Motorsport back in the day seemed like it must have been one hell of a time. In an era when it was rare to, y’know, actually take your cars out to test them before you brought them to the track, so every so often, a team would show up at the track only to find, lo and behold—their seemingly revolutionary car was a hot mess. Such was the situation with the 1968 Marcos Mantis XP.
Photo: Ng Han Guan (AP)
In the mad dash to make Formula One a more exciting sport, everyone has their ideas that they think will be the biggest factor in crafting a consistently good race product. Now, even Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton is pitching his ideas into the mix: hell yeah, he says, we should have Super Weekends.
When Ewy Rosqvist bought her first Mercedes-Benz, she didn’t have racing in mind. The only girl born to a Swedish farming family, she was encouraged to attend an agricultural college to study veterinary medicine, a career that required her to drive up to 200 kilometers every day on narrow dirt roads. She needed something nimble and quick to get her from Point A to Point B.
For years, I have been meh about the LS swap. General Motors’ ubiquitous V8 engine fits almost anywhere! It makes a lot of power! I know, I know. But it’s so common. It is the “live, laugh, love” of engine swaps, my dudes. It is as basic as pumpkin spice. I got bored of hearing about them.
Tesla’s tax credit time is up, oil production is at all time highs, BMW isn’t confident about next year, and an auto supplier founder is suing his daughter over the family fortune. All of this and more in The Morning Shift for Friday, Oct. 12, 2018.
First Gear: Time Is Running Out For Tesla Tax Credits
At Rennsport Reunion, an event full of every conceivable mind-blowing Porsche that you can think of, one car upstaged them all. It wasn’t an ex-Le Mans car, a shop build funded by an unlimited pocketbook, or even a Paris-Dakar racer. It was this rowdy, dirty, lifted 1974 911 Targa with the fenders sawzalled off that competes in off-road racing. It wasn’t even racing at Rennsport and it won the weekend.
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Car loan interest rates are too high, a Tesla investor takes a big stake in a rival, and so much more in The Morning Shift for Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018.
1st Gear: The National Automobile Dealers Association Chairman Has a Lot to Say
Wes Lutz is the chairman of the NADA and the owner of a Michigan dealership himself, which means he knows car sales as well as anyone, so we should trust him when he says that interest rates on car loans are getting out of control. They now average nearly six percent, according to Bloomberg, and, Lutz says, leading buyers to buy cheaper used cars instead.
When stats for the 2019 BMW i8 coupe and its roadster counterpart came out last year, I was disappointed that BMW didn’t give this spaceship-like hybrid more power. This was its chance to finally make an all-powerful electrified halo supercar, I figured, and it missed the opportunity.
But now that I’ve finally driven it, I realize that I am a big, dumb idiot for believing so. The i8 is gorgeous and striking. It makes futuristic noises and the chassis is excellent. It doesn’t need more power. That’s not what it’s about.
Image: Motorcar Classics
How did it come to pass that Steve McQueen was bestowed the title of “King of Cool” when Paul Newman was infinitely more badass, arguably more talented on the race track, and unequivocally more talented on the silver screen? Besides, he had to be the baddest mother in the land to finesse this Bob Sharp Racing-prepared Datsun 280ZX around the track to win the SCCA C Production championship in 1979. Now is your chance to own that car.
Image: AP Images
After picking up the pole position in this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, with Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas playing the ever reliable wing man on the outside of the front row, Lewis Hamilton got away at the start with the ease of a seasoned veteran. With ease, he quickly stretched out a length or two at the front. Hamilton’s only championship rival, Sebastian Vettel, had started down in eighth position, but launched up the field to fourth, thanks in part to Max Verstappen colliding with Kimi Raikkonen at the end of lap one.
When Annie Soisbault imagined herself as a figure in the sporting world, she didn’t see herself as a racing driver—not at first. With seven French junior titles to her name, Soisbault thought she would surely be a tennis champion, competing internationally and taking home coveted wins at Wimbledon.
Welcome to Formula One in the early 1960s. I bet you’re expecting free-wheeling danger-loving manly men competing for the World Championship, the Steve McQueen cool that everyone expects of drivers in the sport’s most dangerous era—especially from a team as prestigious as Ferrari. So, what if I told you that the battle for first came down to a neurotic skilled at worrying himself sick and a German count with a degree in agriculture?
