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WEC Bullish Rules Change Will Attract Extra Manufacturer

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WEC bullish rules change will attract extra manufacturer

In a press conference held ahead of Friday’s Sebring 1000 miles, series promoter the Automobile Club de l’Ouest stated that the 2020/21 hypercar category has been opened up to cars such as the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the McLaren Senna because of genuine interest from major car makers.

Asked if the ACO expected real hypercars to be on the grid at the start of the 2020/21 season in 18 months’ time, sporting director Vincent Beaumesnil said: “Of course, otherwise we would not do it.”

He added: “If we are sticking to September 2020 [for the start of the new category], it is because we know some people will be ready to join us.

“We have expanded the regulations, because they were too restrictive.”

The ACO, which jointly writes the rules with the FIA, has not been drawn on which manufacturers might be on the grid next autumn, but it has confirmed that the three car makers who re-opened the debate on the regulations were Aston, McLaren and Ferrari.

Aston appears the most likely of those three to enter the top division of the WEC with a hypercar, while Toyota has stated that it could race a road-based car rather than a prototype.

WEC boss Gerard Neveu said that interest in the 2020/21 rules had increased since the announcement at the beginning of March that road-based machinery would be permitted.

“Last week at Geneva around the motor show there were a lot of meetings with top representatives of car companies,” he explained.

“The fact that we have opened this new possibility has brought new manufacturers around the table — there were some very productive discussions.”

It was also revealed that it is likely that non-hybrid prototypes will be allowed when the new rules come into force, whereas originally they stipulated a front energy-retrieval system for all cars.

This is in line with the decision not to mandate hybrid systems for road hypercars.

Beaumesnil said: “We are in the middle of [deciding] this, but it is the intention.”

The ACO has confirmed that Balance of Performance will be used to equate road-based hypercars with purposed-designed hypercar concept prototypes.

“We leave open the option to run a hybrid or not, so if you have this and the fact that you can start from a road car or a prototype, you will have to balance the performance,” said Beaumesnil.

He stressed that the experience of the ACO and the FIA in balancing cars in the GTE classes would stand it in good stead, though he stressed that work on a BoP system for the new top class was still ongoing.

The introduction of BoP will also help to control costs, said Beaumesnil.

“It will guarantee that the budgets are controlled, because you will not need any more to spend the millions to pick up the last tenth of a second,” he said.

“It will be beneficial in terms of facilitating the decisions of manufacturers to jump in because there is a guarantee that the budgets will be controlled.”

The target race laptime at the Le Mans 24 Hours on the introduction of the new rules is now 3m30s rather than the previous 3m24s/25s.

This will also require LMP2 machinery to be slowed by five or six seconds a lap to maintain a distinction between the classes, the ACO clarified.

By: Gary Watkins, March 15, 2019

For more cars, visit: https://www.motorsport.com/wec/news/hypercar-rules-manufacturers-2020-update/4353468/

Source: https://www.motorsport.com/

Lamborghini Is Working on a New Grand Tourer

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Lamborghini increased its global sales by 70 percent last year, thanks almost entirely to the Urus SUV. That fact isn’t lost on CEO Stefano Domenicali. In an interview with Autocar, the exec made it clear that one of his top priorities is to continue to grow the company’s sales, and that likely includes a new 2+2 tourer to be sold alongside the Huracan. Domenicali says the company is already working on the car, and that it’s a key part of his strategy to move 10,000 units a year.

That’s nearly double what the brand currently sells. In 2018, Lamborghini sold 5,750 vehicles worldwide. Domenicali plans to grow that number by focusing on new markets, where the brand isn’t saddled with a reputation for building fire-breathing supercars. The plan is to leverage Lamborghini’s exclusivity while offering up a kinder, more gentle face to established markets. The Urus will likely do most of the heavy lifting on that end. It’s already helping the company move towards a second record-setting sales year.

