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Mercedes Working Up 1,000 HP Supercar

Two alternate versions reportedly under development.

by on Nov.30, 2015

The Mercedes-McLaren SLR was first unveiled in 2003. It's shown here during a debut drive.

The new Mercedes-AMG GT is an intimidating beast, meant to challenge the likes of the venerable Porsche 911. But it’s not a true replacement for two of the maker’s recent supercars, the SLR and SLS models.

Now, it seems, Mercedes wants to fill that gap and take advantage of the growing demand for vehicles that can deliver as much as 1,000 horsepower or more. According to a report in the well-connected German magazine, Auto Bild, Mercedes is looking at two alternatives that could push the pony count near, and perhaps into the four-figure range.

Firing on All Cylinders!

It would join a select group of so-called ultracars, including the Koenigsegg Agera and Bugatti Veyron. But it would take a very different approach when it comes to delivering all that muscle.

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Jaguar Prepping 700-HP Hybrid F-Type

Leapfrogging Porsche.

by on Jun.25, 2013

A new Jaguar F-Type V6 S navigates the Circuito Navarra in Spain.

As regular readers might have noticed, hybrids are no longer for fuel economy anymore.  Well, not exclusively.  There’s a growing list of manufacturers using alternative technologies to add a big performance punch, as well, notably including Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche.

And you’ll soon be able to add Jaguar to that list, if the scuttlebutt proves accurate.  Borrowing a bit of technology from the now-cancelled C-X75 supercar program, Jaguar is reportedly working up a 700-horsepower hybrid driveline for the upcoming coupe version of the new F-Type.

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The new drivetrain – if it makes it beyond the planning stage – would provide a significant bump over the still-new Jaguar F-Type convertible’s 495-hp V8 S model.  And it would bump the top speed from an already impressive 186 mph to something north of 200, according to British auto mag AutoExpress, which broke the story.

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Porsche Plugs in With 918 Supercar

A carbon fiber supercar that’s both mean and green.

by on May.17, 2013

Porsche puts the emphasis on supercar performance with its new 918 Spyder.

For those who think battery-based vehicles are, by nature, slow and boring, the new Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in supercar could deliver a shocking surprise.

True, the carbon-fiber 918 is expected to yield significant improvements in fuel efficiency – and about 18 miles per charge on its lithium-ion battery pack, but it will also launch from 0 to 60 in less than 2.8 seconds. A Chevrolet Volt it definitely isn’t.

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The new supercar “demonstrates the potential of the hybrid drive to a degree never seen before: the parallel improvement of both efficiency and performance without one being at the cost of the other,” says Porsche, which first revealed a prototype of the 918 several years ago and is launching the production version this week.

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Ferrari Puts Brakes On Production

Move designed to ensure the aura of exclusivity.

by on May.09, 2013

Ferrari is cutting back on production this year to maintain the brand's exclusivity.

Nothing turns heads quite like the sight of a Ferrari roaring down the road. The excitement and awe stems from the fact there aren’t many around. To ensure that continues, Ferrari plans to cut sales to fewer than 7,000 vehicles this year to maintain that aura of exclusivity around the storied brand.

“The decision we have made to sell fewer cars this year despite stronger sales is due to protect brand’s exclusivity,” Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo told reporters during a session at the company’s fabled factory in Maranello, Italy.

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Ferrari produced 7,318 cars last year, he said.

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Marchionne Wants to Complete Fiat/Chrysler Merger ASAP

Meanwhile “no glimmer of hope” for European industry turnaround this year.

by on Mar.06, 2013

Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne sits on a new LaFerrari during the supercar's Geneva preview. Ferrari Pres. Luca di Montezemelo is in the background.

Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both Fiat and Chrysler, wants to finish merging the two companies as soon as possible – though other shareholders may make that a difficult task to complete without first taking the U.S. maker public.

During a news conference marking the first day of media previews at the Geneva Motor Show, meanwhile, Marchionne offered up a glum assessment for the worsening crisis the auto industry is facing in Europe, concluding he does not see a “glimmer of hope” for a turnaround in the market this year.

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Shortly after Fiat took control of Chrysler, following the American maker’s emergence from bankruptcy in 2009, it appeared likely there would ultimately be a public stock offering. Marchionne has repeatedly delayed that move and now says he’d like to skip it entirely, telling reporters in Geneva “It’s the right thing to bring these two organizations together,” and suggesting Fiat has the “availability of funding to try and close this transaction” in short order.

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Ferrari Goes Hybrid for Fastest Car Ever

New LaFerrari a nearly 1,000-hp replacement for old Enzo.

by on Mar.05, 2013

The new LaFerrari borrows heavily from the maker's successful Formula One race program.

If your idea of a hybrid looks something like the Toyota Prius, something that’s more fuel-efficient than fun-to-drive, you may need an attitude readjustment after getting a look at the new LaFerrari, the long-awaited replacement for the Italian automaker’s former flagship, the Enzo.

This is definitely not your typical gas-electric drivetrain, though the maker insists it will substantially reduce emissions and fuel consumption compared to a conventional drivetrain. Of course, there aren’t many out there that can churn out to nearly 1,000 horsepower.

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During a presentation at the Geneva Motor Show, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemelo described the new model as the “maximum expression of what defines our company….all the capabilities of our know-how,” adding that the LaFerrari “represents the future” for one of the world’s most respected sports car manufacturers.

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