Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Remember those dodgy old cruises that used to happen in the UK in the nineties? A load of teenage reprobates in Corsas and Saxos, pulling holdback burnouts and handbrake turns, then being chased off by the police? Take that, move the participants upmarket, premiumise the cars and transplant the whole from a Tesco car-park to Mulholland Drive, way up in the Hollywood Hills. That's basically what's going on here - a bunch of well-heeled petrolheads having some smoky fun together for a couple of hours before going their separate ways in the sunshine. Looks like fun.
Posted by juice at 16:56
February 29th is a suitable occasion for Ferrari to announce a once-in-a-blue-moon event, so feast your eyes on a brand-new model: the F12berlinetta.
Showcased on ferrari.com in advance of its Geneva debut, the F12berlinetta is the fastest and most powerful production Ferrari ever built. Resplendent in an all-new shade of Rosso Berlinetta, the aggressive FF-meets-Alfa-8C shape hides a mid-front-mounted 6262cc V12 offering 729bhp; it'll hit 62mph from a standstill in 3.1s, 0-125mph taking just 8.5s, and it'll lap the Fiorano test track in 1m23s - faster than any other road-going Ferrari, past or present.
Typically, the car's not just about brute force, but acts as a showcase of everything the Modenese boffins have developed for MY2012. The F12berlinetta features massive downforce and sylph-like drag (just Cd0.299), thanks to the Aero Bridge - a system that uses the bonnet to channel air away from the top of the car and down the flanks - and the Active Brake Cooling, which has ducts that open to cool the brakes on demand (rather than remaining open permanently and increasing drag).
These innovations, among others, enable the F12 to enjoy a dramatically lower CO2 figure than its predecessors, creating just 350g/km despite the monstrous performance. You can also expect to find E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac and high-performance ABS, an aero-inspired cockpit with passenger rev-counter, and impressive luggage space.
Its almost cartoonish proportions make perfect sense thanks to Scaglietti's eye for tying a complex shape together; the length of the nose and the sheer scale of the wheels in the short wheelbase dwarf the glasshouse, yet the silhouette flows impeccably as a cohesive whole. So... power, finesse, beauty, more power, practicality, intelligence, more power - it's everything we'd hope for from a new Ferrari. Parked alongside the 458 Italia and the FF, this is the strongest new model line-up the firm's had in decades.
Click here for more.
Posted by juice at 13:25
The Mitsubishi Evo VIII, as with all models in the Evo series, is a riot of acronyms and brand names; ACD5, Super AYC, LSD (front & rear), Bilstein, Brembo, BBS... and the 'FQ' prefix in the hottest variants - FQ300, FQ320, FQ340, and FQ400 - is rumoured to stand for 'Fucking Quick'. Seriously.
'Maritime' here refers to the colour of this particular Evo VIII, a searing blue Porsche shade that emphasises the unashamed, in-your-face nature of the car: carbon-fibre canards and splitters, a nest-of-vipers AMS exhaust manifold visible through the bonnet vent, lightweight SSR split-rims - it's a vicious Shuto Expressway street-racer, with room for the kids in the back and a bootful of shopping. Winner all round.
Posted by juice at 09:35
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
An interesting quirk of the modified VW scene is that the standard is so consistently high, incredible cars like this mkI Golf often pass by with little comment. This is a shame, as the sheer volume of work that's gone into this car is staggering - enlarge the pictures and you'll see that the attention to detail is incredible. From the shaved and polished bay with its shiny trumpets, to the millimetre-perfect stance over those ever-so-lightly stretched tyres, it's an impressive build throughout.
The major talking point here, of course, is the zero-lip construct of the BBS split-rims, their centres standing a long way proud of the baskets and outer faces. This is a look that's starting to pop up here and there on the scene with mixed reviews; it emulates the look of Audi's race wheels in the nineties which hid large brakes behind the splits of their endurance racers, but also shows an unusual and different way to build wheels. A lot of people don't like it. I really do. What do you think...?
Posted by juice at 16:39
The Honda Insight has already won quite a victory over other hybrids (OK, let's not beat around the bush - I'm talking about the Prius) in that it seems cool and interesting, rather than preachy, bossy and, well, pious. Another area in which it shines is that it can roll into a car show with a set of scene-led modifications and retain credibility, a feat which is near-impossible for a Prius.
See, here, how the Insight wears Volk TE37 alloys, a carbon-fibre roof, a snarling centre-exit exhaust, a substantial rear spoiler and air-ride, and fits right in with its peers. If this is the future of hybrids, I don't think we have anything at all to worry about.
Posted by juice at 13:31
I love West Coast Customs. If you're only aware of their work via Pimp My Ride, you may see them as clownish types who want to cram every car that comes through the doors with as many TVs and subwoofers as possible, but this isn't the case at all. Indeed, the slightly clunkily-named Custom My Ride (aka Street Customs in the US) showcases a professional, efficient team of experts crafting world-class customs at a headspinning rate. They're bloody good at what they do, and it seems to take them no time at all to do it.
Behold this '72 Buick as a fine example of their work: beefed-up powertrain, pristine bodywork, impeccable interior... their signature move is taking classics like this and making them look brand new - a fusion of retro styling and modern technology & trends. They're also masters of the modernised classic; if you want an old-school Chevelle body on a modern Camaro chassis, or a seventies Charger on a noughties Charger platform, they're your lads. Fancy turning your Merc S-Class into a 2-door coupé or fitting steel rally arches to your Range Rover? Yep, they can do that too.
Click here to learn more. It'll blow your mind.
Posted by juice at 12:51
Remember the D4M LO 964; the Porsche on hydraulics that caused so much controversy and polarisation? Well, here's what that car's builder, John Peden, did next...
This all happened around a year or so ago. John had owned this Mercedes E320 for a while, running hydraulic suspension but otherwise largely standard. It was the influence of his artistic buddy Esther that inspired him to transform it into the large toy that it is today. It's got an airbrushed snakes 'n' ladders board on the roof and a secret compartment in the boot full of crisps and sweets, as well as cartoonish turquoise paintwork, Porsche Cup eighteens and, of course, the juiced stance. Sometimes it's good not to take yourself too seriously.
Posted by juice at 09:27