Tesla Roadster and Starman Make First Close Approach With Mars - autoevolution
On February 6, 2018, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made history when he launched a car, a first-generation Roadster, into space. That Roadster, along with its driver / pilot known as Starman, has now made a first close approach with Mars.
It’s been two years and eight months since the historical event and, while interest in the Roadster and Starman’s journey has diminished a bit, it’s still impressive. Just in case you woke up this morning and, while sipping coffee, were quietly asking yourself, “gee, I wonder where what Starman is up to today,” as one does, the answer comes from SpaceX itself: Starman is basking in the sight of the Red Planet. Or did, briefly. “Starman, last seen leaving Earth, made its first close approach with Mars today - within 0.05 astronomical units, or under 5 million miles, of the Red Planet,” SpaceX says in a recent tweet. Sure, it’s not like Starman came within touching distance of Mars, but it’s still closer to it than it is to Earth right now, according to the WhereIsRoadster website, which has been tracking progress of the Roadster and its pilot. The same source notes that, if the battery on the Roadster is still working, Starman will have listened to Space Oddity 265,533 times in one year, and to Is there Life On Mars? 357,794 times in the other. Starman is a mannequin dressed up in a prototype of the SpaceX space suit, and there’s another, smaller version of it inside the Hot Wheels toy Roadster on the dashboard. A data storage device with a copy of Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels is included, just in case the duo encounter aliens on their space journey. The Roadster was launched into space on board the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, with no particular target in mind. It sped away at 4,641 mph (7,469 kph) and, according to consensus, it will continue to move into space until it collides with something and is destroyed. Unless it hasn’t happened already. Starman, last seen leaving Earth, made its first close approach with Mars today—within 0.05 astronomical units, or under 5 million miles, of the Red Planet pic.twitter.com/gV8barFTm7 — SpaceX (@SpaceX) October 7, 2020
Porsche 992 Turbo S Cabriolet vs McLaren 720S 1/2 Mile Race Will Spark Debate - autoevolution
Drag racing is all about the bragging rights because unless you put some money on the winner, there's absolutely nothing else to be had from coming up first.
The split-second differences in quarter mile times don't really matter in the real world, so the only benefit is the ability to brag about it at the bar or, if you're that kind of a person, at a family dinner in front of the unemployed cousin.However, for something so completely irrelevant, there sure are plenty of videos on the Internet showing empty airstrips with no actual airplane in sight, but with two (sometimes even three or more) fast cars carefully lined up next to each other, ready to go. Ever since its launch, the new Porsche 911 Turbo S has been thoroughly involved in the stock car drag racing business and, most of the time, the German sports car managed to come on top. Unsurprisingly, we might add, if you consider this particular model's history as well as the crazy specs. For this particular race, the organizers went with a Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, and since they don't offer any particular reasons for their choice - nor is there an obvious one - we're going to assume it was the only one they could find. The retractable roof always adds weight as well as making the vehicle less rigid and, most of the time, less aerodynamic - all of which constitute handicaps in a drag race. And when your opponent is the mighty McLaren 720S in its coupe form, a handicap is the last thing you need. The British sports car is known for its out-of-this-world acceleration capabilities, but previous races have shown it usually needs to bow in front of the all-new 911 Turbo S. Make the distance longer than a quarter of a mile, and the McLaren gets the room it needs to stretch those very long legs and get in front. So far, then, the likely result of the race can be influenced by two things: the fact the 911 is in its convertible form and the length of the race. None of these is mentioned in the title of the video, so the first red flag is raised. Watching the clip will raise a third and final one that's even more infuriating because the first two did influence the result, but at least they allowed a fair fight; the third one, though, is akin to fighting an entire boxing match with one hand tied behind your back. Have a look for yourself and focus on the 911's launch.
