Paris Motor Show

Paris Motor Show

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.

One of the most important Ferrari debuts at the 2012 Paris Auto Show was the chassis for the upcoming F70 supercar , but while it undoubtedly caught all of the attention in Paris, Ferrari ’s stand included a few other very cool vehicles. Visitors have seen cars ranging from the new F12berlinetta to a very special FF that certainly has a feature worth mentioning.

This particular FF was equipped with a new full-length panoramic roof that allows for more light to enter the car. According to Ferrari, this new roof features "a special reflective glass (LowE) that gives occupants a genuine open-air driving feeling, while providing thermal and acoustic insulation."

No other details on this new glass roof were provided, leaving us to wonder if this will be a new feature for the sports car or just an attention grabber in Paris. Production for this feature would be a little controversial considering the added weight a panoramic glass roof would add to the FF, and the effect that weight would have on the performance numbers of the vehicle. The design for the FF is already questionable in many people’s minds; why add another negative by messing with the performance the customer can get from the 660 HP V12 engine?

Everything is better in threes, so they say.

Okay, we may or may not have made that up, but at least someone seems to agree with us because British automaker Rolls Royce went to the 2012 Paris Motor Show with not one, not two, but three special edition "Art Deco" models - much to our excitement.

The three special edition models are based on pretty much the entire line-up of models Rolls has under its disposal: the flagship Phantom , the inimitable Ghost , and the topless Phantom Drophead Coupe.

The last of the troika, the Phantom Drophead Coupe, is arguably the freshest of the bunch, not only because it’s dropping swag like it’s hot, but because the car’s matching Light Blue exterior and interior makes us want to take this baby out for a ride out on the road with the wind blowing through our hair.

Add the specially designed Mother of Pearl trim detailing in the interior and you have a uniquely finished luxury convertible that not only catches enough attention to last a lifetime, but more importantly looks good in doing so.

By the way, having a 6.75-liter V12 engine that produces 453 horsepower and 531 lb/ft of torque with a 5.7-second 0-60 mph time and a top speed of 149 mph?

That helps too.

The second of the three "Art Deco Special Edition" models British luxury automaker Rolls Royce is bringing to the 2012 Paris Motor Show was a unique take on the Ghost .

As if the Ghost isn’t unique enough by itself, Rolls Royce is taking a whole new approach with this one, dressing it up in a two-tone Jubilee Silver and Cobalt Blue exterior finish. Inside, the fine and fresh interior enhancements include a blindingly white leather interior with contrasting blue accents, a full wood dashboard, and last but certainly not least, bespoke marquetry adorning trim pieces that you can find throughout the cabin.

Under the hood, no modifications were given to this expected-to-be rare as rare can be Ghost Art Deco Special Edition. Be that as it may, the luxury sedan’s 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 engine with 563 horsepower, a 0-62 mph time of 4.7 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph, is still plenty impressive in our book.

Finally, pricing for the Ghost Art Deco Special Edition has yet to be announced, although as a unique, special edition model, expect it to cost more than just a shiny penny if it does hit the production block.

If you haven’t been following the world of rally racing for the past decade, you’re probably surprised that there seems to be a disproportionate level of buzz surrounding Hyundai’s return to the World Rally Championship ?

Wait, did they ever leave? That’s one of the questions we’ve received from some folks and the answer, of course, is yes. Back in 2003, in fact.

That’s why when Hyundai opens their exhibit at the 2012 Paris Motor Show with the i20 World Rally Championship Rally Car, nobody should be surprised because it’s a really big deal.

As far as details are concerned, the Korean automaker is keeping that close to their chest, particularly because there could be more than just WRC-prepped model in attendance at Paris. What we’ve been informed, though, is that the car is expected to carry a turbocharged engine that hits all the right notes at 200 horsepower.

Keep it close here because Hyundai’s apparent interest in returning to the World Rally Championship could all be confirmed at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. After all, they wouldn’t go through all the trouble of building this rally prototype of the i20 if they weren’t that serious.

Volkswagen Concept BlueSport

Well, we guess not only good things can come out of car shows, as we often find out our fair share of bad news. The latest out of Volkswagen is a killer though. A model that we have been speculating on and that has been turned on and off more than a public restroom hand dryer is finally confirmed as D.O.A., for now. Sadly enough, this highly anticipated model is the Bluesport roadster .

The last we heard of the Bluesport was when Ulrich Hackenberg, VW’s head of R&D, told EVO that the Bluesport project was alive and well , despite rumors of its demise. He even went as far as to place a roughly £30,000 price tag on it.

After an interview with Autocar at the Paris Motor Show, Hackenberg said that there is “no business case” and “we didn’t find a market for it” in reference to the Bluesport, tossing a bucket of ice on all of our hopes in the process. In the same breath, however, Hackenberg also made it clear that this isn’t the end of the Bluesport, but rather just a suspension until the market shakes loose.

The reasoning Hackenberg gives for suspending it is to avoid the death blow, which is an outright rejection of the project by upper management. He made it clear that if a market open up for the Bluesport in VW’s lineup it will be quick and easy to install it and get things rolling.

So for now we just have to accept the fact that Vee-Dub will continue on without its sporty roadster for the foreseeable future. As always, we’ll keep a close eye on this one, as Volkswagen is a tricky lot sometimes and could pull a complete 180.

Source: Autocar

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