Welcome to the Hooniverse News – Geneva Motor Show edition! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull, which all came from one of the year’s biggest shows. This week:
Porsche’s 911 GT3 RS is finally here
Lamborghini Aventador gets faster and a longer name
Honda to unleash a monstrous little Civic everywhere but here
Koenigsegg reveals the mind-blowing Regera
Audi trims the fat off the new R8 with their LMS GT3 car
Bentley reveals a concept that could, should go into production
Complete Geneva Motor Show coverage from Autoweek
Plus what’s your automotive news?
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Since Porsche launched the 991 generation of the 911 a few years ago, they’ve been steadily building up the lineup by adding the usual variants and making them faster and faster in the process. The Turbos, the GTSs, and even the GT3 have all been on sale for some time now and are making an awesome impression; but there was always one that everyone was really waiting for. One that might not be the fastest in a straight line (*cough* Turbo S) but it would be the one that increased your heart rate the most.
That 911 is finally here. Welcome to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS. At first glance it’s like the GT3 we already have, but it’s better because it’s five seconds faster around the Nürburgring. The new GT3 RS achieved its 7:20 lap with the help of more power, improved aerodynamics, and some added lightness.
Power comes from a sweet 4.0-liter flat-six engine producing 500 horsepower and 338 lb.-ft. of torque. The 911’s most powerful naturally-aspirated engine is paired exclusively with a reworked seven-speed PDK gearbox, and while that will certainly piss off many enthusiasts, it does come with a few neat features such as declutching by “paddle neutral” to mimic that missing third pedal and a Pit Speed limiter.
With Pit Speed off, the GT3 RS can record a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds and a 1/4-mile time of 11.2 seconds – because every GT3 RS buyer loves drag racing.
A “masterpiece of intelligent lightweight design”, the GT3 RS utilizes magnesium for its roof and carbon fiber the engine and luggage compartment lids among other components. That intelligent design shaves a whopping twenty-two pounds off the regular GT3’s weight. The lighter roof means the car’s center of gravity is lower, and in all honesty, that probably makes more of a difference on a 500hp car than twenty-two-pounds of weight loss.
As for the aerodynamic improvements, the GT3 RS features more a lower and more pronounced front splitter as well as a larger rear wing. Furthermore, the car has front wheel arch vents which are actually functional and increase downforce at the front axle. The GT3 RS also features improved rear-axle steering, Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus with fully variable rear differential lock, and a widened track at both ends for greater agility and higher cornering speeds.
The interior is mostly what you get on a regular GT3, including the Alcantara upholstery, but with added carbon-backed full bucket seats based on the ones in the 918 Spyder.
The Porsche 911 GT3 RS will launch in the U.S. this July with an asking price of $175,900. Orders are being taken now so go, go, go, go, go!
Lamborghini Aventador LP750-4 SV
You know a Lamborghini is getting faster when its name gets longer. That’s certainly the case with the new Aventador LP750-4 SuperVeloce (SV), which just got more powerful, lighter, and now sports what has to be the most ridiculous cluster of exterior bodywork at the Geneva show.
That extra power comes courtesy of the same 6.5-liter V12 from the standard Aventador but not without some substantial upgrades. Lamborghini has reworked the intake, valve timing, and exhaust to crank out an extra 49 horsepower, bringing the new total up to 740 horsepower (or 750 metric horsepower, hence the name). Power is still sent to all four wheels through an also reworked seven-speed automated manual transmission, and when the gearshifts aren’t breaking the driver’s neck, the 0-62 mph blast takes as little as 2.8 seconds and it won’t stop till 217 mph.
Lightness has been achieved through – surprisingly – carbon fiber inside and out. Handling is improved with the existing pushrod suspension and a new (I think) adaptive suspension system that counteracts body roll and brake dive.
As for the extra bodywork, the most obvious addition is the new carbon wing, front splitter, and rear diffuser. It’s typical Lamborghini styling in that it won’t be the kind of car you should buy if you don’t want to make a scene everywhere you go.
[Source: Lamborghini via Autoweek]
Honda Civic Type R
America can’t have nice things when said nice things are from Honda.
That’s certainly the case with this, the all-new Honda Civic Type R which is currently slated for sales in Europe and maybe other places that aren’t America. We have plenty of Civics in America, but none are as cool as this and I’ll let the specs explain why.
That little hatchback up there is fitted with a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter VTEC (yo) four-banger which cranks out 306 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque – a monster, by Type R standards. 0-62 mph takes 5.7 seconds and the top speed is 167 mph, but perhaps more importantly, a fully reworked suspension with adaptive dampers and minimized FWD torque steer and a powerful Brembo braking system give this car the kind of composure it needs. And if you think an advanced chassis is being wasted on a Civic, take a look at this car’s insane ‘Ring lap.
Other than power and a good suspension underneath it, the Civic Type R actually has functional aerodynamic elements to it, besides the obvious tuner wing in the back. Testing at the ‘Ring and the Suzuka circuit helped Honda to achieve a setup for the Civic which actually gives it some proper downforce. A front splitter keeps that axle planted and the front bumper is shaped to reduce turbulence around the wheels. The underside of the car is almost perfectly flat and facilities clean airflow to the rear diffuser, which “sucks” the car down at speed.
