F1’s Max Verstappen and Alex Albon test the Aston Martin Valkyrie

Formula One team Aston Martin Red Bull Racing recently saw its drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon take time out from their busy schedules to test the Valkyrie.
The hypercar is a joint effort between Aston Martin and Red Bull, thus it’s no surprise to see Verstappen and Albon involved in its development.
Red Bull Racing F1 drivers Max Verstappen (left) and Alex Albon test the Aston Martin Valkyrie
They took turns behind the wheel of the first Valkyrie prototype, finished in the blue and red livery, and were joined by Aston Martin test driver Chris Goodwin in a second prototype and World Endurance Championship drivers Darren Turner and Alex Lynn taking turns in a third prototype. A total of eight prototypes will be built and tested before the Valkyrie’s development is signed off.
“The Aston Martin Valkyrie and its levels of downforce are incredible, and it looks super aggressive,” Verstappen said after his run. “It was a lot of fun out there.”
Red Bull Racing F1 drivers Max Verstappen (left) and Alex Albon test the Aston Martin Valkyrie
“It’s light; it feels sharp,” Albon said. “Sure, compared to an F1 car, you’re missing the outright downforce, but you still feel the Gs in the corners and it definitely reacts closer to an F1 car than a normal road car.”
The Valkyrie was originally due to start deliveries at the end of 2019 but development delays mean that won’t happen until the second half of 2020. The wait will be worth it for the 175 (150 road cars and 25 track cars) customers destined to own one, since the Valkyrie is coming with 1,160 horsepower, courtesy of a Cosworth-developed 6.5-liter V-12 that’s paired up with a KERS-style hybrid system and sounds like a F1 engine from the 1990s.
Aston Martin Valkyrie in near-production form
The car also boasts lightweight carbon fiber construction and trick aerodynamics developed by Red Bull’s chief technical officer, Adrian Newey. The result should be a road car capable of lapping a racetrack quicker than a sports prototype and almost at the pace of an F1 car.
Sadly, the Valkyrie will be the last joint effort between Aston Martin and Red Bull. Aston Martin is about to enter F1 with its own team in 2021, with the current Racing Point F1 team to be rebranded Aston Martin Racing in 2021 now that the team’s billionaire backer, Lawrence Stroll, is also a major investor in Aston Martin.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

VW Golf R spied, Aston Martin Valkyrie tested, Pagani Huayra Imola revealed: Car News Headlines

Volkswagen has a new Golf but only the car’s Golf GTI and Golf R performance options have been confirmed for sale in the United States. Our latest spy shots show a prototype for the Golf R, and it’s wearing zero camouflage gear.
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Alex Albon have finally spent some time with the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar. Naturally they’re fans of the car, but it would be hard not to when you have a 1,160-horsepower V-12 to play with.
Pagani’s latest supercar is the Huayra Imola. It’s the most powerful version of the Huayra yet, and just five examples will be sold at a price of $5.4 million each. We hear that all five are already accounted for.
You’ll find these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.
2021 Volkswagen Golf R spy shots
F1’s Max Verstappen and Alex Albon test the Aston Martin Valkyrie
Pagani Huayra Imola is $5M and 827 horsepower of insanity
First drive review: 2020 Camry AWD adds confidence but not performance
GM axes Holden in global exit from right-hand-drive markets
Tesla Model S and X Long Range Plus deliver more range; S gets 390 miles
Hyundai Prophecy concept hints at sensuous design for brand’s future lineup
Here are the affordable new crossovers on their way in 2020
Polestar cars’ digital systems to get more personalized–with a little help from Google
Tesla Gigafactory 4 clearing stalls due to environmentalists in Germany
Source: MotorAuthority.com

See The Aston Martin Valkyrie In Action At Silverstone

Aston Martin has unleashed the power of three Aston Martin Valkyrie models, while providing Aston Martin Red Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon their first taste of the revolutionary hypercar. With each Formula One driver taking the wheel of the first verification prototype (VP) that made its public debut at last year’s British Grand Prix – Aston Martin Valkyrie VP1 – both VP2 and VP3 were fittingly given their first turn at the world-famous home of British motorsport too at the hands of Aston Martin high-performance test driver Chris Goodwin and Aston Martin Racing WEC drivers Darren Turner and Alex Lynn, signalling the next step in the car’s physical development programme.

