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Archive for the ‘car tuning’ Category

PostHeaderIcon You Can Probably Guess What The World’s Best Selling Sports Car Was In 2016

If people were asked to guess what the best-selling sports car in the world is, there’s a good chance that the answers would have as much variety to them as the number of colors in a Skittles pack. The Mazda MX-5 is a good answer. The same goes for the Porsche 911, and at least for new models, the BMW 4 Series. All three models have proven to be popular among buyers all over the world, but none of them can lay claim to being the best-selling sports car in the world. That title now belongs to a certain muscle car from Dearborn, the Ford Mustang.

It seems to strange to think that it took this long for the Mustang to ascend to being the best-selling sports car in the world considering that it’s been around since 1964. But the current-generation Mustang has done the car’s legacy right because according to IHS Markit new vehicle registration data, over 150,000 Mustangs were sold all over the world in 2016. That figure represented a six percent increase from its 2015 sales figures. Equally impressive is the Mustang’s sales volume internationally where sales literally doubled in 2016 to 45,000 units. The significant increase is largely tied to the muscle car’s growing popularity in China where sales of the ‘Stang grew by an impressive 74 percent from its 2015 numbers. Other countries like Germany also saw increased demand for the car while new markets like Bonaire, Gibraltar, and New Caledonia all contributed in driving up the car’s sales volume.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Mazda MX-5 by BBR Motorsport

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is considered one of the most popular sports cars in the business, regardless of segment. The Miata’s popularity has lasted for almost three decades and the recent release of the fourth-generation MX-5 shows that its status in the business is showing no signs of abating. In fact, the MX-5 is so popular that British tuner BBR has made a good business out of developing and building aftermarket programs for the Japanese sports car since its inception in 1989. Fast forward to 2017 and BBR is at it again with a new kit for the MX-5 that helps the roadster attain power levels in the neighborhood of 248 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque.

Before those figures get lost in the scope of BBR’s tuning kit, consider that the tuner actually presented a similar program for the MX-5 not too long ago. Yep, back in September 2016, the British tuner unveiled two programs for the roadster: the Super 200 and the Super 200+. That “+” meant it peaked with an output of 214 ponies and 183 pound-feet of twist. It certainly didn’t take BBR long to outdo what it did only seven months ago, but the best thing about this new kit is that it may not be the last one that BBR has up its sleeve as far as the MX-5 Miata is concerned. This program does, after all, come with a “Stage 1” level so expect higher stages to come in the coming months.


PostHeaderIcon Fiat 500 Abarth Ares by Pogea Racing

The Fiat 500 Abarth is a cute little ride, isn’t it? It certainly looks the part of one, but being cute and cuddly isn’t the only thing appealing about the 500. It’s also understatedly customizable, which is why we’ve seen so many special edition iterations of the car, not to mention tuning programs from some of the best tuners in the business. Pogea Racing counts itself in the latter group, and it has a real doozy of a kit for the 500 that gives the subcompact hatchback an output of 405 horsepower and 328 pound-feet of torque. Seems fitting then that Pogea Racing has dubbed this creation as “Ares,” after the Greek god of war. This Fiat 500 Abarth is ready to rumble with the best of them.

The program has more than just a fancy name and ridiculous power at its disposal. It also has an extensive menu of carbon fiber parts for the exterior, a well-dressed interior that brings some life to the hatchback’s cabin, and suspension upgrades to help the car’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder handle all that extra power.

The bad news is that this isn’t a program that Pogea Racing is producing in big quantities. On the contrary, the tuner only plans to build five such 500 Ares models and the cost of building one doesn’t come cheap. The upgrades to the engine alone cost more than the car itself so you can imagine what the whole thing will fetch for, donor car and all.

Then again, a 405-horsepower Fiat 500 Abarth doesn’t come cheap, nor should it.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon When An 840-Horsepower Dodge Challenger Demon Is A Letdown, Hennessey Is Here To The Rescue

The massive hype and anticipation surrounding the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon reached a crescendo when the muscle car was officially unveiled at the 2017 New York Auto Show. For all intents and purposes, the Challenger SRT Demon lived up to the hype, that is if you thought its 840-horsepower met expectations. But some people, myself included, actually thought Dodge would’ve swung for the fences with a car that packed 1,000 horsepower. In that regard, the Demon was a bit of a letdown, that is until we heard news that American tuner extraordinaire Hennessey is making things right with a package for the muscle car that will turn the beast into the demonic 1,500-horsepower monster we thought it would be.

See, news of Hennessey’s intentions for the Demon shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know what the tuner is capable of. This is, after all, the same company that makes a routine of developing massive aftermarket kits for America’s biggest and baddest muscle cars. It’s got kits for different iterations of the Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang, and Chevrolet Camaro, all of which peak at four-digit power outputs. It even has programs for models like the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford F-150, and lest we forget, this is the same company that gave the world the Hennessey Venom GT, considered as the fastest production car in the world as long as you’re not talking to Bugatti.

So what sinister intentions does Hennessey have in store for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon? A quick peek at the company’s website reveals a number of tuning programs for the muscle car that include power increases ranging from 1,000 horsepower to 1,500 horsepower. Other upgrades in store from the clinically insane tuner include new supercharger systems, new headers, parachutes(!), and an NHRA-legal roll cage for good measure.

Should Hennessey accomplish its intended goal for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, it’s going to go a long way in firmly establishing the muscle car as the standard-bearer of its segment. Not that it is already, but c’mon, 1,500 horsepower is 1,500 horsepower.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon When An 840-Horsepower Dodge Challenger Demon Is A Letdown, Hennessey Is Here To The Rescue

The massive hype and anticipation surrounding the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon reached a crescendo when the muscle car was officially unveiled at the 2017 New York Auto Show. For all intents and purposes, the Challenger SRT Demon lived up to the hype, that is if you thought its 840-horsepower met expectations. But some people, myself included, actually thought Dodge would’ve swung for the fences with a car that packed 1,000 horsepower. In that regard, the Demon was a bit of a letdown, that is until we heard news that American tuner extraordinaire Hennessey is making things right with a package for the muscle car that will turn the beast into the demonic 1,500-horsepower monster we thought it would be.

See, news of Hennessey’s intentions for the Demon shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who know what the tuner is capable of. This is, after all, the same company that makes a routine of developing massive aftermarket kits for America’s biggest and baddest muscle cars. It’s got kits for different iterations of the Dodge Charger, Ford Mustang, and Chevrolet Camaro, all of which peak at four-digit power outputs. It even has programs for models like the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford F-150, and lest we forget, this is the same company that gave the world the Hennessey Venom GT, considered as the fastest production car in the world as long as you’re not talking to Bugatti.

So what sinister intentions does Hennessey have in store for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon? A quick peek at the company’s website reveals a number of tuning programs for the muscle car that include power increases ranging from 1,000 horsepower to 1,500 horsepower. Other upgrades in store from the clinically insane tuner include new supercharger systems, new headers, parachutes(!), and an NHRA-legal roll cage for good measure.

Should Hennessey accomplish its intended goal for the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, it’s going to go a long way in firmly establishing the muscle car as the standard-bearer of its segment. Not that it is already, but c’mon, 1,500 horsepower is 1,500 horsepower.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon BMW M4 by G-Power

Just when it seemed like the aftermarket rush for all things BMW M4 was dying down, we’re once again reminded exactly how popular the performance coupe is in the eyes of the tuning world. Yes, there’s a new tuning program available for the M4 and, in case you’re wondering about its capabilities, the German tuner is promising loads of extra juice and power to the tune of 670 horses and 560 pound-feet of torque, more than what G-Power had at its disposal with its previous kit for the same model.

This is what you get when you let a tuner like G-Power stay in the shed longer than it probably had any business of being in. It’s not just about the extra power either, although to be clear, those numbers do scream top-shelf tuning quality. It’s also about rounding out the M4’s aesthetic and handling qualities, two things we also know G-Power is adept at if you give it space and freedom to work its magic on a program.

The visuals on this program are eye-catching, to say the least, especially those 21-inch Hurricane RR forged wheels whose bleeding orange color blends into the coupe’s own body color, creating a creamsicle-like treatment that’s definitely not for the weak of heart. Let’s also not forget about the mechanical nips and tucks received by the M4, most of which are presumably done to give the coupe a more rounded driving experience, something that should come as great value for a car now packing just shy of 700 ponies under its hood.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW M4 by G-Power.


