Posts Tagged ‘Racing’
Two of today’s hottest super cars go at it side by side. Check out the Underground Racing Ferrari 458 Italia, with the UGR Twin Turbo System (700whp), take on the new 2012 Lamborghini Aventador (stock). Aventador owners, don’t feel left out as UGR will be producing Twin Turbo Systems for you soon. And there will be a rematch.
The Lotus Exos T125 is an F1 race car in all but a few ways. The company’s building twenty five of ’em, selling each for a cool $1 million and forming a private racing league for the owners. Totally. Awesome. Think of the Lotus Exos program as the most brilliant F1 development strategy in history. Lotus is returning to F1, having announced their new F1-car and begun development testing already. The competition is fierce though, and development costs for the series are phenomenal, so what if there was a way to offset the cost and get some additional development while not breaking F1’s testing ban? That’s basically the Exos. Of course, that’s not the “official” story, but a wink’s as good as a nod.
The 1,433 lb Exos is an all carbon fiber F1-style race car fitted with a 650 HP Cosworth V8 with a blistering 10,300 RPM red line, an on-board starter, and a (get this!) 2,800-mile tear down schedule. That’s like sending the space shuttle up a half-dozen times before servicing it. As awesome as the machine is, the really slick part is the program surrounding it. Lotus will be forming the “Exos Club,” something that might be considered the greatest owner’s experience ever conceived.
The Exos Club’s perks read like every racing fantasy you’ve ever had. The owners will go through rigorous drivers training managed by a collection of engineers, race drivers, mechanics and physical trainers and physicians. The owner will be honed into a legitimate racing driver in not just the mental but the physical. Then, beginning in 2011, Lotus will put on five races for the owners across Europe.
Audi has proven itself to be the dominant force in Le Mans prototype racing over the course of the past decade, but to stay on top, any team — regardless of past successes — needs to have some of the best equipment available. Audi hopes its new R18 LMP car, unveiled late last week, proves to be precisely that.
Audi’s new LMP car is still diesel-powered, but in order to comply with new FIA regulations, engineers had to dial back the displacement from the outgoing R15+. As a result, the R18 now uses a 3.7-liter turbo-diesel V-6, a far cry from the 5.5-liter TDI V-10s found in the R10, R15, and R15 Plus. Other driveline modifications include the gearbox; the R18 uses a six-speed sequential gearbox in lieu of last year’s five-cog unit.
A smaller engine does trigger a loss in power, but Audi’s team focused on ways on using every last ounce of energy packed within the R18. As a result, attention was focused on the car’s aerodynamics in order to help reduce drag and increase efficiency. Wind tunnel testing forced a number of changes, notably the enclosed cockpit — a feature we haven’t seen on Audi LMP cars since the 1999 R8C.
Overall, the R18 looks drastically different than the company’s previous LMP cars. Regulations required the new car to utilize equally-sized wheels in front and back, which in turn forced designers to add some very pronounced wheel arches. The FIA also forced Audi to adopt a large dorsal fin running along the top of the engine compartment, but the headlamps — which incorporate LED lighting and accent pipes — are certainly Audi-designed accoutrements.
The new R18 will make its competitive debut at the Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on May 8th. Audi plans to enter no less than three R18 s for the 24 Hours of Le Mans race on June 11th and 12th. In total, the new R18 will contend in six races for the 2011 season, including the Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta on October 1st.