually or as a package, and the workmanship looks good too.
The car that claimed two Grand Prix wins for legendary triple F1 Champion Ayrton Senna will make an appearance in The Macallan Lounge at this year’s MPH Prestige & Performance Motor Show.
Six of the type 99T chassis were manufactured by Team Lotus for the 1987 season for drivers Senna and teammate Satoru Nakajima. This particular car, however, was exclusively driven by Senna and earned him the top tier of the podium at both the Monaco and Detroit Grands Prix. He raced the car in 11 GPs taking a total of six podiums that season.
The 1.5 liter Honda turbo V6 engine produces a mind-boggling 1,000 horsepower. Acceleration (0-62mph) takes an astonishing 2.5 seconds with a top speed of 205mph. During race time, engines would be replaced at a maximum of 311 miles. Super soft qualifying tires lasted 12.5 miles and harder race tires lasted up to 199 miles. You didn’t actually drive this – more like clung on for dear life. It’s these cars and drivers from the turbo era that made F1 racing so exciting – much of which is gone nowadays.
Ayrton Senna will be forever remembered for his skill both behind the wheel and in the garage, and his sheer tenacity on the circuit. Take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and visit this mad machine at Top Gear Live being held at Earls Court from November 4th-7th and the NEC in Birmingham between November 11th-14th.
Now even more luxury, power, and in-your-face styling from the wizards at Mansory, just in time for the Range Rover’s 40th birthday. The Range Rover Sport has been a very successful vehicle even in today’s tax- and emission-laden world. They no doubt are “footballers” cars, described that way due to the fact that celebrities love them – chief amongst which are English Footballers. It would make sense that, with such an affluent target market, buyers would no doubt want their Sport to stand out from all the others in the shopping mall parking lot.
Answering that call are luxury Swiss aftermarket gurus, Mansory, with a newly released complete transformation kit for the Range Rover Sport. The kit is complete in that it encompasses all aspects of vehicle tuning – styling, performance, and interior.
Their latest offering comprises of a full carbon/plastic bodykit, which includes a new bonnet with a power bulge big enough to suck in a small planet, complete new wings (60mm wider in front & 80mm at the rear), a beautiful carbon diffuser, new side skirts, new front and rear bumpers, and exterior trim. We think it’s safe to say they have left very little untouched. Rounding off the exterior look are a set of yummy lightweight 23” wheels.
Hit the jump for the full story.
Let’s not talk about the seemingly countless delays of the fifth installment of the famed driving simulator Gran Turismo because it is sure just to irritate the crap out of us. Instead, we would like to look forward (again) to the release during the next coming months. Of course, the wait will be made a lot easier for UK gamers as they have an opportunity that is sure to quench their appetite - momentarily at least. T3 Magazine and GT5 have teamed up in a collaboration that will see hardcore GT fans treated as VIPs for a night, complete with the opportunity to play the new game in all its glory.
Of course all the best bits will be present; racing bucket seats equipped with steering wheels and gear levers, full HD sound and pictures, as well as the new 3D format, which should be quite interesting to say the least. As is the norm with gatherings of this nature, there will be a host of prizes up for grabs to the fastest driver, with the first 100 people to arrive receiving free goodie bags. All you need do is quote “T3 VIP night” and it’s all yours – pretty easy huh? Those attending will also be privy to exclusive tech demos, and preview the all new T3 iPad app.
To be a part of this momentous occasion, all you need do is email email@example.com with the subject line ’Selfridges VIP’ to get your name added to the list, but you better do it quick because the event takes place this Thursday, October 21st. Best of all its TOTALLY FREE! This is only open for guests in the UK. Lucky bastards.
Of course, for those of us that do not live in the UK, we can take comfort in knowing that the game is at least in a stage that allows for it to be played. Maybe we’ll get to sink our teeth into GT5 sooner than we think!
How do they work? What are the differences between them? Which is better and why? Because we’ve been asked these questions only a gazillion times, we figured we might as well put this down in writing. Giving someone a link is much easier than explaining it over and over again. So here goes…
Both Superchargers and Turbochargers have their fans (no pun intended) and the following should give you an indication why. Let’s start with the basics. Both superchargers and turbos belong to the forced induction family, meaning they force more air into an engine. Ramming in more air means you can add more fuel. More air and fuel means a bigger bang and hence more power - simple. They have their fundamental differences which we will explore later, but essentially do the same thing. Before going any further let’s get one thing straight, neither is actually better than the other. What it basically comes down to is what you are trying to achieve, what your budget is, and which works better for your intended application.
