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Spy Shots: Ferrari F450

A sneak peak six months before its expected debut at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

by on Mar.28, 2009

If you prefer not to peek, you could wait for the Frankfurt Motor Show, next September, to get your first look at the new Ferrari F450.

If you prefer not to peek, you could wait for the Frankfurt Motor Show, next September, to get your first look at the new Ferrari F450.

The first spy-photos of the real prototype of the forthcoming Ferrari F450 have emerged – and the car photographed doesn’t wear an inch of disguise! While some of the body pieces are missing on this prototype, a large portion of the production sheet metal is clearly visible!

The F450 is rumoured to have a higher power output than the 520-horsepower F430 Scuderia. Ferrari will use the same double-clutch gearbox from the California for the F450,  coupled with a 4.5-liter V8 engine. How the global Great Recession has affected the scarlet marque remains to be seen. There’s  speculation about the possible inclusion of advanced and expensive technologies, such as a road car version of electronic KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a sophisticated form of regenerative braking used in hybrids only here to boost performance) under development in the ultra-expensive world of Formula One racing that Ferrari has long dominated.

Ferrari has apparently code-named the car “F142,” and it is expected to make its first public showing at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2009. Deliveries would then commence just over a year from now. More pictures available at  Photo Credit: Brenda Priddy & Co.

Spy Shots: BMW X1

It’s no longer just a concept as the X1 is caught during shoot.

by on Mar.20, 2009

BMW X1 at undisclosed West Coast location.

BMW X1 at undisclosed West Coast location.

Unfortunately for this European film crew, they were no match for our team made up of six determined shooters and “diversion extras” as we approached their makeshift studio on a beach here in one of our many coastal states.

The BMW photography team was attempting to do interior photos when we crashed their thought-to-be-secure party, but they still kept the wraps on most of the exterior panels. Even so, we can tell that BMW is sticking very close to the Paris concept when they launch this “real” X1 for the 2011 model year (2010 model in Europe).

Based on the new 1 Series, but taller and stockier, the new mini ute will arrive during the 2010 calendar year with optional all-wheel drive, and all the normal BMW bells-and-whistles.

Size-wise, the X1 is supposed to be comparable to Toyota’s RAV4 – and will actually be sharing components with the new Mini Crossman.
More pictures are available at:  LEFTLANENEWS.COM/

Spy Shots: New Lincoln LT Pickup

Lincoln will keep on trucking.

by on Mar.09, 2009

Lincoln's back in the pickup business with this luxury truck.

Lincoln's back in the pickup business in Mexico with this luxury truck, the new LT.

For U.S. truck buyers, this pickup is an unobtainable luxury, but our spies have just snapped photos of the all-new Lincoln Mark LT, which will continue to sell south of the border in Mexico.

The Lincoln Mark LT was discontinued in the U.S. after the 2008 model year due to slow sales. But this new Mark LT is based on the 2009 Ford F-150 Platinum edition and will be available to buyers in Mexico

The front end sports Lincoln’s distinct new double-waterfall grille design. It’s unlike any other snout in the F-150 lineup. In fact, it’s the seventh (!) unique grille we’ve seen on the current truck. The front rocker panels get Lincoln Mark LT lettering along with the tailgate, though on this test mule it still sports Platinum font across the back.

Reports have stated that the Mark LT will live on because the Lincoln brand has a very exclusive image in Mexico. Mexican buyers are prepared to pay more for a Lincoln-badged vehicle than they would for a similar one with a Ford blue oval.


Spy Shot: First VPG “Standard Taxi” Prototype

New cab design brings back memories of the classic Checker.

by on Mar.06, 2009

What Checker began, AM General's Standard Taxi aims to build on.

What Checker began, VPG and AM General's Standard Taxi aims to build on.

Granted – the headline is a mouthful, but how else could I get across the specifics and uniqueness of these exclusive photos?

After showing early concepts and prototypes as early as 2007, Vehicle Production Group has refined the design of  its upcoming Taxi – giving the vehicle a softer and friendlier look. And we caught the first running prototypes with the new design characteristics.

Working with the General Motors Powertrain folks, as well as Clean Energy Fuels Corporation (for the CNG version) – and with assembly scheduled to start by 2010 at AM General’s Mishawaka, Indiana facility, it appears that the “Standard Taxi” is planning to finish what Checker started.


Spy Shots: 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe V-series still alive!

The last trick for GM's disbanded high-performance team?

by on Feb.26, 2009

2011 Caddy CTS Coupe V-Series: the last trick from GM's high-performance team?

2011 Caddy CTS Coupe V-Series: the last trick from GM's high-performance team?

Last week GM shocked enthusiasts by announcing that the High Performance Vehicle Operations team was being disbanded. The HPVO crew, responsible for the V-series Cadillacs, Chevy Cobalt SS and HHR SS were said to be off working on regular cars now. These photos, shot in the last 24 hours, show the hipo team has one more trick up their sleeve.

The last time we saw a CTS Coupe V-series prototype was August 2008. It’s absence since then combined with GM’s Viability plan submitted to Congress had many thinking the hot rod coupe had been killed off. These new photos show the V-series coupe is alive and well!


Spy Shots: Ford F-250 Super Duty Pickup!

Ford takes the bold Super Chief concept to market.

by on Feb.19, 2009

2011-super-duty Just a week after Chrysler officially revealed its new 2010 Dodge Ram Heavy Duty pickups at the Chicago auto show, our spies have caught the first covered and camouflaged test trucks of its biggest competitor: Ford’s future F-250 Super Duty scheduled to arrive by 2011.

The 2011 Super Duty is expected to receive a major styling refresh, similar to the extent of the 2008 model year update. The current blue oval heavy-dutys took their exterior inspiration from the mighty Ford F-350 Tonka concept that debuted at the 2002 Detroit auto show. The practice round for the 2011 model appears to be the bold Ford F-250 Super Chief Concept, first shown at the 2006 Detroit auto show.

In the photos we can see two massive chrome bars stretched across the grille with a prominent Ford oval badge resting between them. There’s likely a third bar resting above the strong front bumper. The testers’ grille bars have more space between them than the tight tolerances of the Super Chief’s bars for real-world cooling and airflow needs. The current Super Duty’s hallmark side nostrils appear to have vanished, replaced by distinctive trim pieces on the sides of the grille that (at least for now) end abruptly at the top intake. Other styling updates are likely to be tail lights, which will probably be similar to those on the new 2009 Ford F-150.


Spy Shots: 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Shades of the Ocean Drive concept.

by on Feb.05, 2009

Ocean Drive Concept comes to life?

Ocean Drive Concept comes to life?

When we saw this 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class with new front and rear fascias, we immediately thought of the Ocean Drive Concept. From the slightly V-shaped grille, to the LEDs surrounding the headlamps, to the clean and smooth rear bumper – designers are following the direction of the stunning Ocean Drive.

We’re expecting this freshened and very stylish S Class to reach the States in time for the 2010 model year.

Closer look at the '10 Mercedes S-Class facelift

Closer look at the '10 Mercedes S-Class facelift

More pictures can be found at

Brenda Priddy & Company

Spied: 2010 E-Class Coupe

Carrying the cues of the Mercedes Fascination Concept into production.

by on Jan.20, 2009

What in the past was identified as the next CLK, are actually all-new coupe and convertible versions new E-Class. We have the best pics yet of this two door and these prototypes have almost no disguise at all!

These new models will be replacing the smaller CLK models, and will carry several of the styling cues from the Fascination Concept shown last month at the Paris Motor Show.

The new coupe and E-Class sedan will launch together in mid-2009 (as a 2010 model), with the convertible following several months later. And, of course, the coupe and convertibles are expected to be offered with the full range of E-Class powerplants.