All posts in “Racing”

Three of Ken Block’s Hoonigan builds are up for sale, including his RS200

Earlier this year, Gymkhana master Ken Block and Ford announced an amicable and uneventful divorce, with Block declaring himself a “free agent.” This quiet split may have slipped past your scopes, but one bit of fallout from the separation is guaranteed to stir up some interest: Ken Block is letting a few of his fast Fords go. 

LBI Limited’s “Ken Block Collection” showcase features two of Block’s rally-prepped Ford Fiesta STs and his Group B Ford Escort RS200. Both of the Fiestas — dubbed GYM3 and RX43 are powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged engines pushing north of 600 horsepower (per the Global RallyCross Supercar Spec, in the RX43’s case) and, thanks to their all-wheel drive and sequential gearboxes, can hit 60 mph in two seconds or less. GYM3 is allegedly capable of 850 horsepower with a different tune, but Block preferred the torque band offered with the less aggressive calibration.  

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The RS200 is a different beast entirely. Not only is it a genuine Group B rally car, it’s one of just 24 that were upgraded to EVO spec (more than 500 horsepower from the 2.1-liter version of the Cosworth-tuned 4-cylinder engine), which meant a 0-60 time of 3.0 seconds flat way back in 1986, when such things were virtually unheard of.

Nope, these won’t go cheap, and only the RS200 has a price listed ($550,000 asking, if you’re curious) and we suspect there might be enough interest to push that price higher. If you’re like us and these are well outside of your budget, just remember, you can enjoy them from the comfort of your own home thanks to the countless YouTube videos produced by the Hoonigan team during the Ford era. 

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Pagani Huayra R adopts a naturally aspirated V12 engine and track-only status

There’s a new Pagani on the block. It’s called the Huayra R, and it’s a track-only version of the regular Huayra. However, leaving it at that wouldn’t do the Huayra R justice, because it’s so much more than just a hotted up Huayra.

The big news is the new and bespoke, naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V12 engine sitting behind the cockpit, a significant departure from the twin-turbo variant used in road-legal Huayras. The new engine was put together by Mercedes-AMG’s racing subsidiary, HWA. The Huayra R makes a furious 850 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Redline is a scorching 9,000 rpm. Since it didn’t need to follow any road emissions regulations, the engine could be pushed to much higher limits. The Inconel exhaust has removable mufflers for when you want to be extra loud, but can be put in place for use at race tracks with noise restrictions. Unfortunately, Pagani doesn’t quote any specific acceleration figures for the Huayra R.

All shifting is handled by a new six-speed sequential gearbox made with HWA. It’s designed to be extremely light, and in combination with the engine, acts as a structural part of the car.

Pagani Huayra R

The Huayra R’s chassis is modified from the standard Huayra with new and lighter materials. These efforts, along with additional elements such as a roll bar and chassis-mounted seats, make it both stiffer and significantly lighter than a regular Huayra. Its dry weight is only 2,314 pounds, which is hundreds of pounds lighter than the road car.

Pagani says the suspension is made of forged aluminum alloy and uses helical springs and electronically controlled active dampers — the dampers are designed to constantly adjust to the road conditions on a racetrack. That means that instead of adapting for potholes and frost heaves, it sets the car up for perfect balance under uneven braking zones and predictable behavior through and out of corners. The brakes are the best Brembo has to offer. Pagani uses the Italian company’s latest carbon ceramic self-ventilated discs and racing compound pads. Slick racing tires (wet tires are available) wrap around custom-made 19-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels.

Aerodynamics and design were two huge focuses for Pagani with this car, as the team wanted it to be both beautiful and hugely capable on the track. The final design leaves no question as to its race car status with the gigantic aero elements found throughout. Everything combined results in 2,204 pounds of downforce at 199 mph. 

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There isn’t much to talk about on the inside, but you get the full array of racing features you’d expect in such a car. Most of your essential controls are found on the quick-release steering wheel, and other controls are on the center console. A high-resolution display as an instrument cluster will feed you all necessary vehicle data while on the track, and it has a telemetry system so a pit crew can monitor and analyze driver performance. Pagani is already promising “Arte In Pista” days for Huayra R owners to have dedicated track days with the assistance of the Pagani team and professional drivers. These will happen all over the globe in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

You’ll need to be part of a very exclusive club of millionaires and billionaires to enjoy the Huayra R, though. Only 30 will be built, and each has a base price of €2.6 million before taxes. At today’s exchange rates, that’s about $3.1 million. Happy shopping.

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McLaren 720S GT3X

We all know there are a lot of restrictions when it comes to road cars, but also purebred racecars have limits imposed on them, when McLaren Customer Racing created their 720S GT3, it had to comply with FIA GT3 regulations … but what would happen when you can create a track car with no limits?

Then you get the McLaren 720S GT3X, where the X comes with no motorsport restrictions whatsoever, this is a new, track-only car based on the 720S GT3, but she isn’t homologated for racing, the hand-built, 4.0-Liter V8 twin-turbo engine delivers 750PS in this ‘X’, while taking advantage of the chassis and aerodynamic characteristics of its latest-specification, race-winning 720S GT3 to optimize the owner’s driving enjoyment on circuits during track days for instance.

A six-speed sequential motorsport transmission is fitted to a bespoke M840T engine that comes with a blueprinted cylinder head, strengthened pistons, ‘Diamond Like Carbon’ (DLC) coating, add the lightweight performance exhaust system and the result is an overall weight of only 1,210kg (2,668lbs) for this stripped-down track car, with the ‘push-to-pass’ button on the steering wheel, an extra 30PS over the available 720PS boosts power to an impressive 750PS.

