Simona

Simona graduated from the Faculty of Computer Science in 2005, and landed a position with Top Speed in 2006. Since joining the team, she has come to realize that few things evoke as much joy as cruising down a twisty mountainside in the newest sports car.
With cars being a relatively new addition to Simona’s list of favorite things, she learns something new with each model as she passes the information on to you.

Posted on by Simona  

With a history that began in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 is one of the best sold convertibles on the market. In its 21 years of history, the MX-5 saw three different generations, numerous design updates, and even more engine changes. However, the most impressive update has been announced for the fourth generation that is set to be launched in 2012.

The Mazda MX-5 will remain a rear-wheel drive compact sports coupe with exterior design inspired by the Shinari Concept unveiled earlier this year. With the new generation, Mazda will focus on reducing the total weight to less than 1,000 kilos.

At the launch of the Shinari concept, Ikuo Maeda, general manager of Mazda Motor Corp.’s design division said: "this design will lead to the next generation of Mazda design and will lead to other elements." Guess the MX-5 will be among the first to adopt Mazda’s new "Kodo - Soul of Motion" design language.

Update 4/17/2014: The 2015 MX-5’s chassis and engine debuted at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, and its lightweight construction will help drop 220 pounds from the MX-5’s weight. See more after the jump.

Hit the jump to read more about the fourth generation Mazda MX-5.

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Chrysler and its subsidiaries — Mopar, in particular — are rolling into the 2013 SEMA Show with quite an amazing entourage of vehicles. Together they have developed over 20 new vehicles for this show, and one of them is a new Scat Package that pays tribute to legendary "Scat Pack Club" offered back in 1968.

The new package comes just in time to celebrate Scat’s 45th anniversary, and it will be offered for the 2014 Dodge Challenger , Charger and Dart models. The new Scat Package will be available starting the spring of 2014.

For the Challenger, the Scat Package is all about bumping up the output of the 5.7-Liter HEMI V-8 and it will come in three different stages: Scat Package 1, 2 and 3. The only issue is that Chrysler has yet to formally announce how the kits will affect the HEMI’s output.

Updated 04/03/2014: Dodge released today performance numbers and prices for the Scat 1, 2 and 3 packages offered for the 2014 Challenger. Check the new numbers after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Dodge Challenger with Scat Package.

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When it comes to the possibility of a BMW X7, we’ve heard all kinds of things. First, there were rumors saying it would be produced and then the rumors were pulled back saying that plans for the X7 had been canceled . Now, we finally have official confirmation of the range-topping X-Series model.

This announcement really came out of left field, and was buried deep in a press release regarding the company’s South Carolina plant. The reason it ended up in this release was because it will be the newest addition to the plant’s workflow in 2016. Despite being built here in the U.S., the X7 will be a part of Bimmer ’s global market, with a lot of the demand coming from the growing Chinese market.

For now, the details are scarce, but there are some assumptions to be made about what engines it will carry and the basic styling.

Updated 03/31/2014: BMW officially confirmed that the future X7 luxury SUV will be produced at the company’s Spartanburg plant stating 2016. "With the BMW X7, we are developing another, larger X model, which we will produce at our U.S. plant for our world markets – once again underscoring our commitment to the U.S."

Hit the jump to read more about the future BMW X7.

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The first rumors about a new Maserati sedan placed under the current Quattroporte appeared at the beginning of 2010, but after a couple of months of heating up the air waves, the new car fell by the wayside while everyone made room for the new Audis, Ferrari Ferrari s, and such. Now, with just two weeks before the car’s official debut in Shanghai, Maserati has dropped the first details on its latest addition to the lineup.

Based on the same platform as the new generation Quattroporte , the new Ghibli sedan features a sportier character when compared to its big brother. Also, unlike previous rumors, for the new Ghibli, Maserati will only use two V-6 engines, while the V-8 engine used in the Quattroporte won’t be used.

Maserati revealed nothing on the car’s price just yet, but considering the new Ghibli will play a significant role in Maserati’s growth plan to sell 50,000 cars per year, we expect the price to be kept somewhere in the $70k area.

Updated 03/26/2014: Maserati unveiled a new video showing the new Ghibli in action at the Nurburgring. Enjoy!

Hit the jump to read more about the future Maserati Ghibili.

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Well, that was quick, wasn’t it? The joint development deal that was supposed to net two sports cars bearing the same underpinnings under the Renault and Caterham names is apparently over. We reported earlier that there was a riff between the two companies, and according to multiple sources, the two have decided to nix the joint-development deal altogether.

According to these reports, both the Caterham and Renault cars are still on schedule for a 2016 release, but there is no information on whether they will continue to share the same architecture. Earlier reports claimed that Caterham approved a design from Renault, but the French company later tried to stuff the toothpaste back in the tube after customers didn’t respond well to the initial design. The Caterham bosses didn’t take too kindly to this, but they were assured that the project would remain Renault’s No. 1 priority.

Well, with the 50-50 venture now completely off track Caterham is free to continue with its designing process completely free from Renault’s nervous trigger finger.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Renault will eventually pull the plug on its project altogether citing demand issues, and Caterham will modify the car to better match its current design language. This would be a sad ending to a promising campaign, but it seems like Renault lost interest at some point and Caterham really has no need for a sports car like this in its lineup.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more on this topic.

Click past the jump to read more about Renault - Caterham joint sports car.

