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Bizarre Smart Forjeremy To See Limited Production: Video 30
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Concept Vehicle, Electric, Kurt, smart, Smart Forjeremy Concept, video on 11 30th, 2012

Smart's Forjeremy concept

If there was an award for the “strangest concept debuted at a major auto show,” Smart’s Forjeremy would take the award, hands down. The work of designer Jeremy Scott, the car’s most obvious feature are the hollow fiberglass wings protruding from the car’s C-pillars.

Based on the electric version of the Smart Fortwo, the Forjeremy concept also features airplane propeller-inspired wheels, chrome plated details to remind drivers of a 1950’s blender, a quilted white leather interior and “eyebrows” to accent the front headlights.

Though we have a hard time imagining that anyone would voluntarily be seen behind the wheel of the Forjeremy, Left Lane News says that a limited production run is planned for 2013. Let’s just hope that they don’t put one into the press fleet.

A. Kahn’s 2013 Range Rover Sport Mille Miglia Edition 30
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in 4X4, Autostyle, Modified car Talk on 11 30th, 2012

Credited with making Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche famous, the spirit and magic of the legendary Mille Miglia car race has been given the ultimate tribute by A. Kahn Designs who recently presented the The Defender Concept 17 Wide Body.

Sporting a uniquely Italian look, the Rosso Mondiale Mille Miglia edition was designed to fascinate and give fans a nostalgic reminder of what was one of the most famous road races in the world.

This vehicle started off as a 2013 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 3.0 SDV6 HSE and is now adorned with a styling package consisting of a carbon tailgate trim, RS vented front wheel arches with integrated front air dams, LED daytime running lights for front wheel arch vents, extended front lower lip spoiler, exhaust side vents, front grille with 3d mesh, four door tops in quilted and perforated red leather with matching stitching, instrument binnacle in quilted red leather, RS vented rear wheel arches with integrated rear air dams, door handles in body colour, Kahn enamel wing shields and tailgate logo, brake calipers in red and privacy tinted glass.

The bespoke touch includes an interior facia trim (8 pieces), vented foot pedals in machined aluminum, diamond gear selector, clock bezel surround finished with Swarovski diamonds, Kahn illuminated door entry sill plates in stainless steel, Kahn Speedo & rev counter facia in red, Kahn time clock in red, centre glove box in red quilted leather with contrast stitching and front and rear seats in quilted and perforated red leather with ivory inserts and contrast stitching.

Created using state-of-the art manufacturing and materials technology, the 9.5 X 22” (front) & 11×22” (rear concaved) RS 600 wheels are finished in the colour of of each customer’s choice and fit all original centre caps.

View more pictures in the gallery below:

RedRRSport 2 (2)
RedRRSport 3 (2)
RedRRSport 4 (2)
RedRRSport 5 (2)

Mazda6 Skyactiv Diesel To Compete In 2013 Grand-Am Series 30
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Diesels, Grand Am, Kurt, Mazda6, Race Cars on 11 30th, 2012

Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D clean diesel race car – image: PRNewsFoto/Mazda North American Operations

Mazda’s new Mazda6 sedan will begin hitting dealers in early 2013. While the styling update and new Skyactiv four-cylinder engine would be news enough, the Japanese automaker announced yesterday that it would be bringing the Skyactiv diesel variant of the car to these shores in the second half of 2013 as well. That makes Mazda the first Asian manufacturer to import a non-commercial, clean-diesel vehicle into the United States.

Mazda is still finalizing the Skyactiv-D engine with the EPA, so output figures aren’t yet available. In traditional Mazda form, however, the manufacturer will look to prove the car in competition, even before it’s available to consumers.The Mazda6 Skyactiv-D will make its racing debut in the Grand-Am GX class at January’s Rolex 24 endurance race in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Mazda has worked with SpeedSource to develop the car, and the diesel engine has already met the team’s goals for performance (over 400 horsepower) and durability (over 50 hours), while using a surprising percentage of production Mazda components. Even the block of the 2.2-liter engine started life as a stock piece.

The Mazda6 diesel represents the first-ever diesel racer in the Grand-Am series (though they’ve been raced for years by Audi and Peugeot in the rival American Le Mans Series), and Mazda hopes the car will earn the company’s 24th class win at the Rolex 24 race.

Want To ‘Drive’ The C7 Corvette Before It Hits Dealers? Video 29
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, Automotive, C7 Corvette, Chevrolet, Gran Turismo 5, Kurt, video on 11 29th, 2012

The C7 Corvette Prototype, available to Gran Turismo 5 players – image: © General Motors

Being a test driver for a major automaker isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, you get to drive the coolest cars on the planet, but you spend a lot of nights on the road, sleeping in cheap motels, drinking bad coffee and living on a diet of powdered eggs and beef jerky. Then there’s the constant paranoia over spy photographers, who can be hiding almost anywhere.

Chevrolet has done a good job of keeping the new C7 Corvette out of the spotlight, until its January 2013 debut at the Detroit Auto Show. Those lucky enough to drive the car are an elite club indeed, including GM engineers and a handful of big-book magazine editors working on a long production lead time.

