Third-generation GP2 spec racer unveiled at Monza

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Racing


Dallara GP2/11 – Click above for high-res image gallery

While Ferrari was cleaning up at its home race at Monza this past weekend, the GP2 feeder series campaigned its penultimate race of the season. Venezuelan racer Pastor Maldonado, driving for Italian team Rapax, clinched the series title in its sixth season, but arguably even more intriguing was the concurrent launch of the new third-generation GP2 spec racer.

Like the car it replaces, the new GP2/11 is designed and built by Italian racing chassis manufacturer Dallara – also behind the cars used in IndyCar and Formula 3 as well as F1 newcomer HRT’s car, to name just a few – and will be used exclusively by all teams for the next three seasons. Major changes to the design close the gap to Formula One considerably and borrow from its latest developments, employing a larger diffuser, a narrower rear wing and a larger one up front, a raked front nose and anvil-shaped engine cover. Also like F1, the new GP2 car will switch from Bridgestone rubber to new Pirelli compounds.

Development has been underway for several months, and the new car – unveiled to the teams and press at Monza – will see its first race early next year in the season-bridging GP2 Asia Series. Considering that no fewer than fifteen drivers – Lewis Hamilton among them – have graduated from the series up to F1, GP2 has rapidly developed as the place to watch for the next generation of top talent at the pinnacle of open-wheel racing. So keep an eye on newly-crowned champion Paston Maldonado, and check out the new car in the high-res image gallery below.

Gallery: Dallara GP2/11

[Source: GP2]

Third-generation GP2 spec racer unveiled at Monza originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next-Generation Toyota Avensis Touring Car previewed in sketches

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Toyota, UK, Racing

Toyota Avensis touring car sketch

Toyota Avensis Next Generation Touring Car – Click above for high-res sketches

You’ve seen NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow – now meet its British counterpart. Based on the Toyota Avensis, this Next Generation Touring Car is the first of a new breed of cars set to take over the British Touring Car Championship starting next season.

Although Toyota isn’t competing in the series with a works team, it has supplied the donor car and body shell to GPR Motorsport to use as the basis for its new touring car, built to revised BTCC regulations. The Avensis is, after all, a British-built car – one that enjoys broad sales success in the UK and across Europe.

The Avensis NGTC will make its debut at the last round of this season’s championship on October 9 at Brands Hatch, where two-time BTCC champion James Thompson will take the wheel. In the meantime, click below to view the first sketches of how the new contender will look, or follow the jump for the full press release.

Gallery: Toyota Avensis Next Generation Touring Car

[Source: GPR Motorsport]

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Next-Generation Toyota Avensis Touring Car previewed in sketches originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Sep 2010 16:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevrolet Suburban celebrates 75 years, Autoblog drives every generation

Filed under: Classics, SUV, Chevrolet

Chevorlet Suburban 75th Anniversary

Chevrolet Suburban 75th Anniversary Event – Click above for high-res image gallery

Quick, what’s the longest-running nameplate in the car business?

If you said Honda Civic, you deserve to be smacked upside the head with a four-inch exhaust tip – it’s merely 37 model years old. The vehicle we’re talking about is positively prehistoric by comparison. The Porsche 911? Wrong again, as it only predates the Civic by a decade. You’re getting closer if you said the Ford F-Series, but still, FoMoCo didn’t launch its best-selling pickup until 1948.

You’ve got to go all the way back to 1935 for the launch of the auto industry’s Methuselah, the Chevrolet Suburban. That makes 2010 the 75th anniversary of the full-size SUV archetype. To celebrate, Chevy opened its vault on one of the Dog Days of August to let journalists drive a handful of vintage models.

It was something of a belated party, as GM stopped building 2010 model year Suburbans in June, including the special Diamond Edition model. But we’re not going to complain about being given the opportunity to get seat time in eight of the ten historic “Caryall” generations. Model years 1936, 1946, 1951, 1966, 1972, 1990, 1999 and 2002 were on hand, most thanks to GM’s Heritage Center.

