Car News

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t set to take the chairman of Ferrari role from Luca di Montezemolo until next month, but he’s already planning to do something his predecessor was opposed to throughout his tenure. Speaking at an event late last week, Marchionne divulged his plans of increasing production of Ferrari vehicles, including the LaFerrari , to meet with customer demand.

That issue was one of the reported reasons behind the disagreements Marchionne had with di Montezemolo, culminating in the latter’s decision to step down as Ferrari chairman after 23 years of holding that post. Di Montezemolo wanted to keep the Italian automaker’s production volume limited to 7,000 vehicles a year to protect its exclusivity, even at the expense of losing buyers willing to spend top dollar for these models.

But Marchionne is holding firm on his stance and is now planning to increase production of Ferrari models, including the $1.3 million LaFerrari that was initially limited to just 499 units.

“If that class increases, we should be able to follow them,” he said during the event. “The waiting list will become too long, and people get tired.”

He didn’t give a definite number on how many vehicles he wants Ferrari to produce every year, but he did say that there’s a potential for close to 10,000 models annually.

Only time will tell if his strategy works or whether it puts a taint on the Italian automaker’s ‘exclusive’ legacy.

Click past the jump to read more about Marchionne’s plans for Ferrari.

Source: detroitnews

Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo is stepping down from his post on October 13th, but before he hands over his Ferrari access cards, the man is going out in a blaze of glory by unveiling a limited-edition Ferrari that will be exclusively sold in the U.S.

There will only be 10 examples of this special Ferrari so yeah, it’s limited alright. But more importantly, it’s also ridiculously expensive. How expensive, you ask? Try $3.2 million, which is the roughly the equivalent of buying a Ferrari LaFerrari and having enough change to score Bugatti Veyron .

Auto News is reporting that the yet-to-be-identified model will be inspired by America, including a predominantly blue paint finish with matching white stripes. Those are the same colors the North American Racing Team that drove Ferraris back in the 60’s used. The same report also indicated that the F12 Berlinetta will likely be the basis of this unique model, sort of like the F12 SP America with a dramatically different body and interior.

I’m not sure what to expect out of this model other than what’s already been disclosed. It’s going to be rare. It’s going to be expensive. And oh, by the way, all 10 units are already sold. Yup. They’re all sold out.

We expect the new Ferrari to make its debut in Los Angeles on October 12th, 2014 during a gala dinner to celebrate the Italian automaker’s 60th anniversary in America. It’s also the day before di Montezemolo steps down so quite literally, this launch will be his swan song with the Prancing Horse. Hard to imagine how you can top that one, Mr. Sergio Marchionne.

Note: Ferrari F12berlinetta pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s Future Special Edition.

You may have missed out on the worldwide debut of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 back on September 3rd, but to be honest, you didn’t miss out on anything substantial. Sure, the car was paraded in front of a crowd and through live streaming, but other than being treated to an endless loop of 80’s hits, the reveal was nothing short of confusing.

So I’m guessing that Mazda’s making some type amends with the release of this video, which is an extended recap of what happened during the unveiling of the car.

You’re going to see a lot of Mazda design director Derek Jenkins talking about the MX-5 Miata. There are even some camera angles that weren’t available during the live reveal, showcasing the MX-5 in a variety of angles that we didn’t get to see before.

If you labored through the MX-5’s launch, this video gives you a fresh take that you can appreciate. But if you missed the debut, it’s even more important to watch this video and see for yourself the day when the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata was revealed to the world.

I’m still a little peeved about the lack of details from the launch, but I do appreciate Mazda trying to make up for it.

We’re all familiar with today’s Caterham Seven or the Lotus -badged, simpler sports car that preceded it. It’s a pure driver’s car suitable for both public roads and tracks, although it’s not exactly the vehicle you’d want to drive to work on a daily basis. However, if you need a no-nonsense sports car in your life, you can’t go wrong with the Seven.

You can have anything from a Suzuki -sourced, 660cc to a 2.0-liter Duratec engine under the hood. That gives it an output range from 80 ponies for street cruising to as much as 311 horsepower for quick laps around the track. Sure, 311 horses is quite a lot for a vehicle that weighs only 1,147 pounds, but the power-to-weight ratio can get even more ridiculous than that. All you have to do is head to Donkervoort, the Dutch shop that has been manufacturing its Seven-based sports cars since 1978.