Now you can join that club, too, assuming you own a PlayStation 3 and a copy of Gran Turismo 5. Chevy has teamed up with Polyphony Digital to offer a free virtual C7 Corvette test mule, camouflage vinyl included, that can be downloaded at the PlayStation Store. The car can be driven on tracks ranging from Daytona’s high banked turns to the “green hell” of Germany’s Nurburgring.

You can also drive the car against earlier versions of the Corvette, to see exactly how big of an improvement the seventh generation will be. Best of all, you can do this in the comfort of your living room, with no fear of lurking spy photographers. For the truly authentic experience, you’ll have to supply your own bad coffee and beef jerky, though.

Porsche Reveals The 2013 Cayman In Los Angeles: Video 29
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Porsche Cayman, 2013 Porsche Cayman S, Automotive, featured, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show, porsche, video on 11 29th, 2012

2013 Porsche Cayman S – image: Porsche AG

Porsche has done a remarkable job of improving its new 911 and Boxster models, and the revamped Cayman has been eagerly awaited by fans for months. Nowhere is this more evident than in Cayman sales, which have been absolutely flat since the launch of the updated Boxster. The real danger appeared to be this: would the new Cayman be able to stand up to Porschephiles’ expectations?

We’ve yet to get behind the wheel of one, but from what we can see the answer is a resounding “yes.” Where the previous generation Cayman was a bit ungainly in its proportions, the new car is elegant, and it’s lines flow in a much more integrated manner. On looks alone, we’d call the new car a triumph over the previous generation, though some would say the new version’s lost a bit of styling personality.

2013 Porsche Cayman – image: Porsche AG

The specs are impressive, too. New Caymans are as much as 66 pounds lighter (depending upon model) and consume up to 15-percent less fuel while delivering higher performance than models past. The base Cayman now comes with a 2.7 liter flat-six rated at 275 horsepower, which is good enough to get the car from 0 – 62 mph in as little as 5.4 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 165 mph.

2013 Porsche Cayman S interior – image: Porsche AG

If that’s not impressive enough for you, the Cayman S gets a 3.4-liter flat-six rated at 325 horsepower. That gives the car a 0 – 62 mph time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 175 mph, when properly equipped. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, but Porsche’s seven-speed PDK double clutch gearbox is an available option to maximize both performance and fuel economy.

There are new options of note as well, including an adaptive cruise control system and a Burmeister audio system, meaning that the Cayman can rival higher Porsche models for content. Look for the new Cayman models to hit dealerships next spring, priced from $53,550 (Cayman) and $64,750 (Cayman S) including a destination fee of $950.

2012 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Review & Test Drive 29
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, hybrid, Plug-in Hybrid, Prius, Prius Plug-In Hybrid, Test Drives, TOYOTA, Toyota Prius, Toyota Prius Hybrid on 11 29th, 2012

The 2012 Toyota Prius continues to embody the purpose-built principle of being one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road today. To expand on the Prius’ technological advancements, a new Prius plug-in version has been introduced for the 2012 model year to further push the fuel efficiency envelope to new heights.

I had the chance to experience firsthand on the highway and in city traffic if there were any beneficial attributes to a plug-in hybrid version of the Prius. To summarize the differences in the new Prius plug-in hybrid version and a normal 4-door Prius, you do not have to stretch your imagination too far. The new Prius plug-in hybrid (PHV) takes the traditional Prius and introduces an electric-only range of about 13 miles and the ability to charge the larger battery through a standardized plug. All else remains to be a Prius hybrid in the traditional sense of mustering out about 50 mpg in the city and highway.

The conception of the new Prius plug-in hybrid is somewhat of Toyota’s answer to the Chevy Volt and with a dab of essences of the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf and Volt are totally different vehicles as they are when compared to the Prius plug-in hybrid. The Leaf is completely electric and the other, having an electric drivetrain with a gasoline motor acting as an active generator, is essentially an extended range electric vehicle. The Prius plug-in is still the concept of a traditional Prius, it only adds the capability to charge a larger and heavier nickel-metal hydride battery pack and have a viable electric-only range by means of a higher threshold of electric propulsion before kicking in the gasoline engine.

In terms of power output of the 2012 Prius plug-in hybrid, it is the same combined 134 horsepower output rating derived from a 98-horsepower 1.8-liter inline-4 cylinder engine and 80 horsepower electric motor as found in the regular Prius hybrid. The total horsepower figure, by means of some fuzzy math, is consequent of how the power is transmitted, which finds its way to the front wheels through a specialized continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The 2012 Prius plug-in hybrid, aside from the specialized PHV badges, silver paint on the door handles and extra cutout in the left front fender for the charging plug, there are no distinctive characteristics to differentiate a plug-in hybrid Prius from the normal Prius hybrid. The same goes for the interior, and for the most part, the way in which it drives. However, driving the new Prius plug-in hybrid, with the added weight (about 330 pounds) of the larger battery pack, tends to get in the way of performance. Prius and performance go together like oil and water, even more so in the new plug-in hybrid version getting a 0-60 mph time of 11.3 seconds – a step in the wrong direction from the already lackluster time of 9.8 seconds in the standard Prius sedan.

