Wednesday, April 4, 2012

BTCC 2012

British Touring Cars Championship could possibly be the best racing series around, just let me explain. First let's take a quick look at the cars and their technical regulations. BTCC's cars are based on two types of regulations -

WTCC/S2000 spec:
 - based on a production model, normally aspirated 2-liter engine, 6-speed sequential gearbox, no electronic driver aids and a maximum price of €168,000

NGTC (New Generation Touring Car) spec:
- 300+ bhp turbocharged 2-liter engine, slightly wider tyres, maximum price of £125,000 (including engine) ... the rest is basically the same as S2000
- these regulations were specifically made for BTCC

This year there are lots of NGTC cars, in 2011 there was only Frank Wrathall's Toyota Avensis, team Dynojet. You should be getting one of BTCC's big advantages - the variety of cars on the grid is very wide. You can have rear wheel drive, front wheel drive, turbocharged, N/A, hatchback, saloon,... It's basically up to you as long as it meets the regulations. There are literally 11 different cars at the moment, if you've ever heard of DTM (German touring car championship), there are only Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

Honda Yuasa Racing Team - Honda Civic

Then there's the atmosphere, all the drivers are very friendly, they take it more as a pastime than a job. There are only 2 manufacturer teams (Honda and MG) and lots of private racing teams racing just for joy. If you take Formula 1, there's really no pleasure for the drivers at all, they are under constant pressure, have to make their sponsors happy at every corner and so on... 

Dynojet - Toyota Avensis
And last but not least - the crashes! Oh yeah, BTCC resembles destruction derby more then often. These guys aren't afraid to hit you in order to get in front of you. But if they do, they don't get punished by the marshalls, it's just a custom here.

Ok, so what's it all about? 23 cars, 7000bhp, lots of crashes, breathtaking maneuvers and a brilliant atmosphere. So tune in next weekend - Donigton Park is gonna smell like rubber! (in case you don't have itv, all the races can be found on youtube, you just have to search)

Official info -

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Keating TKR

SSC Ultimate Aero TT
Do you remember the first generation of hypercars? The first one was Köenigsegg CCR, a completely bonkers beast from Sweden producing 800 horsepower and maxing out at 241 mph. But then came Volkswagen and said they wanted to produce the fastest production car, not with 800 hp, nor with one thousand, it had to be 1001! So they ressurected Bugatti and made the Veyron, possibly the best piece of engineering out there. It was a bit faster (254 mph), thus they succeeded in the quest of producing the fastest car. Not for long though - Shelby decided it has to be the US to make the fastest one. Few months later they made the SSC Ultimate Aero TT which was 2 miles an hour faster than the Veyron. And it took Bugatti 3 years to strike back with Veyron SS, capable of 267 mph. Are you trying to say there was no faster car then the SSC Ultimate Aero for 3 years? Of course not, there was one... And this is the story of one completely forgotten car.

Keating TKR
Once upon a time there was one man who had a dream - to build his own car. His name was Anthony Keating, the owner of Keating Supercars. He had a foolish idea to make a car so fast it will outrun all the hypercars and still run smoothly at 260 mph. They were capable of building such a chassis, but there was no engine that powerful. So Anthony called his friends in the US - Nelson Racing Engines. I'll definitely write another story about NRE, because they deserve it. Let's just say for now that they make engines so powerful, that I just simply can't believe it. Anthony used one of NRE's 427 TT Hot Rod Series engine, producing... wait for it... here it comes... one thousand and seven hundred horsepower! 1700 hp!!! Oh my god!

Keating TKR at El Mirage dry lake
The car was finished and ready to be tested, so they took it to El Mirage dry lake to make a run. They knew it was fast, so the staff from the Guiness Book of World Records was invited. It did 260.1 mph... That doesn't sound that much faster than the SSC, but keep in mind it ran out of track, there was still so much more power left in the engine, it could easilly do a few more miles an hour. I am just speechless, once more I have found a car that almost nobody knew of and it was the fastest production car ever made. And sorry for the big pause on my blog - Skyrim stole my soul :-(

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ready to have some fun?

What's the best recipe for a car that makes you smile? It's very simple - engine in the front, manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive. Seriously, there's nothing better than this, even the mid-engined supercars aren't that much fun. And who would know better than Japanese?

Subaru BRZ concept
Subaru have anounced the BRZ concept - it has everything you need plus some extras like a massive rear spoiler. It will produce around 300bhp and you know it will be brilliant just by looking at it. Jeez, I love it so much. They are planning on getting it into production in the summer, I just hope it won't change a bit from the concept version... actually, they have to put gold alloys on it! Just do it, Subaru, for me, please!!!

Toyota FT-86
Do you remember all the sporty Toyotas? The almighty Supra, Cellica and my favourite Corolla AE86... Well, they have finally decided to build a new sportscar - FT-86. It's very much like the Subaru I mentioned earlier, although it's a bit less powerful (around 200bhp) and lighter. And it will be cheap - 25.000€ is a bargain of the century.

Nissan GT-R 2012
Oh, I almost forget to show you the new Nissan GT-R 2012. This is different kind of fun, it's just out of this world. It has more power than those two coupés combined and more technology on the board than a space shuttle. This year they've tweaked up the engine to produce 550bhp (that's 20 more than last year's model) and reduce the 0-100km/h time from 3 seconds to 2.8! Two point eight seconds... It's actually faster done than said. I'm just worried what the 2013 version will have under the bonnet, I guess it will spin the Earth backwards!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Mini and 208

Bad timing, I was about to show you some more tuned cars from SEMA, but I just couldn't overlook these two cars. Mini Roadster - the first new Mini that actually makes sense to me and Peugeot 208 - probably the best car they've made for the past ten years.

