Carbon fiber has long been used to make lighter, stronger parts for cars, airplanes, and more. Sure, we’ve seen other fiber-based composites like fiberglass and even more exotic materials like Pagani’s “carbotanium” but now there’s a more environmentally-friendly composite that Porsche is pioneering with their new 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport for the lightweight doors and rear wing. It’s called “natural fiber” and it’s made out of plant-based fibers, namely flax. For all intents and purposes, it looks and acts just like carbon fiber does, however, the raw fiber has a bit of a golden glow to it. There are some pretty significant benefits to natural fiber though in that it takes 75% less energy to manufacturer than carbon fiber and it’s also easier to dispose of, however, it’s not quite as strong as carbon fiber which means you probably won’t see the next supercar tub made out of it anytime soon. Still, it’s nice to see a new and innovative material come into play for future race cars. To learn more about natural fibers, check out the rest of the story on Road & Track’s website.
If you’ve ever wondered how a rotary engine worked and wanted to see just about everything that can go wrong with one, this is a video you’ll want to watch. Alex from CarThrottle just bought a running Mazda RX-8 for 650 GBP (roughly $830). That’s a lot of car for the money, even if it’s not a perfect example. And to make the most of his modest investment, Alex has begun running all sorts of tests on his new old car, making everything works as it should. Unfortunately, after running it on the dyno, the numbers it produced fell quite a bit short of where a healthy rotary engine should be so now it’s having its engine torn down to find out why. It’s a great lesson in how and why rotary engines work as well as what to expect when you pay so little for a unique sports car like the RX-8.
Is there anything more beautiful than a vintage Ferrari race car? Maybe, but I haven’t seen it. What makes this particular Ferrari race car even more special is that it’s the very first 275 GTB ever built, meaning it served as a prototype for the rest of the production 275s that followed it. Not only that, but this car is extra special in that it was entered in the 1966 Rallye Monte Carlo, and that’s why you see some special features on this example including the extra lights on the hood, the three windshield wipers, special ducting on the hood, two rearview mirrors, and more. This car has been stored in the same collection for the past 25 years and now it’s headed to auction with Gooding & Co in Scottsdale, AZ in a couple of weeks. Bidding is expected to fall somewhere between $6-8M for this stunning example.
Speaking of vintage Ferraris being used for racing, it’s nice to see a bunch of old Ferraris, and cars from plenty of other makes, racing wheel to wheel during the Goodwood Revival. This is one of those bucket list events that looks like the experience of a lifetime with vintage race cars and period-correct attire to match. The hugely talented photographer Amy Shore recently just shared a massive gallery of all her favorite images from the event and you can check them out on her website.
One of the key characteristics of the Honda S2000 is its high-revving inline-4. Rated at about 240-hp, it gets the lightweight roadster moving along pretty well and makes lots of exciting noises as it runs out to redline. The S2000 you see here ditched that wonderful, high-strung engine and might be all the better for it. What you see here is an electric S2000 powered by Chevy Volt batteries and Tesla drivetrain parts that weighs 3,075 lbs (only about 200 lbs more than a stock S2000) and sends 636 hp to the rear wheels. That’s good enough for a 10.25-second pass in the 1/4 mile and they’ve recorded a 0-60 MPH time of just 2.2 seconds. It’s hard to imagine such crazy numbers from an S2000 but that just makes this swap all the more impressive. To learn more, head over to Jalopnik.