Next-Gen Nissan R36 GT-R Arriving in 2018


There’s been a lot of talk about Nissan’s plans for its next-generation GT-R, the R36, with senior execs recently confirming a hybrid powertrain for the car and Nissan also giving us a taste of some new design themes with its stunning Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo. Now the automaker’s top designer, Shiro Nakamura, has revealed when we might see the R36 GT-R.

Speaking with Top Gear, Nakamura said the car’s arrival won’t be until 2018… at the earliest. This means we’re unlikely to see the car on sale until the 2019 model year, giving the current R35 GT-R a 10-year lifespan.

Nakamura explained that sales of the current GT-R remain healthy and that more updates are coming. In fact, we’ve already seen spy shots of an updated model, which we’re expecting to be introduced for the 2016 model year.

The GT-R is still unmatched when it comes to performance per dollar, with the $150k GT-R NISMO model capable of lapping the ‘Ring in just 7:08.679, which is slower only than the times set by million-dollar supercars like the McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. Incredibly, Nakamura said the engineering team believes it can extract even more performance from the current setup.

Finally, Nakamura promised that the R36 GT-R would remain a front-engined coupe with 2+2 seating. As for its styling, he said some elements from the front and rear of the Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo may be borrowed.


LykanHypersport 2013: The First Lebanese Super-Car Worth $3.4 Million!

The Beirut-based W Motors has  introduced the world to  the first Arabian ultra-luxurious,  super-car. The LykanHypersport 2013 is an automotive masterpiece  worth $3.4 million and includes the most advanced technology and design.  The sleek vehicle will make it’s sales debut at the Qatar Auto Show starting on January 29th in Doha.

The LykanHypersport 2013 is labelled as the most advanced luxury car made with exclusive technology inside and out.  The tricked out luxurious car comes with a 750 horsepower engine can  reach a speed of 390 kph and can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in just 2.8 seconds. It comes equipped with diamond-encrusted LED lights, a reverse door opening system, a state-of-the-art 3D Virtual Holographic Display with Tactile Interaction, an innovative ID4Motion Interactive Dashboard, and gold-stitched interior leather.

The idea of the hypercar was sparked by designer Ralph Debbas, who has designed several concepts for automakers such as Land Rover and Aston Martin. Debbas is the head investor and CEO of W Motors and worked with a group of masterminds for six years to develop the LykanHyersport 2013.

With a price tag at $3.4 million, the limited sportscar is aimed at the high clientele  of the Middle East, Far East, Africa and Eastern European markets and only has seven examples available. The lucky few who purchase this car will be treated with 24 hour concierge service as well as a Special Edition Cyrus Klencys Watch that’s worth over $200,000.

We have seen other sportscars like the Rimic Concept One electric, the $1.25 million Venom GT2 Hypercar, and the Lamborghini Reventon, but none compare to the luxurious, sleek, and well equipped sportscar LykanHypersport 2013.

Paris Motor Show 2012: Bugatti reveals special edition Veyron GSV

To distract everyone from the fact that its Veyron’s getting a bit long in the tooth, Bugatti’s relentlessly painting it different colours, sticking porcelain on it, taking the roof off, and putting James May inside. Which explains why it only showed this Bianco and New Light Blue 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse at Wednesday night’s VAG party (no sniggering) in Paris, not the show itself – it’s just a new paint job.

The manufacturer painted this one the same colours as the famous 1928 Type 37A Grand Prix-winner. The upper body’s finished in “Bianco” including the roof area and the air scoops while the lower body panels (side skirting, front spoiler, radiator grille frame and rear apron with diffuser), the inner surfaces of the wheel rims and the underside of the automatically extending rear spoiler are in “New Light Blue.” Inside, the peeled cows have been dyed “Cognac”.

The car was instantly sold for £1.54m ($2.5m), considerably more than the £1.34m base price of the Vitesse. But even though it’s mechanically unchanged, the 7.9-litre W16 still makes 1,500 Nm of torque, 1200hp, it’ll get from 0-62mph in 2.6 seconds and top out at 255 mph. The new owner – Jay Leno – best have full confidence in the strength of his hair follicles…

Shelby announces 2013 GT500 Super Snake with up to 850 HP!

When Shelby first launched the GT500 Super Snake in 2007 (or relaunched, if you consider the one-off 1967 prototype), the 5.4-liter supercharged V8 was boosted all the way up to… wait for it… 600 horsepower. Fast-forward just five years and the muscle car landscape looks quite different. The 2013 Shelby GT500 now comes with 662 tire-shredding horsepower from the factory.

To their credit, Shelby American has kept pace the past few years, introducing an 800-horsepower Super Snake and the almighty Shelby 1000. The latest Super Snake model takes things another step further, offering up an incredible 850 horsepower. If that’s too much to handle, customers can opt out of the supercharger upgrade and stick with the factory 662 ponies.

2013 Shelby GT500 Super Snake - front three-quarter view, tilted
Of course, there’s more to the Super Snake than just raw horsepower. The post-title package includes items like upgraded front and rear brakes, Borla exhaust, sport suspension, Shelby-designed 20-inch wheels and a beefier cooling package. There’s also the signature stripes, fiberglass hood and an optional widebody kit that allows for wider wheels and tires.

In total the Super Snake package will lighten your wallet by $28,995, not including the base GT500, or $39,995 if you opt for the 850 horsepower version.

The world’s greatest drag race 2!

8.4 million and counting. That’s how many views our inaugural “World’s Greatest Drag Race” video has earned in the 12 months since it first debuted on our Motor Trend YouTube channel. Not too shabby, eh?

As we did last year, for “World’s Greatest Drag Race 2” (creative title, we know), we lined up this year’s Best Driver’s Car contenders on a retired runway at the El Toro Marine Corps base and let them loose in an all-out run to the quarter-mile checkered flag. It’s the perfect capper to our Best Driver’s Car Week.

All of us here at Motor Trend hope you enjoy watching “World’s Greatest Drag Race 2” as much as we did producing it. Without further ado, turn up the volume and let ‘er rip!

The cars

Though we were down two cars from a year ago, this year’s nine-car field was almost as stellar when it came to total horsepower and overall cost of the sheetmetal on hand. How does roughly $1.2 million and 4700 horsepower sound? Yeah, we thought so.

Here’s how this year’s BDC contenders stacked up against last year’s:

2012 BDC Competitor Base Price (Rounded Up) Horsepower/Torque (lb-ft)
2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 $56,000 580/556
2013 Ford Shelby GT500 $55,000 662/631
2012 Jaguar XKR-S $133,000 550/502
2011 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 $383,000 691/509
2012 McLaren MP4-12C $231,000 592/443
2013 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series $106,000 510/457
2013 Nissan GT-R Black Edition $98,000 545/463
2012 Porsche Carrera S $97,000 400/325
2013 Subaru BRZ $28,000 200/151
Total $1,187,000 4730/4037
2011 BDC Competitor Base Price (Rounded Up) Horsepower/Torque (lb-ft)
2012 Audi R8 GT $201,000 560/398
2012 BMW 1 Series M $47,000 335/369
2012 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with Z07 Package $77,000 505/470
2010 Ferrari 458 Italia $230,000 557/398
2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca $48,000 444/380
2012 Lexus LFA $380,000 552/354
2011 Lotus Evora S $77,000 345/295
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG $187,000 563/479
2012 Nissan GT-R $91,000 530/448
2012 Porsche Cayman R $67,000 330/273
2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS $140,000 450/317
Total $1,545,000 5171/4181

The Test Team’s Take

Our ace test crew consists of road test editor Scott Mortara, associate road test editor and Motor Trend YouTube star Carlos Lago, testing director Kim Reynolds, and technical director Frank Markus. In any given year they’ll gather instrumented data on hundreds of new rides, from the tiniest Fiat to the beastliest Lamborghini. More often than not, they’re the ones who teach the rest of us how to properly launch a vehicle. Cars can be finicky, especially in multi-launch “World’s Greatest Drag Race” situations.

I pinned down Mortara for a quick Q&A session after the BDC dust settled.

NM: Which of the contenders was the trickiest to launch?

SM: Well, all but the Subaru BRZ and Jaguar XKR-S had some sort of launch control system, which basically takes the driver out of the launching equation. But of the pair, the Jaguar was definitely trickier.

NM: Easiest to launch?

SM: Without a question that had to be the Porsche. It had the quickest and easiest launch control of the group.

NM: How many sets of tires did we burn through during the filming of “WGDR 2”?

SM: We burned through a set in the Shelby GT500 — that was a cinch. It went through its tires more aggressively during the drag race than during our hot laps at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which is understandable. But the real tire terror was the Mercedes-Benz Black Series. We killed two sets of tires in that one. It’s a monster.

What the man behind the camera says

Lead videographer Jim Gleason wanted to be careful not to tinker too much with the formula that made last year’s drag race so successful. We talked with him about what went into this year’s production.

NM: How did you and the team want to build upon the success of last year’s “WGDR”?

JG: For this year’s race we wanted to keep things pretty much in line with what we did last year. Other than some new and improved equipment, we felt that there was simply no need to mess with the tried and tested formula. Drag racing on a runway filled with exotic cars is just plain cool.

NM: What did you learn during the filming of 2011’s “WGDR” that you applied in 2012?

JG: For me, the biggest takeaway from last year’s race was how poor of a job we did at capturing the sound of 11 super cars running at full song down a runway. In person, the sound was absolutely breathtaking. This year we purchased better sound gear. We’ve also been toying with the idea of releasing a second version of the “World’s Greatest Drag Race” with no music so you can hear the cars better — an unplugged version, if you will.

NM: How much footage did your team capture during “WGDR 2”?

JG: Hard to say how many minutes we captured, but my best guess has our total workload at about half a terabyte of data. That’s just for the drag race portion of BDC.

NM: How many camera angles were shot during “WGDR 2”?

JG: Including our POVs, I’d say we shot at least 40 different angles.

NM: What the most difficult part of shooting such an event?

JG: The start! Getting all of the cars to leave the line at the exact same moment is surprisingly difficult. It’s a simple task with two cars or even four, but with 9 or 10, it’s a whole other animal.

NM: The easiest part?

JG: Getting volunteers from our staff to drive the cars. They came running!