Archives for December 2013

Shiny Red is the New Red

Lexus RC 350In what can only be described as a very slow news day for cars (just wait until tomorrow I guess), Lexus decided to make it’s attempt to steal the show with a couple of pics and a whole press release about how they make the new RC Coupe and extra shiny tint of red. Yes, really. But it’s worked, as here are the pics of a previously announced car (but for the sake of me, I can’t remember this getting a release earlier in the year, so either I must not have been paying attention, or I didn’t care).

Lexus RC 350 three quarter viewSo, onto the paint:

A more dynamic red exterior paint color is made brighter and with more contrast thanks to an entirely new painting process, using a two-color base of both silver and red.

The luminous red paint is achieved through a meticulous paint process using four base coats of paint which are then baked twice. Layers of colored and clear coating are used to control some of the color’s reflections and establish a balance between the brightness and depth – two elements that traditionally work against each other.

  • For the red exterior, the factory starts with a base coat of silver and then applies a clear coat.
  • Then, the clear coat is covered by a translucent red coat, which is then topped with another clear coat.
  • The four coats of paint are baked twice to set the color.

As a result, light hitting the paint reflects off the red layer and also off the silver layer below, which adds depth and a metallic highlight to the red coloration.  Prior to this new, two-color base process, the factory used base coats with the same color tone (red and red).

Don’t say this blog doesn’t attempt to inform _and_ educate.

New Lamborghini Huracan – Photo’s Leaked

Lamborghini Huracan 3

Internet leaked ahead of the official launch, courtesy of http://www.autofilou.at/ – head over there for a few more pics.Lamborghini Huracan 4

Needless to say, I love it. I was lucky enough to drive a Gallardo for 24 hours (thank you wife!!!) and I’ve never had so much attention on the road in my life. No doubt it wouldn’t be any less in this fantastic machine.

Lamborghini Huracan 2Love the fact you can tell immediately it’s a Lambo, but the shape is a little more modern than the Gallardo (even though the Gallardo has managed to stay looking fresh after more than 10 years on the roads).

Lamborghini Huracan 5

Porsche 918 First Drive

It’s fast, and Mr Harris is on top form with this review. Well worth the 15 or so minutes of your time

911 GT3 Video

Great video from Porsche about the 911 GT3 process from the man responsible

Mini John Cooper Works “Concept”

New Mini John Cooper WorksWith a new mini comes a new John Cooper Works, or at least at this stage, a “concept”. If it’s anything like the M4 concept BMW released (sister company remember), this will be the exact same as the production model when it get’s released.

New Mini John Cooper Works RearOfficial release of this is the Detroit Motor Show, but we managed to get a few advance pictures – no word on the performance upgrades just yet.

New Mini John Cooper Works Side

New 2015 Mercedes C-Class

2015 C-Class SilverDetails and photos of the new Mercedes C-Class hit the wire today in advance of the official release at the Detroit Auto Show in January. As you can see from the pics, it’s a definite looker, taking a few key styling points from the latest S-Class model, the lights being the most obvious example.

2015 C-Class FrontIt’s also expanded a little – the wheelbase growing by 3 inches to 112, overall length stretching by 3.7 inches to 184, and width swelling 1.6 inches to 71. This can’t be a bad thing – we actually owned the previous version of this car (wifes) and ended up having to ditch it when kid number 2 came along as there just wasn’t enough space to put a car seat behind the drivers seat and not have me crushed behind the steering wheel (if I could squeeze myself in there). And I’m nowhere near being classified as tall.

2015 C-Class InteriorThe interior here looks fantastic – this pic showing with the optional MultiMedia Package selected. Again, if you can afford it, pick it. The sound system in the old version was pretty spectacular back then – way better than the M3’s, so I can imagine this one being anything worse. And the upgraded system adds a touchpad interface (like a smartphone interface says the press release) to the MMI wheel and button interface, along with voice control, so you have 3 options to choose when you want to start changing things around.

194811_2015 C-Class (6)Engine choices are limited to two when first release – C3oo gets a 2.0 liter turbo-charged engine pushing out 235 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque and a C400 4MATIC with a 3.0L turbocharged direct-injection V6 at 329 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. Rumors of a diesel are circling, but not confirmed yet, and anything lower than the C300 is likely to only get a European release and not make it across the pond.

2015 C-Class RearThree suspension options are available – regular with selective damping, sport (based on the regular but more sportily tuned and a reduced ride height by 0.6 inches) and the big news – air suspension. Thanks to electronically controlled, continuous variable damping at the front and rear, it offers outstanding road roar and tire vibration characteristics even with the vehicle loaded. The driver can use the AGILITY SELECT switch to choose between the various characteristics: “Comfort”, “ECO”, “Sport” and “Sport+.” The additional “Individual” option enables drivers to configure their vehicle according to their own wishes. AIRMATIC also features all-round self-leveling for optimum ride comfort even when the vehicle is loaded.

