Top Auto Reviews

Archive for April, 2013

Maria Sharapova Aces Porsche Deal

by on Apr.25, 2013, under Auto Review Specs, Porsche

Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova has become Porsche’s brand ambassador, signing an initial three-year deal.

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Russian tennis superstar Maria Sharapova has been selected by Porsche to be their first ever global brand ambassador, with the four-time Grand Slam champion set to represent the German carmaker for the next three years. While choosing a woman for the role might raise some eyebrows given almost 90 percent of 911 buyers are men, Porsche is adamant the tennis champ is the perfect match, sharing similar attributes of elegance, power and charisma. Like a Porsche, she’s also pretty hot to look at and known for making a mean grunt when at full tilt.

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Last year, Sharapova won a white 911 Carrera S Cabrio at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, and she can now add Porsche to her impressive commercial portfolio that includes Nike, Tag Heuer, Tiffany & Co. and Samsung that brings her in a cool $30 million a year.

Via Carbuzz.com

 

 

Maria Sharapova Aces Porsche Deal

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Hublot Celebrates Launch Of LaFerrari Supercar With New Watch: Video

by on Apr.25, 2013, under Auto Review Specs, Cars, Ferrari

Swiss firm Hublot, maker of the world’s most expensive watch, the Bing Bang 5 Million, so named because of its $5 million pricetag, has announced a new watch celebrating Ferrari’s latest flagship supercar, the LaFerrari.
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The new watch, called the MP-05 “LaFerrari,” won’t set you back as much as some of Hublot’s other products, although getting one may be challenge since only 50 examples will be produced.

Hublot’s MP-05 “LaFerrari” has been designed, developed and manufactured entirely by the Swiss firm and features a 50-day power reserve–a world record power reserve for a hand-wound tourbillon watch.
Hublot 3
The 50-day power reserve is thanks to the watch’s 11-barrel design, arranged in a line just like a spinal column and interconnected so that they do not each discharge in turn but support each other. On initial glance, the design almost resembles a miniaturized version of one of Ferrari’s engines.
Hublot 2
The hour and minute are displayed to the right of the barrels, also indicated by means of one anodized black aluminum cylinder each. On their left is the cylinder indicating the power reserve. Reinforcing bars either side, made from anodized red aluminum, also bring to mind Ferrari’s signature exteriors.

The face is sapphire crystal, designed to prevent scratches, and this sits within a titanium case finished in black. More titanium and even some carbon fiber add accents to the design.

Hublot is the current timekeeper for both Ferrari and its racing division Scuderia Ferrari, having inked a five-year deal back in 2011 to become the fourth watch company to have the honor. Others have included Girard Perregaux, Panerai and Cabestan.

Hublot Celebrates Launch Of LaFerrari Supercar With New Watch: Video

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Icona Vulcano is a Coachbuilt Supercar Made by China-Based Italian Studio [w/Video]

by on Apr.23, 2013, under Auto Review Specs

One of the most impressive world premieres at the ongoing Auto China 2013 in Shanghai is the Icona Vulcano, a new and very promising entry in the world of exotic supercars. It was styled by Icona, a European design studio founded in early 2010 that’s permanently based in Shanghai’s Lujiazui district, and made by Cecomp, one of the founding partners of Icona based in Torino, Italy.

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While Icona originally stated that the Vulcano is a one-off model, its most recent press release notes, “this car is made as a one-off, no more than five will be built”, which is a contradictory statement…

 

The person who led the Vulcano design team is young French designer Samuel Chuffart, who previously worked for Nissan and Jaguar-Land Rover.

“When you’re trying to create a feeling of aesthetic harmony, you risk creating too many sweet lines, which decreases the feeling of power,” explained Chuffart. ” On the other hand, if you make too much of the powerful features which are necessary to a super sports car such as its cooling cutouts and blades which manage the air flow, they become graphically too dominant, and this makes the car less beautiful. The way we found the right balance was usually by looking for the greatest simplicity.”

 Icona 4

For its motivation, the Vulcano was designed to be offered with two completely different powertrain options. The first is for the Vulcano H-Turismo V12 and employs the use of a 790HP 6.0-liter V12 engine linked to a 160HP electric motor and a six-speed gearbox driving the rear wheels. In this configuration, the hybrid powertrain delivers a maximum output of 950-horses for a claimed 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint in 3.0 seconds, standing 400m acceleration in 9.7 seconds and a top speed of 350km/h (218mph).

 

The other choice is the H-Competizione that features a 550hp 3.8-liter twin turbocharged V6 engine linked to an electric motor for a total output of 870hp. This model comes with all-wheel drive and is said to go from zero to 100km/h (62mph) in 2.9 seconds, complete the 400m sprint in 9.2 seconds and max out at 350km/h (218mph).

 

Both powertrains were developed and designed under the direction of Claudio Lombardi, who previously worked as racing director of Lancia’s rally division from 1982 to 1991, powertrain technical director of Ferrari for Formula One and GT cars from 1991 to 2000, and project leader of Aprilia.

