However, that was nothing. Oh no, that little Z4 was just a tame little pup in comparison to the presumably angry Rottweiler that is Gruppe5 Motorsport’s latest creation. The renderings you see above will come to life this summer, and yes, that will be a real BMW 2002 underneath the mother of all carbon body kits.
But why the comparison to the Manhart Z4? Well, the Gruppe5 2002 will also use the S85 V10 from the E60 M5. However, customers will only be able to spec their car in either 5.8-litre, 734bhp trim, or 5.9-litre, 792bhp trim. Crikey.
To cope with all the power (which heads to the rear wheels only) the chassis of the old 2002 will be completely rebuilt by hand using a mixture of carbon fibre and steel, and an FIA-spec roll cage will also be fitted along with a 6-speed sequential gearbox. These cars will be designed as just-about-road-legal racers.
Thanks to all that carbon-fibre, the car will weigh just under one tonne, and thanks to that insane aero it’ll produce around 1.1 tonnes of downforce. Driving on the ceiling anyone?
There’s no word on cost as of yet, but you’ll need to provide your own original 2002 to qualify for the conversion, so don’t expect to be able to fund it by rooting down the back of your sofa. The plans are ambitious though – Gruppe5 expects to build 300 of the things.
The engines will be built by legendary BMW race tuner Steve Dinan, whilst the design will be led by Bill and Bob Riley, who have won 13 overall Daytona Prototype championships as a pairing. So there’s pedigree.
You just would, wouldn’t you?
By: Greg Potts, May 8, 2019
For more cars, visit: https://www.topgear.com/car-news/modified/mad-bmw-2002-has-792bhp-v10-and-weighs-less-tonne
Last week, we told you that a new AMR version of the Aston Martin Vantage will have a manual transmission and that it will be “coming soon.” Well, it turns out that “soon” is already here. Aston has revealed the Vantage AMR, and as we suspected, it uses a seven-speed manual transmission with a dogleg-style first gear.
The transmission was developed by Graziano and was first used in the V12 Vantage Sfrom a few years ago. The racing-inspired dogleg setup means second through seventh gears are in a traditional H pattern, but first gear is down and to the left while reverse is up and to the left, the opposite of a traditional manual gearbox. It has what Aston calls Amshift, which is a rev-matching system that also allows for full-throttle upshifts; the system can be turned on or off. In addition to the gearbox, the AMR also gets a limited-slip differential that was developed by Aston’s racing team.
The AMR is said to weigh 209 pounds less than a regular Vantage thanks to the removal of the automatic transmission and the fitment of carbon-ceramic brakes as standard, and weight distribution is a perfect 50/50 split. (An automatic 2019 Vantage we tested weighed in at 3726 pounds.) While power from the V-8 is unchanged at 503 horses, torque has gone down from 505 lb-ft to 461 lb-ft (both peaking at 2000 rpm). Aston’s quoted zero-to-60-mph time for the AMR is slower than the regular Vantage’s, too, at 3.9 seconds for the AMR versus 3.5 for the standard car. Top speed remains 195 mph.
In addition to the manual transmission and its accompanying leather-wrapped shifter, the AMR gets a handful of cosmetic enhancements. New 20-inch forged aluminum wheels look like those on the Rapide AMR, and the brake calipers are painted to match other trim pieces in Lime Green, which is the AMR signature color. The design of the carbon-fiber side vents is new, and the hood gets a pair of new carbon-fiber vents. The AMR also features a bunch of standard kit that’s optional on regular Vantages, including a sport exhaust system with quad pipes, sport bucket seats, and lots of dark interior and exterior trim.
Only 200 AMRs will be built, with the first 141 coming in China Grey, Onyx Black, Sabiro Blue, or White Stone paint with a choice of four interior schemes—Aston calls the specs “designer specifications.” The AMR will start at $183,081, or $30,000 more than the standard Vantage. The final 59 cars in the AMR’s run are dubbed Vantage 59; these will feature a special color and option combination (shown in these photos) that celebrates Aston’s 1959 Le Mans win, similar to the recently revealed DBS 59. Those 59 cars will cost $208,081 to start.
If you’re not one of the lucky 200 people that will receive a Vantage AMR—and given how quickly models like this sell out, you probably aren’t—don’t fret. Aston says that the regular Vantage will gain the AMR’s manual transmission as an option beginning in the first quarter of 2020, once all the AMRs have been sold. There’s no word as to whether the manual will be a no-cost option, an extra-cost option, or actually cheaper than the automatic.
