Tesla made history this past year by becoming the first manufacturer to win several Car of the Year awards with an electric car. The Model S impressed everybody with it’s ability to offer uncompromised performance, practicality and value when compared directly to its combustion powered competitors. Specifications no longer had to be qualified with “which is good for an electric car.” They were just very good. The Model S even superseded the auto industry in several areas thanks to Tesla’s Silicon Valley tech approach to connectivity, touchscreens and operating system configurability and updatability. Now Tesla is poised to begin selling the Model S in Europe. AutoCar UK spent a week with a US spec Model S and they have been equally as impressed with it as the US media. Expect Elon Musk to have some more trophies to hoist in the year to come.
Steve Sutcliffe from Autocar loves the new Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. It’s size, balance and power make it a perfect GT car. Does that mean there’s nothing to complain about? Not necessarily. The new car isn’t the first to wear the Vanquish badge. That means there’s a legacy that it has to fall in line with. Sutcliffe brings the previous V12 Vanquish along for a side by side comparison.
Autocar’s Steve Sutcliffe thinks you’ve probably never heard of the Bowler company before. He’s obviously not seen my other blog post about the Bowler Wildcat, Tomcat and EXR-S. To demonstrate how crazy the tube framed EXR-S is, the guys line it up on a handling course against a car that specializes in handling courses, the Caterham Seven Supersport. Enjoy the ridiculousness with commentary from both drivers as they chase each other around the track:
Mitsubishi was gracious enough to grant Autocar a test drive of their i-Miev Evolution electric race car that competed in this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Despite a crash in practice, the i-Miev Evolution did well to finish second in the EV class and ninth overall. Mitsubishi campaigned a stock i-Miev alongside this purpose built tube frame race car. At first glance, the two cars only seem to share a greenhouse shape, bit it turns out the i-Miev Evolution uses three i-Miev motors and two of its battery packs. Two of the motors drive the rear wheels while the last one powers the front wheels on the Evolution version. We’re not going to see a street version of this exact car, but a lot of things learned from its development are going into the next Lancer Evolution which Mitsubishi has already gone on record to say will be a performance hybrid.
BMW is going to release a new M3 in 2014 on the current 3-series chassis which has been criticized for not being as sporty as previous models. They will be replacing the current E92 M3’s V8 with a twin turbo inline 6 which could very well be a torque monster based on the performance of their latest engines. Steve Sutcliffe of Autocar takes the E30 M3, E46 M3 CSL and the E92 M3 out for a track day at Brands Hatch Circuit. He discusses what he likes and dislikes from what he says are the 3 three best generations of M3. Sutcliffe also discusses which of the cars and features that BMW need to emulate while designing the new model. It’s a nice guided tour of the M3 dynasty.