Every modern McLaren, from the 2011 MP4-12C to the P1 to the 720S is powered by a single family of twin turbo V8s. This engine didn’t come out of nowhere; it started life in a largely-forgotten supercar from Nissan.
The 3.5 liter, 640 horsepower Mercedes ‘M291' 180-degree 12 cylinder engine died twice: first when it repeatedly failed on the race track, and second when the entire racing series it was designed for came to an end.
Group C was one of the greatest eras in racing history, producing the fastest cars to ever run the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. The story of how it died was, sadly, one that it should have seen coming.
Nissan’s legacy in international sports car racing starts with the 1,000 horsepower R90CK that didn’t quite win Le Mans in 1990 and ends with the R390 GT1 that didn’t quite win Le Mans in 1998. But there was an intermediate car that, sadly, didn’t even make it to Le Mans.
The 1989 24 Hours of Le Mans was a landmark race, if for nothing else that it was the last year that the monstrous Mulsanne straight was unencumbered. After 1989, two chicanes were installed, slowing it down. But for this last glorious year, cars screamed at almost 250 miles an hour at Le Mans.
Few race cars have ever bent the rules so close to breaking as the Porsche 911 GT1, a homologation special that was homologated for the road after the car completed its first racing championship. Here’s how and why Porsche built the thing.
The Toyota GT-One never won Le Mans. It will not go down as a champion. It will, however, sit as a reminder of the glory and filth of endurance racing.
Students of history will remember how Porsche came to dominate the legendary Group C era: the Porsche 956/962 was totally reliable and Porsche built a gazillion of them, outlasting all of its faster, more fragile rivals for nearly a decade. The first such car was the turbo Ferrari-powered Lancia LC2, a car too fast to…
Porsche has been happy to announce that it has moved the engine in the 911 RSR race car from the rear to the middle of the car. Cool! But! Porsche was less keen to announce where the transmission went, but I found it hiding behind the engine as usual.
Without question, the modern era of the most famous race in the world—the 24 Hours of Le Mans—has belonged to Audi. That comes to an end this year. This is the way things had to go.
Audi’s factory Le Mans Prototype effort dominated endurance sportscar racing for years—well, until Volkswagen Group sister-brand Porsche entered the mix and the diesel became a four-letter word. Now company insiders suggest that Audi could be dropping their Le Mans program entirely after 2017.
Everyone loves the Carrera GT because it got its engine out of Porsche’s last Le Mans racing project. Well, BMW did the same thing, only with a single, not-for-production X5. Then the got it to do 192 mph on the Nürburgring.
These days, your average Le Mans prototype race car doesn’t so much resemble a car you can buy as it does a 90-million-Euro single-seater multirole fighter jet with twin turbofan engines, capable of 20,000 afterburner-propelled pounds of thrust, a 65,000-ft service ceiling, and 9 g turns, carrying eight tons of…
This is the first heritage edition of the new new Ford GT, and it pays tribute to the black-over-gold original Ford GT40 that came 1-2-3 in the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s a bit of a snub, if you think about it.
Jalopnik’s first ever 25-hour party went off without a hitch, which is more than I can say for Toyota. The LeManstravaganza, presented by Porsche, brought hundreds of people together to watch the festivities and a surprising number actually stuck around for the whole damn thing. Here’s what you missed if you weren’t…
A defective connector on the air line between the turbocharger and the intercooler on the No. 5 Toyota TS050 was to blame for one of the most gut-wrenching losses in 24 Hours of Le Mans history, per a team statement. The technical defect caused a loss in turbocharger control.
Yea, sure, the three Lotus Eleven racecars are cool and all, but check out the custom roof-mounted tire platform on that racing lorry.