AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Most car enthusiasts would argue that the best supercar ever made was the McLaren F1. Since it’s launch back in 1994, many rivals had seen it as a benchmark for performance, but few have been able to best it.
Rolls-Royce is going for gusto with its special “Six Senses” Ghost, which the company says appeals to all your sensory perceptions, and more. Silly? Maybe, but there’s no question that this concept defines luxury transportation.
The company wants to evoke your sixth sense with their new concept, the Ghost Six Senses. This car, which is being shown at the Beijing Auto Show, is based on a regular Ghost but with extra luxurious elements added to appeal to your sixth sense.
While many businesses had been hurt badly by the tough economic times, some of which have never recovered, British luxury and sports car manufacturer Aston Martin is thriving.
The company just released its full year results for the 12-months ending on December 31, 2011 and are happy to report that the numbers are in the black.
Aston Martin’s revenues increased by 7 percent, to $817.3-million, its highest since 2008. Aston’s earnings before interest,taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) works out to be $112.8-million.
Aston Martin managed to make this profit by shifting 4200 vehicles in these 12-months, which also included selling all 77-examples of the One-77 supercar.
“Our 2011 results demonstrate the energy, passion and ongoing resilience of Aston Martin – a truly unique, independent manufacturer. We are on track with our expansion plans around the world, especially in China, and are investing in new models,” said Aston Martin’s CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez.
The Aston Martin brand is stronger than ever. This is demonstrated by intense interest in the new V12 Zagato, recently shown at the Geneva Motor Show, and our $1.93-million One-77 supercar – all 77 of which are now sold.”
Aston Martin has also accrued $122-million in projected sales since last months Geneva Motor Show, so the future is looking very bright indeed.
While many car enthusiasts have complained in recent years that Aston Martin has not come out with an all-new car in quite some time (apart from the mega-bucks One-77), it seems those who can afford such high-priced items are buying them and the people running the company know what they are doing.
Profiling isn’t something you would necessarily picture happening to the sort of person who drives a Ferrari, but in Italy that is quickly becoming the case.
It used to be that wealthy Italians would often purchase exotic sports cars — often of the variety made in their home country, though that’s becoming less likely as the Italian government cracks down on tax fraud.
Dead on from the front or the back, it looks like just any other new Mercedes-Benz E-class, but take a look at its profile shot and you will no doubt rub your eyes and have a double-take.
It’s an E-class alright, but it doesn’t have two-doors, or even four. No, this one has six-doors and that is what will give you a leg up on all your friends who have E-class Merc’s.
This steel blue limo, which is a 2011 model and has covered just 3105-miles, is based on the E350 model, and retains the factory spec 3.5-liter, V6 engine and its seven-speed automatic gearbox. According to the advert, it can do 149-mph flat-out, so this might just be among the fastest limousines on the planet.
And where will you find this rather special E-class? Dubai of course.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Six Door E-Class
[Source: Alain Class]
British luxury and sports car maker Jaguar is often associated with older clientele. To help break it out of that stereotype, and to attract a younger, hipper audience; Jaguar enlisted the help of a grafitti artist.
Mr. Kaves, who is known for his free-hand style spray paint designs was given a brand new XKR as his blank canvas. The end result is a Jaguar unlike anything you’ve seen before.
On hand at the unveiling was the man who designed the XKR, Ian Callum, who praised Mr. Kaves for his art work. This might just be a publicity stunt, but it will surely attract an audience that normally would not spend time admiring a Jaguar.
While this might be the latest art car, it is not the first. BMW has had art cars since the 1970′s; and a few years ago, Infiniti presented their G37 coupe art car, which was later sold at an auction for $55,000 (proceeds from which went to ONE DROP, a charity founded by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte).
To get a glimpse of how the Jaguar art car was created, check out the video below.
In its continued effort to spread the message of the all-electric Leaf, Nissan has partnered up with Fleet Forum and is providing five vehicles for a year for free.
Fleet Forum manages vehicle fleets for foreign aids and charitable organizations, such as Red Cross and the UN World Food Programme, and will take the Leaf EVs from Nissan and distribute them among five of their charities.
