Monday, 30 November 2009

Retro drag

Some unusual metal competing here... and some unexpected results.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Blowing up toy cars in slo-mo

Perhaps a more appropriate soundtrack would be the sound of boys crying while daddy laughs...?

I love the spinning Beetle at 0:34

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Evo anti-lag

Generally found on WRC cars and the like, anti-lag systems basically involve detonating an air/fuel mix within the exhaust manifold to keep the turbo spooling when de-throttling and, as the name suggests, eliminate lag. They've become rather de rigeur amongst the Evo crowd, as the clips below demonstrate. OK, they'll grenade your exhaust in no time, but they're pretty damn cool.

De Tomaso comeback

De Tomaso are apparently due to return to the showrooms in 2011. That's as good a reason as any for a couple of Pantera pics, right?

For the uninitiated, it was basically a gorgeous Italian design with a dirty great American V8 in the middle. Entertaining.

Moped gangs

Taking a scale of, say, two-thumbs-up awesome to slightly lame, it's hard to know where to place the growing trend of 'rebels without a hog' - the US culture of the moped gang. Counting among their Hell's Angels equivalents, we find San Francisco's Creatures of the Loin, Tempe's Tom Cruisers and Richmond's Hell's Satans (the latter, obviously, having been lifted from The Simpsons) - guys who mix the traditional rebellion ethos with a very modern frugality; throw in a NES/C90/Walkman retro kitsch and it has the potential to be a winning combination. Click here for more. (via Wired)

GT3 double-spin at the 'Ring

Having driven the N├╝rburgring, I can say with conviction that it's a scary, scary place. Incredible fun, of course, but a formidable challenge with very little margin for error.
Check out this jammy sod - I love that he gets straight back on with it after the spin!

Dieter Verboven's E21

It's just perfect, this. Every single detail is exactly as it should be - the stance, the cage, the wheel choice, the arches, the colour choice, the 2.7-litre straight-six... the whole thing makes me dribble with lust. Literally.
More here.

Lada Riva: sexy

No, seriously. It made my brain itch a little too, but I genuinely love this Lada.

(Click images to enlarge.)

Via Stanceworks

5-series evolution

BMW love doing these press shot line-ups showing the evolution of the model - it's baffling. Going from left to right, you can feel your face twisting from a big cheesy grin to a tortured grimace...

Flying Finns

...because we're all awful and we love a good crash.


Don't worry, kids - that's why they have cages and harnesses.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Sweeney...

...was good for car chases. And shit acting. But mostly car chases.

Slo-mo Mondeo attack

Aaaaah... soothing.

MG6 - The return of MG

Under their new Chinese management, MG are to release their first new model in 14 years: the MG6. It's surprisingly not ugly - not remarkable exactly, with more than a little of the Vauxhall Insignia in the tail and a nose that resembles a Korean take on the VW Jetta, but it's not the hide-the-kids ugmoe that the MGF/TF was. Reportedly featuring a choice of 133bhp 1.8 or 160bhp turbocharged 1.8 (they've gone all out on the options list, clearly), it will apparently be built in Longbridge. Or, at least, that's what they're saying at the moment.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Renault 5 v Citroen CX v reality

Three things I love about this weird video:
  • The in-car driver shots make absolutely no effort to look like they're actually driving
  • The extravagant short-cut taken by the Renault 5 still brings him out behind the Citroen CX
  • The way it abruptly ends, making the whole thing look like a desperate waste of the Renault guy's time

Crackpot genius.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Miata RX

The NA Mazda MX-5 (or Miata, or Eunos, depending on where you live) doesn't really need more power. It's a modern Lotus Elan, it's all about driver involvement - you get out what you put in. It's raw, pure, almost flawless.

That said, power rocks. So why not drop a turbocharged Wankel from an RX-7 in there? Can't do any harm, can it?

This is the work of Mike Burlas Design - click here to learn more.
The fastback tail's rather rakish, isn't it?

Ferrari 599 GTO

Rumour has it that Ferrari will be resurrecting the legendary GTO moniker for an ultra-hardcore 599. Development has neither been confirmed nor denied at this stage, but the rumour mill suggests 700hp, a limited run of 500 units, a £400k price tag and 599xx-inspired looks. Saucy.

Big cars hiding their mass

Cars that are large, heavy and cumbersome don't necessarily have to be slow. The Veyron is an obvious example...

...and here's some other fatties waving two digits at physics.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Double front flip

Physics has nothing on grunt.

Fiesta S2000

Interested in stage rallying? Got a few quid in your pocket? You need the new M-Sport Fiesta S2000. 280bhp, permanent 4WD and a body that will make lads in McDonald's car parks moist with envy.

Click here for info.

HPP Daytona

Retro re-imaginings are never mundane - they're either really nasty or really cool. New Beetle, new Thunderbird, new Panda - nasty. New Mini, new Mustang, new 500 - cool.

The Americans seem to be pretty damn good at this sort of thing of late (aside from the Thunderbird, natch), with the Challenger and Camaro being obvious examples. And as if the Challenger were not droolworthy enough already, take a look at the HPP Daytona:

It's basically a standard Challenger underneath (which is no bad thing - 5.7-litre HEMI = big smiles), but it's just achingly gorgeous. Click here for more.