After much time spent in development of the Prius, still holding the title for today’s quintessential hybrid vehicle, the new Prius does everything that it is supposed to do without any fuss. When you think of a Prius and an appliance, they are both purpose-built and sometimes one may gain a few pounds to add extra features to keep the consumer happy. That is just what the Prius plug-in hybrid is all about, a continuation of not disappointing its main consumer base.

Driving impressions of the Prius plug-in hybrid are about on par with Sebastian Vettel taking his Infiniti FX to his next F1 race, sure it will get him around the track but it won’t win any races even if he is getting better gas mileage than everyone else. The electric mode for the new Prius plug-in hybrid is good for traveling up to 62 mph and topping out a range of around 13 to 15 miles. Just getting the Prius near highway speeds in electric mode is somewhat of a challenge, even on a fully charged battery, due to relatively low load constraints on the electric motor. Low speeds are not such of an enduring task, though the LCD dashboard information screen does a good job at actively displaying your throttle/load conditions so you may accelerate softly without demanding the ECU to turn-over the gas engine. After the main battery is depleted, the Prius plug-in hybrid is back to the normal expected modes of a ordinary Prius hybrid. It will actively charge the temporary battery storage for those times when you are crawling around town or in stop-and-go traffic.

The hybrid system in the new 2012 Prius and Prius plug-in hybrid are the best that they have ever been. The time when the engine turns over is hardly noticeable without any abrupt power transitions. Even the braking system has been tweaked to limit as much unnatural feedback when the generators kick in to put power back in the battery during slowing. Toyota has almost mastered the efficiency of their hybrid system to get as much juice out of every drive through an advanced control system that works virtually seamless in the background.

Driving the Prius plug-in hybrid to the limit is almost a necessity when peculiar traffic situations demand it. The Prius has just enough power to not be dangerous when keep up with flowing highway traffic. The ride quality is fairly good and never overly soft. Traction and stability control is sometimes overly sensitive drowning out any bit of wheel spin or loss of traction.

The interior of the new Prius plug-in hybrid, basically identical to the regular Prius hybrid, features a floating console setup with storage space underneath it. The futuristic cabin design makes the best use of all available space, while the central mono-green LCD information screen reading out a multitude of vehicle data and hybrid drive status.

What is more of a disappointment with the new Prius’ interior is the use of plastics that actually look somewhat cheap. Hard plastics are used throughout the interior leaving the only soft surfaces to the leather seats. Though, most of the interior plastics mesh well together, which is more of an expected characteristic for a Toyota than the overshadowing use of hard plastic. Seating position for the driver seems somewhat disconnected due to the long distance to the dashboard and far reach for what is a telescoping steering wheel.

Considering that enthusiasts will probably pass on the purchase of a new Prius and the plug-in hybrid version, it still serves to be the most sought-after hybrid vehicle and gas miser on the road today, and for good reason. I saw a steady 46 mpg on the highway when really pushing the Prius plug-in hybrid beyond the boundaries of what the speed limit signs had posted. Around the city fuel estimates hovered around 53 mpg.

With emerging hybrid competition coming into the picture from many automakers, the Prius may eventually have its work cut out. Something tells me the Prius does not have much to worry about with its decade-long jump on the market when it comes to hybrid vehicles in the states.

The new 2012 Prius plug-in hybrid has a starting price of $32,000, about $8,000 more than the standard 2012 Prius hybrid starting at just $24,000. Is the premium of the plug-in hybrid version worth it? It all depends on your usage. One could consider the plug-in hybrid if they commute 10 miles to work each day, they could essentially utilize the electric mode and hardly ever use gas.


COPYRIGHT: 2012 AutomotiveAddicts.com


  • Price: Base Prius Plug-in Hybrid MSRP $32,000  Prius Plug-in Hybrid Advanced trim As-Tested $40,365
  • Engine:  1.8-liter gas engine with hybrid synergy drive electric motor – total 134 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm/105 ft-lbs. torque @ 4000 rpm
  • Turning circle: 34.2 ft.
  • Total length: 176.4 in.
  • Total width: 68.7 in.
  • Total height: 58.7 in.
  • Track: f/r-59.6/59.4 in.
  • Ground clearance: 5.3 in.
  • Headroom: f/r-38.6/37.6 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-42.5/36.0 in.
  • EPA interior volume: 115.3 cu.ft.
  • EPA cargo volume: with rear seats up-21.6/with rear seats folded-39.6 cu.ft.
  • Fuel tank: 10.6 gallon
  • Curb weight: 3,165 lbs.
  • EPA mileage est.: 51 mpg city / 49 mpg highway
  • 0-60 mph: 11.3 seconds

Petrolicious Tells The Story Of ‘Bring A Trailer’: Video 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Bring A Trailer, classic cars, Kurt, used cars, video, Vintage Cars on 11 28th, 2012

When it comes to time-suck websites for gear heads, there are none finer than Bring A Trailer, where enthusiasts can browse for cars that are out of the mainstream (in some cases, far out of the mainstream) or reminisce about a the joys and sorrows of a particular obscure model. You won’t find a 2010 Mustang GT on the site, but you may very well find a one-of-a-kind four-wheel-drive Mustang prototype. If your tastes run to vintage European rides, you may even want to consider bookmarking Bring A Trailer as your home page.

