New York Auto Show

New York Auto Show

Here’s something you don’t get to see everyday. In an effort to promote the 2012 New York Auto Show , event organizers decided to take a different route than conventional advertising.

Trust us, it can’t get any more different than the Lamborghini Aventador hot dog cart. The Italian supercar was parked in midtown Manhattan together with a cart of Sabrett hot dogs and anybody that walked up to it could get - wait for it - free hotdogs! Nothing gets New Yorkers more amped up than free stuff, then you add the obvious attraction that is the Aventador and you have the prefect blitzkrieg cross-promotion.

In the middle of all the gawking at the Aventador and the chowing done of the hot dogs, the tinge of irony surrounding one slogan in the cart that says "keep parks clean" wasn’t lost on us. After all, for all the positive messages and call to action the slogan is encouraging, it goes without saying that a Lamborghini Aventador is the farthest thing from what you’d describe as eco-friendly.

Nevertheless, the publicity stunt must have worked wonders for the organizers because the early returns on the 2012 New York Auto Show suggested that the event was one of the most successful stagings in the past years.

Maybe next year they’ll come up with a Ferrari F12berlinetta that dispenses free subway tickets.

When we attend an auto show, the first things we watch for are the brand new cars gracing the stage, but usually, next to those beautiful new cars are equally as, if not more so, beautiful women. This year’s New York Auto Show was certainly no different as the ladies were out in full short skirt force.

It may be a little difficult to pay too close attention to the women in our picture gallery considering they are standing next to the likes of the Audi R8 GT Spyder , the SRT Viper GTS-R , the Lincoln MKZ , and the Lexus RX , but the girls certainly hold their own.

Enjoy the picture gallery and let us know whether you liked the cars or the girls better in the comments section below!

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4

At one point in every automotive buff’s life, he has a dream about driving a supercar down a racetrack. Then he wakes up, looks out the window and his 1993 Metro is staring him in the face. Well, you can hop into that Metro, drive to New York and live your dream for $99. Yup, an exotic car rental company that typically rents Lamborghinis , Ferraris , Mercedes , and other high-end cars for thousands of dollars per day is allowing people to take these monsters around a racetrack.

Gotham Dream Cars has taken its Dream Car Sprint program to the New York Auto Show, which opened up to the public today. The Dream Car Sprint program typically charges $249 for three laps around their parking lot-based racetrack, but at the New York International Auto Show they have brought along a Ferrari F430 and a Lamborghini Gallardo , and have discounted the three-lap price to just $99 + tax.

The track is roughly one-mile long and you have to drag an instructor along with you. This pretty much means that you can’t really have any fun in these supercars, but just to be behind the wheel is enough to make us happy.

As the auto show progresses, the Gotham Dream cars might add other vehicles to this program, but for now we only know of the Ferrari Ferrari and Lamborghini. So, if you are over 21, have a valid driver’s license and car insurance, plus a spare $105.93, you can hop in one of these and see just how far the push these cars until the ride-along instructor stops you. We bet one of us could end that drive in about 15 seconds…

All car buffs can appreciate when a new car comes out and pumps out 40 horsepower more than its predecessor and even blows away the old version in looks. What separates the typical car buff from the car nut is if they really care how the car got to that point. So many times I will sit and discuss gear ratios, camshaft lift and duration, compression, and weight with people and all they have to say is “How much horsepower does it have.”

Well, SRT obviously thinks its customer base is full of car nuts, as it released five videos with the engineers and designers of the 2013 SRT Viper discussing various parts of the design process, including: general overview, powertrain, interior design, handling characteristics, and exterior design. All we can say about these videos is “Wow.” SRT went above and beyond in developing this car, then went even further to draw us all into the engineering and design rooms.

All of the videos are great, but one of my favorite parts is how the designer states that the point of the interior is to keep it simple yet refined. That is a huge thing with us, as some cars go way overboard with the high-tech gadgets, to the point that it’s overwhelming. It’s pretty funny that they specifically single out Corvette owners and how they complain about the “video game” feel to the controls.

