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2016-02-05: Renault returns to F1, Audi RS Q3 performance and Pininfarina concept teaser ...
Renault R.S. 16 At a special event in Paris on Wednesday, Renault officially announced their return to Formula 1 as an entrant. The French manufacturer will use the new R.S. 16, which is built in Enstone, England, and powered by the R.E. 16 engine that hails from Viry Chatillon in France. Signed to drive for the re-branded team are Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. The Renault R.S. 16 will make its debut at the first official F1 test later this month.
Ahead of the official launch in Geneva, Audi revealed the first details of the RS Q3 performance. Based on the RS Q3, the new 'performance' version features a 27 hp power increase. The chassis of the RS Q3 performance has also been tuned to make the most of the additional power.
At the Geneva Motor Show, Pininfarina will reveal a new show car of which the first teaser image has just been revealed.
Today, the ACO held the annual press conference, announcing the entries for the FIA WEC and the European Le Mans Series. Among them was the Ave-Riley AR-2 due to be entered in the ELMS by Murphy Prototypes. The new American LMP3 racer has been designed by Riley Technologies and assembled by Ave Motorsport. One of the drivers will be Tony Ave himself.

2016-02-03: Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR and $25+ million Ferrari 335 S headed for auction ...
Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR This week the classic car world has gathered in Paris for the annual Retromobile show and the associated auctions. We were also there and will have a detailed report of the all the highlights from the show and sales ready for you early next week. Today, we would like to offer a final preview for two of the auctions, as the RM Sotheby's sale is already in progress as we write this.
One of the star lots of tomorrow's Bonham's sale is the very rare Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR. The example on offer is a road-going version, built to homologate the successful competition cars. Priced at over $1 million, it was the most expensive new car available at the time. The particular chassis consigned to the Bonhams sale was delivered new to Switzerland and is still highly original. We captured it at the auction preview today and it is estimated to sell for close to 2 million Euros.
The absolute star of the Retromobile week is expected to be the Ferrari 335 S consigned to the Artcurial sale from the estate of legendary collector Pierre Bardinon. We got a closer look at this masterpiece today and were quite taken aback by its striking Scaglietti penned body and Vittorio Jano developed mechanicals. Especially the quad-cam, twin-spark V12 is a thing to behold. Artcurial's pre-sale estimate is a hefty 28-32 million Euro and rightly so as we would take it over the similar but more modestly engined 250 TR any day.

2016-02-01: Daytona winning Ligier Honda, Ferraris headed for auction and new Hyundai rally car ...
Ligier JS P2 Honda The road racing circuit kicked off in style this weekend with the Daytona 24 Hours. With close racing throughout the field, the race was an instant classic. What also made it a historic occasion was that the race was won for the first time by an LMP2 car; the Ligier JS P2 Honda entered by Extreme Speed Motorsports. Built and designed by by Onroak Automotive, the JS P2 has been at the sharp end of the LMP2 field since its introduction at Le Mans back in 2014. A spirited drive by Daytona debutant Pipo Derani helped the ESM Ligier JS P2 score the type's first ever outright victory.
Over the weekend, the auction season also kicked off and the sales were topped by this Mercedes-Benz 540 K Spezial Roadster sold by RM Sotheby's for $9.9 million and this Ferrari 166 MM Touring Berlinetta that found a new owner at the Gooding sale for close to $6.5 million.
There is little time to take stock as Paris will host further auctions from Wednesday as part of the Retromobile week. Ferraris once again look set to set centre stage with most of the headlines grabbed by the Pierre Bardinon 335 S that has been consigned to Artcurial auction with a pre-sale estimate of Euro 28-32 million. Also part of the same sale is the very last 250 GT SWB built, which is expected to sell for around Euro 10 million. The RM Sotheby's Paris Auction has this, the very first 400 Superamerica S2 as one of the highlights. Originally shown at the 1962 Earls Court Motor Show, it looks set to sell for Euro 3-3.3 million.
Hyundai meanwhile have released the first images and details of the i20 R5. Based on the recently introduced World Rally Car, it is due to compete in national and continental championships.

