While many journalists are already calling 2013 “the year of the supercar” I do my best not to forget that many of our sport car favorites are being refreshed or reborn this year as well. Before all the photographers descended upon McLaren, Ferrari, and Lamborghini today, Porsche graced the world with the new 2014 911 GT3.
It might not be completely made out of hand laid carbon fiber next to an F1 car, or cost over a million dollars but the GT3 is still a beautiful machine and looks to continue the tradition of being the ultimate driver’s car. Looking at the GT3 I can’t help but wonder how a car can be the same as before but also new. Clearly the 2014 GT3 looks different from its predecessors, yet it is still un-mistakably the snarling lightweight no-frills track car it has always been.
When designing the new GT3, Porsche went with a “less is more” strategy; Meaning they only changed a few things but those changes are significant. The change that has everyone talking is the lack of a true manual transmission option. Instead, the 2014 GT3 comes with a 7 speed dual-clutch “PDK” gearbox. This is a very polarizing development. Many mourn the death of the ol’ H-pattern while others welcome the “flappy paddles” as Jeremy Clarkson calls them.
The new GT3 also comes with a rear wheel steering system. Rear wheels turning still seems like a funny concept to me but in practice it can work wonders. Porsche’s system works by analyzing speed in turns and then commanding the rear wheels to turn in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving cornering. I reckon this will make the new GT3 damn near surgical when it comes to slow corners.
The GT3′s engine is slightly based on the Carerra 911 S unit but with several modifications to lighten it up and add enough strength to handle 475HP and the 9,000RPM redline. The connecting rods have been replaced with titanium pieces which were mated to forged pistons.
Despite its looks and modifications, one of my favorite things about the new GT3 is that it actually has a price and a (vague but definable) release date. The 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 will have an MSRP of $130,400 (not counting a $950 destination charge) and is expected to hit dealerships late this year.
Hopefully I will be lucky enough to be invited to a press drive. Oh, hell who am I kidding? These pictures will probably the closest I ever get to the new GT3 until one shows up at Cars & Coffee.
For more details on the 2014 911 GT3 scroll down for the press release. For hi-res pics click any of the thumbnails above. For some real fun click the red text above for the official 2014 911 GT3 microsite.
The new Porsche 911 GT3 premieres this week at the Geneva International Motor Show. The completely-redeveloped fifth generation of the 911 GT3 occupies the top position among Porsche sports cars with naturally-aspirated engines. With an impressive lap time on the Nürburgring Nordschleife of under 7:30 minutes, the 2014 911 GT3 benefits from a new engine, transmission, body and chassis. The car now sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds on its way to a top track speed of 195 mph. The 2014 911 GT3 will go on sale in the United States late in 2013 and will be priced from $130,400, not including a $950 destination charge.
As a technical highlight, the 911 GT3 features the first active rear-wheel steering in a production Porsche, as well as optional full LED headlights. The new GT3 brings to everyday driving many of the properties of a sports car developed on the track, and preserves the highly emotional fun factor.
The powertrain of the new 911 GT3 is composed of a 3.8-liter boxer engine yielding 475 hp (125 hp/liter) featuring a 9,000 rpm redline and a specially developed Porsche dual-clutch transmission (PDK) which drives the rear wheels. The six-cylinder engine is based on the same engine as the 911 Carrera S, although they share only a few common parts. All other components, particularly the crankshaft and valve gear, were specially adapted or designed for the GT3. For instance, Porsche designed titanium connecting rods and forged pistons for this engine.
The Porsche dual-clutch transmission in this application has been specially developed for the 911 GT3: the characteristics are based directly on a sequential gearbox from racing, thereby providing further performance and dynamic advantages to the driver. Highlights include shorter gear ratios with closer spacing, even faster shifting, and shift paddles with shorter travel and increased tactile feedback, which now allow the driver to place the PDK in neutral simply by pulling on both paddles at the same time.
For the first time, Porsche is employing active rear wheel steering to achieve even higher steering precision and improved lateral dynamics. Depending on the speed, the rear wheels steer in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels, improving stability and agility. Other new features that improve driving dynamics are an electronically controlled, fully variable rear differential lock and dynamic engine mounts. Contact with the road is made by new 20-inch, forged alloy wheels with center-locking hubs in place of conventional wheel bolts
The 2014 911 GT3 is based on the light yet stiff body of the current generation 911 Carrera, which employs a hybrid steel and aluminum construction; however, it comes with unique front and rear parts specific to the GT3. In addition, the 911 GT3 is 1.7 inches wider than a 911 Carrera S in the rear. Another distinctive feature is the large, fixed rear wing, which contributes to the exemplary aerodynamics.
By combining low air resistance with even more power, the 2014 911 GT3 sets new performance standards. At full acceleration from standstill, the 60 mph mark is reached after just 3.3 seconds, and on the track 124 mph is reached in less than twelve seconds.
For a few years now there has been tons of speculation, rumors, and leaks about what Ferrari would come up with as its true successor to the Enzo. Today at the Geneva Motorshow it all came to a head when Ferrari pulled the silky red sheet off what they call the “LaFerrari” (click the red text for the official microsite). It was clear here that Ferrari was not going to try and top the name “Enzo” (the company’s name sake).
