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PostHeaderIcon A Self-Driving Car Scared The Crap Out Of Jeremy Clarkson

Former Top Gear host, current The Grand Tour host, and ardent lover of hot meals Jeremy Clarkson recently had a go in an autonomous car, and claims it nearly resulted in death – twice. Clarkson relates his experience in an op-ed piece published by The Sunday Times, which comes at a time when the U.K. is considering testing autonomous car tech on public roads.

While there are a few critical details left out of the tale, Clarkson’s account does sound rather harrowing. “I drove a car the other day which has a claim of autonomous capability and twice in the space of 50 miles on the M4 it made a mistake, a huge mistake, which could have resulted in death,” the TV presenter writes.


Does GM Know Better than Elon Musk when it Comes to Self-Driving Cars? - image 738835
“Twice in the space of 50 miles on the M4 it made a mistake, a huge mistake, which could have resulted in death”

Granted, Clarkson is a bit of a luddite when it comes to new car technology, and based on his past televised experiences with modern infotainment systems, it’s entirely possible Clarkson just didn’t quite understand how the autonomous system worked (or at least, how it was supposed to work).

We’d love to know what the car in question was, but fearing legal reprisal, Clarkson didn’t care to identify the autonomous vehicle that nearly resulted in a fatal accident.


Will BMW be the First Brand to Offer Level 5 Autonomy? - image 710743

Unsurprisingly, Clarkson thinks there’s still a good deal of development left before we should put driverless cars on public roads, writing, “For now, we’re miles away from it.” The timing of the op-ed coincides with renewed discussion of the tech in Britain, as U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to soon give the go-ahead for public testing of self-driving technology. Perhaps the op-ed is a way to stir up some resistance to the move.

What would it take to get Clarkson to actually buy a self-driving car? “You drive one of your driverless cars over the death road in Bolivia and I’ll buy one,” he writes, referencing a Top Gear special from 2009 wherein he and his co-hosts traverse one of the most dangerous roads in the world. “Sit there with your hands folded and let it drive you up there, then squeeze past a lorry with half the tire hanging over a 1,000ft drop while the car drives itself. Fine, I’ll buy into it.”

References


Apple's Self-Driving Lexus Spotted On Public Roads - image 739284

Read more autonomous car news.


Emirates Airlines Gets A Helping Hand From A Luxury Automaker On Designing Its First-Class Suites - image 744864

Read more Jeremy Clarkson news.


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PostHeaderIcon Celebrity Special – Happy Birthday Ken Block!

Whether he’s rubbin’ and racin’ in the Global Rallycross Championship, ripping fat donuts on his YouTube channel, or sliding sideways in the Gymkhana video series, odds are you’ve seen Ken Block in action. The man seems most comfortable at high speed and completely crossed up, building such ridiculous machines as the Hoonicorn to accomplish exactly that. When it comes to automotive showmanship, Ken is another league, bringing the goods on the regular with his gas-fueled antics, and today he turns the big five-oh.

Ken kicked off his racing career in 2005, driving a Subaru WRX STI in the Rally America National Championship, snagging the Rally America Rookie of the Year award at the season’s conclusion. In 2006, he signed up alongside Travis Pastrana to form Subaru’s Rally Team USA, once again competing in the Rally America National Championship and securing a second-place finish overall. He also helped bring rally to the extreme sports crowd in the first-ever rally X Games event. In 2007, he expanded his list of annual appearances to include a few rounds in the World Rally Championship, while 2008 saw the release of Ken’s very first Gymkhana video.

After gaining huge fanfare and media attention from Gymkhana 1, Ken turned the concept into a series, releasing Gymkhana 2: The Infomercial in 2009. This time around, the slideways goodness got mixed in with a new WRX, huge production value, and no shortage of shameless product placement. The combo worked, and Ken has been consecutively one-upping himself ever since.

Personally, my favorite vid is a toss up between Gymkhana 5 in San Francisco (big jumps! Cool town!), and Gymkhana 7 in Los Angeles (friggin’ Hoonicorn, baby!). How about you?

And oh yeah…

Happy Birthday, Ken!

References

Ken Block’s Hoonicorn V2


Ken Block Announces the Hoonicorn V2: A 1,400-Horsepower Monster - image 691807

Read more about the Ken Block’s Hoonicorn V2.


2016 Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing - image 672856

Read more Ken Block news.

PostHeaderIcon See You Never: Cars We Don’t Want To See Come Back

The auto industry has had its share of iconic cars. From iconic classics like the Aston Martin DB5 and the Ferrari 250 GTO to timeless beauties like the Mazda MX-5 and Porsche 911, there are no shortages of cars that we can kneel before and proudly say that we did. But for every model like the BMW 3 Series that capture our hearts and imaginations, there are also models like the Pontiac Aztec and the Studebaker Wagonaire that force us to question our lots in life. These cars are the stinkers of the auto industry, and whether you like it or not, we’ve come up with a list of them that we never, under any circumstances, want to see make a comeback.

I know what you’re thinking. Why are we subjecting you to this kind of horror on Thanksgiving week? Well, appreciating the history of the industry will only be magnified if you know its underbelly, the dark and desolate place where the worst models in history reside, never to be seen again. Our hope here is that when you take a gander and look at the cars on this list, you’ll come out of it with a better appreciation of all the success stories that the industry has seen throughout its history. So buckle up, ladies and gentlemen. We’re going to test your tolerance with this list; here’s to hoping you all come out unscathed on the other side.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Pontiac Aztek


See You Never: Cars We Don't Want To See Come Back - image 746301

I suppose we can start with the two models that I already mentioned. The Pontiac Aztek should really belong in a class of its own. Hideous in every way, the Aztek received the reaction it deserved from the get-go. It was lambasted for having one of the most awkward designs of any car released this century. It also didn’t help the SUV’s cause that it arrived amidst a lot of hype, only to fall flat on its face before it was able to show off what it can do. There is some irony to the SUV because it was actually competent at what it does. But its decrepit design ultimately torpedoed any shot of it being relevant in a positive way. It says a lot about the Aztek’s fortunes that it only gained popularity when it was used as Walter White’s ride-of-choice in Breaking Bad. That show premiered in 2008, three years after production of the SUV ended in 2005.

Studebaker Wagonaire


See You Never: Cars We Don't Want To See Come Back - image 746302

The Studebaker Wagonaire really shouldn’t be on this list because it has actually had a renaissance among young people these days. But even that shouldn’t take away from the initial reception behind the Wagonaire. Not only was it a sight for sore eyes when it debuted in 1963, but the indignation surrounding the model was further put in the spotlight by the fact that one of its supposed main features – the retractable roof – ended up being its fatal flaw.
Complaints of water leaks from the roof ultimately doomed the Wagonaire and three years after debuting, Studebaker as a company ended up folding. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Dodge Coronet


See You Never: Cars We Don't Want To See Come Back - image 746305

The Dodge Coronet is another car that looked like a good idea on paper. But that idea never translated to the real thing as the Coronet was panned for its awkward styling. Sure, a lot of cars from the 50’s shared that design philosophy, but the Coronet stands out for having one too many body panels sticking out from all sorts of directions. To be fair, the Coronet did reinvent itself in the 60’s and 70’s, earning some nostalgia points in the process. But the design failures of the original version is why it’s on this list.

