Listen to the 2018 BMW M8 Roar at the Nurburgring

After years of rumors floating around that the company was planning a new 8 Series model, BMW has confirmed them in recent days with record enthusiasm. In the span of less than a month, the Bavarian Motor Works announced a new range-topping coupe was headed for production next year, previewed said car with the gorgeous Concept 8 Series at Villa d'Este, and announced that the new 8 Series range would also include a 2018 BMW M8...by bringing a camouflaged (but apparently near-production-ready) version of it to the 24 Hours Nurburgring race last weekend.

As the 24 Hours of Nurburgring is a rather well-attended motorsports event, the new BMW M8 didn't exactly go unnoticed at its global debut. (Not that BMW expected to, mind you.) So when the company started up the camouflaged two-door for the first time in the public sphere, a veritable gaggle of gearheads with smartphones were gathered around to see—and, as it turns out, hear—the car in real life.

Included among them: veteran YouTube car spotter cvdzijden, who was front and center for the super-coupe's grand entrance from behind a banner bearing the catchphrase "TOO MANY SECRETS." Not only did his camera capture the car from the front, side, and rear of the vehicle, but the microphone also grabbed the snarling exhaust note pouring out of the engine—reportedly, the same 600-horsepower twin-turbo V-8 unit found in the forthcoming BMW M5. He even caught a good glimpse of the car blasting onto the 'Ring itself with a couple M3 Ring Taxis...an accelerative burst that left us even more excited to drive this big Bimmer than we were before.

Volvo’s First China-Built S90 to be Transported on High-Tech Rail Link

Volvo Cars announced that it will start shipping Volvos made in China to Belgium via China's efficient rail link. This train system establishes a direct and faster trade route between China and Europe, helping China improve its image as a premium manufacturing center at scale. Volvo clearly understands China's potential, having already started manufacturing some of its cars there. (Plus, Volvo is currently owned by Geely, a Chinese auto manufacturer.) The Swedish premium manufacturer first started exporting cars from China to America two years ago with the S60 Inscription, and plans to revive that program with the brand-new S90. This development is another massive step for Volvo in its efforts to take advantage of certain countries' huge manufacturing potentials as it leads the way in global automotive expansion for premium vehicles.

The S90 sedan manufactured at the Daqing factory will be the first Volvo to make the journey to the Zeebrugge, Belgium facility for distribution. Volvo plans to transport the first group of cars this week, and will initially send a new batch of cars along the route once a week. Up to 120 cars can be transported on the train in containers made specifically for Volvos.

There are a number of benefits to transporting via rail over shipping automobiles over the sea. Along with cheaper fuel costs, Volvo says that China's rail line is more environmentally friendly than ships. It is also 75 percent faster to transport a car to Belgium on a train than on a boat, so customers get their cars sooner.

3.2-Liter 1975 Porsche 911 – The Goose Versus The Snake

Der Faszination is back again with another killer video depicting this gorgeous Mexico Blue 911S and its owner, Dave Waddell. Dave isn't much one for originality or keeping his cars bone stock. This car is evidence of that, as it's got a later 3.2-liter aircooled flat six instead of the largely derided 2.7-liter engine that it was initially sold with. Instead of 175 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque, the larger displacement engine promotes this car to a higher level of performance to the tune of 231 horsepower and 209 lb-ft of torque. It's a more reliable engine with a much larger area 'under the curve' to work with. In this lighter narrow-body early chassis, that engine can really sing.

You can tell that Dave truly enjoys driving his car, frequently taking the car out for drivers on the fantastic driving roads north of Los Angeles. Mulholland is one of those famous roads that everyone has to drive once in their life, and Dave gets to take his 911 there as frequently as possible. In the 70s and 80s, there was a reasonably infamous group of Porsche fanatics that would set up impromptu races along Mulholland, and their cars were built to the hilt in a very of-the-period fashion. This car, the Blue Goose, seems to be properly built in a very similar fashion to those old school street racers. With a roll cage, stiff torsion bars, stiff sway bars, a bigger displacement engine, and racing buckets, this car is just a chopped top away from a modern day King of Mulholland.

