Shortly after Maserati unveiled the Kubang concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, rumors began circulating that a production version would be offered. Shortly after, Maserati confirmed that a production version will indeed be offered, but the production version will drop the Kubang name in favor of Levante.
The SUV takes its name from the Via Emilia Levante in Bologna, where the Maserati brothers, almost a century ago, dreamed up the company that today still bears their name.
The Levante will be offered with three engines: a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine delivering 410 horsepower, a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 engine with 530 horsepower and a turbo-diesel engine only offered in Europe. All the three engines will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission and will send their power to all four wheels via Maserati’s new all-wheel-drive system.
Maserati’s first SUV will combine exterior and interior elements from Quattroporte and Ghibli with some electronic architecture from Chrysler and Jeep.
Until recently, it was rumored that the Levante would be built at Chrysler’s Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit alongside the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but due to the huge demand for the Jeep SUV, this isn’t a possibility. Instead, it will be produced in Italy.
The Levante will be unveiled in 2014 - just in time to celebrate Maserati’s centennial.
Image Note: The above image is a TopSpeed rendering and not an official image of the Levante
Update 5/21/2013: A report by Edmunds has revealed more information on the Levante’s production home and drivetrain.
A few days after Citroen introduced a special-edition RCZ Coupe to the masses, its French sister from another mother, Renault, introduced its own.
This one, though, has been a yearly tradition for the French automaker (at least since last year) owing to its partnership with Formula One’s Red Bull Racing team.
This is the Renault Megane RS Red Bull RB8 Edition. You might recall that last year, Renault released a similar special-edition version for the 2013 Megane RS called the Red Bull RB7 Edition.
One of the most distinctive features of the new special-edition Megane is the Crépuscule Blue finish of the car, the same colors adorning the Red Bull RB8. Keeping with the theme of the model, Red Bull Racing graphics adorn the rear and the sides of the limited-edition car. Platinum Grey details on the F1 blade, door handles, door mirror housing and rear lip spoiler, as well as a monochrome laurel on the rear side windows that celebrate the team’s 2012 Constructors’ world title round out the exterior treatment of the Megane RS Red Bull RB8.
Inside, there are more of the same distinctive features, including Red Bull Racing branding on the numbered aluminum sill guards and carpet mats, as well as Renault’s R-Link and R.S. Monitor 2.0. Also inside are Recaro seats trimmed in an all-new fabric/leather combo with Red Bull Racing logos embroidered on the headrests.
As with any Megane RS, this special edition comes with a 265-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that twists out 250 pound-feet of torque. This is enough to get the hatchback up to 62 mph in 6 seconds and up to a top speed of 158 mph.
The model is expected to be sold in 26 countries at a price of €36,000, which is about $46,300 based on current exchange rates.
After being caught testing in many times, the revised BMW 5-Series lineup made its world debut today before being put on sale later in July. As no surprise, BMW is offering no major updates on the car’s exterior and look, but it did added a new model to the lineup: the 518d, plus a more powerful V-8 powertrain.
In terms of design the 5-Series sedan received different structured lower air intakes, a modified front apron and more sharply contoured taillights. For the first time the 5-Series is being offered with two new package: BMW Luxury Line and BMW Modern Line packages, both adding exclusive design and equipment features.
For the interior BMW is offering additional chrome trim, more room on the storage compartments, and of course new upholstery colors and interior trim elements.
Updated 05/19/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 5-Series.
When Ferrari launches a new-generation sports car on the market, everyone is well aware that they should expect at least three versions: a coupe, a spyder, and a Scuderia. We’ve already had our fill of the Ferrari 458 Italia Coupe and Spyder, but this new rendering of a Scuderia model got us thinking. What should we expect from Ferrari’s most fiery version of this aging model?
If this rendering from Milanno ArtWorks is any indication as to the design of the Scuderia, then we can expect a much more aggressive design illustrated by the sharp edges of the bumper followed by the sharp edge design of the front lights. Since the Scuderia name is synonymous with weight reduction, expect a weight loss similar to that of the 430 Scuderia, which lost about 220 pounds compared to the standard model. This will be done with a mostly aluminum body, since Ferrari has already made it clear that it would stick to this material rather than using carbon fiber, like the competition.
Power for the newest Scuderia monster may come from a turbocharged V-8 that will push out anywhere from 590 to 700 horsepower. At one point, Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo said that a 458 Scuderia would not be produced because the 458 Italia was just so advanced, so if rumors are circulating that a Scuderia will follow, then we expect to see a power output that will blow our minds. The only problem is, we won’t see it until at least the end of 2013.
Update 5/21/2013: According to Car and Driver, the long-awaited 458 Scuderia could finally show its face in Frankfurt, rounding out the 458 family. Sources also told Car and Driver that the 458 Scuderia could be inspired by the 458 Challenge race cars, which run around the track with smaller waist lines than the standard 458 Italia.