Chrysler Sebring


2007 Chrysler Sebring - image 83135

This is a car that could’ve fared better if it had a more conducive environment around it. But the Sebring suffered from circumstances beyond its control, including the state of Chrysler from the late 1990’s to the 2000’s. It didn’t help that the model suffered through quality issues throughout its life, ultimately becoming the poster-boy for everything that was wrong with Chrysler before the Detroit recession. Unlike the Wagonaire and Coronet, there’s nothing redeeming about the Sebring that should compel Chrysler of even thinking about bringing it back. Remember, the Sebring became the 200 in 2010 and nothing came out of that model either.

Yugo


See You Never: Cars We Don't Want To See Come Back - image 746303

It says a lot about a car’s notoriety that history doesn’t even bother to remember its real name. We all know the Yugo for that one name, but it’s actually a modified version of the Zastava Koral, a car that traces its origin in Yugoslavia. Somehow, the model found its way into the US as the Yugo where it was promoted on the promise of being a cheap alternative to what were already cheap cars, to begin with. Needless to say, the strategy bombed completely as the Yugo suffered from so many quality issues. Whether it was poor performance, poor build quality, or the many safety defects it had, the Yugo became so reviled that it was, at one point, described as the “Mona Lisa of bad cars.”

Chevrolet Lumina APV


See You Never: Cars We Don't Want To See Come Back - image 746300

If you’re a car that’s compared to a hand-held vacuum cleaner, I don’t think those comparisons are of the favorable nature. The Chevrolet Lumina APV really had good intentions. It was billed as a more stylish alternative to the wildly popular Dodge Caravan from the early 1990’s. But even the best of intentions fall flat on its face. That was the fate of the Lumina APV. It was horrible in a number of different ways, including its design, which earned it the nickname “Dustbuster” after the popular hand-held vacuum cleaner. It was also criticized for having an awkward driving position and terrible handling. Worst of all, we actually got a triple dose of horror with this model with the respective releases of the Pontiac Trans Sport and Oldsmobile Silhouette variants.

Aston Martin Cygnet


2011 Aston Martin Cygnet - image 351457

The Aston Martin Cygnet is without question the most hated Aston Martin of all time. The thing is, it wasn’t really an Aston Martin; it was a Scion IQ that featured a “bespoke” paint finish and fancy leather seats. That’s it. We should count ourselves lucky that the Cygnet never really made it in the US because if it did, I firmly believe that Aston Martin’s reputation would’ve been completely ruined. It’s hard enough for me to wrap my head around the thought of Aston Martin making a small city car, but to do it so cheaply by simply replacing the badges of a Scion IQ? It’s no wonder that the Cygnet flamed out so quickly. Had it lasted any longer, it would’ve been an insult to everything that Aston Martin once stood for.

AMC Gremlin


1977 AMC Gremlin - image 683265

Sometimes, the name says it all. That’s the case with the AMC Gremlin, a car so reviled that it makes the Yugo look like a Porsche. Ok, that’s not entirely true because, for whatever reason, the Gremlin actually had sales success in the 1970s. Unfortunately, a lot of people learned quickly how much of a sunk cost the car was. It lacked refinement in every which way, a product of the money-saving schemes that a lot of companies were doing back then. Incidentally, the 70’s also happened to be the decade when everybody was more consumed with taking drugs than creating solid cars. I’m not sure if that comparison is important, but it does seem like it is.

Ford Pinto


See You Never: Cars We Don't Want To See Come Back - image 746304

If there was ever a car that has accumulated the most mentions among the worst cars in history, it’s the Ford Pinto. It’s actually incredible to see the Pinto make all these lists given that the model actually sold well during its lifetime. But its reputation was permanently ruined when it a defect in the car’s fuel tank design was discovered. As it turned out, this defect could cause the car to catch fire if it was rear-ended. Worse, Ford executives reportedly knew about the design defect and decided to do nothing about it after calculating that paying off lawsuits from disgruntled owners was cheaper than re-engineering the car entirely. That revelation is now called the “Pinto memo,” and it’s one of the biggest reasons why the Pinto was named one of the worst cars in history by Time Magazine, CNN, Forbes, and even Autoblog.

Chevrolet HHR


2007 Chevrolet HHR - image 146617

The Chevrolet HHR is a good example of what happens when car designers get too drunk on nostalgia. Developed as a retro-styled, five-door station wagon, the HHR looked like a cartoon car driven exclusively by super-villains. But as bad as it looked, the car’s design wasn’t even the worst thing about it. The HHR will live infamy as one of the most recalled cars in US history. That’s not a joke. In about six years in the market, Chevrolet managed to sell around one million units of the HHR. Unfortunately, it also suffered through more than six million recall notices. Six million! I honestly don’t know if I should cry or laugh. What I do know is that the HHR is never coming back.

Mitsuoka Orochi


2014 Mitsuoka Orochi Final Edition - image 550540

The Mitsuoka Orochi is the only “supercar” on this list. If you haven’t seen it yet, then prepare yourselves for some nightmares in the coming days. The Orochi was first introduced as a concept in 2001, and it didn’t take long for everybody to turn its back on it. Simply put, it looks like a fish; an ugly one at that. Don’t believe me? Check out the photo below, though I am compelled to tell you that you’ve been warned.

PostHeaderIcon BMW X8 to take on Audi Q8 and Range Rover Velar in 2020

BMW has already confirmed that the X family will grow in 2018 with the X7. The SUV will slot above the X5 and X6, will be the company’s largest vehicle yet, and will provide seating for up to eight people thanks to a three-row configuration. With the X2 already on its way to showrooms, BMW’s X lineup will include seven different models. But it appears that the X7 won’t be the last crossover to join in. Rumors from early 2017 claimed that BMW also wants to develop an X8 model and this scenario keeps gaining traction according to more recent reports.

The news comes from Klaus Frohlich, BMW’s head of development, who told Autocar that the German firm is evaluating a coupe-styled version of the X7. “The sector is growing fast, so there will be opportunity,” said Fröhlich. “It is early to talk about X8, but one of the first decisions I made when I worked on product strategy was to take the X5 and make the X6. Everyone said it was not necessary, but it worked. Now we have the X2, X4, and X6. They are emotional and sporty derivatives that work for us,” he said.

If BMW greenlights the X8, and it’s likely to happen given that firm sees some room for it in “markets like China,” it will probably go against the Audi Q8 and the Range Roger Velar. Unlike the X7, it will probably be a four- or five-seater, with an emphasis on rear-passenger comfort. BMW may also want to pit the X8 against low-end versions of the Bentley Bentayga, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, and Lamborghini Urus, so it might become the most expensive SUV in the lineup. If it happens, the X8 should share underpinnings, tech, and drivetrains with the upcoming X7.

References

BMW X7


2017 BMW X7 - image 608954

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW X7.


BMW X8 to take on Audi Q8 and Range Rover Velar in 2020 - image 732636

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW Concept X7 iPerformance.

8sp629383.BMW $41.62 Billion

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon 2019 Mercedes CLS Confirmed for L.A. Auto Show Debut

Mercedes-Benz has released the first official preview photos of the new 2019 Mercedes CLS four-door coupe, confirming its world premiere at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. The trend-setter is getting a major makeover in this iteration, adding the latest Benz design cues to its iconic look. 

The CLS has always been one of the most important models from the German car maker,even though it’s just an E-Class in a designer suit. The car started the whole four-door coupe niche when it was first revealed, causing such a stir in the automotive world that to this day we feel its reverberations. That’s why it is always a significant occasion when they come up with a new version.