PostHeaderIcon Look Out Demons, The Exorcist is Coming!

Talk about the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is dominating the interwebz these days thanks to Dodge’s long roll-out and weekly teasers. The ultra-high performance drag car is set to break records for a production car thanks to incredible engineering and pacifist corporate bean-counters. But the Demon may have met its match. The Texas performance house, Hennessey, just debuted a highly tuned 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with 1,000 horsepower, drag slicks, and the most appropriate name ever crafted for a car. Meet The Exorcist!

That’s right, The Exorcist. Hennessey CEO and president John Hennessey says it will “leave the competition’s head spinning.” Clearly referencing pop culture, John is keenly aware what his Camaro is going up against. The Dodge Demon is rumored to have between 750 and 800 horsepower matched with 315-series, DOT-approved drag radial tires, an intercooler chilled by A/C refrigerant, Drag Mode, and several other never-before-seen performance parts on a production car.

Of course, the Hennessey Exorcist can’t claim its stock straight from General Motors. Quite the opposite, in fact, thanks to Hennessey’s installation of a larger supercharger and intercooler system, a more serious camshaft, long-tube headers, a high-flow air induction system, and a custom engine management calibration for the ECU.

Hennessey is claiming 1,000 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 966 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 from the Camaro ZL1’s 6.2-liter LT4 V-8. Testing by Hennessey shows the car hitting 60 mph in “under three seconds,” while the quarter-mile happens in “less than 10 seconds.” Official times have not been announced.

And while The Exorcist is not a factory option, Camaro customers can order the Hennessey upgrade through their local Chevy dealership. The parts and service come with a two-year/24,000-mile warranty. Customers can choose either the six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic version.

As for pricing, you’ll have to keep reading. Hennessey is offering several options, and we explain it all below.

Continue reading to learn more about The Exorcist.


PostHeaderIcon Ferrari 488 Spider 4XX Siracusa by Mansory

There are tuners who are best known for their visual stylings while there are others who are recognized for the power upgrades they offer. Then there’s a tuner like Mansory, which blends all of these elements together to create programs like the one it gave to the new Ferrari 488 Spider. The kit itself is called “4XX Siracusa,” and those who routinely follow the aftermarket tuning scene will know that Mansory has used this name before, previously on the Ferrari 458 Italia back in 2011 and most recently on the Ferrari 488 GTB. Now it’s the 488 Spider’s turn and, as expected, there’s a lot going on here, including power gains that elevate the car’s output to within 800 horsepower.

In a lot of ways, this is to be expected considering that this is Mansory we’re talking about. The German tuner has routinely prepared some of the most polarizing programs in the business. For the most part, Mansory’s offerings are hit or miss, but whether we like them or not, there’s no denying that they’re all worth talking about, for better or worse.

Take this 4XX Siracusa kit for the 488 Spider as an example. Technically, the upgrades themselves are similar to the ones the 488 GTB received last year, right down to the split rear spoiler. But there is difference in how the upgrades react to the body style of the supercar, which is why we’re here to talk about it.

No matter which side of the fence you’re on regarding Mansory, the tuner always incites discussion, which in itself makes it worth talking about. This new Siracusa program for the Ferrari 488 Spider is a pretty good example of that.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ferrari 488 Spider 4XX Siracusa by Mansory.


PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 Turbo S GTStreet R by TechArt

The business of tuning Porsche sports cars is a big one. It can also be an expensive one depending on where you go. Still, Porsche owners, particularly those who have the 911, have shown little hesitation in giving their sports cars these programs, partly because of the need to unlock the car’s full potential and partly because, well, they can. One tuner that has proven its worth in this regard is TechArt, the same German aftermarket company that recently gave us this beauty of a tuning kit for the Porsche 718 Cayman. Seems fitting then that with that upgrade comes another one for the 911, and it’s one that most of us are all too familiar with. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the new Porsche 911 Turbo S GTStreet R by TechArt.

The GTStreet program goes back a long way with some of the earliest iterations developed for previous-generation 911 models. This new one, though, is for the incumbent model, the same 911 Turbo S that tuning rival Gemballa used to develop its own new version of the Avalanche program. In a lot of ways, there are some shared similarities between what Gemballa’s Avalanche program is offering to that of TechArt’s GTStreet R kit. There’s the obvious power enhancement, which in the case of the latter, can go up to as much as 720 horsepower. There’s the unmistakable aerodynamic kit, which, as you can see in the photos, is as audacious as it is mesmerizing.

Best of all, there’s the unmistakable attention-to-detail that only a tuner like TechArt can provide. The company, after all, made its bones developing aftermarket kits for Porsche models and this new GTStreet R program is just the latest example of that peerless drive to be the best in its market.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 Turbo S GTStreet R by TechArt.


PostHeaderIcon A Tuning Company has Managed to Get more than 600 Ponies out of the Giulia Quadrifoglio

The addition of computers into computers has made it increasingly easy for manufacturers to control an engine’s power output. Most of the time, manufacturers keep engine tunes toned down for reliability and longevity, but other times the same process is used to tone down the engine in one trim while allowing it to be more powerful in another – one prime example of this is the Infiniti Q50 3.0t and the Q50 Red Sport 400. Both use the same 3.0-liter, but the Red Sport 400 delivers an extra 100 ponies. Well, tuning firm Pogea Racing GmbH has unlocked the potential of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and managed to squeeze out a staggering 604 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. That’s an increase of 94 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of pavement-chewing torque.

The best part is that the tuning firm managed to do so without adding on any aftermarket parts – it’s all computer tuning. There’s no word as to reliability issues down the road, but some express concern for the increased output per liter from the 2.9-liter V-6 that motivates this Italian beauty. In stock form, that 2.9-liter manages to pump out 174 horsepower per liter, but with the engine putting out 208 horsepower per liter, there could be a strain on internal components, as they may not have been designed to accommodate quite so much power.

The tuning firm seems to be confident that it could produce as much as 690 horsepower with tuning, but in the Instagram post announcing the 604-pony tune, it said that the 604 horsepower and 553 pound-foot output seems to be the limit of the car’s hardware. That means that going any higher would likely require a reworking of the engine heads and lower end, and could potentially be rough on the transmission as well. Either way, one of the hashtags included with the post were #700pssoon (700ps s about 690 ponies), so it’s quite possible the tuning firm will eventually add in some reworked internal components. If so, who knows how much power the 2.9-liter could make if built with strong enough components.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 Avalanche By Gemballa

It’s been a while since we last heard from Gemballa, but like most tuners who’ve been around for as long as Gemballa has, these prolonged times out of the spotlight often lead to something worth waiting for. And so, the German tuner took its time to release its new program, but now here it is, the latest iteration of the Avalanche program that Gemballa has been building since 1985 for the Porsche 911. Gemballa’s extended experience with the 911 has yielded impressive results in the past, so it’s not at all surprising to see the latest member of that lineage come with plenty of aftermarket features, including power gains for the current-generation 911 amounting to an impressive 820 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque. And that’s just the start of it because, well, it’s Gemballa.

True, the company has had some issues in the past, but none of those controversies has stopped it from being one of the best Porsche tuners in the business. That’s been the case then, and it continues to be the case with this new Avalanche program. You only need to take a look at the finished product to see how sophisticated this new program is. It has a rear wing and a rear spoiler, the exhausts look like jet turbines, and there’s even a GT-style fin at the back. How often do you see a Porsche 911 carrying a fin that big?

There’s obviously more this new Avalanche program than meets the eye. Most of the components on the exterior are more than just cosmetic upgrades. Even the interior has been dramatically altered, albeit for reasons that I’m going to expound on later. And let’s not forget about those massive 21-inch gold wheels. They’re a little tricky to pair on a car given their ostentatious look, but Gemballa makes it work, largely because of the aggressive aerodynamic bits that help jolt some intensity into the iconic Porsche nameplate.

