Lotus 3-Eleven and The Nurburgring

att18012

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.

1235631_2

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.

[Read more…]

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.”

[Read more…]

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.

449966_P90229690_highRes_2017-bmw-30-jahre-m3

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.

1216929_AM-RB001_03

[Read more…]

Corvette Grand Sport – $66,455

Chevrolet-Corvette-GrandSport-003

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.

431434_2017-Chevrolet-Corvette-GrandSport-002(1)

“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.”

[Read more…]

2017 Porsche 718 Cayman

Porsche Cayman S 2017 Blue 718

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…..

[Read more…]

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.

411389_P16_0174_a4_rgb

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.

[Read more…]

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. 

NSX Car Configurator is Live

NSX Desktop

If you want to lose an hour or two of your life, you can head over here right now. Looks incredible – initial driving impressions didn’t seem so hot, but maybe it just requires a little software update or something to make it perfect…