The engine video is great and the engineer really puts to bed some of the issues that the Viper has had in past years. The biggest issue by far was the uneven cooling of the engine and head gasket issues. Both of which seem taken care of with the revised cooling system.

Our favorite video by far is the “Handling Characteristics” video. First off, you can tell the engineer is a car dude and loves this stuff. But hearing about the adjustable stability control and the nasty launch control feature just made us all warm and fuzzy.

Before we give it all away, check out the videos yourself, they are an awesome lesson in how to design a car correctly.

Additional videos after the jump.

Chevrolet Impala

We are all just becoming accustomed to the fact that the Impala will no longer be just a rental car beater, as Chevrolet has completely redesigned it and actually made it a competitor in the full-size car market and Chevy’s already trying to shoot itself in the foot.

When Chevy began leaking out information about the 2014 Impala , we all assumed it would have an all-wheel-drive option, even though GM said nothing about it during the official unveiling in New York. This became even more obvious when we found out that it will be based on the Epsilon platform, which is the same platform that the AWD Cadillac XTS and AWD Buick LaCrosse are based upon.

To our surprise, we learned from our friends at GMInsideNews.com that Chevy has zero plans of offering an AWD version of the Impala in either the near or distant future. Chevy actually made the brash and unfounded statement that all-wheel-drive vehicles are only a small part of the full-size car market. Actually that statement is downright false, to some experts.

Paul Lacy of IHS stated last year that by 2015 AWD sales will account for nearly 30% of all automotive sales. Then again, if GM doesn’t want to take an industry expert’s opinion, it can look at sister company Cadillac. In 2009 and 2010 nearly one-half of all CTS sales were AWD models. Add in the fact that all of the main competitors to the Impala, including the Charger , Taurus, and 300, all have at least an optional AWD system.

We don’t know exactly why Chevy is not planning on an AWD offering for the Impala and we honestly think that they are taking a step backwards at the worst possible time. When you first release a vehicle you don’t want to cut out an item like AWD, which is an important purchasing point for undecided shoppers. The undecided shopper is the one you need to reel in and things like AWD make that a possibility. Bad form, Chevy.

Lamborghini SUV

The concept version of the upcoming Lamborghini SUV will be unveiled at the end of April at the Beijing Auto Show, but some lucky guests - aka select Lamborghini clientele - at the 2012 New York Auto Show were able to get a sneak peek at the concept. Lamborghini tried to keep everything secret until the concept’s official debut in China, but there were some people at the event who decided to share some information.

Those specific event goers reported that the car will have a silhouette similar to the BMW X6 and will be the same size as the Audi Q7 . The concept will feature a carbon fiber body kit and LED headlights similar to the ones seen in the Estoque . At the rear, the SUV will feature four trapezoidal exhaust tips integrated in the rear bumper diffuser. The concept sits on a new set of 24" wheels with a carbon fiber design similar to the Aventador J combined with naturally carbon-ceramic brakes.

More details about the Lamborghini SUV Concept will be revealed during the car’s official debut in Beijing, so stay tuned!

Source: WCF

Just hours ago, we reported the somber news that the Porsche 911’s designer passed away , but this time we have some good news to pass along. This news continues to add to the legend that is F.A. Porsche, as his creation has been announced the 2012 World Performance Car.

The 911 S Coupe made it through a three-stage voting process, beating out some of the best vehicles in the world. In the final stage, the 911 faced off against two greats, the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 and the McLaren MP4-12C .

The WPC judges specifically pointed out that the 911 combines pleasant driving, raw performance, and even fuel efficiency. Let’s crunch the numbers here. The 911 S Coupe pushes out 385 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque from a 3.8-liter flat-6, while getting 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The Lamborghini has a 700-horsepower, 509 foot-pound producing V-12 engine that squeaks out 11 mpg city and 17 mpg highway. The McLaren gets 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway – close to the Porsche – and pumps 592 horsepower along with 443 pound-feet from its 3.8-liter V-8.

