Drifting the safety car

LeMans has had some pretty rough weather this week in the run up to the race, so what better way to take advantage than to get the safety car on the track for a little drifting. Glad it’s considered “safe”

Drifting King – Audi R8 Safety car at Le Mans 24 Hours – WEC Driver Advisor Yannick Dalmas

Fast and Furious Baddie? – Charlize Theron!!!

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Although I’m a little scared to see what happens with the devastating loss of Paul Walker to the franchise, Fast and Furious 8 is going ahead, and has provided something that should brighten up every fans day. The new baddie will be none other than Charlize Theron.

Named Cipher, there isn’t too much information available outside of the photo above – I’m obviously interested in finding out the car(s) she’s going to be driving, and how the whole storyline carries on without Paul. I guess we’ll have to wait like everyone else until it comes out in March 2017.

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Concept_02

Do you ever get the feeling that the day is going your way? I managed to see an Aston Martin Grande Rapide this morning on the school run, and then the very same company decided to announce one of their Zagato specials. This makes up for yesterday when a late call from the garage about the lack of their ability to source some new pads and rotors for the M3 meant a planned day at the track was replaced with a not quite so exciting day in front of the laptop (but technically on vacation so still smiling). Anyway, enough about me, all the details on the new Aston are below, along with some pretty pretty pictures.

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Aston Martin and Italian design-house Zagato are proud to announce the Vanquish Zagato Concept, the latest creation from their long-standing partnership. The Vanquish Zagato Concept will make its global debut at the prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, held at Lake Como in Italy from 21 – 22 May 2016

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VW Gold GTi Clubsport S

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What do you do if you’re a company who’s tormented by a diesel scandal that is impacting your future viabiliy? Build a nice, fast distracting hot hatch of course, specifically tuned to beat all previous from-wheel’d times around the ‘ring. And here it is, and it’s a fantastic thing, but I don’t think you can buy one in the US (haven’t confirmed that yet, but working on it). All the details are below – enjoy!

The Golf GTI Clubsport S is the most powerful ever version of the Golf GTI and was built to celebrate 40 years of the iconic hot hatchback. With German racing driver Benny Leuchter (28) at the wheel, the car has just smashed the existing lap record for front-wheel-drive production cars on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with a time of 7 minutes, 49.21 seconds.

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This exclusive new vehicle, based on the Golf GTI Clubsport, makes its world premiere at the GTI event at Lake Wörthersee (4-7 May). The hard performance numbers of this new GTI are truly impressive: a power output of 228 kW/310 PS; 280 pound-feet of torque between 1,700 and 5.300 rpm; 0 to 62 mph acceleration in 5.8 seconds; a top speed of 162 mph; and an unladen weight (including the driver and luggage) that has been reduced to 2,998 pounds. But the raw figures don’t tell the whole story, as the record lap time around the Nordschleife demonstrates how fast this car actually is.

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Corvette Grand Sport – $66,455

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If you’v been waiting for the Corvette that fills the gap between the base model and the Z06, the time has come, along with pricing and some additional options details.

Chevrolet announced today the track-bred 2017 Corvette Grand Sport will be priced at $66,445 for coupe models and $70,445 for convertibles, when they go on sale this summer. The prices include the destination charge, but not tax, title and other dealer fees.

With heritage-inspired design cues combined with track-focused chassis and suspension elements, the new Grand Sport builds on a legacy established in 1963, when five Grand Sport race cars were built under the direction of the Corvette’s first chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov.

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“The racing DNA of the original Grand Sport race cars is in the 2017 model, adding greater dimensions of capability and driver involvement to the Corvette’s award-winning architecture, for a purer driving experience,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product marketing manager. “It is a worthy successor to the spirit of the originals.”

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McLaren F1 For Sale

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This looks to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy a mint McLaren F1 – arguably one of the greatest road cars of all time. In totally original condition down to the correct numbered McLaren F1 book and limited edition owner’s watch presented on delivery, it’s only got 2800 miles on it!

The McLaren F1 is regarded by many as the car which rewrote the supercar rule book. With only 64 roadcar examples built between 1993 and 1998, the original McLaren F1 is one of the rarest and highly-regarded models among collectors, enthusiasts and petrolheads. McLaren Special Operations (MSO) continues to maintain and manage McLaren F1s globally, and is offering one of last ever and finest examples of this highly-regarded model for sale. McLaren F1 chassis #069 is in factory condition, having covered less than 2,800 miles since new.

During 1998, only six examples of the original McLaren F1 were completed, and chassis #069 was the 60th model overall to be hand-built in Woking, England. It is presented in Carbon Black complimented by subtle detailing throughout, including a stealth finish to the 17-inch centre-locking magnesium wheels. The central driving seat is finished in black and contrasting red leather, with the dual passenger seats upholstered in Alcantara®.

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McLaren F1 chassis #069 is UK registered with all UK taxes paid and offered for sale exclusively through McLaren Special Operations Heritage division with fitted luggage, complete Facom titanium lightweight tool kit and Facom tool box, all books and literature, including the correct numbered LM Edition of the ’Driving Ambition’McLaren F1 book and limited edition McLaren F1 owner’s watch.

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TVR Is Back! (at least to a motor show)

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The re-born British sports car maker, TVR, has announced that it will have a presence at the London Motor Show, to take place in Battersea Park on 5 to 8 May, 2016.