In keeping with the tradition of its past programs, Gemballa’s new Avalanche kit for the Porsche 911 isn’t for the weak of bank accounts. But if anybody decides to make this rather extravagant splurge, it’s coming with a reworked Porsche 911 that borders on automotive insanity.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Porsche 911 Avalanche by Gemballa


PostHeaderIcon Maserati Levante by Mansory

To say that the Geneva Motor Show was busy would be a hilarious understatement. Really, have your heads stopped spinning now? So many things happened at the world’s biggest auto show that it’s hard to comprehend the sheer volume of debuts we saw in the last few days. That’s especially true in the aftermarket scene where some of the biggest tuners in the business were out in droves, presenting the latest programs for some of the most premium cars in the market today.

Take Mansory for example. The tuner is a regular staple in Geneva, and this year, it brought with it a total of six project cars, including this insane Maserati Levante that not only screams attention, but in large part, demands it too. And why wouldn’t it? After all, this is one of the first programs available for the premium SUV, and it packs a load of new features, including power upgrades amounting to decent gains of 465 horsepower for the Levante S. That adds 35 ponies to the SUV’s standard output of 430 horsepower.

Okay, so it’s not as mind-blowing of a power increase as some of Mansory’s other projects. But the tuner more than makes up for it with extensive upgrades in other areas of the Levante, including a rather preposterously aggressive wide body kit provides more than just the usual visual enhancements of like-minded programs before it. Interior upgrades are also a highlight of the program, that is if customers prefer the kind of bombastic updates that the tuner is known for.

All told, Mansory’s program for the Levante SUV may not be for everyone, but for those who like their kits hot with extra servings of spice, this kit is going to get your attention in more ways than one.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Maserati Levante by Mansory.


PostHeaderIcon Maserati Levante by Startech

This time last year, Maserati was preparing to unveil the Levante SUV at the Geneva Motor Show. Not only was it a signal of the Italian automaker’s intentions to go all-in on the premium SUV market, but it also marked a big move to expand its own lineup past the usual coupes and sedans that it was offering. Fast forward to this week and the Maserati Levante is once again headed to Geneva, although this time, it’s German tuner Starch that’s bringing the SUV with it to the biggest auto show in the world.

The Brabus-owned aftermarket firm is no stranger to these types of events since it’s been a regular fixture in Geneva over the past few years. But that was then, and this is now. And as far as “now” goes, the Levante is taking center stage at the Startech booth where it will be showcased in full aftermarket regalia, complete with a new body kit, a massive set of wheels, and the promise of interior and engine upgrades, both of which will come at a later date.

So yes, it’s technically an incomplete program, but don’t take that against Startech. If anything, the strategy to showcase just a part of the full Levante tuning experience can be seen as a way to build up the kit ahead of when the interior amenities and the power and performance boosts are ready to be unveiled. That’s certainly one of way looking at it and for what it’s worth – literally and figuratively – the aerodynamic body kit Startech prepared for the Levante does warrant a place in Geneva.

Now if only the tuner had a definite timetable and when the interior and performance upgrades will arrive…

Continue after the jump to read more about the Maserati Levante by Startech


PostHeaderIcon Tuners Are Showing Up In Droves In Geneva

It’s firmly established the Geneva Motor Show is the biggest auto show in the world. Everybody, be it big titans, upstart automakers, or design houses, have a presence in the show, and that includes aftermarket tuning companies, a lot of whom are showing off their latest wares in the show. It’s no different this year as a parade of specialists are in attendance. So before we dive deep into talking about each and every tuning program debuting in Geneva, let’s first take a deep breath and run through all of them, or at least those that we know of at this point in time.

I’m not going to even bother counting all the tuners because there are a lot of them. Geneva staples like Mansory, Brabus, and Hamann are all part of the show. Same thing with companies like AC Schnitzer, ABT Sportsline, G-Power, and a host of others.

Each and every one of them has a new product – or in some cases, products – to showcase to the throngs of attendees of the show and it’s only proper to take one big look at what we’re in store for.

Remember that reviews for these tuning programs will arrive soon, but for now, let’s take a stroll at what we can expect to see from these tuning firms once the 2017 Geneva Motor Show opens its doors, well, tomorrow, Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Let’s get to it then.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Tuners Are Showing Up In Droves In Geneva

It’s firmly established the Geneva Motor Show is the biggest auto show in the world. Everybody, be it big titans, upstart automakers, or design houses, have a presence in the show, and that includes aftermarket tuning companies, a lot of whom are showing off their latest wares in the show. It’s no different this year as a parade of specialists are in attendance. So before we dive deep into talking about each and every tuning program debuting in Geneva, let’s first take a deep breath and run through all of them, or at least those that we know of at this point in time.

