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Archive for the ‘sports cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Silvia S16

Between the 370Z and the GT-R, you could make the argument that Nissan already has a pretty solid lineup of sports cars. However, the more discerning enthusiasts out there will be quick to point out just how much more could be done. After all, the current Z car is practically ancient by modern standards given its introduction dates all the back to 2009, and at six figures, the current GT-R is just way too expensive for the average speed lover. That said, there’s one nameplate that desperately needs to be brought back into the discussion – the Silvia. The last time we saw this two-door beauty was in 2002 with the S15, and we think the time is right for a follow-up S16 generation to round out the Japanese automaker’s performance offerings. We know we’re certainly not alone in that respect, and indeed, the next-gen Silvia was expected to show in concept form at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Alas, such a creation never surfaced, but fear not, because we did a little chin scratching, drew up the above-featured rendering, and wrote up the following speculative review to help bridge the gap.

It’s been over 15 years since the S15 bit the dust, so any follow-up has a bit of catching up to do. However, we think Nissan has the right stuff to make it work. Read on for our take on it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Nissan Silvia S16.

Exterior

  • Includes current Nissan styling
  • V-Motion grille in the nose
  • Raked stance
  • Large 18-inch wheels right from the factory
  • Cab-back profile
  • Optional aero packages
  • LED lighting
  • “S” lightning bolt badge
  • Relatively compact dimensions
  • Two-door coupe, although convertible also a possibility

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 747360
“The S16 Silvia gets Nissan’s latest design language cues, the most obvious of which is the large V-Motion grille in the fascia”

One of the things that made the Nissan Silvia so darn appealing was the way it looked, with a wide, low stance that managed to add assertive sportiness to the retrained refinement of a relatively extended wheelbase. We went with the popular two-door coupe body style for our rendering, but a convertible option would also certainly be within the realm of possibility for a new-gen Silvia. Inspiration for our rendering included the brand’s current crop of production vehicles, such as the Sentra, Altima, and GT-R, as well as concepts like the Sports Sedan study from 2014.

Starting in front, we find the S16 Silvia gets Nissan’s latest design language cues, the most obvious of which is the large V-Motion grille in the fascia. This is a common characteristic amongst all of Nissan’s latest models, and in the case of our rendered Silvia, it helps to extend the character lines in the hood deep into the front bumper with brushed metal surrounds. The grille’s fine mesh insert gets a black finish, matched by a black connecting “Vee” between the headlights.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754138
“The S16’s headlights are slim and curvaceous, and look as though they evolved from the S15’s front end. Don’t forget the requisite “S” lightning bolt badge on the nose.”

Speaking of headlights, the S16 gets slim curvaceous units that look as though they are evolved from the S15’s headlights. LEDs are the technology of choice here, from the primary forward illumination, to the signature daytime running lights. Lower in the bumper, you’ll find fog lights nestled into the aero blade cutouts, complemented by a prominent lower splitter element. Don’t forget the requisite “S” lightning bolt badge on the nose.

Moving to the side, we see prominent front fenders that drop down to a hard-angle character line leading into the stretched-out side skirts. Above the side skirts is a pair of complementary character lines that are aimed down towards the front fenders to add visual rake to the car’s stance. The wheels are big, 18 inches from the factory, and come wrapped in wide, sticky summer rubber as a no-cost option. The greenhouse is placed towards the rear of the body, emphasizing the car’s hood line and the coupe-cut to the roof.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754139
“We’d expect Nissan to offer the S16 with a variety of enhanced aero packages for those enthusiasts looking for a little more visual punch.”

In the rear, we would expect a small trunk space, most likely with a subtle trailing edge spoiler. A sizable lower diffuser will aid aero as well, and come with a duo of polished exhaust tips. The taillights will be slim and triangular in shape.

We’d also expect Nissan to offer the S16 with a variety of enhanced aero packages for those enthusiasts looking for a little more visual punch. Finally, we’d expect somewhat compact exterior dimensions, measuring in a little larger than the current 370Z, but not so large it ranks as a full mid-size offering.

Interior

  • Layout will take inspiration from the GT-R
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • Carbon fiber, aluminum, and Alcantara
  • Advanced infotainment features
  • Optional leather

2017 Nissan GT-R - image 670425

Note: Nissan GT-R pictured here.

While it’s uncertain what direction Nissan will take when it comes time to design the S16’s interior layout, we think it’s a pretty safe bet to look at the GT-R when searching for clues. We also think Nissan will tweak it a bit on the Silvia S16, giving it more of a comfortable, GT-style vibe compared to the tech-laden Godzilla.

We think a 2+2 seating arrangement is a distinct possibility, with the front boasting highly bolstered sports seats to keep passengers in place while putting the coupe through its paces. Carbon fiber, brushed aluminum, and Alcantara will undoubtedly make the materials list, while options will include leather.

“We think the S16 will get a more comfortable, GT-style vibe compared to the tech-laden Godzilla, plus a 2+2 seating arrangement.”

The infotainment gear will be impressive. In the dash will be an upgraded infotainment readout with a host of data on all sorts of performance parameters, including a g-meter, boost levels, a lap timer, and more. This touchscreen should also come with navigation options and Bluetooth support.

Drivetrain

  • Turbocharged four-cylinder powerplant
  • Front engine, RWD
  • Possible variable compression
  • Upwards of 300 horsepower
  • Both manual and automatic gearboxes

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754146

Note: older Nissan SR20DET engine pictured here.

“We’d expect a four-cylinder engine with a sizable amount of boost added through the use of a turbocharger.”

First and foremost, the S16 Silvia will be front engine and RWD. This is the essential drivetrain layout for the nameplate, and Nissan would be foolish to change it up. Beyond that, we’d expect a four-cylinder engine with a sizable amount of boost added through the use of a turbocharger. Engine displacement should slot in at the 2.0-liter mark, although a base model with a more economical 1.8-liter engine would make sense to help bolster the lineup.

The last few years also saw the Internet rumor mill churn out reports that the new Nissan Silvia would come with a variable compression VC-T engine, similar to what Infiniti is using for its latest QX crossover models. This would also be a viable option to the Silvia, just so long as it produced the right amount of motivation when you put your foot down.

“Engine displacement should slot in at the 2.0-liter mark, although a base model with a more economical 1.8-liter engine would make sense as well.”

Speaking of which, we think around 275 to 300 horsepower for the top-trim model would feel right, and 175 horsepower for the lower trim level if that turns out to be a thing. Routing it all to the rear axle will be both a manual and automatic transmission option, while an advanced limited slip differential will come as standard.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the Silvia could very well be a hybrid. After all, rumor has it the next Z might be a hybrid, so perhaps the Silvia is in the same boat. If we had our choice, we’d love to see Nissan stuff the engine bay with the fire-breathing six out of the GT-R, but that’s highly unlikely.

Chassis And Handling

  • Lightweight through the use of aluminum
  • New sports car platform?
  • Possible Nismo version as well

2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754140

The original Silvia was built on Nissan’s “S” chassis, a RWD sports platform first used in 1976 and discontinued in 2002 alongside the S15. With that in mind, we wouldn’t be surprised if the new Silvia introduced a fresh architecture for the brand, something that would also be used for the revamped next-gen Z.

The focus here will obviously be on keeping things as lightweight as possible, while still keeping it all comfortable in the interior as well. Aluminum will pervade throughout, with additional stiffening components offered by way of carbon composites where possible. We also wouldn’t mind it if Nissan added a Nismo version with stiffer, more hardcore gear for the suspension and handling to coincide with a more aggressive exterior aero set-up.

Prices


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754147

This might ruffle a few feathers, but we’re gonna speculate the new Silvia will cost somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.

“But wait,” you might say, “won’t that put it in the same price bracket as the Nissan 370Z?”

Indeed it would, which is why we wanna follow that statement by saying the Z will most likely become smaller, lighter, and less expensive with the next iteration, possibly even adopting a four-cylinder powerplant compared to the historical six-cylinder. In that case, the Silvia would be billed as the more premium (and faster) option between the two.

Competition

Chevrolet Camaro SS


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 645703

The Bow Tie brand just dropped a sixth generation for its iconic muscle car, bringing the traditionally straight-line-oriented Camaro into the modern era with new stuff to help it turn and stop, not to mention am interior with a little extra fanciness as well. Under the hood, the Camaro SS is packing all the firepower you’d expect from the nameplate, with as much as 455 horses and 455 pound-feet made by a 6.2-liter V-8. If head-snapping acceleration is what you’re after, the Camaro has the goods.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Next-Gen Mazda RX Sports Car


2018 Mazda RX-7 - image 654568

While not yet confirmed, a next-gen Mazda RX sports car would make for a fantastic competitor to the next-gen Silvia. Like Mazda RXs of old, the new one would come proper with a low center of gravity, 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution, very little curb weight, and top-notch suspension tuning, creating a RWD sports car that could hang with the best of ‘em, given enough corners. Don’t forget the triangular Wankel engine and drop-dead gorgeous Mazda styling, as well.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mazda RX-7.

Conclusion


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 747361

Based on what came before it, we think now is a fantastic time for Nissan to revive the Silvia nameplate. The brand already has the right mix of commuter sedans and crossovers, and the GT-R is a good halo vehicle to back its performance claims. However, what Nissan really needs is a fresh face that’s accessible to more enthusiasts, especially considering the success of lightweight RWD coupes like the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86.

Granted, the BRZ/86 twins are lower on the pricing pyramid than what we’ve laid out here, but that’s where a new, less expensive Z comes into play. We already know Nissan is in that right frame of mind, considering concepts like the recent IDx. The point is this – we think the demand is there. Nissan just needs to bring the goods.

  • Leave it
    • * More expensive than previous iterations
    • * Likely a bit underpowered compared to the domestic competition

History And Background


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754143

The Silvia is known as Nissan’s line of sporty coupes, with a long history and several generations attached to the nameplate. As a lightweight, front-engine, RWD two-door with a ton of power potential, the Silvia is well suited to a variety of motorsport activities. Chief among these is drifting, but touge racing and circuit racing are also high on the list. The car also appeared in the popular Initial D animated show, which helped it grow awareness and desirability among enthusiasts.