Each verification prototype, of which there will be eight built in total, is subjected to a variety of intense testing programmes designed to develop and validate specific attributes that contribute to achieving the performance of the world’s fastest ever road-going hypercar. These programmes are focussed on supporting first customer deliveries starting in H2 2020.

Max and Alex’s first taste of Aston Martin Valkyrie provided a vital opportunity for them to provide a range of initial feedback to Aston Martin’s High-Performance Development Driver, Chris Goodwin and both Aston Martin and Red Bull Advanced Technologies’ engineering teams.
 
Goodwin said, “This event has been an incredibly important step in Aston Martin Valkyrie’s story. To have three cars now running will see the rate of physical development for this exceptional hypercar increase exponentially. Both Max and Alex were both really positive of the direction that we’re currently taking and could see that the ingredients for an exceptionally high-performing car are already there ready to be untapped. To have that second opinion and validation doesn’t mean the hard work is done already, but this is a great step on our journey”.
 
Eight-time Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen came away elated by his first laps in the Valkyrie. He said, “I was here at Silverstone to watch the first runs of the Aston Martin Valkyrie at the British Grand Prix last year but of course it’s always better to be behind the wheel yourself, and to be one of the first guys to drive an insane car like this was really exciting. It was amazing to get a first taste of it”.
 
He added, “Of course it’s still in the development phase but you can already feel the pace, which compared to a normal car is… pretty different! The Aston Martin Valkyrie and its levels of downforce are incredible, and it looks super aggressive. It was a lot of fun out there.”
 
For Alex Albon, the Silverstone outing was a first opportunity to see the hypercar in the flesh, and the young star wasn’t disappointed.
 
Albon said, “It was incredibly exciting to have this opportunity to drive the Aston Martin Valkyrie and the first thing that struck me was the visual aspect – it looks awesome! It also really feels like a racing car,” said the Thai driver. “Max had a go before me, so the anticipation was building, and to get a chance to drive it was really special. Obviously there’s still some development to do, but already it feels very good, especially the balance between the corners. It’s light; it feels sharp. Sure, compared to an F1TM car, you’re missing the outright downforce, but you still feel the Gs in the corners and it definitely reacts closer to an F1TM car than a normal road car. It’s pretty special. I just need to get my hands on one!”.
 
Aston Martin will continue to build further verification prototypes as the organisation continues to bring customer examples to life in H2 2020.

Source: motor1.com

Denny Hamlin wins third Daytona 500 in photo finish

Ryan Newman (6) lands on his roof after crashing and crossed the finish line that way at the NASCAR Daytona 500. / Associated Press

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Another year, another Denny Hamlin win in the Daytona 500.

And Joe Gibbs still has the team to beat in NASCAR.

Hamlin won his third Daytona 500 on Monday, becoming the first driver since Sterling Marlin in 1995 to win “The Great American Race” in consecutive seasons. His win last year was a 1-2-3 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing and kicked off a yearlong company celebration in which Gibbs drivers won a record 19 races and the Cup championship.

Hamlin joined six Hall of Fame drivers as winners of three or more Daytona 500s. He tied Dale Jarrett — who gave JGR its first Daytona 500 win in 1993 — Jeff Gordon and Bobby Allison. Hamlin trails Cale Yarborough’s four wins and the record seven by Richard Petty.

This victory came after just the second rain postponement in 62 years, a visit from President Donald Trump, a pair of red flag stoppages and two overtimes. As he went door-to-door with Ryan Blaney for the finish — the 0.014 margin of victory was the second closest in race history — Ryan Newman took a wild ride along the track when he was crashed trying to hold onto the lead.

Newman’s car flipped several times and crossed the finish line on its roof, engulfed in flames.

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More AP auto racing

Source: AutoBlog.com

Jeep Gladiator dominates the truck sector by being named North American Truck of the Year for 2020

Transcript: The truck of the year is the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. Fifty automotive journalists from Canada and the United States voted the Jeep Gladiator North American Truck of the Year for 2020. The Gladiator has the iconic Wrangler look with fully removable roof panels and doors and the windshield even folds down. But the Gladiator has a unique frame that’s 31” longer than the Wrangler Unlimited. The standard 3.6-liter V6 engine makes 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and it has the best towing capacity among midsize pickups. It has a 1,600-lbs payload and a 5-foot pickup bed.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Dale Jr. dives into the details to get over fear of flying after jet crash

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. spent decades taking risks on the track and in the air.

He’s trying to minimize both these days.

Earnhardt said Sunday before the Daytona 500 that he’s changed his approach to flying following a harrowing crash landing near Bristol Motor Speedway last August. Earnhardt, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, dog and two pilots escaped the fiery wreckage of the executive jet in east Tennessee.

Earnhardt was physically unscathed, but emotionally scarred.

“It’s really tough on me getting back in the plane, and it will never be the same now that you know the real realities and dangers,” he said during a wide-ranging interview. “It will never, ever be the same again.

“Something you will never be able to forget and never block out no matter how many flights you take. … For me to be able to get back in there and go and do and travel like I want, the only way I can do it is really was to get into the details.”

Earnhardt has tried to learn everything he can short of becoming a pilot. He did a deep dive into his jet’s capabilities, specifically regarding how long it needs runways to be for takeoffs and landings. And he’s checking detailed weather reports days before stepping on the plane.

“I’m diving into the deep end trying to learn everything I can about the plane’s ability and the decisions they make and why they make them,” he said. “It’s been extremely educational, as you could imagine.

“I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time. It’s kind of empowered me and given me more confidence in what we’re doing and that we are safe and that I am going to be safe as opposed to … I don’t want to just quit flying; I don’t want to just quit getting into an airplane. I need to get over that fear and work hard to get through it.”

He spoke to a number of people about his experience, and the advice he heard repeatedly: Keep getting back on the plane and in the air.

“I just sort of have to figure this out on my own, and it’s working out pretty good so far,” he said.

Earnhardt retired from full-time racing following the 2017 season and is now working as a NASCAR analyst for NBC Sports. He got back in the car at Richmond for the second-tier Xfinity Series in 2018 and drove at Darlington last year. He’s scheduled to race at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month.

He said he misses racing and “it’s getting worse.”

“I thought as I got out of the car, and the further I got from my full-time career, the less that would bother me,” he said. “But it actually is getting worse for some reason. I really look forward to getting some seat time and smelling the smells and hearing the noises and just enjoying being in the car.”

But he has no plans to expand beyond one race a year for his JR Motorsports team, an annual ride that eases his angst and pleases his sponsors.

“It’s a healthy thing to miss it, to want to do it,” he said. “I think it helps me in the booth to have that energy as a fan. I think one’s plenty, probably one’s more than I should be doing. I got my wife and Ilya and all that. I should devote as much as I can to them. One’s just perfect. I think it really helps me remember what drivers are thinking about.”

He does hope to get behind the wheel during test sessions just to get a feel for NASCAR’S new aerodynamics package.

“I’d love to be able to speak on that a little better than I can in the booth,” he said. “I may seek out those opportunities, but no more official races.”

Earnhardt was at Daytona in an official capacity for the third consecutive year for the Daytona 500. He was the grand marshal in 2018, the pace truck driver in 2019 and now the honorary starter. He will wave the green flag to start “The Great American Race.”

“I was flag man at Pevely dirt track once, so a little experience,” he quipped. “I skipped a few steps along the way to get up to the big time and here today for the biggest race in the stock-car season. I’m excited, should be a lot of fun.”

