Video: Listen to the Laraki Epitome’s 1,750-hp engine run

Filed under: Concept Cars, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Specialty, Luxury

The outrageous 1,750-horsepower Laraki Epitome caught us by surprise at Pebble Beach, and we caught it from plenty of different angles in photos. While we imagine the $2,000,000 Epitome is probably waiting outside Michael Bay’s estate right now trying to get a walk-on part in Transformers 4, we have YouTuber user BrianZuk to thank for getting the sound of the alien auto form while it sat on Pebble’s Concept Lawn.

When you check out the video below for a listen of the burble emanating from the four high-mounted pipes, the sound might be familiar since it comes from a 7.0-liter Chevrolet V8 – and as you’ll hear, there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

Continue reading Listen to the Laraki Epitome’s 1,750-hp engine run

Listen to the Laraki Epitome’s 1,750-hp engine run originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Listen to the Laraki Epitome’s 1,750-hp engine run”

Video: Watch and hear Renault’s awesome Twin’Run driven in anger

Filed under: Concept Cars, Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Renault

We’re a little tardy in getting to this, but the engine notes will make up for the delay. When Renault revealed the Twin’Run concept at the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix earlier this Summer, it didn’t reveal much of the engine note. This was an appalling shame, since the not-road-legal Renault 5 revival had a mid-mounted, race-tuned Nissan V6 that could soar to a practically unsilenced 7,000 rpm.

A few members of the auto journo cabal have corrected that, Top Gear being one of them by including the Twin’Run in its Speed Week festivities. Calling it “deafening, smelly, brilliant,” the verdict of Sam Phillip was that it “makes every car on Top Gear’s Speed Week… feel as woolly and distant as a tumble-dried sheep.” Them’s pointed words when “every other car” includes metal like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series.

You’ll can check out Top Gear‘s run around the Charade Circuit in France below. We’ve also included a longer clip of the Twin’Run doing some dynamic testing (worth it for the 360-degree-stunt alone), and an in-depth piece from Autoweek Holland.

Continue reading Watch and hear Renault’s awesome Twin’Run driven in anger

Watch and hear Renault’s awesome Twin’Run driven in anger originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Watch and hear Renault’s awesome Twin’Run driven in anger”

Report: Initial D manga ends 18-year run with ‘Final Stage’

Filed under: Etc., Japan, TV/Movies

initial D

Initial D, the Japanese manga that helped popularize drifting and make the AE-86 generation Toyota Corolla (Trueno in Japan) the cult classic that it is today, has finally ended after 18 years of publication. The last installment, called Final Stage, was released in late July, in the August 6 edition of Young Magazine, reports The Truth About Cars.

If you don’t read the manga (a Japanese comic) perhaps you’ve watched the anime (a Japanese animated movie or TV show) series that it spawned, or the live-action movie from 2005 (which has some cool drifting scenes). What stands out the most about Initial D are the cars, which are drawn accurately and animated fluidly on paper or the TV screen – representing an acute understanding by the technical artists of how cars look and behave while they’re being driven.

As is often the case with manga-anime relationships, the Initial D manga takes storyline priority with the anime following loosely behind. Though the manga has ended, TTAC reports that another series of Initial D episodes (and another live-action movie) will be produced to tie things up for fans of the anime.

Initial D manga ends 18-year run with ‘Final Stage’ originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Aug 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Initial D manga ends 18-year run with ‘Final Stage’”

Official: Snapshots from Acura NSX prototype run at Mid-Ohio

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Hybrid, Marketing/Advertising, Acura, Racing

Acura NSX Prototype lapping Mid-Ohio ahead of the Honda Indy 200.

Acura’s achingly slow showing of the new, hybrid NSX saw yet another step yesterday, as we reported late last week. A powder-blue prototype ran ahead of the open-wheelers at the Honda Indy 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Why show the NSX Prototype at Mid-Ohio? Honda’s Ohio research and development center, which has taken the lead on NSX development, is just 60 miles from the track. And as race sponsor, Honda must have figured it would give the spectators a glimpse of the new supercar it’s been teasing for the better part of a decade.

With a planned launch in 2015 (special emphasis on the “planned” part, considering the NSX’s history), the NSX Prototype shown here sports graphics that “speak to Acura’s intention to go racing with the new NSX.” That’s great news for fans of endurance racing, although it remains to be seen when a motorsports program for the new NSX will get off the ground.

Take a look at the fresh gallery of images, and be sure to head over to our original Mid-Ohio post for the video footage of the NSX Prototype on track.