Autoblog uncovered this Petrolicious video, which tells the story of how Randy Nonnenberg and Gentry Underwood founded the site, which serves as both a shopping mall and meeting place for enthusiasts of all types. If you’ve never visited the site, be forewarned: there is no such thing as a “quick visit” to Bring A Trailer.

As for those of us who visit the site on a regular basis, it’s only a matter of time before the right car comes up. We suppose it’s like playing the slots in Vegas; you can pull the handle a thousand times and get nothing, but pull it the right time and you hit a jackpot. Our jackpot is likely to come in the form of a vintage Porsche 911, unearthed by the guys at Bring A Trailer.

2014 Jaguar XFR-S Revealed – Places BMW M5 In Crosshairs 28
Posted by Darryl in auto show, Automotive, featured, Jaguar, Jaguar XFR-S, Jaguar-XF, News on 11 28th, 2012

The new 2014 Jaguar XFR-S, officially debuting this week at the 2012 LA Auto Show, will be the fastest and most powerful sedan from the British automaker. The new Jaguar XFR-S will pump out around 550 horsepower from a 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine shared in the XKR-S. The new 4-door cat will reach 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and top out at 186 mph.

Several carbon fiber accents and exclusive body styling, as shown in the photos, are just a few of the aesthetics to set the XFR-S from the traditional XF sedan variants. The new XFR-S gets upgraded brakes, lowered and sport-tuned suspension and other advanced performance attributes to make it a worthy competitor against the new BMW M5. Will the new big Cat in town, with only 200 examples due to sale in the U.S., have what it takes to battle the M5? We shall find out when it goes on sale summer 2013 with a starting price tag of $99,000 .



At a glance
• The 2014 Jaguar XFR-S is the second model in the ultra-high performance R-S range from Jaguar, following the 2012 XKR-S
• Just 100 will be offered for the U.S. for the 2014 model year
• The XFR-S is powered by the same 5-liter supercharged V8 as the XKR-S, producing 550hp and 502 lb-ft of torque
• The 2014 Jaguar XFR-S is the fastest and most powerful sedan Jaguar has ever produced
• The XFR-S will sprint from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds (1) (0-100 km/h in 4.6 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top track speed of 186 mph (1) (300 km/h)
• Fuel economy is equal to the XFR with 23 mpg highway. No gas guzzler tax applies
• ZF® eight-speed transmission with Quickshift functionality enables optimal acceleration and efficiency
• Comprehensive front and rear suspension upgrades maximize response with lateral stiffness increases of up to 30 percent
• Electronic Active Differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems have been recalibrated to enhance handling characteristics
• New, wider, 20-inch ‘Varuna’ forged alloy wheels and wider tires maximize grip
• Aerodynamic changes, with extensive use of carbon fiber components, reduce lift by 68 percent and give the XFR-S an assertive appearance
• Exclusive interior materials include carbon leather and contrasting highlight micro-piping and stitching
• The XFR-S goes on sale in early summer, 2013, starting at $99,000 (3)

“Sporting character is evident in all Jaguar sedans. In the XFR-S that character has been amplified, the result being a truly engaging car with a combination of technical innovation, assertive design and staggering performance that will satisfy the most demanding of drivers.”
Adrian Hallmark, Global Brand Director, Jaguar

(MAHWAH, N.J.) November 28, 2012 – The second model in the Jaguar ultra-high performance R-S range, the XFR-S Sedan joins its XKR-S sibling as a vivid expression of the carmaker’s longstanding performance lineage. Just 100 of these ultra-performance sedans will be offered for the U.S. market, making it one of the most exclusive Jaguar models.

5-Liter Supercharged V8
The 5-liter supercharged V8 engine provides electrifying performance from 550hp and 502 lb-ft of torque – up 40hp and 41 lb-ft, respectively, over the XFR. The increases have been achieved through revisions to the engine management system and improvements to the intake and exhaust flow. This all-new combination provides a visceral blend of vivid acceleration and driver involvement. The 2014 Jaguar XFR-S can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds1 (0-100 km/h in 4.6 seconds) and reach an electronically-limited maximum track speed of 186 mph1 (300km/h).

The all-aluminum 32-valve quad-cam engine delivers not only extraordinary performance but also efficiency thanks to such technologies as spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT). The high-pressure die-cast lightweight aluminum block is stiffened with cast iron liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps, providing refinement to match its power. Between the aluminum four-valve cylinder heads sits a Roots-type twin vortex supercharger fed by two intercoolers to reduce the temperature of the pressurized air to optimize power and efficiency. Each intercooler features its own water-cooling circuit.

The XFR-S exhaust system replaces the central muffler with an X-piece and near straight-through rear pipes. The combination yields an enhanced exhaust note that “crackles” on deceleration. The intake system also features a symposer that channels some induction sounds into the cabin, adding to the auditory excitement of driving the XFR-S.

A number of key driveline components have been uprated in order to both adapt the XFR-S for the greater power and torque outputs and stiffen the entire drivetrain to make its responses more immediate. These include uprated half-shafts, a larger central bearing on the driveshaft, and a new torque converter.

These changes have allowed Jaguar engineers to tune the throttle response to suit the more focused nature of the XFR-S. The response to throttle inputs has been made significantly quicker. Engaging Dynamic Mode increases engine response for a given movement of the accelerator pedal.

