Subaru Nürburgring lap record run ruined: rain stops play

Subaru Impreza WRX STI Nürburgring record runSubaru of America was over at the Nürburgring en masse recently, with the WRX STI Type RA NBR Special it’s already used to set course records at famous circuits such as the Isle of Man TT course. However, its plan to post a new Nürburgring Nordschleife record time for a four-door saloon was thwarted – by the weather. 

Incessant downpours during its visit meant no time was possible, ensuring the current lap record holder, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, keeps its time of  7 minutes 32 seconds, at least for now. Due reward for the Alfa beating the monster new Porsche Panamera Turbo’s 7 minutes 38 seconds time – with both bettering the surprise announcement of a of 7 minutes 51 seconds time set in secret by the Volvo S60 Polestar last year. 


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Engineered by British experts Prodrive, who can be seen attending to the car in the video below, Subaru was clearly frustrated its record run was rained off, and the journalists it invited along to watch the attempt were left disappointed. 

It’s undaunted, though. In an announcement, it has now confirmed “the car will attempt to set a new lap record… later this summer.” In the meantime, U.S. Subaru fans can next week look forward to a production Type RA WRX STI being revealed next week. For the rest of us, let’s enjoy Subaru’s expensively-produced video featuring the non-record attempt instead. 

Instagram star’s amazing Ferrari collection

He’s a racing driver, an entrepreneur, an Instagram star, and he also happens to have a rather impressive collection of exotic cars. We delve inside Josh Cartu’s garage.

Born in Canada, but now residing in Hungary, Cartu created several successful media and software companies. This has allowed him to indulge his many hobbies, such as skydiving, rallying, drifting, and most importantly collecting cars. Josh has given us his own words on why he owns the cars he does, and what makes them special to him.

Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta

Every car collection needs a mid-engined V8 Ferrari, so what better place to start than with the ultimate version of the 458 sports car? The Speciale was a hardcore limited-edition model, with extra power and a more aggressive bodykit. ‘Aperta’ means ‘open’ in Italian – hence the convertible roof. Just 499 examples were built, all with a 597hp version of the naturally-aspirated 4.5-litre V8.

But what does the man himself think about having the Speciale Aperta in his collection? “This was a very special car because it’s super-limited,” explains Josh, “and it was the first love Ferrari showed me for being a passionate client and racing driver.” He also reckons that they “made an instant classic” and that best part is “that noise!!” Two exclamation marks needed.

With a wealth of cars, and a high-flying lifestyle, Josh has proven to be a hit on Instagram. Over 417,000 followers keep tabs on his latest photos, which cover both his road and race car collection. He’s also amassed over 13,000 followers on Twitter, with updates on his next exploits drawing in a crowd.

Ferrari 488 Spider

What’s better than one open-top, mid-engined Ferrari? Another one, of course. In fact, make that another two, as Cartu has the 488 Spider in duplicate. Replacing the 458 was a hard task, but a turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 with 661hp is the key attraction. The 0-62mph dash takes just 3.0 seconds in the Spider, with a potential top speed of over 200mph.

Describing the 488 Spider as “the best all around Ferrari” is high praise, with Josh reckoning that the folding metal roof allows it to be “two cars in one”. So why did he happen to buy two of them? Simply because he “put too much mileage” on the first car he bought.

Mr Cartu is clearly a fan of open-air motoring, not least because of the Ferraris mentioned already. Josh is also the owner of a BAC Mono – the extreme single-seater road car that owes more to motorsport than it does to street machinery. However, he did have an unfortunate accident while driving his BAC Mono in one of the tunnels beneath Budapest, where he lives.

Ferrari 488 Challenge

If you want to go racing against other gentleman drivers in identical Ferrari racing cars, you need to get yourself into the Ferrari Challenge. Held annually since 1993, this special single-make series gained a race version of Ferrari’s latest mid-engined sports car at the end of 2016. The 488 Challenge has the same turbocharged 3.9-litre V8 engine as the road car, but with a fully stripped-out interior and gigantic rear wing for downforce.

Why buy a 488 Challenge? Josh explains: “There are two options for racing in the Ferrari Challenge: 1) you can rent a car from a serious team like AFCorse or Kessel or 2) you can buy your own. I bought my own because I wanted to develop more of a connection with it and customise it more than I would if it were a regular rental. Most importantly, I don’t like anyone else driving my cars!”

Josh is currently competing in the European Ferrari Challenge series, alongside his brother, and the first round of 2017 was held at the Valencia circuit. In the Pirelli Trophy competition, aimed at professional drivers, Josh placed 6th and 4th respectively in the two races held.