I’m not going to even bother counting all the tuners because there are a lot of them. Geneva staples like Mansory, Brabus, and Hamann are all part of the show. Same thing with companies like AC Schnitzer, ABT Sportsline, G-Power, and a host of others.

Each and every one of them has a new product – or in some cases, products – to showcase to the throngs of attendees of the show and it’s only proper to take one big look at what we’re in store for.

Remember that reviews for these tuning programs will arrive soon, but for now, let’s take a stroll at what we can expect to see from these tuning firms once the 2017 Geneva Motor Show opens its doors, well, tomorrow, Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Let’s get to it then.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Audi R8 V10 By ABT Sportsline

For all of the warts the Audi R8 V10 has – limited storage and ridiculously high price tag, and others – the German supercar has proven to be one of the best all-around performance machines in the market today. It’s got a true sports car look to it and that screaming V-10 engine makes sweet, sweet music to the ears. It’s also become an aftermarket favorite, which speaks to the versatility of the car to stand on its own, while also having enough room for modifications of aesthetic and performance varieties. The R8’s appeal to the tuning industry is evident by the number of programs it has received. And at least one of them will be making an appearance at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Audi R8 V10 by ABT Sportsline and in the tradition of previous programs for the German supercar, this kit comes packing with gobbles and gobbles of features, including a performance upgrade that nets an output of 630 horsepower, 20 ponies more than its standard counterpart.

More power, less weight. That, in a nutshell, is the German tuner’s objective with its R8 program is simple. There’s something to be said for four simple words to mean so much more than the sum of their parts, but that’s exactly what we’re dealing with here. The kit, when described individually by their parts, isn’t going to blow anybody’s expectations out of the water. But all together, they help create a version of the R8 V10 that’s well worth the attention it will no doubt receive, not only in Geneva, but in all roads where they’re spotted.

That’s a lot of praise going to ABT Sportsline for its new tuning program for the Audi R8 V10, but for a company that’s been around for 120 years in some form or fashion, it’s hard to expect anything less.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi R8 V10 by ABT Sportsline


PostHeaderIcon Fiat 124 Spider Europa

The Fiat 124 Spider may be a new car on the surface, having first been introduced at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. But there’s more to the lightweight two-door roadster than what meets the eye. For instance, the 124 Spider may consider the Mazda MX-5 Miata as a direct rival, but the two so-called competitors have more in common than people think, including the fact that they share the same underpinnings. Here’s another surprising fact about the 124 Spider: it wasn’t supposed to exist. Yep, the framework that led to the development of the 124 Spider was supposed to be for an Alfa Romeo roadster. But FCA, owners of both Fiat and Alfa Romeo, ultimately decided to give it to the Fiat. And so, the Fiat 124 Spider was born.

Today, the 124 Spider has been a busy sports car for Fiat. It’s been featured numerous times in various special edition variants. That now includes two versions of the car that will be on hand at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. One of those models is the Abarth 124 Spider Scorpione, which our colleague Jonathan Lopez featured a few days ago. The other is this one: the Fiat 124 Spider Europa.

Developed to celebrate the launch of the original, Pininfarina-designed 124 Spider that swept many enthusiasts off their feet back in 1981, the 124 Spider Europa gets its fair share of unique features, not the least of which is a body finish that Fiat describes as the “ultimate color that identifies Italian sporty two-seaters.” The special edition roadster also gets components from Mopar and a slew of exclusive touches that have been thrown in to highlight the car’s celebratory special edition status.

All these items add up to create an impressive two-door roadster that does its predecessor and its legacy proud.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Fiat 124 Spider Europa


PostHeaderIcon Audi TT RS-R by ABT Sportsline

The story of the Audi TT RS dates back to 2009 when it was conceived to serve as the range-topping variant of the automaker’s family of TT sports cars. Eight years and a generation change later, the TT RS remains as the embodiment of Audi performance mixed in with an affordable price tag. Yes, there’s the R8 supercar now too, but those bad boys easily fetch six figures in base form. The TT, for all intents and purposes, has served as Audi’s everyman sports car, and the TT RS is becoming the most desirable of the lot.