2015 C-Class Interior FullOverall, the new model looks great, and seems like it’s moving the “small” luxury car segment along. No pricing has been released, but whispers of it staying pretty much in line with the current model fit in with Mercedes aggressive approach to winning market share. And don’t forget, if this model is a little out of your price range, there’s always the CLA available now too.

2014 BMW M3 and M4 – Details are out

2015 M3 FrontSo a day earlier than predicted, a few pics and some details are out about the upcoming M3 and M4. Many things are as expected , but now with added detail. The 3.0-litre straight six comes with a pair of mono-scroll blowers, returning 431bhp with a 7,600rpm redline, and 406lb ft of torque. The old naturally aspirated V8 made 414bhp and 295lb ft, so the big difference is the huge torque improvement with the use of the turbo’s rather than the large cylinder V8. And a 7600 redline is pretty damn impressive for a turbo’d engine – that’s almost the same as my beloved S54 engine in the E46.

2015 M4 Rear Three QuarterSo what else is there – I guess the other big thing is the weight. As they M Division guys had semi-leaked earlier this year, the target was the keep weight down to around the level of the old E46, and they did that – the M4 (two door coupe version in case you hadn’t worked out BMW’s new way of describing the M3 Coupe) coming in at 1500KG or 3300 lbs, and the M3 with it’s extra doors to carry around (although this time getting the same carbon fibre rood as the coupe) an extra 23 kg (50 lbs).

2015 M3 InteriorThe interior looks pretty nice (and just to confirm, this will be available in manual as well as DCT), and for some reason, the M logo in the seat backrest lights up.

bmw-m3-leaked-01-1

Official 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) is listed at 4.3 secs with the manual gearbox, and 4.1 with the DCT, which in US magazine terms will mean they’re shooting for below 4 seconds I would imagine. And that’s before anyone does any sort of engine tuning, which is probably much easier now that there are turbos involved.

And the pics showing the yellow calipers are the visual confirmation (but also confirmed with the leaked partial spec sheet) that carbon ceramic brakes will be an option. No doubt pricier than you really want to know, but they’ll save you some of that all-important unsprung weight.

2015 M4 Front three quartersIf you need to glean a few more details, there’s plenty on the Top Gear page here, and more high res pics of both cars and the options codes and list at Bimmerboost.com. I do believe this may have pushed my purchasing decision for next year over the line towards the BMW camp, rather than grabbing a 997 – lets hope the reviews are good, and the obvious fears about steering feel in this model are unfounded, and we could have a winner. Plus it’ll even fit the kids car seats in the back – what more could you want?

UPDATE – Full set of official high res photos are now uploaded for your viewing and downloading pleasure here.

And the full official press release 131211_The_new_BMW_M3_Sedan_and_new_BMW_M4_Coupe

M3/M4 Rumor

Current internet rumor doing the rounds in BMW circles is that the details on the M3/M4 will be released on Thursday, coinciding with the release of Gran Turismo 6.

Stayed tuned and I’ll post the details here if they do magically appear. Big plus for the new model appears to be that they’ve been working hard to get the weight back down to something sensible – target for this model was the same weight as the E46. If that’s the case, and with over 400 horses and torques that should be quite a little performer. I may even get tempted to put down a deposit……

Updatedetails released

McLaren P1 ‘Ring Lap Time Under 7 Minutes

The y haven’t released the exact time (maybe it didn’t beat the Porsche 918 of 6:58??) but anything under 7 is ridiculously fast. And the video they released to accompany the announcement is pretty much awesome personified.

2015 Ford Mustang Details and Pics

2015 Ford MustangIt must be the week for American car announcements with Chevy and Ford competing for attention in the press. Ford’s effort after the Chevy Z06 announcement yesterday is more details (and lots of pics) of the new 2015 Mustang.

2015 Ford Mustang GrillAs you can see from the pics, they’ve kept with the traditional styling while still making it a little bit more modern.

interior-sunglassesThe interior looks like it’s had a suitable spruce up as well – I drove one of the last model cars a while ago (Hertz rental when cavorting around Arizona) and the interior was a plastic piece of crap to be honest.

2015 Ford Mustang three quarter viewBig news this time around is they’re finally ditching the solid rear axle for a fully independent rear suspension (yeah!) so you’ve now hopefully got a semi decent chance of getting around a corner with a bump in the middle of it (98.7% of corners back home in England) without losing your car into a tree.

2015 Ford Mustang wheelAnd, the one that I think might be a little harder for the US market to take – a 2.3 liter turbo EcoBoost engine. I’m sure it’ll perform pretty well – just not sure many of the usual Mustang purchasers are willing to fess up to that small of an engine when they rock up in their shiny new sports car. I guess we’ll see.

2015 Ford Mustang CockpitAnyway, release is scheduled for late 2014, so plenty of time for more details to come out – Ford has their website updated here if you want to check it out, and sign up for direct emails when more info is released.