If we were in Dave's shoes, we'd be in love with this car as well. Mexico Blue is one of the greatest colors Porsche has ever laid on sheet metal, and there is hardly a car more deserving of such an eye-catching shade. The sound of this car as it accelerates away from the camera is one of the best we've ever heard. Nice one, Dave, now go fight some snakes.

What Do You Think of This Mustang Ute Concept Rendering?

Utes like the Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero are a rare sight on American roads, with their productions ending in 1979 and 1987 respectively. The body style was revived in the early-mid 2000s, when Chevrolet released the SSR, but the throwback styling ship had already sailed, and the SSR was canceled after poor sales, with only an approximate 24,000 manufactured between 2003 and 2006. Utes' days are numbered in Australia, too. The Holden Ute was based off of the Commodore's platform, and with the impending October shutdown of the Commodore's plant, the ute will soon be dead down under, too.

The gloomy loss of light-duty pickups based on car platforms doesn't have to be taken sitting down, though, and we can continue to fantasize about them all we want, or even envision their return. Rain Prisk has released a concept rendering of a ute based on the current generation of the Ford Mustang, and though the Ranchero is unmentioned, it is undoubtedly the badge this adaptation would be sold under.

In today's world of swelling pickups, a more compact, stylish, sporty light-duty truck must have at least some market viability. The current F-150, in its absolute smallest configuration with the 6.5' bed and regular cab, is a whole 209.3" long, or 17 feet and 5 inches. This is an entire 20" longer than the second generation F-series truck from the 1950s. The current Mustang is a comparatively compact 188", and the GT trim (the one you want) is in the 3800 pound range, whereas the current F-150 at its absolute lightest is 200 pounds more, and at that weight, you can't even get a V-8.

If Ford were to make a Mustang Ranchero, their performance parts bin could translate from their various Mustang trims nicely. Maybe there would even be a Mustang Ranchero GT350R, complete with carbon fiber wheels, removable chassis bracing in the bed, and a removable topper for aero gains. Even an American muscle snob such as myself could do nothing but ogle and drool at such a thing, if it were to exist. That's your cue, Ford.

Massachusetts Man Saves Woman from Burning Car with a Baseball Bat

We might not normally think of a wooden baseball bat as a rescue tool, but that’s exactly what it was in a potentially fatal car crash in Reading, Massachusetts.

Laura McCaffrey was driving with her niece when she had a seizure losing consciousness, and subsequently, losing control of her car. She crashed what appears to be a fourth-generation Ford Taurus into two utility poles breaking her windshield and starting the car on fire.

A good citizen named Brandon Finnen was attending a barbecue and ran to the scene when he heard the crash. “I saw the car on fire and the lady was unconscious in the driver’s seat. Her niece came around and tried to open the door. I told the niece to back up and I tried to start breaking the window with my fist,” Finnen told CBS Boston.

A friend noticed Finnen wasn’t getting anywhere pounding on the windows and handed him a baseball bat. He smashed the window, unlocked the car from the inside, unbuckled McCaffrey’s seat belt, and pulled her out of the burning car to safety. According to witnesses, the driver’s side of the car was engulfed in flames after the rescue.

According to police, McCaffrey and her niece were taken to the hospital and their injuries are non-life threatening. 1,300 houses went a few hours with no power, but it’s since been completely restored.

Maybe firefighters should start carrying around Louisville Sluggers in their trucks right next to the jaws of life.

Our Smyth Performance Ute Kit Is Here

I have taken delivery of my Smyth Performance Ute kit. Now I can begin the process of turning my own VW Jetta into a Ute. But before I pull the car in the garage and begin dismantling the back half of it, let's take a look at what you actually get in the kit. Not only do you receive many custom parts created by Smyth Performance, you also get a collection of standard parts that you might find at any auto parts store. But the contents of the box are the specific parts you need to build your own Smyth Ute.

The largest pieces of the kit are the fiberglass bed sides. These will run all the way from the back of what are now the front doors all the way to the rear of the car, covering the openings for the back doors. Conveniently, this particular piece will also cover up the dents in the car's right rear wheelwell. Some additional trimming will be necessary. I'll have to cut the hole for the fuel filler door, as well as make some cuts to attach the tail lights, which were originally intended for a Ford Explorer SporTrac. These are also included with the kit.

