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.
Its no secret that gas is getting expensive and making efficient clean diesels look more attractive, but a new study is estimating that diesel light-duty vehicles will account for 12.4 percent of global sales by 2018.
A pair of highly coveted Ford GT40s will be heading to the Monterey RM Auctions event on August 17-18th, 2012, including the famous camera car used in Steve McQueen’s Le Mans film.
There’s no denying that the GT40 is one of the world’s most respected and legendary race vehicles ever created, but the 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf/Mirage Lightweight Racing Car may be one of the world’s most famous vehicles ever. Raced extensively throughout 1968, the GT40 was then sold to Solar Productions in 1970 before utilized as a camera car in Le Mans. Since then, the car has gone on to several collectors and now it could be yours.
The other GT40 that will be auctioned off is a 1967 Mk I and is an authentic example of the first generation GT40 model. One of only 31 GT40 production road cars, it boasts a pearl white exterior contrasted by blue racing stripes. Amazingly there is only 4,749 miles on the odometer making it one of the world’s lowest mileage GT40s, if not the lowest. The 1967 GT40 has an estimated price of $2,300,000 to $2,700,000.
GALLERY: RM Auctions Ford GT40s
[Source: RM Auctions]
This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans promises to be an exciting one, and it kicks off at 9:00am EST today. Of course, you can catch a vast majority of the action on Speed TV, but for those that don’t have access or are stuck in front of a computer today, we’ve got you taken care of.
Audi’s diesel-hybrid R18 e-tron Quattro is sitting on the pole position after qualifying laps finished up yesterday at the Le Mans circuit.
At this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, we’re already expecting a lot of exciting new prototype cars. One of the biggest surprises however, will be GreenGT’s H2 race car, which is the most powerful hydrogen-powered race car currently active.
With the 24 Hours of Le Mans coming up, an announcement is expected to come stating new regulations for the 2014 season.
Carroll Shelby, the automotive legend, died last night at age 89 because of medical complications.
Patrick Dempsey, known for his acting role on the medical drama television show Grey’s Anatomy, is set to compete in his first American Le Mans Series race this weekend at Laguna Seca raceway.
The Nissan Delta Wing Le Mans race car is certainly one of the most experimental cars the racing world has ever seen, and its creation was documented by Nissan to show off the extensive amounts of research and development it takes to build such a race focused machine.
Nissan is releasing the footage in installments, each one focusing on a different aspect of the development process.
We have seen it testing at Sebring, and now Nissan intends to show us the steps it took to bring the car into reality and actually get it out on the track. The first video in the series focuses on aerodynamics, and specifically on preparing and testing the race car in the wind tunnel.
You can watch the first video in the series below.
When Toyota revealed its TS030 LMP hybrid, the Japanese automaker had its targets sighted onto the reigning diesel Audi R18. However, the R18 is proving to be a fast moving target. Earlier this month, Audi announced that it will field two innovative diesel-hybrid LMP1 cars for the first time in its team of four at the 2012 24 hours of Le Mans.
These are the first images of the 2012 Audi R18 e-tron Quattro LMP1 race car. While its exterior looks very much alike the race car that participated last year, the hardware underneath has been vastly redesigned. The new R18 will continue the use of the V6 TDI diesel engine (rated at 510-hp), but will mate it to Audi’s regenerating brake energy technology and an all-wheel-drive drivetrain. Rather than the use of a battery pack, the R18 e-tron Quattro is able to store energy from braking forces into the flywheel, where the electricity can then be used to power the two electric motors at the front wheels. Moreover, the added weight of the complex hybrid system will be neutralized by a carbon-fiber gearbox housing designed to be as light as possible. This is the first time a carbon-fiber gearbox housing will be used in endurance racing.
Although Audi is going to field two hybrid prototype racers, the German automaker does not intend to soley rely on the new technology for a win. For that, the team still believes last year’s R18 TDI will be more reliable for the job. Audi will get to face off against the Toyota TS030 throughout the racing season. Time will tell which prototype reigns supreme.
GALLERY: Audi R18 e-tron Quattro
Aston Martin will return this year to the FIA World Endurance Championship to compete in the eight round series, kicking off with the 60th anniversary edition of the 12 Hours of Sebring, on March 17.
The company confirmed today that it will enter an updated version of the Vantage GT2, calling it the Vantage GTE. That car will be based off the Vantage road car, getting the same bonded aluminum structure with and aerospace specification steel roll cage. All but the roof will be made from carbon fiber to shed weight. A 4.5-litre V8 with an aluminum block and will keep the street-legal Vantage’s double-wishbone suspension, but with purpose-built components.
The driver line-up has also been confirmed: Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez will compose the team.
“I’m excited about this program as it’s our opportunity to take Aston Martin back to the top of the world of GT racing. The Vantage GTE is a great car; she’s coming along nicely now and we’re ready to take on what we expect will be tough competition,” Turner said.
“The FIA World Endurance Championship calendar looks good to me, especially as I’ve already won in an Aston Martin at half of the tracks: Sebring, Silverstone, Interlagos and of course at Le Mans. We are going to Sebring next month with a brand new car, but that’s exactly what we did with the DBR9 back in 2005 and we won that race. I’m not promising we can repeat that but we’ll certainly try.”
GALLERY: 2012 Aston Martin Vantage GTE
Lotus Motorsport and Alex Job Racing (AJR) will partner to compete for the GT championship in the American Le Mans Series, starting with the race at Long Beach on the weekend of April 14.
The factory-backed Lotus Evora GTE will feature a black-and-gold painted car reminiscent of JPS Lotus F1 cars. The team will also be be backed by Battery Tender, William Rast and Yokohama in 2012.
“We are focused on winning,” said Dany Bahar, CEO of Group Lotus. “Alex Job has one of the best records in sports car racing. We look forward to working together and developing a top-tier team over the coming years. Racing is a core component of the Lotus brand, and we are thrilled to have this new partnership to further enhance our winning racing heritage.”
Alex Job, the team principal, confirmed that IndyCar driver Townsend Bell will partner with two-time ALMS Founders Cup winner Bill Sweedler for the entire season.
“Lotus has made a lot of racing news lately with significant programs announced in multiple categories of motorsport,” said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. “After a full evaluation of all options we are proud they selected the ALMS for their factory-backed GT racing platform. This represents the best possible opportunity for Lotus to race what they sell and to showcase the technology and performance of their cars against the benchmark examples of the industry.”