2019 Pininfarina Pura Vision Concept
Pininfarina, once Ferrari’s preferred coachbuilder, is now busy establishing itself as a standalone automaker. It put its best foot forward by unveiling the radical Battista hypercar that promises to be one of the fastest four-wheeled things on the planet and now it’s doubling it down by announcing a whole range of models, the first of which will be an SUV. Fear not, however, as the Pura Vision isn’t your average sporty SUV as Pininfarina aims to deliver supercar-level performance under a skin that both resembles a four-door GT and the existing Battista. It sounds like a match made in heaven.
Coming with an outlandishly appointed cabin and a class-bending profile, the Pininfarina Pura Vision could seriously reduce the market share of Lamborghini’s Urus and Ferrari’s upcoming Purosangue. While we’re yet to feast our eyes with the pre-production prototype showcased to prospective customers during a series of VIP events held by Pininfarina in August during the Monterey Car Week, those that have are talking about a sleek and not overly complicated design so typical of Pininfarina, one that’ll only be matched by its impressive performance. At this stage of the game, the Pura Vision might become Pininfarina’s most important product so they have to get it right.
History Repeats Itself As David Brabham Drives The Brabham BT62 To Victory At Brands Hatch
Brabham, a name that needs no introduction among motor racing fans, is firmly back where it belongs, on the track. The company stunned us all in 2018 when it pulled the covers off the vicious BT62, a 700 horsepower monster powered by a 5.4-liter naturally aspirated V-8 bound to squash any Porsche 911 GT3 you might encounter at your local track day event. Last month, the BT62 made its racing debut in the Britcar Endurance Championship with a victory at Brands Hatch. Partaking in the 24 Hours of Le Mans is still the target for the Australian motley crew, although it may not happen until 2022.
David Brabham, Sir Jack Brabham’s youngest son, is an established veteran race car driver in his own right. Despite lacking the trifecta of F1 World Driver’s Titles that make his father an all-time great, David is, however, a two-time ALMS champion and has conquered Le Mans outright a decade ago with Peugeot, although his career actually spans three decades. In the past few years, David decided to hang up the helmet and focus on regaining control of the Brabham brand and make something of it. That ’something’ is, for now, the BT62, and it seems like a cracking way to make an entrance in the world of track-bound hypercars.
Car For Sale: 1973 Ford Mustang Trans Am
The Ford Mustang, America’s pony car, grew from being one of the most compact two-door performance cars on sale in the U.S. to looking like an obese coupe brought to its knees by the fuel crisis and the most recent pollution regulations. The change began in 1971 but this is not one of those sluggish, choking ’Stangs. Instead, this is a Kar Kraft-tuned Trans-Am racer complete with a Roush-built 5.75-liter Windsor V-8, a 4.11:1 locked differential, and a very low, plunging nose. It’s an ultra-rare piece of history that, while not particularly successful in competition, proves the ’71-’73 Mustang wasn’t that big of a dud after all.
Sedan racing was big Stateside in the mid-to-late ’60s with the formation of SCCA’s Trans-Am Championship in ’66 drawing on the popularity of the A-Production and B-Production SCCA classes. At the peak of its popularity, the Trans-Am was a bona fide battleground with all the key muscle car makers involved including Chevy, Dodge, Plymouth, Pontiac, and, of course, Ford. However, this Mustang didn’t race in those glory days. It arrived a little too late, after the championship changed its focus from sedans and coupes and onto GT-style cars, following in the footsteps of the increasingly popular IMSA GT Series.
You Can Own One of the Superformance Ford GT40 Replicas from the Ford v Ferrari Movie
We’ve always wanted, at least once, to own a piece of history. The car shared by Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby throughout the 1966 edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a Ford GT40 Mk. II, is such an example. The identical-looking ’continuation’ Ford GT40 Mk. II seen in the recently released ’Ford v. Ferrari’ movie is another.
The good news is you can own the latter and brag that you’ll sit where Christian Bale did during filming. He’s no Ken Miles but he surely played the part convincingly well and all you have to do to get this baby blue 7.0-liter monster is be the highest bidder on lot #R554 during Mecum Auctions’ Kissimmee auction in January. Simple, right?
Peugeot’s return to top-level endurance racing should honor its illustrious past
Peugeot, the proud manufacturer that stopped at nothing to win the grueling 24 Hours of Le Mans in the early ’90s and again in the late ’00s and early ’10s, will be back at Le Mans in the summer of 2023 as part of a fully-fledged assault on the FIA World Endurance Championship from 2022 onwards. Peugeot, like Toyota, will compete with a bespoke hybrid hypercar not based on a current production model and the work will be carried out in-house by Peugeot Sport, although it’s believed outside partners such as ORECA could offer some assistance. Peugeot will thus make its debut in the FIA WEC in the third season of the new ’Hypercar’ regulations that come into effect next year for the 2020-2021 season.
Peugeot Sport, first with Frenchman Jean Todt at the helm and then with his pal Olivier Quesnel, has won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times since it first took part in the French race all the way back in 1926. The company has also enjoyed success as an engine supplier, powering the early Pescarolos as well as the WM P88 Group C car, the fastest car to ever race at Le Mans that reached a top speed of 253 mph in 1988. With almost a century of history at Circuit de la Sarthe by the time Peugeot Sport’s new hypercar will debut in 2022, it’s safe to say the French automaker set its own bar very high for its comeback. In the light of this challenge - one that the French engineers most definitely relish - let’s take a quick look back at Peugeot’s history at Le Mans and in endurance racing as a whole.
The Story Behind The McLaren Elva’s Name
For three decades, McLaren, the multi-championship-winning racing team from Woking, did not make one road car (Bruce’s M6 GT notwithstanding). Then came Gordon Murray’s F1, a car intended as a standalone product. Now, 27 years after the introduction of the ground-breaking F1, McLaren makes 10 different models and is one of the big players in the world of supercars. The Elva is the latest addition to the lineup, a $1.8-million, 804-horsepower drop-top beast - the first 100% topless McLaren. But its name lacks the usual combo of letters and numbers.
What’s the link between a lithe sports car powered by BMW engines and built by a small British company and McLaren’s latest Ultimate Series model? They both share the name and, more importantly, if it wasn’t for the revival of that boutique manufacturer from England, there would be no McLaren today. This is McLaren’s ode to Bruce’s earliest forays as a car maker and here’s the story behind that four-letter name.
Was Tesla’s Cybertruck Designed For The Real World Or Musk’s Own World?
The launch event of the Tesla Cybertruck began with a quick slideshow where images of well-known trucks from the past five decades rolled on the screen as Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about a need for change and evolution. The Cybertruck, as a result, was always going to be daring in more ways than one but has Tesla gone too far? Is this really what truck buyers have in mind when thinking about switching from a gas-guzzling truck to an electric one? Do they even want to switch to an electric truck at all?
2021 Porsche 911 Targa (Updated)
If you like the Targa top in your Corvette, you must know that Porsche did it first, in 1967. Now, the 992-generation of the ageless Porsche 911 continues the tradition and the latest Porsche 911 Targa will be introduced as a 2020 model year car and will feature the 444 horsepower 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged flat-six seen on both the Carrera S and the Carrera 4S. Expect it to cost at least $135,000, some $22,000 more expensive than a Carrera S. Blame it on that roll hoop that’s drenched in history.
Once upon a time, there was a road race through Sicily’s narrow, winding roads that awarded those that proved to be unphased by angry locals, that sometimes drew guns on the competitors, and the perilous condition of the tarmac in many areas of the Circuito delle Madonie. That race was the Targa Florio, launched in 1907 by rich entrepreneur Vincenzo Florio, that became a sort of a favorite for Porsche and its drivers, the brand from Stuttgart winning the race 11 times in less than two decades. How is this relevant to a 2020 Porsche? Read on to find out.
Update 11/27/2019: The Porsche 911 Targa was spotted doing some cold weather testing in Sweden. Check out the new images and a bit of new information below.
How Will the Tesla Cybertruck Behave in a Crash?
Tesla’s first pickup truck, the quirky and futuristic Cybertruck, could be the stepping stone into a new world. With an ultra-tough unibody construction, it ditches the dogma that’s been at the foundation of truck building for decades. In the process, it must also prove to be safe. Very safe. Not only for the 146,000 people that’ve already wired cash for a build slot (the number keeps on growing) but for Tesla as a brand and for the future of the concept itself in a world where safety is a top priority.
Since Elon Musk unveiled Tesla’s first truly utilitarian vehicle, the press as a whole, let alone the automotive one, has been looking at the Cybertruck from every angle, asking every possible question and looking at all sorts of markers to try and foresee whether it’ll succeed or fail. Well, frankly, the failure of such a product can hide behind a multitude of elements and one of them is the way people perceive it. We already know it has pretty much divided people into two camps based on the way it looks, but we think it’s key to earn people’s trust when it comes to how safe it is - and this may not be easy given its appearance.
Hyundai’s Latest Veloster-based Mid-Engined Track Beast Previews Road Model
Hyundai is no longer the maker of dull, uninspiring imports that people bought because of the low MSRP. Nowadays, the automaker is among the five biggest in the world and has pushed to conquest new grounds building on its reputation as a purveyor of reliable cars that are also cheap to run and maintain. With the N line, Hyundai has proven to the world that it can also make fast cars and its RM, which stands for Racing Midship, range of prototypes has just been enriched with the RM19, the latest and most outlandish member of the breed. Better yet, Hyundai is tipped to put a mid-engined sports car into production after years of exploring the architecture via its RM rolling laboratories. Time to get excited!
So, let us put it this way: at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show, Aston Martin, famed builder of some of the best, fastest, and most exquisite British sports cars and supercars, unveiled an SUV. A sporty SUV at that but an SUV nonetheless. Hyundai, a brand considered by most to be at the opposite end of the spectrum compared to Aston Martin, took the wraps off a track-bound mid-engined sports car. We already know what model you want to know more about and it’s not the bulky Aston DBX. Yes, the automotive world is turning on its head in more ways than one as we speak.
Car For Sale: 2017 Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso Touring Superleggera
Back in the day, when Enzo Ferrari was at the helm of the company bearing his own name, no more than a few hundred cars left Maranello each year. In 2018, Ferrari sold 9,251 cars, over 2,500 of those reaching American homes. It is, then, no wonder that the ultra-rich no longer want the ’average’ Ferrari and look for something special, something doused in the uniqueness of vintage Ferraris. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera heeded the trend and, in 2015, built five Berlinetta Lussos based on F12 Berlinetta underpinnings. It looks incredible while losing none of the on-road prowess of a standard F12.
Ferrari’s F12 Berlinetta is bound to become a future classic as one of the last front-engined, V-12 monsters from Ferrari. Sure, its replacement, the 812 Superfast, gets all the acclaim nowadays but we’re sure collectors will find the F12 with all of its 730 horsepower from that awe-inspiring 6.3-liter V-12 an interesting collector’s item in the decades to come. Remember, no one wanted the 250 GTO when it was only a few years old either. So, you can imagine this re-bodied version, that looks at least as good if not better, commands a hefty price. Sadly, dealer O’Kane Lavers will only tell you the number if it thinks you’re serious enough about buying the car.
Rivian R1T vs. Tesla Cybertruck, A Battle We’ve All Been Waiting For
Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck, its first properly rugged utility vehicle and first to not follow the ’Model XYZ’ nomenclature, last night during an eye-catching launch event with concert lights aplenty as well as aides dressed as if they came from a Blade Runner casting. But away from all the glitz, we’ve all been asking how the Tesla will compare when pitched against its (potentially) biggest rival, the Rivian R1T? Well, we can finally answer the question.
2019 Kia Futuron Concept
Kia glided through the design process of its latest coupe SUV concept, the Futuron, drawing inspiration from outer space. With Level 4 autonomy, this SUV with a "360-degree core" represents a look at the future of Kia design with its novel approach to the tiger nose front grille and the eye-catching Star Cloud headlights and taillights. In fact, the concept features light sources all over the luscious bodywork that suggests this EV’s got some grunt. Expect to see at least some cues inside and out on future models of the Korean automaker.
South Korea has quickly risen, in the span of about two decades, from the doldrums of the auto industry to the very top and concepts such as Kia’s Futuron (in itself a pun on the words "future" and "on") signals to the world that Kia plans to stay at the top in the foreseeable future by incorporating the latest EV technology coupled with autonomous systems, all draped in a futuristic body with clean surfaces but also aggressive ridges and angles. We like it if it’s a sign that the two-door SUV is bound to make a comeback.
Video: If You Put a Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo E-Hybrid and a Mercedes-AMG E63 S on the Drag Strip, Who Wins?
So, what are we looking at here? A traditional wagon with a twin-turbo V-8 pitted against a squished one from the House of Zuffenhausen that, besides the twin-turbo V-8, packs a hybrid system. The Porsche is over $190,000 while the Merc starts at little over $110,0000. While you might as well buy the E63S and head for your nearest Porsche dealership to buy an $81,000 718 Cayman GTS, things aren’t ever that simple, right?
Porsche decided its Panamera four-door sedan could use some extra practicality and the Super Turismo wagon was born. It’s sleeker than most wagons but this doesn’t scare Mercedes-Benz AMG, which has been making insane family carriers for the better part of three decades.
Car for Sale: Gallardo-Based 2006 Lamborghini Concept S Roadster
Lamborghini is known for making some of the world’s most dramatic supercars and this sure is one of the most dramatic modern Lambos, not least because it lacks the usual amenities such as a full-width windscreen or side windows. Built as a styling design that harkens back to the old-time-y speedsters, the Gallardo Concept S previewed a limited-edition model that never materialized. However, one running and driving example powered by the 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated 512-horsepower V-10 of the standard Gallardo does exist and you’re looking at it now. If you’ve missed out on the Concept S the first two times RM/Sotheby’s tried to sell it, it’ll be up for grabs once again in Abu Dhabi.
2020 Nissan Global Time Attack TT 370Z
Nissan unveiled a Time Attack-spec Nissan 370Z built by Z1 Motorsport in conjunction with Nissan Motorsport that is bound to take the world of time attack racing by storm. With 750 horsepower on tap thanks to a pair of Garrett turbochargers, this 370Z is one of the craziest you’ll ever see. The widebody is made entirely out of carbon fiber, the interior is bare, and, to shed even more weight, the body was acid-dipped. In other words, the guys at Nissan and Z1 Motorsport stopped at nothing in their mission to turn what many consider an outdated sports car into a record-breaking track beast.
