Italdesign and Nissan Design a Celebratory GT-R That Screams Future Collaboration
To celebrate 50 years of Italdesign creations and the Nissan GT-R nameplate, the coachbuilder and automaker have teamed up to create a one-off prototype called the GT-R50. Considered to be a GT-R without limits, and based on the 2018 GT-R Nismo, this custom Nissan is scheduled to debut next month with heavy modifications – exactly what you would expect from something created by Italdesign.
Lamborghini Polo Storico restores the iconic Miura SVR
Lamborghini Polo Storico, the arm that handles Lambo’s classic models, has completed the restoration of one of the most famous Miura models ever built, the Miura SVR. Based on the Miura Jota, a prototype that was destroyed before it made into production, the SVR was showcased at Japan’s Nakayama Circuit before it was delivered to its owner.
Mopar Pro Shop is Selling A Hellcat Engine for Less Than $15,000!
Are you in the market for a 6.2-liter, V-8, crate engine that packs over 700 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque? If the answer is “yes,” then you might be interested in a Mopar 6.2-liter Hellcat SC EFI factory crate engine for sale on moparproshop.com. It’s the real deal, and more importantly, you can buy it for just $14,998! That’s $4,532 less than Mopar’s original asking price!
Audi Introduces Amazon Music Services On All 2017 and 2018 Models
In what can be considered an early Christmas present from Audi, owners of 2017 and 2018 model year Audis will now have access to Amazon’s music services, including Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Prime Music. The two services are now embedded into the infotainment systems of these models, as well as in the Audi MMI Connect smartphone app.
McLaren Special Operations Creates Special Paint with Family History
McLaren’s Special Operations (MSO) division is capable of creating some of the most visually arresting iterations of McLaren models you’ll ever see. Models like the 720 Velocity, 650S Project Kilo, and 720S Zenith Black are all good examples of MSO’s personalization skills. That level of creativity also helps the division create unique colors that have backstories of their own. Recently, MSO decided to tap into the roots Bruce McLaren to create a color that had ties to the life of the company’s founder. And so, the Muriwai White shade was born.
This Automotive Trend Was Just The Worst
As a car enthusiast now in his thirties, I remember the release of the original Fast & Furious movie. It was the summer of 2001, and as a budding young 16-year-old, I was captivated by the wild-looking cars I saw on the screen. Candy-colored paint and graphics, eccentric body kits, nitrous purges, atmospheric waste gates… all of it was totally new to me. And there’s a reason the original F&F became known as “The Movie” in the tuner scene – almost instantly, this obscure culture was thrust into the daylight, and with it came both the good and the bad. This piece touches on some of the bad, namely aftermarket Altezza taillights.
Shortly after the debut of F&F, the aftermarket Altezza taillight became the part du jour for wannabe tuners and performance enthusiasts. Alternately called Euro lights or crystal lights, many less-than-reputable companies made a small killing hawking these garish, ill-fitting pieces, and you’d often find them hanging on by a thread from the tail of some half-rusted import with cut springs, no muffler, and an oversized GT-style wing on the trunk. Like some kind of sinister case of VD, the Altezza taillight phenomenon quickly spread, infecting even the domestic scene with its cheap plastic and lookalike chrome inserts.
Luckily, the Altezza phenomenon eventually died out, but still elicits a chuckle amongst those who remember it. Which leads me to this – which automotive trend, past or present, do you think is just the worst? Let us know in the comments, and maybe, just maybe, we’ll find something worse than Altezza taillights.
2017 Brabus Ultimate E Concept
In the 23 years that it’s been around, Smart has become a staple in urban cities, fulfilling its mission of being a purveyor of affordable compact cars. But like most car brands, Smart has a sporty and aggressive alter ego, though one that we rarely get to see. It just so happened that one such example was presented at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show by noted tuner Brabus. It’s called the Brabus Ultimate E Concept, and it’s an absolute humdinger.
Okay, so I know what you’re thinking. “It’s a Smart ForTwo. ‘Humdinger’ isn’t exactly the kind of word I’d use to describe it.” You’d be right about that, but you’d also be wrong in assuming that the Ultimate E Concept is nothing more than a dressed up ForTwo wearing a Brabus kit. It’s way more than what it appears to be, and we have Brabus and its partner-in-crime in this project, Kreisel Electric, to thank for that. This concept – it really shouldn’t be a concept – represents the pinnacle of what the Smart ForTwo can become if it adopts new technologies and embraces its inner id in the process. Think a 200-horsepower Smart ForTwo is still the stuff of dreams and fantasies? Think again. Smart has come a long way since it started in 1994. I can’t tell for certain if the Brabus Ultimate E Concept is the future, but if it is, then that future just became mighty exciting.
