special editions

special editions

  Special Editions and limited production cars. Those cars usually offer packaged options and interior trims to celebrate special events such as model anniversary, movie release, celebrity signature or co-branding. They usually come up a few month to a year before the car get a more serious facelift

It’s a real shame Seat doesn’t offer its vehicles in North America. We’re aware the U.S. doesn’t need the Leon hatch and station wagon — essentially re-bodied versions of the Volkswagen Golf — but we wouldn’t mind driving or having the possibility of buying the Leon SC Cupra 280. With 280 ponies and 258 pound-feet of twist at its disposal, this Spanish-built hatch is one hot machine. So hot that it became the first front-wheel-drive car to lap the Nurburgring in under eight minutes.

Will we get it in here? Hell no! As much as we’d love for that to happen, it makes no sense for Seat to ship its models across the pond. Making things even more frustrating beyond the fact that Europeans get to toss it around, is that the British market has just gained a performance option for the hot hatch. Dubbed "Sub8 Performance Pack," the bundle adds a massive brake improvement to the Leon SC Cupra 280, while a set of new high-performance tires enhance the hatch’s track capability even further. Oh, the agony!

Click past the jump to read more about the Seat Leon Cupra 280 Sub8 Performance Pack

The Jaguar F-Type was launched for the 2013 model as a spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type . Bolted onto a shortened XK platform, the F-Type was initially introduced as a soft-top convertible . The Coupe version arrived a year later and went on sale for the 2014 model year. Both versions are powered by supercharged V-6 and V-8 engines with outputs ranging from 335 horsepower to 542 ponies. As we approach the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed, we’ve learned that Jaguar will actually produce the F-Type Project 7 that it rolled out as a concept in 2013.

Shortly after releasing the F-Type Roadster, Jaguar created the Project 7 design study. The concept car paid tribute to Ecurie Ecosse racing team that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race twice with the Jaguar D-Type in the 1950s. The concept featured a D-Type -style rollover hoop behind the driver’s seat, as well as the race car’s white-striped livery. It showcased its astonishing looks at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed before going into history as one of the sexiest concept cars of the 21st century.

Coming into 2014, Jaguar commissioned its Special Vehicle Operations division to transform the concept car into a production vehicle. Thus the F-Type Project 7 ditches its auto show queen status and goes to wander the streets and tracks in all of its Le Mans-inspired glory.

Updated 08/15/2014: Jaguar has officially revealed the pricing details for the F-Type Project 7. Each of the 250 models will base at $165,925 including the $925 destination charge.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Project 7.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

Lexus is famous for offering various special editions for its models. We’ve seen the LS400 Platinum Edition, the ES300 Coach Edition, and the SC430 Pebble Beach Edition in the past. It’s been a hot minute since the brand has had special packages such as these, and Lexus has announced that it will be offering a new, similar special edition for several of its models. The IS Crafted Line Edition, which will be offered on the 2015 IS 250 F Sport, is perhaps the most striking package yet, with gorgeous paint, contrasting trim, and a customized interior.

In usual fashion with these Special Edition Lexus models, all mechanics remain the same, but it’s the little bits and pieces that all come together to make these cars truly one-of-a-kind.

To ensure the highest level of exclusivity, Lexus is officially unveiling its Crafted Line Edition models at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Auto Show .

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus IS Crafted Line Edition.

Designed by automotive genius Colin Chapman and launched in 1957 under the Lotus badge, the Seven has become one of the most iconic sports cars ever built. Sold as a Lotus until 1972 and as a Caterham since 1973, the tiny, no-nonsense Seven has been offered in many configurations. However, the little roadster has yet to lose its classic charm, despite being fitted with modern technology and increasingly powerful engines. Although the Seven lineup has included at least four to five models over the last decade, Caterham has yet to bring it to the United States on official terms. The drama ended in January 2014, when the Brits reached an agreement with Superformance, and the first U.S.-spec Sevens appeared on the company’s drawing board. In August 2014, Caterham finally announced that the Seven will hit U.S. shores in part-built form.

