ZinioSpring13

 
Aston Martin V8 Vantage SBase Price: $128,860, $143,860 (Roadster)Engine: 4.7L V8Horsepower / Torque: 430 hp, 361 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automated manual (optional)0-100 km/h: ...
 
 
Formula One introduces its most major changes yet. Is the series ready for it? The green flag is officially being waved as the 2014 Formula 1 season gets underway in Australia. With it comes more ...
 
 
Few brands owe as much of their identity to motorsports sponsorships as does Gulf Oil. The company has undergone a multitude of changes since its once-dominant position atop the corporate heap as a ...
 
 
Aston Martin Rapide SBase Price: $210,500Engine: 6.0L V12Horsepower/ Torque: 550 hp, 457 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.9 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 18.1 / 12.2Engine/ ...
 
 
Acura RLXBase Price: $49,990 Engine: 3.5L V6Horsepower / Torque: 310 hp, 272 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.8 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.5 / 6.4Engine / ...
 
 
Acura ILX Dynamic / HybridBase Price: $31, 990 / $35,190Engine: 2.4L 4-cyl. / 1.5L 4-cyl. hybridHorsepower / Torque: 201 hp, 170 lb-ft / 111 hp, 127 lb-ftTransmission: Close-ratio 6-speed manual, ...
 
 
In one fell swoop, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray landed itself at the top of my own 2013 Top 10 list. Not by choice, but by merit. Maybe it's because the Viper GTS hasn't landed in my lap, ...
 
 
It seems whenever the topic of the Goodwood Revival comes up, there’s someone who says that it is the best event of its type in the world. I feel the same way and that’s why I flew to England again ...
 
 
Although the SLS AMG has been on the market for a couple of years already, I’m a little late to the gullwing party. I’ve simply never had the chance to drive one. Based on what I’d read in ...
 
 
There is change aplenty coming for the 2014 Formula One season with new driver line-ups, new rules, shifts in the status quo and more. Here’s a look at some of the major talking points for next ...
 
Aston Martin V8 Vantage SBase Price: $128,860, $143,860 (Roadster)Engine: 4.7L V8Horsepower / Torque: 430 hp, 361 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automated manual (optional)0-100 km/h: 4.5 sec. (est.) Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 16.3 / 10.4Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FMRTop Speed: 305 km/h What's new? 7-speed paddle shift automatic, springs, dampers, dynamic stability controlWebsite: astonmartin.com Audi RS 5 CabrioletBase Price: $87,000Engine: 4.2L V8Horsepower / Torque: 450 hp, 317 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.1 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.7 / 9.2; 13.6 / 9.6Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 280 km/h (restricted)What's new? Largely unchanged for 2014Website: audi.ca Audi RS 7Base Price: $115,000 Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 560 hp, 516 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.1 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.8 / 8.3Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 280 km/hWhat's new? All-new model for 2014Website: audi.ca Audi S6 / S7Base Price: $85,500 / $92,100Engine: 4.0L turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 420 hp, 406 lb-ft Transmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.7 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 12.7 / 8.3Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 250 km/h (restricted)What's new? Mild design updatesWebsite: audi.caAudi S8Base Price: $131,400 Engine: 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 520 hp, 481 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.1 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.8 / 8.3Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 250 km/h (restricted)What's new? Facelift and full LED headlightsWebsite: audi.ca BMW 750i xDrive / ActiveHybrid 7Base Price: $112,700 / $140,600Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 / 3.0L turbocharged V6 hybridHorsepower / Torque: 443 hp, 480 lb-ft / 315 hp, 332 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.8 sec. / 5.9Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.4 / 8.3; 9.2 / 6.4Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FR / FATop Speed: 240 km/h / 250 km/h (restricted)What's new? Dynamic digital instrument cluster standard (except ActiveHybrid), ConnectedDrive, optimized voice control, sound and package upgradesWebsite: bmw.ca BMW M5Base Price: $101,500Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 560 hp, 500 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic, 6-speed manual (no-cost option)0-100 km/h: 4.3 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 15.5 / 9.8Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 250 km/h (restricted)What's new? New Competition Package brings engine output to 575 hp, full LED headlights, three-spoke steering wheelWebsite: bmw.ca BMW M6 / M6 Gran CoupeBase Price: $124,900 / $127,900Engine: 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 560 hp, 500 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic, 6-speed manual (special request only)0-100 km/h: 4.2 sec. Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.2 / 8.6Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 250 km/h (restricted)What's new? Gran Coupe is all new for 2014, standard soft close automatic doors, Competition package ($6,500) adds re-engineered suspension, M Dynamic mode and 15 hpWebsite: bmw.ca 2015 Jaguar F-Type Coupe / S Coupe / R CoupeBase Price: TBAEngine: 3.0L supercharged V6 / 5.0L supercharged V8 (R Coupe)Horsepower / Torque: 340 hp / 332 lb-ft; 380 hp / 339 lb-ft; 550 hp / 502 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.3 sec., 4.9 sec., 4.1 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): TBAEngine / Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 260 km/h, 275 km/h, 300 km/h (electronically restricted)What's new? All-new modelWebsite: jaguar.com/caJaguar F-Type V6Base Price: $76,900, $88,900 (F-Type S)Engine: 3.0L supercharged V6Horsepower / Torque: 340 hp, 332 lb-ft; 380 hp , 339 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.3 sec., 4.9 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy):10.4 /7.1; 10.8 / 7.3Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 260 km/h, 275 km/h (restricted)What's new? All aluminum F-Type Coupe unveiled at LA Auto ShowWebsite: jaguar.com/ca Jaguar XFR- SBase Price: $104,500 Engine: 5.0L supercharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 550 hp, 502 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.6 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 15.6 / 10.2 (est.)Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 300 km/h (restricted)What's new? New for 2014 model yearWebsite: jaguar.com/ca Maserati GhibliBase Price: $75,000, $85,000 (S model) (est.)Engine: 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6Horsepower / Torque: 330 hp, 369 lb-ft; 403 hp, 406 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h:5.6 sec., 5.0 sec. Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 14.0 / 7.1; 15.0 / 7.7Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 263 km/h; 285 km/hWhat's new? New model for 2014, wheel designWebsite: maserati.com Maserati Quattroporte S Q4Base Price: $108,500 Engine: 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6Horsepower / Torque: 410 hp, 406 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.9 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 15.3/ 7.07Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 283 km/hWhat's new? Refreshed design for 2014Website: maserati.com Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG 4MATICBase Price: $113,500 Engine: 5.5L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 550 hp, 531 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.7 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.6 / 8.6Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 250 km/h (restricted)What's new? 4MATIC standard for first time, power boost, temporary manual M transmission modeWebsite: mercedes-benz.ca Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4MATICBase Price: $103,000 Engine: 5.5L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 577 hp, 590 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.6 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 14.7 / 10.2Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 250 km/h (restricted)What's new? Refreshed design, numerous safety, alert system updatesWebsite: mercedes-benz.ca Mercedes-Benz S 550 4MATICBase Price: $106,600 (short wheelbase), $115,200 (long wheelbase)Engine: 4.6L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 449 hp, 516 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.8 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 9.1 / 8.6Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 210 km/h (restricted)What's new? All new for 2014, Parktronic, collision prevention and intelligent headlights standard, temporary manual M transmission modeWebsite: mercedes-benz.caMercedes-Benz SL 550Base Price: $123,400 Engine: 4.7L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 429 hp, 516 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.6 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.9 / 8.1Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 210 km/h (restricted)What's new? Temporary manual M transmission mode, COMMAND Nav w/ online functionality, Split view and Night View optional, faster AMG modelWebsite: mercedes-benz.ca Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Base Price: $80,700 Engine: 5.5L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 415 hp, 398 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.6 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.9 / 7.3Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 250 km/h (restricted)What's new? Temporary manual M transmission mode, various accessory optionsWebsite: mercedes-benz.caNissan GT-RBase Price: $106,930, $116,565 (Black Edition)Engine: 3.8L twin-turbo V6Horsepower / Torque: 545 hp, 463 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 2.9 sec. (est)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 12.9 / 9.2Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 315 km/h (restricted)What's new? Track Edition, upgraded fuel injectors, oil pan baffle, interior featuresWebsite: nissan.ca Porsche 911 Carrera SBase Price: $112,800, $117,460 (PDK)Engine: 3.8-litre, flat 6-cylinderHorsepower / Torque: 400 hp, 310 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed manual, 7-speed automatic (optional)0-100 km/h: 4.5 sec., 4.3 sec. (PDK)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.1 / 7.2Engine / Drivetrain Layout: RRTop Speed: 304 km/h (restricted)What's new? 50th Anniversary editionWebsite: porsche.ca Porsche Cayman SBase Price: $72,900, $76,560 (PDK)Engine: 3.4L 6-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 325 hp, 273 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual / 7-speed automatic (PDK)0-100 km/h: 4.9 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.7 / 8.4Engine / Drivetrain Layout: MRTop Speed: 325 km/h (restricted)What's new? Redesigned for 2014Website: porsche.ca Porsche Panamera GTS / S E-HybridBase Price: $129,400 / $113,300Engine: 4.8L V8 / 3.0L V6 hybridHorsepower / Torque: 440 hp, 384 lb-ft / 416 hp, 435 lb-ft Transmission: 7-speed automatic / 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.4 sec. / 5.5 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.5 / 8.2; TBDEngine / Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 288 km/h / 270 km/h (restricted)What's new? Long wheelbase Executive mode, S E-Hybrid, variable-ratio steering, style updatesWebsite: porsche.com/canadaPorsche 911 GT3Base Price: $148,800 Engine: 3.8L flat 6-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 475 hp, 325 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.5 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 18.9 / 8.9Engine / Drivetrain Layout: RRTop Speed: 315 km/hWhat's new? New 991 body style, active rear-axle steering, active suspension, variable-locking differentialWebsite: porsche.com SRT Viper Base Price: $99,995, $119,995 (GTS)Engine: 8.4L V10Horsepower / Torque: 640 hp, 600 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed close-ratio manual0-100 km/h: 3.5 sec. (est)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 19.6 / 12.4Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 332 km/hWhat's new? Rain Mode, Time Attack model (see Track Car section), lighter carbon fibre hood, roof, decklid and aluminum door panels Website: drivesrt.caTesla Model S Base Price: $83,820 (60 kWh), $104,470 (P85 Performance)Engine: Three-phase, four-pole AC induction motor with copper rotorHorsepower / Torque: 302 hp, 317 lb-ft; 416 hp, 443 lb-ftTransmission: Single-speed fixed gear0-100 km/h: 6.2 sec., 4.4 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 370 km range; 480 km rangeEngine / Drivetrain Layout: RRTop Speed: 200 km/h; 210 km/h (est.)What's new? New P85 Performance packageWebsite: teslamotors.comVolvo S60 Polestar / V60 Polestar (Wagon)Base Price: TBA ($75,000 est.)Engine: 3.0L turbocharged 6-cyl.Horsepower & Torque: 350 hp, 369 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.9 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): TBAEngine & Drivetrain Layout: FAWhat's new? New model to Canada, Brembo 6-piston front calipers, 80% stiffer springs, available June 2014Website: volvocanada.com
