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Your daily scoop in automotive news


With a 0-62 time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed quoted at 190 mph, the new Lamborghini Urus is not lacking for performance credentials. But before all's said and done, it will go for at least one more.

Car reports that Lamborghini is already planning to take its new crossover to the Nürburgring in pursuit of the production-SUV lap record. And it's fairly confident it will take it by a comfortable margin.

The current lap record belongs to the another high-performance Italian crossover – the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio – which set a time of 7:51.7 just a couple of months ago. That was enough to beat the 7:59.74 set by the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, and the 8:14 clocked by the Range Rover Sport SVR.

With far more power on tap, the boys in Sant'Agata Bolognese apparently view victory in this particular category as a foregone conclusion. “We will do it,” the company's chief engineer Maurizio Reggiani smilingly told Car. “We need to wait for a warmer season with good weather. We will be back in the spring.”

The Raging Bull marque is no stranger to the procedure, standing (alongside sister brand Porsche) as one of the few automakers to have cracked the seven-minute barrier at the Nordschleife in road-going production vehicles: first with the Aventador SV (6:59.73 in 2015), then with the Huracan Performante (6:52.01 in 2016).

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 10:51 am

The BMW X3 is in its third generation and compared to its predecessors, adopts a brand new design and a slew of technology changes. But, is it good enough to battle the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5?

Carfection recently jumped behind the wheel of the new X3 in Morocco and set about exploring some of the country’s phenomenal roads, ranging from paved surfaces, gravel paths, and right through to desert sand dunes.

The new X3 is slightly larger than the old model, adopting a wheelbase extended by 2.2-inches (5.5 cm) and an impressive 50:50 weight distribution. Inside, customers will enjoy a selection of features including Gesture Control, cloud-based Intelligent Voice Control and a number of digital services through the BMW Connected app.

Depending on the market, customers have variants like the xDrive20d, xDrive 30i, xDrive 30d, and X3 M40i available, the latter of which uses a 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder engine delivering 355 hp. It allows the X3 to accelerate to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.6 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h).

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 3:21 am

An absolutely beautiful 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider Competizione by Scaglietti has sold for $17.99 million at RM Sotheby’s auction in New York.

This classic 250 GT LWB California Spider is chassis number 1451 GT and one of only two examples ever built with an all-aluminum body. Making the car all the more desirable is that it placed third in its class and fifth overall at the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours

After racing at the most famous endurance race in the world, the car was driven by Bob Grossman at a host of races throughout the United States, including the Watkins Glen Grand Prix in September 1959 and a plethora of races in the Bahamas.

In the decades since its retirement from competitive racing, the car has undergone a comprehensive Ferrari Classiche-certified restoration and took home the prize for best in class at Pebble Beach and a platinum award at the Cavallino Classic.

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 2:16 am

BMW has taken the M5 into its sixth generation, which sports, for the first time, not only a controversial four-wheel drive system but also plenty of new features.

Starting with its exterior design, it is quite restrained and at first glance you might mistake it for regular 5-Series, but look closer and you will see the wider air intakes at the front, large diffuser at the rear, carbon fiber roof, specific wheels and M badges.

Step inside and you will also see the M add-ons over lesser 5-Series, such as the sport seats and steering wheel, in addition to the exclusive aluminum trim and a variety of options that could eventually make your new M5 weigh in excess of 2 tons (4,410lbs) and cost more than €117,900 ($140,182) in Germany.

The 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 puts out 600PS (592hp) and 750Nm (553lb-ft) of torque, which is 40PS (39hp) and 70Nm (52lb-ft) more than its predecessor. However, compared to its direct rival, the range-topping Mercedes-AMG E63 S, it's down by 12PS (12hp) and 100Nm (74lb-ft).

For the first time ever, the new BMW M5 is offered with a four-wheel drive system, though not the usual xDrive that you would find on the rest of the 5-Series' range, but one developed by the brand's M division. This means that it's rear-wheel drive-biased, offers massive grip and comes with various configurations that allow drivers to put it into 2WD, which really comes to life when unleashed on the track.