Two versions are now offered Stateside, being set apart by the number of horses hiding under the hood. The base model is the Seven 360, similar in specifications with the Roadsport 175 currently sold in the United Kingdom. Hopefully we’ll get to drive one and share our impressions soon enough. Meanwhile, make sure you check out the in-depth review below.

Click past the jump to read more about the Caterham Seven 360

The Cadillac Escalade may have lost its pop-culture credibility in recent years, but it’s still a popular SUV by all accounts. The launch of the all-new 2015 model continues a proud tradition for the American automaker. But Cadillac still didn’t take long to offer numerous enhancements to the just-launched Escalade when it announced the launch of the range-topping Escalade Platinum Collection.

As you can expect, the Platinum Collection has a lot of shiny, new hand-crafted luxury additions to both the exterior and interior of this hulking luxury SUV, providing new incentives for buyers to toss moolah in Cadillac’s direction. That’s what customers are expected to receive with the new Escalade Platinum Edition and yet, it’s not the only change Cadillac has given to the new Escalade.

Equally important updates come in the form of new tech features for the entire Escalade range, beginning with the base model all the way to the Platinum Collection. A new eight-speed automatic transmission is now standard on all models, replacing the six-speed automatic version that came with the first wave of 2015 Escalade models. The new batch of luxury SUVs will also receive 4G LTE connectivity with a WiFi hotspot courtesy of OnStar, as well as the Surround View technology that provides a bird’s-eye view of the immediate vicinity surrounding the Escalade.

It’s a little surprising that Cadillac already has updates for the Escalade so soon after the new model was launched. It’s unlikely we’ll see the Escalade receive the same pop culture treatment it once did, but for what it’s worth, this luxury SUV will continue to have a place in the market now and in the future.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac Platinum Collection.

Two years after unveiling the E-Type — built between 1961 and 1975, and known as one of the most beautiful vehicles ever designed — the folks at Jaguar rolled out a lighter version of the model specifically developed for racing . Dubbed E-Type Lightweight, it featured an all-aluminum body and engine block, and had most of its interior trim removed, making it 250 pounds lighter than the standard E-Type. Only 12 units of this track-purpose vehicles were built, although Jaguar’s initial plan was to conceive 18 of them. Believe it or not, the Brits have just decided to make use of the remaining designated chassis numbers and construct six more Lightweight E-Types exactly 50 years after the final original example left the factory.

The mission of recreating these race cars to their original specifications based on already designated chassis numbers had fallen into the hands of Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations , the same performance arm that developed the F-Type Project 7 and the Range Rover Sport SVR . An authentic blast from the past, the Lightweight E-Type comes with everything the classic racer had to offer, including an aluminum-block, straight-six engine and a stripped out interior. And if you think the "new" Lightweight E-Type is nothing more than a museum piece, you’d better think again. The sports cars have been built to FIA’s homologation requirements for historic racing, meaning we should be seeing them in action during events such as the Goodwood Festival of Speed .

Update 8/12/2014: Just as suspected after Jaguar Land Rover revealed the Range Rover SVR ahead of its Pebble Beach debut, JLR has chosen to also reveal the much-anticipated "New" Lightweight E-Type prototype — dubbed "Car Zero" ahead of its Pebble Beach debut. Check out all of the details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jaguar Lightweight E-Type.

The Porsche Macan probably doesn’t need any more aesthetic upgrades; it already looks like a born and bred Porsche , right down to the subtle styling hints attributed to its big brother, the Cayenne. But who am I to tell Porsche what it can and can’t do, especially when it comes to offering new personalization options for its new crossover ? The truth is, Porsche Exclusive’s new options for the Macan are added luxuries to the Macan. You don’t need it, but it’s nice to know that it’s being offered, you know, just in case you want to give your Macan a personalized touch.

