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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Special / Limited Edition

Another Pagani One-Off: The Zonda 750

On: Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 3:34PM | By: Chris Weiss


Another Pagani One-Off: The Zonda 750  test 1-1

Pagani is still in the process of testing and developing its next-generation, Zonda-replacing supercar: the C9. While that car continues to get snapped by stealthy photographers at tracks and roadways around the world, Pagani whiles away the days before its release, making the Zonda even more exclusive for wealthy customers. The blue Zonda HH was revealed back in August, and now word of the next one-off Zonda has made its way out. The Zonda 750 will be a purple model based on the Zonda Cinque hard-top.

There isn't a whole lot of information about the Zonda 750, but a half-hearted educated guess tells us that it will pack 750 horsepower. That means the Mercedes Benz  AMG 7.3-liter V12 used in the Cinque will be tuned up from its stock 678-hp and 575 lb-ft. That engine will likely be paired to the Cinque's paddle-controlled sequential six-speed transmission, but the gearbox could change, based upon the customer's preferences.

Debuted in 2008, the Zonda Cinque was Pagani's street-legal version of its Zonda R race car. The Cinque used a carbon-titanium chassis, as well as other titanium, carbon and magnesium components, to keep weight down to 2,670 lbs. That plus the big V12 engine powered the Cinque to 62 mph in 3.4 seconds and all the way up to 217 mph.


First Chance at 2011 Camaro Convertible Comes in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book

On: Thu, Oct 7, 2010 at 3:17PM | By: Chris Weiss


First Chance at 2011 Camaro Convertible Comes in Neiman Marcus Christmas Book  test 1-1

The Chevy Camaro Convertible will hit the market in the first quarter of next year with a base price of $30,000. That's for us regular muscle drop-top lovin' folks. If you happen to have the funds to be able to invest more than double in an exclusive Camaro SS Convertible, you'll be able to place your order in a few short weeks. Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, a unique holiday catalog for the wealthy, hard to buy for, and jaded will offer the market's first Camaro Convertible beginning later this month. Not only will Neiman customers get to be the first to order the convertible Camaro, they'll be treated to a model with luxurious accents inside and out.

The most compelling part about the limited edition Camaro SS Convertible is that it features a unique, Deep Bordeaux metallic paint that actually changes tint depending upon the light outside. Under low light conditions, it appears to be nearly black, but as it gets brighter outside, the car's deep red undertones begin to pop. "Ghosted" racing stripes help to bring the look home.

Inside, the model gets a variety of leather, Deep Bordeaux, and amber accents to separate it from those average Camaro SS Convertibles that will be hitting the masses next year. It features amber leather seats, black leather side panels, and red accents on the steering wheel and shifter.

Mechanically, the Neiman Marcus Camaro is indistinguishable from the regular Camaro SS Convertible. It features a 6.2-liter V8 engine worth up to 426 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. That powerplant can be paired with either a six-speed automatic or six-speed manual.


Auto Tuner Uwe Gemballa Found Dead in South Africa

On: Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 4:09PM | By: Chris Weiss


Auto Tuner Uwe Gemballa Found Dead in South Africa test 1-1

Those that follow all forms of automotive news on a daily basis probably remember that Uwe Gemballa, founder and owner of the Gemballa tuning house, disappeared in Africa back in early February. The company bearing his name briefly shut down in the spring, only to be reopened under a new corporate structure headed by Andreas Schwarz. Meanwhile, Uwe Gemballa has remained missing in action.

Well, Uwe Gemballa has been found, and as many probably feared, the worst has been realized. The German tuner was murdered.


Ford Focus ST Looks Like An Angry Bass, Goes Like A Fast Angry Bass

On: Wed, Sep 29, 2010 at 3:48PM | By: John Welch


Ford Focus ST Looks Like An Angry Bass, Goes Like A Fast Angry Bass test 1-1

Perhaps Ford would prefer I use the Piranha as my Focus design comparison fish of choice. Eh, sure, I see it, but I still like Bass better. Think "fast moving, bait swallowing small mouth Guy Harvey shirt" Bass. The aquatic resemblance aside, Ford is finally bestowing one of its turbo-fed hatches on us 'Murrikens, and it is hawt. With 247 bhp surging through the front wheels courtesy of a 2.0 liter EcoBoost mill, the Focus ST should be an enjoyable hatch, and hopefully a harbinger of things to come. RS-badged things. Evil, torque steering to the horizon, dirty noises from the exhaust Cosworthish things.

