During last year's Monaco Formula One Grand Prix weekend, Renault introduced us to the Alpine A110-50. This year, it's another revival called Twin'Run - the follow up to the Twin'Z but not called TwinFun, as we previously thought - a smooth blue hatch to update all those yellowed memories of the Renault R5 Turbo and Clio V6. With the same footprint as the Twin'Z, this is the other side of the 'play' theme in Renault's six-stage exploration of the stages of life through concept cars.
The Twin'Z is admittedly a neat piece of work, but the Twin'Run one - and its murderous exhaust note - has our hot breath all over it. A steel, tubular chassis provides the structure. Within it, just ahead of the rear axle is a 3.5-liter V6 with 320 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, shifted through a six-speed sequential transmission. To keep its city-car proportions stable on 18-inch wheels, the fuel tank, radiator and hydraulic system are in the front, under the hood, resulting in a 43/57 front-to-rear weight balance.
The bodywork is a mix of glass fiber and carbon fiber, the squarish headlamps and supplemental quad headlamps a nod to the R5 Turbo rally car and its light rack for nighttime stages. Inside is lots of black and red Alcantara, a gauge cluster wrapped in white lacquer and aluminum pedals whose setup is said to be motorsports tested.
The whole package weighs 2,090 pounds, and you can read all about it in the press release below. There's also a very French short film to go with it that you know involves lots of models clad in lots of leather, and those vintage forbearers.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Concept 90 is one of two new vehicles BMW is showing off at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este on the tony shores of Lake Como in Italy. This year is the 90th anniversary of BMW Motorrad and the 40th anniversary of the R 90 S (inset) - the first production motorcycle to come with a front fairing - and BMW has worked with custom bike builder Roland Sands Design to craft a homage to the Daytona Orange boxer from the Seventies.
While following the line of its forbearer, obviously the Concept 90 has been sexed and sleeked up. The bodywork is of hand-worked aluminum, the giant halogen lamp of the 1975 model (which is when Daytona Orange was introduced) has gone LED, and the front engine cover, valve covers, exhaust and wheels have been made with a contrast-cut milling process.
For a finer description of the Concept 90 check out the press release below, or skip the words and go straight to the high-res images above.Permalink | Email this | Comments
"It's one thing to put a car together, it's another thing to make it work." Truer words have never been spoken, and in the case of Louie Shefchik of J&L Fabricating, the man who opens the video below with those words, 'making it work' has practically been elevated to an art form.
From humble beginnings - a garage back behind the duplex in which Louie and his wife Jeanette lived - J&L has grown to become a highly respected track-side crew that keeps its clients' vintage race cars on the track and competitive. And, judging by the commentary of his customers, friends and family, he's a downright great person.
Check out the video below for the complete story of J&L Fabricating from eGarage.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Our friends at XCAR have taken the time to train their lenses on the iconic Toyota Supra. With Toyota finally back into the performance car game, it seems only logical to remember one of the brand's most legendary sports cars. While we're all busy ladling praise onto the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ twins, it's important to remember that Toyota used to produce all manner of fun-to-drive machinery. The Supra once sat at the top of that list, its most recent iteration giving buyers the option of a ludicrous forced-induction inline six, gorgeous styling and plenty of presence.
Of course, the legend didn't stop once the Supra fell off American order sheets in 1998. Always an aftermarket darling, the Supra has gone on to become a tuner favorite in nearly every corner of grassroots motorsport. From drag racing to road racing and everywhere in between, the Supra is remains a force to be reckoned with nearly 15 years after it last prowled the US auto market. You can catch the tribute from XCAR below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
A few weeks ago, we bid a fond happy 40th anniversary to the automotive dark ages of 1973-84 that have come to be known as "The Malaise Era" - the performance ice-age when 160 horsepower was a lot and a 0-60 time of under 10 seconds was remarkable. Like music in the 1980s, everything in automobiledom didn't suck, however. There were a few bright spots. Here are five of our favorites:
1976-79 Porsche 930, aka 911 Turbo Carrera (above)
Photo Credit: Dorotheum
While Chevrolet beat them by a decade with the turbocharged Corvair Corsa, the Germans more fully developed turbocharging through racing where General Motors couldn't. Early Porsche 930s (known technically as 911 Turbo Carreras) were a bit crude, with turbo lag that could be measured with an egg timer. They lacked an intercooler as well as brakes that were up to the task, but performance was sensational, with the buff books reporting 0-60 times of anywhere from 4.9 to 5.8 seconds and quarter-mile times of under 14 seconds. This was '60s muscle car performance at the height of the Malaise Era. Sadly, the 930 cost about six times as much as your average muscle car did.
Rob Sass is the Publisher of Hagerty Classic Cars magazine. He is a regular contributor to the automotive section of the New York Times and is the author of "Ran When Parked, Advice and Adventures from the Affordable Underbelly of Car Collecting."
Permalink | Email this | Comments
For the second time in my life, I'm staring at an engine in the back of a truck with no concept of how to get it safely into the garage by my lonesome. The first time this happened, I dragged home a $300 International 345 V8 in the back of my Scout Terra only to discover that the bounds of my manliness terminated well before my ability to muscle that 800-pound cast iron block out of the pickup bed.
There's an EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in there somewhere, and it's headed straight for Ugly Horse.
Now you know the story of how and why I bought my first engine puller.
Some six years later I'm playing out the same dance, though a Ford F-250 has stolen the Scout's starring role, and there's a towering pallet of thick cardboard boxes in place of the old International mill. It's not that the boxes are particularly heavy. They're just stacked too high to get in the garage. Each one is emblazoned with a massive Ford Racing Performance Parts logo and wrapped in enough plastic to keep both prying fingers and the persistent rain at bay. Good thing, too. There's an EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in there somewhere, and it's headed straight for Ugly Horse.
Project Ugly Horse is an ongoing series. Need to catch up? You can find the previous articles here.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's hard to imagine, but once upon a time, there were only two BMW 3 Series variants: the coupe and sedan. Back before gran coupes, convertibles and yes, even touring models were available, buyers could only get their 3 Series fix if it came with two or four doors and a fixed roof. Back in the mid '80s, BMW engineer Max Reisbock was having some trouble fitting his whole family into his four door. Rather than suck it up and buy a van, he picked up a wrecked 3 Series and got to cutting in a buddy's garage. Months later, he had the very first 3 Series Touring ever built.
At first, he kept the the car to himself, using it to haul friends and family around, but he eventually showed it off to his friends at work. When the BMW executives found out about his project, they called him up to take a closer look. After putting an eyeball on the car, they took it, copied his design, made a few tweaks and quickly rolled out the first production 3 Series Touring. How's that for validation? Check out the video below for Reisbock's story.Permalink | Email this | Comments