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2017 Land Rover Discovery by Startech
Startech may be overshadowed by its parent company, Brabus, in the tuning world, but the tuner has proven itself to be as adept in building kits for a wide range of vehicle brands. One of those brands is Land Rover, and as fate would have it, Startech is presenting its latest program for the Discovery SUV at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The program has a more style-over-substance feel to it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for an SUV like the Discovery, which caters to more than just the off-road adventurers of the world. Those who prefer a proper dress-up for their SUVs are the targets here, hence the lack of an engine upgrade that puts more power to the SUV’s 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 engine. It is fitting, too, that with Startech’s kit for the SUV arrived just as the Discovery underwent its biggest stylistic change since 2009. Put all of these elements together and it’s easy to see why Startech wants to be one of the first in the tuning scene to have one in the market. Other tuners like Kahn Design will inevitably have theirs at some point, but for now, the spotlight is squarely on Startech to make a positive impression on owners of the new SUV. Considering its pedigree as a company owned by Brabus, it wouldn’t be hard for Startech to live up to its parent firm’s reputation.
Continue after the jump to learn more about the Land Rover Discovery by Startech
Carbon Fiber Interior Trim – Performance Statement, Or Fake And Uncool?
It seems like just about any car out on the road with any semblance of sporting intentions has the option for carbon fiber trim in the interior. Once relegated to the fastest of the fast, carbon fiber is becoming more of a fashion statement with every passing production cycle. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Never mind the plodding 0-to-60 mph time and yawn-inspiring handling – if it’s supposed to be sporty, then let’s all be reminded with acres of faux fiber in the cabin. Sometimes it works, but by and large, the trend is leaning towards the ridiculous at this point. Making matters worse is the carbon fiber tape you can buy from the aftermarket to slather across your dash and center console. Because as we all know, the fastest performance machines on the planet all have bubbling vinyl in the cockpit.
You’ll have to pardon the attitude here, it’s just that this is one trend I’ll be happy to see finally put to bed. Thing is, like I stated before, sometimes it works – Koenigsegg, for example, seems to have a pretty good handle on it, as does Pagani. But I guess that’s the problem. As long as those dream cars are rocking carbon interiors, the rest of us will continue to strive to make believe our four-cylinder commuters are fire-breathing 200-mph monsters.
Which begs the question – is fake carbon fiber trim acceptable, or trash? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
2017 Ford Focus RS by Mountune
Mountune may not have the most famous name in the aftermarket tuning circle, but don’t let its relative anonymity distract you from what the tuner is fully capable of. We already saw what happens when it gets its hands on the Ford Focus RS. It did so last year with Ford Performance and managed to squeeze out 375 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Now it’s back with a bigger and better upgrade for the hot hatch as calls for a 400-horsepower Ford Focus RS have finally been answered.
The scope of Mountune’s new modifications for the Focus RS covers a lot of ground as far as mechanical upgrades are concerned. There’s very little in the way of aesthetic enhancements, so customers are advised to find them elsewhere, be it from Ford or another aftermarket company. Nevertheless, the program’s lack of versatility shouldn’t be held against it, not with the promise of incredible power and performance. Take this kit from Mountune however you want to, but rest assured, this is as "no-nonsense" as any tuning program we’ve come across for the Ford Focus RS. It was developed for one purpose – power for ages – and the resulting numbers certainly speak for themselves.
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2017 McLaren 570GT by Novitec
The McLaren 570GT is about as unique as any McLaren that’s out on the market today. It’s classified under the company’s Sports Series, but really, it has the credentials of a supercar. It was prepared to be a performance daily driver in the vein of the Porsche 911, and yet it can flex its power in a heartbeat. The 570GT’s varied characteristics is a big part of its appeal, and for all it’s worth, it’s also a big reason why aftermarket tuners have taken a fancy to it. One of these tuners is Novitec and it’s got a dandy new program for the 570GT that helps improve its output numbers to reach levels that essentially puts it in the league of McLaren’s higher-echelon Super Series.
