Perhaps you're familiar with Volkswagen's XL1. It's basically the anti-matter version of the Bugatti Veyron: a super-exclusive, spared-no-expense VW Group project masterminded by Dr. Ferdinand Piëch in pursuit of never-before-seen performance for a road car. Only where the Veyron chased after top speed records, the XL1 goes for efficiency. (more…)
Where an hardtop Aston Martin is now, a convertible version is soon to follow. (Like the lovely DB9 Volante we recently drove.) It's as inevitable as the tides—except for the Rapide, but there's not a lot of market in ragtop sedans. So we are in no way, shape or form surprised to meet the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. (more…)
The automotive journalism term "official spy photographs" sounds about as oxymoronic as "jumbo shrimp," though the product they describe isn't nearly as delicious. Manufacturer-released spy shots are a classic way for a car company to get ahead of a story, and the automotive equivalent of a photo-shoot selfie; instead of letting the Brenda Priddys of the world snap up pictures of prototypes with their pants down, the car company puts out a flattering image that shows just what they want you to see.
In this case, Mercedes-Benz and AMG want to show us that they are, indeed, working on a new sports car—one that, from the looks of it, shares the SLS AMG's general cab-backwards proportions in spite of being a bit smaller overall. From the looks of it, the car doesn't have gullwing doors, but if those proportions are any guide, it'll be a looker.
That's what we know for sure. However, the gang over at Car and Driver have their ears to the ground. They say the car will likely be called GT or SLC, and instead of being an SLS replacement, it'll supplement the bigger sports car in showrooms at a lower price point (figure in the low-to-mid $100,000 range). In spite of reduced usage of carbon fiber for cost reasons, the GT/SLC should still be a couple hundred pounds lighter than the SLS (off whose platform it's based). Power is expected to come from AMG's new twin-turbo 4.0 liter V8, making around 500 horses to start; subsequent versions, such as a Black Series model, will likely push that up towards or past 600 ponies. The AMG dual-clutch seven-speed automatic will handle the grunt en route to the rear wheels.
As much as we don't want to see the SLS AMG (or its naturally-aspirated 6.2 liter V8) pushed to the sidelines, the notion of a smaller, lighter sports car built on the same rock-solid platform fills us with a fair amount of glee. Plus, we're hoping this new car will give AMg a chance to rectify the SLS's biggest flaw: those really unfortunate headlamps. [via Mercedes-Benz, Car and Driver]
Chevy's been drip-teasing the new 2014 Corvette Stingray for months now, ever since they revealed it on the eve of the Detroit Auto Show back in January. They've shown us the various colors, they've shown us the convertible version, they've shown us the option packages and revealed how much power its new smallblock V8 will make... (more…)
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn spilled the beans on the NISMO GT-R earlier this year, when he said, "It would be unthinkable for us to develop a range of Nismo road cars without including the GT-R. The GT-R Nismo will be special." But we didn't know how special—not until the crew at Top Gear caught word from Nissan that the car will lap the Nordschleife in less than 7:18. That'd make it faster than all but two production cars—the Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition (7:14.64) and the Dodge Viper ACR (7:12.13). But the Viper's basically a street-legal race car, while the LFA Nürburgring, well, you're more likely to see Kanye West riding a unicycle down Rodeo Drive than you are to see one of them in the flesh. In terms of performance that's accessible and insane, the NISMO GT-R sounds like it'll be hard to beat.
Don't expect wild changes in the car compared to a regular GT-R. The power bump will be around 25 horses, to the 570 hp range, while the suspension will also be upgraded for improved handling. Oh, and Nissan says they pride themselves on making NISMO models look better than their regular counterparts; based on the transition from 370Z to NISMO 370Z, we'd say that means more air inlets, new spoilers front and rear at the very least. Look for the NISMO GT-R in the latter part of 2014. [via Top Gear]