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News

Mercedes has been caught testing its latest version of the C63 AMG at the famed Nürburgring . The short spy video depicts the V-8 brawler ripping around the track with Jaguars and BMWs all around. No doubt Mercedes is sizing up the competition. The performance sedan will be all-new for 2015, just as its less-powerful C-Class stablemates. With plenty of design cues coming from the ritzy S-Class, the C is quite the looker.

Aesthetics aside, the C63 AMG makes itself known by the ferocious growl emanating from its quad exhaust and 4.0-liter, biturbo V-8. Its sound and specs should be familiar as it’s the same V-8 found in the just-released AMG GT . Both cars will give customers the choice of a 456-horsepower version or 503-horsepower unit. If the C63 AMG’s curb weight lands around that of the AMG GT , we can expect 0 to 60 mph times of less than four seconds.

Mated to that will be Mercedes’ seven-speed, dual clutch transmission, though it won’t likely be mounted in a transaxle configuration as the AMG GT’s design entails.

We can expect Mercedes to launch the 2015 C63 AMG sometime in the coming months, with models hitting dealer floors in 2015. Pricing will likely be set just north of the $60,000 mark.

Things are looking pretty serious for Audi’s future TT lineup. We’ve reported before about the possible expansion of the TT, making it into various vehicle configurations, but now word from Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi’s development chief, says a new TT body style is currently in development, though he stayed quiet regarding details. The news comes from the TT coupe’s recent launch in Marbella, Spain.

Audi has already released a concept of a TT iteration, the TT Offroad Concept . Back in April 2014 when the concept debuted, Hackenberg said it “provides an insight into how we might envisage a new model in the future TT family.”

This concept comes as Audi recognizes the growing market demand for higher-riding SUVs and crossover. In an interview with Automotive News market analyst Mark Fulthorpe of HIS Automotive said, “Many image- or fashion-conscious buyers are moving to the rapidly growing crossover sector as a means of expressing their taste.” This movement translates into Audi having to expand the TT lineup to include such vehicles in order to keep the TT Coupe and Roadster alive.

Perhaps the best example of this type of model expansion would be Mini Cooper . Its models all share the same basic structure as the conventional three-door hatchback. Mini now builds a five-door, wagon, coupe , convertible , roadster, and SUV versions of its original car.

Segmenting the market in this manner allows automakers to reach potential niche buyers while offsetting development and production costs. Audi would be smart to adopt the practice, at least for the upcoming 2015 TT and its potential family.

Note: Audi TT offroad concept pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Audi TT crossover.

When Lego announced the Ultimate Collector Series Batman Tumbler , we thought that was pretty cool. There are some issue though. It is massive, it costs $200, and Lego can’t keep it in stock, so its impossible to find.

What is a car-loving Lego enthusiast to do? Just buy a different Lego set of course!

Lego has a long history of cool car-related creations. You can get a replica of the old Volkswagen van, multiple version of F1 cars and the Cadillac -based Ecto-1 wagon from the Ghostbusters film. And then they have set 10242; the classic Mini Cooper .

For $99, you can grab one of these kits that has almost 1,100 pieces, and is extremely detailed. The car is bricked out in British Racing Green, has a full interior, working doors, trunk and "bonnet," and it comes with a complete picnic set as well.

You can watch me build the entire thing in time-lapse mode by pressing that little play button. The kit was a lot of fun to build, and it took me about 3 hours. It was a pretty awesome way to spend a Saturday morning. If you want to see some more photos of the finished kit, just check after the break.

Rumored to break cover at the Paris Motor Show in October 2014, the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS is still somewhat of a mystery. Sure, we’ve seen it stretching its legs on the road and track in several spy shots and video footage, but very we know few details besides its exterior appearance. The GT3 RS’ big conundrum is what lurks under the rear bonnet. Is the mother of all GT3’s going turbo? The rear fenders obviously back this scenario, but why isn’t Porsche saying anything? Guess we’ll find out soon enough. Meanwhile, word on the street has it the upcoming GT3 RS is the second-fastest Porsche ever to lap the Nurburgring track after the 918 Spyder .

