Road & Track Best Photos App: Get it Now

Road & Track Best Photos App: Get it Now

Great photography has always been the cornerstone of Road & Track; in fact, it’s what sets us apart from other car magazines. And now, via the brand-new Road & Track Best Photos App, we bring some of the world’s finest automotive photography directly to your iPad. Our app—available in the App store and in the Zinio Reader—features stunning, high-resolution images of modern exotic cars, plus a large selection of the crispest, most dynamic racing and vintage photos you’ll ever see.

Road & Track Best Photos App: Get it Now

There are nearly 200 outstanding shots in our app, which are complemented by a pair of in-depth photo essays and beautifully shot videos. In addition to numerous outtakes, the Road & Track Best Photos app features informative captions, photographer bios and detailed camera info for each image. If you want to see our stunning photography come to life, get the R&T iPad app now! Download it now >>

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2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Laps Virginia International Raceway in Under 3 Minutes

2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Laps Virginia International Raceway in Under 3 Minutes

The magical lap time at Germany’s infamous Nurburgring race track is under 8 minutes. The Virginia International Raceway (VIR) is rapidly becoming America’s “Nurburgring” and the magical lap time for the 4.1 mile long road course is under 3 minutes. If you manage that you’ve got bragging rights.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Laps Virginia International Raceway in Under 3 Minutes

Earlier this year Camaro engineer Aaron Link drove a 2012 Camaro ZL1 Coupe around VIR’s Grand Course in 2:52.4. That’s a comparable time to some really serious high performance cars such as a Corvette ZR1.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Laps Virginia International Raceway in Under 3 Minutes

But brute force alone is not needed to make it around the challenging track. As if to prove this Link has now lapped the same course in a Camaro 1LE in 2:58.34.

Best of all the 1LE costs just $37,035 compared to $56,550 for the ZL1. That’s a lot of money saved for giving up six seconds.

Historians will remember that the Camaro 1LE package was first introduced in 1988 and was inspired by Camaro’s involvement in Pro-Am road racing.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Laps Virginia International Raceway in Under 3 Minutes

For 2013, the 1LE package is offered only on 1SS and 2SS coupe models, which feature a 6.2L LS3 V-8 rated at 426 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. The 1LE is only available with a six-speed Tremec TR6060-MM6 manual transmission paired with a numerically higher 3.91 final-drive ratio. The close-ratio transmission is geared for road-racing performance.

The 1LE also features monotube rear dampers instead of the twin-tube dampers on regular SS models. Chevrolet says the new hardware allowed engineers to tune the 1LE suspension to focus on optimal body-motion control while preserving much of the ride quality and wheel-motion control of the Camaro SS.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro 1LE Laps Virginia International Raceway in Under 3 Minutes

Other changes help optimize the 1LE for track-day use include larger 27-mm solid front stabilizer bar and 28-mm solid rear stabilizer bar. It has the same ZL1-based 20-inch wheels and 285/35ZR20 Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 tires. Externally, the 1LE package is distinguished by its matte-black hood, front splitter and rear spoiler.

If under three minutes at a VIR track day is more your style than under 12 seconds at a drag day, it looks like the 426 bhp LE1 will give you more bang for the buck than a 580 bhp ZL1.

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Fastest Man on Earth Visits Desert Race Track

Fastest Man on Earth Visits Desert Race Track

Land Speed Record (LSR) holder Andy Green recently visited the Hakskeen Pan in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa to view progress on the world’s fastest race track.

A team of 300 previously unemployed people funded by the Northern Cape government joined some volunteers to clear 2471 acres of desert race track. With only two months’ work remaining on the run-off areas, the team has cleared 6,600 tons of stones from the 1600 ft wide, 12.4 mile long stretch of desert. The clearing project, spanning twenty-four months, is set to be completed within the next few months in time for the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car to begin high speed testing on the pan during the summer of 2013.

Fastest Man on Earth Visits Desert Race Track

Today, Andy Green, Richard Noble and many of the Thrust SSC team are engaged on a new and far more ambitious project: to build a car capable of achieving 1000 mph. However, the Bloodhound Project is not primarily about speed. Rather, it is an international education initiative aimed at inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians by demonstrating these subjects in the most exciting way possible. The unique nature of the World Land Speed Record, where the challenge comes from confronting the laws of physics rather than other teams with similar technology, means the Bloodhound Project can share all its data, designs, achievements and setbacks in the process.