The New Ford v. Ferrari Movie, The History Behind It, and Why That GT40 On the IMAX Poster is Inaccurate
"This is David vs. Goliath vs. Goliath," said leading actor Christian Bale that plays veteran sports car racing ace Ken Miles in the upcoming ’Ford v. Ferrari’ movie that’ll park in a cinema near you from November 15. It’s a story about racing as much as it is a story about business affairs that become personal and about what you can achieve if you’re willing to throw infinite amounts of cash at a problem. It’s the story about Ford’s first outright success in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that ended a six-year winning spree for Scuderia Ferrari.
’Ford v. Ferrari’ (or ’Le Mans ’66’ in Europe and other places) is the first movie to take us back to Le Mans since 2003’s Michel Vaillant. Those scenic country roads in France that play host to the most famous sports car endurance race in the world over a weekend in June were first showcased to moviegoers almost 50 years ago when Steve McQueen put his fortune and reputation on the line to create ’Le Mans’. ’Ford v. Ferrari’ looks at the 1966 edition of the race but you can’t tell that by looking at the recently released IMAX poster. So, why are Bale and co-star Matt Damon seen propped up against a weird-looking Ford GT40?
Could the Jaguar Vision Gran Turismo Signal Jaguar’s Return To The Supercar Arena?
It’s been 25 years since Jaguar discontinued its last supercar, the great XJ220 amid poor sales at a time when people really weren’t eager to buy $1 million mid-engined monsters. Nowadays, there are more millionaires than ever in the world and Jaguar, while focusing on expanding its EV lineup, could be planning a shock return to the world of high-performance supercars with something inspired by the jaw-dropping and all-electric Vision Gran Turismo presented late last month. This may well become the halo car for a new era of the Leaping Cat.
Can a McLaren 720S Really Beat a Porsche 918 Spyder Down the Quarter-Mile?
Since McLaren got in the game of making road-going supercars, the British company known for its motorsport success has produced some pretty astonishing pieces of kit including the mind-boggling P1, the track-destroying Senna, and the 720S. The latter’s been the subject of a number of stories here on TopSpeed.com focusing on its prowess on the drag strip which isn’t surprising given its 710 horsepower output and the cohort of computers helping it get off the line as fast as an EV. However, can it really beat Porsche’s 918 Hybrid halo hypercar?
We know, given the pace at which the automotive world is moving nowadays, a car released back in 2017 can no longer be considered as ’fresh’ but the McLaren 720S that was first shown to the public at the Geneva Auto Show a couple of years ago is still pretty much what dreams are made of, not only because it looks incredibly well but also because it’s an incredibly competent machine. Potent enough to take on the 875 horsepower and 944 pound-feet of torque of one of the members of the Holy Trinity. Is, then, no need in this world for the P1?
Car For Sale: 1996 Zagato Raptor
A roof that lifts up to reveal the cockpit? Check! Futuristic cues that are both strange and appealing as you’d expect from a Zagato design? Check! All the goodies from the Diablo VT including the viscous central differential allowing for AWD and the magnificent 5.7-liter V-12 putting out almost 500 horsepower? Check! A carbon-fiber body created entirely through digital design and manufacturing process? Check! The Raptor could’ve kick-started Lamborghini’s marriage with Audi in grand style at the end of the 20th century but, instead, the car you see here is the only one the Italians ever made.
It was the mid-’90s when Lamborghini realized that its ’lineup" needed to be refreshed. At the time, the company based in Sant’Agata Bolognese made only the mid-engined Diablo, successor of the Countach and a very potent car in its own right. However, the Diablo was hardly a forward-thinking car, AWD aside, and Lamborghini realized it needed to start thinking about its replacement and, on top of that, of something that could allow it to attract a wider audience. The key to increasing its client base, Lamborghini thought, would be to create a model that would sit below the Diablo in terms of performance while lacking none of that unmistakable Lamborghini DNA. The job of designing this new model, as well as the Diablo replacement, was in Zagato’s hands and the legendary design house came up with the Raptor in just four short months, fast enough to allow Lamborghini to showcase the prototype at the 1996 Geneva Auto Show. Now, this one-off coach-built wonder can be yours, providing you’ve got a million or two to spare.
2020 Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO
You may not know it upon first glance, but this is the new-for-2020 Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo. Yes, Ferrari decided against building a GT3-spec F8 Tributo, and instead, Michelotto was tasked with updating the 488 GT3.Over 18,000 hours of calculations and CFD simulations went into it, and it now has a longer wheelbase following in the footsteps of the GTE car. Power stays at about 500-550 horsepower as per GT3 regulations, but the car will now be faster in the corners and more stable. Ferrari was also thoughtful enough to include an ’Endurance’ package that works hand in hand with the new ECU, supposedly making the car more reliable and smoother.
Look across Ferrari’s fence and into Mercedes-AMG’s yard, and you’ll see the comprehensively updated AMG GT-based GT3 car. You can’t miss that humongous, viperfish-like grille in the front in much the same way you can’t overlook the overhauled Porsche 911 GT3.R. That one, while still an offspring of the 991 generation, is a different beast from the original unveiled in 2015. But Ferrari isn’t one to bankroll a new racing car that easily. So, Ferrari Corse Clienti customers will have to make do with this. It should be good since Russian squad SMP Racing almost won the European Blancpain Endurance Cup this year with the old car, but just how well will it measure up against its competition?
7 Of The Best Resto-Mod Cars
The world of resto-mods is the promise land of beautiful, vintage, bodyworks on top of modern, state of the art, powertrains with performance figures that embarrass modern sports cars. Be it an Alfa Romeo on steroids, a Mercedes bettered by AMG themselves, a Bronco that looks 35 years old but very much isn’t under the skin, the variety in restomods is ever increasing with quality as the main differentiator between the good, the really good and the exceptional.
The automotive industry has created some real design icons over the years, cars like the Mercedes 300 SL, the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA, or the Porsche 911 remain etched into the minds of many petrolheads. Such emblematic designs seem to never age but, sadly, the engineering-wise, they are all outdated. Of course, you get a kick out of driving them merely because you get a chance to do it in the first place, but some want even more than that.
A select few look at classic cars as a starting point for a tough undertaking: transforming these icons of the past in machines that are able to keep up with whatever’s new on the road right now. The key is to have everything come out in pristine condition – hence the term restoration in ‘resto-mod’ – while modifying what’s under the skin. Some choose to start from existing cars while others do something more radical - building their own chassis from the ground up and then wrapping everything up in a retro bodywork that clearly reminds you of their inspiration. The Eagle E-Type and the Singer Porsches fall in the latter category.
Whichever road you choose, resto-mods are a brilliant – yet highly expensive – way to experience classic cars re-imagined in with technology that was barely on the drawing boards when some of these cars were new.
Keep reading to find our seven resto-mods picks
Can the Tesla Roadster Really Be Faster Than Expected or Is This News Just Damage Control for Missed Targets?
0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds. 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds. A quarter-mile run in 8.8 seconds and a top speed in excess of 250 mph. All with a car that can go over 620 miles on a single charge. These were Elon Musk’s claims about the second-generation Tesla Roadster two years ago. If you’re still impressed, don’t be because, apparently, the production version will blow to smithereens the prototype. Or so says its designer.
2020 Porsche 99X Formula E Electric Racer
Porsche returns to single-seater racing after a +30-year hiatus this year as it embarks on a new adventure in Formula E, the world’s top EV racing series. The factory-backed Tag Heuer Porsche Formula E team will field a pair of Porsche 99X Electric cars for Messrs Neel Jani and Andre Lotterer, both formerly part of the company’s LMP1 program. Expect to see this 335-horsepower red, white, and black beast battle at the sharp end of the field in the 2019-2020 season that’ll kick-off later this year.
Porsche halted its involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship, where it raced in the top-flight LMP1 class with a pair of hybridized 1,000-horsepower prototypes, to race in Formula E. The German automaker will thus move forward in its quest towards electrification by competing in the first all-electric racing series in the world with a car powered by a 900-volt battery, just like the 2021 Taycan sedan. But you’d rather see Batman ride in this low-flying spacecraft than the Taycan and that’s why Porsche hopes to garner a new, younger, and tech-savvy crowd through its participation in the eco-friendly championship.
2020 Hyundai Veloster N ETCR
Hyundai is one of the top players in the TCR category of touring car racing. The most popular category in the world of tin tops can be seen in action almost anywhere in the world, including Stateside, and now an electric series seems more tangible than ever. Hyundai released the Veloster N E-TCR to go alongside Cupra’s E-TCR racer. The Hyundai features four electric motors, all in the back, and a 65-kWh battery package.
2020 Saleen GT4 Concept Race Car
Saleen unveiled last weekend in Las Vegas the concept version of its upcoming GT4 racer based on the Saleen One mid-engined supercar. The American manufacturer, known for making the ludicrous S7 for years, plans to have a few cars on the grid in the 2020 season of the Pirelli GT4 America championship. With 450 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.2-liter four-pot, the car is priced at $225,000.
Saleen is back in the game after entirely too many years away. It’s been a full decade since the twin-turbocharged version of the S7 hypercar retired from active competition. Since then, S7 examples have been seen huffing and puffing during historic racing meetings but the company that made them laid dormant until about 12 months ago when it announced a full-blown single-make series revolving its new product, known at the time as the Saleen S1. Plans for a GT4-spec car were outlined at the time and, following the success of the single-make series, Saleen now follows up on its promises and has unveiled the GT4 racer that will take on the best from Porsche, McLaren, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Chevrolet, and many others.
1965 Shelby 427 Cobra
In 1965, Ford won the World Manufacturer’s Title in the GT ranks with the Cobra Daytona Coupe. But you wouldn’t have found the aerodynamic Kamm-tailed endurance racer on almost any bedroom wall around that time. Instead, everyone was hooked on Shelby’s new roadster - the Cobra 427. Sporting the ’side-oiler’ big block 7.0-liter V-8 good for at least 500 ponies, the revised Cobra was five inches wider than the AC Ace-based examples before it, handled slightly better due to an all-new chassis with independent suspension, and was one of the fastest cars you could register in 1965. With a 0-60 mph time of four seconds flat and tires that would go alight at the lightest depressing of the gas pedal, the 427 was unruly but that’s what made it a legend.
Think about what American cars you have loved throughout your life. It’s almost certain that the Cobra 427 was (or still is) in amongst your favorites. With rounded, flared arches, a gaping mouth and a scoop on the hood, and a pair of racing stripes traversing the (usually) blue paintwork, the baddest Cobra found its place in the history books from the moment it entered production. It was as loud as a pack of lions - if lions were ever to attack in packs - and more unruly than a teenager who’s going through a phase that’s "totally not a phase". The first 50 cars made were Competition or Semi/Competition-spec while the other 260 copies built until late ’67 were tuned to be more street-oriented, although even this can be considered a stretch. That’s why probably no other car can boast with such a wide variety of replicas quite like the Cobra and, naturally, most try to copy the look of the Cobra 427.
The Audi TT Is Yet Another Victim of the SUV Craze
The Audi TT won’t die, as many have suggested for the better part of five years, but it won’t live on in its current form either. What has been for over 20 years a staple in the compact sports car market will soon morph into a low-slung, sporty crossover slated to be more compact than Audi’s Q3 and, more importantly, electrified.
Well-engineered, well put together, fast, and compact. These are the core ingredients that made the original TT a hit when it dropped over two decades ago. But, since then, the market has changed dramatically and people no longer want sporty coupes, even less so one with a $54,500 MSRP. Audi’s well aware of the sad state of its smallest two-door model and is ready to take action. Fans of the TT won’t be happy but Audi isn’t the first nor the last company to save a nameplate and then slap it to a new product that has nothing to do with the original, making us wish it’d killed it altogether.
Porsche 911 GT3 - A Complete History
Porsche is known for continuously bringing race-bred technology into its road cars. The Stuttgart-based manufacturer that has been perfecting the rear-engine formula for over five decades now is also famous for its homologation specials, road-worthy counterparts built by Porsche to race thoroughbred competition machinery in production-based classes of sports car racing. 20 years ago, Porsche introduced the latest model that would spawn a myriad of racing versions: the Porsche 911 GT3, a track-oriented 911 that could be used as a daily driver (if you dared). It came at the same time as the not-for-the-purist 996 generation but, in spite of this, can you now imagine a world without the 911 GT3 in it?
Where were you in 1999 when Porsche unveiled the 996.1-generation Porsche 911 GT3? Well, you probably weren’t at the Geneva Auto Show where Porsche took the wraps of what was, in essence, the road-legal version of the newest Porsche 911 Cup car that would compete in the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and later in the Porsche Supercup sharing the bill with the Formula 1 World Championship. The first 911 GT3 looked a bit tame but, as years rolled by, it evolved, growing bigger, more aggressive, and more insane and overshadowed with ease the 911 GT2, a model we originally thought it’d replace before Porsche decided to continue making GT2 models, somewhat as even more extreme versions of the 911. This is the story of the GT3, a model more famous than all of the track-focused 911s that have come before it, even the Carrera RS 2.7 of 1973.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Lamborghini?
Owning a supercar is the dream of many gearheads, but with anything coming out of Maranello or Sant’Agata Bolognese these days trading hands for well over $200,000, it’s almost impossible for most people to actually boast that they have such a car in their garage. Even a basic Porsche 718 Cayman isn’t cheap when compared to a standard Toyota Corolla or anything else that people buy in droves. That’s why your best bet is to simply rent one of these prized exotic machines. Don’t expect Camry rates when going out to get a Huracan for the weekend but, at least, you won’t have to put a second mortgage on your house to afford it.
Just picture it: you with your favorite pair of sunglasses on sitting behind the wheel of a topless Lamborghini with the engine idling, ready for your command to fling forwards towards the horizon. It sounds like one of the best dreams you can ever hope to have but that’s the issue: it’s only a dream. Supercar ownership is out of reach for most of us - unless, finally, your luck turns around and you win the lottery. Luxury car renting companies know that and are always prepared to hand you the keys of a mid-engined thoroughbred. But don’t drive it like you stole it!
1962 Ferrari 250 California SWB Spider by Scaglietti
The entire Ferrari 250 line seems to have secured its place in the palace of automotive royalties for generations to come. With unmistakable lines, a variety of powerful but also reliable Colombo V-12s, and limited-run production, almost all of the late-50s to early-60s Ferrari 250 models command astronomical values at auction nowadays.
There are, of course, some stars that shine brighter than others, such as the 250 GTO, the 250 GT SWB, and, lastly, the 250 California SWB Spider built between 1960 and 1962. This is one of those short-wheelbase California Spiders but, despite its originality, it lacks the aura of the ex-Alain Delon ’barn find’ that sold for $18.5 million four years ago.
Besides the fact that Alain Delon once owned and thrashed that particular 250 California SWB Spider, what made it even more desirable were its covered headlights. Amazingly, the more sought after variant is, actually, the one Ferrari made more of: a total of 37,250 California SWB Spiders left the factory with covered headlights and just 19 were optioned without the glass over the twin circular headlamps. Read on to learn more about the strange case of a buyer-induced trend that goes against the otherwise untouchable principle of rarity.
A Deep Look Into Aston Martin’s Mid-Engined History
Aston Martin is known as a maker of exquisite and refined grand tourers, long-legged cars that offer enough panache to satisfy Ian Fleming’s James Bond on many an occasion. You could say Aston Martin knows every trick there is to know when it comes to building a front-engined GT car and that’s why they’re now looking to build more and more cars with the engine behind the seats. But the Valkyrie, the new Vanquish, and the AM-RB 003 aren’t the first of their kind in Aston Martin’s history.
When you think of any DB model from Aston Martin, you imagine an elegant two-door tourer ready for long journeys with a sumptuous and well-appointed interior and a feisty engine in front of the windshield. The company’s one and only Le Mans winner, the DBR1, was also front-engined as was the futuristic brick-like Lagonda luxury sedan from the ’70s. But, then, in the ’80s, when Aston Martin returned to sports car racing, it did so with a mid-engined car. This effectively heralded a new breed of Aston Martins, one that has stayed away from the public highways up until now but one that’s interesting to look into nonetheless.
2020 Ford Mustang R-Spec
Once you see it, you can’t quite unsee it and for all the good reasons. This is the Ford Mustang R-Spec, a GT-based limited-edition variant built in RHD only for the Australian market that features a plethora of Ford Performance parts, a Roush supercharger, and an active exhaust. That makes it the first supercharged Mustang to be sold through Ford dealers. With all the goodies that have been crammed in the R-Spec, power goes all the way up to 700 horsepower and 610 pound-feet of torque or about 170 horsepower and 180 torques over the Mustang Shelby GT350. At $67,500 in Oz, this could just be a great bang for the buck if you can get your hands on one of the 500 examples that will be made.
It’s been five years since Australian Blue Oval fans have been mourning the loss of Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV), Ford Australia’s division that used to turn around the really quick Fords at the antipodes. While nothing can replace a Falcon with all of FPV’s go-fast features added to it, the R-Spec Mustang is a nice addition to the sports car’s lineup in Australia where, until now, all you had to choose from when it came to ’special’ Mustangs was the Bullitt - and only 700 of those have been made for the 2019 MY (the R-Spec is part of the 2020 MY Mustang lineup).
Watch a Dodge Demon Bring Shame to the McLaren 720S, Porsche 911, and Ferrari 488
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon was designed for one thing and one thing only: scare the living bejeezus out of just about any production car that shows up at a dragstrip. With 808 horsepower on 94 octane gas and up to 840 horsepower, if you feed it with 100 octane gas, the Demon blitzes through the quarter-mile the quarter-mile in about 9.6 seconds at over 140 mph, dwarfing the already menacing Challenger SRT Hellcat in the process. It’s also one of the fastest non-electric production cars reaching 60 mph from naught in just 2.3 seconds which is why anything from a Ferrari 458 Italia to a McLaren 720S turns into ground beef when pitted against the 4,255-pound wide-bodied behemoth.
The Corvette C8.R Isn’t The First Mid-Engined Racer With That Logo On The Hood
We were all pleased when, right after unveiling in front of the world the first Corvette to feature a hardtop at the Kennedy Space Center, Chevy also showed us the C8.R, Corvette Racing’s new weapon for GTE competitions from 2020 onwards. The race car had previously been teased during the launch event of the Chevrolet Corvette C8 Coupe and we were aware that Chevy planned to take the wraps off both the C8 Convertible and the C8.R during the same event but many still were surprised by the appearance of the silver winged warrior. What could also surprise you is that this isn’t the first mid-engined race car that raced under the Corvette banner.
The moment we laid eyes on the Corvette C8, we immediately started picturing it with a big diffuser in the back, a large splitter in the front, big rims hugged by wide, slick racing rubber, and a carbon-fiber wing hanging from the back. We’d seen glimpses of the C8.R testing at Sebring Raceway in Florida back in December of last year but, at the time, GM was tight-lipped on the subject and it took many months before the American automaker finally confirmed the C7.R will become the swansong of the successful line of front-engined GT racing cars as the C8.R will make the transition to the rear-mid-engine layout on the circuits as well.
The U.K. Could Ban The Sale Of New Gas And Diesel-Powered Cars By 2035
It’s 2019 and we’re still happily buying and driving gas-powered and diesel-powered cars but the days of the internal combustion engine - at least the one as we know it now, powered by fossil fuels - are numbered with the looming threat of global warming growing seemingly by the minute. As almost every major player in the automotive industry pushes for electrification, we see customers do so too with more and more EVs being bought every year. Moreover, countries all around the world are preparing laws that could see the sale of ICE-powered vehicles outlawed. This may become a reality in the United Kingdom by 2035 and the U.S. could follow suit sooner rather than later although such a dramatic shift won’t happen overnight.
Can you feel it? The wind of change is blowing hard nowadays. Researchers say that, by 2022, owning an EV will be cheaper than the cost of living with a diesel-powered or a gas-powered alternative. By 2040, it’s said that around 50% of the cars on our roads will be electric and you can see how this may happen as the sales of EVs have gone up by an astonishing 92% in the first six months of 2019 to 765,000 units sold across 41 different markets around the globe. It’s still a niche with just 1.7% of the global market being taken up by BEVs but this percentage grows all the time and the process will be accelerated once nations start enforcing partial and then across-the-board bans on fossil fuel-powered vehicle that’ll leave people and business no choice but to switch when the moment comes to buy a new car.
Gordon Murray Plans To Race His New Supercar In The 24 Hours of Le Mans
Gordon Murray, the British former F1 designer and father of McLaren’s first proper road car, is about to be back in the arena of hypercars with a car touted by its creator as being "purest, lightest, most driver-focused supercar ever." Known as the T.50, the hypercar will seat three, like the McLaren F1, and will be powered by a Cosworth-developed 3.9-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 cranking out 650 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. With a 12,100-rpm redline and a $2.46 million MSRP before taxes, it will surely cause a storm when it will finally be unveiled.
What is more, the T.50 is being designed with the intention of going racing as Murray hopes to see it race at Le Mans, although it is unclear if it will compete in the GTE class for production-based supercars or the new-for-2020 ’Hypercar’ class that will replace the current LMP1 category as the top-tier category of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
When your name is Gordon Murray and you’ve been in the game of designing some of the world’s most daring racing cars and road cars for the better part of four decades, you won’t settle for anything short of perfection when building what could be your last road car. After all, as the true spiritual successor to the F1 (with its three seats, its no-nonsense design down to the naturally aspirated V-12, and the clever aerodynamics), the T.50 must be an amazing car or else it will feel like a disappointment to many. And, if, indeed, Murray’s team will build a racing version, that too will have to be competitive straight out of the box akin to the F1 that swept the floor in its debut year 24 years ago including a famous outright win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Glickenhaus Targets Le Mans Glory With Hypercar Program
James Glickenhaus, owner of one of the most amazing car collections in the world and an avid racing fan, says his team’s latest creation, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 007 built to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship’s Hypercar category, can win the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright. The car will also spawn a road-going version of which some 20 to 30 units will be built depending on customer interest. Glickenhaus announced that the car will be powered only by its internal combustion engine although a hybrid system was on the table at the early stages of development. The SCG 007 is set to debut in 2020.
Ever since we first wrote about SCG’s ambition to take on the world’s best at Le Mans, all the way back in July of 2018, the American team/manufacturer has been using its Instagram profile as the main place to post updates on the development of both the 007 and the 004, a volume sports car that’s bound to be turned into a GT3-like race car, similar to SCG’s first car, the 003 that has competed in the VLN, the 24 Hours of the Nurburgring, the International GT Open Series, and the 24 Hours Series.
Car for Sale: Maserati MC12 GT1
In GT racing, the Maserati MC12 is remembered as a ferociously effective car in the GT1 class, racking up numerous race wins and titles in the now-defunct FIA GT Championship. With a career spanning seven seasons, it was the car to beat in Europe but it never caused much of a stir in North-America. Risi Competizione first campaigned one with help from AF Corse in 2005 with special dispensation from IMSA. It stood out and this was no mean feat given it shared grids with the Saleen S7, the Aston Martin DBR9, the Corvette C6.R, and the Dodge Viper GTS-R but it never delivered on its promise. Two years later, in 2007, storied Swiss-American squad Doran Lista brought the MC12 back to the American Le Mans Series and the car you see here is that exact car driven twice in the ALMS 12 years ago. We know you want it and so do we.
The Maserati MC12 is one of those cars that divides opinions: some consider it to be ridiculous with its race car-inspired physique that reminds you more of a ’90s homologation special model such as Porsche’s 911 GT1 rather than a ’00s supercar while others can’t stop praising both its appearance and its performance. On the race tracks, though, there was no room for such arguments: the MC12 was the dominant force in the FIA GT between 2005 and 2009 with Michael Bartels’ Team Vitaphone becoming the de facto Maserati team during the car’s tenure at the top of the GT1 pile. But can a car that never competed at Le Mans and that was never competitive in America really be considered great? Share with us your opinions in the comment section below, but not before you go through the story of this unique racer.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy by Scaglietti
The Ferrari 275 GTB is widely considered to be one of the prettiest grand touring cars built during the sizzling ’60s. Displaying an evolutionary design language influenced by Ferrari’s glorious 250-series models such as the 250 GTO and the 250 GTE 2+2, the 275 GTB came in both short-nose and long-nose specification, with the 3.3-liter Colombo V-12 first featuring two overhead camshafts before Ferrari introduced, in 1967, the 275 GTB/4 with four overhead camshafts. This here is a Series II 275 GTB or, in other words, a long-nosed version built towards the end of the GTB’s production run in 1966. It’s one of the last of just a few dozen 275 GTBs with an all-aluminum body shell that makes the car both lighter and rust-proof. Too bad it’s as expensive as a handful of Ferrari F40s.
Even fans of modern supercars and wedge-shaped obscurities from the ’80s would oftentimes come together and agree that the GTs made in the ’60s are a sight to behold: elongated noses, low rooflines, and a tail that usually ends with a stubby Kammback. It’s a well-known recipe and few applied it better than Ferrari. Designed by the house of Pininfarina, by now an integral part of the Maranello-based manufacturer, the 275 GTB came to sweepingly replace all of the 250-series models. It was designed to be more user-friendly, more practical, but without giving up on performance or the unique feeling of being behind the wheel of a Ferrari. Included by many publications on shortlists of the prettiest Ferraris of all time, the 275 GTB was also a successful race car and it also spawned an open-top version in the N.A.R.T.-commissioned 275 GTS/4 Spyders built between 1967 and 1968 (the 275 GTS featured a completely different Pininfarina body while the N.A.R.T. cars featured Scaglietti bodies in the style of Pininfarina’s Berlinetta design).
Car for Sale: Hellcat-Swapped 1999 Mazda Miata
Engine swapping is common practice in the world of automotive tuning. If you’re inventive enough and your pockets are adequately deep, the sky is the limit when it comes to taking one engine and shoving it in the engine bay of another car. While some swaps make more sense than others, those that really grab our attention are those that, on paper, shouldn’t work. That’s why this particular 1999 Mazda Miata NB helped our eyebrows reach skyscraper heights. What you see piercing through the hood of the diminutive Japanese sports car is none other than the impressive 6.2-liter Hemi V-8 engine that you’d expect to find nestled in a Dodge Hellcat. All of its 683 horsepower is there and you can own it as it’s heading for auction, crossing the block in just a few days during Barrett-Jackson’s Las Vegas sale scheduled for October 3-5.
If you’re looking at ways to improve the performance characteristics of your car without mortgaging your house in the process, an engine swap may be an attractive solution if you’re in need of ponies. Say you’ve got an NB-generation Miata, the one that forgoes the pop-up headlights and, in turn, comes with ABS as an optional extra. The car is light, handles as well as your shoe and it’s loads of fun. But you want more power. You’ll soon find out that many people are like you and, while a chunk go for the LS swap (or even the 13B rotary options), you want something else. This car is something else.
1960 Porsche 718 RS 60 Werks
How often do you see an ex-works Porsche race car hit the auction block? It rarely happens and this is one of the few that were sold publicly in recent history. This is a 1960 Porsche 718 RS 60, member of the 718 RS family of open-top sports cars built and raced by Zuffenhausen for half a decade beginning with the RSK in 1957. The RS 60 appeared at a time when sports car manufacturers started realizing that mounting the engine behind the cockpit might be beneficial to the performance of the car after witnessing Jack Brabham muscling his way to the title in F1 in 1959. Porsche was already doing it and had been doing it for years, beginning with the 550 Spyder, a car infamous for having an important part to play in actor James Dean’s death but one that was, more importantly, a successful car in road racing.
The RS 60 Spyder raced everywhere around the world, following the trek of the World Endurance Championship and, along the way, ticking starts at Le Mans, the Nurburgring, and Targa Florio. Only 18 were built in period and the factory kept for its own use a mere four examples and this, according to RM Sotheby’s, was "the only to likely become available". Powered by a four-cam engine - first a 1.6-liter mill and, in 1961, a 2.0-liter one - the car you see in the pictures, chassis #044, doesn’t boast with the most enviable of racing records having retired out of both the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans race and all of the three major races it contested in 1961: the 12 Hours of Sebring, the 1,000-kilometer race at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife and the Targa Florio in Sicily. Having said that, it must be said that the car was fast, taking pole position outright in the Italian road race before being raced extensively by Bob Holbert, father of Porsche legend Al Holbert, an amazing driver in his own right - both behind the wheel of Porsches and, later, Cobras. It is, then, no wonder that chassis #044 sold for over $5.0 million back in mid-August during the Monterey sale. That’s one expensive aluminum Spyder!
