Category Archives: Cars

Ferrari 599XX Evoluzione unveiled at the Bologna Motor Show

The Prancing Horse is undergoing a lot of upgrades every year, due to Ferrari’s enthusiasm. They have just unveiled a new racing car for the next year, the 599XX Evoluzione. One of the good parts of the Ferrari atmosphere is that their wealthy customers can get involved in their new projects, transforming the technology in F1 cars into road-car sensations.

This is a new program that they’ve started, and seems to be one of their greatest ideas ever. This program has seen its results during 2005, when the FXX, a street-legal version of the Ferrari Enzo was released, being followed by the FXX Evoluzione. Then, they presented the 599GTO, their top-tech and fastest car ever produced. But this is already old.

They have now released the 599XX Evoluzione, a car that’s “a second faster” than its predecessor, on Ferrari’s Fiorano test track. The car boasts a 6-liter V12 that generates 740HP. The car is packed with top technology, with customizable dynamic settings, depending on driver’s needs to make it possible for the car to be driven on roads.

Sadly, it will be produced in a short series of 29 cars, at a cost of €1,485,000 or $1,991,000. This means $250,000 more than the Ferrari 599XX. And they’re well worth the money, given the fact that this car has history, and, most of all, value.

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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Cars


The death of Maybach brand

Good news for Maybach rivals, most notably luxury brands as Bentley and Rolls Royce, which  respectively are owned by Volkswagen and BMW.

Faced with declining sales of its flagship brand, Daimler is rumored to be winding down operations at Maybach. Instead, Daimler (parent to both Maybach and Mercedes Benz) will focus on taking the current S-Class Mercedes upscale in both content and technology.

With increased content comes higher pricing, and in the case of the new S-Class it appears to be significantly higher pricing. Daimler, already concerned over declining profits in its Maybach division, fears the new S-Class will pirate sales away from struggling Maybach. The most profitable solution would be to close the storied luxury brand.

So, let’s just wait until 2013, when the new Mercedes Benz S-Class is scheduled to be launched…

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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in Cars


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Mercedes SLR McLaren by RENNtech

Just like the SLR McLaren wouldn’t be fast enough, ReNNTech and many other car-tuning companies decided to improve its performance. They co-worked with Platinum Motorsport, MACarbon, Exotics Boutique and borrowed body parts from Mansory to create this unique model, called theReNNTech Mercedes SLR McLaren that defies every beauty standard and street-legal performance.

The body-kit, as said earlier, comes from Mansory. This particular one is called “Renovatio” and catches every eye it passes by. The supercharger is provided by ReNNTech, while the transmission was a bit upgraded as well, to fit to the humongous power the engine produces, courtesy of the same tuner.

Now, among the consequences of this tuning, the car does a quarter-mile in 10.29 seconds, reaching 134 mph (approximately 216 km/h). The power developed after the upgrade has reached 770HP. Furthermore, to fit all these improvements, both on the exterior and interior, ReNNTech have added 3-way-adjustable racing coilovers.

The wheels weren’t left original, thus the vehicle was added 20-inch Agetro M140 monoblock rims. As if these weren’t enough, the car was added a 45mm hydraulic lifting-kit. The car will be available at this year’s SEMA Show, the guests being able to admire this demonstration of ultimate car-tuning.

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Posted by on November 15, 2011 in Cars


Lamborghini Aventador 6.5 V12

What is it?

The Aventador is the long awaited replacement for Lamborghini’s legendary Murcielago, and quite some monster it is, too, boasting a vaguely comical 690bhp from its all-new V12 engine and a top speed of 217mph.

In many ways, and despite its cutting edge technology, it’s actually an old school kind of a car. Lamborghini refers to it as a ‘super sports car’ claiming that it “redefines the market with its brutal power, outstanding lightweight engineering and phenomenal handling precision”.

In the end, though, it’s still a big old bruiser of a machine, with a monumentally large V12 engine in its guts – and an exhaust note to make your heart explode. Same as it ever was from Sant’Agata, in other words.

What’s different this time around is what lies beneath the typically extrovert exterior. Gone is the manual gearbox, no more is the legendary Bizzarrini V12 engine. Instead the Aventador is powered by a brand new 60 degree 6498cc V12 that’s mated, like it or not, to a seven-speed paddle shift gearbox. And at its core sits a no-expense-spared carbonfibre monocoque – hence the impressive claimed 1575kg ‘dry’ kerbweight – with single-seater style pushrod suspension at each corner.

Its brakes are similarly state of the art, and feature carbon ceramic discs with six-piston callipers at the front, four at the rear. Even its body parts are fashioned mostly from carbonfibre (although the bonnet, bumpers and doors are made from aluminium). What we’re talking about, in other words, is a car that may look and sound like a traditional raging bull but one that’s very much at the leading edge of things technically.

What’s it like?

