Aaron's Day Off
Random ramblings about not necessarily anything in particular, and not much more....
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Fall Driving School
Well that's another one in the books. We were back down to Pueblo for the Fall Driving School with the Rocky Mountain chapter of the BMW Car Club, and much fun was had by all.
There were lots of highlights, and the general banter with the gang (as well as before and after on email) was all top notch. Ross made it out without breaking anything, although he was in Franks Elise when Frank decided to go all agricultural at the end of the day. We had a winner in the group for best car of the day (they must have liked the Smurf), and everyone seemed like they were fast and happy by the end of the day (minus a couple of run-ins with the shuffle steer nazi).
Gareth had managed to invest in a set of coilovers, which looking at the laps below, paid dividends. It also makes the A8 lower and meaner, so it looked good in the car park the night before as well as on the track.
Mr Wallace kindly let us borrow his new video camera, and Todd's video is here, while Gareth's is below. I somehow managed to not be able to get the video set up when I put it on my car (obvious user error), but I did get about 800 photos of my drive, which provided the apex hitting evidence at the top there.
Everyone is now looking at whether or not they can get out to the track again before winter sets in - this weekend is meant to be the Audi club at HPR, but snow is forecast for both days so that might be tough. Porsche club the weekend after though 8-)) so there's still a chance, as well as the open lapping days. Stay tuned....
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
A Definition of Meta.....
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
So I somehow managed to not drive HPR all summer, despite the fact it's close and new and a fantastic track. I finally got my arse in gear, along with Mr Thompson, and joined the Z Car Club to get in an organized track day, rather than get eaten alive (maybe) on an open day. It was good to try and learn the line in a pretty relaxed atmosphere, and the rain managed to hold off until pretty late in the day (although it wasn't Colorado's warmest day).
The groups we were in meant me and Gareth didn't get much time to hang out during the day, but then the stars aligned in the afternoon and he jumped in the car with his camera to take some video of the laps. This ended up being my last session of the day - a few laps in the brakes went so I had to ease off a bit to get through the end of the session, and they weren't in any sort of fit state after that to handle any more laps (even without the minor flood that engulfed the track). I have a few pics I took out there as well that I need to load up (Gareths are here)which I hopefully will get to this weekend.
And any of you track rats who've been dialing in the perfect line on HPR want to offer any (constructive) criticism on the line, feel free in the comments - this is the first time I've hit a track without any instruction on where I'm meant to be driving, so I'm sure there's plenty of improvement to be made.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Gullwing is Back!
Guess it's a supercar week (what were they thinking, today is a techie day and Apple have an event!), but Mercedes released details of the new gullwing (official name is the SLS AMG I guess). Another good looker, and I've always been a sucker for strange doors....
And now we have pics of the wings in full effect 8-))
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Autocrossing the weekend away
So I tried autocrossing last weekend for the very first time, and I really liked it. Before you ask, it's basically just like a mini timed racetrack that's set up with cones in a car park (and no, it has nothing to do with motorbikes, dirt or crashing).
The course is obviously a lot tighter than a track, so you never actually get out of second gear for the whole time, but it feels very very fast as you're blasting around. One of the main problems you have to contend with (apart from not hitting the cones) is actually remembering which way you need to drive. You get a walk or two around the course at the start of the day, but the first time the starter gives you the green light to go, you're basically looking at a sea of orange cones all jumbled up in the parking lot, trying to work out if it's left or right. Luckily there are a few pointers (cones laying down as arrows, some white lines painted around the outside of the track etc), and after a couple of trips around, you start to feel a little bit more comfortable.
Feeling comfortable and going fast however, are two very different things. As it was my first time, I didn't have very high expectations - get around without killing myself or the car, and try not to come last. Luckily I managed both. I was actually relatively competitive in the morning - somewhere in the middle of my group, but then I after lunch I screwed up the first run by hitting a cone, and then the next two weren't as fast. Still, I had a blast, and came away wanting to do it again. So of course, I signed up for another one in a few weeks 8-)) Sign up here if you're interested in joining - there's a rumor that Mr Tonkin is going to join me and Wallace out there next time (and it's only 45 bucks!!)...
Noble M600 - It's not cheap
So, it's been a long time coming, and when it finally did arrive, it was a little more expensive than anyone imagined. The new Noble M600 is 200k (and that's pounds, not dollars), but does have 650 bhp and gets you to 60 in 3 seconds flat. Looks wise I'm not too sure - I think they made it just a little bit too long. And that price, for a Noble? It's gonna make it more expensive than the new Ferrari......
