Automotive design house Pininfarina will bring a special concept car to the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March honoring famed car designer Sergio Pininfarina, who died in July.
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Building a car capable of a 2.5-second 0-60 sprint doesn’t need to be terribly complicated, but making one that does more than that does.
Something went horribly wrong with the American dream when we, as a nation, collectively switched from “keeping up with the Jonses” to Keeping up with the Kardashians.
10.Honda Civic Hatchback
We might have some fancy cars over here in the USA, but there are quite a few vehicles overseas that we can’t help but think are desperately missing from our shores. More than a few are niche market models perfect for auto-enthusiasts, while others are more stylish or practical than what’s currently available in the US. And some are both.
The 9th annual St. Petersburg Festivals of Speed kicked off last night across the bay in Tampa with an extravagant display of jets, boats, luxury goods and, of course, exotic cars.
As promised the list of hardware on display was outrageous, and included a Porsche GT2 RS, a Koenigsegg CCXR, a matte-white Ferrari FF, a matte-blue Maserati GranTurismo, a Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren MP4-12C and the requisite Bugatti Veyron. We even spied a modified Fisker Karma on 22-inch wheels. And of course there were numerous classics, custom bikes and even an open wheel race car.
Look for full coverage from the main event at the St. Petersburg waterfront on Sunday.
GALLERY: Festivals of Speed
For some people, it isn’t enough to just have an exotic supercar like a Lamborghini, they want theirs to be different, a bit more unique.
Especially good at making the rich part with extra money is the German tuner Mansory, which has modified just about every exotic car in the market, including the Bugatti Veyron. However, some of their work has been a bit tasteless and gaudy.
Thankfully now it seems that Mansory is modifying cars with a bit more science behind their madness, and that seems to be the case with their take on the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4.
Their Aventador is more than just some thoughtless body kit, this one actually improves airflow to cool the brakes and engine on the car, but also improves downforce.
Their car is slightly wider too, 40 mm at the front and 50 mm at the rear, due to Mansory’s own design on the fenders, and hood.
It’s not all show without any more go power either. Mansory tweaked the Aventador’s ECU and now this car produces 744-hp and 553 lb/ft of torque. According to Mansory, this Aventador can sprint from 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds and onto a top speed of 220 mph.
Plus, Mansory has taken some weight out of the Aventador by replacing some factory components with lighter carbon-fiber pieces.
To finish it off, you get new exhaust tips, new wheels and a large rear wing (calling that wing a spoiler just doesn’t seem right). The end result looks really quite good, so good job Mansory.
No prices have been published regarding this customization package, but if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.
GALLERY: Mansory Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4
It’s hard out there for a sports car manufacturer, especially if it is owned by a larger company.
Over the last 17-years, Lotus has not made a profit for its parent company. That was not such a big deal since Lotus was seen as more of a high-class brand name for the Malaysian state-owned Proton. However, just earlier this year, Proton sold its 42.7% stake in Lotus to DRB-Hicom, one of the largest private companies in Malaysia. Generally, private companies are much more concerned with making a profit rather than owning a company just for its prestige.
Now word comes from Lotus CEO Dany Bahar, that the future of Lotus’ production is in jeopardy, as development for new models like the updated Esprit have been suspended. In fact, Bahar was “completely taken aback” when he learned at the Geneva Auto Show, that the entire Proton group would enter a three-month “lockdown.”
That means, only normal trading activities would be allowed, hence all future developments have been suspended. This lockdown will even effect its recently announced models like the Exige S and the Evora GTE. The new Esprit will now likely be pushed to a 2014 launch, which means the concept would be nearly five-years old when it hits the road.
That is, if DRB-Hicom even decides to keep Lotus. Rumors suggest that they will want to off-load the unprofitable Lotus brand, which means Bahar has to find a savior for Lotus very quickly.
For now, Lotus’ motor sport activities, the opening of their new showroom on Regent Street in London, and its participation at this years Goodwood Festival of Speed as the featured marque will continue. Let’s hope Lotus can survive through its current dilemma.
GALLERY: Lotus Esprit
Back in the mid 1990′s, many car manufacturers had a renewed interest in the Le Mans 24 Hours Endurance Race, especially after the McLaren F1 GTR showed what a modified road car could achieve at one of the toughest races in the world.
