2018 BMW M5 – 600 BHP!

I could use so many excuses for not posting over the last few months, but lets just move onto the just announced 2018 M5, with it’s astounding 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds. Yip, you read that right – 3.2 seconds for a 0-60 in a family saloon. Wow.

I’ll post the whole press release after the jump so you can catch it, but here’s the highlights

  • The 6th generation BMW M5 is the quickest most technologically advanced M-vehicle to date: 0–60 mph in a lightning-quick 3.2 seconds; 0–124 mph in just 11.1 seconds. Top speed: 189 mph with optional M Driver’s Package.
  • The latest generation M TwinPower Turbo technology 4.4-liter V8 engine develops 600 hp and peak torque of 553 lb-ft.
  • Debut of the first ever BMW M xDrive system with 2WD capability.
  • M compound brakes fitted as standard. Available M carbon ceramic brakes provide a 50 lb. unsprung weight reduction.
  • Like all M models, the chassis was honed on the world’s most challenging race circuit, the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
  • Reduced weight by intelligent use of materials such as a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof and a weight-optimized exhaust system.
  • Exceptional performance both in day-to-day driving and on the racetrack.
  • BMW M5 First Edition with exclusive specification available in limited 50 unit run in the US.

 

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Corvette Grand Sport – $66,455

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If you’v been waiting for the Corvette that fills the gap between the base model and the Z06, the time has come, along with pricing and some additional options details.

Chevrolet announced today the track-bred 2017 Corvette Grand Sport will be priced at $66,445 for coupe models and $70,445 for convertibles, when they go on sale this summer. The prices include the destination charge, but not tax, title and other dealer fees.

With heritage-inspired design cues combined with track-focused chassis and suspension elements, the new Grand Sport builds on a legacy established in 1963, when five Grand Sport race cars were built under the direction of the Corvette’s first chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov.

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“The racing DNA of the original Grand Sport race cars is in the 2017 model, adding greater dimensions of capability and driver involvement to the Corvette’s award-winning architecture, for a purer driving experience,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product marketing manager. “It is a worthy successor to the spirit of the originals.”

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Audi A8 L 4.0 Sport

2016 Audi A8 4.0 Turbo Sport

That’s a big title for a big car (but one of my favorite big cars). Audi announced this week their twin turbo sport model of the top of the line A8 with an improved 450 bhp and a bump of other good stuff listed below, for the “bargain” price of just $90k. Ever since Ronin I’ve been a huge fan of the Audi big car, and I think one day when I get rich I might own an S8 as my family car/daily driver (unless the nice Audi people send over the RS6 wagon to this side of the pond). Anyway, enough of the chatter – here’s the full details.

Featuring more power and enhanced luxury inside and out, the Audi A8 L 4.0T Sport model enters the Audi lineup for 2016. The variant of the Audi A8 flagship sedan boasts an enhanced 4.0T twin turbo V8 engine achieving an impressive 450 hp, an increase of 15 hp from the previous 4.0T model. The Sport model also includes a muscular front fascia with larger air intakes for a more commanding presence on the road.

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Mercedes AMG C63 Coupe

Mercedes AMG C63 Coupe 2016

Information on the new Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé was released this week, and it doesn’t look too bad 😉

The expressive exterior design differs significantly from the Mercedes-Benz model, which shares merely the same doors, roof and boot lid. The powerful 8-cylinder engine, together with the increased track width on the front and rear axles, calls for a redesigned front end and a model-specific rear assembly as well as new side walls. The flared wheel arches make the AMG Coupé 64 millimetres wider at the front and 66 millimetres wider at the rear, enabling the vehicle to hug the road better.

The larger wheel arches allow the use of wider tyres (up to 255 millimetres on the front axle and up to 285 millimetres on the rear axle), contributing to improved lateral acceleration, traction and agility. Under the outer skin, the body structure has been reinforced in key areas to transfer and compensate the extreme longitudinal and lateral forces from the powertrain and suspension. There is also the model-specific rear axle carrier.

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The 60-millimetre-longer aluminium bonnet is adorned by two distinctive powerdomes, which are among the typical distinguishing features and underscore the muscular appearance. The extremely wide front section is characterised by large air inlets and precisely positioned flics. The low, arrow-shaped “twin blade” radiator grille with AMG lettering visually lowers the vehicle’s centre of gravity. The typical AMG “A-wing” front spoiler is three-dimensional, also serving as an air deflector for the three cooling air inlets. Additional flics ensure an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules. And a front splitter at the bottom of the front apron helps to reduce front-axle lift.

