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.

If you just heard a collective groan between your ears, chances are you’re part of the collective masses that just heard about BMW’s plan to offer less than 500 i8 sports cars in North America. We already knew from the start that BMW had no plans of mass-producing the i8, but just 500 earmarked for North America?

But no matter how disappointing that is, it probably won’t dissuade BMW of North America CEO Ludwig Willisch from adding more models in the NA inventory in the near future. That could change if the hybrid supercar sells like hot pancakes, but for now, it’s only sending 500 to North America.

So what’s the rationale behind it? Willisch didn’t elaborate on that so we’re assuming that BMW wants to test the North
American market first on how it receives the i8 when it arrives. It might be ridiculous to imagine why a car so lauded as the i8 needs to "test a market" but remember, BMW is essentially venturing into uncharted territory with this model, developing it as a hybrid that promises the best in performance and efficiency.

On top of that, the i8 isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Starting price is at $136,625, including shipping, so it’s not like people will just line up to buy the car when sales begin in August 2014.

Or maybe they will, which explains why it’s weird for BMW to limit the allotment of i8s to just 500 in North America.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

We already know all the details in and around the 2015 ATS Coupe , Cadillac ’s main weapon against the new-generation BMW 4 Series , but we have yet to find out too much about the high-performance ATS-V version, which is supposed to give the M4 fits. And that’s because Caddy has been keeping everything under wraps, including the actual design of the car, leaving room for wild speculation. What we do know for a fact is that the brawny coupe will arrive in dealerships for the 2015 model year.

What’s more, a recent video coming from TFL Car suggests the production version is nearly ready to hit the assembly line. The heavily camouflaged ATS-V Coupe was spotted stretching its legs on a mountain road and it is widely known that high-altitude testing typically means the vehicle is very close to its production setup.

Although the camouflage manages to hide nearly every single detail on the car, the twin exhaust pipes are enough proof that there’s an actual ATS-V Coupe under the fake skin. The vehicle also appears to be very fast when the driver drops the hammer, with the TFL team having a hard time keeping up with it at the end of the video.

Speaking of velocity, there’s no word as to what might be motivating the new ATS-V Coupe, but our money is on GM ’s twin-turbo, 3.6-liter, V-6 engine, which should generate between 450 and 500 horsepower. The beefed-up two-door will borrow most of its cues from the 2015 ATS Coupe, but look out for a more aggressive pair of bumpers, wider fenders, a lowered ride height and performance tires.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed for more details on Cadillac’s upcoming street rocket.

The Porsche Cayman topic is hotter than ever with a new, range-topping GTS model getting ready to hit dealerships and an even more powerful GT4 version under development. Still shrouded in mystery, the latter has been been spotted earlier this week wearing its 911 GT3 -like rear wing and lower stance.

If the batch of spy shots sent to us by our skilled photographers weren’t enough to quench your Cayman GT4 thirst, then this new video that surfaced the web should provide you a lot more joy. Unfortunately, the sound isn’t too revealing in regard to what engine might be lying at the rear and the sports car was taking a leisurely stroll rather than attacking the Ring.

Details aren’t likely to arrive anytime soon, but word has it the GT4 will benefit from up to 400 horsepower. Word has it the oomph may come from a hybrid powertrain that will include either an updated 3.4-liter inline-six or a four-cylinder unit.

If the rumor proves to be true, Porsche will finally deliver a true mid-engine sports car that will step into 911 territory as far as performance is concerned. No need to worry though, the 911 won’t be rendered useless, as the iconic vehicle is also set to receive a hybrid version that will have more than 700 horsepower at its disposal.

This is starting to make us wonder if there is something in the mix for the Boxster too — the Cayman’s topless sibling.

About a month ago French automaker Renault revealed plans to break the eight-minute mark around the Nurburgring track with a front-wheel-drive vehicle prepped by its performance arm, Renault Sport.

Our first thought went toward a beefed-up version of the Megane as soon as we saw the first teaser shot released by Renault . Now that the vehicle has been finally unveiled, we got confirmation that the French have been working on a new iteration of the RS Trophy .

Developed specifically to regain its Nurburgring record from the Seat Leon SC Cupra 280 , which lapped the iconic track in 7:58.4 minutes, the Megane RS 275 Trophy will be sold as a limited-edition hatchback with exclusive features and a slightly more powerful engine.

