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Five new Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 posters for the walls of future generations

A series of new Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 posters is completed, with the fifth and final in the collection revealed recently. The five posters feature the limited edition super sports car, of which all 112 are already sold, presented at Pebble Beach in August 2021 as a tribute to the original Countach’s 50th anniversary.

The futuristic limited edition Countach LPI 800-4 continues to be a source of inspiration, reflecting its predecessor’s non-conformist iconic status that defined a new horizon for automotive design. The image of the original Countach powerfully denoted the passion of the most refined car connoisseurs, as well as the teenagers of a generation who chose a Countach poster for their walls.

The love for the Countach’s timeless lines reinterpreted in this poster collection emphasizes how image alone can stimulate creativity. The five posters by Automobili Lamborghini each bear the signature of artists and illustrators specialising in 3D and digital works, feeding the Countach myth and confirming the immortality of the icon, and available at the Lamborghini Store.

The contributing designers, from around the world, each bring a particular dimension and interpretation of the Countach LPI 800-4 as a future icon.

Omar Aqil, a Pakistani 3D illustrator and CGI artist, places the Countach in the centre of the incredible technological evolution of the last 50 years.

Yegor Zhuldybin, a young Russian creator specializing in surreal digital collages, explores the integration of the new Countach into today’s world, balancing between the modern incarnation of the iconic model and the celebration of Lamborghini’s history.

Shy.Studio, an independent motion graphics studio specializing in 3D animations and still life, is inspired by the influence of the vintage 1980s posters, reproducing the legendary Countach design in a modern setting mixed with abstract, tactile elements and objects that seem to come from another world.

Andreas Wannerstedt, a Swedish artist known for his 3D works featuring hypnotic looped animations, proposes a reinterpretation that stages the encounter between nature and the most advanced human technology: the delicate shades of an imaginary sunset meet the clean lines of the Countach LPI 800-4.

LRNZ (Lorenzo Ceccotti): graphic designer, motion graphics creator, animator and illustrator, highlights the extraordinary graphic qualities of the new Countach, focusing on extreme minimalism and high-tech vibrations.

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The performance cars you need to check out today

The enthusiasm for driving sure isn’t dead – and these are some of the best cars to enjoy the open road in.

There’s still plenty of enthusiasm for driving these days. Take one look at the new car market and you’ll see a variety of models which trade on their ability to induce a grin on a twisty road. In fact, there are plenty of performance cars out there that have been engineered specifically to make the most of every drive.

So let’s dive in and see some of the best options on the market today.

Photos: PA Media

BMW M5 CS

BMW’s M5 has always been one of the poster stars of the fast saloon segment, but the CS version takes things one step further. Though it’s still a useable and practical car, it’s lighter and more focused than even the standard M5.

Plus, it’s got some unique touches such as the retro-style yellow daytime running lights and the oversized carbon bucket seats.

Caterham Seven

If you want the purest driving experience around then look no further than the Caterham Seven. Still handbuilt in the UK, the Seven is incredible lightweight and this makes it ideal for darting around country lanes.

Ranging in power outputs – from the Suzuki-engined 170 to the supercharged 620R – there’s a Seven for all tastes.

Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is often seen as the benchmark for hot hatches. The most recent version is arguably one of the best to date, with impressively sharp handling being matched by a useable and practical bodystyle.

Though its looks might not be for everyone, the Civic Type R is still one of the best-driving cars on sale today.

Toyota GR Yaris

When Toyota announced that it would be making a rally-inspired version of its Yaris, there were some reservations about whether or not the final product would be any good. How wrong people were. The end result – the GR Yaris – is a brilliant example of what a hot hatch can be.

With a clever four-wheel-drive system incredibly dialled-in handling, the GR Yaris feels as though it was designed for the open road.

Porsche Cayman

Porsche’s Cayman is often guilty of stealing some of the attention from its larger stablemate, the 911. With its relatively compact proportions but expertly judged steering, the Cayman is a really useable daily sports car that just happens to be one of the best-handling ones around.

