Home » December 2011
Toyota GT-86 sports coupe

After teasing for many years, Toyota’s finally given us the production version of its long-awaited GT 86…
Toyota's finally given us some pictures of the GT 86 - its jazzy new coupe that'll debut at this week's Tokyo Motor. And how long have we been waiting? Since 2009. 2009.

And what's with the new name? Firstly, and for no obvious reason, Toyota's ditched the F and hyphen. Secondly, they've added RULES. Europeans get the GT 86, in Japan it'll be the 86  and America gets the Scion FR-S.

Power for the GT 86 sits at 197bhp (at 7,000rpm) and 151lb ft of torque, which, Toyota claims, gives it "brisk, engaging performance", while the weight-distribution is near perfect at 53:47 front-to-rear.
Underneath, both the GT 86 and BRZ have limited-slip differentials and independent suspension all round, though the GT 86 is a little more drift-boy focused - its stability control allows some tail-wagging before it tells you off.

Bentley Continental GT V8

Audi unleashes 252bhp A1 Quattro

This is faster than a JCW Mini. It's faster than the Corsa VXR Nürburgring. It's also faster than a Ford Focus ST and nudges the VW Golf R for pace. This is the turbocharged, four-wheel-drive Audi A1 Quattro.
Like a mini Walter Rohrl-shaped gift to the world, Audi has announced plans to produce 333 left-hand-drive models of this, the fastest production A1 ever built.
It's destined for mainland Europe for now, but Audi expects positive customer reaction to this bonkers little thing could see it reach our potholed shores. And that's an intriguing prospect, because it packs 252bhp from a turbocharged, 2.0-litre TFSI unit and 258lb ft of torque from between 2,500rpm and 4,500rpm. All the Audi's horses and torques help propel it from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 152mph. That's really quick.
It's also the first production A1 to get the Quattro system. As in that car, traction comes from an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch rotating in an oil bath.
Which basically means its front wheel drive for normal driving, but sends power to the rear "in just a few milliseconds" if you start to Stiggify it. And there's an electronic diff that brakes whichever wheel is losing grip, helping to keep you out of the nearest hedge/tree/sofa warehouse.
The 333 cars are slightly longer than the standard A1, and get the full complement of Audi equipment: S sports seats, quattro badges, dashes of aluminium, Infotainment gubbins, a 465-watt speaker system... No word on price, but if it does ever reach the UK, expect it to be significantly more expensive than the current range topper, the £21,270 1.4 TFSI S Line.

Viper back for 2013

Ralph Gilles, President and Chief Executive Officer - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, confirmed that the iconic Viper will return to the lineup in late 2012 as a 2013 model. However, it won't be a Dodge.
The automaker also announced that it will reopen its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, which was put on idle when production of the Dodge Viper ended in July 2010.

Around 150 employees, many of whom used to work at Conner, began reporting for training and orientation this fall. They will be in charge of assembling the all-new 2013 SRT Viper.

The car itself is still wrapped under a shroud of mystery as no technical specs have yet been officially released.

Ralph Gilles stated back in December 2010 that "there won't be a part of the car that's untouched." As well, the new Viper will reportedly be a more forgiving car to drive and accessible to more people, so expect new electronic control systems.

Latvala and Solberg with Ford in 2012

Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg will contest the World Rally Championship for the Ford factory team in 2012. Ford has extended its association with M-Sport in the WRC for a further two years.
Ford has confirmed that its presence in rallying will continue for two more years in association with Malcolm Wilson’s M-Sport. It is almost certain that Abu Dhabi will no longer be a partner of the team, however.

The 2012 world championship will see two Ford Fiesta RS WRCs contest the series in the hands of Finn Jari-Matti Latvala and Norway’s Petter Solberg. The latter got his first drive in the car this morning in France’s Ardèche Mountains.
“The WRC is motorsport’s toughest competition for production-based cars,” says Gerard Quinn, Ford Europe’s Manager Motorsport. “Through WRC, we can convey the attributes of our road vehicles and send a clear message to our customers and fans about Ford’s passion and expertise.
“We feel that the timing for our announcement is right.  We had to be confident about the stability of the championship and to ensure it continues to provide great value and increased exposure globally.  We discussed it with our stakeholders and after receiving such assurances we look forward to focusing on competition once again.
“We have a great team with M-Sport and its leader, Malcolm Wilson. And in Jari-Matti Latvala we have one of motorsport’s rising stars. We believe he will flourish in his new role as Ford’s team leader. Petter Solberg will bring real added value to the squad thanks to his record which includes a world title and 13 world class wins.”

Nissan GT-R ‘Track Pack’ revealed

Allow us to regale you with scientifically proven facts concerning the Nissan GT-R. It can demolish a Jaguar XKR-S in a straight line drag race. It doesn't use internal combustion in the traditional sense of having an engine, because it has a BOMB underneath the bonnet. And its phenomenal grip is entirely capable of tearing off a man's face.
And now, Nissan has made it even harder. Welcome, Internet, to the GT-R ‘Track Pack'.
Simply put, it gets additional brake cooling ducts, said to reduce brake temperature by up to 100 degrees during track abuse, revised suspension spring rates, lightweight forged RAYS alloys, Recaro front seats trimmed in blue with a ‘high-grip' material and a track pack badge. Oh, and the rear seat has been deleted.
That bomb remains the same, though. Which means 542bhp and a 0-62mph time of 2.7 seconds. Prices start at £84,450, £10k over the standard GT-R.

Koenigsegg Agera R sets world record

It’s official: Guinness ratifies 0-300-0kmh record set by 1,115bhp hypercar

A few months ago, Mr Koenigsegg dispatched one of his Agera R hypercars, a driver with a lead foot and a tracking box to a proving ground in Sweden. Said driver performed some lightly astonishing feats of acceleration. Six, to be precise.
He then wrapped these up into a little package and sent them off to the Guinness Book of World Records. If you have forgotten these times, they are as follows:

0-200 mph - 17.68 sec
0-300 km/h - 14.53 sec
200-0 mph - 7.28 sec
300-0 km/h - 6.66 sec
0-200-0 mph - 24.96 sec
0-300-0 km/h - 21.19 sec

That last one is significant. Yesterday, Mr Koenigsegg got the call from Guinness: "The fastest time for a two-seater production car to travel from 0-300-0 km/h is 21.19 sec, achieved by a Koenigsegg Agera R, driven by Robert Serwanski, at Angelholm airfield, Sweden."
There you have it. It is officially a speed demon. With magnificent brakes.

F1 2011 crash compilation

Best of Rally 2011