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

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

Published by: Jack Rix, Jan 1, 2019

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In a Reversal, ‘Car-Rich’ Households Are Growing


Despite ride-hailing’s promise, vehicle ownership (and traffic) is on the rise in America’s biggest, most transit-oriented cities. So how is mobility really changing?

Jan. 7, 2019 – Bruce Schaller, Transportation Consultant

There is no doubt that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are remaking how people get around major American cities. The growing availability of shared bikes, e-bikes, and e-scooters is further changing the personal mobility story. The transformation is partly personal, offering a wealth of options for getting around town. It’s also supposed to be societal, ameliorating clogged traffic and boosting transit ridership.The evidence for personal transformation is uncontested. But the societal benefits are less clear. How ride-hailing in particular is affecting vehicle use, traffic, and transit has been hotly debated. Research that I summarized in my report “The New Automobility” last summer showed that ride-hailing growth has led to more traffic and less transit use in major American cities—not the reverse that we all hoped for.

Uber, Lyft, and advocates for new shared mobility services have pushed back against this analysis. Declaring that we are still at the “earliest stages” of a major shift in travel habits, they look to the day that people ditch their car in favor of a combination of these services and old-fashioned public transportation. Their vision is that diminished car ownership and fewer miles in privately owned vehicles will more than offset added mileage from ride-hailing vehicles.

As we enter the eighth year of the Uber and Lyft revolution, it’s worth checking whether we are seeing those “ditch your car” hopes being fulfilled. Recent trends can be traced using the American Community Survey, which shows yearly household vehicle ownership in U.S. cities.
At first glance, the picture looks contradictory. Household vehicle ownership has increased in cities where Uber and Lyft are most heavily used, using 2012 (the year the companies started offering affordable everyday ride services like UberX) as the starting point. Moreover, the rate of vehicle growth substantially exceeded population growth in five of the eight cities (Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago).

At the same time, more urban households also have no or relatively few cars. These households are often referred to as “car-free” (no cars available to the household) or “car-light,” e.g., a working couple that owns one vehicle. (For data availability reasons, “car-light” is defined here as households with fewer vehicles than workers.) Here’s the growth in car-free and car-light households in the eight cities.

These households grew notably faster than population in Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Chicago and at about the same rate as population in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C., from 2012 to 2017. (By contrast, in Los Angeles population grew faster than car-free/car-light households.)
These data thus show that accounts of, “I gave up my car when I moved to this or that walkable urban neighborhood” should not be dismissed as mere anecdotes. But how can we reconcile more car-free/car-light households with rapid growth in total car ownership?
The answer comes in two parts. First, there is a lot more growth in car-light than car-free households. In fact, since 2012 the number of car-free households declined in Chicago, D.C., and Los Angeles. Adding one-car households in cities where there is on average about one vehicle per household results in no real change in the rate of car ownership—all the while adding more traffic to city streets.Households with at least one vehicle per worker (“car-rich” perhaps?) account for the bulk of increased car ownership in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Seattle. Growth of car-light households accounts for only about one-quarter of the total growth in vehicle ownership in these cities.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is Los Angeles, where car-free households dropped by 11 percent since 2012. L.A. also shows car ownership greatly outpacing population growth (10 percent versus 4 percent). This picture is consistent with a recent UCLA study that linked declines in transit ridership to increased car ownership among low-income and in particular immigrant communities in the L.A. area.

What’s driving the rise of the car-rich city household? It likely includes economic trends that put money in people’s pockets: job growth, the influx of affluent urban professionals, and falling gas prices. Changing demographics, especially more families with children, likely spur some to buy a car. Troubled transit service in cities like New York and Washington, D.C., surely plays a role.  Ride-hailing might also catalyze car use; once you get used to on-demand transportation, who wants to go back to waiting for the bus?

Note: for the full article –

Source: CityLab

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Enters the Horsepower Wars

2020 Ford Mustang GT500      2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

It had to happen. You didn’t think Ford was going to sit around in Dearborn, Michigan, gnawing on chicken shawarma sandwiches while its competitors built Hellcats and ZL1s, did you? Carmakers might be dumping increasingly large loads of money into ride-sharing schemes and electric cars, but meanwhile the big-boy pony cars are playing with 700-plus horsepower. Seven-hundred-plus horsepower. Think about that for a second. The Le Mans–class-winning, half-million-dollar Ford GT makes 647 horsepower. A $300,000 McLaren 720S only just crests the 700-hp summit. And the Porsche 911 Turbo S produces a paltry 580.

So, yes, Ford has launched the latest salvo in this power war with the 2020 Shelby GT500. It is what longtime Mustang designer Melvin Betancourt describes as the model line’s “holy shit” car. Holy shit indeed.