It’s only fitting, then, that just months after the new-generation Audi TT RS officially made its debut at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, the first in what will inevitably end up being a long list of tuning programs for the sports car will make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. This program, which is dubbed the TT RS-R, comes by way of ABT Sportsline, who you may know for its laundry list of available tuning kits for models wearing the four rings badge.

The German tuner knows its Audis the same way LeBron James knows basketball, so it’s no surprise that it’s initial offering for the TT RS comes with a load of upgrades. But none are more important than power gains to the car’s new 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, which bring power to 500 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.

The power gains are impressive, but seeing as this is ABT Sportsline we’re talking about here, there’s more to this TT RS program than raunchy power and neck-straining performance. Exterior upgrades are available, and they are aplenty. Same thing with updates on the interior, which count as a lot considering that all the work put into that section was taken cared of by ABT Individual, the tuner’s very own in-house personalization division.

Sadly, there is a caveat to ABT’s TT RS-R, and that’s quantity. The tuner, for one reason or another, decided to build only 50 examples of the program, making it that much more exclusive and a lot harder to get. The good news is that according to ABT, individual components of the program are available for conversions. So if you don’t get the full TT RS-R experience, there are other ways to get, well, some parts of it.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi TT RS-R by ABT Sportsline


PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Daytona 500 Pace Car

The 2017 Daytona 500 has now come and gone, but the essence of the Chevy Camaro ZL1 pace car is still resonating after being driven by none other than Jeff Gordon, who has won the Daytona 500 in 1997, 1999, and 2005. There were a total of three pace cars on site, for the Daytona 500, all of which shared the same graphics. Based on the latest Camaro ZL1 design, each model was practically bone stock, save for the special graphics and Whelen LED safety lighting system. But, the ZL1 is a pretty special car in the Camaro lineup, so that’s okay – I mean, who can argue with a 6.2-liter, LT4, V-8 that’s paired with a new 10-speed automatic and magnetic ride control? Surely, the pace car was an absolute blast to drive around the track even if Gordon didn’t get all up in the action.

Can you imagine how hard it must have been not to just jump on it and take over Daytona? The new ZL1 is the most powerful, factory-built Camaro to date and it’s certainly ready to play with the big boys. But, there’s also something to be said for a man that has that kind of self-control, as I’m sure none of us here at TopSpeed could have restrained all that much. Anyway, let’s take a better look at the pace car and talk a little more about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Daytona 500 Pace Car.


PostHeaderIcon BMW M240i ACL2S by AC Schnitzer

Noted BMW tuner AC Schnitzer has been in the tuning game for three decades and the company is preparing a special edition package to commemorate its 30th anniversary. And it’s only fitting with the 2017 Geneva Motor Show just around the corner. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the ACL2S, an evolved version of the ACL2 Concept the tuner showcased at last year’s Geneva show. Befitting its status as a legitimate anniversary piece, the ACL2S will not only be limited to just 30 units, but just as important, it was developed to encompass the tuner’s storied history as the quintessential tuning shop for all models wearing the BMW badge.

There’s a lot to piece through here, but it is quite obvious from the photos that AC Schnitzer has another winner on its hands. Not that people need to be convinced of that, but for those who are curious to know why the ACL2S is as good a celebratory special edition as there is in the market today, evidence can be found under the M240i’s hood where Bimmer’s new 3.0-liter straight-six B58 engine resides. Even with a few extra cc’s and a slightly larger turbocharger, the German tuner still put in the work to get the output up to 400 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Don’t look now, but those numbers actually slot comfortably between the BMW M2 and the BMW M4.

Beyond the impressive power gains, the ACL2S is also defined by extensive upgrades on the car’s exterior and interior, all of which come with the full scope of AC Schnitzer’s patented aftermarket expertise.

The attractive 30th-anniversary special edition M240i will no doubt turn some heads when it makes its official debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. From there, it should be a mad dash to scoop up one of the 30 units that AC Schnitzer is going to make available to the public.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


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