The history of the ZDX began back in 2009 when Acura wanted to unveil a model that would take on the BMW X6. Unfortunately for Acura, the ZDX was far from the successful model they were hoping for and so they company announced that the 2013 model year would be the final year for the ZDX.
In hopes of bringing in a few more sales than they are accustomed to, Acura has gone all out to modify the ZDX with a redesigned front grille, new front and rear parking sensors, power folding side mirrors, and new safety features. These features will join the only engine ever to be offered on the ZDX: an all-aluminum 3.7-liter V-6 engine that develops 300 HP and 270 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic transmission.
The 2013 ZDX goes on sale on October 19, 2012, with prices starting at $50,920.
Hit the jump to read more about the Acura ZDX.
The Ford Courier is a small pickup truck sold on the South American and other emergent markets. The vehicle was designed as a compact utilitarian work horse and it’s based on the 1998 Ford Fiesta hatchback. The Ford Courier pickup has a load capacity of 1543 lb. and it’s powered by a 1.6 liter engine which develops 103 hp @ 5500 rpm.
The Ford Courier pickup competes against models like the Fiat Strada, Peugeot Hoggar and Chevrolet Montero. The truck is available only in single cab configuration and power is sent to the front wheels by means of a five speed manual gearbox.
The Courier name is also used by an Australian version of the F-150 pickup. But despite the name coincidence, the small South American Courier it’s totally different than the big Australian pickup.
Two years ago,Audi began to work on something very special indeed. It was called the Anniversario, a coupe concept that was suppose to show off the company’s excellence and it would debut at the Pebble Beach Concours Weekend. Yet, it was around this time that the world’s market collapsed and this sort of show car fell to the bottom of the priority list.
Now, with the economy back on track, Audi is on the verge of having another record sales year. For years and years, Audi has been in the third German automaker in the minds of many, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz leading the way, but those times have changes. They have grown through the years with technological innovations and it just so happens that one of those innovations, Quattro four-wheel drive, is celebrating a birthday. To us, and to Audi in fact, this historical moment seems like the perfect inspiration for the new Quattro.
UPDATE 03/12/2012: During an interview at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Quattro GmbH Product Boss, Stefan Reil, confirmed that Audi has finally made a decision about the production version of the quattro concept. Unfortunately it’s not a desirable one as they have decided there won’t be a production version of the car. The reason behind this decision is that production will require the intense use of lightweight materials such as carbon fiber body panels and many components from aluminum and magnesium, and these elements would jack up the price. (Fourtitude)
Hit the jump to read on.
While the wait for the Mercedes SLS AMG roadster version continues on, Mercedes is making the wait a little more bearable by surprising us with another SLS AMG: the GT3 version. The sports car will compete in the 2011 racing season.
The SLS AMG GT3 features a new new front apron with a splitter, the bonnet with central cooling air vent, wider front and rear wings, sideskirts with cooling ducts for the rear brakes, a rear diffuser and the adjustable rear aerofoil.
The race car will be powered by the same 6.3-liter V8 engine, but has been tuned to deliver an impressive +600 hp, a pretty significant spike from the road-going version of the SLS AMG which comes with a "standard" 571 hp.
Also on the interior, the SLS AMG GT3 version will drop all of its luxury amenities, including the air conditioning, navigation, and upholstery. Instead, the car’s interior will be stripped down to only include a steel rollover cage, a racing bucket seat with a six-point seat belt and HANS system.
UPDATE 09/22/2011: Tobias Moers, Member of the Board of Directors and Head of Vehicle Development for AMG has confirmed that the SLS GT3 would not be racing in the US market because the company did not want to go through the added expense of re-certifying it for use on US soil.
UPDATE 02/10/12: The third part from Mercedes’ series on the SLS AMG GT3’s production has been released. This video talks about the seat customization for the illustrious race car. Enjoy!
UPDATE 04/16/12: With the success the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 enjoyed last year, it was only fitting that Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, would release a video chronicling the successful season the SLS AMG GT3 had last season while competing in a multitude of races all over the world. Check out the video by scrolling through the photo above.
Full story and press release after the jump.
Remember Porsche announced a few days ago it will bring a new mid-engined sports car in LA? Here it is! It is called Cayman R, and not CS as we expected; with R standing for responsive and refined, and of course racing. The name pays tribute to the first Porsche with the "R" designation, the 911 R of 1967. It will go on sale in February 2011, at a price of $66,300.
