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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Exotics

Ferrari Introduces the SA APERTA, A 599 Convertible

On: Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 9:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

Ferrari Introduces the SA APERTA, A 599 Convertible test 1-1

Ferrari announced a new limited edition model last week: the SA APERTA. The new model is an open-top 599 that gets extra power and features a lightweight soft-top, making it an accessory most suited to the sunny coast or desert. Not quite as exciting as a brand-new Lamborghini, but a sexy, new model just the same, the SA APERTA will give us one more thing to look forward to at the Paris Motor Show beginning later this week. Officially, the SA Aperta is a tribute to design firm Pininfarina. The firm is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year, so Ferrari will offer 80 models of the SA Aperta. And the lettering stands for "Sergio" and "Andrea" Pininfarina.

The 599 GTB Fiorano's 6.0-liter V12 engine has been tuned up to 661 hp for the special edition, a jump of 41 horses. AsAutocar points out, this modification puts it on par with the 599 GTO.

Toyota's Prius Hybrid Technology to be Utilized in Future Lotus Elite Hybrid Model

On: Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 9:41AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Toyota's Prius Hybrid Technology to be Utilized in Future Lotus Elite Hybrid Model test 1-1

Lotus Automotive is jumping on the green car band wagon as the company consults with Toyota to purchase the Japanese automaker’s proprietary hybrid powertrain for use in a new Lotus hybrid vehicle.

Toyota Motor Company has been pushing to sell its hybrid powertrain on a large scale to other automakers in hopes of keeping the price of the hybrid components down. Lotus plans to use the gasoline/electric hybrid powertrain as an option for its 5.0 liter V-8 Lotus Elite that the company plans to launch in 2014, according to a Lotus official spokesperson. The British sports car company will launch the Elite as a concept car at this year’s Paris auto show. The hybrid Lotus will “feature a hybrid gearbox with integrated electric motors and a kinetic energy recovery system that recoups heat energy during braking to recharge the battery,” according to Automotive News.com

“We are working with Toyota on powertrain solutions for our future cars, and this is part of the development but it is not an existing system,” a Lotus official said. Toyota stated that the company “welcomes such deals because we would like to see environmental technologies adopted and used as widely as possible.”

Porsche To Return to Detroit Auto Show

On: Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 3:02PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche To Return to Detroit Auto Show test 1-1

In a move that some are using to infer that the North American and global auto industries are officially on the rebound, Porsche will make a return to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this January. The Stuttgart-based automaker has missed the past three shows, opting to focus on less conventional ways of reaching customers here in the States and zeroing in on larger markets.

Bill Perkins, co-chairman of the 2011 North American International Auto Show, told the Detroit Free Press:  “We’re very excited about it. The demand for space is very strong. People see the market coming back.”

It's too early to tell what Porsche will be displaying at the show, but those that will be there can hope that Detroit marks the North American auto show debut of the 918 Spyder Hybrid. Porsche confirmed the hybrid for production earlier this summer, so it would make sense to show it off. The 918 made its world debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in March.

Just this week, Porsche also unveiled the 2011 911 Carrera GTS, a 408-hp Carrera distinguished by exhaust modifications, a widened stance and new body work. That model goes on sale early next year for $103,100 for the coupe and $112,900 for the Cabriolet.

New Dodge Viper Coming in 2012

On: Mon, Sep 20, 2010 at 8:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

New Dodge Viper Coming in 2012 test 1-1

Back in early July, a rather sickly looking yellowish-brown mess of a Dodge Viper rolled off production lines. That was the last Dodge Viper that we'll see from this generation, and it left a rather bitter taste in the mouth. The official idea was to make it an earth-toned Viper--for what reason we don't know--but the thing came off looking like some large animal had taken a squatter directly over it. It was that bad.

Luckily, that Viper will be long forgotten when the next-generation model makes its debut. Reports of the new Viper have been heating up, and according to Autocar, Dodge has already shown the new supercar to a group of dealers at Chrysler's dealer conference in Orlando earlier this week.


Sports Cars Like The GT-R Are Integral to Nissan's Future

On: Wed, Sep 15, 2010 at 11:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

Sports Cars Like The GT-R Are Integral to Nissan's Future test 1-1

As long as I can remember, Nissan has been an automaker that is congruous with sexy sports cars, moreso than any other of the Japanese big 3. All the way back to the Datsun 240Z, on through the 240 SX and 300ZX models of my youth and up to the highly impressive GT-R, Nissan has always had a  few head-turning sports coupes on the road at any given time.

According to sources within the company, it has no plans of changing that. While some have questioned whether Nissan is committed to sports models like the GT-R, a new report in Autocar citing a conversation with COO Toshiyuki Shiga indicates that Nissan is as serious about sports cars as it ever has been. Good news for the auto world, bad news for European competitors left in the GT-R's wake.

SSC Ultimate Aero II Pictures Slip Forth

On: Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 4:46PM | By: Chris Weiss

SSC Ultimate Aero II Pictures Slip Forth test 1-1

Due to some security issues, Shelby Supercars did not reveal the next-generation Ultimate Aero at a scheduled event at the Museum of Flight in Seattle last month. Instead, the company has indicated an official reveal for this month. Though no hard date has been given, SSC created a teaser site last month that showed a little bit of a carbon-fiber nose with the simple words: "The next generation is coming soon..." The site also stated "September 2010."

