McLaren: Inside The Technology Centre – Video

May 23, 2012

Insightfully revealing new video here from the Drive Channel on YouTube showing the inner-workings of the mysterious McLaren Technology Centre. Most of what is shown in the 26-minute video has been previously unseen by film-crews, so to derive some sort of visual access to parallel McLaren’s notoriously precise methods of detailed engineering is a joyful encounter… Enjoy 😉

To be honest (and a bit nit-picky), I’m not entirely sold on the presenter’s abilities (or school-boy wardrobe selection) during this rare opportunity to ask some of the more pertinent and intriguing questions that could/should have been asked… but regardless, a great job by the cameraman/crew in capturing the interior aura and static mood of this near-otherworldly entitiy of McLaren.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com

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BMW: Next M3 Will Feature Inline-6 Power

May 22, 2012

BMW’s North American boss, Ludwig Willisch, has confirmed that the next M3 will ditch the current naturally-aspirated V8 in favour of the classic inline-6 configuration that has powered the M3 in past e36 and e46 chassis outings… Unlike past efforts though, this new inline-6 will undoubtedly feature 2, or possibly even 3, turbo chargers bolted on to harness (and of course, needlessly surpass) the extra grunt required in this day and age.

Rendering of the next M3

There were initial plans for a chopped/sliced/turbocharged V6 derivative of the current, free-breathing 4.0L V8 but those plans have now been set aside. All that’s left to squandor over now is just how much forced induction tech will be nailed onto the inline-6 to achieve the ever-ridiculous power-increase that is required to sell units… I mean, we’re seriously looking at 440-450 bhp… in an M3… that will probably tack-on more weight/bulk anyways (just like the latest, porky-pie M5).

The current (chunky) V8 M3 with the ‘Performance Pack’

It’s pretty safe to say that the M3 is entering into that shady area of motoring now where its massive power-output will soon become an un-accessible entity on normal roads, for normal drivers… As the true saying goes – More power, more weight, more grip = Less fun.

The naturally-aspirated (and mad fun) inline-6 e46 M3 CSL

Of course I’d be in the minority here, but I’d happily trade 3-400 kgs of shed weight from the next M3 (the current M3 is a porky-pants as well) and a gutsy, responsive, 375 bhp, naturally-aspirated inline-6 over some muted, tri-turbo variation dishing out more torque and power than 99% of the M3 drivers on the road can even handle or comprehend.

Not the most-favourite M3, but its naturally-aspirated inline-6 provided driving thrills to coincide with its chassis.

Sure, it’ll ‘go like hell’ but at what cost to the driving enthusiast who enjoys the reachable and exploitable nuances displayed by M3’s of yore… ?

I’d still take the original, 4-cyl. e30 M3 over them all…

Message to BMW re: the M3: We want lightweight FUN, not extra weight and massive power.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Video Tribute: Carroll Shelby and the Cobra

May 15, 2012
As most of you will have probably heard or read by now, we lost an American automotive legend last week – Carroll Shelby passed away resulting in complications from pneumonia… He was 89.

Carroll in the original AC Cobra – the 1962 CSX2000

Responsible for developing the mighty AC Cobra (great feature in last month’s Octane magazine), the Shelby line of high performance Mustangs and lest we forget his heavy involvement with bringing the Ford GT40 to fruition where it swept the limelight away from Ferrari in ’66 by winning Le Mans 1, 2, 3… It subsequently won Le Mans every year to ’69.

The GT40 that crossed the line in 1st place at the legendary 1966 Le Mans

The video below comes courtesy of a ‘Behind The Headlights’ feature/documentary that originally aired on the Speed Channel. At just over 43 minutes in length (edited w/out those annoying US commercials) it comes as an intriguing testament to the die-hard mentality and perseverence of Carroll and all the talented ‘blue collar’ engineers that developed and assisted with the birth of the Cobra from its original, humble British roots to the flame-spitting, Le Mans-entered Daytona Cobra Coupe…
Enjoy… 😉
Rest in peace Carroll…
Also, for those wishing to own a Carroll Shelby-approved ‘continuation’ of the original Cobra Coupe (amongst other ’60s Ford/Chevy Motorsport icons), you simply can’t go wrong in checking yourself into one of the incredibly beautiful (and detail-ridden) examples built by South African-based Superformance. Some tasty examples of their stunning recreations below…

The Superformance Corvette Grand Sport Roadster

Their Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe…

And their exquisite GT40 recreation…

Blake J.
AutoInjected.com

Aston Martin: The ‘Ultimate’ Special Edition DBS

May 9, 2012

The current Aston Martin DB9/DBS shape is one of those automotive-landscape entities that has, undoubtedly, garnered deserved praise for its elegantly stunning and aggressively handsome design flourishes ever since its 2004 debut. It will, without fail, go down as one of the most beautiful sports/GT-cars ever made.

Just last night, during my usual evening stroll, I was taken aback by the sight of a lone, granite-grey DB9 parked up all by itself along one of the many quietly-curving, tree-lined streets that make up my old-money/Mansion-infested neighborhood. Point being, the DB9 still manages to stop me dead in my tracks and forces me to drink it all in… again… and again.

So it goes without saying that the eventual successor to the current DB9/DBS will have quite a job on its hands in keeping faithful to the beautiful mark that has been undeniably stamped onto the automotive scene. Said replacement will see the light of day sometime next year (probably) so it’s no surprise that there will be several ‘run-out’ Special Edition versions of the DB9/DBS cocktail forthcoming until then – the ‘Ultimate’ DBS, pictured, is the latest.

Only 100 ‘Ultimate’ DBS variants will be made and the features are, as usual with most run-out special editions, mostly cosmetic. Each Ultimate DBS will be individually numbered and identified by bespoke badging, loads of carbon fibre, shadowy grilles and tail-lamps, diamond-quilted stitching on your leather seats with either silver or red thread and your choice of red, yellow or black-painted calipers to complete the ‘Ultimate’ finishing touches…

Exterior paint colours offered are Carbon Black II, Quantum Silver, or Silver Fox – so basically Black, Grey or Silver. Both Coupe and Volante body styles are offered as well as either Automatic or Manual transmissions…

Hmmm… Silver-Fox DBS Ultimate with red calipers and red stitching being nursed through a Manual gearbox – yes, please.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Video: Pagani Zonda 760RS – Driven By Evo Magazine

April 25, 2012

My oh my… Check out this world-exclusive, hands-on drive along with a detailed view (and soundtrack) of the criminally insane 760 bhp Zonda 760RS, as presented by Evo Magazine’s founder, Harry Metcalfe… What a sound – what a car – what a justified price-tag..!

Interesting to note that Harry mentions “an F1 driver” with the initials LH, that has one of these on order… with a manual gearbox… solely for the purposes of driver enjoyment/involvement… We doff our cap to you, Mr. Lewis Hamilton (you lucky bugger).

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Audi Concept Unveiled: Chunky Q3 Receives the RS Badge *eyes roll*

April 18, 2012

Audi has released photos of its latest concept in the form of its baby Q3 SUV adorned with the firm’s ‘ultra high performance’ RS (RennSport = Racing Sport) badge from their coveted Quattro GmbH wing. The official unveiling will occur at next week’s Beijing Motor Show and well, one could see why – this sort of thing will light-up eyes and sell in droves in China.

Propelling this (undoubtedly heavy) ‘RS’ SUV will be the company’s characterful 2.5L 5-cylinder turbo-charged unit dispelling the same 360 bhp power-figure as the one fitted inside the latest TT RS ‘Plus’. 4-wheel drive is a given and shuffling that power to all 4 wheels comes courtesy of a 7-speed R-tronic twin-clutch unit. All of this wizardy manages to propel the attractive anomaly to 60 mph in 5 seconds and hit 165 mph when going for gold.

Rather confusingly, the RS Q3 concept receives a hefty 25mm drop alongside the usual ‘sporty’ RS-morphing visual cues; redesigned chunkiness here and there and astronomically huge 335/30 tires riding on 20″ wheels. I say confusingly, because I’m starting to see a blurring cross-over of product offerings here. What is the point of a lowered, high-performance, fat-tire’d Q3 SUV…? An Rs3 is too low…? So then, enter-in the jacked-up Q3 and lower it/power it to make it ‘sporty’ enough for the cogs that will purchase such SUV taft as this…?

I suppose this is just Audi following their recent mandate of filling in the gaps of every possible niche market out there… Still though, I remain baffled by their marketing department-lead decisions for their model extensions.

Also worth noting is that Audi created a hypo ‘Custom Concept’ version of their Q5 SUV about a year or so ago but noted that the company would never make an RS version of their SUVs unless it was “technically possible”… riiiight.

For those that may be unaware, the Quattro GmbH wing of Audi is a private subsidiary that (used-to) only produces top-tier, limited-edition, high performance models drawn from the Audi stable. Past memorable efforts include the very first ‘RS’-badged Audi RS2 Avant of the mid-90’s followed by two seperate generations of both the RS4 and RS6. The later ’06-’08 RS4 being held of considerable excellence across the landscape of petrolheads and the motoring press worldwide.

Yet, over the past few years we’ve seen a drastic change-of-direction for the ‘RS’ badged Audis. It seems Audi have decided “If people will buy them, we’ll build them”. Consequently, we now also have a TT RS, a TT RS ‘Plus’, an RS5 and an RS3 – all of them receiving decidedly lacklustre reviews from the motoring world… A new RS4 was also recently unveiled. Seems Audi’s RS is following BMW’s lead with the milking of their ‘high performance’ M-badge…

All in the name $ cha-ching $ cha-ching $ and the fact that people nowadays (oddly) seem to love driving cars that look like toys…

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Video: Evo Magazine’s Harry Metcalfe Shows Us His 1972 Lotus Elan Sprint

April 13, 2012

Brilliant new video here from Evo Magazine founder, Harry Metcalfe, detailing the rather  interesting engineering specs and idiosyncrasies of his 1972 Lotus Elan Sprint.

To see the massive, modern 20 inch Maserati wheel parked-up next to the Elan’s teeny 13 x 4 inch wheel is not only amusing but incredibly telling in mapping out the 40-year gap in automotive trends and the present day needs for harnessing power with monstrous levels of grip in these horsepower-obsessed times. I also love the fact that the Elan weighs a paltry 700 kg and easily out-performs most cars of this niche on any given day… and it’s a 50 year-old design…!

He even takes us for an onboard drive – what a noise…!

I’ve always loved and admired these cars. Now I want one more than ever before…

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


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