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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.
McLaren unveiled a customized MP4-12C at Pebble Beach, indicating the British automaker will offer a long line of individual options for customers. This particular McLaren features a host of new upgrades and modifications put together by the British automaker, most notable of which are the Satin Orange paint and aggressive new fenders. There are also carbon fiber bits all over the car including a windshield cowl, engine cover gilles along the outside of the glass, and a new carbon rear exhaust cover. The rims have a polished face with black painted centers and the roof panel has also been painted black. Standard options of the 12C include carbon mirrors, a carbon lower front spoiler and rear valence as well as a stealth package which blacks out the exhaust tips and wing supports.
Built on the chassis of an early validation prototype, this isn’t a oroduction car but merely a glimpse at what sort of custom options McLaren will be offering in the future to owners.
Priced at $229,000 for a standard model, the upgrades raise the asking price for this MP4-12C to around $270,000.
[Source: Team Speed]
The world’s oldest surviving production Bentley was sold through the Gooding & Company auction at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for $962,500.
The 1921 3-liter chassis number 3 was sold 90 years ago to Noel Van Raalete, Bentley’s very first customer, for £1,150. The Bentley was a show-stopper, featuring ‘matching numbers’ with original aluminum coachwork and brass brightwork.
The 3-liter was a very well engineered vehicle that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans endureance races in 1924 and 1927.
“Pebble Beach is the ideal venue to showcase Bentley’s old and new,” said Chairman & Chief Executive, Wolfgang Durheimer. “On the same day that Gooding & Co. auctioned the world’s oldest surviving production Bentley, we hosted a private preview of the brand new model. During Monterey week, the enthusiasm for the evolution of the automobile is palpable.”
The annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is known to attract some priceless classics, but this year, this 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa prototype took the cake. Gooding and Company, a well known auction house, was catapulted into the record books last week, selling the 250 TR for $16.4 million.
This price was the highest ever realized for an automobile. The TR was actually sold for $14.9 million, or $16.4 million including the mandatory buyer’s premium. The Ferrari was involved in several devastating crashes during its storied history, but was present at the auction in stunning condition.
The right-hand drive Ferrari was once driven by Phil Hill on the Nurburgring, and the car has seen action across the world. The car was also owned by numerous private teams before the successful California entrepreneur Bev Spencer registered the vehicle for road use in the early 1960s. Interestingly, an owner in the 1960s set the car ablaze to collect insurance money, but the car survived the fire, and since the early 1970s has led a pampered life on the show circuit.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is in full swing, and Lotus has just unveiled the Exige Matte Black Final Edition, a special model reserved exclusively for the North American Market. The Exige Matte Black Final Edition will premier within the Lotus exhibit on Peter Hay Hill on August 18-21. Lotus will only produce twenty-five Exige Matte Black Final Edition cars, as a farewell model to the lightweight sports car that sold for the last ten years. The Exige will feature a more powerful 257-hp engine, a stealthy black paint job and black Alacantara sport seats.
Check out the photos and tell us what you think!
GALLERY: Exige Matte Black Final Edition
With the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance kicking off tomorrow in Monterey, California, hundreds of collectible cars will be up for sale.
There will be at least five auctions slated for this week, put on by Bonhams, Gooding & Company, Mecum, RM and Russo and Steele. Collector car insurance company Hagerty has compiled the estimated net worth of every car being auctioned this week at a whopping $230 million. Some of the highlighted collector cars include a 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza expected to fetch around $3 million and a 1957 Ferrari 250 TR Prototype that may break the overall record price of a car sold at auction, selling for around $13 million. Two cars formally owned by Steve McQueen will also go under the hammer, including one of his motorcycles.
Stay tuned for updates on the auction!
Aston Martin has officially confirmed the American debut of the One-77 and V12 Zagato, which will take place during the Pebble Beach automotive week in Monterey from August 17th to the 21st. The British automaker will commence the celebration on the evening of Wednesday August 17 where the V12 Zagato will have its official American debut.
The V12 Zagato was first unveiled as a concept car at the famous Villa D’Este Concours in Italy earlier this year, where the car experienced tremendous success among the show goers, and won the award for Design in the Concepts and Prototypes class. Aston Martin will build the V12 Zagato in a very limited production which will commence in the summer of 2012.
As for the One-77, it was on display in the Monterey area several years ago, but as a concept. Now the flagship Aston Martin will get a more official unveiling, boasting a 7.3-liter V12 engine with over 700-hp.
Julian Jenkins, Vice President Aston Martin the Americas said, ”We are very excited about the program this year including the debut of the V12 Zagato, and we look forward to welcoming current owners, new customers and automotive enthusiasts to share our celebrations at The Aston Martin Estate.”