Soon Toyota, Nissan and Porsche came up with their own Le Mans GT1 contenders. However, the rules at the time said that in order to participate in this category, the manufacturer must build 25 road-going examples of the race cars they are competing with. Toyota and Nissan found out their race car wasn’t fast enough to win, so didn’t bother making any road cars (although Nissan did produce two R390 super cars for the streets).
Porsche on the other hand was very confident about its race car, so the company produced the required number of road-going versions of the 911 GT1. Another manufacturer that went ahead with the plan to produce road cars that look and have the performance of their race car was Mercedes-Benz.
Even though the 1998 CLK-LM was not a winning race car and was replaced by the CLR racer in 1999 (the car that infamously flipped while chasing the Toyota GT1 at the 1999 Le Mans 24-Hour race), Mercedes-Benz went ahead with producing the CLK-GTR road car. It is believed 19 coupe’s and 6 roadster models were produced in total between 2000 and 2002.
Now, one of these rare super cars is available right in our own back yard. A 2000 model CLK-GTR coupe is for sale by Ferrari Maserati of Fort Lauderdale. This silver on red example is number 17/25 and has covered just 1492-miles. This example also has the Super Sport package upgrade, which gives it the newer, more powerful 7.3-liter, V12 good for 655-hp and 580-lb/ft of torque.
So if you have $1.49-million burning a hole in your pocket, you can buy this rare exotic, which will surely inch up in value the older it gets. Plus you will surely end up with something your rich friends won’t likely have in their garages. It’s a win-win situation.
[Source: DuPont Registry]
The Sport will replace the current “S” model in their line-up, and will be offered with a choice of two gearboxes, a six-speed F1-style sequential gearbox or the six-speed automatic. Sadly, no proper manual gearbox is offered. To put the smile back on your face, you will get a tweaked version of the 4.7-liter, V8 that now produces 454-hp. Maserati reckons it will sprint from 0-60 mph in under 5.0-seconds (official figures to be unveiled at the show).
To distinguish the Sport from the old “S” model, this model now gets a revised front bumper, and as with many luxury car these days, LED’s have also snuck their way into the headlights. No pricing has been announced thus far, but expect it to be between the regular Gran Turismo and the top of the line MC Stradale version.
GALLERY: Maserati Gran Turismo Sport
Where does a 3,472-pound bull run? On sheet of ice, of course — what was your answer, Pamplona?
Maybe we should clarify, though the pictures in our gallery probably do plenty of talking. The Lamborghini Academy offers a winter driving event that costs a little more than $7,800. For that price, you get a two-night stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy with access to a long line of Lambos, a driving instructor and insurance to cover any damage.
While it may seem like a steep price tag, you need to ask how often someone will hand you the keys to an Aventador and let you drive it on an ice track with no concern for consequences?
All-in the trip would probably cost at least $10,000. Then again, if you’re going to do something shockingly stupid in a Lamborghini, wouldn’t you rather it belong to someone else? Just make sure to ask about the insurance deductible first.
GALLERY: 2012 winter Lamborghini Academy
Maserati’s revamped four door hasn’t been far from the media’s attention recently, though specificity remained sparse. It looks like that’s starting to change, though. The new sedan is reportedly going to be six inches wider and two inches longer than the current model (pictured above), meaning more rear-seat legroom and a larger trunk. Despite the increased size, the new car will actually be about 30 percent more efficient thanks to a little weight loss over its predecessor.
It still seems that there will also be a smaller “baby” Quattroporte available, though that will be released after the model discussed above. It sounds like both cars will be available next year. The smaller variant is supposedly just a hair over 16 feet long, which stacks up neatly next to a BMW 5-Series.
We’ll be bringing you the latest details on Maserati’s new line as they emerge, including information on the Kubang concept.
However, that does not mean the brand will vanish off the face of the Earth, thanks to a coach-building company called Xenatec. They take a four-door Maybach 57S and get rid of two of its doors. Since they kept the wheelbase the same as the donor car, they gave it longer doors and a sleek coupe body to fill in the gap.