Source: AutoCar
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Ultra-luxury brands beware, another one of your comrades is falling down the shame spiral and building a - gasp - SUV! Sure that’s a little dramatic, but so are all of the people that are scoffing at the fact that Bentley has now confirmed a new SUV scheduled to hit their lineup sometime in 2015. If everyone remembers correctly, these are the same people that were horrified that Porsche decided to build the Cayenne and look how well that turned out for them.

Now, with a 37-percent increase in sales in 2011 (to 7,003 vehicles sold), Bentley is looking to double this number by the time this new SUV, rumored to have the name "Falcon" — comes out by making it "the world’s most luxurious 4x4" SUV and targeting growing SUV markets like the U.S. and China. The "luxurious" title will also match the price; rumors point to the starting price for this future SUV coming in at $271,000, making the $48,200 starting price of the Porsche Cayenne look like it belongs on a Kia Sportage .

So, what constitutes the jumbo price tag? Other than the supposedly tremendous amount of luxury built into the future SUV, rumors are swirling that a V-8 twin-turbocharged engine would be the standard powerplant and a W-12 engine is a possible option.

Bentley is taking a big step with its improving sales by giving an SUV a chance to flourish. Does the world need a strong competitor for the Porsche Cayenne? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that high-end customers with deep pockets won’t be writing out checks for a chance to wallow in the luxurious nature promised by Bentley.

Updated 3/19/2014: Bentley just released the first teaser image of its new SUV, which is rumored to be called the Falcon. You can see the image after the jump.

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When Lexus lifted the veiled from the 2014 IS , we had a feeling that a coupe variant , now known as the RC, was on the way. Though the coupe was a no-brainer, the F variant was a little more uncertain.

Well, we received some confirmation on both models today, as our spy shooters caught an RC F out and about testing, . From the looks of things, Lexus is planning to really ramp up its competition with BMW and its upcoming M4 .

So, how exactly do know that this is no ordinary RC ? We can answer that query quite simply: despite the heavy camouflage, we can still see the aggressive front end with big air intakes on the corners, a hood scoop and a four-end-pipe exhaust system.

For now, we really don’t know Lexus’ plans with the RC F, but rumors suggested that the it could drop the 5.0-liter V-8 engine in favor of a totally new, naturally aspirated or turbocharged engine and more recent rumors point to a 460-horsepower V-8. No matter the engine, you can rest assured that it will have to deliver at least 450 horsepower in order to make it the RC F competitive against the Bimmer M4.

Updated 01/14/2014: The new Lexus RC F made its world debut today and Lexus finally shed some details about what powers this beast. Find them out after the jump.

Updated 02/18/2014: Lexus unveiled a new video featuring the new RC F sports coupe as seen in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Enjoy!

Updated 03/18/2014: A leaked brochure of the new Lexus RC-F revealed more details on all the packages offered for the sports coupe. Check them out after the jump. (Club Lexus)

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lexus RC F.

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Rumors about a possible Koenigsegg One:1 special edition started to surface on the Internet a long while back. Initially, the odd usage of the number one in its name was because it will be a one-off model, but as more details came out we found that this is actually because the car has one horsepower per kg — an almost unobtainable feat.

Unfortunately, the One:1 is not only fast, but it is also super-rare, as only six units will be released. On top of that, all six units have been sold for a handsome sum of about $2.4 million, with the majority of them heading to the Chinese market.

With its limited numbers and huge power output, the Koenigsegg One:1 will become an almost immediate legend in the supercar world.

Updated 2/28/14: Koenigsegg revealed the One:1 to the world to loads of ohhs and ahhs. You can see all of the details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the upcoming Koenigsegg One:1.

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The 911 Targa came, and we loved what we saw. With 350 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque in tow, however, there was lots of room to grow. According to sources in the know, the 911 Targa Turbo will make its debut at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show .

This means that the removable-top sports car is primed to receive a 520-horsepower, 3.8-liter flat-six engine, and may even hit 360 horsepower if Porsche gives the Targa treatment to the Turbo S model. Now this is what we have been waiting for!

There is no confirmation of the 911 Targa Turbo , but according to Jalopnik, the source reporting this news is quite reliable. We’ll keep an eye on the 911 Targa Turbo , and pass more information on once we get some more in-depth information.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 Targa Turbo and about the current 911 Targa.

Source: Jalopnik

We all know that the Bugatti Veyron is the current record holder as the world’s fastest production car, and that just didn’t sit right with John Hennessey and his team. So, they set out to destroy the record, bringing the title back to the good ol’ U.S. of A. After negotiating with NASA to use its landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center, the record was prime for the taking.

Well, as expected, the Venom GT was the car for the job, and it completed its end of the task by hitting a Vbox-verified 270.49 mph — the Veyron Super Sport topped out at 267.81 mph. Unfortunately, Guinness Book of World Records again catered to Bugatti, as it will not recognize the record because NASA only allowed one run, and the record book requires two runs — down and back — to confirm the average top speed.

So, why didn’t Hennessey negotiate for one more pass down the landing strip? That’s because it would have been pointless, as Guinness defines a "production car" as one with at least 30 examples built and Hennessey only has 29 slotted for production this year.

Well, I say screw Guinness and their Bugatti -loving tactics has confirmed that it can smoke the Veyron, plus it is better looking and cheaper — a win-win-win!

Source: TopGear

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