While snapping shots of the new Chevrolet SS at the end of the show on Thursday, TTAC’s NYIAS crew was approached by General Motors vice president Mark Reuss. “You guys are always trying to make GM look bad,” he growled, his two personal assistants standing behind him and positively radiating menace, “but I’m going to show you that you can’t stop the largest car company in the world from making great product for great customers. Come with me.”
We didn’t have much choice, but after being given an industry exclusive on the biggest product reveal to not make news at the show, we’re glad we followed him down that dark corridor.
The legendary Nürburgring, purveyor of records an dreams, is dead. Well, it’s clinically dead, but it might be brought back to life. What else would you do with a 16 mile road that goes nowhere in the middle of nowhere? The Ring is bankrupt. Out of money. Can’t pay its bills. Broke. Bust. Pleite. (Read More…)
Where is global warming when we need it? Europe has been hit by a gigantic blizzard, and the Grüne Hölle of the Nürburgring has been converted into the Weisse Hölle. What happens when hell freezes over shows this clip by Spiegel TV.
It’s one thing to see a forthcoming performance-model prototype, say an Audi RS4 Avant or a Porsche 991 Turbo, tearing through the “Green Hell.” But it’s quite another to watch one unreleased prototype pass another camo-clad warrior, previewing autobahn battles that are still a good year away. It should come as little surprise that the new Porsche Turbo was able to get around Audi’s speedwagon by diving inside, but given the Audi’s slower line, the cornering-speed battle is closer than you might think. Besides, try taking the kids to hockey practice in an ‘elfer Turbo…
What do you add to footage like this? Watching a station wagon tear through tight corners and uneven road at an improbable rate of speed is one of life’s pleasures that needs no embellishment. So don’t waste time wondering whether this 450 HP AWD assassin is coming to the US, or what it would cost if it did. There’s plenty of time for that later. For now, simply enjoy…
With ‘ring times back in the news thanks to a new feud between Dodge’s Viper ACR and Lexus’s LFA, GM took its forthcoming Camaro ZL1 to the Eifel Forest to record its own time. The best lap time of 7:41:27, according to Motor Trend, was set by lead development engineer Aaron Link (some outlets are reporting the time was actually set by GM NA President Mark Reuss himself), although Reuss does have some his own impressions to add, telling MT
“It’s power all the time, capability all the time, and the steering and tractability of the car is just phenomenal,” he told us. Reuss also told us that this Camaro easily (and often) hit speeds of 170 mph on the ‘Ring’s back straight, and that even from those speeds the ZL1 exhibited, “Some serious braking power.” Reuss added, “We never faded the brakes on it… It’s one of the easiest cars I’ve ever driven to drive fast and hard. Everybody’s going to have a good time with it.”
But is the ZL1′s time, as Reuss apparently told TrueCar, “the fastest lap time recorded by ANY production vehicle costing less than $75,000″? (Read More…)
The constant frustration of almost everyone in the automotive media, is getting scooped by the fanboys. And yet it inevitably, it keeps happening. While the usual German ‘ring-watching suspects were enjoying their Messe, ATSforum.com grabbed an apparent web exclusive video of the Cadillac ATS at the Nürburgring… three days ago.
Despite the endless sturm und drang surrounding ‘ring records, I think videos like this are what makes the ‘ring “matter”: they show not-yet-for-sale cars being pushed on challenging, degraded road. As Jack points out though, the driver makes a huge difference in ‘ring times, and therefore, the performance you’re seeing in this video. Your ‘ring mileage may vary. Still, it’s worth remembering that this is a Cadillac on the Nürburgring. I’m not making apologies, it’s just… typing that still feels strange (yes, even after the CTS-V). Anyway, there’s some fairly comparable 2012 BMW 3er footage after the jump, so… y’know…
Last week, news about a Dodge Viper ACR kicking “the ever-living crap out of the Lexus LFA and the Corvette ZR1” (in the matchless and breathless words of Jalopnik) made the rounds trough the webz. At the time, Jack Baruth warned that “there’s no ‘official’ word yet” and mused that the slick boys could have used non-stock tires. Ever since, it became quiet. (Read More…)
Here’s a new experience to notch up in the old “times they are changing, the” folder: cranking your PC speakers to take in the full aural pleasure of a hybrid at full chat. Sure, it’s a race-only Porsche, with 6-7 seconds of driver-activated electric thrust (which driver Nico Hülkenberg says he used “about 20 times per lap” of the Nürburgring), but it sounds so good you’ll understand why Porsche already has 900 potential buyers lined up for a production version of its 918 Spyder hybrid supercar concept. And while we’re ‘ringside, pondering the once-incomprehensible, could someone please explain what a 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is doing running hot laps?
Yes, Ferrari recorded the fastest “production-based, non-street-legal” lap of the Nürburgring today, breaking the hallowed 7-minute mark with a 6:48:16 time in its 599XX. The only question I have is why did they bother? Is it possible that Ferrari is having trouble selling enough copies of the $2m+, track-only version of the 599 GTB? Not likely, considering the Scuderia won’t sell you one (regardless of how much you’re willing to pay for it), unless you’re on an exclusive invite list for the Enzo-powered track toy. So why trumpet a non-production record at all? Isn’t the very significance of a Ring rooted in the idea that it’s the ultimate test of a road car, packing nearly every imaginable on-road condition into each wrenching lap? Shouldn’t Ferrari have at least tried for lap time in its new fastest road-legal car, the 599 GTO? Especially considering it’s debuting today, at the Beijing Auto Show? Oh well, at least the 599XX makes some serious earcandy noises… if only for six minutes, 48 seconds and change.