The company formerly known as Shelby Super Cars, now known as SSC, has already released the replacement for its extreme supercar, the Ultimate Aero. This replacement car is dubbed the Tuatara. You didn’t think that SSC would let its one-multiple-world-record-holding supercar just ride away into the sunset, did you?
If you did, you’re mistaken, as SSC has just announced a special edition model of the Ultimate Aero, dubbed the Ultimate Aero XT, which boasts a power plant never before seen in an Ultimate Aero and styling to match the might behind the seats.
This model will literally be a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it model, as there will only be a small number of examples built. From a quick glance, it looks like this special edition SSC will give the Ultimate Aero a proper send off into retirement, but is this new XT worth all of the hype?
You’ll have to click past the jump past the jump to see what we think of it. Full story
Last week, we gave you a nice little rundown on what Porsche has in store for us in the coming years. One of those cars included Project 551, which we have all nicknamed the “Baby Boxster.” This compact, entry-level roadster looked to be a certainty in Porsche’s lineup, when suddenly the plan was axed, as Porsche’s CEO basically said it doesn’t fit the Porsche mold and they want to retain their customer exclusivity.
Well, now that the recent automotive giant, Volkswagen AG, has bought out the remaining shares of Porsche, err, “restructured” their corporate design, we may see this all change. You see, VW could give two cents about customer exclusivity. It wants to sell units and that’s that. VW will likely keep the 200,000-unit goal that Porsche had set before the “restructuring” and the way that VW may do this is to release a lower-priced roadster.
Think about it, fresh college graduates can’t typically afford a $50,000 base-level Boxster, but a $23,000 Miata is not an issue. Well, if Porsche slides a smaller, less feature-packed version of the Boxster right between the two, say at about $32,000, it could suck these young professionals into the Porsche brand early. With these premium brands, once they get in, they are typically customers for life.
In addition, the excuse that Porsche CEO, Matthias Mueller, made regarding a Baby Boxster not fitting the Porsche mold is complete hogwash. Porsche released an SUV and a sedan in the last decade, plus it is about to release a smaller version of its SUV, so how in the world could a smaller, more wallet-friendly roadster not fit in with a sports car company? Yeah, we don’t get it either.
Keep an eye out for some changes in the Porsche lineup over the next few months, there’s bound to be some and we bet one will be the announcement of an upcoming production model of the Project 551.
We automotive industry folk like to read between the lines to dig up stories and sometimes we’re right, but a lot of the time we’re off the mark. One between-the-lines story is surrounding the much debated Bentley EXP 9F and its relation to the extra week that the Crewe, England plant will be shut down this summer.
Automotive plant shutdowns are no huge ordeal, as they have become pretty much commonplace in the modern automotive world. These shutdowns are designed to help reduce costs during low-production times, which are normally toward the end of the summer. The Bentley plant in Crewe, England typically closes its doors in August for two weeks to allow workers to rest and to help keep costs down, but this year that time frame has been extended to three weeks.
That would normally be chalked up as additional cutbacks, but the reasons given for the extra time off included enabling a number of facility changes in preparation for future productivity increases. Well, Bentley is not one to put out a new model each and every year and their productivity level does not change each year, so the only reason productivity would increase would be the addition of a new model. Add in the fact that the only new model that we know of in development is the EXP 9F, and you can see why we think that this extra shutdown is to get ready for the production phase of this love-it-or-hate-it SUV.
As we said earlier, we could be completely incorrect, but that slip of the tongue by Bentley is pretty telling. This is especially telling when dealing with a company that only sells fewer than 10,000 cars per year.
We’ll keep you updated with any new information or rumors that may pop up around the possible release of the EXP 9F as more news becomes available.
For the past several decades, Ford has pranced the Lincoln brand around guised as a “luxury car,” but when compared to its competition – BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, and Infiniti – Lincolns just never held up. The lowest of lows came in the early-2000s with the release of the failed and wholly unpopular LS.