Formula One introduces its most major changes yet. Is the series ready for it? The green flag is officially being waved as the 2014 Formula 1 season gets underway in Australia. With it comes more questions than answers, as teams continue to struggle with barrage of aero and mechanical puzzles brought forth with the new regulations. The first preseason test at Jerez was an opportunity for teams to test the design and powerplant/drivetrain changes, but as we saw, there was an insurmountable amount of work that the four days just couldn’t solve. Teams that were typically putting in over 100 laps in previous seasons were having trouble getting out of the garage. At the end of the first day, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen logged the most laps (31) with a fastest time of 1:27.104. In total, just 93 laps were completed by all teams combined – none at competitive speeds. Comparatively, in 2013, Paul di Resta drove his Force India to a fastest time of 1:20.343 over 89 laps. More alarming was four-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel’s output of just 11 laps in his Red Bull Renault RB10 over that same four day period. Bahrain testing was notably more positive as teams were able to solve crippling reliability issues, and the Mercedes and Ferrari powerplants showed their strength over the defending champion Renaults. German-powered cars took the top spot in all eight rounds, followed by Ferrari with seven top-three finishes. Renault struggled once again with performance woes, finishing among the top five only five times, including a lone finish in third. If anything made itself clear, the new V6 turbocharged engines were proving to be more difficult than teams originally suspected. Engine configuration changes are not uncommon in the sport. There was the exclusion of turbocharged powerplants in 1989, then the drop from 12 cylinders to 10 in 2005, followed by the latest eight-cylinder engines in 2006. The KERS Kinetic Energy Recovery System brought electric power to the fray in 2009, and two years later the Drag Reduction System, or DRS, was introduced. This season encompasses the technical challenges of each those changes and more. We may be witnessing the wildest revamp the sport has seen perhaps since Colin Chapman’s introduction of aerodynamics on the Lotus 49B in 1968. Engine and Transmission The new V6 turbocharged units have undergone development for close to two years. Dropping two cylinders is an immense challenge in itself, but the rev limit has also been reduced 3,000 rpms to 15,000 and overall output has dropped to 600 horsepower from 750 last year. Adding a turbocharging unit requires a total redesign of the interior componentry due to the change in heat, fuel/air and compression ratio and the added torque that passes through the entire unit, which now includes an eight-forward-speed gearbox compared to the previous seven. The result is an engine of equal performance, but one that is also harder to tame from the driver’s perspective, which will make for a greater number of challenges on corner exits. The number of engines per season has also been reduced from eight to five, while gearing ratios for all eight cogs must be determined prior to the season, with one adjustment allowed during the championship. Energy Recovery System (ERS) The previous KERS system has been essentially redesigned from the ground up. It still utilizes energy regenerated from brake friction via an MGU-K unit (Motor Generator Unit-Kinetic), but the 2014 ERS also adds a heat-powered exhaust turbine (MGU-H for Heat) for 160 extra horsepower for 33 seconds around the track - up from the six second, 80 horsepower boost from last year. The entire unit must weigh no less than 145 kg, and the larger, heavier battery pack sits within the 100 kg fuel cell, which is approximately 60 kg smaller than last year to maximize fuel efficiency. A game-changer in itself, the new ERS unit will no longer be controlled by the driver via his steering wheel. Instead, the team behind the pit wall will strategically enable the system during each lap at their discretion. Weight and Aerodynamics Because of the increased weight of the engine and drivetrain, the minimum weight of the car has also been raised from 624 kg (1,375 lbs.) to 690 (1,521 lbs.). What’s more, aerodynamics – said to be F1’s most valuable and determining component to success – have also been reduced. Starting up front, the wing loses a dramatic 15 cm in width to sit lesser than the spread of the front tires, which reduces downforce while increasing drag. From an aesthetics perspective, nose design has been a great deal of debate in recent years, and this one is no different. Some might argue it has reached its peak this year. Engineers have been forced to work around a regulation that sees maximum nose heights fall from 55 cm to just 18, primarily for driver safety in the event of a side-on collision. The result is a vast interpretation of designs aimed at minimizing the aerodynamic costs and overall performance of the car. Among the variations, three main nose designs have emerged: The ‘anteater’ design appears to be the most popular among teams. From the nose, a small extension stretches downward and beyond the front wing. The general idea is that the extension meets safety and height regulations while reducing the negative aerodynamic affects from the added material. The ‘vacuum’ nose appears on the Ferrari F14 T and Mercedes W05 and uses some aerodynamic aspects of the previous step-nose. It covers the most real estate in terms of material, making it completely active in terms of downforce compared to the other designs.   Lastly, the “twin tusk” nose design, most evident on the Lotus E23, is the most radical interpretation of the new regulations. The middle of the nose is essentially empty, allowing air to pass straight to the floor and ground effects for maximum aerodynamics. The wing is held up by “tusks,” which extend from either side of the main nosecone and downward to meet regulation height requirements.  At the rear of the car, aerodynamics have also been influenced. Previously, the exhaust was placed on both sides of the bodywork to optimize downforce via exhaust-blown (Coanda) diffusers. The 2014 regulations stipulate a single exit exhaust at the mid tail of the car, and any diffusers have been deemed illegal. The spoiler’s lower support beam has also been removed to eliminate exhaust effects, while the DRS slot gap has been flattened and increased for additional slip when the system is engaged. In total, aerodynamic downforce is reduced by as much as 20 per cent, which will likely have a negative effect on cornering speed, but alternatively, should translate to straight-line speeds faster than previous years. The cause-and-effect relationship of each of these new components with one another have challenged engineers to find the best performance with no reference from which to draw. Each reaction could have a completely unknown set of consequences, as we saw during testing. There is still concern of high failure rates at this first race in Melbourne, and those threats could easily carry on through the first few rounds as teams continue to understand the technology. The results could make for one of the most exciting and unpredictable F1 seasons in years. Surely, the double points prize at the final round in Abu Dhabi will be an exclamation point on the season, which makes a strong start to 2014 that much more vital.
Few brands owe as much of their identity to motorsports sponsorships as does Gulf Oil. The company has undergone a multitude of changes since its once-dominant position atop the corporate heap as a member of the Seven Sisters oil cartel, but the orange and blue has been a mainstay in racing for generations. While many corporate liveries have made their mark over the years, Gulf is among the few with a timelessness that transcends and transforms each of the adorned cars into another mark of the legendary Gulf Racing story. What’s more, the brand is the only one in the top ranking liveries that directly relates to motorsport. The products it promotes are those same ones that help it win – it is a symbiotic relationship where development and competition go hand in hand, and one that further warrants its standing among motorsport folklore. With a special emphasis on endurance racing, Gulf has dressed some of the most iconic cars of our time, won some of the most prestigious championships, and done so in one of the toughest, most demanding motor sports in the world. 1967 Mirage M1/ 1968 Ford GT40 The #3707 Zenith Blue and #3957 Tangerine made their first joint appearance on the 1967 Mirage M1, a prototype sports car based off the Ford GT40 and built by John Wyer Automotive Engineering (JWAE). After Ford withdrew from sports car competition at the beginning of the year, Wyer saw the opportunity to take advantage of the chassis using a modified design that included a pinched, rounded rooftop, narrow windshield and more aerodynamic body, most evident at the tail end of the car. In just its second race the M1 had its first victory at the 1,000 km of Spa, piloted by Jacky Ickx and Dick Thompson. The design was retired just a year into its life due to regulation changes. Due to the success of the Mirage, JWAE continued its involvement with the GT40, building a total of five chassis for competition. Of these models, chassis P/1075 lays claim as the most successful GT40 ever, winning back-to-back victories at the 1968 24 Hours of Le Mans under Pedro Rodriguez and Lucien Bianchi, then again in 1969, when Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver beat the Porsche 908 Coupé across the finish by mere seconds at the 24 hour mark. 1970 Porsche 917 It’s difficult to argue the beauty of the 917. At the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was dubbed the 24 Hours “Car of the Century,” largely due to its iconic silhouette and design built solely for the race in the south of France. The 917 was born out of revised Group 4 regulations, which reduced engine capacity to 3.0 litres for prototypes and 5.0 litres for sports cars. But the selling point for the creation of the 917 came when the FIA dropped sports car production homologation from 50 units to just 25. Just 10 months before the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche had developed the 917 with the intent of selling the car to privateers and thus, a legend was born. JWAE’s dominance over Porsche with the GT40 in the previous two years prompted the manufacturer to hand operations over to Wyer’s team. Porsche also offered factory support to Martini Racing and Porsche KG Salzburg that year. The 917 was initially plagued with handling issues, but the Wyer-Gulf team experimented with a shorter tail from the similar 917 Can-Am Spyder. The result was the 917K, which raced at Le Mans in 1970 and ‘71. Interestingly, despite the 917’s popularity and the story told in Steve McQueen’s Le Mans film, the Gulf 917 never actually won the enduro. The 917s that were victorious in 1970 and 1971 flew under the red and white of KG Salzburg and Martini Racing. The closest a Gulf 917 came to victory at Le Mans was in 1971 when it placed second under the tutelage of Richard Attwood and Herbie Muller. Despite its Le Mans record, the 917 and its design remains one of – if not the definitive Gulf racing icon. 1995-1997 McLaren F1 GTR Undoubtedly ahead of its time, the McLaren F1 was an F1 car built for the road. Surprisingly, it was never designed to race. The first GTR variant was designed three years after initial production for the 1995 season, and in just its first 24 Hour race, it took four of the top five spots, including victory by two laps. Finishing in fourth was the Andy Blackmore-designed Gulf car, which was notably darker than its traditional Gulf predecessors. In an effort to improve its performance, the next year it was stripped of all non-essential materials and used revised aerodynamics. It failed to improve, but still managed an impressive fifth behind the TWR Porsche WSC-95 and the two new factory Porsche 911 GT1s. In 1997, the FIA introduced the GT Championship, and with it came an onslaught made up of the 911 GT1, Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR and Panoz Esperante GTR-1. McLaren hit back with an aerodynamically-optimized longtail modification, brand-new sequential gearbox and engine capacity was dropped to 5.99 litres for added durability. It also marked the return to the traditional light blue and orange with Gulf Team Davidoff. The F1 GTR Longtail stood its ground among the world’s best, taking the 1997 GT1 Class victory at Le Mans, which included second and third overall amongst an incredibly strong field. The car also finished second in the FIA GT Championship, claiming five wins (including three straight to open the season), and the 6 Hours of Vallelunga, Italy by an astounding 21 laps. 2008 Aston Martin DBR9 Using the same nomenclature as the DBR1, named after previous company owner David Brown, the DBR9 returned to Le Mans in 2005. The factory Aston Martin team had been absent from competition since its AMR1 prototype in 1989 when it finished 11th, and prior to that hadn’t fielded a car since 1959 when it finished one-two in the DBR1/300. When the British manufacturer returned under the guidance of Prodrive, it appeared not to have missed a step, winning the 12 Hours of Sebring and qualifying first by four seconds over the Corvette team at Le Mans. Ultimately they finished third in class behind the two GM-backed cars. The following year the team came home second. It wasn’t until 2007 that Aston Martin was able to repeat their 1959 Le Mans success, finishing first in class and fifth overall with drivers Darren Turner, David Brabham and Rickard Rydell. The following season marked the beginning of a longstanding relationship between Gulf and Aston Martin, and a repeat victory in GT1 for Turner and Brabham, who were joined in the 009 by Antonio Garcia. It was the only major victory for the Gulf-dressed Aston before the company switched over to the LMP1 program. 2009/2010 Lola-Aston Margin LMP1 For 2009, Lola supplied the B09/60 chassis and Aston Martin/Prodrive supplied the naturally-aspirated 6.0-litre V12 which was based on the same engine that powered the DBR9 GT1 car. A total of three Gulf-liveried LMP1s were entered in the Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours, two from Aston Martin (008, 009), and the other from AMR Eastern Europe (007). The 007 was the most successful of the three, winning the 1,000 km of Catalunya and 1,000 km of Nürburgring, along with the LMS team and driver championships. When they came to Le Mans however, the story was much different. Lining up against the high-power turbo diesel prototypes made up of three Audi R15 TDIs and our Peugeot 908 HDi FAPs, the petrol-powered, naturally-aspirated Lola-Astons faced a tough battle ahead. The 007 and 008 cars qualified lower than all seven turbo diesels in eighth and ninth place, with the 009 starting back in 17th. The race saw the 009 car run as high as third place until a water leak on lap 252 dropped it out of the race, but the 007 AMR Eastern Europe car driven by Jan Charouz, Tomáš Enge and Stefan Mücke managed to take top honours as the highest petrol-powered finish: fourth overall with 373 laps, just nine back from the winning 908. The 008 car of Anthony Davidson, Turner and Jos Verstappen finished 13th with 342 laps complete. The 2010 Le Mans was nearly a carbon copy, this time with the two sole factory entries qualifying in the same positions. In the race it was the R15 TDI that drove to the top three spots, while the top Lola-Aston placed sixth. The bright spot for the LMP1 that season was a third place finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring, followed soon after with second at the LMS 8 Hours of Castellet at Paul Ricard. While it marked a sharp learning curve and a difficult two seasons for Aston Martin and the Prodrive squad, the LMP1 brought Aston Martin to its strongest finishes at Le Mans in more than 50 years. Ultimately, the results succumbed to technology regulations that were favourable to turbo diesel technology. 2012/ 2013 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE The current Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTE made its debut last year in the first season of the FIA World Endurance Championship. It was also the coming together of Gulf and Aston Martin in a unique technical partnership that resulted in Gulf Oil International contributing more than just its trademark colour scheme to the squad. In 2012, the GTE Pro and Am cars qualified an impressive second and third in class at Le Mans. The Pro car finished third, four laps behind the winner, while the Am entry was forced to retire with damage and just 31 laps complete. Overall the inaugural season for the Vantage GTE was a success, with a total of seven podiums, three poles and one win for second in the WEC season standings. This year, the blue and orange is fielding its strongest effort to date. The four-car campaign includes two full-time entries in both the Pro and Am classes, with a fifth Pro car running at select events for driver points. With a stronger field that includes the new 911 RSR, the Astons have shown their strength, with Pro drivers Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke sitting third in the standings with three races remaining. In the GTE Am category, Jamie Campbell-Walter and Stuart Hall are first. At Le Mans, the team qualified one-two in Pro and took pole in Am, but they were dealt a devastating blow early in the race, when Am driver Allan Simonsen was involved in a fatal crash at Tertre Rouge. At the request of Simonsen’s family, the team continued with the remaining four cars. Two of the three Pro cars suffered DNFs, but Turner, Mücke and Peter Dumbreck persevered for third in the Pro class in the special-livery 97 car, while Campbell-Walter, Hall and Roald Goethe finished sixth in the 96 Am car, dedicating their performance to their fallen comrade. Since Le Mans the team has appeared more committed than ever, taking three class wins and two seconds out of a possible eight podiums. Technically, the Aston Martin team is also stronger than ever. Using data analysis and engineer feedback from each session, the performance of the Vantage GTE has reached new heights and, being optimized literally from the laboratories of Gulf. The sponsor works closely to supply special fluids designed specifically for the Vantage, which Prodrive Chief Engineer Jason Hill says has helped contribute to their success. “It’s a single grade oil that Gulf has developed specifically for this car. It’s not used anywhere else. The key thing for us is we don’t get degradation in the engine components and performance throughout the life of the powerplant. Those components are as close to the original condition as possible.” The Vantage GTE marks a technical step forward for Gulf Oil. Like each car that came before, it is a worthy addition to the storied history of Gulf racing, and will continue to provide a platform for technological advancement and beauty in motion for generations to come.
Aston Martin Rapide SBase Price: $210,500Engine: 6.0L V12Horsepower/ Torque: 550 hp, 457 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.9 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 18.1 / 12.2Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FMRTop Speed: 306 km/hWhat’s new? Power upgrade, re-styled exterior, price reductionWebsite: astonmartin.com Aston Martin V12 Vantage SBase Price: $195,941Engine: 6.0L V12Horsepower/ Torque: 565 hp, 457 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.9 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy):18.0 / 12.4 (est.)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FMRTop Speed: 330 km/hWhat’s new? Automatic gearbox, steering system, carbon fibre interior packageWebsite: astonmartin.com   Aston Martin VanquishBase Price: $296,000Engine: 6.0L V12Horsepower/ Torque: 565 hp, 457 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.1 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 18.0 / 12.4 (est.)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 295 km/hWhat’s new? Replace DBS as Aston flagshipWebsite: astonmartin.com Bentley Continental GT SpeedBase Price: $262,570Engine: 6.0L twin-turbocharged W12Horsepower/ Torque: 616 hp, 590 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.2 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 22.2/ 10.1Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 329 km/hWhat’s new? Convertible model availableWebsite: bentleymotors.com Bentley Flying SpurBase Price: $242,660Engine: 6L twin-turbocharged W12Horsepower/ Torque: 616 hp, 590 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.6 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 22.4/ 10.2Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 320 km/hWhat’s new? Moves away from Continental bodywork, all new for 2014Website: bentleymotors.com Bentley MulsanneBase Price: $361,680Engine: 6.8L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower/ Torque: 505 hp, 752 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.3 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 25.3/ 11.8Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 296 km/hWhat’s new? Interior package, paint, entertainmentWebsite: bentleymotors.com BMW i8Base Price: $160,000 (est.)Engine: 1.5L 3-cyl. with electric motorHorsepower/ Torque: 362 hp, 420 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.4 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 2.5 (combined gas/ electric)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FF (electric), FR (gasoline), FA (combined)Top Speed: 250 km/hWhat’s new? Brand new model utilizing BMW’s i technologyWebsite: bmw.ca Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport VitesseBase Price: $2,600,000 (est.) ($2,400,000 USD)Engine: 8.0L quad-turbocharged W16Horsepower/ Torque: 1,200 hp, 1,106 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 2.6 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 37.2/ 14.9Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 408.84 km/hWhat’s new? Fastest convertible everWebsite: bugatti.com Ferrari 458 ItaliaBase Price: $275,900 ($305,900 Spyder)Engine: 4.5L V8Horsepower/ Torque: 570 hp, 398 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed F1 automatic0-100 km/h: 3.4 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 13.3 (combined)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: MRTop Speed: 325 km/hWhat’s new? ‘Speciale’ edition available with an added 26 hp, aero and technical updatesWebsite: ferrari.com Ferrari CaliforniaBase Price: $201,290Engine: 4.3L V8Horsepower/ Torque: 483 hp, 372 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed F1 automatic0-100 km/h: 3.9 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 13.1 (combined)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FMRTop Speed: 312 km/hWhat’s new? Revamped model coming for 2015Website: ferrari.com Ferrari F12 BerlinettaBase Price: $349,000Engine: 6.3L V12Horsepower/ Torque: 731 hp, 509 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed F1 automatic0-100 km/h: 3.1 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 15.0 (combined)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 340 km/hWhat’s new? Spyder edition rumoured for late 2014Website: ferrari.com Ferrari FFBase Price: $349,900Engine: 6.3L V12Horsepower/ Torque: 652 hp, 504 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed F1 automatic0-100 km/h: 3.7 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 15.4 (combined)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FMATop Speed: 355 km/hWhat’s new? Largely unchanged for 2014Website: ferrari.com LaFerrariBase Price: $1,200,000 (USD est.)Engine: 6.3L V12 w/ HY-KERS electric motorHorsepower/ Torque: 963 hp, 663 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed F1 automatic0-100 km/h: <3.0 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 14.2 (est.)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: MRTop Speed: >350 km/hWhat’s new? All-new successor to the Enzo, only 499 unitsWebsite: laferrari.com Jaguar XKR-S GTBase Price: $179,000Engine: 5.0L supercharged V8Horsepower/ Torque: 550 hp, 502 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.9 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): TBAEngine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 300 km/hWhat’s new? New car, limited to 30 unitsWebsite: jaguar.com/ca Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4Base Price: $430,000 ($485,000 Roadster)Engine: 6.5L V12Horsepower/ Torque: 700 hp, 507 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 2.9 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 24.7/ 10.7Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: MRTop Speed: 350 km/hWhat’s new? Roadster version w/ redesigned rear decklidWebsite: lamborghini.com Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4Base Price: TBAEngine: 5.2L V10Horsepower/ Torque: 560 hp, 397 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.7 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 20.7/ 9.6Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: MATop Speed: 325 km/hWhat’s new? New Gallardo, redesigned front/ rear fascia, larger intakes, new wheelsWebsite: lamborghini.com Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra CorseBase Price: $259,100 (USD)Engine: 5.2L V10Horsepower/ Torque: 570 hp, 397 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.4 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 20.4/ 9.4Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: MATop Speed: 320 km/hWhat’s new? New special edition honouring Blancpain Super Trofeo race car, only 15 editions builtWebsite: lamborghini.com Maserati GranTurismo MCBase Price: $161,800Engine: 4.7L V8Horsepower/ Torque: 454 hp, 383 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.0 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 18.0/ 11.2Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 298 km/h (est.)What’s new? Front splitter, carbon fibre hoodWebsite: maserati.com McLaren 12CBase Price: $259,000 ($289,000)Engine: 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower/ Torque: 616 hp, 443 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.1 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 11.7 (combined)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: MRTop Speed: 333 km/hWhat’s new? Updated AIS infotainment system, 30 Can-Am editionsWebsite: mclarenautomotive.com McLaren P1Base Price: $1,185,000 (USD)Engine: 3.8L twin-turbocharged V8 w/ KERS electric motorHorsepower/ Torque: 903 hp, 664 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automated manual0-100 km/h: 2.8 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy):8.4 (combined gasoline/ electric)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: MRTop Speed: 350 km/hWhat’s new? All-new hyper car, limited to 375 units, Launch, Track, Race, Sport, and E modeWebsite: mclarenautomotive.com Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMGBase Price: $243,000Engine: 6.0L twin-turbocharged V12Horsepower/ Torque: 621 hp, 738 lb-ftTransmission: 5-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.4 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 17.4/ 10.9Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 250 km/hWhat’s new? AVANTGARDE package, safety upgradesWebsite: mercedes-benz.ca Mercedes-Benz S 63 AMG 4MATICBase Price: $151,600Engine: 5.5L twin-turbocharged V8Horsepower/ Torque: 577 hp, 664 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.0 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 15.6/ 10.7Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 300 km/hWhat’s new? All new for 2014, Parktronic, collision prevention and warmth and comfort package standard, temporary manual M transmission modeWebsite: mercedes-benz.ca Mercedes-Benz S 65 AMGBase Price: TBAEngine: 6.0L twin-turbocharged V12Horsepower/ Torque: 621 hp, 738 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.2 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 17.4/ 10.9 (est.)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 250 km/hWhat’s new? All-new for 2015Website: mercedes-benz.ca Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black SeriesBase Price: $294,000Engine: 6.2L V8Horsepower/ Torque: 622 hp, 468 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.6 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 18.0/ 12.4Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 315 km/hWhat’s new? Power upgrade, AMG Ride Control, AMG differential lockWebsite: mercedes-benz.ca Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GTBase Price: $217,900 ($224,200 Roadster)Engine: 6.2L V8Horsepower/ Torque: 583 hp, 479 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.7 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 19.9/ 9.3Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FRTop Speed: 320 km/hWhat’s new? Power upgrade, suspension upgrade, wheel options, Final Edition (shown) with exposed carbon hood, carbon front/ rear splitters, forged light-alloy wheels (limited to 350 units)Website: mercedes-benz.ca Pagani HuayraBase Price: $1,800,000 (USD)Engine: 6.0L twin-turbocharged V12Horsepower/ Torque: 700 hp, 737 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.3 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 11.2 (hwy est.)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: MRTop Speed: 372 km/hWhat’s new? Roadster model rumouredWebsite: pagani.com Porsche 911 Turbo/ Turbo SBase Price: $169,200/ $206,600Engine: 3.8L turbocharged flat-6 cyl.Horsepower/ Torque: 520 hp, 524 lb-ft/ 560 hp, 553 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 3.3 sec/ 3.1 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 12.2/ 8.1Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: RATop Speed: 315 km/h, 318 km/hWhat’s new? New 991 body style, active rear-axle steering, longer wheelbase, 20-inch wheels, LED lightsWebsite: porsche.com Porsche 918 SpyderBase Price: $845,000 (USD) ($929,000 Weissach Package USD)Engine: 4.6L V8 hybridHorsepower/ Torque: 887 hp, 590 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 2.8 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 3.3 (combined)Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FR (gas or electric), FA (combined)Top Speed: 343 km/h (345 km/h)What’s new? Brand-new hyper car, Weissach package with carbon components, six-point belts, 77 lb. lighter, reduced insulation, no A/CWebsite: porsche.ca Porsche Panamera Turbo ExecutiveBase Price: $184,100Engine: 4.8L turbocharged V6Horsepower/ Torque: 520 hp, 568 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.2 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/ hwy): 13.3/ 8.3Engine/ Drivetrain Layout: FATop Speed: 305 km/hWhat’s new? All-new Panamera, body lengthened 15 cmWebsite: porsche.ca
Acura RLXBase Price: $49,990 Engine: 3.5L V6Horsepower / Torque: 310 hp, 272 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.8 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.5 / 6.4Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? All-new for 2014, replaces the RLWebsite: acura.ca Alfa Romeo 4CBase Price: $54,000 USD (est.)Engine: 1.75L 4 cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 240 hp, 258 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.5 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): N/AEngine / Drivetrain Layout: MRTop Speed: 250 km/h (est.)What's new? New to North American marketWebsite: alfaromeo.com Audi S4 / S5Base Price: $53,000 / $55,900Engine: 3.0L supercharged V6Horsepower / Torque: 333 hp, 325 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.1 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.8 / 8.3; 11.7, 7.7Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FAWhat's new? Selectable drive modes on all models, keyless entry/ignition on S5Website: audi.ca Audi TTS Base Price: $59,300 / $63,600 (Roadster)Engine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 265 hp, 258 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.1 sec. / 5.3 sec. (Roadster)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.1 / 7.4Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FAWhat's new? No TT RS for 2014 Website: audi.ca BMW 335iBase Price: $51,200Engine: 3.0L turbocharged inline-6Horsepower / Torque: 300 hp, 300 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic, 6-speed manual (no cost option)0-100 km/h: 5.7 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.3 / 6.6Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? New standard features, driving and safety optionsWebsite: bmw.ca BMW M3 / M4 Engine: 3.0L twin-turbocharged inline-6Horsepower / Torque: 424 hp, >369 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automatic (optional)0-100 km/h: 4.3 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 8.6 (est. combined)Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? All-new M4 replaces M3 coupe, redesigned, power upgrade, lighter, carbon fibre components and bodywork, active M differentialWebsite: bmw.ca Cadillac ATS PerformanceBase Price: $46,530 Engine: 2.0L turbocharged V6; 3.6L V6 (optional)Horsepower / Torque: 272 hp, 260 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic, 6-speed manual (optional)0-100 km/h: 5.6 sec. Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 9.9 / 6.3Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FR / FA (optional)What's new? New colour options, automatic highbeamsWebsite: cadillac.gm.ca Cadillac ELREngine: 1.4L 4-cyl. hybridHorsepower / Torque: 207 hp, 295 lb-ftTransmission: TBS0-100 km/h: TBAFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): N/AEngine / Drivetrain Layout: N/AWhat's new? New model, 480 km electric range, active noise cancellingWebsite: cadillac.gm.ca Cadillac XTSBase Price: $48,940 Engine: 3.6L V6, 3.6L twin-turbocharged V6 (optional)Horsepower / Torque: 304 hp, 264 lb-ftTransmission: 6 -speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.7 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 12.1 / 7.2Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FF/ (FA optional)What's new? Optional 410 hp twin-turbo V6, self parking and infotainment systemWebsite: cadillac.gm.ca Chevrolet Camaro Z/28Engine: 7L V8Horsepower / Torque: 500 hp, 470 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual0-100 km/h: 4.1 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 15.7 / 23.4 (est.)Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? New addition to lineup, race-ready, track suspension, no standard a/cWebsite: chevrolet.gm.ca Chevrolet Camaro ZL1Base Price: $58,000, $64,250 (Convertible)Engine: 6.2L supercharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 580 hp, 556 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual0-100 km/h: 4.1 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 14.9 / 10.6Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? Rear fascia design, LED lamps, colour HUD, optional Recaro seatsWebsite: chevrolet.gm.ca Dodge Challenger SRT / Charger SRTBase Price: $48,395 / $49,795Engine: 6.4L V8 Horsepower / Torque: 470 hp, 470 lb-ft Transmission: 5-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.7 sec. (est.) Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 15.0 / 8.7Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? Largely unchanged for 2014Website: dodge.ca Ford Mustang Shelby GT500Base Price: $54,800 ($59,800) ConvertibleEngine: 5.8L supercharged V8Horsepower / Torque: 662 hp, 631 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual0-100 km/h: 4.4 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.9 / 8.3Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? Standard heated front seats, price dropWebsite: ford.ca Hyundai Genesis 5.0 Sedan R SpecEngine: 5.0L V8Horsepower / Torque: 429 hp, 376 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.3 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.3 / 8.5Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWebsite: hyundaicanada.com Infiniti Q60 IPL ConvertibleBase Price: $67,300Engine: 3.7L V6Horsepower / Torque: 343 hp, 273 lb-ftTransmission: 7-speed automatic0-100 km/h: N/AFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 12.1 / 7.8Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? G37 IPL replacement, high-flow shock absorbersWebsite: infiniti.ca Jaguar XF AWDBase Price: $61,000Engine: 3.0L supercharged V6Horsepower / Torque: 340 hp, 332 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.9 sec. Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.1 / 7.7 Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FAWebsite: jaguar.ca Lexus IS FBase Price: $73,900 Engine: 5.0L V8Horsepower / Torque: 416 hp, 371 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.8 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 13.0 / 8.5Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? Exterior style upgrades, LED fog lamps, interior leather optionsWebsite: lexus.ca Lexus RCEngine: 2.5L 4 cyl. / 3.5L V6Horsepower / Torque: 178 hp, 163 lb-ft; 280 hp, 380 lb-ft. (V6)Transmission: CVT (4 cyl.), 8-speed automatic (V6)Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? All-new modelWebsite: lexus.ca Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR / MRBase Price: $41,998 / $51,998Engine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 291 hp, 300 lb-ftTransmission: 5-speed manual / 5-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.4 sec. (est)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 12.4 / 8.7; 12.6 / 8.9Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FAWhat's new? Touchscreen audio interface, new optional nav systemWebsite: mitsubishi-motors.ca Porsche Boxster SBase Price: $70,900 ($74,560 PDK) Engine: 3.4L flat-6 cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 315 hp, 266 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed PDK automatic (optional)0-100 km/h: 5.1 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.5 / 7.2; 9.9 / 6.6 (PDK)Engine / Drivetrain Layout: MRWhat's new? Audio system, paint optionsWebsite: porsche.ca Volvo S60 T6 R-DesignBase Price: $52,450 Engine: 3.0L turbocharged 6-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 325 hp, 354 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.5 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.7 / 8.0Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FAWhat's new? Restyled, lower front fascia, faster shift speedsWebsite: volvocanada.com
