Big Ron reveals £2m, 986bhp track-only edition of his bonkers hyper-hybrid. World runs for the hills.
Good thing McLaren doesn’t listen to TopGear. This is the P1 GTR, a track-only racer revealed at California’s ritzy Pebble Beach meet. A car, says McLaren, with a simple aim: to be the best driver’s car in the world on track. A car with yet more power than the absurdly powerful road-going P1.
How much more power? Precisely 83bhp more than the, ahem, standard P1, taking overall output from the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 and electric motor to 986bhp. Veyron power.
McLaren is yet to reveal performance figures, but the GTR will trump the road-going P1’s 0-62mph of 2.8 seconds. Not much save a top fuel dragster will get off the line quicker. [x]
And it just got a lot smaller. Paul Horrell reports on Vauxhall’s upcoming VW Up rival
It’s the badge the company will use for its new baby car. It’ll give them a three-model small-car range. The Viva is the cheapest one, then the Corsa - itself just about to be renewed - and the Adam.
Interestingly, the Viva name won’t be used in the rest of Europe, we’re told by a senior Vauxhall source. Likely over there it’ll be called Agila, the name of the car it replaces. Indeed, the Viva name hasn’t been officially announced, but it’s something Vauxhall has researched and found the public likes, and “I can’t say but if you asked me I’d smile,” said our big-cheese.
All of which means Vauxhall is dead-set on selling more small cars in Britain than anyone else. Including the mighty Ford. “We’ll give Ford a bloody good run for their money in small cars. We’ll have three great small cars. They have the Fiesta, which is great, and the Ka, which isn’t,” said Vauxhall’s boss Tim Tozer. [x]
For a whisker under £200k, bag yourself a track-honed and track only 650S
No, you haven’t already seen it. Yes, McLaren also recently unveiled the 650S GT3 car; this Sprint is the little brother to that monster, for the gentlemen, less oversteery helmsmiths amongst you.
It still gets lots of good bits, though. Underneath is the same carbon fibre MonoCell chassis and 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 powering the rear wheels, just like the road car (and that pesky GT3). The engine gets revised air intakes, while both engine and drivetrain get unique ECU calibrations too.
Then there’s the FIA-approved roll cage, a lightweight carbon fibre HANS device, six point racing harness, and even air-conditioning. And that last point is not a frivolous, quirky thing - it gets bloody hot in race cars. Aston is even working on a solar panel to power its future GT car air-con systems. So keeping cool is important. [x]
162mph, 542bhp Range Rover Sport SVR is really, really rapid. 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, anyone?
As Land Rover has mentioned a few times recently, it has spent the last several months working on a range-topping, really-bloody fast version of the Range Rover Sport. This is it. It’s called the Range Rover SVR, and it’s the fastest production Land Rover… in the world.
How fast? 542bhp, 502lb ft and 162mph fast, that’s how. And such is the fashion these days, LR has thrown this two-tonne megabomb around the Nürburgring, thus giving James May a mild aneurism.
This SVR pumped around the Green Hell in eight minutes and 14 seconds, making it faster than - if you believe in such fairytale times at the ‘Ring - the Lexus IS-F, original Honda NSX and as quick as a Merc C63 AMG. [x]
RRM’s 250bhp Abarth reckons it can smash a Lotus Exige around a race track. Still looks adorable.
There’s something adorably incongruous about the world’s desire to turn the bug-eyed, cute-as-a-very-cute-button Fiat 500 into a circuit-devouring sports-thing. Like arming a Labrador puppy with a claymore.
From Fiat’s own Abarth efforts to aftermarket tuning jobs, it seems everyone wants to turn the little 500 nasty.
But we’ve not yet seen one nastier than Road Race Motorsports’ shot at a Cinquecentro, creating what it calls the ‘500 M1 Turbo Tallini Competizione’, a name rather longer than the car itself.
The American-fettled 500 M1 (let’s go with that for brevity) is a road-legal track-day special that, promises RRM, can keep pace with a Lotus Exige around a circuit. That’s fighting talk. [x]
A difference of taste.
The design mind behind the Bronco is taking it back with all-electric Tesla-based aluminium rocket.
Meet the Icon Helios, an Californian dream machine packing an all-electric platform, and bodywork surely dreamed up when Howard Hughes got drunk with Gordon Buehrig.
Actually, that’s the analogy Icon’s owner, Jonathan Ward, uses to explain his latest vision. “One way or another,” he revealed on Twitter, “I will build this car. Looking for the right client to commission it.”
A bit of history, first. Icon is famous for building one of TG’s favouritest ever cars, the Bronco; a reworked 1972 monster with an entirely new chassis underneath, a box-fresh 5.0-litre V8 up front and a good, solid slug of 400bhp and 400lb ft of torque.
There’s a purpose built Atlas II transfer case, custom Dynatrac Dana solid-axle assemblies and independent coilover suspension by Eiback and Fox Racing. So it’s a serious, serious bit of kit. [x]
EXCLUSIVE: TG brings you the 1400bhp twin-turbo Texan aiming to smash the production speed record. Be afraid.
Here it is, a world-first look at Hennessey’s Venom F5, Texas’s V8 twin-turbo hyper-thing aiming not just to go quicker than the 268mph Veyron Super Sport, but blow the pesky Bugatti into the weeds, targeting a top speed of 290mph. Perhaps even more.
"I think something in the 290mph range will be possible," boss John Hennessey tells TG in an exclusive interview. Normally a claim so big from a manufacturer so small should be taken with a pretty hefty helping of scepticism. But don’t forget Hennessey has form.
As you’ll likely be aware, earlier this year Hennessey’s first hypercar, the 1,244bhp Venom, hit 270.49mph on Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center runway: faster than the Veyron Super Sport’s 269.86mph recorded vmax (the Bugatti’s official 267.86mph figure, if you’re wondering, was the average of its upwind and downwind runs at Ehra-Lessien). [x]
Yep, that just happened: Japan to get a modified Note ‘built for speed’
Nismo, Nissan’s official tuning arm, has announced that it will build a sporty, modified version of its Note mini-MPV. It’s called the Note Nismo.
Yep, you can brush aside you GT-R Nismo and 370Z Nismo; now the game’s all about mini-MPVs. Nissan has confirmed that this little speed-merchant will be available in two grades, the Note Nismo and the Note Nismo S.
It’s been built to celebrate Nismo’s 30th anniversary, and will feature a “specially tuned engine” with a five-speed manual gearbox, providing a “fruitful supply of low-end torque”. We are crossing all fingers and toes that this specially tuned engine is the GT-R’s twin-turbo V6. We appreciate just how unlikely this is, but whatever. [x]