The obsessive attention to detail that’s going into the upcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie is something we haven’t seen in a car since the McLaren F1. Much of that attention is focused on weight savings. So much so that the Valkyrie’s mastermind, Adrian Newey, apparently balked when he saw a prototype for its V12 engine with a lacquered carbon-fiber intake manifold. He demanded that the manifold come unlacquered as standard, which saves just 80 grams.
You probably wouldn’t sweat 80 grams, and nor would I, but that’s what makes Adrian Newey different than us. That’s why he’s designed 10 F1 constructor’s championship-winning cars and I’m sitting here blogging about him.
In the spirit of obsessive weight-savings, the Valkyrie has a lightweight paint option, which is detailed in a Top Gear video all about configuring the hypercar. Aston interior design manager Libby Meigh told Top Gear that three “ultra-light” paints would be offered on the Valkyrie and they save around 700 grams over regular paint. That’s just 1.54 pounds.
Now, I realize that this basically amounts to the difference between having fries with your burger instead of a salad, but, you have to admire how it fits with the spirit of the car. After all, if you compromise on the weight of the paint, you might as well compromise on everything. If I were speccing-out my Valkyrie, I’d have to go with the lightweight paint—it’s the sort of decision you’d hope Adrian Newey would admire.
Aston Martin hasn’t announced a final weight figure for the Valkrie yet, but we’ve heard it should be under 2300 lbs. That’s less weight than a new Miata, with around six times as much horsepower. It makes the otherwise-lithe, 3030-pound McLaren Senna seem porky by comparison.
That’s the sort of result you get when you sweat the small stuff. Including the paint.
By: Chris Perkins, January 23, 2019
For the full TopGear video, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAY8P-WcZAA
We have the Porsche Panamera to thank for the existence of the AMG GT 4dr. Despite a plethora of fast, expensive machinery at the top of the Mercedes range (E63S, S63 saloon and coupe, CLS53, AMG GT S etc), Mercedes was losing customers who were unable to upgrade to the car they really wanted. Which was, apparently, a very fast, coupe-ish, four-door, sports-focussed, very expensive family car. Niche, eh? You could argue that was the role performed by the old CLS63, but that was deemed too cheap, too GT-ish to tackle the Panamera.
So now we have a four-door AMG GT. Although underneath it actually has much more in common with the E63 and new CLS. Yep, the name is disingenuous, given that this new car uses the MRA platform that underpins the C-Class, E-Class, CLS and various other Mercedes’, and therefore isn’t a four-door version of the GT at all. But it has been modified, gaining extra strengthening for the body.
Up steps the 4.0-litre twin turbo V8, available, like the E63, in S (631bhp) or non-S (577bhp) outputs. The fourteen grand price difference between the two (£121k plays £135k) is also accounted for by the S having dynamic engine mounts, an electric locking rear diff, and the ability to disconnect the front driveshafts and indulge yourself in Drift Mode. In Europe there are also GT 53 and 43 versions, which use the new 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder in 423 or 357bhp forms. Neither of those is likely to make it to the UK.
In due course there will be a hybrid. Or maybe two. Mercedes mentions the fact that 40 per cent of Panameras are hybrids, e-power available in conjunction with both V6 and V8 motors. Stands to reason Merc might want a slice of the same action, so a 631bhp-plus-e-boost could be on the cards.
Like the Panamera, it’s long (over five metres), heavy (2,100kg and upwards), and luxurious. The driving environment has overtones of both AMG GT and S-Class, four seats are standard, a fifth optional and there’s a big boot, the space smuggled in under a swooping, almost endlessly elongated coupe silhouette. It’s a handsome beast, with greater street presence than its key rival. It features active aero: a 20-fin Air Panel grille enlivens the front end, at the rear there’s a multi-stage rear spoiler that flips up to increase stability under braking.
Prices might start at £121,350, but that’s just a stepping off point – let’s face it you’re going to be fitting 21in forged rims and matt magno paint, aren’t you?
By: Various Top Gear Journalists
For more cars, visit: https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/mercedes-benz/amg-gt-4-door
Strap in for one hell of a ride, as the Redline Rebuild crew got their grimy hands on all the parts to build an 840-horsepower Dodge Demon engine.
The Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is to blame for more than a few daydreams. Hagerty’s resident wrench Davin Reckow is one of the many gearheads with greasy hands who wanted to know just how SRT engineers extracted 840 horsepower from the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 under the Demon’s square hood (provided it’s burning 100-octane race fuel). And after taking it from a pile of parts to a fire-breathing monster, now he knows.
Dodge sent the engine in pieces, and the whole shebang arrived at our shop looking like a model kit from a drag racer’s fever dream. Except with a lot less glue. Davin certainly needed his torque wrench, though, as well as a special tool for the torque-to-yield bolts used throughout.
