Check out this site for car show videos and more. Some of the coolest Motorsports videos around!!
The latest video produced by CarShowz.com is Absolute Pro-formance’s EG Hatch Build
Check out this site for car show videos and more. Some of the coolest Motorsports videos around!!
The latest video produced by CarShowz.com is Absolute Pro-formance’s EG Hatch Build
CarShowz.com had a great time at the Motor Trend Auto Show Baltimore. We were given the opportunity to come early (before spectators) and grab some awesome pictures.
For photos of the Motor Trend Auto Show Baltimore – 2012 visit our car show coverage photo gallery by clicking here. For more information about CarShowz.com experience at the Motor Trend Auto Show, click here.
Race driver Tanner Foust is known for his great drifting and rallying skills, so it only makes sense that Ford reps allowed him to jump behind the wheel of the new 2012 Ford Focus ST-R racecar to wring it out at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Focus ST-R takes the forthcoming performance-oriented Focus ST hatchback and transforms it into it a turnkey racecar. The same 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 carries over from the ST with its 247 hp intact, as well as with its six-speed manual gearbox, though the powertrain has been optimized to run on high-octane race fuel. Recaro racing seats, an FIA-spec roll cage, and larger brakes complete the change from street car to track car. The only thing missing for teams that pick up a Focus ST-R are their safety and radio equipment.
In the video below, Foust tosses the Focus around Homestead-Miami’s bends and discusses how excited he is about the Focus – and Ford – entering more racing competitions this year. The ST-R will make its racing debut later this month at the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge during Grand Am weekend from January 26-27 at Homestead-Miami. Check out Foust and the Focus ST-R in the video below.
Though you don’t need another reason to experience the beauty and wonder of our National Parks, Venchurs Vehicle Systems has given us one more: its new line of Xplore Adventure Series Ram pickup. Partnering with the National Park Foundation, Venchurs hopes to promote enjoyment of the parks through its Ram, Jeep, and Toyota vehicle programs.
The Xplore truck begins with a full-size Ram 4×4 pickup, and adds accessories and unique trim specified in four available packages. The trucks will be available nationwide through select Dodge/Ram/Jeep dealerships, sold alongside the Xplore Wrangler. Free with every Xplore Ram purchase is a one-year pass to U.S. National Parks, which provides access to our nation’s nearly 400 parks (an $80 value, according to the National Parks Service website). Also included is a one-year membership to the Xplore Club, and subscription to its quarterly publication, Xplore Lifestyle Journal. When you buy an Xplore Adventure Series vehicle, you’re also helping to support our parks, as a donation is made to the National Park Foundation for each vehicle sold.
The Xplore Ram’s four stages vary in equipment level from mildly outdoorsy, to extreme, hunt-your-own-dinner rugged. Xplore Stage 1 vehicles receive a Katzkin leather interior, and can be had with a variety of dealer-installed Mopar parts and accessories. Stage 2 vehicles get exclusive black aluminum wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich off-road tires, Bilstein 5100 Series adjustable shocks, an Xplore stainless-steel cat-back exhaust system, and Xplore aluminum badges and floor mats. Step up to the Stage 3 model, and your Xplore Ram gets expedition-ready equipment from ARB racks, roof-top tents, and various pieces of recovery gear. Other options include Thule racks, Warn winches, and heavy-duty tonneau tops. Stage 4 vehicles are custom-built at Venchurs’ facilities, and have options like matte paint colors, custom graphics, leather interior, retractable running boards, Bed-Xtender, and bed-slides, among other gear.
Though you can probably see America’s National Parks just as easily in a station wagon, the Xplore Ram might make you feel like you can tame the great outdoors, as well as enjoy them.
Source: Venchurs Vehicle Systems
Although the 2011 auto show circuit initially focused mostly on new production debuts, concept cars began to come out of the proverbial woodwork as the year progressed. Venues like Geneva, Frankfurt, Tokyo, and L.A. brought us dozens of show cars that sent jaws hurdling towards the floor and left us babbling to this very day. Here are ten that we’ll still be talking about come 2012.
