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Archive for the ‘Motorsports’ Category

15 Years Later, Caddy Ready to Reveal Two New Models

CT4-V and CT5-V to debut next week. Could electrification by the future of the V-Series?

by on May.24, 2019

The original Cadillac CTS-V was tested on a variety of different tracks, including Germany's Nurburgring, as well as Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.

Fifteen years after Cadillac introduced its first V-Series model, two more performance offerings are set to make their debut next week, the automaker has confirmed.

What’s unusual about the coming news is that Caddy will use a preview in Detroit to reveal the all-new CT4 sedan in V-Series trim first, with the base model set to follow later, reversing its normal approach. The event also will see the introduction of a V-version of Caddy’s mid-range sedan, the new CT5-V, that effectively replaces the old CTS-V that kicked off the performance program when it debuted in 2004.

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“From the very beginning, Cadillac’s V-Series represented the ultimate expression of our design, technology and performance,” said GM President Mark Reuss, ahead of the two introductions. “It introduced an entirely new breed of performance-minded customers to Cadillac showrooms and helped transform the brand’s traditional image into one with different facets for customers’ varying driving tastes.”

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BMW Adds New M Performance Versions of X5, X7

BMW expands its SAV range,

by on May.22, 2019

The all-new BMW X7 gets a high-performance boost with the debut of the M50i edition.

With more and more motorists switching from passenger cars to SUVs and CUVs, it’s no surprise that we’re beginning to see manufacturers not only expand their utility vehicle line-up but also add more performance variants.

BMW has been a leader in this trend and it’s muscling up its performance family with today’s debut of two new M Performance variants based on the latest X5 and all-new X7 “Sport Activity Vehicles.” Both new models will go into production in August at the BMW plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and reach showrooms soon after.

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Both the M Performance X5 and X7 will share the same powertrain, the latest version of BMW’s 4.4-liter Twinpower Turbo V-8. Paired with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the engine pours out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

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F1 Legend Niki Lauda Dead at 70

“It was the most courageous thing I ever witnessed in sport.”

by on May.21, 2019

Few expected Niki Lauda to survive his crash at the Nurburgring on Aug. 1, 1976.

He was born to be a banker, like the rest of his patrician, Austrian family. So, when Niki Lauda asked his grandfather for the financial help he needed to land a ride on the Formula One circuit, he was cut off. Lauda eventually found a way to raise the money on his own, lining up a loan against his life insurance policy.

It was a risky bet, but Niki Lauda’s life was an ongoing gamble, whether on the track or in business, something that became all too apparent during a crucial race at Germany’s Nurburgring on August 1, 1976. Ironically, he had called for a boycott just a week before because of the lack of safety features on the winding course. But when the green flag dropped, Andreas Nikolaus Lauda was positioned at the front of the pack, despite a blinding downpour, determined to grab the lead against his F1 arch-rival James Hunt.

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On the second lap, Lauda’s Ferrari spun out, hit an embankment and burst into flames. Trapped in the car, his borrowed helmet having slipped off, Lauda suffered massive burns that few thought he’d be able to survive. After slipping into a coma, a priest delivered last rites. Yet, somehow, Lauda pulled through, though the injuries were severe, the fire burning off most of his right ear and hair, as well as his eyelids, while searing his lungs.

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Hyundai/Kia Partnering up with Croatia EV Supercar Maker Rimac

Croatian company positions itself as a major supplier of electrification technology and components.

by on May.14, 2019

Rimac founder and CEO Mate Rimac celebrates with Hyundai's Euisun Chung their new alliance.

Alliances and joint ventures are becoming as much the norm as the exception in today’s auto industry, but Hyundai Motor Group just entered a particularly strange-bedfellow sort of relationship, investing nearly $90 million in Rimac, the Croatian manufacturer of battery-electric supercars.

The Korean parent of the Hyundai and Kia brands will not only invest 80 million euros in Rimac Automobili but also establish a technology partnership that will put some high-performance electric vehicles in their future line-ups, as well.

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“Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. “Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.”

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First Drive: 2020 Toyota Supra

Are sports car fines likely to debate its merits? Probably, but the new Supra was well worth the wait.

by on May.12, 2019

The 2020 Supra was born of an unusual collaboration between Toyota and BMW.

It’s easy to feel intimidated at Summit Point Motorsports Park. The Shenandoah Circuit is an undulating, 2-mile course that sends you ping-ponging from one blind corner to another, rising and falling over the rocky West Virginia landscape. But it was as close to perfect a place to get my first ride in the all-new 2020 Toyota Supra as I could imagine.

It’s been 21-years since the last Toyota to wear that badge appeared in U.S. showrooms. Rumors of Supra’s revival have been circulating ever since. We got a hint that something really might be in the works five years ago when the Japanese automaker revealed the striking FT-1 concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

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The show car was anything but the sort of plain vanilla product Toyota has become known for, it’s long nose and sweeping roofline embodying the “passion” that Akio Toyoda has been crying out for since being named Toyota president and CEO in 2009. But the question was whether the Japanese automaker would actually ever put the FT-1 into production. Coming up with an answer became even more iffy in the years that followed, as new car buyers around the world began to migrate from sedans, coupes and sports car to SUVs, CUVs and pickups.

