Monthly Archives: June 2016
Everyone though that the Goodwood Festival of Speed will be the location for the unveiling of Aston Martin’s new hypercar. Well, aren’t we all wrong? Apparently, Aston Martin has a bigger and more private plan for their new hypercar, which isn’t really such a surprise.
Sources said the hypercar will be unveiled in a more private site and more privileged audience in mind on July 5. The location? The automaker’s headquarters in Gaydon, Central England.
But a handful of lucky customers have actually already seen the hypercar, based on reports gathered. Potential customers saw the hypercar on the sidelines of the Monaco Grand Prix a few weeks ago. Unfortunately for us, no one has even leaked a minute detail of the special viewing. No Instagram post. No Facebook mentions.
A joint venture between Aston Martin and its Red Bull Racing team, the hypercar is best known by its code name AM-RB 001. We’re expecting to see a number of features such as a V-12 engine from the company’s DB11. There might also be a race track and road-going version, making its reveal even more exciting.
Not much is known about the hypercar. Aston Martin has always been ultra secretive of its new cars, so we’re not expecting much until the final reveal on July 5. The same goes with pricing. There are no details yet. But although it’s hard to speculate on the actual pricing, we can estimate the new hypercar to have a high price tag—about £2.5 million, or about $3.5 million at today’s admittedly fluctuating exchange rates.
Aston Martin plans to produce no more than 100 units of this hypercar by 2018, their self-appointed deadline. Priority for the purchase of the hypercar will apparently be given to those who first purchased Aston Martin’s One-77 and Vulcan supercars.
Honda has a special treat for all Accord lovers. The new Accord lineup will introduce the 2017 Honda Accord Sport Special Edition sedan, which sits somewhere between the Sport and EX levels of the 2017 Honda Accord’s multi-trim model line.
The Sport Special Edition is built on the existing content found in Accord Sport based on reports. It has the same 189-horsepower four-cylinder engine, but added features such as heated leather seats with red stitching inside and a Special Edition badge on the outside.
The base model will have a six-speed manual transmission, and will cost $26,250. The continuously variable automatic (CVT) costs an additional $800.
The new Accord Sport Special Edition costs exactly $1,000 more than the 2017 Accord Sport. That cost stands for heated leather seats and the badge to remind that you’re very “special” to Honda.
Compared to the standard Accord Sport, the rest of the range increased its price by $150. The least expensive Accord, which has a six-speed manual and produces 185 horsepower, now begins at $23,190.
The package includes a rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, and dual-zone automatic climate control.
Other available options are a CVT for $800 and Honda Sensing (but only with the CVT) for $1,000. Honda Sensing will come with safety features such as forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, among others.
These two options are also available on the sportier LX-S coupe that has a starting price of $24,860 and Sport sedan. They can also be included with the package for EX coupe ($26,985) and the EX sedan ($26,565).
The leather-lined four-cylinder EX-L coupe is priced at $29,830 while the sedan starts ar $29,655. Both will remain for CVT only.
Adding Honda Sensing adds $2,000 because it’s paired with a navigation system.
If you want more power, the Accord EX-L also offers Honda’s 278-horsepower V-6 engine.
All sedans are paired with a standard six-speed automatic transmission ($31,730) while the coupe can be paired with either a six-speed manual ($32,005) or the automatic.
Finally, the Touring models ($35,210 coupe; $35,655 sedan) will have both the navigation and Honda Sensing as standard equipment.
They will also come packed with LED headlights, automatic high-beams, and rain-sensing wipers.
Alfa Romeo will be coming up with some new models for the year 2020, and they will all be based on the “Giorgio” platform that the Italian brand has spent 5 billion Euros developing. So far, we have only seen one model—the recently introduced Giulia—out of those being planned. There’s certainly plenty of room for some imagination.
According to Alfa officials, a compact SUV—called the Stelvio—will be next in line. The car will share its mechanical features with the Giulia, and will boost Alfa’s presence in both sides of the Atlantic. To follow this is a larger sedan aimed at challenging the BMW 5-Series, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Audi A6.
Experts predict that the 5-Series challenger is similar to the Giulia, and will be offered either in rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The lower models in the range will most likely have the same turbocharged 4-cylinder engines.
Those who want more power need not worry. This sedan is bound to have a high-powered variant through a 505-horsepower, 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 the Giulia Quadrifoglio is known for. In fact, the new sedan can even produce more power from the same engine than the Quadrifoglio, Alfa’s head of product development Philippe Krief said.
It can even rival the bigger M-5, so power should not be a problem. But in an aim to fill the gap between the twin-turbo and the 276-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four, Alfa engineers are more likely to come up with a variant that is less powerful than the V6.
At the very least, the use of the new 2.2-liter Alfa turbo-diesel will be highly welcomed in Europe, where 80 percent of the segment is powered by four-cylinder diesels. A six-cylinder diesel can also be expected.
What we’re hearing from Alfa is that it plans to produce 400,000 units of this said larger sedan.
Volkswagen just announced a series of updates for the 2017 edition of the Touareg SUV. The big differences can be seen in the interior details since the V6-powered midsize SUV will unfortunately remain unchanged mechanically at least.
It is renamed the Wolfsburg Edition, and includes a variety of upgrades, according to a report. The mid-level Lux trim level includes these features for 2017: a new brushed aluminum trim inside, stainless steel for the door entry sills and pedals, black headliner, standard heated and ventilated front seats, choice of all-black interior or two-tone Vienna leather seating, and contrast stitching on floor mats, steering wheel and shifter.
A Wolfsburg Edition badge is, of course, also included in the update.
For the wheels, Volkswagen Touareg Wolfsburg Edition buyers can opt between the 20-inch “Tarragona” alloy wheels with a diamond-turned finish or the 20-inch “Mallory” wheels finished in all black. In terms of trim level, another one exists just below the Wolfsburg Edition—the Sport with Technology Package trim level.
For the 2017 model, the Sport with Technology Package trim level includes the following: adaptive cruise control, a lane change assist system, forward collision warning with automatic braking, park distance control, and a heated steering wheel.
If you want something more from the mid-size SUV, you can splurge on the Executive trim level, which, above all of the mentioned upgrades, adds 21-inch alloy wheels.
However, if you’re expecting some upgrades under the hood, you’ll be sorely disappointed as the 2017 Touareg will share the same powertrain as its predecessor. All Touaregs will remain powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 280 horsepower, and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
For now, Volkswagen has yet to release details and pricing for the 2017 Touareg, so you have to check back for that. No images have also been revealed, unfortunately, so we have to be contented with some classic renderings.
If you’re one of the very few who were able to get their hands on the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato, then count yourself very lucky. At the same time that Aston Martin announced its plan to build a limited-edition car, the company also said that all units had been sold out.
The Vanquish Zagato concept was first shown at the Villa D’Este concours in Italy last month. Aston Martin said there will only be 99 units built, and that they already have buyers for every last one of them. This, of course, is despite the fact that the price for this car would probably be way up there.
The last Z-badged Aston Martin was the V12 Zagato, which cost more than $500,000 back in 2011. Add to that five years worth of inflation, a lower production run, and the Vanquish’s standard high price, then you’ve got yourself something not mere mortals can afford.
The Vanquish Zagato is based on the modified version of the mechanical package of the Vanquish. It, however, receives a unique carbon-fiber bodywork, as well as a “double bubble” roof. Supposedly, the “double bubble” will allow drivers to wear a helmet while driving the Vanquish Zagato.
Other features of this supercar are the front fenders with venturi-shaped air channels, bladed taillights at the back like the ones found on the Aston One-77 megacar, and a diffuser with quad exhaust pipes.
US buyers will have to content themselves with the V-12 engine similar to the one under the hood of the Vanquish. That means 576 horsepower that powers the Vanquish Zagato to go 0-60mph in just 3.5 seconds. The rest of the world would get the 600-horsepower version of the Zagato.
