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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Lexus add special Nürburgring Package to LFA Supercar

Limited edition Lexus LFA unveiled before 2011 Geneva Show A $375,000 supercar, of which only 500 will be built, not exclusive enough for you? Good news: the petrolheads over at the Lexus skunkworks have honed a special lightweight, track day version of their already awesome LFA for you. Only 50 will be made and christened [...]

Limited edition Lexus LFA unveiled before 2011 Geneva Show

A $375,000 supercar, of which only 500 will be built, not exclusive enough for you? Good news: the petrolheads over at the Lexus skunkworks have honed a special lightweight, track day version of their already awesome LFA for you. Only 50 will be made and christened “Nürburgring Package”. These special, limited edition cars are tuned to deliver exceptionally fast track times and sport large aeordynamic aids to keep downforce and consequently cornering speed high. To compensate there’s an extra 10bhp to push that huge wing through the air, supplemented by a 100kg weight reduction that sees acceleration maintained and, no doubt, braking distance reduced. To keep the connection with the Nürburgring going, buyers will be given free tuition and a years pass for the Nordschleife – this car is, after all, built to celebrate class victories there.

That massive carbon wing is fixed in position, unlike the standard car’s retractable one. There’s a huge front dam/tray that reduces effective ground clearance beyond the 10mm ride height lowering. Subtle chin winglets help channel air where it’s wanted, whilst at the rear, just over the tail-lights, Lexus have added small flaps. Inside, a liberal dose of carbon fibre and Alcantara replaces the standard leather. The Geneva Motor Show will be the car’s first public appearance on 3rd March.


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Detroit Motor Show – Porsche 918 RSR

Porsche 918 RSR on the menu at 2011 Detroit Auto Show Take a Porsche 918 Spyder, a GT3R Hybrid, a 917 short-tail, a 908 long tail, mix your ingredients in a Stuttgart bowl. measure out 70% Gulf Racing blue and infuse with 30% liquid metal chrome. Pour into a CFRP oven-proof container and bake for [...]

Porsche 918 RSR on the menu at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Take a Porsche 918 Spyder, a GT3R Hybrid, a 917 short-tail, a 908 long tail, mix your ingredients in a Stuttgart bowl. measure out 70% Gulf Racing blue and infuse with 30% liquid metal chrome. Pour into a CFRP oven-proof container and bake for 9 months in a moderate autoclave. Carefully place 917 fan into top cover and insert front splitter and RS Spyder racer’s wing, and allow to become cool. Now decorate with orange stripe and “22″ to recall racing glories. Voila, a “racing laboratory” and PR exercise neatly baked, with a Michelin 4 rubber ring rating. However, this is an experimental recipe and should be tasted with reserve until a full race version has been prepared to perfection.

Ingredients:
1 RS Syder V8 race engine and drive-train (563 bhp – 767 bhp when blended with flywheel)
1 GT3R Flywheel accumulator and electric motors (204 bhp, care, may spin viciously)
1 918 Syder monocoque and body (peel and grate, cover with fold forward doors)
1 917 fan cooling system (boil 40 years to reduce)
1 908 Body styling cues (free lunch)
add a liberal dose of racing heritage
(CGI rendering optional )

Read on for master-chef’s full description and baking tips – a foodie’s feast


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Vauxhall’s VXR8 hits UK dealers in March

Order your VRX8 Supersaloon now Thinking of beatling down to the land of OZ to sample GM’s latest fire-breathing V8 monster? No need, as Vauxhall have sailed their yellow submarine across the sea to these hallowed shores. Sporting gills of gargantuan proportions and LED crested slats up front, Vauxhall call the black grille a “Shockwave”. [...]

Vauxhall VRX8 - yellow and horny!

Order your VRX8 Supersaloon now

Thinking of beatling down to the land of OZ to sample GM’s latest fire-breathing V8 monster? No need, as Vauxhall have sailed their yellow submarine across the sea to these hallowed shores. Sporting gills of gargantuan proportions and LED crested slats up front, Vauxhall call the black grille a “Shockwave”. We’re not sure what the rear black paneling below the “Superflow” spoiler is called, surf-wave? Once you’ve wrenched your eyes off the Hot Wheels rims you might want to peek inside for some visual relief.

Step down the conning tower into the sub’s command centre, where there’s plenty of space to have all your friends on board, and it’s all military black and grey with sonar dash display, and hang on – a trio of supplementary analogue instruments – depth gauge, oxygen mix and dive angle no doubt. Better hand you over to Vauxhall’s spec sheet before this submariner’s analogy sinks…Full speed ahead Mr Parker.


