Video WEC

VIDEO: This is racing

This is racing, by Drive

One of the ways /Drive can make money these days is with sponsored content. This video, filmed during the 6 Hours of Austin, is just that. Still, there are worse ways to watch a five minute ad for an Italian automotive accessories company.

Eventually this clip will be available in 4K too. The best you can see at the time this article was published was 1080p.

Green Machines Porsche Video

Porsche 918 drives Manhattan, doesn’t catch fire

Porsche 918 Spyder

Let’s state right off the bat that this clip from Drive, with Mike Spinelli as host, isn’t going to be the most exciting video featuring the Porsche 918 Spyder you will ever see. But at least the hyper hybrid doesn’t catch fire.

Spinelli puts Porsche’s claim that the 918 can do 12 miles (around 20km) in all-electric mode to the test, by driving from the top of Manhattan to the bottom.

[Thanks to John for the tip]

Video WEC

A stop animation look at the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans

Porsche 919 Hybrid, 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans

Here’s a short and sweet photographic essay from the the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans. There’s a lot of behind the scenes off-track imagery which somehow brings you closer to the action. The black and white images add to the documentary-like feel and the stop animation technique brings it all alive for those of us unable to be there.

The video has been published by Drive and the images are from Camden Thrasher.

BMW Video

Epic drifting master class in the BMW M235i

Chris Harris drifting a BMW M235i

Ever wanted to know how to drift a rear-wheel drive car? Take one Chris Harris, one BMW 235i, one heavy right foot and a video camera then watch and learn.

Once you’ve got all that under control you can then form an Epic Driftmob with your mates, close the streets of Cape Town in South Africa, and go totally nuts! Like, really, absolutely insane.

See for yourself after the break.

News Video

Chris Harris explains subscription channel /DRIVE+


Chris Harris and his buddies from /DRIVE have just launched their paid YouTube channel /DRIVE+. It will run alongside the free channel we’ve come to know and love, as well as airing the program on NBC.

Harris has explained the move in detail via his PistonHeads blog. Here’s a snippet:

YouTube underwrote two years of DRIVE programming and I loved every minute of it. At the end of 2013 the funding ended and we had to look for ways to keep DRIVE alive…

Remember that rather lovely F40/F50 video we shot at Angelsey? It cost £9,000 to shoot, and despite amassing two million views, to date has grossed us just £4,800. The maths is pretty stark across the board – even the McLaren P1 video has racked up plenty of views, over 3.6 million in fact, but its total revenue is £9,200. That means we’re in profit, but only because it was an official launch event and Woking paid for mine and Neil’s flights, and JF who was second camera used his air miles to get from the US!

It’s a brave new world for online motoring content and while it’s a shame from the punter’s point of view that we have to pay for /DRIVE+ it is a reality I fully understand.

I’ve been running AUSmotive pretty much for the love of it for over six years now. If I didn’t have a full-time paying job I wouldn’t have that luxury. It’s very hard to make a buck in this space.

I wish Harris et al well and hope they’re able to continue providing some of the best motoring content our eyes and ears can enjoy.

There’s an explanatory video and teaser after the break. /DRIVE+ kicks off this week with Harris at the wheel of the LaFerrari.

News Video

/DRIVE shifting to pay TV

Drive NBCSN promo

Back in December 2011 we were given our first taste of the YouTube channel /DRIVE. Since then it’s given the world countless hours of quality content. And all for free. Zero dollars. Nada. Just free.

Here at AUSmotive we’ve not been too proud to feature pretty much anything published by Chris Harris. He’s one of the best at putting you in the car with him as he tells us why a car is so good, or bad, not just that it is. He was doing this long before /DRIVE came to be, but his latest venture has broadened his exposure greatly and that’s about to increase again.

/DRIVE will soon feature on pay TV station NBC Sports in the States. It’ll be a slow start with the first episode airing this weekend, but then nothing more until July. The full detail was explained yesterday by Spinelli on Jalopnik:

We’re announcing today—right here, in fact—that /DRIVE is bringing its car-enthusiast programming to cable television, on the NBCSN, which will televise 10 episodes of a new show, called /DRIVE on NBC Sports, through the remainder of the 2014 calendar year.

The first episode sounds like a Top Gear rip off, although Spinelli promises, “we’ll stay true to the kind of programming /DRIVE’s audience expects”. Which means there should be a broader gamut of material focusing on motoring as entertainment, rather than entertainment as motoring.

