Sebring 2012: The Sights And Sounds

March 20, 2012

Audi scored a 1-2 victory this past weekend at Sebring International Raceway for the annual ’12 Hours of Sebring’ race. It was not only the 60th anniversary of the event itself, but the final (and fitting) swan song for the Audi R18 TDI.  Tom Kristensen, Dindo Capelloand and Allan McNish completed 301 laps in their Audi R18 to win by four laps in the opening round of the American Le Mans Series.

Presented here are the sights and sounds from this year’s Sebring 12 Hours, starting off with a video that contains no dramatic voice-overs or commentary – just the pure, raw sounds and sights as seen from various trackside points…

The Field - part 1

The Field - part 2

Turn one

-Blake J. 
AutoInjected.com

Advertisements

Lamborghini Aventador J: Photo Album (and video) Of The Mad Roadster Hypercar

March 7, 2012

Lamborghini graced the 2012 Geneva Motor Show by presenting a striking one-off Roadster interpretation of their Aventador Supercar. It was a secret best-kept in the finest of Motor Show traditions with its drop-jaw effectiveness basically outshining the debut of Ferrari’s most powerful road-car to date: The 740 bhp F12berlinetta.

So what exactly do we have here…? Essentially, this is Lamborghini displaying their rather unique utilization of carbon-fibre advancements within a bespoke Aventador chassis. Called the ‘J’, its name harkens back to the Miura Jota and (quite possibly) the FIA ‘appendix J’ guidelines for homologation classes and is a uniquely expensive way to achieve your driving thrills with the added bonus of various insects and road-debris ricocheting off your teeth and hair. It’s also comic-book insane… which is a very good thing.

To make up for the loss of bodywork, the Aventador’s carbon chassis has been extensively revised with loads of visible carbon bracing and carbon roll-over hoops. Understandably, the air-con has been ditched (why would you need it..?), as has the sat-nav to help reduce weight. F1-inspired aero nods embellish the front and rear sections while rather tasty carbon-fibre blades adorn the alluring wheel design. Oh, and I quite approve of the ‘upside-down’ rear wing as well…

The J retains the same 6.5L 700 bhp V12 of the standard Aventador yet we’re highly confident that the shocking performance will be greatly enhanced in the visceral sense. Interior-wise, Lamborghini has also displayed a patented new flexible ‘carbonskin’ material to adorn the fixed carbon seats – a material that Lamborghini claims will grace high-end clothing sometime in the near future – sounds geeky… I like that.

If you’d fancy getting your paws on the J, well… we’re sorry to report that it has already been sold. Price..? 2.1 million euros, plus taxes.

Rounding this off with an excellent on-the-podium, close-up view showing all of the mad details that imbue this one-off Aventador J. All I can say is, thank heavens for Lamborghini and their crazy automotive ways… We need more of that in this world.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Porsche: Next-Gen 911 GT3 Could Be PDK-Only…?

February 14, 2012

I’ve just read an article originating from Insideline that tells of the threat (yes, it’s ridiculous enough news to warrant it as such) according to Porsche 911 project chief, August Achleitner, that the next-gen Porsche 911 GT3 – remember now, the hardcore purists choice of 911 – could very well come with a PDK-only transmission…

According to Achleitner, both manual and PDK transmissions are being ‘evaluated’ for consideration in the next GT3 (and here’s where I roll my eyes) but apparently only one transmission will be chosen in the end for the hardcore GT3 and he reckons the boring-as-mud, poseur PDK will get the nod. Achleitner continues to blither on with false numbers and ridiculous statements, one of which being that ‘only’ 30% of 911 sales are manual stick-shift so therefore PDK is a no-brainer… huh..? That’s just poor business sense if you ask me.

The new 991-gen 911 - oh, how I squint further at thee...

The embarrassment continues when Achleitner says “When we launched the 911 Turbo S, we did not offer a manual, but we have not had a single complaint”. Sure you didn’t Achleitner… But then again, of course he’d say that as Porsche charges (and makes) a load of extra cash on each 911 that is ordered with the PDK. By that token then, I’d think I’d be safe in reminding Porsche that 100% of previous-gen 997 GT3 sales were manual transmission…? Despite what Porsche may think, not every 911 owner spends their time bragging about 0-60 times and impressing their friends with launch-control.

Seeing as how the next-gen GT2 and GT3 will also be fitted with the new (and highly-controversial) electromechanical power steering set-up that has already come under heavy criticism for its lack of ‘feel’ and reportedly synthetic feedback qualities, it seems an unnecessarily brash move against Porsche driving-purists (and proper drivers, in general) to come out swinging with this silly threat of ‘you can have this, or nothing at all’ type of statement.

Could there not be anything more 'wrong' in the sportscar realm than a Porsche 911 without a manual option...?

I call BS on the whole story – this is just Porsche, once again, ruffling-up the feathers of the automotive world and heaving mass attention in their direction for the sake of headlines and discussion…. Does Porsche really, I mean really, think that GT3 buyers will be happy as lambs with electromechanical power steering and PDK-only…? C’mon…

Porsche has been developing (and offering) a new 7-speed manual transmission for the new 991-based 911 already so I don’t exactly buy into Achleitner’s claims that this ‘populist’ PDK-only option/threat has any weight behind it at all.

The GT3 RS 4.0 - the last proper 911 aimed at driving purists/enthusiasts...?

And my friends actually wonder why the new plethora of sportscars continue to fail in exciting me anymore… So thank you, to all the flappy-paddle posers… you have now successfully contributed to the ruination of, what used to be, one of the greatest driver’s cars ever.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


2012 Super Bowl Car Commercials: A Collection of…

February 6, 2012

So the Big American Game happened yesterday and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered to watch this mega-hyped sports-event where ultra-testosteroned, overly-padded/helmeted men rough one another up over the snarling possession of an inflated pig-skin… Said game occuring somewhere amidst the deluge of non-stop adverts reminding us of ‘who brought this to you’, a silly lip-synching girl flashing a middle-finger (oh good heavens) and a washed-up, embarrasingly-painful-to-watch pop-Diva strutting-up her idea of ‘the greatest show I’ve ever done for the greatest show on earth’ … Dear Lord.

Madonna - scary and unfathomable

Not forgetting the idiotic/annoying orgy of streaming banners and flashy camera angles for this ‘show of all shows’ either – Needless to say, for this scribe it’s all, well… a bit much.

Yet, as is the tradition that always outweighs and ultimately gathers more of our collective attention than the actual Game itself, the extended-length TV-spot adverts were what nearly everyone ever talks about in this TV-obsessed western world of ours. Most viewers simply tune-in to the Super Bowl broadcast just so they can catch the expensive Game-Day adverts…. Really..! Car-adverts included, of course.

Clint doing his best to inject a gritty, serious and weepingly patriotic tone to describe America's upcoming '2nd Half'

Here then, is a selection… some of them are even the extended versions!

Volkswagen – The Dog Strikes Back

KIA Optima – A Dream Car. For Real Life (really…? A wrinkly Motley Crue, in your dream…?)

 Acura NSX – Transactions

Honda CR-V – Matthew’s Day Off (not quite sure if a rather bland/boring CR-V would be the vehicle of choice here…)

Chevrolet Sonic – doing human ‘extreme’ things

Chrysler and Clint Eastwood – It’s Halftime America (bit of an anthemic heart-tugger here)

 Fiat 500 Abarth – Seduction

Lexus GS – The Beast (Lexus’ first-ever SuperBowl advert… not bad, not great)

Toyota Camry – It’s Reinvented 

 Chevy Silverado Trucks – End Of The World (quite possibly, the stupidest car-commercial I’ve ever seen – complete with an out-of-place ending stolen straight from the movie ‘Magnolia’)

Audi S7 – Vampires (riiiight…)

\

-Blake J. 
AutoInjected.com


Teaser: The 2013 Dodge (SRT) Viper

January 31, 2012

New teaser-shot here of the 2013 Dodge (sorry, ‘SRT’) Viper set to debut at the upcoming NY Motor Show in April. The 8.7 litre (!) V10 is expected to churn out numbers in the 600 bhp arena and (thanks to safety-obsessed US legislation) will receive traction-control as standard to assist over-zealous throttle mashers from the dubious worlds of oversteer…

Nice to see the double-bubble roof retained that reminds of the GTS Coupe from the mid-’90s. Details are a bit thin at this point in time but expect the new Viper to be just as mad and lairy and loud as before – thank heavens for that.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Spotted: McLaren MP4-12C ‘HS’ Version – Video

January 17, 2012

A cosmetically tweaked new version of the McLaren MP4-12C has been spotted at a Miami, Florida dealer sporting an ‘HS’ or ‘High Sport’ moniker on its rear bumper. Having been created by McLaren’s long-standing Special Vehicles Operations division (responsible for such past madness as the Mercedes-McLaren SLR 722 and various ‘special’ McLaren F1s from the ’90s), this HS is one of just 5 examples that were special-ordered by a commercial partner of McLaren. Four of them are slated to be sold by the Miami dealer seen in the video below.

As is the norm for a company like McLaren with its roots firmly planted (and dominating) in the F1 arena, constant evolution is the name of the game. McLaren are no strangers to instilling drastic changes to their cars within an amazingly short amount of time as that is exactly how they build their cars to begin with – purposely designed from the offset to invite gradual alterations, endless tweaks and upgrades on-the-fly throughout the lifespan of their creations.

Last year, I attended the Luxury & Supercar Concours held in our fair city and I was treated to an exclusive one-on-one with the still-developing MP4-12C. Most of the exterior tweaks, upgrades and such were on display with their newest showcar and you could easily sense that McLaren has been trying to instigate more ’emotion’ and ‘aggression’ after its rather bland/lacklustre beginnings when the MP4-12C was initially launched to the public. Visit our own High-res MP4-12C wallpaper gallery of this one-off showcar here.

A spider version (with folding hardtop roof) of the MP4-12C is slated for later on in 2012, but it goes without saying that everyone is really waiting for the road-going variant of the current GT3 racer to emerge…

-Blake J. 
AutoInjected.com


Detroit Motor Show: Chevy Unveils Two Concepts Aimed At The Youth

January 9, 2012

Chevrolet has unveiled an opposing pair of production-ready looking concepts at the Detroit Motor Show that are dead-squarely aimed at the bugeoning youth market.

RWD 'Code 130 R' on the left, FWD 'Tru 140 S' on the right

Called the ‘Tru 140 S’ and ‘Code 130 R’, they represent GM’s foray into capitalising on the 80 million or-so new American car buyers that are approaching their 30s… and, it could be argued, to take on the recently unveiled (and heavily applauded) Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ.

FWD Tru 140 S

Both cars come with differing drivetrain layouts – the Tru 140 S (with the attractive Lamborghini-esque glass-house) is front-wheel drive while the Code 130 R (with the ‘shrunken-Camaro-via-BMW-1-series-coupe-aping looks) is rear-wheel drive (hallelujah and all that…)

RWD Code 130 R

Power is served up by the same 1.4L turbocharged 4-cyl engine churning out 150 bhp and 148lb ft of torque. Propelling them along will be a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic. Prices would average in the $25,000 range.

Whether or not both of them will make production is a curious point though as GM says that the two cars were unveiled together to ‘inspire ideas and create discussion’, placing ‘Next-Gen buyers in charge of the future’…

Yet, while most of us would hope for ‘the youth’ to dive head-first towards the rear-wheel drive Code 130 R variant, it’s worth noting that the front-wheel drive Tru 140 S is already based on the (rather bland) Chevrolet Cruze hatchback…

Judging from GM’s economic situation (and their propensity to build cars down to a price), I wouldn’t be holding my breath for the rear-drvien concept anytime soon…

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


%d bloggers like this: