Saturday, February 28, 2015

Orange Is the New Fast: MTM Builds a 750-hp Audi RS6 Avant

MTM Audi RS6 R Avant

There are three things German tuner MTM likes more than anything else in this world: horsepower, Audis, and the color orange. The outfit tends to mix all three together to form wild, Audi-based rides, and its latest creation, the RS6 Clubsport, takes MTM’s triple threat to new heights. Debuting at the 2015 Geneva auto show, the Clubsport starts life as an already fast and capable RS6 Avant—but let’s just say MTM got a little carried away after that.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

2016 Audi R8 Debuts with More Power, Lower Weight

The debut of the second-generation Audi R8 was, as are most launches, carefully choreographed to lead up to a spectacular auto-show reveal. We saw teasers. We even rode shotgun in a prototype. But everything spilled onto Twitter and Instagram early, ruining Audi’s plans. We’re sort of okay with that, though, as now we get to tell you about the spectacular second-generation Audi supercar a little early.
To create the new car, Audi started with the platform of the first-gen R8 and modified it into the modern MSS (Modular Sport System) architecture. The bones are shared with the Lamborghini Huracán, but they’re tweaked here for a bit more space and comfort. Compared with the outgoing model, more than 100 pounds have been shed. The R8's backbone is a lightweight aluminum space frame, with the B-pillars, central tunnel, and rear firewall made from carbon-fiber composite materials. At 174.0 inches long, 76.4 inches wide, and 48.8 inches high, it is wider, lower, and a little bit shorter, which gives it slightly more-dramatic proportions. Besides the trunk up front for luggage, there is space behind the front seats designed to hold the proverbial golf bag.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

VW Sport Coupe Concept GTE Hints at the Next Passat CC

Volkswagen Sport Coupe Concept GTE
The last time Volkswagen’s swoopy, Passat-based CC “four-door coupe” received any sort of update was back in 2013, and that was a light cosmetic freshening. We know the next all-new CC is due soon—perhaps by the end of this year—and this is your first glance at that car in the form of the Sport Coupe Concept GTE, a Geneva-bound design exercise.
Sharing a strong family resemblance with the other sedans in VW’s lineup—most obviously the Euro-market Passat—this concept forgoes the current CC’s rounded contours in favor of a more angular, creased design.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Brabus 850 6.0 Biturbo Coupe: An 850-hp S63 AMG with More “More”

Call us crazy, but Brabus’s latest creation, the 850 6.0 Biturbo Coupe—essentially a modified Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG coupe—seems almost . . . boring. Make no mistake, 850 horsepower and a possible 1069 lb-ft of torque (limited to just 848 lb-ft to spare the driveline) from a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-8 is spicy, and Brabus even managed to avoid messing up the big Benz coupe’s elegant styling with its cosmetic upgrades. But when you can get the same power in the smaller and lighter Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG–based Brabus 850 6.0, even the S63 AMG coupe’s gorgeous looks aren’t enough to sway our power-to-weight ratio–dominated thinking.

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Specs Seemingly Leaked

We’ve been anxiously consuming every rumor that comes down the line regarding the 2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and today the internet hit the mother lode: Axis of Oversteer has three pages of official-looking (but unverified) specs on the upcoming track-attacking RS. Here’s what we learned from a perusal of the leaks:

First, according to the documents and as we suspected, the new GT3 RS will indeed be powered by the 4.0-liter, naturally aspirated flat-six. The alleged spec sheet claims that engine will put out a full 500 horses and roughly 340 lb-ft of torque and spin up to an astronomical 8800-rpm redline. It’s an all-new, all-aluminum, dry-sump, direct-injected mill, one that we’re told will provide the basis for the upcoming turbo engines that will come to the 911 lineup later this year. For the record, the last GT3 RS featured a version of the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter, although rated for “only” 493 horses.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

This Twin-Turbo Viper TA Makes 1000+hp at the Rear Wheels

1,042-hp twin-turbo Viper TA
First things first: The SRT Viper TA is a beast—witness its Lightning Lap performance. But you want more, don’t you? The 645 horsepower from the bone-stock Viper? Yawn. Try 1042 horsepower—at the rear wheels—which is what the mad scientists at RSI Racing Solutions say they’re wringing from the Viper’s massive V-10. With twin 72-millimeter turbos, a giant intercooler, and more internal and external engine mods than you could shake a pushrod at, they’ve basically left no bolt unturned.

The Automotive Brains Behind Apple’s Car Project

Apple Opens New Store In Chicago's Lincoln Park Neighborhood
To date, Apple has confirmed nothing about its purported car project—no surprise given how famously secretive the company is—yet the reported scope of the operation certainly suggests something major in the offing: a team of as many as 1000 people working in a secret area removed from company headquarters, site visits to automotive suppliers such as Magna Steyr, full approval by CEO Tim Cook several months ago, and a lawsuit by battery maker A123 Systems alleging Apple gutted its research department. Oh, and there have been those photos of Chrysler minivans with roof-mounted Lidar cameras that purportedly belong to Apple. Given all that activity, there appears to be a good chance we’ll be seeing a four-wheeled MacBook Pro in a few years—or even as soon as 2020, according to a new report from Bloomberg Business.

Monster Stickers Not Included: Chevrolet Offering “Black Out” Package for Silverado Work Truck

2015 Chevrolet Silverado WT Black Out package
In today’s full-size-pickup world, the humble base/work truck variants are rarely spoken of, overshadowed by $50,000-plus, leather-lined, over-chromed Platinums and Laramies. But they’re not totally forgotten—just look at Ram, which has been churning out interesting takes on the base-truck theme like the Express and Tradesman. Now Chevrolet has entered the game with a slick Black Out package for the Silverado 1500 Work Truck model.

The U.S. Postal Service Is Going New-Truck Shopping

If you’re old enough to remember the 1980s, you’ll recall that mail used to be delivered in Jeeps. They may have looked cooler than the boxy mail vans on the road today, but they were dinosaurs. Now, the current delivery vehicle—the Grumman Long Life Vehicle, or LLV—has become a dinosaur itself. Built on the chassis of the Chevy S10, the aging and obsolete LLVs have puttered past the expected end of their run.

Yutaka Katayama, “Father of the Datsun Z,” Dead at 105

Yutaka Katayama
Yutaka Katayama, the former president of what’s now Nissan Motor Co.’s U.S. branch, has died at the age of 105, the Associated Press reports. “Mr. K,” as he was known to company insiders and Datsun and Nissan fans, established the Z line of sports cars that guaranteed the racing and sales success of the company in the U.S.

Born in 1909 in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, Mr. K was hired by Nissan Motor Co. in 1935. His first job was in publicity and he later worked in advertising, creating novel lifestyle-based ad campaigns in an era when, as Nissan puts it, most car ads just “loudly repeated the car’s name over and over.” Mr. K is also credited with establishing the All-Japan Motor Show in 1954, an industry-wide car show that evolved into today’s Tokyo auto show.

1000-Plus-HP Fight Club: Twin-Turbo Lambo Slays a Bugatti Veyron

Watch a twin-turbo Lamborghini destroy a Bugatti Veyron
The Bugatti Veyron is a legend.
Not only does it hold two current Guinness World Records for fastest street-legal production car—fixed-roof and roadster, naturally—it stands as a testament to what engineers can achieve when fed unlimited amounts of cash and told not to return until they’ve built the super-est supercar.
Your kids will remember the Veyron’s name.