The 591-HP Audi RS6 Avant Is Really, Truly Coming to America


Audi RS6 avant

Good news for wagon fans: Audi is bringing the RS6 Avant to North America for the first time in Audi Sport’s 25-year history. The new performance wagon will go up against its most direct competitor, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon, as well as the Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo and the Jaguar XF Sportbrake.

Step one in the battle for supremacy in the hot-rod-wagon segment is power. The RS6 Avant is powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 partnered with a 48-volt hybrid system that produces 591 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. The wagon’s claimed zero-to-62-mph time is 3.6 seconds, and it clears 120 mph in less than 12.0 seconds. It will have to outperform those estimates to beat the 603-hp E63 wagon, which went from zero to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds and from zero to 120 mph in 10.2 seconds in our testing.

The RS6 Avant can hit 190 mph with the Dynamic Package Plus, which includes the RS adaptive air suspension. With the standard Dynamic package, the top speed is 174 mph, while the standard model tops out at 155 mph. Whether or not U.S.-spec cars get the multiple speed governors is TBD.

Audi RS6 avant

A standard eight-speed automatic transmission with a launch-control function sends torque to a permanent all-wheel-drive system. The Quattro’s standard distribution is 40:60 to the front and rear axles, but if there is any slippage the system will compensate by sending more power to the axle with better traction (up to 70 percent to the front axle, up to 85 percent to the rear).

All this performance comes with some nods to efficiency. A cylinder deactivation system can shut down the valves and fuel injection to four of the cylinders between low and intermediate loads and speeds. The RS6 Avant’s 48-volt belt-driven motor/generator can recoup up to 12 kW during regenerative braking between 34 and 99 mph and store it in a small, dedicated lithium-ion battery.

Only three exterior parts—the front doors, the roof, and the tailgate—are carried over unchanged from the base A6 Avant to the RS6. Everything else you see is an RS-specific part, from the honeycomb-look grille in gloss black to the new bumper with design echoes from the Audi R8 supercar. The headlights come from the A7, which means optional RS Matrix LED laser lights with darkened trim are available. The RS6 Avant also has a 3.1-inch-wider and 0.8-inch-lower body than the A6 Avant. It rides on standard, 21-inch cast aluminum wheels with a 10-spoke design or on optional 22-inch wheels with a 5-spoke design.

Inside, the RS6 Avant features premium materials including RS-embossed black pearl Nappa leather and Alcantara. Heated and cooled RS sport seats trimmed in Valcona leather with a honeycomb pattern are available. Audi’s MMI dual-touchscreen system and Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel bring safety and infotainment features to the driver’s attention, and an RS Monitor display offers up a more detailed look at things such as torque and power output, engine oil temperature, and boost pressure. The perforated leather sport steering wheel now offers RS1 and RS2 buttons that switch between two individually configurable RS drive modes. Comfort, Auto, Dynamic, and Efficiency driving modes are also on offer.

The reason the RS6 Avant is finally coming to the these shores is thanks to incessant requests from the U.S. division. “The guys from Audi of America did great in always pushing and getting the customer’s needs to us in headquarters,” Audi marketing manager Linda Kurz said. “We understood that the Avant has a chance for the U.S. market. In the previous generation we couldn’t make it happen, but now we decided with our colleagues in the U.S. that we would have it on offer.”

The RS6 Avant will go on sale in the U.S. in the second or third quarter of next year as a 2020 model following its debut in Europe in the first quarter. Expect its starting price to be near that of the Mercedes-AMG E63 S wagon, which starts at $112,745.

By: Sebastian Blanco, August 20, 2019

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Novitec’s Ferrari 488 Pista


Pagani Huayra BC Roadster Is Beautiful Enough to Justify Its $3.4 Million Price


Pagani Huayra BC Roadster

The Pagani Huayra BC roadster will carry a factory-gate price of $3.4 million before local taxes. Even though only 40 will be produced, and they will be the last in the Huayra line, that is a ridiculous amount of money—more than triple what was charged for the first Huayra coupe in 2011.

And yet, we challenge you to spend a couple of minutes looking at these images and say that figure isn’t entirely justified.

In fact, the BC roadster is the finest-looking memorial in the world. Like its coupe sister, named after an Italian-American entrepreneur called Benny Caiola, who was better known among gearheads for having one of the world’s largest collections of Ferraris. When the tiny Italian supercar maker Pagani was starting out, Caiola was the man who placed the first ever order for one of its products. He died in 2010, but Horacio Pagani’s gratitude to his debut customer means his initials have been incorporated into the ultimate version of the Huayra.


While all Paganis are special, some get to be more special than others. The regular Huayra spawned both roadster and dynamically focused BC models, with this last-of-line special being a combination of the two. Roadsters are normally heavier than their fixed-roof sisters, but the Huayra has bucked the trend thanks to the use of an ultralight removable carbon-fiber hard top. The BC roadster is slightly heavier than the BC coupe, but, according to Pagani claims, it weighs just 2756 pounds, 66 pounds less than the regular roadster.

The monocoque structure incorporates even lighter materials than regular carbon fiber, including what we’re told is carbon-titanium HP62, making it both lighter and stronger. Lower body aero elements and the vast rear wing work together to produce a claimed peak of 1102 pounds of downforce at 174 mph. In addition to movable active elements, the titanium exhaust incorporates flaps in the catalytic converters to divert exhaust gases over the underfloor elements like a Formula 1 car’s blown diffuser. The exhaust pipes still use the two-by-two quad layout that Pagani pioneered with the original Zonda.

Many parts of the interior are closer to art than automotive design, with details like the gorgeous exposed metal gear selector showing the obsessive attention to detail of company founder and chief designer Horacio Pagani. It would have been so much easier to give the car a more conventional shifter, but so much less stylish. The seats also incorporate a deep slash in their backrests, presumably to enhance occupant cooling when the car is being driven in direct sunlight.

As in other versions of the Huayra, power comes from a uniquely tuned version of the Mercedes-AMG M158. This twin-turbocharged V-12 makes 791 horsepower and accompanies it with 775 lb-ft of torque available from 2000 rpm to 5600 rpm. Drive is delivered to the rear axle through a seven-speed single-clutch automated gearbox. Pagani hasn’t released acceleration claims—we doubt they would be tardy—but does say that the car can generate up to 1.9 g’s of continuous lateral acceleration during hard cornering, with face-distorting peaks of up to 2.2 g.

While we’re told that the BC roadster is the ultimate Huayra, there’s no guarantee it will actually be the last one. Horacio Pagani has always found it difficult to say no to the demands of his customers, with the company’s original Zonda kept in limited production for years as affluent buyers, including F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, begged for the chance to buy one. Horacio admits that plans to retire the Huayra with the BC roadster might slip.

“It is scheduled to be the last production model,” he told us at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, “but I am also listening to some private collectors who are asking maybe for a one-off or a limited edition, which will probably extend the life span a little more.”

By: Mike Duff, July 31, 2019

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The New Mid-Engined Chevrolet Corvette Stingray


Angular, isn’t it? Very creasy-y. Sharp-looking. The 2020 Corvette Stingray is here.

It’s here at last, and yep, the engine’s in the middle. That engine being a 6.2-litre, naturally aspirated smallblock ‘LT2’ V8, sending 495bhp and 470lb ft to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

If you’re a Brit, we’ve some good news: this one’s for you. Right-hand drive is, at long last, coming to the Corvette.

With the Z51 package fitted (which adds a sports exhaust, adjustable suspension, bigger brakes, better cooling and a spritelier final drive ratio) Chevy claims the Stingray will get from 0-60mph in around 3.0 seconds, making it the fastest ‘entry-level’ Corvette ever.

And it’s not just speedy in a straight line. The front splitter and rear wing generate a claimed 180kg of high-speed downforce for better cornering. There’s a Ferrari-style electronic rear diff. Optional magnetic-adaptive suspension, for, well, you get the idea. It’s got a dry-sump oil system so the engine stays lubricated when the car’s pulling big Gs. This isn’t just a hot-rod with its motor in the middle, promises Chevy. It’s a true supercar that can run with the European elite. And supposedly, it’s practical too.

Want to carry two sets of golf clubs? No, us neither. But apparently some supercar buyers do, for some reason, so the Corvette Stingray has two boots. Or trunks, if you must. One in the front, and one in the back, which can also swallow the targa roof panel.

Together, the trunk and frunk add up to offer 357-litres of boot space. And the cabin’s roomier too. And cleverer. Look at that 12-inch digital instrument display. At last, we’ve got a Corvette with an interior that looks like it came from the country that invented the iPhone, instead of the country that also invented spray-on cheese. Though what’s going on with that super-long strip of buttons? Did Chevy forget to put the heater controls in until yesterday?

Underneath, Chevy has gone for an aluminium chassis instead of a McLaren-style carbon tub, to keep the car affordable (the base-spec will cost under $60,000). TG’s spoken to Alex MacDonald, the guy in charge of setting up how the new Stingray drives, and quizzed him on the new chassis and some of the crazy rumours that’s followed the new Vette for years. Check out his answer as he sets the record straight here.

Of course no modern sports car would be complete without an armada of modes to fiddle with. So, in addition to Weather, Tour, Sport and Track settings, the new Stingray offers two new modes to play with. There’s MyMode – basically a cherry-pick-your-faves individual setting. And finally, a ‘Z’ mode, which is, well, a bit confusing really.

Chevy says “Z mode is named after the famed Z06, ZR1 and Z51 Corvette performance packages. It’s activated through a ‘Z’ button on the steering wheel. This is a single-use mode that takes MyMode configurations one step further, allowing drivers to adjust the engine and transmission as well”.

So, Z mode is like MyMode, but more so. The Corvette Stingray turned up to eleven, if you like.

Oh, you don’t like. Want something more comfy, do you? Well the Stingray reckons it’s got that sussed out too. There’s wireless smartphone charging, a heated steering wheel, Bose audio, and on-board cameras to capture your best lap times for posterity. And your biggest shunts for YouTube infamy.

But for now, all of that can wait. No lap time chat, no ‘will it beat a Tesla in a drag race’ semantics. Only one thing matters right now. Do you like the way the Stingray looks?

By: Ollie Kew, July 19, 2019

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The Hennessey Goliath 6×6

Pricing for the Hennessey 6×6 starts at $375,000 including the Chevrolet Silverado donor truck. Although production is limited to only two dozen vehicles, Hennessey says that it will make the monster pickup available to all global markets and select Chevrolet dealers will also sell it. The very first Hennessey Goliath 6×6 was sold to Bob Berrard, the owner of the largest potato farm in Wisconsin.
By: Stefan Ogbac, July 17, 2019

This is the Lotus Evija: a 1,972bhp Electric Hypercar


The name. Before we get to the looks of Lotus’s first hypercar, the power of Lotus’s first hypercar, or why indeed Lotus thinks it can blindside Bugatti and co, let’s deal with the name. What four-wheeled unobtanium would dare show its angular face in Casino Square or a climate-controlled Abu Dhabi garage without a Countdown wordjumble branded on its backside?

You’ve deciphered Huayra, Rimac, and Koenigsegg. Now, limber up your jowls and stretch your lips around this: Evija. No, not ‘ee-vee, yahh’, like some Made In Chelsea mannequin guffawing over a Nissan Leaf. It’s “Evv-eye-ah”. Could have sworn she was one of the minor Stark children from Game of Thrones, but apparently it means ‘the first in existence’. Roughly, it translates from Hebrew as ‘living, to breathe’. And it begins with the letter E, which ought to keep the Lotus purists happy. Little else about the Evija will.

Welcome to the age of the electric hypercar, and Britain’s first entrant. Whether or not this will be a long chapter in the history of very fast cars, or a curious cul-de-sac on the way to future forms of power and performance remains to be seen. But Lotus isn’t waiting to see which way the tech wind blows and then cash in its Chinese-funded chips.

The latest corporate giant to tee up a Lotus moonshot and propel it into exotica’s premier league is Geely, China’s third-largest carmaker and backer of a resurgent Volvo, start-up carsharers Lynk&Co and the new London black cab company. And what does the portfolio have in common? A headlong dive into electrification. From Polestar to hybrid cabs and now to rural Norfolk – where all 130 Evijas will be built – Geely wants to conquer the world with belief in batteries. And it’s fallen on Lotus to wade into battle against the upstart likes of Rimac, Pininfarina and, dare we say it, Tesla.

