Posts Tagged ‘Cars’

Lexus LF LC concept leaked

Posted: December 21, 2011 in News
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New Lexus concept breaks cover ahead of its Detroit motor show reveal…

This slightly cryptic picture shows Lexus’s new LF-LC concept, due for a full airing at the Detroit show next month. All we know for sure is that it’s been created at the company’s California design studio, the same place where the original SC430 was drawn, presumably by someone holding a pen in their mouth with their eyes clamped shut. Could this be its successor?

Maybe. It’s about the same size and has two doors, but unlike the SC there’s a pair of seats in the back. And going by these pics, it looks like a targa top rather than a coupe-cabrio, with styling riffing the pointy bits of the new GS saloon. But could it be rear wheel drive? The Lexus people haven’t confirmed anything, but we’d bet at least £1.40 that this spaceage bodywork could be wrapped around the Toyota GT 86 platform – provided those rear seats haven’t made it too long – and become a posher version of the rear-drive coupe. Which would make it a sort of junior LF-A. But then again, it’s a Lexus, so it’ll probably be a hybrid.

Lots of questions. Much speculation. Hopefully all of which shall be cleared up in Detroit. We’ll be there with our hands in the air…

This is a Ferrari-beating Jeep

Posted: December 21, 2011 in News
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Hennessey Performance reveals its 800bhp Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

Historian John Dalberg’s oft-quoted dictum that “power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely” can be sprinkled liberally across the automotive spectrum. Anyone familiar with an early Saab 900 Turbo (RIP) will attest to this. Here though, it takes on a grisly significance. This is the Hennessey HPE800 Twin Turbo Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

That 800 in the moniker stands, naturally, for how many horses have been strapped under the Santa-spec red bonnet. 805bhp, to be precise, that ride shotgun with 823 torques to give a 0-60mph time of 3.1 seconds. That’s fractionally, fractionally faster than a Ferrari 458 Italia. Mr Hennessey tells us it’ll do the standing quarter mile in 10.9 seconds, travelling at 130mph.

That massive 6.4-litre V8 gets rebigulated to 7 litres, treated to two turbos and mated to an upgraded transmission and torque converter. It also gets 20in wheels, much leather and Alcantara, a Brembo brake system, lowered sports suspension and a carbon fibre lip spoiler.

Says Mr Hennessey: “This vehicle is designed for the performance minded driver who live in Aspen or Moscow and wants to be the fastest in all weather conditions.”

Or indeed, the driver who enjoys plastering looks of sheer surprise across supercar owners at the lights. Yikes. Just 24 will be built, with prices starting from £150,000 ($235,000).

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This month’s TopGear Magazine comes to you from 1972. Sort of. That was the year the first Lancia Stratos was given to the world, and now – 38 years later – it’s back. And we’ve driven it. We’ve driven lots of other stuff too, which you can read all about once you’ve watched your free DVD that’s all about cars with soul. Or you can read the mag first. It’s a free world.

Dust off the remote, fire up the telly box and tune in to BBC2. The boys are back and we’ve got a big fat series 16 preview in the mag, including a little insight into life behind the scenes, plus much toilet talk, with exec producer Andy Wilman.

This month’s news section is kicked off by the new BMW 1-Series M Coupe. An orange one. We snuck it into the TG studio and took some shiny pictures.

More orangeness comes in the shape of the Ford Escort Mexico, driven around the TG test track by a man called Hammond. It reminded him of peas, but you’ll have to read the story to find out why.

Then it’s off to France for a spin in the new Stratos. It’s a custom-built special, based on one of our favourite Ferraris, with some cunning German engineering. But is it any good? Hmm… does James May like a pint?

It’s been a while since Citroen made a proper hot hatch. So when the DS3R arrived, we begged for the keys and went for a drive. If anyone from Citroen is reading this, your car is fine. Well, it’s ours now, but it’s fine. Honest.

Stuck for a new year’s resolution? TopGear is here to help! Have a flick through our feature on All the Cars Worth Caring About in 2011, then promise yourself you’ll buy one. We’ve got the lowdown on all the good stuff.

If you grew up in Russia, you probably know about the Lada Niva. If you grew up in Rushden, allow us to enlighten you. Actually, allow James May to enlighten you – it’s officially being imported into the UK and he’s driven it. On some snow.

The Lambo Gallardo Performante and Porsche 911 Speedster are the ultimate playboy playthings. We arranged for them to meet in the Californian desert. Then we took some pics and wrote some words, because it’s important to share the joy.

After all the supercar frolics, we put on our road-test flat caps and arranged a fight between the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso and the new Ford Grand C Max. Which one is worth your dosh? There’s only one way to find out. Buy the mag. Go on. It’s only £3.95.

Finally, we send a hairy man up a Glacier in the new KTM X-Bow R. Why? Because it was there. And because it looked fun. And dangerous. Which it was.