There’s a Japanese Tuner That Can Make Your Mercedes Sound Like a Freaking F1 Car
Are you one of those that dream of the days when F1 cars would scream past on the straights, their bellowing 2.4-liter V-8s revving all the way up to 18,000 rpm? While the current hybrid units are probably here to stay, there’s a way to bring that soundtrack back into your life without having to go on the internet to find old race recordings. You can knock at the door of a Japanese tuner located in the quaint city of Kawasaki. The shop is called Technical Garage Sasaki and the product we’re here to talk about is the ostentatiously named Brilliant Exhaust.
If you search the internet, you’ll find people asking how to make their 2-liter grocery-getters sound like muscle cars or how to make an ordinary car sound like a generic race car. While you may be insulted by the mere idea of installing an exhaust system that radically changes the noise a car produces no matter the rpm, you can’t argue that it can be fun to stroll in a dull-looking sedan that screams like a Ferrari at will. It’s gimmicky, sure, but it’ll raise many eyebrows and annoy many neighbors. That is especially true if you go for the Brilliant Exhaust, an exhaust that looks normal from the outside but is amazingly resourceful in the sound department.
2020 Smart EQ Fortwo Ultimate E Cabrio by Brabus
Brabus, the famed German tuner that’s made a name for itself by extracting ludicrous amounts of power out of some already very potent V-8s and V-12s that were at the heart of Mercedes-Benz’s lineup of sedans and sports cars, brought to the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2019 a serving of re-heated stew. This is, by all intents and purposes, the Smart EQ Fortwo Ultimate E Shadow Edition Cabrio we’ve seen already earlier this year at Geneva, minus the Gunmetal Grey paint. It’s got just as much power, the same oversized rims, the same hunched widebody, and the same tacky details like the illuminated door sills. You may never see one with your own two eyes since Brabus only plans to sell 28 (fewer than the amount of Ferrari 250 GTOs in the world) but you can’t blame Brabus for only making a couple of dozen of these since it has already oversaturated the market with the 28 units of the Shadow Edition. Granted, this one is cheaper by a few grand although at €59,000 in Europe it’s not cheap in the grand scheme of things.
So, let’s say you’re in the market for an ultra-small city car that’s also 100% electric and features a folding roof. What does that say about you? Well, on paper, you’re a person who could do without the worries related with having to find a parking spot in the bustling downtown area of the city while also trying to do his or her part in reducing pollution - all with a dribble of fun added to the experience by the open-air feel of a cabriolet. What all this means is that the person that would be in the market for a Smart EQ Fortwo Cabriolet isn’t looking for what the Brabus Ultimate E is offering, i.e. big wheels, more power, and less practicality because of the lowered ride height and the fact that it doesn’t come with a bigger battery. In spite of all that, it exists and it’s not even the only Brabus-tuned Smart Fortwo on the European market, there tamer options in the German company’s portfolio if the widebody doesn’t necessarily float your boat.
After People Called Foul on the "Bugatti Chiron’s" New Record, Bugatti Says It Can Go Faster...in the Right Conditions
Bugatti bewildered the automotive world recently when it released a video showing what the company called at the time a ’near-production’ Chiron exceeding 300 mph at Volkswagen’s Ehra-Lessien proving grounds in Germany. We later found out that the Chiron in question is, effectively, a whole new version of the storied Chiron, one that features heavily revised aerodynamics including a Le Mans-esque long tail and is based on the Chiron Sport. People criticized Bugatti for not doing a two-way average before claiming that their car is the fastest in the world and, in response, Bugatti says 304 mph isn’t as fast as the long tail Chiron ca go.
If you’re up to date with what’s going on in Germany where the 2019 Frankfurt Auto Show is in full swing, you’ll know by now that, not only did Bugatti argue that its faster-than-fast Chiron can go even faster, but it will also put it into production with the batch of 30 ’Chiron Sport 300+’ expected to sell like hotcakes although nobody’s got a huge oval like that at Ehra-Lessien to test the car’s ludicrous top speed. Maybe Bugatti did it under pressure from Koenigsegg and other peers that came forth saying whatever Bugatti used to reach 304 mph is not a legitimate production car and, as such, the record isn’t valid. Let’s see if the French company returns to the track to go even faster - although Bugatti tried to make us believe they actually don’t care about top speed runs anymore... yea, right!
Car for Sale: 1985 ASC McLaren 5.0SC Convertible
Ford moved the Mustang to the then-new Fox platform for the 1979 model year and, at the same time, Mercury introduced the second-generation Capri as a Mustang with a posh interior that was more expensive but, mechanically, almost identical. The cream of the crop were the Capris modified by ASC and McLaren between 1984 and 1986 and, with only 933 Capris ever updated to ASC/McLaren specification, they are particularly rare and hard to find. This one you see here was offered on Craigslist and is said to be one of just 257 units converted in 1985 and one of just 94 originally painted in Oxford White that year.
In the ’70s, if you wanted to try out Ford Cologne’s attempt at building a Mustang for the European market but you didn’t live in Europe, you got yourself a Mercury Capri. As a $2,300 (in 1970) economical sports coupe, the original Capri was what’s known as a ’captive import’ - a car made outside of the U.S. borders but sold Stateside under a different badge while not carrying any divisional identification. In ’72, the Mercury Capri became the first car sold by a Ford-owned brand in the U.S. to feature a V-6 as Mercury introduced a version powered by the 2.6-liter Cologne V-6 engine. In 1976, Mercury followed in the footsteps of the Europeans and started selling the Mark II Capri but the drivetrain remained common with the Ford Pinto, Ford Mustang II, and Mercury Bobcat. The ties between the Capri and the Mustang became closer three years later when the Capri returned on the market as a sports car based on the Fox platform. This is where the story of this car begins in earnest.
2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Top Speed Run - How Fast Does It Really Go?
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray may be the base model of the eighth-generation of Chevy’s legendary grand touring sportscar but its performance figures already suggest that ’America’s Sportscar’ should be soon renamed to ’America’s Supercar’. The Stingray impressed us already with its practicality, its styling, and the fact that it’s mid-engined to begin with - given that GM’s been considering and working behind the scenes on a mid-engined Corvette for over 50 years.
More recently, GM proved it can keep a promise when it announced that the Stingray’s MSRP will slot just under the $60,000 mark making the new ’Vette an absolute bargain. Now we know for sure this is an absolute bargain that can hit 194 mph and we’re impressed once more. Remember, that’s about as much as a Ferrari F430 Berlinetta that cost a whopping $186,925 when introduced in the U.S. some 15 years ago and, of course, the Z06 and ZR1 that are just around the corner will easily surpass 200 mph.
Best Naturally Aspirated Engines in Human History
When BMW rolled the 2002 Turbo towards the tail end of 1973, in the middle of the fuel crisis, everybody viewed it as insanity. Still, as years rolled by, the classic adage that said ’there’s no replacement for displacement’ seemed to hold true for at least some manufacturers. However, ever stringent pollution regulations and the need for increased efficiency pushed carmakers to embrace forced induction more broadly and strangled naturally aspirated engines one by one. Nowadays, big players such as BMW don’t even offer a naturally aspirated engine across their entire lineups and even Ferrari is all but ditching the engines that made the Prancing Horse legendary through their expertly honed soundtrack.
It’s not necessarily that naturally aspirated engines are going to go extinct in a matter of a handful of years but it’s clear that the performance levels achieved by turbocharged or supercharged units simply can’t be matched by a naturally aspirated engine. On top of that, an engine that uses forced induction is more economical due to its smaller capacity and friendlier with the environment which - in the eyes of everyone but some purists - is a win-win situation. While we love turbochargers and superchargers, we thought we’d take a look at some of the history’s best naturally aspirated engines at a time when fewer and fewer manufacturers still offer them - at least in performance cars. We assure you they are proper bangers!
The Evolution of BMW’s Logo
BMW is one of Germany’s best-well-known automakers and one of the world’s most valuable brands with a value of $25.6 billion as of 2017. Bavaria’s finest creator of luxury vehicles sold last year in excess of 2.1 million units, over 310,000 of these finding their customers in the U.S. In spite of the company’s sizeable footprint and large array of models on sale, as well as its history that dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, many still aren’t sure of the history behind BMW’s ubiquitous logo. Along with the kidney grilles, the circular badge that features a black outline and a central area divided into four sections, two white and two blue, is part of any Bimmer’s identity. But what does it represent? Is it a nod to BMW’s aeronautical origins or does it simply have to do with the flag of the region of Bavaria?
The question we posed above is simple, about as simple as they get in the auto industry. Or so you’d think. In fact, many hardcore BMW fans still debate to this day on the backstory of this seemingly basic-looking badge that has remained largely unchanged since 1917. While many stories have been written about how BMW settled for the logo you see to this day on its cars, the debate continues, so we thought we’d give it a stab ourselves at putting the dispute to rest. Read on to find out what really hides behind the emblem.
Ferdinand Piech, Former VW Group Chairman, Has Died
Ferdinand Piech, former Chairman of the executive board of VW and, later on, of the supervisory board of Porsche SE, the principal shareholder of VW, has died on Sunday at the age of 82 according to German tabloid Bild. Piech has been a central figure in the automotive industry for decades, known for his no-nonsense style and his ability to push through and introduce models that have become highly influential over time, as well as massively popular. He is known for his involvement in projects such as the Audi Quattro, that spearheaded a whole lineup of AWD cars from the Ingolstadt brand as well as adding Porsche to the Volkswagen Group and bringing VW back on profitable ways in the new millennium.
It hasn’t even been two months since the passing of legendary automotive executive Lee Iaccoca, the key figure behind the birth of the Ford Mustang and Chrysler’s revival during his tenure as the company’s CEO, and the automotive world has now lost another larger-than-life figure in Professor Ferdinand Piech, grandson of Porsche founder Ferdinand Porsche, and one of the most influential figures in the modern automotive landscape. While ousted from the top of the VW Group four years ago, his legacy will live on, as will the emblematic models that he engineered and helped bring to life.
1962 Ferrari 196 SP by Fantuzzi
The Drake, a man who honed his craft as the team boss of Alfa Corse in the ’30s, carried some of the old adages over when he started his own automotive company. It’s no wonder, then, that he was reluctant to jump on the rear-mid engine train when it boomed two decades after the last pre-war Grand Prix but when his Prancing Horses finally rolled out with the engine aft of the driver they proved overwhelmingly good: in F1, the 156 steamrolled its way to both the Constructor’s and the Driver’s F1 title in 1961 and, in long-distance racing, the 196 SP, as a direct descendant of the 246 SP, foresaw what was to come in sports car racing.
The 196 SP is an incredibly rare and incredibly gorgeous beast. With a low-slung body and a nose very similar to that of the 156 F1 car, it carried what was good about the 246 SP, the first Ferrari mid-engined sports car that was unveiled in 1961, and improved on the formula. Under the rear deck, there was, effectively, half of a Colombo V-12, and not the Dino V-6 although the 196 SP has been referred to as the Dino 196 SP in some circles. Five were built for 1962 and this one, chassis #0806 is the only that has survived. RM/Sotheby’s tried selling it during the Monterey Car Week but failed. Still, the car is valued at anywhere between $8 million and $10 million. Keep reading to find out why this V-6-engined Ferrari is worth more than twice the price of a LaFerrari, Maranello’s V-12 hybrid wonder.
1953 Aston Martin DB3S Works
The Aston Martin DB3S is a special car although it may have been overshadowed as years came and went by a certain finned Jaguar and the DBR1/300 that won at La Sarthe for David Brown’s marque. However, its status as a bit of a giant killer and the fact that the boys in Feltham kept using it for four seasons in international competitions puts the DB3S in a unique spot in Jaguar’s racing history. This car, chassis #2, is one of only 11 works cars ever built and it won the Goodwood Nine Hours ahead of the D-Type and Ferrari’s 750 Monza. It is, then, no wonder that RM/Sotheby’s hoped it would sell for anywhere between $8.75 and $10 million when it crossed the block last Thursday during the Monterey Car Week. Well, it didn’t but you can’t deny this is one rare, gorgeous, and expensive product of the ’50s. Need further proof? A copy of the definitive book on this car sold 14 years ago for some $1,500.
When you talk ’50s sports cars, your mind slaloms between William Haynes’ C-Type and D-Type, together amassing five overall 24 Hours of Le Mans wins, the classic 250 Testa Rossa, the dominant but also infamous 300 SLR, and also the Lister Knobbly and Maserati’s 300S. Aston Martin isn’t among the names on the tip of your tongue despite it racking up quite an impressive number of wins between 1953 and 1959 with the DB3S and the DBR1 respectively. That’s because the Aston Martins were always seen as underdogs, always seen as members of the pack, those that’ll play second fiddle to the big fish when, in fact, it wasn’t like that at all. David Brown employed some of the best engineers and drivers at the time and his cars were some of the best. Yes, most often down on power, yes, most often with an Achilles’ heel (cough, the DBR1’s gearbox and ergonomics) but they were good cars. And now we’ll talk about the first one of those, the DB3S, offspring of the DB3 and a car that’s getting a bad rep for being actually friendly on the road.
Toyota Boss Shoots For Porsche’s Overall Nürburgring-Nordschleife Record
Toyota and Porsche did battle in the FIA’s World Endurance Championship between 2014 and 2017 when Porsche abruptly decided to pull the plug on its LMP1 program as the whole VAG Group was looking at ways to reduce costs post-Dieselgate. Shortly thereafter, Porsche unveiled the 919 Evo, an unrestricted version of the company’s Le Mans-winning car that went on to better Porsche’s very own record around the Northern Loop of the Nürburgring circuit. Now, Porsche’s old rival, who’s still in the FIA WEC and has won Le Mans two times on the trot already reckons it could better the 919 Evo’s record around the Nordschleife through the voice of Rob Leupen, the LMP1 Team Boss. The sad part is that Toyota isn’t committing to a record attempt just yet.
The 9 Mid-Engine Corvette Concepts That Didn’t Make it To Production
For over five decades we’ve been teased with various Corvette concepts displaying the idea that the engine should be moved from just in front of the cabin to behind the rear seats. While this idea might seem ludicrous to purists, we know that it will finally become a reality with the forthcoming C8. But there wouldn’t have been a C8 without all the prototypes that preceded it.
