Automotive, Cars, Driving Enthusiast

Caterham Delivers a One-Two Punch; Deadly Right Hook

After experiencing the lower end of the horsepower spectrum, it’s time to dive into the other end. Here we will serve nothing but raw, and we mean raw, horsepower.

Caterham 620R headon

The next number called is 620R. Again, meaningless without attaching the word Caterham, but this time it comes with a punch. Feast your eyes on the Caterham 620R – supposedly the hard-core of the hard-core Sevens. Choosing to drive this machine takes a minute to look in the mirror and convince yourself that you are man enough to drive the beast. Why is it a beast? Because the driver pilots a version of Caterham that has more horsepower and torque than what is necessary for this weight of car. Then the driver will be faced with the element as a wide open windscreen (or lack thereof) with full carbon seats pair with racing harnesses exposes the driver to all of what the road has to offer. Sitting behind the wheel is much like getting a ring with a heavyweight boxer when you only weight 150 pounds. The driver will see the same momo steering wheel as found on the 160. To make things easier since these seats are pure racing, the steering wheel is removable and there are plenty of switches to help achieve racing greatness. Every switch serves a purpose and can even provide an instant motor start.

Caterham 620R windscreenCaterham 620R seats Caterham 620R cockpit

Before getting into the car we have to admire the car from the outside. The 620R provides the same look as the traditional Caterham chassis but with a few add-ons. Mainly a few enhancements on the front and bonnet in the form of upgraded aero package and cooling management. Just beyond the signature seven a carbon fiber dive plane is fixed, assuring the high rate of air is pushing the front to the road for more grip. Then the bonnet has two openings to suck in cool air for both engine cooling and air supply to feed the supercharged motor. The car delivers all its fun through a supercharged 2.0 liter Ford Duratec motor.

Caterham 620R engine

Whereas the other 160 was unassuming, this 620R is very assuming. It wants to be heard, seen and possibly smelt. The 2.0 liter motor producing a whopping 310 horsepower and 219 lb-ft of torque. The closest thing I can think of is a maybe 350Z that weighs next to nothing. If someone thinks they can manage this car at the track, at least it comes with a piece of mind. Yes, this engine comes with a dry-sump oil system and a sequential gearbox. I’m pretty sure that should read – race engine.

Caterham 620R rear quarter Caterham 620R Side

The power is all delivered through a limited slip diff and de-dion rear suspension – not like the 160 which has the live axle. The front comes with an uprated coilover system and stickier tires. Pretty much all you need to go fast and not think about anything else. The only thing to keep in mind when driving, no matter the weather – rain or shine – there’s no turning back. The wind, the noise, and the elements will really test how manly you are for this car. Oh and the good news is, this car is available for purchase here in the states. Visit Caterham for more details.

Here is Autocar having a go at this beast of a machine

Then there’s Kamui Kobayashi showing drivers how its done

 

 

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Automotive, Cars, Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast

Caterham Delivers a One-Two Punch; Strong Left Jab

The Seven 160. The numbers are meaningless without context; how about the Caterham Seven 160? Now we are getting somewhere. If Caterham were a boxer hitting at the excitement of motoring enthusiasts their newest introduction to the market would be a strong left jab directly at a motorist’s jaw.

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It should be too, a small but direct car that puts the roads literally back in the driver’s hands. This is a throw-back to old school British motoring from the 1950s.  It is a raw, unedited feeling delivered through this car directly to the driver’s hands that many so-called motoring enthusiasts would NOT be able to stand. Do not get us wrong, there are no plush seats or creature comforts – its just you, the car and the road.  There is nothing fancy about this ride. It is a direct extension of the driver to the road and feedback is delivered instantly. The 160 still comes with double wishbone suspension upfront and semi-independent rear axle. The wheels are small, classic and definitely let drivers know they are designed for classic style motoring only.

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The car is very unassuming and does not come with much: powered by one of Japan’s finest motorcycle company’s – Suzuki. The engine comes turbocharged which helps deliver a modest 80hp at 7000 RPMs with 79lb-ft of torque at 3400 RPMs. While it doesn’t sound like much, having equal torque levels to match the car’s horsepower does deliver a more engaging motor, which swiftly moves a user through any street or road (minus full on highways). Getting the most out of this engine is the same application as a motorcycle, rev until your close to redline – 7700 RPMs in this case. It should be noted some motoring journalists say the sweet spot is between 3000 – 5500 RPMs.

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The size of the engine is a tiny 660cc mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Manual is the operative word. The 160 is not designed for high speed, highway driving but rather scooting along quiet country roads and trips to the local farmers market in neighboring towns. If anything this car, with its k-engine, will help users enjoy a classic style of motoring without endangering themselves or others. From our perspective this is exactly what the car needs to do – deliver a user experience that’s unforgettable, and yet, patient. Why rush things? Sometimes you want to enjoy the long, slow journey of your aimless drive. With that in mind, the Caterham 160 is here to help you achieve your goal. The only downside we see is this car is yet to be slated for USA.

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photo credit: Autocar and Caterham

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Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Inspiration

Lotus Introduces Tron

Lotus Motorcyles C-01Actually it’s called the C-01 and this is why we love small motor companies and builders; creators are able to go from design to final product in a short period of time. On top of this, they actually listen to what the fans are saying and we’re not talking about those so called “journalists”. God knows they cannot say anything negative without fear of not getting a call back for the next test.

