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industry news

  Automotive industry news, it feels like nothing of what they say is really important but put it together and you will get the big picture before the others.

Bugatti 16 C Galibier

The "on-again, off-again" state of the Bugatti Galibier has changed more times in recent years than Taylor Swift’s relationship status on Facebook.

It’s a pity because the Galibier was actually a pretty tantalizing super sedan that complemented the more performance-oriented Veyron supercar nicely.

But after years of waffling on its future, Bugatti’s current CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer may have finally put the final nail on the Galibier’s coffin.

Speaking to Motor Trend, Dürheimer bared his thoughts on the future of the Galibier and apparently, the super sedan doesn’t have much of a future anymore, at least as far as a production model is concerned. The new Bugatti CEO, who was actually the engineering brains behind the Veyron, expressed concern regarding the company’s capability in supporting two expensive models. The business case to handle two expensive models doesn’t add up given Bugatti’s current setup, and with the Veyron expected to receive a long-overdue replacement, something had to be sacrificed.

And that something appears to be the Galibier.

We don’t like it any more than a lot of people do, but you know what they say, "business is business".

Click past the jump to read about the Bugatti Galibier

Source: Motor Trend

It’s hard to believe that McLaren has already built 3,000 examples of its MP4-12C supercar, especially when you consider that the exotic has only been around in the past few years.

But the 12C’s popularity is unmistakable and undeniable, and in time for its 50th anniversary celebration, the British automaker built the 3,000th 12C supercar .

The 3,000th car is actually a Volcano Yellow 12C Spider , which was paraded around the company headquarters by McLaren Mercedes F1 driver Sergio Perez. It’s a tremendous achievement for such a young model, but it also proves that in the 50 years since Bruce McLaren first incorporated Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Limited on September 2, 1963, the company has risen to heights that very few of its contemporaries can brag about.

It’s been a pillar of Formula One since 1966, having won 182 races together with 43 wins in the North American CanAm series, three Indy 500 championships, and a 24 Hours of Le Mans win on its first attempt in 1995.

Since 1993, McLaren has also been credited with building some of the fastest and most powerful road cars in the world. Beginning with the F1, all the way to the MP4-12C, and the P1, the British company has become one of the standard bearers in the supercar market.

Not too shabby for a brand that’s younger than most of its competitors.

Click past the jump to read about the McLaren MP4-12C

Nissan GT-R

As universally respected as the Nissan GT-R is, it’s hard to believe that Godzilla is already six years old. That may not be old in monster talk, but in the auto industry, that’s the equivalent of mid-life-crisis time.

So yeah, the current-generation Nissan GT-R is ready for a new generation and for so long, people have been clamoring for the next-generation model. Well, according to a Nissan representative who spoke to Motor Trend, the next-generation GT-R is coming, and its coming in 2016.

This is the first time that somebody from Nissan has provided details on the future of its supercar model, or specifically, the future model that will usher in a new era of GT-R supremacy.

Details about the next-generation model have yet to be disclosed but activity in the Nissan camp over the past couple of days could potentially point to a GT-R that will come with a hybrid package. It’s a rumor that gained some steam in the past week after it was reported that Nissan had trademarked an "R-Hybrid" badge .

That could be the first step in a long list of developments and new technology that the next-generation GT-R could come in. With competitors all around developing new and exciting supercars of their own — Acura and Honda are in the final preparations for the production model of their respective NSX supercars — it was high time for a new generation for the aging GT-R

And so, 2016 it apparently is.

Click past the jump to read about what we can at least expect for the 2015 GT-R, specifically plans to develop a NISMO-tuned GT-R

Source: Motor Trend
Gumpert Apollo Enraged

When Gumpert was financially healthy, it produced some of the fastest and most powerful cars in the world. At one point, the Apollo even staked its claim as the fastest production car on the planet.

But all that seems like a distant memory now that the German automaker is in serious trouble again. It’s gotten so bad that, according to German news source T-online, Gumpert has once again gone under.

The sad part is that this isn’t Gumpert’s first dance with insolvency in the past year. In fact, a year ago, the company’s financial turmoil forced it to declare for insolvency. It seemed that the company was slowly getting its act together after the company announced that a new investor had come into the picture and that the company was set to launch an expanded product range in the future.