Enough talk; let's see what the new BMW M5 actually feels like in the hands of Autocar and AutoExpress, who tested the new Bavarian super saloon. Both agree that it's reasonably comfortable as an everyday driver and more civilized than an AMG E63, but is it the game-changer we were expecting?

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 2:04 am

BMW is gearing up to launch a new 8 Series. But as any Bimmerphile could tell you, it won't be the first.

The Bavarian automaker produced just such a model between 1989 and 1999, cutting one of the sleekest profiles the industry has ever produced.

Just look at this one, for example. It's an 850Ci from 1993, packing a then-newly upgraded 5.4-liter V12 rated at 322 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque – placing it second only to the quasi-M 850CSi.

This particular example was ordered in Maldives Blue Metallic, and is believed to be the only 850Ci ever made in that color and right-hand drive. That means it was made for countries where they drive on the left-hand side of the road, like in the UK, Japan... or Brunei.

In fact this one is said to have been delivered new to the Sultan of Brunei, who once stood as one of the world's preeminent car collectors. Now nearly 15 years later, the car's listed for sale on AutoTrader in the UK (and brought to our attention by our friends at Motor1), with an asking price of £36,995.

That's nearly $50k at current exchange rates, or about the price of a new M240i coupe. Given the choice, which would you take between the two?

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 2:04 am

Another week, another Nürburgring lap record. This one has been set in a Porsche, but it comes with a larger qualification than just about any we've seen to date.

Though not (as far as we can tell) officially verified, this video posted by vehicle trailer manufacturer Moetefindt Fahrzeugbau shows a Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Turbo lapping the Nordschleife in 12:06 – while towing a trailer.

That time in and of itself wouldn't be nearly enough to steal the wagon record from the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, which lapped the circuit in 7:45.19 several weeks ago. But then the Benz wasn't towing a trailer.

Behind the wheel, in case you were wondering, is one Patrick Simon. One of three German racing brothers, Patrick won the Formula Le Mans class championship in the 2011 Le Mans Series with Pegasus Racing.

Oh, and inside the trailer? Another Porsche, of course! Specifically, a vintage Porsche Junior 108 farming tractor – which would likely take a lot longer to mow the Green Hell under its own power than it took to get around with the Panamera doing the heavy work. Now if we could just see Zuffenhausen's turbo wagon repeat the feat without the tractor/trailer, Mercedes might have a real challenger on its hands.

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 2:04 am

It certainly hasn’t pleased all truckers but the Tesla Semi does promise to shake up the industry and beverage company Anheuser-Busch is hedging its bets on the truck.

In a press release, the company announced that it has placed an order on no less than 40 Tesla Semis as part of a long-term goal to decrease its operational carbon footprint by 30 per cent by 2025.

“At Anheuser-Busch, we are constantly seeking new ways to make our supply chain more sustainable, efficient, and innovative. This investment in Tesla semi-trucks helps us achieve these goals while improving road safety and lowering our environmental impact,” senior director of logistics strategy at Anheuser-Busch James Sembrot said.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time Anheuser-Busch has thrown its support behind trucks with autonomous capabilities. In fact, an Otto truck carried over 51,000 cans of Budweiser between Ft. Collins, Colorado and Colorado Springs in 2016.

Tesla claims that the Semi will be able to travel 500 miles under highway conditions with a full 80,000 lbs load. It’ll also be capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph (96 km/h) in 20 seconds with a full payload and will hit the 60-mph mark in five seconds without a trailer.

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Posted: December 11, 2017, 1:03 am

Elon Musk’s The Boring Company has just published a map showing the routes it intends to construct below Los Angeles.

As The Verge notes, the single longest piece of tunnel will stretch some 40-miles from Sherman Oaks to Long Beach Airport. In between, the tunnels will have stops at LAX, LA Stadium, South LA, the Staples Center, Inglewood, West LA, Santa Monica, and other areas. To say the plan is ambitious would be an understatement.

While The Boring Company still needs government approval to build the tunnels, it has singled out a 6.5-mile stretch between Inglewood and West LA which it dubs a ‘proof-of-concept’ tunnel. Here, it intends on rigorously testing all of the systems proposed by Elon Musk.

As announced earlier this year, The Boring Company’s network of tunnels will feature elevators that take cars off the street and whisk them underground. There, the cars are placed onto sleds and travel through the tunnels at roughly 150 mph. Numerous bus-like pods would also carry passengers through the tunnel network.



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Posted: December 11, 2017, 12:02 am

More than sponsors, manufacturers, teams, or even drivers, stock cars are known by their numbers. 43 is among the most famous of them, and it's switching to a new car next season.

Since its debut in 1954, Petty Enterprises' No 43 has been worn by Dodges, Plymouths, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, and Fords. But next year it will be on the new Chevy Camaro ZL1.

The switch coincides with a new deal penned between Richard Petty Motorsports and Richard Childress Racing, whose ECR Engines department builds the Chevy powertrains for NASCAR and the United SportsCar Championship.

“This is our next chapter of Petty racing,” said team co-owner Richard Petty. “Chevrolet has been a consistent winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for a long time and we’re proud to be a part of the GM family again.”

Though traditionally sponsored by STP motor oils, this year the No 43 Camaro will be sponsored primarily by Click n' Close mortgages. It'll be driven by Darrel “Bubba” Wallace, Jr, who moves up full-time to the Monster Energy Cup this season after strong showings and race wins in lower-level competition.

Though perhaps best known for his long-running partnership with Plymouth, Petty's switch to Chevy for next year is something of a homecoming. Together, Petty teams have won 31 Cup races under GM power, stretching way back to the first Daytona 500 that Lee Petty won in an Oldsmobile in 1959.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 9:58 pm

Between the mechanics, craftsmanship, and design, there's a lot for automotive enthusiasts to love about wristwatches – especially in that rare space where the two overlap. And few overlap quite like this latest.

Crafted by Danish watchmakers REC Watches, these Mustang-inspired timepieces are built out of actual Mustangs – ones that have reached the end of their lives as automobiles, we're assured.

“Most people would just see a pile of metal, a ghost of a Mustang. We see something completely different – the soul of a car and a story that needs to be told,” says REC Watches co-founder Mygh. “I’m not cutting up Mustangs. I’m bringing Mustangs that are beyond repair back to life as a watch.”

Each vehicle from which the materials are sourced has its history carefully retraced and documented on video. One rare Raven Black 1966 model, for example, was discovered in Sweden and turned into a limited run of 250 timepieces. Another was crafted specifically for drift champ Vaughn Gittin, Jr. using the carbon-fiber bodywork from his Mustang RTR drift car.

Each features a design borrowed from the classic pony car as well, including dials inspired by the Mustang's dashboard instruments, and a power-reserve meter designed to look like its fuel gauge. Pricing starts at $1,495.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It's been about eight years now since General Motors shut down the Pontiac brand, and took the Solstice with it. But there's one such roadster that's coming up for auction in near-new condition.

The Solstice was Pontiac's last two-seater, and the first it produced since the mid-engined Fiero. It shared its underpinnings with the Saturn Sky, Opel GT, and Daewoo G2X. And sad as it was for Pontiac enthusiasts to see it go, it was arguably a fitting send-off to a once celebrated marque.

The Solstice generated so much excitement for the sports-oriented brand that, within ten days of its unveiling at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show, Pontiac had already taken 7,000 orders – filling up the initial order book for the entire year.

GM responded by increasing production, delivering 10,000 units by March 1. Demand remained strong the following two years to the point that, by the time production ended in 2010, over 65,000 had been made – the vast majority in the first three years. (For reference, Chevrolet sold just over 40,000 of the far-more-expensive Corvette last year, and has never sold more than 54,000 in a single year.)

Along the way, the 2.4-liter inline-four was joined by a more potent 2.0-liter turbo, and the roadster was supplemented by a targa-topped coupe. The example you see here was from among the first made, a 2006 model with the open top, in red over black, with the naturally aspirated engine – and just 1,900 miles on the odometer, making it a potential collector's item.

