Been away from your computer this week and missed all the automotive news? We’ve gathered a few of the top stories of the past week along with the weekend racing schedule for your convenience.
We all knew that the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 would be fast, with its engine borrowed from the Cadillac CTS-V, but we now know just how fast that car will be: 7 minutes, 41.27 seconds when clocked around the Nurburgring. Fast enough to match the Lamborghini Murcielago and Porsche 911 Turbo S. That's with two fewer driven wheels than the Murcielago and Turbo S, too, and Chevrolet released the YouTube video this week to prove it.
Ford's Escape already earns eco-credits for offering a 31 mpg-highway hybrid version, but the next car will be even greener. Ford is ditching the top-spec Escape's V-6 engine and the hybrid model, instead offering a 2.5-liter normally aspirated Ti-VCT four-cylinder, a 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbo four, and a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbo four. The 1.6-liter is expected to top the hybrid's highway fuel economy without the use of any electric motor assistance, while the 2.0-liter mill will produce 50 more lb-ft of torque than the outgoing V-6 while earning better miles per gallon.
American VW enthusiasts, rejoice: Vee Dub has finally released the price and options list for the upcoming Golf R hot hatchback, and getting one will set you back at least $34,160, including destination. The Golf R features an uprated version of the GTI's 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, good for 256 hp and 243 lb-ft of torque, and will only be available with a manual transmission when it comes to the states early next year. Buyers can spec their Golf Rs in either two- or four-door models, and there's only one options package: the Sunroof and Navigation package that -- you guessed it -- adds a tilt/slide sunroof and an RNS 315 navigation system, at a cost of $2100.
With the Ranger and Dakota basically gone, the Chevy Colorado is the American small pickup of choice, but GM has been mum as to whether or not the next version -- now on sale in eastern Asia -- will come to the states. In any case, the General has released more details on the pickup: it features two four-cylinder Duramax diesel engines, and can be optioned with rear- or four-wheel drive, and three cab lengths. One new development: Crew Cab Colorados will have 30 -- yes, thirty -- cubbyholes inside the cabin.
We're not entirely sure where it may end up or when it will get there, but a Nissan GT-R is headed to the streets as a law enforcement vehicle. Springfield, Virginia-based Emergency Vehicle Installations released a video of a GT-R wearing some stealthy but serious light modifications, which means that Godzilla could be patrolling streets near you very soon. With a 530 hp twin-turbo V-6 engine and all-wheel drive, we wouldn't be surprised if this Japanese supercar doesn't become a high-speed chase car, too.
Speaking of the Nissan GT-R, the Japanese automaker recently announced that it will make two copies of the Juke-R, which combines the body of the Juke crossover and the powertrain of the GT-R, and that car will be ready some time in November. Nissan claims that the car will help to "gauge public reaction to a sporty Juke." With 530 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and a dual-clutch transmission, we can't imagine the hot crossover to garner lots of cries of "oh, please don't make this, Nissan..."
Blame it on the construction zone: a driver that failed to slow in time for roadwork on Germany's famed Nurburgring Nordschleife managed to cause a pile-up with three others. Seconds later, a BMW M3 Ring Taxi (which ferries tourists around the track for a fee) was not able to slow down for the post-crash traffic, causing another accident. All told, eight cars were damaged and seven were totaled, with something around $350,000 in damages. Ouch.
One would expect that the country that gave the world the Holden HSV Maloo ute would be up to the challenge of breaking the world record for fastest motorized couch, and it was: an Australian iced coffee brand videotaped and financed the adventure for a series called "Put a Motor in It." All told, the couch was powered by a Suzuki motorcycle engine and topped 100 mph on an airstrip outside of Sydney, earning the coveted world record.
Racing this Weekend on TV:
Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama Circuit: Live Saturday, 7PM EST, SPEED
Formula 1: Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka: Live Sunday, 2AM EST, SPEED
NASCAR Sprint Cup: Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway: Live Sunday, 2PM EST, ESPN