Aside from the Porsche 911, butt-engined vehicles are now a thing of the past and theyâ€™re more than likely to remain that way. But there was a time when rear-engine family cars were quite popular.Back in the 1950s, this type of engine configuration was fairly common, especially amongst many European-built economy cars, such as the Renault Dauphine. First unveiled in 1956, the Dauphine was the direct successor to the 4CV.
Like models such as the original VW Beetle, Fiat 500 and even the Morris Minor, the Dauphine became yet another hot-selling European economy car, a segment very popular after World War II. It was designed to have whatâ€™s called a three-box design with Ponton styling, which means that when looking at the car from the side view, itâ€™s literally divided into three separate compartments: engine, passenger and trunk.The Ponton styling theme was common at that time as it featured the carâ€™s fenders and running boards becoming more fully integrated with the rest of the body. In other words, large front fenders were going out of fashion.
Power came from an 845 cc inline-four that, while slow (0-60 mph in 37 seconds), got the job done well enough. It was paired with a standard three-speed manual transmission and a push button three-speed automatic came later. Although it wasnâ€™t anything near a performance car, the Dauphine proved an instant success.In fact, Renault estimated that a fully completed Dauphine rolled off the assembly line every 20-30 seconds. And it wasnâ€™t just in Europe where the car proved to be a hit. The Dauphine was produced under license in at least seven other countries, selling particularly well in South America.
After 10 years of production, over 2 million units were built. This 1962 Dauphine for sale on eBay is the DeLuxe model, but itâ€™s hardly luxurious. It has an upgraded 1400 cc inline-four and four-speed manual. The seller claims thereâ€™s no rust on the undercarriage and its restoration is just about complete.Mechanically speaking, it also has new disc brake pads, rubber hoses and front-end suspension bushings. The original factory radio still exists and thereâ€™s only about 21,000 miles on the clock. The current bid, as of writing, is $6,500.
It goes without saying that a pickup truck isnâ€™t exactly the most aerodynamic vehicle on the road. Pickups have large frontal areas, with squared-off cabs that drop off into cargo boxes â€“ about as aerodynamically efficient as the side of a barn. Still, in an effort to improve performance, fuel efficiency and interior sound levels, truck manufacturers like GMC are always trying to make their pickups more aerodynamic. The latest GMC Sierra, for example - pictured here for the first time in single-cab setup - was tested in General Motors' state-of-the-art wind tunnel to optimize efficiency.
GM's wind tunnel is 750 feet long and is powered by a 43-foot-tall fan that uses 4,500 horsepower to simulate speeds of up to 138 mph. Itâ€™s things like that which, according to GM, makes the Sierra ((and its twin, the Chevy Silverado) the most fuel-efficient V8 pickup on the market.GM also points out that, contrary to popular perception, the wind is actually best channeled with the tailgate in the upwards/closed position, not removed or left flat with the cargo bed. Tonneau covers (particularly soft ones) help channel airflow, but a rear cargo net in place of the tailgate actually harm aerodynamic efficiency.
VW and Audi
tuning maestro ABT Sportsline has followed its updated GTR package unveiled at
the 2013 Geneva Motor Show with an upgrade program for the 2014 Audi R8. ABT increased
output of the 5.2-liter V10 from 525 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque to 600 hp and
405 lb-ft. This translates to a reduced 0-62 mph time of 3.5 seconds, down from
3.7, and a top speed of 199 mph (up from 196). Complementing the power boost are
some chassis upgrades, including a lowered suspension, a set of 19-inch
ER-F lightweight alloys and stainless-steel exhaust system.
The tuner also added some new styling elements to the supercar, with visible carbon fiber being used for the front skirt and grille, side skirts, and rear wing and skirt. Upon request, ABT Sportsline can also add some custom floor mats and integrated entrance lights to the R8â€™s interior, further customizing the German supercar to the buyers' tastes.
The mechanical expertise of working on vintage Ferraris is not something that can be learned via a shop manual. No, this is a fine art that must be taught by master to apprentice.For Andy Greene, his love of old Ferraris began at a young age and he was fortunate enough to have a mentor to teach him the tricks of the trade. As the owner of his own specialty shop in Savannah, Georgia, Greene has become one of the leading classic Ferrari mechanics in the US.
He also has a unique outlook when it comes to vintage Ferrari ownership: namely, that you never really own a classic car like this 250 GT SWB - youâ€™re just its caretaker for a period of time.