As for next year, he wants to be involved and insists track president Chip Wile has something in store for him.

“I’m not singing the anthem,” Earnhardt said. “I don’t think y’all want me to do that. That’ll probably be my last time at any sporting event if I ever did that.”

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More AP auto racing

Source: AutoBlog.com

Cadillac electric crossover will be revealed in April

Cadillac will unveil a midsize electric crossover in April, brand President Steve Carlisle told dealers at the National Auto Dealer Association (NADA) Convention Monday. The new crossover will be Cadillac’s first all-electric vehicle. 

The New York Auto Show is April 10-19, with press days April 8-9. It’s unclear whether the Cadillac reveal would happen there, or as a standalone event before or after.

Per Automotive News, Carlisle told the assembled representatives that Cadillac has big plans for transitioning from an all internal-combustion lineup to one anchored in electric cars. 

“We enter this decade as an internal combustion engine brand. We want to position ourselves to exit as a battery-electric brand, so we have to manage both at the same time,” he said. 

Early last year, Cadillac teased the new midsized crossover, telling us to expect it to come in two- and four-wheel-drive flavors and to be offered as a global model.

The last we heard of GM’s plans to electrify its luxury brand came in December, when Carlisle laid out an aggressive plan to switch over its entire lineup by 2030. 

Just a week later, parent company GM canceled its plans to appear at CES earlier this year because the model it planned to showcase was not ready to be unveiled due to delays introduced by the UAW strike last fall. 

Not even two weeks after the tech show concluded, GM introduced of the self-driving Cruise Origin at a private event in San Francisco, prompting speculation that it was the original subject of GM’s CES plans.

Whether the Cruise Origin or Cadillac’s new mystery midsizer was to bow at CES, there’s only one left to reveal now. 

Cadillac has been keeping news of its future EV offerings largely on the back burner. The brand has been busy effectively re-launching its entire lineup — an effort that will culminate with the rollout of the new Escalade SUV later this year. 

In Carlisle’s NADA remarks, he indicated that Cadillac dealers will learn more about the company’s plans at a meeting in September. 

Source: AutoBlog.com

Porsche 911 appearance and aerodynamic packages now offered

If you own the latest generation of the Porsche 911 but don’t want to wait for (or can’t afford) a GT3 or Turbo variants to pimp your Carrera, Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur may have a solution for you. The division has announced the availability of new SportDesign appearance and Aerokit performance packages.

Both are based on the SportDesign package, which adds a lip spoiler to a revised front apron, plus a new bumper section that moves the license plate higher to accommodate a new air vent located between the oval-shaped exhaust pipes. You can also combine the package with SportDesign side skirts.

Porsche says it spent months tweaking the design and function of the Aerokit at its development center in Weissach, including time spent in the wind tunnel, hot- and cold-climate testing covering the rough equivalent of 56,000 real-world miles, and another 34,000 miles of testing on a race track in Nardo, Italy. The package is based on the SportDesign and adds a front spoiler, fixed rear spoiler and a rather generous fixed rear wing in the most obvious nod to the GT3. The additions are said to reduce uplift forces over both the front and rear axles.

Both packages are available now in either your 992-series 911’s exterior color or in partial black high-gloss. The SportDesign runs $4,890 and the Aerokit costs $6,910.

The upcoming Turbo and Turbo S variants of the 992 generation are expected to debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month and pack as much as 641 horsepower.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

2021 Kia Sorento officially revealed with crisp new duds

Following an unofficial reveal in spy shots, the 2021 Kia Sorento crossover has just been shown officially by the automaker. The company released images of its chiseled exterior and rugged but upscale interior.

On the outside, the Sorento picks up many of the cues established by the upcoming Optima/K5, including the broad and angular grille. The front and rear fascias have loads of creases and geometric openings, while the rest of the body is a bit more subtle. The profile is less upright than that of the Telluride, but the chrome window trim has a little dorsal fin on the lower section like the bigger crossover, as well as some of Kia’s overseas wagons. The overall profile looks like the Sorento will still have room for an optional third row of seats like the current one.