It’s surprisingly practical, too, with more boot space than you might expect from a car of this size.

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Porsche 962 C restored to its original condition down to the last detail

Hans-Joachim Stuck has had to wait almost 35 years for a reunion with the fully refurbished 962 C and its first rollout. So the surprise was all the greater when the silk cloth was drawn back to reveal the vehicle at the Weissach Development Centre.

The racing car from the Porsche Heritage and Museum department has been restored to its original 1987 condition over the past year and a half. “It feels like coming home,” smiled Stuck, stroking the car’s left wing.

The racing driver said he has nothing but fond memories of the victorious car with the racing number 17.

“By arranging this reunion after more than three decades, we have not only surprised Hans-Joachim Stuck, we have also taken a little journey through time. The history of the motorsport story surrounding the 962 C is unique,” said Achim Stejskal, Head of Porsche Heritage and Museum.

At the Weissach Development Centre, where the vehicle was first built and now has been restored to its original condition, Stuck also meets his race engineer of the time, Norbert Singer, and designer Rob Powell, the man responsible for the car’s black, yellow and red livery.

It is 35 years since the now 70-year-old won Germany’s prestigious and fiercely contested ADAC Würth Supercup. During the inaugural series for Group C sports car prototypes, he tested the then-new Porsche dual clutch transmission (PDK) at racing speed. The vehicle’s appearance changed before the second race, the Norisring 200 miles, when Shell came on board as a sponsor. Porsche also competed in yellow and red the following year and Stuck worked hard to successfully defend his Supercup title. This 962 C then began its second life as a test car in the aerodynamics department at Weissach, later serving as a reference vehicle for the sports car manufacturer’s corporate collection.

Armin Burger and Traugott Brecht from Historic Motorsport were jointly responsible for the racing car’s rebuild. “We kept passing this car in the warehouse. Then, about a year and a half ago, we decided to get it out of there, transfer it to Weissach and start working on it,” he Burger. He and his team had to rebuild many parts because they were long gone. “The cooperation with the other departments from Porsche was great. We found almost everything we needed within a radius of just 30 metres,” said Burger. At the very beginning of the reconstruction work, he invited Powell and Singer into the historic motorsport workshop.

“When you hear the right people talking by the vehicle, everything immediately becomes clear. We learned an incredible amount from two witnesses who were right there when it all happened,” he added. The experts completely rebuilt the underbody, changed the arrangement of the radiators and made many other bodywork adjustments. Then they presented the Supercup championship car to European media at a journalists’ workshop at the Weissach Development Centre.

Livery designer Powell brought along various thicknesses of tape, stencils and design sketches from 35 years earlier. “Stucki immediately liked the design of my first sketch,” he recalled.

Stuck gave him an affirmative nod over the roof of the car while the designer tapes the lines and applies a stencil to the front headlight: “This is very important, for example, so that the painters can plan the cut-out correctly. By the way, I still think the colour combination of yellow and red looks modern,” says Powell, putting the rolls of tape over his arm, ready for the numerous questions from the press.

Stuck, who was involved in the development of the car, also takes questions and waits for his turn to do the first laps on the run-in and test track. “I’m a big fan of the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission and proud that I was allowed to test it in the 962 back then. Being able to keep my hands on the steering wheel when changing gears at full throttle felt great right from the start,” he said. Today, PDK is available in every Porsche. A second surprise awaits Stuck just a few metres from the test area, when he discovers his red racing suit from the 80s and is delighted to find he still fits into it. “For me, the time with Porsche was the most successful of my entire career,” he says, putting on his white star-decorated helmet and climbing in. Unlike the basic model, the 962 C has a wheelbase that’s 120 millimetres longer and pedals that are mounted behind the forward-mounted front axle.

“We gave Stucki a very warm welcome at Porsche. He was always one of the drivers whose feedback I could interpret accurately, like the data from a sensor,” revealed Singer, who first introduced an aluminium monocoque with the 956 Group C car and its direct descendent the 962, as well as the Ground Effect underbody. Stuck starts his first lap on the two-and-a-half-kilometre test track in Weissach and all the spectators fall silent as they watch the Group C racer. “The car automatically takes me on a journey back in time and brings back many fond memories. I will never forget the atmosphere at the race tracks,” smiled Singer.