AutoGuide will be on hand, so look for live pictures and video late next week.
GALLERY: Aston Martin V12 Zagato
However, if you have the means, you can possibly own two concept cars shown by Ford in the last decade. We are talking about the 2001 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster Concept and the 2004 Ford Shelby GR-1 Concept.
Both these vehicles will be presented by RM Auctions at their upcoming event held in Monterey, CA. on August 19th.
Proceeds from the sale will go towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a charity Ford has supported over the years.
As for the cars, while the Thunderbird Sports Roadster concept is a functioning vehicle, the Shelby GR-1 is just a rolling platform. While the GR-1 cannot be driven, we think its still better than buying an ancient oil painting.
RM Auctions predicts the Thunderbird Sports Roadster concept will fetch between $125,000 – $175,000, while the beautiful Shelby GR-1 will get between $150,000 – $200,000.
This auction is part of the annual Pebble Beach Concours event which attracts the worlds rarest cars and also some of the world’s wealthiest people. It truly is an auto show like no other.
GALLERY: Shelby GR-1 Concept
[Source: Art Daily]
McQueen liked the 1970 Porsche 911S so much that he bought it after the movie was completed and shipped it to California, where he added it to his personal collection alongside his Jaguar XKSS, Ferrari 250GTL, and various motorcycles. This model was fully-equipped from the factory, including air conditioning, leather seats and a radio.
And after a few owners it’s hitting the block at RM Auctions, where it will be featured at the Monterey auction on August 19th. Like anything even vaguely McQueen-related, it’ll go for big bucks, so you’ve got five months to start scraping the change from under the couch cushions.
If there was ever a scenario to prove that competition brings out the best in people, this is it. Shelby Supercars’ (SSC) has teased the world with its Ultimate Aero II, the successor to the Ultimate Aero TT. You see, the Ultimate Aero TT used to be the fastest production car in the world holding a 256 mph record. That is until Bugatti took their Veyron Super Sport and hit an astonishing 267.81 mph record.
And instead of SSC fine-tuning and tweaking their Ultimate Aero TT to take back the record, they decided to just build something bigger, better, badder and faster – hoping to leave Bugatti in the dust for quite a while. The car doesn’t officially launch for another few days, but it was unveiled to a select few out in Monterey. They captured the unveiling on video, but never actually display the vehicle, just the over-the-top reactions from its attendees.
But now there’s at least a video that reveals its edgy design (a massive improvement over the current kit-car styled SSC) that only has one thing on its mind: to take back the production car speed record. And even though the general public doesn’t really reap the rewards of this competition between Bugatti and SSC – since we don’t quite have a chance to go over 250 mph on a daily basis – there’s a bit of giddiness knowing these two superpowers are willing to battle it out.
It’s no M3, in fact its not even a 335is, but Infiniti has officially launched a more high performance version of its G Coupe. Called the IPL G Coupe, the initials stand for Intiniti Performance Line, with this new G Coupe likely the first of many such models for across Infinitis range.
Upgrades to the G include a retuned 3.7-liter V6 engine with a high-flow exhaust
to bump power slightly to 348-hp. Torque also jumps to 276 ft-lbs. Those aren’t very dramatic changes with the GS sporting 18-more horsepower and 6 more ft-lbs of torque
Additional modifications include a retuned suspension, 19-inch wheels with sport brakes and a limited slip differential – plus there’s a unique aero kit, as well as IPL badging for a time of 14.7:1 Other standard features include a special IPL engine cover, a back-up camera and incredible red stitching.
Infiniti has also just announced the debut of the G25 model, although there’s no word on pricing.
GALLERY: Infiniti IPL G Coupe
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AutoGuide was recently invited by Hyundai to take a ride in its new flagship Equus luxury sedan, which is due out in the U.S. in 2011. We posted some initial impressions immediately afterward and have since prepared a little video of the car and our chat with Hyundai Motor America’s VP of Marketing Joel Ewanick.
Test drives aren’t allowed as the three models Hyundai has brought over from Korea are prototypes (complete with Korean navigation systems and gauges in km/h) so we had to settle for being chauffeured around, which one could argue, is really the best way to experience the Equus.
Designed to compete with the world’s best, the Equus is based on the Genesis Sedan platform but is a good deal larger.
At 74.8-inches wide, it’s thicker than an S-Class or Lexus LS. The wheelbase is relatively short for this type of vehicle at 119.9-inches and with an overall length of 203.1-inches (just slightly longer than the long wheelbase LS460), don’t expect it to handle like a BMW 750i. Then again, that’s not what vehicles like this were meant for.
