On the U.S. market, a standard Ferrari 458 Spider is priced at $257,000. So, why is this version priced at $459,900? The answer is simple: because it is the only Verde-Kers-Lucido 458 Spider in the U.S. and one of two in the world built up to this point.
What’s so special about this paint? To be honest with you nothing much, it is just the same green paint job applied to the Hy-Kers 599 hybrid test car unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.
This particular model has only 967 miles on its ticker and comes with lots of carbon-fiber insertions on the interior. The model sits on 20-inch forged dark-painted rims wrapped in Michelin tires and features Scuderia Ferrari shields. Other standard equipment includes: a front wing in carbon fiber, rear molding also in carbon fiber and diamond stitching in Nero.
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Ferrari 458 Spider. Full story
The Chevy Sonic gets so little coverage from car magazines that it is easy to forget it even exists. Even the Chevrolet team does not seem too excited about the subcompact’s prospects with American buyers. Maybe that is why most of the official images are just renderings of the car inserted into picturesque backdrops via Photoshop…
If Chevrolet can’t be bothered to actually take its mini car to the desert for a photo shoot, why should buyers care?
There are a few reasons that the Chevrolet Sonic is storming up the sales charts recently to become the top-selling supermini in the U.S. for the last few months. Offered in five-door hatchback or four-door sedan body styles, the Sonic line is well-positioned in style, price and interior tech to overcome rivals, like the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio and Ford Fiesta.
A new-for-2013 RS trim added lower gear ratios to help improve acceleration in the top 1.4-liter turbo engine guise. While relatively exciting versus the bread-and-butter LS, LT and LTZ trims, the 2014 RS deserves a review of its own – published in the near future so check back for more details.
The focus here is on the volume model sedan and hatchback Chevrolet Sonics with highlights of the new-for-2014 features and options.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic. Full story
Ford has been selling the F-Series since 1948, but the F-150 nomenclature didn’t arrive until 1975, when Ford used it as a `tweener pickup to span the gap between the F-100 and F-250.
When Ford rolled out the Atlas Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, we were pretty sure that the automaker was already hard at work the F-150. In fact, the model has already been spotted testing and today we present our first rendering to help you see what we think the new F-150 will look like.
Rumors suggest that Ford will focus on drastically reducing the F-150’s total weight by making use of lightweight aluminum materials. Under the hood, the model will likely carry the same engine lineup with some minor improvements to the total output and fuel consumption.
The new-generation Ford F-150 will make its world debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford F150. Full story
Audi is preparing to make a big step into the electrification of its lineup with the unveiling of its brand-new A3 e-tron. The model was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show and will be put on sale in early 2014.
In case you have taken a little vacation under a rock for the last few years, Audi has been tossing around the e-tron designation since 2009. At the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, Audi unveiled the first e-tron concept in the form of the 308-horsepower 2010 R8 e-tron.
Audi again dropped an e-tron concept in 2010 at the Detroit Auto Show with the A4-based concept that was rumored to see life in 2014. In concept guise, this model pumped out 201 horsepower and hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. This model, codenamed the 9X1, is supposedly under development and will hit production in 2014.
The e-tron line carried on with the A1 e-tron at the 2010 Geneva Auto Show, which produced 101 horsepower. Then, at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the 2011 e-tron Spyder stopped the show with its 296-horsepower, 3.0-liter V-6 TDI engine and 86-horsepower electric motors that sprinted the convertible to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds.
At the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Audi finally unveiled the first production e-tron model, in the form of the 2013 A3 Sportback e-tron.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 e-tron. Full story
A standard Maserati GranCabrio MC gets its power from a 4.7-liter V-8 engine that delivers a total of 460 horsepower. Those are pretty good numbers for a sports convertible, but not the best a Maserati can do.
Luckily for us, there are tuners that came into the picture and tuned the car to its real capacities.
Novitec did just that for the GranCabrio MC. The tuner installed a new supercharger with a water-cooled intercooler and a pair of heat exchangers, which allowed it to boost pressure by 0.43 bar (6.23 psi).
Along with the new supercharger, Novitec also offers an updated intake manifold with larger injectors and it remapped the ECU. The result is a total output of 646 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.
With the extra power, the GranCabrio MC will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds - down from the standard 4.9 seconds - and will go up to top speed of 189 mph. The sprint from 0 to 124 mph drops to 11.4 seconds.
Click past the jump to read more about the Maserati GranCabrio MC by Novitec. Full story
Back in May, Aston Martin announced the Hybrid Hydrogen-powered Rapide S as a special entry in the 41st ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring. Now the company has teamed up with Bosch Engineering to develop a plug-in-hybrid variant of the DB9 sports car. Could this be a clear sign that Aston Martin is considering hybridization for its future models?
The car received no exterior updates, except, of course, for the expected Bosch swag so we don’t forget who helped electrify the DB9.
