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PETERSEN MUSEUM

ROBERT PETERSEN was a cornerstone of American car culture, the publishing titan bringing us mastheads such as Hot Rod, Rod and Custom and Motor Trend. Back in 1994, Petersen opened a museum on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue that rapidly became a beacon for Los Angeleno car culture. The 100,000 square-foot building saw themed exhibitions and the museum’s curators championed the role of cars in California’s success story.

In 2014, the museum closed its doors for a two-year, $120m refit, the new building’s organic, swirling metallic exterior by architects KPF delivering exactly the sort of bold statement that would evoke the imagery of speed and the curves of a coach-built automobile. The original building underwent the renovation without any major architectural changes itself, but a a serious refurbishment of the museum and an updating of its exhibits aims to make repeat visits up to 60% of daily attendance. Povi Pullinen visits the museum in this riot of art cars, movie cars and exalted customs that will have you checking ticket prices on Expedia in no time at all.

: One of the more incredible engineering feats we’ve seen recently is Dandy Engines’ conversion of two LS1 V8s into one of the angriest sounding V12s imaginable. This video has all the numbers from its dyno pull.


KOENIGSEGG REGERA

UNLESS YOU own a modded VL Turbo, it’s hard to comprehend what 1119kW feels like in a road car. MOTOR decided to send Joakim Dyredand to drive one, probably because it takes a Swede to understand the bizarre clockwork in Christian von Koenigsegg’s head. The complexities of Regera’s direct-drive transmission make Fermat’s Last Theorem read like Morley’s Workshop. It works though, as in: 0-100km/h in 2.8s, 100- 300 in 3.8s, 200-300 in 4.3s and 300- 400 will detain you for 9.1 seconds.

That’s 20 seconds to hit 400 klicks.

Motor also got to have a pedal in the new 488 GTB around Sydney, a car that Scotty Newman found both fast and reliable.

We all know the Isle of Man TT course is something that routinely snuffs out unlucky or overambitious bikers every single year, but this video of British rally driver Mark Higgins looking to beat his own lap record around the 60.4km circuit in a Subaru Impreza WRX STi is something special. He set a 19:56.67 lap in a stockish WRX STI in 2011, beating Tony Pond’s mark of over 20 years. He shaved nearly 41 seconds off his time in 2014, at a 188km/h average lap-speed, but with a more serious car how much could he shave off? Check the video for the answer, but he averages 213.4km/h, on a street with hairpins, dry stone walls, post boxes and suicidal sheep.

Unbelievable.


ALFA’S $7.5BN PUNT

ALFA ROMEO has gone all-in on the new Giulia sedan, hoping that it’s got the hand to beat the Germans at their own game. Past form would suggest that this is the longest of long shots but, as Glenn Butler reports, the Giulia’s got something.

The Italians have employed the right people, given them the autonomy they need to succeed and the result shows a lot of promise. Eight laps of the company’s billiard tablesmooth Balocco test track might not be enough to deliver a conclusive verdict on the fire-breathing 375kW Quadrifoglio model but it sets things up nicely for an Aussie supersedan test against the usual contenders from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Jaguar and Lexus. Our resident Kiwi leadfoot was even ushered into a base 147kW Giulia which also came away with a positive report card.

Elsewhere in the issue, Stephen Corby gets to play in the fabulous but fragile Ferrari 488 GTB and gets to talk zombies and gundam robots with Honda’s Counter Design Team leader. Meanwhile Byron Mathioudakis keeps things real with a Holden Spark, Suzuki Celerio and Kia Picanto triple test. Welcome to the cheap seats.

Toby Hagon lands a plum assignment, tasked with pedalling a new Nissan GT-R around Spa- Francorchamps. After taking the brave pills and hitting Eau Rouge at 160km/h, Tobes realises that F1 drivers go through twice that fast.