With the launching of the MK series of cars and SUVs, Lincoln began pressing the competition, but still fell slightly short of its goal in overtaking them. To help get Lincoln over this hump, Lincoln announced that the MKZ, the automaker’s entry-level sedan, will be completely overhauled for 2013 in hopes to better compete with the aforementioned competition.
We have all been anxiously awaiting the release of Lincoln’s plans to keep its lineup fresh, as it has been on the downward slide in recent years. We saw the concept MKZ and found out that the official design will, in fact, be a near replica of the concept – thank you Lincoln – but we had yet to hear anything about the official production specifications or the 2013 MKZ, at least until now. Ford Motor Company finally released these specs, just over 24 hours before its unveiling at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
Will this update be enough to launch the Lincoln lineup back to its days of dominating the Luxury car front, or will Lincoln have the same fate as GM’s Saturn and Oldsmobile brands, which also received a last minute redesign campaigns to try to save them? Take a look at the full review below to find out.
UPDATE 07/24/2012: Lincoln has released a new configurator, which you can find here, that allows you to select two trim levels from the five available – these include: Premier, Select, Reserve, Preferred with Single Panel Roof and Preferred with Retractable Panoramic Roof – and compare the two. Of course, shortly after releasing the online configurator, Lincoln also released the official pricing information for the MKZ. Hit the jump for full pricing and package details for the 2013 Lincoln MKZ.
Hit the jump for the 2013 Lincoln MKZ review. Full story
In addition to the stunning scenery which makes the Isle of Man the cold paradise it is, the largely unrestricted roads also act as a beacon to all car and motorcycle enthusiasts alike, who travel on mass to the famous island and its even more-famous roads every year.
In the latest episode of The Downshift, Jason Cammisa was lucky enough to be thrown the keys to the extremely popular Subaru BRZ, which recently sold out in Australia.
In addition to this, a rally prepped BRZ is also featured in the relatively short video where former WRC winner Mark Higgins takes Cammisa on a trip through the small island’s most exciting roads.
Even though the video is just 4:50 long, the producers have managed to cram a great deal of detail into the short space of time and as a result, it’s definitely an ideal way to spend five minutes of your time.
Check it out!
The past few months haven’t been easy for Spyker. After ending its affiliations with Saab, and changing its name back from Swedish Automobile to Spyker, the company fell on hard times. CEO Victor Muller confirmed a few months ago that investors were needed and once found, production could substantially increase.
Unfortunately, those investors never materialized and, as a result, the economic viability of Spyker has continued on its downward spiral. Spyker was recently in serious investment talks with CPP Global Holdings and North Street Capital, but both firms have gone quiet in the past few months and Spyker’s future is looking very bleak yet again.
De Telegraaf recently reported that Spyker Cars posted a net profit of $154 million in just the first 6 months of the year and consequently, one would think that finding a large investor would be a walk in the park. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
In saying that, however, Victor Muller’s statement that the company is “virtually debt free” doesn’t leave us with a great deal of confidence, as it’s clear that the firm’s undisclosed debt levels are dissuading investors from picking up the exclusive marque.
Despite this news, production of the Spyker C8 Aileron continues albeit at a slower pace.
On the back of pulling in some impressive sales figures for the start of the year, Bentley Motors has celebrated the milestone by opening a new dealership in Milan, adding to the firm’s already extensive European dealer network of 38 dealerships across the continent.
In order to kick off the opening in style, Bentley also brought the latest generation Continental GT V8 and GTC V8 models to Italy for the first time to help drum up some prospective sales in the country.
The new showroom covers an area of 250 square meters, enough to house six cars on display while workshop facilities help to conclude the new dealership. In order to provide customers with the best possible service, a specially designed window has been installed within the building to provide customers the experience to witness repairs taking place in the workshop.
The opening of this new dealership will obviously help inject some new appeal into the already-popular brand, and Bentley Motors obviously hopes that the position in the large Italian city will help attract new and existing customers to purchase from the brand.
