Tag Archives: Auto News

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish loses its lid!

Aston Martin has lifted the veil off of the 2014 Vanquish Volante convertible.  Based on the range-topping Vanquish coupe, the V12-powered Volante represents several milestones for the hundred-year old British firm. None of the Vanquish coupe’s sexiness is lost in the transformation to drop-top Volante. Even the soft-top complements the body lines. That top is made from a lightweight triple-layer fabric and can be raised or lowered in 14 seconds and at speeds up to 30 mph.

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante - Front 3/4

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante – Front 3/4

Like its coupe sibling, the Vanquish Volante wears carbon composite body panels wrapped around a bonded aluminum structure. Underhood, there are no surprises: you’ll find the same 6.0-liter, 565-hp, 457 lb-ft V12 that so ably powers the coupe. Aston’s 6-speed Touchtronic II paddle-shift transmission is also carried over, along with the hardtop’s six-piston Brembo carbon ceramic setup in front, with four-piston carbon ceramic stoppers in the rear.

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante - Rear 3/4

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante – Rear 3/4

Retaining the coupe’s 2+2 layout, the Volante’s interior is built with premium materials such as Luxmil leather, satin chrome and Alcantara.  The cockpit boasts a new, user-friendly center console that is inspired by the exclusive One-77 supercar.  The console is home to the infotainment system, the engine start button, the gear selection buttons and the climate control knobs.

In keeping with the Vanquish Volante’s range-topper status, it gets a range-topping price of $297,995. That’s a $16,000 premium over the Vanquish coupe, nearly $100,000 more than the four-door Rapide S, and a not-insignificant $150,000 more than the 2013 V8 Vantage roadster.


2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is Unveiled

We are happy to introduce the wildest Aston Martin Vantage yet. In fact, One-77 hypercar aside, this new V12 Vantage S is the fastest road going Aston yet released, with a 205mph top speed nudging it 3mph beyond the Ferrari 458 Italia and Lamborghini Gallardo.

2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S - Front 3/4

2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S – Front 3/4

The heart of the matter is the new AM28 engine, a more evolved species of the 6.0-liter V12 that incorporates features like CNC-machined combustion chambers and hollow camshafts. Power output is 565 horsepower, a healthy 50-horse bump over the outgoing coupe, and 475 pound-feet of torque, a boost of 37 lb-ft. Acceleration from 0-60 miles per hour is expected to come before the four-second mark which is down from 4.2 seconds.

2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S - Rear 3/4

2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S – Rear 3/4

While we mourn the loss of yet another row-your-own option in a supercar, the new paddle-shifted gearbox offers two distinct advantages over the obsolete six-speed. First being top speed and second would be the weight savings of over 55 pounds. The transmission is a seven-speed automated manual transmission that has been harvested from the V8 Vantage S (it’s also the ‘box from Aston Martin’s FIA GT race cars), it gains a gear over the six-speed in the V12 Vantage yet is still lighter.

2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S - Side Profile

2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S – Side Profile

The biggest visual change is the car’s grille, which adopts the wide-open look previewed on the wicked CC100 Speedster Concept. It also gets a black painted roof and rear trim panel, new wheels, suspension and exhaust. The new sports exhaust is derived from the One-77, and boosts the already vocal Vantage’s soundtrack and there’s a quicker steering rack. The Vantage also gets its first adaptive damping system, with Normal, Sport and Track modes altering the suspension as well as the amount of power steering assistance. A Sport button sharpens the throttle response, gearshift times and exhaust note.

2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S - Interior

2014 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S – Interior

Although Aston Martin hemmed and hawed before finally porting the previous V12 Vantage to North America, the 2015 V12 Vantage S will be offered in the U.S. from square one. Pricing is being estimated to be in the realm of $200,000, however it has not yet been finalized, but dealers are now taking orders, with deliveries beginning in early 2014.

Take a look at the Upcoming BMW M4 Testing at Nurburgring

With just months to go before the debut of the new BMW M3 and M4, it’s only right that we’d catch a prototype or two testing. And we have: this M4 coupe prototype was spotted testing recently at the Nurburgring.

2014 BMW M4 Spy Shot - Front 3/4

2014 BMW M4 Spy Shot – Front 3/4

The next-gen model will ditch the natural aspiration and V-8 engine for a twin-turbo six-cylinder model (an I-6, not the rumored V-6) that will make about 450 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque — an increase of 36 horsepower and 106 pound-feet over the current engine. Total weight loss for this new model is estimated to be 220 pounds through the adoption of a carbon fiber roof, trunk, and hood. With the increase in power and decrease in weight, the M4 you see here should be able to sprint to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds, down from 4.6.

