Jaguar Finalizes XE SV Project 8, Prepares To Battle The Porsche GT3
The world of fast sedans is about to get a whole lot quicker, as the Cat Badge is gearing up to release its highly impressive XE SV Project 8. With production set to kick off this summer, this limited-run street-legal track terror is framed as a “Porsche GT3 with four doors.”
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Car for Sale: 1988 BMW E30 M3
The E30 has exploded in popularity recently, with well-maintained examples selling for huge sums of money on the used market and at auction. Now, there’s one very clean example going up for sale rocking a six-cylinder engine swap under the hood.
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Touring Sciàdipersia Pays Tribute To Luxury Travel Of The Past
In case you were unaware, Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera is a legendary Italian design house and bespoke coachbuilder, best known for products like the Alfa Romeo Disco Volante, Bentley Continental Flying Star, and Touring Berlinetta Lusso, among others. Now, Touring is offering a new limited edition custom two-door dubbed the Sciadipersia, bringing superlative European grand touring style as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the bespoke Maserati 5000 GTs that Touring created for the Shah of Iran back in the ‘50s. The Sciadipersia was “designed to cover long distance with complete ease and in total comfort,” much like the travelers that booked passage on the Orient Express so long ago.
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Ant-Man and the Wasp Veloster Proves Hyundai Deserves a Place in the Marvel Universe
The Detroit Auto Show played host to a wide number of debuts and concept vehicles. One car, though, stood out, not only because of its appearance but because of its involvement in one of this year’s biggest blockbuster movies. The car is a 2019 Hyundai Veloster. It’s impossible to miss because it showed up in Detroit dressed in a shiny purple exterior with hot rod flame graphics all over it. More importantly, this particular Veloster will play a role in Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which hits theaters in July this year.
Souped-up Kia Stinger GT to Get V-8 Engine
Rumors of a more powerful version of the awesome Kia Stinger GT have been flying around ever since the Korean brand launched the sedan – and we have a rendering and speculative review for it – but the Asian carmaker has yet to confirm such plans exist. However, the company’s Australian communications manager just hinted that a higher performance version could come to the U.S. soon. What’s more, it appears that instead of a beefed-up V-6, Kia may use a V-8 powerplant for the range-topping four-door.
Speaking to CarAdvice, Kevin Hepworth, the brand’s communications manager in Australia, said, "I believe they’re developing one" when asked about a V-8-powered Kia Stinger. And while he pointed out that such a model won’t make it Down Under, he added that "there may be a possibility the U.S. could pick it up." There’s no word as to when it could arrive, but as we mentioned in our speculative review, a 2018 launch for the 2019 model year seems very likely. What specific engine will it use and how much power will it send to the wheels? Keep reading to find out.
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Toyota “Invincible 50” Celebrates 50 Years Of Hilux
Hey, did you know the Toyota Hilux is a capable pickup that’s sold basically everywhere besides North America and is apparently indestructible against the best Jeremy Clarkson can throw its way? Of course, you know that since it’s practically common knowledge and rumored to be on driving tests in at least 95 countries. What you might not realize is Toyota has been selling the thing for half a century. Yep, 2018 marks the 50th birthday of the iconic Hilux pickup. Naturally, Toyota can’t let such an occasion pass without building some tribute, so here it is, the 2018 Hilux “Invincible 50.”
This Double Cab Hilux has several Toyota dealership parts bolted on, along with a custom wrap, all designed to grab attention at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Toyota says the truck is “ideally suited to a broad range of both professional and leisure activities,” or basically, that a so-configured Hilux is at home on the job site and doing fun stuff on the weekend. Sounds like the automotive equivalent of a mullet hairstyle, right? Unlike the mullet, the Hilux’s popularity didn’t die in the 1990s. In fact, the truck is expected to sell more than 40,600 examples in Europe for 2017, besting its previous record of 40,104 sold in 2007. That’s pretty impressive, especially in a place where pickups aren’t the “it” vehicle to drive. Perhaps Toyota’s expectation rides on folks falling in love with the Hilux “invincible 50” and its customized flair. Probably not, but let’s have a close look at this one-off show truck.