While you’re still digesting the looks, I’ll divulge what we possibly can about the Not-Oily-Bits. When word first filtered onto the internet about Lotus’s mystical ‘Type-130’ project, the power figure being mooted was a nice, round 1,000bhp+. Four-figure horsepower has quickly gone from being the preserve of Bugatti and Koenigsegg to the minimum requirement for a newbie to be taken seriously.

And when it comes to electric hypercars, the numbers really are bananas. The Rimac C_Two promises 1,888bhp. Pininfarina’s Battista rounds that up to 1,900bhp. It’s the end of car tuning as we know it. So long as the processors can handle the maths, you can pretty much name your power output. And to hell with what the tyres can manage.

Lotus says its target is to be the world’s most powerful production car, with 2,000PS, or 1,972bhp. Torque, totalling some 1,700Nm (1,253lb ft – over double what a McLaren Senna churns out) will be vectored between all four wheels, because yep, it’s four-wheel drive. Lotus’s first road-legal 4×4 isn’t the long-mooted SUV after all.

These power boasts are nigh-on impossible to get your head around. And that’s unusual for a Lotus, because instead of asking ‘how have you made it so light’, we’re left wondering ‘why is it so powerful.’ But Louis Kerr, the chief Evija platform engineer, insists Lotus isn’t switching focus from weight-saving to power-craving. “Light weight and efficient, elegant engineering have always been at the heart of the Lotus DNA. That will not change”, he promises Top Gear.

So, the weight. Again, we’re only being fed preliminary figures, but the target spec is 1,680kg ‘in lightest specification’. Hypercar buyers will pay through the nose and back again to cut kilos, as evidenced by the unpainted, trim-shorn Porsche 918 Spyder mit Weissach Pack. Still, with a driver on board, no amount of carbon trim is going to get the Evija under 1.7 tonnes. Hefty for a Lotus. And massive – it’s Aventador-big. Two metres wide. Is this really the right direction for supercars to plunge in?

The good news is it’s a third of tonne lighter than the 1,950kg Rimac, so while it’s not a feather per se, it’s the least leaden of the new e-hypercar breed. And the balance, despite the batteries being heaped up under the Not-Engine-Bay window, is spread 50:50 between the axles.

The performance claims sound coy for something that weighs the same as a 5 Series diesel but has more power than three M5s. Right now the targets are 0-62mph in sub-3sec, 0-186mph in sub-9sec (a Chiron takes 13.6sec) and a top speed north of 200mph. Once it’s off the line and the torque-vectoring is doing its thing, acceleration should be savage. And silent. Louis makes no mention at all of any attempt to give the Evija a soundtrack, beyond the “digitally created sound required by regulations to alert pedestrians to its presence”.

Surely the looks will have alerted folk to the spaceship whispering past their navel? You’ve never seen a vehicle like this. Norfolk residents who spot one undergoing shakedown will feel like those old Navy pilots who caught glimpses of the secret SR-71 Blackbird. What the heck was tha- oh, it’s gone.

All 130 individuals who spend £1.5m-£2m on an Evija (plus taxes, thankyouverymuch) are getting a whole lot of nothing for their money. Or as designers prefer to call it, ‘negative space’. Lotus’s deign boss Russell Carr explains that EVs give him a whole new toybox to unlock.

“The packaging of the battery pack and rear motors offers some flexibility when designing the rear bodywork and diffuser. This has helped us create the distinctive Venturi tunnels. Cooling requirements are less aggressive than on a 1,000hp+ combustion powertrain, and this has allowed us this ‘porous’ quality, with air going through the car.”

It’s incredible , but what exactly makes this a Lotus, looks-wise?

“The prominent muscular haunches and low-mounted cabin has been a feature of Elise and Exige, as well as sports racing cars like Type 11 and Type 40,” says Russell. “The side profile line for the intake of the rear quarter panel Venturi tunnels is reminiscent of that used on the more traditional intakes in the Elise and Exige.”

Lotus’ design boss is adamant that a deliberately retro-inspired-design, like the latest Ford GT, was never on the table. Neither, says engineering, was a hybrid drivetrain. The Evija is a virtuous circle. No engine means less cooling, means neater packaging, means slicker aerodynamics. Those rear tunnels are outrageous, aren’t they? What’s fascinating is how the car seems to shapeshift as you walk around it, like a piece of perspective art hung in a gallery.

