- jhyde1 at Motoramic2 hrs ago
It wasn't just Walter Röhrl's two titles in the World Rally Championship in 1980 and 1982 that made him one of the most respected race drivers in the world. It was the way he won, and the machines themselves; no other racer so successfully tamed the monsters of the mid-80s rally world like the 550-hp Audi Sport Quattro E2. Röhrl retired from rallying in 1987, but his skills remain in demand, and every modern Porsche model has been tested around the Nürburgring with Röhrl at the wheel. Nothing better sums up Röhrl's skills than this famous video of his fleet footwork from 1985:
- Motoramic22 hrs ago
The original Dodge Viper revealed in 1992 was a beast of a machine — an attempt by then-Chrysler exec Bob Lutz to revive the spirit of the Shelby Cobra and give Chrysler a world-class sports car. Powered by a massive V-10 with 400 hp, the early Viper's brute force overwhelmed many drivers.
Today, the power that made the Viper a legend appears to be at the heart of an order from Chrysler to dozens of trade schools, demanding the immediate destruction of some 93 early Vipers, including a preproduction model that could likely fetch a couple hundred thousand dollars at auction.
- Motoramic23 hrs ago
BMW continued its trend today of adding more and more products to an already crowded lineup, attempting to control the universe with strict German order. Meet the 2015 BMW X4, the baby brother of the flabby X6 and slanty version of the X3 SUV.
With BMW bringing so many new variants, of other versions, of various existing models, the debate on why the brand is expanding into these niche segments, and whether it remains right to do so, has been told. A lot. So rather than repeat myself, let's take a look at some of the X4's stats:
The U.S. will see two models – the $45,625 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder xDrive28i, with 240 hp, and the $48,925 3.0-liter inline six xDrive35i, packing 300 hp. Both all-wheel drive cars mesh to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The X4 is based on the X3's platform, only with a slopey -er roof for less practicality and more supposed "dynamism."
- Motoramic1 day ago
When Audi first launched the TT in 1998 as a 1999 model, it instantly became a design icon. Its short, squat body was an amazingly simple, almost art-deco arrangement of big circles connected by straight lines, like a napkin doodle brought to life. Only as an Audi, it was pretty much perfect.
That same kind of strict geometry returns to the TT in its third generation, which just made its world debut at the Geneva auto show, only now, its tidy dimensions contain hexagons and trapezoids on the single frame grille, air intakes and elsewhere. The arched roof profile remains unmistakable, especially in the back, but the window line now features an A5-like kink in the C-pillar. Unique front and rear fascias and dual vs. quad tailpipe treatments separate the standard TT from the more powerful TTS model.
- jhyde1 at Motoramic1 day ago
Charles Brady King was a mechanical engineer and tinkerer who, like many younger men of the 1890s, was fascinated by engines and the potential of personal transportation. In his shop in Detroit, King and associates would spend hours going over diagrams in magazines and building their own versions. Thanks to income from his inventions, King had bought a one-cylinder gasoline engine and a carriage; on this date in 1896, after tying the engine to an accelerator pedal and muffler, King drove down St. Antoine to Woodward Avenue at five miles an hour — the first appearance of an automobile in the Motor City.
As the Detroit Free Press reported:
The first horseless carriage seen in this city was out on the streets last night. It is the invention of Charles B. King, a Detroiter, and its progress up down Woodward Avenue about 11 o’clock caused a deal of comment, people crowding around it so that its progress was impeded. The apparatus seemed to work all right, and went at the rate of five or six miles an hour at an even rate of speed
- Motoramic2 days ago
For a brand founded on fanciness, a flagship must not only be sumptuous and splendid, it must make a statement. And while Mercedes produces about a dozen models priced above the six-figure mark, and a handful that crest $200,000, it has only one flagship — and it’s not the $208,000 SLS AMG GT Roadster. It’s the $215,000 CL65 AMG coupe: a twelve-cylinder, twin-turbo behemoth predicated on the idea that, at the top of the economic food chain, there is always a plutocrat willing to pay a premium for profligacy. For those apex predators, the tri-star brand just introduced a replacement for the CL. Benz had already extended the top-notch S-Class nomenclature to encompass vehicles that may have been marketed as Maybachs if that experiment hadn’t been such a flop including S600, Limo, and purported Pullman and Landaulet replacements. So it makes sense that the new old flagship follows suit. The CL is dead. All heil the S-Class Coupe. Though we’re only seeing the “base” S550 here in Geneva, with a twin-turbo 4.7 liter V-8 (449 hp/516 lb.-ft) and a seven-speed automatic, we can extrapolate from this handsome, albeit slightly tarpon-esque two-door into S63 and S65 AMG coupe — and rumored convertible — permutations. We find its fluid shape cohesive, if a bit familiar (hello, 6-Series), and though we generally dig Benz’s recent surfboard-imprinted flank design, there might be a bit too much pressure on the longboard on this one. It looks a bit like gramps has cinched his belt too tight, with waist meat overflowing up into the already narrow daylight opening. Thankfully, a B-pillarless design is retained, which, along with a giant MAGIC SKY DARKENING LCD-impregnated glass sunroof, should reduce any suffocating references to Poe’s immuring Cask of Amontillado.
