McLaren P1: The Next Hypercar King Has Arrived… ?

September 18, 2012

After a couple of intriguing teaser vids, McLaren has officially released images of its forthcoming P1 supercar that is set to raise the bar for driving enthusiasts the world over. In McLaren’s own words, they are confident enough to proclaim that the P1 aims to be ‘the best driver’s car in the world on road and track’… Furthering that up, Ron Dennis has said “the P1 will be the result of 50 years of racing and road car heritage. Twenty years ago we raised the supercar performance bar with the McLaren F1 and our goal with P1 is to redefine it once again.”

And there isn’t much doubt that McLaren will hold true to these statements and performance claims when the P1 goes into full production within 12 month’s time. McLaren state that the P1 you see here (and at the upcoming Paris Motor Show debut) mirror a ‘design study’ that will preview the forthcoming McLaren supercar. What that really means is that they will use this first ‘design study’ model to gauge public reaction and potential customer’s opinions… But from where I’m sitting, this already looks a stunner.

Details on power and specs are still flying around inside the internet rumour mills but expect a modified version of their existing 3.8L twin-turbo V8 producing somewhere in the region of 800 bhp with a KERS system along for the ride developing an extra 150-160 bhp. All said and done, expect your P1 to hammer out something in the 950+ bhp region of insanity.

When McLaren claims “Our aim is not necessarily to be the fastest in absolute top speed but to be the quickest and most rewarding series production car on a circuit”, I look at what they’ve already accomplished with the (still developing) MP4-12C and expect nothing less… The P1’s in-the-metal Paris Show debut happens on September 27th.

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


McLaren P12: Teaser Before Paris Debut

September 6, 2012

The upcoming Paris Motor Show (Sept. 29 – Oct. 14) promises to be a monumental (and in all probability, exquisitely detailed) affair for McLaren Automotive. This event will mark McLaren’s first-ever appearance at an International Motor Show and aside from the showcasing of their updated 2013 MP4-12C (and its open-top Spider variant), all eyes will be keenly locked towards the unveil of the ‘spiritual successor’ to the incredible F1 hypercar of the ’90s – the new McLaren ‘P12’.

The above image is the only teaser-image that McLaren has offered-up prior to the unveiling and I couldn’t be happier about that – better to keep these things under wrap and the mind wandering. If anything, it definitely appears to be more dramatic than the slightly humdrum (yet efficiently purposeful) MP4-12C.

Slightly revealing/hinting spy-photo of the P12 prototype’s rear haunch.

Information regarding power and spec is also (understandably) scant at this point in time as well, but definitely expect a modified version of their existing 3.8L, twin-turbo V8 to power the new car (they now believe V12’s are ‘so yesterday’…hmm… Ferrari-jab anyone ?) along with a KERS-style energy recuperation system that could easily report combined power figures in the 750+ bhp area.

We await the official Paris Motor Show unveil…

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Aston Martin: New Vanquish AM 310 Revealed

June 20, 2012

Aston Martin has released new details and photos of its forthcoming ‘Super GT’ car to replace the current DBS. It’s called the Vanquish AM 310, and aside from that sounding like a snappy new radio station on the low-frequency band, the materials used to ‘broadcast’ (sorry) this largely face-lifted, One-77-inspired addition onto the DB9 family platform are anything but mono-toned – The entire body is now clothed in carbon-fibre.

Keen eyes will also notice the beautifully-integrated rear spoiler and new wheels to go along with the more dramatic lines and pinches and bevy of creases that “represents the zenith of current Aston Martin design and engineering.” – according to the press release – which seems to signify that this is ‘the end’ of this current design language and that something anew is coming next year to mark Aston Martin’s centenary… ? Surely.

The interior appears to have been cleaned up in the dash/console area as well, which will come as a welcome benefit to those that have been flustered by the sheer onslaught of tiny switches that used-to inhabit Aston dashboards of recent times…

Full specs haven’t been released just yet, but the main headlines are that the 6.0L V12 has been uprated to deliver 573 bhp (up 56 bhp from the DBS’s 517 bhp) and an increased torque figure of 457 lb/ft up from a previous 420 lb/ft. 60 mph arrives just a couple of tenths quicker (irrelevant) than before and the AM 310 Vanquish will top out at 187 mph (again, mostly irrelevant).

