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R-Motorsport Aston Martin team to race IGTC at Kyalami

The R-Motorsport Aston Martin team will contest November’s Kyalami round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge ahead of a potential full-series entry in 2020.The Swiss DTM entrant has revealed that it will field two Aston Martin Vantage GT3s in the IGTC finale in South Africa on November 23 after the climax of its twin programmes in the Blancpain GT Series and Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe with the British manufacturer.At the same time R-Motorsport confirmed that it is evaluating an attack on all five IGTC events in 2020 together with the British Arden and Jota teams, which jointly run its GT3 programme.R-Motorsport team principal Florian Kamelger said that a two-car entry at the Kyalami 9 Hours was “100 percent”, but refused to give more details.It is understood that the team will run two cars in the Pro class.That contrasts with its assault on the Bathurst 12 Hours IGTC opener in February when it fielded one pro class Aston Martin V12 Vantage, which finished second, and one in pro-am for a line-up that included Kamelger and R-Motorsport co-owner Andreas Baenziger.On a full IGTC programme for next season, Kamelger said: “It’s such a worldwide programme and, as beautiful as it is, you have to find a way of financing that.”We’re currently working on this and I think we will succeed, but we can’t 100 percent confirm right now.”

World’s Fastest Aston Martin Will Make Valkyrie Owners Jealous

Recently, the car’s owner, Mark Todd, brought the custom Aston to a drag racing event at Santa Pod Raceway. During the car’s first full run, Todd posted a quarter-mile time of 8.18 seconds at 172 mph. This was soon beaten by an even quicker run of 7.81 seconds at 179 mph.If that wasn’t already impressive enough, one month later he smashed his previous record with a quarter-mile run of 6.93 seconds at an astonishing 202 mph. Did we also mention this 2,500-hp Aston Martin DBS V8 is street legal?Photo credit: 6 Appeal Facebook

Autocar magazine 31 July – on sale now

Next up is a car with even more plates to spin – the new BMW 3 Series Touring. The C-Class estate rival doesn’t need to offer blistering speed or feature drop-dead gorgeous lines, but it does need to be the ultimate everyday all-rounder. We see how it fares.

Rounding off the review pages are Mini’s warmed-up Clubman JCW, the celebratory Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary and Audi’s facelifted Q7 SUV, before we wave our road test wand over the all-new Skoda Scala. The Czech brand is going after the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Mazda 3 with this stylish and well-equipped family hatch, but is it different enough from the bigger Octavia to make a splash?


When we pit the new Toyota Supra up against its main rivals recently, the reborn icon hit it out of the park. Now though, it’s open season, and it’s time to see if its soft-top sibling, the BMW Z4, can deliver the same crushing blow to Audi’s TT and the Porsche 718 Boxster

Next up is something of a confessional piece, because we’ve had to admit that we don’t always get it right when it comes to new cars. Join us for a rundown of our biggest errors of judgement, from the surprisingly stylish BMW Z3 to the all-conquering Cayenne

As the 2019 edition of the British Touring Car Championship roars past the halfway point, we’ve been finding out what goes into producing ITV’s comprehensive TV coverage of every round. Anchorman Steve Rider talks us through the crew’s £2 million mobile headquarters and the importance of precise timing, both in front of the camera and behind it. 


Video: 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S review | Better than an Audi RS3?

The new Mercedes-AMG A45 S packs an astounding 416bhp from the most powerful four-cylinder series production engine yet, and features a dedicated ‘Drift Mode’ function for getting sideways in true AMG fashion.

This is a five-door hatchback with more power than the new Porsche Cayman GT4 and a quicker 0-62mph time than the Aston Martin DB11. It’s been taken well beyond the realms of the hot hatch, and has started to pose a threat to even the most capable purpose-built sports cars. 

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We headed to Spain to hit the track in the pioneer of AMG’s new ’45’ entry-level performance range, to see if it gets one over, not just on the the Audi RS3 with which it’s customarily compared, but the fearsome BMW M2 Competition performance coupé. 

Read more

Mercedes-AMG A45 S 2019 review​

800bhp+ hybrid Mercedes-AMG GT 73 4-door Coupe coming in 2020​

400bhp+ Mercedes-AMG GLB 45 SUV begins testing​


Mercedes-AMG A45 S 2019 review

I’ll go on. There are five drive modes, or six counting the customisable ‘Individual’ one, which encompasses four ‘AMG dynamic’ modes (how the stability, transmission and four-wheel-drive systems operate), three damper settings, two exhaust modes (although these also vary by drive mode) and two steering weights which you can’t select yourself – some settings are barely heavier than the others. ESC can be on, in Sport, or all off. And there’s a ‘drift mode’ (it doesn’t disconnect the front wheels but puts even more emphasis on an outer rear wheel) and launch control. 

