Holden Special Vehicles recently debuted their enhanced and refreshed line of Commodore VF variants dubbed the “Gen-F” across the eight specialty models built to satisfy power-mad Australians’ thirst for large and fast rear-drive performance models. One highlight in the diverse range is the Clubsport R8 Tourer; a svelte but practical wagon that can be had with optional SV Enhanced power package, forged wheels and launch control to manage the 455-horsepower surge.
Much more than a facelift, the Gen-F series new nose touts the 2013 models’ significant performance enhancements, technology upgrades, and far better infotainment and cabin design on the inside. The big news is that HSV is getting real-time access to the latest GM innovations in a quest to reinvigorate the stalling Australian large-car market with top-end performance models.
Best known for donating its butch platform to the genetic scientists at GM, the Commodore has been used for Cadillacs, Pontiacs and Chevrolets with little commercial success but a big fan following. Until the brand closed in 2009, the Pontiac G8 GT filled an enthusiast gap in the GM lineup with its V-8 grunt, manual transmission and laugh-riot tire shredding – it even won its own re-birth as the current Chevrolet Caprice PPV.
Everyone expects that once the new BMW 2 Series hits the market, a more powerful M version will be in tow. Our spy photographers have already caught some prototypes testing at Nürburgring and BMW previewed the model with the 1M Coupe and the M135i.
Unfortunately, the M135i never made it to the U.S. and the 1M Coupe was an extremely limited model whose order books closed nearly as quickly as they opened.
The M1 Coupe was a mighty micro-Bimmer, with its twin-boosted 3.0-liter straight-six engine that tortured the concrete with 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. We anticipate that the M235i will use the same powertrain. In fact, with the revisions that BMW is currently undergoing, we may even see a few more horsepower from the six-pot. .
UPDATE 05/07/2013: We have created a rendering of the new M235i coupe to help you get an idea of what to expect.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M235i Coupe.
The upcoming SSC Tuatara is the hotly anticipated sophomore album from the Washington-based SSC North America team. SSC has built a name for itself via impressive top-speed-record runs with its existing model, the Diablo-esque SSC Ultimate Aero XT.
The Tuatara’s development continued this spring with engine and gearbox setups being refined since the concept car was revealed in late 2011. The new model builds a stunning exterior and interior atop the brute-force mechanical package from the Ultimate Aero XT. The latest news to emerge from the firm is a 250 pound-feet bump in engine torque following durability testing, and news of a 300 mph speedometer, feeding rumors of a top speed well above the 276 mph initially quoted.
The style and presence of the white concept Tuatara created quite a stir when shown at Pebble Beach in 2011. Designed by the talented-but-bizarre Jason Castriota of SAAB and Fiat fame, the Tuatara most closely resembles the 2006 Maserati Birdcage 75th concept car in its smooth flowing panels and deep, milky-white paint finish. Castriota also worked on the Birdcage, but was not the lead designer. He now runs an independent design consultancy called Castriota Design.
UPDATE 5/1/2013: SSC just completed testing the Tuatara on the dyno and released all of the results. A release date has been officially set too. See more after the jump
Please follow the jump to learn more about the SSC Tuatara ahead of its first customer deliveries in January 2014.
Rumors have been swirling since 2011 regarding the Chevrolet SS and we were amongst the first to start discussing it. The rumors cooled off up until a few weeks ago when after 40 years of using the “SS” logo, GM finally decided to trademark it. Later the rumors became even more certain, as OnStar, GM’s in-vehicle communication system, mistakenly put the 2014 model lineup on its site. Within that lineup was a model dubbed the SS Performance.
This all adds up to a solid case that the Chevrolet SS Performance is on its way to the U.S. According to the rumormill, this would also result in the Holden Commodore SS, which was once used as the Pontiac G8, becoming the vehicle that dons the 2014 SS Perfomance badges.
With this release, Chevy would finally have a performance sedan to stack up against the likes of the Charger R/T and the Ford Taurus SHO.
UPDATE 04/23/2013: The 2013 New York International Auto Show closed its doors long time ago, but now Chevrolet decided to drop a new video on its SS sports sedan. The video features John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager for Chevrolet performance cars, giving an official walk around of the 2014 Chevrolet SS. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read our full review of the anticipated SS Performance and how it stacks up against the competition.
Rolls Royce is all set to expand their model range by announcing a "stunning" new model in a couple of weeks followed by an auto-show debut on April 21st in Shangai, one of most important markets for RR.
Sadly, RR couldn’t divulge any more details on what sort of car it will be and what’s underneath the hood, but we have our bets placed on the successor to the Rolls Royce Corniche. And we’re most likely going to win that bet, given the fact that over past several months, Rolls Royce was working hard on testing out a prototype of a two-door Ghost coupe (as these spy-shots reveal). We wouldn’t be surprised by RR bringing the Corniche name back as they have been promising customers that it was in the works for a while.
The Rolls Royce Corniche is reported to be powered by a turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 engine ready to deliver a total of 600 horsepower, which is quite powerful for a luxury cruiser. The design will also draw some inspiration from the Rolls Royce Ghost, befitting the smaller-than-Phantom description.