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Polestar’s First Production Car Could Be A 600-Horsepower Sports Coupe
Volvo’s reported plan of turning Polestar into a standalone brand is about to take its first big step toward reality as a report from Autocar revealed the Swedish automaker’s intentions of developing a bespoke sports coupe as the first model to exclusively wear a Polestar badge.
According to Autocar, the planned model won’t be a completely new one, but will instead be based on an existing Volvo model. But that’s likely about the only thing it’ll share with the parent company. Everything else, including the generous use carbon fiber and the tuned engine, will be all about establishing Polestar as a legitimate performance sub-brand that will eventually stand on its own, independent yet still connected to Volvo. Specific details about the car have yet to be released, but the report says it will make good use of carbon fiber and be tuned for 600 horsepower, enough to help it line up against established performance coupes like the BMW M6 and the Porsche Panamera. No timetable has been set on when the performance sports coupe will be launched, but the current plan appears to have the Polestar debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show this coming September.
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Car for Sale: 1992 Porsche 911 RWB
Usually, when you see the phrase “No expense was spared on this build” in a craigslist ad for a modified vehicle, the result is either extremely impressive, or a complete mess. Luckily, it’s the former when it comes to this gorgeous early ‘90s 911. Even though it’s got 132,324 miles on the odometer, this thing is practically new, with a slew of high-end performance components that work well to bring out the best in the 964-era coupe. It’s dubbed the RWB Hollywood, and Akira Nakai from Rauh-Welt Begriff takes credit for the build. If you’re drawing a blank on the name, here’s the rundown – RWB is a Japan-based tuner of all things 911, and is best known for churning out some of the most outrageous Stuttgart stunners in the world, combining form and function in a single custom package. Unique, eye-catching, and quick – these are the things that make a RWB 911. And now, you can get one in Miami for about $150,000.
Mechanically, the RWB mounts a 3.6-liter, air-cooled six-cylinder engine in the rear, which send power to the rear wheels by way of a G50 manual transmission. The whole shebang was stripped down and re-sprayed in its original Grand Prix White paint scheme, and come complete with a full RWB 964 body kit. It’s a head-turner, that’s for sure, so read on for the details.
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Bentley Continental 24 Special Edition
Rolls-Royce may have grabbed the headlines in recent weeks with all the special edition models it’s been unveiling, but rival Bentley is proving itself to be up-to-the-task with the release of its own special edition model. It’s called the Bentley Continental 24 and it’s a tribute to Bentley Motorsport’s entry to the Nürburgring 24 Hours where it hopes to build off of the success it’s had in the last two years since returning to one of the world’s most grueling endurance races.
The special edition Continental is based on the range-topping Supersports variants. While it doesn’t have any engine enhancements to speak of, its status as the fastest model Bentley has ever created more than speaks for itself. So, in the absence of upgrades to its massive 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 engine, the defining features of the Continental 24 rests on its exterior and interior where plenty of inspiration was taken from Bentley’s motorsport themes. The car also holds the distinction of being one of the few limited edition models that have its own options to choose from, thus making it even more limited. Bentley also said it plans to cap production of the limited edition Continental 24 coupe to an obvious number of 24 units, with each model fetching a base price of €250,000 or about $280,000 based on current exchange rates.
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Best Of The Best: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe Special Editions
Ten years is a long time to be in the automotive market, but it’s also a long enough time to be the subject of a few special edition models. That’s the case with the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, which enjoyed a remarkable run as one of the British luxury brand’s most significant models.