But if you are expecting a whole new look for the 2019 Mercedes CLS, you’ll probably be disappointed. Mercedes designers have shown before they don’t mess with a successful recipe, just tweak it a bit. So while the profile will remain largely unchanged, the CLS will get new head and taillights based on the latest design trends of the company. There will also be a new grille and some nip and tuck here and there. Teh same goes for the interior, which as you see in the image above is getting more S-Class-like than ever with a huge screen and vintage looking vents.

We are quite looking forward to see the AMG variant of the 2019 Mercedes CLS though, not just because it will look sportier than the regular models, but also for the powertrain. The word is the next CLS AMG will boast a hybrid system with a 3.0 liter V6 turbo petrol unit and an electric motor. It will be the first AMG ’53’ model, a series of electrified performance models from Affalterbach.

The post 2019 Mercedes CLS Confirmed for L.A. Auto Show Debut appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S Has Central Driving Position

You probably know American rich man Glickenhaus from his previous one-off, custom Ferraris. Well, what started as a hobby for him is now a legit business, and this is the latest production of his company. The new Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S is an Italian-American McLaren F1 with the steerign wheel right in the center. 

That makes the SCG 004s a three-seater, so you have two of your buddies with you as you go a cruise around the lawn of your favorite concourse. They won’t be awfully safe though, and neither will you. The design and layout of the dashboard in this car is pretty old-fashioned.It brings to mind racing Ferraris of the 60s, which means it is an absolute delight sitting in that cabin.

Cameron Glickenhaus ha ambitions to become the modern-day Enzo Ferrari by directly emulating him. His ultimate goal in designing and building Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S, and the other model that went before it, is for him to race at Le Mans. But he has to produce a number of road-going model and sell them to public to be eligible for the race. So there will be up to 325 units of the car sent out ot the wild over the next two or three years. And they will come in various forms, including GT3, GTE and GTLM competition. The support for the 003C will continue for the time being.















As for the specs, the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S is powered by a 5.0 liter twin-turbo V8 engine developing 650 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque. That power has to haul only 1,179 kg thanks to a carbon chassis. The driven wheels are on the rear and their diff is connected to a six-speed manual gearbox. All very vintage stuff, but SCG does offer a paddle shift option as well.

The post Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 004S Has Central Driving Position appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans

The Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition is a saucy little number, isn’t it? Thanks to General Motors and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, you now have a chance to become the first owner of the special edition sports car when it goes up for auction at the upcoming Barret-Jackson Scottsdale event this coming January. Proceeds from the sale from the auction will go to the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative, a charity that focuses on supporting post-9/11 veterans and helping them transition back to civilian life. The charity is supported by no less than former US President George W. Bush.

The Corvette Carbon 65 Edition made its debut at the 2017 New York Auto Show in April, created in no small part to Chevy’s motivation to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the legendary sports car. The car itself isn’t a special edition in the traditional sense of the phrase. Instead, the Carbon 65 Edition is a package that can be added to either coupe or convertible versions of the Corvette. The package consists mainly of exterior and interior upgrades, and Chevy is only creating 650 of them. That “numbered” status is a big part of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition’s appeal, and the fact that the first-of-its-kind is headed to the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale auction makes this specific model all the more desirable. So is the fact that it will be signed by President Bush himself. That’s an extra shot of provenance for a special edition package that breathes new life into the iconic American sports car.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Start the new year off with an auction score!


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712469
“Proceeds from the sale from the auction will go to the Bush Center’s Military Service Initiative, a charity that focuses on supporting post-9/11 veterans and helping them transition back to civilian life”

I don’t suppose that there any more lingering doubts about the appeal of the Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition. It’s numbered to just 650 units all over the world, so there’s a specific figure attached to its status of exclusivity. It also comes with plenty of exclusive features, beginning with significant modifications to the Corvette’s body. Some of the more obvious of these exclusive options include a Ceramic Matrix Grey finish on all the visible carbon fiber elements in its body. Coupe models of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition also gain a carbon fiber hood section, carbon fiber roof, and blacked out wheels with their own carbon fiber logo center caps. On the other hand, convertible models stand to get carbon tonneau inserts. Step inside, and the cabin of the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition is treated to a Jet Black suede upholstery with matching gloss carbon fiber trim and a carbon fiber steering wheel. Blue stitching throughout adds color while the “Carbon 65 Edition” sill plates make for perfect identifiers of the car’s special edition status.

Each of the 650 units of the Corvette Carbon 65 does not come with any engine upgrades. The good news is that, as well as coming in either coupe or convertible versions; the package is also available to different versions of the ‘Vette. If you opt for the Corvette Grand Sport, you stand to get a 6.2-liter V-8 engine that produces 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Spend a little more on the car, and you can get the Corvette Z06 that comes with a supercharged LT4 engine and an output of 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Both variants of the Corvette include options for a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission.


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712470
“Prices for the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition vary depending on the variant, though the cost of the package itself is fixed at $15,000”

Prices for the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition vary depending on the variant, though the cost of the package itself is fixed at $15,000. Get the Grand Sport 3LT trim that starts from $76,190, and you’re looking at total cost of $91,190. Loosen those purse strings a bit more, and you can avail of the Z06-based Corvette Carbon 65 Edition in either coupe or convertible versions for a total cost of $104,390 and $108,390, respectively.

Then again, the best way to get some provenance to go with your Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition it to make a run at the first-production model that’s signed by a former POTUS when it goes under the hammer at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale on January 2018.

References

Chevrolet Corvette


First-Production Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Will Be Auctioned Off For Veterans - image 712469

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Carbon 65 Edition.



Read more Chevrolet news.

PostHeaderIcon Bad News for BMW purists: Next M3 and M4 Could Go AWD

First introduced in 1985, the BMW M3 quickly became known as “the ultimate driving machine.” The German brand exploited the term for more than three decades now, but a lot of BMW enthusiasts agree that the newer M3 and M4 are no longer the driver’s car that the first generation cars used to be, mostly due to being loaded with too much technology and driver aids. Whether this is true or not is a matter of how you look at modern sports cars, but old-school gearheads won’t be happy to learn that the next-generation M3 and M4 could go all-wheel-drive.

The news comes from Car Magazine, which claims that the M3 is set to take the same path as the M5, which was recently unveiled with standard all-wheel-drive. Since the M3 and M4 share the same underpinnings, the two-door coupe will also distribute power to all corners. As BMW pointed it out a few months back, the new-generation M5 was first engineered as a traditional, RWD sedan. But the company soon realized that the M5 didn’t handle longitudinal acceleration, and it decided to go with an all-wheel-drive layout. With the next-generation M3 looking to push the envelope well beyond that of the current model, AWD is likely to become a viable option for the compact too.

Continue reading for the full story.

No Need to Panic Yet


2018 BMW M4 - image 702098
“Although nearly all reports suggest that the M3 could go AWD, the switch might not be as radical as the M5's.”

Although nearly all reports suggest that the M3 could go AWD, the switch might not be as radical as the M5’s. While the latter comes standard with all-wheel-drive, the M3 could get xDrive as an option. Which should keep diehard enthusiasts happy. However, with Audi offering standard Quattro systems in the RS4 and RS5, it wouldn’t be completely shocking for the M3 and M4 to become AWD-only cars. On the flipside, this move would leave the Mercedes-AMG C63 as the only high-performance, German-made premium compact with rear-wheel-drive. It’s definitely a tough decision. An AWD M3 will bring superior performance and handling but would put an end to three decades of rear-wheel-drive tradition. And needless to say, it would upset BMW purists.

