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Fitting Adapter NPT 1/8" Female Metric M12X1.5 Male Replace auto meter 2277 _5P
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ATM-3211 Auto Meter Light Bulb & Socket 2 1/16" & 2 5/8" Gauges 4.9 Watts No.168
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MOTORCYCLE AND AUTO VALVE LAPPING COMPOUND 600 GRIT
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ZAMP - FSA-3 SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet - HANS Ready - Snell Rated - Full Face +
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AlpineStars 3550317 Aramid Auto Racing Gloves, XL, Navy Blue/White/Red
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MYLaps Auto Transponder AMB
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NOS Hypertech 689011 Power Module engine tuning chip 1989 Mustang 302 HO w/ auto
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4oz Lucas Oil Protective Auto Engine Assembly Lube For Bearings Cams Valve Train
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ZAMP - FSA-3 SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet - HANS Ready - Snell Rated - Full Face +
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Archive for the ‘convertible’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Breaking: BMW 8 Series Leaks With an Ugly Rear End

We’ve seen too many spy shots of the upcoming 8 Series for its exterior design to be a mystery, but some important details were still hidden under wraps. And needless to say, the concept car looked way to aggressive for a production model. The flagship coupe is still a few months away from going public, but we can already have a look at its design thanks to a batch of photos that just surfaced the Interwebz. The 8 Series shown in Bimmer Post’s leak is white, camo-free, and confirms that the new coupe will be just a slightly fancied-up 6 Series.


Breaking: BMW 8 Series Leaks With an Ugly Rear End - image 756772
“The rear end is indeed unique thanks to its long and slim headlamps, the massive license plate recess in the bumper, and the black trim around the diffuser-like element”

Its front fascia is far from surprising. We’re looking at the same design cues seen on most current Bimmers, especially the slim, angular headlamps and the three-piece intake in the bumper. The grille is the only feature that’s slightly different, being wider and having sharp outer edges, but we’ve seen that too on some of the brand’s concept cars. The long hood and the roof seem similar to the outgoing 6 Series in terms of shape size, so the 8 Series is far from being a full-sized competitor for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.

The rear end is indeed unique thanks to its long and slim headlamps, the massive license plate recess in the bumper, and the black trim around the diffuser-like element. But it’s still ugly. Okay, it’s not as ugly as the Bangle-era 6 Series, but that massive recess makes the rear fascia look unfinished. Seriously now, maybe BMW forgot to add something in that area?

The 8 Series will probably make its public debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show so make sure you stick around for updates.

References

BMW 8 Series


2019 BMW M8 - image 718202

Read our full speculative re view on the 2019 BMW 8 Series.


2017 BMW 8 Series Concept - image 717998

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 8 Series Concept.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering

Minor exterior improvements include

Launched back in 2008, the X-Bow (pronounced “crossbow”) is KTM’s only automobile to date. In 2015, the Austrian firm introduced the GT4, a closed cockpit version of the X-Bow built in cooperation with Reiter Engineering, one of Germany’s most important racing teams. Considered to be a pioneer vehicle of the GT4 category, the X-Bow GT4 has scored numerous victories and titles in the GT4 European Series, Pirelli World Challenge, VLN, China GT, Thailand Superseries, and Australian GT in less than four years. Come 2018 and KTM is updating the race car for the upcoming motorsport season.

While exterior changes are rather mild and the cabin carries over unchanged, save for a few new techy bits, the X-Bow GT4 boasts many new features under the skin. There is a new transmission and some new chassis components, all designed to increase performance, increase mileage, and reduce running costs. “Although we already have a GT4 vehicle that offers one of the best values for money – just take a look at the VLN where there’s no other car that runs faster lap times for less money – we want to further reduce the costs for the teams and the drivers with these updates,” said Reiter Engineering boss Hans Reiter.

So what’s new for 2018? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the KTM X-Bow GT4.

What makes the KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering special

  • Revised aerodynamics
  • New front splitter
  • Carbon-fiber interior
  • New control panel
  • GT3-spec Motorsport Traction Control
  • LMP-style headrest
  • 2.0-liter Audi engine
  • 360 horsepower
  • New Holinger transmission
  • Motec M142 engine control unit
  • Lower running costs

2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering - image 754540
“The race car sports the same aggressive design with angular lines and canopy-style roof”

At first glance, the revised X-Bow GT4 is identical to the previous model, launched in 2015. The race car sports the same aggressive design with angular lines, the canopy-style roof, and the big wing atop the decklid. But there are a few design changes to talk about upon closer inspection. For starters, the carbon-fiber splitter is now rounder. The grille under the nose has a different configuration too, with the the posts sitting at an angle on each side of the revised radiator mesh.

We can see minor changes around the side pods and redesigned wheels but other than that, nothing has changed around the sides. Upgrades to the rear fascia are also mild but the rear wing is now narrower toward the top. KTM doesn’t say how this change affects aerodynamics but it should decrease aerodynamic drag and improve handling.


2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering - image 754538
“The X-Bow GT4 now has a new user-friendly control panel with a Motorsport Traction Control system”

The story is pretty much the same inside the cabin, with only mild modifications applied to the original cockpit. Almost every panel is made from carbon-fiber and there’s little room for more than the basic racing gear. The steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara and features no fewer than 10 buttons, while the remaining controls are placed on the narrow center console. But while the layout was carried over unchanged, the X-Bow GT4 now has a new user-friendly control panel that gives the driver access to the new Motorsport Traction Control system borrowed from GT3 racing. Finally, the driver’s seat benefits from an LMP-style headrest.

Under the hood, the X-Bow GT4 continues with the Audi-sourced, 2.0-liter engine that’s offered in all KTM models. The turbocharged unit cranks out 360 horsepower, a hefty amount for a vehicle that tips the scales at only 2,200 pounds. The unit mates to a brand-new transmission made by Holinger and designed to handle up to 700 Nm (516 pound-feet) of torque. The new transmission is also more durable, with KTM claiming it can withstand 10,000 km (6,214 miles) of race track action. That’s double the mileage of the previous gearbox.


2018 KTM X-Bow GT4 by Reiter Engineering - image 754537
“The unit mates to a brand-new transmission made by Holinger”

There’s also a new Motec M142 engine control unit, which replaces the previous Series ECU, and a complete motorsport cable harness with electronic fuse box. KTM says that the mileage of the chassis components, such as the wishbones or the GT3 central locking wheel hubs, has been increased to 20,000 km (12,427 miles).

All these upgrades are supposed to push the running costs of the X-Bow GT4 down to €3.90 per km (about $7.36 per mile). This means that a lap around the Red Bull Ring and Brands Hatch, two popular venues in GT4 European Series, would cost around €16.8 and €15.2, respectively. Of course, once you add up the many laps that make up a full race, costs can increase to more than €2,000 per event, but this is pretty reasonable in the expensive world of motor racing.

Speaking of costs, the X-Bow GT4 is priced at €152,360. Only 15 units will be built by the end of Spring 2018, but production for February is already sold out, so there might not be many examples left.

References

KTM X-Box


2015 KTM X-Bow GT4 - image 616272

Read our full review on the 2015 KTM X-Bow GT4.


KTM X-Bow
- image 148438

Read our full review on the 2008 KTM X-Bow.

PostHeaderIcon Audi R8 to Get the Axe in 2020

It’s been only two months since Audi discontinued the all-electric Audi R8 e-Tron, after only a couple of years on the market, and word has it that the gasoline-powered supercar is also scheduled to get the ax soon. A new report claims that Audi isn’t happy with the supercar’s slow sales and that it’s not planning to develop a replacement for the current model. This means that the R8 will be phased out in 2020, an event that will put an end to Audi’s only supercar to date after 14 years.


Audi R8 to Get the Axe in 2020 - image 619666
“The R8 has yet to make a name for itself as a full-fledged supercar, and even though it was popular in its first years on the market, interest has decreased significantly in recent years”

That’s the word from Automobile, which claims to have information about the Audi Sport’s immediate future. While the performance division is looking to expand with new versions of the RS4 and RS5, as well as an RS Q8 SUV with underpinnings from the Lamborghini Urus, there won’t be an R8 beyond 2018. The outlet doesn’t into much detail but says that the new Lamborghini Huracan will no longer share its engine and chassis with the R8 because there won’t be a new Audi-badged supercar due to slow sales.

The second-generation R8 is only two years old, having been introduced in 2015. Unlike its predecessor, the new model came with a V-10 engine only (shared with the Huracan), while the entry-level V-8 was dropped from the lineup. Two V-12 versions are offered, one that’s as powerful as the Huracan (R8 V10 Plus) at 610 horsepower and 413 pound-feet and the base model with 540 horses and 398 pound-feet. Alongside the regular R8, Audi also launched an all-electric e-Tron version and a rear-wheel-driven variant.


Audi R8 to Get the Axe in 2020 - image 670361
“Is a bit surprising that Audi doesn't even want to create a successor.”

If this rumor proves to be true, it will be far from surprising. The R8 has yet to make a name for itself as a full-fledged supercar, and even though it was popular in its first years on the market, interest has decreased significantly in recent years. On the other hand, it is a bit surprising that Audi doesn’t even want to create a successor. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Germans have given up on this segment, but we probably won’t see a similar vehicle in the near future.

The bigger issue here is that the Audi R8 spawned quite a popular and successful race car. The R8 LMS is the number one choice for privateers in many GT3, and GT4 categories and its disappearance will probably leave a few gearheads disappointed. It wouldn’t be completely weird for Audi to keep the race car alive, but it remains to be seen if such a move is financially feasible without a road car.

References

Audi R8


2017 - 2018 Audi R8 - image 420832

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8.


2017 - 2018 Audi R8 Spyder - image 670350

Read our full review on the 2017 Audi R8 Spyder.


maker logos - image 744956

Read more Audi news.

PostHeaderIcon Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop

The Ferrari Testarossa is regarded as one of the most iconic cars of the 1980’s. But as popular as the two-door Berlinetta was, Ferrari actually made just one convertible version. That model was specially created as a gift by Ferrari for the late Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat at the time. There are a handful of other drop-top Testarossas in existence today, but all of them are custom-built, including this black beauty that was built specifically for Michael Jackson’s now iconic 1987 Pepsi commercial.


Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop - image 753920
“The provenance of this creation is unlike any other custom Testarossa Convertible”

If you’re going to own a custom-built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible, I can’t think of another one that you should own more than this particular example. The provenance of this creation is unlike any other custom Testarossa Convertible. Jackson may not have owned it at any point in his life, but he did use it in the famous four-part Pepsi commercial that saw MJ try to escape a horde of screaming fans. The Testarossa Convertible doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but it did make an impression, especially when Jackson uses it to escape the mass hysteria that was chasing him.

Outside of its appearance in the Pepsi ads, the black Testarossa Convertible also has a unique history of its own. According to its lineage, it was built by a custom tuning company in California at a cost of $40,000. Remember, this was in the 1980’s, a time when $40,000 was almost half of what an actual Testarossa cost — it was priced from $94,000 — when it was introduced around the same time.


Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop - image 753916
“So the car itself wasn’t cheap to build, but if you have $799,900 lying around today, you can buy it and make it a part of your personal collection”

So the car itself wasn’t cheap to build, but if you have $799,900 lying around today, you can buy it and make it a part of your personal collection. For that amount, you get one of the most unique custom-built Ferrari Testarossa convertible units in history. It does have 17,000 miles on its odometer so it’s been used quite heavily in the course of its 31-year life. Still, when’s the next time you’ll get to see a Testarossa convertible that has Michael Jackson’s provenance attached to it.

The answer? Never. This is the only one that has it.

References

Ferrari Testarossa


1968 Ferrari Testarossa Spider - image 655410

Read our full review on the 1968 Ferrari Testarossa.

