2017-02-27: Formula 1's class of 2017 and the latest Geneva previews ...
Official Formula 1 testing kicked off this morning at Barcelona with the first day of a pair of four-day test sessions scheduled before the Australian Grand Prix in March. All new Formula 1 cars were in action today, which has allowed us to complete this year's list of 2017 F1 cars. Second fastest in testing today was Sebastian Vettel in the new Ferrari SF70H. The German was the only driver at the sharp end of the field running on the medium instead of the soft compound. A sensor issue delayed the new Red Bull Racing RB13, while sister team Torro Rosso's STR12 received universal praise for its striking new livery. Subject of a lot more debate were the all new colours of the McLaren MCL32, which include a nod to the past by incorporating orange. The first day of testing also proved quite troublesome as oil line issues saw Fernando Alonso on the sideline for most of today's running. Fastest of all was Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes-Benz W08 we already featured last week.
At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, Porsche will complete the Panamera line-up with this Turbo S E-Hybrid. It combines a twin-turbo V8 with an electric motor. This drivetrain is good for a combined 680 hp. The new range-topping model is also available in the long-wheelbase Executive version.
Sure to grab a lot of attention in Geneva is this spectacular Peugeot Insticnt Concept. Not only does it boast an interesting exterior design, this petrol-electric hybrid also is driverless technology showcase.
2017-02-23: Porsche 911 Turbo Ss headed for auction and more new F1 cars ...
At the upcoming Amelia Island auctions, there is one car, even though it is very rare, of which one example will be offered at all three sales: the Porsche 911 Turbo S of the fabled 993 generation. This model was available only in 1997 and 1998 to special order and featured many detail changes compared to the 'regular' Turbo, most importantly a hike in power. During those two years less than 350 examples were built and today they are rapidly increasing in value. All fine examples, the 911 Turbo Ss due to cross the block range in estimate from $300,000 - $450,000.
Launched this afternoon, the Mercedes-Benz W08is among the most highly anticipated of all new Formula 1 cars. Its immediate predecessors absolutely dominated and despite a substantial regulation change, the Mercedes-Benz team is again the top favourite for the titles. The official name of the car is the W08 EQ Power+ in reference to the new EQ Power badging due to be applied to all hybrid models from the German manufacturer.
Also revealed this week were the Force India VJM10 Mercedes and the Renault R.S.17, which is the first all-new F1 car developed by the team since Renault took back control late in 2015.
Volkswagen, meanwhile, released the first details of the Arteon, which will break cover in Geneva early next month. This all-new Grand Tourer will sit above the Passat in the VW range.
2017-02-20: Unique Porsche 917, all-new Sauber F1 racer and latest Techart GTstreet R Cabriolet ...
A startling ten years after the Porsche 917 had last competed at Le Mans, the legendary racer made its comeback in 1981. The car used was the unique 917 K/81 built by Kremer using the original drawings. Compared to the original machine, Kremer's car featured a stronger chassis and revised suspension to cope with the higher loads generated by the more modern tyres. The one-off machine was raced at Le Mans and Brands Hatch and even led briefly at the latter. Recently restored, the 917 K/81 was one of the stars of this month's Retromobile show where it was shown by French dealer Ascott Collection.
One week before the official test sessions will start at Barcelona, Sauber revealed their C36 Formula 1 car. This year's cars are highly anticipated as they are wider courtesy of fatter rubber to improve the performance, and also boast more aggressive aerodynamics. Finished with striking gold striping, the C36 marks Sauber's 25th anniversary in Formula 1.
Due at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show is this Techart GTstreet R Cabriolet. Based on the 911 Turbo S, it features comprehensive modifications, including an engine kit that brings the power up to as much as 710 bhp. With this, the ultimate specification, the GTstreet R can accelerate to 100 km/h in less than three seconds.
2017-02-17: Gooding Amelia Island preview and all-new Ferrari 812 Superfast ...