The next-generation M3 and M4 are expected to carry on with a new version of the twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine, which could develop close to 500 horsepower. The eight-speed automatic could become the only transmission option if the compact switches to AWD. At the same time, if RWD remains an option, it could be restricted to a manual transmission.

The new M3 is expected to launch sometime in 2020. The next-generation 3 Series will probably arrive by the end of 2018.

References

BMW M3


2015 BMW M3 - image 554300

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M3.

BMW M4


2018 BMW M4 - image 725565

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4.

PostHeaderIcon The New Corvette ZR1 Is the Mel Brooks of Sports Cars

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

When you’ve been around as long as I have, you realize that cinematography is going downhill. Yes, I know, new movies have a ton of cool special effects and CGI is getting better and better, but movies have been lacking substance for decades now. The fingers on my two hands are enough to count the great movies I’ve seen in recent decades. The rest of them… well, the same cliches and expensive struggles to make up for the lack of originality with fancy special effects and computer-generated imagery. This might piss you off, but all those superhero movies, the James Bond franchise, and the latest sci-fi stuff suck. Things get worse in the comedy business. I can’t say I laughed too much during 2017’s best-rated comedy films. Mel Brooks and John Cleese may still be alive as of 2017, but comedy screenwriting is as dead and stiff as a doorknob.

Oh, you’re probably wondering what’s with all the movie hate in a Chevrolet Corvette article. Well, it’s all Chevy’s fault. Don’t know if you noticed this, but its press release for the Corvette ZR1 end with the phrase “it’s good to be the king!” As in the new ZR1 is the king of the Corvette reign. Or maybe even the king of the sports car business. That’s cool for marketing, but what you might not know is that the phrase is taken word by word from “History of the World,” an anthology comedy film written, produced, and directed by Mel Brooks. It was launched in 1981, and it became a classic. And, in case you haven’t seen it yet, which is very likely if you think the “American Pie” series is funny, the “it’s good to be the king” phrase is used in its final sketch, “The French Revolution,” by King Louis of France, played by Mel Brooks.

Continue reading for the full story.

Corvette with a mustache

The king is depicted as a pervert. A smug person that’s only interested in his own well-being. He’s playing chess with real people on a huge board in the yard and makes up his own rules to win games. He gropes women living in and around his castle and requests sexual pleasures to fulfill his duty as king. Oh, and he has a tiny mustache, a mole on his right cheek, and a wig. And like any king out there, he wears a golden crown. Here, have a look at some highlights from the said scene.

Granted, the Corvette ZR1 doesn’t come with a mustache or a mole, but it comes with a bad attitude.

It will grope pretty Japanese sports car on the race track before leaving them behind in a trail of smoke. And it’ll yell “it’s good to be the king” as it crosses the finish line. Giving a crap about others would be the last thing on its mind. It’s the king of the Corvette dominion and a solid candidate to rule the sports car market. And that’s what kings do. They are smug, vain, and arrogant. And needless to say, the Corvette ZR1 is definitely a pervert by way of exterior design, drivetrain, and performance.

Okay okay, I might like Mel Brooks’ work a tad too much but there’s must be a reason why Chevy ended its press release the way it did. Either the person who wrote it is also a “History of the World” fan or Chevy is trying to prepare the competition for what’s coming when the ZR1 hits the streets and the race tracks. Fear the mustache! And supercharged V-8 engines!

References

Chevrolet Corvette


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744530

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.


Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing - image 712265

Read more Pops’ Rants news.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro

Earlier this year, Aston Martin unveiled the Valkyrie, an insane hybrid hypercar rocking four-digit output figures and the combined go-faster know-how of Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing, among several others. Designed to take on the best of the best in the world of superlative road-going performance, the Valkyrie hasn’t even hit production yet and Aston is already gearing up for a newer, faster version. Dubbed the Valkyrie AMR Pro, it’s a track-only variant of the Valkyrie that eliminates any remaining conciliations for street duty, pumping up the speed potential to ever-greater heights. Created as a collaborative effort between Aston and Red Bull, the Valkyrie AMR Pro once again takes direction from English Formula 1 mastermind Adrian Newey, offering more extreme aero, an all-business interior, more power, and less weight. The result is one serious speed machine, with Aston bragging it’ll have what it takes to challenge modern F1 and LMP1 racers in terms of lap times.

That’s a mighty impressive boast, especially for a platform that traces its roots to something you can drive on the road. Indeed, this is Aston’s idea of “ultimate,” the top of the mountain in the land of fast. This is what you get when you give Aston Martin and Red Bull an extreme performance car plus a blank check for track use. We know you wanna know more about it, so read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro.

Exterior

  • Takes road-going variant to even greater extremes
  • Bigger wings front and back
  • Extra vents and blades
  • More downforce
  • Smaller, 18-inch wheels

2019 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro - image 745561
“Compared to what we’ve seen of the road-going Valkyrie, the track-only variant doesn’t appear to be a huge departure in terms of aesthetics.”

While Aston has yet to reveal the Valkyrie AMR Pro in the sheet metal, the British brand did give us a glimpse by way of an exterior rendering. Compared to what we’ve seen of the road-going Valkyrie, the track-only variant doesn’t appear to be a huge departure in terms of aesthetics. You still get the ultra-wide, ultra-low stance of a hardcore performance machine, plus big aero, a teardrop-shaped greenhouse, and plumped-up fenders stuffed by large-diameter wheels with flat exterior covers. A scoop on the roof once again leads to a rear fin that matches up to the rear wing.


2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 - image 722973

Note: Road-going Aston Martin Valkyrie pictured here for comparison.

However, while the same general shape is still there, the AMR Pro manages to turn the whole thing up to 11. Aston says it tweaked the aero to create more downforce, starting with larger wings in the front and in the rear. We also notice new wing blades behind the front wheels, which presumably help to vent the hot air around the brakes without impacting the front-end downforce dynamics. Just ahead of the windshield is an additional vent for the nose. There’s also no headlights seen anywhere on the front fenders, and you can bet there’s no turn signals in the tail either.

Finally, Aston says the active aero systems were tweaked and tuned for more hardcore track duty, while the wheels were downsized to 18 inches in diameter to mount the uber-sticky Michelin rubber (more on that in a bit).

Interior

  • Simple and barebones approach
  • Basically a carbon fiber cocoon
  • Fixed racing buckets replace street car’s adjustable seats

2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 - image 722968

Note: Road-going Aston Martin Valkyrie pictured here.

“The seating position is in the sort of reclined, feet-up posture you’d expect from a modern race car”

Unfortunately, Aston has yet to give us even a rendering of what to expect inside the AMR Pro’s cabin, but based on what we’ve seen from the road-going variant, there are a few assumptions to be made.

First off, let’s look at the “standard” Valkyrie. Climb into this thing, and you’ll find yourself wrapped in a cocoon of carbon. It’s a tight fit, but then again, it needs to be considering this machine’s ludicrous performance potential. A square steering wheel provides inputs for the various onboard systems, with vital info relayed through a small screen mounted in the center of the “wheel.” A complementary info screen is mounted on the dash, while two side screens project rear video feeds in place of the traditional side-view mirrors (aero is king, after all).

“A square steering wheel provides inputs for the various onboard systems, with vital info relayed through a small screen mounted in the center of the “wheel".”

In addition to all the carbon, the road-going Valkyrie gets Alcantara and metal trim pieces painted in gold. A six-point harness is offered for track duty, and should comes as standard equipment in the AMR Pro.

