Race Car reviews

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2019 Audi R8 LMS GT3

2019 Audi R8 LMS GT3

Race-spec with Four Rings

Audi is one of the most successful manufacturers in the highly-popular GT3 arena which attracted most of the world’s top manufacturers since the class debuted in 2006. The German manufacturer rolled out an update for its second-generation R8 LMS which promises to build on an already strong base.

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2020 Toyota Supra GR

2020 Toyota Supra GR

Is the souped-up Supra testing at the Nürburgring now?

There are images aplenty of the new Supra, but these days, Toyota’s been testing a race-prepped version of their new sports car at the Nordschleife which we think might be the mule for the upcoming sportier Supra.

With this occasion, we got a chance to get a little closer to the Supra, and we like what we see. For example, we got an eyeful of the interior, with the center stack lacking any sort of camouflage with the big infotainment screen on top of the central attraction. It all seems to be, apart from the racing wheel, pretty much stock, so there’s not much guesswork left to do about how the interior will look, given that some renderings of the interior and exterior were also leaked this week.

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1951 1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta by Touring

1951 1951 Ferrari 340 America Barchetta by Touring

A classic open-top Prancing Horse, ready for export

The Ferrari 340 America was the first model in the America series conceived with export in mind, used as a means to increase Ferrari’s footprint in the United States. The 340 featured a brand-new Lampredi V-12 which made its way to Formula 1, with this particular car racing at Le Mans twice in the early ’50s.

The Ferrari America series was launched at the dawn of the ’50s to appeal to American customers who wanted less rugged interior premises, bigger engines, and more performance. The first car of this lineage was the 340 America, which debuted at the 1950 Paris Motor Show in full racing trim. Granted, most Ferraris back then were as much race cars as they were road cars, but a customer could personalize his car to be more friendly on the road with softer suspension, different gearbox ratios, or new engine settings.

As this is a Ferrari from the early days of the company, it was made in very few numbers, on order from importers or customers. Barely 23 cars were completed between 1950 and 1952, with three coachbuilders taking care of the body. Carrozzeria Touring built six Barchetta and two Berlinetta bodies, Vignale crafted five Spyder bodies, five Berlinetta bodies, and one larger Convertible, while Ghia built only four fixed-head Coupes.

The car seen here is chassis #0116/A, the third 340 America built, and one of the 6 Barchettas by Touring. It ran briefly in period, its highlights being a couple of entries in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Owner Pierre-Louis Dreyfus shared the car in 1951 with well-known Grand Prix driver Louis Chiron and, in 1952, Rene Dreyfus. While the car didn’t reach the finish line on either occasion, it went on to sell for $8,430,000 during the 2016 RM Sotheby’s auction in Monaco.

Read on to understand why the 340 America commands such high prices.

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1978 Shakee Can Am racer

1978 Shakee Can Am racer

One of the first cars built by Fabcar Engineering

Also known as the Shakee Sports Racer, this car is one of the first built by Fabcar Engineering from Roman Slobodynski’s designs. The former AAR Chief Designer was commissioned by Tom Spalding.

Inspired by early ’70s Can Am beasts, the Shakee never raced in the Citicorp Canadian-American Challenge itself which had, by 1978, turned to a single-seater formula where former F5000 open-wheelers were converted to closed-bodywork sports cars. It was most likely used for SCCA-sanctioned races or Autocross events.

Tom Spalding was involved in the Can-Am series running the Bob McKee-designed Schkee DB1 which won the first race of the rejuvenated series with works driver Tom Klausler a year before.

The car doesn’t have a verified racing history but is akin to C-Production sports cars that run in SCCA championships in the US.

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1959 GSM Dart

1959 GSM Dart

South Africa’s unknown, lightweight sports car

The GSM Dart is a lightweight sports car produced in South Africa between 1959 to 1964. The lightweight vehicle was built by Glass Sport Motors, a company founded by Bob van Niererk and Willie Meissner in Cape Town, South Africa in 1958.

Meissner established GSM after he discovered glassfiber reinforced plastic manufacturing during a visit to England. The technology was new at the time and had not reached South Africa. The Dart was actually the country’s second production car, with the first having been launched in 1957 by G.R.P. Engineering. Although production of the Dart spanned over five years, only 35 examples were built, which makes it a rare collector’s item. Let’s find out more about it in the review below.

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1958 Porsche 550a Spyder

1958 Porsche 550a Spyder

The little German giant killer

The Porsche 550 is a true icon of Porsche history. Known as both a race car and a sports car, the 550 was the kind of machine you could drive to the track, take the win, then drive back home. The famous British-American racing driver Ken Miles called it the “greatest long-distance racer in the world,” and despite its low power figures, this plucky little two-door could take down cars with far more power and straight-line speed. Eventually evolving into the even-quicker 550a, the 550 is now widely recognized as one of the more desirable collectible Porsches in the world.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 550a Spyder.