In such original condition, RM Sotheby's (whose photographer Theodore W. Pieper captured these images) estimates it will sell for about $25,000 when the gavel drops in Arizona next month. But without a reserve price, there's no telling what might happen.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 8:01 pm

There’s just something about the original NSX you can’t resist; it’s not because it was an original concept, nor because it was the fastest of the breed.

This is Sean Lee’s 1991 Acura NSX. The car isn’t factory-standard, but the modifications were selected with respect on the car’s true character as Sean wanted to have an NSX, only better.

Among the things he installed were a KW adjustable coilover suspension, a sportier exhaust and a set of super sticky Nitto tires mounted on Advan wheels to make his JDM sports car a more thrilling device on his favorite canyon roads.

Power remains at stock levels, meaning a 3.0-liter V6 with around 270hp that's paired to a five-speed manual transmission. By today’s standards, the horsepower doesn’t sound so impressive, but back then the NSX had all the punch it needed to show exotics how it’s done.

You can check out the beautifully moded NSX in the Petrolicious video that follows after the break.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 5:56 pm

With 248hp and 320Nm (236lb-ft) of torque available on tap, the Alpine A110 is not exactly slow to begin with.

However, it appears that the Renault-owned brand is looking to launch a more hardcore version, according to AutoExpress, that could get as much as 300hp from its tuned 1.8-liter turbocharged engine.

Besides the extra oomph, such a version of the A110, which is allegedly known internally as 'Sport Chassis', would also shed a few kilograms from its weight, dropping from the current 1,080kg (2,381lbs) to 1,050kg (2,315lbs) thanks to a few changes in the interior.

Its chassis will be tuned as well, while the suspension is expected to be 15 to 20 percent stiffer.

Moreover, the so-called Alpine A110 Sport is also believed to become more thrilling in Track mode, as the steering, dual-clutch transmission, traction control, and exhaust note will be revised.

If everything goes as planned, then the extreme version of the French coupe should arrive next summer, and it might pave the road for a 'Trophy' variant of the new Renault Megane RS.

Note: Alpine A110 Premiere Edition pictured

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 4:57 pm

While the all-new 2018 Nissan Leaf hasn't entered the U.S. market yet, future buyers can look forward to purchasing a car that's significantly improved compared to its predecessor.

Even though it featured a familiar 5-door hatchback appearance, the design was of the fist-generation Leaf was quirky, to say the least - but that was probably intentional on Nissan's part in order to emphasize that this wasn't a conventional hatch but an all-electric model.

For the most part, the 2018 model managed to avoid looking "too different," and is now scheduled to go on sale nationwide in January, priced from $29,990.

It also happens to be superior to the first-generation in multiple categories, as shown in this comparison chart put together by NissanPartsPlus.

"The Nissan Leaf is one of the most underrated and underappreciated cars on the road," says Steve Ferreira, director of NissanPartsPlus.com. "Nissan has been building and selling reliable, affordable EVs with great range and performance for years. The 2018 Nissan Leaf is the next generation of a successful, practical vehicle. It should be getting a lot more attention than a car that still isn't available from a company that's hand-building EVs in a so-called 'dreadnought' factory."

Since the 2018 Leaf is heavier, Nissan gave it a more powerful 110 kW (147 HP) engine, helping it get from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 8.8 seconds, compared to its predecessor's 10 seconds. The newer model is also more aerodynamic, has a larger battery, twice the driving range, and more cargo room.

The icing on the cake is that, if you adjust for inflation, you'll see that it's also cheaper to purchase. Well done, Nissan.

Posted: December 10, 2017, 4:23 pm

Some Middle Eastern markets can't get enough of BMWs with wacky paintjobs and interiors, hence the multitude of flashy cars that emerge, quite often, from BMW Abu Dhabi Motors.

The latest one is a 750Li, which may not be the flagship version of the new 7-Series, but it's still very quick, capable of reaching 100km/h (62mph) in 4.5sec, thanks to its 445hp and 650Nm (479lb-ft) of torque V8 engine.

However, its performance is not what interests us, in this case, because this particular example is finished in Atlantis Blue. The color, which is the work of BMW Individual, was also applied to other BMWs in the past, including several M3s and M4s, and represents a step away from the default black, grey, or white finishes that most customers prefer for the 7-Series.

Step inside, though, and you'll see the bright red leather that covers the seats, door panels, lower part of the dashboard, and central console, contrasting its exterior and making the whole car more unique.

Now, for the right sum, Abu Dhabi Motors, which happens to be the world's largest BMW dealership, would sell you an identical BMW 750Li, as this one is probably spoken for, and if you're not fans of the flashy bits, then you could tell them exactly what you want and they'll make it happen.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 3:00 pm

If striking a balance between price and performance matters most to you, what would you choose between a Volvo XC60 D5 and its less powerful D4 version?

Granted, straight line speed isn't the most important thing in a compact premium SUV, but that doesn't mean performance is a non factor, especially since these cars often get packed to the brim during holiday trips.

So once you add passengers, luggage, maybe even a dog, you'll need sufficient power and torque to safely overtake cars at motorway speeds or to quickly execute such a maneuver on a country road.

If the all-new XC60 happens to be your SUV of choice and you're trying to decide between the D5 and D4 versions, here's what you need to know.

Both have 2.0-liter turbodiesel engines, yet the former packs 235 PS and 480 Nm (354 lb-ft) of torque, while the latter is good for 190 PS and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. They both weigh about the same, so in the end it just comes down to how much quicker the D5 is compared to the D4.

According to Volvo, the XC60 D5 will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds, whereas the D4 needs 8.4 seconds, so on paper, there's no denying who's faster. Even so, Carwow put the two models to the test, and you can see how this turned out in the video that follows.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 1:29 pm

Believe it or not, every once in a while Lamborghini built cars that seated more than just two people, even before the Urus ever materialized from concept form to an SUV you can order today.

Aside from the LM002, which obviously seated more than just a driver and a front passenger, the automaker also came up with the Estoque sedan concept, back in 2008, which (sadly) was ditched in favor of the super SUV.

Long before that ,though, there was the Espada, a four-seat grand touring coupe built between 1968 and 1978, this one here, tested by Doug DeMuro in Dubai, being a 1973 Series 3 model.

In its glory days, its 3.9-liter V12 put down 325 PS (321 HP), which today may not sound like a whole lot, but at the time it was an impressive figure. Aside from sitting quite comfortably behind the wheel, DeMuro also noticed that the car was actually quick enough to put a smile on his face - although the exhaust note had something to do about that, too.

Overall, he was impressed with it dynamically, especially for a car that was built 40 years ago. You can check out his full review in the video that follows right below.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 1:00 pm

Think the Black Series represented the most hardcore versions of standard-production Mercedes road cars? Think again and feast your eyes on the CLK DTM AMG.

Basically a road-going version of the racer Mercedes fielded in Germany's highly competitive touring car series, the CLK DTM was the most hardcore and exclusive version this side of the CLK GTR, a homologation special which shared little more with the road-going CLK than its name and a distorted family resemblance.

Just try these specs on for size. The CLK63 AMG Black Series employed a 6.2-liter V8 to produce 500 horsepower. The C63 AMG Black Series Coupe that followed did a little better with the same engine kicking out 510 hp. The Mercedes-AMG C63 S that basically takes their place today uses the newer 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 to produce 503 hp. But the DTM edition used a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 to kick out no less than 582 hp.

As a result, it hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds and topped out at 200 mph (320 km/h). Over a decade later, you still won't find another version of the CLK or C-Class (save again for the GTR) that'll hit those numbers.

And it was exclusive. Man, was it exclusive: AMG only made 100 coupes in 2004, and followed up with another 80 convertibles in 2006.

There happens to be one for sale in Saudi Arabia right now at the Seven Car Lounge in Riyadh. The dealer, tellingly, hasn't publicized the asking price. But for what it's worth, the last one we saw come up for sale crossed the auction block in London just this past September. RM Sotheby's estimated its value at about £300k, or roughly $400k at current exchange rates, but failed to meet its lofty reserve price.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 11:56 am

You surely have heard it before, but we won't tire repeating it: drinking and driving don't mix. That doesn't mean that a motoring enthusiast can't enjoy a beer at the end of a long day, though, once the driving's done. And some might be inclined to check out these latest brews from Morgan.

