Ford Has Painted its GT Racecars in Retro Liveries


In the capable hands of Chip Ganassi Racing, the current Ford GT has seen success at the previous two Daytona 24-hour races – including a one-two in the GTLM class last year.

As they look to defend that title this year, Ganassi’s GTs will be wearing retro liveries to honour the 50th anniversary of the International Motor Sports Association. This will be the first time the new GT has diverted from its red, white and blue livery, but thankfully both cars look pretty special.

Perhaps the most eye-catching is the number 67 car that will be piloted by Richard Westbrook, Ryan Briscoe and Scott Dixon. The livery is inspired by the current race team partner Castrol and the famous white, green and red colours that have festooned so many great cars over the years.

“I’m really excited and proud that Ford is doing something to celebrate the 50th anniversary of IMSA,” said Westbrook. “I’ve seen enough footage of cars in that livery going around Daytona before the bus stop chicane was put in, which was a very iconic period of IMSA racing, so to be in an iconic car in that livery trying to defend our title will be something really special.”

The other GT competing in the Rolex 24, number 66, will honour the Roush Ford Mustang that won Daytona’s GTO class in 1985. The clean-looking white and red car will be driven by Joey Hand, Dirk Müller and former F1 driver Sébastien Bourdais.

As you may have guessed, we love a retro livery. After Subaru announced its return to their classic rally colours it’s set to be a classy-looking year of motorsport, in the US, at least…

By: Greg Potts, january 11, 2019

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You’re Buying More Rolls-Royces Than Ever Before


With sales swelling across all regions Rolls does business in (and the Americas remaining the top Rolls-buying spot), the Spirit of Ecstasy chalked up 4,107 new homes last year. Not massive numbers, when you think Ford shifts that many Fiestas in the UK alone in under a month, but pretty stellar business in the context of £300k super-luxury flagships for the world’s one-percenters.

Unlike say, Porsche, Rolls-Royce doesn’t think it’s right and proper to actually reveal how many of each model were sold. Let a Wraith owner know their car might be potentially more common than a Dawn? Good heavens. That simply wouldn’t do. Rolls-Royce does let on that the new Phantom VIII is ‘a major growth driver’. Ker-ching.

Pushing those uber-impressive numbers even higher is the not-at-all-taxi-lookalike Cullinan SUV. You may not like the styling – and TG’s own Chris Harris didn’t mince his words – but there’s no denying a brash 4×4 is a gold-plated, cast-iron way to please the bean-counters.

The first few V12 4x4s arrived with owners just in time for Christmas (presumably under a Californian Redwood of a tree), but the metaphorical order book for the £250k SUV is chocker-block until the second half of 2019.

Not that many Rollers get sold for a base price, mind you. The marque proudly says “record levels of bespoke commissions have established Rolls-Royce as a true luxury house”. Who knows, maybe they’ll start doing mansions next. Knock the wheels off a Cullinan and you’re halfway there.

By: Ollie Kew, January 10, 2019

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The Brabham BT62 Hypercar is Heading to Le Mans


Brabham is going to Le Mans. Mere days after confirming a road car homologation package for its BT62 hypercar, it’s confirmed that, at the other end of the scale, it’ll be battling for GTE victory with an endurance racing version.

It only takes a brief understanding of motorsport history to know this is special. Founder Jack Brabham and his sons Geoff and David have all competed at the Le Mans 24 Hours, the latter respectively winning outright in 1993 and 2009.

David is now the MD of Brabham Automotive, as well as its lead test driver. “Returning the Brabham name to Le Mans is something I have been working on for years,” he says. “That work starts now with a long-term racing commitment.

“We look forward to developing the BT62 and future products while building a world-class competitive race team around the leading engineering and manufacturing talent we have in the business.”

Brabham has targeted the 2021/22 World Endurance Championship for its return to Le Mans, so there’s a small wait. But the good news is, if you’ve bought a BT62 track car, that you can be part of the racecar’s testing programme and – potentially – an amateur racer in one. Which might go some way to helping justify its £1.2m price tag…

By: Stephen Dobie, January 10, 2019

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The Best Retro-Inspired Cars of 2018


Porsche 935

It’s the Porsche 935, and it takes only a small amount of historic motorsport knowledge to understand it riffs off the gobsmacking 935/78 racecar, better known as Moby Dick.

