If you missed your chance getting into a limited edition Ford GT supercar last week, your EcoBoost-powered dreams might not be over.
The auto show press conference is a strange phenomenon. More often than not, it’s an executive from a foreign land, reading what is likely his third or fourth language from an obvious teleprompter, getting ready to introduce a car that we’ve all already seen at a “preveal” party. He’s typically using words like “social media,” “lifestyle,” and “aspirational,” all to describe a car that will likely sell less than twenty thousand units — if it even makes it to market.
The speeches are full of safe, non-threatening language, and normally take place in front of screens that rotate stock photos of happy multicultural families enjoying life on sunny, non-homogeneous days. The music is more Wagner than Bach, with thunderous bass and drums booming through speaker systems that even The Darkness might look at and say, “That’s a bit excessive.” And then, finally, a wall lifts and a car appears through a screen of smoke to thunderous applause from a press corps that can’t wait to rewrite the embargo materials already in their collective inbox.
So when Masahiro Moro, President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, calmly stood next to his gorgeous new creation last week, with little fanfare or adulation, and said these words in while standing front of a black wall, accompanied only by the silence of the room, I believe he did it purposefully. Here’s what he said:
“Other companies have become quite successful by not caring if their cars are boring or not.”
Mic drop. And you know what? Moro-san is absolutely right.
The rich are different. They have nicer things. – Leonard Schreiber, DVM
I try to avoid superlatives unless the object of said superlatives is, well, truly superlative. In this case, however, they may be applied without reservation. The McLaren 675LT is an extraordinary car, with performance capabilities exceeded by fewer than a handful of very limited production vehicles. Perhaps what makes it most extraordinary, though, is just how well it performs as an ordinary car.
Guidelines for the new Australian V8 Supercar series outline specifications for its new cars, including an option to use smaller engines for the manufacturers who compete.
According to the racing series, the new platform “allows more flexibility in terms of body style and engine configuration, provided they comply with the regulations. The V8 engine, which has been mandated for more than 20 years, is also expected to continue as the dominant power plant of the sport.”
The guidelines allow for 4-, 6- or 8-cylinder engines, as long as they meet power specifications. The plans also call for a minimum noise limit of 85 to 95 dB. Take that, Bernie.
Mercedes-Benz keeps moving their high-end sports cars down market just as the company keeps making their high-end sports cars more attractive. The SLR McLaren was absurd in more ways than one, and it took a couple of vehicular lifetimes for Mercedes-Benz to rid themselves of all the copies they built.
The SLS AMG, on the other hand, was a bold yet tasteful maneuver into a more reasonable supercar sector, where prices are closer to $200K than $400K, and if by reasonable we mean the domain of Ferraris with eight, rather than twelve, cylinders.
The new AMG GT, on the other hand, has an advertised base price of $129,900, just ten grand more than the new S-Class Coupe and some $21,000 below the price of a Porsche 911 Turbo. Two different AMG variants of Mercedes-Benz’s own SL-Class have significantly more costly points of entry.
Not surprisingly, then, Mercedes-Benz sold more copies of the AMG GT in its first month on sale in the United States than the SLS AMG ever managed at any point in its tenure. (Read More…)
This headline is as true as any other you’ve read over the past few days.
Bugatti reportedly sold the last Veyron, a car which will be displayed at the Geneva auto show in March, to a customer in the Middle East.
Volkswagen-owned Bugatti’s 450-unit production run comes to a close after nearly a decade of delivering cars to customers. Although the cars routinely sold for more than $2M, Bloomberg referenced Singapore-based analyst Max Warburton who believes VW lost €4.6M per car, more than USD $5M.
Unlike the detailed sales reports we see each month from Volkswagen of America’s namesake brand, Veyron-specific numbers were never formally reported. Automotive News reports that approximately one-quarter, or 113, of the Bugatti Veyrons produced ended up in the United States. (Read More…)
Photos of the BMW i8 have appeared to emerge online prior to the hybrid sports car’s debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
Aston Martin’s Kuwaiti owners are apparently looking to unload their majority stake in the English sports car maker, but proceedings have been slow to due Investment Dar Co.’s desire to recoup their $800 million purchase price.