In the world of supercars, you have many different players. Ferrari is the technological wonder child, while Lamborghini is that school bully that developed a bit of common sense with age.Aston Martin is the sophisticated gentlemen spy that can charm any living thing with a single word. Then, you come to Pagani, the new boy. These cars don’t feature any sophistication or old world charm. Yet, their radical designs and outrageous performance have placed them in the top tier of the supercar tree and now, we have a new version, the C9.
In the world of follow-ups, this one is massive. Sort of like the Godfather II following the Godfather. The Zonda was the car that made Pagani into the company you see today. Automotive journalists loved it and the base version spawned many different special editions and one-offs like the Zonda F and Cinque. It was like nothing ever seen before. The Zonda’s development was evolutionary, but the C9 that will replace it will be revolutionary.
UPDATE 03/15/2013: Pagani has unveiled a new promo video for its Huayra supercar. Called simply "God of Wind" the new video is just an attempt to bring the supercar back to our attention. Enjoy!
Hit the jump for more details on the Pagani Huayra.
Welcome to the most beautiful wagon in the world. We know that might be hard to read as wagons are seldom thought of as beautiful, but with the new Mercedes-Benz CLSShooting Brake, those thoughts might need some additional pondering.
Unlike the old wagons, or even the current ones for that matter, the CLS Shooting Brake takes some of the four-door coupe design elements and translates them for wagon use. It might seem like an odd concept at first, but perhaps it’s genius. Wagons have long provided practicality, but that hasn’t exactly helped them fly out the door now has it? So, instead of pushing cargo space, Mercedes will be pushing style and that seems to work well in the automotive market place; just look at those terrible creations from BMW called the X6 and the recently announced X1.
The CLS Shooting Brake arrives eight years after the original CLS was dropped into the market and it borrows most of its elements from the sedan brother, except for its incredible 590 liter trunk capacity. The model will be offered with a choice of four engines - two diesel engines and two petrol engine - with the top version being the CLS 500 powered by a 408 HP V8 engine. How about that for a shooting brake?
UPDATE 07/20/2012: Automotive News reports that the new CLS Shooting Brake won’t be available for US customers. The decision was made while taking under consideration the "continued aversion to wagons by U.S. car buyers."
UPDATE 08/21/12: Mercedes has officially released the pricing details for the CLS Shooting Brake. Check out how much it’s going to cost your wallet after the jump!
Hit the jump for the full review of the Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake.
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.
Car design legends Pininfarina plan to focus on design, rather than car making. Reuters is reporting that the company is laying 127 workers, as the company is shutting down its manufacturing business.
Pininfarina has stated that the automotive market is declining; hence they no longer want to be part of it. In total, the layoffs will cost the company around $3.96 million, or 2.9 million euros.
In March, the company had announced that it would sell its stake in a joint venture with Volvo. So far, French billionaire Vincent Bollore has expressed interest in purchasing a stake in the company, which is being sold as a part of a restructuring agreement with the banks.
With the company backing out of the car design business, they can instead focus on design and engineering.
Current models driving around town that have been designed by Pininfarina are the Alfa Romeo Brera, the Ferrari 458 Italia, 599 GTB Fiorano, California, and the Maserati GranTurismo.
Chevrolet will join Nissan and Toyota in the world of electric vehicles with the new Spark EV. General Motors made the announcement this morning in Detroit that, not only would they sell the new subcompact Spark in the United States, but that they would also sell an all-electric version in 2013.
This comes as no surprise, considering that GM CEO, Dan Akerson, stated at the Detroit Auto Show that the automaker was working on an all-electric vehicle for the United States market.
The all-electric Sonic will use nanophosphate lithium-ion battery packs from A123 systems, and although its based on the Spark, this version will be sold in limited quantities in various global markets in 2013. It will likely be a big hit in California, as the model fits in perfectly with their new ZEV mandate changes.
Currently, power, range and performance specifications have not been released.
Like a horse getting spooked upon hearing a strange noise, Ford has pulled their bailout commercial upon pressure from the White House.
Ford, being the only Detroit automaker that didn’t take money from the American taxpayers in order to lighten its debt load, wanted to highlight this fact in ads starring “real people.” One of the people interviewed was a guy named "Chris." He stated that he "wasn’t going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government," according to the text of the ad, launched in early September.
While this statement might be true, as General Motors and Chrysler did accept federal funding, Ford CEO Alan Mulally repeatedly supported the bill back in those dark days.
It seems the White House wasn’t about to have an automaker talking down their policies in front of the American public. With President Obama adjusting his election campaign amid the current economic situation and angst towards the stimulus package, the Ford commercial seemed to be a slap in the face of the administration that approved it. Freedom of speech is what again?
The Obama administration can revel in the fact that the plans have turned GM and Chrysler in the other direction. Each is producing vehicles that the American public seems to be eating up. The commercial that was pulled seemed to rekindle the negative, just when the White House needed the positive.
There is one key fact that Ford seems to be missing in this debacle, though. While they might not have taken the “bailout money,” they did in fact, take some cold hard cash from the government. Ford asked for a line of credit from the federal government and they also accepted billions in the past to “spruce up” its factories. Two years prior to the auto crisis of 2008, Mulally accepted $23 billion to finance a major overhaul and provide a cushion, just in case something was to happen.
While Ford might not have accepted “bailout money,” they certainly got their share of cash from Uncle Sam.
In effort to focus our attention to supercars and vehicles that are out of this world, we wanted to find something that was really bonkers. Naturally, the home of crazy things is usually Japan, but there cars seem to be getting duller by the second. So, we turned to that other crazy, wine loving country; Italy.
After searching high and low, we have found our vehicle, theFerrari P4/5 Competizione. This is a machine that does not yet exist, but that won’t stop us from trying our best to find all the information we can about this gorgeous looking road rocket.
The only images we currently have of the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione are renderings, but those are good enough for now, as this supercar certainly looks good in that form. We’ve never heard anybody say that Ferrari can’t create something that looks like speed in motion.
UPDATE 05/18/2012: According to Jalopnik, during the 24 Hours of Nürburgring qualifying round, the supercar lapped the famous Nurburgring in just 6:51. This makes it the fastest Ferrari ever around the Nurburgring, smashing the previous record of 6:58.16 held by the Ferrari 599XX. All Glickenhaus had to say about this impressive result was: "I think it’s pretty cool!" However, he did invite Ferrari to come and challenge their supercar.
UPDATE 10/18/12: James Glickenhaus’ Ferrari P4/5 Competizione has been through a lot and even that statement seems like an understatement. Now, the super race car finds itself in Imola racing against some of the finest Ferraris you’ll ever find. The video comes courtesy of Marchettino, who seems to have an talent for always being at the right place at the right time when it comes to taking supercar videos. Check out the video after the jump!
More details on the Ferrari P4/5 Competizione after the jump.
The crazy powerful and very rare Aston Martin One-77 has been in the public eye now for some time, after it was first shown in North America at the lovely Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Like all Aston Martin products, this one is stunning in every category, from exterior styling to power. What they have done with theOne-77 is fuse advanced technology with a stunning design to create possibly the world’s most desirable automotive art form.
Yet, as is the way with these things, most people in the world will never get the chance to own or even drive one of these vehicles. The first reason is the price, which is - get ready for this - $1.4 million. Fine, we can just sell everything we own and work really hard for the next 50 years. Yet, even if you have the money, only 77 will be made, making this automotive art form quite rare indeed.
UPDATE 04/06/11: And then there were ten... Interested in purchasing the One-77? You still have a chance because there are ten units still available. Potential customers seem to be hesitating due to the fact that they can’t test drive their $1.4 million investment before they buy it. Sounds reasonable to us.
UPDATE 08/04/11: Aston Martin has unveiled a new video revealing the One-77 supercar in action on the French Mountain roads, just a few short miles from the famous Paul Ricard circuit in France. This video apparently shows the highlights of the vehicle’s visit to the mountains. Enjoy!
Hit the jump to keep reading.
Mercedes’ tuning arm, AMG, has been building some of the most radical Benz’s to ever hit the streets since it was fully acquired. The Black Series models were initially controversial and borderline insane. They had lost nearly every luxury aspect of the vehicles, but once enthusiasts got their hands on them they became instant classics. The Black Series is akin to a DTM racing model of the past - think CLK-DTM, typically with wide-body kits, improved suspension, and increased output. The Black Series has also come to mean lightweight and the extensive use of carbon fiber.
AMG’s Black Series is like the special agent of the SIS, as it takes an already aggressive piece of kit and cranks it up a notch. The Black Division has already created three devilish machines, the SL, CLK, and theSLK AMG Black. Each of these vehicles is fast enough and hard enough to make your head spin and now, there might be a new one.
In order for Mercedes to produce a Black Series car for the C-Class, they would have to ensure dominance over every other manufacturer. That means beating the mighty M3, which until this point Mercedes has failed to do with every iteration of the AMG C-Class and the C-class in general when compared to the 3-series. It seems like every time a new model comes out, Mercedes addresses the biggest flaw that has been found between the 3-series competition, but then lets us down in a different area. Hopefully with the help of a no-holds-barred AMG massaging, the little Merc will be able to call itself King.
UPDATE 10/11/2011 : The future Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series Sedan has been caught testing, revealing a more aggressive look with a big deep front spoiler and wider fenders.
UPDATE 10/11/2011 : We have a new rendering for you today for the Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series Sedan. We hope we enjoy it!
Hit the jump to read more on the Mercedes C63 AMG Black Series Sedan.
Audi’s got a new car in the pipeline but in typical fashion, the company’s going to squeeze out every ounce of curiosity from all of us before unveiling their new ride. The folks from Ingolstadt even released a couple of photos showing off their fleet of new cars with one car intriguingly draped in a white blanket. Apparently, that car is Audi’s answer to the BMW 5-Series, the 2012 Audi A6 sedan..
Not many details have been released for Audi’s refreshed sedan, but a picture is sometimes worth a thousand words and, although these pictures are disguised to say the least, information can still be gathered.
UPDATE 06/26/2012: It looks like Audi is about to give the A6 a little love this coming model year as they are adding in some upgrades to the base level A6 2.0T to make it a little more desirable. These changes include an eight-speed automatic transmission and the availability of Audi’s Quattro system on the 2013 A6 2.0T. Hit the jump for details.
Hit the jump to get full details on the 2012 Audi A6.
Those of you who have been with us for some time might know that the Audi S4 might be one of our favorite cars on the market. It combines pure speed and aggressive handling with comfort and everyday practicality. If you had to pick one car for the rest of your life, the S4 wouldn’t be a bad call.
Despite its near flawlessness, Stasis Engineering has decided to rework the four-door Audi and make it that little bit more hardcore. Normally we would despise this sort of thing, but after all, it is SEMA.