This piece will go on top of the front of the bed and attach to what's left of the roof after I cut it, creating the back of the Ute's passenger compartment. I'll also have to install the sliding glass window into it.

These fiberglass pieces are essentially a body kit that covers the rocker panels between the front wheelwells and the back doors. These will help blend the front of the car into the lines of the bed side pieces after they are installed.

Most of the aluminum pieces are bundled together here. This includes the front and sides of the bed, as well as various braces and bodywork that hold the Ute together but will not be visible from the outside. There's also a roll of black carpeting that will line the interior rather than bare metal. I'll likely add a layer of sound deadening material between the front of the bed and the interior carpet as well.

This box contains all kinds of little parts - brackets, fasteners, tailgate hardware, and so on. The tailgate itself, which is an off the shelf part for a Ford Ranger step side, is drop shipped to you directly from the supplier, and never sees the Smyth factory.

But before any of these parts go on, I have to remove quite a bit from the car. This includes the back seats, trunk interior, trunk lid, tail lights, back doors, and the back bumper. Plus there's also that minor detail of cutting the top rear quarter of the car away. I was a bit busy this past weekend and will be attending Red Bull GRC in Connecticut next weekend, but I hope to back the Jetta into the garage and begin its transformation from an ordinary sedan into a rather unusual kit car.

This Alfa Romeo 4C Hillclimb Car Has a Formula 3000 V-8

The Alfa Romeo 4C is among the cheapest of the mid-engined sports cars to be sold in America since the demise of Toyota's MR2. Sitting at $55,900 in the USA, the 4C occupies a price point in the middle ground between sports cars for us commoners, such as the Ford Mustang and Toyota 86, and the realm of supercars demanding six (or more) figures, like the Nissan GT-R. In its realm, the 4C used to be the lonely champion of the four-cylinder engine, as it has a 1.8-liter turbo four making 240 horsepower (though it now has the Porsche Boxster to keep it company).

No Google searches have turned up any automotive publications requesting more cylinders, but if more power and sound is what you need, you sometimes have to abandon your factory engine and go with something punchier. YouTube channel 19Bozzy92 has uploaded a video of a 4C hillclimb car that has been modified to accommodate the 3.0-liter Zytek V-8 from a Formula 3000 car. For those unaware, Formula 3000 is a now-defunct open wheel single seater class that was situated between Formula 3 and Formula 1. According to 19Bozzy92, the engine is making 450 horsepower, and the entire car weighs a mere 700 kilograms, or approximately 1,540 pounds. This car is still well under a ton even with a driver and full load of fuel, giving it a power-to-weight ratio approaching that of hypercars.

This is not the only instance of ex-Formula racing engines making their way into hillclimb cars. Last month, we shared a BMW powered by an Indycar V-8; even more well-known is the BMW 134 of Georg Plasa. It is good to see the trend of repurposing these rev-happy engines for further use is still happening, long after the series from which the V-8s originate are gone.

Honda Donates Two Africa Twin Motorcycles to Redondo Beach Police Department

Redondo Beach Police Department has proven to be a forward-thinking department with their strong community impact through social media, beach patrol and an overall "behind the badge" kind of vibe. Their motto is "we are the community, leading the way in law enforcement," and given that choice of words they feel driven to explore new forms of policing. Since Redondo Beach is located, well, on the beach, the department has utilized motorcycles and side-by-sides to effectively police hard-to-reach areas, seeing as how a patrol car isn't exactly a good fit for soft sand.

Well...this trainee has a lot of explaining to do! #stuck #mudbogging #oops #trainee #newguys #rallycar #RedondoBeach #RedondoBeachPoliceDepartment #RBPD #wearethecommunity #leadingthewayinlawenforcement #redondobeachpier #police #policefamily #thinblueline #tbl #leadersapplyhere

A post shared by Redondo Beach PD (@redondobeachpd) on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:20pm PST

Several years ago, Honda Community Relations donated a pair of side-by-sides to the RBPD to help protect the community, and their partnership proved to be beneficial. In recent years Redondo Beach has utilized Honda ST1300 motorcycles to police their community, but according to Chief Keith Kauffman, the department is looking to invest in a more agile unit.

