Wednesday, 31 March 2010

CBR900RR kart

This looks like enormous fun... but it's got bad news written all over it.

MP4-12C configurator

Got some time to kill? Click below and build yourself a new McLaren...

As you can see, I've gone for the ultimate combo of Fire Black, carbon splitter, carbon-ceramic brakes with orange calipers and super-lightweight forged wheels with a stealth finish. But of course.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Ferrari F430 road-racing at Genting

This really is very naughty indeed.

It's also awesome.

This actually seems to be quite a common pastime in the Genting Highlands of Malaysia... YouTube's chock full of footage of people hooning into the clouds. The Ferrari vid above is by far the coolest, but this one's pretty entertaining too:

Ford Focus RS500

Ford have a habit of reviving classic names and pasting them onto decidedly ropey cars. Remember the mid-nineties Escort Mexico? It was little more than a trim level on a mkVI, rather than anything to do with the glorious rally legend that was the mkI & mkII. Similarly, the mkV Escort RS2000 had none of the benefits of the original RS2000 (rally pedigree, enthusiast-built, iconic aesthetics, pin-sharp handling) and suffered from using the flimsiest and worst Escort ever as a base. The RS1800 name, as championed by the mkII Escort between 1975-77 (Ford's most successful ever rally car) found its way onto the back of a mkIII Fiesta. Unfortunate.

However, it looks as if they might have hit the nail on the head with the RS500. Originally used on the Sierra Cosworth, 'RS500' identified the homologation models for touring car racing, featuring a larger turbo and intercooler, plus motorsport tweaks such as a second row of injectors and higher-flow fuel pump. It was a menacing and purposeful machine. And so is the new Focus RS500.

Essentially a limited-edition version of the Focus RS, rather than being built to satisfy any sort of homologation regulations, it features matt black paint, 350bhp, 340lb.ft., larger intercooler and ECU tweaks - it'll hit 60mph in 5.6s. Click here for more.

Hennessey Venom GT - another teaser

Following SuckSqueezeBangBlow's recent post about the Venom GT, Hennessey have released another glimpse of their new baby.
Power is from the Corvette ZR1, with further titillations taking the form of a Ricardo six-speeder, a better power-to-weight ratio than a Veyron, carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes, adjustable suspension and programmable traction control. Exclusivity is assured, with a $600k price tag and projected build figures of just ten a year.

So... why's this one on a 57-plate?

Friday, 26 March 2010

Toyota Sponsafier

NASCAR is just one of many situations in which it wouldn't really matter if your throttle jammed open... so in celebration of this, why not try Toyota's Sponsafier and create your own Toyota NASCAR livery? Click the image to have a go.

Pathetic Motorways

Pathetic Motorways is a site dedicated to cataloguing the crappier motorways of the UK and Ireland, combining cold, hard facts with some sparkling wit. You may not feel that learning about motorways is something you can get on board with, but give it a click - it's actually very entertaining.

Back to the Futurama

The brainchild of Jeremy Dean, the horse-drawn Hummer is a vision of a post-apocalyptic America where the symbols of capitalism are forced to revert to a more basic and traditional functionality; the ultimate symbol of oil-frittering excess, the Hummer, transformed into a 19th-century form of locomotion.

If nothing else, it's nice to see one of the wretched things getting cut into pieces.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

SLS GT3 racer

Details have emerged of a Mercedes-Benz SLS in GT3 racer spec. Using the road car's 6.3-litre V8, it will be a lot lighter thanks to a cabin stripped of all the unnecessary luxurious bits. Aero improvements include a flat undertray, colossal rear wing, an equally enormous front spoiler and a substantial rear diffuser. The way the fuel filler has been worked into the C-pillar is a particularly impressive detail. How much to convert a road car to this spec, M-B...?

Sebring Corvette crash

Oh, it's sad. Chevrolet were so excitable about the 2010 Corvettes running at the Sebring 12hr, and they managed to write each other off in the pitlane. Oops!


If you took your car for a service and the dealer totalled it, you'd be pretty annoyed. But if the circumstances were that they remote-started your car using the system you'd fitted, while it was in gear and with the handbrake off, and it ended up in a pond, you'd only really be justified in being angry at yourself. Bet you wish you'd fitted a neutral cut-off now...
Click here.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Panamera family tree

There are a lot of very, very beautiful Porsches in this vid. The ugly duckling Panamera looks totally out of place...

Lancia Stratos - pure sound

It's like porn for your ears.

Combustible Nanos

Oh dear. The great white hope for cheaply and safely mobilising India seems to be rather prone to randomly catching fire.

The Indian press reckon that there's a problem with the Tata Nano's engine cooling, causing them to spontaneously and dramatically burst into flame. Tata reckon it's nothing to worry about.

Still, it gives it something in common with the Gallardo...

Monday, 22 March 2010

Fake crocodile skin

As if driving a Bentley Continental GT doesn't scream 'I'm a pretentious arse' loudly enough...


Friday, 19 March 2010

Hour of Power pitlane

This is a very serious amount of horsepower to be pooling in one place.