First introduced in 2007, the Phantom Drophead Coupe has received its share of special edition models in the past decade. Some bordered on questionable while others captured our imaginations by not only looking the part of a true special edition – or in some cases, one-off models – but also giving us the kind of feels that special edition models are supposed to do. So ahead of the current-generation Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe’s eventual ride into the sunset later this year, we’re paying homage to the hulking two-door luxury convertible by making a list of some of the most memorable special edition versions of this model. From there, tell us what you think of our choices or if we left a specific model out that you think should’ve made the list.
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2017 BMW M3 GT2 S Hurricane by G-Power
Out of sight, out of mind. That’s a prevailing theme among forgettable cars in the auto industry. But every so often, a car captivates the business to no end that people have a hard time keeping them away from their memory palaces. The previous-generation BMW M3 counts as one of those vehicles. At one point, Automobile even described it in reverence on the level of how a four-year-old treats Santa Claus. It’s safe to say that the E92 BMW M3 will remain relevant for a long time and we can all look to the aftermarket tuning scene as a big contributor in keeping the last of the M3 coupes’ spirit alive. G-Power counts itself in this group and it even has a new tuning kit for the “old” M3 that pops the coupe’s power all the way up to a staggering 709 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque.
Officially, the German tuner calls its creation the M3 GT2 S Hurricane. It’s a nod to the old Hurricane programs that the E92 M3 was treated to when it was making hay as one of the best performance coupes in the world. It’s good to know then that even if the M3 coupe has been out of commission for three years now, owners of the model still have the opportunity to turn their prized M3s into certified rockets on four wheels. That’s exactly what this new Hurricane program is all about. It may not be for everybody, but for M3 owners who prefer to tap into the coupe’s full potential (with the aid of an engine swap), the GT2 S Hurricane program from G-Power is a good key that can help unlock it and more.
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Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner
In its long and storied history, falconry has evolved from being an integral hunting method to an actual sport among the affluent. The practice itself dates back thousands of years and it’s still very much alive today. In a lot of ways, the sport of falconry and British luxury automaker Bentley fall into the same social and economic spheres populated by the elite. So, it wasn’t a shock when Bentley’s Mulliner personalization division turned to falconry for its next creation. This here then is the Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner.
The one-off creation pays tribute to a sport that’s defined for its exclusivity and the perceptions attached to it. Falconry isn’t a sport for everyone, and just the same, the Bentayga Falconry isn’t for everyone either. I imagine those who don’t engage in the sport or the hunt will have very little use for the master flight station sitting in the trunk of the luxury SUV or the actual perches that come as part of the whole Mulliner falconry experience. If they do find use for these things, they’re a lot more creative than I imagined them to be. But for those who do participate in falconry, Mulliner’s creation serves as the perfect companion for an expedition. It also helps that Bentley used the Bentayga SUV for this project, because as awesome as the Mulsanne and Continental models are, I don’t expect them to be completely in their element in the heart of the desert where the sport is usually “played.”
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Sedan Style Battle – Mercedes-AMG CLS Vs. Mercedes-AMG GT4
Look, we get it. You want it all – mouth-watering good looks, endless comfort, space for four, and world-cracking performance. We’re the same way. That’s why Mercedes started building models like the AMG CLS 63, a “four-door coupe” with enough chutzpah to roll up on top-dollar sports cars like it’s nothing. However, word has it Merc and AMG are cooking up a new take on that old recipe with something called the GT4, a high-powered sedan capable of challenging the likes of the Porsche Panamera GTS and Aston Martin Rapide S. We think it’s a swell idea, and even went to the trouble of putting together a rendering of what it’ll look like. Problem is, we did the same thing for the upcoming third-gen AMG CLS 63. That means it’s time for a showdown.
As such, we did a little digging to find out what inspired these two models, and put them side-by-side to see which comes out in a battle of style. Both look mean, sleek, and like they’re doing three times to speed limit just standing still. The question is – which looks the best?