Noble M600: 650 HP, 225 MPH Driving Excitement [New Cars]
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Ford Focus RS on the 'Ring
Friday, July 31, 2009
Tomorrow will be a good day
Thursday, July 30, 2009
More Pikes Peak Action
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
New Ferrari 458 Italia
As usual, Ferrari runs in at the most unexpected moment and steals my heart....
So the F430 replacement just got officially announced (with the pics I'm showing here), and a couple of details - 562 bhp at 9000rpm (!!!?!!), 392 lb/ft of torque and a 0-60 of 3.4 secs. It's got a twin clutch gearbox (similar to the one in the California), and there'll be lots more information at the official release/showing at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Loving the way it looks like a baby Enzo....
Oh yeah, and here's a bit of gratuitous music for your ears
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Skate Fast, Very Fast.......
Sunday, July 12, 2009
So yesterday was the turn of Ferrari of Denver to host the Lotus Evora coming out party. Although they've been released over in Europe, you still can't buy one over here until the beginning of next year, so this was the first time for many to see one first hand (including me).
They're actually really nice - it seemed smaller that I thought it was going to be - they're not really that much bigger than an Elise, although definitely easier to get in and out of. The back seats, hmmm. The Lotus guy told me that he'd had people in the back, but I'm not sure - they're definitely of the plus 2 variety, and I couldn't see any legroom with a reasonable sized person in the front.
No-one got to drive them, but I was chatting with the Lotus guys who had driven them cross country - much more comfortable than an Elise was what I got out of them, while still handling well on the track.
Based on the estimated price over here, they're going to come in around the same price as a base 911, but in reality I think they're more likely to compete with the Cayman S form what I've read of the reviews.
Oh, and if you've got a spare $300k lying around, the guys at Ferrari of Denver just took delivery of an F430 Scuderia - it's sitting in the showroom right now with your name on it.......
Monday, June 22, 2009
Real or Fake? Schumacher 'revealed' as the Stig
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Evo vs Focus
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Ken Block Gymkhana Two
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Track Days without the Track
Once you get your car on the track, you're kind of addicted for what I presume to be the rest of your life. Not a week goes by when I don't think about lines around the track, what it feels like to get that super smooth trail brake rotation at the perfect moment, or how to eek out another couple of milliseconds off a lap time.
Given I can't be on the track every day (or week, or even month), something has to fill the void. A few drives in the mountains, and the occasional early morning heel-toe downshift coming in to work help, as does video games. Not just any video games, but car racing games. And this year looks like it's gonna be an epic.
There's two main franchises in the racing world that go more for the realistic approach to driving (than a pure arcade, blast around having fun approach) - Forza and Gran Turismo. Forza 3 and Gran Turismo 5 are both coming out this year, and with this weeks E3 conference, a couple of trailers were released. Check them out below, and see which one you fancy.....
Oh, and my name is Aaron, and I'm a car loving geek.....
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
To Mr Batty's valid comment to the earlier post about the jet pack, and all of the demo videos are just of guys hovering around a little, rather than going anywhere, the one below popped into my RSS reader today. Not only does it show someone actually travelling using one of these things, it actually races a brand new Focus RS - not the slowest car in the world. Now, the jet pack itself is different to the one below, and this one apparenty is a "race" version, that only carries about 30 seconds of fuel, but it still looks kinda cool to me....
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Oh my - a Smurf Blue supercar killer. This M6 based car from G Power can do 228mph. Producing 750 bhp via a little supercharger dropped into the already powerful V10 'base' engine, the car has the go to match the looks (which I must say I kinda like).
I know of one lady who has a bit of a smurf blue fetish, so guessing this might go on her list....
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Normal service will now be resumed
I (rightly) got a bit of grief off my kid brother yesterday for my fascination/obsession with The Hills, and he wasn't having none of my explanation of "I just happen to be in the living room when the wife watches it". So, I'm resuming normal service with the Porsche promotional video of the new GT3, and Walter Rohl taking it nice and smooth around a track. This car consumed a decent part of the conversation last week, and lets face it, apart from Ross's ability to injure himself on a regular (pre-track day) basis, cars were the main topic of conversation. Needless to say, I want one - better remember to buy the lottery ticket tonight I guess.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Lotus Advanced Driving School
There's going to be a big post on this when I get some time, but for now you'll have to make do with the photos here, and the video below, that Todd took on our instructor demo laps. I think I was in the car in front, but the whole two days was a bit of a fantastic blur.
I'm now a much better driver than I was when I went, and of course am trying to work out the finances for a trip back there sometime soon.
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Focus RS - US Bound?
Once again, the rumors have started. Now that I think Ford has confirmed they're not going to fall off the edge of a bankruptcy cliff, and that they're bringing over the Focus in de-tuned form, we have the whisper of the RS making it to these shores. Given the pretty amazing reviews that Evo Magazine gave it back home, if the price comes in somewhere in the reasonable range over here, it might be somewhat tempting as my daily driver. It's even got the ready made snow shovel on the front for those Colorado winters (or spring this year I guess).
Now, orange or green?
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Porsche 911 - 998 Spy Photos
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tesla Model S - it's electric
In general, I don't really like electric cars. Sure, the Tesla roadster was kinda fast, but why wouldn't you just buy an Elise and not worry about the battery crapping out on you in a couple of years? And weight - light is good. Lighter is very good. (plus I secretly believe that all the production costs/effort, combined with disposing of the battery afterwards is actually a lot worse for the planet than a decent sportscar).
But this new sedan they've released is actually gorgeous. It's how I thought the new Jag was going to look, before they bottled it and pushed some Toyota like blandness into the final version. And take a look at the screen in the center console - apart from the fact that if you switch it on, it'll use so much power your roundtrip will be cut short by 30 miles (that bit isn't actually true).
Anyway, other notable things - 300 mile range (allegedly), along with 0-60 in 5.1 seconds, and 7 seats, which really translate into 5 normal seats, and two kids rear facing ones in the boot/trunk.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
You make me sick
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce
Saturday, February 28, 2009
Kids these days....
When I was 11, I happily played footy in the street, and had just began my journey into BMX'ing. I watched lots of car racing on TV, but was never allowed to drive one. That's why I'm soooo jealous of this 11 year old kid from Finland, seen here blasting round in the snow in an Evo. Very, very jealous...
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I've never really understood the status that the Mercedes G Wagon has over here. Stars seem to love them, but I think if I was going with an old school 4-wheel go anywhere thing, it'd have to be a Land Rover for me. However, whenever anyone puts 690 bhp into something, it gets my interest......
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Lambo in the Snow
Friday, January 30, 2009
2010 911 GT3 - it's pretty
Moving very quickly to (at least very new) the top of my list of dream cars, Porsche announced details of the new GT3 that everyone knew was coming. Lots of cool stuff included in the new version, including special engine mounts, and a hydraulic something or other that allows the front end to be raised by a couple of inches to get it in your driveway without taking out the splitter. And it's more powerful and faster as well, so there's not much not to like.
Of course, at $112k before you've ticked a single option box (and I'm sure there's going to be a few you're really going to "need"), you could always buy yourself an apartment instead.....
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Pagani Zonda R
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Fast and Furious 4
Monday, January 12, 2009
McLaren SLR Stirling Moss Edition
Saturday, December 13, 2008
New Ford Focus RS
The new Ford Focus has been released in Europe (or the details have at least) and it's nice. 275 bhp and nearly 300 lb-ft of torque to keep you entertained. Now we just need 2 things - the review from Evo to see if handles, and an announcement that they're bringing it over to the US.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Go Karts are Great
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Audi R8 V10 (Officially now)
So I've been meaning to post this for ages, and finally got round to it when I got an email from R8 lover extraordinaire Lesley about sorting out the Lotus Driving School thing we're looking to do next year.
Audi finally announced the much rumored V10 version of it's flagship go-fast and gorgeous car, the R8, with the official figures coming out at 525 bhp and 390 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 is 3.9 seconds, and it'll (somewhere) go 196mph. That seems fast enough to me, and along with the subtle changes to the outside, it's right back up there on my list of cars to own when/if I win the lottery. Pricing in the US hasn't been announced (but in the UK it's about 30k pounds higher than the regular V8, so I'm guessing about $160k over here).....
And yes, it's officially pretty enough to get two pics on here - there's more here and here.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Car Control is Important
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Jet Powered Diahatsu
Some people do the craziest things in there spare time, and this looks a prime example. Given the light weight, I'm sure this truck will pretty much take off with any power coming from the jet on the back. Might be fun once, but the year in the hospital after that first trip may not be something you're really looking for. Luckily, in the interests of your safety and well-being, I waited until after the E-Bay auction was finished before posting this. You can thank me later.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
New McLaren Supercar Coming?
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The Bike Post
So my little brother's had a rough couple of weeks as far as transport is concerned. One engine blow up (bike) and one driveshaft snap (car) hasn't made for too much fun. So, here's a couple of bikes that might make him smile.
First up is the Confederate Fighter bike. This is up for sale as part of the Neimain Marcus catalog this year, for the bargain price of $110k. Maybe I should get 2.....
Next up is the Honda V4 concept bike - super clean, although I can't quite work out how the wheels go around... Anyone got any ideas?
And finally, the Ferrari concept (also called the V4 - must be running out of names for concept bikes I guess). I'm not sure I like the shape as much as the other two (it looks pretty fat to me, but I'm no bike expert), but under the skin looks pretty decent if you want to click through.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Taking the wife out for a spin
I never normally drive that fast when Heidi's in the car. I think I'm scared of a reaction like this....
(this is Ricardo Patrese and his wife - he used to be a Formula 1 driver, so he knows what he's doing)
Oh, and Todd got to drive a GT-R - very jealous, just hope it's coming down to Pueblo in a couple of weeks.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Audi R8 Spider with a V10 Engine
Friday, September 05, 2008
Friday Post for self
I realize I've been a bit of a slacker for posting not much on here in recent weeks. I will try harder, but the will to jump on the computer when I get home at night has somehow left me, and I've been doing other stuff (like reading, you know, books and stuff).
Anyway, this is purely for self gratification, and to remind me at some point in the future that one of these things might be fun ;-)
Drifting the GT3 from EmilGH on Vimeo.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
New 911 (or 997 and a half) Promo
My eternal indecisiveness is further elevated whenever I watch a new Porsche video (about what my next car might be). The choice is still at least a year and a half away, but current front runners are (not in any order) 911 (s or GT3), Elise or Exige supercharged, Caterham R500, Nissan GTR and the Audi R8. And of course, replacing the M3 in my garage with the newer version.
I have a feeling that cars as we know them won't be around for too long, so I'm seriously tempted to get a back to basics pure driving experience car, and then a daily driver (or see if I can keep the M), which further complicates my decision. I normally have an ordered list in my head of what's next at all times, but the whole GTR vs GT3 vs Caterham are all so different cars, that I'm in a confused state. I guess it's a nice confused state to be in though, and I'll probably end up getting none of them if/when the time comes. You never know, maybe I'll get rich and just put the deposit down on the F430 Scuderia - the lottery is up to $75 million at the minute.
Anyway, enough rambling, here's the video
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Kinetic Energy Isn't So Hot
Monday, July 21, 2008
Some people leaked the details before the planned British Motor Show release, so here you go. Somewhere in the middle of this car is a 3.5 V6 from Toyota pushing out over 280 bhp. Hopefully it's gonna keep the traditional "corners on rails" handling of all the other Lotus's, and very little weight to ensure it goes and stops quickly and easily.
Official press conference is tomorrow, so there's likely to be lots more pretty pictures and details then - stay tuned.
GT-R on Top Gear
Friday, June 27, 2008
If the F430 Scuderia isn't fast enough for you, there's this little gem from Novitec - they added a couple of superchargers on there, along with some other bits and pieces to make sure you stay on the road, and sent it out for some lucky people to play with. Unfortunately, they decided their press car was going to be yellow, which is pretty unforgiveable in my book. And only an extra $74k over the base price? Bargain if you ask me.
Next up is the new California, moving it's roof gracefully from open to close. I think I want one now....
And that's it for now. Posting may be greatly reduced for the next 5 or 6 days as I take some much needed vacation, which will include leaving my laptop at home for the duration, so I can really relax and get some rest. Lots of photos to show at the end of next week no doubt though. And if you're around NYC and want to meet up (and we haven't already discussed it), I can always be contacted on Twitter if it manages to stay up....
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
TVRs - Nice Cars Those Were
Alfa Mito GTA
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Speed Racer - the bike
Monday, June 02, 2008
RMCBMWCCA Spring Driving School
So the day finally arrived, and I got to spend the whole day (well, a lot of it) driving pretty fast around the track in Pueblo. George came along with his Porsche, and was grinning nearly as much as I was.
Technically I guess it was spring, but it certainly felt like summer, and my face is red enough to prove it. Rumor was that Sunday was going to be even hotter, so I'm glad I hadn't picked that day in the end (although doing both days is always tempting).