If everything we’ve seen and heard in the past couple of years regarding the 8th generation of the Chevrolet Corvette is true, and there’s little doubt about it, the C7 will become the final front-engined Corvette because the C8 is bound to have the engine where rivaling Lamborghinis and Ferraris have had it since forever - behind the front seats. A few camouflaged prototypes have been seen testing over the past few months and, while we aren’t sure about its name, we know that it’ll be based on a new platform and it will cost a whole lot more than the current model.
The best view we’ve got of the new Chevrolet sports car is of a mule testing at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife in Germany. It features a radically different design although some design cues from the current model, like the side air vents up front, remain. We don’t know what engine will power the new car, pundits reporting that a racing version seen testing at Road America might sport a V-6, and we might not get much more insight on it until next year’s Detroit Auto Show where, supposedly, Chevy will take the wraps off the new model. Until then, here’s a look at the plethora of prototypes that predated it.
Top 6 Road Trips You Must Take In Europe
Bored of highway driving and idling while bumper-to-bumper in the heart of a busy city? Why not start planning now for your next trip? We’re here to help you make it a memorable one. As we know you love cars and driving as much as we do, we decided to put together a selection of six absolutely memorable strips of road that should be on your shortlist for the next time you take a road trip through Europe - or your first time. You might’ve heard about some of these while some may be new to you but we guarantee they’re all going to leave you breathless and in awe.
Europe, with its varied landscape and countless mountainous regions, has no shortage of blissful roads for you to tackle in your car or a rental that’s got some ponies and some controls that give you the appropriate feedback. While many roads on this list are, indeed, snaking their way at rather high altitudes, such as the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse in Austria or the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania, not all are closed during the winter months although your safest bet would be to schedule the road trip for the summer months or, if you wish to miss the bulk of the traffic, try late spring dates or even early-to-mid autumn.
Auction Watch: $1.5 Million Aston DB5 Shooting Brake Built To Allow David Brown To Carry His Dog
The Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most famous cars in the world thanks to its role as James Bond’s means of transportation in the first two James Bond movie adaptations of Ian Fleming’s novels. The Silver Birch beauty with coachwork by Touring became a star thanks to its myriad of hidden weapons and clever equipment added by the Q branch. While the cars actually used during filming or during the promotion of the two films starring Sean Connery are the rarest, the ones that are the most practical are also insanely rare. These are the long-roofed ’Shooting Brake’ DB5s built in period by coachbuilder Harold Radford after then-company-owner David Brown complained that the DB5 isn’t practical enough and he can’t take his dog with him when hunting. Only 12 were ever built and this is one of just four with the steering wheel on the left-hand side.
Infiniti is the luxury division of Nissan, one of the biggest Japanese manufacturers and part of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Infiniti was founded in 1989, mainly to cater to North American customers looking for the reliability of a run-of-the-mill Nissan in a more up-market package. However, since then, Infiniti has expanded to become a global brand and it currently makes cars in Japan, China, and the U.K. Infiniti’s portfolio is quite extensive with three sedans, one coupé, and four crossover SUVs currently available in the U.S. Infiniti announced that it will become an electric company with the entirety of its lineup being hybrid or electric by 2021.
Koenigsegg was founded by Christian Von Koenigsegg just a quarter of a century ago and, since then, has established itself as one of the world’s leading hypercar manufacturers, producing some of the fastest, most powerful, and extreme cars you’ll ever hope to see. Also, a Koenigsegg is currently responsible for the world’s fastest production road car after an Agera RS averaged 277.87 mph on a closed bit of public highway. The future seems just as bright for Koenigsegg who unveiled the Jesko, a 1,600-horsepower hypercar that the company hopes will reach 300 mph.
10 Exciting Cars That Will Cost You As Much as the 2020 Toyota Supra
The fifth generation Supra A90 is no longer aspiring to be a Porsche 911 slayer, but, given its price, you can pit it against some pretty brisk, fun-to-drive cars. Toyota designed the latest Supra to be fun to drive, its proving ground being the Nurburgring. Company CEO Akio Toyoda was heavily involved in the development process of the A90. He said that he gauged the experience of driving the new Supra, which is more compact than ever before, in comparison to the old model he used to drive around the ’Green Hell’ to learn the track.
The production version hasn’t been put to the test yet, but journalists were allowed to take turns driving some development prototypes around the Jarama track last year. Car & Driver wrote that "there is a smoothness to the Supra that we haven’t felt in a BMW in years," and we know that it will joyfully slide, but what other cars you can look for if you’ve only got Supra money in your pocket? Well, We’ve decided to explore the diverse range of models that you could go for with that "Supra" money you’re hanging on to.
Auction Watch: 1994 McLaren F1 "LM-Spec" - Will it Be the Most Valuable of the Year?
Automotive journalists and gearheads have been trying to fault - even if subconsciously - the McLaren F1 ever since it was introduced over 25 years ago. In a way, it’s something natural, that one desires to pick apart something that seems faultless. The McLaren F1 seems to do the job it was conceived to do flawlessly, ageing like the finest of wines from the best French vineyards. With the F40, one could argue that its spartan interior and lackluster build quality is what makes it not-so-perfect but the F1’s shut lines are akin to those on the most expensive Mercedes-Benz models of the day. Is it really perfect, though? That’s something you decide for yourself but what’s certain is that RM Sotheby’s thinks this F1 updated to LM specification is worth $23 million. If they’re right, it’ll become one of the most expensive cars ever sold at auction and the most expensive one sold in 2019.
The McLaren F1 is a special car, that’s something that everyone can agree upon, even folks that think cars are merely means of transport created to take you from A to B. It was created by one man with a vision helped by the fact that he was given a blank check. You don’t really see cost-no-object cars emerge in today’s finicky auto industry but, in the mid-’90s, bolstered by a string of impressive seasons in Formula 1, McLaren thought it could do the impossible and build the supercar to top all supercars, the supercar deserving of the title ’hypercar’. Sure, many people will continue to think the supercar has reached its peak with the F40 and the F1, with its practical interior that seats three, is simply deflecting from the purest of recipes that has been applied by Nicola Materazzi when creating the F40. No matter what side of the argument you’re on, this F1 in LM guise is worthy of a deeper look and, if you can, take a look at it in the flesh on the preview day before the three-day (August 15-17) auction kicks off.
Here’s How the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Can Go from 0-100 mph and back to 0 in 10.6 Seconds
First unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 didn’t reveal itself to us in full straight away. We had to wait until June to find out the exact output of the supercharged, 5.2-liter V-8 and then we found out how much it will cost. However, some pieces of the puzzle were still missing. Now, Ford revealed another metric: the 0-100-0 time of the GT500. As you already read the title, you’ll know the most powerful road-going product of the Blue Oval does it in under 11 seconds and this places the monstrous muscle car in a rather exclusive club as you’ll find out below - yet behind what Dodge and Chevy can do.
When Ford conceived the latest Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 that’ll go on sale starting from $70,300 (without taxes) as a 2020 MY car, it pulled no punches in an effort to squash the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and the Chevy Camaro ZL1. Yes, it’s not as powerful as the 797 horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye but it’s got 110 ponies on the Camaro ZL1 and 30 horsepower on Ferrari’s F12 grand tourer that costs $320,000 when new. But the Mustang GT500 isn’t all about raw speed as it can also accelerate, stop, and corner incredibly well - if you couldn’t already tell by that GT4-style wing fixed to the tail end.
Lotus’ Experience With AWD Stretches Back 50 Years, So They Know What They’re Doing On The Evija
Lotus, the legendary race car manufacturer turned sports car maker, unveiled the Evija earlier this year, its first all-electric car and, at the same time, its first hypercar and first AWD road-going model. The luscious beast features four electric motors, one behind each wheel, combining for a mind-boggling (and Pininfarina-beating) output of 1,971 horsepower, making it the fastest British hypercar. While a first in many aspects, it’s actually not the first Lotus where the power reaches all four wheels.
When the Evija was unveiled, showcasing Chinese giant Geely’s clear intention to revive the brand and make it more profitable than ever, most of the automotive world took a step back in awe but not everybody was as impressed by the $2.3 million car that will be built in a limited run of 130 units. We were among the skeptics, questioning whether or not the Evija is a clever way for Lotus to increase its revenue by building something it has never built before. We’ve also questioned the sudden move from ICE-powered cars to EVs without prior introduction of any hybrid model. But one area where Lotus does have some past experience is that of four-wheel-driven cars.
Back in the ’60s, when teams were racing on track to win races and off-track to build the cars capable to win those races, Lotus thought it could come up with a more maneuverable car than everybody else and that’s when the idea of having a system that would dispatch power to all four wheels instead of just two emerged. Sure, it’s nothing like the AWD technology on the Evija but, at least, Lotus can say it did build such cars in its storied past.
Car for Sale: 1994 Toyota Celica GT-4 WRC in Nearly Pristine Condition
Toyota, the company known Stateside for building everybody’s favorite fleet car, the Camry, looked to brush off its reputation as a boring automaker and, at the same time, prove to the world that it could not only make cars by the bucketload but also innovate and compete with the best in the arena of motorsports. Since the ‘80s, Toyota had been involved in the World Rally Championship and the advent of the Group A regulations that replaced the perilous Group B after 1986 was seen by Toyota executives as a great way to really get in the game with the Supra GT-Four. The ultimate version, known as the ST205, briefly competed before being banned and this is the road-legal version of that very car – albeit not in the bombastic Castrol livery.
What would you say about a 1994 Celica that cranked out over 250 ponies from the factory and came equipped with the WRC-specific water injection, sport manifold, and turbocharger anti-lag components installed? Granted, the anti-lag isn’t working and, as such, nothing keeps the turbo from spinning off-throttle but the components are there as are most of the aerodynamic upgrades applied to the Group A car driven at the time by the likes of Didier Auriol and Carlos Sainz: an elevated rear wing and the different hood. On top of that, Toyota only ever made 2,500 of these WRC Edition ST205s so it’s mighty rare, which is why Japanese Classics is asking $18,000 for the example it’s selling, one that’s been driven quite a bit. It shows 129,000 miles on the odometer, but otherwise presents itself in a very tidy shape given its age and mileage. The early Celica GT-Four models are now just old enough to satisfy the pesky 25-year rule for cars that weren’t originally sold in the US so you will see more pop up for sale here but WRC Edition examples will surely be few and far between.
Days At The Races, The Silverstone Classic Is An Unmissable Event
Silverstone hosted, in the vicinity of hangars that once housed fighter airplanes, the first Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix in 1950 and, over the years, has established itself as ’The Home of the British Motorsport’. Last weekend, this homey feeling was in the rain-dampened air as Silverstone welcomed hundreds upon hundreds of historic racing cars that arrived for the annual celebration of vintage motorsport that is the Silverstone Classic. We were there to see it all unfold and we’re already making arrangements for next year - and you should be close behind!
If you are keen to browse through the classifieds in automotive magazines from 40 or so years ago, you’ll find plenty of interesting racing cars selling for nothing or close to nothing, while those same cars are out of the reach for most of us mortals. You could, for instance, buy an unlovedFerrari 250 GTO (yes, that GTO) for the equivalent of $51,000 in the late ’60s. Likewise, four or five decades ago, historic racing was seen as a weird way to spend your weekends. Who’d want to waste their time trying to bring back to running order some old, outdated race cars when new ones were the talk of the town? But, as it happens, people started appreciating these old cars more and more and, by the early ’80s, historic racing started to become a thing.
It’s been over three decades since then and now, historic motorsport events are some of the most popular in the world with venues such as Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca, Daytona International Speedway, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps or, indeed, Japan’s Fuji circuit, all hosting race meetings reserved for cars of a certain vintage. It’s big business nowadays and the cars are maintained to the highest standards, just like modern ones are, and they’re also safer than ever - to ensure that you can actually push them to their limits without fearing (that much) for your life, as you would’ve back in the day. Among European historic racing events, the Silverstone Classic is considered to be the biggest, attracting thousands of fans and cars every year for over 20 years, so we had to be there to see it all for ourselves - and to report it back to you.
Ecurie Ecosse Revives The Glorious Jaguar XJ13 With Sexy Tribute
Back in 1997, a Japanese collector offered $15.7 million (in today’s money) to buy the unique Jaguar XJ13. His offer, three times the asking price of a Ferrari 250 GTO at the time, was denied. Now, there’s something that looks almost like the XJ13 but performs better in every area. Welcome the Ecurie Ecosse LM69, the ultimate tribute to Jaguar’s first mid-engined car, the stillborn monster that should’ve intervened in the Ford vs. Ferrari war.
Under the baton of Frank Raymond ’Lofty’ England, Jaguar had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans an incredible five times throughout the ’50s with the Malcolm Sayer-penned C-Type and its successor, the D-Type but, then, Jaguar’s star in sports car endurance racing faded away as Ferrari took over as the dominant force. By the early ’60s, the Leaping Cat was still racing in long-distance events but on the nose of the elegant E-Type that was a production-based Grand Tourer, nowhere near a prototype that became a thing at Le Mans and elsewhere in endurance racing as Ferrari debuted the 250 P in 1963, the same year when Lola unleashed the Mk. 6 GT, the forefather (in some ways) of Ford’s original GT.
William Haynes, Jaguar’s Head of Engineering, had been toying around with the idea of building a mid-engined prototype since the dawn of the ’60s when he realized how effective a midship layout is in other forms of motorsport such as Formula 1. This idea was coupled with another one that’d been cooking in Jaguar’s ovens for quite a while - that of building a V-12 that would be used as a stressed member of the chassis. The end result was the Jaguar XJ13, a car that was outgunned almost right from the moment it was born and, as FISA banned big-engined prototypes at the end of ’67, it also had no place to race on the world stage. Now, Ecurie Ecosse, the historic Jaguar team that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Jaguar machinery in the ’50s, brought the XJ13 back to life or, rather, an XJ13 built to 1969 rules. Mark us intrigued!