If he can pull it off, we may very well see a spiritual successor the the Estoque Concept, the four-door that debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. We’re still years away from that, though. Domenicali says the brand needs to be more financially stable before it can add a fourth model line to its portfolio, and that if the sedan does come to pass, we’ll see the 2+2 sometime between now and 2025.

There are plenty of hurdles to jump between now and then, though. The largest being what to do with stable full of a naturally aspirated V-10 and V-12 engines in a world increasingly concerned about emissions and fuel consumption. Domenicali has a plan for that, too, and it doesn’t involve turbochargers. Instead, the brand will look towards integrating hybrid systems to help their hardware comply with tightening regulations.

By: Zach Bowman, March 13, 2019

For more cars, visit: https://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/future-cars/a26809835/lamborghini-working-on-new-gt-car/

Source: https://www.roadandtrack.com/

This Porsche Concept Celebrates 50 Years of the 917

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The Porsche 917 won Le Mans outright in 1970 and ‘72, and dominated North America’s CanAm series in 1972 and ‘73. And this year it turns 50.

To celebrate its half-centenary, Porsche has done some things. First, it set about restoring the first-ever 917. Chassis number 001 was revealed at the 1969 Geneva Motor Show and used mostly as a “test and presentation vehicle”. In its life it went through many colour and spec changes, making its restoration especially challenging. It took a team of engineers and technicians over a year, using original parts and materials where possible, to return 001 to original condition.

It will form part of a special exhibition at Porsche’s museum in Germany, running from May to September. Ten of the 14 exhibits are actual 917s (with a combined power output of 7,795bhp), and one is the model pictured above. It’s a concept study produced by a “small number of designers and engineers” within the company as a homage to the 917’s first Le Mans victory.

Look closely and you’ll see it’s a bit rough around the edges – this is a full-scale model, nothing else, that’s supposed to give us an idea of what a modern-day 917 might look like. No plans to turn it into a real thing, which is a crying shame because it looks ace. Think Porsche ought to revive the 917 proper?

By: Tom Harrison, March 11, 2019

For more cars, visit: https://www.topgear.com/car-news/concept/porsche-concept-celebrates-50-years-917

Source: https://www.topgear.com/

McLaren Senna GTR Production Model Is Here To Rule The Track

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McLaren Senna GTR

Leave it to McLaren to take an already hardcore performance machine such as the Senna and turn it into something truly extreme. Unveiled a year ago as a concept, the Senna GTR is debuting today in its final, track-only form and with a production run limited to just 75 examples – all of which have long been sold, of course. Joining its road car counterpart and the Speedtail in the company’s Ultimate Series, the GTR follows other track machines carrying the fabled suffix such as the P1 GTR and the iconic F1 GTR.

A mind-blowing mélange of numbers, the new Senna GTR offers 814 horsepower and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque from McLaren’s highest spec yet of the twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine. To unlock an extra 25 hp over the road car, the engineers from Woking got rid of the secondary catalyst to reduce back pressure and they also fiddled with the engine control. By removing that catalyst, McLaren says the race car’s soundtrack is more aggressive when compared to the anything-but-normal Senna.

While the concept had the exhaust pipes on the sides, in front of the rear wheels, the production-spec Senna GTR uses a rear-exit exhaust in the same vein as the standard model. The side exhausts were undoubtedly cool, but McLaren explains they decided to move the pipes to the rear to guarantee the quickest and shortest route for the exhaust gases to get out. In turn, this reduces complexity and shaves off weight.

Speaking of which, the track beast tips the scales at only 1,188 kilograms (2,619 pounds) or 10 kg (22 lbs) less than the road car to achieve the best power-to-weight-ratio (685 hp / ton) ever of any car built by McLaren Automotive. Not only that, but changes to the body allow the Senna GTR to generate a whopping 1,000 kg of downforce or a full 200 kg more than the road version. The track car can achieve the same level of downforce as the standard Senna at a 15-percent lower speed as a result of the updated aero package.

