Formula 1 Honda McLaren

Listen to Honda’s 2015 F1 engine

Apparently this YouTube video gives us an early preview of what Honda’s 2015 Formula 1 engine will sound like. We’re not totally convinced of its accuracy, so perhaps treat it as part entertainment value for now.

Remember, next year F1 will switch to 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engines and Honda will reunite with McLaren for the 2015 season.

This is the second audio preview we’ve been given of F1’s new world order after Mercedes AMG published an audio clip back in August.

UPDATE 18 October: Sounds like the above audio clip was fair dinkum after all, as this official clip from Honda (below) shows.


Volkswagen planning to revive its mighty VR6

Volkswagen Passat R36 engine

For Volkswagen fans this is a story you’re going to like. Word is Volkswagen is working on an all-new 3.0 litre narrow angle V6 engine. With a 15° angle, suitable for transverse mounting, this marks a return to its much loved VR6 engine, first seen with a 2.8 litre capacity in the Mk3 Golf VR6 of the early 1990s.

Last seen in the Passat R36, with a 3.6 litre capacity, the VR6 was thought to be banished forever in favour of more efficient and lower emitting four cylinder units.

The news of the VR6’s return gets better, too. Fritz Eichler is the man in charge of the new engine and in a former life he had a role in the development of AMG engines for Mercedes-Benz.

But there’s still more! Cast your mind back to May this year when Volkswagen revealed its Design Vision GTI at the 2013 Wörthersee show. It was powered by a 370kW (500hp)/560Nm engine. That’s a lot for a GTI, right. So what sort of engine had VW dreamed up for this creation? A 3.0 litre V6 with twin turbochargers.

And therein lies the secret to its probable return. The benefits of turbocharging, fuel efficiency and lower emissions, look like giving the narrow-angle V6 a new future. Expect production engines to have somewhere around 250–335kW.

While the addition of turbocharging may rob the VR6 of some its rorty induction sound we’re pretty sure most fans will accept that as a small price to pay.

Let’s hope improvements in production techniques also result in a lighter weight engine, thereby removing one of the old VR6’s major flaws where the heavy engine mounted on the front axle increased the tendency to understeer.

Thinking further ahead, though, a next-gen Scirocco with a 250kW+ VR6? Sign us up!

To remind you all what a well-sorted VR6 engine sounds like we’ve added one of our favourite YouTube clips after the break.

[Source: AutoWeek | Thanks to SlyOne for the tip]


Volkswagen Jetta R on the cards

Volkswagen Jetta

Last week Volkswagen held the European launch of its latest Jetta saloon in Munich. Same old fare, really. That was until you realised there was a Jetta R on display with everything to show except the official R badging.

Well, that might be stretching the truth a little, but according to Autocar there was Jetta present fitted with a 3.6-litre V6 with an undisclosed power rating. Also featured in this Jetta R-in-hiding was a 6-speed DSG and 4motion all-wheel drive.

The chances of the R’s future appear to lie with consumer demand, “If there are customers asking for it, we will do it,” claims Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen R&D boss, “It wouldn’t be a problem for us. The Jetta’s platform can take four-wheel drive.”

It would seem, then, that this is America’s best chance to jump on the R performance bandwagon, which currently misses out on the Golf R and Scirocco R.

[Source: Autocar]

Lotus Motor Shows

Paris 2010: Lotus Elan

Lotus Elan

Lotus has come to the Paris Motor Show, and it means business. In total they have presented five new concept cars. This is the new Elan. It’s due for release in 2013 and features a 450PS V6 engine with a 7 speed DCT. The car weighs 1295kg and can reach 100km/h in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 310km/h.

It looks pretty good don’t you think? Inside, there’s a hint of Ferrari 458 Italia with the digital display and centre console design.

Lotus CEO, Dany Bahar, reckons they’re on to a winner, “If there was ever a car to make you drive the long way home, it’s the Elan. Perfect for both road and track, the Elan not only ticks all the boxes, it creates new ones too.”