A Chevy C8 Corvette Shooting Brake Definitely Needs to Happen
Everybody seems to be writing these days just about the Chevrolet Corvette C8, the first production Corvette with the engine positioned behind the cabin and in front of the rear axle. Everyone is raving about the performance figures of the base Stingray model and about the crazy tech that GM poured in its halo car, a car that’s already got its hallowed place in the history books. That’s why we’re already seeing digital artists play around with the C8 and modify it, this being a prime example of computerized freedom: a shooting brake C8. Yes, the engine is still supposed to be in the back there somewhere.
The Chevy Corvette C8 spearheads a new generation of Corvette-badged supercars that try to bridge the gap between a usual supercar and what the Corvette used to be up until the seventh generation, namely a grand tourer. The front-engined layout allowed Corvette owners to carry quite a lot of stuff in the hatch of the car that’s now, essentially, gone since there’s an engine in the same area. While Chevrolet did equip the C8 with a pair of trunks like you usually find on EVs, it’s still not as practical as the C7, and this is where a shooting brake version may be able to amend the situation. It’ll never happen but, if it did, would you want one?
Lotus Isn’t Planning Another Hypercar But a New Sports Car Is Coming in 2020 - Will It Be Electric, Though?
Lotus’ first real hypercar, the all-electric Evija stunned enthusiasts and pundits alike last week and is a sign of things to come for the Geely-owned British sports car specialist. But, in the meantime, Lotus is also preparing to rejuvenate its otherwise dated lineup of more affordable sports cars. The new model, that will become its bread and butter in the following years, should arrive next year and pop up in showrooms by 2021. The big question, however, is this: will it be electric as we’ve heard in the past few months?
Taking a look through Lotus’ current catalog is akin to taking a trip down memory lane as you see old friends such as the Elise, the Exige, and, lastly, the Evora - the only one still available Stateside - soldiering on. It’s not uncommon for a low-volume manufacturer to push the envelope when it comes to keeping a model on life support before there’s an influx of capital that allows it to create something new but there’s no denying that the entire Lotus lineup is very much long in the tooth by now and in dire need of an update.
Car For Sale: 1958 Porsche 356 A Sedan Delivery ’Kreuzer’
Remember the days of the compact but practical delivery wagons based on your average car? Stuff like the Pontiac Pathfinder or Ford Courier in wagon form with no rear windows and truck-like doors in the back for easy access to the cargo area. Known as sedan delivery vehicles, they stopped being popular over half a century ago but, even in their heyday, no small business owner dreamt of owning something like this. But Jon Dixon did and this is the fruit of that dream, the Porsche 356 A Sedan Delivery ’Kreuzer’, a car to annoy the purists and bring a smile to the faces of those that like to see tasteful and unconventional builds strive to exist in a world of uniform tastes.
The Porsche 356 was the first car built by the factory after the war, first at Gmund, in Austria, then at Porsche’s original home in Zuffenhausen, near Stuttgart, from 1950 onwards. The 356 A arrived in late 1955 as a 1956 year model and replaced what’s now known as the 356 Pre-A, or the first 356s to be built in Germany with steel bodies (because Reutter Karosserie that handled body construction didn’t have the know-how to weld light-alloy body parts like those of the 356/2 examples made in Gmund). The ’Kreuzer’ is, at heart, a 1958 Porsche 356A Speedster so you can imagine how much work went into getting it to look as it does today.
Two Trunks Ensure The 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Will Be As Practical As Possible
The eighth generation of the Chevrolet Corvette was finally unveiled officially during a dedicated event in Irvine, California, and, in the hours that have passed since that genuinely historical moment, the internet has been filled to the brim with material about the first production Corvette with the engine behind the seats. Now, this means that the Corvette finally becomes a bona fide supercar after being a Grand Tourer that hit above its weight for decades. The figures too back the reposition of America’s Sportscar in the market but Chevy knows full well that its core customer base wants a practical, user-friendly car and the C8 won’t disappoint in this department as we shall explain.
The first things you probably heard about the new-for-2020 Corvette C8 is that the base model, called the Stingray, will be powered by an updated version of the C7’s push-rod 6.2-liter V-8 - now dubbed LT2 - that will produce 490 horsepower without the Z51 Performance Package that, among many other things, adds five ponies. You’ve also heard that if you opt for the Z51 Performance Package, the base model C8 will sprint from naught to 60 mph in under three seconds or, in other words, as fast as the quickest C7, the 755 horsepower ZR1 that was on sale for anywhere between $120,900 and $155,300. You also know that the C8 won’t cost $120,000 and it won’t even cost $100,000 or $80,000, Mark Reuss announcing a sub-$60,000 base MSRP. But what about practicality? With the hatchback gone, where will you fit all your stuff?
2019 Ford Mustang "Old Crow" by Roush
Ford’s Mustang is one of the most famous nameplates in the entire automotive industry and this the exact same thing that an aeronautics fan would say referring to the perennial favorite fighter plane from the days of the Second World War, the North American P-51 Mustang. Now, there’s a road-going Mustang that pays tribute to the one in the sky. It’s a Roush-tuned GT with almost as much power as a Shelby GT500 and a paint scheme that reminds everyone of the legendary ’Old Crow’ P-51D Mustang that Colonel Clarence ’Bud’ Anderson flew in combat during the War.
Jack Roush’s shop has been turning out wickedly fast Ford cars for decades but this particular one-off build is one that’s close to the founder’s heart. As past owner of no less than two P-51s that he turned into replicas of Colonel Anderson’s ’Old Crow’ fighter plane that he flew for over six continuous hours on D-Day, Roush was happy to take on this project. The Mustang will be up for grabs at the upcoming EAA AirVenture charity auction that’ll take place on July 25th in Oshkosh. While this isn’t the first airplane-themed Mustang ever made, it’s one that was also built to mark the 75-year commemoration of D-Day.
2019 Porsche 911 RSR
Porsche unveiled at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed the most expensive, most advanced, and fastest 911-based race car in its portfolio, the emblematic 911 GT3 RSR. This latest version takes everything good about the 2017 model and distills it all in a better overall package that’s been improved in all four corners, even if you can’t tell the differences from the outside. The engine is still naturally aspirated, but it’s bigger than ever, and it’s still placed in front of the rear axle. Power is said to surpass 500 horsepower depending on the restrictor, and it gets sent to the back wheels only, just as before. Now, however, the car is easier to service and is safer.
Porsche has been putting out 911-based race cars since the ’60s and, in the five decades that have passed, the German automaker has constantly been improving the recipe while also staying true to the original ingredients. The shape is still largely familiar, albeit wider than ever, and the engine is still a six-cylinder boxer, and it’s naturally aspirated. However, the differences are aplenty: the engine is now in front of the rear axle instead of behind it, the exhaust now exits in front of the rear wheels through the sills, it’s water-cooled, and the capacity went up from 4.0-liters to 4.2-liters to make it more elastic. Is this the best 911 GT3 RSR ever? It has to be if it wants to surpass the impressive 2017 model that’s won almost anything there is to win in the FIA WEC and the IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship. And, frankly, with a $1 million + price tag, it better be!
2020 Audi R8 LMS GT2
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a great place to go if you want to see some of the world’s most revered racing cars of the past as well as a vast array of modern machinery and peeks into the future. The festival that takes places annually since 1993 on the grounds of the Goodwood House is also the place favored by some manufacturers to unveil their new products. The 2019 edition was chosen by Audi as the perfect occasion to pull the wraps off Audi Sport’s latest creation: the 640 horsepower Audi R8 LMS GT2, the most powerful racing car Audi has ever sold through its Customer Racing department. It’s designed for a new formula of Grand Touring racing that slots between GT3 and GT4 and caters for amateur racers looking for hight output machinery that’s quick down a straight line and easy to manage through the twisty bits.
Audi is a pragmatic company. Audi doesn’t put out a product for a class it doesn’t think will succeed. When Audi finally built a GT3-spec car, the class had been around for three full seasons, and it showed no signs of slowing down with more cars joining in (that same year Alpina debuted a B6-based contender, for instance) at a steady pace. Then there was the R8 LMS GT4, the GT3’s baby brother, its more pedestrian relative that is still tremendously fast (it puts out somewhere between 580 horsepower and 600 horsepower sans limiter, as much as the GT3 car without restrictions) and also expensive.
The RS3 LMS followed suit, the first sedan built by Audi Sport, one that, again, was built to be raced in a burgeoning category: TCR Touring Cars. The RS3 arrived in 2017, three years after the TCR format was first introduced. This is what makes the R8 LMS GT2 the odd one out. It’s the first Audi Sport-built car to be launched before any cars built to this ruleset ever took the track. So Audi must already know that it will be a success.
Someone Seriously Has Some Crazy McLaren F1-Powered E34 BMW M5 Wagon
Look at the E34-generation BMW M5 in station wagon form. Does it look like a 311 horsepower family hauler? Yes, the wheels are bigger but, otherwise, it looks like any other 5 Series at the same time. While this is a stark contrast compared to modern-day M5s, what makes the M5 we’ll talk about today truly unique is the fact that it actually packs the magnificent Paul Rosche-designed S70/2 6.1-liter V-12 designed by BMW for use by McLaren in Gordon Murray’s F1 supercar. We’ll spare a few seconds before you move on so you can get rid of all the drool.
The E34 M5 was built between 1988 and 1995, and it was the second-generation 5 Series to receive the full-blown M treatment after the sleek and stylish E28. The E34 was decidedly more boxy and less shark-looking than its predecessor, but it also packed a bigger punch. In North America, it came equipped with the S38B36 3.5-liter inline-six throughout its lifetime although folks back in Europe got to try out the 3.8-liter S38B38 from 1991 onwards that came with 24 extra ponies.
Still, the E34 was very fast even with the 3.6-liter unit as it allowed for a 0-60 mph time of just 6.3 seconds. This is impressive considering a standard 530i equipped with the 3.0-liter, DOHC, V-8 (good for 215 horsepower and 214 pound-feet) needed about 8 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill. Now, just take a moment and imagine how fast the M5 became once BMW crammed in the 618 horsepower V-12 of the F1 along with its 479 pound-feet of torque...
Herbie ’The Love Bug’ Returns To Race In The 2019 24 Hours of Spa-Francorcamps
The annual 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is, arguably, the world’s biggest professional endurance race for GT cars and, this year, the entry list reached a new high: 72 cars are set to take the start on July the 27th. Or that’s what we thought before a strange-looking Bug appeared out of a pit box during the official Spa Test Days.
Racing to raise awareness about a certain disease or in order to collect money for a charity is a noble thing but, up until now, we’ve seen no project go as far as this. The brainchild of Pascal Witmeur, long-time Belgian racing driver, this project aims to both celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Herbie motion picture (’The Love Bug’, released in cinemas in the U.S. in March of 1969) and to gather funds for the VivaCité (RTBF) ’Viva for Life’ project and ’Kinderarmoedefonds.be’ charities. The car was created with the help of Belgian luxury car dealer Deman Brussels and is, at its core, a Porsche 911 (991) Cup MR - the Manthey Racing-modified version of Porsche’s 911 Cup car.
The Volkswagen I.D. R Is The Fastest Car Ever Around The Goodwood Hillclimb Course
Volkswagen continues to impress us with its I.D. R race car, the moving technology lab of the giant from Wolfsburg, one that’s been created to break records and, in the process, prove to the world that Volkswagen’s EVs will knock everybody out of the park. Last weekend, during the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed Romain Dumas driving a revised version of the I.D. R did just that, making every other car that has ever run on Lord March’s Hillclimb course seem pedestrian as he smashed the all-time record set 20 years ago in a full-blown Formula 1 car.
There are still many that will never bring themselves to even accept electric cars as the way forward, let alone try and like them. While this is true, it’s also true that cars like Volkswagen’s I.D. R are surely turning heads among even the most hardcore fans of the old-school internal combustion engine. This car has, in the space of little over 12 months, smashed the all-time record at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb and then did the same around the Nurburgring-Nordschleife with a time fast enough to make it the second fastest car around that track ever. That it also broke the EV record at Goodwood last year seems almost moot given what Dumas did this year with the car.
Lamborghini Could Follow Koenigsegg And Go Prototype Racing As Early As 2022
When you think about prototype racing, you probably envision the mighty Audi racers that squashed everyone on their way to Le Mans glory in the noughties or, maybe, one of the many glorious machines to come out during the Group C days. Scroll back the years and, now, it seems we may be on the verge of a new resurgence of sports car racing, one led by the world’s top supercar makers and the list may just grow further as Lamborghini looks at moving up from GT racing and into prototype racing.
The 2020 Audi R8 LMS GT2 Is the R8 We Deserve For the Road But Can’t Have
The 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed was the stage for many impressive firsts and among them has been the worldwide debut of Audi Sport Customer Racing’s latest product, the ludicrous Audi R8 LMS GT2. With 640 horsepower, it’s faster than its GT3 and GT4 brethren but, somehow, it slots in between the two. Audi Sport says it’s the most potent car to come out of the Customer Racing program, and you’ll be able to see it on track next year as Stephane Ratel Organization (SRO) will allow the GT2 class to compete in series like the GT Sports Club in Europe and the GT World Challenge America across the Atlantic.
Racing has a tendency to become more and more expensive as time goes on. The pattern is as follows: a sanctioning body or a championship organizer proposes a new ruleset for a new category that’s supposed to replace an older, prohibitively expensive one. Everyone involved is happy, the new class is launched, it becomes popular, and as it starts to gain momentum, the cars evolve pushed by factory involvement and, in a matter of years, they become too expensive, and we’re back to square one. This is, broadly, what happened with the (still) highly popular GT3 formula that turned, from one category catering for amateur drivers, to one that comprises the bulk of today’s leading sports car and luxury car manufacturers, many of them pouring serious amounts of money in developing race cars able to win on the world stage. Let’s see how GT2 plans to fix this issue. In a way...
2019 Hyundai Kona
The Kona is Hyundai’s smallest crossover, a quirky looking model that was conceived to challenge the established names in the subcompact niche like Mazda’s CX-3, the Toyota C-HR, and the Honda HR-V. Starting at little over $19,240, the Kona offers up to 175 horsepower although the base engine is far less powerful. The design is, if anything, divisive and the fuel consumption is on par with what the rivals come up with at 33 mpg highway.
Hyundai, like Citroen, is an adopter of the ’big-grille-and-narrow-headlights’ design language for some of its crossover SUV models and you can see that in the facial expression of the Kona that somewhat mimics its much larger brother, the eight-passenger Palisade. But that’s about as much as these two models share with the Kona being a budget offering, something you’ll see and feel in the cabin, although you now get more equipment in standard than you did with the 2018 MY.
