Okay, if you have ever wanted to own a Ferrari Enzo, but just don’t have the $1 million, or more, in the bank needed to procure one, you may consider a kit car as a viable option. Well, kit cars, for the most part, share little with the car they are designed after and are typically powered by an engine that isn’t going to get you anywhere fast (See: Fieraris).
Sometimes, however, you come across a kit car that is about as close as you can get to the original at a relative bargain and we have one for you now. Straight off of the German subsite of Ebay (Ebay.de), we have a BFE-AE 750 – an Enzo lookalike – that also packs quite a punch with its 5.0-liter V-12 BMW engine that cranks out 400 horsepower and 500 Nm (368 pound-feet) of torque. Sure, that’s a far cry from the 660 horsepower and 657 pound-feet of torque the original Enzo made, but that’s enough to fool most people into believing.
Where this kit car really will fool people is from the outside, as it is literally identical to the Enzo, from a distance. The only flaws we can make out is the shape of the rear window and that the bodylines on the nose don’t quite match up to the body. It even has the Ferrari badges, which the poster wisely blacked out to avoid issues from German authorities that like to impound illegal kit cars.
Now, it loses us once you get inside, as you just cannot replicate the Enzo’s interior that closely. But, unless the person riding is lucky enough to have been inside a real Enzo (I sure haven’t) he would have no idea what it’s supposed to look like.
What really puts this over the top is that its current bid is only at €40,043.33 (about $52,800 at the current rates). The reserve hasn’t been met yet, but that number looks pretty promising that this may be a steal.
So hop to it if you’re in the market for a pretty sick kit car that actually has some cajones under the hood.
In the luxury car market, Audi is no doubt near the top of the list, but it still plays third fiddle to Mercedes-Benz and BMW, and Audi is set to do something about that. For this the company announced it will invest a total of €13 billion - around $17 billion at the current exchange rates - through 2016. Most of these investments will be used to address the development of new products and technologies, as well as the construction of new plants.
From the $17 billion, a total of $13.9 billion will be invested in the development of new models and in the modernization of the current models in Audi’s lineup. This will include financing core areas of expertise, such as lightweight design/construction and electric mobility, and also in making regular engines even more efficient.
Most of the money will be invested in the German sites of Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in the next five years, but also in the expansion of the site in Győr, Hungary.
All of these investments are part of Audi’s attempt to hit a sales number of more than two million vehicles annually by 2020 and to become the No. 1 premium brand in the world.
Click past the jump to read Audi’s presser.
Volkswagen has unveiled yet another special edition vehicle, which it has dubbed the Beetle Remix. This model adds a color-coordinated interior, extended standard features, and some flashy rims. Its price will start from €20,250 ($26,300 at the current exchange rates) and customers will have the possibility to choose between four different engines. There are two gasoline powerplants available, including a 1.2-liter with 105 horsepower and a 1.4-liter with 160 horsepower. The two optional diesel engines, a 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter, produce 105 and 140 horsepower, respectively.
The Beetle Remix will feature high-gloss black or "Reflex Silver" paint on the side-view mirror caps and the exterior side stripes, which run along the base of the car and feature the words "Beetle" or "Bug," and will feature the same color. The dash pad, door panels, and the three-spoke steering wheel are all painted to match the exterior color, giving the interior a custom look.
As standard equipment, the model will offer a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake grip, cruise control, VW’s Park Pilot system, air conditioning, center armrest, and multimedia interface MEDIA-IN for the RCD 310 radio. The car will sit on a set of 17-inch Turbine alloy wheels.
The Beetle Remix is currently available in Germany and shows no signs of coming to the U.S.
Mercedes-Benz tuners in Germany are pretty much a dime a dozen, so many times we see just basic upgrades and overwhelmingly “blah” modifications. Fortunately, GAD Motors is one that rarely, if ever, puts together a “blah” kind of Benz. Its recent program for the CLS 63 AMG, which pumps out 563 horsepower straight off of the showroom floor, proves it.
This 4-stage program starts off with the Wattage V1 program, which adds in replacement, high-flow air filters, a mild boost in boost psi, remapping of the fuel and ignition systems, and a V max upgrade. This bumps the CLS 63 AMG up to 640 PS (631 horsepower), a 68-horsepower increase. This kit costs €3,000 ($3,841 at the current exchange rates)
The second stage is the Wattage V2, which adds in high-flow air filters, water-to-air intercooler with water pump, low-resistance downpipe with high-flow cats and a low-resistance exhaust system, an increase in turbocharger boost pressure, remapped ignition and fuel systems, and a V max upgrade. This is good for 670 PS (661 horsepower), which is an impressive 108-horsepower jump. This kit will set you back €8,600 ($11,011)
Stage three, known as the Wattage V3 kit, includes everything found in the Wattage V2 kit, but it adds in 30-percent larger GAD turbochargers, which significantly increases the overall boost. This jumps the CLS 63 AMG’s V-8 engine to a massive 730 PS (720 horsepower). That is a full 157 horsepower more than the 63 AMG made from the factory. The V3 kit will cost you €16,400 ($20,998)
The fourth and final stage is dubbed the Wattage V4 and includes everything from the V3 package and then some. The extra goodies on the V4 package include: boost increase and an optimized exhaust system – the exact exhaust specifics are not known. This jumps the CLS 63 AMG’s power to 800 PS (789 horsepower) – a huge leap of 226 horsepower. The V4 kit runs a grand total of €25,600 ($32,778)
There is no mention of what kind of track number this model can pull, but we assume a 0-to-60 time in the low-3-second range, maybe even into the high-2s.
On the outside, there are a few minor upgrades, including gunmetal-colored HRE wheels, as well as gunmetal-colored grille and side-view mirrors.
With its acquisition spending-spree apparently over – for now – Volkswagen has turned its attention to developing its current models, which are plentiful. Two models, however, are likely receiving the wrong kind of attention, as Reuters is reporting the Lamborghini and Bentley may see their respective SUVs – the Urus and EXP 9 F Concept – delayed.
As we all know, the European market has been ravaged by the crash of the global economy and VW has been one of the handful of European automakers to succeed in these dark days. This delaying of the two limited-production SUVs would help VW stretch its funds farther with its more productive lineups, like itself, Audi, and Seat. VW is planning a spending review and the final answer will not come until November 23rd, so we’re stuck waiting on an answer for at least a month.
Also up for a potential delay is the upcoming Bugatti sedan, which, just like the Bentley and Lamborghini SUVs, will only be produced and sold in very small numbers. We’ll keep an eye on this situation, as VW inches toward cutting its manufacturing by a reported 300,000 units.
We’ll bring you more information as it comes across the wire.
Let’s face the facts, as automotive reporters, we love to get our grimy hands on the steering wheel of as many cars as possible and see what they can do. The reality of the situation is that some car manufacturers simply don’t let us. They will, however, allow us to do a “ride story” which puts us in the passenger seat while a professional driver from their company shows you what the car can do. Often times, this driver knows the car like the back of his hand and knows precisely how to make it look great.
For that reason, ride alongs often suck and we usually just give it an “Eh, no thanks.” Well, even the likes of Chris Harris sometimes get the “ride story” treatment, but for good reason. This time around, the ride-along opportunity comes in the passenger seat of the yet-to-be-released Porsche 918 Spyder – a car that none of us would decline a ride in. To boot, this ride along is set to take place in the Nürburgring, where the 918 Spyder completed an impressive 7:14 lap time. That’s one ride along that even Chris Harris can’t decline.
The video is extremely telling, as Harris gets the chance to grille one of the folks closely involved in the 918’s production and gets some really good information on its drivetrain, frame, and, most importantly, its awesome engine. We also get a good listen of how the 918 Spyder sounds from the inside, which is just as impressive as the information Harris drags out of the Porsche rep.
By far the most impressive sound from inside the car is when the driver switches this Porsche from “Silent Mode” to “Full-Race” mode. The sound of that flat-plane crank pumping the titanium connecting rods at the push of a button is enough to make any auto buff’s day.
Have a look and listen, it is well worth the time spent!
The last time we saw a G-Powered BMW it was the M5 Hurricane RR, which ended up being the world’s fastest LPG-powered vehicle. Well, G-Power is back for a little bit more, but this time in a much smaller package: the 1M.
If the 1M and its 335-horsepower turbocharged 6-cylinder engine just isn’t enough for you, the BMW 1M G1 V8 Hurricane RS by G-Power just might be the ticket. G-Power took special care of this 1M coupe and brought it to a point that just about any auto enthusiast could be both impressed and scared to death of it at the same time.
What’s awesome, though, is the amount of careful planning that BMW put into the 1M straight from the factory had a direct relationship with the amount of power G-Power was able to crank out. BMW fitted the 1M with the front and rear axles of its M3 counterpart, giving it the clean and stout base that the 1M needs to handle more intense power output.
So, did G-Power earn another gold star with its latest BMW modification or did it fall a little short of the precedent it set with the M5 Hurricane RR?
Updated 11/02/2012: The guys over G-Power took their latest G1 V8 Hurriance RS out for a test drive and the result was impressive: the car was able to hit a top speed of 314 km/h (195 mph). Enjoy the video!
Click past the jump to find out.
We are all waiting with baited breath for the release of the Porsche 918 Spyder and every little bit of information we get is quickly gobbled up and processed. However, we had yet to hear any real track numbers for this awesome hybrid machine. Sure ,we know that it will boast an 795-horsepower drivetrain that uses a 4.6-liter V-8 gasoline engine and a pair of electric motors and will hit 60 mph in just about 3 seconds.
Still, that just is not enough information for us, but we just got our first taste of real life track information on the 918 Spyder and it’s all good. It recently completed the Nürburgring Nordschleife lap and pulled in a time of 7:14. Depending on the fractional seconds, this will place the 918 Spyder as the fifth, sixth, or seventh fastest car to ever take on the Nordschleife lap.
In addition, this puts it a full 18 seconds faster than the touted Carrera GT that it replaced. One thing to keep in mind is that the 918 that tested on the ‘Ring and got the fastest time was equipped with what Porsche calls the “Weissach package.” According to what we hear, this package includes upgraded brakes, a 6-point harness, air-conditioning delete, radio delete, and other weight-saving measures, so don’t go thinking that every 918 Spyder under the sun will lap the bankrupt, yet safe, Nürburgring.
Now with our whistles wet with fresh 918 details, we can rest easy for the day knowing that the 918 at least performs on the track as we have always hoped and expected.
There has been much speculation in the automotive world about VW looking into buying Proton from DRB-Hicom, and later came the announcement that VW’s labor group would not support additional acquisitions. It looks like - at least the smoke and mirrors make it look like - VW is done buying any more projects for the foreseeable future.
This all comes thanks to a report from Bloomberg, through Handelsblatt, that VW’s CEO, Marin Winterkorn, has said “We have enough to do at the moment in taking our twelve brands to where we want to be” in response to the company possibly buying Proton. He also said “We need to grow in Southeast Asia,” then followed that up with “but that does not mean that we will buy Malaysia’s Proton, like some are speculating.”
In the world of automobile acquisitions, you can always take a CEO’s words with a grain of salt, as they are saying what is true at any given second. At the drop of a hat, that truth can suddenly change, especially if DRB-Hicom decides to offer up Proton at a bargain price. Add in the fact that VW has been very shady with its business tactics lately – avoiding the tax man and sneaking Ducati under Lamborghini’s umbrella to help it meet mpg standards – and you can see why we don’t believe a word of what Winterkorn says.
VW will say what it needs to say in order to keep its labor group happy, but ultimately it is in the automobile manufacturing game to make money. If Proton and/or Lotus are seen as potential profit, VW will tell the labor group to suck it up, as they ink a deal for the Malaysian automotive group.
We’ll keep a close eye on this whole situation and see if VW stays true to it word or reverses ship if Proton falls in its lap.
So much promise, yet not enough to back it all up. Such is the case with German automaker Melkus who has now filed for bankruptcy in a Dresden district court.
German press sources have told GTSpirit that sales of the Melkus R2000 have fallen short of the company’s 25-models-a-year target, thus forcing the company to file for bankruptcy in a last ditch effort to keep the company afloat, albeit barely.
Since the company was relaunched in 2006, Melkus has produced a total of one model - the RS2000. Not exactly the kind of business Melkus had hoped for after six years of being in the business. Certainly, the car’s combination of performance and price - the RS2000 has an output of 325 horsepower and is priced at close to $200,000 - is pretty insane, especially considering the multitude of more powerful choices you can have for that kind of money, but apparently it was not enough to warrant any sales.
Melkus’ struggles appear to have come as a result of overestimating the market with a car that doesn’t pack the kind of punch warranted by its price. Now, it appears they’re paying a pretty steep price for it.
There have been rumors circulating that Volkswagen AG is interested in Proton, which includes the Lotus debacle, as either minority owners or a controlling stake. But if VW’s labor union officials have any say, this will not take place. Bend Osterloh let the Handelsblatt know that the labor union will not support VW acquiring Proton, Lotus, or any other brand.
Osterloh was quoted saying “We already have 12 brands and we first have to stabilize the group.” Osterloh also agrees that VW needs to increase its presence in Southwest Asia, but the labor union still won’t support VW in this potential purchase.
Osterloh holds a seat on the supervisory board, so he has a little pull in the company, but not that much pull. VW is looking to overtake GM as the world’s largest auto manufacturer by 2018 and we doubt a puny labor union will stop VW. Even the taxman couldn’t put the brakes on VW’s expansion when it purchased, err, restructured Porsche.
We are pretty sure that VW will own at least a portion of Proton before the end of 2013, it just has to figure out how to let its labor union know that it can either come along for the ride or step aside. This should be a pretty interesting one, as we all know exactly how well auto unions and automakers play together, so we may be in for a pretty big power struggle.
Grab the popcorn... We’ll keep you updated.
We pretty much just finished the Museum Secrets Part One video and Porsche has already graced us with part two of this awesome series. The Museum Secrets series is outlining the new storage facility for the Porsche Museum and also showing us a glimpse of some of the most awesome cars that pass through the museum.
Part One focused mainly on the storage facility and Porsche’s overall history, then showed us just one car, which was the first ever 911 Turbo. Part two, thankfully, focuses a lot more on the storage facilities contents – a ton of rare Porsches. The guys at Porsche outlined seven cars for us, some of which we never knew even existed.
The video’s pretty sweet and the cars are absolutely awesome, so check out the video. If you would like a quick peak at what’s in the video, click past the jump and you’ll see our quick summary on each car shown.