It’s the most wonderful time of year, folks. A whole slew of wonderful, beautiful overpowered sedans will line up to kick off a 621-mile party around Australia’s notoriously difficult Mount Panorama Circuit. That’s right—the Bathurst 1000 is kicking off tonight, and we’re here to tell you how to watch it.
What business does an SUV have with nearly 600 horsepower? It’s not my job to rationalize that, but it is to go and see what it’s like. Enter the 2019 Masterati Levante GTS and Trofeo, both packing a Ferrari V8, like all SUVs ought to have.
(Full Disclosure: Maserati wanted us to drive the 2019 Levante GTS and Trofeo so badly that it flew me out to Pebble Beach during Monterey Car Week, fed me, put me up in a really nice hotel and then bought all of my Pebble Beach event passes.)
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California’s considering a counter-proposal to the Fed’s desire to freeze mpg standards, new autonomous car development guidelines are out, why Honda chose to work with GM instead of Google’s Waymo and more. This is The Morning Shift for Friday, Oct. 5, 2018.
Racing schools seem to be pretty notoriously difficult to keep in business. Just take a look at the Skip Barber Racing School, which filed for bankruptcy in May of 2017. Now, the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving—a name that almost needs no introduction in the world of speed—has followed suit, filing for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday afternoon.
Image: Formula One on Twitter
This morning’s Formula One race was not exactly a fun one to watch. With the largely uneventful racing pockmarked with the dissatisfaction of watching what could have been a decent fight to the finish dissolve into an intrateam communication battle. Words are what won Lewis Hamilton the Russian Grand Prix today, not an exciting on-track battle. If Hamilton had needed to fight hammer and tongs to get ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, it would have been an awesome race. If the two of them had fought so hard that Sebastian Vettel could catch the pair and make it a three-way battle, all the better.
Photo: Louisette Texier Archive
In 1915, Louisette Texier’s father was hanged by the Turks in the midst of a large-scale extermination of Armenians. Lost, afraid, with seemingly no options left to her, Texier’s mother placed both of her daughters in an orphanage in Istanbul. When she returned to reclaim her daughters, she found they’d been separated and evacuated. Louisette was sent to Marseille, never destined to see her family or homeland again.
Photo: Jörgens.mi (Wikimedia)
Open up a dictionary, and under the definition for ‘class’ you’ll probably find a picture of a Bugatti. These are cars that generally radiate elegant beauty through their sleek curves and undeniable speed. But… not everyone can always be perfect all the time.
Photo: Jonathan Moore (Getty)
This IndyCar season wrapped up on a high note for one of the sport’s fan-favorite veterans. Scott Dixon not only secured a difficult fifth championship, a distinction to set him firmly in the sport’s record books, but he and his wife Emma Davies-Dixon immediately leaped onto the road to promote a documentary of their life in motorsport, Born Racer.
Photo: The Russian Presidential Press and Information Office (Wikimedia)
This isn’t a story we’ve heard very often this year: Mercedes F1 driver Valtteri Bottas has secured pole position to start the 2018 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Sochi is a track full of good memories for the Finnish driver. It was there that he took his first ever F1 win last year. Now, he’s been able to nail pole by a mere tenth of a second, the Mercedes driver many of us wouldn’t have put our money on. Hamilton had been slower than his teammate during every outing on Q3, and a mistake in Turn 7 on his final flying lap cost him pole.
Photo: Getty Images
The Rowan County, NC Sheriff’s Office has issued a warrant for the arrest of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Jordan Anderson for possession of a stolen vehicle. Police claim Anderson purchased the truck despite having reason to believe it was stolen earlier this month.
Once upon a time, a Mercedes-Benz inline-six was the very model of smoothness and opulence and grace. It went away for some time, but now it’s finally back and boasts some impressive power and tech. Then the mad scientists at AMG got their hands on it. Meet the 2019 Mercedes-AMG E53, one of the more interesting AMG cars you can buy right now.
The wickedly fast, ridiculously expensive, please don’t call them sedans even though they’re totally sedans segment has blown up in recent years. “Four-door coupes” like the Audi S7, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe and Porsche Panamera all fight for damn near $200,000 from your well-diversified portfolio. Mercedes has had an…
I think it was during the second or third time I went airborne in a Lancia 037 Stradale—a leap that was higher, faster and further than I’d ever experienced in the previous installment—that I realized how truly jump-happy Forza Horizon 4is. I didn’t think this was possible, as the last game was also extremely…
Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)
Here’s a confession: I have always liked the Porsche Cayman more than the Porsche 911. I don’t think Porsche wants me to feel this way, since it’s manufactured the 911 to be the iconic golden child of the lineup, but I can’t hide these feelings no more, especially not from behind the wheel of a canary-yellow 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS.
