Video: TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Performance, Videos, Lexus, Luxury

XCAR drives the Lexus TMG Sports 650 on track.

The people at Toyota Motorsport GmbH have been responsible for the Japanese automaker’s motorsports efforts since the 1970s, but since Toyota pulled out of Formula One after the 2009 season, the tuning shop has been developing a super sedan based on the Lexus LS called the Sports 650. Details on TMG’s first road car have been scarce, but XCAR was recently invited to drive the 641-horsepower Lexus on track.

Here’s what we know: the Sports 650 has enough power to sprint to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, tops out at 199 mph, weighs over two tons and utilizes LFA brakes. Oh, and its twin-turbo V8 bellows like an AMG V8. That last part isn’t surprising when considering TMG could become Toyota’s in-house tuning arm – like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. As for the bespoke body kit, fender flares and stacked exhaust pipes? They fit the car well and even remind us a bit of Lexus’ other high-performance sedan, the IS F. Currently there are no plans for the Sports 650 to be made into a production car, but we doubt TMG is devoting this much effort developing the LS into a road-rocket for nothing.

Check out XCAR‘s video below to see the AMG-fighter wrung out on track, and then ponder what could be if TMG were let loose to fiddle with other cars in Lexus’ lineup. Now that’s something we could get used to!

Continue reading TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested

TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested”

Video: TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Performance, Videos, Lexus, Luxury

XCAR drives the Lexus TMG Sports 650 on track.

The people at Toyota Motorsport GmbH have been responsible for the Japanese automaker’s motorsports efforts since the 1970s, but since Toyota pulled out of Formula One after the 2009 season, the tuning shop has been developing a super sedan based on the Lexus LS called the Sports 650. Details on TMG’s first road car have been scarce, but XCAR was recently invited to drive the 641-horsepower Lexus on track.

Here’s what we know: the Sports 650 has enough power to sprint to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, tops out at 199 mph, weighs over two tons and utilizes LFA brakes. Oh, and its twin-turbo V8 bellows like an AMG V8. That last part isn’t surprising when considering TMG could become Toyota’s in-house tuning arm – like AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. As for the bespoke body kit, fender flares and stacked exhaust pipes? They fit the car well and even remind us a bit of Lexus’ other high-performance sedan, the IS F. Currently there are no plans for the Sports 650 to be made into a production car, but we doubt TMG is devoting this much effort developing the LS into a road-rocket for nothing.

Check out XCAR‘s video below to see the AMG-fighter wrung out on track, and then ponder what could be if TMG were let loose to fiddle with other cars in Lexus’ lineup. Now that’s something we could get used to!

Continue reading TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested

TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: TMG’s super Lexus LS Sports 650 gets track tested”

Video: Dax Shephard, Lamborghini Super Trofeo racer?

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Videos, Lamborghini, Celebrities, Racing

Dax Shepard Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America

Dax Shepard is no Paul Newman, nor even Patrick Dempsey, but he has a pretty cool gig mixed with plenty of acting and racing. While you might know him from Hollywood comedies like Employee of the Month and Hit & Run, the Michigan native now seems to be dabbling in road racing after competing in the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo North America, and to celebrate, Lamborghini has issued a new short video introducing Shepard and kicking off its new pro-am racing series.

Like many kids of the ’70s and early ’80s, Shepard’s love of cars can be traced back to a Lamborghini Countach, and, fittingly, his first time road racing in a car happened to be in a Lamborghini – an experience he comically suggests would be like another sort of “first time” with Selma Hayek. In addition a few chuckles, the video posted below also gives us some of our first racing footage of the Super Trofeo North America’s opening weekend at Lime Rock in early July, in which Shepard grabbed a third-place finish.

Continue reading Dax Shephard, Lamborghini Super Trofeo racer?

Dax Shephard, Lamborghini Super Trofeo racer? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 26 Aug 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Dax Shephard, Lamborghini Super Trofeo racer?”

Auctions: 1973 Lancia Stratos makes for a super cool barn find

Filed under: Motorsports, Classics, Coupe, Performance, Auctions, Off-Road, Lancia, Racing

1972 Lancia Stratos barn find front three-quarters

Like a scene out of Forza Horizon, finding something like an ultra-rare 1972 Lancia Stratos is a dream. The Ferrari-engined, Bertone-bodied rally car is one of the automotive highlights of the 1970s, winning the World Rally Championship three straight times (1974, 1975 and 1976). And while there were some 492 road cars produced, none were formally exported to the United States. Which makes the appearance of this red, Stradale variant quite a find.

It’s up for auction at Bonhams, which has a thorough rundown of this particular model. As we said, it’s a Stradale (Italian for “street”), designed to fulfill FIA homologation requirements. It uses a detuned variant of the Stratos rally car’s 2.4-liter Ferrari V6, with 192 horsepower routed through a five-speed manual transmission. The curb weight sits under 2,200 pounds, which Bonhams estimates will help with the car’s claimed 0-60 time of around five seconds.