Being built exclusively for the circuit, it comes as no surprise McLaren got rid of most creature comforts to shave off fat, but you still get air conditioning to keep you cool on a hot track day. Replacing the kit you’ll find in the road model are race car-specific goodies like a data logger and a pit radio, while a fire extinguishing system and pneumatic air jacks were added as well. Without the essential track equipment, the Senna GTR would’ve been even lighter.

All told, the Senna GTR is the quickest McLaren ever built outside of Formula 1.

By: Adrian Padeanu, March 8, 2019

For more cars, visit: https://www.motor1.com/news/308639/2019-mclaren-senna-gtr-revealed/

Source: https://www.motor1.com/

The 2019 Geneva Auto Show’s Must-See Debuts and Wildest Concept Cars

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Anyone who thinks that modern auto shows are dying a slow death—particularly after this year’s downright boring Detroit auto show—needs to fly themselves to Geneva, Switzerland, at take in that city’s international motor show. The 2019 Geneva show was huge, with an alluring mixture of new-car debuts, fanciful concept cars, and more low-volume supercars than you can shake financial crimes at.

Okay, so travel to Switzerland and accommodations in a city best known for having a lake and being a destination for banking and watch purchases isn’t cheap, nor is it likely to be quick or easy. That’s why we went, and while in Geneva not swimming in the lake, banking, or purchasing watches, we sorted through the auto show’s myriad vehicles to find the ten that matter most. Swipe through for the list, and be sure to see everything else from the show in our full-throated coverage.

Alfa Romeo Tonale concept

Pronounced “toe-nah-lay,” this Tonale concept is Alfa Romeo’s vision for a new, smaller crossover destined to join its lineup beneath the compact Stelvio. You can tell from the Tonale—for the last time, it’s not “toenail”—that it is front-wheel drive–based, not rear-drive like the Stelvio or the Giulia sedan. Besides entering Alfa Romeo into the lucrative market segment that also includes subcompact luxury offerings such as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-class, and Lexus UX, the Tonale promises to offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain when it eventually goes on sale. That makes it Alfa Romeo’s first-ever hybrid model.

Aston Martin Vanquish Vision concept

Among a flotilla of new supercars and supercar-like show cars Aston Martin debuted in Geneva, the Vanquish Vision concept rose above the rest. First off, this will be the tamest of the coming flood of mid-engine Aston Martins, which also includes the 003 and the Valkyrie, yet will still have a new V-6 engine and hybridization like those cars. Its focus on road performance, rather than all-out track acumen, means that its body is free from most of the wings, slats, slits, and other distractions on its more powerful siblings and thus is somewhat prettier. Either way, get ready, because Aston is taking the supercar fight to McLaren and Ferrari’s doorsteps.

Audi Q4 e-tron

Audi’s electric lineup continues to expand, at least if you count the volume of concept cars the automaker has unveiled in recent years. So far, only the e-tron has made it to market, but this smaller Q4 e-tron won’t be far behind. Promised for 2021, the eventual production Q4 e-tron likely will closely resemble this concept. It also is said to arrive with around 280 miles of driving range per charge from its 82-kWh battery pack, one drive motor per axle (providing all-wheel drive), and a bullseye on its tailgate from Tesla’s upcoming Model Y compact electric crossover.

Bugatti La Voiture Noire

Lucky for you, the opportunity, such as it is, to purchase the most expensive new car for sale in the world today has passed you by. Bugatti has already sold the $12.5 million, Divo-based La Voiture Noire to the customer who special ordered the all-black hypercar. For the extra $9 million and change this one-off creation costs relative to a run-of-the-mill Chiron, Bugatti’s special buyer receives a rolling homage to the 1930s-era Type 57SC Atlantic owned by Jean Bugatti himself and said to be lost before the onset of World War II. The frenchy name literally translates to “the black car,” and black this Divo creation is, with a dark-finish carbon-fiber-weave body treatment, stripped-down ornamentation, no rear wing, and several body openings and vents closed up. Oh, and it has six exhaust outlets lined up in a row poking out from its rear.

