Monday, January 31, 2011

1988 Sapphire Cosworth

The Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth was rather a brutal and thuggish car (in a good way, obviously); a simple family saloon with a whacking great turbo wedged under the bonnet. So it's interesting to see how this period promo video attempts to paint it as an elegant and enigmatic thing...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pagani Huayra

Officially released images (well, after they were leaked) show the astonishing new replacement for the Pagani Zonda: the Huayra. As you'd expect, there are lashings of carbon-fibre and lightweight aluminium, and the signature quad-exhaust is carried over from its predecessor. Power comes from a 6.0-litre twin-turbo AMG V12, giving 700bhp and 740lb.ft - apparently good for 230mph. And it's got gullwing doors too - take that Mercedes-Benz; they've got your engine and your doors, and they're quicker than you.

Lancia Florida

The 1955 Lancia Florida was a show car aimed squarely at the American market. Using the Lancia Aurelia as a platform, the sumptuous bodywork was crafted by Pininfarina, housing a lazy V8 tuned for boulevard cruising and an oh-so fifties interior in lipstick red.

Beautiful, unique design features included the de rigeur suicide doors, flying buttresses and the superbly odd front-end combo of teeny-tiny headlights and massive spotlights. Only four were built (fully functional models all, with advanced independent suspension and transaxles for improved weight distribution and handling), but the three-box design language carried over into the Flaminia Berlina.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ferrari 599 SA APERTA

Ferrari 599 SA APERTA
Ferrari is delighted to announce the presentation of the SA APERTA at the Paris International Motor Show 2010. This is a special series model of which a strictly limited number of just 80 will be built. All have already been sold. Ferrari chose to build 80 SA APERTAs in celebration of Pininfarina's 80th anniversary. The SA nomenclature also pays homage to both Sergio and Andrea Pininfarina whose company and work have been linked to the most successful road-going cars ever built at Maranello.
The SA APERTA is a true roadster which allows its occupants to enjoy the superlative emotions afforded by our signature front-engined V12 architecture in a completely open-top setting. In fact, it has just a light soft top designed to be resorted to only if the weather gets particularly bad. A low-slung windscreen and the fact that it crouches lower to the ground than our other models lend the SA APERTA an exceptionally aerodynamic sleekness. Its profile arches back from the A-post to two aerodynamic fins beautifully integrating the two roll-bars which themselves cleverly mimic the outline of the seats.
The chassis has been redesigned to deliver a standard of stiffness comparable to that of a closed berlinetta and there is a negligible weight difference also, thanks to work done on the chassis structure.
Thanks to the 670 CV engine beneath its bonnet, the SA APERTA beautifully embodies the sporty spirit of the 599, incorporating Ferrari's most advanced technology to deliver absolutely benchmark performance and superb driving pleasure. Its interior too is stylishly sporty with particularly sophisticated materials, trim and colours used throughout. The virtually endless combinations available guarantee that each and every SA APERTA is absolutely unique.
General specifications
Country of origin    Italy
Numbers built         N/A
Produced in            2010
Introduced at          2010 Paris Motor Show
Predecessor           Ferrari 575M SuperAmerica
Body design           Pininfarina
EngineConfiguration         65º V 12
Location                 Front, longitudinally mounted
Construction          aluminium block and head
Displacement          5.999 liter / 366.1 cu in
Bore / Stroke         92.0 mm (3.6 in) / 75.2 mm (3 in)
Compression          11.2:1
Valvetrain              4 valves / cylinder, DOHC
Fuel feed                Fuel Injection
Aspiration              Naturally Aspirated
DrivetrainGearbox                 Paddle Operated 6 speed Semi-Automatic
Drive                     Rear wheel drive

Performance figuresPower                   670 bhp / 500 KW @ 8250 rpm
Torque                  620 Nm / 457 ft lbs @ 6500 rpm
BHP/Liter             112 bhp / liter

Anatomy of the Carrera GT

This kindly Carrera GT owner has seized the opportunity to photograph his car's innards while it's being put through its engine-out four-year service. It's an excuse to give it a thorough detailing and, of course, just to ogle all of the precision-engineered bits that make up Porsche's devastating supercar. Click here to see.

Simply Clean II

Lots of stanced cars with nice wheels, hanging out in a car park. Simple as that really.
(There's a bonus bit of S2000-based weirdness at the end of the video too, also in a car park.)
The event happened back in November '10 - you can see loads of photos here, and more here.

Simply Clean 2 from Bluemotion on Vimeo.

