Wednesday, 29 February 2012

News Flash: The 2012 Audi R18 Looks Like This

2012 Audi R18 Ultra (left) and 2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro (right)
So Peugeot's pulled out of prototype racing after losing an argument with the organisers over the amount of energy hybrid LMP cars can accumulate, and Toyota of all people have now stepped up to try to fill their shoes by making a petrol-electric hybrid. Audi has spotted this and countered with a diesel-electric hybrid, like an old train, only much faster and cooler. Its full name is the Audi R18 e-Tron quattro, which is kind of funny, because in French, the word étron directly translates as turd. Clearly they were keen to fill the void left when Peugeot decided pull out their 908 HDI FAP this year (meant to be Filtre à Particule, but abbreviated to a slang term for masturbating). At any rate, the bodywork is basically the same as last year, with all the changes being internal, as well as a new white-on-ice-blue livery for the hybrid.

This year's car is lighter than last year's race-winning car, and Audi will be fielding four R18s this year. Two of them will be the hybrid version, which releases energy through motors on the front axle above 75mph thanks to a system designed by Williams, and the other two will be black-on-silver R18 Ultra models, which are just non-hybrid versions of the same car.

You can see how it gets on against the Toyota on the second weekend of June.

2012 Audi R18 e-tron quattro
Thought you ought to know.

Ferrari F620GT Is Actually Called 'F12berlinetta' And Looks Like THIS

2012 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta
So we've seen spy paintings, a teaser shot, and then a wooden display model was leaked out a few days ago, but now Ferrari is the one showing us what their own V12 GT looks like, and telling us what it's called... which isn't a great name. You see, it's called the F12berlinetta, which is all one word, thus ranking it highly among the List Of Annoying Deliberate Grammar Errors with the Volkswagen Up! and the GTbyCITROËN. So you don't think my typing is lazy, I'm going to do what every person on Earth with a brain stem will do and space them out to make it the F12 Berlinetta. Also, if there's one company that can do a side profile, it's Ferrari. Like the equally divisive F599 GTB Fiorano before it, while the front and rear are an acquired taste, from the side this car just looks fast. More pics and official details inside.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Repost: Justice Has Been Served

I know Audi quattro rally cars used to go sideways, but that's taking the piss
I could re-write this, but there's no real need. Just enjoy an arsehole getting what they deserve for parking like a douche. Also, there's a SAAB in the background - that'll become important later......

Usually, when an insensitive driver double-parks on the road blocking the way to other vehicles, all it takes is a call to the police to get things sorted out. But there comes a time when frustrated drivers take matters into their own hands…

...Which is what happened in Exarcheia, a neighborhood in downtown Athens, Greece, when the owner of what looks like a fairly new Audi A3 Sportback parked in front of a couple of large metal bins partially blocking the road.
While most passenger cars were able to make it through, a city bus that was making its routine trek around town couldn't fit. The bus driver along with the other drivers that were piling up behind kept honking again and again but to no avail; the owner of the Audi was nowhere to be seen.

So they decided to teach the A3 owner a very expensive lesson he or she will never forget; they turned the car on its side. Problem solved...
Photo credits: Star

Originally written by an unnamed writer on

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Video Sunday - Super Trofeo Dorifto

Uploaded: 18/10/11
Running Time: 2:17
Views When Posted: 99,419

What you're about to watch is not a Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 SuperTrofeo drifting around a small town. What you are about to see is a remote controlled Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo being drifted around a waxed concrete floor dressed up as a small town, like a freakin' boss. The sustained angles and perfect lines would be mightily impressive in a real car, Gallardo or not, but can you drive an R/C car like this? Me neither...

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Infiniti Emerg-E Concept Out-Poses The Acura NSX Concept

2012 Infiniti Emerg-E Concept
Source: Carscoop
Well Acura, it's game over already. After Honda's posh brand unveiled its hybrid supercar concept at the Detroit show in January, Nissan's posh brand will unveil their own hybrid supercar concept at the Geneva show, which will be about 35 times sexier and more hybrid-er, as these leaked images from Carscoop prove. It's called the Emerg-E, which is appropriate seeing as it has emerged seemingly from nowhere and brought Infiniti's unusual design language into a shape that actually works. In terms of a beauty contest, the Acura NSX Concept doesn't stand a chance...