All of the major work was made under the hood, where the two companies combined a V-12 engine powering the front wheels with an electric motor for the rear wheels. As a result, this hybrid DB9 will deliver a total of 740 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.
On top of the amazing output – 230 horsepower and 193 pound-feet of torque more than the base DB9 – Aston Martin also announced a full-electric range of 16 miles. Rumors are also circulating that the hybrid DB9 will be about 10-percent quicker than the standard car.
Bosch equipped the car with the latest ESP system with four different driving modes: safe, sport, drift, and custom. For the interior, Bosch developed TFT dials and an in-car touchscreen system, which obviously will double as a hybrid system monitor.
Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB9. Full story
A few days ago, Nissan confirmed that its in-house performance division, Nismo, is preparing for big updates for the future. One of the biggest surprises offered by the performance division will be a Nismo version of the current Nissan GT-R.
The future Nismo version will be based on the 2014 GT-R and will add a series of updates that will transform the GT-R into a real track machine, while keeping it perfectly suitable for the road. No other details have been provided, but it’s pretty easy to imagine what the future GT-R Nismo will bring on the market.
On the exterior, Nismo will work on improving the car’s aerodynamics, so you should expect lower front and rear bumpers, wider wings and sill side skirts, plus a huge wing at the rear. On the interior, the Nismo GT-R will get special suede-trimmed Nismo sports seats with red stitching, plus a redesigned steering wheel, pedals, gauges and gear knob.
Under the hood, the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine will be tricked to deliver at least 25 horsepower over the standard 545 horsepower.
The new Nissan GT-R Nismo will hit dealerships in a year’s time. We’ll update you when new information surfaces.
Click past the jump to read about the base 2014 Nissan GT-R
UPDATE 5/1/2013: Nissan executive vice president, Andy Palmer, had a conversation with Autocar and revealed a few snippets of information on the 2015 GT-R Nismo. On the exterior, the majority of the changes will be limited to aerodynamic efficiency and downforce. Additionally, he stated that Nismo will also tune the GT-R’s 3.8-liter engine beyond its base horsepower, stating that "there will be an extra kick" and that they are aiming for the production car record around the Nurburgring.
Update 6/18/2013: In a conversation with the folks at Top Gear, Nissan let slip that the Nismo GT-R would pack “more than 570 horsepower,” plus include improved handling and looks. We figure we’ll see around 575 horsepower by time it is all said and done. (Motor Authority) Full story
If you are not impressed with the current McLaren P1, you should know it could get even more impressive, as the McLaren is considering a full bare-carbon-fiber option. This whole discussion stems from a client who is preparing to buy a P1 and while deciding what options he wanted on his model, he mistakenly believed that McLaren offered a full bare-carbon-fiber option at no cost.
Other companies charge upwards of $150,000 for this option, so how could McLaren pull it off for free? Well, the fact of the matter is that the customer was sadly mistaken, as there is no full bare-carbon-fiber option for the P1, let alone a free one.
When asked about this possibility, McLaren said that the company is indeed considering such an option because many customers have asked for it, but there is no way the company will offer it at no extra cost.
To date, McLaren offers the bare-carbon-fiber option at a no cost for the roof, front bumper section and the sections within the doors. This is likely where the customer became confused.
A final decision on a full-carbon-fiber option will be announced soon, as will the anticipated $100,000-plus price tag.
Click past the jump to read more about the McLaren P1. Full story
The Acura TSX Sport Wagon is a niche model aimed at driving enthusiasts who don’t want to sacrifice handling and style to accommodate small families or dogs. Despite sales running far below the more mainstream RDX crossover, the TSX wagon is a unique offering in a segment where most competitors are ditching wagons in favor of compact SUVs.
There are a few caveats with the TSX wagon versus the sedan: the wagon is only offered with the base four-cylinder paired with a five-speed automatic. The 2013 TSX sedan is offered in a manual for the four-cylinder as well as a V-6 automatic in top trims.
Sport Wagons are firmly back in style, as the new Audi RS4 and RS6 are offered in Avant form only. The new Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake takes the hot wagon style to a new level with ultra-chic dimensions.
Wagons make sense by maintaining a low center of gravity for better handling while also packing more versatile cargo areas. Additionally, Audi claims that wagons are more stable at ultra-high-speeds versus sedans and coupes by offering a long, flat roof and a chopped rear end.
The TSX wagon emphasizes handling above both acceleration and interior room. Acura owns this segment since all mainstream sedans have ditched their wagon variants. The new Mazda6 may come to the U.S. in a wagon body in mid-2014, but it is not likely due to the Mazda CX-5 crossover’s success with buyers. The only other non-crossover wagon on the sub $40,000 radar is the Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen that looks dreadful but undercuts the TSX in price.
Click past the jump for the full review of the Acura TSX Sport Wagon. Full story