Rumormill: Ferrari 458 Scuderia to be unveiled in Frankfurt?

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Motorsports, Coupe, Performance, Ferrari, Rumormill, Racing

We’re heavy on the speculative side with this, but Auto Express is saying that “Rumours of Ferrari 458 Scuderia emerge, with possible debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.” To be clear, that’s the possible debut of a car that is still only a rumor, and we’re not sure it will be called “Scuderia,” either – remember, the track-day 360 was the Challenge Stradale. Admittedly, the rumor of its existence is strong and there is plenty of precedent: Ferrari has introduced some model or variant of its mid-engined V8 sports car at the last three Frankfurt Motor Shows.

Car and Driver went into a great deal of indepth speculation about the coming, track-focused 458 in a piece back in May, and also predicted it would be shown first in Frankfurt. According to C/D we can expect “roughly 600” horsepower and 9,300-rpm redline – up 300 rpm from standard – a faster shifting seven-speed gearbox, a dry weight under 2,900 pounds thanks to “exotic compound materials” and a “slightly stripped interior,” less exhaust silencing, uprated carbon-ceramic brakes and active aerodynamics on the rear diffuser.

As far as rumors go this one sounds thoroughly lovely. We hope to see it in made metal in Frankfurt in two months, you can enjoy a detailed gallery of the 563-horsepower Ferrari 458 Challenge above for now.

Ferrari 458 Scuderia to be unveiled in Frankfurt? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mazda3 officially unveiled

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Hatchback, Mazda

Mazda has officially pulled the sheets off of its 2014 Mazda3. The all-new compact boasts a wheelbase that’s a full 2.4 inches longer than the outgoing model, yet the hatchback is a nearly two inches shorter from stem to stern. The machine is also lower and wider than before, which should give occupants plenty of space indoors. The driver gets treated to a new human-machine interface that features a new Active Driving Display for information like vehicle speed and navigation instructions conveniently in the line of sight. Likewise, the vehicle’s infotainment system has received a complete rebuild.

Outside, the new Mazda3 makes full use of the company’s KODO design language, and to our eyes, the result is one of the most attractive entries in the segment. Jump under the hood, and buyers can expect to find a Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, though no fuel economy estimates are available. For those looking for a bit more thrust, Mazda also offers a 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline mill with 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. So far there’s no word on the diesel engine available to our friends in Europe.

Both engines can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and feature the automaker’s i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration systems. The recaptured energy is stored in a capacitor and used to power the vehicle’s various electrical systems.

Mazda says the company’s newest compact features a chassis that’s a full 30-percent stiffer than the 2013 model thanks in part to extensive use of high-strength steel. The material also let Mazda cut around 200 pounds from the vehicle. Expect pricing, availability and fuel economy information to surface later. In the interim, you can read the full press release below for more information. We’ll have more photos to share shortly, so stay tuned.

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Mazda3 officially unveiled originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Self-transforming Camaro robot unveiled at Tokyo Toy Show

Filed under: Japan, Videos, Chevrolet, Toys/Games

Never doubt the ingenuity of toy makers. Unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Toy Show, toy-maker Takara Tomy has created a real-life transforming Chevrolet Camaro, although it isn’t named Bumblebee. Along with Hasbro, Takara Tomy created the Transformers toys from decades past, and we can only imagine how much cooler our childhoods could have been if the Transformers we owned back then could have actually transformed on their own.

According to Gizmag, this Transformer is controlled using an iPhone, and it can switch from a Camaro – albeit not the prettiest we’ve ever seen – to a robot using “more than a dozen” servos. It looks like the car is able to drive, but the transformed robot is unable to walk or move. No word yet as to when this toy will go on sale or how much it will cost, but you can watch the transformation take place in the video posted below.

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Self-transforming Camaro robot unveiled at Tokyo Toy Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Jun 2013 15:01:00 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.

