sports cars

sports cars

  Sports Cars are engineered to go around corners and straight lines as fast as possible. They are usually expensive, dangerous and so much fun that everybody wants one. Owning a sports car is a gratifying experience but it will cost you money and back pain as they are usually expensive to maintain and not very comfortable. But who cares as they look like supermodels at the beach.

The Fiat 500 Abarth is one of my all-time favorite cars. It is an uncommon dose of fun and lunacy in our increasingly beige automotive world. What is a mildly eccentric Italian company to do after creating such a machine? Apparently the answer is to create an even faster and hard-core version to take racing.

Meet the 695 Assetto Corse Evoluzione.

Fiat already has an Abarth Assetto Corse for both the 500 and 695 cars, but this new Evoluzione model turns things up to 11. Power is up, weight is down, and in true race car fashion, there are a lot of minor improvements learned over the last few years of competition combine to make repairs and adjustments easier. The car obviously still retains the full complement of FIA-approved safety equipment.

If you already own one of the older 695 Assetto cars and want to stay competitive in the Trofei series, Fiat is offering the full Evoluzione kit as an upgrade.

Read on to get the scoop on all the new upgrades and enhancements.

Hennessey Perfromance ’s most recent projects included power updates for the 2014 Corvette Stingray and 2014 Chevrolet SS . If you’ve been with us the past couple of months, you may also know that its Lotus Exige -based Venom GT is the world’s fastest production car, albeit an unofficial record, at 270.49 miles per hour.

But these aren’t the only vehicle Hennessey has meddled with in its Texas workshop lately. The company has added its familiar HPE700 package to a couple of European sports cars , such as the recently-discontinued McLaren MP4-12C and the Ferrari 458 Spider, as well.

Tuning an already fast Ferrari 458 might sound insane to some, but nothing’s too extreme for the folks over at Hennessey, who have added a pair of ball bearing turbochargers in order to increase output up to a neck-breaking 738 horses and 532 pound-feet of torque.

The twin-turbo Ferrari was also enhanced with a new fuel system, a stainless steel exhaust system, among other goodies, while being fitted with the HPE Engine Management Calibration for optimized performance.

These updates enables the Texas-tweaked 458 Spider to launch from 0 to 60 mph in only 2.8 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 10.5 seconds at 137 miles per hour.

Automakers taking the web series route have become prevalent these days. Koenigsegg has "Inside Koenigsegg" and Chevrolet Racing has the "Track to Street" series in the middle of the ALMS season. Now, Aston Martin is joining in on the fun with the debut of the "Discover Aston Martin DB9" web series.

Unlike the technical nature of Inside Koenigsegg and the action-packed episodes of Track to Street, Discover Aston Martin DB9 takes a dramatic look at one of the British automaker’s most esteemed models.

The first episode gives a full overview of the iconic DB9 , complete with interviews with two men greatly responsible for its development: design director Marek Reichman and director of product development Ian Minards.

WIth the history and pedigree of the DB9 as it relates to Aston Martin, it’s no wonder why the company holds the model in high regard, attributing its appeal to a legacy of style and innovation that has defined the model and the company.

Or simply put, as Reichman describes the DB9, "it’s the backbone of Aston Martin."

Naturally aspirated engines seem destined for the endangered species’ list as forced induction makes its way into nearly every mainstream category. The latest example is the new SL400 roadster Mercedes announced today. It’s a direct replacement for the SL350 roadster with the only real change centered around the new 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6.

The new biturbo V-6 might be down on displacement from its 3.5-liter predecessor, but it makes up for it with power — 26 extra horses and 81 extra pound-feet. Mercedes says 0 to 62 mph time will drop 0.7 seconds, doing the deed in 5.2 seconds on its way to its 155-mph governed top speed. While Mercedes does have a nine-speed transmission available for use, the German automaker decided the current seven-speed unit would suffice for the SL400.

