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2015-04-01: All-new McLaren 570S, Porsche Boxster Spyder and more New York news ...
McLaren 570S Coupe Today, the annual New York International Auto Show kicks off with the official press day. As has become the standard in recent years, most manufacturers have already revealed full details of their releases on the eve of the show. Among the most spectacular new cars on display in the 'Big Apple' will be this McLaren 570S Coupe. It is the first representative of the new 'Sports Series', which is aimed at the likes of the Mercedes-AMG GT and Porsche 911 Turbo. While it shares some mechanical components with its bigger brothers, the 570S boasts a fresh new design, complete with flying buttresses in the C-pillar. Powering the new 570S Coupe is a 570 hp version of the twin-turbo V8, which seems more than sufficient to power the lightweight machine to terminal velocity in mere seconds.
Porsche is due to expand the line-up with the hardcore Boxster Spyder. By removing unnecessary luxuries like a radio or air conditioning, and using a minimalistic foldaway roof, a lot of weight was shed. Performance further benefited from using the brakes and the engine from the Porsche 911. Some of the styling cues of this very quick machine are inspired by the classic Porsche 718 RS racers of the early 1960s. The Boxster Spyder also shares some cues with the similarly hardcore Cayman GT4 launched in Geneva last month.
The big news at Lincoln will be the imminent return of the range-topping Continental in the line-up. Offering a preview, Ford's luxury arm will debut the Continental Concept in New York. Although thoroughly modern in appearance, it still has hints of some of the great Continentals of the past, especially on the inside, which is finished in blue leather. The Continental is powered by a Lincoln exclusive, 3-litre EcoBoost V6.
Mazda have livened up the market introduction of the all-new MX-5 with the introduction of the MX-5 Club. Compared the standard model, it features bigger brakes, bigger wheels, a tighter suspension and a more aggressive bodykit.

2015-03-27: Two classic Lotus GT racers from the 1960s ...
Lotus Elan 26R Shapecraft Coupe With the Elan, Lotus created a car suitable for road and track. After several privateers created competition cars of their own, a factory racing car was created. Dubbed the 26R, it featured a tuned engine, covered headlights and knock-off wheels. The cars were also equipped with a removable hard-top but privateer racer Barry Wood figured the Elan would perform even better with a more aerodynamic roof. The result was the Shapecraft Coupe, which was available for the road-going Elan and the 26R. One of these competition cars was driven to the British GT Championship in 1965. It is believed as few as three Elan 26R Shapecraft Coupes were built. Our detailed article is illustrated by a 74-shot gallery that features two of these rare machines.
Lotus replaced the Elan 26R with the 47 GT, which was derived from the mid-engined Europa road car. Built to the Group 4 regulations, the diminutive machine often punched well above its weight, scoring numerous class and outright victories. Around 55 were produced of what remains as the last truly successful Lotus sports racer. We have today added three of these, pictured in a 50-shot gallery.

2015-03-25: One-off American sports cars and all-new McLaren 570S and Jaguar XF ...
Ford Mustang I Roadster The first Ford to wear the Mustang name and badge was not a roaring 'Pony Car' but this delicate, mid-engined Roadster. Powered by a diminutive V4 engine, it was a thinly disguised racer for the road. Appropriately, the Mustang Roadster I was first demonstrated during the 1962 US Grand Prix at Watkins Glen by Dan Gurney. Following its show duties, the compact roadster was added to the collection of The Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Michigan. We captured it at a rare outing in August of 2014.
Another one-off American sports car is this Bosley Mark I G/T, which was built over a two-year period by Richard Bosley in his garage. Although he was a horticulturist by trade, Bosley managed to create a formidable machine, powered by a HEMI V8. Like the Mustang I, the unique Bosley has been preserved in a prominent American museum; the Petersen Automotive Museum. We shot every detail when it was displayed at Pebble Beach in 2011.
Last night, Jaguar unveiled the second generation XF in dramatic fashion; to underline its reduced weight, it completed a spectacular high-wire water crossing. Compared to the original XF, the almost all-aluminium XF is a full 80 kgs lighter. Among the engines available at the launch is a 375 bhp V6 in the XF S. We expect a V8-engined 'R' model to follow shortly.
Also due to be released in New York is McLaren's all-new 570S Coupe, which is the first of the manufacturer's new 'Sports Series'. As revealed by the teaser image, the sports car will boast flying buttresses and as the name suggests will be powered by a 570 ps (562 bhp) version of the familiar eight-cylinder engine.