What makes the difference between a standard Cayman and the R version? First the engine. The Cayman R is powered by a tuned-up 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine that develops an impressive 330 HP. The the sprint from 0 to 60 mph, now made in 4.9 seconds (or 4,7 seconds with the optional Sport Chrono packages) and the top speed of 175 mph with manual gearbox, or 174 mph with PDK.
But that’s not all. With the new Cayman R, Porsche also focused on reducing the car’s weight. For that the company used only lightweight components and renounced to any convenience equipment. There is also a new set 19 inch light wheels. The result is a total weight of 2855 lb and a power-to-weight ration of 8.6 lb per horsepower.
Also for the exterior the Cayman R gets distinctive fixed rear spoiler, high-quality silver-painted wheels and numerous sporting highlights, black-framed headlights, black exterior mirrors and the "PORSCHE" lettering on the side – in contrasting black or silver, depending on the body color.
UPDATE 12/23/2011: It’s been a while since Porsche revealed any details on the spicy Cayman R, but they have now unveiled a new video in which Porsche’s Chief Driving Consultant Gordon Robertson explains the benefits of the Porsche Cayman’s layout as he explores the nuances of the car’s handling and balance. Hit the jump for the video!
The legend is back! Lotus has unveiled today the new Esprit sports car. Described as the "ultimate Lotus," the new Esprit will go into production at the end of 2012, with first deliveries beginning in late 2013, early 2014. Lotus announced an estimated price of £110,000 ($175,000 at the current rates).
At the unveiling of the Evora S model in San Jose in June 2011, Lotus Cars USA PR boss, Kevin Smith, confirmed that the Esprit supercar would be getting Lotus’ in-house V8 engine and both a manual and a dual-clutch transmission. This V8 engine was originally said to deliver between 550 - 570 HP, but actually achieved 570 HP at around 9000rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque at a bit higher than 3000rpm. Lotus Chief Technical Officer, Wolf Zimmermann, says this engine can reach up to 630 HP at 9,400 rpm and 424 lb-ft of torque between 5,500 and 6,000rpm. The V8 weighs in at about 375 lbs, which is about 176 lbs lighter than the original 5.0L V8 Lotus was going to borrow from Lexus. It will be used for both the Esprit and, as confirmed by Smith, an even more exotic Elite.
"One has to be very careful when taking on the challenge of reinventing such an iconic classic as the Esprit – everyone has an opinion. There’s a fine balance between acknowledging the greatness of the past whilst at the same time rapidly leaping forward to the future and ensuring that this car not only does the name Esprit justice but also the Lotus brand. I think we’ve managed to find the balance and in doing so created a new icon, a car people will find hard to resist."
UPDATE 11/21/2011: Lotus officials has confirmed that the next generation Esprit will be powered by a 4.8 liter V8 engine. This new engine will deliver a total of 570 HP in standard version, but the company will be also offering a higher-tuned variant with an output of 620 HP. (Autoblog)
UPDATE 12/12/2011:New details about the future supercar revealed that the Esprit will, in fact, be offered in two versions. A base model will combine a 100 HP electric motor to a normally aspirated V8 engine and a more powerful version will drop the hybrid system and focus on weight-saving measures. (AutoCar)
UPDATE 10/04/2012: According to Lotus Forums, the Esprit has officially been axed. leaving the Elise, Exige, and Evora as the only standing models on the company’s new era lineup.
Press release after the jump.
Next to the Quattro concept, Audi has also unveiled at the Paris Auto Show the e-tron Spyder, a concept rumored to preview the future R4 sports car. But compared to the previous E-tron concept, this one is powered by a turbochargers 3,0 Liter TDI engine with an output of 300 HP, combined with two asynchronous electric motors with a total output of 88 HP. The result is a sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4,4 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph. All this while delivering a fuel economy of 106.92 US mpg.
The E-tron Spyder measures 1.81 meters (5.94 ft) wide, just 4.06 meters (13.32 ft) long and only 1.11 meters (3.64 ft) in height. It features a wide central air inlet, single-frame grille, adaptive matrix beam headlight modules with three-dimensional clear glass covers carbon inserts in the front and side windows and of course 20-inch wheels.
The interior gets a large, display with integrated MMI functions and flanked by two round dials; racing-inspired lightweight bucket seats, contrasting colors and high-quality materials.
