A recent test of the 1,750bhp SSC Tuatara – just your regular ‘buzz-up to 210mph’ checks to monitor shock potentiometer and downforce balances – revealed something quite extraordinary.
“I do have kind of a funny story to share,” SSC boss Jerod Shelby tells TopGear.com. “Early in the particular test day, we did a few 90 per cent throttle second-to-third-to-fourth gear pulls to data log and measure the upshift sequence timing in Track Mode (that produces aggressive shifts).
“I noticed, during those pulls, that I wasn’t feeling any indication of our rev-limiter kicking in at 8,500+rpm. So, when we got back to our facilities, we emailed the data logs off to our master tuner (a daily occurrence), and asked him to verify that the rev-limiter is still programmed to start kicking in lightly at 8,500+rpm.
“I got a call from a very excited tuner later that night, while I was eating dinner with my family, saying: ‘do you realise that you’re going from 60mph to 120mph in 2.5 seconds flat in a couple of these pulls?’
“He said ‘I didn’t think that was physically possible from a 2WD car, but I checked and your logger was tracking six satellites during these runs, so this is legitimate. That is absolutely crazy’, he said.
“My response to him was… ‘what about the rev limiter?!”
Shelby said his tuner reminded him that ‘heavily modified, 2,500-3,000bhp AWD race vehicles run those kinds of times’. The Tuatara of course, is a rear-drive hypercar designed to be driven every day. Woah.
For VIDEO, click HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVtqUCKghpY&feature=emb_title
The soft-top 911 with a retro flavour is back. Welcome to the new Porsche 911 Targa 4, and the 911 Targa 4S. Hah, yes, you’re right, they do look like the old ones!
This is a car of few surprises. Because the 992-generation 911 is pretty closely based on the old 991-gen car, the intricate roof mechanism and general look of the glassy, hooped backside hasn’t changed much.
Porsche says the new Targa has ‘more powerful roof actuators’, but the folding origami dance still takes 19 seconds, and you still can’t do it on the move because the massive rear clamshell hangs over the back of the car in the process. So much so, the 911’s parking sensors are called into action in case you try to operate it while backed up to a wall, tree, or small child. Safety first.
It looks mighty fine though. 911 Targas have tended not to be the driver’s choice of 911, because they’re around 40kg heavier than even the 911 Cabriolet, but in black, from the rear, this new 992 version does look devilishly good. It’s sort of the anti-GT3. A 911 for admiring, not rinsing.
That’s not to say it ain’t fast. The standard Targa 4 (yep, they’re all four-wheel drive, rather oddly for a fair-weather machine) has been boosted 15bhp to 380bhp. The Targa 4 S has gained 30bhp, and is now a 444bhp machine. It’s good for 188mph, while the baby Targa is 10mph slower. The 4S hits 62mph in 3.6 seconds, while the entry-level car takes 4.2sec. Quicker than a 911 Turbo S of not-so-very-long ago, then.
Both will most likely be sold with the eight-speed PDK automatic, but you can spec a manual, if you’d like a properly rare groove old-school new 911. A curious mix, but the Targa is an oddball kinda car. It’s the least focused version of the world’s best all-round sports car, which some may scoff at, but just look how good it looks in black…
By: Ollie Kew, May 17, 2020
“So, whaddaya think?” Jonny Lieberman asked with his arms folded, head tilted back and to the left, as Jonny does. He had just driven the 992-generation 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S to our photo location on L.A. ‘s favorite twisty bit, Angeles Crest Highway. He lives a few miles from the base of the hill, so he knows this stretch of road by heart.
“Unreal! How did they do that? It’s a blend of what the 991.2 Turbo S was and a GT3 RS,” I said. “It’s sharp, delicate, precise, talkative, but bloody fast, too. I wasn’t expecting this at all. This is a driver’s car.”
“Yeah,” Jonny said. “This car is definitely headed to MotorTrend’s 2020 Best Driver’s Car.”
