Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mazda's Symphony Performance At The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

Mazda Motorsports "Conductor" (John Doonan) stands behind the prized Le Mans class 1989 Mazda 767B which appeared in Class C in the Mazda Pavilion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion during Monterey Car Week August 15-21, 2016. Image Credit: Edmund jenks (2016)

Mazda's Symphony Performance At The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion

What happens when one takes three of Mazda's iconic 4-rotor IMSA prototypes and one of its 4-rotor IMSA GTO Le Mans Class C cars, and give John Doonan, the brand's motorsports manager, a conductor's baton?

A warm-up of epic proportions ensues.

During preparations warm-up at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the first-ever 16-Rotor symphony was performed on a foggy morning when the 1990 Mazda 787, 1992 Mazda RX7-92P, 1991 Mazda RX-7, and the 1989 Mazda 767-B all lined up in front of their special paddock/pavilion facing John Doonan at a large music stand (presumably with the full score, which contains the musical notation for all the instruments and/or voices) with baton in hand waiting for the initial downbeat instruction.

For four action-packed days, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca hosted the finest collection of historic automobiles, gathered together for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. As the constant heartbeat of the Monterey Classic Car Week extravaganza, the Reunion brought 550 vintage vehicles to life in their natural racing environment. Rolex shares the event’s appreciation of motor racing history and authenticity, which underscores why the leading brand of the Swiss watch industry has been Title Sponsor of the event since 2010.

Every morning the eerie fog hanging over the undulating raceway on the Monterey Peninsula cleared to reveal a hive of activity on the infield; owners, drivers and curators enthusiastically tinkering in the garages and pit lane. As the Californian sunshine began beating down on the asphalt and the sound of engines reverberated around the hillside, the cars captivated onlookers as they battled out on track, speeding down the renowned and challenging Corkscrew turn, tackling blind crests and tricky apexes, all the way to the checkered flag.

The Reunion brought together 15 classes of cars from every era of motor racing history. Each year the event also features a brand, a specific model, a type of vehicle, or even an accomplished racing driver. The featured marque for 2016 was BMW as the German manufacturer celebrated its centenary. An impressive 64 BMWs entered the Reunion, from the 1937 BMW 328 to a 2001 BMW M3 GTR, all adding to this distinctive rolling motoring museum.
[ht: Racer & MRLS]

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Monterey Car Week, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Mazda, 1990 Mazda 787, 1992 Mazda RX7-92P, 1991 Mazda RX-7, 1989 Mazda 767-B, John Doonan, MRLS, BMW, Rolex, The EDJE

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Mercedes Benz Of Arcadia Is Previewed By MercedesBenzTechTalk.Com

Victoria Rusnak, president and CEO of Rusnak Group (right) describes the AMG Performance Center concept to members of the press as Rusnak Group founder Paul Rusnak (L) and Mercedes Benz of Arcadia general manager Brian Beatt look on. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2016)

Mercedes Benz Of Arcadia Is Previewed By MercedesBenzTechTalk.Com 

Mercedes-Benz Of Arcadia is the redesigned new dealership of the Rusnak Auto Group which had its first preview to the press on July 11, 2016 after opening its doors in June. Mercedes-Benz of Arcadia replaces a smaller facility at an adjacent site.

This hallmark luxury dealership is the first LA Basin location to utilize the latest Mercedes-Benz facility image program, known as AutoHaus2.

Alysha Webb, editor and publisher of Automotive Buy Sell Report, shakes hands with Rusnak Auto Group founder, Paul Rusnak, as general manager Brian Beatt (R) looks on during the Press Day tour of the newly opened Mercedes Benz of Arcadia. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2016)

This excerpted and edited from Automotive Buy Sell Report -

New Arcadia facility opens new business opportunities for Rusnak Group’s Mercedes-Benz dealership
Posted By Alysha Webb, Editor and Publisher - July 20, 2016

The Rusnak Auto Group in June opened a huge new Mercedes-Benz dealership in Arcadia, in the San Gabriel Valley northeast of Los Angeles.

The showcase facility took more than a decade to realize, but now Rusnak has new product lines and much more space. That should mean a nice bump in the group’s business.

“It was hard to get the full potential out of the market [in the old dealership],” Brian Beatt, general manager of Mercedes-Benz of Arcadia tells Automotive Buy Sell Report. “We will have opportunities to grow considerably in the next 24 months.”
The new dealership covers over 241,000 square feet, including 40,000 sq. ft. of indoor showroom space and a bit less than 43,000 sq. ft. of service area. It has ten times more showroom space than the former building and seven to eight times more total space, says Beatt.

The new building will have 64 service bays when completed, and will stock over $1 million in parts. “We just keep growing,” he says.

Construction took several years, but getting the project off the ground was 15 years in the making, Victoria Rusnak, president and CEO of Rusnak Group tells Automotive Buy Sell Report.
With the additional space, Rusnak has brought in two new business lines — a Mercedes AMG Performance Center and Sprinter vans.
According to the Mercedes-Benz USA website, there are fewer than a dozen of the AMG Performance Centers — which offer a personalized retail experience – in the U.S.

Museum grade space of the Mercedes Benz of Arcadia showroom floor. Image Credit: Edmund Jenks (2016)

Adding the Sprinter brand did add construction costs to the new facility, however. To accommodate the tall vans in the service center, the entire building’s ceiling had to be raised by three feet at a cost of $1.4 million, says Beatt.

The facility cost $40 million to build, not including the cost of the land, says Paul Rusnak, the Group’s founder.
Rusnak was able to use local vendors for some of the materials, but other materials, such as the tile, could only be sourced from Mercedes-Benz-approved suppliers [as per Mercedes-Benz corporate Autohaus2 template], says Victoria Rusnak.
Rusnak wants to maximize business at her existing dealerships before adding more, she says. They are “a lot to manage with the cash intensity of the facilities right now.”

For example, the Mercedes-Benz of Arcadia hasn’t begun to realize the full sales potential in the area, says Beatt. For the past two years, as the new facility was being built, the old dealership operated out of around 40 percent of its original footprint, he says.

“This created severe operating conditions, with a severe shortage of space for over two years for new vehicle display, pre-owned display, service parking, and customer parking,” says Beatt.

In 2015, Rusnak’s old Arcadia dealership sold 2,270 new cars and light trucks, and 636 pre-owned used cars and light trucks. This year it aims to sell between 2,500 and 2,700 new and 700 pre-owned.
[Reference Here]

The Rusnak Group was founded in 1961 when Paul Rusnak opened a Triumph dealership (British) in Pasadena. The Rusnak Group now includes 14 makes at 15 locations.  It is primarily a foreign car luxury automotive sales and service group (Germany, Great Britain, Italy, & Korea) with locations that feature Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Audi, Jaguar, BMW, Bentley, Land Rover, Rolls Royce, Maserati, Volvo, Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Sprinter, and Hyundai franchises.

Mercedes-Benz Of Arcadia will become known as the museum display showcase in Southern California for current and newly released automobiles of Mercedes-Benz which is a global automobile manufacturer and a division of the German company Daimler AG headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Mercedes Benz Of Arcadia, Mercedes Benz, Arcadia, Rusnak, Alysha Webb,, MercedesBenzTechTalk, The Rusnak Group, AMG Performance Centers, Sprinter, Mercedes-Benz facility image program, AutoHaus2, Paul Rusnak, Victoria Rusnak, Brian Beatt, The EDJE 

Monday, July 25, 2016

Justin Bell's Cheeky Drive In The New Audi R8 V10 At Lime Rock's WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix

Justin Bell's Cheeky Drive In The New Audi R8 V10 At Lime Rock's WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix

I love this car like a bikini model with a trust fund!

Here for the IMSA race at Lime Rock I got to drive the new Audi R8 Plus for our Fox Sports Show! Just a quickie but a fun one!

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Audi Tech Talk, Audi R8 V10, WeatherTech Northeast Grand Prix, FOX Sports, Justin Bell, The EDJE

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BMW Moments Captured In 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Poster

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca via Bill Patterson

BMW Moments Captured In 2016 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion Poster

MONTEREY, Calif., July 19, 2016 —This year’s Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion celebrates the distinguished racing history and centennial of BMW with a full array of racing machines and personalities Aug. 18-21 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. To illustrate some of the action, artist Bill Patterson skillfully captures four moments in time with key cars that will be present at the gathering.

Patterson led with a big moment in BMW’s illustrious racing history, the winning of the 12 Hours of Sebring with Hans Stuck, Sam Posey, Allan Moffat and Brian Redman in the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL. Following behind is the 1938 Mille Miglia-winning BMW 328 and the BMW V12 LMR that captured the overall win at the 1999 24 Hours of Le Mans. Cresting the Corkscrew is the Jeff Koons BMW Art Car that raced at the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans. As a tribute to the Warhol Art Car, Koons selected number 79 - the year Warhol created his BMW Art Car for his M3 GT2.

Jim Busby built, drove, and now has restored this Cory Muensterman owned 1979 #3 Coors/Ocean Motors BMW/COX NEWSPAPERS BMW 320 L4 2000 cc Turbo for the 2016 Rolex Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Cory Muensterman via Facebook 

“We are thrilled with seeing these four iconic BMWs powering through The Corkscrew in Bill’s fantastic painting,” said Gill Campbell, CEO and general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “But just wait until these cars make their actual descent during the weekend where enthusiasts can enjoy their true sights and sounds.”

Rear-angle view of the Busby built, restored 1979 #3 Coors/Ocean Motors BMW/COX NEWSPAPERS BMW 320 L4 2000 cc Turbo for the 2016 Rolex Motorsports Reunion at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Image Credit: Cory Muensterman via Facebook 

As the official artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Patterson gets to see and paint some amazing cars, but it was especially satisfying to paint this year’s cover art. “Thanks BMW for the inspiration, and for building such great cars. I’m proud to have a part in celebrating the 100th anniversary of the brand. Here’s to the next 100,” Patterson said.

The full-size 24” x 36” poster is $25 (tubed) and will be available at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Souvenir Store in the paddock and its satellite store in the Marketplace during the event.

For more information on the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion or to view the full array of ticketing and hospitality packages, contact the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Ticket Office at 831-242-8200 or visit

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Bill Patterson, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Souvenir Store, 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL, 1938 Mille Miglia-winning BMW 328, BMW V12 LMR, Jeff Koons BMW Art Car, 1979 #3 BMW 320, Jim Busby, Cory Muensterman, The EDJE

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The New Audi R8 Spyder V10 Is In The European Market Starting Blocks

Audi R8 V10 topdowning. Image Credit:

The New Audi R8 Spyder V10 Is In The European Market Starting Blocks
Audi MediaCenter - 07/13/16 - Ingolstadt - Models

Audi unveiled the new R8 Spyder V10 at the 2016 New York International Auto Show in March. Pre-sales are starting in Europe tomorrow. The base price in Germany is €179,000/$198,799.00.
The new Audi R8 Spyder V10 combines breathtaking performance with the thrill of open-top driving. Its freely aspirated 5.2 FSI engine serves up 397 kW (540 hp) of power and delivers 540 newton meters (398.3 lb-ft) of torque to accelerate the high-performance supercar from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.6 seconds and bring it up to an impressive top speed of 318 km/h (197.6 mph). This means the R8 Spyder isn’t just more powerful, but also faster than its predecessor. Its driving performance is supported by the brilliant and typical sound of the aspirated

V10 engine – an intensively palpable experience when driving with the soft top folded back. The newly developed Audi Space Frame also makes its own contribution to the improved performance. It features a combination of interconnected components manufactured from aluminum and structurally-integrated carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. Its torsional rigidity has been improved by 50 percent in comparison to the predecessor model. The curb weight of the mid-engined supercar is just 1,720 kilograms (3,792.0 lb), whilst its dry weight comes in at a mere 1,612 kilograms (3,553.9 lb). Both the intelligent lightweight construction and the freewheeling mode reduce consumption: compared to the previous model, the new Audi R8 Spyder V10 is content with using ten percent less fuel.

With lightning-fast shifting, the seven-speed S tronic transmission transfers power to the newly developed quattro drive system. The electrohydraulic multi-plate clutch distributes drive torque fully variably depending on the driving situation – up to 100 percent of it can even be directed to either the front or rear wheels in extreme situations. The result is particularly dynamic and precise handling.

The various driving modes of the Audi drive select system influence the character of the R8 Spyder. They turn this top-level athlete from a superior motorway cruiser to a cornering hotshot on mountain passes.

The driving dynamics system is controlled using the standard satellite buttons on the R8 sport leather steering wheel with multifunction plus, which is also where the driver can start or stop the engine. Two additional control satellites are optionally available – one for the performance mode, and one for controlling the exhaust flaps. All functions are driver-oriented and thus the driver’s hands remain firmly on the steering wheel whilst their eyes stay focused on the road. The 12.3-inch fully digital Audi virtual cockpit displays all relevant information in elaborate 3D graphics.

A special performance view delivers information on torque, power, oil and tire temperatures, as well as lap times and G-force. The R8 Spyder is the first model in which selected mobile phone content can also be displayed directly on the Audi virtual cockpit via the Audi smartphone interface – just one of many infotainment features available. The best possible visibility and thus an increase in night-time safety comes in the form of the LED headlights with newly developed laser technology. They are recognizable by a blue anodized band which is also illuminated. An impressive range of personalization options for the interior and exterior round off the extensive product offer.

The Audi R8 Spyder V10 is almost entirely hand-built at the “Audi Böllinger Höfe” purpose-built production plant near Neckarsulm. The pre-sales of the high-performance sports car bearing the Audi Sport label begin on July 14, 2016 in Europe with a base price of €179,000/$198,799.00 for Germany.

Audi R8 Spyder V10:
Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 11.7 (20.1 US mpg);
Combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 277 (445.8 g/mi)

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Audi Tech Talk, R8 Spyder V10, 2017, New York International Auto Show, European Market, The EDJE

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance To Include Giotto Bizzarrini’s First Automobile

This Car will be among several Bizzarrini, non-Ferrari developed cars featured at the 66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Image Credit: Courtesy of the archives of Tom Fischer 

66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance To Include Giotto Bizzarrini’s First Automobile

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (June 29, 2016) — The very first car made by Giotto Bizzarrini when he was a mechanical engineering student at the University of Pisa will be among the many Bizzarrini automobiles featured at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this coming August.

Side view of the Bizzarrini Macchinetta. Image Credit: Courtesy of the archives of Tom Fischer

Bizzarrini built the car, nicknamed The Macchinetta, in the year 1953, and it was the foundation for the start of his career. Based on a Fiat 500 Topolino chassis and drive train, it had an aluminum body formed over a lightweight steel frame. Despite the fact that the engine had a capacity slightly smaller than that of a standard Fiat 500 unit, Bizzarrini was able to fit a SIATA high performance cylinder head with twin carburetors, boosting its output to around 30 bhp. Bizzarrini also integrated The Macchinetta into his graduation thesis, a piece that was highly commended by all of his professors.

Rear View of the Bizzarrini Macchinetta. Image Credit: Courtesy of the archives of Tom Fischer

Bizzarrini later drove The Macchinetta to a job interview at Ferrari, and once Enzo Ferrari saw it, Bizzarrini was hired without hesitation. He went on to develop some of the most-loved Ferraris in the world today. The list includes the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, the Ferrari 250 GT SWB and the Ferrari 250 GTO. He also designed the Lamborghini V-12 engine and worked with Alfa Romeo, Iso and American Motors.

The automobiles to be featured at the forthcoming Pebble Beach Concours are those that Bizzarrini built under his own name, such as the Bizzarrini P538 Barchetta, the 1900GT Europa and the rare 5300 Spyders. The Macchinetta was restored and shown at a small collection of European events, but this is the first time it will appear in the United States.

Front view of the Bizzarrini Macchinetta. Image Credit: Courtesy of the archives of Tom Fischer

“Although Giotto Bizzarrini was a remarkable engineer,” said Ken Gross, the Selection Committee Member who helped assemble the class, “he wasn’t afraid to choose Chevrolet Corvette V-8 power for his own cars.” Author Winston Goodfellow quoted Bizzarrini as saying, “The first time I tried one, I was shocked. It was superior to Ferrari’s engines, offering the same power with immediate throttle response.”

Pebble Beach Automotive Week begins on Wednesday, August 17 and includes car debuts, the Tour d’Elegance, the Classic Car Forum speaker series and RetroAuto — all preceding the Concours held on Sunday, August 21 on the 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links.
(ht: Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance)

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: 66th Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Giotto Bizzarrini, The Macchinetta, P538 Barchetta, 1900GT Europa, 5300 Spyder, Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, Ferrari 250 GT SWB, Ferrari 250 GTO, Lamborghini V-12 engine, Tom Fischer, Chevrolet Corvette V-8, The EDJE

Friday, June 24, 2016

Cashflow Positive Lotus Delivers Refreshed 3-Eleven & Elise Cup 250 To A Performance Hungry World

Interior dash look of the newly released Lotus 3-Eleven. Image Credit: Lotus Cars

Cashflow Positive Lotus Delivers Refreshed 3-Eleven & Elise Cup 250 To A Performance Hungry World

Fresh on the announcement that Lotus was on track to become ‘cashflow positive’, and having the car-making business focused on turning a profit in the next financial year (the first time it has ever done so in its 68 year history), Lotus Cars introduces two newly updated models that prove the statement that has formed Lotus from the beginning.

Weight Is Speed!

The 3-Eleven and the Elise Cup 250 will turn the heads on some of the most exposed of performance specialists with their command in design looks and outright acceleration.

Less weight and technological tweaking combine with continued iconic Lotus design to bring this profitable automobile manufacturer to the pinnacle of affordable competition super cars.

Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc (front right) and Aslam Farikullah, COO of Group Lotus plc (front left) with some of the production and engineering teams responsible for the new Lotus 3-Eleven and Lotus Elise Cup 250. Image Credit: Lotus Cars

This excerpted and edited from Lotus Cars - 

By Lotus Cars - Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 11:00

Ready to humble some of the fastest cars that money can buy, two of the greatest, most extreme Lotus models ever produced, the Lotus 3-Eleven, finished in matt and gloss Black colour scheme and the Lotus Elise Cup 250 in Red, have driven off the production line for the first time at the famous Hethel factory.

The two, hard-hitting lightweights represent the latest generation of Lotus sports cars, combining high-output engines with the company’s dedication to cutting mass, and so boosting performance through intelligent engineering. Developed through the company’s Lightweight Laboratory philosophy, every component in each as been assessed, optimised and re-engineered as required.

Surrounded by some of the production and engineering teams responsible for the two cars, Jean-Marc Gales, CEO of Group Lotus plc, commented: “The lucky owners of these will be the first to find out just how special the latest Lotus cars really are. We’ve raised the bar yet again, to produce two vehicles which the competition cannot hope to match. From the outright firepower of the 3-Eleven, to the sublime handling of the Elise Cup 250, these cars, better than any other, encapsulate our ‘light is right’ mantra.”

Updated Lotus 3-Eleven. Image Credit: Lotus Cars


Showing clear intent for the Lotus high-performance sports cars of the future, the 3-Eleven is the company’s quickest and most expensive series production car ever.

The 3-Eleven offers a giant-slaying power-to-weight ratio, thanks to a revised V6 supercharged engine developing 460 hp, to provide in excess of 500 hp per tonne. It is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds before reaching a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 km/h).

Updated Lotus 3-Eleven. Image Credit: Lotus Cars

Designed to deliver a pure, undiluted driving experience, the Lotus 3-Eleven utilises an all-new lightweight carbon composite body, and a bespoke chassis evolved from Lotus’ ground-breaking work with extruded and bonded aluminium sections.

As part of its development the Lotus 3-Eleven spent time at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where it was one of the fastest road going cars to ever tackle the track, capable of setting a sub-7 minute lap time.

One year on from its global unveiling, this matt and gloss Black 3-Eleven will be on display at this years’ Goodwood Festival of Speed with Bell & Colvill, the most successful and longest serving Lotus dealer in the world. A second giant killing Lotus 3-Eleven will be taking part in the Michelin Supercar run on all three days of the Festival.

Updated Elise is faster and prettier than ever ... for the street or the club race track. Image Credit: AUTOMAG KZ via Instagram

Elise Cup 250

With the Lotus Elise recently crowned as Readers’ Champion during the Autocar Awards, this latest version of the legendary car is the faster ever - with a 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 154 mph (248 km/h).

Powered by a new higher-output version of the supercharged, 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine, the Elise Cup 250 boasts 243 hp. However, in order to make the most of its power, it’s shed 21kg compared to its predecessor, to weight just 931 kg. Customers wanting to cut weight still further, and so boost performance, can select the optional Carbon Aero Pack to reduce the vehicle’s mass to 921 kg.

The hand-built sports car has long been regarded as a benchmark within the industry, providing a level of precision and driver involvement that rivals cannot match. Capable of lapping the company’s test track in 1 minute 34 seconds, the changes and engineering adaptions to the Elise Cup 250 have taken an impressive four seconds off the previous Elise Cup 220’s best time.

The arrival the new cars coincides with the 50th celebrations for the founding of the famous factory in Hethel, Norfolk, when, in 1966, founder Colin Chapman moved Lotus to the purpose-built facility. Lotus is marking this milestone in the company’s history with special edition cars and events throughout the year.

Every new Lotus 3-Eleven and Elise customer can personalise their vehicle through the Lotus Exclusive programme. Developed by the Lotus Design team, it combines traditional British craftsmanship with the best of modern design. Conceived to inspire customers, allowing them to tailor vehicles to their personal taste, it offers a comprehensive array of options and provides an alluring alternative to an off-the-peg sports car.
[Reference Here]

Welcome Lotus Cars to profitability and keeping the statement of Weight (or the lack, thereof) Is Speed ... alive!

... notes from The EDJE

TAGS: Lotus, Lotus Cars, 3-Eleven, Elise, Elise Cup 250, Profitability, Group Lotus plc, Lotus Design, cashflow positive, Weight Is Speed, The EDJE