• The quest for speed
American Supercar manufacturer Shelby Super Cars (SSC) is aiming to beat the
current production car world speed record held by the Bugatti Veyron at
253mph with its new Ultimate Aero TT.
The car has been in development for the last seven years and the numbers
look good, a 6.3-litre twin turbocharged V8 producing 1183bhp and 1094lb/ft
of torque mean 0-60mph in 2.78 seconds and a theoretical top speed of 273mph
- 20mph more than the Veyron.
Stopping from such speeds requires some serious components in the braking
department and luckily the Aero TT comes fitted with 14inch discs with eight
piston callipers at the front and six piston callipers at the rear. The Aero
TT can accelerate from 0-100mph then back to 0 in just 11.6 seconds.
In an attempt to try and reach the claimed top speed SSC has tasked MKM
Racing to oversee a world production speed record attempt to be held on a
closed twelve mile stretch of highway on Elko County in Nevada, USA,
beginning on the 21st of March.
• Lotus Exige GT3
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor show last week, this is the most extreme
version of the track biased car yet.
The GT3 is powered by a 1.8-litre supercharged and inter cooled engine,
producing 271bhp at 8000rpm and 190lb/ft of torque at 7000rpm. The Roots
type Eaton M62 supercharger is run from the crankshaft and has an integral
bypass valve for part load operation, it also has a sealed for life internal
mechanism so that it requires no use of the engine’s oil. The engine is
mated to a C64 aluminium six-speed gearbox and an open type limited slip
The GT3 comes fitted with lightweight forged alloy wheels shod with Lotus
Sport specific Yokohama A048 tyres. Within the front wheels you’ll find
308mm diameter drilled and vented discs with AP Racing 4-pots and at the
rear 288mm drilled and vented discs with Brembo’s. The GT3 will come with
fully idependant suspension utilising Ohlins two way adjustable dampers with
coilover springs and an adjustable Lotus Sport front anti-roll bar.
The performance figures are expected to be as follows: 0-60mph = 3.9secs,
0-100mph = 9.8secs and a top speed of 160mph.
The GT3 is expected to be available to buy late 2007 and at a price
somewhere between £50k and £60k.
• BMW M3 Concept
This is the fourth generation of the highly succesful and popular M3 range.
Started in 1986 the original E30 M3, with its hand built individual throttle
bodied 2.3-litre 4 cylinder engine was a homologation special, created for
the road so that it could be raced in the World Touring Car and DTM
In 1992 the E36 M3 was introduced with a 3-litre straight six, which was
later changed to a 3.2 straight six.
15 years after the original version was launched came the E46 M3, powered
by a revised 3.2-litre straight six similar to that found in the later E36 models.
And that brings us upto now, 2007 and the E92 M3.
The car pictured below is in fact a concept version which BMW have created to
provide a strong flavour of the final version due out later this year.
Straying away from the traditional straight six as found in the last two
generations, this M3 is set to be powered by a cut down version of the
M5’s mammoth V10. The result is a 4-litre V8 rumoured to be producing
414bhp and 295lb ft of torque mated to the rear wheels via a six speed
manual gearbox or optional seven speed SMG. This version also gets the
electronically controlled M differential as found in the M5
If your thinking bigger engine equals more weight, then your right, the
new M3 will weigh more than the 1570kg’s of its predecessor, but with
that big V8 pushing it along it will crack 62mph in 4.9 seconds and would
go onto 175mph if it wasnt electronically limited to 155mph.
The M3 will have wider front and rear tracks than the standard 3-series,
reinforced plastic body panels, a carbon fibre roof and a chassis stuffed
with lightweight aluminium components that help keep sprung and
unsprung masses down.
The M3 will come as standard with 18inch alloy wheels shod in Pirelli P-Zero
Corsa tyres, or if your prepared to pay extra you can spec the gorgeuos
19inch wheels as pictured on the concept version.
The production version of the E92 M3 will be officially unveiled at the
Frankfurt motor show in the Autumn and should go on sale at around
• Pagani Zonda R
Another car to be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show is the
Zonda R. You may think this stunning new car is just a mildly tweaked derivitive
of the Zonda F but this version shares just 10% of the same parts.
Inside the carbon fibre monoqcoque you’ll find a 6.0-litre, AMG built V12
derived from a Mercedes CLK GTR race car, the result is an Enzo beating
750bhp and 524lb/ft of torque. The engine has a carbon fibre intake system
and a ceramic coated exhaust to maximise output and is mated to a brand
new Pagani six-speed sequential gearbox. No official performance figures have
been released at present but be assured this car will be fast, incredibly fast.
New front and rear subframes house suspension units made from aircraft
grade forged aluminium. Compared to the ‘F’, the wheelbase is increased by 47mm
and track by 50mm. Overall length is up by 394mm due to a redesigned body
with longer front and rear overhangs. Underneath you’ll find a closed underbody with channels that feed air into a racing style diffuser and paired with the sizeable rear wing should keep the ‘R’ firmly planted on the road.
A firm release date has not been released yet but the Zonda R is expected to
go on sale at around £800,000.00 - better start saving!