The seemingly never ending barrage of auctions will continue early next month with three major sales in the build-up to the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Today we take a first look at what Gooding & Co. have to offer. Headlining the March 10th auction is this Jaguar XKSS, which has a pre-sale estimate of USD 16 - 18 million. It is one of the 16 genuine cars that escaped the fire and has a rich period and historic racing history. In 2010, it was restored to its XKSS configuration and was since demonstrated and shown at various events as can be seen in this 19-shot gallery.
Definitely one of the brightest and certainly the loudest car in the sale will be this Mazda 767B. It is one of just two four-rotor Mazda prototypes in private hands and is estimated to sell for $1.8 - 2.4 million. Another striking competition car due to cross the block is one of just ten Porsche 934/5s. The example on offer is unique in that it did not receive the wider bodykit fitted to the other nine interim cars built for the 1977 season. Recently repatriated to Europe after a lengthy spell in Australia, the Porsche racer has a $1.4 - 1.8 million estimate.
This week, Ferrari have revealed the first details of the upcoming 812 Superfast. Replacing the F12, it is powered by a naturally aspirated, 6.5-litre V12, which produces a staggering 800 hp. Combined with a further developed dual clutch gearbox, the 812 Superfast can accelerate to 100 km/h in less than three seconds and on to a top speed of over 340 km/h.
2017-02-15: All-new Pagani Huayra Roadster and more news headed for Geneva ...
The annual Geneva Motor Show is less than a month away and one of the absolute stars of the show will undoubtedly be this Pagani Huayra Roadster. Developed over several years, it is both lighter and more powerful than the original Huayra introduced in Geneva six years ago. The revised Mercedes-AMG sourced V12 produces in excess of 750 bhp, while the car tips the scales at just 1,280kg. Production is limited to 100 examples and even though the Huayra Roadster has a 2.2 million Euro (ex VAT) price tag, the entire run has already been sold.
An altogether different vehicle using a Mercedes-Benz V12 and limited to just 99 examples that is also due in Geneva, is this monstrous Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet. Compared to the 'regular' G-Class this 630 bhp engined machine sits higher on its wheels, has an open top and features a luxurious interior.
Pininfarina is a regular at the Geneva Motor Show and this year plans to reveal the Fittipaldi EF7 Vision Gran Turismo. Like the name suggests, this is a tribute to two-time World Champion and Indy 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi. For now, the Italian design house have released only two teaser images.
Last week, Prodrive announced its intention to enter the ever more popular World Rallycross championship with this Renault Megane based machine. Due to enter the WRX from the start of the next season, it should already make an appearance at the French round later this year.
2017-02-13: 2017 Retromobile report and galleries ...
There is no event quite like the annual Retromobile show in Paris. This year's edition was held last week and, like always, did not disappoint with spectacular displays featuring a host of Formula 1 machines, Group B cars, Bugatti meets Bentley and Ferrari's 70 anniversary. Among the slightly harder to spot gems and very much typical of Retromobile was the absolutely unique Aston Martin-engined and built Volvo P1800. During the event, Paris also hosted three major auctions, including the official Retromobile sale on Friday and the RM Sotheby's and Bonhams sales the days before.
We have not missed a Retromobile in fifteen years and we were on hand again this year. The result is this concise report illustrated by a total of four galleries with a combined 580!! shots. Also listed are all the results from the auctions.
2017-02-10: Results from RM Sotheby's and Bonhams, and a new Audi RS 3 Sportback ...
The first results from this week's auctions in Paris are in. On Wednesday, this fantastic Alfa Romeo Tipo B top the results at the RM Sotheby's sale at just shy of four million euros. We have added the full results, illustrated by a 100-shot gallery from the viewing. A full report about the auctions and the Retromobile show itself will follow early next week.
One of the big surprises at RM Sotheby's was this Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, which sold for well over the top estimate at just over Euro 1.3 million. This prompted us to take a detailed look at this very model of which just 14 were built in 1995 to special order by the Porsche Exclusive Department.
The Bonhams sale was staged a day later in the ever impressive Grand Palais. The results were topped by this ex-Le Mans Aston Martin Ulster we featured a few weeks ago.
