Car vs bike: Ed Clancy takes on Skoda Rapid Spaceback
Which is best: four wheels or two? Champion cyclist Ed Clancy takes on a Skoda Rapid Spaceback to find out... Read the full story here: http://bit.ly/1hYz37l Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt Which is better: four wheels or two? In the world of online videos, the answer is both. On YouTube, car vs bike videos are hugely popular -- our film of a BMW M5 racing against BMW's S1000RR motorcycle has attracted nearly five million views. So when Skoda offered us some time with its brand ambassador -- double Olympian and professional cyclist Ed Clancy MBE -- we thought another car vs bike video was in order... even if the bike in question would be human-powered. The plan was to film a race along part of the route of the second stage of Britain's leg of the 2014 Tour de France, which is set to run from York to Sheffield on 6 July. During our initial plans, we envisaged a cinematographic masterpiece -- a battle of man against machine beautifully shot against the dramatic backdrop of awe-inspiring Pennine landscape contrasting with stunning, cool-blue winter skies. But things never go to plan, especially where the English weather is concerned. In fact, the conditions were so bad that we almost abandoned the shoot entirely. In the end, it became one of the toughest tests of our cameramen, myself and even Ed -- a man used to braving the elements on a bicycle and performing under the spotlight at the very highest level. The day would also be a test for our equipment. Tripods were blown over by the wind, batteries were drained faster by the bitter cold and one camera suffered serious water damage and gave up the ghost just an hour into filming. Still, as they say, the show must go on. By the end of the shoot, we would all be soaked to the bone. Even me -- and I spent most of my time in a car. So spare a thought for Ed, dressed only in lycra, pedalling head-on into sleet and in real danger of suffering from hypothermia. But not once did he complain. It's at times like this that you realise just how much grit and determination being an Olympic champion requires. So who came up with this crazy idea? We blame Skoda. Its association with bikes dates back to 1895, when company founders Vaclav Laurin and Vaclav Klement joined forces and began manufacturing bicycles in their home town of Mlada Boleslav in the Czech Republic. And we wanted to do something to mark this. Cycling has remained an important area for Skoda to support over the years. It's not only a partner of the Tour de France, but also Italy's version -- the Giro d'Italia -- plus the World Road Championships. In addition, the company sponsors Ed's Rapha Condor-JLT team. Of course, it doesn't just keep its toe in the cycle market, as you can still buy Skoda-branded bicycles today, and they are very good. However, for our video Ed would be on his own Condor racing bike. After all, if he was going to be racing a car he would require the familiarity of his own equipment. That car would be a Rapid Spaceback, chosen largely because it's the latest model to be added to the Skoda line-up. Thankfully, the manufacturer had the good sense to send us a red one; when filming, colour is often more important than engine choice or trim level -- especially when the skies turn grey, which they invariably do in the UK. Pitstop Our race would take place on a three-mile section of road near the village of Cragg Vale, W Yorks. But while Ed is fast, with all the will in the world he would never be able to beat a car in a straight road race, even though I would use the Rapid's cruise control to ensure I didn't exceed the 50mph speed limit. So, to make things fair, we came up with the following premise: we'd both start the race without a front wheel. Ed would have to remove his Condor from the back of the Rapid and refit its front wheel, while I'd taken the nearside front wheel off the Skoda -- leaving the car on its jack -- and placed it in the boot next to Ed's bike. The time it would take me to refit the front wheel should give Ed a sufficient head start for a fighting chance, we figured -- especially as my wheel-fitting skills are quite a long way from those of a Formula One pit crew. With Ed capable of averaging between 25mph and 30mph on his bike, if I took too long fumbling with the wheel, the race would be over even before I got in the car. Actually, it was almost over even before it even began. We mimicked a Le Mans start, but I slipped on the sleet-covered road as I ran to get the wheel out of the boot and fell flat on my face. I only hope the crew warmed themselves up by laughing so hard. Thankfully, Ed is a sportsman, and while he was keen to point out that he managed to stay upright even though his cycling shoes have as much grip as ice, he allowed me a restart. You can watch the video above to find out what happened.
Lamborghini LP570-4 Superleggera vs Aprilia RSV4 Superbike - Auto Express
Lamborghini LP570-4 Superleggera takes on the Aprilia RSV4 Superbike
Audi RS6 vs Ducati 1199 Panigale R - car vs bike track battle
Audi now owns Ducati, so we decided to race the brands' most powerful models, the Audi RS6 and the Ducati 1199 Panigale R. Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt Audi now owns Ducati - so we thought it'd be fun to have a track battle between the most powerful Audi you can order and the most powerful Ducati you can order. The 1199 Panigale R has a 1.2-litre V-Twin with 195bhp. There is an even hotter Superlegera version but it’s sold out, so this R is the most powerful Ducati you can buy. The Audi RS6 has a 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 with 560hp – that’s 10 horses more than an R8 V10 Plus, which is why we have chosen the estate for this track battle. Auto Express’s Owen Mildenhall will be in the RS6 while Alastair Fagan from Fast Bikes magazine will be on the Panigale. With 1032bhp per tonne the Ducati did 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and the standing quarter in 10.5 seconds compared to 4.3 and 12.4 seconds for the 289bhp per tonne Audi. The bike clearly ruled in a straight line- but let’s see what happens when we add some corners... For a two-tonne car it's pretty impressive. It's got loads of grip, and the fact that the fan was still going a long time after we finished the race is an indication of how tightly packaged everything is under this bonnet, with a big V8 in there. There's loads of grip and massive straight-line performance. It's not the most thrilling car to drive on track because you can't really do much with it, it's not very adjustable. It just grips and that's it. You can't disable the stability control either, but there's no doubting it's really fast. The bike feels fast no matter what you do and no matter how fast you ride it, you always think you'll come back to a lap record - but as proven in the past it's not always correct. On this occasion, the bike beat the car - but in the car's defence, there's one thing you can do with it that you can't do with the bike: take the whole crew out for a hot lap!
Lamborghini Aventador vs Ferrari FF Drag Race
It's not uncommon for us to drag race cars on a runway. But we've never done it at an active airport with passenger jets taking off and landing in the background. And so we leapt at the chance to take part in Race the Runway at Edinburgh Airport. The event, sponsored by Mercedes, was held to raise money for the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice and the Scottish Burned Children's Club. In total 25 cars, ranging from a Lamborghini Aventador to a TVR Tuscan, took part. Entrants were timed over a 1,350-metre course on one of the taxi runways. We would be driving an SLS GT, which, at 199mph, has the highest top speed of any current production Mercedes. So how did it fare against the competition? Watch the video and find out. The cars included: Lamborghini Aventador Ferrari FF Porsche 911 turbo (997) Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder Mercedes SL63 AMG Performance Mercedes SLS GT Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R Mercedes E63 AMG S BMW M6 BMW M3 GTS Audi RS6 (MkI) TVR Tuscan Ferrari 599 GTB HGTE Subscribe to our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/11Ad1j1 Subscribe to the mag http://subscribe.autoexpress.co.uk/yt