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Thứ Tư, 19 tháng 9, 2012

2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection

2012 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection
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The Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe might already feel like a private jet, but in the interest of paying homage to its aviation history, Rolls unveiled a tarted-up Phantom Coupe special edition called the Aviator Collection.

Based on the Phantom Coupe, the Aviator Collection adds a smattering of design tweaks to the already sumptuous car. The coupe is painted a shade of aviator gray, and contrasted with a matte gray hood. On the inside, designers took a cabin already filled with leather and filled it with more: the glove compartment is lined with leather, embossed with a quote from company co-founder Charles Rolls after his first ever flight. If that’s not fancy enough, the floor mats are also made from leather.
The transmission tunnel is made of aluminum, with horizontal metal fittings mounted on the sides. That motif–which Rolls-Royce says apes the oil cooling veins on the Supermarine S6B, a British racing seaplane, is continued on the lower dash, which is finished in mahogany and has similar horizontal fittings.

No aviator would be complete without his/her watch, so Rolls-Royce fitted a Thommen clock into the dash, with a white-on-black gauge face and “blood orange needle tips.” That clock matches the gauges, which are also matte black.

The Aviator Collection package is finished with what Rolls-Royce calls “the Rolls-Royce of cupholders.” The cupholders — of which there are two — are made of polished aluminum, which should make them stand out from lesser, plastic receptacles for Big Gulps and Trenta Soy Lattes.
How much does all of this cost? It’s probably best you don’t ask, but the truth is that Rolls-Royce hasn’t yet released pricing for the car. But the company did say it will only make 35 examples of the Phantom Coupe Aviator Collection, and the first of those 35 is on display today at the Quail Lodge as part of the run up to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

BMW Z4 Zagato Roadster

BMW Z4 Zagato Roadster
Tags: bmw z4 price, bmw z4 review, bmw z4 for sale, bmw z4 gt3, bmw z4 specs, bmw z4 coupe, bmw z4 forum, bmw z4 0-60, bmw z4 used, bmw z4 2012

BMW has unveiled its show piece for this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the BMW Zagato Roadster. The concept features many of the same dramatic curves as the Zagato Coupe that debuted earlier this year, but is dressed in top-down, Pebble Beach-appropriate attire.

BMW says the Zagato Roadster came together in record time, with BMW senior vice president of design Adrian van Hooydonk and Italian design firm head Andrea Zagato agreeing to partner on a second concept shortly after the Coupe version’s positive reaction. Once the project was given the green light, it took just six weeks to get from the design idea to the finished product being shown at Pebble Beach.

The car’s body features many of the same design elements seen on the coupe, including Zagato’s take on the BMW dual kidney grille, which is matte-finished and integrates the letter “Z” into its design. The front end also receives circular headlights with a “razorlight” strip of LEDs perched above on either side. The hood and front fenders get similarly styled intake vents, while the car’s long-wheelbase stance is complemented by short front and rear overhangs for an athletic look. Zagato’s signature “double-bubble” canopy has been worked into the Roadster’s convertible top cover, forming humps behind the pair of airplane wing-inspired roll bars. In back, the Zagato Coupe’s styling is seen again, with taillights set behind black-tinted glass, a bumper-integrated rear diffuser, and dual exhaust pipes.

Since this is a roadster, BMW and Zagato wanted to focus on the interior to help visually tie it to the exterior’s lines. A strip of brown leather creates a border around the cabin. More leather reaches across the instrument cluster and wraps around the roll bars and seats. More brown leather covers portions of the steering wheel, door panels, and center console. Brown contrast stitching accents the black leather seats, which also get Zagato’s “Z” logo embroidered on the headrest.
Like the Zagato Coupe concept, the Roadster runs and drives. Details on what motivates the car are slim, but as we speculated with its fixed-roof counterpart, it could be a Z4-derived drivetrain.

