Thursday, 30 September 2010

WRC Mini Cooper

Mini will be returning to the World Rally Championship next year... and, slightly unexpectedly, will be doing so with the Cooper Countryman S. This actually makes a lot of sense, as the Countryman is already available with 4WD, hence eliminating the need for drivetrain homologation which would be faced if BMW were to use the smaller Cooper.

Developed by Prodrive, the Countryman will be powered by a turbocharged 1600cc four-banger and, while it doesn't really resemble the plucky rally Minis of yore, at least they've made an effort with the bonnet-mounted lamp pod - and you see that no.37 plastered down the sides? That was the number of Paddy Hopkirk's Mini in which he won the Monte Carlo rally in 1964.

Spa Six Hours 2010

The 2010 Spa Six Hours took place last weekend, stretching the legs of a variety of classic racers around the gloriously picturesque Spa circuit. As well as the six hour endurance race, other events included Grand Prix Masters, Open-Wheel Historics, Top Hat Masters and the Stirling Moss Trophy. You can learn more about the event here, and see a wonderful set of photos here.

Click images to enlarge.

Gingham S13 V8

The S13 Nissan Silvia is a tremendously popular drift car, for the obvious reasons of ubiquity, tuneability and comparatively light weight. But in a scene flooded with modified examples, how does one stand out? The answer is twofold:
1) A gingham interior that's so shocking it revolves full-circle and swings back into awesomeness.
2) A massive Chevrolet LS2 V8 engine, sure to piss off the JDM fanboys. 6.0 litres and 400bhp? That'll do nicely...

VisualEchoes, via Loxlee

Sabine Schmitz - GT3 RS

Some great onboard footage here of Queen-of-the-'Ring Sabine Schmitz taking a 911 GT3 RS owner for a passenger ride around the Nordschleife.
Keep an eye out for the superb save at 8m30s...

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

After months of teaser shots and speculation, the Sesto Elemento has finally been unveiled. Recent Lamborghini design language is immediately recognisable, but it's taken to a logical extreme in this hardcore carbon-fibre road racer.
The 562bhp V10 as found in the Gallardo Superleggera powers a machine that weighs an absurdly minimalist 999kg, enabling frankly ridiculous performance. 0-60mph is despatched in just 2.5s - it's basically a four-wheeled Italian superbike. You can draw your own parallels with the KTM X-Bow...

'Sesto Elemento', incidentally, means 'sixth element', representing carbon's position on the periodic table. Nice touch. Time will tell whether this sleek sliver of carbon will inform the design of the Murcielago's forthcoming replacement.

Via Evo

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

'A Part of Italy'

'Every Lamborghini is handmade in Sant'Agata Bolognese'. This beautiful new ad campaign reminds consumers what's important - yes, they may be under German ownership, but they're 100% red-blooded Italians.

Click images to enlarge.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Rusty's roof chop

You may well be familiar with Mike Burroughs' constantly evolving E28 - if not, click here for a recap.

The latest development to break cover is this rather unusual hillbilly roof chop. In keeping with the nu-rat/WWII bomber aesthetic, he's left the welds on the pillars exposed, as well as crafting a pretty hardcore dash from corroding metal sheet that complements the artfully knackered exterior. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that Burroughs knows how to keep his one-man PR machine spinning. Whatever next, a Merlin aero engine? A donk stance? A hovercraft set-up? Anything could happen, we'll just have to keep guessing.

Here's the full, colourful tale of Rusty:

Lowriding - a way of life

There's so much more to lowriders than just monkeying about with suspension. The ethos of lowrider culture filters through every facet of the owner's lifestyle: it's not just a thing that you own, but an expression of who you are.

And it's all about the hydraulics. No airbags here.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Blancpain Edition

Another week, another special edition Lamborghini.

Sorry, that sounds awfully flippant doesn't it? Allow me to start again...
Have you seen the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Blancpain Edition? No? Well, here it is. And it's incredible.

Basing a car on something as epic and thunderous as the Gallardo Superleggera is a pretty good starting point by any standards. The Blancpain Edition (named after a manufacturer of Swiss watches - well, read any high-end car magazine and you'll see that supercar enthusiasts by default have to be Swiss watch enthusiasts as well) features a massive rear spoiler, Skorpius wheels and carbon-ceramic brakes, as well as carbon-fibre aplenty. Power? You're looking at 562bhp, 0-62mph in 3.4s and a top whack of 199mph. But it'll cost you over £200k...


Don't panic... it's not a genuine 964 RS. What we have here is a 964-series 911, slammed on Rayvern Hydraulics over some very wide eighteens. A Marmite creation if ever there was one.

I'm in two minds about this. Part of me thinks that taking one of the purest and most focused driving machines ever conceived and removing any semblance of performance handling from it is a damn shame.
...but another part can't get over how awesome that stance looks.
Full spec and further photos can be found here.

2010 Berg Cup

The jewel in the crown of bergrennen (German for 'hillclimb', of course) is the KW Berg Cup. The suspension manufacturer sponsors the event which attracts bespoke performance machines of all shapes and sizes... although, as you can see from the video, the nature of the event ensures a healthy bias towards German cars.

...and here's a depressing example of what happens when it all goes wrong. Still, that's racing - rebuild and race again!


Aston Martin claim that the One-77's 7.3-litre V12 is 'the most powerful regular-production naturally-aspirated engine in the world'; it produces 750bhp and 553lb.ft without the help of turbo- or superchargers. And it sounds pretty good too, as this latest video from AM demonstrates.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Scott Speed scares the crap out of some passengers in this really quite odd Red Bull stunt. Marvellous fun, and proof that NASCARs can turn right too...

Ford Taunus V6 Turbo

The two-door mkV Cortina (or Taunus, as our German brothers would have it) is a reasonably rare beast - most that you find on the road are of the more practical four-door variety. So what would you do if you were to find a solid two-door shell?

The correct answer, of course, is to fit a 4.0-litre V6 and strap a turbo to it. Click here.

Bristol Teardrop Special

You'd be forgiven for mistaking this for a Talbot-Lago. It is in fact a replica Talbot based on a Bristol chassis... although perhaps 'replica' isn't the right word. 'Recreation' is probably more appropriate, based as it is on a shortened 1959 Bristol 406 chassis with bespoke bodywork by Coachbuilt Horsepower Ltd. The mechanical work was taken care of by Spencer Lane-Jones Ltd, with power coming from a supercharged Bristol 2-litre.
...and every inch of it is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. These photos show it basking in the adoration of the crowds at the 2010 Goodwood Revival.