Jenson to join Race of Champions

Jenson Button

McLaren’s Jenson Button has become the latest Formula 1 driver to sign up to Race of Champions in London later this month.

The 35-year-old 2009 world champion joins four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo at the event which will be staged at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 20-21 November.

Button will compete in the main event and partner endurance sportscar racer Alex Buncombe to represent Great Britain in the Nations Cup.

“I can’t wait to be back at the Race of Champions again – and especially to be racing at home at London’s former Olympic Stadium,” said Button.

And of you want to get yourself in the mood for the event, here’s a 25 minute recap of last years event in Barbados

 

One:1 – it’s FAAAASSSSSTTTTT!!!!!

Koenigsegg released the 0-300-0 video of it’s latest creation – the One:1. Needless to say, it wasn’t slow…..

Porsche 911 (991) GT3 RS Video Review

Everyone loves a winner, and this my friends, is a winner (along with the first time I’ve ever lusted after a purple car….)

 

And as an aside, Chris (and Neil the cameraman) are trying to keep making these videos (and making them free), so would appreciate any support you can provide at this link. It really is the right thing to do if you like the stuff he puts out (and I like it a lot).

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.

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.

Corvette Z06 First Drive

Apart from checking out prices of 2007/09 911 Turbos, the Z06 is my current car obsession. I’m not in the market for a new car just yet, but hoping towards the end of the year I might be able to swap out the E46 M3 I’ve been driving since it was new (although I really want to work out a way to keep it forever and hand it down to my kids, coz that car is pretty much perfect to learn how to drive a track properly).

So fueling my desires was this video from AutoGuide of their first drive of the car, complete with incredible soundtrack. This looks like it took place at Spring Mountain, a track I have spent a good few days driving (6 or 7 at last count) doing a few schools down there (including drive the previous generation Corvettes and Z06’s). If you ever get a chance to head down there, Rick and the rest of the instructors do a fantastic job of helping you drive way faster than you ever thought possible (and you get some pretty heavy discounts if you do buy a Corvette given they’re the official school now). Anyway, enjoy the video.

 

Acura NSX – Details Released

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Twenty-five years after the debut of the original, paradigm-shifting NSX supercar, Acura revealed the production version of its highly anticipated successor—the next-generation Acura NSX, developed and produced in the U.S.—to the world’s auto media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show today. The production model, in a scintillating NSX Red finish, took the stage with a growl from its twin-turbocharged engine.

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The NSX challenges conventional beliefs about supercars — much as the first generation did a quarter century ago. The approach is realized through an all-new power unit—a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system—integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with world’s-first material applications and manufacturing processes. Developed under the concept of a “human-centered supercar,” a car that puts the driver first in every aspect of its design, the next-generation NSX will leverage its state-of-the-art hybrid supercar power unit, body and chassis to deliver exceptionally intuitive and immediate response to driver inputs.

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The NSX’s instrument cluster features a dynamic TFT display that responds to changes in the driver-selectable Integrated Dynamics System with pertinent graphics and information. The center console holds the Power button that readies the sport hybrid powertrain, nested in the center of the new Integrated Dynamics System dial control. Interwoven under the handcrafted leather dash panel is the exposed midframe—a functioning chassis structural member that reflects the design aesthetic of a naked sport bike. An ultra-thin, yet super strong A-pillar design and low-mounted instrument panel minimize obstructions to the driver’s view of the road.

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At the heart of the NSX’s performance capabilities is an all-new mid-mounted, 75-degree, DOHC V6 engine with twin turbochargers mated to an Acura-developed 9-speed DCT. The V6 engine employs a race-inspired compact valve train and dry sump lubrication system to help lower the center of gravity. The all-new 9-speed DCT delivers synapse-quick gear changes and rev-matching downshifts. The rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and transmission, supports acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance. The NSX’s front wheels are driven by twin independent high-output electric motors which deliver instantaneous torque response and dynamic left-to-right torque distribution.

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The NSX uses its front electric motors for dynamic torque vectoring in addition to enhancing acceleration and braking performance. The result is an instantaneous “zero delay” launch performance and handling response that seems to anticipate the driver’s desire. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at some of the world’s most challenging race circuits, including the famed Nurburgring.