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Heritage Blue Special Edition
Japan is home to one of the biggest auto industries in the world, so it’s understandable why many automakers send special edition models to the Land of the Rising Sun. Recently, General Motors took its turn gifting Japanese customers with a special edition Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. The Vette is about as exclusive as they come, at least considering where it’s headed. The limited-run sports car is officially billed as the Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition, and like most exclusive cars that come to Japan, it comes with some nifty features that underscore its status as a true special edition.
Needless to say, the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition isn’t going anywhere else in the world. In fact, even Japanese customers will have to fight over the special edition Corvette as reports indicate Chevrolet will only send over five units, each priced at ¥12.8 million. That converts to roughly $115,000 based on current exchange rates. By comparison, the Corvette Grand Sport starts at $66,445 here in the U.S., so Japanese customers will have to fork over nearly double to get their hands on one. Then again, it is an exclusive Corvette Grand Sport with unique details in the exterior and interior. Having a chance to own one means paying a premium for that opportunity.
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 The Exorcist by Hennessey
When a tuning company like Hennessey that’s at the top of its game, there aren’t a lot of places to go to when wanting to make an even bigger impression on the industry. But the American tuner seems to have done just that with its latest humdinger of a project. Is it a coincidence that this new turnkey masterpiece to come out of the tuner’s garage is called “The Exorcist?” I don’t think so since the Exorcist is all the things its name says it is. It’s all sorts of heavenly horsepower goodness, or as Hennessey claims, 1,000-horsepower’s worth.
This is the latest madness that Hennessey has come up with. It’s based on the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, a potent iteration of the Camaro line that already packs 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque on its own. None of those numbers matter though when you line it up against the Challenger SRT Demon and its 840-horsepower and 770-pound-feet of torque abilities. But that’s where Hennessey comes in, bringing all sorts of aftermarket equipment to give the Challenger SRT Demon something to really get nervous about. Ultimately, this is what the people who gave us the Venom GT came up with, and if you think The Exorcist is all bark and no bite, well, prepare to be proven wrong.
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Hit the Slopes in Style With the Ski Gondola
SEMA is that one auto show where manufacturers put serious time and effort into building the coolest custom cars you can imagine. We’ve already learned about a lot of custom cars, but Kia has been pretty secretive about what they’re bringing to the show – at least until now, that is. Meet the Ski Gondola, a heavily customized Kia Sorento. Focusing on a theme of autonomy, Kia pulled out all the stops, fitting this custom Sorento with equipment like you’ve never seen. Dubbed the Ski Gondola, it’s most notable feature are those wild tank tracks that give it the ability to navigate just about any terrain with ease. Pair that with those ridiculously bright LEDs, the custom roof rack, and those side-view cameras, and this Sorento is ready to play anytime, day or night, with eagerness and enthusiasm. But, that’s not all that makes this one-of-a-kind Sorento special.
The moment you try to open the doors, you realize there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. The doors open in suicide fashion, and entry is super easy thanks to the removal of that B-pillar. Beyond that, this concept is all about function and comfort. Since Kia’s theme this year was autonomy, the Ski Gondola mixes all-terrain prowess with the luxury of autonomous technology. As such, the front seats have been turned around for easy interaction with rear passengers and the entire vehicle can be controlled by that custom center console and tablet. The seats themselves have been upholstered in black and orange leather, all of which is held together by orange stitching for the perfect amount of contrast. Finally, since this amazing concept is built to spend time on the slopes, the entire floor has been equipped with weatherized rubber coating.
As you can see from the video, Kia wasn’t playing around this year and is showcasing what the future of autonomous vehicles could look like. This specific model is focused on off-road or all-terrain duty, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s a Sorento that can literally go anywhere, and it will take you there all by itself – now that’s style and class rolled into one impressive package. Stay tuned for a full picture gallery and in-depth review of one of the coolest concepts at SEMA 2016.