By: Alexander Stoklosa, March 5, 2019

To read more about the Geneva Autoshow, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/features/g26665435/2019-geneva-auto-show-highlights/?slide=4

Source: https://www.caranddriver.com/

This Is the AM-RB 003, Aston Martin’s Mid-Engine Hypercar

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Aston Martin us has been teasing us for months about its upcoming mid-engine hypercar to follow the Valkyrie. Now, we finally get to see it in full. This is the AM-RB 003. Packing a mid-mounted turbocharged V-6 hybrid powertrain, it’s set to go into production in 2021 with a limited run of 500 units.

Aston Martin says the 003 is heavily influenced by the Valkyrie, using much of the same technology and fundamental design cues. The fascia and profile lines are similar, though the 003’s overall shape is less severe than the Valkyrie. “The design isn’t as extreme in some areas, but it pushes just as hard in others, and is even taking certain ideas and concepts a step further,” Miles Numberger, director of design, said in a press release.

The most interesting part has got to be the rear wing. It’s equipped with something called FlexFoil, a NASA-validated aerospace tech that promises leaps in aerodynamic performance. Here’s how Aston explains it:

The system allows for the car’s downforce to be changed without changing the physical angle of the entire element, resulting in a seamless design with high performance, improved efficiency and reduced wind noise. Turbulence and the associated drag increase found in current “state of the art” active wing designs is virtually eliminated too.

While the exterior is certainly a treat to look at, it’s inside the cockpit where the differences between this and the Valkyrie become clear. The 003’s passenger compartment is larger and more accommodating, with space behind the seats for luggage, a center console, and even a place to mount your phone on the dash (why doesn’t every car have this?). There’s also a racing-inspired steering wheel full of vehicle controls and a display screen in the hub. Also note the cool wing-shaped paddle shifters.

Aston Martin hasn’t disclosed many performance specs on this upcoming hypercar, but the automaker revealed that the new turbocharged V-6 was fully designed in-house. It will use Castrol’s Nexcel 90-second oil change system, which was first tested on the track-only Vulcan. The 003 will be the first production road car to use the system.

Expect to see the first 003s on the road in late 2021. But don’t expect it to keep the name—like the Valkyrie, the numerical designation is only for internal purposes, and a more memorable name will be revealed soon.

By: Brian Silvestro, March 5, 2019

For more cars, visit: https://www.roadandtrack.com/car-shows/geneva-auto-show/a26629949/aston-martin-am-rb-003-pictures-specs-price-hp/

Source: https://www.roadandtrack.com/

Bugatti La Voiture Noire Revealed As Most Expensive New Car of All Time

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La Voiture Noire, priced at €11 million (around £9.45m) before taxes, has already been sold. If sold in the UK, the price would be some £11.3m including VAT.

La Voiture Noire, which arrives in Bugatti’s 110th anniversary year, features aggressive styling up front with a more pronounced grille than either the Veyron or Chiron, while the headlights recede back above the wheel arches rather than being placed horizontally above the bumper, which now juts out sharply.

While the styling isn’t entirely reminiscent of the smooth coupé contours and elongated bonnet of the original Atlantic, the most definitive stylistic aspect has been retained: the dorsal seam running up along the bonnet, between the windows and over the roof of the body (although the rivets have been left out).

At the rear, a continuous rear light runs along a grille-like back end, McLaren P1 style, with the company name illuminated in white below. All this sits above a bespoke exhaust set-up comprising six separate pipes running away from the car’s 1479bhp 8.0-litre 16-cylinder engine. From the specs, it is likely to be the same engine used in the Chiron.

The car is based on the Chiron but the wheelbase has been lengthened slightly. Bugatti is understood to have made money on the project.

Bugatti has not named the buyer of the car, saying only that they are a ‘Bugatti enthusiast’. Stephan Winkelmann, Bugatti boss, said that Bugatti approached the customer direct about buying the car. The average Bugatti owner has around 30 cars, Winkelmann added, and the firm had a list of customers who may well be interested in products like the

“The true form of luxury is individuality,” said Winkelmann. “La Voiture Noire is now at the cutting edge of automobile production. It is a sculptural beauty with unique technology, the ideal grand tourer.”

