2011

2011

Leaving the other debuts of the Chicago Auto Show in the dust is the brand-spanking new Camaro ZL1 - the most powerful Camaro ever. This beautiful beast is powered by a LSA 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine that provides enough juice to get our hearts racing and our fingers twitching to grab the wheel.

"Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously," said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history."

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be distinguished by a new front fascia, hood with air extractors, and a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber rendered in satin black finish. Completing the look is a set of 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips with ZL1 badge on the grille, hood, and brake calipers.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

The Audi RS5 is headed to the US market, that much we already know, but in order to prepare it for its trip, Audi has decided to give it a little refresher. The 2012 Audi RS5 will be headed to our side of the pond with a few exterior modifications and an updated interior, but power will still come from the sports coupe’s V8 engine.

The facelift isn’t all that surprising considering the RS5’s slower brethren - the Audi A5 - received its own little modifications for the 2012 model year.

The facelifted RS5 has received several new, sharp accents to clean up its look, although at first glance, these changes may not be so obvious. The two that stand out the most are the new single-frame grille with beveled upper corners and standard xenon plus headlights with a more modern shape, framed by narrow strips of LED daytime running lights. Inside the RS5, Audi has dropped in race-style front seats.

The bells and whistles of the exterior and interior just about cover the minor facelift provided for the RS5. In terms of power, the sports coupe will be enjoying the fruits of the standard 4.2 liter V8 engine’s labor, delivering a total of 450 HP at 8,250 rpm and a peak torque of 317.15 lb-ft available between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will be made in 4.6 seconds, while top speed can be increased to 174 mph, upon request.

UPDATE 07/19/2012: Audi has just released US pricing for the RS5. Customers will be able to snag this sports coupe for $69,795, including an $895 destination charge.

UPDATE 09/12/2012: Audi America did one o the most craziest things we have seen in the past few years: they took a RS5 Coupe to "Snake River Canyon" for a very crazy experience. Check the new video to see what we are talking about.

Hit the jump to read more about the Audi RS5.

Following in the Cayenne GTS’ footsteps from three years ago, the Panamera is getting introduced to its own GTS package. Porsche has unveiled the new Panamera GTS which will go on sale in February 2012. US prices will be announced at a later date.

The GTS in the car’s name stands for Gran Turismo Sport and promises the same extraordinary Porsche performance that started with the legendary 904 Carrera GTS back in 1963. The Panamera GTS uses a modified 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine, the same engine used in the 4S trim model, but it now develops 30 hp and 14.75 lb.-ft. of torque more. It also has a faster-revving engine with a maximum engine speed that has been increased by 400 rpm to 7,100 rpm.

Next to more power, the GTS has also received a more aggressive design thanks to reduction of ten millimeters in ride height, a high-gloss black exterior package, upgraded brakes, and a sportier interior.

UPDATE 11/22/2011: Porsche has released the first promotional video for the new Panamera GTS unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week. Check it out!

UPDATE 02/14/2012: Porsche has unveiled today a new video for the Panamera GTS presenting Rally legend Walter Röhrl on a lap around the Ascari circuit in Spain.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Porsche Panamera GTS.

With just one day before its official debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2013 Ford Mustang has been fully unveiled. It will be offered in four different packages: V6, GT, Boss 302, and Shelby GT500. All models will be built at the AutoAlliance International Plant in Flat Rock, Michigan with sales beginning in Spring 2012.

Changes for the 2013 MY include a more aggressive design with a more prominent grille, a new hood, and new LED signature lighting. There is also an optional GT Track Package that brings an engine cooler, an upgraded radiator, performance friction brake pads, and the same Torsen differential found on the Mustang Boss 302.

Power for the 2013 Mustang will comes from a 5.0-liter V6 that delivers a total of 420 HP - a 8 HP increase over the previous 412 HP.

"The new Mustang is the perfect example of continuing to build on excellence. It takes the greatness of the 5.0-liter and V6 and pushes the refinement to the next level," said Dave Pericak, Mustang chief engineer. "The car has been spot-on functionally and now we’re adding more features and technology to further improve the driver’s experience."

UPDATE 02/16/2012: Ford found a very interesting way to promote their latest Mustang GT model. The company has placed an advertisement page in the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition that shows a very cool Mustang and, next to it, the even hotter Dalena Henriques. If her name doesn’t sound familiar to you, it’s because the hot model doesn’t actually exist. Ford decided to have a little fun and invent a model to pair with their new Mustang. So far, it’s working. Any time someone wants to look up this "model," the only pictures they’ll find is of the Mustang. Well done, Ford!

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Ford Mustang GT.

Jaguar made a sensational decision in producing the XKR-S Coupe and they have decided it’s time to expand the impressive line-up with the addition of a new Convertible model. The new XKR-S Convertible made its world debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and is the most powerful and fastest open-topped GT Jaguar has ever built.

The convertible uses the same 5.0-liter supercharged AJ-V8 engine as the coupe version. It delivers a total of 543 HP and a peak torque of 502 lbs-ft; enough power to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds on its way up to a top speed of 186 mph.

Just like the coupe version, the XKR-S Convertible received an impressive aerodynamic package that helps maintain stability in an open-topped car capable of speeds as high as 186mph. More than that, all the exterior changes make the XKR-S look more aggressive and sportier than ever.

Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar Global Brand Director says, "There is nothing as liberating as life behind the wheel of an open-topped Jaguar and the new XKR-S Convertible takes the Jaguar GT experience to new heights."