2014 BMW M4 Spy Shot - HeadOn

2014 BMW M4 Spy Shot – HeadOn

We should see the final car this fall at the Los Angeles auto show, months before a summer 2014 release.

2014 BMW M4 Spy Shot - Rear 3/4

2014 BMW M4 Spy Shot – Rear 3/4

Have you ever seen a McLaren P1 Hooning on Snow & Ice in Slow Motion?

What would you do if you were given a well-frozen lake covered in a couple inches of snow and a 903 horsepower supercar?

McLaren P1 - Getting Sideways on Ice

McLaren P1 – Getting Sideways on Ice

Well, if you’re like us, you’d probably hoon the hell out of it. And it seems the good folks at McLaren are like us, based on this video. We’ve seen the P1 in person now in full production trim, but this artfully camouflaged prototype proves that the 903-horsepower supercar looks good in just about any colour.

The McLaren P1 was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, and in a few months the first of 375 cars will be delivered to customers. The P1 is a plug-in hybrid that combines a version of the 12C supercar’s twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8, good for 727 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque, with an electric motor that produces 172 hp and 192 lb-ft. While the car’s lithium-ion battery pack allows it to drive up to six miles on electricity alone, we’re more interested in the way the motor and engine can work together. To learn more about the mighty P1 click the following link to take you to our previous article: “The McLaren P1 Supercar has been revealed in production form, and its ready for its Geneva show debut

McLaren P1 - Winter Testing

McLaren P1 – Winter Testing


2014 Maserati Ghibli Revealed Ahead of 2013 Shanghai Debut Party

The new Maserati Ghibli has been sprung online ahead of a planned Shanghai show unveiling and suddenly makes those granny pants German saloons look worryingly generic and unsexy. Because, let’s face it, who wants a 5 Series, an A6 or an E-Class when you could have one of these instead? As our earlier spy photos from last year showed (“Take a sneak Peak at the Maserati Ghibli“), the Maserati Ghibli looks like a scaled-down version of the new Quattroporte. A wide grille with vertical slats dominates the car’s nose, the slopes down dramatically into squinty headlights, and the fenders rise dramatically over the front wheels.

2014 Maserati Ghibli - Front 3/4

2014 Maserati Ghibli – Front 3/4

“The all-new Ghibli is set to break new ground for Maserati,” the company said in a statement. “The Ghibli will also become the first Maserati production car in history to be powered by a diesel engine.” A twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, derived from Chrysler’s Pentastar V-6 family and shared with the Quattroporte, is available in two different output levels (similar to the new F-type Jaguar) offering 330hp or 410 hp. Buyers seeking a little extra fuel economy can also opt for Maserati’s first diesel engine, a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 that isn’t likely to come to North America and will also be an option on future Chrysler products. It also is expected that the Quattroporte’s 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 also migrates to the Ghibli line at a later date as the top level performance engine of choice. No matter which engine the car is equipped with power will flow through a ZF eight speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels with an all-wheel drive option being available shortly after the cars initial launch.

2014 Maserati Ghibli - Rear 3/4

2014 Maserati Ghibli – Rear 3/4

Although our first look at Maseati’s newest sedan is limited to just three images, we can see that the car will have a sportier exterior design than its bigger brother, the Quattroporte, to go with an equally luxurious interior. Highlighted by a large touchscreen on the center stack, topped by an analog clock, as well as red leather dashboard accents, a chunky shifter for the automatic transmission, a three-spoke steering wheel, and a simple two-binnacle instrument cluster with a central LCD display.

2014 Maserati Ghibli - Centre Console

2014 Maserati Ghibli – Centre Console

As has already been widely reported, Maserati has confirmed ambitious targets of selling over 50,000 cars a year by 2015. Unveiling the car in China reveals where it expects the bulk of that extra volume to come from, the launch earlier in the year of the new Quattroporte on which the Ghibli will be based setting “the high-technology tone for Maserati’s upcoming range of new-models” according to Maserati. The company claims the Ghibli will attract, “premium executive car buyers who are looking to make an individual statement through a car that is distinctive, elegant and luxurious.” More seriously, the car is intended to steal sales from the German luxury brands, which we think it just might if it drives as good as it looks.

2014 Cadillac CTS Images Leak Before NY Auto Show Debut

We are mere days away from a major auto show (New York if you did not know), which means an inevitable slow and steady leak of photos and information covering highly anticipated reveals. Today we start with a car that we discussed last week when it was revealed that it would be receiving a 420hp twin turbo engine. That car would of course be the 2014 Cadillac CTS.

Leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS

Leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS

Predictably, Cadillac’s mid-size sedan is adopting the same styling cues as the ATS and XTS. None of the pictures give a full-body view of the car, but noteworthy changes include the tall LED headlights and fog lights you see here. While the exterior changes shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, the CTS looks like it’s shaping up to be a much more luxurious vehicle. One of the photos shows the car’s interior door panel and hints at that in doing so.

Leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS

Leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS

While similar in design, the CTS’s LED signatures are more prominent than the ATS’s—at least on this presumably up-level trim—and extend more cleanly into the lower front fascia. The grille frame is softened from before, and features two horizontal chrome strips versus the current three.

Leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS

Leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS

The prominent Cadillac grille and the bulged hood with its massive creases complete the CTS’ aggressive front end. One of the pictures shows a fragment of the rear, which features vertical LED taillights and a V-shaped bumper. The only interior photo shows a detail of the right front door, with wood and leather trim, Alcantara, chrome door handle and polished aluminum. While it may be a photo of a top-spec model, there’s no denying the CTS’ interior promises to be luxurious one.

Leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS

Leaked images of the 2014 Cadillac CTS

The 2013 New York auto show kicks off Wednesday, though, so you can check back then for a full-boat download on the all-new CTS. You can also read about the 2014 CTS’ newest engine here: “Cadillac Announces its new 420hp Twin-Turbo V6 Engine

Cadillac Announces its new 420hp Twin-Turbo V6 Engine

With GM promising it’s loyal red, white, and blue followers five world debuts at next weeks New York Auto Show the rumor mills have been running rampant. One Model that was indirectly confirmed to be in the big apple next week will be the 2014 Cadillac CTS.

While the Detroit carmaker is holding back on the pictures, it confirmed details on the engine lineup, which is highlighted by a brand-new 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 gasoline unit paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission – both a first for the brand. The PR department has indicated that “The new powertrain is the highest-output V6 we’ve done in General Motors history,” said Richard Bartlett, assistant chief engineer for the engine. Which is a far cry from the 3.8-liter V6 found under the hood of my Dad’s old 88 Bonneville which could only manage a few ponies over 200, or the 245hp in his 98 supercharged model.

2014 Cadillac Twin Turbo 420hp LF3 Engine

2014 Cadillac Twin Turbo 420hp LF3 Engine

The Brand-new 3.6-Liter unit will produce 420hp at 5750 rpm and 430 lb-ft of torque between 3500-4500 rpm. On this non-V CTS, Cadillac claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.6 seconds with a top speed of about 170 mph. A version of the engine will also be made available in the 2014 Cadillac XTS.

This LF3 engine will feature an all aluminum construction and will feature both direct injection and rather large intercooler. Official fuel-economy ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency haven’t been set, but Cadillac expects the new CTS engine will be rated at 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, running on required premium fuel. It will be available only in a rear-wheel-drive layout.

2014 Cadillac Twin Turbo 420hp LF3 Engine

2014 Cadillac Twin Turbo 420hp LF3 Engine

The next-generation CTS will carry over the 3.6-liter V6 from the current car (likely as a base engine) and also add the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder from the ATS. The twin-turbo V6 is the most powerful of three engines announced for the redesigned CTS. We had to look up stats on those engines and discovered the following: The naturally aspirated directed injected 3.6-liter V6 is rated at 321 hp at 6,800 rpm and 275 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm; and the Cadillac ATS’ turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is dialed up to 272 hp at 5,500 rpm and 295 lb-ft at 1,700 rpm.

2014 Cadillac CTS - Front 3/4 Spy Shot

2014 Cadillac CTS – Front 3/4 Spy Shot

We are expecting the turbocharged four and naturally aspirated V6 will be the only all-wheel-drive engines of choice due to the huge amount of that the twin turbos can produce in the newly introduced V6 engine. The rear-drive naturally aspirated V6 will also be mated to the new eight-speed transmission, while the all-wheel-drive variant and the turbocharged four-cylinder will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

2014 Cadillac CTS - Rear 3/4 Spy Shot

2014 Cadillac CTS – Rear 3/4 Spy Shot

In GM’s release there was no mention of the ATS-V, but if the 420-hp twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 can make the 2014 CTS accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, it may do just fine under the hood of the ATS.

The 2014 CTS goes on sale this fall and the brand has clearly addressed the one area where they were not yet able to compete with their German rivals, which in the words of jeramy Clarkson is “POWER!!!!!” Tune back next week when the cars official images will be released to see if the aggression from under the hood will translate to the body-lines of the car.

All the numbers for the CTS’ Engine and Transmission Options