2013 McLaren X-1

2013 McLaren X-1
Tags: 2013 mclaren mp4-12c, 2013 mclaren f1, 2013 mclaren mp4-12c spyder, 2013 mclaren price, 2013 mclaren f1 price, 2013 mclaren mp4-12c price, 2013 mclaren mp4-12c specs, 2013 mclaren mp4-27, 2013 mclaren spyder, 2013 mclaren slr

The one-of-a-kind McLaren X-1 concept debuted today at The Quail in Pebble Beach. The McLaren X-1 was built by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the automaker’s bespoke division, at the request of a customer who came to the automaker three years ago asking for a car that was timeless and had “classical elegance.” Based on the MP4-12C’s monocell and running gear, the X-1 was built to be driven, not just displayed.

MSO consulted with the owner – who owns a McLaren F1, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, and an MP4-12C – about his desires for the car. After much discussion, inspiration came from classic cars including a 1961 Facel Vega, a 1953 Chrysler D’Elegance Ghia, a 1959 Buick Electra, a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K, a 1971 Citroën SM and an Airstream trailer as well as architecture such as the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao; décor and furniture (a Jaeger LeCoultre art deco clock, a Thomas Mann Montblanc pen, and a grand piano); an eggplant, and finally a black-and-white photo of Audrey Hepburn.
The bespoke wide body with pontoon-style rear fenders adds 7.4 inches of width and 4.3 inches of length to the McLaren X-1 concept compared the MP4-12C, which make it look like the love child of an Audi R8 and 1960s-era Batmobile. The X-1 concept’s body is carbon fiber with piano black paint . All exterior bright work is nickel-plated machined aluminum including the rear wing. Wheels are diamond-turned with a tinted finish.

Each piece of the McLaren X-1 concept was custom-made including the headlights and taillights – which were inspired by the McLaren Speed Marque logo – and wheels, which had to meet production car standards as it would be driven on the street. Once the car was completed it was driven 625 miles during testing before being rebuilt by hand for the Pebble Beach reveal.

Inside, the interior looks much like the MP4-12C, but is finished in bespoke Harissa Red McLaren Nappa leather on the seats, door and roof trim, and switchgear featuring machined nickel-coated aluminum bezels. Titanium weave carbon fiber interior trim gives a 3-D effect. Special Andesite tufted carpet sits underfoot.

2013 Fiat 500 Turbo

2013 Fiat 500 Turbo
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Fiat has revealed the newest member of the 500 family, the 500 Turbo, at the Concorso Italiano in Monterey. The new model is—you guessed it—turbocharged, and slots between the standard 500 and the sporty, range-topping Abarth in the Cinquecento hierarchy. The new Turbo is hardly a surprise—we discovered Fiat’s plans for it in a series of government documents—and it essentially is an amped-up version of the 500 Sport (like our long-term example).

On paper, the 500 Turbo reads much like a slightly neutered Abarth. There’s a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine, sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes, and a more muscular body kit. Whereas the U.S.-market Abarth is endowed with a healthy 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque from its version of the engine, the 500 Turbo gets 135 hp and 150 lb-ft—basically the same as the non-Essesse version of the Euro Abarth. Still, the Turbo is meaningfully more potent than the standard 101-hp 500, and it should be slightly louder, too, thanks to its sport exhaust system.
The Turbo’s power is routed to the front wheels through a five-speed manual borrowed from the Abarth. Fiat further beefed up the driveline with larger CV joints; larger-diameter half-shafts are designed to reduce the effects of torque steer. Fiat didn’t offer any performance estimates, but we figure that the Turbo’s 0–60 time should split the difference between the Abarth (6.9 seconds) and the standard 500 (9.9 seconds).

To complement the turbo four’s additional get-up-and-go, the 500 Turbo inherits the 500 Sport’s stiffer spring rates, shock tuning, and steering calibration. The brakes have been upgraded with sportier pads, and the front rotors were upsized by one inch in diameter, now measuring 11.1 inches. We’re a little disappointed in Fiat’s wheel choice for the Turbo: The 16-inch aluminum wheels are the same as the 500 Sport’s, simply modified with black-painted inserts between the spokes.

2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG

2014 Mercedes CLA 45 AMG
Tags: 2014 mercedes cla class, 2014 mercedes cla pricing, 2014 mercedes benz cla, 2014 mercedes cls

What It Is: The AMG version of Mercedes-Benz's upcoming A-class–based compact sedan, the CLA, which is touted as the little brother of the CLS four-door coupe. The AMG version will top the car's lineup with a powerful all-wheel-drive model. Visual differentiation will come in the form of aero flics around the lower front intakes, rectangular dual exhaust outlets, and a large rear spoiler, which is meant to enhance high-speed stability. The car will roll on 19-inch aluminum wheels shod with 235/35 rubber. Inside, the standard CLA's embarrassingly old-fashioned column-mounted shifter will be swapped for one on the center console; it will emulate those on the rear-wheel-drive AMG models. The dashboard will be graced by a woven-carbon-fiber structure.

Why It Matters: AMG chief Ola Källenius aims to make the AMG sub-brand more accessible to new customers with the CLA45 AMG and the A45 AMG, the latter of which won’t come to the U.S. Källenius wants to grow his business—and position AMG as a serious contender—especially at a time when BMW's M GmbH seems to be losing its purist edge.

Platform: The CLA will be based on Mercedes' new "CC" platform, which was ushered in by the B-class and encompasses the A-class hatchback, the CLA, a crossover SUV model, and at least one more body style, likely a CLA station wagon dubbed a "shooting brake" despite its four-door configuration. The platform is designed to share powertrain and electronic components with Benz's rear-wheel-drive sedans and thus offers a remarkable level of high-tech features. Its strengths include ultra-direct steering and top-notch handling characteristics.

Porsche Panamera Estate to Debut at Paris Show 2012

Porsche Panamera Estate to Debut at Paris Show 2012
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We've already told you that Porsche is working on a shooting brake version of the Panamera, and it has now been widely reported that a concept car will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.

The more practical estate version of the four-door Panamera will follow an emerging new ‘coupe-estate’ niche, which has been kickstarted by the Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake revealed in June.

The concept car will be used to gauge public opinion, with a production model expected only if demand proves to be sufficient.

Porsche will be keeping a close eye on sales of the new CLS Shooting Brake, as its success or failure in the showroom could be a deciding factor in whether it builds the new car.

We'll bring you full details and pictures following the concept car's debut at Paris at the end of September.

BMW Zagato Roadster Concept

BMW Zagato Roadster Concept
Tags: bmw zagato, bmw zagato coupe, bmw zagato price, bmw zagato coupe price, bmw zagato wiki, bmw zagato coupe specs, bmw zagato coupe cost, bmw zagato concept, bmw zagato msrp, bmw zagato release date

BMW has released this shadowy teaser photo to preview the Zagato concept that will debut this weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. BMW promises more information will be announced later this week.

This is the second collaboration between BMW and Italian design studio Zagato. Earlier this year, BMW showed off a Zagato-styled coupe at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy. Though details were scarce, it appeared that the BMW Zagato coupe was based on BMW’s Z4 sports car. The car wore Zagato’s signature double-bubble roof, as well as a Kamm-tail rear inspired by that of a special edition 1940 BMW 328. Bold strakes, vents, and a drooping front end defined the front of the BMW-Zagato mash-up.
This shadowy teaser picture (two versions brightened by the magic of Photoshop are below) appears to show that the new BMW Zagato concept is a roadster, rather than a coupe. As before, expect the basic proportions and shape to be similar to that of BMW’s Z4. The company has never disclosed what mechanical parts are under the Zagato-tweaked sheetmetal, but BMW did claim the Zagato coupe was a fully operational model that had undergone high-speed testing.

In addition to the Zagato roadster concept, BMW will use Pebble Beach to show off the 2013 7-Series luxury sedan, the new M5 and M6 coupe performance cars, as well as the M8 prototype. BMW never built the M8 supercar, and has never shown it in the U.S. before now.