Finally, the seating position is in the sort of reclined, feet-up posture you’d expect from a modern race car, and Aston says it’ll equip molded racing bucket seats in place of the road car’s adjustable units.

Drivetrain

  • More power and torque from hybrid 6.5-liter V-12
  • Top speed approaching 250 mph
  • No major changes to the powertrain set-up
  • Cosworth-derived engine

2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 - image 709768

Note: Road-going Aston Martin Valkyrie pictured here.

“Like the road-going Valkyrie, the AMR Pro’s ’12 will be electrically boosted thanks to a hybrid system inspired by the world of Formula 1.”

Mounted in the middle of the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro will be a naturally aspirated 6.5-liter V-12 powerplant from the legendary British motorsport engineering company Cosworth. Like the road-going Valkyrie, the AMR Pro’s ’12 will be electrically boosted thanks to a hybrid system inspired by the world of Formula 1. However, the racing car will trump its streetable sibling with even more power and torque. We have yet to receive exact figures, but we’re guessing the road-legal Valkyrie will lay down around 1,130 horsepower, so it wouldn’t be too crazy to expect 1,300 or even 1,400 ponies from the AMR Pro.

“We have yet to receive exact figures, but it wouldn’t be too crazy to expect 1,300 or even 1,400 ponies from the AMR Pro.”

That’s pretty nuts if you ask us, but it gets better. With the extra output, we think the AMR Pro will hit 60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds, while Aston says it’ll top out
“close” to 250 mph. It’ll also weigh less than the road car, so a power-to-weight ratio greater than one-to-one might be within reach.

Accomplishing this incredible feat is a new engine tune and high-flow emission control system. Finally, the Rimac Energy Recovery System is identical, but gets an update with reprogrammed control systems.

Chassis And Handling

  • Lighter carbon fiber bodywork
  • Polycarbonate sheets instead of glass
  • Carbon fiber wishbone suspension
  • Formula 1-inspired carbon-carbon brakes
  • LMP1-spec Michelin tires
  • 3.3 G’s of cornering force
  • 3.5 G’s of braking force
  • Lap times similar to a modern F1 car

2019 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro - image 746170
“Aston managed to cut a few pounds thanks to even lighter carbon fiber construction for the bodywork, even though the road car’s composite body is already pretty damned light”

As you might expect, the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro manages to sacrifice a few extraneous pounds in the name of more speed. First on the chopping block are those superfluous features designed for basic street comfort, like the heater and infotainment system. Next, the glass windshield was tossed in favor of a polycarbonate sheet, which gains a lightweight heater element in place of the standard de-mister. Polycarbonate was also used for the side windows.

Additionally, Aston managed to cut a few pounds thanks to even lighter carbon fiber construction for the bodywork, even though the road car’s composite body is already pretty damned light. There’s also a lightweight exhaust system (not to mention louder as well), while the suspension was updated with new uprights and carbon fiber wishbones.

“Aston claims the Valkyrie will be able to pull as much as 3.3 G’s in the corners and stop with 3.5 G’s of force. Red Bull ran the numbers in its simulators, and apparently the car will manage lap times equivalent to those of an F1 or LMP1 car.”

Hauling it down are brakes inspired by Formula 1, with race-spec carbon-carbon construction. Michelin tires are used for stick, and run the same specification as the LMP1 cars that compete in the World Endurance Championship.

Amazingly, Aston claims the Valkyrie will be able to pull as much as 3.3 G’s in the corners and stop with 3.5 G’s of force. And that is a mighty claim indeed! What’s more, Red Bull ran the numbers in its simulators, and apparently the car will manage lap times equivalent to those of an F1 or LMP1 car.

Holy crap.

Prices


2019 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro - image 746169

Aston says only 25 of these mad machines will be built, with deliveries commencing in 2020. All 25 are already spoken for. How much each customer paid is still under wraps, but if we were to guess, $3 million to $4 million is probably about right.

Those folks lucky enough to snag one will get to participate in “an intensive and comprehensive driver development program” that’s customized to their skill level and racing experience. The program includes access to the same resources as Aston Martin Red Bull’s pro drivers, such as time in the simulator, on-track training, and even a physical fitness regimen.

And since the AMR Pro doesn’t appear to be eligible for any specific racing series, customers will be offered a chance to, uh, actually drive their car in a series of track events all over the world.

Competition

Ferrari FXX K


2015 Ferrari FXX K - image 581000

Like the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro, the Ferrari FXX K is a track-only variant of a simply insane road-going hybrid hypercar, and like the AMR Pro, the FXX K has what it takes to melt your face into a puddle. The exterior is pure spaceship, with lots of active wings and seemingly endless downforce, while an engineering degree is required to operate the cockpit controls. And that’s important, because actually driving this thing is not an activity for the careless. Mounted behind the carbon seats is a 6.3-liter V-12 and electric motor combo that produces as much as 1,036 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.

Read our full review on the 2015 Ferrari FXX K.

Mercedes-AMG Project One


2020 Mercedes-AMG Project One - image 730644

If it’s a true Formula 1 experience that you’re after, minus the politics of course, then Mercedes-AMG has a solution. The Project One was designed with the specific goal of bringing F1-style performance to the street, coming equipped with a turbocharged and hybrid 1.6-liter V-6 that’ll spin to 11,000 rpm. Output is rated at more than 1,000 horsepower. The engine is even constructed in the same factory as Merc’s F1 powerplants. The rest of the spec was built to complement that insane ‘six, with big wing, AWD grip, multi-stage ESP, carbon ceramic brakes, and multi-link pushrod suspension.

Read our full review on the Mercedes-AMG Project One.

Conclusion


2019 Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro - image 745562
“At the end of the day, we’re just very happy something like this exists.”

All told, the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pro looks to be one helluva toy. The performance promises it makes are borderline unbelievable, so much so we’re tempted to start calling BS. However, this is Aston Martin and Adrian Newey we’re talking about, and if this thing can run with a modern F1 car, then dammit, they’ll know it.

At the end of the day, we’re just very happy something like this exists. It shows just how far you can take go-fast technology, pushing an extreme into uncharted territory. Adrian Newey’s take is spot on –

“While it is endowed with extraordinary performance, it has always been vitally important to me that the Valkyrie functions well as a true road car, and that naturally comes with some constraints,” Newey says. “However, with the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro we have the freedom to create an extreme evolution that makes no such concessions. While the core elements of the road and track versions are shared, every aspect of the AMR Pro – aerodynamics, chassis, powertrain and weight – has been optimized to significantly extend the performance envelope. It offers a level of track performance significantly beyond any previous two seat closed roof car.”

We can’t wait to see what it can do in real life.

  • Leave it
    • An outrageously expensive toy
    • Ineligible for any race series
    • Already sold out

References

Aston Martin Valkyrie


2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 - image 722966

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie.



Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon Multi-Car Pile-Up Creates Chaos At Macau GP Qualifying Race

Multi-car pile-ups don’t always happen in racing, but when they do, they make for spectacles as long as nobody involved gets hurt. But even with those expectations, nothing can prepare you for what happened at the FIA GT World Cup qualifying race in Macau where a huge pile-up occurred on the opening lap of the race, affecting 16 of the 20 cars on the field.