Outrageous is the word that keeps on popping into one’s mind when attempting to describe what this car is actually like. As with the Murcielago, the doors open upwards to reveal a cabin that initially seems a very long way away, the high-backed driver’s seat nestling just inches above the ground.

But when you climb inside the similarities between old and new come to an abrupt end. The interior of the Aventador is every bit as new and revolutionary as its engine, gearbox or suspension. And, mostly, it works as good as it looks.

Whether the new digitised instruments will receive universal approval will remain a talking point for years to come, you suspect, but the basic ergonomics inside are hugely better than in the Murcielago. Not only is the driving position much better organised, with pedals that are no longer angled in towards the centre of the car, there’s also more room for your head and elbows plus better visibility in all directions.

And yet it still feels unequivocally like a Lamborghini inside this car, especially when you discover the start button beneath its bright red cover within the centre console, and then summon the courage to give it a prod. Do so and you’ll hear a familiarly charismatic scream from the starter motor, followed by a quite outrageous eruption of revs when the engine fires. As if climbing into a bright red Lamborghini via one of its vast scissor-doors isn’t somehow theatrical enough on its own.

Even at five miles an hour this car sounds and feels fantastically alive beneath your backside. To begin with the steering seems lighter and a lot less cumbersome than you remember, the ride massively more refined (than in a Murcielago). The entire car, in fact, feels more mature than you were expecting given the history.

But the big news, inevitably, concerns the performance, and I can tell you here and now that it is astonishing – to the extent that you do not just climb aboard this car and nail its throttle to the floor at the first sign of a decent road. You build up to that moment, slowly, and discover other things about this incredible car en route.

Like how explosive its throttle response is, even at 4000rpm, and how switching between its various drive modes (strada, sport and corsa) alters not just the gearchange speed and severity but the crispness of the engine mapping as well. Which, as you’ll eventually discover later, will allow you to do things on the throttle in this car that you’d never even dreamed of doing in a Murcielago.

And then there’s the gearshift itself, which Lamborghini claims is 40 per cent swifter than a Gallardo Superlegerra’s, making it “one of the world’s fastest ever automated gearboxes”.

It’s not a dual clutch system but it does pre-select ratios, so the effect is almost the same – in theory. In practice, however, it’s a long way from swapping ratios as quickly or as smoothly as a Ferrari 458 or McLaren MP4-12C. As ever, Lamborghini has engineered the shifts to feel as dramatic as possible. In corsa mode you get a mighty thump in the back on upshifts and a huge burst of revs on downshifts. Which is great when you’re in the mood for it but not always 100 per cent desirable.

Having said that, it’s difficult NOT to be in the mood for it when you’ve got 690bhp of V12 thundering away behind your head, plus one of the best balanced mid-engined chassis’ in existence through which to deploy it. And when you do finally let rip in the Aventador, the most surprising discovery is that it’s nowhere near as terrifying as you thought it might be.

The acceleration and the noise are monstrous in every way, and the brakes nigh-on race car powerful when you really lean on them, but there’s a fundamental composure to the driving experience that makes the Aventador seem unusually friendly for a big, hairy Lambo.

The steering is so light yet so precise, the handling balance so well resolved, you can take huge liberties with this car without feeling like you’re on the verge of an accident. So long as you respect just how rapidly it accelerates, in fact, it’s actually a pretty easy thing to drive hard. Much more so than the ‘will it, won’t it’ Murcielago ever was.

Should I buy one?

If you’ve got a spare £201,900 plus local taxes to spend on a toy (so make that just under £250k), and are sufficiently extrovert in life generally, it’s hard not to recommend the Aventador with a great big cheesy thumbs up.

One caveat, though. If you’re looking for the full ‘on the edge of oblivion’ driving experience that the Murcielago once offered, you may be somewhat shocked to discover how refined and resolved the Aventador is to drive. For most of the time, that’s a big step forwards. Make of that what you will.

Steve Sutcliffe

Lamborghini Aventador

Price: £201,900 (plus local taxes); 0-62mph: 2.9sec; Top speed: 217mph; Economy: 16.4mpg; CO2: 398g/km; Kerb weight: 1620kg (est, 1575kg dry); Engine: V12, 6498cc, petrol; Power: 690bhp at 8250rpm; Torque: 508lb ft at 5550rpm; Gearbox: 7-speed automated manual

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Posted by on November 10, 2011 in Cars


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Xtreme Outfitters Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: Black Ops

Are you looking for a pure military-looking American all-terrain vehicle? One opportunity would be the chance to bid on the 2011 Call of Duty Black Ops Jeep, fully customized, which is to be auctioned off soon. With tickets costing $25 each, anyone may enter as many times as they wish.

The car was previously donated to the Army Rangers by Xtreme Outfitters, and now will be auctioned for charity. The car has undergone heavy customization to rise up to the expectations, being added Dana 44 front and Dana 60 rear axles, by Dynatrac, and a Burnsville 5.7-liter Hemi v8 powerplant connected to a five-speed automatic transmission system.

