Lamborghini has already confirmed that theSesto Elemento will indeed be headed to the production line, albeit in a very limited run. With such a minute number being produced, anyone would be hard-pressed to get know when Lamborghini is even actively selling it, let alone be able to grab hold of one of those units. The task of purchasing an Elemento got even harder as a high-end dealership in La Jolla, just north of San Diego, confirmed that Lamborghini was already accepting orders for the car and that only three units were headed over to the United States.
The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento will be offered at a princely sum and rumors suggest that payment will be taken Reventon-style, which means three equal payments of $300,000 or higher with the remainder being paid at the end of the deal. That kind of price tag will bring its owner a 570 HP V10 engine and a power-to-weight ratio of only 1.75 kilograms per HP. This allows the Sesto Elemento to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a sensational 2.5 seconds, while top speed will be higher than 186 mph.
Anyone willing and able to pay that incredible price tag better have their phone in hand and their bank account numbers handy.
UPDATE 08/21/2012: The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento was on display at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours where Lambo representatives have confirmed that the model is priced at a cool $2.2 million. Anyone lucky enough to scrap together enough cash will still be heartbroken when they hear that all 20 units have already been sold. (GT Spirit)
Hit the jump for more details on the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento
Any fan of supercars remembers the mighty F1 from McLaren. With its BMW sourced V12, center seat driving position and gold lined engine cover the car was truly exotic. It held many records and for longer than most other machines are able to. It shot the company right to the top of the automotive stratosphere and helped them grow into a healthy and sustainable racing company. Several years ago McLaren spent a reported 300 billion pounds to design and build the McLaren Technology Center meant to encompass all aspects of the company. That was finished back in 2003, so what have they been up to in Woking, England for the past 7 years? Quite simply they have been designing the next and possibly most formidable challenger to the Ferrari 458 Italia.
Engineers and designers at McLaren are currently developing several new and highly innovative sports cars to bring to the global market. The MP 4-12C is now in production signaling the beginning of the rebirth of a company that has not had a distinct production vehicle for over a decade. Its stunning performance and efficiency have caught the eyes of the automotive press since McLaren first began testing mules at their facility and now we get to see it in final form.
UPDATE 06/07/2012: McLaren has officially confirmed that, for the 2013 model year, the MP4-12C will come with an additional 25 HP, an Innovative Intake Sound Generator (ISG), and more color and leather finish options. Also, existing 12C owners will be offered complimentary upgrades to the latest specifications. Check out the full 2013 additions after the jump!
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 McLaren MP 4-12C.
Leaving the other debuts of the Chicago Auto Show in the dust is the brand-spanking new Camaro ZL1 - the most powerful Camaro ever. This beautiful beast is powered by a LSA 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine that provides enough juice to get our hearts racing and our fingers twitching to grab the wheel.
"Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously," said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history."
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be distinguished by a new front fascia, hood with air extractors, and a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber rendered in satin black finish. Completing the look is a set of 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips with ZL1 badge on the grille, hood, and brake calipers.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
The wait is over ladies and gentlemen: Lamborghini’s next hypercar has made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show, and dare we say what a hypercar it is! The new Bull God will feature an earth shattering 700hp V12 and the highest power to weight ratio of any car in its class. Yes, this is the new, long waited Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4.
Lamborghini is really good at creating sinister super sports cars, but it is equally as talented at naming them. According to the company, "Aventador" was the name of a bull that entered into battle on October 1993 at the Saragossa Arena, earning the "Trofeo de la Peña La Madroñera" for its outstanding courage. Having the courage to go up against a new world of super sports cars will be the name of the game for the new Lamborghini flagship. Today’s world is extremely high-tech and many new players have entered the arena. Lamborghini has been promoting its carbon-fiber monocoque technology and the Aventador’s 2.9 second 0-62mph, but will that be enough?
According to Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. "The Aventador is a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology, it’s the result of an entirely new project, but at the same time it’s a direct and consistent continuation of Lamborghini’s brand values. It is extreme in its design and its performance, uncompromising in its standards and technology, and unmistakably Italian in its style and perfection. Overall, the dynamics and technical excellence of the Aventador LP 700-4 makes it unrivaled in the worldwide super sports car arena."
UPDATE 06/21/2012: Everyone has to admit that the Lamborghini Aventador is a cool supercar and despite its $387,000 price tag, the demand for it is pretty high. Currently, the waiting list is set at about 12 months, but Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini’s CEO, recently announced that the company is working on reducing the waiting period, especially now when the demand is almost double of what it was. Currently, Lamborghini is producing a total of 600 Aventador units a year, but they are working on investing in the plant so that they can increase production capacity. (Autovisie)
Hit the jump to read more on the new Aventador.
In the world of classic and iconic cars few can outrun the historic nature of the 1956 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing. Not only was it able to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but its style and design have influenced Mercedes ever since. The car is able to exude luxury, class, precision, and power all at the same time and the company from which it was born has been very careful to mess with the formula.
Mercedes and McLaren have long been involved in racing and they’re first soirée into production automobiles came with the SLR McLaren. The car was “unique” to describe it in one word. It had a visceral and raw presence to its overall delivery of style and performance, but tended to be overshadowed by the supercars of its day. Around the same time Ferrari introduced its almighty Enzo and Porsche had developed the V10 Carrera GT. Furthermore, the SLR McLaren lacked identity with no Gullwing style doors and thus could not be categorized as a true successor to the original.
For 2011 Mercedes thought they had come up with their next supercar and named it theSLS AMG. The development of this car was handed to Mercedes’ in house tuning arm AMG. After recently developing their first engine from the ground up, this was their chance to prove themselves to the world as a competent car developer. With the overwhelming interest from consumers and praise given by automotive journalists it seems as though it has been a great success. The SLS embodies the ideals put forth by the 300 SL Gullwing’s of the past, but has also been able to make everything decidedly modern.
UPDATE 09/09/2011: Mercedes has announced a new series of options for the SLS AMG for that extra bit of customization. The list of upgrades includes: AMG 10-spoke forged wheels painted in matte black, red-painted brake calipers, or AMG high-gloss black trim, a new E-Select lever with an embossed AMG emblem, a new shock absorber symbol in the AMG drive unit, and a new AMG ride control sport suspension with variable, electronically controlled damping. Hit the jump for the full pricing list.
Hit the jump for more details on the Mercedes SLS AMG
One thing to keep in mind is the fact that drinking and driving is highly illegal and dangerous. Drinking and driving in your home arcade, on the other hand, is a lot of fun. The Octane 120 Pro Beer Arcade brings together two exciting pieces of any home arcade; a driving simulator and built in kegerator. The all in one system can be fully customized to fulfill the customer’s wants and needs.
The main components include a fully adjustable steering wheel and seat, an in dash beer tap, full HD projector, and a variety of different gaming machines. The innovative platform allows for different PC gaming setups and Playstation systems to be used. Dream Arcades will also configure the system to run over 200 racing video games straight from the arcade. The simulation provided by this system may not be as advanced as other high end units on the market, but it does include a metal gas, clutch, and brake pedal setup with variable resistance. Furthermore, the steering wheel features dual motor force feedback for realistic driving conditions. After all this may be the only place where you can grip a full size leather wrapped steering wheel and pour yourself a beer at the same time.
Behind the racing bucket seat sits the heart of the party, a mini fridge with secondary tap on tap. The fridge can hold two 5-gallon or one half barrel keg to keep every thirsty driver hydrated. The Octane Pro can be built and delivered to your home in about four weeks. Current prices without shipping and handling will run about $6,000. Contact Dream Arcades at 916-761-6925 for more information.
Rich and famous individuals around the world are known for leading extravagant lifestyles. Motor vehicles are often a way to show the world just how much money you have and one car in particular does this better than almost any other; the Rolls Royce Phantom. These bespoke automobiles have been the most luxurious and expensive items on four wheels since the company was first started. In the early part of the past century, Rolls Royce was often commissioned by heads of state and wealthy tycoons to build one off custom creations to fulfill their various desires. This 1925 Phantom I is perhaps the most indulgent of all being commissioned by the Maharaja of Kota specifically for the purpose of hunting Bengal Tigers.
Today, it would be very odd to think about taking a Rolls Royce on a dirt road, let alone trudging through mud and brush on a big game hunting trip. Those jobs would be best suited for a Land Rover Defender or even a Mercedes G550, but in 1925 Rolls Royce stood for more than just luxury. These were the most mechanically and structurally sound vehicles being produced and thus provided for the greatest reliability of anything around. Not to mention Rolls Royce was willing to do anything a customer desired as long as the price was right.
This car will be auctioned off at the Bonham Quail Lodge sale on August 19, 2011. It has changed hands several times since being discovered in the late 1970’s and has undergone two extensive restorations. Experts predict that this rare Rolls Royce could fetch anywhere from $750,000 to $1,000,000 when it crosses the block.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1925 Rolls Royce Phantom I
Porsche has unveiled the official details on the seventh model in the Panamera line-up. The new Turbo S is the most powerful version and, of course, the most expensive one as well. On the US market sales will begin later this spring with an MSRP of $173,200. The car will make its first appearance at the New York Auto Show on April 20th, 2011.
With the new Panamera Turbo S, Porsche has combined ultra high performance and efficiency, sports-car-like driving dynamics, and first-class comfort in just one car. Under the hood Porsche has placed a 4.8 liter, V8 biturbo engine that delivers an impressive 550 HP, a 50 HP improvement over the previous Turbo version. This is more than enough power to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 190 mph. We get all of this while receiving a fuel economy of 23 mph (highway).
Throughout multiple Porsche lines, the Turbo S model has made an appearance and remains today as the range topping model. Some models are more inclined to find a buyer for an ultra-performance version, but other manufacturers have found success with the same formula. The Mercedes S-class has even more model variations than the Panamera, but even the ridiculously powerful S65 with a bi-turbo V12 has found plenty of takers. One of the biggest hurdles Porsche may face is the fact that the basic Panamera is less than beautiful and the Turbo S model is hard to distinguish.
UPDATE 07/20/11: Porsche has been on a trailer fix the past few days and it continues with the release of the latest video promoting the 2012 Panamera Turbo S. This comes a day after the company released the first official teaser video of the next-generation 911. Not that we mind because the new Panamera Turbo S is about as beautiful a Porsche as you can find in the market these days. Click the photo above to watch the trailer!
Hit the jump to read more about the new Porsche Panamera Turbo S.
Porsche has made headlines in the industry with its Panamera 4-door sedan since it hit the market in 2009 as a 2010 model. Contrary to many of the company’s other models, the Panamera had many critics. Not only did the idea of a 4-door Porsche rustle purist’s feathers, but the design and styling left many scratching their heads. From some angles the car is impressive and echoes the sports car heritage that made the company famous, but when viewing the rear it’s hard to imagine exactly what the designers were thinking.
Design aside, the Panamera puts up startling performance figures in Turbo trim and made the automotive press take a step back to examine it further. Three models were offered for 2010, each with a V8 engine under the hood pushing 400hp and the Turbo at 500hp. New for 2011 will be the addition of two V6 models with the engine being designed by Porsche specifically for duty in its flagship sedan. The increased fuel economy and lower sticker price are the main reasons driving Porsche to offer this model.
With the strong performance of the 500hp Turbo model being much of the reason why enthusiasts gave the car a second look, can a V6 Porsche sedan keep up with the pack?
UPDATE 07/15/2011: Porsche recently set out to the Shanghai International Circuit with the Panamera Turbo to break the lap speed record for a four-door production car. They succeeded with a lap time of 2:29.640 minutes, but we can’t find any mention anywhere of the original record. Was the Panamera a Turbo the maiden four door vehicle? That’s what it looks like, leaving Porsche to look a little silly for the announced "achievement." THat being said, a record is a record, so check out the video to watch it in action!
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Porsche Panamera.
Ford and Chevrolet have been competing since the beginning and with today’s challenging economic times, the rivalry has grown even more fierce. It was not so long ago that car dealerships were selling hundreds of vehicles a day and running out of inventory. Ford and Chevrolet could produce any vehicle of any quality level and have it be a top seller. As the consumer has grown more conscious and more knowledgeable, the business of selling automobiles has grown more difficult.
