The makers of the super-light Ariel Atom roadster have joined forces with Japanese engine specialist Mugen to produce a new more powerful car. The specification of the new car includes many Ariel options as standard as well as additional parts unique to the Atom Mugen. Most interesting of all is the hand-built Honda K20Z Type R engine, which is tuned by Mugen to produce 270bhp at 8600rpm. Impressive stuff for a light-weight 2 litre, 4 cylinder, normally aspirated engine. The boost in power takes this road-legal racing car from 0-62 mph (0-100kph) in just 2.9 seconds and on to a 150mph top speed.
If you want one you will have to act fast as a limited number of only 10 cars will be made. Those who do though, will have a hand built racing machine that should be unbeatable on track days.
The 2011 Indianapolis 500 has a brand new pace car in the form of a special-edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible. The new car with its distinctive white with two orange stripes paint job was announced at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale classic auto auction.Along with the individual colour scheme this Camaro SS Convertible has ‘Official Pace Car’ graphics and an orange leather-trimmed interior evoking the classic 1969 Camero pace car model.
The car also celebrates 100 years of both the Indianapolis 500 and the Chevrolet brand. You may expect the limited edition to be 500 cars to match the name of the race in fact only 50 will be made.
Chevy’s marketing of the Camaro Convertible continues with relentless pace. We also noted this week that one will be given as a prize for the Pete Rozelle MVP award (most valuable player) at this year’s Super Bowl. The Camero is also said to be featuring during the Super Bowel ad break at a rumoured cost of $3 million for 30 seconds. Looks like GM’s cost cutting has come to an end.
With last year’s launch of the AMG SLS supercar and a roadster version planned for later this year Mercedes Benz were left with an SLK that looked very much the baby version of the now discontinued SLR McLaren. It didn’t make sense to engineer a whole new roadster so the premium German brand decided to give the current car a thorough revision.
The new remodeled car is almost unrecognisable inside and out. It also has many new features that may well get the monied reaching for their bank books. Most impressive of all is the optional electrically dim-able glass ‘Magic Sky Control’ roof.
As with the SLS the styling will not be everyone’s cup of tea; it is neither offensive nor stomach numbingly gorgeous. It seems a bit like change for changes sake. The interior does have a nice look to it though that we can’t help approving of. There is also a neat new draught stopping system consisting of transparent plastic screens that flip out of the way behind the roll hoops when not in use.
Power for the new car comes from a selection of 4 and 6 cylinder options with economy improved by up to 25 % compaired to their predecessors. For those willing to wait there should be a V8 powered AMG model in the future too.
The new Mercedes Benz SLK will be launched in June 2011.
Pictures of the Chrysler 200 Convertible have already been released, ahead of its debut at the 2011 New York Auto Show in March.
These first pictures give us an idea of how the new car will look without giving away too many secrets. It is not an all new car; the platform comes from the preceding Sebring Convertible, however the 200 has a new look and a much improved new interior.
The shape of the rear panel and one of the teaser shots suggest that it will have a folding hardtop but the spy shots we saw earlier appeared to have a fabric roof. It may go the way of the Sebring with a choice of either soft or folding hardtop but for a company aiming to improve efficiency that may not be the best way to go. We think the fabric roof that was spotted was just there to fool the photographers.
Expect engines to be carried over from the Chrysler 200 saloon/sedan giving 2.4 litre four cylinder and 3.6 V6 options.
More details of the Chrysler 200 Convertible here.
The recently launched GTA Spano was a big surprise all round. Not only is it an admirable attempt from a new company it is also Spain’s first sports car since Hispano-Suiza stopped car production in the 1930s. The Spano ranks among the fastest cars in the world with 217mph performance.
GTA is however, not another flimsy start-up with no track record. In fact the track is where their business became established. The GTA racing team has a race winning history. The car is based around the Chrysler V10 engine that previously powered the outgoing Dodge Viper, reengineered to produce 840 horsepower when running on E90 bioethanol racing fuel.
The news from the Spanish brand is that a Spano Spyder is being penned for the future. Spano discussed this development during testings done at the Valencian Community Ricardo Tormo Circuit. Like the coupe version expect the Syder to be available in limited numbers to those with a budget well over half a million dollars.
A piece of history goes up for grabs at this year’s RM Auctions’ Automobiles of Arizona event. This one-off concept was not only the first Chrysler to carry the Charger name but also the car used to promote the very first Hemi V8 engines. Unlike many concepts which are undrivable styling projects this is fully working car.
Dramatic styling includes an aerodynamic looking roll-bar with integral headrests and a low-cut wraparound windscreen. Driver and passenger are separated by a divider which contains some of the cars controls.
Back in 1963 when the car was rushed to its first show there were no 426 cubic-inch Hemi engines yet available so the 383 cubic-inch V8 from its donar Polara was used despite the publicity and badging. The ear-marked engine actually went to a Chrysler backed racing team. The Charger has now had substantial renovations and boasts an original racing Hemi block from the same year the car was produced just as was originally intended. In fact when the restoration was completed in 1999 the engine boasted a compression ratio of 9.6:1 and an estimated 600 horsepower!
This unique convertible will be auctioned on 21st January 2011.