The crafters also added an extra-lift to the car by adding a TeraFlex 4-inch long arm kit. The comfort hadn’t been downed at all; the vehicle now comprises Fox 2.0 performance shocks for all terrain types. There have been made a lot of improvements to the looks as well, through the addition of front SRC stinger and rear XRC bumpers, with adjustable tire mounting.

These were made by Smittybilt. Furthermore, they were decorated from place to place with 9 mm pistol-shots. BMF have also put their hands on the project with the Novakane 17×9-inch wheels. For all the 4×4 fans and enthusiasts out there, this is a once-in-a-life-time occasion to get out of limits.

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Cars


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RUF CTR 3. The beast.

In April 2007, the CTR 3 was unveiled in Bahrain. While the first two CTR generations still had their engines in the rear, the new CTR 3 has a mid-engine design. However, one thing that the CTR 3 has in common with its two predecessors is that it is a pure driving machine. The CTR 3 is made to involve the driver in the driving experience.

The mid-engine design provides exceptional balance and agile handling, while the longer wheelbase provides better driving stability at high speeds. The body of the CTR 3 is a completely new development which is not based on any existing mid-engine concept. It is aerodynamically designed for high speed. Galvanized steel is used for the front structure and the passenger compartment. The engine and transmission are fixed in a space frame and modular tubular frame construction. The passenger compartment is protected by the latest version of the famous RUF Integrated Roll Cage which is integrated into the A pillar and tube frame. The doors, with integrated side impact protection beams, and the front hood are made of aluminum. The body-shell is made of Kevlar-carbon composite.

The concept of this classic sports car was maturing in Alois Ruf’s head for a long time. Together with his design and engineering team he now realized this idea. RUF has 30 years of experience with turbocharged boxer engines. The CTR 3’s twin-turbocharged 3.8 litre flat-six cylinder engine has an output of 750 HP at 7,100 rpm. The maximum torque is 708 ft/lbs at 4,000 rpm. This engine design combines a compact construction with high performance. Each turbocharger is provided with an intercooler which is placed in front of each rear wheel.

The sequential shift 6-speed transmission in the CTR 3 is a new design and is transversely mounted. It can manage torque up to 855 ft/lbs. A shift indicator on the dashboard shows the gear in use. A limited slip differential is provided to maximize performance. The sport suspension is designed for high-level driving dynamics and safety. The front axles use MacPherson struts and an anti-roll bar. The rear axles utilize motorsport technology with horizontal coilover shock absorbers fixed over pushrods connected to the wheel carriers.

The brake system is designed to match the high engine and suspension performance. Both front and rear axles utilize 6-piston fixed light alloy calipers and ventilated, cross drilled ceramic composite discs. Each brake disc is 380 mm in diameter. A specially designed Bosch anti-lock braking system is standard.

The CTR 3 rolls on forged aluminum wheels with center lock. At the front 255/35 ZR 19” tires are mounted on 8.5” x 19” wheels, while at the rear 335/30 ZR 20” tires are mounted on 12.5” x 20” wheels.

The interior can be designed to the customer’s taste, from a functional lightweight finish to a sporty luxury finish with leather and Alcantara. The aluminum gearshift lever for the sequential shift transmission is a central unit to the interior. In addition, the 260 mph speedometer shows the driver that the CTR 3 is meant for high performance.

The lightweight construction allows for an empty weight (according to DIN) of 3,086 lbs. The result is a power-to-weight ratio of only 4.4 lbs per HP.

The CTR 3’s performance is incredible. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes only 3.2 seconds, and its maximum speed is 380 km/h (236 mph).

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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in Cars


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Ferrari 458 Italia Carbon Edition by Anderson Germany

Anderson Germany, as the name tells it, a German car tuning company, is launching a new upgrade kit for the Ferrari 458 Italia, dubbed as the Carbon Edition. The package contains a performance increase – engine boost, 53 HP more to be precise, trough a new software system and more efficient sport exhaust, a new aerodynamic kit and stuff to make the car look better and more exquisite.

The aerodynamics of the car have been improved through wider side skirts, front lip spoiler, a sleek rear lip spoiler, modified intake grills, ventilation grid and air outlets, plus some nice looking front bumper flaps. Furthermore, the Anderson Ferrari 458 Carbon Edition has new carbon-coated parts, like the diffuser, tail-light trims, hood, door handles, roof, mirrors and trunk lid.

The new exhaust offers the car three different new sound stages, comprising heat protection, special end pipes and a racing catalyst.
The car runs on 255/30-21 front- and 335/25-22 rear-tires, wrapped around 21-22 inch carbon coated rims. The 623 HP output of the engine will surely make them spin like wild.

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Posted by on November 7, 2011 in Cars


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