Fastest Man on Earth Visits Desert Race Track

Consequently, the initiative is already being followed in 217 countries with approximately 7 million learners from 48 countries around the world registered to access Bloodhound information and lesson materials in class. The team has made presentations to hundreds of thousands of people since its launch at London’s Science Museum in October 2008.

Currently well into the building phase of the project, large sections of the car are in manufacture. UMECO will shortly begin the lay-up of the carbon fiber monocell and the fabrication of the steel and aluminum rear chassis has begun at Hampson Aerospace here in the UK. The Bloodhound engineers will have a rolling chassis assembled by the end of the year and aim to start UK runway testing up to 200 mph next summer. The team will then decamp to Hakskeen Pan in South Africa to start the high speed shake down runs.

Fastest Man on Earth Visits Desert Race Track

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George Clooney’s Tesla Roadster – 2012 Monterey Auctions

George Clooney’s Tesla Roadster – 2012 Monterey Auctions

Telsa Roadster serial number 0008, owned by Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney, will be auctioned at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours. Gooding and Company will put the electric sports car on theblock Sunday, August 19, 2012.

Clooney’s 2008 Signature 100 Telsa has a mere 1700 miles on the odometer and is painted Obsidian Black Metallic with a two-tone leatherinterior.

George Clooney’s Tesla Roadster – 2012 Monterey Auctions

Gooding estimates the car will bring $100,00-$125,000. Clooney is donating all of the proceeds to the SSP charity. Those initials stand for Satellite Sentinel Project, a non-profit group that employs satellites to monitor the borders of Sudan as an early warning system to help prevent the return of civil war between Northern and Southern Sudan.

George Clooney’s Tesla Roadster – 2012 Monterey Auctions

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Best Car To Buy

buy new car Best Car To Buy

2010 is now over so people looking for new means of transportation have to search for the best car to buy in 2011. Many of the new models are already available at dealerships or can be pre-ordered, which means that you will not have to wait a lot of time to drive your next car. In order to get the buzz moving, most of the automakers are offering interesting incentives for attracting customers in their dealerships.

A good example of a car would be the 2011 Ford Fiesta which has a starting price of $13,320. The car was launched last summer as a 2011 model and it is one of the most anticipated models for this year. The reason behind this success of the Fiesta is it offers many things that you will not find in other small-sized cars. Some of these most important characteristics would be the upscale cabin which is very comfortable and most important; at least for a large number of consumers, it is very fun to drive.

The car can be purchased with heated seats, a rarity for a vehicle in this segment. In addition, it is fitted with Ford’s SYNC system and a knee airbag for the driver. Although these might not be seen as very interesting if analyzed individually, sum them up and you get a pretty good package for such a small car. Add to all of these the fact that it is able to do 30 miles per gallon in the city and 40 miles per gallon on the highway, the Fiesta is a really interesting car.

For those of you looking for something a little bit bigger and more spacious, have a look at the 2011 Hyundai Sonata which for this new generation has been completely redesigned to fit new requirements. Probably the most attractive characteristic of the Sonata is its very low starting price – $19,195. Although it is very cheap, it doesn’t mean that it is a bad car, on the contrary, with one of the longest powertrain warranties in the world, it promises to be a very reliable car. Some of the most important standard features include the Bluetooth technology and the XM satellite radio. Probably the biggest downside of the Hyundai is the lack of more powertrains. The Sonata is available only with a modest 4-cylinder engine, in comparison to the rest of the cars in its class which feature a more powerful V6 engine. However, it shouldn’t be a big problem because it is a very light car and the engine offers enough power for a more than decent ride. Another strong point of the car is the fuel economy which is the best in its class, not taking into consideration hybrid vehicles.

The best car to buy in the SUV (sport utility vehicle) segment is without any doubt the 2011 Kia Sorento. With the new model, Kia ditched the truck-based platform and now the Sorento offers a comfy ride and is a powerful compact SUV. With a starting price of only $22,395, it gives the Toyota RAV4, which is considered to be a class leader, a run for its money. As an optional feature, the 2011 Kia Sorento can be fitted with a third-row seat which is a rarity for a car in this segment. The car comes along with Kia’s well-known class-leading warranty and features a long list of standard features that will definitely come in handy for most drivers.

Probably the most interesting car of 2011 will be the Nissan Leaf as it is the first mass-produced all-electric car in the world. Although it has a bundle of technologies implemented, the starting price is quite reachable at only $32,870 ($7,500 in federal tax savings). Deliveries started last month and estimates say that it will be a huge hit in terms of sales. The Leaf is capable of running only on an electric motor that is powered by a very large battery pack that can be easily charged to any household outlet; it can’t get any simpler than that. On a full charge, the 2011 Nissan Leaf is able to travel up to 100 miles, which is enough for our daily routine, at least for most of us.

It is a 5-door hatchback that can easily accommodate five passengers, which makes it a family car. Thanks to the fact that it doesn’t run on gasoline, it is very cheap to operate and is the ideal car for commuters. According to the statement made by the Japanese automaker who took into consideration the national average electricity rates, the Nissan Leaf will cost you about $3 per charge. Another good thing about it is that it drives just as well as any conventional car, with efficient braking and smooth acceleration.

The best car to buy in the luxury segment is the 2011 Infiniti M. The starting price for this beauty is reachable at only $46,250. As far as the incentives are concerned – 2.9% APR for up to 60 months on M37 trims which is a great deal. In the past, the car was not very popular as it was outshined by the BMW 5-Series. However, for the 2011 model, things have changed for the better and it is without any doubt one of the best-performing full-size luxury sedans in the world.

With the new model, Infiniti has made the car more luxurious, more powerful and easier to handle. The new look is also an eye-catcher which makes it more beautiful than most of its class rivals. It comes bundled with a blind spot warning system and a very interesting optional feature, the “Forest Air” system that is capable of varying the speed of the vent fan in order to imitate the effects of the breeze. Infiniti engineers said that it is also able to detect and kill cabin odors.

As you can see, there are plenty of options to choose from regarding a new car purchase as customers are basically covered in all segments.

Buy A Car In A Different State

If you want to buy a car in a different state your first task would be to do a little bit of research regarding the reputation and the credentials of the dealer. Purchasing a vehicle from a dealer that is outside of town implies more legwork in comparison to buying locally. Taking into consideration that you will not have access to the car dealer’s reputation by word of mouth, it would be wise to get in touch with the Better Business Bureau in that area and verify the standing of the dealer with the motor vehicle commission of the state.

Before making the drip, you need to set up an independent inspection of the vehicle by finding a third-party auto mechanic that isn’t connected to the used car dealer in any ways. There are a few nationwide companies like Carchex for example, who contract with the local mechanics in order to provide pre-purchase inspections in exchange of a fee. To make sure that the car you wish to buy is in good shape, the mechanical condition and the cosmetic look of the car must be thoroughly inspected. Of course, a pre-owned car is not perfect so you need to be aware of all its defects before making the purchase. Any flaws you find, you can use them as a tool during the negotiations.

It is highly recommended that you agree upon a final price before making the trip. Negotiate the price tag over the phone, Internet and by other means of communication. Remember to take with you a copy of the info given by the dealer. You can imagine how frustrating it would be to travel hundreds of miles to buy a car that is not as it was advertised.

You will have to contact your local DMV office in order to find out which is the best way to handle the title, license and tax issues. Although the car that you plan on purchasing is out of state, it will still have to be registered in your jurisdiction. Don’t forget to ask if there is any special documentation necessary in order to register the car from out of state. If you have decided to finance the car, make sure that the bank or dealer has the necessary information for registering the car in the state in which you live. In addition, verify the sales tax and make sure that you aren’t being ripped off in any way.

used car sales11 Buy A Car In A Different State

After you have taken care of all these, you’ll have to make the necessary arrangements in order to take delivery or pick up the car you plan on buying. Never acquire a car before taking it for a thorough test drive to see how it feels. Before signing, make sure that you are 100% satisfied with what you are about to purchase so that you won’t have second thoughts later on. If you will be doing a trade, you will most likely be able to make the trip on your own. If not, a friend of yours will have to come with you in order to drive one of the cars back home. Of course, you have the possibility to ship the car to your location but it wouldn’t be wise to buy a vehicle without seeing it at all.