2015-03-23: Porsche sports cars and new Caterham range ...
Porsche 550A RS Spyder If the persistent rumours prove to be correct, Porsche's entry level models will be powered by a four-cylinder engine in the near future. As most enthusiasts know, Porsche is no stranger to four-cylinder engines and in fact all of the early production and competition cars were equipped with them. Among them was the 550A RS Spyder competition car built between 1956 and 1958. It was the second generation of Porsche's first purpose-built racer and featured a new tubular spaceframe chassis in combination with the very powerful, twin-cam 'Carrera' engine. Over a two-year period, Porsche produced close to 50 examples, which were raced the world over by the factory team and numerous privateers. Featured in our revised article are six different examples.
It is hard to image that the Porsche 907K was built just a decade later and it underlines the enormous progress made during the 1960s by the German manufacturer in particular and the whole industry in general. Powered by an eight-cylinder engine, the 907 provided Porsche with machine that could vie for outright victories rather than class wins at most major events. Accordingly, the 907K brought the German manufacturer's first outright win at Sebring and also won the Targa Florio. It would serve less than a full season as it was replaced halfway through 1968 by the more potent still 908. A rare sight today, we feature three different chassis, pictured on both sides of the Atlantic.
Caterham Cars has today launched a line of three new models that fit between the range-topping Seven 620R and the entry-level Seven 160. These are respectively the 210 bhp Seven 420, the 180 bhp Seven 360 and the 135 bhp Seven 270. Each of the new models can be ordered with the optional 'S' and 'R' packages, which have the aim to further improve the handling and feel of the Seven.

2015-03-20: Rare Frazer Nash headed for auction, new Audi R18 and Chaparral Camaro ...
Frazer Nash Le Mans Coupe Best known for the company's cycle-fender sports cars, Frazer Nash also produced a small series of fixed-head machines known as the Le Mans Coupe. It combined the steel tubular frame first introduced on the Mk2 Le Mans Replica with a slippery body designed specifically for high-speed circuits like Le Mans. It worked formidably well as its first attempt the Le Mans Coupe won its class in the legendary endurance race. Our detailed article features two of the nine examples built; the actual Le Mans class winner and a sister car that will be offered by Bonhams at the Goodwood Members Meeting this weekend.
At a spectacular event this week, Audi introduced the new-for-2015 R18 e-tron quattro. Due to compete in this season's FIA WEC, it features substantial updates to the drivetrain and the aerodynamics to hopefully get on the pace with the German manufacturer's rivals.
At this weekend's Sebring 12 Hours one of the guests of honour is the Chaparral 2 Chevrolet that won the race outright exactly 50 years ago. This occasion cemented the relationship between Chaparral founder Jim Hall and General Motors, which later led the innovative team to be awarded the opportunity to prepare the factory-back Chevrolet Camaros for the 1970 Trans-Am season. This proved to be quite a different ballgame compared to Can-Am but the white and blue Camaro nevertheless managed to win a round. Chaparral only ever built three Camaros and the featured example is the one driven to the type's sole victory by Vic Elford also believed to be the sole survivor.
It is two decades ago this year that Lotus launched the ground-breaking Elise at the Frankfurt Motor Show. To mark the occasion, the British manufacturer has created the suitably dubbed Elise 20th Anniversary, which is slightly lighter and more poised than the regular production model.