Ahh, rumors in the automotive world spread just about as fast as the rumor that the captain of the football team was kissing the head of the girls’ chess team under the bleachers at the homecoming dance… And we love ‘em. The latest rumor is an interesting one that actually has a fair amount of validity.
Lancia is one of the many companies under the protective umbrella of Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. and it loves to borrow its models from Chrysler, add a few small touches, and call it their own. One of the latest models to make the Lancia conversion was the Chrysler 300, which prances around Europe bearing the name “Lancia Thema” (image above). That’s not the rumor though, as we already know all about that.
The rumors being whispered are that Lancia really wants a full-size coupe for its European market and the only car available to possibly satisfy this itch is the Chrysler 300. Ask any custom coach builder and he will tell you that turning a four-door body into a two-door car is not as tough as you may think, but going the other direction is nearly impossible.
So, if Lancia decides to hack up the B-pillar on the 300, shorten the opening a little and slap two fewer doors on the 300, would this model make it to the U.S.? The two-door full size car essentially died with the downsizing of vehicles in the late-1970s, but a small niche market may be in order.
This also spawns the possibility of Chrysler finally satisfying its nostalgia buffs by taking the two-door blueprints that Lancia would create and turn that into a two-door Charger. The pair of extra doors have always been a thorn in the side of Charger buffs, so Chrysler could breathe a little extra life into both models – not like the 300 needs more life, but extra sales can’t hurt – by offering two-door models of each.
This is certainly an interesting rumor to ponder and we are more likely to see pigs fly before we see a two-door 300 and Charger, but we’re telling you there’s a chance.
We have already heard from Renault about its intentions of having a “big surprise” in store for the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which we all anticipate being as exciting as the final production model of the Alpine or as boring as the redesigned Clio. Now Bentley is getting in on this surprise-car theme by bringing its own new unnamed model to Goodwood.
There is very little information on this upcoming model, Actually it is a lot closer to no information than little, as the only word that we have is the luxury coach builder stating that the new model combines “stunning performance with exquisite luxury in the Bentley tradition.” By the description, it sounds almost like the Continental GT Speed that is already set to run at the Goodwood FOS, but it would seem odd to outright compete with its own sport coupe.
This could point to an even sportier car than the Continental GT gracing the "Flying B." Would we even dare to mention the term "sports car" in the same sentence as "Bentley?" If the description that Bentley gave of this car is true, then we very well may see a sleeker and sportier car bowing in at Goodwood.
We know that Bentley has broken its own mold in producing the EXP 9 F SUV concept, which will also be shown at Goodwood. This points toward Bentley’s openness to change, but is it open enough to bang out a super luxurious sports car? We’ll just have to see.
We will keep a close eye on what’s going on with Bentley and we will update you if anything else pops up. Given how tight-lipped Bentley has been so far, we will likely not know anything until the Goodwood FOS opens up on June 28th.
Click past the jump to read Bentley’s press release.
The Queen of England may not have the power that she once had, but she certainly remains a powerful figure in the hearts of all British folks. On June 2, 2012 the Queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne, which brought about a celebration dubbed the Diamond Jubilee – “Diamond” indicates 60 years, for those wondering.
In the festivities, the Queen was spotted riding around in a rather luxurious automobile that one of our readers keenly pointed out is either a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, and he turned to us for help identifying the car and telling him a little about it. Figuring he is not the only person interested in the topic, we felt that a full-on review was in order.
As it turns out, after a good amount of research, we have found out that the queen traveled around in the Jubilee in a 2002 Bentley State Limousine. This is no typical Bentley limo either, as it is fit for a… Well, Queen, of course!
Click past the jump to read our full review of the Queen’s ride.
With a history that started back in 1948, the Ford F-Series is now one of the best sold pick-ups on the US market. The model is currently in its twelfth generation and for the 2013 model year, it has been updated with a new design and all-new driver controls technology.
The 2013 F-150 has received an updated front end, with a new grille and HID projector headlamps. Customers can also opt for new 18 and 20" wheels, as well as the choice of three new hues including Blue Jeans Metallic, Kodiak Brown Metallic, and Ruby Red Clearcoat Metallic. The F150 can also now be ordered with SYNC with MyFord Touch voice-activated driver controls.
Under the hood, Ford has placed a choice of four engines: a 302 HP 3.7 liter V6, a 360 HP 5.0 liter V8, a 411 HP 6.2 liter V8, and a 365 HP 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. All of the engines can be mated to a fuel-saving electronic six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Ford F-150.
We all hate what Chevy did to the Monte Carlo following its axing after the 1988 model year. 1988 was the final year for the “Manly” Monte, if you can call a 180-horsepower 5.0-liter V-8 “Manly.” Most of its testosterone came from its throaty V-8 exhaust note and relatively edgy look, when fitted with the SS package.
In 1995, the Monte Carlo essentially came back as a two-door version of the Lumina. It was fattened to extreme proportions in 2000, as Chevy attempted to make this neutered muscle car somewhat resemble its earlier muscular years without adding any real muscle to it. Apparently, some people see these circa-2000 Monte Carlos as disposable machines, as one man decided to turn his into a V-6-powered missile, then launching it into General Motors’ headquarters, also known as the Renaissance Center for a reason unknown to us.
According to reports by witnesses, the driver, donning all black clothing, lined up the car perfectly with the revolving front door. After sitting there for a short period of time, the driver punched the gas on this flabby, 180-horsepower coupe and smashed into the revolving front door. GM was likely pretty happy that the driver chose this car as his weapon of choice, as its 8-second 0-to-60 mph time greatly limited the damage done and the automotive giant expects the damage to be as good as new in just a day.
There is no motive yet behind the kamikaze Monte Carlo driver, but the police do have the suspect in custody and are questioning him. With the craziness that is happening these days, the possible motives are endless. We’ll let you know why exactly this man chose to plow his beloved Chevy into GM’s headquarters once we learn the motive.
Both Chevrolet and Porsche have already confirmed the existence of the SS performance sedan and the 918 Spyder supercar respectively, but the details offered on both of these models are quite limited. Thank goodness for the internet because now we can tell you more about both models due to some new details that have popped up online!
As many probably know, the future Chevrolet SS will be built on the same architecture as the Camaro - an architecture that has already been thoroughly criticized for weighing too much. Chevrolet hopes to change that by working hard on reducing the total weight, a measure that will improve the car’s fuel efficiency, performance, and handling. In order to reduce the weight, Chevrolet will use high-strength steel, electric power steering, and lightweight suspension and interior components. The future SS will also benefit from new safety features like front-collision and blind-spot alert systems.
As for the Porsche 918 Spyder, recent tests proved the supercar can hit a top speed of 200 mph and can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in sub-3-second. Yep, that’s enough of an update for us!
We’re looking forward to finding out more on these two models, so stay tuned!
If we were to say the name “Robert Glenn Johnson Jr” not many people, besides hardcore NASCAR fans, would know who we are talking about. However, mention the name Junior Johnson and “Mystery Motor” and nearly every NASCAR fan knows what we’re talking about. If you haven’t figured it out, Robert Glen Johnson Jr and Junior Johnson are the same person.
The Mystery Motor refers to Junior Johnson’s most famous car, which was a 1963 Chevy Impala SS with an extremely rare Mk II engine. This engine was a very limited production model that was wedged between the Mk I 438/409 engine and Mk IV 427 engine. This engine only saw roughly 50 total units produced, though some claim there were only 18 ever produced, making it one of the rarest GM engines ever built.
Shortly after these engines went out to various Chevrolet drivers, Chevy pulled the plug on its race sponsorship and the owners of the cars were stuck with modifying and fitting the engines themselves. Junior Johnson’s Mk II 427 wound up being the most powerful built at the time and resulted in a total of seven wins, nine pole positions, 13 top-5 finishes, and 14 top-10 finishes in just 33 races in the 1963 season. Its overall power and rarity earned it the name “Mystery Motor.”