Renault has yet to announce whether the new Megane Trophy managed to restore its rule on the "Green Hell" and it appears we’ll have to wait for an official statement on June 16. Until then, let’s have a closer look at the hot hatch we won’t be seeing in the United States, where Renault isn’t likely to return too soon.

Click past the jump to read more about the Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy.

This is it, BMW . Years of research, testing, and development has culminated in the upcoming release of the new BMW i8 . With the arrival of BMW’s first plug-in hybrid supercar drawing closer and closer, the German automaker has launched a global campaign to showcase the history of the i8, from its genesis as a concept vehicle all the way to its arrival in dealerships in August 2014. The campaign began on May 9th and will run the gamut of media platforms, ranging from TV spots and print ads, all of which tell the story of a car that has, in so many ways, become synonymous with BMW technology.

The unquestioned star of this campaign is the i8, putting the focus on the hybrid supercar ’s design, performance, and innovation. If anything, BMW is pulling out all the stops with this media blitz, enlisting Gus Van Sant, the man behind Oscar-winning films such as “Good Will Hunting," “Milk” and “My Private Idaho," to direct the three TV spots, namely "Genesis," "Powerful Idea," and "Attitude".

Complementing the TV spots will be a series of seven print ads that highlight the i8’s attributes as a real car for the ages. Like Van Sant’s work on the TV spots, these print ads carry the cache of being photographed by renowned photographer Uwe Düttmann.

If there was any question as to how important the BMW i8 is to the Bavarian automaker, the fact that the company is going to this length to promote the hybrid supercar tells you that the i8 could very well be one of those iconic cars that defines this BMW generation.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

Although it hasn’t been developed as a road-legal car and very few people have access to it, the Ferrari 458 Challenge Evoluzione will always enchant us by putting all of its racing skills to good use on the track.

Whether it’s being hooned in the Challenge series or simply enjoyed by a customer on any course located in Europe or the United States, the 458 Evoluzione is a joy to watch - especially in race livery - and hear.

With 562 horsepower coming out of the 4.5-liter, V-8 engine, the 458 Challenge sounds like a proper, track-prepped sports car should and reminds us that the Italians haven’t forgotten about Enzo’s main dream — delivering the ultimate race car .

Built to 2014 Challenge specifications, the new 458 Challenge has already made its debut in the series in January, at Daytona, while the second race took place earlier this month at the Sonoma Raceway in California. Ferrari used this recent event to put together an awesome video with the race car lapping the track with Conrad Grunewald behind the steering wheel.

In case you’re wondering, Grunewald is the coach of Ferrari of Huston and a Formula Drift driver, meaning he’s more than qualified to drop the hammer on the 458’s gas pedal. The interesting thing about the video is that the pilot is also offering a brief tutorial on how to approach each and every curve on the Sonoma track in terms of speed and gearing. Enjoy!

The Ariel Atom might lack in aesthetic appeal for the culturally inclined, but where lacks in sophisticated beauty, it more than makes up for with a driving experience unlike any other. Now, imagine if you have an Atom that’s more powerful than anything in its lineup outside of the Atom 500 .

This here is the Atom 3.5R (a faster and more powerful version of the Atom 3.5 ), and yes, that "R" attached to its name means an Atom that comes with a host of upgrades, visual and aerodynamic improvements, improved transmission and suspension setups, and of course a supercharger.

One of the most impressive qualities of the Atom is its weight, or lack thereof. Weighing just 1,220 pounds, the Atom’s skeletal structure lends itself to the kind of unnerving performance that makes test driving the car tantamount to a near-death experience. It’s no wonder why those who have driven the Atom attest to its capabilities in contorting their faces into a unique combination of shapes.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ariel Atom 3.5R.

Remember last week’s report claiming Porsche is working on a Cayman model that will slot above the already exciting GTS? The rumor surfaced only one month after the Cayman GTS was unveiled to the world, making it seem a bit suspicious, but it appears it wasn’t just tittle-tattle.

We’ve received confirmation for Motor Trend’s piece straight from our spy photographers stationed in Germany, who have captured the sports car while being driven on the country’s public roads.

Design-wise, the GT4 — the name has yet to be confirmed — isn’t astonishingly different when compared to the Cayman GTS, but some new elements are there to point out that we’re dealing with a completely new version. For starters, check out the cool wing mounted at the back, making this sports car the GT3 of the Cayman lineup.