What was I expecting? I had just blasted up ACH and arrived at that turnout in a 992 Carrera 4S, grinning and giggling the whole way up. That version of the 911 has a fluidity and sense of it always being there for you. A lovely driving partner, cornering as fast as you dare, and able to build and shed speed with confidence. The C4S and Turbo S both come armed with carbon-ceramic brakes, rear-steering axles (optional on the Carrera), and all-wheel drive, but that’s where the similarities end.
Climbing into the Turbo S, I was expecting that same C4S hand-in-glove experience. But with 200 more horsepower (197, if you want to get technical about it), the Turbo provides an added urgency that simply erases straightaways. But there’s so much more to a Turbo S than mere squirt-between-corners acceleration. It’s as if during its development, the Turbo spent time with the team in Flacht before being released into the wild.
Flacht, for those who don’t know, is the state-of-the-art motorsport complex adjacent to the main Porsche development center in Weissach, Germany. It’s where every Porsche race car is born, and also where the hardcore, lightweight, track-intended versions of the 911, the GT2 RS and GT3 RS, are born.
My instincts turned out to be correct. Frank-Steffen Walliser, who was responsible for GT racing at Porsche, became head of the 911 and 718 model lines in 2019. In an interview, Walliser explained the balancing act and ultimate priority of the 911 Turbo: “Day-to-day usability, for sure. This quality distinguishes the 911 Turbo from all other high-performance sports cars. At the same time—and this was the second development goal—it has to render you speechless from time to time.”
Mission accomplished, Herr Doktor Walliser.
Sitting behind the wheel of the all-new 911 Turbo S, there’s no way to suspect what potentialities lay ahead. Aside from the animated “Turbo S” greeting in the center ring of the familiar five-ring instrument cluster (two of which are obscured, in a rare Porsche gaffe), it’s “just” a 911.
There’s the same Sport/Chrono clock/timer atop the dash, same sharp and responsive touchscreen interface with its handy thumb perch (carbon fiber, in this case), same silly little stub of a shifter.
Twist the starter, located to the left of the steering wheel #Because911, and vroOOmmm. “Well, that does sound pretty purposeful,” I thought—especially through the newly optional sport exhaust system ($3,490). After selecting Sport Plus and pulling back on the shifter (that always feels to me like dislocating somebody’s thumb), I looked both ways, eased onto the highway ahead, and nailed it.
For more on this story, click here: https://www.motortrend.com/news/2021-porsche-911-turbo-s-first-drive/
By: Chris Walton, April 7, 2020
First deliveries for the C8 Chevy Corvette started last week, and we’ve already seen people do a bunch of stuff with them. There’s been C8s at the drag strip, C8s with nitrous, and C8s on the dyno. Now, there’s a C8 with a twin-turbo kit. Yup, someone’s already taken the time to attached two turbos to the new Corvette’s LT2 V-8 engine.
That didn’t take long.
Texas tuner shop Hennessey Performance recently picked up its new Z51-equipped 2020 Corvette, and after doing a high-speed test run to 182 mph, went to work slapping a twin-turbo kit to the mid-mounted V-8. The company plans on offering a 1200-horsepower upgrade for the car, according to its website. Here’s what that LT2 sounds like with two snails attached.
Hennessey has been pretty mum on details, saying only that it’s retained the factory throttle body and the rear trunk’s usability. Things like turbo specs and boost levels have yet to be released. In the dyno video above, it’s able to lay down 643 horsepower and 570 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels—an increase of 148 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque over the stock crank horsepower numbers, respectively. A ways off from its promised 1200-horsepower number (so far, anyway).
This is the first turbocharged C8 we’ve seen, but it certainly won’t be the last. As more shops and tuning companies get their hands on the mid-engine ‘Vette, we’re sure we’ll be seeing kits for turbos and superchargers alike pop up online in no time.
