When a Bugatti Veyron crashed on a highway in Austria a few months ago, insurance company AXA estimated the cost of repairs at upwards of $800,000. Of course, there were worries that even after all the repairs the car may never drive quite the same. So rather than try, the insurance company evidently wrote it off and paid the owner the insured value of the car. But now it's got the wrecked Bugatti on its hands, and is looking to offload it.
This early model, built in 2008, has the original version's 987-horsepower 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine, a fixed roof and a blue and black livery - unlike some more recent examples that have adopted a removable roof panel, employed a more powerful 1,184-hp engine and moved away from the original two-tone paint schemes. It's got nearly 20,000 miles on the odometer and would still require the better part of a million bucks to get it running again... at which point it could be worth more in spare parts, which surely don't come cheap from the manufacturer in Molsheim.
Alternatively, with bidding currently hovering around a quarter million, you could just get yourself a brand spankin' new Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Huracán or McLaren 650S and actually get to drive it without spending eight hundred grand on repairs. But if you were looking to pick up a Veyron on the cheap, regardless of condition, this could be your chance.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Want to get your hands on a Noble? May we first compliment you on your choice, good sir or madam, because the British niche manufacturer produces some of the most direct, hardcore sports cars on the market. And that, thanks to Rossion and its Noble-derived Q1, includes the United States. But if you live somewhere where Noble actually sells its own cars, you'll want to look at the M600.
The Noble M600 is about as hardcore as they come. It packs a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 kicking out 650 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual, and not much else: no ABS, no traction control, certainly no all-wheel drive. Just 650 horsepower and a curb weight of around 2,600 pounds. No flappy-paddle gearbox here, and no trick folding roof. Only those last bits are about to change.
Speaking with Dutch publication Autovisie, Noble chief Peter Bolt Wood - a former racing and Ferrari F40 driver - revealed that his company is working on two new developments for the puritanical M600. One is an open roof, and the other some sort of paddle-shift transmission.
This isn't the first time Noble will have created an open-top sportscar. In fact we reported on the prospect of an M600 roadster a couple years ago when the company released a teaser image. But now it appears to be moving ahead with the plans.
Details are sketchy at the moment, so we don't know if the former will be a simple removable roof panel, a folding soft top, a collapsible hardtop or something else. Nor do we know if the two-pedal gearbox will be a sequential, dual-clutch or torque-converter automatic. But Wood and company seem eager to break into new markets, and apparently see both developments as vital to its expansion, without sacrificing performance. Its order books may be full at the moment, but it's expanding into China, Taiwan and Japan.
Here's hoping - with or without an open roof and paddle-shift transmission, through Rossion or on its own - it brings the M600 to North America soon as well.
Noble developing M600 roadster with paddle shifters originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Aug 2014 07:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Etc.
We're almost ready to record Episode #394 of the Autoblog Podcast! You can check out the topics below, add your own to the Q&A and join us live via UStream, as well. Keep reading for our embedded UStream player, and thanks for listening!
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #394 Permalink | Email this | Comments
At the turn of the century, it was arguably the Honda Civic that best defined inexpensive performance tuning, and in the '50s it was the Tri-5 Chevys. One of the earliest platforms to gain a huge following among young people looking for a cheap way to go fast was the classic '32 Ford Highboy Roadster. This week, Jay Leno's Garage looks at one of the very first vehicles that defined the look of the hot rod heyday.
This '32 Ford was built in the '40s and graced the cover of the fourth issue of Hot Rod Magazine back in 1948. All of the hot rods that you see shining at car shows today owe a serious debt of gratitude to this roadster. It bears all of the cues that define the look, including a notched frame and hidden door hinges. Under the three-piece hood is a flathead V8 boasting all sorts of period modifications, including copper cylinder heads. It was seriously fast in its era too, and proved it by reaching 112.21 miles per hour on a dry lakebed in 1947.
These days, this hot rod is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Although, if you can't make it to California to see it, the United States Postal Service is celebrating this Ford with one of its two hot rod Forever stamps. Like Jay says in the video, in terms of hot rodding, "it all comes back to this." Check out the video to learn more about this rolling piece of tuning history.
Jay Leno drives postcard-perfect '32 Ford Highboy Roadster originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Driving the 1,058-hp Galpin GTR1
With 1,058 horsepower and 992 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Ford GT-based Galpin GTR1 is a seriously capable supercar. Of course, with its questionable styling and $1 million price tag, it certainly isn't for everyone. Senior Editor Steven Ewing took the beast for a quick spin during the Monterey Car Week recently. Learn all about Galpin's monster, here.
Water-powered Hoverboard on Translogic
A couple of years ago, the Translogic team tested a weird jet ski-powered device called the Flyboard, from Zapata Racing. Now, that company is back with its latest creation, the Hoverboard. The Translogic team headed out to the water near San Diego, CA for some high-flying tricks, and it's all wrapped up you in the latest episode.
Ram improves HD pickup ratings
In terms of tough competition, heavy-duty pickups are in a constant fight for top honors. And now, Ram can claim some new best-in-class numbers with its updated 2015 model year 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks. Ram says its trucks now have the segment-best ratings for torque, towing and payload, depending on configuration, of course. Check out the full details, here.
- Subaru WRX S4 gets big power bump in Japan
- Race Recap: Belgian Grand Prix sings Waltzing Matilda
- Alfa Romeo to gun for Jag F-Type with 6C
There is an unusual BMW i8 for sale on eBay right now. Unlike your average - and by that we mean "working" - i8, this one pretty much just sits there, looking pretty.
See, the i8 in question is just a promotional body shell. It's fullsize and being sold (we think) by a legit BMW dealer (Laurel BMW of Westmont), so it's got strong ties to the real thing, but there's nothing inside. In fact, you can't open the doors or windows and the wheels don't move, unless you count the tiny rolling castors that are a part of the prop. There is no fancy plug-in hybrid powertrain - no powertrain of any sort, in fact - and it was "professionally crafted just for BMW dealers." The headlights do turn on, though, so that's something.
What's most impressive, though, is that there are 50 bids for this non-working BMW. In fact, the bidding has climbed up to $16,000. For a car that can't fulfill its mission as a car, that's pretty impressive. Oh, and those bids have not yet hit the reserve price, so the dealer is obviously hoping it can get more money for this hollow BMW.
The official base MSRP for a working i8 is $135,700. The first i8 delivered in the US, a special edition for Pebble Beach, just sold for $825,000.
Someone's willing to pay $16,000 for a hollow, non-working BMW i8 originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Car and Driver threw a leg over the Lamborghini Huracán and rode it hard all around the 16-turn Circuito Internationale Nardò, next to the banked oval that's brought us many a top-speed video. On the way to discovering the bull calf sweetly eclipses the Gallardo it replaces, CD also discovered that - comparing their own tests - it is faster from zero to 60 miles per hour than its paterfamilias, the Aventador.
Now, we should all know that 0-60 tests are an imprecise discipline, but CD's Eric Tingwall torched the sprint in the Huracán in 2.5 seconds - yes, faster than a whole lot of other very expensive super-coupes. In the magazine's last instrumented test of the Aventador Aaron Robinson ran 3.0 seconds, and for more Aventador perspective we can compare Motor Trend's 2.8 seconds, also scored at Nardo, Road & Track at 2.7 seconds and Lamborghini's estimated 0-62 mph time of 2.9 seconds. Any way you chop that up, 2.5 seconds beats it. A bit of a shock, then: Lamborghini lists the Huracán's 0-62 mph time as 3.2 seconds.
We'll get a more precise idea of the discrepancy when more tests come online, but for the moment - and in this one respect - we've got the $241,945, 602-horsepower Huracán showing its angry backside to the $397,500, 691-hp Aventador. Even if it remains true, though, we're not sure it matters; in a figurative case of Predator versus Alien, it's arguable that the only way to be wrong is not to own one.
Lamborghini's Huracan quicker than its costlier Aventador? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Volvo is an automaker committed to vehicle safety, setting an ambitious target for itself: by 2020, the Swedish automaker envisions that no one will be killed or seriously injured in one of its cars. In order to achieve that goal, Volvo has announced a new proving ground designed specifically to test safety solutions.
Called AstaZero, the new facility near the company's headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, is the result of a $70 million investment. It will cover some 500 acres, with over 60 acres of pavement, four city blocks and three and a half miles of highway. The Active Safety Test Area (the ASTA in AstaZero) will enable Volvo and its partners (including Scania trucks as well as government bodies and university development programs) to simulate city streets, highways, rural roads, roundabouts, T-junctions and more, combining traffic from cars, pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, buses, trucks and even animals in order to account for all manner of potential hazards.
The facility will enable Volvo to test active safety systems and autonomous vehicle operations, and even allow robots to test its prototypes in an adaptive environment that aims to be more flexible than existing proving grounds. Read more about Volvo's commitment to safety in the press release below.