Check out the full explanation after the jump.
There are few better engineered cars on the roads today than Porsches. Engineering and quality aside, they are a sought after brand that carry a lot of “badge” so to speak. It is a combination of these and other facts that have ensured more than 60% of all Porsches produced are still on our roads today. That’s a pretty impressive figure that emphasizes the brand’s activity in the second hand market and even, the character of their meticulous owners. Hands up all those who would love an old school Porsche. Now, hands up all those who can afford to maintain that car? Yeah we thought so, but fear not as there is hope for you yet! Porsche have created a new Porsche CarePlan for models five years and older, for the refined maintenance of out of warranty cars.
Full story after the jump.
The cloak and dagger Louisiana car company known as V Vehicles has now been renamed Next Autoworks and will be based in California. If the name rings a bell, then you’ve probably been surfing one of the many green blog sites lately. V Vehicles started making waves in mid-2006, claiming to “change the automotive business in the US” through their revolutionary new, small, environmentally-friendly runabout. All we knew was that it would run on natural compressed gas and the generic stuff about it being compact, cheap to run etc. Since then, we haven’t even seen what the car looks like save for a few blurry renderings and a headlight teaser. The car doesn’t even have a name.
Most people in the know never took them seriously. That is, until now. Next Autoworks now has some serious backing from billionaire oil magnate, T. Boone Pickens, and the Venture Capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and they have even hired Kathleen Ligocki to take the lead. Ligocki’s resume includes being a part of top brass at Ford, Tower Automotive, and Mexico’s GS Salinas. In the design department, Tom Matano will be doing his thing - famous for designing the timeless Mazda Miata and sleek RX-7.
Now that the game plan has changed with serious players on board, these guys finally look like they’re for real. Then again, with so much secrecy, one cannot help but be a little weary. If they manage to pull it off, it’ll be a landmark era for the automotive industry and no doubt a green wave of change to the way things are currently done. We’ll keep you posted.
Looking for some inspiration to work harder on a daily basis? We have the perfect answer to that right here. Ferrari have released their official 2011 calendars in two variations – one dedicated to their Classic GT Cars and the other to the 2010 Scarlet F1 race cars. This is the 27th incarnation of the famed, functional wall art, shot by none other than Günther Raupp. With it being an official licensed product, you can be sure that the quality will be right up there in terms of print, photography, and design. We’re not certain of pricing yet, but expect to pay in the region of $89.99 (it is Ferrari after all!). Even at that price, what could possibly be better than looking at a different Ferrari each month, every time you plan anything? Now that’s what we call a daily incentive guaranteed to make you put in the extra effort to get one of these machines parked in your driveway!
Check out the tasty preview in the gallery provided.
The latest Hollywood flick targeting car nuts like ourselves, again sees Nicolas Cage in the lead, but this time, he’s escaped from hell to save his granddaughter.
The story centers on Milton (Nicolas Cage), and his hell-bent obsession at redemption. After his daughter was killed by a cult and her baby kidnapped for evil purposes, Milton breaks out of hell (that’s what the storyline says) in search of his grand daughter and the cult leader responsible for his daughters’ death. To complicate matters, he is also on the run from the police, and Satan’s hitman, “The Accountant” No, really, that’s what he’s called.
Expect an explosion every minute and enough destruction and devastation to rival Katrina. The best bits for us are the nostalgic muscle cars – a sinister black Dodge Charger leads off the carnage with numerous other classics making an appearance, and judging from the plot, they’ll be experiencing fiery deaths along the way. There is, of course, the obligatory hot blonde in the sultry form of Amber Heard, who plays a sexy waitress called Piper, Miton’s super hot sidekick. If you’re thinking this film is a cross between Gone in 60 seconds and Ghost Rider, you’d be on the money. Drive Angry 3D premieres in theaters February 11, 2011. We can’t wait!
Press release and full trailer after the jump
We’re barely in mid October and already some of the big guns in the Auto Industry are showcasing their nifty Christmas gift ideas. Here are some of the latest offerings from Mercedes Benz.
