Volkswagen is currently making a lot of noise about this:
If you didn’t already know, that’s the Volkswagen XL1, currently the world’s most fuel-efficient hybrid car in regular production. EngageSportMode isn’t usually a fan of eco-cars, but the design details of the XL1 mean that it feels less hair shirt and more Nomex overalls than most.
As a break from discussing Formula 1 tyres, instead EngageSportMode examines Nissan’s new electric Le Mans challenger, and the craziest car you’ve never heard of.
Is the Nissan ZEOD RC really from the 1970s?
A couple of weeks ago, Nissan unveiled its new electric racing car – the ZEOD RC. Following on from 2012′s DeltaWing program which showed so much promise at Le Mans, until being cruelly punted off track, the ZEOD RC uses a development of the DeltaWing’s unique body shape. As you can see it the photo below, with an exceptionally narrow track at the front, tapering to a wide rear, the ZEOD RC will look like little else on the race track.
Whilst the Festival of Speed “proper” doesn’t begin until Friday, Thursday plays host to the Moving Motor Show event. Designed to let the public get up close and personal with a range of new cars from Skoda and SEAT to Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. Of note were the BMW M5′s which seemed to rev and crackle for fun, and sheer awesomeness of five Audi R8 V10 Spyders tearing up the hill one after another.
Thursday is also the quietest day of the Festival of Speed, with not all garages and paddocks full with cars. The number of spectators is also lower, giving the early bird the chance to get close up with the vehicles on site without wading through a wall of elbows.
ESM arrived on Thursday in sweltering humid conditions at around lunchtime. Once the tent was up and somelight refreshment taken onboard, we set off to explore. Below is a pictorial summary of what we found:
ESM’s no expense spared accomodation for Wednesday night in lovely, lovely Luton.
Following a Ferrari 360 Spider through rural West Sussex en route.
ESM’s base of operations for Goodwood.
Priorities were set fairly early on in proceedings. We did bring our own ice though.
Racing seats, lots of rich, red leather. Whatever could it be?
A Land Rover Defender. Obviously.
The rather beautiful Jaguar C-X75 concept.
Rather stylish classic Mustang
Another attractive classic Mustang
I would not get tired of sitting in this interior.
Morgan Aero SuperSport; classically British.
Morgan Threewheeler; classically British and mental.
Koenigsegg Agera R – “only” 1,100 bhp.
Bentley EXP 9 F concept SUV. To be honest, despite the controversy, I actually quite like how it looks.
The demonic looking Audi A1 quattro.
Orangey goodness; the new Audi RS4.
1 of the 337 Toyota 2000GTs produced.
Crazy rat-rod pickup truck. Exposed fuel tank in the back means no smoking whilst driving!
Lexus LFA. Ten cylinders, three exhausts and aerodynamically styled indicators.
Ferrari’s latest drop-top; the 458 Spider
Bugatti Veyron Vitesse. The ultimate expression of this hypercar.
The slightly more “normal” Veyron Grand Sport.
Looking evil in matte black, the Mercedes C63 AMG Black Edition
Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI – 480 bhp and a rev limit of 12,000rpm! One of my favourite tin-top racers.
Is it a bird, is a plane? No, it’s a 1981 Zakspeed Ford Capri; driven at Goodwood by Klaus Ludwig
Coolest Carlton ever? TS6000, packing a 6.0 V8 Chevrolet engine with 600 bhp. This car took the 1988 Thundersaloon series.
Gerry Marshall’s infamous “Baby Bertha”. A Vauxhall Firenza with a 5.0 litre V8.
An altogether different form of power. Nissan’s all-electric Leaf Nismo RC.
The brawny Nissan GT-R GT1.
The #3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Silverado from NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series. It’s 700 bhp is overshadowed by the 850 of Jesse Jame’s Trophy Truck lurking behind.
Wings don’t get much bigger than that fitted to Ari Vatanen’s Peugeot 406 T16 “Pikes Peak”.
Shelby-team 1967 Ford Mustang Trans-AM
1987 Porsche 962C warms itself in the afternoon sun.
Porsche 956′s calmly survey the rest of the paddock.
The 1989 Sauber-Mercedes C9 – Le Mans winner that year.
The quick, but unreliable, Lanica-Ferrari LC2 from 1983. Uses a turbocharged Ferrari 308 GTB engine.
Another Ferrari FF; not quite as cool in generic silver.
Porsche 918 Spyder – 4.6 litre V8 with 2 electric motors, giving a total of 850 bhp.
The original M1 meets the latest M5 on the BMW stand.
Red Bull X2010 concept. Designed by Adrian Newey as the ultimate racing car.
Stay tuned for further photo and video highlights from the other days of the Festival of Speed.
Certain things cross the transatlantic divide rather well; television shows, rock music (I’m looking at you Springsteen) and a growing tendency to litigate over anything. Other things have tended to find the journey across the “pond” rather more difficult. Many of the products of Motor City have failed to make the adjustment to life in the confined surroundings of the United Kingdom. Our narrow roads and parking spaces favour nimble, nippy hatchbacks; our over-taxed fuel prices reward economical four-cylinder engines compared to rumbling, huge, thirsty V8 motors. But that doesn’t stop manufacturers, or private individuals, eschewing such ideas and bringing vehicles born in the USA to these shores. This week’s ICAT/CD focuses on those such cars.
I Could Afford That
Along with being American Week, this is also confessions week on ESM. And the second confession is that attempting to find bargain priced Yank motoring has not been easy. So accept my apologies if this week’s offerings are less budget than usual. Also, I’ve picked genuine US imports; not the products of European designed and built Ford or Vauxhall. Anyway, gentlemen (and any ladies present), start your engines.