2013-12-11: Unique Aston Martin DP212, more Porsche LMP1 and Toyota TS30 images and more news ...
In what is Aston Martin's centenary year, one of the most memorable moments was the victory in the blue ribband TT Celebration race at the Goodwood Revival of the unique Aston Martin DP212. Piloted by owner Wolfgang Friedrichs and Simon Hadfield, it fittingly scored the first ever victory for the marque in the Revival TT Celebration. Particularly Hadfield's drive in the soaked second half of the one-hour race was something very special and actually earned him a test with a current Aston Martin works Le Mans racer. To celebrate this great victory, we have taken a closer look at the one-off DP212. Its detailed history is illustrated by a 57-shot gallery showing the Aston Martin in action at the Goodwood Revival and Le Mans Classic during the last couple of years.
Released early from his tenure with Red Bull Racing, Mark Webber has already had his first test with the Porsche LMP1. Although no further details about the car have been published, which we believe will be dubbed the 919 R Hybrid, Porsche did release additional images.
Following our look back at the Audi R18 e-tron quattro earlier this week, we have also expanded the galleries of two of its rivals; the 2013-spec Toyota TS030 Hybrid and the HPD ARX-03c.
Hyundai meanwhile have officially launched their WRC campaign one month ahead of the competition debut at the Rally Monte Carlo. Signed to drive the new i20 WRC will be top-line drivers like Chris Atkinson, Dani Sordo and Thierry Neuville.
One of the latest addition to the quickly growing list of Detroit / NAIAS releases will be this Volvo XC Coupe. This is the second of what will be a set of three concepts on which the next generation Volvo production cars will be based.
2013-12-09: Audi R18 e-tron quattro old and new, and McLaren P1 at the 'Ring more news..
Ahead of a major test at Sebring, Audi have released the first picture of their new-for-2014 Le Mans racer. Confusingly, the new car will nevertheless be dubbed the R18 e-tron quattro just like the existing car used in 2012 and 2013. Due to substantial rule changes, the 2014 car will be fundamentally different with a narrower width and a more potent hybrid drivetrain. Unfortunately, no technical details have been released but we will of course keep our eyes and ears open.
To mark the end of its historic racing career, we have today also taken a final look at the original Audi R18 e-tron quattro. In 2012, it became the first hybrid racer to win a major endurance race and little than a year later, it is a two-time Le Mans winner and World Champion as well as a Sebring winner. We have expanded our article and also added over 50 shots to our exclusive gallery, which now features over 200 shots of this great Audi racer.
Late last week, McLaren revealed a video of their P1 in action at the Nurburgring. In the hands of test-driver Chris Goodwin, it completed a sub seven-minute lap, although McLaren have not been inclined to release the exact time. In addition to the video, we have also added more images to the article.
Volvo meanwhile have published the first details of the V8 to be used in the S60 V8 Supercar, which is due to make its competition debut next year.
2013-12-05: All-new Ford Mustang and first glimpse of Z06 Corvette ...
This afternoon, Ford have launched the all-new Ford Mustang GT at a ceremony in Barcelona. Celebrating the iconic model's 50th anniversary, the sixth generation Mustang breaks new ground as it boasts independent rear suspension and will be available in Europe for the first time. Although still unmistakably a Mustang, the retro styling of the previous generation has been abandoned in favour of an altogether more modern design. One of the other key changes is the return of the fastback roofline. The engine line-up has also changed significantly; the V6 of the entry level model has been joined by a turbocharged four cylinder engine good for around 300 bhp. The V8 in the range topping Mustang GT has been modified in detail and we are promised it produces in excess of 420 bhp. The new Mustang will be available in the summer of 2014 as a 2015-model and a Convertible is expected to follow shortly as well.
Meanwhile, Chevrolet have released a first teaser image of the Corvette Z06, which will break cover at next month's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. According to the brief press release this will be the most track-capable Corvette ever built.
2013-12-04: Ferrari's stillborn Group B racers and Alfa's final Le Mans winner ...
With the help of Michelotto, Ferrari developed two Group B racing cars during the 1980s. The earliest was the 308 GT/M, which featured an all-new aerodynamic body and a longitudinally mounted, naturally aspirated V8 engine. Ultimately, it was not raced and only three examples were built. Two of these can be seen in our 29-shot gallery. Based on the newly introduced 288 GTO, the subsequent 288 GTO Evoluzione was an altogether more potent machine. It sported a similar design but benefited from a twin-turbo V8, which produced around 650 bhp. Sadly Group B was abandoned before it was properly developed. By that time only six prototypes were constructed. We captured one of these in full detail as can be seen in this 24-shot gallery.
After many decades hidden away in private ownership, the 1934 Le Mans winning Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Brianza Spider has recently been completely restored. It features a unique four-seater Brianza body, which unusually was built on the shorter of the two 8C 2300 chassis.
2013-12-02: 2013 Essen Motor Show report and gallery ...