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BMW M4 GTS

BMW M4 GTS 2016

Still a concept at this stage, but OMFG this thing looks nice. Following on from the previous special edition track focused versions (GTS, E46 M3 CSL, E30 M3 EVO etc), BMW has released a “concept” for the Monterey Car Week and it’s pretty spectacular. And in the best news since NBC’s renewal of their Premier League contract, IT WILL BE AVAILABLE TO BUY IN THE US!!!!!!!!!!!

“While the BMW M4 Coupe embodies the ideal combination of motor sport genes and unrestricted everyday usability, the BMW Concept M4 GTS previews an emotionally powerful and exclusive special model conceived with an eye for trailblazing technology and a keen focus on the race track,” explains Frank van Meel, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW M GmbH. “Despite its outstanding track ability, it is still fully road-legal. This is racing technology for the road in the truest sense.”

M4 GTS rear

The BMW Concept M4 GTS builds on the BMW M4 Coupe’s dynamic and emotional use of forms. Yet its character as a high-performance special model, in which every detail has been developed to fulfil its purpose as a successful track machine, also comes immediately to the fore. The manually adjustable front splitter and rear wing – both in exposed carbon – ensure perfect aerodynamic balance on the race tracks and on the road. Another example of the engineers’ rigorous adherence to lightweight design is the CFRP (carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic) hood which lowers the car’s weight and center of gravity. A wide front air intake optimizes airflow and minimizes front axle lift.

M4 GTS Splitter

The dynamic and exclusive presence of the BMW Concept M4 GTS is accentuated by the exterior paint shade Frozen Dark Grey metallic, with the Acid Orange accent on the front splitter creating an effective contrast. The lightweight, forged and polished light-alloy wheels in 666 M styling also feature an Acid Orange accent. The 9.5 J x 19 (front) and 10.5 J x 20 (rear) wheels are fitted with Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires (265/35 R19 at the front, 285/30 R20 at the rear). The mixed-size tires provide the ideal conduit for the stand-out dynamic attributes of the BMW Concept M4 GTS.

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The engine powering the BMW Concept M4 GTS is equipped with the same innovative water injection system that has endowed the BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car with a noticeable increase in output and torque.

[Read more…]

Callaway Cars – When the Z06 just isn’t quite enough…

Callaway Z06 2016

Callaway Cars today announced power numbers and performance for the flagship model in their performance car lineup. Equipped with Callaway’s GenThree Supercharger, the Corvette Z06 now produces 757 bhp @ 6,200 rpm and 777 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm (SAE). A launch to 60 mph is now achieved in 2.8 seconds, and a quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds at 131 mph.

Why Go Big, When You Can Go Bigger? Size Matters. To reach that power (which is up from 650 bhp / 650 lb-ft) the supercharger itself needed to be bigger since the output of a positive displacement supercharger is proportionate to its size. The Callaway GenThree supercharger is 32% larger in displacement (2300cc vs 1740cc).

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Cooling – Callaway engineers recognize that a key contributor to maximizing power is reduction of inlet air temperature associated with forced induction. Callaway’s unique triple-element intercooler configuration provides significantly lower and well-managed inlet charge air temperatures than single or smaller dual-element designs. The supercharger housing extends through the hood, thereby exposing it to outside ambient airflow and adding an element of convective cooling. The supercharger is visible without opening the hood, and heat is inherently extracted from the engine compartment.

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Bold Packaging – The supercharger assembly is no longer cramped below the hood line. The completely redesigned manifold helps maintain consistent charge air temperatures with exceptionally low restriction and even airflow distribution to all cylinders, which results in a broad torque band producing over 500 lb-ft from 2,000 to 6,400 rpm. This translates to more consistent power delivery in severe-duty driving environments, a compromise typically observed with “underhood” approaches. A 10-rib drive pulley system was also integrated to prevent belt-slippage.