Further, the /DRIVE–NBCSN partnership will produce a new F1 show called Off the grid, to be hosted by Will Buxton and Jason Swales.

Well done to the /DRIVE team, we wish them all the success they so richly deserve.

The guys have promised that their YouTube content will continue, but as Chris Harris hinted at via twitter yesterday it could become user pays.

In response to such a suggestion there has been many whingers criticising Harris and his mates for taking the pay TV route. Thankfully, there’s also been plenty of support and encouragement.

To the freeloaders out there, get a bloody grip, these guys owe you exactly what you’ve been paying to watch their content until now. Nothing.

Now, let’s all enjoy the show (there’s a preview after the break).

Audi Video

A look inside Audi Sport’s storage facility

Inside Audi's storage facility

Last month Chris Harris gave us a brief history of Audi’s quattro legacy. Drive continues its Inside Quattro series with JF Musial taking a visit to Audi Sport’s storage facility which is not accessible to the public. This video is the result.

MINI Safety Issues

MINI says makeup or drive

MINI makeup or drive TVC

Apparently there’s a real problem in Mexico with women applying makeup while they drive. In response MINI has come up with this public safety announcement.

[Source: MotoringFile]

Green Machines Volkswagen

Volkswagen confirms limited production for lean, green XL1

Volkswagen XL1 concept

According to German publication Automobilwoche Volkswagen chief Dr Martin Winterkorn has confirmed the diesel-electric hybrid XL1, revealed at the Qatar Motor Show earlier this week, will be built. It’s due in a couple of years and just 100 are likely to be made utlising the production facilities at Wolfsburg or Dresden.

At a mere 795kg and with a combined fuel consumption figure of just 0.9l/100km the XL1 shapes as being one of the best eco-conscious cars money can buy. But is it likely to be any good, or will it be little more than a meek marketing gimmick? With such limited production plans it looks like Volkswagen is hedging its bets.

However, Autocar journo Hilton Holloway was in Qatar during the week and he had the opportunity to drive the two-seat city car concept. If his thoughts are anything to go by, Volkswagen should feel optimistic. Here are a few of his comments:

“I’ve just been scurrying around Doha in the sole Volkswagen XL1. And although it’s a very early prototype, the concept is clearly right on the money.”

“What was so surprising was that the XL1 felt so safe and secure, despite me having to mix it with wayward Toyota Landcruisers.”

“One other thing struck me. With a bigger motor, the XL1 would probably make the most amazing eco-supercar.”

    [Source: Automobilwoche (translated) via engadget]


    VIDEO: Behind the wheel of a Ferrari 599 GTO

    Ferrari 599 GTO

    The Ferrari 599 GTO has been so eagerly anticipated by cashed up buyers that all 599 cars were sold before the car even had its official launch. So, then, videos from motoring journos are likely to be one of the few opportunities availble to try and experience just what it might be like to sit behind the wheel of Ferrari’s newest GTO and imagine what that 500kW 6.0 litre V12 would feel like.

    Lucky for us, then, that UK mag Car has done just that and released a video of the 599 GTO lapping the Mugello circuit. You can check it out below after the jump. Let me know what you think. It’s hard to tell if it is the recording, maybe the sound has been muffled, but it seems like a fairly anodyne experience. Of course, I’d be sure to come to a different conclusion if it were me behind the wheel.

    UPDATE: Steve Sutcliffe from Autocar has also filed a video review of the 599 GTO. He’s driven the 599XX, too, remember. After watching this second clip—this is more like it!


    Golf GTI wins another award – but what’s the point?

    Golf V GTI

    Volkswagen’s Mk5 Golf GTI is a bloody good car. I know this not only because the motoring world has barely stopped praising the car since its 2004 launch, but also because I have one in my garage. However, the GTI’s latest accolade, 2008 Drive Car of the Year (Best Performance Car Under $60,000), has to be the most irrelevant the car has ever won. Why? Go down to your local Volkswagen dealer and try to order a new GTI and see how far you get.

    Sure, you can get a new Pirelli model, but with an extra 22kW, factory body kit and garish seats, that’s not the same car the Drive judges awarded. You could get lucky and find a dealer with a GTI in stock, but the factory has stopped making them, so ordering one to your specification is impossible.

    The good news is the outgoing GTI can still hold it’s head high. Good for the dealer stock still remaining, and during the current financial doom and gloom, demand for the GTI in the used car market may hold firm. That said, while we’re waiting for the Mk6 Golf GTI, I just wish Drive was singing the praises of a new Volkswagen model…

    …the Scirocco, for example.