Monday, January 24, 2011

2100bhp AMC Rambler

The AMC Rambler didn't really make it into the seventies. The brand was seen as staid and un-dynamic, as well as being largely associated with the compact sector - which the '65 Rambler, for example, was very much not.
Still, as these photos demonstrate, it is possible to blow away the cobwebs and turn a Rambler into a monster. What we have here is 2100bhp courtesy of a twin-turbo 509ci Chevy big-block, 10-inch rear tyres, a rollcage that looks like a climbing frame and bespoke, er, everything. Click here for the full astonishing spec.

GTA4 - Zero friction

The Grand Theft Auto series, brilliant though it is, can never be said to be totally realistic. (Unless your life actually does involve constantly stealing cars and punching hookers.) So why not ramp up the surreality a little? A minor tweak to the game's code dials down the friction modelling, creating some kind of unspeakable automotive hell. Genuinely hilarious.

Lancia: rally legends

The Stratos, the 037, the Delta S4, the Fulvia, the Delta Integrale... this film shows, in a little under two minutes, why Lancia should always be remembered not as manufacturers of frilly rustboxes, but as rally kingpins. Forza Lancia!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ferrari FF

If Ferrari had made the BMW Z3M, this is what it would have looked like.
The FF is Ferrari's first ever production 4WD model, a groundbreaking development underpinning a front-engined, V12-powered, four-seater GT to replace the 612 Scaglietti in the model line-up. And this is no concept; it'll be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next month, and be on sale to the public shortly afterwards.

The four-wheel drive system is very light and keeps a strong rearward bias, but aims to appeal to SUV weekend/winter drivers with too much diginity to drive a Q7 and who can't be bothered to wait for the Maserati SUV. But don't go thinking it's soft - it weighs a handy 50kg less than the 612 (in spite of its bulkier drive system), while the 6.25-litre V12 offers up 650bhp and 504lb.ft. The perfect all-rounder for the holidaying oligarchical family man.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ralph Lauren's garage

Vanity Fair recently visited Ralph Lauren's lock-up to take a few snaps. I don't know about you, but I'd prefer to see a bit more oil and grime about the place... you can't deny that it's a staggering collection, but it doesn't look like he really uses the cars that much. And that is what they're for, after all.
Click here for more info.

Araldite Cortina

One of my all-time favourite billboards, this:

Was it actually held up there by Araldite? No, of course not. Imagine if it fell off and squished someone, they'd never hear the end of it. Look again, you'll see the massive bits of metal holding it in place.
Nevertheless, a very cool ad - and there was a later one that had a second car 'glued' to the roof of the first...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


The Citroën 2CV has never been an obvious choice as a base for a sports car. It may be small and light, but it's designed for rural utilitarian pursuits such as carrying egg-crates across ploughed fields, rather than demonstrating any particularly tight dynamic prowess.
However, that didn't stop Camille Martin - Mayor of the tiny village of Bernon in the fifties - attempting to develop a 2CV-based coupe with a little flair. The UMAP 500 SM (UMAP standing for Usine Moderne d'Applications Plastique) had a glassfibre body that was so different from the wedgy tin snail, you could really only guess at its origins from the narrow three-stud wheels.
Until you drove it, that is. Then you'd find that it was the same wallowy, softly-sprung chassis beloved by farmers across France. Powered by the same 499cc twin, its 20bhp would never provide sufficient performance to raise eyebrows, even with a kerb-weight of just 526kg.

Debuting at the 1957 Paris Motor Show, Martin's hopes were high for his unusual little project, but the lack of power or refinement meant that he just couldn't compete with the Italians; in the end, fewer than 100 were built. But for a short while in the late 1950s, the Mayor of Bernon was the king of the rural roads, casually puttering about in a stylish coupe of his own creation. And that's not a bad legacy to leave behind.

R8 Snownuts

Snow + RWD = circles. Not sure I'd want to risk it if it were my R8 though...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Retro Golf Turbo

At first glance this would appear to be a nicely modifed mkII Golf - clean, straight bodywork, an interesting wheel choice and a purposeful stance. But this is so much more than that. This is the work of a fully-restored mkII Golf fitted with the engine, running gear and interior from a mkV GTI. So you're getting modern refinement and reliability, 197 unstressed horsepower and all mod cons within, all wrapped up in a cheeky retro shell.
This car represents one man's labour of love to fuse old and new in a functional, unique and enticing manner - click here for the full details. I think it's safe to say he's succeeded.

Keep Drifting Fun - Missile Teaser

Another teaser for the forthcoming Keep Drifting Fun DVD - further impressive camerasmithery by Will Roegge. (View on fullscreen for maximum awesomeness.)

Keep Drifting Fun - Missile Teaser from Will Roegge on Vimeo.

Dakar 2011

The Dakar Rally is two things: gruelling and lonely. Man and machine work together to conquer near-impossible terrain, occasionally being strafed by helicopters or narrowly avoiding spectators, if these photos are anything to go by.
Click here to see the full set of amazing pictures, courtesy of the Boston Globe.