Published on 18 Oct 2013 by Adriano
It seems like carmakers got so used to spy shots they’ve begun releasing their own ‘official sets’ of stolen images. What we have here is in fact a bunch of offcial images released by legendary German manufacturer Porsche and starring the upcoming 2014 Porsche Macan, a new SUV that share the same architecture with the Audi Q5 and will position itself right below the Cayenne. The model will be officially unveiled in November at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Actually, mules of the Porsche Macan have been spotted around so many times in the past few months that they probably thought they could do a much better service to the cause by releasing their own pics, rather than crying over spilt milk. They even uploaded a few of them on their official facebook page, and since we are looking at clear pictures in high-res, talking about teasing images would feel a little out of place here.
The Porsche guys have been much more sketchy on the details concerning mechanics and performance figures: all we get to know for now is that the new baby Cayenne will boast a combined fuel consumption in accordance with EU 6 standards, 9.2-6.1 l/100km, and CO2 emission of 216-159 g/km. Which doesn’t say much, really, but we will surely get to know all the specs in a matter of weeks, if not days. However, rumor has it that it will eventually hit the markets with two twin-turbo V6 engine options: a 3.0- and 3.6-liter. We expect an 8-speed PDK automatic gearbox to be part of the mix as well, with a six-speed manual transmission option too. The Macan will show up in a Porsche dealership near you at some point in the first half of 2014.
Published on 13 Oct 2013 by Adriano
German carmaker BMW has finally unveiled its long anticipated, all-new convertible variant of the recent 4-Series, which comes with a nice three-piece retractable hardtop, plenty of new features and wil be introduced to the world in November at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. In Europe, the model will be initially available with three engine options: a 4-cylinder 2.0-liter turbocharged engine producing 24g hp (428i), a supercharged 3.0-liter inline-six producing producing 300 hp and a 4-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbodiesel unit for the 420d producing 184 hp. The petrol models will come with a 8-speed automatic transmission providing Normal and Sport modes as standard, while the 420d will be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, thoight the 8-speed auto will be available as an option.
The proportions of the new BMW 4 Series Convertible differ significantly from those of the outgoing BMW 3 Series Convertible: eith a total lenght of 4,638 mm it is just 26 mm longer than the model it is about to replace, while the wheelbase has gone up by 50 mm to 2,810 mm. These dimensions, combined with the short overhangs, long hood and set-back passenger compartment produce a visually balanced silhouette that enhances its athletic looks. The car is also 43 mm wider (1,825 mm) allowing for a 45mm wider front track and 81 mm of extra width at the rear axle.
Since the interior is pretty similar to the one of its coupe counterpart, let’s go straight to what’s really new here: the three-piece retractable hardtop. All it takes to transform a dynamic coupe into an elegant convertible is the push of a button, that will carry out the opration for you in just 20 seconds. It features a number of design improvements that reduce noise levels. The windblock is now smaller, lighter and easier to use, plus it can be stored behind the rear seat to save space. The car has plenty of space in the trunk, even when the retractable hardtop is lowered, and there’s an electro-hydraulic loading assistance system that adjusts the position of the folded hardtop in the trunk to ensure maximum utilization of the 220-liter storage space available. While waiting to see it ‘in-the-metal’ in L.A., you can enjoy our massive photo gallery right after the jump.
Published on 11 Oct 2013 by Adriano
Here is a new official video starring the new Renault Megane RS, which the French carmaker introduced to the world along with the new Megane range at the recent 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. In regard to the sportiest version of the lot, the revamped 2013 variant has received some cosmetic updates as well as some technological refinements aimed to give the car a more modern profile. Inside, the new RS gets new Recaro sports seats and the cool R-Link infotainment system. Also worth mentioning are the brand new 19-inch alloy wheels finished in gray that will be offered as on option together with high performance Bridgestone rubber.
Buyers will be able to choose a special Design Pack that will provide tha car with much more aggressive aesthetics thanks to a flashy rear spoiler, e sharp front splitter and lower side skirts with red outlining. No doubt the Megane RS looks way sportier with that on. However, on a technical level, there aren’t many news to talk about, with the model that retains the same turbocharged 2.0-liter in-line-four unit of the previous RS. In case you are wondering, it is credited with an output of 265 horsepower and 360 Nm of maximum torque.
That also means that the front wheel drive Renault Megane RS also has the same performance figures of the model it is about to replace: it will sprint from a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in six seconds flat, reaching a top speed of 255 km/h (158 mph). Power is delivered to the front axle through a 6-speed automatic transmission, and average fuel consumption is rated at 8.2 liters per 100 kilometers. Just like all the other models of the rejuvenated Megane line up, the RS also got LED daytime running lights an dother minor upgrades.
Published on 01 Oct 2013 by Dan Read
The new Volkswagen Cross Up! is the latest in the German marque’s range of crossover vehicles that includes the CrossGolf, CrossPolo, CrossTouran and the CrossCaddy. It’s a more rugged and we think better looking version of VW’s small city car which comes with roof rails, bigger bumpers, body cladding and 16-inch alloys.
Although it’s not a genuine offroader it will appeal to people who want the look of an SUV but with the efficiency of a city car. It’s been described as an “urban-based crossover” which basically means this supermini has an elevated ride height and the rugged look we described earlier. Only 15mm has been added to the ride height on the CrossUp! but it gives the driver a better view of the road ahead and helps at car park and toll road booths where drivers of the Up! sometime have to step out of their car.
The additions made to the Up! to transform it into the CrossUp! haven’t added any additional space within the cabin so there’s still a lack of legroom in the rear, but there’s enough room in the boot for a weekly shop and the 251 litres of boot space is improved to 959 litres when the rear seats are folded. Power comes from a 74bhp three-cylinder that only offers a 0-62mph time of 14.2 seconds but returns a more than respectable 60.1mpg on the combined consumption cycle and only produces 109g/km of CO2 emissions.
Published on 01 Oct 2013 by Dan Read
U.S alloy wheel specialists Vossen have fitted out a 2013 BMW 335i with their latest wheels and made sure to include the M-Sport package on this F30 3-Series BMW. It’s painted in Estoril Blue which Vossen must be trying to make their colour as their recent BMW 4-Series design study was also decked out in the custom colour. The 4-Series had the same body kit but was shown with different wheels.
Power for this Vossen modified 3-Series comes from the N55 3-litre turbocharged straight-six mated to an 8-Speed ZF gearbox. Vossen has dropped the car which accentuates the wheels as they fit snuggly under the bodywork but they haven’t made any other mechanical changes to the 3-Series. Of course they’ve added their own wheels. The multi-spoke CVT alloys they’ve fitted have been finished in Matte Graphite which compliments the rest of the car’s paintwork.
Don’t be put off by the way that Vossen has chosen to picture the BMW. The U.S firm has made a habit of picturing BMWs in urban environments that accentuate the car and its wheels and at least they’ve avoided shooting at night for an urban gangster look that tuners and other alloy wheel specialists opt for.
Published on 17 Sep 2013 by Dan Read
German tuning house TechArt are using the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show to unveil the Magnum Gold Edition China, which is based on the Porsche Cayenne. This new model’s been built to celebrate the firm’s arrival in the Asian market and is decked out in the appropriate colours of red and gold.
The reworked Porsche SUV uses a TechArt body kit that’s already on the market. It includes new bumpers at the front and rear, a lower splitter, fog lamps and LED lights. The red and gold isn’t to everyone’s taste but we think it’s a nice combination and it’s not garish because TechArt hasn’t used a dual colour scheme for the bodywork. Aside from the wheels, there are various bits of trim and badges finished in the colour and the interior’s been given the same treatment. The seats are black and red and gold has been added to the air vents and the stitching’s been completed in yellow.
TechArt can produce the Magnum Gold Edition for any Porsche Cayenne so the technical specs differ from model to model, but the one on display at Frankfurt is powered by Porsche’s 500bhp 4.8 litre twin-turbo that’s been boosted to 560bhp and 516 lb-ft. Other models can provide as much as 660bhp and 649 lb-ft of peak torque.
Published on 17 Sep 2013 by Dan Read
We’re not sure if Ron Howard’s Rush movie is an accurate interpretation of one of Formula One’s greatest stories or a Hollywood version of the dramas that unfolded during the 1976 season but either way it’s got to be better than another superhero movie. The casting of Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt and Daniel Brühl as Niki Lauda seems pretty inspired but we’re not all that bothered about the actors, it’s the cars that matter.
Modern movies tend to use computers to create a lot of shots so we were expecting to find that the cars used in the movie were modelled by a geek with a laptop. Happily, the producers managed to get their hands on some historic McLarens and Ferraris which lend the movie a lot of authenticity.
Although it sounds like a lot of money to us, the film was made on a limited budget of £24million. That made replicating racing cars from 30 years ago and reproducing two rain soaked racing sequences tough. But the film makers were in luck as the movie’s director, two-time Academy Award-winner Ron Howard explains. “It’s terribly expensive to build a replica and we were a little bit limited,” but owners of historic Formula One cars rallied around the film, “and for a very, very nominal fee they were bringing their cars and letting us work with them, and that brought so much authenticity to the film”.
Published on 16 Sep 2013 by Adriano
A loyal reader of our parent site Autoblog.it has sent us a bunch of pictures starring a couple of mules of the Porsche 918 Spyder, the new hybrid plug-in model from the iconic Zuffenhausen-based manufacturer whose final production version has been unveiled just a few days ago at the ongoing 65th Frankfurt International Auto Show. The pictures were taken just a few days ago in northern Italy, something that would have us believe the car is still undergoing some testing in view of its imminent arrival on the markets worldwide. One of the two prototypes sports an all-black livery, while the other had a sort of two-tone ‘black & white’ color scheme that is somewhat reminiscent of the one showcased by the first prototype of the model.
The hybrid powertrain of the model is made of a naturally-aspirated 4.6-liter V8 petrol engine and two electric motors (one for each axle, fed by a 6.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack placed at the lower back of the monocoque) which can produce a combined output of 887 horsepower and a peak torque value between 917 and 1280 Nm, depending on the gearing. The 918 Spyder is equipped with dual-clutch seven-speed automatic gearbox and comes with five driving modes - ‘E-Power’, ‘Hybrid’, ‘Sport Hybrid’, ‘Race Hybrid’ and ‘Hot Lap’ - and the advanced Porsche Active Aerodynamic (PAA) system, which adjusts some aerodynamic bits of the body in real time according to the needs of the moment.
As you would expect from any car carrying a Porsche badge, performance figures are pretty impressive: on electric power alone, the 918 Spyder can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 7 seconds and hit a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph), but with its full potential it can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 345 km/h (214 mph). In spite of all that power, fuel consumption is actually quite good: between 3.0 and 3.3 litres per 100 km.
Published on 15 Sep 2013 by Dan Read
Seeing the Ferrari 458 Speciale up close at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show and reading its specs shows any visitor to the German car show that this is the fastest V8 powered Ferrari ever made but a static display can’t showcase the car’s performance only the official video we’re bringing you here can do that.
It goes without saying that this new Ferrari is based on the Ferrari 458 Italia so it’s powered by the same 4.5 litre V-8 found in the Italia. With this car Ferrari has produced their fastest naturally aspirated machine to date. The mid-mounted direct-injection engine produces 597bhp and 398lb ft of torque. Its acceleration is a stunning 3.0 seconds to 62mph and the top speed is equally impressive at 202mph, although that’s no faster than the Italia.
The Prancing Horse claim that the 458 Speciale has lapped the Fiorano test track at 1min 23.5sec, 1.5sec, which is quicker than the Italia has managed around there but half a second slower than the F12 Berlinetta. Aside from the horsepower upgrade the 458 Speciale’s lap time also comes from aero upgrades including the moveable aerodynamic flaps which are shown moving in the video to create downforce or to reduce drag whether the car’s in the corners or on the straight. Ferrari’s Side Slip Angle Control also accounts for some of the performance as it optimises torque through the traction control system.
Published on 15 Sep 2013 by Dan Read
This year’s 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show is all about concept cars. So far visitors to the event have been able to get up close to concept vehicles like the Audi Nanuk Quattro, Mercedes S-Class Coupe, Citroen Hybrid Air, Kia Niro, Infiniti Q30 and Jaguar C-X17, but none are as eye catching as the Aston Martin CC100 Speedster Concept.
This concept is an important vehicle for the British sports car maker because it shows the firm’s future design direction and also harks back Aston’s glorious past. It uses Aston’s VH platform, which underpins all current Astons except the Toyota IQ based Cygnet and the limited edition One-77, and it’s design has been inspired by the DBR1 which Aston campaign in sports car racing between 1956 and 1959.
Power for the concept comes from a 6.0 litre V-12 that helps the CC100 reach 62mph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 180mph. This concept has been designed to mark the firm’s centenary, but Aston aren’t using the Frankfurt show to highlight any of their limited run Centenary Edition cars, instead they’re using the event to showcase two models that will hit Aston dealerships in the next few weeks: the Vanquish Volante and the V12 Vantage S. At the Frankfurt event Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO, said that “The Vanquish Volante is automotive art and exhilarating GT luxury combined, while the V12 Vantage S shows the sporting heart of the brand beats more powerfully than ever.”