The world's biggest car nut has done it again. Jay Leno has found a new way to make his already fascinating life with cars even more interesting, and it comes in the form of the Ecojet. The Ecojet is a turbine-engined car that runs on both jet fuel and bio-diesel, and has been built in collaboration with GM. Lucky for us, Jay has made a great video of the build process of his car, and takes it out for a "little spin" (by which we mean a drag race with a private jet).
Pictures always seem to find their way to the internet whenever a big unveiling is expected, and it's no different with Mercedes Benz's latest supercar creation, the SLS AMG. The Mercedes Benz SLS AMG's design is based heavily on the SL Gullwing from the 1950's, but although it looks retro, what's to be found underneath that old-school design is all modern.
For starters, the engine is a dry-sumped 6.2l V8 from AMG, but in its most powerful form yet. It produces 571hp and 650nm of torque, with a seven speed double clutch transmission doing the job of getting all that power to the rear wheels. A 3.7 sec dash from 0-100 km/h can also be expected, with a top speed of 317 km/h following if you keep the throttle pedal pinned to the floor.
Combine the above mentioned with a weight distribution of 47/53 front to rear, and an aluminium spaceframe bodyshell, the SLS promises to be a great drive. All we can do is wait for a test drive to see if it's a promise kept, and hope that Mercedes wont still be mad at us for publishing photos ahead of their unveiling.
So what does the name of McLaren's latest offering stand for?, that would probably be one of many questions McLaren enthusiasts will ask about the new car. "MP4" is a designation that's been used by every F1 car built by McLaren ever since 1981, and has therefore been included to pay homage to the machines of years gone by. "12" represents the efficiency coefficient of the new car, where as "C" represents the carbon-fibre fits.
The McLaren Mercedes Benz SLR was the last car to be built at McLaren's Woking factory. While the SLR was aggresively designed, great sounding, and fast but any standards, it arrived to the market in 2003 where it was met with plenty of scepticism. First of all, it had to fill in the void left by the legendary McLaren F1, a car considered by many to be the best performance car of the 1990s. Secondly, being a joint-venture with Mercedes-Benz, many feared it would end up feeling too much like a Mercedes saloon. Some of those fears were confirmed when the SLR only came with an automatic transmission, handling that wasn't as involving or responsive as the F1, and weighing some 600 kilos more than the F1.
So with production of the SLR having ended, McLaren is now aiming to regain some of the glory the F1 had brought them with the MP4-12C.It must be said that the MP4-12C shares no parts at all with the outgoing SLR, but it must also be said that McLaren is aiming to steal potential customers of the Ferrari 458 Italia and Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, rather than, say, the Bugatti Veyron. And with an expected price tag of between £125,000 and £175,000, McLaren is set to be very competitive especially when you consider the ingredients used to make the MP4-12C.
Many people were expecting McLaren's new car to receive a reworked version of Mercedes-AMG's 6.2l V8 engine. The MP4-12C has an all new 3.8l twin-turbo V8 (codename M838T) developed by McLaren, capable of producing around 600hp and 600nm of torque (about 442 lb ft). The engine is dry-sumped and consists of a flat-plane crankshaft enabling the engine to be placed very low down the chassis. The new powerplant also has a key characteristic of low-displacement flat plane crank V8s, namely high revs, and in this case the unit will spin all the way to 8500rpm. The engine is connected to a seven speed dual-clutch transmission (called Seamless Shift dual clutch gearbox-SSG) channeling drive to the rear wheels.
McLaren has yet to release any performance details, but they have stated that the MP4-12C will be available at dealer networks begining early 2011. With less involvement from Mercedes-Benz, it might be safe to say that McLaren will have shifted their focus back to creating one of the fastest point to point machines while keeping the driver constantly dialled in the process. The MP4-12C is certainly set to give Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini owners a run for their money, now all we have to see is if it will recapture some of the magic the F1 offered.
Jay Leno has been extremely quick to get a first hand glimpse of what's to be expected. Check out the video below.
Rolls Royce has finally taken the wraps off the all new Rolls Royce Ghost. Previously named the 200EX in concept form, the Ghost is set to be placed as a smaller, less expensive and less formal alternative to the Phantom. The Ghost has also been designed to be less of a chauffeur-driven vehicle like the Phantom, but rather a car the owners can drive themselves (it measures 400mm less than the Phantom).
The engine given the task to propel this 2.4 tonne vehicle is a 563hp 6.6l V12 with twin-turbos and direct fuel injection, accompanied with a very healthy dose of 575 lb ft of torque from as low as 1500rpm. This new engine is connected to a ZF eight speed automatic transmission channelling drive to the rear wheels, and allows a 0-60 mph sprint in 4.7seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. The Ghost is able to get as much as 20.8mpg (13.6l/100 km) while emitting 317g/km of CO2.