PostHeaderIcon Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop

The Ferrari Testarossa is regarded as one of the most iconic cars of the 1980’s. But as popular as the two-door Berlinetta was, Ferrari actually made just one convertible version. That model was specially created as a gift by Ferrari for the late Gianni Agnelli, the head of Fiat at the time. There are a handful of other drop-top Testarossas in existence today, but all of them are custom-built, including this black beauty that was built specifically for Michael Jackson’s now iconic 1987 Pepsi commercial.


Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop - image 753920
“The provenance of this creation is unlike any other custom Testarossa Convertible”

If you’re going to own a custom-built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible, I can’t think of another one that you should own more than this particular example. The provenance of this creation is unlike any other custom Testarossa Convertible. Jackson may not have owned it at any point in his life, but he did use it in the famous four-part Pepsi commercial that saw MJ try to escape a horde of screaming fans. The Testarossa Convertible doesn’t get a lot of screen time, but it did make an impression, especially when Jackson uses it to escape the mass hysteria that was chasing him.

Outside of its appearance in the Pepsi ads, the black Testarossa Convertible also has a unique history of its own. According to its lineage, it was built by a custom tuning company in California at a cost of $40,000. Remember, this was in the 1980’s, a time when $40,000 was almost half of what an actual Testarossa cost — it was priced from $94,000 — when it was introduced around the same time.


Custom-Built Ferrari Testarossa Convertible Has A History With The King of Pop - image 753916
“So the car itself wasn’t cheap to build, but if you have $799,900 lying around today, you can buy it and make it a part of your personal collection”

So the car itself wasn’t cheap to build, but if you have $799,900 lying around today, you can buy it and make it a part of your personal collection. For that amount, you get one of the most unique custom-built Ferrari Testarossa convertible units in history. It does have 17,000 miles on its odometer so it’s been used quite heavily in the course of its 31-year life. Still, when’s the next time you’ll get to see a Testarossa convertible that has Michael Jackson’s provenance attached to it.

The answer? Never. This is the only one that has it.

References

Ferrari Testarossa


1968 Ferrari Testarossa Spider - image 655410

Read our full review on the 1968 Ferrari Testarossa.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color

The current Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t old. In fact, it just debuted for the 2016 model year. Well, Mazda isn’t letting the icon age without change. The retractable fastback option came in 2017, and now for 2018, the standard MX-5 gets a few key updates.

New body and top colors bring fresh life while new interior leather options come to the range-topping Grand Touring trim. Mazda’s design team wasn’t the only ones to work their magic. The engineers retuned the rear suspension and power steering, likely matching the changes given to the Miata RF in 2017.

Owners of the performance-minded Club model can now get the Brembo/BBS Package, which comes with several items including – you guessed it – Brembo brakes and BBS wheels. The Club also now has upgraded 17-inch wheels, a better Bose sound system, and heated cloth seats for those chilly nighttime drives with the top down. And last but not least, the base Sport model now comes standard with the Mazda Connect infotainment system with the 7.0-inch display.

Continue reading for more information.

Color Updates


2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614551
“The new body colors include Eternal Blue Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Soul Red Crystal”

Mazda isn’t changing the Miata’s sheet metal, but rather giving customers more choices in paint color and soft top color. The new body colors include Eternal Blue Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Soul Red Crystal. That sweet Machine Gray Metallic found on the Miata RF can now be had on the convertible, too. Color options for the tops now include that beautiful Dark Cherry. Subjectively, the Dark Cherry looks amazing when paired with the Machine Gray body color.

Inside, Mazda is has expanded the availability of the Nappa leather seats in the Auburn color to the Grand Touring. Before, only the Launch Edition came with that interior combination.

The MX-5 Club trim now has the option of heated cloth seats with red contrast stitching. Club models that opt for the Brembo/BBS Package also come standard with heated black leather seats. Those wanting more of a track-ready machine can get Recaro sport seats with the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package.

Of course, Mazda won’t just give you these new body colors or offer the Auburn Nappa leather for free. Here is how the prices break down:

Option Cost
Auburn Nappa Leather $300
Soul Red Crystal $595
Machine Gray Metallic $300
Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200

Brembo/BBS Package


Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color - image 753895
“The front Brembo brakes are said to provide better heat resistance for track day duty”

A returning option for the 2018 MX-5 Club is the Brembo/BBS Package. As the name suggests, this is a big brake package with BBS wheels. The front Brembo brakes are said to provide better heat resistance for track day duty, though Mazda did not mention any better braking performance or a size increase in the brakes themselves. Those BBS wheels are multi-spoke, gunmetal gray 17-inch alloys. Like before, the Brembo/BBS Package adds exterior aerodynamic features like side sill extensions and a rear bumper skirt.

New to the 2018 MX-5 is the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package. Heated Recaro sport seats replace the heated leather seats that come with the standard Brembo/BBS Package. Those who frequently track their MX-5 should find the seats more appropriate for the task.

On-Sale Date


Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color - image 753894

The updated 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata will begin arriving in showrooms January 2018.
Prices start at $25,295, which is a $380 increase over the 2017 model.

6-Speed Manual Transmission 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
MX-5 Sport $25,295 $26,645
MX-5 Club $29,155 $29,755
• Club Brembo/BBS Package (6MT Only) $3,770
• Club Brembo/BBS RECARO Package (6MT Only) $4,470
MX-5 Grand Touring $30,195 $31,270

References

Mazda MX-5


2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614529

Read our full review on the 2016 Mazda MX-5.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color

The current Mazda MX-5 Miata isn’t old. In fact, it just debuted for the 2016 model year. Well, Mazda isn’t letting the icon age without change. The retractable fastback option came in 2017, and now for 2018, the standard MX-5 gets a few key updates.

New body and top colors bring fresh life while new interior leather options come to the range-topping Grand Touring trim. Mazda’s design team wasn’t the only ones to work their magic. The engineers retuned the rear suspension and power steering, likely matching the changes given to the Miata RF in 2017.

Owners of the performance-minded Club model can now get the Brembo/BBS Package, which comes with several items including – you guessed it – Brembo brakes and BBS wheels. The Club also now has upgraded 17-inch wheels, a better Bose sound system, and heated cloth seats for those chilly nighttime drives with the top down. And last but not least, the base Sport model now comes standard with the Mazda Connect infotainment system with the 7.0-inch display.

Continue reading for more information.

Color Updates


2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614551
“The new body colors include Eternal Blue Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Soul Red Crystal”

Mazda isn’t changing the Miata’s sheet metal, but rather giving customers more choices in paint color and soft top color. The new body colors include Eternal Blue Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, and Soul Red Crystal. That sweet Machine Gray Metallic found on the Miata RF can now be had on the convertible, too. Color options for the tops now include that beautiful Dark Cherry. Subjectively, the Dark Cherry looks amazing when paired with the Machine Gray body color.

Inside, Mazda is has expanded the availability of the Nappa leather seats in the Auburn color to the Grand Touring. Before, only the Launch Edition came with that interior combination.

The MX-5 Club trim now has the option of heated cloth seats with red contrast stitching. Club models that opt for the Brembo/BBS Package also come standard with heated black leather seats. Those wanting more of a track-ready machine can get Recaro sport seats with the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package.

Of course, Mazda won’t just give you these new body colors or offer the Auburn Nappa leather for free. Here is how the prices break down:

Option Cost
Auburn Nappa Leather $300
Soul Red Crystal $595
Machine Gray Metallic $300
Snowflake White Pearl Mica $200

Brembo/BBS Package


Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color - image 753895
“The front Brembo brakes are said to provide better heat resistance for track day duty”

A returning option for the 2018 MX-5 Club is the Brembo/BBS Package. As the name suggests, this is a big brake package with BBS wheels. The front Brembo brakes are said to provide better heat resistance for track day duty, though Mazda did not mention any better braking performance or a size increase in the brakes themselves. Those BBS wheels are multi-spoke, gunmetal gray 17-inch alloys. Like before, the Brembo/BBS Package adds exterior aerodynamic features like side sill extensions and a rear bumper skirt.

New to the 2018 MX-5 is the Brembo/BBS Recaro Package. Heated Recaro sport seats replace the heated leather seats that come with the standard Brembo/BBS Package. Those who frequently track their MX-5 should find the seats more appropriate for the task.

On-Sale Date


Mazda Updates the MX-5 For 2018; Adds Dark Cherry Soft Top Color - image 753894

The updated 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata will begin arriving in showrooms January 2018.
Prices start at $25,295, which is a $380 increase over the 2017 model.

6-Speed Manual Transmission 6-Speed Automatic Transmission
MX-5 Sport $25,295 $26,645
MX-5 Club $29,155 $29,755
• Club Brembo/BBS Package (6MT Only) $3,770
• Club Brembo/BBS RECARO Package (6MT Only) $4,470
MX-5 Grand Touring $30,195 $31,270

References

Mazda MX-5


2016 Mazda MX-5 - image 614529

Read our full review on the 2016 Mazda MX-5.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet – Quick Drive

Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet

The Florida air finally fell below 70 degrees as November closed out. The crispness isn’t common in these parts, though convertibles are a dime a dozen. Perhaps just as rare as the cool breeze – at least until sales escalate to full-force – is the all-new 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet. This is Mercedes’ newest E-Class drop-top and it closely impersonates the new-for-2017 E-Class sedan. The car looks like a baby S-Class and drives like one, too. It’s also dead quiet inside with its thickly insulated soft top in place. But quiet isn’t fun; I held the switch up as the blue canvas quickly tucked itself away ahead of the trunk. Push another button and wind deflectors behind the rear seats and atop the windshield deploy to keep the wood-trimmed cabin a bit more serene. More buttons heat the leather-trimmed seats and even sends warm air across my neck from the vented headrest Mercedes calls its AirScarf. I welcomed the 55-degree night with open arms, an open top, and blast down the Interstate.

Aside from its exceptionally warm heated seats and lovely AirScarf system, the new E-Class Cabriolet makes an impressive cruiser. Its new chassis is rock-solid and the optional “Air Body Control” suspension are a well-made match. The same is true for the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 and the nine-speed automatic transmission. Smoothness and poise are major themes here. Sadly, I only had a few days with the E400. I could have easily spent the next few years smelling the fragranced HVAC system and cutting through the night with the wind through my hair.

Continue reading for more on the 2018 E400 Cabriolet.

Exterior

  • All new design for 2018
  • Triple-layered Acoustic soft top
  • Available AMG Line styling package
  • Soft-close doors
  • Power-deployable air deflectors

2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747387
“The new 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet is, by all accounts, a seductively attractive machine”

The new 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet is, by all accounts, a seductively attractive machine. Especially when coated in the $720 Iridium Silver Metallic paint with the $500 AMG Line 19-inch wheels, the Benz looks as if it’s cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway and Rodeo Drive at the same time – even if it’s sitting still. Sharp creases juxtapose soft lines and rounded arches to compile a beautifully proportioned convertible, making the E400 looks stunning regardless of whether its soft top is retracted or latched tight.

Speaking of the top, my tester came with the blue option. Black, brown, and red are options. A dark blue top might not be a conventional color choice, but combined with the silver paint, the blue hue makes for a great statement piece. Chrome around the windowsills, the grille, and long the E400’s rear help brighten things up.

The E400’s aggressive stance is definitely aided by the $2,500 AMG Line package. Not only does it add those 19-inch wheels available for purchase at $500, it also adds the AMG-style front fascia with larger intakes, the chrome grille inserts, and the more aggressive rear valance with chrome-tipped dual exhaust tips and air diffuser. Without the AMG Line, the E400 looks too soft, in my opinion.


2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747390

Exterior Dimensions

Exterior E-Class Cabriolet
Vehicle length (Inches) 190.0
Vehicle width (Inches) 73.2
Vehicle height (Inches) 56.2
Wheelbase (Inches) 113.1
Track width, front (Inches) 63.3
Track width, rear (Inches) 63.5

Interior

  • Styled after the S-Class
  • Available nautical themed interior colors
  • Heated, vented, & massaging front seats
  • AirScarf system blows warm air at neck
  • Twin 12.3-inch displays
  • LED accent lighting with 64 color choices

2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747377
“The E400 hardly drives like a boat, but my tester’s exterior and interior color combination sure have a nautical theme”

The E400 hardly drives like a boat, but my tester’s exterior and interior color combination sure have a nautical theme. The interior is draped in Macchiato Beige and Yacht Blue Leather accented by Natural Grain Light Brown Elm Wood trim. And by the names of those color options, it’s clear Mercedes planned the nautical theme.

Blue isn’t exactly the most popular color for automotive interiors, but after sitting in the E400 for 10 seconds, it’s a shame the color combination isn’t seen more. The light beige color of the seats mixes surprisingly well with the Elm Wood trim and chrome accents. Add in the blue, and the three-part theme comes together like a Holy Trinity of seafaring goodness.


2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747379
“Mercedes did a fantastic job with comfort, luxury, and convenience features”

As usual, Mercedes did a fantastic job with comfort, luxury, and convenience features. The seats have more power-operated surfaces than the wing of a Boeing 777, while offering three-level heating and ventilation, customizable massaging, and that nifty AirScarf system that direct warm air at the neck. Combined with the intensely warm heated seats, the E400 makes for a great cool-weather cruiser. The only curiously absent feature is a heated steering wheel. It’s a stand-alone option.

Part of the 2018 E-Class Cabriolet’s newness is its longer wheelbase. This directly correlates to more space for rear-seat passengers. Most 2+2 convertibles have barely usable rear seats, but those in the E400 are impressively comfortable. Front seat passengers barely need to scoot forward to accommodate full-size adults. Rear passengers also enjoy their own air vents, heated seats, and window controls.

Of course, the front occupants are treated like royalty. The level of craftsmanship and attention to detail is extremely impressive. The S-Class-like dashboard holds two, 12.3-inch screens – one for the gauge cluster and the other for the Command infotainment system. Both screens allow for customized views of information. Several viewing options are integrated into the gauge cluster with differing layouts for ground and engine speed.


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“The Command infotainment system is controlled via Mercedes’ hand controller on the center console”

The Command infotainment system is controlled via Mercedes’ hand controller on the center console. The rotary dial twists for scrolling, while pushing down confirms selections. Selections can also be made on the trackpad above the dial. The adjacent controls operate the drive modes, the raised suspension setting, camera system, and automatic start/stop defeat. The rotary and mouse-like controls have a small learning curve, but once mastered, they work logically and efficiently.

Mercedes makes opening the convertible top an eventful process. Separate metal buttons just behind the Command controls operate the top, wind deflectors, and one-touch window controls. The deflectors worked amazingly at routing air above the open cabin, regardless of speed, making an open-air ride far more tolerable for those with long hair. And on the topic of controls, Mercedes’ location of the power seat controls is spectacular. Not only is it logical and perfectly in view, the finely crafted controls look like a million bucks and compliment the Burmester speaker grills, along with the other chrome accents, perfectly.


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“The 550-watt system pumps rich, clear sound through nine channels, two digital amplifiers, and 13 speakers placed throughout the cabin”

The speaker grills aren’t the only beautiful thing about the Burmester Surround Sound System. The 550-watt system pumps rich, clear sound through nine channels, two digital amplifiers, and 13 speakers placed throughout the cabin. Even with the top down and running at Interstate speeds, music comes through exceptionally well. Naturally, the Benz has every modern method for music connection. There’s AM, FM, and SiriusXM, along with Bluetooth an AUX input, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Other handy features include wireless phone charging, several USB ports, touch-sensitive steering wheel controls, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and Mercedes’ interesting Magic Vision Control, which involves special wiper blades lined with jets for the windshield wiper fluid to squirt directly ahead of the wipers’ path. This allows windshield cleaning without overspray into the cabin.


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Interior Dimensions

Interior E-Class Cabriolet
Effective rear legroom (Inches) 34.09
Max. front/rear headroom (Inches) 40.70/36.41
Front/rear shoulder room (Inches) 56.06/48.34
Front/rear elbow room (Inches) 58.74/51.49

Drivetrain

  • 3.0-liter biturbo V-6
  • 329 horsepower & 354 pound-feet of torque
  • Nine-speed automatic transmission
  • 4Matic AWD
  • Air Body Control air suspension
  • 0-to-60 mph in 5.3 seconds
  • Top speed governed at 128 mph

2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747382
“The 2018 E400 Cabriolet is powered by a 3.0-liter biturbo V-6 making 329 horsepower between 5,250 and 6,000 rpm and 354 pound-feet of torque”

Mercedes only offers one engine and transmission choice with the 2018 E400 Cabriolet. Customers can choose between rear-wheel drive and the 4Matic all-wheel drive, however.
That engine is a 3.0-liter biturbo V-6 making 329 horsepower between 5,250 and 6,000 rpm and 354 pound-feet of torque impressively spanning from 1,600 to 4,000 rpm.

Backing the all-aluminum, direct-injected V-6 is Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox allows for manual control via the paddle shifters. Shifting between park, reverse, neutral, and drive is done via a stalk mounted on the right side of the steering column.


2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747383
“The E400 Cabriolet isn’t a lightweight car, tipping the scales at 4,300 pounds with a 55/45 percent weight distribution”

The E400 Cabriolet isn’t a lightweight car, tipping the scales at 4,300 pounds with a 55/45 percent weight distribution, but it needs only 5.3 seconds to hit 60 mph. Opting for rear-wheel drive results in a slightly slower time of 5.5 seconds, according to Mercedes. Top speed is governed at 128 mph.

As a result of its weight, power, and number of drive wheels, the E400 Cabriolet 4Matic is EPA-estimated to get 20 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 22 mpg combined. Of course, premium gasoline is required. While the mileage and octane requirements aren’t great, nobody buying an $80,000+ convertible is worried about fuel prices. Conversely, the Benz offers an impressive range of 500 miles thanks to its large tank.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.0-liter V-6
Horsepower 329 HP @ 5,250-6,000 RPM
Torque 354 LB-FT @ 3,500-5,250 RPM
Transmission 9G- TRONIC nine-speed automatic
Acceleration 0–60 mph 5.3 seconds
Top speed 128 mph
Fuel economy city/highway/combined 20/25/22

Behind The Wheel


2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747380
“The E400 feels like a rolling mansion sliding across a sea of puffy clouds that’s floating across the sky of ostentatious overabundance”

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet 4Matic isn’t basic transportation. It also doesn’t feel like “mid-size” coupe, as the EPA says it is. Rather, the E400 feels like a rolling mansion sliding across a sea of puffy clouds that’s floating across the sky of ostentatious overabundance. The richly detailed and comfortable cabin suggest the E400’s price tag is somehow undercharging. That feeling is exponentially increased when the sun goes down. LED interior accent lights allow for a nearly limitless range of color options and several levels of intensity. The in-dash fragrance atomizer pumps your choice of perfumes through the HVAC system from a backlit vile secured in the glove box. Mercedes offers several scents for its Air Balance system, as well.

Drop the top, rise the air deflectors and windows, and the E400 transforms from a quiet and ultra plush coupe to a topless expression of freedom that’s no less luxurious or comfortable. The car’s ambiance is indescribably classy.


2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747385
“When it comes down to driving, the E400 feels more like that mansion than a crisp performance machine – and that’s just fine”

When it comes down to driving, the E400 feels more like that mansion than a crisp performance machine – and that’s just fine. The E400 isn’t designed as such. Mercedes-AMG has several options for those wanting lap times over luxury. Still, the E400 isn’t terrible by any means. The chassis is extremely solid, exhibiting zero noticeable body flex with the top down. The steering is properly weighted but is adjustable with the drive modes. The brakes and throttle do exactly what’s expected of them with no delay or hesitation.

Outward visibility is decently good with the top raised, though the side mirrors on somewhat small. Blind spot monitoring helps boost confidence with lane changes. Drop the top and the world opens up, leaving only the windshield structure between you and the outside world.

The 3.0-liter twin-turbo is adequately powerful with no real lack of kick. However, the car doesn’t feel exceptionally potent. Its 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque are just enough. Adding 70 horsepower and 50 pound-feet of torque would do wonders for the E400’s straight-line performance. Then again, this isn’t an AMG.

My tester came equipped with the Air Body Control suspension – an air ride system that adjusts to road conditions in real time. In practice, the system completely eliminated the rumble of a washboard section of road near my house. Very few of my test vehicles are able to do that.


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“Overall, the E400 provides an exceptionally rich driving experience”

Overall, the E400 provides an exceptionally rich driving experience. Its large infotainment screens, brightly colored accent lights, and breadth of seat controls make for a ride I won’t soon forget.

Pricing


2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747386

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet starts at $66,300. For that, you get a rear-drive convertible with the same 3.0-liter V-6 making the same 329 horsepower, but riding on dull-looking 18-inch wheels and with much fewer tech features than found on my loaded-out tester. Even the gauge cluster is analog at this level.

Move to the 4Matic version and the price moves to $68,800. Of course, the optional extras and packages are where the costs start adding up. My tester had over $18,000 worth of options. They ranged from extra-cost paint and larger wheels to the $9,350 Premium 3 Package, which adds most of the extra luxury features. Mercedes also charges $995 for the destination. That’s not a bad deal considering the E400 is built in Germany.

My tester’s grand total came to $87,215.

Competition

2018 BMW 640i xDrive


2016 BMW 6 Series Convertible - image 585412

The 640i is BMW’s answer to the Mercedes E400. They both compete neck and neck, offering many similar features and luxury items. The BMW, however, is a bit more performance focused, especially with the available M Sport Edition. The 6 Series’ interior isn’t as swanky as the E-Class’ and rear-seat room is a bit less spacious.

BMW also offers two engine choices to match its two driveline choices. The 640i packs a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 315 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard and xDrive all-wheel drive is optional. For those wanting more power, the 650i comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 making 445 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Likewise, it’s available in either sDrive or xDrive. An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission choice.

Pricing for the 2018 BMW 640i sDrive starts at $86,700 – well above the E400’s starting price. Adding xDrive pushes the price to $89,700. Opting for the V-8 in the 650i sees the sticker rise to $98,300, while the xDrive version goes for 101,300. That’s a big increase over the Mercedes – and that’s before adding any of BMW’s notoriously pricey options.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 640i xDrive.

Conclusion


2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet - Quick Drive - image 747392

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 Cabriolet 4Matic proved to be a jaw-droppingly stunning machine, both day and night. Its nautical themed interior absolutely made the experience for me. Though it’s optional, I’d have to order my E400 that way. The triple-layer acoustic convertible top killed any outside noises and didn’t flap a millimeter regardless of speed. Roughly 18 seconds later, the soft top hides under the rear deck lid while compromising very little trunk space. Power-deployable air deflectors keep the cabin free of turbulent air and allow the full ambiance of the LED light-soaked leather to set a mood of sophistication and opulence.

The E400 Cabriolet is hardly Mercedes’ most luxurious, well-equipped, or expensive convertibles, but you’d never know it by sitting inside. The car is simply in its own league. Ask me what I’d want to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway late at night, and my answer would easily be the E400 Cabriolet.

  • Leave it
    • * Gets expensive quickly
    • * Could use more power/engine options

References

Mercedes E-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet - image 707522

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet.


maker logos - image 743625

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon McLaren Special Operations Creates Special Paint with Family History

McLaren’s Special Operations (MSO) division is capable of creating some of the most visually arresting iterations of McLaren models you’ll ever see. Models like the 720 Velocity, 650S Project Kilo, and 720S Zenith Black are all good examples of MSO’s personalization skills. That level of creativity also helps the division create unique colors that have backstories of their own. Recently, MSO decided to tap into the roots Bruce McLaren to create a color that had ties to the life of the company’s founder. And so, the Muriwai White shade was born.


