AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
After recently announcing plans that it would once again return to challenge for the title in the British Touring Car Championship, Honda has now released the first photos of the car it intends to do so in.
The Next Generation Touring Car (NGTC) Civic is based on the European Civic hatchback model (not on our new 2012 Civic model) and is hitting the track for its first public test today at Brands Hatch in the UK.
“This is the first opportunity we have had to get behind the wheel to really see what the car has got. The team are really pleased with the results from the test at MIRA last week and I can’t wait to finally start putting the car through its paces,” said triple-BTCC champion Matt Neal. “It will be interesting to see how the car performs, but I’m optimistic that we’ll walk away from today confident we have a championship winning car.”
The first race of the British Touring Car Championship will take place at Brand’s Hatch on April 1st.
GALLERY: 2012 Honda Civic BTCC Race Car
We’ve been following Toyota‘s Avensis BTCC Race Cars for quite some time now, and we’re happy to report that they’ve publicly debuted ahead of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship begins. Both Dynojet Racing’s and Hughes Motorsport/Speedworks’ Avensis were on display for the public and the media at Silverstone.
Unfortunately for both teams, both race cars experienced technical difficulties that restricted comprehensive testing on the track. Reports from Toyota are that the cars ran into power steering and fuel pump issues, but both teams are optimistic that the cars will be competitive come race day.
Regardless, it’s nice to see the cars out in public. A compact Toyota has never looked so cool.
GALLERY: Toyota Avensis BTCC Race Cars
What you’re looking at might be the most badass Toyota in existence right now. The Toyota Avensis BTCC bears a resemblance to the dowdy, Euro-market family sedan, but rest assured that these cars can positively rip it up on the track.
The Avensis BTCC, which will compete in the British Touring Car Championship, will also form the basis for the Next Generation Tour Car, which will see a shared set of components, including front and rear suspension sub-frames, gearboxes, brakes and electronics, to both bring down costs and make racing more competitive.
Gallery: Toyota Avensis BTCC
While there was much anticipation for the debut of Toyota’s Avensis BTCC Touring Car last October, the project was delayed. Now we’ve received word that it will be making its debut on April 3rd at the Dunlop MSA BTCC event in Brands Hatch in the UK.
The Avensis is still being built by GPR Motorsport and they have announced that two teams have committed to running the Avensis in the BTCC series: Dynojet and Speedworks.
Currently the Avensis is at the MIRA aerodynamic facility in the UK going thorough wind tunnel testing. In order to get a credible baseline to compare to their race car, a factory Avensis was used, giving the team plenty of data in order to fine-tune the aerodynamics of the race car.
A few more renderings can be found below, but we’d really like to see more of this machine in the sheet metal.
GALLERY: Toyota Avensis BTCC Touring Car
Over a decade has passed since the last time an Audi vehicle graced the presence of a BTCC race. Rob Austin Racing however is changing all of that in 2011, campaigning two Audi A4 in the famous racing series. Rob Austin Racing has already ordered two Audi A4 Next Generation Touring Cars (NGTC) from GPR Motorsport Ltd and they will be delivered in March of 2011.
Rob Austin Racing is still in talks for potential drivers and sponsors, with hopes of solidifying everything by January for a formal announcement. The photo above is just a rough render, but we’re just super excited that Audi will be represented out at BTCC.
[Source: Rob Austin Racing]
Volvo is set to enter the World Touring Car Championship in 2011, and while the brand isn’t normally associated with motorsports, the Volvo 850 wagon had a previous campaign in the British Touring Car Championship, where it was famous for being a station wagon, and having a penchant for going up on three wheels.
Now, Volvo is planning to return to touring cars with a WTCC entry based on the S60. A successful season in the Swedish Touring Car Championship spurred Volvo on to the idea of taking their race program to the rest of Europe, and with top rivals SEAT and BMW scaling back their efforts, we’d say that the Swedes have a decent shot of winning.
Hit the jump to see the official press release
Toyota has continued to expand its current involvement in all forms of motorsports with the release of this Toyota Avensis Next Generation Touring Car concept rendering. Already under construction, Toyota plans on having GPR Motorsports in Buckingham debut this vehicle at the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s final round.
Knowing that new BTCC rules are on the horizon for 2011, GPR Motorsports is currently building the donor car and bodyshell towards the new 2011 specifications. And when it finally makes its debut on October 9-10th, James Thompson, a two-time BTCC double champion, will be behind the wheel.
We look forward to the debut of this 300-hp, FWD Avensis, as Toyota has been doing fairly exciting things in racing recently.
GALLERY: Toyota Avensis Next Generation Touring Car
Best known for modifying Land Rover and Jaguar models, German tuner Arden has decided to try its hand at MINI. Arden isn’t exactly unfamiliar with the brand, however, as the new model, the 40th Anniversary MINI Equipe, was built to celebrate 40 years since an Arden-prepped MINI won the British Touring Car Championship.
Outside the car is mostly untouched with just a few updates in the form of stainless steel and chrome grilles. Inside the MINI gets a serious makeover with a two-tone leather package, Alcantara on the dash and stainless steel Arden pedals.
Not to neglect the performance aspect, Arden reprogrammed the ECU, added a larger and more efficient intercooler and threw on an exhaust, bumping output from 172hp and 177 ft-lbs of torque to 212hp and 214 ft-lbs of torque.
To help out int he handling department the modified MINI Cooper S gets a reworked suspension setup that sits 30 mm (roughly 1-inch) lower than stock. Also included are a set of light weight 18×8-inch wheels, which weight just 14.3-lbs each. And inside those front wheels is an impressive braking setup with massive six-piston calipers.
Arden will make just 40 versions of the MINI Equipe.
GALLERY: Arden MINI Equipe
Official release after the jump: