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.
Robert Kubica, one of Formula One’s most promising young drivers, will sit out the start of the 2012 F1 season as he continues to recover from a crash that partially severed his arm.
While Kubica is making a recovery, the pace is not as rapid as some had hoped for. Kubica can move his arm, but it remains unknown whether he is physically fit enough to drive a Formula One car at this time.
Kubica was driving a Skoda rally car in an Italian race when he crashed into a barrier that penetrated his car and nearly sliced off his arm. Kubica was replaced before the start of the 2011 season by Nick Heidfeld and Bruno Senna. Renault will have to look for a replacement for 2012, but says that Kubica has a test car and a crew of mechanics at his disposal when he is ready to return.
Hit the jump to see the official press release
The Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype will compete in the Grand-Am Racing series in 2012 and make its debut at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race. Four teams will run the cars, including the No. 90 Spirit of Daytona Racing, the No. 10 SunTrust Racing, the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing, and the No. 5 and No. 9 Action Express Racing teams. The last time a Corvette won Daytona was in 2001 with a C5-R.
Hit the jump to read the press release below
Gallery: Chevrolet Corvette Daytona Prototype
While reviewing the SCCA B-Spec rules, we came across a list of entries for the upcoming class and stumbled upon a few interesting candidates – namely the Volkswagen Polo, which the rule sheet claims may be imported for 2012.
Other entries, like the Hyundai Accent, Scion iQ and xD and Fiat 500 are interesting in their own right (especially since the Accent will face off against the Kia Rio, while the Scions will go against the Toyota Yaris B-Spec), but the Polo has long been rumored for a U.S. debut, and VW is said to be debuting a couple new products at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show. Could this be the introduction for a Volkswagen subcompact in America. Check back November 16th when coverage of the L.A. Auto Show begins.
[Source: Daytona Prototype]
The Ford Fiesta B-Spec is intended to be Ford’s offering for the newly created B-Spec racing class, which allows racers a (relatively) affordable way to go road racing in production cars.
Based on the same Fiesta available to consumers, the B-Spec cars have their interiors gutted to make way for a rollcage, a bucket seat, race harness and ballast, designed to keep weight levels even among the various cars. Engine work is minimal and rules are still in flux, but certain vehicles will have restrictors fitted to the intake – no word yet if the Fiesta will be subject to this handicap.
Tires and suspension will also be subject to the same strict regulations, but again, rules are still being worked out. Ford is evidently behind the program in a big way, and we’re looking forward to a full field when racing gets under way in 2012.
Gallery: Ford Fiesta B-Spec
Check out more of AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here
Chevrolet unveiled the first of what will surely be many concept cars based on their new Sonic compact car, with a lifestyle/tuner car designed with input by Motocross legend and NASCAR driver Ricky Carmichael, and a ready-to-go racer intended for SCCA competition.
The Sonic All Activity Vehicle – Ricky Carmichael Concept features a full suite of interior and exterior accessories, including OEM Z-Spec body treatments, an interior made by Fox Motocross from their board short material, and the familiar 1.4L Chevrolet turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to ensure that there’s some go to back up the “show” element.
The Sonic Super 4 Concept, despite the goofy name, is a full-blown race car that is intended to be a turnkey, SCCA-legal car with a proper rollcage, harnesses and a fire suppression system, the Sonic Super 4 is the perfect counterpart to the Ricky Carmichael Concept – it ain’t pretty, but it’s probably very good at its intended mission. The Super 4 uses the same 1.4L turbo 4-banger and 6-speed gearbox as the Ricky Carmichael Concept, but in this application, definitely gets put to much better usage.
Check out the rest of AutoGuide’s SEMA coverage here
Gallery: Chevrolet Sonic Ricky Carmichael Concept and Super 4 Concept
Like most DTM cars, the A5 DTM has nothing in common with its road car sibling. The A5 DTM uses a carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and a 455 horsepower V8 as well as a 6-speed sequential gearbox. No other details were released, but given the competitive nature of DTM and the fairly limited wiggle room in the rules and regulations, we’d expect the specifications to be a fairly closely guarded secret.
