Friday Motoring Diversion – Inside The Helmet – Twelve Hours of Sebring
Well, consider that a wrap! Round 5 of WinterX for the 2013/2014 season is in the books!
For those that participated, you can view the results here – note: as of this writing Round 5 hasn’t been posted yet.
Keeping this article short and sweet, let me end with a public thanks to the staff and crew at Miller Motorsports Park in helping us with every round this season. I would also like to thank fellow photographers Scott Pettett, Jason Porter, and Chance Hales for their help in capturing these events. And lastly, thanks to the drivers for driving your cars and SUVs – hard!
Just a few short months ago Ford unveiled the 2015 Mustang for all eyes to see. It was met with a wide variety of critique ranging from love it to hate it. The unveiling came in the shadow of the 50th anniversary celebrations happening next month in Las Vegas. I didn’t expect to see one until they were on sale and on the road. Living in Utah typically means not seeing the new stuff until someone has bought one. Little did I know that I would see one sooner.
I was on my way home this evening with my wife and I looked over and I saw a car on a tow truck next to a gas station. At first I thought nothing of it but then it dawned on me what I was looking at! We quickly pulled over and I pulled out my phone and snapped some pics. It is a very good looking car. It looks MUCH better in person than it does in photos, especially in that red paint. The paint just explodes off the car in sunset light revealing some nice orange flake. We went home and I grabbed my real camera and went back. It was still there.
My favorite detail on the car is the taillights. They are so angular and chiseled. While admiring them I noticed an interesting detail on this car. Look at the photo above, see that “convertible” emblem? That’s odd… The car is a coupe. So why the convertible emblem? Either there is more to this car than meets the eye, somebody goofed, or Ford needed a rear panel quick and that is what they had. This particular car is also a GT, meaning it has a 5.0 V8 with somewhere between 420-450hp. Since the car was first unveiled there have been no new details revealed. Expect to see some at next month’s anniversary festivities. In the meantime, enjoy some Mustang porn below.
**Update** It turns out that this car is on it’s way to a commercial shoot in Payson, UT.
Photos: The Author
The second round of the 2014 TUSCC season is upon us. This stop, the Mobile 1 12 hours of Sebring.
Now, I would love to tell you how incredible qualifying was. How the “balance of performance” has brought DP and P2 cars closer to each other from a performance point of view.
And I’d love to tell you about what race cars seem to be handling the notoriously rough surface of Sebring the best.
And how in GTLM class, less then 1 seconds separate the top seven cars. With Porsche jumping to pole position.
BUT, IMSA/NASCAR still doesn’t seem to not want fans to watch qualifying. Granted, this time we got three static streaming cams, one with a decent play by play commentary. Three steps forward, two steps back?
Hopefully tomorrow’s broadcast and stream will be better then today’s qualifying of the 12 hours race.
Or, you can fire up your favorite pirate stream.
Race starts at 10am EDT / 7am PDT.
[photo | IMSA]
Friday Motoring Diversion – Relive The Glory Years Of Sebring
The Geneva Motor Show has become the CES of the auto show circuit. It is the show where automakers hold nothing back and bring out their biggest and best unveilings of the year. The alumni of this show is the top of the class. Its graduates includes the likes of the Ferrari F50, Audi R8, Ferrari 360 Modena, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, Ferrari 599 GTB, Koenigsegg CCX, KTM X-Bow, Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi A5/S5, Fiat 500 Abarth, Aston Martin One-77, Porsche 918 Spyder, Koenigsegg Agera, Alfa Romeo 4C, GTA Spano, Ferrari FF, Pagani Huayra, Lamborghini Aventador, new Honda NSX, Toyota/Scion/Subaru GT86/FR-S/BRZ, Ferrari F12berlinetta, Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, McLaren P1, Lamborghini Veneno, new Aston Martin Vanquish, and the Ferrari LaFerrari. We are pleased to report that this year is no different. With nearly 80 new cars unveiled, and roughly half of them worth some serious bragging rights, it is difficult to keep the list short. We have narrowed it down to 13. If you don’t see your favorite please tells us in the comments below.
To start things off Seat (pronounced SEE – aht) brought their new Leon Cupra. Built on the same platform as the VW Golf, this hot hatch packs a punch- a 261/276 hp 2.0T punch that is. Those figures are for the three and five door versions respectively. Announced with the car was its Nurburgring time of 7:58.4 making it the quickest production front-wheel drive car around the ‘Ring and also the first one to break the 8 minute barrier. Unfortunately, the Leon Cupra will not be offered in the US. To get your fix you’ll have to look at it’s sister car, the VW Golf R.
Wagons are difficult to pull off as cool. Especially when they are based on a sporty sedan. Jaguar took the sleek XFR-S and gave it a bigger rump and made it look oh so good! The XFR-S Sportbrake is mechanically the same as the XFR-S featuring a 5.0 supercharged V8 making 542 HP and is looking at taking on the E63 AMG and RS6 Avant, both of which are Europe only cars. The same will hold true for this hot new wagon.
Speaking of sport wagons, Volvo brought one of their own. This gorgeous concept comes with a generic name, Volvo Concept Estate. Now Volvos are usually boring, even the name of this concept reveals that, but this bold new design reveals what Volvo designers are capable of as well as hint at what is to come. While this is just a concept for now, we expect to see styling cues taken from this for a future model. We especially like the T shaped headlights and the upside down ? shaped taillights.
