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Archive for the ‘special editions’ Category

PostHeaderIcon McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO

2018 McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO

Introduced earlier this year at the Geneva International Motor Show, the McLaren 720S is the second addition to the Woking brand’s Super Series line, offering high-end exotic performance and styling in a more accessible package. Indeed, a daily driver supercar makes for a great fit in a place like Dubai, and as such, McLaren just dropped the above-featured one-off as the piece de resistance for this year’s Dubai International Motor Show. Built by McLaren Special Operations (MSO), the brand’s in-house tuners and creative customization team, it’s dubbed the Zenith Black, and its got a careful selection of styling upgrades both inside and out that are sure to get noticed, even when the local police force consists of hoverbikes and Bugatti Veyrons.

All told, this is an utterly unique creation, as indicated by the “1 of 1” placard inside the cabin. MSO spent an extra 120 hours on top of the usual production process to bring it to life, and overall, we think it looks great. The theme pays homage to the idea of “achievement” in a distinctive fashion – read on to learn exactly what that means.

Continue reading to learn more about the McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO.

What Makes The McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO Special

  • One-off bespoke model
  • Black and gold color scheme inside and out
  • Gold wheels
  • Gold paddle shifters
  • Lots of carbon fiber extras for the exterior
  • 24-carat gold heat shield
  • Rear wing painted to resemble Dubai skyline
  • Bruce McLaren quote in Arabic
  • Customization took 120 hours to complete
  • Stock twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8

For starters, the whole car comes draped in a menacing shade called Zenith Black, complete in a soft, gloss-free satin finish. Further exterior upgrades include a carbon fiber exterior package, which tosses in composite components for the front splitter, door mirror stalks, rear aero bridge, air intakes, roof, rear diffuser, engine cover, rear deck, and rear bumper. Each component is offered as part of the MSO Defined line of extras.

The alloy wheels stand out thanks to their gold finish and look quite good against the understated black paint and carbon extras. There’s also a 24-carat gold heat shield for the engine cover, much like the venerable McLaren F1 from the ‘90s.


2018 McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO - image 744852
“More gold coloring was added inside the cabin as well, enhancing the paddle shifters, steering wheel central spokes, and inner door line”

More gold coloring was added inside the cabin as well, enhancing the paddle shifters, steering wheel central spokes, and inner door line. Once again, we think the color combo works quite well, and comes offset by black Alcantara upholstery, black leather trim, and carbon embellishments for the side sills, fascia vents, and steering wheel.

However, the most memorable detail of the Zenith Black can be found on the rear wing, which was also painted with gold detailing and took 30 hours to complete.
Interestingly, the wing now bears a quote from Mr. Bruce McLaren himself, finished in Arabic and stylized to resemble the Dubai skyline. The quote reads: “Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.”


2018 McLaren 720S Zenith Black By MSO - image 744856
“The wing bears a quote from Mr. Bruce McLaren himself, finished in Arabic and stylized to resemble the Dubai skyline”

Basically, Bruce was saying that the number of years you’re alive isn’t the only measure of a life, but rather, the achievements made during that time are just as important. Indeed, the idea of “achievement” was the driving force behind the commission, as explained by McLaren brass Andreas Bareis: “The quote from Bruce McLaren rings true not only of the history of McLaren but also the achievements of the U.A.E. and the Gulf states over the last four decades. The U.A.E. and the region are very important to McLaren, not only in terms of our client base but also because of the support from our shareholders. This car pays tribute to that.”

Finally, the engine spec and speed remain unchanged, with a stock twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 mounted behind the cabin. Output is measured at 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels by way of a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

References

McLaren 720S


2018 McLaren 720S - image 709282

Read our full review on the 2018 McLaren 720S.

McLaren F1


1993 McLaren F1 - image 674548

Read our full review on the 1993 McLaren F1.

PostHeaderIcon Buick LaCrosse Avenir

2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir

Launched in 2005 as a replacement for both the Buick Century and Lucerne, the LaCrosse was a big success in its first full year on the market, selling close to 100,000 units. Although sales dropped and the sedan rarely moved more than 50,000 examples per year since 2007, it’s still an important car for the GM-owned brand. Redesigned for 2017 with a more elegant design and a more upscale interior, the LaCrosse is now moving higher on the premium ladder with the Avenir model.

Although the Avenir name was launched with a concept car and gave us hope of a new, luxury-oriented sub-brand, it turned out to be just a trim level. This was confirmed when the Enclave Avenir was unveiled earlier in 2017 as the range-topping model of the company’s full-size crossover. Now, it’s the LaCrosse’s turn to get pampered in a move that’s supposed to satisfy market demand, according to Duncan Aldred, vice president of Buick and GMC. “Nine out of ten LaCrosse buyers are choosing one of the top two trim levels — customers are signaling they want more from Buick,” he said. Let’s have a closer look at what the Avenir badge brings to the LaCrosse.

Continue reading to learn more about the Buick LaCrosse Avenir.

What makes the Buick LaCrosse Avenir special?

  • New grille with 3D honeycomb mesh
  • Redesigned bumper intake
  • Wider stance
  • More upscale look
  • Exclusive 19-inch wheels, 20-inch upgrade option
  • Chestnut upholstery
  • Optional Ebony interior
  • Embroidered headrests
  • Standard navigation and moonroof
  • Bose audio system
  • Avenir sill plates
  • Same 3.6-liter V-6 as standard model
  • Optional AWD system
left
right
“The Avenir package adds a three-dimensional grille mesh with a honeycomb design”

Just like on the Enclave SUV, the Avenir package replaces the vertical-slat, “waterfall” grille of the standard LaCrosse with a three-dimensional mesh with a honeycomb design. The same mesh was fitted in the bumper, replacing the horizontal bar seen on the regular sedan. At the same time, the lower grille is now a one-piece element with LED lights at the corners. This gives the car a wider stance, as well as a more upscale look.

Changes aren’t as significant onto the sides, but the sedan did get “Avenir” badges on the front doors and a set of exclusive, 19-inch Pearl Nickel wheels. Optionally, you can get larger, 20-inch rollers finished in Midnight Silver. Around back, the Avenir trim is identical to the regular model. Overall, Buick managed to maintain the LaCrosse’s classy and organic lines while adding subtle and tasteful details. It’s the right way to move a car up the premium ladder without overdoing it.


2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir - image 743451
“The interior gets subtle detailing and new upholstery”

As seen on the outside, the interior gets subtle detailing and new upholstery. The seats, lower dashboard, and parts of the door panels are now wrapped in Chestnut leather, a dark shade of brown that works well with the black upper dash and doors, giving the cabin a classy look. The contrasting stitching and piping seen in the Enclave didn’t make it inside the LaCrosse, but the front seats have embroidered headrests as an extra feature.

Speaking of which, the Avenir model comes standard with a navigation system and a Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound premium audio, as well as a panoramic moonroof. These three features are optional on the regular sedan. The upscale interior is rounded off by Avenir sill plates. If you don’t like the Chestnut upholstery and prefer something a bit more sober, Buick has you covered with the optional Ebony interior.


2018 Buick LaCrosse Avenir - image 743454
“Under the hood, the Avenir uses the same 3.6-liter V-6 as the standard LaCrosse”

Under the hood, the Avenir uses the same 3.6-liter V-6 as the standard LaCrosse. This isn’t surprising though, as it’s the only drivetrain option for the third-generation sedan. Although similar to the previous V-6, the unit is actually new, having been launched with the Cadillac XT5 crossover. The mill cranks out 305 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, a mild increase over the outgoing unit, but the fact that the new LaCrosse is some 300 pounds lighter makes quite a difference in the performance and fuel economy departments.

The engine pairs to a nine-speed automatic transmission and uses Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) and stop-start technology. The Intelligent Twin-Clutch AWD system is optional, as is the Dynamic Drive Package, which adds continuous variable real-time dampening control and a range of advanced safety features. The list of active safety systems includes Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Forward Automatic Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Automatic Park Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Rear Vision Camera.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 3.6L V-6 DI VVT
Displacement (cu in / cc) 223 / 3649
Bore & stroke (in / mm) 3.74 x 3.37 / 95 x 85.8
Block material cast aluminum w/ cast-in-place iron bore liners
Cylinder head material cast aluminum
Valve train DOHC, four valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing; Active Fuel Management
Fuel delivery direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Horsepower 305 HP @ 6,800 RPM
Torque 268 LB-FT @ 5,200 RPM
Transmission eight-speed, electronically controlled automatic overdrive with torque converter clutch

Pricing information is not available as of November 13, 2017, but the Avenir should become the most expensive model in the range. With the range-topping LaCrosse Premium costing $41,900, the Avenir could fetch at least $46,000 before options. For reference, the base model retails from $32,990.

References

Buick LaCrosse


2017 Buick LaCrosse - image 656227

Read our full article on the 2017 Buick LaCrosse.



Read more Buick news.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus Exige Cup 430

2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430

First introduced in 2000, the Lotus Exige is now well into its third generation, but so far, it stays true to its roots. Offered as a hardtop iteration of the Lotus Elise roadster, the Exige is a two-seater performance coupe that seeks a pure driving experience through low weight and incomparable simplicity. It’s a tempting formula, and as such, Lotus has offered a variety of variants over the years, each upping the ante even higher than the last. The latest Cup 430 is no different. In case you were unaware, “Cup” translates as motorsport-focused in Lotus lingo, which means this machine is even more capable when it comes to dropping the lap times. It’s still street legal, but the barebones approach is stripped down even further with less weight. However, the big story here is the extra power and added aero, all of which combine to make for the fastest road-going Exige ever made.

How fast, exactly? Well, to add science to the conversation, Lotus says the Exige Cup 430 undercuts the Lotus 3-Eleven’s time at its Hethel test circuit by 1.2 seconds, stopping the timer at 1 minute, 24.8 seconds. That makes it the fastest production car to ever lap the track. Impressed? Read on for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Exige Cup 430.

Exterior

  • More downforce thanks to revised aero
  • 485 pounds of extra aero stick
  • Staggered wheel size (17-inches in front, 18-inches in back)

2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 744959
“Function trumps form with this one, even though we think the Cup 430 is a damn good lookin’ piece of kit.”

The first thing you’ll notice about the Lotus Exige Cup 430 is its updated exterior. While only slightly changed next to the previous Exige Sport 380, the revisions make for a more effective aerodynamics package. Indeed, function trumps form with this one, even though we think the Cup 430 is a damn good lookin’ piece of kit.

Kicking things are redesigned mesh inserts for the front intakes. Mated with a new front splitter and air curtain, these components help to reduce drag without affecting downforce levels. There’s also a new splitter and trailing lip to properly direct the air flowing underneath the car, while reshaped air curtains guide the atmosphere through the front wheel arches to reduce turbulence and drag. Louvers were added behind the headlights to reduce the wheel well pressure and increase overall downforce.


2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 744960
“All said and done, the Exige Cup 430 produces upwards of 485 pounds of downforce at speed.”

In the flanks, you’ll find unique carbon fiber intakes with a wider mouth to help keep the radiators nice and chilly. In back is a behemoth motorsport-inspired wing to keep the tail planted. Made from carbon fiber and sporting taller dimensions, this unit once again manages to increase downforce without affecting drag. Cut-out sections behind the rear wheels also reduce pressure.

All said and done; Lotus boasts that the Exige Cup 430 produces upwards of 220 kg (485 pounds) of downforce at speed. It’ll also make the same amount of downforce at 100 mph as the Exige Sport 350 does at its top speed of 170 mph.

New lightweight clamshells were also added front and back, with a hybrid carbon composite material used for the various body panels. The multi-spoke, lightweight, forged alloy wheels are staggered in diameter, with 17’s in front and 18’s in back. Wheel finish includes the option for black, red, or silver as standard.

Interior

  • Barebones design
  • Alcantara, leather, or tartan upholstery offered
  • Open-gate shifter design looks hot

2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 743812
“The cabin in the Exige Cup 430 comes with just enough gear to keep you relatively comfortable”

In true Lotus fashion, the cabin in the Exige Cup 430 comes with just enough gear to keep you relatively comfortable, while cutting out just about everything else in the name of speed. The dash layout is as simple as they come, with an uncluttered layout punctuated by round air vents. The center console is composed of a head unit that looks like an aftermarket upgrade out of a ‘90s-era Civic, below which is a trio of rotary knobs. Hell, there’s even a key slot next to the steering wheel. You know, to start the engine and stuff. Very old school.

Of course, this thing isn’t a total bunker. You still get color-keyed inserts for the seats, transmission tunnel, HVAC surround, and window switches as standard, while contrast stitching was added to the Alcantara-clad steering wheel. Alcantara was added to the center console, door panels, and dash. Leather or tartan upholstery is also offered as a no-cost option.


2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 743811
“The center console is composed of a head unit that looks like an aftermarket upgrade out of a ‘90s-era Civic.”

And don’t forget all that extra carbon fiber trim. For example, there’s a handmade carbon surround for the gauges, and there’s also carbon fiber doorsills. Custom carbon race seats keep passengers firmly in place.

Lastly, the Exige Cup 430 gets one of my favorite interior details – an open-gate shifter!


2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 744668

Who doesn’t love an open-gate shifter? Bad people, that’s who.

Drivetrain

  • Mid-mounted supercharged 3.5-liter V-6
  • New supercharger from Edelbrock
  • 430 horsepower
  • 325 pound-feet of torque
  • Standard six-speed manual gearbox
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds
  • 180-mph top speed

2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 743805
“Providing the go is a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6, a powerplant that was developed from the Lotus Evora GT430”

Mounted in the middle of this thing is a new engine spec packing a good bit more power, which, if we’re honest, is a little unusual for Lotus. Typically, the brand focuses on shaving off weight and adding just a splash more power, but hey – we aren’t complaining.

Providing the go is a supercharged 3.5-liter V-6, a powerplant that was developed from the Lotus Evora GT430 and comes ready and willing thanks a new supercharger from California-based performance parts manufacturer Edelbrock. There’s also a new water-to-air charge cooler that allows the six to take on more boost. Complementing the blower is a revised intake and a larger throttle body as well, while a new oil cooler keeps it all as reliable as possible.

