For anyone that got a chance to see the wreck-fest that was also known as the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), you may have noticed an odd vehicle resting just inside the top-10 standings. This vehicle was a Polaris RZR-X... That’s right, a UTV managed to sneak its way into the top-10 with a finishing time of 10:40.669.
This is not a normal RZR-X that you would see sitting in a local bike shop. Oh, no. It’s owner, Doug Siddens, and his crew have this RZR-X tuned to the gills, making it outrun some of the most exotic cars in the world.
In addition, if you were to sit this RZR next to any other RZR in the world, you would barely be able to tell that they are the same vehicle. Doug’s beast features all of the fixins needed to make it into a true race car, err, race UTV.
Mr. Siddens was so kind to actually take the time out to send us a laundry list of what the vehicle has and we chose to provide our readers with a full review of this amazing Polaris RZR.
Click past the jump to read this entire review, as well as see some awesome pics and videos of Doug’s impressive Polaris.
Stop the press! Ferrari has officially unveiled the 458 Italia, the long awaited successor for the mid-engine Ferrari F430, and the design is leaving our editorial staff speechless! The super car looks impressive from any angle as it has a design that has never been seen before on a Ferrari model. The high performance sports car comes complete with a new engine, improved aerodynamics, upgraded handling, and improved instrumentation and ergonomics inside the cabin.
The wedge shaped body was penned by Pininfarina, while the interior was left up to the work of Donato Coco, Ferrari’s Chief Designer. While you might say that the exterior is more or less based on the traditional Ferrari lines, there are also a few revolutionary new ones, all intended to improve the car’s aerodynamics. The front end features a single wide mouth opening to let a specific amount of air in paired with a vent on either front fender. Out back there are a pair of large ducts just before the taillights, all designed with aerodynamic contours and partitions that direct air directly into the radiators and away from the new flat underbody. The nose also sports small aeroelastic winglets which generate downforce and, as speed rises, deform to reduce the section of the radiator inlets and reduce drag.
Under the hood Ferrari has placed a 4.5 Liter V8 engine equipped with the traditional Ferrari flat crankshaft that gives the mid-engine sports cars their signature top end bark. The unit produces 570 HP at a rather high 9000 RPM which gives the future super car a power output of 127 HP/Liter. Weighing in at only 3,042 pounds, the new Ferrari will rocket from 0 to 60 MPH in just 3.4 seconds and won’t stop until it hits a top speed of 202 MPH.
The base price for Ferrari’s new supercar is £169,545 – or around $275,000 in the latest exchange rates. And that’s just a ‘simple’ version of the 458. Should you wish to put more add-ons to the supercar, then you’re more than likely to hit the £200,000 mark - $325,000 – which, if you must know is well in reach of the selling price for a 612 Scaglietti.
But hey, if you have that kind of money, who’s to keep you from spending a few thousand more on some pretty nice extra features like steering wheel-mounted LEDs, electric seats, an alcantara trunk lining, and, of course, an additional wheel or two.
After all, nobody ever said that the price for owning a Ferrari comes cheap.
UPDATE 04/27/2011: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain the racing cockpit of the 458 Italia. The video will teach you how to perform the adjustments and explains the commands’ ergonomics. Okay, so this may not be all that interesting unless you own a 458 Italia, but watch it anyway. You may learn a little something.
UPDATE 07/29/2011: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain how the 458 Italia’s engine is being built. Hit the jump and enjoy 11 minutes of high technology!
UPDATE 08/12/2011: Ferrari has unveiled a new video in which they explain the process of building the aluminum body and frame of the 458 Italia.
More details on the Ferrari 458 Italia after the jump.
Here’s a sexier approach to the Chevrolet Volt. Cadillac’s Converj concept takes the electric car with a gas back powertrain (now called Voltec) from the Chevy and wraps it in a sleek body that reminds of a larger version of the CTS coupe.
