Turbocharged Ferrari 458 M spied

Ferrari 458M prototype

Ferrari will breath new life into its 458 Italia with the 458 M facelift due next year. It’s a revised and beefed up 458 which will benefit from the addition of a retuned version of the twin turbo 3.8 litre V8 from the California T.

Where the hairdresser’s Ferrari makes do with 412kW we can expect the 458 M to raise the bar to a mighty 500kW (670hp). That’s 55kW more than Ferrari managed from the normally aspirated 4.5 litre V8 in the Speciale.

We can expect some minor tweaks to be introduced to the 458 M’s bodywork and a new exhaust system, too, to help cater for the new engine.

With a 2015 introduction on the cards the 458 M may show up in Geneva next March. Whether it will carry the 458 M working title through to production, or perhaps follow the California’s lead and be badged the 458 T, remains to be seen.

[Source: Autoblog | Pic: CarPix]

2014 Belgian Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

We could get used to watching Daniel Ricciardo winning Formula 1 Grands Prix. What about you?

With his Belgian Grand Prix victory Daniel has made it two wins in a row, for a career total of three race wins. Mark Webber had nine wins and Sebastian Vettel a very handy 39 wins (one with Toro Rosso).

Those of you quick on your sums will have worked out Red Bull Racing now has 50 grands prix wins in total. Let’s hope Daniel keeps on closing the gap to Sebastian, even if it is a massive mountain to climb.

Oh yeah, there’s a stack of pics for you after the break, too!

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VIDEO: Sebastian does Sochi

Sebastian Vettel drives a lap of Sochi F1 circuit

Infiniti’s Director of Performance, aka Sebastian Vettel, has become the first Formula 1 driver to complete a flying lap of the Sochi Autodrom Grand Prix circuit.

Forget, for a moment, the debate over whether F1 should be going to Russia; the race will go on. So you may as well jump in the car with Seb and have a look around before the lights go out on 12 October.

Fellow Red Bull ambassador David Coulthard was with Sebastian in Sochi and had this to say: “There are several corners where you could do yourself some serious damage—they’re fast and it’s a street circuit with walls.”

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Eleven facts about the McLaren F1

McLaren F1 infographic by Car magazine

We love the McLaren F1. You love the McLaren F1. Everybody loves the McLaren F1!

It was recently voted the greatest supercar of all time by readers of Car magazine. That poll was part of the mag’s six decades of the supercar special. You can read more about that by following the link below, where you can see the infographic above in full, or doing the proper thing and buying the mag in print or digital versions.

[Source: Car]

Where the neon signs are pretty

RedBull RB8 donuts

We all know thermal imaging cameras in Formula 1 are pretty cool. And that’s just when they show a tyre heating up under load during a corner. Imagine how totally awesome it would be to see an F1 car doing donuts!

Thanks to FLIR Systems we don’t have to wonder anymore. Instead, we can marvel at the pretty lights of the Red Bull RB8 performing its dance for us at a recent demonstration event.

[Source: WTF1]

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2014 Belgian GP: Post-race press conference

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

It’s always great waking up the morning after an Aussie has won a Formula 1 race. One of the pleasures that comes with Daniel Ricciardo’s win at the Belgian Grand Prix is reading the thoughts he gave to the media after the race.

Remarkably, Daniel Ricciardo’s three wins so far this season is only one behind Nico Rosberg’s four victories. And while we do hear a lot from Daniel, of course, the press focused on the contact between Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. That contact not only ruined Hamilton’s race but gave Daniel a small opportunity to win and, thankfully, he was able to rise to the challenge.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

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Daniel Ricciardo wins 2014 Belgian GP

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo has enhanced his already soaring reputation after he won a dramatic Belgian Grand Prix. It’s Daniel’s third Formula 1 race victory and the first win by an Australian at the admired Spa circuit since Sir Jack Brabham won on the old 14km layout in 1960.

Mercedes was expected to dominate the race but a clumsy move by polesitter Nico Rosberg on Lewis Hamilton, who made a lightning start from P2 to claim the lead, threw the race result wide open. Rosberg clipped Hamilton’s left rear tyre leaving the Briton with a puncture and pouting bottom lip. Rosberg, too, lost momentum when his front wing had to be replaced and opened the door for Ricciardo who was good enough to capitalise on the glimmer of hope that came his way.

Hamilton’s undertray was damaged when he limped back to the pits and proceeded to whinge his way through the grand prix until he finally got his way and the team brought him in to retire with a handful of laps remaining.

Rosberg was able to work his way back to P2, finishing just a few seconds behind Ricciardo, but he wasn’t missed by a loud contingent of race fans who booed him during the post-race podium celebrations. A harsh reaction perhaps, although his own team has Rosberg in its sights. The contact with Hamilton was clearly Rosberg’s, fault but it was much closer to being a racing incident than any deliberate sabotage. Still, the end result saw Rosberg extend his championship lead by 18 points.

Valtteri Bottas drove a relatively quiet race to claim the final podium step, a position he’s made his own in recent times. Kimi Raikkonen showed outstanding pace at times on a track where he was won four times previously and finished P4.

The closing race scrap for positions P5–P8 was breathtaking, with four drivers mixing it wheel-to-wheel and regularly swapping positions. In the end the results fell to Sebastian Vettel, Kevin Magnussen, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.

Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top 10, not that either were able to attract much camera time. While Andre Lotterer’s F1 debut lasted just one lap.

Ricciardo’s win has cemented his third place position in the drivers’ championship, he’s now only 36 points behind Hamilton, who is 29 points behind Rosberg.

