If you're one of those good souls who doesn't mind getting their Ferrari out in foul weather, we have good news for you. The Italian automaker has just announced the creation of a special winter driving school in Aspen, Colorado. The 2012 Winter Driving Experience is the first snow and ice driving school in America, and should offer participants the chance to sample everything that the new Ferrari FF has to offer in low-traction situations on a custom-built snow and ice course. A fleet of eight FF models have been specially prepared for the task.
Ferrari says that the whole experience will set you back a cool $11,300, plus $950 per guest, though don't expect to lay down your credit card and hop in line unless you already own a Ferrari - the course is for current Prancing Horse owners only. The event will take place over three days and two nights, and Ferrari says that the instruction is based on the successful Pilota On Ice program made popular in Italy. Sounds like a good time to us. Hit the jump for the full press blast and check out the Ferrari site for more information.
Continue reading Ferrari debuts new snow and ice driving school in Aspen
Corvette savant Mike Yager is prepping his Effingham, Illinois-based Mid America Motorworks for a celebration of an American icon. On September 15, the doors to the 18th annual Corvette Funfest will open, and thousands of cars and people will descend upon the grassy destination. This is an important year for fans of the Bowtie brand because the automaker is about to celebrate its 100th birthday.
Another American icon has also reached a milestone this year. The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile turns 75 years old. Oddly enough, the Weinermobile shares a portion of General Motors history alongside the Corvette. Since 1969, the hot-dog-shaped vehicle has utilized a GM chassis, and the current Weinermobile is powered by a 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine. The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile is also making the trek to Effingham to join in on the Funfest activities.
While it's certainly an odd pairing, the Weinermobile and hordes of Chevrolet Corvette cars and fans will mingle under the Illinois sky. According to organizers, registration for the 2011 event is already 40 percent greater than Mid America Motorworks experienced for the 2010 Funfest.
Check out some photos from previous events in our gallery.
Continue reading Mid America Motorworks celebrates two American icons at 18th annual Corvette Funfest
Over the past half-century, James Bond has driven a wide variety of vehicles. (Okay, so most of them have been Aston Martins. The point is there's been a lot of them.) And while the occasional former Bond vehicle may pop up at auction every now and then, seeing more than one or two in the same place is a rare occasion indeed.
Next year, however, the Bond franchise is turning 50, and to celebrate, a number of parties are teaming up to put together the largest display of Bond cars ever. The exhibition will take place at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England, and is being orchestrated with help from Empire (the world's foremost movie magazine) and EON Productions (which puts together every Bond movie ever filmed).
The display will be part of the Big Screen exhibition there, which already includes the Aston Martin DBS from Quantum of Solace, the DB5 from Goldeneye, the Jaguar XKR from Die Another Day, and the 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom lll from Goldfinger. All told, some 50 cars from various Bond movies will be on display from January through December 2012. Follow the jump for the full press release and scope out the quartet of high-resolution images of the four aforementioned vehicles in the gallery.
Few circuits in the world have gained as much notoriety as the Top Gear test track in Surrey, England. The show's private playground plays host to the best performance machines and biggest celebrities. But Clarkson and company didn't design the track themselves, it was set up by Lotus.
Now, Top Gear has again turned to Lotus to design two new tracks for the Top Gear Live traveling show. The courses, B20 Raceway and Docklands GP, will be set up at the NEC in Birmingham and the ExCel center in London, respectively, where thousands of fans will gather for the veritable automotive circus. Each circuit is set up differently, and the corners will be individually named, with an opportunity for fans to vote on the names of one at each track.
Clarkson, Hammond, May and The Stig will perform, of course, as well as Ring-mistress Sabine Schmitz, rival presenter Tiff Needell and five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell. An array of celebrities will battle for the top spot in the on-site Star in a Reasonably Priced Car competition. The highlights of the show, however, are sure to be supercars like the McLaren MP4-12C, Lamborghini Aventador and Ferrari 599 GTO, classic Group B rally cars and F1 racers past and present.
Follow the jump for the press release and check out the track layouts in the gallery.
Continue reading Lotus designs a pair of new test tracks for Top Gear Live
Did you miss the chance to catch Senna in theaters? Did you also miss it when Netflix accidentally allowed you to watch it via their online service? Stop punching yourself in the face because Senna is heading to theaters around the country for a limited time. This means you have no excuse to miss the flick this time around. Get your butts to a theater in one of the following cities on the following dates:
August 12th: New York and Los Angeles
August 19th: Chicago, Philadelphia, Cambridge, San Francisco, Berkley, D.C., Detroit, San Diego, Miami, Nashville, Dallas
August 26th: Atlanta, Minneapolis, Denver
August 29th: Seattle
September 2nd: Indianapolis, St. Louis
If you're a Formula One fan who happens to live in NYC, you have another event worth adding to your calendar. City Winery is hosting a live viewing party of the British Grand Prix. During the event, organizers will share an exclusive peek at Senna. If you're interested, be sure to head to the City Winery web site and make reservations.
