Now that fall is here after a busy summer, there are some thoughts that have come to mind that are worth sharing.
Incorrect transmission references still abound. Industry members and journalists still refer to automated manual transmissions as an automatic transmission. An “automatic transmission” definition should not change. It’s a transmission that uses fluid to transmit power until a physical lock-up occurs. An automated manual, single or dual clutch uses actual clutches for a physical connection for power transfer at all speeds. They are distinctly different but neither one has a clutch pedal and both can be driven without manually selecting gears.
A Saleen S7R won its class at LeMans for the first time and it was the last running of the GT-1 class. This is quite a momentous event after 10 years of gallant attempts. This time the usually dominant Corvette C6-Rs lost and note they are no longer factory backed. The non-factory backed Aston Martins lost as well. AutoWeek magazine, now published every 2 weeks and called AW, referred to the S7 as a muscle car. It is not a muscle car, nor has it ever been. It is a pure sports car, exotic, light and mid-engine but from the United States. The Wiki page for the S7 has some fascinating statistics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saleen_S7
BMW may have a low horsepower rating versus the real number. Road & Track recently tested the 400hp twin-turbo BMW 750i in a comparison test vs. the Lexus LS 460. The 6-speed automatic, 4600lb BMW ran a quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds at 108mph. Just like the 335i, this car seems to be underrated. I would guess it’s closer to 460hp, perhaps more. If it was really 400hp, it would need to weigh around 4,000lbs to post numbers like that. Think Pontiac G8 GXP as a great benchmark. http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/comparison/2010-bmw-750i-vs.-2010-lexus-ls-460-sport
The 60-130mph test is gaining in popularity. The Battle Of The Supercars, a fun show on Speed TV, tested modified muscle cars in a 60-130mph test. The 800hp+ Ford GT500 and Camaro both ran times significantly slower than they should have. Reason being is they started timing from a standing 60mph start. Better to start below 50mph my source tells me. Also Road & Track just did a similar test but from 80-130mph for production sports cars and their racing counterparts. Don’t know why that starting speed was chosen but I would say a precedent has already been set for the 60mph starting speed. echoflam.com/autos-in-san-jose/new-performance-standard-of-60mph-to-…