Hot Rod

Video: MotorWeek takes on the Camaro ZL1

Video: MotorWeek takes on the Camaro ZL1

While Chevrolet was busy taking the Camaro Z28 to the Nurburgring race track where it scored a lap time of 7:37.40, the guys over Motor Week had the chance to take the 2012 Camaro ZL1 for a pretty cool test drive.

The 1969 Camaro ZL1 was inspired by the original 1969 Camaro ZL1 that was offered in a limited edition run of just 69 units, but comes loaded with lots of cool stuffs that transform it into one of the coolest Camaro ever.

The ZL1 is based on the SS version, but it adds a few more features, like an updated suspension, a more powerful engine - it delivers 580 horsepower instead of 550, gets an updated engine, and will look a little bit different on both the interior and the exterior.

The test was made at the Vigginia International Raceway - a pretty challenging track for a pony car, but the ZL1 is always incredible to watch... even on Motor Week.

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2013 Audi RS5 by McChip-DKR

2013 Audi RS5 by McChip-DKR

The Audi RS V-8 engine is a dreamboat. But is that stock Audi RS5’s 4.2-liter V-8 engine with 450 enough to keep pace with twin-turbo BMW’s and Mercedes-Benz super-coupes?

Many auto-bahn drivers would agree that a car like this can do much better than what Audi is offering from factory.

The German tuner McChip-DKR decided the RS5 can be further improved and is offering a tuning kit for pretty much every taste out there. In fact the new kit is offered in three different stages, so you can get the RS5 to the power level you will like - or your wallet will allow.

In stage 1 the V-8’s output was increased up to 550 horsepower, but if you need more you can also opt for a stage 3 of upgrades that will take the final output to an even cooler 600 horsepower. The only problem is that the kit is a little bit expensive and you can pay up to $36,500 for it.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 by McChip-DKR.

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Name That Face: Camaro Z28 Nurburgring Driver At Large (Wanted For Questioning)

Name That Face: Camaro Z28 Nurburgring Driver At Large (Wanted For Questioning)

The drama continues to unfold since Chevy released an outstanding high-def video of its new 2014 Camaro Z/28 hitting ridiculous speeds and lap times on the Nurburgring earlier this week.

48 hours ago, as the Youtube link of the video hit the TopSpeed newsdesk: the Z/28 track video views count stood at 111. Total.

After making waves for the last few days, the video has crested 330,000 views and is climbing fast. Why is this eight minutes of Point-of-View racing footage such an event? There are a few reasons, visible in the video itself from about 5:00 onward, when the rain starts coming down hard just as the Z/28 is on the back straight-aways. The driver briefly touches 161 mph after a lap that would sap the arm strength of pop-eye himself.

This is not a driving sim. This is not a digitally remastered classic. This is news, happening with the same leafy trees turning fall colors in Germany as in America and the rest of the world.

This crowd-sourced and social news environment is fun. It brings everyone into the game, and being included is fun.

The Z/28 has more uphill battles to climb when carving out a sales niche for itself in the Camaro lineup. As an all-new model for 2015, the intimidating badge can now finally back up its bar-room swagger out on the roads.

But who was this brave ace of a racing driver behind the wheel of the eardrum-shattering supercar? Initial ideas about who hangs out at the ’Ring led us to the Queen: Ms. Sabine Schmitz and her expertise on this track on everything from a bike to a semi truck. If there is one driver who knows this course and its many, mnay variables in traction: it is Sabine.

But the world is filled with many other superhero drivers. TopSpeed has a strong hunch that the white helmet behind the wheel of the Z/28 was not Sabine, but rather… another household name.

Some say… to click past the jump for the full TopSpeed "Wanted" Dossier on the 2014 Camaro Z/28’s Nurburgring driver.

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TopSpeed Video: Chevrolet Camaro RS With Active Exhaust

TopSpeed Video: Chevrolet Camaro RS With Active Exhaust

The Chevrolet Camaro is fresh for 2014 with a wide variety of new technology and features for all levels of the iconic pony-car lineup.

There are highlights at every price level, with the all-new Z28’s rainy-day lap record of the Nurburgring setting the tone for much more capable and handling-focused rear-drive sports coupes from Chevy in 2014.

The stars are aligned for TopSpeed and the Camaro as well, because no sooner did we stop speculating about the Z28’s driver on Twitter... a brand-new Camaro RS had arrived out front.

This RS is so far removed from all the previous appearance packages that comparing new to old is almost impossible. Despite carrying a DOHC V-6 engine in place of the Corvette’s OHV V-8, the Camaro RS sings with just as much throaty rumble under power.

How to make a V-6, direct-injection engine bellow? Four giant stainless tips peek out from below the new LED tail lights - giving a big clue that this is no old Vulcan V-6 Mustang.

Matching polished 20-inch alloys and LED lighting up front completes the Camaro RS’s exterior makeover.

But the ultimate show piece is the new dual-mode active exhaust option. At $900, this will be money in the bank for years to come. The baffles open at about 3,250 RPM and stay clear through the Camaro V-6’s 7,000 RPM red-line.

But if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million. Enjoy these first drive video reviews ahead of the full TopSpeed Driven review in the coming weeks.

