Audi S3 Convertible

Audi S3 ConvertibleI’ve always admired the Audi convertibles – the S4 and S5 always seemed to look just right in a way the BMW equivalents never quite managed. Adding to their repetoire is now the S3 Convertible, about the be officially released at the Geneva Motor Show.

Audi S3 Convertible front side

Using a tuned 2.0 TSFI engine pushing out 300 bhp’s and 280 lb/ft of torque (or in typical German fashion, the note from Audi actually said 280.27), it retains the sporty S3 suspension.

Audi S3 Convertible Rear

The open-top four-seater has a soft top with an electrohydraulic drive. Magnesium, aluminum and high-strength steel keep its weight low and a highly insulating foam layer in the roof reduces the noise level in the interior. The top is available in three colors and it opens or closes in 18 seconds, even while driving at speeds up to 30mph. An active rollover system protects passengers in the event of an accident, but hopefully you won’t find out how it works.

Audi S3 Convertible Interior

Given it’s an Audi, all-wheel drive is standard, as is the 6 speed S Tronic transmission that goes with it. It looks like there will be no manual option for this car, although there is a launch control function so you can win the all important traffic light race. Not sure on release date for the US yet (or I guess the confirmation that it’s going to make it over here even), but you can buy one for about 50,000 euros in Germany this summer.

New VW Scirocco – US Bound?

Scirocco R 2014 BlueWhile the press release doesn’t confirm it, it does leave the door somewhat open to the option at some point in the future. Here’s what they say

“The sports car will be launched initially in Europe from the middle of August. Shortly afterwards, the other high-volume markets such as China, Argentina, Turkey, Australia, Russia and South Korea will follow.”

My theory is if VW can find a way to make it worthwhile to export the beautiful cousin of the Golf to South Korea, there must be a way to get it over to the good old US of A you’d think? Or maybe I’m completely wrong  – only time will tell.

VW Scirocco 2014 Rear Blue

In the meantime, let me give you a few of the details of the new model.  The external characteristics of the Scirocco “2014” include its newly designed front and rear sections with redesigned H7 or bi-xenon headlights and LED rear lights. The rear and now swivelling VW logo was designed as a handle for opening the boot lid. The interior is equipped with sport seats and a leather sport steering wheel as standard, while the sports car also features new materials and colours. New technical features include the Dynaudio Excite sound system developed specifically for the Scirocco and the park steering assistant (ParkAssist). Also new on board as standard are auxiliary instruments (charge pressure, chronometer, engine oil temperature) which pay tribute to the original Scirocco.

VW Scirocco R 2014 Interior

What is of more interest (to me anyway) is the Scirocco R – pushing out around 280 bhp, it’ll be the high performance model of the range, with a suitably beefed up suspension and upgraded interior. No performance figures just yet – I guess we have to wait a couple of months before this gets in the hands of some testing equipment.

Front Scirocco R VW Blue

Mercedes S-Class Coupe

Mercedes S Class Coupe 2014Just in case you really liked the regular S-Class, but thought it either had too many doors or wasn’t pretty enough, the nice folks at Mercedes have you covered.

209286_2015 S-Class Coupe (3)The new S-Class Coupe from Mercedes-Benz combines the classic proportions of a large, sporty coupe with modern luxury and state-of-the art technology” is the official line. 

209338_2015 S-Class Coupe (26)The big news with this car is the introduction of what Mercedes are calling Active Curve Tilting Function (those Germans like their romantic names, don’t they?). The vehicle leans into bends much like a motorcyclist, thereby reducing the lateral acceleration acting on the vehicle’s occupants. On country roads in particular, this means greater driving pleasure and ride comfort for the occupants. Allegedly……

209342_2015 S-Class Coupe (22)

New Subaru Legacy

Subaru Legacy 2014I almost titled this Subaru releases a Ford Fusion as their new model, but maybe I’m being a little over critical. I thought we had finally gotten over the period where most manufacturers conspired to let marketing groups design their new cars so everything looked pretty much the same.

207598_060214sub-dMaybe it’s because Subaru actually did a good job in the past of standing out from the crowd a little, and this has somehow disappeared.

Subaru Legacy 2015 interiorAs has also lost the 2.5 liter turbo’d engine that you could get a decent Cobb tune to push it up towards 400 bhp for the ultimate Q-car – none turbo or a modified version of the old 3.6 liter V6 are the only options on the new version. Oh yeah, and standard CVT on all models – blurrgh. Available in the summer if you really have to.

BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe

BMW 4 Series Gan CoupeAnd this is the part where I don’t understand the BMW line-up. We have 3, which is the 4 door car (sedan), the 4, which is the 2 door car (coupe), and then they throw out the 4 Gran Coupe, which is back to 4 doors again.

4 Series Grand CoupeI mean, I know it looks pretty damn nice, so why didn’t they just make the 3 series look like this and be done with it? Did I miss something somewhere?

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New Audi SuperBowl Ad

In advance of the Superbowl this weekend (Go Broncos!!), Audi has released their ad that will be officially aired just after halftime for your enjoyment.

Porsche 911 Targa

The perfect car for Colorado? Some would say so, especially as Porsche have decided to release this generation of Targa as 4-wheel drive models only (in both S and non-S form). Gone is the glorified sunroof of recent years, to be replaced by the old fully removable middle bit, but as you can see from the video, with a whole lot more electronics to make it’s removal more of an event. Available in the summer for a $101,600 starting price, or the 4S at $116,200 (plus add another $10k for options of course, given it’s Porsche).

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

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

Jaguar F-Type Coupe

Jaguar F Type Coupe Almost announced, or more correctly put, the announcement of the announcement has been released. But it’s going to be pretty good looking I imagine, and combined with the decent reviews the convertible has had, is probably one of the most anticipated releases of 2014.

“The Jaguar F-TYPE Coupe will make its global debut on November 19 at a Los Angeles VIP customer and media event, the eve of the Los Angeles Auto Show, and on the show floor on November 20 at the Los Angeles and Tokyo Motor Shows.

The all-aluminum F-TYPE Coupe range will deliver in production form the uncompromised design vision of the Jaguar C-X16 concept, and will complement the existing F-TYPE Convertible, winner of the 2013 ‘World Car Design of the Year’ award. The F-TYPE Coupe will go on sale in North America in spring 2014.”