McLaren Special Operations Creates Special Paint with Family History - image 751894
“Muriwai White is a special shade of white that carries subtle hints of blue, the latter of which you can only see if you look at the car at certain angles”

That specific shade of white served as the inspiration behind the Muriwai White shape that McLaren Special Operations is premiering on a 570S Spider. It’s a special shade of white that carries subtle hints of blue, the latter of which you can only see if you look at the car at certain angles. Amanda McLaren, Bruce’s daughter, was instrumental in deciding the color that would be created in her father’s memory. Apparently, the younger McLaren had the perfect idea in mind: use the same colors that featured on the house she grew up in and attach the name of the estate to it.


McLaren Special Operations Creates Special Paint with Family History - image 751897
“The new Muriwai White paint finish isn’t going to be a one-off color”

“My mother Patty had been at a dinner party with a palm reader, who told her she’d live in a big white house with blue doors and shutters,” McLaren said in a statement announcing the launch of the special color. “Whether by destiny or design, that is what transpired and Muriwai was a place of pride for Bruce and comfort to Patty years after my father’s premature death in 1970 at the age of 32.”

The new Muriwai White paint finish isn’t going to be a one-off color. Once the color premieres on the 570S Spider, customers can ask for the specific paint on any McLaren model through MSO.

References

McLaren 570S


2018 McLaren 570S Spider - image 724562

Read our full review on the McLaren 570S Spider.



Read more McLaren news.

PostHeaderIcon SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket to Launch for the First Time in December; Could Carry Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster Into Space

7,376 pound-feet of torque

Back in July, we announced the new that Elon Musk might shoot off SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket for the first time before the turn of the year. Come December 1st and Musk has tweeted that the rocket will, indeed, launch soon, but it won’t be until next month, or as of the date of that post, sometime in January of 2018. That goes beyond the “this year” timeframe but is quite exciting considering the number of times that Falcon Heavy has been delayed in the past. According to Musk, it will have double the thrust of the next largest rocket and the launch is “guaranteed to be exciting, one way or another.” Not long after that, Musk tweeted what seems to be a joke, saying “Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars Orbit. Will be in deep space for a billion years or so if it doesn’t blow up on ascent.”

Further Reading


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746101
“If the Roadster payload does happen, and it does make it to Mars, let’s hope that he also follows up with a Tesla charger”

Truth be told, you can’t really discredit Musk’s apparent joke about sending his Roadster into space. After all, the man did place a secret wheel of cheese on top of Dragon’s first flight, and he has said that he intends to stick “the silliest thing we can imagine” on top of Falcon Heavy for its first voyage. Well, a Tesla Roadster, one in midnight cherry, would be pretty damn silly. And he, in fact, loves the idea, responding to another tweet saying, “I love the thought of a car drifting apparently endlessly through space and perhaps being discovered by an alien race millions of years in the future.” And, for what it’s worth, other outlets have claimed that SpaceX has confirmed that the “roadster payload is real.”

If the roadster payload does happen, and it does make it to Mars, let’s hope that he also follows up with a Tesla charger so that the crew that does go to Mars might have something else to get around in. Or perhaps he can send some solar panels too, so it can charge that way. All of this, assuming that the Roadster could even make it to Mars’ surface. Something tells me that Musk would rather have one of his creations floating endlessly into the great unknown. Let’s just pray that, if it does really happen, that some aggressive alien species doesn’t find it and come rape us of our resources – lord knows we’ve been warned about that by Hollywood more than a few times.

Static Test of Falcon Heavy – May 2017

Falcon Heavy Flight Animated Rendering

SpaceX Vision for a Mission to Mars

References

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.


Elon Musk Wants A 5-Mile Hyperloop Test Track - image 611786

Get in the Know – read up on the Latest Space X news or check out everything we’ve got on Elon Musk

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New – Almost 50 Years Apart

First introduced in 1969, the Corvette ZR1 has been offered for all generations since the C3, except for the C5 model. This pretty much makes it a constant presence in the Corvette lineup. However, when Chevy revised the ZR1 for the first time in 1990 after a 21-year absence, it didn’t offer a convertible version. The drop-top was ignored with the C6 model, produced between 2009 to 2013, too. Chevrolet finally took the roof of the ZR1 at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, unveiled the convertible model only weeks after it launched the beefed-up coupe. This makes the C7-gen Corvette ZR1 Convertible the first topless ZR1 in 48 years, and the event requires a bit of celebration with a proper comparison between the two.

The ZR1 nameplate has come a long way all these years, and this comparison’s purpose is to showcase just that. Now a full-fledged, stand-alone performance model with radical changes compared to the standard car, the ZR1 actually started life as a package for a trim that wasn’t even the most powerful in the lineup. But let’s find out more about that in the comparison below.

Continue reading for the full story.

How They Came to the Market


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749133
“The first ZR1 was conceived by Zora Arkus Duntov, who wanted a race-ready Vette with a small-block engine”

The first ever ZR1 Convertible came to be in 1969, when the Chevy launched the ZR1 upgrade for the LT1 model. The bundle was conceived by Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus Duntov, who wanted a race-ready Vette with a small-block engine. Duntov applied the lesson learned from the big-block L88 model and used almost identical chassis preparation and drivetrain updates to develop the ZR1. Despite being labeled as a special engine upgrade, it was basically a small-block version of the all-conquering V-8.


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749144

The current ZR1 arrived in 2017, a full four years into the C7-generation Corvette’s life-cycle. Unlike its grand-grandfather, the C7 ZR1 received a brand-new, exclusive engine and a unique aerodynamic kit on top of the retuned chassis and suspension. It was also design as a stand-alone, full-time model and not just a package upgrade to existing versions like the standard Corvette or the Corvette Z06. You’re not buying any options and you’re not stuck with an engine already available in other models.

Exterior

left
right
“The C7-gen ZR1 is a significant departure from the first ZR1, as it features a comprehensive aerodynamic kit”

The ZR1 upgrade for the C3-generation was as subtle as they get design-wise, because there were no styling add-ons included. Customers got exactly what they ordered on the their LT1 models, nothing more, nothing less. Except for the wheel covers. While these were optional on all versions, they were removed from the ZR1’s list. This strategy basically placed the ZR1 below the L88, which came with a bulged hood and special graphics.

The C7-gen ZR1 is a significant departure from this concept, as it features a comprehensive aerodynamic kit. There’s a redesigned front bmper with large intakes, a unique engine hood, side sill extensions, a carbon-fiber splitter, and exclusive wheels. On top of that, customers have two wings to choose from. There’s a low wing that delivers the highest top speed and a high wing that offers maximum downforce and forces quicker laps on the race track. All told, the ZR1 is instantly recognizable when parked alongside the standard and Z06 models.

Interior


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749136
“The power windows, air conditioning, rear window defogger, and the radio were deleted from the C3 ZR1's configuration.”

The story is pretty much the same here, as the ZR1 package added nothing to the C3 LT1’s interior. It actually removed a few things in order to keep it as light as possible for race-track duty. The power windows, the air conditioning system, the rear window defogger, and the radio were deleted from the LT1’s configuration.


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749141

Moving over to the C7-gen Corvette ZR1, it gets a number of unique features. The steering wheel comes with carbon-fiber inserts, while the seats are wrapped in leather and Alcantara. There’s carbon-fiber on the dashboard and center stack too, while a bronze aluminum trim adds more uniqueness to sporty cabin.

Drivetrain


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749137
“The C3 ZR1 was rated at 370 horsepower, but it was no match for the 7.0-liter big-block-engined Corvettes of the era”

This is where the ZR1 magic happened for the C3 Corvette. Sort of. The upgrade mated a Muncie M22 heavy-duty four-speed transmission, known as the “Rock Crusher,” to the V-8 engine and added an aluminum radiator with surge tank and metal fan shroud, a lightweight flywheel, and a heavy-duty L88 starter. The chassis was almost identical to the big-block L88 model and included special, stiffer springs and shocks, a stabilizer bar, and spindle-strut shafts. The ZR1 also gained J56 power brakes, but the power steering was removed for weight-saving purposes. The 5.7-liter V-8 didn’t change beyond the radiator, flywheel, and starter. Output was rated at 370 horsepower, which was pretty solid for 1969, but the LT-1 was no match for the 7.0-liter big-block engines output-wise. The ZR was actually upgraded to big-block LS-6 specifications in 1971, but the nameplate was changed to ZR2 for this model. Output increased to 425 horsepower.


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749154
“Unlike its predecessor, the C7 ZR1 Convertible, gets its own unique engine”

Unlike its predecessor, the C7 ZR1 Convertible gets its own unique engine. Called the LT5, it displaces 6.2 liters, which makes it larger than the original LT-1. It also stands out for using forced induction in the form of a massive supercharger. The bundle generates 755 horsepower, more than twice as much as the original ZR1. It’s obviously quicker from 0 to 60 mph, needing less than three seconds to hit the benchmark, and hits a top speed of 210 mph, figures that were considered science-fiction back in the late 1960s. The modern ZR1 can also be ordered with an automatic transmission. The C3 model was restricted to a manual. Some say that having a manual is better for performance cars, but it’s nice to have options right?

Pricing and Production


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749140
“A 50-year-old ZR1 will cost you more than the current version!”

The first-even ZR1 package was priced at $1,221, almost a quarter of the LT-1 sticker of slightly over $5,000. The ZR2 package was a bit more expensive at $1,747, as was the model it was based on in 1971, when the Corvette’s price jumped to $5,500.

The ZR1 upgrade was offered from 1970 to 1972 and total production included 53 units. Only eight convertibles were fitted with the ZR1 package in 1970, which makes it the rarest small-block Corvette in history. The ZR2 was very short-lived, offered in 1971 only. The big-block model was built in just 12 examples, two of which were convertibles.


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749151

The C7-generation Corvette ZR1 was launched with a starting price of $119,995. Compared to the C3 model, it’s a significant jump from the standard model and even the Z06, which retail from $55,495 and $84,055 for the 2018 model year. Just like its ancestor, production will probably span over a few years only, but Chevy will build significantly more C7 ZR1s. Thousands are likely to hit the streets until the C7 is discontinued.

Due to the first-gen ZR1 being so rare, mint-condition models fetch in excess of $200,000 at auctions, while well-maintained cars that need mild restoration go for at least $130,000. Yes, a 50-year-old ZR1 will cost you more than the current version.

Conclusion


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749135

Given the massive, near-50-year between the C3 and C7 ZR1s, this comparison is only a way to see how the nameplate evolved in half a century. The C7’s performance is colossal compared to the original ZR1, which is proof that technology has made tremendous progress. The most important fact here is that the C3 ZR1 was a pretty spectacular car for its era, much like the C7 ZR1 is stepping into supercar territory with more affordable pricing. Granted, the C7 ZR1 is the true king of C7 Corvette performance-wise, whereas the C3 ZR1 wasn’t as powerful as the big-block cars, but the latter still has a special place in Corvette history. The big question is will the C7 ZR1 be as desirable and expensive in 50 years as the C3 ZR1 is in 2017 compared to 1970?

References

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 - image 744525

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1


Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible: Old vs New - Almost 50 Years Apart - image 749144

Read our full review of the 2019 Chevy Corvette ZR1 Convertible


2017 Los Angeles Auto Show – Visitor's Guide - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Elon Musk Claims The Tesla Roadster Can Go From 0 to 60 Mph in 1.9 Seconds?

2020 Tesla Roadster

Elon Musk is no stranger to making bombastic claims. This is the same man who once said that autonomous driving technology was at our fingertips. He’s also the same man who said that civilian space travel is possible and traveling at supersonic speeds inside a pressure-sealed tube is the future of public transportation. Don’t look now, but Musk is at it again with a new proclamation that has everyone in the auto industry buzzing. According to him, the new Tesla Roadster, which is scheduled to debut in 2020, is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, becoming the first production car in history to reach that mark in less than two seconds.

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t know enough about physics to properly answer that question. It’s only right then that I direct the question to Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained, a man who is far more qualified to talk about Musk’s latest claims about the Roadster’s acceleration speed.

Fenske didn’t exactly have the answer either, but that was more because of the lack of information from Tesla’s side. What he did explain was that it’s possible for the Roadster to do a 1.9-second, 0-to-60-mph, provided that it’s done under the right confluence of technology, all working together in perfect harmony. Fenske alludes to a number of important elements the Roadster needs to have to be able to live up to Musk’s claims, including the electric motor, the traction system, and most importantly, the tires.


Elon Musk Claims The Tesla Roadster Can Go From 0 to 60 Mph in 1.9 Seconds? - image 747537
“Fenske alludes to a number of important elements the Roadster needs to have to be able to live up to Musk’s claims, including the electric motor, the traction system, and most importantly, the tires”

Basically, the Roadster should have the latest versions of each of these elements if it’s going to break the two-second acceleration barrier. The electric motor, for example, will play an important role in ensuring that the car’s traction control system can get the tires closer to the threshold of their grip. Fenske explains that hydraulic ABS pumps aren’t capable of applying the exact amount pressure to help the tires reach the threshold of their grip. In theory, a traction control system that works in harmony with the tires is capable of doing that because it can adjust faster to the grip requirements of the tires that will allow them to burst off the line without losing energy in the process.

As an example, Fenske alluded to the Nitto drag radials that the tire maker co-developed with Dodge for the Challenger SRT Demon. Dodge says that the Demon can sprint from 0 to 30 mph in just one second so if those tires can keep up that kind of acceleration consistently over a longer period, a two-second, 0-to-60-mph is possible.

For good reason, even Fenske doesn’t have the answer to the question because Tesla itself hasn’t said anything about the Roadster apart from Musk’s claims. Until the Roadster is independently tested, all of Musk’s boasts about the Roadster’s ability to sprint from 0 to 60 mph are useless. Hopefully, the electric car maker can provide us with the answers sooner than later.

References

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.



Read more Tesla news.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Vantage Volante

2019 Aston Martin Vantage Volante - rendering by xtomi.blogspot.com

The Aston Martin Vantage just moved in its second generation for the 2018 model year and there are solid signs that the new coupe is a big hit with sports car enthusiasts. Following rave reviews about its looks and performance, customers rushed into dealerships and purchased the entire production run for 2018 in just a few days. The Vantage hasn’t been this popular since it was first introduced in 2005! With both the road-going coupe and the race-spec GTE model out in the open, it’s time to look at another version that Aston Martin may launch soon. The Volante is at the top of our list, with an introduction likely to take place in late 2018 or early 2019.

The convertible model has been part of the Vantage heritage since 2006. It was actually launched as the Roadster, but the Volante name (Aston Martin talk for cabriolet) could be used on the new model. Just like its predecessor, the new convertible will have the same features inside, out, and under the hood, but will provide customers with infinite headroom for those hot summer days. The Volante will enable the Vantage to better compete in its niche, offering a proposition to the highly popular Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and the gorgeous looking Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vantage Volante.

Exterior

  • Gorgeous exterior design from the coupe
  • Cabriolet layout works well with the styling
  • Aggressive front and rear fascias
  • Soft-top to mimic coupe roof

2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746494

Note: Aston Martin Vantage Coupe pictured here.

“The Volante model will be identical to the coupe below the waist”

We’ve already seen the new Aston Martin Vantage, and we agree that it’s downright gorgeous. If you don’t share our opinion on its design, it’s about time you get a pair of glasses.

The good news here is that the Volante model will be identical to the coupe below the waist. Also, X-Tomi’s rendering of the car shows that the drop-top configuration works well with the new Vantage design. Actually, I might like the convertible better than the coupe. And this comes from a coupe guy who doesn’t fancy cabriolets too much. Unless they’re really big and made in the U.S. in the 1960s.


2019 Aston Martin Vantage Volante - image 747363
“The rendering shows that the drop-top configuration works well with the new Vantage design”

Anyway, all the cool new design features of the coupe will be transferred onto the Volante, starting with the massive front intake, the smaller, organic headlamps, and the pointy nose. When viewed from the sides, the Vantage’s new and sexy beltline and sculpted side skirts will be combined with raked A-pillars and windshield and a slightly revised decklid to make way for the soft-top. As with any convertible, the B- and C-pillars will be gone, but Aston Martin will probably replicate the metal roof as much as possible with the soft-top in order to give the Volante similar aerodynamics.

The rear will remain identical to the coupe, with the very slim taillights, the race-inspired diffuser, and the big exhaust pipes. The rear windscreen will be gone and the decklid will become flatter and will seem slightly longer, but this shouldn’t damage the car’s wonderful design. All told, the Vantage Volante will be one of the most exciting cabriolets on the sports car market.

Interior

  • Infinite headroom
  • Extra button for folding roof
  • Modern design
  • New, state-of-the-art technology
  • Leather and Alcantara
  • Carbon-fiber trim
  • Large infotainment display
  • Many standard features

2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746499

Note: Aston Martin Vantage Coupe pictured here.

“Except for the two-seat layout and the driver-focused dashboard, everything else was redesigned”

Changes inside the new Vantage are rather dramatic. Except for the two-seat layout and the driver-focused dashboard, everything else was redesigned to look more modern. And needless to say, the previous Vantage looked a bit dated inside the cabin.

The dash and the center console sport a more organic design with various design elements flowing into each other. The center stack includes quite a few buttons and knobs, as well as an infotainment display at the top. But unlike other cars with floating screens, the Vantage has it set in a special pocket. This not only keeps the display in the driver’s view but also improves visibility.


2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746505

Note: Aston Martin Vantage Coupe pictured here.

“The dashboard and the center console sport a more organic design”

There’s gloss black trim and black leather with contrast stitching, but you can also have brightly colored center console and door panel inserts, as well as carbon-fiber trim. The transmission button layout is unique, with the Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive inputs arranged in a triangular configuration, with the Start button at the top.

Leather and Alcantara cover just about every surface, while the sporty seats come with memory function, ventilation, and heating. The latter two are optional though. Customers can also opt for the Sport Plus seats and a sportier steering wheel with an aggressive flat bottom. Features include automatic climate control with dual-zone temperature, keyless start and stop, a parking distance display, and park assist with front and rear parking sensors.


2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746527

Note: Aston Martin Vantage Coupe pictured here.

“All Vantage interior features will carry over unchanged to the Volante model”

The infotainment is accessed through an eight-inch LCD screen. The standard audio system is Aston Martin’s very own design, but a Premium Audio is available. Bluetooth connectivity, phone streaming features, an iPod connector, USB playback, and satellite navigation come standard.

All of the above will carry over unchanged to the Volante model. Only two things will be different: an extra button for soft-top operation and infinite headroom when the roof is stowed behind the seats. Speaking of which, trunk space will decrease with the top rolled off. Not that the Vantage was made to carry a huge amount of shopping bags, but you’ll get a bit less luggage room in this configuration.

Drivetrain

  • Twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine
  • 503 horsepower
  • 505 pound-feet of torque
  • 75-horsepower more than old model
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds
  • Top speed of at least 190 mph
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Up to 34 mpg on the highway

2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746487

Note: Aston Martin Vantage Coupe pictured here.

“The 4.0-liter V-8 is rated at 503 horsepower and 505 pound-feet of torque”

As before, the Volante model will share underpinnings with the coupe. So expect to find the 2018 Vantage’s all-alloy, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 powerplant under the hood. The engine is mounted further toward the back for a front-mid layout, which provides more even weight distribution. Output is rated at 503 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 505 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm, which is pretty close to the engine’s numbers in its original Mercedes-AMG form. The new V-8 is a significant bump over the previous 4.3-liter V-8, which generated 430 horsepower. So we’re looking at a solid 75 horsepower increase.

The new engine is more modern too and features quad cams, water-to-air charge cooling, CNC-machined combustion chambers, and a 10.5:1 compression ratio. The stainless steel exhaust uses an electronically controlled flap for either a loud or quieter exhaust note. The mill mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission provided by ZF. Mounted at the rear/mid-position for optimal weight distribution, the new gearbox replaces the previous seven-speed transmission. There’s no word on a manual yet, so be prepared to send all that oomph to the rear wheels through the automatic. Speaking of which, this is achieved through an alloy torque tube and carbon-fiber prop shaft.


2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746513

Note: Aston Martin Vantage Coupe pictured here.

“Expect the 0-to-60 mph sprint to come in 3.6 seconds”

Like any modern sports car, the Vantage is fitted with an electronic rear differential for extra traction. The coupe is the first Aston to get such a device, but expect to find it in the Volante too (as well as other Aston Martins in the future).

Moving over to performance figures, we already know that the Vantage coupe needs 3.5 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start. That’s nearly a half-second quicker than the outgoing Vantage S model. Expect similar performance from the Volante, but shave a tenth-second off that benchmark. Due to a slightly higher weight and possibly different aerodynamics, the convertible should need 3.6 clicks to get to speed. Top speed should also drop from the coupe’s 195-mph rating to around 192 mph. Fuel economy, on the other hand, is likely to remain the same at 19.7 mpg in the city, 34.3 mpg on the highway, and 26.8 mpg combined.

Chassis, Suspension, and Braking

  • New platform
  • 70-percent unique chassis parts
  • Double-wishbone front suspenion
  • Multi-link rear suspension
  • Adaptive Damping System
  • Pirelli P Zero tires

2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746504

Note: Aston Martin Vantage Coupe pictured here.

“The design uses a solidly mounted rear subframe for a more connected feel on the road”

Being a small, niche-oriented company, Aston Martin relies on the same underpinnings for its entire lineup. That’s why all vehicles up until 2016 were built on the VH (Vertical/Horizontal) platform (except the One-77 and the Vulcan). The Brits have launched a brand-new platform with the DB11 that will soon underpin all Aston Martin vehicles. The new Vantage is also using it, even though about 70 percent of the components have been revised.

The design uses a solidly mounted rear subframe for a more connected feel on the road, as well as a speed-sensitive electric power assist steering for precise cornering. The front suspension includes double wishbones, coil springs, and an anti-roll bar, while the rear section uses a multi-link with coil springs and an anti-roll bar.

The Vantage also comes with an Adaptive Damping System that changes its setup according to the drive mode. The system alters the dampers, but also changes engine, transmission, differential, steering, and stability settings. The brake assist, traction control, and torque control systems also help keep everything under control.

Traction comes from high-performance Pirelli P Zero tires, while stopping power is provided by big 15.7- and 14.2-inch brake discs front and rear.

Prices


2018 Aston Martin Vantage - image 746496

Note: Aston Martin Vantage Coupe pictured here.

Pricing for the Vantage coupe starts from $149,995, but there’s no work as to how much the Volante would cost. This isn’t surprising though, as Aston Martin has yet to confirm the convertible and it will take some time until it arrives. My best guess is that we won’t see it in showrooms until 2019. However, it’s safe to assume that it will cost more than the coupe, simply because convertibles are usually priced higher. I’d venture to say that the Vantage Volante will come in at almost $160,000 before options.

The optional packages should remain the same, so be on the lookout for the Sports Plus Pack (Sports Plus seats, Sports steering wheel), the Exterior Black Pack (matte black front grill mesh, matte black window surround), the Tech Pack (keyless entry, blind spot monitoring, auto park assist, touchpad, glass switches), and the Comfort Pack (16-way adjustable seats, heated seats, closed storage and armrest).

