The Nissan GTR is a bit of an enigma. It’s one of the rare few that satisfies more than one personality traits. It’s nearly untouchable at the Ring, only beat by the million dollar Porsche 918 when counting series production vehicles.
It is not uncommon that automakers bench-test their competition’s vehicles during the design phase of their own cars. What better way to see what works and how to one up the competition then by seeing what makes others successful. What is a bit more atypical is being caught testing out the other’s cars. Usually automakers are quite discrete and go through major lengths to not let the other side know you’re snooping around.
So with Porsche figuring out that one of the buyers of their 911 GT3 was the Honda team, they decided to have a little fun. The vehicle that Honda purchased was done so undercover. It looked like they got away with things, that is until the GT3 was scheduled into the dealership for a recall which involved an issue with the car’s connecting rods. It was at that time that while the car was in Porsche’s shop, they discovered some interesting data when they scanned the car’s black box. That’s when Porsche kindly left a small note attached to the engine bay and returned it to the “customer” to discover. The little note simply said “Good luck Honda from Porsche. See you on the other side.”
After the dismal first rebooted season of Top Gear UK, fans of the old show are now even more pumped and eagerly awaiting the first airing of The Grand Tour which is hosted by ex-Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Like all good things, we just have a wait a short bit longer, but that doesn’t stop the hosts from leaking some behind the scenes footage to get us rallied up and ready to go.
In the latest video footage leaked onto the internet, the hosts aren’t teasing viewers with fast cars doing silly things, instead, they just show the hosts talking about silly things. If the clip were of any other hosts it probably wouldn’t warrant much viewership, but the fact that it is Clarkson, Hammond and May, we get a glimpse of their wittingly silliness which has become a signature of the trio. Good to see things haven’t changed between them three. This is just a good preview of what’s to come. Oh and about the clip, it’s all over the internet, but we get to hear Clarkson describe how he’s connected to a higher power as divine intervention kept him from being a co-driver in a rally stage as he nurses a major hangover.
The governing body FIA over Formula 1 released that the sport will be introducing the much debated and anticipated new cockpit technology which will improve driver head protection. The Halo design has been circulating for quite some time now with two prominent designs making headlines. First was the halo which partially encloses the top of the cockpit to provide drivers with added head protection from the open cockpit should they be involved in an accident. The second design is a visor design which enclosed the front of the cockpit much like a motorcycle windshield.
FIA has decided that the 2018 season will be the official introduction of the halo which will provide ample time for manufacturers to plan, design and implement the new safety feature. The design has not yet been chosen and FIA states that they are still open to design concepts. Ultimately, the decision will be made based on which design provides the best balance between design and driver protection with safety taking precedence.
Mercedes has been busy at work making various iterations of their AMG GT and their latest looks like it’ll be a roadster likely to be called the AMG GT C. The car is shown doing testing in some light camo gear which shows off most of the vehicle and doesn’t leave a lot to be imagined. Wherever it slots in the GT lineup it will surely be another great creation by the folks over at AMG.
Being that the AMG GT lineup is a performance oriented vehicle, seeing what Mercedes does with managing structural rigidity and keeping the car as light weight as possible will be interesting. One thing to note is that a soft top is shown in these spy shots which already helps with the weight factor. But that doesn’t help with maintaining chassis stiffness for handling.
If all goes according to plan at Mercedes, we might see the AMG GT C debut this year at the L.A. Auto Show.
Rumors of a new Honda S2000 has been circulating for years. Since the last one rolled off of the production line, the S2000 has lived a glorious life as a tuner car for the Honda enthusiast who want to satisfy a track day urge, or just have an all around fun 2 seater sports car for the streets. With the all new NSX now in full production mode, this frees up the designers and engineers over at Honda for a little more flex in their creative muscles.
Honda also isn’t one to put the rumors to rest. It was leaked last year that Honda filed a patent for a small sized sports car and recently they revealed a patent design for a new small and futuristic dashboard which will likely be used in said small sports car. Some have been calling the idea concept as a baby NSX, but truth is it might be the new S2000 in the making. And following Honda tradition of releasing big news on anniversaries, it just happens that the company is preparing something for its 70th anniversary in 2018.
