Life-Size LEGO McLaren 720S at Goodwood:

Lego McLaren 720S Goodwood FoS

McLaren are on a bit of roll at the moment. Since their return to the road car market as a stand-alone manufacturer their growth has been nothing short of exceptional, first creating credible rivals to the established supercar manufacturers and now, with their new 720S, arguably surpassing them.

Powered by the firm’s well-proven twin turbocharged V8 engine, the all-carbon 720S has taken supercar performance into hypercar territory, with a 0-124mph time of less than 8 seconds. The competition amongst the world’s supercar builders is going to get very tasty…

Lego McLaren 720S Goodwood FoS

McLaren launched the 720S at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the weekend, and in doing so gave visitors the chance to build their very own car. Well, sort of…

Constructed from almost 280,000 LEGO bricks, this life-size replica of the McLaren 720S is the work of certified LEGO Professionals Bright Bricks. Besides being constructed around a metal frame and resting upon real wheels, this incredible 1:1 scale supercar is entirely built from LEGO pieces, and visitors to the Festival of Speed could help to gradually complete the car by adding the final layer of orange bricks to the bodywork.

When complete the finished model actually weighs more than the real car (that’s why the actual 720S is constructed from carbon fibre), and it’s due to go on tour as part of the McLaren 720S launch programme, so you may well get to see it if you’re planning to visit a motoring event this year.

Lego McLaren 720S Goodwood FoS

Until then you can feast your eyes on these pictures of the part-finished 1:1 scale McLaren 720S from the Goodwood Festival of Speed last weekend, including a slightly clickbaity attractive girl (top) and a Goodwood’s own slightly less clickbaity Lord March (centre), plus you can read a review of LEGO’s slightly smaller – but just as orange – McLaren P1 Speed Champions set (courtesy of two of our readers) by clicking here.

(Via THE LEGO CAR BLOG)

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February’s Winning Image

Caitlin is celebrating in February

 With the theme of hobbies, February’s winning image was CAITLIN’S shot taken on the tube slide at Stanwick Lakes.

IMG 4496

Nice use of perspective Cait!

We are now all working hard on ideas for March’s theme, which is “Mums”

Check back at the end of month to see our four images, and vote for your favourite.

Geneva 2017: Artega Scalo Superelletra by Touring

Artega Scalo Superelletra by Touring to debuts at Geneva 2017

Artega is one of several automakers presenting a new electric supercar at the Geneva motor show, in the form of the Scalo Superelletra.

The German manufacturer, which has had chequered history since it debuted in 2008, has commissioned Italian coachbuilders Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera to style the Scalo Superelletra. Just 50 examples will be made when production begins in 2019.

Like other recent electric supercars, the Scalo Superelletra boasts some eyebrow-raising power, torque and performance figures – significantly outpunching the firm’s existing electric sports car, the Scalo, which already develops 575lb ft from its two electric motors.

Full details are yet to be confirmed, but our sister title Auto Express cites reports suggesting the supercar will develop up to 1006bhp, and 1195lb ft of torque from a quartet of water-cooled electric motors. Given this setup, we’d be surprised if the Scalo Superelletra didn’t use some kind of torque vectoring to aid handling.

A 0-62mph sprint of 2.7 seconds is rumoured – 0.9 seconds quicker than the regular Scalo – and a 186mph top speed, up from 155mph. The other important electric vehicle figures, range and recharge time, are claimed to be 311 miles and 17 minutes for an 80 per cent boost.

The Superelletra’s styling also moves the game on from the regular Scalo. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera’s previous projects include the stunning Disco Volante and pretty Mini Superleggera roadster shown in recent years and the striking Artega supercar follows in those footsteps.

Notable are the use of rear vision cameras rather than mirrors (whose pods do look a little like insect antennae) and a fastback-style roofline that belies a McLaren F1-style seating arrangement, with the driver centrally positioned and passengers further back and to each side.

Production plans are yet to be confirmed but it’s expected that the aluminium and composite bodywork would be built by Touring in Italy, but full assembly would take place at Artega’s facility in Delbrück in north-western Germany. Pricing too is uncomfirmed, but is likely to be in the £850k-£1.3m range.

Geneva 2017: Infiniti Project Black S concept

Infiniti Project Black S concept – Menacing new look for the graceful Japanese coupe

Infiniti Q60 Project Black S - Front

Infiniti has unveiled the Project Black S, a concept based on its sleek and elegant flagship coupe. The Black S version gives the Q60 a more aggressive attitude thanks to matte grey paint and carbonfibre aero additions. The race car aura that the concept sports helps emphasise the alliance between Infiniti and Renault Sport F1 as technical partners. The Project Black S concept will be shown at this year’s Geneva motor show

Despite its name the Black S is actually finished in dark grey matte. The paint alone highlights the Q60’s existing curves and makes the front arches look stretched and the rear three-quarter more defined and stronger. But it’s just an illusion, as most of the Q60’s body has been left unchanged.

> Read our review of the Infiniti Q60S

The Black S isn’t simply a Q60 with some new paint and an off the shelf wing and a diffuser, though. The concept gets a reprofiled front and rear bumper, arch extensions to cover a wider track, wheel-well vents, new sills, cooling vents in the bonnet as well as a bespoke wing and diffuser. Each of the new elements have been designed to complement and accentuate the Q60’s existing sculptured shapes and surfaces.