Competition

Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet


2017 Porsche 911 Turbo - image 658137

The drop-top version of the Vantage would go against the 911 Turbo Cabriolet, a classic of the sports car market. The German car was updated for 2017 model year, gaining an updated exterior, new technology, and a more powerful engine. Both styling and sporty on the outside, the 911 Turbo stands out in this niche for being the only vehicle with a rear-mounted engine. Motivation is provided by a twin-turbo, 3.8-liter inline-six engine available in two power ratings. The 911 Turbo model comes with 540 horsepower, while the 911 Turbo S gets 580 horses. Not only more powerful than the Vantage, the 911 Turbo is also quicker. The base model needs three seconds to hit 60 mph, while the Turbo S gets to the benchmark in 2.9 clicks. Both figures are achieved with the Sport Chrono package. Top speed is also superior at 198 and 205 mph, respectively. The Porsche returns good fuel economy too, being able to hit 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. On the other hand, it’s significantly more expensive too. While the 911 Turbo Cabriolet retails from $174,100, the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet starts from $203,000 before options.

Read our review of the 2017 Porsche 911 Turbo.

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster


2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster - image 725719

Introduced in 2015, the Mercedes-AMG is the spiritual successor to the iconic SLS AMG. A tad smaller than its predecessor, it’s aimed at the Porsche 911, but it also competes with the new Vantage. The two actually have something in common, as Aston Martin is using a version of the same twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine. Just like the 911 Turbo, the GT Roadster is available in two variants. The base model cranks out 469 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, which enables it to hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, toward a top speed of 188 mph. Not exactly fast compared to the Vantage Volante. However, Mercedes also offers the GT C Roadster, which uses a more powerful version of the V-8, rated at 549 horses and 500 pound-feet. This model hits 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, which should be on par with the Vantage Volante, to go with a top speed of 196 mph. Pricing for the AMG GT Roadster starts from $124,400 in base spec and increases to $157,000 before options for the GT C model.

Read our reviews of the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster and 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster.

Conclusion


2019 Aston Martin Vantage Volante - image 747363

The Vantage Volante may not be official as of this writing, but I’m 100% positive that Aston Martin will bring it into dealerships by 2019. Not only is the Vantage Volante a traditional model, but it’s also a much-needed piece in the company’s financial puzzle. The Brits need as many models as possible in order to compete with the big guns and steer toward profitability and leaving the Vantage Volante, essentially its most affordable roadster, out of the equation is suicide in the current market. Not to mention that it would be a big shame to not take advantage of the car’s gorgeous design for a convertible model.

  • Leave it
    • Not as quick as the 911 Turbo
    • A tad more expensive than the Mercedes-AMG GT

References

Aston Martin Vantage


The 2018 Aston Martin Vantage Comes to Strike Fear in Porsche and Mercedes Purists Everywhere - image 746607

Read our full review on the 2019 Aston Martin Vantage.


2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster - image 560100

Read our full review on the previous generation 2015 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster.



Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon Rimac’s Next EV to Dethrone the Tesla Roadster Before It Even Enters Production

Rimac Concept One at Top Marques Monaco

Rimac has recently told Autoguide that it’s been working on a new, next-gen supercar that is expected to debut at some point in 2018. According to Jens Sverdup of Auto Iconica – Rimac’s distribution arm here in the States – the EV has been in the works for a few years now. When you consider the fact that the Tesla Roadster isn’t heading to production until 2018, and that the new Rimac EV will likely be much more powerful than the Concept One, it’s quite possible Rimacs new EV could dethrone the outrageously powerful Roadster before it even enters production. Oh, and to top it off, Rimac is set to open five more retailers here in the States during 2018, which will – of course – carry both the Rimac Concept One and the upcoming Rimac Convertible that is yet to be named.

Further Thinking


2011 Rimac Concept One - image 450677
“If Rimac can successfully tackle the new Roadster’s specs, and can even push that EV into production faster, Musk could find himself with a Roadster nobody really wants to wait for.”

When Tesla debuted its extremely pre-production roadster, it’s pretty clear that Elon Musk was awaiting the typical buzz he gets from nearly everything he does. However, I doubt it crossed his mind that anyone else would be within striking distance considering the downright crazy specs associated with the new Roadster. After all, we’re talking about 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, 620-mile range, and a 250-mph top speed. And, let’s not forget about 10,000 nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, of torque either. That’s pretty damn hard to beat. Meanwhile, Rimac’s Concept One, which should prove to be a level down from the brand’s next EV, is positioned at 1,224 horsepower, 1,180 pound-feet, and can hit 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. If Rimac can successfully tackle the new Roadster’s specs, and can even push that EV into production faster, Musk could find himself with a Roadster nobody really wants to wait for.

What do you think? Will Rimac dethrone the Roadster before it even has a chance to take the throne? Is the upper end of the EV market becoming nothing more than a contest to see what rich kid has the longest dong? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

References

Rimac Concept One


2011 Rimac Concept One - image 450673

Read our full review on the 2011 Rimac Concept One.

Tesla Roadster


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

PostHeaderIcon Bentley Continental GTC

Introduced in 2003, the Bentley Continental GT has become a big hit for the British firm and its German parent company, Volkswagen AG, and the 2011 redesign made it even more popular. However, the update wasn’t as extensive as you’d expect from such a high-profile car, and the second-gen Conti became a bit long in the tooth after years. This is why Bentley launched a completely overhauled version for the 2018 model year. With the new Continental GT almost in dealerships, a convertible model is just around the corner.

Spotted testing on public roads since mid-2016, the new Continental GTC has yet to show itself without camouflage. However, that’s not to say we’re dealing with a mystery since most convertible are identical to the their coupe counterparts below the waist. Expect the new GTC to feel as modern as the recently unveiled Continental GT and boasts the same luxurious cabin with state-of-the-art technology. All of this will be complemented by the infinite headroom that comes with every cabriolet out there.

Update 11/24/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley Continental GTC out for a new testing session, but this time during cold winter conditions.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Bentley Continental GTC.

Spy Shots

November 11/24/2017 – Upcoming Bentley Continental GTC caught testing in cold weather


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 747165

2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 747160

February 15, 2017 – Bentley Continental GTC caught testing once again


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 705686

2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 705692

October 26, 2016 – Continental GTC caught testing on the roads around the Nürburgring


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 693195

2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 693196

July 6, 2016 – First testing session


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 681739

2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 681741

Exterior


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 681739
“Unlike the second-gen Continental GT, the third-generation coupe is a bit more exciting to look at, as the redesigned exterior feels sportier, more modern, and actually pretty gorgeous”

Unlike the second-gen Continental GT, the third-generation coupe is a bit more exciting to look at, as the redesigned exterior feels sportier, more modern, and actually pretty gorgeous. Sure, it’s not as extreme as the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, which had a supercarish stance, but it’s great to see something completely fresh on this grand tourer after almost 15 years. And the good news is that every single cool design feature of the Continental GT will find its way on the GTC model.

Look for the front fascia to include the same EXP 10-inspire grille, which is significantly wider and sits lower, the quad headlamps with the tiny units toward the corners, and the three-piece intake section in the bumper. The LEX Matrix lights with the unique design inspired by the finest cut-crystal glasses should be there too.

The longer and lower stance of the Conti GT’s profile will also carry over to the GTC, likely enhanced when the roof is wrapped in the trunk. With the soft-top up, the GTC should sport a similar profile, although the roof shape won’t be as sexy as on the coupe. The taillights shaped into ellipses, the similar exhaust pipes, the wider trunk lid and the beefier rear bumper should round off the new look.

Interior


2018 Bentley Continental GT - image 728810

Note: Bentley Continental GT interior pictured here.

“Having already seen the GT, it's safe to assume that the GTC will feel like a road yacht when the soft-top is folded flat”

The cabin of the new Continental GT provides every hint we need to unlock the features of the GTC. Remove the fancy talk and this means that the cabriolet will be identical to the coupe on inside. Except that it won’t have a metal roof obviously.

Having already seen the GT, it’s safe to assume that the GTC will feel like a road yacht when the soft-top is folded flat. Just look at that massive slab of wood that extends from the dashboard onto the door panels, the huge display, the modern controls, and the high-sheen center console. Speaking of which, customers will have access to loads of new veneers, including Koa, a wood that’s rarely used in cars, and a dual-veneer option.

Of course, almost every inch of the cabin is wrapped in fine leather highlighted by contrast stitching, and new quilt technique called “diamond in diamond.” Other fancy features will include 20-way adjustable seats with heating, cooling, and massage function, a big instrument cluster with 3D LED lights, and a 10-speaker, 650-watt sound system. The latter is just the standard unit, as options include a 16-speaker, 1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen system and an 18-speaker, 2,000-watt system by Naim.


2018 Bentley Continental GT - image 728816

Note: Bentley Continental GT interior pictured here.

“Of course, almost every inch of the cabin is wrapped in fine leather highlighted by contrast stitching”

But Arguably the most interesting feature of the upcoming Continental GTC will be Bentley’s new infotainment display. Called the Bentley Rotating Display and introduced with the Continental GT, the 12.3-inch touchscreen is housed in a three-sided unit that revolves in the center stack. When the ignition is off, the screen is hidden in the dashboard, with the wood veneer flowing uninterrupted from the passenger side to the instrument cluster. When the engine start button is pressed, however, the veneer in the center stack glides forward and rotates to reveal the big screen. The third side of the Rotating Display reveals three analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass, and chronometer. Opting for the latter gives you an elegant, old school-style dash that works great with the massive wood veneer.

Of course, another interesting feature will be the possibility to drive with an open top, which provides access not only to unlimited headroom, but also to a summer’s warm breeze, and the engine high-displacement roar.

Drivetrain


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 747165
“The third-generation Continental GT remained faithful to Bentley's already traditional 6.0-liter W-12 engine”

The third-generation Continental GT remained faithful to Bentley’s already traditional 6.0-liter W-12 engine. However, the British firm is now using a brand-new twin-turbo unit, which was developed before the Bentayga SUV was introduced.

The powerplant, which is shared with some Audi models, generates a massive 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. That’s an extra 44-horsepower and 133-pound-feet compared to the previous model. The significant extra oomph is also aided by the lighter architecture that shaves around 200 pounds lighter off the previous model. The transmission is a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic.

“The powerplant generates a massive 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque”

Performance-wise, the Conti GT needs 3.6 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, a half-second quicker than the outgoing model. As it the case with most convertibles, the GTC will probably be a tenth-second slower, but a 3.7-second sprint is pretty impressive given the size and weight of this car. Top speed should increase, but don’t expect the GTC to be as fast as the coupe, which is good for 207 mph. However, it’s safe to assume that the drop-top will do at least 200 mph.

A new all-wheel-drive system will transfer the power to all four wheels. While the previous unit had a 40:60 power delivery split between front and rear wheels, the new AWD system varies the front-to-rear torque split based on driving conditions. But the Bentley Continental GTC will be mostly a rear-wheel-drive cars during normal driving.

Prices

With pricing information for the new Continental GT not yet available, estimating a precise sticker for the GTC model is almost impossible right now. However, with the third-generation coupe likely to retail from around $220,000, the Continental GTC could cost around $240,000 before options. A more affordable alternative could become available in 2018, when Bentley plans to roll out V-8 versions of the Continental GT. Assuming that the GTC will also get one, pricing should sit at just under $200,000.

Competition

Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante - image 703676

When it comes to fast and luxurious British grand tourers, you can’t go wrong with the Vanquish Volante. Introduced in 2013, one year after Aston Martin revived the Vanquish name from its five-year hiatus, the Vanquish Volante sports a significantly more aggressive design and a powerful V-12 engine under its long hood. The mild 2018 update, likely the last of the current-generation car, added a new aerodynamic package including many carbon-fiber parts, new graphics on the outside and new materials and finishes on the inside. The output of the 5.9-liter V-12 engine was increased to 592 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, which enables the drop-top to hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. Top speed is rated at 197 mph. Pricing starts from $312,950, which makes it significantly more expensive than the Bentley Continental GTC.

Read our full review of the Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet


2019 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet - image 729446

The first convertible to wear the “S-Class” badge and Mercedes’ first open-top luxury four-seater since the early 1970s, the S-Class Cabriolet is one of the very few vehicles that can give the Continental GTC a run for its money. Sporty but elegant and fitted with Mercedes’ latest technology, it also comes with semi-autonomous drive and a powerful V-8 engine under the hood. The twin-turbo, 4.0-liter cranks out 463 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of twist, enabling the massive drop-top to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. For those looking for an alternative to the W-12 GTC, Mercedes offers the AMG S63, which uses a more powerful V-8 rated at 612 horses. This version hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, which should be quicker than the upcoming W-12 GTC. Finally, the AMG S65 Cabriolet comes with a 6.0-liter V-12 that delivers 630 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. However, this model is RWD only and needs 4.1 seconds to reach 60 mph. Pricing is also on the Merc’s side. The standard model retails from $131,400, while the AMG fetches $176,400 before options. On the other hand, the AMG S65 costs a whopping $247,900.

Read our full reviews of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet and Mercedes-AMG S63 and S65 Cabriolet.

Conclusion


2018 Bentley Continental GTC - image 735044

Arguably one of the most impressive luxury convertibles available on the market, the Continental GTC is about to get even better with the third-generation model. The new platform will solve the Continental’s weight problems, while access to hybrid drivetrains will enable Bentley to offer a more fuel-efficient model and improve the nameplate’s carbon footprint. The EXP 10 Speed 6-inspired design will also give the GTC a sportier stance that’s closer to the Vanquish, leaving the Continental Flying Spur sedan to parade as the more elegant proposition in the lineup.

  • Leave it
    • Expensive compared to the S-Class
    • Likely still slower than competition

References

Bentley Continental GT


2018 Bentley Continental GT - image 728800

Read more Bentley Continental GT news.


2013 Bentley Continental GTC V8 - image 438817

Read our full review on the previous generation 2017 Bentley Continental GTC.

Update History

Updated 09/28/2017:
We added a new rendering of the Continental GTC, as well as updated information. Check it out below.

Updated 10/26/2016: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Continental GTC out for a new testing session, this time on the roads around the Nürburgring.

Updated 07/19/2016: Based on the recent spy shots and speculations, we created a rendering for the upcoming Continental GTC. Let us know in the comments section below what do you think about it.

PostHeaderIcon Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the Roadster?

2020 Tesla Roadster

Tesla just unveiled the next-generation Roadster and the preliminary (still theoretical) performance figures are downright shocking. From 0 to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds and a top speed of over 250 mph to a range of at least 600 miles, the second-generation Roadster will move the electric car (and the entire automobile industry for that matter) into a whole new era. Assuming it will live up Elon Musk’s claims, that is! But things got even more interested over the weekend when Musk tweeted that the crazy numbers above are for the base model, with an upgrade to take things up a notch.

“Should clarify that this is the base model performance. There will be a special option package that takes it to the next level,” he said. Holy molly. What does that even mean? Will the Roadster get even quicker that 1.9 seconds to 60 mph? Will the range increase to 700 or 800 miles on a single charge? Are we getting some sort of track-spec model? Is Elon Musk on drugs or something?

But wait, there’s more. On Sunday, Must tweeted again, now saying that the special performance upgrade could enable the Roadster to fly “short hops.” I kid you not; these are his words: “Not saying the next-gen Roadster special upgrade package *will* definitely enable it to fly short hops, but maybe… Certainly possible. Just a question of safety. Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities.”

Is Musk Serious about This?

Continue reading for the full story.

SpaceX Tech for the
Roadster?


Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the Roadster? - image 746664
“Tesla already borrowed SpaceX technology for the Model S”

Before you cue the “I’d like some of whatever he’s smoking” jokes, you should know that Musk is also CEO of SpaceX. An aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company established in 2002, SpaceX has many achievements to brag about, including creating the first privately funded liquid-propellant rocket to reach orbit. It was also the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft, and the first private company to send a spacecraft to the International Space Station. It has already flown ten missions to the International Space Station and is currently developing a shuttle that would be used by NASA to transport astronauts to the ISS and back.

So needless to say, Musk has access to the “rocket tech” he mentioned. And he already borrowed SpaceX technology for the Model S. But is he serious or just trying to max up the hype around the Roadster? Tesla is already struggling with financial losses — some say the company won’t be able to launch the Roadster and the Semi as soon as it claims — and such a project would create additional strain. Maybe Musk is willing to sacrifice the pinch of stability Tesla has right now for one final shot at glory?

References

Tesla Roadster


Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the Roadster? - image 746102

Read our full review on the 2020 Tesla Roadster.


Is Tesla Working on a Flying Version of the Roadster? - image 746100

Read more Elon Musk news.

PostHeaderIcon Throwback Video: Larry King Rolls With Snoop Dogg In Custom 1967 Pontiac Parisienne

You gotta love Snoop Dogg. Not only has he been a driving force in rap music for the past quarter century, but he’s also a simply ludicrously chill dude – that much is evident from the following throwback video. Plucked off YouTube, it’s a short clip from a Larry King episode that aired back in 2010, wherein the TV and radio host gets to hang with Snoop and climb behind the wheel of his custom 1967 Pontiac Parisienne. As you might imagine, hilarity promptly ensues.

The lowrider in question is utterly pristine, draped in Lakers yellow inside and out, sparkling with chrome detailing and looking like a dream from gin and juice. On the hood is an homage to Snoop’s favorite NBA team, while hydraulics put it to the pavement. Although the clip is just a minute and a half long, it’s packed to the brim with entertainment, including King’s attempts to understand dipping and coming to grips with Snoop hitting the switch. Then there’s Snoop’s GPS navigation voiceover, which is something I know you’ll all want after watching this clip.

References


GQ Talks Shop With The Boys From The Grand Tour: Video - image 733375

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PostHeaderIcon Pops’ Rants: Tesla’s Uber-fast Roadster Is Proof that Elon Musk Is Desperate

Boy, these past two weeks have been all about high-speed and high-power action. I barely had time to get over Koenigsegg’s new world speed record and Chevrolet launched its monstrous Corvette ZR1 yet. Now, with the weekend upon us, Tesla took the wraps off its new semi truck and the second-generation Roadster. Neither are ready to go into production just yet, but the preliminary data hints at tremendous performance and new benchmarks for the electric car market. The Roadster’s 0-to-60 mph sprint only 1.9 seconds probably caused a few heart strokes over at Ferrari quarters. And I have a feeling that the guys working on the next-generation Nissan GT-R Nismo aren’t feeling better either. But behind Tesla’s new tour de force hides Elon Musk’s fear that his automobile brand may not succeed as planned.

It may seem that Tesla is simply pushing the envelope and presenting the world with revolutionary electric cars, but there’s more to this showcase. Tesla is actually struggling to keep its promises. The new Model 3, which is supposed to become the affordable electric car everyone is dreaming about, is late to the party. Production isn’t going as planned and it seems that the Model X fiasco is happening all over again. On top of that, the Model S isn’t getting the best reviews and Consumer Reports isn’t very optimistic about the Model 3’s reliability. So Tesla needs to find a way to keep all the hype alive, and the upcoming Roadster is the perfect car for this. The strategy is simple, unveiled a cool looking prototype, claim it will hit 60 mph in less than two seconds, set a big preorder price, and wait for the cash to fix ongoing problems.

Continue reading for the full story.

From Affordable to $200K


Pops' Rants: Tesla's Uber-fast Roadster Is Proof that Elon Musk Is Desperate - image 746100

Yup, that’s all it takes. A couple of incredible but fictional performance figures, and everyone will get excited. And some of them will even agree to pay $50,000 reservations for a car they won’t get to drive until 2020. Assuming that Tesla manages to roll the new Roadster out by then. If the Model X and Model 3 are any indication, it won’t happen sooner than 2021, or even 2022.

But that’s not the only issue. Let’s say that I’m wrong and Tesla will get production sorted and everything will be fine and on time. And quality control will improve and Consumer Reports won’t upset Elon Musk ever again. In this perfect scenario, the new Roadster is still a meaningless car. Let’s not forget that Musk’s objective was to deliver an affordable EV for the average Joe. It was supposed to be the Model 3. But it’s not. The Model 3 costs some $30,000 before options, and the nice extras will actually push the sticker beyond the $40,000. At this point, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Bolt are the better options.

And while I can understand that expensive, $200,000 supercars like the upcoming Roadster are used to fund affordable vehicles, it seems that Elon Musk is out to prove that Tesla can make the quickest production car before anything else. With this car, Tesla is basically moving farther away form its professed goal and slowly becoming a disappointment for the electric car industry. The fact that Tesla is the leading automaker in this field makes things that much more frustrating.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster – New vs. Old

Tesla just unveiled the second-generation Roadster and launched a big shock wave around the world. It’s not the Roadster’s return that took us by surprise, but the incredible specs that the car comes with. Not only set to become the quickest production vehicle ever with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of only 1.9 seconds, it also has a 250-mph top speed. The latter is downright spectacular for gasoline-powered supercar and I honestly didn’t think I’d live to see a production EV hit that much. But before we get overly excited, we must remember that the second-gen Roadster won’t become available until 2020. And given Tesla’s habit of delaying production, it may take a bit longer than that.

Many details are still under wraps, but Tesla made sure that all the new Roadster’s spectacular features hit the news. So we now have quite a few figures to compare with the first-generation Roadster. It takes just a quick glance to notice that Tesla made tremendous progress since 2008, and this is exactly why we need to put the numbers next to each other. While the first Roadster marked Tesla’s debut on the market and the beginning of a spectacular career for the California-based brand (albeit sprinkled with plenty of issues), the second Roadster could take Elon Musk’s firm to new heights. If all goes according to plan of course, because it may happen the other way around too.

This comparison is far from complete given that the latest Roadster is far from being a production model, but the aim is to look at Tesla’s progress rather than provide an comprehensive comparo.

Continue reading for the full story.

Exterior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster ”

The design features of the two Roadsters are the easiest to compare, because Tesla released shots of the new car from every angle and the renderings appears to be pretty close to the actual things. The design is definitely doable, includes many of the company’s trademark cues, and I can’t spot too many features that wouldn’t make in on the production model. Speaking of which, have you seen our rendering of the rumored Tesla supercar? We almost nailed it!

The new styling is obviously a big departure from the original Roadster. The first-gen car was pretty appealing when it was launched in 2008, but the new design is definitely more spectacular. But that’s far from surprising. The first Roadster had a unique design that did not carry over to the Model S, the company’s second car. It was the Model S that actually inspired the Model X and Model 3, a quick look at the new Roadster reveals quite a few familiar details.

“The new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders”

Also, while the the first Roadster had looks that usually define lightweight sports cars, the new car boasts a grand tourer-inspired look with muscular fenders, a wider stance, and overall more aggressive fascias. The light units are particularly interesting, sporting a thin, sleek design that’s different than anything else Tesla used so far.

Much like it’s predecessor, the new Roadster ha a targa-type roof layout. But instead of a canvas top, it has a glass roof that can be stowed in the trunk.

Interior


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746105

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233851

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“As you'd expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future, the differences are huge”

As you’d expect when comparing a car from 2008 with one from the future (almost 15 years apart), the differences are huge. Again, the first Roadster looked pretty fresh when launched, but it was also rather spartan, mostly because Tesla was aiming at the lightweight sports car segment. The new Roadster is just a rendering for now, but it’s pretty obvious that it will compete in a more premium market. The design is still plain and simple overall, but all that brutshed aluminum, the leather on the seats, and the massive screen in the center stack suggest a higher quality cabin.

The new Roadster will also come with heavily bolstered, modern looking front seats, as well as a pair of second-row seats. The latter is what makes it different compared to the first-gen car, which was a two-seater. This also makes the new Roadster a significantly different vehicle. Instead of an actual successor, this new sports car plays in a different league, offering space for two more passengers and more convenience. The renderings also show carbon-fiber dash and panels, as well as a flat-bottom steering wheel with no buttons and no upper rim, but it remains to be seen if these features make it on the production.

