The Ford WRC are busy preparing for the 2011 season and are looking forward to the competition debut of the Ford Fiesta RS WRC 2011 in Sweden. In the meantime, here’s another quick look back at the highs and lows of 2010.
Powering the WRC prepped Fiesta, there is a fire breathing version of the FoMoCo 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower and 331 foot pounds of torque. The car at the scales in at a 2,645 pounds.
A 12:1 steering rack, massive Brembo brakes and an X-Trac six-speed sequential transmission ensure that the 2011 WRC will be an exciting season.
You might be surprised by reading this headline and I’m aware the subject has not gained much awareness abroad, but there’s currently a serious threat to the Nürburgring.
Since it’s opening in 1927, the Nurburgring has been under complete public ownership and administration, but in May of this year the complete Nurburgring race track and park was rented out to two privateers (Kai Richter, Jörg Lindner). They have no motorsports background whatsoever, but are the driving forces behind the makeover, which includes the addition of a theme park with a new roller coaster that doesn’t work, more hotel capacity than the area needs, a 3,000-seat event arena, and a shopping mall. Everything appears to be far too big and remains empty most of the time.
They promised private financing, but this soon turned out to be a fake. The Minister of Finance had to resign as a consequence. Despite lack of funding completion of the project continued.
The heavy burden now sitting on Nordschleife’s shoulder is the debt of approximately 400 Million Euros, which seems completely unnecessary considering complete race tracks have been constructed for a fraction of this amount.
The issue is complex and has kept fans of the ‘Ring busy, but I want to share with you what just happend last week: Nürburgring officials always claim a total of two million visitors per year, but in true Wikileaks style we got ahold of an older internal document (PDF) telling a different story. Promoters always engage in number polishing, but this is of different quality. It appears there’s double bookkeeping for real vs. published visitors for all events held at the Ring. Have a look at the graph summarizing the figures:
Who would dare to claim two million spectators while only 370,000 actually turned up? The Nürburgring did and they based the business plan of the new leisure park on these numbers.
You don’t believe me? Ask Sabine next time you meet her. Several investigations have already been triggered by the Department of Public Prosecution, a governmental board of inquiry and the competition department of the European Commission.
And anyone who criticizes the current direction of the ‘Ring is answered with force. Wilhelm Hahne — the oldest of the racing Hahne brothers (his brother Armin finished 6th last weekend at the track) — had his house searched in June of last year and as recent as last week received again a warning letter from the Nürburgring lawyers for speaking the truth.
It really hurts to get sucked into politics and to witness how they treat the heritage we all love. The worst that could happen is enthusiasts be forced to pay the price of a privateer’s blunder in the form of higher prices or worse. Threats to the track include reduced maintenance of the track to reduce costs, less motorsports, and restrictions on small clubs running events in the area. Enthusiasts could also be required to book at the new hotels to race at the track.
Please spread the word if you care about Nordschleife and its heritage. Follow “Save The Ring” on facebook and question the information shared by officials.
FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE ELECTRIC SUPERCAR UNVEILED AT PARIS
Jaguar has revealed a stunning range-extended electric supercar concept car. The C-X75 has been designed to celebrate 75 years of the marque and provide a glimpse into the future of Jaguar and its commitment to producing beautiful, fast cars powered by sustainable means.
The C-X75 hints at an exciting evolution of Jaguar’s design language while paying homage to some of its most admired cars of years gone by. Advanced design features such as a ground-breaking propulsion system and active aerodynamics allow for an elegantly simple fuselage section that remains stable at very high speeds.
The 330km/h (205mph) four-wheel drive supercar is capable of running in purely electric (zero tailpipe emissions) mode for 110km (68 miles) on a six-hour domestic plug-in charge. The innovative, lightweight micro gas-turbines are also capable of very quickly and efficiently recharging the Lithium-ion batteries, giving the car a theoretical range of 900km (560 miles).
This remarkable range-extension system is a result of Jaguar’s research engineers adopting a clean-sheet approach to the question of powering the supercars of the future. The C-X75 turns to the very latest evolution of a pioneering British technology: the gas turbine.
Developed in partnership with Bladon Jets, the miniaturised turbine blade – the first viable axial-flow micro-turbine – increases the compression and efficiency of micro gas-turbines to the point at which they can be viewed as a realistic power source. Each of the micro gas-turbines weighs just 35kg and produces 70kW of power at a constant 80,000rpm.
Advanced aluminium lightweight construction
Jaguar’s expertise in the use of aluminium stretches back more than 50 years to the first XK120s, through the lightweight E-Types, the XK and all-new 2010 XJ. It was with this latter creation that Jaguar fully realised the lightweight metal’s benefits to performance, agility, economy and sustainability in a luxury car.
The C-X75 naturally follows the same construction techniques with an extruded and bonded aerospace-inspired aluminium chassis clad in panels of the same material. Not only does this save weight, crucial in a car with an extreme performance envelope, but aluminium is one of the most easily recyclable metals available, boosting the C-X75’s sustainability as well as its speed.
The innovative new McLaren MP4-12C was given its public world debut at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed, held from 01-04 July. Current Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button and 2008 Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton delighted the crowds by driving a McLaren Orange Validation Prototype (VP) 12C up the famous Goodwood Hill on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
With McLaren Automotive Managing Director, Antony Sheriff at the wheel, the MP4-12C was the first car to be driven up Goodwood Hill on Friday 02 July, effectively opening the show. The 12C was subsequently granted pole position in every Supercar Run over the course of the weekend, a fitting gesture to two Formula 1 World Champions that are accustomed to leading from the front!
In addition to another 12C VP car, finished in Volcano Orange and fitted with stunning Lightweight Forged alloy wheels, many of the 176,000 visitors to Goodwood Festival of Speed over the course of the event were drawn to a 12C rolling chassis displayed on the McLaren stand. Presenting a car in this way underlines the skill and pride the team place in the 12C’s engineering integrity. By viewing firsthand the car’s hydraulic suspension arrangement, its carbon Monocell chassis, compact 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine and unique transmission unit, visitors with an appreciation for innovation and technology had a rare glimpse of what lies under the skin of the 12C.
McLaren Automotive Managing Director Antony Sheriff said: “The visitors to our stand were the perfect blend of car enthusiasts and potential customers; I’m delighted that we chose Goodwood Festival of Speed to unveil the 12C to the public. Two British Formula 1 World Champions were behind the wheel of the car as we led the field up the hill. A major landmark, delivered to McLaren’s high standards.
“Visitors to the McLaren stand either displayed an in-depth understanding of the bespoke technologies developed for the 12C, or spent time discussing our plans. It was a great opportunity for tens of thousands of car fans to see the car in the metal…and carbon.
“This is just the start for McLaren Automotive. In five year’s time, I expect us to be presenting a full range of innovative and performance-focused sports cars. Sports car enthusiasts all over the world will be able to enjoy McLaren cars up close and personal at events like Goodwood Festival of Speed.”
We have been following the development of this model see the early production test cars below from early 2009 at the Nurburgring:-