You can’t build a truly great car without an exceptional engine. Powertrain is the heart and soul of every vehicle on the road; it’s the mechanical equivalent of life. Without propulsion systems cars are little more than expensive, over-engineered pieces of yard art.
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When it was initially unveiled, the BMW i8 made a splash. Its striking design and interesting drivetrain piqued interest, but after a detail drought people seem to have forgotten about the Bimmer concept in favor of more tangible fodder.
Nonetheless, it’s hard to believe that people won’t be instantly as hungry the second more information emerges. Most recently, former senior designer at BMW Design Works, Sonny Lim, tried his hand at rendering what the finished product might look like.
We also knew its life on the production line would be very short. Now, after just one year of production, BMW has stopped taking orders of this ultra special 1-series. The factory will now just fulfill the orders already placed, and it plans to have all of those ready by this summer.
So if you have one, cherish it and look after it; because rare cars that drive well will always have an enthusiast following and will command big money in years to come.
Considering BMW’s next small car will be called a 2-series, this might go down in history as the only M-car based on a 1-series, and is every bit as special as the original M1 supercar of 1978.
However, every cloud has a silver lining. The fabulous 3.0-liter, twin-power, straight-six cylinder engine that produces 335-hp, lives on in the Z4 sDrive35is.
So if you’ve been wanting a new 1M, either start looking around to see if any dealer still has one lying around, or buy a used one before prices start climbing up. We will miss this little rocket ship, and we hope the next small M-car can live up to the standards set by this car.
[Source: Car & Driver]
Don’t rush to get a manual-transmission Porsche 911 yet, but it seems production of the seven-speed sports car might be limited to the next eight years.
Michael Schätzle, project manager of the new 911, said so in an interview with Automobile, citing sales figures that say 78 percent of the seventh-generation 911 sold with the PDK dual-clutch automatic. It’s a fact that might make driving purists cringe, but transmissions like Porsche’s PDK offer faster, more efficient shifts and consequently improved forward propulsion potential and efficiency.
The 2012 911 actually got a seven-speed manual, as mentioned above, which is a departure from the majority of cars being sold today. Instead it’s more common to see something along the lines of Mercedes-Benz‘ seven-speed automatic or Porsche’s PDK in high-end cars. Nonetheless, the company will offer a manual for the better part of the coming decade, if not longer.
It’s tough to see exactly what else will be available that far in the future, but easy to imagine feeling just as disappointed at not being able to throw a stick around during a 3-2 downshift and feeling the rear tires’ grip melt away.
As for that murky future, Schätzle told Automobile that Porsche is interested in looking at a 9-speed PDK for future models, though such extra gears will require a re-engineered transmission.
Schätzle also said the views he was expressing were his own, not those of Porsche. He also said that even if manuals are forgotten in the 911, they would likely remain on less expensive models.
GALLERY: 2012 Porsche 911
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:
The Cadillac CTS coupe might be the newest American sports coupe on the market, but that doesn’t mean the engineers are now sitting idly by.
According to latest industry news, GM engineers are already designing the 2015-model CTS coupe, which will be based on their new ATS small-car chassis. The move to this platform will enable GM to build a convertible version without having to lose too much structural rigidity.
The new Alpha-platform will be able to accommodate different lengths for the wheelbase. Insiders suggest that the next CTS coupe will get the longest wheelbase on this platform. The next Camaro will also get this platform but with a shorter wheelbase, and the ATS sedan will be shorter still.
Reports also suggest that the next CTS sedan will have its own platform, and chances are the wagon variant will get killed off - much to the dismay of auto writers everywhere.
[Source: Motor Trend]
Hyundai has yet another SEMA car, this time in the form of a hotted up Genesis Coupe. While the car is undoubtedly a show car, a Gogogear car is slated to run in the U.S Touring Car Championship, a sanctioned sports car class overseen by the National Auto Sports Association.
Nobody would ever confuse this car, with a full interior and heavy, gloss black rims for a race car, the car’s powertrain stays pretty close to stock, with a bolt on intake and exhaust, while the the suspension has been heavily overworked with ARK shocks, springs and coilover sleeves as well as QA1 bearings. Stoptech brakes and Earl’s oil lines and associated fittings help the car achieve 1.4 lateral G’s during cornering, and keep oil flowing to the engine under these conditions.
Many may scratch their heads at the “mild” nature of the engine mods, but in many sanctioned racing series, these are tightly restricted, while chassis tweaks are where many cars make up their speed. We’re happy to see Gogogear take this approach, rather than the dreadful “Import2NR” style that still exists in the sport compact community.