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Back in January, Jeep launched a competition called “Name My Ride.” It was set up to find the perfect name for Jeep’s latest special edition models.
Much to the company’s surprise, the contest drew in well over 100,000 entries from Jeep enthusiasts, with “Altitude” as the winning name.
Now Jeep is taking the name to new heights but releasing not one, but three models: the Grand Cherokee, Compass and Patriot Altitude editions. Each of these vehicles will receive some special treatment, which starts with the “blacked-out” look you see above.
The Grand Cherokee’s exterior gets a grille surround appearing in black gloss, and mesh grille texture in platinum chrome. A platinum chrome lower fascia applique completes the unique front-end appearance. Black headlamp bezels and a black liftgate light bar continue the theme throughout the vehicle’s exterior. It also gets 20-inch black gloss alloy wheels.
Inside you’ll get leather-trimmed heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a 9-speaker 506-watt sound system with subwoofer, iPod/MP3 connectivity, back-up camera, rear-park assist system, Keyless Enter-N-Go, plus Chrysler Group’s Uconnect hands-free communications system.
Available in six colors, this special edition Grand Cherokee will be available from May with a $35,595 starting price for 4×2 models and $37,595 for 4×4 models.
The Compass and Patriot get a similar styling treatment, albeit with 18-inch and 17-inch wheels respectively. Only four colors are available for the Compass Altitude edition with pricing starting at $22,190 for 4×2 models and $23,940 for 4×4 models.
The Patriot Altitude edition is also available in four colors and its pricing starts at $20,240 for 4×2 models and $23,275 for 4×4 models.
Jeep has seen a 34 percent increase in sales in 2012 and they are certainly hoping to up that figure even more with these new special editions. Pending success, maybe the Liberty and Wrangler will get similar treatment.
GALLERY: 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Altitude
GALLERY: 2012 Jeep Compass Altitude
GALLERY: 2012 Jeep Patriot Altitude
The new package is a tuned Challenger SXT Plus, which comes with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, making 305 horsepower. Normally an SXT would start at $24,995 but the extra $3,750 offers a list of go-fast parts that aim to offer a more engaging driving experience.
Performance upgrades run through the chassis and drivetrain starting with a cold air intake that improves airflow to the engine. New front and rear sway bars stiffen the chassis and make the car more corner-capable. Further augmenting the cornering, the Rallye Redline edition gets 42 percent firmer monotube shocks in the front and 22 percent in the rear.
Dodge also replaced the 2.65:1 rear axle ratio with a more lively 3.06:1 unit which means acceleration will feel stronger despite having the same engine as the SXT.
Stopping power also improves with larger two-piston calipers at the front and larger vented disc brakes all around.
Playing off the package name, the car gets a centre racing stripe with two smaller lines all running parallell over the car’s length. 20-inch aluminum alloys wrapped in Firestone Firehawk all-season performance tires, which replace the standard 18-inch wheels, also have a thick red line accenting the outer edge.
As a modified version of the SXT Plus, the Rallye Redline comes with the same list of standard features as the unit it’s based on. Those include leather seating — heated in the front, bluetooth cellphone connectivity, electronic stability control and more.
GALLERY: 2012 Challenger Rallye Redline
Back in 2002, a special edition Ram 1500 pick-up truck was launched specifically for Texan truck buyers. Called the Lone Star edition, it quickly became the top selling Ram model in the vast state.
“The Ram 1500 Lone Star was the first pickup truck designed by Texans and built specifically for Texans. Native Texans are very proud to be from the Lone Star State. For the last 10 years, this truck has given us the authentic opportunity to proudly connect Ram with Texas’ very proud state motto,” said Ram Trucks president and CEO Fred Diaz.
In the last 10 years, over 80,000 Lone Star edition trucks have been sold in Texas, and the automaker hopes to continue the trend with the new 2012 Ram 1500 Lone Star 10th Anniversary Edition.
The Lone Star 10th Anniversary edition gets new, larger “Lone Star” badges with the prominent red, white and blue Texas state emblem on its front doors and tailgate. The new badges are also part of an exclusive appearance package and replace the “Ram 1500” badging that other models wear.
More than just the badges set this truck apart from other Rams, inside you’ll find Katzkin perforated leather seats with Texas Lone Star logo’s. The glove box and floor mats also get the 10th Anniversary logos.
Powering this truck is the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, which produces 390 horsepower and 407 lb/ ft of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
Offered only in the Crew Cab body style, you can choose between black, bright silver, bright white, deep cherry red, flame red, mineral gray and true blue for the exterior.
If interested, you can pick up this pickup sometime around June though a specific date wasn’t mentioned. Pricing for the Lone Star edition starts at $36,440. You also need to be in Texas as this is a Texas only truck.
The highlight on Mazda’s stand will be the MX-5 NR-A ‘Jimba-Ittai’ (translates to: rider and horse as one) track special. Apart from the funky paint schemes, the MX-5 NR-A will feature 16-inch Enkei alloy rims with Bridgestone tires, 20-mm lower height, Endless brake pads and Takata four-point racing harness, among some other changes.
Sharing the stage with the MX-5 NR-A (not to be confused with the National Rifle Association) will be a special edition CX-5 crossover, the RX-8 Spirit R, which is the final version of this sports coupe, and the MX-5 Black-Tuned, which is a regular MX-5 with some black color features, such as its special BBS rims. Oh, and it also features some rather green seats.