We had a few visitors come down to watch, and luckily they also took control of the camera for the day, so there's a small subset of the photos they took here. There were about 600 in total, so loading them all up on Flickr didn't seem like a practical approach. If you were in Group C or D, I've probably got a shot or two of your car, so let me know if you want me to take a look and send them direct.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
2009 Aston Martin V8 Vantage
With an upgraded 4.7 litre V8 engine, modified suspension and steering geometry, the V8 Vantage somehow gets to be even more attractive than it was when it was first released. This has to be one of the prettiest cars on the road, and now that it's pushing out 420bhp it should drive through my dreams that little bit faster. And you can still get it with a manual gearbox (yay!)
Too many cars, to little time and money. I better work harder on making my millions.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
BMW Car Club - Car Control Clinic
So this year I wasn't driving, but Wee Dod was, so I went up for an hour to take some pics and offer a bit of moral support.
Judging from the smile, I think George liked it (a lot), so the real driving school down in Pueblo in a couple of weeks should be a blast.
Managed to take way too many pics of course (and thanks to Cliff who provided a few photography pointers - "hold the camera like this", "don't keep pressing" etc etc), but I loaded a selection up on Flickr here if you wanna check them out.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Caterham R500 vs a Ducatti
I don't want to start a bike vs car war here (or anywhere else for that matter), so that means you Matthew and Graham. All I want to do is point out that I think I may have finally decided on my next car. I doubt it will handle in the snow though, so I'm going to have to get something for the winter out here, or save enough money to keep the M3 as my daily driver.
Anyway, if you watch this and don't find the urge to go out and buy one straight away, you're probably on the wrong blog - you really should be here.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Car Crashing Weekend
And not just any type of crashing - the kind of crashing by experienced motor racing stars that typically don't happen. The video below is Danica Patrick taking out a member of her own team in pretty spectacular fashion, and this link is the son of Ayrton Senna, Bruno, being taken out of the race (and not being very happy about it) when a stray dog wandered onto the track. The dog obviously didn't survive, so if you're squeamish about that sort of thing (hi wife!) I wouldn't recommend clicking through.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
New STi Ads
Finally, someone at Subaru remembered what the STi was all about. If only they had shown the guys who designed the new one this ad before they started (and the engineers who dialed in the understeer as well for that matter), and I might have gone out and bought another one.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Audi RS 6 Teaser
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Caterham R500 Superlight
Always one of the cars that will eventually end up in my garage when I'm a super-rich multicar type person, Caterham have released teaser shots for the latest R500 Superlight. Staying true to the original Lotus approach of speed and handling by keeping the weight down, this one promises to be a cracker.
And last post of the night - I need to eat...
Sunday, April 06, 2008
GT-R - More US Videos
It looks like the GT-R is doing the rounds for magazine and website testing, so lots of new videos of some track time are shooting up over YouTube and the various sites. The more I read about this car, the more enticing it's becoming. Still wishing for a real gearbox though - I guess that these days that firmly puts me in the old school camp...
Oh, yeah, and as a complete aside, I've signed up for my second ever BMW High Performance Driving school thing down at Pueblo. And as luck (and immaculate organization) would have it, the Lijit team are going to be attending the same day. It's going to be another great day, and the excitement is building already.
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Skyline GT-R Initial Tests - 0-60 in 3.3. secs!!
Inside Line gets the star prize for getting a full featured review out on the web - and it appears that the GT-R is going to be faster than anyone had hoped.
For the second time in a week, I'm seriously tempted to go down to the Nissan garage and put down a deposit....
Friday, December 14, 2007
Porsche 928 - The Nightmare Version
When I was growing up, the 928 was high on my wish list of cars. It stayed on there for a very long time, in part coz despite it being so old by the time it finally ceased production it still looked pretty modern, and in part due to it being available for purchase second hand at a price I could almost grasp affording (think 5000 pounds or so). Now, of course, I would never have been able to afford the insurance, or the petrol (gas), and if anything ever went wrong, it would completely bankrupt me for the rest of my life. So, I didn't buy one, although one of the guys who used to go surfing did get one and ran it successfully for about 18 months before the expensive repairs kicked in.
