BBC Autos

The Roundabout Blog

Week in Pictures: The Ghost with the most

  • Rolls-Royce conjures 593-horsepower Ghost V-Specification

    From a carmaker that not long ago would not deign to discuss such greasy matters as engine output comes the new Ghost V-Specification, a model that neatly fills the performance gap between the very swift standard Ghost and the downright blistering Wraith coupe. The package includes a host of aesthetic enhancements and a horsepower boost to the car’s 6.6-litre twin-turbo V12 engine. Output jumps from 563 to 593hp. That is still shy of the mighty Wraith’s 624hp, but sufficient to move this top-spec Ghost from zero to 60mph in 4.7 seconds – a tenth quicker than the standard car.

    The Ghost V-Specification – in standard- and extended-wheelbase versions – is available for customer commission through June. Pricing will be announced at a later date. (Photo: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars)

  • UK’s National Motor Museum announces speed-record exhibit

    On the heels of its 007-themed “Bond in Motion” exhibition, which drew some 800,000 visitors over two years, the UK’s National Motor Museum announced a new exhibition. “For Britain & For The Hell Of It” focuses on the country’s long-running pursuit of the World Land Speed Record. The show will feature a quartet of land speed record cars, including Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird 350hp (1922), Maj Henry Segrave’s Sunbeam 1000hp (1926) and Golden Arrow (1928), and Donald Campbell’s Bluebird CN7 (1960; the two are pictured here, at Australia’s dry Lake Eyre, in 1963.)

    The exhibition is expected to launch by the end of April. For more information, visit the National Motor Museum website. (Photo: National Motor Museum, Beaulieu)

  • Audi reveals technology-laden cockpit for third-generation TT

    Taking a page from the Mercedes-Benz playbook, Audi decided to reveal the interior for its third-generation TT sports car months before revealing the exterior. The technology-infused cockpit, fittingly shown at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, features round air vents with integrated digital climate controls and a dramatic instrument panel that replaces traditional mechanical gauges with a single bright 12.3in TFT display. This reconfigurable “virtual cockpit” merges functions of vehicle, navigation, communication and entertainment systems, relaying information to the driver as needed.

    The third-gen TT coupe will bow in its entirety at the Geneva motor show in March. (Photo: Audi of America)

  • Chrysler celebrates 50 years of the famed 426 Hemi Gen II

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the seminal engines of the muscle-car era: Chrysler’s Gen II 426-cubic-inch Hemi V8. The first engine to employ the hemispherical combustion chamber had debuted 13 years before, in 1951, powering Chrysler’s luxurious New Yorker and Imperial models. But 1964’s 7-litre Gen II Hemi was a very different beast, one designed with a very specific goal: to win. The company offered two race versions in 1964, one for the track and another for the drag strip. Both of them exceeded expectations. In February, Richard Petty won the Daytona 500 in a Hemi-powered Plymouth (pictured above), before going on to claim the ’64 Nascar championship. In August, drag racer “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, driving a Hemi-powered dragster, ran the quarter-mile in a record 7.78 seconds at 201.34mph.

    Chrysler has designed a logo to commemorate the anniversary, which has been made available on a range of wearables, via (Photo: ISC Images & Archives via Getty Images)

  • In South America, Dakar’s dust-busters roll on

    Toyota team drivers Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz negotiate a dune between the Argentine provincial capital of San Luis and San Rafael, Mendoza, during the fifth running of the Dakar Rally in South America. The race is approaching its mid-point with a diminished pack of cars, trucks, four-wheel ATVs and motorcycles wending northward through Argentina’s most arid regions. Stages in the northwestern provinces have brought mechanical failures among competitors in each vehicle class, in addition to driver injuries and at least one reported fatality.

    The Dakar is scheduled to conclude 18 January in Valparaiso, Chile. (Photo: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty)