It’s been three years since we said goodbye to the last Audi RS4, and what a car it was. Car nuts, the world over, loved its high-revving 4.2-litre V8 and the whole steroided-up family car look.
By the looks of things, the latest paparazzi snaps suggest that Audi might be trying to re-kindle the RS4 magic. A quick glance at the photo might suggest an S4 Avant, but this car has larger RS5-style wheels and brakes, a hint that maybe the next RS4 could be using the same 450hp 4.2-litre V8 as the RS5, as well as its seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic transmission.
Other sources are claiming that a new RS4 could use the upcoming turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 set to do service in other high-end Audis and the Bentley Continental GT, or an even more powerful version of the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 found in the current S4.
Whatever engine the RS4 ends up having, it will be great to have one of the most popular hot-rod station wagons back on the market. If Audi is indeed making an RS4, expect it to be unveiled sometime towards the end of 2011 or beginning of next year.
Frustrated your car isn’t friendly to your smartphone? Well, car manufacturers and electronics companies are working hard to create a common format for smartphone compatibility. Autocar.co.uk reports that large manufacturers like GM, Daimler, Honda, Toyota, VW and Hyundai are working hand-in hand with companies like Nokia, Samsung and LG to get this done.
The big picture here is to make accessing texts and other features - like music and GPS - easier, while increasing safety. A touchscreen that displays your smartphone’s user interface should definitely make things easier when it comes to navigating through the system. Drivers will be able to connect their phones to the car through USB ports, as well as through Bluetooth and WLAN. Wireless re-charging is also likely to be included.
There’s no denying that Porsche does its best to cater to all kinds of drivers, and for those wishing for an all-weather, four-dour coupe that can get from 0-62mph in less than four seconds, the Panamera Turbo S might just be the car for them.
The Panamera Turbo S comes with the same twin-turbo 4.8 litre V8 engine found in the standard Panamera Turbo, but with 550 hp it has an extra 50 hp. Torque is quoted at 553 lb ft (750 Nm), but up to 590 lb ft (800 Nm) is available with an overboost function - which is activated during kick-down acceleration.
The extra power comes thanks to updated turbos that make use of titanium-aluminium turbine wheels, and an updated engine management system. Power is then sent through Porsche’s dual-clutch transmission (PDK) to all four wheels, which enables the Turbo S to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.8 sec and reach a top speed of 191 mph.
The Nissan GT-R has cut down its previous Nurburgring lap record of 7min 26.7 sec to 7min 24.22 sec. Don't believe it? Check it out the video below.
Formula 1 is back on our screens this weekend, with practices starting on Thursday. The 2011 season is set to kick off in Melbourne, originally intended to start in Bahrain on 13 March but was cancelled due to the Middle Eastern pro-democratic protests.
2011 looks set to be one of the most exciting seasons we’ve ever had, with five F1 champions all ready and eager to snatch the 2011 title for themselves. And to add to the unpredictability, the cars will come with some changes as well.
This is probably the biggest change this season, Bridgestone is gone and Pirelli is now in. The major difference here is that the Pirellis will wear out quicker than the Bridgestones, with drivers expected to make at least three pit stops per race.
Return of KERS
The Kinetic Energy Recovery System makes a return to F1 cars after first appearing in 2009, but scrapped for 2010. It works like an electric motor, giving boost to the engine when needed. One of the reasons for abandoning the system was the extra weight it carried, about 30kg extra. Teams with a smaller budget might be at a disadvantage though, not being able to afford the KERS system might mean that they could lose precious tenths of a second in a race.
Adjustable rear wing
This season drivers will be able to alter the angle of their rear wing from within the cockpit. The aim is to increase overtaking opportunities on the straights, however the system will only work when the car is at least a second behind another, and shuts off when the car is under braking.
Sunday at 5 PM Australian time, don’t miss it.
The fight for the crown of Germany’s best V8-powered sports coupe has just gotten a bit more intense with the release of the new Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Coupe.
The C63 AMG coupe will be going against the BMW M3 and Audi RS5, armed with the 6.2 litre V8 powerhouse found in the saloon and estate versions. The engine is good for 457 hp (7 more than the RS5 and 37 more than the M3) at 6800 rpm and 442 lb ft (600 nm) at 5000 rpm. Power is sent through AMG’s seven-speed Speedshift MCT automatic transmission, which makes use of a multi-plate disc clutch instead of a torque converter. Acceleration from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) takes 4.5 sec, and hits an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
Pair one of the world's best ever racing drivers, Walter Rohrl, with a fantastic sounding Porsche 904 GTS from the 1960s, and you get a youtube video that you'll definitely watch more than once. Great stuff.
A station wagon tuned to sound angrier than thunder, and Japan's hi-tech pride and joy go head to head on a 1/4 mile drag strip. Check it out.
The new BMW 6 series coupe finally joins its sibling, the 6 series convertible, four months after its reveal.
Like the convertible, the 6 series coupe will initially be available as a 650i or a 640i (a diesel and M6 variant are still expected), with the 650i having a 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, while the 640i has a turbocharged 3.0 litre inline six. Power and torque figures are quoted at 407 hp and 443lb ft (600 nm) of torque for the 650i, while the 640i produces 320 hp at 5800 rpm and 332lb ft (450 nm).
About ten years ago, anyone lucky enough to afford a performance car would almost certainly have it with a manual gearbox. I mean think of what the alternatives were back then. A Ferrari 360 Modena with a jerky “F1” gearbox or a nice open-gate shifter. A Maserati 3200 GT with a six-speeder or a four-speed torque converter. Let's not forget the Aston Martin Vanquish with an automated manual gearbox that was as reliable as British Rail. Nearly all performance cars were better off with a stick-shift, not just because they were more reliable, but it made the driving experience that bit more fun. These days, however, new performance cars with three pedals are becoming a rare breed.
It’s not all bad though, there are still plenty of cars available with manual transmissions – BMW, Porsche, and Aston Martin all offer some of their cars with stick shifts. Ferrari though, has given up on the stick all together. Their website says you can get a California or a 599 GTB with a manual, but browsing through used car websites in Europe and North America, I didn’t come across a single one with this mysterious manual gearbox.