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The NSX utilizes a fully independent, all-aluminum front and rear suspension and puts its considerable power down through ContiSportContact™ high-performance tires—245/35Z R19 front and 295/30Z R20 rear—mounted on 19×8.5 inch front and 20×11 inch rear aluminum alloy wheels. Powerful, natural and confident braking performance is provided by 6-piston front and 4-piston rear monoblock calipers squeezing ultra-high performance carbon-ceramic brake discs.

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Handling is greatly enhanced by Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), enabling lightning-quick response to all driver inputs—steering, braking and throttle—along with the stability, control and launch performance of all-wheel drive. Agile Handling Assist (AHA) uses the subtle application of brake torque to further enhance yaw response and dynamic stability.

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The NSX’s dial-operated Integrated Dynamic System features Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. The system adjusts engine, motor, transmission and chassis response, as well as the engine sound level, based on the needs of the driver and driving environment. Quiet mode enables electric-only driving at lower speeds for short durations. Dynamic vehicle responses become increasingly sharp as the driver moves from Sport to Sport+ mode and, finally, to Track mode, where the NSX reveals the full spectrum of its performance capabilities. The NSX also features a “launch” function to achieve the ultimate in “zero delay” launch performance, aided by both the engine and three electric motors.

Ford Focus RS – Teaser Video

All the details get released on February 3rd, but until then here’s some slip sliding around in the new car courtesy of Mr Ken Block (and does this mean it really is 4-wheel drive? opinions are mixed but if it can slide like that with just front wheel drive then holy moly. Either way, I’m excited, but 4-wheel drive might just get me tempted to get the wallet out)

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

Mercedes-Maybach 2015 S Class

Gone are the days when the Maybach was made to sound like it was it’s own company, as it’s now embedded in the Mercedes name (replacing the Benz, in the same way AMG has replaced it for the new GT). But it’s still a pretty spectacular car, especially if you’re being chauffeured around town in one.

Mercedes-Maybach 2015 S Class interior

The US market launch of the Mercedes-Maybach S600 is scheduled for April 2015. Its powerful V12 bi-turbo engine has an output of 523 hp. With a displacement of 5980 cc, the maximum torque of 612 lb-ft is available from 1900 rpm. Inside the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, the level of wind noise is extraordinarily low and even surpasses levels found in the quietest car in the world – the S-Class Coupe. In fact, for rear seat passengers, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is the world’s quietest production sedan.

Mercedes-Maybach 2015 S Class Rear

Standard equipment includes a Driver Assistance Package (Intelligent Drive), MAGIC BODY CONTROL, Night View Assist PLUS, a Warmth and Comfort Package with a heated windshield, Head-Up Display, LED Intelligent Lighting System, Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System, Executive Rear Seat Package, Rear Seat Entertainment System and the Air Balance Package.

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(As a note, I have no idea what MAGIC BODY CONTROL is, if it’s really a thing, or if someone just put it into the Mercedes press release as a laugh – you know how fun loving and whimsical those German car makers can be. I obviously will be the first in line to want it though coz it sounds perfect).  

Golf R Pre-Order Details

Golf R 2015 Blue

If you want to be the first on the block for a new Golf R (and given all the love various magazines/tv shows and friends have given it back over in Europe, why would you not), VW are giving you the opportunity to put your $500 down to reserve your spot at the top of the list. The pre-order will go live on VW.com/GolfR on January 8th for the first 500 cars. 

These first Golf R models will be identical: the topline Golf R with DCC® & Nav and the six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission. All the cars will be painted in Lapiz Blue Metallic and feature the 292 horsepower 2.0-liter TSI® engine; 19-inch “Cadiz” aluminum-alloy wheels and summer performance tires; 4Motion® all-wheel drive; Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights; DCC® adaptive damping system; Park Distance Control; a navigation system; and the Fender® Premium Audio System. The Golf R with DCC & Nav has a starting MSRP of $39,090, plus $820 destination and delivery charge.

These first 500 owners will receive an exclusive, numbered Volkswagen Driver Gear R accessory kit, which consists of:

  • An exclusive, serialized Volkswagen R watch
  • A serialized carbon fiber and stainless steel keychain
  • A serialized and VIN-specific certificate

There will only be 500 of these Volkswagen R accessory kits ever made available to customers, and these will be serialized to match the VINs of the Golf R pre-Order vehicles.

Personally if I was getting one (although I’m pretty sure I’m not) I’d hold off for the 6 months or so to get my hands on the manual version, but I’m sure either version will put plenty of smiles on your face.