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Posts Tagged ‘german sports cars’

Porsche Unveils New Track-Ready 911 GT3 RS

Lighter, faster, nimbler 911 makes Geneva splash.

by on Mar.04, 2015

Porsche rolled out its street-legal, but track-ready 911 GT3 RS at the Geneva Motor Show.

Porsche made it clear it would be debuting two new models the Geneva Motors Show: the new Cayman GT4 and something else. That “something” is the new 911 GT3 RS.

The German maker’s latest entry is powered by a 4.0-liter flat six putting out 500 horsepower, 338 lb-ft of torque, and a zero-to-60 mph time of about 3.1 seconds and perfectly street-legal and track-ready.

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That mix of power and speed comes from Porsche’s efforts to make the new RS lighter. The roof is made of magnesium; carbon fiber is used for the engine and luggage compartment lids, and other components are also made of weight-saving materials. (more…)

BMW Launches New M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe

Lighter, more powerful, faster.

by on Dec.12, 2013

The new BMW 4-Series will soon get the M treatment.

BMW is giving us a sneak peek at two of its new M pocket rockets with the first official images of the new 2015 M3 and M4 models.

Set to make their formal debuts at next month’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the two M cars will deliver more power and improved performance, BMW claims, even while they lose mass compared to the old M3 sedan and coupe models they’re meant to replace.

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It will mark the first-ever M4, in fact, following the Bavarian makers decision to split off the coupe and convertible models as part of a new naming strategy. Going forward, odd numbers, like the familiar 3-Series, will be reserved for sedans, with coupes and cabriolets getting even designations, ala the M4 and 4-Series.


Porsche 911 GT3 Makes NY Debut

Track performance and on-road manners.

by on Mar.27, 2013

The new Porsche 911 GT3 is getting its U.S. debut at the 2013 NY Auto Show.

Making 475 horsepower, enough to launch from 0 to 60 in just 3.3 seconds, you might be excused for calling the new Porsche 911 GT3 a German muscle car. But the new two-seater is designed to deliver both track performance and on-road manners.

Making its North American debut during the New York International Auto Show, the fifth generation of the 911 GT3 has been completely redesigned from the ground up with both a new engine and transmission, as well as body and chassis, as well as a variety of sophisticated new technologies, such as the new rear axle steering system which Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller says is designed to deliver tighter, even more sure-footed cornering.

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Rated at a top speed of 195 miles per hour, the new GT3 is powered by a 3.8-liter boxer engine that can rev up to a screaming 9,000 RPMs. That required a specially developed Porsche dual-clutch, seven-speed transmission, which drives the rear wheels. The six-cylinder engine is based on the 911 Carrera S six, though the two engines end up sharing only a few common parts.


First Look: 2014 Porsche Cayman

More muscle, better mileage.

by on Nov.29, 2012

Lighter, longer and wider - as well as more powerful and fuel-efficient - the 2013 Porsche Cayman.

Porsche intends to extend its winning strike as it launches an all-new update of its smallest sports coupe, the Cayman, which made its first public appearance during a well-attended debut at the LA Auto Show.

Like the similarly sized Boxster roadster, the 2013 Porsche Cayman is lighter and sleeker, with a longer wheelbase and wider track designed to enhance both its visual appearance and its road manners.  Porsche engineers also have pulled off the seemingly impossible, as they did with several other recent models, not only boosting performance but squeezing out significantly better mileage.

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“The new version is lighter, more powerful and more fuel-efficient than ever,” said Matthias Mueller, CEO of the Stuttgart-based maker – which effectively became part of the growing Volkswagen AG empire this year.

The 2013 Porsche Cayman S can launch from 0 to 100 kmh (62 mph) in barely 4.7 seconds.


Farewell Ferdinand Alexander Porsche

Designer of iconic 911 dead at age 76.

by on Apr.06, 2012

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche and the original Porsche 911, which he helped pen 50 years ago.

As a member of the eponymous Porsche family his name was on the door, as it might be said, but it was the cars Ferdinand Alexander Porsche will be remembered for long after his passing, yesterday, at the age of 76.

Indeed, the most important of those products only recently reappeared in its seventh-generation form, the iconic 911 that still looks much like it did when first unveiled at the 1963 Frankfurt Motor Show.

“The creator of the Porsche 911 has founded a culture of design in our company that distinguishes our sports cars even today,” said Porsche’s current CEO Matthias Mueller, recalling the influence of Ferdinand Porsche, the grandson of the man who founded the legendary automaker.


First Look: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG

What could you do with 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque?

by on Mar.20, 2012

Mercedes will reveal the 2013 SL65 AMG at the New York Auto Show next month.

When even Bentley is talking plug-in hybrid for its planned SUV you have to assume the era of big, powerful luxury cars has come to an end.

Well, not really, as we’ve also seen some new extremes from the likes of Ferrari and BMW, with the F12 Berlinetta and next M6, respectively, reaching record levels of power and performance.  And now, Mercedes-Benz is weighing in with some selectively leaked details about the next-generation SL65 AMG — which debuts at the New York Auto Show next month.

We’ve already gotten a peak at the SL63 AMG – yes, there are two different AMG-badged versions of the all-new Mercedes roadster.  But the SL65 has always been the pinnacle for those who just can’t find enough places to spend their money.  And Mercedes has to give them something to justify the price, which should be pushing well up towards the $200,000 mark when the new model reaches showrooms later this year.

