Tag Archives: supercar

Noble Showcases Latest M600 Supercar

A result of five years of development, the boutique British supercar company Noble showed off its latest ultra-quick coupé at the London Motor Show. The bespoke M600 came with a shiny black-red exterior and carbon fiber, pushing out a maximum of 662 horses.

With a power-to-weight ratio of 558 of those horses per tonne, allowing it to race past the 100km/h mark in 3.5 seconds. This ability comes from its 4.4-liter twin turbocharged V8, built by Yamaha if you can believe that, and perhaps more importantly, how lean and light its chassis is. This is the real believe it or not moment because the car weighs in at a mere 1,198kg.

But speed and agility on the road is just one part of the experience. Noble is also trying to get cars into the eager hands of customers faster. To make this happen, they have a new partner in Super Veloce Racing (SVR), which will now serve as the company’s sole sales and servicing agent in UK and Europe. As an intermediary linking up customers with their future cars, SVR will help prospective owners to spec the models and characteristics they want and will ensure that vehicles remain in tip-top condition. In fact, it was the team at SVR who chose London as the platform for launch.

Since its inception, Noble has been set on building its own kind of vehicle with performance quality well able to match many other larger companies out there. With SVR, we hope these inspiring cars find more and more deserving homes.

Ferrari CEO Confirms Spider LaFerrari

The Ferrari LaFerrari (despite being criticized for the tongue-twisting redundancy in its name) remains one of the most powerful multi-million dollar hypercars that’s ever been produced. Sadly, like the Enzo it replaced, it is sold out. Yet, rumors were swirling for some time that a new hypercar was in the works. Thanks to a little tidbit from Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne, this rumor may now be confirmed, and a new drop-top ‘Spider’ version of the LaFerrari is coming up next

Well no one knows for sure of course but sources all over the Internet (including the AFP) are buzzing about the new CEO’s first official interview. Just taking over from Amedeo Felisa this month, Marchionne let the slip in theinterview (with automobilemag.com) that “the only future product connected to LaFerrari is the Spider”, though he added that it was “no secret since potential customers have already been approached”. The original hard-top LaFerrari was the first car to use a hybrid powertrain, and stood out from models made by the rest of its competitors such as Porsche and McLaren by pushing out maximum power all the time.

With regard to cars like the Dino V-6 though (a new ‘entry-level’ compact supercar), Marchionne noted that there were still various questions (“Where should that Dino be positioned? How much should it cost? How would it relate to the next 488…”) to be answered and they “haven’t found answers to these questions yet”. Even so, Ferrari also revealed May 4 that it had its most successful quarter in history with 1,882 cars being delivered to clients around the world since the beginning of the year — a 15% increase on Q1 2015.

Under this new direction, we’ll see where the esteemed company will go next.

This story was written in-house, with multiple sources, including the AFP.

Project Predator: The World’s Most Powerful Jaguar?

Proving that even the best can be improved upon, the British tuning company VIP Design has ramped up the power levels of a Jaguar F-Type R AWD with their own special bespoke beast. Project Predator contains 650bhp in its lithe form yet still maintains an aesthetics and performance on par with Jaguar’s own new flagship – the F Type SVR.

The Predator, in fact, offers a full 105 horses more than a stock F-Type R AWD and 75 horses more than even the SVR. All this is thanks to better airflow filters, supercharger pulley, exhaust system, including a completely new manifold, and a completely remapped engine with new software in tow. This achievement is all the more remarkable considering that the actual V8 engine is the same as the vanilla version. Also achieved is three weeks of Dyno testing, a suspension that has been stiffened and strengthened, a 30mm lower ride height, and a new rear carbon fiber diffuser added so that all of that newly freed-up power can be marshalled when needed. This whole transformation will only cost from £12,600, including a set of hand-cast alloy wheels, which is good news for anyone who bought the AWD before the SVR broke in.

“Since the Jaguar F-Type was launched, the sleek lines and V8 engine were always going to lend themselves to power upgrades, and appeal to passionate drivers who are never going to settle for stock options. Our new package has created the most exciting F-Type available in the world and is certain to thrill serious petrol-heads anywhere,” said VIP Design managing director Paul Busby.

The number of tuning and customization firms dedicated to pumping more horsepower out of standard cars seems to be growing consistently, which to us just goes to show how much one can improve on any given internal combustion system. VIP Design is a great option for those who don’t want to get rid of their old models just because a supposedly better standard model is available.

Aiming Big : London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show

Last year April saw the first ever London Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show roaring to a great success with more than 120 exhibitors and 6,000 visitors. This year, the show aims to be bigger than ever, teaming up with two other events – Prestige London and the London On-Water Yacht & Boat Show – for a super bonanza of luxury events covering everything from yachts to supercars; from interior design to fashion. We are also happy to announce that we are media partners this year.