There is literally something for everyone, starting with the guys of course. Try the range of stainless steel watches starting at €399, or 3D star motif cufflinks for a thrifty €39. For the golfing husband, check out the Mercedes Benz golf bag complete with rain cover for €269. A simple leather shoulder bag makes an easy choice for those unsure of a functional gift idea – yours for €169. Ladies need not feel left out – of course you have been catered for with Swiss timepieces featuring interchangeable straps at €269, and for the more fashion conscious, the purple knitted cashmere scarf is an ideal choice at €89.
Just because guys grow bigger doesn’t actually mean they grow up! To prove that theory try placing these gift ideas in front of a grown man and his son and we’ll guarantee their reactions will be the same. The Mercedes Benz Formula 1 racing car models (both Schumacher and Rosberg versions available) will no doubt be fought over, priced at €79.90 (1:18 scale) and €41.90 (1:43 scale)
More ideas after the jump.
The Detroit Automaker has announced today that they will be recalling a total of 322,409 2009 and 2010 model Chevy Impalas due to concerns regarding the safety belt.
GM will inspect a small group of vehicles whose front seat belt webbing may not have been properly secured to the pretensioners. This suspected defect will cause the seat belt anchor to fail during a crash – not good news to Impala owners at all. Dealers will be called upon to inspect both front seat belt mechanisms and, if necessary, re-install the defective parts. GM claim they know of no injuries or deaths relating to this condition – yet. Impala customers will be notified by October 25, 2010 to bring their cars in. Of course necessary repairs will be conducted free of charge.
This is the fourth installment of a major recall this year, following Toyota dropping bombshells regarding the Matrix and Corolla, Lexus LS, Prius, and, of course, BMW Motorcycles with faulty braking systems. Is it just us or are the world’s automakers playing corner-cutting Russian Roulette with their customers’ lives?
The English Brighton Marina played host to an array of bikers from around the country, but one stood out of crowd – big time!
As we’re led to believe, the Brightonia Motorcycle Festival is a well-frequented gathering of all on two, and even three wheels. The 2010 installment didn’t disappoint with hundreds of custom bikes, trikes, and choppers turning up to take part in the ceremonious burning of rubber while wearing as much leather as possible – obviously. The selection was vast, covering everything from Harleys and Buells to the wicked Jap high-revving superbikes and even modded Vespas (seriously)! The earlier-mentioned chopper that stood out of the crowd was this highly customized creation, featuring bone handlebars, a skull for a headlight – all in shiny chrome. We wonder whether the owner chromed the bits because they’re actual human body parts which he wanted to keep under wraps, or if his intentions were purely aesthetic. Or maybe he is the elusive “Bone Daddy” serial killer hiding in plain view, eh? Either way the Ghost Rider with chains and flaming skull have nothing on this guy!
After giving us an inkling of a DTM comeback in April of this year, BMW have finally made it official in Munich today.
It’s been a lengthy 16 years since BMW have entered a challenger for the DTM (German Touring Car Championship) crown and no doubt fans all over the world have been eagerly awaiting their return. Currently the championship is only contested by Mercedes with their C Class AMG DTM and Audi with the A4 DTM. Both employ an aspirated 4l V8 and use the same sequential 6 speed gearbox as stipulated by the rules. The cars’ are fitted with restrictors to peg the torque they produce at 500Nm to even the playing field. It gets interesting as there is no restriction on horsepower (only torque) and engine design plays a huge roll at gaining a competitive edge.
Traditionally, BMW have entered the M3 and we should see more of the same come 2012. The series has been dominated by Audi as of late, with them winning the Championship for the last three years running. We’re sure the boys from Munich will have something to say about that in the 2012 season.
Using a little girl as an eerie voiceover for a scary flick is not something new, however, using the same eerie little girl as voiceover for the new Kawasaki Z1000 ad, now that’s new!
You’ve got to give props to the guys behind this ad campaign for thinking out of the box. Who would’ve thought a 1000cc Jap bike, and a child, and some neat sound effects would create such a captivating advert? One thing is for sure – it makes, even us, want to get on one of these and wreak havoc during after dark escapades involving “bending” the law and disturbing the peace. Just looking at it after watching the video awakens the sinister side inside you – and it should. Priced at a reasonable $13 199, you get all the evil you can handle in the form of a 4-cylinder that summons 128BHP from the bowels of hell, belching it through a 4 –into-2 lightweight exhaust. Not-so-dark features include fully adjustable front forks and instrument binnacle and an equally dexterous windscreen. Making sure the nightmare comes to a halt when absolutely necessary are 300mm ventilated discs with 4-pot calipers. Long live the darkness!