From the front-three quarter, it’s a solid object, of punchy stance and brooding haunches. Take a broad step to your left or right. Suddenly, voids open before your very eyes. Light pours through gaping chasms in the car’s shoulders. Shadows are cast beneath the twin-skinned bonnet. The tyres peek through Le Mans racer-like vents ahead of the doors. Supercars always aim to look fast when they’re standing still. This thing looks like it’s coming apart at the seams.

Up until now, Lotus and Williams Advanced Engineering (who also have Singer’s F1-spec Porsche flat-six and the Dendrobium electric hypercar on their books) have been collaborating in simulator testing, but by the time you read this, Lotus will have put the finishing touches to its first rolling prototype.

We’re confidently told that the look won’t change from what you see before you. From the pop-out cameras for door mirrors to the inboard suspension visible at the nape of the rear window, it’s all approved. Hopefully the Huracán-esque interior, with its driver-selfish digi-screen and birthday card-sized steering wheel will be left untouched, too. Because you’ve never sat in a better put-together Lotus than this. It doesn’t even smell of fibreglass and panic.

Where, how or even why the Evija’s owners will deploy their new toy is a big conundrum to ponder, but Lotus is making nods to usability. The cabin controls are a doddle to suss out. Maximum cruising range is 250 miles – about what you’d get from a big V12 Lambo or Pagani, if you’re careful. Which you won’t be. Not with this much insta-poke. And it’ll fully recharge in 18 minutes. If you’ve got access to a 350kW charger. Great news, if you live in Kent. Because Kent’s home to the UK’s sole 350kW charger.

Still, 40 such chargers are planned for when Lotus begins production in 2020. Expect to see motorway services sales of WhatYacht? and The Mock Greek Pillar Journal skyrocket.

There’s a strange-yet-wonderfully true story that on 16th November 1990, the British Parliament debated the morality of Lotus to sell its 377bhp take on the Vauxhall Carlton: a family saloon with a top speed of 177mph. Thirty years on, Lotus is going to mic drop a two thousand horsepower road car on the world. Good job all our MPs are otherwise occupied.

By: Ollie Kew, July 16, 2019

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The EXP 100 GT celebrates 100 years of Bentley


The second thing you notice is the grille, which isn’t really a grille at all because the EXP 100 GT – a glimpse of how the Bentley GT of 2035 might look – is of course powered by electricity. The company claims a range of around 430 miles, a top speed of 186mph and 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds were it, y’know, a real thing…

The ‘grille’, then, serves a different purpose. It’s made of a kind of clear acrylic, and incorporates many individually-controlled LEDs so it can effectively ‘communicate’ with passers-by. The pattern changes depending on whether the car is in autonomous mode – it’s “see or be seen”, as Bentley designer JP Gregory puts it.

Then there’s the aesthetic argument. Gregory says: “There’s a lot of start-up brands at the moment – like Lucid and Faraday Future. And they’re all really handsome cars actually, but one thing they all don’t have is a particular identity.

“As a designer it’s ying and yang, because it really appeals to me to have a blank sheet of paper. But it’s also a disadvantage, because all of them follow the zeitgeist of what’s cool now. So they all end up looking quite similar. To have that rich and deep heritage to draw from is an advantage. Why ignore it? You have to look at a car and instantly know it’s a Bentley.”

The EXP’s electric-ness also means that if you look closely, its proportions are a bit off. Not bad-off, but different-off. Usually a car like this is all bonnet, but the Bentley is a good 80 per cent cabin. “The front screen is much further forwards than we’re used to on a Bentley,” Gregory acknowledges. He says this is partly because they don’t need to leave room under the bonnet for a big W12, but it’s mainly driven by the car’s “drive or be driven” concept that demands much interior space.

Despite its size, the EXP 100 GT seats only four. Or sometimes just two, depending on how you configure the clever seats. Admittedly in glorious opulence, surrounded by the world’s finest materials. Such as 5,000 year-old oak dredged-up after millennia spent underground, and leather made not from animal hide, but grape pulp left over from fine wine-making. Yes, really. The attention to detail in here really is something – far above and beyond what you’d normally expect to see in a concept.