You Park Like An Asshole

Brilliant idea, this - you get to tell stupid people off without the danger of confronting them, and they get directed to a site that will educate them about acceptable parking etiquette. Everybody wins. Click here.

Routemaster skidpan

Having watched this footage, you need never be afraid of a skidding bus toppling over - apparently they're quite stable.

There's no way in hell they'd allow this sort of monkey business nowadays. Ah, nostalgia...

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Mazda MX-5 'Black & Matte'

The latest of many things Mazda are doing to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the MX-5, the Black & Matte edition is, as you'd expect, finished in matt black. (Well, more satin black really.)

For the sake of weirdness, here's a woman attacking it with a sword.

...and then realising she's broken it. Whoopsie!

McLaren MP4-12C

The unveiling of a new McLaren road car should be a dramatic and exciting event. The fact that the current and former F1 champs, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, were the ones to take the wraps off the car should be the icing on the cake. So how did McLaren manage to make the presentation of the MP4-12C so unbelievably dull?

What was rather more exciting was when Jenson and Lewis actually drove the thing at Goodwood a little while back. First impressions? Porsche should probably be a little nervous about losing more than a few 911 sales to McLaren...

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Drifting Mulholland

This will be unsuccessfully copied by many a local teen.

There's number-elevens in them thar hills...


The corporate nature of this video is a little irritating (seriously, count the number of times they say 'Subaru'), but it's quite a cool little thing that they laid on for a bunch of journo types. Check out the slightly-too-eager overtake at 2:04!


Oh dear. Aston Martin are trying to make the godawful little Cygnet seem a bit cooler by presenting it in Gulf livery with a matching-helmeted Stig beside it.
There are many other inappropriate schemes too - click here and have a play.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Hennessey Venom GT

The secretive folks at Hennessey have released this teaser for the forthcoming Venom GT.

An Elise-based car with a choice of 725bhp, 1000bhp or 1200bhp? Sounds gloriously deranged. There's talk of a sub-3.0s 0-62mph time and a top speed in excess of 250mph. The full reveal, rumoured to be at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, should be a pretty spectacular affair.

Dubai 24hr

A nice little piece from Will Roegge following the Speedhunters team at the 5th annual Dubai 24hr race.

Dubai 24H from Will Roegge on Vimeo.

Porsche 918

When Porsche rolled out the 918 concept at Geneva, it pretty much stopped the show. The sneaky Germans had built it on the quiet, so it came as a total surprise to the industry that they had developed a new supercar that had a viable and realistic hybrid drivetrain - the fact that it's jaw-droppingly pretty was almost a side issue.

Brilliantly, they are actually going to build it, on the proviso that interest remains strong and it can be proved that it'll make money. (No LS-F style loss-leader showcasing here.)
The four-wheel drive platform is powered by a 500bhp V8 combined with two electric motors providing a combined 281bhp. How much will it cost? Well, if you have to ask...

Monday, 15 March 2010

Pagani Zonda R

A breathtaking look at the Zonda R - pure car porn.

Fighting fire with fire

Strathclyde Police have seized a blinging Audi Q7 from some naughty gangsters. So what happens in this situation? It gets auctioned off or crushed? Well, no, not in this case - it's had rozzer livery plastered all over it and been handed to the Gangs Task Force. Imagine the look on Mr Big's face as he gets carted off to chokey in his own car...


Friday, 12 March 2010

RingMini in reverse

The Nordschleife is a formidable place - scary, even. So how would you fancy lapping it in a Mini Clubman, which would offer you almost no crash protection? How about lapping it backwards? In the rain? Now, that's some pretty unusual behaviour...

Röhrl, Quattro, Col de Turini

This is pretty much the holy trinity - Walter Rörhl, a Group B Quattro and the Col de Turini.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Top Secret Drag-R II

Japanese tuning outfit Top Secret have built some pretty legendary cars over the years. One that's been much in the limelight recently, due to its sale by the current UK owner, is the Drag-R II. It originally found fame in Max Power's 'Beasts from the East' video, clocking over 200mph in a tunnel in central Tokyo. (Beware of the shouty commentary.)

The Drag-R II produced around 800bhp on pump fuel (or 1000bhp on race fuel) thanks to a lengthy list of modifications that's too enormous to list here; highlights include a race-spec engine with various Tomei and Trust internals, huge HKS turbos, carbon-fibre body addenda, full Cusco rollcage, stripped interior, Lexan windows, R34 Brembo brakes and, just for fun, a line-lock. The Stack dash's memory still reads 328km/h...

Fancy owning a piece of J-tuner history? Give Harlow Jap Autos a call.

Spotting a future classic

Richard Hammond eyes up the Corrado VR6 and the 190E Cosworth as potential future classics. This clip's from 2003 - has his prophecy come to pass, or is it too early to tell...?