By: Brian Silvestro, March 23, 2020
For video, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=25&v=MvWti8VNKw4&feature=emb_title
While 992-generation Porsche 911s are now on sale, hardcore enthusiasts are still waiting on the more serious models to arrive. Sure, you can get the fantastic Carrera S and will soon be able to order the fire-breathing, 640-hp 911 Turbo S, but those are wicked quick luxury sports cars. Stripped-out track cars like the GT3 and GT2RS aren’t yet available for this generation, so until they are, you might have to settle for a Turbo S with the new Lightweight and Sport packages.
The Lightweight Package, announced Tuesday in a press release, shaves 66 pounds from the standard Turbo S, with trimmer acoustic glass, lightweight front bucket seats, reduced sound deadening, and a rear-seat delete. It also includes performance options like the PASM Sport Suspension and Sport Exhaust System—two options I’d spec on every 911. In essence, the Lightweight Package is the enthusiast-oriented, sporty option pack for the Turbo S.
I assumed that the “comprehensive Sport Package” Porsche announced would have filled that role, but it’s not quite as performance-focused as the Lightweight Package. Instead, it focuses on adding additional visual flair on top of the already available Sport Design Package. That means that—in addition to the Sport Design side flairs, front fascia, and rear deployable wing—you also get extra gloss black accents, dark silver wheels, and taillights in what Porsche calls “a special design.” No pictures have been released, so I’ll have to withhold judgment on the taillights, wheels, and black trim.
Coupe models with the Sport Package also get a carbon fiber roof, though the package (sans carbon roof) is still available for the cabriolet. The Lightweight Package is coupe only, though.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but Porsche’s weight-saving and design options rarely come cheap. Given that the carbon-fiber roof alone costs nearly $4000, assume both packages’ prices will land well north of that figure.
By: Mack Hogan, March 24, 2020
There’s no shortage of electric supercars and sports cars from small automakers on the horizon. How many of them will actually make it to market is another story. But one that caught our eye is Gumpert Aiways’s Nathalie. It has an electric powertrain, but instead of putting a large battery pack underneath the passenger cabin or using hydrogen fuel cells, the Nathalie runs on methanol.
CEO Roland Gumpert (who, in his previous work at Audi, helped come up with the automaker’s Quattro system) wanted a vehicle with all the power and torque afforded by an electric powertrain without making drivers deal with the delays of charging or having to find somewhere to plug in their car.
The Nathalie uses the methanol fuel cell to produce hydrogen and convert that into electricity. The vehicle still has a battery, but it acts as a buffer between the methanol fuel cell and the four motors. That way if the driver wants more power to the wheels than the fuel cell can immediately provide, the battery pack sends the electricity needed. While driving through the city or on cruising over long distances, the battery doesn’t need to be used, according to Gumpert Aiways.
The result of this dual source of electricity for the motors is a vehicle with 536 horsepower that, the company claims, can do zero to 62 mph in 2.5 seconds. As you would expect for a product from a veteran of the Quattro’s development, it is an all-wheel drive vehicle, and each wheel is blessed with its own motor.
According to the automaker, the Nathalie has a range of 510 miles, can reach a top speed of 184 miles per hour, and can refuel in three minutes. That’s if you have access to a methanol refueling station—which is a big “if.” While charging does take longer than refueling and the hydrogen infrastructure isn’t as large as some automakers would like, methanol isn’t as easy to come by as gasoline, to say the least.
The automaker’s solution is build a network of methanol gas stations in cities where the car is sold. It initially intends to sell the Nathalie in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Scandinavia, and Belgium/Luxembourg/Netherlands. Swiss buyers are in luck; there are already stations being built.
As for anyone living outside a metropolitan area, Gumpert will have an overnight delivery service. All of these solutions are free for the first year of ownership.
