That Old Weight Vs HorsePower Question

That Old Weight Vs HorsePower Question A guest post by Neill Watson, photographer-writer-blogger Yellowwheels editor Timtim posed me a really intriguing question today over a quick email chat – which is best, a lightweight car with minimal horsepower or a car with a bit more weight but a lot more power? A very good question […]

Lotus Elise - a light weight contender

That Old Weight Vs HorsePower Question

A guest post by Neill Watson, photographer-writer-blogger

Yellowwheels editor Timtim posed me a really intriguing question today over a quick email chat – which is best, a lightweight car with minimal horsepower or a car with a bit more weight but a lot more power? A very good question and one that I believe I’ve answered to my own personal satisfaction this year. However, as the Americans are fond of saying, “your mileage may vary”

BMW M3

To put this into perspective, let me explain one of my day jobs. In addition to being a car photo-journalist, I’m also a track instructor. I spend a significant slice of my waking hours sitting in a variety of cars, from a 640BHP Lamborghini LP640 to a 120 BHP Lotus Elise and pretty much everything in between, either driving or imparting my limited knowledge. From BMW E46 M3 (a personal favourite) to Ferrari 458 Italia, I have a fair bit of seat time in them all. So, which is best? A 640 Bhp projectile or a 120 BHP mountain goat?


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Paris Motor Show 2010 – Porsche 911 Speedster

Porsche shave a couple of inches off a windscreen and make the roof manual – Hey presto, you have a Speedster Another year, another pointless Porsche. Faced with a Paris showstand potentially devoid of new models, the 911 Speedster was conjured up by Porsche’s “Exclusive” department to lend a hand to the mildly modified 911 […]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Porsche 911 Speedster

Porsche shave a couple of inches off a windscreen and make the roof manual – Hey presto, you have a Speedster

Another year, another pointless Porsche. Faced with a Paris showstand potentially devoid of new models, the 911 Speedster was conjured up by Porsche’s “Exclusive” department to lend a hand to the mildly modified 911 lineup. 356 of these marketing specials will be made to satisfy the collectors appetite. Naturally specs have been bumped up marginally, and a few exclusive bodystyling and interior mods incorporated to justify the 144,100 UKPounds ticket price. You have to wonder though why you’d want one of these specials over the standard convertible. I mean, manual roof, inferior air management when roof down…And a lesson from history for the aficionados: The 1989 911 Speedster had a limited run of 171 cars, but was then superseded by a wide-bodied turbolook version of which 2,103 were made, making a mockery of the exclusivity of the Speedster.

Having said all that, we admit that it drew our attention, as intended, and we know in our hearts, that once at the wheel of a Speedster all these criticisms would evaporate – blown into the weeds by the sheer thrill of driving any 911!


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Caterham Cars bring you a Lambretta liveried Seven

Caterham Lambretta: successful visual collaboration or fashion calamity? Is this the season of silly specials? We’d usually expect a waft of open sports cars for the summer season to be thrust upon us, but as all Caterhams are convertible they need something else to trumpet the spring. What better to team up with a fashion […]

Caterham Cars Seven Lambretta

Caterham Lambretta: successful visual collaboration or fashion calamity?

Is this the season of silly specials? We’d usually expect a waft of open sports cars for the summer season to be thrust upon us, but as all Caterhams are convertible they need something else to trumpet the spring. What better to team up with a fashion clothing company and spread their zeitgeist all over the bodywork. Certainly beats re-styling or re-engineering a car for speedy results. Lambretta is the company, and their ultra British, Union Jack touting apparel is spread all over the diminutive 7. But hang on a minute; Lambretta sounds more Parma Papparazzi than Bradford Bugle – a translation in case you think we’re off our trolley: scooter manufacturer Lambretta, despite being Italian ( and Spanish ) had a massive British following in the heady rocker days of the sixties and earned a place in our hearts as a “British” product. The name lives on as much as a clothing company as a scooter manufacturer, watch manufacturer, bike manu, helmet man, perfume ma…. Make sense? No, none at all, but we’ve been looking for an excuse to get the eternally effervescent “7” on our pages, so here it is!


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Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder concept roof rendering

Ever since seeing the gorgeous Porsche 918 concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show we couldn’t help wondering how the roof would fit and what it would look like. The Carrera GT it will replace has a detachable lid that stores in the front luggage compartment and we presume the 918 will too. Artist Jack […]

Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder render with roof and new seats and rims


Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder at the 2010 Geneva Show

Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder Concept at 2010 Geneva Show


Ever since seeing the gorgeous Porsche 918 concept at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show

we couldn’t help wondering how the roof would fit and what it would look like. The Carrera GT it will replace has a detachable lid that stores in the front luggage compartment and we presume the 918 will too. Artist Jack Davies sent us a rendering of just this, a 918 with the roof panel in place, but also with some horny rims to replace the show wheels. Many people commented that the semi see through wheel plates were ugly so those have gone too. We asked Jack why he did this rendering


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Geneva Motor Show Bentley Continental Supersports

Bentley unleash a whole range of FlexFuel Continentals What’s FlexFuel? It’s the ability to run multiple fuels without complication: just fill up with petrol or bio-ethanol or a mix of the two and the engine will automatically adjust to suit. Bentley have converted the whole Continental range to suit the harsher qualities of bio-ethanol. To […]

Geneva Motor Show - Bentley Continental Supersports with FlexFuel

Bentley unleash a whole range of FlexFuel Continentals

What’s FlexFuel? It’s the ability to run multiple fuels without complication: just fill up with petrol or bio-ethanol or a mix of the two and the engine will automatically adjust to suit. Bentley have converted the whole Continental range to suit the harsher qualities of bio-ethanol. To announce this they fielded a pale primrosy yellow convertible called the Supersports. Slightly more tasteful than the purple Bentley further down the stand, we do prefer our yellow cars to be boldy yellow rather than wishy-washy….Judge for yourself !


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Geneva Motor Show 2010 Porsche 918 Hybrid Spyder

Porsche 918 stars at the Geneva Motor Show Very much making a statement about Porsche’s hybrid intentions, the GT3R Hybrid and Cayenne hybrid turned out to be sideshows with the 918 Hybrid Spyder thrusting through between the other two cars on the main display area. Cast aside any doubts about compromising performance with these dual […]

Porsche 918 Hybrid prototype


Porsche 918 stars at the Geneva Motor Show

Very much making a statement about Porsche’s hybrid intentions, the GT3R Hybrid and Cayenne hybrid turned out to be sideshows with the 918 Hybrid Spyder thrusting through between the other two cars on the main display area. Cast aside any doubts about compromising performance with these dual power cars; the 918’s cooled lithium-ion battery pack is there to supplement the mid-mounted 500bhp V8, provide power boost on demand, and pure electric drive to pull into your drive quietly at night! Porsche claim a 7:30 laptime around the Nordschleiffe, beating even their Carrera GT times…

Let’s hope this Concept, referred to also as Prototype, makes into production speedily, as this has to be the most exciting new shape to come out of Stuttgart for sometime. Let’s also remind Porsche that the fantastic detailing of the Boxster concept got watered down somewhat in the production version. The 918 needs to keep a lot of those artful, but no doubt purposeful touches. What it doesn’t need is the lash-up tent that the recent Boxster Spyder got as a roof.