Back at the Detroit Auto Show Audi previewed what looked like an Allroad version of the upcoming TT. We were right. The new TT follows suit with the previous TT variants; wide, flared fenders, and a swoopy roofline. The new car will be offered with three different engines- all of which are 2.0 turbos. The least powerful will be a 184 hp turbodiesel, which Audi claims will be good for 56mpg. There is no word on if that version will be coming to the US or not. With Audi joining the diesel game in the US we wouldn’t be surprised to see it cross the pond. The middle or base gasoline version will get a slight bump in power from before at 230hp while the TTS version will get 310hp.
Initially previewed in Detroit, Infiniti brought back the Q50 Eau Rouge only this time with details instead of just a pretty face. The intoxicating red finish is arguably the best looking paint from the show circuit so far this year. But enough on the paint, this beauty packs quite a surprise. There have been many rumors floating around online about a possible four door GT-R. This very well could be it. It seems the engineers at Nissan got bored once again (remember their last boredom project?) and this time stuffed the GT-R’s twin turbo V6 into a sedan. The motor has been retuned to 560 hp. That is enough to take on the likes of the Germans. We say build it!
While the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe may be an all new model it is really a replacement for the CL. It’s just as well because this thing is beautiful! Simply put, the S-Class Coupe is everything the sedan is without the rear doors. Mercedes will initially run the S550 Coupe in the States being powered by a 449 hp 4.7L twin turbo V8 and a seven speed automatic. Expect to see them hit our shores come fall.
Another hot hatch and another that will not be setting a tire on our shores is the new Honda Civic Type R Concept. As with all Type R models everything is bigger and more extreme. The concept features a massive splitter and the trademark rear spoiler among other things. This Type R isn’t exactly all show and no go either with its new 2.0 turbo 4 cylinder making 276 hp. The exact same numbers as the Leon Cupra. Do we sense a new hot hatch ‘Ring leader?
Jeep is going al cutesy on us again with this little gem, the Renegade. When it was first unveiled I thought to myself, why? But the more I look at it the more I like it. It is certainly better looking than the Fiat 500L on which it is based. Since the merger of Chrysler and Fiat, Fiat has been taking full advantage of all that comes with Chrysler. While the Renegade may not be like any other Jeep, it is actually one of the smallest ever, it may be just what the brand needs by looking ahead to the future without loosing the brand’s identity, the taillights for example look like the sides of jerry cans. Jeep plans to offer the Renegade with the 1.4 L from the 500L and the 2.4 L from the Dodge Dart. They even plan to offer a Trailhawk version. We can’t wait to see what the aftermarket might bring to this little guy.
The latest Prancing Pony to come out of the corral is this updated Ferrari California T. The exterior has been subtly restyled taking inspiration from the 250 Testa Rosa of old. The shoulder line actually follows the same silhouette. The T in the name is an indicator for something new lurking under the hood. Ferrari downsized the motor from 4.3 L to 3.9 L and added a turbo giving it 70 more horses totaling 560hp. Other updates include going topless in 14 seconds, a new steering box, and did we mention the looks? The California may not have been particularly attractive before but it has blossomed into something beautiful now that it is all grown up.
This is what happens when you tell the Italians to build a Lotus Elise. Alfa Romeo has chopped the roof off the 4C. The 4C Spider shares all the mechanicals from the fixed roof version retaining the 1.75L turbo 4 cylinder. As with any topless version more weight comes along with it, in this case 132 more pounds. The best and probably the most ironic part of the car is that Alfa Romeo seems to have taken the hint about the ugly spider-eye like headlights on the coupe and have not included them on the Spider version of the car.
Maserati brought their 100th birthday gift to themselves along to show off to the world. The Alfieri Concept. While still looking very Maserati, the car is most likely a prelude to a redesign of the GranTurismo which is starting to fall behind in the competition. The Alfieri Concept packs the 4.7 L V8 under its hood making 460 HP and is claimed to be faster than the GranTurismo MC. With the added power and a 9.5 inch shorter wheel base it is easy to see why. Maserati says the design was inspired by the 1954 Maserati A6 GCS-53.
This year’s supercar show stopper is the self-proclaimed “megacar.” And mega it is! This is the latest from Koenigsegg, the One:1. Think the name is stupid? It may sound dumb on the surface but the name fits the details. The new Egg’s name refers to its power to weigh ratio of 1hp:1kg. It is powered by a 5.0 L twin turbo V8 making a ground shaking 1341hp and 1011 lb/ft of torque! The car is said to be capable of 2 lateral Gs on street tires and the active rear spoiler can create 1345 lbs of downforce. That rear spoiler is also a first for a road car, top mounted. It also drops down to reduce drag at its theoretical top speed of 273mph. Move over Venom GT. Koenigsegg will only build six of these and they are reportedly already sold.
And that brings us to the final car on our list. The Porsche 919 Hybrid. Porsche wants to take on Toyota and Audi in the 2014 World Endurance Championship and more specifically they want the overall win at Le Mans. The 919 Hybrid is powered by a V4 (not inline 4 or the more Porsche-like flat 4) and a pair of energy recovery systems to make 500hp and rev to 9000rpm. The recovery systems are very different from each other. One recovers heat from the exhaust and puts it through an electric generator while the second is near identical to the 918 Spyder’s regenerative braking system. We expect to see big things from this chassis. They have some BIG competition to fight with.
That will wrap up our coverage of the Geneva Motor Show. If there are cars you’d like to add to our list tell us in the comments below! The next stop on the Auto Show circuit is New York which will be held April 18-27.