Posts Tagged ‘lightweight’

Caterham’s Retro Styled Seven Sprint

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The basis of Lotus was founded on the simple philosophy of its originator Colin Chapman, “Simplify, then add lightness”, he said. This was the founding philosophy of the company and to this day that formula lives on in one of the company’s most iconic vehicles, the Lotus 7. Although that model name has not survived time, and hasn’t even survived ownership from the same automaker, the car itself lives on under the Caterham name.

Looking at the history of creations at Lotus, you can see that their designs uses the least number of parts in its products, but relies on the highest levels of engineering to retain the parts function while yielding the least amount of weight and maximizing durability. This translates into a vehicle that doesn’t rely on sheer horse power for speed. Rather, the formula results in a vehicle that is nimble and all around fast no matter where it is on the track.

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Acura NSX GT3 Technology Shared with Production Car

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The all new 2017 Acura NSX is a superbly capable vehicle with loads of technology packed into it. The beauty of the hybrid powerplant for the NSX is not only that it produces 570hp from combining a V6 twin turbo motor paired with electric motors, it’s the fact the powertrain of the NSX is deigned to be modular. Recently at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb we saw the full electric version of the NSX compete, and now the release of the GT3 NSX shows us that a fully gas powered car sending power to the rear wheels is also possible.

As Acura continues to think of new iterations of the NSX for public consumption, managing this powertrain equation is critical. As an example, word has spread about Acura possibly producing a light weight Type R version of the NSX which has traditionally been a stripped down street legal track car. With the current NSX’s curb weight tipping in close to 4,000 pounds, light weight is far from reality. However, as the modular powertrain comes into play, stripping out all the electronic gismos in favor of a simple gas motor and rear drive certainly moves the needle towards the lightweight side.

With a drop in overall power by ditching the electric motors, Acura will have to come up with a plan to up the power ante of the gas motor. Maybe we’ll see a highly tuned version of the current gas motor. Only time will tell, but we know that the development team at Acura is highly capable at churning out a beast of a car.


More Acura NSX Models to Come

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Following in traditional Acura form, the release of a supercar is only the beginning of the story. Recall when the original Acura NSX came out, it took the world by storm. Then a few years later, those luck owners in Japan got a light weight track tuned version of the NSX in their Type R. A stripped down, light weight, stiffened and race tuned version of the stock NSX. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Acura is likely going to go down that same road with the all new NSX.

Over it’s lifetime, we should see a number of variants of the NSX come out based on the standard car. This would include difference powertrain options, and ultimately a lightweight track tuned version. In standard trim, the NSX gets a 570 hp engine package that includes a 3.5L twin turbo V6 and three electric motors. There will likely come an all electric version in the future, and also a fully non-electric version which would fall in line with the traditional Type R ethos.

No word yet as to when the next variants of the NSX will be coming, but rest assured that it’s only a matter of time.


Jaguar F-Type SVR

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That amount of information about the new Jaguar F-Type SVR is very limited and much has been left to speculation and word of mouth information. What we do know is that the new F-Type will be capable of hitting 200mph, however, how it does it is still very much in the air as no specifications for the engine have been released.

The Jaguar F-Type SVR will be debuted at the Geneva Motor Show this March. John Edwards, the head of Jaguar Special Operations, said the new SVR will be an “all-weather supercar.” which leads us to believe that the new F-Type will be an all wheel drive vehicle. Jaguar is also saying that its first SVR-badged model will be “lighter, faster, and more powerful.” So based on the limited amount of information, the F-Type SVR will at least be a stripped down all wheel version of the regular F-Type.

Those who are waiting for details will see an official announcement from Jaguar on February 17 when the specs of the F-Type SVR will be made available to the public.


Lotus Exige Sport 350 Gets Lighter

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Coming from a company with its roots firmly grounded in motorsport racing, it is exciting to see Lotus once again delivering a light weight track ready vehicle in the Exige Sport 350.

The Exige Sport 350 is joined in the stable by the recently released Elise Sport and Elise Sport 220. Weighing in at a just 2,480 pounds, this puts the Exige Sport 350 at 112 pounds skinnier than the already light weight Exige S. Weight savings were realized by a combination of an aluminum chassis and composite bodywork. Additional weigh savings was introduced via a new louvered tailgate, battery, engine mounts, and insulation materials.

Coupled to an overall weight reduction, the Exige Sport 350 is powered by Lotus’ supercharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine rated at 345 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The combined light weight and power package propels the Exige Sport 350 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and tops out at 170 mph. A revised six-speed manual gearbox provides the driver with quick and precise shifting. An optional six-speed automatic is available and offers manual paddle shifting. Lotus claims a 60 mph sprint in just 3.8 seconds with their automatic car, which all considering, is a negligible impact on performance compared to the manual car.

The Exige Sport 350 is set to hit dealers around February in Europe, and March for other markets overseas. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing this car on our North American shores.


Ford To Build More Potent Focus RS?

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I have been a huge fan of fast Fords for quite some time. Stemming from my inner desires to own Fords legendary RS Sierra Cosworth, anytime word spreads of a possible faster RS my ears perk up. This time, British based Autocar magazine quotes an un-identified inside source saying Ford is looking to build a “Super-RS” that can hit 0-60 in a flat four seconds.

The current version of the Focus RS winds its 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder all the way to 350 horsepower and 350 ft-lb of torque. It is likely that any additional performance gains will come from modifications to the driveline and putting the Focus on a strict diet consisting of carbon fiber bodywork and forged aluminum chassis parts. Word from Autocar is that a dual-clutch automatic and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential may make its way into the drivetrain in place of the manual only transmission with the normal Focus RS.

At this time, nothing is yet to be confirmed by Ford, but one can cross their fingers and toes and hope that a “Super-RS” may hit the market someday.





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