The British producer of old-timey sports cars has partnered with the Friday Beer Company to come out with a line of brews. They've already done a series of Morgan ales, but now they've teamed up again for a lager.

The pilsner-style lager is called No.29 Pils, brewed in the same Worcestershire town of Malvern where Morgan is based, using its famously clean spring water. At 4.6 percent alcohol by volume, it's offered alongside the three types of ale: the Morgan 3 Wheeler Dark Mild Ale, the Aero 8 Rye Ale, and the 4/4 Blonde Ale (fittingly bottled at 3, 4.8, and 4.4 percent ABV, respectively).

“We are delighted to be introducing a new range of pilsner style craft lager to the already successful range between Morgan and Friday Beer,” said Morgan's managing director Steve Morris. “This is a great example of two local companies working together and we hope that many Morgan owners all around the world can enjoy a glass or two during the Christmas period.”

The brews with their delightfully (and suitably) old-fashioned labels and packaging are being offered for purchase online through the Beer Hunter website. A four-pack of pilsners or a three-pack of ales will set you back £18.00, and could make the perfect gift for the Morgan driver on your holiday shopping list.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 10:59 am

Automakers left and right have been flocking to Formula E, and the next one to join in on the action could be Maserati.

According to Autosport, Maserati is the most likely candidate among the numerous brands under the FCA umbrella, ahead of Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, or Dodge. But first the group's chief executive Sergio Marchionne needs to determine whether the electric racing series represents a worthwhile investment.

The FCA chief has expressed interest in the series, most recently stating that, excluding Ferrari, it would be one of the other automakers over which he presides that would be represented should such a program be give it the green light.

"I haven't spoken to Mr Marchionne,” series chief Alejandro Agag told Autosport, “but would naturally welcome his group into Formula E whenever the time becomes right for them."

The Modena-based brand was just recently linked to a potential Formula One entry with the Haas team in the same way Alfa Romeo has with Sauber. But the leading motorsport publication believes a Formula E effort is far more likely to happen.

Maserati would be in good company on the electric grid, as rivals like Porsche, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Jaguar have all gotten involved. Aston Martin has been tied to a potential entry as well, but with the size of the field already limited, any manufacturer interested in joining would have to partner with one of the existing teams. While most of the current teams have partnered with one automaker or another, neither Techeetah nor Dragon Racing have any such partnership in place at present.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 8:30 am

After announcing the launch of its official restoration programme, Pagani has released a short video to show us how it restores a Zonda back to showroom condition.

You wouldn’t expect Pagani to use a greasy service bay for this kind of task and you would be right; in fact the area where the magic happens looks better than most living rooms I’ve ever been in.

The programme is called Pagani Rinascimento and will basically allow owners of early Zondas to return their supercars in their original condition. Pagani will even restore down to each bolt, should the customer wishes them to.

Using the original molds and materials, Pagani’s craftsmen will restore by hand the cars and work on a single car at the time. During the restoration, they will also document everything in a special Rinascimento book that will come with the finished car.

“Our customers rely on us because we are the only ones in the world capable of rebuilding and restoring Paganis as they came out of our Atelier,” said Horacio Pagani. “We want to give our customers the emotion to be thrilled as the first time.”

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 3:02 am

Renting a car and pairing your phone up to the connected infotainment system is certainly easy enough. However, by doing so you could be compromising your privacy.

According to a report by Privacy International, the data you send to the car includes the location and contents of your smartphone, as well as your home address.

What's worse is that the data then gets stored in the connected infotainment system and it's unclear who, if anybody, is tasked with deleting it.

Millie Graham Wood, solicitor and legal officer at Privacy International told ZDNet that in most rental cars, "there were between five and 10 different phone identifiers. When you connect to the Bluetooth, it will store your identifier."

She then added that "we also looked at the navigation systems: a lot of locations were stored. Places people had driven to, you could possibly link up with their name and drive there."

