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Car News

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Previewed by a concept car that was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last month, the next-generation Mini Clubman will break cover sometime next year, after the company’s engineers and test drivers are finished putting it through its paces. It was January when our skilled spy photographers previously caught the Clubman out in the open. The prototype was being tested in blistery Sweden, with very little to offer as far as its styling goes, due to its heavy camouflage.

More than two months have passed, and our lensmen met with the Clubman once again, this time in a less icy environment. Actually, they’ve encountered it in a place that’s not exactly suited for a fancy grocery-getter — the Nurburgring. Yes, I know, each and every manufacturer needs to hoon their vehicles on the "Green Hell" for approval, but it’s overrated if you ask me.

Anyway, this specific Clubman is slightly different than the one spotted in Sweden earlier this year. Firstly, the front bumper intakes and the wheels are different. Secondly, a quick peak around the back reveals a twin exhaust. These details suggest we might be looking at a Clubman S version, which would make more sense considering the location it was spotted in.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Clubman.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

When it launched the LaFerrari last year, the Prancing Horse company reached entered a new era, embracing hybrid technology by embedding it into the supercar that followed the footsteps of the Enzo.

Built in only 499 units, the LaFerrari sold out in just a few months, as more than 1,000 customers expressed interest in the $1.4 million supercar. Obviously, more than 500 Ferrari aficionados had to be left in the cold.

That being said, the LaFerrari is not only a desirable vehicle, but also a rare supercar that the average Joe won’t stumble into it while driving to work anytime soon. Seeing one of these Ferraris on a public road would cause one’s heart to beat a lot faster and, if in motion, the engine would deliver an exquisite V-12 symphony for the ears to feast upon.

But how about seeing more than one LaFerrari in the same place? Impossible! Unless it’s one of those exclusive Ferrari customer meetings at Monza. The most recent Ferrari Corse Clienti event occurred a couple of days ago and gathered three LaFerraris, much to the enjoyment of the people that were lucky enough to get up close and personal with them.

The new supercars completed a few laps on the famed Italian track, overshadowing the other Ferrari-badged cars that took on the course the same day.

As a quick refresher, the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari is motivated by a HY-KERS hybrid system that consists of a 6.3-liter V-12 engine and two electric motors that deliver a total output of 963 horsepower. The conventional unit generates 800 horsepower, while the electric motors add an extra 163 horses. The powertrain, which is connected to an F1 dual-clutch gearbox, pumps more than 663 pound-feet of torque.

As expected, the supercar’s performance figures are exhilarating — the 0-to-60 mph sprint takes only three seconds, while top speed is set at 217 mph.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

Well boys and girls, it looks like those crazy kids at Touriclips are at it again. This time they have gotten some video footage of what appears to be a hard-core Golf GTI blasting around the Green Hell. According to the YouTube description, Touriclips thinks this is a Club Sport edition of the GTI, or perhaps a mildly camouflaged Golf R EVO. Either way, they expect the car is being shaken down for a debut at the Wörthersee Tuning Festival in May.

I am not sure I buy that though. A quick eye will notice the Wiechers Sport logo on the flanks of the car in white. Wiechers is a company that specializes in roll cages, harnesses and other racing gear. I don’t see Volkswagen putting a sponsorship decal on a test mule.

I agree that this is likely a special car for Wörthersee, but I don’t think it’s something that Volkswagen is working on specifically. Every year, Wörthersee sees many cars from other companies that are designed to showcase new parts. With the Mk7 Golf just hitting showrooms around the world, I think Wiechers Sport is finalizing tuning for new suspension and roll cage upgrades to showcase at the show.

Secretly, I do hope they prove me wrong though. A tauter, lighter Golf GTI would be an amazing machine to spend time in. It is no secret that the Volkswagen Golf is one of my all-time favorite cars, but there seems to be too much amiss for me to take this as a new special-edition car. I mean we do have proof of a Golf R wagon , so I guess anything is possible.