Porsche Exclusive’s Sport Design package comes with a comprehensive list of upgrades, including lights and aero upgrades. New bi-xenon headlights are available, as are dark-colord LED rear lights, both of which are part of the Sport Design package. These lights come with the new Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) and are matched with smoked LED rear taillights with their own dark red lenses.

A new front apron, side-sill panels, side blades, and a new lower rear bumper section are also being offered in case an owner wants a more dynamic-looking Macan. You can also opt to install a new set of 21-inch Sport Classic wheels that Porsche is offering in three color options and finish off your personalized Macan with a new sports exhaust system with modified silencers and a pair of stainless steel chrome-plated twin tailpipes.

Don’t worry. The Macan’s interior was also given its due attention. The Sport Design package features a new ’Limed Oak’ interior package that includes overlays to the decorative trim on the doors and instrument panel.

Click past the jump to read more about Porsche Macan.

Aston Martin’s Q by Aston Martin division has created some pretty delicious personalized models since it was launched in 2012. In a lot of ways, it’s become one of the best things Aston Martin has done in recent years. So when Aston Martin announced that four unique Q by Aston Martin models will be displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance , the excitement behind it is completely legitimate. The Aston Martin DB9 Volante is one of the models that will be given the Q by Aston Martin treatment. I’ve looked at all four examples headed to Pebble Beach and there’s no question in my mind that the DB9 Volante is a stunner.

It’s just a beautiful, personalized Aston Martin that exudes all the best things the brand is known for. It’s also unique enough that you probably won’t see another Aston Martin dressed in the same colors anytime soon.

That’s the beauty of the Q by Aston Martin division. It creates examples that are so unique and personally detailed that you can’t help but wonder why Aston Martin doesn’t release more of these models to the public.

The Pebble Beach-bound Aston Martin DB9 Volante Q by Aston Martin is a perfect example of that.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Aston Martin DB9 Volante By Q.

You know when you’re a kid in a toy store and you’re presented with four toys to pick from, but the issue is that you really want all of them? That’s what Aston Martin’s new lineup of Q by Aston Martin models feels like. Is it possible to just pick all of them as my favorite? I admittedly chose the DB9 Volante version, but the V12 Vantage S is tugging at my conscience.

Q by Aston Martin’s work on the V12 Vantage S, which is set to debut at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance, deserves all the adulation it can get. It’s rich body color exemplifies Aston Martin’s luxurious image. The intricate detail of the interior is also a sight to behold, kind of like looking at a design masterpiece of the highest order.

Just looking at these models bound for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is tough enough on its own. I can only imagine how difficult it is for an Aston Martin customer to get their hands on a Q by Aston Martin-personalized model.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S By Q.

The Lexus LS is the crown jewel of Lexus’ luxury car lineup. It also belongs in a segment that includes the Mercedes S-Class , the Audi A8 , and the BMW 7 Series . That’s the epitome of competition right there. So how does Lexus separate the LS 460 F Sport from this three-headed German monster? Create a special edition line with TUMI, the ultimate lifestyle and accessories manufacturer, of course.

The collaboration between the Japanese auto brand and the high-end lifestyle and accessories company is called The Crafted Line. The good news is that the Crafted Line is available across a wide range of Lexus models. The bad news, at least in the case of the LS 460 F Sport , is that it has the fewest allotment of available models at just 750 units.

The LS 460 F Sport might feel slighted that the ES and the RX 350 F Sport both received 1,500 units of the Crafted Line, but look at this way, the LS 460 F Sport is the one model that can still stand out even without the goodies that come with the Crafted Line. That comes with the territory of already being a high-end luxury sedan.

The flip side to that is its exclusivity. With just 750 units available, we expect the LS 460 F Sport Crafted Line Edition to have plenty of interested buyers as soon as the model is launched in November 2014. In the meantime, look for the entire Crafted Line collection to be featured prominently at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus LS Crafted Line Edition.


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