Mechanically the car remains standard because Xenatec wanted the car to be servicable by any Maybach dealer around the world. So while you’ll have the standard cars 6.0-liter, twin-turbo, V12 engine that produces 621-hp, you’ll now also have a sportier looking body to travel around in.
And how much would it cost to have this conversion done? It’ll cost as much as the original donor car. A Xenatec 57S Coupe will cost you a cool $940,000. That’s very nearly Bugatti Veyron money.
Despite the stratospheric price tag, Xenatec has sold quite a few of these uber-coupes through their three main distributors; the factory itself in Germany, a dealer in Saudi Arabia and an armor car firm in Russia.
Finding one of these rare exotics would thus be hard, but we have. A Xenatec Coupe is looking for a new home. It is listed for sale at an exotic car dealership in Dubai, U.A.E. According to the advert, it has no mileage on it. While it is sitting at a used exotic car store, the car is still new.
So while you can still get in touch with Xenatec and pay them to build you a coupe out of your donor 57S, a fully finished example is awaiting you in a desert oasis.
Afterall, we at AutoGuide get a fuzzy good feeling by uniting the rich with expensive cars.
GALLERY: Xenatec Coupe
[Source: Alain Class]
We have seen pictures of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-class before, first when pictures from its brochure got leaked, followed by the official release of images and specs about a month ago.
However, its unveil at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI., is the first time it has been shown in the flesh. Like its predecessor, it has a folding metal roof, and the air scarf system, which blows hot air on your neck, perfect for driving with the top down even on cold days.
What is new about this new SL is its nearly all-aluminum construction. Due to this light-weight material, this new SL is 175 lbs lighter than the out-going model. Couple its lighter weight with the new 4.7-liter, turbo-charged, V8 which produces 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, and you’ll end up with a very quick rear-wheel drive car. 0-60 mph in the SL550 model now takes just 4.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically-limited to 155 mph. You can bet, faster AMG-models are also going to be offered shortly after this model goes on sale.
If you like gadgets more than performance, not to worry, the new SL has plenty of toys to keep you happy. There is the MAGIC SKY Control, which makes the panoramic glass in your retracting hard-top go from clear to dark. So it is truly a convertible for all seasons and all types of weather.
There is also the MAGIC VISION Control, which is an advanced wiper system, which features wash nozzles that send washer fluid directly onto the wiper blade, and also would heat the water on colder days, so give a nicer, cleaner wipe from the start.
The audiophiles will no doubt love the new Frontbass system. This audio system utilizes the space in the footwell, which now features extra speakers. With sound coming from all corners, the idea is to give a full orchestral experience to the cars occupants.
The 2013 SL550 will go on sale in spring.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes SL550
See AutoGuide’s First Look Video of the new SL below:
Very few car companies can lay claim to have a twin-turbo charged, 500-hp, V8 as their entry level vehicle, but Bentley can.
At the 2012 North American International Auto Show, the Bentley Continental GT V8 made its World premiere. While the original W12 version continues in production, this new V8 will be offered at a lower price point to combat the very best super-coupes from its German rivals.
The GT V8 looks very similar to any other Continental GT, both inside and out, so essentially this is a powertrain story. The power comes courtesy of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo, V8. Maximum output is 500-hp and 487-lb/ft of torque. Like all previous Continental GT’s, the new V8 model also features all-wheel drive. The only transmission on offer is a close-ratio, 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
The performance numbers as you’d expect are pretty impressive. 0-60 mph sprint takes just 4.6 seconds, while top speed is a remarkable 188 mph.
Perhaps even more impressive is its fuel economy. On a highway cruise, this GT V8 can achieve 33-mpg. It can manage that because of its cylinder-deactivation system. So when you’re simply cruising, it will shut down four of its cylinders. So this Bentley can actually run for 500-miles on a single tank of petrol. Could this be a sensible Bentley!
2011 was a great year for this British manufacturer, recording their second-highest year of sales in its history, with 7003 cars delivered globally, of which 1876 units found homes in America.
With this new entry-level GT V8 (No prices given, but expect those to be over $150,000), and also the GTC V8 convertible going on sale this year, Bentley sales might surpass all their previous records.
GALLERY: 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8
Back in the 1950s and ’60s, when you bought or ordered a Ferrari, being able to select individual colors, features or options was virtually par for the course, a big reason why today, survivors from that era tend to fetch huge money when they come up for sale.
