It took a little while before the Vencer Sarthe went from early computer models to its real-life debut last year. But the company didn't stop there, reworking the design even further before the first units were actually completed. With the Dutch supercar finally actually in production, it's time to find out if the mid-engine coupe lives up to the wait, and Autocar is putting the Sarthe to the test.
Boutique sports car companies pop up every now and again, hoping to challenge the big (well... bigger, at least) boys before slinking away shortly thereafter as a failure unable to make a dent in the crowded market. However, that common story might not apply to new British automaker Zenos, especially if Autocar is to be believed in a new video.
There's nothing that real, dyed-in-the-wool car geeks love so much as to say "Old Car X is actually a lot better than New Car Y." For reasons that defy both logic and science, we all (your author included) are able to, almost simultaneously, bitch about needed advancements in current vehicles and then bemoan character lost in the next crop.
There was a time when diesel meant one of two things: This vehicle's owner either wants to save some money at the pump or needs to haul massive loads. It definitely did not mean that the owner of said machine wanted to drive fast, but that perception has slowly but surely been changing over the last several years, with automakers from Volkswagen and Ford to Audi and BMW offering spiced-up versions of their high-compression, turbocharged diesels.
Ford has quite the racing pedigree, but usually, its racers are relegated to the track. Not the new Formula Ford EcoBoost, though. It's a turbocharged, open-wheeled racer complete with a 200-horsepower, 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine... and it's legal on the roads of the UK.
Caterham's fastest car used to be the R500 Superlight. The new fastest car from the UK-based company is the Seven 620R. Where the R500 uses a 263-horsepower, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, the 620R straps a supercharger onto the Ford mill, for a total of 310 horsepower and 219 pound-feet of torque. At only 1,200 pounds, that's a huge amount of thrust, and will scoot the blown Seven to 60 miles per hour in around 2.8 seconds. In short, this car, which is built in a small town in Surrey, will hit 60 in
Can the Tesla Model S electric motor's 443 pound-feet of torque from zero rpm and equivalent of 416 horsepower trump the Aston Martin Rapide S V12's 457 lb-ft from 5500 rpm and 550 hp? Autocar attempts to answer that question by drag racing them - which only leads us to ask more questions. Which is the fastest around a race track? Is the Tesla's relatively low top speed of 130 miles per hour (the Rapide S can reach 190 mph) forgivable in light of its astounding torque? Does that even matter?
The Toyota GT86, in all of its forms, is one of the best-handling cars money can buy, a trait that can put a smile on the faces of all but the most jaded car enthusiasts. But if good handling isn't what they're looking for, then what is? Our first guess would have to be more power, something the 200-horsepower Toyota would benefit from. Autocar tries out that theory by driving two turbocharged GT86s on track, then pitting the more powerful one against the 616-hp McLaren MP4-12C in a track battle
It was Steve Sutcliffe at Autocar who got the tough job of comparing the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG to the limited edition Jaguar XFR-S on the track and sheep-strewn British B-roads. In UK spec both Mephistophelean sedans wrangle the same 542 horsepower, but step out of the corral and things look to weigh heavily in the Mercedes' favor: it has more torque, it's lighter, it's quicker from 0-to-60 and it's less expensive.
Autocar took an Ariel Atom V8, BMW HP4 superbike and X-Games gold medalist Liam Doren's Citroën DS3 rallycross ride to an airstrip for a drag race. Sadly for all the drivers and for us, the clouds took to the sky and poured more and more rain on the track before the big race.
Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe took the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte on a spin along snowy mountain roads to test it for a specific brief: as a limousine for the chauffeured class. It's sporting credentials are impressive: Twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8, 532 horsepower, 475 pound-feet of torque in casual circumstances that rises to 532 lb-ft in overboost, a 0-to-60 mile-per-hour sprint of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph.
Bring together a 550-horsepower Jaguar XKR-S and a rain-soaked skidpad, and it's almost impossible to not end up in a sideways drift... accidental or on purpose. With that in mind, the gang over at Autocar got a hold of the monstrous XKR-S for the latest installment of "Will it Drift?," only they raised the stakes a little by attempting the feat with a blindfolded driver
It's been eight years since the Porsche Carrera GT debuted. It feels like an eternity. Manufacturers relish nothing more than exceeding the performance envelope of their old halo models, and with a rash of idiotically fast machines like the McLaren P1, Ferrari F70 and Porsche 918 Spyder soon headed to market, the crew from Autocar took the time to revisit the last real German supercar on a track. So, how has the Carrera GT aged?
On one side of the Renault Twizy ledger you have a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive "coupe" with instant torque and a RenaultSport-tuned suspension. On the other, you have the equivalent of 17 horsepower. None of those figures would keep Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe from getting to the bottom line, which was to see if he could make the Twizy drift.
There may only be one Aston Martin One-77 left to buy, but not a single journalist has been allowed to actually drive the thing yet. Autocar scribe Steve Cropley gets the closest yet – riding in it with chief engineer Chris Porritt on wheel duty, and Porritt lays out some of the whats and whys of the baddest road-going Aston ever.
Okay, this is an easy one. If we told you to pick a performance winner between the Nissan GT-R and the BMW M5, we're guessing the vast majority of you would pick Godzilla to come out on top. Both vehicles feature over 500 horsepower, but the BMW weighs over 400 pounds more, and the GT-R counters with one of the world's most impressive all-wheel-drive systems.
Flip through the pages of CAR, EVO or Top Gear, and it's obvious the British motoring press has an unhealthy obsession with getting sideways. Not that we can blame them. We enjoy a healthy dab of oppo as much as the next guy, but when the Pistonheads hive-mind starts crying foul about opposite lock shenanigans, you know it's getting out of hand.
The 2012 BMW M5 is something of an anomaly. Despite its size and weight, the big luxury sedan is actually quicker than its less corpulent sibling, the BMW M3, around a road course. With a 552-horsepower twin-turbo V8 engine capable of sucking down small communities, there's no arguing the M5's power. But fast cars aren't necessarily fun. Take the Jaguar XKR, for example. It's blisteringly quick, but comes saddled with a traction control system that requires an advanced degree in computer science
Autocar's ex-racer scribe Steve Sutcliffe sat himself in the middle of the BAC Mono – which is the only place to sit, actually – and came away with a helmet full of glee. The £79,950 single-seater apparently drives just like an F3 car, an effect created in part by its 1,190-pound weight, 280-horsepower, four-cylinder Cosworth engine and its F3 suspension. Sutcliffe said it handles better than a Lotus Elise, which one might expect of a race car for the road, but that it also dri
Pictured here is the three-seat electric microbus from French-German firm Mia Electric that was on display at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and this year's Challenge Bibendum. With a central driving position, twin sliding doors, a rear-mounted electric motor and dent-resistant plastic panels, the Mia is oddly unique. It tips the scales at 1,786 pounds, has a listed range of 80 miles and comes packing a 13-horsepower motor. No, that's not a typo. Just thirteen horses are tasked with moving a near on