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New BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Valencia orange M car completes BMW’s über-sports lineup 1 Series: you’ve been tangoed! BMW’s baby coupe storms into the picture ripe and ready to be peeled and juiced. While squeezing a laudable 227 bhp per tonne out of it’s fruity 3.0 litre engine. More tangerine than navel orange, it sits at the bottom of the [...]

BMW 1 Series Coupe M

Valencia orange M car completes BMW’s über-sports lineup

1 Series: you’ve been tangoed! BMW’s baby coupe storms into the picture ripe and ready to be peeled and juiced. While squeezing a laudable 227 bhp per tonne out of it’s fruity 3.0 litre engine. More tangerine than navel orange, it sits at the bottom of the M range, but has to call itself 1 Series M Coupe to distinguish it from the original M car, the M1. That M1 was a mid-engined supercar, but such is progress, that it is out-performed by this shopping car on steroids. And it’s those steroids that make this car desirable: without the wide arches, extra spoilers and hot engine the 1 Series looks a bit plain Jane.


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Porsche reveal new Cayman R

It’s the Cayman’s turn to get the “R” treatment Great to see Porsche inject a little ooomph into their Cayman. It’s been quite a while since it’s been in the news. Porsche have had their hands full launching Panarmeras, Cayennes, Speedsters, racers, hybrids, concepts and a zillion 911 variations. In the meantime the unassuming but [...]

Porsche Cayman R lands on LA Auto Show docks

It’s the Cayman’s turn to get the “R” treatment

Great to see Porsche inject a little ooomph into their Cayman. It’s been quite a while since it’s been in the news. Porsche have had their hands full launching Panarmeras, Cayennes, Speedsters, racers, hybrids, concepts and a zillion 911 variations. In the meantime the unassuming but highly desirable Cayman has been consistently winning sportscar driving comparisons. It’s carved out a cosy niche below the 911 while delivering sheer driving pleasure derived from its superior drivetrain layout and practical hatch bodyform. Now don’t get too excited though, as there’s only a modest 10 bhp power output boost at a heady 7,200 rpm over the Cayman S, but the real news is the 55 kgs shaved off the car’s kerb weight. That’s equivalent to ejecting a lightish adult and bumps up the power to weight ratio to a useful 250 bhp/tonne. It also makes it 75 kgs lighter than Porsche’s über-car-of-the-moment the GT2 RS. Naturally for an “R” iteration there’s stiffer suspension and more of a trackday handling setup, just don’t go looking for the ICE and aircon as there ‘aint none…


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Paris Motor Show 2010 – Lotus Elan Concept

Lotus stun the world with ambitious model launch program: Lotus Elan Concept If the Paris Motor Show threw up a couple of headline grabbing supercars you’d be happy, curious and envious. Jaguar delivered with their amazing C-X75 electric/turbine hybrid and Lamborghini with their carbon-with-everything Sesto Elemento concept. You’d be stunned if any manufacturer launched two [...]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Lotus Elan Concept

Lotus stun the world with ambitious model launch program: Lotus Elan Concept

If the Paris Motor Show threw up a couple of headline grabbing supercars you’d be happy, curious and envious. Jaguar delivered with their amazing C-X75 electric/turbine hybrid and Lamborghini with their carbon-with-everything Sesto Elemento concept. You’d be stunned if any manufacturer launched two concepts. But five? That’s what Lotus did and blew the press’s mind in the process. Much has been written about the feasibility of this production plan and we don’t have a view other than it seems over-ambitious. The bucket principle says that if you work in a company and ask for ten buckets of whatever to match your needs you’ll get five delivered. Is this the case with Lotus? If we get to see even three of these in the real world within the proposed time schedule we’ll be amazed and happy. All five and we’ll be stunned and elated!

Paris Motor Show 2010 Lotus future model lineup


Don’t forget though, that the first model to go on sale is the Elan a whole 3 years away, so there is plenty of time for the designs to evolve or change substantially. Also the show cars may have been part of a giant focus group rather than a fixed agenda.