Anyway, this is all leading up to this following video, in which someone has completely massacred one of my childhood dreams. I've asked myself why a few times, and apart from the obvious "I need a fast truck" I'm at a loss for words - I thought that's why they had the high performance Dodge and Ford trucks (if you ever see someone trying to drive one of these 500 hp things in the snow in Denver, give them a wide berth - it's funny to watch, but not when you're in the lane next to them). And Porsche apparently helped him get approval to take it on the road...
Friday, December 07, 2007
Ferrari Out-Brakes BMW
So not long after BMW leaks the news they're working with Brembo for their brakes in the future, Ferrari comes out and trumps everyone (now that never happens, does it...) and announces their whole line for 2008 on will come with brakes of the ceramic variety.
Given they're a good few grand (an $8k option on a Porsche I think), it's not a cheap add-on - the question I have is you sat on the rumored 4 year waiting list, and had just taken delivery of your 2007 F430, would it make you pissed off? I didn't think so ;-)
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Caparo T1, Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Gardens are much bigger over here than back home (for comparable size houses and money, obviously) - case in point The Thompsons, who could/should fit a five a side pitch in the back yard. Being English, I think as a nation we're opposed to the whole sit on a lawnmower and drive around on it, but Mr Thompson has had to fend off questions about why he can't sit on his lawnmower (technically I guess he could, but I'm sure it would get warm and maybe a little painful).
Anyway, this could well be the answer. A Formula One inspired lawnmower. Although you still have to follow it round, it looks kinda cool, and I'm sure must go faster than the normal ones. And the JP paint job - brings a tear to my eye, remembering the old Lotus cars from my yoof. No-one would question your machinery when you're pushing this around your back garden.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Nissan GT-R Dteails
So details of the GT-R have finally been revealed, and it looks like it won't disappoint. The GT-R's twin-turbo 3.8L V6 will produce 473 horsepower and 434 ft-lbs. of torque, and will sprint from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds (yes, 3.5). The quarter mile is reported at 11.7, which is pretty ridiculous for an off the shelf car.
Unfortunately, the only transmission option will be the dual clutch playstation type approach to changing gears, but I guess I could live with it if I had to.
I'm not 100% certain I like the looks yet or not - that's a very big gap behind the front wheel, but the first drive report has definitely got me excited. Now all I need to know is the price over here
Friday, October 12, 2007
New M3 isn't that fast
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
STI Official Pics
Sunday, October 07, 2007
BMW Performance Driving School
So yesterday was finally the day that I got to drive my car like it was supposed to be driven (well, at least sort of). It was the BMW Car Club's High Performance Driving School down at the Pueblo Race Track, and I had been waiting for far too long for it to actually happen. The run up involved the purchase of the new helmet, as well as a tech inspection and brake flush, but it was all worth it in the end.
The class itself was an all day affair, which involved getting up at 5am to get down to Pueblo in time. Not fun, but Red Bull gives you wings, and although I was a little late and slightly panicked on the way down, I made it in time to not miss anything. As it was my first time, I was in D class (it goes from A to D based on experience and skill, and all first timers end up in D from what I can tell, unless you've had prior to race experience, or done some other classes). You start off with classroom sessions where they tell you about the track, the racing line and some basics about how the day will go in terms of building up speed gradually, and getting the racing line down before you start to push it. The instructor was a guy called Bill, and it was obvious that he really knew his stuff - very knowledgeable about everything, and able to deal with all the questions, while making the classes fun.
After the classroom session, you go out with the instructors for a "brush the cone" exercise - the instructor takes you round twice, nice and slow, showing you the correct racing line around the corners. There are cones out on all the corners for the turn-in points, apex and track out point, which help a lot. So once you see the line, they let you go out, nice and slow to get the feel for the right line. It still feels pretty fast - 50 million things to do, all at once, and the instructor giving you step by step instructions. Overwhelming, but lots of fun.
Then a quick break, more classroom, and back out on track again. When you're in the D class, you get the same instructor again, and I have to say Peter, my instructor, was great. He was very patient and encouraging, and really knew his stuff. So, the second time out was a lot quicker, and some corners came a lot easier than others. Pueblo has some pretty technical sections in there (well they felt pretty technical to a novice like me) with 3 or 4 corners linked together in close succession, and not much straight to get set up, so the concentration on the line was very necessary.
After this run, it was lunch, and the instructors get some track time as a reward for putting up with us lot. Peter volunteered to take me out for a real lap as a passenger, and to be honest, it was one of the best rides of my life. He has a tuned E36 M3 with R compound tires, race brake pads and upgraded suspension, and at full blast, it sounds great. I learned a lot, mainly about how fast you could actually take the corners, and how late you could break before you hit the turns. We were flying, and staying ahead of a lot of supposedly faster cars - the Z06 in front stayed right in our sights, but it had way too much power on the straights for us to pass him. If you ever go on this course, make sure you take up the chance to go around with the instructors - it's amazing.