Frustratingly, there’s no word on whether a manual will be offered in the gearbox/drive area of matters, but don’t count on it – The buying public appears to be fully transfixed now on everything being AutoMagic with some ‘sporty’ paddles behind the steering-wheel to flick away at with their lazy fingers when the need for evoking some ‘sporty driving’ occurs…

But then again, this is a GT car, so a quick-witted  ZF-based Touchtronic system is more than adequate for handling those cross-Continental blasts across the earth. Speaking of GT pretensions, the ability to carry more within the luggage area of your AM 310 has increased as well – up to 60% more space than the out-going DBS – and therefore, ample room for your golf clubs… if that’s your motoring concern.

Expect deliveries of the Vanquish AM 310 to start at the end of this year with big plans awaiting on the horizon for the next generation of Aston Martins to come…!

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Mercedes-Benz: SLS AMG Black Series Caught Storming the ‘Ring

June 18, 2012

This was the sort of thing that was always lingering away in the ‘Inevitable’ files of modern Benz motoring ever since the God-of-Thunder SLS was bestowed upon the motoring landscape back in 2010 – an AMG ‘Black Series’ version of the gullwinged ‘bahn-stormer due in 2013.

Spy shots a-plenty have come scourging in from the formidable testing ground for all-things fast and rumbly over the past several months showing an SLS clad in awkward body-armour, permeating its signature bark ‘n wail throughout the twisting and diving Eiffel region. Now, fresh onto the Land o’ Internet comes this newest video showing the forthcoming SLS Black negotiating a slow-speed corner before rousing up a mechanically thunderous soundtrack to the delight of onlookers and YouTubers…

Aside from the obvious wheel-arch extensions to accomodate a slightly wider track (and wheels), the word on the street seems to be that this next AMG Black Edition will come embellished with close to (a faintly ridiculous) 650 bhp and an even-faster shifting version of the 7-speed DCT gearbox (same one used in the Ferrari 458). Shame that no proper manual transmission will ever be offered – think of how truly exciting that would be..! Hello AMG…?!?

Further details on the SLS Black are unsurprisingly scant at best for now, so why not have a gander below at the Black Series lineage so far to date in helping to remind of AMG’s bouts of occassional madness (and the not-so – hello SLK55 ‘Black’) within this often-dour automotive shift plane…

The ’07-’09 CLK63 AMG Black

The bonkers ’09 SL65 AMG Black

The not-so bonkers SLK55 AMG Black…

The latest Black – the C63 AMG

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Pagani Huayra: Evo Magazine Exclusive First Drive and Review (video)

June 1, 2012

Evo magazine has been granted the exclusive first-drive review of the new Pagani Huayra… Quite a different machine to the Zonda, as previous articles and the words of Mr. Pagani himself have dictated. *Note – the squeaking noise is from the front clamshell being closed improperly*

Brief article/written-review on the Evo website currently.. Expect a full-blown, beautifully photographed feature in an upcoming issue of Evo magazine… 😉

Enjoy the vid..!


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


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


Porsche 918 Spyder: Evo Magazine’s Detailed Prototype Preview Video

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…?

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


A.I. Commentary: McLaren MP4-12C And Ferrari 458 – Rivals..? Really..?

March 15, 2012

From the motoring folks who recently launched the Drive channel on YouTube, here we have an interesting (and beautifully shot) video from a certain Mr. Chris Harris that raises some questions about the aim of this car when considering the cozy, discreet, Grand Touring-like capabilities and real-world, daily-driven useability of the MP4-12C…

On paper, one would be immediately excused for comparing the mid-engined 3.8L V8 twin-turbo, 592 bhp McLaren with the 4.5L 562 bhp Ferrari 458 – Somewhat similar power outputs, comparable price point, mid-engined V8, well-established racing pedigree on both sides, really really fast, etc… Yet although one could argue that both cars represent each company’s bespoke (and exotic) interpretation of the formula and layout, one could also argue that these two cars aren’t exactly the heated rivals that the motoring press, a certain British motoring TV show and many supercar enthusiasts have made them out to be.

