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Europe

Europe


We’ll be the first to admit that we have some sort of auto-crush on the Toyota GT86 . Actually, it extends to the Subaru BRZ and the Scion FR-S too but since we’re talking about the GT86 here, we’re going to give extra love to Toyota’s spanking-new sports coupe.

So, when an aftermarket company releases a program for the GT86, our senses become heightened because if there’s one thing this world can’t have enough of — apart from food and water, that is — it’s tuning programs for the GT86.

Swiss tuning firm, Barracuda Racing Wheels, decided to make our day by revealing its own take on the GT86. Despite not carrying any performance mods, BRW’s aerodynamic program for the GT86 is downright stunning. The huge rear wing that was installed on the GT86 will definitely catch your attention. But not just an eye-catcher, as it’s got some serious purpose too, improving the car’s overall handling by adding some needed downforce to keep the sports coupe from flying off the road.

The real stars of BRW’s program are the bespoke wheels bolted onto the GT86. These 20-inch alloy rims can be had in a variety of color finishes, including matte black; polished, hi-gloss-black; real-chrome; white-polished; and gun-metal. If those colors aren’t enough, Barracuda can also offer them in a variety of candy tones.

Sure, this program for the GT86 doesn’t have any performance mods. But rest assured, if you’re in the market for aero improvements and new rims for your new Toyota sports coupe, Barracuda Racing Wheels is your hook-up.

During Volkswagen’s mad grab for power in the European auto industry, it managed to snag up little-known Czech car manufacturer, Skoda . With this acquisition, VW Group decided that revving a legendary name in the automaker’s past was a great way to help increase the brand’s popularity. This brought about the revival of the Skoda Superb – a model that dates back to the 1930s – as a sedan and a station wagon (estate).

The rebadged version of the Passat has since been one of the better-selling Skoda models, as it features VW quality and style with not-so-VW prices. Its price point is made more evident by the fact that the base-level Superb Estate comes in at £1,015 ($1,624 at the current exchange rates) less than the base Passat Estate.

One area that the Skoda seemed to fall short was the fact that it was not available in a more rugged version to satisfy those buyers that like to use its four-wheel-drive system to its fullest extent. That has since changed, as Skoda has just announced that it is releasing an all-new version of the Superb, dubbed he Superb Outdoor, which features a standard four-wheel-drive system and a more rugged exterior appearance.

Click past the jump to read all about the 2013 Skoda Superb Outdoor.

Posted on by Aravind 17

Want to soak up the sunshine while catching baddies on the run? Well, that’s a privilege that the Dutch Police might soon enjoy.

What we have got here is a 4.2L Ferrari V8 powered Maserati GranCabrio wrapped in a local Dutch Police livery that is bound to be one of the few show-stoppers at the annual 112 open day. This is an event organized by the local Police Force, Fire Department, and the Municipal Health near The Hague, Netherlands.

The idea was brought to the table by Maserati dealers, Louwman Exclusive in collaboration with the local Netherlands Police Force. It’s basically a white 2012 Maserati GranCabrio with the Police livery and black rims that give the whole car a bad-cop stance. But what’s a police car without the eye-piercing emergency lights on the roof? Maybe they thought the livery and the V8 noise alone could intimidate the law breakers on the streets.

Unfortunately, this is just a one-off for now. Don’t think that the Dutch Police have exchanged their trusty fleet of VW Golfs for high-maintenance and fuel- chugging Maseratis!

Modifying sports cars for police isn’t something new in the automobile industry. In Dubai, a small fleet of Nissan Nissan GT-Rs wrapped in local Police livery are currently on active duty and dispatched in the event of an high-speed pursuit. Then, there’s the famous 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo LP-560-4 Polizia , that is enough to intimidate even Al Capone, when sighted in the rear view mirror.

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

Just days ago we let you know that Mini pretty much used FIA homologation rules to its advantage by finishing up the 2012 season and calling it quits, now another manufacturer is following suit. There have been rumors floating around since 2011 that Ford Europe was going to pull out of the World Rally Championship and that will become a reality following the 2012 season, as Ford Europe announced that it will pull its sponsorship following the 2012 season.