Eight-Speed Quickshift Transmission
The eight-speed automatic transmission with Quickshift technology maximizes the benefit of the engine recalibration. Quickshift ideally suits the XFR-S model’s track-tuned performance capability. When the driver shifts manually by using the steering wheel-mounted paddles, the Quickshift strategy ensures the quickest, crispest shifts via rapid and precisely timed engine torque intervention.

When downshifting (either manually or when in Sport mode), the engine management system automatically blips the throttle to ensure the XFR-S remains balanced, particularly important when entering a corner. This function also allows the transmission to perform multiple and very rapid downshifts during hard braking.

When operating in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road load and kickdown request. On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gearshifts more aggressive and move the upshift point higher in the rev range.

Corner Recognition senses when the car is negotiating a bend, the transmission holding the correct gear for the exit. The transmission will also recognize when the car is performing a series of overtaking maneuvers requiring rapid throttle position changes. Rather than upshift, it will remain in a lower gear, ready for the next demand for acceleration.

The XFR-S comes equipped as standard with the Intelligent Stop/Start system, which automatically shuts down the engine when the car comes to a stop and the brake pedal is held. When the brake is released, the system will restart the engine in less time than it takes for the driver’s foot to move to the accelerator.

A twin solenoid system, Intelligent Stop/Start allows for ‘change of mind’ functionality, bringing the engine back up to speed even during its run-down phase if, for instance, the car is coming to a stop at a junction and the driver sees an opportunity to join the traffic flow.

“What we have given the XFR-S is greater handling capacity, greater precision and greater capability. It’s a car for driving purists – it will feel engaging within the first 50 meters but remains accessible and confidence-inspiring at any speed.”
Mike Cross, Chief Engineer, Vehicle Integrity, Jaguar

Both front and rear suspension systems have been uprated and carefully tuned over tens of thousands of miles at the Jaguar testing center at Germany’s renowned Nürburgring track, the high-speed bowl at Nardo in Italy and the engineers’ favorite roads around the Welsh countryside.

Overall lateral suspension stiffness has been increased by 30 percent front and rear, with front and rear spring rates increased by the same amount. Front suspension knuckles have been revised in line with those found on the XKR-S to achieve the increased camber and castor stiffness which, along with new wheel bearings, optimize steering and handling precision.

At the rear, a new sub-frame enabled revisions to suspension geometry which, allied to stiffer bushings, new rear knuckles and working in tandem with the stiffer springs, increase stability and response. In order to achieve the maximum benefit from the suspension revisions, the XFR-S uses new lightweight, forged 20-inch Varuna alloy wheels. These are a half-inch wider at the front and an inch wider at the rear compared to the wheels on the XFR, but are no heavier thanks to their lightweight construction.

The tires, developed in conjunction with Pirelli exclusively for the XFR-S, are 265/35R20 and 295/30R20 front/rear. The difference between the wheel rim and tire width increases has the effect of pre-loading the sidewall to improve handling and steering response without adversely affecting refinement.

Working in concert with the uprated suspension, wheels and tires are revised electronic programs controlling the Adaptive Dynamics, active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems.

The Jaguar Adaptive Dynamics system uses continuously variable dampers to actively control vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates. The system monitors driver inputs and the road conditions, adjusting damper rates in response up to 500 times a second to optimize stability and agility. The driver’s selection of Dynamic Mode offers enhanced body control by moving the damping rates to the firmer end of the available range.

The Jaguar active electronically controlled differential can apply full locking torque almost instantaneously when needed. The differential has been recalibrated to maximize the greater grip offered by the wider rear tires, the more precisely controlled suspension and the higher engine output. Working in parallel with the differential, the “Trac DSC” setting of the Dynamic Stability Control system allows the enthusiast driver greater opportunity to explore the handling envelope.

The Jaguar High Performance Braking System offers a combination of stopping power, stability and fine modulation commensurate with the car’s performance potential. The 380mm (14.96″) front and 376mm (14.80″) rear discs are internally ventilated for assured repeated stopping power. On the XFR-S, under-body air channeling provides additional cooling capacity.

Reflecting the changes under the skin, the XFR-S is distinguished from the XFR by subtle design changes that give it a distinctively assertive appearance while also enhancing aerodynamic performance.

“The Design Team was very conscious that it would be the aerodynamic solutions required to deliver the performance of the XFR-S that would dictate its aesthetics. This is a concentrated and focused car and the design revisions and the materials used all reflect that.”
Wayne Burgess, Studio Director, Jaguar Design

The new, deeper front bumper incorporates larger lower central and side air intakes – the former framed in carbon fiber – in order to provide adequate airflow into the engine bay. Carbon fiber is also used to form the front splitter at the lower edge of the bumper, the first of a number of aerodynamic changes designed to smooth the passage of the car through the air at high track speeds.

The extended side sills and aero blade molding behind the front wheels serve to create a sharp break-off point between the lower bodywork and the road surface in order to keep the airflow attached to the car’s sides for as long as possible.

The same thinking dictated the deeper side moldings behind the rear wheels. This extended rear bumper also incorporates a central, carbon fiber diffuser, deeper than the item found on the XFR and which travels further under the rear of the car to help reduce lift.