The two Prestige events will be held at Old Billingsgate from 4-6 May 2016, while the On-Water show will be held close by at St. Katharine Docks from 4-7 May 2016.

London-Prestige-Supercar

London is an especially important market for the landscape of companies specializing in luxury out there by virtue of the fact that it has twice as many billionaires and millionaires than any other city in the world. Among some of the top yacht builders present will be Sunrise Yachts, Princess, Sunseeker London and Azimut Benetti. Car manufacturers present include the likes of McLaren, Noble, Tesla, Mansory, and for the first time Ferrari and Lamborghini. On the interior design front, visitors will be able to view collector’s items from event sponsors Ulysse Nardin and Senturion.

London-Prestige-Yacht

Big names aside, the whole event also has a host of facilities separate from just viewing the exhibits. Champagne, seafood, and sushi bars allow for a bit of a celebratory environment in between meeting clients, friends, or just simply eating out. A sponsor lounge, and other private meeting and function rooms, allow for easier networking opportunities. The Superyacht Group will also hold a summit focused on the themes of luxury asset acquisition based around land, sea, and air – educating the audience on various facets and pitfalls of the luxury industry.

London-Prestige-Art

With all that set up, a lot of excitement will be coming to London this May. You can purchase tickets or get more details for the show at their website.

Go Hard: Aston Martin Vantage GT8

British luxury carmaker Aston Martin has unveiled the new Vantage GT8, a limited-edition £165,000 ($234,000) version of the vanilla Vantage that the company claims is as close to a road-going racing car as the law allows.

Just 150 examples are being built and the first deliveries won’t start until the end of the year. But those with the money and the patience will get a GT car infused with a host of features and systems developed through Aston Martin’s endurance racing program.

The Vantage GT8 is 100kg lighter than the existing Vantage and its 4.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 has been tuned to deliver 440bhp. Crucially for purists, that power can be delivered to the rear wheels via a proper manual gearbox, if the owner so desires. Otherwise, there’s a paddle-shift automatic transmission in the options list.

Director of Special Projects and Motorsport, David King said: “We long held the desire to create a road car that truly reflects our racing activity at Le Mans. With the Vantage GT8, we’ve finally been able to achieve that.”

Though based on the standard two-seat GT car, no one will be in any doubt that the GT8 is something special. Festooned with carbon fiber aerodynamic aids it has an extended front splitter, fixed rear wing and protruding sills finished in a choice of luminous contrasting colors.

But that’s just the start, depending on how often a potential owner intends to take the car to the track. Glass interior switches can be swapped for plastic, the roof can be specified in carbon fiber and the side and rear windows swapped for polycarbonate to save even more weight and therefore unleash even more performance.

“Road cars are our business, but racing is the beating heart of Aston Martin,” said company CEO Dr Andy Palmer. “Beautifully engineered and set-up to be equally at home on a fabulous road or a demanding race track, the Vantage GT8 is a driver’s car in the truest sense of the word.”

Venom GT Spyder Hits Convertible Record

Up against supercar giants such as Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini and Bugatti, Hennessey Performance came up with the Venom GT as a speed-demon contender hypercar in 2010. Now, for their 25th anniversary, Hennessey took the Venom GT Spyder variant for a run to check its open-top speed, and hit a record breaking 265.6mph peak, beating the 254.04mph record for the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Vitesse.

Unfortunately, the record isn’t official, even though the speed was independently verified by Racelogic Vbox. Guinness only considers cars as valid production cars if more than 30 identical examples can be built. Still, it’s quite an underdog victory for a car that was built off a Lotus Exige, with a bit of extra American engineering knowhow. On the other hand, the Bugatti Veyron was a car that cost billions of euros and 10 years of development.

This phenomenal speed for the Spyder comes from its 7-liter turbocharged V8. The car was driven down the runway by Brian Smith, the director of Ford Performance’s Driving School. It’s only 5mph slower than the hardtop Venom GT. This achievement will be celebrated with Hennessy building three World Record Edition models of the hypercar, each with a $1.3 million (plus tax) price tag.

Although we can be sure that a future version of the Bugatti Chiron will have something to say about this, for now, you can catch the thrill of the moment in the video below.

Ford Teases Shelby GT350 Mustang for 2017

The GT350 rules the roost as the ultimate production Mustang in history, and all types of it are in huge demand in the US. Ford knows this, and to ensure that the buyers don’t quit, they’re adding more. The Track Package used to be an optional extra – a bundle of parts to solidify the great deal that was already in the Mustang; now, this is standard. From June on, buyers will get suspension tower braces, a bigger downforce generating rear spoiler, the MagneRide damping system and coolers for engine oil, transmission and differential.