Video Saturday - Niko Bellic Eat Your Heart Out

Uploaded: 6/9/10
Running Time: 6:38
Views When Posted: 9,242,062

If you've ever played Grand Theft Auto, this scene of a man on a bike weaving through traffic at preposterous speeds will seem familiar to you. The only difference is, this guy is not Niko Bellic, he's a real live human bean. He is also very brave and ever so slightly stupid, because if you've ever played GTA then you know how this idea usually ends - catching on the corner of a car and flying 50 feet to your death, or jumping up and hitting the bottom of a bridge or tunnel, before flying 50 feet to your death. At one bit in the video, for instance, it would just take one smart-arse to open the door and Black Stig's Russian Cousin be hospitalised. As such, I urge you to think of the idea of blasting through traffic at 100+ on a superbike like this: This guy did it, so you don't have to.

Enjoy the video, and always hoon responsibly.

Friday, 24 February 2012

No, Wait, THIS Is What The Ferrari F620 Looks Like [UPDATED]

2012 Ferrari F620 GT
If you scroll down a bit, you'll see the first teaser image of Ferrari's replacement for the F599 GTB Fiorano. That teaser has just been rendered completely irrelevant, as a reader at GT Spirit has sent in an uncovered photo of it getting ready to head to Geneva for the upcoming motor show in five days. They reckon the "most powerful Ferrari ever made" could have as much as 740bhp, 30 more than I had previously thought, as well as 690lb/ft of torque and an 8700rpm redline. It will also outstrip a Lamborghini Aventador in a straight line, with 0-60 happening in three seconds dead and 0-124mph (200km/h) in just 8.3 seconds, whereas the Lambo takes 8.8 seconds. That, I suspect, should be quick enough.

I'll let you make your own mind up on the looks, but the first two words that entered my mind were "flared" and "...challenging". It almost looks like a superhero's car in a Hollywood movie, actually. Oh wait, you were meant to be deciding for yourself. Never mind.


UPDATE: OK, so I have now made my own mind up on it, kind of. Also, the picture above is of a full-size wooden model that Ferrari took to preview events for privileged customers to see it first. The car to be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show is the more traditional Rosso Corsa, rather than this matte silver number. To be honest, it looks a bit overdone. I like the large vent on the bonnet - like a reverse of the 550/575 Maranello's very '90s (and very cool) scoop - but the front fascia isn't that great. It's mostly the same as the FF, which I think looks a complete mess, so that'll have something to do with it, but that smiley grille just isn't pretty. It's too big. The roof and side windows aren't very inventive either, and what you can see of the rear end almost looks like the tail of a Dodge Viper SRT-10, which is an odd source of inspiration.

I have noticed something, though - the F620 has the same front aero design as the Pagani Huayra. Well, Pagani said it was designed like that in the name of aerodynamics (an evo writer held a Huayra's front bumper up while air was blown at it and said it got sucked downwards), and Ferrari like clever aero too, such as the whiskers on the 458 Italia that deform downwards at high speed to increase front downforce, so I assume they're both going for the same thing here. In both images of the F620, it appears that Ferrari have also put a straight splitter just underneath the front apron, which must improve the effect further in their eyes (or from what their undoubtedly extensive data tells them). They're not the most attractive front designs in the world (although I like the Huayra when it's not painted in that matte seal-beige it was originally unveiled in), but if they're more aerodynamically effective, then that's OK - both cars produce over 700 horsepower, so anything that keeps them under control without electronically neutering them is fine by me, not that it'll make any difference to me directly until they appear in Gran Turismo 5 or 6...

Anyway, it should be fast enough to offset the... "challenging" looks, because sometimes form has to follow function, and if this turns out to be a spectacularly good car, then it's worth being a little bit ugly. If it turns out to only be very good and not spectacular, I'll still be able to complain about it :-P

Mercedes W03 Is More Than Just An Ugly Face

2012 Mercedes-AMG W03
Mercedes GP are the last front-line Formula 1 team to unveil their new 2012 challenger (leaving Marussia and HRT to cobble something together), even having to take last year's car to the Jerez test a couple of weeks ago "to get tyre data". Well, now the W03 is finally ready, and apparently it's late because the best has been saved until last. The best tech, perhaps, but not the best nose - I think that's the biggest step I've seen so far, and with Marussia (formerly Virgin Racing, but I guess they had sex or something) closely following what McLaren are doing, as they share development facilities, it could retain that title. But what else has been tucked into the new Silver Arrow?

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The New Ferrari F620 Looks Like This

2012 Ferrari F620
I have showed you spy paintings of the new Ferrari V12 GT before, but now here's the first photograph of it. I just wish they turned more lights on before they took it...

We now know it'll be called the F620 and that it'll have a 7-speed DCT and 700bhp (710PS), making it the most powerful Ferrari ever made...

...until the F70 arrives.

Ferrari F70 artist's rendering
The F70 will feature a 7.3-litre V12 (1000cc bigger) producing a staggering 800 horsepower, which would make it the most powerful naturally-aspirated engine in the world. On top of that, an enhanced KERS will reportedly add 120 horsepower onto that (40hp more than an F1 KERS), meaning that, sometimes, it will make 920bhp. Nine hundred and twenty horsepower. Supposedly it will also be 200kg lighter than the F60 "Enzo Ferrari".

Y'know what, I'm starting to look forward to the Geneva Motor Show.

Here's a teaser video for the F620 GT:
Uploaded: 20/2/12
Running Time: 0:35
Views When Posted: 371,494

Lyonheart K Is The "Growler E 2011" Without A Hairy Name

What a difference a year makes
Just over a year ago, way back when SBV8 was a baby, I showed you the first renderings and details of designer Bo Zolland's Jaguar E-Type revival, called the Growler E 2011. While the name "Growler" refers to the Jaguar badge that depicts an angry cat's face, TopGear decided it was named after the colloquial term for when a lady decides to keep her lower regions... as nature intended. So now, closer to production and without the, ahem, hairy name, here we have it again, now called the "Lyonheart K". The misspelt "lion" in the name actually refers to Sir William Lyons, who founded Jaguar, but what does the K stand for? It may forever remain a mystery......

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Video Sunday - Nouse of Senna eXtracted

Uploaded: 13/2/12
Running Time: 8:51
Views When Posted: 36,339
Nouse of Senna eXtracted is not what those magical three letters adorning Honda's supercar actually stand for - that would be New Sports eXperimental - but both versions are accurate, as the legendary F1 champion and now posthumous star of a double-BAFTA-winning film helped make this car what it is to drive, although you probably don't need me to tell you that. Anything you might want to know about how the Honda NSX is to be in is covered in this beautifully-shot film by "Hungarian Wolverine", who drives a lightly tweaked early example with Work wheels, a titanium exhaust and a racing 'wheel (not to mention pop-up headlights, which look much better than the 2001-5 "Snake Eyes") around Budapest and then at a track in Slovakia. I'm not sure whether this is his NSX or not, but if it is, then he's a lucky guy, and one I envy as much as I think he's awesome.

Y'know, sometimes I get asked "what is your favourite car?", a question I always find very hard to answer. I never have one favourite car. One or some will become top of my list for a while and then get replaced by something else, but there are recurring crushes, and at the moment I would give anything and everything to so much as drive or even just sit in one of these, let alone own one for myself. The last couple of weeks have probably been the fifth or tenth time I've felt a wave of yearning for this car. One day......

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Once You See It, You'll Shit Bricks

What you see here, in case you somehow didn't get it from the image, is a 1978 Porsche 935/78 "Moby Dick" racing car recreated as accurately as possible in Lego. Complete with Martini Racing colours. I've seen some cool stuff made out of Lego, but this is definitely up there...

Video Saturday - Turn It Up Lauda

Uploaded: 17/7/08
Running Time: 2:11
Views When Posted: 42,674

Here is a glorious piece of old footage of the short-lived BMW Procar series. This is not to be confused with the Procar series using F1-powered silhouettes, as epic as that would've been with enough interest, but BMW M1s in full Group 4 GT-racer trim blasting around the Monaco Grand prix track. I would say more, but you've just clicked hurriedly on the play button, so I'll wait...

...welcome back to reading. So it wasn't a full race, but it may well be the only footage of it on YouTube, for all I know, and two minutes of M1 Procars racing around Monaco is better than none. Niki Lauda won the race, hence the pun in the title. Unfortunately, the series only ran for two years as a Formula 1 support series, from 1979-80, as after that BMW wanted to focus on Formula 1, but the M1 did survive briefly outside of the Procar series, managing 6th place in the 1979 24 Heures Du Mans. Alas, because BMW couldn't homologate the M1 in time for GT racing, it had to race in the prototype class, and when it was finally eligible in the right class, it was too late for it to be competitive. That doesn't stop it being beautiful, though.

Here's a link to some information on the other Procar series, which never evolved beyond this epic Alfa Romeo prototype.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Kia K9 Probably Won't Fire Lasers

Recently, Kia have released/leaked sketches of its upcoming flagship saloon, dubbed 'K9' for whatever reason, and while I can't tell you anything about it - because no-one else can, seeing as these pics are all we've got - I can at least speculate over their, er, styling inspiration:

Why would you copy this?
(Thoughts on this thought and more after the jump)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Video Sunday - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Uploaded: 6/2/12
Running Time: 6:47
Views When Posted: 283,458

Most of the Western Hemisphere has now experienced a degree of snow. We've had two short bursts in Southern England, America has had plenty, and mainland Europe is clearly getting at least its fair share too, as recently there was enough snowfall to close the Nürburgring. Of course, the silly and dangerous thing to do if you work there is to take the car you use to instruct people with and lap the entire 15-mile course. As it happens, however, the awesome thing to do is to take the car you use to instruct people with and lap the entire 15-mile course on winter road tyres (by the looks of it), despite not even being able to see where the tarmac is.

Turns out this guy decided to do the awesome thing, and filmed his efforts. You don't see the whole lap, which makes me a little suspicious that he spun it a couple of times, but you see enough to assume he's not comfortable in there - how could he be when he has to squeeze his brass ones into a little Formula 3-sized car?

At least he didn't have a moment like Thierry Neuville had at Rally Sweden this week:

Uploaded: 9/2/12
Running Time: 0:41
Views When Posted, 9,525
Copyrighted? Well, I think so...

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Toyobaru GTBRZ86-RS Now Available In Serious Flavour

Subaru BRZ Type RA
Stepping away from Formula 1 for a moment, I assume by now you know about the Toyota GT 86 and Subaru BRZ. Together they could well reignite the small FR sports coupé as a genre and bring back cars to appeal to enthusiasts from mainstream companies that can build them properly. Since the dominance of Japan fell in the '00s, such cars have all but disappeared, the only "JDM" survivor being the Mazda MX-5, but now we have these two, and this new version is a sign that they really mean business, because it comes standard with...... nothing. See those black steelies in the top picture? That's exactly what you get. No foglights, no air conditioning, no stereo (!), no cupholders, no door lights, no nuthin'. Even the Torsen torque-sensitive electronic differential has been chucked out and replaced with a simple mechanical one, and the ventilated rear brakes are no longer ventilated. If you want the definition of "bone-stock", here it is. I love it.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

SBV8 Update - New F1 Page

Sibling Rivalry
'Sup. Just a quick post to say that I've added a dedicated Formula 1 page to the sidebar now. At the moment it's mainly links to F1-related articles, but final times from the current testing session are also appearing there day by day. It's just above the blog archive on the right.

I hope you find it useful! Every F1-related post is also there.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Williams FW34 Appears At Jerez

2012 Williams-Renault FW34
With the first testing day getting underway today at the Spanish circuit Jerez (that's pronounced "her-eth", by the way), Williams are finally ready to unveil their new FW34 to the world. Well, it was either that or just turn up at testing today and hope no-one notices, which is unlikely when the F1 world is so nosey. I've used this angle for the top picture because the front just looks like the 2011 nose has had a rolling pin taken to it in order to meet the new rule I've mentioned about five or six times this month. The rest of the car, though, is very pretty, with a simpler, darker version of the early '90s livery and nice curvy main body. The '90s touches don't end at white side stripes, though - unlike the last few years when they've been powered by Toyota or Cosworth, this is a Williams-Renault. People who have previously piloted a Williams-Renault include Damon Hill, David Coulthard, Nigel Mansell and Aryton Senna (if briefly). The latter name in that shortlist is causing a degree of rose-tinting in the glasses of the press, as in 2012 we have Senna in a blue Williams-Renault, alongside Pastor Maldonado, the Venezuelan pay-driver who may or may not still have braces on.

I'm not going to pretend that there's more to say about this car, as I've already gone on about pullrod suspension (this has pushers up front and pullers out back like 10 of the other 11 teams), but I will say that for one highly-praised Brazilian to take the wheel, another had to exit. Rubens Barrichello has no longer got a seat in F1, after being in the sport for nineteen straight seasons. I'm saddened that one of the nicest and most passionate guys in motorsport couldn't make it a nice round 20 seasons and has potentially left the sport for good, as it will be very hard for the 39-year-old to return to the sport in an age of young pay-drivers that can buy their way in. He has been testing an IndyCar in the mean time, so he may still get to race a top-flight single seater, but not a Formula 1 car. Despite starting 326 Grands Prix, Rubens has never won a championship, although that's mostly because his best chance to win one was when he was at Ferrari, where Michael Schumacher ended up calling the shots and Ferrari happily made Barrichello number two, a bit like like they are with Felipe Massa now that Alonso has been close to winning a championship (maybe Ferrari just don't like Brazilians?). His closest to winning the championship was actually in 2009 at Brawn GP, but with Jenson Button winning 6 of the first 7 races, and Red Bull coming on song in the second half of the season, even two race wins and many other competitive finishes weren't quite enough that year, which was followed by two lacklustre seasons at Williams. You can read more about him here. His optimism about staying in the sport meant he got no farewell party (as he didn't celebrate at the end of 2011 and was simply replaced at Williams last December) which seems unfair...

Anyway, Tuesday testing is underway, so for live timing you can go here or here, and for pictures of the FW34 and the testing session, you can go here or here.

EDIT (10:25) Also, the Caterham doesn't look so bad now. Perhaps it's because this is a real-life shot and not a studio photo, but having seen the other stepped noses, it's no worse than anyone else's:
Caterham CT01
EDIT 2 (17:00) It has come to my attention that the Red Bull RB8 has a vent in its nose bump. This may or may not have been present in the pictures/video in the previous post, and nobody knows what it's for. Popular guesses include KERS cooling, a secret air guide of some sort (the term "diffuser F-duct" popped up in one forum) or simply a dummy vent to confuse and annoy McLaren and Ferrari. Your guess is as good as mine:
2012 Red Bull RB8 testing in Jerez
More on testing later.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Three More F1 Cars, Three More Stepped Noses

2012 Sauber C31, with (from left) Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Pérez and Esteban Gutierrez
2012 Red Bull Racing RB8
2012 Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7
It's becoming clear that McLaren are the only ones not going with a stepped nose this season. Whether that's to their detriment, we'll see in Australia, but what we can see now is what the entrants from Sauber, Toro Rosso and most importantly Red Bull will look like. Pre-testing, at least. The F1 world now gets to see what Adrian Newey has made of the new rules, and it essentially just meant lowering the existing nose and moving the exhaust upwards. Pretty straightforward, as it turned out, as the rest is simply an evolution of the dominant RB7. Toro Rosso and Sauber appear to have gone for very similar noses, with a round front and a top surface so flat you could use it as a dinner table. I think the phrase is "ugly but effective".