The company has attracted world-wide interest since announcing the all-new British designed and built sports car. Incorporating Gordon Murray’s innovative iStream® technology, the car will be launched in 2017.

This exciting new sports car features a ground-effect, super lightweight iStream® carbon reinforced chassis and will be powered by an exceptional V8 engine developed by Cosworth. The London Motor Show provides an opportunity for the public to appreciate the silhouette and see the physical shape in a full-size representation of the new car. The full exterior design will be unveiled to all customers who placed an order at an exclusive preview event later this year, which will be an important milestone in the programme.

Les Edgar, Chairman of TVR said: “We have built enormous momentum over the past 12 months, to the point at which we now hold more than 350 deposits from enthusiastic individuals who are keen to be proud owners and drivers of the new TVR. Our appearance at the London Motor Show will be a perfect platform for us to show a physical representation of the car and we hope to use the opportunity to tantalise the public and provide a strong indication of the look of the production vehicle. It’s an important next step in bringing the new car to market.”

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman

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Not trying to turn this into a Porsche site (and I will eventually get to the point of being able to post more regularly), but after the release of the turbo engined 911’s and Boxster’s a while back, Porsche continues the relentless push into the future with turbo’d Cayman’s now as well. Totally expected (given the afore mentioned announcements), but I personally was eagerly awaiting this one for a couple of reasons – I think the light hardtop will benefit hugely in street driving from the extra torque the turbo engines kick out, and for the first time ever, Porsche has decided (like pretty much every other car on the planet), the hardtop (Cayman) should be cheaper than the convertible (Boxster).

Porsche Cayman Grey 2017

This latest iteration builds on the previous appearance update – I was never a huge fan of the looks of the original Cayman, but this (and the previous) iteration look fantastic to my eyes. I’d go as far to say I prefer the looks of these to the new 911’s, and I’m not quite sure (if I had $100k to spend on a new car) if I’d get a tricked out Cayman S or a base 911. Luckily for me I don’t have this dilemma in real life, so until I win the lottery I can hold off on deciding and admire both from afar. OK, ramble over – full press release details after the jump…..

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Porsche R

Porsche 911 R Outside

Trying to get a little caught up on my posts after a pretty slack start to the year, so here’s my favorite announcement of the year – a proper 911 with a proper gearbox. The only bad news is that (based on some reports from sources who’ve tried) you’re not allowed on the waitlist for one of these unless you’re already in possession of a nice little 918 Spyder, meaning you are either a) very lucky, or b) have little to no chance of buying this beauty. Full press release and pics below for your perusal.

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Celebrating its world debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, the new 2016 Porsche 911 R follows the tradition set by the first road-homologated race car bearing the name in 1967. Produced as part of a limited production series, the original 911 R (R for Racing) was entered in rallies, in the Targa Florio and in world record runs. Like its legendary predecessor, the new 911 R features a systematic lightweight construction, a high level of performance and an unfiltered driving experience. The 911 R is limited to 991 units worldwide, and represents the lightest available version of the 911 with a curb weight of just 3021 pounds. Powered by a 500 hp four-liter naturally aspirated flat-six engine which is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the 911 R underscores Porsche’s commitment to building emotional and engaging high-performance sports cars with a maximum amount of driving pleasure. Developed by Porsche’s motorsport department, the 911 R is the third model to use Porsche’s latest generation of high-performance naturally aspirated flat-six engines alongside the track-bred 911 GT3 and 911 GT3 RS models.

Powering the 911 R is the four-liter flat-six familiar from the 911 GT3 RS. The race-bred powertrain delivers 500 hp at 8,250 rpm and generates 338 lb.-ft. of torque at 6,250 rpm. The 911 R can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds and reach a top track speed of 200 miles per hour. True to its purist character, the lightweight model is available exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission featuring short, performance oriented gear ratios. The quick and crisp shifting further underscores the high level of driving engagement.

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Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth

Fiat 124 Abarth 2017

Recent winner in the longest name by an Italian car company, Fiat brings us a special version of their MX-5/Miata based 124 Spider. It’s the latest addition to the Fiat 124 Spider lineup, offering added performance features for a sportier, more spirited driving experience. While all Fiat 124 Spider models deliver responsive handling and excellent power-to-weight ratio in a robust rear-wheel-drive package, the Elaborazione Abarth model builds on the Spider’s engaging driving dynamics to offer even more fun for performance enthusiasts.

“Our new Fiat 124 Spider is an iconic roadster that combines classic Italian styling with modern performance and technology,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand, FCA – Global. “The addition of our new 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth further enhances the driving experience and offers yet another head-turning, fun-to-drive vehicle to our customers.”

Performance characteristics
The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth features the proven turbocharged 1.4-liter MultiAir four-cylinder engine, delivering 160 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Elaborazione Abarth-exclusive Sport Mode changes the calibrations of the engine, automatic transmission, electric power steering and dynamic stability control system to ensure a sporty, responsive and performance-oriented driving experience.

A mechanical limited slip differential, featuring a low torque bias ratio, provides improved traction and handling, as well as improved launch performance and power delivery during cornering. The Elaborazione Abarth’s unique sport suspension includes mono-tube Bilstein front and rear shock absorbers for increased traction and more precise handling. The available Brembo braking system with 17-inch alloy wheels offers monoblock aluminum calipers with four pistons, allowing for improved braking.

If this looks to your liking, they should be appearing in Fiat showrooms in the US this summer.