By: Roberto Baldwin, March 12, 2020
Great news, Top Gear readers and millionaire car collectors! Welcome to a limited-edition supercar that – get this – isn’t yet sold out! You can have your very own Aston Martin V12 Speedster. One of 88 examples, to be precise. And you only have to find a mere £765,000 for the privilege. Great news indeed.
That makes the V12 Speedster about six times as common as the Bentley Mulliner Bacalar – which is another new, British, 12-cylinder, two-seater speedster. But, the Aston costs exactly half as much. Which one you’d have rather depends on how taken you are with the Aston’s spec
Now, there was a new Vantage Roadster about five minutes ago. What, then, is the point in this open-topped trinket?
Chiefly, its engine. All engine. Under the many-louvred bonnet, there’s no AMG-sourced bi-turbo V8. You’ll actually discover the full-fat 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 used in the DB11 and DBS Superleggera. Which is a bit like putting a cruise ship engine in a pedalo.
In this application, it’s been ordered to develop 691bhp and 555lb ft, which is a mighty total for a car that’s about as well-protected from the elements as a Himalayan goat herder.
It’s faster, mind you. Reckon on 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds. Top speed? Limited, for reasons of cruelty to coiffured hairdos, to a mere 186mph. Gear-shifting along the way is managed by Aston’s eight-speed automatic ‘box. And it’s rear-drive. So if the windchill hurricane doesn’t wake you up, exiting a roundabout surely will.
Because the Speedster is the brainchild of Aston Martin’s bespoke ‘Q’ branch, they’ve been able to go a bit bonkers with the materials. Apparently there’s 3D-printed rubber in that cabin. As you can see from the F-18 motifs, this Skyfall Silver example has some fighter jet inspiration to it. And while there are no missiles or machine guns, there is practicality. Sort of.
Instead of a glovebox, you get a removeable carry-on bag that lives ahead of the passenger, and there’s more luggage stowage beneath those trademark rear humps. Bet the heater’s half-decent too.
You want more wanton silliness? Allow us to walk you round to the back. See that diffuser? Aston says the stainless-steel exhaust, which exits centrally through the panel, now generates ‘an even more rousing, characterful sound’. It’s warranty-guaranteed to melt the numberplates of cars behind you from twenty paces. Fine, we slightly made that up, but frankly Aston doesn’t say it’s not true.
So, this or the Bentley? Well, it’s not a decision you need to ponder – the Bentley is sold out, and this one isn’t. Yet.
But it gets better than that. Because the Speedster proves that with some elbow grease and a new humped bonnet, the big, bruising Aston V12 can squeeze into a sub-DB11-sized car. New V12 Vantage, anyone?
By: Ollie Kew, March 4, 2020
Koenigsegg has always built two-seat super- and hypercars. But that’s now changing. This is the Koneigsegg Gemera, the Swedish company’s first four-seater. It’s a remarkable new direction for the brand.
The Gemera has a 2.0-liter twin-turbo three-cylinder with 600 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. And it doesn’t have camshafts. Yes, this tiny triple uses Koengisegg’s remarkable Freevalve technology. This is also a FlexFuel engine designed to run on renewable alcohol. It combines with a hybrid system for an astonishing 1700 horsepower and 2581 lb-ft of torque. Koenigsegg claims it’ll hit 62 mph in 1.9 seconds, which is bonkers.
“Electric cars are great, and it’s difficult to produce cells quickly enough for worldwide implementation,” said company founder Christian Von Koenigsegg. “This is a parallel track, where you get a lighter car, more performance, C02 neutral, basically emission free…if you fill it up on renewable alcohol and fill it up with electricity, you can be as C02 neutral and as environmentally friendly as a pure-electric car.”
This is also Koenigsegg’s first all-wheel drive car, with an electric motor driving the front axle. There’s a hydraulic clutch at each output shaft, which allows for torque vectoring across the axle. Each rear wheel has a 500-hp electric motor, too, because one is simply not enough.
“The chassis of this car is truly state of the art,” Koenigsegg said. “We can play with so many variables to make it steady as a freight train on the Autobahn, and agile around the corners around the track.” In addition to the torque vectoring, the Gemera offers rear-wheel steering for extra agility and stability.
Of course, the monocoque and bodywork are made entirely from carbon fiber. It will be a bit heavy though, which isn’t a surprise given the large interior, batteries and electric motors. Koenigsegg is aiming for around 4144 pounds.
The small engine allows for an interior that Koenigsegg says is as big as any GT car’s, plus two trunks for your luggage. Those swing-up doors allow for easy rear-seat ingress—and are fit with sensors so you don’t bonk them on your low garage ceiling—and the rear seats have child-seat anchor points. So you can bring your kids along. In your Koenigsegg.
Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, nor have production figures. Don’t expect it to be cheap, and do expect all to sell out.
The Giulia GTA was made to celebrate Alfa Romeo’s 110th anniversary. GTA stands for Gran Turismo Alleggerita (the Italian word for lightened). The name was first used on the Giulia in 1965, where it saw immense motorsport success throughout Europe. Now the storied name is back. The Giulia GTA gets carbon fiber upgrades inside and out to save weight. There’s a carbon fiber roof, hood, front bumper, wheel arches, diffuser, driveshaft, and interior trim. Other lightweighting upgrades include Lexan for the rear door windows and rear windscreen, and lightweight aluminum used in the engine, doors and suspension components. Weight is a claimed 3350 pounds—a weight-savings of 220 pounds compared to the standard Giulia Quadrifoglio.
Go for the even more extreme GTAm, and the rear seats are deleted and replaced with mounts for helmets and a fire extinguisher. The package also adds a roll bar, carbon fiber bucket seats, six-point harnesses, door pulls in place of handles, a carbon splitter, and a massive carbon wing (shown in the gallery above).
The GTA and GTAm get the same 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 from the normal Giulia, tuned to 540 horsepower (up from 510). Standard launch control allows the car to sprint from 0-62 mph in just 3.6 seconds.
Alfa Romeo is building just 500 units of the GTA and GTAm globally. In addition to the car, buyers will also receive a Bell helmet, a racing suit, gloves, shoes, a car cover, and a specific Alfa Romeo Driving Academy course along with their purchase. Alfa says most of the cars will be sold in Europe, it’s “evaluating opportunities to introduce the GTA in other key markets around the world, including the U.S.” Hopefully it’ll make it to our shores.
By: Brian Silvestro, March 2, 2020
The Aston Martin DB11 arrived for the 2017 model to replace the aging DB9. Fast-forward to today, and the British marquee has announced a new limited-edition package for the sports car called the Shadow Edition. It’s available now to order worldwide, but Aston is limiting production to just 300 examples, so act fast if you want one. Those looking for both styling and power upgrades should look elsewhere, though. This package adds darkened visual enhancements only, leaving the V8 untouched.
Those upgrades include gloss black bonnet blades, 20-inch gloss black directional alloy wheels, unique black Shadow Edition sill plaques, and polished chrome wings and script badges. Inside, there’s a sports steering wheel wrapped in pure black Alcantara and obsidian black leather. An optional package includes gloss black features on the supper greenhouse, replacing the body-color panels with black ones.
“We have carefully selected the Shadow Edition design elements to subtly yet noticeably alter the DB11’s appearance – moving it further towards a more assertive and purposeful GT style,” said Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Aston Martin Lagonda.
The package is available on either the DB11 V8 Coupe or the convertible DB11 V8 Volante. While many of the DB11 V8 Shadow Edition’s darkened features are fixed, there’ll still be the opportunity for a buyer to customize the model, including six exterior colors and different available colors for the brake calipers.
By: Anthony Alaniz, February 26, 2019
For more cars, visit: https://www.motor1.com/news/400817/2021-aston-db11-v8-shadow-edition/