Those proclamations ended up being lip service now that the company has filed for insolvency again. We gotta say, it’s not looking really good for Gumpert these days and unless it can find more money to finance its operations, we might be looking at the end of one of the most potent builders of supercars we’ve seen in recent history.

It’s a shame, but that’s the state of the industry these days. You build cars worth millions with a limited supply and when the demand isn’t there, then you’re in trouble. It worked for Gumpert for a while, but it looks like its doomed formula finally caught up to it.

Click past the jump to read about Gumpert Apollo Enraged, a souped up version of the once revered "Bugatti Killer"

Source: T-Online
F1 license plate bought for $880.000

In addition to owning one of the most recognized aftermarket companies in the world in Kahn Design, businessman Afzal Kahn also has a pretty fabulous collection of exotics to call his own.

Recently, though, Kahn made headlines, not because of any new supercar purchase or a new program for the multitude of vehicles that go through Kahn Design. Instead, he’s in the news because he apparently turned down a $9.4 million offer to buy his “F1”numbered license plate, which was first registered to a Panhard Levassor — a 15-horsepower, four-door car — in 1904.

Remove yourselves from the ridiculousness of buying a license plate for almost $10 million and you’ll probably realize that the “F1” plates aren’t your typical plates to begin with. For one, the Daily Mail reports that it’s been in circulation for 109 years, far longer than most automakers in existence today!

Second, it really does cost a figurative trip to the moon. Back in 2008, Kahn purchased the plates for a staggering$880,000 , a figure that a lot of people scoffed at when he made the purchase five years ago at a charity auction.

Well, look who’s scoffing now.

Kahn, of course, turned down the staggering offer, opting to keep the license plates to himself because he believed it’s worth a lot more than the offered amount, plus he’s known as quite the Formula One racing fane. How much more? Who knows, really, but the fact that he wouldn’t even entertain the idea of splitting with the plate number goes to show how valuable he thinks they are. And for good reason, too, because according to a spokesman for Kahn Design, “the interest on this plate is enormous, yet Kahn’s willing to wait for an even bigger offer that will undoubtedly come moving forward.

Click past the jump to read about one of Kahn Design’s most recent programs

Source: Daily Mail
Bugatti SuperVeyron

It was fun while it lasted, but now all the gossip and whispers are about to come to a stop.

The long-rumored, and we can imagine, often-fantasized Bugatti SuperVeyron will not happen. Not now. Not tomorrow. Not in the distant future.

(*Cue the sighs of disappointment)

The official word finally came out of the mouth of Bugatti president Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, who spoke with Autoblog at Pebble Beach last weekend and unloaded the bombshell on the industry.

The news was disappointing, although something that wasn’t all that surprising considering the nature of the industry and the economy these days. Besides, the Veyron is still alive and kicking, as evidenced by the recent unveiling of the Jean-Pierre Wimille Edition at the same event over the weekend.

it would’ve been nice, though, to see a 1,600-horsepower Veyron out on the road, one that would have little problem establishing itself as the fastest and most powerful production car on the planet. But alas, it won’t happen so all’s left is to wonder what might have been.

Then again, Dr. Schreiber did say that a replacement for the Veyron is already in the works once the beloved Bugatti rides off into the sunset. We’re not sure if that one’s going to pack close to the 1,600 horsepower the SuperVeyron was rumored to have, but it did give us reason to hope.

Click past the jump to read about the since shot-down Bugatti SuperVeyron

Source: Autoblog
VUHL 05

When VUHL launched the 05 sports racer at the Goodwood Festival of Speed , it came to the event knowing that it needed to garner significant interest from buyers if the car was ever going to be produced.

Well, it appears that its objective was met after VUHL automotive director Guillermo Echeverria announced that the company would be proceeding building a first batch of the top-grade Edition One 05 sports cars .

“Our aim for Goodwood was quite specific – to accrue sufficient orders for a batch of 20 ‘Edition One’ (top specification) models and," Echeverria said in a statement. "With the serious enquiries already received from the UK, Central Europe, USA and Mexico, we are well on the way to achieving that and more."