We decided that the only proper way to approach the task was to drive back in history. This served well to highlight not just how much the Suburban has changed in recent model years, but how much the auto industry has evolved since the pre-war era. But it also showed how consistent the Suburban has been over all these years, offering eight-passenger capability in a roomy wagon body mounted on a heavy truck frame since its inception. History has shown this formula’s a winner; Chevy estimates it has built between 2.25-2.4 million Suburbans in total.

Follow the jump for a taste of our experience driving the Suburban back in time to its beginning.

Continue reading Chevrolet Suburban celebrates 75 years, Autoblog drives every generation

Chevrolet Suburban celebrates 75 years, Autoblog drives every generation originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 Aug 2010 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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First Drive: 2011 Scion tC is a bolder swipe at Generation Y

Filed under: Coupe, Budget, Hatchback, Scion, First Drive

NOTE: Our first drive report of the 2011 Scion tC was originally published at 9am EST when Toyota’s embargo lifted. We didn’t want you to miss it, so check it out below.

2011 Scion tC

2011 Scion tC – Click above for high-res image gallery

There’s no demographic that’s targeted more often than young, affluent males. Though these buyers may not have quite as much expendable income to throw at new car purchases than say older, affluent males, automakers are still very keen to cater to the needs of Generation Y with the hope of earning a customer for life.

The tC is Scion’s most important product.

Toyota is no different than any other automaker in this regard; perhaps even more so as the Japanese giant’s customer base is just about as old as that of Buick. To resolve that issue, Toyota created the Scion brand in North America back in 2002 and has been marketing the heck out of its up-and-coming feeder marque ever since.

The ploy has mostly been successful. Toyota merrily points out that Scion has the youngest average customer in the industry and that 71 percent of all 800,000 or so Scions have been sold to buyers who are new to the Toyota family. Interestingly enough, with a median age of 26, it’s the tC coupe’s 310,000 total sales since 2002 (accounting for 41 percent of all Scion production) that manages to attract the youngest customers of all.

In other words, while the funky xB may be the most recognizable, it’s actually the tC that is the brand’s most important product. Therefore, Scion absolutely needs the new 2011 tC to be a runaway hit. Especially since the second-generation of the xB has, by many measures, failed to live up to the success of its straight-ruled predecessor.

So does the new tC pass muster? We set out to answer that very question when we grabbed the keys in sunny San Diego. Read on to find out what we learned.

Gallery: 2011 Scion tC: First Drive

Photos copyright (C)2010 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

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First Drive: 2011 Scion tC is a bolder swipe at Generation Y originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Aug 2010 12:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Next generation Hyundai Elantra caught practicing its parking?

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Videos, Hyundai

Next generation Hyundai Elantra parking – Click above to watch video after the jump

The next Hyundai Elantra was revealed a few months ago at South Korea’s Busan Motor Show. It’s been revealed again, this time outdoors, in a parking lot where it appears to be practicing parallel parking maneuvers. Hyundai’s small four-door has grown in size, which helps it wear those stretched ‘fluidic’ design cues rather nicely. Once a portrait of anonymity, the Elantra’s now as good-looking as its big brother, the Sonata.

When the restyled Hyundai Elantra arrives next year, we expect it to be motivated by a 1.6-liter gasoline direct-injection engine with 138 horsepower. And we have a feeling those new looks are going to make people take a good, long look at the Elantra in liew of say, a Civic or Corolla.

As for parking jobs like this? We have a feeling they’ll be a lot easier than these drivers are making it look. If they had to find street parking in, say, New York, they’d run out of gas before they successfully stashed the car. Follow the jump to see the video, which does nothing to make parking seem any less mundane than it is. Hat tip to Avery

Gallery: 2011 Hyundai Elantra / Avante

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Next generation Hyundai Elantra caught practicing its parking?

Video: Next generation Hyundai Elantra caught practicing its parking? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 18 Jul 2010 17:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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