Rolls Royce took everyone by surprise at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show when they unveiled the new Phantom Series II , the facelift version of their high end sedan. But this was a refresher that needed to be done, not because the car itself needed it, but because Maybach ’s demise left an opening in the segment and Rolls Royce needed to remind everyone who should take that piece of the pie. If not, Bentley would move right on in .

The new Rolls Royce Phantom Series II has received a few cosmetic updates to distinguish it from the first generation launched back in 2003, but also comes with the introduction of cutting-edge technology, enhancements to an already peerless drive-train, and improvements in connectivity that reflect the changing world in which we live.

Exterior changes include redesigned bumpers and a new set of full LED headlights, while the interior added new 3D maps with landscape topography. The V12 engine has also been improved and now offers a 10% improvement in fuel economy. The engine is also now combined with a new 8-speed automatic gearbox and rear differential.

UPDATE 03/06/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the Rolls Royce Phantom Series II.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Rolls Royce Phantom Series II.

Italdesign-Giugiaro sent out a number of teaser images ahead of Geneva to get the ball rolling on their new hybrid sports car concept, but the day finally came for the new Brivido to take its place in the spotlight. The Brivido was built to celebrate the company’s 42nd appearance in Geneva and to show that impressive performance can be obtained without compromising fuel economy.

With that path in mine, Italdesign-Giugiaro created a functional, hybrid, four-seat prototype on mechanics from the Volkswagen Group. It is painted in a very cool Xirallic pearl luster red and combines elements like aluminum, carbon fiber, and glass. The car’s interior was developed in cooperation with the Volkswagen Group Electronics Research Lab (ERL) in California and includes a unique docking system in the dashboard that allows an iPad to be completely hidden away or, with a gesture of the hand, partially exposed to work in a "Minimal" interaction mode.

The concept is powered by a 3.0-liter V6 engine that delivers a total of 360 HP and is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Nothing about that says hybrid to us, but that’s because the company has opted to leave the public out of the loop in terms of the hybrid portion of the engine. Performance figures, however, were provided, which is a nice change of pace. The Brivido can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds and can hit a top speed of 171 mph.

UPDATE 03/06/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images of the Italdesign Giugiaro Brivido.

UPDATE 06/11/12: The Italdesign-Giugiaro Brivido was in attendance at the recent 2012 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. As always, Marchettino was in attendance and he caught the super car in all its glory. Check out the video after the jump!

Hit the jump for more details on the Italdesign Giugiaro Brivido.

The 2012 Geneva Motor Show was a pretty busy show for Brabus, with them not only focusing on updates for high performance sports cars, but also for tiny models like the Smart Fortwo Cabrio. Their latest package is called the Brabus Ultimate 120 - and as its name suggests - it will increase the Fortwo’s output to a total of 120 HP.

The car will be painted in an intense metallic red and will feature a pretty cool aerodynamic kit that includes new front spoiler, side sills, and Brabus Widestar fender flares in the front and back. It will sit on a new set of 18" "Platinum Edition" forged wheels combined with a height-adjustable Brabus coilover suspension kit.

The interior was covered in Mastik leather with red contrasting seams that match the outer skin. Brabus also added a new set of Recaro Sportster seats wrapped in the finest Brabus leather and their seat shells are painted in the same color as the car’s exterior.

Under the hood, the three-cylinder turbocharged engine has been tricked to deliver a total of 120 HP at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 118 lb-ft available between 2,250 and 3,750 rpm, unparalleled in this vehicle class. As a result, the new Ultimate 120 will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 8.9 seconds and will be capable of a top speed of 106 mph.

Posted on by Timmy Calloway 4

How does Buick take a turbocharged two-door coupe and give it the ride comfort and stability for which they have always been known? Well, in the case of the 2011 Regal CXL Turbo, they didn’t. The torque steer was terrible and it just didn’t feel like a Buick. These issues, however, didn’t go unnoticed by the engineers. They knew that coming up with a new suspension for the 2012 Buick Regal GS was imperative, and it was back to the drawing board. They realized that this isn’t just your Grandfather’s Park Avenue. This car is young and sporty.

What they came up with is the HiPer Strut system. Short for High Performance Strut, this unique suspension system is a vast improvement. The added components enable the steering knuckle to rotate independently from the strut tower, creating a better separation between steering and shock absorption. This improves camber control and also maintains ideal suspension geometry. And now with the Buick Interactive Drive Control System, the driver can control the suspension stiffness through the "Sport" and "GS" buttons.

With HiPer Strut, the torque steer that was prevalent in the 2011 Regal is almost nonexistent now, and steering response and control are improved significantly. These enhancements allowed engineers to place a 270 horsepower turbocharged four cylinder in the Regal GS. This advanced 2.0L replaces the old 220 horsepower four-banger and has the highest horsepower-per-liter ratio General Motors has ever produced.

“HiPer Strut raises the limits of how a front-drive car can perform.” said Lead Engineer Bill Rietow.

Buick is not just for elderly ladies and gentleman anymore. They really are appealing to a broader base now and are making the changes necessary to please the younger crowd.

Porsche Cayenne

For about two years, it’s been rumored that Porsche was planning to offer a diesel version of their Cayenne SUV for the North American market and now, those rumors will finally be confirmed. Porsche will be headed to this year’s New York Auto Show with the American version of the Cayenne Turbo Diesel.