Revealed at the Rennsport Reunion at Laguna Seca as a 70th birthday present from Porsche to itself, it’s unsurprisingly track-only, so you won’t be rocking up to your local cars and coffee meeting in it. But, being non-homologated, you might also be struggling to find a race series for it. Instead, Porsche says it’s “geared towards clubsport events and private training on racetracks”.

Yet it’s not a brutal racecar beneath. In fact, it’s the current-gen 911 GT2 RS, with its 690bhp 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six engine driving the rear wheels via a seven-speed PDK paddleshift gearbox. Which makes it about 150bhp shy of Moby Dick.

Making it look altogether different from the GT2 RS is the carbon-reinforced plastic bodykit, which apes the swooping shapes of the 935/78 and lengthens the car significantly at the rear. You can’t miss the new wing, either, which makes the standard GT2 RS’s spoiler look – for the first time – rather meek. The 935 even has LED lights incorporated into the front spoiler, like the Porsche 919 Le Mans car.

There are nerdy racing nods all over the 935, in fact. A wooden gearknob is a knowing wink at the 917. The side mirrors are nicked wholesale from the current 911 RSR endurance racer. The protruding shotgun tailpipes are inspired by the 908.

The interior is vastly different to the one you’ll find in a GT2 RS, with just the one seat (below a handy escape hatch), a welded-in cage, a Cosworth-supplied data logger and a complex motorsport wheel. But if all of that makes it seem intimidating, there’s still comforting things like stability control, ABS and air-conditioning fitted.

Which also means the 935 weighs 1,380kg. That may be 90kg less than the GT2 RS, but it’s almost 200kg more than a McLaren Senna, about the only car that presents itself as a potential rival in terms of price, power and intention. There’s less personalisation here, mind; all 935s come in Agate Grey with the Martini livery optional. You’d probably be a fool to not tick that box.


Ferrari Monza

The first in Ferrari’s new Icona range that will sit above the regular models – y’know, everyday stuff like the GTC4 Lusso and 488 Pista – hence the £1.6m price. Inspiration comes from the company’s glorious past – in this case, the 750 Monza that delivered wins in the World Sports Car Championship, back in the Fifties and Sixties.

The Monza is also aimed at a very specific type of customer – one who enjoys vapourising airborne wildlife with their forehead – because despite a token lip in the bodywork ahead of the driver, designed to deflect the airflow a bit, your face is very much part of the aero package. This is significant when the rest of the package is lifted from the 812 Superfast.

So, you get a 6.5-litre naturally aspirated V12 running through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and producing 799bhp – that’s 10bhp more than the 812. There’s four-wheel steering, too and, thanks to all-carbon bodywork and its decapitation, the car weighs 1,500kg – that’s 130kg less than the 812… see where we’re going with this? Yep, it’s thuggishly fast: 0–62mph in 2.9 seconds, 0–124mph in 7.9 seconds and on to a top speed of over 186mph.

Customers can choose between a single-seater SP1 model, or tick the box marked SP2 at no extra cost if you fancy bringing a gung-ho friend along for the ride.

By: Jack Rix, December 31, 2018

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Ferrari Might Have Invented the Best Sounding Trackday Ever


Nope, there’s no surprise Formula E entry, but the launch of Ferrari Challenge in the UK – with the 488 Challenge one-make series visiting Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Croft and Silverstone – and something called Club Competizioni GT.

The name sounds melodic enough in its own right, but the actual event ought to make grown humans cry with joy. While not a race series, it’s a posh trackday for anyone who happens to own one of a very lovely roster of Ferrari racecars made between 1989 and 2018.

Clients will also receive the support and professional tuition from Ferrari’s official drivers, many of whom have first-hand experience of racing these cars at Le Mans, Daytona and other Endurance or GT racing series around the world,” says the company.

Those cars? The Ferrari F40 Competizione, F50 GT and 575 GTC. The 348 LM, 360 GT and F430 GT3. More recent cars eligible to go out and play include endurance racing versions of the 458 and 488.

