Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quick Spin: Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione proves beauty is only skin deep

The 8C has been around long enough that you already know what matters. It's stunning, perfectly proportioned and should only be available in one color: Competition Red. Beneath its achingly gorgeous carbon fiber exterior you'll find the same platform that underpins the Maserati Gran Turismo, along with a dry-sump 4.7-liter V8 hand assembled by Ferrari. A six-speed sequential gearbox channels the bent eight's 450 horsepower (at 7,000 RPM) and 354 pound-feet of torque (at 4,750 RPM) to a limited slip differential nestled between the rear wheels, delivering a claimed 0-60 MPH sprint of 4.2 seconds and a top speed over 180 MPH.

Rendered Speculation: Ferrari 458 "Scuderia"

The new Ferrari 458 Italia isn't even out on the street yet, but already the automotive rumormill is churning out speculation over a potential Scuderia version. When outlining the roll-out of upcoming Ferrari models for the near future, Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa dismissed any such speculation as premature, but that's not going to stop some. Hence the rendering you see above, courtesy of user DJ at Teamspeed.com.

Since this can of worms has already been opened, the first thing we can say is that, while Maranello will in all likelihood produce a lightweight, slightly more powerful version of the new 458, it's probably several years away. The Italia is already expected to eclipse any previous benchmarks set by previous "volume" Ferrari road cars. And when it does, it almost certainly will not be called Scuderia – based on the 360 Challenge Stradale and the 430 Scuderia, it appears Maranello's keen on changing up the naming scheme with each new model. One board member suggested 458 Tifoso in tribute to Prancing Horse's dedicated legions of fans, but whatever name Ferrari decides on, and whenever it makes its way into the limelight, expect the supercar to drop a little weight, gain a little power and wipe the smirk off of any competitor's mug.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Now We've Seen it All: Pink Audi R8 in Holland

Just when you felt life was getting a little bit boring, along comes this piece of literal Dutch eye candy to remind you that many people are crazy. Yes sir, that's an Audi R8. Yes sir, someone painted it pink. But not just pink – light candy pink with darker pink blades. Now, let's say for a second that the carbon fiber blades are actually baked pink plastic. That would be kinda OK in our book. However, since they are obviously nothing but regular carbon fiber painted pink, we're against them. Moreover, they look slightly purple. And pink and purple simply do not match.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ferrari California gets the Hamann treatment

Like their ever-tuning counterparts Edo Competition, Hamann Motorsport have got their hands on a 2010 Ferrari California and are working on an aftermarket program for the folding hardtop sportscar. Among the performance parts on the way are new exhaust system and a revised engine management program that the company says yields a 20% gain in horsepower from the 4.3-liter V8.

Until then, California owners can opt for Hamann's aerodynamic kit that makes extensive use of carbon fiber. The complete kit consists of a new hood, front spoiler, side skirts, a three-part rear diffuser, and a small rear wing. Other available components include Hamann's lightweight forged wheels and a range of interior accessories.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Frankfurt 2009: Lamborghini Reventon Roadster is bonkers

Here's all you need to know about the Lamborghini Reventon Roadster. You have a one in five-hundred million chance of being killed by a meteor, and a one in seven-hundred million chance of owning a Reventon Roadster. Any questions? And yeah, it costs more than $2 million dollars and Lambo's making "less than 20," though we imagine if a couple more gazillionaires pony up €1.1 -- especially in cash and/or gold doubloons -- they'd spit out a few more.

The Reventon Roadster looks even more like a tangram set pumped up on growth hormones than the hardtop. And while the crazy, hard-edged angularism might not be for everyone, it's hard to do much but smile when you're standing next to it. And really, besides the price, the only possible thing to complain about is the fact that you can't get the 661 hp Reventon Roadster with a manual: it's e-gear only. But seriously, you'd be better off worrying about getting killed five times in a row by a shark. No, really

Frankfurt 2009: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is intended to redress the awkwardness – and low volumes – of the McLaren Mercedes SLR. Based on a first look at it, the supercoupe's chances are very good. That door handle is down by one's shins, but overcome that low hurdle and the reward is a cozy trip to the Sixties with millennial ergonomics.

We're not big on the SLS, (too retro for our tastes), but one cant argue with 571Hp and all of that torque...

Frankfurt 2009: Ferrari 458 Italia

Still not convinced that the 458 Italia is Ferrari's most beautifully-designed coupe ever? Perhaps these shots from Frankfurt will help you see the light.

As you can see, it doesnt matter if the 458 comes in red or yellow, it is gorgeous from every angle.

Even though it arrives in showrooms this Fall, dont expect to get your hands on a 458 Italia for at least another 2 years unless you are a previous Ferrari customer that has ordered directly from the factory OR you're a member of the Carlyle Motor Club. Sign up today!

Frankfurt 2009: Aston Martin Rapide comes good - finally

The production version of the 4-door Aston Martin Rapide concept unveiled at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show certainly has the looks department locked down. A few concessions have been made in the three-year run to production readiness, including bigger side-view mirrors and a less tapered roofline to offer more interior space – especially for the rear passengers.

But those few details – which promise to make the car more usable and, dare we say, practical – hardly detract from the car's beauty. But don't take our word for it.

Frankfurt 2009: Audi R8 V10 Spyder

Feast your eyes on the all-new Audi R8 V10 Spyder. Rumored to get up to 17mpg, this convertible iteration of the famed R8 coupe has had people clamoring to get themselves on our waiting list here at Carlyle Motor Club.

Check out these photos from the Frankfurt Auto Show currently in progress.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Frankfurt 2009: Audi S5 Sportback unveiled. No, you can't have this one, either.

If you're annoyed that the Audi A5 Sportback isn't going to be made available in the U.S., you might as well stop reading now, because this will probably be upsetting to you, especially you Shawn Forbes. Audi has just formally announced the S5 Sportback, which, as you likely gathered, kicks things up with the blown 3.0L V6 that's standard kit in the S4, available in the A6, and will shortly replace the V8 as the motivator under the S5 coupe's hood. Quattro is standard, as is the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch gearbox; a sport differential can be added at extra cost.

Other standard S-car bits include the metallic-finished mirrors, quad pipes, snazzy S-design wheels (dubs are optional), and polished vertical grille slats. Basically, it's the S5 with two extra doors and a hatchback. It's probably a blast to drive, and it demonstrates that you can turn a standard model into a sporty hatch without going all Crosstour.

Power from the six is 333 horses and 324 lb-ft – good for a 5.4-second run to 62 mph (100 km/h) and an electro-nannied 155-mph top end. Audi says that the powertrain's good a smidge over 24 mpg – with whose grandmother behind the wheel, we have no idea. Inside? You know the deal – it's nice. Starting price when it lands in Deutschland Audi stores this spring will be €57,900, demonstrating that sensible fun doesn't necessarily come on the cheap.

VIDEO: Bugatti offers up promotional video on Galibier concept sedan

We've seen the pics; we've read the details. Now, it's time for video, and Bugatti seems to have released exactly what we're looking for. The looks of the French supercar maker's Galibier concept are nothing if not striking and controversial, but at the level Bugatti's playing at those descriptors are certainly vastly preferable to boring and staid.

Bugatti says the Galibier's unique dark carbon fiber skin shines blue when illuminated, and you can see that effect much better on video than with static images. Pay special attention to the hood, which features twin side-by-side portals to access the front-mounted, ethanol-burning W16 engine. We could do without the breathless narrator, but as promotional material, we've come to expect nothing less.

Breaking News: The all-NEW Bugatti 4-Door Breaks Cover!

After months of speculation, Bugatti has finally pulled the wraps off its new four-door supercar concept just ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show at an event for past customers and Bugatti-intenders. Up to this point, we've been referring to the French uber-sedan as the Bordeaux, but it seems the actual car's moniker will be Galibier – the name of a difficult Apline pass along the Tour de France.

One of the Galibier's most striking features is undoubtedly its two-tone outer shell, which is comprised of both polished aluminum for the doors and front fenders and a unique dark blue carbon fiber weave that shines through when illuminated. We also note a prominent center spine that recalls past Bugattis like the Type 35 and the classically beautiful Type 57.

Powering the Galibier concept will be a version of Bugatti's ridiculously powerful eight-liter W16 powerplant. Unlike the mill propelling the Veyron to ludicrous speed, this version is mounted up front and is capable of running on ethanol fuel, which may or may not allow the automaker to squeeze a few more ponies out of the engine... not that it needs it, of course.

Current reports peg the Galibier's top speed at 217 miles per hour (350 kilometers per hour), which, while slower than the Veyron's epic terminal velocity, is certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The $875,000 Mercedes Benz E-Class

Among the more intricate of Brabus' creations is this, the E V12 "Black Baron." Based on the latest E-Class, the dark lord is refitted with a twin turbo, 6.3-liter V12 with 800 hp and an electronically-limited 811 lb-ft (even though the engine actually produces 1,047 lb-ft), a ram-air system and a tuned ECU.

Underneath is a fully-adjustable suspension and much bigger brakes and tires. To reach the car's electronically-limited 217 mph top speed, the car's aerodynamics have been improved at the obvious expense of the car's looks. Unless, of course, you think those wheel spats look good. We don't. If you need to go faster, the car is estimated to be able to hit 230 mph sans the electro-nanny. And it still gets 15 mpg.

There will only be ten of them made, and a single example will require you to hand over €600,000 ($875,000 USD).

Mansory Bentley Vitesse Rose isn't really all that rosy

As a testament to its range, the same company that brought you the evil blackness of the Vincero would like you to focus your attention here, on the Bentley Vitesse Rose. The full-on Mansory kit itself is fine. The pink-a-licious color its draped in, matched with the carbon fiber hood, is best digested before you eat solid food. And wait until you see the inside: a color combination we don't think you'll be seeing from the Series 51 program comprising diamond stitched pink and purple leather.

Depending on your take, you might be gratified that Mansory only plans to build three of them. If you want to be one of those... proud... owners, then call Mansory and have a check ready for €269,000. The rest of you can check out the roseate goodness.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Koenigsegg Trevita Special Edition shows us a diamond finish

Koenigsegg Trevita is the latest creation from the Swedish manufacturer, another special edition for the spectacular supercar. According to the manufacturer Trevita is actually an abbreviation in Swedish and translates into ‘three wites’. It comes with this name because when sunlight hits the car, it sparkles like millions of silvery white diamonds infused inside the visible carbon fiber weave bodywork.

As Koenigsegg always strives to create new unique technologies and solutions, we have now reached a new milestone -The Koenigsegg Proprietary Diamond Weave.By utilising a new and unique method, Koenigsegg has managed to coat fibers with a diamond finish.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lamborghini Reventón roadster images leak ahead of Frankfurt

Looks like it'll be an all-out supercar showdown next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show. In addition to theMcLaren MP4-12C and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG – not to mention the Ferrari 458 Italia – Lamborghini will reportedly be showing off the roadster version of its million-plus dollar Reventón.

Sporting the same stealth fighter-inspired angular bodywork as the standard Reventón that was unveiled two years ago at the same auto show, the new topless Lambo will reportedly make use of its all-wheel drive system to help the run to 60 in just 3.4 seconds. Top speed is expected to be well over 200 miles per hour, as you'd expect from an Italian supercar with a mid-mounted 650-horsepower V12 powerplant.