The supercharged V-8 thumper makes—drum roll, please—”700-plus” horsepower. Ford won’t say precisely what the GT500 will be rated at and claims it won’t have official numbers until this summer, mere months before the vehicle goes on sale. But it doesn’t make much sense for Ford to produce a vehicle that makes less power than its main adversaries. The Blue Oval will need to best the output of Chevy’s 650-hp Camaro ZL1 and the Dodge Challenger’s updated 717-hp Hellcat. We’re guessing that the GT500 will come in around its rumored 720 horsepower and pump out in the neighborhood of 650 pound-feet of torque.

Whatever the numbers, they’ll come from a supercharged DOHC 5.2-liter V-8 derived from the one-rung-lower GT350‘s engine. The GT500’s shares the lesser Shelby’s 94.0-millimeter bore and 93.0-millimeter stroke but not its flat-plane crankshaft, and it redlines at 7500 rpm, 700 lower than the naturally aspirated engine. But who needs insane revs when an Eaton TVS R2650 supercharger is nestled atop the engine? It’s the same 2.7-liter unit used in the 755-hp Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and crams 12 psi of boost into an internally strengthened V-8. The engine has a new cast-aluminum structural oil pan, which has both static baffles and hinged doors that open and close under high g-forces to fend off oil starvation. Ford Performance chief functional engineer Ed Krenz says this allows for sustained track survivability without a dry-sump system. Likewise, says Krenz, the upgraded cooling package compared with a GT350 will keep the engine happy on long track runs. It includes an air-to-liquid intercooler mounted atop the supercharger, an upgraded radiator, an engine-oil cooler, and a transmission-oil cooler.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500   2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Torque flows to a Tremec-sourced seven-speed dual-clutch transmission developed for this application. There will be no manual. Krenz claims that the transmission is capable of shifts in about a tenth of a second; roughly what a Porsche PDK can do and about twice as quick as shifts from the Chevy ZL1’s optional 10-speed automatic. The dual-clutch will respond differently depending on the drive mode selected. Drag mode will deliver shifts with no torque interruption, and Track mode will take steering angle, among other parameters, into account to prevent an abrupt shift that could destabilize the car. It can be left in automatic mode or controlled via magnesium shift paddles. Predictably, the software includes launch control and a line-lock feature. Power routes rearward through a carbon-fiber driveshaft to a Torsen limited-slip rear end carrying 3.73:1 gears and out to the wheels via beefed-up half-shafts and CV joints. Exhaust gases exit through four tailpipes, each a girthy five inches in diameter.

Ford is adamant that, unlike previous iterations, this GT500 will go left and right just as well as it proceeds in a straight line. Using the brilliant-handling GT350 as a basis for the big-power car is a good start. It will carry the same basic strut front and multilink rear suspensions as the GT350. But in addition to using stiffer springs, fatter anti-roll bars, and retuned magnetorheological dampers, the GT500’s front suspension has revised geometry aimed at reducing the tramlining that’s omnipresent in the GT350—we expect that the GT350 will also receive this modification soon. The increased stiffness helps to manage the GT500’s greater mass compared with the GT350 and the increased unsprung weight of the standard 20-inch wheel-and-tire package. The standard wheels are aluminum and wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, sized 305/30ZR-20 in front and 315/30ZR-20 in the rear. The optional Carbon Fiber Track package brings carbon-fiber wheels wearing Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 track tires, an adjustable carbon-fiber wing, a rear-seat delete, and dive planes up front. All GT500s carry a strut-tower brace made of an elaborate magnesium latticework. The 20-inch wheels were necessitated by the standard two-piece iron-and-aluminum brake rotors. Measuring 16.5 inches, the front rotors are grabbed by six-piston Brembo calipers. The rears are 14.6 inches in diameter and carry four-piston calipers.


By: Daniel Pund,

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Flying Car? Elon Musk Says The New Tesla Roadster Just Might!


Earlier this week, Tesla CEO, responded to a Twitter follower who sent him a GIF of a flying car, stating “The new Roadster will actually do something like this”.  Tesla may just offer an option on the upcoming roadster sports car to allow drivers to utilize thrusters from SpaceX to float above the ground by swapping out the two rear seats.

Shortly after, he confirmed that he wasn’t indeed kidding in his reply.

But before all of the clamoring Tesla fans began to prep for a preorder, Musk noted that the feature may not be street legal.

Musks two companies, Tesla and SpaceX, have a history of sharing resources over the years, from employees to materials.  SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket recently accomplished quite a feat in February by launching Tesla’s original Roadster into orbit in last February.  So it will be interesting to see the future of the automobile industry with his ability to leverage SpaceX resources.

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