Development of the GT3X saw a focus on pure engineering, innovative aerodynamics, and efficient design, taking the car for many thousands of kilometers on tracks all over Europe and the Middle East. Without having to deal with regulations, the 720S GT3X is a true performance-optimized evolution of the bespoke GT3 racecar. The aerodynamically optimized body has been developed using ‘Computational Fluid Dynamics’ (CFD) combined with F1 wind tunnel testing.

On this new McLaren 720S GT3X the body gets hand-finished in metallic MSO Carbon Black paint, a pinstripe in heritage McLaren Orange (reminding is of the famous winning McLaren Formula 1 cars in the 1960s) is added to the lower edges of the ground-hugging body shape and the outer rim of the gloss black center-locking wheel rims, a really nice touch is the large ‘X’ on top of the canopy.

While there was no requirement to do this, McLaren did install an FIA-approved race seat made from carbon fiber and Kevlar, in the GT3X the pedals and steering wheel can be adjusted for the driver, and to share in the fun of taking a racecar around the track, there is an option to fit an extra safety-compliant passenger race seat complete with a six-point harness, McLaren even altered the roll cage to accommodate this second seat.

Due to GT3 balance of performance requirements, the 720S GT3 car has to run with a considerably reduced power output than the road-going 720S Spider and Coupe variants. The brief for the GT3X project was to unleash the full potential of the 720S GT3 car using a massively increased power output to fully exploit the aerodynamics and chassis dynamics of the car. Additionally, the car is now able to carry passengers for the first time, thanks to the re-design of a new bespoke roll-cage and passenger seat installation. Brake cooling has also been improved to cope with the additional demands of increased speed and the mass of a passenger.

The 720S GT3X now offers a unique opportunity to experience a fully-fledged GT3 car. The lap time is significantly reduced from the GT3 benchmark through both the huge standard power increase and the additional 30bhp from the push-to-pass button. The end result is a car that offers a truly unique experience.”
Ian Morgan, Director, McLaren Customer Racing

Do keep in mind this amazing McLaren 720S GT3X can’t be ordered at a regular McLaren dealership, you will have to turn to one of only 11 official McLaren Motorsport Retailers worldwide, as part of the purchase and ownership package, McLaren Automotive can provide dedicated technical track support for each owner. This program is carried out by the customer support engineers from the in-house McLaren Customer Racing division – the team that has designed and developed the model alongside the 720S GT3 global customer race program.

Maserati teases us with its MC20 testing in the snow

It may be feeling spring-like here in parts of the United States, but there was still plenty of snowpack in Livigno, Italy, when Maserati took its forthcoming MC20 supercar out for a photo session during some cold-weather testing at Ghiacciodromo Livigno. 

“During its cold-weather mission, the super sports car was tested to evaluate engine cold starting, the low-temperature performance of its elastic components and the car’s handling on cold and low-grip asphalt surfaces,” said the accompanying release. “The test is also performed to verify correct functioning of the Climate Control System in cold conditions; tests were also conducted on the battery, suspensions and brakes.”

Just reading that, you’d think their trip was all business. Indeed, this is the latest stop on the MC20’s worldwide durability testing tour, but from the playful scenes we see here, it’s pretty obvious that the engineers had their share of fun giving the MC20’s suspension and powertrain a workout in the low-grip environment. 

The MC20 is a mid-engined, 621-horsepower, mid-engine super-coupe that was built with the race track in mind. Power comes from a new V6 that is the first in the company’s new “Nettuno” (Neptune) engine series. The twin-turbocharged mill produces 210 horsepower/liter, making it one of the most power-dense engines in the world. It was designed, developed, and produced in-house by Maserati’s engineers despite sharing some of its fundamental design with other performance engines in its corporate family. 

Maserati has only unveiled the street-legal variant of the MC20 seen here so far, but we expect it won’t be long before we hear more about its competition aspirations. 

Glickenhaus 007 Le Mans Hypercar seen testing at Monza

The Glickenhaus 007 has been filmed testing at the famed Autodromo Nazionale di Monza circuit. The entry into the new Le Mans Hypercar category plans to take on the likes of Toyota and Peugeot with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V8. And if the noise generated by the wailing motor is any indication, the new class will be a raucous good time.

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While limited to 670 horsepower by class rules, quite a bit lower than recent Le Mans race cars, the organizing powers that be hope slower cars and fewer development costs will help lower the bar of entry. That, in turn, should attract more manufacturers and make races more exciting. Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus was priced out of the outgoing classes, but believes they will be competitive in Hypercar.

It also means the road-going version of the Glickenhaus 007 will have quite a bit more power — 840 from a 3.0-liter V8 at last count — than the race car it’s based on. (Similarly, Toyota’s GR Super Sports road car is said to have 986 horsepower). Hypercar rules require at least 20 street-legal versions to be built.

The Glickenhaus 007’s motor is a bespoke design developed by France’s Pipo Moteurs. That firm is probably best known for building the engines for Ford and Peugeot’s WRC cars. However, Glickenhaus’ partnerships with established names in the racing world doesn’t end there. The car is being developed by Joest, who has partnered with Porsche, Audi and Mazda on their prototype racers, and whose Bentley Speed 8 GTP won Le Mans in 2003. The aerodynamics are being developed by Sauber, famous for designing Mercedes‘ Group C racers.