In 1964, the Mustang was a vehicle that ran on the idea of ‘Tabula Rasa’. It was a blank slate you could tailor to your taste, through extras and personal touches. This became the globally accepted way of selling, and doubled as a great method to judge consumer trends. All of this has fed into Ford’s decision-making process for standard and optional equipment packs for the 2017 model-year.

Alongside the track package, further customization comes in colors. New exterior paint shades include Ruby Red Metallic, Lightning Blue, and Grabber Blue. Also, for those owners who just want to cruise in comfort, the car can be specified with a nine-speaker audio system, latest generation voice-activated infotainment unit and electrically operated leather trimmed sports seats.

“Ford Performance is always listening to customer feedback,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “We have adjusted the packages available to continue to provide more of what customers want”. Thanks to this, the sporty GT350, powered by a 5.2-liter, naturally aspirated flat-plane crankshaft V8 sending 526bhp to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, is bound to be the flagship to look at for a long time to come.

Aston Martin Vantage V12 S Goes Manual

The Aston Martin Vantage V12 S, still the fastest production Aston Martin, is a variation on the Vantage model meant to titillate the desires of the purists via the inclusion of a proper manual transmission for real driving fun. While it is going back to an older more mechanical age there, the Vantage is also going to have all the latest infotainment and navigation goodies that owners of other automotive exotica take for granted, complete with live traffic alerts and support for Apple’s Car Play.

Anyway, these changes imply that Aston Martin is actually listening to what collectors want, and they want to make a car that pulls the heartstrings of the consumer straight, away from other concerns about finance and whatnot. “The true purist will always hanker for the tactility and connection offered by a manual transmission, so it has been a real pleasure to offer just that in our fastest and most focused model,” said Director of Product Development, Ian Minards.

Even the transmission in the Vantage is a seven-speed box complete with a ‘dog leg’ first gear to allow for the fastest changes between the other gears. Best of all, the manual box is a ‘no cost’ option. It also doesn’t cost anything in terms of performance; regardless of transmission choice, the car boasts the same top speed — 205mph and a 3.9 seconds 0-100km/h time.

The Gaydon firm still injected a bit of tech in the transmission though with something called the AMSHIFT. While the popularity of paddle-shift systems in exotic cars means heel-toe gear changing is a dying art, the AMSHIFT will blip the throttle on the down change and allow the accelerator to stay flat to the floor on the upchange — in other words, the two cool things that paddle changing offers.

“Technology drives us forward, but we understand the importance of tradition,” said Minards. “At a time when manual transmissions have almost entirely disappeared in high performance cars, this makes the manual V12 Vantage S a very special car indeed”. You have to give props to Aston Martin, for being able to provide the immersive feedback that drivers enjoy despite the forward thrust towards automation.

6 Stars of New York Auto Show

New York’s International Auto Show opened to the public last Friday, March 25, 2016, and a few pieces caught our eye, courtesy of the wire services. Now, the buzz happens to be about the rechargeable Toyota Prius but for us, we are invigorated by the Mercedes GLC Coupé and the spectacular Audi R8 Spyder. In terms of performance vehicles, a couple of models from brands we don’t normally follow caught our eye. We are thinking of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and the Nissan GT-R.

Audi R8 Spyder 2016

Audi R8 Spyder

Loaded with a 540hp V10 engine promising 0 to 62mph (0 to 100km/h) acceleration in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 198mph (318km/h), the new-generation Audi R8 Spyder caused a sensation at the New York show. It’s expected to land in Europe from September 2016.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 2016

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which comes with a 640hp V8 engine and a choice of six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic gearboxes. Surprisingly, the American automaker hasn’t yet announced performances for this car, which is due to land before the end of 2016. A convertible version, also presented at the New York event, should be available in early 2017.

Mazda MX-5 RF 2016

Mazda MX-5 RF

In a worldwide premiere, the Mazda MX-5 RF showed off an automatically retracting roof and rear window, and a new color finish called “Machine Gray.” It should be available in autumn in Europe, in a gasoline version with manual or automatic transmission.

Mercedes GLC Coupe 2016

Mercedes GLC Coupé

Daimler presented the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé at the New York event, billed as a cross between a functional SUV and a sports coupé, with a sleek, sporty, off-roader design and a stylish interior. The GLC Coupé is set to land in eight different versions, including gas and diesel options. A rechargeable hybrid version is expected towards the end of 2016.

Mini Clubman All 4 2016

Mini Clubman All 4

The Mini Clubman All 4 has a lighter build and gets all-wheel drive, promising improved handling, a more comfortable ride in the larger cockpit, and a special mode for boosted efficiency. It’s expected to land in dealerships in the springtime.

Nissan GT-R 2016

Nissan GT-R

The 2017 version of the Nissan GT-R supercar gets a 570hp V6 biturbo engine. It also has a new chrome-finished V-shaped front grille and a redesigned trunk promising increased stability and holding at high speeds, particularly at the front of the car. It’ll be available from summer 2016, with trims including a “Gentleman Edition” with a leather interior.