If you have ever followed Novitec’s work, you might remember the tuner has already worked on the McLaren 570S, introducing its program for that car back in December 2016. The blueprint of both kits is pretty similar in a such a way that the scope of Novitec’s modifications falls along the same sections. There are aerodynamic kits, a new set of wheels, suspension upgrades, and of course, engine tweaks that put the 570GT’s output in the vicinity of 650 horsepower, right smack where the 650S resides. It’s not the most encompassing program you’ll ever see, but for a car like the 570GT that can already shine on its own without any assistance, Novitec’s new program is simply all about making a good thing even better.
Continue after the jump to read more about the McLaren 570GT by Novitec
2018 Ford F-22 F-150 Raptor
Ford Performance created a one-off F-150 Raptor styled after the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor fighter jet for a charity auction benefiting kids’ interest and participation in flying. Called the Gathering of Eagles, the annual event is hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association. This year, the auction raised $300,000 thanks to Ford’s donation of the “F-22 Raptor.” The truck obviously takes its name and styling cues from America’s premier fighter, going so far as to incorporate the jet’s silhouette into its grille and side mirrors. But that just scratches the surface of what Ford did to this 2018 F-150 Raptor Crew Cab.
The Raptor boasts a Whipple intercooler and other performance upgrades on its high-output, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, giving it an impressive 545 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque – a healthy improvement over its stock 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of twist. The bodywork received carbon fiber fender flairs, custom LED lighting, power-deploying running boards, an aggressive wheel and tire package, and that silver-over-black paint job. These, combined with other upgrades, helped the truck garner a $300,000 winning bid, beating out last year’s winning bid of $295,000 for a P-51D Mustang-themed 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 called Ole Yeller. Making the winning bid more special – it was from Gary Ackerman of Gaudin Ford in Las Vegas. Ackerman serves as Honorary Commander and Ambassador for the U.S. Air Force’s F-22 Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
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2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 S By Posaidon
There may be a new-generation Mercedes-AMG E63 S in town now, but just because that’s the case, that doesn’t mean the previous-generation model will just fade out into the sunset. Noted Mercedes tuner Posaidon seems to think that there’s still some untapped potential left in the “old” AMG E63 S, and like any tuner worth its salt, Posaidon set about unlocking it with a new program that delivers a staggering 1,090 horsepower, more than what today’s lineup of hypercars are capable of.
Wrap your heads around that number for a second. 1,090 horsepower for the Mercedes-AMG E63 S. Sure, the mid-sized performance saloon is capable of handling that much power, but not without a lot of help, or at least in this case, a bigger engine up front. That’s the scope of what Posaidon has done. Not to mention the work Posaidon put in, which speaks to the kind of upgrades it’s offering for the Merc-AMG. It’s admittedly not for everyone, but for those who prefer supercar-levels of power out of the E63 S beauties, the German tuner’s power offering is about as high as it’s going to get. And in case it’s a little too out of reach for a customer’s sensibilities, Posaidon does have other options on the menu, specifically upgrades that “only” bring out 850 and 920 horsepower, respectively. I suppose the output numbers, in this case, are relative, but then again, even an 850-horsepower AMG E63 S is going to be a whirlwind to drive.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG E63 S by Posaidon.
2017 Porsche 911 Turbo S Blue Arrow by Edo Competition
Just in case it isn’t abundantly clear by now, the Porsche 911 Turbo S is a legend. It’s regarded as one of the most iconic models in history, as it has been ever since it was launched in the market 54 years ago. The sports car’s appeal is unlikely to lose its luster anytime soon, and it’s that particular timeless quality about it that has made the 911 such a popular model in the aftermarket tuning circle. The current-generation 911 has seen its fair share of programs from tuning heavyweights like TechArt, TopCar, and Gemballa. Now it’s edo competition’s turn to get in on the action and the German tuner didn’t disappoint with a 675-horsepower creation called the 911 Turbo S Blue Arrow.
It’s a fancy name for a fancy tuning program for a fancy sports car. It also happens to be potent beyond words, not to mention capable of achieving incredible amounts of speed and power that fits into the performance legacy of the Porsche 911. It’s fitting, too, that this program comes from edo competition, the same tuner that’s responsible for some of the most impressive tuning creations in history. Remember what it did to the Ferrari Enzo all those years ago? I don’t expect this creation for the 911 Turbo S to match that in power and performance, but I do know that it doesn’t need to. The Porsche 911 Turbo S is its own unicorn, and edo competition did it a solid by sprinkling its pixie dust all over it.
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