Rear lift is also reduced through the fitment of a spoiler to manage the airflow coming off the top rear surface of the car. Two spoiler designs are available, both of which have been designed with the aid of computational fluid dynamics to provide optimally balanced aerodynamics. The larger of the two rear wings is constructed with a carbon fiber aero foil center section. The combined result of the bodywork revisions is a reduction in overall lift of 68 percent.

The wider, six-spoke, lightweight Varuna forged alloy wheels provide the XFR-S with a purposeful, broad shouldered stance and feature a unique dual finish. A ceramic polish is applied to the outer surfaces, its eye-catching appearance contrasting with inner gloss black areas. As an option, the wheels can be ordered in either full gloss black or technical gray finish.

Gloss black trim in place of chrome around the grille, within the side vent, around the front and rear screens, windows and across the trunk further enhance the car’s bold appearance. The mesh in the front grilles is a matching gloss black.

XFR-S customers can choose from five exterior colors: French Racing Blue, Ultimate Black, Stratus Gray, Polaris White and Italian Racing Red.

Performance-Focused Interior
The technical palette of interior materials used in the XFR-S underscores the car’s high-performance intent. The selection includes carbon leather on the seat bolsters and armrests and a dark mesh aluminum fascia. Providing a further unique touch is the choice of contrasting color stitching and micro piping, which can be matched to the exterior paint scheme.

This color palette is complemented inside the XFR-S with Warm Charcoal leather trim on the seats and doors enhanced through the use of carbon-effect leather. Exclusive to the Jaguar R-S cars, this is used on the seat bolsters and arm rests and reflects the use of carbon fiber on the aerodynamic elements of the car. The seats are embossed with the R-S logo and can be finished with a choice of contrast color micro-piping and stitching in either red, blue or ivory. The same subtle enhancement runs across the top of the dashboard, the fascia of which is finished in a Dark Mesh aluminum.

Meridian™ Surround Sound System
The XFR-S is fitted with a standard 825W, 18-speaker surround-sound system from British audio experts Meridian™, recognized by audiophiles as a leader in audio reproduction and fidelity. The system uses digital signal processing and the proprietary Meridian™ Trifield System to place every occupant at the center of an optimally focused surround-sound arena.

Engine 5-liter V8 supercharged with Intelligent Stop/Start
Capacity (cc) 5,000
Bore/Stroke (mm) 92.5/93
Peak Power (hp@rpm) 550@6500
Peak Power (kW@rpm) 405@6500
Peak Torque (lb/ft @rpm) 502@2500-5500
Peak Torque (Nm@rpm) 680@2500-5500
Transmission ZF Eight-speed ‘Quickshift’ automatic
0-60 mph (seconds) 1 4.4
0-100km/h (seconds) 1 4.6
Top Speed (mph | km/h) 1 186 | 300 (electronically limited)
Fuel Economy2 (US EPA Estimated mpg) 15 city / 23 highway / 18 combined (Same as XFR)
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 270

*These figures are correct at time of going to press. All figures are manufacturer’s estimates.

1 Always obey local speed limits.
2 All figures are EPA estimates. Actual mileage may vary.
3 Price shown is MSRP. Does not include destination and delivery. Excludes, tax, title, license, retailer fees and optional equipment. Dealer price, terms and vehicles availability may vary. See your local authorized Jaguar dealer for details.

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About Jaguar
Jaguar Cars Limited is a premier manufacturer of luxury sedans and sports cars offering unparalleled design with tremendous performance. The company’s vision throughout its storied history has been simple: To produce beautiful, fast cars that are desired the world over. Jaguar strives to provide a world class ownership experience to every owner. Today’s Jaguar lineup consists of the XJ luxury sedan, XF sports sedan and the XK coupe and convertible sports cars. Jaguar designs, engineers and manufactures exclusively in the United Kingdom, at the Castle Bromwich manufacturing plant in the British Midlands. Jaguar is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information visit the official Jaguar website at http://www.jaguarusa.com.

About Jaguar Land Rover
• Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturing business built around two iconic British car brands with a rich heritage and powerful consumer appeal and loyalty. Additionally, Jaguar Land Rover is at the centre of the UK automotive industry’s drive to deliver technical innovation in all areas of vehicle development.
• As the UK’s largest automotive employer, JLR has a world class team of nearly 25,000 people.
• In the 2011/12 fiscal year, JLR achieved record profits of £1.5 billion, an increase of £392m when compared to the previous year.
• Jaguar Land Rover is the largest investor in automotive R&D and engineering in the UK.
• Jaguar Land Rover has two state of the art engineering and design facilities and three advanced manufacturing plants in the UK.
• Headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey in the United States, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC has offices across the USA and Canada and is represented by more than 330 retail outlets.

Epic Proportions of a Pagani Huayra – Test Drive Video 28
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, featured, Pagani, Pagani Huayra, video on 11 28th, 2012

Artists of all kinds take pride in their work and it becomes rather obvious of their masterful attempt to make their work stand out from the status quo. There are countless artists who embody these principles. Michelangelo has the Sistine Chapel, Leonardo Da Vinci has the Mona Lisa, and in the automotive world, Horacio Pagani has the new Huayra.