“The Ferrari” as it translates to is what Ferrari calls their “maximum expression of excellence”. I would be inclined to agree with them on that. LaFerrari is absolutely beautiful! Despite being an aggressive hyper car, LaFerrari is still very elegant in both mechanical and aesthetic design.
LaFerrari is completely hand built in the same facility as Ferrari’s F1 cars with its body panels and chassis being comprised of several types of hand-laid carbon fiber materials culminating in a shape that has an aerodynamic coefficient of “nearly 3″ (that’s good).
In the back of LaFerrari is a 6.3 liter V12 engine that makes 789HP at 9,000RPM. That’s right; This massive V12 revs up to (and just past) 9,000RPM! But wait, there’s more. Mated to the V12 engine is a 160hp electric motor which is powered by Ferrari’s HY-KERS system that they developed through their F1 effort. The two motors make a combined power out put of 949HP, yet LaFerrari is more efficient than the Enzo. LaFerrari also laps Ferrari’s Fiorano test track 5 seconds faster than the Enzo.
There has been no announcement on price as of yet but Ferrari has stated that only 499 examples of this beauty will be produced. Given its performance, hand-made construction, and extremely limited run I would expect that this car will probably sticker somewhere between $700-$900k with dealer mark-ups bringing it well into the millions. Having said that though, you technically still have a much better chance on grabbing a LaFerrari versus the new Lamborghini Veneno!
For videos that explain just about everything you want to know about the car as well as the press release, scroll down!
Maranello, 5th March 2013 – The wraps are finally off the LaFerrari. The Prancing Horse’s eagerly-anticipated limited-series special, of which just 499 will be built, made its world debut today at the Geneva International Motor Show.
“We chose to call this model LaFerrari,” declared Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo, “because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry. LaFerrari is the finest expression of our company’s unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula 1.”
For Ferrari the development of a limited-series special like the LaFerrari represents an opportunity to experiment with all the technological solutions that will later filter down onto the production cars. Of particular significance in this context is the introduction of the hybrid system which, making full use of the Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 KERS know-how, has resulted in a solution that exalts Ferrari’s fundamental values – performance and driving thrills. The hybrid technology used, known as HY-KERS, represents the perfect combination of maximum performance and lower emissions. LaFerrari in fact emits just 330 g/km of CO2 but without resorting to electric-only drive which would not fit the mission of this model. The HY-KERS system is, however, designed so that in future applications a car can be driven using exclusively electric power for a few kilometres and, during development testing, a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved just 220 g/km of C02 emissions on the combined cycle.
The LaFerrari is equipped with dynamic controls that are integrated for the first time ever on a Ferrari road car with active aerodynamics and the HY-KERS system. Thanks to Ferrari’s proprietary logic which govern all the systems, the car can achieve absolute levels of performance, aerodynamic efficiency and handling without any form of compromise in any area. A very advanced and uncompromising approach was also taken with the interior design which features an HMI inspired by F1 single-seaters.
The LaFerrari’s architecture posed the first challenge for the Prancing Horse team at the planning stage of the design. The aim was to achieve ideal weight distribution (59% at the rear) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car’s two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its centre of gravity (by 35 millimetres) and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions.
The layout of the cabin made a significant contribution in this regard. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultation with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an active role throughout the entire development process.
The LaFerrari’s chassis features no less than four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the Formula 1 car. This helped optimise the design: various functions were integrated (e.g. seats and battery compartment) into the chassis to improve torsional rigidity (+27%) and beam stiffness (+22%) whilst cutting weight.
The LaFerrari is the first car in Ferrari history to be powered by the HY-KERS system. The ICE represents the pinnacle of engine development and research, with a 6262 cc V12 that punches out 800 CV and revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm, a record for an engine of this displacement. It also features a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and a high specific output equal to 128 CV per litre. The engine is coupled with a 120 Kw (163 CV) electric motor, giving it a combined power output of 963 CV.
The high torque levels available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine’s performance at higher revs, thus providing a constant supply of exceptional power throughout the rev range. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm. The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries – and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department where the KERS for the F138 is also made. The Scuderia’s expertise allowed considerable savings in weight and size of the individual components and the batteries weigh just 60 kg while providing the highest energy density possible for this kind of application.
The batteries are charged in different ways: under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.
The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox to the benefit of optimal weight distribution, but also to boosting energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging.
Active aerodynamics play an essential role, as they allow a complete adjustability of the car’s configuration to attain LaFerrari’s exceptional performance.
The engineers’ aim was to deliver the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a coefficient of nearly 3, thanks to technical solutions honed with CFD analysis and fine-tuned in the F1 Wind Tunnel.
To boost efficiency, the LaFerrari sports active aerodynamic devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) which generate downforce when needed without compromising the car’s overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car’s dynamic vehicle controls, thus guaranteeing the ideal configuration on the basis of the driving conditions.