[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

UPDATE: Kevin Magnussen was handed a 20 second post-race penalty from the stewards after forcing Fernando Alonso off track. That pushes Magnussen fro P6 down to P12.

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Thierry Neuville wins 2014 Rally Germany

Thierry Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul, 2014 Rally Germany

Thierry Neuville has outlasted his competitors at Rally Germany to register his first WRC win and, of course, the first rally victory for Hyundai Motorsport as well. The 26-year-old Belgian was the fourth driver to take the lead on the tarmac roads of the Moselle wine region and the only one not to crash out of contention.

Defending world champion Sebastien Ogier was the first to retire when he careered through a barrier at high speed early in Saturday. He and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were very lucky to escape with no injury.

Ogier’s demise handed a relatively comfortable lead to Jari-Matti Latavala who was chasing his first WRC victory on tarmac. Alas on Sunday morning the Finn lost control on the opening stage and sent his car deep into picturesque vineyards. Kris Meeke was the next to take the lead hoping to post a best possible result for Citroën, but he too crashed out shortly after Latvala.

And so Neuville was the last man standing as it were. Rounding out a great rally for Hyundai was the fact Dani Sordo finished in P2, 40.7 seconds behind his team leader. A 1–2 result is an oustanding way for the Korean manufacturer to post its first WRC victory.

Latvala will rue his missed opportunity to close the gap on Ogier in the championship title race. He is still 44 points behind Ogier but could have cut that gap to as few as 16 points with the win and three bonus points.

None of that will concern Neuville and a beaming Nicloas Gilsoul who will be celebrating their maiden WRC win long into the night.

UPDATE: Hyundai’s official reaction to the win has been added below along with a Day 3 highlights video.

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BMW M4: Initiation ceremony

BMW M4

Until this year we didn’t know the BMW M4. To help us get to know its new icon a little better BMW has released this introductory video.

It’s a pretty cool clip and BMW is to be applauded for embracing its history and its loyal owners. Those of you playing at home may also remember the preview of this video we brought you a few weeks ago.

That M Performance exhaust sure does sound good!

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VIDEO: BMW X4 v Porsche Macan

BMW X4 xDrive30d M Sport v Porsche Macan S Diesel

If you can stomach the planet’s insatiable desire for SUVs then you’ll be primed for this review from Autocar. It’s the BMW X4 up against the Porsche Macan. Two SUVs likely to polarise opinions on numerous levels, but two SUVs that are likely to be among the best in their class.

Specifically, Autocar has compared a BMW X4 xDrive30d M Sport against a Porsche Macan S Diesel. And at 1895kg and 1880kg respectively these little “small” SUVs have a lot of weight to throw around from their elevated positions.

So, they’ll be crap handlers right?

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Audi RS3 tipped for Paris show debut

Audi Rs3 prototype

An Audi RS3 prototype has been growling its way around the Nürburgring in recent days confirming what we already knew, that we can expect it to remain powered by a 2.5 litre turbocharged inline five cylinder engine.

Peak power should give 300kW a nudge, or perhaps even more, while in-gear progress will be a blast with at least 500Nm of torque. Let’s just hope Audi sorts out the handling and makes it better than its first RS attempt on the A3 platform.

The best news, though, is a tip from carsales.com.au suggesting we’ll be seeing the RS3 under the bright lights of the Paris Motor Show (4–19 October). We’re not totally convinced that will be the case but hope that it does prove true. If it does we should see something from official Audi by late September.

[Thanks to John for the tip]

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Le Mans winner Lotterer to join Caterham

Andre Lotterer

Three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner André Lotterer will replace Kamui Kobayashi at the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend. At this stage the 32-year-old German has been given one race to impress in Formula 1 and Kobayashi will remain on Caterham’s driving roster.

Lotterer, known for his role with the Audi LMP1 program, has driven a Formula 1 car in the past, although not for some time having previously been the official Jaguar test driver back in 2002.

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to take part in a Formula One race weekend,” Lotterer said. “I want to thank Caterham F1 Team for this chance. I’m ready for this challenge and I cannot wait to jump in the car and make the most out of the weekend ahead.

“I will need to get settled and used to the car quickly, as the team has worked on a number of updates and we will need to have as much time as possible out on track to optimise the car’s performance.

“I really enjoy racing at the legendary circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, it’s one of my favourite tracks and it’s very close to where I grew up, so this makes the weekend even more special and one to remember.”

It has been rare in recent years for drivers to move into F1 from sports car racing and it could be a difficult weekend for Lotterer at Caterham, a team which has struggled for consistent results so far in 2014.

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Ferrari 250 GT California Spider sells for $15m+

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

Ferrari’s place as the maker of the world’s most desirable classic cars was further enhanced at the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction on the weekend. This 1961 250 GT SWB California Spider topped the sales at US$15,180,000.

That result follows the US$38m world record price for a car sold at auction achieved by a Ferrari 250 GTO at the Bonhams auction, also held as part of Monterey Car Week in California.

The Gooding & Company auction netted over US$106m in sales. Take a look over the final results and let us know which car you would like to take home.

In addition to the gorgeous 250 GT, of course, would you also want the 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider ($59,400), the 1990 Ferrari F40 ($1.32m), the 1974 Porsche 911 3.0 Carrera RS ($1m), the 1964 Aston Marti DB5 ($1.485m) or maybe just the 1968 Mini Cooper S ($46,200)?

[Pic: Gooding & Company]