Need Proof it’s a Crazy World? Turkmenistan Just Banned Black Cars
Turkmenistan is a small, oil-rich country located in Central Asia. It sits north of Iran and Afghanistan and south of Uzbekistan. It also happens to have a loony president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who has just issued an order making black cars illegal in the capital city of Ashgabat. Apparently, Berdymukhammedov wants Ashgabat to be an all-white city, so if you happen to own a black car in the country, you’re going to need to repaint it or face the headache of seeing your ride get impounded.
You’ll Never Guess Who’s Behind the Wheel In Saudi Arabia!!!
Saudi Arabia finally took a big step towards embracing gender equality after the Middle Eastern kingdom announced that it will now allow women to drive, ending a longstanding and controversial policy that has painted the country as the poster child for gender inequality.
The announcement was made through a royal decree issued by King Salman and was read live on state television and ran simultaneously with a media event held in Washington. Notwithstanding the curiosity of the PR strategy, the simultaneous announcement can be seen as an attempt by Saudi Arabia to wash away the stains of its international reputation. That reputation has certainly been earned over the way the country has effectively treated women as second-class citizens, including outlandish claims that allowing women to drive would not only lead to promiscuity but, even more baffling, is the claim that could damage their ovaries. The royal decree that now allows women to drive is certainly long overdue. More importantly, it is a positive first step that can hopefully lead to more action that promotes gender equality in the kingdom. There’s no guarantee that it’ll happen overnight - the lifting of the ban will technically take effect in June 2018 - but progress has been made as far as women’s right to drive in the country is concerned. Who knows, though - maybe more changes for the better are on the horizon.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Say hello to what is potentially the best true SUV Ford has ever made, the 2015 Everest. Just try not to fall in love. Sadly, the American automaker isn’t bringing this body-on-frame, solid-rear-axle, diesel-powered SUV to the States. Nope, it’s strictly for our friends in China, Australia, New Zealand, India, and the southern parts of Africa. The Everest has actually been around for some time now, starting life in 2003. Like it’s always been, the SUV is based on the global Ranger pickup truck platform, another vehicle we don’t get stateside.
Ford is making the Everest more competitive than ever, with, of course, its off-road capabilities, but also its on-road refinement and interior amenities. Included are such things as autonomous emergency braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Blind Spot Monitoring, Cross Traffic Alert, and Curve Control. That last part helps keep the top-heavy SUV right side up when entering a corner too hot.
Also present is Ford’s Terrain Management System that includes settings for Normal, Snow/Gravel/Grass, and Sand and Rock. It adjusts the engine’s throttle response, the transmission, traction control, and four-wheel-drive system. The part-time transfer case also includes a low range while the rear axle has an electronic-locking differential.
Needless to say, the Everest isn’t joking around about its abilities.
Ford slathers the icing on the cake with two diesel engine choices; one being a 2.2-liter Duratorque four-cylinder and the other a 3.2-liter Duratorq five-cylinder. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost is offered as well.
Click past the jump to read more about the Ford Everest.
Launched at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the McLaren 650S replaced the four-year-old MP4-12C, the company’s first production car since the F1 supercar. Available in both coupe and roadster guises, the sports car gets its oomph from McLaren’s award-winning, twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8. Although it lacks the P1’s tuning and electric motor, the mill cranks out 640 horses and 500 pound-feet of torque, making the 650S quicker than its Ferrari- and Lamborghini-badged competitors. Going into the 2015 model year, the Brits are rolling out more versions of the 650S. Now that the GT3 and the Sprint have completed the manufacturer’s motorsport-purposed lineup, Woking is introducing a road-legal iteration specifically tailored for the Asian market.
Dubbed 625C, with "C" standing for "Club", this "new" 650S-based rig represents McLaren’s idea of a sports car that focuses on day-to-day usability and comfort without compromising the performance and race-bred feel of the original car. The 625C also marks McLaren’s first effort toward growing its presence globally. Read on for the full details.
Click past the jump to read more about McLaren 625C.
