BMW Films – They’re Back!

BMW Films Filming

BMW of North America announced today the return of BMW Films with “The Escape,” a short film from Academy Award® nominated director Neill Blomkamp (“District 9,” “Elysium”) featuring original BMW Films star and Oscar® nominated actor Clive Owen (“Closer,” “Children of Men”), who reprises his role as The Driver. Presented as an homage to the 15th anniversary of the original BMW Film series, “The Escape” also stars Dakota Fanning (“War of the Worlds,” “I am Sam”), Jon Bernthal (“The Punisher,” “Daredevil”) and Oscar® nominee Vera Farmiga(“The Departed,” “Up in the Air”). “The Escape” will premiere on Sunday, October 23, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. EST on BMWFilms.com.

Lotus 3-Eleven and The Nurburgring

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Marking the anniversary of its landmark lap times when testing at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, two new videos of the Lotus 3-Eleven in full flight have been released, allowing enthusiasts to experience the car’s visceral, white-knuckle ride around the “Green Hell” for themselves.

Since the car’s appearance at the Nürburgring, deliveries of the hypercar-humbling Lotus have begun with the first lucky owners finding out what this road-legal racer is truly capable of. Speaking about the car’s Nordschleife debut, Jean-Marc Gales, Chief Executive Officer, Group Lotus plc said, “The 3-Eleven’s time on the track gave us the perfect opportunity to demonstrate its phenomenal pace. It’s the fastest, most focused production road car to ever leave the Lotus factory, and remains true to our values of intelligent and efficient engineering. However, you don’t need to be a professional racing driver in order to tap its potential, and it will embarrass so-called hypercars with six-figure price tags. It remains the perfect template for how we will approach the design of all Lotus sports cars in the future”

With lightweight carbon composite bodywork as standard, the Lotus 3-Eleven has a dry weight of 890 kg and maximum power of 460 hp (Race version). This provides an enviable power-to-weight ratio of 517 hp per tonne, and the car is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds ahead of a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h). The Road version with a dry weight of 925 kg and a maximum power of 410 hp reaches 60 mph in 3.3 seconds before reaching a top speed of 174 mph (280 km/h).

The videos also show how driver Marc Basseng had to deal with other cars also on the Nordschleife circuit during the evening public sessions. In what was its first turn of a wheel outside of Lotus’ Hethel HQ, Marc was one of three different drivers helping to develop the car – each one with individual areas of expertise and focussing on aerodynamics, engine calibration, chassis tuning and suspension geometry.

McLaren 570GT by MSO

Supposedly this is a “concept” but expect to see most, if not all, of the new features available on your 570 options list sometime soon. Although it has nothing to do with performance, I’m kind of excited to see the Electro-Chromic roof in action – the future is definitely here boys and girls.

McLaren 570 GT MSO

McLaren Automotive has released details of the new McLaren 570GT by MSO Concept ahead of its debut on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach golf course at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the world’s highest-profile competitive display of collector’s cars.  The McLaren 570GT by MSO Concept will be displayed on the concept lawn where previously McLaren has displayed many of its concept and future models, not least the McLaren P1TM.

The McLaren 570GT by MSO Concept further accentuates the McLaren interpretation of a GT car.  Previewing a collection of enhancements created by McLaren’s bespoke division MSO which was itself launched at Pebble Beach in 2012, the car is the first example of the recently-introduced 570GT to receive the attention of McLaren’s finest team of craftsmen and designers.  They have added styling, feature and material enhancements such as an Electro-Chromic Roof that are all destined to become available through the MSO Defined portfolio.

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Firstly, the McLaren 570GT by MSO Concept delivers an improved aural experience both for the driver and onlookers thanks to its new MSO Exhaust system. Manufactured from titanium and consequently 30% lighter than the standard stainless steel system, the MSO Exhaust takes learnings from the McLaren 675LT project, delivering a progressively richer and more characterful tone more immediately as the revs rise than the standard exhaust.  The MSO Exhaust’s heat shields are also finished in a golden titanium nitride tint, visible through the rear air ducts, which naturally change colour to a blue/purple as the system heats and cools through its cycle.