Following the 1963 season, Chevy had began production of the Mk IV 427, rendering the Mystery Motor ineligible for NASCAR competition and reducing Johnson’s win total to less than half the following year.
If you have ever wanted to own a piece of automotive and NASCAR history, this is your chance, as RK Motors Charlotte has put Johnson’s 1963 Impala SS up for sale, Mystery Motor and all.
One Lap America actually has roots dating back to the original Cannonball Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, known simply as Cannonball. Many of today’s enthusiasts think that Cannonball was simply a movie or plot, but this was actually a real-life cross-country race that included high speeds on U.S. highways.
The original Cannonball only lasted five runs until its organizer, Brock Yates, decided he had better quit this no-holds-barred race before the authorities decide to close it down. In 1984, the Cannonball returned, but was not about making it across the country as fast as possible, but about making it through a course that went throughout the lower 48 states and ended up with the amount of miles closest to Brock’s estimate.
In the modern era of the One Lap America, the race is now about following the rules of the road, as you drive throughout a predetermined course, and between these leisurely drives, you have track events. The scoring of this event is solely based on the track event results, but you and your co-driver(s) must also survive driving 24 hours on end, stopping only to enjoy a “gourmet” gas station hot dog or two along the way.
This 19-event, eight-day racing series just wrapped up on Saturday and we have your full list of winners in each class and we have also broken down a list of all of the oddest and most awesome cars to grace the 2012 running.
Click past the jump to read about the odd and awesome cars, as well as the winners from each class.
So we all have seen strange trademarks and copyrights, plus we have all seen companies fighting over whether or not a trademark or copyright is legal. First you have Windows, then you have Apple, both of which are extremely common words that are trademarked. As of late, you have Macintosh slapping a trademark on the all-too-common “App Store” phrase. Well, how about this for a weird one, “SS” is now an official trademark of GM.
Well, technically the trademark reads “The mark consists of the letters SS in a fanciful design,” meaning the actual letters are not trademarked, but the design with letters are, make sense? So this leads us to speculate… After 51 model years of including the “SS” moniker on vehicles – the first came on the 1961 Impala – why do this now?
We know that the Impala SS is on its way – thanks for that Chevy – but what does GM have up its sleeve? The vast majority of us media folk, TopSpeed included, assume that this means an actual SS model is in the works. There have been rumors afloat that GM will release police package Caprice models as the SS model, and some of the details seem to align.
First, consider the fact that the Holden Commodore was once rumored to become the 2014 Chevy SS, but was never officially confirmed, then add in the fact that the Commodore is now the Caprice PPV. We think you can do the math. It looks like our friends over at GM Inside News were actually correct when they reported the Commodore-turned-SS rumor in 2011. At this point we just have to wait until GM officially announces it, but for now it looks like this is certainly happening.
On an aside, this would also mark the return of the Pontiac G8, in a way, as the G8 was actually a Commodore in Pontiac garb. Funny how it all comes full circle, huh?
Way back in 2008, Pininfarina – a custom coach builder – took a look at the $400K Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Convertible and simply thought it just wasn’t good enough. So Pininfarina took this nearly half-million-dollar machine and created a one-off custom vehicle out of it. The maker then dubbed it the Hyperion, which was taken from an Ancient Greek Titan.
Much like its closest competitor, Bentley, Rolls-Royce has always been one of those car companies that you either loved or hated, mostly due to their gaudy exteriors and even more outlandish pricing. For those that love them, but just need a little something extra, there is no shortage of custom car builders that will customize them to your liking.
Despite the number of custom car builders modifying these ultra-luxury cars, none can touch the uniqueness and flashiness of the Hyperion. Pininfarina took special care to closely integrate a vintage look – taking styling cues from the 1930s and 1940s – with modern technology and feel.
This monster of a luxury car originally debuted at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. It then made an appearance at the 2008 Geneva Auto Show before going off to its rightful owner, Roland Hall.
Let’s take a look at how the 2008 Pininferina Hyperion stacks up.