When you hear the Shelby name, the first person who comes to mind is likely Carroll, father of the Cobra, racing legend, and a man still involved in the development of performance Fords at nearly 90 years of age.
You probably don’t think of Jerod Shelby, even though his company, Shelby SuperCars, has for years been building cars that compete for the title of world’s fastest. His latest creation, the Tuatara, might steal the title back from the Bugatti Veyron, but in the meantime has proven to be very popular in the Middle East.
Problem is, the automotive world isn’t big enough for two companies named after a Shelby, and so it has come to pass that Jerod’s company will change its name from Shelby SuperCars to SSC North America. The switcheroo is reportedly a result of a settlement with Carroll Shelby Licensing and Carroll Shelby International.
With that behind him, hopefully Jerod can get back to the Veyron-beating business. His company has also just broken ground on the new 36,000-square-foot world headquarters and production facility in West Richland, Washington we reported on a few months back.
Reminder: BBC2′s Top Gear UK returns this Sunday with Season 18
Motorheads unite! BBC2’s Top Gear UK returns this Sunday following their last special in December, where the three ventured out to India in hopes to save Britain’s economy.
Reflecting on the little teaser they released several weeks ago, we could see that this season is jam-packed with automotive awesomeness as usual. Richard apparently tries to be a NASCAR driver, Jeremy expresses his hate for motoring holidays and caravans with a Jaguar, and some AMG Black Benzes shredding some tires.
For a refresher on the teaser, check it out after the jump.
It takes guts to ride a motocross bike. Tuned practically to the point of blowing themselves to bits, every pound stripped away so that only the bare necessities are left and sitting on top of a foot-plus of suspension travel, it takes a deft hand to tame these race machines.
Which makes the feat you’ll see in the video after the break all the more amazing. It’s one thing to strap on your gear and head out to the relatively safe confines of an off-road track. It’s something completely else to ride a singletrack trail at the top of a mountain ridgeline.
Judging from the perspective of the rider, which is where the camera has been thoughtfully mounted, a single mistake could send this daredevil plummeting to the ground, where serious injury or even death seem inevitable. And yet there seems to be no tension whatsoever from the rider. We’ve got to say, we’re impressed. See what we’re talking about after the break.
We’re not sure what you were into at 17, but if you’re anything like us, odds are it wasn’t bombing around Infineon Raceway in a Renesis-powered race car. This would be the primary difference between young hot-shot driver Zach Veach and the rest of us goons. Despite his tender young age, Veach has made a name for himself as one of the more talented personalities in the current Formula Car Challenge. The series pits cars in multiple classes against one another as drivers vie for their respective wins. Veach campaigns in the Pro Formula Mazda class, and took home wins during both races at Infineon last year.
Now the team has partnered with our friends at Replay XD to work up a quick video of the young racer’s exploits. Veach doesn’t mess around on track, and his clean passes and tidy lines make short work of the competition. Hit the jump to check out the action for yourself. Just make sure you’ve got a hand on the volume as the screaming rotaries can be a bit much.
We have good news for you if you’re missing the Tesla Roadster already. German manufacturer PG has unveiled the company’s new Elektrus, a Lotus-based sports EV with some very wild styling. While the company has made a name for itself producing carbon-fiber electric bicycles, the Elektrus is its first crack at the automotive market. The Randall Boggs-inspired coupe uses a Lotus Elise chassis with bodywork comprised of carbon fiber and composite, though the company is keeping powertrain details to itself for the time being. We do know the vehicle’s battery pack will afford Elektrus buyers a claimed range of around 215 miles and the whole package is said to weigh under 2,000 pounds.
The company also says the cells can be topped off in around eight hours from of a standard household outlet. With around 270 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the Elektrus should be very quick on its feet. PG claims the vehicle can dash to 62 mph in under three seconds on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. Look for the vehicle to land with a gasp-inducing price tag of $367,700 at current conversion rates (including VAT) when it hits the market in Germany. Hit the jump for the press release.
We don’t imagine that many new-car buyers are cross-shopping their local Infiniti and Porsche dealerships, but there’s at least one segment of the automotive industry where the two automakers both play ball: high-performance hybrid luxury sedans, which may be the single most conflicted niche of the automotive sphere in the known universe.
In any case, here we are with the Infiniti M35h and Porsche Panamera S Hybrid. Each one is marketed as both a somewhat greener luxury vehicle and a performance sedan. We’d guess it’s the performance side of the equation that would be most interesting to the majority of buyers, leaving fuel efficiency a welcome bonus.
So, which one is faster? That’s an interesting question. Usually, we equate that term with top speed, as “fast” connotes velocity. When acceleration is being contested, we generally ask which machine is quickest. And, if it’s quickness you’re after, Infiniti wants you to know that its M35h will out-accelerate its competitor from Germany. How quick is it? According to Motor Trend, the hybrid M goes from 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, but that’s not the stat Infiniti is claiming. According to the post-jump press release, the M35h is “faster” than the hybrid Panamera from 0-100 (11.54 seconds) and in the quarter mile (13.41 seconds).