This car was originally sold in Germany, before being imported to the US late in 1982 by a British national. He took delivery in Albuquerque, and proceeded to drive from there to his home in San Francisco. It was then regularly used for commuting, which must have been a quite a sight. The Stratos was put into storage in 1998 with just over 31,000 miles on the clock, and hasn’t been moved since.

Not surprisingly, the auction house gave this Lancia a thorough examination, and found a body that is in “very sound condition,” while the car’s mechanicals appear complete. It even has the California stamp that signifies it’s been federalized.

Bonhams is strongly recommending that this Lancia’s new owner give the car a complete, ground-up rebuild. And if you were hoping that might lower the price a bit, you’d be wrong – Bonhams is predicting this particular car will sell at auction for $250,000 to $300,000. It’s lot number 189, and will cross the block on August 16, at Pebble Beach. We’ve no doubt it will find a buyer.

Continue reading 1973 Lancia Stratos makes for a super cool barn find

1973 Lancia Stratos makes for a super cool barn find originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Aug 2013 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Auctions: 1973 Lancia Stratos makes for a super cool barn find”

Video: Petrolicious gets super Seventies in a Ferrari Dino 208 GT4

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Ferrari, Luxury

Petrolicious highlights Bradley Price's Ferrari Dino 208 GT4

The Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was the automaker’s first sports car with a V8 mounted amidships, and that formula quickly became the Italian automaker’s bread and butter. The 308 in the name denotes a 3.0-liter V8, but for the Italian market, where a tax was imposed on cars with engines larger than two liters, Ferrari decided to de-bore the V8 to avoid the tax. Thus the 2.0-liter Dino 208 GT4 was born, and New York resident Bradley Price likes his 1976 model just the way it is.

Price initially was attracted to the Bertone-styled wedge because it “fit into the whole aesthetic of the space age and of the boundless possibility of [the late 1960s and 1970s],” he says in the Petrolicious video, adding that the opening scene of the original The Italian Job struck a chord with him, and the feeling never left. With 170 horsepower on tap, the 208 isn’t very quick, but, in his opinion, it has a sweeter song than the bigger V8 and the driver-centric interior is one of his favorites.

Watch Price snake the original wedge through some East Coast back roads in the video below, and, just for kicks, we’ve also included the opening sequence of The Italian Job.

Continue reading Petrolicious gets super Seventies in a Ferrari Dino 208 GT4

Petrolicious gets super Seventies in a Ferrari Dino 208 GT4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Petrolicious gets super Seventies in a Ferrari Dino 208 GT4”

Spy Shots: Porsche 911 GT2 caught testing, is super bad

Filed under: Spy Photos, Performance, Europe, Crossover, Porsche, Luxury

Look what spy photographers have spotted sprinting around the Nürburgring. Our shooters nabbed a few photos of the all-new Porsche 911 GT2 in its native habitat without any of the bulky camouflage or cladding we’re used to seeing. The result is our first truly clear view at the upcoming successor to the GT2 throne. From the looks of it, the new model will boast wider fender arches front and rear, and hefty air intakes set into the machine’s hips should help feed a beastly 3.8-liter flat six-cylinder engine. Early guesses put the engine output somewhere around 560 horsepower.

Mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the engine should propel this rear-engined heathen to 62 miles per hour in under three seconds. Top speed? Try somewhere around 200 mph. If that’s true, the next-generation 911 GT2 will be the fastest 911 in Porsche history.

Porsche 911 GT2 caught testing, is super bad originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 13:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Spy Shots: Porsche 911 GT2 caught testing, is super bad”

Future Chryslers to include Charger Super Bee, 40+ mpg Fiat 500

Filed under: Sedan, SUV, Hatchback, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat

2011 Dodge Charger

2011 Dodge Charger – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chrysler is fresh off the introduction of 16 new or refreshed models, but Team Pentastar isn’t out of breath just yet. According to Inside Line, CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters and analysts that there will be more changes throughout 2011.

For starters, the Dodge Charger will reportedly add a Super Bee variant. The familiar badge will likely be a mostly cosmetic upgrade, though Chrysler hasn’t yet announced any specifics. Meanwhile, the Jeep Wrangler will finally – finally – receive a new engine. The ancient 3.8-liter six will be replaced by the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which boasts 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque in most applications. The far more powerful 3.6-liter will also come with a reported 10 percent increase in fuel economy, though the Wrangler won’t get the eight-speed auto transmission that should arrive from Getrag later in the year.

One of the Chrysler brands will also receive a rebadged version of the Fiat 500 before the end of 2011. The efficient little runt, which could be badged as a Dodge, must hit at least 40 miles per gallon to satisfy a requirement necessary for Fiat to receive another five percent ownership of Chrysler. If and when that happens, Fiat will own a 51 percent majority of the American automaker.

Team Pentastar is also looking to add more diesel models to its lineup. The oil burners will reportedly make up 14 percent of the automaker’s model mix by 2014. We know that the Jeep Grand Cherokee is getting Chrysler’s 3.0-liter CRD V6 in the coming years, and we’re crossing our fingers for an oil-burning Wrangler, as well.

Gallery: 2011 Dodge Charger: First Drive

2011 Dodge Charger2011 Dodge Charger2011 Dodge Charger2011 Dodge Charger2011 Dodge Charger

Future Chryslers to include Charger Super Bee, 40+ mpg Fiat 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 May 2011 11:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Future Chryslers to include Charger Super Bee, 40+ mpg Fiat 500”

Ferrari to unveil unique Super America 45 at Villa d’Este

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Misc. Auto Shows, Ferrari

Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este 2011

Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2011 official event poster – Click above for high-res image

Villa d’Este is a wonderful place. Situated along the shores of picturesque Lake Como in northern Italy, every year the palatial grounds play host to the Concorso d’Eleganza that strips all that is mundane and industrial about a regular car show and lets the sun shine through. The annual show is sponsored by BMW, but mixes the finest concept cars of the year with the most beautiful classics – and will feature an auction for the first time – but there’s always something new in store for the concours.

Last year it was Zagato’s Alfa Romeo TZ3 Corsa – the one-off that preceded the recently-announced TZ3 Stradale. And this year Ferrari and Pininfarina will showcase a new coachbuilt custom at the lakeside exposition, alongside the likes of the Audi Quattro Concept, Infiniti Etherea, Rinspeed BamBoo and James Glickenhaus’ P4/5 Competizione.

Dubbed the Super America 45, it picks up its name from the Ferrari back catalog with models based on the 400, the 410 and most recently the 575M. This latest one-off is tipped to be based on the 599 GTB Fiorano (or one of the myriad variants thereof), commissioned by a New York collector through Maranello’s custom orders department and fitted with unique sheetmetal from Pininfarina.

The press release on the event confirms the Super America 45’s participation, but indicates it’s a six-cylinder car. Since Ferrari hasn’t made a V6 since the Dino 246 went out of production 37 years ago, we’ll chalk that one up to a mistake. As for what the 45 stands for when the first Superamerica was introduced in 1956 is beyond us. One way or another, we’ll find out when the show opens later this month, so follow the jump for the press release and watch this space for more.

Continue reading Ferrari to unveil unique Super America 45 at Villa d’Este

Ferrari to unveil unique Super America 45 at Villa d’Este originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 May 2011 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Ferrari to unveil unique Super America 45 at Villa d’Este”

Video: Marvel riffs on VW Super Bowl ad with Tiny Thor

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Humor

Tiny Thor ad

Tiny Thor ad – Click above to watch video after the jump

Volkswagen created a serious stir with its Super Bowl commercial featuring an adorably pint-size Darth Vader, and now Marvel Comics is riffing on the same theme as part of the run-up to the upcoming Thor feature film. The studio has gone through the trouble of recreating the German automaker’s “The Force” ad nearly scene-for-scene… with one notable exception.

Despite the fact that Acura has saddled up with Marvel for the latest comic flick, the hero car in this particular spot is not the new TL. That’s probably all for the best given the final outcome.

While Volkswagen’s tiny Vader couldn’t quite bend the force to his will, this runt manages to have a little better luck with Thor’s hammer. We won’t spoil the ending for you. You’ll just have to check out the full spot in the video after the jump.

[Source: YouTube via Jalopnik]

Continue reading Video: Marvel riffs on VW Super Bowl ad with Tiny Thor

Video: Marvel riffs on VW Super Bowl ad with Tiny Thor originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Apr 2011 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Marvel riffs on VW Super Bowl ad with Tiny Thor”

2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake with 800 horsepower headed for New York

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Coupe, Performance, Ford

2010 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

2010 Shelby GT500 Super Snake – Click above for high-res image gallery

Shelby has no qualms about constantly upping the horsepower of its range-topping Ford GT500 Super Snake. When first introduced in 2008, the base Super Snake had a mere 605 ponies under the hood with an option for up to 725. That number increased to 750 for 2010, and now for the 2012 model year, Shelby is set to unveil the latest Super Snake with up to 800 tire-shredding horsepower on tap from its 5.4-liter supercharged V8.

Like previous Super Snake models, the latest version will come with a host of other upgrades including a sport suspension system, Baer six-piston brakes, Borla exhaust system, Alcoa 20-inch wheels, fiberglass hood and more.

We’ll get our first look at the 2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake when it debuts at the New York Auto Show later this month, but until then, you can read more details about the car in the press release after the jump or check out the outgoing car in our gallery below.

Gallery: 2010 Shelby GT500 Super Snake

[Source: Shelby]

Continue reading 2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake with 800 horsepower headed for New York

2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake with 800 horsepower headed for New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “2012 Shelby GT500 Super Snake with 800 horsepower headed for New York”