Archive for March, 2012
The M135i joins a group of new models recently presented by the BMW Performance Automobiles division, including the BMW M550d, X5 M50d and the X6 M50d, which will make their debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The compact sportscar also previews the 3-door version of the 1 Series model. The side doors with frameless windows are significantly longer than those on the 5-door model, which contributes to a more dynamic and elongated look, enhanced by the uncluttered design of the rear quarter panel and of the DLOs, which emphasizes the powerfully flared wheel arches. The M135i is powered by a 6 cylinder engine with Twin Power Turbo technology and a power output of more than 300 hp. The chassis features specific suspension, M sports braking system and 18-inch light alloys with a double spoke design. The exterior is characterized by a number of sporty elements, including large air intakes with three-dimensionally designed flaps, exterior mirror caps in Ferric Grey, side window surrounds in High Gloss Shadow Line and a lower section of the rear apron finished in Dark Shadow metallic.
The main design changes made by the team led by Marco Tencone include a revised front end, with the headlights with DRL Led technology and a new bumper with wrapping air intakes, which optimize the front air flows for both engine and brake cooling. At the rear of the new taillights have a more aggressive darker tone. Inside, the front and rear seats were completely redesigned, while the new steering wheel has a more sporty and muscular look. The 4.7 liter V8 engine has been tuned and now delivers an increased output of 460 hp.The new Maserati GranTurismo Sport, set to debut at the Geneva Show, will feature increased performances and a slight aesthetic restyling.
Recently previewed with the name F620 GT, the F12berlinetta features a new V12 engine and advanced architecture, aerodynamics, components and electronic controls, which make it the most powerful Ferrari road car ever produced, with an output of 740 hp, a 0-100 km/h time of 3.1 seconds, a 0-200 km/h sprint in 8.5 seconds and a top speed of over 340 km/h. The F12berlinetta was designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre in collaboration with Pininfarina. The car successfully combines uncompromising aerodynamics with harmonious proportions, which interpret the typical elements of Ferrari’s front-engined V12 cars. Thanks to careful aerodynamic studies, the downforce has been increased by 76 per cent (123 kg at 200 km/h) while drag has been significantly reduced – the Cd is 0.299. The dimensions are relatively compact, with a length of 4618 mm, a width of 1942 mm and a height of 1273 mm, while the total dry weight is just 1,520 kg, achieved through an all-aluminum construction.
Last year, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-type, the Swiss firm Classic Factory unveiled its Growler concept car. Intended as a modern version of the classic sports car, the concept was so well received that a new car-making company, Lyonheart Cars Ltd. has been opened in Coventry, U.K., for the purpose of turning out a limited run of the production version of the Growler – the Lyonheart K. The Jaguar E-type is such a classic, such a mind-numbingly beautiful car, some might argue that it was responsible for the decline of the British motor car industry. The E-type was one of the all-time classic cars. Brought into the world at a time when European car makers were putting out futuristic designs and the Americans were making their cars look like spaceships, the E-type hit exactly the right mix of the old and the new with its monocoque body, engine bonnet that seemed to go on forever and passenger cabin that looked as if it was hanging on for dear life. There was such an air of pure art to it that even the engine was beautiful, and it was no slouch when you pressed the starter. It’s independent suspension is legendary and it could do 0 to 60 mph (100 km/h) in 7.1 seconds with a top speed of 150 mph (242 km/h). Unlike many high-performance cars, you could drive it at 10 mph without feeling like it was trying to rattle your fillings out of your teeth. In 14 years of production 70,000 cars were produced, which is remarkable when you consider how notoriously unreliable it was.
It wasn’t the first convertible crossover to reach production, but I was hoping that the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet would be the last. Unfortunately, Land Rover will also be peeling back the top of its own Range Rover Evoque crossover at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show next week. The Range Rover Evoque Convertible will feature a power retractable cloth top with a glass rear window pane. A Roll Over Protection System (ROPS) protects passengers in the event of a rollover by instantaneously popping up roll hoops behind the rear passengers when the vehicle senses that it’s about to roll. Aside from the roof, the Evoque Convertible is essentially identical to the hard-topped 2012 Range Rover Evoque that we tested not too long ago. It’s got the same power train, similar styling, and the same suite of cabin technology. Now, before you grab your torches and pitchforks, I should let on that the Evoque Convertible is still a concept at this point. However, Range Rover is closely watching the convertible crossover niche to gauge whether or not building this abomination oddball form-factor would be a lucrative endeavor.