There are two other factors that would make us put the Porsche on top of the Lamborghini and McLaren. One is the fact that the Aventador is notoriously impossible to drive on even a freshly paved highway – yeah, it’s a little rough. The McLaren, on the other hand, has received some complaints that it tends to over-correct itself via its traction control system.

Add in the fact that the Porsche 911 S Coupe is only one-third of the Aventador’s price and just about half the price of McLaren, you have one impressive hunk of machinery there.

Hit the jump for the official press release.

When considering motorcycles, Suzuki is likely a brand that comes to mind. Their cars, on the other hand, nearly go unnoticed unless you are looking for specifically cheap transportation. They typically only account for a fraction of a percent of U.S. auto sales, but that fraction is a tight and very loyal market. Well, it looks like they are trying to dig themselves out of obscurity by adding high-end features to their vehicles.

Starting in the 2013 model year, nearly every Suzuki car, truck, and SUV will include a Garmin stereo system that will also include Pandora radio. With the internet taking over everything nowadays, it’s only expected that internet radio would make its way into more cars – heck, some cars now have a hard drive bigger than my desktop PC, seriously…

Pandora works a lot like satellite radio, as it is not broadcasted from terrestrial towers, but rather streamed through the internet. You can personalize your own station too, so there is no need to swap the station every time something you can’t stand comes blasting through the speakers.

There is no receiver or anything like that for Pandora radio, so this is really not costing Suzuki much, meaning the cost to you would be minimal, if anything. The Garmin radio connects to an iPhone, per Pandora, and the iPhone in turn receives the Pandora signal, broadcasting it through the radio. It makes us curious because Pandora radio also has an Android app, which means nearly any phone on the market can receive its signal. However, Pandora specifically mentions just the iPhone in its press release.

We are starting to wonder if iPhone and Garmin are maybe up to something, or did the Pandora rep just misspeak. For the sake of all Suzuki buyers that choose to use this service, we hope the latter is the truth. From our research, it looks like Garmin and Suzuki have apps for both Android and iPhone, so it was likely a mistake to just say “iPhone.”

Regardless of its connectivity, this is a step in the right direction towards Suzuki reeling in its direct competitors, Hyundai and Kia .

Hit the jump to read Pandora’s official press release.

Land Rover is continuing its series of DC100 concepts with a new Expedition version. The new concept was built to celebrate Land Rover’s 25 year presence on the North American market and is equipped for expedition use. The concept also explores possible design directions for the future of the iconic Land Rover Defender .

The new DC100 Expedition features an air-intake snorkel for wading and a roof mounted equipment rack. The list of design cues that will be used for the upcoming Defender include extreme approach and departure angles, vertical panels, an upright windscreen, and strong shoulder line for visibility and ease of positioning. The honest Defender ’face’ with its signature round lamps and prominent grille is featured, and a winch is incorporated to the fascia.

The DC100 Expedition Concept will also be equipped with a new Terrain Response system which will optimize the car for various conditions without driver pre-selection. A new Terrain-i system creates an intelligent map of the topography in front of the car and displays it as a 3D visualization. The concept also comes with a new Wade Aid system that utilizes sonar sensors mounted in the bumpers and side mirrors to measure water depth.

Mercedes just recently announced the SL65 AMG , and they are already using it as a base for the a special edition built to celebrate the model’s 45th anniversary. The new SL 65 AMG 45th Anniversary Edition will be limited to only 45 units and will go on sale in September 2012.

The SL65 AMG 45th is painted in an exclusively designo magno graphite paint finish combined with high-gloss chrome applications. The new edition will be further distinguished by a new "twin-blade" radiator grille with blade-like slats, the surround for the AMG-specific LED daytime driving lights and fins on the wings and the hood.

"To mark AMG’s 45th birthday we are presenting the SL 65 AMG "45th ANNIVERSARY" – a very special anniversary model in a limited edition of 45 vehicles. The superior V12 roadster with exclusive appointments embodies our brand claim "Driving Performance" to perfection", says Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

Updated 06/12/2012: Mercedes has unveiled a pretty cool promo video for their special SL 65 AMG 45th Anniversary edition. Enjoy!

Hit the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG 45th Anniversary.


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