The 962 C made its first public appearance a few weeks ago at the Porsche Museum’s digital Sound Night. It will make many more appearances over the coming year, with driving and presentation events planned for the upcoming ‘40 years of Group C’ anniversary. “The 962 C was one of the few cars I was allowed to drive on my own, without team-mates and with exactly the setup I wanted. You never forget a car like that,” Stuck concluded, promising: “In 2022, we’ll celebrate the 40th in style!”

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Legend Ken Block joins Audi team

Ken Block has made a name for himself as a rally and rallycross driver since 2005. However, the 53-year-old is most famous worldwide for his elaborately produced videos in which he drives high-performance vehicles to the limit at iconic locations. 

The partnership with Audi closes a circle for Ken Block: “Audi is the brand that ignited my passion for motorsport. I am extremely excited to start this new chapter. Together, we will develop innovative projects and push the boundaries of electric mobility.”

Block was a teenager when the Audi quattro revolutionized the World Rally Championship and the Audi Sport quattro S1 stormed Pikes Peak in the USA in record time. These vehicles made Block dream of becoming a rally driver himself.

Now, during his first visit to Audi, another dream came true: the American was allowed to drive several historic race and rally cars from his favorite brand himself. These included the Audi Sport quattro S1, the Audi V8 quattro from the DTM and the futuristic Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo.

Of course, Block didn’t miss the opportunity to test the most powerful electric vehicle currently in the AUDI AG model range. “The Audi RS e-tron GT1 really surprised me,” says Block. “The design is exquisite with great attention to detail and a perfect finish. The driving experience is amazing: the car is incredibly fast and handles very well. The centre of gravity is very low so you can change direction quickly.”

Block is considered as a “petrol head” because of his history. But the American is also re-evaluating and has recently been testing and racing various electric cars. He recorded the third fastest time in the final stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally with an electric prototype and won the inaugural race of the “Projekt E” rallycross series at Höljes (Sweden) in the same year.

“Electric mobility is the future,” said Block. “I see the electric car as a leap forward for us as a society in order to create something that can not only reduce emissions and hopefully make the planet a better place. But not only that: it’s also about performance. I love anything that makes me go faster. Electric cars can do that. And as far as sound goes, I have kids who don’t care about that. They think that the sound of electric cars is just as cool as the sound of internal combustion engines.”

Block and Audi will be working together exclusively in the field of electric mobility with immediate effect. “Audi stands for ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’,” said Oliver Hoffmann, board member for Technical Development at Audi. “Every day we are trying to push boundaries to create the future of mobility. Our goal is to fascinate our customers with progressive design, innovative technology and a broad digital ecosystem. I am delighted that we were able to attract Block and his team to Audi.”

“Block shares our love of performance,” says Head of Audi Brand Henrik Wenders. “He has the ability to inspire people. With his progressive thinking, he will accompany us on our way into an electrifying future. Welcome to the team!”

“At Audi, motorsport is paving the way for future technologies,” said Julius Seebach, managing director of Audi Sport GmbH and responsible for motorsport at Audi. “Electrification is a game changer, just like quattro drive once was. With Block, we’ve got exciting things in store that go perfectly with our strategy.”

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Reconstruction of the first Lamborghini Countach, the 1971 LP 500, unveiled at Villa d’Este

The Countach LP 500 has returned, entered in the class reserved for concept cars at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. It is a passionate reconstruction carried out by Automobili Lamborghini’s Polo Storico that required over 25,000 hours of work on behalf of an important collector. The contribution of the Lamborghini Centro Stile was fundamental in the reconstruction of the bodywork and styling supervision.

“The Countach reinvented high-performance cars,” said Stephan Winkelmann, Chairman and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, “and it became an icon in terms of stylistic language that even today, after decades, still inspires contemporary Lamborghinis. Bringing the reconstruction of the first Countach to the concept class of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, in the year we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of this model, is something extraordinary because it allows us to admire the legendary 1971 LP 500in person for the first time in so many years.”

