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Monthly Archives: November 2019

Future of Aston Martin Rides on the DBX SUV

aston martin dbx

The Aston Martin DBX is its maker’s entry into the luxury sport utility vehicle market. From a company that has specialized in supercars over the years, it is all-new territory for them. However, analysts think that the brand’s entry to the niche is worth all the risk and the new product might be the saving grace of the automaker.

According to Bloomberg, Aston Martin has lost three-fourths of its value since its initial public offering in October 2018. The problem has been attributed to the poor performance of the much-hyped Vantage, DBS and DB11 Volante cars in the market. This caused the company to publish financial warnings and they have been pushed to invest more in the business to stabilize it. The event also landed Aston Martin in the list of the worst-performing big companies in the UK during that period.

The British brand recovered a bit, thanks to its sale of six DB4 GT Zagato Continuation supercars that yielded £2 million each in profits. However, that’s still not enough, so the coming of the DBX might change its fortune.

Aston Martin is looking to capitalize on the popularity of luxury SUVs, particularly in big markets like China and Russia. The company is looking for a boost in their marketing as well in the coming James Bond film titled “No Time to Die”.

Daniel Craig reprises his role as Agent 007 upcoming movie. As Aston Martin cars have been one of the mainstays in the franchise, some of its vehicles like the DB5 and Valhalla will be featured there. The $189,000 Aston Martin DBX will take the spotlight also to promote it to buyers.

Major details about the Aston Martin DBX are yet to be revealed but what we know so far is that it will get Mercedes-AMG’s 4.0-liter biturbo V8 engine. The unit will let the SUV produce up to 542 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.

With the DBX in its offerings, Aston Martin is targeting to improve its annual production to 14,000 vehicles on its way to 2023. That’s more than double than their performance last fiscal year.

Furthermore, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said they are looking to attract customers who want an upgrade from their Range Rovers and Porsche Cayennes with the DBX.

Cybertruck and CYBRTRK Names Patented for Tesla Electric Pickup

tesla pickup truck

Details about the possible names for the planned Tesla electric pickup truck have been revealed. Based on the recent filing of the electric vehicle maker with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the product will carry either the Cybertruck or CYBRTRK moniker. A proposed badge for the auto surfaced too.

Elon Musk already confirmed the official unveiling of the Tesla electric pickup via Twitter. He referred to the vehicle as “Cybertruck”. The same post also mentioned that the big reveal will happen on November 21 near the SpaceX rocket factory of Tesla in Los Angeles.

The Tesla electric pickup is the American EV brand’s answer to the upcoming electric Ford F150 pickup truck. This could pose as a strong rival to Ford in the electric pickup segment of the market since Tesla has established itself already in the EV niche. At present, it already has the electric sedan, sports car, crossover and SUV in its lineup.

The Cybertruck or CYBRTRK names for the pickup seem to be a departure from the traditional naming scheme of Tesla. Currently, the company uses the word “Model” succeeded by a letter or number in identifying its vehicles. So this appears to be a fresh start for them.

In a related report, we have recently unearthed a site that is already capitalizing on the name revealed by Musk. Following his announcement, someone already created a forum dedicated to the upcoming Tesla pickup truck called the CYBRTRK Owner’s Club. Great job in beating Tesla to the chase guys!

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Convertible Totaled

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Convertible embodies a major overhaul compared to the C7. A key revision in the series is its retractable hardtop, which is a departure from its predecessor’s soft-top roof that Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter considers as one of the reasons why the C7 underperformed in the market.

Recently, Drive 615 was looking for a quick scoop of the C8 topdown in Accelerate Yellow finish at the assembly plant of Corvette in Bowling Green, Kentucky. As he was snooping around, one version of the car caught him by surprise instead. What he saw was a totaled prototype of the vehicle.

Sitting in the yard of the automaker is a completely camouflaged version of the C8 Convertible. That means it is one of the model’s test cars. Noticeably missing in the auto is one of its front wheels and its airbags have been deployed.