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Aston Martin DB11

Quick update: If you want to read an Aston customer review, this is the best I’ve found

I was going to wax lyrical about the sound of a (any) Aston Martin but then they kindly put out a video so I don’t have to. If you’re in any doubt, I want one of these cars.

The DB11 showcases a fresh and distinctive design language, pioneering aerodynamics and is powered by a potent new in-house designed 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine. Built upon a new lighter, stronger, and more space efficient bonded aluminium structure, DB11 is the most powerful, most efficient and most dynamically gifted DB model in Aston Martin’s history. As such, it is the most significant new Aston Martin since the introduction of the DB9 in 2003.

Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer said: “We aspire to make the most beautiful cars in the world.  DB11 is the absolute embodiment of what an Aston Martin should be and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that DB11 combines both exceptional design with the latest technology throughout. A brand new bonded aluminium platform, clever aerodynamics, a new characterful twin-turbo V12 and class-leading infotainment systems are just a few aspects which make this the sports car that will proudly spearhead Aston Martin’s second century plan.”

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BMW M3 Special Edition – 30 Jahre

2017 M3 Jahre Special Edition

If you’ve been waiting for the perfect configuration of new M3 and the Competition Package wasn’t quite enough for you, now might be the time to take look with the limited edition 30 Jahre M3 announcement. Full details below, but highlights are a 0-60 time of 3.8 seconds with the auto and a reworked suspension (so maybe now it will handle on the limit like an M3 should). Full details from the press release below, but have to say I love the color – put on some less shiny wheels and that thing will look super mean. Price is a not cheap $83,250.

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With the launch of the first generation of the BMW M3 in 1986, the BMW M GmbH, operating under the name BMW Motorsport GmbH at that time, revolutionized the sports car as it was built first and foremost for performance. The original M3 was developed as a homologation special to enter the World, European and German Touring Championship (DTM) racing. It was very successful in its time and is still considered as one of the purest high performance street legal sports coupes. To mark the 30th anniversary of this automotive icon, 500 “30 Jahre M3” (30 Years M3) special editions will be produced, of which 150 units will reach U.S. shores. The limited edition is available with a manual transmission for $83,250 plus Destination and Handling or with Dual-Clutch transmission for $86,150 plus Destination and Handling. [Read more…]

Aston Martin and Red Bull – the next (and best?) hypercar??

OMG – want one!

Aston Marin Red Bull AM-RB 001

  • Revolutionary AM-RB 001 hypercar the result of technical partnership between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing
  • Powered by a new, high-revving naturally aspirated V12 engine
  • Mid-engined, two-seats, lightweight construction, 1:1 power-to-weight ratio
  • Road and track-only versions to be available

5 July 2016, Gaydon, England: Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing are today revealing their ground-breaking hypercar; codenamed AM-RB 001.

The product of a unique Innovation Partnership between the British luxury brand and eminent F1TM team, this ambitious, uncompromising and wholly extraordinary collaboration combines the vision and skills of two world-leading brands to create a road car the like of which has never been seen before.

The three men charged with realising this shared vision are Adrian Newey, Red Bull Racing’s Chief Technical Officer and the world’s most successful F1TM designer, Marek Reichman, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer and David King, VP and Chief Special Operations Officer. Together they spearhead a formidable alliance. One that combines more than a hundred years of specialism – both with heritage, making some of the world’s most beautiful and charismatic GT cars, and with technological brilliance and relentless pursuit of speed and efficiency that has seen Red Bull Racing excel in the ferociously competitive world of Formula One.

Reichman and Newey are working closely on all aspects of the project, striving to ensure the AM-RB 001 is an unprecedented fusion of form and function: a car engineered to be entirely useable and enjoyable as a road car, but with the capability to perform like no road car before it on a race track. For those who crave an even more intensely focused driving experience, a track-only AM-RB 001 is also in development, the projected performance of which is in line with that of today’s LMP1 Le Mans sports prototypes.

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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.

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Concept_03

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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