Click past the jump for even more fun in the Camaro RS, including POV video of the hot new Chevy doing a pair of donuts in an empty parking lot, then roaring past a Mustang GT out on the road

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2014 Camaro Z28 Nails 7:38 At Nurburgring In Misty Weather

2014 Camaro Z28 Nails 7:38 At Nurburgring In Misty Weather

If the new Stingray has really been to chassis and charm school for 2014, what about the equally-exciting 2014 Camaro Z28?

With tires from a steamroller and a soundtrack to match, the Camaro is faster than ever with its refreshed aerodynamics and electronics for 2014.

What Chevrolet shows in this high-resolution video is a single brave driver challenging the ultimate proving ground, the north circuit of the Nurburgring. For give the lack of ’umlat dots’ over the U - this is breaking news.

An insider tip gives TopSpeed the jump on this story, which is sure to be huge news.

Not sure what size shoes this driver wears, or how he became so brave on the dizzing array of corners, elevation changes, and ultimate blaring high-speed run down the back straight.

The headline is the time achieved by the Z28 in these damp conditions. A 7:37:47 is a major accomplishment for the Z28, easily lopping 30 seconds off what a similar SS could achieve before 2014.

Performance Traction Management brings part of the thrill under control, but the blaring soundtrack and high-definition timer visuals offer a Camaro like no other.

And none with absolutely super-car-fast lap times on the world’s hardest track. This video this a must-watch event, so put it on HD mode, and sit back for the thrill ride of a lifetime in the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28.

Updated 10/15/2013: This article has been updated with a mega photo gallery of the 2014 Z/28’s most recent adventure.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model - Driven

2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model - Driven

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is finally out of its doldrums of quad-oval lights and messy body kits. The AMG Hammer is well and truly reborn with this latest generation of ultra-fast, luxurious and stylish new E63 models.

The E63 now wears the trendy sheetmetal to challenge even the sporty M6 and the Audi RS7. Understated appeal has always been an AMG E-Class feature, but the new styling enhancements mean that the E63 is extremely serious, attention-grabbing and highly entertaining to enjoy up close.

Despite a subtle sedan shape, even blind people know that a very special car is approaching as the E63 AMG gurgles into earshot. This engine maintains much of the previous staccato machine-gun fire noise from the last cars’ naturally-aspirated engines.

In 2014, the E63 — for the first time — gains 4Matic all-wheel-drive as standard in the U.S. to go along with this beastly twin-boosted V-8, and a cabin whose luxury and comfort are contenders for world’s best.

Click past the jump for this exclusive TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model, including a few videos of the car in action as it slams through the gears on full throttle.

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Atomic Hot Rods Releases New Promo Video

Atomic Hot Rods Releases New Promo Video

Something that is really incredible about the Olympic Games is how enthralling it can be to hear the winning athletes talk about their sport. Even if the sport is something the viewer has never done or even seen, hearing an expert break it down can really bring it to life.

That is the mood from Brian Darwas in the latest promo for his mastercraft custom car shop, Atomic Hot Rods. He walks us through his vision for the hot rod’s final state: authentic and real are the goals, so much that a bystander cannot tell if the car was made into a hot rod in 2002 or 1952.

There’s a real art to his craft and a beauty to bringing dead cars back to the roads. The best part of this expert promo video? The car (or one quite similar) featured within is for sale. A one-of-a-kind 1932 Ford Roadster with an all-steel Brookville Body is currently on the market from Atomtic Hot Rods.

Click past the jump to watch the promo video, featuring Brian Darwas and Atomic Hot Rods.

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2013 Local Motors Rally Fighter

2013 Local Motors Rally Fighter

The Local Motors Rally Fighter is still going strong two years after the first deliveries of this 2000-unit purpose-built off-road racer’s production run. With 50-state compliance on lighting and emissions, the road-legal Rally Fighter runs a 6.2-liter V-8 to the giant rear wheels before reaching a tire-limited top speed of 131 mph.

Available for special orders from anywhere on the globe, the Rally Fighter is one of the most unique and exciting launch models from a new manufacturer. Outside the muddy ruts of the English countryside and the mutant Land Rovers, like the Bowler EXR-S and RallyRaid DW3, most new supercar ventures are focused on the 6-lane drag strips of central Dubai.

Local Motors takes a totally different path, with its unique engineering and prototype method leveraging the passion and skills of the internet to draw in R&D talent from across the world.

The result is a steel space frame and crash cage that looks Armageddon-proof, and suspension travel and off-road prowess to stop a 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition in its tracks. The final piece of the Rally Fighter puzzle is this: styling so otherworldly that it causes more of a stir in traffic than taking the Gravedigger monster truck to the grocery store.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2013 Local Motors Rally Fighter, including a mega image gallery, links to the new online configurator, and info on how to order your own custom version of this off-road beast.

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Which car will get you the most girls? 2012 Lamborghini Aventador or 1930 Ford Model A Rat Rod?

Which car will get you the most girls? 2012 Lamborghini Aventador or 1930 Ford Model A Rat Rod?