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2019 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO

2019 Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO

Lamborghini has revealed the most aggressive version of its smallest offering, the $430,000 Huracan GT3 Evo racer, which as its name suggests, is an evolution of the original Huracan GT3. It improves the first GT3 in several ways and is available for purchase both as a standalone model or as an upgrade for any existing Huracan GT3.

Winning not only the GT Asia Series Championship in 2016, as well as the Rolex 24 at Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring, the Huracan GT3, has proven highly successful, and the Evo is further refined and enhanced to bring out its qualities. The main point of focus was enhancing the car’s aerodynamics with the help of the Dallara Engineering.

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1963 Lola GT

1963 Lola GT

The Lola Mk. 6 GT is genuine cornerstone material in the racing world as it laid the groundwork for what would become Ford’s answer to Ferrari: the GT40. It was also one of the first mid-engined GT sports cars to race at Le Mans, its philosophy transforming into the go-to recipe for endurance racers for years to follow.

This year, we celebrated 50 years since Ford’s third win on the trot at Le Mans. One more was on the cards for the following year, and all was possible because of Eric Broadley’s Lola Mk. 6 GT which debuted at London’s Olympia Racing Car Show in January of 1963. It was a sleek, yet simple design that blazed a trail that many would follow in the construction of purposeful endurance sports cars as well as many road cars that we now look at and consider the forefathers of the supercar.

It all happened thanks to a change in the regulations of the rebadged World Sports Car Championship, which would be known as the International Championship for GT Manufacturers for 1962. This rebranding exercise also led the way to FISA launching a new class for Experimental Grand Touring cars. These were, in effect, closed-top sports racers that didn’t need to worry about any homologation requirements that were in line for production-based machinery. While still retaining the GT moniker, these were, for all intents and purposes, prototypes that had to retain some degree of roadworthiness to be road legal.

This was very much the case with the Mk. 6 GT which, in innovative fashion, featured monocoque construction, although it wasn’t a “full monocoque.” Another innovation laid in the construction of the bodywork which was made entirely out of fiberglass, something quite uncommon at the time. For all the stir int produced upon launch, the Mk. 6 GT fell short on its promises, Broadley’s limited pockets effectively cutting the wings of his new design which seldom showed up at a race meeting, and when it did it never lasted too long.

Only three of these cars were ever made and, thankfully, all survive to this day. While you may think they are only a footnote in the Ford vs. Ferrari saga, if it weren’t for Lola raising Henry Ford II’s eyebrows at Le Mans 55 years ago, we may never have gotten the GT40 the way we know it today. Yes, the follow-up Lola T70 is the much more revered design, and the Ford GT40 is the one that gathered all the accolades in the winner’s circle, but the Mk. 6 GT deserves to lavish in much more attention than it gets for the pioneering act that it is.

Keep reading to learn more about the Lola Mk. 6 GT and its intricate history and historical relevance.

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2018 Hyundai Ioniq SEMA Ultimate Street Car

2018 Hyundai Ioniq SEMA Ultimate Street Car

This is not your typical electric Hyundai

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric may not look like a race car, but leave it to Hyundai to create something out of seemingly nothing with the Ioniq Electric 2018 Ultimate Street Car. Developed to defend its 2017 title in the GTE class of the Optima Ultimate Street Car series, this one-off Ioniq Electric isn’t for the faint of heart. It looks the part of a race car. It’s fitted with a number of racing components. Most importantly, it’s the recipient of an electric motor transplant from the Hyundai Kona, giving it the juice to compete against the likes of Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Tesla Model S P100D. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is scheduled to compete in the last two races of the 2018 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational.

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2018 Hyundai Veloster SEMA Ultimate Street Car

2018 Hyundai Veloster SEMA Ultimate Street Car

Special Race Car To Announce The Upcoming Hyundai Veloster N

Prepared to compete at the Optima Batteries’ 2018 Search for the Ultimate Street Car, Hyundai unveiled an all-new special Veloster N. It will enter the Optima Batteries GTC class and compete at the last two events of the year. The reasoning behind this new special edition Veloster N is straightforward. Hyundai is about to reveal the performance-focused Veloster N in the U.S. Generating hype by competing in events like this can only further the cause of linking the Veloster N name with performance and excitement.

"The OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car competition is the perfect venue to allow Hyundai to showcase its expanding performance envelope and introduce the N-brand vehicles to performance enthusiasts," said Joshua Vedder, Senior Group Manager, Customer Connect, Hyundai Motor America. "The vehicles are modified in a way that mirrors a typical enthusiast – gripper tires and suspension, increased power, etc.; and then tested in this severe environment. This is one way we ensure our vehicle will exceed our customers’ expectations."

