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Sportiness is no Ghostly Apparition with the Wraith
Rolls-Royce is one of the most famous automakers in the world. This storied British brand is best known for building obscenely lavish cars, motoring vehicles that scream “expensive,” but in a well-mannered, genteel way.
Models like the Ghost sedan and Phantom flagship practically define the luxury segment. They’re decked out with features and materials not found in lesser vehicles, even from premium brands. But traditionally Rollers are all about comfort; “waftability” is something engineered right into these models from day one. They’re designed to transport passengers in total comfort and serenity.
In the past if you wanted a sporty luxury car you’d have to shop somewhere else. The folks at Mercedes-Benz would happily sell you an AMG-amplified model, or BMW would gladly entice you with their M cars. But sporty and Rolls-Royce were mutually exclusive, until now.
The folks at Mercedes-Benz introduced their brand-new S-Class flagship sedan earlier this year, which only means one thing: high-performance versions can’t be far behind.
BMW Individual Manufaktur is a unique up-fitting service offered by the German luxury automaker for customers that want more exclusivity and customization options than provided by a “standard” Bimmer. The company has been doing this for more than two decades. Additionally, their Individual Collection is another facet of this idea and their latest creation is the 760Li Sterling inspired by Robbe & Berking.
How do you make an already exhilarating car even more exciting? You give it a convertible roof so the driver and passengers can bask in all of nature’s glory. That’s just what the folks at Aston Martin have done with their awe-inspiring Vanquish, transforming it into the Vanquish Volante.
In ancient times fat was considered a sign of wealth, a symbol of prosperity, just like golden jewelry or owning slaves. Someone who had a little extra bulk was likely far better off than the starving peasants down the street. Today it’s just the opposite; fat is out. High-ticket items have become the modern way flaunting one’s success. Private jets, tea bags made from the Dead Sea Scrolls and of course high-end cars are all conspicuously consumed by well-off individuals.
One of the most prestigious autos on the market today is built like a Stradivarius, features a flying lady on its massive hood and is named after an allegedly non-existent phenomenon. The 2013 Rolls-Royce Ghost Extended Wheelbase is all that and much, much more.
Engines are headed to shed cylinders in all areas of the automotive future. Don’t believe it? Try asking McLaren executive Antony Sheriff.
Finally it’s been confirmed — Mercedes-Benz will build a G65 AMG, although the beast of an SUV won’t be coming to the U.S.
While a select few people might be disappointed with that news, it’s really not much of a loss. Owning one will cost €250,000, which translates to about $329,000, though that doesn’t necessarily reflect how much it would cost to buy here.
For that staggering price, you get a twin-turbo V12-powered off-road monster with 603 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque.
Not that it matters particularly because the car won’t be coming to us, but just like the rest of updated G-Class, the majority of updates occur in the cabin with tiny tweaks to the exterior.
Sporting those updates doesn’t detract from the boxy and unmistakably G-Class boxy exterior that looks as at home outside a mansion as on a safari. Even so, it’s hard not to look at the price tag and wonder how many people would spend that much given the competition at that price point.
For example, the same money offers you the choice of almost any ultra high-end brand: Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, not quite Maybach but hey we’re comparing it to a Mercedes.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz G-Class
10. BMW 750Li Hybrid: $2,641
This list, provided by Insure.com shows us the most expensive cars to insure. Whether they’re more likely to get into an accident because of their high-powered engines, more likely to be stolen, or they’re just expensive to make and maintain, these cars cost quite a lot to insure.
How can a hybrid cost so much to insure? When it’s aBMW 750Li Active Hybrid, which has a twin-turbo V8 and starts at $101,000 it’s easy to see why this big BMW lands in 10th place on the list.
Anticipation for the new Ferrari F620, successor to the 599, is mounting again thanks to a new YouTube video offering an early look at the veiled supercar.
If you haven’t been keeping up to speed, no pun intended, with the numbers surrounding this Italian road demon, revel in this: it’s powered by the FF’s 6.3-liter V12, pumping out more than 700 ponies. Though we can’t comment on exactly what the F620 is going to look like, it’s evident that the basic body characteristics will be the same as the 599 it will replace.
Even draped in black cloth meant to mask specific traits, it resembles a sprinter about to launch on a track. To watch some footage of the F620 out cruising click here. The video isn’t particularly inspirational, but it’s better than still photos. You also get to hear a healthy dose of the exhaust note, which is a scintillating experience for any fanboy.
We’ll bring you the full details during our coverage of the 2012 Geneva Auto Show starting March 6. And check out our spy pics below.
GALLERY: 2013 Ferrari F620
With the upcoming launch of the R8 GT Spyder at the Frankfurt auto show, Audi has recently released another video featuring its venerable sports car. The new promo video includes an extensive walk through of the high performance car, showcasing the exterior and interior. We also get to see the car in action on the track, and hear the amazing exhaust note.
Production is limited to only 333 units and the car sheds 187 lbs (compared to the standard Spyder) thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre, allowing it to achieve mind blistering acceleration. This Audi is capable of 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 317 km/h. The Spyder will be powered by a V12 5.2-liter FSI engine producing 560-hp. The transmission will be an automatic R-Tronic 6-speed. The car will cost a cool € 207 800 or $295 782.52 in USD. Apparently 90 units of the GT Coupe will arrive Stateside, so expect the same number for the Spyder version.