Classic Post-War 1950 Aston Martin DB2 – 2012 Monterey Auctions

1950 Aston Martin DB2

The first few years after WWII were a challenging time for the auto industry around the globe. Budgets were paper-thin, auto companies were trading hands like penny stocks, and most companies were hoping that their next prototype would take off and get things back on track.

1950 Aston Martin DB2

Aston Martin was one such company that was in a sad state by the end of the war and by February 1947 it traded hands to a man named David Brown for a mere £20,500. A quick acquisition of faltering Lagonda later, and Mr. Brown was off to the races. Using Lagonda’s 2580 cc twin-overhead cam engine, Brown set his eyes on Le Mans and over the next 2years developed the platform that was to become the DB2.

1950 Aston Martin DB2

Under Brown’s guidance the DB2 came to life with some clever reengineering of their earlier 2-liter sports model chassis, the addition of coil springs on all 4 corners, and an in-house developed 4-speed gearbox. After a quick appearance at the New York Auto Show in 1950 the first few cars went off to compete at Le Mans in 1950, and shortly afterwards this car was sent to Briggs Cunningham to be part of a 3 car run at Sebring. With podium finishes in both races, Aston Martin had become a name to recon with and gave the company the motivation to push forward with a line of purpose-built racing models.

1950 Aston Martin DB2

This DB2 continued to race until its retirement in 1960. From then it lay in hiding for a number of years before being rediscovered and put through a $250,000 restoration to bring it back to race-ready condition. The engine has received some serious love, now sitting at 2.9 liters and equipped with all the goodies including triple Webber 35 DCOE carburetors, JE pistons, Carillo rods and a billet-aluminum crank. The engine was dyno’d at 200 bhp and has only seen 12 hours of service since the build, including runs at the Rolex Fall Festival at Lime Rock Park in 2010 and 2011 and another at the 2011 Rolex Monterey Historics.

This is a great piece of history that begs to be driven. I’m sure plenty would love to see it go back to home turf to take a crack at Goodwood against some of its brethren who never crossed the pond.









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Honda Enters FIA World Touring Car Championship

Honda Enters FIA World Touring Car Championship

Developed at Honda’s R&D center in Tochigi, Japan, the HR412E is a bespoke 1.6 liter 4-cylinder, direct injection turbocharged engine, fully conforming to FIA regulations for the WTCC.

Commenting on the announcement, Daisuke Horiuchi, the WTCC development project leader at Honda R&D said: “In the continuous technological development of the internal combustion engine, the thermal efficiency is the essential key for improvement, and a race engine is not an exception. This HR412E was born from such thought processes aiming for higher efficiency. The HR412E heralds a new generation of high performance racing engines from Honda. All engineers at the R&D centre in Tochigi have worked hard to develop a race engine that will deliver great driveability to our racing drivers, with no compromise on peak power performance. We believe the innovations that have led to this revolutionary engine will also lead to benefits beyond the race track, helping us to further increase the efficiency of our road car engines.“

Honda Enters FIA World Touring Car Championship

The engine has been delivered to the Honda Racing Team JAS workshop in Milan, Italy, where the Civic WTCC is being developed, and successfully passed all initial tests.

The news follows the recent naming of Honda’s works team drivers in the FIA World Touring Car Championship – Italian, Gabriele Tarquini and Portugals Tiago Monteiro.

Honda will enter the WTCC as early as this season with one car. Ex-Formula One driver Tiago Monteiro will compete in three races, starting at Suzuka in October 2012. Honda R&D and Mugen will provide trackside support to the team.

Both drivers will compete in the full FIA World Touring Car Championship in 2013.

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GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show

GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show

GM’s European brands, Opel and Vauxhall, are hoping to spoil the Minis and Fiat 500’s party with its new Adam three-door hatch that will be unveiled at the Paris Auto Show in September.

According the GM’s European design boss, Mark Adams, customers will have the choice of over one million trim combinations: “No other car in this segment can be individualized as much as Adam because we are offering virtually unlimited exterior/interior color, fabric and kit combination choices. It’s very unlikely that you’ll find two identical Adams out there.”

GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show

The Adam – only related to Mark because he led the design team – incorporates a ‘floating’ roof which is visually disconnected from the body (like the Audi A1), making the use of the two-tone color schemes more impactful. It also features design cues found in other products in GM’s European range such as the line around the door handle (GTC), the wing-shaped chrome grille bar (new Astra) and the blade shape in the lower doors. It will also be the first car in its class to have the option of LED daytime running lights.

GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show

Available in three trims from launch – JAM (fashionable/colourful), GLAM (elegant/sophisticated) and SLAM (racy/sporty) – Adam customers can effectively ‘build’ their own car.

GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show

There are almost unlimited visual combinations, with a wide variety of exterior colors – including two different roof colors – interior colors, equipment and materials. Customers can even choose their headlining, including an LED-lit starlight roof trim.

It will be offered with a choice of three ecoFLEX four-cylinder gasoline engines from launch: a 1.2-liter 69 bhp, plus two 1.4-liter engines with either 86 bhp or 99 bhp. Optional stop-start technology will be available across the range and all will be fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Later on, Adam will be the first car in Opel/Vauxhall’s range to adopt a new-generation small gasoline engine, featuring direct injection with forced induction, and an all-new six-speed gearbox.

GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show

GM claims Adam is unique in its class with a new top-of-the-range infotainment system designed to support new media sources, including Bluetooth, as well as connectivity for smartphones with Android or Apple iOS software. This enables access to internet-based applications, including GPS navigation. The system uses a state-of-the-art seven-inch, full-color touch screen display allowing quick access to a variety of on-board controls.

Round, mechanical clock-style instruments with chrome bezels mark a departure from those seen in other Vauxhalls, while Adam customers can also opt for a heated steering wheel – another first in the class.

Adam will break new ground in the A-segment, by offering technology normally only found in higher-end cars.

GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show

A prime example is the Advanced Park Assist II system, which will be an Adam option never seen before in a Opel-Vauxhall production car. Drivers engage the system with a button on the dashboard and it tells them when they reach a parking space large enough to accommodate the car. The system then automatically steers the car into the parking space, with the driver only needing to control the brake, clutch and gears. APA II uses ultrasonic sensors to work its magic, and always comes in combination with Side Blind Spot Alert (SBSA).

Despite its compact dimensions of nearly 145 inches long and 68 inches wide, Adam’s footprint is relatively broad, with front and rear tracks of 58.4 and 58.1 inches, respectively, and a wheelbase of 91 inches.

GM’s New Adam – 2012 Paris Auto Show

Front suspension is by MacPherson strut, with a compound crank system at the rear. Wheel sizes range from 16- to 18-inch, and cars that are specified with 17- or 18-inch rims come as standard with the lowered sports chassis. The latest generation ESP system is standard on all Adams, including a Hill Start Assist function. Handling on urban roads is enhanced by a CITY mode, which increases the electronic power steering system’s assistance at lower speeds.









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Famous Swan Car Returns to Pebble Beach – 2012 Monterey Weekend

Swan car Pebble Beach

Evert Louwman has a wonderful automobile collection and, as you can see from the photo, a sense of humor.

His museum in The Hague in Holland has everything from Duesenbergs to D-Types, but how about the Swan car? And it’s junior, the Cygnet? They are currently on their way to the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Come August 19th, those at the concours will see the pair glide -actually they’ll be driven – up the awards ramp at the concours…and probably get the biggest applause of the day.

But wait, you ask, what are they?

A Scotsman named Robert Nicholl Matthewson was a resident in India in the early 1900s, back when the maharajas were having some extraordinary one-off automobiles built. Several of these will be in a special class at Pebble this year.

Not wanting to be outdone, Mathewson had the Swan car created. Built on a 1910 Brooke 25/30 HP chassis, the Swan can open its beak and spray steam, light up its eyes and play an 8-note horn. It also has, shall we say, one bodily function. The last time it was at the concours, when leaving the awards ramp, the Swan had a little – we’re trying to be delicate here – “accident.” Let’s just say they had to mop up afterwards.

Turns out the Maharaja of Nabba was so taken by the Swan that he bought it and had the little one, the Cygnet, created so the Swan wouldn’t be lonely.

Thought to be the oldest Indian-made automobile, it would be the great-grandfather of today’s Tata Nano. What price progress, eh?

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