We can only speculate about what caused the condition of the C8 Convertible in the video. It is possible that the car underwent a crash test, but its front and rear do not appear to be crumpled from the collision. Another scenario is that something may have gone wrong that sent its front wheel flying out along the way. Regardless, this is a clear indication that Chevy is going into great lengths in testing its cars to ensure their performance and safety.

According to Chevrolet, the new Corvette C8 Convertible will only be $7,500 more expensive than its coupe variant. That means its starting price should start at the $67,000 mark. The production of the vehicle is expected to begin before 2019 ends.

Mercedes-Benz to Showcase Six Vehicles at the Auto Guangzhou

mercedes-benz at auto guangzhou

Mercedes-Benz officially revealed that it is scheduled to unveil six vehicles at the Auto Guangzhou in China on November 22, 2019. Highlighting the bunch is the much-anticipated Mercedes-Maybach GLS ultra-luxury sport utility vehicle.

According to the Daimler Global Media Site, the company will be showcasing six vehicles in the event. The models include the new Mercedes-Maybach SUV, the Mercedes-Benz GLB, Mercedes-Benz GLS, Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS, Denza X, and Mercedes-AMG A35 L.

It should be noted that the GLB, GLS and the EQS concept are no longer new to us, but their arrival in the show will signal their roll out in Chinese dealerships soon. However, what we will be seeing for the first time is the Mercedes-Maybach SUV, the Denza X, and the Mercedes-AMG A35 L.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS

mercedes-maybach gls suv (1)

Basically, the Mercedes-Maybach SUV is based on the Mercedes-Benz GLS. The Mercedes-Maybach variant stands out from the regular Mercedes-Benz model though with its more spacious interior, more advanced tech, more comfort features, and Maybach accessories plus badges in and out. The auto is rumored to get a 4.0-liter V8 with a mild-hybrid setup that should allow it to produce at least 483 hp similar to the Mercedes-Benz GLE 580.

Denza X

Denza X is an electric vehicle that comes from the partnership between Daimler and BYD. The EV was developed by the China Advance Design Center. We don’t know yet how much Mercedes is present in the vehicle since information about it is very scarce as of now, but its makers confirmed that it will come with a plug-in hybrid version and all-electric-powered variant.

Mercedes-AMG A35 L

The Mercedes-AMG A35 L is another China-exclusive model. In a nutshell, everything about it is all too similar to the Mercedes-AMG A35 but with some tweaks in the wheelbase so it could offer more space at the back for Chinese owners who prefer to be chauffeured most of the time. Powering the car is a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with 306 hp.

Tesla Sued for Pop-Out Door Handles in Model S

tesla model s

Tesla is in hot waters as an unfortunate accident resulted in a lawsuit against the automaker. The victim’s family cited wrongful death as the cause of their loved one’s demise due to the problematic pop-out door handles of the car.

The victim was Dr. Omar Awan who is a 48-year old anesthesiologist from Davie, Florida. The investigation claimed that he crashed his Tesla Model 3 in a palm tree. It resulted in the battery igniting, which later caused a fire in the entire car.

The police report alleged that rescuers had trouble accessing the victim as the car was engulfed in flames because of the failure of the door handles to engage. The lawsuit claimed, “Fire engulfed the car and burned Dr. Awan beyond recognition — all because the Model S has inaccessible door handles, no other way to open the doors, and an unreasonably dangerous fire risk.”

The pop-out door handles of the Model S retract when not in use. However, the car has an emergency feature that pops them out during an impact. It should activate at the same time the airbags are deployed. This wasn’t the case though with Dr. Awan’s vehicle. Sadly, he died of smoke inhalation because of the botched rescue.

Looking back at 2015, it isn’t the first time for Tesla to get under fire for faulty door handles. Owners of the Model S have complained that the pop-out door handles sometimes fail to work on cold weather because of their mechanisms getting frozen, and sometimes they would just stop working for no reason.

A similar incident happened in California wherein a man named Kevin McCarthy also died because the defective door handles prevented his escape from the burning Model S.

Authorities added that Dr. Awan’s Model S reignited multiple times after the flames have been doused and the car was already in tow. This was attributed to the car’s lithium-ion battery sparking even when the fire was out by then.

With the rapid advancements in the automotive landscape, events like these make us question if all the innovations that carmakers are introducing are really useful and practical. There’s the question too of whether or not the public, especially rescuers, is truly prepared with all the complex challenges posed by the influx of new car technologies.

Porsche Panamera is Getting a Mid-Cycle Facelift

porsche panamera (2)

The second-generation of the Porsche Panamera was just unveiled around three years ago. So in the automotive world, it’s not yet that old, but new spy shots reveal that the model is getting a mid-cycle refresh.

As the norm, a production car’s mid-cycle facelift only involves a few cosmetic enhancements. That’s exactly what we are looking at when the Panamera was caught by Motor1 while it was undergoing testing in Germany.

A closer examination of the upcoming Panamera model shows a few portions of it covered in black wraps. These hint the areas where the changes in the car will take place.

From the images, we can see that the front bumper and the lower part of the rear glass panel are hidden from plain sight. We suspect that the covered parts will receive styling cues coming from the latest 911. The headlamps and taillamps appear to be concealing a few graphical updates too.

Fortunately, the spy photographer also snapped a few pictures of the car’s interior. From there, we can see a new steering wheel in the cockpit.

There’s no information yet about any revisions in the engine of the Panamera. However, it was rumored that the car will get a new range-topping model, codenamed “Lion, that will go head-to-head against the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT 73 4-Door. With that, the most potent form of the Panamera might get up to 820 hp.

The facelifted 2021 Porsche Panamera is expected to be unveiled as early as next year, which also coincides with the debut of its Mercedes rival.

Toyota Supra Heritage Edition Stands Out At The SEMA Show

With the Toyota Supra hype train still running wild, there’s definitely no shortage of its tuned versions at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The one that stands out the most though is the Toyota GR Supra Heritage Edition by Motorsports Tech Center.

While the new Supra has never failed to amaze me, I understand it’s also a bit of a disappointment for those who were expecting that it would adopt many elements showcased by the FT-1 concept back in 2014. So to get the best of both worlds, Motorsports Tech Center took inspiration from the design cues of the concept car and the styling of the 90s fourth-generation Supra. After that, they mashed those with the new model of the vehicle.

The GR Supra Heritage Edition gives us a “what if” scenario that shows what could have been if Toyota strictly kept the DNA of old Supra and the FT-1 concept vehicle going onwards. Outside, the customized sports car features reworked headlights and taillights similar to the MKIV. Aero enhancements were also introduced to it, including new side sills, front splitter, rear diffuser, and large rear wing reminiscent of the new Supra’s predecessor.

The upgrades are topped off by a new set of 19-inch HRE wheels. Brembo brakes were used for the modded Supra and the suspension has been lowered by three inches.

The Toyota GR Supra Heritage Edition is not just all bark and no bite. Within the car rests a tuned version of its 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces as high as 503 hp.

Stolen and Crashed Dodge Challenger with 1,000 HP Goes to SEMA Against All Odds

dodge challenger (2)

One Dodge Challenger currently displayed at the 2019 SEMA Show in Las Vegas has an interesting story to tell other than its overwhelming 1,000 hp output. The car has been stolen and crashed into a police car but it still managed to reach the event.

According to reports, the Challenger was modified by the Vermont-based Quintin Brothers Auto and Performance for this year’s SEMA. However, on October 30 at around 11:30 AM, the Troopers of the Nevada Highway Patrol were on the move to locate it after it was reported stolen from an overflow parking lot at the casino near the display floor of the auto event.

It was soon found by a Trooper inside the parking of Rio Hotel and Casino. As the Trooper was exiting his vehicle, the culprit rammed the Challenger into his patrol car. After that, the tuned muscle car was driven away from the scene but it was later recovered in an abandoned state at The Boulevard Mall.

The perpetrator was eventually arrested on November 5 after he allegedly shot someone outside a local grocery. Luckily, the victim survived the ordeal with non-fatal injuries and was confined to a hospital.

