24 hours of Spa: Audi R8 LMS victorious

Audi’s R8 LMS dominated a strong field of competition at the 63rd running of the 24 hours of Spa in Belgium this weekend, leading the race, amazingly, for 22 hours. Piloted by endurance racer Greg Franchi, and Audi’s DTM regulars – Mattias Ekström and Timo Scheider – the #33 R8 from the factory-supported Team WRT inherited the lead from Team Phoenix after driver Christopher Haase slid off the track in car #99, leading to the car’s retirement.

Impressively, the victorious R8 ended the marathon race two-laps ahead of the Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 driven by Dirk Werner, Claudia Hurtgen and Edward Sandstrom. Third place was secured by the Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 of Thomas Jager, Stephane Lemeret and Kenneth Heyer.

“Wow, what a race! To start I thought that I was in the DTM because everybody was driving so wildly. Then there were several incidents involving the competition and sister cars, but we kept out of trouble and just concentrated on fast, clean a faultless driving,” said Mattias Ekström.

[Source: Audi Motorsport]



F1: Button shines in Hungary

McLaren Mercedes driver, Jenson Button, marked his 200th Grand Prix in style with a win in Hungary today. Button’s team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, had been leading after passing polesitter Sebastian Vettel in the slippery conditions, early in the race, but it wasn’t to be his day.

Both of the McLaren drivers had been enjoying spells at the front, and were looking good for a one-two finish until Hamilton was punished for his ill-judged tyre choice. A pit stop for slicks, and a drive-through penalty for forcing Paul Di Resta off the track saw Hamilton drop down to fourth, while Red Bulls’s Vettel secured second place – and extended his points lead over his closest rivals, while Ferrari’s Fernando took the final step of the podium. READ MORE »


evo hitches a ride in the Pagani Huayra

evo magazine’s brilliant Harry Metcalfe recently got a chance to see the new Pagani Huayra up close at an event for Pagani owners in Sardinia. The Huayra is powered by a mid-mounted, twin-turbocharged 720 bhp 6.0L V12 unit from Mercedes-AMG, and has an estimated top speed of 235mph. Listen to it! READ MORE »


Carlsson options for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Merzig-based Mercedes-Benz tuning specialist, Carlsson, is offering a range of modifications for the SLS AMG Coupé and Roadster models. Firstly, the Carlsson Tronic lift kit, designed to work in conjunction with the company’s adjustable coilover suspension, allows the driver raise their car by 40 mm – at the flick of a switch, avoiding potential damage to expensive bumpers and undersides on rough roads and speed bumps. A nice touch is the fact that the suspension is linked to the car’s data line, meaning that it can detect the car’s speed, and if it travels above 80 km/h will automatically drop the car back down to its original ride height. The complete set is priced at € 9,980.

Those lightweight 1/10 UL alloy wheels are available in 20 and 21-inch diameter from € 9,600.

Inside the cabin, the SLS is treated to Nappa leather with owners able to specify such details as piping and stitching colour, special embroidery and punches etc. Prices start at € 4,284 for a simple seat and headrest re-trim, but if your budget stretches a little further, you can also have your dashboard, centre console, armrest, door panels and handles coated – for a total of € 11,519. Other materials on offer include Alcantara, carbon and wood.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]



Motor Trend test: Porsche Cayman R

Here’s Motor Trend putting the superb Porsche Cayman R through its paces. Powered by a 330 bhp 3.4L flat six, the R cracks 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5 seconds, but that time comes down to 4.7 seconds on cars fitted with the optional seven-speed PDK transmission and the Sport Chrono package. Top speed with the manual transmission is 282 km/h (175 mph), and 280 km/h (174 mph) with the PDK. READ MORE »


BMW unveils its i3 and i8 Concepts

BMW today revealed its vision of the future to the world – the i3 Concept and i8 Concept cars. These studies will lead the way for production vehicles under the brand new BMW i sub-brand banner, with the i3 due to hit dealerships as soon as 2013, and the i8 the following year.

Thanks to its carbon passenger cell, the i3 Concept weighs in at just 1,250 kilograms – around 300 kilograms less than conventional electric cars – and has its power delivered to the rear wheels via a 125 kW (168 hp) electric motor. This results in a sub-eight second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) which, when you add in the fact that a high speed charger can give the i3 80% power in just one hour, you’ve got a great four-seater suited to urban life.

The i8 Concept is another kettle of fish. Touted as the new-generation sports car, it gets its power via a plug-in hybrid drive system, which develops 260 kW (349 hp). This is enough to propel to i8 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 5 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The i8’s electric drive gives an adequate range of 35 km on its own, but when you need to travel long distances, or simply have the desire for more spirited driving, a high-performance three-cylinder petrol unit kicks in.

BMW is investing € 400 million in new facilities at its Leipzig plant in Germany before production begins. And, impressively, production will be CO2 neutral – relying on renewable resources, possibly including wind turbines situated on the plant site.

[Source: BMW]




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