More details after the break.


Audi S5 Sportback – Australian pricing & specs

Audi S5 Sportback

Audi’s very svelte and very attractive S5 Sportback went on sale last week. Audi has set the list pricing for this car at $129,300.

For your money you get the same excellent 3.0 litre supercharged V6 engine from the S4 saloon. With that comes the same power specs, too; 245kW and 440Nm of torque.

It’s a ripping engine that offers plenty of poke through the entire rev range. In the S4, at least, it’s also well matched the the 7-speed S tronic transmission. Which is a good thing, because there is no conventional manual box on offer for S5 Sportback in the Australian market.

Mr Uwe Hagen, Managing Director of Audi Australia, said “the S5 Sportback is a great addition to our unique A5 Sportback range. It is not only practical enough for daily use, it is also sporty and fun to drive.”

Audi has modest sales expectations for the S5 Sportback, hoping to to sell around 10 per month. Full details and a nice gallery of local images have been kindly offered by Audi Australia and you can see them all after the break.

Drive Thru Jaguar Reviews

Drive Thru: Jaguar XF V6 Diesel S

Jaguar XF

The Jaguar XF is a beautiful car. From any angle, it doesn’t matter. It’s a good thing, too. Until the XF came along Jags had become a 1960s time capsule, while the rest of the world had moved at broadband speed into the noughties.

Styling cues such as the chrome grille and rounded headlights remind us of Jaguar’s great legacy. Importantly, though, Jaguar has shed tired clichés in favour of a new direction that enables it to compete alongside the established German players.

This would all count for nothing if its beauty was only skin deep. But it’s not. Step inside and, again, the interior is clearly defined by the century in which it was created. A pleasing mix of materials give the XF a New England feel.


The “lightweight” Panamera

Porsche Panamera V6

Porsche have taken the Panamera one step further by releasing a new “lightweight” version. It’s not sure if lightweight refers to lite, as in the car only has a 220kW V6 engine. Or are is Porsche actually being serious and trying to fool you by referring to the car’s 1730kg kerb weight as light. I think it’s the latter.

To be fair the V6 engine does drop 30kg over the normally aspirated V8 found in the Panamera at its original launch. But let’s not get too carried away here, this is no stripped out GT3-style model.

The 3.6-litre V6 has a 90° cylinder angle and in addition to its 220kW peak power there is 400Nm of torque on offer. It will be dropped into two models, badged as the Panamera and Panamera 4. Fuel consumption in the two-wheel drive model is a respectable 9.3l/100km, while the all-wheel drive variant adds 0.3l/100km to that figure. Similarly, the Panamera 4 yields a small 7g/km CO2 emissions penalty over the 213g/km figure of the rear-wheel drive.

Standard fitment of Porsche’s dual-clutch PDK transmission and Auto Stop Start technology help the new entry-level Panamera achieve these figures.

Beijing will host the premiere of the V6 in late April and the car will be on sale in Europeans markets shortly after.


Audi supercharges all new S4

All new Audi S4

If you’re looking for a new mid-size saloon, or estate for that matter, that can take you from rest to the legal speed limit in a shade over five seconds, while using less than 10 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres—and let’s face it, who isn’t—then Audi have the car for you. The all new Audi S4. Powered by a brand new 3-litre V6 engine, it puts out bona fide performance all of its own, while whetting the appetite for the next gen RS4. Just don’t bother trying to work out what TFSI stands for. Back in the day it meant Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection, but now, in this world of “mehcanical turbo charging”—yes that’s it, what you and I call super charging—it is probably best just to leave it to Audi to define. The addition of the blower helps the new V6 produce the very respectable numbers of 245kW/440Nm.

You may have guessed that AUSmotive is generally a fan of all things Audi, and the new S4 is no exception. Due for its first public reveal at the Paris Motor Show in a couple of weeks I can’t wait until I can get my own eyes on one when they arrive down under in the latter half of 2009.

More pics and details below. As always, click on each image for larger versions.