Friday, August 28, 2009

Golden Audi R8 super car: It’s a gold rush in Dubai

Seems like it’s a gold rush in Dubai! While everything has turned plastic in California and elsewhere in the world, Dubai can afford the glitzy nod to hark back to the gold rush era. It surely comes as no surprise to spot a golden Audi R8 super car in, you know where. There’s all sorts of flashy stuff out there in Dubai that all eyes and radar can detect, but what sets this Audi apart form others is its stealth-like matte finish. The new monochromatic finish definitely calls for extensive staring at the vehicle. That’s a tantalizing blend of making us believe that such things do exist and I’ve been thinking a lot (lately) how it feeds on extravagant fantasy.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ferrari 458 Italia: Maranello releases more details, pics and video footage

The Frankfurt Motor Show is fast approaching, but rather than hit the brakes as they would for an approaching corner, Ferrari is pulling out all the stops. In gearing up to unveil their new 458 Italia at the show next month, Ferrari is giving us a little more each week. We've already seen the first batch of shots, downloaded the ringtone and heard the company's brand and technical directors talk about the car; now Maranello has released an additional video of Paolo Pininfarina of the eponymous design studio talk about the car's styling.

Alligator-themed Ferrari 430 is for croc lovers

“So, you have a Ferrari, I own a Porsche too.” For those uber-rich socialites who desire to stand out amongst their elite circles, personalization is becoming a big differentiation. It’s just a question of how far you can take it. If a gold touch is too blingy for your taste like this Golden Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, then this Ferrari F430 with plush crocodile leather interiors can never go wrong. The entire interior from the dashboard to even the roll bars have been decked up in crocodile leather. No word on who this discerning car owner is or who is responsible for this tasteful customization, but if Hermes is ever to take a plunge in to customizing autos, this is what we expect from them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Frankfurt 2009 Preview: Maserati GranCabrio unveiled!

After what seems like years of eager anticipation, and with the weeks ticking down until the Frankfurt Motor Show, Maserati has finally unveiled its long-awaited convertible model. With the Maserati GranCabrio, it looks like the Italian automaker has done a beautiful job of translating the Pininfarina-designed GranTurismo into an open-top machine.

The questions on all our minds as we saw an endless stream of heavily-disguised test mules were whether the new convertible would have a fabric or metal roof, retain its four seats or sacrifice the back row (like its predecessor, the Spyder), and which engine would be found under that long hood.

Now we've got our answers. Unlike the Ferrari California, the GranCabrio features a cloth roof that deploys over the four-place passenger compartment, saving both weight and space. In fact, it's the first four-seat convertible in the company's history, and boasts what Maserati says is the longest wheelbase on the market. The Trident marque has also chosen to fit the convertible with the 4.7-liter 433-hp V8 from the GranTurismo S, bypassing the base 4.2-liter unit and mating it to the highly-rated ZF six-speed automatic. The new Maser's public debut is scheduled for the Frankfurt show next month.

Will Dubai Drivers Wear Gucci Seatbelts?

Like the United States, the United Arab Emirates, wants to encourage young drivers to wear their seatbelts. But the UAE has a unique approach to their nationwide safety campaign. Instead of an ad campaign and the fear of tickets they are creating the Fashionable Seatbelt campaign which will be launched after Ramadan. Seatbelts will be covered with images of the national flag, sports logos and logos of fashion houses like Gucci. Figures from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi say that only 11 percent of Emiratis wear their seatbelts. Designers will be invited to submit ideas for the seatbelts and the plan is to eventually have the color of your seatbelt as something that is chosen when you pick out your car. It seems like an interesting idea but knowing how notoriously litigious Gucci and other luxury brands are when it comes to protecting their intellectual property, I think that the campaign might have a tough time using the fashion logos.

Aston Martin One-77: The 2nd most expensive car in the world proves its worth it

£1.25 million. That's Brit-speak for $1,800,000, give or take. A staggering amount of money. More than a Bugatti Veyron, more than a Lamborghini Reventón. Quite simply the most expensive new car, well, ever. Er, well, it would have been if not for the $2.2 million Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport. And for what? Before last night, we would have said nearly two million smackeroos gets you a widened DB9 with a large 7.3-liter V-12. Yes, there will be only seventy-seven hand built Aston Martin One-77s made, but so what? That's just way too much lucre, filthy or otherwise.