The afternoon sessions were the two best drives. It was suggested that the third session was going to be the best, as the 4th is late in the day, and all the concentration and processing you've done takes it's toll. It didn't quite turn out like that for me - 3 was great - lots of speed through the corners, but for some reason I was having a hard time hitting turn 9 right. It didn't slow me down too much, but it was a little frustrating. I went into a couple of corners a little too hot as well, but nothing too serious.
By the time session 4 came around, I was tired, but still completely wired with adrenalin and smiling like someone possessed. Another different instructor, so a couple of warm up laps hitting the line, and then we were off. This was by far the best session - I was about 3 times quicker than the first run, and there were some sections that I came out of knowing that I just nailed completely. My instructor, Doug, was pretty excited, especially through turns 5 and 6a and b. We took over a few cars, and had a decent little cat and mouse with a 997 S for a couple of laps before I let him past to see how fast he actually was. It turned out we were just as quick as he was, so we tracked together for a lap or two before the chequered flag ended the day.
So, I want to say thanks to all the instructors, corner workers, fellow students and other helpers. It was a great day out, and if you ever think about doing this, I'd definitely recommend it whole heartedly. The next one is going to be scheduled on my calendar as an immovable object, and I'll be waiting anxiously until that day...
One other (non-driving) highlight of the day - I got to meet some of the Lijit team - they're the smart people who make the widget over there on the left that makes searching for stuff so much more helpful. It had a special significance on this particular day, as the main reason I ended up at the driving school was through one of those 6 degrees of separation things that happen on the web. I had added Lijit, and found Tara's website, and she does some interviews of co-workers on Fridays. One of the first (or maybe even _the_ first) was Leslie, and she seems as obsessed about her car as I am (red S4 if you see it blasting around Boulder making wonderful noises). She had a post about the driving school, and how amazing it was, and that's what kicked off my plan. So, I saw a Lijit t-shirt floating around, and basically just went over to see if I could get one 8-) They're a very necessary commodity in the fashion world, so as it was probably my only shot to get one, I removed the typical English "don't speak until spoken too" part of my personality and went for it. And well worth it it was - business card duly dispatched to Todd, so I'm going to spend the next few weeks waiting for the post to arrive, and getting to hang out with a group of smart and fun people was a definite bonus.
So, class day all round, and as Nike keeps telling you "Just Do It". You won't regret it.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Car Control Clinic
Today was my first venture in the car that involved a bit of closed track action - the learners starter place known as the Car Control Clinic. This is a mandatory (I think anyway, if not, highly recommended) prior to the driving school I'm going to in a couple of weeks (I got my helmet yesterday).
Of course, it was all brand new, so I was a little scared, but after easing gently into the slalom, I gradually got faster and kept it all under a semblance of control. After slalom was the skid pad - two large circles next to each other - one wet, one dry, just so you could feel the difference in grip. I think it was my favorite part of the day - getting the tail to lightly drift out as your pushing it was a lot of fun.
Finally was the emergency braking section - stop as quickly as you can, first in a straight line, and then as you're turning. ABS obviously makes this a lot easier than it used to be, but it was still fun. Unfortunately, during the braking, the car started making some weird scraping noises, so I pulled out before the end, and a few of the very helpful staff there took a look and gave me a hand working out what was going on. It all turned out fine in the end - I had a small rock stuck in between the rotor and caliper, and it managed to pop out as we were driving home, with no damage done. I think I turned white before I knew what it was though - obviously imagining the worst, and wondering if I'd even get home.
Anyway, still recovering now - the clutch leg is a little achy, and the face is definitely sore from all the grinning I've been doing. Heidi took lots of photos and vids, so I combined all the slalom ones for your viewing pleasure below. And can I just say in my defense (before you get started with the abuse brothers), the first couple I was told to go pretty slow....
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Friday, July 20, 2007
If you ignore the dodgy paint and mismatched wheels, you at least get a little idea. I'm sure it's going to look a lot prettier when it finally emerges. This has got to be one of the longest time periods for a car in development ever (after the first ever car I guess) - Lotus has been talking about building this thing since Pretty Woman came out (or something like that.