The charities that will benefit from this program this year are: United Nations World Food Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, Islamic Relief, and the United Nations Logistics Base.
This program will not only show the viability of electric vehicles in different applications around the world, but also reduce the environmental impact and reduce costs.
“This is an excellent example of learning through demonstration,” says Paul Jansen, Executive Director of Fleet Forum. “Through this programme these different organisations can see for themselves how electric vehicles can be used to help achieve their objectives. From a Fleet Forum point-of-view we’re happy to facilitate this as a way of increasing efficiency and reducing pollution.”
Jansen goes on to say, “The partnership with Nissan fits perfectly with Fleet Forum’s commitment to offer our members practical knowledge and experience of transport-related products and services. The participating members will benefit directly, but in the end all members will benefit. Together with Nissan we will gather and analyze the test data. We will build knowledge regarding electric driving, and we can advise our members how to maximize the best use of electric vehicles. Fleet Forum promotes electric driving because this is a very constructive way of reducing the environmental impact of the operational activities of Fleet Forum members.”
The first two cars will be handed over to the chosen organizations in a ceremony in Geneva. These cars will be used in Switzerland.
The Leaf is one of the few all-electric vehicles on sale anywhere in the world. It has a range of just over 100-miles on a full-charge and sells for a base price of $35,200.
All Lamborghini‘s are rare and exotic machines, but some are just extra special.
Take the Murcielago LP670-4 Super Veloce (SV) for instance. This car was the last hurrah for the aging Murcielago model, which had been in production for about 8-years.
So to give it a proper send-off, Lamborghini decided to produce 350 examples of a lighter, more powerful Murcielago and labeled it the SV.
This car, thanks to its 6.5-liter, V12 motor, which produced 670-hp and 487-lb/ft of torque, is capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds and tops out at an insane 212 mph.
So it is a mental supercar, and that is exactly how we like our Lamborghini’s. At this point, we are sure you’re tempted to buy one. To assist you with that, we have found the only ‘Red’ Murcielago SV ever produced (at least in this exact shade of red). According to the seller, Lamborghini Miami, this car is number 240/350 and has covered just 1400-miles.
As for the price, hope you’re sitting down for this; it’s $378,950. Carbon-ceramic brakes with yellow brake calipers and the optional large rear wing are included in that price, but it’s still a little steep.
So if you’ve got the money and are wondering what could cure your boredom, this 2010 model year SV might just be the antidote you’re looking for.
[Source: duPont Registry]
It is a known fact that boats are not designed to travel on land, and cars are not very capable in the water. But with the summer approaching and a vast number of cottages available for rent by lakes, it would be ideal to have a combination of the two.
The solution would be an amphibious vehicle, like this 1967 German-built Amphicar 770, which is currently on sale in Lusby, Md.
These vehicles were built between 1960 to 1967, and out of the 4000 vehicles the company produced, 3000 units were sold in the United States. Sadly roughly only 250 of these Amphicar’s survive today, making them a prized collectible item.
Just don’t expect this classic to bring out the speed demon in you; as it only has a 43-hp, four-cylinder engine that turns the propeller in the water and wheels on the road. This model, the 770 was named such because it can travel at about 7-mph in the water and do about 70-mph on the road.
According to the seller, the vehicle has 12,500 original miles and has had service done by East Coast Amphicar of New Jersey to keep it in “good shape.”
At $55,000, it isn’t cheap but then you are getting a two for one deal, and a trailer. That’s a good thing, because these cars had a terrible reputation for reliability.
So forget about buying a supercar this summer, if you really want to attract attention, roll up in the Amphicar.
[Source: duPont Registry]
Formula 1 two-time world champion Sebastian Vettel isn’t having his best year. He hasn’t been able to put the car on pole in qualifying nor has he won any races, but changing to an acting career? That seems drastic.
OK, so the Redbull Infiniti F1 star isn’t actually pondering a career change, but he did recently appear in a martial arts film with the actress Celina Jade.
“Kung Fu Vettel: Drive of the Dragon” is the first of many films Infiniti is planning to launch this year as part of their “Inspired Performers” series.
