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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.

The Texas Mile has once again come and gone and if there was a takeaway from the weekend festivities, it’s Hennessey Performance’s show-stopping run that clearly became the news of the weekend.

According to The Texas Mile’s Facebook page, the fancily dressed Ford GT1000 managed to hit a blistering top speed of 267.6 mph at the biannual event in Corpus Christi, Texas.

267.6 mph, everybody!

If that speed is fully corroborated - and we no reason to believe it won’t be - then Hennessey’s GT has just set a new record, handily beating the 263.3 mph it set last October and the 257.7 mph top speed it did this time last year.

We expect to see an official update at any time with some more photos and videos of the Hennessey GT’s blistering top speed run.

For what it’s worth, though, big props to the fellas over at Hennessey for once again setting a new bar in man’s insatiable quest of driving faster than it ever has before.

Note: Photo courtesy of The Texas Mile’s Facebook page

UPDATE 3/16/2013: Hennessey has released the video of the record-setting run be the GT. You can see it above.

Renault Alpine A110-50 Concept

French automaker Renault has got a whole shindig planned for the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed this coming July.

In attendance will be a host of its current models, including the Clio Renaultsport 200 , the Captur crossover, and the ZOE , as well as some of its historical race cars and famous racers like Alain Prost, Susie Wolff, and Jean Ragnotti.

While that list is no doubt impressive, what really piqued our interests was the announcement of two "performance-oriented" vehicles that will make their debuts at Goodwood.

Renault has given no details on what these concepts will look like, but it did say that one of the models will be powered by pure electric, whereas the other will feature a gas engine.

That’s the most in the way of details the French automaker has given us. Lack of information notwithstanding, we expect a pair of notable concepts from Renault this coming July at Goodwood.

Read Renault’s press release after the jump

Lamborghini Urus

Lamborghini’s long-awaited entry into the SUV market with the Urus isn’t set to happen in the foreseeable future. But, according to Audi boss Rupert Stadler, it’s still "on track" to arrive as a production model at various auto shows in late 2016.

That much was said by Stadler, who told Autocar that the production model of the Urus is expected to be green lit later this year with an eye towards a production-model debut in 2016.

“Lamborghini has to do it; because of the need to dovetail into production cycles, we should see the Urus in 2017,” Stadler said.

The Urus is set to be based on the same new-generation MLB platform as the rest of SUV’s under the Volkswagen Volkswagen umbrella. The only difference is that the Lamborghini will make extensive use of lightweight materials, possibly to differentiate itself as an ultra-luxury SUV.

Remember, the Urus is Lamborghini’s entry into an already crowded SUV market and while the rest of the lot don’t hold the esteem of the Lamborghini name attached to them, it’s still important for the Urus to be a step above its expected competition. That’s precisely why Lambo is expected to slap on a 4.0-liter twin-boosted V-8 engine that will pump out just about 600 horsepower with an estimated 700 pound-feet of torque.

Source: Autocar UK

Remember when Ferrari decided to auction off the first F12berlinetta in the U.S. as part of its contribution to relief efforts stemming from Hurricane Sandy?

Long Island resident Larry Roth won that auction, paying $1.125 million for the Italian supercar. It might have been way more than the $315,888 retail price of the F12berlinetta, but since it was for a good cause, we don’t think Roth had any problem opening up his checkbook.

After months of waiting, Roth’s generosity and patience has finally paid off after he took delivery of the first production F12berlinetta in the U.S. Good things come to those who wait and we assume that Roth is pretty thrilled to finally have the supercar in his hands.

He deserves it too after the tremendous bid he put up to win the auction. We just hope he takes real good care of it seeing as he paid quite a premium to own it.

Sergio Pininfarina Tribute Concept by Pininfarina

When Pininfarina debuted the Sergio Concept at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show , a lot of people thought that the car would only be there as a show car.

But now, it looks like the company is doing an about-face with plans of building a limited number of models, each priced at around €3 million (roughly $3.89 million at the current exchange rates). Pininfarina CEO, Silvio Angori, made the announcement, telling Automotive News Europe that the company is "considering a very limited run of five to six units."

This latest developments comes a surprise to a lot of people considering the rather extreme design of the Sergio, which, in concept guise, won’t meet a lot of European safety standards.

But Pininfarina already has a plan to work around the car’s concept design to make it a street-legal model, including the installation of a windshield to comply with European homologation rules. "We already know how and where to modify the Sergio concept car to make it into a compliant, street-legal model," Pininfarina chief designer, Fabio Filippini, also told Automotive News Europe.

Should Pininfarina succeed in turning the Sergio Concept into a full-fledged road goer, albeit extremely limited model, there’s still that matter of price. Last we checked, €3 million don’t grow on trees and it might be a hard sell, awesome as the car is, to convince somebody to fork over that much money.

Then again, that’s exactly the amount Lamborghini charged for the Veneno hypercar. And all three models are already accounted for.

Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series

With the hypercar market still going strong despite the general downturn in global economy, at least one performance brand isn’t sweating the fact that it won’t be building any hypercar anytime soon.

Mercedes’ performance division, AMG , has made it clear that it has no plans of joining today’s competitive hypercar market. That much was made clear by its director of vehicle development, Tobias Moers, who told Australia’s CarAdvice that the company won’t be releasing a hypercar - or a hybrid for that matter - in the near future.

“There are a lot of rumors,” Moers said, before adding “What I can confirm today is that the SLS is not a single-shoot story. It’s not SLS runs for four years then no super-sports car from AMG.”

Moers admits that the hypercar segment, traditionally slotted just above "supercars,” is a vicinity that doesn’t quite resonate with Mercedes customers the same way it does for, say, clients of Ferrari . AMG did venture into the market with the SLR about a decade ago, but ultimately, the overriding belief in the AMG camp is that it’s better off leaving that segment alone.

“Ferrari in the hypercar segment is still a different brand than AMG," Moers added. "We have to be honest.”

While this piece of news may not be all that surprising, Moers did give hints of the long rumored AMG model that would slot in between the its existing C63 and SLS models. "You’re not wrong … maybe,” Moers said regarding the possibility of a new AMG model, rumored to be the SLC, arriving soon.

Source: Car Advice
Kia Provo Concept

Well that didn’t take long, did it?

Fresh off of wowing the crowd at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show , Kia’s Provo Concept may be headed to production faster than anybody anticipated.

Benny Oeyen, Kia’s European Vice President of Marketing and Product Planning, recently told Auto Express that the Korean automaker is seriously considering building a production model of the Provo Concept.

“The Provo is a possible niche we can venture into," Oeyen said. "Our brand is currently rational, but there’s space for a B-Coupe."

While there’s no immediate timetable for the production of the Provo, Kia’s next step in determining the concept’s production future would be to conduct market research to determine if the model will have the kind of demand that warrants a production model being built.

The automaker’s admission that it has no problem venturing into the B-Coupe market should be a big plus in the side of those wanting to see the Provo get its production green light.

Here’s our two cents on it: if Kia decides to retain the concept’s fantastic exterior while simplifying the interior to adhere to production standards, then we have no qualms about saying that it’s a car the automaker has to have out on the road.

Donkervoort D8 GTO

It’s been a couple of years since we last heard from Donkervoort and its D8 GTO sports car. But good news has finally arrived for Dutch automaker, Donkervoort Automobielen, as the D8 GTO has finally received European Small Series Type Approval.

What this means is that the D8 GTO’s production can now proceed and has been scheduled to start sometime between April and May with sales expected to stretch "throughout Europe and beyond,” including EU member states, Russia, Switzerland and the Gulf States

Anybody that has waited long and hard for the D8 GTO’s arrival can now exhale, especially the 25 specially designed models that have already been sold. They should be comforted knowing that they’re going to get quite a ride in the D8 GTO, thanks to its Audi-sourced 2.5-liter, five-cylinder turbo engine that develops roughly 400 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.

Those numbers translate to a 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of just three seconds with a top speed of 158 mph.

If anybody’s waited long enough to get a piece of those performance numbers, well, the wait is sure to be worth it and will soon be over.

Source: Donkervoort
Audi R20

Rumors of Audi’s plans to build a Le Mans-inspired supercar have been floating around for the past couple of months. Expected to be called the R20 , speculation has run rampant on the technical details of the supercar.

While Audi has resisted from making any comments regarding what it plans on doing with the car, technical chief, Wolganf Durheimer, bared some refreshing news at the Geneva Motor Show. Talking to Autocar, Durheimer commented that the proposed supercar is currently under "production evaluation"

More importantly, Durheimer believes that development of the car will go far enough that we could see a prototype later this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

“We run product evaluation on different ideas, looking at market positioning, brand image, development cost and time to market,” Dürheimer said. “Once this is done we will have a clear decision on what happens next. I would expect an update on this project in September at Frankfurt."

“It is still alive and I’m pushing for it,” he added.

Should the proposed R20 progress to the point that it could be green lighted for production, Audi believes that a lot of people would go nuts for the car, something the automaker is looking for as it tries to align its Le Mans program with a dedicated road car. Should that end up being the case, it’s likely that the R20 will carry some sort of a diesel-electric hybrid powertrain, similar to what the automaker uses on its R18 Le Mans racer.

Ultimately, Durheimer believes that hybrid supercars are becoming an important aspect of a brand’s focus.

“The market for these cars is fairly limited, but they are so important for brand image and perception,” he said.

“I think we need to do this car and show clearly where racing goes.”

Sounds good to us.

Source: Autocar UK
Gumpert Apollo Enraged

Last November, news came out that Gumpert was getting back on its feet after a recent rash of orders kept the company’s head above water. At that time, insolvency administrator, Görge Scheid, said that the company was still in the middle of looking for investors that would keep the company alive.

Well, good news has arrived for Gumpert, as the supercar maker confirmed that it has not only secured a new investor but more importantly, it’s about to launch an expanded product range in the future.

“Our distribution and dealer networks are being expanded worldwide and sister models will soon be added to the Apollo,” company founder, Roland Gumpert, said.

For now, the company is keeping its plans under lock and key, although Gumpert did give some hints that one of the first models of the re-launched Gumpert will arrive this year at a "major trade fair".

Maybe the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year?

Whenever that is, it’s great to see Gumpert back on its feet. We probably speak for everyone when we say that we can’t wait for its next range of models to once again challenge for the title of "fastest car in the world.”

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