September 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The original Honda NSX was a fan favourite and it was a dark day for many in 2005 when Honda announced that the sports car would be discontinued. But now, six years later, those same fans have a glimmer of hope that one day soon this nameplate will rise up from the dead.
The NSX saviour comes in the form of new Honda president Takanobu Ito who is busy attempting to revive some of Honda’s performance image. And if his recent comments prove true the automaker will get a new flagship sports car.
Ito knows the NSX well from earlier in his career when he helped develop its aluminum body. He claims that the next Honda sports car won’t try to achieve Ferrari levels of grunt, but instead aim for an excellent power-to-weight ratio and high efficiency.
The original Honda NSX, sold from 1990 to 2005, weighed around 1350kg and produced 216kW – a power-to-weight ratio that still holds up well today. The NSX mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout also made it an enjoyable steer and gave it supercar-caliber dynamics combined with unrivaled reliability. Continue reading “Honda busy developing next-generation NSX?” »
March 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
The Audi R8 is a stunning machine in anyone’s book and when it’s in Spyder V10 form it’s the dream car of many. Taking such a machine on a tour of Brazil would be a dream road trip for a lot of adventurous souls. Audi has recognised this and put its R8 Spyder against a Brazilian back-drop for a stylish and relaxed promotional video.
Take two minutes out of your day, sit back, crank up the volume, watch the video below and let yourself do some serious daydreaming. Continue reading “Audi releases R8 Spyder Brazilian road trip video” »
October 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Brazil is well known for a few things like it’s fancy football and bubble-butted women but not for its supercars. That may be set to change with the Rossin-Bertin Vorax that will make its debut at the Sao Paulo Auto Show shortly. There’s no doubt the styling won’t be to all tastes but the Vorax has some serious credentials with a carbon fibre body and aluminium chassis. According to its makers, it will weigh just 1,300 kg and be powered by a hard-tuned 5.0-litre V10 lifted from the current BMW M5.
Although untested at this stage, the “base model” 425 kW Vorax should reach 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds and go on to a top speed of 330 km/h. Meanwhile, the harder core 559 kW supercharged variant can do just 3.6 seconds to 100kph and a 372 km/h top speed.
The creators of the Vorax wanted to build a supercar that could compete with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche – a ambitious goal.
Production of the Vorax coupe will begin at a manufacturing plant in Blumenau, Brazil later this year or early 2012. A convertible version is scheduled to follow the coupe a year later. The plan is to sell between 500 and 1,000 Voraxes for around US$409,836 each.
Check out images of the Rossin-Bertin Vorax in the gallery below.
September 10th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
BMW has bid farewell to the current model M6 Coupe and Convertible as production of both models ceases this week. The announcement coincides with the discontinuation of BMW’s stonking 507hp 5.0-liter V10 engine that also powered the already wound-down fourth-generation M5. But BMW enthusiasts need not fear as even though cylinder numbers have dropped, performance figures will increase. The next models of both the M6 and M5 models will use of a new turbocharged V8 powerplant producing somewhere in the range of 600hp.
The Bangle-penned E63/E64 M6 was initially launched as a two-door coupe back in 2005 with the soft-top convertible model following the next year. Globally, BMW shifted a total of 14,152 cars (9,087 coupes and 5,065 convertibles), with the number one market for both models being the US, followed by the domestic German market.
A replacement for the M6 (in both coupe and convertible body styles) based on the next generation of the 6-Series is due late next year or early 2012. Continue reading “BMW announces end of M6 production” »
August 31st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Lotus is ready to go big at the 2010 Paris Motor Show on next month. The English automaker is set to reveal its new Esprit, the new Seven and two hybrid vehicles built on the modular chassis concept the automaker showed off in Geneva earlier this year.
The company is pushing on with its five-year plan to completely update its model range and with sales of the Evora strong it’s now all about the new models. While little is known about the replacement for the Seven the new Esprit has attracted much attention and speculation.
In terms of powertrains Lotus’ relationship with Toyota will come into play once more and could see Lexus-sourced engines fitted to the new Esprit. Apparently a choice of three Esprits will be available, including a 300hp version using Toyota’s direct injected V6, a 417hp model that would use the Lexus IS F’s 5.0-litre V8 and for the top range Esprit, a V10 500hp motor lifted from the Lexus LF-A supercar.
The partnership between Lotus and Toyota could also mean more eco-friendly motoring for Lotus fans. The English automaker has repeated said that lightweight platforms and fuel-efficient drivetrains are a top priority. With that in mind, an “Eco Esprit” could be available with a reworked version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive.
The Evora will provide the basis for the next Esprit, and considering the quick turnaround for the Evora to shift from concept to production, Lotus has the ability to bring the new Esprit to market rapidly. If the Evora keeps selling well, then the new Esprit could be tearing up European roads by 2012, but it’s not going to come cheap.
May 7th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The much-anticipated Audi A7 Sportback is nearing the end of its development. According to recent reports the grand unveiling will take place at this year’s Paris Motor Show in September. European sales would most likely start in the first quarter of 2011.
Alongside some smaller-engined variants like V6 petrols and diesels, the A7 is also predicted to come in a hard-charging RS 7 model. It will most likely use Audi’s 5.2-litre naturally aspirated V10 engine which will churn out 433 kW (580 bhp), although the 5.0-litre TFSI V10 from the RS6 with its 572 bhp (427 kW) could be another candidate. Powering all four wheels would be a 7-speed double clutch gearbox.
The four-door Sportback has been in the making for some time after the concept was first unveiled at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show. The production version, will be a natural rival to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and also the likes of the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide.
May 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
Audi dropped a much welcome surprise on the motoring world yesterday with the long-awaited announcement of its R8 GT.
The big news for the GT comes in the form of serious weight loss, because clever Audi engineers have managed to drop 100kg in weight from the standard R8’s kerb weight. Weight saving features include thinner glass, carbon-fiber and aluminum construction, a fixed rear wing, thinner sheet metal, and lightweight carpeting. The exterior also experienced numerous modifications that further sharpened its appearance. Many of them also reduce the weight and enhance the aerodynamics. The R8 GT produces even more downforce when driven fast than the standard production model
The 5.2-litre V10 engine has been bumped from 525 horsepower to 560, beating its cousin, the Lamborghini Gallardo. The GT is only available with the aforementioned R-Tronic hydraulically actuated semi-automatic, and when pushed to its limit, the R8 GT is claimed to accelerate to 100 kph in a mere 3.6 seconds and on to 200 kph in 10.6 seconds. Top speed has also been increased to 318 kph.
Limited edition is the name of the game and as such only 333 cars will be built in a single production run. As a special touch, each car will have a badge with its production number on the shift lever knob. The price in the German market will be â‚¬193,000 ($352,000 NZ).
December 20th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham
What does your extra money get you when paying for the Lamborghini Gallardo-engined Audi R8 V10?