 

 

Mat Weaver, Infiniti’s European design director, showed evo around the car and described the process in transforming the Q60. ‘I like aggressive cars, but it has to suit the style of the car. We’ve taken cues from the Q60’s sculpture and the surfaces so everything now has an elegance to the surface as well as being quite purposeful.’

When asked if adapting the Q60’s distinctive, almost decorative exterior, to a bolder more macho look was a difficult task, Weaver said: ‘The Q60 has a strong image. So no, it was easy to contrast the elegance and the car takes it very naturally.’                                                  

To integrate the new aerodynamic items the team followed the same philosophy with the Black S modifications as it does on every project, including entire cars. ‘We call it hand of the artist, or hand of the craftsmen’ Weaver explains. The result is that each new element has a delicate, organic shape.

 

 

The flicks and shapes that Weaver and his team have created to suit the Q60’s appearance, coincidentally, look similar to the modern wings that appear on modern Formula 1 cars and further signify the relationship that Infiniti has with Renault Sport F1.

The Japanese company has shared information and technology with the F1 team for years; Renault Sport F1 helped refine the V6 that’s in the Q60 and Infiniti helped develop the energy recovery system in this year’s F1 car, the R.S. 17.

> Find out more about Renault Sport’s 2017 Formula 1 car, the R.S. 17

As the Q60 Black S is just a concept for now it’s mechanically identical to the production Q60. However, as the project continues, Infiniti plans to adapt the F1 car’s ERS package to suit the road car’s 3-litre turbocharged V6.

The ERS in the F1 car harvests energy during braking and from the heat of the exhausts, and converts it to electrical energy that is then stored in a lithium-ion battery pack. The electrical energy is used to help spin the turbo’s turbine shaft to help reduce lag, and also adds torque directly to the drivetrain.

Infiniti estimates that adding ERS to the Q60’s drivetrain could increase power by 25%, giving the Black S 500bhp. With that sort of power, combined with its track-ready look, the Q60 Project Black S would be a direct rival to the BMW M4 GTS.

> Read our review of the BMW M4 GTS

As well as the aerodynamic additions, Infiniti has also focused on improving cooling to the engine in the Black S, should it ever need to cope with the extra power. The distinctive grille on the Q60 hasn’t changed, but the bodywork around it has been flared out so air can enter either side rather than just through it. Vents have been cut into the bonnet and the lower bumper has significantly bigger and wider openings, too.

 

 

Infiniti says that the Black S will also receive an appropriately upgraded chassis. The exact details haven’t been released but the concept sits on new 21-inch wheels, and spats have been added to the arches to cover the extended track width.

Infiniti hasn’t confirmed whether it will actually build the Q60 Project Black S, or not. Instead the concept is to introduce the Black S as the top of the range model line, and assert the attitude that cars that wear the badge will have. Infiniti’s current flagship car, the Q60 Red S, combines luxury with a hint of performance. Cars sporting the Black S trim, as clarified by this concept, will be more performance-oriented.

So even if we aren’t lucky enough to be treated to a full production Q60 Project Black S, we will see other Infinitis with increased performance, more focused chassis and more aggressive exteriors.

Geneva 2017: Rolls-Royce Ghost Elegance features paint made from diamonds

Rolls-Royce Ghost Elegance features paint made from diamonds

 

Rolls Royce Ghost Elegance

 

Rolls will also debut spring/summer fashion collection for the Dawn Convertible

Rolls-Royce customers are typically fabulously wealthy individuals – but one collector has gone above and beyond, and the end result will go on display at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. An individual buyer has commissioned Rolls to create a unique long-wheelbase Ghost called the Elegance, which features a paint finish made with 1000 crushed diamonds.

The unique paint is called Diamond Stardust and creates what Rolls calls ‘the most luxurious and lustrous exterior ever seen on a motor car’. While the cost wasn’t specified, Rolls-Royce did say it was the most expensive paint to ever grace the body of a motor car.

 

Rolls Royce Ghost Elegance

 

The diamonds were milled to a fine powder before being mixed with a clear paint, in a process that took Rolls-Royce specialists two months to perfect. It added a further two days to the paint application process, too – though that’s not too much for a car which already takes months to complete.

Elsewhere on its body the Ghost Elegance features hand-painted coachlines in Mugello Red and Black. The same red features on the centre of the wheels, while the theme continues inside, with black leather and Mugello red stitching and piping throughout.

In addition to the bespoke Ghost Elegance, Rolls-Royce will be debuting its first ‘Couture collection’ – the spring/summer 2017 ‘Dawn – Inspired by Fashion’ collection. Essentially it’s a collection of three Dawn convertibles, resplendent in bright Andalusian White paintwork and accented in three bright colours – Mugello Red, Cobalto Blue and Mandarin.

 

Rolls Royce Dawn Inspired by Fashion

 

The final feature on Rolls’ stand will be the Wraith Black Badge – a more driver-focused version of the Wraith, with a redesigned suspension setup and added torque. While the end result is undeniably striking with its black paintwork, blackened chrome and dark Spirit of Ecstasy figure, it’s still a stretch to call any Rolls-Royce ‘sporty’.

All of these Rolls-Royces will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show this week. 

2017 Topics Challenge – February Voting Open

This month is all about Hobbies and Pastimes – As usual, pick the one that says “Hobbies” to you!

Hover over each image and click the icon to see a larger copy, then vote for your favourite.

2017 Topics Challenge – February “Hobbies”

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