New: Lotus 3-Eleven – Fastest Lotus EVER!!!

Lotus 3-Eleven

Lotus 3-Eleven

At last the rumours have been confirmed.  The Lotus 3-Eleven is going to be built – and it is going to be the fastest production Lotus ever!!!

It’s being revealed today in the UK at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, 26th June 2015.

The new Lotus 3-Eleven will enter production in February 2016 and deliveries will commence in April 2016. Production will be limited to just 311 vehicles in total.

Prices start at £82,000 ($130,000) for the Road version and £115,000 ($180,000) for the Race version.  That puts it in to a price competition with the likes of the Porsche 911 but it is really aimed at a totally different market.

The Lotus philosophy is to make a car faster by making it lighter.  If you have ever driven both an Elise and 911 round a race track you will understand the difference in the philosophies of the two manufacturers.

To quote: “With a dry weight of below 900 kg (Race version), the 3-Eleven offers an enviable power to weight ratio, in excess of 500 hp per tonne, and is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in less than 3.0 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 174 mph (280 km/h) for the Race version and 180 mph (290 km/h) for the Road version”.

That is as fast as a 911 Turbo and nearly as fast as a 911 Turbo S.

No information currently on availability in the US.  However if you are in the market for a very fast track car with exclusivity to die for we would suggest you consider importing one yourself now…

2015 Auto Show Calendar and Barcelona F1

Edmunds.com has a very useful calendar for the major US and International auto shows in 2015 here.

The next big show is the Barcelona International Motor Show, which is cunningly timed to coincide with the F1 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona this weekend.  The show runs from 9th to 17th May, with the Grand Prix weekend starting Friday 8th.

Can you think of a better way to spend the weekend than watching what may well be the watershed race of the season, and then peruse the latest European automotive machinery?

Why is his such an important race?  Three reasons: Ferrari have been nipping at the heals of Mercedes at every race this year after making great gains following the disappointing (for Ferrari) 2014 season.  Traditionally manufacturers release enhancement packages to their cars at the Spanish Grand Prix.  We hear that both Mercedes and Ferrari have new components in their cars this weekend.

It all points to a distinct possibility that Ferrari could win their first race of 2015.

And what could you look forward to the following week at the show?  Seat are  set to reveal their new Neuvo Ibiza ahead of the market launch early 2016. If you are not familiar with the Seat brand, its the Spanish arm of the VW Audi Group.  They specialise in making small, chic and well engineered cars for a reasonable price.

Ole!

F1 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix Results – Ferrari continue to grow!

A very interesting weekend at Bahrain.  Mercedes were kept honest by an increasingly competitive Ferrari.

At the start of the race day the two Mercedes cars were split by Ferrari on the grid. Mid race was dominated by tactical tyre choices and pit stops. And on the final lap  simultaneous brake failures on both Mercedes meant that Hamilton just managed to cliing on to his first place, with Raikkonen overtaking Rosberg to finish second.  Vettel made lots of mistakes (uncharacteristically) to claim 4th.

Other items of note:

  • Williams continue to grow following a great fifth place for the excellent Valtteri Bottas.
  • Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took sixth even though his engine EXPLODED as he approached the finish line!!!
  • A dramatic improvement for McLaren-Honda with Alonso finishing the race and looking to be in contention for points until the last third of the race.

So Hamilton has won three of the first four races.  However with growing competition from Ferrari, and possibly Williams, it could be the start to the best season in years.

The next F1 race weekend is Friday 8th May in Spain.

F1 Malaysia 2015 Results – Vettel AND Ferrari are BACK!

We have patiently waited through several years of F1 predictability.  Red Bull and Vettel dominated for 4 years.  Then in 2014 it was the turn of Mercedes, albeit with the thrills of watching Hamilton and Rosberg go at each other like rabid dogs. And we thought 2015 would probably be much of the same again…

But maybe not.  Last weekend during practice and qualifying the Ferrari looked fast and Mercedes were struggling with reliability.  No excuses however on race day.  It was a fair fight.

Hamilton got a great start and the Mercedes duo stormed off in front.  However Raikkonen ended up at the back after limping back to the pits on a punctured tyre sustained at the start.  Another easy win for Mercedes and Hamilton?  Surely…?