In order to put together this report, cars were rented from multiple hire companies such as Sixt, Enterprise, National, Zipcar and Thrifty, and the models tested included the Audi A3 and the Nissan Qashqai.

Apparently, rental companies expect the users to delete the data themselves once they're done with the vehicles.

"The unanimous responses were, not only is it the individual's responsibility to delete their data when they return the rental car, the individual is further responsible for informing other passengers who connect their devices to the car that their data is being stored on the car, and not necessarily deleted," stated the report.

Enterprise was one company that felt the user was responsible for deleting his or her information, while Sixt and Thrifty are already looking at policies to delete driver information as part of the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations).

It's also important to point out that the car manufacturers themselves have little to no say in the matter. When approached for comments, Nissan said that it was up to the rental company or the customer to clear the data, and that the automaker itself doesn't have access to the car's internal systems unless it's fully connected to the internet.

"As this is a rental company fleet vehicle, Nissan does not have access to or control of a vehicle to carry out such a reset after each rental customer and would expect the customer or the rental company to carry out any necessary resets," said the Japanese automaker.

So if you're currently renting or planning on renting a car in the near future, pay attention to the type of information you share with the infotainment system - be it cell phone data or sat-nav destinations.

Posted: December 10, 2017, 1:40 am

McLaren has finally introduced its long-anticipated hypercar, which we came to know under its P15 internal codename over the past year, as the Senna. It’s not exactly a direct replacement for the P1 as it will sit next to the brand’s upcoming three-seater BP23.

The latest and newest member of McLaren’s Ultimate Series carries the name of legendary Formula 1 driver, Ayrton Senna, who won all three of his F1 driver titles with the team in 1988, 1990 and 1991.

Why would I want one?

If its name or visceral racecar looks aren’t a good enough reason, then perhaps the fact that McLaren itself describes the Senna as the brand’s most extreme road car ever – and yes, despite being developed primarily for the track, it’s completely street-legal, could tip the scales to its favor.

“The McLaren Senna is a car like no other: the personification of McLaren’s motorsport DNA, legalized for road use but designed and developed from the outset to excel on a circuit,” says McLaren boss, Mike Flewitt. “Every element of this new Ultimate Series McLaren has an uncompromised performance focus, honed to ensure the purest possible connection between driver and machine and deliver the ultimate track driving experience in the way that only a McLaren can.”

The Senna’s ultra-lightweight construction, with a carbon fiber chassis that’s a further development of the 720S platform and body panels, help it achieve an incredibly low dry weight at just 1,198kg (2,641lbs), making it the brand’s lightest road car since the iconic McLaren F1. For those of you keeping track, that’s around 220kg or 485 pounds less than the already lightweight McLaren 720S.

Beyond the aero-honed teardrop shape, the Senna gets a slew of extreme, latest generation front and rear active aerodynamics, which McLaren says, raise downforce and aero control to an “unprecedented level”. We could talk about the aero blades that will be available in various colors, the movable flaps hidden in the air intakes, but the most visual drama comes from the massive rear wing.

What makes it tick?

Powering the Senna is a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 placed behind the driver mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that turns the rear wheels. It produces 800PS (789bhp) and 800Nm (590 lb ft) of peak torque, resulting in a power-to-weight ratio of 668PS/650HP-per-tonne.

The Woking company won’t say how fast it is yet, simply stating that it will have “savage performance”. Still, a 0-60mph (96km/h) in 2.5 seconds or less and a top speed of over 200mph (320km/h) should be expected from the most powerful road-legal McLaren ever.

Putting all those horses on the tarmac is a revised version of the P1’s independent double-wishbone suspension with hydraulic adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars that McLaren names RaceActive Chassis Control II (RCC II).

The adaptive dampers are interconnected hydraulically, both left to right and front to back, with two valves per damper to independently adjust for compression and rebound. The stiffness of the Senna is separately controlled using a kinetic roll system, or K-damper. In addition to the Comfort, Sport and Track settings we’ve seen on the P1 and 720S, the Senna also gets a newly developed Race mode. The latter introduces a lower ride height, lower centre of gravity and significantly stiffer suspension.

