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The Geneva Motor Show always plays host to a throng of exciting ultra-high-performance automobiles and this year’s installment was no exception. Lamborghini revealed its sultry new Huracán, McLaren unwrapped the alluring 650S and even Pagani’s outlandish Zonda Revolución made a showing. But the folks in Maranello, Italy were not to be out done.
Pistons need not apply
The history of the automobile has been dominated by vehicles equipped with piston-firing engines.
Rarely does something completely different come along, and when it does, it usually fails miserably. One attempt to reinvent the passenger vehicle engine may have not had the smoothest of rides, but did last in the automotive industry for over 50 years and is rumored to be making a comeback soon.
We are talking about the Rotary engine. Lacking pistons, spinning furiously and making a noise that can’t be mistaken for anything else; the Rotary has developed a cult-like following over the decades. And why not? Some rotary powered vehicles may have been utter failures, but others were masterpieces of their time. Here is a list of our top ten rotary powered vehicles.
Mazda’s severed ties with Ford and recent shift to a single, scalable platform have birthed a series of noteworthy products, but there’s one major question mark left in the company’s portfolio.
It still isn’t clear what Mazda plans to do for either of its performance nameplates. Information on the next MX-5 is still scarce, but a new report suggests Mazda plans for its new roadster to weight in 220 lbs lighter than the current car.
That’s significant considering the current car only weighs 2,447 lbs when equipped with the soft top and a manual transmission. Both the convertible hard top and the automatic transmission add weight.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Mazda MX-5 to Get 1.3L Turbo
Mazda will partner with Fiat to build the car, which will lead to both a new MX-5 and a new Spider for Alfa Romeo. While Mazda hasn’t made details about the car availble, past speculation suggests the car will be powered by a turbocharged 1.3-liter four cylinder rather than the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four it uses today. That, at least in part, could help account for the weight savings.
[Source: Automotive News]
Discuss this story at MazdaWorld.org
One short year after McLaren Automotive launched its MP4-12C supercar, the British automaker is teasing the open-air version ahead of its scheduled July 3 debut.
The Ferrari 458 Italia Spider will retail for a starting price of $257,000 when it goes on sale in January of 2012. The 458 Spider features a retractable aluminum hardtop rather than the soft top of previous Ferrari Spiders.
The new system weighs 55 lbs less than a soft top and takes only14 seconds to deploy. The Spider is expected to hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds thanks to its 4.5L 570 horsepower V8 and 7-speed dual clutch gearbox. Like other Spiders, the 458 costs about 15 percent more than its hardtop counterpart, and Ferrari expects owners $60,000 in options alone.
[Source: Automotive News]
Italy is one of the most beautiful and scenic countries in the world and when paired up with one of the most exotic creations from the country, you’re guaranteed to have a breathtaking video. Highlighting Ferrari‘s new 458 Spider, the red drop-top beauty races through the Amalfi Coast, at Reggia di Caserta and other picturesque locations throughout the Basilicata region.
While for most of us having the opportunity to drive a 458 Spider is good enough, being able to pilot its 562-hp, 4.5L V8 along the Mediterranean Sea is probably towards the top of our bucket list. So sit back, hit play and listen to the sonorous note of the Spider’s exhaust that has been tuned to sound even better with the roof open. No arguments from us.
Check out the video after the break.
Ferrari lifted the covers off the new 458 Spider featuring an aluminum retractable roof that opens and closes in 14 seconeds.
The Ferrari 458 Spider is powered by the same 4.5 liter V8 engine as the 458 Italia, which means 562 hp at 9000 rpm. Top speed is rated at 198.8 mph with a 0-62 mph time of under 3.4 seconds.
Helping produce those figures is the hard top. The aluminum roof – a first for a mid-engined car – fits just in front of the engine compartment without aerodynamics or performance taking a hit. The roof takes about 14 seconds to open or close.
GALLERY: Ferrari 458 Spider
With Ferrari 458 Italia production in full swing, questions have been raised as to when the convertible top will be available and what it will look like.
In this new rendering of the convertible,the 458 takes on a look similar to the 360 Modena Spider, one of Ferrari’s most elegant designs. As for the convertibles official unveiling, it will likely take place at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show, meaning the drop top Spider will be available by next summer. But you better have your pennies saved, because the current coupe has a base price of $225,000 and the Spider will certainly be more expensive.
Novitec is proud to announce that they’ve built the world’s fastest and most powerful Alfa Romeo, taking an 8C Spider and equipping it with 600-hp and a top speed of 190-mph.
Novitec, one of the world’s premier tuners of Italian vehicles, adapted the supercharger from the Novitec Tridente Maserati GT, and outfitted it on the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider. In addition, Novitec equips the 8C with a stainless-steel exhaust, height-adjustable suspension and a 21- and 22-inch staggered wheel/tire combination.
To ensure the powerplant is safely boosted with the addition of the supercharger, Novitec also includes a water-to-air intercooler with dedicated radiator and larger fuel injectors with the kit. To put it all together, the ECU is reflashed with a new tune. As a result, power leaps from the factory 450-hp to 600-hp with peak torque at 434 lb-ft. The optional exhaust system is a quad-tipped piece that fits with the factory cutouts in the rear apron.
Instead of equipping the 8C with an aero kit, Novitec decided to simply outfit it with a classy set of three-piece NA3 wheels. Up front are 21×9-inch rollers while the rear gets a 22×11.5-inch set that fill out the wheel wells quite nicely.
Changing the stance is also a breeze from Novitec with a coilover suspension package that allows the driver to adjust both the damper and height of the vehicle. Lastly, customers can specify interior upgrades from leather to Alcantara in any color.
See all the stunning photos in the gallery below.
GALLERY: Novitec Alfa Romeo 8C Spider
Now it seems that Renault wants to create Renaultsport into its own brand and are looking to once again produce a roadster, and word is that it’ll be based on the beautiful DeZir concept.
According to Renault’s product manager Beatrice Foucher “Renaultsport is key to Renault’s strategy. It already has excellent loyalty and is perceived by some owners as a brand in its own right, and we can develop that further. We will continue working on derivative versions of the Mégane, for example, because that’s a terrific car and excellent for us. But we also need specific models only for Renaultsport. We have started working on that; we’re thinking of small volumes, where there are good business models.”
Foucher mentioned that Renaultsport could have upto three models of its own. However, the first model will be a mid-engined convertible, but unlike the DeZir concept, will most likely not be an electric vehicle.
Actual technical details are just speculation at the moment, but we will keep you posted as more details emerge.