Unlike Mini , Ford has been a long-running sponsor, lasting 16 seasons. With that long of a history, it is more obvious that Ford’s pull out is mostly due to the crumbling automotive market in Europe. Despite pulling its sponsorship, Ford will provide M-Sport, its WRC partner since 1997, with the Fiesta R5 rally car , along with engineering and vehicle support following its departure. In addition, Ford Europe will still offer the Fiesta R2 rally car for grass-roots national and regional driver programs.

It looks like we are in for a drastically changed lineup for the 2013 WRC season, and we’re not even through the 2012 season yet. Hopefully no more manufacturers pull out this year.

Click past the jump to read Ford’s official press release.

Volkswagen Polo R-Line

Volkswagen’s compact hatchback positioned right between the Up! and the Golf – the Polo – is all set to put on its big-boy pants. That’s right; VW is giving the Polo the “R” treatment. No, we’re not talking about the “R-Line ” treatment, which is little more than some aesthetic changes. We mean the balls-to-the-wall high-performance “R” treatment, much like what the Golf is getting .

The details on this model are not yet complete, but we do know that it will borrow the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine from the outgoing GTI mk6. VW will then punch up its horsepower to the 225-pony range and ship it to the front wheels – no AWD option. According to reports, the Polo R will bolt to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds and give it a 150 mph top speed, making it extremely quick for its class. Sure, the Focus ST will smoke it, but it’s a step under the Focus’ class.

Much like the Polo R-Line, the Polo R will feature some extra ground effect and larger rims to give it a sportier look, but the complete details on the exterior are not yet known. We also expect the suspension to be lowered and the brake system to be upgraded, giving it better handling and braking to better work with the 45 extra ponies.

According to reports, the Polo R is all set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013. Rumors are also afloat that the Polo R will hit European showrooms in mid 2013, but there is no confirmation yet. Of course, the Polo will not be offered in the U.S.

We expect to see the Polo R to go head-to-head against the Renault Clio RS and the Peugeot GTi, which each feature a 197-horsepower, 1.6-liter engine. Depending on the weight difference, this could give the Polo R a significant advantage.

We’ll add more information to this review as VW releases more details.

Image Note: All images are of the Polo R-Line


For the vast majority of the automobile’s life, horsepower has reigned supreme as the bragging right of most car owners. Torque snuck its way in through the 1980s and is now a little more relevant, but it was all about that almighty HP for the most part. Well, as the emission standards and fuel crisis of just about every decade emasculated muscle cars more and more, a new spec started rearing its wallet-friendly little head: miles per gallon.

With the price per gallon of gas tickling Abraham Lincoln’s feet in some areas of the U.S., mpg is becoming more and more important. In fact, just months ago, Consumer Reports did a survey that showed 37 percent of car buyers actually make their car-buying decision based on the mpg of a car. The next highest percentage chose build quality, and that tallied up to only 17 percent of the people polled.

It has gotten to the point now that even Lamborghini has introduced a start-stop feature on the 2013 Aventador , Ferrari and Porsche are building hybrids, and there is an electric-powered sedan hat hits 60 mph in 4.4 seconds while getting 90 mpg equivalent. This leads us to the inevitable, the sports car world is the next thing that has to change or die off altogether, as the supercar world is already rolling toward the mpg side.

There is mention of the Mustang and Camaro both switching over to turbocharged V-6 or, god forbid, 4-cylinder engines . If the pony cars can do it, chances are the sports cars of the world – Nissan 370Z, Porsche Boxster, Mazda Miata, etc. – are all going to have to push their mpg to extremes to remain competitive. This could ultimately increase sticker prices significantly and might result in buyers having no problems saying, “yeah, my car only has 100 horsepower and looks like a shoe, but it gets 75 mpg!”

The UK has been dealing with terrible gas prices for ages and you can see it in its cars. For example, the Nissan 370Z Nissan 370Z costs $33,120 in the U.S. and gets 26 mpg highway. In the UK, however, Nissan Nissan had to tweak it to meet the EU’s more stringent fuel economy regulations, raising its highway mpg to 36, but bringing the 370Z’s cost to an astronomical £29,975 ($48,202 at the current exchange rates). Would you pay nearly $50K for a base 370Z? I know I wouldn’t.