Apparently some markets really like all this. I just wanted to trust what the engineers thought was best and have the relative simplicity of a Alpine A110 or a BMW M2. But no question, it’s effective. The A45 is a bit brittle at low speeds but settles as you get faster, combining good straight-line stability with terrific mid-corner agility and response given that, at 1625kg, it’s relatively heavy for a 4.4m car. The electronics can tweak an inside rear brake on the way into a corner to help turn-in, and as soon as you get on the power it pushes power to the outside rear for a really positive rotation – no need for anything like active rear steer here or, as might be needed in some cars, to give it a bung and lift off. It feels very positive but quite natural. 

Extend the A45 on a track and there’s little understeer, and the rear wheel engagement means you can get on the power early. It’s extremely effective and more involving and adjustable than an Audi RS3. More like a Ford Focus RS, unsurprisingly. 

The steering’s weight change between modes is pretty subtle. In any it’s medium-weighted, extremely precise and pleasingly responsive. I rather liked it, although in its heavier setting, when there’s lots of torque going rearwards, it felt less inclined to self-centre, so you have to wind the lock off yourself, unnaturally. So off you go to press some buttons and find a better mode, by which time the nice bit of road you’re on has probably ended, which is a shame. 

And then there’s the party piece: genuine AMG levels of shove from a 2.0-litre four-pot. But just as remarkable as the outright speed, perhaps even more so is the way it goes about it. Most heavily turbocharged petrols engines make you wait while the turbo spools before delivering their big slug of torque from low revs. Not so here. 

I think boost pressure is limited at lower revs so the engine feels more naturally aspirated; there’s genuine shove from around 2500rpm but peak torque doesn’t arrive until 5000rpm and peak power at 6750rpm, near the 7000rpm limit. It’s very smooth and very linear and very fast. Depending on the drive mode and exhaust setting (the combination sometimes involves the speakers, too), you might get a muted thrum, a Renault Sport Mégane-like exhaust-and-turbo-rush or a mildly cross growl. The ‘whoosh’ felt most appropriate. The eight-speed dualclutch auto is the best I’ve felt in a Mercedes, fairly zinging through both up and downshifts, and only rarely, on circuit, delaying when you ask for shifts at high revs.


Aston Martin Vantage Faces Mercedes-AMG GT S In Top Gear Drag Race

Both cars have an AMG-sourced 4.0-liter V8, but the outcome might surprise you.

The motoring world is now acquainted with new Top Gear hosts Paddy McGuinness and Andrew Flintoff. On YouTube, however, Top Gear is throwing a bit of nostalgia from the Matt LeBlanc era courtesy of a drag race from Series 26. This is a notable one, because it pits a pair of similar-yet-different V8-powered GT cars in a head-to-head showdown.

How exactly are an Aston Martin Vantage and a Mercedes-AMG GT S similar? Lest ye forget, Aston Martin has a deal with AMG for engines, and though certain “changes” are made to the mills to give them an Aston flavor, it’s really the same 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 found in the Mercedes-AMG GT. Well, it’s almost the same – As LeBlac points out in the video, the Aston-Martin’s version makes a bit less horsepower than the V8 nestled beneath the Merc’s hood. In this case, it’s 503 hp in the Vantage versus 515 for the AMG GT S. As LeBlanc also points out, the Aston’s mill is tuned for slightly more torque, possibly because it’s a rather heavy car, or perhaps just to differentiate itself from Mercedes.

Gallery: Top Gear Vantage Vs AMG GT Drag Race

In any case, a drag race between these two machines is very interesting indeed. With the same engine nestled in the same front-end location driving the same rear wheels in the same GT configuration, one would expect a neck-and-neck race. It should be noted that one thing not the same is cost – with a base price of $149,995, the Vantage is over $16,000 more expensive than the AMG GT. Does that mean it will be faster?

Actually, that’s rather intriguing. We will let the video tell the story, but considering all the similarities between these two Euro GT cars, the outcome is rather surprising.


2020 Porsche 911 Carrera base model revealed

The all-new 992 generation 2020 Porsche 911 may have debuted last November at the L.A. Auto Show, but the car we saw and detailed was actually the Carrera S. That would be the second step up the sky-high 911 ladder, boasting a 3.0-liter turbocharged flat-six good for 443 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. With PDK and the Sport Chrono package, Porsche says a coupe version can go from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.