Its latest creation, the D8 GTO, is unlike anything Donkervoort ever built. Sure, it resembles its predecessors, but things are completely different when it comes to the GTO’s shell and powerplant. Unlike other D8s, which came with either Ford or Audi four-bangers, the GTO comes with Ingolstadt’s famed 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. Output ranges between 340 and 380 horsepower, more than anything Caterham has delivered so far. As if that wasn’t enough, the D8 GTO received a full carbon-fiber body that results in an insane 1,543-pound curb weight. This end is a power-to-weight ratio that rivals the initial Bugatti Veyron’s ratio. I’m talking about a supercar motivated by 987 ponies; is this amazing or what?

So how does a D8 GTO look, sound and run? You can find out in XCAR’s comprehensive review in the above video . Make sure you don’t miss it, you won’t be seeing one of these monsters on U.S. streets anytime soon.

There’s been a lot of talk about Ford’s upcoming Shelby GT350 , especially in regards to what engine might find its way under the hood. At some point, word on the street pointed toward the next Shelby carrying either a twin-turbo, 5.0-liter V-8 or an updated version of the 5.8-liter eight-banger found in the 2014 Shelby GT500 . Those rumors went down the drain in September 2014, when Ford’s own parts website leaked some precious information, including that the GT350’s powerplant will displace 5.2 liters with no forced induction whatsoever.

Was that enough to quench our thirst for GT350-related details? Heck, no! But, fortunately, the folks over at Motor Trend did some digging to find out the precise configuration of the mill Ford is planning for the GT350. And as it turns out, the upcoming muscle car will get its juice from a flat-plane crankshaft V-8. It’s a bit tricky when it comes to vibrations, the report adds, which is why development has been a little slow, but it appears Ford’s SVT division found a way around these problems by fitting the pony with a host of heavy-duty parts.

The engine can now spin at 7,500 rpm, which brings it close to what the initial GT350’s capabilities. Add an output that’s rumored to be close to the 600-horsepower mark, and we have a neck-snapping rig in development.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Shelby Mustang GT350.

Source: MotorTrend

Sometimes you just need a manual transmission to row. That’s how our friend Chris Harris feels before he hops in two of the last manual-transmission track cars still around, the older 997 Porsche GT3 RS and the famed 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 .

A rain-soaked racetrack nestled in the rolling English countryside provides the playground, and despite the standing water, the two cars stay planted on the tarmac. Sure, Harris has plenty of sideways action, but it seems nothing was unplanned.

The point of this little track test, according to Harris, isn’t to compare the Z/28 and GT3 RS side-by-side, but to just have fun rowing gears in a proper sports car — something our host isn’t used to saying in regards to a Camaro . Nevertheless, the Z/28’s engine with its high-tech internals and 7,000-rpm redline, provides plenty of fun. Its 305-series tires provide enough grip around the wet track to keep the 3,800-pound car from sliding into the wall.

Manual transmission-equipped sports cars are becoming less and less popular, as the performance numbers provided by these new flap-paddle gearboxes outdo those of the manual and as fewer people know how to drive stick. While it’s probable most folks looking to buy a hyped-up sports car know how to do the three-pedal dance, it’s undeniable that dual-clutch automatics are faster around a track.

But that begs the question; is speed everything, or is the connection and experience with the car worth more? Let us know what you think in the comments.

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has had strong sales numbers since it hit the market in 2013. But even a fast, powerful, and popular car isn’t immune from the tentacles of auto recalls. That’s exactly where the 2015 Corvette Stingray finds itself now with General Motors set to issue two recalls on the sought-after sports car .

Automotive News is reporting that GM is issuing these recalls to address problems with the Corvette Stingray’s airbags and parking brake cables. All in all, 2,800 models are affected by these problems, but most of these models have yet to leave dealerships. These issues are why GM sent stop-delivery orders to dealers late last week.

The airbag recall, in particular, affects around 2,000 Corvettes, most of which are still in Chevrolet’s plant in Kentucky. The problem centers on the driver-side airbag that could separate from the steering wheel in a crash, resulting in the potential injuries. An additional 800 2015 Corvette Stingray models have also been found to have defective parking brake cables that are not “fully seated and engaged” and could cause a significant drop in operational capability.