Acura ILX Dynamic / HybridBase Price: $31, 990 / $35,190Engine: 2.4L 4-cyl. / 1.5L 4-cyl. hybridHorsepower / Torque: 201 hp, 170 lb-ft / 111 hp, 127 lb-ftTransmission: Close-ratio 6-speed manual, CVT0-100 km/h: 7.3 sec. (est)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 9.8 / 6.5; 5.0 / 4.8Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Interior and exterior redesign, first Acura hybrid systemWebsite: acura.ca Acura TL / SH-AWDBase Price: $39,990 / $43,990Engine: 3.5L V6 (3.7L V6 SH-AWD)Horsepower / Torque: 285 hp, 254 lb-ft / 305 hpTransmission: 6-speed automatic w/ paddle shift0-100 km/h: N/AFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.4 / 6.8; 13.0 / 9.0Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FF / FA (SH-AWD)What's new? Largely unchanged for 2014Website: acura.ca Audi A3 / TDIBase Price: $34,100 / $37,100Engine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl. / 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl. dieselHorsepower / Torque: 200 hp, 207 lb-ft / 140 hp, 236 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.8 sec (est.) / 8.8 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.4 / 6.7; 6.7 / 4.7Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FF / FAWhat's new? Longer wheelbase, revised front/rear, lighter; engine based on VW TDIWebsite: audi.ca BMW 228iBase Price: $33,025 USDEngine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 240 hp, 258 lb-ftTransmission: 8-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 4.9 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.2 / 6.7 (est.)Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? Brand-new model replacing 1 Series, 2.8-inches longer, 1.3-inches wider, 1.3-inch longer wheelbase, wider track, lower centre of gravity, standard EfficientDynamics aero package including Air Curtains, Auto Start/Stop and Eco Pro mode, standard iDrive controller and 8.8-inch infotainment screen, standard suspension mode selection, M235i turbocharged V6 also available, coming Q1/Q2 2014Website: bmw.ca Buick Regal GSBase Price: $41,455Engine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 270 hp, 295 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.8 secFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.0 / 7.4 (manual)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FF/ FAWhat's new? New AWD option, revised grille, LED HID taillights, standard LED daytime running lights, IntelliLike infortainment systemWebsite: buick.gm.ca  Dodge Challenger R/T / Charger R/TBase Price: $37,795 / $38,595Engine: 5.7L V8Horsepower / Torque: 372 hp, 400 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 5.4 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 14.1 / 7.8 (manual)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? New paint options, performance tuned chassis availableWebsite: dodge.ca Fiat 500 Abarth / 500C Abarth (Cabrio)Base Price: $24,495 / $27,995 (500C Abarath Cabriolet)Engine: 1.4L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 160 bhp, 170 lb-ftTransmission: 5-speed manual0-100 km/h: 7.5 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 7.1 / 5.7Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Black-accented headlights, taillights and turn signalsWebsite: fiatcanada.com 2015 Ford Mustang GTBase Price: $35,849 / $40,849 (convertible) (2014)Engine: 5.0L V8Horsepower / Torque: 420 hp, 396 lb-ft. (est.)Transmission: 6-speed manual / 6-speed automatic (option) 0-100 km/h: 4.3 sec (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.9 / 7.9 (est.)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? All-new modelWebsite: ford.ca Ford Focus STBase Price: $29,999Engine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 252 hp, 270 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual0-100 km/h: 6.7 sec (est)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.3 / 7.4 (est.)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Exterior trim, wheel optionsWebsite: ford.ca Honda Accord EX-L V6 NAVI CoupeBase Price: $35,500Engine: 3.5L V6Horsepower / Torque: 278 hp, 252 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.4 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.5 / 7.1Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Interior upgrades, auto-dim rear view mirrorWebsite: honda.ca Honda Civic SiEngine: 2.4L 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 205 hp, 174 lb-ft+Transmission: 6-speed manual0-100 km/h: 7.0 sec. (est)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.0 / 6.4 (est.)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Added hp and torque (+4), push button start, multimedia system with 7-inch touchscreen, LaneWatch, front/rear bumpers, side mirrors, wheel designs, retuned exhaust, coupe receives restylingWebsite: honda.ca Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2.0 R-Spec / 3.8 GTEngine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl. / 3.8L V6Horsepower / Torque: 274 hp, 275 lb-ft / 348 hp, 292 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual0-100 km/h: 5.8 sec. / 5.5 sec. (est)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 10.0 / 6.6, 11.5 / 7.3Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FRWebsite: hyundaicanada.com 2013 Hyundai Veloster TurboBase Price: $26,749Engine: 1.6L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 201 hp, 195 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual/ 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.9 sec (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 8.3 / 5.7 (est.)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Active Cornering Control for improved power delivery, Active Sound Design system for enhanced interior intake and exhaust sound, heated steering wheel, power-adjustable lumbar support, matte grey paint option. Website: hyundaicanada.com Kia CadenzaBase Price: $37,795Engine: 3.3L V6Horsepower / Torque: 293 hp, 255 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic w/ paddle shift0-100 km/h: 7.3 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.2 / 7.4Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Brand-new model for 2014 Website: kia.ca Kia Forte Koup SXBase Price: $26,195 (sedan)Engine: 1.6L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 201 hp, 195 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual / 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.9 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 9.8 / 6.7 (est.)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? all-new model for 2014Website: kia.ca Kia Optima SX TurboBase Price: $34,695Engine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 274 hp, 269 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.8 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.8 / 7.6 (est.)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Updated front and rear fascia, LED taillights, 18-inch polished wheels, 4.3-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster, 8-inch infotainment screen, blindspot detection, D-shape sport steering wheel, seat designsWebsite: kia.ca Mazda3 Sport / GTBase Price: $16,995 / $25,855Engine: 2.0L 4-cyl. / 2.5L 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 155 hp, 150 lb-ft / 184 hp, 185 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 7.9 sec. (est. GT)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 7.0 / 4.9 (est. manual)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FF What's new? Completely redesigned for 2014Website: mazda.ca MINI Cooper S / Cooper S ConvertibleBase Price: $28,950 (est.) / $34,150 (Convertible)Engine: 1.6L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 189 hp, 207 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 6.7 sec. (est.)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Redesigned for 2014, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, power upgrade (+8 hp, +30 lb-ft), LED headlights, driving modes, heads-up display, 8.8-inch navigation screen, parallel park assist, backup camera, MINI infotainment controllerWebsite: mini.ca Nissan 370ZBase Price: $38,428, $47,478 (Roadster)Engine: 3.7L V6Horsepower / Torque: 332 hp, 270 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed automatic (optional)0-100 km/h: 5.9 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.8 / 7.8; 12.0 / 8.1 (Roadster)Engine / Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? Price drop, interior/exterior updates on NISMOWebsite: nissan.ca Scion FR-SBase Price: $26,450Engine: 2.0L 4-cyl. BoxerHorsepower / Torque: 200 hp, 151 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 7.7 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 9.6 / 6.6Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? Touchscreen display, 10 Series special edition with unique illuminated dash, silver seat belts, dual auto A/C, anti-theft alarm, illuminated front/ rear emblems, HID headlights with LED daytime lights, push-button start.Website: scion.ca Scion tCBase Price: $21,490Engine: 2.5L 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 179 hp, 172 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic0-100 km/h: 7.8 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 8.9 / 6.4; 8.9 / 6.3 (automatic)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? New headlamps, hood, LED tail lamps, wheels, exterior coloursWebsite: scion.ca 2015 Subaru WRXBase Price: $32,495 (2014)Engine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl. boxerHorsepower / Torque: 268 hp, 258 lb-ft.Transmission: 6-speed close-ratio manualFuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 11.1 / 8.0 (est.)Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FAWhat's new? Completely redesigned for 2015, D-shape steering wheel, new gauges and LCD display, standard 17-inch wheels, optional CVT transmission, new 6-speed manual transmission, stiffer chassis, 25 mm longer, larger brakesWebsite: subaru.ca Subaru BRZBase Price: $27,295Engine: 2.0L 4-cyl. BoxerHorsepower / Torque: 200 hp, 151 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual0-100 km/h: 7.7 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 9.6 / 6.6Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FRWhat's new? Smartphone integrationWebsite: subaru.ca Subaru WRX STIBase Price: $38,195 / $39,095 (5-door)Engine: 2.5L turbocharged 4-cyl. boxerHorsepower / Torque: 305 hp, 290 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed close-ratio manual0-100 km/h: 4.9 sec.Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 12.6 / 8.8Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FAWhat's new? Tsurugi Edition exclusive to CanadaWebsite: subaru.ca Toyota Corolla SBase Price: $19,215Engine: 1.8L 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 132 hp, 140 lb-ftTransmission: CVTi-S (paddle-shift optional)0-100 km/h: 11.5 sec. (est.)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 6.9 / 5.2Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Redesigned exterior, ergonomical interior, gated shifter, touch displayWebsite: toyota.ca Volkswagen Jetta GLIBase Price: $28,290Engine: 2.0L turbocharged 4-cyl.Horsepower / Torque: 210 hp, 207 lb-ftTransmission: 6-speed manual0-100 km/h: 6.8 sec. (est)Fuel Economy (L/100 km city/hwy): 9.3 / 6.1Engine/Drivetrain Layout: FFWhat's new? Horsepower increase (+10), Car-Net vehicle interfaceWebsite: vw.ca
In one fell swoop, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray landed itself at the top of my own 2013 Top 10 list. Not by choice, but by merit. Maybe it's because the Viper GTS hasn't landed in my lap, but I thought for sure the MP4 12C had that locked up and key thrown away. Even the SLS AMG GT didn't make second fiddle. That's heresy. Right? It turns out the more affordable, road-sucking C7 Stingray did more than impress in Monterey, Calif. this summer. It came of age, and I bore witness. Compared to baseball cards, chewing gum and beer drinking hats, the Corvette is as American as is gets. Only now it's a lot more refined. Inside and outside. Through and through. The seventh-generation's all-new LT1 engine is a thing of beauty. On paper, and on the road. The lightweight and dulcet 6.2-litre V8 makes 460 horses and 465 torques, while the seven-speed manual transmission and electronic LSD (eLSD) ensure this is the most advanced Corvette to date. Not by a little bit either. It also happens to be the most fuel efficient Corvette ever. GM says it achieves 30 mpg when cruising in V4 mode where it produces 126 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm. Mercifully, the Eco mode must first be engaged. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. And like it or not, it does work. Perhaps too well. Corvette cultists could rise up. All I know is my Crazy Canuck co-driver urged me not to even speak of it. But it's there. Like a scab. You want to peel it off, but you just know it's better left to fall off on its own. This is, after all, the most capable standard Corvette ever. And the optional Z51 performance package fitted to my test car more than makes up for it. This is not the most powerful Corvette ever and there are no doubt more powerful ZR and Z0 models coming down the pipeline, but for now the Z51 is the cat's ass. The Z51 kit adds dry sump oil, differential and transmission coolers, high-performance gear ratios, aero parts, unique chassis tuning, the eLSD and Michelin Pilot Super Sport ZP ultra-high performance tires developed exclusively for the Stingray on staggered 19- and 20-inch forged wheels. Michelin has developed two versions of this tire, in fact. One for the standard car. Another for this particular trim. Equipped thusly, the Stingray can sprint from zero-to-97 km/h (60 mph) in 3.8 seconds. It runs the quarter-mile in 12 seconds at 191.5 km/h (119 mph), and its larger slotted steel brakes (13.6 and 13.3 inch diameters in the front and rear, respectively) with four-piston Brembo calipers and cooling ducts haul the C7 back down from 97 km/h in 326 metres (107 feet). The optional true dual-mode performance exhaust is said to bump horsepower and torque by five units apiece, improves airflow by 27% and ameliorates sounds quality by closing some valves during V4 mode. My car is also equipped with GM's Magnetic Ride Control active-handling system and its accompanying Performance Traction Management (PTM) system, and on this day conditions are ripe to stretch the Vette's lungs and rubber to “...feel those centrifugal forces,” as one resident put it, to the fullest effect. I have a race car driver riding shotgun next to me (and will remain anonymous for reasons that will become obvious) and a Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame 2013 inductee right behind me in another a metallic blue Z51. Now, I would be in real trouble if that were the “Mayor of Mosport” in my mirrors, but it is only Jacques Duval (79) playing cat to my mouse. Among other accomplishments in his racing career, Duval won the very first Grand Prix of Trois-Rivières in 1967. We punch it pretty hard for mile