The Chicago Auto Show is one of America’s biggest auto events, yet it doesn’t hold the same glamorous standards as that of its counterparts in Detroit, New York, and even Los Angeles.
That being said, a lot of automakers have used Chicago as the venue for their concept debuts and it’s no different this year as Kia prepares to roll out the Track’ster Concept.
The Tracks’ter Concept is being touted as "the ultimate performance" Soul that features an aggressive hatchback body with a low and aggressive bodykit. Looking at the Soul’s overall design, it should be easy to paint a picture of the Tracks’Ter as a concept that carries a far edgier look to coincide with the Korean automaker’s evolving design language, one that’s a far departure from the conservative approach the company used to be known for.
Performance details on the Tracks’ter Concept have yet to be announced, but considering what we’re looking at and how it’s being touted, we wouldn’t be surprised if it packs the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder powertrain that can be found under the hood of the Hyundai Veloster Turbo.
Whatever the case may be, we’re all looking forward to seeing the Kia Tracks’Ter Concept make its world debut in Chicago later this month.
High tech dreams, art on wheels, poetry in emotion. This is what AutoExotika promises to feature when the new series kicks off.
What is AutoExotika? It’s a "high energy, high quality, celebration of the world’s most exotic automobiles and the men and women who design, build, collect and drive them." Basically, a team of experts will be filming at iconic racetracks, manufacturing plants, and some of the most amazing roads in order to provide viewers with an eyeful of auto erotica.
Aside from the scintillating vehicles to be presented, AutoExotika will be hosted by race car celebrity Ashley van Dyke, exotic car owner John Temerian, and serving as the brains behind the operation, technical and mechanical guru, Evan Blaustein.
Short of being able to tag along for what promises to be an insane ride, we can’t think of anything better than sitting back and experiencing AutoExotika!
The Toyota Vitz, or the Yaris as it’s known in a lot of international markets, isn’t exactly the type of car that would receive a sports concept program. Apparently, Toyota and GRMN, thought that it would be a pretty good idea. Thus, the Vitz/Yaris Turbo Concept was born.
Prepared by GRMN, which stands for "Gazoo Racing Master of Nurburgring," the three-door Yaris received some pretty impressive bodywork, complete with Gazoo Racing’s signature livery, a new grille set-up, a redesigned front bumper, a front lip spoiler, widened front and rear fenders, side skirts, a roof spoiler, a new rear bumper and diffuser, and a new set of 18" wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. In terms of performance, the Yaris Turbo Concept received an improved engine, courtesy of a modified 1.5-liter supercharged engine that produces 180 horsepower and 162.3 lb-ft of torque. The engine was then combined with a five-speed manual transmission, a new lowered sports suspension, and a high-performance braking system.
It wasn’t surprising to see Toyota and GRMN pull out all the stops with their Tokyo Auto Salon contingent. What raised our eyebrows was the impressive detail Toyota and GRMN went through to build a sporty and aggressive Toyota Yaris.
Our heads are spinning with the overload of tuned up Toyota GT 86’s that are being revealed at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon.
Whatever form the GT 86 - or BRZ and FR-S - comes in, one thing we do know is that it exudes some serious hot metal. That’s why a lot of people have been looking forward to the first tuning programs of these cars, with one in particular being the TRD-tuned, Satin White Pearl-finished Toyota GT86.
As it turns out, the GT 86 TRD comes with plenty of new aerodynamic accessories courtesy of TRD. There’s a new front lip, new side skirts on both sides of the car, new front and rear anti-roll bars, a carbon fiber strut, a rear diffuser, additional road-bracing, a high-response exhaust system, interior sports seats, and a new set of 18" alloy wheels.
Needless to say, TRD really went the whole nine yards in dressing up the Toyota GT 86 with a comprehensive list of impressive aerodynamic applications. It stands to reason that after seeing this, a lot of prospective owners of the GT 86 will be falling in line to get their own sports coupes set up exactly just the same.
Anytime someone has a car like the Mercedes SL65 AMG and gets an opportunity to do some tuning work on it, that person shouldn’t even think about hesitating.
Now if that person happens to live in Japan, there’s even more incentive to bring their German sports car to the boys over at Veilside, considering that they’re in the process of unveiling a new aerodynamic body kit at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon.
Developed under Veilside’s new Black Fortune sub-brand, the aerodynamic program consists of a complete overhaul of parts, including a new front bumper spoiler, new side skirts, a new rear bumper and diffuser, a new rear spoiler, and a slew of other parts, all of which are made entirely out of carbon fiber.
