Ever since the first generation Ford Focus RS arrived in 2002, the car has been a little bit of a legend. The first generation model looked fairly unassuming, but with 212 hp and a 0-60 time of just 6.4 seconds, it was able to blow the doors off many unwary sports car drivers. The second generation Focus RS was a
little lot less subtle. Even if it wasn’t coated in that eye-searing lime green paint Ford offered it in, it still stood out a mile away. It was also faster and more powerful than its predecessor. The latest model, the third generation Ford Focus RS, happily continues on where the Mk2 Focus RS left off.
The 2016 Ford Focus RS is a ninja of a car. It’s stealthy, extremely capable and full of surprises. Not least of which is the fact now all four wheels get a share of the power being produced by that turbocharged engine up front.
Continue reading ‘Ford Focus RS Mk3 – AWD and with 315 horsepower’ »
The extensive 911 range got a little bigger at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, thanks to the introduction of the Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS. The car is aimed at buyers who want more performance and better handling from their 911 but don’t want to go all the way and dip into the domain of the hardcore 911 GT3.
Built to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 911 Targa, the Targa 4 GTS features a sportier front bumper, wider rear fenders and tinted bi-xenon headlights. The model also has aerodynamic mirrors, a sports exhaust system and gloss black 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels.
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Hot on the heels of the Shelby GT350 Mustang, which was unveiled in November 2014, Ford has unveiled the even higher performance Shelby GT350R Mustang. Ford are making some big noises about the GT350R, calling it the more track-capable production Mustang ever built.
“The Shelby GT350R Mustang is a no-compromise car in the pursuit of maximum track capability,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “It is a thoroughbred street car making use of technology and ingenuity to deliver performance few enthusiasts have ever experienced.”
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The anticipated convertible version of the Alfa Romeo 4C has finally been unveiled. The car made its world debut at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, with sales due to begin later in the year.
The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider retains much of the coupe’s styling, however there are some subtle differences apart from the removable and storable fabric roof. Changes include new headlights – which are thankfully far more attractive than those of the coupe, a new rear decklid which features three functional heat extractors, a revised rear spoiler, and LED tail lights. In addition an optional high-performance dual-mode Akrapovic performance exhaust system with center-mounted carbon fiber tips is available.
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At the Autosport International Show in the UK, Zenos Cars unveiled the latest addition to the E10 range. The Zenos E10 S builds on the E10’s platform, offering a more powerful engine and more creature comforts – including a windscreen as standard.
The E10 S, a road legal, lightweight sports car, boasts 250 hp of power and 295 lb-ft of torque courtesy of its turbocharged 2.0 litre Ford GDTI Ecoboost engine. This is a 50 hp increase over the naturally aspirated 2.0 litre found in the regular E10. Both cars use a 5-speed manual transmission to send power to the rear wheels.
Continue reading ‘Zenos E10 S Track Car’ »
The Q60 Concept which Infiniti unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is a vision of what they think a premium sports coupe should be. It’s a sleek two-door design aimed at the fashionable premium coupe market, and while this is just the concept version, a production version is expected to arrive in late 2016 or early 2017. When it does it will go head-to-head with the BMW 4 Series and Audi A5. It’ll also be a replacement for the current Q60 Coupe.
The low-slung, dramatic lines of the Q60 concept are a direct reference to the Q80 Inspiration concept – which was first seen at the Paris motor show last October. Infiniti says elements such as the vents behind the front wheel arches have been taken from the Q50 Eau Rouge. Those bulging arches are filled by 21-inch wheels supposedly inspired by jet turbine blades.
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The Russian tuning company TopCar are offering a drastic full-body makeover for the Porsche 911 Turbo (991 generation). The kit can be fitted to the 911 Turbo or the Turbo S and includes 24 carbon fiber panels. The interior can also be customized to the buyer’s specification.
The body kit comprises of new front and rear bumpers, new wheel arches, a new hood, new side sills and a new rear decklid. In fact over 90-percent of the car’s exterior is modified by the kit, which TopCar says is bonded to the steel body using “hi-tech materials and know how skills” – an ambiguous statement that wouldn’t put me off at all.
Continue reading ‘TopCar Porsche 991 Turbo Stinger GTR’ »
Many automobiles are the result of international collaborations, but few can match the Willys AW 380 Berlinetta in terms of worldwide design and engineering input. Built by two Italian companies – Carrozzeria Viotti and Maggiora (both of which have been around since the 1920s), the Willys AW 380 Berlinetta revives an American company’s Brazilian-built-under-license version of a French-designed sports car. Powering the car is a German engine.
The car’s Renault Alpine A108 looks are not by accident. From 1962 to 1966 Willys’ Brazilian subsidiary built over 800 examples of a sports car called the Interlagos – which was based on the A108. The Interlagos was sold in berlinetta, coupé, and convertible form.
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Galpin Auto Sports and reknowned Danish automotive designer Henrik Fisker (the man responsible for Aston Martin’s famed good looks, and the slightly troubled car company which bears his name) have teamed up to build one of the most outrageous examples of the Ford Mustang ever created. Called the ‘Rocket’, the car is a 725 horsepower monster Ford Mustang clad in a bespoke carbon fiber suit.
The exterior design of the Galpin-Fisker Rocket was undertaken by Fisker, whose love of the diamond shape can be clearly seen in the car’s styling. The project was initiated when Fisker apparently approached one of his friends, Galpin President Beau Boeckmann, with some sketches of a high-performance Mustang. On seeing the images, Boeckmann decided to get the ball rolling on a prototype model which would lead to a limited numbers production car.
The car is based on a sixth-generation Ford Mustang, and the time period from the initial sketches being created, to the car going on display at the 2014 LA Auto Show, was just over three months. The Galpin Auto Sports and Fisker say the Rocket features styling inspiration from ’60s and ’70s Mustangs, but in reality it looks much more futuristic than that.
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It’s no secret that over the last few years Cadillac’s ambition to be a serious rival to the luxury German manufacturers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes in terms of quality, performance, and all-round desireability has resulted in a vast improvement of their vehicles all-round. Their latest creations, the ATS-V Sedan and ATS-V Coupe take direct aim at the BMW M3 and BMW M4 respectivley. A similar battle will take place on the track too, with the ATS-V.R racecar taking on the best from around the world.
Of course that’s no easy task considering the competition, but the ATS-V models wade into battle with some serious straight-line performance at their disposal. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.6 litre V6 which produces 455 horsepower and 445 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, with an 8-speed paddle-shift unit available as an option. Equipped with the 8-speed transmission, the ATS-V hits 60 mph from a standind start in just 3.9 seconds, while the top speed is 185 mph.
Continue reading ‘Cadillac ATS-V Sedan and Coupe’ »