“With La Voiture Noire, we are paying homage to our heritage and bringing speed, technology, luxury and aesthetics forward to a new era,” Winkelmann continued. “With our automotive haute couture, we have shown what Bugatti is capable of.”

By: Autocar, March 6, 2019

For more cars, visit: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/motor-shows-geneva-motor-show/bugatti-la-voiture-noire-revealed-most-expensive-new-car-all

Source: https://www.autocar.co.uk/

Pininfarina Battista First Look: The Fully Electric, Nearly 1,900-HP Hypercar

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It has 1,874 horsepower and 1,696 lb-ft of torque. It’ll hit 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 100 mph in 4.3 seconds, and 186 mph in 11.8 seconds. Quarter mile? Gone in 9.1 seconds. Top speed? An autobahn-busting 218 mph. And there’s not a single turbocharger or camshaft or piston to be found. Welcome to the shocking future of the hypercar. Welcome to the Pininfarina Battista, one of the star cars of this year’s Geneva auto show.

The name is steeped in history. Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina founded his eponymous coachbuilding company in Turin, Italy, in 1930. The 1947 Cisitalia 202 coupe he designed was the first car to become part of the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection in New York. Pininfarina has also designed and built cars for Ferrari, as well as Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, and Cadillac (remember the Allante?), among others. But the Battista is a digital-age, crowd source-era hypercar, combining traditional notions of Italian design and craftsmanship with financial and technological resources that simply weren’t available 10 years ago.

Pininfarina SpA, which will build the Battista in Italy, is today majority owned by Indian automaker Mahindra, best known in the U.S. for its range of tractors and the Roxor off-roader, an ancient CJ Jeepclone it has built for decades. Automobili Pininfarina, which developed with the Battista concept and will sell the car, is 100 percent owned by Mahindra and staffed by highly experienced executives and engineers who have variously worked for Porsche and Pagani, Lamborghini and Bugatti, as well as Alfa Romeo and Audi.

The Battista’s potent e-powertrain is from Croatia’s Rimac Automobili, whose electric-powered Concept_One and C_Two hypercars are quick enough to frighten a Bugatti Chiron. Rimac pricked the pop-culture zeitgeist in 2017 when former Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond threw a Concept_One off the road while filming an episode of The Grand Tour. But performance-focused Rimac has also attracted attention from respected auto industry heavyweights: Porsche quietly took a 10 percent stake in the company last year. Rimac is also supplying high-performance hybrid battery systems for the forthcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie, and Koenigsegg’s Regera.

Designed by Pininfarina SpA, the Battista at first glance looks vaguely like a reworked Ferrari 488. The Ferrari vibe is perhaps understandable, given the company’s long association with Maranello, even though the brief for the Battista came from Automobili Pininfarina design director Luca Borgogno, who worked at Lamborghini’s studio in Turin, most recently on the Urus SUV. Automobili Pininfarina insiders insist, however, the carbon -iber monocoque and body panels are all new and unique, a fact substantiated by doors that are cut into and are hinged at the roof, and swing forward and upward like those of a McLaren 720S.

The Koenigsegg Jesko Has 1600 HP and Promises a 300-MPH Top Speed

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Koenigsegg will build 125 Jeskos in two variants. The track-focused version you see here is designed to produce more than 3000 lbs of downforce with Koenigsegg’s revolutionary Triplex suspension at front and rear. The low-drag Jesko version is a more road-friendly machine with a standard front suspension that leaves enough room in the front trunk to stow the removable targa roof.

And good news: No matter which spec you choose, the Jesko will be homologated worldwide—unlike some other extreme performance cars that aren’t road legal in certain nations.