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For that cash you’ll get a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 making a seriously impressive 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. The engine is actually a tuned-up holdover — though such updates as turbochargers with an enlarged spiral cross-section, new manifolds and optimized wastegate channels helped deliver an additional 17 hp.

So, equally significant is the switch to a new 7-speed AMG Speedshift gearbox.  Until now, SL65 buyers had to suffer through a dated 5-speed, the only transmission that could handle the V12’s stump-pulling torque.


First Look: 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet

Sky’s the limit on a cold January morning as Porsche returns to Detroit Auto Show.

by on Jan.05, 2012

The 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet will reach market in time for the spring thaw.

With the temperatures hovering in the low 20s one doesn’t often think of convertibles this time of year in Detroit.  But Porsche is hoping to get a more balmy reception when it pulls the covers – and the top – off its new 911 sports car next week as it makes a return to the Detroit Auto Show.

After a long absence, the maker returned to the largest of the U.S. car shows – from a news standpoint, anyway – last year with the 918 Concept and it is hoping to make big news again this year with the 2012 Porsche 911 Cabriolet, the latest in what will be a string of variants to share the new sports car platform reviewed back in November. (Click Here for that first drive.)

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“Detroit was deliberately chosen for the world premiere of the new 911 Cabrio because the USA is far and away our largest 911 Cabrio market,” said Bernhard Maier, Porsche AG Board of Management Member for Sales and Marketing.

It’s also Porsche’s largest market overall.


First Look: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL

Giving meaning to “Sporty” and “Light.”

by on Dec.16, 2011

Mercedes puts the new SL on a rigid diet.

For six decades, Mercedes-Benz has stretched the definition of SL – the letters attached to its flagship 2-seat roadster supposedly standing for “Sport” and “Light.”  But with the launch of the all-new 2013 Mercedes SL, those words – and initials finally take on their true meaning.

After months of peering at grainy spy shots and teaser images we can finally present the first official shots of the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL – while reporting that the next-gen roadster will be as much as 300 pounds lighter, depending on trim, than the outgoing SL line.

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The new roadster will make its formal debut at the Detroit Auto Show little more than three weeks from now but here’s a first peek.

Visually, it’s an all-new look, with the 2013 SL borrowing many of its cues from the maker’s flagship SLS supercar, including the more upright grille and headlamps – though you might also perceive a few subtle details lifted from the small Mercedes SLK.


First Drive: 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera

Evolution of an icon.

by on Nov.09, 2011

Porsche rolls out the seventh generation of its iconic 911 Carrera sports car.

As the styling chief for Porsche, Michael Mauer knew he had one of the biggest assignments of his career when he was told to redesign the maker’s flagship 911 sports car.  Few vehicles are more iconic, so, few projects would be more challenging.

The first thing Mauer recognized were the limits confronting him.  While he was asked to come up with something distinctive for the seventh-generation he knew that a radical redesign simply “wouldn’t be a 911.” That meant maintaining the car’s distinctive shape, starting with the long hood, bulging headlamps, “flyline” roof, and, of course, its rear-engine layout.

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What Mauer and his design team have come up with is somehow very different and yet surprising familiar – a Porsche 911 that is at once familiar and yet radically different.  There’s not a single panel or part carried over but for the powertrain – which nonetheless undergoes some significant enhancements.  The 2012 Porsche 911 is longer, lower and wider.  It delivers an array of new technologies intended to make it more powerful and more dynamic – while also improving its fuel economy by an estimated 16%.

The 2012 Porsche Carrera S is longer, lower, wider -- and 100 pounds lighter.


First Look: 2012 BMW M5

The image of aggressiveness.

by on Jun.15, 2011

BMW brings back the M5 for 2012.

Call these the image of aggression.  The first official pictures of the new 2012 BMW M5 have landed in our digital hands and we thought readers might want to take a look.

Dubbed by BMW the F10 M5, the new German muscle car can be distinguished by a clearly more aero-focused body, with notable ground effects designed to both improve downforce and reduce wind resistance.

Coming up in your rearview mirror, you’ll likely first notice the larger air intakes.  Blasting by, the 2012 BMW M5 will reveal its quad exhaust pipes.

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The new model rides, meanwhile, on 20-inch Z-rated wheels and tires.

Despite the F10 designation, the 2012 BMW M5 abandons the old models V10 in favor of a twin-turbocharged V8 – which bumps the horsepower count from 507 to 552.  More significantly, that power comes on about 1,750 RPMs lower than with the old V10, peaking at 6,000 RPMs.

The 2012 BMW M5 migrates from a V10 to new twin-turbocharged V8.

The big increase comes in torque, the twin-turbo V8 making a whopping 501 lb-ft, up from 383 with the old V10.

BMW’s transmission of choice is expected to be a DSG, though AutoBlog reports a 6-speed manual is likely on tap for Americans.

And performance numbers?  We’re waiting for top speed ratings, which should nudge above 180, if BMW provides an unrestricted number.  But on the 0 to 60 front look for something on order of 4.4 seconds or less.

As for pricing, the Euro-spec numbers are being quoted on the order of 100,000 Euros, which would mean a real sticker shock for American buyers once you factor in exchange rates. But the price is likely to dip as the 4-seat rocket crosses the Atlantic.

The last model to bear the M5 badge, which was pulled after the 2010 model-year, was listed at $89,575 including the gas guzzler tax.  Expect the 2012 BMW M5, in American trim, to stay somewhere at or under $100,000, sources suggest.