BMW has championed their new "i" lineup as the future of the automobile industry—electric- and hybrid-powered future cars imported straight from tomorrow. The i8 sports car's role in all that is to show that there'll still be room in the future for performance cars, even after the price of gas goes up to a bajillion dollars a gallon; to prove that point, BMW has outfitted it with a turbo three-cylinder engine to power the rear wheels and an electric motor for the fronts. Which is fine...but it's kind of a shame that such a ridiculous carbon-fiber body would be denied serious sports car power.
Come next year, Formula One will be ditching its naturally-aspirated V8 engines and moving to turbocharged V6s. As you well know. As a result, F1's engine manufacturers are already hard at work developing these new engines. As you'd expect. But how do you road test a prototype F1 engine if you don't have a handy test bed car? Well, if you're Ferrari, you stick it in an old LaFerrari mule and give car nerds everywhere a joygasm.
Seen here testing at Fiorano, this turbo V6-powered LaFerrari mule sounds like a sweet little bit of race car heaven. Granted, it looks kind of weird with that big air scoop behind the cockpit, but hey, them's the breaks when you're testing an F1 engine in a street car. Five bucks says you'll see this car on the autcion block in 20 years for a multimillion dollar price.
It’s not every day Chevrolet rolls out a new Corvette. On January 17, 1953, the very first Corvette was revealed at the Detroit Motor Show; almost 60 years later to the day (January 13, 2013), Chevy pulled the wraps off the seventh-generation car: the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.
The Acura NSX has never been about brute power or engine size. When it first appeared in 1990, it was powered by a 3.0 liter V6 making 270 horsepower and its power never really increased over the car's 15 year lifespan. By 2005, it was severely outclassed by the cars it had once fought as equals; 1990's Ferrari 348 made a similar 300 horsepower, but by 2005, Ferrari was on its great-grandson, the F430—and that guy made 483 horsepower.
Bear with us here for a minute. Porsche purists have been—justly or not—bemoaning the, to pull a word from George Carlin, pussification of Porsche for decades now. The all-wheel-drive and Tiptronic 964, the water-cooled 996, the Panamera, and most notably, the Cayenne—they've all been among the reasons certain factions have used to complain that Porsche has lost the faith. (Even though each of them has gone on to be loved by many of these selfsame haters after they finally drive it, but whatever.) But now, Porsche's added yet another model to the lineup—and this is one that should make those purists smile.
After years of bringing smile after smile to drivers, passengers and passers-by alike, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG will say goodbye. Goodnight gullwings, goodnight naturally-aspirated V8, goodnight awkward headlight treatment that never quite jelled with us but we came to accept anyway.
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The Ferrari LaFerrari is still undergoing Ferrari's factory testing, but we're glad to see Ferrari isn't afraid to take LaFerrari out in the wet. Or, apparently, to have a little fun with the road grime. [via Xavilin on Flickr]