One further innovative aspect of the LaFerrari is the integration of its active aerodynamics and hybrid system with the other dynamic control systems aboard. This means the car responds intelligently to driver inputs, making for a seamless blend of unprecedented performance and unparalleled driving emotions.
Proprietary Ferrari algorithms deliver optimal integration of the electric motor and V12 for instantaneous response. In cornering, for instance, the HY-KERS keeps the V12′s revs high to guarantee better acceleration on exit.
The LaFerrari’s Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition.
The car’s extreme performance potential called for a different tyre set-up, with 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear.
All in all the car guarantees maximum driving thrills in every situation and performance levels are top level: 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds, a lap time at Fiorano of under 1’20″ – 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. LaFerrari is thus the fastest road car in Maranello’s long history.
Styling The Ferrari design team led by Flavio Manzoni developed the LaFerrari’s styling working in close synergy with the engineers to emphasise the exacting link between form and function. The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque’s tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.
The LaFerrari’s body has been given a sculptural treatment heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that exudes uncompromising sportiness.
Inside there’s a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a fiercely track-inspired, pared-back allure.
The Ferrari range
Aside from the new limited-series special, the Ferrari stand also features the complete range which is the most wide-ranging and critically acclaimed in its entire history. The five models all share the same Ferrari DNA in terms of performance, driving pleasure and technology, yet each one has its own strongly unique identity, in line with the company’s philosophy of “different Ferraris for different Ferraristi”.
Ferrari’s 12-cylinder GT sports car prowess is represented at Geneva by the FF, the very first four-seater and four-wheel drive in Prancing Horse history. It will be sporting a Grigio Ingrid livery with an elegant glass roof and Iroko interior. The FF is also now seamlessly integrated with Apple technologies, thanks to direct access to the infotainment system via SIRI voice commands and the adoption of two iPad Minis as the entertainment system of choice for the rear seat passengers.
Blistering performance and sublime driving pleasure even at low speeds are assured behind the wheel of the multi-award-winning F12berlinetta, which is powered by a mid-front V12. Unique handling characteristics, extreme aerodynamics and an innovative yet classic design are its signatures. The car on show at Geneva has a Grigio Silverstone livery and a Sella di Cavallo interior.
Moving on to the 8-cylinders, the California 30, in sophisticated Nero Stellato with a Crema interior, is a convertible GT that uncompromisingly marries sportiness and versatility. The California’s already-massive popularity with both press and public alike grew still further after its V8′s output was upped by 30 hp to 490 hp, and 30 kg was slashed off its overall weight.
The blistering 458 Italia is a sublime, thoroughbred sports car. It and its drop-top sibling, the 458 Spider, are equipped with the same extraordinary mid-rear-mounted V8 engine which was named International Engine of the Year in both 2011 and 2012. These two models continue Ferrari’s glorious tradition with this particular layout. The coupé seen at Geneva sports an aggressive Bianco Avus livery and sleek black interior with carbon-fibre trim, while the Spider, which dominates the Tailor-Made extreme personalisation area, takes its inspiration from the legendary 1957 250 Testa Rossa that sold for a record 16 million dollars at auction at Pebble Beach in 2011. It has the same red and blue livery and a host of competition car details in its cabin, not least of which are suede-upholstered seats and Alutex trim.
Total maximum power 963 CV
Total maximum torque >900 Nm
V12 maximum power* 800 CV @9000 rpm
Maximum revs 9250 rpm
V12 maximum torque 700 Nm @6750 rpm
Electric motor output 120 Kw (163 CV)
CO2 emissions** 330 g/km
Maximum speed over 350 km/h
0-100 km/h <3 sec
0-200 km/h <7 sec
0 – 300 km/h 15 sec
Type 65-deg. V12
Bore and stroke 94 x 752 mm
Total displacement 6262 cc
Compression ratio 13.5:1
Specific power 128 CV/l
Length 4702 mm
Width 1992 mm
Height 1116 mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm
Weight distribution 41% fr, 59% r
Front double wishbones
Front 265/30 – 19
Rear 345/30 – 20
Carbon ceramic brakes (Brembo)
Front 398 x 223 x 36 mm
Rear 380 x 253 x 34 mm
ESC stability control
High performance ABS/EBD Sistema frenata anti bloccaggio prestazionale /electronic brake balance
EF1-Trac F1 electronic traction control integrated with the hybrid system
E-Diff 3 third generation electronic differential
SCM-E Frs magnetorheological damping with twin solenoids (Al-Ni tube)
* with dynamic ram effect
You have probably seen a few “leaked” pictures of this thing already but I figured I would wait until they were labeled “official” before I posted them. Anyhow, this my friends is the Lamborghini Veneno and it looks like it can change into a Gundam mobile battle robot suit at any given moment…
Seriously, look at this thing! If it didn’t have a Lamborghini badge on it I’d swear it was a prop from an upcoming Robotech movie. There is carbon fiber, fins, blades, and wings everywhere! Lamborghini is getting crazier and crazier with these super limited special cars. They are also getting more expensive. The Veneno is reported to cost 3.9 million dollars! That’s Dr. Evil money! I dare you to say the price out loud without putting your pinky near the corner of your mouth. Go ahead, I dare you!
