Now that fall is here after a busy summer, there are some thoughts that have come to mind that are worth sharing.
Incorrect transmission references still abound. Industry members and journalists still refer to automated manual transmissions as automatic transmissions. An “automatic transmission” definition should not change. It’s a transmission that uses fluid to transmit power until a physical lock-up occurs. An automated manual single- or dual-clutch transmission uses actual clutches for a physical connection for power transfer at all speeds. They are distinctly different themselves, but neither one has a clutch pedal and either can be driven without manually selecting gears.
A Saleen S7R won its class at LeMans for the first time and it was the last running of the GT-1 class. This is quite a momentous event after 10 years of gallant attempts. This time the usually dominant Corvette C6-Rs lost and note they are no longer factory backed. The non-factory backed Aston Martins lost as well. AutoWeek magazine, now published every 2 weeks and called AW, referred to the S7 as a muscle car. It is not a muscle car, nor has it ever been. It is a pure sports car, exotic, light and mid-engine but from the United States. The Wiki page for the S7 has some fascinating statistics.
BMW may have a low horsepower rating versus the real number. Road & Track recently tested the 400-hp twin-turbo BMW 750i in a comparison test vs. the Lexus LS 460. The six-speed automatic, 4600-pound BMW ran a quarter-mile in 13.3 seconds at 108 mph. Just like the 335i, this car seems to be underrated. I would guess it’s closer to 460 hp, perhaps more. If it was really 400 hp, it would need to weigh around 4000 pounds to post numbers like that. Think Pontiac G8 GXP as a great benchmark.
The 60-130-mph test is gaining in popularity. The Battle Of The Supercars, a fun show on Speed TV, tested modified muscle cars in a 60-130 mph test. The 800-hp+ Shelby GT500 and Camaro both ran times significantly slower than they should have. The reason being is they started timing from a standing 60-mph start. Better to start below 50 mph my source tells me. Also Road & Track just did a similar test but from 80-130 mph for production sports cars and their racing counterparts. Don’t know why that starting speed was chosen but I would say a precedent has been set already for the 60-mph starting speed.