As for power, Aston Martin was a little light on details, but here's what we got out of them. The engine was just dyno'd in England at 740 crank horsepower. That's not the official number, as final tuning hasn't happened, but for a naturally aspirated mill, yowza. As for torque, we couldn't get a straight answer besides the usual British "adequate" refrain, but we did sneak a peak at some documentation sitting off in a corner and it said 553 lb-ft of the stuff. That's as much as a VW twin-turbo TDI V10 – the same motor Clarkson used to tow a 747. Keep in mind that this document stated the horsepower at 700, not the 740 hp they just spun on the dyno. For comparison's sake, the 6.5-liter V12 in the Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVelocemakes "just" 487 lb-ft of twist. And the ragingist of all bulls hits 60 mph in 3.0 seconds. Translation: the One-77 is going to be a monster.

REPORT: TMZ, KABC erroneously link tuner's custom Benz to VH1 murder case

As has been extensively reported, VH1 "Megan Wants a Millionaire" reality show contestant Ryan Jenkins had been charged with murdering his wife, Jasmine Fiore. That is of course until he was found dead yesterday apparently the victim of his own hand. As the news story spread, celebrity gossip site TMZ reported that Jasmine Fiore's "2007 white Mercedes, with very large black rims (24") and a black roof" could contain crucial clues to the case.

To illustrate the car, TMZ
didn't use a picture of Fiore's Mercedes, however. The ever-careful gossip mongers instead used a picture of tuner R.J. DeVera's Brabus CLS, shod with his own RO-JA wheels. Then KABC-TV Los Angeles ran with the story as well -- apparently without fact-checking TMZ's photo source. The network ran a photo of R.J.'s CLS as well -- the same car you can see on R.J.'s Facebook and MySpace pages. GT Channel's Taro Koki saw what happened and documented it all, including screenshots of both TMZ's original post and from the KABC Eyewitness News broadcast that subsequently reused the photo of DeVera's car. It looks as if DeVera's going to have a hard time going anywhere in his Mercedes, since driving the car that's been plastered all over the news related to a murder case is no way to spend a couple of weeks in August.

Friday, August 21, 2009

2010 Jaguar XJ makes its North American debut

Behold the all new 2010 Jaguar XJ as it makes its North American debut at Pebble Beach. Although we here at Carlyle Motor Club were snubbed on the invitation by the organizers of this event, we're sure it was just a slight oversight on one of the "higher-ups" part.

But we digress, as we've told you from our first encounter with the car a month ago, the new 2010 Jaguar XJ will be available in regular or extended wheelbase form, with one of three variations of the company's direct-injected 5.0 liter V8 underhood. The base models get a 385-horsepower normally-aspirated version; the XJ Supercharged gets boosted to 470 hp; and the top-of-the-line Supersport gets the XFR's 510-hp mill. Prices will range from a base of $72,500 to $115,000, making this one dear kitty. No matter the price, it's one striking sedan, and we can't wait to get some seat time soon.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Video: 2010 Range Rover Supercharged vs. 2009 Range Rover Supercharged

Ok, so apparently some of the followers of the Carlyle blog thought we the writers were kidding around when we wrote that the new 2010 Range Rover Supercharged is significantly quicker than it's predecessor. Though the doubts were limited in scope, we decided to post the video above as uncategorical proof that the new Rover is an absolute beast.

Again, horsepower in the supercharged version has been increased to 503hp. That's 29% more horses than the model it replaces.

We currently are expecting 2 models to arrive late September. We strongly recommend you contact us today to be placed on the waiting list. Carlyle Motor Club is the ONLY leasing company in the US to offer the new 2010 Range Rover Supercharged with absolutely NO CREDIT CHECK. Call us (888) 804-7852

Transformers "Barricade" Saleen Mustang sold at auction for $36,000

For better or worse, not all of us can be Sam Witwicky, swapping spit with Megan Fox and attempting to foil galactic evil robots taking the form of common automobiles. But then, there's nothing common about this particular automobile. It's the actual Saleen Mustang that played the part of Barricade from the firstTransformers movie. And one lucky collector just got his hands on it.