Rumor had it that the Veneno is built on the same chassis as the Aventador, however the release says the monocoque is “largely similar” but not the same. A lot of aerodynamic gurus all headbutted each other a the same time to make sure this thing flows through the air as efficiently as possible. Lamborghini also equipped the Veneno with a race-ready push-rod suspension system and then threw a massive 6.2 liter 720HP V12 in the back. The extreme carbon fiber diet not only makes the Veneno extremely regular, it is also very light with a 3,190lbs dry weight (275lbs lighter than the Aventador).
If you really are wealthy enough to afford the Veneno, well first of all I’d have to ask you how it feels to be Batman and secondly I would tell you to act fast because Lamborghini is only building 3 models to sell. The car at the show is actually number “0″ as it was the test vehicle.
I wonder if I will ever see this thing at Cars & Coffee some day? Probably not hmm? Well, since most of you will never see this thing in person feel free to click any of the thumbnails for HD resolution pics. If you want more details straight from the bull’s mouth then check out the officiall press release below.
04/03/2013 Lamborghini Veneno – a racing prototype and road-going super sports car as a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Automobili Lamborghini
In the year of its 50th anniversary Automobili Lamborghini is presenting an extremely exclusive model at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. Only three unique units of the Lamborghini Veneno will be built and sold. Its design is consistently focused on optimum aerodynamics and cornering stability, giving the Veneno the real dynamic experience of a racing prototype, yet it is fully homologated for the road. With a maximum output of 552 kW / 750 hp, the Veneno accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds and the top speed for this street-legal racing car stands at 355 km/h. It is priced at three million Euros plus tax and all three units have already been sold to customers.
The Lamborghini Veneno features a twelve-cylinder power unit with a displacement of 6.5 liters, an extremely fast-shifting 7-speed ISR transmission with 5 driving modes and permanent all-wheel drive, as well as a racing chassis with pushrod suspension and horizontal spring/damper units. Above all, however, the Veneno benefits from the very special expertise that Automobili Lamborghini possesses in the development and execution of carbon-fiber materials the complete chassis is produced as a CFRP monocoque, as is the outer skin of this extreme sports car. The inside, too, features innovative, Lamborghini-patented materials such as Forged Composite and CarbonSkin.
Fully in keeping with the tradition of the brand, the name of the Veneno originates from a legendary fighting bull.
Veneno is the name of one of the strongest and most aggressive fighting bulls ever. He is also famous for being one of the fastest bulls in the history of bullfighting. His name became popular in 1914, when he fatally wounded the famous torero José Sánchez Rodríguez during the bullfight in the arena Sanlúcar de Barramedas, Andalusia, Spain.
The Lamborghini Veneno brings the aerodynamic efficiency of a racing prototype to the road. Every detail of its form pursues a clear function exceptional dynamics, optimum downforce with minimal drag and perfect cooling of the high-performance engine. Yet the Veneno is unmistakably a Lamborghini; it sticks firmly to the consistent design philosophy of all the super sports cars from SantAgata Bolognese. That includes the extreme proportions, as well as the powerfully arrow-shaped front end and the interplay between razor-sharp lines and precise surfaces.
The entire front end of the Lamborghini Veneno has been laid out for perfect airflow and downforce. The front end works as a large aerodynamic wing. Large channels guide the air to the outlets in the front hood and in front of the windshield, as well as to the front wheels. Characteristic for Lamborghini is the Y shape of the angular headlamps that reach well into the fenders as well as the scissor doors.
The division of the fenders from the car body is a reference to the world of sport prototypes and optimizes at the same time the aerodynamic flow. The side line of the Veneno is therefore dominated by enormous sills and the mighty wheel arches front and rear. Here, too, sophisticated aerodynamics ensure perfect airflow to the large openings for engine cooling and intake air.
Just like the front end, the rear of the Veneno has also been optimized for underbody aerodynamics and high speed cornering stability. The smooth underbody transitions into a substantial diffuser framing the four sizable exhaust pipes divided by a splitter to increase the level of downforce peak. Large openings serve to ventilate the engine bay and manage the airflow to the rear wing, with the only sealed area at the rear being reserved for the license plate. The rear lights, including brake lights, indicator lights and fog lights, pick up the Y theme as well. The engine cover sports six wedge-shaped openings, with the focus here, too, on optimum dissipation of heat from the engine. The engine cover extends into a large central shark fin, which improves efficiency during braking and rear-end stability, by delivering additional downforce at high yaw angles and thus increasing the high-speed cornering performance.
The adjustable rear wings design is the product of Motorsport experience and extensive aerodynamic simulation to ensure the best performance of rear wing interaction with rear diffuser air flow.
The exclusive alloy wheels measure 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear and are equipped with center mountings. Their design is also determined by aerodynamic functionality a carbon-fiber ring around the wheel rim works like a turbine to deliver additional cooling air to the carbon-ceramic brake discs.
The Veneno is painted in an all-new, grey metallic-look color with individual parts gleaming in the black of the visible carbon-fiber structure. The only car to display all three colors of the Italian flag as an accent is the car shown at Geneva, the unit which will remain property of Lamborghini. The three cars sold to customers each feature a single color of the Italian national flag, together a triology in green, white and red accents and thus representing each a unique piece.
The Veneno is further proof of Automobili Lamborghinis unique competence in CFRP-based lightweight design. A monocoque made from carbon-fiber reinforced polymer forms the basis of the Veneno. It is largely similar to the Aventador monocoque as are the aluminum sub-frames front and rear although its form has been adapted to the new design. All exterior parts are made from CFRP. The Veneno meets all safety and registration requirements worldwide, and naturally also incorporates a full complement of safety systems from airbags through to the adapted ESP handling system.
Carbon fiber dominates the interior of the Veneno, too. The carbon fiber monocoque becomes visible inside the car in the area of the central tunnel and the sills. The two lightweight bucket seats are made from Lamborghinis patented Forged Composite. The woven carbon-fiber CarbonSkin® is used to clad the entire cockpit, part of the seats and the headliner. This unique material is soaked in a very special kind of resin that stabilizes the fiber structure, while allowing the material to remain supple. Like a hi-tech fabric, this extremely fine-looking carbon-fiber matting fits perfectly to any form, and it reduces weight.
The racing personality has been transferred also to the instrument panel. It has been completely redesigned and now, thanks to an aggressive graphics and to the introduction of some additional features like the G-meter, provides all necessary information to the driver for control of the car.
The systematic, carbon-fiber, lightweight design of the Veneno is not only visible, it is also evident on the scales: With a dry weight of just 1,450 kilograms (3,190 pounds), the Veneno is even 125 kilos (275 pounds) lighter than the already extremely lean Aventador. The highly beneficial power-to-weight ratio of 1.93 kg/hp (4,25 lbs/hp) guarantees a performance that is nothing short of mind-blowing. Even the stunning acceleration figure of 2,8 seconds cannot adequately describe it. Despite an aerodynamic setup configured for extreme downforce, the Veneno possesses exceptionally low wind resistance which allows it to reach a top speed of 355 km/h (221 mph).
The twelve-cylinder with a displacement of 6.5 liters is a thrilling combination of absolute high-revving frenzy and phenomenal pulling power. Its output has been raised to 552 kW / 750 hp, facilitated through enlarged intake paths, optimized thermodynamics, a slightly higher rated rpm and an exhaust system with even lower back pressure. The ISR manual gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive and pushrod suspension have all been specifically adjusted to meet the demands of the Veneno.
The Lamborghini Veneno celebrates its first public appearance at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle on show is the number 0, the Lamborghini test vehicle. Its future has not been determined yet, but it will allow Lamborghini to continue its activity of testing and innovation, both on the road and on the race track. The trilogy made of three unique vehicles will be produced in the course of the year 2013 and handed over to their future owners.
It is once again time for our annual tradition of over analyzing the automotive ads that are aired during the unofficial American holiday known as “Super Bowl Sunday”. Again I will give you my top 3 picks as well as my bottom three and you can choose to agree or disagree with me in the comments below. You may note one small modification from last year. I have officially changed the name from the “Ad Bowl” to the “Hype Bowl” just to make it a little more personal and also to avoid any confusion as “Ad Bowl” is actually used quite often! I have also decided to go with regular numerical rankings so its more clear which ad I liked the best. Anyhow, lets get into it shall we? Below are my picks for the best three car ads from this year’s Super Bowl.
#3 “Prom” AKA “#BraveryWins” by Audi (7,321,366 YouTube views)
Last year Audi took a shot at the Twi-heads with their “Vampires” commercial. This year they went a different route and instead of lampooning a sect of teen culture they celebrated a huge part of it by making “Prom”. In this spot a young guy is pretty bummed out that he will be heading to his prom solo. To help lift his spirits, his father lets his son take is brand new Audi S6 to the high school shindig. His confidence is boosted so much by the German hot rod that the lad feels the courage to go after what he wants. Watch the commercial to see what I mean. I like this spot because in a way it brings to life the confidence we all wish we had back in our high school days. The commercial’s heavy inspiration from John Hughes (“Breakfast Club” and “Sixteen Candles”) combined with a lack of cheesiness puts this spot solidly in the third place spot.
Audi’s commercial showed the audience what prom may have been like with a bit more confidence. In Hyundai’s “Team” commercial the audience is taken even further back in their early years to imagine what could have been if we had some of the toughest friends on the planet to help us deal with bullies. In this spot a young kid has his football taken away from him by a group of bullies at the park. When he demands his ball back one of the hooligans challenges him to come back when he “has a team”. The wronged boy immediately gets to work assembling a team of middle school friends who probably have more bad-assery than the Avengers and the Justice League combined!
#1 “Farmers” By RAM Trucks (329,250 YouTube views)
Once again the Chrysler group has taken the number one spot in the Hype Bowl. Last year they pulled it off with Clint Eastwood in the “Halftime in America” bit in which they put together a message to help up lift not only Detroit but all of America. This year to help give some strong identity to the RAM brand the group produced this spot simply called “Farmers”. In this commercial we hear a recording of Paul Harvey’s “Farmers” poem over a slide show of, well farmers, as well as their “offices” which happen to be the heartlands of America. Despite its simplicity, this commercial was so eloquently done that even though I was in a room full of raucous football fans everyone, and I mean everyone fell silent while the spot ran. This commercial makes an attempt to remind the American public about the proud yet humble people who helped to build this country and also continue to keep it going through hard, honest, and necessary work. The people at RAM were also very careful to not step on their own feet with an overdose of branding. In fact you only see an image of an actual RAM truck twice in the entire spot. Despite having the fewest amount of views and being the longest commercial (just over two minutes) out of the top three, RAM’s “Farmers” ad is clearly the winner in my book. Congrats to Chrysler and RAM for earning the top spot and reminding all of us of the people out there who help to make our country great!
Honorable Mention: Fast And Furious 6 trailer (1,377,109 YouTube views)
I will be the first to admit that I winced along with the rest of the purists when I found out that yet another Fast and Furious movie would be making its way to theaters. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the last film but I felt like they could not really top themselves after that and anything else would just be a step down. Then, I saw this trailer! There are awesome cars everywhere and everything explodes! Not in the cheesy way either but in the freakin’ awesome way! Also, instead of the usual “against the law” storyline, this time “Dom” and his crew are asked to aid law enforcement to help them nab a group of “precision driving” outlaws that might be worse than them. Sounds interesting right? If not, who cares!? EVERYTHING BLOWS UP IN MUSHROOM CLOUDS OF AWESOMENESS! I am definitely getting a ticket to this flick.
Well, there you have it! Three great car ads and one awesome car-related-ish ad. If you have a pick that you think should have been in the top three then speak up! Let me know in the comments and let the debate commence!
Some could say that it is human nature to crave power. No matter how much power we get, we always seem to want more even if we know it might not be good for us. Luckily in some cases more power is always a good thing. Lets take the Mercedes Benz C63 AMG for instance. It is practically forged from a solid block of German imported awesome. With 451hp the C63 AMG can definitely hold its own against some of the most powerful competitors in its segment. However, this does not seem to be enough for the guys at Mercedes Benz so at the Geneva Auto Show this year they will bring the C63 AMG “Edition 507″ with them.
What does “Edition 507″ mean? It literally means that this limited edition C63 will come with a 56hp boost which would bring the grand total to? You guessed it: 507! The next question is “how did they increase the power that much on a naturally aspirated engine without increasing displacement?” The engineers started off by using forged pistons, connecting rods, and a lightened crankshaft (similar to those used in the SLS AMG). By using lighter internals they saved a little over 6 lbs. After things were shored up internally they re-worked the ECU allowing the M156 engine to breathe deeper, thus making more power.
To help bring all the extra power to a stop is a new braking system complete with “compound” discs. I am not exactly sure what they mean by “compound” but given the context I will cautiously assume they are better than your average steel brakes but not quite on the same level of carbon-ceramic dics. I could be wrong but for now that’s the story I am sticking to! Anyhow, the new compound discs are clamped on by 6 piston calipers in the front and 4 piston calipers in the back.
The power boost and weird brake discs are great but the Edition 507 is more than just a C63 AMG with more horses; its pretty too! The Edition 507 gets the same vented hood as the C63 AMG Black Series. It also gets a set of exclusive shoes in the form of forged 19 inch aluminum wheels. The wheels can be had in a titanium grey finish or matte black with gloss lip. If potential buyers really want to set themselves apart they can spring for the optional designo magno platinum matte finish paint.
Finally, the interior gets fancied up with three different designo leather options, alcantara wrapped steering wheel, an AMG instrument cluster with piano black lacquer trim and a “Edition 507″ plaque, just in case your passengers need to be reminded how exclusive your ride is. All in all the Edition 507 makes for a pretty awesome package and the good news is that the U.S. will actually get this one! No word on the price yet but Edition 507 will hit state side dealerships this Summer. Hopefully I can sneek into a press drive!
MONTVALE, NJ – The C63 AMG models are becoming even more aggressive with the addition of a newly developed “Edition 507″. The output of the AMG 6.3 liter V8 engine has been increased by 56 hp, bringing the output to 507 hp with 450 lb.-ft. of torque. The model year 2014 C63 AMG “Edition 507” uses much of the same technology as the SLS AMG: the eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine features forged pistons, connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft as seen on the super sports car. An AMG high-performance compound construction braking system with red brake calipers is fitted as standard. The C63 AMG “Edition 507″ will be available in the Summer of 2013 and is designed to appeal to ambitious drivers who take pleasure in best-in-class technology as well as exclusive design and sporty handling.
The C63 AMG “Edition 507″ coupe and sedan produces 507 hp and accelerates from 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. This new model outperforms the existing 451 hp C63 model by three-tenths of a second, and the variants with the AMG Development Package which produce 481 hp by two-tenths of a second. In addition to an increase in top speed to 174 mph, the “Edition 507” also includes a voucher for a driver training session at the AMG Driving Academy. According to Ola Källenius, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “The C 63 AMG with the classic AMG 6.3-litre high-revving V8 naturally aspirated engine is one of the most popular AMG high-performance cars in the world. With the new C 63 AMG “Edition 507″, we are offering our loyal customers an attractive model variant which boasts even higher performance and at the same time is visually exciting.”
