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Posts Tagged ‘super cars’

Bugatti Ends an Era with Final “Legend”

Just 20 Veyrons left, exec says.

by on Oct.02, 2014

Bugatti President Wolfgang Dürheimer presents the sixth and final Legend "Ettore Bugatti" at Volkswagen Group Night in Paris.

The word legend is thrown around pretty freely these days, but in the case of Bugatti’s Legends Series of limited edition models, the moniker fits. The run of six “Legends” models is coming to an end with “Ettore Bugatti” edition.

“The Legends edition is an impressive part of the Veyron’s success story. Now the car has reache the finishing straight. Fewer than 20 cars are available for customers,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.

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The series began a year ago, when Bugatti introduced the Legends model “Jean-Pierre Wimille” in California. The “Jean Bugatti” followed at the IAA in Frankfurt and the “Meo Costantini“ at the Dubai Motor Show. The series continued earlier this year with the “Rembrandt Bugatti” at the Automobile Salon in Geneva and “Black Bess” at Auto China in Peking. (more…)

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.


First Look: SSC Tuatara

Goliath, meet David.

by on Aug.24, 2011

Heading for a new land speed record? The SSC Tuatara will push for 275 mph.

Goliath, meet David.  Oh, and watch out for the rock.

It came as more than a little surprise, a few years back, when a little automotive start-up – from Washington State, no less – bested big Bugatti, the ultra-luxury Volkswagen Group brand to grab the world production car speed record, SSC’s Ultimate Aero topping out at a blistering 258 mph.

Bugatti ultimately got the trophy back, but the world was put on notice: don’t dismiss the folks from Shelby Super Cars.  No, not that Shelby.  This guy made a fortune developing medical devices before getting into automotive manufacturing, but spend a little time with Jerod Shelby and you realize he’s as passionate as anyone who grew up in the car business.

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And he’s got a new passion these days, SSC’s second car finally ready to reveal in time for the past weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. was there for the roll-out – and spent time over a long lunch discussing the oddly-named SSC Tuatara.


Shelby GT500 Super Snake to Hit 800 Horsepower

New York debut for domestic supercar.

by on Apr.07, 2011

The 2012 Shelby GT500 bumps up to 800 hp.

Carroll Shelby has never been one to take a back seat in the muscle car race, so if a Lamborghini  is ready to settle with a mere 700 horsepower, it just seems somehow natural to expect the Texan’s team to weigh in with 800.

Yep, the supercharged 5.4-liter V8 in the Ford Mustang-based GT500 Super Snake will make an astounding 800 horsepower when the 2012 model rolls into showrooms.  That’s nearly 200 more ponies than the first GT500 made at launch in 2008 – but even more impressive, perhaps, it’s 100 more than you’ll get out of the new Lamborghini Aventador – for barely a third the price.

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All right, perhaps you won’t get quite the bragging rights or quite as sophisticated a platform as the raging bull offers with the carbon fiber 2-seater, but Shelby insists the Super Snake is more than just a gussied up Mustang.


First Look: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell

Putting the battery car on steroids.

by on Jan.11, 2011

The battery-powered version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG supercar will reach dealers in 2013.

Who said battery cars are for geeks?  Well, rich geeks, perhaps, because it will take a Silicon Valley entrepreneur to afford the battery-powered supercar Mercedes-Benz is formally introducing at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell is not a Nissan Leaf.  Like the conventionally-powered 2-seater, this is a car designed for those who put a premium on performance, but it will also offer the owner some green bragging rights.

“It’s our most exciting way of cutting emissions ever,” proclaimed Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG and head of its Mercedes brand during a preview at the North American International Auto Show.  “It’s like climbing out of an F4 Phantom jet and into an X-Wing fighter in Star Wars – except this is not science fiction.”

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Ignoring, for the moment, the neon lime green matte paint the prototype revealed at Cobo Center is visually very much in keeping with the gasoline-powered version of the Mercedes SLS, notably including the supercar’s striking gull-wing doors.  There are only subtle revisions to improve the efficiency of what was already a highly aerodynamic body.


First Drive: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe

Successfully challenging German high performance cars.

by on Aug.23, 2010

General Motors President North America Mark Reuss gets out of the Cadillac CTSv after taking the vehicle on hot laps around the track at the Monticello Motor Club.

The GM President of North America, Mark Reuss, gets out of the Cadillac CTS-V after taking the car on hot laps at the Monticello Motor Club.

It’s refreshing when the president of an auto company strolls on to a race track to drive a car he actually worked on as an engineer.

It’s a tad embarrassing, though, when he’s as fast, well frankly faster, than any hot shoe out there. I guess it’s not true that all GM executives do is sit around and nitpick PowerPoint presentations while the firm’s market share erodes.

Mark Reuss, the president of General Motors North America, refuted precisely that stereotype at the Cadillac CTS-V coupe introduction.

Reuss was driving a supercharged, 556-horsepower (415 kW) 6.2-liter V8 powered V-coupe that uses the same engine found in the CTS-V Sport Sedan introduced 18 months ago. And Reuss appeared to be extracting almost all of the performance possible from both versions of the car – sedan or coupe – in a show of driving prowess.

Engineer though Reuss be, and former head of GM Performance, the Caddy Coupe actually owes its existence – improbably – to a design staff concept done without the usual, stifling beanie business case. The angular masterpiece was just too seductive for the now retired but then product king Bob Lutz to resist.  Darn the German torpedos, the engineers then went full speed ahead.


Although it draws from its sport sedan sister, the CTS Coupe shares only the instrument panel, console, headlamps, front fenders and grille. Riding on the same  113.4-inch wheelbase, the CTS coupe is two inches lower, has a two-inch wider rear track, and a shorter two-inch overall length than the sedan. The two, two and two might add to six in conventional beanie math, but in my calculation this roll of the dice adds to seven, a big fat lucky seven.