FailCar visits...Autosport

General Bunk

Another year and another motor show that PetrolBlog isn't attending, although that's about to change (more on this soon). As per usual though, Mr @FailCar has gone wild in the aisles and given PetrolBlog a pictorial run through the show.

So Autosport rolled around again for 2011 and as usual when I am at a show, (aside my usual duties), I was on the prowl for some more obscure stuff for PetrolBlog. And boy did I find that in the paddock. I had to cut this down quite a bit as there was quite a lot of stuff that got me excited, but I have written this in pretty much chronological order as I walked around the show.

So first up the hardest working car artist on the scene I saw @popbangcolour, on his knees as usual, (I swear his knees will be knackered by the time he is 40), and looking like he had not really started yet! Looking forward to seeing the results.

Popbangcolour at Autosport NEC 2011

I took a quick wonder around the PistonHeads show and not sure if all the cars had turned up yet, (Thursday), but not really that much that excited me there.

So onto the Porsche Owners Club stand and I think it has to be said that this is my favourite there. It's like the original Cayenne but 4.8 million times cooler.

Porsche at Autosport NEC 2011

Heading down past the Total Vauxhall stand I spotted this a certain Cavalier driven by Mr Cleland. Oh how we all miss 90s BTCC.

John Cleland Cavalier Autosport NEC 2011

Then a stand that is without a doubt the most epic stand at the Autosport show. Thanks to the MP4-12C  McLaren have built a very impressive display with former F1 cars and the MP4-12C taking centre stage. Impressive, and I really want to have a go. In all of them.

McLaren Stand Autosport

McLaren MP412C Autosport NEC 2011

Next to McLaren is the area that probably has the highest insurance coverage of all. The Coys auction stand. Some very tasty metal in here including a Ford Capri 280 Brooklands. Not sure what the classic Beetle was doing there though, probably a previous celebrity owner like Eva Braun or someone...

Coys Stand Autosport NEC 2011

Wondering back through the stands I spotted that car that had my name on it in the BTCC final, my heart was pounding, I pulled out my camera and...bugger. What's that all about, there should be a rear sunstrip with my name on it here? @Honda_UK sort it out! This is NOT how the car finished the season.

Matt Neal Honda Civic BTCC

No matter what show you go to Subaru apparel is always lurking somewhere, ah the height of motoring fashion.

Subaru apparel Autosport 2011

This was rather cool on the Practical Performance Car stand. The editor's 300bhp quattro, fully stripped after having a minor 'incident' on track. Looked like it was feeling sorry for itself but that it was going to come back stronger than ever.

Practical Performance Car Audi quattro

I used to follow Time Attack/Ten of the best quite a bit but have not taken much notice for years. This car used to dominate and by the sounds of things it still is. Roger Clark's Subaru Impreza. Numbers say it all really:  740bhp (+120 nos kit) 0-60 in 2.7 and a top speed of 210mph. Sounds fun eh?

Roger Clark Subaru Impreza

So I usually don't bother with the 'mainstream' stuff for coverage on PetrolBlog but I made some exceptions here as it is Autosport and there are some very special petrolhead machines. This is the new Caterham-Lola SP/300.R. It costs £60,000 has 300hp from a supercharged Ford 2.0 Duratec does 0-60 in 2.5 seconds and tops out at 170mph. Oh and it looks a bit 'radical' (see below!) The main market would appear to be people looking to take the next step from a Seven and into something faster.  Before you ask, no it's not road legal but they are 'looking into the possibilities of this'.

Caterham SP/300.R

Caterham SP/300.R interior

Caterham SP/300.R detail

Radical at Autosport

This is a wheel. It's a Ronal wheel and it's cool. Moving on...

Ronal wheel

Two new rally cars also got unveiled,  the Fiesta WRC and the Skoda S2000, but talking of S2000...

Skoda Fabia WRC S2000

Ford Fiesta WRC

Check this out, it's a 'Corsa' with RWD and a supercharged S2000 engine running 350bhp. I got way too excited over a Corsa and I think I may have still had Max Power on the brain, judging by my conduct on the Maxxis stand.

Vauxhall Corsa S2000

Maxxis Girls

I then headed outside and over to the Live Arena, where I saw a Caterham getting nice and sideways in the waiting area I think it was £10 per passenger lap.

Caterham drift

Round the back of the Live Action Arena was the paddock and this is where some very cool stuff was hanging out. This Sumo Power GT1 race car is running 600bhp and it sounded awesome. The size of the thing was mildly terrifying, you sometimes forget just how big 'Godzilla' is.

Sumo GTR

Everyone loves the Swift and look there is loads of them here, but the autograss take on the 'Hot hatch' got me much more excited.

Suzuki Swift

This is a Cinquecento. Sort of. In the back are two Honda Fireblade engines meaning this little cracker has 300bhp. Turns out on a low traction surface with the addition of oil they are quite easy to crash too, which is why it looks like this.

Cinquecento Blade

Something that would probably be considerably easier to crash though as proven in a recent popular motoring show would be a Reliant Robin. One of these had already crashed but the guys fixing it looked like they might kill me if I took a photo so I just took a photo of this one.

Reliant Robin Autosport

But my all time 'Jaw-Dropper' of the day had to be this. I swore a lot when the guy told me what was under the bonnet of this Citroen C2. A Corvette LS3 engine producing 480hp. "Bought it direct from US as a crate engine, different cams though £5,000". This is insane and prompted me to speak to the Autograss guys for a long time about previous epic builds. Just to re-iterate LS3, 480hp Citroen C2.

Citroen C2 LS3

As I was on my way out via the arena A Citroen C4 came flying off the ramp in the middle and crashed spectacularly just in front of the media pen. I did not take photos as it just did not feel right but I just want to say that the guys putting on the displays with their own cars etc do a fantastic job and they go all out to put on a show so major hat-tip to them and huge respect deserved all round.

Going back through the stands in the engineering section I  saw this. Oh dear. I suppose it's a WRC car now and everything. Bleurgh.

MINI Countryman WRC

Finally as with all these shows the some of the most entertaining cars can be found in the car park outside. But this one stood out among them all. Did they have to borrow a mate's van or something? If you are going to the show this weekend have fun, and top tip- remember NEC food is crap and expensive.

Autosport car park van