This Is How 408 Porsche Horsepower Looked Like in 1996 - autoevolution
It must be quite the feeling to own and drive the fastest, most powerful, and good looking cars in production. That’s true for any generation of humans since cars came to be, but only a handful of carmakers can brag about being able to deliver these objects o…
Porsche has always been part of that select group. Ever since the launch of the 356, its first true production vehicle, the German carmaker was propelled to the top of the list for many buyers. Sure, it did fail from time to time with subsequent models, but Porsche seems to be generally nailing any plan it sets into motion.The 911, one of the most famous car nameplates on the planet, has been around for close to six decades, and each generation seems to be even more special than the ones before it. The new models are always incredible feats of engineering, but so are the older ones, and that’s why old Porsches almost always sell for big bucks. The 993 Turbo shown in the gallery above is a throwback to the 911 family of the 1990s. To be more precise, it comes from 1996 as one of the about 1,300 to have been made specifically for the American market, and looks just as stunning as it did back when it was new. Packing the massive 3.6-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine, the 993 has a power rating of 408 hp, controlled through a 6-speed manual transmission. That’s enough of a troop to have made the car a champion of its time, but also an apparition to be dreaded on the roads today. Having spent a good portion of its life in California (16 years under the sun of The Golden State), the car is now selling with quite a number of miles on it (close to 43,000 miles/69,000 km), but in great shape. We’re not told for how much it goes, but you can find all the details you need on it by following this link.
The Mini Moke Makes an Eye-Popping, Limited-Edition Comeback - autoevolution
The Mini Moke never really went anywhere, since it remained a popular vehicle with resorts in the Caribbean, but it’s been years since it could be legally driven in its home country, the United Kingdom. It’s making a comeback now – on its 56th anniversary, no…
Designed by Sir Alec Issigonis and John Sheppard starting from the Austin Mini, the Mini Moke was meant for military use as a lightweight, easily transportable field vehicle. The small wheels and low ground clearance made it unsuitable for such a purpose so, in a bid to recoup some of the development costs, it was launched on the civilian market. Once repurposed, the Mini Moke was meant as a fun vehicle, and this proves to remain the case even today, when Moke International is relaunching it as a roadworthy vehicle in the UK, after acquiring the rights to the trademark in 2015. The new, improved Mini Moke is bigger, prettier and more powerful than the original but it still retains the same chassis and overall aesthetics customers have come to love. And the Mini Moke sure was loved in its heyday: in between no less than four James Bond appearances, it’s been favored by celebrities like supermodel Kate Moss and actress Brigitte Bardot, and been used extensively anywhere from beaches to luxury resorts. The new iteration is fit for the road, though don’t expect it to be incredibly fast or powerful. Powered by a more environmentally-friendly 1.1-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine mated to a four-speed automatic transmission, the new Mini Moke has 67 bhp on tap and 93 Nm of torque, with a top speed of 68 mph (109.4 kph) and an economy figure of 34 mpg. Inside, you get a two-speaker USB radio, three-clock gauge cluster and headrests on the seat – virtually luxury features compared to the OG. Power steering and heated windscreen come to complete the list, along with upgraded brakes and suspension. Only 56 items will be made to celebrate the 56th anniversary of the brand, with each unit starting at £20,000 (approximately $25,800) before options. Customers have 14 colorful paint finishes to choose from, and will receive a numbered plaque for the hood and Union Jack badging throughout, as fit for such a British classic. Moke International says additional models will arrive in Europe and the U.S. in 2021.
Modded Corvette ZR1 Races McLaren 600LT, Somebody Gets Walked - autoevolution
This is an amazing era for races featuring underdogs that lean on the aftermarket to fight the big boys and we are now back with another example of the sort. The shenanigan we're talking about involves a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and a McLaren 600LT Spider.
For the record, the C7 ZR1, which kicks off at around $122,000, costs roughly half as much as the 600 Longtail Spider (we're obviously discussing the new car prices here). Then again, there are multiple ways of defining "big" and "small" and, if we look at the scale footprint of the two supercars, the tables are turned. So, while the Woking beast weighs in at 2,900 lbs, the uber-Corvette is about 700 lbs meatier."What about the aftermarket magic mentioned in the intro?" I hear you asking. Well, while the Macca came to the battle in factory form, we can't say the same about its opponent. For starters, the twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 of the Brit delivers 600 horses, just like the designation of the machine tells us. As for the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that powers the 'Vette, this has been pushed to around 1,000 hp - we're looking at a car owned by YouTuber Street Speed 717, with this having received multiple updates to reach the desired competitiveness level. Of course, aiming for a racing goal is one thing and hitting that mark is another, so you'll have to rely on the piece of footage below to find out if the massage received by the front-engined beast was worth it - note that the sprinting action kicks off at the 11:39 point, while those of you wishing to see the McLaren shooting flames via its top-mount exhaust tips can head over to the 13:25 point of the video. PS: While we're dealing with a street fight here, please don't use this as an example and head over to the track when you feel it's time for racing.
Jaguar E-Type 60 Collection Announced Prior to Major 2021 Anniversary - autoevolution
Back in March 1961 no one had any idea of the fame British automaker Jaguar would achieve thanks to its now-legendary E-Type series. But they did get a glimpse at stardom at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland just like we are right now when the automaker is…
Jaguar’s Classic division has taken upon itself to cause a major storm among E-Type collectors by providing them with just six limited-edition, fully renewed pair of 3.8 examples. The new collection will include lots of historic detailing and some bespoke shades. More importantly, Jaguar is presenting the new special series as a matching pair of units just in time for the 60th anniversary of the E-Type because the carmaker wants a suitable tribute to some of the oldest and most renowned vehicles in the series – the “9600 HP” and “77 RW.” Both were adamant to the model’s global unveiling in March 1961 in Geneva and represent a fitting tribute to the corresponding moment in 2021 when the company will celebrate in a big way the model’s six decades history. According to official tales from the Jaguar storybook, back then the 9600 HP Opalescent Gunmetal Grey 3.8-liter Fixed-Head Coupe was driven “flat out” out of the Coventry factory the night before its presentation. It then arrived with just minutes to spare at Parc des Eaux Vives to greet special guests. And because it became a major success with the audience Jaguar decided it needed a second car in Geneva. That would be, of course, the British Racing Green 3.8-liter roadster with the 77 RW registration plate – who after “dropping everything” was driven the next night by renowned test pilot and engineer Norman Dewis to satisfy the crowd. Their modern reincarnations in the 2021 E-Type 60 Collection will be sourced from the existing pool of 1960s 3.8-liter E-Type units after careful restoration at Jaguar’s Classic Works headquarters in Warwickshire. Their new anniversary specification includes new and exclusive hues alongside 60th anniversary elements designed alongside Julian Thomson, Jaguar’s own design director. As such, each of the six pairs will feature one Flat Out Grey ‘9600 HP’ coupe and one Drop Everything Green ‘77 RW’ roadster, the new paints being a tongue-in-cheek reminder of the trials and tribulations Dewis had to endure behind the scenes. For now, Jaguar did not say anything about pricing and availability for each duo.
2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class W223 Prototype Reveals Headlights and Taillights - autoevolution
Even though we are only about a month and a half from the official unveiling of the seventh generation Sonderklasse, Mercedes-Benz hasn’t jumped the boat when it comes to revealing too many design details of the car yet.
Sure, we pretty much know how the 2021 Mercedes-Benz S-Class will look thanks to a blurry security camera leak from a while ago, and most spy shots so far have managed to give us a clear look at its proportions. So it happens today that we can finally see a clear view of its headlights and taillights thanks to these recent spy photos, which depict a pre-prototype only partially covered by a white tarp. We have no idea how well the engine ‘breathes’ through that material, since every air intake seems to be covered, but it was probably a short drive anyway. As you already know, the W223 S-Class will have a revolutionary interior, unlike any one of its predecessors, with a center touch screen display with haptic feedback taking over most of the knobs and buttons of old. A new generation of the acclaimed MBUX infotainment system will take care of most things inside, with a combination of touch, language and gesture control being the only ways to control the plethora of high-tech features. Form the range of unique novelties introduced by the future crème de la crème of Mercedes-Benz sedans we will also find an HD head-up display system with augmented reality for the navigation, making the driver feel as safe as in a video game driving through unknown areas. On the technical side, it appears that at least some of the engine versions will be optionally paired with a revolutionary all-wheel steering system that can shorten the turning radius of the large sedan to that of a small hatchback. Speaking of engines, an assortment of mild-hybrid, hybrid and plug-in hybrid options will be available, with inline-six, V8 and even four-cylinder architectures later in the production cycle. The V12 will live on but only on Mercedes-Maybach versions, with the AMGs being strictly powered by revamped versions of the 4.0-liter V8.
2021 Ford F-150 Raptor Design Previewed by Accurate Rendering Hours Before Debut - autoevolution
The big day is finally here for pickup fans across America, as Ford is hours away from revealing the new 2021 F-150. The company has done a fairly good job of keeping the truck under wraps, so we thought it'd still be appropriate to show an accurate depiction…
Many artists have done a pretty good job at capturing the essence of the new F-150, but since it's the latest, we thought the rendering by wb.artist20 would be one of the most accurate. And it's the Raptor no less, which we're still not sure they're going to show.It's pretty easy to spot the cosmetic changes at the front of the truck. Ford has made the already butch grille even beefier by extending it toward the headlights. These, in turn, are becoming a bit more block and will drop the little notch in the middle. You could say that this element looks similar to the GMC Sierra. Of course, the super-sized wheels are to be ignored here. Ford isn't going to suddenly start making monster trucks. However, many Raptor owners have lifted their rigs. Ford is yet to confirm whether the Raptor will be part of the F-150 launch, but we wouldn't expect it to be. Speculation is still rampant surrounding this model, as people want an engine upsizing to happen. Is Ford able to go back to the V8? That's a million-dollar question, especially in the context of the upcoming Ram Rebel TRX with its Hellcat supercharged 6.2-liter. That thing will make the EcoBoost Raptor seem unprepared for battle. The new F-150 is said to be "the most powerful light-duty full-size pickup" which is an excellent sign that they Shelby GT500 V8 will be adapted for trucking. Perhaps as important as power is efficiency. Leaked technical details suggest the new F-150 hybrid model is going to be one of the cleanest in the segment thanks to a 3.5-liter V6 and an onboard battery system that can power your miters and drills in a pinch.
2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 Starts from $43000, 4-Cylinder Turbo Packs 255 HP - autoevolution
The 2021 Toyota Supra 2.0 isn't called that because it's got a software update. No, this newer version of everyone's favorite re-badged BMW features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Now, the internet loves to make fun of the "wrong" powertrain in a Supra and is positively littered with jokes about automatics in the MkIV. But if you look at it purely as a sports car and not something out of a Fast and Furious drag race, the 2.0 makes sense.The smaller engine makes the car about 200 lbs lighter. The suspension, steering ratios and looks are all the same. Toyota just changed the design of the wheels and the brakes compared to the six-cylinder. We already knew the power output for the Supra 2.0; it's got 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque (400 Nm), the same as in a base BMW Z4 sDrive30i. But what we didn't know until today is the price, which starts at $42,990 plus $955 for the destination and handling. Considering the Supra is one of the most talked-about sports cars of the decade, that sounds like a bargain. However, you are obviously going to miss the muscular pull of the six-cylinder engine. Also, you don't get a lot of equipment on the base model, which has manual seats and four speakers. Handling is going to be the forte of the four-cylinder Supra. However, we bet drag racing madmen are just going to use it to set some weird world record for the quickest quarter-mile. It's also cheaper for those who want to do a swap. For 2021, the GR Supra 3.0 gets a bump in both power and price. The BMW six-cylinder is now rated at 382 horsepower 368 pound-feet (499 Newton-meters) versus the 335 hp and 365 lb-ft (495 Nm) you got before. But you also pay $50,990, or an extra grand over the 2020 model year. We think it's worth it. Moving up the range, the Supra 3.0 Premium begins at $54,490 or $500 more than last year, while A91 Edition replaces last year's Launch Edition at $55,990. This model gets carbon accents, Alcantara trim and black seats.
Modern Porsche 918 Rendering Looks Like the Perfect AMG GT Rival - autoevolution
The 911 seems to be the sports car every other company wants to beat. But for a while, Porsche wasn't too sure about the rear-engined formula. Their history is littered with alternative coupes and convertibles, and many believe the 928 was the bast.
The Porsche 928 is that one car used in the film Risky Business, the one where young Tom Cruise dances around in his underwear. But it's so much more than that.The arrival of this extremely cool GT resulted in a massive increase in sales. In 1986, the company shifted over 30,000 cars to the American market. It wasn't until 2004 (after the arrival of the Cayenne) that they were able to get reach those levels again. When the 928 arrived in 1978, it was also Porsche's first production car with a V8 engine. It looked like a Pontiac Trans Am and had a similar layout (2+2, RWD). However, the technology was more advanced and obviously expensive. The Porsche sports GT had an aluminum V8 engine with port fuel injection, fully-independent suspension, and modern brakes. Initially, the American-spec car only made about 215 horsepower, but by the end of its life, the 928's engine grew in size, got more valves, and made 345 hp (in the GTS). However, the thing we love the most about this car is its shape. The front is pretty nice, but the view from the back is the best, thanks to a unique bumper design and a beautiful greenhouse. Sadly, Porsche didn't see the need to update the exterior in significant ways over the 17 years this thing was in production. We know Porsche has no reason to undermine the 911 by offering a new 928. There have been rumors about such a car, but right now, the best we can do is an awesome tribute rendering from Instagram artist spdesignsest. He's put just enough of a modern twist on this classic to make it feel contemporary.