The New York International Auto Show runs March 25 to April 3, 2016.

Review: McLaren P1

Professional racing driver Jonathan Summerton shares his experience on track with one of our cream cars, the McLaren P1.

You know that time when you think you are dreaming and you never want to wake up…… Yeah that was me today. The only thing though, I wasn’t dreaming. It was a reality! I was having the opportunity to take a McLaren P1 around the world renowned Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Not going to lie, being a professional racing driver has its perks. This is one of the few cars I haven’t had the chance to drive, until today, and what a blast it was.Jonathan Summerton test drives the McLaren P1 for PALACE Magazine.

This car has over 900 horses pumping to the wheels and you can definitely feel it! I jumped in and felt right at home with all the instrument panels similar to a race car. The owner told me to put it in race mode and turn off all the aides. Naturally, I did. I took her for a couple of slow laps to get comfortable with the $2 million car, before thrashing it around the track. When I came around for my first real fast lap, the car was at home, engine roaring, wing moving with every input from my foot, and DRS kicking in on the straights.

I have driven lots of supercars and when I came to the straight and went full throttle, the car pushed me back in the seat and never stopped pulling, even through 180mph. The one thing you have to remember is this is a road car, so there were a couple of things I’d slightly change. Such as, a little more push from the front of the car, but overall the car was a thrill and really blew my mind in so many ways. If you have the money, find a way to get your hands on one as you will not be disappointed.Jonathan Summerton test drives the McLaren P1 for PALACE Magazine.

The car was so comfortable to drive, both on the track and on the road. I could see myself using it as a daily driver. The fit and finish of everything was beautiful, from the carbon fiber to the leather. I have to say, getting out of the car was a struggle as I knew I had just finished waking up from a dream.
Jonathan Summerton is a top racing driver from the U.S. Having competed on an international level in open wheel, rally, and GT cars.

Resume

• Fara GT1 4-hour endurance class Lamborghini GT3 – Won

• Sebring 12hr Race in ALMS GT BMW M3 GT 2 – Won

• Atlantic Championship with Genoa Racing and Newman Wachs Racing – Series Runner Up

• US A1GP Shanghai Grand Prix – Won • Formula 3 Euro Series Hockenheim – Won

Car Specification

Engine: 3.8 litre twin turbo v8 hybrid
BHP: 903
Torque: 722 lb. ft.
0-100 km/h: Less than 3 seconds
0-200 km/h: Less than 7 seconds
0-300 km/h: Less than 17 seconds
Top Speed: 350 km/h
Price: $1,068,452 before taxes

Story Credits

Text by Jonathan Summerton

Images provided by McLaren and Jonathan Summerton

This story first appeared in PALACE Magazine.

9 Stars of Geneva Motor Show

With the Geneva Motor Show over, the array of cars that were on display were bound to have the heart of any collector or enthusiast pounding. Still, there are those that simply have a greater pull than others, especially for models coming from well established companies such as Porsche, Bentley, Ferrari and Rolls-Royce. Let’s take a look at the main stars of the show:

Bugatti-Chiron-test

Bugatti Chiron

“It is part of human nature to cross boundaries and set new records,” said Bugatti president Wolfgang Dürheimer.

The record-breaking Chiron was probably the leading headliner amongst all models shown in Geneva. Boasting 1600hp and a top speed of 261mph (420kmh), the Chiron takes pole position as the world’s fastest production car, with specifications outstripping its predecessor – the Veyron.

Aston-Martin-DB11

Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin tried to close the gap between itself and its competitors, such as Ferrari and McLaren, with the high-end luxury supercar – the Aston Martin DB11.

“A brand new bonded aluminum platform, clever aerodynamics, a new characterful twin-turbo V12 and class-leading infotainment systems are just a few aspects which make this the sports car that will proudly spearhead Aston Martin’s second century plan,” said company CEO Dr. Andy Palmer, summarizing the main traits of this contending powerhouse. Either way, the DB11 re-stoked great expectations for the company.

Porsche-911-R

Porsche 911 R

Porsche was all about stripping down and streamlining with their new 911 R as a part of a strategy to appeal once again to the purist fans alienated by previous creature comforts and technological aids. It weighs 3,020 pounds and maxes out at 201mph with 500hp.

With sporty performance back at the forefront, hopefully the fans are placated.

Rolls-Royce-Black-Badge

Rolls-Royce Black Badge Series

A bespoke range of Rolls-Royce Wraiths and Ghosts appeared at Geneva to appeal to edgier and younger customers. The Black Badge series is finished up with a black gloss (right down to the Spirit of Ecstasy donning the hood) while the interior was spruced up with a darker palette, all blacks and purples.