UPDATE 10/18/11: The Audi E-Tron Spyder was recently spotted at Mulholland Drive in California doing some test work. And today Audi has unveiled a new video showing the concept in action in Malibu. Also, we have added new photos of the car, which you can check out by heading to the gallery.
Press release after the jump.
Of all the jet skis in Kawasaki’s fleet, the STX isn’t the most fully-equipped of the bunch, but it does offer a lot more than just your average PWC. 40 years of Kawasaki know-how was put into the STX to create a highly-advanced and ruggedly reliable jet-ski that offers one of the best value-for-your-money packages in the market.
Even if it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of some of Kawasaki’s more up-scale jet ski models, the STX still packs a lot of goodies, including the Smart Learning Operation (SLO) and the Kawasaki Smart Steering (KSS). The former is accessible on the jet ski’s instrument panel and can be selected to place a limit on maximum engine speed, allowing the newbie riders to learn the ropes of jet-ski riding in order to improve on their riding techniques. Meanwhile, the latter provides electronic turning assistance that’s linked to a steering sensor, raising engine rpm to provide the additional thrust that helps initiating turns on the water. There’s also a Kawasaki Splash Deflector that has been incorporated into the hull design to minimize spray on the rider.
Add all these features to an aggressive looking profile with a well endowed and spacious rear deck and a powerful 1.5-liter four-stroke four-cylinder engine, and you have a jet ski that fits the role of an advanced and highly-reliably watercraft that fully justifies its $8,499 price tag.
Find out more about the Kawasaki STX’s specs after the jump
After showing the world what a CTS Coupe could look like, the next logical step for the Cadillac family was to add a factory tuned V-Series version of the new Coupe to the American luxury automaker’s range. The CTS-V Coupe will be the last version in the CTS lineup with no convertible model currently scheduled for production.
Just like the award winning Cadillac CTS-V, the Coupe is powered by an LSA 6.2 Liter supercharged Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 V8 that makes a maximum output of 556 HP and 551 lb-ft of torque and is mated to either a Tremec TR6060 six speed manual with a twin plate clutch to handle the extra horse power or a Hydra-Matic 6L90 six speed automatic complete with paddle shifters on the steering wheel that allow you to push button your way from 0 to 60 MPH in only 3.9 seconds.
The exterior of this sporty coupe features a modified front grill that essentially doubles the CTS’s air intake volume as well as a raised center section in the hood to provide room for the blower that eventually spits spent gasses out of a unique twin tipped center exit exhaust. However the CTS-V Coupe is capped off by the 19 inch cast aluminum alloys that are available in either painted or polished finishes and wrapped with a set of sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 2 performance tires, all housing a monstrous set of Brembo brake calipers. We just hope they have enough spare parts left over to make a couple CTS-V Sport Wagons.
Updated 01/13/10: Three new videos added, including the Detroit revealing and the presentation video. Check them out!
UPDATE 01/03/2011: Cadillac has just revealed two new commercials for the CTS-V Coupe featuring Lawrence Fishburne. The commercials are called "Red Blooded Luxury" and "Arrows" and both feature the same tagline: "We don’t just make luxury cars, we make Cadillacs." Check them out by clicking on the picture above.
UPDATE 08/29/11: According to Cadillac, the breadth of technology that was used on the CTS-V represents a significant breakthrough in the industry, especially their so-called "Magnetic Ride Control Technology." Exactly how much of an innovation is it? Apparently, enough to even make Ferrari borrow it. Check out the new Cadillac commercial explaining how it all happened.
Press release after the jump.
Maserati may err on the side of of caution when choosing between luxury and speed, but eventually speed-loving fanatics have no choice but to reveal their road-gripping, fire-breathing side. Alas, we now have evidence of Maserati’s wild side. Just a couple of weeks before the Italian luxury brand was set to unveil their new special edition Gran Turismo at the Paris Auto Show, the company has jumped the gun and released the first official details of the fastest, lightest, and most powerful Maserati in the line-up. We hope everyone is just as intrigued as we were because this is a side of Maserati that should come out more often.
The special edition is called the GranTurismo MC Stradale and is due to go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2011 with a U.S. launch shortly thereafter. It is powered by a 4.7 liter V8 engine that delivers 450 HP - an improvement over the standard 405 HP - while still offering the same fuel consumption as a standard Gran Turismo. It also comes with an improved aerodynamic down force and will brake the 186 mph barrier.
Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC and the race-winning GT4 motorsport models, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale special edition has been tweaked and modified as a direct result of the lessons learned from Maserati’s three racing programs. But what makes this vehicle even better is that it’s road legal.
More details about the car will be released closer to its official unveiling.
UPDATE 07/27/2011: Maserati North American has announced that the new MC Stradale will go on sale at a starting price of $139,000. With its 185 mph top speed, this will be the fastest Maserati offered on the US market.
Hit the jump to read more about the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale.
Audi unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show an electric version of their newly launched A1. The e-tron concept is equipped with an electric drive system similar to the one on Chevrolet Volt. The e-tron has an autonomy of 50 kilometers when used only in electric mode.
The internal combustion engine that charges the batteries can deliver a total of 102 hp in short bursts when the sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in just 10 seconds. Top speed is more than 80 mph. Continuous output is rated at 61 hp and 150 Nm of torque. The electric motor sends its power to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission that can be switched between "Drive," "Reverse," and "Neutral".
The A1 e-tron concept car has a Wankel engine as a range extender. It has a chamber volume of 254 cc and runs at a constant 5,000 rpm and can be switch on and off as necessary with the push of a button. It produces produces 15 kW of electric power and weighs only around 154.32 lb. It can extend the concept’s range to 130 miles.
UPDATE 07/21/11: The Audi A1 e-Tron was a surprise participant at the Silvretta E-Auto Rally. Together with the other Audi electric car in attendance, the Q5 HFC, which managed to place sixth in the entire proceedings, the A1 E-Tron made a good showing of itself a year after another one of its big brothers, the R8 E-Tron, went and wowed the entire event. Check out the video Audi posted to see how the A1 E-Tron performed.
UPDATE 06/05/2012: We’ve just learned from our friends over at CAR that the A1 e-tron is being axed due to extravagantly high production costs. This car was planned to be similar to the Chevy Volt, as it was going to have a gasoline engine to extend the range of its electric motor by charging the batteries via a Wankel (rotary) engine.
Press release after the jump.
The open-top sports car segment has seen a lot of pretenders recently, cars that attempt to hang with the big boys only to be reminded that it takes another level of power and fast to be able to belong in elite group of open top sports cars. While other brands have had a problem designating which car belongs in what group, Lamborghini has had no problem doing so.
The Sant’Agata Bolognese-based automaker has finally released their latest exotic, the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante. Based on the Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder, the Gallardo Spyder Performante is what happens when Lamborghini engineers go the extra mile in further reducing the weight of an already lightweight supercar. While some may shun at the attempt, thinking that chopping off more weight would be next to impossible, the folks at Lamborghini set out to prove the naysayers wrong, reducing the car’s weight by 143 lbs, leaving it with a dry weight of just 3,274 lbs, which, in case you’re keeping score, makes this the lightest Lamborghini to be released in the open-top sports car segment.
This is the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante.
UPDATE 07/11/2011: In the latest episode of Fifth Gear, the team wasted no time testing the latest Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante, a car that has been built as a response to models like the Ferrari 458 Italia and the McLaren MP4-12C. In this video, Tiff Needell drives the car around the south of France and lets us know what he thinks about the supercar, as well as how it fares against its competitors. Check out the video after the jump!
Details on the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Spyder Performante after the jump.
The release of the Range Rover Evoque makes it clear that land Rover is confident enough in the brand to shift their focus from its core values. The explosion of the most recent Range Rover models, including the sport; into mainstream luxury automotive portfolio’s has shown Land Rover that they can compete with the best on every level. No single vehicle matches the current Range Rover in terms of style, capability, and refinement. The major downside to must urban dwellers owning a Range Rover is that they will never fully experience its capabilities as an off-road machine. This is where Land Rover will attempt to fill a need with the Evoque.
Once upon a time someone would mention Land Rover and an image would flash in my mind of a yellow Defender 110 trudging through some African jungle on a Camel Trophy race. Those days may be gone, but Land Rover hopes to enter the forefront of the consumers mind when thinking about mid-size SUV’s full of luxury appointments. The segment is crowded and includes big players from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. It seems that Land Rover has learned a lot from its Ford and BMW days and is poised to release its 3 different versions of the Evoque.
It will be the smallest, lightest, and most fuel efficient Range Rover ever made. The term, “Range Rover” must be taken with a grain of salt, because yes Land Rover is tagging this new model as a Range Rover Evoque instead of simply a new line. Nonetheless, it seems that prices will fall in the $45,000 range depending on which model you choose. Head to Land Rover’s website to use the Evoque configurator and build your own.
Hit the jump for more details on the Range Rover Evoque
UPDATE 04/04/2011: Land Rover UK has announced that the new Evoque model will go on sale with prices ranging from £27,955 ($44,800) for an eD4 Pure 5-door 6 Speed manual 2WD model to £44,320 ($71,000) for the Si4 Dynamic with LUX Pack 6 Speed Automatic 4WD version. The company has also put up an online cofigurator so customers can configure the Evoque of their dreams.
UPDATE 07/01/2011: Land Rover has announced the US prices for the 2012 Evoque SUV scheduled to go on sale this fall. The Evoque will be offered at a starting price of $43,995 for the five-door, and $44,995 for the coupe. It will deliver a fuel economy of 28 mph on the highway and 19 mpg city.
Press release after the jump.
Ferrari will unveil at the Paris Auto Show the special edition SA Aperta, an open-top version of the now famous 599. The model comes to celebrate Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary and will be limited to only 80 units.
The SA Aperta is powered by a V12 engine that delivers an impressive 670 HP. It features a low-slung windscreen, a redesigned chassis. Its profile arches back from the A-post to two aerodynamic fins beautifully integrating the two roll-bars which themselves cleverly mimic the outline of the seats.
The interior gets sophisticated materials, trim and colors used throughout. Ferrari announced that each SA Aperta will be an unique model.
In the official press release Ferrari said: "The SA APERTA is a true roadster which allows its occupants to enjoy the superlative emotions afforded by our signature front-engined V12 architecture in a completely open-top setting. In fact, it has just a light soft top designed to be resorted to only if the weather gets particularly bad."
UPDATE 05/09/11: The 80-piece Ferrari 599 SA Aperta is about a rare a modern-day Ferrari can get. Introduced last year at the Paris Motor Show in line with Pininfarina’s 80th anniversary, the Italian supercar is the personification of Ferrari limited edition madness. In this new video of the car, YouTube user Marchettino takes us on an up-close look at the limited run 599. Check out the video after the jump and see what the 599 SA Aperta is all about.
Press release after the jump.
After teasing it for a while, Peugeot has released today the official details on the EX1 electric concept that will make its world debut at the Paris Auto Show. The concept was created as a celebration of the Marque’s 200th anniversary.
The EX1 is a two-seater roadster that combines the “floating” front grille and flowing contours from the SR1 concept, with polished aluminum components adorn the door surrounds from the RCZ and BB1. A particular feature of this concept is the reverse-opening door that gives access to the two sports bucket seats. There is also an instrument panel screens for each occupant showing in particular the vehicle’s instantaneous performance.
the concept is powered by two electric motors, one on each axle, each with a peak output of 167 HP and a maximum torque of 240 Nm at the front and rear.
"The EX1 concept car benefits from characteristics that give it a high enough level of performance not only to leave behind the city center, the preferred territory of electric vehicles, but also to challenge acceleration records. Its lightness, weight distribution and aerodynamics, the torque and power of its two electric motors and its high-output lithium-ion battery are just some of the characteristics that make this a car capable of lightning acceleration: the latter can exceed 1 G of gravitational force."
UPDATE 12/16/2010: The Peugeot EX1 started its history of breaking records back in September, and now the concept has matched or surpassed five records in a series of runs made at the Chengdu military airport in the province of Sichuan in China.
The EX1 established a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 3.49 seconds and a symbolic longitudinal acceleration of 1G over 39 m. The concept also broke its own official records initially set in Montlhéry for the 1/8 mile and 1/4 mile with times of 7:08:62 and 12:67:54 respectively.
UPDATE 04/29/2011: Peugeot EX1 has established a new world record at the Nurburgring circuit. With Stéphane Caillet behind the wheel, the EX1 lapped the circuit in 9:01.338 seconds with an average speed of 138.324 km/h (85.95 mph).
UPDATE 05/04/2011: Peugeot has unveiled official images and an official video of the EX1 breaking the world record in Nurburgring. Enjoy!
Press release after the jump.