2014-10-31: Halloween special, new Lister Hypercar and new BMW X5/X6 M ...
2014-10-29: Limited production Audi R8 Competition and four British sports cars ...
When is a Mercury Capri
not a Mercury Capri? When it is dressed up as a Ford Mustang
, or a Ford Thunderbird, or even an Oldsmobile Toronado. This is the fascinating story of a silhouette racer created during the mid-1980s by three of the greatest engineers in American sports car racing, Jack Roush, Bill Riley and Gary Pratt. Built around a bespoke tubular chassis, it was campaigned as a Mercury in Trans-Am and a Ford in IMSA GTO. Sometimes the cars switched identities, or 'redressed' from one week to the next. Although at first glance not the most sophisticated machines ever created both the Ford Roush Mustang
and the Mercury Roush Capri
were hugely successful, winning numerous races and championships. Fittingly, one of the cars we feature was raced as a Mustang in 2013 and when we saw it again in 2014, it had been restored to its original Capri configuration.
Following a new run of continuation Knobbly Jaguars, Lister yesterday announced the imminent launch of an all-new Hypercar
. Expected to be priced at around GBP 2 million, the new Koenigsegg and Pagani rival will be powered by a supercharged V12 engine good for 1,000 bhp. Only two renderings have been released but we will keep a close eye on this project as it develops.
Ahead of the launch at next month's Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW have released full details of the latest generation X5 M
and X6 M
. Like the Roush Mustang and Capri featured above, these two machines were separated at birth and the differences between them are minimal. Most importantly both 'off-roaders' are powered by the TwinPower V8, which in this application is good for a staggering 575 hp.
2014-10-27: McLaren Monday with a detailed look at the 1974 and 1976 World Championship winning M23 ...
Celebrating the racing success of the R8 around the world, Audi will introduce the limited production R8 Competition
at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show. The fastest ever R8 road car, it is powered by a 570 hp version of the familiar V10 engine. Just 60 examples of the R8 Competition
will be built and these will be available exclusively to American customers.
Although introduced back in 1999, the Ariel Atom has been continuously developed. The most recent incarnation is the Atom 3.5
, which was introduced in 2013. It comes with a stronger chassis and a more potent version of the Honda-sourced engine, which is good for 310 bhp in supercharged form. This year, the range was further expanded with the track-oriented Atom 3.5R
, which we captured at the Goodwood Festival of Speed back in June. It packs a 350 bhp version of the Civic Type R engine and features a wild bodykit complete with a front and rear wing. Thanks to its stunning power to weight ratio, it can accelerate to 60 mph in just over 2.5 seconds.
Another new British sports car making its debut at Goodwood this year was the Arash AF8
. Powered by a 560 bhp V8 engine, this is the fourth sports car developed by the talented Arash Farboud in just over a decade. As we speak the AF8 is being readied for production. The very first car created by British engineer was the Farboud GT
. He reportedly created this 620 bhp mid-engined supercar because Porsche would not sell him one of the road going versions of the 1998 Le Mans winning 911 GT1.
2014-10-24: Three spectacular Bugattis including the resurrected Type 57 S Torpedo Competition ...
McLaren is one of the most successful Formula 1 team in the sport's rich history. Although the Bruce McLaren founded team had competed in F1 from the second half of the 1960s, it was the M23 Cosworth
introduced in 1973 that really got things going. Its Gordon Cuppock design was actually based on McLaren's Indy 500 winning M16, sharing the same overall wedge shape. Originally raced by Denny Hulme and Peter Revson during its debut season, it was driven to the World Championship by Emerson Fittipaldi in 1974. Virtually unaltered, with the exception of a revised airbox to meet the latest regulations, the M23 continued its winning ways into the 1976 season in the hands of James Hunt, who would become that year's World Champion. As the imminent replacement was slow (to arrive), the M23 soldiered into the 1977 season. With a career spanning nearly five years and winning two World Championships, the McLaren M23
remains as one of the all-time great F1 cars.
To mark the 40th anniversary of Emerson Fittipaldi winning the first World Championship for McLaren, we have taken a detailed look at the M23s he, and later James Hunt used to great effect. Our spectacular 144-shot gallery
now includes images of nine different examples, each of which has a detailed chassis history
. Fittipaldi himself is seen behind the wheel of two of the cars, including the chassis he drove to two victories in 1974, which is once again owned by McLaren.
2014-10-22: Four competition Ligiers from the same collection and more on the McLaren P1 GTR ...
Already one of the most exclusive manufacturers, Bugatti stunned the world at the 1935 Paris Auto Salon with two Type 57s clothed not in aluminium but in an exotic magnesium alloy called electron. Very difficult to shape and notoriously volatile, the lightweight electron bodies were not put in production and neither car survived. The most famous of the pair is the Aerolithe Coupe, which was the inspiration for the Atlantic launched a year. Equally impressive, however, was the Type 57 S Torpedo Competition
. Destined to race at Le Mans, it featured a svelte cycle-fender body styled by Jean Bugatti. Ultimately, the electron-bodied Torpedo was never raced as the 1936 Le Mans was cancelled and an even more efficient 'Tank' version of the Type 57 was introduced by Bugatti. Set aside and later disassembled, the Torpedo Competition was thought to be forever lost. That was until Jim Hull resurrected the car using many original components that could very well have been used on the actual car. The full story can be found in our detailed article
, illustrated by a 25-shot gallery
Another striking Bugatti we came across this year was the Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
currently on display in the Revs and Institute in Naples, Florida. Having had just four owners from new, it is hugely original and was one of the prize winners at the inaugural Chantilly Arts & Elegance
Also mechanically highly original is this Bugatti Type 50 Million Guiet Coupe
, which was brought to Pebble Beach
by the Mullin Automotive Museum. We had seen the car before, but it had since benefited from a cosmetic restoration to the exterior and interior.
At various events, we have been treated to the sights and sounds of four fabulous Ligiers this year. Amazingly, each of these distinct machines is owned by the same French collector. The earliest of these, is the sole surviving Ligier JS1
. Originally powered by an FVC Cosworth engine and later modified to accept a more docile Capri RS 2600 V6, this purpose built racer competed at Le Mans and in the Tour de France during the 1970 season. Only very rarely seen in public today, we captured it at the Le Mans Classic where, the JS1
sadly only completed a handful of laps in qualifying.
For 1971, Ligier introduced the all-new JS3
, powered by a Cosworth DFV Formula 1 engine. While it showed great form, it only managed to win once and was abandoned at the end of the year. The unique JS3
also raced at this year's Le Mans Classic, while we also saw it in action at Dijon and Paul Ricard.
Altogether more successful was the Ligier JS2
, which in its ultimate form also boasted a Cosworth DFV engine. One of just two surviving cars, the car seen in action this year won the Tour de France outright in 1974 while still fitted with a Maserati engine and in 1975 placed second overall at Le Mans.
Ligier then switched to Formula 1 and in 1979 came remarkably close to winning the World Championship with the hugely efficient JS11 Cosworth
. Designed by Gerard Ducarouge, it dominated the opening half of the season. Our updated article
now includes two of the four examples produced.
Meanwhile, McLaren have released new pictures of the upcoming P1 GTR
. These include action photography and a look inside the highly anticipated track-day special. For good measure, we have also added a brief video
about the P1 GTR program.