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While the real stars of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance are the vintage autos, the Concept Lawn is a special place where future show-stoppers are put on display. While some of the models are actually concepts, many are rare coachbuilt models and a few are full-production cars.
In the concept category there was the luxury convertible plug-in hybrid, the Fisker Sunset, as well as the absolutely stunning Infiniti Essence Concept - a hybrid in it’s own right, making 600hp thanks to a 440hp twin-turbo direct-injection 3.7-liter V6 and a 160hp electric motor.
Included in the list of Coachbuilt creations was the edgy Corvette ZR1-based Stile Bertone Mantide. This is no kit car, however, as the vehicle was designed by Jason Castriota, the man who also penned the Pininfarina P4/5. Plus, it weights 220 lbs less than the ZR1 for even more performance.
Also on display was the Devon GTX (pictured above), arguably the arch-nemesis of the Mantide, as it is based on the Dodge Viper. With a more shapely body than the Mantide, the 650hp GTX is scheduled to attempt to set a new fastest lap time at the Nürburgring. No doubt there’s some ego involved in this announcement as Devon attempted to buy Viper from Chrysler but the deal was never completed.
In the production category cars ranged from the reasonably well priced (Lotus Evora) to the ridiculous (Bugatti Sang Bleu). The four-seater Lotus is scheduled to be released early next year, while the ultra-limited edition Bugatti is based on the convertible Grand Sport model. Other production or near production models included the Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder, V-10 powered Audi R8, the 750hp carbon-chassis Aston Martin One-77, a Morgan, the all-new 510hp 2010 Jaguar XJL Supersport, the Mercedes-McLaren SLR Stirling Moss and the Rolls-Royce EX200, aka, the Ghost. And who could forget the misplaced SMS 570X Dodge Challenger.
GALLERY: Pebble Beach Concept Lawn
While Audi has made no secret that it will be releasing a convertible version of its V10-powered R8 at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the German luxury car maker has kept the car under wraps. Even the test mules spotted lapping the Nürburgring were well-masked.
Now, thanks to the intrepid reporters at U.K.’s AutoExpress we may just have an accurate idea of what the drop-top 2010 Audi R8 Spider/Cabriolet/Roadster will look like. These spy photos photos were taken during shooting of an upcoming sequel to the popular Iron Man movie.
If you recall from the first flick actor Robert Downey Jr. had an Audi R8 in his stable of cars, and if you look closely at these photos you’ll see Downey behind the wheel.
The car is expected to keep the same 525hp, V10 engine as the new coupe but be slightly slower due to the extra weight added to help stiffen up the roofless chassis. In terms of design changes, we can see that the side blades have been removed, showing a more sculpted side to the car, while the rear clamshell gets some aggressive renting.
The R8 Roadster will be officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September.
GALLERY: Audi R8 Convertible
Drop-top German exotic expected to debut in Frankfurt this Fall
Those waiting for a drop-top version of Audi’s R8 won’t have to wait much longer. The car is set to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show this September and it appears as though Audi is out doing some final testing – as these Nürburgring spy photos show.
In Frankfurt Audi is expected to debut the 525hp V10-powered version of the four-ringed exotic as well as a 420hp V8 version.
A soft top, and not a hard top, is the top-down route Audi has chosen. Not only will it help keep weight down (always a problem with Audis) but it is better for packaging and cost. Besides, every other Audi convertible has a rag top.
The only question remains, what will it be called? R8 Spyder? R8 Roadster? Or the R8 Convertible?
[Source: Car & Driver]
[Photo Credit: Car Spionage]
The latest brilliant commercial from Audi
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This is the latest installment in Audi’s brilliant marketing campaign that mocks other car makers and positions the brand as an alternative to traditional luxury vehicles.
For the new 525hp 5.2-liter V-10-powered R8, the setting is Maranello, Italy – the home of Ferrari. When positioning itself as a luxury brand, Audi takes on the Germans (or even the Japanese), but when competing in the exotic car arena there is no place quite like Italy.
And in a move that is almost blasphemous, the R8 is painted bright red. Needless to say the Italians are not amused and promptly chase the German exotic out of town.
Proceeds from Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance Auction Donated to Boys & Girls Clubs
The very first Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI was auctioned off at the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance yesterday for a cool half a million dollars, with all of the proceeds going to the Boys & Girls Clubs. With a retail value of $180,000, the 535hp exotic fetched more than double its value.
“This was an opportunity to be crowned the first owner in the United States of a stunning Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI quattro,” said Rick Case, Founder of the Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance. “The winning bidder even received an official certificate of authenticity verifying that this particular 2010 Audi R8 V10 is the first in the country.”
“The live and silent auctions at the Gala always feature amazing items,” said James E. McDonnell IV, Boca Raton Concours d’ Elegance Event Chairman. “But this year we have truly topped the charts. In fact, the auction line-up has made a mark in history by offering one of the most sought after vehicles in the country to guests.”
Audi of America R8 Product Manager Chas Murphy was so impressed with the bidding that he immediately offered a second R8 V10, which also sold that evening.
Impressively, the R8 fetched significant more than a Ferrari California that was auctioned off as well. The California, retailing for $225,000, fetched $350,000. Stuart Hayim, owner of Ferrari-Maserati of Fort Lauderdale arranged for the California to be auctioned off with proceeds from that sale also benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs.
Other auction items included a dinner for four with David Letterman and Bobby Rahal, which fetched $100,000. Dinner with Roger Penske, his family and driving team, to take place at the Indianapolis 500, was also auction off. Howie Mandel was even on hand, providing the entertainment.
Official release after the jump: