March 22, 2012
Excellent up-close and detailed (pre) view vid of the bare-shelled 918 Spyder prototype in all of its complex, tech-fest laden glory while undergoing tests at Nardo…
As always, a fantastically sincere and informative presentation from Evo Magazine founder, Harry Metcalfe – his genuine passion for cars is always admired and appreciated.
What do you folks make of this project though…? Does it excite you in the ways that Supercars usually (and should) do…?
Myself, I’m definitely curious about it… But it just presents itself as more of an intriguing engineering exercise rather than something to provoke any deeply felt, yearning passions for hopes of hearing it sing and dreams of one day driving it… Also, I’m completely turned off when engineers concentrate on ‘engineering emotion into’ a Supercar, rather than allowing the emotion to evolve naturally during the build and engineering process. The tech outweighs the fluidity of the passion…
The 918 Spyder Concept Car
On the complete flipside of this engineering coin, the recently departed Carrera GT Supercar – with it’s race-derived, normally aspirated V10, race-developed inboard suspension, manual gearbox and sheer dedication to lightweight components and bare bones agenda – seems almost NASCAR-like in comparison… If I had to choose between the 918 and Carrera GT over which one to drive on a Highland road in Scotland for a day, I know which one would get the instant nod…
The tech-fest 959 Supercar from the '80s
I can’t help thinking that the 918 is the true spiritual successor to the (again, overly complex) technological tour-de-force 959 Supercar from the ’80s… Thoughts…?
February 27, 2012
Infiniti’s Emerg-e hybrid sportscar concept is set to be unveiled at Geneva next week. In the meantime, here are the official ‘internet-leaked’ images of their latest design study to pore over… No details have, Emerg-ed (sorry, had to) just yet but as is the usual case with flashy concepts, all of the whizz-bang wizardy shall be revealed come showtime..!
January 10, 2012
Honda/Acura has unveiled a successor to the original (and rather excellent) NSX at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in the form of an unsurprisingly tech-heavy concept from the new-school, lightweight pages of Supercars.
Power will be derived from a mid-mounted VTEC direct-injection V6 (like the original), albeit one that will be labeled as a Hybrid, seeing as how there will also be an electric motor onboard to assist with the propulsion of it all.
Dispersing that power to all 4 wheels (electric power goes to the front) will be served up by Honda’s over-lengthily titled ‘Sport Hybrid Super Handling All Wheel Drive’ or just simply Sport Hybrid SH-AWD… or just SH-SHAWD.
Along with a ‘bilateral torque adjustable control system’, Honda is also keen to point out that their system utilises ‘reverse torque’ during high-speed cornering moments – a feature not wholly unlike that of the brake-steer system that McLaren uses for its MP4-12C.
No official power-figures from Honda have been given yet but bet on it being a 400-450bhp figure, with 100+ of that power coming from the electric motor. Now, that doesn’t exactly sound anything even remotely close to modern Supercar output figures, but Honda reckons that their ultra-lightweight construction techniques (and therefore, an increased power-to-weight ratio) will enable the next NSX to perform up-to-par with the other supercar Big Guns.
As Honda themselves say, “While most supercars opt for brute force delivered from a large engine, the NSX Concept champions the true racing philosophy of an extremely favourable power-to-weight ratio”
The NSX you see on this page is still being described as a ‘concept’ but, as usual, things will eventually be softened down and ‘melted’ over a bit come production time – of which has been touted as being anytime within the next 3 years… So, no set launch-date as of yet. At any rate, expect the next NSX to either move the Supercar game on or provide an even wider gap between new school and old school thoughts of what a Supercar itself is all about…
December 29, 2011
It’s nearing the end of the year, so I’m going to hypothetically ’empty my pockets’ here and declare that I find this ‘i8’ hybrid creation from BMW completely and absolutely hideous – always have. Right from its initial unveiling back in 2009 as a styling/futuristic exercise dubbed ‘Vision Efficient Dynamics’ to the latest ‘i’ sub-brand (do we really need more ‘i’ in our marketed lives..?), it has always managed to make me wretch and squirm… and I’m not alone.
Really now... this excites..?
It’s just one of those things I suppose – sometimes certain objects just don’t sit right within your world. As an automotive indicator-of-things-to-come, I’d rather sit through the entire Murder She Wrote DVD library… with nothing but applesauce and spam to ingest over its entire duration… than ingest this.
There. Got that out of the way… now we can move on!
So what we have here for you is both a series of i8 spy-shots and an advertisement for both Brenda Priddy & Company and Car and Driver, it would seem. Gone are the silly see-thru doors from the prototype in aid of proper side-impact protection, yet they still appear to have a swan-door opening procedure about them. Everything else appears to have been smoothed/melted over and (obviously) toned down to ‘production-ready’ levels of accessibility.
To quote Car and Driver who first unveiled these pics – “Tucked behind the front end is the electric half of the i8’s plug-in hybrid powertrain; it will be fed juice by a long, lithium-polymer battery pack located in what would normally be the transmission tunnel. Together, they should be able to propel the i8 some 20 miles in zero-emissions mode”.
Scheduled for 2015, BMW will at least (hopefully) have some time to sort out that layered-cake roofline, pudgy rear-end and the complete lack of any 3/4 rear-view whatsoever… or not. Nowadays, everyone loves *beeping* back-up sensors splashed across the backside of their cars anyways… Oh, and I’ve saved my final rant for last – STOP CALLING THIS A SUPERCAR…!! IT’S A QUESTIONABLY-STYLED HYBRID COUPE HATCHBACK WITH FLASHY SWAN DOORS..!!
December 16, 2011
Hot on the heels of our Google Auto-Pilot Patent story comes a hybrid (well, sort-of) Pakistani version via motorcycle in a typically carefree and spectacularily dangerous fashion. Love it…
Think about it though (well, lightly)… Loads of motorcycle enthusiasts in the world. Rollerbladers as well… Throw down a few QR codes and attach some ropes (and some anti fall-over training wheels) to a motorbike… Eh..? yeah.. ?
Fret no more folks, one day Google will make this journey a safer journey.
October 14, 2011
Back in 1999, things looked rather promising for Toyota with their high-profile Le Mans entry of 3 separate GT-One cars. They were the fastest in qualifying and appeared set to take a class win but come raceday, things didn’t quite pan out; 2 of them expired via accidents and the third remaining car heroically came in 2nd place behind a BMW.
Needless to say, Toyota has some unfinished business with Le Mans…
Enter the 2012 LMP1-spec petrol/electric hybrid racer set to “write a new chapter in the history of the Le Mans 24 hours through our use of hybrid technology,” states Tadashi Yamashina, Toyota Motorsport Chairman and TMC Senior Managing Officer. Strong words there fella…
The engine development will be handled by Toyota at their home HQ while the chassis know-how receives attention from Toyota Motorsport in Germany… which is near some place called the Nurburgring, or something…
Toyota is aiming for an overall win with this new Hybrid racer, but with Porsche making its (welcomed) re-entry back to Le Mans (most likely with its own advanced Hybrid tech) and the diesels reigning supreme for the last 8 or 9 years, will this new Toyota have what it takes to become the 2nd-ever Japanese car to win top-honours at Le Mans after Mazda’s 1991 win with the 787B…?