Who doesn’t love supercars? They come from all over the world. Ferrari and Lamborghini come from Italy, Germany has Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, and Aston Martin and Lotus hail from England. We here in America have the Viper and Corvette Z06. In 2014, we now receive a new supercar from the Philippines, sort of. The company is known as Factor Aurelio Automobile and its latest prototype — still unnamed — shows just what two creative minds can come up with.
The Philippines is known for its lush, tropical beauty, gorgeous beaches, and amazing culture. However, when you think of supercar origins the Philippines probably isn’t the first country that pops into your mind.
This relatively sleek and sexy supercar is still very much in development, and there is news of grumblings between its two founders, Kevin Factor and Brendan Aurelio, so this may be a short-lived dream. Regardless, it is cool enough to pass onto our faithful readers.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Factor Aurelio Automobile Aurelio.
The French automakers have a knack for creating some of the visually unique and interesting cars on the market. If you don’t believe that, take on look at the new KWID Concept from Renault. An exterior that looks like an angry, off-road hatchback is painted a hue of steel and covered in bright sunshine yellow accents. It has an interior that appears to be built by stretching massive rubber bands across the inside. It also comes with a remote controlled quad-copter.
Who the hell thinks of this stuff?
The quirky concept is design to shoot cupid’s arrow straight through the heart of the young and tech-savvy buyer. It is loaded with high tech wizardry, and even features a tablet computer built into the dash.
The KWID is aimed squarely at developing markets like India where new car buyers tend to be far younger than in other more developed car-buying nations.
Continue reading to find out more about this chunk of French madness.
Honda has graced the world with a new concept car — the Vision XS-1 — and it is actually pretty cool. If you were to imagine a futuristic Honda Fit with a lift kit, and a Hot Wheels shade of electric blue, you’d be getting close to what this concept looks like.
The Vision XS-1 concept features a compact exterior footprint to make it easy to maneuver in packed cities, but it has an increased ride height to give it that SUV look. Despite its relatively tiny size, Honda says the Vision XS-1 has room for up to 7 people.
The entire concept is built around Honda’s man maximum, machine minimum M/M design philosophy. The idea is to create something that is human centered, and designed to get the machines out of the way of the experience.
Honda has said that this India reveal is a concept only, but we have our doubts about that.
Read on to find out more about this new ambitious concept.
Here at TopSpeed, we don’t pay much attention to Tata Motors, mostly because it does not produce high-performance supercars. Today, however, we bring you tragic news concerning the company, as its managing director Karl Slym died yesterday after a fall from a Bangkok hotel. While the circumstances of his death were not disclosed initially, it is now rumored that the police are investigating his death as a possible suicide.
The incident happened at a Bangkok hotel where Slym was attending a board meeting. According to reports, a suicide note was found in Slym’s hotel room on the 22nd floor. Police are still investigating his death and a final ruling will be announced in about a week, following an autopsy.
Before joining Tata Motors, Karl Slym worked for Toyota UK, and then General Motors in India and China. Slym was named managing director of Tata Motors in October 2012.
As you probably expected, Slym’s death also affected Tata’s shares: this morning they tumbled almost 5 percent in Mumbai.
Click past the jump to read more about Tata’s best-known car, the Nano.
Supercar parades are always fun to be a part of and we’ve had our share of them over the years. But recently, Singapore hosted what could very well be one of the largest gatherings of Nissan GT-Rs you’ll ever come across.
Over 30 Godzillas were seen rampaging through the streets of the Asian country and if you couldn’t tell the difference between the fictitious Japanese monster and the all-too-real Japanese supercar, you probably wouldn’t think that Singapore is a nice place to be in at the moment.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Singapore is a beautiful country that was made more appealing recently with the cavalcade of GT-Rs driving in convoy from the Marina Mandarin Hotel all the way to Aviation Park Road, a good-sized distance that would have filled your desire of seeing more GT-Rs in one place than you would in your lifetime.
Here’s the best part, though. Considering how expensive cars are in Singapore (the cast of Fast & Furious 6 will attest to this), the people riding these GT-Rs know just how special of a supercar Godzilla really is.
Click past the jump to read more about the Nissan GT-R
Very few automakers throw a celebration quite like Ferrari.