Small motors companies that act more like the video game community will probably prosper as the fans are not shy to share their thoughts and give direct feedback, which usually translates into a product people will want to buy.

Here Lotus-Motorcycles introduces the C-01 lead by Dr. Colin Kolles and designed by Daniel Simon (work seen in Tron: Legacy). 100 examples will be built and sold. According to Dr. Kolles: “We set out to create a bike that isn’t just great to ride but also represents a piece of art in motion. Over the years I have seen my fair share of style over substance, what this bike brings to the market is a unique combination of both: state of the art technology with a truly jaw-dropping aesthetic.”

Now enjoy 200HP of pure real world Tron.

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Need more check out their site: Lotus Motorcycles

Read the full press release here: Lotus-Motorcycles Press Release

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Driving Enthusiast, Motor Racing, Racing, Track Driving, Video

Bathurst 12 Hour Delivers

This year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour REALLY delivered. I mean REALLY delivered. These days more and more racing drivers and teams proclaim that endurance racing has become an all-out sprint race – well this recent showing of the annual Bathurst 12H was an absolute truth. From the start to very end – I’m talking tenths of a second – four top manufacturers battled it out. Simply amazing and by far the best racing to date. I was on the edge of my seat and could not take my eyes off the screen. For those hard core fans that thought last year’s race was a bore, let this year’s race reintroduce you to the excitement.

If you need a little pick me up from auto racing please enjoy Part 2 from the Bathurst 12H.

You will have to watch it on the livestream website (keep in mind we do not know how long this will be accessible online).  Bathurst 12 Hour Part two

For those that need a bit of motivation check out last year’s highlights. After this year’s performance it is going to be a race to watch in the years to come.

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Automotive, Cars, Driving Enthusiast, Inspiration, Motor Racing, Racing, Track Driving, Video

Pushing the Virtual Divide

Out now on Playstation’s youtube site is a documentary film about Kazunori Yamauchi’s Gran Turismo video game. The documentary covers how this game series brought virtual race car drivers into real world machines. The best part is the results have actually been quite astonishing. The film you’re about to see is how he accomplished his ultimate goal; realizing that video games and the real world can collide in a positive manner as it relates to the automotive industry.

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Automotive, Driving Enthusiast, Inspiration, Video

277 Porsche

This 277 Porsche has soul. Why? Because this Porsche does not sit in the garage; its driven hard. Let the folks over at Roads & Rides  tell you more as they decided to focus more attention on the car than the driver. Their video does a fantastic job of sharing images as 277 traverses the California hills. The video does a great job of capturing it all.

277’s highlights:

High(er) mileage [than normal historics], check

Modded out, check

Rock chips, check

Drives to and from the track, check

Battlescars, check

It’s the general use of this car that delivers this much character. Every encounter with the road this car develops another piece of character. The moment this car gets passed on to the next owner there will be a story to tell (especially with 14 years of ownership with Magnus). This Porsche is used and abused, but at the same time cared for with so much love. It is nearly as good as the Jack Olsen Porsche – One Car to Do It All. We need more of these.

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Automotive, Driving Enthusiast, Iconic, Motor Racing, Racing

Does This Excite You

IMSA Group Photo

It is that time of year again! We are one day away from kicking off the North American Racing Series – IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship which begins Saturday, January 25 at 2:10 P.M. EST

The first race is the iconic Rolex 24 Hour Endurance race. This year 67 entries will be fighting for their chance to claim victory of this historic race in each of their respective classes. The entries even include the famous Nissan Deltawing – making its comeback race with totally revised outer shell. Additionally, making their highly anticipated debut is the Porsche all-new factory team partnered with CORE autosport running the 911 RSR “EVO”. Should you want to view the full list, click here: Entry List.

If you need some help understanding what teams you are seeing on screen please download this beauty – the spotters guide. Think of it as the definitive picture book of teams and cars for this event. Those wanting live timing throughout the race you will need to set your browser to: IMSA live timing. Finally if you need EVEN more information you can find IMSA’s handy twitter cheatsheet here: twitter handles.

The full tv broadcasting schedule is as follows; the downside is there will be NO radiolemans coverage during this race. Its such a sad day on that front.

1:30 PM-2 PM EST Pre-Race on FOX Sports 2
2 PM-4 PM EST on FOX (regular FOX network not their sports network)
4 PM -9 PM EST on FOX Sports 2 (may be in limited markets)
9 PM-7 AM EST on FOXSports.com/Motor
7 AM-3 PM EST on FOX Sports 1

And those race fans who want something a little more personal, Magnus Racing will be broadcasting live from their pit box during the entire 24h race all for your viewing pleasure. You can view their entire webcast live here: ustream.tv/liveatdaytona or from their website: Magnus Racing

The car that leads the rest of the field to the start will be the number 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette; for the GT LeMans class (GTLM) will be the number 91 SRT Motorsports SRT Viper GTS-R. The full qualifying list is here – Results

We hope you’re looking forward to a great race; we have a feeling this will be good.

IMSA Group Photo 2photo credit: IMSA

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