Today, however, we got our first details about the first 992 ladder step, the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera. It too has a 3.0-liter turbo-six, but it produces 379 hp and 331 lb-ft. That’s an increase of 9 hp from the outgoing 911 Carrera. Porsche says a coupe equipped with the standard PDK and optional Sport Chrono will hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. The slowest variation listed was the Carrera Cabriolet without Sport Chrono at 4.2 seconds. The top speed is 182 mph for the coupe and 180 mph for the Cabriolet.

As on the Carrera S, the Porsche Active Suspension Management (adaptive dampers) come standard on the base model. The wheels are still staggered sizes, but are smaller, with 19’s up front and 20’s at the rear. The gold wheels pictured are optional. The brakes are slightly smaller as well, measuring 13 inches front and rear, and featuring four-piston calipers at all corners. The Carrera S has six-piston front and four-piston rear. You can upgrade to carbon ceramic composite brakes if you like spending lots of money on brakes.

Besides the missing S on its tail, the only significant visual difference are the rectangular exhaust outlets on each side (note that Porsche didn’t actually provide a picture of a stock car). The Carrera S has a round pipe on each side. However, should you opt for the Sport Exhaust system as shown on the above cars, you get the same oval pipes on each side that are available on the Carrera S. At that point, the difference really is just the badge, and you can certainly get rid of that. The interior is identical.

The 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and Cabriolet are available now to be ordered at your local Porsche store with deliveries estimated to begin early next year. Starting price for the Carrera Coupe is $98,750, including the $1,350 destination charge. That’s a considerable increase from the 991, which started at $92,350 for 2019. Besides the newly standard PDK, heated seats and an auto-dimming mirror have been added to the standard features list. The new Cabriolet starts at $111,550, representing a $6,900 increase.

You can find out more information about what’s new for the 2020 911 Cabriolet here.


Watch Red Bull crew break the F1 pitstop record it set just two weeks ago


LONDON — Red Bull set a Formula One record in Sunday’s German Grand Prix by changing all four tyres on race winner Max Verstappen’s car in 1.88 seconds, according to official timings.

Formula One’s logistics partner DHL holds an annual fastest pitstop award with points accrued over the season. Red Bull is leading Williams in the standings after 11 of 21 races, with Ferrari third.

It was the second race in a row that the expertly-choreographed Red Bull mechanics had broken the record, with a 1.91-second pitstop for French driver Pierre Gasly at the British Grand Prix two weeks earlier.

Verstappen made five pitstops in a chaotic race at Hockenheim, and Gasly four, with the fastest coming on the 46th of the 64 laps.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner sent chief mechanic Phil Turner up to the podium to collect the winning constructor’s trophy.

“The pit stop crew were unbelievable today,” said Horner.

Mercedes, who were caught off guard by one of five-times world champion Lewis Hamilton’s pitstops during the race, could not manage a pitstop faster than 2.50 seconds on a dismal Sunday for them.

Hamilton’s slowest lasted some 50 seconds and came just after he had hit the barriers, with some of his mechanics changing the front wing while others swarmed around uncertain which tyres to fit.


2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition debuts as the most expensive Pilot yet

The Honda Pilot isn’t a shouty SUV, but this 2020 Pilot Black Edition is aiming to change your mind. All black everything is the theme here, and we think Honda has captured the look successfully with this Pilot.

Honda is positioning the Black Edition as the absolute peak of luxury for the Pilot lineup, with the MSRP being even higher than the Elite. With the $1,095 destination charge added in, you’ll be paying $50,715. So yes, there’s finally a Pilot for over $50,000. That’s expensive, but even a fully-loaded Explorer is about $60,000.

For your hard-earned dollars, Honda provides blackout treatments to the grille, headlight trim, side trim, door handles, window trim and fog light trim. The 20-inch alloy wheels are also painted in black. Basically, if it could be done in black, Honda has done it. There’s a striking surprise waiting on the interior, though. Instead of a bland black interior, Honda is sprinkling in red accents throughout. You get red stitching on the front and second-row seats, door panels and the steering wheel. Red accent lighting can be found on the doors, cupholders and dash. Then, you get a sweet, red center console lid that looks shockingly cool. Black Edition logos can be found on the grille, tailgate, front seats and floor mats. Maybe it’ll all be cool enough to wrangle folks into a more expensive Pilot over a Passport.

The rest of the 2020 Honda Pilot lineup increases in price ever so slightly. Front-wheel-drive models see an increase of $100 in MSRP, whereas all-wheel-drive Pilots are $200 more expensive than an equivalent 2019 Pilot. This means the cheapest Pilot LX with front-wheel drive now costs $32,645. Honda says the 2020 model year Pilot will begin to arrive in dealerships tomorrow.