Lotus outdo themselves again

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All of the (mostly) fantastic cars developed by Lotus have names that inspire visions of excitement, speed and just a touch of terror, like Esprit, Elise and Exige (we’re not too sure about Evora, which could also be a brand of hand-cream for sensitive skin).

The latest model, however, is named the Lotus 3-Eleven. The successor to 2007’s equally oddly-named 2-Eleven track car, what it lacks for in name it more than makes up for in its stats. It’s the quickest production road car in Lotus’ history, for one thing. While the previous version was powered by a supercharged 1.8L engine, the latest edition boasts a supercharged 3.5l V6 block developing 450hp. 0-100km/h is achieved in a mere 3.0 seconds. We don’t have to tell you that’s seriously fast, with a power to weight ration of more than 500hp per tonne.

It’s quite the attractive looking car too, even if it seems like Lotus merely lopped the roof off an Exige and added a massive spoiler. There’s no doubt it looks like a thoroughbred track car, with larger air intakes on the bumper giving it a more aggressive stance, as does the new rear diffuser on the back, and the sharp side scallops. The rear in particular is a beautiful piece of work, with echoes of the Ferrari 458 Spider in the taillights.

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Jaguar’s virtual windscreen

Jaguar have recently revealed their latest technological concept and we have only two words for it – yes, please.

Basically speaking it’s a virtual windscreen – displaying lots of handy pieces of information on the glass including hazard, speed and navigation icons. Despite the fact that Jaguar are highlighting the everyday practicalities of this concept in terms of safer driving (so drivers needn’t take their eyes off the road), the most exciting thing is that it could also help drivers to go even faster on a track day (people generally bring their Jags to track days, right?). That’s more like it.

Virtual racing lines and braking guidance could be projected on the windscreen along with your lap times and information on other drivers. It’ll also let you push your skills harder as you race against your previous laps or lap times which have been uploaded by other drivers.

Video gamers, rejoice. Gran Turismo is truly coming to life.

Armchair racers, rejoice!

Toyota_Gives_GT86_Drivers_The_Chance_To_Race_ThemselvesIt’s a scorching day. You’re hammering down the Fuji Speedway International Course, neck and neck with yourself in your Toyota GT86. Nope, it’s not that slightly uncomfortable dream you keep having, nor is it an especially vivid acid trip – it’s just the latest technology on offer from Japanese giants Toyota and Sony.

You see, one of the best things about Gran Turismo for many of us is the fact that you’re controlling (and crashing) real cars, cars which any one of us could – theoretically – own or drive some day, if we won the lotto or never had any bills to pay. Unfortunately, if your broadband isn’t great (read: quite a lot of Ireland), your competitors don’t really exist, and the thrill of beating virtual opponents doesn’t always last for terribly long.

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