Took me a few days to come back and answer, sorry. I render my models with Povray, from modified LDview exports. Rendering from scratch gives something close of the first picture of the topic.
I invented nothing. I'm not skilled enough in that domain nor have the will to become a povray specialist. All i've done is gathering informations and testing the best combinations, like adding radiosity, removing lights, adding a floor, sometimes a skybox, tweaking rendering options, materials untouched, I use the original LGEO ones.
The rendering quality and obtained results, if not perfect, are quite good and realistic enough for me, the rubber material for the tires is the weakest part I think. The original picture is bigger than this one (1920x1080), it took around 40 min to render on a Z220 Xeon Workstation, and would have taken around 2 hours on my 5 years old I5.