Lamborghini+CentenarioFront

Lamborghini Centenario

The limited edition Centenario made an appearance at Geneva before disappearing into the mist given that all 40 models of this anniversary model were sold out already. Imbued with 770hp and a smooth tasteful geometric design, this little tease broke the hearts of countless expectant collectors at the show and beyond.

 

Levante-Geneva-2016

Maserati Levante

Despite the surprise being spoilt by internet leaks, Maserati launched its Levante crossover with an Italian flair, rivaling the likes of others such as the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentley Benteyga. The first SUV in the company’s hundred-year history aimed at breaking into the premium crossovermarket with sophisticated technological features and performance.

Arash AF10

Opposing the Chiron in output figures (though not speed), the British-built Arash AF10 takes some beating. With four electric motors plus a V8 it has 2080hp on tap and despite being built for the track is road legal. At £1.1 million, it is also cheaper than a Bugatti.

Mulsanne-Grand-Limo

Bentley Mulsanne Grand Limousine by Mulliner

This bespoke stretch limousine that was built for a certain anonymous client inches out the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman as the world’s longest and most comfortable passenger car. With the high-craftsmanship of the interior and various luxury additions like a bottle cooler and a soft drinks cabinet, Bentley sought to prove the sheer capability of their in-house coachbuilder, Mulliner, in tailoring to the demands of their customers.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso profile

The Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Now replacing the Ferrari FF comes the four-seat GTC4Lusso, which also happens to be the first production Ferrari to boast of having both all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. When you mix a high quality ultra-intuitive infotainment system with a significant power boost to the FF package, the result is a whole luxurious package wrapped up in one excellent shooting brake bound to impress with a younger crowd.

Lamborghini Centenario Debuts, Sells Out

The ferociously sleek design may be leaving all the car enthusiasts drooling but the Lamborghini Centenario is sadly sold out. All 40 limited editions (20 coupes and 20 roadsters) of this elegant speedster have gone to some very lucky customers for a start price of 1.75 million euros plus tax. Still, to be a tease, the Centenario was featured in the Geneva Motor Show 2016 in its full glory, much like the Pagani Huayra BC.

The first thing to take note of is that sensuous roar at the back channeled by the 770hp that powers the 0-100km/h 2.8 seconds sprint. The top speed peaks at more than 350km/h. All that comes together nicely thanks to the innovative design and engineering competencies of the V12 architecture in its naturally aspirated engine, and a weight to power ratio of just 1.97kg/hp achieved by its carbon fiber body (to help you calculate that, the total weight is 1,520kg).

Lamborghini+Centenario+3-4+Rear-1

“The Centenario is a car that perfectly combines tradition and innovation. It looks to the future while honoring the legend that is Ferruccio Lamborghini” said Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann, referencing the fact that the Centenario was built to celebrate the legendary industrialist’s 100th birthday.

The aerodynamics are achieved through the sheer geometry of its pure and essential lines. A mono line from front to back defines the recognisable Lamborghini contours, with long, low overhangs front and rear creating a clean mono-body shape. Air flows through ducts within the front headlight casing and others in the sideskirts and around the wheel arches, improving the airflow to the rear radiators and providing optimized cooling. Even the roof has air scoops, with styling taken from aeronautical cues.

The chassis is designed for the highest maneuverability. With permanent four-wheel drive and a new Lamborghini rear-wheel steering system, the characteristics of each of the three driving modes (Strada, Sport and Corsa) are heightened in the lateral dynamics. The Independent Shifting Rod (ISR) gearbox allows for some of the fastest gearshifts possible.

Lamborghini+Centenario+Interior

In terms of personalization and comfort, the interior can be finished to each Centenario client’s specification. Sport seats in lightweight carbon fiber are included. A Hi-Def 10.1 inch touchscreen connects the driver to the car’s extensive infotainment system, which includes internet connection and access to Apple Carplay. Also included is a sophisticated telemetry function that allows speeds, times, lateral and G forces to be recorded and even compared between different occasions and different drivers. Two optional interior cameras allow the drivers’ experiences to be recorded.

With all of the above spice, fans catching a whiff of the car at Geneva must be ultimately pulling their hair out at the fact that this heavenly beast happens to be a one-off edition already out of stock. Thankfully Lambo seekers can get their fix on the next Forza racing game where the Centenario is playable, as a minor reprieve. Then again, that may just pull at the heartstrings worse.

All Wheel Drive: Ferrari GTC4Lusso

Legendary Italian automaker Ferrari finally unveiled the new four-seat, four-wheel-drive replacement for the FF March 1. The car remains essentially a family-friendly shooting brake, or hatchback if you prefer.

The GTC4Lusso is the first production Ferrari to boast both all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering; you might recall all-wheel steering in the special edition F12tdf. The extra control of rear-wheel steering will be needed because the new GTC4Lusso, the long-awaited replacement for the existing FF, has been given a significant power boost. The 6.2-liter V12 now delivers 680bhp at 8,000 rpm and can race from standstill to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds.

Inside, the dashboard and in-car entertainment systems have been given an extra injection of quality (we’re note sure how such a thing is even possible) while the exterior has been given aerodynamic improvements. Ferrari signals that the new car is a Ferrari that can be driven in all conditions (like the FF, this baby goes in the snow) and is one it expects to appeal to the younger set.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso back

Ferrari GTC4Lusso profile

Ferrari GTC4Lusso Interior

Spyker Preliator: Warrior’s Comeback at Geneva

The “Preliator” name, which means “fighter” or “warrior” in Latin, is a fitting name for the car that signals Dutch boutique supercar maker Spyker’s comeback at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Spyker almost didn’t make it – in fact the company almost went under – but the show’s organizers were considerate enough to allow them a spot among the other boutique carmakers.

CEO Victor R. Muller’s strategy for the Preliator, and the brand in general, is to push its exoticism. In a statement, Muller noted that “Our car is on average the seventh car in the collection of an owner. It’s a car that they buy because it is so different”. Spykers, apparently, are cars that are kept – almost three-quarters of all Spykers are still with their original owners – as collectibles and because of this, their values have soared.

“They all end up in the hands of collectors who cherish them” said Muller. Looking at the design you can get an idea why. The Preliator aims to be even more inspired than Spyker’s aviation heritage than any other previous models. From propeller design in the first generation, to turbine engine inspired design in the second, the emphasis for this generation of Spyker cars has shifted to submerged air intakes, or NACA-ducts, as used in the aviation industry.

Spyker-Preliator-Interior

Other design choices include a glass canopy with reflective gold coating as used in jet fighters applied to it; replacement of the air-scoop on the canopy by a NACA duct to reduce drag; small ailerons added on the front splitter and side skirts to redirect the airflow optimally; and the abandonment of shark like gills for a cleaner, smoother, and fresher overall appearance.

The Spyker C8 Preliator is available in 16 standard colors, but customers may choose any color they wish as an option, as well as the sporty Spyker Squadron GT2 color scheme. All a part of its plan to be the bespoke car for any discerning owner wishing for a special model. In terms of vital statistics, the car’s Audi-built supercharged 4.2-liter V8 offers up 525bhp.

Spyker-Preliator-Rear

With Spyker pushing so much on the style front, there might be a worry that the cars will be in storage rather than on the road, thus leading to the brand being unable to resonate with a wider audience. Muller was optimistic though, as he figured that “because these people do show their cars, among their peers – they’re our potential clients. Our owners are basically doing our marketing for us”.

Images courtesy of Newspress and Spyker

Land Shark: Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin might be favored by a certain famous super-agent but even the likes of James Bond can’t save the brand if it isn’t able to compete with the leading lights of the automotive industry. Thankfully this Geneva Motor Show, the company brought out a grand tourer that may just close the gap between them and their biggest direct competitors such as Ferrari and McLaren. The DB11 is the long-awaited replacement for the once glamorous but now long-in-the-tooth DB9 and promises all the high quality performance with the latest in technology.

Aston-Martin-DB11-Rear

“This is not only the most important car that Aston Martin has launched in recent history, but also in its 103-year existence” claimed Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer. There are good signs indicating that. The new twin-turbocharged 600bhp 5.2-liter V12 speeds from standstill to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds, topping out at 200mph, putting it on par with the new Ferrari GTC4Lusso. This engine makes it the most powerful production car in the company’s history and the new chassis and suspension set-up, plus an automatic transmission with torque vectoring means that it could also be one of the best handling.

Furthermore, being both longer and wider than the DB9, the DB11 has enough space for the family, with a full 54mm greater head & 87mm greater legroom, and ISOFIX mountings for fitting child seats.

Aston Martin may have been behind its competitors in terms of dashboard technology in the past, but the DB11 aims to fix that. It gets park assistance, a 360-degree birds-eye view camera system and a host of other high-tech touches including a new infotainment system, voice recognition and gesture controls thanks to its business relationship with Mercedes parent company Daimler.

Aston-Martin-DB11-Interior

“We aspire to make the most beautiful cars in the world” said Palmer. The cabin still holds true to the application of craft and skill, with leather from Bridge of Wier still being put to good use, but this model has an added tastefulness to its design with open-pore wood finishes and a more refined make of upholstery.

“The DB11 is the absolute embodiment of what an Aston Martin should be and we have worked tirelessly to ensure that DB11 combines both exceptional design with the latest technology throughout” noted Palmer. What we have seen so far looks pleasing enough for those who may have the misconception that the company has lost its mettle. The DB11 is the supercar that may be hard to beat.