The Kona is still a new model so judgment on its long-term reliability will have to wait but you may like to know that the Kona, both in hybrid and non-hybrid guise, was the recipient of the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award making the Kona the first subcompact crossover to ever win this award. We drove a cherry red Kona to see if it deserves all the accolades and you can read more about it below.
New Singer Porsche, A Ludicrously Expensive EV Mustang, and The First Pagani Ever Will All Be Displayed at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed
The Goodwood Festival of Speed, an annual motorsports gathering that’s regarded as one of the top hillclimb-style events in the world right now, is just around the corner. Among the many amazing cars that you’ll see tackle Lord March’s quite tricky driveway, there’s your fair share of F1 cars, sports car, hypercars, and the obligatory oddities. Among the oddities there’ll be an Eleanor-looking Mustang debuting at Goodwood and Singer will also bring a new model to unveil at the event. Pagani, meanwhile, delves back to its origins and will have the first Zonda ever made on display.
Trying to explain the Goodwood Festival of Speed to someone that’s yet to attend the event is hard. You could start by mentioning the wild cacophony of sounds coming from the exhausts of just about any dream car you could have, from a mid-’60s Ferrari V-12 to a shouting V-10-era F1 car and from a turbocharged Group B four-pot to some menacing American V-8. You really can’t go wrong if you buy tickets to attend the event and we’ll let you in on some more of the incredible (moving) exhibits you’ll be able to see and hear there - either in person (if you’re there you can add smelling and maybe even touching to the list) or via the weekend-long live stream available on the Goodwood Road & Racing YouTube channel.
The 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed Will Host AirSpeeder - A Futuristic Airborne Motorsport You Didn’t Realize You Needed
For decades, we’ve been promised that the roads and highways of the world will become obsolete and that four-wheeled transport will follow suit as flying contraptions replace personal cars, buses, trucks, and the rest of the motorized repertoire. We’ve seen them in science-fiction movies and many wannabe visionaries tried to create flying cars that could also be usable on the road. Most of these attempts have failed for one reason or another but now there’s something new and it’s coming to Goodwood FoS: AirSpeeder, a new form of motorsport that proposes an unlikely recipe for success and reminds us of Podracing.
"Let’s take the monocoque of a ’60s Formula 1 car and attach to it four oversized drone propellers. Then let’s get people to jump on board these devil-may-care creations and let them race around a pre-defined track", said no one ever. Right? Well, actually, wrong. Someone did think of all that and, what is more, made it a soon-to-materialize reality in the form of AirSpeeder. These flying machines that can reach speeds in excess of 124 mph can accelerate faster than many brisk road cars and are touted as a form of motorsport that will carry us into the future. We’ve seen purpose-built racing drones surpassing 100 mph in flight before but the AirSpeeders are something else and a manned version (most tests conducted thus far featured remote-controlled versions) will be part of an exhibition at the Goodwood FoS this weekend.
The new BMW X6 features a new, huge grille, remains the uglier brother of the X5
The coupe SUV niche will welcome in a matter of hours a new iteration of the model that, arguably, made the niche a thing: BMW’s X6. The third-generation of the supposedly sleeker sibling of the X5 will sit on the same CLAR platform, will be built at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina, plant, and will again be offered with the M treatment. As was the case with the G05-generation X5, we get to share what seems like official press images with you all before the unwrapped X6 is supposed to the light of day.
Are you tired of SUVs with sloping rooflines that try to fool you into thinking they are actually gracious? Did you mumble unholy words upon seeing the Cayenne Coupe? Then, the new X6 may not be the SUV for you and we get you but be sure BMW will sell tons of these so it’s worth sparing a second look.
Someone Compiled a 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Exhaust Soundtrack and It’s Drool-Worthy
We’ll find out soon if the most hyped GM product of the last few decades will live up to everyone’s sky-high expectations. Until we get to take the C8 out for a spin, however, let’s warm up by listening to its exhaust notes, compiled together in one telling video that comes to assure us that America’s Sportscar hasn’t lost its soul as it transitions from a front engine layout to a rear mid-engine layout. At least as far as the acoustics are concerned, anyway.
Are you bored of seeing various spy shots of the Chevrolet Corvette C8 mules somewhere in the world testing? Be it at the Nordschleife, down a highway in Michigan, or snaking through some back roads in Ohio, we’ve all had more than enough of these sightings. It’s always the same, camouflaged silhouette, always the same black tarps across the tail section, and let’s not talk about the various renders. That’s why we’re straying away from the visual side of things and focusing on what our ears can pick up. What engine is in that mule? The auditory quiz shall begin!
Ferrari Is Bringing Three Brothers to the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is the perfect excuse for some of the world’s most amazing cars (and bikes) to gather for a few days on Lord March’s driveway that acts as a hillclimb course. This year, the venue near Chichester in West Sussex will welcome a special delegation straight from Maranello as Ferrari will officially display for the very first time two of its Special Projects cars. On top of that, the Ferrari Monza SP2 part of the ’Icona’ series of limited-run models made to as an ode to some of Ferrari’s past legends.
Founded in 1993 by Lord March, who later became the 11th Duke of Richmond, the Goodwood Festival of Speed brought back the glamour of motor racing to Goodwood, a track that used to host popular Tourist Trophy races in the ’50s and ’60s. The road course itself is not used during the Festival of Speed that instead sees cars drive up and down Lord March’s tight driveway. The track is used during the annual Goodwood Members’ Meeting event and the Goodwood Revival. As is the case every year, the 2019 Goodwood FoS will see hundreds of classic cars - most of them racing cars although some supercars and other exotics are always part of the show - take to the course, many of them driven by their original drivers from back in the day. While Aston Martin will be this year’s celebrated marque 60 years after its first and (so far) only Le Mans win, Ferrari plans to steal the show with a trifecta of cars that you probably won’t see together again ever.
Days At The Races, The 2019 Edition of the Nurburgring 24 Hours Proves You Need Luck To Win A Race On The "Green Hell"
The Nurburgring-Nordschleife road course that sits hidden in the thick forest of the Eiffel Mountains in Germany is an automotive enthusiast’s heaven, and we were there to report from the 2019 Nurburgring 24 Hours race, the most important motorsport event that takes place annually on the old host of the German Grand Prix. The positives? Everything. The negatives? Only one: that the 2020 edition of the race is 12 months away.
When I started covering sports car endurance racing, some six years ago, I quickly established in my head that there are endurance races and there are endurance races. In the latter category, I’ve put the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Sebring 12 Hours, the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hours, the Bathurst 12 Hours, and the Nurburgring 24 Hours - all for obvious reasons. As a result, all of these events found their way to my bucket list and, now, I’ve ticked one of them, and I’m here to tell you what’s like to experience this twice-around-the-clock race for the first time - both from behind and in front of the fences.
New Hypercar Rules Could See Koengisegg Race The Jesko At Le Mans
We first saw the Koenigsegg Jesko at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. There, the replacement of the Agera RS, the current world’s fastest production road car, gathered quite the crowd, not least because of the Swedish automaker’s insane performance claims: that the Jesko puts out 1,578 horses on E85 biofuel or that a low-downforce version could reach 300 mph. Soon, though, we may see the Jesko do other things that the Agera RS never dreamt of doing besides traveling at 300 mph, such as going to the races. What races? The ones in the World Endurance Championship.
The Koenigsegg Jesko, a limited-run hypercar that could reset our standards for what’s fast and what’s outrageously fast, is merely the latest proof that Christian Von Koenigsegg and his motley crew means business. The Swedes thought that having a car in their stable that could do 278 mph on a public road (not on a gimmicky oval like Nardo) is not enough and, as such, the Jesko betters the Agera RS in almost all conceivable ways. It’s so incredible that if Koenigsegg does decide to turn it into a racing car, it won’t race with the likes of the Ferrari 488 GTB, the Aston Martin Vantage, the Chevy Corvette and all of the other GTs, instead gunning for the overall honors courtesy of the new Prototype Hypercar rules that will come into effect in 2020.
5 Interesting Stories From the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 87th edition of the legendary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans brought tears of joys in the eyes of a few and tears of despair in the eyes of many. It was a race jampacked with thrilling battles in the GT ranks as well as some truly dramatic moments in the prototype classes, and we even got a topsy-turvy finish at the sharp end of the field. This may not be one for the history books, but there are plenty of stories emerging from France after last week’s 24-hour race that ended the FIA WEC 2018-2019 Super Season.
The FIA WEC is for the world what the IMSA Weathertech Championship is for North-America, namely the premier sports car racing series. lsoBorn from the ashes of the ill-fated Intercontinental Le Mans Cup that only survived two meager years, the WEC (which stands for World Endurance Championship) wishes to continue the decades-old tradition of the original World Sports Car Championship (turned World Manufacturer’s Championship at one point) that debuted in the mid-’50s but perished in 1992 due to the rising costs of the F1-derived Group C prototypes.
The current World Endurance Championship has also been through some dark days and, in more ways than one, these dark days are bound to continue. Scroll back just three years ago, and you’ll find a healthy and exciting LMP1-Hybrid class with three works programs ducking it all out on the track. Then Audi left. Then Porsche left. And the FIA and the ACO (the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, organizer of the 24 Hours of Le Mans) found themselves without two the headliners of the show. Board meetings followed board meetings and discussions with interested parties, and it was agreed that privateers could compete in the top class, LMP1, with non-hybrid cars and they’d be roughly on par with the lone works team, Toyota Gazoo Racing.
However, the Japanese giant, who’d tried to win Le Mans since the ’80s, was in a position of power and pushed rule makers to dance to its own music and the end result was the lackluster 2018-2019 Super Season we just saw come to an end last weekend.
Acura Plans To Race Up Pikes Peak With A 400 Horsepower MDX Sport Hybrid
Known as the ’Race to the Clouds,’ the annual Pikes Peak International Hillclimb event is arguably the best well-known of its kind and one of the hardest to master. That’s why Acura is deploying a five-car time at Pikes Peak this year although we’ll be focusing on just one of them: a modified MDX Sport Hybrid three-row SUV that’s said to put out 400 horsepower without the exterior appearance (minus the Acura livery, of course) suggesting it means business.
The 12.42-mile-long strip of road that climbs all the way up to 14,115 feet and forms the course of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb was once covered in dirt from one end to the other. Then, as time went by, asphalt started replacing dirt and, now, there’s tarmac everywhere. But this hasn’t stopped all sorts of people showing in all sorts of cars which, on the face of it, seem very unfit for the (potentially deadly) challenge that is the race in Colorado. An SUV might now be the first thing that you’d bring to climb the mountain, but with there being such a big mountain for these high-riding vehicles, it’s become quite appealing for some manufacturers to show up and try to beat the SUV record. The Pikes Peak isn’t the "new" Nurburgring with everybody bragging about how fast they can go around there, but it may become soon enough.
It’s not yet been 20 years since Y2K, and we’re already reaching for the rose-colored glasses when talking about the 2000s. It was a decade of rapid technological advancements, one where flip phones turned into smartphones and laptops were finally making some gains on desktop computers. It was, arguably, the decade of the Fast And Furious franchise, for the movie-going car guys, that went from glamorizing the tuner culture to being just another action franchise that happened to feature some exotics.
Above all, though, it was the decade of the electronic uprising in our sporty cars. The first flappy paddles found their way into up-market supercars, and even the more mundane machinery came with a host of electronic aids to keep them level and straight on the road. Some enjoyed having their skills behind the wheel complimented by the electronic suspension, self-leveling dampers, four-wheeled steering, and other clever robotics that made driving fast a bit easier. The purists, however, did not like the rise of electronic aids and kept searching for those cars that kept true to the old school setup of three pedals, a stick, and no help other than that given by your senses.
We’ve put together a list of 8 sports cars from the 2000s that you should still consider today. They offer the perfect blend between rawness and electronic advancement from a time when we didn’t hear doomsday preachers announcing the end of the manual transmission.
James May Just Did the Best Video Review of the Honda Civic Type R That We’ve Ever Seen
Honda may not be building too many exciting cars at the moment but when the Japanese do get up and slap a ’Type R’ badge onto something, we stop and listen. This is the case with the latest Civic Type R, introduced in 2017, that puts out 306 horsepower, features a social media-friendly body kit, and is a monstrously fast FWD hatchback. Don’t believe me? Maybe you will believe if James May says it.
The FK8 Civic Type R based on the tenth-generation Civic is by far the most insane-looking Civic Type R of the lot and a lot of people out there have been harsh with the car for that very reason. Many say it’s more show than go while you may hear others joking that it was designed so that it will put tuning companies out of business. But this isn’t a car that can only bark and not bite as records on a number of world-renown race tracks will attest. But, for us, the reason why we like this Civic Type R so much is that we can, finally, taste it for ourselves as it’s the first Civic to be sold in the U.S. Let’s hope this is the start of a tradition and not just a one-off opportunity.
Aston Martin DBX to be built at St Athan
Aston Martin may be late to the SUV party but the British automaker is doing everything it can to ensure that the DBX will be a success right out of the box. It’s even opening a brand-new facility that will, at first, focus only on making the DBX before also assembling all of the Lagonda models. The new factory located in Saint Athan, Wales, will eventually employ up to 750 people, most from around the Vale of Glamorgan area.
While production for the DBX will kick-off in earnest in the first half of 2020, Aston Martin used the unveiling of its new plant to also show to the press what has to be the production-ready version of its SUV, albeit covered in red-and-black camouflage. The version we’ve seen testing at the Nordschleife and the Arctic Circle among other places in the past year or so was a prototype but the body we can see on the new mule displayed at Saint Athan is the real deal that people will see in late 2019 when the official launch event will take place.
The Aston Martin DBX will soon become the newest member of a very popular niche, one that was, basically, made popular some 15 years ago when Porsche launched the Cayenne. The luxury and sports car establishment might’ve laughed at the news that Stuttgart’s sports car maker, famed for building the 911 for decades, lost its way and started building SUVs but, soon enough, the market demanded more super-fast and super-luxurious options and Bentley, Maserati, Land Rover, and even Lamborghini answered the call of the masses and came forth with their own SUVs. Ferrari is also expected to entertain its wealthy clientele with a high-riding Prancing Horse named the Purosangue, so Aston Martin’s decision to create the DBX feels normal once you take a step back and look at the whole picture. On top of that, sales of these models are what enable these manufacturers to continue to make sports cars and supercars.