A little background of Stasis before we get started with the tuned up S4. STaSIS Engineering is dedicated to providing automotive performance to the mainstream market. They specialize in performance-enhancing brakes, suspension, driveline, and engine products. Basically, these products are as close as you’re going to get to real racing car equipment.
Hit the jump to read about how Stasis applied these products to the S4.
UPDATE 02/21/2011: The STaSIS Signature S4 packages are now available exclusively from APS of Brackley, with prices starting at £12,500 (or about $20,000 at the current exchange rates) including VAT @ 20% and installation.
Back in the days when crossovers were just something ghosts did, there was the Subaru Outback, a vehicle that looked like a wagon, but was superb off-road. Established in 1995, the Outback became the synonym for durability, ease of use, and excellent all around ability.
The styling on the other hand, was always a bit low end. That really didn’t seem to matter at the time to buyers, but in today’s world, styling goes hand in hand with all weather ability so Subaru had to make a change. Luckily, they did and for 2011, the new Outback is better than ever.
Subaru has been one of the lesser-known Japanese companies for some time now. In fact, some people think they came from Australia, but that’s beside the point. While they might not have much influence on the American industry, they are resilient and during the economic recession, the company only declined by 0.8%.
With the new Outback, Subaru looks to continue their success, but this time things are a tad different. Before, it seemed that styling was about as important as the location of the light in the glove box, but now, exterior styling has taken a front row seat. The new 2011 Outback look pretty good, words that would never have been uttered about previous generation Outbacks.
Hit the jump to get all of the details on the new 201 Subaru Outback 3.6.
The midsize sedan game is one of the most competitive areas in the automotive industry. There are so many players and not much room on the all-star team and as of now, the onlyHyundai that has ever made its way onto this exclusive team is the wonderfully styled Sonata, a vehicle that has become the benchmark in terms of sedan styling.
The newest redesign from Hyundai comes in the form of the new Elantra. It might not be a sports car, but this machine is in no way boring. It looks brilliant, packs a decent motor, and can offer best in class fuel economy. Hyundai’s goal with this new vehicle is to continue to dominating the sedan game and with two strong players, they just might.
The new Elantra was just unveiled to the public and we have prepared a little preview of what you can expect in the new sedan.
UPDATE 12/19/10: It’s configurator time again! That’s right, boys and girls; Hyundai has just released a new configurator for the 2011 Elantra, which means that you can once again put your ’Configurator Caps’ back on and treat yourself to a fancy car and trim building exercise. Who knows, you just might end up liking your work too much you end up buying the car in the end.
Hit the jump to read on.
Confirming the rumors that we heard earlier in the year, Fiat CEO Sergio Machionne has just informed investors that the company plans to sell part of Ferrari, probably due to the fact that they plan on buying up more of Chrysler.
There have been rumors going around that Volkswagen was considering buying part of the Italian sports car brand. Morgan Stanley analyst Stuart Pearson, who attended the meeting, revealed to clients on Monday that Fiat is planning an initial public offering of Ferrari stock, according to Automotive News.
“We left Turin with the clear message that Fiat and Chrysler will become one company,” Pearson said. “A Ferrari initial public offering and potential Marelli disposal may need to come first, according to management.”
Who would have thought that Ferrari would be sold off for a company to get Chrysler? Still, Fiat will likely keep at least 51% of the stake in Ferrari, an automaker that is worth around $3.3 billion. What is this world coming to?
Twelve-cylinder motors are a part ofLamborghini’s history. There’s no four-cylinder wimpy stuff here, just pure power and a magical noise. Some of the models to pack the massive engine include the Diablo,Reventon, Espada and Murcielago.
Now, the company is revealing its newest engine that will likely be featured in Murcielago’s successor. The motor is a 6.5-liter V12 with 700 horsepower at 8,250 rpm and 509 pound-feet of torque available at 5,500 rpm. It features four-valve cylinder heads that are made from aluminum-silicon alloy. The whole motor was built with weight saving in mind, as it’s only 235 kilograms.
That motor will be connected a new ISR transmission, also called Independent Shifting Rod transmission. This new gearbox uses dual shifting rods and it can change gears 50 percent faster than the comparable dual-clutch setup. This was also created to be lightweight, as it tips the scales at only 79 kilograms.
Press release after the jump.
It’s all over now, as the2010 Formula One season is complete and we have a new, first time, world champion in Sebastian Vettel, as he took the race in Abu Dhabi.
The young Red Bull driver started the day in third in the table, but managed to lead from pole for nearly the entire race, becoming the youngest driver to win the title.
Fernando Alonso, who led coming into the weekend, came seventh, with Mark Webber right behind him in eighth.
Lewis Hamilton, who was still mathematically in the title hunt, came second, while his McLaren teammate Jenson Button came third.
The final race of the season that took place under the setting of the Middle Eastern sun was a great finale to what could have been the first season in F1 history, not to mention the best ever season for Red Bull, who took the constructors title last weekend.
Hit the jump to keep reading.
Well, it’s now official, Chevrolet is going to be racing in 2012 and not that go around in circles kind of racing either. The automaker will be the V6 engine supplier for Team Penske for the Indy Car Series in two years.
Those who are big into Indy Racing, and not just for Danica Patrick, will remember that Chevrolet used to supply motors from 1986 till 1993 and then again in 2002 to 2005.
The motor that is being worked on is a twin-turbocharged, direct injection 2.4-liter V6 that will run on E85 fuel. The block and cylinder heads will be aluminum, but we have yet to read how much power will be produced.
Penske Racing is the first team to agree to use Chevrolet motors, but the company expects to have more, as rules dictate that any team can use them if they so choose.
Hit the jump to see the press release.
The entry-level sedan market is a crowded area. There are more vehicles on sale in this segment than there are Walmarts in small towns. Well, maybe not that many, but you get the idea. In order to break through the segment barrier, you need a special vehicle, and not just moderately special either. To find success, an automaker needs something brilliant.
TheBMW 3-Series has long been the staple of the segment, as if offered up good looks, amazing build quality, and a drive that is second to none. Now, Audi and Mercedes are responding with their own sedans, so that should make life even more difficult for Britain’s newcomer.
Jaguar has built entry-level luxury cars before, but that never worked out that well. With the X-Type in the history books, Jaguar will be breaking through in a few years with a new small car, codenamed the X760.
Updated 03/17/2011: According to 4wheelsnews.com, the upcoming Jaguar 3-Series competitor might be called XS, an evolution of the X-Type name.
Hit the jump to read about it.
Delay after delay after delay has hampered the release of, what could be, the greatest driving game in the world. On the U.S Playstation blog, the manager of public relations for Sony has just announced the wait is over andGran Turismo 5 would be here on November 24th.
Not only did we receive conformation on the glorious date that is November 24th, but Kazunori Yamauchi, the President of Polyphony Digital Inc., also had his own message to send to the world of excited and impatient gamers. Here’s what he had to say...
"Gran Turismo 5 is an ambitious project, with challenges and complexities which have made it our version of the Apollo Space Program! When we created the original Gran Turismo back in 1997, we wanted to set a completely new precedent for the racing genre.
With the technological leap onto PlayStation 3, our objective with Gran Turismo 5 was to create another great revolution which would not only satisfy our own high expectations, but would meet or even exceed the anticipation of the fans.
Satisfying the loyal Gran Turismo followers is at the heart of all of our efforts, which is why it was such a difficult decision to delay the release of the game, and one which we did not take lightly.
I can only apologize to everyone for making you wait so long, and I hope that when you try out the wealth of driving experiences available in Gran Turismo 5, you will not be disappointed.”
With 1000 cars, countless tracks and some sensational graphics, we are already getting antsy.
In the world of hot hatches and sedans, the Europeans get to have all the fun. Look at the Volkswagen Golf R and the Audi RS4. These are just two of the vehicles that we would love to have in the United States, but chances are that day will never come. Now, there is a new hot German vehicle and this one might actually come to our shores.
The four-door Jetta sedan might receive a hot R version and while these are just rumors, we wanted to give you a little insight into what it might offer. The Jetta R hasn’t officially been announced, so most of the information we have provided is simply speculation, but hot Volkswagens don’t seem to change much.
There is a chance that the hot Jetta will be shown at the Los Angeles Motor Show, but nothing has been announced as of yet.
Hit the jump to see the R.
The German sports-car manufacturer Porsche will be unveiling a new “mid-engined sports car” next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This new model will be shown along side two new 911 variants, the GTS, and the Speedster. We don’t have any official word on what this new model might be, but we believe it to be the new Cayman CS.
We have written numerous reports on the CS, which will be powered by a 3.4-liter flat-six with 333 horsepower. This model will feature the same characteristics as the Boxster, with lightness being the name of the game. Sources indicate that the CS should shed about 162 to 184 pounds from the stock vehicle. It will do this by ditching door handles and adding lightweight alloy wheels and aluminum body bits. This should make the CS one heck of a track day vehicle.
We should have the official information next week when the car is launched at the LA show.
Hit the jump to see the press release.
We have been waiting for this moment for some time now, ever since Porsche got into the crossover business in fact. We had our doubts, but when Aston Martin announced they would be making the Lagonda, it seemed that the pieces were in order for a Lamborghini crossover. This is especially true since rumors have been floating about claiming that Lamborghini was working on an SUV anyway.
Now, when Porsche first made the Cayenne there were many enthusiasts who rioted in the streets, but look how it turned out. The Cayenne is the first selling model in their range, despite some interesting design cues in the first generation. Aston’s Lagonda will take those design cues and turn them upside down, as this thing is ugly in concept form. Still, an Aston SUV might sell if the price is right.
With high-performance SUV sales as good as they are, Lamborghini wants in the mix. Given the fact that they are apart of the Volkswagen Group, they should have plenty of bits lying around to use.
Hit the jump to read on.
We know that journalists should be objective, but we honestly would love to see Mark Webber take the title this year and it seems like he might get some help from his Red Bull teammate.
Sebastian Vettel has come out and said that he would help Webber if there was no way he could take the Formula One driver’s championship himself. If Vettel were to win, all current championship leader Fernando Alonso would need to do is come fourth, but if Webber wins, Alonso needs second place.
"In my case, it is pretty straightforward - all I can do is optimize my result, ideally repeat the result we achieved today and then it depends where those two guys are," said Vettel to the BBC.
We’ve been talking about this subject for some time now, as to whether or not the Red Bulls should work together to help Webber take the title and it’s been clear that this may just happen. That being said, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has said that if only one driver had a chance to win the title, team orders might be used.
"Of course if we find ourselves in a situation where, on the last lap, the team and one of our drivers can win the world championship, the drivers will do whatever’s necessary to ensure as a team we achieve the best result," he said to the BBC.