Ethanol content in commercially available fuels from 10% to 15% for 2007 and newer model cars has been met with mixed remarks.
Besides the plethora of pumps that are already present in gas stations across the US, one is very soon going to need a PhD in chemistry to figure out which fuel is best for their car. The introduction of E15 will now take the number of fuels at gas stations to more than 5 (without taking into consideration different octanes of “normal” gas and where you live).
There is no denying that oil derived gas has many negative connotations; it’s largely imported, non-renewable, and the pollution aspect is enormous, which is why we need a cleaner renewable energy source – albeit without having to confine all our current cars and trucks to the scrapheap. It’s simple on paper, but quite complex when trying to implement it in the real world - especially with hidden agendas and the greed for money and power thrown into the mix.
Full story after the jump.
After Autocar voted the road-going 911 GT3 RS as Britain’s Best Drivers’ Car earlier this week, it comes as no surprise that it’s racing brother, the GT3 RSR clinched the title of the world’s most successful GT Racer.
From its debut in 2004 (996), the RSR has found winning ways, taking no less than six class victories in that season. Since then the precision machine has undergone numerous improvements on its way to 19 class and overall victories between 2007 and 2010.
“It’s impressive how the 911 GT3 RSR has developed from year to year. The lap times alone are astounding, because despite the restrictions imposed on us again and again by the regulations, the car just got faster every year,” says Porsche works driver Joerg Bergmeister, who celebrated the majority of his successes at the wheel of the RSR. For this reason, the five-time winner of the American Le Mans Series is not at all anxious about tackling the 2011 season: “When you finish a season you always think: now we’ve reached our limit, now the car’s gone as far as it can go. And then Porsche comes up with something new again. And I reckon it won’t be any different in 2011.”
Catch the full story after the jump.
Porsche Asia have quietly announced the launch of a limited edition Carrera Cup model – with just 30 units on offer exclusively for the growing Chinese market.
Like most special Porsches, the limited Carrera Cup Asia, makes absolutely no effort in hiding its performance heritage or close relationship to the race track. The available color schemes further emphasize this point – Guard Red, Carrera White, and black all come with in-your-face Porsche Racing decals and painted, lightweight 19” wheels. Let’s just say you’ll never mistake it in traffic or on the track for that matter.
Power is the same as the “normal” Carrera S at 385HP and 420Nm whilst the 0-100km/h sprint time is improved to 4.3 secs (from 4.6) due to more clever shedding of weight without compromising on comfort. They are only available with the 7 speed PDK transmission though – a bummer if you’re a serious driver wanting total control, but don’t let that deter you one bit as it’ll still hit 300km/h. This is still a Porsche and a drivers’ one at that.
Inside you’ll find special alcantara Recaro seats that are bespoke to the car, with the option of carbon fiber backrests for that racy feel - not that they’re necessary. There are red signatures spread throughout the cabin that stir the blood, of which our favorite being the illuminated Carrera S logo housed in the carbon fiber door sill. Who wouldn’t want to spend all their time in here?! The limited edition plaque on the inside completes the unique experience: “whoever drives this car is amongst the winners” You can be certain of that!
Remember, you saw it here first!
Is it a car or is it a jet or a boat for that matter? Hmm… It’s actually a combination of all of the above and more! The Halo Intersceptor is straight out of a sci-fi movie and gives us a glimpse of what is surely to be the future of human transport.
UK-based concept designer, Philip Pauley, says his mad machine can morph from a car to a jet, helicopter, or a boat. The idea is based on adding bolt-on parts and accessories to the base car and saying a few magic words (although we’re not clear on what those are just yet!). The space-age design features much-loved gull-wing doors, a 0-100km/h sprint time of 2.3 seconds, and a top speed of 498km/h before running out of steam, all with a range of over 1100 kms. As futuristic as it may appear, the "car" actually looks like the lovechild of an Aston Martin (front) and a Bugatti Veyron (rear). The base cockpit is described as “a four seater USB stick that is designed to outperform any private vehicle on earth,” according to the press release.
