Space sports car now flying toward asteroid belt beyond Mars
By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer
Wednesday, February 7
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The world’s first space sports car is cruising toward the asteroid belt, well beyond Mars.
SpaceX chief Elon Musk confirmed the new, more distant route for his rocketing Tesla Roadster, which was launched aboard the company’s Falcon Heavy from Florida.
The Heavy became the most powerful rocket flying today with Tuesday’s inaugural test flight.
Musk says the final firing of the upper stage put his red convertible into a solar orbit that stretches all the way to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The original plan had the car traveling no farther than Mars.
In the driver seat of the Tesla is a space-suited mannequin nicknamed “Starman.” Musk doesn’t plan to fly people on the Heavy, but is working on an even bigger rocket for deep-space crews.
Seven Cool Facts About the Porsche 928
By Chris Chin Automobile Magazine
What you should know about the Panamera’s spiritual predecessor
Last year, as the second-generation Porsche Panamera began arriving in dealer showrooms, its spiritual predecessor, the Porsche 928, celebrated its 40th anniversary. The 928 is a unique car that was in many ways significantly ahead of its time. Even today, it invokes many oohs and aaahs when one rolls through town. And for many, it served as a poster child for many people’s dream car, particularly for those who grew up in the 1980s.
Here are seven facts we learned about the original Porsche 928 and what made it special, aside from being Porsche’s second-ever front-engine vehicle and the company’s first-ever front-engine V-8 automobile.
It was originally meant to replace the 911
By the mid-late 1970s, Porsche was increasingly seeing the 911 as a car that was nearing the end of its evolution. The 928, along with the entry-level 924, were supposed to herald a new era of front-engine, rear-drive Porsches that would feel easier and more modern to drive. In fact, the 928 was seen as the brand’s flagship product, ahead of even the mighty 930-series 911 Turbo. We all know how things shaped up in the end: The 911 is still extant in the lineup today, while 928 ended production more than two decades ago.
It was the fastest naturally-aspirated production vehicle in the world
On August 7, 1986, famed American IMSA racer Al Holbert took a pre-production 928 S4 to the Bonneville Salt Flats for a few sprints. He went on to clock in the flying mile at 171.110 mph and the flying kilometer at 171.926 km/h, making the 1987 928 S4 the fastest naturally aspirated production car in the world at the time. Later that year, the 928 S4 supposedly went on to run a 180-plus mph top speed at Italy’s famed Nardo top-speed ring.
It was a Hollywood star
The 928’s futuristic design and status as a luxury vehicle for the eccentric jetset garnered it a fair share of screen time. It was the star car in several classic big screen hits of the 1980s, including “Weird Science,” “Risky Business,” and “Scarface,” which is also one of the reasons why the Porsche 928 became an icon and an enthusiast’s dream.
The GTS is most desirable variant
Offered from 1993 to 1995, the 928 GTS received a revised V-8 that was bored and stroked to a 5.4-liter displacement, equipped with the latest four-valve-per-cylinder heads, and mated to a new four-speed automatic. The result was an output of 345 horsepower and a 0-60-mph time below 6 seconds. With 928 sales already at their lowest point due to the model’s age, Porsche only sent 407 examples of the 928 GTS to the U.S.
Most 928s were equipped with automatics
It might seem backwards to put an automatic in a Porsche, especially one from the 1970s or 1980s. But the manual in the 928 was not at all a shining moment. In the example I drove, it functioned as if it was lifted from a Volkswagen Bus instead of a Porsche thoroughbred. Even when the 928 was new, the automotive press noted that its manual was not a particular strong suit and, as a result, the automatic was the way to go. Further reason to delete the third pedal is to emphasize the effortless, luxury grand touring persona of the 928.
It makes extensive use of aluminum and galvanized steel
The Porsche 928 was one of the earliest production cars to utilize aluminum throughout its construction. Along with the weight reduction, aluminum also means the Porsche 928 is resistant to rust. Additionally, rust-resistant galvanized steel was employed for the floor pans, roof, and rear quarter panels. There’s actually a saying in Porsche enthusiast land that if you see a 928 with extensive rust, run in the other direction as something really bad clearly happened during its life.
The 928 set the stage for early passive rear-wheel steering systems
Not only does the 928’s transmission sit at the back for better weight distribution, but the transaxle is home to one of the 928’s signature features: the famed Weissach axle. Named after the Porsche R & D center where it was created, this rear axle design is bespoke to the 928. Its purpose is to increase the amount of cornering grip and stability by eliminating the toe-out tendency caused by mid-corner throttle lifts. This translates into incredible mid-corner composure and grip and with the 928’s 50/50 weight distribution, made it not just fast in a straight line but in the corners as well.The Weissach axle is one of the earliest passive rear-wheel steering setups and a precursor to active rear-wheel and even four-wheel steering systems. Other manufacturers adopted similar setups, including Mazda for its second-generation RX7.
Now You Can Rent-A-Jag F-Type SVR at Enterprise
Let the good times roll for $700 a day
By: Ed Tahaney Online Editor
January 10, 2018
Can’t afford a Jaguar F-Type SVR of your very own? Good news—now you can rent one at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in select locations around the U.S.
Better yet, you can get someone to rent one for you, for your birthday, anniversary, or a fun weekend getaway—hint, hint.
Enterprise and Jaguar teamed up to allow drivers to rent one for about $700 a day, a 575-horsepower SVR coupe with a top speed of 200 mph—but you can bet you are on your own if you get a speeding ticket.
The rental company added over 20 F-Type SVRs to its Exotic Car Collection fleet in 15 markets around the country. It is the only car rental brand to offer this specific vehicle to renters we are told.
“The Jaguar F-Type SVR is one of the most sought-after high-end vehicles available today, and it’s a thrill for us to add these cars to our fleet and make it easier for drivers to experience them firsthand,” said Will Withington, Enterprise VP, in a statement.
“We pride ourselves on providing our customers with access to one of the largest collections of exotic and premium vehicles on the planet, and our consistent growth continues to reinforce strong demand for these luxury rentals.”
Depending on your location, the cool Jags can be rented along with everything from Aston Martins to Lamborghinis. Enterprise says the F-Type SVR will be added to its Exotic Car Collection fleet locations in Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Minnesota, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Naples, Orlando, South Florida, Seattle, Phoenix, North Carolina, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Pittsburgh. Sorry, Cleveland.
“As an aspirational product and the halo performance vehicle for the Jaguar brand, this partnership means even more people will have the opportunity to experience thrilling driving dynamics, and the best of British design,” said Kim McCullough, Jaguar Land Rover VP of marketing.
The cars rent for approximately $700 a day at Enterprise’s Los Angeles location and include 100 miles per day—after that it’s .99 cents per mile. Tires for shredding are extra—way extra.
2018 Jaguar F-Type
MSRP $95,600 400 SPORT AWD Convertible
View Full Specs and Compare
EPA MPG: 20 City / 28 Hwy
Horse Power: 296 @ 5500
Torque: 295 @ 1500
Just Listed: 1990 Mosler Consulier GTP LX
A wholly forgotten 1980s relic
By: Conner Golden Daily News Editor February 9, 2018
The sports car itch is hard to shake. Your hard-earned dollars could go toward a used 911, a lightly worn Acura NSX, or a clean C5 Corvette, but take it from us – conformity’s boring. The productivity provocateurs over at Bring a Trailer seem to agree, offering up stellar alternatives like this 1990 Mosler Consulier GTP LX.
Some of you might know Mosler from the mighty MT900 produced primarily in the early 2000s, but few remember the homely Consulier GTP from the 1980s and early 1990s. The oddly shaped coupe was a fairly revolutionary car for the era, constructed entirely of carbon fiber and kevlar panels laid over a fiberglass monocoque. This meant the GTP is light, tipping the scales at just over 2,200 pounds.
This low weight didn’t require much power, so a heavy V-8 wasn’t necessary. Power comes from a Chrysler-sourced 2.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, pushing out a modest 190 hp. This was good for a 0-60 mph time right underneath five seconds, and a top speed around 155 mph.
Despite excellent performance and historical importance, these are dreadfully obscure cars with a face only an enthusiast could love, so prices have mostly remained lower than its contemporaries. A fair number of existing Consuliers are in various states of disrepair, so finding one this clean might not be an easy feat.
This white GTP is fresh from a recent service, one that included a fuel tank overhaul and fresh fluids. For extra get-up-and-go, a Mosler-sourced ECU upgrade boosts power to 200 hp. It’s reasonably low mileage as well, wearing only 17,500 miles from the past 28 years.