Archive for the ‘Future Rides’ Category

Let’s see now. On one hand we have the newly released Bentley Mulsanne. This German powered Royal weighs almost 6000 pounds and is moved around by a 6.75L twin turbo V8 which produces, get ready for this, an asphalt twisting 752 lbs of torque. To compare, the only production gas-powered vehicle on the planet that produces more torque is the top of the exotic range Bugatti Veyron. But wait, the Bentley still weighs 5984 pounds? Don’t worry. The Mulsanne will still power down the straits at the same speed as a Nissan 370Z, hitting 0-60 in just 4.9 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds. Not to shabby. That is, if you can afford the $330k plus price of admission.

So where does Hyundai come into play? Well, in case you were hiding in a nuclear fallout shelter, you have probably noticed that Hyundai has been stirring the auto market place with an excellent line of new, and what appear to be luxury, line of vehicles at Toyota prices. It all started with the Genesis sedan, which has quickly led to the Mercedes Benz looking Sonata. Now Hyundai has finally brought their flagship car, the Equus, all the way from Seoul to the streets of Santa Monica. On the street, the Equus has been confused as a new Mercedes and even a Maybach, all vehicles costing thousands more than the Hyundai. The reason for that is the Equus luxurious styling and impressive list of standard features that it’s more expensive rivals offer, only at a higher premium.

So the gang at Motor Trend decided to test drive the new Mulsanne and also bring the Equus along in the process. So, how does the $70k  Hyundai compare to it’s $330k counterpart? See the video below to find out.

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Many Americans still don’t realize how awesome the Ford Focus has been in Europe. From the highly successful WRC racer, to the street tuned ST and RS models, the Focus has earned a reputation of being one of the top sport compact cars in Europe, in addition to the rest of the automotive world, except the US of course. Well that’s all about to change.

You see, after Ford of America decided that all its models from around the world would share similar chassis and drivetrains, as opposed to market specific ones for Europe, Australia and North America, the US will finally get the Focus that everyone always wanted. That, boys and girls, would be the hot Ford Focus ST. The car you see here is a concept version, which, rumor has it, is extremely close to the production model that every global market, including the US, will have available as a 2012 model. The Ford Focus ST will compete with the likes of the Mazdaspeed3 and Volkswagen GTI under the ST badge and not the SVT moniker that was once expected.

So what’s so special about this latest Foci you ask? For starters, the body has been designed with a deeper front bumper with large air intakes, a gaping one-piece grille, wider side sills, a sizable spoiler above the rear tailgate, a unique rear bumper cover housing a pronounced central exhaust and signature five-arm, double-spoke alloy wheels. The interior consists of sport seats with body-colored inserts, deep-set main instruments, a trio of secondary dials for oil temperature, turbo boost pressure and battery charge, with carbon-fiber-look trim adorning the dashboard. The Ford Focus ST will be powered by a performance-oriented version of Ford’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine delivering 247 horsepower. This provides the Blue Oval’s latest hot hatchback with an increase of 25 hp over the current European ST, which uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder shared in a number of models by Volvo. A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard equipment, with power delivery being sent to the front wheels. Rumors are also flying that a sedan version is in the works as well.

I guess it’s only a matter of time before we see the young tuner crowd taking it to the Mustang with their modified Focus STs and we can’t wait.

The Boss 302 is back. And this time it looks more tuner car then ever before.

The 302 will be powered by the same new 5.0-liter V8, which now turns up 440 ponies(couldn’t help it) 28 more than the standard GT and 380 lb-feet of torque thanks to revised cams, new intake and a tweaked ECU.  A six-speed manual with a short shifter and your choice of the standard limited slip or an optional Torsen unit keep the power on the ground.  Pirelli Pzeros is the rubber of choice, with 255/40ZR19s for the front, 285/25ZR19 out back.

The new Boss sounds more muscular than ever. Ford put the new Stang on an 11 pound diet by removing additional sound dampening and put side pipes with “attenuation discs” that can be removed for additional noise. Definitely something we’re not use to seeing from the factory.

A new front splitter from the Boss 302R and a unique deck-lid spoiler set this Mustang apart. But the most eye-catching features have to be the new color scheme. It looks like something ready for SEMA then the actual street, with a retro Jordan edition paint pattern to boot. But like all the other new Mustangs, this one is sure to sell like hotcakes.

Infiniti recently announced the creation of their performance division dubbed IPL. In the same fashion as Mercedes AMG or BMW’s M division, IPL will be a performance line of existing models sold by Infitini. The first model is scheduled to go on sale this December as the IPL G Coupe.