Over the weekend, the Messe Essen exhibition centre opened its doors for the 2013 Essen Motor Show. The annual event once again offered its unique mix of motorsport, tuners and classic cars. Among the highlights this year was a display of modern and classic DTM racers, a line-up of this year's most spectacular show cars and a selection of around a dozen Maserati competition cars to mark the manufacturer's upcoming 100th anniversary. We were in Essen first thing on the opening morning, which has resulted in the following concise report, illustrated by a 160-shot gallery.
One of the most interesting cars on display was the Radical RXC. Powered by a 380 bhp V6 engine, this is the first Radical with a roof. It can also be specified with a 480 bhp version of Radical's V8 engine.
On the eve of Maserati's 100th anniversary the sad news reached us that on Friday Umberto Panini passed away at the age of 83. He singlehandedly preserved an important part of the manufacturer's heritage by buying the complete factory collection before it was sold at auction. The cars have since been placed in a purpose built museum on the Panini family's beautiful Hombre farm. We visited the museum a few years ago and as a tribute to Umberto Panini, we would like to once again highlight our Panini Maserati Collection article.
2013-11-28: A tribute to Embassy Hill Racing ...
Graham Hill was one of the most successful racing drivers of the 1960s and early 1970s, and he is still the only one to have won the Monaco Grand Prix, Indy 500, 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula 1 World Championship; the Grand Slam of motorsport. When his age caught up with him in the early 1970s, there was not longer a seat available in one of the top teams. This prompted him to set up his own team with the backing of the Embassy tobacco company at the start of the 1973 season. Sadly an airplane crash late in 1975, which claimed the lives of Hill, his chief designer and driver, brought an abrupt end to the team. Today we pay tribute to efforts of Graham Hill and his team with a feature of three cars used during the three seasons.
The first car to wear the lovely Embassy colours was a customer Shadow DN1 Cosworth. As this was also the first Shadow Formula 1 car, it was not particularly reliable. The works team did manage to score some points. Our 29-shot gallery includes pictures of both the Embassy Hill car and one of the works examples.
For the 1974 season, Hill commissioned the bespoke Lola T370 Cosworth. It was more reliable than the Shadow but not quite on the pace yet. Hill did manage to finish sixth in the Swedish Grand Prix, scoring the team's very first points.
Taking matters into their owns hands in 1975, the team developed the Lola into the Hill GH1 Cosworth, while a brand new car was readied for the 1976 season. It proved to be another difficult season with Hill retiring as driver halfway through the year and second driver Rolf Stommelen suffering injuries after a crash. Their replacements did manage to score three points. Sadly, the subsequent GH2 was never raced as the team suffered the fatal crash after returning from a test with the new car late in 1975.
2013-11-27: Alfa Romeo 33/TT/12, Volvo S60 Polestar and Strakka Dome S103 ...
Alfa Romeo and its competition subsidiary Autodelta developed and campaigned Tipo 33-dubbed sports racers for the better part of the decade. Although all of them shared the same typename, the various evolutions could be considered separate models in their own right. The most successful of these is the 33/TT/12, which was introduced halfway through the 1973 season. It combined a tubular chassis with a brand new flat-12 engine. After two difficult seasons, the 33/TT/12 really came into its own in 1975 when it won seven World Championship rounds and also the Targa Florio. At the end of the year, Alfa Romeo was crowned World Sportscar Champion for the first time. Over the years, we captured five different examples as can be seen in our 59-shot gallery, which serves to illustrate an all-new article.
Following the S60 version announced earlier this year, Volvo has also added a Polestar tuned V60 to the line-up. Like the sedan variant, it boasts a 350 hp engine and an all-wheel drive system. Both the S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar will be available in select markets from June of 2014.
Very positive news from the world of sports car racing reached us yesterday; Dome and Strakka Racing have teamed to develop and build the new Strakka Dome S103 Nissan LMP2 racer. Due to race in the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the lovely coupe promises to be a front runner in the highly competitive LMP2 class.
2013-11-25: The original 911 Carrera RSR and the Le Mans winning 935 K3 ...
The 50th anniversary of the iconic Porsche 911 has been celebrated throughout the year. One of the main reasons the flat-six engined machine has achieved the legendary status it holds today is the success on the race track, particularly in long distance events. It is hard to imagine a sports car and/or GT race without a 911 variant on the grid. In the first years of the 911 production, Porsche focused on their prototype effort and with the odd exception did not race the 911 until the 1973. That year the 911 Carrera RSR made its competition debut. In the hands of the works supported Brumos squad the car won the Daytona 24 Hours at its very first outing. Back in Europe, the biggest success for the factory cars was an outright win in the Targa Florio. In total Porsche built eight development and work cars of which two are featured in our 15-shot gallery, including the Targa Florio winner, which was shown at Pebble Beach this year.
The immediate successor to the development/works RSR was powered by a turbocharged engine and ultimately led to the creation of the 935, which go on to dominate the Group 5 class for many years. Among the most successful of the many 935 derivatives is the Kremer-built 935 K3. Its single biggest win came in 1979 when one of Kremer's own cars was driven to an outright victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This very car was also shown at Pebble Beach this year and deservedly won the special class for competition 911s. To mark that occasion, we have added more shots to our ever expanding gallery, which now boasts 115 shots of eight different examples.
2013-11-22: Unique Tojeiro and Ferrari headed for auction and last LA tidbits ...
