Rumormill: Infiniti to present Z4 rival in Geneva?

Filed under: Coupe, Hybrid, Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Infiniti, Rumormill, Luxury

Infiniti Etherea Concept

Infiniti Etherea Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

At this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Infiniti took the wraps off its Etherea concept, showing its vision for a future premium hatchback. Now reports from across the pond suggest that the premium Nissan division could be preparing to unveil something decidedly sportier at next year’s Swiss expo.

The report comes from Auto Express, and it suggests that the new sportscar will be targeted at the likes of the BMW Z4 and Audi TT, yet slot in below the G37 Coupe in the company’s lineup. A two-seater in front-engine, rear-drive configuration is being mooted for the project, leaving questions as to where such a model might fit in the corporate hierarchy vis-à-vis Nissan’s 370Z.

No word on potential powertrains, but a hybrid setup could be part of the mix. Rumor has it that Lotus is being brought in to consult on the chassis setup – a role often taken up by the British sportscar-maker and engineering consultancy. Us? We can’t help but wonder if this isn’t where Red Bull Racing’s expertise could be brought to bear as well.

Infiniti to present Z4 rival in Geneva? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mini and Dsquared² present the Cooper S “Red Mudder” at Life Ball 2011

Filed under: Aftermarket, Hatchback, Mini, Design/Style, Off-Road

Mini Cooper S Red Mudder

Mini Cooper S “Red Mudder” by Dsquared² – Click above for high-res image gallery

If you’re looking for an off-road Mini, the Countryman is your best bet. But Mini’s always toying with new bodystyles, and the Countryman’s All4 traction system may expand to other models as well. Could this be our first look at the next off-road Mini?

Well, we never know what the future might hold for the BMW division, but what you’re looking at here is the result of Mini’s latest fashion collaboration. Called the Red Mudder, this Mini Cooper S hatchback has been retrofitted by Canadian fashion designers Dean and Dan Caten.

Previewed in renderings earlier this month, the one-off features a raised suspension, brush guard, rally lights, tinted windows, knobby tires (including a spare mounted to the tailgate) and an interior fitted with aluminum plating and a compass on the dashboard. The Caten twins also applied their signature maple leaf logo to the door panels and to the headrests.

It’s the latest product of Mini’s 11-year sponsorship of the Life Ball – Europe’s largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser – that has seen such designers as Versace, Diesel, Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein create their own interpretations of the Mini, each year auctioned at the event with the proceeds going towards the cause. Follow the jump for the full press release and scope out the images in our high-resolution gallery.

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Mini and Dsquared² present the Cooper S “Red Mudder” at Life Ball 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 May 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maserati to present more powerful GranCabrio Sport in Geneva

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Geneva Motor Show, Maserati

Maserati GranCabrio Sport

Maserati GranCabrio Sport – Click above for high-res image gallery

When the Maserati GranTurismo made its debut at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show, it came equipped with a 400-horsepower, 4.2-liter V8 made by Ferrari. A year later, Maserati shoehorned a larger 4.7-liter unit under the GT’s hood, boasting 434 horsepower. But when the GranCabrio – known as the GranTurismo Convertible in the United States – hit the market, the Modense automaker opted to skip the smaller engine and go straight for the 4.7 from the S. Now the Trident marque is doing one better with the new GranCabrio Sport.

Due to be unveiled in Geneva, the top-spec four-seat convertible packs an upgraded version of the 4.7-liter V8. 450 horsepower are driven through the same ZF six-speed auto as the standard model, but re-calibrated with the MC Auto Shift programming for quicker response. The Skyhood active suspension has also been optimized, along with the upgraded brakes, and as you can see from the images in the gallery below, the automaker has also applied a number of sporty touches to the styling as well. You can read the full press release after the jump

Gallery: Maserati GranCabrio Sport

[Source: Maserati]

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Maserati to present more powerful GranCabrio Sport in Geneva originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Feb 2011 13:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dyno Tested: BMW’s past and present turbo sixes

Filed under: Coupe, Sedan, Performance, BMW, Luxury

2010 BMW 335i Sedan – Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW has always had a gem of an inline-six on its hands, regardless of which particular powerplant you’re referring to. But over the last couple of years, it’s the German automaker’s turbocharged 3.0-liter N54 engines that have been lighting enthusiasts hearts afire, and steering more than a few buyers away from the M3 and into the seat of a 335i. And when the N54 proliferated across the rest of the automaker’s lineup, it was well-received in nearly every application.

For 2011, though, there’s a new engine in town, and the big question is whether or not the single-turbo N55 is better than the previous twin-turbo N54 or, at the very least, not worse. Helping shed some light on the matter is the crew from Automobile Magazine, who managed to snag a trio of various N54-powered 3-Series’ – one of which was the hotted-up 2011 335is, which uses a high-output version of the old N54 – along with one new model powered by an N55.

And the results? Well, it’s pretty much more of the same: good peak horsepower (266 horses) and a nicely flat mid-heavy torque curve, cresting at a stout 302 pound-feet. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that the new N55, while seemingly offering less turbo lag than its predecessor, appears to be a wee bit less powerful overall than the N54. Progress?

Gallery: Review: 2010 BMW 335i Sedan

Photos by Zach Bowman / Copyright (C)2010 AOL

[Source: Automobile Magazine]

Dyno Tested: BMW’s past and present turbo sixes originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Sep 2010 19:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Was a Ferrari 599 Roadster present at Pebble?

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Misc. Auto Shows, Ferrari

Ferrari 599 HGTE

We may have obsessively covered the cars of Pebble Beach Week out in Monterey, California, but it appears that we – and everyone else in the media – may have missed one.

If a letter sent to a Ferrari owner is to be believed (and we’re not convinced it should be), the automaker held a special gathering for a select group of owners to view a 599 Roadster prototype. The letter, which you can view at Luxury4Play.com, thanks the attendees for their “first feedback” on this “upcoming limited edition product.” There’s no way to verify the authenticity of this letter, but if we’re honest, it looks kinda-sorta legit.

Ferrari usually does a pretty good job of keeping these things under wraps, and since we didn’t get to see the 599 Roadster during our time in Monterey, we wouldn’t be surprised if it shows up at a future auto show (Paris, perhaps?). We’ll keep our eyes peeled.

[Source: Luxury4Play via 0-60 Magazine]

Was a Ferrari 599 Roadster present at Pebble? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 31 Aug 2010 15:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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