Ferrari F12tdf

It’s not all mid-engined machinery in Cartu’s garage. The F12tdf – standing for Tour de France – features a 6.3-litre V12 mounted in the front of the car. Sending almost 770hp to the rear wheels, the F12tdf can hit 0-62mph in just 2.9 seconds, while top speed is 211mph. Limited to 799 units, the F12tdf cost £339,000 when new, with the price hike going towards the carbon fibre add-ons and lightweight technology.

So what exactly was it that attracted Cartu to the F12tdf? “Power and noise” are the two big things apparently, enough to make the F12tdf currently his “all-time favourite” car. Josh does believe that “if you don’t have the skills” the F12tdf can be something of a handful, but that it can “make mincemeat” out of the old Ferrari 599 GTO.

Being named after a famous road race – the Tour de France, where Ferrari proved successful during the 1960s – it seems right that Josh Cartu would own one. Having entered both the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio races, Cartu is no stranger to road racing, and has used his F12tdf in Ferrari Cavalcade events for owners.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Replacing the FF, the GTC4Lusso has a complicated name, which suits the complex mechanics beneath its shooting-brake body. A 6.3-litre V12, making 681hp, is connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Uniquely for a Ferrari, the GTC4Lusso has all-wheel-drive, helping control the power on offer for everyday use.

With a garage full of extreme sports cars, Cartu rates the GTC4Lusso as an “absolute no-brainer” of a choice. The “comfort and convenience” it offers, along with the “ability to drive on ice and snow” clearly make the GTC4Lusso a winner for Josh. He also claims that as “it’s not a Porsche” the rear seats are actually big enough for grown adults.

When he’s not driving around in the luxury of his GTC4Lusso, Cartu likes to engage in more extreme pastimes, such as flying to the edge of space. In 2015, Josh took a flight in a Russian MiG-29, travelling to an altitude of 20km above the earth. That’s high enough to be able to see the curvature of the planet. The flight also included aerobatics, with manoeuvres pulling up to 9G at times. Just a little more than what the GTC4Lusso can manage!

LaFerrari Aperta

How do you make the LaFerrari more extreme? By producing an even more limited edition version, with a removable carbon fibre roof for open-air thrills. It makes hearing the 789hp version of the 6.3-litre V12 engine even easier, whilst the 161hp KERS hybrid system remains unchanged. With only 209 examples produced, for sale to special chosen Ferrari customers only, the LaFerrari Aperta sold out rather rapidly. Such was the lure of 217mph with no roof.

Why would you need to buy a LaFerrari Aperta? To quote Mr Cartu “Need I explain?” given that this is the “best car the human race has ever produced for ANY money”. Strong words indeed. Josh clearly feels quite a connection with the Aperta, stating that he is “honoured and privileged to be the custodian of such an awesome piece of history”.

What makes the LaFerrari Aperta a “piece of history” is that it forms part of the 70th anniversary celebrations planned by Ferrari. To mark seven decades of production, along with the Aperta, the Maranello firm is also releasing a range of special liveries inspired by famous Ferrari colour schemes. We imagine Cartu may well add a 70th anniversary car to his collection.

Rolls-Royce Phantom EWB

Although the previous slides have featured nothing but Maranello’s finest, Cartu’s garage does not only contain Italian machinery. Alongside the Ferraris is a Rolls-Royce Phantom – perhaps the ultimate in automotive luxury. However, this isn’t just any Phantom, it’s the EWB, or Extended Wheelbase. This adds an extra 250mm in length to create more interior space, but keeps the same 454hp 6.7-litre V12 engine.

With a garage full of supercars, what does a gigantic luxury saloon bring to the party? According to Cartu, after 6pm it becomes his “favourite car in the world” as it means he can give the keys to his driver and lounge in the spacious rear. Even though he admits it may appear “somewhat ostentatious” he has racked up “over 100,000km” in his time with the Phantom. He also admits that he “placed an order immediately” for the forthcoming new Phantom, having been given a sneak preview.

Cartu hasn’t only used the Phantom EWB for cruising around town. It has also been part of his Gumball 3000 Rally entry, under the name of Team Wolfpack. Nicknamed the Phantom Menace, it’s certainly makes a statement with this bold livery. Cartu’s Team Wolfpack won the Best Team Award at the 2014 Gumball, which journeyed from Miami to Ibiza.

Mile-high club: the highest-mileage cars on Auto Trader

Mile-high club: the highest-mileage cars on Auto Trader

Would you buy a high mileage car? While six-figure numbers on the odometer can put off some buyers, others see it as a chance to get a bargain. Besides, if a car has been well maintained, and has spent most of its life totting up low-stress miles on the motorway, there’s no reason why it can’t run forever.