 

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CALLAWAY CORVETTE Z06 STANDARD EQUIPMENT INCLUDES:

  • Callaway GenThree Supercharger (pat. pend.)
    with Triple-Element Intercooler System
  • Callaway Supercharger Hood Surround
  • Callaway Carbon Fiber Engine Mid-Covers
  • Callaway High Flow Air Intake System
  • Callaway Embroidered Floor Mats
  • Callaway Anodized Aluminum Door Sill Panels
  • Callaway Exterior and Interior Badging
  • Callaway Underhood Build Plaque with Vehicle Identification Number
  • Callaway Key Fobs
  • Callaway Authenticity Documentation Package
  • Callaway 3 Year, 36,000 Mile Limited Warranty

The Callaway Corvette Z06 Package price: $16,995.00 (after you’ve paid for the Z06 of course)

2016 Jaguar XJ – Details Announced

Jag XJ 2016 Portfolio Edition

Even though English cars typically don’t work too well (personal experience as the Range Rover Sport is currently receiving a brand new engine after 3 years and less than 35k miles of work), I’m still a fan. Jaguar has typically always verged on the driver side of the handling equation, even with it’s big models, and having had the opportunity to briefly drive one of the previous models, I’d have to say the weight reduction program and suspension tuning where definitely what I’d be interested in if I was buying a big car.

So today, Jag announces the 2016 model – a mild refresh of the exterior (along with some optional packages to spice things up a little), a thankfully new entertainment system (the old one was the same as the one in our RR and to say it’s a little slow is something of an understatement). Lots of details below if you’re interested.

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Featuring a new, more progressive look, the exterior of the 2016 XJ incorporates an updated front fascia that includes a larger, more upright grille with a new mesh pattern, a subtly redesigned front bumper and newly sculpted chrome blades in the lower air intakes.  Underscoring its dynamic on-road performance, XJR models are distinguished with a black trim package that includes the addition of a black front grille, black lower air intake surrounds and black window surrounds.

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Inside, standard wheelbase XJ models feature soft grain perforated leather seats with contrast stitching, contrast piping and an embossed leaper on the headrests. XJ R-Sport models retain the previous model year’s 8×8-way power front seats plus 4-way lumbar adjustments, while XJ Supercharged models are fitted with 14×14-way power seats that include 4-way lumbar support, allowing drivers to tailor the seating position and comfort to their own liking. 14×14-way seats will also be available on XJ R-Sport models as part of the Comfort Pack that bundles the increased adjustment features with front seat massagers, passenger memory, 4-zone A/C and an electric rear sunblind.

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The new XJ offers the familiar Jaguar range of all-aluminum V6 and V8 engines. Each featuring direct injection, variable valve timing, forced induction and intelligent stop-start systems which deliver high performance with enhanced efficiency. The 3.0-liter supercharged V6 develops 340hp and 332 lb-ft of toque and is available with rear- or all-wheel drive. Characterized by its linear power delivery and free-revving nature, this engine also delivers a unique soundtrack thanks to meticulously-tuned intake and exhaust systems. The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 continues to be offered in 470hp and 550hp variants, delivering all of the performance promised by the dramatic styling of the XJ. All powertrains feature a specifically-optimized eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF®.

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For 2016, the XJ is equipped with InControl Touch Pro™, an all-new infotainment system designed to be simple and intuitive. Conceived in-house and built around a quad-core Intel processor, 60GB solid-state drive and a next-generation Ethernet network, InControl Touch Pro can handle large amounts of data and is exceptionally powerful and responsive. The centerpiece of the system is its eight-inch capacitive touch-screen that works more like a modern smartphone, than an automotive infotainment system. The home screen can be customized selecting one of several available wallpaper images, widgets offer shortcuts to favorite features and functions, and additional home pages can be added, if desired. The touch-screen responds to common ‘pinch to zoom’ and ‘swipe’ gestures allowing drivers to scroll between home screens. Using this technology, the simple, intuitive user interface of the InControl Touch Pro system is designed to minimize driver distraction. Jaguar has also incorporated a secondary full-screen navigational display in the vehicle’s updated instrument cluster, improving line of sight driving and reducing the amount of time a driver needs to take his eyes off the road.

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The functionality of the navigation system is just as impressive. Maps stored on the 60GB solid-state drive of the InControl Touch Pro system can be accessed quicker than with conventional hard drives. Dead-reckoning functionality accurately determines the vehicle’s position even when GPS signals cannot be received. InControl Touch Pro enables door-to-door route planning and guidance, including public transportation options. A companion app allows drivers to plan their route offline and load it into the system at the start of the journey. Once the driver exits the car and the phone is disconnected from the vehicle, the app will continue to provide navigational directions, if need be, on the driver’s phone. A new Commute Mode has also been developed which learns the driver’s daily commute to and from the home or office and can automatically offer alternative routes to avoid congestion using historical and real-time traffic information. Approach Mode displays a 360-degree interactive view of the driver’s surroundings on the infotainment screen as they get to within 656ft (200m) of their destination, and can even direct the driver to the nearest available parking space.

Ford GT350R – it doesn’t sound bad

Check it out for yourself, preferably with the volume cranked way up

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Details Release

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It’s been anticipated for a long time, but the official details and pics of the 2016 Chevy Camaro have been released promising higher levels of performance, technology and refinement.

The Gen Six Camaro provides a faster, more nimble driving experience, enabled by an all-new, lighter architecture and a broader powertrain range. Six all-new powertrain combinations are offered, including a 2.0L Turbo, an all-new 3.6L V-6 and the LT1 6.2L V-8, which is SAE-certified at 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 455 lb-ft of torque (617 Nm) – for the most powerful Camaro SS ever. Each engine is available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission.

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To make it not only the best Camaro ever, but one of the best performance cars available, Chevrolet focused on three pillars of development:

Performance

  • Vehicle mass has been reduced by 200 pounds or more, depending on the model, creating a more nimble, responsive driving experience
  • Most efficient Camaro ever, with a new 2.0L turbo SAE-certified at 275 hp (205 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) – and delivers more than 30 mpg on the highway (GM-estimated), and 0-60 mph acceleration well under 6 seconds
  • Efficient performance in a new 3.6L V-6 featuring direct injection, continuously variable valve timing and – for the first time – Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), offering an SAE-certified 335 hp (250 kW) and 284 lb-ft of torque (385 Nm), for the highest specific output of any naturally aspirated V-6 in the segment
  • The most powerful Camaro SS ever, with a new 6.2L LT1 direct-injected Small Block V-8 rated at 455 hp (339 kW) and 455 lb-ft of torque (617 Nm) (as a note, this is pretty much straight from the Corvette!)
  • Magnetic Ride Control active suspension available on Camaro SS for the first time
  • With improved handling and performance, the Camaro SS delivers better lap times than the fifth-generation’s track-focused Camaro 1LE package.

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Technology

  • All-new Drive Mode Selector, which tailors up to eight vehicle attributes for four modes: Snow/Ice, Tour, Sport and – on SS models – Track settings
  • Segment-exclusive, Interior Spectrum Lighting that offers 24 different ambient lighting effects on the dash, door panels, and center console
  • High-definition, configurable color displays – including available dual, 8-inch-diagonal screens.

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Design

  • More athletic-looking, sculptured exterior that complements the tighter, leaner architecture – and offers all-new, modern lighting signatures, including light-emitting diode (LED) technology
  • Greater emphasis on customer personalization with wider range of choices, including 10 exterior colors, five interior color combinations, lighting options and a full complement of dealer-available accessories available at launch – including wheels, stripe packages and additional accessories
  • Aerodynamically optimized design that is the result of 350 hours of wind tunnel testing, reducing drag on LT models and improving downforce on SS
  • All-new, interior with shifter-focused center console, intuitive controls, flat-bottom steering wheel, and higher quality materials throughout
  • Unique control rings around the air vents used for temperature and fan speed adjustments, eliminating the need for conventional buttons

 

 

Ferrari 360 – First Drive (well mine, anyway)

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No, I haven’t gone and bought an aging Ferrari so that I can spend all of my free cash on repairs and upkeep to get the occasional blast around country lanes in. I was lucky enough to have the wife purchase a driving experience from the folks over at Exotic Drives of Denver which consisted of  a 45 minute blast around the back roads of the south side of Denver in a Ferrari 360 coupe.

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This was my first every experience driving a Ferrari, and to be honest, I was a little intimidated. There’s the usual performance car issue of “you must drive really slow and crab-like off any curb that is greater than 3mm tall”, as well as IT WAS A FERRARI!! So the first few miles consisted of me slowly becoming more comfortable, combined with the engine and transmission warming up, making for a more relaxed driver by the time we got to the fun roads.

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Obviously this was a street driving event, so although we did hit some bends and got a chance to at least push the suspension a little, there wasn’t any push it to the limit track cornering (that would have been fun but I’m not sure there’s too many Ferraris available for track rental in these parts). There was however plenty time to experience the fantastic sounds of the engine and exhaust, along with my favorite thing – finally getting to change gears with the famous open metal gate manual gearbox. Despite dreaming of the experience since I was about 5, the actual event didn’t disappoint, and the clacking of metal on metal as I went from gear to gear made me grin from ear to ear.

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If you live in the Denver region, and are interested in taking out the Ferrari for a spin (or a Gallardo or GT3 that they also have available), I’d definitely recommend Exotic Drives – great experience and great car – what’s not to like!