Now, Maranello has launched a new bespoke cosmetic program, that aims to build on those age-old traditions of customer excellence and exclusivity. Called “Tailor Made,” it allows Ferrari clients to essentially personalize every last interior and exterior detail of their new car, with assistance from a Personal Designer who works with them through the entire selection and creation process, right up to the point at which the customer takes delivery.
In fact, customers are actively encouraged to visit the Ferrari facilities where they can browse different materials and concepts, as well as preview the final results of their selection. They can even collect their completed car from Maranello personally if they so choose.
The Tailor Made program embodies three distinct elements;
Scuderia, a race inspired category which provides customers with such options as carbon-fibre trim, rubberized leather, Alcantara, chamois and other such finishes such as diamond quilted fabric (inspired by such a pattern found on the 1957 250 Testa Rossa), as well as specific exterior colors and even, racing stripes, such as those found on original North American Racing Team (NART) cars.
Classica, which includes pastel colors inspired from Ferrari exterior hues of the past, along with traditional materials such as rich wools, cashmere, leather, or velvet.
And finally, Inedita, which takes an experimental approach, combining new themes with traditional ones, such as as offering a novel range of materials, like as denim or suit fabric, for upholstery.
Next year, Ferrari will bid farewell to the aging 599 GTB, but not before giving it one last special edition model.
This next one will be called the 599 GTB 60F1 Edition and it is to commemorate 60-years since Ferrari won its first race in Formula 1 back in July of 1951, at the Silverstone circuit.
This new car will not only commemorate Froilan Gonzalez, who drove the 375 F1 back in 1951, but also Fernando Alonso, who secured the teams first win in the 2011 season.
So as a tribute, a plaque featuring the signatures of Gonzalez and Alonso will be affixed to the dashboard.
Technically these special edition models aren’t much different from the regular 599 GTB, so there is no extra power on tap. However, all the 60F1 special editions will come standard with the Handling Grand Turismo Evoluzione (HGTE) package.
The 60F1 will also feature three special paint schemes:
The 375 F1 livery pays tribute to Gonzalez’s car and is painted in the darker red of historic Ferrari race cars.
The 150th Italia livery is based on the 2011 racer as driven by Alonso and features white A-pillars and buttresses, and white lower front bumper, with painted mudguards and a discreet white paint on the hood. This one also features the tri-colors of the Italian flag on the rear spoiler.
The 150th Italia Livery 2 is completely red, apart from the white lip on the front bumper.
All special edition models also get the Ferrari fender shields and satin finished 20-inch alloy wheels. You will also get grippier rubber for better handling.
Inside, you will either find a four-point racing harness in blue and red (as per all the F1 cars on the 2011 grid), or a regular three-point belt in red for markets that do not alloy four-point harnesses for road cars.
The Euro-spec models will get seats by Sabelt, while the American version will be fitted with Recaro seats. Both types of seats will feature a material called Superfabric which provides more grip.
So if you want to own a piece of Ferrari history, make your way to your local dealer and place your order. All these models will be delivered in 2012.
Gallery: Ferrari 599 GTB 60F1
There are tuner shops, and then there are tuner manufacturers. What’s the difference? While a Tuner shop will bolt on spoilers and body kits, and some good tuner shops can even enhance your engines performance; a tuner manufacturer takes a bare shell and makes the entire car themselves to meet their customer’s requirements.
That is exactly what Ruf does. For 34 years, Alois Ruf has been working on Porsches. His process is so thorough, Porsche sends him bare shells of their cars, and everything is then put in place by Ruf technicians. Each car is thus tailor made for its new owner.
While most of Ruf’s creations look like slightly modded versions of the Stuttgart original, in 2007 they unveiled a car that took the tuning game on a whole new level. It was called the CTR3 and it was built using a chassis that had bits of the 911 married to some Cayman structure, wrapped in a Kevlar-carbon composite body-shell. The end result looked like a car Porsche enthusiasts could only dream about, until now.
