Paris Motor Show

Paris Motor Show

The Aston Martin Vanquish made its official entry to the grand tourer market as a replacement for the aging Virage in 2001. Designed by Ian Callum, the man who also penned the gorgeous Jaguar F-Type, the Vanquish was launched with a 5.9-liter V-12 rated at 450 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Production of the first-gen model ended in 2007, when the DBS rolled out as a replacement. Based on the DBR9 race car, the DBS featured the same engine, but output was increased to 510 horses and 420 pound-feet. The Vanquish name returned for the 2012 model year as an evolution of the DBS. Inspired by the exclusive One-77 inside and out, the new Vanquish kept the company’s proven 5.9-liter V-12, now squeezing no less than 565 ponies and 457 pound-feet. Going into 2015, the Vanquish remains basically unchanged inside and out, but receives an extensive drivetrain upgrade that includes a brand-new autobox and minor engine tweaks.

Although output gains are slight, the coupe’s performance has increased dramatically, as the 2015 Vanquish ascends into a league reserved for sports cars that can return three-second 0-to-60 sprints. How quick is the updated Vanquish and what’s new for the 2015 model year? Read on to find out.

UPDATE 02/15/2013: Aston Martin has unveiled yet another cool video for its latest Vanquish supercar, this time presenting the engineering behind this incredible super GT. Enjoy!

Updated 08/06/2014: Aston Martin unveiled details on the 2015 Vanquish which will be put on sale in the third quarter of 2014. The main addition for 2015 model year is a newly developed Touchtronic III eight-speed automatic transmission. Details after the jump.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Aston Martin Vanquish and decide for yourself.

French automaker Peugeot has been a staple in the rally scene for as long as we can remember. So when word leaks out that they’re planning to reveal their next generation rally car, people tend to take notice.

At the 2012 Paris Motor Show later this month, Peugeot is bringing the all-new 208 Type R5, the car that’s slated to become their new prized steed at the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

Needless to say, the 208 Type R5 has some pretty big shoes to fill in large part because its successor, the 207 Super 2000 , rang up championships - three IRC drivers and manufacturers titles - during its time at the IRC.

The racer will have to adhere to regulations set by S2000 category. What that means is that the 208 Type R5 has been fitted with a number of racing components, including widened tracks, a spoiler, an increase in the wheel arches to accommodate a new set of 18" wheels. All these were done while keeping attention on the series’ minimum weight set of 1,200kg for the gravel and asphalt versions.

"Based on an optimisation of costs", explains Bertrand Vallat, the Type R5’s project leader, "the regulations impose, among other things, a maximum price for certain parts and technical limitations such as a minimum weight of components of the chassis and engine. In addition, a certain number of components of the vehicle must be similar. The hub carrier is a perfect example. All four must be identical. This makes operation considerably easier and limits costs and stocking."

The 208 Type R5 is powered by a 1.6-liter turbo engine that produces 280 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 295 lb/ft of torque at 2,500 rpm. The four-wheel drive system sends power to all four wheels thanks to a 5-speed sequential gearbox and two self-locking differentials.

As far as expectations are concerned, Peugeot is shooting for the stars, Vallat said: “The regulations impose, among other things, a maximum price for certain parts and technical limitations such as a minimum weight of components of the chassis and engine.”

“We are aiming for performance which is slightly higher than S2000,” he adds.

UPDATE 1/25/2013: The 208 Type R5 has just completed its second round of testing and it is all set to be delivered. According the Peugeot, it will open its order book in March 2013, so race teams mark your calenders!

UPDATE 05/01/13: The 208 Type R5 has been re-christened as the 208 T16 and Peugeot has released a new video of the rally car in action. Check it out by clicking on the photo above.

A few days ago, Lexus announced that they would be headed to the 2012 Paris Auto Show with a new concept car, and as promised, the company has released the first details and images on this new concept ahead of schedule. The new LF-CC is an evolution of the LF-LC 2+2 Sports Coupe Concept which debuted at the Detroit show earlier this year, but the new concept comes with rear-wheel drive and full hybrid power.

The new Lexus LF-CC Concept displays the latest evolution of Lexus’ L-finesse design language and it also previews a new premium mid-size Lexus coupe set to be unveiled in the near future (aka the successor to the SC sports coupe ). The concept features the same powertrain that will be used in the eventual production version, which is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder DOHC petrol engine combined with a compact, high-output electric motor which takes its power from a high-performance battery. Specifications for the new hybrid system will be announced at a later date.

UPDATE 09/20/2012: Following the release of the first official details on the new Lexus LF-CC Concept, the first promo video of the concept has been released. Stay tuned as all of the official details will follow at the 2012 Paris Auto Show next week!.

UPDATE 11/30/2012: In a recent interview with AutoCar, a senior Lexus engineer confirmed that the company is indeed planning a production version of the LF-CC and it will arrive on the market in 2015. The LF-CC will fill the gap left by the previous SC model, which was discontinued in 2010. The production version of the LF-CC will be offered in both coupe and convertible versions, and will be built on the same platform as the new IS and GS models. We’re not too sure if the LF-CC will look identical to the concept model, but we anticipate that it won’t be too far from it. (AutoCar)

Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Lexus LF-CC
Concept
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Honda unveiled the CR-Z back in 2010, but it looks like the little sports coupe is going to receive its first facelift treatment a little earlier than anticipated. The new CR-Z made its official debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and will go on sale in January 2013.

The updated CR-Z has received subtle revisions to the exterior and interior, with the biggest changes being made under the hood. The 1.5-liter petrol engine has been tweaked to deliver an extra 7 horsepower and the electric motor an extra 6 horsepower. With a total of 137 horsepower, the CR-Z will now sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 9 seconds (down from 9.7 seconds).

The new CR-Z has also received a Plus Sport (S+) boost system that delivers increased acceleration for up to ten seconds when the battery is more than 50% charged.

UPDATE 11/19/2012: Honda U.S.A. has announced prices for the 2013 CR-Z that will go on sale November 21, 2012. Prices will start from $19,975 for the standard version and from $21,655 for the EX version.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Honda CR-Z.

Lotus may be struggling, but it certainly hasn’t given up on producing high-level sports cars in an attempt to regain the edge it once held in that realm. With much of the dead weight cut from the company, Lotus is ready to move forward and we certainly hope to see big things from it, whether it be under the control of DRB-Hicom and Proton or some other company altogether.

The last new models to successfully reach production phase under the Bahar reign were the Evora and Evora S, which debuted for the 2010 model year. Last year, the models were expanded to include an all-new automatic transmission that could be shifted from auto to manual almost instantaneously. For the 2013 model year, Lotus is expanding the lineup again by including this transmission as an option on the Evora S.

Now that it is four years into its production life, is the Evora S still up to the task of taking on some of the best sports cars the world has to offer?

Click past the jump to read all about the 2013 Evora S and find out if it is on the decline or positioned to spearhead a revival of the Lotus brand.

At the Paris Motor Show , Motor Trend had a very telling sit down with Porsche CEO, Matthias Müller, about several of the upcoming models. This interview not only uncovered the fact that the entire lineup will be undergoing a facial and rump redesign, but also that a new, ultra-powerful hybrid drivetrain will grace the Cayenne in 2014. Almost missed amongst this plethora of new Porsche goodies was a statement by Müller that Porsche is hoping for a sub-7-second time around the `Ring ,

If you recall correctly, the 918 Spyder recently screamed through the Nürburgring at an unreal 7:14. When asked about what this awesome time means to the 918, Müller said “That means this car will be a huge – huge – milestone for Porsche. One year ago we had a target of 7:20-7:22 or something. Last week one of our engineers drove one lap in 7:14. The record is 7:11. So I suppose at the end of the year, we will have a new record at the Nürburgring.” The record in question is not the overall record, but rather the major automaker record, now held by the 2010 Viper ACR.

Müller was later asked how fast he thinks the 918 Spyder can lap the `Ring and he replied “If we’re lucky, it will be under 7minutes… but, I don’t know, we’ll see.” With the overall Nürburgring record, held by the Radical SR8 LM , sitting at 6:48 might Porsche be shooting for the overall crown too?

To drop 11 seconds from the 918’s current lap time will be quite a feat and to drop 23 seconds – the time needed to match the record – is downright impossible. To hit the sub-7-minute mark, however, Porsche would need to turn its attention to creating an all-out racing version of the 918 and scratch its attempts to keep it a true production model.

Doing the rough math, the record-holding Radical SR8 lapped the ring with a 0.632 horsepower/kg rating and Porsche estimates that the 795-horsepower 918 with the “Weissach package” weighs just 1,665 kg. That puts the 918 at a 0.447 horsepower/kg rating. This means, in theory, Porsche needs to do one of two things to even come close to the SR8’s heels. The two options are either drop the 918’s weight by an additional 407 kg, which is nearly impossible, or increase its output to about 1,050 horsepower. The latter certainly sounds like the more obvious and possible route. We, of course, cannot take into account vehicle handling and driver skill, as those two variables can sway significantly based on track conditions and other uncontrollable variables.

We’ll keep an eye out to see if Porsche can really pull this off.