This year, the iconic Italian automaker celebrated its 30th anniversary in Hong Kong, and true to form, it organized quite an event to ring in the celebrations.
The pictures paint the story, fellas. Those are over 600 Ferraris, ranging from old-time classics to the latest releases, all converging at the Asia World Expo in Lantau island, to commemorate Ferrari’s 30th anniversary in the Chinese territory.
To add prestige to the event, Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo was in attendance to lead the celebration that included some of the most iconic Ferraris in existence, including the Dino, the 195 Inter, and the 365 GTS. Modern Ferraris were also in attendance, including the 458 Challenge, 599XX and the FXX Evoluzione.
The event also gave Ferrari the opportunity to unveil its latest offering, the 458 Speciale, which was unveiled by F1 test driver Marc Gene.
Congratulations to Ferrari on its 30th anniversary in Hong Kong. Here’s to more years of success in the Chinese territory.
Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ferrari 458 Speciale
McLaren recently trooped to Hong Kong to introduce its P1 supercar to arguably one of the most exotic-friendly markets in the world. But in the course of telling the gathered crowd that the P1 would cost HKD$8.9 million (excluding First Registration Tax) - that’s about $1.14 million based on current exchange rates, by the way - the British automaker also brought a special one-off MP4-12C that came straight out of its McLaren Special Operations program.
Similar to past one-off creations out of the customization program, this 12C B&W Edition, was treated to a bevy of modifications, highlighted by a two-tone exterior with a unique white color and gloss black accents. The latter, in fact, was used on the roof, the front splitter, the mirror casings and the wheels.
Additionally, the 12C B&W Edition also had its gloss white paint on both the air vents and the instrument cluster bezel, providing a consistency of color and shade that belies its appearance as a true one-off supercar.
And in case there are any questions regarding how much the 12C B&W Edition is going to cost, McLaren has officially priced it at a tidy HKD$4.68 million, which is just a shade above $600,000 based on current exchange rates.
There’s something to be said for a supercar, even a one-off make like this, to carry such a price tag. But given the exotic climate in a place like Hong Kong, we doubt this piece of handiwork from the McLaren Special Operations program would sit long in the McLaren dealership.
Click past the jump to read about the McLaren MP4-12C
We’ve come to know, thanks to Razor TV’s John Lui’s interview with the cast of “Fast and Furious 6”, that cars in Singapore are obscenely expensive.
But that doesn’t mean you’re going to see a dearth of these vehicles in that country. See, Singapore’s pretty rich and a lot of the people there have some full pockets.
Including, apparently, one Ms. Angela Tan.
Not only does she have deep pockets, but Tan also has a fine taste in exotics, which is especially evident after she plopped down a cool SGD$5.3 million for the chance to own the 2013 Koenigsegg Agera S. To help you out a little, that’s around $4.2 million based on current exchange rates.
Angela Tan’s Agera S was officially unveiled at the Ritz Carlton Millenia over the weekend, which was attended by some 200 lucky VIPs. None of them, it seems, is luckier than Angela Tan, who now has the distinction of owning the most expensive car ever sold in Singapore.
Click past the jump to read about the Koenigsegg Agera S
When it comes to cars, nothing breaks our hearts more than seeing a supercar go up in flames. So, imagine the depression in the room when we watched this video.
A trailer full of exotics - four of them, actually - all turned into scrap metal after a fire in a BMW eventually led to all four cars getting completely engulfed in a fiery blaze. According to news reports in Thailand, the cars were an unidentified BMW, a Lamborghini Murcielago, a Ferrari F430 and a Bentley Continental.
The cars were being towed on a trailer with the driver saying he was transferring them from a showroom in Bangkok to a gas station in the Si Sa Ket province on the Thai-Cambodia border, where an "unknown person" would be there to pick them up. Sounds like a shady transaction, huh?
But all that changed when all four exotics caught fire, not only destroying some fine supercars but also costing a total of 100 million baht, which is about $3.3 million based on current exchange rates.
This isn’t the first time a supercar has unexpectedly gone up in flames. Click past the jump to see previous occasions where an exotic met a rather untimely and fiery demise.
You would think that the cast of Fast and Furious would know a little thing about cars and their prices. But as the Strait Times’ RazorTV showed during a recent interview with the cast in Manila, car prices in Singapore tend to throw a lot of people for a loop.
See, Singapore wants to dissuade its citizens from buying cars to keep traffic clean and clear on their roads. That’s why taxes for cars in the country are beyond insane, and that goes for every car, not just the high-powered exotics.
So when afforded the opportunity to sit down with Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano, Luke Evans, and Vin Diesel, Razor TV’s John Lui quizzed the four stars of the movie to guess the prices of certain vehicles in Singapore.
Needless to say, all four were completely off on their guesses, eliciting some pretty hilarious reactions from Rodriguez and Diesel.
Let’s put it this way: if you didn’t know, a Toyota Prius in Singapore will buy you a top-of-the-line Audi R8 in other countries.
Click past the jump to watch the final trailer of Fast and Furious 6 after the jump. The movie hits cinemas tomorrow, May 24.
French automaker, Citroen, is expected to be in attendance at the Shanghai Auto Show. But it won’t be there to just bask in the ambience; it’s headed there with a concept car, specifically called the DS Wild Rubis Concept.
As with most teaser photos (and videos) these days, Citroen didn’t reveal a whole lot of information surrounding the DS Wild Rubis Concept. What it did give us are a couple of teasers of the concept.
The teaser video, which you can find after the jump, plays to Citroen’s chic and metropolitan appeal, complete with a black and white treatment and minimal glimpses of the Wild Rubis Concept.
The photo, on the other hand, gives us a clear look at the concept’s headlights, or at least just one of them. As you can see, the new light setup is different from previous concepts we’ve seen from Citroen, particularly from the slit-like lights from the Technospace Concept.
We wouldn’t be surprised in the least bit if this is a prelude to a production model that will be available only in the Chinese market.
Regardless, expect to find out everything there is to know about the DS Wild Rubis Concept when it makes its debut at the Shanghai Auto Show later this month. In the meantime, click past the jump to see the teaser video of the concept.
Rolls Royce has unveiled in Hong Kong the special-edition Ghost Extended Wheelbase Art Deco. The new Ghost Extended Wheelbase Art Deco Edition will be limited to only 35 units and will be offered exclusively for the Chinese market..
The model continues the tradition started by the cars like the Year of the Dragon Collection and will be offered in two different exterior colors: infinity black or arctic white. The two exterior colors will be combined with dual bespoke coach line and illuminated Spirit of Ecstasy.
For the interior, Rolls Royce will offer handcrafted Art Deco inlays, Olympia-inspired motifs on tread plates highlighting "China Limited Collection – One of Eight" and headrest embroidery. Customers will also get a black and white interior scheme featuring a choice of four seat piping colors taking inspiration from the color palette of the era.
Hit the jump to read Rolls Royce’s press release and to read more about the model.
When you work with people - and we can’t honestly find any segment of the industry that does not require it - there will always be at least one person not happy with the things you do or decide. Exactly the same happened to Porsche in India where apparently they managed to get their former dealer - Precision Cars - very angry.
In fact, things are very complicated as Precision Cars filed a criminal case against Porsche and the courts in Jaipur decided that Porsche CEO, Mattias Müller, and eight other Porsche execs can be arrested and issued warrants for said arrests.
In 2003, Porsche announced that Precision Cars would be its local distributor of cars in India. However, all of that changed in May of last year, as Porsche selected Volkswagen to be their distributor instead. Now Precision Cars claims they were not notified of the change and that leads to a breach in the contract.
Along with the criminal case against Porsche execs, the dealer also asked Interpol to help them attempt to apprehend "the bad guys." We highly doubt that Mr. Müller is sweating over this ordeal, as reports say that Porsche’s official response was “Good luck with that.”
It is pretty funny on one hand, but on the other hand, Porsche will have a lot to lose if they are forced to stop their activities in India, considering it has been a growing market in the past few years.