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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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BMW 328 Hommage unveiled to celebrate 75th anniversary of original

Filed under: Concept Cars, BMW, Design/Style

BMW 328 Concept

BMW 328 Hommage – Click above for high-res image gallery

Pop quiz time: What vehicle holds the highest average speed on the famed Mille Miglia circuit? A BMW 328. Their average speed was 103 miles per hour, and it was set way back in 1940. That car, the BMW 328, is a legend in the automaker’s halls, and was named one of the 25 greatest cars of the century. This year marks the 328’s 75th birthday, so BMW has prepared a unique concept car to pay tribute to one of its own iconic vehicles.

Dubbed the BMW 328 Hommage, this ultra-lightweight sports car was built to mirror the principles used to create the original 328. The 328 Hommage weighs in at a svelte 1,720 pounds, accomplished through the use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. While CFRP wasn’t exactly around in the 30’s and 40’s, BMW engineers of that era kept the 328 light through the use of aluminum and magnesium. Both cars are cut from a similar cloth to achieve a lightweight end result, even if the methods to get there are very different.

Many design elements are shared between both cars. The original 328 was one of the earliest BMW vehicles to show off the now familiar kidney grilles. Those grilles nearly jump off the face of the 328 Hommage. Out back, the wide-set taillamps help close off the wide stance that runs the length of both versions.

BMW casually mentions that the 328 Hommage is powered by a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Yet, we have no word on any potential output figures or what type of transmission it might be connected to. Of course, BMW fans might remember that the automaker built a similar concept a few years ago. It was called the Mille Miglia Concept Coupe. Stunning at the time, the 328 Hommage ups the wow factor several notches. Dive into the gorgeous photos in the gallery below, and click past the jump for the full press release.

Continue reading BMW 328 Hommage unveiled to celebrate 75th anniversary of original

BMW 328 Hommage unveiled to celebrate 75th anniversary of original originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 20 May 2011 17:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Maserati GranTurismo MC for North America unveiled

Filed under: New York Auto Show, Convertible, Coupe, Performance, Maserati

Maserati GranTurismo MC
Maserati GranTurismo MC – Click above for high-res image gallery

At the Paris Motor Show last year, Maserati pulled the veil off the GranTurismo MC Stradale – the fastest roadgoing Trident this side of the Enzo-based MC12. And while Maserati won’t be selling the MC Stradale on the Western shores of the Atlantic, it has done the next best thing.

The US-market GranTurismo MC is nearly identical to the European-market MC Stradale, save for two key differences: for one, it replaces the Stradale’s sequential gearbox with the smoother ZF automatic transmission from the standard GranTurismo, and for another, puts the rear seats that were deleted for the Stradale back in place.

Otherwise it’s the same machine, packing the same 450-horsepower 4.7-liter V8 as the MC Stradale (which also powers the new GranCabrio Sport) and the same aggressive aerodynamics package.

Maserati unveiled the GranTurismo MC (as well as the GranTurismo Convertible Sport, as the top-of-the-line convertible is known over here) at its new TriBeCa showroom in Manhattan on the eve of the New York Auto Show. Get a closer look at the GranTurismo MC in the gallery below and follow the jump for the full details in Maserati’s press release.

Gallery: Maserati GranTurismo MC

[Source: Maserati]

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Maserati GranTurismo MC for North America unveiled originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 24 Apr 2011 09:34:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu unveiled ahead of Shanghai Motor Show

Filed under: Sedan, Chevrolet, Shanghai Motor Show

2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ

2013 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ – Click above for high-res image gallery

General Motors has officially debuted the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ahead of its global introduction at the Shanghai Motor Show. The model boasts a completely fresh design inside and out along with more efficient drivetrain options. GM says the new Malibu will compete in over 100 markets, though we have to imagine the vehicle will also be integral to the company’s plan to more than double its sales in China by 2015.

As a result, GM has shortened the Malibu overall, though the vehicle is both wider and offers more trunk space and more rear legroom than the previous-generation vehicle. That said, we’re told that those back thrones may be a tight fit head-room-wise for taller people.

Additionally, we understand that in the flesh, the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu wears more than a passing resemblance to the Lexus GS bloodline, though the squared-off taillamps are likely intended to draw parallels to the muscular Chevrolet Camaro. Unfortunately, those fancy LED pieces will only show up on higher-level LTZ trims. Up front, designers adapted some of the successful features of the last-generation car into a more aggressive aerodynamic shape.