It is hard to negate the fact that the American auto manufacturers have made leaps and bounds in terms of quality and sustainability for the vehicles they produce. These companies have begun to emerge from the financial crisis and are plotting their return to dominance. New marketing tactics have helped lead the charge and get the consumer thinking about their products. One of the best ways to do this is by having the consumer be able to test the vehicles in a non-sales environment.
At the Barrett Jackson auction in Orange County, both Ford and Chevrolet had ride and drive events set up to stimulate the car enthusiasts at the auction. Without paying any money or being hassled by a greasy car salesman, I was able to test drive the full range of new General Motors products as well as several different Ford rides. After completing some test drives, I was then whipped around the track by a professional driver in a Corvette ZR1 which left little doubt in my mind that these companies know how to show off their stuff.
Hit the jump for more details on the Ride and Drive experience.
We love going fast and we love pushing the limits to see what our vehicles are capable of. The Bonneville Salt Flats provide a perfect setting for speed junkies of all kind to come and find out what they are capable of achieving. This dry lake bed has been dominated in recent times by the internal combustion engine and even jet power, but an older form of powering four wheels is about to take center stage once again.
The U.S. Land Steam Record Team will be attempting to beat the current record in their newest steam powered vehicle. In 2009, Team Inspiration from Great Britain broke the 1985 steam record by hitting 148.308 mph. The previous official FIA record of 127mph was set in 1906 by American, Fred Marriott, driving a Stanley steamer at Daytona Beach.
Driver and car designer, Chuk Williams, in conjunction with Cyclone Power Technologies will be the latest steam pioneers when they attempt the record breaking run in August 2011. The state of the art streamline design is projected to hit a top speed north of 200 mph, which would undoubtedly seal its position in the history books. We look forward to reporting more on the attempt once the team makes it to Bonneville.
Hit the jump for more details on the U.S. Land Steam Record Team
The release of the Range Rover Evoque makes it clear that land Rover is confident enough in the brand to shift their focus from its core values. The explosion of the most recent Range Rover models, including the sport; into mainstream luxury automotive portfolio’s has shown Land Rover that they can compete with the best on every level. No single vehicle matches the current Range Rover in terms of style, capability, and refinement. The major downside to must urban dwellers owning a Range Rover is that they will never fully experience its capabilities as an off-road machine. This is where Land Rover will attempt to fill a need with the Evoque.
Once upon a time someone would mention Land Rover and an image would flash in my mind of a yellow Defender 110 trudging through some African jungle on a Camel Trophy race. Those days may be gone, but Land Rover hopes to enter the forefront of the consumers mind when thinking about mid-size SUV’s full of luxury appointments. The segment is crowded and includes big players from BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. It seems that Land Rover has learned a lot from its Ford and BMW days and is poised to release its 3 different versions of the Evoque.
It will be the smallest, lightest, and most fuel efficient Range Rover ever made. The term, “Range Rover” must be taken with a grain of salt, because yes Land Rover is tagging this new model as a Range Rover Evoque instead of simply a new line. Nonetheless, it seems that prices will fall in the $45,000 range depending on which model you choose. Head to Land Rover’s website to use the Evoque configurator and build your own.
Hit the jump for more details on the Range Rover Evoque
UPDATE 04/04/2011: Land Rover UK has announced that the new Evoque model will go on sale with prices ranging from £27,955 ($44,800) for an eD4 Pure 5-door 6 Speed manual 2WD model to £44,320 ($71,000) for the Si4 Dynamic with LUX Pack 6 Speed Automatic 4WD version. The company has also put up an online cofigurator so customers can configure the Evoque of their dreams.
UPDATE 07/01/2011: Land Rover has announced the US prices for the 2012 Evoque SUV scheduled to go on sale this fall. The Evoque will be offered at a starting price of $43,995 for the five-door, and $44,995 for the coupe. It will deliver a fuel economy of 28 mph on the highway and 19 mpg city.
Press release after the jump.
Barrett-Jackson is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year, so any and all events held are going to be pretty spectacular. We were able to snag a place at the second annual Orange County event and were surprised to see how much it had grown in just one year. The event was moved to the Orange County Fair and Event Center and quickly consumed the entire property. As we entered through the main patron gate on the opening day, it was clear to see this was not your typical car auction. Barrett-Jackson had pulled out the big guns and even brought their renowned Scottsdale Auction Tent.
Big tents may not be the most exciting thing to think about, but this one is special and measures nearly two football fields in length. This became the epicenter of high octane bidding action for the weekend and the primary filming location for the Speed channel. We were able to get on the auction block for a period of time to witness the variety of different cars coming down the line. This auction house has always been known to provide everything from classics, hot rods, and true collector grade automobiles. The auction really heated up on Saturday when the real gem of this year’s event crossed the block.
The 1973 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Berlinetta roared onto the stage with that signature Ferrari sound emitting from the quad exhaust. These Ferraris are one of the most desirable models from the Fiat ownership era and there was a buzz about how much money this car could bring in. Bidding quickly rose from $50,000 to $100,000, and then over $200,000. As potential buyers fell out of the running, one gentleman in the sky box was hoping to catch a great deal on this classic Ferrari. Eventually offers stalled around the $330,000 which was not enough to break the reserve limit and this beautiful Ferrari left the stage without a sale.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Barrett-Jackson Orange County Auction
The automotive factories of today utilize computers and robots in order to produce different combinations of cars in short order. The buyer is able to choose different options, colors, and accessories that can all be changed at a moment’s notice on the assembly line. Some may consider this customization, but having a specially ordered car in the 1930s was a much different scenario.
In 1936, Mercedes Benz introduced its new 540K model at the Paris Motor Show. Subsequent years would see this car be called on as the most striking Mercedes model ever built. When it came out, this car was not simply sitting on dealers lots to be test driven and sold to the first person with enough money. It was specially ordered and built once the customer had made payment. Recently, one of the rarest models came to auction at RM’s Villa d’Este event.
The Cabriolet A model was built for the 14th Maharajah of Indore whom was an avid car collector. More recently, the car was fully restored and has won its fare share of concours events across the country. The rare and beautiful 540K Cabriolet was auctioned for the price of $2,013,000 to one lucky bidder that will undoubtedly be satisfied with his purchase.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A
Henry Ford introduced the automobile to the masses with his less expensive vehicles built on an assembly line. Once cars were being used widely, it was only a matter of time before the human love of competition took over. Dry lake beds and two lane strips of roadway became the first places to test your vehicle against another driver. These non-sanctioned events were essentially illegal drag races that took place throughout the country. A few fans of this growing competition began developing rules and regulations that have led to the NHRA or National Hot Rod Association that we know today.
Speed demons were able to break the 100mph barrier on the Muroc dry lake bed in California’s Mojave Desert, but it was not until 1950 that a man by the name of C.J. Hart was able to open the first official drag strip for racing. As soon as people saw the opportunity to race in safer and well-timed events the sport of drag racing was truly born. This first drag strip ran races until 1959 and by that time the NHRA had multiple national events taking place throughout the United States.
The NHRA has become a larger success than anyone could have imagined and now comprises 80,000 members. Wally Parks was the associations first President and once noted, “we did have ambitions of its becoming a national sports entity. We weren’t planning or marketing geniuses or anything like that. Things happened and we went with our instincts.”
Hit the jump for more details on the History of Drag Racing
The early 1980s saw the introduction of a more economical Audi model for the masses. Its Type 81/85 debuted at the Paris Salon in 1980 and displayed a complementary shape to its more expensive sibling, the Quattro. Audi continued to produce the 80 series cars until 1988 with nearly 8,000 being made. Audi’s design of a smaller and more affordable car had also spawned to a new genre of racing. The company had a factory team that was owned by Peter Seikel. He recently had an Audi 80 GT in the United States and one lucky builder was able to get a closer look.
The Audi 80 GT was never officially produced and sold by the company, but did race in the European Touring Car Series. Peter’s car is in great condition and that allowed for measurements and information to be gathered from it in great detail. The car to be restored was another GT that was originally owned by Peter Aschenbrenner, who had raced it in IMSA and Trans Am events. Since its glory days the car had been sitting in disrepair just waiting for someone to show it a little love.
More details on the Audi 80 GT after the jump.
New car companies come and go every day. Some have the capacity to create legendary supercars like the Saleen S7 and others simply cannot get the formula right. Carbontech is one of the small companies currently trying to make a splash in the market with their first car which was completed in 2006. The main difference between Carbontech and some other manufacturers, is that their models are sold as kit cars for the consumer to build and configure how they choose. The Redback Spyder is the first car to be designed and built by the team at Carbontech and the results are quite good. The car looks like a race car and features a lot of racing technology, yet can be built in your garage. With all the racing technology utilized in this car it is fair to say that most will only use this on the track, but the company did abide by Australian regulations during its construction to make the car street legal.
After its introduction at the Melbourne Auto Show in 2006, the car was scheduled to make rounds throughout the world in order to find prospective customers. If things catch on then the company also plans to sell it in the United States. Kit cars target a very specific buyer who has the technical know how and the time to build their own machine. Other companies like Factory Five Racing have developed flawless kits that sell great in our market and it will be interesting to find out whether an Australian company can manage to do the same.
Hit the jump for more details on the Carbontech Redback Spyder.
Many families choose to take road trips over long weekends, and with Memorial Day being this weekend, more people than ever will take to the open road. This can be quite the scary notion for two distinct reasons. For starters, gasoline is spiking at $4.00 per gallon which makes travel expensive even just across town. The second reason is that more and more drivers on the road seem to be getting their drivers license without having taken the test. I drive roughly 20 minutes each way to and from work in Southern California and to be honest, I fear for my life nearly every time. Between cell phones, eating, passengers, and plenty of other distractions, it is a very dangerous world. Hopefully these tips can help keep you be safe and thrifty over the holiday weekend.
One way to temporarily increase fuel economy is by coasting to a stop. If you notice a light turn red in the distance - do not speed up just to stop short at the end. By letting the car coast as if it were in neutral you can boost gas mileage and save your brakes. The brakes on your car will ultimately bring you to a halt and keep your car from moving, but up until they are needed all they do is waste kinetic energy. Allowing your car to coast in stop and go traffic situations will allow the engine to work less, the brakes to work less, and will most likely cut down on those irritating false starts.
Hit the jump for more money-saving tips.
Alfa Romeo was returning to motor sports when it built the 1962 Giulietta Sprint Zagato. Zagato was a prominent designer and past collaboration with Alfa Romeo had proven fruitful in the Le Mans and Formula 1 circuits. In 1957, Alfa had formed a relationship with Bertone, another famous shop, to develop the Giulietta Sprint Speciale which was a high performance version. That car would become the basis for the new venture with Zagato.
The companies decided to concern themselves with form over function while developing the new GT racer. The plan was to offer the car to customers for their own GT teams and thus it needed to be a strong and reliable performer on the track. Zagato was a master and developing aerodynamically efficient and lightweight machines and the Giulietta Sprint Speciale chassis provided the perfect jumping off point.
Perhaps the reason these cars remain so special today is their overall beauty. The design was focused around performance, but in turn the body became very well recognized and an instant classic for Alfa. Combining the low roofline with the elongated and round body made the car desirable to collectors. The rarity of the “Coda Tronca” version lends to the high selling price at the recent auction that saw chassis 0184 sell for $420,800.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1962 Alfa Romeo Coda Tronca
Tuning an SUV is something often left to companies that make them more off-road capable. Some luxury SUV platforms, like those from Land Rover, receive the ultra-luxury treatment, but have you ever seen a Lexus SUV makeover from a renowned tuner? Wald International has been building body kits and upgrading all sorts of luxury automakers offerings for years and has now set their sights on the LX570.
This big Lexus is the brother of Toyota’s legendary LandCruiser model, but receives a more elegant exterior and interior. This model is meant to compete in the big leagues with the Range Rover and Mercedes G550, but often falls to the bottom of anyone’s wish list. Sure it’s not as flashy as the other offerings, but the luxury quotient is certainly there. It is also extremely versatile in any road condition just like the G550. In order to make this car more appealing to the style conscious, Wald has given the LX570 its Black Bison makeover.
Details on the Lexus LX570 Black Bison Edition after the jump.
Some may remember the stark contrast of black and white used to set the original Mercedes E55 AMG apart from the pack. The black leather with white inserts and a swatch of white on the steering wheel gave the car an aggressive attitude. Wheels and More has taken the latest Mercedes CLS AMG and brought back some of that original flair, but this tuning company has added several tasteful components to make this one of the first tuned CLS models in the world.
To complement the bold white exterior, three piece black alloy wheels were added. These are the newest version of the 6Sporz model and they measure 9.5 x 20 in the front and 11 x 20 in the rear. That large wheel is backed up with some serious rubber from Dunlop; namely 255/30/20 Sportmaxx’s in the front and 305/25/20 Sportmaxx’s at the back. These huge patches of rubber should help keep this CLS glued tightly to the road.
More details on the Mercedes CLS by Wheels and More after the jump.
Automotive racing has a long history in many countries, but France was the first to hold a Grand Prix race. The small town of Pau hosted the event in 1901 on the short 1.7 mile course that runs through the town. The town is about 50km from the Spanish border and is known as a resort area set among beautiful rolling hills. It took them until 1933 to set up an annual Grand Prix race for the town, but ever since then its people have been enamored with racing.
This past weekend saw a change for this town and its racing heritage. Instead of roaring loud Formula 3 cars tearing up the race track, 12 drivers took electric race cars out for this new event. It must have been an odd sight considering that these petrol heads are used to the sounds associated with Formula racing and thrive upon the excitement, but this sleepy little French town was hardly even disturbed by the low hum emitted from these new race cars.
Full story after the jump.
In recent times Bentley has found the most success through its Continental GT model. It has become an icon of wealth and prestige with everyone from musical artists to major league sports stars. The car became so popular that in some instances it doesn’t even seem that special anymore. Bentley helped to keep things fresh by introducing the Speed models, but in order to truly stand out customization is needed. One such baseball athlete has just received one of the most unique Bentleys we have ever seen thanks to a tuning shop in Miami, Florida.
The MC Customs shop in collaboration with Savini wheels has come together to make the most aggressive Bentley on the streets for MLB pitcher Carlos Silva. The first thing the company did was add a widebody kit to the car. It included a lower front fascia with revised air inlets on the wheel arches that gives the car a stance close to the ground. On the sides, lower rocker panels flow into large vents placed in front of the rear wheels. Taking a page out of Cadillac’s playbook is the central exhaust pipes finished in rectangular chrome tips. MC Customs also included a rear wing that flows with the contours on the hood of the trunk and rear fender panels. It fits in with the elegant shape of the Bentley more than most standard wings would.
More details after the jump.
Mercedes Benz is typically very careful with whom it develops other projects with. Being at the pinnacle of German automotive design since creating the world’s first automobile is not something to take lightly. Last year, Mercedes developed an open ocean racing boat with the Cigarette Racing team. Cigarette is also world renowned and therefore made the collaboration a match made in heaven. This year Mercedes has teamed up with a high-end helicopter manufacturer to create a luxury version of their mid-size helicopter offering.
The Eurocopter was created in 1992 and was crowned as the world’s number 1 manufacturer in 2009. The Mercedes Advanced Design Studio in Italy was commissioned to develop a high end interior for the EC145 helicopter. Since Eurocopter provides transportation for many VIP clients, they felt it would be a great chance to build upon the success of both companies. The interior of the EC145 is large and gave the design team plenty of chances to create a unique and inviting space.
Hit the jump for the full story.
The Jeep Wrangler is not only one of the most capable off road vehicles ever made, but also one of the most historically significant. The first Jeep vehicle to wear the Wrangler badge actually appeared in 1987, yet its roots go back to the 1941 Willy MB Army Jeep. That quarter ton vehicle carried the United States military through conflict after conflict essentially until invention of the HUMVEE.
Today, the Wrangler remains a favorite amongst the off-roading crowd and tends to be heavily modified by many. The new 2011 Jeep Wrangler body has given this classic vehicle a new lease on life, especially as far as the interior goes. These off road behemoths can now become capable on the outside and full of comfort on the inside. Hundreds of parts and accessories companies exist for the Wrangler, but the most complete and radical designs have come from a young company by the name of Hauk Designs.
If you have been in the off-road marketplace then the name River Raider Off Road may come to mind and this new full service company has come out of that. We recently spoke with Kenny Hauk of Hauk Designs and talked to him about the various models that the company now builds for its customers. He mentioned that the custom designed and fabricated parts that River Raider was building became so popular that his customers were asking to have their Jeeps completely built by the company. The current business plan features three distinct models each with a myriad of options to choose from.
Hit the jump for more details on the Hauk Jeep Wranglers.
Any time multiple Ferraris can be found together in the same place is exciting; when there is a reported $100,000,000 worth of Ferraris, its downright spectacular! This weekend a collection of vintage and late model Ferraris will be showcased on the famed Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, CA. The Ferrari Club of North America is putting on the event and it will be open to the public for your viewing pleasure. In attendance last year were nearly 100 vintage Ferrari models covering the entirety of Colorado Boulevard for several blocks.
Ferrari has always been known to create the most innovative and spectacular sports cars the world has ever seen. For the most part, only the super rich can afford the rarer and prized models, but this weekend will give the average Joe a chance to see them all. In attendance last year was a Pebble Beach Councours winner - 250 Series I Cabriolet - and other best in show cars such as the Agnelli 400 SA which came from the Museum in Maranello.
More details on the Ferrari Concours Event after the jump.
The Brokernet Silver Sting was thought of and built by international GT racer, Kalman Bodis. The team at Bovi Motorsports had the car fully operational for its debut in 2006 at the Luxusauto Show in Budapest, Hungary. One of the coolest parts of this car is its name, Silver Sting, but what’s the Brokernet all about? Creating a car that takes seven years to design and build is expensive and the Hungarian financial firm Brokernet is the main sponsor, thus they wanted some naming rights as well.
This car is not only stunningly designed by Zoltan Peredy, but also downright ferocious on the track. Being built by a race car driver, intentions for the Silver Sting were clear. This car was not meant to be taken to elegant car shows, it was meant to get out there and race. Bodis plans to use this car in various GT races throughout the world and plans to show everyone that Hungary is capable of producing a world class car.
More details on the Brokernet Silver Sting after the jump.
In-car navigation is still not something that every car on the road features - it’s not even something that is available on every new car - but the technology is growing by leaps and bounds. GPS and DVD style systems have been available for years and some even include real time traffic updates, but Pioneer is taking another step into the future with their augmented reality systems. These systems use a camera to project the image of what is in front of the car onto a screen in the cabin. Things around the car such as other vehicles, stores, traffic lights, etc are then superimposed with other images for identification.
The new Pioneer AVIC-VH09CS double din unit can be useful in a navigation system for several reasons, mainly making your destination easily identifiable. Audi has recently introduced navigation systems with Google Earth maps that show real satellite images of the destination. Since the new Audi A8 has more electronics than the space shuttle, it includes a 3G high speed cellular connection allowing data to be downloaded. This WiFi hotspot is also able to support your cell phone, computer, or ipad for internet use. The MMI navigation system uses Google Maps destinations in order to search and navigate to a specific location. The system is further enhanced by allowing the driver to select Wikipedia articles and panoramic images of certain points just as if you were searching Google on your computer. This can be helpful when searching for a hidden location in an unknown area.
Hit the jump to see what Pioneer has done to rectify this situation.
Today most people consider the Ford Mustang to be the original muscle car. After all, it did start a revolution of sorts with companies building smaller cars with bigger engines to satisfy the appetite of the American consumer. Its seems to us that one legendary automaker, now more known for building your grandfather’s car, was poised to begin the horsepower arms race in the early 1950s. Oldsmobile was part of the larger General Motors conglomerate that had strict marketing and production plans for its various monikers.
The cars that utilized a big V8 were strictly Cadillac and LaSalle models. The main reason they needed a V8 was to move their behemoth bodies around, but GM also felt it helped distinguish those cars as the top of the line models. Oldsmobile was about to shake things up in more than one way. For starters, if they were going to make a more powerful production car that was also exhilarating to drive then they were going to need a completely new car body to work with.
At that time, the company had the compact 76 series cars and the very large 98 series. The company decided to use the underlying chassis of the 76 series, put a brand new V8 under the hood, and design a body to mimic the space race era. This would all come together to be the Rocket 88 car that is now legendary and truly began the muscle car era way back when it was introduced in 1949.
Hit the jump for more details on the Rocket 88
Throughout the past decade we have seen U.S. automakers shift much of their production process overseas, hurting the job market. Lowering costs is always at the forefront of a CEO’s mind, but now things have begun to shift back towards creating jobs for our citizens. Another trend has been building momentum as well, foreign automakers shifting production to the Southern United States.
BMW and Mercedes both have large plants in the United States and have created thousands of jobs. Clearly, many other foreign brands also have operations in the United States even though that may not include production facilities. Porsche is a company that has a long standing U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, but it looks like they may be on the move.
An Atlanta newspaper has suggested that Porsche will be opening a new headquarters facility in a former Ford Taurus plant purchased from the American automaker. The site is close to the Hartsfield-Atlanta Airport and has been closed down since the old plant was demolished. This will be no short process because Porsche seems to have big plans including a "Customer Experience Center," an off-road driving course and a test track with a 1.6 mile (2.6 km) long handling circuit. The companies world headquarters could provide some inspiration for this new location as well, considering that testing as well as business processes are handled at the world HQ.
Porsche’s lease ends in 2013 at their current location so if this news is true then we would expect to start seeing construction in the next several months. This new facility would bring more jobs in marketing and sales to the region as well as keep the positions held at their current location.
Similar to how Henry Ford set out to make the automobile accessible for everyone in America; a small start-up company based in Santa Monica, CA intends to make the electric car affordable to all. Coda Automotive has been developing what they call a revolutionary new compact, full-electric car for less money than the competition. The past several years have been a struggle, but as with any start-up company, there are growing pains.
At the beginning of 2011, the company had already raised $76 million dollars and is looking to end with a total of $200 million. Past CEOs of this fledgling carmaker are former Goldman Sachs executives that should have no problem finding the last chunk of capital. This year, Phil Murtaugh became the new CEO and can back up his credentials with former stints at Chrysler and General Motors. “We’re getting our production tooling in order now. It all takes about six weeks to ship them over to the United States, so sometime in the fourth quarter, probably the late fourth quarter, we’ll see cars going on sale in California,” said Murtaugh.
The car itself is less than stunning on the outside, but with fuel efficiency being at the forefront of many Californian’s minds, this car could be the easy answer. It should achieve 90 to 120 miles on a single charge and charge faster than its major competition.
Hit the jump for more details on the Coda Sedan
George Romney, the then-new chairman of American Motors Corporation, had big plans for the small American Company when he took over in 1954. World War II was over and the 1950s were in full swing. Not only were sales up for the big three automakers in the United States, but Hudson and Nash were doing well also. Romney’s big idea was to have Rambler become a company on its own and expand into a sector that Ford, General Motors, and Chevrolet had ignored thus far. Most companies were offering only large sedans and small economy cars. Rambler was going to split the market wide open with a mid-size model that featured aggressive styling and plenty of power.
Little did Romney know that his new Rambler Rebel model was destined to become the grandfather of the muscle car era. The first thing that Rambler needed to do was find a suitable engine that would bring performance and excitement to a lineup that had never had it before. Clearly, offering a V8 was the answer, and the new AMC 5.4-liter was perfect.
As history shows, 1957 was destined to be the first and most important year for the Rambler Rebel. As time went on and the car’s name was adapted to newer models from AMC, the original feeling of the car was lost. It is something that happens with many companies when they use a classic marquee in the wrong way simply to boost sales in the short term. Nonetheless, the short and successful years of the Rebel production have spawned numerous car clubs and followers throughout the United States and remains popular today.
Hit the jump for more details on the Rambler Rebel
As Royal wedding fever was about to wear off, the Prince had one last surprise in store. For many years his Father has been the owner of an Aston Martin DB6 Mark II that was converted to run on biofuel. The car was decorated in traditional wedding fashion complete with ribbons, balloons, and a trick license plate reading Ju5t Wed. The dark blue Volante convertible was driven by the Prince through the crowds in front of Buckingham Palace on his way to a reception party. The car traveled down the procession route with top down and minimal security. A lone Range Rover followed the Aston and a RAF Rescue helicopter, much like the ones flown by the Prince, flew above with a flag waving below.
The Royals clearly have access to many things including the various Rolls Royce models and Carriages used today, but an Aston Martine DB6 Volante is rare even for them. This legendary car was the longest running production model that Aston Martin ever produced, but only 140 Volante versions were built. Furthermore, this may be the only one in the world running off biofuel made from excess British wine product.
Originally made famous by the James Bond films, these Aston Martin models have been coveted by collectors for years. Very rarely do they come up for sale or auction and the Prince’s will most likely never leave the Royal collection. The DB6 was a major improvement over the previous DB5 model and turned the car into a proper Grand Touring model. Performance for these models was increased through the Vantage edition which raised output to 325hp, but there is no word on the specific power output from the biofuel model.
Hit the jump for more details on the Aston Martin DB6.
In standard Mercedes fashion, after the departure of the W211 E-class, the base version of the W212 came onto the scene. Soon after that, announcements were made for the coupe and convertible versions as well as the estate wagon. Different engine lines were introduced including the BlueTec Diesels and the standard line of V6s and V8s. The final piece of the puzzle was to add the AMG model. The W212 was to carry to same moniker as the outgoing model, but the new E63 AMG would be an entirely different car.
Mercedes first chose to use the 6.2-liter V8 in the previous generation E-class, but that car was truly made to house the 5.5-liter compressor unit of the E55. This new E63 had plans of being more civilized and more capable in every aspect. Competition in this segment gets stiffer every year and the other German brands all vie for supremacy. These cars are the ultimate sleepers, the ultimate executive sedan, and the ultimate autobahn sled.
People who drive the Mercedes E-class are among the most loyal in the automotive industry; they tend to buy the new generation as soon as possible. Many AMG owners are the same way and for that reason, Mercedes was also careful to make changes that would not rattle the cage too much. Everything has changed for the E63 AMG, but somehow it all feels so familiar…and awesome.
Hit the jump for more details on the Mercedes E63 AMG
We’ve been keeping a close eye on the vehicles ready to take center stage during one of the decade’s most talked about event. The world seems to have Prince William and Kate Middleton fever, and we’re catching the bug when it comes to the royal carriages housing the guests of honor during one of the most important days of their lives.
The Royal Mews houses one of the oldest and most meticulously cared for carriages in the world. This division is responsible for ground transportation of the Queen and other Royals in England, and Prince William and Kate Middleton will be making good use of several of these carriages and other vehicles in the collection during their royal wedding extravaganza. Separate vehicles will be taken by the Prince and Kate on their way to Westminster Abbey for the ceremony and they will leave together in one of the most famous carriages.
Hit the jump to check out which vehicles will be used for the grand wedding event.
Test driving cars may seem like a lot of fun, but it serves a purpose as well. Driving supercars to their limit on a runway or taking a Land Rover through the world’s worst terrain can showcase a vehicle’s abilities, but what happens when standard systems fail?
Most automotive magazines run new cars through a gauntlet of tests in order to determine where they stack up against the competition. These include 0-60mph times, ¼ mile times, slalom, vibration & harshness, and braking. Most of these tests occur with little to no problem and the data is compiled to determine winners and losers. Most of the vehicles being tested are also essentially brand new. The manufacturer sends several models out to a proving site straight from the factory so that the media may drive them, take photographs, and compare them to the competition. Rarely does such a vital system like the brakes completely fail during one of these controlled test drives, but that is exactly what happened to Motor Trend’s crew while testing a Mustang Boss 302.
The brake failure was immediately taking under investigation by Ford and the vehicle was sent back to the factory to be taken apart and inspected. Ford has found no other discrepancies in their manufacturing line and no recall has been issued to the general public.
Hit the jump to read why this happened and how they got the car back in control.
You may well have never heard of the Orca C113, but this killer whale can sure make a splash on the racetrack. The supercar was designed and built by Rene Beck of the Orca Engineering company based out of Liechtenstein, Sweden. Many people have the dream of creating their own supercar, but few are ever able to take that dream and create something of it. This specific model of the Orca took nearly fifteen years from inception to production and was first introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 2003.
As with many supercars, the overall idea is quite simple. Keep the weight down, use aerodynamic architecture, and have plenty of power under the hood. Through the hard work of Rene Beck and several other aftermarket tuning companies, the Orca came from concept car to production model in 2005. Its shape was reminiscent of other supercar greats from Lamborghini and of smaller firms like Mosler.
The use of a heavily modified Audi sourced V8 and the lightweight construction have made this car one of the fastest on the road. Albeit, the top speed has never been “officially” tested, the company claims that the car will top out around 224mph.
Hit the jump for more details on this Orca C113.
Any Ferrari is cool, and yes we said any, even the 1980’s 400i sedan. As long as there is a prancing horse on the hood, these cars are destined to be cherished for generations to come. The Ferrari 348 series is no different and it spawned one of the most loved modern Ferrari’s in the 355 model. One issue that people tend to have with the 348 is that there was a lack of power from its V8. All that really means is that when you take a 348 Challenge model and bolt on some serious power upgrades you’ll end up with a super cool Ferrari.
Steve Maxwell and Stacey Slead were two men that fell in love with the original driving dynamics of the 348 and put in some serious effort to make this one of the most powerful 348s on the road today. The two became friends when Maxwell was selling his Ferrari 348 and Slead wanted to buy it after a one-night test drive. Soon after Slead became the owner and Maxwell turned into a mad mechanic handcrafting over 200 pieces for the Ferrari it has now become.
After a few new donor Ferraris, a near death experience, and plenty of late nights deciding how to put it all together this Ferrari now makes over 600hp and eats newer models for breakfast. A challenge model Ferrari is nothing to take lightly in the first place, but adding turbochargers and a host of other one-off performance pieces can turn your run-of-the-mill Ferrari into an entirely different animal.
Hit the jump for more details on this Ferrari 348 Twin Turbo.
Volvo and Saab have long since been rivals in the automotive industry. Recent years have seen a decline in this competition, but the two still share much in common. After General Motors was finished running Saab into the ground by making re-branded Chevrolets with their nameplate, it was sold off. One of the most unique companies in the world, Spyker, bought Saab and has been running it since 2010.
Earlier today a Swedish newspaper has reported that Volvo in conjunction with the Swedish government were in talks about buying Saab. Volvo spokesman Per-Ake Froberg said, “No such talks have been going on and no such talks are scheduled.” The idea of this merger is rather interesting and has several implications on capital markets.
The De Telegraaf newspaper mentions that the Swedish government would like Volvo to take over Saab because that would mean a greater chance that a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) granted to Saab, which was guaranteed by Sweden, would be repaid. This type of acquisition would also help Saab deal with its cash problem. Spyker had its 2010 sales fall below forecasts and has therefore struggled to pay suppliers. Sweden has also come to the rescue here by approving financing to help get production on the move once more.
The Swedish government is not the only player in this transaction seeing as China is essentially the owner of Volvo. Geely Automotive Holdings took over the Volvo brand after its sale from Ford. This acquisition was the largest of any automaker by China. You may also remember the acquisition of the Hummer brand, but that paled in comparison to this. The Saab CEO, Victor Muller, has said, “the Swedish carmaker is negotiating with a wide range of Chinese car makers about a tie up.” It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out and whether these two monikers can rise from the ashes of their U.S. ownership and become profitable once again.
It’s 1984 and you’re a wealthy individual looking to spend some dough. Clearly the run of the mill BMW or Audi is not going to do the trick so you start looking into the Ferrari Testarossa and Lamborghini Countach. Both were the fastest sports cars of their day and since price is not a concern to you, the only thing that matters is making the best impression on your other rich friends. The thing is, your next door neighbor has a red Testarossa and you see your business partner pull up and squeeze out of his tiny Lamborghini every morning. You need something special. Enter the Hammer.
The W124 Mercedes-Benz is a classically proportioned luxury saloon. The three-box shape, with its clearly defined lines, looks so simple and pure compared to the edgier, more obviously styled lines of its E 63 AMG relative. AMG’s detailing was remarkably low key, especially for the 1980’s. This is going to be a perfect fit for your lifestyle and you can even haul the kids in the back seat if you had too. Can the Merc really hold its own against the Italian thoroughbred racing machines?
You better bet your bottom dollar, because this machine is no joke even when compared with the newest technology from these companies. The 396hp Hammer is going to be more expensive than a Testarossa, but not only will you be the only person that you know who owns one; you will also be doing 190mph which is more than the Ferrari.
Hit the jump for more details on 1984 AMG HAMMER.
The automobile was not even thirty years old when racing had taken a firm hold on enthusiasts. Enzo Ferrari was driving his performance cars to championships all over the world and others wanted in on the action. Ettore Bugatti was one of these men and he decided to take on Ferrari in a very different way than the others. He initially started with smaller, lighter, and less powerful cars than the Ferrari racecars of the time. This allowed the cars to be more nimble on the track and even finish second behind Ferrari in the Grand Prix du Mans of 1911.
This major accomplishment gave Ettore Bugatti the supporters and money necessary to continue his small operation in Molsheim. He began to produce stronger competitors and won more races every year. By 1920, Bugatti had its own Grand Prix championship under its belt and was ready to expand the company into different areas.
Ettore was a very respected man and ran his company with an iron fist, Le Patron as he was known, acted as a member of the upper crust and often invited them for factory tours and extravagant meals. According to Bugatti lore, at one of these dinners a woman remarked, “Everyone knows you build the greatest racing cars in the world. But for a town carriage of real elegance, one must go to Rolls-Royce or Daimler, isn’t that so?” This statement must have enraged Ettore, whether he showed it or not to his guests, he knew this was true. His company had been one-dimensional for many years and it was time to take some risks in the public sector. What came next is one of the most revered luxury automobiles ever made, the Royale.
Hit the jump for more details on the Bugatti Royale.
Building a roadster can give car manufacturers some unique opportunities. These types of vehicles typically have a devoted following and create their own rules outside of the constraints of many mainstream companies’ core product lines. They are able to test new technology and bend the rules of design in order to make a roadster look and feel like it belongs with everything else.
Roadsters are also a very specific formula of two-doors, lightweight components, and the thrill of open air driving. In a way, the first cars ever built were roadsters and the trend has continued throughout time with legendary models from Ford, Chrysler, and BMW. German brands were the last to catch on to the glory days of the roadster from the 1950s and BMW began producing its first back in 1989 with the Z1.
Many BMW fans may look at this moniker and thing, “does he mean M1?” No, we don’t mean the fantastic supercar that BMW built around the same time and has yet to be resurrected. The Z1 was the first in a line of two-seat roadsters that BMW produced and it proved a worthy test-bed for some BMW technology still used today.
Hit the jump for more details on the BMW Z1.
SR Automotive Group has been known for creating unique and stylish rides for those that already drive some of the best cars on the planet. The owner and founder of SR Auto Group, Tony Yuen, wanted to create a unique experience when it comes to tuning high-end luxury cars. The SR in the name stands for “Style and Refinement” which the company has been able to stick with throughout the years.
The cars that end up coming from this Vancouver based shop are modified tastefully and express each individual’s personality. One of their most recent projects was to create the ultimate Lamborghini Gallardo LP560, nicknamed “Erebos.” The LP560 is the entry level model of the Gallardo, but its 5.2-liter V10 still creates 560 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and 398 ft-lbs of torque at 6,500 rpm.
Tuning something that is already a precision machine can be a tricky business and therefore SR Auto is very careful to not change the overall dynamics of the Gallardo. Most customers do not tend to ask for dramatic power increases in a car like this and so on the performance side SR has added an exhaust system. Including several aerodynamic pieces and a set of beautiful wheels were enough to change this “mild” Gallardo into one of the cleanest looking aftermarket examples we have ever seen.
Hit the jump for more details on SR Auto’s Project Erebos.
Believe it or not, once upon a time Mercedes was not producing more powerful and agile versions of its best sedans. AMG was a separate tuning company not exclusively owned by Mercedes Benz. They operated much the same as any other tuner, such as Brabus or Lorinser. Most automotive manufacturers dismiss the aftermarket world and few would ever market an aftermarket design through its own dealership network.
The relationship between Mercedes and AMG was different and the two brothers from Großaspach, Germany were able to catch their biggest break in the early 1990s. Mercedes Benz realized that it needed to compete in the sports sedan market and its down right boring C280 model was just not enough when up against a BMW M3. The two companies soon signed a contract allowing AMG to use the extensive worldwide dealer network that was at Mercedes’ disposal to market and sell their cars. The first was to be called the C36 AMG. There is some debate as to what was actually the first AMG car, but this was certainly the first to be sold by Mercedes as an AMG model. Racing collaborations had taken place in previous years, but never sold to the public in this fashion.
The C36 proved to be a success, even though many AMG enthusiasts may dismiss it. The car was more powerful than an M3 and the limited production run made it desirable to Mercedes buyers looking for a special vehicle. Production of the C36 stopped in 1998, but Mercedes would soon after take a controlling 51% share in AMG and begin using it as an exclusive tuning arm.
Hit the jump for more details on 1995 C36 AMG.
Bentley Motors has announced that they will build a two-seater sports car said to rival the Ferrari 458 Italia not only in terms of performance, but design as well. The legendary automaker has not built sports cars since its racing glory days, but the signs have been clear. Bentley has a storied racing past and is a thriving company today thanks to high selling models like the Continental GT. The company is poised to re-invest a significant portion of profits towards the development of this new car and has already enlisted the help of its parent company, Volkswagen, and their Cup racing team to develop certain components.
Recent years have seen Bentley push the envelope in terms of power and performance, especially with the introduction of models like the Continental GT Speed. Consider also that for no apparent reason, Bentley broke the World Ice Speed record in a convertible powered by bio-fuel. It now appears that these introductions were more than just publicity stunts, but may have been used as testing for technologies to be used in the new “Turbo R” model.
Rumors circulating around the Crewe, England factory seem to point towards the new model resurrecting the legendary Turbo R moniker. The most recent model to hold this name was built between 1985 and 1997. It used a turbocharged 6.75 liter V8 engine, that can propel the car from 0-60 mph within 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 152 mph. This was something to be very proud of back in the day, but expect the latest model to be a whole different animal.
This could certainly be a new chapter for Bentley Motors and if they are able to successfully develop a car that can challenge the Ferrari 458 and others like the McLaren MP12-4C than they may begin racing once again. The last Le Mans series that Bentley was in was 2003 and with the development of new performance and racing technology, we hope that the brand will return to the track in the next several years. We’ll be sure to pass along any more information revealed as soon as we get it.
UPDATE 04/01/2011: April Fool’s!! This is 100% not true, but would be kind of cool!
Mercedes certainly offers its own lineup of heavily tuned cars, but for some people that is just not enough. The thought of having a V12 engine in your vehicle is something that most people only dream of and Ferrari owners get to enjoy. The smooth and strong power delivery coupled with a deep growl from all 12-cylinders firing in sequence is the stuff dreams are made of and for some lucky E-class owners the dream has become a reality. Speedriven is a Chicago based firm that we have covered before and their latest Mercedes project is one of the most impressive.
The Mercedes E-class has been a modified platform ever since the original E50 AMG model. It provides the right balance of size and performance capability in order to receive certain upgrades. Brabus was the first company to develop a V12 version of the car and shoehorn the 6.0-liter Mercedes V12 from the S-class inside the engine bay. This version is still being built on the E-class of today, albeit in very limited numbers. One gentleman has been attempting to put a V12 inside of his W211 E-class, but it took him a lot of time to find the engine and somewhat capable of doing the conversion. Speedriven seems to have found the right formula to make this type of swap efficient.
Speedriven considers this car to have “the right” power now that a monster V12 has been stuffed under the hood. That, quite simply, is not true, the right power for this car is the standard 5.0-liter V8. It has considerable thrust and won’t break the bank at the pump. My E55 has way too much torque and enough horsepower to embarrass lesser automobiles on the freeway. I’m not saying this as a bad thing, because I LOVE the torque and it is almost intoxicating. Nonetheless, stuffing a V12 in this car is insane, in a good way. It has become the ultimate sleeper car that could blow the doors off nearly anything that pulls up next to it at a stop light.
Hit the jump for more details on Speedriven EV12.
The AMG side of Mercedes Benz began as something completely different than it has grown into today. Essentially two Daimler engineers were sitting at home late at night and tinkering with various Mercedes models to make them faster and more powerful. These grease monkeys were eventually recognized by Mercedes and began to collaborate for racing and eventually production models. The first of these was a C36 model that sold in Europe. It was a fantastic car that packed 276hp, but AMG did not find real traction in the United States market until the introduction of the E55.
For starters, theE-class was already a best-selling model for Mercedes and its combination of size, luxury, and price fell directly in the middle of the Mercedes demographic. When AMG began to tune this model, it was clear that a V8 would need to be used and the standard 5.0-liter from the E500 would be the starting point. After being completely bored out and reconfigured, the 5.4-liter legend was born.
As competition in the entry-level segment began to heat up during the 1990s, Mercedes and AMG saw the opportunity to up the ante in the C-Class and include the same 5.4-liter V8. It was not the first time a V8 would be used in a C-Class, but the new platform introduced in 2005 gave engineers and designers the opportunity to create a model that would rival the other German brands.
Hit the jump for more details on 2005 Mercedes C55 AMG.
In 1998, if you were growing out of your boy racer faze and becoming a man that was still looking for driving excitement to go with his morning coffee, then your options were slim. Entry level luxury sedans were still in their infancy and BMW had utter dominance in the segment. The E36 M3 models were the enthusiast’s weapon of choice and they also offered luxury coupled with everyday drivability.
Other manufacturers such as Audi began to use displacement as their weapon of choice and the horsepower wars began. It started with each manufacturer utilizing the specialties of their in house tuning shops more and more, but it has progressed to epic proportions today. Consider that most of these small sedans have changed little in overall size and the “performance” models of the 1990s were powered by small and efficient engines pushing under or just above 300hp. Today, 300hp in a sports sedan would be laughed right off the autobahn by cars pushing at least 400hp with V8s or twin turbo V6s.
Nonetheless, this was the beginning and Mercedes was poised to take things to a new level. A new engine had been developed for use in theML, CLK, and S-class models as an entry-level V8. It was the 4.3-liter model that was coded 430 on the badges of the vehicles. Before it even made an appearance in those other models for standard duty, AMG was able to get their hands on it and make some major improvements. The beast that emerged would be forced into the C43 AMG in order to take on the other German brands.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1998 Mercedes C43 AMG.
The Texas Mile Event has come to an end and this year was another one for the record books. We saw the return of some familiar faces and many newcomers to the runway race-track. As you may recall, the entire point of this event is to see how fast your car can go. That may sound simple, but the idea behind much of racing is to beat your competition around a circuit type track. Simply having the fastest car in a straight line race is more closely related to drag racing where such vehicles as Funny Cars and Top Fuel Dragsters hit 200mph in a ¼ mile.
In a place where everything is bigger - Texas, that is - several fans of speed have put together an event on a much longer straight than a ¼ mile. Anyone in a normal car is able to reach their terminal velocity at this event and that is what makes your adrenaline pump. In all honesty, most people don’t hit more than 100mph in their car at any point in time. Number one, it’s illegal and number two, there is usually not enough room to get up to speed and sustain it for any period of time.
This year’s event gave those speed junkies a chance to let their powerful automobiles and motorcycles reach their maximum speed. The highest speed this year was set by a motorcycle doing 278.6mph. To take a full look at the race results continue reading below.
Hit the jump for more details on the Texas Mile Event Recap.
As General Motors attempts to come out of its government owned era, it has the massive task of reinvigorating the American buyer. As with most large purchases, the American consumer is also rather uneducated. As we can see by the downfall of the housing market, all too often consumers over extend themselves and make poor decisions. Admittedly, the decline of the real estate market and the downfall of the big three automakers are due to completely separate reasons, but some similarities can be found.
One of the biggest struggles that General Motors will face in the coming years is making people believe that their product is superior to the competition. As emissions laws tighten and consumers become more environmentally conscious the problem for an automaker like GM is extrapolated. GM is a company built around its truck sales and the most environmentally unfriendly thing on the road this side of a Hummer is a heavy duty pickup truck.
However, General Motors has surprised us by coming out of bankruptcy so quickly and with so much vigor. Its new models are impressive and cross every segment that the company operates in. Many may think that this is the same old GM singing a new tune that will fade away soon, but the company has organized several events to educate the consumer and let them know that these changes are here to stay.
This past weekend we attended the Main Street in Motion event in Newport Beach, CA. Several years ago we were at a similar event in Las Vegas, Nevada, but this time things were a little different. General Motors brought their typical heavy hitter models like the Corvette, Camaro, Sierra, and Tahoe. They also included some of the newer, cleaner, and less known models like the Volt, Cruze, Acadia, and Tahoe Hybrid. Those who attended were able to test drive every model and see how each model handled when compared to the competition.
Hit the jump to read more about the Main Street in Motion event.
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.
The founder of Hamann Motorsports, Richard Hamann, has passed away after an elongated battle with lung cancer. Most popular for his tuning company, he also was an accomplished race car driver in his own right. Friends remember his passion for the automobile and tuning engines. When he created Hamann in 1986 he was already famous for tuning German automobiles better than anyone else.
Hamann Motorsports has made the statement, “Richard Hamann was a craftsman, an artist and his memory will continue to prevail in all the cars he built. In the honour of Richard, The Hamann Motorsport team will go on with running the company according to the wish of the maestro himself.”
Throughout his illustrious career Hamann competed in over 700 racing events. Of those he crossed the finish line in a top 3 spot 300 times. He recorded victories in 103 of them. Furthermore, Hamann was an integral part of the BMW M1 racing legend and won 3 Touring Car trophies behind the wheel of one of these mystic machines. As his racing career began to wind down, the tuning business expanded rapidly. Starting with what he knew best, BMW, the company was specific to German manufacturers competing against the likes of Brabus and AC Schnitzer. As the company has grown and become the juggernaut we know today, they have expanded to Lamborghini, Land Rover, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Mini, and Ferrari tuning in addition to the classic German brands.
Hit the jump for more details on Hamann Motorsports.
The Cadillac Escalade serves many purposes for the brand. For starters, it is their largest offering in the SUV segment and has become a best seller. Ever since it was first introduced as a meagerly disguised GMC Yukon the car has been a hit. It effectively saved the Cadillac brand in association with their razor edge styling that is now seen on all the models in the lineup. A favorite choice of celebrities, musicians, and athletes alike, the Escalade has become a status symbol and was immediately accepted by the “in crowd.”
As time has gone on the Escalade lineup has come to include three models with a pickup and extended wheelbase version being added. As the SUV market has been hit hard by the recession, the Escalade too suffered, but has remained alive. Its closest competition in nearly every aspect, the Lincoln Navigator, has struggled much more than the Cadillac and will cease production sooner rather than later.
Cadillac has been able to keep this vehicle moving forward, but some VIP clients still expect more. When a Range Rover is too small and a large scale van is not classy enough, Becker Automotive Design is there to take your Escalade to the next level. After this company gets done with their conversion, the Escalade has been transformed into a Gulfstream 5 for the road.
Hit the jump for more details on the Becker Escalade Conversion.
Ten years ago there was very little discussion about electric or hybrid vehicles. The technology was far from perfected and no low level consumer was able to purchase it. Throughout this past decade our economy, natural resources, and priorities have shifted towards conserving the environment and our funds. This has helped the renewable and green energy proponents to make large discoveries that are moving the industry forward faster than ever.
Americans tend to be very stubborn and change can rub us the wrong way all too easily. Most of the negative sentiments about electric and hybrid vehicles are based around ignorance. Quite simply, most people could not tell you the difference between a hybrid car and a full electric vehicle. Come to think of it, most people could not tell the difference between a diesel and a petrol engine besides the fact that they would have to use the green pump at the gas station. For the hybrid automakers to start selling these vehicles in larger quantities, the public must be educated about their benefits and potential pitfalls.
Several basic types of low emissions vehicles exist and are currently being marketed by the major auto manufacturers. The biggest seller of these is Toyota with their Prius model, which is a hybrid vehicle. Making distinctions between the different cars available will be helpful to a potential buyer by allowing them to get a vehicle that best suits their respective uses and needs.
Hit the jump for more details on Hybrid Vehicles
In a post-apocalyptic English countryside the lone surviving British hero barrels down the winding road in his trusty mechanical steed…or a storyline to that extent may describe the state of mind Panzani was in while developing this radical S-Type R. Eccentric car design has been a staple of this company for over 50 years and their latest creation based off a discontinued Jaguar model is no different.
Tuning setups and body kits are nothing new to the automotive marketplace, but it’s a safe bet to say that you won’t see your neighbor driving anything like this down to work in the morning. Taking a quick glance at the car is not enough to understand the transformation that it has undergone. Through the use of dimly lit promotional photos, we believe this is exactly the reaction the company was hoping for. You take one look and think, “hmm that’s kind of odd.” Upon further inspection, the powerful design elements, luxury interior appointments, and color combination make you change your tune to something like, “that is badass.”’
The company describes the design as vintage, mainly due to the shape of the head and taillights in series with the bumpers. It truly is vintage Jaguar mixed with rally car and Audi RS6 all in one.
Hit the jump for more details on the Panzani S-Type R Vintage GT.
We’ve all played racing games on various systems like the PlayStation 3 or XBOX 360, and for the most part they are all the same. Graphics have been getting better and better with more powerful processors, but the feel of actually driving is largely absent. This is not so much the game creator’s fault, but more a problem with the philosophy of controlling a car with only a handheld remote.
Back in the day when I was playing games like “Cruisin’ USA” for the Nintendo 64, I remember the rumble pack being a revelation. You could actually feel some of the feedback from the road, but mostly just when you crashed. Today, video games have expanded far beyond what I could have ever imagined as a kid and even race teams and manufacturers use these systems to develop their technology before it is ever tested on the track.
Force Dynamics is a company that designs and constructs motion simulators for various applications. They have taken the time to understand how the brain interprets speed and have translated that information into the most advanced gaming chair on the market. The 401 system features full four-axis motion movements, surround sound speakers, and a high definition display to make the driver feel as if they were really on the race track.
Hit the jump for more details on the Force Dynamics Chair
Rare automobiles are sought after by various collectors from all over the world and often draw prices exceeding millions of dollars and new Ferrari models have yearlong waiting lists with special approval processes through the factory for anyone to even buy one. The combination of a prestigious moniker and a rare model on the auction block has all the making of a bidding war between these exclusive collectors.
The Ferrari 340 Mexico Coupe is one of three coupe models and the one Barchetta to be produced. They were built exclusively for the 1952 Carrera Panamericana race in Mexico – which was one of the most deadly races in the world. The word rare can be used in some fashion for nearly every Ferrari ever made because the entire company is built around creating unique performance oriented sports cars. Initially, Ferrari only sold road-going cars to pay for the company’s racing exploits and the founder despised having to do so.
Not only is this 340 Mexico Coupe one of three in the world and never produced as a road-going version, it is also the most winning chassis of the three. Complete with original engine and complete history, RM Auctions expects this car to fetch between $2,750,000 and $3,500,000 which leaves most of your ordinary auction-goers out of the picture.
UPDATE 03/15/2011: The 340 Mexico was a HUGE success at the RM Auctions event, pulling in a whopping $4.3 million. The entire event was an even bigger success with a remarkable $24.3 million in total sales and making it the biggest event in it’s 13 year history.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1952 Ferrari 340 Mexico Coupe.
Canada’s newest, or only, supercar is making its way to the production line and attempting to ruffle the feathers of the big three and smaller sports car manufacturers here in North America and abroad. The De Macross GT1 is a newly developed supercar designed by the founder of the company, Jahong Hur, and proves that if someone wants something bad enough; it’s always possible.
It’s no secret that designing your own car and getting it to market is difficult – having that car be a formidable competitor to the most extreme machines on the planet is darn near impossible. Some American companies have managed to do this throughout our racing history and recent past. Two of the biggest names would be Shelby and Saleen. The Shelby race cars of yesterday were so dominant that the great Enzo Ferrari did not even have an answer for them. Shelby went on to design more road going versions of his vehicles and today they are admired by collectors. The Saleen S7 showed us that a small shop with a lot of knowledge and money can create the ultimate supercar.
By incorporating some of F1’s best technology and using an American V8, these Canadians were able to develop and are now producing the GT1. Its performance is not off the charts, but it’s most likely faster than anything we’ve ever owned.
Hit the jump for more details on the De Macross GT1.
Throughout the past several weeks the economy of the United States and other large importers of oil have struggled to maintain positive amidst the turmoil in the middle-east. Civil unrest and pressure have led to a decrease in oil production and increase in the price for a single barrel. We have seen prices reach the $100 mark and beyond, and there are no signs of a ceiling.
These two year highs for the price of crude oil have led to OPEC releasing more supplies from our reserves, but it has not quelled the price hike. California is currently suffering from the highest prices nationwide and they have reached within a cent of $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded. This has put added strain on a struggling economic environment for many people and, if this continues, it will drag our economy further down. With cars like the Toyota Prius and other hybrids hitting the market every week, it is good to see that the manufacturers are realizing that gasoline will not be the answer to our future problems.
The major auto shows and car introductions across the world, including the biggest in the United States, Detroit, are where auto manufacturers try to sell the public hot-air. Most of the amazing and futuristic concept cars are so far on the other side of being a production possibility they might as well be alien. The recent economic climate across the world has shifted the car companies in a new direction and the consumer continues to pull them even further. People are eager for cars that are economical and exciting – most people enjoy driving, just not having to pay $4.00 per gallon to do it.
Ford keeps on winning with its Mustang and will be introducing several new models into the lineup. In a way, Ford has been very careful with its brand and taken every precaution before introducing a classic name such as the BOSS 302.
The original Mustangs were available in several different styles throughout their run and some of the most famous are the Shelby, BOSS, andBullit versions. When Ford introduced this newest Mustang architecture, it too was available in Shelby GT500 spec and commanded quite a bit of respect around a race track.
For 2012, Ford has given official details about the BOSS 302 version that will be bringing an even more track-oriented experience to the table.
The original BOSS 302 was built for the Trans-am race series and featured a more stripped down version of the body and a 4.9-liter V8 complete with shaker hood. The new model will use the basic 5.0-liter V8 from the GT model, but has been upgraded significantly to deliver high levels of performance.
UPDATE 01/23/2012: Since Ford has yet to reveal any serious details from the testings performed on the new Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, Sport-Auto Magazine took it upon themselves to run a performance test on the car at Hockenheim. Turns out, the Mustang has better braking performance than the Porsche 991 and is faster than the Aston Martin DBS, Audi R8, Ferrari California, and BMW M3 in Hockenheim.
The video, shown past the jump, starts off with burning rubber and a couple of drifts as a warmup, but then it moves on to showing the car in action on the race track. The Mustang’s potent 302 cubic-inch 5.0-liter V8 shreds through its 444hp, killing the vehicles listed above, but failing to outdo the BMW M5 F10.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2012 Ford Mustang BOSS 302.
As expected, Aston Martin brought its latest iteration of the Vantage to the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Aston has been designing rolling works of art for a very long time and has recently retaken a stance as a racing power as well. The company’s GT4 racecar won its class in two of the most important races of the year, Nurburgring 24 and Spa 24 hours, and have begun fusing racecar technology into the road cars with more fervor than ever before. The top-of-the-line V12 Vantage has the motor from the larger DB9 shoehorned into its engine compartment, making it a true hot rod. That formula may work for some, but others were seeing a lapse between the V12 model and the base V8.
At the beginning of Summer 2011, Aston Martin will introduce the V8 Vantage S, hoping to squeeze some more profit out of its best selling model line and please enthusiasts at the same time. Increases in engine performance, transmission, chassis, and aerodynamics will all further the appeal of an iconic sports car.
According to Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, “The Vantage S epitomizes every attribute of the V-8 Vantage and pushes the driver experience beyond what we have offered before.”
UPDATE 03/11/2011: Aston Martin has revealed an amazing video of the V8 Vantage S showing the car in action. Just listen to the music of that engine! Video after the jump.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Aston Martin Vantage S.
There may have been a lot of buzz over V12 powered supercars and the next best thing to break 200mph on an average road, but BMW has gone a different route. The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive has made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show and is showcasing all of the technology BMW has been developing and will be integrating into future cars. Just by looking at this concept it is easy to tell that it will never make it to production in this form, but many of the technologies and ideas found within could be coming out sooner than you think.
Official BMW representatives said: "In 2011 the automobile industry is celebrating the anniversary "125 yeas of the automobile," reason enough to not only look back, but also to look forward. Connectivity is one of the key fields of tomorrow’s world. And of course, we at BMW are proud to be among the pioneers of connected driving: for example, with the first on-board internet access in 2008, the first iPod integration in 2004, or the first ultrasound-based park distance control PDC in 1991."
"2011 is also the year in which we are setting course for the future. Initial insights are already available to you now in the Future Lab from BMW Vision ConnectedDrive. Or soon right here, with an extraordinary vehicle concept, which will once again revolutionize driving in terms of comfort, infotainment and safety. Exactly as you have come to expect from BMW."
BMW’s leadership and constant technology contest with Mercedes-Benz has led them to develop some of the best and most intuitive systems in production cars today. This concept shows how the future may render itself in the automotive realm. In a world where your car is as good or better than your office at getting things done – this is place where the ConnectDrive lives.
UPDATE 03/06/2011: BMW has revealed a new video of the Vision ConnectedDrive concept explaining the story behind the vehicle...and what a story it is! Believe it or not, the concept takes its inspiration from the human body and its possibility to adapt to any situation. This is exactly what the concept does with its three major colors: red for safety, blue for entertainment, and green for convenience. The three colors combine to offer the driver the best info on the road at the best time. How exactly? See BMW’s explanation in the video!
UPDATE 08/15/11: BMW has released another video featuring the Vision ConnectedDrive Concept. It’s a three-minute video that reveals plenty of the technological features of the concept car and wrapped around a story that involves 10 easy steps on how to ’steal jewelry’. We’re not sure about the whole message of the video, but it does make for a fascinating look at all the features that come as part of the futuristic Beamer.
Hit the jump for more details on the BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept.
Speedriven has been building some of the highest performing engines on the market for some time no and has released details on their newest project. Starting with a base CL600, this tuning team takes it from a tame luxury coupe and changes it into the most powerful CL on the market.
This firm is not about making your Mercedes the most ridiculous or unique looking car on the road, but rather focuses their attention exclusively under the hood. These are already some of the best looking luxury coupes on the market and there is no need for oversized chrome rims or carbon fiber aero-pieces to make it look fast – Speedriven would much rather make it perform to its highest potential.
The package is available for all models 2003+ that feature the Mercedes V12. This includes the ultra-exclusiveMaybach models. If you want Speedriven to turn your car into the ultimate Mercedes without adding the usual array of aftermarket exterior pieces then it’s going to cost $16,250. This price is not actually that ridiculous considering that companies like Brabus and Renntech charge much higher rates and don’t usually equal the same performance figures.
More details on the Mercedes CL600 by Speedriven after the jump.
Goliad, Texas – this town is home to one of the purest motorsport events of the year and it’s called the Texas Mile. People from all over the country travel to this location for three days of gasoline fume induced chaos on an abandoned air strip. Nothing makes for a better all-out speed track than a place where jet-fighters used to take off so the organizers have arranged a sort of extended drag race for any participant who wants to sign up.
Since 2003 people have been able to let loose in their motorcycles, trucks, and sports cars on what is essentially a one-mile stretch of open highway. Sure, driving down the historic Route 66 in your classic 1969 Ford Mustang is fun, but being able to put your foot to the floor on a stretch of road where no police officer will do anything about it is the ultimate rush.
Last year, the event was packed and this year it has already sold out so you better be ready when registration rolls around for the next one. Cars have been known to go well beyond the 200mph mark and even crash on the ½-mile slow down stretch, but it’s all about how far you want to push yourself.
Hit the jump for more details on the Texas-Mile Event.
Land Rover is joining the growing number of automakers climbing on the hybrid bandwagon with a new variant for their Range Rover Sport. Called the Range_e, this new hybrid prototype made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week and is the first Land Rover to go this route. The Range Rover Sport attracts the most customers from the widest demographic for Land Rover and thus gave them the best place to start in terms of marketing a hybrid vehicle to the public. Expect more models to debut in the future as gas prices rise and emissions standards are tightened – the only thing we are never going to see go hybrid is the legendary Defender.
Being able to engineer a vehicle with legendary Range Rover off-road capability and improved fuel economy is no small feat. A major issue for large hybrid SUVs is weight; lowering the curb weight of these vehicles often requires taking out vital parts of an off-roaders drive train such as the four-wheel drive components. Land Rover has decided to utilize a diesel-hybrid unit so that a small engine can still produce enough torque to get the heavy vehicle moving and give it enough muscle off-road.
It’s possible that previous ownership by Ford and BMW could have given Land Rover a jump start in the hybrid vehicle market with increased technical know-how, but these products will remain 100% Land Rover. John Edwards, Land Rover global brand director, said: "This system is the first example of a premium plug-in hybrid that also provides the full four-wheel-drive capability that you would expect from a Land Rover. It is an evolution of the production intent diesel-electric hybrid technology which will be launched in our next generation of SUVs and will be available for customers within the next two years."
More details on the Landrover Range_e after the jump.
Volvo has officially unveiled its next hybrid vehicle for the mass market at the Geneva Motor Show. The Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid will introduce several new technological innovations that Volvo Car has been developing. Development of the V60 Hybrid has taken place at the same time as the full electric C30 model and with production of that ready to begin, the V60 is not far behind.
This new model will be capable of driving 32 miles on full electric power and produce only 49g/km of carbon dioxide emissions. This car features a unique system of a diesel engine powering the car in some situations and the electric motor kicking in for others. Multiple driving modes can be selected by the driver depending of he would rather use full electric power or the two in conjunction – this differs from many hybrids because the car will usually make the decision when to use electric power. In order to develop these technologies quickly and efficiently Volvo formed a partnership with the Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall in 2007 and has been working on plug in technology ever since.
"In order to get true car enthusiasts to think green, you have to offer them the opportunity to drive with low carbon dioxide emissions without taking away the adrenaline rush that promotes genuine driving pleasure. The V60 Plug-inHybrid has all the traditional properties of a genuine sports wagon. What we’ve done is to spice it up with spearhead technology," says Stefan Jacoby.
Hit the jump to read more about the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid.
Lotus has been a hot topic in the news ever since their astounding resurgence into the sports-car world. The company has decided to move its racing ambitions further along as it has unveiled the Evora Enduro GT Concept car at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show. It was interesting to learn that last year the company had struck a deal with Renault to back its racing team and help with development. Lotus joining F1 racing may be more than a few years off, but this company clearly has big plans. After being rather lethargic during the 1990’s and almost fading away into the night with the Esprit dying out – the company has made drastic changes behind its fearless new leader and is poised to offer several new models within the coming years. With such an emphasis on road-going performance, it was only a matter of time before a racing car was developed.
More details on the Lotus Evora Enduro GT Concept after the jump.
Novitec Rosso, the same tuning firm that brought us the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Race 606 Carbon Ferrari California, debuted its latest Maranello Monster at the Geneva Auto Show. We’ve been hearing the rumors for a couple of weeks and it’s actually true that they have created a more insane version of the 599 GTO. This car is the ultimate Ferrari of the moment – there is no supercar level (Enzo) model available and if you want the very best that a prancing horse can deliver, then the 599 GTO will have to suffice. Luckily, there are enough crazy rich guys out there for a company like Novitec Rosso to exist and be able to bring us Ferrari GTOs with almost 900hp!
Not much was done to the exterior of the Ferrari in terms of aerodynamics, but the makeover provided for the engine more than makes up for whatever they did do on the outside. Still, Ferrari lore is not lost on the tuners at Novitec Rosso and their paintjob brings back a storied car of Ferrari’s history . The thing that tends to happen with tuning firms is that the original character of the car and the manufacturer are replaced with flashy wheels and oversized wings. Novitec has managed to restrain themselves and respect the 599 for what it is while still getting more power out of the mighty V12. Anything else done to the vehicle is just icing on the cake.
UPDATE 03/02/2011: This review has been updated with the Novitec Rosso Ferrari 599 GTO’s full specs.
UPDATE 04/03/11: Novitec Rosso has released a walk-around video of their tuned up Ferrari 599 GTO. Words are great and all, but it doesn’t beat watching the a run-around of the car’s exterior and interior.
Hit the jump to read more about the Novitec Rosso Ferrari 599 GTO.
It looks like BMW is getting closer to revealing a new model for the 1-series lineup. With an all new 1-series coming out soon, the car will be making some major changes in terms of style and luxury. Spy photos showing the new 1-series hatch have been more and more revealing as the company removes pieces of its camouflage. This new rendering was largely inspired by the new headlights that first appeared on the 5-series, moved on to the6-series, and will soon make its way to the new 3-series.
The 1-series has quickly become an important part of the American market for BMW and will continue to do so in their business plans. Expanding the lineup to offer more luxurious and capable vehicles is the next logical step. BMW should be weary of making the 1-series too luxurious and capable though; this could interfere with the best selling model in the lineup the 3-series, and hurt sales overall because the entry level market would be saturated with choices.
BMW has initiated several cost cutting strategies for the new 1-series and those include increased sharing with partner MINI. The new Mini, which will debut around the same time, will share much of the underpinnings and structure with the new BMW. As the anticipated launch date of 2013 grows closer we expect to see more pictures of different variants and begin to learn more details about each. For now we now the 3-door and 5-door hatch will only be available in Europe.
Hit the jump for more details on the BMW 1-Series Hatch .
The German supercar maker, Gumpert, is adding a new two-seater Tourer model to their lineup, and has debuted it at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The Tornante will be based on a new central engine chassis and V8-powered drivetrain, and will be designed by Touring Superleggera. This model will be setting a new standard for Gumpert as high-end engineering, sportiness, and elegance will come together to join the street-legal performance of the Apollo. The Touring designed Tornante will feature composite body panels placed on a space frame and a carbon fiber monocoque. These elements will allow the Tornante to be much more spacious than the Apollo.
Call us crazy, but it doesn’t seem as if the exterior design for the Tornante is all that different from the Apollo. The biggest difference we can see is the open top on the concept, which led us to believe that the gullwing doors would be eliminated from the overall design, however Gumpert has been editing multiple parts of the design to incorporate even larger Gullwing doors than ever before. During product development stages Gumpert wanted to utilize the expertise that TOURING designers have been putting into their cars for many years. According to Gumpert, the synergies between the two companies led to a great relationship, “teams from the two companies discovered soon that they share the same respect for efficiency and essentiality.”
This team has been able to develop a new model for the limited Gumpert lineup and been able to use many parts from the Apollo at the same time. This does not mean that the two cars are the same in any respect- rather Gumpert knew that it had to change several key factors in the new model in order to expand their customer base and please the requests of Apollo owners. Most of these upgrades or changes have to do with creature comforts and driveability. Let’s be honest, you’re not going to be driving your Apollo to work everyday, it’s basically a race car for the street. Gumpert wanted to revise this aspect of the car and include more storage space and improve comfort, but not compromise performance.
UPDATE 03/02/2011: This review has been updated with the Tornante Tourer’s official specs, as well as some new images!
More details on the Gumpert Tornante by Touring after the jump.
Mini and BMW have been up to a lot lately and much of it is coming out this week in Geneva. With an onslaught of new models in recent years, Mini is now a larger brand than ever. They feel it is the perfect time to enter the racing world and the World Rally Car Championship is where they are going to take their chance.
At the show, Mini unveiled the John Cooper Works S2000 which is the predecessor to the WRC car that will come out soon. The main difference between the two cars is that the S2000 will be for private teams to purchase and race while the WRC car will be for the Mini Team. 2011 FIA racing regulations have instated a rule change thus allowing private teams to race head-to-head with the factory teams, hoping to derive more excitement from the sport.
The two cars will have several differences, but the S2000 debut shows the collaboration between Mini and BMW Motorsports. Dr. Wolfgang Armbrecht, Senior Vice President Brand Management MINI said, “When you add the turbocharged MINI engine and the BLW Group’s expertise in the world of motor sport to the mix, you can see we have an exceptional blend of attributes that will take us quickly to the next stage.” Let’s hope it’s extremely quick, because races start at Rally Italy on May 8, 2011.
Hit the jump for more details on the Mini John Cooper Works S2000.
Two things have been around for a long time, Mercedes Benz and Performance Tuning. The two also share intertwined histories as companies such as AMG, Brabus, Renntech, and Lorinser were born and continue to adapt the latest technology to factory Benz models. There are hundreds of tuning companies and race shops throughout the country, but telling them apart can be difficult. Most do not build their own parts, but rather perform the mechanical work for you to add aftermarket exhausts, ECU upgrades, and turbochargers. Some offer full service tuning and testing, but currently there is only one that is attempting to push a natural-gas powered Mercedes to a land speed record.
Speedriven is a Chicago-based firm that is currently working with Bernie Towns to develop this “green” record breaker. Towns’ is an engineer for HighMount Exploration and Production and the companies main focus is natural gas energy. Many of your home appliances, such as the water heater and stove, may run off natural gas, but did you ever think your car would? Actually, Utility and Transportation departments throughout the country have been using natural gas in everything from construction equipment to buses for years; which have helped to reduce costs and improve air quality.
For someone that wants to help the environment, lower costs, and produce tons of horsepower, natural gas is the perfect option for this SL600. Speedriven also provided other performance enhancements for the Mercedes in order to keep it safe under high speeds. Jo Borras of Speedriven speaking about Towns’ said, “He doesn’t just want to do a CNG Benz, though. Bernie wants to break records.”
Hit the jump to learn more about Towns’ vision.
With gas prices heading well above $3.00 per gallon in most states, economical cars and trucks have made a resurgence in the American automotive consumer’s mind. One can hardly drive down a road without seeing one of the first and most popular hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius. Most major manufacturers have since produced these types of vehicles and there are more new models in the works, even from upstart luxury manufacturers.
One of the premier automotive designers in the industry felt hybrid cars were lacking in both excitement and luxury, and decided to take it upon himself to create a new segment. Henrik Fisker previously designed such memorable cars as the BMW Z8 and the Aston Martin DB9. His company originally made several re-bodied versions of the Mercedes SL and the BMW 6-series, but in very limited production and a high price tag. Fisker Automotive became a true manufacturer in 2007 with the simple idea of creating an inspired, beautiful, and exciting luxury hybrid vehicles. Shortly after, the Fisker Karma was introduced at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. It’s easy to see why it turned more than a few heads with its voluptuous flowing lines and promised 50-mile full electric range.
As if drop-dead good looks were not enough to distinguish this car from other eco-friendly vehicles, the performance numbers help the Karma truly pull away from the crowd. Its 0-60 mph performance is said to be in the neighborhood of 5.8 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. The Karma may not be able to keep up with your neighbor’s Porsche Panamera, but while you’re getting 67 miles per gallon, he will be sitting at a gas station.
UPDATE 03/23/2011: Three years after the Karman first debuted at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, the first unit has finally rolled out of the Valmet Automotive’s plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland. US and European customers will receive their first units by next month.
UPDATE 07/13/11: Finally, the Fisker Karma is set to be delivered to its first customers. It took a long time, but the wait is now over. The luxury plug-in hybrid sedan is scheduled to be delivered later this month with the first person expected to get his hands on it being no other than Hollywood A-lister and eco-guy Leonardo di Caprio. According to Fisker, there are already 3,000 pre-orders for the car with the wait list expected to hit until early 2012.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Fisker Karma.
Ferrari had become a well known racing team and producer of sports cars for the public, but its Gran Touring machines were still lacking refinement. Enzo may have thought little of this, but as time has gone on these larger Ferrari models have done very well for the company and now, with the new FF model, they will introduce 4-wheel drive to the company’s lineup for the first time.
At the 1966 Geneva Motor Show Ferrari introduced its new 330 GTC model. With the 330 GT 2+2 model, Ferrari already had a less sporty car for sale, so the 330 GTC needed to be both Grand Tourer and true performance car. Utilizing a shorter wheelbase and modified engine, the 330 GTC Coupe is widely regarded as one of the best overall Ferrari models of all time.
Canepa Design in California is currently offering a Silver 1965 model with 47,033 miles on the odometer. It has been restored and features a clean title.
Hit the jump for more details on the Ferrari 330 GTC.
Photo Credit: Simon Clay/RM Auctions
The original Dodge Charger had been somewhat of a failure for Chrysler. It sold in large numbers to the public, but remained without a win in racing. The year 1969 was the time Chrysler and Dodge decided to pull out all the stops and turn the Challenger into a formidable racing machine. What emerged was the Dayton model that looked like a mix between an airplane and the original Charger.
This #6 car for sale through Canepa Design holds a special place in the racing record books, being the first car to break the 200mph mark. The car led that race for over 100 laps until another car put it into a spin knocking it out of the race. These 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona models are very rare and sought after by collectors. Even fewer were built with the Hemi engine such as this car and none have the same race history. If you would like to own a piece of history than expect to pay over six figures when this car hits the block.
Hit the jump for more details on the Dodge Charger Daytona.
The title of being the World’s Fastest Supercar is a name that has been restricted for the Bugatti Veyron of today and the McLaren F1 of the past. Many different vehicles can be considered for this prestigious title, but the main component that makes it relevant is the fact that the car that holds the title is a production vehicle. This means it goes from a manufacturer’s factory to a dealership and into the hands of a customer who drives it off the lot. What happens when aftermarket companies and kit cars are put into the mix?
Basically, you end up with some of the fastest “production” vehicles ever made. The Hennessey Twin-turbo Vipers are some of the fastest accelerating vehicles on the planet, but don’t exactly come from the factory. The Ultima GTR has broken nearly every speed record in the book and the company that created it has claimed it to be the Fastest Supercar in the World. The biggest difference with the Ultima is that you could build it in your garage.
Being a kit car has its advantages and every owner has the opportunity to build it to their exact specifications. The factory in England will ship out all the necessary parts so you can get the engine here, and not have to deal with meeting safety regulations. Let’s delve into this so-called record breaking connector set called the Ultima GTR.
Hit the jump for more details on the Ultima GTR.
The Chevrolet Corvette – GM’s little performance savior. This car has meant everything to Chevrolet for one simple reason; because it used to be the only car with some style. It was the only model that made anyone feel emotional about driving a Chevrolet and its history is second to none. The American sports car market has been utterly dominated by the Corvette from the Airbox models to the legendary Stingray.
The Z06 was originally introduced to push the envelope in terms of performance for the Corvette lineup. Recently Chevrolet decided that the Corvette needed to incorporate the largest and most powerful engine thus creating the ZR1. The ZR1 model has become the poster child of American supercar fame taking on the challengers from across the pond and, with the hiatus of the Dodge Viper, it is likely to keep its crown for some time.
Even with the invention of the ZR1, the Z06 model has not been neglected. Several different levels of Z06 trim exist, each coming with different types of option packages delivering varied results depending on what type of driving the car will most likely encounter.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.
Canepa design is offering an opportunity to own one of the most famous Formula One race cars in American history. The 1985 Tyrell Formula One is one of the last Cosworth machines to ever compete in this race series. Its 3-liter Ford V8 made plenty of power helping to propel this race car into the history books at the U.S Grand Prix and the Constructors Championship in 1985. These 012-series race cars are often found in vintage races throughout the world and have remained a popular choice in inspiring future designs.
The Scott’s Valley, California company, Canepa Design, has put this car through an intensive restoration lasting 3,000 hours. This company has always been known for its styling and performance upgrades to various manufacturers’ vehicles as well as the care and sale of collector vehicles. The history of this specific Formula One race-car is well documented and has a rich history with the Tyrell racing team – for more information on its availability contact Canepa at 831-430-9940.
Hit the jump for more details on the 1985 Tyrrell.
After being revealed at Barrett Jackson in 2010 as a celebration of the original 1965 Shelby GT350’s 45th anniversary, the 2012 GT350 made its world debut at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show.
The GT350 model is based on the most current Ford Mustang GT and is priced at $26,995.00 (normally aspirated) and $33,995.00 (supercharged). The price, however, doesn’t include the base car which will tack on another $22,000 - $40,000 depending on your preferences.
A convertible version is a welcomed change for 2012 considering the last convertible to be offered was back in 1970. Red and blue will also get added to the list of exterior colors which will make the limited run of 350 models sell out as fast as water in the desert.
The most unique aspect of these powerful Mustangs is that Shelby has been such an integral part of Ford, but managed to remain a separate company. The Shelby Corporation designs parts and works in conjunction with Ford on some projects, but also designs and sells its own models like the legendary Shelby Cobra.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Shelby GT350 Mustang.
Back in the 1990’s and earlier, Lamborghini was not known for it’s Audi partnership and derived models such as the Gallardo. In fact, it was not known for luxury of any sort, and it certainly was not known caring what any environmentalist thought.
Lamborghini produced aggressively styled, lightweight machines with massive V12 engines putting power to the road. Creature comforts were an afterthought and driving them was not even an easy task. They were not cars that you bought simply to show you had the money to buy one – it was more akin to buying a Harley-Davidson motorcycle – you had to be macho enough to drive these beasts.
The Diablo model which was the successor to the venerable Countach had been introduced nearly a decade before Audi gained control and was in need of some serious updates. What Audi helped them produce was one of the fastest and most competent Diablo models to ever come from St. Agata Bolognese, Italy.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2001 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.0.
The Land Rover Range Rover and its smaller sibling the Sport have been subject to tuning modifications from nearly every manufacturer. Few modifications for these vehicles revolve around off-roading anymore – instead they have been focused towards style and on-road performance.
Revere London is a relatively new tuning house that released its first entire vehicle conversion based on the Range Rover Sport. Their philosophy towards modification is, “to provide clientele with a unique lifestyle choice, excellent service and complete discretion.” That may sound like a bunch of bull, but they have remained true to it. Revere not only slaps a set of new wheels and a body kit on your Range, they have dedicated designers and service agents waiting at your beckon call. The company offers complete conversions as well as specific parts depending on the clients wants and needs and shops are located throughout Great Britain.
The British heritage is important to Land Rover and Revere, making craftsmanship paramount in creating their unique vehicles. The tuning programs available for Land Rover models have been carefully designed to enhance the vehicle and not overshadow its already strong presence. From exterior body work to interior luxury, Revere has created a set of great Land Rover products.
Hit the jump for more details on the Revere Land Rover Range Rover & Range Rover Sport.
Mercedes has a model for everyone and every niche – small cars, big cars, SUVs, vans, buses, supercars and the Unimog. The Unimog truly defies a complete explanation. No single consumer can comprehend the myriad of capabilities that these machines possess.
The standard U500 Unimog would have been the ultimate vehicle in the movie Dante’s Peak. If you’ve never seen it, the Unimog would have been racing up a mountainside road covered in volcanic ash, saving the family from lava rushing to destroy their house, fording a river on the way back down while using its winch to save a puny National Guard Hummvee – all in a day’s work.
So why would Brabus want to create a version of this car? Brabus has been making the fastest and most prestigious Mercedes vehicles for years and if they are willing to take the Smart car and give it a makeover then the Unimog should also have its moment of glory.
Hit the jump for more details on the Brabus Unimog.
Porsche has introduced new 911 variants to its model lineup since the beginning. Every few years the car get a redefined shape, slightly higher engine output and increased track performance. Since the company believes that the original 911 had the general shape of the sports car correct to begin with, the evolution has been a slow process more akin to refinement vs. redevelopment.
The year 2003 saw the introduction of the companies first SUV, the Cayenne. Critics loved to hate it and the consumer basically just loved it. They flew off dealer lots in record numbers and gave Porsche a big stick in the premium SUV market controlled by Mercedes and BMW. Few may have realized that the Cayenne was close to a rebodied Volkswagen Touareg, but few also cared. For its first complete redesign, Porsche engineers knew they had to push the boundaries with the Cayenne, give it far better performance and help it fit better within the portfolio.
There is no better way to establish whether or not they succeeded than by driving the new 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Your average Porsche Cayman or Porsche Carrera 4S may be exciting, but Turbo models are the epitome of every line – bringing performance to new heights.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.
As Mercedes-Benz celebrates its 125th anniversary, the automotive world as a whole should take the time to step back and look at its roots. With the technological wonders that roll out of a Mercedes factory day to day it would be hard for any of us to fully understand a time when a short trip into town would be a true journey. A horse and buggy, as well as the Railroad reigned supreme before the turn of the century and Karl Benz was about to change everything. The brilliance of an aspiring inventor and the realization of a dream led to the creation of the first automobile.
The mating of the internal combustion engine to a chassis built from the ground up was the basic formula for creating an automobile. New creations beyond the engine itself and obstacles that were not able to be overcome in the initial product - both came together to become the Benz Patent-Motorwagen.
Mercedes corporate has been celebrating in style, “Exactly 125 years to the day after Carl Benz registered his “vehicle with gas-engine drive” in 1886, Daimler AG has celebrated the anniversary of the automobile. Approximately 1,400 invited guests were hosted by the inventor of the automobile at the Mercedes-Benz World in Stuttgart, with guests of honor including the German Federal Chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel.”
Hit the jump for more details on the 1886 Benz Patent-Motorwagen.
Mini has released many new models in the past two years, but its bread and butter has always been the Cooper and it still remains a high priority. Updates to the Mini Cooper have been coming steadily every year since day one. The R50 Cooper that started the revival for the company in the United States was utilitarian compared to these new models and had left much to be desired.
For 2011, the car receives some minor updates that will help keep it viable until a replacement model is introduced. Refinement is the one word that we would use to describe the new model and that does not mean it is as refined as its BMW cousins, just refined enough for a Mini. The refresh may only be minor, but it is helpful to this car in every way.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Mini Cooper.
The mad mechanics from Mercedes high end tuning arm of AMG are at it once again. Instead of preparing a brand new CLS63 AMG or putting the finishing touches on the C63 AMG Black Series; the trainees are up to no good with some spare parts and an idea.
The innocent Mercedes B-Class is about to receive a serious upgrade from some talented young men and women. A plant manager at an AMG assembly shop is testing his students by giving them a task they can really sink their teeth into. Peter Wesp thought up the challenge and ended up having some of his talented staff take on the project.
Andreas Wurz is a foreman in the technical vocational training department and it was his idea that lent to such a sinister B-class being built. Specific plans were put together, parts gathered and work started on the B55 AMG.
Hit the jump for more details on the B55 AMG.
Black is undoubtedly the color most often worn to any elegant affair and Porsche is taking full advantage of that fact with another special edition model dressed to impress in a sleek black exterior. Mimicking the Carrera Black Edition revealed just a few days ago, the Boxster S model is taking its turn in the spotlight with the same package. However, unlike the Carrera, the Boxster S Black Edition will be limited to only 987 units with U.S. prices starting at $65,200. Sales will begin in March 2011.
The Black exterior carries the dark horse theme around to the model lettering at the rear, the roll-over bars, the rear side air intake grilles, and the twin tailpipe of the exhaust system. A set of black 19" Boxster Spyder wheels complete the aggressive exterior look.
The color also rolls in to the interior to mold itself onto the standard, three-spoke Sport Design steering wheel, the trim strips of the dashboard and of the gear shift lever or PDK selector, the dials on the instrument cluster, and the partial leather seats.
The color change won’t be the only thing distinguishing this model as Porsche is providing three optional packages to further customize this special edition: "Comfort", "Infotainment", and "Design".
Hit the jump to read more about the Porsche Boxster S Black Edition.
When most companies go about creating their flagship sedan conservative feelings can prevail. Most of these companies (i.e. Mercedes, BMW, and Audi) have been building a large four-door sedan for decades. They tend to go with a don’t fix what’s not broken mantra when updating the look, design, and feel of the car lending to a sense of evolution rather than revolution when a new model appears.
Maserati had the luxury of not really having to please anyone when they decided to build their 4-door sedan, the Quattroporte. Designers and engineers wanted the sedan to evoke more emotion than others in its class and have accomplished just that. Looking at today’s 2011 Quattroporte, it’s hard to believe that essentially the same model has been in production for six years now. It is still stunning to look at and cannot really be compared to anything in terms of design except perhaps the new Aston Martin Rapide.
After winning a slough of awards throughout its production, the Quattroporte will enter 2011 with some updates, a baby brother, and the same Ferrari sourced V8 that we all enjoy so much.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Maserati Quattroporte.
The Porsche Cayman began its life several years ago and immediately threatened the position of the Carrera as Porsche’s top dog in performance. No one quite expected this while the car was in development, but once it hit the market the buzz was everywhere. The Cayman has undergone some major changes throughout it’s run and 2011 adds several previously unavailable features.
As an entry level model for Porsche, the base Cayman still has plenty to offer. It is considered a luxury-sports car and therefore brings strong performance and craftsmanship to the table. Nestled nicely in between a Boxster and a base 911, this entry level Cayman fills what would otherwise be a void in the portfolio. Most Cayman buyers enjoy the Boxster size and efficiency, but also want the torsional rigidity and tighter handling provided by hardtop 911 models. Starting at $51,900 for a manual transmission, this Porsche can give you the best of both worlds.
Hit the jump for more details on the 2011 Porsche Cayman.