McLaren says the braking system of the Senna is the most advanced it has ever made for a road car (you’ve probably noticed a pattern here), using carbon ceramic discs and motorsport technologies. The Senna rides on bespoke Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires that were designed for race tracks but approved for road use.

“The McLaren Senna delivers true performance, all the way to the limit of a driver’s ability,” says McLaren Ultimate Series boss, Andy Palmer. “With a truly astonishing power-to-weight ratio, this car is about performance that is accessible and attainable, yet at the same time exciting and challenging for the very best drivers in the world – and with an intense, sensory experience to match.”



Tell me about the cabin

Before you enter the car, you have to operate the top-hinged doors that are constructed from carbon fiber and feature two-piece glass side windows with a fixed top part and a smaller opening section below. McLaren says the glass layout enhances the sense of space inside the cockpit, but if you want to go to extremes, you can switch the lower portions for carbon fiber panels, in which case, the interior will be a darker place.

The cabin itself is an ode to minimalism offering the bare essentials. That means super lightweight seats with hardly any padding, while many items such as the door handles, engine start button and window switches have been positioned on the roof. The three-spoke steering wheel is free of buttons and switches, while a very simple and narrow screen in front of the driver informs about engine revs, the gear selected and speed. All other information and settings comes from the high-definition McLaren Folding Driver Display and central infotainment screen.

Good luck trying to carry anything other than a couple of helmets and racing suits as storage space is restricted to a chamber behind the seats.

Can I afford it?

Probably not, but even if you did have the £750,000 it costs in the UK with taxes at your disposal, and which comes to around $1 million at today’s rates, all 500 hand-built cars have been spoken for. The last example was sold in an auction for £2 million or $2.7 million with the proceeds to benefit the Senna Foundation.

We’ll have the opportunity to see the new Senna in the flesh at next year’s Geneva Motor Show in March. Production of the car will begin in the third quarter of 2018.

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Posted: December 10, 2017, 1:22 am

The third-generation Mazda 626 sold very well in Europe between 1982 and 1987, and this 5-door hatchback version was by far the most practical option in the range.

Now, somebody's trying to sell a 1987 facelifted example on cc-cars for no less than 129,000 DKK - which, at current exchange rates, amounts to around $20,000! The reason why they're asking so much is because the car has less than 1,000 km (621 miles) on the clock.

Looking at its interior, we spot electric windows, a sunroof and an automatic transmission, which is probably the four-speed one introduced in 1987 that replaced the three-speed one used previously.

All things considered, this 626 looks pretty good, especially for those of us who grew up admiring these types of mid-size family cars. Go back in time and put this exact spec model on the road, and you'd get plenty of attention from your fellow motorists.

Anyhow, asking 20 grand in late 2017 for a 30-year old Mazda 626 is, in our opinion, quite a stretch - but to each his own. Would you be willing to pay that much for it? Chip in in the comments section below.

H/T to Christian

PHOTO GALLERY

Posted: December 10, 2017, 12:16 am

It is almost a year since the Lamborghini Huracan Performante stunned attendees at the Geneva Motor Show but the hardcore Huracan continues to amaze.

Recently, Jay Leno jumped behind the wheel of a bright green Performante through the streets of Los Angeles, while also speaking with the chief operating officer of Lamborghini America, Alessandro Farmeschi, to discuss all the developments made to the car.

In terms of power, the Performante is powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine delivering 631 hp and 443 lb-of torque. In a world where supercars are continuing to push the boundaries with over 700 hp, those figures may not seem like a lot. However, the Performante did lap the Nurburgring in a blistering 6:52, proving that horsepower and torque aren’t the only things needed to set impressive lap times.

One intriguing development of the Performante is its use of the Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA) system. This technology includes two flaps in the front splitter which can open and close to adjust downforce. Additionally, the car features a hollow forged carbon fiber rear wing and funnels air through the rear wing uprights, creating improved downforce through corners and reducing aerodynamic drag when necessary.

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Posted: December 9, 2017, 10:57 pm