Archives for November 2013

Ken Block Gymkhana 6

As top notch as usual. If you ever think you’re turning into a good driver, try and emulate a few of these moves  in a confined space.

2015 Honda (or Acura over here) NSX

Honda NSX 2015The car that has been talked about for at least the last 10 years seems like it’s finally making a little more progress in the never ending trek to public release. The nice folks at Honda supplied the pic, along with the announcement at the Tokyo Motor Show that the car will use a V6 engine with a couple of turbos bolted on. Rumors of an 8 speed flappy paddle gearbox being specifically developed for this model are also doing the rounds – I had long given up any sort of hope that this would come with a manual gearbox.

Golf GTI “Design Vision”

Golf GIT Design VisionVW kept up it’s reputation of bringing futuristic and super fast Golf GTI versions to show with the latest Design Vision incarnation.

The “Design Vision GTI” ups the ante with 503 hp, developed at 6500 rpm. Just like the engine in the regular GTI, the concept car has a turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® engine — except that this is a 3.0-liter V6 using twin turbochargers instead of a 2.0-liter four cylinder with a single turbo. Two three-way catalytic converters are arranged close to the engine to optimize emissions behavior. The V6 TSI engine develops 369 pound-feet of torque from as low as 2000 rpm, with a maximum figure of 413 lb-ft at 4000 rpm.

186653__MG_1924All this power and torque is distributed to the wheels via a DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system. With this powertrain and a specially tuned chassis, the “Design Vision GTI” eats any type of racetrack. On a dragstrip, it will sprint from zero to 62 mph in an impressive 3.9 seconds.


LA Auto Show – Picture Highlights

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Jaguar F-Type Coupe Released

Jag F-Type Coupe RAnd the big surprise right out of the gate (given we all knew it was going to look absolutely drop dead gorgeous) is that Jaguar have the good sense to release the R model up front with the expected V6 and V8 S versions. There’s going to be more pics and details released this week at the auto show (not just the bits and pieces that came out last night for the VIP party release), but the important things to note are – released for sale in the US in Spring 2014, and watch this video (preferably with the sound turned way up).

Jag F Type Coupe Rear

And now we have the full press release, with the important details being prices 🙂 Porsche is going to be fretting a little given the reviews the new 911 has been getting and this model coming right inbetween prices for that and the Cayman S (with the necessary option boxes ticked)

F-TYPE Coupe $65,000
F-TYPE S Coupe $77,000
F-TYPE R Coupe $99,000

At a glance details from Jaguar:

  • Originally penned as the C-X16 concept car by Ian Callum, the F-TYPE Coupe brings that concept car design to reality
  • The new F-TYPE Coupe model line-up is headlined by the F-TYPE R Coupe, with a 550hp 5-liter supercharged V8 engine, enabling acceleration from 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds, and a top speed of 186 mph (limited)2
  • The F-TYPE Coupe is built on a rigid bonded and riveted all-aluminum platform
  • Second-generation Electronic Active Differential3and All-new Torque Vectoring system3 to deliver enhanced agility and handling at the limit
  • V6-powered models complete the range, powered by 380hp and 340hp 3-liter supercharged V6 engines, giving 0-60 mph2in 4.8/5.1 seconds and top speeds of 171 and 161 mph respectively
  • An optional Carbon Ceramic Matrix (CCM) braking system – featuring 398/380mm (15.7/15-inch) discs front/rear will be available after introduction
  • ZF Eight-speed ‘Quickshift’ transmission with full manual sequential control via steering wheel-mounted paddles or the central
  • SportShift lever
  • The F-TYPE Coupe has ample trunk space – easily accommodating two sets of golf clubs – with an available power assisted tailgate
  • The F-TYPE Coupe complements the “2013 World Car Design of the Year” winner, the F-TYPE Convertible
  • The F-TYPE Coupe range adds to the existing three-car F-TYPE Convertible model line-up; the V6-engined F-TYPE (340hp) and F-TYPE S (380hp), and the F-TYPE V8 S (495hp), which launched last year

Porsche Macan Details Release

Porsche Macan SIt’s been a while coming, but comprehensive details for the new Porsche Macan have been offiicially released to the public today to coincide with the opening of the LA Auto Show. Two models grace the range – the Macan S and Macan Turbo (although both are using turbo engines, so Porsche taking a few more liberties than usual with the name games for this model).