Alonso has said that he is 100% confident, so we’ll see during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Remember the days when the Caparo T1 was in the news just about every day? And not for good reasons either. This was a machine that caught fire and burned a presenter from Fifth Gear and then gave Jeremy Clarkson all sorts of fits when he attempted to test it. Well, it was EVO magazine’s turn and everything seemed to go fairly well as they took the T1 around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The British car magazine was given a once in a lifetime chance to be able to take out this amazing machine. It might not seem fast when there is little traffic present, but just watch how quickly it blows by the other drivers in their brilliantly fast machines. It really makes you wonder what it’s like to drive such a wonderful piece of automotive engineering.
Also, be sure to check out the Jaguar XFR’s drift midway through the video, as it must have had the EVO’s Phil Bennett making a mess of his pants.
We’ve heard plenty of rumors that Mitsubishi might be pulling out of the United States’ car market and it’s not hard to see why such a rumor is circulating. Let’s face facts, the automaker hasn’t exactly had a big hit in America for some time and the only real seller in their lineup is the Lancer and even that is lagging behind the competition.
It goes on as well. The Galant is old and dull, theEclipse got fat and slow, the Endeavor is just bad and the Outlander series has the look, but not much else. Even theLancer Evolution has been a slow seller. So, what can this company do to save themselves from becoming just a page in automotive history?
Well, that’s where the i-MiEV comes in. It might not look like a Nissan Leaf beater, but it should offer up some fierce competition.
Hit the jump to read on.
We doubt that most people in the world are aware of Porsche’s 911 customization brand. It’s called Porsche Exclusive and basically, they take normal 911 models and custom tailor them to your exact needs. From interior detailing to the exterior bits, as well as performance enhancements, Porsche Exclusive can create a personalized 911 just for you.
A team of about 100 specialists at Porsche Exclusive takes care of everything from development to sales. Buyers can delve through a Porsche Exclusive catalog at each dealer. The customer discusses these personalized options directly with the dealership or, if they happen to be in Germany, the Exclusive customer advisers at the factories in Zuffenhausen or Leipzig.
Now you might imagine that such a unique customization brand is quite new, but actually, they’ve just celebrated their 25th anniversary. In addition to the champagne and cake, Porsche will be celebrating with a strictly limited edition of a new 911 Speedster. Only 356 of these models - that Porsche calls, "puristic, open-topped two-seater with low windscreen and double bubble on the convertible-top compartment lid" - will be made, so jump on it before they’re gone.
The 911 is just the first of the celebratory products being offered by Porsche, so if a sports car isn’t in the budget, maybe a book will work. The Porsche Exclusive book will be available in the Porsche Museum shop from March 2011. The museum will also be displaying a special exhibit that will run from March to May 2011.
Hit the jump to read the press release.
In the United States, trucks are a part of our culture. The same can’t be said in the rest of the world, but here, these vehicles are symbols of freedom and hard work. The big three have dominated this segment, but nobody has done it better than Ford with the F-150.
With the new Dodge Ram being as good as it is, Ford had to step up their game with their newest version for 2011. In order to maintain their impressive bit of marketing gold for a 34th straight year, the Dearborn-based automaker is putting four brand-new engines into their best selling truck.
Reworking an icon isn’t easy, just ask the designers of the new Corvette. When it came out, those headlights were either loved or hated. With the new F-150, if something were to be too radical then you might lose buyers. So, did Ford keep things simple with this newest version, yet at the same time upgrade the winning formula?
Hit the jump to find out.
Some high performance vehicles can be costly, but that hasn’t stopped many people from running out and purchasing these speed demons for the sake of trying their hand in the racing circuit. So let’s say you’ve purchased one of these high performance vehicles - say maybe a Porsche 911 - what is the first place you would want to go to test out your new ride? That’s right, the Nürburgring Nordschleife and now, there is the perfect watch to time those laps.
It’s called the Nordschleife Chronograph and it features the time-of-day hands along with the split-second timing dials in a jumbo 43-millimeter stainless steel case with mineral crystal lens, black dial, and leather strap. Normally, we would advise you stay away from mineral crystal, as it scratches as easy as the paint on that 911, but in this case, we’ll let it slide.
On top of that watch, you can also get a 24-hour timepiece that displays the time over the full day, not just 12 hours. This is perfect for those endurance races that you’re bound to enter.
Now, most of the time, automotive related timepieces are costly, but not in this case. The movements are quartz, so not something we would usually recommend, but for only 129 Euros for the chronograph and 85 Euros for the 24-hour, it’s hard to pass it up. Just like you’ll be on the track with that 911.
The Volkswagen Jetta has clearly been an afterthought since the first day it went on sale. Basically, it was just a Volkswagen Golf with a trunk and a bigger backseat. Yet, it’s been one of the company’s biggest sellers in the United States for thirty years. That being said, it doesn’t come close to the sales of the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla, but it was never going to now was it.
The people who buy these Japanese economy cars aren’t like the rest of us. They care more about price than they do European driving ability and build quality. They want interior room to haul their many kids, something which the Germans never thought of when they were in the design room. But this was the old Jetta, and times have changed with their latest creation. The sixth-generation Volkswagen Jetta, like it or not, has grown fatter, gotten cheaper, and now caters to Americans like never before.
The new price of the Jetta comes in at $15,995 for the base S trim, right around the price of the Civic and the Corolla. It would seem like that good old "German quality" will be lost at this new price point, but we’ll just have to drive it to find out.
Hit the jump to keep reading.
In the glorious country that is the United States of America, we have an interesting and ineffective way of naming our favorite vehicles. It seems every magazine - and sometimes states - gets to name their favorite car of the year. While this can be great for the automaker’s advertising, it can confuse the public just a tad. What car is better here, the winner of Magazine A or Magazine B?
In Europe, things go a bit smoother. Seven different publications from seven different countries pick what they think is the best car of the year. It takes a few months, but in the end you get one winner, which was the Opel Insignia last year.
The finalists for this year came down to the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, Citroën C3/DS3, Renault/Dacia Duster, Ford C-Max/Grand C-Max, Nissan Leaf, Opel/Vauxhall Meriva, and Volvo S60/V60.
If those are the choices, we choose the Alfa. The Volvo puts up a strong case, but nothing compares to that Italian soul and passion. Despite our pick, we doubt the jurors will feel the same.
So which vehicle do you think deserves to be Car of the Year? Hit us up in the comments section below.
It was a very fruitful week in Las Vegas at the SEMA show and although there were numerous vehicles shown, only a few really stood out. After a few days of deliberation, each one of us at TopSpeed picked our favorite special edition, as we all had issues agreeing on what was best.
The SEMA show is one of the most popular automotive events in the world. It can attract more than 100,000 visitors from over 100 countries in the automotive, truck and SUV, and RV markets. The displays are segmented into 12 sections and a New Products Showcase featured nearly 2,000 newly introduced parts, tools and components.
While we love tools and what not, we go for the cars. These tuned beauties remind us of The Fast and the Furious, although some of the cars shown are neither fast nor furious. We’ve already had one winner, as the Chevrolet Camaro was named the Hottest Car, but do we agree?
Hit the jump to keep reading.
Sebastian Vettel and his Red Bull Racing teammate, Mark Webber, came one-two in this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix to save off Fernando Alonso’s world championship celebration.
Alonso managed third palace, but he is now only eight points ahead of Webber in the championship race.
Lewis Hamilton came fourth, all but ending his title hopes, as it would now take some sort of miracle for him to win his second championship. Mind you, at least he has some hope, as his McLaren teammate Jenson Button is now completely out of the running.
"It was an incredible day, not easy to start with. I was on the dirty side but got a good start and I saw Nico [Hulkenberg] had wheelspin. He didn’t give me a lot of room but then it was OK. I could cruise into the distance and control the pace. It’s an incredible effort from the team. It has not been an easy season, but this was the perfect answer after what happened in Korea,” Vettel said to the BBC.
Hit the jump for the full story.
Few driving games have had the success that Gran Turismo has garnered over the years. Starting with the first version for the Playstation, up until now, the series has been the definitive racing video game for auto lovers.
Despite this, our patience has been tested as of late. The fifth installment of the series has been delayed numerous times and even though we keep getting word of a holiday release date, one never knows anymore. Predicting the release date of Gran Turismo 5 is like predicting the weather in the year 2031.
Now, we have word from Autoweek that the series developers are already looking ahead to the sixth version. The game’s creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, confirmed that they’re working on it, but would say no more about it. We have no idea when to expect the release of such a game or what it might have in it. The way Gran Turismo 5 is going, we might not see the sixth one until the next decade.
“It’s not something that we can talk that lightly on. It took 2,000 days to get all the ideas that went into GT5. It’s just too early to be talking about GT6,” Yamauchi said to Autoweek.
Okay, Yamauchi, we’ll talk about it in say...2,500 days?
It was a busy week, but we managed to cover SEMA from one end to the other without having a nervous breakdown. Now, after numerous looks at each of these vehicles, we compiled a small recap of what was shown at the auto event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
There were a plethora of tuned vehicles, from Mercedes-Benz to Ford, and even a Ferrari. Each had their own unique style, with some wanting to make you sick, while others were visual masterpieces. Just imagine Fast and the Furious designs and you’ll get an idea of what some of these machines looked like.
Below is a list of most of the vehicles that were shown at the event. Take a look at all the vehicles and let us know which ones you thought were the creme de la creme.
Hit the jump to see the list.
At one time, this was the fastest vehicle in the world, but those days are behind the Jaguar XJ220. Despite it losing the crown, the supercar can still remain one of the coolest machines ever to be built and that point was driven home at the SEMA motor show.
The matte-grayJaguar is actually for sale, as the previous owner decided to trade up, if that was possible. As you know, the XJ220 features a 500+ horsepower twin-turbo V6, but reports indicated that the owner has tuned and modified it to well over 700 horsepower.
That color is a bit of oddity, as it’s a unique color and could hamper the resale value of the vehicle. Perhaps a better way to go would have been to use Meguiar’s paint wraps that can come off, unlike this which is now permanent.
The car was worked on and brought to the show by Specialty Car Craft, a company that has worked on many different exotic vehicles of the years. At the SEMA show, the company had a Rolls-Royce Phantom, a matte-green Lamborghini Murcielago and a matte-orangeLotus Exige on display.
You can keep your tuned Honda CR-Zs, we’ll have one of these.
There have been so many different delays for Gran Turismo 5 that we are getting a bit impatient, but now that its creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, has officially given word that GT5 discs are already being stamped, we’re pretty sure that this latest release date may just stick. When will we finally get to play Gran Turismo 5? As soon as we pick it up at midnight on New Year’s Day.
Now, this isn’t official as of yet, but we’re taking the word from game retailers that have updated their sites to indicate that the much-anticipated game will be arriving shortly after Christmas. Great time to use those Best Buy gift certificates you got for the holiday!
The game will cost $59.99 and it’s slated to be the best racing game the world has ever seen. It will pack 1,000 different vehicles, but if you’re really into the game, you can get the $99.99 pack that will give you bunch of goodies, including a book on racing techniques, five DLC cars, a keychain, and a 1:43 scale diecast car. Make that ten DLC cars and you might have a deal Sony.
The baby Mercedes-Benz has only been around in its updated form for a new few years and it’s had quite a hard life during this time. It’s been praised, it’s been loathed, but most of all, it’s been playing second fiddle to theBMW 3-Series and that just won’t fly over at Stuttgart.
To try and close the gap, Mercedes is reworking theC-Class for 2011 and according to AutoBild, the photos you see here are the first official shots of the new sedan. Whether that’s true for not, we had to jump on it. We can immediately tell that some the exterior bits have been reworked with some S-Class and CLS elements, but the exterior was never the problem now was it.
The reason that the Merc always fell behind the BMW was down to its overall driving experience. The BMW was the king of precision driving and now the C-Class needs to catch up.
Has it done it?
UPDATED 12/22/10: We’ve updated the photo gallery of the new Mercedes C-Class with some photos of the car in both sedan and estate form. It took them a while to release it, but hey, at least they’re finally out. Check out the gallery and let us know what you think.
Hit the jump to find out.
We like anniversaries at TopSpeed, mostly because we get to see some really impressive special editions of stock vehicles. Yet, as is life, there are some that are just a waste of road space. These machines take a good car and paint it with a unique color, add some badges, and charge a massive sum for the whole kit. That’s like celebrating your 50th wedding anniversary at a Burger King with a fancy upper level.
The Mazda MX-5 Super20 doesn’t have this issue. Not to mention the fact that the normal MX-5 was one hell of a machine. Ever since it was launched it has sold by the millions and become the quintessential British roadster, despite the fact it’s not even built in the UK.
So, what does the MX-5 Super20 offer that the normal version doesn’t. Well, we have put together a preview of this anniversary addition below.
Hit the jump to read on.
Trying to multitask might seem like a good idea at first, but although you might get things done, you might not get them done well. Watching your favorite football team or Formula One race, while studying for an exam, and typing a paper might work for a while, but you won’t know what happened in the race, you’ll fail the test, and your paper will be poor at best.
The 2010 Lexus RX450h attempts it’s own multi-tasking effort. The hybrid SUV tries to be luxurious, fuel efficient, and practical all at the same time. It manages to accomplish everything it set out to do, albeit with varying degrees of success.
The fifth-generation RX is the newest version of the best selling model in the Lexus line, but only one in five sell with a hybrid motor under the hood. So Lexus is banking on the RX450h being good at everything it attempts to do. So, how does it fair?
Hit the jump to find out.
One’s home race is always important and nowhere is that more evident than for Rubens Barrichello at the Brazilian Grand Prix. It hasn’t been the greatest season for the veteran driver, but he hopes for a good showing over the weekend.
The Brazilian born driver, in the effort to have the best car possible, has equipped his Williams with a brand new engine, as power and the right setup are key to a strong race finish.
"The Williams tends to suit Brazil, and I have a new engine for this race," explained Barrichello to Sky Sports. "Achieving a good set-up and qualifying result is important, but it’s not always easy to set the car up - you need strong traction and balance."
The Brazilian Grand Prix has long been either the final or the penultimate race of theFormula One season and it has never disappointed. The track is fast and features some fantastic corners that really test the car and driver.
We’ll see if Rubens can pass that test when the race gets underway.
With so many people stating that Fernando Alonso doesn’t deserve the 2010 Formula One driver’s championship, Emerson Fittipaldi has come out in defense of the Spaniard.
Alonso is leading the championship by 11 points heading into Brazil, but many see seven of those points as undeserved due to the Hockenheim team orders incident.
Yet, Fittipaldi thinks otherwise, as he feels that Alonso will deserve the title if he manages to lock it up either this weekend or in Abu Dhabi.
"If he wins it will be because he is the best," the 63-year-old said at Interlagos.
"There have always been team games that are played," he told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
"I see Alonso as the best driver of the day; with the best temperament and the best able to react to problems. He will be a great triple champion in his own right," added Fittipaldi.
Currently, Mark Webber sits in second place, with Lewis Hamilton close behind in third.
Lexus is to the hybrid world as Germany is to the Formula One racing driver scene. Toyota’s luxury brand has been in the hybrid game for some time now and they have quite the selection to choose from. Most have been successful, but nobody would dare argue that these models are the best of the hybrid world. In order to take the hybrid title, Lexus has decided to build a hybrid from the ground out, sort of Lexus’s Michael Schumacher.
Being that Lexus is directly related to Toyota, who currently produces the benchmark hybrid in the Prius, Lexus has a wealth of knowledge at its disposal, but at the same time has one tough act to follow with the new third-generation Prius. With all that in mind, one would hope that thisHS 250h would be the pinnacle of what a hybrid vehicle should be.
Lexus’s attempt to create a Schumacher-type vehicle seemed within reach, but the Japanese automaker wound up with a Sebastian Vettel, which isn’t that bad if we’re honest. What Lexus has done was create a luxury Prius, something that is nearly a mirror image of the best selling hybrid and that just isn’t a benchmark in our eyes. After spending a week in the HS 250h, our minds haven’t changed.
Hit the jump to keep reading.
It’s finally come to an end, the last Lamborghini Murcielago has rolled off the line. The legendary supercar has been around for nearly a decade and during that time, 4,099 examples were made at the company’s Sant’ Agata, Italy Factory.
The very last model, an LP 670-4 SV, is headed to Switzerland, a country that just loves fast vehicles. At 4,099 total vehicles produced, this is by far the most popular twelve-cylinder Lamborghini of all time, which just goes to show you the turnaround that the Lambo has made in recent years.
The car launched in 2001 and it was the first time that Italian design and passion were mixed with German technology and engineering. The car was light on its feet, made from carbon fiber, and it actually drove fairly well, unlike Lamborghini models of old.
We are expecting to see a new Lamborghini arrive within the next couple years to replace the old Murcielago but until then, we can remember this beauty as one of the vehicles that turned the company’s fortunes around.
In our list of the best auto related timepieces, we usually pick out Swiss made pieces with automatic movements and fine craftsmanship. This new Pirelli PZero Disk_O fails to meet any of those requirements, but it does look quite nice.
Basically, due to their expertise in brakes, the watch looks like a disc brake and caliper. The aluminum bezel rotates around the watch, but the caliper stays still, giving off the impression of an actual brake. The caliper itself is used to control the chronograph and can be had in many different colors, including red, yellow, black, or steel gray. We like red, as it gives the Pirelli PZero Disk_O a nice overall appearance, where as gray and black would just blend in.
The band on this watch is rubber, but did you expect anything else from a company that deals with tires? Unlike previous watch straps from Pirelli that were based on rain or vintage tires, this model’s rubber is based on racing slicks.
While most of us have let the incident in Germany between Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa die off, some are still sour over the event. Today, Nick Heidfeld said that it would be a shame if the team orders incident influenced the outcome of the F1 Championship.
Currently, Alonso sits on top of the driver’s table by 11 points and seven of those points were earned at Hockenheim, where Massa was told to move aside to let Alonso pass.
"If Alonso wins the championship with a margin less than the 7 points, it would devalue the championship — that’s a personal view," said former FIA president Max Mosley.
Mosley isn’t the only one who feels this way, as the Red Bull team boss agrees, stating that it would be frustrating if the Spanish driver took the title.
Ferrari has already fined $100,000 for the move, as team orders in F1 are banned at the moment.
Although most don’t know it, the Chrysler 300 line is actually pretty old. The name 300 was kicked off in 1998 with the 300M and that really didn’t go that well. The car was like most Chrysler products at that time, bland, boring, and fairly terrible. Yet, Chrysler managed to overhaul the vehicle into the modern version you see today.
In 2005, the mafia looking box sedan was penned by the Chrysler design team and it instantly sold millions. Sure, it wasn’t very good, as the motor was thirsty, the handling was numb, and interior was Chinese in quality, and that might actually be an insult to the Chinese. Yet, with those looks, people flocked to the car. Sort of like somebody who has a terrible personality, but looks gorgeous.
Now, with Chrysler’s new management comes a reworked 300 and we managed to dig up some information on the new sedan.
UPDATE 12/06/10: Chrysler’s finally given us a glimpse on what the new 300C is going to look like. Took them long enough, right? Anyway, these aren’t full scale photos of the car - just teasers - but it does give us a better idea of what to expect when the car makes its debut sometime next year.
Hit the jump to read on.
Although the Mazda RX-8 has passed on and will be replaced in the near future, we still find it to be one of the most interesting vehicles on the road. Sure, it might not be the best to drive, as it takes a whole new approach to get it to go fast, but it looks great and it’s pretty fast as the higher rev range.
Mazda may be killing off the RX-8 due to the motor not meeting the new emissions regulations and the fact that it hasn’t really sold the way the company had hoped, but it’s not gone yet. And Mazda is ensuring that the RX-8 will be remembered as it has presented everyone at SEMA with the RX-8 Grand-Am GT. This version of the Mazda RX-8 has just completed its 2010 racing season and did extremely well, walking away with six out of the 12 races.
Hit the jump for this winning Mazda Grand Am GT RX-8’s specifications.
The truth has finally come out from McLaren, as they have just admitted that they might reconsider their decision to support both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button during the course of the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The team had stated that they would support Button, despite the fact that the driver is just about out of the contention for the championship. Hamilton is in much better shape at the moment and the team may need Button to help him out during the race.
"We’ll see what the situation is during the race," said boss Martin Whitmarsh to the BBC.
At the moment, Hamilton is only 21 points back of Fernando Alonso, while Button is 42 points back with only 50 points up for grabs, so it would make sense to give Hamilton everything he needs to help run down the Ferrari.
"We’ll see what happens over the course of the weekend," added Whitmarsh. "There’s a good relationship between the two drivers. I’m sure they are going to co-operate with each other.”
According to a fellow who participated in a Lamborghini preview, the upcoming LP700-4 is the replacement vehicle for the Murcielago that we’ve been calling the Jota. Although he couldn’t snap any photos, he did manage to get some useful information.
Our preview man said that the power would come from a 6.5-liter V12 with 700 horsepower. Not to mention a redline of 8250. That motor would be connected to a seven-speed single clutch transmission with two modes and 50 millisecond shifts. All that will combine for a 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds and a 217 mph top speed.
Keeping the car on the road will be a carbon monoque chassis and a Formula One style suspension on the rear. The new Lamborghini will be 229kg lighter and 70% more rigid. Oh, and we forgot that it’s all-wheel drive too.
The man said that the product would be shown at the Geneva Motor Show next spring and that those famous scissor doors will remain. While we would love to believe all of this, one never knows. If it’s truth or not, it sure does sound good.
There are numerous Mazdas being shown at the SEMA show in Las Vegas and some have unique body styles and neat paint jobs, but this Mazda does all its talking on the road.
TheMazda3 Turbo Sedan takes the normal sedan look, but adds some serious power to it for some driving excitement. It’s like adding ballistic missiles to a submarine, as normal subs are great, but a missile sub is even better and even more aggressive. While we are perfectly aware that the turbo is by no means a nuclear weapon, it’s still pretty neat.
To create this vehicle, Mazda let its team have a little fun with some parts. The team took its knowledge of the Mazda parts bin and its close relationships with MAZDASPEED Motorsports suppliers, looked in the mirror, and decided to build a fast version of the Mazda3. We should work at Mazda.
Hit the jump to read on.
Small cars don’t have to be boring, just ask owners of the legendary Mazda MX-5. This car doesn’t have the power of a sports car or the size of a supercar, but it sure is fun to drive, more so than some of its larger car counterparts.
Mazda has been known to be small car lovers over the years, as they take these tiny chassis and make them fun to drive. Take the MazdaSpeed 3 for instance. It wasn’t large and it wasn’t as powerful as a Ford Mustang, but it had to be one of the best driving vehicles on the road.
Mazda hopes that their new Mazda 2 Evil Track will continue this small sporty car theme, as it takes the base 2 and adds a touch of speed to it. Imagine what would happen if the cute little green Mazda went to prison and you get the idea of what this Evil Track is all about.
In the world of the American sedans, there are many different levels of quality. These levels are clearly defined, as some are terrible, some are bad, and a few are decent. There are a couple that are good, but not many, and that’s something that we hate to say because the midsize sedans from Japan have gotten a bit dull over the years.
In the good category, we have theFord Fusion. It looks good, drives well, but it suffers from a bad transmission. The Chevrolet Malibu is decent. It’s a start in the right direction, but not quite there yet. Then we come to the Dodge Avenger. For many years, this car was just appalling, a word that we don’t often use to describe a car, but in this situation it works quite well.
For 2011, Dodge has redone the Avenger in the hopes that it can climb out of the cellar and compete with the Fusion and the many other Japanese sedans.
Hit the jump to read on.
Back in 2005, Porsche was looking for something to slot in the middle of the 911 and the Boxster. It had to be pretty darn good, as the 911 is a legend among car fans and the Boxster was a hit for the automaker. What they came up with was the Cayman.
First launched in the 2006 model year, the Cayman is a coupe derived from Porsche’s second generation Boxster convertible, yet it looks like a 911 in the front. The name Cayman is an alternate spelling of caiman, a reptile in the same family as the alligator. Some thought the name came from the Cayman Islands, but that’s incorrect.
After the first generation Cayman was debuted and widely accepted, the second was introduced on February 21, 2009. The power was upped, the transmission was replaced, and the overall performance was vastly superior to the previous model. As an example, this baby 911 could hit 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds.
UPDATE 12/08/2010: After the LA Auto Show came and went with the unveiling of the Porsche Cayman R, our hopes of seeing a Cayman Club Sport were just about dashed. However, in an interview with Autocar, chief of mid-engined cars, Hans-Jurgen Wohler confirms that the idea of producing a Cayman is still on the table giving us just the sliver of hope we need to hold on to the idea of a CS version for the Cayman.
Hit the jump to read about it.
After the success of the Hamster advertisements, Kia has decided to take it to the next level and create a Soul after the legendary rapping critters. The Kia Soul Hamstar Concept is just a concept at this point, but we hope that it will go into production soon, as it actually looks pretty good.
The Hamstar Soul Concept will turn heads while rolling down the street because of its custom red and black color scheme, topped off by a “star” graphic with the signature Hamstar script logo on the bonnet. There will be off-black matte finish stripes on the vehicle’s sides that are reminiscent of vintage warm-up pants and, as odd as that might sound, it’s what Kia has stated.
The exterior is covered with black gloss and polished aluminum sport wheels. The all black interior includes red/black sport cloth seat materials with black chenille stars on the back of the head rests. There are also special floor mats with a Hamstar badge.
So, in the event you are one of those die-hard Hamstar fans, here’s your opportunity to show your love and dedication to the world. It’s kind of the equivalent of taping posters of Justin Bieber to your ride. Oh no, now we’re providing them with ideas?!
Hit the jump to read the press release.
Kia is offering up a snazzy Soul, called the White Tiger Concept, at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, Nevada. This version of the Soul will take a few cues from the gorgeous white tiger, as it will use white paint on the exterior with tiger themed graphics. This will contrast very well with the jet-black leather interior.
The exterior gets fog lamps, body colored bumpers, sport spoiler, black fender vents, rear bumper cat claw appliqué, alloy fuel door, and features white-finish 18-inch alloy wheels. This should make the Soul look more like a tiger than any other car on the road. Okay, so it’s no BMW M3 Tiger Edition, but you get the idea.
Inside, the White Tiger gets push-button start, black leather seating surfaces, and heated front seats. The Soul White Tiger will be arriving in Kia retail showrooms in the coming weeks, so if you want something that resembles a Tiger and is one of the best small cars on the road, go get yourself a Kia Soul White Tiger.
Hit the jump to read the press release.
Williams have agreed to supply transmissions for the Hispania Racing Team next season, as they hope to climb out of the cellar with some help from a former champion.
Hispania have not had much success this season and have yet to score a point finish. Due to their lack of success, many have wondered if the team will be around for the 2011 campaign. This new partnership is key to that future.
If there is one area that links these two teams, it’s the fact that both Williams and Hispania have their engines supplied by Cosworth, making it a bit easier to adapt the gearboxes for the Hispania cars.
As far as the competition goes, Lotus have signed a deal with Red Bull Technology for their gearboxes in 2011, but Virgin have yet to make any major deals. Like the other 2010 newcomers, Lotus and Virgin Racing, Hispania started the season using Xtrac gearboxes.
The Brazilian Grand Prix is this Sunday, so be sure to tune in.
For many years in the best decade of rap music, there was a feud between East and West coast rappers. It lasted for quite some time and spawned some magical music, but it did have its downfalls. There were many physical altercations as well as deaths, including two of the most famous rappers of all time.
In today’s world, this battle seems to be over, but there are still some traces left in today’s music, if you can understand a word they are saying. Yet, in the hopes of bringing the two coasts together, Ford has sent car customizer Funkmaster Flex a 2011 Mustang GT to customize for Snoop Dogg.
We know many things about the 2011 Mustang and we love it to death, as we find it to be one of the best muscle cars on the road, but we can only imagine what a customizing master like Funkmaster Flex could do to it.
Hit the jump to find out.
There are certain items out there that are marketed to automotive lovers, such as shirts, caps, lighters, wallets, and books. While we don’t recommend wearing a Ferrari polo shirt when you don’t have aFerrari in your garage, you get the idea.
One of our favorite automotive themed items are pieces of jewelry that you wear on your wrist; watches. We are huge watch fans here and we have had our share of expensive Swiss timepieces and are always happy to share our knowledge with our readers, especially if those readers are big petrol heads like us.
There are many different watch companies that have partnered with automakers, which in return, have created gorgeous masterpieces, some that can cost as much as a new car or even a house. Below we have listed our ten favorite automotive themed watches from Rolex, Breitling, and Panerai.
Hit the jump to see the list.
Just imagine yourself on a date with somebody that you really care about and want to impress with your gorgeous car. You’ve spent the day cleaning it up in preparation for the event. As you’re driving down the highway, going to that fancy restaurant, the engine begins to smoke and you realize that this date may be spent at the repair shop.
Cars break down, it’s a fact of life, but it’s how you prepare for it that matters. There are many different options that can cover this sort of event, but it’s all on how you’ve prepared that will determine if your night will be saved, or if it will be spent getting a taxi to take that date of yours home.
There are two options when it comes to extended warranties. The first option is to purchase it from the manufacturer and the second is from a third party. There are benefits to both and below, we can given you a little information that might make the choice a bit easier.
Hit the jump to read on.
Ford has spent years staying ahead of the game. With the Mustang, they have been able to linger out in front of Chevrolet and Dodge with new technological and mechanical innovations. For 2011, Ford’s new models will continue in this tradition.
The new V6 in the Ford was far better than the six-cylinder motors in the Camaro and the Challenger, and the new 5.0-liter V8 was just about on par with them too. Yet, Ford has refused to rest on what they’ve already done. The automaker has been busy revolutionizing the muscle car scene with one new motor that has garnered worldwide praise.
Ford has stated that the EcoBoost motor would find its way into mostly everything the company makes, and that might include the Mustang. Recently, Inside Line has seen a Mustang that we believe is the turbocharged version we’ve all been waiting for. So let’s take a look at it.
Hit the jump to read on.
The Chevrolet Camaro might not be the cheap fun straight-line car it was back in the day, but it’s still sold quite well and spawned a few special editions. This new SSX Track Car concept is the ultimate edition.
“The SSX concept explores taking Camaro’s excellent street performance and extending it into a road course context,” said Chris Perry, vice president, Chevrolet marketing. “The car expresses Camaro performance while also signaling Chevrolet’s new commitment to developing and offering a portfolio of performance parts for racing enthusiasts.”
The SSX Track Car Camaro has been built for the racing circuit in mind. The suspension has been modified and some of the parts have been replaced with carbon fiber, such as lightweight carbon fiber body panels. There is also an adjustable rear wing, a revised lower grille, and unique brake cooling ducts. All of this has helped the Camaro shed some pounds.
The car is painted in a low-gloss Icy White Metallic paint that contrasts well with the carbon bits and sits on 20-inch racing wheels. There are a few graphics and racing numbers to give the car that race ready look. This concept was constructed with input from Pratt and Miller, Chevrolet partner in Corvette Racing, and Riley Technologies using parts proven in the Grand Am racing series.
Under the hood there is a 6.2 liter V-8 enhanced with Chevrolet Performance Parts’ camshaft, cylinder heads, and dry-sump oiling system. On the interior, Chevrolet has removed the carpeting, sound deadener, and rear seat, then added racing seats with five-point harness, a racing steering wheel, shifter and, of course, a roll cage.
Press release after the jump.
Chevrolet has just announced the new Camaro with a long name. Whereas most versions of this muscle are two letters, this one is called the XM/Accessory Appearance Package. You might want to right that one down in case you need to remember later.
This version of the Camaro provides plenty of kit for a low price, something that the American car companies are quite good at doing. It will provide some appearance and accessory options for the 1LT model.
“The XM Accessory Appearance Package is all about affordable style,” said Russ Clark, director, Chevrolet product marketing. “Our intent was to create a special, customized model – including 21-inch wheels – that could be had for around $30,000, a popular price point for today’s Camaro buyer before they add accessories.”
The 1LT will offer up the base 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 with 312 horsepower and 29 miles per gallon, which is not as good as the Mustang. Add the package to the car and you’ll get a rear spoiler, unique grille, and 21-inch wheels. You can see this model when it hits the floor at SEMA.
Hit the jump to see the press release.
In order to fill a car market niche, Audi has created the A7 Sportback. Although it might appear to be a new design, this actually harks back to the days of the Citroen CX.
The Audi version, the A7 Sportback is actually a decent looking car, as some companies have made right messes of their sportback models. We’re looking at youHonda with your Crosstour. The Audi is only a prototype at this point, but it’s slated to be ready by 2012 and just in case you were wondering how it was thought up, Audi has a video for you to see.
The designers created something that stepped outside of the normal sportback range. Obviously, its shape will put it in the firing line of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and the Volkswagen CC. Yet, we don’t think Audi should have too much of a problem garnering sales, as its look is quite unique, including that massive rear end.
We’ve said enough about this car’s visual appearance, now enjoy the video.
Racing trucks never really caught on, just as the NASCAR Truck Series, but that hasn’t stopped our friends over at PickupTrucks.com from racing two new Ford F-150 trucks. The two trucks that faced off were both V6 models for 2011.
The website took these two new trucks to the Milan Dragway in Michigan and put them head to head in their Work Truck Shootout. While trucks usually don’t line up and drag race each other, it was interesting to see the power of these two new models.
The first truck, which ran a 15.87 second quarter mile, was the naturally aspirated 3.7-liter V6 with 302 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque. The quicker EcoBoost model with 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque ran a 14.67 second time at 94.6 miles per hour. Interestingly, both of these two times were quicker than the half-ton V8 models tested by the site in 2008.
The Hennessey Venom GT has its sights set on Las Vegas for the SEMA Motor Show, so we thought we’d share this video as a preview of the amazing treat that is to come.
The Hennessey GT is powered by a 6.2-liter LS9 V8, which is the same used in the Corvette ZR1. There are three configurations of this motor: one with 725 horsepower and 741 pound-feet of torque and the twin-turbocharged version that has 1,000 horsepower or 1,2000 horsepower. That motor is packed into a Lotus body that seems to have been injected with more steroids than a body builder.
We know that this machine is quite a badass, but we never had a chance to really hear it full out. It’s basically a British sports car body with a massive muscle car motor under the hood. How much better can life get and how much louder can a car get?
Check out the video to find out.
Dodge has just given us some images and details on the new 2011 Grand Caravan. For some time, theGrand Caravan has been less than grand, but Dodge hopes that this newest version will change that and put them in front of Honda and Toyota in the minivan game.
The van will pack Dodge’s new Pentastar V6, as well as a revised suspension that Dodge hopes will make the van more pleasing to drive. We haven’t been told what was changed, but the press release says that “virtually everything” was updated.
The motor is the 3.6-liter V6 and that will be connected to a six-speed automatic. That motor will replace all three of the previous motors. The V6 puts out 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the same numbers as the new Avenger.
While we aren’t sure if a V6 only van will sell well, we are sure that buyers will love the new interior with top-notch materials, better seats, and redesigned gauges. The outside of the Grand Caravan will get some LED taillights and a new front fascia.
We’ll have to wait and see how the van compares with the new offerings from Honda and Toyota, which have been stellar.
Hit the jump to see the press release.
It’s amazing, as even though the Toyota unintended acceleration issue was some time ago, some stories keep popping up at least once a month. This time, there are accusations against the Japanese automaker that they forced people to keep quiet about the issue. Part of this deal was that Toyota would buy-back these problematic vehicles, but in order to get them to do that, owners had to sign a confidentially statement that stated they couldn’t talk to anyone about it.
The suit also points to Toyota documents that stated engineers and technicians were able to recreate the issue. This entire thing aside, the suit is basically saying that Toyota knew about the issue, but failed to act for years.
Toyota has stated that all owners who sold their vehicles back were asked to sign a liability waiver and there was no confidentiality statement in this waiver. Frankly, while they might have failed to act, this story seems a bit to mafia-like for a car company.
McLaren have just confirmed that they will back Jenson Button in his title defense at the Brazilian Grand Prix, despite the English driver being 42 points behind with only 50 points up for grabs.
His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, is only 21 points behind and could use the support of Button, but that’s just not going to happen.
"He has vowed to fight on and we will be supporting him fully next weekend," said McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh to the BBC.
"Jenson knows you can’t lift the title without being a resolute fighter."
Button knows that it’s a long shot, but he has said that he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself if he backed down and did not try and defend his title. He has stated that he will continue to fight until it’s mathematically impossible for him to win.
Currently, Fernando Alonso sits atop of the standings, with Mark Webber, Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel close behind. Webber is currently the closest to Alonso, as he is only down 11 points.
Despite being so far down and behind four other drivers, Button remains upbeat.
"It’s totally possible I could win at Interlagos, take home maximum points and have none of the other title contenders finish, he said to the BBC.
Citroen has long been in the shadows of the Germans. This is partly because their cars have been horribly unreliable and partly because they just weren’t as good to drive. But the French automaker is going to try and change all of that with their new luxury machine, the DS9.
The DS9, which is based off of the Metropolis concept, is the company’s attempt to move up market and challenge the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XJ, and the Audi A8.
Another reason for this new machine is that Citroen is planning on entering Asia with this vehicle, as it’s the first design carried out at the company’s Shanghai-based design team. It was first created in May of 2010 and Citroen hopes that it will show Chinese buyers that they can rival the higher-end products from the Germans.
Hit the jump to read on and see some new pictures of the DS9.
The decade of the recall is continuing, asNissan has just announced a recall of 2.14 million vehicles and for those keeping track at home, that’s the third largest recall in history. Not exactly a record to be proud of.
The issue with these vehicles lies with a faulty ignition relay that could cause the engine the stall or fail to restart. The fix is quick, around 25 minutes, and it will involve replacing the ignition relay with one that actually works.
The recall is worldwide and it affects vehicles from 2003 to July 2006. Japan will get the most recall notices with around 835,000 vehicles. The United States and Canada need around 762,000 new relays between them. There are a plethora of vehicles on the list, from small little cars like the Cube and Micra, to larger ones like the Titan and the Infiniti QX.
Nissan has just joined a massive party, with guests like BMW, who are having an issue with their N54 motors, Honda, Toyota,Chrysler, and Volvo. How long till we have a new guest? Just wait and see.
Today, theKia Soul Flex, the first Korean vehicle that can run on ethanol, was released. It was specially designed for the Brazilian market where these flex-fuel models make up 85% of new car sales.
The vehicle uses a 1.6-liter four-cylinder motor that cranks out 128 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. The car can manage a 44% fuel economy increase in fuel mileage over the gas version.
The Soul Flex will use a reinforced fuel pump, pillar cap, and fuel line. There will also be a gasoline assistance system that will aid engine ignition at low temperatures. In addition to all of this, the motor will use an adapted fuel injection and catalyst system. There will also be a new engine compression ratio.
The Kia Soul Flex will debut this month, with sales beginning early next year in Brazil. The company is also working on a Sportage Flex that should be unveiled at the end of next year.
Mercedes-Benz is set to unveil the CLS63 AMG at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the middle of November, according to Autolinknews. The base CLS was recently shown at the Paris Motor Show and we were in awe at its beauty.
The AMG version will likely feature a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged 554 horsepower V8. There might be a performance package offered from AMG that will raise the horsepower rating to 571. This will be the third performance car that the 5.5-liter V8 will have been used in, as it was previously used in the S63 AMG and theCL63 AMG.
Compared to the base CLS, the AMG tuned sedan will get some changes to the overall aerodynamics, including the rear bumper, as it will need to make room for quad tail pipes.
Hit the jump to see a video of the CLS63 AMG going for a lap around the Nurburgring in Germany.
Subaru has just released the official details on the new 2011 Forester. The Japanese automaker has placed a 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder motor in the vehicle’s engine compartment. There will also be a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder in the performance oriented XT.
While we’re on the XT topic, Subaru has announced that the XT will be available in two trim levels, the Premium and the Touring. The Touring trim, which will replace the Limited at the top of the line, will offer buyers self-adjusting HID headlights, dual-zone climate controls, and a backup camera.
If you can’t afford the top of the line Touring model don’t fret, as Subaru has equipped the basic models with more goodies than every before. The Forester will come standard with Bluetooth and a one-touch up/down driver’s window. Bump it up to the 2.5X Premium and the 2.5XT Premium and you will get a new audio system with six speakers, a USB and AUX jacks, iPod integration, and Satellite radio capability.
Hit the jump for the full list of specifications.
McLaren’s Jenson Button feels like his title hopes are all but gone, after he finished 12th in the Korean Grand Prix.
Button is now 42 points behind the leader, Fernando Alonso, with only 50 points still on the table. Despite this, Button has vowed to keep fighting, despite his belief that everyone will need to have failures in order to get back into title contention.
His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, remains confident in his chances and feels that the new updates that are going for his car will help McLaren remain competitive with the Ferrari and Red Bull machines.
"We can still do this," said Hamilton to the BBC. "We have some stuff coming on the car which should enable us to fight with Red Bull in Brazil and Abu Dhabi."
Hamilton is currently 21 points behind Alonso, but drivers now get 25 points for winning a race. If Hamilton can take the last two races, he might have a great shot at taking his second career championship.
Full story after the jump.
We know that Toyota is planning on creating a larger version of the Prius, the most popular hybrid in the world. We’ve seen some spy spots and some billboard photos of the hybrid MPV before, but this is the first time that we’ve gotten a good look at the new Toyota.
The good people over at autoblog.it have managed to get their hands on a photo of the Prius MPV and it appears to be a seven-passenger, three-row vehicle, or basically a minivan. It will be shown in the flesh for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show.
The website says that the new Prius MPV will get a 1.8-liter hybrid, the same as in the normal Prius. The power output might be pumped up to 138 horsepower, as it needs to cope with the larger size and weight of the much larger MPV body.
Stay tuned for more information.
Although you’ve probably never heard of the Tata Safari, it’s a pretty big seller in other parts of the world. For 2011, there is a new model, although it still appears to be stuck in 1999. It will go on sale in India in the early part of 2011, followed by Europe later in the year.
The new model will pick up where the old one left off, but with more technical updates, a new design, and more attention to fit and finish. This means that the price will rise, but Tata is debating on continuing the production of the previous model, as a low cost variant. Hard to imagine BMW doing that with one of their models isn’t it?
The 2011 Tata Safari SUV will be based on its sibling Aria’s platform which will make the car more rigid and a better handler. The new model will also have lots of space and will be loaded with features such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a silver finish on the center console, Climate Control, and much more.
Tata will also use some of the technical know how from Jaguar Land Rover on the new Safari to help sales in Europe. The motor should be 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel with 140 horsepower.
Hit the jump for the full review.
The Toyota Subaru partnership will certainly give us a wonderful product in the end, but for now we have some spy shots of the Subaru version thanks to PistonSpy.
There are some rumors swirling around that the new Subaru will be powered by a 2.5-liter motor, a variation of the motor used in the Impreza WRX STI. There have also been rumors that a 2.0-liter motor might be used, but those have died down as of late. We suspect that the motor will put out 280 horsepower, far more than the 200 horsepower Toyota version, but both will offer a six-speed manual transmission.
In terms of styling, the Subaru version will take more design cues from the hatchback version, mostly on the front end. Despite the fact that these two cars have been made under a partnership, both will be unique due to their own bumpers, front grille, and wheels.
While most sporting drivers will be waiting for the Ford Focus ST, the automaker will offer up something a bit more civilized for the time being. When the newFocus goes on sale in 2011, Ford will offer sport packages with the SE and Titanium models. This package will add a more tuned up suspension, larger wheels, better brakes, and some interior bits.
The SE Sport Package, available on the sedan and hatch, will equip the car with four-wheel disc brakes, sport suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, piano black, grille sports seats, metallic interior trim accents, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a five-speed manual transmission. It will also get a rear spoiler and come in Ford’s Yellow Blaze Metallic paint.
If you opt for the Titanium model, it will come with sport suspension, the Titanium Handling Package - which adds better suspension components for more driving feel - and 18-inch alloy wheels with summer tires.
Ford has not yet released pricing.
Hit the jump to see the press release.
Gerhard Berger has just accused Mark Webber of attempting to take out his championship rivals at the Korean Grand Prix during his wreck in the early part of the race.
At the time, Webber was leading the championship by 14 points, but he managed to clip the curb and spin his car into the wall. That’s not the end of the story, as his Red Bull skated back across the track, collecting Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.
Berger believes that Webber could have stomped on the brakes to avoid coming back across the track. A few laps earlier, Rosberg had passed Lewis Hamilton and had that not taken place, Webber would have hit the McLaren, a serious championship rival.
When asked if he thought the move was deliberate, Berger, who owned Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso, said yes, it was very deliberate.
"It’s very obvious, you can see his wheels are not locked up. Perhaps he had a brake problem, but I don’t think so,” he said.
Red Bull team boss Horner responded: "As with every incident in Formula One, opinions will always be made without all the facts.
"Just to be absolutely clear - Mark’s intention was not to take out another driver after his crash and it’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise," he told the Telegraph.
Mark Webber has not commented on the story and we don’t think he will, but this wouldn’t have been the first time that a driver has attempted to take out a rival. Still, by the look of the accident, it didn’t seem like he was going after any of his fellow drivers.
If you just got a big year end bonus at that high-end job, head over to your local Aston Martin dealer and order yourself a One-77. According to the Dutch Autoblog, 22 examples of the gorgeously styled, uber-fast, and sensationally expensive machine are still for sale. One would have thought that this vehicle would have sold out by now, but it seems that only 55 of the 77 are spoken for.
While some might think that this is an issue for the company, Aston isn’t worried since the official production version of the One-77 hasn’t even been produced yet. That’s right, 55 vehicles were sold and the car hasn’t even been built. Of course, the fact that the production of this supercar has dragged out for so long may be the reason why some of those contracts have yet to be signed.
Next month, those customers that do have a solid contract for the supercar will get to drive the One-77 for the first time. We don’t doubt that everybody who drives this 750 horsepower machine will fall in love, which may be a good marketing tool to finally get rid of the remaining models.
The SEMA Auto Show doesn’t get going until next week, but we already have a good idea of what will be coming to the show in Las Vegas. Today, Chrysler’s Mopar Underground department has just unveiled three new off-road vehicles for the aftermarket show.
The first on offer will be twoJeeps, the J7 Stripper and the NuKaiser 715. The former will be a stripped down Wrangler with a two-inch lift kit and 35-inch Mickey Thompson off road tires. The latter will be based on the Egyptian-built J8 military-spec Jeep. It has a diesel motor and an AEV-sourced pickup bed. That bed is connected to a custom cab. It will also feature a few Mopar toys, such as rock rails, a winch bumper, and 38-inch Mud-Terrain tires.
On top of those Wranglers, Jeep will also bring one more, the Sahara Mopar Edition. There are no images of this vehicle as of now, but we do know that it will be lifted and given 35-inch tires with AEV alloy wheels. For playing in the rough stuff, the Sahara will feature steel front and rear bumpers, an integrated rear tire carrier, and a Mopar/AEV hood to add protection.
Hit the jump to see what other projects are heading to SEMA, plus a sneak preview video.
There is a rumor out there that sports cars aren’t reliable and that they should be used sparingly, for the fear of an expensive repair. That doesn’t seem to be the case, as thePorsche Boxster has been rated the most reliable car in the world, according to Consumer Report’s New 2010 Survey.
The smallest vehicle in thePorsche lineup has proven to be one of the best, as the magazine found predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, acceleration, predicted depreciation, and accident avoidance in the Boxster to be near flawless.
The Boxster’s big brother, the 911, scored fairly good as well, although it was ranked as Porsche’s worst model. The 911 scored just about the same as the Boxster is most categories, but owner costs and fuel costs were considerably higher, while predicted reliability was a tad lower.
Porsche proved to be one of the only German automakers to score well in the survey. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi all came in the bottom ten, but that won’t stop us from loving them. The magazine ranked the high-performance M3 as the worst BMW of them all, with the 135i ranking highest.
Low ranking sports cars seemed to be a theme in the survey, as four companies found their sporty machines coming last. These include the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Cadillac CTS-V, and the M3. Only one company, besides Porsche, had a sports car ranked on the top and that was Hyundai with the Genesis Coupe.
Hit the jump to read the press release.
Don’t you wish you were a cop in Britain? While our American police officers have to drive around in Chevrolet Impalas and Ford Crown Victorias, the UK is getting some Beamers.
BMW is giving all 52 of the country’s police forces these new products, including the new 5-Series, X1, X3, xDrive20d, and the X5 xDrive30d and xDrive40d SUVs. Every one of these vehicles will be powered by diesel fuel because the environment is just as important as catching crooks.
The United Kingdom will also get a 330d sedan High Performance Pursuit Vehicle. This will be the machine you will see running down the baddies at high speeds on the motorways. Despite having these amazing cars, the UK will still rely on cameras to catch speeders on the motorway.
The German automaker will also include the R1200 RF-P Police bike, which should be used on Britain’s crowded roads and in cities.
Press release after the jump.
ABC News has just conjured up a story that BMW is in some deep mess over the high-pressure fuel pump in its twin-turbocharged N54 six-cylinder motor. We know that the pump has a high rate of failure and can cause stalling, backfiring, and loss of power in certain BMW vehicles with this motor. Yet, due to the fact that BMW has failed to issue a recall, there have been numerous lawsuits against the automaker. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration got involved in 2008 and deemed that it posed no threat to owner safety. So, BMW is in the clear right?
Well, not so fast. The German automaker has said that what drivers are experiencing is something called a built-in limp mode. Although it may feel like the vehicle has stalled, it can still be driven safely. They have also said that when the pumps fail, there is no rapid deceleration, so there is no risk of an accident.
Although this is what BMW claim, many people are experiencing issues. We have seen many people who say that they’ve had to replace their fuel pumps seven times in the last seven months. It’s just in the United States, as the problem is worldwide. An owner of a 135i in Australia had to have his replaced, luckily, that vehicle was still under warranty.
Hit the jump to get the whole story plus ABC’s video on the matter.
Update: BMW is recalling 150,800 vehicles to replace faulty fuel pumps after customer complaints. Models covered: 2007-2010 335i models, 2008–2010 135i, 535i and X6 xDrive35i; 2009-2010 Z4 Roadster sDrive35i and 2008 X5s.
It’s an automotive show like no other that takes place in the city of lights, Las Vegas, Nevada. The show itself is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world and is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Usually, SEMA draws around 100,000 people from 100 different countries around the world, just to see new products, tuned performance cars, and some gorgeous women.
TheSEMA displays are spread out around two million square feet of floor space. That massive zone is separated by 12 sections, with the largest section consisting of newly introduced parts, tools, and other various components.
Of course, the reason why we love the event so much is the unique vehicles that come out. There will be products from Hyundai, Ford, and many other car manufacturers, all tuned to high heaven and given a sick paint job.
The event will take place on November 2nd through November 5th.
UPDATE 10/27/2010: We’ve added some more vehicles headed to Las Vegas for SEMA. Check out the additions after the jump!
Hit the jump to see the list of cars prepared to sparkle on the show floor.
The entry-level luxury segment doesn’t get the attention of some of the various other segments, such as the luxury sports sedan category. Yet, attention from car lovers matters about as much to sales as one cloud on a sunny day. Photos on the covers of magazines are all well and good, but sales numbers are what really count.
The reason for this is the fact that companies don’t make a whole lot of money selling a few thousand super expensive machines with plush seats, loads of technology, and a massive motor. Sort of like Rolex and Timex, as one makes a better product, but the latter is far wealthier. So, with so many different automakers trying to soak up the sales of the entry-level luxury game, one would think that sales would be spread, but they’re not. One vehicle has maintained dominance over the herd, theLexus ES.
In the past decade, Toyota has created 600,000 of these sedans in the U.S alone, with another 650,000 in the rest of the world. What makes this even better for the Japanese automaker is the lack of incentives that go along with the ES. These things are selling straight up.
Hit the jump to read on.
Is there anyone you would like to be more than Jay Leno? Think about it; the guy has boatloads of money and spends his time tinkering with some of the most fabulous cars on the planet. He can basically drive whatever car he chooses without so much as uttering a full sentence to convince the auto brand to let him and then he gets paid to tell people what he thinks about them. Not a bad gig at all.
For his latest endeavor, the King of Late Night got to take a spin in the Aston Martin V12 Vantage. The V12 Vantage can hit a top speed of 190mph and can make the 0-60mph sprint in 4.2 seconds, so getting the chance sit behind this wheel is definitely a thing to cherish.
During his turn in the British supercar, Leno described the Aston Martin as "almost the perfect combination of hardcore track sports car and GT car." During the video, he turns the car over - something we would never do - to British racing driver Justin Bell who puts the car through its paces at Willow Springs track.
Formula One boss, Bernie Ecclestone, has denied having said that Spa-Francorchamps is on the verge of being chopped off the F1 calendar. Speaking to a Belgian reporter after the Korean Grand Prix, Ecclestone said that a recent report in The Guardian twisted his words. Despite this, he has hinted that a few races might get cut from the European Formula One calendar.
“I am sure that in the years to come, we will lose a few races in Europe. It is almost certain. Which ones? I have no idea. But from our side, we want to keep Spa. There are long discussions about the grand prix there, but if it does go, it will be because of the government, not me,” said Ecclestone.
There have been rumors that three races might get axed: Silverstone, Spa, and Istanbul. We don’t think that the British have anything to worry about, due to the redesigned circuit and the fact that there are numerous teams based in the UK. That leaves Spa and Istanbul, which have both reported financial losses.
Either way, two new races will be coming on board very soon, including a track in Austin, Texas and one in Sochi, Russia. The race in the U.S is scheduled to open in 2012, while the Russian race is still a few years off.
According to a recent report,Chevrolet is considering a crossover based on the redesigned Aveo. This has to be one of the funniest sounding vehicles since the Nissan Murano Convertible, which is actually being made. That must mean that this will be made as well. Oh no.
We don’t have many details at this time, but according to AutoCar, the crossover will ride on a stretched out Aveo platform and with front-wheel drive as standard. Of course, if you need that extra security, all-wheel drive is an option.
The styling will be similar to what you’d find on most new Chevrolets, but the interior will get improved quality. The crossover will get Opel switchgear and a new high-tech digital display, although the ‘dual cockpit’ design will remain.
There will be an Opel version offered as well, although GM has promised not to badge-engineer.
We could see this new model as early as 2012.
A good motoring show needs a place where street laws don’t come into play. The original TopGear had a nice unused airfield and it seems like the American version will do the same. Reports have indicated that the base will be the Marine Corp’s former facility at El Toro in Orange County, California, the same site that NBC wanted to use.
The track combines north/south and east/west runways from the former air field. The runways will make great straights for high speeds and it’s easy to find areas for corners. The only downside is the lack of hills and elevation changes, but not anymore, as this track will feature a ten-foot drop and climb on an off-track loop. This should give it a nice advantage over most runway based tracks.
TopGear USA will premier on November 21st on the History Channel, so be sure to tune in a watch. The original version of TopGear won’t return until next year.
The insanely wonderful Hennessey Venom GT is coming to SEMA in Las Vegas. The Lotus-bodied, LS9-powered Venom GT is sure to make those Hyundai models and Ford Fiestas quiver in fear.
The Venom GT is a little boy’s dream car. We have all wondered what could happen if we stuffed a massive motor into a small car right? Well, we can now find out. The car was recently in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, but it’s back in the United States for some tweaking in preparation for SEMA.
The Venom GT is powered by a twin turbocharged Chevrolet LS-series aluminum V8 producing 1,200 hp and 1,135 lb-ft torque mated to a 6-speed Ricardo manual transaxle. This supercar will hit a top speed of 200mph and will feature lightweight carbon fiber bodywork and carbon fiber wheels.
Only ten are built every year with a price tag of $850,000.
Dozens of automotive writers representing the Texas Auto Writers Association have just named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas.” Not a bad choice, as we found the new Jeep to be brilliant and a massive step forward for the company.
Jeep also managed to get the 2011 Wrangler Unlimited a trophy for being the “Mid-size SUV of Texas”. We’re not sure about this one, but to each their own, especially in the great state of Texas.
More than 40 members were given two-days of on- and off-road evaluation time with the Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler, as well as their competitors. Everything was taken into consideration, including exterior style, off-road ability, and the overall value and fuel efficiency.
Though it might seem like Chrysler had a big day already, more was yet to come, as the 2011 Dodge Ram Laramie Longhorn was named the “Truck of Texas.” The Ram swept every category it entered, dominating the competition.
Well done Chrysler. Texas sure does love you.
We can’t wait for the new Cadillac XTS, as it will mark the demise of the terribly dull STS andDTS. That though, is a ways off and until then, we have to make do with the new 2011 STS.
According to USA Today, the STS sedan will no longer be offered with the 4.6-liter Northstar V8. The only motor that is still being offered is the 3.6-liter V6 with 302 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque. Power will be directed to either the rear wheels or all-wheel drive.
The Cadillac STS for 2011 will be getting OnStar as standard, meaning that owners will get better voice recognition and more safety features. There will also be a Platinum version with 18-inch wheels, an Alcantara headliner, and a full leather interior.
Pricing starts at $47,280 for the 2011 STS, which isn’t worth it. If you want everything with your cruise liner the price will climb to well over $65,000. There should be some large discounts because STS models aren’t big sellers and this one will be no different.
Misha Designs has just unveiled its new widebody Mercedes-Benz SL, as if the normal one isn’t wide enough.
The new package includes a new front bumper and lower lip spoiler made from carbon fiber. These help to increase the opening in the front to allow more air flow. The fenders and the quarter panels are widened to merge with the wheel arches with air intakes behind the front wheels. This will give the Misha SL a Black Series-like look.
The new kit also uses a new bonnet with carbon fiber vents. There are side skirts that meet up with the fender flares and a rear bumper with carbon fiber gills on each side. There is also a carbon diffuser and a truck spoiler for aerodynamics.
Misha Design says that you can have this done to any post-2003 SL model, but it can provide an easy upgrade bolt on kit for the face lifted 2009 version. As if the new version wasn’t vulgar enough, this steps it up one more notch.
According to Car and Driver magazine, BMW is developing three new models, including a new 2-Series. The other models consist of the Megacity concept and a car smaller than the 1-Series, aimed at the Audi A1.
According to the report, the 2-Series would become BMW’s entry-level rear-wheel drive model, meaning that title would no longer belong to the 1-Series, which would become front-wheel drive. Prospective buyers don’t fret, as this probably won’t happen until 2015.
There is a chance that the new 1-Series with a front-wheel drive setup might get a hybrid system, as the German automaker is currently developing one with the PSA Group.
BMW recently filed trademark applications in the U.S for the names 228, 230 and 235. This means that there could be a six-cylinder motor in a 2-Series, but we would imagine a four-cylinder might be offered in the base version, as well as some diesel options.
According to some of the latest reports, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta will be the base for the new Dodge Caliber, just without the Italian flare and style. The new Caliber is set to arrive in late 2011 as the 2012 model.
This is all according to USA Today who credits Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, as saying that the Giulietta will serve as a Dodge. As rumors go, this one is quite good, as the company’s five year plan shows the Caliber being discontinued in 2011, and Chrysler will need to fill that hole.
A new successful small car is hugely important for Chrysler, as they will have nothing to compete against theFord Fiesta and Focus and the Chevrolet Cruze and the new Aveo. A vehicle based on the gorgeous Giuliette might be what the company needs.
Recently, Fiat has expressed interest in expanding their stake in Chrysler beyond 20 percent and the only way that happens is if they have big success in the U.S and the Giulietta might be just what the doctor ordered.
Fernando Alonso, in his red Ferrari, has become the championship leader after winning a rain-soaked inaugural Korean Grand Prix.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was second and Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa came third. While those two managed points, Jenson Button came twelfth to all but end his hopes of defending the title.
The Spaniard is now leading Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who crashed early on, by 11 points and Hamilton by 21 points.
While the rain proved to be a serious issue for many of the drivers, it was an engine failure that knocked out Sebastian Vettel while he was leading the race. After failing to finish, the German is now 25 points behind Alonso.
"We know with the new points system everything can change in one race - if you don’t score, you lose 25 points to your opponents," said Alonso to the BBC after the race.
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The SEMA show is always a time to show off what you can do, and Chrysler is leading this way at this year’s event. In Las Vegas, Dodge and Mopar will be unveiling the Challenger 392, which packs a 6.4-liter V8 with 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. In addition to that Challenger, the Drag Pak V10 will be shown. If you thought 470 horses was over the top, wait till you see this bad boy. The car will come with a V10 from the Viper, a two-speed transmission, roll cage, fuel cell and unique gauge cluster.
On top of the Challenger models, Dodge will also be showing the 2011 Red Line Charger concept. This vehicle will feature 22-inch wheels and a few unique body upgrades to give the car a bit more attitude. The automaker will also be bringing the new 2011 Durango, but in a unique flavor called the Black and Tan. No, this isn’t Bass Ale mixed with Guinness - for those dark beer lovers -, it’s simply a Durango with a custom interior and a wheel package.
Finally, Fiat will be bringing a Mopar designed500 concept. The vehicle will feature flared fenders, 18-inch wheels and a special interior treatment.
Overall, Chrysler says that they will have 35 different vehicles at the SEMA show.
Hit the jump for the press release
The controversial Korean Grand Prix is already getting a makeover. The FIA is planning on making changes to Yeongam’s Turn 16 before Saturday. Talk about efficiency.
The reason for this modification is due to a bump that unsettles the cars. The replacement curb will cover the bump, but it will also slow lap times.
In addition to the bump, the wall on the right on the exit of the corner will be moved back, although engineers have yet to determine how far they can move it. The wall currently shoots out and doesn’t have a tire barrier for protection, so if a driver happens to lose control and hit the wall, the resulting accident could be catastrophic.
The FIA is also debating on whether to tell drivers that they don’t have to respect the white line at the pit entry. The reason for this change would be to allow drivers to take a faster approach and not block the cars behind.
Be sure to tune into the first ever Korean Grand Prix on BBC1 or the Speed Channel.
Korea sure knows how to show a journalist a good time. Fly them all the way to Asia and put them up in a “love hotel”. Sadly, it’s not a love story after all, as some are complaining about used condoms under their beds and dildo vending machines.
The reason for this strange turn of events is a simple room shortage for the Korean Grand Prix, so in order to get traveling media and even some teams a good night sleep, they had to be put up in these brothels, sometimes referred to as “love hotels”.
"After a ten-hour flight to Seoul, a first class train journey to Mokpo and a quick taxi ride to our ’Love Hotel’, we’ve arrived. The accommodation is a bit bizarre and there are easily 30 of these ’Love Hotels’ in the area - the one down the road is called the Hotel Feel, but we steered clear of that. Ours, The Washington, is actually very nice. It’s still a ’Love Hotel’ but it’s clean, has a 42" TV and free Internet access,” said a photographer for Sutton Images.
The first ever Korean Grand Prix was already dicey, but this is sure to be an event that nobody will ever forget. Just don’t take home any souvenirs from the room.