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Aston Martin announces plans for new Vantage GT3 and GT4 cars

Aston Martin is to introduce a new generation of competitive Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and GT4 race cars to customer teams in 2019 that will be based on the critically-acclaimed next generation Vantage road car and the GTE version, set to make its debut in the FIA World Endurance Championship at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

The two new cars, designed and built at Aston Martin Racing’s headquarters in Banbury, will replace the ultra-successful Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 and V8 Vantage GT4, currently raced by customer teams around the world. The outgoing examples represent AMR’s most successful racing cars, and they continue to set the standards by winning races and leading championships in GT series around the world 12 years after the first customer car was purchased.

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In total, 42 V12 Vantage GT3s were built and of those 37 were sold. The car had proved extraordinarily popular with customers and has a glorious roll of honour that includes three British GT Championships (2013, ’15 and ’16), the 2017 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup ProAM title and the Blancpain GT Asian Series. The GT4, of which 124 were built, has a similar pedigree with British GT Championship wins in 2014 and ‘15 and the North European GT4 ProAm title in 2016.

Both the new Vantage GT3 and GT4 will feature race-modified versions of the 4.0-litre V8 twin-turbocharged engine used in Aston Martin’s next generation sports car. Moreover, the Vantage GT3 will draw heavily on the design logic used in the development of the Vantage GTE, which was developed in tandem with the road car over the past 18 months.

The Vantage GT3 and GT4 will be homologated for racing from the 1st March 2019 and Aston Martin Racing is already taking orders for the cars.

Aston Martin Racing Managing Director John Gaw said: “We are very proud of the heritage we have established as a leading supplier of customer GT cars, with customers racing our cars all around the world. We told the clients who first purchased our GT3 cars seven years ago, that they would be buying a car that would be capable of winning races for years to come. This year we have already proved that with the Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3’s successes in the British GT Championship. That longevity is something that separates us from other manufacturers. I expect the new GT3 and GT4 to be just as competitive as the cars they are replacing and to remain so for a similar period of time.”

David King, President, Aston Martin Racing, added: “In motorsport the qualities you’re most striving for are a competitive edge, driveability and the durability to deliver upon it. We’ve been able to deliver this to our customers for more than a decade with our Vantage GT4 and more recently with the V12 Vantage GT3. In the new Vantage GT3 and GT4, we intend to build on those attributes as well as continuing to deliver the best looking cars in the paddock.”

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Ford Performance Models + Ford GT Race Drivers = One Epic Track Showdown

It’s the ultimate track showdown: Eight models from the Ford Performance global line-up on a circuit together for the very first time, pushed to their limits by the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Team drivers.

In a new video from Ford Performance, filmed at the Motorland race circuit near Barcelona, Spain, the Ford F-150 Raptor; Fiesta ST, all-new Fiesta ST, Focus RS, new Mustang GT, Mustang GT350R, Ford GT road car and Ford GT race car go head-to-head in a staggered time trial around one lap of the 5.345 km circuit.

Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, Olivier Pla and Stefan Mücke from the World Endurance Championship, and Dirk Müller, Joey Hand, Richard Westbrook and Ryan Briscoe from the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, each took the wheel of a Ford Performance model – setting off at intervals and culminating in an eight-way battle through the final bends and finish straight. The time trial was the first and probably only chance to find out if a Fiesta ST could beat a Le Mans-winning Ford GT race car.

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From extra special pickup trucks to Le Mans-winning thoroughbred race cars, Ford Performance vehicles offer unique characters, but share sophisticated driving technologies to deliver exceptional fun to drive experiences. All but two of the cars feature Ford’s EcoBoost engines, from the smallest 3‑cylinder 1.5-litre EcoBoost in the all-new Fiesta ST right up to the 3.5-litre twin turbo EcoBoost in the F-150 Raptor, road-going Ford GT and Ford GT race car.

The Mustang GT350R features a remarkable flat-plane crank V8 that delivers 526 horsepower from 5.2 litres, while the new Mustang GT features the iconic 5.0-litre V8.

Afterwards Harry Tincknell said: “It was a hilarious shoot. Eight racing drivers all given a car to go flat-out in for a race. Anything could have happened and it almost did! It was amazing to be one of the first people to drive the all-new Ford Fiesta ST, one of the most popular cars in the world, and it handled like a dream. “

Richard Westbrook, who drove the Focus RS said: “It was great to take on our Ford Chip Ganassi Racing teammates at a totally different challenge. It was just a blast. Ford Performance offers vehicles that are so capable at very different things and their strengths showed on the track.”

Stefan Mücke said: “Driving the all-new Mustang GT road car on the race track was great fun. It was very special to see all the Ford Performance cars on the track at the same time, and quite brave, too, to do this with a group of competitive racing drivers! It got very close in the final corners as everybody wanted to be first. Great fun and an awesome lap!”