From the comfort of the cockpit, the operator can call upon any one of the three Halo attachments: Halo 120, Halo 46, and Halo 22. The Halo 120 converts the vehicle into a private jet that can climb over 25,000 feet a minute, the Halo 46 is a helicopter with a seating capacity for four, and the Halo 22 is a 36-foot-long powerboat with a race-bred double hull and an engine you can throttle up to a Donzi-slapping 63 knots.
How all these parts and accessories come together is still a mystery, but who cares?! We love it! Oh and Philip, we’d love to know the recreational activities it takes to dream up ideas like these! Share!
After driving Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS earlier this year, it comes as no surprise that the weekly mag Autocar has voted it as Britain’s best drivers’ car for 2010.
With 320 kW and a staggering 430Nm of twist from its 3.8 liter boxer 6 engine, Porsche’s slim and trimmed down version of the GT3 is most definitely a worthy adversary in today’s tightly contested super sports car market. Donington Park was the battleground for what turned out to be a landslide victory for Zuffunhausen. Autocar’s Editor, Chas Hallett was quoted: “The Porsche 911 GT3 RS was a clear winner; each of our seven judges placed the car at the top of their list. On the day of our road and track testing at Donington, the GT3 RS’ drive was simply the most involving, enjoyable and satisfying of all the sports cars involved.”
The other cars involved formed quite an impressive list of machinery valued at just under £ 1 million. Autocar’s judging team also tested the line-up on some of the UK’s best driving roads before making their final decision to give on-road manners a fair say in the outcome.
Noble’s M600 came in second place, with judges praising its polished, surprisingly forgiving chassis and steering, the predictability of its handling and brutal straight-line speed. Third place went to the brilliant Ferrari 458 Italia, the fastest car on the day around the Donington circuit at 1min 15.9sec.
German wheel manufacturers, ICW, have released an all-new design exclusively for selected Porsche models. The twin-five-spoke design, dubbed the i-BI, was inspired by dynamism and power, and is meant to evoke what ICW calls “optical sophistication”. Whatever that may be, one thing is for certain, they look a lot like the current GT3 wheel – with a bit more menace. The wheels themselves are milled from a single block of billet Aluminum making them strong and lightweight – two of the most functional aspects of a performance wheel. Fitment does require the use of high-tensile adapters to get the deep dish look without the nasty rubbing that can sometimes occur. Applications include the Porsche Boxster, Cayman, 911, or Panamera and will shortly include the Audi R8 and others. Customers have the choice of 18 or 19 inch options, in either hyper silver or matte black. Pricing starts from €244 per corner which is really not bad considering other options for these cars start at around the €300 mark.
The first news surrounding an X4 model came about in 2007, but they were amplified earlier this year when other several automotive outlets reported on a future, smaller version of the BMW X6. According to our source, BMWBlog, the BMW X4 has moved from an idea to the Concept stage and will be showing its little face in 2011. The production model will be launched in early 2014 and will share its underpinnings and interior parts with the X3. Some similarities will include the engine lineup including a 2-liter diesel engine that will deliver 177 hp, a 3-liter diesel that will deliver 231 hp, and the turbo version that will deliver 300 hp. The petrol engine will start from a 2-liter four-cylinder engine that will deliver 163 hp and will go up to a 3-liter turbo engine that will deliver 306 hp.
The X4 will be exclusively built at the Spartanburg plant in South Carolina, currently home of the production X3. Maybe the increased production facilities have something to do with the new car.
Just what we needed, another cross over!
Not long after the debut of the all-new BMW X3 in Paris, BMW has announced the suggested retail pricing for the sporty SUV.
The entry level 240-horsepower X3 xDrive28i will be priced at $37,625, and arrives in dealer showrooms by the end of this year. The turbocharged, 300-horsepower X3 xDrive35i will have an MSRP of $41,925. Both prices include $875 Destination & Handling fees and feature the standard 8-speed automatic transmission along with BMW’s acclaimed xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive system. The 2011 models will also have a significant increase in all round value compared to their 2010 predecessor by sporting more standard equipment, including Bluetooth connectivity, iPod/USB interface, anti-theft alarm system, and - on the X3 xDrive35i - standard BMW Xenon Adaptive Headlights.
Produced exclusively at BMW’s newly upgraded Spartanburg, S.C. factory, the new X3 will be supported by a state-of-the-art ordering and manufacturing system. Customers will be able to make changes to their vehicle order up until six days prior to the start of production.