There’s also a high-flow titanium exhaust as standard, which Lotus promises will sound “like to other Exige at speed.” Redline is set at 7,000 rpm.

Wind it out, and output peaks at 430 horses, arriving at redline. Max twist is rated at 440 Nm (325 pound-feet), arriving at 4,000 rpm. That’s a meaty 55 extra horsepower than what you get in the Exige Cup 380, a 13-percent increase. It’s also 24 percent more go than what you get in the Exige Sport 350. And that means the Cup 430 gets a vastly improved power-to-weight ratio (more on that in the next section).

“Putting the power to the rear axle is a standard six-speed manual transmission.”

Putting the power to the rear axle is a standard six-speed manual transmission, which comes equipped with a new high-performance clutch. Diameter is now up to 240 mm, 12 mm more than the Exige Cup 380, yielding an 11-percent increase in clutch surface area.

Properly motivated, the Lotus Exige Cup 430 does the 0-to-60 mph sprint in 3.2 seconds, while top speed is rated at 180 mph.

Chassis And Handling

  • Supercharger adds weight
  • Still lighter compared to predecessor
  • 407 horsepower per metric tonne
  • More dowforce in front for better turn-in
  • Suspension offers loads of adjustability

2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 743810
“The Exige Cup 430 cuts a full 29 kg (63.9 pounds) compared to the preceding Exige 380.”

As expected, the Exige Cup 430 is sprightlier than its predecessors, cutting weight in Lotus’ never-ending quest to add lightness. Carbon fiber is used extensively, which also increases torsional rigidity while reducing heft. Composite components include the front splitter, the front access panel, the roof, the diffuser surround, the air intake side pods, the one-piece tailgate, and of course that enormous rear wing.

Further weight savings were made with the new front and rear clamshell covers, which cut 6.8 kg (15 pounds) by themselves. A new exhaust cuts out 10 kg (22 pounds) past the rear axle, helping to even out the weight distribution, while the aluminum diffuser cuts 1 kg (2.2 pounds). Finally, the interior is 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds) lighter than the Exige Cup 380.

All told, the Exige Cup 430 cuts a full 29 kg (63.9 pounds) compared to the preceding Exige 380. However, that substantial weight savings is offset by the heavier engine and drivetrain configuration, with the charge cooler and cooling system adding 15 kg (33.1 pounds), the heavy-duty clutch adding 0.8 kg (1.8 pounds), and the larger brake discs adding 1.2 kg (2.6 pounds). The final unladen weight for the 430 comes to 1,093 kg (2,410 pounds), while the dry weight is 1,059 kg (2,335 pounds). If you want the lightest configuration possible, Lotus is offering an air bag delete that brings the dry weight down to 1,056 (2,328 pounds). Impressively, that’s still at least 12 kg (26.5 pounds) lighter overall than its predecessor.

Combined with the healthier engine spec, the lower curb weight blesses the Exige Cup 430 with a fantastic power-to-weight ratio, rocking as much as 407 horsepower per metric tonne (2,205 pounds), up from the previous model’s 355 horsepower per tonne.

True to form, the Exige Cup 430 gets the proper chassis and handling upgrades to complement the increased power-to-weight. For starters, the downforce ratio between to tail and nose is now higher in front, with as much as 45 percent of the available aero centered over the front axle (as compared to the Exige Cup 380’s 36 percent front aero ratio). This increase to the front downforce allows for more precise turn-in at speed thanks to the greater grip levels.


2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 744666
“The downforce ratio between to tail and nose is now higher in front, with as much as 45 percent of the available aero centered over the front axle.”

Taking advantage of the stick is a variable traction control system, which is tweaked via a rotary switch on the steering column. The system is only active when the ESP is turned off, and offers six settings for more or less wheel slip as desired. These include 1 percent slip, 3 percent slip, 6 percent slip, 9 percent slip, and 12 percent slip, plus an off setting if you wanna go full Stig Mode.

Complementing the extra aero grip is a high-performance suspension set-up that comes standard with Nitron three-way adjustable shocks, offering variable settings for the rebound, low-speed compression, and high-speed compression. Further tunability comes from the adjustable front and rear sway bars provided by Eibach, which are also included as standard equipment. The steering arm geometry was also revised to help alleviate bump steer.

“Complementing the extra aero grip is a high-performance suspension set-up that comes standard with Nitron three-way adjustable shocks.”

The Exige Cup 430 should stop quite well thanks to “some of the largest calipers and rotors of any Lotus road car.” These include forged four-pot AP Racing calipers, which bite down on two-piece J-hook discs with a high thermal capacity.

In terms of safety, the lightweight track star gets a roll-over bar made from T45 steel, as well as a new seatbelt anchorage frame (which actually cuts 1.2 kg, or 2.6 pounds), an electrical cut-off, and a fire extinguisher. There’s also a front towing eye, just in case you bin it.

Finally, Michelin’s Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires make the thing grip, measuring in at 215/45 in front and 285/30 in back.

Prices


2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 744667

For those that are interested, Lotus is offering the Exige Cup 430 with a variety of options by way of the Lotus Exclusive program. The car is available for order now, with pricing is set at 99,800 pounds in the U.K., 127,500 euros in Germany, and 128,600 euros in France.

No word on whether or not this thing will arrive in the U.S., but odds are against it. And that’s a shame, really.

Competition

Porsche 911 Carrera GTS


2017 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS British Legends Edition - image 737606

While certainly a bit more plush than the Lotus, this 911 is still a mighty performance machine in and of itself. Motivated by as much as 450 horsepower, the Carrera GTS can hit 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds, continuing on to a top speed of 193 mph. RWD comes as standard, but AWD versions are offered as well. You can also drop a bit more cash on a PDK automatic transmission if you want, which slices the 60-mph benchmark down to 3.5 seconds.

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.

BAC Mono


2016 BAC Mono - image 643690

Simple, lightweight, and track-focused – BAC does all those things just as well with the Mono. With as much as 525 horsepower per tonne, the Mono is a real rocket ship, scooting to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and reaching a top speed of 170 mph. This thing also weighs less than 1,300 pounds, and is propelled by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 300 horsepower. So yeah, it’s quick, but it’s also so stripped down, it makes the Lotus look like a Bentley.

Read our full review on the 2017 BAC Mono.

Conclusion


2017 Lotus Exige Cup 430 - image 743807

It’s great to see Lotus back on track following that rough patch it had a little while ago. Now, it appears to be producing cars that offer all the good stuff we’ve come to expect from the brand, making the formula work in an age when highly complex technology seems to be all the rage. All told, it’s that simple, lightweight approach that makes Lotus so attractive, especially in a segment that’s adding batteries, hybrid systems, and other weighty equipment as the solution to going faster.

Thing is, the Exige Cup 430 is unique in that its not only lighter than it’s predecessor, but it also adds significant levels of power. And you don’t always see that from the British brand.

“This is the car that we have always wanted to build, and I am sure that all Lotus enthusiasts will be delighted with the end product,” says Jean-Marc Gales, Group Lotus CEO. “As well as a significant power hike, the Cup 430 has benefitted from the extensive development in areas essential to Lotus’ DNA, in order to ensure that the full potential of the Exige’s incredible chassis can be exploited.”

All told, this giant killer is a serious slice of motorsport-inspired performance. It’s the Exige in it’s top street-legal form, a leveled-up two-seater with enough go to put the bigger, badder competition to shame. And we like that.

  • Leave it
    • Very expensive
    • Not exactly luxurious
    • Almost definitely not coming to the U.S.

References

Lotus Exige


2012 - 2015 Lotus Exige S - image 574249

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Exige.


2017 Lotus Exige Sport 380 - image 697541

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Exige 380.


2016 Lotus 3-Eleven - image 635143

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus 3-Eleven.


2017 Lotus Evora GT430 - image 724277

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Evora GT430.

PostHeaderIcon Bugatti Chiron “Number One” Edition

2018 Bugatti Chiron

In case you’re still in the market for a Bugatti Chiron, now’s as good a time as any to bring out the checkbooks because one particular example of the Chiron is scheduled to go up for auction at the RM Sothebys event in New York City this coming December 6. Even better, this isn’t just a “standard” Chiron; it’s been decked out in a special livery, has only 250 miles on the odometer, and hasn’t even been registered for road-use here in the U.S. All that and I still haven’t gotten to the best part as this Chiron is also the very first production Chiron and the first ordered for the U.S. market. There’s a reason, after all, why it’s called the Bugatti Chiron Number One.

Having said all that, the Chiron Number One’s estimated selling price sits at $3.5 million to $4 million. It’s a premium price compared to the supercar’s retail price of about $3 million, but don’t be surprised if it surpasses its own estimate, owing to the significance of this particular model as the first of its kind to come out of production. Should any of you be interested, you’re going to need to give yourselves some kind of latitude as far as how much you’re willing to bid for the car. I can’t speak for everyone else, but if I had the money to spend for this potentially historic Bugatti Chiron, I’d be all over it considering its historical potential as the first-production unit of its kind. And I’ll be honest. The 1966 Batmobile-inspired colors look pretty cool too.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Bugatti Chiron Number One

What makes the Bugatti Chiron Number One special?

  • First Buggati Chiron to roll off the production line
  • First Buggati Chiron ordered for the U.S.
  • Est selling price $3.5-4 million
  • 250 miles on odometer (Testing only)
  • 1966 Batmobile-inspired livery
  • Unregistered in the U.S.
  • 1-of-500 plague
  • Black leather interior with read stitching
  • 8-liter, quad turbo, W-16 engine
  • 1,500 horsepower & 1,180 pound-feet of torque
  • 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds
  • 0-120 mph in 6.5 seconds
  • 0-190 mph in 13.6 seconds
  • Top speed rated at 261 mph
  • Lots of extras included with sale!

2018 Bugatti Chiron "Number One" Edition - image 744546
“The Chiron Number One’s estimated selling price sits at $3.5 million to $4 million”

Unless special work is done on a Bugatti Chiron by Bugatti itself, I don’t know if there’s any Chiron in the market right now that can claim to have more historical significance attached to it than the Chiron Number One. Let’s face it: a car like this can have numerous special editions or dressed up in fancy colors to go with the most premium of premium add-ons. That’s all well and good, but the fact remains that only one Chiron in its existence, however long it lasts, will be able to say that it has the “1 of 500” plaque in it. This is the model that has that. The only one.

So yeah, that $4 million estimate that RM Sotheby’s has for this supercar could turn into a pittance of an amount relative to the kind of price it could actually go for. I’m not saying that simply because it’s a Chiron; I’m saying that because it’s a Chiron that has tremendous historical value attached to it. The fact that it also just has 250 miles in it adds to its appeal, maybe even more than what I’m expecting because all those miles were accrued when the car was in its testing phase. That means that pretty much every element in this example of the new Bugatti supercar is still brand-new, or close to it at least. That includes the set of tires, which we know could go for upwards of $20,000 per set by itself.


2018 Bugatti Chiron "Number One" Edition - image 744544
“The interior gets a predominantly black leather treatment with contrasting red stitching on the sports seats, center tunnel, steering wheel, and doors”

Beyond its status, the Chiron Number One also has a number of cool features attached to it. None is more visible than the two-tone, black and red paint scheme that evokes memories of George Barris’ iconic 1966 Batmobile. Whew! What a beauty! Likewise, images of the interior also show a .

As expected, the Chiron Number One features Bugatti’s otherworldly 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine that produces a scintillating 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-feet of torque. All that power allows the Chiron to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds, 0 to 120 mph in 6.5 seconds, and 0 to 190 mph in 13.6 seconds. At the moment, the supercar’s top speed is capped at 261 mph in order to preserve those all-too previous tires, but rumors have indicated that the Chiron is fully capable of reaching a knee-buckling 288 mph.


2018 Bugatti Chiron "Number One" Edition - image 744554
“The Chiron sprints from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.3 seconds, 0 to 120 mph in 6.5 seconds, and 0 to 190 mph in 13.6 seconds”

Should you end up winning the auction for this special Chiron, you’re not just taking home the car itself. You also stand to get a host of accessories, including a 1:8 scale model of the exact model, dressed up in the exact same colors. An aluminum Bugatti crate counts as another freebie, containing an assortment of other goodies, including a leather box with an extra key, speed key, flash drive, car cover, and a trickle charger. Bugatti’s even throwing in an owner’s manual and reference guide for good measure.

No matter what happens in the RM Sotheby’s auction, I should point out that if there was a Bugatti Chiron to own, it’s definitely this one. What you do with that information though is all up to you.

References

Bugatti Chiron


2018 Bugatti Chiron - image 667477

Read our full review on the 2018 Bugatti Chiron.



Read more Bugatti news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model

Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition

Mercedes-AMG has decided to pull the plug on its iconic G series SUV’s with the Final Edition model before it stops the production. The company will manufacture 65 units which will be sold worldwide.

The G65 Final Edition will feature 21-inch alloys finished in matte bronze with silver brake calipers. The mirrors, bumpers, and spare-tire cover get the bronze treatment as well. The running board and exhaust get matte black elements, tying the whole package together.


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 740073
“Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition comes packed with Carbon-fiber bits all around the cabin”

On the inside, Mercedes-AMG G65 Final Edition comes packed with Carbon-fiber bits all around the cabin. Floor mats and grab handles feature the words “Final Edition” on them. The brown stitching complements the black Nappa leather upholstery well.

Under the hood is the famous, 6.0-liter V12 engine that produces a mammoth 621 horsepower. This astonishing figure is enough to pull this 6000-pound beast from standstill to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds! It is mated to an AMG 7G-Tronic seven-speed automatic transmission.

30 of these units will be available for the US market, and Mercedes will carefully handpick the dealers to whom the G65’s will be allotted. The order book will open soon, and the car is priced at an “affordable” $252,690. The car will be manufactured at Mercedes’ plant in Graz, Austria.

Author’s Take


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 740072
“The G65 Special Edition has been priced at a premium of $29,000 over its standard counterpart.”

The Mercedes AMG G65 Final Edition marks the end of an era. The G-class has been the company’s longest-running production car, spanning a life of almost 40 years. The G65 Special Edition has been priced at a premium of $29,000 over its standard counterpart. Although the G65 is being laid to rest, an all-new camouflaged Mercedes G-wagon had been spotted last year. It is just a matter of time that the heavily re-worked model hits the floor, thus resurrecting the legend.