In speaking about the AMR’s conception and the new manual option, Aston CEO Andy Palmer says he has always promised that Aston would offer a manual in its lineup—it’s something that customers were asking for. The Vantage thus honors that promise and “sets [Aston] apart from [its] competitors in continuing to offer a three-pedal option,” according to Palmer. As for that competition, the Porsche 911 is the only other car that can be had with a manual. “In a world of autonomous robo-taxis, Aston Martin will continue to advance the art and science of performance driving,” Palmer says, adding that the Vantage AMR is “a thoroughly modern sports car that rewards effort and focus from the driver, the antidote to driving a computer game.” At Car and Driver, we’re all about saving the manuals, so Palmer’s statement is music to our ears.
If for some reason the normal Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t look cool enough to you, don’t worry—we might have something better. This is a one-off custom-bodied 4C, and it’s coming up for auction next month at RM Sotheby’s Lake Como auction. It has a striking look with an aggressive take on Alfa design language, and you can own it.
This car, dubbed the Mole Handicraft Construction 001, was built in 2018 after former FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed there would not be a successor to the current Alfa Romeo 4C. The donor car was a 4C coupe that had previously driven 40,000 kilometers (around 25,000 miles). The coachwork was penned by Umberto Palermo of Up Design, and adds some angry muscularity to Alfa’s mid-engine sports car. The headlights are similar to the items used on the Giulia sedan, while the rear reminds me of something from Zagato. The wheels have been replaced with multi-spoke aftermarket units, and the number of exhaust pipe exits has doubled from two to four.
Underneath, the car is still very much a 4C. A 237-horsepower 1.75-liter turbocharged inline-four powers the rear wheels via a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The interior has been fit with two-tone premium leather, and looks great.
The car will come up for auction at RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba event on May 25th in Lake Como, Italy. There’s no sale estimate listed, but considering this car is the only one of its kind, we’re betting it’ll be a bit more expensive than a normal 4C.
By: Brian Silvestro, April 29, 2019
Remember the first pictures of the Nürburgring-spec Volkswagen ID R prototype that we brought you last week? Well it turns out that it’s really, really quick.
You know the story by now. Having smashed the Pikes Peak record by over 16 seconds last year, VW has adapted the car to take on the ‘Ring and the current EV record of 6m 45.9s (set by the 1,341bhp NIO EP9).
After a rather short three-month development period, driver Romain Dumas was able to get behind the wheel for some initial testing laps at the Green Hell for the first time on Thursday. And if simulator runs are anything to go by then the ID R could take almost a minute off the NIO’s time.
Dumas has already set a virtual time of 6m 06.17s, but VW has made its sim available to the world via Raceroom and times have been tumbling. At the point of writing, the quickest lap stands at a rather incredible 5m 56.6s. Romain has some work to do…
The main update to the ID R for the Nürburgring is a new aero package with less downforce and a Formula 1-style DRS system. This reduces drag on the straights by as much as 20 per cent and means an increased top speed of over 155mph, despite the twin-electric motor drivetrain remaining the same.
“We could still run a much quicker top speed with the power that we have (670bhp and 479lb ft of torque) but we need to be careful with the energy levels,” says technical advisor and former Sauber F1 boss Willy Rampf. Crikey.
The ID R should comfortably take the EV crown on the Nordschleife then, but just how quickly do you think Dumas could go when things get real? And when will the incredible Porsche 919 have to worry about its 5m 19.6s overall record?
By: Greg Potts, April 26, 2019
America was very happy when Ford announced the Ranger would return to the USA. And it was even happier when the company announced it would do a ‘Raptor’ version. But then its hopes were dashed, its dreams crushed, when Ford announced the Ranger Raptor would not be sold in the States.
Well good news Americans, for John Hennessey has your back. He’s taken the American version of Ford’s littlest truck and created this – the Hennessey VelociRaptor Ranger.
Power comes from Ford’s 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. Stock it makes 270bhp and 310lb ft, but a less restrictive, better sounding stainless steel cat-back exhaust and some ECU tuning mean the VelociRaptor makes 360bhp and 440lb ft. 0-60mph takes 4.9 seconds – two seconds quicker than stock, and faster even than a stock F-150 Raptor. Ford’s own Ranger Raptor, which uses a four-cylinder diesel engine, takes over 10 seconds to hit 62mph.