We hate saying this but many people buy expensive supercars just to be seen in them. Rather than appreciating the engineering and hard work which is put into creating these exotics, the sad truth is people buys cars like the Lamborghini to find beautiful women who will be “wooed” by their expensive taste.

But does expensive always mean more girls will be attracted to you cruising in your car? Well, Motor Trend teamed up with HOT ROD Magazine’s David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan when they rented a Lamborghini Aventador for 24 hours, costing a cool $6000 dollars. They were also lucky enough to take an extremely unique and one-off 1930 Model A ‘Rat Rod’ which was only ever designed for automotive conventions and shows, rather than actual driving.

The goal of the test? Well, it was simply to find out which car attracts the most attention when cruising through Californian streets, and the result may surprise you.

Enjoy the video!

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2012 One Lap America is in the books

2012 One Lap America is in the books

One Lap America actually has roots dating back to the original Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, known simply as Cannonball. Many of today’s enthusiasts think that Cannonball was simply a movie or plot, but this was actually a real-life cross-country race that included high speeds on U.S. highways.

The original Cannonball only lasted five runs until its organizer, Brock Yates, decided he had better quit this no-holds-barred race before the authorities decide to close it down. In 1984, the Cannonball returned, but was not about making it across the country as fast as possible, but about making it through a course that went throughout the lower 48 states and ended up with the amount of miles closest to Brock’s estimate.

In the modern era of the One Lap America, the race is now about following the rules of the road, as you drive throughout a predetermined course, and between these leisurely drives, you have track events. The scoring of this event is solely based on the track event results, but you and your co-driver(s) must also survive driving 24 hours on end, stopping only to enjoy a “gourmet” gas station hot dog or two along the way.

This 19-event, eight-day racing series just wrapped up on Saturday and we have your full list of winners in each class and we have also broken down a list of all of the oddest and most awesome cars to grace the 2012 running.

Click past the jump to read about the odd and awesome cars, as well as the winners from each class.

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1986 AC Autokraft MkIV Cobra

1986 AC Autokraft MkIV Cobra

The original AC Shelby Cobra debuted back in 1961 in a joint venture between AC, a company owned by famed racecar driver Carroll Shelby, and Ford. An interesting fact is that had it not been for Chevy trying to protect its sacred Corvette model, the AC Shelby Cobra would have ended up being a Chevy-powered machine. As it ended up, Chevy turned down AC, and Ford stepped in to help power the Cobra.

The AC Shelby Cobra was a short-lived project that lasted only three generations between 1961 and 1967. AC managed to hang on for another 17 years before closing up shop in 1984. During the fire sale that took place following AC’s closing, Autokraft snatched up all of the toolings and spare parts of the failed company, which allowed it to become a parts reseller and replica car builder.

Autokraft’s replicas were so awesome and respectful to the history of the AC Cobra that the Hurlock family, the family that purchased the AC name, sold off its closely guarded rights to the name to Autokraft in 1986. This sale officially made all Autokraft Cobras the real deal, and not just the replicas of the past.

Staying true to the sequence of the original AC Shelby Cobras, Autokraft dubbed this model the AC Cobra MkIV – the prior three Cobras were dubbed MkI, MkII, and MkIII. Despite the fact that the MkIV Cobra was produced for a decade, only 480 models ever made it to the street, making this sometimes called “kit car” just about as rare as the original Shelby version.

With how rare these cars are, it is typically a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snag one up. Well, RM Auctions is making this a possibility at its Dingman Collection auction on June 9th through June 10th, 2012 in Hampton, New Hampshire.

So how does this replica car company turned legit Cobra builder stack up today?

Click past the jump to read our full review.

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Steve Saleen Returns to the Company he Founded

Steve Saleen Returns to the Company he Founded

Many years ago, okay maybe less than two years ago, if you were cruising down the road in your hopped up Mustang GT and came across a Mustang bearing the “Saleen” name on the side, you knew your poor GT had no chance. In 2007, this all started to change, as Steve Saleen left the company. Then in 2011, the performance vehicle side of Saleen shut down altogether. This rendered the once feared custom car builder just a high-performance parts supplier.

Shortly after leaving Saleen, Steve Saleen started SMS Supercars, basically a new version of Saleen. A long legal battle ensued after Saleen’s new ownership group refused to honor warranties for the performance vehicles it manufactured prior to taking ownership and SMS Supercars stepped in to try to help. The legal battle circled around whether or not SMS Supercars had the right to use the “Saleen” name.

After what seems like ages, there is finally a decision. Steve Saleen has been awarded the rights to use the “Saleen” name on all of his vehicles. In addition, all previously manufactured SMS Supercar vehicles will be added to Saleen’s master registry, making them official Saleen vehicles. Plus, Saleen will start producing badges for all of the old SMS Supercar vehicles, which SMS Supercar owners can buy and put in place of the old “SMS” badges.

SMS Supercars essential now becomes one with Saleen, which means Saleen will begin producing super high-performance models of the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro.

Saleen lovers of the world rejoice! The days of Saleen being little more than AutoZone on steroids are over. We cannot wait to see the first Saleen branded cars, which should be coming very soon, though there is no official release date.

Hit the jump for the official press release

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