That’s good news for a start-up company like VUHL that’s trying to make a dent in the industry. It’s even better news for those customers who signed up to buy the car, paving the way for the company to build them.

The first orders of the VUHL 05 are expected to enter production with a delivery date some time next year. The company is still accepting orders, too, which means that if you have £55,000 ($86,225 / €64,505) to spare, you can be one of the first in the world to own this highly unconventional, albeit ridiculously fast open-top sports car.

Click past the jump to read about the VUHL 05

Wiesmann Roadster MF5

In an obviously disappointing turn of events, Wiesmann , the manufacturer of those highly attractive MS5 Roadsters, has reportedly filed for bankruptcy.

The filing, which was made in the Münster District Court in Germany , didn’t specify the type of financial straits the company is under but the fact that the courts not only found Wiesmann insolvent, but it was also compelled to appoint one Dr. Norbert Küpper as Wiesmann’s preliminary insolvency administrator. These two things definitely casts a pall of gloom on the future of the 20-year old company.

It’s a huge shame that it’s come to this for Wiesmann. Sure, it never established the kind of traction it would’ve hoped with its retro-futuristic models, but the ones that it built, specifically the pocket rocket that was the GT MF5 , definitely deserved a whole lot more love than it received.

We’re really hoping that this whole situation is ironed out and Wiesmann isn’t forced to fade into the sunset. But that’s the harsh reality of doing business in an insanely competitive industry. If you don’t have the proverbial horses to keep up, you’re going to be left behind in the cold.

And in Wiesmann’s case, it might end up costing the company its very existence.

Click past the jump to read about the Wiesmann GT MF5

Source: Bimmer Today
BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé Concept

The return of the range-topping BMW 8 Series may still be part of BMW’s future, but company officials are trying to quell growing rumors that it’s moving forward with development faster than it actually is.

So in an attempt to finally put to rest the fate of the 8-Series, BMW R&D chief Herbert Diess told Autocar that a decision regarding the top-end coupe’s future is still a long ways away. Take it as good news or bad news but the way the Pininfarina-designed Gran Lusso Concept was received when it was unveiled a few months ago seems to suggest that the German automaker is trying to cover all of its bases before making any decisions. And to be honest, that’s the prudent way to go about it, considering the number of new models that BMW has in the pipeline.

Talking about a car that could still be nixed by BMW execs will take time away from actually developing, building, and promoting its other new models.

But rest assured, BMW still has the the return of the 8 Series in its mind. It’s just not rushing to make any decisions on it. “The Gran Lusso concept was very well received,” Diess told Autocar. “We’re looking into the possibility of production, but a decision is still a way off.”

We’re all pining to see this rumor turn into reality, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves just yet. That’s what BMW is at least telling us and we’d be wise to listen for now.

Click past the jump to read about the BMW Gran Lusso Concept by PIninfarina

Source: Autocar UK
Rolls Royce Phantom Series II

Talking about a car that’s long in the tooth, the Rolls-Royce Phantom will probably stand up and try to get itself recognized. Despite its stature as one of the preeminent luxury cars in the market, the current-generation Phantom is pretty old.

So it comes as no surprise that the British automaker is laying out plans to prepare the next-generation model for launch in the next few years.

According to Automotive News, the next-generation Phantom is already in the pipeline and is likewise on track to make its debut sometime in 2016. Do the math and that’s a little over two years from now.

Initial details surrounding the next-gen Phantom calls for the luxury sedan to be based on the new BMW 7 Series . Hardly shocking, considering that Rolls-Royce falls under the BMW umbrella. Should that be the case, you can expect the new Phantom to take advantage of the lightweight build — at least relative to its predecessor — of the 7 Series, something that’s attributed to BMW’s generous use of aluminum and carbon fiber.

No details on the powertrain have been given but we’re not closing the door on a completely new powertrain that’s vastly more efficient than the gas-guzzling 6.75-liter V-12 engine that currently resides under the hood of the current Phantom.

A hybrid V-8, perhaps?

Click past the jump to read about the current generation Rolls Royce Phantom Series II


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