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Update: The price referred to in this story does not reflect American pricing. We now know that the Juke-R will cost around $590,000 in U.S. dollars.
What happens when you scoop a Nissan Juke’s guts out with a mellon baller and replace them with pure testosterone? In case you forgot, it’s the Juke-R.
Since the early ’60s Chevrolet has used the SS badge to designate (mostly) performance oriented cars, though the harlotous name stuck itself to a few undeserving hosts over the years.
More than half a decade later the automaker has finally patented the iconic SS brand, prompting us to wonder why. It seems especially strange given that over the last 51 years, the company has never taken issue with stamping its performance variants as such.
As if there weren’t enough possibilities for the Chevrolet Camaro already, the automaker announced today that it will introduce a new 1LE performance package to further augment the already-muscular Camaro SS coupe.
“With the 2013 model year, Camaro offers something for almost every driver, including: the 323-horsepower, 30-mpg 2LS; the all-new, 580-horsepower supercharged ZL1 convertible; the COPO Camaro for drag-racing; and the new 1LE for amateur track days,” said John Fitzpatrick, Camaro marketing manager. “We expect the range of choices, and enhancements for 2013, will help Camaro remain America’s most-popular sports car.”
Popular it is, given the recent announcement that between the Camaro and Corvette, Chevrolet sports cars control a third of the U.S. market segment. As Fitzpatrick said, the automaker hopes to continue boosting that control by offering a growing line of specialized cars.
That’s where the 1LE comes in: it’s a Camaro SS coupe with unique gearing, suspension tuning, and tires that make the car track-ready to the tune of more than 1 g in lateral acceleration. Chevrolet says the latest iteration of its pony car ran a sub three-minute lap at Virginia International Raceway, where we recently tested the new ZL1 Camaro.
“The Camaro 1LE combines the best elements of the SS and ZL1 to take road-racing performance to a whole new level,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “That the 1LE breaks the three-minute lap at VIR puts it in the upper echelon of performance cars. That it starts under $40,000 makes the Camaro 1LE one of the most affordable, most capable track-day cars offered by any manufacturer.”
Perhaps more interesting than performance specifications alone, Chevrolet is taking preemptive measures to ensure customers have the chance to actually enjoy their purchase. The trouble with buying a high-power pony car is that owners seldom have legal outlets for all that power. Thankfully, the automaker thought of that and is already working on Touring Class competition approval from the SCCA with the 1LE package. Once accomplished, that classification will mean the new package is a race-ready track car form the factory, and for a bargain price.
Aside from the modifications listed above, the 1LE comes with a litany of ZL1-spec parts including a stronger fuel pump, 20×10-inch aluminum wheels and improved suspension components. For the most part, modifications that make the 1LE are in place to improve traction, so Chevrolet also packaged higher-capacity rear-axle half shafts to cope with the stress that comes with added grip.
Originally introduced in 1988, the 1LE package returns this fall with the 2013 Camaro release.
GALLERY: 2012 ZL1 Camaro
In Frankfurt last year, Ford teased us with a new Fiesta ST concept. Shown initially in three-door form we were initially worried we wouldn’t get this spiced-up version so you can perhaps imagine our delight when a five-door concept materialized a couple months later at the LA Auto Show.
Now, at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Ford has announced a production version of the car. Considering that many enthusiasts in Europe have been waiting with baited breath since the last Fiesta ST went away in 2008, there’s clearly a great deal riding on this new one.
Although information is still somewhat scant, Ford says this new Fiesta ST will sport an EcoBoost, 1.6-liter turbocharged four under the hood, rated at 180 metric horsepower and some 240 NM (177 lb-ft) of torque. Lowered (by some 15 mm/ 0.6 inches) and sporting stiffened suspension, plus one of the first applications of Ford’s SYNC voice command software in Europe (the Fiesta derived B-Max is the other), the peppy new Ford promises to be quite the little performance pill. Also included in this package are enhanced Torque Vectoring and three different Stability Control modes.
On the outside, aggressive aero extensions, including a more pronounced front air dam and signature rear spoiler add to the car’s boy racer persona and although the ST was developed by Ford’s RS performance division in Europe, drawing on much WRC and rally cross experience, standard MyKey technology will help ensure that younger drivers don’t get into trouble.
Revealed in three-door form in Geneva, the new Fiesta ST is clearly aimed at the European market, at least for the timing being, though Ford says “it remains open to introducing [the high performance small car] to other regions.” And if you’ve been paying any attention to Ford and its “One Ford” plan of global products, expect to see a 5-door Fiesta ST grace a North American auto show soon.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Fiesta ST
Chevrolet is laying claim to sports car bragging rights this year after accounting for more than a third of total U.S. sports car sales with their Camaro and Corvette.
“We challenge any company to bring two cars to compete with the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1, dollar for dollar,” General Motors North America president Mark Reuss said. “They will discover what enthusiasts already know – that Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette are the world’s best performance cars for the money.”
The Camaro outsold its closest competition, the Ford Mustang, by almost 18,000 cars last year with a total 88,249 units.
According to the company, that figure is expected to grow when the ZL1 Camaro goes on sale this month. The ZL1 is the fastest production Camaro ever built: It sports a 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 that makes a road-ripping 580 hp. We’ll have our own verdict on the ZL1 soon — we’re out taking our first drive today.
Chevrolet recorded a 2:52.4 lap time in the ZL1 Camaro around the Grand Course at the Virginia International Raceway, which they say is more than six seconds faster than Ford’s Shelby GT500.
Similarly, the ZR1 Corvette is the fastest production car to come from Chevrolet. Its 6.2-liter LS9 V8 makes 638 hp and 604 lb-ft of torque, allowing for a 2:45.6 lap time.
While it’s sometimes difficult to believe statistics and figures released by a company when they did the testing, we can say a few things with authority.
First, the ZR-1 Corvette and ZL-1 Camaro are both stupid-quick machines that compete in the top level of their segment. Second, they’re both a hell of a lot of fun to drive. Third, given their excellent price-to-power ratio, you’re probably not going to care that the sale numbers suggest you’re likely to see someone else driving “your car” on the road.
You can watch the footage of both the ZL1 Camaro and the ZR1 Corvette taking on the Grand Course below.
Mercedes revealed its new Formula 1 Grand Prix car, the MGP W03 during a low key press conference at the Catalunya circuit near Barcelona, Spain. However, alongside the open wheeled machine, which also saw 2012 season drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg attend, Mercedes AMG also unexpectedly unveiled its next iteration of the SL 63 AMG.
Like the regular 2013 SL, which goes on sale this summer, the AMG model sports a lightweight aluminum and magnesium shell that shaves off some 276 lbs of mass, compared with its predecessor.
Power comes from 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that cranks out 529 horsepower, while cosmetically, the new AMG stands out via an aggressive looking aero package with a prominent front air dam, rocker panel and rear bumper cover extensions. There’s also AMG specific LED front lighting and a revised grille opening, plus a rear deck spoiler and quad trapezoidal shaped exhaust tips.
Although not many details have been released ahead of the car’s official debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, we can report that the new SL 63AMG will incorporate the aluminum folding hardtop featured on the previous generation and likely Mercedes’ automatically tinting MagicSky Control glass roof. Stay tuned for further details as they become available.
Watch a Video of the SL63 AMG at the track along with the new Mercedes F1 car after the jump.
We’ve already done previews on them. Now, we can reveal the new Audi S6, S7 and S8 in all their glory. Some may question whether there’s in fact a need for all three, but with Audi seemingly hell bent on filling every niche possible in the market, they’re with us nonetheless.
Of course the biggest news concerns the engines that power them. All three will feature a version of Audi’s 4.0-liter twin turbo V-8, rated at 520 metric horsepower (PS) in the A8 flagship and 420 PS in the A6 sedan, Avant and S7 Sportback.
The key behind the switch to the new engine (especially in the S8) has been driven by the need to improve fuel economy (reportedly reduced by around 25 percent) while maintaining a healthy dose of performance.
According to official stats from Audi, the new 2012 S6 will sprint from 0-100 km (0-62 mph) in just 4.8 seconds; the S7 in 4.9; while the S8 will do the same jaunt in just 4.8 seconds. All three cars are limited to a stop speed of 155 mph and are said to return at least 27.7 miles per gallon (Imperial) in terms of fuel economy.
A big development is Audi’s displacement on demand system, which shuts off four-cylinders under light throttle openings; and as we’ve reported before Active Noise Cancellation, which incorporates a computer activated antiphase sound to cancel out any unwanted cabin din.
All three cars feature Audi’s quattro system with self-locking center differentials as well as adaptive air suspension and seven speed automatic transmissions on the S6 and S7 (the S8 features eight speeds).
Although slated for European delivery first, don’t expect it to be that long before the S6, S7 and S8 show up here, though odds are, the S6 Avant wagon probably won’t make the cut.
Although a major re-design of Ford‘s pony car is scheduled for 2014, possibly as a ’15 model, the Blue Oval isn’t letting weeds grow beneath the current car. For 2013, it’s promising a few changes, including styling updates and a bump in power on GT models.
Most rumors seem to agree that regular Mustangs, both base and GT will adopt some cues from the Shelby GT500, including a more aggressive front fascia with a larger upper grille and revised below bumper inlet. In addition, the trapezoidal taillight treatment will give way to something less angular, with lenses that run straight across the back panel instead of being angled.
As for mechanical improvements, although both the 3.7-liter V-6 and 5.0-liter V-8s will remain, the latter is rumored to be receiving a boost in power, to around 425 hp, in order to help put it on equal footing with the Camaro SS.
Some sources also say that the supercharged Shelby will crank out as much as 620 horsepower. The 2013 Mustangs are slated to make their debut at this year’s LA Auto Show in November.
[Source: Mustangs Daily]
BMW‘s M division saw sales of its sports cars increase by 14.2 percent in 2010, to 16,967 units. The M3 remained the brand’s most popular car, with the coupe, sedan and convertible making up 10,116 units. In second place was the X6M with 3,082 units and X5M with 2,778 units.
The US led the world in M car consumption, followed by Germany and the UK. Fastest growing markets were China (up 355 percent), Brazil (237 percent) and Russia (104 percent). With the way the global economy is going, don’t be surprised to see those three countries make up the top three markets by sales volume in the near future.
As if we needed another reason to be jealous of Ken Block. The millionaire entrepreneur and rally driver has a full sponsorship package with both Ford and Monster Energy Drinks just got a brand spanking new Ford Focus RS thanks to The Blue Oval’s generosity.
Wearing Michigan manufacturer plates, the Focus RS is painted in the car’s signature green color, with black Volks Racing wheels added in to make the car look a bit different from the other Focus RS that resides in the U.S.A, also painted the same shade of green. The car is fairly stock for now, with a KW Variant suspension being the other major modification, but a host of power upgrades and a skull and crossbones motif on the headrests of the Recaro seats are expected to appear on the RS post-SEMA.
Gallery: Ford Focus RS