As for the rest of the relevant statistics, the EPA estimates that the M35h will manage 27 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway, for a combined rating of 29. The Porsche Panamera S Hybrid is rated at 22 city, 30 highway and 25 combined. Seems the M hybrid takes both the acceleration and economy awards. Check out a video released by Infiniti after the break, where you’ll also find the press release, if you’re into that kind of thing.
With a gazillion color options for every little part of the Bugatti Veyron, there’s no reason why any two examples should be alike. (Except for maybe an inverse correlation between wealth and imagination.) So it would stand to reason that every Bugatti should be considered a special edition of one. And that certainly appears to be the case, as the French marque seems to bring out another special edition at every possible opportunity.
That opportunity last arose at the Dubai Motor Show, where Bugatti presented three unique examples of the Veyron Grand Sport, the vehicle that holds the title of “world’s fastest convertible.” Now the elite marque is returning to the Persian Gulf for the Qatar Motor Show with what appears (to our eyes, at least) to be one of the same examples, decked out in yellow and black - said to be founder Ettore Bugatti’s favorite color combination. Thoughtfully, however, they’ve provided a brace of new real-world photos.
The lower part of the body has been done up in lacquered carbon fiber, the upper part in bright yellow and the wheels in black along. Inside, the center console has likewise been finished in black, with seats clad in yellow leather with black stitching and the inverse for the dashboard, wheel and shifter.
While Molsheim apparently didn’t feel the need to give this particular example a unique name, they might as well have. And for a few euros extra, we’re sure they’d be glad to. As it stands, Bumblebee’s aristocratic Alsatian cousin is available for a princely 1.58 million euros - a little over two million in dead presidents. But if this particular color combination isn’t to your liking, 45 out of the original allotment of 150 units are still available to order, with prices starting at 1.4 million euros. Check out more details in the official press release after the jump.
If we could summarize the Porsche 911 with just one word, it would be “evolution.” For decades, Porsche has methodically improved its rear-engined sports car. The design changes are subtle, and power has risen steadily.
To illustrate this, Porsche made a video that plays off the 911’s rich history. If you lie awake at night thinking about how great it would be to own a 911, hit the jump for some more inspiration.
Reputation is everything, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and Associates. The 2012 Avoider Study found that 43 percent of buyers who steer clear of a particular model due to quality concerns do so merely because of common knowledge. Ratings and reviews - our stock in trade - were cited by 38 percent, while previous ownership of a model caused scorn in only 14 percent of respondents.
“The fact that so many new-vehicle buyers may be basing their opinions about quality and reliability on pre-conceived [sic] notions, rather than concrete information or data, demonstrates how important it is for automakers to promote the quality and reliability of their models,” said Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and Associates, in what reads like a nakedly self-serving press release.
Other interesting data from the survey included an all-time high for xenophobia, with respondents who avoided import models because of their origin rising to 14 percent, the highest in the nine years of the study. Buyers avoiding domestics for the same reason dropped to six percent, the lowest in the study’s history.
The most influential reason for purchasing a specific model in 2012 was fuel economy, trumping reliability, “the deal,” and exterior styling, which were tops in 2010.
It was quite a while back that Lamborghini promised it would have something new for every major auto show. That seemed quite the claim at the time, particularly for a company with a two-car model lineup, but with a few exceptions here and there, the Italian automaker has been keeping pace famously. So what has Sant’Agata Bolognese got in store for us for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show? A surprise - or two - from what we hear.
All indications are that the Aventador Roadster is ready to go. With 700 horsepower and no roof, that would be more than enough to garner its fair share of attention and then some. But that’s not all.
According to the trusty old rumormill, Lamborghini has got something else in store for Geneva. Just what it is, we don’t know. It could be the final production version of the Sesto Elemento, which likely wouldn’t be very different from the concept version we’ve already seen. It could be, as is usually the case, another special edition Gallardo. But it could be a proper new debut.
If it is, we could be looking at the new third model - be it a sedan or a crossover - or maybe the Gallardo’s replacement. We’ll have to wait and see just what Lamborghini has in store, but if Stephan Winkelmann and company plan on sticking to the formula, they could opt to show the Aventador Roadster at another show and keep the spotlight on whatever surprise they’re allegedly working on.
Back on Thanksgiving Day of 2011, we saw what happens when a C5 Chevrolet Corvette goes head-to-head on public roads against a C6 Vette - the older Vette spears into the passenger-side door of the newer Vette. The video was our most popular post of 2011, so we know that well over a million viewers saw the ill-advised drag race. We think that video illustrated that racing on public roads was a bad idea, but sometimes, accidents happen even without a race.
Hit the jump to see what happens when a pair of tuned-out Nissan 350Z models do their best impression of the Thanksgiving Day Melee. The YouTube page claims that the two cars were actually traveling at the speed limit (read: not racing) as part of a caravan of Z models, when the black, supercharged Z coupe tapped its throttle and lost control, veering into the passing lane and right into the path of a Z roadster.
Still, the collision looks like déjà vu all over again, except the quick video is better this time and we actually hear the impact and see the parts flying all over the freeway. The accident reportedly didn’t result in any serious injuries.