The playgrounds Ferrari’s picked aren’t half bad either, comprising Mugello, Indianapolis, Fuji and Vallelunga. Places that – across four dates this year – will host a noise battle between the V8s of an F40 and 458 and the V12s of an F50 and 575. Forget Glastonbury, there’ll be no better live music in 2019 than at Club Competizioni GT…

By: Stephen Dobie, January 9, 2019

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The Brabham BT62 Can Be Made Road Legal


“It’s an entirely bespoke, clean-sheet design, dreamed up by Brabham purely to serve the race-track and nothing else. No road-going frivolity here.”

So said when the Brabham BT62 launched. Seems such single-mindedness has been putting potential owners off a bit, though, and news emerges that Brabham will, in fact, make it road-legal. Well, some of them.

If you’re really keen on having a BT62 you can take to your local cars and coffee meeting, Brabham will oblige. After telling TG about the option back in summer 2018 (remember when it was warm and sunny?) it’s now been confirmed as a £150,000 option, applied before your car’s delivered.

The changes include an axle-lift system to help you over speed bumps, an increase in steering lock, air con and better quality materials inside, plus some door locks and an immobiliser. It’s all reversible, too.

“The objective was to make the car legal, safe and usable on the road with minimal compromise to its race-bred circuit dynamics,” says Brabham. “Whilst there will be a slight increase in weight there will be no reduction in power, retaining the 700bhp power output.”

By: Stephen Dobie, January 7, 2019

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Aston Martin DBS Superleggera vs Ferrari 812 Superfast: The Numbers


A while back I wrote a little piece about just how fast an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is against the clock. And it is. Very. As fast to 100mph as an AMG GT R and Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and faster still if you discount the initial traction issues, and consider the 60-130mph increment. That’s dusted in under seven seconds. A Porsche 911 Turbo S can’t say that. Nor can the 858bhp Hennessey Mustang we ran earlier this year, or Litchfield’s GT-R Track Pack.

A while back I wrote a little piece about just how fast an Aston Martin DBS Superleggera is against the clock. And it is. Very. As fast to 100mph as an AMG GT R and Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and faster still if you discount the initial traction issues, and consider the 60-130mph increment. That’s dusted in under seven seconds. A Porsche 911 Turbo S can’t say that. Nor can the 858bhp Hennessey Mustang we ran earlier this year, or Litchfield’s GT-R Track Pack.

But you wanted more. Specifically, you wanted to know how it compared to Ferrari’s 812 Superfast. The reason is clear. Both are front-engined GT-bodied supercars, designed to take two people and a considerable amount of luggage a decent distance. But they do so using very different strategies.

The Aston wades in with a twin turbo 5.2-litre V12 that’s all about torque – 663lb ft of it at a mere 1,800rpm. The 715bhp power output is largely a byproduct of the torque. Now meet its polar opposite. The Ferrari uses a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12. It doesn’t deliver maximum torque until 7,000rpm and even then it falls short of the Aston by a considerable 134lb ft. But here the torque is largely a byproduct of the colossal power – 789bhp at 8,500rpm.

OK, that’s not quite right, because the Ferrari has an operating range of quite majestic breadth. Like the Aston it’ll punch forward hard in any gear from 2,500rpm, but unlike the Aston which delivers an instant haymaker and then sustains that level, the Ferrari just keeps piling more and more pressure on the back wheels, acceleration building to a mesmerising crescendo. And an 8,900rpm cutout. Wider power band, shorter gearing, lighter weight – these things all count…

By: Ollie Marriage, January 5, 2019

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Porsche’s 718 Cayman GT4 Racecar Has a 6cyl Engine


This year, Porsche will show us a new Cayman GT4, the first with the ‘718’ prefix in front of its name. Given the old GT4 has a truly wonderful, turbo-free flat-six engine in it – and all the 718s we’ve seen so far, um, don’t – there’s been some concerns about what form it’ll take.

We might be able to cast our worries aside, though. This is the 718 GT4 Clubsport racecar, a precursor to the road-going version. And it not only has a 3.8-litre flat-six in it, but one with 40bhp more than its predecessor: a potent 420bhp.