C63 AMG “Edition 507″ featuring technology from the SLS AMG
The increase in power output to 507 hp at 6800 rpm comes courtesy of the modified inner workings of the AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine. The forged pistons adopted from the SLS AMG, together with new connecting rods and a lightweight crankshaft, translate into a weight saving of 6.6 lbs. The reduction of rotational mass inertia improves the agility of the eight-cylinder M156 naturally aspirated engine. The maximum torque has also increased by 7 lb.-ft., jumping from 443 lb.-ft. to 450 lb.-ft. at 5200 rpm. The titanium grey-painted variable intake manifold is a characteristic feature of the updated V8 engine. A new engine control system rounds off the series of implemented powertrain measures.
The exterior of the C63 AMG “Edition 507″ is characterized by exclusive new design features. Most notable of the features is the hood – it originates from the C63 AMG Coupe Black Series. Two openings in the distinctive aluminum hood help with expelling engine heat. Newly designed AMG light-alloy forged wheels with 235/35 R 19 front tires and 255/30 R 19 rear tires are another exclusive feature of the “Edition 507″. The AMG light-alloy wheels are produced using lightweight forging technology and are available in two variants: titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, or matte black with highsheen rim flanges. An AMG sports stripe appliqué in matte graphite grey have been located above the rocker panels and are yet another new feature of the exterior. The spoiler lip on the trunk lid, the exterior mirror housings as well as the Page 3 surrounds on the radiator grille and daytime running lights are all finished in high-gloss black. Available as an option for the C63 AMG “Edition 507″ is an exclusive designo magno platinum matte finish paint.
AMG high-performance braking system featuring compound technology
As standard, the C63 AMG “Edition 507″ comes with an even more powerful AMG high-performance braking system featuring compound construction technology. The front axle makes use of compound brake discs measuring 14.2 in. x 1.4 in. The advantages of the compound design include higher fatigue strength and lower warping characteristics. In addition, compound construction discs are lighter in weight and the reduced unsprung masses improve the response of the spring/damping elements. With compound construction, the brake discs are connected to an aluminum bowl via eight cast bracket arms. The brake discs are ventilated and perforated all around and are decelerated by means of 6-piston aluminum fixed calipers on the front axle and 4-piston fixed calipers on the rear axle. The brake calipers are painted red as standard fitment.
“Edition 507″ interior: even more dynamic and exclusive
The sporty yet functional interior of the C63 AMG is even more dynamic and exclusive in the case of the “Edition 507″. Three different equipment and options are available to choose from: porcelain designo leather/DINAMICA, black designo leather/DINAMICA and black designo leather. In the case of the designo leather/DINAMICA upholstery, light-colored contrast stitching makes for an attractive highlight. The AMG Performance steering wheel in Alcantara® with light-colored contrasting stitching has a 12-o’clock marking. The gear selector lever of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission is finished in DINAMICA and features an AMG badge. The steering wheel and gear selector lever gaiter also have light-colored contrast stitching.
In the AMG instrument cluster, red applications to the dials serve to visually differentiate this variant from the other C63 AMG models. The trim is done in high-gloss black piano lacquer and the “Edition 507″ badge on the trim on the front passenger side round off the high-quality, exclusive interior.
Optional extras include:
AMG illuminated door rocker panels
AMG rear axle locking differential
AMG 5-spoke light-alloy forged wheels, painted in titanium grey and with a
high-sheen finish, with tires in sizes 235/40 R 18 (front) and 255/35 R 18 (rear)
AMG Performance Media
AMG carbon-fiber/high gloss black piano lacquer-look trim
Exterior designo magno platinum matte finish paint; four other exterior paint colors will be available from the existing C63 AMG palette.
The C63 AMG “Edition 507″ will be celebrating its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, which will be opening its doors on March 5, 2013. The model’s sales and market launch in the U.S. is planned for the Summer of 2013.
Pricing will be announced closer to the market launch. The C63 AMG “Edition 507” coupe and sedan replace the existing AMG Development Package for MY2014, and will be sold in the U.S. in addition to the existing C63 AMG coupe and sedan with 451 hp.
For a while now an argument has persisted among driving enthusiasts: do realistic racing games help improve real racing technique? This question has been tested many times and for the most part the results have been mixed. The latest person to test the theory is Chris “HarrisMonkey” Harris whom, in the video below attempts to take on McLaren Test Driver Mat Jackson around the famous Brand’s Hatch circuit in the UK. To help him in his quest he uses the team at Codemasters and the upcoming GRID2 game to analyze his driving technique and get to know the track by driving its virtual doppelganger. Does it work? Will Harris Monkey best McLaren’s top gun? Scroll down to find out!