 

The Vulcano measures 4,450mm long, 1,940mm wide, 1,265mm tall, and rides on a 2,698mm wheelbase. The V6 hybrid model tips the scales at 1,595 kg (3,516 pounds) and the V12, 1,635kg (3,605 pounds).

  Source Carsoops

Icona Vulcano is a Coachbuilt Supercar Made by China-Based Italian Studio

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Lamborgini Aventador 50th Debuts in Shanghai

by on Apr.22, 2013, under Auto Review Specs, Lamborghini

Aventador revealed with upgraded engine and aero to celebrate Lamborghini’s 50 years – which about sums up how old the average Lambo buyer is, anyway.
Lam 50 Shanghai

In the run-up to the Shanghai Auto Show last week, initial images and details on an anniversary-edition Aventador leaked out all over the interwebs. By now, of course, Lamborghini has taken the wraps off the car, and has released both official photos and video of the special-edition Raging Bull. The Aventador LP720-4 50th Anniversary edition follows the Veneno in celebrating the half-century mark for the Bolognese automaker, forming part of a year-long celebration Lamborghini has in store.

It’s distinguished by a unique shade of yellow – the most popular color for new Lambos – with a redesigned aero package that’s 50 percent more efficient than the standard Aventador. The 6.5-liter V12 has been upgraded to 720 metric horsepower, and the interior mirrors the bodywork with black and yellow leather, uniquely stitched in a Q-Citura pattern which Lamborghini introduced on this special-edition supercar. Only 100 examples will be made, which is barely a drop in the bucket of the 1,000 Aventadors Lamborghini sells annually – twice as many as it did the Murcielago before it.

To showcase the new Anniversario edition Aventador, Sant’Agata released this brief video clip that aptly illustrates the gap between the age at which most first fall in love with Lamborghinis and that of those who actually buy them. See what we mean in the promo clip below.

 

Via Carbuzz

Aventador 50th Debuts in Shanghai

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2013 Euro-spec MG3 visits Auto Shanghai

by on Apr.22, 2013, under Auto Review Specs

Produced at MG Birmingham

MG has revealed today at Auto Shanghai the 2013 Euro-spec MG3 which will go on sale in Europe later this year.

Available only as a five-door, the 2013 MG3 will be powered exclusively by a 4-cylinder normally-aspirated engine producing 105 HP (77 kW) connected to a five-speed manual gearbox. The Birmingham-made supermini is 4015mm long, 1728mm wide, 1520mm tall and has a 2520mm wheelbase.MG 3

It will be offered in three trim levels: TS1, TS2 and TS3, along with a more premium interior cabin compared to its Chinese sibling. MG UK sales and marketing chief Guy Jones declared the car wants to compete with the MINI, Citroen DS3 and Vauxhall Adam so it will be available with a wide variety of interior/exterior customization options.

Pricing is expected to kick off from approximately 10,000 GBP (15,200 USD / 11,600 EUR). Full specs and pricing details will be released over the course of Q2 and Q3.
Source: MG

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Harley-Davidson Sales are Rolling Again

by on Apr.22, 2013, under Bikes, Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson has experienced more ups and downs than a motocross racer over the years, and Wall Street has had a hard time keeping up.
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Amid booming sales in the mid-1990s, Harley was pronounced a growth stock, on a par with, say, Hewlett-Packard. Then in the late ’90s and early ’00s, orders began outpacing production, and used prices shot up, leading analysts to the conclusion that Harley really ought to be considered a maker of luxury goods, like Tiffany.

That bubble burst in the downturn of 2007-2009 when plummeting sales (down 50% in North America alone) downgraded Harley in the eyes of investors to the ranks of a mere cyclical stock like Ford Motor Company. Now Harley is rolling again after reporting solid increases in revenues and earnings for 2012. Its shares have risen 13.6% in the past six months, and in February, Harley raised its dividend 35.5%. Accordingly, market analysts have reclassified Harley as a dividend growth stock along the lines of companies such as Philip Morris International .

What hasn’t changed over the years is Harley’s consistent and durable devotion to its brand and its century-old history. It single-mindedly focuses on its heritage and traditions, caters to owners who already identify with the brand, and creates endless variations and updates of its existing model range to snare repeat customers. Along with companies like Mercedes-Benz and Rolex, Harley is a master at marketing the past.HD!

Its advertising is studded with words like “legendary,” “heritage,” and “traditional.” Harley products seldom deviate from what is considered the “classic” era of motorcycle styling with its attitude of rebellion. Marlon Brando rode a Triumph, not a Harley, in 1953’s The Wild One, but the outlaw biker image he created has been embraced by Harley ever since. Want to be bold, make no compromises, and never apologize, as the company promises in its ads? Ride a Harley.

Via CNN

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Maserati GranSport Back on the Table?

by on Apr.22, 2013, under Cars, Maserati Quattroporte

Rumor has it that the on-again, off-again Maserati version of the Alfa 4C could be back on the table. Our guess: a twin-turbo V6 could be just the ticket.
Mas GranSport

On again, off again. That’s been the saga of the rumored Maserati GranSport. The idea emerged shortly after Alfa Romeo unveiled the 4C concept, a vehicle which sister-company Maserati will build for Alfa just like it did with the previous 8C Competizione and Spyder. Harald Wester, who presides over both the brands, has hinted that Maserati would like to do its own version. But while recent reports indicated that Maserati had scrapped such plans, the latest indicate that it could be back on the table.
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The apparent trouble is that, while the Alfa 4C’s carbon monocoque chassis makes for an excellent starting point, shoehorning in a larger engine (like the V8 Maserati was earlier reportedly considering) could throw the balance way off. Has the Trident marque found a way around the problem? Auto Express seems to think so, but then it’s been known to exaggerate, and all it seems to be going on at the moment is a response Wester reportedly gave to journalists in Shanghai asking about the prospect of a Maserati version of the 4C: “It’s a nice idea,” is all he said.
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Maserati was in Shanghai to unveil a pair of V6-powered sedans, which only makes us wonder if the Modenese automaker could be preparing to slot its new twin-turbo six into the 4C’s chassis. (It would, after all, split the difference between the four-cylinder Alfa and the eight-cylinder Ferrari 458 Italia, from which it would need to steer clear). In the Ghibli and Quattroporte, the V6 is offered in 330- and 410-horsepower specifications, both of which are significantly more than the 4C’s 237 hp – which is still enough to rocket the Alfa to 62 in 4.5 seconds. Add an extra turbocharger and a couple of cylinders and just imagine what Maserati’s version could do.

Via carbuzz.com

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Acura Concept SUV-X arrives in Shanghai

by on Apr.22, 2013, under Honda

Production model due in three years

Acura is previewing a new crossover with the Concept SUV-X exhibited at 2013 Auto Shanghai starting today.

The Japanese marque announced at the beginning of the month a new concept for the Chinese auto show and we assumed it was a crossover. We were right as the Concept SUV-X is a small SUV which was designed specifically for the local market. It represents Acura’s first ever concept to be unveiled outside of North America.

It has been confirmed a production version will go on sale in China in approximately three years from now. The concept is being characterized as offering “emotional and sharp styling and driving performance” along with “environmental performance” and the utility you normally get in an SUV. Unfortunately, Acura did not release any details about what powers the Concept SUV-X but most likely some form of hybrid tech is included.

Source: Acura

Acura Concept SUV-X arrives in Shanghai

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2013 Fiat 500e Looks Environmentally Sexy in New “Crosswalk” Ad

by on Apr.19, 2013, under Auto Review Specs

Fiat USA just can’t seem to stop making good commercials, the latest being for the 500e. “What’s a 500e?” you might ask.

The 500e was built in order to comply with the California electric car mandate which allows Chrysler to sell other non-electric cars there. It’s also surrounded by a bit of controversy, since Fiat and Nissan had a little quarrel over who makes the ugliest cars.

Not wanting to take anything away from the Leaf, we’ll just say the 500e is basically just as sexy as a regular 500. Chrysler designed a special front end grille and set it apart with a different paint finish, but other than that it’s basically just as sexy.

This means the electric subcompact is the perfect car to turn on New York supermodels who are concerned about the environment. We love the idea of the commercial and hope it will get the eco message across.

God knows a $32,500 electric Fiat needs all the positive publicity it can get.

2013 Fiat 500e Looks Environmentally Sexy in New “Crosswalk” Ad

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Mazzanti Evantra V8 Unveilled

by on Apr.19, 2013, under Auto Review Specs

After the renderings released in late 2012, Mazzanti has officially unveiled the new Evantra V8 recently at the 2013 Top Marques Monaco, an event that focuses on expensive and high-performance vehicles.

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The Evantra is built on a lightweight chrome-molybdenum chassis, making the car weight just 1,315 kg (2,900 lb). Power comes from a 7.0-liter V8 engine tuned to deliver 701 hp and 847 Nm (625 lb-ft). It features dry-sump lubrication and titanium valves and connecting rods. Mounted to a six-speed sequential gearbox, the engine enables the car to reach 349 km/h (217 mph) and a standing sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) in about 3 seconds.
Mazzanti Evantra 2Mazzanti Evantra 3

Even though the cabin’s design is not very attractive for some people, Mazzanti offers tons of personalization possibilities, including various leather types and precious materials.

“Evantra V8 was not born to please everyone, instead to be herself and to generate emotions with her character and exclusivity,” said Mazzanti’s founder Luca Mazzanti at the car’s unveil.

Mazzanti plans to build five units per year, to guarantee the car’s exclusivity.

Via autoevolution

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