The Converj is a strict four-seater. While this is used to give this car a sportier image, this is also necessary because a big center section is taken up by the "T" shaped battery used to power the car. The battery pack contains more than 220 lithium-ion cells that can power the car for up to 40 miles. After the battery runs out, the electric will be replenished by a gas-powered generator. Just like the Volt, the car is designed to be fully charged after plugged in for eight hours on a normal household 120-volt outlet (three hours for 240v).
There is plenty of function to the Converj form. The dark roof contains solar panels to help recharge the car and the sleek body helps cheat the millage-killing wind. Now all that has to happen is for General Motors to find the capital to put the Cadillac of electric cars in production.
UPDATE 08/12/11: After a few jumps on both sides of the fence, Cadillac has officially given the green light for the production of the Converj. The latest news about Cadillac’s resident electric car concept is that GM executives have finally gone ahead and given their blessing to have the Converj hit the production block for a 2013 launch leading up to a release as a 2014 model. Took them a while to finally decide, but hey, better late than never, right?
The Cadillac SRX was unveiled at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and is going on sale starting at $33,330 for the base 3.0 Liter V6 powered front wheel drive version and climbs all the way up to $51,360 for the 2.8 Liter six cylinder Turbo Premium version. As the Cadillac of crossovers enters its second generation, the completely redesigned SRX delivers a dynamic alternative in terms of visual appeal and driving character to ordinary CUVs with its downsized fuel efficient gas burning engines. The SRX comes standard with a front wheel drive layout and is available with all wheel drive as an option. It is built atop a version of General Motors’ Theta platform that is also used for the Chevrolet Equinox and the Epsilon II platform that is also used for the European Opel Insignia.
UPDATE 04/12/2011: After being dramatically redesigned back in 2010, the Cadillac SRX has once again been put under the magnifying glass, but this time the changes that were made to the lineup were minimal. All SRX fans out there will have much to rejoice over as the 2012 Cadillac will get a more powerful version added to its line-up: a 3.6 liter direct-injected V-6 engine that will deliver a total of 300 HP and 260 lb.-ft. of torque.
UPDATE 07/26/11: Cadillac has released some new information about the 2012 SRX, including adjustments to the performance figures on the SUV, as well as new interior features that will be included in the 2012 model. Head on after the jump to find out what’s in store for us with the 2012 SRX.
UPDATE 04/10/12: Cadillac has unveiled the 2013 SRX at the New York Auto Show a series of exterior and interior updates, but the most important one is the addition of the company’s latest CUE - a in-vehicle user experience that incorporates touch-screen controls similar to the most popular mobile devices.
Hit the jump for more details on the Cadillac SRX.
With gas prices heading well above $3.00 per gallon in most states, economical cars and trucks have made a resurgence in the American automotive consumer’s mind. One can hardly drive down a road without seeing one of the first and most popular hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius. Most major manufacturers have since produced these types of vehicles and there are more new models in the works, even from upstart luxury manufacturers.
One of the premier automotive designers in the industry felt hybrid cars were lacking in both excitement and luxury, and decided to take it upon himself to create a new segment. Henrik Fisker previously designed such memorable cars as the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9. His company originally made several re-bodied versions of the Mercedes SL and the BMW 6-series, but in very limited production and a high price tag. Fisker Automotive became a true manufacturer in 2007 with the simple idea of creating an inspired, beautiful, and exciting luxury hybrid vehicles. Shortly after, the Fisker Karma was introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. It’s easy to see why it turned more than a few heads with its voluptuous flowing lines and promised 50-mile full electric range.
As if drop-dead good looks were not enough to distinguish this car from other eco-friendly vehicles, the performance numbers help the Karma truly pull away from the crowd. Its 0-60 mph performance is said to be in the neighborhood of 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. The Karma may not be able to keep up with your neighbor’s Porsche Panamera, but while you’re getting 67 miles per gallon, he will be sitting at a gas station.
UPDATE 03/23/2011: Three years after the Karman first debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the first unit has finally rolled out of the Valmet Automotive’s plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. US and European customers will receive their first units by next month.
