No Smoke No Poke

SHOW REPORT: Autosport International 2013

23rd January 2013 | BY NSNP

2012 has flown by for all of  us here at NSNP. It was only 12 months ago that we set off for Auto Sport International to first cover the show from a diesel driver’s point of view. Well it’s time again for our return visit to one of the largest automotive shows in Europe, and the results were not what we expected!  Read the full report after the jump…

We arrived early on the Friday to collect our passes for the day, and after much hilarity from the staff at the media centre, we collected our real passes, which allowed us through the gates and into the expanse of car related goodness. We formed a plan to try and visit every stand this year and knowing how much quality there was on offer last time around, this was no small under taking.

We talked to the manurfacturer responsible for the very special and super shiny paint job on this Ford Escort. It consisted of a silver base, then a metalic silver, then the candy red followed by seven coats of laquer. To say it was deep would be an under statement, even under the gross lights they insist on using at the NEC it was still a finish you could get lost in for hours.

Our good friends at Nene Overland were one of only a few companies actively pushing their diesel tuning services on their stand. The engine in the packing crate is a TDV8 from the new Range Rover,  although it has yet to be officially included in their range of Icon Defenders, it’s a good bet that it’s well on the way. We’ll keep you updated with news and a full feature as soon as we hear anything.

This little thing is known as the BAC Mono, it’s basically a Formula 3 car with headlights and number plates. Weighing in at a tiny 540kg and propelled by a 2.3 liter Cossy engine that squirts out over 280hp down through the six-speed sequential gear box. This “instant driving ban” will do the 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds and 0 to 100 mph in 6.7 seconds. Topped off with a flat out speed of 170, at least you’ll never be late to fight your speeding case!

Editor Adam posting a respectable score on the upright dance mat.

The Praga R1 is a new ground up design from Czech Republic built specifically for racing  and was, in our opinion, one of the best looking cars of the show. Roll Centre Racing are the UK partners and have helped out with the development recently. The model shown here is powered by a 2.0 Formula Renault 4 pot and is another feather weight tipping the scales at just 590kg. If you do happen to have €98,000 burning a hole in your back pocket they will not only sell you the car, but also deliver and prepare it for any race event or track day you like (tyres, entry fee and pit crew included). However it does appear that you don’t get to take it home for that price. You just get to spend the weekends with it, essentially it’s a very expensive carbon fibre mistress.

This is what a robot autopsy looks like.

Ahh race car suspension. Let me count the ways I love you…

After some lengthy discussion with the people on the Sin Cars stand, we discovered that this is actually a kit car designed in Germany but (partially) manufactured in the UK. They were however most confused when we asked if you could build one with a tuned diesel engine. It would seem that there is still some work for us to do!

An unusual product we spotted whilst doing the rounds were these AA battery powered coil-overs from Quantum Racing Suspension

Those of you following Forge on Facebook will have read about the blood, sweat and tears it took to get their Mk1 Golf ready in time for the show. The quality of the build is just mind bending. Built specifically to compete in  the Berg Cup hill climb later this year, however Liam Doran will be using the car at one of the upcoming UK Time Attack Championship rounds to prove its track credentials.

Conservative estimates put the power output somewhere around the 400hp mark, not too surprising when you read that the engine alone cost nearly £24,000 to build. However we believe the gold foil and under bonnet dustbin are where the real power gains were probably made.

The ducting through the side windows feed the boot mounted radiator, a clever trick  for a number of reasons. Firstly it it frees up a whole load more room in the engine bay, secondly shifting the radiator to the rear improves weight distribution and lastly because the intercooler can be bigger and gets more airflow, heat soak isn’t ever going to become a problem.

On our way to the Live Action Arena we found there was a hall filled with the smell of rubber and the sounds of tyre abuse, courtesy of the Caterham experience.

Can’t afford a custom moulded carbon fibre bucket seat? No problem! Expanding foam  in a bin bag does the trick just as well…kind of.

Tyre shopping for your race car…

This Bentley Continental GT3 concept turned more than a few heads during the day. A definitive decision is yet to be made, but the GT3 will either use a race-tuned version of the GT Speed road car’s 616bhp 6.0-litre W12, or the new 500bhp 4.0-litre V8, depending on what suits the regulations better. The eight-speed automatic gearbox has been swapped for a racing sequential transmission, and the four-wheel-drive system has been ditched in favour of power to the rear wheels in order to meet GT3 spec. The car is due to run for the first time late in 2013 under Bentley’s factory team, however customer based teams are on the cards for the 2014 GT3 championships.

The one thing you always have to have, but never want to have to use on your racing car Bentley - the towing eye.

Maxxis tyres had two large stands and represented a broad selection of motorsports, from desert racers to drift cars. It seems crazy that 1000hp (the blue supra) is now a regular thing in the drift scene, you can see why the tyre manufacturers are keen to promote it. Keeps ‘em in business!

Sir Jackie Stewart was spotted putting in a few hot laps of the show in his latest race transport.

We spent some time aboard one of these motor homes aka “The Greatest Home On Wheels.” You can hire these buses out if camping isn’t really your scene, they’ll even deliver them to you if driving isn’t your scene either!

A very clean Monster Tuning Monster Truck as featured in these very pages last week.

The colossal wing on this track day special “Pulse” shouted at racing credentials, however the cattle grid styling on the rear did leave us with a little bit of sick in the back of our throats.

Some of you might have noticed the distinct lack of diesel power in this years show report and it’s not because we’re saving it for later. There was a visible gap in the presence of dervs through out, which one the one hand came as a bit of a surprise considering how many companies we met last year. One the other hand it proves what we already knew, that the mainstream has still got some way to go before we see diesels mixing it up regularly on the race tracks with everything else.

We say, “Bring on 2013!”


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