Then there’s the revised front bumper. Although it carries styling cues seen on the GTS, the intakes are rather raw in appearance, lacking the beauty elements seen on the current range-topping model. Getting back to the car’s rear fascia, the wing isn’t the only addition. A new, protuberant spoiler has been attached between the taillights, reminding us of the 911 GT3 RS.

The engine that will be motivating the Cayman GT4 is a mystery, but it appears Porsche has already decided to go with a hybrid powertrain. It’s not clear whether the Germans will pair the electric motor with a four-cylinder or an inline-six engine, but the consensus is that the outcome will depend on the 919 Hybrid ’s performance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans this summer.

Output is expected to sit around 400 horsepower, while pricing is rumored to be set at $125,000, a whooping $50,000 more than the Cayman GTS and only $5,000 below the 911 GT3. This may seem a little counterproductive for Porsche, considering it will outmatch the 911 Carrera S in nearly every measurable, but there is a plug-in hybrid version of the 911 in the works that is rumored to crank out over 700 ponies and the Turbo S with 560 ponies, giving buyers plenty of options to choose from in both the Cayman and 911 lineups without rendering the 911 obsolete.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Porsche Cayman GT4.

It’s been a while since Honda had a sports car to call its own. Between 2000 and 2009, the S2000 proudly wore that title, but it slowly fizzled out toward the end of its lifespan. Things are soon set to change, as recent rumblings have indicated that Honda is finally bringing the S2000 back to life with a spiritual successor. With the anticipated arrival of the S660 and the hybrid NSX — badged as a Honda in other markets — the S2000’s successor will give the brand a healthy 1-2-3 punch.

It’s a welcome development for a manufacturer that has veered away from its sporty image in recent years in favor of offering mainstream models. But with rival automakers developing their own sports car pushes, it was time for Honda to ante up, too.

Details behind the successor to the S2000 have been minimal at best, but Auto Express has noted that the sports car is expected to be configured as a coupe rather than a convertible. It’ll also sit in the middle of Honda’s sports car family, with the aforementioned S660 serving as the base model and the hybrid NSX serving as the flagship, high-performance model. Additionally, the future S2000 will also use a mid-mounted, 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine instead of the front-mounted, naturally aspirated engine the original S2000 roadster used.

Talks are apparently underway deep within Honda headquarters to gauge the feasibility of this sports car and by all indication, it appears that company execs are leaning more and more to green lighting its development.

Should it see the light of production day, the S2000 is being touted as carrying similar sharp lines and narrow headlights to at least be close to the current design of the NSX, which means that it will be far departure from the current spate of Hondas already out on the market today.

Once all the details are ironed out and development begins, we can expect the sports car to arrive in dealerships no later than 2017 with a price of about £35,000, which is around $59,000 based on current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read more about the Honda S2000.

Source: AutoExpress

BMW has been fitting its M3 cars with inline-six and V-8 engines exclusively for about 22 years now, but that might change in the future, as the Germans are considering a four-cylinder unit for its high-performance sedan .

Speaking to Motoring at the launch of the brand-new M3 and M4 in Portugal, BMW M chief of product management Carsten Pries said we "could see a future M3 powered by a four-cylinder engine" if the company rolls out "a car with less mass."

Although Pries refrained from giving away more details, such a move is likely to take place when the next-generation M3 and M4 arrive. That’s at least six years from now and it means there’s plenty of time for a new four-pot to be developed or for a wholly different strategy to spawn out of Munich.

But if the first scenario comes to fruition, it will be somewhat similar to what BMW did with the all-new M3 and M4. It will reduce the weight of the car and add a smaller unit that will deliver performance figures close to those churned by the current inline-six, but with improved fuel economy.

“Performance can be boosted with more power, but if we are to address issues like emissions and consumption [in the future], we have to look more at weight. We decided in this generation to address the [upward] weight spiral,” Pries added.

Of course, squeezing more than 400 horsepower out of a four-cylinder will give BMW engineers some pains, but the target isn’t impossible to achieve. With Mercedes-Benz and AMG having already managed to get 360 horsepower out of the A45 AMG , it’s hard to believe the Munich crew won’t be able to take it up a notch.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M3.

Source: Motoring

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