I’ve been watching motor racing for the better part of two decades and I’ve never seen anything like it. According to Sportscar365, the crash happened on the very first lap of a qualifying race after fourth-place running Daniel Juncadella hit the wall towards the exit at the notoriously tight Police bend. Rafael Marciello was running fifth at the time of Juncadella’s boo-boo managed to squeeze his car past the crashed Mercedes-AMG GT3, but every car behind it wasn’t as lucky. Defending GT World Cup champion Laurens Vanthoor was running sixth when he clipped the back of Juncadella’s car and started a chain reaction of one car hitting another one after the other. Luca di Grassi’s Audi R8 LMS even ended up with its rear section pointing to the sky after being hit by a BMW from behind.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, the race was immediately red-flagged as cranes sprung into action to clean up the mother-of-all-pile-ups. Thankfully, no one suffered any injuries from the pile-up and the qualifying session ended up restarting a few hours later where Edoardo Mortara claimed pole position ahead of today’s actual race.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Maybe something should finally be done about Macau’s street circuit?

“Defending GT World Cup champion Laurens Vanthoor was running sixth when he clipped the back of Juncadella’s car and started a chain reaction of one car hitting another one after the other.”

I get it. As long as the Macau Grand Prix has been around, its street circuit has become a big part of its charm. That’s not lost on me, but so is the alarming number of crashes and accidents that happen on this track.

We can laugh about that 16-car pile-up because nobody got hurt, but it wasn’t even the most significant thing to happen over the weekend. Motorcycle racer Daniel Hegarty lost his life after crashing against the barriers at the same track. That kind of tragedy isn’t new to the Macau GP, but all the same, it’s something that shouldn’t happen under any circumstances.

Five years ago, Portuguese motorcycle racer Luis Filipe de Sousa Carreira and Hong Kong driver Phillip Yau Wing-Choi both crashed and died in their respective races. Similar deaths also occurred in 1994 and 2005 and the number of crashes and accidents over the years that didn’t result in deaths have literally been far too many to count.

Just last year, Laurens Vanthoor, the same guy involved in this 16-car pile-up, clipped the inside curb at the Mandarin Bend at 155 mph, sending his Audi R8 LMS on a wild ride that ended with the car on its roof and sliding at full speed towards the start-finish line. That race was red-flagged too and because of FIA race rules, Vanthoor won the race, becoming the first racer in history to win a race with his car on its roof.

“The race was immediately red-flagged as cranes sprung into action to clean up the mother-of-all-pile-ups.”

Jokes aside, there are some extremely narrow sections of the track that need improvement. There’s plenty of history and evidence that says crashes don’t end well for those who are involved in them. I’m all for keeping the integrity of the circuit, but the changes that can be made in the name of safety should happen, especially if it could save some lives in the future.

References


2017 Hankook 24 Hours COTA - Race Report - image 745359

Read more car racing news.

PostHeaderIcon Devel Sixty 6×6 SUV Has 700 hp, Insane Looks

They call it the baddest truck in the world, and they have a point. The Devel Sixty SUV, unveiled at Dubai Auto Show, is almost certainly the craziest thing you have ever seen on, well, six wheels. And the craziest thing about it is they are actual going to produce and sell it to the public!

Compared to this, AMG’s 6×6 G63 looks like a Honda Civic. Devel Sixty 6×6 SUV is modeled, by the looks of things, on military personnel carriers. It even has military-grade wheels and tires and chassis, and night vision system, of course. It’s not armored though, at least in its concept form. The Sixty looks childish to be honest, but that’s kind of what’s cool about it. It could prove less effective in helping you survive the apocalypse than a Prius, but that doesn’t take away from how awesome this creature is.

Powering the Devel Sixty 6×6 SUV is a 6.7-liter turbodiesel V8 engine developing 700 horsepower and over 1,000 Nm of torque. It claims to hit 100 km/h from 0 in 5.8 seconds on any kind of surface you can imagine. It’s a pity, though, Devel didn’t put their 5,000 hp, 3,700 Nm of torque W16 engine in this car. That is probably because it’s not real.




At any rate, other notable highlights of this bad boy include portal axles with independent suspension for each wheel, carbon fiber body (as if lightness is a matter of concern here), 6 Pilot automatic fully adjustable seats, GPS, and tire inflation system. They say the Sixty is street-legal, but what streets they have in mind we don’t know. They will make one for you in a year, however, if you place an order today and pay them $450,000. 

In the immortal words of Quentin Tarantino, this thing is one bad mothafucka!

The post Devel Sixty 6×6 SUV Has 700 hp, Insane Looks appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Throwback Video: Larry King Rolls With Snoop Dogg In Custom 1967 Pontiac Parisienne

You gotta love Snoop Dogg. Not only has he been a driving force in rap music for the past quarter century, but he’s also a simply ludicrously chill dude – that much is evident from the following throwback video. Plucked off YouTube, it’s a short clip from a Larry King episode that aired back in 2010, wherein the TV and radio host gets to hang with Snoop and climb behind the wheel of his custom 1967 Pontiac Parisienne. As you might imagine, hilarity promptly ensues.

The lowrider in question is utterly pristine, draped in Lakers yellow inside and out, sparkling with chrome detailing and looking like a dream from gin and juice. On the hood is an homage to Snoop’s favorite NBA team, while hydraulics put it to the pavement. Although the clip is just a minute and a half long, it’s packed to the brim with entertainment, including King’s attempts to understand dipping and coming to grips with Snoop hitting the switch. Then there’s Snoop’s GPS navigation voiceover, which is something I know you’ll all want after watching this clip.

References


GQ Talks Shop With The Boys From The Grand Tour: Video - image 733375

Read more celebrity news.

PostHeaderIcon New Aston Martin Vantage Hits the Track Before Next Week’s Launch

Set to be unveiled next week, the new-generation Aston Martin Vantage just made a new appearance in a short teaser movie. This time around, the British coupe is showcased going sideways under heavy throttle. All in slow motion with the rear wheels spinning wild and leaving marks on the tarmac. The footage is really short, and the car is still wrapped in camouflage, but it’s surprisingly satisfying to see the Vantage do what it knows best on a race track.

Many details are still under wraps, but we do know that the Vantage will get many design cues from the Aston Martin DB11. The DB10 one-off, which the company built for the James Bond “Spectre” movie should also leave a mark on the exterior styling. Inside, it should get new features and all the state-of-the-art tech seen in the DB11. Likewise, the latter’s twin-turbo V-8 and V-12 engines should provide motivation. Enjoy the teaser and stick around for updates on the new-generation Vantage next week.

References

Aston Martin Vantage


2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 728545

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vantage.



Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Tesla’s Uber-fast Roadster Is Proof that Elon Musk Is Desperate

Boy, these past two weeks have been all about high-speed and high-power action. I barely had time to get over Koenigsegg’s new world speed record and Chevrolet launched its monstrous Corvette ZR1 yet. Now, with the weekend upon us, Tesla took the wraps off its new semi truck and the second-generation Roadster. Neither are ready to go into production just yet, but the preliminary data hints at tremendous performance and new benchmarks for the electric car market. The Roadster’s 0-to-60 mph sprint only 1.9 seconds probably caused a few heart strokes over at Ferrari quarters. And I have a feeling that the guys working on the next-generation Nissan GT-R Nismo aren’t feeling better either. But behind Tesla’s new tour de force hides Elon Musk’s fear that his automobile brand may not succeed as planned.

