Posts Tagged ‘Ferrari’

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.

Top Gear magazine out now: new Lambo world exclusive.

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Friends, Romans, Mini Countrymen, lay down your keyboards. Step away from your computers, leave that colour-coded spreadsheet unfinished and stop watching The InBetweeners on 4OD. The November issue of TopGear magazine is in the shops, and it’s a cracker. It’s so damn exciting that it makes the Ryder Cup finale look like, er, a game of golf in Wales.

We’ve got a world-exclusive close-up with the Lamborghini Sestro Elemento, the full story behind Lotus’s possibly-insane Plan For World Domination and, oh, so much more.

So, that Lamborghini concept. The rest of the world was thunderstruck when the all-carbon Sestro Elemento was revealed in Paris last week, but – devious gadabouts that we are – TopGear had already stolen it away for an exclusive photoshoot and interrogation session with the most astonishing supercar concept of the year.

Six new models by 2015, a £770m investment, Ferrari-beating performance… as grand plans go, Lotus’s new strategy is the biggest since Alexander the Great said, ‘Goodness, Macedonia is feeling a bit crowded recently, isn’t it?’

Our man Paul Horrell gives you a comprehensive run-down of every new Lotus – including the amazing 620bhp V8 Esprit – and concludes with a thorough grilling of Dany Bahar, in which he discovers that the new Lotus CEO is not in fact a barking loon.

Jaguar’s C-X75 concept is an electric supercar with 780bhp, four-wheel drive and a pair of miniature jet engines. Now, you weren’t expecting that, were you? Tom Ford is your guide on an exclusive tour of the maddest thing to emerge from the Midlands since Noddy Holder.

But you don’t want a concept. You want something you can actually get your hands on, right? In that case… the Ferrari SA Aperta isn’t for you. The £350,000, 599 convertible is completely sold out, so the closest you’ll get to it is our preview of the 661bhp rag-roofed nutjob.

Kicking off our New Drives section this month is the Audi A7 Sportback, Ingolstadt’s answer to the bananatastic Merc CLS. Is it good enough to beat the mercurial Merc? And can it dish out a kicking to the base-spec Porsche Panamera? It might…

Also reviewed this month is the new Ford C-Max, a car that you really, really should care about, because it’s the first of a new generation of Focuses. And it’s great to drive. No, really it is. We’ve also got first drives of the Renault Fluence, new Nissan Micra, Volvo V60, Ferrari California Stop-Start and a whole bunch of other shiny new metal.

The Range Rover Evoque is gearing up to be next year’s must-have fashion accessory. Paul Horrell hoses through the Victoria Beckham-flavoured marketing fluff and gets right to the heart of the car that you don’t think you want, but you really, really do.

That’s the Local Motors Rally Fighter, a Dakar-style buggy designed and voted for by the good ol’ American public. Not designers. Not engineers. Plebs. And it’s tackling a 75-foot jump. With our man Pat Devereux in the passenger seat. Do you trust the American public?

And that’s the Peel P50, Clarkson’s office commuting tool of choice, in a shopping centre in the Deep South. Dan Read enrages small-town America (again) in a bid to discover whether James Caan’s money was well spent.

There’s all this and far, far more in the November issue of TopGear magazine, available in all newsagents of ill repute today.

The plan was simple: the TG office decamps to Paris to see an awfully famous Mouse and a Big Tower to wash away the oncoming winter blues. Much cheese would be eaten.

But some internet people speculated that lots of cars would be happening in the French capital. Shiny ones you might be able to buy if you had ‘moneys’, and strange, futuristic ones you’ll never be able to buy, even if you had lots of ‘moneys’.

This intrigued us. We therefore set aside our strict cheese-eating regime, recalculated our TomToms and, despite being quite lost for some time, eventually found what the feverish speculation was pointing to: the 2010 Paris Motor Show.

There will be cars! There will be girls! There will be gentlemen with severe Vitamin D deficiencies who only speak in 0-62mph times!

We are rather excited, partly because of the Maserati GT Stradale above, Lamborghini, Lotus and much more supercars.


Ferrari SA APERTA


Lamborghini Gallardo Blancpain


Lotus Elite


BMW 6 Series concept


Porsche Speedster


Range Rover Evoque


Ford Focus ST


Vauxhall Astra VXR


Audi A1 ‘S-Line’


Kia Pop


Citroen Lacoste


Infiniti Performance Line


Some Bentley sunglasses. The company might also show the new Conti GT.

Lottery winner? Step this way friend! The October issue of TopGear magazine has hit the stands, and it’s a Big One.

Using all our powers of investigative journalism, we have scoured the world to find your ultimate garage, marshalling some of the biggest names in the business. And something called an ‘Atom‘. Which has a V8. Needless to say, much face was melted kicking off our dream garage is this mind-warping monster. We’ve secured a world exclusive on the car that wants the Bugatti Veyron Supersports‘s scalp: the Ultimate Aero SSC II. New fastest car in the world?

We sent Matt Master to Modena to see if this little Somerset hero – the Ariel Atom V8 – can kick it with the Italians. A 500bhp V8 in something that weighs little more than a shoe = lots of ‘holy cr*p’ moments.

This is the new Bentley Continental GT. Yes, it’s new, OK? And more to the point, we shall hear no more rantings about it being a mere form of footballist transport. ‘Not a real Bentley’ you cry? Not if we’ve got anything to say about it.

No, that’s not Sir Ranulph Fiennes in a folded-arms competition with some ‘yoof; that’s 51-year-old four-time WRC champ Juha Kankkunen (right) and former Ferrari F1 racer Kimi Raikkonen. They’re about to tussle in the Rally Finland, and it’s gonna’ get ugly.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a little slice of old-school magic with a heart of darkness: the Rizk DBR2. We saws it on t’internet. We books flight to California. We droves it.

This is the QT Wildcat, and it is very much wild. So wild, in fact, that it ticks all the boxes for a wild, off-road vehicle with wild abandon. Grrr.

‘Tis the way of the world; you wait ages for two good-looking, affordable and economical 2+2 coupes to come along, and then behold! Like magic, they have appeared to ease your brow, which presumably, is feverish with anticipation.

Can this very angular and very V8-powered Caddy CTS-V coupe kick it with Europe’s Big-Guns? Well, you saucy types, you’ll have to read the mag to find out.

This is a Nissan Leaf. It is battery powered, and you can’t yet buy it. But if you want to, you might want to read our verdict. Actually, scratch that. You MUST read our verdict. MUST, geddit?

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