Nick Heidfeld, a Former F1 driver, has officially gone to the dark side. How? He's bought a Nissan Leaf which is an all electric car.
Does the Nissan Leaf go fast? No, not really. Does it make loud noises? No, it makes hardly any noise at all since it uses an electric motor. Does it look cool? Ahh, depends on who you are and who you ask. Does it have responsive driving? Mmmm, probably not. So what was a race car driver like Nick Heidfeld thinking?
The purchase of an electric car by the German ex-Formula 1 driver isn't that surprising. Heidfeld currently competes in the newly formed and sanctioned Formula E racing series which features all electric car racing and is sanctioned by the FIA, the governing body behind F1. The series is meant to showcase new electric vehicle technology to the world. He'll mainly be using the car to ferry around his family in Switzerland where he currently lives.
What do you think of an F1 driver, even a former one, buying an electric car?
The McLaren P1 has just achieved supercar halo, a sub 7 minute time on the famed Nurburgring racetrack in Germany. The McLaren P1 averaged speeds over 111 mph to record such a time around the 13 mile circuit. In addition the supercar tackled more than 150 corners, 300 meters of elevation changes and cornering forces of up to 2g. Checkout the video of the McLaren P1 breaking the speed record with McLaren Formula 1 driver, and 2009 F1 World Champion, Jenson Button.
‘The fact that the McLaren P1™ has posted a sub-seven-minute lap at the Nürburgring is unbelievably impressive…. but, as I say, for it to have recorded a sub-seven minute lap time around the Nürburgring is the icing on the cake: proof positive, backed by hard data, on the greatest racetrack of them all, that McLaren has created a genuine game-changer.” commented Jenson Button on the achievement.
There has just been a Rush Featurette released with Ron Howard discussing his latest film project. If you haven't heard about “Rush,” which is about F1 racing and the incredible 1976 Formula One season, than you must have been living under a rock. Gearheads and racing enthusiasts have been eagerly anticipating the movie's released.
The film is directed by Ron Howard, a Hollywood legend, and chronicles the intense rivalry between Niki Lauda and James Hunt. If the Rush Featurette is any indication the movie should have something for racing fans and even those who don't know what an F1 car looks like.
“Rush” is slated for release on September 20th, 2013 but you know how fickle Hollywood can be with release dates. Let's just hope the movie's producers will release it in September.
Set against the golden age of Formula 1 racing, RUSH (directed by Academy Award winning Ron Howard A BEAUTIFUL MIND) portrays the fast-paced, action-packed and exhilarating true story of two of the greatest rivals the sport has ever witnessed – James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth THOR) versus Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl INGLORIOUS BASTERDS) and their illustrious Formula 1 racing teams, McLaren versus Ferrari.
Attention all you high performance enthusiasts and exotic car aficionados, here’s a chance to evaluate the new 2012 McLaren MP4-12C Spider. This is particularly exciting given the number of these cars in the United States. By the time you're done with this, you'll be calling transport companies for bids on importing one of these.
Unveiling the New Model
Just over a year ago Ron Dennis of McLaren replaced the F1 with the newly designed MP4-12C. Sales had increased to over 1,000 units worldwide. Now Dennis has included a hardtop convertible dubbed the “Spider.”
Jeremey Clarkson of Top Gear was on hand in Geneva for the unveiling. Immediately it becomes evident that this car is the ultimate in eye candy. The aesthetics are such that it generates an “I have to have that” response right out of the box.
The car appears to sit low, but the 20-inch wheels fit perfectly high in the body giving the car ample ground clearance. It has huge intake vents just forward of the rear wheels which are functional because the engine uses two radiators — one on each side of the car.
A retractable spoiler adorns the rear hatch and forward of that is a killer-looking glass engine cover exposing the engine and turbo runners. It looks amazing with the Lambo doors open. And those are just a few of the high points — wait until you see the interior.
The interior is space-aged with a custom dash and console unlike any other car. A horseshoe-shaped panel runs vertically from the console up and around the steering wheel and down the door panel narrowing as it drops down. This contains the air vents on both sides at the top and all the switches as it continues down. Right away you will notice something missing — the gearshift. The MP4-12C has a 7-speed transmission with paddle shifters only. The color combinations accentuate the interior perfectly and the quality of the seats and panels are top notch.
What It Can Do
Now things are getting really interesting. The part that makes this dog hunt is a mid-engine 3.8-liter V8 with double overhead cams, port fuel injection and twin turbochargers. It produces an amazing 592 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 443 pounds feet of torque. This was confirmed with a dyno test done by Straight Line.
Considering the size of the engine, it is quite an achievement. Anyone who builds racecars knows that all conventional engines have a fixed camshaft. The camshaft must be installed for either low-end torque or high rpm power. It requires a tradeoff. McLaren uses variable camshaft timing, however, to avoid trading anything. The camshafts run at low rpm to build torque. As the engine revs, a mechanism advances the camshaft to increase air and fuel flow.
The engine is also has a dry sump type oiling system. The oil is not contained in an oil pan but in an external oil tank. This allows the engine to sit lower in the cradle, effectively lowering the center of gravity. The MP4-12C goes from 0 to 60 in 3.1 seconds and back to 0 in a mere 100 feet. Top speed on the Spider is 204 mph, 3 mph slower than the hard top due to the weight. And good thing too – you can't get them everywhere, so if you're not going to use car transport companies, speeds like that will make your drive across the United States a lot more efficient.
Watch Top Gear's Jeremey Clarkson’s amazing video as he pits the McLaren MP4-12C against the Ferrari 458 in a road course. As you can see in the Top Gear segment the McLaren out-handles the Ferrari 458 in the tight course due to its computer-controlled stabilization.
If you purchase a McLaren be sure to use car transport companies that specialize in hauling exotic cars. The McLaren MP4-12C is a car that competes well with the highest profile exotic cars today, and is readily recognizable as the exotic that it is.
On Sunday I went to visit my friend Jack's house or as I like to call him Gypsy Jack. I showed him some of my blogging skills since he wants to start a blog. He showed me some of his awesome motorcycles. He's got a Yamaha R1 that has 175 Horsepower Does it go fast?… Jack's gotten it up to 192mph! If someone lighter rode it he said it could go over 200mph. Also in the stable is a Aprilla Mille R with carbon fiber bodywork and a Yamaha R6. Each bike has a lot of special details and features. Like the handmade windscreen on the R1 and all the graphics on the bikes. You can really tell the time and effort Jack puts into building them. He's put thousands of dollars into each and it shows. For a small sum he will even build you one, if you are game. He won't build a bike for posers, idiots, or douches though. Of course if you are one with tons of money… maybe that will make a difference. 🙂
Including his motorcycle collection Jack also has an impressive toy collection in his basement. My favorite part of the collection is his RC cars, which he used to race competitively. Some of the cars have immense detail, just like the motorcycles, and are tuned to perfection. He used to lap most people in races and usually won in every racing class that he participated in. Also in his collection is a Patton Replica, Star Wars Legos, and a Valentino Rossi replica made by hand. That isn't all as you can see from the photos.
If you have any questions pertaining to riding, sportbikes, motorcycling racing, building a bike, RC cars, or toys Jack is the man to ask.
Check out website: http://www.gypsyjackracing.com/