Official: VŪHL says it has enough orders to put 05 roadster into production [w/video]

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Plants/Manufacturing, MISC

Vuhl 05

If we had a nickel for every independent sportscar project started by people we’d never heard of and that never came to fruition, well… we might actually have enough money to put one of them into production. But every once in a while we end up pleasantly surprised. And we just might be by the VŪHL 05.

The project, as you may recall, is the brainchild of a pair of Mexican brothers based in Detroit, and calls for a lightweight track car along the lines of the Ariel Atom, KTM X-Bow or BAC Mono. VŪHL Automotive launched the 05 just last month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it was driven up Lord March’s lawn by F1 driver Esteban Gutierrez. Its featherlike 1,500-pound curb weight is motivated by a 2.0-liter turbo four sourced from Ford and mounted amidships, driving 285 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual to the rear wheels for a claimed 0-62 time of 3.7 seconds.

The numbers sound impressive enough, and have apparently impressed enough customers that VŪHL is putting it into production as planned. The initial run will consist of twenty Edition One models, which VŪHL will start building in November for delivery next spring. In the meantime, the Echeverria brothers will be taking their creation to London to rub shoulders with supercars at the Salon Privé. Scroll down to watch the video below, where you’ll also find a press release.

Continue reading VŪHL says it has enough orders to put 05 roadster into production [w/video]

VŪHL says it has enough orders to put 05 roadster into production [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Mini considering sports car replacement for Coupe and Roadster?

Filed under: Convertible, Coupe, Budget, Performance, Crossover, Hatchback, Mini, Luxury

Mini Coupe

The next-generation Mini lineup could see some big changes, according to a report from Australian site CarSales. Starting with the debut of the third-generation Mini Hardtop at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, we could see a regular string of Minis on the stages of the world. But the bodystyles we see might not be what we’ve grown used to.

A four-door sedan could eventually arrive, while the polarizing Mini Coupe and Roadster are likely to be replaced by a dedicated sports car with unique sheetmetal and uprated engines. While the rest of the line is switching to three-cylinder, turbocharged engines, the new sports car, which will be available in both soft- and hardtop variants, will use some version of BMW’s 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder. The Aussie site also claims that the interior treatment could take inspiration from the Mini Vision concept car, while showing off the know-how BMW gained when working carbon fiber into the i3. The new model(s) would likely arrive in late 2015 or early 2016.

According to CarSales, we’ll see the three-door Hardtop at the 2013 LA Show, along with a five-door hatch that is different from the Clubman at the 2014 Paris show. The Clubman, meanwhile, will arrive in Geneva in 2015, while the Convertible is slated for later that same year. The current Countryman and Paceman are expected to be around for some time, before being joined by an MPV. Eventually, the larger Minis will share their architecture with the BMW X1.

Mini considering sports car replacement for Coupe and Roadster? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Aug 2013 10:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicted

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Tesla Motors

orange tesla roadster with lightwriting

Once the epitome of EV cool, the Tesla Roadster has kind of taken a back seat to the new electric vehicles in the market it helped spawn. Turns out, even in the background, the Roadster has things to teach us. Or, at least it does to the experts at Plug In America who recently took a closer look at the EV’s battery pack.

See, in 2006, when the Roadster was new, Tesla said the Roadster’s 53-kWh lithium-ion battery pack – good for 244 miles of range when new – would have 70 percent of its capacity after five years or 50,000 miles. With plenty of “old” Roadsters on the road, PIA studied four percent of the packs out there today and discovered (PDF) that the packs have an “average of 80- to 85-percent of capacity after 100,000 miles driven.” The numbers were self-reported to PIA’s website by Roadster owners in a project that started in January.

The numbers come from PIA’s chief science officer, Tom Saxton, who conducted the first-ever independent assessment and announced the results at the recent Teslive Tesla users conference. According to a statement, he said, “Our study also found no discernable effect of climate on battery-pack longevity. Roadster owners in hot climates are not seeing noticeably different battery capacity profiles than owners in moderate climates.” Last year, PIA surveyed Nissan Leaf owners and discovered that hot climates were affecting the packs more than expected. Surveys on the first-generation Toyota RAV4 EV and Tesla Model S are underway.

Continue reading Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicted

Roadster batteries likely to perform better than Tesla predicted originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: 2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster is a topless beauty

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Europe, Videos, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

2012 SLS AMG Roadster

2012 SLS AMG Roadster – Click above to view video after the jump

On the heels of its official unveiling, Mercedes-Benz has dropped a video of the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster in its natural habitat. Let the ogling begin. If you were floored by the still shots of the latest confection from AMG, the video will leave you gibbering lump.

Though the Roadster loses the coupe’s iconic Gullwing doors, it keeps its performance credentials and only gains a scant 88 pounds. Power doesn’t budge, but somehow Mercedes claims the topless SLS is quicker than the coupe to 60 by one hundredth of a second. That isn’t much, but faster is faster. To see the newest SLS in action, click past the jump.

Continue reading 2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster is a topless beauty

2012 Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster is a topless beauty originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 30 May 2011 14:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster unveiled

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Convertible, Performance, Mercedes-Benz

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster – Click above for high-res image gallery

After the endless parade of rumors, conjecture, spy shots and even official information, Mercedes-Benz has finally dropped the full batch of details and photos of its latest flagship: the SLS AMG Roadster.

The new droptop loses the gullwing doors of its coupe counterpart, but those German engineers have gone to great lengths to ensure it loses nothing else in the process. Chopping the roof, fitting conventional doors, and stiffening the body as required results in a convertible that only weighs 88 lbs more than the coupe. The roof-available in black, red or beige-can be dropped or raised in just eleven seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

Top speed is electronically limited in either position to 197 mph, while officially quoted acceleration times, for some reason, drop from 3.8 seconds in the gullwing coupe to 3.7 in the Roadster. Along with the convertible roof, Mercedes has also packed in a new electronically-controlled Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension, AMG Performance Media system to track and display vehicle telemetrics, and an AMG Drive Unit to control it all.

The Roadster – which beats the anticipated convertible versions of the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren MP4-12C, Pagani Huayra and Lamborghini Aventador to market – will be officially unveiled this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show, around the same time that deliveries are set to begin Stateside. In the meantime, you can follow the jump for all the details and check out the extensive photo gallery for a closer look.

Continue reading 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster unveiled

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster unveiled originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 09:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster unveiled

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Convertible, Performance, Mercedes-Benz

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster – Click above for high-res image gallery

After the endless parade of rumors, conjecture, spy shots and even official information, Mercedes-Benz has finally dropped the full batch of details and photos of its latest flagship: the SLS AMG Roadster.

The new droptop loses the gullwing doors of its coupe counterpart, but those German engineers have gone to great lengths to ensure it loses nothing else in the process. Chopping the roof, fitting conventional doors, and stiffening the body as required results in a convertible that only weighs 88 lbs more than the coupe. The roof-available in black, red or beige-can be dropped or raised in just eleven seconds at speeds up to 31 mph.

Top speed is electronically limited in either position to 197 mph, while officially quoted acceleration times, for some reason, drop from 3.8 seconds in the gullwing coupe to 3.7 in the Roadster. Along with the convertible roof, Mercedes has also packed in a new electronically-controlled Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension, AMG Performance Media system to track and display vehicle telemetrics, and an AMG Drive Unit to control it all.

The Roadster – which beats the anticipated convertible versions of the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren MP4-12C, Pagani Huayra and Lamborghini Aventador to market – will be officially unveiled this fall at the Frankfurt Motor Show, around the same time that deliveries are set to begin Stateside. In the meantime, you can follow the jump for all the details and check out the extensive photo gallery for a closer look.

Continue reading 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster unveiled

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster unveiled originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 09:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster trades gullwings for a soft-top

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mercedes-Benz has pulled the wraps off its latest supercar, the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster. Gone are the gullwing doors and fixed roof; in their place are traditional entry-ports and a folding cloth softtop. The car is still undergoing testing, but these shots reveal far more of the car than we’ve previously seen in various spy photos. A more polished version will be revealed to the world at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show this September.

Before the 2012 SLS AMG Roadster hits the show circuit, it needs to spend some more time with Mercedes’ engineers. The MB team has put a lot of work into this drop-top SLS, and ditching the fixed roof has required more than simply taking a sawzall to the bodywork.

Though the aluminum spaceframe was originally developed with both a coupe and convertible in mind, Benz engineers added beefier side-skirts to the roadster. This allows for improvements in both crash performance and overall rigidity. Further aiding in the quest for increased strength, a cross-member that supports the dashboard was given additional bracing at both the window frame and transmission tunnel. Despite this increased rigidity, the bodyshell of the SLS AMG Roadster weighs just five pounds more than the bodyshell of the SLS AMG Coupe.

Like its hardtop sibling, the roadster is capable of hitting an electronically limited top speed of 197 miles per hour. The convertible top is constructed from three layers of fabric, magnesium, steel and aluminum. It’s lightweight, strong and can be opened or closed at speeds up to 31 miles per hour.

You can see the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster being put through the testing paces by clicking through the gallery below. Be sure to click past the jump to read more about the new SLS convertible in the full press release.

Continue reading 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster trades gullwings for a soft-top

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster trades gullwings for a soft-top originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 May 2011 03:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lamborghini Aventador Roadster coming in late 2012?

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Lamborghini, Rumormill

2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 – Click above for high-res image gallery

There’s been no shortage of new Italian exotics hitting the streets lately. Recent additions to the stable have included the Pagani Huayra, the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Lamborghini Aventador. But do you notice something missing? That’s right: roadsters. Not one among these three are currently available with the wind-in-your-tupée experience, but that should change in due course.

Reports of convertible versions of both the 458 and the Huayra have already surfaced, and now we can begin looking forward to the Aventador Roadster – at least, that’s what reports coming in from Italy would have us believe. With little indication of where it’s getting the information information, Autoblog.it and its English-language counterpart EuroCarBlog.com are anticipating that the successor to the Murcielago Roadster and the Diablo VT Roadster before it will arrive sometime next year.

Considering that the Aventador is already sold out for the next 18 months, it would probably have to be quite late in 2012. But one way or another, you can bet it’s coming at some point.

Gallery: 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4: First Drive

2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-42012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-42012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-42012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-42012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Lamborghini Aventador Roadster coming in late 2012? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 03 May 2011 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW Z4 Roadster to be first four-cylinder offered on U.S. shores in decades

Filed under: Convertible, Technology, BMW

2011 bmw z4

2011 BMW Z4 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Forced-induction, four-cylinder engines and small cars go together likes punch and pie. BMW understands this, and the automaker has officially announced that the Z4 is the first U.S. model to get its new turbocharged mill. This marks the first time in decades that BMW is bringing a four-banger to U.S. shores. Fans of the 2002, rejoice.

The BMW Z4 sDrive28i Roadster will serve up its engine bay for the new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four. Output is rated at 240-horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 260 pound-feet of torque, which arrives at just 1,250 rpm. Using a combination of direct-injection, BMW’s Valvetronic intake management and a twin-scroll turbo allows the engine to produce V6 power with I4 efficiency. BMW expects to see a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency compared to the outgoing motor. The eight-speed automatic transmission will also certainly help the Z4 in the fuel economy fight.

No word yet on pricing or a date when we can see the turbocharged Z4 sitting in dealer showrooms. Click past the jump to read the full press release.

Gallery: 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive30i

2011 BMW Z4 sDrive30i2011 BMW Z4 sDrive30i2011 BMW Z4 sDrive30i2011 BMW Z4 sDrive30i2011 BMW Z4 sDrive30i

[Source: BMW]

Continue reading BMW Z4 Roadster to be first four-cylinder offered on U.S. shores in decades

BMW Z4 Roadster to be first four-cylinder offered on U.S. shores in decades originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 14:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster hits the track and the town

Filed under: Spy Photos, Convertible, Performance, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

spy photos: mercedes-benz sls amg roadster

Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster – Click above for high-res image gallery

A note to prospective buyers of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: you might want to wait a bit longer to hand over your hard-earned gold bullion. The roadster version should be arriving very soon, provided you’re willing to give up the coupe’s gullwing doors for a bit of open sky. Spy photographers have caught the drop-top Merc pushing around the Nürburgring then taking in the sights around town. Sporting only a dash of camo, this shows us that Mercedes is close to showing the world a production version of the SLS AMG Roadster.

Once on sale, it will pose a buying conundrum for Three-Pointed Star devotees looking for a new supercar. You might have to give up the hardtop’s charismatic doors, but at least you’ll also hear more of the devilish gargle produced by the SLS’ 563-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8. Decisions, decisions…

Gallery: Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG RoadsterSpy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG RoadsterSpy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG RoadsterSpy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG RoadsterSpy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

[Source: CarPix]

Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster hits the track and the town originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Apr 2011 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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