- Motoramic2 days ago
Nissan expected the quirky Juke to be a niche vehicle, which is why its executives remain highly surprised that its frog-like looks resonate so clearly among buyers, amassing over 420,000 sales in three years. Nissan also presumed its oddball appearance would appeal only to today's youths, whereas its customers range from old to young, male to female.
It's hardly surprising, therefore, that the new Juke, debuting today at the Geneva motor show, closely resembles that of the outgoing model. Because why change something that's working better than predicted?
While those of us in the U.S. must wait for exact engine specifications, what we do know is the interior luggage space has improved by up to 40-percent, thanks to a deeper trunk. The head and tail lamps receive a blingy rework, while the entire exterior presents itself in a sportier manner, much like the Juke Nismo.
- Motoramic2 days ago
In a press conference announcing little news for those of us in the U.S., Jaguar revealed the name of its upcoming compact sports sedan. Called the XE, it will be the first Jaguar to adopt the company's all-aluminum architecture, and features a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine lineup with both diesel and gasoline variants included. We can expect the Jaguar XE to arrive on U.S. shores in 2016.
The photo above is not of an XJ but of the XE, showing how similar the two cars may look. However, expect the XE to be far smaller and priced efficiently with an aim to get more buyers through Jaguar's doors -- something it's been doing well at recently, with sales up 42-percent last year. We'll see the car in all its glory later in the year.
In annoying Jaguar news, the XF-RS Shooting Brake hit the Geneva stage (along with Tour de France champ Chris Froome) proving to be the most desirable forbidden fruit at this year's Geneva show. Damn you, fortuitous Europeans and your fancy cycling teams. Where's our smoking-fast wagon?
- Motoramic3 days ago
We saw Infiniti's Eau Rouge concept earlier this year in Detroit; with its carbon accents and powerful looks, we thought the Japanese automaker should stop messing around and build it for real. Well, apparently that's becoming closer to reality, as more details surfaced today in Geneva -- showing how much the car that's named after a corner in Belgium has in common with one that's nicknamed after a fictional monster.
That monster is the mighty Godzilla (or Nissan GT-R for the technical). Borrowing its 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, the Q50 Eau Rouge boasts 560 hp, good for a 60 mph dash in less than four seconds. That's rather quick for a sports sedan, causing Infiniti to dub the Q50 Eau Rouge a "super-sports sedan."
Furthermore, Inifinti told us during a recent press event that the car was the "flagship for the Infiniti brand." It's hard to become a flagship without hitting production, making the likelihood of this car arriving at dealerships in some description quite high.
- Motoramic3 days ago
Pagani Automobili founder Horacio Pagani has a thing for the number five. He frequently creates limited runs of five units of his original Zonda, and the newer Huayra is certain to follow suit. What should be the final units of the model are five Zonda R purpose built for the track. The R sales started in 2009 and this latest iteration shown in Geneva is the best one yet.
The Mercedes-AMG bi-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 engine exclusive to the Zonda in the R develops 739 hp and 524 ft-lbs of torque. The full carbon-fiber-and-titanium R also weighs just 2,360 lbs, so it’s insanely quick. But it’s the little things that make the Zonda R such a monster on the track. Novel to the R is the moveable full-width aero flap on the giant rear wing, good for creating downforces that help avoid guardrails, or for reducing downforce when there’s a glorious straightaway beckoning and overtaking to be done. It will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds on to a top speed of 233 mph.
A Japanese gentleman has commissioned this particular car. While the base Zonda R is a cool $1.65 million, this fifth very personalized R costs $3 million pre-tax, which, after taxes in Japan, is north of $5 million.