Ferrari announces SF15-T name

2015 Ferrari SF15-T logo

Ferrari will be launching its 2015 F1 car this Friday, but before that the team has revealed the car will be called the SF15-T.

Last year’s car was called the F14-T (Ferrari, 2014, turbo). In 2015 we get the S for Scuderia at the start.

Perhaps part of Sebastian Vettel’s contract with team will be to put his finger away after each win and start waving his F15T?

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2015 Lotus E23 revealed

2015 Lotus E23

The Lotus F1 Team has revealed these computer generated images of the E23, the team’s 2015 F1 car. You’ll recall last year the E22 had that shocking twin tusk nose. Thankfully, this season, it looks like we’re back on the way to having visually pleasing F1 cars once more.

Lotus will line up again with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado, which means the most significant off season change is the switch to Mercedes-Benz power.

Matthew Carter, Lotus F1 Team CEO, says his team is ready for better things, after a disappointing 2014.

“The E23 Hybrid represents a new era for Lotus F1 Team,” said Carter. “Not only in the change to a Mercedes-Benz Power Unit, but also it is the fruition of a busy winter behind the scenes.

“Improvements within our Design, Aero and Simulation departments have all contributed to the development of a car which is a huge step forward.

“It is time to put the disappointment of last season behind us and benefit from 12 months of hard work; we are ready to return to our rightful place at the pinnacle of the sport.”

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BMW i3 wins 2014 Wheels COTY

BMW i3

The BMW i3 has been named the 2014 Wheels Car of the Year. This, we think, is a pretty cool thing.

Yes, it’s expensive for a city runabout. Yes, that makes it out of reach of most people. But, the i3 represents a step forward. It’s not just that it’s not a Prius, but that electric powered cars are still maturing and the technology developed for products like the i3 will benefit all of us as the years go by.

Glenn Butler, Wheels Editor, called the i3 “courageous and convincing,” before adding: “Other brands surely possess the know-how to have created something equally visionary. BMW had the bravery.

“This innovative and compact electric car combines expressive design, impressive engineering, exceptional efficiency and persuasive practicality with a good deal of driver appeal.”

The BMW i3 is the first electric car to win the Wheels COTY and the first BMW to claim the honour.

Also in the top five finalists were the Mazda 2, the Mercedes-Benz C Class, the Peugeot 308 and fellow electric car the Tesla Model S.

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2015 Williams FW37 images revealed

2015 Williams FW37

After the Williams FW37 broke cover yesterday we had hoped we’d be able to bring you a great selection of 2560px mega images to you this morning. Alas, we’ve got two new pics we’ve nicked from twitter, a dodgy video animation and a press release from the notoriously image shy Williams Martini Racing outfit.

However, Pat Symonds, Chief Technical Officer, does give us some insight into the FW37: “The notion for the FW37 was to look closely at the FW36 and its performances.

“We then went about recognising what had worked well and identifying and resolving the areas that we felt needed to be improved. Although the aerodynamics of the car were impressive there is always room for improvement particularly as we handle the new 2015 nose regulations.

“The desire to beat Ferrari to third place in the Constructors’ in 2014 meant we pushed our development through to late autumn, but the size of the team is now at a point where it was able to sustain this development whilst still working on the FW37.

“We felt we came up against design barriers in the FW36 and so took the opportunity to remove those barriers for the benefit of the performance. The FW36 carried a reasonable amount of ballast, so we were able to make alterations to the design for added performance without the fear of adding excessive mass.

“The change in regulations offered us a slight headache. The new front bulkhead and nose geometry had much more of an impact than we had initially anticipated and the effect on the aero was profound. The team have worked hard on pulling back the deficit these regulations have made for us.”

We’ll bring you more detail on the FW37 when we can.

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2015 Force India VJM08 revealed

2015 Force India VJM08

Ugly anteater noses begone!

The first full reveal of a 2015 Formula 1 car has been and gone thanks to Force India. As you can see the laughable nose of the VJM07 has been scrapped and the VJM08 looks altogether more stylish.

Part of that, of course, is due to the new silver and black livery, which, oddly enough, gives the best hint yet that McLaren will be having a red and white scheme in 2015.

Force India retains its 2014 driver lineup of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. The team will run its 2014 car at the first test in Jerez (1–4 February), delaying the track debut of the VJM08 until the second round of testing, to be held in Barcelona (19–22 February).

A light and fluffy press release and more images are available after the break. More detail is available in the team’s 2015 press pack which can be downloaded below.

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It’s time to make history

We’re about to see a whole bunch of reveals from F1 teams as they get ready for the opening pre-season test at Jerez on 1 February. McLaren-Honda will reveal their new car on 29 January and have started to pull at the heart strings with this promo.

And, yes, a retro-imspired red and white delivery would be the duck’s guts!

[Thanks to Wes for the tip]

Honda NSX Concept coming to Australia

Acura NSC Concept

One of the first tangible signs for car buyers of Honda’s return to Formula 1 will take place at the Australian Grand Prix (15–18 March) when you will be able to get up close to the NSX Concept.

The NSX Concept will be on display at Albert Park and will also help mark the comeback of the McLaren-Honda partnership.

“This is a new era for Honda in more ways than one,” said Honda Australia Director, Stephen Collins. “The NSX is the rebirth of an icon and represents power, sportiness and efficiency. The NSX Concept will be the star attraction of Honda’s on-circuit display at Albert Park. There will be many fans of the original supercar who we know will enjoy this exclusive preview.”

Australian buyers interested in the NSX should be able to place orders mid-year for delivery in 2016.

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Confirmed: Porsche 911 heading towards turbo future

Porsche 911 Turbo S

Porsche R&D boss Wolfgang Hatz has confirmed earlier rumours that the Porsche 911 range is heading towards a turbocharged future.

“You have to respect legal requirements [for lower CO2],” he told Top Gear at the Detroit Motor Show. “So yes we’re thinking turbos for standard 911s. You can’t afford to keep an engine for 10 years any more.”

Hatz went on to explain the reasoning for turbocharging along with the prediction we’ll be seeing a 911 hybrid before too long.

“Emissions are important for us,” added Hatz, “And we will reduce faster than the industry. Every new model will have lower CO2 than before. There aren’t so many technologies to do it. If you look at euro per g/km then it’s turbo.

“Then at the end of the decade electrification has to be the next huge step.”

While the introduction of turbocharging to the 911 range is big news, we can rest easy that the flat four turbo in the pipeline will be kept for the Boxster and Cayman only.

When asked if the flat four would find its way into the 911 Hatz replied sternly: “Never. That’s always a flat six.”

Similarly, for now, the flat six in the forthcoming GT3 RS will remain normally aspirated.

It’s good to see at least some things remain sacred.

[Source: Top Gear]

2015 Williams FW37 breaks cover

2015 Williams FW37

The 2015 Williams FW37 has quite literally broken cover and will be revealed in full in the latest issue of F1 Racing magazine.

We can see the long droopy nose from the FW36 has been replaced by a stumpy version, which is hopefully the first small step in seeing a grid of F1 cars that we can finally stop laughing at.

We’ll have more for you on the FW37 when we can, along with coverage of all the F1 team launches which will be kicking off later today with the Force India VJM08.

The coolest rally driver on the planet

Francois Delecour, Tuthill Porsche

Sebastien Loeb may well be the best rally driver the world has ever seen, but we reckon Francois Delecour is the coolest rally driver to ever grace the gravel, tarmac and ice.

His manner seems to make you think he just doesn’t give a f#@k, but when he’s behind the wheel he gets the job done.

Below you can see the 52-year-old at the wheel of the Tuthill Porsche 911 RGT in preparation for this weekend’s Rallye Monte Carlo.

[Thanks to Chris for the tip]

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You can buy an F1 car for under $1 million!

1990 Ferrari 641/2

Fancy that, who knew you could buy a race winning Ferrari Formula 1 racecar for less than one million bucks?!

This 1990 Ferrari 641/2 sold for US$990,000 at the recent Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale. Powered by a 3.5 litre normally aspirated V12 this car, chassis #120, was driven by Nigel Mansell for five races during the 1990 season, including his win at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

As an aside you can tell Gooding & Company is an American company with scant regard to the facts of F1, because:

Together in 1990, Mansell and Prost would go on to deliver Ferrari’s best season in years, with Ferrari securing the Manufacturer’ Championship and Prost the Drivers’ Championship.

Except they didn’t. Anyway, the pics are nice and bring back great memories!

Those of you paying attention last week will remember the lime green Lamborghini Miura we featured. It sold for $1,155,000.

Full results from the auction can be seen here.

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Citroën launches 2015-spec DS3 WRC

2015 Citroen DS3 WRC

Citroën has unveiled its 2015-spec DS3 WRC which will be earning its money this weekend when Rallye Monte Carlo is underway.

The most successful rally pairing of all time, Sebastien Loeb and Daniel Elena, will be making a one-off appearance for Citroën and they have been designated as one of the two crews who can score points for Citroën in the championship.

Kris Meeke is the other driver contributing to the manfacturers’ championship, while Mads Ostberg is probably secretly hoping he can beat both Loeb and Meeke and embarrass his bosses in a nice way.

All three of the DS3 WRCs will be racing in 2015-trim which have new upgrades to the engine, suspension, aerodynamics and gearbox.

“The DS 3 WRC is a very accomplished car, but we have worked hard to make it even more competitive,” Xavier Mestelan-Pinon, Citroën Racing’s Technical Director explained.

“For example, we have focused our efforts on the engine so that it delivers more power and torque, whilst also improving reliability. Taking advantage of the changes in the regulations, we have reintroduced steering wheel-mounted paddles for the gear changes.

“Other significant improvements have been made to the aerodynamics, with a new spoiler and a new front end that will be introduced shortly, as well as to the weight distribution with the use of lighter parts. Lastly, we have altered the kinematics of the rear suspension. Work is ongoing and, in the next few months, we will be presenting another aerodynamic upgrade.”

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Alfa Romeo 4C – Australian pricing & specs

Alfa Romeo 4C

It’s arriving a lot later than expected, a bit more expensive than expected and, worse, a bit heavier than expected, but the arrival of the otherwise highly desirable Alfa Romeo 4C to Australian shores is nigh.

Deliveries will start next month with pricing starting at $89,000. Those extra keen to show off can aim to get their hands on the 4C Launch Edition, which will be priced from $109,000.

The unladen weight of European-spec 4Cs is 895kg. Here, in Australia, that weight bumps up to 1025kg thanks to the addition of extra crash protection in order to meet local safety and design rules. Yay, Australia!

Alfa Romeo maintains the 4C can still reach 100km/h in 4.5 seconds. An extra 130kg in weight and no effect on the 0–100km/h time?

Either that means the original sprint time in 2013 was under quoted, the 1750cc turbocharged engine has been tweaked a little or Alfa Romeo Australia is telling porky pies.

All told there will 1300 4C Launch Editions sold worldwide, 75 of which are coming to Australia. For your extra 20 grand you get to choose from Rosso Alfa or Madreperla White paint colours, a better sounding exhaust, enhanced suspension, staggered forged alloys in matte black (18″ front, 19″ rear), bi-LED headlights, fancy stitching and stacks of carbon fibre trimming.

It’s a shame we’re getting heavier 4Cs here in Australia, but that still doesn’t alter the fact the car has one of the most evocative shapes on sale at the moment and we expect to see quite a few of these on our roads in the next few weeks.

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