Yes, folks, the redesigned GT3 RS is quicker than the mighty GT2 RS , a sports car we’ve been missing ever since the Germans discontinued it in 2012. According to Zero2Turbo, the GT3 RS lapped the "Green Hell" in only 7 minutes 20 seconds, making it four seconds faster than the 911 GT2 RS that established its incredible 7-minute 24-second benchmark on the ’Ring in 2010. This claim isn’t official, so make sure you keep them salt shakers within reach, but it’s a lap time that’s realistic for a turbocharged GT3 RS.

For the record, the benchmark would make the RS-badged sports car quicker than supercars like the Maserati MC12 , Pagani Zonda F Clubsport and the Koenigsegg CCX . Impressive doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

Source: Zero 2 Turbo

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t set to take the chairman of Ferrari role from Luca di Montezemolo until next month, but he’s already planning to do something his predecessor was opposed to throughout his tenure. Speaking at an event late last week, Marchionne divulged his plans of increasing production of Ferrari vehicles, including the LaFerrari , to meet with customer demand.

That issue was one of the reported reasons behind the disagreements Marchionne had with di Montezemolo, culminating in the latter’s decision to step down as Ferrari chairman after 23 years of holding that post. Di Montezemolo wanted to keep the Italian automaker’s production volume limited to 7,000 vehicles a year to protect its exclusivity, even at the expense of losing buyers willing to spend top dollar for these models.

But Marchionne is holding firm on his stance and is now planning to increase production of Ferrari models, including the $1.3 million LaFerrari that was initially limited to just 499 units.

“If that class increases, we should be able to follow them,” he said during the event. “The waiting list will become too long, and people get tired.”

He didn’t give a definite number on how many vehicles he wants Ferrari to produce every year, but he did say that there’s a potential for close to 10,000 models annually.

Only time will tell if his strategy works or whether it puts a taint on the Italian automaker’s ‘exclusive’ legacy.

Click past the jump to read more about Marchionne’s plans for Ferrari.

Source: detroitnews

Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo is stepping down from his post on October 13th, but before he hands over his Ferrari access cards, the man is going out in a blaze of glory by unveiling a limited-edition Ferrari that will be exclusively sold in the U.S.

There will only be 10 examples of this special Ferrari so yeah, it’s limited alright. But more importantly, it’s also ridiculously expensive. How expensive, you ask? Try $3.2 million, which is the roughly the equivalent of buying a Ferrari LaFerrari and having enough change to score Bugatti Veyron .

Auto News is reporting that the yet-to-be-identified model will be inspired by America, including a predominantly blue paint finish with matching white stripes. Those are the same colors the North American Racing Team that drove Ferraris back in the 60’s used. The same report also indicated that the F12 Berlinetta will likely be the basis of this unique model, sort of like the F12 SP America with a dramatically different body and interior.

I’m not sure what to expect out of this model other than what’s already been disclosed. It’s going to be rare. It’s going to be expensive. And oh, by the way, all 10 units are already sold. Yup. They’re all sold out.

We expect the new Ferrari to make its debut in Los Angeles on October 12th, 2014 during a gala dinner to celebrate the Italian automaker’s 60th anniversary in America. It’s also the day before di Montezemolo steps down so quite literally, this launch will be his swan song with the Prancing Horse. Hard to imagine how you can top that one, Mr. Sergio Marchionne.

Note: Ferrari F12berlinetta pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s Future Special Edition.

You may have missed out on the worldwide debut of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 back on September 3rd, but to be honest, you didn’t miss out on anything substantial. Sure, the car was paraded in front of a crowd and through live streaming, but other than being treated to an endless loop of 80’s hits, the reveal was nothing short of confusing.

So I’m guessing that Mazda’s making some type amends with the release of this video, which is an extended recap of what happened during the unveiling of the car.

You’re going to see a lot of Mazda design director Derek Jenkins talking about the MX-5 Miata. There are even some camera angles that weren’t available during the live reveal, showcasing the MX-5 in a variety of angles that we didn’t get to see before.

If you labored through the MX-5’s launch, this video gives you a fresh take that you can appreciate. But if you missed the debut, it’s even more important to watch this video and see for yourself the day when the fourth-generation MX-5 Miata was revealed to the world.