Apart from the new specially prepared racing Veloster N, Hyundai unveiled an awesome Ioniq with the drivetrain from the Kona Electric. That one will try to defend the title it won at the 2017 National Championship in the GTE class. Nevertheless, we are focused now on the Veloster N as it did receive some serious upgrades over the streetcar that will come soon to our market, but it remain a street-legal machine.

Applying much the same magic as to the stunning i30 N, Hyundai translated the Veloster N into a car capable of competing with the likes of the Civic Type R, the Golf GTI, and the Focus ST, among others. We have been expecting the Veloster N for some time. Actually, ever since we saw that stunning mid-engine Veloster with a 2.0-liter, 296-horsepower turbocharged engine back in 2014.

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1968 Porsche 908 Works Short-Tail Coupe

1968 Porsche 908 Works Short-Tail Coupe

A Stuttgart racing classic

The Porsche 908 is a prototype racer that competed in the mid- to late-‘60s and into the early-70’s, squaring off against some of the best of the best from the likes of Ferrari and Ford in numerous endurance racing events. Bearing an advanced aero package, an innovative flat-eight-cylinder engine, and a tenacious attitude, the 908 played a crucial part in Porsche’s racing development, and now sits as one of the more desirable collectible competition Porsches to go head to auction.

Continue reading to learn more about 1968 Porsche 908 Works Short-Tail Coupe..

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2018 Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak

2018 Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak

Heading to America’s Mountain with a wing and a dream

In case you hadn’t heard, Volkswagen is pivoting to a greener, more eco-friendly approach to building its cars, offering up plans to produce a host of new all-electric models over the next several years. Spearheading this new direction is a range of vehicles dubbed the I.D. family, which includes concepts like the Buzz minivan and Crozz four-door crossover. However, doesn’t think the I.D. range will be the death of go-fast VW’s - quite the opposite, in fact, as VW is also prepping a little something labeled I.D. for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado this June. It’s called the I.D. R, and it’s the company’s first-ever all-electric race car, purpose-built to tackle the Race to the Clouds. If ever there was a worthwhile application of VW’s EV tech, this is it. Mind the wing.

Update 08/27/2018: We just came back from Monterey Car Week 2018 and can’t wait to share the images we took of the Volkswagen I.D. R Pike Peak racer. If you thought it looked cool before, check it out up close and personal in our gallery at the bottom of this page!

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2019 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet

2019 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet

The quickest and most powerful yet!

The Mustang Cobra Jet is now known as Ford’s factory-built drag racer, but the "Cobra Jet" badge was actually created for a 7.0-liter V-8 engine back in 1968. This is also the year when the Blue Oval produced 50 lightweight Mustangs for the said engine and shipped six of them to Holman Moody and Bill Stroppe to be prepared for NHRA racing. Fifty years later and Ford is celebrating the event with a special-edition Cobra Jet model.

The first Mustang-based drag racer since 2016, this Cobra Jet comes with all the goodies you’d expect to find on such car. There’s a revised body that looks similar to the facelifted sixth-gen model, skinny wheels up front and fat tires to the rear, a competition-spec interior, and a massively supercharged V-8. Making things even better, it’s the quickest and most powerful Mustang that Ford has developed specifically for drag racing in history.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet.

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1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype

1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype

The ultimate Aston Martin racer?

Originally designed to compete at Le Mans and considered to be “the most significant one-off Works Aston Martin” in existence, the 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype is also one of the most valuable collectible cars in the world. Exuding an almost mythical presence, the history of DP215 is one of heartbreak and accomplishment that marks the end of an era for the British automaker. Lovingly restored over a 40-year period with extensive consultation from the car’s original designer, DP215 now heads to the block later this month at the RM Sotheby’s event in Monterey, where it may very well become the most valuable British car ever sold at public auction.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1963 Aston Martin DP215 Grand Touring Competition Prototype.

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2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

2018 Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR

When the production models gains massive fenders and a rear wing

Established in 2015, the TCR series has become increasingly popular with each season, now being contested by several automakers from Europe and Asia. Volkswagen is one of them, having joined the series with a race-spec version of the Golf GTI in 2016. Following the first full season, in which the Golf GTI TCR won 17 races and two championships, the German firm made improvements to the car in order to continue its good run.

The hatchback’s aerodynamics were updated, while the technology under the hood has also been fine-tuned. The updated car was again used by Liqui Moly Team Engstler, which tackled the German ADAC TCR, TCR Asia, and the TCR Middle East series. The revised GTI also returned to the International TCR series with Team Leopard Racing, which won the championship the previous year. Let’s find out what’s new in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.

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