A full review with details shall be posted once Rolls Royce announces the "stunning" model.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the very few compact sports cars that grabs a fair share of the limelight. Thanks to the increased demand for such compact sports cars, it is no surprise that other manufacturers are planning to join the bandwagon. BMW, for instance, is planning to launch a Z2 to rival the Miata.
And now, thanks to the confirmation from Nissan’s executive vice president Andy Palmer at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Nissan will also accompany BMW in building such a vehicle, sans the open-top option from what we can tell.
This little sports car will be the entry level model for Nissan’s two-door sporty offerings, sitting below the Z-models and the mighty GT-R. Bear in mind, however, that this upcoming sports car isn’t meant to rival the award-hogging Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S.
Expect the car to be designed by the same hands that gave birth to the design of the Juke, so we can all anticipate a more youth-oriented approach.
Under the hood, Palmer mentions that the car will be "guilt-free.” What could be guiltier for a vehicle than polluting the environment? So, expect either an electric or a hybrid powertrain, though we have our bets placed on a hybrid system.
Palmer confirms that a concept model of the entry-level sports car will be shown off within a year. So, expect its production version to land in our shores somewhere around 2015.
We’re sort of excited about such a model being announced from the makers of the Godzilla. It gives more people an opportunity to enjoy sporty two-door model in a less expensive package.
After weeping at the disappointing sales last year, Volvo’s new CEO has confirmed at the Detroit Motor Show that they will announce nine new models in less than 12 months to grab lost market share in luxury vehicles.
Out of the nine, eight new cars are merely significant updates to the current lineup of Volvos and the ninth model is confirmed to be the successor to the Volvo XC90.
Speculated to go on sale in the late 2014, the new XC90 (may have a different name later) will sit on a new "Scaleable Platform Architecture,” which is set to underpin bigger, more appointed vehicles in the future. So, people looking for SUV practicality you’re in luck, provided you have the patience to wait for a couple of years for additional models to roll out.
Volvo is also looking to develop a new architecture for their smaller vehicles - 40 series and 50 series - with their new parents, Geely, since they’re currently relying on Ford’s architecture and are planning to cut ties with Ford soon.
We’ll post more information and details as it rolls in.
For those who want to soak up the sunshine in the fastest offering by Bentley, here are some pictures for you to drool at.
Apart from the eye-sore of a paint-job, the Bentley GTC Speed retains the aggressive stance of the GT Speed sans the roof. While it’s fun to drive with open-top freedom, it does add some extra weight and hampers the stability of the vehicle, though none of these problems are of concern if you’re intent on torturing it at a track.
Staying true to the "Speed" suffix, the convertible is powered by the 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine pulled straight out of its hard-top twin, it develops 625-horsepower and 800 Nm of torque, which is quite a lot for a GT luxury cruiser. With an expected time of 4.2 seconds to hit 60mph from standstill and a top speed of 200mph, this makes it the fastest convertible offering since the Bentley Continental Supersports ISR Convertible.
It’s expected to be unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show with a price slightly more than the $220,725 of its hard-top variant. But, being a Bentley, customers wouldn’t fret paying the extra premium for open-top freedom.
The anticipated reveal of the replacement for the Acura RL has finally made its debut at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. The all-new Acura RLX will make its production debut in early-2013, as a 2014 model year, giving Honda’s luxury lineup a head start for 2014.
We were all starting to wonder exactly what was in store for the RLX, since Acura announced its debut. Some of the questions that arose were around its power plant and whether or not this would simply be a restyled RL with an “X” on the end of its nameplate.
Acura answered all of those pertinent questions and then some at the auto show, as it pulled the sheet off of the new RLX and surprised everyone with a vehicle that bears little to no resemblance to its predecessor, something Honda Motor Company does not typically do. For the most part, Hondas tend to evolve rather slowly, with the exception of the latest Civic model, and rarely do we see big-time changes.
This all-new sedan is set to do battle with two newly redesigned imports, both of which debuted at the same auto show. On one side, you have the completely refreshed Toyota Avalon and on the other side, you have the redesigned Lexus ES 300h.
Can the RLX possibly fend off these two sister vehicles?
UPDATE 02/20/2013: Acura announced today pricing list for the 2014 RLX set to go on sale at a starting price of $48,450. Still, the car can get pretty expensive when adding an Advance Package; in this case price will start from $60,450.
Another modest addition to the compact hot-hatch segment, that includes the likes of the Mini John Cooper Works and the Fiat 500 Abarth, is America’s very own Ford Fiesta ST. With the initials “ST,” this variant of the Ford Fiesta brings more power and a sporty looking exterior kit to the table, a standard expected in every hot-hatch that is sold today.
Developed by the combined efforts of Team RS in Europe and SVT in the United States, the Fiesta ST is the latest that sports the “Sports Technologies” badge, a global performance brand that debuted in North America earlier this year with the launch of the Focus ST.
The ST brand is Ford’s initiative to prove to its customers that small cars can be fun and exciting to drive. People can not only enjoy the practicality of a hatchback but also a delicate mix of power, looks and fuel economy.
UPDATE 03/04/13: Ford has officially released the price for 2014 Fiesta ST. Hop on over after the jump to find out how much it’s going to cost.
Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST