Supercars

Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition brings race track performance to the open road

Aston Martin is offering the car as a coupe or roadster.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

There's track-centric sports cars and then there's the Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition. Based on the Vantage that serves as an Official Safety Car of Formula 1, the Vantage F1 Edition brings track-honed performance to the open road (or the crowded street - it depends on where you drive it).

The new Vantage is the pinnacle of the Vantage lineup. It benefits from the chassis and aerodynamics improvements that have been put in place to engineer the safety car.

Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin Lagonda

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It comes with a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that has been enhanced to achieve 527 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque. Aston Martin has paired the engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Peak torque holds at the top of the curve longer than is traditional to increase tractability and in-gear urgency.

The car's structural stiffness was increased to improve steering feel and response. The internal workings of the car's campers have increased their effective force range. This change improves the car's ability to crest hills without losing performance capability.

An increased rear spring rate and lateral stiffness help to sharpen turn-in and increase traction to ensure that the back end's response complements the front end's action.

The steering system has been edited for driver clarity. It now offers greater feedback to the driver to help create a pure drive experience.

The rig rides on 21-inch Satin Black Diamond Turned alloy wheels. That's up form the 20-inchers on the traditional Vantage model. Each wheel is wrapped in Pirelli low-profile tires that were specially developed specifically for the F1 Edition car.

At top speed, the Vantage F1 Edition's aero kit is designed to deliver 200 kilograms more downforce than the traditional Vantage. The new rear wing on the car is a big part of that. A full-width front splitter, front dive planes, and underbody turning vanes also aid with the aerodynamics.

Aston Martin will sell you the car as a coupe or a roadster. A vaned grille is standard on all models, as are 2x2 Twill Carbon Fiber exterior accents and a quad exhaust.

Buyers can get their car in an Aston Martin Racing Green paint job or choose Jet Black or Lunar White. All models have a Solid Matte Dark Grey racing graphic. The interior has Obsidian Black Leather and Phantom Grey Alcantara upholstery and trim, with a choice of Lime Green, Obsidian Black, Wolf Grey or Spicy Red contrast stripe and stitching.

The new Vantage F1 Edition is on sale now with a recommended retail price from £142,000 in the UK and €162,000 in Germany with deliveries scheduled to begin in May 2021.

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Automotive toys

McLaren and LEGO team up on two new models

The automaker released two LEGO models for the holiday season.

McLaren

McLaren cars are among the quickest and most sought after vehicles on the planet, but not everyone can swallow their six-figure price tags. There's good news, though. Those of us who aren't able to get in the driver's seat can pick up the new LEGO kits and build our own mini-McLarens at home. The automaker partnered with the toy brand to offer two models for the holidays.

McLaren The open-top McLaren Elva in LEGO form.McLaren

McLaren is also offering auto-themed luggage from Tumi and a special line of clothing, but that's not why where here. We're most interested in the LEGO versions of the McLaren Elva and McLaren Senna GTR. However, with hundreds of pieces each, these aren't the simplest of toys. The Senna GTR LEGO replica comes in 830 pieces and features a V8 engine with moving pistons, opening dihedral doors, and a deep blue livery.

The McLaren Elva is *only* 263 pieces and replicates the cleverly designed, super-aerodynamic open-top car. McLaren says that the real car uses aero to shelter its occupants from wind. There is no windshield and no windows on the car, both of which are details that look great in the blocky LEGO format.

McLaren McLaren also worked with Tumi to develop car-themed luggage.McLaren

If you're itching to hand-assemble either McLaren LEGO model at home, the Senna costs $49.99 and the Elva costs $19.99.

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Electric sports car

Porsche Taycan has outsold the 911 in 2021

The Taycan has outsold a few Porsche models so far this year.

Porsche

The Porsche Taycan is an impressive EV with speed and build quality to shame almost anything else on the road. As we learned from Porsche today, those attributes resonated with buyers, as the Taycan outsold the Porsche 911 during the first nine months of 2021.

Porsche Taycan The Taycan's steep starting price doesn't seem like much of a sticking point for buyers.Porsche

Yes, the electric car that starts at almost $83,000 outsold the most iconic sports car of all time. However, Porsche's had a good year, and it's not all thanks to the Taycan. In today's SUV-crazed world, it's not surprising to see that the Cayenne is still Porsche's most popular model. The automaker sold 62,451 of its flagship SUV in the first nine months of the year. The Macan sold a respectable 61,944.

Now, consider that the Taycan – a brand new, expensive, all-electric car – sold almost half as many units as those two iconic SUVs. Further cementing its place in the Porsche lineup, the car outsold the 911 by almost 700 units and decimated sales of the 718 Boxster and 718 Cayman, which combined sold 15,916 units. The Panamera, which offers a similar body style to the Taycan, sold 20,275.

Porsche SUVs The Cayenne and Macan both sold very well.Porsche

Porsche has had a good year in all markets it serves, but the U.S. market showed the strongest sales growth, climbing to 51,615 vehicles sold in the first nine months of the year. That's a 30 percent jump from 2020, and the rest of North America was just as strong with a combined 29 percent increase in growth. China did the most to propel Porsche's sales skyward, with almost 70,000 cars sold there.

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