Following a teaser for an all-new large BMW coupe designed by renowned Italian design firm Pininfarina, the two outlets unveiled the concept in whole, donning the name, Gran Lusso Coupe. From the teaser, it was described to be a large GT coupe with a big V12 under the long hood, which in essence hints at a potential BMW 8-Series successor.
Though despite the fact that the 2013 BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe isn’t explicitly described to be a an 8-Series successor by name, the last BMW coupe to house a V12 under its hood was the 8-Series. And since the 8-Series was axed in 1999, Roundel enthusiasts have long waited for an 8-Series sucessor.
“The appeal of this collaboration with Pininfarina is that you get another, very different and special angle on facets like luxury and exclusivity,” said Karim Habib, BMW Design’s leader. “The Italian company, after all, has always been a byword for these criteria in particular, demonstrating time and again its keen sensitivity and exceptional finesse in these areas. In Pininfarina we have found the ideal partner to lend shape to this vehicle concept.”
Following the word that Land Rover scrapped their Defender replacement plans, new details came in surrounding the next car to be replaced in the small UK automaker’s stable: the current LR2, or as the Brits call it, the Freelander.
Much like how the Freelander name was dropped stateside, the new replacement will also follow as the new car is said to be a member of the “new and extended Discovery Family.” It will be based off of an enlarged version of the current Range Rover Evoque platform.
The naming scheme comes in part to unify the nomenclature system for Land Rover so that branding and marketing could allow for various forms of expansion. In other words, the way Land Rover sees it is that their models are actually sub brands within the brand. That said, the idea with the Discovery nameplate is to call the vehicle line the Discovery, but to offer various models under that nameplate. According to AutoCarUK, the Discovery range will be the lineup that offers a range of “rugged models designed for everyday use and aimed at adventurous families and outdoor enthusiasts.”
AutoCarUK reports that Infiniti will be launching a new electric vehicle based on the current Nissan LEAF and will be the first production car to showcase induction wireless charging, which means that no cables are required to recharge the car’s battery packs.
Induction charging just describes the sort of wireless battery charging technology being researched today, which means that electricity is transferred through electromagnetic fields produced by induction coils.
“The whole concept of not having to couple up cables to a plug socket, dragging them on the ground and on you as you go, is in keeping with luxury motoring,” said Infiniti’s head, Andy Palmer. “It is this technology we want to shine a light on, so while there is no world standard on methods, the roll-out will be dependent on region.”
- By: Chris Chin
AutomotiveNews reports that Chrysler is developing a new top-dog 6.2L supercharged Hemi V8 that is said to have a power figure nearing the 640hp mark of the SRT Viper’s 8.4L V10.
It’s internally called the Hellcat and will debut in the next-generation Dodge Challenger, and perhaps some other vehicles as well, according to the report.
Previous reports, such as one indicated by Chrysler’s enthusiast site, AllPar.com, along with details from apparent insiders have confirmed that this engine is in the works. However, other spokespeople have been noted to deny such claims.
It wouldn’t be unreasonable however as the American Muscle wars are still in full speed with the Ford Shelby GT500 and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, though Chrysler has soldiered on with just the top of the line Dodge Challenger SRT8, which isn’t exactly a good match for the former two. That said, this Hellcat engine may be Chrysler’s answer.
Time frame? No word as of yet, except for the next generation Challenger’s projected launch date sometime in mid-2014 or by 2015 the latest.
- By: Chris Chin
It seems that automakers are reaping the benefits of combining resources by working on collaborative projects and the sharing of intellectual wealth as the automobile industry continues on the trending path of unified globalization. One of the recent pairings that has many enthusiasts excited was the recent alliance between BMW and Toyota to produce a midsized sports car. And in a similar path, MotorTrend reports that Honda and McLaren’s road car division might be working on a collaboration of their own.
The renowned outlet believes that McLaren and Honda could venture down this path with the distinct possibility that McLaren’s much-anticipated entry-level Porsche 911 fighter could use a Honda engine. Details that tip in this favor include Honda’s recent partnership with McLaren’s F1 team. That said, such an alliance in motorsports could possibly transcend into the consumer world with Honda-powered McLarens.
According to MT, Honda paired up with McLaren specifically to develop a “new generation of small displacement, turbocharged V-6 engines for racing.” This is due to the Formula 1’s change from 2.4L V8 engines to 1.6L turbocharged V6s. Though McLaren and Honda working together in motors sports isn’t exactly new as McLaren-Honda endured some serious years from 1988-1991 with 44 grand prix wins with none other than names like Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost at the helms.