Mini Roadster
Let's start with the Mini, I love the original one - small, agile and ridiculously fast in rally spec. I wasn't that psyched about the new Mini from Germany - it's big, heavy and expensive. People who buy them pay just for the badge... Sure, it's cute and if you need a shopping bag and have that kind of money, there's no problem. So why does the Roadster make sense all of a sudden? Because it has only 2 seats - never in the history of the new Mini has an adult sat in the back and felt comfortable at the same time. You can squeeze your kids in there, but if you are a real man you don't want to be seen with your family in the Mini. Now you can take only one person - your gf/bf or just a friend and look cool as hell! It also has a bigger boot so it is more suitable as a shopping bag as well.

Peugeot 208
And why is the Peugeot 208 the best car they've made for a decade? Because it's light - that's basically it. It weighs 975 kg in the lightest spec (smallest engine). All modern cars have this problem, they are just too heavy. They have to be safe and carmakers just add more and more material in the deformation zone for the car to withstand EuroNCAP test with dignity. Peugeot have gone the other way - make a smaller car, simplify, loose weight. Tiny engines - both diesel and petrol with amazing fuel consumption (e-HDi with start-stop system gets 3.4 l/100km) and more space for passangers and bigger boot than it's predecessor (even though it's 7 centimeters shorter than the 207). I am speechless...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This is SEMA!

Today starts the biggest international tuning show - SEMA in Las Vegas. I'll be reviewing some of the coolest cars you can see there. Before it even started some pics of heavily modified Toyota iQs (basically a shopping cart with some alloys and seats) were posted on the web. Once again the Japanese have proved they are the maddest bunch around, just watch this:

iQ-RS Evasive
Toyota iQ-RS Evasive - nitrous injection, air suspension, racing seats, rollcage, 17" Advan Racing rims and uprated Wilwood brakes. These are the qualities we want from a shopping cart... Or maybe they aren't, but I can't help it, this car is just somehow awesome and I would definitely ride this to my local shopping centre just to see the looks on everyone's faces.

iQ-RX Sibal
   Or if you aren't that much into racing and don't like to waste time getting over the rollcage and fastening yourself into the racing harnesses, you can have a street version of iQ - RX Sibal. It comes with a custom grey metalic paint with a bit of a bronze pearlescent effect, 18" HRE rims (oh my god!). You get the same Nitrous Express powered engine and Air Runner suspension as the RS.

iQ-MR Tatso
Not enough? Here you go - the most radical modification of iQ by Tatso - the iQ-MR. A mid-engined rear-wheel drive piece of motoring excellence, you get a pure striped-out racer with 16" Axis wheels. And you know there will be a day when this car pulls out next to you at the lights and embarasses the sh*t out of you. Well done, Japan, you've done it again!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Japan = insane cars!

Damn, it's been a week since my last update... I really have to stop playing games all the time and get my life and blog together. I promise I'll make it up to you, so let's get to it.

Nissan Juke-R
   At first I'd like to share world's first official picture of that sick Nissan Juke-R. You either love it or hate it, it's that kind of design. I absolutely love it, but on one condition - the moment I see some footballer buy this car it's over. This is the ultimate vehicle to drive your children to school, imagine the credit they'll get when they show up buckled in those racing seats.

Infiniti FX50 Sebastian Vettel Edition
Next up there is a simmilar car although not that fast and nowhere near as crazy as the Juke-R. Sebastian Vettel just won the Formula One Championship (congrats, Seb...) and he managed doing that while secretly working on his own pimped-up Infiniti FX50. The Sebastian Vettel Edition is the fastest and most awesome Infiniti you will ever see. They've tweaked up the 5.0-liter engine to produce 420 bhp - it can do 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds, that's really not bad. It comes with uprated aerodynamics kit, every single piece made of carbon fiber and a speciall white matte paintjob. There's one big con though, there are nametags everywhere, if you aren't that much into Vettel, you have to cover them up, it's really not cool...

Infiniti M35h
   And we stay in Japan for the day - Infiniti now oficially makes the world's fastest production hybrid car - M35h. 3.5-liter V6 and a powerful electric engine producing 270 Newtonmeters of torque all by itself launch this car from zero to hundred in 5.5 seconds (ok, so Vettel's FX isn't the fastest one, but it's still pretty fast) and promise to travel up to 50% of the time just on electricity. Expect an average consumption of a bit over 5 l/100km. Not bad for a car that big and that fast...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mysterious french hypercar

Today I came across some hot news on France's latest atempt in hypercar industry - the Genty Akylone. Sounds familiar? No? Well, that's probably because nobody has ever heard of them. Let's take a look at this car that literally came out of nowhere (I'll get to this later).

Genty Akylone

It's a V8-powered (what a surprise!) RWD beast made of some unspecified lightweight material (1100 kilos is impressive) producing 1014 bhp and is capable of doing 0-100 km/h in 2.7 seconds. Its top speed is 354 km/h, that's not bad at all. And it looks just right...

Akylone's rear end

They would like to show the production-ready car next year and make a very limited series of just 15 cars. The price is unknown, although they claim to tell the big number to their customers. Ok, so we have another nice and fast car here, what's the catch then? It's made by a company none has ever heard of in a middle of a forest where are no industrial buildings and last but not least - it's only a computer rendered model. Way to go, France!

And the interior