Prototypes are apparently undergoing testing at Audi facilities in Germany, and should be ready to go in time for the upcoming DTM season.
Gallery: Audi A5 DTM
Formula One drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg helped Mercedes-Benz take the wraps off their new competitor for the German DTM touring car series, based on the Mercedes-Benz C-Coupe.
Mercedes claims that the C-Class is DTM’s most successful entry, with 84 victories in 156 races and five driver’s titles. DTM is thought to be one of the premiere sports car series in the world, with drivers regularly moving on to Le Mans or prestigious open wheel racing series after their stints.
Gallery: DTM AMG Mercedes C-Coupe
British Columbia Mounties have impounded 13-high end sports cars following an alleged street race in Metro Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon. Around 3:30 pm yesterday afternoon, police received reports of high-end cars racing southbound along Highway 99 in the area of George Massey tunnel.
Witnesses reported that the cars were travelling in excess of 200 km/h (120 mph), and on several occasions, the sports cars would travel side by side to block traffic, allowing their friends in front to race. Thirteen drivers were pulled over and their cars are worth a total of more than $2 million.
The vehicles involved in the race include a, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Nissan GT-R and Aston Martin. RCMP Insp. Bryon Massie said, ”The majority of them had personalized plates as well and were souped-up, so they’re fairly distinguished and the witnesses had no problem in providing us with the descriptors that were tracked back to the vehicles.”
Many of the sports cars had green “N” stickers in their rear windshields, as part of B.C’s graduated licensing system. Massie said, “The drivers of the vehicles are all in around the age of 20 years old. They’re all new drivers. The majority of them do not have their full driver’s licence status — they’re still in the ‘N’ new category.”
The high revving 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 is known strictly for its energized 5.0-liter V8 and its adjustable suspension because it was built as a track car. It was built to go fast and handle well in the corners but one aspect of the car that could use some work is the no-frills interior.
Several owners have been complaining that the interior could use some more technology. It looks as though they may be getting their wish, as a leaked list of features includes the SYNC system. The Boss will also be getting a 4.2-inch LCD message center that will likely be the same one currently used in the Explorer and F-150. The Boss will also get HID headlights, although it is unclear whether they will be standard or an option, but what has been confirmed is that the graphics package will be available, similar to that of the 1970 Boss 302.
Read our full review of the Boss 302 here!
GALLERY: Ford Mustang Boss 302
[Source: Mustangs Daily]
Toyota has already announced that it intends to set a new electric car lap record at the Nurburging, but now the automaker has some extra exciting news for EV performance enthusiasts – you’ll be able to buy one!
Just days ahead of the planned record breaking attempt, Toyota has said the electric SR9 racer will be available for retail sale, well, some if it will anyway. Consumers will be able to buy the car’s electric drivetrain, battery, twin electric motors and lithium-ceramic batteries. Buyers won’t, however, be able to purchase the body shell or lightweight chassis from Radical – although we suppose you could buy both individually and match them up yourself.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but the lucky few that do purchase these sophisticated items will likely have to shell out some serious coin.
GALLERY: Electric SR9 Race Car
[Source: Green Car Reports]
McLaren is planning to build a full model range of super car and sports cars for consumers. Currently, there are at least four more models in the design and development pipeline. The new cars include the current MP4-12C, a hypercar (codename P12), built to take on the new Lamborghini Aventador, and a successor to the famous McLaren F1. The P12 model is expected to produce around 800-hp and its weight will be similar to the MP4-12C. The British automaker will also be building a cheaper sports car (codename P13) to take on the non-turbo Porsche 911.
The full model lineup is part of a plan to sell 4,000 cars a year, with roughly 1300 MP4-12C models, 2,500 P13 cars and roughly 200 P12s.