The Kia Soul is special in the essence that it has an unmistakable design in a world where models tend to blend together these days. At the 2016 SEMA show, Kia has taken the Soul’s unmistakable design and stepped it up a notch, effectively creating an autonomous vehicle design that will make you happy to give up the steering wheel. On the outside, Kia blessed this beautiful concept with a Lux Electric Blue finish that is enhanced by the electric blue accent lighting that glows so brightly from behind the front grille. The most notable modifications, however, take place inside where the front seats are installed in a reversed position.
This custom Soul only offers seating for two in executive style with automatic leg rests located just ahead of the seats in the floor. The lack of rear seats isn’t a bad thing, though, as their sacrifice makes way for a massive display screen that is mounted to the rear wall. The custom tablets near the front seats allow for complete control of the entire vehicle including selecting a destination, engaging travel, and controlling the television or browsing the internet on the way. Perhaps more important is the quality of materials that make up the ambiance of the cabin. Most of the inside is wrapped in a beautiful suede material, including most of the interior panels and the headliner. The seats are wrapped in leather, and the custom door trim panels have a custom leather insert that is stitched into a diamond layout. The floor has been lined in one of the finest wood selections available and fits right in with the accent lighting below and around the TV and from the door panels.
With all of the various concepts that show up to SEMA every year, it’s hard to stand out in the crowd. But, this autonomous Kia Soul is definitely a showstopper if we’ve ever seen one. On top of that, it goes to show just how luxurious and functional the fully autonomous Kia’s of the future can be. Giving up the steering wheel is a hard thing to face for most, myself included, but a design like this will certainly make giving up the steering wheel so much easier. MY only question is: When can I get a ride in this amazing feat of engineering?
1989 Ferrari Testarossa Convertible
In the mid-‘80s, Ferrari introduced the Testarossa, a two-door berlinetta created as a replacement for the Berlinetta Boxer 512i. The name was a nod to the Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa race car that ran in the World Sportscar Championship in the late ‘50s, but the new model was anything but old school. Occupying the top of the Prancing Horse model lineup, the new Testarossa was subsequently well received amongst critics and the buying public. Not only was it popularized by the show Miami Vice, but several prominent celebrities owned one, and eventually, the Testarossa became a well known symbol of ‘80s culture. Considering the popularity, you’d expect Ferrari to be eager to produce a drop-top version of the 12-cylinder sports car, but not so – only one “official” Testarossa convertible was ever produced, forcing custom builders to make their own roofless variants after the fact. This car is one of those rare custom Testarossa convertibles.
At its heart, the car you see here is a 1989 model. It’s nearly identical in every single way to the Testarossas that rolled out from Maranello and into Ferrari dealerships nearly three decades ago, save the infinitely expanded headroom.
This Testarossa convertible is on offer from Paris Prestige Cars, a French dealer of high-end sports cars, and it’s a rare convertible example of one of Ferrari’s most popular models.
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2017 Ford Fusion Sport Ballistic Concept by Webasto Thermo and Comfort North America
The SEMA auto show traditionally attracts a who’s who list of aftermarket companies and, in some occasions, these tuners collaborate with automakers to build some nifty concepts that consumers would probably otherwise not see in any other auto show. Such is the case with this particular concept vehicle prepared by Webasto Thermo and Comfort North America for Ford’s resident four-door sedan for the masses, the 2017 Ford Fusion.
Known mostly for building roof air-conditioning and heating systems, Webasto stepped out of its element in designing and developing this particular program. There’s a full menu of upgrades to the Fusion, from the exterior, interior, powertrain, and right down to the sedan’s chassis. The result may not be evident based on the single rendering of the car so far, but the modifications are impressive enough to give the Fusion a sportier and more performance-oriented identity.
Like most SEMA offerings, Webasto’s Fusion Sport Ballistic concept is unlikely to translate into a production unit anytime soon. But it does provide unique possibilities for the Fusion that owners and prospective customers probably didn’t know it had. It may not have the status and appeal that other Blue Oval models have, but it is more capable than most people think. This concept proves that, and then some.
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