Glickenhaus believes it can be the first American manufacturer to win overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since Ford’s last factory-backed win with the GT40 in 1967, and a privateer GT40 win in 1969. If things go according to plan, the Le Mans Hypercar class will kick off this year, with Ferrari joining in 2023, and hopefully usher in the next golden era of prototype racing.

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Gordon Murray unveils the 725-horsepower track-built T.50s Niki Lauda

Formula One legend Niki Lauda would have been 72 years old if he were alive today. Though he died in 2019, we think he would have heartily approved of the new Gordon Murray T.50s, which will also be called the Niki Lauda as an homage.

That’s because Lauda drove the Brabham BT46B “fan car,”  the Formula One car that inspired the T.50’s technological centerpiece, to its only victory. The downforce-generating fan helped Lauda win the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix to the dismay of rival teams. Murray also designed that car, and wanted to pay tribute to his friend and three-time F1 champ.

Like the Brabham, the T.50s is not street legal. It’s billed as a track version of the GMA T.50, the supercar Murray designed as a pure driver’s antidote to the status barges that modern supercars have become. The Lauda leans harder into Murray’s philosophy of lightness. Over 200 pounds have been stripped from the road-going T.50, thanks to one less passenger seat in the 1+2 layout, a stripped-out interior, and thinner glass. Total weight, 1,878 pounds.

However, reduced mass isn’t the only performance enhancement. The Cosworth-built 3.9-liter V12 now makes 725 horsepower, or 66 more ponies than the standard model. Part of that gain comes from a central roof-mounted intake drawing air into the engine, as well as the removal of any sound restriction hardware from the exhaust.

For the track model, one of the street T.50’s dearest features, an old-school manual transmission, has been replaced with a six-speed paddle-shift Xtrac. According to GMA, the gear ratios are more closely spaced on the race car, so a stick shift didn’t make sense; the driver would lose precious milliseconds switching gears and taking hands off the wheel.

The Lauda adds several aerodynamic aids that visually differentiate it from the T.50, starting with a wide lower air dam. A trio of NACA ducts funnel fresh air into the cabin and toward the front brakes. A long dorsal fin like the ones found on Le Mans prototypes extends from the cabin roof to the rear, where a GT-style rear wing spans the tail. According to GMA, it generates as much as 3,300 pounds of downforce at 175 mph.

Inside, the central instrument pod has been replaced with a digital screen, and the standard steering wheel with a yoke-type handle. Taking the space on the right, where the manual shifter and console would have been, is a board of toggle switches.

There will only be 25 Niki Laudas produced. Each will feature a plaque celebrating a victory by one of Murray’s many F1 car designs, starting with the 1974 South African Grand Prix at Kyalami Circuit. Production begins January 2022, and despite a $4.3 million price tag, GMA says 15 cars are already spoken for.

The Ecurie Ecosse C-type, a reincarnation of the legendary Fifties racing Jaguar

In 1952 a young Ian Stewart, pioneer driver for Ecurie Ecosse, would visit Jaguar Cars in Coventry to collect his brand-new C-type. He would drive the car to its first race on Jersey to confront stiff competition from Aston Martin and Frazer Nash. The race was won at a gallop and in doing so he opened the first chapter in Ecurie Ecosse’s international motor racing career.

Considerable success on the racetrack ensued for Ecurie Ecosse, their trophy cabinet bursting at the seams with 59 podium places secured across the seven C-type chassis raced by the team. Through clever tuning by legendary team manager ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson and meticulous planning by founder David Murray, they proved how capable the Jaguar C-type could be on the international stage and began a legacy that would take the Scottish national team to countless wins, including their crowning glory at La Sarthe.

The Jaguar C-type was a technological masterpiece. The first race car honed in the wind tunnel, first to use fuel ‘bag’ tanks (a technology borrowed from the aviation world) and the test bed for Dunlop’s revolutionary disc brakes. A steel space frame chassis formed the rigid backbone of these cars, clad in a lightweight, thin-gauge, streamlined aluminum body designed by Malcolm Sayer and powered by a silky smooth Jaguar ‘overhead cam’ straight-six engine. Stirling Moss once said: “I always really rated the C-type – for me it was a far better car than the D.”

Ecurie Ecosse have created a new car to pay homage to their past success. Current Ecurie Ecosse patron Alasdair McCaig said of their new car: “How better to celebrate the historic success of the Ecurie Ecosse C-types than to manufacture a batch of cars in their honor? The seven priceless chassis raced in period still exist today, coveted by their lucky owners, occasionally seeing the light of day for race or concours events. We are paying homage to these cars by creating a numbered sister car to each one. Meticulous in their detail, like their forebears, hand-built in Coventry and tuned by Ecurie Ecosse technicians.”

Ecurie Ecosse have retained all the key elements that contributed to the roaring success of the 1950s Jaguar racer while, in the true spirit of co-founder ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson, making considered improvements. The aerodynamic shape remains, still crafted from thin-gauge aluminum alloy and mounted to a steel space frame chassis, but wider and stiffer than before, laser-cut for accuracy. The sonorous Jaguar straight-six XK engine remains too, although capacity has been increased to 4.2 litres and fuel injection fitted to bring power up to 300bhp.