Bentely says the interior is designed to boost the “physical and mental wellbeing of passengers”. There’s lots of light thanks to the exquisitely intricate glass roof, while biometric sensors monitor eye and head movements, blood pressure and so-on then adapt the car to suit. Everything is managed by the Bentley Personal Assistant AI, which passengers can interact with by waving their hands over crystal ornaments.

Its ‘Enhance’ mode is supposed to replicate the feeling of open-top motoring, by interpreting the conditions outside and to an extent replicating them inside. ‘Cocoon’, meanwhile, ups the level of air purification and turns many of the windows opaque. ‘Capture’ records significant moments on your drive, which can then be replayed with the ‘Re-Live’ function.

In-car displays are mainly transparent OLEDs, which is why it looks like there aren’t any, and there’s an interesting cartridge system that delivers items from under the car’s bonnet into the cabin. The double-bubble design of the dash is reminiscent of Bentley’s current models, though here the steering wheel is not a permanent fixture. It motors back into the dashboard when you’re letting the car do the driving.

It sounds like the EXP is possessing of much seemingly pie-in-the-sky tech. But Bentley insists pretty much everything on the EXP 100 GT is being worked on by its designers and engineers. From the Bentley Personal Assistant AI to the transparent OLED displays and adaptable tyres/wheels – Bentley says there’s a “roadmap” for pretty much all of it.

Which is why as concepts go, the EXP 100 GT isn’t especially wild. Certainly not as wild as some of the stuff that comes out of France, for example. Everything is rooted in reality, to a greater or lesser degree.

If Bentleys looked like this in 2035, would you save a space for one on your lottery-win shopping list?

By: Tom Harrison, July 10, 2019
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The Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato Won’t Have a Rear Window


Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato and Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

Aston Martin gave us our first look at the upcoming DBS GT Zagato a few months ago in the form of three sketches, but the British brand has now released three full-fledged renderings that show the limited-run grand tourer in its unexaggerated final form—its digital final form, at least.

The three new renderings show the DBS GT alongside the already revealed DB4 GT Zagato, which completes the second half of the pairing that Aston has dubbed the DBZ Centenary Collection. Together, the two cars will cost just under $8 million, only 19 of each will be made, and you can’t buy them separately. While the DB4 is an exact replica of the original car from the 1960s, the DBS is a wholly modern car based on the existing DBS Superleggera.

Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato and Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

From the front, the DBS GT immediately looks distinct from its “regular” DBS siblingthanks to the gaping maw of a grille. Said grille is made up of 108 carbon-fiber 3D pieces that are closed when the car is off, appearing flush with the body. But when the car starts up, the diamond-shape pieces “flutter into life,” opening up to allow airflow to the V-12 engine. There are new triangular headlights and a big hood vent, too, and the front overhang and hood look longer.

From the side, the DBS GT has a prominent finlike fender vent that’s capped by gold trim, which echoes the gold trim on the wheels and the grille. The rear fenders have a sharp crease, and the C-pillar sharply kicks up to meet the roof. And it’s the roof that’s the DBS GT’s real parlor trick and sets it apart from pretty much every other car on sale.

Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato and Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato

The double-bubble roof, a classic Zagato hallmark, is made from a single piece of carbon fiber that extends from the top of the windshield all the way back to the trunk. That means there’s no rear window, not even a tiny sliver of one. Instead, a camera at the back of the car projects the rearward view onto a screen that is mounted where a typical rearview mirror would be. According to Aston, this setup has no compromises on practicality to the driver, and head of design Marek Reichman says its one of the rare cases where form and function meet, with no concessions given to either side.

The rest of the rear end is a bit more typical, with a huge carbon-fiber diffuser housing quad exhaust tips, clear-lensed taillights with a fluted design like those on the Vanquish Zagatos, and a carbon-fiber panel that looks like it might have an active rear spoiler. And yes, there is still a trunk, although Aston doesn’t say how large it is.

While the DB4 GTs are already being built and delivered, the DBS GTs won’t enter production until next year. Expect to see the first one possibly make its debut in the metal at an auto show or event later this year.