Probably one of the most epic test drives of the new Huayra without journalistic opinions, is the video below from V12gt.com. We welcome you to take a virtual journey through European providences along with the new true automotive art-derived Pagani Huayra supercar. Enjoy!

Padkos 101 – tips on what to pack for your next road trip 28
Posted by CarBlog Staff in Uncategorized on 11 28th, 2012

It is December 2012 and ‘tis the season to be traveling. Some of you will be jet-setting to places abroad while others might be simplifying a local journey with a quick flight, but this article is for the adventure-seekers among us who’ll be travelling the traditional way – A Road Trip.

Taking the right Padkos can make or break your trip. Since you might be stuck in the car for more than 10 hours with the same CD on repeat, fighting off bodies and boogie boards, dealing with traffic and those mundane 45-minute stop & go’s, food may be your only solace. Here are a few Dos and Don’ts for the right padkos.

Biltong – It is a love that has been fostered from a young age with South Africans. However, take care of how much you eat as the salt will induce a great thirst and thus quenching, which could lead to some impromptu stops in the bush (not ideal for the ladies). DO indeed!

Hard Boiled Eggs – Your picturesque long-distance journey of rolling hills, vibrant fynbos and clear blue skies will be tainted by the pungent smell of something too similar to flatulence. Although, it must be said that a fun blame game of who smelt it dealt it can be good for killing some time. Still, proceed with caution. A safe DON’T.

Sandwiches – A great way to fill the belly where other snacks might only inflame your appetite. Be wise about your ingredients though, there is nothing delicious about a soggy sandwich. A scrumptious DO.

Wimpy – This is something that you cannot pack but in South Africa, a road trip is not truly a road trip until you’ve stopped for a Wimpy breakfast. A definite DO.

Sweets – Of course we know what this is going to be, but don’t pack copious amounts! If it is in the car you will probably eat out of boredom and impatience. Too many sweets will leave you wired with nowhere to go and a tummy ache. A tasty Do.

Water – A great way to rehydrate, especially with that African sun melting away all good sense. A necessary DO.

Fizzy Drinks – You have to keep in mind that you are in a confined space crammed with people, think twice about how many bubbles you want to consume and where they are going to go afterwards. You can’t blame everything on Grandpa. A precautionary DON’T.

Fruit – This is always a good intended way of keeping your trip healthy. It is a great snack, if you choose the right one. Dried fruit is no hassle and no fuss – DO.

Soft fruit – bananas, peaches, plums – is a definite DON’T. There will be nothing but bruises and mush in no time.

Fruit with a tough exterior – naartjies, apples, litchis – is a healthy DO.

Regardless of whether you’re cruising the highways in a brand new set of wheels or trundling along in your faithful used car, drive safely, enjoy the journey and make the most of your destination.

This article was provided by Reeds Motor Group, one of Cape Town’s leading new and used car dealers.

Fiat Debuts The Topless 500c Abarth In Los Angeles: Video 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth, Automotive, Fiat, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show on 11 28th, 2012

Do you prefer your Italian motoring al fresco? Would you buy a Fiat 500 Abarth, if only it came in a convertible version? In that case, get ready for some good news: Fiat is debuting the open-air 500c Abarth at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Like the existing 500c Convertible, the 500c Abarth uses a retractable cloth top to provide access to the sky. Yes, you still have the solid roof rails (for rollover protection), so perhaps its best to think of the Fiat models as having really, really big sunroofs. The advantage, however, is that the top can be retracted back to the spoiler at speeds up to 60 mph, and can be fully opened at speeds up to 50 mph.

Under the skin, everything we liked about the hardtop Fiat 500 makes a return appearance. That list includes the sonorous exhaust, which will be even more pleasing to the ear with the top down. On the other hand, your cranky neighbor who complains that your car is too loud won’t like it one bit.

The 500cAbarth comes with the same 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo as the regular Abarth, and it’s still good for 160 horsepower, which works out to be an impressive 117 horsepower per liter. The only available gearbox is a five-speed manual, which all but ensures that only enthusiast drivers will be parking a 500c Abarth in their garage. Expect the run from 0-60 mph to take around seven seconds, but trust us on this – it feels faster.

Since Fiat is the parent to Ferrari, it seemed fitting to have Ferrari’s best-known drivers introduce the 500c to the U.S. market. In case you don’t follow Formula One, the drivers in the video are Scuderia Ferrari stars Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Just like in real life, Alonso is ahead of Massa at the end of the video, too.

Expect the 500c Abarth to hit Fiat dealers in the first quarter of 2013. Pricing hasn’t been set, but we’d expect a similar mark-up as the standard 500c carries, which should put the price at $25,500.

Fiat Debuts The Topless 500c Abarth In Los Angeles: Video 28
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Fiat 500c Abarth, Automotive, Fiat, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show on 11 28th, 2012

Do you prefer your Italian motoring al fresco? Would you buy a Fiat 500 Abarth, if only it came in a convertible version? In that case, get ready for some good news: Fiat is debuting the open-air 500c Abarth at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Like the existing 500c Convertible, the 500c Abarth uses a retractable cloth top to provide access to the sky. Yes, you still have the solid roof rails (for rollover protection), so perhaps its best to think of the Fiat models as having really, really big sunroofs. The advantage, however, is that the top can be retracted back to the spoiler at speeds up to 60 mph, and can be fully opened at speeds up to 50 mph.