These official photos give us our best look yet at the Sorento’s interior. It builds on the low and wide dashboard design of the Telluride, but gives a more aggressive, angled look, particularly with the center stack and climate controls. The stack and vents look as though they were folded forward, which angles the controls up and out toward the occupants. The vents are shaped like trapezoids, and the door handles have a beveled square design. You can also make out a diamond grid pattern in the aluminum-look trim on the dashboard, along with accent lights in the doors that mirror them. The Sorento is available with a 10.25-inch infotainment display and a 12.3-inch instrument screen.

There are still a number of details left to learn about the Sorento, such as its powertrain, features and pricing. We should get more of that when it makes its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 3. The current Sorento is available with either a four-cylinder or V6 engine, and front- or all-wheel drive. The options for drive wheels will likely continue, though it’s unclear what engine options will be available, since it’s possible a V6, like the Telluride’s 3.8-liter, could be used, or perhaps a turbocharged four-cylinder from the Optima/K5 and Sonata.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Daytona 500 postponed until Monday at 4 p.m. due to rain

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.  — The Daytona 500 has been postponed by rain for the first time since 2012, dampening NASCAR’s season opener that started with a ballyhooed visit from President Donald Trump.

The race was postponed after two lengthy delays totaling more than three hours. The race will now begin at 4 p.m. Monday and be broadcast live on Fox.

It’s the second time in 62 years that “The Great American Race” will finish on a Monday.

The first delay of the day came moments after the presidential motorcade completed a ceremonial parade lap around the 2 1/2-mile track. Trump’s armored limousine nicknamed “The Beast” exited Daytona International Speedway, and the sky opened for a brief shower that forced drivers back to pit road.

The start already had been pushed back 13 minutes to accommodate Trump’s trip. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. eventually led the field to the green flag and was out front for the first 20 laps before heavier rain soaked a racing surface that takes hours to dry.

NASCAR called drivers back to their cars around 6:40 p.m. EST, hoping to get more laps in before more showers hit again. Some drivers showed, but the heaviest rain of the day forced a postponement.

It no doubt choked some of the excitement out of an event that had been a raucous celebration for hours, some of it prompted by Trump’s dramatic entrance. Thousands cheered as Air Force One performed a flyover and landed at Daytona International Airport a few hundred yards behind the track. Trump’s motorcade arrived a few minutes later, eliciting another loud ovation. Both entrances were broadcast on giant video boards around the superspeedway.

At least a dozen drivers were escorted from the pre-race meeting to a private introduction with Trump.

“I got to meet the president! How cool is that?” driver Aric Almirola said.

Trump served as the grand marshal for the Daytona 500 and gave the command for drivers to start their engines. Trump, with first lady Melania Trump by his side, addressed the crowd and called the opener “a legendary display of roaring engines, soaring spirits and the American skill, speed and power that we’ve been hearing about for so many years.”

“For 500 heart-pounding miles, these fierce competitors will chase the checkered flag, fight for the Harley J. Earl trophy and make their play for pure American glory,” Trump said. “That’s what it is: pure, American glory.”

Trump and his wife then got in the limousine and turned a lap. They avoided the high-banked turns at Daytona and stayed on the apron through the corners.

The president’s visit was widely welcomed by NASCAR fans. Trump 2020 flags flooded the infield, and some fans wore them as capes in the garage area.

His presence also created huge lines at entrances, with many fans complaining while waiting hours to get through security.

Former NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France, who was replaced following his August 2018 arrest on DUI charges, was on Air Force One with the president and first lady. They traveled from West Palm Beach.

Among those who met them at the airport: current NASCAR chairman Jim France and fellow top executives Lesa France Kennedy and Ben Kennedy.

Source: AutoBlog.com