and after twisty and bumpy mile, picking off mouse after slower mouse in the process of tearing up Cienega Road. Deeply-eroded ditches, falling rocks, broken and crowned asphalt, big hills, compressions, loose gravel and giant potholes increase the pucker factor. The Stingrays engorge themselves on the many technical, off-camber, blind and even sketchy corners the route provides before it straightens out and begets more lewd driving behaviour from our wave of drivers. The car's sport-tuned magnetic ride suspension helps achieve 1.03 Gs of cornering addiction, and tire heat sensors work in unison to maximize performance via specific ECU algorithms with calculations based on cornering, braking and accelerating. The hotter the tires are, the more performance the car allows you. The patented tire temperature system works like this: the TPMS valve stem uses a built-in temperature sensor to establish a base or start-up temperature. “It then has algorithms to estimate how the tire temperature is changing at the patch based on how much energy you are putting into the car,” says Tadge Juechter, Corvette Chief Engineer. If you're driving modestly hard, it will predict a small change in temperature as the tires warm up, but if your driving very hard like you would on a track or an autocross course, it will predict a big change as the tires become very hot. “This is important because the vehicle uses that information in the rest of the controls, whether it's ABS, (the eLSD) or stability or PTM,” explains Juechter. “All those systems really benefit from knowing whether the tires are cold, warm or really hot.” In fact, cold tires (under 45 degrees Fahrenheit) generate only 70% of maximum grip. Warm tires (between 45 and 115 degrees) generate 90%. Hot tires (above 115 degrees) get the whole grip enchilada. The tire temperature system is a great idea that works well in practice, but there may be headaches when installing aftermarket wheels and/or slicks for track use because it is so embedded into the vehicle's programming. That said, the valve stems ought to carry some GM part number; and, perhaps most importantly, according to Lee Willard, Michelin's own Mr. Corvette, development of the ZP tires was done independently from the system. At any rate, the magnetic-ride shocks on this Corvette Stingray make it handle fan-freaking-tastic! The electric steering has nice weight and more feeling than some German sports cars I've driven lately, and the PTM knob lets you dial in the car precisely the way you want it. Pressing the traction control button twice opens the PTM menu and allows access to the Weather, Eco, Touring, Sport and Track programs – those on the left being the more restrained or conservative, and those on the right being more liberal to extreme, just like real-life politics – which automatically adjusts up to 12 different parameters. The five-position selector knob and the ability to turn the traction control system completely off is standard on the C7, but only the Z51-equipped cars can explore the full potential of PTM. The eight-way power adjustable sports seats boasting lightweight magnesium frames are also standard. Only the standard GT seats are available for testing, though a competition version with more aggressive side bolstering for greater support on the track is also available. The base buckets, however, are quite alright as is. Standard too is the 14.1-inch diameter steering wheel and paddles for greater precision and control. The paddles do what you expect them to when paired with the six-speed automatic transmission, and turn the active rev matching system on or off when paired with the seven-speed manual. In the case of the latter, I find it very quick, accurate and quite useful while dipsy-doodling around on these uncharted (to me) technical roads. It's probably not my preference for my favourite Canadian road course, but the shift knob itself is smooth and has great action. Despite the seven gears feeling quite close together, I manage to not miss a single shift. The active rev matching system uses a sensor attached to the bottom of the shifter to telegraph the drivers intent by sensing what they are doing with the shifter. As the shifter moves toward the gate you're switching to (up or down), you'll watch the engine jump in anticipation of the revs you'll need to maintain speed. Though more aggressive-looking and functional, the C7's exterior dimensions are relatively unchanged compared to its predecessor. Its length, width, height, wheelbase and track are all within an inch of the C6's figures. Underpinned by its entirely-new aluminum frame, however, the 1,562-kg (3,444 lb) starts off 45 kg (99 lb) lighter and 57% stiffer than the C6. Though the physical differences seem minimal, the results are maximal. The advanced HID and LED lighting looks killer too. The C7's aluminum frame is lighter and stronger than the outgoing steel structure, and is paired with composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels as well as carbon-nano composite underbody panels that achieve a 50/50 weight balance. A carbon fibre hood on all models, and the coupe's removable roof panel (carbon fibre optional) ensures a low gravity centre and shifts the weight slightly rearward. My silver metallic car has a tinted polycarbonate roof that lets you enjoy the open sky, even on rainy days. Here's a rainy day stat: the C7 shares only two parts with the previous generation – the rear latch for the removable roof and the cabin air filter. But it is the eLSD that has perhaps the hugest impact on how this new Corvette performs. “Having a differential that can go from open to nearly clamped all the way shut has a huge impact on the way the vehicle handles,” says Juechter, especially since the tires are so large and so sticky. And because the eLSD is continuously variable rather than an on/off or stepped system, the car can continuously adjust the pressure on the plates in the clutches to vary the torque being transmitted across the differential in real-time. In sport mode, out in the canyons, the PTM and eLSD work seamlessly to provide confidence. You see, the eLSD can make the car both more responsive and more stable. Opening the differential lets the car turn in much more easily, and get the traction down coming out of the turn. eLSD can stabilize the car without slowing it down, which is a big win for a performance car. “Because of our close ties to our C6.R race program, we are very connected to the race car designers and what they focus on in making a vehicle work well,” says Juechter. “We really took that same mentality and those same lessons literally from the race car... Every surface is engineered to make the car work better just as the race car is.” The forward-tilted radiator and functional hood grille is a great example. Like on most race cars, the air for the radiator is drawn in through the top of the car. Similarly, the rear vents and the way air is managed underneath the car is integral in cooling major components such as the rear transaxle and brakes. There's even a closed circuit cooling system for the transmission and differential lubricants back there. “We take cooling air in through these (top) vents,” he points out. “Then we have heat exchangers in the rear corners and, after it cools off the fluids, the warm air exits out of functional grilles in the rear.” This is another example of taking specific race car techniques and strategies and applying them to a street car. And, thanks to special 10 mm layer of space age “Aerogel” that lines the sides of the centre tunnel (5 mm top layer), the interior doesn't get uncomfortably hot after long spirited drives. Speaking of the interior, not a single part from the C6 has found its way to the C7, and looking around you see nothing but prime materials and finishes. Even if you don't get a Nappa leather interior, all of the components are fully-wrapped, stitched and look very premium. My test mule further benefits from a carbon fibre interior appearance package in addition to the 3LT package (see essentials for more). Driver and passenger are separated by a wraparound-style cockpit reminiscent of a jet fighter that arms the driver with everything needed to enjoy this car fully and completely within arm's reach. Customizable dual eight-inch driver (instrument cluster) and infotainment (centre stack) HD screens with next-generation MyLink system and rear vision camera are standard, and allow for many different configurations and apps. The latter display boasts a compartment behind the display that's perfect for storing Bluetooth-connected phones or other devices out of sight. However, the former display is even cooler in that it has all kinds of interesting and customizable screens for touring, sport and track driving modes. The track theme is actually modeled from the display in the C6.R race car and features a lot of the same types of instrumentation, as well as includes things like a built-in lap timer, tire temperature readout, shift points and more. After swapping seats at the driver change point, we head back out onto the No. 25 Airline Highway, which features more long sweeping corners, dips and crests and long straightaways where the eye can see for miles. It is one of these straights that my personal Stiggy's right foot starts to itch. With a bit of scratching, the car is flying along at 250 km/h whilst completely stable. Before long we catch up to the only other Stingray that left the parking lot ahead of us. Its driver seems to know what he's doing so we stay in close proximity to check out its moves. With road debris getting flung up into our cabin by the sticky tires ahead, however, we back off a bit. Just in time too as coming into a hard left-hander at speed, a deer decides to jump into its path to test the driver's reflexes. It was a very close call, but the driver doesn't flinch as we both wince at the sight. Had there been contact, Bambi would have likely landed in my lap. The road continues, stretching up and down like a never-ending caterpillar. A bit further along, the car in front seemingly drops out of sight over a crazy left-banking crest, almost like it had left the road. A few moments after a collective gasp, we crest the hill only to see the little red Corvette getting smaller up ahead. After catching up once again, the two cars cruise in tandem toward the lunch spot deep in the vineyards of Steinbeck's Wrath country. “I'm hard pressed to believe that the steering is electrically assisted,” asserts my anonymous cohort. “It's remarkably good and a thousand times better than the C6 steering.” Trying out the optional premium surround sound system, some Simple Minds at full volume crank through loud and clear with the top off in California's northern wine territory. A Bose nine-speaker audio system with SiriusXM Satellite radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and SD card and auxiliary input jack come standard along with keyless entry, push-button start and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Another memorable moment comes just a few miles from lunch when the car in front comes to a stop in the lane in front of us. We pull alongside to see what's the matter? “Hey, everything okay?” I ask the other driver. “Oh yeah, I was just going to try out the launch control.” “Oh yeah cool,” I reply. But, my driver had already switched off the traction control completely before leaning over and asking, “What, like this?” as he peels away, leaving a couple of matchsticks of his own. For the second time today we let out some hearty chuckles, and giggle off toward our destination. This whole day has been what some people might consider a religious experience. I know I do. It's been an experience I won't soon forget, an experience that's left me wanting more. Having driven quite the cast of cars this summer, I can't help but think what incredible value the C7 provides. I can hardly wait to get one out on a track next season that is for sure. Pricing for the 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe starts at $52,745 while the convertible stickers at $58,245. The Z51 package on the 1LT trim starts at $56,520 and the Z51 3LT trim starts at $64,975, both exceptional performance values. Note: prices exclude a $1,700 destination fee, taxes, title and license fees. There's more to this story as you will discover in the following pages, but let me leave you with one more nugget. Corvette has been doing some testing at the Nurburgring and rumour has it the car is down near the seven-minute mark. Nothing official has been posted yet, but when it is I'm sure it will start with a six. 2014 Corvette Stingray Base Price: $52,745Price as Tested (before taxes): $56,520 (w Z51 pack); $64,975 (3LT)Engine: LT1 6.2L V8Horsepower / Torque: 455 hp / 460 lb-ftConfiguration: FRTransmission: 7-speed manual with Active Rev Match paddle shifters; six-speed automatic with paddle shiftersCurb weight: 1,562 kg (3,444 lb)Fuel Economy Ratings (city / hwy. / comb.): 12.2 / 6.9 / 9.8 L/100 kmWarranty (mos / km): 36 / 60,000Options on Test Vehicle: 3LT interior package includes: Bose, 10-speaker surround-sound audio system; SiriusXM radio with one-year subscription and HD radio receiver; colour HUD; memory package; navigation system; heated and ventilated seats with power lumbar and bolster adjustment; premium Nappa leather seating surfaces; leather-wrapped dash and instrument panel, console and door panels.