Image: Microsoft Studios
Microsoft’s fourth installment of the Forza Horizon series, Forza Horizon 4 will be released on Oct. 2, but yours truly has been puttering away at the game for the past couple of days in order to review it. I can’t yet tell you anything about it yet, because embargoes and everything, but what would you like to know about it?
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People are buying used cars more and more, Android Auto is coming to Toyota, Porsche is done with diesel, and more. This is The Morning Shift for Monday.
1st Gear: A Lot of You Are Buying Used Cars
Your pay is probably going to go down next year, and 2018 remains a bad a year in the scheme of years, and yet there are always the cars. The cars are there to be had. They are there to be bought. Whatever car you want, if you have the money. Used? Sure, if you want. New? Sure, if you’re some kind of moneybags.
It may not look too different, but the 2019 Subaru Forester is all-new, with better handling, reduced road noise, an impressive amount of standard features and an almost ironically-named new Sport trim that altogether almost make up for its desperately slow acceleration. But there’s still plenty on offer if you’re okay with not being a speed freak.
Photo: Carlos Osorio (AP)
It’s always a dark day when you hear that a quality racing series has been banned. In this very unfortunate case, it just so happens to be what I consider to be the purest of all racing series: Stadium Super Trucks. Please spare a thought for Robby Gordon & Co.
Essentially, the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport just isn’t having it anymore. While also racing in the United States, Stadium Super Trucks is largely an Australian series, a popular support for Supercars since their introduction in 2015. But The Powers That Be have been taking a closer look at the sport and have decided, uh, this is probably too dangerous for us to keep endorsing.
Photo: Eugene Hoshiko (AP)
It might not be the first thing you think of, but it’s definitely a question that has entered the minds of many people looking at the electric car world: what actually happens to all those old car batteries when you can’t use them anymore? It’s not something we’ve had to worry about for our IC cars, but EVs? They’re a whole different story.
Photo: Jakob Ebrey (ELMS)
Despite the fact that electric vehicles are all the rage these days, the racing world is looking in new directions to find ways to make motorsport a more sustainable and eco-friendly. For the FIA’s World Endurance Championship, that means turning to hydrogen power.
Earlier on Saturday, the Green GT LMPH2G made its debut at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. Basically, the brand-new experimental car cruised around the hilly circuit to demonstrate both its potential on track as well as how hydrogen pit-stops will work.
She appeared out of nowhere. France’s Odette Siko emerged from mystery in the late 1920s to get behind the wheel of an automobile and start taking to the track.
We don’t know much about Siko—not where or when she was born, not how she was educated, not even what her first car happened to be. Back then, if you weren’t a wealthy socialite with a well-documented existence who commanded plenty of interviews, you could exist pretty much under the radar. Odette Siko just happened to be one of those anonymous few.
Photo: Peter Dejong (AP)
Romano Fenati has become something of a taboo name in the Moto2 paddock after he grabbed competitor Stefano Manzi’s brake lever in the thick of a race. His team dropped him, he was reported for attempted murder, and now, he’s been banned from racing until 2019.
According to a report released by the FIM, Fenati was summoned to their headquarters in Mies on September 18th. They basically demanded that he explain his “egregious and shocking” actions to the governing body, who, apparently, were not impressed:
The best cars are the ones that get used. Driven. Hooned. Appreciated as the functional objects that they are. That’s why it’s impossible to look at Luis Millan’s well-loved turbo widebody 1990 Mazda Miata and not smile a little. This is how you do track cars right, and importantly, how to do it on a budget like a boss.
Photo: Kristen Lee (Jalopnik)
I have to admit that I’d never given much thought about driving Ford Mustangs. Or any American muscle car in general. They’re not my typical go-to, but as I’ve just had one for a weekend, I must say that I think I need to go back and reassess some stuff. In short, I really liked it.
GIF: Goodwood Road & Racing (YouTube)
The Goodwood Revival is awesome in many ways—it takes place in England, you get dressed up, everyone looks fabulous—but perhaps the most awesome thing about it is that the priceless vintages cars actually get driven and raced against each other. Is it terrifying at times? You bet it is.