I’m still a little peeved about the lack of details from the launch, but I do appreciate Mazda trying to make up for it.

We’re all familiar with today’s Caterham Seven or the Lotus -badged, simpler sports car that preceded it. It’s a pure driver’s car suitable for both public roads and tracks, although it’s not exactly the vehicle you’d want to drive to work on a daily basis. However, if you need a no-nonsense sports car in your life, you can’t go wrong with the Seven.

You can have anything from a Suzuki -sourced, 660cc to a 2.0-liter Duratec engine under the hood. That gives it an output range from 80 ponies for street cruising to as much as 311 horsepower for quick laps around the track. Sure, 311 horses is quite a lot for a vehicle that weighs only 1,147 pounds, but the power-to-weight ratio can get even more ridiculous than that. All you have to do is head to Donkervoort, the Dutch shop that has been manufacturing its Seven-based sports cars since 1978.

Its latest creation, the D8 GTO, is unlike anything Donkervoort ever built. Sure, it resembles its predecessors, but things are completely different when it comes to the GTO’s shell and powerplant. Unlike other D8s, which came with either Ford or Audi four-bangers, the GTO comes with Ingolstadt’s famed 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine. Output ranges between 340 and 380 horsepower, more than anything Caterham has delivered so far. As if that wasn’t enough, the D8 GTO received a full carbon-fiber body that results in an insane 1,543-pound curb weight. This end is a power-to-weight ratio that rivals the initial Bugatti Veyron’s ratio. I’m talking about a supercar motivated by 987 ponies; is this amazing or what?

So how does a D8 GTO look, sound and run? You can find out in XCAR’s comprehensive review in the above video . Make sure you don’t miss it, you won’t be seeing one of these monsters on U.S. streets anytime soon.

There’s been a lot of talk about Ford’s upcoming Shelby GT350 , especially in regards to what engine might find its way under the hood. At some point, word on the street pointed toward the next Shelby carrying either a twin-turbo, 5.0-liter V-8 or an updated version of the 5.8-liter eight-banger found in the 2014 Shelby GT500 . Those rumors went down the drain in September 2014, when Ford’s own parts website leaked some precious information, including that the GT350’s powerplant will displace 5.2 liters with no forced induction whatsoever.

Was that enough to quench our thirst for GT350-related details? Heck, no! But, fortunately, the folks over at Motor Trend did some digging to find out the precise configuration of the mill Ford is planning for the GT350. And as it turns out, the upcoming muscle car will get its juice from a flat-plane crankshaft V-8. It’s a bit tricky when it comes to vibrations, the report adds, which is why development has been a little slow, but it appears Ford’s SVT division found a way around these problems by fitting the pony with a host of heavy-duty parts.

The engine can now spin at 7,500 rpm, which brings it close to what the initial GT350’s capabilities. Add an output that’s rumored to be close to the 600-horsepower mark, and we have a neck-snapping rig in development.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Shelby Mustang GT350.

Source: MotorTrend

Sometimes you just need a manual transmission to row. That’s how our friend Chris Harris feels before he hops in two of the last manual-transmission track cars still around, the older 997 Porsche GT3 RS and the famed 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 .

A rain-soaked racetrack nestled in the rolling English countryside provides the playground, and despite the standing water, the two cars stay planted on the tarmac. Sure, Harris has plenty of sideways action, but it seems nothing was unplanned.

The point of this little track test, according to Harris, isn’t to compare the Z/28 and GT3 RS side-by-side, but to just have fun rowing gears in a proper sports car — something our host isn’t used to saying in regards to a Camaro . Nevertheless, the Z/28’s engine with its high-tech internals and 7,000-rpm redline, provides plenty of fun. Its 305-series tires provide enough grip around the wet track to keep the 3,800-pound car from sliding into the wall.

Manual transmission-equipped sports cars are becoming less and less popular, as the performance numbers provided by these new flap-paddle gearboxes outdo those of the manual and as fewer people know how to drive stick. While it’s probable most folks looking to buy a hyped-up sports car know how to do the three-pedal dance, it’s undeniable that dual-clutch automatics are faster around a track.

But that begs the question; is speed everything, or is the connection and experience with the car worth more? Let us know what you think in the comments.


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