It comes mated exclusively to a six-speed PDK paddleshift gearbox in this Clubsport, but the road car will no doubt come with a manual when it arrives, given that was such a hallmark of the old GT4.

There are naturally lots of motorsport touches – a proper harnessed bucket seat, a welded-in roll cage, lightweight suspension components from the more senior 911 GT3 Cup car – and something else rather more unique to the Clubsport. Namely, some organic materials.

Yep, the doors and rear wing are made of something called ‘natural-fibre composite material’, by-products of agriculture (such as hemp) that apparently have similar weight and strength properties to carbon fibre.

By: Stephen Dobie, January 4, 2019

Italdesign Zerouno Review: €1.5million Supercar Tested

A little bit of history first. Italdesign was founded 50 years ago by Giorgetto Giugiaro and his business partner Aldo Mantovani. Wholly owned by the VW group since 2015, the car you’re looking at here is the Zerouno, a mobile manifesto for Italdesign as it moves forward. It’s the first in a planned series of Italdesign-branded automobili speciali, and was conceived and realised in just 14 months. If it looks like a low-volume, ultra-expensive supercar, then that’s because it is (it costs €1.5m apiece, but all five are sold – the first off-plan when it was still just an idea).
Apart from when it set up a production line to build the BMW M1 back in the late 1970s (BMW co-developed that car with Lamborghini – back then Sant’Agata wasn’t the super-slick outfit it is these days, so much of the assembly work was sub-contracted to Italdesign and others.) We’ll let the company’s design boss, Filippo Perini, who headed up Centro Stile at Lamborghini and whose CV includes the gorgeous Alfa Romeo Nuvola and 8C Competizione concepts, explain. “We wanted to do a limited series car, to create a demonstrator of the capability we have in the company. The truth is, it’s not well enough known outside. We sold the five units at the price we set, and this attracted different OEMs beyond the VW group. The GT-R50 project with Nissan is an example. That happened because of the Zerouno: they saw that we could do it. It takes us back to the roots of carrozzeria: we can create the idea, but we also have the means to deliver for the potential client.” We’re all for it if it means more cars that look like this thing. That’s how it used to be in Italy, back in the day… Hand over a big bucket of lira and get a car no-one else had.
Italdesign calls it ‘simultaneous engineering’, but yes, it reprises Italy’s somewhat faded grand coachbuilding tradition (although both Touring of Milan and Zagato have managed to keep going, and regularly produce fantastic looking cars). Although VW’s custodianship has protected it, Italdesign’s CEO Jörg Astalosch now wants the company to stretch out beyond that; 25 per cent of its business is outside the group, and the ambition is to reach 50 per cent. China, inevitably, will help, but there’s plenty more where that came from. Including creating the design language for Vietnam’s first domestic – and David Beckham-endorsed – car company, Vinfast. Italdesign is also working with Audi and Airbus on a future mobility concept called the Pop.Up Next, an autonomous EV pod that hooks up with a drone to beat the traffic. A flying car, no less.
By: Jason Barlow, January 3, 2019

19 Cars We’re Looking Forward to in 2019


Ariel is building a hypercar. Yes, the company so far known only for its lightweights is making the jump to hyperspace. It’s hard to know where to begin with this, but let’s start with the numbers: 1,180bhp, 1,327lb ft of torque, 0-100mph in 3.8secs (well over a second ahead of a McLaren P1 or Porsche 918), 155mph top speed and a 1,500kg kerbweight.

It’s powered by four electric motors, “each of which delivers the same power as a supercharged Type R motor”, says Ariel boss Simon Saunders, “and they’re tiny, around 330mm in diameter”. But there’s more. Besides a 42kWh battery pack running 680 volts, the car codenamed ‘P40’ sports a radical turbine range extender motor, like the stillborn Jaguar C-X75. Time for a lie-down.

Others include:

Aston Martin Valkyrie and Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake


Bugatti Divo

Ferrari 488 Pista Spider

Ford Ranger Raptor

Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign

Land Rover Defender

McLaren 720S Spider

Mercedes-AMG One

Porsche Taycan

Auto Concierge specializes in managing all the above-pictured vehicles.  Contact us for details.

Published by: Jack Rix, Jan 1, 2019

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