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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ferrari 612 Scaglietti by Imola Racing

To mess around with perfection should be a sin. So the moment "Imola Racing" even began to mess with the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, the heavens should've opened and swallowed whole the German Tuner.

At least it seems Imola was smart enough to not touch the engine. Instead this is likely just body enhancements. I don’t have much info on the kit. I do know its being considered a widebody because of the enlarged fenders and wider tires. There are also new front and rear spoilers as well as a two-tone paint job that is reminiscent of the first generation Corvette.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reiter Engineers Gallardo GT3 Strada

So who turns road cars into race cars and then back into a road car? Well thats Reiter Engineering for you, who recently built a street-legal variant of their Murcielago R-GT that competes in the FIA GT1 and European Le Mans Series, is now offering a road version of their Gallardo GT3 racecar.

Based on the standard Gallardo this one features carbon fiber body work wich widens the car by 60 mm. A single large center-mounted exhaust system reduces weight by nine kg and added an extra ten horsepower, while new three-piece alloy wheels are wrapped with ultra sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 2 rubber. The interior stays relatively stock, although the stock seats have been replaced with leather-covered racing units. I can't say more about this car but that it is one of the cleanest/sickest Lambo's I've ever seen.

Surface: Original 1965 Lamborghini Miura Turin

A one of a kind 1965 Turin Salon Lamborghini Miura chassis has surfaced equipped with the companies very first rear mounted 12 cylinder engine. The historic chassis that was designed by Gian Paolo Dallara, represents the very first mid-engined supercar theme for all very favirote supercars. The show chassis had been stored for the past 30 years in Cyprus by the country's original Lamborghini concessionaire, Marios Kritikos, who had acquired the historic unit in April 1978.

A month after its discovery and it was sold to LA collectors, the one of a kind chassis has been imported to the US and now resides in a restoration facility in Miura where specialist Gary Bobileff, will restore it to bring it to its former show glory. According to Lamborghini, the chassis will make its USA debut in the summer of 2009.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Detroit Ballout is Not Over

All of Detroit is safe until after the auto show in January, sorta. The government approved $13.4 billion in loans for General Motors and Chrysler for immediate consumption (Ford said “no thanks” for now.) This will take them until February when another $4 billion may be available, but they will also have to show that their operations are able to show "positive net present value" – a tough goal I’ll get to in a moment.

This means at least when the North American International Auto Show hits Detroit in January, at least the Big Three won’t have to ring the Salvation Army bell, and instead they will be able to somewhat focus on products. But this isn’t the end of the fight, the big picture has four elements still to come:

There will be more layoffs
There will be more money needed pumped into the industry
It’s the end of fun new cars
The winner will be the one who returns to big cars first

So for this week, after the just I present a little accounting, a healthy dose of skepticism, and just enough optimism to keep fans of American cars from jumping out the window.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cayman vs. 911

I’ve just been driving the new Porsche Cayman S - the one with the new direct-injection engine and the limited-slip diff, the one that’ll now hit 60mph in just 4.9 seconds - out in Spain.

We’ll have a proper in-depth review soon, but for now, here’s what you need to know: it’s unbelievably, unbelievably good - brutally quick, completely useable and just a tiny bit unhinged.

No, the Cayman isn’t a friendly point-and-go sort of car: it makes you drive it properly. Stand on the brakes mid-corner and it’ll happily deposit you into a hedge, but take some time to get to grips with the mid-engined manners and it’s just magically, stunningly good to drive. One of the best ever, I reckon, especially if you get the manual rather than the double-clutch PDK gearbox.

In fact, the Cayman S is so savagely quick - the direct injection gives astonishingly sharp throttle response - and so pure in its handling that I’d take one over a 911 Carrera. No question.

But here’s where I need your help. The guys at Porsche are saying that - despite the general consensus that the Cayman S is now as quick as the Carrera over just about any sort of road - they’re not worried that potential customers might choose it over a 911. Different markets, different people, they say - while they admit the gap between the two ranges has tightened, people considering a 911 won’t look twice at a Cayman.

So what do you think - is Porsche right? Is the 911 just too iconic to make you ever think about a Cayman, no matter how fast? Or would you stoop just a little for a car as good as this?
By Sam Philip from ---> Top Gear

2009 Maserati Gran Turismo MC Sport Line

Looks like Maserati is getting into some territory usually reserved for the customizers when it unveiled a new special edition at the Bologna Auto Show, the MC Sport Line. Starting with a GranTurismo S, Maserati adds front and rear carbon-fiber spoilers, side skirts with a matte black central panel, carbon fiber mirror housings and exterior door handles, and glossy black 20" wheel rims.

Maserati also added performance enhancing elements. The suspension has been upgraded to stiffer springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars. There’s also new software for Maserati’s Stability Program, which the company says allows the driver "more freedom".

Because this comes directly from Maserati everything is done in good taste. This makes it a much harder sell for some of the custom jobs out there. Although this MC Sport Line is based on the GranTurismo S, Maserati says it will bring the Sport Line features to the GranTurismo and then the entire Maserati line-up in 2009.

More pics ---> Top Speed

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Porsche Panamera Tuned by 9ff and Russian firm's Top Car and Cardi

Our Russian friends over at Cardesign have sent us a new set of sketches depicting one of the first tuning proposals for the just revealed Porsche Panamera sports sedan. Although it was initially believed that 9ff was the only one company working on the Panamera, turns out that the German tuner has also joined forces with two Russian companies, called "Top-Car" and "Cardi". The role of each firm in the tuning project is defined as "Top Car" who will handle the design, Cardi the production of the bodykit parts and 9ff, the performance upgrades.
This isn't the first time that the three tuning firms have collaborated on a Porsche project as last year they introduced the Cayenne-based Vantage GTR.

According to the folks at Cardesign, Top Car has designed two distinctive bodykits for the Panamera. The complete kit replaces every external body panel aside from the rooftop while the second package adds new front and rear bumpers, side skirts and a restyled bonnet. In both cases, the visual upgrades are rounded off with a set of newly designed alloy wheels. 9ff has not disclosed any details about the mechanical upgrades it is preparing for the Panamera.

It remains unclear whether or not the Panamera project will be offered exclusively by Top-Car and/or by 9ff.

Bentley Continental GT Sports Line Black Bison by Wald

Bentley owners usually sit on two very opposite sides of the rich people spectrum. They are conservative people who want to keep a low profile but still ride in luxury, or recording artists (or wannabes) who are out to show the whole world how wealthy they can appear. This kit is for the latter.
The Black Bisson Edition of the Continental GT by Wald takes the graceful lines of the Bentley and bolts on some attention. The edges of the body kit are rounded off with louvered styling elements. There is also a front bumper spoiler, side skirts, rear bumper spoiler, trunk spoiler and roof spoiler. Other parts offered are a suspension height reduction kit and D.T.M sports muffler exhaust system. Price tag for the body kit alone is 1,522,500 Yen (about $16,000).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Detroit Preview: Fisker Karma

Just one short year after Fisker showed us its plug-in hybrid Karma show car at the "Detroit Auto Show", the house that Henrik built will be returning to the Motor City to debut the production version of its ambitious project. Fisker says the production model, which is shown in the post just-released official pic, will only vary slightly in design from the show car, including a different upper grille that's a bit larger towards the outer edges and a larger lower air intake. The exhaust pipe from the internal combustion engine will also exit from an odd place: behind the front wheels. We'll also get our first view of the Karma's production interior in Detroit next month.

Fisker announced last month that it had chosen General Motors' turbocharged, direct-inject 2.0L four-cylinder as its power source of choice, and after sampling the engine in the Chevy Cobalt SS Turbo, we're very eager to see what it will do in a hybrid set-up designed to make one very large luxury saloon move like the wind. Combined with the hybrid system's 22.6 kWh electric motor, the drivetrain as a whole is said to produce 408 horsepower and propel the car to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and onto to a top speed of 125 mph. What sounded like vaporware 365 days ago is starting to take form, and we'll be on hand in Detroit next month to bring you more.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nissan GT-R Spec-V Specs Leaked

The guys over at GT-R Blog have their hooks deep into everything about the Nissan GT-R (obviously). So it’s no surprise they were able to get their hands on some of the specs for the upcoming Spec V edition of the Japanese supercar.

The biggest upgrades to the car seem to be weight savings mostly through carbon fiber parts and the deletion of the back seat. It also features overboost button for increased midrange boost during passing. No engine upgrade has been confirmed. As reported last month, in 2009 all GT-Rs will get five more horsepower, for a total of 485 — well, that’s official numbers.

It seems that although Nissan has pulled out of the January’s North American Auto Show in Detroit, it will use the GT-R Spec V to generate some news in its absence. The Spec V is expected to be officially revealed on January 8th, most likely in Japan.
See the specs here ---> Top Speed

Carlsson CK36 S (Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG)

The automobile manufacturer Carlsson who is specialised on Mercedes Benz, extends its co-operation with the leather lifestyle brand Etienne Aigner AG and will exhibit the world premiere of the Carlsson Aigner CK65 RS “Eau Rouge“ Dark Edition at the Z├╝rich Auto Show.
Read more here ---> Tuning News

Could you paint a Car-A-Day?

The collective artistic skill of Zsports Cars would hardly equal the pinky toe of Picasso, which is why we are duly impressed with Rob Ijbema's website called Car-A-Day. Rob began the site about a year and a half ago painting and publishing one work per day of cars in various forms of motorsport. He continued at this pace for over a year, but has since slowed down a bit, but the sheer size of his catalogue is still staggeringly impressive. As you can see in our gallery of favorites, Rob has pretty much all of the well known brands of motorsports covered with paintings of race cars from LeMans, Formula One, the WRC, DTM, vintage racers and even NASCAR! His style might best be described as Impressionist with, as he explains, a focus on movement and atmosphere rather than detail, which would take much longer to reproduce on canvas. Most of Rob's work could go for hundreds if not thousands of dollars in a gallery somewhere, but for him they're all in a single day's work. Each one is for sale, just email Rob for a price. Check out our faves in the gallery below, and be sure to visit Car-A-Day yourself and peruse his archives, as well as subscribe to Rob's RSS feed for updates on when he publishes a new painting.

Here's the link --->