After debuting at this years’ Paris Motor Show, the Maserati Gran Turismo MC Stradale may be a mouthful to say, but the looks and performance of this mighty Italian machine make you forgive its stupid name…
This car is the most powerful, lightest, and fastest road-going Maserati to date, with 450BHP (336kW) from theFerrari-based 4.2 liter V8 that we’ve come to know and love over the years. Needless to say the soundtrack from this race-inspired Mazza will give you goosebumps in a very intimately satisfying way. When Italians use the word Stradale – you can be sure that the car in question comes with racing pedigree and the handling and performance to match. A dual clutch transmission finds it way into the mix along with carbon ceramic brakes by Brembo. As with all supercar offerings don’t expect a top speed of over 300km/h and a 0-100km/h sprint of around 4 seconds to come cheap – pricing has yet to be announced, but the release date - quarter one of 2011 - is still on.
The car is being driven by Grand Prix veteran, Johnny Herbert, and you can enjoy his comments on the car at the end. Look out for the GranTurismo Trofeo edition on track as well – the car upon which the Stradale is based.
Sit back, turn up the volume, and enjoy!
Nissan US have announced the asking price for the second generation Murano SUV. They are currently on sale in the various options and equipment levels as designated below, however, all are equipped with the same 260 BHP detuned 3.5 liter V6 from the 370Z and Xtronic CVT auto transmission. Our choice would be the diesel which, unfortunately, is not available in the US due to the poor gas mileage from the thirsty V6. Invest in a FWD model, if you’re not going off road, with the SV spec package. This package includes all that you really need without the novelties that you’ll get bored of, but will still be paying for.
As a little refresher, the 2011 Nissan Murano gets a new grille with a new, revised design and wide front headlights. It also comes with a wide hood that sweeps into the bodylines, powerful wheel arches, and an aggressive stance with available 20-inch wheels. The interior gets a new white meter color, new center stack colors, and added equipment to various trim levels.
Pricing starts from $28,500 USD to around $39,140 USD depending on how many ticks you make in the options list.
Hit the jump for the allocated pricing.
ABT Sportsline have enlisted the help of sexy Carolin Winter to take you on a user-controlled virtual tour of the ABT facility. The tour itself is based on a choice of sneaky espionage or formal introductions. The former allows you, through Carolin, to sneak around the building and scope out areas previously never seen. On the way you’re likely to bump into the likes of the ABT Audi R8 GT and other serious metal, or maybe even sit down for an Espresso at the ABT Sportsbar. No matter which choice you make, the goal is to locate all three versions of Carolin’s dream car; the ABT A1 Klecks, A1 High Voltage, and A1 Aloha.
The A1 is Audi’s take on a compact car, and is also the smallest car they make. From the outset, the brief was to make the A1 as appealing as it could possibly be to the younger market. This meant it had to be cool, funky, and to a degree, customizable. This ensured it as a competitor to the likes of the Mini Cooper and Fiat 500. Audi clearly had their work cut out for them. ABT Sportsline has taken the customization aspect of the A1 to new levels, with three versions of the car for three different driver personalities. They call this the ABT A1 Reality Movement and forms ABT’s most affordable line yet.
Check out the first video after the jump. Depending on the direction you choose, the next link will pop up to continue your journey!
In addition to the very comfortable Touareg Exclusive, VW has launched a luxurious package for the German SUV. This is definitely a Touareg for the discerning buyer.
The new options include opulent two tone Nappa leather in a Pepper Beige and Dark Burgundy combination with a Titan Black trim. Apart from the luxurious feel and softness, the leather is also treated with a space-age chemical that doesn’t allow the leather to become uncomfortably hot when exposed to direct sunlight for lengthy periods of time. The supportive throne-like seats are also heated and feature electro-pneumatic adjustment in no less than 12 different ways, ensuring you find the perfect seating position for every eventuality. The leather grandeur continues on the door inserts and headliner, only being broken tastefully by the use of stainless steel on the door sills, in just the right quantity.
The wood trim is, wait for it… real wood! Although telling the plastic stuff from the original is becoming more and more difficult. A sharp eye will be able to differentiate the luxury model from the “ordinary” Touareg by the “Chrome & Style” package which includes anodised silver roof rails. To round off the lavish upgrade are a choice of either 19 or 20 inch wheels – We would like the 20” Tarragona offered in “Sterling Silver”, please. The Volkswagen Touareg Exclusive starts at € 58,150 (V6 TDI BlueMotion Technology) and is available for order with all engine variants.