Source: Motor Trend
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Concept

No one except the top guns at Porsche really know whether the newly released Panamera Sport Turismo Concept will ever reach production or not. That said, if you are a fan of its styling cues, particularly the headlights and taillights (which we definitely are), you are in for a good surprise. Porsche has just announced that these cues will be transferred to the entire Porsche lineup.

If you hadn’t noticed already, the two styles already exist in the sport car builder’s lineup, as the taillights are derived from the 911 and the headlights are obviously slightly modified mockups of the new Boxster’s headlights. This smashup of the two styles, according to Matthias Müller’s interview with Motor Trend, will see first production life on the Porsche Macan , and will be carried to other models from there.

In the same interview, Müller also confirmed that the plug-in hybrid drivetrain that we saw in the Sport Turismo concept will see production sooner rather than later. It will debut in the Panamera next year and then appear in the Cayenne in 2014. There is no confirmation on whether the impressive 428 horsepower will carry over too, but we think it’s safe to assume it will.

To say the least, it looks like Porsche is ready to revolutionize the supercar and sports car arenas once again with these coming additions and we are excited to see how the dominos fall. Add in the fact that the 918 Spyder will soon hit the market and you can color us flat-out excited to see how the Porsche lineup evolves in coming years. These changes are exactly what Porsche has needed for many years and avoided in the past out of what we can only assume is a fear of change.

Keep it up, Porsche, we love it!

Source: Motor Trend

Maserati unveiled the GranTurismo MC Stradale at the 2010 Paris Auto Show and two years later, the company is bringing the MC Stradale package back, but it’s the GranCabrio that will benefit from its features.

The GranCabrio MC is 48 millimeters longer than the standard GranCabrio and will adopt a highly sporty and aggressive look. Its front end was inspired by the coupe version of the MC Stradale, while the rear gets a large spoiler, with the third brake light built into the luggage compartment inside the spoiler.

The Maserati GranCabrio MC Stradale will also utilize the Coupe’s 4.7 liter V8 engine that delivers a total of 460 HP and a peak torque of 383 lbs-ft at 4,750 rpm. The engine is mated to an automatic six-speed ZF transmission and will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 179 mph.

UPDATE 10/02/2012: Maserati has unveiled a cool trailer video for their latest GranCabrio MC. In this video, the new MC races through mountain roads, providing us with an opportunity to hear the aggressiveness of its 4.7L V8 engine. Enjoy!

We knew it was coming, but we just had no clue if it would be nearly as good as we were hoping for. We are talking about the Mercedes-Benz SLS MG Coupe Electric Drive. As rumors swirled around this model, horsepower and torque numbers swelled to the point of sounding like borderline “White Whale” stories. Well, here we are at the beginning of the Paris Auto Show and Mercedes has wasted no time unveiling this all-new EV to the world.

To say that the SLS AMG is a bad-ass car in itself would be putting it lightly. The gasoline-powered model and its 563-horsepower, 479-pound-feet 6.2-liter V-8 engine is face-ripping awesomeness in a gullwing body. To think that the electric model could be as good as or even better than this little nugget of Benz beauty is near unfathomable, but looking at the basic outline of the car that Mercedes just revealed to us, it just may be a possibility.

UPDATE 10/01/2012: Mercedes has unveiled a cool promo video for their latest SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive - a supersports car equipped with Formula 1 high-tech. It produces no local emissions and represents electro-mobility in its most exclusive form. Enjoy!

UPDATE 02/25/13: A new promo video of the SLS AMG Electric Drive has been released. Check out the Tron-inspired theme of the ad; pretty cool, if you ask us!

Click past the jump to find out more about the Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive and to see if it is as sweet as its gasoline-powered sibling.

Subaru ’s line-up for the 2012 Paris Auto Show wasn’t very impressive, but it did include a very cool BRZ concept car. The concept was inspired by the Subaru XT - a small coupe sold from 1985 to 1991 - hence the name. Subaru barely offered any details on it, but it’s clear that the concept features a more radical look than the standard BRZ and most likely previews some design elements we’ll see in the future STI version .

The Subaru BRZ XT Line Concept benefited from a new carbon fiber spoiler and diffuser, along with carbon fiber exterior mirrors and roof. There is also a new set of 18" wheels painted in Black Silica. For the interior, carbon fiber trim was combined with red leather for the door panels and the dashboard, and "XT Line" logos adorn the interior as well.

Aside from the aesthetic modifications, Subaru also added a Torsen differential, HID projectors, and a number of SRS airbags. No changes were made to the power source, so the XT Concept is powered by the usual 200 HP 2.0-liter horizontally-opposed boxer engine.


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