Despite all the drama and damage to the Challenger, one would understand if the Quintin Brothers will no longer participate at the SEMA Show. Then again, since the story gained a lot of attention, they still brought the car at the event. Currently, the auto is in a state of disrepair with its front bumper barely hanging on to it. There’s also a yellow police tape draped on it and the interior still has some of the trash left behind by the thief.

The exhibit features a full write-up narrating the car’s whole ordeal. Adam Whitmarsh, the Trooper that was nearly hit by the Challenger came to the show as well.

2019 Chevrolet Silverado Gets $31,800 Worth of Mods

Aside from its versatility and power, the real fun in owning a pickup truck comes in the variety of aftermarket modifications that you can put into it. With that, one owner of a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado seemingly took things too far in the customization process until he ended up spending $31,800 into the vehicle.

The price tag is already enough to buy you a nice car. In fact, you can already buy a Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedan just by adding $700 into the said amount. So is it worth spending that much in the Silverado? The owner who goes by the name Chevy Dude on YouTube gives us a rundown on the mods he made for the truck that cost him that much.

According to the video, the pickup truck uses the LTZ trim of the Silverado that is worth $50,295 alone. The vehicle is equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 engine priced at $2,495, then it is fitted with the $550 Z71 package that includes Rancho shocks and skid plates. Moreover, it receives the spray-in bed liner for $545 as well as the LTZ Premium Package, which gives the auto a powered liftgate and navigation system, among others.

Breaking down the aftermarket options totaling to $21,000, the upgrade includes a two-tone paint, six-inch lift, running boards, exhaust system with blacked-out exhaust tips, a set of BF Goodrich all-terrain tires, Black Widow trims, and tinted window.

Going inside reveals high-quality leather seats emblazoned with the Black Widow logo, heated seats, sunroof, LED footwell lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and gloss black highlights on the side panels and center console.

Overall, most of the add-ons may not be needed, but if the added appeal, luxury, comfort, and performance that the package offers to the Chevrolet Silverado are put to the table, then everything is justifiable.

Speedkore Dodge Charger With 1,525 HP Introduced at SEMA Show

The SEMA Show starts in a full-throttle by introducing the Speedkore Dodge Charger. The car based on the 2019 Dodge Charger Pursuit platform comes in a tuned state with a mind-blowing 1,525 hp plus an aggressive-looking widebody kit.

The car is touted by Speedkore as the “world’s first all-wheel-drive, twin-turbocharged, carbon-fiber widebody” Charger. The vehicle is a product of the company’s cooperation with MagnaFlow and HP Tuners.

Performance

speedkore dodge charger (40)

Popping the hood of the Speedkore Dodge Charger reveals a modified 6.2-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. The power unit is the same as the one used by the Speedkore Demon shown at the 2018 SEMA Show. However, the new project has an additional output of more than 300 hp during the dyno tests compared to the former.

Staying true to its promise, the tuned Charger delivers 1,525 hp at the crank with a “conservative 26 pounds of boost.” All that power goes to all four wheels and distributed via a Hellraiser Performance-built transmission. The gearbox is partnered with Traction Products’ custom billet transfer case, an FTI torque converter, and Driveshaft Shop’s carbon-fiber driveshaft.

Among the key upgrades in the engine bay of the Charger include two Precision 6466 ball-bearing billet turbochargers replacing the fresh-from-the-factory unit of the auto. It also has a custom-made triple-pump fuel system with 1,700 cc injectors.

We are yet to find out how fast the car can reach 62 mph from zero. The top speed of the auto is to be revealed in the future too. We would surely love to see it go head-to-head against the tuner’s Demon though, so we can find out which is the quicker one.

Design

speedkore dodge charger (7)

Speedkore makes the Charger visually stand out with a widebody kit consisting of carbon-fiber materials. The changes in the aesthetics of the car can be found in its hood, bumpers, fender flares, rocker set, rear spoiler, and rear diffuser.

speedkore dodge charger (6)

Availability

Unfortunately, the car on the exhibit in Las Vegas is only a one-off project. It was commissioned by an unnamed Speedkore loyal customer who intended to give it as a gift for his brother’s 65th birthday.

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