The Nissan Silvia was produced between 1964 and 1968, followed by a lengthier second run between 1974 and 2002. Nissan first pulled the sheets on the model in 1964, introducing it as the Datsun Coupe 1500 at the Tokyo Motor Show. The popular name “Silvia,” however, was taken from Sylvia, which is a scientific genus classification for a kind of bird, most likely used as a continuation from previous Nissan naming structures like the Nissan Bluebird. At the time, the Datsun 1500 Coupe came equipped with a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder making upwards of 96 horsepower.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754144
“Nissan brought the S10 to the North American market with a larger 2.0-liter engine. Stateside, the Silvia was dubbed the 200SX, a designation it would carry for decades afterwards.”

As a follow up to the first-generation vehicle, Nissan introduced the next Silvia, also known as the S10, in the mid-‘70s. Offered with a two-door fastback body style, the S10 was originally only sold in Japan, equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, the same lump used in the Datsun 610 and Bluebird 180B. Later, Nissan brought the S10 to the North American market, gracing it with a larger 2.0-liter engine. Stateside, the Silvia was dubbed the Datsun 200SX, a designation it would carry for decades afterwards.

Following the S10 was the S110, introduced in the late ‘70s with both a two-door coupe and three-door hatchback body style. Interestingly, the S110 was originally designed to accommodate a rotary powerplant, but was revamped afterwards with a traditional piston engine after reliability of the Wankel option became a concern.

Once again, the S110 was sold as the 200SX in North America at this time, and came with the Z20 inline four-cylinder for buyers in California, and a separate 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder throughout the rest of the country. Peak output was rated at 100 horsepower, which was routed through either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic gearbox.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754142
“With the arrival of the ‘80s came the S12, made between 1983 and 1988 and offered as either a two-door coupe or three-door hatchback configuration.”

With the arrival of the ‘80s came the S12, made between 1983 and 1988 and offered as either a two-door coupe or three-door hatchback configuration. The 200SX nameplate continued on in the U.S., but engine options expanded to include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 1.8-liter turbo engine, and a 3.0-liter V-6.

Finally, in 1989, Nissan introduced the S13, a model that’s more easily recognized as a Silvia today. At the time, the S13 was sold as the 180SX and 240SX in North America, and was offered in a variety of body styles, including a two-door coupe, a two-door convertible, and a two-door hatchback.

The S13 was also one of the first models to get Nissan’s multi-link rear suspension, plus an advanced four-wheel steering system, otherwise known as HICAS-II. Some models even got a viscous-type limited slip differential for extra grip off the corners. Initially equipped with the naturally aspirated CA18DE and turbochargedCA18DET, both engines plucked from the S12, the S13 later got the venerable SR20DE and SR20DET powerplants so often associated with the nameplate.


2020 Nissan Silvia S16 - image 754141
“As a replacement for the S13, Nissan introduced the S14 in 1994 for the U.S. market.”

As a replacement for the S13, Nissan introduced the S14 in 1994 for the U.S. market. With a longer wheelbase and wider track, the S14 offered incremental improvements in terms of handling, while the SR20 engine got more power thanks to new cam timing and a bigger turbo. The styling was updated as well, with more angles as compared to the boxier S13.

It was around this time that enthusiasts began creating an amalgamation of the S13 180SX and Silvia, a mash-up that came to be known as the “Sileighty.”

The final Sivlia was the S15, introduced in 1999. Power got a sizable increase, with up to 250 horsepower made thanks to a ball-bearing turbo and new engine tuning. Meanwhile, the non-turbo S15 made 165 horsepower. The Silvia also got a good number of styling updates as well, giving it a much more sleek-looking appearance.

References


2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept - image 538262

Read our full review on the 2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept.


maker logos - image 744955

Read more Nissan news.

PostHeaderIcon BMW’s Holiday Video Features Rarely Seen M3 E30 Pickup

With Christmas literally being a few days away, automakers have started rolling out their holiday greetings for the masses. BMW’s M Division is the latest to do so with a holiday-themed ad that features a vehicle that was never sold to the public. We’ve seen it a handful of times over the years, but this is probably the first time Bimmer is using the pickup version of the BMW M3 E30 for any of its promotional videos. Consider it a treat then that BMW is doing it for the holidays. Merry Christmas, indeed!

“If you’re not familiar with the BMW M3 E30 pickup, it’s because the German automaker never put it up in the market”

If you’re not familiar with the BMW M3 E30 pickup, it’s because the German automaker never put it up in the market. History points to this particular vehicle as a skunkworks project created by BMW M all the way back in 1986 to serve a variety of purposes, including transporting parts and other work equipment. Unbelievably, BMW M continue to use the M3 pickup until 2012 before retiring it for good.

Five years later, the performance brand dusted off the M3-based model to serve as the start of this Christmas-themed commercial. The ad itself is pretty straight-forward. It starts with a mother and a daughter making final preparations for their Christmas decorations. The father is noticeably absent because he’s bringing home the Christmas three, all wrapped up in the M3 pickup’s bed. It turns out; dear ‘ol daddy had far too much fun power sliding the M3 pickup that he forgot about the tree at the back. Once he gets home, beaming with pride over his road exploits, he turns to see what was left of the Christmas tree. It wasn’t a pretty sight, and his daughter’s face has “disappointed” written all over it.

“For better or worse, the ad does a good job touting the performance abilities of the M3 pickup.”

For better or worse, the ad does a good job touting the performance abilities of the M3 pickup. The vehicle started its life using a 2.0-liter engine sourced from the 320iS before being replaced by the 2.3-liter unit powering the M3 E30. The latter was capable of producing 200 horsepower, so it’s understandable for the dad to go a little crazy with it in the snow. If only he remembered there was a Christmas tree in the back…

References

BMW M3


1986 BMW E30 M3 review - image 83786

Read our full review on the 1986 BMW M3 E30.

PostHeaderIcon The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder constructed from aluminum. It uses Honda’s proven VTEC system to phase the timing of the 16 overhead valves. Rotational mass is kept down thanks to sodium-filled exhaust valves and lightweight pistons. A short blip of the throttle will have the 2.0-liter screaming at its 7,000-rpm redline in very short order. Thankfully, redline isn’t required for making peak horsepower. All 306 galloping ponies are in full stampede at 6,500 rpm and the 295 pound-feet of torque peak at only 2,500 rpm but stays through 4,500 rpm.

Temperatures are kept in check by an intercooler, a radiator, and four separate inlets into the engine bay. The lowest inlet in the grille chills the turbo’s intercooler while the space below the Honda H directs air to the engine’s radiator. The upper slot just below the hood is what feeds fresh air into the intake. Last but not least, the hood scoop is used to push cool air down the backside of the engine while relieving positive air pressure under the hood and thereby reducing lift.

More cooling happens via the oil jets that squirt the underside of the piston and the water-cooled, two-piece exhaust manifold. As for those oil jets, they not only cool the pistons and cylinder walls, they also provide a constant flow of lubrication.

After air leaves the unique exhaust manifold, it travels down a single exhaust pipe. Behind the rear axle, the pipe forks off into three seconds. The outer pipes go to large mufflers, while the center pipe feeds a resonator. The three each feel their own exhaust tip in the center of the bumper. Honda says the center resonator is used to control mid-rev booming inside the cabin, while the outer mufflers move vast amounts of air at high speeds. Interestingly, the center resonator actually generates negative pressure at higher revs. The result is a snarling yet not overbearing exhaust note – both from inside and outside the car.

Read our full, driven review of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

Continue reading for charts and stats.

Drivetrain Specifications


The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 729258
Engine Type Turbocharged In-Line 4-Cylinder
Turbocharger Single-Scroll MHI TD04 with Internal Wastegate
Boost Pressure 22.8 psi
Displacement (cc) 1,996
Horsepower (SAE net) 306 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque (SAE net) 295 LB-FT @ 2,500-4,500 RPM
Fuel economy (City/Highway/Combined) (mpg) 22 / 28 / 25
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,117
0 to 60 mph 4.9 seconds
Quarter-mile 13.5 seconds at 108 mph
Top Speed 169 mph

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719399

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.


The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


maker logos - image 742500

Read more Honda news.

PostHeaderIcon Spyker C8 Aileron LM85

The C8 Aileron has been around for about seven years now, first making the scene at the 2010 Salon International de l’Automobile in Geneva. As the automaker points out, the debut “marked a significant milestone in Spyker Cars’ history,” but with the production cycle soon ending and a third-generation vehicle on its way, Spyker is giving the C8 Aileron a proper send-off with this – the LM85 special edition. Inspired by Spyker’s racing and aviation history, the C8 Aileron LM85 will be limited to just three examples, and come with new enhancements for the exterior and interior, plus a solid supercharged wallop from the mid-mounted 4.2-liter V-8 engine.

Continue reading to learn more about what makes the Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 special.

What Makes the Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 Special

What’s In A Name?


2017 Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 - image 749884
“The C8 Aileron continues Spyker’s penchant for aviation-inspired styling, taking cues from various jet-propelled aircraft, both for the exterior and interior”

True to form, the C8 Aileron continues Spyker’s penchant for aviation-inspired styling, taking cues from various jet-propelled aircraft, both for the exterior and interior. This includes several nods to the turbine blade design aesthetic, as opposed to the propeller-inspired themes seen in first-generation cars like the Spyker C8 Spyder and Spyker C8 Laviolette.

However, the LM85 also draws heavily from motorsport. The name was used previously in 2008, when Spyker brought out the C8 Laviolette LM85 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The number and letter combo harkens back to the brand’s competition past, especially in endurance racing. Spyker’s factory-backed GT racing team, also known as Spyker Squadron, ran the Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2R at a variety of high-profile events, including the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as various International FIA GT races. As such, the Spyker C8 Laviolette GT2R was the inspiration for the C8 Laviolette LM85.