Brabus E V12 Coupe

This is a very silly car indeed. The really-quite-large two-door is propelled by a 6.3-litre V12 that produces 789bhp and enough torque to knock the planet slightly off its axis - 1,047lb ft of it. Ludicrous. It'll do 0-60 in 3.7s and go on to 231mph, setting you back £434,000 in the process. Yet another quasi-believable ballistic missile for sheikhs and footballers...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Retro caravan

Why didn't this idea catch on? It's inspired!

Porsche 911 Sport Classic

£140k for a 911? So... it's either got to be more powerful than the Turbo or more focused than the GT3 RS, yes?

No. But it does have Fuchs alloys and a ducktail spoiler. Hmmm.
Well, it doesn't matter if you think it's good value or not - all 250 units have been sold, so you have no choice but to let someone else swallow the depreciation.

Amuse Carbon R

The Amuse Carbon R sits somewhere between cult legend and forgotten curio. Built in 2004 by Japanese tuning outfit Amuse, the project started out as an effort to make a hardcore, lightweight road car, but they got a bit carried away and ended up developing a full-race machine. An obsessive program of weight saving gave the Carbon R a kerb weight of around 1100kg - 400kg less than standard - achieved by replacing all of the steel bodywork with carbon-fibre and stripping pretty much everything out from the interior.

A dramatic way to save weight was to junk half of the complex 4WD system, sending all of the power through just the rear wheels. Speaking of power, the RB26DETT engine featured uprated pistons and cams, larger turbos, lots of custom pipework, a huge intercooler and re-profiled front bodywork to maximise cooling efficiency, allowing the Carbon R to produce 520bhp. Protruding from the rear diffuser is a huge straight-through titanium exhaust. The wheels are lightweight Rays items, the windows are made of Lexan, even the standard fuel tank has been replaced with an ultra-light race fuel cell. In short, it's an animal.

Its trump card was showing the J-tuner establishment that the tunnel-vision approach of chasing ever-larger power figures isn't the only way to achieve greater performance. Sometimes it's necessary to apply some more Lotus-like thinking, and just remove a few of the heavy bits...

GT5 Night trailer

Yet another GT5 trailer emerges, showing us more things that the Gran Turismo franchise has never featured before: proper crash damage, Ferraris, NASCAR... stop teasing us and release the bloody thing!

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Monday, 8 March 2010

Felon restorations

Nevada's Southern Desert Correctional Center has an unorthodox activity centre for its inmates. They don't smash rocks. The don't press licence plates. They don't stitch mailbags. They restore classic cars.
It makes sense, really - they have no time constraints, so they don't rush the work. The longer they remain as inmates, the longer they have to hone their skills. And with a strong back catalogue of quality work, it's no surprise that people are happy to ship their pride-and-joy to the big house to be freshened up - a ground-up resto on a '65 Mustang, for example, would cost as little as $25k. Little wonder that Carroll Shelby got involved: the cons are now making Shelby Cobras - real ones - as well as bodykits and addenda for Mustang GTs and Supersnakes.

You can read Pat Devereux's full Top Gear report here.

Tommy Ivo's 'Showboat'

Showboat was a dragster built by legendary drag racer and TV celebrity Tommy Ivo in the early sixties. The 32-cylinder monster featured four Buick 454ci V8 engines, producing 1720hp in total. The NHRA classed it as an 'exhibition dragster', meaning that he was unable to officially race it, but that didn't stop it going down in dragster history as one of the most brilliantly absurd creations to be built in the pure pursuit of speed.

So how do you drive such a beast? The man himself explains...

Your Driving Test (1935)

"Don't flick your cigarette ash outside, it's very misleading."

The UK driving test became compulsory in 1935. To reassure their customers that they had nothing to fear, Ford created 'Your Driving Test', a short film narrated by Sir Malcolm Campbell.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

SLS AMG - Official F1 safety car

My pretentiously-named local Merc dealership, Mercedes-Benz Chelsea (which is actually in Wandsworth), have stickered up a C-Class with F1 safety car livery, but they're very wide of the mark. The SLS AMG has been announced as the official safety car of the 2010 Formula One season. 571bhp and a 0-62 time of 3.8 seconds? OK, it's not quite as fast as an F1 car, but hey, they're not allowed to overtake it...


BMW told us that there would be no 'M' derivative of the Z4 because the M3's V8 was too big to shoehorn in there.
Schubert Motorsport have proved that this is poppycock by creating the Z4 GT3, a Z4 racer that employs the M3's 480bhp V8 and a six-speed sequential gearbox. Does this mean that there's a chance of a Z4M after all? Hope so... Schubert's racer costs $408,000.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Tamiya Sand Scorcher - 1:1 scale

Of the many iconic R/C cars Tamiya have created over the years, the Sand Scorcher is arguably one of the coolest. Quite sought after too - an original 1979 model can fetch $5000.
German VeeDub restorers and customisers The Bug Box, in a stroke of pure genius, built a life-size homage to the Sand Scorcher for the Nuremberg Toy Fair, accurate right down to the individual decals and 'BAJA BUG' number plate. For the sake of accuracy, the body lifts from the shell just like a Tamiya car would, and they've also built a huge remote control and a box to keep it in.

Via Wired & Evo