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Ferrari Set to Reveal New Hybrid Supercar this Month

“Top-of-the-line performance…and a true beauty,” promises CEO.

by on May.10, 2019

The LaFerrari showed that hybrid power could deliver high levels of performance.

It’s been a while since Ferrari first dropped the hint that it would add a new hybrid to its line-up and now, according to CEO Louis Camilleri, we’ll be getting to see it before the end of this month.

The hybrid will be one of five new models coming from the Maranello-based manufacturer, said the chief executive, and there are some signs more than one of these products will rely on an electrified boost to performance. But that should surprise fewer and fewer Ferrari fans considering the broad push towards battery propulsion in the supercar and hypercar segments.

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We’re hearing plenty of rumors about the hybrid coming this month, including the comment Camilleri dropped during a conference call to discuss the brand’s first-quarter earnings. According to the chief executive, “It will be a top-of-the-line hybrid with supercar performance and a true beauty.”

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Lotus Goes Electric – But Can That Spark Brand’s Revival?

British sports car maker soon to build cars in China.

by on Apr.25, 2019

Lotus says the Type 130 will be the first all-electric British hypercar, and one of a number of new models the British sport car company is developing.

Even a cat might have run through its nine lives by now, but British sports carmaker Lotus somehow continues to hang on – and with a fresh infusion of capital from its new Chinese owners, Lotus is bound and determined to make a comeback.

It offered a hint of what’s coming at Auto Shanghai this month, announcing plans to get back into motorsports with its Evora line and teasing a new battery-electric hypercar called the Type 130.

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But Lotus is also set to break with tradition in a way that could shock some of its loyal fans, parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group set to begin producing at least some future Lotus products at a new, $1.3 billion plant in Wuhan City, about as far as you can get from the brand’s traditional base in Britain. (more…)

It’s Official! Really! GM to Reveal Mid-Engine C8 Corvette in July

GM President Mark Reuss releases barely camo’d pic.

by on Apr.12, 2019

The mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is finally out in the open and set for a formal July reveal.

To misappropriate a quote by Humphrey Bogart from “The Maltese Falcon,” “It’s the stuff dreams are made of.”

For decades, General Motors has sniffed off rumors that it was developing the sort of mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette that proponents said was needed to turn the classic American sports car into a true world-beater. In recent years, rumors have been rampant, along with sightings of prototypes caught with less and less camouflage. But, time and again, the automaker has refused to comment or commit.

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Until now, that is. Late Thursday, GM President Mark Reuss put his official stamp on the clearest image yet of the C8. Specifics are scarce, but for the two most important details. His tweet declared it “The Next Generation Corvette,” and announced that the C8 will make its official debut on July 18, 2019.

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Topping 1,000: An Ultra-Exclusive Club Continues to Expand

This year’s Geneva Motor Show brought an array of new entries.

by on Mar.11, 2019

The Pininfarina is one of an assortment of 1,000+ hp models that debuted in Geneva.

This month’s Geneva Motor Show brought the debut of dozens of new models, from little city cars all the way up to mega-million dollar exotics. It also brought several new entries into one of the automotive industry’s most exotic clubs: vehicles topping 1,000 horsepower.

It’s been 14 years since the original Bugatti Veyron 16.4 captured a spot in the Guinness World Records by becoming the first model to deliver four-figure power. With the debut of models like the Aston Martin AM-RB 003, Hispano Suiza Carmen, Koenigsegg Jesko and Pinfarina Battista in Geneva last week the number of models topping the 1,000 hp mark is now over a dozen, with several other models reportedly in the works.

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As you’d expect, the price tag for these products is equally astronomical. A special one-off version of the Bugatti Chiron last week was announced at $19 million. But, if you have the cash and access to a long stretch of pavement, here’s what you might want to check out:

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Aston Martin AM-RB 003 is a High-Tech, Hybrid Hypercar

British marque turns to Red Bull for F1 powertrain technology.

by on Mar.05, 2019

The Aston Martin AM-RB 003's F1-derived drivetrain is expected to top 1,000 hp in final trim.

After weeks of teasing its new hypercar, Aston Martin has finally pulled the wraps off the AM-RB 003 at the Geneva Motor Show, and it’s a high-tech hybrid that also happens to be insanely fast, its 1,000 horsepower drivetrain able to launch from 0 to 60 in less than 3 seconds.

The AM-RB 003 picks up where the earlier Valkyrie left off, “incorporate(ing) concepts and technologies taken directly from F1,” the automaker explained as it prepared to reveal the two-seater at Geneva’s PALExpo convention center.

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The limited-edition model is the third mid-engine offering developed as part of a “long-term collaboration” and “extraordinary journey” pairing Aston with its Formula One partner, Red Bull Advanced Technologies, noted the British automaker’s CEO Andy Palmer.

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