2017 Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 - image 749878
“Spyker’s complete racing heritage is even older, dating back to 1922 with Selwyn Edge”

However, Spyker’s complete racing heritage is even older, dating back to 1922 with Selwyn Edge, who drove a Spyker C4 to break various speed records by averaging 120 kph (74.5 mph) in two 12-hour periods, also known as the Double Twelve Record.

So What’s With the Styling?


2017 Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 - image 749879
“The Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 takes several cues from modern GT racers”

Moving back to the present day, the Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 takes several cues from modern GT racers. The exterior incorporates handcrafted and riveted aluminum body work, plus intakes made from solid billet aluminum and impressively flared wheel arches. There’s LED lighting for the headlights and rear turn signals, plus plenty of aero elements as well.

Most notably, though, the C8 LM75 also gets the same paint scheme as the GT cars, with all three examples of the special edition draped in the Spyker Squadron GT racing livery. Each example is also unique – one incorporates Jet Black paint with a Crimson Red “S,” the second gets Crimson Red paint with a Jet Black “S,” and the third gets Jet Black paint with a Golden “S.” Each example also gets unique 10-spoke wheels, measured at 19 inches in diameter and matched to the body color. The wheel design is a Rotorblade style, with measurements coming in at 8.5 inches wide in front and 10 inches wide in the rear. Michelin provides the rubber, with staggered tire sizing at 235/35 in front and 295/30 in the rear.

The C8 Aileron also features a longer, GT-style wheelbase, measured at 107.2 inches. Overall length is 180.7 inches, while the width is 77 inches, height is 50 inches, front track is 64 inches, and rear track is 64.8 inches.

You Mentioned Something About The Interior Spec?


2017 Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 - image 749881
“The cabin color scheme matches that of the exterior”

Once again, Spyker is offering a rather impressive interior with this special edition C8. The cabin color scheme matches that of the exterior, and includes two-tone leather upholstery, custom seats, a turned aluminum dash, Chronoswiss gauges, and that awesome exposed gear shifter we’ve come to expect from the brand. Never change, Spyker.

On the steering column, you’ll find aluminum paddle shifters if you find you can’t tear your hands off the wheel. The leather interior comes with diamond stitching as an option, or Alcantara if you prefer. The turned aluminum dash is another awesome feature, looking like it was plucked off an airplane from the ‘20s or ‘30s. A floor-mounted pedal box provides inputs for the go and stop.

What’s Making The Loud Noises?


2017 Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 - image 754110

Note: standard Spyker C8 engine pictured here.

“All three versions of the Aileron LM85 special edition get the same Audi-sourced 4.2-liter V-8 found in the standard car. However, in the LM85, this lump is supercharged.”

All three versions of the Aileron LM85 special edition get the same Audi-sourced 4.2-liter V-8 found in the standard car. However, in the LM85, this lump is supercharged to produce a whopping 525 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 600 Nm (443 pound-feet) of torque at 3,500 rpm. Compared to the stock C8 Aileron’s 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet, the LM85 version is absolutely worthy of its special edition title. Redline is set at 7,200 rpm.

With an extra 125 ponies and 89 pound-feet of twist on tap, the C8 Aileron LM85 is much faster than it was before. The 0-to-62 mph sprint is done in just 3.7 seconds, as compared to 4.2 seconds for the standard model. Top speed is also improved, pegged at 200 mph compared to 187 mph in the standard model.

Putting the power exclusively to the rear axle is either a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gearbox. The slush box comes from ZF, offering clutch-less sequential gearshifts if desired, while the manual version comes from Getrag. Out back, there’s no limited slip differential, a move Spyker justifies by saying it wanted to provide drivers with “an undiluted sports car driving experience.”

Finally, the C8 Aileron comes with an optional “Whisper” mode to keep it all civilized when cruising through sleepy towns. The system uses noise-dampening reed valves for a quieter exhaust note below 3,500 rpm. Open it up, though, and you’ll get the full-throated V-8 blast out back.

What’s Under The Skin?


2017 Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 - image 749882
“The production chassis tips the scales at 230 kg (507 pounds), while the whole thing is rated at 3,141 pounds, distributed in a 45/55 ratio front to back.”

Below those racing- and aviation-inspired body panels, you’ll find an all-aluminum space frame for a relatively low curb weight, with features like one-piece side sills for added rigidity. The production chassis tips the scales at 230 kg (507 pounds), while the whole thing is rated at 3,141 pounds, distributed in a 45/55 ratio front to back.

Managing the heft is an independent double-wishbone suspension, both front and rear. Developed in conjunction with Lotus, this multi-adjustable suspension utilizes stabilizer bars at both ends, plus Bilstein mono-tube dampers matched with coilover springs from Eibach. Options include an adjustable hydraulic ride height with 40 mm of variation. Further weight savings come from forged aluminum, which is used for the various suspension components, while the brake calipers and wheels also get the alloy. AP provides the discs, with 350 mm (13.8-inch) units in front and 332 mm (13.1-inch) units in the rear. Both ends get drilled discs and four-pot calipers (painted to match the body, by the way) squeezing pads from Ferodo. Finally, a speed-sensitive steering system with hydraulic assist makes it all turn.

Can I Get One?


2017 Spyker C8 Aileron LM85 - image 749889

Spyker declined to make pricing for the C8 Aileron LM85 public, but considering the standard model went for over $200,000 when new, you can bet this highly exclusive, customized, and supercharged special edition will be eye-wateringly pricey. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it go for $400,000 to $500,000, maybe more.

References

Spyker C8


2011 Spyker C8 Aileron - image 395681

Read our full review on the 2011 Spyker C8 Aileron.


2011 Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder - image 389861

Read our full review on the 2011 Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder.


2010 Spyker C8 Laviolette LM85
- image 274049

Read our full review on the 2010 Spyker C8 Laviolette.

PostHeaderIcon Audi R8 to Get the Axe in 2020

It’s been only two months since Audi discontinued the all-electric Audi R8 e-Tron, after only a couple of years on the market, and word has it that the gasoline-powered supercar is also scheduled to get the ax soon. A new report claims that Audi isn’t happy with the supercar’s slow sales and that it’s not planning to develop a replacement for the current model. This means that the R8 will be phased out in 2020, an event that will put an end to Audi’s only supercar to date after 14 years.


Audi R8 to Get the Axe in 2020 - image 619666
“The R8 has yet to make a name for itself as a full-fledged supercar, and even though it was popular in its first years on the market, interest has decreased significantly in recent years”

That’s the word from Automobile, which claims to have information about the Audi Sport’s immediate future. While the performance division is looking to expand with new versions of the RS4 and RS5, as well as an RS Q8 SUV with underpinnings from the Lamborghini Urus, there won’t be an R8 beyond 2018. The outlet doesn’t into much detail but says that the new Lamborghini Huracan will no longer share its engine and chassis with the R8 because there won’t be a new Audi-badged supercar due to slow sales.

The second-generation R8 is only two years old, having been introduced in 2015. Unlike its predecessor, the new model came with a V-10 engine only (shared with the Huracan), while the entry-level V-8 was dropped from the lineup. Two V-12 versions are offered, one that’s as powerful as the Huracan (R8 V10 Plus) at 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet and the base model with 540 horses and 398 pound-feet. Alongside the regular R8, Audi also launched an all-electric e-Tron version and a rear-wheel-driven variant.


Audi R8 to Get the Axe in 2020 - image 670361
“Is a bit surprising that Audi doesn't even want to create a successor.”

If this rumor proves to be true, it will be far from surprising. The R8 has yet to make a name for itself as a full-fledged supercar, and even though it was popular in its first years on the market, interest has decreased significantly in recent years. On the other hand, it is a bit surprising that Audi doesn’t even want to create a successor. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Germans have given up on this segment, but we probably won’t see a similar vehicle in the near future.

The bigger issue here is that the Audi R8 spawned quite a popular and successful race car. The R8 LMS is the number one choice for privateers in many GT3, and GT4 categories and its disappearance will probably leave a few gearheads disappointed. It wouldn’t be completely weird for Audi to keep the race car alive, but it remains to be seen if such a move is financially feasible without a road car.

References

Audi R8


2017 - 2018 Audi R8 - image 420832

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8.


2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder - image 670350

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder.


maker logos - image 744956

Read more Audi news.

PostHeaderIcon Watch How Honda Manages Air on the 2017 Civic Type R

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R has made massive waves in the hot hatch segment since its launch midyear. The Type R blazes its own trail with a different map that Ford and Subaru use for their Focus RS and WRX STI. The Honda lacks a fancy AWD system, drift mode, or some expensive Recaro or Sparco branded seats. Rather, Honda focused on reducing mass and aerodynamics. The aero work is clearly seen when looking at the car, but there’s more to the story than just tall spoilers and big intakes.

Rob Keough with Honda Civic Product Planning goes into deep detail on all the Type R’s aerodynamic surfaces and cooling ductwork in this five-minute video from Honda. Keough goes through the visual tour of the car’s thermal package first, showing the three separate intakes for the intercooler, radiator, and engine air intake. The hood-mounted scoop then channels air down and out of the engine bay. This not only helps relieve air pressure, but also reduces lift on the front wheels. A hidden air duct below the fog lights help cool the front brakes.

Around back, the wing is positioned high enough to not block rear visibility yet is thin enough to not cause any undue drag. Its angle and shape are positioned to create downforce at higher speeds, aided by vortex generators along the rear of the roof. Honda says the Type R has a drag coefficient of 0.26, which is incredibly low. By comparison, the Bugatti Chiron has a drag coefficient of .35 in its Top Speed mode. Yeah…

Of course, aerodynamics are only a part of the 2017 Civic Type R’s story. We’ll have more Type R content this week as we’ve got one in the driveway. Feel free to ask questions in the comments and we’ll answer them.

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719399

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.


2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


maker logos - image 742500

Read more Honda news.

PostHeaderIcon Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop

The Ferrari Testarossa is regarded as one of the most iconic cars of the 1980’s. But as popular as the two-door Berlinetta was, Ferrari actually made just one convertible version. That model was specially created as a gift by Ferrari for the late Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat at the time. There are a handful of other drop-top Testarossas in existence today, but all of them are custom-built, including this black beauty that was built specifically for Michael Jackson’s now iconic 1987 Pepsi commercial.


Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop - image 753920
“The provenance of this creation is unlike any other custom Testarossa Convertible”

If you’re going to own a custom-built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible, I can’t think of another one that you should own more than this particular example. The provenance of this creation is unlike any other custom Testarossa Convertible. Jackson may not have owned it at any point in his life, but he did use it in the famous four-part Pepsi commercial that saw MJ try to escape a horde of screaming fans. The Testarossa Convertible doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but it did make an impression, especially when Jackson uses it to escape the mass hysteria that was chasing him.

Outside of its appearance in the Pepsi ads, the black Testarossa Convertible also has a unique history of its own. According to its lineage, it was built by a custom tuning company in California at a cost of $40,000. Remember, this was in the 1980’s, a time when $40,000 was almost half of what an actual Testarossa cost — it was priced from $94,000 — when it was introduced around the same time.


Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop - image 753916
“So the car itself wasn’t cheap to build, but if you have $799,900 lying around today, you can buy it and make it a part of your personal collection”

So the car itself wasn’t cheap to build, but if you have $799,900 lying around today, you can buy it and make it a part of your personal collection. For that amount, you get one of the most unique custom-built Ferrari Testarossa convertible units in history. It does have 17,000 miles on its odometer so it’s been used quite heavily in the course of its 31-year life. Still, when’s the next time you’ll get to see a Testarossa convertible that has Michael Jackson’s provenance attached to it.

The answer? Never. This is the only one that has it.

References

Ferrari Testarossa


1968 Ferrari Testarossa Spider - image 655410

Read our full review on the 1968 Ferrari Testarossa.

PostHeaderIcon Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop

The Ferrari Testarossa is regarded as one of the most iconic cars of the 1980’s. But as popular as the two-door Berlinetta was, Ferrari actually made just one convertible version. That model was specially created as a gift by Ferrari for the late Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat at the time. There are a handful of other drop-top Testarossas in existence today, but all of them are custom-built, including this black beauty that was built specifically for Michael Jackson’s now iconic 1987 Pepsi commercial.


Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop - image 753920
“The provenance of this creation is unlike any other custom Testarossa Convertible”

If you’re going to own a custom-built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible, I can’t think of another one that you should own more than this particular example. The provenance of this creation is unlike any other custom Testarossa Convertible. Jackson may not have owned it at any point in his life, but he did use it in the famous four-part Pepsi commercial that saw MJ try to escape a horde of screaming fans. The Testarossa Convertible doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but it did make an impression, especially when Jackson uses it to escape the mass hysteria that was chasing him.

Outside of its appearance in the Pepsi ads, the black Testarossa Convertible also has a unique history of its own. According to its lineage, it was built by a custom tuning company in California at a cost of $40,000. Remember, this was in the 1980’s, a time when $40,000 was almost half of what an actual Testarossa cost — it was priced from $94,000 — when it was introduced around the same time.


Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop - image 753916
“So the car itself wasn’t cheap to build, but if you have $799,900 lying around today, you can buy it and make it a part of your personal collection”

So the car itself wasn’t cheap to build, but if you have $799,900 lying around today, you can buy it and make it a part of your personal collection. For that amount, you get one of the most unique custom-built Ferrari Testarossa convertible units in history. It does have 17,000 miles on its odometer so it’s been used quite heavily in the course of its 31-year life. Still, when’s the next time you’ll get to see a Testarossa convertible that has Michael Jackson’s provenance attached to it.

The answer? Never. This is the only one that has it.

References

Ferrari Testarossa


1968 Ferrari Testarossa Spider - image 655410

Read our full review on the 1968 Ferrari Testarossa.

PostHeaderIcon Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or maybe you’re just in denial?), demand for crossovers and SUVs continues to consume just about every automotive segment imaginable. Even the well-established performance marques are susceptible to the siren song of profitable jacked-up suspension plus tons of practical rear cargo room, with models like the Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus upending decades of sports car traditions. But what if we took it a step further? What if we gave eight iconic sports cars the SUV treatment? Welp, Jennings Motor Group did exactly that with the following renderings.

Continue reading for the full story.

2017 Ford Mustang SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753773

No matter the market, the Ford Mustang is undoubtedly considered ‘Merica’s sports car. And, as sales numbers will prove, ‘Merica also loves its SUVs. So then – what if you took the styling of the new sixth-generation pony car and grafted it to the front end of a tall-bodied SUV? Sounds like a red, white, and blue dream come true, right? Just make sure to tick the V-8 option under the hood – no four-banger needed here, thank you very much.

Alfa Romeo 4C SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753767

The Alfa Romeo 4C is classic sports car stuff – small, lightweight, excellent weight distribution, and smile-making handling chops. It’s also quite the looker, if you ask us. But that’s a formula we wouldn’t mind seeing in other segments as well, including SUVs. As such, this Italian beauty might have us clamoring for more, even with hotness like the Alfa Stelvio already out and about. We’re thinking a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder under the hood, plus a six-speed dual-clutch auto box to drive the rear wheels.

McLaren 720S SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753768

To help broaden its appeal beyond the unobtanium hypercars that make up the top of its lineup, McLaren also offers a variety of “entry-level” supercars with the Sports Series, which includes models like the 570 and 540. Then there’s the mid-grade Super Series, which bridges the gap to the top dog Ultimate Series and P1, thanks to the still-obscenely-quick 720. Of course, it’s all in the name of funding McLaren’s racing efforts, which means a 720S SUV might pay a few bills in case Fernando Alongo’s ride goes pop (again). We would expect V-8 power and surprisingly good aero bits for this one.

BMW i8 SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753770

We love the BMW i8 for a variety of reasons. Not only is it quick, but its got tons of tech under the skin. Carbon fiber everything plus hybrid motivation can make for a potent combo, even in SUV guise. We’d expect AWD to make a reappearance with an i8 SUV, plus an ICE with a few extra cylinders to help it retain the i8’s sporting intentions. You probably wanna move the gas-burner into the nose as well. Oh, and that sci-fi exterior styling? Looks pretty good on an SUV – at least we think it does…

Aston Martin V12 Vantage SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753769

Aston Martin is well versed in the art of the grand tourer. Make it comfortable inside, make it beautiful outside, and make it very quick everywhere else. We think taking that formula and applying it to an SUV format would likely be equally as successful, given the average car buyer’s obsession with adding practicality to traditionally sports-focused brands. Either way, who can argue with 12 cylinders thumping under a well-louvered hood?

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753771

Muscle cars are actually pretty good inspiration material for a sporty SUV. The power is already there, so why not build on it with a large-and-in-charge body style? That’s exactly what’s going on with Camaro ZL1 SUV, which also tosses in the track-friendly coupe’s aero with a front splitter, lower bumper canards, and side skirts, not to mention that flat-black vented hood. The only question left to answer is what kind of times will it turn on the track…

Ferrari 488 SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753772

No doubt this one will have some of you out there crying foul, as the Prancing Horse would never, ever resort to creating an SUV, right? Right?! Not so fast there, chief. Word has it the Prancing Horse might be seriously considering exactly that, so this 488 concept might not be too far off the mark. Coming proper in corsa rosso red paint and rocking the sleek front end of its coupe sibling, this thing certainly looks the part of a Ferrari…

Honda NSX SUV Concept


Jennings Motor Group Renders 8 Sports Cars As SUVs - image 753774

The second-gen NSX is a fantastic piece of kit. Powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 boosted by two turbos, plus no less than three electric motors, its got the right powertrain to have us watering at the mouth, while the advanced exterior aero and space-age vibe help it stand out in the segment. Ported over to crossover form, it gets a much more bubbly countenance, but as long as it still goes like stink, we’d have a hard time complaining.

PostHeaderIcon Ferrari Plans Increased Production Of Its Models

The rising demand for high-end exotic cars means that even the most stubborn of automakers will need to take advantage of the opportunities that come with it. Take Ferrari, for example. The Italian marque has resisted the urge to increase production of its models, arguing that it would ruin the exclusivity that’s normally associated with the Prancing Horse. But the company has since had a change of heart and with it, a change of priorities. The short-term goal in Maranello is to increase production in its facilities in order for the company to reach its target of selling 9,000 models a year by 2018.


2018 Ferrari 488 GTO - image 721478
“The Italian automaker still plans to keep the exclusivity of its $200,000-and-up models, but it’s now intent on complementing that by adding a few high-volume models”

Former Ferrari chief Luca di Montezemolo was famous for his abhorrence of increasing production of Ferrari models because he didn’t want the brand’s status and prestige to be diluted by becoming more of a mainstream automaker in the vein of Porsche. In his mind, Ferrari should always be a low-volume automaker. But times have changed. Current CEO Sergio Marchionne has adopted a softer stance on the issue. The Italian automaker still plans to keep the exclusivity of its $200,000-and-up models, but it’s now intent on complementing that by adding a few high-volume models. That plan includes developing the Italian automaker’s first-ever SUV, a sight that could send di Montezemolo to the happy house.

Regardless of what the former chief thinks, this is the best-case scenario for Ferrari, at least from a business point of view. Automakers in the same social class as Ferrari — Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce, to name a few – have come to understand the importance of having an SUV in the lineup. That’s why all three brands have their own SUVs now.

“That plan includes developing the Italian automaker’s first-ever SUV, a sight that could send di Montezemolo to the happy house.”

At the very least, they’ve shown Ferrari that a super SUV can not only work in this current market but, more importantly, it can serve as the backbone that can help these automakers increase its profits. It would’ve made sense from a traditionalist’s point of view to eschew the thought of a Ferrari SUV. But the opposite rings true from a business case. SUV’s, no matter how high-strung they can get, are money-makers in the current landscape of the industry. If you don’t have one, you’re missing out on that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Now that a Ferrari SUV is in the pipeline, it makes sense for Ferrari to boost its own production capabilities. That includes doubling assembly shifts to two per day in 2018 to meet deliveries that are now on pace to reach 9,000 units by the end of 2018, a year ahead of its initial target.
This is good news for Ferrari because an SUV can increase a company’s profile beyond its own identity. Likewise, developing an SUV while still keeping a cap on production shouldn’t hurt the status and exclusivity that the Italian automaker has long tried to protect.