Rolls Royce has also made sure to include as many features as possible to ensure that life with the Ghost is made very easy. Among the features are; a keyless entry system that unlocks the vehicle when it detects the key from at least 1.5 metres away; a voice activated system to control the new central control system; a number of cameras around the car for ease of manoeuvring, helping with blind junctions and detecting obstacles; a night vision camera; a head-up display which projects speed and or navigation directions onto the windscreen; a lane departure warning system; a high beam assistance system which automatically manages the operation of dipped and main beam lights for night time driving; and an active cruise control system complete with a Stop & Go function.
In terms of competition, the Ghost seems to be targeting the Bentley Continental Flying Spur. Both vehicles are similar in layout, their prices aren't that far apart, and both have been designed to uphold traditional British luxury while embracing the modern world. But one could also see the Ghost as a more expensive alternative to the long versions of the BMW 7 series, Mercedes-Benz S Class, Jaguar XJ and Audi A8. The Rolls Royce Ghost will cost between €200,000 and €300,000, making it nearly twice as expensive as a base BMW 760li. The Ghost will be introduced to the public at this year’s Frankfurt Motor show.
Just a few weeks after Porsche unveiled the new 911 GT3 RS, Porsche presents to the world a special limited edition 911 called the Sport Classic. The design of the new 911 Sport Classic is based heavily on the legendary 911 RS from the 1970s, complete with a ducktail spoiler and 19 inch Fuchs-style wheels. Also included in the design of the new car are a new spoiler lip, bi-xenon headlights with black surrounds, a double-dome roof, new side sills, a unique rear panel, unique exhaust tips, and rear light clusters in clear glass. The only colour available is Sport Classic grey.
The 911 Sport Classic is based on the Carrera S, however the rear end is based on the All wheel drive versions (Carrera4, 4s), making it 44m wider, meaning that the rear track also increases by 34mm.
The engine of the Sport Classic is the same 3.8l naturally aspirated flat six unit found in the Carrera S models, but with several modifications. The modifications include a newly developed resonance intake system with switching butterflies, modified cylinder heads, a new engine management system, and a new exhaust system. The combination of these modifications amounts to a 23hp increase over standard Carrera S models, bringing the power output to a total of 408hp. This power figure enables a 0-100 km/h acceleration of 4.6 secs and a top speed of 302 km/h. Porsche also claims the increase in power has not affected the fuel economy or CO2 figures in anyway.
The 911 Sport Classic will only be available with a six speed manual transmission, with Porsche’s Sport Chrono Package Plus package available as standard. Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) is also available, while the ride height has been reduced by 20mm, and a limited slip differential can be found between the rear wheels. Cross-drilled carbon ceramic brakes have been given the task of shedding speed off the Sport Classic. They are inner-vented and measure 350mm in diameter and weigh 50 per cent less than cast iron equivalents.
The Sport Classic will go sale in January 2010, with an eye-watering price tag of £140,049, making it more expensive than Porsche’s current performance flagship vehicle, the 911 GT2. But with a production target of only 250 cars, the Sport Classic is set to be a very sought after item in the collector car market.
Enjoy the savage bark of that flat six from the video below.
Noble is back with a new model called the M600. The M600 is only the third car to ever be produced by Noble Automotive, replacing the M12/M400 that went out of production in 2007. While the M600 might be a familiar sight, thanks in large part to the M14 and M15 prototypes (both models never made it into production), the M600 is vastly different in comparison.
When Noble introduced the M15 prototype a while back, the production version was expected to cost around £75,000, the M600 might cost as much as £200,000. Other differences are also found in the Chassis and engine departmens. The M600 features carbon fibre body panels, a stainless steel tub, as well as a steel tube skeleton and chassis. While the M15 was powered by a twin-turbo Ford V6 good for 455hp, the M600 comes re-armed with a twin turbo 4.4l V8 based on a Volvo unit, enabling it to produce an amazing 650hp @ 6800 rpm and 604 lb ft of torque @ 3800rpm. But in order to keep the power in check, the M600 comes equipped with an ECU that allows the driver to select three levels of power outputs from the engine; 450hp, 550hp, or 650hp.
Power is transmitted through a conventional H-pattern, Graziano six speed manual transmission, transferring all that might to the rear wheels. The M600 has a 40/60 weight distribution front to rear, and comes with 19 inch wheels at the front and 20 inch wheels at the back all wrapped around in Michelin Pilot Sport tyres. Traction control will be available in the M600, but what will have any average driver's heart pounding is the absence of stability control and an Anti-lock braking system.
Noble Automotive is expected to appoint a new dealership network soon, and will present the car to the public at the Goodwood Revival on the 19th-21st of September. Combine the 650hp figure with a low weight of only 1250kg means that the M600 has basically the same power to weight ratio as the Bugatti Veyron, 520hp vs 521hp. Also take into consideration that the Veyron will relieve your bank account of £925,000, and the M600 begins to look like a bargain. May the 19th arrive quickly.