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Archive for the ‘Sports Cars’ Category

Mercedes-AMG Project One Hypercar Caught Track Testing

Virtual testing can only take you so far.

by on Sep.25, 2018

Much of the initial development work for the Mercedes-AMG Project One was done digitally.

There’s a race underway to see who can do the better, faster job of putting Formula One technology on the road, and Daimler AG wants us to know it’s getting close, providing a handful of images showing off a prototype of the new Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar undergoing track testing.

Which track? Could it be the legendary Nurburgring? That’s a reasonable guess considering it isn’t all that far away from the company’s Stuttgart headquarters but, for now, the automaker is only hinting that prototypes are being driven on “closed-off test grounds. However, because of their characteristic F1 sound they are hard to keep from the public.”

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The Project One, which actually looks more like a Le Mans prototype than a Formula One racer, has been generating buzz for several years, though we only got a look at a complete mock-up at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year.

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Mercedes Bringing Array of New Models to Paris Show

New B-Class will be accompanied by GLE ute, all-electric EQC and hot-hatch A35.

by on Sep.24, 2018

While a number of major automakers will skip Paris this year, Mercedes has four big announcements.

This is expected to be a relatively quiet year at the biennial Paris Motor Show, an array of manufacturers including BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Infiniti, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Subaru, Volkswagen and Volvo sitting it out.

But you likely wouldn’t notice if you wandered into the Mercedes-Benz exhibit. The German maker intends to take advantage of that industry shake-out by unveiling an array of its own new products including the completely redesigned B-Class the next-generation GLE, an all-new battery-electric EQC and the hot-hatch version of its smallest product line, the A35.

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We’ve gotten a first look at a few of these new models, notably the first truly long-range Mercedes, the EQC, but all will be making their public debuts in the City of Lights early next month. Here’s a bit more on all four of the major debuts the German marque will bring to Paris: (more…)

Porsche Dropping Diesels

First German automaker to abandon “oil-burners.”

by on Sep.24, 2018

Porsche is facing allegations it rigged some versions of the Cayenne to boost exhaust noise at the expense of higher emissions.

Porsche is set to become the first German automaker to completely abandon diesel engines, the sports carmaker has confirmed.

The move, confirmed by CEO Oliver Blume in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, comes in the wake of the emissions cheating scandal that has so far cost parent Volkswagen AG around $30 billion in fines, settlements and buybacks.

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“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” Blume told the German newspaper, explaining that the company wants to concentrate on “what we can do particularly well,” notably, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles.”

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Aston Martin Sketches Out its Future With Supercar Design Tease, IPO Plans

British marque hopes to repeat Ferrari’s success.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Aston has released a preliminary sketch of its third hypercar, the 003, which it hopes to have in production in 2021.

Aston Martin, the carmaker best known for its relationship with cinema spy 007, has laid out key details of its upcoming IPO while also releasing a preliminary sketch of the hypercar it’s calling 003 that it hopes will drive some of its future success.

Spun off by Ford Motor Co. in 2007, Aston struggled to avoid an eighth bankruptcy during the depths of the Great Recession, but its fortunes have skyrocketed over the last few years, a period coinciding with the arrival of CEO Andy Palmer and the subsequent commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital from its key investors.

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The IPO will go off next month on the London Stock Exchange, Palmer announced, declaring that it “will provide investors with a fitting opportunity to participate in our future success.”

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BMW Fills in the Blanks on New Z4

Production will launch with four-cylinder version, but I-6 and M packages will follow.

by on Sep.19, 2018

The 2019 BMW Z4 revs up the excitement for the next-gen roadster with more power and plenty of style.

Nearly a month after giving us a first look at the all-new BMW Z4, the Bavarian automaker is filling in some critical blanks, offering timing on the rollout of the new roadster, as well as specs on the first two versions in the pipeline.

First unveiled during the annual classic car week in Pebble Beach, California, the new Z4 is seen by many as the most significant update since the nameplate was first launched 17 years ago. That is, in part, due to the unusual approach BMW took to develop the all-new Z4, partnering with Toyota which will use the underpinnings for its own new entry, the reborn Supra.

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The good news is that the next-generation Z4 will be offering more power than the outgoing roadster. The bad news, at least for fans of rowing their own transmission, is that there’ll be no manual offered on the new model. (more…)

New Ferrari CEO Camilleri Lays Out New Five-Year Plan

Iconic automaker building new ute and supercar in next five years.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Ferrari's new five-year plan appears to follow the road map that recently deceased CEO Sergio Marchionne laid out.

