Sunday, November 19, 2017

LA Auto Show - Press Days (Coming Soon)

Ignition Speed is looking forward to the upcoming Automobility LA, formerly known as the LA Auto Show 27-30 Nov 2017 at the LA Convention Center.  This year we are expecting 50+ vehicle debuts from leading automakers.  

Ignition Speed has always had a soft spot for trucks and SUVs.  One of the vehicle debuts we are excited about is the new Jeep Wrangler JL.  We’ll be posting pics and videos. This is the first major upgrade since 2006.  That being said, we still expect this to be an evolutionary vice revolutionary upgrade for the jeep.  Some of the key improvements: upgraded interior which will have the U-Connect system and 8.4 inch screen; 8 speed transmission; upgraded axles, new driver 7 inch screen.  In addition to the standard V6 engine, two new options are forthcoming; a turbo four cylinder and a diesel option. One thing jeep enthusiast are not too happy about is moving the front lights to the fenders.  There is also the concern as to whether or not the breadth of aftermarket accessories for the JK version will fit on the new JL version.

Trucks - Now that the Ford Raptor is in its second year of production, we’re anxious to see which manufacturers are ready to step up and compete with that beast of a vehicle.  Dodge has shown some concepts but no other manufacturer currently has anything on the near horizon in production form in a full size truck. 

From the imports, BMW will be debuting eight vehicles, Mercedes Benz will be debuting a CLS, and Porsche will be debuting a turbo hybrid Panamera.  We haven’t been able to confirm anything from Audi but hope to see something new from them.

Check back soon for a full report of our reviews of the latest and greatest cars at Automobility LA.  We also plan to stream some of the vehicle debuts. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Visualizing Nurburgring Lap Times

Recently the Porsche 911 GT2 RS dethroned the Lamborghini Hurrican Performante as the fastest car to lap the famous Nurburgring. The GT2 took only 6 minutes and 47 seconds to round the track, besting Lamborghini's time by 5 seconds.

With this new change-up of the Nurgburgring king, we decided it would be interesting to map out the entire known history of lap times and the relative prices of the cars that claim them.

As expected, we see a strong correlation with a higher price corresponding to faster lap times.
On the left of the chart you can see the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, followed by the Performante, followed by the much more expensive hyerpercar Porsche 918. Looking at the data as a whole we found some interesting trends:

American Cars give the best bang for your buck in regards to price vs performance
With recent track monsters like the Corvette Z06, Camaro ZL1 1LE and GT350R, American companies are able to seriously compete with some of the best on the track. And when it comes to price vs performance, no one can do it better.

There are some relatively cheap cars that are faster around the track than cars an order of magnitude more expensive
There is a wide swing in price between cars that have the same lap time. A good example of this is looking at the new Civic Type-R which recorded a stunning lap time of 7:43. To put that in perspective, that is faster than a V10 Audi R8, Mercedes SLS AMG, and Lamborghini Gallardo.

Germany has the most lap times by far at 43 cars officially tested on the 'ring
It makes sense that Germany would have the most cars officially timed around the track. Porsche in particular has the most times out of all of the car makers. This all makes sense as it is their home turf, and you would expect anyone with a 7 mile racetrack in their backyard to take advantage of it.

In Conclusion
The Nurburgring is known for it's challenge, allure, and history. It has been used to benchmark performance cars against each other for many years. Visualizing the data yields some interesting revelations and we can't wait to see what the future holds and what other records will be broken.

Best Performance per $ based on Nurburgring lap times:
Honda Civic Type-R - 7:43 , $34,775
Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE - 7:16 , $71,295
Chevy Corvette Z06 - 7:13 , $78,995

Worst Performance per $ based on Nurburgring lap times:
Lamborghini Murcielago - 7:42 , $354,000
Mercedes SLR McLaren - 7:52 , $346,000
Lamborghini Diablo SV - 8:04 , $300,000
Buggati Veyron - 7:40 , $1,500,000