All of the vehicles will, however, be “true McLarens,” said McLaren managing director Antony Sheriff. “Whatever we do will be based on carbon. It will have performance and handling that’s the best of its segment.”
All of the new models will receive the MP4-12C’s carbon-fiber monocell tub. This piece forms the central structure of the sports car including the front bulkhead, sills, floor, and rear bulkhead. The monocell tub is made of some 25 pieces of dry carbon fiber matting in single large tool while resin is injected.
McLaren is likely to unveil the P12 within a year and a half, and the P13 will be seen within two and a half years. The British automaker will also build a convertible version of the MP4-12C, but there is no confirmation on a release date.
[Source: Motor Trend]
Hollywood actor Tom Cruise has recently tested the Red Bull Formula One race car at the Willow Springs racetrack in California. Tom Cruise completed 24 laps with the Red Bull team, and guiding the top gun along the track was race car driver David Coulthard.
Coulthard took Cruise around the track in a passenger car, then set him off on his own. Tom Cruise set his own lap in the F1 car reaching a top speed of 185 mph, and cut his best time by 11 seconds. Amazingly, Cruise recorded a top speed just 4 mph off Coulthard’s best.
“Tom’s the real deal,” Coulthard told RedBull.com. “I was surprised that he picked it up so quickly and is such an accomplished driver. His recall was incredible considering how complicated driving an F1 car is. He’s a guy who really pushes the envelope in real life. This day was not green screened. He thoroughly impressed me.”
David Coulthard and his Red Bull F1 team traveled down to Austin, Texas to check out the soon to be completed Circuit of the Americas track.
Over the weekend, David Coulthard took his 750-hp Red Bull Formula One race car on a cruise in and around the Texas capital, engaged in some hooning and put on a show for the crowd.
In this clip, Coulthard takes the high performance F1 car on the dirt roads of the soon to be grand prix track, as well as along some highways. It’s not every day you get to see one of these cars go off-roading, or tear through city steets.
Check out the videos after the jump!
GALLERY: Red Bull F1
Here is one of the latest clips of the BMW M5 booting it on the Laguna Seca track. Oh how sweet the sound is!
The M5 has been entirely redesigned but the biggest change is the switch from a high-revving V10 to a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8. The new engine cranks out 552 horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The car is capable of achieving a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds, not bad for a car weighs around 4,000 lbs. Pricing has not been announced but the M5 will probably sell for around $85,000.
The minute and a half long commercial paints this car as nothing less than a monster as it knifes its way through the turns on a track.
Plus, we also managed to catch up with that very car, on display at Pebble Beach.
GALLERY: 2012 BMW M5 at Pebble Beach
Check out the video after the jump!
The annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is known to attract some priceless classics, but this year, this 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa prototype took the cake. Gooding and Company, a well known auction house, was catapulted into the record books last week, selling the 250 TR for $16.4 million.
This price was the highest ever realized for an automobile. The TR was actually sold for $14.9 million, or $16.4 million including the mandatory buyer’s premium. The Ferrari was involved in several devastating crashes during its storied history, but was present at the auction in stunning condition.
The right-hand drive Ferrari was once driven by Phil Hill on the Nurburgring, and the car has seen action across the world. The car was also owned by numerous private teams before the successful California entrepreneur Bev Spencer registered the vehicle for road use in the early 1960s. Interestingly, an owner in the 1960s set the car ablaze to collect insurance money, but the car survived the fire, and since the early 1970s has led a pampered life on the show circuit.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is in full swing, and Lotus has just unveiled the Exige Matte Black Final Edition, a special model reserved exclusively for the North American Market. The Exige Matte Black Final Edition will premier within the Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill on August 18-21. Lotus will only produce twenty-five Exige Matte Black Final Edition cars, as a farewell model to the lightweight sports car that sold for the last ten years. The Exige will feature a more powerful 257-hp engine, a stealthy black paint job and black Alacantara sport seats.
Check out the photos and tell us what you think!