What do you guys think? Did Touriclips get it wrong, or am I just an idiot that likes to make things up?

I have put in a line to Wiechers to see if this is their mule, or not. If they don’t claim it, then the Club Sport GTI rumors get a lot juicier. Keep your eyes here for an update.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Hennessey Perfromance ’s most recent projects included power updates for the 2014 Corvette Stingray and 2014 Chevrolet SS . If you’ve been with us the past couple of months, you may also know that its Lotus Exige -based Venom GT is the world’s fastest production car, albeit an unofficial record, at 270.49 miles per hour.

But these aren’t the only vehicle Hennessey has meddled with in its Texas workshop lately. The company has added its familiar HPE700 package to a couple of European sports cars , such as the recently-discontinued McLaren MP4-12C and the Ferrari 458 Spider, as well.

Tuning an already fast Ferrari 458 might sound insane to some, but nothing’s too extreme for the folks over at Hennessey, who have added a pair of ball bearing turbochargers in order to increase output up to a neck-breaking 738 horses and 532 pound-feet of torque.

The twin-turbo Ferrari was also enhanced with a new fuel system, a stainless steel exhaust system, among other goodies, while being fitted with the HPE Engine Management Calibration for optimized performance.

These updates enables the Texas-tweaked 458 Spider to launch from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.8 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 10.5 seconds at 137 miles per hour.

Automakers taking the web series route have become prevalent these days. Koenigsegg has "Inside Koenigsegg" and Chevrolet Racing has the "Track to Street" series in the middle of the ALMS season. Now, Aston Martin is joining in on the fun with the debut of the "Discover Aston Martin DB9" web series.

Unlike the technical nature of Inside Koenigsegg and the action-packed episodes of Track to Street, Discover Aston Martin DB9 takes a dramatic look at one of the British automaker’s most esteemed models.

The first episode gives a full overview of the iconic DB9 , complete with interviews with two men greatly responsible for its development: design director Marek Reichman and director of product development Ian Minards.

WIth the history and pedigree of the DB9 as it relates to Aston Martin, it’s no wonder why the company holds the model in high regard, attributing its appeal to a legacy of style and innovation that has defined the model and the company.

Or simply put, as Reichman describes the DB9, "it’s the backbone of Aston Martin."

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Now here’s something you really don’t want to try at home, folks! Whatever you do, don’t use a brand new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to dive into the pool. In fact, don’t use any kind of vehicle if you want to go for a swim.

The soaked 2014 Camaro ZL1 you’re about to see in the video below wasn’t actually used for a pool diving stunt. According to news reports, the driver lost control of the muscle car and ran through a fence before plunging into the water. There’s no info as to what happened before the vehicle left the road, but my guess is that the owner wasn’t exactly gentle with the throttle. The incident occurred in Northwest Harris Country, Texas.

Fortunately enough, the driver escaped without a scratch, but we can’t say the same about the $60,000 Camaro, which is basically ruined after being submerged under water. Local police said the driver may be ticketed for speeding. Hopefully his next car won’t have the same awful fate...

Click past the jump for the video of the car being recovered and to read more on the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.


ATS Autosport’s purchase of the DeTomaso name last November has given rise to speculation that the company is planning to bring back the DeTomaso brand. Well, according to Autocar, ATS has bigger plans that apparently also include the development of two other sports cars .

The 1960s Italian automaker has set its sights on returning to sports-car manufacturing and a pair of sports cars are already being discussed. One is the ATS Sport — the two-seat, track-focused road car we first saw back in October 2012. With the building blocks already in place to revive this project, the £45,000 Sport is likely the easier one to build.

Meanwhile, the other model is billed as the ATS Leggera, a more retro-looking sports car that evokes memories of classic Italian supercars . The Leggera is expected to weigh just 650 kg (1,433 pounds) to go with a GM-sourced, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that could develop anywhere between 210 and 300 horsepower.