It was a miracle that no one died at the Nurburgring Grand Prix of 1976. On lap two of the race, Niki Lauda, who drove for Ferrari F1 had a terrible crash that sent his car bouncing between the barriers and bursting into flames.
Lauda’s burning car was then struck by Brett Lunger’s Surtees-Ford, who was unaware of the accident until he was right on top of it.
Lauda spent almost a minute in the burning car, but luckily survived, although his burns left lifelong scars on his face.
Just a few days before the race, Lauda was campaigning to make the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife (the infamous 14-mile track also known as the ‘Green Hell’) safer. He felt that the run off spaces and the barriers were not safe enough for grand prix racing, and due to the length of the track, emergency response times were much too long.
Since this crash, no F1 race has been held at the Nordschleife circuit, and nowadays a much smaller and modern circuit exists in the shadows of the original track, where F1 cars still race.
The story behind the 1976 F1 season caught the attention of Hollywood producer Ron Howard, who is now in the process of making a movie on the topic. The movie is called “Rush” and will be primarily focused on the rivalry between the Austrian ace Lauda and the British racing playboy James Hunt who drove for McLaren.
The movie is in production at the moment, and they recently recreated the crash scene at the Nurburgring. The eager eyes (or camera’s) of “BridgeToGantry.com” have managed to catch some footage of the production team trying to recreate the scene.
The part of the track where the accident took place was renamed “Lauda Links” in honor of the Austrian. Surprisingly, Lauda was back in action in his F1 car just 39-days after this terrible accident.
“Rush” is expected to be released in theaters next year, until then, you can catch the video on the reproduction of the crash scene below.
Taken from a security camera at what looks like a Russian Nissan dealership, a crazed person (not sure if he was a disgruntled customer or just a destruction enthusiast) rams his vehicle into the showroom, wrecking the whole place.
This clearly was no accident as the driver made several charges to destroy anything he could hit. Despite extensive damage to the attackers vehicle, he carries on with no regard until he has destroyed almost the whole showroom floor.
Not much information is available regarding this clip, but you can watch the destruction below:
While the full-size dragster still prefer to burn alcohol, Traxxas will sell you a miniature, radio controlled, electric dragster for your amusement.
This 1/8 scale model features Traxxas’ ET-3s brushless motor, which allows this little dragster to hit speeds of upto 70+ mph, which is seriously fast for a projectile that can run into your ankles.
Currently, the only body style offered is based on the Ford Mustang, but you can choose from four different color schemes, each depicting an actual NHRA Funny Car replica dragster.
Lamborghini is famous for naming cars after fighting bulls, but that might be changing as today it was announced that the automaker has tradmarked the name “Deimos” for a future product.
Those familiar with Greek mythology will know that Deimos is a son to Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty. However, Deimos himself is better known for spreading terror and dread across the land. While it’s it’s a break in tradition for the marque to move away from its known naming structure, the sinister title probably fits.
Still, we’re wondering which vehicle, if any, the name will be fitted to. Lamborghini is working on two new products, a replacement for the aging Gallardo, and a new SUV that will likely be unveiled in China at the upcoming Beijing Auto Show.
This carbon-fibered, mid-engined rocket ship was not only a very capable street car, but was also a very successful racing car, winning many races in the FIA GT Championship, not to mention impressive results at the Sebring 12-hour race and at the LeMans 24-hour race.
There truly has been no American car to have accomplished what this car did in its short life time, so what many had been wondering is, will there be a sequel?
The Chevrolet Volt has had its fair share of teething problems. Soon after its birth, there were reports of some vehicles spontaneously combusting.
This obviously had an effect on the cars reputation, and sales fell. To save money and rid themselves of backed up inventory, General Motors decided to halt production of the Volt at its Detroit-Hamtramck plant for five-weeks.
However, the Volt’s fortune quickly changed. March was its best sales month ever, as GM sold 2,289 examples of the plug-in range extended EV.
The late 1980′s is often considered as the era that gave birth to the modern day supercar. Every exotic car manufacturer was gunning to produce the fastest production car in the world, and the 200-mph mark was the target to beat.
In this arena, the Japanese had no contenders and all the major players came from Europe. Porsche had the 959, Ferrari gave the world the incredible F40, and Lamborghini had just introduced the Diablo.