Bugatti Chiron Goes Lean, Breaks New Ground

We’ll give you the numbers straightaway. 1,579bhp spread evenly across its four wheels, 0-100km/h under 2.5 seconds, a top speed of 261mph (420kmh). The Bugatti Chiron was made to kick the Bugatti Veyron Supersport to the curb as the world’s fastest production car. This all-wheel drive blue speed-demon is the optimal marriage of fiery power and comfort.

Even as we speak, though, the company is already promising a sports model and convertible with even faster specs coming right up. For those looking for pure driving pleasure, perhaps a future version will ditch the all-wheel drive component.

What’s in the make of a car so devilishly fast? By slashing the weight with an outer shell of carbon fiber, the Chiron tips the scales at 1,995kg to a power-to weight ratio of 741bhp per tonne. That power comes from the 8-liter quad turbo W16 powerplant engine hidden inside.

Visually, it just looks much sharper than the Veyron, with its tighter, sculpted lines at the front cleverly concealing some of the aerodynamics, as well as a cleanly tapered rear dominated by a single strip left-to-right tail lamp.

In the comfort sector, head and leg-room are enhanced by how much wider and slightly taller it is than its predecessor. Wood, leather, carbon fiber, and aluminum on display are in no way diminished.

Bugatti’s head Wolfgang Dürheimer rounded up the car with these words “The Chiron is the quintessential ultimate super sports car: ultra-modern, incredibly fast, agile and powerful with a stylistically demanding design and the highest possible levels of comfort.”

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Images are courtesy of Bugatti.

Lamborghini Launches Huracán LP 580-2 in SG

Last week, we had the opportunity to visit Lamborghini’s Satelitte Showroom in Suntec City, when the Italian car manufacturer unveiled the Lamborghini Huracán LP 580-2 Coupé. Sitting in the middle of its spanking new home at Suntec City Tower One, the car is the two-wheel drive version of the Huracán coupe.Huracan-LP580-2_Side-Red_A3_300dpi

“What’s new about this Huracán?” you may ask. Well, it boasts a new design on the front and rear, a modern take that sets it apart from its four-wheel drive counterpart. This assertive look highlights the aeronautic styling and is the result of a close collaboration between Centro Stile designers and Lamborghini’s experts. Using aluminum and composite material, the designers created a body-shell that shines under the spotlight of the showroom.Huracan-LP580-2_Back-Red

Apart from its new design, the car is also lighter than the four-wheel-drive version. Fitted with a V10 5.2 I engine, the Huracán LP 580-2 has 426 kW or 580 horsepower coursing through to the rear axle. It even boasts a top speed of 320km/h and goes from 0 to 100km/h in 3.4 seconds. To enhance the rear-wheel drive behavior and provide over-steering, the driver can choose between the three Lamborghini driving modes of STRADA, SPORT and CORSA.Huracan-LP-580-2_Interior-Wide

Much like the other Huracán models, the LP 580-2 has a cylinder deactivation system that improves its engine efficiency. The weight is distributed at a level of 40% on the front and 60% at the rear, in order to reduce the inertia on the front axle. Combined with the existing offerings of the Huracán, the LP580-2 brings along the all encompassing technology, experience of the four wheel drive LP 610-4 and the lifestyle appeal of the LP610-4 Spyder.

Pagani Elevates Huayra to BC Levels

Why simply produce a rare hypercar when you can have an even rarer production run of said rare hypercar? Our guess is that Pagani was thinking exactly that when deciding to build the Huayra BC — a very special and very limited production run of the fully sold out Huayra. Those familiar with the extended run of the Zonda will be completely unsurprised by this news. Indeed, we started thinking that the brand name was Pagani Zonda!

The Italian hypercar firm – still just called Pagani – promises to deliver a car that is as remarkable as a Ferrari or Porsche sans the hybrid trickery — now that is some serious shade. The current vanilla Huayra has a six-liter V12 twin turbocharged Mercedes-AMG engine that can demolish the 100 km/h mark in three seconds. With 720 horsepower, and a top speed of 200 mph (320 km/h), we do understand why this is not simply super but hyper. At a cool million pounds, the exterior of the car is woven from a combination of titanium and carbon fiber (for an excellent power-to-weight ratio) while the interior boasts intricate leather and metalwork.

The new production is dedicated to multimillionaire Benny Caiola who enabled the firm to achieve success when he could have invested in a competitor. As such, Pagani is dedicating what promises to be their fastest, most extreme and most exclusive vehicle, to his memory. Caiola was reportedly Pagani’s first customer so the connections are powerful here. The Huayra BC (no prizes for guessing what that stands for), of which only 20 will be built, is available if you have £2.35 million to spare. The update promises to deliver somewhere between 740 to 800 horsepower bringing you to 100km in slightly under 3 seconds. Given that the car uses the same powerplant, the improvement in speed can be mostly attributed to the lighter package Pagani has deployed here.

But that’s just the start; although the new car and the existing Huayra look almost identical, save for the large rear spoiler, Pagani claims that every external panel has been redesigned to cut weight, aid downforce or improve aerodynamics. It is also why the suspension components have been made from aluminum alloys and why the usually opulent interior has been slightly pared back, to boost the car’s power to weight ratio and its ability to continue slicing through the air as acceleration increases.

The result is a car that should perform on the road and on the track but, sadly one that will most likely be put into storage the moment it is delivered. Even sadder for you, dear reader, is that all 20 models are reportedly sold out. Take heart though because the Geneva Motor Show will also see the debut of the roadster version of the Huayra BC.

Lamborghini Races Past Sales Records

The boom in car sales continues in 2016 as Italian raging bull Lamborghini reports sales of 3,425 cars in 2015. This is a first in the luxury performance firm’s 53-year history and, believe it or not, it is already predicting that the sales pace will likely break records multiple times as 2016 progresses.

This strong and steady growth in sales, as CEO Stephan Winkelmann described can be attributed to the growing demand for supercars. We have already reported on this in several reports late last year but this one is the most relevant. As far as Lamborghini is concerned, the result of this success is an increase in its workforce and capacity to better serve its clients.

And this client base is about to get bigger and more diverse. “We are getting ready for groundbreaking changes with the introduction of our third model in 2018, which points to stable, sustainable growth for our company,” said Winkelmann of the Urus, a new sports SUV which, when it goes on sale will be marketed as the world’s fastest and most powerful off-roader.

However, that car is two years away from becoming a production reality, and, for the year ahead, all attention will be focused on Ferruccio.

This year marks the 100th birthday of the company’s charismatic founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, a man who in the early 1960s set out to redefine the concept of the grand tourer when he built the 350GT. However, thanks to a company full of youthful energy and optimism as well as a huge supply of talent, by 1966 he had instead created the concept of the supercar — the iconic Lamborghini Miura.

To celebrate Ferruccio’s centenary, Lamborghini is planning something special for the Geneva Motor Show. A limited edition supercar, expected to be called the Centenario, which will be restricted to just 20 examples.

It will boast an even more powerfully tuned version of the 6.5-liter V12 engine currently found in the company’s range-topping Aventador Superveloce. Internal whispers suggest an output of 760bhp and a 0-100km/h time of 2.5 seconds.

What has been made abundantly clear by Winkelmann is that the car will not be based on either the Huracán or the aforementioned Aventador. Instead it will be a “completely different” design and one that prospective clients have already seen and obviously love. No word of prices has yet been mentioned, but the suggestion is that all examples have already found a home.

Force Awakens at Detroit: Henrik Fisker Supercar

While legal wrangling almost kept the covers on the Henrik Fisker-designed VLF Automotive Force 1 supercar, what has emerged at the North American International Auto Show 2016 is actually a limited edition vehicle that is ready to go into production. Thanks to legal wrangling and claims of copyright infringement that have been plaguing the model since its first teaser sketches were published late last year, it looked as if the concept car might never see the light of day. Read on and you will discover that this is more than a mere concept at this point.

First of all, some background is needed on this saga. While not many will recognize the name Henrik Fisker, pretty much everyone knows Aston Martin. The legal action in question was from Aston Martin, Fisker’s former employers, who claimed the car looked too much like its DB10. Fisker promptly counter-sued and thus continued a love-hate relationship the two parties have been engaged in of late — recent Fisker concepts based on current Aston Martin models have been successfully stopped from going into production for similar reasons.

However now the car has made its debut, any potential likeness with an Aston Martin is difficult to glean; in fact, it looks as if it should have been supercar companies seeking legal counsel, because the car is more than just a concept, it is going into limited production – 50 initial examples – with a $268,500 asking price.

For that sum, owners will get a car designed by the man responsible for penning the lines of the Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8 and one backed by former GM boss Bob Lutz and racing driver Ben Keating. The shell is carbon fiber to cut as much weight as possible and the engine under that aggressive hood is reminiscent of a Dodge Viper — an 8.4-liter V10 with no turbos or superchargers attached (other reports confirm that is a Dodge V10 powerplant). That means a 0-100km/h time of 3 seconds and a standing quarter mile time of 10.97 seconds.

Under the carbon fiber paneling is a cutting-edge chassis and computer-controlled suspension setup that promises fine handling as well as blistering but predictable straight-line speed. But perhaps best of all for supercar purists, is that this car comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Porsche have all now ditched the stick-shift in favor of paddles and in doing so have robbed keen drives of greater involvement.

However, not everyone who could potentially fall for the Force 1 is a purist so an automatic option will also be available – complete with the now obligatory steering-column-mounted paddles.