Joey Hand said: “Some of the coolest cats out there drive Mustangs and I love horsepower, so I was crossing my fingers I’d get the GT350R. Things got a little wild on the track, but it was a great time. I’d take them on again.”

Olivier Pla said: “Obviously driving the Ford GT was great around Motorland. You can clearly feel and it is obvious to see how fast this car is. Driving the Ford GT at the limit is very special. The car is a work of art!”

ENJOY THE VIDEO BELOW:

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Classic Cars Performance Cars

Introducing 520HP Datsun 280Z with a GT-R engine

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Photos by Hani Al-Sultan & Mohammad Al Badeen

Make : Datsun
Model : 280z
Year : 1976

Owner : Mohammed AL-Kharraa
Country : Saudi Arabia
Member of : Member @ Gulf Classic Cars Group (GCCG)

A Rich Mix of Classic Era and Modern Tuning

The Nissan S30 (sold in Japan as the Nissan Fairlady Z and in other markets as the Datsun 240Z, then later as the 260Z and 280Z) was the first generation of Z GT two-seat coupe, produced by Nissan Motors, Ltd. of Japan from 1969 to 1978. Some likes to call it the early generation of nowadays 350/370Z: Nissan’s successful sports coupe. So what happens when you combine the body of a Nissan/ Datsun Z with a GT-R engine? Here’s the result, a 520HP 1976 Datsun 280Z. Some would say this is insane others would say why?

Performance Upgrades

  • Engine swap to a 2.5 L RB25 engine twin-cam TURBO from R33 Skyline.
  • Turbonetics T3 60 Series turbocharger
  • TiAL Sport MVR 44mm Wastegate
  • Full ported head
  • CP-Carrillo forged piston
  • Cometic hi-performance 1.2 head gasket
  • OS GIKEN twin plate aluminum racing clutch
  • Walbro 255 electric fuel pump
  • 700cc injectors
  • OBX Racing Sports Exhaust System

Brakes & Suspension

  • Tokico Illumina Shock – 5-way adjustable suspension
  • Four-piston calipers ceramic disc brakes

Wheels and Tires

  • Rota wheels 16×8.5 front & 16×9 Back
  • Nitto NT555 Tires
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POLESTAR UNVEILS ITS FIRST CAR – THE POLESTAR 1 – THE NEW ELECTRIC PERFORMANCE BRAND

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Polestar, Volvo Car Group’s performance brand, has today revealed its future as a new standalone electric performance brand. Polestar confirmed plans for its first three models, a new purpose-built production facility in China and a customer-focussed route to market that will set a new industry benchmark for performance vehicles.

Polestar also unveiled the 600hp Polestar 1, the company’s first car, which is set to roll off the production line in mid-2019. Polestar’s technology and product offering benefits from synergies and economies of scale enabled by the Volvo Car Group, helping Polestar to accelerate design, development and production processes at a fraction of the time it takes other new entrants.

Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar said; “Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it – a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand.”

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The Polestar 1 will form a halo for the future Polestar brand. The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. An electric car supported by an internal combustion engine, it has a range of 150kms on pure electric power alone – the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market. Its output of 600hp and 1000Nm of torque places the car firmly in the performance car segment.

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The Polestar 1 is based upon Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) but approximately 50% is new and bespoke, created by Polestar’s engineers. To reinforce its dynamic driving characteristics, Polestar 1 benefits from a host of new technologies, all aimed at making it a true driver’s car. Polestar 1 is the world’s first car to be fitted with the all-new class-leading Öhlins Continuously Controlled Electronic Suspension (CESi) advanced chassis technology. A carbon fibre body reduces bodyweight and improves torsional stiffness by 45%, as well as lowering the cars’ centre of gravity. Additionally, Polestar 1 uses a double electric rear axle which enables torque vectoring. This supports the driver with precise acceleration on each wheel to keep the maximum road grip and maintain speed while cornering.

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The Polestar 1 will be built in the state-of-the-art, purpose-built Polestar Production Centre in Chengdu, China. Currently under construction, it is due for completion in mid-2018.

Polestar will also move away from today’s traditional ownership model. Cars will be ordered 100% online and offered on a two or three year subscription basis. The zero-deposit, all-inclusive subscription will also add features such as pick-up and delivery servicing and the ability to rent alternative vehicles within the Volvo and Polestar range, all incorporated into one monthly payment.

The flat rate subscription means that having a Polestar car becomes a hassle free experience for the customer. This is facilitated by Phone-As-Key technology. It allows the owner to share a virtual key with a third party, and also enables access to a host of other on-demand features. This concierge service ensures that the customer only needs to focus on the enjoyment of driving.

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All future cars from Polestar will have a fully electric powertrain. Polestar 2 will start production later in 2019 and will be the first battery-electric vehicle (BEV) from the Volvo Car Group. It will be a mid-sized BEV, joining the competition around the Tesla Model 3, and with consequently higher volumes than Polestar 1. The initial phase of the Polestar product roll out will then be completed by the subsequent arrival of a larger SUV-style BEV, the Polestar 3, which will create a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics.

