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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Exotics

Porsche Confirms 918 Spyder Hybrid

On: Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 10:07AM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Confirms 918 Spyder Hybrid test 1-1

After months of indications that it would produce the 918 Spyder Hybrid, Porsche confirmed the hybrid coupe for limited series production. The Geneva Motor Show concept will be built in Porsche's Zuffenhausen plant and will supplant the Carrera GT as Porsche's flagship sports car, showing the world that hybrid powertrains can do more than just cut emissions.

Porsche arguably upstaged the entire 2010 Geneva Motor Show when it unveiled the 918 Spyder Hybrid the evening preceding the official start of the show. Easily one of the most fascinating concepts at the show, everything about the hybrid supercar was intriguing. Performance figures were impressive: 3.2 seconds to 62 mph, 198 mph top speed, and the fastest Porsche around Nurburgring with a lap time under 7:30. Porsche's fuel economy claims were equally lofty: 78 mpg in the European cycle and 70 grams of CO2 per kilometer. By all indicators, the 918 Spyder rang the opening bell on a new generation of supercars capable of producing heavyweight power and performance figures while drastically cutting pollution.

In its concept form, the 918 combines the RS Spyder's 500-hp 3.4-liter V8 engine with electric motors mounted on the front and rear axles. Battery power for the motors comes from a mid-mounted lithium-ion battery pack. All told, the coupe pulls 718 horses out of its powertrain, with a seven-speed PDK transmission handling shifting duties.

LF-A Waste of Money?

On: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 2:21PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

LF-A Waste of Money? test 1-1

At the end of last millennium, Japan all but completely bowed out of the supercar market. Only the Acura NSX held on for another few years until 2005, but even now that car has come and gone. The world was worse off without its road warriors from the Far East.  

Slowly but surely, however, Japan has returned to the high horsepower wars. Mitsubishi left the 3000GT VR4 by the wayside, and came to play with the Evo. Mazda brought back RX franchise and moved it a notch forward from the 7 to the 8.  Nissan continued the Z legacy from the twin turbo 300ZX to the 350Z and then the 370Z. They even raised the bar by bringing the heralded Skyline to the states in the form of the almighty GT-R. It's been only five years since the end of the NSX, and the world has been waiting with bated breath for an NSX replacement that has been scheduled and canceled more times than the average colonoscopy appointment. In 1998 the king of the Toyotas and, arguably the imports of the decade, the Supra, ceased sales in the US. After more than a decade, Toyota has finally returned to the market with a high powered street fighter in the form of its premium brand Lexus.  

Lotus Plans New Supercar Concept For Paris Motor Show

On: Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 2:28PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lotus Esprit Concept test 2

Six years ago, British automotive company Lotus saddened car fans everywhere when it discontinued its iconic Esprit sports coupe. The plan at the time was to refocus the brand on smaller, lighter, more affordable vehicles. While models like the Elise, Evora, and Exige have opened the Lotus badge to a new breed of buyers, the Esprit has been sorely missed. Rumors have been loudening that Lotus plans on showing an Esprit concept at the upcoming 2010 Paris Motor Show. Today, Lotus confirmed that it has a supercar concept planned, but hinted that it may be even more intriguing than a new Esprit.

The Norfolk-based automaker stated that the supercar concept it brings to Paris may be "perhaps even more” than a simple Esprit revival, indicating that Lotus may move even farther upmarket. Under the leadership of former Ferrari executive Danny Bahar and a handful of other transplants from Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Porsche, it's understood that Lotus plans to make a decisive move toward Porsche and Ferrari territory. Lotus didn't reveal any details about the upcoming concept, but indicated it will provide a clear outline of the brand's intended future direction.

Rumors Bring Both Good and Bad News For Lamborghini Lovers

On: Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 9:58AM | By: Chris Weiss

1986 Lamborghini LM002 test 2

A new report from Car and Driver's German correspondent indicates that Lamborghini may be looking to return to several market segments that it abandoned back in the 80s and 90s. The sports car marquee is reportedly looking at the possibility of a new, hardcore SUV and an entry level model that will slate in below the Gallardo. On the flip side, rumors indicate that a possible four-seater is all but dead.

Back in the late 80s and 1990s, the Lamborghini we know and love was somewhat of an anomaly. The company still had the timeless sports masterpieces that the brand is recognized most for—like the Countach and Diablo, but it also had something entirely different: a large, civilian/military SUV named the LM002. Those who don't know any better might look at pictures of the LM002 today and think that the Raging Bull badge was photoshopped on. At the time, however, the 'Rambo Lambo' was quite popular, providing an entirely new dynamic to the brand. The jeep carried over the V12 engine from the Countach and offered incomparable desert performance thanks to an extra large radiator and Pirelli Scorpion tires. Alas, it was killed off in 1992.


Ferrari Releases Official 458 Challenge Race Car Info

On: Fri, Jul 16, 2010 at 1:08PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ferrari Releases Official 458 Challenge Race Car Info test 1-1

For those who considered the 458 Italia a bit too meek, the solution is now here: the 458 Challenge is a faster, lighter weight race car based on the road-going model. The Ferrari engineers have created a competition version of the 458 Italia, which they call the 458 Challenge. The model is designed specifically for track and is faster by two seconds than its predecessor, the F430 Challenge.

The 458 Challenge has an increased horsepower of 570 from the mid-mounted 4.5-liter V-8. The Challenge car maintains its race-only intake and exhaust system. The standard seven-speed dual-clutch transmission remains but gear ratios have been upgraded to give better low-rpm torque. But unlike its predecessor, the 458 Challenge is intended to race against other Ferraris, such as the F430 Challenge, in the Ferrari-only Trofeo Pirelli series in 2011.

The Ferrari Challenge racing edition gets an upgraded transmission, suspension, and gear ratios as compared to the Italia street car, including E-Diff and F1-Trac systems that have been implemented for the first time on a Challenge racing edition. With these technologies, drivers have the option to engage stability assistance using a switch on the steering wheel.

Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid To Start At 500,000 Euros

On: Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 4:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche 918 Spyder Hybrid To Start At 500,000 Euros test 1-1

Today, the world has gotten a glimpse at what the future market of ultra-performance hybrid supercars will look like. In short, it's not cheap. While Porsche has yet to officially confirm the 918 Spyder Hybrid for production, a pair of loose-lipped, anonymous sources familiar with Porsche's plans indicate that Stuttgart has already received more than enough letters of interest to seriously consider production. The same sources indicate that Porsche plans on introducing the car at a price of €500,000 (app. $630,000). This figure represents Porsche's most expensive model ever, beating out the €453,000 Carrera GT.

Today's news comes from a Bloomberg report which states that Porsche has received 2,000 letters of interest for the 918 Spyder Hybrid. Shortly after Porsche wowed the auto world when it introduced the 918 concept at the Geneva Motor Show this past winter, Porsche CEO Michael Macht indicated that the company was excited about the possibility of seeing the model through to production. At the time, word was that Porsche wanted to get 1,000 sales pledges from buyers before proceeding with plans. While letters of interest are less serious and binding than actual pledges, the number shows that there is plenty of interest in the model.  Porsche has not committed one way or the other, but is expected to announce its intentions later this year.

The Newest Italian Stallion

On: Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 10:05AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

The Newest Italian Stallion test 1-1

When it comes to Ferraris, any new addition is celebrated by its many adoring fans like a new child in the family. The only sad part about adding a new Ferrari is that, more often than not, it comes at the cost of losing one of our favorites. The new Ferrari 458 Italia is no different. With its arrival, we must now cast off one of the most beautiful and crazy fast stallions from Maranello, the F430. From 2005-2009 the F430 scorched streets and racetracks all over the world with its 483-horsepower 4.3-liter banshee imitating V8 that pushed that car in to a terminal velocity of 196 mph. You had your choice of either a traditional six-speed manual, or an F1-style six-speed electro-hydraulic paddle shifter. It was a car that was called by some (including your author) as the most captivating Ferrari since the mighty F40. With such large tires to fill, the question is:  Is the new 458 Italia up to the task?   


Yes. Yes, it is.  

McLaren Announces First Six U.S. Dealers for the MP4-12C

On: Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 9:39AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

McLaren Announces First Six U.S. Dealers for the MP4-12C test 1-1

 The MP4-12C is “pure McLaren”, from its innovative technologies to customization—every detail of its design is purposeful. The 2012 two-seater, mid-engine 12C has a capacity to travel from 0-60 in under 3 seconds (in case you weren’t paying attention, -that was 3SECONDS!)

That's faster than the 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo which hits 60 in 3.2 seconds, the Corvette ZR1, or the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4. This vehicle is said to revise the fabric of sports car design with innovative engineering comprised of a revolutionary carbon fiber “MonoCell” chassis, and a complete spotlight on total performance and high quality.

The 12C has a V8, twin-turbo engine with 592 horsepower and 443 ft-lb of torque with a 7-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch transmission. Its advanced aerodynamics is accompanied by its Airbrake which gives the 12C excellent stability under braking. The 12C sets new standards for its lush interior and technology in its class.

Customers that are interested in purchasing a 12C will be happy to hear that six new dealers have been selected across the country to offer the MP4 12-C to the public. The names of the dealerships and cities in North America are: The Auto Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA; Park Place in Dallas, TX; Miller Motorcars in Greenwich, CT; Price Family Dealerships in San Francisco, CA; and Dew Luxury Motor Cars in Tampa, FL. In the coming months, McLaren also plans to assign dealers in Miami, Orange County, Philadelphia, and Toronto.

Last Dodge Viper Rolls Off the Assembly Line

On: Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 10:01AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Last Dodge Viper Rolls Off the Assembly Line test 1-1

In Detroit news, the very last Dodge Viper rolled off the assembly line as 400 loyal Viper owners and members from both the Motor City Viper Club and the Viper Club of America participated in a celebration to watch the presentation of the factory custom, 2010 Viper Coupe being given to new owner D’Ann Rauh by Dodge Brand President and CEO Ralph Gilles.

New owner, D’Ann, and her husband, Wayne Raugh, from Arp, Texas, own more than 40 Dodge Vipers—the largest personal collection of Vipers in the world.

This was the last of the current generation of Vipers built at the Connor Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit. A spokesperson for Chrysler stated that “Dodge has created more special-edition Viper models for the 2010 model year than all other years that the Viper was produced combined. Assembly of the Dodge Viper started in 1992.”

Rauh, who is a member of the Mid-South Viper Club of America, was given the privilege of working with the design specialists at Chrysler, in order to select many of the custom personal features that she wanted on her car.

Like many other final models built, the 2010 Viper SRT10 Coupe was a highly customized special edition. Rauh was allowed to work directly with the design team to select a custom bronze gold exterior paint supplied by the “House of Koler.”  The extraordinary paint job was complimented by two racing stripes painted by Bob Soroka, from Chrysler Group LLC's Street and Racing Technology team, featuring airbrushed layouts of Viper-significant race tracks into the custom-painted copper stripes. The five-spoke forged-aluminum wheels are custom painted in the color—dark graphite.

Lotus Cars Consults With Advisors From BMW and GM

On: Fri, Jul 2, 2010 at 10:41AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Tom Purves test 2

It has always been said that if you want to be rich, surround yourself with millionaires; advice that Lotus Cars Ltd., British automaker, has taken seriously as the company plans to team up with automotive expert, Bob Lutz from GM, and retired BMW and Rolls Royce exec.; Tom Purves, regarding a 5-year turn-around plan.

According to auto week.com source, Lutz who has been retired only 2 months from GM, is talking to Lotus, but no formal offer has been accepted.  Purves reportedly stated, in a phone conversation, that he wants to be involved in the project, but plans have not yet been finalized.  Purves was quoted as saying; “The goal is to make a contribution to projects of the future--improving the quality, the product offerings and the operations of the company,” Perves also stated: “It's exciting, and there is no question it is a great brand and has a good future.”

The Car That Started It All

On: Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 10:46AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Lamborghini Countach test 2

The most beautiful car I’ve ever seen was not in a showroom. It wasn’t even on the road. No, the day I fell in love with exotic automobiles began as a very inauspicious trip with my father to an Ames Department Store, in New Hampshire, while we were visiting my uncle.  

For the record, I had always loved cars. My father still has his white 1971 Corvette with its behemoth 454 that I used to beg and plead to take anywhere everyday for years. When Dad wasn’t around to pester, I would be out and about with Mom in our 1981 Toyota Corolla Tercel and beg her to let me shift the clunky 5-spd shifter just once. I had (and still have) hundreds of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, at least two functioning radio controlled cars every year, and a collection of Corvette posters that would have made Zora Arkus-Duntov proud.  

I did love Corvettes and, up until that day in New Hampshire, I was convinced that the Corvette was king of the hill, as far as I was concerned. I had a little red Matchbox C3 Corvette that was the crown jewel of my collection. However, as I perused the toy section of Ames, I stumbled upon an enigma. It was a car I had never seen, yet instantly loved. I didn’t know what it was called, because the name was too long for my young brain to piece together on its own. All I knew was that it was white, and looked far too wild to be a real car. I picked out the white Hot Wheels car and brought it to my father who explained that the car was something called a Lamborghini. At that moment in time I knew two things about that mysterious car:  The first was its name and the second was simply that I had to have it.