One of only three made, this 2005 Mustang was built specially by Saleen and further outfitted by the props gurus at DreamWorks SKG for the film. The car started life as a Saleen S281 Extreme, with a 4.6-liter V8 and five-speed shifter, before being turned into the rolling Decepticon, for which the studio added a push bar, emergency light kit, white doors and decals aplenty. With only 4,550 miles on the odometer, minimal wear and tear, and unsurpassed bragging rights, bidding started on the Barricade Saleen at $1000 and the car sold at $36k – a far cry from the $100,000 - $300,000 declared estimated value, but still a fair few pennies more than the
Bumblebee edition Camaro.

Wales produces exceptionally graphic, educational film about the dangers of texting while driving

Alright, texting while driving? Obviously stupid -- but that doesn't stop tons and tons of people from doing it. The Gwent Police department in Wales hopes that its newest PSA film will help deter this bad behavior. In much the same spirit as the drunk driving on prom night films we ourselves had to sit thorough in high school, this film is pretty graphic. Okay, it's actually shockingly graphic -- but we're pretty sure that's the idea.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Introducing the Bentley Mulsanne. The official Rolls Royce Phantom-killer

It's an all-new Bentley, it's called the Mulsanne, and it's a vehicle that more than a few auto aficionados have been waiting for. Introduced this afternoon at Pebble Beach, the Mulsanne is a clean sheet redesign of Bentley's ever-enduring flagship and according to Bentley CEO Franz-Josef Paefgen, when they sat down to figure out everything they wanted to change on the Arnage, by the time they were finished, nearly nothing remained.

The Mulsanne is about eleven inches longer than the Flying Spur and rides on a new, bespoke chassis that sits so low on its wheels you can barely get a finger between the top of the front tire and the wheel well. The swelling line of the rear-quarter panel is reminiscent of the Brooklands. However, we were told that since Bentley had a good idea of what the Mulsanne was going to be when they were designing the Brooklands, they incorporated features that became aesthetic stepping stones to the Mulsanne.

The headlight arrangement is an homage to the historic 8-liter Bentleys from the brand's pre-Rolls-Royce days, that had their smaller lamps mounted slightly outboard from the mains. The central headlight element is ringed by daytime-running-light LEDs – when you see the car coming at you, it'll be unmistakable. In back, the taillight treatment is Continental series, but if you step away, it doesn't look like a Continental at all; the mass is broken up by gentle curves and accent planes. And get a load of that C-pillar...

Inside, the overhaul continues. Gone are the mid-century ergonomics and design of the Arnage, replaced by a cabin that showcases chrome-accented dials and modern switchgear -- like a joystick controller for the screen – among a forest of wood. Oh, and a brand new steering wheel. Rolls Royce Phantom eat your heart out!

After marking its highly anticipated debut at Pebble Beach, it was straight off to the auction block for the all-new Bentley Mulsanne. Gooding opened the bids for Mulsanne #1 at $500,000, but after receiving no bids at that price, bidding quickly stepped down to $300k, only to climb back up to the half-million mark where it sold to an undisclosed collector over the phone.

Spyker C8 Aileron Spyder debuts

Spyker deals in the ultimate four-wheeled fashion accessories, so it's fitting that the automaker debuted its next-generation droptop – the C8 Aileron Spyder – to the primped and bedazzled throngs in Monterey.

Based off the all-new Aileron that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year (replacing the original C8 after a successful nine-year run), the Spyder version stays true to its predecessor with a frameless windshield and a flowing profile that doesn't disrupt the more angular, aircraft-inspired theme of the coupe.

The handcrafted Aileron features aircraft-inspired styling in a way its northern neighbor Saab can only dream of, with turbine-styled air scoops, Rotorblade wheels and little propellor emblems abound, all in a nod to Spyker's roots in early aviation. LEDs serve in the tail-lamps, front turning indicators and side repeaters, but it's inside where the attention to detail really shines. Upholstered in Royal Dutch Tannery Hulshof's quilted Litano leather available in 14 standard colors to compliment the 16 exterior tints and 8 soft-top choices, the cabin features a Chronoswiss dashboard and industry-first Kharma sound system, while an optional five-piece Louis Vuitton luggage set can be had for the trunk.

Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport "Sang Bleu" unveiled in Monterey

The "Sang Bleu" is set off by its unique two-tone color combination that isn't the result of opening a couple new cans of paint back at the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, France, but rather combining two materials: carbon fiber and aluminum. The shiny parts are, of course, the al-yoo-mini-um of which we spoke, but the royal blue you see is a specially tinted carbon fiber. The only other differences between the "Sang Bleu" and a normal Grand Sport are that the rear airscoops are also body color, and the wheels are a unique design with a Midnight Blue and Diamond Cut finish.

Only 20 standard Grand Sports have been ordered and far less actually delivered, so the "Sang Bleu" stands as the rarest Veyron of them all right now. There's only one and Bugatti doesn't mention anything about it going into limited production, but considering the brand's penchant for making special editions, we expect the "Sang Bleu" will be available for anyone with anyone with a couple million bucks to trade.

Carlyle Motor Club CEO Geoffrey Hull featured in September issue of Rides Magazine!

Rides Magazine has always held a special place in our hearts here at the Carlyle Motor Club. Subscribers of the premier urban car aficionado periodical were greeted with a special treat on page 36 of their September 2009 issue, our very own Geoffrey Hull!

The article discusses the unique opportunity Carlyle Motor Club offers those in need of leasing luxury vehicles without the hassle of credit checks. "Carlyle Motor Club [is] the nation's first company to offer high-end luxury automobile leases with no credit checks" writes Rides staff contributor Anslem Samuel.

The article goes on to talk about the viral marketing campaign we've initiated featuring Raekwon, Joe Budden, and Freekey Zekey. Lastly, the article finishes with the quote "What you're seeing is the beginning of world domination in the luxury car industry".

We'd like to thank the editors and writers at Rides Magazine, (specifically Anslem Samuel), for the write-up and we'd like to encourage all of the followers of this blog to pick up a copy (or 3) of Rides Magazine's September '09 issue.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Porsche Panamera makes North American debut

Here are some new real-life photos of the all-new 2010 Porsche Panamera. The jury is still out on the exterior styling, but we're pleasantly surprised with the beauty of the overall layout and finishes in the interior.

Early spy shots revealed a seemingly awkward center console. The following interior photo from this weekend shows a dash seamlessly integrated with the center console.

Needless to say, we here at Carlyle Motor Club are looking forward to our first shipment of Panameras (Panamerae?). Call today to be placed on our waiting list. (888) 804-7852

Video: A Corvette ZR1 Chases a Lamborghini LP670-SV

Check out this video of a Corvette ZR1 attempting to keep pace with the new Lamborghini LP670-SV. This really is an unbelievable video. First of all, you got two of the hottest cars in the world. Second, the Lambo should be a bit quicker than the ZR1, right? It has around 30 more horsepower, weighs about 60 pounds less and has AWD, allowing it to exit corners more quickly. Plus, the Lamborghini has a factory driver at the helm while the Corvette is being piloted by (gulp) an auto journalist. Only thing is, well... watch for yourself, after the jump. One more thing – not counting the "joke's on you, rich people!" Reventon, the LP670-4 SV is Lambo's most expensive vehicle and the ZR1 is (obviously) Chevy's. Can you imagine a race between the two brands' cheapest vehicles? Aveo vs. Gallardo LP560-4 strikes us as very funny.

Limited edition Morgan Aero SuperSports appears stateside

Another year, another boutique automaker showing off another limited edition morsel of automotive hotness at Gordon McCall's Motorworks Revival, aka The Jet Center Party. This time it happened to be Morgan, the century-old British anachronism-maker, showing off its new Aero SuperSports. It features the same aluminum chassis and BMW 4.8-liter V8, backed by your choice of a six-speed stick or automatic transmission.The difference here is the two piece top that can be removed and stowed in the boot

Only 200 of these 2010 Morgan Aero SuperSports are going to be sold and we've heard that 80 slots are already taken, for a paltry $187K apiece.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Custom Camouflage Ferrari 599 GTB

There seems to be something about the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano that induces those with more money than sense to customize them in ever more ridiculous ways. Last month we wrote about Fiat scionLapo Elkann's 599 with a custom denim interior. Now a desert camouflage version has been spotted on the famed Croisette in Cannes. Our first guess would be that this automotive confection hails from the UAE, where overkill exotics flourish in the desert heat and oil revenues. However it also calls to mind avant-garde Japanese Bathing Ape designer Nigo's camo Mercedes 300SL Gullwing - another aesthetic travesty, but fully in keeping with his modus operandi. Which doesn't mean you should try it at home.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Confirmed: "Phoenix" Trans Am conversion kit coming for Camaro