Back in 2009, we gave you an inside look at a truly amazing car collection located in Michigan. At the time, the owner preferred an air of anonymity, so we referred to him as the "Sultan of Michigan." His collection is both expansive and all-encompassing, containing automobiles from a range of eras and locations. The man's name is Ken Lingenfelter (cousin of the late John Lingenfelter), and the doors to his collection will open to the public on Saturday, June 18th.
For $15, you will gain access to a collection of over 150 vehicles that range from early Chevrolet Corvettes to the Ferrari Enzo wearing build plaque number 399. Lingenfelter has amassed the type of automotive showcase that makes all enthusiasts envious, while also providing a timeline of exciting vehicles that spans decades.
This isn't just about viewing a collection that's rarely shared with the public. Ken Lingenfelter is hosting the event to support the Detroit Institute of Opthalmology. The organization is devoted to being the leader in collaboration of vision related research, and a champion of helping those with impaired vision.
You can get a look at Lingenfelter's cars by way of the Lingenfelter Collection website. If you're in the Brighton, Michigan area, however, we suggest you pony up some dough and see the vehicles in person. You'll feel good about helping a charity, and we'll feel jealous that we're not there to see the cars for ourselves. This is a collection that is not open to the public, but is occasionally available for car clubs to view when they donate proceeds of the viewing to charity.
Tickets can be purchased online, over the phone (313-824-4710), or at the door (7819 Lochlin
Brighton, MI). We've gone ahead and posted an older video showing just a portion of the Lingenfelter Collection after the break.
Continue reading Sultan of Michigan opens doors to his collection for charity [w/video]
Even with a skill set as specific as vehicular control, there are polar opposites. At one end you have F1 drivers, who position what essentially amount to fighter jets on wheels with pin-point precision. At the other end sits the likes of Ken Block, the Gymkhana master who has wowed us all time and again by drifting his rally car sideways through the tightest of spots and in the grandest of fashion. The two may seem entirely irreconcilable, but they're about to come together for what promises to be an interesting crossover.
While visiting Montreal for the Canadian Grand Prix, it was announced that Block is headed for his first drive in an F1 car this August. But rather than test, as many others have, for a specific team, Block will be the invited guest of Pirelli - the company that supplies the tires both for his rally car and for the entire F1 grid.
The drive will take place at Monza - the legendary home of the Italian Grand Prix - on August 5th. There, Block will take to the wheel of the TF109, the car which Toyota fielded in the 2009 championship before withdrawing from the series altogether, and which Pirelli now uses to test its various F1 rubber compounds.
Block says this test will "take hooning to a whole new level." Are we smelling an F1 Gymkhana video in the making? Too early to say, but we can certainly dream. Official announcement after the jump.
Continue reading Ken Block set for F1 test at Monza
The Autoblog Podcast is opening up tonight for interactive Q&A at 10PM EST. We've embedded both our Q&A module and UStream channel below, so you can listen live and give us real-time feedback. See you soon!
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For tonight's Autoblog Podcast, we're trying something new and exciting. We're going live tonight, responding to your feedback as it comes in through our Q&A Module, which will flip to real-time mode at 10PM Eastern. You can listen live at UStream to hear the hijinks as it happens, too. We've picked some discussion topics, but we fully expect to be led on tangents. You can also use the forum below to drop us your own feedback and questions, or vote on your fellow readers' submissions to help determine what else we discuss this evening. You can subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #233
Ford EcoBoost 3 cylinder and 8-speed transmission
BMW F20 1 Series
Chevrolet Volt 5-Star rating and Nissan Leaf 5-Star NCAP rating
Ford tech glitches
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Every year the Race of Champions brings the best and brightest from all disciplines of motor racing together for one winner-takes-all blitzkrieg. Last year's event was hosted in Dusseldorf, and in 2011, the season-closer will once again return to Germany.
The spectacle is scheduled for December 3-4 at Frankfurt's Commerzbank Arena, an enormous, 50,000-seat venue that hosted soccer's World Cup in 2006. (The side-by-side track setup required for the RoC will likely reduce that capacity some.)
The first drivers to sign on at this early juncture are Germany's own Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher - the most recent and most successful Formula One world champions, respectively. Although neither has won the individual event, the pair have taken the Nations' Cup together the last four years running, and will defend their country's glory once again in front of a home crowd. Official announcement after the jump.
Continue reading 2011 Race of Champions heading to Frankfurt