NSX To Make 2010 Comeback
Since production of the NSX ceased in 2005, the question on every Honda fan's lips has been: "When is the next one coming along?"
Development mules have been spotted circling Germany's Nurburgring circuit and it's no small secret that Honda is keen to bring back the NSX, but as to when we can expect it to show up at our local dealership, Honda America President Tetsuo Iwamura says that the next-gen performance flagship is only a couple of years away.
"We are developing it without any delay, so most probably we will have it in the period we already promised," he says. Elaborating further, Iwamura says the NSX would arrive in 2010.
Honda CEO Takeo Fukui also confirms that an F1-derived V-10 will power the new NSX, and also dispelled rumours that the supercar would be a hybrid. Fukui also says the new NSX will be marketed globally as an Acura.Honda Motor Co
Mystery GT-R Hinting At Group N Version?
A few days after last January's Nismo Festival at Fuji International Speedway, a rather suspicious-looking R35 GT-R was seen lurking around pit lane with enough modifications on it to send the Internet rumour mill into a frenzy of speculation.
Aside from the red towhook sprouting from the hood, there's a fully integrated rollcage, lowered suspension, Volk TE37s, an air-jack recharging port and a race-style refuelling aperture. The black bar that runs across the snout of ordinary R35s is conspicuously absent too, presumably to allow more airflow over the intercoolers and radiator.
Support crew were seen wearing Nissan apparel, so it's most likely an official Nissan project. But for what? Likely theories put this car as being a development mule for a race-ready Group N variant of the R35, while it could also be destined for Japan's "Super Taikyu" production touring car series. What are the chances of it being a V-Spec or other road-legal version? Pretty slim, it's just too hard core.
Castrol Top Shop Challenge
Ever wanted to see which motor could be built to put out the most power? Lucky for us, Castrol wants to find out too. This year we're going head-to-head with our sister publications Super Street, Import Tuner, Modified, Sport Compact Car, eurotuner and even Lowrider to see who can make the most crank horsepower and torque. Since every magazine focuses on different motors, we decided to measure this contest by horsepower per liter. This way when the Lowrider guys show up with a 7L LS7 motor, things will be on a level playing field. Now to complicate things a little there's a displacement multiplier for using turbos. (Yeah, it seems a little biased to us too.) We're not going to let that get in the way though, since we hit up our friends at SP Engineering, one of the premier tuners of the venerable Toyota Supra 2JZGTE 3.0L twin- turbo powerplant, to become Castrol's Top Shop. We're looking to go over 1,000 hp with this motor on 100 octane so make sure you follow the build in the magazine as well ask check out our progress at www.SyntecTopShop.com (site to launch in April).
Mazda North American Operation
Furai Concept Channels Spirit Of 787B
It's not often that a manufacturer produces a concept car that can actually perform but when Mazda brought their latest Furai Concept to the Detroit Auto Show in January, they made sure it wasn't just another show pony.
Built to showcase Mazda's commitment to motorsport-as well as the latest iteration of their "Flow" design philosophy-the Furai is built upon a modified Courage C65 chassis and sports a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 20B triple-rotor engine. Tuned to run on E100 ethanol, the 20B generates a sizable 450 hp to push the Furai's lightweight frame.
Speaking of the frame, those scalloped curves and dramatic vents aren't just strikingly beautiful, they're also specifically designed to provide optimal ventilation to cool the engine and brakes, as well as supply ample air to the high-revving powerplant.
It really looks like the goods with its subtle gray-on-silver scheme, and the number "55" on the car is also a tip of the hat to Mazda's other mid-engined rotary race car-the LeMans-conquering 787B.
Nissan's Vq37vhr Voted One Of The "World's Best Engines"
G37 coupe owners now have a new reason to be proud of their ride. The VQ37VHR motor that powers them has been voted by Ward's Automotive Group as one of '07's Top 10 engines.
This isn't the first time a VQ-series motor was featured on the prestigious list. Nissan's versatile V-6 has appeared on the Ward's line-up every year since the award began in 1995.
The Ward's 10 Best Engines' award takes into account not only the performance of an engine, but also its smoothness, everyday tractability and use of new technology-attributes that the VQ37VHR has in spades.
The Ward's panel tested the engine in an '08 Infiniti G37 coupe equipped with a six-speed manual and were particularly impressed with the VQ37VHR's VVEL infinitely-variable valve lift and duration system. The molybdenum-coated pistons, symmetrical intake tract and tuned-length exhaust manifolds also scored significant points for the VQ, while the 330hp power output and 270 lb-ft of torque won it some fans as well.
Nissan Motor Co.
Lancer Ralliart Is Go
It's taken a while, but Mitsubishi finally has a proper competitor for Subaru's ubiquitous WRX: the Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart.
While the Lancer Evolution and WRX STI duke it out in the upper echelons of the performance car world, the more prosaic WRX has had the budget AWD sports car segment virtually all to itself. Mitsubishi, however, now has their own remedy for this in the form of their AWD, turbocharged Lancer Ralliart, which features the very capable drivetrain from the outgoing Evo IX coupled to a version of the Evo X's 4B11 motor detuned to produce around 238 hp. The U.S. market will probably see the Lancer Ralliart in the form of the now-familiar four-door sedan body, however the European market may get theirs in the shape of a five-door hatch-not unlike the Lancer Concept Sportback shown here.
Mitsubishi will also be fitting the Evo X's twin-clutch SST gearbox to the Lancer Ralliart, which is somewhat surprising given the complexity of the unit and the expense of producing it. There's no word yet on whether a conventional H-pattern manual will be offered, but given it's available on the Evo you can expect to see it in the Ralliart as well.Mitsubishi Motors
Japanese Aftermarket Industry Begins Rolling Out Parts For R35 GT-R
Nissan's all-new R35 GT-R is no slouch in factory form. Its ability to sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in 3.3 seconds is well within supercar territory, as is its 11-second quarter-mile time, but that's not to say there isn't room for improvement. Several Japanese aftermarket manufacturers have already begun releasing tuning parts for the R35, with boutique tuner Mine's being first off the line.
Mine's announced that they have developed a replacement titanium cat-back exhaust and high-flow catalytic converters for the R35, as well as upgrades for the springs, dampers and brake rotors. An air filter and a VX-ROM ECU retune are also on the cards, but the best news is that Mine's will be extending their sales network to the USA for the first time. The parts should be on sale here around the time the GT-R hits North American showrooms, with should have happened by the time you're reading this.
Mine's isn't the only tuner making parts for the R35. Top Secret bought a GT-R, as have HKS Kansai Service, while the GT-R of Matchless Crowd Racing was spotted getting fitted with a prototype exhaust system by ARC.
Lexus Lf-A Prototype To Join Supercar Club?
If you thought the R35 GT-R's 7-minute, 38-second Nurburgring lap time was impressive, then you'll no doubt faint at the news of a Lexus LF-A prototype shattering that time by a full 14 seconds. That's right. Rumours circulating in theJapanese automotive press say the 500hp LF-A just might be the fastest production car around the world's scariest circuit.
Pending confirmation of the rumour, the current "King of the 'Ring" is the Pagani Zonda F, Europe's most exotic of exotics, which can lap the Nordschleife in 7:27. Is a Japanese luxury car better than the best that Europe has to offer? We'll find out once Lexus confirms (or denies) the rumour, but if the whispers of the LF-A's feat are true, it could be just the milestone Lexus needs to help bolster its standing in the luxury-performance market and would most certainly be their ticket into the ultra-exclusive supercar club. Now, if only they'd hurry up and release the thing.