We’ve talked about how special the Koenigsegg V-8 is before. For its last appearance before Koenigsegg goes electrified and camless across the board, the team has really gone the extra mile. You get 1280 horsepower on pump gas, or 1600 hp on E85. That’s partly because the Jesko’s V8 has a flat-plane crank that weighs just 27.5 lbs, milled from a solid steel billet in southern Sweden. To reduce thevibration you’d get from a flat-plane crank engine while as it approaches 8500rpm, Koenigsegg’s engine architect, Dr. Thomas Johansson, came up with new super-light connecting rods that are made from an ultra-strong Swedish steel alloy. Including the bolts, they weigh 19 pounds, which makes them exactly as light as the titanium rods of the Regera engine, but even stronger. Then, there’s the pistons.

They weigh 0.63 pounds each, with a ceramic-coated curved face that happens to be the strongest in production. As a result, they can take a crazy amount of pressure while allowing the long-stroke V8 to rev to 8500 rpm.

The Jesko may not use Koenigsegg’s camless Freevalve heads, but the ones it has are cast by Formula One suppliers Grainger and Worrall, with an extra “tumble” valve on the intake side to increase turbulence in the air-fuel mix.

Koenigsegg’s even-larger turbos would mean even more lag, but the Jesko’s engine features a clever system that uses pressurized air to spool up the compressor wheels and heat up the catalytic converters more quickly on cold start. In principle, the system is similar to one used on Volvo’s PowerPulse diesel, but Koenigsegg came up with a patent-pending turbo housing design, with pressurized air stored in a carbon fiber tank and blasting into the turbos at up to 290 psi. And with the catalytic converters reaching operating temperature in no time, this twin-turbo Koenigsegg V8 will comply with future global emission standards planned for as far away as 2026.

More air demands more fuel, so the engine now sports three fuel injectors per cylinder. The third injector lives in the intake plenum, squirting in fuel directly above the intake runner for each cylinder. The extra blip of fuel also cools the cylinder, making for a cleaner combustion and less strain on the engine at the top of the power range.

Koenigsegg also threw in individual in-cylinder pressure sensors, a first for road cars. This allows the in-house-designed Engine Management System to monitor and control each cylinder at maximum efficiency. All this results in 1106 pound feet of torque to accompany your 1280 pump-gas horses.

Ginetta’s 600HP Supercar Is Road-Legal LMP3 Tech

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I don’t think speed cameras will be able to read the new Ginetta supercar’s front plate, a possible plus in case you find this nearly $530,000, LMP1-inspired, front mid-engined British supercar to be a great idea. Ginetta says production will be limited to 20 units in the first year, with 60 percent of the 2020 allocation sold already. That means there are eight more 2020 cars to go before Geneva, where Ginetta will tell us the name of its their 600-horsepower carbon fiber rule-bender.

Ginetta claims this 104-wheelbase two-seater has a “mid- mid-engined layout,” not front mid-engined, as you might expect. The naturally-aspirated, dry-sump V8 is pushed so far back in the carbon monocoque/aluminum honeycomb sandwich chassis that you could put another V8 in front of it. But you won’t need to, since the stock one packs 600 horsepower and 516 foot-pounds of torque. It’s Ginetta’s GT3/LMP1 racing-delivered motor with a billet block and forged inners.

The result is a weight distribution of 49 front/51 rear, with a minimum dry weight of 2535 lbs. ‘Dry weight’ of course refers to a car that has no fluids in it, which means you can’t drive it, but the figure remains promising.

Ginetta’s supercar also has a bespoke transaxle with a carbon fiber propshaft, and a six-speed sequential gearbox featuring full synchromesh and precision ground helical gears, connected to a Torsen-style limited-slip differential. This much torque also demanded a four-plate carbon/hydraulic clutch, with anti-stall functionality.

The steering is hydraulic, while the billet-milled pedal box’s left side is connected to 14.1-inch carbon ceramic brake discs, hidden behind Ginetta’s in-house designed 19/20-inch wheels. The standard tires are Michelin Pilot Sport 4s, with 305-wide rubber at the rear.

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