Last night's Art of the Automobile sale, hosted by RM Auctions in association with Sotheby's in New York, was very successful with a very nice Ferrari 250 LM grabbing the headlines, after selling for a startling $14.3 million. You can find the full results here.
European rivals Bonhams and Artcurial are also gearing up for major auctions; The London Sale and the Retromobile Sale respectively. In London, Bonhams will offer the complete collection of Ecurie Ecosse cars and matching truck owned by Dick Skipworth. One of our favourites is the one-off Tojeiro Jaguar. It was raced only briefly in period but in more recent years it has been extensively campaigned, predominantly with Barrie 'Whizzo' Williams behind the wheel. Amazingly, the car has not missed a Goodwood Revival meeting and it is pictured in our 35 shot gallery at every Revival we have attended.
Artcurial meanwhile will host a two-day sale at Retromobile early in February, which will include the unique Ferrari 166 MM/53 Oblin Barchetta. Originally fitted with a Vignale Berlinetta body, it was extensively raced by its first, Belgian owner. He had the body replaced by local coach-builder Martial Oblin with the striking Barchetta body it still wears today. Beautifully restored in recent years, it has only seen very few outings.
Among the new cars revealed in Los Angeles we missed on Wednesday are the Subaru WRX and the Mercedes-Benz Concept GLA 45. While the latter is a near production ready show car, the all-new WRX is ready to hit the streets. Replacing the 2.5 litre engine, it features a 268 bhp, turbocharged flat four. It comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox and a CVT automatic is available as an option.
2013-11-20: Los Angeles and Tokyo round-up with new F-Type Coupe, Macan and more ...
It has been a busy day with new releases coming from both the Los Angeles Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show press days. One of the most highly anticipated machines revealed today was the fixed-head version of the highly acclaimed Jaguar F-Type. The range will be topped by the F-Type R Coupe, which is powered by the 550 hp version of the supercharged V8 also found in the XFRS. In addition to the eight cylinder engined model, the F-Type Coupe will also be available with a V6 engine.
Also in Los Angeles, Porsche took the wraps off the Macan. The compact SUV comes with a choice of diesel and petrol engines, with the Macan Turbo offering the most performance at 340 hp courtesy of a twin turbo V6.
In Tokyo, Nissan revealed two versions of the same concept car; the IDx Freeflow and the IDx Nismo. The striking machines evoke the lines of the evocative Datsun 510, especially the Nismo version, which boasts the period racing colour scheme.
Lexus officially revealed the RC 350 two-door coupe. The conventionally engined machine will be powered by a 314 bhp V6, which drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed gearbox.
Motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha showed their idea of a compact city car in the form of the MOTIV.e. The sophisticated machine is built using the Gordon Murray devised 'iStream' manufacturing technology.
2013-11-19: New Nissan GT-R Nismo, all-new MINI, more on the Civic Type R and Callaway SS ...
On the eve of the Tokyo Motor Show, Nissan have announced the GT-R Nismo, due to hit the streets in the spring of 2014. Developed by Nissan Motorsport using components from the GT3 racer, it features a 591 bhp version of the familiar twin-turbo V6 engine. Most impressively, works driver Michael Krumm has lapped the Nurburgring with the GT-R Nismo in just 7:08.679; a full ten seconds quicker than the previous fastest time with a GT-R.
Honda meanwhile have released further images of the upcoming Civic Type R, which is pictured during tests in Japan. As announced before, it will be the first Civic Type R powered by a turbocharged engine.
A similar engine is also found in the all-new, third generation MINI Cooper S, which was announced last night and will be shown both in Tokyo and Los Angeles this week. Slightly larger than the outgoing model, the range-topping 'S' is powered by a turbocharged, two-litre straight four, which is good for 189 bhp.
Altogether more powerful is the Callaway SS courtesy of a supercharged version of the LS3 engine found in the standard Chevrolet SS. This 6.2-litre V8 is good for 570 bhp, which allows the big four-door sedan to accelerate to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds. The Callaway SS is available through Callaway authorised Chevrolet dealers right now.
2013-11-18: All-conquering Porsche 962 in full detail and Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo ...
Having focused on Group C and the World Championship with the 956, Porsche finally answered their North American customers' requests in 1984 with the 962 built to the IMSA GTP regulations. Although similar to the 956 used in Europe, the new Porsche racer differed in detail in order to meet the slightly different GTP regulations. It proved equally successful and eventually ended its career with no fewer than 54 outright victories to its tally. In addition to the factory cars, privately built chassis, fully sanctioned by Porsche, were also raced and often included more sophisticated monocoques and aerodynamics. Today we take a detailed look at the all-conquering Porsche 962 with a concise article and a 78-shot gallery, which includes images of seven different examples.
Over the weekend, Mercedes-Benz announced the AMG Vision Gran Turismo, which will star in the upcoming video game Gran Turismo 6. Designed in the German manufacturer's California-based design centre, it is a concept for a future super sports car. Although the 1:1 model does not feature an engine, the in-game model is powered by a 585 hp version of the familiar twin-turbo V8 engine produced by AMG.