What we have to go on so far ain't much, but the media shots of the Focus ST and its interior remind us that this car has gone up-market. Way up-market when compared to the US-only, Mexican-built Focus we have been saddled with since 2002. Yes, it's undergone updates, but it is essentially the same Focus originally released eight years ago. That is nearly two normal product cycles for a mass-volume small-car such as this. Almost shameful. Ford knows it, they're using the Focus as a starting point for their global Performance Vehicles strategy. This strategy could result in Ford selling versions of all of their tasty, low-volume, turbo hatches in the States. The wheezy 170 bhp SVT Focus is currently wondering why no one remembers it ever existed . . .

Take a good long look at that interior, it is a thing of beauty. Expensive materials, less hard plastic than a $40,000 Taurus, engaging gauges, a stout shifter, seats that would feel at home in any Akira-style future-cartoon . . . huff huff . . . Lincolns haven't had interiors this nice since 1969. This isn't a new Town Car either, it’s a workaday Focus!

Ford has elevated the small car game with the new Focus ST, set to debut at the Paris Motor Show tomorrow, September 30th.


 

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: 997 Farewell Tour

On: Wed, Sep 22, 2010 at 12:08PM | By: John Welch


The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: 997 Farewell Tour test 1-1

The 996 Porsche 911 was considered by some to be a departure from the 911 norm. Not in a good way. The flat-six was water-cooled, total blasphemy to some, and the sinewy Coke bottle shape had lost its curves. To go with its newfound slab-sidedness, the 996 headlight came to a point, and the interior contained an amount of buttons unbecoming a Stuttgart thoroughbred. Porsche listened to its customers and addressed all of these issues (save the lack of air-cooling and the 'buttons' thing) in 2005, with the introduction of the 997 model 911.

A return to round headlamps, slippery curves, and a slimmer frontal area had Porsche loyalists rejoicing, and everyone else left slack-jawed. The new 911 was faster, sleeker, and much better looking, despite the radiators and the nav system. It has spawned countless variations and received thousands of improvements over its life cycle. Eventually no one will remember the annoying thumb controls that accompanied the first 997s to feature the PDK dual-clutch tranny. They will however recall the meteoric rise in horsepower that several models received, or the improved understeer control delivered by the Carrera and Turbo AWD variants.

The 997 is ancient by modern sports car cycle standards; though due to be replaced it isn't going down without a fight. The last three models added to the 997 line (so, that’s what, 85 variations now? Let's see what I can name off the top of my head: Carrera, CarreraS, Targa, Targa 4S, Carrera Cabriolet, GT3, GT3 RS, GT3 RSR, Turbo, Turbo Cabriolet, GT2, 911SC . . . I'm running out of space here . . . ) are all doozzies! The Speedster, the newest GT3 RS, and the GT2 RS are all the highest examples of the breed, all murderous in their intent. Hop inside the post for details on all three rear-engine menaces . . .


New Features of The 2011 Ford Raptor Pickup

On: Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 9:14AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


New Features of The 2011 Ford Raptor Pickup  test 1-1

Ford is adding some new features to the F-150 SVT Raptor SuperCrew that will make the already popular truck even more desirable, including the biggest change, which is the 4 full doors on the SuperCrew model.

The 6.2 liter V-8 engine will be standard in the 2011 model (while this year the V-8 is an option), with an output of 411 hp and 434 lb-ft of torque.     
The V-8 will also be featured in the Harley-Davidson F-150 and the F-Series Super Duty.  Ford has not made an announcement as of yet regarding the base price of the Raptor featuring the bigger V-8 engine, but in the 2010 model, the optional V-8 goes for an extra $3,000.

According to Kerry Baldori, chief engineer of the Raptor: “We spent a lot of time developing our desert durability test so that it’s very close to replicating the Baja 1000.” Baldori also stated: ‘’Desert testing proved to be a very quick way to learn about the reliability of the truck, and it put another level of extreme loads on the engine that our normal durability testing doesn’t need to cover.”

The current Raptor is available only in the SuperCab model with the rear half doors, the new SuperCrew body style that is being offered for 2011 models will provide much more space and comfort to passengers in the rear seats.


The 789 Chevy

On: Wed, Sep 1, 2010 at 9:36AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


The 789 Chevy test 1-1

Imagine a car that has all of the most attractive features from three different classic Chevy models such as the 1957 Bel Air, 1958 Impala, and the 1959 Chevrolet. Then wrap this contemporary body around a 2005-2007 Corvette C6 chassis. This is precisely what was done with a concept car called the 789!