We’re going to make some popcorn and continue to watch this circus unfold…
Supercar builders like Bugatti and Pagani have made a living building special, one-off supercars for their exclusive clientele. Recently, their Swedish counterpart, Koenigsegg, has been getting some buzz for doing the same.
In the past few months alone, multiple reports about an Agera X, an Agera R BLT and even a Koenigsegg One:1 have surfaced, giving further credence to the growing notion that Koenigsegg is knee deep in its client-customization program.
Guess what? A new variant of the Agera has been spotted lurking the streets of Hong Kong. These photos of what’s being called the Agera S were taken by Ron Alder W Photography and he was kind enough to share them with us.
There’s not much in terms of details surrounding the Agera S, although we’ve been told that the supercar was built by Koenigsegg for countries where biofuel is not readily available. What this means is that owners of this supercar can still enjoy the all of its 1,030 horsepower capabilities by using premium fuel instead of the Agera R’s Flex biofuel capabilities.
As far as color choice is concerned, the Agera S looks to be sporting a sexy jade green color, which if you think about it, is appropriate for a country that holds jade — the jewel, not the color — in high regard.
We’ll continue rolling out more information as it becomes available.
Update 12/3/2012: This review has been updated with higher-quality images and a good look at the sweet rims and massive brakes.
Images used with permission from Ron Alder W Photography
German tuner MTM actually built this TT-RS program for the Audi TT-RS back in 2010, but what we didn’t know was that their Taiwan division, aptly called MTM Taiwan, also worked on their own program.
The comprehensive list of modifications done on the German sports car is pretty impressive, especially the performance upgrade that includes a plethora of new components and tune-ups.
The objective for this project was to give the TT-RS a significant uptick in power and MTM Taiwan achieved that by installing a new turbocharger, tweaking the ECU unit, and adding spark plugs, air catalysts, and a competition air filter. In addition, MTM also installed a Haldex ECU (Generation 4) controller that enables the sports car to transfer torque faster to the rear wheels while also allowing the driver to select drive modes (race, street, and sport).
With all these upgrades in tow, MTM Taiwan was successful in giving the TT-RS’ turbocharged 2.5-liter engine a sick output of 472 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 63.7 kgm (461 lb-ft) of torque at 4,100 rpm, up from 340 HP and 330 lb.-ft. of torque. The new output also nets a 0-62 mph time of just 3.4 seconds, which is a full 1.2 seconds faster than the standard model.
With the added power on the car, MTM took the steps to improve the TT-RS’ braking system with four-piston calipers with 376mm cross-drilled rotors. Aerodynamically, the project includes a new diffuser, an MTM carbon rear spoiler, and a new set of 20" MTM bimoto-forged alloy wheels.
While a lot of people will tell you that the Monaco Grand Prix is still the crown jewel of the Formula 1 season calendar, the Singapore Grand Prix has become the premier Asian destination for F1. So much so, in fact, that you could make a case in a few years that Singapore could potentially overcome Monaco as the most prestigious F1 race in the calendar.
But that discussion is for another time because the 2012 Singapore GP just concluded - and it was a complete doozy.
The records will show you that Sebastian Vettel emerged from the chaos with the win, his second in the five years the race has been run. But the story doesn’t end there because Vettel’s win was probably overshadowed by the mayhem during the race that actually caused it to be stopped two laps before the finish because of F1’s new two-hour race limit.
The first 22 laps of the race were uneventful with Lewis Hamilton emerging in front from pole position. Vettel and Button, starting on third and fourth, respectively, managed to overtake second place qualifier Pastor Maldonado in the start, effectively putting a McLaren-Red Bull-McLaren top-to-third order. Then, as if a sign of things to come, the two Caterham race cars collided with each other, thus putting an abrupt end to the team’s participation.
On the 23rd lap, the race turned upside its head when Lewis Hamilton, sitting pretty in first, unceremoniously retired after an electrical malfunction resulted in a blown gearbox. With his race done, Vettel emerged as the leader in what he thought would be a smooth sail to the finish line.
Little did Vettel, or anybody else know, that the chaos was just getting warmed up.
Continued after the jump