Here what we know about the new IPL G Coupe. It will be powered by a retuned VQ series V6 that will push 348 HP and 270 lbs of torque, which employes a recalibrated ECU and a new high-flow dual-exhaust system. Steering has been retuned as well, in addition to new revised dampers, sport brakes with aluminum alloy opposed calipers and a viscous limited-slip differential.

The exterior features new front and rear bumpers, side skirts, rear spoiler and IPL badges throughout. The new wheels are a split seven spoke design, which seems to be popping up on every manufacturer now since Mazda made this design popular on their RX8. Bridgestone Potenza RE50A performance tires are the rubber of choice.

The IPL G Coupe will also come with standard  Bose premium audio system, Infiniti hard drive navigation system, 9.3GB music hard drive, Infiniti voice recognition for audio navigation, memory system for the driver seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, rearview monitor, rear sonar and moonroof. In addition, the interior comes with red-stitched leather-appointed front sport seats with manual thigh extension and driver’s power torso and thigh support adjustment, a red-stitched steering wheel, Silk Obi aluminum trim and aluminum pedals.

Now, I know what your probably asking. How can Infinit sell this as a performance line when this IPL G Coupe only has 18 more HP then a standard G37 when the M3 has over 100 more HP then a standard 3 Series twin turbo model? I asked myself the same thing. IPL seems to be more of an Type S line, which Acura offered in the past, then an M or AMG division performance vehicle. Still, it seems that the price wont be raised as much as any M car either, which is a good thing for enthusiasts. Especially since no one would pay an M3 price for an Infiniti that doesn’t come close in performance.

The funny thing about all this IPL this, performance that announcement, is that the best performing Nissan is not an Infiniti at all. It is, in fact, a lowly Nissan if you will. And it’s called, you guessed it, the Nissan GT-R. Why haven’t they made the Infiniti version of it? Perhaps we’ll never know.

Toyota recently reconfirmed that their future entry sports coupe, codenamed FT-86, is still on schedule to arrive sometime in 2011 as a 2012 model. This is good news for those anticipating the low-budget model, especially with all the rumors of the vehicle being delayed to 2012 or even the 2013 model year. What you didn’t know, but makes perfect sense, is that now Toyota is considering releasing it under the Scion brand. Considering the popularity of Scion with the tuner market, not to mention the fact that there are 2 RWD Scion TCs currently in the Formula D drift series, marketing it under the brand will hand it to a crowd of enthusiasts that are hungry to customize their vehicles, which is exactly who Toyota should be aiming for. The TC itself, while not as potent as the Civic Si in terms of stock power, has huge aftermarket support and we can’t expect nothing less from a RWD cousin.

So now the wait just continues. We’ll keep you updated as more news hits us Stateside.

So, do you want the Sedan….

or the Hatch?

That is the choice that for some reason the heads at Subaru decided to give us for the 2011 model year. The US Spec STi will get the same 2.5l Flat 4 Cyl, still producing 305HP and 290 lbs of torque. But that’s where the similarities between 2010 and 2011 car end.

The front and rear spring rates are increased 16 percent and 53 percent, while antiroll bars are increased to 21mm front and 19mm rear, each 1mm larger than in the 2010 WRX STI. Ride height has also been lowered by 5mm, which looks even more dramatic with the new exterior styling that makes the 2011 STi look a lot lower to the ground then it actually is.

Some editors are calling this the best handling Subaru ever. Something that has always been an advantage for Mitsubishi’s Evo, with it’s magical AWD system. Subaru engineers choose to tuned the suspension, rather than their AWD, to increase the cornering potential of the new STi. (Check the new STi on the Nurburgring on the site)

This is where things get a bit tricky for the hopeful buyer. You can have your choice of a new 2011 STi Sedan starting at $34,700 or the Hatch model for $36,720. Why the premium for the Hatch model you say, which even has the same engine? Well the Sedan has new, lighter Enkei wheels compared to the 2010 model. However, the Hatch now comes standard with Forged BBS wheels, which were a $2k option the for the 2010 model.

Now since you might want those BBS wheels anyway, the issue still remains. To Sedan and or to Hatch?

That is the Question.

Every year the mighty Nissan GT-R has received minor updates. From the advanced, but moody transmission being updated, to launch control being eliminated, to a bump of 5 ponies in the HP department. Now Nissan is testing not just the base GT-R, but also the Spec V model that is not available in the USA. Indications appears that there will be a performance gain in the new model year( or so we hope) and we’re eager to see what the wizards at Nissan have in store for the everyday supercar. Front and rear diffusers are clearly receiving updates. Normally the larger the air dams are increased would indicate a bump in power. Still, even if the GT-R is untouched, you can still play cat and mouse with just about anything with four wheels on the road, regardless of the price.