The supercar news at Geneva was almost over saturated (even by my standards) so it’s cool to see a little Honda making such a buzz, even if it’s only going to be sold in limited markets. But if there’s anything for us yanks to take away from this, it’s that Honda hasn’t forgotten how to build a badass little hatchback.
[Source: Honda via Autoweek]
Most people would gaze upon the Regera and say that Koenigsegg has gone mad, but those who are familiar with the Swedish super/hyper/mega car would say that Koenigsegg was born mad. That gives them a unique and profound advantage for when they decide to be innovative, like they’ve done with the Regera.
I’ll start with the basic facts and work up to the bewildering ones. This car has two sources of power: a 5.0-liter V8 paired with twin-turbochargers and three powerful electric motors – one motor at each rear wheel for torque vectoring and energy recovery and a third motor on the crankshaft. That V8 supplies 1,100 horsepower and requires a completely new rear subframe and rear structure with active soft mounts. The three electric motors kick in about 700 horsepower to the equation.
Total output as Koenigsegg quotes it is “way more than” 1,500 horsepower and about the same in lb.-ft. of torque. Yes, all that is basic by Koenigsegg standards.
Things get interesting with the transmission, or rather the lack thereof. The traditional gearbox is replaced with Koenigsegg Direct Drive (KDD), which through some form of wizardry creates a direct link between the engine and the rear axle (2.85 final drive) at various speeds. The Regera operates under electric power only up until 30 mph, but after that things get really interesting.
The results of this engineer’s wet dream are astounding. They don’t give a 0-60 mph time or even a 0-100 mph time; they give a 0-248 mph time, which is “under” twenty seconds. The statistic that really reaffirms this car’s mental acceleration is the 150 – 250 km/h (93 – 155 mph) time, which is just 3.2 seconds. So picture yourself riding shotgun in a Regera (because even in your dreams you can’t drive it), cruising at 93 mph on the
freeway autobahn, when suddenly the driver punches it. Count to three and you’re suddenly at 155 mph and well on your way to a speed that only a handful of people on earth have experienced in a car.
Christian von Koenigsegg is a mad scientist in an industry where “dynamic turn signals” are worth bragging about and we love him dearly for that.
[Source: Koenigsegg via Autoweek]
Audi R8 LMS
I’ll be honest by saying that I’m not totally sold on the looks of the new Audi R8. This one though, I’m absolutely sold because GT3. Making its debut alongside the road car is the Audi R8 LMS in GT3 spec, because Audi wastes no time.
The car already conforms to 2016’s GT3 regulations and is lighter and safer than before. Customer racing teams can expect a more aerodynamically optimized car and a more advanced package all around. Features like a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) crash element at the rear (LMP1-spec) and a rescue opening on the roof (DTM-spec) are making a first appearance in GT3. Lightness comes from the aluminum space frame, steel roll cage, and the aforementioned CFRP structural element.
Power comes from a modified version of the 5.2-liter V10 found in the road car which produces up to 585 horsepower. The race engine is built on the same line as the road-going engine and is designed to last over 12,000 miles between required engine rebuilds. The rest of the car gets its race readiness from the new wishbone suspension, a six-speed electro-hydraulic sequential gearbox with paddles, and a new MS 6.4 on-board computer to handle traction control, engine electronics, and the transmission.
Enhanced aerodynamics include a fully lined underfloor and an integrated rear diffusor. Other trickery, such as wheel wells which open rearwards via a larger cross section, all contribute to improved airflow, which is important on a race car. And what’s even more important on a race car is cooling, which thanks to said improved airflow, is also better than before.
Audi will start taking orders from race teams by mid-2015 and deliver the first batch by the end of the year.
Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6
I tend to not cover concepts at these big shows, but this is one of those that I couldn’t ignore. It’s the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6, their concept for a definitive two-seat sports car. The car is intended to show off a futuristic Bentley design but also a potential future model line. Yes. Please.
A futuristic design is only part of the formula, as Bentley’s racing heritage and recent motorsport successes have another key influence to this car’s design. It’s sleek, low, and athletic (like every concept) but it looks more like the kind of car that’s meant to be driven fast rather than just driven around the Hamptons. The paint is British Racing Green and not some flashy nonsense, which might be the best color for that car. The more you look at it, the more you notice some of the fine details, like the 3D geometry of the mesh grille and even a 3D “quilted” pattern in the headlamps.
The interior, while luxurious as in any Bentley, is meant to be more performance-oriented than usual. A single continuous line runs throughout the cabin and gives it its shape while two sport bucket seats give the driver proper support for performance driving. The narrow center console houses a twelve-inch touchscreen and the gauge cluster consists of an analog rev counter and a digital screen to display other vital information.
Bentley certainly has the capability to produce this car, right? RIGHT?
Complete Geneva Motor Show coverage from Autoweek
Since Jeff, Eric, and myself weren’t personally at Geneva like we were in Chicago, get the rest of the Geneva news from a group who was fortunate enough to be there. Our friends at Autoweek have brought all the big reveals to the Web and you can get all the info you want right here.
What was your automotive news?
After getting about three hours of sleep, I woke up early to hit up Atlanta’s monthly Caffeine and Octane car show. It was 34°F and raining the whole time. Most of the good cars were leaving when I arrived. It sucked. But I saw my third BMW i8 and it was cool.
[Image source: me]