V8

2011 Bentley Continental GT revealed with updates and optional V8

The 2011 Bentley Continental GT represents just the second generation of the popular coupe since it was introduced back in 2003. Back then it represented the first step in Bentley’s renaissance and helped define a whole new market segment. It was a luxury GT offering solid usability that retained much of Bentley’s grand touring spirit.

Now the new Continental GT 4-seat coupe builds on the success of its predecessor, with refreshed design and updated engineering, luxury, craftsmanship, dynamic performance, everyday practicality and refinement.

A  sculptured new body gives the GT coupe a more defined appearance. There are more prominent front guard lines that roll over the headlights and into a more-upright grille, a more pronounced grille treatment that pushes itself into the lower intake, LED running lamps surrounding the main headlight elements and a double-horseshoe rear-end treatment inspired by the Mulsanne. 

Inside the cabin apparently offers new levels of design, comfort and hand-crafted luxury. There’s a sleeker dash and climate-controlled seats that provide more legroom. There is also a new touchscreen infotainment system featuring state-of-the-art navigation, Google Maps and entertainment while playing the tunes is the latest Balanced Mode Radiator speaker technology and Dirac Dimensions digital sound processing which delivers enhanced audio quality.

In terms of power there has been a boost in horses with Bentley’s 6-litre, 12-cylinder, twin-turbocharged powertrain raising output to 423kW and 700N of torque and this is mated to a new Quickshift transmission which enables double downshifts. Thanks to advanced FlexFuel technology it can also run on both standard unleaded petrol (gasoline) and sustainable bioethanol (up to E85) or any mix of the two.

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Ford 5.0L Coyote and new 5.4L V8 both available as crate engines

According to the American Ford Racing online parts catalog, both the new 5.0-litre “Coyote” V8 and the aluminum-block supercharged 5.4-litre V8 that powers the 2011 Mustang GT and GT500 can now be purchased as crate engines.

The twin-cam 32-valve 5.0-litre V8 produces 412 horsepower and is sold complete with the exception of the air-conditioning compressor and alternator. So the good news is it has a compete fuel injection and ignition systems and all manifolding. The only other item you’ll need that’s not included is the wiring harness and powertrain control module that will cost you an extra $1,499 USD ($2118 NZ) on top of the $6,999 ($9890 NZ) for the engine itself.

If 412 horses just isn’t enough grunt for your build then the larger 5.4-litre engine comes packing 550 hp and 510 pound-feet of torque. The cylinder bores of this new engine have been coated with a Plasma Transferred Wire Arc system to make them stronger than steel or iron and lighter too. This high-tech supercharged engine is a fair bit more pricey at $20,999 ($29,600 NZ) plus the wiring harness and powertrain control module.

Japanese ‘Baby Cobra’ offers looks without fuel costs

The iconic Shelby Cobra. A mere mention of this beastly ride can send V8 fans bonkers and plunge the memory of those lucky enough to have driven one into lustful flashbacks. But what isn’t cool is the ridiculous amount of premium gas the 5.0- to 7.0-litre V8 engines of these bad boys guzzle down.

Now, it no longer needs to be that way and you can have your Cobra without the high gas bill. Japan has come to the rescue and solved another American problem with its new ‘Baby Cobra’. For those who simply want to look like they’re piloting a vintage race car, this is just the trick.

In standard form, the Baby Cobra from Japan is powered by a tiny 660cc engine, (that’s less than a tenth of the size of the original 427 cubic incher with fewer than half as many cylinders) this infant motor is taken straight from a Suzuki Cappuccino microcar. It might not have the same eight-cylinder rumble as the real thing or anywhere near similar performance, but it looks the part nicely.

If the 660cc mill isn’t enough for you, and you have to be the big man then why not go up to the 720cc powerplant that pumps out 158 horsepower. The whole thing is totally ridiculous, totally Japanese and at around $40,000 U.S. ($57,680 NZ) for one, it’s totally expensive.

If you want a Baby Cobra better get in quick before Shelby American sees this little operation and shuts it down.

Bonnie and Clyde’s flathead Ford V8

A documentary about Bonnie and Clyde and their favoured getaway car, the ‘flathead’ Ford V8.

Ferrari boss admits V6 is possible

Sports Car purists who’d given up on Porsche amidst their sedan and SUV shenanigans aren’t going to like this latest news one bit. After nearly completely phasing out even the option of a manual transmission in a Ferrari road cars, prancing horse management has just announced the possibility of a V6 in the near future.

The quote comes from Ferrari’s chief executive Amadeo Felisa, who said that while the prospect would have been entirely dismissed as recently as a year ago, today’s climate — in terms of the environment and customer thinking — means it can’t be ruled out now. The last time Ferrari built a V6 was with the Dino 246 (pictured) that finished production more than 25 years ago. The Dino is, however, fondly remembered as a classic, despite its relatively small engine.

Felisa did, however, kill off any speculation that future Ferraris would be electric-only. The Maranello-based automaker is currently at work on a hybrid system.

NZV8TV S2 Ep11 – Powercruise at Taupo, powerskids, burnouts, dyno, show cars and more – pt2

Powercruise saw one of the largest crowds ever assemble at Taupo Motorsport Park to watch an awesome array of V8 muscle and import performance cars do what you can’t do on the road: drive to have fun. Powerskids, burnouts, dyno shoot-outs, show and go and more.

NZV8TV S2 Ep11 – Powercruise at Taupo, powerskids, burnouts, dyno, show cars and more – pt1

Powercruise saw one of the largest crowds ever assemble at Taupo Motorsport Park to watch an awesome array of V8 muscle and import performance cars do what you can’t do on the road: drive to have fun. Powerskids, burnouts, dyno shoot-outs, show and go and more.

NZV8TV S2 Ep9 – Jaguar Trans-Am, Ford Brute, ’72 Challenger, Group A Commodore, VG Valiant – pt2

GT1 Jaguar Trans-Am, a 427ci (7-litre) Ford Brute ute takes to Hampton Downs, new Dodge Challenger vs 1972 Dodge Challenger, Walkinshaw Group A Holden Commodore, and a big-block Chrysler VG Valiant.

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