Volvo building new AstaZero safety proving ground in Sweden originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
This weekend the Formula One circus returned from its summer break and dove head-first into the Belgian Grand Prix. And you know what that means... that's right: Eau Rouge.
The legendary corner at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps is one of those fearsome bends that, like the Karussell at the Nürburgring or the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, is arguably just as famous as the track of which it is part. Drivers come speeding down the start finish straight, veer left, then rocket uphill and to the right towards a blind crest at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour.
It sounds terrifying, but the pros compiled in this video make it look easy. That's how you know they're going fast. The clip brings together over two decades' worth of on-board footage from the Belgian Grand Prix, starting with Nelson Piquet (Sr.) in 1991 and culminating with Nico Hulkenberg at last year's race, taking in such world champions as Nigel Mansell, Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen along the way.
The only years that are missing are 1994 (when a chicane spoiled the fun in the wake of the fatal Ratzenberger and Senna crashes), 2003 (when Spa alternated with Magny-Cours in France) and 2006 (when the race was not held). For every other year since '91, scope out the three-minute clip right here.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #394 this evening. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics For Autoblog Podcast Episode #394
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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #394 LIVE! originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Pop the hood on a Volvo of recent vintage and you'll find four-, five-, six- and even eight-cylinder engines. But the Swedish automaker is downsizing its engines over the coming years. The new XC90, set to be revealed later this week, will use a new family of four-cylinder engines (like the one pictured above). But that's not even the end of it as emerging reports speak of a new three-cylinder engine family in the works.
The new 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine will, according to reports, help Volvo further cut its carbon emissions in line with constricting regulations in markets like Europe and Australia. There won't be quite as many versions as the four-cylinder range, which will include gasoline and diesel versions in varying states of tune, but the three-pot motor is tipped to be employed in vehicles as large as the S60 and its stablemates. Larger than that, however, and the three-cylinder engine apparently just doesn't have the necessary torque.
Expect the new three-cylinder engine to be introduced sometime later this decade, after the four-cylinder's introduction in 2016. The three-cylinder engine is also set to form the building block of an even more efficient hybrid propulsion system in the future, enabling this new engine family to stay relevant through 2025.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf (pictured above) only went on sale in the US in August, but it has been on the road in some parts of the world since 2012. The German automotive giant isn't taking a moment's rest for one of its most well known models, though. The latest rumor suggests that VW is already developing the eighth revision of its bread-and-butter hatchback, and it may be ready for launch as soon as 2017.
The rumors come courtesy of German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, and it claims that the new model will receive a thorough restyling of the current look. Not only will this mean the usual changes to the front and rearend design, but the next Golf will also be wider and sit lower than the current one, according to the magazine.
However, the real focus for the new generation will be more sophisticated powertrain, infotainment and safety tech. To meet Europe's tightening emissions rules, VW will reportedly try to cut the Golf's weight by about 110 pounds with lighter engines. Cylinder deactivation for some powerplants and possibly even a three-cylinder option are on the table, according to Auto Motor und Sport. Other recent rumors suggest that the next Golf model even use variable-compression and an electric turbo system to further shed CO2 emissions.
Much of the other technology will trickle down from the forthcoming, European-spec Passat that will go on sale later this year. The Golf will supposedly get the sedan's pedestrian recognition system, parking assist, head-up display and Mirror-Link - a way to link the driver's smartphone interface to the infotainment screen.
Of course the big question is when the eighth generation will make it to North America. With the latest model being built at an updated facility in Mexico, another staggered release between the US and Europe could be in the cards.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If you want to build a cheap truck that can still do dirty deeds off the beaten path, it's best to start with solid axles and a solid V8 engine. That sums up the lessons learned after watching the 2014 Cheap Truck Challenge from the Dirt Every Day video crew, who took to the deserts and surrounding areas near Reno, NV, in an attempt to find the best 4x4 for under $4,000. Fortunately for us, the whole sordid journey was captured on video.
This isn't the first time the boys from DED filmed a Cheap Truck Challenge, and this year's festivities pitted together a 1993 Chevy S10 pickup, a 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 1975 International truck in a series of challenges ranging from donuts to drag races, with plenty of hill-climbing and rock-crawling action in between. We don't want to spoil all the fun, but suffice it to say one competitor was found to be lacking while the other two performed (mostly) well. See for yourself in the video above.
Dirt Every Day tries to find the best 4x4 for under $4k originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments