Remember last week, when I casually stated that there was no way that Ferrari's new V-12 halo car would be more powerful than the 720-horsepower 599XX? Well, I was wrong. The new model's 6.3-liter V-12 spins with the fury of 740 galloping equines. You may also remember that the rumors pointed to the new model being called the F620 GT. Well that was wrong too, because what Ferrari pulled the wraps off of on its Web site this morning has been dubbed the F12berlinetta.
That's right, the 2013 Ferrari F12berlinetta, with no space and a lowercase &… Read more
There was a time when Mini's designers did crazy things to its standard models, then presented them as concepts at auto shows. Witness the Rocketman concept, which started out as a standard Cooper model, then added weirdly hinged doors and a big glass bubble at the rear.
But during the Geneva auto show next month, Mini will display what it calls the Clubvan, a new concept based on its Clubman model. And no, the Clubvan does not have disco lights, pumping music, and a crew of 24-hour party people dancing through the night. … Read more
What we could only glimpse as an overexposed silhouette yesterday begins to take solid form today. Toyota has just released two new teaser photos and a video heralding the arrival of its latest hybrid concept, the FT-Bh.
Along with the media, we also got a smattering of details about this concept. For starters, the Future Toyota B-segment Hybrid (FT-Bh) is expected to weigh less than 800 kg (or about 1,764 pounds), making it lighter than Toyota's tiny Aygo--lighter even than the first-generation Mazda Miata by about 300-400 pounds! Toyota also claims that this B-segment five-door will be … Read more
Ferrari just rolled out a short teaser video announcing the dawning of "a new era of extreme V-12 cars." Speculation around the 'Net indicates that the Italian automaker will be pulling the wraps off of the successor to its 599 grand tourer: the F620 GT.
Expect the new vehicle to carry its V-12 engine--possibly sourced from or based on the V-12 that powers the Ferrari FF shooting brake--up front and under an elongated hood. Like the 599 it aims to replace, the new model will probably also send its power exclusively to the rear-axle. And if this … Read more
According to its specs, the new BMW M6 will hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, yet get an average of 24 mpg.
That fuel economy number comes from the European Combined Test Cycle, and will probably be somewhat less under the U.S. EPA test. But those numbers illustrate what technology can do for a sport car, especially considering the M6 weighs in at over 4,000 pounds.
The secret to the M6's success is a 4.4-liter V-8 with two twin scroll turbochargers. BMW designed an exhaust manifold that ducts the exhaust gases from two cylinders on … Read more
The news that Nissan updated the 370Z for the 2013 model year seemed promising. The update that took it from the 350Z to the 370Z produced a brilliant little sports car.
But after reading the press release and looking at the photos, published in conjunction with the 2013 370Z's unveiling at the Chicago Auto Show, this is not a car to get particularly excited about. When Nissan launched the 370Z in 2009, it came out with a shorter wheelbase and more power than the outgoing 350Z. The 2013 370Z changes little from the 2012 model, with mostly cosmetic touches. … Read more
At the 2012 International Motor Show in Geneva, Nissan will show off a small car concept with striking new design language.
For the last couple of years it seemed like Nissan's design department was playing exquisite corpse with its vehicles, one designer taking over where another left off, not looking at the previous section of the car. Both the Juke and the Quest seem a mishmash of styles, while earlier design cues, such as the boomerang headlight casings from the 370Z and GT-R, haven't made it past the sports cars.
Then there's the coherent but conservative design of the Versa, leading to a nondescript little car that will have people wandering around parking lots for hours trying to find it.
But the photos just released for the Invitation concept show a car with a solid and attractive design. The wide grille stretches across the front of the car, fitting into cutouts in the headlight casings. The lower air intake and parking lights mirror the upper half of the front.
The side shows a powerful contour line that runs down the back, then forward, hooking back again in the front doors. Nissan calls it the Squash Line. To paraphrase The Dude, it really ties the car together.
Nissan has not released many details of the concept, which will be the basis for a new European B segment car alongside the Juke.… Read more
So you like the new Volkswagen Beetle, but you wish it were a bit more fuel efficient?
If so, you should stay tuned to next week's Chicago Auto Show because that's where VW will be debuting its new 2013 Beetle TDI.
As the name suggests, this new Beetle variant will be powered by one of Volkswagen's TDI engines--and no, unfortunately it's not that TDI engine. The Beetle TDI's power train is essentially a cut-and-paste of the engine that lives beneath the bonnet of the 2012 Golf TDI and 2012 Jetta TDI. The much-loved 2.0-liter … Read more
The L means large, said the press release in reference to the Fiat 500L the company will show at the International Motor Show in Geneva.
Taking a page from the Mini playbook, Fiat is beginning to design variants of its very popular 500 model. The Cabrio version of the 500 came out at launch, and Fiat is launching the Abarth version in the U.S. soon, but both of those variants are based on the standard 500 body style.
Although no limousine, the 13.5-foot 500L is 2 feet longer than the standard 500. The increase in length allows for rear doors, making for easier access to the rear seats. Cargo area will be greater as well, especially since the rear seats can be folded down. … Read more