Porsche Macan InteriorThe Macan S is powered by a 3.0 liter V6 twin turbo engine that delivers 340 hp and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds (5.0 seconds with the Sport Chrono package). The 3.6 liter V6 twin turbo engine in the Macan Turbo produces 400 hp and accelerates the vehicle to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds (4.4 seconds with Sport Chrono package).

187184_Macan_7Judging by the number of times Porsche mention DNA and heritage in their press release, they’re keen to emphasize that this is going to be a proper drivers car, this is born out with some of the optional equipment available, such as the Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus similar to that available on the Cayman S, but specifically tuned for the Macan. It’s also taken some design hints from the new 918 such as the steering wheel and lights.

Lots more details in the tech specs and full press release below if you’re interested.

Porsche LA Auto Press Release


Nissan GT-R Nismo Posts 7.08 ‘Ring Laptime

I love this video for a couple of reasons – the time, obviously, is pretty special, so seeing it being done is great. Also, there’s a couple of minor mistakes in there when he did this lap (his words, not me arrogantly criticizing a much better driver) so there’s a little more to come. But the best bit is having the driver himself actually talk you through the whole thing – understanding what he’s actually doing with the car, when he’s flat out or not, which bits he enjoys driving, where the car is better than the stock. All great. Definitely worth 8 minutes of your time if you ask me.

Previously Known As The Stig

What you’d do if you were no longer The Stig? Wonder no more

Porsche 918 Spyder

186214_2015 Porsche 918 Spyder _1_OK, let’s just get this out of the way at the start. This thing does 0-124 MPH in 7.2 seconds. That’s fast. And it doesn’t really slow down after that – 186 mph comes in just under 20 seconds. Pretty sure that’s about the same time my first car did the 0-60 sprint (on a good dry day).

186223_2015 Porsche 918 Spyder _2_Of course, Porsche would also like to point out it currently holds the lap record for road vehicles on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, boasting a time of 6:57 minutes. And because this is Porsche, that was about it as far as the press release went today. Just to tell you as the release date gets closer, this thing is getting faster. Who am I to argue?

The “New” Mini

New Mini RedI’m going to start with the happy fact that the new Cooper S comes as standard with a 6-speed manual transmission (I swear I had a dream last night that there were no longer any cars for sale in the US that had a manual option, and I was forced to move elsewhere). They also have some new engines that don’t seem to be offering much more in the way of torque or power, but no doubt have upped the MPG’s by some absurd (as yet to be publicized) amount. The MINI Cooper has a 3-cylinder engine with a peak output of 134 bhp. The 4-cylinder engine of the MINI Cooper S mobilizes 189 bhp.

185958_P90139378_highResAs apparently true with all new models, this version is bigger – 4.5 inches longer, 1.7 inches wider and 0.3 inches higher than its predecessor. But to be honest, I’ve stared at the photos for a good 5 minutes now, and I can’t tell theres much difference between the old and new. Maybe this is a sign of old age – I used to be able to tell the different model names of each car from the various options when I was a kid standing on the corner of the road where our high school was playing “no shares” (that last foray into my childhood will likely be relevant to about 5 people in the whole world, but whatever, it’s my site, and the new mini to be honest is boring me a little).

185977_P90139329_highResJust in case you were wondering how much bigger the new cars were to the originals, Mini kindly provided the following photo with their press release. It’s kind of scary, but that’s progress I guess – the proportions on the first gen just look soooo right.