GALLERY: Callaway Corvette
Today marks the North American debut of the Takeri concept car at the New York Auto Show, and it seems this is more than just a meaningless design, as Mazda revealed that this might be very close to the production Mazda6. Seeing how the production CX-5 looks very similar to its concept version, they could be onto something here.
The new Mazda6, will feature all the latest SKYACTIV technologies, from the engine to the gearbox, and its innovative chassis which is both light and very rigid. However, while Mazda is developing new SKYACTIV diesel engines, North America will only see the petrol variants of this car, at least in the start. We hope Mazda will start offering diesel models in North America soon.
The new Mazda6 will start arriving in North American showrooms sometime next year as 2014 models. No prices have been mentioned yet, but expect them to be similar to the current model.
Just about a week ago, we told our readers about the new Dodge Dart Rally Car that will compete in the Global RallyCross Series, with X Games ace Travis Pastrana at the helm.
Now Dodge has revealed a video of their 600-hp, all-wheel drive Dart, being put to the test by Pastrana. The video is full of Ken Block Gymkhana style slow-motion scenes, which we think is getting a little old to be honest.
The Dart RallyCross racer is shown tackling both dirt and tarmac sections and ends up losing its rear bumper in all the mayhem.
You can check out the video below.
With the Subaru BRZ due to arrive in showrooms very soon, Subaru is out promoting its new sports coupe in full force. One way to get your car noticed is by taking it racing, and that is exactly what Subaru did on April 1, 2012.
The BRZ race car made its public racing debut at the season opener Super GT, GT300KM race held in Okayama, Japan. This grueling race features some of the most established sports car brands such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Lamborghini Gallardo. So the BRZ was going to have a tough time competing with the big boys, but was still able to qualify 8th on the grid.
The BRZ actually stayed in 8th place for most of the race, but when the car came in for a driver change, it soon after developed a problem and had to be retired. Upon further investigation, the problem turned out to be a faulty rear differential.
The main driver for the BRZ GT300 is Tetsuya Yamano, who wasn’t completely happy with the set-up of the car, and is insistent that the team is working on it and it will get better in races to come.
We wish the Subaru team much success in future races and hopefully will see this exciting new sports coupe in the winners circle very soon.
Watch the video’s below of the BRZ on the track.
Discuss this story at Subaru BRZ Forum.
We also knew its life on the production line would be very short. Now, after just one year of production, BMW has stopped taking orders of this ultra special 1-series. The factory will now just fulfill the orders already placed, and it plans to have all of those ready by this summer.
So if you have one, cherish it and look after it; because rare cars that drive well will always have an enthusiast following and will command big money in years to come.
Considering BMW’s next small car will be called a 2-series, this might go down in history as the only M-car based on a 1-series, and is every bit as special as the original M1 supercar of 1978.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. The fabulous 3.0-liter, twin-power, straight-six cylinder engine that produces 335-hp, lives on in the Z4 sDrive35is.
So if you’ve been wanting a new 1M, either start looking around to see if any dealer still has one lying around, or buy a used one before prices start climbing up. We will miss this little rocket ship, and we hope the next small M-car can live up to the standards set by this car.
[Source: Car & Driver]
It wasn’t long ago when the best-selling General Motors models greedily guzzled gas, but times have changed due to a large part to rising gas prices.
Now, GM’s fuel-effiicient models rule the roads and in March they have reached a milestone. Last month, GM sold more than 100,000 vehicles that achieve 30 mpg or better.
“GM’s strategic investments in four-cylinder and turbocharged engines, advanced transmissions and vehicle electrification have been very well timed,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. “Three years ago, about 16 percent of the vehicles GM sold achieved at least 30 mpg on the highway. Today, that number is about 40 percent, and we have more new fuel-economy leaders on the way, including the Chevrolet Spark, Cadillac ATS and the Buick Encore.”
This is a huge shift and shows where the market is heading. The cars that make up this new sales record include the Chevrolet Sonic, Cruze, Volt, Malibu, Impala, Equinox and even the V6 Camaro.
In future, GM will be offering more fuel efficient models, like the new Cadillac ATS, which will also offer four-cylinder engines.