Chinese drifter to the rescue!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Ferrari California: tricky to drive?

Apparently so. Even the chairman of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, managed to beach one. At walking pace. In front of thousands. With Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in the back.

Oops. How embarrassing.
And check out this poor sod... doesn't look like a particularly complex manoeuvre, does it?

Unpleasant, that. But not quite as embarrassing as this Veyron driver inexplicably plunging into the drink. (Ignore the slack-jawed chump behind the camera mis-identifying it as a Lambo.)

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Pure rally sound

No messing about with music overdubs here... just great quality footage of the 1977 RAC rally with all of the glorious engine sounds in place.

Volksrod - fabricating legend

A compelling and ongoing saga, this.

Take one Beetle shell, add a Lexus V8, mix in some epic fabrication skills and turn the whole lot into an astonishing Volksrod. Click here to see it in all its glory.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Veyron engine spotted in Budapest

A bizarre story from Jalopnik.


Stranger even than a Citro├źn SM in the Detroit suburbs is stumbling upon an 8-liter sixteen cylinder engine block from a $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron in a Budapest street.

The first glance is barely cursory. Engine blocks, after all, are fairly common elements of a certain school of interior design. This one is standing on its end behind a plate of glass on a residential street in downtown Budapest. It’s rather tall, so definitely not a Chevy small block, most likely some sort of straight six from a truck.

Except it’s not. So I double back. And realize a few things in rapid sequence:

  1. The block is almost waist-high and I’m 6'2"
  2. The block has eight cylinder bores in a W pattern
  3. Make that sixteen: there’s another bank of cylinder bores at a 90° angle
  4. Is that really a Bugatti logo stamped in the metal?

So I rock back and forth on the sidewalk, trying in vain to bridge the vast chasm between what I see and what I know. Empirically speaking, the object cannot be anything other than a Bugatti Veyron engine: no other car has ever been manufactured with a W16 and engine blocks generally don’t carry the stamped initials of Ettore Bugatti in their metal.

On the other hand, we’re talking about a ludicrously expensive car with perhaps 200 examples in existence. What are the chances of running into the dismembered engine of one in a shop window in Budapest?

I might as well enter the store to find out. The space behind the plate of glass is the headquarters of Geppetto, a Hungarian design studio founded by the Elek brothers in 1996. A man descends the well-designed staircase.

“Is that what I think it is?” I ask, cutting a glance at the engine block.
“It indeed is,” comes the answer.

Wordless shuffling commences. We then strike up a conversation. The guy turns out to be Peter Kucsera, one of the designers employed by Geppetto and creator of the Seeyou Project, a rather beautiful horizontal gravestone made of concrete.

But how does one end up with a Veyron engine?

“We were approached by Bugatti to make something out of their engines which didn’t pass QA,” Peter explains. “So they shipped us a W16 and we came up with some interior design ideas and sent them our proposals. The ball is in their court at the moment.”

We are standing in the middle of Geppetto’s generous studio space, flanking an inconspicuous metal crate which looks like a downsized shipping container. With a mischievous flick, Peter removes an Ikea carpet from the crate’s top. Under a glass cover, the crate is filled with the rest of the engine’s parts. Headers, camshafts, cylinder heads, a single piston, a lone turbo and the giant crankshaft which handles the 1001 HP the engine makes. The surreality of it all never quite fades away.

“The block would make a perfect family crypt for people who prefer cremation,” Peter says, revealing a continued fascination with unusual burial, “although with a big family, the 16 holes would fill up fast.”

I suggest using only one cylinder bore per generation, reserving it for the most deserving member of that generation, thereby stretching the block’s life into the centuries. The block could then remain put, its great heft planting it into the very earth, while the city surrounding it would evolve, the Geppetto office fading away to become a butcher shop, only for that to turn into yet another place of business.

It would certainly make for a killer time lapse video.

“We’ve yet to find the best use for it. For the moment, we’ve decided to install it in the shop window to serve as a conversation piece,” Peter says, adding that it does attract a strange assortment of passersby.

I wave goodbye and return to the November gloom. Should you visit Budapest these days, you’ll find the block at this address. It really is quite a sight.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Ronin - best car chase ever?

This is pure sunlit perfection.

Panizzi donut

A classic WRC moment - Gilles Panizzi is leading the 2002 Rally Catalunya by 45 seconds, so decides to give the crowds a bit of a thrill...

What a showman.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Porsche Boxster Spyder

Interesting facts about the forthcoming Boxster Spyder:
  • It's the lightest new Porsche that money can buy
  • It's got 320bhp - 10 more horses than the Boxster S
  • It's got all-new reworked suspension and an LSD as standard
  • Using Launch Control, it'll hit 60mph in 4.6s
  • It'll do 166mph with the top down, if your ears can stand it
...but forget all that - just look at it! It's gorgeous - almost like a baby Carrera GT.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

F1 vs rally vs road... on track

An unusual mix of Johnny Herbert, Colin McRae and Jeremy Clarkson - and a superb demonstration of power, setup and talent.

Ice Block

Some more Ken Block wackiness from DC - this time with a nice festive feel.