Inside is where the real treats are, with every imaginable luxury available. Yes, we’re talking about massaging and reclining rear seats, seat-back mounted flip up tables, LCD screen DVD players and even a fridge. The Equus also gets heated and cooled seats and privacy shades for the back and side-rear windows. One feature we particularly liked was that the side window shades pop up by pulling on the power window switch a second time – which reduces the overall number of buttons and switches in the cabin. In fact, we were surprised by the limited number of cabin-cluttering switches. Another notable feature is the fact that the front passenger seat can be adjusted from an armrest console in the rear – presumably for the comfort and convenience of executive types riding in the back.
The interior materials are definitely high quality, although not quite what you might find in a Lexus LS. Then again, the interior of the BMW 750 isn’t quite what you’d find in a Lexus either. The excessive amount of wood trim certainly isn’t one of our favorite parts, but the genuine Suede headliner is.
Equus drivers will be able to appreciate high-tech features like a back-up camera (and front-facing camera), a blind spot monitoring system, active cruise control, a 528-watt 17-speaker Lexicon audio system and an adjustable air-ride suspension. Hyundai marketing boss Joel Ewanick said that by the time the Equus makes its way to the U.S. the suspension will receive a few tweaks. Normally this means “softening,” but Ewanick surprised us by saying that it will actually be made slightly stiffer than what is offered in Korea.
Under the hood the 2011 Equus gets the same 4.6-liter V8 found in the top-level Genesis Sedan. Making 375hp it should deliver a 0-60 mph time of just over six seconds, with a quarter mile time in the low 14s.
That’s definitely off the pace of both the German and Japanese competition, but you can be sure the Equus won’t cost like a German or Japanese luxury sedan either. Official pricing won’t be released for a while yet, but with the Lexus LS starting at $63,000, you can be sure the Equus will come in under that. A sub-$60,000 price tag isn’t out of the question.
When asked about the possibility of the U.S. Equus being offered with the (rumored) 5.0-liter V8, Hyundai PR boss Jim Trainor said that the focus for now is going to be on the 4.6.
Set to hit the market as a 2011 model, the Equus will go on sale in late 2010. Look for an official debut next April at the 2010 New York Auto Show.
So with the future of the Equus in the U.S seemingly set, there are a few remaining question marks. For starters, the name. Hyundai says it is considering a name change and we wouldn’t be surprised to see one.
Another question you might have is: what about that hood ornament? Sorry to say, the brand-focused marketing folks have decided to axe the ostentatious winged creature (or whatever it is) in favor of a flush-mounted symbol. Those interested will, however, be able to get the hood ornament as a dealer installed option.
The final question for both Hyundai and the Equus is: how will it be received? Quite well, we think.
Trainor says the company has humble goals of just a few thousand units and with changing perceptions about the brand (thanks to the Genesis sedan and coupe) the Equus now offers Hyundai the chance to leapfrog established luxury brands, like Acura.
GALLERY: 2011 Hyunda Equus
One of six 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupes set a record at the Mecum Auction today in Monterey, California, fetching a bid of $7.25 million. The price is the highest amount ever paid for an American car at auction. Mecum’s auction took place at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Resort & Spa on the Del Monte Golf Course, just one of many such auctions occurring around the Pebble Beach Concurs d’Elegance.
The Cobra Coupe, CSX2601, is one of just six models build by Carroll Shelby to compete against the dominating Ferraris in the FIA World Manufacturers Championship. This particular car captured the World Manufacturers Championship in 1965 in Reims, France with legendary racer Bob Bondurant behind the wheel.
Bondurant was on-hand today and drove the Cobra Coupe onto the auction block in Monterey.
“This hand-built car beat the fastest cars in the world and has now added another ‘win’ to its list of accomplishments. It certainly finished in record form again,” said Dana Mecum, president of Mecum Auction.
“Truly the best part about auctioning the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe has been sharing the stories of its amazing history with millions of people across the country. This race car’s greatest moments and its legacy as America’s world champion will be cherished for generations to come.
GALLERY: 1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe
Official release after the jump:
In December Bentley announced that after 10 years it would cease production of its Arnage, but didn’t even hint at a replacement for the ultra-luxury sedan. Now word comes that the car’s successor might be revealed as early as this August, at a typical venue – the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
The car is expected to be even larger and more upscale than the current model, and be more than ready to take on the upcoming Rolls-Royce Ghost.
There is no word on what platform the car will use or what engines, and while a W12 or the 6.75-liter V8 are certainly the most likely options, Bentley has said it is working on an entirely new engine that will deliver 40 percent better fuel economy than it’s current engines.
The chassis will most likely be entirely aluminum in keeping with Bentley’s commitment to cut weight from its cars.
A close-to-production concept vehicle is expected to be unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concourse in Monterey, California on August 16th.
[Source: AutoTelegraaf via Autoblog]