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Porsche will launch new top Turbo S 911 at Geneva show

Porsche will launch a new more powerful 911 Turbo at the Geneva Show next month. It’s an “S” model to distinguish itself from previous iterations, and packs an extra 30 BHP into it’s rear haunches to give it the power boost, which we all want! But do we? Is this just an excuse to have […]

New Porsche 911 Turbo S

New Porsche 911 Turbo S cabriolet


Porsche will launch a new more powerful 911 Turbo at the Geneva Show next month. It’s an “S” model to distinguish itself from previous iterations, and packs an extra 30 BHP into it’s rear haunches to give it the power boost, which we all want! But do we? Is this just an excuse to have a new model to present at the forthcoming show? Porsche as usual, are playing the power upgrade route to keep them at the top of the pecking order. However that’s not good enough in itself: Porsche claim they achieve this extra output without increasing fuel consumption and add a 7 speed PDK gearbox and extra gizmos to counter the torque effects of all that power behind the driveline. That’s only 6 months between the launch of the seventh gen 911 Turbo at last year’s Frankfurt Show and this Turbo S.


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Ultimate Drives – We sample their Alpine driving breaks

Fancy zapping a few Swiss mountain passes in a Ferrari ? That’s what we did. This is the time of year when winter is wearing thin and you hanker for warmer climes and summer adventures. Planning your annual summer holiday is fun and a sure fire way to lose the winter blues, but it’s months […]

blasting through the Urnerboden basin in Ferrari 599GTB


Fancy zapping a few Swiss mountain passes in a Ferrari ? That’s what we did. This is the time of year when winter is wearing thin and you hanker for warmer climes and summer adventures. Planning your annual summer holiday is fun and a sure fire way to lose the winter blues, but it’s months away…. How about a short break, a fillip of sustenance for the soul. Why not take a driving mini-tour in Switzerland, touring the soaring Alpine peaks and passes. Need transport to match the mountainous magnificence: a Porsche 911 Turbo or Cayenne, a Ferrari F430 or F599GTB, Maserati GT? But where to hire? What about insurance? Where to stay? It’s no problem organising all this yourself online, but think about this: you could easily spend as long surfing, checking airlines, filling in forms, researching routes as your actual short break. This is where Ultimate Drives steps in with prepared itineraries including choice of car to match your budget, routes pre-programmed into your satnav, hotels vetted and booked.


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Renault springs a new “Roadster-Coupe” on us: The Wind

Renault surprises with a cute little roadster, that they call a “coupé-roadster”. Managing to launch the news without falling into a caption minefield – we’ll see if we can bring you a little info without going there! The Wind will be unveiled at the Geneva Show next month, and features a new folding, one-piece roof […]

Renault Wind - Coupe-Roadster


Renault surprises with a cute little roadster, that they call a “coupé-roadster”. Managing to launch the news without falling into a caption minefield – we’ll see if we can bring you a little info without going there! The Wind will be unveiled at the Geneva Show next month, and features a new folding, one-piece roof mechanism. Clever because it is simple and yet still allows full access to the boot with roof stowed, this is a midget amongst cars and fits into the space that the Peugeot 206cc popularized. Nearest in concept is probably the old Honda Civic Del Sol that stowed it’s one piece electric hardtop in the boot. Most other folding roofs have been overly complex and either heavy or fragile, so this, and the overall shape of the car, is a welcome breath of fresh air. There, we did it without saying “Renault Wind breaks cover


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K1 Attack sportscar in RHD, a first in the UK

Standing out amongst the display cars in the PistonHeads section of the Autosport Racing Car Show, K1’s Attack drew all the crowds. Here was a car no-one could identify, and countless visitors bombarded the car’s minder with pertinent questions. Firstly, is it a show car: well yes, except that there are around 50 Attacks in […]

K1 Attack at PistonHeads / Autosport Racing Car Show


Standing out amongst the display cars in the PistonHeads section of the Autosport Racing Car Show, K1’s Attack drew all the crowds. Here was a car no-one could identify, and countless visitors bombarded the car’s minder with pertinent questions. Firstly, is it a show car: well yes, except that there are around 50 Attacks in circulation. How come we’ve never seen any? It’s Slovakian, and they don’t make right hand drive versions for the UK. Is it a kit car? K1 started out building them as kits, but they evolved into fully fledged road ready rampagers. But this one’s RHD? It’s a total rebuild by enthusiast and owner Oliver Ashley, horizontally flipping the drivers controls.


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