UPDATE 02/02/2012: Jaguar has unveiled a new video showing the XKR-S Convertible as it plays in the snow somewhere in Finland. Enjoy!

More details on the 2012 Jaguar XKR-S after the jump.

Okay, so this isn’t exactly the most surprising news of the day, but it sure ranks up there with the coolest. Audi is said to be launching a Spyder version for the R8 GT at the Frankfurt Motor Show this Fall. As with the coupe version , the Spyder will be limited to 333 units and should be priced at about $20,000 higher than the coupe, which is sold for about $196,800 in the U.S. The similarities will even extend to the number of units available in the U.S. We last heard that we were getting 90 units of the GT Coupe and we expect the same number for the Spyder version.

Under the hood, Audi will place the same 5.2 liter V10 engine that delivers a total of 560 HP and 398 lbs-ft of torque. The Spyder version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and will be capable of a top speed of 196.97 mph. Thanks to body parts made in carbon fiber the R8 GT Spyder is 187 lbs lighter and in the same time delivers performance numbers that makes it the top-of-the-line version of the high-performance sports car.

UPDATE 11/16/11: The Audi R8 GT Spyder made its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The lightweight, drop-top German supercar will be available in North America beginning next year and will be limited to just 90 units in the region. Audi is planning on building 333 units of the R8 GT Spyder so 90 models in North America is a pretty sizable chunk of the whole inventory. Interested parties should be on their toes so they can be part of the 90 people that can score the German supercar when it becomes available.

UPDATE 02/02/12: Audi of American has announced that the R8 Spyder will be priced at $210,000 plus a $1,200 delivery fee for the US market. Only 50 units will be offered on our side of the pond.

UPDATE 04/06/12: One of the only 50 R8 GT Spyder units to arrive on the US market has been presented on the NY floor and we have some pictures of it for you. Check the pictures gammery to find them.

More details on the Audi R8 GT Spyder after the jump.

January’s 2011 Detroit Auto Show brought with it the production version of the long rumored Veloster , but Hyundai is using the Chicago Auto Show to display a rally version of the car.

The Veloster Rally Car is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission. Making giant leaps across the rally road will be made easy with the engine’s 500hp and all of that power comes with an estimated 40mpg.

This particular version of the Veloster will make its rally debut at the 2011 U.S. Rallycross Championship Series. In fact, three Velosters will be racing during the Rallycross; one will be driven by Rhys Millen, the second will be piloted by rally champion Marcus Dodd and world record freestyle motorbike rider Robbie Maddison, and the third will be driven by to-be-announced celebrity drivers.

Update 02/07/2011: Hyundai has revealed the Rally version of the Veloster coupe today at the Chicago Auto Show.

UPDATE 01/25/2012: Hyundai has unveiled a new commercial for the Veloster Rally Car that shows Join Rhys Millen and crew as they play around with the Veloster Rally Car on the golf course. Enjoy!

Hit the jump to read more about the Hyundai Veloster Rally Car.

Back in 2009, Lamborghini unveiled the Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni - a 550 HP special edition limited to only 250 units. This model was only offered in a coupe version, but at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, Lamborghini has brought out a Spyder version to offer a "stunning level of open-air driving fun that can come only from a super sports car with a folding roof and an unbelievably agile and spontaneous handling." The new roadster model has dropped the "Valentino Balboni" name and is simply called the "Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder."

"With the Gallardo LP 550-2 Spyder, we are expanding the Lamborghini lineup with a purist model that adds yet another dimension of driving fun. This will appeal in particular to a very special group of customers that enjoy a spirited driving style and also like to experience the sheer pleasure of open-air driving," says Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. "This special model with rear-wheel drive is a logical expansion of our lineup of spyder models with all-wheel drive."

Just like the coupe model, the Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder uses a 5.2-liter V10 engine that delivers a total of 542 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque. With a total weight of 3,351 lbs, the roadster will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds on its way up to a top speed of 198 mph.

UPDATE 01/16/2012: Lamborghini has announced that the new Gallardo LP550-2 Spyder will go on sale this March at a starting price of $209,000, excluding the $2,995 delivery and gas-guzzler charge.

The 2012 Detroit Auto Show is just about to start and we mostly know what to expect from it. If you haven’t been privy on what to expect, you can check out our 2012 NAIAS preview here . But next to a very long list of cool cars, this year’s Detroit Auto Show will also be hosting "The Gallery" - a show that combines hot cars with beautiful ladies. The show will be held on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2012 and only 100 tickets were available for sale, each with a price of $500.

To give you an idea about the cars in this show, this promo offers a first glimpse of some of the exotics that will be on-hand, including an Aston Martin One-77 , a Lamborghini Aventador , a Rolls Royce Ghost and a Jaguar XKR-S .

"The Gallery, a premier VIP auto experience second to none, will bring even more discriminating auto enthusiasts to the doorstep of uber-luxury automakers at the upcoming NAIAS 2012."

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Last year’s picks for the coupe of the year raged a war between the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang , but this year things are a bit different. In fact, neither one of these muscle cars made the list, simply because the new Camaro ZL1 isn’t available for purchase just yet.

With the two major muscle cars out of the running, we were still left with a ton of vehicles worthy of some time in the spotlight. Our choices for the top coupes of 2011 are kind of all over the place. From the Audi TT-RS’ return to the States to the Lotus Exige S and its road-going capabilities on the other side of the pond, there’s pretty much a flavor for anybody.

In fact, if we’ve missed one of your favorites, make sure to hit us up.

Hit the jump for our picks for the 2011 Coupe of the Year, in alphabetical order.


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