Deliveries of the Vanquish Zagato will begin in the first quarter of next year. Of course, we’re only speaking to those who actually ordered it.
When Mercedes announced that an AMG GT R is coming, experts and car enthusiasts alike were on tenterhooks, wondering just how powerful it could be. Well, time to stop the teasers that Affalterbach tuner has been dropping. We now hear a confirmation of some of the performance specs for this supercar.
The new Mercedes-AMG GT R will have a 577bhp twin-turbo V8 that sat behind its front axle, driving the rear wheels. This is the same engine that has been fitted to the regular GT and sportier GT S.
This makes it 74bhp healthier than the existing AMG GT S, which only gives out 503hp (the GT has an even lower 453hp capacity). It also makes this model the most potent Merc supercar since the SLS AMG Black Series.
The engine also makes it a direct rival to the Porsche 911 GT3 RS that has 500hp while it falls slightly below the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the Nissan GT-R Nismo that offer 650hp and 600hp, respectively.
New to the AMG GT R are the transaxle transmission, a modified undercarriage, a more involved aerodynamic package that comes with big wings, splitters and dive planes, and a carbon-based construction.
There are no details yet as to how “light” the AMG GT R will be. What we do know is that the 577bhp promised will allow the supercar to go 0-62mph in just 3.6 seconds and on to a 198mph top speed.
Merc assures “an extraordinary driving dynamics” that delivers “extreme fast laps” on the racetrack.
We shall all get ready for its debut at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed in United Kingdom. Also something to look out for is the GT-R’s exclusive color called the AMG Green Hell Magno, which can be seen on the teaser shots.
The “Green Hell” is a reference to the Nurburgring where much of the car’s looks were developed.
After four short months since Volvo debuted its V90 at the 2016 Geneva International Auto Show, the automaker is now ready to reveal more details about its 2017 V90 R-Design. Under this performance model, the V90 gains a sportier appearance with a new set of wheels, new front fascia, new radiator grille and new exterior trim elements, according to a source.
There is not much under the hood, but the exterior makes up for it. A few years back, you wouldn’t find sporty and Volvo in the same sentence. That changed in recent years as Volvo is now ready to compete, thanks to its R-Design.
Let’s start on the outside. In addition to the new fascia, grille and the new set of wheels, the overall appearance of the 2017 Volvo V90 R-Design is sleeker, sportier and more sophisticated than we have ever seen Volvo try.
You’ll find the grille, air dam and air inlets all in glossy black finish. This adds a dramatic flair, increasing the appeal of the car’s front. On the rear, there’s a very little change from the regular V90, except for the glossy black insert between the slanted rectangular exhaust outlets.
There’s also the large sunroof panel that will add more spacious feel once you relax on the sporty and contoured seats that are the highlight of the R-Design’s interior. Of course, the upgraded steering wheel adds even more to the inside’s overall appearance.
Made of all black with white contrast stitching, it has a three-spoke design and features the same layout for the side spokes. The lower spoke, on the other hand, sports the “R” badge.
Aside from the steering wheel, the seats are in black leather with white contrast stitching. Volvo removed the wood inserts and replaced them with carbon fiber inserts as well that worked perfectly with the black interior.
Under the hood, it has the same powertrain as the S90 and the XC90. We can expect the turbocharged 254-horsepower T5 or the 316-horsepower T6. But since this is a performance model, it could very well produce 400 horsepower. Imagine that.
Has it only been a year since McLaren introduced its first Sports Series model called the 570S? Well, McLaren Sports Series’ entry-level range is now almost ready to compete with the much pricier Super Series with its 570S Sprint.
This year, we’ve seen the debut of the more practical 570GT and the competition-ready 570 GT4 racer. As if those aren’t enough, we are now witnessing McLaren come up with the 570S Sprint, the badge the automaker puts on cars designed strictly for track use but is not as intimidating as proper race cars or the hardcore GTR cars.