As far as power goes, the direct-injected V-8 that will power the 458 Scuderia is expected to reach an output of about 600 horsepower, significantly more than the 562-horsepower output of the standard model. Tweaks to the engine, including recalibrated ECUs could be partly responsible for the performance spike. (Car and Driver)
Click past the jump to read about the Ferrari 458 Italia
"Gentleman Edition" might be a weird name to call a special-edition model, let alone one with the unbridled fury of a 2014 Nissan GT-R, but that’s what Nissan is calling it.
The GT-R Gentleman Edition.
Odd name choice notwithstanding, the GT-R Gentleman Edition is very limited, as only 10 of these babies will be made. No more. No less.
It’ll only be sold in France, which is a bummer, but for those lucky enough to get one, you get the treat of a limited run GT-R that that’s slotted just above the Black Edition, of which its equipment is based on.
As for the car itself, the GT-R Gentleman Edition only comes in an equally limited Grey Squale finish to go with an amber red leather interior. The latter, in particular, also boasts of hand-sewn seats, as well as more leather coverings on the gear shifter knob, lever gaiter, handbrake, door panels, and table passenger-side edge.
More than just a fancily dressed GT-R, the Gentleman Edition also comes with some special add-ons, including: a special bag, glasses case and covering pockets that are stitched in leather.
Finally, specific identification titanium can be found on the front fender while a numbered customizable titanium placard is displayed on the dashboard just to show everyone that this car is only 1 of the 10 Gentleman Edition GT-R models Nissan is building.
Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan GT-R
After the VelociRaptor APV concept announced back in 2010, Hennessey finally decided to come with a production version. The new package will be applied to the Ford F-150 Raptor SVT and will be limited to only 30 units per year. Customers interested will have to pay a total of $149,500.
The tuner transformed the Raptor pickup into an SUV, so it now offers seating capacity for up to eight people, making it the ideal car for a big family.
In standard form, the VelociRaptor is powered by the Raptor’s standard 6.2-liter V-8 engine delivering a total of 411 horsepower, but you know as well as we o that Hennessey wouldn’t stop there. For an additional cost, the tuner will install a 600 Supercharged upgrade, which will increase the SUV’s output to 600 horsepower. If you have a few more dollars in your pocket, Hennessey also offers a Brembo front brake upgrade, larger wheels and tires, LED lighting upgrades, bespoke interior and electronic upgrades, and new security and armoring systems.
With all these updates, the VelociRaptor’s weight will be increased by about 600 pounds. With this added weight, the base version will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 7.5 seconds and the 600-horsepower version does the same sprint in just 5.9 seconds.
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Ford F-150 Raptor SVT.
You shouldn’t be too surprised to hear that the Audi R8 V10 has just received a new upgrade package. After all, ever since it was launched on the market, it received lots of attention from tuners. Today’s package comes courtesy of Pfaff Tuning and Heffner Performance.
The two tuners teamed up for one of the most amazing upgrades offered for the R8 V10. The car received a new twin-turbocharger system from Heffner that includes a pair of Garrett GT35R units running 6 psi of boost.
As a result, the 5.2 liter V-10 engine delivers a total of 725 wheel horsepower (about 850 horsepower at the crank) - quite an increase over the car’s standard 525 horsepower. We’re just wondering how these upgrades will improve the car’s performance figures. Pfaff promised that it will let us know soon.
Click past the jump for a video of the tuning kit and more details on the standard Audi R8 V10.
When Mercedes works on a new generation for one of their models, we can all rest assured that the AMG version to match will follow right behind it. Such is the case with the next-generation S-Class, as the sedan variant was just revealed days ago.
Our spy photographers have caught the future S-Class AMG during a testing session at the Nürburgring racetrack, wearing the same light camouflage as the normal non-AMG cars. As you can see, when compared to the standard S-Class, the AMG version has received bigger air intakes, marked side sills and a new rear bumper with a covered up diffuser. This prototype is still missing the quad tailpipes; but don’t worry, they will undoubtedly show up on the production version S-Class AMG.
The future Mercedes S-Class AMG will be powered by an AMG twin turbo 5.5-liter V-8 engine that will deliver between 536 and 550 horsepower.
Expect to see the new generation Mercedes S-Class AMG launched sometime in 2013.
Updated 05/20/2013: Now that we have seen the official images of the new S-Class, is time to imagine what the AMG version will look like. Today, we have created a rendering for you that may help you imagine what the next S63 AMG may look like.
The sixth-generation BMW 5-Series sedan - or the F10/F11 - was unveiled in 2009 as a 2010 model and the station wagon version, also known as the Touring model, arrived one year later. This would make it a relatively young model, but BMW is already offering a revision for both the sedan and the touring models.
Just like with the sedan, the Touring version also received only minor revisions, including: different structured lower air intakes, a modified front apron and more sharply contoured taillights. For the interior, BMW offers a new chrome trim, more room in the storage compartments, and new upholstery colors and interior trim elements.
BMW is also adding a new 518d and, for the top version, a more powerful V-8 powertrain.
Updated 05/20/2013: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 5-Series Touring.