Tag Archives: green

McLAREN P1™ JOINS THE EXCLUSIVE SUB-SEVEN MINUTE CLUB AT THE NÜRBURGRING

Mclaren P1 7:00 Lap Time Nurburgring

The McLaren name was born on the racetrack and, 50 years on, is the most successful name in global motorsport. That desire and determination to push for every extra tenth of a second, and obsessive focus on perfection, has seen the final development objective for the now sold out McLaren P1™ achieved: a sub-seven minute lap time of the Nürburgring circuit.

From the outset, the McLaren P1™ has been developed with one clear goal: to be the best driver’s car on both road and track. To achieve this, the development programme has focussed on ensuring the McLaren P1™ pushes the boundaries in terms of sheer performance, with testing carried out in some of the harshest conditions around the world. But one challenge remained, and that was arguably the toughest of them all.

20.8 kilometres driven at an average speed in excess of 178 km/h. Sounds easy, until you add in more than 150 corners, 300 metres of elevation changes and cornering forces of up to 2g. All in less than seven minutes…

Commenting on the sub-seven achievement by the McLaren P1™, McLaren Formula 1™ driver and 2009 world champion Jenson Button said: ‘The fact that the McLaren P1™ has posted a sub-seven-minute lap at the Nürburgring is unbelievably impressive.

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1931 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre SC “Blower” – Auction

Bentley 4 1/2 litre Blower
This rather special Bentley “Blower” has appeared on auctioneers Gooding and Company, albeit the name comes from the addition of a supercharger to the already tested four and a half litre inline 4 cylinder engine.

W.O. Bentley, on the other hand, was firmly against the supercharging of his cars. The Bentley racing strategy was based on endurance and reliability, all too often pushing hard at the onset of a race and forcing the supercharged competitors to break; easy victory ensued. W.O. remained confident in the awe-inspiring Speed Six with its normally aspirated 6 1/2-litre engine.

After a hard but heroic 8th position in the 1928 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, Sir Henry Tim Birkin was adamant  that the Bentley 4 1/2 Litre could be substantially more competitive through supercharging considering Mercedes podium first second and third.
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Driven – Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nurburgring Edition

Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nurburgring Edition. 34 letters. 5 words. Quite the mouthful. PistonSpy were recently invited up to Vauxhall’s Head Office in Luton to drive this car, and we jumped at the chance. It’s a car we previously snapped pictures of  testing back in 2010 – here. This is what we thought of it.

The Nurburgring Edition certainly looks the part. I thought it might look a little ‘after market’, but in the metal it actually looks great – really mean and purposeful. The squat stance is 20mm lower at the front and 15mm lower at the back than before and the 18” lightweight forged aluminum wheels really fill out the flared arches. To mark this model out as the Nurburgring Edition, there are Nurburgring logos on the B-pillars and door sills. At the back of the car, there are two massive (and real!), stainless steel exhaust pipes. You can buy the car in two new colours, Red Henna, and the colour I drove, Apple Green Grasshopper. This isn’t a subtle car, so if I was buying one, I’d definitely have the stand out green paint to match.

Inside, the car is a nice enough place to be. The great looking leather Recaro seats are undoubtedly the highlight. They are comfortable, and provide loads of lateral support. They also have the Nurburgring logo embossed on the headrest, which is a lovely, high end touch. The piano black plastic inserts on the wheel and across the dash however, look and feel a little cheap, which is a shame on a car of this price. Worst though, is the gear stick. It’s far too big, a very unusual shape, with an enormous trigger style button to open the gate to reverse. The gear changes themselves are also a letdown. It feels more luck than judgement when changing gear quickly.

But what is it like to drive? In short; brilliant. The turbo charged 1.6 litre engine develops 202bhp and 250NM of torque. This gets the car to 60mph in 6.5 seconds. That 0-60 time will certainly prove useful at your next Formula Traffic-Lights event, but this isn’t where the car really excels. This car’s real party piece is tearing down good old fashioned British B-roads.

On B-roads, the car was outstanding. Vauxhall commissioned German suspension gurus Bilstein to develop a bespoke spring and damper set-up, specifically for the Nurburgring Edition Corsa. Over the bumps and wobbles of the country roads around Luton, this Bilstein set-up meant I always felt in total control of the car. It gave a feeling of supreme confidence, allowing me to exploit that 202bhp engine to its fullest.

The most impressive upgrade on the Nurburgring Edition is the limited slip differential. It’s a proper mechanical, multi-plate system built by Drexler and has transformed the car. Throw the little Corsa into a corner, any corner, and apply a boot-full of power – rather than wildly spinning its wheels and just washing out wide, the limited slip diff actually tightens up your line, and pulls you towards the apex. The car is an absolute riot to drive.

Does it deserve that Nurburgring name? I think so. In fact I would absolutely love to drive this car on the Nurburgring. The car has such a sweet setup which really inspired confidence. The car loves corners, which the Nurburgring certainly has plenty of! Power-wise, I think the 202bhp engine is about perfect for a front-wheel-drive hot hatch at the ‘Ring. It’s powerful enough to have lots of fun, and thanks to that limited slip diff, feels totally useable all the time. Equally though, it’s not so powerful that it’s going to be getting you into serious trouble. A great balance.

Vauxhall are only bringing 250 a year to the UK. Each are individually numbered and prices start at £22,295. That’s a serious amount of money for a Corsa. There’s no doubt it’s a brilliant car, but you could get a RenaultSport Clio 200 Cup for £17,135 and save over £5,000. Or, if you’re really into Nurburgringy-ness, you could save up a few more pounds, and buy the current record holder for fastest FWD car, the RenaultSport Megane 265 Cup, for £24,840. You get a lot more car for the extra £2,500. Physically the Megane is a bigger car, but it’s also 30 seconds per lap quicker at the ‘Ring.

Neither the Clio or Megane look or stand out quite like the Corsa though. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing, well, that’s totally up to you.

Pistonspy Says:- Out of 5

Vauxhall Corsa VXR Nurburgring Edition

BMW I3 Spied – Out in the Cold

Here are the latest spyshots of the BMW I3 testing in northern Sweden.

The eDrive technology consisting of an extremely agile electric motor developed and built by BMW, innovative battery technology and an intelligent engine management system. Makes the BMW i3 extremely agile and a joy to drive. The electric motor over the rear axle – which generates output of 125 kW/170 hp and impressive torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) from a standstill – and a small turning circle combine to deliver pleasingly dynamic driving characteristics.

The BMW i3 accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in under four seconds and from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than eight seconds.

Innovative connectivity functions create a seamless connection between the BMW i3 and its customers’ lives outside the car. Remote functions accessible via a smartphone enable owners to find their vehicles, flag up nearby charging stations, allow battery charging and preconditioning at the touch of a button, and supply information on the current status of the vehicle. Meanwhile, intelligent BMW ConnectedDrive assistance systems ease the stress on drivers in city driving situations and allow a safer arrival at their destination, with a more relaxed state of mind.