Schedule:
Elan 4.0 litre V6 – summer 2013
Elite 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2014
Elise 2.0 litre straight 4 – spring 2014
Esprit 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2015
Eterne 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2015


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Paris Motor Show 2010 – Lotus Elise Concept

Lotus stun the world with ambitious model launch program: Lotus Elise Concept If the Paris Motor Show threw up a couple of headline grabbing supercars you’d be happy, curious and envious. Jaguar delivered with their amazing C-X75 electric/turbine hybrid and Lamborghini with their carbon-with-everything Sesto Elemento concept. You’d be stunned if any manufacturer launched two [...]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Lotus Elise Concept


Lotus stun the world with ambitious model launch program: Lotus Elise Concept

If the Paris Motor Show threw up a couple of headline grabbing supercars you’d be happy, curious and envious. Jaguar delivered with their amazing C-X75 electric/turbine hybrid and Lamborghini with their carbon-with-everything Sesto Elemento concept. You’d be stunned if any manufacturer launched two concepts. But five? That’s what Lotus did and blew the press’s mind in the process. Much has been written about the feasibility of this production plan and we don’t have a view other than it seems over-ambitious. The bucket principle says that if you work in a company and ask for ten buckets of whatever to match your needs you’ll get five delivered. Is this the case with Lotus? If we get to see even three of these in the real world within the proposed time schedule we’ll be amazed and happy. All five and we’ll be stunned and elated!

Paris Motor Show 2010 Lotus future model lineup


Don’t forget though, that the first model to go on sale is the Elan a whole 3 years away, so there is plenty of time for the designs to evolve or change substantially. Also the show cars may have been part of a giant focus group rather than a fixed agenda.

Schedule:
Elan 4.0 litre V6 – summer 2013
Elite 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2014
Elise 2.0 litre straight 4 – spring 2014
Esprit 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2015
Eterne 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2015


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Paris Motor Show 2010 – Lotus Elite Concept

Lotus stun the world with ambitious model launch program: Lotus Elite Concept If the Paris Motor Show threw up a couple of headline grabbing supercars you’d be happy, curious and envious. Jaguar delivered with their amazing C-X75 electric/turbine hybrid and Lamborghini with their carbon-with-everything Sesto Elemento concept. You’d be stunned if any manufacturer launched two [...]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Lotus Elite Concept

Lotus stun the world with ambitious model launch program: Lotus Elite Concept

If the Paris Motor Show threw up a couple of headline grabbing supercars you’d be happy, curious and envious. Jaguar delivered with their amazing C-X75 electric/turbine hybrid and Lamborghini with their carbon-with-everything Sesto Elemento concept. You’d be stunned if any manufacturer launched two concepts. But five? That’s what Lotus did and blew the press’s mind in the process. Much has been written about the feasibility of this production plan and we don’t have a view other than it seems over-ambitious. The bucket principle says that if you work in a company and ask for ten buckets of whatever to match your needs you’ll get five delivered. Is this the case with Lotus? If we get to see even three of these in the real world within the proposed time schedule we’ll be amazed and happy. All five and we’ll be stunned and elated!

Paris Motor Show 2010 Lotus future model lineup


Don’t forget though, that the first model to go on sale is the Elan a whole 3 years away, so there is plenty of time for the designs to evolve or change substantially. Also the show cars may have been part of a giant focus group rather than a fixed agenda.

Schedule:
Elan 4.0 litre V6 – summer 2013
Elite 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2014
Elise 2.0 litre straight 4 – spring 2014
Esprit 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2015
Eterne 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2015


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Paris Motor Show 2010 – Lotus Eterne Concept

Lotus stun the world with ambitious model launch program: Lotus Eterne Concept If the Paris Motor Show threw up a couple of headline grabbing supercars you’d be happy, curious and envious. Jaguar delivered with their amazing C-X75 electric/turbine hybrid and Lamborghini with their carbon-with-everything Sesto Elemento concept. You’d be stunned if any manufacturer launched two [...]

2010 Paris Motor Show - Lotus Eterne Concept

Lotus stun the world with ambitious model launch program: Lotus Eterne Concept

If the Paris Motor Show threw up a couple of headline grabbing supercars you’d be happy, curious and envious. Jaguar delivered with their amazing C-X75 electric/turbine hybrid and Lamborghini with their carbon-with-everything Sesto Elemento concept. You’d be stunned if any manufacturer launched two concepts. But five? That’s what Lotus did and blew the press’s mind in the process. Much has been written about the feasibility of this production plan and we don’t have a view other than it seems over-ambitious. The bucket principle says that if you work in a company and ask for ten buckets of whatever to match your needs you’ll get five delivered. Is this the case with Lotus? If we get to see even three of these in the real world within the proposed time schedule we’ll be amazed and happy. All five and we’ll be stunned and elated!

Paris Motor Show 2010 Lotus future model lineup


Don’t forget though, that the first model to go on sale is the Elan a whole 3 years away, so there is plenty of time for the designs to evolve or change substantially. Also the show cars may have been part of a giant focus group rather than a fixed agenda.

Schedule:
Elan 4.0 litre V6 – summer 2013
Elite 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2014
Elise 2.0 litre straight 4 – spring 2014
Esprit 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2015
Eterne 5.0 litre V8 – spring 2015


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