Audi will expand the revived RS 3 line-up with the Sportback version at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Like the sedan, it is powered by a 400 hp version of the familiar 2.5-litre engine and customers can ask Audi to raise the top speed limit from 250 to 280 km/h.
2017-02-06: Ex Scuderia BMS Italia Porsche and Ferrari and Porsche 959 Sport ...
Italian privateer team Scuderia BMS Italia has fielded a wide variety of machinery over the years. During the late 2000s, they competed in the GT2 class with this Ferrari F430 GTC and subsequently with this Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The Ferrari was raced in the 2008 and 2009 FIA GT Championship, scoring a class win in the 2008 Spa 24 Hours along the way. Chassis 2616 also placed second in class at Le Mans twice before being replaced by this 911 GT3 RSR for 2010. Finished in a striking Italian racing red livery, it won the Spa 24 Hours outright in 2010. Chassis 799913 was also raced at Le Mans where it placed third. Both cars are still owned by the first owner, who was one of the team backers. He has now consigned the two successful GT2 racers to the RM Sotheby's sale with relatively modest estimates.
Another fabulous Porsche consigned to the RM sale on Wednesday is this 959 Sport. One of just 29 built, it was picked up by first owner Vasek Polak Jr at the factory, who toured Europe with it before bringing it with him to the United States. This very rare Porsche has been part of a prominent Swiss collection from which it is now offered without reserve along with several other exquisite Porsches.
2017-02-03: Fantastic Alfa Romeo and Ferrari headed for auction and latest Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate ...
One of our absolute favourite cars due to cross the block in Paris next week is this Alfa Romeo Tipo B that has been consigned by RM Sotheby's. The example on offer is among the last built and is one of three fitted with Dubonnet style independent front suspension from new. Chassis 50006 was raced during the 1935 season by the Scuderia Ferrari and continued to be used in contemporary events into the 1950s. RM has a conservative pre-sale estimate of Euro 3.8 - 5 million for this stunning example of one of the greatest Grand Prix cars.
Artcurial offers an even rarer opportunity with the consignment, at no reserve, of the unique Ferrari 206 P Dino Pininfarina Speciale. Built on competition car underpinnings, this one-off show car debuted at the Paris Auto Salon in 1965. Never before offered for sale, this beautiful machine was later donated by Ferrari and Pininfarina to Le Mans organisers, the ACO for their museum. The fabulous Ferrari estimated to sell for between Euro 4 and 8 million, and it will sell!
Less beauty but all beast is the newly announced Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+. Like the Sedan and Coupe models, this range topping version of the latest E-Class tourer is powered by a 603 bhp version of the twin turbo V8, which should make trips to the supermarket quicker than ever before.
2017-02-01: Renault 5 Turbos headed for auction and new Monterey book ...
At next week's three major auctions in Paris, you will have an opportunity to acquire at least one Renault 5 Turbo at each sale. The legendary mid-engined rally racer was the tarmac specialist of the early 1980s and scored outright wins in the Tour de Corse and the Rallye Monte Carlo. Consigned to Artcurial's official Retromobile sale is this 5 Turbo Cevennes, which is the Group 4 variant raced between 1980 and 1982. The example on offer has been consigned by none other than Renault rally-legend Jean Ragnotti himself and has a pre-sale estimate of Euro 300,000 - 500,000.
At the both the Bonhams and RM Sotheby's sales the later Group B or Tour de Corse version of the compact Renault will cross the block. RM's lot list also boasts one of the road-going 5 Turbo 2s.
McLaren has released another teaser shot of their upcoming sports car, which we now believe will be named the 720S and is due to break cover at Geneva next month.
For those of you who enjoyed our coverage of last year's Monterey week, we would like to point you to this photo book to which we have contributed along with eight other leading photographers. Dubbed "Nine Over Nine", it is full color 80 page 9x12 coffee table book documenting Monterey Car Week 2016. The first edition is available exclusively on Kickstarter for just three more days!