The suspension and disc brakes have been uprated to cope with the additional performance and a five-speed gearbox added to maximize acceleration and top speed. The detail of the car is breath-taking, with the hand-crafted aluminum bucket seats clothed in supple blue leather by Crest, hand-airbrushed Ecurie Ecosse shields adorning the car’s flanks, and Tag Heuer ‘Master Time’ stopwatches on the dashboard. The first car is complete and available for viewing and test drive at their Henley-on-Thames dealership, Hofmann’s.

Pagani’s track-only Huayra R sounds like it will pack a naturally-aspirated V12

Pagani’s Huayra is preparing to put on a racing suit, just like its predecessor, the Zonda, did in 2009. And a video posted on the firm’s social media channels suggests engineers may have ditched the turbos.

Listen to the short video in the Instagram post embedded below. It’s the Huayra R’s V12 engine singing its heart out. While the actual footage reveals little that we don’t know, the soundtrack seemingly comes from a naturally-aspirated engine. We don’t hear a pair of turbos spooling up. That’s unusual, because the regular Huayra is powered by a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 6.0-liter V12 that’s twin-turbocharged to over 750 horsepower.

Pagani hasn’t given any specs on the engine, though. Previous reports have suggested the engine will have more than 900 horsepower and the ability to rev beyond 9,500 rpm. Certainly the video supports the high-revving prediction. We would expect Pagani to be using a version of the 6.0-liter AMG V12, as it has on all of its supercars, though without turbochargers. And that’s not just because Pagani has always used AMG engines, but because there aren’t many companies with a V12 in its parts bin, and developing one from scratch would be extremely expensive for a small company like Pagani.

Pagani will release more details about the Huayra R in the coming weeks, and we expect the model will make its official debut online during the first half of 2021. It will likely arrive as a limited-edition car with a seven-digit price tag, and we wouldn’t be surprised if every available example is spoken for by the time it breaks cover. It might be the last variant of the Huayra, too. Production of the Roadster has already ended, and the next Pagani hypercar is currently being developed. It’s tentatively scheduled to break cover before the end of the year.

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Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 R is only for the track, can pull 2.25 Gs

If the Donkervoort D8 GTO-JD70 wasn’t extreme enough for you, Donkervoort has news you’ll want to hear today. The Dutch company just released details on a track-only R version with even higher limits than the street car.

Donkervoort’s big number it bragged about previously was the 2.0 Gs of lateral grip it was capable of in corners. With the R, Donkervoort says it’s up to 2.25 Gs. You may need stronger neck muscles to effectively drive this car on track.

The improved performance comes from improvements and modifications made all around the car. It gets stiffer four-way adjustable dampers, stiffer springs, stiffer bushings, stiffer anti-roll bars and a lower ride height. To top it off, it’s fitted with Nankang slicks from the factory. Wet tires are available, too. 

Steering is improved with an optional shorter and adjustable power steering rack. A new 12-stage racing ABS braking system is onboard. Donkervoort also fits racing pads, fills it with racing brake fluid and has upgraded the rear brakes to a six-piston caliper design to match the six-piston clampers up front. Donkervoort says that the braking performance is much improved now that it doesn’t need to make the brakes perform on the street.

Power still comes from the same Audi 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder (415 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque), but Donkervoort has replaced the five-speed manual transmission with a paddle-shifted, six-speed sequential gearbox. Donkervoort claims the car is quicker, but the 0-62 mph time is unchanged from the manual at 2.7 seconds. Top speed is also the same at 174 mph. Regardless, the faster gear changes on track will likely save precious tenths or hundredths of a second. Plus, you can change up gears without having to lift. Donkervoort says the entire drivetrain has been strengthened to handle the extra demands on track. 

This car is safer in a crash than the street car, too. Side impact protection is increased by a higher percentage use of carbon fiber. It also adds a roll cage, six-point harness, FIA homologated bladder-style fuel tank with fuel absorbing foam and a kevlar-carbon-fiber protection blanket. Lastly, it has an upgraded fire extinguisher system (FIA spec), and Donkervoort will be working with drivers to get them custom race suits and helmets with HANS devices.

One negative that comes with all this extra equipment is more weight. The D8 GTO-JD70 R is 55 pounds heavier than the standard car, but that means it still only weighs 1,598 pounds. If you buy one of these, you can also expect the full hand-and-foot treatment from Donkervoort. They can provide every owner with data analysis and coaching while on track. You’ll also get help with logistics, as Donkervoort will provide a full selection of spare parts, tire services and transportation of the car to and from the track. You can even option a pit-to-garage communication system, allowing you to communicate to the pit wall while you’re out on track.

All of this will cost you €198,000. That’s the equivalent of $234,328, and that’s the price before tax. You can go crazy from there with different levels of track support and options.

Toyota GR Super Sport hypercar previewed at 24 Hours of Le Mans

Here’s your yearly reminder that Toyota is building a hypercar. Just like it did in last year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Toyota has provided us a preview of the GR Super Sport. 

This car will run in the hypercar class in the World Endurance Championship, but the regulations require that anyone who enters will also need to produce a minimum of 20 road cars based on the race car. Toyota says the car we’re looking at in photos here is a GR Super Sport development car that is customized as a convertible and wearing the now-recognizable GR camouflage. Remember the same camo on the GR Supra a couple years ago?

Details are scarce on the ground concerning the road car version headed our way, but here’s what Toyota said about it: “The GR Super Sport epitomizes Toyota Gazoo Racing’s commitment to use motorsport to make ever-better road cars for the enjoyment of customers, and it symbolizes the ever-closer relationship between Toyota Gazoo Racing race and road car products.”

From what we’ve witnessed so far, more GR in Toyota road car products is a very good thing. The GR Yaris (that isn’t coming here) is a great example of what Toyota is capable of doing when it harnesses its engineering might. As for this car, it’s likely going to have near (or over) four-digit horsepower and a price tag that’ll buy you many lifetimes of Camrys. Its relation to the now three-time-Le-Mans-winning TS050 Hybrid should help it immensely. And in case you missed it, Toyota just happened to win Le Mans again last weekend.

McLaren Senna GTR LM cars created by MSO to honor the F1 GTR’s Le Mans success

The McLaren Special Operations division has outdone themselves again. Today, we get to present to you five McLaren Senna GTRs that were commissioned in a group. Their design and liveries are meant to re-create the five McLaren G1 GTRs that raced in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. McLaren took first place in that race, with the remaining four cars finishing third, fourth, fifth and 13th. 

These five Senna GTRs are much more than just Senna GTRs with stickers on them, too. The (faithfully re-created) liveries were hand-painted on every one of the cars. McLaren says each car took approximately 800 hours to paint, with some taking far more than that. All five are kept as close to the originals as possible, as McLaren coordinated with the Le Mans organizer to get permission to re-create every last detail of the logos and trademarks on the cars. The only sticker you’ll find on the exterior is a replica of the scrutineering sticker.

It isn’t just the appearance that received all the attention, though. McLaren has found a way to give the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 a small power boost. It went from making 814 horsepower to 833 horsepower. The rev limit has also increased from 8,250 rpm to nearly 9,000 rpm. This is accomplished through metal matrix composite valve spring retainers (65% lighter), higher grade steel for the valve springs and CNC ported cylinder heads. A recalibration of the whole powertrain takes advantage of these new parts, leading to the increase in power.

Small changes abound elsewhere in the car, too. OZ Racing designed a bespoke set of wheels for these cars; the suspension wishbones are made in an anodized version of their previous selves, and the brake calipers are finished in satin gold. New exit pipes are bent for the Inconel exhaust (for a new look), and the interior gets a small work over, too.

There’s a new racing steering wheel with anodized gold paddles and control buttons, titanium nitride pedals, carbon fiber racing seats with a bespoke headrest embroidery, leather door pull straps and an MSO six-point racing harness. We’re afraid to know the prices for these five cars, but we won’t know anyway, because McLaren hasn’t released that information.

All five owners will be allowed to take a lap of Circuit de la Sarthe on the day of the 2021 24 Hours of Le Mans, which only seems right given their Le Mans re-creation provenance. 

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50s revealed as track-only, even more extreme T.50

It’s been one month since the Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 was fully revealed. We’re still reeling from learning about how stupendous it is, but Gordon Murray has gone and one upped himself again today. In addition to the road-going T.50, there will also be a track-only T.50s. 

The name “T.50s” is only a codename for now. GMA says that a proper full name will arrive when the car is officially unwrapped. Only one photo of the T.50s was shown, and you’re looking at it above. However, we do have plenty of details to share alongside the single photo.

What we’re dealing with is essentially a race car. It’s not legal to drive on any type of road, unless that road happens to be a closed course. The T.50s has more power, weighs less and produces significantly more downforce than the standard T.50. It also costs a great deal more at £3.1 million. Adjusted to U.S. dollars, that’s just over $4.1 million. Alright, yes, the price goes well beyond the realm of silly and ridiculous. But Murray will also argue that nothing else in the world can match it. So, what all do you get for the extra $1.1 million over the standard car?

Somehow, the Cosworth 3.9-liter V12 makes more power. With the new ram-induction, it’s going to make approximately 720 horsepower. No turbos or supercharger necessary. That’s a 66 horsepower increase. Murray says that revised cylinder heads and camshafts, higher compression ratio and a free-flowing exhaust all contributed to the power gains. It doesn’t even attempt to meet emissions or noise regulations anymore, which is a boon for power. In all, over 50 components in the engine have been changed. Murray specifically attributes a 30 horsepower gain to the new roof-mounted ram-air induction system.

Since this model is being built for pure speed on a racetrack, Murray has gone away from a traditional manual transmission. Instead, it uses a bespoke six-speed Xtrac transmission that is shifted via steering wheel-mounted paddles. It has new drive ratios and is optimized for track performance.

A standard T.50 (pictured in the gallery above) is a featherweight at 2,174 pounds, but the T.50s weighs even less at 1,962 pounds. The completely stripped interior contributes to much of the weight savings. Murray has deleted the air conditioning, infotainment, storage compartments, carpets and instrumentation. The seat to the right of the driver has been removed, but the seat on the left was retained for co-drivers or a single passenger for fun. The two seats that remain are both new carbon fiber racing seats fitted with six-point harnesses. A new steering wheel in F1 style (minus the buttons) is swapped in, and there will be a racing display that shows the vitals for racing only. Forged magnesium wheels also contribute to reducing the car’s mass. They’re wrapped with Michelin Cup Sport 2 tires.

Added aero is another big focus with the T.50s. A massive 69-inch delta wing is mounted to the top of the car as the shining crown, a design that was inspired by Murray’s 1983 Brabham BT52 F1 car. Other aerodynamic improvements include a new ground effect underbody airfoil, new front splitter, adjustable diffusers and an aero fin that runs from the top of the roof to the rear lip of the car. Of course, the fan remains, but it now permanently runs at 7,000 rpm. Murray says the car generates 3,306 pounds of downforce. It would be capable of driving upside down at 175 mph or more with this amount of downforce, according to Murray. We’ll just take his word for it. Murray also claims that the car is capable of generating about 2.5G-3.0G under braking. For some perspective, F1 drivers experience about 5G of braking force during races.

The brakes themselves are carbon ceramic units from Brembo. New ducting around each wheel helps them handle the increased heat they’ll be feeling from the extreme braking. Both the engine and transmission oil cooling systems are relocated for better airflow. As for the suspension, GMA re-tuned the dampers, spring and front anti-roll bar for racing. It also rides 1.57 inches lower in front and back. Customers will be allowed to tailor the suspension setup to their liking, though. In fact, everything about the T.50s will be customized to the customer’s desire. Murray really wants owners to track the cars, so the team will be working closely with every owner to set the car up properly for such an event.

“I’d like to organize a series of racing events as part of our Trackspeed package to ensure the T.50s is driven regularly by owners,” Murray says. “There will be nothing like the experience of driving this car. And hearing it … well, that will be something else! I’d like each of the 25 cars to be completely unique from setup to paint finish.”

That’s right, only 25 will be made in T.50s spec. Murray says that half of them are already spoken for, so there isn’t much time left to secure a spot. The GMA team says it will supply a “full range of pit, garage, and support equipment for the T.50s” for those who take it racing. Production for the T.50s will commence after the 100 road-spec T.50 models are built. The current estimate for T.50s production start is the first quarter of 2023.

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2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition teased ahead of Sunday debut

Ford dropped a brief teaser video for its 2021 GT Heritage Edition Friday afternoon, giving us our first glimpse of a car that will honor the legacy of the #98 Ford GT40 Mk II that won the inaugural 24 Hours of Daytona in 1966 in the hands of Ken Miles and Lloyd Ruby. The car will be formally unveiled Sunday night to kick off the Peterson Automotive Museum’s Car Week.

The video flashes brief images of the 2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition overlaid on the silhouette of the #98 GT40, followed by a message that reads “2021 Ford GT Heritage Edition — Coming Soon.” Ford’s GT Heritage Edition cars all sport throwback liveries representing the GT40’s dominant racing years.

The 2017 Heritage Edition wore the black-and-silver livery of the GT40 Mark II driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon at Le Mans in 1966. That year, the No. 2 car came in first place, followed by the No. 1 GT40 of Ken Miles and Denis Hulme and the No. 5 GT40 driven by Ronnie Bucknum and Dick Hutcherson.

The 2018 car honored the all-American team of Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt, who claimed victory at Le Mans in the #1 Ford GT40 Mark IV in 1967; for 2019, Ford brought back the Gulf livery with a car honoring the 1968 Le Mans victory by the JW Automotive Engineering team. 

On any other car, these would be nothing but sticker packages; on something as prestigious as the GT, they’re unique, low-production-number configurations that will surely make them highly desirable collector’s items down the road. 

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Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is an 830-horsepower track weapon

Following in the footsteps of the likes of the Diablo GTR and the Miura Jota, the new Lamborghini Essenza SCV12 is the latest limited-run, uber-performance GT car that offers more power than any other naturally aspirated V12 model Lamborghini has ever produced.

To say the Essenza SCV12 is purpose-built would be understating it. From the carbon fiber monocoque and the adjustable aerodynamics to the structurally integral gearbox, everything about the Essenza SCV12 was engineered expressly for speed by Lamborghini’s motorsports division. Lamborghini says the V12 actually makes more than 830 horsepower, but didn’t offer us anything more specific.

Its multi-function wheel was even inspired by the control interfaces found in Formula One, and the rest of the cockpit is similarly racecar-spartan, down to the FIA-homologated carbon-shell seats. The exterior bodywork comprises just three sections to facilitate quick repair and replacement. All four wheels are magnesium alloy and the brakes were developed by Brembo.

“Essenza SCV12 represents the purest track driving experience that our brand can offer, an engineering feat that highlights the inextricable link between our cars and the asphalt of the track,” said Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali in the company’s announcement. “Lamborghini is a brand constantly looking to the future and searching for new challenges, but we never forget our roots and who we are: Essenza SCV12 is the perfect combination of our unconventional spirit as a super sports car manufacturer and our true passion for motorsport.”

The Essenza SCV12 puts all 830 horsepower to the ground via the rear wheels. The aforementioned structural gearbox is a six-speed sequential unit and the mounting point for the rear pushrod suspension. The aero elements, which were borrowed (with modifications, of course) from Lamborghini’s racing cars, produce more than 2,600 pounds of downforce at 155 MPH — more than you get from the aero on a GT3 race car. 

Making the deal even sweeter is the fact that purchasing one of these 40 Essenza SCV12s also confers access to a series of exclusive track events along with storage space in a new building (a hangar, Lamborghini says) that the company has built at its facility in Sant’Agata Bolognese. 

“We wanted to elevate not only performance and driving pleasure but also the experience off the track,” said Giorgio Sanna, Head of Lamborghini Motorsport. “Customers can take advantage of exclusive and highly customizable services to fully experience the best of Italian hospitality and become part of the Lamborghini Squadra Corse family.”

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ATS Corsa’s 600-hp RR Turbo track car hits production, priced from $146,000

From Italy comes word that ATS Corsa, the new motorsports division of Automobili Turismo e Sport, has launched production of the RR Turbo, its 600-horsepower track car billed as ready to compete in a wide variety of race events. The company has also revealed pricing, which starts at 132,000 euros (about $146,000) for the Clubsport version and 164,900 euros, or $182,367, for the carbon-fiber Serie Carbonio.