2016-01-29: Daytona preview with all-new Ferrari 488 GTE and BMW M6 GTLM ...
Ferrari 488 GTE This weekend, the international racing season will kick off with the Daytona 24 Hours. The legendary endurance race has seen many great winners and today we highlight a few of those that we have featured in our extensive database. We have also added a few shots from the Ferrari 488 GTE and BMW M6 GTLM, both of which will make their competitive debut at Daytona. In qualifying, the BMW performed best by setting the third fastest time of the sessions. Celebrating BMW's 100th anniversary, the two cars entered by the works supported Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team boast a special livery.
Porsche is the most successful manufacturer at Daytona, winning the first endurance event at the track with a 718 RSK, while this very 911 Carrera RSR 3.0 scored the outright victory in 1975. The only car ever to win both the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours was also a Porsche; the 935 JLP-3, which performed that feat in 1982.
Ferrari has also done well at Daytona and even, unofficially, named a model after the racing track. Among the outright winners were a 250 GTO/64, a 312 PB and more recently the howling 333 SP.
In the early 1990s, the Japanese manufacturers took control of endurance racing in North America and brought out hugely potent racers like the all-conquering Toyota Eagle GTP Mk III and the Nissan 300ZX IMSA, which also won its class at Le Mans.

2016-01-27: All new Porsche 718 Boxster, Jaguar F-Type SVR and Vauxhall GT Concept ...
Porsche 718 Boxster Porsche have today released the first details of the all-new 718 Boxster. It is the first time a Boxster is powered by a flat-four engine and the 718 moniker is a referral to the successful RSK and RS Spyder racers of the 1950s and 1960s that were also powered by four-cylinder engines. Both equipped with a turbo, the two-litre version of the engine of the entry-level 718 Boxster produces 295 bhp, while the 2.5-litre 718 Boxster S engine is good for 344 bhp. Even though the latest generation Boxster is fitted with smaller engines, both versions are more powerful and quicker.
Jaguar, meanwhile, offered a first glimpse of the SVR version of the F-Type both in Coupe and Convertible form. Further details and specifications will be revealed in a month's time, a few weeks ahead of the official launch in Geneva.
Also due to be revealed at the Swiss show early in March will be the Vauxhall GT Concept. The compact, front-engine, rear-wheel drive coupe is a tribute to the Opel GT of the 1960s. It is powered by a highly efficient three-cylinder engine that produces 143 bhp. The GT Concept has striking lines but is perhaps let down by the unusual red accents.

2016-01-25: Two very different straight-six engined machines ...
Nissan Skyline GT-R Introduced in 1989, the R32-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R is one of the greatest Japanese cars of all time. Originally conceived strictly as a homologation special to compete in Group A, the R32 GT-R was both a success on the road and track. Highly sophisticated, the new-for-1989 Skyline GT-R featured variable four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. It was powered by a twin-turbo straight six that, due to a gentleman's agreement between the Japanese manufacturers, was rated at just 276 bhp. Even in stock form, it was more powerful but it could very easily be tuned to at least twice the standard rating. Its successes on the racing track, which included victories at Bathurst and Spa-Francorchamps, the R32 GT-R received the nickname 'Godzilla'. As it was very easily modified, the GT-R was and still is very popular with tuners. As a result relatively few original examples have survived. The featured car is one of these rare unmolested R32 GT-Rs. Consigned by its first owner to this week's RM Sotheby's Scottsdale sale, it has covered less than 14,000 km from new. Offered without a reserve and estimated to sell for just $50,000 - $70,000, it is remarkably good value for the cult legend.
Rarer and not nearly as well known is this OSCA 2000S sports racer. It is one of just a handful of OSCAs built by the Maserati brothers equipped with a straight six engine. This twin-cam unit was jointly developed for a two-litre single seater and sports car. The featured example was one of just three sports cars and has an extensive competition history. It was even raced in the Pikes Peak hill-climb during the 1960s, powered by a Chevrolet V8 engine. We captured this very rare OSCA at last year's Modena Trackdays and Chantilly Arts & Elegance.