Archives for March 2015

Top Gear – The End of an Era

I’m sure everyone has heard – Jeremy got into a bit of fisticuffs with a producer after a long day of filming, confessed his sins, and ended up getting fired (he was on his last warning after a couple of ‘incidents’ in the last few years). So, what now. No-one really knows to be honest, with the usual mix of the the show must go on, or it will never work without him.

I’m in the latter camp – it would seem a little weird to say the least to have a Top Gear with a replacement Jeremy but keep the other two presenters. So maybe it’s a whole new team, in which case it might have a shot. But it’ll take a while for everyone to gel, and by that time someone might have just swept up the old team and there’s a new “Definitely not called Top Gear” show popping up on your local TV. Which is a good point – maybe Netflix has some money in it’s budget to add a Top Gear type show? Free reign for the presenters, huge market audience and a nice way for Netflix to get some marketing and recognition in lots of places where it hasn’t quite made it yet. (Apparently even when writing a random blog that no-one reads there is some disclosure thing I’m meant to follow, so in the interests of the net police not showing up at my door one day, I own some Netflix shares and if this idea takes off and they make billions of dollars because of it, my holdings in said Netflix shares might go up $10 or so. Disclosure over).

I’m not sure how long this whole thing will take to sort itself out – technically given they’ve cancelled the rest of this series the BBC has almost a year to make decisions and get things in place. I hope it doesn’t take that long – I can’t mourn for that long to be honest, and we need to find a new show about cars that will keep me and the rest of the family interested and engaged at the same time (and who is going to be feeding The Stig!!). It’s a tall order, and the future is always interesting, just not always in a way you were expecting.

If You Ever

Wonder about how different the cars are in the US compared to Europe, let me provide you with this Kelly Blue Book link to the 15 Best Family Cars of 2015. If you wander down that list, you might see a few “cars” that might not be actively considered for family duty back home. You know, like a Ford F150. Or a Ram 1500.

Mini Superlegga

mini superlegga

Finally Mini has come out with a variant that actually looks good (or maybe I’m just on my own thinking the current coupe and countryman and whatever else random they spawned are all fugly).

Scheduled for release (hopefully) in 2018 as a replacement for the roadster) this to me almost looks like a mini Jag of old (and that’s definitely a good thing). If you can imagine one of these things with the Cooper S engine in there, it could be the perfect baby convertible for those summer days.

Nissan GT-R – Gold Edition

2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Gold Edition

I guess everyone is getting in on the Apple Watch gold craze these days, none more so than Nissan who today announced they were going to offer a special Gold Edition GT-R for 2016.

The 45th Anniversary Gold Edition, built off of the GT-R Premium model, commemorates the GT-R’s long heritage of world-class high performance. Featuring a special gold paint color, the limited edition model also includes a special gold-tone VIN plate located inside the engine compartment and a special commemorative plaque on the interior center console. The paint color itself is the same “Silica Brass” color that marked the 2001 Skyline GT-R M-Spec (R34 Type). Fewer than 30 of these special GT-Rs are slated for the United States market.

2016 Nissan GT-R 45th Anniversary Gold Edition

Personally I’ve never been a huge fan of gold, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon (but I will of course take one of these bad boys if the Nissan USA Press Office wants to lend me one for a month or two….).

Porsche Cayman GT4 Review – Chris Harris

Someone got to spend a little time this weekend playing with the new Cayman GT4 in Portugal. Without any major spoilers, it’s pretty fantastic – the video is definitely worth your time.

Seat Porn

Ford Focus RS Seats

I have this thing about seats – not just any seats, but the race/rally seats you can occasionally spec in a production car. The latest ones to tickle my fancy are these beauties from Ford, destined for the new Focus RS they announced recently. Not sure if it’s just the more subtle color this time, or what, but I’m a little obsessed…

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

313653_P15_0152_a5_rgbFollowing on from the recent release of information for the Cayman GT4 comes the next race-car for the street from Porsche – the 911 GT3 RS.

The new Porsche 911 GT3 RS breaks down the barrier between road-going sports cars and race cars. It is equipped with the maximum amount of motorsport technology that is currently possible in a street-legal 911 suitable for everyday driving. Extensive modifications to its drivetrain, aerodynamics, and lightweight design take performance to an even higher level than the 911 GT3. With a Nuerburgring Nordschleife lap time of seven minutes and 20 seconds, the new 911 GT3 RS surpasses the 911 GT3 by five seconds, making it the fastest current generation 911 on the famous German racetrack.

Porsche 991 GT3 RS

The 911 GT3 RS is powered by a four-liter six-cylinder engine developing 500 hp and 338 lb.-ft. of torque, combined with a specially developed PDK transmission. The engine has the largest displacement and most power of any naturally aspirated engine with direct fuel injection in the 911 family, accelerating the high-performance sports car from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.1 seconds and propelling it through the quarter mile on the track in 11.2 seconds. Functions such as declutching by “paddle neutral” – which is comparable to pressing the clutch with a conventional manual gearbox – and speed limiting via the Pit Speed button have been adapted from motorsport use. They give drivers more freedom in terms of driving dynamics, while providing them with a maximum level of control and engagement.

Porsche 991 911 GT3 RS Rear

For the first time, the roof is made of magnesium; carbon fiber is used for the engine and luggage compartment lids, and other components are made of weight saving materials. This makes the RS model around 22 pounds (10 kilograms) lighter than the 911 GT3. Furthermore, the lightweight roof lowers the sports car’s center of gravity which improves its already excellent lateral dynamics.

Porsche 991 GT3 RS Interior

The interior design of the 911 GT3 RS with Alcantara® elements is based on the current 911 GT3. One key new feature is the full bucket seats, which are based on the carbon bucket seats from the 918 Spyder. The optional Sport Chrono Package features – in addition to its integrated timers – the Porsche Track Precision app for smartphone use. The Track Precision app can be used to have times automatically measured via GPS, and to log data on a smartphone for many driving parameters such as vehicle speed, lateral acceleration as well as deceleration and acceleration in the driving direction. It manages this data and lets the driver share and compare it with results from other drivers.

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The 911 GT3 RS can be ordered now, and it will launch in the U.S. in early July of 2015. In the United States, the MSRP is $175,900.