• Vauxhall Monaro VXR8
Its back and this time its bigger and badder than before. Based on the
Australian Holden HSV R8, Vauxhalls new muscle car is set to hit the
forecourts in July this year.
Housing a 420bhp 6.0-litre V8, the VXR8 certainly has the go to match the
show. O-60mph is taken care of in 4.9 seconds, this time is half a second
slower with the £1400 optional auto box. Its pratical too, with four doors,
a spacious boot, room for the family, leather, climate control and has the
option of satnav and not so practical 20 inch wheels.
With all this practicality you may think the VXR8 is a touch soft, well
think again, traction control and stability management systems can be turned
off at the press of a button - meaning the possibilites of sideways fun are
The VXR8 will be on sale from July 2007 at a cost of £34,995 - a cheap way
into a new car with 400+ horsepower.
• Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera
This Gallardo has been on a diet, its lost 100kg in total and paired with an
increased output from the 5-litre V10 means that this is the fastest
Gallardo to date. The 530bhp from the V10 propels the Superleggera to 62mph
in 3.8 seconds - 0.2 faster than the standard model.
The reduction in weight has been achieved by making a number of components
out of lighter materials. The engine cover is made of carbon fibre and
transparent polycarbonate - showing off the awesome V10. Other parts have
been slimmed down too, the rear diffuser and underbody covering, rearview
mirrors and door panels are all made of carbon fibre. The splattering of
carbon fibre doesn’t stop there though, the monocoque seats are also made of
the lightweight material and have been covered in Alcantara. Further
reductions have been achieved by replacing certain glass panels with more
The Superleggera also comes with a few toys normally offered as options as
standard, mechanical e-gear gearbox, sports package which includes uprated
shock absorbers, Pirelli P Zero tyres mounted on Scorpius forged wheels and
a suede-covered steering wheel. There are of course some other extras that
can be specced these include, sat-nav and CD changer, rear view video camera
for parking, carbon accessory kit for the interior, a fixed rear spoiler,
four-point harnesses, tubular rear frame or fitting points for harnesses and
carbon ceramic brakes.
The Gallardo Superleggera will be available in four colours, Midas Yellow,
Borealis Orange, Telesto Grey (pictured) and Noctis Black. The Superleggera
will be available for order from March 2007.
• New Maserati GranTurismo
Styled by Pininfarina, the new Maserati GranTurismo will make its
debut at the Geneva motor show.
Using the company’s 4.2-litre 405bhp V8 and a front / rear weight
distribution of 49/51, this new car has been described as a “high
It will come fitted with an F1 style paddle shift automatic gearbox
uses an adaptive control system that adjusts the gear shifting mode to
the driving style and conditions.
The Maserati GT is due to be on sale in the Uk in September.
• BMW M5 Touring
In May this year the M5 Touring will grace BMW forecourts at a price of
The Touring uses the same naturally aspirated 5-litre V10 as found in
saloon, the most powerful engine in the BMW range at 507bhp. The high
revving V10 with its 8250rpm red line is mated to a seven-speed
gearbox and M differential. Chassis wise, most stays the same apart
rear suspension, where a self levelling air spring system has been
Extra stregthening has also been applied to the boot floor to increase
The performance figures are, a 0-62mph time of 4.8sec - only 0.1sec
than the saloon and both have an electronically limited top speed of
• Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X
The full production version wont be officially revealed until the Tokyo motor show in October, but the final version will pretty much be as the prototype pictured below.
The Evo X is due to land on UK shores in January 2008, packing a minimum of 300bhp from its all new turbocharged 2-litre MIVEC powerplant. The new engine is 20 kilograms lighter than the Evo 9’s as a result of being made from aluminium instead of cast iron. Also the exhaust has been moved to the bulkhead side meaning the engine sits lower in the chassis lowering the centre of gravity.
The Evo X will come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and will also be offered with an optional F1 style paddle-shift.
• Fastest ever production TVR
Enter the Typhoon! We all know modern TVR’s are fast, in fact very fast but
this is obscene. The heart of the Typhoon is a supercharged version of the
4-litre straight-six, which has been tuned by Ricardo to develop 600bhp and
500lb ft of torque - all in a car that weighs 1100kg. This minimal weight
figure is the result of a tubular steel chassis with integral rollcage
wrapped in a carbon fibre shell and floor. As a result the Typhoon boasts a
McLaren F1 rivalling power to weight figure of 545bhp per tonne, just 5bhp
short of the F1.
Coupled with an uprated LSD and the T56 gearbox used in the Corvette Z06 we
should see a sub 4 second 0-60 time and a top speed of well over 200mph.
The car will come fitted with 19inch alloys which house six-pot AP Racing
brakes, in keeping with past TVR’s this car does not have ABS or Traction
control fitted, although there are plans to introduce this in the future.
Helping to keep the Typhoon planted is a set of adjustable Bilstein dampers,
which should mean the car handles the twisty stuff aswell as the straight
line pedal to the metal stuff.
The Typhoon will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor show in March
and is being built to celebrate the firms 60th Anniversary. If your looking
to buy this outrageously fast machine you better be quick as only 60 are
being built, in addition you should also prepare yourself to own not only
the fastest ever production TVR but also the most expensive as the Typhoon
is set to go on sale at around £120k.