Considering most of Alfa’s future product plans are hinged on small and midsize passenger cars, along with a handful of crossovers, the development of a small, midengine sports coupe is a refreshing break from normalcy. The 4C’s taut, curvaceous lines had Alfisti swooning in the aisles, but the fact it was designed to be a light, sporty, affordable package caught the attention of enthusiasts around the globe. A 230-hp turbocharged I-4 reportedly offers about 230 hp, and may rocket the 1900-pound car from 0-62 mph in about 43.5 seconds. We’re delighted to see Alfa pursue such a project, and ecstatic to learn that it’s currently being developed into a production model. Here’s hoping Alfa’s U.S. renaissance finally gets off the ground in time to bring the 4C stateside.
The latest XJ may be the latest step in Jaguar’s ongoing design renaissance, but is it possible to style a Jaguar sedan that’s familiar, yet not full-tilt retro? Perhaps so, as evidenced by Bertone’s B99 concept, which was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The proportions and smooth lines scream XJ, as does the roofline and C-pillar shape. Attractive, yes; ready for production? Far from it. Jaguar, firmly entrenched in its own design renaissance, views the B99 as pleasant homage, noting “we are not offended by it or against it – it is just not for us.” Pity.
Eight years have passed since the introduction of the Sixteen concept, but Cadillac’s still toying with the idea of a large, ultra-premium flagship model. The Ciel, which debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, managed to attract plenty of attention, and it’s easy to see why. It’s interesting to see how Cadillac’s past and future converge: yes, it’s a large luxo-barge with an interior that absolutely oozes old-school luxury, but it’s also powered by a turbocharged V-6 mated with a hybrid system. Could a large, luxurious Caddy like this be in our future? As we did in 2003, we’ll keep our fingers crossed…
If this is truly a look at the future of Ford’s design language – and Ford insists it is – then we’re looking forward to the future. We can write off certain features like the scissor-hinged doors and feather-sized mirrors as conceptual flights of fancy, but the car’s form – an evolution of Ford’s current design theme – will influence production cars down the road. Rumor has it the forthcoming 2013 Fusion/ Mondeo bears a close resemblance to this car, especially in the front clip.
A smaller Jaguar sports car, designed to slot in just beneath the XJ, has been a long time coming – but if the finished product looks as good as the C-X16 concept unveiled in Frankfurt, it’ll be worth the wait. Seeing as Jaguar deems the show car “a production prototype,” it likely will. Engineers packed the car with an advanced KERS-like hybrid driveline, but it’s the shape that serves as the conversation piece. Although it echoes the XJ and XF in certain areas, the entire package is far more aggressive when viewed in person – perfect for a sporty little coupe like this.
By now, it’s no surprise that Kia, under the guiding hand of chief designer Peter Schreyer, continues to crank out some stupendous designs. Even so, the stunning GT concept managed to catch us off guard at the Frankfurt show in September. Its slick, low-slung form is unlike any other Kia product to date; instead, it perpetually elicited comparisons to vintage sports cars and Italian gran turismos. That exterior proved so stunning, few bystanders paid attention to the direct-injection, turbocharged 3.3-liter V-6 nestled underhood, nor the sumptuous bronze-on-black interior design,.Truly, this is the one Kia design that adheres to the company’s mantra: it truly has the power to surprise.
We’re not sure why ever previous stab at a subcompact Benz had to be so tall; so upright; so dorky – but we are thankful that tradition, which spans two generations of A-Class models, is about to draw to a close. The Concept A-Class, which we first saw in New York, is a far cry from every model to previously bear the name. Despite riding on a new front-drive platform, the rakish roofline and long hood almost gave it the feel of the rear-wheel-drive BMW 1 Series hatchback. It’s an attractive car – and, judging by the latest round of spy photos, a thinly-disguised look at the forthcoming production model.
Does a fixed roof make Porsche’s 918 Spyder concept any less gorgeous? As we discovered upon seeing the 918 RSR concept in Detroit, the answer to that question is a resounding “no.” The RSR, which hints at a competitive future for the forthcoming 918 production car, is nothing short of breathtaking. Although the roofline, rear deck, and paint scheme recall the company’s former prototype racers (notably the 908 and 917), the tech packed beneath the surface is undoubtedly modern. A 563-hp, 3.4-liter V-8 – derived from the RS Spyder racer – is paired with an evolution of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid’s KERS system. Electricity generated under deceleration can be sent to a pair of motors coupled to the front wheels, rendering the car a 767-hp, all-wheel-drive monster. Forget NASCAR’s Car of Tomorrow; we’re hoping the future of racing looks an awful lot like the RSR.
Victor Mueller’s brash plans for his little Swedish automaker are perhaps best exemplified with the PhoeniX concept, which debuted in Geneva. Said to be a preview of Saab’s new platform design – and, perhaps, the next-gen 9-3 – the PhoeniX was styled by former Pininfarina and Bertone wunderkind Jason Castriota. Apart from a nose reminiscent of the Aero X concept and a roofline evoking the urSaab prototype, the sleek two-door coupe bore little resemblance to any past or present Saab. The tapered rear hatch was further accented by wild, arching buttresses that dramatically flared away from the greenhouse. It was certainly one of the most flamboyant concepts to come from a major global automaker this past year — or, at the very least, from a global automaker that may not live to see 2012.
This isn’t Volkswagen’s first stab at a retro people mover shaped after the venerable Type 2, but it is a different twist on reincarnating the Microbus. While VW’s 1998 Bus concept envisioned a traditional 7-passenger minivan, the Bulli – which looks a bit like a first generation Transporter at ¾ scale – is a small, five-passenger subcompact MPV. While press photos left us a little cold, the Bulli is far more personable in viewed in person. The two-tone paint, bold nose emblem are blatantly retro, even if the overall form factor isn’t a carbon copy of the original. The interior is considerably modern (note the iPad-driven control panel), but little cues scattered about (i.e. the faux bulkhead on the front seatbacks) still trigger flashbacks. A very clever design – and, if approved for production, the Bulli could prove a very clever competitor to the likes of the Scion xB and the GMC Granite
Chrysler’s Mopar brand has long shown customized concept cars at SEMA and on the national auto show circuit, but few were ever actually offered as a complete package to the general public. That’s no longer the case: thanks to allegedly strong public interest in both the Dodge Charger Redline and Chrysler 200 Super S concepts, both packages will be sold as special-edition vehicles for the 2012 model year.
Dodge Charger Redline
Based off the V-8-powered Charger R/T, the Redline doesn’t just borrow its name from a 2010 SEMA concept car; it also cops several notable design cues. The base Stage One package adds a number of cosmetic dress-up items, including a carbon fiber front splitter, a three-piece carbon fiber decklid spoiler, a black vinyl roof graphic (not pictured), a two-piece grille insert that blends a body-colored surround with a black crosshair insert, and faux door scoops inspired by those used on the 1970 Charger R/T. 20-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels are similar to those found on the Mopar ’11 Charger special edition, but use polished accents to brighten the black-painted wheel. Inside, the package adds an aluminum instrument panel bezel with a red accent, a matching aluminum shifter bezel, and stainless steel pedals.
Stepping up to the Stage 2 kit ushers in a few mechanical upgrades, including a cat-back exhaust system, a front strut tower cross brace, and high-performance brake pads. Mopar promises the cat-back system delivers an increase in horsepower, but doesn’t provide any figures. We wouldn’t be surprised if, like the Mopar ’11 Charger, the system delivers only a slight increase over the stock 370-hp output.
However, we are surprised to see what Mopar has in store for a Stage Three kit. Taking a page from the 300S 426 concept shown at the 2011 Los Angeles show, the Stage 3 option replaces the 5.7-liter V-8 with Mopar’s aluminum-block 426-cubic-inch Hemi crate motor. Officials tell us the engine will be offered in two guises: a 540-hp form, or a wilder “high-output”guise that offers a whopping 590 hp. Both engines utilize forged steel crankshafts and piston rods, 11:1 compression pistons, and a revised windage tray. The downside? Both engines aren’t street legal, and are intended for off-road and race use only. Whether buyers are willing to sacrifice both additional cash and the usability of a daily driver simply for an extra 220 hp remains to be seen.
Chrysler 200 Super S
After showing a tricked-out 200 – dubbed the Super S – at last year’s Detroit show, Mopar’s following up with a production-ready package, available only for the 2012 200 S sedan.
As is the case with the Charger Redline, the entry-level Stage One kit addresses only aesthetics. Building off the semi-sinister look of the stock 200 S, the Super S retains the darkened headlamp surrounds, but replaces the black-painted grille for a recessed mesh insert with a floating Chrysler logo. Front and rear fascias remain unchanged, although a large chin spoiler, flared side sills, and a matte black rear diffuser help the Super S stand out from stock sedans. The package also replaces exterior chrome accents with a satin chrome finish; adds a rear decklid spoiler; and throws in 10-spoke, 18-inch wheels painted either black or gray.
Given its 200 S roots, the Super S is powered only by Chrysler’s 283-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, which is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Mechanical upgrades, offered by way of a Stage 2 package, include a lowered coil-over suspension, a cold-air intake, and a cat-back exhaust.
Pricing for each model has yet to be established, but the Charger Redline and 200 Super S packages should be available through Mopar later in 2012. Stay with Automobile Magazine for all the latest news surrounding the 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit.
Source: Chrysler, http://rumors.automobilemag.com
The concept comes in less than two inches wider than Honda’s tiny Beat, which meets JDM Kei-car standards. The EV-STER is powered by a 58kW (78 horsepower) lithium-ion motor and is said to hit 60km/h (just over 37 mph) in 5.0 seconds, with power going to the rear wheels. Honda says the electric-powered EV-STER would have a range of 100 miles and top speed of 100 mph.
But don’t fret if these numbers don’t impress. The EV-STER is package-protected for a gasoline engine – behind the seats, making it a potential mid-engine, rear-drive replacement for the gone but not forgotten Honda S2000. Still no word on size or power level of the hypothetical internal combustion engine, but it would likely create more power and produce better times than the electric motor.
One show car feature that would not likely make it into production is the twin-lever steering — a conventional steering wheel would probably get the nod for the production car. No details whether it would come stateside; however, we are crossing our fingers for the gas-powered version with at least 200 horsepower.
Source: Auto Motor und Sport, Car Advice, http://rumors.automobilemag.com
In front of an estimated 20,000 screaming fans at Fuji Speedway, 60 miles south of Tokyo, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda drove the sharp-looking Toyota 86 down the mile-long straightaway, passed a dozen high profile Toyota and Lexus race cars parked on the grid, and pulled up in front of the world’s media before announcing the all-new model. Few cars are accorded such lavish unveilings. In fact, few cars are worthy of such exaltation. This is one of those cars.
As Toyoda apologized for keeping the motoring public waiting for the car’s launch, he said, “All car lovers have been waiting for this kind of car.” Known for his hands-on developmental work and stints behind the wheel of the Lexus LFA in the Nurburgring 24-hour race, Toyoda poured his heart out to the expectant crowd. “For the last 10 years, I have been a part of the development of this car, so I really feel like my baby is coming out.”
Gone is the concept car’s name, FT-86, replaced by the simple number 86, at least in Japan — in Europe, it will be called the GT 86, and its American-market name is not yet known. With design inspired by the Toyota 2000GT from the 1960s and more recently, the early 1980s rear-wheel drive drifting sensation Corolla Levin AE86 from which the 86 takes its name, the new coupe was borne out of an intriguing joint development project between Toyota and Subaru.
Without going into too much detail, the 86’s exterior styling and product planning (bankrolling) was provided by Toyota, while Subaru supplied most of the bits –- the chassis, the engine, the transmission, brakes and suspension — that make the car so much fun to drive. Toyota offered D4S direct injection engine technology that makes Subaru’s revised 2.0-liter boxer engine cleaner and more fuel efficient, aspects that needed attention. Generating a beefy 200 hp at 7000 rpm and 151 lb-ft of torque at 6600 rpm, the 86 gets 30 more horses than the Mazda MX-5, its main Japanese rival.