At the Geneva Motor Show in March 1971, Automobili Lamborghini presented its “idea car”, the LP 500 Countach. The car immediately became the star of the show, and the photographs of it, which went viral, were published in major magazines around the world. This new model was conceived to replace the legendary Miura and wrote a new page in the history of the automobile, both for its technology and design. After three years of development, the LP 500 was sacrificed in crash tests in March 1974 and then disappeared.

At the end of 2017, a classic car aficionado and important Lamborghini customer asked Polo Storico if there was any possibility of creating a reconstruction of the Countach LP 500, a legendary model known only through photographs of the time. 

The first months were spent acquiring all the material available and undertaking an in-depth analysis. “The collection of documents was crucial,” underscored Giuliano Cassataro, Head of Service and Polo Storico. “There had been so much attention paid to all the details of the car, to their overall consistency and to the technical specifications.” Photographs, documents, meeting reports, original drawings, and the memories of some the protagonists of the time: all this contributed to establishing the form and function of every single detail as accurately as possible. The support of Fondazione Pirelli was also fundamental in providing historical archive material to recreate the tires mounted on the original LP500 model.

The work began on the platform chassis, completely different from the tubular frame of the Countach models that would follow. In addition to physically redesigning it, Polo Storico had to decide which work system to use for building it in order to respect the production methods of the time. The same procedure was used for the bodywork, with various modern technological instruments employed for its analysis and definition. Once the sheet metal beating phase was reached, technology gave way to the traditional Italian system, carried out by the “battilastra” with his creativity and tools. A similar process was followed for the interior, which included the lighted diagnostic instruments, as shown on the 1971 prototype.

For all the mechanical components, as in 1971, original Lamborghini spare parts or restored components of the time were used, or failing that, parts were completely rebuilt.

For the historical reconstruction part of the original design, Polo Storico turned to the Lamborghini Centro Stile where the team led by Mitja Borkert, Head of Design, set to work on a very challenging project.

The collaboration with Pirelli – in existence since 1963 – to reconstruct the tires mounted on the LP 500 prototype proved to be invaluable. Thanks to the images and materials preserved in the archives of Fondazione Pirelli, it was possible to use the original plans of the Cinturato CN12 tire fitted on the LP 500 for its Geneva debut. From these documents, the Milanese company’s technicians set out to create the Cinturato CN12 of the Pirelli Collezione range, today’s line of tires dedicated to the most iconic cars built between 1930 and 2000, which preserve the originality of the rubber by combining a vintage image with modern technology. Specifically, the Pirelli Cinturato CN12 tires for the Lamborghini Countach LP 500 were supplied in the sizes 245/60R14 for the front and 265/60R14 for the rear, and are now fitted with the same tread pattern and aesthetics as in the 1970s, but with a modern compound and structure. 

When it came to choosing the color, the PPG archives proved to be crucial, making it possible to identify, after careful analysis, the exact composition for producing the yellow color used, identified as ‘Giallo Fly Speciale’. 

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Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll take on the Bond stunt driving challenge

No Time to Die – the much-anticipated 25th James Bond film and actor Daniel Craig’s last stint as the famous spy, is soon coming to the big screen.

Bond fever has gripped most – including Aston Martin Formula 1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll. In collaboration with Sky Sports F1 team, Aston Martin brought its Formula 1 drivers to the Silverstone Circuit, to drive some of James Bond’s most iconic Aston Martins – including the ubiquitous DB5.

The Bond stunt driving challenge.

This iconic model made its first appearance in Goldfinger (1964), followed by appearances in the ThunderballGoldenEyeTomorrow Never DiesThe World Is Not EnoughCasino RoyaleSkyfall, and Spectre.

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The Lotus Emira GT4 is a race-ready performance car

Lotus has kick-started a new age of motorsport with the release of a new GT4 race car.

The Lotus Emira GT4 follows on from the launch of the regular car in July and while the pair share the same Toyota-sourced 3.5-litre V6 engine, the racer has been given a whole host of aerodynamic tweaks to make it competitive on the circuit.

Built in collaboration with project partner RML Group, it has also been made even lighter than the already-featherweight road car, now weighing 1260kg – a drop of 145kg – through the use of lightweight body panels. A large rear wing is one of the more prominent aspects of the aerodynamic package, too. A full FIA-compliant roll cage, six-point harness and fire extinguisher has been fitted as well.

It follows on from the firm’s last bespoke GT4 racer – the Evora GT4 – which saw wins at the British GT, Dubai 24hrs, Barcelona 24hrs and European GT to name but a few. Each Emira GT4 will be hand-built to meet the very latest safety regulations, with a limited number created for the 2022 season – though Lotus has said it’ll increase production for 2023 ‘in line with global demand’.

Richard Selwin, race programme manager at Lotus, said: “The all-new Emira GT4 is an exciting next step following the hugely successful launch of the Emira road car. We have worked hard with the team at RML Group to ensure this next-generation of Lotus GT car will deliver race-winning performance.”

Photos: PA Media

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Malta Classic announces postponement of 13th edition to 2022

The Valletta Grand Prix foundation has announced that the current event and travel restrictions has for the second consecutive year called for the postponement of Malta Classic’s four-day staple event.

“The production of the Malta Classic Hill Climb, Concours d’ Elegance and the Grand Prix held since 2008 has involved the coordination of travel for overseas drivers, timescale logistical planning, sponsors, partners and most importantly a car enthusiast spectatorship. It is extremely disappointing that the circumstances have led to the postponement of both 2020 and 2021’s editions,” Josef Abela, technical director, Valletta Grand Prix Foundation, said. 

Attracting thousands of vintage car racing enthusiasts each year, the Malta Classic committee has ensured 12 seamless annual events with the health and safety of its drivers and patrons at the core of its operations.

“While the circumstances beyond our control have called for the second consecutive deferment, more than 60 committee members, volunteers and third parties are working towards 2022: the most exhilarating edition yet for its drivers, patrons and spectators,” Karen Zammit Southernwood; secretary for Malta Classic said. 

Malta Classic has announced its dates for the 13th edition scheduled to be back on the road between October 13-16. A rare 1959 Lotus Elite series 1 that was confirmed for this year’s edition is one among many sought after classic cars that will feature in the next edition. 

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The Morgan built for overland adventure

Morgan has unveiled the Plus Four CX-T, a car with adventure at its core. A vehicle with capability not yet witnessed on a Morgan sports car, it opens up the possibility of routes, landscapes and destinations inaccessible by Morgan cars until now.

The Morgan Plus Four CX-T is inspired by Morgan’s well documented history of competing in all-terrain endurance trials. As early as 1911, Morgan sports cars were competing and winning in trials competitions, and this spirit of adventure has been key to shaping the Morgan brand ever since. The more adventurous journeys that are frequently undertaken by Morgan customers all over the world have further fuelled the desire for Morgan to imagine the Plus Four CX-T.

Following the launch of the Plus Four in 2020, Morgan partnered with Rally Raid UK, renowned creator of Dakar race cars, to jointly design and engineer the Plus Four CX-T. One of the aims of the project is to demonstrate the capability and durability of Morgan’s new CX-Generation platform, along with the Plus Four upon which the CX-T is based.

Just eight vehicles will be built, with each customer having the opportunity to work alongside Morgan’s design team to specify their own CX-T. Every Plus Four CX-T is built at Morgan’s factory in Malvern, Worcestershire, before undergoing the final preparation and setup at Rally Raid UK’s own workshop facilities. Morgan’s design and engineering team have worked alongside Rally Raid UK throughout the programme to define the concept, specification, technical attributes, and aesthetic of the model.

The exterior of the Plus Four CX-T is designed to maximise luggage and equipment carrying capacity, and provide the occupant protection necessary for extreme environments. Simultaneously, Morgan has ensured that its visual design reflects this capability and purposefulness.

Most prominently, the rear panel of the vehicle has been replaced with an equipment rack, with unique side body panels designed to be reminiscent of the classic four-seater Morgan.

The rack houses two ruggedised and waterproof Pelican luggage cases, a Zarges aluminium tool/storage box, two Rotopax 11-litre containers and two spare wheel/tyre assemblies. Additionally, for those who venture further off the beaten track, recovery equipment is mounted on the exterior of the car within easy reach when required. All exterior mounting systems for all storage and equipment have been painstakingly engineered to be tough and easy to access when needed.

The external protective exoskeleton can also be adapted to carry leisure equipment such as bikes and surf boards, to compliment the lifestyle activities of the owner, while the removable side screens can be mounted onto the roof of the vehicle, allowing them to be carried unobtrusively in case of a change in weather conditions.

Rally Raid UK undertook a complete study of the standard Plus Four vehicle to determine the possibilities for the conversion. This study included durability assessments of the platform, drivetrain, and suspension systems.

The suspension has been designed to be expedition ready: tough and fit for purpose. Durability, and a drive-over obstacle clearance of 230mm, has been achieved using modified Plus Six wishbones. These widen the track and allow for the extra arc of movement required to achieve the desired suspension performance. The wheel arch apertures have also been modified, allowing the suspension to compress deep into the wheel well, providing maximum traction and stability.

EXE-TC coilover assemblies with internal bump stops are used, these have been developed by EXE-TC specifically for the vehicle. These assemblies are born from off-road competition, and are calibrated to provide the ideal balance of compliance and durability.

In addition to the main suspension hardware, the lower suspension arms contain bespoke bushes which further increase durability. The combined suspension package is optimised to undertake journeys never before attempted in a Morgan sports car, while ensuring composure and comfort during any excursion into the back country.

A five-piece underbody protection system – comprising an engine guard, rear chassis guard, mid-section shield and rear undertray – helps to protect the chassis and important components from damage when driving in extreme conditions. The car is also fitted with a full bespoke exhaust system with rear side-exit that improves the departure angle and contributes to 230mm of ground clearance.

The Plus Four CX-T uses a BMW X-Drive electronic differential with bespoke software, calibrated and tested specifically for the application. Switches inside the cabin allow a choice of three modes to be selected depending upon the driving conditions; each mode varies the degree of differential lock that is applied. Selecting ‘Road’ mode fully opens the differential, while ‘All-Terrain’ mode applies approximately 45% lock to the rear differential, allowing some variation torque distribution between the rear wheels. ‘All-Terrain – Extreme’ mode fully locks the rear differential, providing equal torque to both rear wheels. The two All-Terrain modes are designed to be used when tackling rough surfaces and low-traction conditions. The final drive ratio has also been shortened to account for the larger diameter tyres and suit all-terrain usage.

Inside the cabin of the Plus Four CX-T features have been added to improve occupant comfort and usability in remote environments. A RAM mount track is built into to the dashboard to allow the secure fixing of a variety of devices such as phones or cameras. A flexible map light, pencil and notebook holder have also been integrated, all designed to withstand operation in harsh driving environments.

Cabin stowage has also been optimised with the addition of a removable map/document holder and insulated cool bag, both located in the passenger footwell. A custom-made first aid kit is mounted to the internal roll cage behind the seats. Just like the exterior equipment, every interior feature has been designed with accessibility and convenience in mind, whether this is for use in remote conditions or the leisure pursuits of the owner.  The cabin is enclosed within a composite hard top which is unique to the Plus Four CX-T and has been intricately engineered to fit between the internal and external roll cages.

The Morgan Plus Four CX-T is the second of two special projects being produced by Morgan in 2021, with the first being the Plus 8 GTR. The introduction of the Plus Four CX-T also coincides with the announcement of Model Year 22 updates to the Plus Four and Plus Six, and helps to inform technical and aesthetic advancements for Morgan’s current and future range of vehicles. The Plus Four CX-T is on sale immediately, with all vehicles due to be built before the end of 2021.

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