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0-60 sabine-schmitz-porsche-911-gt3-rs-ferrari-458-italia nurburgring nordschleife
BY: Bix

Porsche 911 GT3 RS Versus Ferrari 458 Italia. On The Nürburgring. (w/Video)

With Sabine Schmitz behind the wheel. Oh, this is good.

If you're looking for someone to hustle a car around the Nürburgring Nordschleife in record time, Sabine Schmitz is one of the first numbers you ought to dial. The blonde Bavarian bombshell has been kicking the 'Ring's ass for almost two decades—she won the 24 Hours Nürburgring two years running in the '90s, and since then, she's spent much of her time piloting BMW's Ring Taxi M5s around the track. According to one interview, she'd lapped the 'Ring more than 20,000 times...and that was back in 2008.

So if you were looking for someone to punt a Porsche 911 GT3 RS around the 'Ring, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than Sabine. Likewise, if you were looking to find a car worthy of challenging her (lightly-modified) GT3 RS, it'd be hard to do much better than a Ferrari 458 Italia—in this case, one driven by racing driver and RSRacing founder Ron Simons. And to capture it all on camera, well, you can't really beat a Nissan GT-R for a camera car.

The race seems, well, a little scripted—but then again, it's kind of hard to stick a camera car in with two competitors raging down the track at 10/10s, let alone ask them to move around for a better shot. That said, the end result is damn good television.

[via YouTube]

June 06, 2013 at 04:57 PM
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0-60 porsche 911 carrera widebody 50 50th anniversary special edition photshop render
BY: Bix

Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition Is Yet Another 911 You'll Want

This one comes with just a dash of retro baked into the recipe.

Apart from the ass-mounted engines, Porsche's 911 has mostly been about the relentless pursuit of performance through technological advancement. (The decision to ditch the stick shift on the latest 911 GT3 and Turbo is just the latest example; we could grab more if we didn't have other things to do today.) But every now and again—usually to mark some sort of special occasion—Porsche throws those folks who salivate over the '74 Carrera RS and who, given a quarter-million dollars, would buy a Singer 911 over a 911 GT2 RS a tasty bone. And the latest bone is this beauty you see above.

Porsche calls it, somewhat unoriginally, the Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition. That said, the name is the least-interesting part of the car. It's based on the 911 Carrera S, but Porsche slaps on the wider body of the Carrera 4 for that extra visual flavor. Porsche Active Suspension Management comes standard, as does the sport exhaust system and xenon headlights with active cornering ability. And there's a rumor on the Internetz that every U.S. version will come with the Sport Chrono Package and the Powerkit that bumps the 3.8 liter boxer-six up to 430 horsepower, which makes this car kind of a performance steal

It wouldn't be a throwback model without those retro-inspired bits, though, so Porsche added on a unique engine compartment grille, special Fuchs-inspired 20-inch wheels, and a tartan pattern on the leather seats that's reminiscent of the fabric design on the 911 seats of the 1960s. And, in a subtle touch, the gauges come with green labeling, white needles and silver caps—just like the first 911s.

The 911 50th Anniversary Edition comes in your choice of black or two exclusive grays: a light "geyser grey metallic" and a dark "graphite grey." Since it's "just" a Carrera beneath the skin, there's also the choice of seven-speed PDK and seven-speed manual gearboxes. The PDK knocks four-tenths of a second off the 0-60 time (3.8 versus 4.2), but nobody buys special edition 911s to drag race. Go for the stick. You might not be able to much longer. And only 1963 examples of this 911 will be made (at a base price of $125,050), so hey, order now.

[via Porsche]

June 05, 2013 at 03:15 PM
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0-60 schumacher f1 nurburgring
BY: Bix

A Schmui-Eye's View Of The 'Ring From An F1 Car (w/Video)

Schumacher dusts off the ol' F1 driving gloves for a lap of the Nordschleife.

Michael Schumacher: He used to be great, now he's just decent. He's still a better driver than, say, you or me (unless you're reading this, Mark), but for the most part, Schumacher's life has kind of become a walking Germanic personification of Springsteen's "Glory Days." (more…)
June 04, 2013 at 08:07 PM
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0-60 pagani zonda revolucion revolution 800 horsepower 2358 pounds weight power
BY: Bix

Pagani Zonda Revolucion Is The Last Of The Big-Time Zondas

It's got the weight of a del Sol, and more power than an F12berlinetta.