Anyway, more pics are here (all with the same dodgy paint scheme of course).
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The long rumored, often lusted after F430 Challenge Stradale turned into the F430 Scuderia. Not sure I like the name, but I do like the results - power up to 510 bhp, weight shaved by 100kg, integration between the F1 traction control and E-Diff, and lots of smiles guaranteed.
Despite the press release from Ferrari, the official release is at the Frankfurt Motor Show (how does that work then....) by the retiree with the best job, Herr Michael Schumaker. One day, when I grow up, I'm going to race cars.....
Saturday, July 14, 2007
The last version of this was known as the widow maker, but loved by people who could actually drive very well (as in the race driver type, not the "I can change from 1st to 2nd pretty smoothly" type).
The GT2 tends to have loads of power, rear wheel drive, and the wildest body kit of any of the factory 911's, and this one doesn't disappoint. 530 bhp this time, and the usual GT spec weight saving program, meaning the Porsche acceleration figures (which are routinely beaten by the mags) are 3.6 secs for the 0-60 and a mind blowing 7.2 secs for the 0-100 dash. This also happens to be the first road production car that officially tops 200mph, with 204 being what the brochure said (that's what the Top Gear site is saying anyway, but didn't the Carrera GT get over 200???).
The price for one of these is never going to be pretty (the UK price, which is the only one that's been leaked so far as I can tell is over 130k (pounds, so that translates to around $250k over here), but it does include some high performance driving course (definitely will be needed unless you're already a Porsche factory driver), and Porsche's version of Tracker/LoJack (depending on your country), which hopefully you won't need.
Obviously, I want one, but having been addicted to reading about one of my other favorite cars recently (post to come sometime soon) the price (and snow over here in Winter ;-) might be a little prohibitive. I'm definitely getting a little too sensible in my old age.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Evo X in Full
Finally, some pics, but after all the press photos, seeing one on the road was kinda disappointing. The front still looks good - that big gaping mouth to suck in all the air for the intercooler looks kinda cool and mean), but the back end and 3/4 view - I'm not so sure - it looks kinda fat to be honest. Maybe it's just the gun metal gray instead of red, or the lack of lights shining directly on it or something.
Anyway, Moto Authority are the ones with these pics and more, so check it out here.
New WRX Ad
It looks better when it's moving I guess, and going sideways around corners is always fun, but I still like the old versions better (yes, even the bug-eyed or dodgy nose ones). I'm holding out until I see the STi one properly (might have a pic saved somewhere - I'll post it if I find it/get a chance today)
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
It's Red, Tiny and Fast
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Friday, June 01, 2007
Friday's Fast Video
Monday, May 28, 2007
Lancia Delta S4 Goes Karting
The Lancia Delta S4 is probably one of my favorite cars of all time. The flared wheel arches, the ridiculous power of the soon to be scrapped Group B rally class, and normally at the hands of some of the top rally drivers in the world.
So, what would happen if you decided to combine this with my favorite past-time (and something I really should get back in to over here) - Go-Karting. Probably the best demonstration of how precise the handling on these things were.....
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I've been holding out mentioning the latest (and possibly) best 911 until there was some pix to go along with the specs (2 wheel drive, 530bhp, 0-60 in the mid 3 second range). Well, now there's this vid courtesy of AutoExpress back home, shot during testing at the only place it seems testing is done these days. It's not cheap, and it's not for the inexperienced, so that rules out me as a buyer, but I can still dream.....
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
More small car news, with the spotting of the Fiat 500 Abarth - the sporting version of the cutest new car since too long to remember.
Not only was it spotted, but it was at the 'Ring - definite signs that they're doing plenty of testing to make sure it handles just like the go-kart it looks like.
Anyway, Car broke the news, and the rest of the photos and a few words are here - 150bhp in a go-kart is always fun by anyone's standards...
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
F40 vs Veyron
I'm never going to get inside both of these cars, so I have to make do with videos on YouTube. The film isn't that great, but the driver giggling like a little kid when he puts his foot down was a good bit, and the Ferrari driver nonchalantently applying opposite lock as he came out of a corner was the highlight for me.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
It appears that the police in the UK are tracking YouTube, and catching the guys who seem to find enjoyment in 100 mph blasts down the motorway while filming (who can imagine). Actually, reading into it, this guy wasn't very smart, as he ended up filming from the front of his house, making it a little easier to track him down. Story here from PistonHeads (who incidentally I think got bought last week).