2020 BMW M8 Convertible
Rumored for many, many years, the iconic BMW 8 Series returned to the market in 2018 as the company’s flagship coupe. And unlike the first-generation model, produced from 1989 to 1999, the new 8 Series spawns a high-performance M8 model. As announced, a topless version was unveiled at once with the Coupe model, so the boys from Munich will finally have a competitor for the AMG-prepped Mercedes S63 and S65 Cabriolet. The M8 Convertible, like the Coupe, will be available in standard and in Competition trim. The standard model will put out 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of twist while the Competition version adds 17 ponies max torque comes on earlier.
Not only will the M8 Convertible arrive as a premiere for the nameplate, but it would also be a first for the 8 Series. Although it was produced for a full decade, the first-gen 8 Series remained a coupe only throughout its lifetime. The German firm did develop a Cabrio and built a prototype, but it later decided that it was unlikely to recover its development cost and scrapped the project. The same happened with the original M8, which was axed in favor of the less powerful, but still M-developed 850CSi. Some two decades later and both ideas are merging, at last, into a production model for the very first time. What a time to be a Bimmer fan!
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M8 Convertible.
Tracy Morgan’s Bugatti Isn’t Worth What He Paid for it Now
The Bugatti Veyron, once the world’s fastest car, remains popular among the world’s highest grossing celebrities. Jay-Z has one, and so do Tom Cruise, Chris Brown, and Xzibit, to name but a few. Tracy Morgan happily added himself to the list of Veyron owners just the other day but, 15 minutes into his Veyron experience, the pearl Grand Sport he’d just taken delivery of got sideswiped by a CR-V. The car lost $200,000 off its value that very second and Morgan lost his calm. And you thought your day was bad!
Remember when you last bought a new car last time? Not necessarily a brand new car, but one that was new for you and you were just ready to be its new custodian. Remember how you tentatively drove it home? And how you tried not to get the interior dirtied up and how you parked it away from everybody else so that there’s no danger of any oblivious simpleton with a rust bucket to park near you and carelessly scratch your car when opening his door as wide as it goes. Well, you probably never bought a Bugatti Veyron so imagine how Morgan must’ve felt when an SUV driver who was, apparently, on her phone, attempted to make a right turn from the left lane, completely missing the low-slung Veyron right next to it. You can’t? Well, I can’t either, and maybe that’s not a bad thing after all.
Gordon Murray is working on a spiritual McLaren F1 successor
Ever since McLaren unveiled the F1, people have been waiting, eyebrows up, for whatever else Gordon Murray might be cooking. The genius designer who made his name in the world of Formula 1 and designed such groundbreaking cars like the Brabham BT46B and the Brabham BT55 is finally ready to talk about his next creation. Named the T.50, it’s a car tailored after the F1 with a Cosworth-developed 3.9-liter, naturally aspirated V-12 developing 650 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of twist. The cabin will take three and, as is the case with the F1, Murray won’t make judgments on the top speed.
If last time around Murray was contracted by McLaren to create a road car that would incorporate the F1 know-how of Ron Dennis’ squad, now, it’s all done on Murray’s terms. That’s because the T.50 will be built by Gordon Murray Automotive and it will be designed top to bottom in-house by Gordon Murray Design. A carbon fiber monocoque will hide underneath the sleek body of the T.50, and this will ensure Murray-approved levels of lightness. Remember, the 72-year-old designer has never been a fan of the modern supercars and hypercars that put out buckets of horsepower only to be pegged back by a generous heft - like the 4,400 pounds of a standard Bugatti Chiron. As such, the T.50 will only weigh 2,160 pounds (under a tonne), and you can be sure you won’t miss one on the road since that V-12 will be able to rev all the way up to 12,1000 rpm! Yes, the T.50 will have four wheels, not two.
Jackie Stewart To Drive His Championship-Winning Matra At Silverstone Classic
It’s been 50 years since legendary Scottish driver Jackie Stewart bagged his first World Driver’s Title driving the Matra MS80 in his second season with the French government-backed outfit. This July, fans will be able to see the gorgeous blue silhouette of the MS80 running around the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in the hands of the inimitable JYS, the man who went on to win the World Driver’s Championship two more times during his enduring partnership with Ken Tyrrell. Tyrell, however, eventually switched from being Matra’s Team Manager to being the constructor of his own Tyrrell cars.
You have seen them in films (chiefly, John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix from 1966), period videotapes, and images and I’m sure you still ask yourself, How were they ever allowed to race those things? Motorsport wasn’t always a safe place like it is today when, to be frank, only a freak accident can result in the death of a driver or a bystander, at least in automobile racing. Turn back the clock 50 years ago, and you’ll realize that there were casualties every other weekend and that some of Formula 1’s greatest talents from back in those days never got to grow grey hairs.
Out of the survivors, Jackie Stewart is one of the finest. Widely considered as Jim Clark’s protegee, Stewart rose from the shadow of Clark’s greatness after Jim tragically passed away in 1968 to win three F1 World Driver’s Titles, one Tasman Series title, and almost won the Indy 500 on his first attempt in 1966, among many other accolades. Since his retirement from Formula 1 in 1973, after a grim weekend for Tyrrell’s team, Stewart has remained very much active in motorsports acting as a pundit (if you’re older you may remember him being part of the team on ABC’s Wide World of Sports and NBC Sportsworld) on TV and, also, as a Team Boss in the ’90s for Stewart-Ford. However, arguably, his greatest achievement has been to increase the people’s awareness towards the importance of safety in motorsport during those deadly post-War decades. This stance made him an unpopular figure at the time despite his success as a driver but, nowadays, you can’t help but admit that he’s been instrumental in pushing motorsport, in general, to become safer and safer, a fight that’s still going on today.
The Volkswagen ID.R Just Slaughtered the Nurburgring - Here’s How Fast
Do you hear it? It’s the Volkswagen PR machine stomping the ground and announcing far and wide that the halo car of the I.D. family has just annihilated the Nurburgring-Nordschleife circuit in Germany and, in the process, put a new benchmark lap time for EVs. The time? A 6:05.336 after many tryout laps and other tests that have commenced in April. Is it noteworthy? Most certainly. Is it as noteworthy as VW would want you to believe? Not really. Bear with me to see what I’m talking about.
Last year, Volkswagen sent shockwaves around the world when Frenchman Romain Dumas claimed victory and shattered the previous all-time record set by rally legend Sebastien Loeb in 2013 at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb. Already an overall winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours race and a three-time winner of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb, Dumas pulled the feat aboard Volkswagen’s cutting-edge I.D.-R, a purpose-built prototype made for the Race to the Clouds. He followed that up by raising the bar on Lord March’s driveway and setting a new EV record during the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Since late last year, we’ve heard that the German giant is after the record and it all came down now. The NIO EP9’s reign is no more.
A Roofless Porsche Cayman Is Here To Remind You Of The Bergspyder, a 847-pound racer
Porsche likes keeping secrets. With a vault full of priceless cars and many projects ongoing at the same time, we sometimes get surprised when something new comes out of Wiessach, and this is just such a moment. What you’re looking at is a roofless Cayman with one seat and a minimalistic roll hoop or, to be more pedantic, a Boxster from the third generation modified to be lighter than ever. It’s inspired by the 909 Bergspyder from 1968, and it only weighs 2,422 pounds, a whopping 741 pounds lighter than a Boxster GTS with the PDK transmission and 476 pounds lighter than the Boxster Spyder.
Now, all of you Porsche fanatics out there, don’t jump on your computers dropping emails to Porsche asking about this thing, officially known as the Boxster Bergspyder, because it’s not really real. I mean, it is real, the car in the shots does exist, but that’s it. Porsche built only one to mark the 50th anniversary of the 909 Bergspyder and, due to potential registration issues, decided to break the mold after that. So, yes, if you want an ultra-light Boxster you still have to wait for the 718 Boxster Spyder but you can already be sure it won’t be as light as this one because it can’t be. Also, what’s cool about the 981-generation Boxster Bergspyder is that it’s powered by the 3.8-liter mill from the 2016 Cayman GT4 so there’re no turbos. Oh, how we wish Porsche would change its mind...
How Much will the 2021 Ferrari SF90 Cost?
Ferrari undoubtedly stole all of the headlines in the automotive world this week when it released the first official images of its next hypercar, the SF90 Stradale. Immediately, people started touting it as the "replacement for the LaFerrari," but this isn’t the case. No, the SF90 Stradale is just Ferrari’s first PHEV and just the most powerful Ferrari road car ever made with a combined output of 986 horsepower, 37 more than the LaFerrari. What this means is that it will be expensive but not as expensive as you think it’ll be and it also won’t be as rare as you think it’ll be since Ferrari won’t make it in limited quantities like in the case of the LaFerrari or the Enzo.
Now, before I jump into hiding to dodge any rocks that may be heading my way, let me tell you that, upon seeing the SF90 Stradale, I thought it looks a bit uninspiring for it to be the next Ferrari halo car. Not that it’s ugly as such, it just doesn’t stand out the way a LaFerrari, an Enzo or an F40 all do in their own very specific ways. Of course, the SF90 Stradale does stand out when you look at the numbers: 986 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged V-8 working together with three electric motors, 590 pound-feet of twist just from the V-8, a dry weight of just 3,461 pounds in its track-oriented guise, 0-62 mph in 2.5 seconds, 0-124 mph in 6.7 seconds, and a top speed in excess of 211 mph. Oh, and it’s also quicker around Fiorano than the LaFerrari.
Now, after successfully bombarding you with all these numbers you’ve most likely read before, I’ll tell you why I think the SF90 Stradale really matters: it matters because it’s very much the future, a car that utilizes F1 tech to the point that Ferrari have named it after its current F1 contender and only added the ’Stradale’ designation, one that’s been dormant for some 15 years, to signal to everyone that, yes, indeed, you can take it out to shop for groceries and, in fact, it can go in all-electric mode for 16 miles, more than a Honda Accord PHEV. So, how much will you have to pay for a Ferrari that allows you to drive more than an Accord while holding hands with nature?
Ford To Race With Historic Liveries For GT’s Le Mans Swansong
The Ford GT in racing trim is both one of the most successful and one of the most controversial GT racing cars of the past decade. Having debuted in 2016 when the road car was yet to see the gleaming floors of a dealership, the GTE-spec Ford GT will retire as a factory race car after this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans race, the final round of the 2018-2019 FIA World Endurance Championship Super-Season. The good news is that it’ll do it by giving a final tribute to its forerunners from half a century ago.
We’re less than a month away from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 87th running of the most famous sports car endurance race in the world. Last year, Porsche wowed the crowds with a pair of retro-liveried Porsches, namely the No. 91 Manthey Racing entry that sported a Rothmans-inspired color scheme and the No. 92 Manthey Racing entry that threw it back to 1971 and the emblematic Porsche 917/20 ’Pink Pig.’ A full year has gone by and, now, it is Ford’s turn to delve into its storied past. If Porsche’s performance last year (a pole with the No. 91 car in the hands of Gianmaria Bruni and the victory in the GTE-Pro class with the No. 92 squad) is any indication of how retro-liveried entries fare at Le Mans, the Ford works program will end with a bang.
2020 Alpine A110 Sport
The Alpine A110 is one of the best sports cars currently on the market; the only car one James May bought last year out of all of the machines he got to test. And for good reason. The French midship pocket rocket that packs a 1.8-liter, turbocharged engine delivering 249 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque sent to the back wheels through a seven-speed automatic box benefits from an awesomely balanced chassis and sharp steering that make it a true driver’s car. Yes, there’s no manual on offer right now, but the car you see in these spy shots could be the answer to our prayers for more oomph as Renault could be hard at work developing a track-oriented version of the A110. We’re impatient!
When the Alpine A110-50 Concept broke cover in 2012, quickly followed by an Alpine-branded racing program in the European Le Mans Series and at Le Mans, we were wary at the prospect of a full-blown revival of the Alpine brand. You see, when Alpine was in its prime, the Renault-powered A110 1600 models were dominating the rally stages, and the car was a French symbol. Then, as years went by, Alpine kept its racing credentials by winning Le Mans outright in partnership with Renault but, on the road, the products moved away from the recipe that made the brand great. The A310 looked good, but the A610 of the ’80s and ’90s was just a cruiser. In a world of cars that get fatter by the day, pushed by safety regulations and the necessity to fill them to the brim with tech, we thought that a modern-day Alpine would just be a revival of the A610, an awkward, sluggish coupe that you either love or truly hate. Then we heard that it’ll be named ’A110’ and we crossed our fingers it won’t tarnish that legendary name.
Then, when the car finally saw the light of day we were left drooling at its styling. It evoked the original while still looking fresh and, most important of all, it was tiny. It looked smaller than even an Alfa 4C or a Porsche 718 Cayman - Renault’s benchmark when developing the A110 - and then people started driving the new Alpine, and the positive reviews started pouring. This time, though, it wasn’t a case of pundits getting together to give empty applause to a car that doesn’t deserve even a single-handed clap. No, the 2017 Alpine A110 is a well-sorted car that is deserving of the badge and of the heritage of the company founded by Jean Redele. A hotter version can only translate in a general tremble across the board from Audi’s TT to Porsche’s Cayman and everything in between.
The 2019 Ares Panther Rolls Up At The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
Remember the Ares Panther? It’s the modern-day De Tomaso Pantera that arrived at our doorstep before the De Tomaso brand itself could scramble back into existence, and it made a surprise appearance at the 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este near Lake Como, in Italy. The Panther is a Huracan under the skin, but that skin is all that matters because, well, point me to another car from 2019 with pop-up headlights. I’ll wait.
We all like restomods which is, broadly, the art of reviving an old car by infusing just the right amount of modern tech to make it relevant in today’s world while also not diluting its spirit too much in the process. Singer has done it beautifully, crafting some rolling works of art and that’s just one example. We’ve actually compiled a list of some of the best restomodded cars out there but, before you check that out, take a look at the Ares Panther, a different take on the concept of restomodding. Instead of taking an old chassis and body and upgrading it to make it handle like new while still looking unapologetically old, Ares decided to refresh a classic design and use some modern underpinnings to make sure they end up with a sound car that goes as fast as it looks.