Understated yet conventionally attractive looks have most people 'ho-hum'-ing with regards to its looks...

For starters, one is a raucous, loud, impractical and highly visceral (and visual) experience adorned with beautifully stunning lines riding on conventional (albeit, high-tech) dampers and springs while the other is an extremely relaxing, everyday-useable, long-distance tourer imbued with all of the latest-tech wizardy (hello space-age suspension) that’s been rather discreetly (some would say, boringly) styled with a matching set of (mostly) muted lungs… Their power, price and basic shape/layout is similar, but aside from those traits, I’m beginning to see just how different these two supposed rivals really are…

The stunning Ferrari 458

After reading publications and watching a deluge of head-to-head video tests over the past 6 months involving various rivals  – most notably, the Ferrari 458 – one question seems to jump out moreso than any other: Should the Ferrari and McLaren even be considered rivals…? The McLaren doesn’t exactly shock and fascinate ‘in-the-metal’ despite its eye-candy doors and plethora of exotic materials used in its construction, but it does impress with its to-the-millimetre build quality, road-litheness and general air of keen robustness.

At a recent Concours Show in our fair city, the McLaren didn't exactly 'wow' the crowds moreso than it gained people's respect as an incredible 'all-rounder'

The more I look at it (and I looked at it for a long time back in September, as the photos show), the more I’m inclined to view this new McLaren as a Premium high-end spiritual successor to the tech-fest Honda NSX from the early ’90s – a phenomenally-engineered, precision-built, fast-yet-comfortable, mid-engined ‘everyday’ GT sportscar with Jekyll & Hyde-like attributes – one who’s modern-day main rival really is the Porsche 911 Turbo… not the look-at-me-dance Ferrari 458…

The 458 doing what it loves to do best...

With its understated outer-shell design (minus the fancy doors) and plush interior complete with classy nods to exotic materials and bespoke functionality – not to mention its luxuriously appointed ride quality – the MP4-12C, at least to these eyes, really seems to be aimed more towards the discerning driver that isn’t at all interested in flash attributes, going sideways, making noise and standing out… A driver that would just rather enjoy pootling along with Rolls-Royce levels of ride quality alongside bang-up-to-date tech with the promise of truly eye-watering speed and handling capabilities… if called upon.

Looks like a Supercar (albeit, a slightly dated one) from the back... doesn't sound like one though.

After soaking-in all of these high-profile, head-to-head tests (and mostly losing them) the McLaren has taken more than its unfair share of flack for its apparent inability to excite and entertain in the ways that the Ferrari so readily does… Yet I ask this: Taking price, power and basic layout out of the equation, how close, actually, are these two cars in terms of being labelled as direct rivals…?

Your thoughts and opinions, as always, are welcomed…!

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com

-McLaren Photos by: Blake J./AutoInjected.com


Ferrari F40: Photo Album Of A Motoring Legend

March 13, 2012

2012 marks the 25th Anniversary of the very last Ferrari to be built under the watchful eye of Enzo Ferrari himself. At 90 years of age, Enzo passed away one year after the F40’s official debut in the Summer of 1987, marking the lightweight (1100 kg), powerful (471 bhp from a twin-turbo V8) and strategically bare-bones F40 as a fitting ‘last testament’ to the fuelled passions and race-bred visions of Enzo Ferrari.

There have been countless odes to the F40 over the years, both in print and within this electronic medium, so let’s spare the (albeit, worthy) fanfare for another time and instead focus on the images selected for your viewing pleasure – images that span time from period-era rarities right on up to present-day re-interpretations. In short, a celebration of the iconic F40 supercar that, to this day, still tops the list of many a petrolhead and Ferrari enthusiast worldwide as the most exciting Ferrari ever made…

 

 

The heart of the beast...

 

Just for laughs...

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


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