VIDEO: Audi R8 V10 Plus review

MY16 Audi R8 V10 Plus

Audi has upped the ante with its second-gen R8 by releasing its most powerful version at launch. That’s the R8 V10 Plus, which produces 449kW/560Nm thanks to its normally aspirated and free revving 5.2 litre engine.

The current entry level R8 V10 is good for a still very healthy 397kW/540Nm, but when you can have more power, well, you take it!

Which is exactly what Dan Prosser from Evo has done. He reckons the first gen R8 was a wathershed moment for Audi, but was it a fluke, or is this new model even better?

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Audi Australia confirms RS3 Sportback pricing

Audi RS3

Back in May we told you a new RS3 would cost you $78,900 plus on road costs. Now, in August, Audi Australia has confirmed as much.

For now, there’s still no mention of the optional RS Performance Packs, but your local dealer will have all that for you now if you like. We expect the PR department will come good with a press release when the RS3 is launched here in October.

A brief listing of standard equipment is listed below.

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Matthew Simmons wins 2015 GT Academy

Matthew Simmons, 2015 GT Academy winner

Matthew Simmons is Australia’s latest high-achiever in the international motorsport arena. The 26-year-old has just topped a field of 30 finalists to win the 2015 GT Academy, which will land him a race seat with Nissan in the Dubai 24 Hour race in January next year.

Simmons’ started the final race of the International Camp from pole position and was fighting for the lead until his 370Z suffered mechanical problems and he dropped off the pace. He was still in the running for the overall win, however and was over the moon when he named the winner.

“I genuinely can’t believe it. I’m on top of the world,” Simmons said. “Unfortunately a mechanical problem took the race out of my hands, but that’s motorsport and you can’t hide that, and I think in the early stages of the race I really showed the potential of what I can do.

“The wait on the podium was killing me, but when Rob said my name I had to do a double take. I can’t believe he said it, and I’m now a racing driver!

“My journey has been massive in the last 18 months to here. I’ve had so many people supporting my dream, and they’ve given me so much confidence and made me believe I could achieve what I’ve wanted for so long—to become a racing car driver.

“The GT Academy program is amazing. You can really tell the driver development program trains you to become an athlete, and they teach you all the aspects, so by the time you reach that pinnacle and you’re at Dubai 24 Hours, you’re ready to take on the world.”

All the best to Matt, we look forward to following his career. He has some lofty shoes to fill, with Nismo’s GT Academy team winning the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour and former GT Academy alumni Jann Mardenborough and Lucas Ordonez mixing with the world’s best in LMP1 at Le Mans.

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2015 Porsche Boxster Spyder in detail

2015 Porsche Boxster Spyder

Porsche had the indecency to release the new Boxster Spyder while I was in Germany, so here’s a bit of a catch up. After the break there’s a host of videos, a big gallery of photos and the official press kit.

The roof on the 981 Spyder is still made from lightweight fabric and it’s still manual. While the roof still a bit cumbersome to operate, it now remains attached to the car at all times, which is a big improvement on the 987 Spyder.

A quick run down of the key stats before you sink your teeth into the full details.

2015 Porsche Boxster Spyder

  • Engine: 3.8 litre flat six
  • Power: 276kW @ 6700rpm
  • Torque: 420Nm @ 6000rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Wheels: 20×8.5″ (front), 20×10″ (rear)
  • Tyres: 235/35 ZR20 (front), 265/35 ZR20 (rear)
  • Weight: 1315kg
  • 0–100km/h: 4.5 seconds
  • 0–200km/h: 14.8 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 12.7 seconds
  • Top speed: 290km/h
  • Roof: Manually-operated lightweight fabric

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Chris Evans to get richer at Goodwood Revival

Ferrari 275 GTS Spyder

The new host of Top Gear, Chris Evans, will reach new heights of knobbery after he auctions off a lazy 13 cars from his very impressive collection at the Goodwood Revival. Six Ferraris headline the list, joined by a trio of Jags, a Mercedes, a Fiat, a Daimler and a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang replica.

Included in the list is this gorgeous Ferrari 275 GTS Spyder (pictured). We’d quite like it, but despite our ongoing efforts to win OzLotto we don’t have the required £1.6 million to secure the deal.

The full list of Evans’ inventory is listed below, including the predicted sale prices:

  • Ferrari 275 GTS Spyder – £1.3–1.6 million
  • Ferrari 250 GT Lusso Berlinetta – £1.4–1.8 million
  • Ferrari 365GT S/4 ‘Daytona’ Spyder – £2.3–2.6 million
  • Ferrari 275GTB/6C ‘Alloy’ Berlinetta – £2.6–2.9 million
  • Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta recreation – £500,000–600,000
  • Ferrari 328 GTS – £100,000–130,000
  • Jaguar XK150 FHC – £55,000–65,000
  • Jaguar XK120 ‘Alloy’ Roadster – £325,000–375,000
  • Jaguar XKSS Recreation – £325,000–375,000
  • Mercedes-Benz 280SL ‘Pagoda’ Convertible – £100,000–130,000
  • Fiat 126 Abarth Replica – £10,000–15,000
  • Daimler Dart SP250 Police Car – £50,000–60,000
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Replica – £250,000–350,000

Bonhams will be handling the auction duties and you can see the full catalogue HERE.

[Source: Goodwood]

Old skool Land Rover goodness

Land Rover Series I

Land Rover will be celebrating 67 years of production at this year’s Goodwood Revival (11–13 September). To do that they’ll be rocking the show with a display if Series I and Defender models.

Included in the mirth will be ‘The Defender 2,000,000’, which as you might have already guessed, is the 2 millionth Defender to be built. It will be sold at auction with the proceeds going to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Born Free Foundation.