Continue reading Snapshots from Acura NSX prototype run at Mid-Ohio

Snapshots from Acura NSX prototype run at Mid-Ohio originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Snapshots from Acura NSX prototype run at Mid-Ohio”

Motorsports: Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Mazda, Diesel, Racing

While it may not be touting the old “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday” axiom we all know and love, Mazda recognizes that racing can only improve its cars. And so it’s no surprise that the Japanese automaker is testing and refining its Skyactiv-D diesel engine by sending it out on various race tracks around the country – notably being the first diesel ever to compete at Daytona and the first to notch a Grand Am win at Road Atlanta.

Next up? Indy. It has been over 60 years since a diesel-powered machine ran at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Cummins-powered racer that competed in the 1952 Indy 500 with a 6.6-liter inline-six-cylinder oil-burner was a fast and brutal machine that set a new lap record in qualifying leading up to the race. Though that car was withdrawn with turbocharger failure 71 laps in, its diesel powerplant left an indelible impression on the racing community, and that’s something Mazda hopes to accomplish once again.

Mazda says that the diesel engine in its race car is pretty darn close to stock – 51 percent stock by parts count, and 63 percent stock by weight – which means the way it performs in competition is at least a somewhat meaningful way to the stock engine’s durability in the real world. Check out the image of the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D racer posing alongside the 1952 Cummins above (click to enlarge) and feel free to peruse the press release below for the rest of the details.

Continue reading Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years

Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Motorsports: Mazda Skyactiv-D racer first diesel to run at Indy in 60 years”

Motorsports: Son resurrecting Mickey Thompson’s LSR Streamliner for Bonneville run [w/videos]

Filed under: Motorsports, Classics, Performance, Videos, Specialty, Racing

Mickey Thompson Autolite Special - vintage LSR car photograph at Bonneville

You’ve probably heard of Mickey Thompson, if not for racing home-built Indy cars or punting early Funny Cars down drag strips, perhaps for the tire company he founded, his successful forays into off-road racing or, crucially, his attempts to break land speed records at the Bonneville Salt Flats. In 1960, he became the fastest man in the world after going 406 miles per hour in his race car, the brutish four-engined Challenger I, but the record was never completed and made official due to a breakdown on the return run.

Tragedy struck when Mickey and his wife were murdered in front of their house.

“After years of planning to build a car that would go even faster than the Challenger I, things came together for Thompson in 1968, when his collaboration with Ford to put Mustang bodies onto his Funny Car drag racers morphed into something much bigger: the Challenger II LSR Streamliner. “The Challenger II project actually evolved out of a larger program originally intended to generate buzz for the introduction of the 1969 Mach I Mustang,” Danny Thompson, Mickey’s son, explained to Autoblog in an e-mail. “[Ford] decided to take three Mustangs to Bonneville and break as many records as they could,” he said, and Mickey Thompson was going to do the same with Funny Cars and the Challenger II using Ford’s 427 SOHC motorsport engine.

Ford was also closely involved with the design of the Challenger II through their Kar Kraft specialty shop,” Danny Thompson related. Ed Hull, who was involved with the GT40 Mark IV Le Mans racer, was just one of the sharp minds at Ford who contributed to the Challenger II, but Mickey Thompson and his hand-picked team were responsible for its construction.

And that’s where the Challenger II story ended, at least officially. It was prepared in time for Speed Week at the Salt Flats, and test runs were proving its mettle, but the dry lake bed wasn’t ready for the Challenger II after an unseasonal storm flooded the course. Even worse, 1969 brought no relief to Thompson and his team when Ford pulled the plug on racing activities. Years later, Mickey Thompson and his son planned to revive the Challenger II for a record-setting run in 1989, but tragedy struck when Mickey and his wife were murdered in front of their house, nixing any plans of running the streamliner. Scroll down to keep reading and to watch the videos.

Continue reading Son resurrecting Mickey Thompson’s LSR Streamliner for Bonneville run [w/videos]

Son resurrecting Mickey Thompson’s LSR Streamliner for Bonneville run [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Motorsports: Son resurrecting Mickey Thompson’s LSR Streamliner for Bonneville run [w/videos]”

Spy Shots: McLaren MP4-12C gets a nip, tuck and ‘Ring run

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Spy Photos, Coupe, Performance, Luxury, McLaren

Facelifted McLaren MP4-12C caught camouflaged on the 'Ring - spy shot

It look like this McLaren MP4-12C is recovering from a touch of plastic surgery, and our spy shooters who caught it at the Nürburgring say that a minor headlight and bumper facelift is on the way. Juicier things could be happening in the rear, though, with the suggestion that horsepower from the 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 will rise from 616 horsepower to somewhere around 650 hp.

The fact that the changes are modest suggest we could see the facelifted model as soon as the Frankfurt Motor Show in about six weeks.