UPDATE 07/13/11: Finally, the Fisker Karma is set to be delivered to its first customers. It took a long time, but the wait is now over. The luxury plug-in hybrid sedan is scheduled to be delivered later this month with the first person expected to get his hands on it being no other than Hollywood A-lister and eco-guy Leonardo di Caprio. According to Fisker, there are already 3,000 pre-orders for the car with the wait list expected to hit until early 2012.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Fisker Karma.
Hyundai unveiled the sixth-generation Sonata midsize sedan at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. The car is on sale in three different trim levels: GLS, Limited and SE with the 198 hp version has a starting price of $19,195 for the well-equipped GLS model; the 200-hp SE model starts at $22,595 and the top-of-the-line Limited model is available for $25,295.
The 2011 Sonata will be the first model to be powered by Hyundai’s new Theta II GDI 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a Gasoline Direct-Injection (GDI) fuel delivery system. The engine is rated at 198 hp (200 hp in the SE version) and 184 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC. A second engine will be added next year, a 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine. A 2.4-liter Hybrid Blue Drive version will also be available.
The exterior of the all-new Sonata is long, light and low. The high beltline allows for a long, sleek roofline accented by the third window. A monoform side profile includes flowing lines highlighted by a Hyundai signature chrome accent that spans the length of the car. Normally, this type of trim is only found around the windows. On the new Sonata, this trim extends out from the headlamps, juts up along the hood and through the beltline. The face is bold with a large powerful chrome grille and headlamps that integrate precise details. The stance is completed by 16-, 17- or 18-inch multi-spoke wheels. XM Satellite Radio™, real-time XM NavTraffic, XM Data Services, HD Radio Technology™, Bluetooth®, Touch-screen navigation and iPod®/USB inputs will be offered as standard equipment.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 made its debut last year at the Geneva Motor Show and it is now on sale at a price of $112,200. beside a few exterior changes, the 911 GT3 comes for the first time, with a particularly sporting variant of PSM Porsche Stability Management, offering the option to deactivate both Stability Control (SC) and Traction Control (TC) in separate steps.
The 911 GT3 is powered by a 3.8-liter six-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine that develops maximum output of 435 bhp, up 20 bhp over its predecessor. It offers even better grip and stability also at high speeds, specific modifications of the car’s aerodynamics increasing down-forces both front and rear to such an extent that the overall pressure pushing down the car is more than twice as great as on the former model. At the same time the new Aerodynamics Package gives the GT3 a brand-new look further accentuated by the new bi-xenon headlights, LED rear light clusters, as well as modified air intakes and outlets.
The GT3 holds an interesting place in the lineup because it is the fastest naturally-aspired car Porsche makes (aside from the track-only GT3 RSR), and some drivers prefer the GT3 over turbo models. This GT3 makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in four seconds and has a top speed of 194 mph. This represents only 0.3 of a second slower to 60 mph and is one mile per hour faster than the current 911 Turbo. Some of Porsche’s professional drivers have felt that the marginal power loss was worth the predictability that was gained by having a non-turbo engine.
UPDATE 12/28/2010: Want to catch over 16 minutes of awesome rally car action? Check out the video after the jump to see Pro rally team Olaf Dobberkau and Alexandra König drift, slip, and slide through the track while enjoying the glorious sounds of the 911 GT3’s beautiful engine and exhaust. Enjoy!
The German automaker Volkswagen has just unveiled official details about the all new Golf R - "the strongest Golf produced". The new turbocharged Golf R will replace the Golf R32 and be placed above the Golf GTI in Volkswagen’s lineup.
The exterior the new Golf R features a set of Talladega wheels and upgraded brakes as well as a more aggressive front bumper complete with large air intakes, standard LED strips, a new designed R logo, Bi-Xenon headlights and the rest of the exterior benefits from color matched side skirt extensions and mirror housings painted in a high gloss black paint. On the inside, the Golf R is distinguished by fine leather contrasting with piano black and chrome surfaces, the new “Top Sport seat system”, R gearshift knob, specific floor mats and aluminum kick plates featuring the new R logo along with a set of stainless steel sport pedals as well as an R specific instrument cluster.
Under the hood, Volkswagen placed a 2.0 Liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that delivers 270 HP at 6,000 RPM and sends the new Golf R from 0 to 60 MPH in just 5.7 seconds thanks in part to the car’s all wheel drive system. This is almost a full second faster than the old R32’s 6.5 second 60 MPH sprint time, while Golf R’s top speed is still electronically limited to 155 MPH.
Updated 01/25/10: Volkswagen revealed a new image gallery for the new Golf R. Check it out!
Updated 12/09/2010: Volkswagen has officially confirmed today that the Golf R will be available on the US market starting 2012. It will be offered in both two and four door version and will feature upgraded sport tuned suspension, 18" alloy wheels, different R elements and the most important part: manual transmission only. The US version will make its world debut in January 2011 at the Detroit Auto Show.
Chevrolet will bring the production version of the 2011 Cruze at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. The new compact sedan will be offered in three different trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ and will go on sale in the third quarter of 2010.
The Cruze’s exterior is characterized by a a two-tier grille with Chevy logo, prominent headlamps, a sculpted hood, as well as a short rear deck typically found on sports coupes. On the interior Chevrolet opted for a Corvette-inspired twin-cockpit matched with high-quality materials.
The new sedan will be offered with a Ecotec 1.4L turbo engine standard on the LT and LTZ models and an Ecotec 1.8L four-cylinder one for the LS models. Both engines can be coupled to a choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.
Updated 06/03/2010: Chevrolet today announced prices for the 2011 Cruze that will go on sale in September. The new mid-size sedan will be offered in four trim levels: Cruze LS starting at $16,995, Cruze LT starting at $18,895, Cruze Eco starting at $18,895 and Cruze LTZ starting at $22,695. Depending on the trim level, standard equipment list includes: cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, USB port with audio interface, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and remote vehicle start.
The luxury arm of General Motors, Cadillac has added a sportier new model to their CTS lineup of midsize vehicles. Cadillac showed off the CTS Coupe Concept back in 2008 at the Detroit Auto Show and following much of the same lines, the new model is set to go on sale in the spring of 2010, with a more powerful V-Series version later on in the year.
The Cadillac CTS Coupe is powered by a direct injected 3.6 Liter V6 gas burning engine and is mated to a six speed manual transmission standard with a Driver Shift Control automatic as an option. The combination is good for a total of 304 HP sent either directly to the rear wheel or routed through an all wheel drive system. Depending on how you want your CTS Coupe Cadillac is offering first the Performance Package that comes complete with a set of 18 inch wheels wrapped in all season tires and is available for both the RWD and AWD versions as well as the all out Summer Tire Performance Package that upgrades your rollers to a set of 19 inch units as well as stickier rubber for a higher level of road holding. No matter which you choose, you are sure to have BMW 3 Series drivers gawking at you wherever you go.
Updated 05/20/2010: Cadillac today announced prices for the all-new 2011 CTS Coupe that will go on sale in early August. The CTS Coupe will be offered in a range of four packages:
Standard ($38,990 RWD, $40,890 AWD): Six-speed automatic with tap up/down shifting, 18-inch wheels, performance suspension, rear park assist, Bose audio, MP3 input, EZ Key, remote start, power driver and front passenger seats.
Performance Collection ($43,430 RWD, $45,330 AWD): HID Xenon headlamps, adaptive forward lighting, 10-way power leather seats, Bose 5.1 Surround Sound, USB integration, 40GB hard drive.
V-Series ($62,990): 6.2L Supercharged V8, paddle shift controls, Brembo brakes, Magnetic Ride Control, 19-inch wheels with performance tires.
UPDATE 07/06/2010: GM announced that their new flagship coupe is already being produced at the Lansing Grand River Assembly Plant and, on top of that, they’ve bumped the vehicle’s expected shipping schedule sooner than the expected August dealership date.