Coming from the same guys that worked on a Mercedes SLR McLaren under another one of their brands - Premier4509 - Veilside has made a habit of building some swanky programs for Mercedes. In the case of the Black Fortune program for the SL65 AMG, Veilside will be limiting it to ’only’ 300 units at a cost of €30,000 - $38,450 - for the entire package.
Unveiled at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon, the Micra Nismo comes packed with some appealing aerodynamic modifications that’s right in line with what the Juke and Leaf had.
On the outside, the Micra Nismo comes with a bolder styling that’s a far departure from the mild-mannered look of the standard model. It has a modified front grille, a redesigned door mirror design, a new rear lip spoiler, and a slew of other aerodyamic parts that adds an aggressive tone to the little hatchback. Just like the Juke Nismo Concept, the Micra Nismo was given a Pearl White paint finish with matching red highlights. Inside, Nismo also added and modified a few more amenities, including new sports seats, a custom steering wheel, and a dash of high-quality interior trim.
Then there’s the performance enhancements. Despite not releasing any figures for the car, Nismo wasn’t unabashed in saying that the Micra Nismo comes with a lowered suspension, as well as getting fitted with new light alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires.
A few months ago, we caught wind of a new auto channel being developed on YouTube called DRIVE. The channel, which features some fascinating auto segments, is the brainchild of some of the most prominent auto journalists in the industry, including Chris Harris, Matt Farah, and Leo Parente.
A few days ago - actually, it was on the 1st of January - the channel finally went live with a debut episode focusing on one of the most famous races in the world - the 24 Hours of Nurburgring - and the overall experience behind it, particularly taken from the point of view of the people who have spent their lives devoted to the thrills of endurance racing.
The video is 13 minutes long, but rest assured, it’s worth every second, especially if you fancy knowing the history and esteem behind arguably the greatest 24-hour endurance race in history.
Get your popcorn ready, fellas; this video is a must-watch.
Every year, we’re treated to a number of completely new supercars that are built from all corners of the world. 2011 offered a number of those babies in the form of the Hulme F1, the Vision SZR, and the TranStar Dagger GT-D Outlaw.
Now that we’ve flipped over to the new year, expect a lot more of these little-known exotics to come out of the woodwork, with the first example coming from - of all places - India.
The car is being built by DC Design and is expected to be the showcase car of the upcoming Delhi Auto Expo. Little details are known at this point, but we did get an initial teaser that gives us a sneak peek of what the car will look like. Judging from the silhouette, it appears that it’s being developed as a mid-engine supercar with a unique profile and a jet-style cockpit.
Under the hood of this still-to-be-revealed supercar is a Honda-sourced V6 engine that is being prepared to receive an output of around 400 horsepower. Combine that with a svelte frame and you’re looking at a car that’s poised to impress the auto world.
DC Design is looking into building around 300 initial examples of the supercar at a price that’s being hinted at around $56,000.
In the next episode of Ultimate Factories, National Geographic will be taking a tour inside Lamborghini’s famous factory, giving everyone the chance to watch how the limited edition Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce is built. As usual, the show is the perfect combination of learning how a great car is built and watching some of the greatest footage in the world.
Now that the Aventador has come into play, some may have forgotten about the SV, so here’s a reminder. The Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce is powered by a 6.5 liter V12 with an increased output of 670 HP and a lighter weight compared to a standard Murcielago, 220 lbs lighter to be exact. As a result, the car will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 212 mph.
You can watch Ultimate Factories starting January 2012 on Thursday nights at 8P et/pt, on National Geographic.
Some people really do have a twisted sense of imagination, don’t they?
We really don’t have any idea how somebody can dress up a Ford Cargo truck using the iconic Shelby Mustang as in inspiration. The people behind this piece of work, which was on display at the 2011 Fenatran Show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, apparently thought that it would be a fantastic idea to do just that.
So, against seemingly every fiber of sense known to man, they went and dressed up this Cargo 1932 with an orange paint finish and matching black stripes as an ode to the Shelby Mustang. Imagine all the brain cells that were roasted during this build. Of course, a creation like this features more than just a sketchy color scheme; it also needs a special new body kit - check - a dressed up interior - check - and a new suspension set-up - check. Heck, even the rear of the truck was designed to look exactly like the rear of a Shelby!
Speaking of the interior, the people behind this Shelby-inspired Ford Cargo saw fit to add black decoration materials on the interior, as well as a new set of sports seats and a sports steering wheel.
Behind all the questions surrounding Optimus Prime’s bastard cousin of a truck, here’s one thing we do know: When Carroll Shelby started his line of special Mustangs, this wasn’t what he had in mind.