When it comes to the business of aftermarket BMW bits, AC Schnitzer are the people you speak to. Not only because their quality and fitment is superb, but also because they’re the only BMW approved tuning company – meaning your bulletproof BMW Motorplan remains intact. They offer a host of aesthetic and performance parts for almost every BMW, amongst the favorites being their performance exhaust systems. Not only do they sound much sportier than the factory items, but they also help free up a few horses and Newton-meters to your chosen ride. In this feature you can listen to not only the tuned versions, but also their factory counterparts for an all-round aural experience. Be prepared to fork out some cash though – one of these babies doesn’t come cheap! Cars include: BMW 550i (F10), BMW Z4 sDrive35is, different versions of the 650 BHP BMW X6M Falcon by AC Schnitzer, BMW 135i and 335i, and the BMW E92 M3.
Check out the videos after the jump and don’t forget to turn up the volume!
First off, a race car is a highly strung, precise piece of equipment, which is why they usually begin life as a brand new showroom model. Whether Danish company Hartmann Racing were in the mood for a challenge, or simply wanted a unique way to dispose of their championship-winning driver, James Thompson, is unclear. Clearly we’re kidding, but you get the point.
For them to rebuild a race car from the mangled wreck that once resembled their European Touring Car Cup Honda Accord is clearly not the norm. Nevertheless, they have succeeded in resurrecting the car in a period of no less than 2 months or 600 man hours - an achievement they can definitely be proud of.
“I did feel convinced that the car had had driven its last metres as a racing car,” admitted team owner Hans Hartmann. “It had been a really big bang. Afterwards the data logging equipment told us that the car had reached a speed of 154 km/h when it hit the two stationary vehicles. But the car’s power box, which we have developed and which has been used by Porsche in their LMP2 car, soon realized that it was unusual for a racing car to go that sideways over such a long distance, so it automatically cut off the fuel supply to the engine and all the electrics and thus prevented even bigger damage.”
Now the car is ready for its next challenge, the third and final round of FIA’s European Touring Car Cup that will be run on October 16th-17th at Franciacorta in Italy, where James Thompson will defend his current championship lead. He’s a brave man for getting behind the wheel of a rebuild such as this, never mind racing it to the limit and beyond!
For those of you who are not in-the-know, SEMA is the Holy Grail of all things modified. Hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts from around the globe flock to Las Vegas every year in search of the latest and greatest trends in the realm of aftermarket modification. Taking center stage this year at the Ford Motor showcase, will be the compact and adorable Fiesta.
Being cute and adorable also means it’s a favorite to modify and is the perfect platform for customers and aftermarket companies looking to express themselves in a fun, unique way. Owners have already begun customizing their Fiestas with graphics and accessories available through Ford, and SEMA takes that customization to the next level. Various Tuners have been working their magic on the little runabout for the past few weeks and will be unveiling them at this year’s SEMA show during November 2nd-5th.
See full story after the jump.
Suspension gurus H&R have released their lowering kits for the Audi RS5 and BMW 5 series touring models.
As newer model cars are launched, research and development in the area of aftermarket parts needs to keep up with newly implemented technology, more so in the luxury segment. The design engineers at H&R have worked tirelessly to ensure the new suspension products work, in certain applications, better than their OEM counterparts.
Barely a hundred of these road rockets have been delivered worldwide and already there are a plethora of aftermarket parts available. The latest of which is a new suspension kit from H&R that lowers the stance and stiffens the body of the menacing RS5. The kit comprises of new, thicker anti-roll bars and lowering springs in either 15 or 25 millimeters - depending on your preference. For serious drivers, they have also developed a fully adjustable coilover system, although if fitted will negate the fancy factory electronic setup.
Hit the jump for the full story.
Ben Collins may have jumped on the Fifth Gear boat, but the Top Gear threesome of James May, Jeremy Clarkson, and Richard Hammond don’t seem to have noticed as they prepare to embark on their 2010 Prototype Tour commencing in London on November 4th. And what better way to market the start of this grand tour then by having May and Clarkson (Hammond was not in attendance) take on a Boeing 747 from the Top Gear track at Dunsfold Park, Surrey.