First deliveries to customers are expected by the end of summer, and production is targeted at 30 examples per year. The car, first unveiled last year, is FIA-homologated and billed as budget-friendly from a maintenance perspective. It’s eligible for international racing in events including hill climbs, 24-hour series and Clubsport, plus the option of an ATS single-brand championship team. It’s also an option for well-heeled drivers looking for a fun track car. 

The car is comprised of a lightweight composite body engineered to maximize downforce that rests on an 88-pound chromium molybdenum chassis that mixes space frame and monocoque design, with a honeycomb underbody in the carbon-fiber variant. It’s fitted with either a single aluminum rear wing or a try-place carbon-fiber wing and a massive rear diffuser. Other options include a carbo-ceramic braking system with four-piston titanium CNC billet-machined calipers, forged 18-inch wheels, three-way adjustable suspension and quick-lift airjack system. A Winner Techno Package brings features like an electro-actuated paddle-gearbox, traction control system and assisted gearshifts. Both variants of the car use a smartphone interface for accessing engine data.

Power comes from a mid-mounted 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder sourced from Honda. It tops out at 600 hp at 8,500 rpm and around 390 pound-feet of torque between 4,000 and 7,000 rpm. It’s linked to a six-speed sequential transmission by a mono block, high-strength aluminum bell housing that also supports the suspension, dampers, wing mount and exhaust. It looks like it’s also available in a less flashy gold livery if the two-tone Italian flag-and-dragon logo motif isn’t your bag.

Brabham Automotive BT62 Competition delivered to first U.K. customer

Despite the difficult circumstances created by the spread of the coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 pandemic, Brabham Automotive has continued production of its BT62 throughout the past few months. Staying on schedule, Brabham plans to produce 70 units of the supercar, some for the road and some specifically for racing on the track. The first of the motorsport bunch, a BT62 Competition, has just been completed and delivered to Horsepower Racing in the United Kingdom.

Unlike major manufacturers that produce vehicles in large quantities in large facilities using a large number of people, Brabham is a small operation. Each car is hand-built, allowing for individual attention to various parts of the vehicle. Because of this, Brabham has been able to carry on while using precautionary measures.

There are technically three variants of the BT62: Ultimate Track, Competition Spec, and Road Compliant. Because it has been stripped of pieces such as a passenger seat, the BT62 Competition is the lightest of the three cars, but it has all the performance of the Ultimate Track version.

Under the hood, the Competition features a 5.4-liter naturally aspirated V8 that pairs with a six-speed sequential gearbox and makes a claimed 700 horsepower. In addition to an FIA-compliant carbon-chromoly safety cell with an integrated roll cage, the Competition model also has center-locking wheels, a pneumatic jacking system, a competition-ready gauge display and lightweight, removable, multi-function steering wheel, carbon-on-carbon brakes, motorsport ABS, and motorsport traction control. In part due to its massive rear wing, the BT62 Competition is expected to put down about 2,646 pounds of downforce

This particular example is headed to Horsepower Racing, a motorsport team based in the U.K. It will be driven in the Britcar Endurance Championship (when it happens) by owner/racer Paul Bailey, as well as Ross Wylie. The Brabham BT62 is priced at approximately $914,000 by current conversion rates.

SCG 007 hypercar to swap twin-turbo V6 for twin-turbo V8

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus began the long tease to its SCG 007 LMP1 hypercar with a set of sketches in June 2018 that clearly incorporated cues from the SCG 003. Refining that original sketch for 18 months produced a longer, smoother design with pontoon-like front fenders and a rear wing seamlessly integrated into a more tapered rear end. The first powertrain mentioned for the 007 was a twin-turbo V6 with 800 horsepower and a 200-hp hybrid component. In the WEC’s Hypercar class where SCG will try to win Le Mans outright, regulations cap maximum combined output at 740 horsepower, and electric assistance can only power the front wheels above 80 miles per hour. Late last year, Jim Glickenhaus told us SCG decided to shed the hybrid portion, since “We can make max allowed HP from our ICE, and our powerplant will be lighter and less complex.” A new announcement last week means the end of the V6, too, SCG partnering with French engine developer Pipo Moteurs on a “whole new custom V8 twin-turbo engine.” 

Pipo Moteurs opened for business in 1973, and has a track record of wins mainly in World Rally Championship with teams like Peugeot and Ford, and European hillclimbing with BMW. We expect the 007 to mark the first time SCG takes a V8 into top-level racing; the SCG 003 road car was powered by BMW’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8, but the road car housed a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 from Honda

SCG plans to get the 007 down near the WEC’s minimum weight of 1,100 kilograms (2,425 pounds). Evo reports that the first wind tunnel tests are finished, the engineering program scheduled to continue through to summer 2020. Subsystems should enter production in August 2020, the first shakedown runs happening a month later. The math so far shows the hypercar regulations enabling laps times of three minutes and 30 second around the Circuit de la Sarthe, about 15 seconds off the best qualifying lap for the pole-sitting Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid at Le Mans last year, 13 seconds adrift of the fastest lap set during the race by the second-place Toyota.