Back in 2006, Noble Automotive ended production of the M12 and M400, two ridiculously fast supercars that didn't have many of the electronic gizmos used in more modern machines. But Rossion Cars wasnâ€™t nearly done perfecting either one of them, so it purchased the rights to the cars from Noble and in turn created in the Q1 and RP120. The Q1, for example, may look like the old Nobles, but it's been reengineered from the ground up. It weighs just 2,500 lbs. and is powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged Ford V6 that produces 450 horsepower.
Along with the performance boost, the Rossion Q1 also has a luxurious interior that makes it a better everyday car, yet can still go from 0-60 mph in three seconds flat. Then thereâ€™s the hardcore RP120, which is a different beast entirely. Check out the video below for full details of both enthusiast supercars.
If you've never heard of them then you're in good company. As before stumbling upon this car for sale on eBay, we'd never heard of Zimmer.Founded in 1978, Zimmer Motorcars Corp. was established with the goal of building neo-classic cars. While the cars themselves had an old-fashioned retro appearance, they were in fact based on more modern car platforms.The company became fairly popular in the Eighties and it actually turned a very solid profit for a few years before it finally tanked.
Founded by father-son duo Paul and Bob Zimmer in Syracuse, New York, the cars themselves were built in Florida. The companyâ€™s first model was the Golden Spirit, a retro luxury cruiser based on the chassis of the Lincoln Town Car. It was styled after something from the 1930s with its long hood, exposed headlights and side-mounted spare tire.The company claims it was the first four-door convertible sold in decades but it carried a base price of over $175,000. Buyers could also opt for a shorter version of the car that was based on the chassis of the old Fox platform Mustang, but even that was still quite expensive.
The second Zimmer model was, funnily enough, based on the chassis of another Eighties favorite, the Pontiac Fiero. Called the Quicksilver, it was clearly more modern than the Golden Spirit, as it looked like a weird combination of Eighties styling traits from Buick and Oldsmobile.Examining the Quicksilver even further, however, will fully reveal its Fiero heritage. For starters, it carried over all of the carâ€™s mechanical bits including the 2.8-liter V6 mounted mid-ship. The A- and B-pillars were barely altered and even the interior dash design was very similar save for wood trim and suede-lined seats.
Performance wasnâ€™t anything exceptional, taking 9.7 seconds to go from 0-60 mph and hitting a top speed of just 121 mph. Sounds nice enough but the Quicksilverâ€™s pricing was just outrageous, coming in at more than $50,000 for what was essentially a bespoke Fiero. It was so closely related to the Fiero in fact that owners could have their cars serviced at Pontiac dealers. The Quicksilver was finally discontinued in 1988, which was the same time the Fiero was killed off. This 1986 Zimmer Quicksilver thatâ€™s up for auction on eBay seems to have been well maintained over the years and items such as the radiator, exhaust, power steering, shocks and brakes are all new.
As of writing, the highest bid was just under $7,000 and we have a hard time believing the final sale price will meet the seller's reserve. Compared to its original astronomical price tag, the Zimmer Quicksilver is the epitome of automotive depreciation.
Lamborghini's 50th anniversary tour ended this week, and
one of the 350-strong paradeâ€™s final missions was to show its respects by
visiting Lamboâ€™s headquarters and birthplace in Sant'Agata Bolognese. Supercar
snapper Shmee150 was on hand to film the conclusion to the spectacular event, which
saw the unforgettable lineup of Raging Bulls drive from Milan through Rome,
Orvieto and Arezzo before ending in Bologna. With 123, the Gallardo were the best represented model in the parade.
But there were also a decent number of Aventadors, Murcielagos, Diablos, Miuras, Countachs, Espadas, Urracos, 400 GTs, and a solitary LM 002. Arriving at the Lambo factory, the cars were greeted by spellbound spectators who cheered them on to the final stop of the tour.
To mark the
arrival of the refreshed RCZ coupe in UK showrooms, Peugeot has revealed a new Magnetic
Limited Edition model that comes with a host of special features.Available in
Metallic Nera black or Pearlescent Pearl white, the RCZ Magnetic comes in Sport trim as standard, wearing 19-inch Sortilegealloys finished in onyx matte black, a Black
Pack made up of matte black roof arches and brilliant black front grille, mirror
covers and calipers, and front and rear parking aids.
Inside the limited-edition model boasts leather-trimmed front sports seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and short-shift gear lever, and an upgraded audio and sat-nav system.Limited to just 170 models, prices on the RCZ Magnetic range from Â£25,350 for the 1.6-liter 156-hp gasoline version to Â£27,185 for the 163-hp 2.0-liter diesel, which equates to almost Â£4,000 over the price of stock models.