Despite its tiny proportions, the Fiat 500 is a massively versatile machine. You can order it in pastel colors with retro-chic 50′s style accessories, you can order it as a cutesy but fairly normal looking hatchback, or you can go all out and place an order for the Abarth 695 Biposto and blow some minds.
This car is anything but cutesy. It’s a race car stuffed inside a 500 shell. There is a race-bred dog-ring gearbox which offers lighting-quick shifts, a titanium Akrapovic exhaust system, fully adjustable suspension system from Extreme Shox, an MXL digital data logger, Sabelt seats with 4-point harnesses, powerful Brembo brakes and lightweight 18-inch OZ wheels.
Powering the Abarth 695 Biposto is a 1.4 litre turbocharged engine which produces 190 horsepower. It allows the car to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 5.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 143 mph.
Continue reading ‘Abarth 695 Biposto – the most extreme Fiat 500 yet’ »
On the Honda stand at the Geneva Motor Show, the company is displaying a concept version of next year’s production Civic Type R.
It’s a steriod-infused little hot hatch with a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 280 horsepower. It’s definitely not subtle on the outside, with spoilers and vents all over the place. In fact it’s the most extreme Type R the company has ever built. It’s more of a road legal version of the Civic race car than a mildly worked over version of the standard Civic.
The concept was put together by a team of just three guys at the company’s Swindon design center in the UK. It took six months to build.
Continue reading ‘Honda Civic Type R concept – 280HP pocket rocket previews production car’ »
Vauxhall/Opel have finally revealed what their Geneva Motor Show stunner will look like, and what it’s got under the hood. It’s powerful, fast, and looks like a race car. It should, it’s based on the Astra Cup race car that competed in the Nürburgring Endurance Championship. And if there’s enough positive feedback, then it just might go into limited production.
The Astra VXR EXTREME is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which produces 300 horsepower. It’s the most powerful front-wheel-drive car the company has ever built. The transmission tasked with sending all those horses to the front wheels is a six-speed manual, assisted by a limited-slip differential.
The Astra VXR EXTREME is a full 220 lbs (100 kgs) lighter than the standard Astra VXR. This has been achieved through the use of carbon fiber components, including the roof, rear wing, diffuser, front spoiler, hood, and even the wheels. Aluminium has been used for some of the body panels too.
Continue reading ‘Vauxhall Astra VXR EXTREME. It might just make production.’ »
In 1974, at the Geneva Motor Show, Volkswagen unveiled the very first Scirocco. And fittingly, at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, after 40 years and over 1 million sales, Volkswagen will be debuting a restyled and updated version of the Scirocco.
The 2014 Scirocco features revised styling and a new range of engines which are more powerful and more fuel-efficient. The range topping Scirocco R features a 280 horsepower (15 hp more than before) 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder.
Visually, the 2014 Scirocco is marked out from last year’s car by new front and rear bumpers, new headlights, and LED tail lights. As on a Golf, the Volkswagen logo badge now has an additional purpose: functioning as the tailgate release handle.
Continue reading ‘2014 Volkswagen Scirocco updated 40 years after original car debuted’ »
The first generation Renault Twingo from 1992 was a bit of an odd ball. Odd looking, yet somehow lovable. It was a small budget car, and it didn’t pretend to be anything but a cheap runabout. But at the same time it had a distinctive style about it which was created by Renault’s famed designer Patrick le Quément. Underneath however it was very dull. With a range of small-displacement 4-cylinder engines producing anywhere from 55 to 75 horsepower.
But fast-forward to today, and Renault might have come up with something just a little bit special. You see, instead of playing it safe and making yet another front-wheel-drive hatchback similar to those found in just about every driveway across Europe, they’ve decided to make the third-generation Twingo a rear-engined, RWD model.
Continue reading ‘All-new, third-generation Renault Twingo goes for RWD layout’ »
Audi has just released information regarding the latest performance versions of the A1. The Audi S1 and S1 Sportback join the rest of the S quattro range of cars, and sit right down at the bottom of the heap. Just to be clear, the S1 is the three-door car, while the S1 Sportback is the five-door model. Unlike the extremely limited edition Audi A1 quattro – of which only 333 were made worldwide – the S1 models will be readily available to anyone who hands over the asking price.
“The Audi S1 offers all the virtues of a sports car, great performance, direct handling and permanent quattro drive that puts the power to the road in a superior way,” says Prof. Dr. Hackenberg, Audi Board Member for Technical Development, adding: “The quattro drive has a large following of fans, which is sure to become even larger thanks to the offering in this segment.”
Powering the S1 and the S1 Sportback is a new 2.0 litre turbocharged engine which develops 227 horsepower and 272 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque. The transmission is a short-shift six-speed manual connected to a quattro AWD system. The S1 can hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 5.8 seconds, while the slightly larger and heavier S1 Sportback takes fractionally longer at 5.9 seconds. Top speed for both is an electronically limited 155 mph.
Continue reading ‘Audi S1 and S1 Sportback – high-performance AWD hot-hatches’ »
At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March, Honda will be attending with a number of their latest concept, production and research vehicles. One vehicle will however be making its world debut, and that is the Civic Type R concept.
The 2014 Honda Civic Type R Concept is said to preview the styling direction for the exterior design of the production model which is due in 2015.
Continue reading ‘Honda Civic Type R Concept to debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show’ »
At the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, Vauxhall will be bringing along a racecar-derived Astra which will form the basis for a future limited-edition model.
The Vauxhall VXR EXTREME is based on last year’s Astra Cup race car that competed in the Nurburgring Endurance Championship. However whereas the competition racer was confined to the racetrack, the Astra VXR EXTREME is fully road legal.
Vauxhall haven’t said specifically what sort of power the car will be producing, however the current Astra VXR already develops 280 horsepower and 295 lb-ft (400Nm) of torque from its 2.0 litre turbocharged engine.
Continue reading ‘Vauxhall VXR EXTREME set for Geneva debut’ »
SEAT have just unveiled their most powerful series production car ever in the form of the SEAT Leon Cupra 280. The Cupra 280 sits at the top of a five-strong family of brand new Cupra models that begins with the 265 horsepower Leon SC Cupra and ends with the five-door Cupra 280 DSG.
Dr. Matthias Rabe, Vice President of SEAT S.A. for Research and Development said of the new models: “The new Leon Cupra is pure SEAT: emotion and performance, design and dynamics combine to deliver driving fun mile after mile. State-of-the-art technology is evident in its enormous precision, but also in its compelling efficiency. The new Cupra is a sports car for every day; it feels just as much at home on the race track as it does on the long haul.”
Continue reading ‘SEAT Leon Cupra 280’ »
The John Cooper Works (JCW) MINI’s are always the most potent variant of the highly-customisable hot-hatch. And at the 2014 North American International Auto show in Detroit, MINI will be unveiling a John Cooper Works concept based on the all-new MINI hatch. The concept is a preview of the next generation production JCW model.
The latest version of the MINI has a longer wheelbase and wider track over the outgoing model, which has a direct effect on the car’s driving characteristics. Weight savings and improved aerodynamic properties have also contributed to a faster and more agile car overall.
Continue reading ‘2014 MINI John Cooper Works Concept’ »