For its powertrain, McLaren has fitted the 570S Sprint with the familiar twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8. The automaker said the output was “optimized,” hinting that we could expect more than the 570S’ 562 horsepower.
There are other upgrades, of course, such as the oil and cooling systems designed especially for the track, a wide splitter up front, canards on the bumper, center-locking magnesium wheels show with Pirelli racing slicks, a fixed rear wing, and an available air jack.
Inside, the 570S Sprint boasts of an FIA-spec roll cage and racing seats with harnesses. For safety, there’s also a fire extinguisher system installed.
The 570S will make its formal debut on June 24 at the 2016 Goodwood Festival of Speed in the United Kingdom. Pricing for that starts at £148,000 or $217,680 at current exchange rate. Deliveries will begin in 2017.
The 570S Sprint is not exactly something you can get off the dealer that quickly. According to reports, the Sprint will come as standard in McLaren Orange, although buyers can get the McLaren Special Operations department to create the same liveries as the Sprint.
If customers want a feel of the racing world, they can have the Sprint upgraded to 570S GT4 racecar. The package will include all requirements of the FIA standards for GT4 competition.
It was amazing how the engineers tried to make the 2018 prototype look like the regular Fiesta, but some clues in terms of its exterior have given way for us to take a good guess of how sporty this ST model is going to be.
The most obvious new features are the uprated wheels, tires and brakes. The Ford Fiesta ST should have multi-spokes because its maker has been trying to hide larger brakes, although the front rotors and calipers don’t actually look bigger than normal.
There are also dual-exhaust tips at the rear and a seemingly large intercooler at the front. A new spoiler is also spotted and it looks bigger than the Fiesta previewed a few weeks ago.
Based on the photos, the engineers are using the current Ford Fiesta ST as a benchmark.
In terms of powertrain, we expect the new ST to retain front-wheel drive, manual transmissions and the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. But since this is the next-generation ST and it promised to be sportier, we should see some extra horsepower.
To recall, Ford has just launched a special Fiesta ST200 to mark the impending end of the current Fiesta range. And though that wasn’t intended for the US market, its turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder should fit well with the offering in this new ST.
The same engine will produce a fairly average 212 horsepower. With this, we’re hoping there’s also a hotter Fiesta RS somewhere in the future.
This new Fiesta, including the ST model, will debut next year as a 2018 model. Reports said it can make its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Ford is reportedly also planning to launch a next-generation Focus, which will come in as a later model compared to the 2018 Fiesta ST.
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sportwagon is not only reviving the Giulia nameplate last used in 1978, it is an updated Alfa Romeo 159 introduced in 2011. But much more than that, the new Giulia features premium interior and powerful drivetrains that make it a worthy rival for the likes of the BMW 3-Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
Based on a rendering provided by Top Speed, the sportwagon will share the looks of the sedan—from the nose to the B-pillar. It is toward the rear only where styling difference will commence. There will be an additional quarter window between the rear-door glass and the C-pillar, as well as a new fascia design and tailgate.
The sportwagon should be retaining the sedan’s taillights and bumper design, but will combine them with a sloping roof, narrow rear windscreen, and a spoiler on top.
If there’s going to be a QV version, there’s bound to be larger front intakes, prominent splitter, front vents, a large roof spoiler, and a diffuser.
Inside, the Giulia will have premium features enough to rival the 3-Series and the C-Class. The seats and door panels are made of fine leather while wood grain is used on top of each door panel. On the dashboard, it will come with the Tan and Black interior option.
The sportwagon will share the sedan’s “human-machine interface” concept as the dash and the console will have all the basic controls—a start button and an infotainment system with an 8.8-inch screen, active voice activation, and Apple iOS or Android connectivity.
For now, what’s confirmed is the sportwagon will have the gasoline unit and two diesel units. The gasoline option has a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that pumps out 197 horsepower and 243 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an 8-speed auto transmission.
The diesel unit comes with a 2.2-liter 4-cylinder with two options—one that cranks out 148 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque and one that produces 177 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque.
Official introduction of the Giulia Sportwagon will likely happen in 2017.