This is a concept car built by n2a motors in limited edition—only approximately 100 vehicles will be available. The chassis is a Corvette C6 and the front of the vehicle is styled similar to the classic 57 Chevy BelAir, the side designed after the 58 Chevy, and the rear resembles the 59 Chevy, hence the name “789.”


1970 Oldsmobile Toronado GT RV-Conversion

On: Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 1:55PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


1970 Oldsmobile Toronado GT RV-Conversion  test 1-1

The most unique eBay find of the day is a 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado that was converted into a recreational vehicle—yes, a camper!  Believe it or not, the one-of-a-kind vehicle was actually designed and built as a factory project for a retired RV industry executive.

For those who doubt the feasibility of a Toronado-made-RV, be advised that GMC utilized the EXACT same platform in its “spaceship-shaped” motor home design, built from 1973 to 1978, as was used in the Oldsmobile Toronado. The design was radical for its day, with front-wheel drive, a low profile, and a fully integrated body.  

Motorhomes were built by recreational vehicle manufacturers on bare frames and drivetrains supplied by a chassis manufacturers.

The original GMC built motorhome had a front wheel drive transaxle used in the Oldsmobile Toronado and Cadillac Eldorado, with an Oldsmobile 455 cu. 7.5 liter V8 engine from the Toronado.

The final drive was connected directly to the transmission, and power was fed to the front wheels using half shafts that ran under the front portion of the engine.
The original GMC RVs often had luxury features common on upper models of GM brands such as cruise control, air conditioning, AM/FM/8-track sound systems, an aluminum/fiberglass body, as well as air suspension. The aerodynamic styling, with the wrap-around windshield and expansive glass area, gave the vehicle a futuristic (or spaceship-shaped) appearance.


BMW M Division Dealership Opens in Singapore

On: Thu, Aug 19, 2010 at 10:35AM | By: Sherry Christiansen


BMW M Division Dealership Opens in Singapore test 1-1

 

In recent automotive news, BMW is adding a new showroom for selling only high performance BMW M division cars in Singapore; it is located at Teban Gardens Crescent.  Cars to be offered in the showroom include M3, M6, X5M, and all of the X6M models. The next-generation M5, to be released next year, will join the line up in Singapore, as well as a new M version of the BMW 1-Series.


SSC To Debut the 2nd-Generation Ultimate Aero TT Next Month

On: Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 4:32PM | By: Chris Weiss


SSC To Debut the 2nd-Generation Ultimate Aero TT Next Month test 1-1

Shelby Supercars has been gnashing its teeth ever since Bugatti broke the world speed record last month. The American manufacturer is nearly ready to unveil its next-generation Ultimate Aero TT--a car that it's hinted could top the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's 268-mph world record. After some planned private showings, the company put up a teaser website this week, indicating that the official debut will happen next month. Unfortunately, no specific date or time are given, but at least we know there are just a few weeks left.

SSC's site includes only a background teaser photo of the Ultimate Aero--a picture depicting a more rounded nose. The information offered is also kept to the barest of minimums. Here's the full breadth of the site: "The Next Generation is Coming Soon...", "September 2010" and "Because Life Begins at 250." Then there's some contact info for media and general inquiries. And my email got bounced back when I attempted to contact the media email. It's not much to work with, but at least we know when we'll be seeing more--in a general sense of the term "when."

The latest SSC saga began just days after the Veyron Super Sport rolled its way into the record books. The company released a statement congratulating Bugatti and turning attention over to its upcoming Aero.


Mustang Boss Makes a Comeback

On: Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 4:30PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Mustang Boss Makes a Comeback test 1-1

The charismatic Ford Mustang has taken on many forms in the past, but there is one model that has remained mostly elusive, with a few “track-only” specials, sold in very limited quantities. That model is the Boss Mustang.  

The new Boss muscle car was modeled after the late 1960s and early 70s famous Bosses that were well known for great looks and high performance. But according to Automotive News: “Ford is quick to point out the new Boss 302 is more than a trip down memory lane.”   

The new Boss was unveiled at Laguna Seca this week.  According to Ford Motor Co, the 2012 Mustang Boss 302 is the “quickest, best-handling straight-production Mustang ever offered by Ford.”

As far as the exterior is concerned, the designers attempted to keep the new Boss in line with the appearance of the 1969 model. The grille is unique to the 2012 Boss, and the front splitter resembles the 302E racer. Aerodynamic changes include a deeper front air dam and a rear spoiler. A black or white roof panel complements the exterior appearance, and the body of the new Boss comes in the nostalgic racing car colors of bright blue, yellow, orange, red, and white.