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.
Dacia has taken quite a different approach in revealing its latest minivan, Lodgy. Rather than traveling the usual auto show circuit and looking pretty on rotating pedestals, a unique, race-prepped Dacia Lodgy has been made to compete in France’s ice rally series, the Trophée Andros, months before any information on the production model is available.
While the race-prepped Dacia Lodgy’s general proportions are likely very similar to the production version, the rally car is built upon a tubular chassis with a profile that sits lower and wider than its production variant. Power comes through a mid-mounted V6 engine good for 355-hp to all four wheels.
Expect the production Dacia Lodgy to debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. No technical information yet, but a selection of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines will be offered, including the 1.5 dCi. Sources have also claimed that the people mover will offer both five passenger and seven passenger trims.
GALLERY: Dacia Lodgy
[Source: Left Lane News]
Discuss the Dacia at our Dacia Forum
The World Touring Car Championship, a popular series in Europe, is planning to come to North America as a book-end to its usual race in Brazil. So far, the location of such an event is undecided.
“The West Coast would be better in terms of reaching the public who buy our kind of cars,” said WTCC boss Marcello Lotti “but the logistics on the East Coast would be easier.”
Lotti is hoping to work with the US Touring Car Championship, sanctioned by NASA, and is in talks with USTCC head Ali Arsham, but no concrete plans have emerged as of yet.
When you think about Le Mans Prototype racers, Cadillac is probably not the first name that would spring to most people’s minds. In fact, it might be one of the last.
Back in 2002, Cadillac campaigned the LM-02 racer. After two years of dismal results, this car, LM-02-002, was a lone bright light for the team’s efforts, placing 9th at Le Mans and landing on the podium four times in the American Le Mans Series.
Powering the racer a 4.0-liter, V8 that produces 600-hp, thanks to a twin-turbo set-up. It also has a six-speed paddle-shift gearbox, just like in a Formula-One car. It also gets carbon brakes on all four corners.
And now all this goodness can be yours, because model number LM-02-002 is going on the auction block at the Amelia Island Concours on March 12, 2011. The auction portion will be handled by RM Auctions, a company that specializes in moving exotic machinery.
So if you fancy yourself a new track-day toy, this fully functional racer might just be what you’re looking for.
German firm X-Raid is already preparing a MINI Countryman, a vehicle that’s been on sale for less than a month, for competition in the upcoming Dakar rally.
While most of the photos show a finished product, the vehicle prep shots show a pretty thorough re-working of the biggest MINI, as well as a gorgeous custom made rollcage. Sadly, specifications aren’t part of the article, and we’re left guessing on how much power the thing makes. A long travel suspension and skid plates are also visible to the naked eye.
Gallery: MINI Countryman Dakar
In a move that would have been unthinkable in the last decade, but is hardly surprising in this era, BMW has announced that it is abandoning factory support for the World Touring Car Championship.
The move comes after BMW’s withdrawl from Formula 1 at the end of the 2009 season, and a change in management at BMW Motorsport. BMW will still offer the 320 TC to independent teams, leaving Chevrolet and Volvo as the only factory-supported outfits in the series.
BMW will still support European endurance racing with their M3 and Z4 programs, as well as an upcoming DTM effort, a WRC team for its MINI division and driver development programs.
Hit the jump to see the official press release
We all know Ken Block is a cool guy and a self-made millionaire, but what nobody seems willing to admit is that the guy can’t drive. Well, maybe he has some talent, but not nearly as much as Ford and Monster Energy Drink’s PR machine would have us believe.
Although he has some of the most successful viral videos to his credit, Block has only scored a total of two points in WRC over three whole seasons. It seems like without a purpose built, hydraulic-handbrake equipped car and some quality video editing, Block can’t pull it together. Hit the jump and decide for yourself.
Video after the jump
One fun fact you may not know about the Porsche 911 – it’s the world’s best selling race car. According to Porsche, more than 1,400 Cup cars have been sold since their debut in 1998, and this year marks a big upgrade for the venerable, but still competitive racer.
The biggest change is a switch to the GT3 RS as a starting platform. This allows the 911 Cup to get the wider track and body, which also allows for bigger wheels, tires and brakes, and a more powerful 3.8L flat-6 engine making 450 horsepower.
The updated 911 Cup will make its debut in England in 2011, but you can hit the jump to read all about it, and peruse through the gallery.
Gallery: Porsche 911 Cup
The Lausitzring has always suffered from a bit of obscurity; as Europe’s only high speed oval, it’s never garnered much interests from hardcore road course fans, and it’s location in the former East Germany has never endeared it to prestige hungry European motorsports fans.
Mercedes‘ new SLS GT3 decided to grace the near-forgotten raceway with a test session, and a video crew was on hand to capture the SLS going around the road course portion of the track. There’s no real information to go along with the video, but trust us when we say that you need to crank up your speakers and hide your fragile objects.
Debuting in an unfinished forum at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, Lotus how now officially unveiled the Evora Cup GT4 race car at at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in Monterey, CA. And judging by the tires, this car has already seen plenty of track time.
Built to compete in the FIA GT4 series in Europe, Lotus U.S.A. head Arnie Johnson confirmed that the car can be delivered in anywhere from GT4 to GT2 trim. The GT4 car on display uses a 360-hp 4.0-liter V6, but Cosworth can increase that number as high as 470-hp.
Built to run in its own Lotus Evora Cup series, it can also compete in any GT4 racing series and according to Johnson the company has already sold six of the $160,000 race cars this week.
But the most exciting news might be chatter we heard amongst some Lotus folks at the booth, indicating that Lotus will look to field the car in the Grand Am series here in North America – likely next year.