Just like the Volkswagen Touareg and the Audi Q7 , the Cayenne Diesel will be powered by a 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel engine delivering a total of 240 HP and 406 lb-ft of torque. Porsche has promised that under city driving conditions, the new model will deliver a fuel economy of 20 mpg, a 5mpg improvement over the current Cayenne and Cayenne Turbo .

The new Porsche Cayenne Turbo Diesel will go on sale in America in the second half of 2012 and will be priced under the current Cayenne S hybrid, or about $65k. More details will follow closer to the car’s official debut, so stay tuned!

Until recently, all we knew about Bugatti ’s line-up for the 2012 Geneva Motor Show was the special edition Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse , but a shot taken of Bugatti’s stand has revealed that the company will also be unveiling a new four-door sedan model.

At this point, we’re unsure whether this will be a production version or just a concept, but we’re leaning more towards a concept version of the Veyron replacement, what used to be called the Galibier . With stricter emissions regulations on the horizon and an uninspiring design, the Galibier had to undergo some extreme modifications to make the mark. With all of those changes, a new concept seems to be in order.

Bugatti’s future sports sedan is rumored to use a new platform borrowed from the Audi A8 . It is also believed to be powered by either a V12 or a V10 engine - a decision made in order to reduce both consumption and CO2 emissions.

Set to go into production in 2014, the new Bugatti sedan will more than likely be limited to 300 units and have a price tag similar to the Veyron. Of course, this is all dependent on whether or not the sedan hidden under that sheet is the replacement for the Veyron, in any kind of form. We’ll find out if we are right when the covers get ripped off tomorrow at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show!

Source: Autogespot

With almost one month before the official start of the 2012 New York Auto Show, the 2013 SRT Viper has been leaked on the internet again. This time, two images of a 1:64 die-cast model offer up a new glimpse of what the new American sports car will look like.

It is already known that the next Viper will come with a more aggressive design, featuring all-new bodywork painted 25 times in candy-apple red. It will feature a completely restyled front end with newly shaped headlights, a new front bumper, and a new hood. Ralph Gilles, Head of Chrysler, said: "there won’t be a part of the car that’s untouched."

Under the hood, there are two engine possibilities: Chrysler’s new 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 with some form of forced induction or an 8.7 liter V10 engine - the largest engine ever used in a Chrysler production car.

Stay tuned for more details on the upcoming 2013 SRT Viper .

After first introducing the concept version at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, Ford has now brought out the full production version of the new Ford Fiesta ST to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, almost a year before European sales will actually begin.

Ford last offered a Fiesta ST back in 2008, but the new model will take the Fiesta ST performance to a new level. Compared to a standard Fiesta model, the ST’s ride is lowered by about 15 mm and the company has opted for a new, more aggressive exterior. The model will also be offered with standard Recaro sports - a first for the Fiesta ST.

Under the hood, Ford has placed a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine that delivers a total of 180 HP and a peak torque of 177 lb-ft. The car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under seven seconds, and will hit a top speed of more than 136mph.

"We’re delighted to be bringing a new generation Fiesta ST to our European enthusiasts in 2013 and we’ll have more to say about our plans for other markets in the near future," said Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles. "With the Fiesta ST joining the new Focus ST, we will again be able to deliver a choice of affordable small performance cars that are designed to deliver a unique blend of stand-out styling and dynamic on-road performance with true practicality for everyday use."

AC Schnitzer is one of the first tuners to offer an upgrade package for the new generation BMW 3-Series . Their kit, named ACS3 2.8 Turbo, is set to make its world debut next week at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but until then the tuner has decided to offer us a few new details on the model.

Based on the BMW 328i, the new ACS3 2.8 will take the brand-new 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine and tuned it to deliver a total of 295 HP and a peak torque of 302 lb-ft, up from the standard 245 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque. This boost in power is accompanied by a sports rear silencer with two chromed "Racing" tailpipes in a right/left combination.

For the exterior, the tuner has added a front spoiler, chromed front grille, rear roof spoiler, rear spoiler, and rear skirt extension, complemented by designer stripes. The car will be offered with 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels combined with a suspension spring kit. For the interior, AC Schnitzer is offering a "Black Line" aluminum cover for the BMW "i-Drive" system controller, a "Black Line" aluminum handbrake handle, an aluminum pedal set, foot rests, and velour floor mats.

Sales for the BMW ACS3 2.8 Turbo by AC Schnitzer will begin in the summer of 2012.

In 2011, German tuner, Gemballa , presented us with their new tuning program for the Porsche Panamera . Called the Mistrale , the modified luxury Porsche saloon was nothing short of remarkable. This year, those guys are headed back to Geneva with a reworked Mistrale, one that comes with a slight bump in horsepower from last year’s model.

Aesthetically, the Mistrale’s aerodynamic program appears to remain intact with all the major external carbon fiber body components still present in the project. The carbon fiber bonnet is still there, as are the doors, the front wings, and the front and rear bumpers. Moreover, the Mistrale still sports a set of lightweight 22" forged alloy wheels.

The main difference between this new model and last year’s version is that the former comes with improved performance numbers. Gemballa still has a two-stage engine update available for the car with Stage 1 taking the Panamera’s twin-turbo V8 engine all the way up to 610 horsepower and 626 lb/ft of torque. Stage 2 is where the improvement lies, from the 700 horsepower and 737 lb/ft of torque numbers up to 721 horsepower.

More information about the 2012 Gemballa Mistrale should be made available when Gemballa presents the car at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.

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