References


2020 Ferrari SUV - image 665966

Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Ferrari SUV.


maker logos - image 742470

Read more Ferrari news.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 By Hennessey

The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is the fastest and most powerful Corvette ever created. It has 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque on tap, and when used to its potential, it’s capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in a staggering 2.6 seconds. These numbers are more than enough to leave people breathless, but one tuning company isn’t impressed. Not one bit, actually. Welcome, then, to the world of Hennessey, where 755-horsepower cars are shrugged off in favor of tuned versions of the same car, dialed up to as much as 1,200 horsepower.

There’s nothing surprising or shocking about this because we’re talking about Hennessey. This is the same outfit that gave birth to the mental Venom GT. It’s also the same company that served up an even more monstrous follow-up in the Venom F5. Oh, and we can’t forget about its tuning programs. There’s been a lot of them. But now, it’s the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1’s turn in the spotlight, and in true Hennessey fashion, it doesn’t disappoint. Not by a long shot.

What makes the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 By Hennessey special


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744530
“The program for the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 comes in three stages”

I’m not beating around the bush with this one. Actually, there’s no reason to, not when the facts are right in front of us. Hennessey has never been shy about showing off its wares, and it’s no different this time. The program for the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 comes in three stages, beginning with the HPE850 program.

The HPE850 program

  • 850 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
  • 715 pound-feet of torque @ 4,300 rpm
  • 0-60 mph time: 2.6 seconds
  • Quarter-mile time: 10.3 @ 136 mph
  • Hennessey lower pulley upgrade
  • High-flow cylinder heads
  • Upgraded valve springs, intake, and exhaust valves
  • Upgraded lifters and pushrods
  • High-flow air induction system
  • Long-tube stainless steel headers
  • Stainless steel midpipes
  • High-flow catalytic converters
  • Custom Hennessey camshaft upgrade
  • Professional Installation
  • HPE engine management calibration
  • Dyno tuning and road testing
  • 1 of 100 limited production
  • Hennessey and HPE850 exterior emblems
  • Hennessey premium floormats
  • Full tank of Shell V-Power Nitro+ 93 octane gasoline
  • Pennzoil Ultra Platinum synthetic oil and filter change
  • 2 Year / 24,000-mile limited warranty

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 By Hennessey - image 752329
“That kind of power bump helps the ‘Vette sprint fro 0 to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds before blowing through a quarter-mile in just 10.3 seconds at 136 mph.”

This is Hennessey’s HPE850 program for the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. You’ll notice the significant amount of upgrades that a lot of work was put into turning the ZR1 into an all-conquering sports car. The sheer volume of new and updated components are staggering. The tuner added high-flow cylinder heads, an air induction system, and catalytic converters. In addition, the range of upgrades in the program includes new valve springs, exhaust valves, lifters, and pushrods. The headers even get changes of their own, specifically long-tube stainless steel types. But the most important element of this program is also the least conspicuous of all the new components. It’s the HPE engine management calibration, which is largely responsible for tuning the ZR1’s output to 850 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. That kind of power bump helps the ‘Vette sprint fro 0 to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds before blowing through a quarter-mile in just 10.3 seconds at 136 mph.

The HPE1000 Program

  • 1000 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
  • 966 pound-feet of torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.5 sec.
  • 1/4 mile: 9.7 sec. @ 147 mph
  • Top speed: 220+ mph
  • High-flow supercharger system
  • Custom HPE camshaft
  • Ported cylinder heads
  • Upgraded valve springs and retainers
  • Upgraded intake valves and exhaust valves
  • Upgraded lifters and pushrods
  • High-flow intercooling system
  • High-flow air-to-air intercooler
  • Long-tube stainless steel headers
  • Stainless steel midpipes
  • High-flow catalytic converters
  • HPE engine management calibration
  • Dyno tuning and road testing
  • Serial-numbered dash and engine plaques
  • Hennessey exterior badging
  • Hennessey premium floormats
  • Shell V-Power 93 octane gasoline.
  • Pennzoil Ultra Platinum synthetic oil & filter change.
  • 2 Year / 24,000 Mile Limited Warranty

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 By Hennessey - image 752330
“The Corvette ZR1 achieve a staggering output of 1,000 horsepower and 966 pound-feet of torque”

There’s something to be said for a mid-tier tuning program that already promises power levels in the four figures. That’s what we have here with Hennessey’s HPE1000 kit for the Corvette ZR1. You will notice that there are elements of this kit that are similar to what’s found in the HPE850 program. That’s by design because Hennessey wouldn’t waste its time and money working on a completely new program, only because it offers more power than the one below it.

So the usual suspect of upgrades stay. That includes the upgraded valve springs, intake, lifters, pushrods, and exhaust valves. It’s the same story with the new air induction system, the long-tube stainless steel headers, and catalytic converters. All these elements are found in both tuning kits.

The difference with the HPE1000 kit, though, is the addition of a few items, most prominently being the high-flow supercharger system. Take this particular element of the program, combine them with all the bits from the HPE850 kit, and you end up creating a program that can help the Corvette ZR1 achieve a staggering output of 1,000 horsepower and 966 pound-feet of torque. That allows the ZR1 to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds before slamming home a quarter-mile time of just 9.7 seconds at 147 mph. Top speed has also been rated at “more than” 220 mph.

The HPE1200 Program

  • 1200 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm

  • 1066 pound-feet of torque @ 4,000 rpm
  • 0-60 mph: 2.2 sec.

  • 1/4 mile: 9.2 sec. @ 147 mph
-
  • Top speed: 230+ mph

  • High-flow supercharger system
  • 7.0-liter engine upgrade
  • Custom aluminum pistons
  • Forged steel connecting rods
  • Ported cylinder heads
  • Custom HPE camshaft
  • Ported cylinder heads
  • Upgraded valve springs and retainers
  • Upgraded intake valves and exhaust valves
  • Upgraded lifters and pushrods
  • High-flow intercooling system
  • High-flow air-to-air intercooler
  • Long-tube stainless steel headers
  • Stainless steel midpipe
  • High-flow catalytic converters
  • HPE engine management calibration
  • Dyno tuning and road testing
  • Serial-numbered dash and engine plaques
  • Hennessey exterior badging
  • Hennessey premium floormats
  • Shell V-Power 93 octane gasoline
  • Pennzoil Ultra Platinum synthetic oil and filter change
  • 2 Year / 24,000 Mile limited warranty

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 By Hennessey - image 752328
“Throw in the usual cocktail of upgrades and you have a Corvette ZR1 that can unleash 1,200 horsepower and 1,066 pound-feet of torque”

Right now, it’s important to remember that when you’re driving a car that has 1,200 horsepower under its hood, even the slightest of movements can be enough to make the car uncontrollable. I feel like I should tell you that before introducing you to the monstrosity that is Hennessey’s HPE1200 program for the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

You’ll notice that most of its offerings are also similar to the ones that are available on the HPE850 and HPE1000 programs. Again, that’s not by accident. What’s different with the HP1200 program is that it moves beyond tuning the Corvette’s V-8 engine and adding a supercharger into the mix.

This upgrade actually starts off with increasing the displacement in the engine, from 6.2 liters to 7.0 liters. The physical transformation of the engine also leads to the inclusion of new components, including aluminium pistons, forged steel connecting rods, and ported cylinder heads. Throw in the usual cocktail of upgrades and you have a Corvette ZR1 that can unleash 1,200 horsepower and 1,066 pound-feet of torque, enough to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a pulse-pounding 2.2 seconds before covering a quarter-mile in just 9.2 seconds at 147 mph. In case those numbers aren’t bananas enough by themselves, this program also helps the Corvette ZR1 achieve a top speed in excess of 230 mph.

References

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible - image 749381

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible.


maker logos - image 743598

Read more Chevrolet news.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Introduced the 911 GT3 Touring Package In Response To 911 R Resale Prices

Remember the Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package that Porsche released a few months ago? Turns out, Porsche had reasons for releasing that version of the 911, and it had nothing to do with adding another iteration for the sake of having one. According to 911 boss August Achleitner, the 911 T was created in part as a response to the ridiculous second-hand price the Porsche 911 R is going for these days. It’s rare for an automaker like Porsche to bother itself with what’s happening in the second-hand car market, but, apparently, the bigwigs at Stuttgart didn’t like how flippers have gone amok over the super rare 911 R by jacking up its price to seven figures. So, it responded with the 911 GT3 Touring Package, a more affordable version of the 911 R that’s cheaper and has no set production number.


Porsche Introduced the 911 GT3 Touring Package In Response To 911 R Resale Prices - image 730543
“It’s rare for an automaker like Porsche to bother itself with what's happening in the second-hand car market”

You can argue that this is something exotic automakers should have done a long time ago to combat flippers who have little interest in the beyond making money out of it. But, the truth is, doing something like this usually doesn’t make sense from a business perspective. Costs run up, workers work more, and there’s a chance that the exclusive model loses its exclusivity.

Yet, despite those reasons, Porsche still went ahead and released the 911 GT3 Touring Package. August Achleitner explained the company’s reason for releasing the 911 GT3 T, telling Road & Track that if the car can help keep the prices a “little bit lower for the average customers of cars, it’s better.”

Achleitner added that Porsche was willing to sacrifice the happiness of its high-end customers who bought the 911 GT3 for their use because the company doesn’t like the fact that other people bought the car just to make money out of it.


Porsche Introduced the 911 GT3 Touring Package In Response To 911 R Resale Prices - image 730544

So the company decided to release the 911 T with the purpose of having a lot of similarities to its 911 R counterpart. That said, the two cars aren’t identical either. The 911 R, for example, uses carbon fiber for its hood and fenders and has magnesium for its roof. The 911 T doesn’t have those specs, but it does have a new 4.0-liter flat-six engine that produces the exact 500-horsepower as the 911 R, but with an extra 500 more usable revs at its disposal.

Only time will tell if this strategy ends up being a good one for Porsche, but it is refreshing to see an exotic automaker that still has the sensibilities to listen to the cries of its frustrated fan base. Here’s to hoping that the arrival of the 911 GT3 Touring Package works out well for everyone involved.

References

Porsche 911


2018 Porsche 911 GT3 with Touring Package - image 731685

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring Package


2017 Porsche 911 R - image 667601

Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 911 R.

PostHeaderIcon Renault Promises 6,000 Models Per Year from New Alpine Plant

Renault’s push to bring the revived Alpine brand back from the dead took another positive step recently when the French automaker invested in plant capacity to accelerate its plans to build up to 6,000 sports cars per year under the Alpine brand. All in all, Renault has spent a little over $42 million in upgrading its production facility in Dieppe, France to accommodate the production of the much-hyped A110 sports car.


Renault Promises 6,000 Models Per Year from New Alpine Plant - image 753161
“the French automaker invested in plant capacity to accelerate its plans to build up to 6,000 sports cars per year under the Alpine brand”

My fascination and love for the new Alpine A110 is an open secret here at TopSpeed. I’ve been waiting for this car to arrive ever since Renault announced the return of the Alpine brand a few years ago. Now that it has a production facility, all systems are ’go’ for the new A110 to return to our lives.

It’s been 22 years since Renault shut Alpine down. The return of the brand is a long time coming, but I’m excited to see it now finally coming to fruition. The new A110 is a fitting first offering too. It’s essentially the spiritual successor of the OG A110 that went on sale in 1961 and was in production until 1977. It’s without question Alpine’s most popular model. To see the name brought back to life after all those years in the shed is as exciting a development as there’s been in the auto industry this year.

The new A110 was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. It melted more than a few hearts — mine, included — when it made its debut, and the hype surrounding its official production date has gone up in recent months. That’s why this news is a big deal for those of us who have been anxiously waiting for the arrival of the A110.


Renault Promises 6,000 Models Per Year from New Alpine Plant - image 753159

Now that it has a facility, work can finally be done on a saucy-looking sports car that features a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, good enough to help the sports car accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

As exciting as this development is, there is some sadness attached to it. Let’s get the big one out of the way: the Alpine A110 is not coming to the U.S. Yup. Ouch, right?

If that’s not bad enough, those who are getting the sports coupe will have to act quickly on scoring one because Alpine is limiting production to just 1,955 units, a nod to the year the company was founded. Each model will carry a price of €58,000, which converts to around $68,000. A race-spec A110 Cup version will also be available at a price of €100,000, or just under $120,000.

References

Renault Alpine


2017 Renault Alpine A110 - image 707120

Read our full review on the 2018 Alpine A110.


2018 Renault Alpine Convertible - image 666699

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Renault Alpine Convertible.


maker logos - image 746858

Read more Renault news.

PostHeaderIcon Polestar 1 Order Books Open Next Year; Dealerships to Follow

Carbon fiber body cuts weight

Polestar is now one step closer to bringing the 600-horsepower plug-in hybrid Polestar 1 to the road. A few months after accepting registrations of interest in the car, Volvo’s new performance subsidiary is now preparing to officially open the order books for the sports coupe sometime in early 2018.


Polestar 1 Order Books Open Next Year; Dealerships to Follow
- image 738892
“Expectations are high on the 2+2 grand tourer, which is Polestar’s first offering after breaking away from Volvo to become its own brand”

The Polestar 1 has been making news recently for the right reasons. Expectations are high on the 2+2 grand tourer, which is Polestar’s first offering after breaking away from Volvo to become its own brand. The newly-minted company is expected to add at least two more models in the coming years to fill its ranks.

For now, the focus is on the Polestar 1, and rightfully so. It’s unclear if the company will still offer the coupe on a subscription basis, as was previously reported. Volvo spokesman Johan Meissner hinted at that possibility back in October when he remarked that the Polestar 1 “will be offered on a comprehensive subscription basis that will cover depreciation, insurance, and routine maintenance.”


Polestar 1 Order Books Open Next Year; Dealerships to Follow
- image 738877
“On the dealership front, Polestar is moving ahead with plans to open brick-and-mortar showrooms and dealerships in a number of countries”

On the dealership front, Polestar is moving ahead with plans to open brick-and-mortar showrooms and dealerships in a number of countries. These establishments, called “Polestar Spaces,” will serve as the go-to places for those interested in the company’s vehicles, including the Polestar 1. The brand indicated that countries with the most people showing interest in its cars will get first dibs on these Spaces. The US and China are included in this list of countries, as are Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. The first of these dealerships will open sometime in 2019, coinciding with the start of production of the Polestar 1.

References

Polestar 1


Polestar 1 Order Books Open Next Year; Dealerships to Follow
- image 739271

Read our full review on the 2018 Polestar 1.

PostHeaderIcon Subaru Announces Pricing for WRX STI Type RA and BRZ TS

Those of you who have been waiting with baited breath to hear the price figures of the Subaru WRX STI Type RA and the BRZ tS can all breathe a sigh of relief now. The Japanese automaker has officially gone public with the pricing of the two new models, and in a stroke of good fortune, they’re not as expensive as we thought. The track-focused WRX STI Type RA, for example, will cost $49,855 with delivery. Meanwhile, the Subaru BRZ tS will carry a price tag of $34,355. They’re pricier than their standard models, but that’s to be expected for two models that are limited to just 500 units apiece.


Subaru Reveals Hardcore STI Type RA NBR Special Edition: Video - image 718943
“For comparison’s sake, the base STI carries a price of $36,995 while the base BRZ hits us in the wallet to the tune of $26,315”

For comparison’s sake, the base STI carries a price of $36,995 while the base BRZ hits us in the wallet to the tune of $26,315. Do a little math and you’re looking at an extra $12,800 for the WRX STI Type RA and $8,020 more in added cost for the BRZ tS. That’s the bad news. The good news is it could’ve been more so we’ll take these small victories when we get them.

Now that we know how much these two limited edition track-focused models cost, it’s time to see what kind of cars we’re actually getting if we decide to buy one of them. Let’s first look at the Subaru WRX STI Type RA. The most important aspect of this limited edition STI is the power bump, which goes up to 305 horsepower and 290 pound-feet of torque from a 2.5-liter turbocharged boxer engine. That was achieved with the addition of a new cold air intake, a high-flow performance exhaust, stronger pistons, and a tuned ECU. In addition, the WRX STI Type RA also gets a carbon fiber roof and wing, inverted front struts, a short-throw shifter with a revised third gear, improved stability control, and a new set of 19-inch BBS wheels wrapped in Yokohama Advan Sport tires, among others. Cosmetic upgrades on the sedan include red and black cosmetic accents and a Type RA badge on the trunk.


2018 Subaru BRZ tS - image 719480
“The WRX STI Type RA also gets a carbon fiber roof and wing, inverted front struts, a short-throw shifter with a revised third gear, improved stability control, and a new set of 19-inch BBS wheels”

Now let’s move on to the Subaru BRZ tS. It’s a similar story here as the main highlights of the special edition BRZ revolve around mechanical improvements made to the car. It still carries the same amount of power as the standard BRZ — 206 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque —
but it also gets a manually adjustable carbon-fiber rear spoiler, a black body kit, STI-tuned Sachs dampers and coil springs, a V-brace in the engine bay, a stiffer chassis, and a set of 18-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires.

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA - image 719487

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI Type RA

Subaru BRZ


2018 Subaru BRZ tS - image 719522

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru BRZ tS.


maker logos - image 741040

Read more Subaru news.

PostHeaderIcon Saleen S1

Quarter mile in 11.3 seconds

Established in 1983, Saleen quickly became one of America’s most renowned Ford Mustang tuners. Already a highly praised company in the 1990s, Saleen became a full-fledged automaker by launching the S7 in 2000. One of the first hand-built American supercars, the S7 went on to become a legend and survived for no fewer than nine years on the market. Once it discontinued the S7, Saleen went back to modifying muscle cars, providing upgrades not only for the Mustang but for the Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger (and even the Tesla Model S) too. But it seems that Saleen is now ready to launch its second original design. It’s called the S1, and it was introduced at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The small sports car is a surprising appearance. Not only it came out of nowhere, but it also arrived at a time when Saleen barely emerged from years of struggling with financial difficulties. And the California-based firm has big plans with the S1, hoping to sell more than 1,500 units a year in the U.S. alone. The two-door is also built from scratch by the American company, which is a big feat given that Saleen was almost bankrupt a few years ago. But it’s worth mentioning that Saleen isn’t alone in this project. The S1 is actually made by Jiangsu Saleen Automotive Technologies Group, a company based in China that is building a billion-dollar manufacturing facility in the country.

Saleen also revealed that the S1 project began a few years ago when the firm purchased the tooling for the Artega GT, a German sports car designed by Henrik Fisker in the late 2000s. Launched in 2009, the GT was short-lived, being discontinued when Artega went bankrupt in 2012. However, the S1 isn’t based on the GT. Saleen found that an update wasn’t feasible and designed a new coupe from scratch.

Continue reading to find out more about the Saleen S1.

Exterior

  • Compact, modern design
  • Artega GT-inspired mid-section?
  • Unique headlamps
  • Aggressive rear end
  • Race-inspired rear diffuser
  • Bubble-top roof

2019 Saleen S1 - image 749013
“It's a fresh take on the sports car concept”

The S1 was designed to correspond to modern sports car standard. It’s compact, it has short overhangs, a low-slung stance, and flowing, organic lines. It has loads of design features that make it look unique and I must say it’s a fresh take on the sports car concept. The front fascia is clean and simple, but the triangular headlamps with the C-shaped daytime running lights and the stacked, rectangular LED units give it an exotic look. The big vent in the hood and the smaller cooling outlets mounted atop the wheel arches add more race-specific character to the design. The bumper is not overly aggressive and doesn’t include the usual large splitter, but the wide intakes with three fins toward the sides look very cool.