Now that it's actually September, we're getting more than a little anxious to see what the new Aero is all about. Luckily for us, some industrious industry folks have gotten their hands on a couple of pre-release pictures and aren't shy about sharing them. Over the holiday weekend, Jalopnik published the first photos of the car, which showed it head on and from the side. Top Gear, the source from which the photos had originated, followed up with a shot of the rear end. What the pictures show is a dramatically new car that capitalizes on the prowess of lead designer Jason Castriota.

Hints At a McLaren Hybrid

On: Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 3:46AM | By: Chris Weiss

Hints At a McLaren Hybrid test 1-1

One of my favorite types of auto or tech leaks is the unavoidable job posting leak. The company in question clearly needs some new blood to help it step into a new direction and it can't help but advertise. And while company execs are busy trying to bulk up their team toward future production, the media world is scouring the ads and making educated guesses as to what the company is up to.

McLaren MP4-12C Winning Over Porsche Owners

On: Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 10:53AM | By: Chris Weiss

McLaren MP4-12C Winning Over Porsche Owners test 1-1

When McLaren introduced its MP4-12C last year, it was clear that the car wasn't the top-end beast that the McLaren F1 was during its run in the 90s. While still plenty virile, the MP4-12C boasts a top speed of around 200 mph, well below the once world-record-breaking F1. Perhaps in part because of this more modest appeal, McLaren has been aiming the new model at Porsche owners, rather than owners of more exotic sports cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

McLaren has tried to explain this away by claiming that Ferrari concerns itself more with visuals while Porsche and McLaren prefer a mantra of “substance over style." While that probably sounds good on paper, the McLaren MP4-12C isn't exactly lacking in the style department and seems more congruous with Porsche in terms of performance. Once they bang out another 10 cars that look exactly like MP4-12Cs with various levels of trim and performance, then they can start talking a Porsche-like adherence to substance over style.

The MP4-12C pairs a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 engine to a seven-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch transmission. The engine peaks at 600 hp, and the MP4-12C dashes to 62 mph in under three seconds. The car keeps weight under 2,900 lbs. thanks in part to a 175-lb. carbon fiber monocell chassis.

Lotus Reveals Evora S and Evora IPS Before Paris Debut

On: Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 5:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Reveals Evora S and Evora IPS Before Paris Debut test 1-1

We may not have any idea what Lotus' upcoming Esprit-replacing supercar will look like, but thanks to an early introduction, we have all of the info on two other cars that Lotus plans to debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show: the Evora S and Evora IPS. The "S" stands for supercharged and the "IPS" for "Intelligence Performance Shift." The two new cars deliver some extra performance to the already spritely, agile Evora.

The Evora S adds a supercharger to the Evora's standard Toyota 3.5-liter V6 engine, providing a leap in power from 276 hp to 345 hp. Torque jumps from 258 lb-ft to 295 lb-ft. Other mechanical upgrades include tuned suspension, a Sport button for controlling throttle response and a large, center-mounted exhaust.

The upgrade in output translates into added performance, with the Evora S beating the standard Evora to 60 mph by .3 seconds and adding 10 mph to the top end. The 0 to 60 mph time is 4.6 seconds and the top speed is 172 mph.

Along with the new exhaust, visual alterations include a new rear diffuser and bigger cross-drilled disc brakes. The new rear-end provides a beefy look that gives the car a more powerful demeanor to match its upgraded specs.

McLaren Embarks On North American Tour

On: Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 9:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

McLaren Embarks On North American Tour test 1-1

If you happen to live in some of the country's more exclusive urban markets, and happen to be in the market for a $250,000 supercar, you might want to get a copy of McLaren's tour schedule. After debuting its new MP4-12C at the Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, McLaren is embarking on a tour around North America to show its latest creation to potential customers. The tour will hit such areas as Chicago, New York City (Greenwich, CT) and Miami.

The MP4-12C's official North American debut was earlier this month in Pebble Beach. The company showed off a Supernova Silver 12C, Titanium Silver 12C and an XP13 rolling chassis to a crowd of about 1,000 at the event. Guests included California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and known car hound Jay Leno.

With the official unveiling of the supercar, McLaren is ready to begin pushing it to future customers. After Pebble Beach, the company moved on to its future Beverly Hills retail partner The Auto Gallery. Other dealer locations where McLaren will travel in the coming weeks include Pfaff Automotive Partner in Toronto on September 1 and 2, and  Lake Forest Sportscars in Chicago; Park Place in Dallas; Miller Motorcars in Greenwich, Connecticut; Price Family Dealerships in San Francisco; Dew Luxury Motor Cars in Tampa Bay and The Collection McLaren in the Miami area sometime thereafter. McLaren will also add Philadelphia and Newport Beach, California to the schedule.

Porsche Upgrades Panamera Turbo With After-Market Turbo Kit

On: Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 10:15AM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Upgrades Panamera Turbo With After-Market Turbo Kit test 1-1

The Porsche Panamera has been splitting its time winning praise and fending off derision since its introduction last year. For owners that want to avoid the latter and welcome more of the former, Porsche has new options that will add power, performance and looks to the four-door. Panamera Turbo owners who want to massage even more horses out of their four-door will soon have a new option. Porsche announced the Powerkit that will boost the output of the Panamera Turbo by 40 hp. The kit will be available this fall. Also available this fall, Porsche will offer several new exterior options.

Porsche's new Powerkit will equip the Panamera Turbo models with new turbochargers that house titanium-alloy turbine wheels. The kit will also include tunes to the engine management system to make the Panamera Turbo's V8 more responsive. The kit pulls an extra 40 ponies out of the 4.8-liter V8 for a total of 540, and also boosts torque to 553 lb-ft (up from 516).