That said, Honda is a very respected name in the engine department, so a Honda-powered McLaren doesn’t sound too bad.
- By: Chris Chin
Hennessey recently introduced their own unique take on a Ford F150 Raptor-based SUV, called the VelociRaptor SUV, which essentially takes the said Ford F150 Raptor and makes it into an SUV, complete with a unified body. Hennessey designed it to be an official conversion kit for those who wanted more seats and space.
“Over the past three years we have built nearly 400 upgraded Raptor trucks for enthusiasts around the world”, said Don Goldman, Hennessey Performance’s head honcho. “We are now very excited to be able to offer the VelociRaptor SUV to those who like the Raptor but want more seats and space.”
All of the Ford’s original equipment carries over and has also been emphasized by Hennessey not to beat the truck down on the hardest trails you can find—probably after the controversy with the F150 Raptor’s cases with bent frames after hard off-roading. Though the 6.2L V8 is still good for 411hp and a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds. It can also be optioned with a VelociRaptor 600 Supercharged upgrade, which boosts power to 600hp for a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds.
PistonHeads reports on receiving the scoop on the potential possibilty for a new E63 AMG Coupe and Convertible, which according to the outlet, the Silver Arrow admitted its own mistake for not doing that the first time around. Even with the newly updated models just about hitting showrooms next month, now AMG-ififed E-Class Coupe or Convertible still exists.
And this is an interesting gap as well since the E-Class Coupe was once fulfilled by the old CLK-Coupe, which was not only produced in AMG form, but in AMG Black Series form.
“Seen from now, yes it was a mistake,” Benz’s product manager, Gerd Junginger said to PistonHeads. “At that time, AMG had a different strategy. Now they offer an AMG version in almost all the range.”
Should buyers want to get the closest thing to an E-Class AMG Coupe or Convertible, their only option would be to get the new E400, which sports a twin-turbo V6 for a very respectable 0-62 time of 5.2 seconds and the choice of an AMG sports package.
WhatCarUK reports that Lexus is gearing up to release their next generation IS Coupe for the 2014 model year very soon. Much like the last generation’s IS convertible, the all-new IS Coupe will be based on the IS sedan. But it is also said be taking styling cues from the LF-CC Coupe that debuted at the 2012 Paris Auto Show.
The new 2014 Lexus IS Coupe will most likely be offered with the same engine choices as the current IS sedan, which include either a 2.5L food for 204hp or a 3.5L V6 good for 306hp. A new plug-in hybrid addition may be added into the mix complete with a 2.5L four-banger for a total combined output of 220hp.
Check out our original post on the Lexus LF-CC Concept.
In the same report, there is a rumor that an IS-F Coupe variant is also being considered. Though no official word from Lexus has been shared whatsoever on any of the matters with the IS Coupe. Though considering the current market climate, the IS Coupe is most likely going to be the contender to the next generation BMW 3-Series Coupe (to be called the 4-Series), the next generation Infiniti G Coupe, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe.
- By: Chris Chin
General Motors has officially announced that the new 2014 Spark EV will begin its leasing programs for customers beginning at $199 per month for a 36-month term with $999 due at signing. From the factory, Chevrolet’s latest EV runs with a MSRP of $27,495, though tax incentives could bring it down to as low as $19,995.
The 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV is said to be capable of a total of 82 miles on a full charge for the MPGe equivalent to 119 mpg. This comes thanks to a 21 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that is also guaranteed for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
The Spark EV can be charged up to 80% within 20 minutes on a DC Fast Charging station when they begin showing up in select locations. A full charge from empty would otherwise take seven hours on a 240V charger. A 120V charger comes standard.
For full details, check out the press release after the jump.
CARandDRIVER reports that Ferrari is on schedule to unveil their latest model, the successor to the F430 Scuderia, which was a much more track-focused version of the standard F430. The new model will of course be based off of the new 458, making it 458 Scuderia.
The last Scuderia model based on the F430 came out about four years ago and has been awaiting a successor ever since the 458 Italia was introduced. However, the new 458 Scuderia is reportedly a year late due to the tumultuous global economic crisis and that Ferrari is making sure the new 458 Scuderia can fill the F430 Scuderia’s big shoes.
The Ferrari F430 Scuderia was and is still regarded as one of the most captivating Ferrari’s in existence with a fairly substantial cult following. That said, Ferrari has been working overtime to make sure that not only does the new model meet everyone expectations, but also is potent enough to beat the latest and greatest from McLaren and Lamborghini.