Is A New Smart Roadster In the Works?

Posted in Cars, Corner Carvers, Fuel-efficient, General, Mercedes Benz, New Cars, Renault, Smart by Kurt Ernst | July 25th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

A 2006 Smart Roadster Collector's Edition

Autocar and Autoblog seem to think the answer is yes, and I say that’s a good thing. Especially if the mid-engine, rear drive roadster graces our shores this time around. In case you’re not up on quirky European sports cars the size of go-karts, the Smart Roadster was a drop top (or removable roof) “sports car” version of the iconic Smart car. Like the Smart, it was underpowered (in non-Brabus tune, it featured a maximum rating of 81 horsepower) and over-priced (equivalent to the larger, better equipped Mazda Miata).

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Sebastian Vettel Takes Win In European Grand Prix

Posted in Crashes, FIA, Formula 1, McLaren, Racing, Renault by Kurt Ernst | June 28th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Photo: Andrew Griffith

At least half the Red Bull Renault Formula One team had a good weekend in Valencia, Spain. After capturing the pole position, Sebastian Vettel went on to take the win at this Sunday’s European Grand Prix. His teammate, Mark Webber, who started outside of Vettel in P2, had his weekend cut short in a huge crash with Heikki Kovalainen.

Webber, who had fallen back to 9th position, desperately needed to pass the Lotus of Kovalainen to catch the race’s front runners. Misjudging how quickly Kovalainen was slowing for a corner, Webber’s Renault hit the Lotus in the right rear wheel. The impact launched Webber’s car, which landed upside down before rolling and sliding into the tire barrier at triple digit speeds. Despite the severity of the crash, Webber walked away with no significant injuries.

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World Cup Matches, RideLust Style, For June 23

Posted in Automotive Event, Bizarre, Cool Stuff, Corvette, driving, Fiat, Funny, General, Holden, McLaren, Porsche, Racing, Renault by Kurt Ernst | June 23rd, 2010 | 10 Responses |


A German fan shows her... love.

It’s a new day and time for four new World Cup matches. A few games look to be blow-outs, since neither Algeria nor Ghana is known as an automotive superpower. As the American team found out last week, anything can happen in a World Cup match, so no outcome is certain in advance.

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History Reborn: 2011 Renault Clio Gordini

Posted in Car Branding, Favorite Cars, History, Renault by Dustin Driver | June 18th, 2010 | 1 Response |

They called Amédée Gordini Le Sorcier—The Sorcerer. The Italian-born, French-settled racer and engineer first conjured screaming, missile-shaped Formula One cars in the ’50s. Later he transmogrified the humble rear-engined Renault 8 sedan into a rip-snorting little gremlin. The 1964 Renault 8 Gordini had a diminutive 1108cc engine magically tuned to 89 hp and a close-ratio five-speed manual transmission. Insanity, considering the car’s sub-1,700-pound curb weight. Gordini’s livery—blue with two white stripes—gained occult status. Cars that wore it were fast, dangerous, and mystical. Now Renault is casting the spell on its hot little hatch, the Clio 200. The stock Clio 200 has, you guessed it, 200 horsepower and sport suspension. The Gordini model gets a nice shade of blue paint and white stripes. I would gladly make one my bride so it could immigrate to the U.S., but alas, this little French beauty cannot leave her homeland. Hit the jump for a photo of the ’64 Renault 8 Gordini.

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Simply Brilliant Classic Car Commercials.

Between 1950 and 1985 auto manufacturers would do anything and everything to sell you a car. They’d burn them, jump them, flood them and in some cases even make them go boom all in the name of advertising. I recently watched this compilation of classic car commercials and sat in amazement as I viewed what advertisers and automakers did to get buyers into showrooms. By today’s standards everything from the music to the basic concepts will make you shake your head and giggle like a little kid. These old commercials are hilarious, so now just sit back and treat yourself to 5 minutes and 50 seconds of classic automotive goodness.

F1 News: Red Bull Renault Extends Mark Webber’s Contract

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, Newsworthy, Racing, Renault by Kurt Ernst | June 7th, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Mark Webber in Malaysia, 2010. Photo: Morio

Just a few week’s back it looked like Webber was on his way out the door at Red Bull Renault; now, he’s got a guaranteed seat for the 2011 season. Teammate Sebastian Vettel is said to be in negotiations for a three year contract extension at Red Bull, but that doesn’t phase Webber. As Webber described it, “…at this stage of my career, I’m happy to take one year at a time.”

Webber, who began his F1 career at Minardi in 2002, currently leads the World Driver’s Championship points standing. He’s captured 4 poles and 2 wins in seven races thus far, and both Webber and Vettel have made Red Bull Renault this year’s team to beat.

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What Tires Should An F1 Car Run In Sand?

Posted in Bizarre, Burnouts, Formula 1, Racing, Renault, Videos by Kurt Ernst | June 3rd, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Based on this video, it looks like the correct answer is “intermediates”, though I probably would have gone for full rain tires myself. Especially for driving in the salt-water surf.

I’m not sure what the purpose of this ad is, other that demonstrating the potential destruction of a Red Bull Renault F1 car. Sand is the enemy of delicate and precisely fitted parts, but salt water is even worse; unless this is an old chassis with an end-of-life motor, this pointless video was damn expensive to film.

It would have been hilarious if Mark Webber was driving Sebastian Vettel’s car, especially if he drove it straight into the surf. Maybe then Vettel’s paranoia over his position on the Red Bull team would be justified.

Group-B Rally Cars: Age of the Outlaws 1982-1986

Posted in Audi, Citroen, Ford, General, Off-Roading, Racing, Rally, Renault, Track Events, Videos by MrAngry | June 2nd, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Group B Rally Cars

As I sat on my couch the other day filling my head with boob-tube nourishment I came upon a channel that was showcasing rally cars of the past, specifically the Group-B rally cars that were produced from 1982-1986. These cars were some of the fastest and most powerful rally cars ever created and because of this (and a few deaths) there were outlawed after only four years. Formed in 1982 Group-B cars had very few restrictions placed on them and were in a sense, a designers wet dream. They could be as light and as fast as you could make them and with no restriction on horsepower levels these cars would push the boundaries of both man and machine. Below is a video showcase of what most consider to be the top 10 Group-B rally cars ever produced.

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Surprise: Christian Horner Admits Sunday’s Crash Wasn’t Webber’s Fault

Posted in FIA, Formula 1, General, Racing, Renault by Kurt Ernst | June 2nd, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner

This week’s “Thank you, Captain Obvious” award goes to Red Bull’s F1 team boss, Christian Horner, who has finally admitted that Webber wasn’t entirely at fault in Sunday’s crash. The accident occurred when Sebastian Vettel made contact with Mark Webber’s car during a failed attempt to pass the race leader. Red Bull cars had been running in first and second, and Vettel’s boneheaded move eliminated an all but certain 1 – 2 finish for Red Bull.

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Automotive Icon’s of the 1980’s

Posted in Audi, BMW, Buick, Ferrari, Ford, General, Lamborghini, Mustang, Porsche, Renault by MrAngry | May 19th, 2010 | 2 Responses |

1981 Audi Sport Quattro

If you were into cars in the 1980’s you’ll remember that times were tough. Performance numbers were in the toilet, as were most of the cars themselves. I was in high school out on Long Island’s north shore and back then and I remember my high school parking lot very clearly. IROC Camaro’s, old Trans Am’s, Datsun 210’s and old Mustangs filled the lot. As high school kids we took anything we could get our hands on and simply ran with it. Hell, I remember my first car… it was a 1981 Mercury Capri that my Aunt gave me. It was blue, rusty and had 4 different tires on it, but it ran and back then that was all that mattered.

The 1980’s were filled with a fair amount of automotive atrocities, but if you looked hard enough there actually were some bright spots. Listed below are 10 rays of sunshine that helped shed some light on an otherwise miserable automotive decade.

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