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Archived Features For April 2011

Supercars.netApril 2011 Features

Alfa TZ3 Stradale

Rebodied Viper = Zagato TZ3 Stradale

Today Zagato released details of their TZ3 Stradale to celebrate the late Alfa Romeo Centennial. Its style is a fitting tribute to the legendary Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2 of 1965 and maybe the Alfa Romeo T33/2 Stradale made two years later.

Surprisingly, unlike the Corsa version that came before it, the Stradale is essentially a rebodied Dodge Viper ACR. This begs the question: what besides the badges warrants the Alfa Romeo nameplate? It's these sticky situations which Ferrari has tried to avoid by banning any and all restyled cars except their own.

The classic TZ nameplate is an essential part of Alfa Romeo history: The Giulia TZ of 1963 took advantage of Zagato's lightweight aluminum bodies with ‘Codatronca’ bodywork from the Giulietta SZ. The ultimate version is the Giulia TZ2 which many people describe as a mini Ferrari GTO.

GT3 RS 4.0

GT3 RS 4.0

Today Porsche unveiled the 911 GT3 RS 4.0 as a production version of their GT3 RSR race car. With a new 3996cc engine, it offers roughly 500 bhp and a new aerodynamic package that mimics the Le Mans racecar.

With this model, Porsche brings a real dual-purpose sports car on the market. To prove this point they raced a virtually stock version in the ADAC Zurich 24h-Rennen Nürburgring last year and it finished 13th overall.

This link between motorsports and sports cars has been primary to Porsche's 911 line. One of the most extreme examples is this 1983 Porsche 935 Street created specially for TAG boss Mansour Ojjeh.

The Cars of Top Marques

Melkus RS2000 GTS

Last weekend's Top Marques Monaco provided a first look at several new supercars. One of the more refined models was the Melkus RS2000 GTS which is probably the best-looking Lotus Elise variant.

Keating Supercars from Manchester brought out the ZKR, an updated version of their supercar and many blogs quoted the possible 2200 bhp. A similar car reached 260 mph on the California Salt Lake Flats last year with the boost dialed into around 900 bhp.

SpadaConcept produced two cars for the show: a roadster version of the Codatronca called the Monza and a reinterpretation of the Corvette by Ugur Sahin for Soleil Motors. We can expect to see both of these at the upcoming Villa d'Este Concours.

Shanghai vs New York

2013 Ford Taurus SHO

Both the New York Auto Show and Auto Shanghai have journalists divided. Judging by the releases, the Chinese market is now just as important as New York, but which show would you choose?

Today New York had several notable debuts: performance production cars included the 2013 Ford Taurus SHO and Porsche Panamera Turbo S. Among the concept cars is the Scion FR-S and Lexus LF-Gh Hybrid Concept. Probably the most important release from NY is the 2012 Beetle which aims squarely at the MINI.

Shanghai has much more luxury on offer. BMW Group has the Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase and a MINI done by Rolls called the ‘Inspired by Goodwood’. Concepts include the Audi A3 e-tron concept, Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class and Peugeot SxC. We also have our first Volvo feature in some time with the 2011 Volvo Concept Universe.

Top Marques Monaco

Pagani Huayra

This past weekend our favorite indoor supercar show was held in Monaco. Called Top Marques, it featured custom-built supercars that usually don't get much exposure anywhere else.

This year there were six major launches by Gembella, Codatronca, Keating Supercars, Tirrito, Identity Cars and Soleil Motors. We hope to take a closer look at each later in the week.

Our photographer and Monaco expert, Loïc Kernen was onhand to capture everything Top Marques had on offer. He also took some time out of his rigorous shooting schedule to make some local spots. He caught a very rare Detomaso Pantera 200 which is included in our gallery.

Supercars at the Indy Spring Classic

1967 Nickey Camaro 427 Stage III

Dana Mecum sells more American muscle than anyone else and his prized auction in Indianapolis, Indiana is one month away. It will be the 24th annual edition of The Original Spring Classic and many supercars on offer are worth taking a close look at.

Highlighting the entire sale is this 427 Camaro from the Mike Guarise Nickey Collection. It's part of seven exceptional Nickey cars on offer and still retains its L72 427/450 HP Stage III engine. Alongside this is a 2002 tribute car engineered by Bill Thomas to have over 1000 rwhp!

The Paul Dehnert Estate Collection will also be on offer with many great Corvettes such as this 1995 Lingenfelter Corvette ZR1. It's one of only four ZR1s fitted with the 850 bhp Twin Turbo package.

This and over 1000 collectable cars will be auctioned on from May 17th until the 22nd. If you are in the area and can photograph some images for us, please let us know.

FIA GT1 at Zolder

Two Nissans Out

Today Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock won a round of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Zolder with their Reiter Murciélago LP 670. In an action-packed race that took out 3 of 4 Nissan GTRs, Zolder was tough on team Sumo Power GT who lost both cars at the start.

This weekend the organizers paid tribute to the life of Martin Bartek who founded Matech Racing. Four of his cars were racing including a Belgium Racing team Ford GT with Vanina Ickx behind the wheel.

Highlights from the weekend are included in our feature gallery by Dirk de Jager. If there is any demand for the photos of WTCC or Belcar let us know and we will feature them soon.

Phillip Island Classic

The incredible Porsche 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’

A couple weeks ago Australia's premier vintage race series was staged at Phillip Island near Melbourne. Among the 600 cars were several Porsches from the factory museum including the rare 935/78 ‘Moby Dick’.

Another highlight was a tribute to Australia's greatest muscle car: the Ford Falcon GT-HO. 300 had to be produced for inclusion into both the Australian Touring Car series and Manufacturers' Championship. Allan Moffat's own Falcon was present which helped him win the 1971 Bathurst 500 outright and its on youtube.

All of the highlights from Phillip Island come to us from Tristan de Carro who produced some stunning images. Included in our gallery is the entire IMSA/GTP class and other select cars.

Le Mans Series Loses Its Edge

Start of the Race + Pace Car = Chaos!@

This weekend the Le Mans Series hit an all-time low at Paul Ricard. With the safety car still at the front of the pack, race control displayed green. The resulting chaos took out some of the top GT contenders and marred the start of what will be a long season for some.

To make matters worse, time-delayed TV broadcasts omitted the malady as if it never happened. That didn't stop a hi-def rip from reaching youtube. Furthermore, with a fairly weak entry list for the top running LMP1 cars, the organizers ruined any chance of a good race.

Fortunately, Pescarolo, a long-time underdog in LMP1, was able to make a comeback and win the race overall. They only faced 5 other cars in their class including the newly-released Aston Martin Racing AMR-ONE which was understandably unreliable.

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Archived Features For April 2011

Supercars.netApril 2011 Features