Hennessey’s ‘Stage 1’ suspension kit lifts the Ranger by four inches. 18-inch alloy wheels and BFG off-road tyres add a bit more height, so in all the VelociRaptor Ranger is six inches taller than standard. You also get a more aggressive front bumper with built-in LEDs and you can spec a winch.
Prices start at $64,950 – or just under £50k. That’s only about £1k more than Ford’s own Ranger Raptor. Only 500 will be built in 2019 so, Americans, get your order in quick.
By: Tom Harrison, April 30 2019
For more cars, visit: https://www.topgear.com/car-news/usa/welcome-hennessey-velociraptor-ranger
If indefatigable master assassin John Wick ever needed a new set of wheels, he needn’t look any further. Because the lining of this… this thing is ‘tactical’.
It has been constructed by a Detroit-based company called Mil-Spec Automotive, and we suspect has rocketed to the top of your very latest nightmare. Welcome to #006: the sixth specially built Hummer Mil-Spec’s done.
They started with a 1996 four-door H1, and – much like Singer and Redux do with the 911 and E30 M3 – stripped it down and put it back together again, only better. They replaced the floorplan with a welded aluminium one. They replaced body panels with specially fabricated aerospace-grade aluminium versions. They even ditched weight wherever necessary, and strengthened up the whole truck.
We’re told the most unique aspect of #006 is the adjustable suspension setup. Mil-Spec’s #002 had air-ride, but this one gets self-levelling and a four-inch ride height adjustment (via airbags at each corner, controllable from within the cabin, of course) for better off-road ground clearance.
Eight-way adjustable shocks finish off the suspension setup, while Mil-Spec have binned the standard four-wheel drive for a part-time set-up. Under normal loads – say, on road when evading a horde of less-good assassins – it’s rear-drive, engaging the front axle only when you decide to climb up a mountain. We’re told it’ll be quiet inside, though, thanks to better NVH. NVH! In a Hummer!
The engine? There is one. It’s a 6.6-litre Duramax diesel from the 2006 Hummer, rebuilt and reassembled to kick out 500bhp and 1,000lb ft of torque, which is more than a regular 1996 Hummer would have produced. Do not ask us for a 0-60mph time. A), it really doesn’t matter, and B), we don’t actually know.
There are mighty tyres. It’s finished in black with Kevlar, with semi-gloss trim bits. There’s a bonnet scoop, big bumpers, a winch, and LED light bar. Naturally you can personalise the interior. This one gets… a black interior, with all-weather vinyl replacing the floor carpets. Plus lots of sound deadening. Because screams aren’t fun.
The price? $295,039. As mentioned, it’s the sixth of Mil-Spec’s special Hummer line, and we’re told they’re only building 12 limited edition Hummers. Does thou wanteth one?
Remember the Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato from 2011? Of course you do. A love letter to Aston and Zagato’s longstanding, somewhat on-off relationship. Only 150 were made. We drove the very first road-going V12 Zag up the Furka Pass, because we had to.
Now, the V12 Zagato has returned, courtesy of a new brand company called R-Reforged and in celebration of Zagato’s 100th anniversary. Officially, they’re called the TWINS, because there are two.
Thus, there will be only 19 Vantage Speedsters built, accompanied by 19 Vantage Coupes, all built at AF Racing AG’s subsidiary Vynamic GmbH: the former has worked with Aston on something called ‘Valkyrie’ (yeah, no idea what that is), the latter helping Aston prepare its Vantage DTM car.
The specs of the TWINS haven’t been fully revealed, R-Reforged only noting how both will “combine the highest craftsmanship with the extraordinary design language of the 1950s and 1960s”.
We suspect they’ll keep the old, naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 fitted to the original Zagato Vantages, chiefly because it’s one of the finest engine notes Earth has ever heard.
“They are the most beautiful retro-future designed Zagatos to ever be produced,” Dr Andrea Zagato humbly proclaims. No word on price, but they’ll be ready before 2019 is finished. Sweet.
By: Vijay Pattni, April 25, 2019
It was only a matter of time before this happened: Aston Martin has finally revealed a drop-top version of its DBS Superleggera GT car, sporting the same 715-horsepower, 664 lb.-ft. 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12 and 211-mph top speed. It has a revised aero package, and looks absolutely stunning.
As you’d expect from a car like this, the DBS Superleggera Volante is basically a DBS with a convertible top. Like the coupe, power gets to the road via a rear-mounted eight-speed automatic ZF transaxle. The 0-60 mph sprint happens in just 3.6 seconds, and 0-100 passes by in just 6.7 seconds—0.2 seconds and 0.3 seconds slower than the coupe, respectively. At a top speed of 211 mph (the same as the coupe), the DBS Volante produces 390 pounds of downforce thanks to a newly designed Aeroblade system shaped to compensate for a lack of a roof.
The soft top is an eight-layer cloth item that takes 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close. It can be opened from within the car, or remotely via the car’s key within a 6.6-foot radius. Aston hasn’t cut any corners, going to the most extreme places on earth to ensure the top will operate without issue. From the press release:
Exposed to conditions as extreme as the heat of Death Valley and the extremities of the Arctic Circle during development, the roof mechanism has been put through more than 100,000 cycles. Simulating 10 years of usage into a one-month test, the functional capability of the roof mechanism has been thoroughly tested.
The 2020 DBS Superleggera will be priced from $329,100 in the US, including a $1300 gas guzzler tax—just over $24,000 more than the coupe’s MSRP.
Porsche has made 911 Speedsters before, but none quite like this. Witness the 2020 Speedster, a creation of Porsche Motorsport, the department behind the brilliant 911 GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS. Philosophically, it’s a lot like the 356 Carrera Speedsters that tore up road courses around the US in the 1950s, and that’s a very good thing.
We saw this Speedster in concept form last year, and now it’s ready for production. The gas cap in the center of the trunklid and the “Talbot” mirrors are gone, but thankfully, the 4.0-liter naturally aspirated flat-six and six-speed manual from the GT3 are still here. Now, the engine has independent throttle bodies like a GT3 R race car, for improved response and what we have to imagine is a magnificent noise. It makes 502 hp and 346 lb-ft of torque, which is good enough to get the car to 60 mph in 3.2 second and on to a 192-mph top speed.
The Speedster is based on a 991 Carrera 4 Cabriolet, though its 3230-lb curb weight is about 200 lbs lighter than the car it’s based on. That’s thanks to lots of carbon fiber—the hood, front fenders, and the distinctive twin-hoop rear deck are all made from the stuff. Both the front and rear fascias are made from polyurethane, while carbon-ceramic brakes are standard. Even the roof is manually operated to save weight. This Speedster still weighs about 100 pounds more than a fixed-roof GT3, though. The suspension tuning is basically identical to the GT3, though the Speedster gets unique tuning for the rear-wheel steering system.
Buyers will be able to option a Heritage Design package, featuring a unique silver and white two-tone paint, optional door numbers, and a “Porsche” decal running along the side. The brake calipers are painted black, while the 20-inch wheels are finsih in “platinum satin.” Inside, the bucket seats are wrapped in Cognac leather. Owners who option this trim will also get an exclusive Porsche Design Chronograph timepiece sporting a Speedster theme.
Porsche will build 1948 examples of the Speedster, the number corresponding to the year its first road car was registered. Unfortunately, it won’t be cheap—the MSRP is set at $274,500 plus a $1250 delivery fee. That’s almost double the cost of a GT3, and nearly as much as a GT2 RS. Orders begin on May 7th, and the cars should start arriving at dealers towards the end of this year.
By: Chris Perkins, April 16, 2019
So it begins. This is Aston Martin’s very first all-electric, full production car, housed in the rather delightful form of the Rapide. So, meet the Aston Martin Rapide ‘E’.
Recognisably an Aston, then, but without the most recognisable thing of all – a socking great naturally aspirated, 6.0-litre V12. In its place sits a bespoke battery pack encased in carbon fibre and Kevlar, using more than 5,600 lithium-ion cells. Aston tells us there’s 800V and 65kWh in total.
Aston also tells us this 800V system, designed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, is better at charging and offers “greatly improved thermal characteristics” than other electrical systems.
We suspect you care less about the thermal characteristics, and more about the speed characteristics. A total of 601bhp and 700lb ft of torque is produced, which is quite a lot indeed. This is sent rearwards and rearwards only, to a pair of relectric motors recording some very intriguing times.
It’ll go from 0-60mph in under four seconds, go from 50-70mph in just 1.5secs, and top out at a clean 155mph. And, because of that fancy new battery, Aston says the Rapide E “will deliver its performance in a consistent and repeatable way as would be expected from a traditional Aston Martin”. So much so, it reckons a full lap of the Nürburgring is possible “with no performance derating”.