As good as all that is, we just wanted to share with you these 2560px mega images with you because, well, the Landie Series I and Defender are just about the coolest off-road vehicles ever made.

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The marvellous Miura

Lamborghini Miura

Dennis Varni is a pretty interesting guy. Prominent in the US hot rod scene he also discovered European cars and has spent a lifetime building and collecting all things automotive. One of his prized pieces is this Lamborghini Miura.

Speaking to Petrolicious, Varni says of his Miura: “It’s highly collectable, it’s exciting, because it’s unusual, it’s small, it’s exotic—it’s still exotic today. And it was significant in its styling.”

We couldn’t agree more. Enjoy the video after the break.

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Nissan puts GT-R LM wacky racer on hold

2015 24 Hours of Le Mans

After its disastrous Le Mans campaign Nissan has officially put the competition return of its GT-R LM Nismo on hold. The WEC returns in just over two weeks for the 6 Hours of Nürburgring (30 August).

Shoichi Miyatani, President of NISMO, explains: “We are racers and we want to compete but we also want to be competitive.

“That is why we have chosen to continue our test programme and prepare the GT-R LM NISMO for the strong competition we face in the World Endurance Championship.

“When you innovate you don’t give up at the first hurdle. We are committed to overcoming this challenge.”

Nissan says it will continue testing “predominantly but not exclusively in the United States” and will provide updates on its developments and the return to competition in due course.

Nissan’s full statement can be read below.

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Entry-level Audi R8 now with turbo V6?

2015 Audi R8 V10

The free-revving and much loved 4.2 litre normally aspirated V8 is expected to be cut from the R8 range and replaced with a 2.9 litre twin-turbo V6. For now, the second-gen R8 has only been revealed with V10 power.

The move to a force-fed V6 for the entry-level model is being made partly for reduced emissions and possibly for tax reasons. For example, Chinese law applies heavy taxes to imported vehicles with engine capacities above 3.0 litres.

On the positive side, it’s predicted the 2.9 litre V6 could make around 335kW (450hp), up from the V8’s 308kW (414hp). And, we’ll always have the normally aspirated 5.2 litre V10 (pictured).

At the time of writing there is no date locked in for the Australian launch of the new R8, but you should expect to see it on local roads by mid-2016.

[Source: Car]

Ferrari Dino on the comeback trail

Ferrari Dino spied

The Dino 246 GT is one of the best looking sports coupés ever made. And now Ferrari is planning to revive the Dino name and this time it will be a fully fledged Ferrari model. The test mule above, using a heavily modified 488 GTB body, is believed to be one of the first sightings of the new Dino.

Like the original, the 21st century Dino will be powered by a V6 and peak power is predicted to be around 375kW (500hp). Expected to sit beneath the 488 the new Dino will weigh less and be more compact in size.

Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler boss, confirmed the Dino last month in an interview with UK newspaper the Telegraph: “It’s a when not an if. We know that it [Dino] is an underused resource, but that’s why we need to get it right.”

[Source: Car]

Facelifted Boxster ready to move up food chain

981.2 Porsche Boxster

Above you see a pretty good shot of the 981.2 Porsche Boxster. When it goes on sale in Australia mid-2016 it will move up the family food chain, demoting the hardtop Cayman to entry-level status.

Currently priced from $105,100 the 195kW/280Nm Boxster hits the market $1500 cheaper than the 202kW/290Nm Cayman ($106,600). The price gap increases to around $8000 for the more powerful S models.

The facelifted models will include the switch to downsized four-cylinder turbocharged engines, with the Cayman and Boxster to be fitted with a 2.0 litre and the S models to get a larger capacity 2.5 litre unit.

Once positioned above the Cayman, the convertible Boxster will also be the more powerful of the two, receiving modest power and torque increases compared with its fixed-roof sibling.

[Source: Motoring.com.au | Pic: Autocar | Thanks to John for the tip]

Johanna Quandt 1926–2015

BMW headquarters, Munich

Johanna Quandt, wife of Herbert Quandt and matriach of the family who owns 47% of BMW, passed away last week. She was 89.

She took a place on the BMW supervisory board in 1982, after her husband died in 1982 and held the role until her retirement in 1997.

She is survived by her two children, Stefan and Sussane. Johanna’s 16.7% shareholding will be passed down to her children. According to Car magazine that will leave Stefan with 26% of BMW’s shares, while Sussane will hold 21%.

The Quandt family helped protect BMW from a takeover bid from Daimler after WWII and have since played an integral role in the company’s fortunes. It’s worked pretty well for the Quandt’s too, who are one of the wealthiest families in Europe.

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Porsche 956 for sale, only driven on Sundays

Le Mans winning Porsche 956.003

This Porsche 956 is up for sale at the forthcoming Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction (15–16 August). It’s chassis 956.003, the car that spectacularly won the 1983 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Astute readers will know there’s a strong Australian connection with this car as 1983 was the year Vern Schuppan won Le Mans, alongside American duo Hurley Haywood and Al Holbert. The car famously crossed the line with smoke pouring from its left side and stopped after crossing the finish line. There’s a brief video after the break showcasing the car’s crowning glory.

Chassis 956.003 holds an impressive record and is one of Porsche’s most successful racecars. In addition to its Le Mans victory it finished second at Le Mans in 1982. Over its competitive life the car racked up 1000km race wins at Spa, Fuji and Imola, as well as winning the 9 Hours of Kyalami.

And, according to the Gooding & Company price guide, it can be all yours for somewhere between US$7–9 million. It really is a car that Porsche should have in its own museum.

[Source: Gooding & Company]

UPDATE 18 August: The car sold for US$10,120,000!

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