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We’ve scoured the Auto Trader classifieds to get an idea of the kind of high-mileage bargains available to buy right now. We’ve avoided setting any strict requirements: only that they must have covered a lot of miles, and be vaguely interesting in one way or another. Oh, and it’s worth noting that inclusion here doesn’t necessarily mean we’d spend our own money on them – go into any purchase with an open mind and consider an independent inspection if you’re not sure what you’re looking for.

Mercedes 300D W114

Mercedes 300D W114

This Mercedes is, shall we say, at the lower end of the market. But its diesel engine has proved to be pretty tough to make it to 390,000 miles, and we see no reason why it shouldn’t carry on for a while yet. At £380, it’s a Mercedes-Benz for the price of a smartphone. What could possibly go wrong?

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Skoda Superb

Skoda Superb

The Skoda Superb is a favourite amongst taxi drivers, especially in uber-practical estate guise. It’s no surprise, then, that there are a few high mileage examples out there. This 2010 example has close to 300,000 miles on the clock, and looks extremely tidy if the pics are anything to go by.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Land Rover Freelander

Land Rover Freelander

The Land Rover Freelander has never enjoyed the best reputation for reliability, but this 2009 Freelander 2 has covered an impressive 232,000 miles over its eight-year lifespan. Admittedly, the seller says it’s had £5,500 spent on a full engine recondition, a recent timing belt and a new clutch, but that ought to mean it’s good for another 232,000 miles. At less than £3,500, we challenge you to find another Freelander 2 this cheap.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Volvo V50

Volvo V50

A wafty Volvo wagon doesn’t sound like a bad way of covering high miles to us, but this one’s a lowly Ford Focus-based V50 – hardly an S80 sofa-on-wheels. The seller, a trader, says it’s been his personal car, used for travelling up and down the country – hence the 206,000 miles on the clock. If it’s as tidy as it looks, we wouldn’t hesitate at £2,495.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Jaguar XK

Jaguar XK

If you spend all your time on the motorway, you might as well do it in a car you like. How does a Jaguar XK sound? You can drop the roof when the sun’s out, and that V8 engine under the bonnet will provide the thrills once the roads clear. Just don’t think about the fuel used getting this up to 203,000 miles.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Citroen C4

Citroen C4

Back down to earth with a bump… a Citroen C4 isn’t the obvious high-mileage runaround, but the seller is promising a full MOT on this 207,000-mile car. That’s not bad for £500.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Vauxhall Vectra

Vauxhall Vectra

Vauxhall Vectras were once liked by police and company car drivers, so it’s not unusual to see a well-used example. This 1.9-litre diesel from 2007 looks extremely tidy for its 259,000 miles. It’s a practical estate with a tow bar and an MOT until next year. What are you waiting for?

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Range Rover Sport

Range Rover Sport

If you’re looking for a car to travel the length of the country and beyond, a Range Rover Sport is a tempting proposition. This one’s covered an impressive 255,000 miles over the last 10 years. We’d be interested to know the running costs involved.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

BMW Z4

BMW Z4

It’s not too late to buy yourself a two-seater drop-top in time for summer. A BMW Z4 would be an excellent choice, particularly if you hunt down a 3.0-litre straight-six for the performance to go with the looks. We found this 2006 example on Auto Trader for £3,495. And, with 201,000 miles on the clock, it’s hardly run-in compared with some of the cars featured here.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Lexus LS430

Lexus LS430

Someone’s had the pleasure of covering nearly 20,000 miles a year in this Lexus LS430, and it still looks like a car worth considerably more than its £3,500 asking price. Its MOT history suggests it isn’t hiding any horrors, but do take its combined 24.8mpg into consideration if you’ll be adding to the galactic mileage.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

London Taxi

London Taxi

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that some of the leggiest cars for sale on Auto Trader are ex-taxis. This London Taxi is one of several examples we could have picked closing in on half-a-million miles.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Porsche 911

Porsche 911

You’d be right to be wary of a Porsche 911 showing 207,000 miles on the clock. But, at 29 years old, that averages out at just over 7,000 miles a year – well below average. We’d want to see evidence of regular servicing, but this could be a solid used buy. And check out the brown interior…

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Daihatsu Sirion

Daihatsu Sirion

A Daihatsu Sirion isn’t the obvious choice as a motorway mile-muncher, but one dedicated owner has covered nearly 230,000 miles in this leggy example since 2001. It’s showing its mileage, but it could be worth the £440 asking price on novelty factor alone.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Volvo 240

Volvo 240

Who wouldn’t love to give this well used Volvo 240 a good home? It’s covered 213,000 miles since 1989 and sounds to have looked after with full service history and recent brake discs. Even the front seats have been refoamed to counteract all those hours they’ve been sat on over the years.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser

A search through this Land Cruiser’s MOT history suggests the mileage hasn’t changed at all since 2011, and it might even be in kilometres rather than miles. We’d take the reading on the odometer with a pinch of salt and buy on condition alone (indeed, that’s good advice for any of the cars featured here). It’s been restored, though, and the Land Cruiser enjoys a reputation for indestructibility, so it could well be worth every penny of its £12,500 asking price.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Volkswagen Golf GTI

A £2,300 price tag for an old VW Golf with 240,000 miles on the clock? You better believe it. It’s a MK2 Golf GTI, which means it’s second only to the Mk1 on the coolness scale. And the modifications suggest it’s been owned by an enthusiast.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

BMW 730i

BMW 730i

Yes, £7,000 is strong money for an E32-flavour BMW 7 Series, but it could prove to be an investment if you hold onto it long enough. Sure, the 245,000 miles it’s showing will put off most buyers, but the seller says it’s had a brand new engine from BMW and comes with a three-month warranty.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Jaguar XJ8

Jaguar XJ8

A £595 Jaaag sounds like a brilliant idea, until you start looking closely at the photos. We can see that the front and rear bumpers require a lick of paint – no biggy – while the wheelarches are corroding away. Oh, and it’s covered 265,000 miles – and there appears to be a hole in the boot. Hmm. Still, it’s a Jaguar for less than £600.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Audi S4

Audi S4

The B5 Audi S4 is one of our favourite modern classics, and they look particularly good in this Nogaro Blue shade. A low mileage one could easily be worth twice the £4,000 sticker price of this 221,500-mile example. Check the service history thoroughly and make sure you give it a good test-drive.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota Land Cruiser

We’ve already included one Toyota Land Cruiser, but the Japanese Range Rover makes such a good high-mileage used buy we can’t resist chucking in another. This Colorado has covered 285,000 miles – mostly on the motorway, the seller says. If it’s spent its life on tarmac as suggested, it could be an excellent purchase.

Buy this car on Auto Trader

New Lotus Elise Cup 250 'the most focused ever'

Lotus Elise Cup 250 2017The new Lotus Elise Cup 250 is the fastest and most focused four-cylinder Lotus sports car ever, providing the revised Elise line-up with a range-topper that the firm says is “punching well above its weight”. Not that its weight is exactly lardy: ongoing mass-reduction measures have taken the dry weight down to a potential 860kg. 

That’s still some way above the 723kg kerbweight of the original 1996 Elise, but that was a pretty basic car with just a 118hp Rover K-Series engine. This one has a supercharged 1.8-litre putting out 243hp for 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds (0-60mph dips below 4.0 seconds). The 154mph top speed isn’t bad either, considering its serious aerodynamic bodykit that delivers 125kg of downforce at 140mph. 


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Lotus ‘Cup’ models are described as bridges between road and track. They’re extreme, but the package can also be used every day. You’ll get the most from racy componentry such as Eibach springs, Bilstein dampers, AP Racing twin-pot front brakes, forged alloy wheels and Yokohama Advan A048 LTS tyres on the track, but they’ll deliver on the road as well. 

And it’s Lotus fans that have directed this car, says Group Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales. “We know what existing Lotus enthusiasts demand from our cars and we are also bringing in many new customers who can see clearly that we offer an unrivalled combination of performance, styling, dynamics and value for money.

“A Lotus rewards like no other car.”

Lotus Elise Cup 250: in detail

Lotus Elise Cup 250 2017

For the Elise Cup, Lotus took the standard Elise Sport and Sprint suspension, and upped the damper rates both in compression and, by a much greater amount, rebound. 288mm disc brakes are cross-drilled and ventilated, and Lotus offers optional two-piece discs (for £1500) that save 1kg per corner. 

Lotus has fitted a T45 steel roll-over hoop, to further stiffen the chassis, and the sticky Yokohama tyres are able both on road and track (and over a broad range of temperatures, promises Lotus – they’re not tyres that only ‘switch on’ when warm). 

There’s a standard lightweight lithium ion battery, polycarbonate rear screen, hand-made carbon fibre racing seats, and a rorty exhaust note that can be further spiced up – and another 7kg cut from the kerbweight – thanks to a £4000 titanium exhaust option. 

All told, the new Elise Cup 250 is 14kg lighter than its predecessor. The kerbweight is 917kg, the dry mass is 884kg and, if you indulge in all the options (such as a £3400 carbon aero pack that cuts 3.4kg, a carbon hard top that saves 3kg in return for a £3000 outlay and so on), the Cup 250’s lightest possible weight is 860kg. If you then want to spoil it all (but keep cool) by adding on air con, you’ll need to fork out £1250, while a noise insulation kit is £350.

Available to order now, the new Elise Cup 250 costs from £47,000 – and Motoring Research will be driving it soon…