The Top Gear Live ‘Prototype’ World Tour promises to be the "most exciting, ambitious and complex automotive stage show ever," and considering the source, we tend to believe it! About 300,000 fans across seven cities around the world will take part in the tour as modified and crazy vehicles take the stage. Some of the absurd models include the first ever transparent car, completely transformed Porsches, and a battle between the “Godzilla”Nissan GT-R and a helicopter. And the battle doesn’t take place outside.
“Car stunt shows used to involve standing in rain soaked concrete car parks watching men in branded hats driving round in circles,” said Clarkson. “But Top Gear Live continues to prove that proper theatre with cars is possible and yet again, we’ve pushed the boundaries of car theatre for this ‘Prototype Tour’. It’s ambitious, but for once, it isn’t complete rubbish.”
The tour will start at the MPH The Prestige and Performance Motor Show at Earls Court, London from November 4th-7th. This should be a step up for the MPH show which was a hoot to begin with.
Hit the jump for the press release including locations and dates for the rest of the Prototype Tour.
We used to watch movies like James Bond and Batman and turn green with envy at all of the gadgets and gizmos these extravagant men ran around with. Then, in the blink of an eye, here we are with a device that is turning out some very cool applications left and right. This next automotive application for the famed iPhone has to do with the much-overlooked issue of correct tire pressure. iPhone users in the UK can now rest assure that they are inflating their tires to the correct pressure with the use of the FREE TyreSafe iPhone app. Users simply input their vehicle registration details and the app provides the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure settings in both psi and bar. The app has been launched by TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tire safety organization, as part of October’s tire safety month.
“Many drivers tell us that they don’t check their tire pressures because they are unsure of the correct settings,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “The new TyreSafe iPhone app completely removes this problem and instantly provides drivers with their car’s tire pressure information. So whether they’re on their driveway at home, the supermarket filling station or at the services on the motorway, iPhone users can be sure of having the correct information to hand.”
Okay, so it’s not exactly James Bond’s explosive keychain or his Walther PPK. It’s not even as cool as Batman’s utility belt, but it does take us just one step closer to our full superhero spy potential.
Hit the jump for some of our tire pressure tips as well as some useful links.
After a lengthy hibernation from the world of tuning, BMW tuning firm, Kelleners Sport, is making its way back to its roots by sharing a booth with Vredestein at the upcoming Essen Motorshow. The tuning firm’s last offering was in 2007 with the introduction of their kit for the BMW 3-Series, but for their comeback special, Kellener will be presenting the completely revisedBMW 5 Series (F10). The F10’s world premiere will come with two new wheel designs and a program tailored for the entire series of BMW models.
Part of finding their way back to the tuning world consisted of finding a new place to call home. Kelleners found their place in the form of a manor house near the town of Merzig in the Competence Centre Gut Wiesenhof in Germany. Ironically, this location is right next to Carlsson, the Mercedes Benz specialist.
Kelleners Sport’s experience in the tuning industry dates all the way back to 1991 when the BMW tuning company was formed by active professional racing driver, Ralf Kelleners. With a tagline stating, "Bridging the gap between you and racing," we are confident that this tuning form will not disappoint! Welcome back, Kelleners, and we can’t wait to see what you do with the BMW M5 F10!
World renown VAG tuner, ABT Sportline, has released an all-new performance exhaust for the Audi TTRS and RS5 models.
Anyone who drives an extremely sporty car of the caliber of an Audi RS5 or Audi TT-RS likes acoustics which suit the performance potential of their racer. Owners of premium cars from Ingolstadt expect a sound that represents the power of the car without being too loud, and is also produced in the best possible quality.
For the RS5 and TT-RS, ABT Sportsline has developed an exhaust system which meets the high demands of their customers: the sound is a lot more powerful and striking over all speed ranges and seems even more dynamic. At the same time it complies with the legally prescribed maximum noise levels. The good acoustics which will amaze fans of sporty vehicles suit both the RS racing sound and everyday driving. Thanks to the high-quality stainless steel technology the exhaust system is extremely robust and durable – an investment in a long car life full of driving enjoyment.
The new exhaust system from ABT Sportsline consists of middle and rear mufflers, which run from the catalytic converter to the rear of the vehicle. With this placement, the system fits perfectly with the Audi design as the standard appearance is retained. The result is simple; the unmistakable RS look plus a powerful ABT sound and performance gain that allow the special set-up to be ideal for everyday use.