Given the enviable clientele of G-series, it is not “how” the car will be sold with sky-high price, but “how quick” all 65 units hit the road.

References

Mercedes G-Class


Mercedes AMG G65 to bring down the curtains with Final Edition model - image 739733

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition.


2013 Mercedes G65 AMG - image 450391

Read our full review on the 2016 Mercedes-AMG G 65.


2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class - image 683652

Read our full speculative review for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class.


2018 Mercedes-AMG G63
- image 729331

Read our full speculative review for the 2018 Mercedes-AMG G63.

PostHeaderIcon Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

It’s no secret automakers have found big success in special edition versions of conventional models. Nowhere else is that truer than in the pickup market. Ram’s latest special edition is this, the Hydro Blue Sport, and it will be the last special edition of the 2017 calendar year. Then after 2018, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 will be hitting showrooms. But before that happens, expect Ram to continue offering dolled-up versions of its current pickups in 2018.

Mike Manley, the head of Jeep and Ram brands, says, “The custom look and high-impact colors have been well received in the marketplace and this new Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport will surely stand out on dealers’ lots and in customers’ driveways. Enthusiasts demand that their trucks get noticed and our Ram 1500 Sport lineup delivers a durable, powerful alternative with great visual appeal.”

Naturally, General Motors says the same about its special edition Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, too. And truth be told, they’re right. We recently spent a week with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition and found plenty of people staring and making approving comments. Will the Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport have the same effect? Tell us in the comments after reading all the details down below.

Continue reading for details on the 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport.

What makes the Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport special

  • Based on 2018 Ram 1500 Crew Cab, short bed
  • 5.7-liter Hemi V-8
  • 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque
  • 2WD or 4WD
  • Hydro Blue paint
  • Body-colored grille, bumpers, and trim
  • Black interior with Hydro Blue accenting
  • Only 2,000 examples built
  • Sales start November 2017
  • Pricing starts at $47,455

2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport - image 744030
“The Hydro Blue Sport is based on the 2018 Ram 1500 Sport trim with the Crew Cab and short bed.”

Remember that insanely catchy song from 1999, “I’m Blue” from Eifel 65? The one with gibberish for lyrics and that spacey sound that dominated pop music at the turn of the millennium? Yeah, that stupid song is now trapped in my head. Yours too, now. Well, that’s what comes to mind with the Hydro Blue Sport Ram 1500.

The Hydro Blue Sport is based on the 2018 Ram 1500 Sport trim with the Crew Cab and shorter, five-foot, seven-inch cargo bed. The special edition is only offered with the venerable 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard, too. Customers do have the choice between 2WD and 4WD. Either way, the Hemi kicks out a respectable 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.


2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport - image 744028
“The truck comes coated in Hydro Blue paint with matching bumpers, mirror caps, door handles, and grille.”

As for the unique parts, the truck comes coated in Hydro Blue paint with matching bumpers, mirror caps, door handles, and grille. Basically everything else is glossy black, including the grille inserts and R-A-M logo, the door badges, and the rear Ram’s Head badge on the tailgate.

As for the wheels, rear-drive trucks come with polished 22-inch aluminum wheels while 4WD models have polished 20-inch wheels. Customers can also upgrade to blacked out wheels, though the sizes remain the same in accordance with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains.


2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport - image 744027
“Black serves as the base color for the dash, seats and carpet.”

Inside, the blue theme continues. Black serves as the base color for the dash, seats and carpet. The Hydro Blue hue is seen on the anodized aluminum trim surrounding the HVAC vents, along the center console, and on the door panels, It’s repeated in the contrast stitching in the seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The seats are cloth with leather-wrapped bolsters and headrests. Those who want full leather seats can order their truck that way.

Other factory-added options include Ram’s Active level air suspension, ParkSense, the RamBox storage boxes in the bed walls, side steps, and the blacked-out wheel options mentioned earlier.


2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport - image 744031
“Only 2,000 will be built and prices start at $47,455.”

Like any good special edition, Ram is limiting production of the Hydro Blue Sport. Only 2,000 will be built and the order books are already open. Dealerships will begin receiving the truck before the month is over (November 2017). Ram is charging $47,455 for the 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport, which includes the $1,395 destination fee. Naturally, adding options raises that price.

For those wanting something different from Ram, the brand already has the Sublime green, Copper, and Ignition Orange Sport special editions for 2017.

So what do you think? Are you blue enough to drive this Hydro Blue bad boy? Tell us in the comments.

References

Ram 1500


2017 Ram 1500 Copper Sport - image 704779

Read our full review on the 2017 Ram 1500.



Ream more Ram news.

PostHeaderIcon The Gift That Keeps On Giving: A New One-Off Pagani Zonda Is On The Horizon

One-Off Pagani Zonda Created For TopCar Customer

Just when you thought it was safe to assume that the Pagani Zonda will now get to rest in peace, those assumptions are once again getting thrown out of whack because a new one-off Zonda is about to be unveiled. At this point, thinking of the Zonda as a departed model has turned into a futile exercise. It’ll always be around for as long as there’s someone out there willing to pay for an opportunity to get one. That seems to be the case with this new one-off Zonda, which comes to us by way of Pagani and Russian tuner TopCar.

Judging by the visible presence of TopCar’s shark logo in the photos, this particular one-off Zonda appears to be some sort of collaboration between the Italian automaker and the Russian tuning company that’s known in the new world for some racy exotic tunes in the past. The full details on the nature of the build have yet to be revealed, but the project itself has been billed as an “original car,” suggesting, it seems, that this particular Zonda is a new model and not a reconfiguration of an existing model like the three other one-off Zondas that have already made their debuts this year. Regardless of its roots, this new one-off Zonda will live up to the legacy of its one-off predecessors as a bonafide head-turner. It already looks the part of a legitimate one-off, and at this point, the only thing it needs now is a fancy nickname.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

What do we know about this new one-off Pagani Zonda?

  • Body has exposed carbon fiber with a unique shade of blue
  • Gold trim and wheels create a contrast and adds to the tri-color trim
  • Gold wheels round out the exterior package
  • Some custom work by TopCar – A first for a Pagani Zonda
  • Interior gets carbon fiber, leather, and wood trim

The Gift That Keeps On Giving: A New One-Off Pagani Zonda Is On The Horizon - image 743489

Apart from the nickname or whatever Pagani decides to call the color scheme, everything is pretty much on the table here, that is if these images paint an accurate picture of what we can expect.

From the looks of it, this Zonda example carries an exposed carbon fiber body that’s been dressed up in a specific shade of blue. Gold trim on the sides help to create a nice contrast to the overall look while the unmistakable tri-color trim representing Italy’s flag is likewise present throughout the car, including on the sides of the hood scoop and the sides of the rear wing. The prevalent use of carbon fiber on the body of the Zonda is a Pagani specialty, and this new one-off Zonda is no different. As a final touch, a new set of gold wheels has been added to the equation. While it’s not explicitly said, I suspect that these wheels and some of the aerodynamic components in the supercar – the rear wing, perhaps? – are some of TopCar’s contributions to this build. I may be wrong, but since this one-off Zonda was commissioned by a customer of the Russian tuner, I think that TopCar put in a few bits and pieces of its own to make this car stand out from the rest of its one-off counterparts.


The Gift That Keeps On Giving: A New One-Off Pagani Zonda Is On The Horizon - image 743487

Move inside, and the presence of carbon fiber is just as evident as parts of the dashboard and door panels were sculpted using the same lightweight material. A good amount of leather is also included in the mix, adding to the bespoke quality of the cabin. The same can be said for the wood trim, which we can see, plain as day, on the steering wheel, handbrake, and gear shifter. The quilted pattern on the while leather section of the seats and the blue formats provide a good amount of visual balance to the plain blue leather and the aesthetics of all that carbon fiber.

As stylish as the exterior and interior of this one-off Zonda are, the drivetrain is the one section that I’m most curious about. Normally, past one-offs didn’t come with any engine upgrades, so it was safe to assume that almost all of them carried stock drivetrain credentials. In this case, the Zonda looks to have been based on the Cinque variant of the supercar so the easy answer would be that it gets its heebie-jeebies from an AMG-coursed 7.3-liter V-12 engine that produces 670 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque.


The Gift That Keeps On Giving: A New One-Off Pagani Zonda Is On The Horizon - image 743488

But here’s the thing: TopCar is somehow involved in this build, and we know from the tuner’s history that it has a long menu of engine upgrades available to a variety of exotic cars. Could it be possible then that this particular one-off Zonda has an engine tune? It’s a question that’s certainly worth asking given the players involved in the build. Is an Inferno kit in there? Maybe a Stinger? Whatever’s lurking inside the carbon fiber guts of this one-off Zonda, I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if TopCar’s fingerprints are all over it.

How does it compare to the three one-off Pagani Zondas we’ve already seen this year?

2017 has been an eventful year for the one-off Zonda craze. We’re almost halfway to November, and we’ve already seen four one-offs make their debuts this year.

Back in July, Pagani pulled the covers on not one, but two one-off Zondas, all in the space of a few days. The first of these two one-offs made its debut sporting a red carbon fiber body with matching black accents and a prominent tri-color trim. It was called the Zonda Fantasma Evo, and it received a new front fascia with the LED daytime running lights of the Zonda Tricolore. Four new carbon fiber canards were also installed, same with a large Zonda Cinque-inspired carbon fiber roof scoop, an auspicious rear wing, and a central carbon fiber fin. As definitive as these upgrades are, the defining feature of the Zonda Fantasma Evo is its history, which dates all the way back to 2005 when it first came alive as a Zonda F. It received numerous upgrades over the course of its life, and has had multiple owners in that span of time. Now it looks better than ever.


2017 Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo - image 724538

Note: photo of the Pagani Zonda Fantasma Evo

Barely a week after the Zonda Fantasma Evo surfaced, another one-off Zonda burst into the scene, this time wearing the “Riviera” monicker. That model was based on the Zonda F and received its nickname because of the inspiration it placed on the French Riviera. While it remains a Zonda F at heart, the Zonda Riviera received its one-off status after getting dressed up in a white carbon fiber body with matching blue accents on the hood and side profile of the supercar. It also received a good amount of aerodynamic carbon fiber bits, particularly a new roof scoop and a much larger rear wing than the stock version that came with the Zonda F. The front canards were also upgraded while more carbon fiber pieces appear around the headlights. All that said, the cosmetic and aerodynamic upgrades given to the Zonda Riviera didn’t equate to any engine upgrades. As such, the one-off Zonda still features a 7.3-liter V-12 engine that packs 600 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque.


2017 Pagani Zonda Riviera - image 725281

Note: photo of the Pagani Zonda Riviera

Exactly a month after the Pagani Zonda Riviera was unveiled, the Italian automaker showcased a doozy of a Zonda. It was billed the Zonda HP Barchetta, and it was built exclusively for the man behind the company, Horacio Pagani himself. It’s fitting, then, that of all the exclusive Zondas ever created, the HP Barchetta stands out for a number of reasons. For one, it comes with a cropped windshield, a feature that no other Zonda has. It also gets its fair share of carbon fiber accessories, including the front canards and rear wing. A central scoop was also added, and for good measure, the model’s set of wheels comes in different designs and colors: silver on the left and blue on the right. That’s only a small sampling on the legitimacy of the super exclusive Zonda HP Barchetta.


2017 Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta - image 727484

Note: photo of the Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta

References

Pagani Zonda


2005 Pagani Zonda F - image 12232

Read our full review on the Pagani Zonda F.


2010 Pagani Zonda Tricolore - image 350168

Read our full review on the Pagani Zonda Tricolore.

PostHeaderIcon BMW M3 CS

2018 BMW M3 CS

Introduced in 2014, the latest-generation BMW M3 set new benchmarks in the premium compact sedan segment. However, things changed when Mercedes-Benz launched the AMG C63, which unlike the Bimmer still had a V-8 engine and arrived in dealerships with significantly more power. And while the M3 fell behind the competition in terms of performance, the M4 was enabled to keep up and even raise above its rivals thanks to the GTS and CS limited-edition models. Fortunately, the M3 also received the attention it deserves in 2017 with the CS package, a club sport-style upgrade that makes it more suitable for track use, but without taking it over the top with the extreme rear wing of the GTS.

Essentially an M4 CS with the extra door and the longer rear roof, the M3 CS is a slightly more practical proposition in the CS lineup. Not only it misses the roll-cage available with the coupe, it also provides seating for up to five people, which maintains it in the family car market. Of course, no one will really buy it as a family car, but it doesn’t force customers to use it a two-seater only. More good news comes from the availability department, as the M3 CS is slated to come to the United States. On the other, production will be limited to a little over 1,000 units, with less than half set to cross the pond to North America. And much like the M4 CS, it will be significantly more expensive than the the standard M3. But more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M3 CS.

Official video

Exterior

  • CFRP and carbon aero parts
  • New bumper with larger intakes
  • Gurney flap rear spoiler
  • Aggressive diffuser
  • Stainless-steel exhaust pipes
  • Shadow Line black trim package
  • DTM-inspired wheels

2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743433
“Not surprisingly, the M3 CS is identical to the M4 CS, save for the extra rear doors and the longer roof”

Not surprisingly, the M3 CS is identical to the M4 CS, save for the 3 Series-specific features such as the extra rear doors and the longer roof. The fact that the presentation model is finished in Lime Rock Grey Metallic, the same color as the M4 CS introduction car, makes the similarities between the two Bimmers that much more evident. So we’re looking at the similar CS updates, which are heavily based on those on seen on the M4 GTS.

Up front, the sedan’s looks and aerodynamics were enhanced by means of a front splitter made from exposed carbon-fiber and a revised apron with larger intakes that improve engine and braking system cooling. The standard engine hood was ditched in favor of a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic unit with a massive bulge in the middle and additional vents. On top of looking more aggressive, it’s also around 25 percent lighter than that of the regular M3. The CS look is rounded off by black trim instead of chrome, which comes with the standard Shadow Line package.