The Tokyo Auto Salon will be held in the city of Chiba from January 13 to 15.
GALLERY: Mazda Auto Salon Preview
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
If you’re an avid follower of Formula 1, you’d have already known that Sebastien Vettel has won the 2011 Drivers Championship. Even though his F1 car is powered by a Renault engine, it is branded an Infiniti for marketing purposes, as Infiniti only launched in Europe this year.
Starting with the FX Sebastien Vettel edition. First shown as a concept vehicle at the Frankfurt Auto Show, this special vehicle is now rumored to be approved for production. While the looks will pretty much stay intact, it is yet to be seen if the production model will also be limited to a top speed of 186 mph.
While Vettel might be a double world champion, F1 is not big in North America, so this hot FX might not even come to our shores. We hope that it does.
Gallery: Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel
The Smart car has sold reasonably well around the world, but it has hardly been the sales success its maker wishes it was. To keep the interest of car buyers, every now and then, it comes up with a special edition model.
At this years Frankfurt Auto Show, Smart will show a model that it has developed with the street fashion brand WeSC. This special “Tailor Made” model is being prepared by Mercedes-tuner Brabus and will feature a special gold paint that is gloss in some areas and matte in others. Special jet black wheels and custom leather interior also sets this fortwo cabrio model apart from the regular smart.
The people at Smart also designed a new set of headphones, which will be sold through WeSC shops and Concept Stores around the world.
This special Smart with a 100-hp turbocharged motor will be on display starting September 13 at the Frankfurt Motor Show alongside the new Forvision concept. Look for live photos from AutoGuide’s coverage here.
GALLERY: Smart WeSC
Watch the video after the jump:
Last year, Maserati launched a sportier version of their GranTurismo coupe in Europe and called it the MC Stradale. However, for those of us in North America who can afford such play things, the sad news was that this model was not going to be available on our shores.
To keep its North American customer base happy, Maserati has now unveiled a version of their sleek coupe just for us and its called the GranTurismo MC.
So what’s the difference between an MC Stradale and this new MC? Well they look just about the same, but there are some notable changes under the skin and in the cabin. Whereas the MC Stradale used an F1 style sequential gearbox, the MC makes use of the ZF six-speed automatic found in other Maserati road cars.
Inside, the MC retains its rear seats, which were junked for the MC Stradale version. So it seems the North American version is a watered down version of what our European cousins get to play with, but not quite. Thankfully the MC Stradale’s tweaked 4.7-liter, V8 which produces 450-hp has found its way into the North American MC also. That engine can power this coupe all the way to 185 mph and sprint from 0-62 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Also worth noting, this engine is available in the GranCabrio Sport.
For more details on this model, check out the press release below:
Back in 2003, before Aston Martin replaced the aging DB7 with the DB9, they prepared two special swan song versions with the help of the Italian coach-builder and design house Zagato.
The two models were the DB7 Zagato coupe, and the DB AR1 Zagato roadster. Both models were built in a limited number of just 99 units. However, while the coupe was never officially sold in North America (although some did eventually make their way across the Atlantic), the roadster was a different story. The AR1, which stands for American Roadster 1, was designed and built specifically for the American market. However, since most of them went to collectors, you hardly see them offered for sale, and surely you are unlikely to come across one sitting at your local used car lot.
But we have found a pristine example at a Las Vegas dealership. It is car no. 53 out of 99 and it looks stunning in its unusual Roman Bronze paint. The tan and beige interior shows no signs of wear and tear, but then this example has covered just 1700 miles.
One word of caution though, this 435-hp, V12 powered machine is strictly an open car. Aston Martin made this as a pure roadster, so there is no roof of any sort to protect you if it suddenly starts to rain. Although, if you can afford a used car worth $249,000 you probably have other cars to drive around on days the weather is looking a bit iffy.
Is this a future classic that has the potential to appreciate? We certainly think so.
[Source: DuPont Registry]
In a clever black and white themed campaign, Kia UK is now offering a new special edition version of the Soul, as well as a special edition version of both the Picanto and Rio small cars. We can’t help but to relate it to Scion’s RS-series releases, where unique paint colors and accessories adorn the vehicle giving it a customized and unique taste from the run-of-the-mill units that leave the lot. And like the numerous Scion versions, this Soul is the latest of four special edition models which include the Burner, Shaker and Samba.
Called the Soul Echo, it will be offered in Clear White or Quartz Black metallic with contrasting features. The white Soul Echo gets black 18-inch wheels and black gloss mirrors with a black stripe kit, while the black Soul Echo gets white detailing. Interior upgrades include black leather and an upgraded audio system with iPod connectivity, along with parking sensors and air conditioning. It retails for around $21,000, but only in the UK.
The Picanto and Rio have a Domino-theme going on with similar white and black exterior colors to choose from with contrasting accents to give it that Domino effect. The Picanto Domino is offered at $12,000 and the Rio Domino is a little shy of $14,000.
We must say that Kia around the world has been doing a fantastic job in marketing their new trendy and affordable platforms to the masses. These customized versions may be taking a page out of Scion’s book, but even the harshest of critics have to admit that the Soul is a great xB contender.
GALLERY: Kia UK Soul Echo, Picanto and Rio Special Editions
The official press release is available after the break.