Hammond’s Car of the Year TG Awards - Richard Hammond celebrated his first day of filming for the new series of Top Gear by attending the TG Cars of the Year Awards last Thursday. On his first night out since his jet car accident in September, Richard was accompanied by co-presenters James May and Jeremy Clarkson, who confirmed that the first episode of the new series is due to air on January 28 at 8pm on BBC2. Lego's Andy Woodman presented Richard with a scale model of the infamous Vampire jet car and a Lego version of the Top Gear studio set, complete with presenters and, of course, a tiny Stig. This followed Richard's recent announcement that playing with Lego blocks had aided his swift recovery. Richard was also crowned one of Top Gear magazine's Men of the Year at the awards ceremony, which saw Jeremy and TG magazine editor Michael Harvey handing out the BAFTA-inspired gongs to the Cars of the Year category winners.
The Awards issue of TopGear magazine, Britain's best-selling car title, hits the newsstands today, with Citroen claiming top spot for the first time in the contest's 11-year history. This is it, my undoubted star of 2010 - the Porsche 911 GT2 RS: insane, blindingly fast, flamboyant and it goes against everything I've ever said about the 911. Which makes me look a bit of a monkey.
Lamborghini Aventador Red bull (no wings) - The Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 debuted at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show as a replacement for the Gallardo, which had served as an iconic supercar for a decade. The Lamborghini Aventador Engine is no rehash of the Murcielago -- it has an entirely new, lightweight 12-cylinder engine still positioned in the rear, in front of the axle. The high horsepower is coupled with 509 lb-ft of torque and the new Independent Shifting Rods 7-speed transmission.
A chewy question to begin with. Is it heresy to suggest that the car you’re currently looking at, the new Lamborghini Aventador, is... well, too smooth? Has Lambo, traditionally the last ones holding court at the bar while everyone else has called it a night, finally – whisper it – grown up?
Not exactly. As you’re about to find out, the 691bhp Aventador (pronounced ‘event-a-door’, with the emphasis on the first syllable) is a huge leap forward for a company whose flagship model has used an evolution of an engine that first appeared in the middle of a Lambo the same year The Beatles went psychedelic.
All Lambos look pretty much the same and they’re all quite fast. The Aventador might not be a quantum leap in innovation like how the Ferrari F40 did back in its day, but I wouldn’t complain if someone offered me a ride in one.
Porsche announce the 500bhp GT3 RS 4.0 - According to the forum thread at Teamspeed who claims to have a leaked price list of the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 Limited Edition. Porsche shall be announcing of this model within the next couple of weeks time if the rumour is true.
The new GT3 RS 4.0 flat-six engine packed with 500bhp with a 200cc increase and 50bhp more than stock 911 GT3 RS. The price sheet also lists a €150,000 sticker before tax, or €190,000 with a 20% VAT, and details options like a satellite navigation system, ceramic brakes and a nose-lift apparatus.
Excuse our inner cynic for a minute, but Porsche has just released another limited edition 911 that screams run-out special.
Joining the ranks of 911 GTS, 911 Speedster, 911 Sport Classic and 911 GT2 RS is the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 – the largest ever 911 engine, bolted into the lightest and most hardcore 911. Only 600 will be available worldwide from July (with about 40 destined for the UK), which is just in time for the release of the all-new 911 in September.
Still, it’s difficult to stay cynical with Porsche for too long. The 4.0-litre GT3 RS will be the closest a road-going Porsche gets to the iconic racing Porsches, thanks to race-bred tech like the crankshaft from the GT3 RSR, and titanium conn rods.
Look carefully at the pictures and you’ll see the little flic winglets on the front bumper. This is the first time a road-going Porsche has got these aero tweaks, which helps total downforce reach 190kg at top speed.
New Bentley Ice Speed Record Supersports - Bentley has announced its most potent and radically styled convertible ever - the 202mph (325km/h) Bentley Supersports 'Ice Speed Record' convertible. This new model, limited to just 100 cars worldwide, is a celebration of the Company's world ice speed record set two weeks ago by Finland's four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen in a Bentley Continental Supersports convertible.
It’s got Bentley’s FlexFuel 6-litre, twin turbo W12 engine, which runs on either petrol, E85 bio-ethanol (means less emissions) or any mixture of the two. It produces 631 bhp, which gets it to 60mph in 3.8 seconds and 100mph in 9.5. Considering it weighs 2850kg – roughly the same as a cathedral – that’s absolutely staggering performance.
The non-Mulliner Continental Supersports ISR, launched at the Geneva motor show back in March, is just as fast and it doesn’t have the stickers. It’s got the same colour options - Beluga, Quartzite and Arctica White – and you get all-black wheels instead of the red ones. You don’t even have to pay extra - both versions cost a paltry £189,300.
Vauxhall Astra GTC Review - The Astra GTC is officially a production reality. Based on last year’s stunning Astra GTC Paris concept car, the production GTC will feature a three-door body with dramatic proportions, yet will be capable of carrying five adults. And it will sport the very best of Vauxhall’s latest technology, as well as unique chassis features.
On a site where we’re today busy discussing the new Jag XF, the Ferrari 550 Maranello and the Koenigsegg Agera R, news about a new three-door hatch from Vauxhall has its work cut out to grab your attention.
But this Astra GTC, with the usual fettling from Vauxhall’s go-faster mechanics at VXR, will form the basis of a 300bhp hot hatch aimed squarely at the impressive Golf R and Audi’s pricey new RS3. And at a much keener price, although all that power will only be going to the front two wheels.
Vauxhall’s new Astra GTC has kept the sharp styling of the GTC Paris concept, judging by these official renderings of the final production car. Order books for the three-door model will open on June 7, when Vauxhall will also confirm full pricing and technical details of the GTC line-up.