• Alfa Romeo takes top honors at Villa d’Este

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    1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS at Villa d'Este 2012

    BMW may be the sponsor of this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, but it was Alfa Romeo that cleaned up when the awards were handed out over the weekend. Top honors went to a pristine 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS with coachwork by Figoni. The Series XI coupe that could easily be mistaken for a Bugatti of the same era was initially shown at the Paris Auto Salon in 1933 and has gone on to appear at numerous concours around the world. At Villa d'Este, it won not only the Best of Show awards - both those selected by the jury and voted on by the public - but also the prestigious Coppa d'Oro (Gold Cup).

    The classic 6C wasn't the only Alfa to take top honors on Italy's Lake Como, however, as the 4C concept - first shown at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and again at the Frankfurt Motor Show that year - won in the concept car category. The public voted it the finest prototype displayed at the concours this year, overshadowing the Aston Martin AM 310 concept and BMW's own Zagato Coupe, both of which were new debuts at the lakeside exposition. Check out the high-resolution images from the show in the gallery above and the pair of press releases below.

    Continue reading Alfa Romeo takes top honors at Villa d'Este

    Alfa Romeo takes top honors at Villa d'Este originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 May 2012 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • What supercars would look like if they were designed by engineers [w/video]

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    GrabCAD 500 Group Supercar Body Challenge street winner

    Often, engineers are forced to sit and watch as accountants and stylists wreak havoc on a vehicle's design. GrabCAD recently decided to turn the tables by giving engineers the chance to pen a body for a ready-made chassis by 500 Group. The site was flooded with 200 unique designs completed in just 40 days. The top quarter of those went on for final judging in two categories: street and track. 500 Group will then actually produce one or more of the designs through a General Motors Special Projects agreement.

    The chassis makes use of a number of GM Performance parts, and is set up to make use of the E-Rod LS3, LS7 or supercharged LS9 V8 engines. One skinless chassis has already been completed for testing.

    Each concept body has plenty of renderings as well as full description. Be sure to check out the full press release below, as well as a video of the chassis on track. Then, head over to the GrabCAD site for a deeper dive.

    Continue reading What supercars would look like if they were designed by engineers [w/video]

    What supercars would look like if they were designed by engineers [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 May 2012 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Panoz wants to race fields of DeltaWings in American Le Mans Series

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    Nissan DeltaWing

    In pretty much any racing series you go to, the cars tend to progress in an evolutionary, not revolutionary fashion. This year's crop of Formula One cars, for example, may have those ungainly stepped noses, but they otherwise look pretty much the same as last year's cars, which looked mostly the same as the cars the year before and the year before that, and so on and so forth. The same could be generally said of Indy, Le Mans prototypes...even stock cars. The DeltaWing project, however, is another story altogether.

    Designed and developed by an alliance of some of the biggest names in racing and recently backed by Nissan, the DeltaWing represents a comprehensive rethink of what form a race car can and should take. The idea was originally fielded as a proposal for the new IndyCar chassis, but that series' organizers went once again for something much more conventional. So the brain trust behind the project adapted it for endurance racing and are taking it to Le Mans this year.

    But surely they didn't put all that work into it just to race it once - outside the classifications as a demonstration only - did they? Not if Don Panoz has anything to say about it. One of the partners in the DeltaWing project and the father of the racing car manufacturer that bears his name, Panoz hopes to find a way to race the DeltaWing in the American Le Mans Series which he essentially founded.

    A way to equalize its performance with either the LMP1 or LMP2 classes would need to be found with the IMSA and the FIA, but considering how it was adapted from an IndyCar proposal to a Le Mans racer, the platform seems pretty flexible. But Panoz doesn't want to race just one. Sure, a solitary entry in the full ALMS calendar would be a great start, but Panoz reportedly envisions assembling a quantity of DeltaWings at his factory in Georgia that has over the years built cars for Indy, Champ Cars, Superleague Formula and of course Le Mans and the American Le Mans Series.

    Just how many remains to be seen, but with powerhouses like Panoz, Nissan, Highcroft, Chip Ganassi and Dan Gurney on board, we would be very surprised if the DeltaWing ran just the once.

    Panoz wants to race fields of DeltaWings in American Le Mans Series originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 May 2012 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • New Car Deals – Which Car Should You Own in 2012?

    The question I always ask myself. What will I be driving next? I found a list of the top 12 cars that you should consider for 2012. Personally, I like the Jeep!