By: Daniel Golson, July 9, 2019

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The Shelby GT500 will Produce 760bhp


Earlier this year, Ford told us that its impending Shelby GT500 would have ‘a projected 700 horsepower’. Seems those projections were a tad… conservative, because, ladies and gents, the all-new 2020 GT500 will produce a whopping 760 horsepower and 625lb ft. of torque. Those crazy numbers make it the most powerful street-legal Ford ever. Not only that, it’s the most powerful and torque-dense supercharged production V8 engine in the world. Dearborn, Michigan – take a bow.

This news brings a few immediate consequences. 1) you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll be pretty rapid 2) YouTubers are set to make a fortune from ad revenue when enthusiastic GT500s leave Cars and Coffee events in 2020.

As a refresher, the GT500 has a 5.2-litre supercharged V8 engine and, with these new power figures, promises 0-60mph in the mid-3sec range, and quarter mile times below 11 seconds. What’s going to stop it when it crosses the line? The largest brake rotors ever fitted to an American sports coupe, of course.

The upgrades for the new GT500, which goes on sale this autumn, are pretty mouth-watering across the board. The all-aluminium engine is hand-built, with forged conrods. In a purist-upsetting move to improve drag and lap times, there’s a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox good for 100 millisecond shifts. It’s not the same transmission as the Ford GT supercar, but its fine-tuning is related to the GT’s. You get Normal, Weather, Sport, Track and Drag modes, and yes, it’ll do a line-lock burnout.

Power is sent to the bespoke Michelin-tyred rear wheels via a carbon fibre driveshaft. Ford describes the next-gen magnetic dampers as ‘baked-in’ (no, us neither) but we are promised the highest ever lateral acceleration for a Mustang. We’d expect nothing less.

Helping harvest those pesky G-forces is a GT4 racecar spec aero package, complete with an adjustable rear wing. Spec the carbon fibre pack and it comes in the glossy weave finish. So does the splitter. And the wheels. Meanwhile, the rear seats are replaced with fresh air.

There’s more hardcore stuff, like a removable rain-catching tray under the massive bonnet vent. If you live somewhere rather warmer and drier than the Top Gear office, you can ditch the rain guard and help your cooling. The giant holes in the car’s face help it achieve 50 per cent better cooling than the Shelby GT350 too. So, that big ol’ motor ought to sustain repeated abuse on track.

Guess there’s only one way to find out. Stay tuned for when we drive the car soon. And how would you prefer your 700 horsepower – in the shape of an American muscle car, or something a little more Italian, say a Ferrari 812? Let us know below.

By: Rowan Horncastle, June 19, 2019

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The Aston Martin Valkyrie’s ‘Valhalla’


It also continues Aston Martin’s tradition of naming its cars with things starting with a ‘V’. You know, Valkyrie, Vanquish, Vantage. Though, much to Top Gear’s sadness, Aston didn’t name the new RB 003 ‘Val Doonican’. Or ‘Val Kilmer’. Maybe it’s saving that for another mid-engined hypercar. We live in hope.

Anyway, the Valhalla. It’ll be a serious track-honed thing, underpinned by knowledge gleaned from the top dog Valkyrie. Y’know, the one that’s racing at Le Mans in a couple of years. Expect then, lots of aero and lightweighting (via a carbon body, carbon tub) and a twin-turbo “high output” V6 petrol engine with a battery-electric hybrid setup. Power and performance figures haven’t yet been released, but we suspect they shall be mighty.

Only 500 Valhallas will be produced, alongside the other mid-engined supercar Aston is developing – that’s the next-generation Vanquish, suiting up to fight the mid-engined Ferraris and McLarens of this world.

“Aston Martin model names always attract a lot of attention,” explains Aston boss Andy Palmer. “They do so because they invariably capture an emotion or tell a story.

“Norse mythology contains such powerful language and rich storytelling it felt only right that the AM-RB 003 should follow the Valkyrie’s theme,” he added. Yeah, but Val Doonican wore a cardigan. That’s rich storytelling too.

Still, naming your mid-engined, baby track monster after a mythical hall of fallen Asgardian warriors is… pretty cool, no?

By: Vijay Pattni, June 18, 2019

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