The ordering and configuration of Polestar cars will be conducted online via a Polestar app or online portal. However, Polestar also recognises that customers still want to physically engage with the brand so Polestar will open a network of Polestar Spaces around the world. This is where future Polestar customers can interact with products and the brand. Polestar Spaces will be standalone facilities and not within existing Volvo retailer showrooms.

The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, with Polestar able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately.

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The Ferrari Portofino Revealed

A GT that represents a unique combination of sportiness, elegance and on board comfort

The Ferrari Portofino is the new V8 GT set to dominate its segment thanks to a perfect combination of sportiness, elegance and on board comfort.

Ferrari has chosen a particularly evocative moniker for this exceptionally versatile drop-top car, referencing one of Italy’s most beautiful towns. Portofino is renowned for its charming tourist port and, over the years, has become internationally synonymous with elegance, sportiness and understated luxury. The launch colour of the new Ferrari has also been dedicated to this marvellous town: Rosso Portofino.

Capable of unleashing a massive 600 cv and sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds, the Ferrari Portofino is the most powerful convertible to combine the advantages of a retractable hard top, a roomy boot and generous cockpit space plus two rear seats suitable for short trips.

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The Ferrari Portofino’s all-new chassis features a significant weight saving over the California T it replaces. Thanks to the extensive use of modern production technologies, all the chassis and body-in-white components have been redesigned with a consequent reduction in weight despite an increase in torsional rigidity.

The renowned Ferrari V8 turbo, part of the engine family that was nominated International Engine of the Year in both 2016 and 2017, now punches out 40 cv more than the California T’s power unit thanks to the adoption of new components and specific calibration of the engine management software. The characteristic Ferrari V8 soundtrack has also been further enhanced and can be fully appreciated, particularly in top-down driving.

All aspects of the 8-cylinder’s efficiency have been honed with the adoption of new pistons and con-rods, and a new intake system design. The geometries throughout the exhaust system have also been revolutionised. The new one-piece-cast exhaust header reduces losses, an important factor in ensuring Ferrari’s characteristic throttle response with zero turbo lag. These improvements, combined with the Variable Boost Management which adjusts torque delivery to suit the gear selected, enable the Ferrari Portofino to offer even higher levels of acceleration in all gears and lower fuel consumption compared to the outgoing model.

The Ferrari Portofino’s vehicle dynamic characteristics have been completely revised and benefit from the introduction of new technological solutions. For the first time on this type of Ferrari model, the third generation electronic rear differential (E-Diff3) has been adopted and integrated with the F1-Trac, improving both mechanical grip and the control of the car on the limit. The Ferrari Portofino is also the first GT in the range to be fitted with EPS (Electric Power Steering). This allowed the engineers to reduce the steering ratio by seven per cent for even more responsive steering without a trade-off in stability thanks to the integration with the E-Diff3. The magnetorheological damping system (SCM-E) has been uprated with dual-coil technology which helps reduce roll while simultaneously improving absorption of road surface unevenness. The result is an even more dynamic, responsive car that also delivers superior ride comfort.

The Ferrari Design Centre-penned Ferrari Portofino is an aggressively-styled car with a two-box fastback configuration – unprecedented in a coupé-convertible with a retractable hard top – that adds extra sleekness to its silhouette, lending it a sportier character without impinging on its elegance and dynamism.

Close collaboration between the Aerodynamics department and Ferrari Design has ensured maximum efficiency in the development of the surface treatment. Starting with the front, the form of the large radiator grille opening, that stretches from edge to edge of the carefully contoured nose, is underscored by a new full-LED headlight assembly with a more horizontal shape. The outside edge of the headlight hides an innovative air intake which vents into the front wheelarch and exits along the flank to reduce drag.

The tail design underlines the car’s sporty stance which has been further enhanced by placing the tail lights futher apart. This elegant solution cleverly conceals the rear volume housing the all-new RHT which features a more lightweight design and can be raised or lowered at low speeds.

There was also a particular focus on board comfort which is guaranteed by a slew of new features, not least an infotainment system with 10.2” touchscreen display, a new air-conditioning system that improves occupant comfort both with the top up or down, a new steering wheel, 18-way electrically adjustable seats with a new backrest design that boosts legroom for rear seat passengers, and the passenger display. All occupants will particularly appreciate the new wind deflector which, when the top is dropped, cuts air flow inside the cabin by 30% and also reduces aerodynamic noise.

The Ferrari Portofino will make its world debut at the Frankfurt International Motor Show in September.

The Ferrari Design Centre-penned Ferrari Portofino is an aggressively-styled car with a two-box fastback configuration – unprecedented in a coupé-convertible with a retractable hard top – that adds extra sleekness to its silhouette, lending it a sportier character without impinging on its elegance and dynamism.

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