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Trident Lays Claims to World’s Fastest Diesel Sports Car

Iceni Magna and Venturer models can hit 190 – and deliver 57 mpg.

by on Apr.29, 2014

The 2-seat Trident Iceni Magna.

If your idea of a diesel hasn’t evolved from the 1980s, when “oil burners” were notoriously noisy, smelly, shaky – and slow – the little British sports car manufacturer Trident is set to challenge your assumptions.

It’s launching two new models that are laying claim to being the world’s fastest diesel-powered sports cars, capable of reaching speeds in excess of 190 mph. At the same time, Trident boasts that new “torque multiplication technology” will permit its Iceni Magna and Iceni Venturer models to deliver as much as 2,000 miles of driving on a single tank of fuel.

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“We have worked extremely hard to reach this point and the whole Trident team is thrilled to be bringing the world’s most fuel-efficient diesel sports cars to market,” says David Monaghan, co-founder of Trident Sports Cars, Ltd., which has been working on the Iceni project since it was formed in 2005.

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Jaguar Has Big Plans for New F-Type Coupe

Hardtop model expected to handily outsell F-Type convertible.

by on Nov.20, 2013

Jaguar design chief Ian Callum presides over the debut of the new F-Type Coupe in Los Angeles.

Few recent product launches have generated as much buzz as that of the Jaguar F-Type, a 2-seat sports car widely hailed as the “spiritual successor” to the British marque’s legendary E-Type.

But kudos are one thing, reality another, and despite strong early demand for the 2014 Jaguar F-Type, the convertible body limits its appeal in many parts of the world – which is why the maker is revealing the new F-Type Coupe at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

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TheDetroitBureau.com got a first look at the hardtop sports car and if our initial reaction reflects what show-goers will experience, Jaguar is likely to have some serious trouble keeping up with demand. Indeed, the maker is forecasting that the new Coupe will account for well over half of F-Type sales once it goes on sale next spring. (more…)

Jaguar to Reveal New F-Type Coupe at LA Auto Show

North American launch in spring 2014.

by on Nov.05, 2013

The Coupe version of the Jaguar F-Type will reach U.S. dealer showrooms next spring.

Hoping to expand upon the success of its new F-Type convertible, Jaguar plans to introduce a coupe version of the sports car at the upcoming LA Auto Show and follow up with an Asian preview at the Tokyo Motor Show a day later.

Dubbed the “spiritual successor” to the legendary E-Type, the Jaguar F-Type has scored a long list of kudos – and strong sales – since its debut earlier this year, including honors as the World Car Design of the Year.

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“We’ve been overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the F-Type Convertible, but for me the purity of creating a sports Coupe is a uniquely satisfying process – and I know that both visually and dynamically, F-Type Coupe raises the bar yet again,” said Jaguar’s global design director Ian Callum.

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Jaguar May Be Planning 600-hp F-Type

by on Apr.17, 2013

Jaguar chief designer Ian Callum with the F-Type.

Expect to see a steady stream of Jaguar F-Type variants over the coming years, likely including an R-line model that could push the already beefy V-8 version of the sports car up into the 600-horsepower range, according to various sources.

“You can expect us to do things to maintain interest” in the F-Type, “rather than launch it and leave it,” Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s global brand chief, told TheDetroitBureau.com during the sports car’s first media drive in Pamplona, Spain.

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While Hallmark declined to offer specific details, he made it clear that Jaguar intends to take steps to enhance its performance credentials. The maker has been rapidly adding new R-line models in recent months, including the 550-horsepower Jaguar XJR, and the limited edition XKR-S GT.

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First Look: 2013 Aston Martin DB9

Subtle body changes conceal big gain in power.

by on Sep.19, 2012

The Aston Martin DB9 gets an extra 40 hp for 2013.

The general rule of thumb is that coupes and sports cars have a shelf-life only slightly longer than the radioactive elements at the top of the Periodic Table. Yet the Aston Martin DB9 has shown surprising durability. But after eight years it is clearly time for an update, and the British maker has confirmed it will offer one up at the Paris Motor Show next week.

The 2013 Aston Martin DB9 will replace the Virage as the pinnacle of the marque’s line-up.  The updated model will be offered in both coupe and convertible versions – the later dubbed a Volante — and go on sale, the maker says, in November, carrying a $185,400 price tag.

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For your money you’d get a 2013 DB9 that clearly resembles the outgoing model.  The most immediate visual changes come in the form of a new new bi-xenon headlamps and a new grille inspired by the One-77 “hypercar.”  Technical updates include new carbon ceramic brakes.  But the big news is hidden under what the British like to call the bonnet

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First Look: Lotus Evora GTE Road Car Concept

British marque beginning its grand expansion program.

by on Aug.17, 2011

Lotus developed the Evora GTE for the Le Mans circuit, but this concept suggests it may offer a version of the 2-seater for the street.

The tony communities of California’s Monterey Peninsula look a lot like a used car lot this weekend – albeit populated some of the world’s highest-priced “previously-owned” vehicles as the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance rolls into town.  But while most of the attention focuses on classic cars, a number of high-line makers are hoping to grab some of the spotlight for their own, newer offerings.

Among the many products to be previewed in the next few days, Lotus will lift the covers off its latest entry, the Evora GTE.  At last year’s Paris Motor Show, the maker announced plans to introduce a half-dozen new products in the next few years – its biggest roll-out ever – and, as TheDetroitBureau.com more recently reported, Lotus also is developing an all-new V-8 engine to power some of those offerings.

Insight!

The GTE fits in with the mandate of legendary Lotus founder Colin Chapman to “add lightness” to every vehicle.  It starts out as a standard Evora tuned for the track – and redubbed the Lotus Evora GTE.  The concept version of the car coming to Pebble Beach, meanwhile, would be street legal if put into production.

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First Look: Aston Martin Virage

2 doors, 12 cylinders, 490 horsepower. You do the math.

by on Feb.24, 2011

Aston revives the old Virage name in a new model slotteds between the DB9 and DBS.

Aston Martin is bringing back an old name, but the 12-cylinder Virage, making its debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, is anything but retro.

With striking xenon headlamps tapering into the low-slung head and framing a new 5-bar grille, the 490-horsepower Aston Virage is the latest entry designed to pull the classic British brand forward.

The coupe occupies a sort of middle ground between the Aston DB9 and DBS models, 20 more horsepower than the former, 20 less than the latter coming from its 6.0-liter powerplant.  The Aston Virage also makes 420 lb-ft of torque.

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On the mechanical side, the new coupe gets new adaptive dampers that can switch between five degrees of firmness with the touch of a button.  A modified exhaust manifold enhances the resonant roar of the big V-12.

As with the other DB models, the Aston Martin Virage is aluminum intensive, reflecting the British maker’s focus on stiff, lightweight vehicles that deliver even better performance than the raw horsepower numbers might otherwise suggest.

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First Look: 2011 Lotus Elise

Keeping things pure and simple.

by on Feb.17, 2010

Lotus is putting a premium on weight and aerodynamics with the 2011 Elise.

I’ve been a fan of U.K. sports cars, I must confess, since my earliest days behind the wheel.  Sadly, the brand names I grew up with – Triumph, MG, Austin-Healy – have all vanished, leaving just a few options for those who covet British racing green.  Morgan is little more than a costly paean to the past.  But there is another option, one that has both captured the essence of that bygone era and yet brought it into line with the modern world.

Admittedly, owning a Lotus does require some sacrifice, and for aging Boomers, indeed, anyone  over about 5’10, it requires either a chiropractor on call or an extended study of yoga to squeeze into the little Elise.  But that’s a small price to pay.

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Fans will immediately recognize the basic lines of the 2011 Lotus Elise; the changes for the upcoming model-year are modest, but nonetheless significant.  With a revised front clamshell, rear bumper and engine cover, as well as better-integrated headlamps – which now incorporate LED running lights and turn signals – Lotus has improved Elise’s aerodynamics by about 4%.  A small number, perhaps, but one that nonetheless translates into a measurable improvement in fuel economy, the maker claims.

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