Audi’s new R8

Meet Audi’s 2015 R8, a 602bhp refreshed rather than brand new version with a 5.2L V10 hurtling you from 0-100km/h in just 3.2 seconds, topping out at 328km/h. Not that you’ll ever need to go that fast but it’s nice to know that you’re driving something that could overtake a plane at take-off speed. And the same as Lamborghini’s aptly-named Huracan.

If you want something a little tamer (relatively speaking), you can opt for the 5.2L 532bhp version although it’s not much slower – from a standstill you’ll arrive at 100km/h after just 3.5s with a top speed of 321km/h. Maths was never our strong point but it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a difference in those figures. The new R8 e-tron electric version is no slouch either, flying silently from 0-100 in just 3.9s, while Audi have promised a range of over 450km (if it actually lives up to this, or even close enough, we’ll be impressed).

As it’s an Audi, and therefore German, it’s also very mechanically impressive. The petrol versions will include software which makes gear shifting an even faster process, the front axle will feature an electro-hydraulic clutch with a mechanical differential on the rear, the underbody has been aerodynamically optimised and the body is lighter (through the use of carbon fibre reinforced plastics).

Lucky owners clambering into the driver’s seat will find themselves facing a virtual cockpit, and a button which can make the exhausts even louder. If it was our car, that button would be worn out after a very short time.

All yours, providing you’ve got around €165,000 (base model) or €187,400 (V10 Plus) to spare.

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Hearse power

AMS Madness Hearse 9.94 Second World Record
Photo via AMS Performance.

The world’s fastest hearse is being upgraded for 2015. A turbocharged 6.0L V8 Chevy Caprice named ‘Madness’, which still has its original stereo and coffin-carrying capabilities, it’s capable of 0-100km/h in just 2.26 seconds, with a top speed of 220kph.

Holding the world record for the quarter mile for a hearse since 2013 (9.94 seconds), this year sees the madness (pun intended) become even greater, with a new forged engine and a bigger turbo, resulting in a somewhat staggering 1,300hp. That’s on par with the one of the fastest road legal production cars, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Supersport, which boasts 1,200bhp and goes from 0-100kph in 2.5 seconds.

Wherever they’re going, they’ll get there fast.

‘Thick with a brick’

According to Hollywood, thieves are often slick individuals, intelligent and sharply dressed people who can run rings around the police and the people they steal from. In reality, however, the opposite is often true.

Step forward one unfortunate would-be robber – the “thick with a brick” – who attempted to steal a Mercedes E-Class Coupe outside the Pheasant pub in Drogheda, and managed to knock himself out with a brick in the process.

Pub owner Gerry Brady came out to discover a man lying prone on the ground and presumed he’d been attacked. After the thief came to, Brady and his partner became suspicious when the supposed victim didn’t want to get the ambulance or guards involved, despite being quite bloody. They called the guards after discovering dents in the car, and later found CCTV footage which showed exactly what had happened.

The video shows the man trying to break the window with a small stone first, before moving onto a brick, without any success. “I’ll give him this — he was determined, he had three separate goes at it. He got some smack when the brick rebounded back into his gob,” Brady told the Irish Examiner.

Drunk driver falls off bridge (in his truck)

A Boston driver managed to survive a series of events which saw him drive his Toyota Tacoma through a light pole, a sign and then a fence, before his SUV fell from the upper tier of the city’s Interstate 93 to the road below.

Somehow 33 year-old Vannak Sao was still alive when firefighters arrived, and was cut out of his vehicle, and  later charged with drunken driving for his troubles.

Aston Martin – the next generation

VuI_01-newsheroSeemingly taking its name from the Star Trek universe, but more suitably from the Roman god of volcano fire, meet the Aston Marin Vulcan, undoubtedly the next supercar to feature on the walls of children (young and old) the world over.

While there are hints of the current Aston Martin stable, it’s very much a more forward-looking design (possible contender for understatement of the year) with its carbon fibre body, sleek lines and sharp edges, massive spoiler and rear diffuser, not to mention those spiky rear lights (we really love those lights).

Sitting below that sculpted bonnet and the massive air vents is an 800bhp 7.0L V12 engine developed by Aston Martin Racing. Take a moment to let that sink in. And, drawing on the car manufacturer’s racing heritage, the Vulcan will also feature Brembo racing callipers working with carbon ceramic racing disk brakes, Michelin race tyres, a six-speed sequential gearbox and, of course, a rear wheel drivetrain.

Due to make its début next month during the 85th annual Geneva International Motor Show, it has been described by CEO Dr Andy Palmer as “a true sports car for true sports car lovers,” and one which “sets a whole new standard in the ultra-high luxury supercar class,” not hyping the Vulcan up by any means.

Unfortunately, as some of its specifications may have already hinted, you’ll never get the chance to see this particular model on a road near you; Aston Martin have dashed some dreams with the announcement that the Vulcan will be a track-only supercar. Prospective owners will be first invited to build their experience on a number of high performance Aston Martins, including the V12 Vantage S and One-77 road cars.

Considering only 24 Vulcans will be built, you can’t really blame Aston Martin for this – evidently simply sitting into the Vulcan and driving off for a lap of the track will end sooner than expected, probably in a ditch, or a wall. On a more positive note, however, the company did mention “a design language hinting at the next generation of Aston Martin sports cars,” so we may see a distant cousin hurtling around the roads some day.

The £1.5m price tag may prove to be something of a hurdle, but we can’t wait. For the moment, a look at the new DB10 would suffice.

Teaser video at the link.

G-Wagen on steroids

INKAS_Mercedes G63_limo_exterior (4)

These days a lot of the focus is on sustainable driving, high mpg figures, electric power and sustainability. Fear not, however, the strain of madness certainly hasn’t gone away by any means. Meet the armoured Mercedes G63 AMG bulletproof limousine, what can only be described as a beast powered by a 5.5L twin turbo V8 which produces a tasty 537bhp, although it looks like it needs every last drop.

INKAS_upgraded armored limo_G63 (2)Made by Inkas, a Canadian armoured car company, the modified G-Wagen comes with a pistol-holder, massive chairs, satellite TV, and a fridge – basically a relatively well-furnished bungalow.

It’s also got a colour-coded LED system that displays “different animations ranging from business mode to various romantic themes,” because, as we all know, nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a spin in an armoured limo.

As for the price, we presume it operates on the basis that if you need to ask, you can’t afford it. It’s stupid, there’s no doubt about it, but stupid in the best possible way.