2019 Saleen S1 - image 749017
“The rear reminds me of the early 1990s Porsche 911, but the S1 is decidedly more modern to look at”

Onto the sides, we can see more of those traditional compact sports car features, such as the short front hood, the short overhangs, and the sloping roof. Interestingly enough, the S1 is similar to the Artega GT in the middle section. The door and quarter window have a similar shape, as does the outlet on the rear fender. They’re far from identical, but when these details stand out when compared side-to-side. The rear haunches are also somewhat similar. But that’s not a bad thing, as these seemingly borrowed cues work well with Saleen’s new design.

The rear end is fresh and unique. The fascia itself is very narrow, as is the red stripe that incorporates the taillights. Above there’s a large spoiler, while the bumper below has a massive grille in the middle, a race-inspired diffuser, and a couple of center-mounted tailpipes. It reminds me a bit of the early 1990s Porsche 911, but the S1 is decidedly more modern to look at. Another interesting feature is the wide recess that runs across the center section of the roof, giving the car a bubble-top-like design.

Interior

  • Simple, clean layout
  • Clutter-free center stack
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Two-tone upholstery
  • Sporty seats

2019 Saleen S1 - image 749036
“Everything looks crisp and simple as Saleen aimed for a clutter-free layout”

The interior mirrors the outer shell in terms of design. Everything looks crisp and simple and it’s pretty obvious that Saleen aimed for a clutter-free layout. The instrument cluster has a sporty hood with angular lines onto the sides and it appears to include a larger digital display. The steering wheel in front of it looks simple too, with no buttons and switches whatsoever. It might be just a prototype though, as it doesn’t even include the usual badge at the center. The center stack is made of a thin and sleek A/C vent and an equally narrow control unit with four knobs. There’s no infotainment screen in sight, but it could be hidden behind that lid in the lower center stack.

The door panels are simple but elegant, with the white center sections making it seem as if the dashboard extends onto the sides. The seats aren’t as aggressive as in a race car, but they do have firm side bolsters and should provide plenty of lateral support for spirited driving. The headrests are integrated into the seat design, providing a motorsport-inspired look. The black-and-white upholstery is a nice touch, but Saleen should provide more color options. Unfortunately there isn’t much information available right now about the technology and options that will be offered.

Drivetrain

  • Mid-mounted engine
  • Twin-turbo, 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • 450 horsepower
  • 360 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds
  • Top speed at 180 mph
  • Rear-biased weight distribution
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Continental tires
  • Quarter mile in 11.3 seconds
  • 2,685-pound curb weight

2019 Saleen S1 - image 749023
“Saleen went with a six-speed manual transmission in a market that turned almost entirely to automatics”

The Saleen S1 is powered by a mid-mounted, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The twin-turbo cranks out an impressive 450 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque and Saleen claims it was built in-house. Surprisingly enough, Saleen went with a six-speed manual transmission in a market that turned almost entirely to automatics.

On top of being powerful, the S1 is light too. While the tub is made from aluminum, the body panels are carbon-fiber, which results in a curb weight of only 2,685 pounds. As a result, it needs only 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph and 11.3 seconds to cover the quarter mile. The top speed is rated at 180 mph.


2019 Saleen S1 - image 749029
“The coupe tips the scales at only 2,685 pounds”

Weight distribution is biased toward the back, with 58 percent carried by the rear axle. This gives the rear-wheel-drive sports car more traction and more assistance to the front when braking. Speaking of which, the wheels are wrapped in Continental ExtremeContact Sport tires for optimum grip.

Although all these facts and figures have yet to be proven in real life, the S1 sounds promising. And if the production model meets all these performance claims, the S1 will become one of the best sports cars in this niche. The fact that a little company that was broke a few years ago built everything from scratch makes it that much more impressive.

Prices


2019 Saleen S1 - image 749028

Saleen estimates that the S1 will cost $100,000 before options. That’s a pretty penny for a car that doesn’t have a mainstream badge on its nose, but it’s a good deal given the performance. Assuming that the S1 will live up to the company’s claims that is. Saleen is already taking preorders for the sports car, which requires a $1,000 deposit. Surprisingly low for a brand that needs a bit of cash to get things moving.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin in mid-2018. The American brand hopes to sell at least 1,500 units a year in the U.S., a similar amount in Europe, and significantly more in China. That’s at least 5,000 examples a year globally, which is quite a big goal for a company like Saleen.

Competition

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS


2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS British Legends Edition - image 737606

Porsche purists may be offended by this comparison, but if we ignore the 911’s rear-engined layout and the Porsche heritage, the two cars have a lot in common. And they deliver the same amount of power. Motivated by a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter flat-six engine, the Carrera GTS comes with 450 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque on tap. It’s also equipped with a seven-speed manual transmission as standard, but unlike the Saleen S1, it’s also offered with a seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK. Performance figures aren’t yet available, but the 911 Carrera GTS should be able to hit 60 mph from a standing start in less than 3.7 seconds with the quick-shifting PDK. Top speed is likely to be slightly superior to Saleen’s 180-mph rating. Pricing starts from $120,700, which makes the German sports car a bit more expensive.

Read our full review of the 2017 Porsche 911.

Alpine A110


2017 Renault Alpine A110 - image 708512

The Alpine A110 is less powerful, slower, and isn’t available in the United States, but it’s one of the best affordable sports cars that Saleen will have to go against in Europe. Unveiled in 2017 as a tribute to the iconic A110 of the 1960s and 1970s, Alpine first production model in decades has plenty to brag about. First up, it’s design is based on the classic model, making it appealing to neo-retro enthusiasts. The interior is packed with both premium features and modern technology and you can add many options due to the car’s more affordable sticker. Under the hood, it hides a turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine develop with input from Renault’s R.S. division. Although rated at “only” 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, the unit is powerful enough to push the French car from 0 to 60 mph in around 4.4 seconds. Granted, that’s almost a second slower than the Saleen, but the A110 is some 300 pounds lighter, which translates into better dynamics and a more exciting experience at the race track. Unfortunately, it’s missing a manual transmission, with the seven-speed dual-clutch being the only option. Pricing starts from nearly €60,000 in Europe, significantly more affordable than what the S1 is expected to cost.

Read our full story on the 2017 Alpine A110.

Conclusion


2019 Saleen S1 - image 749016

Needless to say, the Saleen looks great on paper performance-wise and its simple yet modern design inside and out turn it into a proper competitor for the Porsche 911 GTS. It’s quite potent too and the small-displacement, turbocharged engine should make it fuel efficient as well. It looks like a winner in just about every department, but I don’t want to get too excited until I see the first car roll off the assembly line. Saleen has been struggling to survive for quite a few years now and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the S1 become a flop in a few years. Granted, its new joint-venture with the Chinese should bring the necessary funds to the table, but putting a car like the S1 in production is far from easy. I’ve seen bigger automakers struggle with vehicle built from scratch and I’m not yet convinced that Saleen has the means to build one . And even if it does, we won’t know if the S1 will deliver as promised without proper testing. Hopefully we’ll see that Saleen S1 vs. Porsche 911 GTS video soon!

  • Leave it
    • Not much is known about the technology behind it
    • Will it make into production?

References

Saleen S7


2001 Saleen S7 - image 13872

Read our full review on the 2001 Saleen S7.


maker logos - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Admits 2.3-liter EcoBoost in early Focus RS Models Burn Coolant

The pin has finally dropped on the Ford Focus RS’ beleaguered 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine. After months of investigating, Ford has acknowledged that the Ecoboost engine powering the hot hatch has an issue that causes it to consume coolant fluid. Speaking with Autocar, the Blue Oval admitted that the problem causes some 2016 and 2017 models of the Focus RS to produce “white exhaust smoke,” a by-product of burning coolant during cold running.


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 702708
“The good news here is that Ford has figured out the problem and it’s admitting it to the world”

The good news here is that Ford has figured out the problem and it’s admitting it to the world. It’s taking responsibly for the issues that have plagued the 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine in the Focus RS. That’s a good first step. The next step, however, is a lot trickier. It’s determining the cause of the issue. To that end, Ford has yet to identify why the problem is manifesting itself, even on cars that have as little as 6,000 miles on them.

For now, a spokesman for Ford said that the automaker is already working hard on finding a repair program that can address the issues. It didn’t elaborate on the details of this program so there’s no telling how long that’s going to take. For now, Ford is advising owners of 2016 and 2017 Focus RS models to stay vigilant in case the symptoms manifest on their cars. In the event that they do, the Ford spokesman said that “customers should visit their dealer for an inspection and repair under warranty.”


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718797
“Ford has replaced several affected engines with all-new units”

The scope of repairs are unclear themselves, but Ford has replaced several affected engines with all-new units, including one example early this year when a Focus RS owner posted a video on YouTube to point out the issues on his hot hatch. Others have also come out and suggested that one of the likely issues on the engine revolves around the head gasket failing to seal the engine block to the head effectively.

Editor’s Note: Various sources have said that the problem comes from deformation between the engine block and the cylinder head that occurs as the engine heats and cools. When the engine warms up, the block and head seal as they should. When the engine cools down, the gap returns, and engine coolant can enter the combustion chamber of one or more cylinders. This problem, however, is limited to the 2.3-liter EcoBoost found in the Focus RS. The EcoBoost Mustang with the 2.3-liter is free of this problem because the engine block and cylinder heads used for the engine in that model are composed of different materials. Until a fix can be put into place, which could include replacing the cylinder head, engine block, or the entire engine in affected vehicles, your best bet is to let the engine idle until it reaches operating temperature before driving. This will limit the damage caused by burning coolant when the engine is cold and prolong the life of various components like the spark plugs, turbocharger, and catalytic converters.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664728

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Hennessey is Ready to Tune the Hell Out of Your 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1

There’s something to be said for a Chevrolet Corvette that’s considered the fastest and most powerful of its kind that has ever been created. That’s the distinction the new Corvette ZR1 comes with. It has 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds. Those are impressive numbers, but not quite good enough for a company like Hennessey. The American tuning shop that’s responsible for some of the most extreme tuning programs in the business has developed not one, not two, but three programs for the Corvette ZR1, topping out with the HPE1200 kit. Care to venture a guess what the “1200” in that kit’s name means?