McLaren MP4-12C gets a nip, tuck and ‘Ring run originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Spy Shots: McLaren MP4-12C gets a nip, tuck and ‘Ring run”

Rod Millen joining Rhys for his own run up Pikes Peak

Filed under: Motorsports, Hyundai

RMR Hyundai Pikes Peak 2011 Test Session

RMR Hyundai Pikes Peak 2011 Test Session – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chances are you’ve heard of Rhys Millen. The man pushes cars over dirt, into extreme sideways angles, through the air and up challenging mountain roads. If you’re a bit younger, however, you may not have heard of his father, Mr. Rod Millen… and that’s a problem, because you should know that name.

Rod Millen, born in New Zealand and possessor of the best driveway on the planet, is a racing legend. Typically known for his off-road records, the elder Millen has been hustling rally cars and trucks across tough terrain since the 1970s. The company he founded, MillenWorks, is responsible for the development of technical innovations used in racing, and by the military. Enjoying that cushy suspension setup in your Chevrolet Corvette or Audi R8? You can think MillenWorks for that.

Like Rhys, Rod also has a passion for competing. Before Nobuhiro Tajima came along, Rod Millen was the Pike’s Peak record holder. Driving a Toyota Celica All Trac in 1994, Millen smashed the previous record by 40 seconds. He broke his own record four more times, until the Monster took him down, and Rod hasn’t been back since 2001.

Father’s day is around the corner, and the Millen boys are ready to spend some time together. They’re going to do so in Colorado, because Rod is coming back to the mountain, and Rhys is planning to destroy it.

Continue reading Rod Millen joining Rhys for his own run up Pikes Peak

Rod Millen joining Rhys for his own run up Pikes Peak originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 May 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Rod Millen joining Rhys for his own run up Pikes Peak”

Video: Pickup driver tries to run motorcyclist off the road

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Motorcycle

pickup driver road rage

Pickup driver tries to run motorcyclist off the road – Click above to watch the video after the break

What’s worse than a sportbike-mounted motorcyclist passing a slower-moving vehicle in an area where there are double-yellow lines, indicating that passing is prohibited? The answer, as you’ll see in the rather shocking video pasted after the break, is retaliation from the driver being passed.

A motorcyclist in Bracken County, Kentucky, was out for a ride with a friend on a beautiful Sunday afternoon when he came up on a red Ford F-150 with an ATV in the bed. The truck was moving at a slower speed than the motorcyclists, so the lead rider decided to pass. We’re not going to try to defend the biker crossing in what is clearly a no-passing zone, but that doesn’t excuse what happens next.

The driver of the pickup truck appears to swerve sharply in an attempt to run the motorcycle and its rider off the road. We’re not mind readers, but there’s little doubt that the driver’s intent was to cause the rider to crash, or at least to scare the living daylights out of him. For the next several minutes, the pickup driver gives chase, using both his lane and that of oncoming traffic. At about 4:20 into the video, the pickup driver nearly hits another innocent motorcyclist head-on.

Finally, after about five minutes of hopelessly reckless driving, the pickup catches up to the lead motorcycle, who had stopped and dismounted at a stop sign. Confrontation time – with what appears to be a metal pipe in the hand of the pickup driver. As you would expect, a heated argument ensues in which the pickup driver somehow claims he’s in the right and that he’s – get this – allowed to drive like a maniac because he “grew up on these roads.”

The whole sordid affair ends with a phone call to the police, but according to the local riders from R6-Forum.com, the police, for reasons completely unfathomable to us, have yet to respond. Check out the complete video after the break with your own eyes, but beware, it includes some potentially NSFW language at the very end.

Continue reading Pickup driver tries to run motorcyclist off the road

Pickup driver tries to run motorcyclist off the road originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 May 2011 16:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Pickup driver tries to run motorcyclist off the road”

Peugeot EX1 rips ’round the ‘Ring with record-setting EV run

Filed under: Concept Cars, Motorsports, Europe, Peugeot, Specialty, Electric

Peugeot EX1 at the Nurburgring

Peugeot EX1 sets electric vehicle ‘Ring record – Click above to watch video after the jump

For decades now, automakers have turned to the famed Nürburgring in Germany to put vehicles to the test. On April 27th, Peugeot sent its radically styled EX1 electric ’round the ‘Ring, setting a record for battery-powered vehicles with a time of 9 minutes 1.338 seconds.

The Nürburgring actually consists of several interlacing tracks, with the main stretch, the Nordschleife, comprising almost 13 miles of hairpin turns, undulating surfaces and lengthy straightaways.

Peugeot’s electric sports car averaged a rather impressive 85.9 miles per hour on the demanding 12-plus mile Nordschleife track. The EX1 smoked the previous electric vehicle record of 9:51, set by a modified Mini E back in 2010. Hit the jump to catch official video of the EX1 whizzing ’round the ‘Ring.

Continue reading Peugeot EX1 rips ’round the ‘Ring with record-setting EV run

Peugeot EX1 rips ’round the ‘Ring with record-setting EV run originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 May 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Peugeot EX1 rips ’round the ‘Ring with record-setting EV run”