Next year’s a long way away, though. The hypercar class only has three entries for the moment, Toyota, SCG, and ByKolles scheduled to run after Aston Martin dropped out, and many wonder if that will be enough to keep a top-level worth running. The ACO and IMSA announced a new class to integrate the former’s LMP1 with the latter’s DPi into a new category possibly called LMDh, the first race the 2022 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Lamborghini had been examining a hypercar entry and Peugeot had committed, but Peugeot pulled out after the LMDh announcement. Being able to race internationally and run Daytona, Sebring, and Le Mans with one car is a huge lure to automakers. It’s not clear yet if the hypercar rules can be shoehorned into the new category, of if ACO will want to try. 

Assuming the 007 makes it to Le Mans at some point, SCG will produce at least 20 roadgoing versions to satisfy homologation rules, priced around $2.1 million, roughly the same price as the SCG 003. 

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McLaren P1 GTR-18 by Lanzante takes its inspiration from the F1

The McLaren P1 GTR is already one of the most exclusive hypercars ever built (McLaren made only 58 of them), and now Lanzante is making it even more special. The storied British racing company has decided it’s going to convert six P1 GTRs into what it’s calling the P1 GTR-18.

Lanzante applies a longtail style body to the P1 GTR, increasing the length and adding even more aero equipment. It has a larger front splitter and modified rear wing to create additional downforce. The appearance is the biggest draw to go with the Lanzante P1 GTR-18, though. All six will get their own special McLaren F1-inspired paint scheme, meant to match the liveries of Lanzante’s racing efforts with the F1. This car is finished in the Gulf Team Davidoff No. 28R scheme, which is the livery from the last McLaren F1 GTR ever produced by Lanzante to compete. Here’s a Bonhams listing for that car, so you can compare and contrast.

Paint codes and samples were taken from that F1 so as to make the colors identical. Even the carbon fiber has a special tint to it, different from the regular P1 GTR. Lanzante does throw in some interesting extras, too. You get a headset (to talk to your passenger on track) finished in the same paint scheme as the car, and a set of “bespoke dust bags” and tinted carbon fiber keys to match the car. Powertrain details are not final yet, but the GTR made 986 horsepower combined from its gas engine and electric motor from the factory. It probably doesn’t need anything more.

All great stuff, and it will likely cost untold amounts of money. Lanzante didn’t say how much, but anybody who had enough cash to pick up a P1 GTR can likely spring for this special Lanzante treatment if they want it.

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Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo Omologato preparing for debut

Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse motorsports division will soon be showing two takes on two of Lamborghini’s marquee products. At the deep end, we have the Aventador-based, 830-horsepower track car recently flogged on a dyno. At the other deep end we have this, which Motor1 caught wind of: Instagram user “allanlambo” uploaded pics of a camouflaged Huracán said to be called the Huracán STO, for Super Trofeo Omologato. If you’ve seen the automaker’s one-make and customer race car, the Huracán Super Trofeo Evo, the camouflaged coupe should look real familiar. From what we can tell, everything from the B-pillar back could have come straight from the competition car — the roof scoop, shark fin, bodacious wing, deep-dish spoiler, and center-lock wheels are all looking for the checkered flag. The rear even copies the overall design and negative spaces from the race car, as well as the diffuser, the only major change being the rear lights from the road car. The STO, according to Internet rumor and forum postings, will be a limited-edition road-going version of the race car.

Automobile mentioned this very creature late last year but only in passing, as a side dish to the possibility of a production Sterrato off-road sports car. According to a PistonHeads forum, word is the Huracán STO is about making the most of the Huracán Evo’s already potent package, so the naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 with 632 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque goes unchanged. The engine will have less weight to shift, thanks to a diet expected to shed around 330 pounds. All power will go to the rear wheels, and as a Squadra Corse production, the Lamborghini Talk forum claims that the coupe won’t get the ALA system that improves handling. Backroom chatter has it that the STO was designed for superior hotshoes who carry their personal ALA systems somewhere between their solar plexii and their gall bladders, not for the merely average hotshoes who praise technology for keeping them out of gravel traps. Other add-ons like a racing clutch, a mechanical differential, and bigger brakes have been mentioned as potential upgrades.

Both forums peg a debut during Monterey Car Week in August, before the car goes on sale late this year as a 2021 model. The automaker supposedly intended the STO to be a small-batch special for dealer-backed race teams and Squadra Corse clients, akin to the Ferrari 488 Pista Piloti, but has opened sales to a wider audience. That doesn’t mean the opening is large, however; Lamborghini’s apparently spiffed up a customer grading system, so dealers can submit willing buyers and the factory will choose which applicants win. Owners have heard build numbers of between 400 and 700 units, dealers said to be lobbying for that lower number or even fewer. Applicants who lose out shouldn’t despair, there’s rumor of a Huracán Superleggera arriving before the model gives way to the next generation sometime around 2023. 

Pikes Peak Hill Climb Record | Behind the Wheel S02 // E09

“Behind the Wheel” is a video series that shows you a bit of what it’s like to work at Autoblog. The editors and video producers will show you the cars we have in our fleet, and you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the personalities who help make the site run. 

In this episode, Senior Producer Christopher McGraw packed up his bags, got in the car and moved out to the fantastic state of Colorado. After getting settled in the mountains, his first assignment was to cover VW’s attempt at setting the course record for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. What followed was one of his favorite days on the job.

Where are you traveling to in 2020? We’d love to hear from you, so please comment below!

Gear used to make this: 

Panasonic GH5s:

Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm F2.8:

Rode VidMic Pro:

Tiffen 58mm Variable ND Filter:

GoPro Hero 7 Black:

Adobe Premiere:

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