I will be the first to tell you that while I love BMW, I am not the biggest fan of the 6 series with the exception of the Gran Coupe. You might also know that when it comes to Hamann they are kind of hit and miss with their aero designs. Yet, their new aero package for the new 6 series Gran Coupe seems to hit the “goldylocks” zone as it is just right. The right 6 series with just the right mix of agression and class with the aero kit makes for a good product here. This might be partly because Hamann’s package is designed to be added on to the factory M aero package, so Hamann kind of had a guide to make sure they did not go off the deep end. Either way, I really like what they came up with here. What do you guys think?
Little by little Vorsteiner is venturing out from their usual German nameplate tuning into other regions of Europe like the UK with their Bentley packages and Italy, starting with Ferrari and now continuing with a full tuning program for 2009+ Lamborghini Gallardo LP models. The new program named “Renazzo V” completely transforms the Gallardo into a full-on carbon fiber switch blade, adding several new angles and edges to increase its aggressive look and save weight. The aero package has at least nine total pieces to help better channel air and add downforce while keeping weight gain minimal. The package is finished off with a set of aluminum forged Vorsteiner wheels.
Right now the pictures below are just a preview. This package will not be available until February/March of 2013 and as of now the MSRP is unknown but I would venture a guess that it will be in the $15-$20k range. That price is shocking for us regular folk but probably chump change for the men and women that make up Vorsteiner’s clientele!
The LA Auto Show is huge. Seriously the physical space that the show takes up is just massive. As such there is usually plenty of room for all the OEMs to share space in the Los Angeles Convention Center’s two largest halls. However, Porsche is different. They choose to not be mixed in with everyone else. Instead, every year they completely take over an entire (albeit smaller) hall to themselves and completely transform it into a one-off Porsche exhibit.
Even though they use the same space every year, the design is never repeated. Each year features a completely different interior design. Because of this, Porsche is always my favorite OEM to visit, just so I can see what they did differently. This year when visitors walk into Petree hall the first thing they will be greeted by is a classic Porsche 904 Carrera GTS that has been rarely seen in public. In fact, it was my first time seeing a 904 in person, ever. It was quite an opener!
The marquee of the exhibit this year is the debut of the new Cayman and Cayman S. Many consider the Cayman to pretty much be a Boxter with a roof and to some extent it is, but it is also Porsche’s main solider in the battle against the likes of Lotus and other light weight small sports cars. The new Cayman is lighter and has a slightly longer wheel base than the previous model. Its stying has been toned down a bit (in my opinion anyway) but not so much that it looks boring. The new Cayman will come equipped with a 275HP 2.7 liter flat six out back while the Cayman S will have a larger 3.4 liter engine making 325HP. Having 275 horses pushing you is not bad but I think its clear that the Cayman S is going to be the one to beat when it comes to comparison tests.
Both trims are offered at reasonable MSRPs with the Cayman starting at $52,600 while the Cayman S comes in at just $63,800 which puts it at the sweet spot for those who want a Porsche but don’t quite have 911 money. It also comes in at much less than a Lotus Evora S (which range around the $80-$90k area) while only being short 10 horses of the Evora S’ total. Lotus is in some serious trouble!
Besides the new Cayman Porsche also showed off the new “Platinum Edition” Panamera which comes in a limited edition color way and features a few cushy extras such as Porsche Communication Management and heated front seats.
Finally Paid a short visit to the Porsche “store” inside of the exhibit to check out some of their cool, incredibly expensive goodies. Once again Porsche brought back their carbon fiber, disc brake-equipped bicycle. I did not catch a glimpse at the price tag but I am sure it is over $2k or more! One of my favorite items were tiny magnets shaped like classic 911 coupes. You could stick them on a fridge or on a metallic classic Porsche poster, which was also on display. There was of course a few racks full of Porsche apparel like shirts, jackets, hats, etc. All of which looked awesome, but just a bit (meaning a lot) out of my price range!
There are more than a few “must see” spots at the LA Auto Show every year and BMW is easily on that short list. This year their marquee display were near production versions of the i8 concept convertible and the i3 concept coupe. Both cars are looking to change the way people think of economical electric and electric hybrid cars will be about. It is hard to tell on the outside but the i3 coupe’s frame is made almost completely from carbon fiber and sports a 125 kW/170 hp electric motor and sends all of that to the rear wheels. If the i3 can make it to production for a reasonable price it could really set the standard for electric cars in the future.
Besides the new i concepts, BMW also brought out the new M6 coupe, M5 sedan, and a few special edition goodies. Subtly, parked on the show floor is a current gen 5 series with an awesome M package that adds a carbon fiber deck-lid spoiler, carbon fiber side mirrors, and M wheels which all together looked absolutely fresh! While I am not a huge fan of the M6 it was still cool to see it up close and I loved the color. Parked right next to the M6 is the new M5 in its catching blue hue. If you have never seen an M5 up close before then you really, really should make it out to the LA Auto Show if you are near by because pictures do not do it justice. It is one of the most beautiful sedans on the market right now!
When all is said and done BMW really brought it this year, so if you are going to LA then make sure you stop by! If you want even more pictures from the BMW exhibit just visit our Facebook page.