Under the skin, everything we liked about the hardtop Fiat 500 makes a return appearance. That list includes the sonorous exhaust, which will be even more pleasing to the ear with the top down. On the other hand, your cranky neighbor who complains that your car is too loud won’t like it one bit.

The 500cAbarth comes with the same 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo as the regular Abarth, and it’s still good for 160 horsepower, which works out to be an impressive 117 horsepower per liter. The only available gearbox is a five-speed manual, which all but ensures that only enthusiast drivers will be parking a 500c Abarth in their garage. Expect the run from 0-60 mph to take around seven seconds, but trust us on this – it feels faster.

Since Fiat is the parent to Ferrari, it seemed fitting to have Ferrari’s best-known drivers introduce the 500c to the U.S. market. In case you don’t follow Formula One, the drivers in the video are Scuderia Ferrari stars Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Just like in real life, Alonso is ahead of Massa at the end of the video, too.

Expect the 500c Abarth to hit Fiat dealers in the first quarter of 2013. Pricing hasn’t been set, but we’d expect a similar mark-up as the standard 500c carries, which should put the price at $25,500.

In Search Of An Identity, Mazda Plans To Move Upscale 27
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Automotive Industry, Kurt, Luxury, Mazda, New Car Sales on 11 27th, 2012

2014 Mazda6 – image: Mazda

For decades, Japanese automaker Mazda has been known for building cars that are fun to drive. Even if you discount the Mazda MX-5 Miata, the world’s best-selling sports car, the brand has still given enthusiasts cars like the Cosmos, the RX-2 & 3, the RX-7, the RX-8, the Mazdaspeed3 and the Mazdaspeed6. The sad truth of the matter is that enthusiasts are in the minority, and Mazda currently enjoys a scant two-percent global market share.

As Mazda’s CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi told Automotive News (subscription required), “In the global market, what is the significance of a player with a mere two-percent? We came to the conclusion that if we make ordinary cars for the mass market, there is no reason for us to exist.”

Yamanouchi’s ambitious goal is to grow sales by 43-percent in the U.S. market, with a target of 400,000 units by the end of the 2015 fiscal year. To do so, Mazda is relying on a wave of new product launches, as well as a repositioning of the brand to be “Japanese premium,” although that descriptor won’t be used in its marketing efforts.

Look for the new Mazda6 to take the point in reestablishing the brand. Due to hit dealers in January, the Mazda6 will rely on a mixture of styling, technology and premium materials to win the hearts and minds of buyers. Skyactiv, Mazda’s suite of eco-friendly technologies, will also play a role in the brand’s emerging image.

If you think that Mazda is targeting Lexus or even Acura with its latest move, think again: Hirotaka Kanazawa, Mazda’s global head of R&D, is quick to position the Mazda6 against German rivals, not Japanese. There’s a danger in doing so, as Suzuki tried the same thing with its Kizashi sedan. While the Mazda6 will likely be a more polished product than the Suzuki, it remains to be seen if buyers shopping for a BMW or Audi would include Mazda on that same list.

Andy Green Pushes 200 MPH in New Bentley Mulsanne at Bonneville Salt Flats: Video 27
Posted by Darryl in Andy Green, Automotive, Bentley, Bentley Mulsanne, Bonneville Salt Flats, video on 11 27th, 2012

At the home of land speed records, Andy Green pilots a new Bently Mulsanne pushing 200 mph, an easy feat for a man who has traveled 763 mph on land. If you know who Andy Green is, holding the 763 mph land speed record, then you know 200 mph is a bit of an anticlimactic event for him considering he wants to be the one to eventually break the 1,000 mph boundary.

The video below is a lead-on for the future of speed. The Bentley Mulsanne is just one rather fine example of the major achievements in technology and how it has set our eyes on an even broader horizon into the future. With what Andy describes as silky smooth ride at triple digit speeds, is powered by a 6.8-liter Twin-Turbo V8 with 506 horsepower and 752 ft-lbs. of torque channeled to the rear wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Hi up the jump below to check out Green and his descriptive venture near 200 mph in a $290,000+ Bentley Mulsanne on the Salt Flats.

Building an AMG Engine: Jonny Lieberman’s AMG Engine-Building Experience – Video 27
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in AMG, Automotive, Mercedes Benz, Motor Trend, video on 11 27th, 2012

Jonny Lieberman from Motor Trend, somewhat of an eccentric automotive journalist, sets off to the home of AMG in Affalterbach, Germany to assist with building a new twin-turbo V8 AMG engine. In the video he highlights how much engineering goes into the development of such an engine for the most powerful Mercedes-Benz vehicles on the street today.

In Jonny’s own quirky way, he goes through the story of how each engine is at the AMG factory is built along with a prided name badge to identify the single engine-builder who hand-crafted the heart of a new AMG vehicle. Hit up the jump below to check out this exclusive video of Building an AMG Engine on Motor Trend’s ‘The Downshift’ Episode 42. Enjoy!