The first rumors about a new Maserati sedan placed under the current Quattroporte appeared at the beginning of 2010, but after a couple of months of heating up the air waves, the new car fell by the wayside while everyone made room for the new Audis, Ferrari s, and such. Now, with just two weeks before the car’s official debut in Shanghai, Maserati has dropped the first details on its latest addition to the lineup.
Based on the same platform as the new generation Quattroporte , the new Ghibli sedan features a sportier character when compared to its big brother. Also, unlike previous rumors, for the new Ghibli, Maserati will only use two V-6 engines, while the V-8 engine used in the Quattroporte won’t be used.
Maserati revealed nothing on the car’s price just yet, but considering the new Ghibli will play a significant role in Maserati’s growth plan to sell 50,000 cars per year, we expect the price to be kept somewhere in the $70k area.
UPDATE 07/26/13: Maserati unveiled a series of new high res images for its latest sedan: Ghibli. Check out the picture gallery to see them all.
UPDATE 09/30/13: Maserati unveiled a new video featuring the new Ghibli tested inside the climatic wind tunnel in which unusual weather conditions are recreated: it can go from temperatures close to -30°C to more than 60°C.
Updated 11/22/2013: The Maserati Ghibli made its North American debut at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, and it will hit showrooms in early 2014 at a starting price of $65,600. This will surely help Maserati boost its sales to 50,000 cars annually by 2015. (Car and Driver)
Hit the jump to read more about the future Maserati Ghibili.
BMW stopped production of the M3 Convertible a while ago, and it is now preparing for the release of its replacement, the M4 Convertible , next year. Until the M4 drop-top hits the market, German tuner Leib Engineering is giving M3 Convertible owners a chance to push their hard-top 3er to the next level.
Just like with the rest of the M3 family, the convertible version is powered by a 4.0-liter, V-8 engine with a total output of 414 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which was good enough to sprint the cabriolet to 60 mph in under five seconds. Leib Engineering obviously was not satisfied by these numbers, and pushed the M3 to 610 horsepower and 435 pound-feet of torque.
Getting the extra 196 ponies and 140 pound-feet of torque from the V-8 engine required a G-Power SK II CS supercharger, an additional fuel pump system, high-performance injector nozzles, colder spark plugs, induction air track made of carbon/stainless steel and an ECU remap.
The kit also includes a new sports exhaust system with double 100-cell sports catalytic converters from HJS and an exhaust valve that can be controlled through the M button on the steering wheel. The exhaust system features 65 mm (2.55-inch) diameter pipes, which is a nice jump from the factory 60 mm (2.36-inch) pipes.
The final step in creating this amazing M3 was to update the suspension and chassis to handle all of the extra power. This includes a KW DDC coilover setup that the driver can adjust via the M button or through the Electronic Damper Control button.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M3 Cabriolet by Leib Engineering.
Saleen Automotive was founded in 1983 by Steve Saleen, who recently regained control of the company , and everyone knows it as the American company that builds some of the sickest cars in America. Now, just in time for its 30th anniversary, the company announced the launch of the special-edition lineup that it has dubbed the SA-30.
The SA-30 can be based on one of three different Saleen models: the 302 Mustang , the 620 Camaro , or the 570 Challenger . The SA-30 will be limited to only 30 units — 10 based on each model — and they will start from $95,000.
According to Saleen, despite the special edition using three different platforms, it will "share a common theme: Saleen Racing Heritage." Also, the new SA-30 "will capture the essence of Saleen style and performance that will truly place elegance and power in the hands of the very few."
The new SA-30 offers a nice list of updates to both the exterior and the interior, including a series of exclusive features and a very powerful engine under the hood.
Click past the jump to read more about the new Saleen SA-30.
Lexus again stretches the design envelope with its latest and second version of the LF-NX crossover , the LF-NX Turbo concept. Based on the hybrid version that debuted at the Frankfort Motor Show , Lexus’ new Luxury Utility Vehicle breaks ground for Lexus in the turbo world and continues the company’s development into some very futuristic-looking user interfaces.
The turbo is mounted to a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that “paves the way for the introduction of turbocharged powerplants in future Lexus models.” The engine features Lexus’ advanced high tumble port, fan spray fuel injection, D-4S and VVT-iw combustion technologies; along with a cylinder head-integrated exhaust manifold. The twin-scroll turbocharger features an active wastegate valve for better computer controllability.
Outside, this Lexus looks sharp – literally. If Sweeney Todd used an electric razor to decapitate his victims, it would look like the LF-NX front grille. The angular lines and deep crevasses lend an intimidating look, while the tall stance gives it a purely aggressive attitude. Perhaps the only thing not aggressive about the LF-NX Turbo is the segment name Lexus tagged it with: Luxury Utility Vehicle, or LUV for short. Images of the small Chevrolet pickup from the 1970s are conjured up – something Lexus probably doesn’t want associated with its new luxury crossover.
While the exterior looks like an instrument of malicious intent, the interior looks like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise in the last two J.J. Abrams movies. The inputs and controls are branded the “Human Machine Interface” and feature the latest iteration of Lexus’ upper display zone and lover operation zone dashboard design. The operation-portion of the dash houses what Lexus calls “a new generation of touch-sensitive, electrostatic switches” and new Remote Touch Interface, or RTI. The RTI is a touch tracer display with an updated design over Lexus’ current touch pad and is designed for easier use.
Overall the Lexus LF-NX Turbo is a compelling design with an incredible amount of innovative features. And since Lexus is spending money on a two LF-NX concept vehicles, we’d be surprised if they didn’t make production.
Click past the jump to watch an animation of the LF-NX Turbo in action
With 550 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque under its hood, the R8 V10 Plus is currently the most powerful model in the R8 lineup. That said, there is always room for improvement, and German tuner, B&B, prepared a nasty tuning kit that adds a few more horses to the potent V-10.
The tuner offers three stages of upgrades, each taking the V-10’s output to a new level. In Stage 1, the output jumps to 595 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque; Stage 2 takes it up to 610 horsepower and 420 horsepower; and the third stage, dubbed the BB R8 M20/3, pushes the V-10 to 628 horsepower and 431 pound-feet.
B&B did not reveal what is included in the first two stages, but the BB R8 M20/3 upgrade includes modification to the ignition and injection systems, and the intake channels and air ducts. There is also a new racing exhaust system made of stainless steel, a remapped the ECU and new air filters.
With the extra power. the R8 Plus goes from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds, from 0 to 124 mph in 9.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 203 mph.
Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 V10 Plus by B&B.
Anytime you have a car, even if its a concept, that promises a maximum range of 310 miles, you immediately have to give it the attention it deserves.
At the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show , Toyota has a concept that promises as such, although how much of it will translate to the production model is still a matter of discussion.
The concept is called the FCV Concept, a conceptual successor to the FCV-R Concept we saw two years ago in Tokyo. The new FCV Concept is a lot closer to production than its predecessor with Toyota expected to release the vehicle in the next few years.
As far as the concept goes, the styling is a dramatic improvement from the FCV-R Concept. It still doesn’t look good as we’d like, but the large vent on the front, the stylish headlights configuration, and the unique grille setup makes for a front end that actually looks pretty interesting.
In terms of its dimensions, the FCV Concept is surprisingly robust, measuring 191.7 inches long, 71.25 inches wide, and 60.4 inches high with a wheelbase of 109.44 inches. All that allows enough space for the interior to comfortably sit four adults, which is a good thing for a car that promotes itself as a long-distance people mover.
Ok, so here’s where the FCV Concept gets interesting. It’s far from powerful, as it’s powertrain features a pair of 70 MPa high-pressure fuel stacks, which have a power output density of 3 kW/L and a minimum output of just 100 kW, which is about 134 horsepower based on conversions. All that does, though, is give the concept a whole lot real estate to cover, thanks to its maximum range of 310 miles.
Ultimately, the fate of the FCV Concept will be determined by how much it lives up to its range claims. It if it can come remotely close to approaching it, then Toyota has a winner on its hands. If it doesn’t, then it’s back to the drawing board.
Click past the jump to read about the Toyota FCV Concept’s predecessor, the FCV-R Concept
TechArt continues to update the new 911 lineup with a new tuning kit based on the Turbo models . It will be unveiled at the Essen Motor Show, and as usual, it includes exterior, interior and under-hood updates. Unfortunately, TechArt is saving the latter updates for a later date.
The body kit offered for the new 911 Turbo is made from a lightweight fiber composite of carbon and polyurethane RIM, and was specially designed to improve the aerodynamic features of the model. It includes a new front spoiler that extends for more effective airflow at the push of a button of speeds under 75 mph, or automatically at greater speeds. It retracts automatically at speeds under 50 mph.
TechArt is also offering a new rear spoiler that improves driving dynamics and stability throughout all driving conditions. There are new aero wings, a new air vent on the front apron, new air-flow-optimized side skirts, a new roof spoiler and a new diffuser trim.
Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 Turbo by TechArt.
At the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show , Kia unveiled its new, rear-wheel-drive flagship sedan that will go on sale next year. While we have no prices on the K900 just yet, rumors point toward the new sedan coming in around $70k, and will target the BMW 7 Series and models like it.
The new K900 will be built on the same platform as the Hyundai Equus , from which it will borrow the powerful, 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that hooks up to an eight-speed transmission with three driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport.
The K900 will be put on sale in early 2014 — just in time to celebrate Kia’s 20th anniversary in the U.S. market. According to the company, the K900 "is the next logical progression for Kia. It demonstrates what Kia is capable of and will help redefine what the Kia brand stands for."
Updated 11/21/2013: This review was updated with the official details, images and specs.
Click past the jump to read more about the Kia K900.
Chevrolet expanded its Sonic lineup with the addition of two new sedan models: the Sonic RS and Sonic Dusk. Both will go on sale in spring 2014 and will be manufactured at Orion Assembly in Michigan. The first of them, Sonic RS, will be priced at $20,530 including $825 destination.
The new Sonic RS sedan is offered with the same Ecotec 1.4 liter turbo engine found in the Sonic RS hatchback, which delivers a total of 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic.
There will also be a sport-tuned suspension and lowered ride height for better handling and a sportier look. Fuel economy will also be identical to the hatchback at 27 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway on manual transmission-equipped models.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Sonic RS sedan.
A while ago, it was rumored that Ford would unveil the 2015 Edge at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show . Well, that was only partially true, as the company only brought a concept version of the vehicle, with the production version set to arrive in the upcoming months.
According to Ford, the new Edge concept is not just a design exercise as it offers "strong hints at the technology, dynamic design and premium craftsmanship that will define the company’s next global utility vehicles."
The concept is defined by a new design language and an updated interior, plus it comes loaded with lots of advanced, automated driving technologies, including self-parking and obstacle avoidance systems, which are currently under development by Ford. According to the first details offered by the company, these technologies preview "a future of semi- and fully autonomous driving options, delivering tomorrow’s technology today."
Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Ford Edge Concept.