So... as of January 1, 2010, Pontiac is dead. Buried. Gone forever. No more. Obviously, something as pesky as death ain't going to stop hard core Trans Am fanatics from driving an (almost) honest to goodness 2010 Pontiac Trans Am and/or Firebird. Why? If you have to ask... you bring up a good point. Especially because when you get right down to it, the Trans Am was rarely anything other than a Chevy Camaro with different sheet metal.

Keeping that in mind, Trans Am Depot will be offering body kits that will transform (lowly) Camaros into full-on screamin' chicken Trans Ams! Based off Kevin Morgan's original design(s), the Phoenix Trans Am kits will be unveiled at the 2009 Trans Am Nationals. And then you'll have the chance to own a Trans Am that costs more than a Camaro but is just as fast. Hey – just sayin'.

VIDEO: Rolls Royce Ghost promo vid lands online

The Rolls-Royce Ghost aims to be the next great super lux, competing with storied marques like Bentley and Aston by offering both a sumptuous cabin and engaging driving dynamics. In pictures, the Ghost looks small by Rolls standards, yet it's seven inches larger than the BMW 7-Series, and with a 6.6-liter, twin-turbo V12 rated at 563 hp and 575 lb-ft, the Ghost can shuffle you to 60 in a scant 4.7 seconds.

Rolls-Royce has released a promotional video starring the great Ghost, and although it's a shameless love-letter penned by the Roller's engineer, the silky smooth Ghost looks as good in motion as it does in pictures, and anti-roll stabilization sounds way cooler with a British accent.

REPORT: Corvette C7 Coming in 2012 as a 2013 model

If you like Corvettes, this is going to make you smile. Fresh out of bankruptcy court, General Motors announced its two-year product plans for Chevy, Caddy, Buick and GMC. Included are go codes for the new C7 Corvette. The plan is to introduce the C7 in April of 2012 as a 2013 model -- a big improvement over the old plan to not reinvent the Corvette until 2014. Let's just state this up front -- almost nothing at all is known about the new Corvette. It appears as if plans for a mid-engine Corvette have been put aside. Like all Corvettes before it, the C7 will feature an engine up front driving the wheels out back. Other than that...

The rumors are that the C7 will be smaller and lighter than the current welterweight C6. There's talk of using more advanced materials like carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium as well as smaller engines. Calm down, calm down -- as the ZR1 showed us, less displacement doesn't always mean less power. Especially when a positive-displacement Roots-type supercharger's in the mix. There's chatter that the C7's design might be based on the Stingray Concept from the 2009 Chicago Auto Show, but we're hoping it's not. More details as they become available.

Hennessey Venom GT to debut at 2010 Geneva Motor Show

It's been two long years since John Hennessey announced plans to build his very own supercar, and we were beginning to wonder if it was ever going to happen. Apparently, Hennessey's plans are still a go as the Texas tuner just announced through its newsletter that the Venom GT will make its official public debut at the 2010Geneva Motor Show in March.

Since the initial press release, Hennessey has made a few changes to the car's proposed specs. Listed curb weight has dropped from 2700 to 2400 lbs and the engine is now a "Hennessey V8" rather than a twin-turbo Viper V10. Power rating is "up to 1,200 bhp" rather than the initially stated 1,000 and top speed has been listed as 272 mph. No matter what the final specifications, it sounds like the Venom GT will be sure to impress.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

VIDEO: Excellent Demo Of The Fully Virtual Dash Cluster And Other Toys On The New Jaguar XJ

Ahead of its official North American debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Jaguar gave us a look at the new XJ in San Francisco.The new XJ was designed by Ian Callum and is a radical change from the previous body style, which was little changed for 40 years. The newcar's look might tweak Jaguar purists, but the lines are modern. In some respects, it resembles the XF. The XJ will be Jaguar's flagship sedan, and the first launch under new owners Tata Motors. The new XJ features some impressive tech,its most over-the-top feature being a virtual instrument cluster.