In addition to the two planned models, ATS is also looking at a potential relaunch of the DeTomaso brand with an eye towards possibly building a new Pantera sports car that would be based on the company’s existing ATS 2500 GT .

The DeTomaso relaunch probably won’t happen anytime soon, given the amount of work the company is planning to invest on developing its existing line. But never say never with that DeTomaso relaunch; after all, ATS didn’t buy those rights just for the heck of it, right?

Click past the jump to read more about the De Tomaso Pantera.

Source: AutoCar
Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Yes, we know what you’re thinking! The guys over at Top Gear finally got a chance to do a lap of their Dunsfold Aerodrome track in the McLaren P1 . Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Driving the British supercar you’re about to see in the video above is not The Stig, but Chris Goodwin — McLaren ’s chief test driver.

We don’t know whether the former race car driver was actually conducting any relevant testing or just having some fun, but we do know that this was the first time a McLaren P1 lapped the small course that has seen thousands of vehicles roaring upon it throughout its life.

Although there’s no actual lap time available for us to compare to other Top Gear’s famous list of cars, the footage show the P1 in its natural environment. The vehicle’s hooned at full throttle, its brakes are put to good use and you’ll even notice a bit of oversteer through the fast corners.

If this video is not enough to quench your thirst for the P1, make sure you stick around because there’s more coming our way. The YouTube user that uploaded this clip says we should be getting a full POV from the driver’s seat, as well as some track footage with the supercar in E-mode, soon enough.


The demise of the Mitsubishi EVO as we currently know it could have been the death knell that pushed Mitsubishi over the edge. But the company is determined not to let the circumstance of the EVO’s fate dictate its own. That’s probably why a lot of people are getting excited with recent reports that a resurrected — and hybrid — 3000GT could replace the current EVO.

According to Auto Express, a hybrid 2+2 coupe that will take its cues from the 3000GT could be in the cards for Mitsubishi. This future model, should it get green lit by Mitsubishi execs, could potential use a modified version of the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid technology that’s currently being used by the Outlander PHEV .

Adding further credence to this rumor are talks that the next hybrid will be offered as a hybrid, something Lance Bradley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors UK, alluded to when he told Auto Express that while no specific plans have been laid about the next EVO, there’s "interest and willingness within [Mitsubishi] to produce one", albeit one that will carry a hybrid powertrain.

"There is demand for a car which performs well and makes problem feel good for themselves in terms of its efficiency," Bradley added. "If we can do an SUV which emits just 44g/km of CO2 then we can do the same with a performance car.”

That’s likely where talks of bringing back the 3000GT, which we haven’t seen since 1999, comes into the picture. Back in its heyday, the 3000GT was Mitsbushi’s resident 2+2 sports car that matched wits with the likes of the Mazda RX-7 and the Nissan 300ZX .

Times are changing with more and more companies turning their attention to hybrid technology for their sports cars. The way things are shaping up over at Mitsubishi, it does look like the company is the next to follow in that direction.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI.

Source: AutoExpress
Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

On the US market since the 2012 model year, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class is about to get its mid-cycle refresh, which will bring significant revisions inside and out.

Expected to break cover in the fourth quarter of the year, the facelifted 2015 M-Class will gain new front and rear fascias that include not only reshaped bumpers and grille, but a pair of redesigned headlamps and a revamped hood as well.

Although our most recent spy shots show an SUV that features the already available taillights, these are likely to be replaced with updated units once the prototype becomes a production model.

Moving into the cabin, the most important update Mercedes-Benz has in store for the M-Class is a much larger infotainment system placed on top of the center console and a new, three-spoke steering wheel. Both features are already available on the all-new C-Class sedan , and will remain with the SUV until a fourth-generation model is conceived on a clean sheet of paper.

As far as powertrains are concerned, existing engines are likely to receive some updates, but word has it a new hybrid model is also in the works.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class.


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