     

    2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

    While we’ve heard reports that the SRT (or SRT8, depending on whom you trust) will get as much as 500 hp from its new 6.4-liter Hemi V8, we’re at least certain that the SRT is actually coming, and likely to arrive late this summer. If it’s anything like the already deeply impressive Grand, the SRT8 is going to be both refined and scary fast, with a predicted eight-speed transmission and at a price (roughly $45,000) that deeply undercuts the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and other performance crossovers.

    2012 Hyundai Veloster

    Hyundai is pulling a very neat trick with its Veloster. It’s a slightly larger car inside than the Scion tC (and Mini Clubman or Honda CR-Z hybrid). Yet thanks to a very low 2,600-pound curb weight—400 pounds less than the tC— it’s said to get up to 40 mpg from its directly injected, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. That would best Honda’s CR-Z numbers without necessity of hybrid technology, and with the benefit of a bigger cabin. One oddity: Access to the interior is a bit quirky, with one door on the driver’s side, but both front and rear doors on the passenger side. Remember that weight? Fewer doors allow a carmaker to reduce structural reinforcements, and that keeps down bulk. And a low weight allows an increase in fun factor—indeed, Hyundai is promising greater sportiness than its rivals. Can the Veloster “out-fun” a Mini? Hmm, we’re not sure, but Hyundai is promising a tighter turning circle than even a base Mini Cooper and a sophisticated, buttoned-down-sounding suspension. Transmissions include Hyundai’s first dual-clutch six speed (hopefully with paddles) or a six-speed manual. Pricing should be in the $20,000 range.

    2012 Toyota/Subaru FT-86 Sports Car

    The joint-project sports car from Toyota and Subaru is now getting far enough along to report at least the following, even though we’re certain much will change. The car is said to be very light, and to use at least two versions of Subaru’s flat, 2.0-liter four, with output purported to be around 200 hp in the RWD Toyota model and 250 hp in the Subaru version. Toyota’s edition bows first, reportedly late this year, and not as a Toyota, but as a Scion, with the name FR-S. The Subie, if it comes to these shores, won’t arrive until mid-2012 at the soonest. Pricing for the SubaScion is expected to be in the mid-$20K range.

    2012 ZL1 Camaro

    A hot Camaro is coming and will be powered by the Cadillac CTS-V’s 6.2-liter V8 with roughly 550 hp. Given how the Camaro SS with a 6.2-liter V8 that puts out a mere 426 hp can already clock a 0-to-60-mph sprint in less than 5 seconds, the ZL1 is going to be scary fast. This Camaro will go toe-to-toe with Ford’s Shelby GT500—and BMW M3 and Porsche 911 owners should watch their rearviews too. Price? We’d guess between $42,000 and $48,000.

    2013 Ford Focus ST

    The new Focus is at last debuting in the U.S., with a 2.0-liter, direct-injected, 160-hp motor and variable valve timing, as well as a five-speed manual. But, the car to wait for is the 2013 Focus ST, which debuts in early 2012. It gets a six-speed manual with the same EcoBoost (turbocharged) 2.0-liter as the much larger Edge and Explorer and will be good for somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 hp, which puts it in league with hot hatches like the MazdaSpeed3 and beyond the output of the VW GTI. Ford is also promising a tauter suspension and meatier tires as well as bigger brakes to go with all that horsepower. Expect to pay at least $25,000.

     

    Read more: Best New Cars for 2012 – 12 Cool Cars Worth Waiting For – Popular Mechanics

     


  • The New Ford Focus

    I have never really been a fan of the Ford Focus, that is until now. I am on the hunt for a new car and have never considered this one before. I have been hearing nothing but great things about it. I decided to do a little research about this car and here are some quick facts about the car. There are tons of images, videos and information on Fords website.


    Automatic 28 / 38 (city/hwy)
    SFE Pkg 28 / 40 (city/hwy)

    Starting at $16,500

    Comes in numerous colors

    And there is so much more that Ford has to offer with this car.


  • Audi TT Sportback Concept rounds out an icon

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    Audi TT Sportback Concept

    That German automakers seem singularly fixated on filling any white space between their models isn't new - the last decade-plus has seen their showrooms overflowing with niche models, some of which seemingly occupy sub-genres of sub-genres. To our eyes, there's often diminishing aesthetic and utilitarian returns to go along with the heightened price tags that accompany these models, but we're beginning to think Audi is tackling its personal diversity initiative best. Unlike the often heavy-handed designs from rivals (we're looking at you, BMW), Ingolstadt seems to be doing doing a more graceful job of carving out models between models. The latest proof of this is the TT Sportback Concept, just unveiled here at the Paris Motor Show.

    After showing off its Allroad Shooting Brake Concept in Detroit and, more recently, in the Offroad Concept in Beijing amidst rumors of the TT sports car platform expanding into an entire family, we're not surprised to see this more utilitarian five-door hatchback showcar here in France. This, despite the fact that Audi already counts similarly proportioned A5 Sportback and A7 Sportback models in its lineup.

    Of the TT line extension concepts, this Sportback certainly looks the most production ready, with a bare minimum of showcar tinsel masking realistic proportions and detailing. We think it's quite handsome from stem to stern, even if it's a bit familiar looking. The design incorporates Audi's trademark big-grille look with the TT's prominent arched roofline and heavily radiused fenders, along with a rear lighting graphic that subtly echoes the A3. Despite its leggy looks, the TT Sportback Concept is surprisingly compact, spanning less than a foot longer overall than the production 2016 TT despite its 4.7-inch longer wheelbase and extra set of doors. Those sleek looks come at least partially as the result of an overall height that sits 1.2 inches lower than the TT coupe.

    The gutsy 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder underhood punches out 400 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque through a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox and Audi's trademark Quattro all-wheel-drive system. Audi claims that the powertrain combination will go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds, which sounds an awful lot like RS-level performance to us.

    Continue reading Audi TT Sportback Concept rounds out an icon

    Audi TT Sportback Concept rounds out an icon originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Toyota C-HR Concept is a high-riding hybrid hatch [w/video]

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    Toyota C-HR Concept

    Despite having the tendency to offer decidedly bland production cars, Toyota occasionally surprises us with interesting concept cars. Such is the case with the C-HR concept making its debut at the Paris Motor Show this week. It's a concept showing forward-thinking design that hints at "a type of crossover vehicle Toyota would like to bring to market," according to the automaker's release, and it rides on an all-new platform and uses a hybrid powertrain.

    About that powertrain: Toyota isn't revealing anything, just saying that it will - brace yourselves - "deliver significantly improved fuel efficiency" (over what, exactly?) The car also uses a brand-new architecture, though it hasn't really revealed any major details about that aspect, either.

    It's a high-riding, muscular thing, with a rakish hatchback shape. Should it reach production, Toyota says it would take the shape of a C-segment crossover. It'd be cool to see something like this hit the road someday, but for now, we won't hold our breath.

    See the C-HR for yourself in the galleries above and below, and scroll down for the full press release.

    Continue reading Toyota C-HR Concept is a high-riding hybrid hatch [w/video]

    Toyota C-HR Concept is a high-riding hybrid hatch [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 is silent but deadly [w/video]

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    Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4

    The weirdest thing happened last night. During the annual Volkswagen Group Night festivities, everyone waited in anticipation for the Lamborghini section of the press conference. It's usually a treat for the senses - cool to look at, backed up by a ferocious sound that bellows throughout the venue. But not this time. There was no music, there were no laser lights, and most remarkably, there was no sound. The Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 drove onto stage under fully silent electric power. Audibly, at least, it was perhaps the most anti-climactic Lambo introduction we've ever witnessed.

    And that's the big story with this new Lamborghini concept: it's a plug-in hybrid. Of course, it's still a product of the storied Italian supercar maker, so that electric powertrain is mated to a 5.2-liter V10, and total system output is rated at a staggering 910 horsepower. It'll run up to 31 miles on pure electric power at speeds of up to 78 miles per hour, and its 0-62 time is estimated to be three seconds flat. Top speed? 199 mph. In other words, it may be capable of silence, but it still carries a stick, and it's still very much a Lambo.

    So will the company actually build something like this? Right now, it doesn't look likely. Back in August at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Autoblog spoke with Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann about the then-off-the-record Asterion concept, who told us that if the automaker should choose to expand its model range, the bigger priority right now would be the Urus crossover. This is merely just a way to show how Lamborghini might present a gasoline-electric vehicle. And after scoping it out in person here at the Paris Motor Show, we have to say, it's cool. The styling is a bit softer and understated compared to the audacious Aventador or angular Huracán. But it still has quite a presence and it's still very much a Raging Bull.

    See the Asterion for yourself in the new gallery of live photos above, and read more about the PHEV concept in the press release below and check out an Asterion walkaround video with Winkelmann from our friends at Autoline while you're there.

    Continue reading Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 is silent but deadly [w/video]

    Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 is silent but deadly [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Oct 2014 06:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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