It seems whenever the topic of the Goodwood Revival comes up, there’s someone who says that it is the best event of its type in the world. I feel the same way and that’s why I flew to England again this year to attend it for the fourth time. When you hear Europeans, who have opportunities to attend so many other premier vintage car events make such a remark, you have to take notice. The premise of the Revival is just that – a revival of car races that were held at the Goodwood Circuit near the south coast of England from 1948 to 1966. It is hosted by Lord Charles March, scion of the Duke of Richmond and owner of the Goodwood estate. The race portion of the Goodwood program includes cars from that era, and all participants are expected to dress in a manner that represents the period. Of course, an event like this is an exercise in nostalgia. The first time I went I was uncertain if I would make a connection given that I was never in England during that time. However I quickly realized that, here in Ontario, we were pretty strong anglophiles when it came to our circuit racing, running mainly English cars and following an event organization based on the old Brooklands and Goodwood pattern. And, in addition to reading American magazines like Road & Track, we also subscribed to English ones like Autocar and Motor Sport. So we were well informed about the racing over there from an English perspective. Even if I may not have actually seen some of the cars at the revival, I probably knew about them. Indeed, the Goodwood Revival is the best of its type because no other event has the combination of quality elements it features. First and foremost, it has an excellent program of races with a balanced (by invitation only) entry. In addition to the historic cars, many of the drivers are well known faces from the past. The period look is extended to the way everyone in the paddock dresses, and right down to the support vehicles and all the ancillary bits and pieces that make up the infield. I know of no other such event which goes to such lengths to try to achieve such an authentic period look. While that was the original concept and, in itself, makes the Revival exceptional, there is much, much more. The spectators, even those who do not have access to the members-only paddock, are also encouraged to get into the spirit and wear period dress. Most of them have embraced this idea even if their expression of “period dress” can be something that never was actually seen at a race meeting in the 1950s. In fact, this is probably Lord March’s best idea. Many people – men and women – who have little or no interest in the race cars from the ‘50s buy vintage clothing off eBay and flood the event. The strongest attendance day is Saturday which is designated as Ladies’ Day, and prizes are awarded for best costume. Instead of a historic car race, which is generally of interest only to a declining number of old fogies like me, Lord March has created an event which has thrown its arms open to a much broader audience. On the track there is a tribute to Jim Clark, marking 50 years since he won his first F1 World Championship, with a parade of 36 cars significant to his career as a racing driver. This includes the Lotus 25 in which he won his 1963 title, the Indy-style Lotus 38 with which he won the 1965 Indy 500 (driven here by three-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti) and the Lotus 43, powered by the H-16 BRM engine with which he won at Watkins Glen in 1966 (the only race win for this overly complex engine). Also recognized is the 50th anniversary of the Ford GT40 with a parade of 13 significant examples plus a race with 27 GT40s and derivatives. A little simulation of the pit boxes at Le Mans in the day has been constructed to simulate the feel of the endurance race these cars were originally intended for. In their smallish recreation of the old Earls Court motor shows, they honour the 100th anniversary of Aston Martin with a selection of 21 significant models representing the span of the years. “Across the road”, amongst the overflow of vendors kiosks, Bonhams set up an auction of automobilia and real cars. The top seller was a 1935 Alfa-Romeo grand prix car reputed to be the one that Tazio Nuvolari drove to victory in the 1936 Coppa Ciano at Leghorn (Livorno), Italy. It sells for $10 million. This is where, to my mind, the event strays a bit from the original “revival” concept. A gaggle of bike racers pedals around the track in reverse order to mark the 110th anniversary of the first Tour de France – complete with a number of unusual-looking support vehicles. The Goodwood Circuit is built on the perimeter track of a WWII fighter aircraft airfield and it still includes a grass runway airfield to this day. March is tapping into this heritage and includes a significant component of aircraft as part of the event – static and with overhead flyovers. The flyovers feature Hurricane, Spitfire, Mustang fighters, and the Canberra bomber, the RAF’s first jet-powered bomber. There is an extensive array of historic aircraft on display on the ground behind the paddock. The daily attendance is probably somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 and at the centre it strains the capacity of the site to accommodate the crush. Indeed, I’m beginning to wonder if perhaps this event was becoming a victim to its own remarkable success. But, as always, the general rules of getting there early and seeking out the less-crowded spaces out near the back of the circuit helps. And, yes, there’s the racing. The revival is built around the races, this year 15 of them. As is typical in Europe, these vintage car races are pretty much real races with some amazing wheel-to-wheel dicing and some real-life crashes involving multi-million dollar cars. The list of name drivers participating in the races takes two pages and starts off with Rauno Aaltonen, Jean Alesi, Rowan Atkinson, Richard Atwood, Derek Bell, Mark Blundell and Kenny Brack and on and on. I don’t have space to recount the results of these races, but they’re all online at the Revival’s official site (see link below). In particular I would recommend you check out the St. Mary’s Trophy race, a two-heat race over two days which features three giant Ford Galaxies, one of them which wins each day, but an Alfa-Romeo 1600 GTA wins overall on the combined result. Also, the RAC TT Celebration which is run in fairly heavy rain on Sunday with the Aston-Martin Project 212 car winning out over a Lister-Jaguar coupe in the closing laps. Also, look at the results of the Sussex Trophy, a race for “World Championship sports cars and production sports-racing cars of a type that raced 1955-1960". The white-and blue Sadler-Chevrolet Mark 2 wins the pole but starts the race from the pits. The victory goes to a D-type Jaguar over a Maserati 300S. Each year the Goodwood management produces a video DVD of the event which is usually ready in time for the Christmas season. During the winter months, the still-available-in-Canada SPEED Channel may broadcast a show similar to the DVD’s content. They are both worth watching. The Goodwood Revival has established itself as the crown jewel of historic car racing events around the world and it looks to continue as champion of this category for years to come. This event should be on your bucket list.
Although the SLS AMG has been on the market for a couple of years already, I’m a little late to the gullwing party. I’ve simply never had the chance to drive one. Based on what I’d read in magazines and on the web, it’s supposed to be a little nervous and doesn’t inspire confidence, but that notion couldn’t be more wrong. The truth is that the SLS is one of the most exciting and dramatic cars available today. The boisterous, hand-assembled AMG V8 makes brutal power and makes a gregarious rumble. Yet, because the SLS’ handling makes you pay attention, I can see why some drivers are a little confused about its dynamics. You needn’t worry, though, because unlike a vintage 911, it doesn’t want to kill you, nor will it self-immolate like some Italian exotics do on occasion. This is, after all, a Mercedes-Benz by AMG and there’s simply nothing else like it. It has more street presence than anything this side of a million dollar exotic, has vault-like build quality, is unmistakably loud and brash, and drives like a German hot rod. I don’t recall ever driving a more extroverted machine than this one. The gullwing-style doors hearken back to the iconic 1955 300 SL which, in addition to the unique doors, was a benchmark performer in its day. It would, of course, be easier to engineer conventional doors, similar to the SLS Roadster, but there’s no style in that. Upon unlocking the SLS, door handles emerge from the door panel and with a light pull, the latch releases and the door swings up to its wing-like position. The tall doorsill and low seat make getting in the SLS a unique experience and, when you pull the door down and it latches shut, you know you’re sitting somewhere special. The opening is spacious enough for drivers of every size, but just be sure not to wear any short skirts when a paparazzi is nearby. The low roofline makes you feel like you’re in the cockpit of a machine that’s truly fast. While the cabin is compact, there is some extra headroom carved into the top section of the door, which leads to some unusual acoustics for the driver and passenger – when your head is positioned just right, you can hear yourself speak clearly. One solution, of course, is to simply enjoy the outstanding Bang & Olufsen sound system. It’s optional, but too good to pass up. The better option perhaps is to drop the windows and listen to that wicked V8. While the cockpit’s height is short, the cabin is wide with abundant elbow room, which makes the SLS feel more spacious inside. The all-black interior with red stitching of this test car might be a post-trend, but it suits the SLS perfectly. The start button glows red, as well, increasing the cool factor. The steering wheel feels great in your hands, although I’d rather have Alcantara all around the wheel instead of just the nine and three grips, and I can really do without the flat bottom style. Those wheels were already out of fashion in the '90s, so leave that to the pretenders, please, AMG. The seats themselves are perfectly formed with excellent support for long distance drives – the 200 kilometre round trip from Toronto to Mosport and back is a great road trip in the SLS and I have zero discomfort. Still, the seats have superb bolstering and keep you in place when the going gets quick. I think the reasons some drivers complain about the SLS’ dynamics is twofold. One, the seating position is much further back from the front axle than virtually every other car and, two, the rear axle can be very much alive – and for enthusiastic drivers like us, that’s a good thing. Sure, your brain takes a little while to rewire itself for the feeling of sitting so far back in the chassis, but once you become accustomed to it, it makes the experience of driving the SLS even more exceptional. Where most other cars of this calibre have more conventional front- or mid-engine layouts, there is nothing else like SLS’ long hood and the almost-over-the-rear-axle seating position. Steering is precise and quick enough for every situation, even when your right foot prescribes a little oversteer. In fact, you can easily balance the SLS while going a little sideways between steering and throttle inputs. It’s as is the SLS was engineered for lurid, tire smoking slides. The GT part of this car’s name was added for 2013 and signifies a few important changes. Most importantly, horsepower is up 20 to 583 on the dry-sumped, 32-valve, 6.2-litre V8 while torque remains static at 479 lb-ft. When you decide to step on the gas, it’s like unleashing a dirty, thundering V8 symphony. The exhaust can be so loud and sometimes so offensive that full throttle is not meant for the meek. For 2013, the seven-speed dual clutch (SPEEDSHIFT DCT in Mercedes-speak) was also recalibrated and it works well, but it’s nowhere near as quick as a Porsche PDK or the S-tronic in the new Audi R8. The dual clutch box suits the SLS better than any manual could because you can cruise around comfortably in automatic mode, but when you want some thrills, an authentic manual mode is available to you. In fact, every time I get in the SLS, I spin the dial over to manual because it's simply a more enjoyable drive. With almost 600 horses, the SLS is perhaps a bit under-tired for outright performance. Where most cars with this kind of performance made do with 305 mm-width tires – or wider – the SLS uses 295 section tires at the rear, and I’ll readily argue that it’s a good thing. You see, with less grip at the rear axle, the SLS is a more willing to be coaxed into a slide, and sliding a powerful supercar is one of your fundamental rights as an enthusiast. To some drivers, this may be a little disconcerting and, if you’re that kind of driver, just leave the stability system on. You’ll be fine. If you’re a card-carrying member of the oversteer club, then you’ll really love the SLS. With an SLS in your garage, you’re always looking for excuses to drive somewhere, so