It’s not all about looks either. Under the rear clamshell you’ll find a 3.8-liter, flat-six engine with two turbo-chargers. Twin-turbo Porsche motors are not that uncommon, but ones that produce 750-hp and 708 lb/ft of torque certainly are. All this power is fed to only the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox. Launch it correctly and you’ll cover the sprint from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and onto a top speed of 236 mph. That makes the CTR3 a lot faster than the Carrera GT, the fastest production car Porsche ever made.
If all this sounds irresistible to you (if you’re reading about cars on the internet, it should), you’d be happy to learn that a CTR3 is currently being offered for sale in California by R3 Motorsports. Since their advert was missing some information, we called the owner of the company; Ryan Negry, for some more information on this rare beast. According to Negry, this 2010 example has covered just 300-miles and that it can be yours for just $540,000.
[Source: duPont Registry]
Luxury sportscar manufacturer Aston Martin is celebrating a milestone as they now have over 1-million fans on the social networking site, Facebook.
In celebration of this milestone, Aston Martin will lets its ‘fans’ design a special one-off vehicle by answering a series of questions. The most popular answer will decide the specification of “The Millionth Fan Car.”
Aston Martin is creating some interior and exterior color schemes specifically for this special edition. As a thank you to all those who participated in this campaign, Aston Martin will send each fan a downloadable certificate of the final design.
The chosen car and design will be built at Aston Martin’s Gaydon facility in March 2012. This car will then be displayed at many public events during the year.
Aston Martin’s popularity has seen a big rise in the last six-months as over 280,000 fans have ‘liked’ their Facebook page. This might be due to their expansion in markets such as India and South America recently.
Also in celebration of this milestone, Aston Martin will reduce the price of their iPhone app from $5.00 to $0.99, but only for a limited time.
The MG SV-R is a car most people in North America (or anywhere else for that matter) haven’t even heard of. But it did exist for a short time, and we’re glad it did. So how did it come about?
The project started when MG Rover, wanted a halo car for their brand, to raise the company’s profile and keep it in business. So what MG did was look for a suitable car to form the basis for their new sports car (this would save them tons in development money), and mold it into something unique.
What they got was the underpinnings of the Qvale Mangusta, a car that started out in life as the De Tomaso Bigua. With the underpinnings secured, MG went all out and hired automotive designer Peter Stevens.
Steven’s is most well known for penning the iconic McLaren F1 supercar, and he soon got to work to clothe the chassis he was given. The end result might not be to everyone’s taste, but it is most certainly interesting.
To power their new sports car, MG made a deal with Ford to get both the 4.6-liter V8 from the Mustang, and a 5.0-liter V8 crate motor. They also got some supercharged 4.6-liter V8s from Ford SVT division. The motors were then sent to Sean Hyland Motorsports in Woodstock, Ontario in Canada to tune them to MG’s specifications. As a result, the base 4.6-liter engine was good for 320 hp, while the 5.0-liter and the supercharged 4.6-liter V8s were good for 385 hp. At launch time, there was talk of much more power to come, but nothing came of it.
Power was fed to the rear wheels via a Tremec 5-speed manual gearbox, and when launched properly would sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, and onto a top speed of 175 mph. So while not the quickest or fastest sports car ever made, it’s certainly respectable.
Despite having a high profile client like Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean, Johnny English), who ordered a dark green example, MG struggled to sell their latest sports car in big numbers. All in all, just 82 examples are believed to have been produced between 2003 and 2005, of which 42 were the more powerful SV-R versions.
The car pictured above is believed to be the very last complete SV-R ever produced by MG. This car was once the star of the 2005 Italian Motor Show. Sadly the MG Rover group soon went into administration and this car stay locked up for three years, before the cars current owner bought it and registered it in 2008. Since then it has covered just 800 miles. In a way, this silver on black example is almost like new and comes with such original goodies as an MG Racing car cover, an SV-R collector’s DVD, hardback book, an MG jacket, T-shirt and key ring. All these items are also described as brand new.
If you are intrigued by this left-hand drive example (which makes it rarer than rare), you can bid on it at the Silverstone Auctions on November 4, 2011. This car is part of the Walter Hayes sale, which includes many other tasty collector cars.
This MG SV-R is expected to fetch around $55,000, a bargain for what could very possibly be a desirable future classic.
GALLERY: MG SV-R
[Source: Silverstone Auctions]