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2015-04-17: 2015 Techno Classica report and gallery, and the latest from Shanghai ...
2015 Techno Classica Report and Gallery Boasting over 1,250 exhibitors and attracting close to 200,000 visitors over a five-day period, the annual Techno Classica is the Germany city of Essen is one of the largest events of its kind. The classic car motor show staged in the vast Messe Essen features a wide array of exhibitors, ranging from major manufacturers to specialist suppliers. This year's edition included a special display of cars that competed in the 1929 Tourist Trophy, a look back at the bittersweet 1955 racing season by Mercedes-Benz and unique machinery like a Group 4 Alfa Romeo Montreal and Mansour Ojjeh's one-off road-going Porsche 935. Our photographers explored all halls with more care than ever before. The result is a concise report, illustrated by an exclusive 230-shot gallery. In the coming weeks, we will take a more detailed look at some of the 2015 Techno Classicas most interesting highlights.
Quickly becoming one of the most important motor shows and alternating with the Beijing Motor Show, Auto Shanghai will open its doors next week. The Volkswagen Group will be represented strongly in this key market. Audi will showcase the Prologue Allroad Show Car, which is the third in a line of Prologue show cars. It is powered by a hybrid drivetrain good for a combined 724 bhp and 900 Nm of torque. Parent company Volkswagen will reveal the new Scirocco GTS. Powered by a 217 bhp engine, this is effectively a Golf GTi in Scirocco clothing.
Another highly impressive machine to break cover this week is the Peugeot 308 R HYbrid. A plug-in hybrid, equipped with an electric motor on both axles, it boasts a combined 500 bhp. Right now the 308 R is still a technology showcase but it would certainly give the new Civic Type R or Focus RS a good run for their money.
Skoda meanwhile have introduced the final version of the Fabia R5. Built to the latest regulations, this rally racer is eligible to run in both national and international events.
  2015-04-15: Rare Touring bodied OSCA and Arrows' most successful F1 car ...
OSCA 1600 GT Touring Coupe In 1960, the Maserati brothers expanded the OSCA line-up by adding the road-going 1600 GT. The race-bred machine featured a lovely twin-cam, four-cylinder engine and was usually bodied by Fissore or Zagato. Among the rarest versions is the Touring Coupe, which was introduced at the 1961 Turin Motor Show. Only two examples were produced of this elegant machine. One of the design's most unusual features is the location of the spare tyre. This was stored on the parcel shelf, inside a cover made from the same material as the rest of the interior. Over the years, we have managed to capture both examples of this rare machine. The result is this 32-shot gallery.
Established during the late 1970s, the Arrows team was a set fixture on the Formula 1 grid for over 25 years. No season during that period was more successful than 1988 when Eddie Cheever and Derek Warwick scored a combined 23 points at a time when a race victory was only good for ten points. They used this Arrows A10B Megatron, which had been designed by Ross Brawn and featured a rebadged BMW engine. Although the A10B was a regular point scorer during the final season of the original turbo era, Arrows' engineers struggled for most of the season to get the mandatory pop-off valve to work properly. When this was finally sorted, Cheever and Warwick immediately placed third and fourth in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. At recent editions of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we were treated to two different examples, which can be seen in full detail in this 28-shot gallery.
2015-04-13: Le Mans class winning Lola Mazda and yesterday's Tourist Trophy winner ...
Lola T616 Mazda American tyre manufacturer BF Goodrich proved during the 1980s that the famous express 'race on Sunday, buy on Monday' does not only apply to cars. To showcase the potential of their latest T/A Radials road tyres, they shod a series of competition cars with the same compound rubber. For the 1984 season, the Jim Busby run team fielded this Lola T616 Mazda. Powered by a howling, 300+ bhp twin-rotor engine, the lightweight machine was fielded in the World Sports Car Championship and the IMSA GTP series. Raced in the Group C2 class, the T616 Mazda was particularly successful in the World Championship, winning the class at Monza and most importantly at Le Mans. Following the highly successful season with the Mazda-engined Lolas, the team stepped up to a GTP specification Porsche 962. The T616s continued to be raced by others for many more seasons. The two cars used in the World Championship were eventually restored to their original configuration by Busby himself. We captured both cars in this 46-shot gallery fittingly in action at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the Goodwood Festival of Speed where Mazda will be the featured marque this year.
This year's World Endurance Championship kicked off this weekend with the 6 Hours race at Silverstone, run for the legendary Tourist Trophy. While the very powerful Porsches proved fastest in qualifying, the Audi R18 e-tron quattro turned out to be the better package during the race. Despite a late stop-go penalty, the R18 piloted by Marcel Fassler, Benoit Treluyer and Andre Lotterer clinched the first win of the season.
  2015-04-10: V12 Friday with Sunbeam record breaker and BRM F1 racers ...
Sunbeam 350hp V12 Although often associated with thoroughbred Italian sports cars, the V12 has also regularly been used for British road and racing cars. Among the very first was this Sunbeam 350hp, which was built in 1920. It featured a sophisticated V12, which was derived from an engine originally developed for a naval seaplane. The massive, 18.3-litre V12 featured three valves per cylinder and produced a staggering 355 bhp. It helped prepare the unique machine to various land speed records in the hands of Kenelm Lee Guinness and Malcolm Campbell. Part of the British National Motor Museum collection, it was recently restored to full running order. A fabulous video about the car is also included in our detailed article about this unique machine.