Not! Vettel and Ferrari pulled off a master piece of tyre management to get the edge, and the pace of the Ferrari meant that the final position was a site for sore Ferrari-red eyes: 1st, Vettel/Ferrari, 2nd Hamilton/Mercedes, 3rd Rosberg/Mercedes, 4th Raikkonen/Ferrari.

Its early days in the tournament but we could be in for a vintage year.  We have the bitter intra-team rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg.  We have the vitally important inter-team tussle between Mercedes and Ferrari.  Vettel is hungry to prove his previous success was not just due to being in the right place at the right time.  And Raikkonen should never be discounted as his record of wins shows.

Its just over a week until the battle starts again in China.

Game on…

F1 Maylasia 2015

Its no secret we are big Formula 1 fans here in the office, and 2014 was a very exciting year. However the start of the 2015 season in Australia was marred by the heavily reduced field due to drivers and cars not being ready for the start of the season.  In addition with a crash from Lotus and retirements from Red Bull, Lotus and Toro Rosso all but one driver, Button, who finished the race scored points.

This weekend is the Malaysian Grand Prix and the good news is:

  • McLaren’s Fernando Alonso is fit to race
  • Williams’ Valtteri Bottas is fit to race
  • Marussia will be racing

So with more cars and drivers, and hopefully a few lessons learned, this weekend could be even better.

F1 Australia 2015

Was the start of the 2015 season a disappointment.  A heavily reduced starting lineup and  various engine and gearbox failures meant that only 11 cars finished, with all but an ever optimistic Jensen Button piloting the new Maclaren/Honda getting a point.

Ferrari must feel pleased with their podium finish which points to 2015 being a more successful year, but after their dreadful 2014 season it couldn’t really have been worse.  Looks like the excitement for the first few races of 2015 will come from the race between Ferrari and Williams.  Poor Alonso must be feeling like he took a wrong turn with his move to Maclaren.

Next race will be on 28th March in Malaysia.  Predictions?  Lets hope Bottas is race fit for Williams, and Red Bull/Renault are over some of their teething problems.  Hamilton/Rosberg sure to be 1st/2nd.  But after that its could be very close…

2015 Formula 1 Season Starts This Week

 

A sport that has been growing in popularity in North America is Formula 1.  And for good reason.  The years proceeding the 2014 championship were dominated by the Red Bull Racing Team and their driver Sebastian Vettel.  Whilst the visceral wail of the V8 engines was intoxicating, the drivers and constructors championships were becoming predictable.

However that all changed for the 2014 session, in which the FIA took the brave decision to radically change the series.  By removing the V8s and swapping for 6 cylinder plus electrical hybrid systems and introducing stringent fuel efficiency rules the FIA made F1 relevant to the challenges facing today’s motor industry.

But what would the racing be like…?

Well 2014 proved to be one the most exciting years for F1 ever.  The once dominant force of Red Bull was over shadowed by Mercedes.  And the once dominant driving skills of Sebastian Vettel were overshadowed by the Australian Daniel Ricciardo (possibly spurred on by the thought of .

And to crown it we had one of the most exciting season-long team-mate driver battles ever in the history of F1.  The rivalry between Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg was up there with the likes of Alain Prost vs. Nigel Mansell, and James Hunt vs Niki Lauda.

The head to head battle was full of acrimony, crashes, and season long jostling for position.  In the end it was Hamilton who was victorious as he managed to secure his 2nd world championship in the final race of the season.

So tune in for the start of 2015 in Australia:

  • Practice Friday 13th March
  • Qualifying Saturday 14th March
  • Racing Sunday 15th March

If you don’t want to miss any races you can view the full calendar here.

Road Atlanta Announces 2015 Spectator Schedule

Sept. 30 – Oct. 3. 2015.

Vintage racing. Drifting. Sportscar racing. And now, after a short hiatus, Road Atlanta welcomes top-tier two-wheeled racing back to the 2015 schedule! MotoAmerica, the new premiere North American motorcycle championship, joins the lineup of spectator events at Road Atlanta this season and begins a new chapter in their rich motorcycle racing history. MotoAmerica is seeking to reinvigorate professional motorcycle racing in North America by assembling a season-long roster of the best competitors in the world at some of the most challenging and scenic race tracks across the country.

You can register for more information here.