Ladies and gentlemen, Horatio Pagani is proud to present the final, ultimate version of his original supercar masterpiece. It's called the Pagani Zonda Revolucion. And to paraphrase Lennon/McCartney, we'd say we want one. (more…)

June 04, 2013 at 02:36 PM
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0-60 aston martin v12 vantage s horsepower manual gearbox 205
BY: Bix

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S: More Power, Less Stick Shift

Aston's little V12 monster gets a little upgrade.

The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is, by most conventional measures, a step up from the V12 Vantage it's replacing. It's more powerful, it has more gears, and it tops out at a higher speed. But in spite of that, we're sad to see the V12 Vantage S replace the regular ol' V12 Vantage. Because we're pretty sure this means Aston Martin is pulling the last V12/manual transmission combo off the market. (more…)

May 30, 2013 at 02:41 PM
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0-60 2014 chevrolet corvette stingray c7 chevy lt1 v8 small-block smallblock engine
BY: Bix

2014 Corvette Stingray Certified at 460 HP, 465 Lb-Ft

That's with the performance exhaust, but c'mon, who wouldn't buy the performance exhaust?

We like horsepower. We like torque. We like trying to find every single one of them in the cars we drive. But we also like being able to go as far as possible on a gallon of gas when we're not hooning the tires off. So yeah, we're pleased that Chevy's new LT1 small-block V8 in the 2014 Corvette Stingray makes more power and delivers better fuel economy than the engine it replaces. (more…)

May 29, 2013 at 05:32 PM
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shelby-gt500-fail dyno dynamometer
BY: Bix

Epic Shelby GT500 Dyno Fail Is Good For A Laugh (w/Video)

Assuming nobody was hurt. Otherwise, that just seems mean.

Running a car on a dynamometer involves tricking said car into thinking it's running along at high rate of speed when it's actually standing still—which, in turns, involves getting the rear wheels spinning very quickly. (more…)
May 28, 2013 at 06:49 PM
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0-60 aston martin db9 volante convertble roadster droptop ragtop 2013 virage review driven test drive
BY: Bix

Test Drives - 2013 Aston Martin DB9 Volante

Damn, it feels good to be a gangster.

Story: Will Sabel Courtney

Photography: Andrew Link

These days, it seems like every big-name sports car company you can think of has some even bigger name brand behind ’em: Ferrari has Fiat; Porsche has VW; Lamborghini has Audi...which in turn is owned by VW as well. Aston Martin, though, goes it alone. Ford owned the company for a while, but a decade or so ago, Aston struck off on its own and hasn’t looked back. (And for what it's worth, the cars have only gotten better since they ditched the Blue Oval.)

Why are we mentioning this? Well, consider it context for why some of the smaller details in the DB9 don’t quite live up to what you’d expect from a car that costs north of $200,000. The navigation system is a Garmin—albeit one in a very attractive retractable carbon-fiber housing. The radio screen is the anti-Retina display—black and white, with pixels so large you can pick them out five feet away. The windows roll up automatically when you open the door with the car off, but they don’t roll back down when you start the car again. Little things like that.

here in 2013, in the golden age of automotive quality and features—when you can by a Ford Focus with leather seats and Jaguar makes cars that don't short-circuit when it gets humid—We call those sorts of things flaws. But with an Aston Martin, these aren't flaws. They're just part of the car's character.

The DB9 is a throwback to an earlier time, when luxury cars were made by hand in small batches, and every car had its flaws—but you didn’t care, because they were your car’s flaws, and you loved them because that was part of the package. Perfection is characterless. Perfection is boring.

So if you can look past those…character traits, the DB9 is a sweet ride, indeed. Practice walking backward, because you’ll never be able to park this car without staring at it as you walk away. It’s one of the finest-looking cars ever—period. Stack it up against the E-Type, the 300SL, your preferred generation of 911—the DB9 has a fighting chance of coming out on top. The interior upholstery looks like it was put together on Savile Row. The naturally aspirated V12—that beautiful dying breed of engine—makes music when you put your foot down.

And with 510 horses, it moves the decently heavy Aston with serious oomph. We took it to some of our favorite mountain roads and let it loose alongside a new Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, only to be pleasantly surprised to see the old-school, drop-top, “character”-filled DB9 stick to the lighter, all-wheel-drive-equipped, technological wündercar like Carl Weathers to a ham bone.

No car is perfect, but some make a business out of coming as close to it as possible. (We're looking at you, Lexus.) But y'know...maybe we could use a little more imperfection in the automotive world. Especially if the results wind up as beautiful and as fast as the DB9 Volante.

Specifications:

Price as Tested: $222,505

Power: 510hp, 457 lb.-ft.

0-60: 4.5 secs.

Fuel Economy: 13 city, 19 hwy

Miles Driven: 295

May 24, 2013 at 02:29 PM
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