Hennessey is Ready to Tune the Hell Out of Your 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 - image 752329
“The first stage kit only gets the power level up to 850 horsepower, but even with that many horses, the ZR1 can already lay waste to some of the finest exotics in the land today”

We’re saving our full review of these programs for a later day. For now, it’s all about giving all of you a preview of what’s to come. See, Hennessey has a long history of tuning kits that bring power levels up to four figures. It has done so for cars like the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, Chevrolet Camaro, and of course, past versions of the Corvette. All received massive tuning upgrades, and all of them showed results that were borderline inhuman.

This is what we can expect out of these programs for the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The first stage kit only gets the power level up to 850 horsepower, but even with that many horses, the ZR1 can already lay waste to some of the finest exotics in the land today. Now imagine if 1,000 ponies are coming out of the Vette’s 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 engine. Your guts will be coming up to your throat when you’re blasting off at speeds in excess of 220 mph.

It paints a pretty morbid picture, but still, that’s nothing compared to getting the top-of-the-line program. That’s the HPE1200 tuning program, and yes, that “1200” means that Hennessey was able to tune the ZR1’s V-8 to produce a staggering 1,200 horsepower. That’s hypercar-level power, folks.


Hennessey is Ready to Tune the Hell Out of Your 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 - image 752330
“That’s the HPE1200 tuning program, and yes, that “1200” means that Hennessey was able to tune the ZR1’s V-8 to produce a staggering 1,200 horsepower.”

Hennessey hasn’t said how much each of the tuning programs will cost, but it did say that only a handful of examples of each upgrade will be made available. That’s probably for the best because I can’t imagine someone being able to enjoy the full potential of a 1,200-horsepower Corvette ZR1 without soiling his trousers.

References

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible - image 749381

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible.



Read more Chevrolet news.

PostHeaderIcon Feel Your Soul Ache as this Ford Focus RS Gets Crushed

If you have a weak stomach for cars getting destroyed, you might want to turn your heads away now. If you’re still here, then this is the kind of video that’s going to make you cringe. The subject of the video is a Ford Focus RS. It’s clearly seen better days, but it still looks in good enough shape to be salvaged. Unfortunately, it only takes a few seconds for the narrative to flip on this unsuspecting Focus RS as a junkyard crane uses its claws to crush it, pick it up, and drop it in a garbage container.

It’s unclear why the Focus RS had to suffer this horrible fate, but my best guess is that this particular example may have been a prototype or a test car of some kind. Regardless, seeing it get treated that way is jarring, especially considering how popular the Focus RS has become in its segment.

To make things worse, a Ford Focus ST Estate shows up towards the end of the video after getting slammed to the ground by a forklift. It had no license plates like the Focus RS that came before it, so you can probably make a guess on where it’s headed too. Either way, it’s a sad day to be a Ford Focus fan. As popular as the model has become, it apparently isn’t immune to getting treated like scrap metal.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664728

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.


2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven - image 718773

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.



Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon Watch the BMW M550D Bounce Off the Speed Limiter

Ever wonder what an odometer looks like if it reaches its threshold? We don’t often get to see that because it rarely happens when we’re looking at it but take a look at this video of aBMW M550xd xDrive get pushed to its performance limit. We don’t see anything other than the instrument cluster, but that’s exactly the point. Our focus is squarely on the numbers, and it shows the exact performance ability of the M55d xDrive. It’s no wonder that this car’s engine is billed as the “world’s most powerful six-cylinder engine in the automotive area.” The display even shows the odometer’s needle bouncing off the limit, a clear sign that the car can go faster if the speed limiter is removed.

Before anything else, let’s look at the optics first. The BMW M550d xDrive is powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that has no less than four turbochargers in it. Yes, four. All of that translates to a car that can produce a staggering 400 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque. Mind you; this is a diesel engine; the power figures speak for themselves. Even the car’s 0-to-62-mph acceleration time of just 4.4 seconds is impressive.

Now move beyond BMW’s reported numbers and pay attention to the video presented by YouTube page AutoTopNL. You’ll see the car actually hit 0 to 62 mph in around 4.7 seconds. It’s not exactly accurate relative to Bimmer’s own claims, but it’s close enough to still be quick in its own right. You’ll also notice the speedometer’s needle reach its full threshold when the car achieved its top speed limit. Take a close look, and you’ll see the needle steadily move towards the edge as the car goes faster, ultimately hitting the 260 kmh (155 mph) limit with relative ease. The needle then bounces a few times, a clear sign that even if the M550d xDrive’s top speed is limited, there are still enough horses under that hood to help elevate the car’s performance beyond its own self-imposed limits.

Put all these elements together, and you have a car that can live up to its billing as the hottest trim of the M5 that runs on diesel power.

References

BMW 5 Series


2018 BMW M550i xDrive - image 698866

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive.

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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT COLLECTOR 888 NAV 9K MI #300888 Texas Direct
$69,730.00
End Date: Wednesday Jan-24-2018 15:45:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $69,730.00
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2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG GT 5.0 AUTO LEATHER HID LIGHTS 41K MI #218165 Texas Direct
$14,100.00 (83 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Jan-23-2018 10:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $20,480.00
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS CLIMATE SEATS SUNROOF NAV HUD 8K! #197736 Texas Direct
$1.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Jan-24-2018 15:45:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $38,230.00
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT REAR CAM HUD 4K MI #103779 Texas Direct Auto
$62,230.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 8:25:54 PST
Buy It Now for only: $62,230.00
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2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO SS2 COMMEMORATIVE SUNROOF NAV HUD 3K #211182 Texas Direct Auto
$1.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 8:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $31,730.00
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2012 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG GT FASTBACK 5.0 6-SPD SPOILER 36K MI #281725 Texas Direct Auto
$1.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 7:59:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $19,419.00
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS RS CONVERTIBLE LEATHER NAV 33K MI #281386 Texas Direct
$25,480.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 8:11:50 PST
Buy It Now for only: $25,480.00
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1965 Ford Mustang 4 SPEED 1965 Mustang Fastback A-CODE 4 SPEED Factory Air conditioning
$12,000.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 12:26:14 PST
Buy It Now for only: $12,000.00
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 5K #521566 Texas Direct
$53,730.00
End Date: Wednesday Jan-24-2018 15:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $53,730.00
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro LT Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO LT RS AUTO SPOILER 20" WHEELS 36K MI #273768 Texas Direct Auto
$17,980.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 7:46:54 PST
Buy It Now for only: $17,980.00
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro LS Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO LS 6-SPEED CD AUDIO ALLOY WHEELS 33K #157886 Texas Direct Auto
$16,288.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 8:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $16,288.00
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 2LT AUTO NAV HUD 4K MI #112474 Texas Direct
$32,600.00 (43 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 10:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $49,230.00
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1968 Ford Mustang Fastback 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback
$27,100.00 (37 Bids)
End Date: Monday Jan-22-2018 18:14:49 PST
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2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 CONVERTIBLE 2LZ S/C NAV HUD 13K #610223 Texas Direct
$1.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 8:13:11 PST
Buy It Now for only: $71,230.00
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1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1955 chevy truck short bed,long back window,patina,low rod,hot rod,rat rod 56 57
$5,900.00 (17 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Jan-24-2018 22:24:14 PST
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 2LZ S/C 7SPD LEATHER NAV HUD 8K #602574 Texas Direct
$65,480.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 13:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $65,480.00
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2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY SUPER SNAKE 800-HP ONLY 544 MI #227961 Texas Direct
$84,230.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 8:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $84,230.00
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2016 Ford Mustang GT350 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350
$45,100.00 (30 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Jan-21-2018 16:35:38 PST
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1969 Ford Mustang 1969 custom built Fastback. with 331 performance STROKER engine. Former racecar
$4,000.01 (12 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Jan-23-2018 10:01:39 PST
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2017 Ford F-150 2017 FORD F-150 XLT CREW 5.0 4X4 LIFT LEATHER 20'S 10K #B91758 Texas Direct Auto
$1.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Jan-24-2018 15:43:05 PST
Buy It Now for only: $40,480.00
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1967 Ford Mustang Coupe 1967 Ford Mustang Coupe
$3,000.00
End Date: Monday Jan-22-2018 17:31:10 PST
Buy It Now for only: $3,000.00
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro LT Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CAMARO LT AUTO REARVIEW CAM 20" WHEELS 8K MI #115878 Texas Direct
$6,300.00 (24 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 12:12:13 PST
Buy It Now for only: $22,480.00
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2014 BMW 4-Series Base Coupe 2-Door 2014 BMW 435I SPORT PREMIUM TECH DRIVER ASSIST NAV 35K #774520 Texas Direct Auto
$1.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Monday Jan-22-2018 13:14:56 PST
Buy It Now for only: $29,980.00
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1965 Ford Mustang 4 SPEED 1965 FORD MUSTANG FASTBACK 4 SPEED
$13,000.00
End Date: Sunday Jan-21-2018 6:36:53 PST
Buy It Now for only: $13,000.00
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2011 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2011 CHEVY CORVETTE Z16 GRAND SPORT 3LT Z51 HUD 31K MI #101903 Texas Direct Auto
$4,050.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 8:19:04 PST
Buy It Now for only: $33,571.00
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 6-SPEED 650HP KRYPTON GREEN 1K MI #203550 Texas Direct
$56,980.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 7:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $56,980.00
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2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 1LZ S/C HUD REAR CAM 4K MILES #613401 Texas Direct Auto
$68,480.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 9:20:31 PST
Buy It Now for only: $68,480.00
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2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F-150 CREW 4X4 LIFTED LEATHER REAR CAM 9K MI #D74031 Texas Direct Auto
$38,980.00
End Date: Saturday Jan-20-2018 14:15:56 PST
Buy It Now for only: $38,980.00
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2016 Ford F-150 2016 FORD F150 LTD CREW 4X4 ECOBOOST PANO NAV 22'S 9K #D31861 Texas Direct Auto
$1.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Thursday Jan-25-2018 8:00:25 PST
Buy It Now for only: $48,245.00
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