#MotorSanta is out patrolling #RedondoBeach on his @honda_powersports_us #ST1300p looking for people on the #NaughtyList @alpinestars @policemotors @shark_helmets @funningtv @police_usa

A post shared by Redondo Beach PD (@redondobeachpd) on Dec 20, 2016 at 3:07pm PST

That is where the Honda Africa Twin comes into play; the 998cc adventure motorcycle is smaller, lighter and more nimble than the conventional police motorcycle, perfect for a place like Redondo Beach. There is no question that this motorcycle can quickly respond to incidents and tackle stairs with ease.

Another unique feature is that the Africa Twin is equipped with an automatic dual clutch transmission, so officers can focus on other tasks like radio use and pursuing a suspect. In order to better suit the department, RBPD will be sending the two motorcycles to bike customizer Roland Sands for further upfitting.

And if all goes well, there is a good chance the department will invest in more of the adventure bikes. Good luck with the new motorcycles Redondo Beach Police Department, and stay safe.

Watch a Racer Lose Control When a Wheel Flies Off His BMW E36 3 Series Race Car

Losing a wheel at any speed can have serious consequences, but having it happen on track when you're hauling ass is pretty much the worst-case scenario. A video shared on YouTube shows what that scene could look like when a BMW E36 3 Series race car and a populated race track are involved.

The video, shared to YouTube by grassroots racer and former Pirelli World Challenge driver Van Svenson shows how the incident went down. Svenson was behind the wheel of a BMW E36 race car at New Jersey Motorsports Park's Thunderbolt track when the studs on one of the car's four corners broke.

"I had a wild ride when the studs on my left rear wheel failed in T4 at Thunderbolt," Svenson wrote in the video description. "Luckily, I didn't hit anyone or anything."

Yeah, and it was a damn close call.

After the wheel came off, the E36 can be seen spinning in circles uncontrollably. It's amazing that the car wasn't struck by one of the race cars out on track.

Twin-Turbo Lamborghini Huracan Sets Half-Mile World Record of 250 MPH

The horsepower wars of the past decade have spoiled us all. With tuning shops coaxing quadruple-digit power figures from stock-looking cars and production engines knocking on their door, it takes something truly eye-popping to break through the clutter and really knock us dead. But a world-record, 250 mile-per-hour half-mile run in a twin-turbo Lamborghini Huracan at an airstrip in North Carolina? Yeah, that'll do the trick.

Tuned to heck by the team at Underground Racing, this Huracan's 5.2-liter V-10 is likely packing something close to 3,000 horsepower at the crank. UGR is known for their ability to more than quintuple the Huracan's factory power numbers with their twin-turbo kits and accompanying engine upgrades, resulting in what they claim to be the fastest street-legal Lamborghinis in the world. It looks like the same car they showed off at TX2K17 last month, where it made short work of the quarter-mile competition.

That's impressive enough, but what makes this yellow Huracan (and frankly, most of their builds) really cool is the stock appearance. Any old shop can throw together a stupid-fast drag car with a big hood bulge and even bigger slicks, but it takes real skill and precision engineering to build a car capable of safely hitting 200-plus mph speeds without any ornamentation like this. It doesn't even need a parachute.

The record run was performed by speed freak Gidi Chamdi, who previously set the half-mile record at 240 mph in an Underground Racing-tuned Lamborghini Gallardo last summer. He was then passed by a Huracan (247 mph) in September and later a Nissan GT-R (248 mph) just two months ago, so he was eager to take back the crown at WannaGoFast's shootout at Stanly County Airport in New London, North Carolina this weekend. And take it back he did, reaching an insane 250.27 mph.

Putting that in perspective—at that speed, the Huracan is covering more than the length of a football field every second.

Of course, when we say "record," we're talking about street-legal road cars—a top fuel dragster could certainly put this Lambo away, though running one for a half mile versus the standard quarter mile would probably destroy the engine in the process.

Underground Racing also brought out an Audi R8 V10 Plus for a few runs, which managed "only" 244.80 mph. But again, we're all spoiled at this point. It's hard to see how they'll be able to keep topping themselves in perpetuity, but we're eagerly awaiting the next installment.