Ferrari’s new CEO Louis Camilleri unveiled the iconic brand’s latest five-year plan that could be described as doing what it does best while ensuring it keeps an eye on the future.

Camilleri was only recently installed in the top spot after the unexpected passing of Sergio Marchionne laid out a near-term future that revives some of the company’s past, but also keeps the promises Marchionne made.

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“Our objectives are ambitious, but they are based on a meticulously constructed model pipeline, our enviable pricing power and appropriate investment levels,” Camilleri told investors. (more…)

Fade of Zero-Percent Financing Makes Leasing More Appealing

Rising interest rates pushing buyers toward leases.

by on Sep.14, 2018

Zero-percent financing deals are increasingly difficult to find these days, pushing some into leasing.

Car shoppers are always looking for a deal, and often they’re excited by the prospect of zero percent financing; however, those deals are getting tougher and tougher to find.

The percentage of sales with zero percent finance deals has been cut in half in the last two years — dropping from 14.6% of transactions in August of 2016, to 10.4% last August to just 7.4% this August, according to Edmunds.

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This drop during the last three Augusts sparks interest because zero percent financing deals usually abound in August and September.

“August truly represents the month that we would have expected to see a turnaround in this trend if one was imminent,” said Jeremy Acevedo, Edmunds’ manager of industry analysis. “Moving forward, shoppers will likely need to do a bit more digging to find other ways to save on a new vehicle because it looks like zero percent finance deals are going the way of the dodo.”

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Porsche Expands Subscription-Style Plans

Automaker lets drivers play Host or simply Drive with new programs.

by on Sep.12, 2018

For as little as $269, Porsche offers four hours in a select vehicles as part of its new Porsche Drive program.

Porsche, one of the early innovators of the vehicle subscription program, is taking the concept to another level — actually two levels.

The German automaker’s North American operation is offering two new ways for drivers to get behind the wheel of a Porsche whether for a few hours or for weeks with its Porsche Drive and Porsche Host programs.

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“We want to offer a choice in how people experience the thrill of driving a Porsche,” said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of Porsche Cars North America Inc.  (more…)

Bonded: Aston Martin, 007′s Favorite Carmaker Planning IPO

Will investors look past British maker's troubled past?

by on Aug.29, 2018

Andy Palmer, Aston Martin CEO, will put his Second Century Plan to the test with a potential $9 billion IPO.

Forget Bond, or bonds, anyway. What Aston Martin is looking at now is stock. The British automaker, best known as the car of choice for super-spy 007, is acting on long-standing rumors and planning to go public.

The company, which has gone bankrupt as many as eight times since it was founded 105 years ago, has staged a major turnaround during the last several years, and it now plans to float as much as a quarter of its existing shares, a move that would raise an estimated £5 billion, or nearly $9 billion for current shareholders. The IPO will be a test of the “Second Century Plan” put in place by CEO Andy Palmer, who joined Aston in mid-2014.

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“Today’s announcement represents a key milestone in the history of the company, which is reporting strong financial results and increased global demand for its award-winning sports cars,” Palmer said in the statement. (more…)

BMW Z4 Takes its Formal Bow in Pebble Beach

Is that a hint of the new Toyota Supra we see?

by on Aug.23, 2018

The new BMW Z4 roadster offers few hints that it shares its roots with the new Toyota Supra.

Sure, we got a look at the concept version of the new BMW Z4 a full year ago, but there were still plenty of skeptics wondering exactly what the Bavarians would come up with when it was time to roll out the production model. Skepticism was, perhaps, in order considering they had to coordinate development of the next-generation roadster with Toyota which is using the underlying platform for its reborn Supra.

Anyone who expected to see a badge-engineered convertible can now breathe a sigh of relief. Almost precisely a year after revealing the concept version, BMW is back in precisely the same place, Pebble Beach, to roll out the production version, and if first impressions – and some hints about the specs – matter, the new Z4 should generate some serious buzz.

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We’ll have to wait another month to get all the specifications, BMW tells us, hoping to play out the anticipation card for as long as possible, but the automaker has one significant detail to reveal, the Z4 M40i edition will rely on an updated version of the familiar 3.0-liter straight-six to get it up to 60 mph in an estimated 4.4 seconds.

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