GALLERY: Exige Matte Black Final Edition
Singapore billionaire Peter Lim has made a “significant investment” in British sports car maker McLaren, the company said. With his contribution, Lim has joined McLaren Automotive’s board with immediat effect. Forbes ranked him the eighth richest person in Singapore, with an estimated fortune of 1.8 billion.
“Peter Lim’s track record in Asia as a highly respected business leader adds further quality to our board in this highly competitive business environment at an exciting time for the company,” Ron Dennis, executive chairman of McLaren Automotive and McLaren Group, said in a statement.
Part of the reason Lim invested in the company is because demand for its new MP4-12C sports car, is strong in the Asia Pacific region, with orders that will take eighteen months of production to fill.
Interestingly, Lim put in a bid of $525.5 million to buy the Liverpool Football Club, but later withdrew the offer after the club changed ownership.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is two days away, and Lotus is gearing up to unleash the Evora GTE Road Car Concept and the Exige Matte Black Final Edition.
The Evora GTE Road Car will be unveiled at the McCall’s Motorworks Revival event Wednesday night, on August 17 at the Monterey Jet Center. This Evora will produce 420-hp with a sequential AMT racing gearbox sending power to the wheels via ultra light forged alloy rims with center-lock hubs and Pirelli P-Zero Corsa tires. After the debut, the sports car will be shown within the Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill from August 18-20, before being displayed on the Concept Car Lawn for the duration of the weekend.
The Exige Matte Black Final Edition which will only be sold in North America, will also premier within the Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill on August 18-21. Lotus will only produce twenty-five Exige Matte Black Final Edition cars, as a farewell model to the lightweight sports car that sold for the last ten years. The Exige will feature a more powerful 257-hp engine, a stealthy black paint job and black Alacantara sport seats.
GALLERY: Lotus Evora GTE Road Car and Exige Matte Black Final Edition
Lamborghini has announced it will unveil a “super sports car” next month at the Frankfurt auto show, with initial rumors suggesting it would be a production version of the Sesto Elemento concept. The latest report, however, suggests that, while similar, the new model will be a version of the Gallardo Super Trofeo race car. The important difference, here, is that while it won’t be as extreme as the carbon-chassis concept, it will be street legal!
Only 30 of these special cars will be built, and will be based on the LP560-4. The vehicle will feature a 5.2-liter V10 cranking out a whopping 562-hp and mated to a six-speed e-gear paddleshift transmission will likely achieve a 0-62 mph time of three seconds and a 210 mph top speed. The car will have a race-spec suspension, have a stripped-out interior and will feature significant use of composite materials – even more so than the Superleggera. The Gallardo will likely weigh around 2,850 lbs, 150 lbs lighter than the standard car. The Lambo will also feature aerodynamic tweaks, with a large wing at the rear and a very aggressive front splitter. Expect a price tag of around $285,000.
[Source: Auto Express]
Johnny O’Connell landed his first World Challenge victory at the Mid-Ohio race track, giving Cadillac its first win since the final race of the 2007 season at Laguna Seca Raceway in California.
O’Connell’s number three car was in second place during Saturday’s race, but he lost control, slid off the track and finished in eighth place. O’Connell was eager to use the same plan for Sunday, but without the contact.
On Sunday he managed to slide through a crash on the last lap involving the leaders, squeaking through to beat Patric Lindsey to the finish line by a little more than a second. Andy Pilgrim in the number eight Cadillac fought a fierce battle with James Sofronas all day yesterday and finished in sixth place.
With O’Connell’s victory, he has moved up into fourth spot in the GT Series point standings, and Pilgrim is in fifth place. Porsche now leads with 56 points and Cadillac is in second place with 30.
“Today is really a culmination of an incredible amount of preparation, not only at the race shop but by our Cadillac team,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. Vice-President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “What it shows you here today is that you have to be prepared, you have to pounce on every opportunity and when you have the chance, you’ve got to go. I am so proud of Johnny for being ready to take advantage and grab the win”.