on a perfect summer’s evening, I take the gullwing for a romp around town. A few minutes into the drive, the engine of the SLS switches to a limp-home or safe mode for reasons I couldn’t determine. I pull into a parking lot, switch off the SLS and give it a chance to rest. After a few seconds, I press the glowing red start button, fire up the bellowing AMG V8 and the SLS operates normally. A subsequent diagnosis reveals a faulty e-throttle and is repaired quite easily. Ah, you just have to love all of the electronics in cars these days, don’t you? My only real complaint – and I dare say I have but one real complaint – is that the SLS rides a bit too hard, as if it’s meant to impress prospective customers with a “sporty” ride. In an ideal world, the SLS would ride on softer springs and better dampers, giving it a more comfortable and controlled ride. After one remarkably enjoyable drive while the SLS is cooling off in my garage, I look into the catalogs of top notch European tuners and, yes, you can get the right stuff for your SLS, which is exactly what I’d be doing should an SLS of my own show up in my garage in the future. Whereas the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 Turbo are more refined and even a little restrained, the SLS stands out as brash and elemental. The bark of its AMG V8 and the visual presence of those wonderful gullwing doors make the SLS the most unique super car in this category. Perhaps the only supercar similar in spirit to the SLS is Aston Martin’s new V12 Vantage S. While the Aston is stunning, it doesn’t have the same visual impact. If you want to make an entrance with a brash super car, there’s just one way to do it and that’s in an SLS AMG GT. SPECIFICATIONS2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GTBase Price: $217,900Engine: 4.8L V8Horsepower / Torque: 583 hp / 479 lb-ftConfiguration: FRTransmission: 7-speed automated dual clutchFuel Economy Ratings (city / hwy.): 16.3 / 10.7 L/100 kmOptions on Test Vehicle: Bang & Olufsen Sound System ($7,000).A/C Tax: $100Freight: $2,075Price as Tested (before taxes): $224,900Basic Warranty (mos / kms): 48 / 80,000
There is change aplenty coming for the 2014 Formula One season with new driver line-ups, new rules, shifts in the status quo and more. Here’s a look at some of the major talking points for next year. Ferrari Teammates: Friends or Foes? Ferrari rehiring Kimi Raikkonen, whom the team released from his contract to make way for Fernando Alonso to replace him in 2009, and pairing him with Alonso in 2014 is going to an intriguing aspect of next season. Naturally, both drivers and the team say everything is going to be fine and everybody will be friends. The last time Ferrari had two equal number one drivers was in 1995 with Jean Alesi and Gerhard Berger. Michael Schumacher reigned supreme from 1996 through 2006 including 1999 when he broke his leg and made a half-hearted attempt to aid teammate Eddie Irvine’s championship bid. Raikkonen was number one at Ferrari in 2007 to the point where Felipe Massa had to give up victory in his home Grand Prix of Brazil so that Raikkonen could win the championship. Massa came very close to winning the title in 2008 – marking the only time Ferrari switched focus away from its number one driver – and then after things fizzled out in 2009 the number one system was restored when Alonso joined Ferrari in 2010. Mind you, Ferrari’s current structure has not worked for years. With the exception of 2007, when McLaren’s Alonso and Lewis Hamilton tripped over each other (and when Alonso thought he’d been promised number one status) and Raikkonen sneaked by to snatch the crown, Ferrari hasn’t won the drivers’ world championship since 2004. Having two drivers capable of consistently earning big points – something that has not been the case with Massa in recent years – certainly will put Ferrari back in the frame to win the constructors’ championship for the first time since 2008. Raikkonen and Alonso are two of the fastest drivers on the grid but their approach couldn’t be more different. The Iceman is laid back. Alonso is intense. Raikkonen doesn’t shirk work but he doesn’t hang around the track late into the evening. The workload will be massive next year because of all the new technical rule changes. Alonso won’t be pleased if he stays late at the track working with the engineers while Raikkonen strolls back to the hotel. If things get tense, Alonso will quietly smolder and Raikkonen will just shrug his shoulders. But the real talking will be done on the track as both push to higher limits to become the big red one. It is going to be fascinating to see how this one plays out. Can Ricciardo Stand the Heat? Landing the most desired seat in F1 was the easy part. Now Daniel Ricciardo has to prove he is worthy of the job. As team boss Christian Horner says, Ricciardo has big shoes to fill replacing Mark Webber at Red Bull. The pressure to perform well is going to be immense, especially because Ricciardo will be going up his teammate multiple world champion Sebastian Vettel. Sergio Perez knows what Ricciardo will have to deal with because he is currently going through exactly the same scenario. Ricciardo will have spent two-and-half seasons with junior teams – HRT and Toro Rosso – before graduating. Perez drove for Sauber for two years before making the jump up to McLaren where he partners world champion Jenson Button. “The pressure rises a lot,” Perez notes. “There is a lot of pressure in a team like McLaren or Red Bull. For sure more pressure than where he is at Toro Rosso or where I was at Sauber. But as a racing driver you have to focus and deliver 100 percent. That’s the way to handle it. If you cannot handle pressure when you come into a big team you will not succeed and you will only last a couple of years before someone else comes. It is very important to prepare yourself and not think about it and just give your best.” Damon Hill’s first season with Williams – one of the dominating teams at the time – was partnering Alain Prost who won his fourth title in 1993. “Ricciardo’s had a bit of a warm-up,” Hill says. “He’s been in F1 for a while and knows the game; he is also with a protective group. He is part of the Red Bull family, so they know him, he knows them, and he knows how it works. “I think he will be very good because he will be given a little bit of comfort and support to start with. Helmut Marko is not exactly warm cuddly kind of person and neither is Christian Horner. But they will know how to deal with Ricciardo. He will probably have to put up with Sebastian firmly establishing the pecking order. I think he will do well. He will be a good driver. Competitively do I think he can really, seriously offer a threat to Vettel? Certainly not yet. We will see how it grows.” Ricciardo has had pressure for years: do well in each series going up the ladder or get kicked out of the Red Bull program. And now he faces the ultimate test at the pinnacle of the sport. Rather than look at the big picture, he plans to take things one day and one lap at a time. Perform each step correctly and things will fall into place. “That is the approach I’ve had since I got to F1 and since I’ve been with Toro Rosso,” Ricciardo tells PRN Ignition. “Long term goals are too difficult in this sport. You just have to take it day by day and it is what I’ve been doing and what I’m will keep doing.” He relishes the pressure. “It is something that I enjoy,” he declares. “It is nice when somebody does not expect you do to something and you do it. I’m not the underdog, but it is nice being in that position where if I come out there and start swinging in Melbourne and fight for a race win, everybody is going to be like ‘Wow!’ And that is a feeling I really enjoy so I am hoping that will be the case.” All New Engines To make F1 greener and more relevant to the road car industry, the 2;4-liter normally-aspirated V8 engines with the Kinetic Recovery System (KERS) will be replaced with all-new power plants in 2014. The new units consist of 1.6-litre 6-cylinder turbocharged engines and an Energy Recovery System (ERS) that will harvest and dispense far more horsepower than the existing KERS. This is all great for F1’s image, but it comes at a very high cost. Teams that have to pay for their power units will see the lease cost increase by $15 to $20 million a season. Costs in F1 are going up when the teams want them to go down. “It is a concern for everybody,” agrees four-time world champion Alain Prost who is now a representative for Renault. “I don’t have the solution, but for sure I know that there are a lot of teams that are complaining and that they would like to have a different solution, a different way of running the team, a different way of getting the money. “I was part of a team 10 years ago that could not continue because we had to pay for the engines [USD$32 million]. People are complaining about the engines today, but I was in the same situation and could not continue because of that. So it did not change, it just increased a little bit because of the economic situation. It is a bad cycle, maybe it can come back.” New Chassis Designs There are rule changes on the aero front as well: the front wing will be smaller; bending exhaust gases towards the rear diffuser will be no more; and there will further aero restrictions. So the 2014 car will be a design starting from scratch. What are the major challenges? “Cooling is probably the biggest challenge in many ways,” Red Bull’s Chief Technology Officer Newey tells PRN Ignition. “From our side as opposed to the engine manufacturer’s side because the smaller internal combustion engine, if anything, needs a bit less cooling. But obviously you have to cool the charger, as in any turbo charger installation. And then the ERS needs a lot of radiator area, not because it is particularly a large number of kilowatts or a big power ejection, but because the Delta T between the temperatures that an electrical system can run in at ambient, particularly in hot countries, is quite small. So hence you have to have a big area.” More cooling means less aerodynamic efficiency, so how difficult will it be to get the maximum out of the aerodynamics? “It is for sure one of the conundrums of next year’s regulations,” Newey says, “and it is likely, particularly very early on with such a big set of regulation changes, that some engine packages including the electrical side will be better in that respect than others. It is difficult to know how Renault will compare to their competitors, but from our side we will just try to do the best job we can to package what is needed.” Webber Watch Fans have been watching Mark Webber compete in F1 since 2002, but if they want to see the Australian ace compete in 2014 they will have to watch sports car racing as he has signed on to lead Porsche’s Le Mans prototype program. “I made the decision,” Webber declares. “Done. I’m finished (with F1 in the season finale) in Brazil. Thank you very much. That’s it.” “You are not going to finish your career if you are full of motivation and loving all aspects of the work. So for me, yeah, the motivation has been tricky, that’s part of the decision, another small part of the decision, and lots of things help you come to the decision where you want a change of scenery and want to do something different.” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner told Reuters that Webber is fast and fit enough to do another couple of years in the series but he’s fallen out of love a little with F1. “I am absolutely completely happy with my decision,” Webber asserts. “I am not regretting anything about retiring at the end of the year. But if the (F1) regulations were similar next year maybe I would have made a different decision. Months and months ago we knew that there was going to be a big change, so why not do the big change where my future (in sports cars) is going to be?” Webber’s experience and knowledge would have been an asset to any F1 team given the extensive technical rule changes next year. “You are right,” Webber says. “So I want to do all of that with Porsche – the experience, my future, everything. Boom. I don’t want to have another winter (of F1 testing in Spain) in Jerez. I want something different.” Who Will Be The Best? Going on the form of the last four years, Vettel and Red Bull Racing are the favorites for 2014. But then with so many changes coming that may change as well. “The approach is one of risk versus reward,” McLaren’s Sporting Director Sam Michael says of the challenge of designing cars for the new rules. “And both those things will take time. It is pretty unlikely you will get it bang on; you just won’t in all areas of the car. “Do I think it will mix things up? Probably. I’m sure there will be results that wouldn’t occur now.” But the cream will still rise to the top next year. “For the show, for the sport, it is not going to change,” Prost says. “The best drivers and teams are going to be the best. We may have more surprises, more things happening at the beginning of the season. We have a different way of approaching the races and the strategy, but at the end it is good to change.”
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