One day back in the 1990s a middle-aged man from a sleepy village in Lincolnshire decided that he’d start a new project saloon car.
Over a decade and two marriages later PPC’s own Charlie Broomfield had a road legal matt black Rover SD1 powered by a 27-litre V12 Merlin tank engine.
What possessed Charlie to decide to build a car with an engine that also powered World War Twos greatest fighter plane is anyones guess, but what Charlie claims is that he wanted to do 200mph.
However, while the rest of us would just go and buy a motorbike Charlie went on and fulfilled his dream of the ultimate Rover.
With 1550lb/ft of torque at 1600rpm, the SD1 should have ample muscle to break the magic 200 mark.
Not that it stopped Charlie from rebuilding the huge engine, and adding his own home made throttle bodies to get a smoother power delivery and release yet more horses from the Meteor lump.
With a Jaguar V12 TH 400 autobox handling the transmission side of things, the SD1 is actually surprisingly docile. However, even at its 400rpm idling speed the engine produces more torque than the cars original engine at redline.
Charlie also fitted an LPG kit to the Rover to attempt to keep fuelling costs at a slightly less ridiculous level.
To allow the engine to run smoothly with the throttle bodies Charlie has wired in an Emerald ECU set up which keeps the Rovers savage abilities under wraps until chosen to be unleashed.
Charlie is an engineer and thus basically everything you can see on the car has been fabricated, or adapted by the man himself to fit. The back axle is from a Ford F150 pick-up truck, the drivetrain has parts from a Leyland Leopard bus, and a set of Jag XJR wheels attempt to keep the tyres from spinning up under the strain of all that torque. There is a slight issue in space with the Rover. Granted, the SD1 has a pretty cavernous engine bay, but this is a tank engine we’re talking about. Half of the 27-litre lump fits sweetly inside the bay, but the rest of it juts rather disconcertingly into the cars cabin itself.
Not that it bothers Charlie. At least he doesn’t have to worry about fitting a heater. Another problem with the colossal engine is that it’s so big it comes up further than the windscreen frame. That’s no problem for Charlie though. No screen and a set of sunglasses solve this problem.
Despite the Merlin engines aeronautical heritage Charlie is keen to keep the Rover on the ground during his 200mph attempt. As a result he has taken steps to make the Rover more aerodynamic, making consultations in NASCAR circles and fitting a front spoiler, making the underside as close to flat as possible, and attaching a rear splitter. With any luck that should keep Charlie’s feet on the ground.
VW will be debuting the New Concept Coupe (NCC) at the Detroit auto show today.
The New Concept Coupe is a full hybrid car, which in European media has been referred to as a Golf Coupe prototype. The car is likely based on the same platform as the Golf/Jetta and, although still in the concept stage, it will most probably come to be called the Jetta Coupe if it ever goes to market in North America.
The vaguely named New Compact Coupe comes with VW's 1.4 liter TSI engine, a turbocharged 4-cylinder dialed up to 150 hp and 220 Nm of torque (177 lb-ft), coupled to a 7-speed DSG gearbox (a dual-clutch sequential transmission), as well as an electric motor with 20 kW/27 hp. Powered by a lithium-ion battery pack, the electric motor is able to propel the car on its own, which allows the vehicle to be classified as a full-hybrid. When the TSI engine is shut down, it is also disengaged to reduce any drag effect.
Performance numbers on the coupe are impressive - with only 98 g/km in CO2 emissions, the NCC does the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in just 8.6 seconds and has a top speed of 227 km/h (141 mph), all the while delivering 4.2 liters/100 km (45 mpg) in fuel economy.
The NCC comes in "Tungsten Silver Metallic" with bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights, turn signals and tail lights. The NCC is 4.54 m (178.5 inches) long, 1.78 m (70.1 inches) wide and 1.41 m tall. Fitted with 19-inch "Lugano" alloy wheels, the NCC comes finished with a Grigio Quartz (grey quartz) and Berry White leather interior.
Styling on the coupe seems perfectly aligned with the rest of the VW lineup. Despite no confirmation yet, reports put the NCC already approved for production with sales starting within the next two years.
• 4.4-litre V8 bi-turbo
• 578bhp, 530lb ft
• 155mph limited top speed
• 0-62mph 4.4sec
• Unlimited top speed 188mph
That direct-injection 4.4 lump is the same engine you'll find under the hood of the X5 M and X6 M, but further tweaked by M Division to liberate more power. Forced induction makes it the first M saloon to be turbocharged.
Will there be a new BMW M5 Touring?
Not this time. Dog owners in a rush will have to shop at the neighbouring Audi or Mercedes showrooms for RS and AMG variants.
A member of the dedicated BMW forum 1Addicts has posted these photos of the aftermath of a creepy accident that occurred somewhere on the Angeles Crest Highway in California.
According to forum member and driver of the 3-Series Coupe "M3KILL3R", the incident happened when in order to avoid some animals on the road, he panicked, swerved, hit the brakes and eventually lost control of the car which went flying straight off the edge of a cliff tumbling down the mountain.
Amazingly, he and his female passenger made it out alive with some minor injuries. Here's how "M3KILL3R" described the incident:
"Was bout 2 am on a saturday night jan.2nd, picked up a female friend who lives on angeles crest street and we headed up angeles crest mountain... Was taking her to a view spot for, u know...neways.
At mile marker 30.65, no speeding no nothing, max i went was 35mph.came up to a pretty bad ass turn...the second i turned i saw 3 animals of some sort kicking it on the road. I panicked, swirved, hit the brakes, hit dirt road which didnt help me from stopping.
Flew straight off the ledge... Flips+turns+tree+flips+turns+flips and landed on 3 rocks 426 feet down the mountain...both of us are okay...walked out clean...i just have a fractured collar bone and my whole left side is killing me like crazy. The female is perfectly fine, just a few cuts n bruises."
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