It may seem that Tesla is simply pushing the envelope and presenting the world with revolutionary electric cars, but there’s more to this showcase. Tesla is actually struggling to keep its promises. The new Model 3, which is supposed to become the affordable electric car everyone is dreaming about, is late to the party. Production isn’t going as planned and it seems that the Model X fiasco is happening all over again. On top of that, the Model S isn’t getting the best reviews and Consumer Reports isn’t very optimistic about the Model 3’s reliability. So Tesla needs to find a way to keep all the hype alive, and the upcoming Roadster is the perfect car for this. The strategy is simple, unveiled a cool looking prototype, claim it will hit 60 mph in less than two seconds, set a big preorder price, and wait for the cash to fix ongoing problems.

Continue reading for the full story.

From Affordable to $200K


Pops' Rants: Tesla's Uber-fast Roadster Is Proof that Elon Musk Is Desperate - image 746100

Yup, that’s all it takes. A couple of incredible but fictional performance figures, and everyone will get excited. And some of them will even agree to pay $50,000 reservations for a car they won’t get to drive until 2020. Assuming that Tesla manages to roll the new Roadster out by then. If the Model X and Model 3 are any indication, it won’t happen sooner than 2021, or even 2022.

But that’s not the only issue. Let’s say that I’m wrong and Tesla will get production sorted and everything will be fine and on time. And quality control will improve and Consumer Reports won’t upset Elon Musk ever again. In this perfect scenario, the new Roadster is still a meaningless car. Let’s not forget that Musk’s objective was to deliver an affordable EV for the average Joe. It was supposed to be the Model 3. But it’s not. The Model 3 costs some $30,000 before options, and the nice extras will actually push the sticker beyond the $40,000. At this point, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Bolt are the better options.

And while I can understand that expensive, $200,000 supercars like the upcoming Roadster are used to fund affordable vehicles, it seems that Elon Musk is out to prove that Tesla can make the quickest production car before anything else. With this car, Tesla is basically moving farther away form its professed goal and slowly becoming a disappointment for the electric car industry. The fact that Tesla is the leading automaker in this field makes things that much more frustrating.

PostHeaderIcon This is Why Volvo Is Famous For Its Safety

If you have a weak stomach, you might want to take a deep breath first before proceeding. The video you’re about to see is pretty brutal, not because of something that happened, but because of something that could have happened had it not been for a driver’s alertness and an automaker’s state-of-the-art technology. In so many words, a distracted child crossed a street without looking, only to find himself in the crosshairs of an oncoming Volvo semi-truck. The scene was playing out like a house of horrors, until salvation stepped in in the form of Volvo’s Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system.

In a split second before what would’ve been a nightmarish collision, the truck driver managed to slam the brakes hard enough to trigger the AEB system, sending the truck screeching to a dramatic halt. The intensive braking was strong enough to create g-forces that literally pushed the nose of the truck forward with the lower end of the front bumper barely scraping the road. Fortunately, the erring child had enough wits about himself to also run away from the truck, preventing what would’ve otherwise been a heartbreaking end to the young boy’s life.

There really is something to be said for all the advancements in automotive technology to see it work in front of your eyes. I personally don’t know if the driver or the AEB system deserves a bigger share of the credit, but I’ll settle for equal-billing. Let it be said though that Volvo’s new braking system played a huge role in saving a young boy’s life. More than any award or positive review, seeing it function the way it’s supposed to be in a literal time of distress is the ultimate vindication for an automaker’s constant pursuit of advanced safety technologies.

References



Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon “The City Rallyist” Attacks The Night In A Subaru WRX STI: Video

When the sun sets, the city comes alive. The pedestrians are in bed, but street lamps and neon glow provide the backdrop as growling internal combustion monsters begin their nightly prowl. If that’s the sort of stuff you’re into, then this 2-minute, 16-second video from TeamRoad Studio is sure to delight. Shot in the South Korean capitol of Seoul, the video features the high-speed exploits of a modified blue GDB “peanut eye” Subaru WRX STI, complete with gold wheels, a massive rear wing, and a rumbling exhaust note. The Scooby looks amazing blasting around the city, flashing between the shadows in a flurry of atmospheric blow-off valve chirps.

Granted, some of the footage is sped up, and it doesn’t look like the production team broke any laws to capture the shots (maybe that little bit at the very end is an exception). Regardless, the editing really gives you a sense of speed, and the Six Star icon we all know and love is glorified to satisfaction. Good stuff, no doubt about it. We can’t wait to see what TeamRoad Studio comes up with next.

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 700139

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.

PostHeaderIcon The Most Expensive DeLorean Isn’t Even A DeLorean

“Back To The Future” is one of the most iconic movie trilogies of all time. Besides the original “Star Wars” films, BTTF has one of the largest cult followings in Hollywood. No other proof is needed beyond the amount Bill Shea paid at auction to acquire the only privately held DeLorean Time Machine in existence – $541,000. Yet despite the car’s historic and cultural status and being only one of three screen-used DeLoreans still in existence, this car isn’t really a DeLorean at all.

When it came time to shoot the desert scenes in “Back To The Future Part III,” director Robert Zemeckis needed a car that could handle the off-road abuse. With the backing of Universal, a third-party off-road shop was contracted to build a modified version of the iconic stainless steel car. The shop basically combined the DeLorean’s body with a tube chassis and four-cylinder from a Volkswagen Beatle. The dune buggy-like suspension was perfect for blasting through the sandy desert. A roll cage was integrated into the car’s roof, while unnecessary parts like air conditioning and gauges were left out. The result is a DeLorean look-alike with a custom chassis and a carbureted, air-cooled, four-cylinder with somewhere around 60 horsepower.

The car’s history remains interesting after the film’s 1990 release. It includes years of disrepair and neglect, a restoration by Hollywood custom car builder George Barris, a second restoration by a BTTF fan, and finally becoming the most expensive DMC to ever be auctioned. Watch the video for the full story.

References

DeLorean DMC 12


DeLorean Will Restart Production In 2017 - image 663614

Read more DeLorean DMC 12.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster – New vs. Old

Tesla just unveiled the second-generation Roadster and launched a big shock wave around the world. It’s not the Roadster’s return that took us by surprise, but the incredible specs that the car comes with. Not only set to become the quickest production vehicle ever with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 1.9 seconds, it also has a 250-mph top speed. The latter is downright spectacular for gasoline-powered supercar and I honestly didn’t think I’d live to see a production EV hit that much. But before we get overly excited, we must remember that the second-gen Roadster won’t become available until 2020. And given Tesla’s habit of delaying production, it may take a bit longer than that.

Many details are still under wraps, but Tesla made sure that all the new Roadster’s spectacular features hit the news. So we now have quite a few figures to compare with the first-generation Roadster. It takes just a quick glance to notice that Tesla made tremendous progress since 2008, and this is exactly why we need to put the numbers next to each other. While the first Roadster marked Tesla’s debut on the market and the beginning of a spectacular career for the California-based brand (albeit sprinkled with plenty of issues), the second Roadster could take Elon Musk’s firm to new heights. If all goes according to plan of course, because it may happen the other way around too.

This comparison is far from complete given that the latest Roadster is far from being a production model, but the aim is to look at Tesla’s progress rather than provide an comprehensive comparo.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster ”

The design features of the two Roadsters are the easiest to compare, because Tesla released shots of the new car from every angle and the renderings appears to be pretty close to the actual things. The design is definitely doable, includes many of the company’s trademark cues, and I can’t spot too many features that wouldn’t make in on the production model. Speaking of which, have you seen our rendering of the rumored Tesla supercar? We almost nailed it!

The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster. The first-gen car was pretty appealing when it was launched in 2008, but the new design is definitely more spectacular. But that’s far from surprising. The first Roadster had a unique design that did not carry over to the Model S, the company’s second car. It was the Model S that actually inspired the Model X and Model 3, a quick look at the new Roadster reveals quite a few familiar details.

