We’re only a week into the New Year but that hasn’t stopped a bunch of crazy Australians doing what they do best. No, they haven’t just claimed the record for the longest didgeridoo solo, nor the record for the most vegemite sandwiches spread in 60 seconds. Instead, they’ve done the world’s largest simultaneous burnout.
At this year’s Summernat’s car festival in Canberra, 69 cars lined up to sacrifice their tyres to the Gods of Smoke and Awesome. Thanks to the stupidly powerful cars, it only took 30 seconds for them to beat the previous record of 49 cars. Over 30 tyres went bang during the attempt, there was a bit of fire and lots and lots of smoke. Check it out below.
People of Australia, we salute you.
So this facelifted Z4 then. It now comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol four-pot that sits on the entry point of Z4 ownership, and one that heeds BMW’s labelling strategy by not being a ‘20i’, but a ‘sDrive18i’. Power sits at 156bhp and 177lb ft of torque, available between 1,250rpm and 4,400rpm. That’s good for a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds with the standard six-speed manual, which is a full second off the next model up, 184bhp sDrive20i. Spec the eight speed sports auto ‘box and the time rises to 8.1 secs, while top speed is 137mph.
Outside, the revisions are minor, but you’ll notice the LED lights have gone all Avatar thanks to their “strikingly three-dimensional design”, while there’s a newly designed tapered surround for the side indicators. There are three new colour options - grey, silver and orange - together with a new equipment pack named ‘Design Pure Traction’. Spec it, and you’ll be privy to an orange and black interior that looks nothing like a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Alcantara on the door trim, and a metal weave strip. There are new 17in and 18in wheel designs in a ‘V’ spoke design, too.
Deets at TopGear.com
Let’s talk power and torque. Power in the new car is up 40bhp over the XFR, and torque 41ft lbs, bringing the grand total to 550bhp and 501ft lbs from the 5.0-litre supercharged V8. Amazingly, this boost in power hasn’t had an impact on the fuel consumption and emissions as they’re still 24.4mpg and 270 g/km.
But numbers like this put it toe-to-toe with Stig’s favourite sideways saloon, the BMW M5. The Jag will hit 62mph in just 4.4 seconds (just 0.1 seconds slower than the M5), and it will go a lot faster: the XFR-S is limited to 186mph, where the M5 has its reins pulled in at 155mph.
The Jags eight-speed transmission comes packaged with tech developed for the impending F-Type called ‘Quickshift’. Quickshift aims to get you the quickest and crispest shifts when you want them by anlaysing road conditions, throttle and steering input. If you’re being a bit lairy, it’ll throw cogs at you like Donkey Kong throwing barrels, but if you’re being a bit more relaxed and gentle with the throttle it will change the shift to something a bit smoother and lower down the rev band.
Frankly, if it’s anything like the last car to get the R-S treatment from Jaguar Land Rover’s specialist ETO division, the XKR-S, you’ll be shifting hard. The fast XK is rightly lauded for its glorious noise, and in the XFR-S they’ve replaced the silencer from the standard car with an X-piece and near straight-through rear pipes. Expect that characteristic crackle on the overrun.
More at TopGear.com
To try and drum up interest in the new ‘vette, Polyphony is letting gamers download the car for free so you can do your own digital development testing around the ‘ring. Unfortunately, there’s no feedback screen so you can’t tell them what you think, and even more annoyingly, it doesn’t give any clues away about what it’ll look like.
Both the interior and exterior are slapped in camouflage, so you’ll have to wait until the debut in Detroit on January 13th for the unveiling. Until then, you’ll just have to imagine what it looks like.
Say ciao to the all-new Maserati Quattroporte - the lightest, biggest, and most powerful four-door Maz in the history of, erm, ever…
Mazzer’s playing its cards close to its chest, but we do know that the all-new V8 engine’s been designed and developed by Maserati and Ferrari engineers in Italy’s motor valley. And while you’d associate the products of Maranello to err on the thirsty side, this one’s meant to be more efficient and more powerful than the current car.
Maserati won’t tell us much about its leathery innards, either, but Lorenzo Ramaciotti, Head of the Maserati Design Centre, says: “Inside, the Quattroporte aims at essentiality, stressing the simplicity of lines and the full functionality of the on-board instrumentation. Functional elements are blended with soft quality surfaces made of prestigious woods and refined leathers.”
Read more about the new Mazz at TopGear.com.
Video now, story on TopGear.com to come.
This is a brilliant article full of tidbits about physics and tech and what it’s like to drive Road Atlanta:
What’s the DeltaWing like to drive?
Well, it doesn’t do what you expect. This is a very good thing. Everything you know about cars shaped like triangles tells you that it must be hideously unstable and, with that narrow front, very prone to understeer. It must therefore handle like a Robin Reliant. But the DeltaWing is neither unstable, nor lacking grip at the front end. The physics behind this is simultaneously simple and yet difficult to get your head around. Basically (very basically), tyre grip is matched to weight and since the front of the car has no weight, it needs comparatively less grip. Ben Bowlby, the man whose brainchild the DeltaWing is, proved this by picking the nose up.
He did what?
Lifted the front of the car clean off the ground. By himself. But the front only accounts for 28 per cent of the DeltaWing’s sub-500kg kerbweight, so the front wheels can be as narrow as those fitted to an old 2CV. Literally. In fact the spare tyres they use when pushing the DeltaWing around the paddock are old 2CV tyres.
This is Volkswagen Taigun, and you don’t need a degree in English to decipher that name: it’s an anagram of Tiguan.
It’s been unveiled at the Sao Paulo motor show, previewing - what Volkswagen reckons - the look of a possible small SUV based on the ‘New Small Family’ platform. Confused? The platform’s shared with the Up, too. So it’s pretty handy.
The Taigun measures just 3.86m in length and 1.73m in width, with short overhangs and a 1.0-litre, three-pot turbo producing 107bhp and 129lb ft of torque, all pushed through a six-speed manual gearbox. 0-62mph takes 9.2 seconds - quicker than a Polo 1.2 TSI - while the mini SUV will top out at 115mph.
Oh, and because that engine is tiny and the SUV weighs hardly anything - just 985kg - Volkswagen reckons it’ll return 60.1mpg.