This may very well result in the death of the sports car, what a scary thought. Ultimately it is a change-inexpensively-or-die situation for the sports car as we know it in next 10 years…

Lamborghini Urus

With its acquisition spending-spree apparently over – for now – Volkswagen has turned its attention to developing its current models, which are plentiful. Two models, however, are likely receiving the wrong kind of attention, as Reuters is reporting the Lamborghini and Bentley may see their respective SUVs – the Urus and EXP 9 F Concept – delayed.

As we all know, the European market has been ravaged by the crash of the global economy and VW has been one of the handful of European automakers to succeed in these dark days. This delaying of the two limited-production SUVs would help VW stretch its funds farther with its more productive lineups, like itself, Audi, and Seat . VW is planning a spending review and the final answer will not come until November 23rd, so we’re stuck waiting on an answer for at least a month.

Also up for a potential delay is the upcoming Bugatti sedan, which, just like the Bentley and Lamborghini SUVs, will only be produced and sold in very small numbers. We’ll keep an eye on this situation, as VW inches toward cutting its manufacturing by a reported 300,000 units.

We’ll bring you more information as it comes across the wire.

Source: Reuters

Seemingly, everyone is getting into the world of limited supercar building lately. The latest supercar to hit the market hails from Belgium and is the brainchild of former racecar driver, Raphael van der Straten, and it is a wild one to say the least.

The all-new VDS GT 001 sits atop the basic platform of the Gillet Vertigo supercar, which gives it some rather impressive numbers and an oddly stout appearance. To boot, the production of this Belgium supercar is extremely limited, so you are likely in for a ride that will be worth some significant money in the near future.

So how well does this oddly proportioned supercar hold up in the ever-growing supercar realm and will its strange appearance be accepted in the real world?

To find out the answers to the questions and a lot more about the GT 001, click past the jump to read our full review.

Just about 10 years ago, VW introduced an all-new SUV bearing a name that only those with the most talented tongues could pronounce: the Touareg. It was such an odd name that VW actually made a commercial poking fun at the fact that no one really knew how to pronounce it, much like the Merkur tongue twister in the mid-1980s.

In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, VW is releasing a special edition Touareg Edition X. On the outside, you have a standard Touareg – one of the more stylish crossover SUVs available – but it features a set of 19-inch “Moab” wheels, silver anodized roof rails, bi-xenon headlights with LED daytime runners, and smoked taillights. You also get the “Chrome & Style” package, tinted windows, and “Touareg X” logos.

On the inside, your hind side is supported by luxurious Amber Brown Nappa leather in a braid embossed style. You get real ebony inlays on the door panels and on the instrument panel to add a little elegance to the package. The front door sills boast illuminated “Touareg X” decals and you also get color-coordinated stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear shifter, and the floor mats.

You have a wide array of engine and drivetrain options in the Touareg Edition X, as there are five different options available, including a hybrid drivetrain. The only option that VW offers us any details on it the 150 kW (201-horsepower) 3.0-liter V-6 TDI engine. This model with the 8-speed automatic transmission runs €61,025 ($79,363 at the current exchange rates). That’s a ridiculous €10,500 premium over the base SE model for minimal additions. According to the press release, the Touareg Edition X is available now, but there is no mention of its U.S. availability.

Once VW releases all of the official standard features we can better assess it. For now, it just seems way overpriced.

When news broke out that Gray Design was branching out to fine world of automotive awesomeness, very few foresaw that these guys were far more serious than many people thought.

We’ve already touched on two of the models - the Gold Rush and the Magnate - so naturally, the third and final piece to this puzzle is arguably the most radical of the bunch.

Called the Sigma, this car certainly looks the part of what you’d expect from a supercar. It’s body is built from carbon fiber, which is saying a lot considering that the material being used isn’t exactly the kind that you can find anywhere. Zeus Twelve emphasized building the a lightweight machine for the Sigma and the car’s overall design certainly speaks to its supercar appeal.

Here’s where it takes a turn to the ironic: despite looking the part of a supercar, the Sigma is the least powerful of the bunch, featuring "only" a 2.0-liter Caterham Duratec Straight 4 engine that produces 335 horsepower at 7,500 rpm, good enough to hit a top speed of 180 mph.

We don’t know the reasoning behind this, but it’s something that’s worth keeping tabs on.


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