Bentley’s regional director, Guillaume Chabin stated, “Milan has always been synonymous with luxury goods and iconic design, so it is an ideal location for a new Bentley showroom,” he said.
“The timeless design and exceptional craftsmanship of Bentley models have attracted many customers to our brand over the years, and with further representation in Italy we see significant potential to increase our sales in the market.”
With Porsche introducing an SUV in 2003, it was only a matter of time before the other premium sports car and supercar manufacturers joined in the fun. After years of rumors, whispers, and planning, Lamborghini is the next to cross over into the high-performance soccer mom world, AKA the SUV realm, with the oddly named Urus.
Though the name sounds odd, it is very appropriate for the model. The urus, also called the aurochs, is an ancient ancestor of the modern day cow, which went extinct in 1627. These things were massive, ranging from 61 to 71 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing in at 1,500 lbs – phew, that’s a lot of quarter pounders. This makes the urus one of the largest bulls ever recorded, which is appropriate, considering the Lamborghini Urus is almost certainly going to end up being the largest to boast the raging bull emblem.
Now that we have turned off Animal Planet, we can continue with the Lamborghini Urus and not the extinct cow relative. There is some debate as to whether Lamborghini can actually support an SUV, especially after the LM002, the original Lambo SUV, fizzled out in 1993 with only 328 models ever produced.
So, can Lambo actually have a successful SUV this time around, and how does it stack up against the Porsche and the upcoming Bentley SUVs?
You’ll have to click past the jump to find out. Full story
We thought that Americans loved the BRZ when we found out that it was the fastest selling car, but apparently Aussies like it just a little bit more. Subaru allotted just 210 examples of the popular sports car for the Australian market, but it apparently way undershot its popularity “Down Under,” as all 210 models of the Australia-bound BRZs have been ordered and a sales contract completed.
Selling 210 cars is really not a big deal, but selling them in a matter of three hours is, and that is exactly what happened in the outback. Subaru decided to put its $37,150 (AUD) BRZ online for ordering, as opposed to the typical dealership distribution, and just like New Kids on the Block — NKOTB for those cool enough to listen to them in the 1990s — tickets in the 1980s, they were gobbled up in just hours, leaving the cupboards bare.
If you live in Australia and really wanted a BRZ, don’t fret. Subaru realized the popularity could bring in some extra revenue, so it will continue taking orders for more BRZs. These back-ordered BRZs will not be delivered until early in 2013, however.
If the naturally aspirated BRZs are selling so quickly, we can only imagine how fast the turbocharged BRZs will sell, if Subaru ever stops dragging its feet about boosting its popular sports car.
When Audi launched the RS3 Sportback in the European market, we all knew that it would sell well. It boasts a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that pumps out 340 ponies and 332 pound-feet of twist, so there was no shock that it sold out in just months.
For the most part, when a car sells out, the manufacturer uses the growing demand of this now-scarce car to develop an even larger interest for the following model year. Apparently, Audi is above using demand to drive future models and focuses on taking care of its customers instead. After a fair amount of buyer begging, Audi has chosen to extend the RS3 Sportback’s production by 250 units, despite the fact that production officially ended last year.
In many cases, a manufacturer would take this opportunity to jack up the price as well, but Audi has also decided that the post-production RS3 Sportbacks will be sold at the normal MSRP of ₤39,390 (roughly $62,500).
We have to give Audi a double hat tip for its class in handling this situation, as many automakers would really use this as a screw-the-customer opportunity by ignoring requests or significantly jacking the price. Audi is really showing that it cares about its customers, or the fact that there is already plenty of profit worked into the RS3 Sportback’s standard MSRP.
We’ll give Audi the benefit of the doubt here and say that the reality likely falls somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios. Keep an eye out for the A3’s 2013 debut in the U.S., and the possible addition of an RS3 variant to the American lineup.