AutoGuide News Blog
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.
With Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmamnn desiring a third vehicle for his company’s product lineup, the Lamborghini Estoque appears to have been given the go-ahead rather than the obvious choice of an SUV.
Although Lamborghini pioneered the exotic SUV segment with its outlandish LM002, the company will forge ahead with the Estoque, after Audi decided to approve its ultra-luxury A9 4-door coupe. The Estoque will hopefully double sales for Lamborghini and increases revenues for the brand, allowing them greater independence from parent companies Audi and Volkswagen. Expect Lamborghini’s V10 and V12 engines, as well as all-wheel-drive, to make an appearance.
While prototype units of the Lexus LF-A have been in production for over a year, the first units destined for retail customers began rolling off the line at the company’s facility in Toyota City, Japan.
With 15,000 parts assembled largely by hand, an LF-A requires 170 people to be produced. Every step of the assembly process is logged, with a 3,500 page journal assigned to each car at the end of the assembly process. Of that, roughly 300 pages are dedicated to the manufacturing process. The journal is kept for posterity and will be used for reference should the car’s owner make an inquiry. Every step of purchasing an LF-A, from the build process to the ownership experience is sure to be superlative – just like it’s $375,000 price tag. We’d settle for an hour behind the wheel.
[Source: Motor Authority]
While North Americans (and perhaps international automotive enthusiasts) were enjoying SEMA, Anderson Germany unleashed their own showstopper, the Race Edition Audi R8 V10. Not only does Anderson Germany’s Audi R8 V10 truly look like a race-inspired beast, but the collection of carbon fiber goods found on it are astonishing and perfectly fitting for Audi’s supercar.
There’s no denying how aggressive and exotic the R8 looks from the factory, but just the addition of Anderson Germany’s front carbon fiber apron transforms the exterior to something menacing and beautiful. In addition to the front apron, the rear spoiler, rear diffuser and mirror housings are replaced with carbon fiber counterparts.
Equally stunning are the staggered 19×8.5- and 19×11-inch one-piece wheels sporting a carbon coating with an orange pinstripe. Matching the new race-inspired look is a new power output of 577-hp, a significant increase over the factory’s 518-hp. This is achieved thanks to a reprogrammed ECU, high-flow air filter and lightweight exhaust system. Anderson Germany claims that their exhaust is 37-lbs less than the factory unit.
GALLERY: Anderson Germany Audi R8 10 Race Edition
This exclusive version would have some stiff competition from the “base” Esprit – said to be powered by the 5.0L V8 from the Lexus IS-F. Lotus cars in the past have used engines taken from more pedestrian cars like compact Fords, Renaults and Toyotas. The shift to serious high-performance engines comes as CEO Dany Bahar seeks to move Lotus from being a niche sports car maker into a legitimate rival to companies like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Aston Martin.
Since the Esprit is likely to cost far less than the LFA’s $375,000 sticker price, the theoretical V10 Esprit could be the cheapest way to get a bit of that Formula 1-inspired magic. We’ll know more when the car is unveiled at the 2010 Paris Auto Show.
[Source: Inside Line]
Rather than wait for his parents to buy him a car for his 18th birthday, Denislav Shishev from Bulgaria took matters into his own hands by taking a wrecked BMW Z3 M coupe and transforming it into the above vehicle with help from his friends.
To begin, the ambitious 18 year old and his friends took the car to a chassis shop to straighten everything out. From there the fun began with transplanting the 5.0L V10 motor found in the current generation E60 M5. Obviously this isn’t a straight drop-in swap, so Shishev and his boys went to the custom fabrication department modifying everything including the transmission tunnel to ensure everything was done properly the first time.
From there the chassis was reinforced and stiffened with a custom cage that was welded in. After all the fabrication work was done, the chassis was powdercoated a fresh coat of white and then the car was transported for the exterior work. Most of us would be happy there, but Shishev had plenty more up his sleeve.
Once the exterior body parts were installed, including a vented hood, the vehicle received the widebody treatment. And what we really dig about this widebody is that it isn’t too excessive at all and actually flows with the natural bodylines of the vehicle. It’s very nicely executed without going overboard.
The custom paint scheme was then laid down and your usual alignment and dyno tuning was performed as the finishing touches. And if that wasn’t cool enough, Denislav has also built himself an E30 sporting the V8 from an E39 M5.
GALLERY: V10-Powered BMW Z3
Full gallery available after the break.
The sole commercial for the Lexus LFA shows the $375,000 supercar doing a seemingly impossible feat; shattering a champagne flute with its engine note. Watching the special “behind the scenes” video put together by Lexus makes it a lot more believable; a physics professor from the University of Southern California was brought in to help calculate the various frequencies required from the engine, and what size and thickness of glass would break in an appropriate manner (seriously). The man behind the wheel is famous racing driver and commentator Scott Pruett, and he gets the pleasure of running the LFA up and down through the gears in its quest for champagne-glass-carnage. The one question we have is, “how the hell did Lexus get a dyno installed in the middle of an empty warehouse?” Hit the jump for some of these answers, and more awesome LFA footage.
Inside Line put in a few calls to Toyota, and discovered that by some kind of numerical wizardry that rivals Enron accounting practices, there are still cars for sale, specifically in the United States.
“As a result of additional allocation being dedicated to the U.S. market, some production spots still remain for the LF-A supercar’s 500-unit global build. Prospective buyers may register their inquiries directly with any Lexus dealer or call (866) LFA-4794 or (866) 532-4794,” the unidentified Lexus rep told Inside Line.
The erroneous reports of a sold-out production run came after trade journal Automotive News reported another Toyota official as saying “customer response has exceeded the number of available cars [and] it is possible that not all customers who expressed interest will have an opportunity to order [an LFA].”
[Source: Inside Line]
R8 gets 5.2L Lambo V10… finally
After over a year of speculation, Audi has finally confirmed it will build a V10-powered R8. The engine, as expected, will be donated from the Lamborghini LP560. It will, however, be somewhat less powerful when shoehorned into the German Gallardo. With 525hp and 391 ft-lbs of torque, the numbers are certainly impressive although not quite the 552hp and 398 ft-lbs found in the LP560.
Audi claims the V-10-powered R8 will rocket to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 196 mph.
Despite the larger engine the V10 R8 will weight just 68 lbs more than the standard model for a total of 3,571 lbs. This engine will feature direct injection as well as a dry-sump lubrication system. Audi also plans to use this engine (with only minor changes) in it’s R8 GT3 race cars starting in 2009.
Highlights include 19-inch wheels, composite brakes, launch control and larger sideblades to feed the V10 engine.