Following a difficult two seasons with the overly complex H16 engine, BRM turned to a V12 layout for the 1968 Formula 1 season. Originally developed for sports car racing purposes, the twin-cam engine first powered the BRM P126 raced by the likes of Pedro Rodriguez and Richard Attwood. Although they missed out on a win, both drivers managed to place second once with the V12-engined P126 in 1968. The same basic design ultimately evolved during the 1968 and 1969 seasons into the BRM P139. Compared to the original V12-engined BRM, the final evolution featured a four-valve head, which helped boost the power of the three-litre V12 to nearly 420 bhp. Driven by John Surtees and Jackie Oliver, the P139 proved not quick or reliable enough to match the Cosworth DFV-powered rivals.
2015-04-08: BMW Touring Cars, 1,000 bhp Hennessey CTS-V and new Citroen concept ...
BMW 635 CSi Group A The introduction of the new 'Group A' regulations at the start of the 1982 European Touring Car Championship prompted BMW to reconsider their effort. The German manufacturer strongly believed that the 635 CSi previously used, could not be homologated, mainly due to the 5,000-car production (over a single year) homologation requirements. So instead, the 528i Group A was created together with specialists Eggenberger. The four-door saloon complied with both the letter and the spirit of the regulations, unlike the quicker Jaguar XJ-S, Tom Walkinshaw Racing had cleverly managed to get homologated. Mainly due to its reliability, the 528i nevertheless dominated the 1982 season, scoring six wins, including in the all-important Spa 24 Hours. Our feature car was one of the works back BMW Italia machines, which finished second on three occasions.
Taking no chances, BMW had figured out a way to also homologate the 635 CSi as a Group A car for 1983. The racing cars were a collaboration between Alpina, who supplied the engines and Schnitzer, who assembled the cars and also ran the works team. It proved sufficient to stave off the Jaguars for another season, and the ever striking 635 CSi Group A would go on to win the Spa 24 Hours on three different occasions. Our 59-shot gallery includes four different examples, pictured at tracks all around Europe.
American go-fast specialist Hennessey has taken the upcoming Cadillac CTS-V to a new level by creating the HPE1000. As the name suggests, it is powered by a 1,000 bhp version of the Cadillac's V8, which boasts twin turbos instead of a supercharger. Hennessey plans to produce just 24 examples as a 2016 model.
Citroen has reached the production milestone of 50 million vehicles and will celebrate the occasion by introducing the Aircross Concept at the upcoming Shanghai Motor Show. The compact SUV features a hybrid drivetrain, good for a combined 308 bhp.
  2015-04-06: Matra's earliest Grand Prix cars ...
Matra MS10 Cosworth Originally an aeronautics manufacturer, Matra expanded to the automotive industry by acquiring the ailing Rene Bonnet company in the early 1960s. Within a few years, the French company produced a successful range of sports cars and single seaters. With backing from the government, Matra stepped up to Formula 1 in 1968. An inspired move was to employ the services of team manager Ken Tyrrell and his hugely talented protege driver Jackie Stewart, who had already successfully competed in Formula 2 with a Matra. Based on one of these four-cylinder engined machines was Matra's very first Formula 1 car; the MS9 Cosworth. Powered by the newly available Ford Cosworth DFV engine, it mainly served as a test and development vehicle. Stewart nevertheless managed to qualify the unique MS9 on the front row at its sole Grand Prix outing. In recent years, it has been meticulously restored to its original configuration and we captured it while displayed at the fabulous Donington Grand Prix Collection.
All the lessons learned with the F2-based MS9 were used to create a pair of Matra MS10s used for the remainder of the 1968 season. After some teething problems in the car's first Grands Prix, Stewart scored a breakthrough victory at Zandvoort. This was the first Formula 1 World Championship win for a French car. Stewart added three more victories to the MS10's tally, including a remarkable win during a rain-soaked German Grand Prix, where he beat the nearest rival by a startling four minutes. In 1969, the Scotsman would claim his first World Championship with the new Matra MS80. Both MS10s survive and we have captured the pair in full detail with this 36-shot gallery. The chassis used by Stewart to score each of the four victories is shown in a variety of aero configurations, all of which were used during the 1968 season.
2015-04-03: World Championship winning Spice, and New York and Seoul round-ups ...
Spice SE88C Cosworth In 1988, Gordon Spice became the first driver since Juan Manual Fangio to win four consecutive World Championships. He dominated the Group C2 class with a succession of cars and scored the fourth World Championship with his own Spice SE88C Cosworth. This second generation Spice Group C racer was a simple but highly effective machine, and it was the class of the field from the moment it first turned a wheel. Among the three examples featured is the chassis used by Gordon Spice and his team-mate Ray Bellm for most of the season. Liveried in striking Listerine and Rexona colours, it scored numerous class wins including at Le Mans, where it also placed 13th overall. Today, this very car is still among the very fastest in its class and depending on the track can even challenge the much more powerful C1 machinery for outright victories. The formidable Spice is pictured in an action-packed, 73-shot gallery.
On Wednesday, we already took a first look at the releases from the New York International Auto Show and today we round-up our coverage. Our eye was particularly caught by the BRZ-based Subaru STI Performance Concept. Although few specifics were released, it has lead us to believe that an STI version of the BRZ will, finally, be added to Subaru's line-up. Another interesting debutant in New York is the all-new Cadillac CT6. The large, luxury saloon is powered by a choice of engines, including a Cadillac exclusive, 400 bhp V6, which drives all four wheels.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Seoul Motor Show also opened its doors this week. Definitely one of the most exciting new machines on display was this Hyundai RM15 Concept. Short for Racing Midship 15, the RM15 is built around an aluminium tubular spaceframe chassis and boasts a mid-mounted, 295 bhp four-cylinder engine. Although, unfortunately, not slated for production, the rear-wheel drive machine serves as a showcase of Hyundai's engineering skills. Fellow Korean company, Kia, used the show to take the wraps off the Novo Concept. As the name suggests, it represents a new or fresh approach to the needs of urban commuters.
  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.