The secret to the Toyota’s driver thrills lie in the world-first use of a boxer engine in a front-engine/rear-drive layout with a choice of Subaru Impreza-inspired Aisin six-speed manual or six-speed automatic flappy paddles. The 86 is a two-plus-two, but don’t expect to get anyone over 5’7” in the back seat. Meanwhile, the supportive and comfortable driver’s seat will accomodate folk up to 6’3” without problems. Pedal positions are perfectly set, and visibility is good all round.
Taking off on our allotted three test laps of the short course at Fuji, we are delighted to hear and feel strong Subaru flavor burbling its way through the cabin. The naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine delivers healthy dollops of torque through the bottom to mid-range, but could use an extra tweak at the top end. On the tarmac, the 86 feels light but firmly planted, its ride firm but not harsh. Turn-in is sharp and accurate. Body roll in minimal, thanks partly to the engine’s low center of gravity. Tire grip levels are higher than expected, with a slight tendency to understeer.
Since the 86 was developed to be a reasonably priced sports coupe with serious drifting and racing capabilities, we switch off the VSC and traction control units to see what would happen. After dabbing the firm disc brakes to tuck the nose into a tight left-hander while holding 5000 rpms in second, the initial hint of understeer is replaced by a welcome serve of tail action that requires an instant dose of opposite lock to control the slide. But given our very limited time in the car, and the fact that a professional racing driver even spun out once during the drive, we will reserve judgment on the car’s overall balance and whether a drift can be held for any length of time.
Toyota went on today about its (and Subaru’s) decision to build a lightweight sports car that avoided AWD, turbos, and sticky tires. The end result is a stunning first step: This car is a blast to drive and will inject some much-needed adrenaline into an otherwise bland lineup…but we can’t help think that enthusiasts and tuners around the world will want more power –- and very soon — leading to bolted-on turbos. Why? Because the chassis can take more power. A lot more power.
The 86, and its brother the BRZ, are not just fun, rear-drive coupes powered by the same boxer engine. This joint venture has added a fun car to Toyota’s range while injecting some rear-drive spice and variety to Subaru’s AWD lineup. But more than that, these two cars will make the world stand up and take notice that Japan has not forgotten how to make a great driver’s car that looks the part and does not break the bank.
Source: Toyota, http://www.motortrend.com
Competing in the heavyweight heart of the luxury market, the Lexus GS has often stood in the shadow of rivals like the BMW 5-series, the Mercedes-Benz E-class, and the Audi A6. More so than the upper end of the market, where the LS does well, or the entry-luxury segment, where the ES is quite popular, the mid-luxury market prizes driving dynamics. Thus, for Lexus GS chief engineer Yoshiko Kanamori, who was attempting “to move the GS into the heart of the luxury market,” the number one way to do that was to give the new car an “emotionally intriguing driving experience.”
Increasing the emotional appeal of the GS was also the impetus behind the new styling. Like it or not, it does stand out more than any previous GS. The pinched grille, which Lexus refers to as a “spindle” grille, is a key element of the new face of Lexus; expect it to quickly spread throughout the company’s lineup. A new F Sport package further turns up the visual wattage with more aggressively styled lower front and rear fascias, a rear spoiler, a unique grille texture, and nineteen-inch wheels.
The car’s overall length and wheelbase remain the same, but width has increased by two inches. That has led to a noticeably wider cabin, and the horizontally oriented dashboard plays up that fact. The new interior is much more modern-looking than its dowdy predecessor. Cars with navigation — which is optional but is expected to be in nearly all cars — get a huge, twelve-inch split screen. (Cars without navigation have an eight-inch multi-function screen instead.) A raft of newly available options brings the GS into the modern age; they include a head-up display, night vision, blind-spot warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and a driver-drowsiness monitor. The interior is notably richer than before, and there are padded surfaces covered in stitched leather on the dash, the sides of the console, the center armrest, and the door panels. LED ambient lighting is standard, three two-tone color schemes are available, and the trim bits are matte wood, bamboo (for the Hybrid, naturally), or wavy-textured aluminum (in the F Sport). Highly comfortable, multi-function power seats, with extendable under-thigh support and articulating backrests, are included with the luxury and F Sport packages (the F Sport seats add adjustable lateral support). The overall effect is luxe and modern, and nudges up against Audi and Infiniti at the top of the class.
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