The Lotus Elise was never officially brought into the US for sales. And like all cars we can’t get it became that much more desired by Lotus fans. Lotus has created a number of variant Elises over the years. Mainly the changes were to weight, suspension and engine performance. All new variants tended to one up the one before on all three factors. Now Lotus has created their newest entrant called the Elise Race 250 which is the fastest Elise they have ever produced. The car will be available for sale for a number of racing series which includes being made available to US customers to the tune of $76,200.
This new Elise is fully prepped to be a life size go kart. It is powered by a 1.8L supercharged four cylinder which pumps out 240hp and 185lb/ft of torque. The Elise comes with fully adjustable dampers, beefed up brakes and tones of carbon fiber everywhere for weight savings. The put the power to the ground, especially around corners, the Elise wears a full aero package to ensure there’s plenty of downforce all around.
Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales put out a statement saying “The Elise Race 250 is the fastest, most focused Elise we’ve ever produced and, judging by what it’s capable of on track, it looks set to become a favourite with our racers around the world.”
The first season of the UK rebooted TV show Top Gear has come and gone. The ratings went up and down like a roller coaster, but more down towards the end of the season. With dropping ratings also came dropping their lead host Chris Evans who in large part caused the poor ratings as the show never really came into its own in the first rebooted season.
But according to 50 Cent, he believes BBC’s appointment of Matt LeBlanc to become lead host will be the savior of the show. Although that’s only part of the equation, the new Top Gear will take some more work than just a new host to bring its ratings back up. Fifty Cent went on further to claims that “I could save that show for sure.” “There ain’t a car I haven’t owned over the years, my car collection is as good as anybody’s out there.” Although the rapper has had many cars in his lifetime, what we do know for sure is that hosting a show of this caliber takes a little more than a good resume of cars in the garage. All we have to say is good luck to 50 Cent and hope he comes out from his bankruptcy.
For a company that began its roots in tractors it isn’t really surprising to see a Lamborghini Murcielago going back to its origins. Well, actually it is. Its actually very strange since the only thing that’s remotely similar between this Lamborghini and it’s great great grand father tractor is the company’s name. But then again, cars are made for being used, and this Murcielago is definitely doing that well.
The owner of this Lamborghini Murcielago was caught on camera in Australia hooked up to a trailer and carrying around a couple of goats. The trailer itself looked like a slapped together add on made up of parts lying around the farm. As amusing as it is for us to see these pictures, it must have been quite the sight for onlookers to hear the rumble of the 6.2L V12 followed by the shrieks of its furry passengers.
When Ford decided to slap the RS badge on their current generation Focus, you knew it was going to be something good. But what topped the headlines when the car debuted was that drivers could actively control the car’s setting electronically and was given a mode called “Drift” to play with. What consumers didn’t is the Drift Mode was created all by accident.
According to Ford Performance Engineering Manager Tyrone Johnson, the engineers who were testing the Focus’ handling dynamics at the track were playing with the car’s settings when they accidently discovered a particular combination of suspension dampening, couple with rear differential bias would produce a dramatically fun sideways acting car. So at that point the engineers just said “Oh, that’s cool. Can you give me more of that?’ to which one engineer complied and the resulting reaction was ‘Oh, that’s really cool.” And the Drift Mode was born. The drift mode was then further pursued by Development Chief Raj Nair who got to experience it first hand and decided that it needed to be part of the Focus RS’ selling features.
Headlines are reading that speed was a factor in the recent fatal accident involving a Tesla S where the driver was using the autopilot feature. But let’s be honest with the facts. Data pulled from the vehicle shows that the Tesla was travelling at 74mph in a 65mph zone. Although that is still considered speeding, that’s a far cry to make headlines. So lets focus on other facts of the accident for a moment. The NTSB has not finalized a cause for the crash as of yet.
The NTSB report further confirms that the vehicle was in the Autopilot mode when the accident took place. With the feature enabled, the system will also activate traffic-aware cruise control and Autosteer lane keeping assist modes. The system also has an emergency front impact braking system in place. Currently, the NTSB has only released those details involving the accident. As the investigation continues, the NTSB will continue to learn more details surround the accident and potentially a cause. What we do know is that the Tesla with its Autopilot feature engaged failed to notice and avoid a white tractor trailer which cross perpendicular to the Tesla at an intersection resulting in the fatal accident.