The biturbo V-6 was first seen last year in the E400 sedan, though it made less power. Like that engine, the SL400’s mill features some pretty snazzy tech to create tire-turning torque while keeping the EPA (and customers’ wallets) happy. Its direct-injection fuel system features Piezo injectors that squirt fuel up to five times per power stroke for an even burn. The pressure at which they operate is varied based on engine mapping and certain conditions. Lighting the fuel is an ignition system that creates multiple sparks over during the same power stroke of each piston. Just like the fuel, the individual spark events are variable in their timing — all in an effort for the cleanest, most power-producing burn possible.

Mercedes says the SL400 will get 32 mpg while producing minimal tailpipe emissions.

Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes-Benz SL 400.

The seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette was launched with great success in the 2014 model year, grabbing numerous awards, including the TopSpeed Car of the Year , and exceeding GM ’s initial expectations in terms of sales. In fact, demand for the 2014 Corvette Stingray was so high it prompted Chevrolet to adjust 2015 pricing in line with demand by increasing the sports car ’s MSRP by $2,000.

The vehicle’s popularity is likely to continue into the 2015 model year as well, although the Corvette Stingray is not scheduled to receive too many updates. Needless to say, the C7 is fresh enough to give its competitors a run for their money without any visual or performance-related enhancements.

On the other hand, Chevrolet has been working on numerous ways to improve the Corvette Stingray in other areas, such as fuel economy and driving experience, and it appears to have obtained that by developing an all-new gearbox.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

Details about a possible M2 model surfaced at the end of May 2011 when BMW confirmed that the coupe and cabrio version of the 1-Series would be sold as the 2-Series . Now, thanks to the British magazine, AutoExpress, more details are available on this new sports car.

The new BMW M2 will be built on the company’s F21 platform that will also be used for the next 2-Series model. It will be an entry-level sports car featuring a front-mounted engine mated to all-new DCT semi-automatic transmission. As of right now, the likely engine is the 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo delivering about 400 horses. One of the most innovative features of the upcoming M2 will be the intense use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics first used in theM3 CRT and also announced for the upcoming BMW i8 .

In an interview with the British magazine, the M Division’s new managing director, Dr Friedrich Nitschke said: "In the 1M Coupe , we have a starter car for the M Division, and we are continuing to develop this project. Such models must be sporty, and offer extraordinarily low fuel consumption. This is something we could achieve with the M2. I think the 1M Coupe proves there is room for an M2, a coupe."

Although BMW feels there is room for an M2 model, don’t expect it to arrive until late 2015. At that point, models like the Porsche Cayman and the Audi TT RS may need a little jump-start to deal with the added competition.

Updated 04/07/2014: LeftLaneNews reports that the next BMW M2 will be powered by a twin-turbocharged variant of the 3.0-liter straight-six found under the hood of the M235i, and with the output increased to about 380 to 400 horsepower — 60 to 80 horsepower more than the M235i. This will allow the M2 to go from 0 to 60 mph in a little over four seconds. The M2 should be put on sale in 2016 at a price of about $55k.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M2.

Source: AutoExpress

Now here’s something you really don’t want to try at home, folks! Whatever you do, don’t use a brand new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to dive into the pool. In fact, don’t use any kind of vehicle if you want to go for a swim.

The soaked 2014 Camaro ZL1 you’re about to see in the video below wasn’t actually used for a pool diving stunt. According to news reports, the driver lost control of the muscle car and ran through a fence before plunging into the water. There’s no info as to what happened before the vehicle left the road, but my guess is that the owner wasn’t exactly gentle with the throttle. The incident occurred in Northwest Harris Country, Texas.

Fortunately enough, the driver escaped without a scratch, but we can’t say the same about the $60,000 Camaro, which is basically ruined after being submerged under water. Local police said the driver may be ticketed for speeding. Hopefully his next car won’t have the same awful fate...

Click past the jump for the video of the car being recovered and to read more on the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

ATS Autosport’s purchase of the DeTomaso name last November has given rise to speculation that the company is planning to bring back the DeTomaso brand. Well, according to Autocar, ATS has bigger plans that apparently also include the development of two other sports cars .

The 1960s Italian automaker has set its sights on returning to sports-car manufacturing and a pair of sports cars are already being discussed. One is the ATS Sport — the two-seat, track-focused road car we first saw back in October 2012. With the building blocks already in place to revive this project, the £45,000 Sport is likely the easier one to build.

Meanwhile, the other model is billed as the ATS Leggera, a more retro-looking sports car that evokes memories of classic Italian supercars . The Leggera is expected to weigh just 650 kg (1,433 pounds) to go with a GM-sourced, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that could develop anywhere between 210 and 300 horsepower.

In addition to the two planned models, ATS is also looking at a potential relaunch of the DeTomaso brand with an eye towards possibly building a new Pantera sports car that would be based on the company’s existing ATS 2500 GT .

The DeTomaso relaunch probably won’t happen anytime soon, given the amount of work the company is planning to invest on developing its existing line. But never say never with that DeTomaso relaunch; after all, ATS didn’t buy those rights just for the heck of it, right?

Click past the jump to read more about the De Tomaso Pantera.

Source: AutoCar

BMW has been rolling out some intense products this year, especially the new 3- and 4-Series lineups, complete in their sedan and coupe variations. Beyond that, the M version of each have stirred even more commotion in the industry, but one car was missing – The M4 Convertible. Today BMW corrects that as the German automaker divulges all the details and images of the new 2015 M4 drop top.

If you’ve read anything on the new M4 Coupe, the convertible will be highly familiar. Power still comes from the 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six that’s mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed M-DCT transmission. The other go-fast bits like the uncompromising suspension, massive brakes, and free-flowing exhaust are all carried over.

The big news with the car is its three-piece retractable hardtop. With the push of a button, the top folds itself like a piece of origami in just 20 seconds and at speeds up to 11 miles per hour. Cargo room has improved of the last generation M3 Convertible, gaining an extra 0.7 cubic feet of room with the top up and an impressive 7.8 cubic feet of extra room when the top is folded down. Unfortunately, the extra space and all the drop-top hardware comes at a heavy cost — an extra 525 pound cost over a comparable M4 Coupe.

The news of the M4 Convertible comes before its official debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show happening April 16. Though BMW is only jumping the gun by a few weeks, the information gives us a chance to really dig into the M4 Convertible once we see it roll across the all-important New York stage.

More details will roll out soon, so stay tuned.

Updated 04/07/2014: BMW announced that the all-new M4 Convertible will be priced at $73,425 — an increase of also $8k over the hardtop version.

Click past the jump to see the spy shots up close and to read more about the M4 Convertible

The demise of the Mitsubishi EVO as we currently know it could have been the death knell that pushed Mitsubishi over the edge. But the company is determined not to let the circumstance of the EVO’s fate dictate its own. That’s probably why a lot of people are getting excited with recent reports that a resurrected — and hybrid — 3000GT could replace the current EVO.

According to Auto Express, a hybrid 2+2 coupe that will take its cues from the 3000GT could be in the cards for Mitsubishi. This future model, should it get green lit by Mitsubishi execs, could potential use a modified version of the all-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid technology that’s currently being used by the Outlander PHEV .

Adding further credence to this rumor are talks that the next hybrid will be offered as a hybrid, something Lance Bradley, Managing Director of Mitsubishi Motors UK, alluded to when he told Auto Express that while no specific plans have been laid about the next EVO, there’s "interest and willingness within [Mitsubishi] to produce one", albeit one that will carry a hybrid powertrain.

"There is demand for a car which performs well and makes problem feel good for themselves in terms of its efficiency," Bradley added. "If we can do an SUV which emits just 44g/km of CO2 then we can do the same with a performance car.”

That’s likely where talks of bringing back the 3000GT, which we haven’t seen since 1999, comes into the picture. Back in its heyday, the 3000GT was Mitsbushi’s resident 2+2 sports car that matched wits with the likes of the Mazda RX-7 and the Nissan 300ZX .

Times are changing with more and more companies turning their attention to hybrid technology for their sports cars. The way things are shaping up over at Mitsubishi, it does look like the company is the next to follow in that direction.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Mitsubishi Lancer Evo XI.

Source: AutoExpress

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