Both recalls have yet to be announced publicly because certain parts, especially for the airbags, are currently not available.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette.

The world debut of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata back on September 3rd wasn’t as much a debut as much as it was a “Hey, what’s up, world! This is what I look like” event. It didn’t give us anything more than a look at the MX-5’s new body. That would have been fine for any other car, but this is the Miata we’re talking about here. The full details of the sports roadster are expected to be announced at the Paris Motor Show, but that didn’t stop the folks over at Motoring Australia from digging deeper and finding out a few things about the fourth-gen MX-5.

A source close to the Australian auto site revealed that the Miata will weigh only 1,020 kg (2,248 pounds), close to 100 kg (220 pounds) less than its predecessor. Unfortunately, the engineering team failed to meet its goal of making the new Miata weight less than 1,000 kg.

Additionally, the third-generation Miata reportedly has more safety and convenience features, including the company’s new MXD Connect infotainment technology . A seven-inch color touchscreen will also be a welcome addition, as will the Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation, head restraint-mounted speakers, and LED lighting.

Here’s where things get interesting. According to Motoring, the entry-level model of the fourth-gen Miata will feature a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, Skyactiv engine that produces 128 horsepower. Torque figures are still being kept under wraps, but if that number is accurate, that’s marginally better than the third-generation model and its entry-level output of 125 ponies. A separate report also indicated that the U.S.-spec Miata will receive a 2.0-liter engine that produces a little over 145 horsepower. Both models will come with a six-speed transmission with the latter available for an upgrade to a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission.

Ultimately, we won’t know if these numbers are accurate until the Paris Motor Show in October 2014, but these reports get us even more excited for the roadster’s full debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda MX-5.

Source: Motoring

The 2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO carries a base price of $149,990. That’s money I don’t have, and any dream I had of someday owning this Japanese monster has long gone down the tubes. But fortunately, there’s another way for me — and all those who can’t afford the NISMO-clad Godzilla — to enjoy it in all its fire-breathing glory. Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have announced that the GT-R NISMO is now available for Gran Turismo 6.

The companies made the announcement at the GT Academy 2014 European Race Camp at Silverstone. It’s only appropriate that Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi was the one who made the announcement. After all, he did create the video game franchise that remains one of the best-selling car racing games in history. Yamauchi said "The GT-R NISMO is an incredible car, and I am thrilled that Nissan is able to not only offer it to drivers across the globe, but now also to gamers in the virtual world of Gran Turismo 6."

"It’s another great example of how Nissan continues to bring innovation and excitement to all – both in the real and virtual world."

According to the man himself, the GT-R NISMO will be available from the in-game dealership. Gran Turismo 6 players who entered the GT Academy 2014 competition have the added treat of acquiring the car as a free download. No added costs needed; just a fast and reliable Internet connection.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo.

Wolfgang Durheimer’s first tenure as CEO of Bentley and Bugatti gave rise to discussions of a possible Bentley SUV. Now that he’s back with the luxury automaker after a stint as the research and development head of Audi , Durheimer is once again thinking brand expansion for Bentley. The first model on his list? The long-awaited Bentley SUV .

Automobile Mag is reporting that Bentley plans to build at least 3,000 units of the new SUV in 2016. The model, tentatively called the Falcon, is poised to have a shared platform with the next Porsche Cayenne . Meanwhile, the body of the SUV will come from Volkswagen , with assembly happening in the UK. The SUV is also reportedly set to get different engine options, including a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 that will combine with a plug-in hybrid system to produce 500 horsepower and deliver a 30-mile, electric-only range. Also on the docket is a turbo-diesel variant that has 408 horsepower. A 6.0-liter, W-12 engine with a 48-volt electrical system is also reportedly being planned, as well as a 5.0-liter, V-10 turbo-diesel that churns out 544 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque.

As far as the design of the SUV goes, Durheimer (thankfully!) said that it won’t be similar to the much-maligned EXP 9 F Concept that the company showcased at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show . According to the CEO, the production version of the SUV will have a different front and rear section, although the company will retain the “rear haunch line, the classic grille, the Bentley headlamp theme, and the proportions.”

Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley SUV.


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