Under the hood, buyers can look forward to a more-efficient 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox. The direct-injection mill delivers 190 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, though GM hasn’t released any mileage estimates at this point. Hit the jump to check out the full press blast.

Gallery: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

[Source: General Motors]

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2013 Chevrolet Malibu unveiled ahead of Shanghai Motor Show originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Apr 2011 20:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lexus LF-Gh Concept unveiled ahead of New York debut *UPDATE

Filed under: Concept Cars, New York Auto Show, Hybrid, Sedan, Lexus, Luxury

Lexus LF-Gh Concept

Lexus LF-Gh Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Lexus has decided to pull the wraps off its LF-Gh – which stands for Lexus Future Grand-Touring Hybrid – ahead of its official debut at the upcoming New York Auto Show. Interestingly, Lexus itself describes the styling of its latest conceptual hybrid sedan as something of a contradiction in terms. Says Kengo Matsumoto, general manager of Toyota’s Lexus Design Division:

For this concept, Lexus designers studied characteristics that are often considered contradictory and difficult to execute together. The captivating design of the LF-Gh concept examines the possibility of balancing what are normally opposing qualities, such as style and functionality.

Expect such offbeat styling details to make an appearance on future Lexus production models, including what the company is calling its “aggressive and bold spindle-shaped front grille.”

As a grand-touring sedan, Lexus says the rear-wheel-drive LF-Gh will offer plenty of room for “multiple occupants at higher speeds on long-distance drives.” We don’t have any real detailed photos of the car’s interior, but the automaker claims it hints at “an all-new, future Lexus interior” that incorporates a new three-dimensional analog clock, whatever that means.

As you’d expect from any new concept from the global leader in hybrids, the LF-Gh Concept features a hybridized powertrain of unknown specification. We do find it interesting, though, that Lexus is purposely trying to diminish the appearance of the car’s exhaust in an effort to “suggest that the flow of exhaust gas will be substantially reduced.”

Stay tuned for live images from the show floor in New York later this month. In the meantime, feel free to check out the official press release after the break and be sure to take a nice, long gander at the high-res image gallery below.

*UPDATE: Video added after the break. Enjoy!

Gallery: Lexus LF-Gh Hybrid Concept

Lexus LF-Gh Hybrid ConceptLexus LF-Gh Hybrid ConceptLexus LF-Gh Hybrid ConceptLexus LF-Gh Hybrid ConceptLexus LF-Gh Hybrid Concept

[Source: Lexus]

Continue reading Lexus LF-Gh Concept unveiled ahead of New York debut *UPDATE

Lexus LF-Gh Concept unveiled ahead of New York debut *UPDATE originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Apr 2011 12:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ultra lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT unveiled for British enduro racing

Filed under: Motorsports, Convertible, Mazda

Mazda MX-5 GT Race Car

Mazda MX-5 GT – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda has been trumpeting its “gram strategy” to cut weight on all of its products, and the best example of how this philosophy works is in the new MX-5 GT race car. The roadster, which will compete in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship this year, weighs just 1,874 pounds while packing nearly twice the punch of the standard MX-5.

The heavily modified MX-5 engine produces 275 horsepower – enough juice to propel the light-weight roadster to 60 miles per hour in a scant three seconds flat. The race-ready Mazda can also crest 160 mph while looking damn fine with its new Spirited Green paint job.

In order to cut several hundred pounds off the base MX-5, the Jota Sport racing team removed interior components, revised other interior fittings and dipped the car’s shell in acid. The doors, like many interior components, are made of carbon fiber and the windows are made of polycarbonate. The racing team also lowered the engine height, adjusted the suspension and added a six-speed paddle shift transmission to aid with handling.

The Mazda MX-5 GT race car sees its first action on Saturday at a three-hour endurance race at Silverstone. See the lightweight MX-5 for yourself in the gallery below. Trust us, you’re going to want one.

Gallery: Mazda MX-5 Race Car

Mazda MX-5 Race Car

[Source: Mazda]

Continue reading Ultra lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT unveiled for British enduro racing

Ultra lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT unveiled for British enduro racing originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 Mar 2011 13:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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