Drivetrain


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745806

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103581

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

“The upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin”

Based on Tesla’s preliminary specs, the upcoming Roadster will be radically different under the skin. The first thing that sets them apart the platform. While the first-gen car was built on the same underpinnings as the Lotus Elise and Exige, the second-gen model will ride on a newer platform. There’s no word on whether it will be based on the Model S, but chances are it will be brand-new.

Tesla had nothing to say about the upcoming car’s electric motors, but it did mention all-wheel-drive, which means it will have at least one for each axle. The first Roadster was a rear-wheel-drive car. The new two-door will also be significantly more powerful. No word on output either, but Tesla mentions wheel torque of 7,375 pound-feet. It also claims that the car will be able to hit 60 mph in an incredible 1.9 seconds. That’s two seconds quicker than the standard Roadster (248 horsepower) and 1.8 clicks quicker than the Roadster Sport (288 horsepower). The sprint to 100 mph will be achieved in only 4.2 seconds, just three tenths slower than the first Roadster from 0 to 60 mph!

“At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world”

At 1.9 seconds to 60 mph, the second-gen Roadster will be the quickest production car in the world. Assuming that a quicker vehicle from another automaker won’t be launched until then, but it’s very unlikely to be honest.

Tesla also claims that the new Roadster will have a top speed of 250 mph. That’s nearly as fast as the Bugatti Veyron and faster than any Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini out there. And exactly twice as fast compared to the first-generation Roadster. The quarter mile will be achieved in 8.8 seconds, almost four seconds quicker than the old model. Want more juicy bits? The estimate range for the upcoming car is of 620 miles per charge, compared to up to 244 miles delivered by the old model. I guess it’s goodbye range anxiety in 2020!

Pricing


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 745804

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 103575

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

The first Roadster was pretty expensive when it was launched in 2008, retailing from around $100,000 (with preorders set at $50,000). But the second-gen car will cost twice as much. Tesla is asking $50,000 for reservations, but the second-gen model will cost $200,000 before options. There will also be a launched edition priced from a whopping $250,000. That’s Ferrari money right there, but somewhat justified given the incredible performance. And despite the high sticker, the second-gen Roadster will definitely sell better than its predecessor, which moved about 2,500 units in almost five years on the market.

Conclusion


Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 746104

Quick Comparo: Tesla Roadster - New vs. Old - image 233849

Note: Roadster 2.0 on the left, original Roadster on the right.

It’s definitely too early to draw a conclusion in the absence of a production model for the second-gen car, but it’s safe to say that the new Roadster will be a massive improvement over its predecessor. Big improvements are visible in just about any department and the extra comfort features and the two additional seats could finally give Tesla a shot at the supercar market dominated by Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren. And we may even see a host of new world records in the performance and range departments.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Roadster

2020 Tesla Roadster

Back in 2008, a little upstart EV company named Tesla threw a lithium-ion battery pack and electric motor into a Lotus Elise and called it the Roadster. It was the very first model to bear the Tesla badge, and it was the first highway-legal series production all-electric car to travel more than 200 miles in a single charge. Now, nearly 10 years and several remarkable models later, Tesla is at it again, revealing a second-generation Roadster in a surprise debut alongside its new all-electric semi truck. While it’s still several years away from hitting public roads, Tesla dropped a variety of specs and numbers for the Roadster 2.0, and long story short, this thing is shaping up to be an absolute monster. If it really can do everything that Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims it can, the second-gen Roadster will set numerous performance records, including quickest to 60 mph, quickest to 100 mph, and quickest in the quarter mile. And that includes internal combustion-based production vehicles, by the way. It’ll also set new standards for EVs in the realms of range per charge and top speed. This is faster than Insane Mode. This is faster than Ludicrous Mode. This, dear readers, is straight up Plaid.

While we knew Tesla had a new Roadster coming down the pipeline, few would have guessed what it might be capable of. We even put together a speculative piece about a potential Tesla supercar a while back, but it turns out the California automaker combined the two ideas into one incredible world-beater. “The point of doing this is to just give a hardcore smackdown to gasoline cars,” says Musk. “Driving a gasoline sports car is gonna feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.” Indeed, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is framed as a bona fide halo car, an ultra-quick speed machine that’ll show Tesla’s true performance potential. Read on for the details.

Updated 11/17/2017: Tesla just revealed the new Roadster!

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Tesla Roadster.

Exterior


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746107
  • Most aggressive design Tesla has ever made
  • Compact dimensions
  • Active aerodynamic elements

While the original Roadster showed its Lotus bones through the bodywork, the Roadster 2.0 is all-new. It looks like the progeny of a Model 3 and modern Acura NSX, with the familiar Tesla fascia, now drawn back and pointy with slim arrow-like headlights that fall into hugely flared fenders. The stance is low and wide, with prominent cuts in the lower front bumper, side skirts, and rear end. The proportions move the cabin back, enhancing the front hoodline.

Yeah, you know it looks good. In fact, we’d say we pretty much nailed it with our original Tesla supercar rendering –


2020 Tesla Supercar - image 721328

Note: TopSpeed Tesla Supercar rendering pictured here.

Of course, it’s not the most streamlined Tesla we’ve ever seen, but we like it like that. Drag doesn’t seem to be a major problem here, as you’ll find out in the drivetrain section below. What’s more, it’s obvious the Tesla Roadster 2.0 comes equipped with active aero elements that will surely keep it planted while exploring the car’s absurd speed potential, then recede back to eke out a few more miles while cruising.

Interior


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746109
  • Large touchscreen provides the inputs
  • Highly bolstered sports seats
  • Clean layout and design
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • “Capacious” storage space
  • Targa top offers unlimited headroom

The space age aggression continues inside, where we find a simple dash and control layout. The user inputs are dominated by a large touchscreen, which stretches down through the center of the cabin to provide readouts on navigation, road speed, and similar stats. The seats are contoured and highly bolstered, while the color scheme incorporates large swaths of primary colors that enhance the natural “clean” feel of the layout.

The steering wheel is a tiny, rectangular thing that looks like it came straight out of Star Trek. Lots of brushed metal and carbon give it that premium sports vibe you’d want from the segment. There’s also a G meter to show you just how hard you’re bending the laws of physics.

“Lots of brushed metal and carbon give it that premium sports vibe you’d want from the segment. There’s also a G meter to show you just how hard you’re bending the laws of physics.”

However, while you might expect very little practicality from a machine like this, the Roadster 2.0 actually has a lot to offer as a simple means of transport. The seating arrangement accommodates up to four passengers in a 2+2 layout, and while Musk admits that “you can’t put giant people in the rear seat,” the fact is has one at all is pretty impressive. Add to that a “capacious” storage space, undoubtedly mostly thanks to the extended frunk (Tesla’s term for the spot under the hood left empty by the all-electric powertrain), and this thing should be able to swallow enough luggage for at least a weekend getaway.

Finally, a removable targa top opens up the Roadster 2.0 to unlimited headroom. And that’s great, because after all, anyone driving a Tesla obviously cares about enjoying lots of fresh air, right?

Drivetrain


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746108
  • Potentially sets multiple world records
  • 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds
  • 0-to-100 mph in 4.2 seconds
  • Quarter mile in 8.9 seconds
  • 250+ mph top speed
  • 620 miles of range per charge
  • 7,376 pound-feet of torque
  • Three motors, 200-kWh battery

So it looks awesome and the cabin makes you feel like firing off some photon torpedoes. That’s all well and good, but by far the most impressive thing about the Tesla Roadster 2.0 is its powertrain technology. The specs getting tossed around are almost absurd, but if they turn out to be real, the Roadster 2.0 will break multiple world records.

Here’s the score – 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds, which would make this Tesla the first production car to break the 2-second barrier in the 0-to-60 mph test. A run from 0-to-100 mph takes 4.2 seconds, another record for production cars. Finally, the quarter mile takes just 8.9 seconds, which would make the all-electric the first production car to break the 9-second barrier in the benchmark.

And take note – these are records for all production cars, not just EVs. Impressed yet?

“These are records for all production cars, not just EVs. Impressed yet? ”

We sincerely hope Tesla can actually follow-through here, and based on the automaker’s resume, it most likely will. After all, the Model S P100D can already hit 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds.

Incredibly, these numbers represent the base model Roadster 2.0, which means Tesla is cooking up even quicker iterations for the future, with a possible reveal hinted at next year.

Now it’s time to talk about the EV-specific records this thing could set. First up – top speed, which is stated to exceed 250 mph top speed. That would make it the fastest production electric car ever made by a huge margin, and place the Roadster 2.0 amongst the fastest of the fast from the world of internal combustion. Range per charge is rated at 620 miles, which is again, the most of any electric car ever made, and a total game-changer for EVs. It would make the Roadster 2.0 the first production all-electric passenger vehicle to do more than 1,000 km at freeway speeds in a single charge. Say goodbye, range anxiety.


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746104
“Torque figures are rated 10,000 Nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, a figure that even Musk agrees is “stupid.””

Making it all work is a new 200-kWh battery pack, which sends its prodigious flow of electrons to three motors, one up front two in the rear, which means it’s also got AWD grip. Horsepower figures are still forthcoming, but apparently torque figures are rated 10,000 Nm, or 7,376 pound-feet, a figure that even Musk agrees is “stupid.”

Finally, torque vectoring helps it handle. We don’t know how much this thing weighs, but we’re guessing it’s probably pretty heavy for its size, so it’s likely not the liveliest thing ever in the corners. Still, 10,000 Nm of torque can fix a lot.

Tesla Roadster 2.0 Performance
0-to-60 mph 1.9 seconds
0-to-100 mph 4.2 seconds
Quarter mile 8.9 seconds
Top speed 250+ mph
Range per charge 620 miles
Battery pack 200 kWh
Electric motors 3 (one in front, two in rear)
Torque 10,000 Nm

Prices

Although previously scheduled for a release in 2019, the Tesla Roadster 2.0 has been pushed back a year to 2020. Tesla is taking reservations now at $50,000 a piece. The final sticker is expected to be around $200,000.

What’s more, Tesla is offering the first 1,000 units as part of the special edition Founder series. Perks for the Founder series are currently unknown, but pricing sees a rise to $250,000, and interested buyers are required to front the full quarter million bucks up front to reserve theirs.

Competition

NextEV NIO EP9


There's A New King Of The Nürburgring And It's Not Who You Think - image 716730

Based out of China, NextEV is already on the EV supercar scene with its NIO EP9. Crafted from carbon fiber, the NIO EP9 does its performance dance thanks to four electric motors producing a combined 1,314 horsepower. Acceleration and top speed can’t touch the Roadster 2.0, with 2.7 seconds to 62 mph and a maximum of 195 mph. However, this thing’s handling might have the Tesla beat, with active suspension and aero helping it pull up to 3 G’s in the twisties.

Rimac Concept_One


2017 Rimac Concept One - image 666768

Here’s another battery-driven slab of speed, this time coming from the Croatian-based manufacturer Rimac. Producing upwards of 1,072 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque, the Concept_One can snap off a run to 62 mph in 2.6 seconds, while maxing out at 221 mph. AWD keeps it sticky.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 746100

While it’s possible the Tesla Roadster 2.0 will look and go a bit differently when it finally hits the public streets in 2020, odds are this early preview is pretty close to the mark already. And that’s a truly incredible thing, if you think about it. Both competitors listed above are at least four times as expensive, and can’t come close in terms of sheer all-electric muscle. Throw in the fact the Tesla breaks 1,000 km per charge and even has space for luggage, and it quickly becomes obvious that the California automaker is launching a new epoch in the world of the automotive.

It looks like the future just got a whole lot brighter.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Still three years out
    • Likely to be delayed multiple times

References


2007 Tesla Roadster - image 233849

Tesla Roadster


2015 Tesla Model S 70D - image 625893

Tesla Model S

Rendering


2020 Tesla Roadster - image 638858

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