“The new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders”

Also, while the the first Roadster had looks that usually define lightweight sports cars, the new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders, a wider stance, and overall more aggressive fascias. The light units are particularly interesting, sporting a thin, sleek design that’s different than anything else Tesla used so far.

Much like it’s predecessor, the new Roadster ha a targa-type roof layout. But instead of a canvas top, it has a glass roof that can be stowed in the trunk.

Interior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746105

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233851

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“As you'd expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future, the differences are huge”

As you’d expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future (almost 15 years apart), the differences are huge. Again, the first Roadster looked pretty fresh when launched, but it was also rather spartan, mostly because Tesla was aiming at the lightweight sports car segment. The new Roadster is just a rendering for now, but it’s pretty obvious that it will compete in a more premium market. The design is still plain and simple overall, but all that brutshed aluminum, the leather on the seats, and the massive screen in the center stack suggest a higher quality cabin.

The new Roadster will also come with heavily bolstered, modern looking front seats, as well as a pair of second-row seats. The latter is what makes it different compared to the first-gen car, which was a two-seater. This also makes the new Roadster a significantly different vehicle. Instead of an actual successor, this new sports car plays in a different league, offering space for two more passengers and more convenience. The renderings also show carbon-fiber dash and panels, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel with no buttons and no upper rim, but it remains to be seen if these features make it on the production.

Drivetrain


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745806

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103581

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin”

Based on Tesla’s preliminary specs, the upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin. The first thing that sets them apart the platform. While the first-gen car was built on the same underpinnings as the Lotus Elise and Exige, the second-gen model will ride on a newer platform. There’s no word on whether it will be based on the Model S, but chances are it will be brand-new.

Tesla had nothing to say about the upcoming car’s electric motors, but it did mention all-wheel-drive, which means it will have at least one for each axle. The first Roadster was a rear-wheel-drive car. The new two-door will also be significantly more powerful. No word on output either, but Tesla mentions wheel torque of 7,375 pound-feet. It also claims that the car will be able to hit 60 mph in an incredible 1.9 seconds. That’s two seconds quicker than the standard Roadster (248 horsepower) and 1.8 clicks quicker than the Roadster Sport (288 horsepower). The sprint to 100 mph will be achieved in only 4.2 seconds, just three tenths slower than the first Roadster from 0 to 60 mph!

“At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world”

At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world. Assuming that a quicker vehicle from another automaker won’t be launched until then, but it’s very unlikely to be honest.

Tesla also claims that the new Roadster will have a top speed of 250 mph. That’s nearly as fast as the Bugatti Veyron and faster than any Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini out there. And exactly twice as fast compared to the first-generation Roadster. The quarter mile will be achieved in 8.8 seconds, almost four seconds quicker than the old model. Want more juicy bits? The estimate range for the upcoming car is of 620 miles per charge, compared to up to 244 miles delivered by the old model. I guess it’s goodbye range anxiety in 2020!

Pricing


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745804

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103575

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

The first Roadster was pretty expensive when it was launched in 2008, retailing from around $100,000 (with preorders set at $50,000). But the second-gen car will cost twice as much. Tesla is asking $50,000 for reservations, but the second-gen model will cost $200,000 before options. There will also be a launched edition priced from a whopping $250,000. That’s Ferrari money right there, but somewhat justified given the incredible performance. And despite the high sticker, the second-gen Roadster will definitely sell better than its predecessor, which moved about 2,500 units in almost five years on the market.

Conclusion


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

It’s definitely too early to draw a conclusion in the absence of a production model for the second-gen car, but it’s safe to say that the new Roadster will be a massive improvement over its predecessor. Big improvements are visible in just about any department and the extra comfort features and the two additional seats could finally give Tesla a shot at the supercar market dominated by Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren. And we may even see a host of new world records in the performance and range departments.

PostHeaderIcon New Tesla Roadster – Is It Game Over for Traditional Sports Cars?

So yesterday Tesla revealed a new version of their Roadster sports car, giving us all a 2020 Volt jolt. It isn’t just how much more advanced the new Roadster is compared to its predecessor, but how much of a game-changer this thing is for performance cars everywhere. Tesla Roadster is so ahead of everything else out there, one has to ask oneself, are traditional sports cars done for?

Even taking into account Elon Musk’s tendency to bolster the facts about the achievement of his companies, the numbers this new Tesla Roadster claims are mind-boggling. It took Volkswagen, a huge conglomerate with almost limitless resources, many decades and endless expensive tests and trials to make the Bugatti Chiron accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in under 3 seconds. And that’s a fully-fledged, multi-million dollar hyper car, mind you. Then along came this Musk fella telling us his tiny little sports car does that in under 2 seconds!

Now granted, the Roadster does not really belong in the sports car category price-wise – it starts at $200K – but still, it just blows everything you can throw at it clean out of the water. They haven’t mentioned any horsepower figure yet, but electric motors in the Roadster generate 10,000 Nm of wheel torque. That, and the fact that all four wheels are driven, makes it possible to hit 60 mph from standing still in 1.9 seconds and run the quarter-mile in 8.8 seconds. Those are dragster numbers, and you can have them in a zero-emission sports car that covers a distance of 650 miles on one charge.

How fast is fast enough?

Now, one could argue that unless you are a professional drag racer a 0-60 time of 1.9 seconds is a meaningless number. What on earth could you be doing that would require you to accelerate at that rate? Can your body take that kind of force without something going wrong with it, anyway? This is just a tool for inexperience drivers to kill themselves, or others, with. Those are fair points all. But if humans were always content with their small achievements, where would they be now? Most likely still in the African Savannah. It’s this ambition, however unreasonable or greedy at first, that drives us forward. Of course, you don’t need to go from 0 to 60 in 1.9 seconds, or 2.5 seconds, or 4 seconds. But the fact that now you can do that is pretty delightful.

And that is why we shouldn’t mourn the demise of the traditional performance cars should this new Tesla bring about their extinction. Cars like this do to our current high performance machines what the original automobile did to the horse and carriage. It renders them pointless. You can go faster, farther and cleaner in the new stuff. It will get to a point where you have to really struggle to find a reason for keeping your fossil fuel-powered car. Before this new generation of electric cars shaving a second off the 0-60 time of a car took innovation, sophisticated engineering, and years of toiling at the drawing board as well as the test track. Now all it takes is higher voltage and a few lines of computer code.

Of course, not everything is speed and acceleration. An electric car doesn’t have the same feel as a nicely sorted V8 or flat-six sports car. Most importantly, it lacks noise, which as we know makes up a huge part of an enjoyable drive. But if you look at the market and try to determine what is the most important factor that drives the sales of a type of vehicle up, that is trend. People lived alright with their sedans and hatchbacks before the SUVs and crossovers emerged. Now everybody wants those because they are cooler. The same will happen with performance cars. Apart from a few car nuts who are more attached to their turbos and boxer engines than their children, most people are going to want the latest and greatest. And that’s stuff like the new Tesla Roadster.

Do not despair, though. You still have plenty of time to enjoy your gas-guzzling sports car before they get consigned to the pages of history books. The Tesla is set to launch in 2020, and even then it’s going to take a while for it to find its place in the market, and for the copycats to come out with their own super-high-performance EV.

So go out this weekend and have a blast. The end is near!

The post New Tesla Roadster – Is It Game Over for Traditional Sports Cars? appeared first on Motorward.

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