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Lotus E20 To Be Powered By Ice Cream and Frog's Legs

2012 Lotus E20
After Caterham, McLaren, Ferrari and Force India, we now have the fifth F1 car unveiling of this season, courtesy of Lotus F1. Somehow the stepped nose design is smoother here than on the other three to feature it, although the black paint might be helping by toning it down a bit. Joining the CT01, MP4-27, F2012 and VJM05 is the equally-sexy-named E20, which sounds like a sun cream that's half as effective, but is actually meant to signify the 20th anniversary of the Enstone factory it's made in... as well as carrying on the tradition of every Lotus starting with the letter E.

Jenson Button's 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 For Sale

One Careful Owner... is what this car would like now.
Just about keeping it F1-related, this, as the title states, is a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7, the ancestor to the 911 GT3 and regarded by most Porsche fans as the greatest 911 of all time. It also looks lovely in black. Originally built to homologate Porsche's racing 911s in the 1970s, they met the 500-car minimum requirements and then sold 1090 more of them because they were so lusted after by rich folk. 911s work best when they're as pure as possible, and a stripped out, sports-focused one from the 70s is, for many, as pure and as good as it gets. Modern-day rich folk looking to stand out against the myriad GT3s should turn their attention to this very car, as - and here's the F1 bit - it's now up for sale, and the current owner is some bloke called Jenson Button.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Video Saturday - F That

Uploaded: 29/1/12
Running Time: 3:58
Views When Posted: 157,234

To continue what appears to be an F1 theme on SBV8 this month, here is a video of someone getting a ride in a two-seat Formula 1 car (with a V10 engine, no less) around the eastern half of the Yas Marina Circuit she won't forget... well, actually she might not remember all of it, as the apparently ineffective seatbelts and lack of HANS device turned this poor woman into more of a bobble-head G-Meter than a lucky passenger. This is a visual demonstration of what a Formula One or GP2/3 driver has to put up with for at least 90 minutes, giving you one more reason to appreciate how fit a racing driver has to be, and explaining why most of them have necks like tree trunks after a while. There are two ways to watch this video; you can either laugh at someone being beaten up by a car (high-speed braking is particularly entertaining), or you can be all shocked at the somewhat lazy attitude to safety involved. I won't judge you either way, but if you must know, I did the former.

If you want to some more appreciating of how uncomfortable the best job in the world really is, here's an X-Ray of the Toyota TF109 that shows you what shape you have to fold yourself into before you can do the above:

Click To Enlarge

Friday, 3 February 2012

Two More F1 Cars, Two More Stepped Noses...

Ferrari F2012
Force India VJM05
Well, after McLaren and Caterham showed us two ways to see the new rules about lower noses, Ferrari and Force India have suggested that, sadly, most of the grid will be ugly at the front. Introducing the Ferrari F2012 and the Force India VJM05, one car expected to win the championship and one car expected to score a decent haul of points and perhaps bother the top runners this season. This year the Indian team is actually called Sahara Force India, making this probably the only racing car in the world sponsored by a desert. More inside.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Formula 1 - Winter 2011/12

2012 McLaren MP4-27
Quite a lot happens between Formula 1 seasons. Rules can change, drivers can retire, return and realise their dreams of F1 stardom at last with their first drive, and teams can change as well. Here's a roundup of all the stories and updates between the 2011 and 2012 Formula 1 seasons, the latter of which starts at the Australian GP on the third weekend of March. Also, there's some serious gossip about Lewis Hamilton and Adrian Sutil at the bottom...

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

McLaren Isn't As Ugly As Caterham. Thank Goodness!

On the left is a problem with the new rules. On the right is a simple solution to it.
We now know what two of this year's Formula 1 cars will look like going into the first testing session at Jerez on 9th February. Both of these cars are British (well, Caterham is a British name) but only one of them doesn't make me want to vomit. On the left we have the Caterham F1 CT01 (they were green Lotus last year) and the McLaren MP4-27, which gets around a new rule that demands lower nose cones without asking for a different-sized monocoque, which has caused the "stepped nose" on the Caterham and maybe the Ferrari F12 (or whatever alphabet soup they call it), if rumours are accurate, to appear and damage our eyes. Of course, we'll know which one is the faster nose when we see which one the Red Bull RB8 has on it. Pictures and specs inside.