Check out the video after the jump!
This is it for SUV lovers, the piece de resistance. Bentley is working on a design and engineering project to launch a very high-end £150,000 SUV by 2014, according to CEO Wolfgang Durheimer.
Design chief Dirk van Braeckel and engineering boss Uli Eichhorn are spearheading the project with Durheimer to get the SUV ready.
“I have great faith in the SUV market and it’s here to stay” says Durheimer, who counts the launch of the Porsche Cayenne during his tenure at Weissach as “one of my proudest achievements”.
The Bentley SUV will have hallmark styling with luxury wood and leather interior that will place it above the Range Rover in terms of quality. Bentley’s launch will coincidentally overlap with Aston Martin’s Lagonda 4×4. Bentley is unsure of what platform to use but may lean towards utilizing a version of Volkswagen Group’s new MLB setup. Interestingly, Durheimer was a key figure in the early platform enginnering of the MLB while at Porsche.
Durheimer has suggested using a diesel engine for the SUV. The company may lean towards implementing the immense Audi V12 TDi, and Durheimer has suggested that 738 lb-ft of torque is a suitable amount of power. A gasoline powered W12 will also be available for markets where diesels aren’t as popular.
The go-ahead has not been given to start production on the SUV as Bentley is still waiting to hear from the VW Board. However the British automaker is confident that the project will be given the green light.
[Source: Auto Car]
The recently released Aston Martin V12 Zagato which was recently spied testing on the Nürburgring, has now been priced.
According to AutoWeek, Aston Martin will only build 150 examples of the V12 Zagato and the car will be priced at £330,000, or nearly $500,000 USD, twice the price of the high-performance DBS. It is also two and a half times the price of a V12 Vantage which the Zagato is based on. Some will think that is too much to pay but Aston will sell every last one of them.
Gallery: Aston Martin V12 Zagato
In this new 2012 Lamborghini Aventador “Quality” promo commercial, the Italian automaker takes the viewer inside the factory to show just how much thought and quality goes into designing and building the brand’s flagship super car.
The three minute in-depth video starts off by showing the designers sketches of the car, then it is transferred to the computer, then carbon fibre and aerodynamics are tested, and finally the engine is built. The different stages of design are thoroughly illustrated in the well filmed commercial. All in all, auto enthusiasts should definitely take a few minutes to check out this fantastic video.
The $379,700 supercar will replace the Murcielago and will be powered by a 700-hp 6.5-liter V12 engine. The Aventador will use a carbon fiber monocoque chasis, will come standard with an AWD system and feature a new 7-speed ISR single-clutch gearbox. The 3,500 lb sportscar will hit 62 mph in just 2.9 seconds.
Gallery: 2012 Lamborghini Aventador
Check out the video after the jump!
Aston Martin is preparing two V12 Zagato Concept vehicles for the 24-hour Nurburgring race this weekend.
The Zegato Concept was designed by Italian coachbuilder Zagato to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the DB4GT Zagato. The Zagato concept made it’s first appearance at the Concorso D’Eleganza at Villa D’Este in May and won the Design for Concepts and Prototypes.
The number 3 race car will be driven in the 24 hour race by Aston Martin CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez, the company’s Nürburgring Test Centre Director, Wolfgang Schuhbauer and automotive journalists Horst von Saurma and Matthew Marsh.
The number 5 race car will be driven by One-77 Chief Engineer Chris Porritt, sports car driver Oliver Mathai, automotive journalist Richard Meaden and amateur racer Peter Cate.
Unfortunately, the V12 Zagato will have a very limited production run with the next year, so very few people will get to climb behind the wheel. However, viewers can catch the the Zagato V12 in action this weekend!
Gallery: Aston Martin Zagato V12
The Aston Martin Rapide is partaking in a 24 hours endurance run on June 25 at Spring Mountain Motor Sports Ranch in Nevada. The Rapide will do the run simultaneously with Aston Martin’s participation in the Nürburgring 24-hour race in Europe. Aston Martin hopes to show to the public just how powerful and durable the four door sports coupe is, while raising money for charity.
The Rapide utilizes a hand-built 6.0-liter V12 producing 470-hp mated to a Touchtronic automatic gearbox. The car balances luxury, performance and function perfectly. The four sport seats will hold the occupants in tightly during corners and a 317 liter luggage compartment allows space for golf bags or suitcases.
Julian Jenkins, Vice President and General Manager of Aston Martin North America, said: “Since its launch, the Rapide has been popular with customers looking for an exclusive sports car with a combination of exhilarating performance, handcrafted style, and added four-door practicality. As well as raising money for Heart for Japan, this 24-hour initiative will give us an opportunity to showcase the endurance capabilities of the Rapide which in turn demonstrates its everyday usability and durability.”
Aston Martin is reportedly working on a Rapide S, which will be much faster than the current Rapide, via a heart transplant involving the DBS’s 510-hp engine. The current Rapide is by no means a slow car. Powered by a 6.0-liter V12 engine producing 470-hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, the Rapide is capable of 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds with a top speed of 188mph.
However the time has come to intoduce a much faster, sportier model. The Rapide S will also feature carbon-ceramic brake discs as standard and firmer suspension settings. The Rapide S will arrive later this year and will definetly feature a nice price bump.
Stay tuned for more info!
Discuss this story at AstonMartinForum.com