This modern powerplant differs from the classic engines that Davin usually assembles due to the use of these torque-to-yield bolts. In the video, you can see a special tool attached between Davin’s torque wrench and the socket to drive the bolts. Each fastener is tightened to a specified torque, then turned a set number of degrees further (example: 85 lb-ft plus 90 degrees).
“It was certainly different from the other builds we have done,” says Davin Reckow, Special Project Editor. “It was fascinating to see just how far modern engines have come, yet so much of the concepts are essentially the same. Especially when comparing parts against the Hemi we rebuilt in 2016.”
The pièce de résistance, of course, is the Demon’s monster supercharger. Is that what accounts for the sizable bump from the 707-hp Hellcat? It’s certainly part of the story. Seeing how the airflow comes from three intake sources the supercharger is now 2.7 liters versus 2.4 liters in the Hellcat, boost pressure is up to 14.5 psi from 11.6 psi, and the system includes two small chillers that use the air conditioning system to lower intake air charge temperature. The upgraded blower definitely makes a difference. But on top of that, the Demon revs 300 rpm higher that the Hellcat, uses two dual-stage fuel pumps rather than one, and contains stronger internals that make it capable of enduring the considerably higher power output.
Sit back, grab something cold to drink, and watch this speed Demon go together in record time. At the end, there is the bonus of hearing that massive supercharger at full whine. There is also a bit of tire smoke. OK, a lot of tire smoke.
For full VIDEO, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONCxPxtE7Xs
By: Kyle Smith, January 23, 2019
When many of us want to compare the many, many variants of the Porsche 911, we only have a few options. One, we can Google it. Two, we can contact our local dealership or the Porsche Club of America. Or we can check out the Rennlist forums. Or maybe we have a friend that has one of the cars in question and we can compare. But few of us have the resources to, say, pit a 911 GT2 RS road car against a GT3 Cup car on the track and see what happens.
But PCA member Steve Dimakos happens to own both cars. And thanks to Road America and PCA, Dimakos was able to see how his 700 horsepower, 3,241-pound road car fares against his 460-horse, 2,700-pound track day special. The best part? It’s all on video.
He’s no stranger to Porsche. Since his first one, a 964 Turbo, Dimakos has been a diehard Porsche fan. He then graduated to a C4 S track car and has been racing ever since. He’s smitten with his new car, saying: “The 2 RS is a perfect representation of the ultimate car for the reason that it can be a daily driver. You can drive it to the office, and you can take it to the race track.” Nonetheless, he’s still anxious to see how it stands up to his current track toy.
So he has both cars go out to the same track on the same day, piloted by the same driver: Racing pro Bryan Sellers. On top of PCA and Road America’s involvement, Pirelli gets in on the experiment too. They provide DH racing tires for the Cup car, and Trofeo Rs for the GT2. It’s about as even a match as one can make it.
So how do they fare? Of the GT2, Sellers says: “you could really feel the power advantage of the GT2 RS as you accelerated out of the corners, and you could feel it as it started to build down the straightaway, and it never really felt like it stopped pulling.” But in the end, the lighter, more nimble Cup car did better, with a best lap of 2.11.98. The GT2’s best lap was 2.17.04.
Talking about the GT3 car, Sellers says: “On the Cup car, you’re able to go through [Road America’s Kink] with just a lift, if maybe a slight brake. But the GT2 RS was a pretty heavy brake to be able to make it through the corner. So by the time you got to Canada Corner, turn 12, the GT2 RS hadn’t made up any time on the cup car.”
Still, that’s no knock on the GT2. As Sellers says in his closing thoughts: “A street car is a street car, and a race car is a race car. However, if you are going to put a street car on the race track, the GT2 is a monster.”
Dimakos agrees. He says: “While the GT2 RS maybe came in a second or two slower than I anticipated… I will say that the 2:17 time will probably be faster than most people driving cup cars this weekend. That’s pretty impressive… that’s a car that you can now turn around, stop at the grocery store on the way home, then pick up the kids.” We agree, the GT2 RS is pretty much the ultimate street car. Give this video a watch, it’s sure to make your day.
By: James Sapienza, January 1, 2019
For the video, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsPfnbk0DtQ
For more Porsche articles, visit: https://rennlist.com/articles/pca-member-pits-911-gt2-rs-against-gt3-cup/?utm_source=jan16&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=content
The six-cylinder Launch Edition Toyota Supra may start at $55,250 before taxes in America, but for charity during Barrett-Jackson’s annual Scottsdale auction, somebody payed $2.1 million for the “one-of-a-kind Global #1” example.
