Countless hours of development, design and construction. Exacting details wrought in boardboardrooms and wind tunnels. Exotic materials, experimental engine designs, hand crafted bodies. The goal?
Simple. Make the fastest car in the world.
But even if a designer or firm achieves that goal, they don’t necessarily have a winner on their hands. Even when the facts and figures support one supercar design over another, intangibles often decide which one will be a success.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some superlative automobiles over a few decades and see how fate played out.
It should come as no surprise that some of the most iconic automobile designs have interesting associations in their geneses. Where those associations come from, though, can sometimes be surprising, as companies leapfrog the globe trying to find the talent, technical expertise, and productive capacity to build a new or unique model.
These stories seem to pop up more often when there’s a shift in a company’s priorities or an attempted to redefine its direction or mission. Large organizations can be slow to adjust to these changes, and so often these major manufacturers turned to small teams to produce what have often become standout models from already legendary lineups.
Often, but not always, as we see in this montage of odd couples.
Rival automakers salivating at the thought of snapping up a castoff from Volkswagen’s brand portfolio will have to sit and wait.
Amid grim fourth-quarter financial data and ongoing expenses linked to the diesel emissions scandal, the company is standing by its assets, but admits they might have to jettison some if unexpected expenses crop up. (Read More…)
That’s the sound of a sad trombone playing.
Dodgy offshore tax havens get a lot of press lately, but what about mass movements of capital to friendlier shores that hide in plain sight? The New York Times has a heartbreaking story today of young Chinese adults in Vancouver, Canada who just can’t figure out what to do with all that cash their fathers earned.
They do know one thing it’s good for: obscene quantities of ultra-high-end cars.
The Environmental Protection Agency is pointing at its watch and glaring at Volkswagen.
That, an opening for the Swedes, an electric propulsion prediction, a high-end guy gets a new job, and Tesla gets targeted in Hoosierville … after the break!
Newly promoted, high-priced executives at Mazda seem to think there’s something to this crossover fad.
That, Hyundai’s landed a Benjamin Button to lead Genesis and I wish I would have known how cheap I could have purchased an F1 team … after the break.
We’re currently going through a period where conventional sedans and sports cars are losing favor with consumers relative to higher-riding SUVs and crossovers. That’s true from entry level brands to the top shelf. Ultra luxury and exotic car companies have noticed the kind of success that Porsche has had with the Cayenne and just about all the high end companies — with the exception of McLaren and Ferrari — are working on some kind of utility vehicles.
Lamborghini showed the Urus concept in 2012 and earlier this year said they’d be doubling the capacity at their Sant’Agata, Italy factory to put a SUV into production, starting in 2017. Bentley, like Lamborghini a part of the Volkswagen group, is coming out with the dubiously styled Bentayga, whose platform will be shared by the Lambo SUV and new generations of the Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne.
The Urus, or whatever Lamborghini decides to call it, however, won’t be the first SUV to wear the Lamborghini brand. (Read More…)
Bentley’s upcoming SUV, dubbed Bentayga, may be shown here in all its 1:18-scale glory in leaked photos released by CarNewsChina.com.
If the photos — reportedly from a Chinese toy company — resemble the final figure for the luxury automaker’s SUV, which is partially based on architecture from Audi’s Q7, that is exactly what a Bentley SUV should look like. It’s like the automaker rolled Silly Putty on a Flying Spur and pulled it from the top and the back.
The SUV is slated to go on sale in 2017 and will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
A short time ago, I left you with my impressions of the Porsche 911 GT3. Even now, I am still in love with that car (Tiffany…call me). However, love is blind and everyone’s a critic.
Just after the publication of that piece, I got a text from a buddy who published an outstanding review on the Lamborghini Huracán. It simply declared “No way a GT3 can keep up with a Huracán.” Well my limited resources were never going to make that track test happen, but I do have access to a pair of Huracáns…
So, why not see what the hype is about?
Volkswagen Group is reorganizing itself into a decentralized organization with four holding companies to better handle high production costs.
My 25-plus years as a Big Time Auto Industry Executive afforded me many memorable moments. It would be difficult to single out one example, but I may be the only person on earth who has shaken hands with both Soichiro Honda and Derek Kreindler.
As for the low point of my career, there is no contest: the morning of May 7, 1998, four months after I joined Mercedes-Benz Credit Corporation. That was the day it was announced Daimler-Benz had merged with the Chrysler Corporation.
It’s official: Lamborghini is entering the high-end luxury SUV game with a model set to hit showrooms by 2018.
This edition of While You Were Sleeping offers up a bit more than usual. Instead of just overnight, we are going to try to cover as many topics from over the long weekend as possible with additional commentary.
Here we go!
Aston Martin is entering the high-end luxury SUV/crossover game, while Lamborghini is still debating whether or not the LM002 needs a successor.