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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.
Gymkhana expert, flat-bill cap aficionado and a man who knows the importance of thanking his sponsors, Ken Block, will drive a Formula 1 car.
Wait… what? OK, Block won’t actually race a car, he’s just going to drive one. The car will be the Pirelli F1 test car, and Block will drive it on August 5th at Monza in Italy. The stunt is being arranged through Pirelli, which signed on as one of Block’s sponsors in 2009 and is the current tire supplier for Formula One.
“I’ve been lucky enough to do some pretty spectacular stunts in my career so far,” said the stunt-driver turned WRC pro, “but this is something else! Everybody talks about Formula One being the pinnacle of world motorsport so I can’t wait to discover it for myself. I’m very grateful to Pirelli, which has been one of my partners since 2010, for this amazing opportunity. These cars are so specialised that I need to be realistic about what I can do, but I know that it’s going to be a lot of fun and take hooning to a whole new level…”
We won’t blame you if you have never heard of the Spada Codatronca TS. This Italian sportscar comes from a small company, which showed a sports coupe a few years ago, and despite looking like the ideal commuting device for Batman, it hasn’t made an impression the likes of Pagani, Koenigsegg and Spyker has.
However, Spada hasn’t given up and it now plans to make a much more lasting impression with a new version of the Codatronca called the Monza.
The Monza will be a true roadster with no roof, and minimal windscreen and side windows. Wearing a helmet while driving would be a wise idea.
First pictures of this new supercar have been leaked on the net, and we think it looks like a real-life version of the title character from the Angry Birds game. This sleek, angry roadster has the power to back its looks. It uses a supercharged version of the 7.0-liter V8 found in a Corvette Z06 and is said to be good for 700-hp. Performance shall be rather exhilarating we assume.
Spada Vetture Sport (the full name of the manufacturer) will unveil the Monza at the upcoming Top Marques Motor Show in Monaco, which runs from April 14 – 17.
With all the flashiness and gaudiness of Fenice Milano’s recent entries to the aftermarket world, it’s refreshing to see that Romeo Ferraris was able to tame the tuner down a built to introduce a nice Abarth 500 to the world. Paying tribute to the legendary race circuit, the Monza edition adds a bit more sport to the Abarth 500 while keeping it mild and clean on the outside.
At quick glance, the aesthetics of the Abarth 500 has most noticeably changed thanks to red and blue racing stripes uniquely placed on the body. The white interior also receives the same-styled stripe treatment. Giving it a little bit more race appeal is a set of 17-inch mesh wheels wrapped with 205/40/17 Yokohama rubber.
Romeo Ferraris’ contribution takes the stock horsepower from 135-hp to a fun-filled 260-hp. Combine that with larger 11-inch Brembo brakes and a full body kit and you’ve got yourself a real winner. But in true Fenice Milano style, each of the 10 Abarth 500 Monzas will receive a brass plaque with the owner’s name, while the interior features an edition number on the shifter and Monza logos throughout.
GALLERY: Abarth 500 Monza
We’ve already seen video of Ferrari‘s new 458 Challenge race car testing on the track, but it’s not something that gets old quickly. That being said, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share some more great video of the track-only version of the latest and greatest Prancing Horse.
According to Ferrari, the new 458 Challenge weighs significantly less than the production model, although specific numbers have not been given. In addition, this race car gets aluminum bushings, stiffer springs that lower the car by 30mm, 19-inch racing wheels and wider Pirelli racing slicks. Ferrari claims it’s capable of 1.6 Gs of lateral acceleration. Also included are a new generation of Brembo carbon ceramic brakes (called CCM2), that first debuted on the 599XX.
And for the first time on a Ferrari Challenge car, the Prancing Horse has decided to equip its gentleman racers with traction control. The F1-Trac system constantly monitors grip to deliver the most power possible, with a dry track and wet track setting. And because these are real Ferrari race cars, drivers can also opt for CT-OFF on the steering wheel-mounted manettino to completely shut off the traction control system.
Compared to the F430 Challenge car, Ferrari claims the 458 Challenge is two seconds a lap faster on its Fiorano test circuit, setting a new record time of 1:16.5.
The 458 Challenge will run alongside its 430 Challenge predecessor in the 2011 Series, while the latter is phased out. Ferrari also plans to expand its Ferrari Challenge series next year, adding a new series in the Asia-Pacific region.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Challenge
Check out the video after the jump:
For most of us, the SEGA arcade game Ferrari F355 Challenge is the closest we’ll get to the famed one-make Ferrari Challenge series, but for some lucky wealthy folks, every few years they get to change rides, with each one getting progressively better.
When Ferrari released the new 458 Italia, most people suspected that a new 458 Challenge car wasn’t far behind, and now we have the video evidence to prove it. The short but sweet video posted below gives you a hint as to what the new car will sound like, but we’ll need better footage to figure out what it can do on track. Enjoy this morsel for now.
Hit the jump to see video of the Ferrari 458 Italia Challenge
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Ahead of the start of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo one-make racing series, we have this short bit of video made by the folks at Lamborghini Munich, who will be running a car in the series this year.
The Super Trofeo series is a one-make series for “gentlemen drivers” much like the Ferrari Challenge series. The cars are based o the Gallardo LP560-4 and make 570hp while weighing significantly less.
So sit back and enjoy this impressive machine as it takes on Monza.
The series will begin in May 2009 and will run (only in Europe for 2009) alongside other major motorsports series, such as DTM, FIA GT and the World Touring Car Championship.
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Thanks to the folks over at EVO Magazine, we have this video of the 750hp Pagani Zonda R testing at the world famous Monza race track.
Weight is kept to just 2,359 lbs thanks to the use of a carbon fiber body (as with all Zonda models), which sits over top of a new carbon-titanium composite monocoque. Cromoly parts are used for the front and rear suspension and all pieces are held together through the use of titanium bolts.
The engine is the same 6.0-liter V12 AMG powerplant that is the motivation behind all of Pagani’s model, except output has been increased to the 750 mark at 7500 rpm. Torque is rated at 524 ft-lbs at 5700 rpm. This is enough, says Pagani, to rocket the Zonda R to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds.
Getting all that power to the ground is made possible thanks to an ultra-light magnesium Xtrac gearbox, operated by paddle shifters. Gear changes fly by in just 20 milliseconds. To put that in perspective, the current fastest gearbox in a street car is found int he Ferrari F430 Scuderia, which changes gears in 60 ms.
Making the car a true track machine is the fully adjustable suspension, as well as adjustable aerodynamics. Pagani says the Zonda R can be set up to produce as much as 3,307 lbs of downforce – which is, theoretically, enough to to allow the Zonda R to drive upside down and still stick to a surface.
Alternatively, the car can be adapted for high speed, with a top speed rating of 217 mph.
As this is a dedicated track machine, the Zonda R comes equipped with a roll cage and an FIA homolgated racing seats with five-point safety belts.
Other state-of-the-art items include Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and an inconel exhaust – the same sort of exhaust used of Formula 1 cars.
The Pagani Zonda R will be produced in a limited number with Horacio Pagani signing each vehicle. The cost of ownership is extraordinary, with an MSRP of 1,460,000 Euros or roughly $1.9 million.