While regular people can order their Launch Edition Supras in either Renaissance Red 2.0, Absolute Zero White or Nocturnal Black, the winner of VIN #20201 got a Phantom Matteexterior, along with matte black wheels, red mirror caps and carbon trim in the cabin.
While all proceeds from the Toyota Supra sale benefit the American Heart Association and the Bob Woodruff Foundation (supporting veterans and service members), the $1.1 million Barrett-Jackson CEO Craig Jackson payed for the first production 2020 Shelby GT500 goes to JDRF, aiding type 1 diabetes research.
The 700+ horsepower Shelby GT500 with VIN 001 is a Twister Orangeexample, which should look great parked next to a Sebring OrangeCorvette ZR1 in any garage. But this one goes to Craig Jackson’s, and we’re not sure if he has one. Yet our PCOTY results say he should.
By: Mate Petrany, January 21, 2019
One crisp autumn morning you decide you want to drive your Ferrari Daytona through the Alps then down to the Amalfi coast. But the car’s not kept at your house, instead it’s in a museum, because it seems a shame to keep a car like that hidden from admiring eyes. No problem, you simply drive to the converted former agricultural factory where it’s on display, open the main doors with your key, activate the car lift and make your way to the bay that your 365 GTB/4 is kept in. Visitors move to the sides as you drive down the wide corridors towards the Ferrari’s sharp, Plexiglas-dominated nose.
The same key that let you through the main door – a black plastic item with a chip at one end – also opens the sliding glass door that keeps your Ferrari’s original glass from greasy hands and its Verde Medio Metallizzato paint from the accidental scoring of a wayward zip. A crowd has started to draw as you begin to swap into the Daytona from your idling 997 GT3 (because you don’t come to collect your Daytona in a 320d). The battery is fully charged and the car has been serviced and maintained by one of the classic car specialists that reside on the ground floor, so it starts instantly. Once you’ve pulled the big GT out of its bay and reversed the Porsche into the empty space, you trundle out the same way you came in – along the corridor, down the lift, through the main door – then it’s onwards to the Alps.
This might sound like a fantasy, but for the group of enthusiasts who keep their cars at Klassikstadt, it’s a reality. On the outskirts of Frankfurt, this huge car storage facility cum museum is packed full of privately owned cars so special mere garages don’t befit their provenance, each parked up to be viewed by the public but ready to be driven away day or night. To cement its status as an automotive paradise there are also classic and modern car dealers, restorers, an interior trimmer, marque-specific specialists, a model shop and even a rather good restaurant on the same site.
By: Will Beaumont, January 12, 2019
BMW’s M3, Porsche’s 911 and Mercedes-AMG’s C63 are all achingly desirable machines, cars that have the ability to perform as proficient, exciting road and track cars. But as well as appealing to you and me, they also need to work over a broader spectrum, to satisfy a wider audience, and this means that their ultimate potential to thrill isn’t being realised. Narrow such a car’s operating window, however, make it stiffer and noisier and its controls heavier, and it can deliver so much more for people like us.
What Porsche, AMG, BMW et al do to make their most hardcore sports coupes feel more at home around the Nordschleife than the North Circular will be familiar to scholars of the Demon Tweeks motorsport catalogue. Big brakes, stickier tyres, roll-cages, bucket seats, harnesses, Plexiglas windows, uprated springs and dampers, thicker anti-roll bars, solid-mounted or rose-jointed suspension, carbonfibre wings, lighter and louder exhausts – these cars already have everything you might otherwise earmark in that sacred catalogue. But the factory-prepped cars also get changes that only their manufacturer could or would make: stiffer and sometimes wider body shells, bigger capacity or unique engines, bespoke gearboxes.
It can be easy to forget just how thorough and comprehensive the work that goes into such cars is. The leap from 4-series to M4 GTS is colossal; put a C-class next to a C63 Black Series and it’s like they’re barely related at all. Tot it all up and the price premium – sometimes as much as 100 per cent – that such hardcore cars might command over the merely sporty originals starts to seem reasonable.
By: Will Beaumont, January 14, 2019
For more cars, visit: https://www.evo.co.uk/features/22137/hardcore-coupes-clk63-black-series-vs-997-gt3-rs
The newest BMW M5 is the first in the model’s history to sport all-wheel drive and a torque-converter automatic transmission, and we expect the next M3 and M4 to do the same. But, these twins won’t abandon rear-wheel drive and manual gearboxes, either. In fact, BMW is apparently working on pared-back, rear-drive only versions of the M3 and M4.
So reports UK’s Car magazine. Apparently, BMW is calling these cars the M3 and M4 Pure, though that designation isn’t final. Car says that they’ll be the only M3 and M4 variants to offer a manual transmission, and neither will get a driveshaft sending power to the front axle. The M3 and M4 Pure should be a little cheaper than the regular versions too, though unfortunately, they’ll be a little down on power, since BMW doesn’t have a manual that can handle over 480 lb-ft of torque.
Speaking of power and torque, Car reports that the M3 and M4 will stick with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six that will sport an M4 GTS-esque water-injection system. The M3 and M4 Pure models will serve up 454 hp, while the regular models will have 474 hp. All-wheel drive, dubbed M xDrive, will be an option for the regular M3 and M4, and like the M5, it’ll offer a two-wheel drive mode for languid slides.
Of course, there’ll be more powerful, track-focused variants following the hierarchy established by previous M boss Frank Van Meel. Expect a Competition version to follow soon after the new M3 and M4 debut, and eventually, there’ll be CS and CSL versions, too. That’s right—BMW is bringing back the M3 CSL nameplate. Expectations will surely be high.
Car says we’ll see the next M3 and M4 at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September. We can’t wait.
By: Chris Perkins, January 17, 2019
Porsche’s 911 may seem immortal, eternal, but in truth it’s always been a work in progress. Generations of engineers have spent their careers buried in the bowels of Porsche‘s R&D headquarters in Weissach polishing, honing, refining, and reimagining the sports car that for more than half a century has been its lodestar. The 2020 911, aka the 992, proves the point. It looks familiar, feels familiar, sounds familiar. But there isn’t a part or component on the car that hasn’t been touched, tweaked, or totally renewed.
I’ve now tested seven of the eight 911 generations, and the 992 is the most wondrous of the lot. Oh, you’ll hear some sniffing that it’s grown too big, too complex, too luxurious, that it’s lost the purity of purpose enshrined in Butzi Porsche’s bijou original. Hardcore Porsche aficionados can be a picky lot. Butzi’s 911 was designed to be roomier and more comfortable than the beetle-backed 356 yet was regarded by many in 1963 as a retrograde step. The 1997 switch from air-cooled to water-cooled engines with the 996 was the ultimate betrayal, the automotive equivalent of Bob Dylan picking up an electric guitar.
What I’ve come to understand—no, love—about the Porsche 911 is how it continues to defy logic. It is, on an elemental level, a car defined by its history. But it’s not trapped by it.
Hockenheimring, Germany. Just before Christmas. It’s close to freezing, a watery sun barely troubling damp patches on the track, as I climb into the gray 992 Carrera S. Even though the Le Mans dash-to-the-car starts are lost to history, the ignition is to the left of the steering wheel, just as it’s always been. A twist and the 3.0-liter flat-six—the same capacity and configuration as the engine that powered the first 911 I ever tested 32 years ago—instantly fires up and settles to a rapid idle, combustion clatter muted by water and turbochargers. Five dials are spread across the instrument panel, just as they were in 1963, though only the central one—the tach, of course—is analog.
By: Angus MacKenzie, January 15, 2019
For more cars, visit: https://www.motortrend.com/cars/porsche/911/2020/2020-porsche-911-carrera-s-review/
It might seem churlish to start a review of a car as talented as the Audi R8 with a digression into taxonomical semantics, but the question of whether we should regard it as a particularly brawny sports car or whether it achieves the realm of a supercar sums up the wider confusion about just where it sits in the market.
On one hand, the R8 shares much of its underbody structure and its howling V-10 engine with the Lamborghini Huracán, the supercar bona fides of which can’t be questioned. On the other, it wears an Audi badge, and despite the best efforts of that glorious V-10, its power outputs today seem modest when other supercars increasingly break the 700-hp barrier. The current model of the regular R8 has a mere 532 horsepower, and the Plus version just clears the 600-hp mark with 602.
While we acknowledge that such concerns seem ridiculous when considered against the sonorous charms of the high-revving engine itself, they clearly matter to some. Audi is rolling out a facelifted version, which arrives in the United States in summer 2019, likely as a late-arriving 2019 model. In Europe, the update brings a gasoline particulate filter to help clean the V-10’s tailpipe emissions and titanium valvetrain components that help raise output in the standard version to 561 horsepower, while the new Performance model (which replaces the Plus in the lineup) boasts 611 horses. It’s unclear, however, whether the U.S. car will get those engine tweaks.
Cosmetically, the revised R8 is distinguished by more angular front styling, with bumpers incorporating upright winglet-style elements on both sides and a wider and hungrier-looking grille. Above this there are three smaller intakes which we’re told are a reference to the Sport Quattro, a Group B rally legend of many years ago. Expect this design signature to roll out across multiple future Audi models. At the back are a bigger diffuser and two oval tailpipes in place of the current car’s flat-edged outlets. Except for some minor trim tweaks, the interior is effectively unchanged.
By: Mike Duff, January 3, 2019
For more cars, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a25734874/2019-audi-r8-euro-drive/