The Porsche 911 GT3 Cup is the most successful race car the German automaker has ever offered. Porsche has sold 2,200 GT3 Cup units and is the most popular choice amongst racing teams all over the world.The GT3 Cup currently competes in 19 Porsche brand trophy series worldwide and runs in various GT race series and at long distance events. The GT3 Cup is based on the lighweight 997 911 GT3 RS sports car and features a 100-liter FT3 safety fuel tank.
The tank is now suitable for an even wider range of endurance races thanks to the increased capacity. Power levels remain almost identical to that of the GT3 RS with 450-hp and a racing exhaust system. Different rims are available to suit several different types of racing and blade-type anti-roll bars are standard at the front and rear of the car with seven adjustable positions.
Porsche Ceramic Composite Brakes are also featured on the 911 Cup, that reduce the weight of the car by approximately 20 kilograms. Inside the cockpit, the controls for the info display are positioned on the steering wheel which contains six switches.
The GT3 Cup will be delivered to racing teams in September for 2012 and 2013 racing seasons, and will cost 161,750 Euros ($230,235).
BMW has unveiled the M3 DTM, a high performance race car that will compete in the 2012 DTM (German Touring Car) series. The M3 debuted at BMW Welt in Munich, and is a very exciting event after a two decade absence of BMW at DTM. Between 1987 and 1992, the M3 won 40 race and had over 150 podium finishes in Germany’s premier tin-top series.
This race car features a carbonfibre-reinforced plastic monocoque (CFRP) with a steel roll cage, a six-speed sequential gearbox, and a naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V8. The M3 produces 480-hp and is capable of achieving a 0-62 mph time in three seconds with a top speed of 186 mph.
Three teams will race M3s in next year’s DTM series including BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Team RBM and BMW Team RMG. “It is good to see how our DTM project is picking up speed,” explained BMW’s director of development Dr Klaus Draeger. “Next yea, BMW returns to the DTM after two decades. We will be facing our main competitors in the premium sector – and are already looking forward to this challenge.”
Check out the videos after the jump!
Shelby has just unveiled the name of its upcoming supercar, the SSC Tuatara, which is expected to reclaim the position as the fastest production car in the world.
The American automaker’s previous model, the Ultimate Aero TT, came equipped with a twin turbocharged V8 which produced 1,287-hp and beat the Bugatti Veyron. The Aero TT achieved a top speed of 414 km/h (257 mph). However the speed record was reclaimed by the Bugatti Veyrom Super Sport.
The Tuatara name was chosen because of inspiration drawn from the lizard that lives in New Zealand. The name means “peaks on the back”, which is symbolic to the winglets on the back of the new car. The reptile also possesses the fastest evolving DNA on the planet, which inspired Jerod Shelby. Shelby said, “Most manufacturers essentially use the same basic model and body shape for up to 10 years, while only making small refinements to it each year. After only three years in production with the Ultimate Aero, SSC’s Tuatara is about to monumentally evolve in the areas of sophistication, design, aerodynamics and shear all‐around performance. We felt that the fastest evolving DNA was a perfect definition of SSC’s latest project”.
Details on the Tuatara are still top secret but what is known is that the car will be powered by a 7.0-liter DOHC V8 twin-turbo cranking out around 1,350-hp. The car will weigh approximately 1,200 kg (2,654 lbs) and will accelerate from 0-62 mph in 2.8 seconds. The Tuatara is also expected to have a top speed of 442 km/h (275 mph).
Check out the video of the Tuatara after the jump!
With Ferrari 458 Italia production in full swing, questions have been raised as to when the convertible top will be available and what it will look like.
In this new rendering of the convertible,the 458 takes on a look similar to the 360 Modena Spider, one of Ferrari’s most elegant designs. As for the convertibles official unveiling, it will likely take place at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, meaning the drop top Spider will be available by next summer. But you better have your pennies saved, because the current coupe has a base price of $225,000 and the Spider will certainly be more expensive.