2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743441
“The forged, light-alloy wheels with ten-spoke design is inspired by DTM racing”

Onto the sides, the CS retains the usual M3 design elements, but the same Shadow Line package adds black window trim, lower mirror caps and door handles. In addition, it rides on special forged, light-alloy wheels with a ten-spoke design borrowed from the M4 DTM race car. Finished in Orbit Grey Matt, they blend almost seamlessly with the exterior paint and probably provide a great contrast with the other color options.

Around back, there’s a Gurney lid spoiler made from carbon-fiber. The aerodynamic element, which helps reduce rear axle lift, is taken from the M4 CS. Although not as aggressive as the big wing seen on the M4 GTS, it’s better suited for the sedan’s classier, Club Sport look. The CS also shares the OLED taillights, the rear diffuser, and the carbon-fiber-reinforced (CFRP) diffuser with its coupe counterpart. The four exhaust pipes are made from stainless-steel.


2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743431
“The Gurney lid spoiler made from carbon-fiber helps reduce rear axle lift”

As far as paint options go, the M3 CS is finished in Alpine White as standard. However, customers can also opt for either San Marino Blue Metallic, Lime Rock Grey Metallic (pictured), Frozen Dark Blue II Metallic or Black Sapphire Metallic.

All told, the M3 CS is nearly as aggressive as the bonkers M4 GTS, missing only the race-inspired rear wing. It’s by far the most aggressive iteration of the current 3 Series and it’s definitely more menacing to look at than the already iconic M3 CSL.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 110.70
Length (Inches) 183.89
Width (Inches) 73.89
Height (Inches) 56.06
Track, front/rear (Inches) 62.16/63.14

Interior

  • Two-tone Merino leather
  • Alcantara inserts
  • “CS” graphics and lettering
  • Gray contrast stitching
  • M sports steering wheel
  • M sports seats
  • No roll-cage like the M4 CS
  • Standard Harman Kardon sound system

2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743435
“The interior of the M4 CS was transferred inside the sedan with all of its exclusive features”

The interior of the M4 CS was transferred inside the sedan with all of its exclusive features. The cabin is almost entirely black, draped in Merino leather and Alcantara. The upper dash if wrapped in black leather with grey stitching, but the area above and around the center stack is dressed in Alcantara. Light gray “CS” lettering adds exclusivity to the dashboard. More light gray stitching is found around the glove compartment and trickles down into the center console, which features a good amount of Alcantara. The seats are the only features that aren’t completely black. Here, the black side bolsters are complemented by Silverstone center sections. That’s light grey with a dash of silver.


2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743428
“Unlike the M4 CS, the sedan doesn’t have a roll cage fitted in the back”

The seats are M sports units and are borrowed from the M3 Competition Package. The steering wheel is of the same variety and features exclusive, anthracite-colored Alcantara and a silver stripe at the 12 o’clock position. The door sills feature special strips with “M3 CS” lettering. Despite being a track-oriented model, the sedan is equipped with a full range of convenience features, including automatic climate control, a navigation system, and a Harman Kardon surround sound system. Unlike the M4 CS, the sedan doesn’t have a roll cage fitted in the back. So you get a bit more everyday practicality.

Drivetrain

  • Beefed-up six-cylinder engine
  • 453 horsepower
  • 443 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds
  • Top speed increase from 155 to 174 mph
  • Standard M Driver’s Package
  • Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires
  • Optional M Carbon Ceramic brakes

2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743437
“Output was increased to 453 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque”

Just like the M4 CS, the M3 CS gets its juice from a beefed-up version of the twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine found in the standard sedan. Output was increased to 453 horsepower (460 PS) and 443 pound-feet of torque, which accounts for an extra 28 horses and 37 pound-feet over the regular M3. All that oomph goes to the wheels through the proven, seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and enables the sedan to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 3.7 seconds, two tenths quicker than the stock model. Top speed increased from the standard 155-mph rating to 174 mph thanks to the M Driver’s Package, which comes standard with the CS badge.


2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743443
“The six-cylinder engine features BMW latest drivetrain technology, including high-precision direct injection”

The six-cylinder engine features BMW latest drivetrain technology, including high-precision direct injection, Valvetronic variable valve lift, and Double-VANOS fully variable camshaft timing control. As a result, it has a maximum engine speed rated at 7,600, close to GT-spec race cars. The oil supply system is another technical highlight, having been designed with input from motorsport engineers. The magnesium oil pump keeps the engine lubricated under longitudinal and lateral forces of up to 1.4 g, enabling the M3 CS to tackle extreme driving maneuvers at the race track. The new exhaust pipe provides lower back-pressure for enhanced power, while a new system of flaps provide optimum feedback on the engine’s load state for a sporty exhaust note.

Just like the M4 CS, the sedan comes standard with the Adaptive M Suspension. This puts three modes at the driver’s disposal – Comfort, Sport, and Sport + — each using different damper and steering settings. There’s also an Active M Differential, a limited-slip unit that further enhances stability and traction. It’s pretty obvious that the M3 CS is largely an M3 Competition Package underneath, but there are a few extras to consider, including more rigid axles and revised double-joint front spring struts and five-link rear axle.


2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743429
“The forged wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires for increased grip”

The forged wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires for increased grip, while stopping power is provided by BMW M compound brakes with four-piston calipers at the front and two-piston units to the rear. However, these can be updated to BMW M Carbon Ceramic brakes, which feature six-piston calipers at the front and four-piston calipers at the rear.

There’s no word yet on whether the M3 CS completed blistering Nurburgring lap – the M4 CS did it in 7:38 minutes, but it’s safe to assume that the sedan was also tested on the German track. And I’m sure it would be almost as quick, which would put it on par with cars like the Lexus LFA and the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera.

Drivetrain Specifications

Config/No of cyls/valves Inline/6/4
Engine technology M TwinPower Turbo technology: two mono-scroll turbochargers, High Precision Direct Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve lift, Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing
Effective capacity 2,979 cc
Stroke/bore 89.6/84.0 MM
Compression ratio :1 10.2
Horsepower 453 HP @ 6,250
Torque 443 LB-FT @ 4,000 – 5,380 RPM
Transmission 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with Drivelogic
0 to 60 mph 3.7 seconds
Top Speed 174 mph

Prices

  • Limited to 1,200 units
  • Only 550 to be sold in the U.S.

2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743434

Pricing information for the M3 CS is not yet available, but BMW did say that order books will open starting May 2018. The German carmaker also said that production will be limited to approximately 1,200 units worldwide, with “approximately 550 units coming to the U.S.” It’s a bit awkward that production numbers aren’t specific at this point, but hey, I’m not here to comment on BMW’s marketing strategy. Expect the sedan to retail from around $100,000 before options, a hefty increase compared to the standard M3, which retails from $65,500.

Competition

Mercedes-AMG C63


2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 - image 569746

Unlike BMW, Mercedes didn’t bother to make limited-edition versions of the AMG C63. At least not the kind that brings more power and improved aerodynamics to the table. However, because the C63 is available with two power outputs, one of which is significantly more powerful than the M3 CS, the Stuttgart-designed sedan qualifies as a solid competitor for this Bimmer. More specifically, while the standard C63 uses a 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which is still more than the M3 CS, the C63 S has it engine uprated to 503 horses and 516 pound-feet of twist. The extra horsepower makes up for the lack of motorsport-style aerodynamic as they push the Merc to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, a tenth-second slower, but top speed is rated at 155 mph. But while you don’t get the performance and the extra features of the M3 CS, you do get an aggressive looking sedan with a fancy interior and state-of-the-art tech. What’s more, the AMG C63 S is significantly more affordable, retailing from $73,700.

Read our full story of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG C63.

Conclusion


2018 BMW M3 CS - image 743431

With the M4 having already spawned GTS and CS versions, it was a bit surprising that the M3 didn’t get a limited-edition variant in all these years on the market. But BMW finally did the right thing and gave the sedan the higher performance treatment. It’s a bit late to the party, but at least the German firm didn’t completely ignore the nameplate. Granted, most higher performance upgrades are associated with the coupe version of the previous M3 generations, but the sedan is just as important and ignoring it won’t be good for business. The fact that the Mercedes-AMG C63 significantly more powerful than the stock M3 in both trim shouldn’t have been enough to motivate BMW to act in this direction, more so with Audi still not offering a sedan version of the RS4. But, as I said, better late than never. I’m still a bit disappointed that there’s no M3 GTS to talk about, but I can understand that a high winged sedan isn’t a priority for BMW right now. What matters is that the M3 CS is more exclusive and more track oriented than any of its competitors. And this should keep enthusiasts happy.

  • Leave it
    • Awfully expensive compared to regular M3
    • Limited production run
    • The AMG C63 is still the more powerful choice

References

BMW M3


2015 BMW M3 - image 554300

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M3.

BMW M4


2018 BMW M4 CS - image 718414

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4 CS.



Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Titan XD Snow Plow Package Is Ready for a White Christmas

Recent U.S. winters have had greater than average snowfall, and it seems that the upcoming cold season won’t be any different. Nissan is doing something about it, though, by offering the Titan XD with snow plow and all the accessories needed to turn the pickup truck into a reliable, commercial or personal snow remover. Called the Snow Plow Prep Package, this special winter upgrade was showcased at the 2017 SEMA Show and will become available this fall.

The bundle includes snow plows from five leading manufacturers, so you get to choose between Boss, Fisher, Meyer, SnowEx, and Western. The package also comes with higher capacity front springs that increase front gross axle weight rating (GAWR) capacity by from 4,325 to 4,900 pounds). This allows fitment of snow plows on all three body configurations of the Titan XD (Single Cab, King Cab, and Crew Cab). It’s worth mentioning that the heavy-duty springs aren’t anything new, being already available for the Titan XD with the Heavy Duty GAWR Package, which makes vehicles equipped with that package snow plow-capable.

All these vehicles are powered by the massive, 5.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to move large quantities of snow off anything from neighborhood alleys to interstate highways. There’s no word as to how much the Snow Plow Prep Package costs, but commercial buyers will benefit from a $500 Nissan Upfit Allowance to help defer the cost of the equipment.

References

Nissan Titan


2016 Nissan Titan XD - image 610121

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan XD.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate

We’re stepping out from the madness going on at SEMA to bring you some important news from across the pond. Aston Martin, creators of some of the finest super GTs in the business, is all set to say goodbye to one of them. Yes, folks. The Aston Martin Vanquish is getting ready to say adieu, as production of the model is set to end soon. But, before that time comes, the British automaker is giving all of us one last treat in the form of the Vanquish S Ultimate, a last hurrah special edition model that will serve as a fitting swan song for the beloved Vanquish line.

The special edition model is limited to just 175 units and, as many of you might expect, it comes with plenty of exclusive features, none more important than the three exclusive color schemes that Aston has prepared specifically for the model under the “Designer Theme” banner. In addition, the automaker is also offering specially created color and trim packages that are unique to the Vanquish S Ultimate, so if any of you decide to get one, you’re getting treated to some design elements that no other Aston Martin has, presumably including the Valkyrie hypercar. That’s a pretty sweet selling point, isn’t it? Given the limited quantity, it would be ideal if you place your orders now because Aston’s already taking them. Should you luck into one, you can expect to take delivery of your Vanquish S Ultimate sometime in the first quarter of 2018.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate

What makes the Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate special

  • Three “Designer Theme” packages
  • Limited to 175 units
  • £211,995 in the UK and €278,995 in Germany (Coupe version)
  • £223,995 in the UK and €293,995 in Germany (Volante version)

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate - image 741970
“The Designer Theme color scheme consists of three different packages, each meant to bring out a unique look to the Vanquish S Ultimate.”

It’s hard to imagine a world where the Aston Martin Vanquish doesn’t exist but the good news is that we won’t have to live on because the Vanquish itself isn’t really going away. A next-generation model is already being developed with an eye towards a debut in 2018 or 2019. It’s just become customary for premium automakers these days to send off current-generation models with exclusive, special edition models. That’s what we have with the Vanquish S Ultimate and, to Aston’s credit, it did stellar work on making this a legitimate special edition.

There’s a lot to go by here, but the obvious place to start is the Designer Theme color scheme, which consists of three different packages, each meant to bring out a unique look to the Vanquish S Ultimate.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate - image 741973
“The first Designer Theme package features a monochrome Ultimate Black paintwork that was actually developed specifically for the first-generation Vanquish S Ultimate Edition”

The first Designer Theme package is the subtlest of the three. It features a monochrome Ultimate Black paintwork that was actually developed specifically for the first-generation Vanquish S Ultimate Edition that was released all the way back in 2007. That model also came with a number of exclusive nods, including semi-aniline leather with coarse stitching, leather headlining, and black chrome finish interior fittings.

For this version of the Ultimate Black Vanquish S Ultimate, Aston Martin continued with the predominantly black treatment, as shown by the use of black exhaust tailpipes, brake calipers, and window trims. Carbon fiber was also used generously on the hood louvers, front grille, and side strakes, while the set of five-spoke wheels is also dressed up in black.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate - image 741971
“The interior features a combination of Obsidian Black leather and Chestnut Tan accents and stitching.”

That said, the British automaker also switched some things up, at least compared to the model that was released 10 years ago. The most prominent of these changes are the Copper Bronze graphics around the front air intake, along the side sills, and on the rear diffuser. I like the approach Aston Martin took here because it sets up this version of the limited edition Vanquish in such a way that it doesn’t drown in black color. It also sets up the interior quite nicely with the combination of Obsidian Black leather and Chestnut Tan accents and stitching. The latter makes the cabin pop in a way that emboldens its special edition quality. Nice work here, Aston Martin.

Now let’s move on to the second Designer Theme package. It still follows a restrained visual with the use of Xenon Grey paint and matching that up with Cobalt Blue graphics and a healthy dose of carbon fiber trim and accents on the body. The yellow brake callipers provide another splash of color to the exterior as they peek from behind the gloss black five-spoke alloy wheels. This three-color setup continues in the interior of the special edition Vanquish. The dominant shade remains grey, or Phantom Grey to be exact. All the leather upholstery is finished in that shade while the contrast stitching comes in Spectral Blue and the extra color accents coming in Electric Yellow.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate - image 741974
“Each of the three Designer Theme packages also have uniform features that showcase their exclusivity”

Last but certainly not least is the third Designer Theme package. Should either of the two mentioned packages not be to your liking, Aston Martin has a dramatic color pivot with the third package. It’s predominantly dressed in White Gold paint with Bronze graphics acting as a smooth contrast. Gloss black and carbon fiber trim are still present in this package, something that I’m not keen on considering the car’s lighter shade. This is still the version I like best, but it probably would’ve been better if Aston used a lighter accent than gloss black. Move to the interior and you’re going to be greeted by a Chestnut tan leather interior with Obsidian Black accents thrown in for good measure. Again, not a fan of using black in this setup, but tan and black traditionally go well together so it’s not that much of a big deal.

Each of the three Designer Theme packages also have uniform features that showcase their exclusivity. Hardly a surprise then that these details are of the vanity persuasion, including carbon fiber side strakes that feature Rose Gold “Ultimate” decals. All three versions of the Vanquish S Ultimate also get “Ultimate” sill plaques, carbon fiber treadplates, “Ultimate” headrest embroidery, and an exclusive stitched quilting design on the seats.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate - image 741973
“The Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate Edition Coupe is priced at £211,995 in the UK and €278,995 in Germany.”

All together, that’s three distinct choices for the Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate. I’m particularly in favor of the third Designer Theme package, but given the way Aston Martin prepared all three packages, I wouldn’t be opposed to getting any of the other two as well. Even better, all three versions can be bought in coupe or Volante versions. Either way, all 175 units will be powered by the same 6.0-liter naturally-aspirated V-12 engine that produces 595 horsepower and 462 pound-feet of torque. All that power is sent to the rear wheels courtesy of an eight-speed Touchtronic III automatic transmission, which in turn helps it sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds on its way to a scintillating top speed of 197 mph.

If everything checks out for any of you and you decide to get one, be advised that this special edition model doesn’t come cheap. The Aston Martin Vanquish S Ultimate Edition Coupe, for example, is priced at £211,995 in the UK and €278,995 in Germany. Convert the price in Germany to Benjamins and you’re looking at a price of $325,000. If you feel like spending a little more to get the Volante version, you’re going to have to pay £223,995 in the UK and €293,995 in Germany. Do the same conversion and the price in USD balloons up to $342,000.

References

Aston Martin Vanquish


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S - image 695571

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S.

Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition

Tom Brady is a five-time Super Bowl champion, is regarded as the greatest quarterback in NFL history, and has a wife who is somehow more popular than he is. Tom Brady has so many things going for him that he now even has a special edition Aston Martin named after him. This is the Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition, the product of a collaboration between Touchdown Tommy and the bespoke design team over at Q by Aston Martin – Commission. It’s limited to just 12 units – no surprise there – and getting one will probably be as difficult as stopping Brady and the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Sorry, Atlanta Falcons.

There’s no word yet on how much each of these special edition Vanquish S Volantes will cost, but rest assured, they’re not going to come cheap considering the status of the name that’s attached to it. See, this isn’t so much an Aston Martin as it is an Aston Martin that Brady had a hand in designing from scratch. He may not be known for having creative design instincts, but it is pleasantly surprising to see the Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition turn out as well as it did. For one, it has impressive bespoke qualities, the kind that you expect from Brady himself. Then there’s the attention-to-detail, another hallmark Brady quality that we’re saying on full display in this Vanquish S Volante.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition.

What makes the Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition special


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition - image 741082
“According to Aston Martin, the special edition Vanquish is finished in a rich Ultramarine Black paint.”

Remember when Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said that owners would have to pay at least $2.6 million to secure a one-off Aston Martin? The Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante technically doesn’t qualify as a one-off but it does show the quality of work that Q by Aston Martin can come up with. Brady’s involvement in the design of the limited edition Vanquish is also an excellent selling point on account of the man’s popularity and status as the greatest quarterback in NFL history.

The result speaks for itself, even with the curious name of the paint color. According to Aston Martin, the special edition Vanquish is finished in a rich Ultramarine Black paint. The name sounds fancy and befitting Brady’s esteem, but apart from the soft-top roof, the body actually looks more blue than black. Still, it’s a fancy shade on the Vanquish that brings out a sporty and athletic profile.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition - image 741083
“It also plays well with the extensive use of carbon fiber in the interior and Brady’s choice of Dark Knight leather to dress up the whole cabin”

It also plays well with the extensive use of carbon fiber in the interior and Brady’s choice of Dark Knight leather to dress up the whole cabin. Specific details like the California Poppy leather paddle shift tips and the Aston Martin One-77-sourced color-keyed steering wheel not only point to the kind of bespoke potential that Q by Aston Martin has but also the meticulousness by which Brady conducts his affairs. These small details create a unified look to the interior of the special edition Vanquish S that makes me wonder if Brady has a future in car design once he decides to hang up his football helmet for good. And, to make sure that each of the 12 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition models will have Brady’s seal of approval, his signature literally appears on the sill plates together with his “TB12,” which can be found on a fender badge, embossed on the headrests, and as a pull tab on the rear of the car. The latter even gets the same California Poppy treatment.

There are no engine upgrades here, but who really cares about that at this point. Even in standard form, the Vanquish S Volante still features an imposing 6.0-liter naturally-aspirated V-12 engine that pumps out 592 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers help the Vanquish S Volante sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, 0.1 seconds quicker than its coupe counterpart. Top speed is the same at 197 mph though I don’t think that’s going to be an issue since a 197-mph top speed will still make your face do funny things.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition - image 741080
“The “TB12” logo can be found on a fender badge, embossed on the headrests, and as a pull tab on the rear of the car”

All 12 units of the Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante Tom Brady Signature Edition will come in a convertible body style. Prices have yet to be announced, but don’t expect it to come cheap either. Pricing for the Vanquish S Volante already starts from $312,950 so it’s easy to think that this 12-unit, Tom Brady-designed Vanquish S Volante will probably fetch somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000.

There’s no way I’ll be able to afford this, but I’d actually love to see Brady drive this car full blast with the roof down. With so many things going for him, it would only be fair for the rest of us if his contorted face gets immortalized as a meme. I even have a name for it already: Aston Martin Brady. Sounds good, right?

References

Aston Martin Vanquish


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante - image 725492

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S Volante.



Read more Aston Martin news.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet has launched its 2018 COPO Camaro with an all-new, 302 cubic-inch V-8 and “Supercrush” orange paint with black racing stripes just like the 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, which debuted alongside it. Both cars will make their first public appearance next week at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. And, while anyone can order the Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, the COPO Camaro is a race-bred monster built exclusively for the dragstrip and limited to 69 examples per year. Hopeful buyers have to win Chevy’s lottery for the chance at COPO keys.

The COPO Camaro has a rich history that dates back to 1969 when Illinois Chevy dealer Fred Gibb ordered 50 Camaros with the all-aluminum ZL-1 V-8 from Chevy’s central office production order system, hints the COPO name. Basically, these were special-order cars that proved insanely quick. Soon, 19 other COPO Camaros in similar configurations were ordered by other eagle-eyed dealerships. Yenko Chevrolet also got in on the action, ordering 201 COPO Camaros with a 427 cubic-inch iron-block V-8 in 1969. Sadly, the original COPO Camaros were a one-year-only phenomenon – that is, until Chevy decided to build its own COPO Camaro with its all-new, fifth-generation Camaro for 2012. Since then, the COPO tradition has lived on into the Camaro’s sixth generation and into 2018. To see what changes Chevy has made for this year, keep reading.

Continue for more information on the 2018 COPO Camaro.

Exterior

  • Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Package
  • Supercrush orange paint & black stripes
  • Purely for drag racing
  • Limited to 69 examples

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740876
“The 2018 COPO Camaro can be ordered with a bright Supercrush orange paint with the black racing stripes and Hot Wheels fender badges”

To understand why the 2018 COPO Camaro looks the way it does, we’ve got to check out the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition. This car honors the long history between the Camaro and the famed toy car builder, Hot Wheels, by throwing on a highly visible paint color, racing stripes, unique 20-inch Satin Graphite wheels, Hot Wheels badges on the front fenders, and a slew of added Hot Wheels details on the inside. It can be had in both coupe and convertible form and with either the 2LT or 2SS trim packages. That means it’s available in only the highest trim, but with the 2.0-liter turbo-four, the 3.6-liter V-6, or the 6.2-liter V-8.

The 2018 COPO Camaro can be ordered with a similar exterior treatment that includes the bright Supercrush orange paint with the black racing stripes and Hot Wheels fender badges. But that’s where the similarities end between it and the road-going Camaro. The COPO wears an airbrushed-style copy of the “Hot Wheels 50” logo on its rear haunches, has a tall ram-air hood, and drag racing equipment that includes skinny front tires massive rear slicks, wheelie bars, and a parachute. You’ll also notice the missing side mirrors and low-buck headlights. Those changes are meant to save weight. There’s no denying the COPO is meant to live on the drag strip.

Interior

  • NHRA-certified to race
  • Gutted cabin for reduced mass
  • Pro-level gauges and controls

2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740872

Note: Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition pictured here.

Speaking of saving weight, the COPO Camaro’s cockpit barely resembles the production car. The dashboard, steering wheel, and door panels are about the only stock pieces still in place. NHRA-rated racing seats and five-point harness replace the standard seats. A full roll cage keeps the driver and front passenger protected. Controls include a set of aftermarket analog gauges, an A-pillar-mounted tachometer, a shift light, and a rocker switches in place of the infotainment screen that controls the ignition, fuel pump, radiator fans, and the starter motor. A ratchet shifter controls the TH400 three-speed automatic transmission and beside that is a lever to release the parachute. It’s all business inside the COPO.

Drivetrain

  • New 302 cubic-inch V-8 built for high revs
  • 427 cubic-inch V-8 with 470 horsepower
  • Supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8 with 580
  • Quarter-mile times in mid-8s at 160 mph
  • TH400 three-speed automatic
  • Solid rear axle

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740877
“The 2018 COPO Camaro has three engine options”

The 2018 COPO Camaro has three engine options. There’s the 427 cubic-inch, 7.0-liter V-8, the supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8 (5.7 liters), and the new 302 cubic-inch V-8. The new 4.9-liter replaces the 410-horsepower, LT1-based 6.2-liter found in the 2016 and 2017 COPOs. Technically, the 4.9-liter is a de-stroked 6.2-liter LT1 that’s build to hit higher revs. Chevy didn’t get into the exact details, but expect to see the 302’s redline well past 7,000 rpm. Likewise, horsepower and torque figures haven’t been published, but expect it to be competitive with the outgoing 6.2-liter.

The returning 427 is also naturally aspirated and is based on the LS7 V-8 found in the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28. In this application, it should make 470 horsepower. The supercharged 5.7-liter is an LSX small block race mill with a 2.9-liter roots-type blower force-feeding it cool air. Last year, the engine made an NHRA-certified 580 horsepower and boasted a redline of 8,000 rpm. That’s no joke.
In fact, the 350-powered COPO will do the quarter-mile in the mid-eights at a blistering 160 mph.

“Regardless of engine choice, the transmission is an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter”

Regardless of engine choice, the transmission is an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter. Super strong with crazy fasts shifts, the turbo-hydramatic 400 is a legendary transmission that’s been used for decades.

And unlike the standard sixth-generation Camaro with its independent rear end, the COPO uses a solid rear axle with a multi-link suspension system. The front suspension is also adjustable to suit track conditions. That just goes to show, sometimes old technology works just fine.

The COPO is designed to compete in the NHRA’s Stock Eliminator Class.

Pricing


2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 741105

The exact pricing for the 2018 COPO Camaro has not been announced, but 2016 and 2017 COPOs sold for between $90,000 and $110,000, depending on what options were ordered. Expect those prices to continue, though Chevy is likely to charge more for the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary paint job.

On the road-legal 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, the package adds $4,995 to the MSRP and is limited to 2,500 cars.

Competition

2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet


2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet - image 653934

Ford is in on the NHRA Stock Eliminator and Super Stock class action, too. The 2016 Cobra Jet is a special-built drag car with 1,000 horsepower from a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that shares nearly 75 percent of its internal parts with the stock Mustang GT. It has a solid rear axle, massive drag slicks, and the all-important parachute. Inside, the cabin is stripped of all unnecessary parts and fitted with a roll cage and race seats. Basically, it’s Ford’s direct answer to the COPO Camaro. Ford even limited the Cobra Jet to 50 examples. Sadly, 2016 is the most recent example Ford has produced.

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon


2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - image 729184

The Demon has gotten plenty of press over the last year thanks to Dodge’s incredibly slow yet methodically planned rollout. The car was well worth the wait, though, thanks to its insane level of go-fast drag strip technology. Its powered by a modified Hellcat engine that displaces the same 6.2 liters of Hemi goodness, but with 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque when ran on race fuel. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the same ZF gearbox found in the standard Challenger Hellcat. Dodge somehow makes this four-seater hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph.

The best part, of course, is the Demon is completely street legal and comes with a VIN – something no COPO or Cobra Jet can boast. Better yet, Dodge is building 3,000 of them for 2017. The price is even comparatively reasonable at $86,090.

Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Conclusion


2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740876

The 2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro is a helluva car, though only if you’re planning on living life a quarter-mile at a time. Vin Diesel has met his match. The COPO offers a factory-built dragster to anybody with six figures in their bank account and enough luck to win the independently moderated and randomly drawn lottery. Remember, only 69 COPOs are built each year.

And should you want your Camaro to do more than drive straight, Chevrolet also has you covered with the Camaro GT4.R track car. This ZL1 1LE-based GT4 car is designed to out-turn, out-stop, and out-accelerate the best from Germany, all for $259,000.

  • Leave it
    • Not street legal
    • Verly limited production

References

Chevrolet Camaro


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 630471

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.


2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740868

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition.


2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 653876

Read our full review on the 2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevrolet has launched its 2018 COPO Camaro with an all-new, 302 cubic-inch V-8 and “Supercrush” orange paint with black racing stripes just like the 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, which debuted alongside it. Both cars will make their first public appearance next week at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. And, while anyone can order the Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, the COPO Camaro is a race-bred monster built exclusively for the dragstrip and limited to 69 examples per year. Hopeful buyers have to win Chevy’s lottery for the chance at COPO keys.

The COPO Camaro has a rich history that dates back to 1969 when Illinois Chevy dealer Fred Gibb ordered 50 Camaros with the all-aluminum ZL-1 V-8 from Chevy’s central office production order system, hints the COPO name. Basically, these were special-order cars that proved insanely quick. Soon, 19 other COPO Camaros in similar configurations were ordered by other eagle-eyed dealerships. Yenko Chevrolet also got in on the action, ordering 201 COPO Camaros with a 427 cubic-inch iron-block V-8 in 1969. Sadly, the original COPO Camaros were a one-year-only phenomenon – that is, until Chevy decided to build its own COPO Camaro with its all-new, fifth-generation Camaro for 2012. Since then, the COPO tradition has lived on into the Camaro’s sixth generation and into 2018. To see what changes Chevy has made for this year, keep reading.

Continue for more information on the 2018 COPO Camaro.

Exterior

  • Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Package
  • Supercrush orange paint & black stripes
  • Purely for drag racing
  • Limited to 69 examples

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740876
“The 2018 COPO Camaro can be ordered with a bright Supercrush orange paint with the black racing stripes and Hot Wheels fender badges”

To understand why the 2018 COPO Camaro looks the way it does, we’ve got to check out the 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition. This car honors the long history between the Camaro and the famed toy car builder, Hot Wheels, by throwing on a highly visible paint color, racing stripes, unique 20-inch Satin Graphite wheels, Hot Wheels badges on the front fenders, and a slew of added Hot Wheels details on the inside. It can be had in both coupe and convertible form and with either the 2LT or 2SS trim packages. That means it’s available in only the highest trim, but with the 2.0-liter turbo-four, the 3.6-liter V-6, or the 6.2-liter V-8.

The 2018 COPO Camaro can be ordered with a similar exterior treatment that includes the bright Supercrush orange paint with the black racing stripes and Hot Wheels fender badges. But that’s where the similarities end between it and the road-going Camaro. The COPO wears an airbrushed-style copy of the “Hot Wheels 50” logo on its rear haunches, has a tall ram-air hood, and drag racing equipment that includes skinny front tires massive rear slicks, wheelie bars, and a parachute. You’ll also notice the missing side mirrors and low-buck headlights. Those changes are meant to save weight. There’s no denying the COPO is meant to live on the drag strip.

Interior

  • NHRA-certified to race
  • Gutted cabin for reduced mass
  • Pro-level gauges and controls

2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740872

Note: Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition pictured here.

Speaking of saving weight, the COPO Camaro’s cockpit barely resembles the production car. The dashboard, steering wheel, and door panels are about the only stock pieces still in place. NHRA-rated racing seats and five-point harness replace the standard seats. A full roll cage keeps the driver and front passenger protected. Controls include a set of aftermarket analog gauges, an A-pillar-mounted tachometer, a shift light, and a rocker switches in place of the infotainment screen that controls the ignition, fuel pump, radiator fans, and the starter motor. A ratchet shifter controls the TH400 three-speed automatic transmission and beside that is a lever to release the parachute. It’s all business inside the COPO.

Drivetrain

  • New 302 cubic-inch V-8 built for high revs
  • 427 cubic-inch V-8 with 470 horsepower
  • Supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8 with 580
  • Quarter-mile times in mid-8s at 160 mph
  • TH400 three-speed automatic
  • Solid rear axle

2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740877
“The 2018 COPO Camaro has three engine options”

The 2018 COPO Camaro has three engine options. There’s the 427 cubic-inch, 7.0-liter V-8, the supercharged 350 cubic-inch V-8 (5.7 liters), and the new 302 cubic-inch V-8. The new 4.9-liter replaces the 410-horsepower, LT1-based 6.2-liter found in the 2016 and 2017 COPOs. Technically, the 4.9-liter is a de-stroked 6.2-liter LT1 that’s build to hit higher revs. Chevy didn’t get into the exact details, but expect to see the 302’s redline well past 7,000 rpm. Likewise, horsepower and torque figures haven’t been published, but expect it to be competitive with the outgoing 6.2-liter.

The returning 427 is also naturally aspirated and is based on the LS7 V-8 found in the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28. In this application, it should make 470 horsepower. The supercharged 5.7-liter is an LSX small block race mill with a 2.9-liter roots-type blower force-feeding it cool air. Last year, the engine made an NHRA-certified 580 horsepower and boasted a redline of 8,000 rpm. That’s no joke.
In fact, the 350-powered COPO will do the quarter-mile in the mid-eights at a blistering 160 mph.

“Regardless of engine choice, the transmission is an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter”

Regardless of engine choice, the transmission is an ATI TH400 three-speed automatic with a ratchet shifter. Super strong with crazy fasts shifts, the turbo-hydramatic 400 is a legendary transmission that’s been used for decades.

And unlike the standard sixth-generation Camaro with its independent rear end, the COPO uses a solid rear axle with a multi-link suspension system. The front suspension is also adjustable to suit track conditions. That just goes to show, sometimes old technology works just fine.

The COPO is designed to compete in the NHRA’s Stock Eliminator Class.

Pricing


2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 741105

The exact pricing for the 2018 COPO Camaro has not been announced, but 2016 and 2017 COPOs sold for between $90,000 and $110,000, depending on what options were ordered. Expect those prices to continue, though Chevy is likely to charge more for the Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary paint job.

On the road-legal 2018 Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition, the package adds $4,995 to the MSRP and is limited to 2,500 cars.

Competition

2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet


2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet - image 653934

Ford is in on the NHRA Stock Eliminator and Super Stock class action, too. The 2016 Cobra Jet is a special-built drag car with 1,000 horsepower from a supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that shares nearly 75 percent of its internal parts with the stock Mustang GT. It has a solid rear axle, massive drag slicks, and the all-important parachute. Inside, the cabin is stripped of all unnecessary parts and fitted with a roll cage and race seats. Basically, it’s Ford’s direct answer to the COPO Camaro. Ford even limited the Cobra Jet to 50 examples. Sadly, 2016 is the most recent example Ford has produced.

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon


2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon - image 729184

The Demon has gotten plenty of press over the last year thanks to Dodge’s incredibly slow yet methodically planned rollout. The car was well worth the wait, though, thanks to its insane level of go-fast drag strip technology. Its powered by a modified Hellcat engine that displaces the same 6.2 liters of Hemi goodness, but with 840 horsepower and 770 pound-feet of torque when ran on race fuel. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the same ZF gearbox found in the standard Challenger Hellcat. Dodge somehow makes this four-seater hit 60 mph in 2.3 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 9.65 seconds at 140 mph.

The best part, of course, is the Demon is completely street legal and comes with a VIN – something no COPO or Cobra Jet can boast. Better yet, Dodge is building 3,000 of them for 2017. The price is even comparatively reasonable at $86,090.

Read our full review on the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.

Conclusion


2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 740876

The 2018 Chevrolet COPO Camaro is a helluva car, though only if you’re planning on living life a quarter-mile at a time. Vin Diesel has met his match. The COPO offers a factory-built dragster to anybody with six figures in their bank account and enough luck to win the independently moderated and randomly drawn lottery. Remember, only 69 COPOs are built each year.

And should you want your Camaro to do more than drive straight, Chevrolet also has you covered with the Camaro GT4.R track car. This ZL1 1LE-based GT4 car is designed to out-turn, out-stop, and out-accelerate the best from Germany, all for $259,000.

  • Leave it
    • Not street legal
    • Verly limited production

References

Chevrolet Camaro


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 630471

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.


2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740868

Read our full review on the 2018 Chevy Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition.


2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 653876

Read our full review on the 2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake

Redesigned in 2012, the current Aston Martin Vanquish is set to retire in less than a couple of years in order to make way for a brand-new model, and the British firm is doing whatever it takes to spice things up before pulling the plug. In 2016, it unveiled a re-bodied version of the grand tourer made by Zagato, but the coupe was soon followed by a Volante version. 2017 brought a Speedster model as well, and with 2018 just around the corner Aston Martin and Zagato launched a new body style, the Shooting Brake. The wagon model will be as exclusive as its sibling and likely extremely expensive, but it’s an important milestone in a market where shooting brakes have almost gone the way of the dodo bird.

While the Vantage Zagato wagon arrived unexpectedly, it’s not exactly surprising that Aston Martin created a shooting brake. The British firm is no stranger to this body style, and it has released quite a few wagons in the past. Harold Radford built such versions of DB5, DB6, and DBS back in the 1960s, but Aston Martin made its very own production run of the Virage in the early 1990s. More recently, Bertone transformed the Rapide in a shooting brake, but these are just a few examples. We definitely need more shooting brakes on the market today, and even though the Vanquish Zagato is limited to very few examples, it will be great to see one more sports wagon hit public roads.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

Exterior

  • Muscular, Zagato-design body
  • Unique roof and rear end
  • DB11-inspired features
  • Carbon-fiber body elements
  • Glass and carbon roof
  • Exclusive wheels

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake - image 740278
“Arguably the biggest change to the car's profile is the longer, wagon-style roof”

Much like the Speedster and the Volante, the Shooting Brake model is identical to the Zagato coupe below the waist. So you’re basically getting an already good-looking grand tourer with more muscular cues and a unique twist thanks to the revised roof.

Up front, the new Zagato model sports the same massive grille with LED daytime running lights at each corner, a big splitter at the bottom, and a sculpted engine hood with big vents on each side of the center section. It also has the same deeply sculpted side skirts and DB11-inspired fender strake, but the latter was mounted on a black background. With all the other Zagato models having their front fenders finished in one color, this is yet another element that makes the Shooting Brake unique.

The side mirrors carry over unchanged, but this is cool since they’re inspired from those seen on the One-77 limited-edition supercar. But, arguably, the biggest change to the profile is the longer, wagon-style roof. The upper section is actually identical to the coupe from the A- to the B-pillars, but from there on, Aston Martin designed significantly longer quarter windows and C-pillars. The latter are flatter and continue the arch of the roof toward the front fascia. It forms a wagon-like tailgate, but with a narrower design that allows the Vanquish Zagato to keep it muscular haunches.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake - image 740277
“This Zagato is a mighty fine example of how a modern shooting brake should be designed and engineered”

The rear fascia remains the same as far as the round taillights, the pointy decklid, and the carbon-fiber diffuser go. However, the rear glass is obviously smaller, while the heavily raked angle of the coupe is now gone. But the sloping roofline and the aggressive spoiler make the shooting brake just as aggressive as the coupe. The roof itself is also an interesting piece of engineering, with the fully transparent area being shaped like a V, with the narrower end oriented toward the rear. The remaining surface and the spoiler seem to be made of carbon-fiber, so Aston Martin took some precaution to keep the roof as light as possible.

All told, this Zagato is a mighty fine example of how a modern shooting brake should be designed and engineered and it’s by far the most appealing of the Vanquish Zagato lineup. Of course, this has to do with the fact that shooting brakes aren’t very common nowadays and the fact that I’m a big fan of sporty wagons.

Interior

  • “Herringbone” carbon-fiber paint
  • Anodized bronze detailing
  • “Z” quilt pattern on seats
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Enhance luggage room

2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato - image 680400

Note: 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato pictured here.

“The rear-seat delete provides more luggage room than the standard Vanquish”

There aren’t any photos of the interior, but it’s safe to assume that the Shooting Brake is like any other Vanquish Zagato out there. This also means that it’s almost identical to the standard Vanquish, being set apart by new luxury features. The main highlight here is the “Herringbone” carbon-fiber paint with anodized bronze detailing on the center stack. There’s also the aniline leather and a unique “Z” quilt pattern stitch on the seats and door panels. The headrests have the letter “Z” embossed, while the upper door panels received double contrast stitching.

The coupe also has “Z” headliner stitching, but this feature is obviously missing here since the most of the roof is transparent. What remains unknown is whether the Shooting Brake is a two or a four seater. A picture showing the car from above suggests that Aston Martin may have removed the rear seats. This makes it somewhat less practical than a standard Vanquish in terms of how many passengers it can carry, but it provides additional luggage room. Not that customers will actually use it as a vacation car, but it remains somewhat true to the original shooting brake concept, which was as utilitarian as a full-fledged wagon.

Drivetrain

  • 5.9-liter V-12 engine
  • 592 horsepower
  • 465 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission

2014 - 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish - image 461514

Note: Standard Aston Martin Vanquish engine pictured here.

“Just like the rest of Vanquish Zagato family, the shooting brake gets its juice from the familiar 5.9-liter V-12”

Just like the rest of Vanquish Zagato family, the shooting brake gets its juice from the familiar 5.9-liter V-12 that powers the standard Vanquish. Output is rated at 592 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque in Europe, while the U.S.-spec version comes with 580 horsepower. The 12-horsepower deficit most likely has something to do with emission regulations on this side of the pond.

There’s no info on performance as of this writing, but we do know the coupe model hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The shooting brake could be just as quick, as it shouldn’t be significantly heavier. The V-12 mates to the same ZF-developed, eight-speed automatic transmission from the regular Aston Martin Vanquish.

Prices


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake - image 740276

Aston Martin hasn’t revealed pricing for any of its Vanquish Zagato models, and the Shooting Brake is no exception from this rule. The only hint we have about this series is that the Zagato Speedster could cost a whopping £1.3 million, which converts to around $1.7 million as of October 2017. But, unlike the Speedster, which is limited to only 28 units, all the other Zagato models, the Shooting Brake included, are built in 99 examples. So it’s safe to assume that the Shooting Brake will cost less. than that. It won’t be as “affordable” as the regular Vanquish, priced from around $300,000 either, but it could cost around $1 million. Granted, it’s a lot of money even for a beefed-up Vanquish, but much like any other boutique shooting brake out there, this Zagato-design wagon will sell out in no time.

Competition

In the current market, there are only four regular production shooting brakes you can buy: the Mercedes-Benz CLS and CLA, the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, and the Ferrari GTC4Lusso. Of the four, only the Ferrari is a worthy competitor to the Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso


2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso T - image 689068

Essentially an upgrade to the Ferrari FF, the GTC4Lusso is actually very similar to the Vanquish Zagato. It has a long nose, a sporty roof, and virtually no decklid to the rear. Sure, it’s roofline and tailgate aren’t as sleek as the Zagato’s, but it’s a proper shooting brake model. And, the new features it received in 2016 make it more appealing than the FF. Luxury is a given inside the cabin, with nearly every surfaced draped in leather, Alcantara, aluminum, and carbon-fiber. Unlike the Vanquish, it also has a number of race-inspired features, like instrument cluster with the white clock in the middle and the flat-bottom, multi-control steering wheel. Output-wise, it’s the more potent option, with its 6.3-liter V-12 engine generating a whopping 680 horsepower and 514 pound-feet of torque. This translates into a 0 to 60 mph sprint of 3.3 seconds, which should be at least two tenths quicker than the Aston Martin. Top speed is also far superior at 209 mph. Pricing starts at a little over $300,000, so it’s more affordable too.

Read our full review of the 2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso.

Conclusion


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake - image 740277

When Aston Martin unveiled the Vanquish Zagato Concept as I said to myself “that’s one hell of a sexy coupe” and I just knew that we will eventually see a production model. And, Aston Martin delivered shortly after. But I honestly didn’t expect the British brand to expand the Vanquish Zagato nameplate to include four different models. Aston Martin has rolled out quite a few Zagato models in the past, but no project was a complex as this one. And on top of the usual coupe and convertible, we also got a speedster and a shooting brake. Needless to say, all of them are spectacular in their own right, but the Speedster and the Shooting Brake are by far the more exotic versions, especially since you don’t see these body styles on the road quite often.

Up until now, the Speedster was my favorite variant of the Vanquish Zagato, but I just fell in love with the new Shooting Brake model. I must admit that I am a fan of vintage shooting brakes, but I’d take the Vanquish Zagato in a heartbeat. Assuming it wouldn’t be this exclusive and expensive. But hey, these attributes are part of what makes a car stand out from the pack.

  • Leave it
    • Exclusive and expensive
    • Not so much official info

References

Aston Martin Vanquish


2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato - image 727558

Read our full review on the 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato.


2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante - image 685633

Read our full review on the 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster - image 726604

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S - image 695571

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S.

PostHeaderIcon Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake

Redesigned in 2012, the current Aston Martin Vanquish is set to retire in less than a couple of years in order to make way for a brand-new model, and the British firm is doing whatever it takes to spice things up before pulling the plug. In 2016, it unveiled a re-bodied version of the grand tourer made by Zagato, but the coupe was soon followed by a Volante version. 2017 brought a Speedster model as well, and with 2018 just around the corner Aston Martin and Zagato launched a new body style, the Shooting Brake. The wagon model will be as exclusive as its sibling and likely extremely expensive, but it’s an important milestone in a market where shooting brakes have almost gone the way of the dodo bird.

While the Vantage Zagato wagon arrived unexpectedly, it’s not exactly surprising that Aston Martin created a shooting brake. The British firm is no stranger to this body style, and it has released quite a few wagons in the past. Harold Radford built such versions of DB5, DB6, and DBS back in the 1960s, but Aston Martin made its very own production run of the Virage in the early 1990s. More recently, Bertone transformed the Rapide in a shooting brake, but these are just a few examples. We definitely need more shooting brakes on the market today, and even though the Vanquish Zagato is limited to very few examples, it will be great to see one more sports wagon hit public roads.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

Exterior

  • Muscular, Zagato-design body
  • Unique roof and rear end
  • DB11-inspired features
  • Carbon-fiber body elements
  • Glass and carbon roof
  • Exclusive wheels

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake - image 740278
“Arguably the biggest change to the car's profile is the longer, wagon-style roof”

Much like the Speedster and the Volante, the Shooting Brake model is identical to the Zagato coupe below the waist. So you’re basically getting an already good-looking grand tourer with more muscular cues and a unique twist thanks to the revised roof.

Up front, the new Zagato model sports the same massive grille with LED daytime running lights at each corner, a big splitter at the bottom, and a sculpted engine hood with big vents on each side of the center section. It also has the same deeply sculpted side skirts and DB11-inspired fender strake, but the latter was mounted on a black background. With all the other Zagato models having their front fenders finished in one color, this is yet another element that makes the Shooting Brake unique.

The side mirrors carry over unchanged, but this is cool since they’re inspired from those seen on the One-77 limited-edition supercar. But, arguably, the biggest change to the profile is the longer, wagon-style roof. The upper section is actually identical to the coupe from the A- to the B-pillars, but from there on, Aston Martin designed significantly longer quarter windows and C-pillars. The latter are flatter and continue the arch of the roof toward the front fascia. It forms a wagon-like tailgate, but with a narrower design that allows the Vanquish Zagato to keep it muscular haunches.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake - image 740277
“This Zagato is a mighty fine example of how a modern shooting brake should be designed and engineered”

The rear fascia remains the same as far as the round taillights, the pointy decklid, and the carbon-fiber diffuser go. However, the rear glass is obviously smaller, while the heavily raked angle of the coupe is now gone. But the sloping roofline and the aggressive spoiler make the shooting brake just as aggressive as the coupe. The roof itself is also an interesting piece of engineering, with the fully transparent area being shaped like a V, with the narrower end oriented toward the rear. The remaining surface and the spoiler seem to be made of carbon-fiber, so Aston Martin took some precaution to keep the roof as light as possible.

All told, this Zagato is a mighty fine example of how a modern shooting brake should be designed and engineered and it’s by far the most appealing of the Vanquish Zagato lineup. Of course, this has to do with the fact that shooting brakes aren’t very common nowadays and the fact that I’m a big fan of sporty wagons.

Interior

  • “Herringbone” carbon-fiber paint
  • Anodized bronze detailing
  • “Z” quilt pattern on seats
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Enhance luggage room

2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato - image 680400

Note: 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato pictured here.

“The rear-seat delete provides more luggage room than the standard Vanquish”

There aren’t any photos of the interior, but it’s safe to assume that the Shooting Brake is like any other Vanquish Zagato out there. This also means that it’s almost identical to the standard Vanquish, being set apart by new luxury features. The main highlight here is the “Herringbone” carbon-fiber paint with anodized bronze detailing on the center stack. There’s also the aniline leather and a unique “Z” quilt pattern stitch on the seats and door panels. The headrests have the letter “Z” embossed, while the upper door panels received double contrast stitching.

The coupe also has “Z” headliner stitching, but this feature is obviously missing here since the most of the roof is transparent. What remains unknown is whether the Shooting Brake is a two or a four seater. A picture showing the car from above suggests that Aston Martin may have removed the rear seats. This makes it somewhat less practical than a standard Vanquish in terms of how many passengers it can carry, but it provides additional luggage room. Not that customers will actually use it as a vacation car, but it remains somewhat true to the original shooting brake concept, which was as utilitarian as a full-fledged wagon.

Drivetrain

  • 5.9-liter V-12 engine
  • 592 horsepower
  • 465 pound-feet of torque
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission

2014 - 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish - image 461514

Note: Standard Aston Martin Vanquish engine pictured here.

“Just like the rest of Vanquish Zagato family, the shooting brake gets its juice from the familiar 5.9-liter V-12”

Just like the rest of Vanquish Zagato family, the shooting brake gets its juice from the familiar 5.9-liter V-12 that powers the standard Vanquish. Output is rated at 592 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque in Europe, while the U.S.-spec version comes with 580 horsepower. The 12-horsepower deficit most likely has something to do with emission regulations on this side of the pond.

There’s no info on performance as of this writing, but we do know the coupe model hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The shooting brake could be just as quick, as it shouldn’t be significantly heavier. The V-12 mates to the same ZF-developed, eight-speed automatic transmission from the regular Aston Martin Vanquish.

Prices


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake - image 740276

Aston Martin hasn’t revealed pricing for any of its Vanquish Zagato models, and the Shooting Brake is no exception from this rule. The only hint we have about this series is that the Zagato Speedster could cost a whopping £1.3 million, which converts to around $1.7 million as of October 2017. But, unlike the Speedster, which is limited to only 28 units, all the other Zagato models, the Shooting Brake included, are built in 99 examples. So it’s safe to assume that the Shooting Brake will cost less. than that. It won’t be as “affordable” as the regular Vanquish, priced from around $300,000 either, but it could cost around $1 million. Granted, it’s a lot of money even for a beefed-up Vanquish, but much like any other boutique shooting brake out there, this Zagato-design wagon will sell out in no time.

Competition

In the current market, there are only four regular production shooting brakes you can buy: the Mercedes-Benz CLS and CLA, the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo, and the Ferrari GTC4Lusso. Of the four, only the Ferrari is a worthy competitor to the Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.

Ferrari GTC4Lusso


2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso T - image 689068

Essentially an upgrade to the Ferrari FF, the GTC4Lusso is actually very similar to the Vanquish Zagato. It has a long nose, a sporty roof, and virtually no decklid to the rear. Sure, it’s roofline and tailgate aren’t as sleek as the Zagato’s, but it’s a proper shooting brake model. And, the new features it received in 2016 make it more appealing than the FF. Luxury is a given inside the cabin, with nearly every surfaced draped in leather, Alcantara, aluminum, and carbon-fiber. Unlike the Vanquish, it also has a number of race-inspired features, like instrument cluster with the white clock in the middle and the flat-bottom, multi-control steering wheel. Output-wise, it’s the more potent option, with its 6.3-liter V-12 engine generating a whopping 680 horsepower and 514 pound-feet of torque. This translates into a 0 to 60 mph sprint of 3.3 seconds, which should be at least two tenths quicker than the Aston Martin. Top speed is also far superior at 209 mph. Pricing starts at a little over $300,000, so it’s more affordable too.

Read our full review of the 2017 Ferrari GTC4Lusso.

Conclusion


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake - image 740277

When Aston Martin unveiled the Vanquish Zagato Concept as I said to myself “that’s one hell of a sexy coupe” and I just knew that we will eventually see a production model. And, Aston Martin delivered shortly after. But I honestly didn’t expect the British brand to expand the Vanquish Zagato nameplate to include four different models. Aston Martin has rolled out quite a few Zagato models in the past, but no project was a complex as this one. And on top of the usual coupe and convertible, we also got a speedster and a shooting brake. Needless to say, all of them are spectacular in their own right, but the Speedster and the Shooting Brake are by far the more exotic versions, especially since you don’t see these body styles on the road quite often.

Up until now, the Speedster was my favorite variant of the Vanquish Zagato, but I just fell in love with the new Shooting Brake model. I must admit that I am a fan of vintage shooting brakes, but I’d take the Vanquish Zagato in a heartbeat. Assuming it wouldn’t be this exclusive and expensive. But hey, these attributes are part of what makes a car stand out from the pack.

  • Leave it
    • Exclusive and expensive
    • Not so much official info

References

Aston Martin Vanquish


2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato - image 727558

Read our full review on the 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato.


2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante - image 685633

Read our full review on the 2017 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Volante.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster - image 726604

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Speedster.


2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S - image 695571

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus RC F Limited Edition

2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition

Founded less than 30 years ago as of 2017, Lexus has come a long way in the luxury market, now offering quite a few models that can give production from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi a run for their money. The Japanese company has been growing so fast it’s already celebrating a full decade since it launched its first performance-oriented vehicle wearing the now familiar “F” badge. To mark the anniversary, Lexus launched two limited-edition models at the2017 Tokyo Motor Show, one of which is the RC F Limited Edition.

While the name might not be very inspiring, this RC F has plenty of new features to brag about. From a wide array of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body elements to an exclusive upholstery layout and upgraded suspension, the limited-edition coupe proves that the RC F has yet to reach its full potential. Unfortunately, this beefed-up two-door won’t make it to the United States, but you’ll have to keep on reading to learn more about that.

Read more about the Lexus RC F limited edition.

What makes the Lexus RC F limited edition special

  • CFRP body parts
  • Upgraded splitter and diffuser
  • Matte grey paint
  • Heat Blue upholstery
  • White contrast stitching
  • CFRP trim inside the cabin
  • Performance shock absorbers
  • Titanium mufflers
  • Limited to only 50 units

2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition - image 740862
“The special-edition RC F stands out thanks to a range of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) elements”

While exterior modifications are far from radical, the special-edition RC F stands out thanks to a range of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) elements. Up front, we can see the lightweight material at each corner of the bumper, in the form of race-inspired winglets. Adding to the fact that they are made from CFRP, these elements aren’t fitted on the standard RC F either, so it’s more than just a material upgrade. The engine hood is also made from CFRP, which should translate into significant weight loss. The fact that it has a transparent finish that shows the carbon layer makes it that much better.

More CFRP goodness is visible on the sides, where Lexus replaced both the side skirts and the front fender intake covers with this material. Just like the hood, it has a glossy transparent finish. The standard model has these elements painted in the same color as the body, so they don’t stand out as much. Around back, both the diffuser and the lower bumper now feature CFRP elements. What’s more, the diffuser has a redesigned center section with three small fins. The spoiler was seen on the standard model.

To top things off, Lexus painted the car in matte grey for a nice contrast with the glossy CFRP elements.


2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition - image 740861
“Called Heat Blue, the new interior color adorns the steering wheel, the seats, the gear shift knob, and the center console”

Inside, the limited-edition is pretty much standard business, but Lexus did introduce a new, exclusive color. Called Heat Blue, this light blue color adorns the steering wheel, the seats, the gear shift knob, and the side panels of the center console. There’s blue leather atop the instrument cluster hood too, as well as blue stitching in the door panels, The steering wheel, the dashboard, the seats, and the shifter have contrasting white stitching. Finally, there’s carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic trim on the door panels and atop the glove compartment door.

Lexus mentioned no upgrades under the hood, so it’s safe to assume that it features the same 5.0-liter V-8 as the regular model. The naturally aspirated unit cranks out 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque and pushes the coupe from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 170 mph. However, the limited-edition RC F gained lightweight titanium mufflers and performance shock absorbers. So, while it might not be quicker in a straight line, it will provide improved steering stability, which means it should be a bit quicker on the race track.


2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition - image 740856
“The limited-edition RC F gained lightweight titanium mufflers and performance shock absorbers”

Production is limited to only 50 units, all of which will be sold in Japan. Pricing information is not available as of this writing.

References

Lexus RC


2015 Lexus RC F - image 567567

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RC F.


2015 - 2016 Lexus RC - image 649169

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RC.


2017 Tokyo Motor Show – Visitor's Guide - image 737628

Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus RC F Limited Edition

2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition

Founded less than 30 years ago as of 2017, Lexus has come a long way in the luxury market, now offering quite a few models that can give production from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi a run for their money. The Japanese company has been growing so fast it’s already celebrating a full decade since it launched its first performance-oriented vehicle wearing the now familiar “F” badge. To mark the anniversary, Lexus launched two limited-edition models at the2017 Tokyo Motor Show, one of which is the RC F Limited Edition.

While the name might not be very inspiring, this RC F has plenty of new features to brag about. From a wide array of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic body elements to an exclusive upholstery layout and upgraded suspension, the limited-edition coupe proves that the RC F has yet to reach its full potential. Unfortunately, this beefed-up two-door won’t make it to the United States, but you’ll have to keep on reading to learn more about that.

Read more about the Lexus RC F limited edition.

What makes the Lexus RC F limited edition special

  • CFRP body parts
  • Upgraded splitter and diffuser
  • Matte grey paint
  • Heat Blue upholstery
  • White contrast stitching
  • CFRP trim inside the cabin
  • Performance shock absorbers
  • Titanium mufflers
  • Limited to only 50 units

2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition - image 740862
“The special-edition RC F stands out thanks to a range of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) elements”

While exterior modifications are far from radical, the special-edition RC F stands out thanks to a range of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) elements. Up front, we can see the lightweight material at each corner of the bumper, in the form of race-inspired winglets. Adding to the fact that they are made from CFRP, these elements aren’t fitted on the standard RC F either, so it’s more than just a material upgrade. The engine hood is also made from CFRP, which should translate into significant weight loss. The fact that it has a transparent finish that shows the carbon layer makes it that much better.

More CFRP goodness is visible on the sides, where Lexus replaced both the side skirts and the front fender intake covers with this material. Just like the hood, it has a glossy transparent finish. The standard model has these elements painted in the same color as the body, so they don’t stand out as much. Around back, both the diffuser and the lower bumper now feature CFRP elements. What’s more, the diffuser has a redesigned center section with three small fins. The spoiler was seen on the standard model.

To top things off, Lexus painted the car in matte grey for a nice contrast with the glossy CFRP elements.


2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition - image 740861
“Called Heat Blue, the new interior color adorns the steering wheel, the seats, the gear shift knob, and the center console”

Inside, the limited-edition is pretty much standard business, but Lexus did introduce a new, exclusive color. Called Heat Blue, this light blue color adorns the steering wheel, the seats, the gear shift knob, and the side panels of the center console. There’s blue leather atop the instrument cluster hood too, as well as blue stitching in the door panels, The steering wheel, the dashboard, the seats, and the shifter have contrasting white stitching. Finally, there’s carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic trim on the door panels and atop the glove compartment door.

Lexus mentioned no upgrades under the hood, so it’s safe to assume that it features the same 5.0-liter V-8 as the regular model. The naturally aspirated unit cranks out 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque and pushes the coupe from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is limited to 170 mph. However, the limited-edition RC F gained lightweight titanium mufflers and performance shock absorbers. So, while it might not be quicker in a straight line, it will provide improved steering stability, which means it should be a bit quicker on the race track.


2017 Lexus RC F Limited Edition - image 740856
“The limited-edition RC F gained lightweight titanium mufflers and performance shock absorbers”

Production is limited to only 50 units, all of which will be sold in Japan. Pricing information is not available as of this writing.

References

Lexus RC


2015 Lexus RC F - image 567567

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RC F.


2015 - 2016 Lexus RC - image 649169

Read our full review on the 2017 Lexus RC.


2017 Tokyo Motor Show – Visitor's Guide - image 737628

Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang RTR

2018 Ford Mustang RTR

Part of the Ford Mustang’s appeal lies in its ability to be easily customized. We’ve seen so many versions of the ‘Stang over the years, and there are a handful of them that are head and shoulders above the rest, including the Ford Mustang RTR. Created by Ford in partnership with Pro Formula Drift driver Vaughn Gittin Jr., the Mustang RTR stands tall as one of the sickest interpretations of the iconic muscle car. It’s essentially a Mustang on steroids, accomplished in part because Ford is always looking for ways to improve the car’s status as one of the best pony machines in the market today.

Those of you who are familiar with the RTR badge will know that it’s become somewhat of a tradition for Ford and Gittin Jr. to collaborate on this specific kind of creation. In fact, the past decade has given birth to a good number of Mustang RTRs, ranging from the subtle to the over-the-top. Hard to think of the 2014 Mustang RTR as anything but outlandish, but that’s the whole point on why the RTR badge has become synonymous with Ford’s legendary muscle car. This year, a new version of the Mustang RTR is set to make its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show, and really, where else would it do it? Ford and Gittin Jr.’s aftermarket firm are once again heavily involved in its creation, and the result is nothing short of our expectations. Improved looks, more power, and a seal of approval from one of the best race drifters in the world. This is what awaits us when we get a hold of the latest version of the Mustang RTR.

Continue after the jump to read more about the 2018 Ford Mustang RTR

Exterior

  • Front lip spoiler
  • Sculpted hood
  • RTR signature LED grille lighting
  • RTR Appearance Package
  • RTR graphics
  • RTR 19″ Tech 7 wheels w/ Nitto 555G2 tires

2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741085
“The RTR Design Package features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks”

If pictures painted thousands of words, the Mustang RTR is going to turn some serious heads. While it’s somewhat true that almost all of the signature elements from the last RTR remains here, the underlying appeal of the special edition Mustang still holds weight. The name of the game in this section is the RTR Design Package, which features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks. The triangular-shaped LED accent lights on the grille count as one of the most distinct exterior features, but there’s also a new front splitter and a more sculpted hood in the mix now. Combine these aero parts with black accent striping on the hood and side profile and a new set of 19-inch Tech 7 wheels wrapped in Nitto 555G2 tires and you have the makings of a Mustang RTR that does its predecessors proud.

It’s admittedly not as flashy as some of the past Mustang RTR’s we’ve seen before, but remember, those versions Gittin Jr. created with the help of Monster Energy and Nitto tires were race-spec units of the RTR. This one, like the more subtle RTR-spec versions that have also come out, are road-production models. If you want to see the difference, check out the photos below.


2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin - image 500929

2015 Ford Mustang RTR - image 575812

Note: Photos of the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR by Monster Energy, Nitto Tires, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.

Interior

  • Recaro sports seats
  • Signed dash plaque by Vaughn Gittin Jr.
  • RTR shift knob
  • RTR floor mats

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702250

Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.

“There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself”

Judging by what we’ve come to know about past Ford Mustang RTRs, the road-spec versions are lacking in terms of exclusive interior goodies. There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself, but for the most part, the most you can expect are throw-in items like the RTR shift knob and if you really want to go all-out, the RTR-branded floor mats.

That’s likely the extent of what we can expect from the RTR unit, though Ford may still have a few more surprises up its sleeve once the special edition Mustang makes its official debut at SEMA.

Drivetrain

  • Three Spec options
  • Around 700 horsepower for the Spec 3 tune

2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741088
“Details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA”

Specific details surrounding the power and performance credentials of the Mustang RTR are still shrouded in secrecy, we can at least expect it to hit the magic number of 700 horsepower. That’s the indication Ford has given us as it pertains to the Spec 3 state of tune that the Mustang RTR will have at its disposal. On the other end, details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA, so that’s two things we can at least look forward to. Regardless of their specific states, the 2018 Mustang RTR should come with noticeable power and performance improvements over its predecessor. Not by much, but still something worthwhile. My best guess would be that the Spec 1 RTR will simply be a design and aero-focused tune. That means it’s going to carry the same output as the stock model, or about 460 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque at the tilt.

As far as Spec 2 is concerned, the previous road-spec version of the RTR carried over with a 30-horsepower increase from the standard unit so given what the 2018 Mustang has at its disposal, somewhere in the territory of 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque is a possibility. The incremental gains will likely be credited to software upgrades.


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741091
“Adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.”

Last but not least is Spec 3. This is where a supercharger and a few other fun bits, including an intercooler and an upgraded fuel injection system, were thrown into the mix and the result of that on the last Mustang RTR was an output of 670 horsepower. If Ford decided to adopt the same approach using the Mustang’s new engine configuration, 700 ponies is definitely attainable.

On the suspension side, lowering springs are a lock to be included, owing to the fact that they’re included in the RTR Design Package. That said, adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.

Pricing


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741087

Ahh, yes, The question that trumps all manner of features and oddities for each and every car. How much is it? Well, Ford hasn’t released a price tag yet, but we were hinted on the likelihood that the Mustang RTR will carry a price tag of somewhere in the neighborhood of $65,000.

That figure came to our attention because of a giveaway being sponsored by American Muscle. Yep, one lucky Mustang aficionado will win one of the first Mustang RTRs to come out of production. The drawing isn’t taking place until April 6, 2018, but the giveaway did mention that the special edition Mustang carries an “approximate retail value” of $65,000. It’s far from a slam dunk that the figure is the exact price, but at least it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of that.

Those who miss out on the giveaway will still get a shot at owning the car as it’s scheduled to become available at select Ford dealerships sometime in the spring of next year.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741086

It’s Ford. It’s Vaughn Gittin Jr. It’s the new Ford Mustang RTR. Really, what could go wrong? I certainly don’t expect any hiccups as far as the new ’Stang RTR is concerned. We’ve seen what the protagonists are capable of in the past so there’s no reason to believe that this new version is going to be a letdown. Regardless of what we see at SEMA, I fully expect the new Mustang RTR to be a hot-ticket item when it goes up on sale next year, as it should since Ford and Vaughn Gittin Jr. have been doing this racket for almost a decade now with no let-up in sight. Seems like they’re doing something good so why mess with that?

  • Leave it
    • Not much happening on the interior
    • Expected bigger and more profound improvements from previous version
    • Availability could be limited

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin - image 500924

Read our full review on the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin.


2015 Ford Mustang RTR - image 575812

Read our full review on the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Mustang RTR

2018 Ford Mustang RTR

Part of the Ford Mustang’s appeal lies in its ability to be easily customized. We’ve seen so many versions of the ‘Stang over the years, and there are a handful of them that are head and shoulders above the rest, including the Ford Mustang RTR. Created by Ford in partnership with Pro Formula Drift driver Vaughn Gittin Jr., the Mustang RTR stands tall as one of the sickest interpretations of the iconic muscle car. It’s essentially a Mustang on steroids, accomplished in part because Ford is always looking for ways to improve the car’s status as one of the best pony machines in the market today.

Those of you who are familiar with the RTR badge will know that it’s become somewhat of a tradition for Ford and Gittin Jr. to collaborate on this specific kind of creation. In fact, the past decade has given birth to a good number of Mustang RTRs, ranging from the subtle to the over-the-top. Hard to think of the 2014 Mustang RTR as anything but outlandish, but that’s the whole point on why the RTR badge has become synonymous with Ford’s legendary muscle car. This year, a new version of the Mustang RTR is set to make its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show, and really, where else would it do it? Ford and Gittin Jr.’s aftermarket firm are once again heavily involved in its creation, and the result is nothing short of our expectations. Improved looks, more power, and a seal of approval from one of the best race drifters in the world. This is what awaits us when we get a hold of the latest version of the Mustang RTR.

Continue after the jump to read more about the 2018 Ford Mustang RTR

Exterior

  • Front lip spoiler
  • Sculpted hood
  • RTR signature LED grille lighting
  • RTR Appearance Package
  • RTR graphics
  • RTR 19″ Tech 7 wheels w/ Nitto 555G2 tires

2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741085
“The RTR Design Package features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks”

If pictures painted thousands of words, the Mustang RTR is going to turn some serious heads. While it’s somewhat true that almost all of the signature elements from the last RTR remains here, the underlying appeal of the special edition Mustang still holds weight. The name of the game in this section is the RTR Design Package, which features a steady stream of design pieces meant to enhance the muscle car’s visual looks. The triangular-shaped LED accent lights on the grille count as one of the most distinct exterior features, but there’s also a new front splitter and a more sculpted hood in the mix now. Combine these aero parts with black accent striping on the hood and side profile and a new set of 19-inch Tech 7 wheels wrapped in Nitto 555G2 tires and you have the makings of a Mustang RTR that does its predecessors proud.

It’s admittedly not as flashy as some of the past Mustang RTR’s we’ve seen before, but remember, those versions Gittin Jr. created with the help of Monster Energy and Nitto tires were race-spec units of the RTR. This one, like the more subtle RTR-spec versions that have also come out, are road-production models. If you want to see the difference, check out the photos below.


2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin - image 500929

2015 Ford Mustang RTR - image 575812

Note: Photos of the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR by Monster Energy, Nitto Tires, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.

Interior

  • Recaro sports seats
  • Signed dash plaque by Vaughn Gittin Jr.
  • RTR shift knob
  • RTR floor mats

2018 Ford Mustang - image 702250

Note: Standard 2018 Ford Mustang pictured here.

“There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself”

Judging by what we’ve come to know about past Ford Mustang RTRs, the road-spec versions are lacking in terms of exclusive interior goodies. There are some noteworthy pieces like the Recaro sports seats and the signed dash plaque by Gittin Jr. himself, but for the most part, the most you can expect are throw-in items like the RTR shift knob and if you really want to go all-out, the RTR-branded floor mats.

That’s likely the extent of what we can expect from the RTR unit, though Ford may still have a few more surprises up its sleeve once the special edition Mustang makes its official debut at SEMA.

Drivetrain

  • Three Spec options
  • Around 700 horsepower for the Spec 3 tune

2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741088
“Details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA”

Specific details surrounding the power and performance credentials of the Mustang RTR are still shrouded in secrecy, we can at least expect it to hit the magic number of 700 horsepower. That’s the indication Ford has given us as it pertains to the Spec 3 state of tune that the Mustang RTR will have at its disposal. On the other end, details about the Spec 1 and Spec 2 tunes are expected to be announced at SEMA, so that’s two things we can at least look forward to. Regardless of their specific states, the 2018 Mustang RTR should come with noticeable power and performance improvements over its predecessor. Not by much, but still something worthwhile. My best guess would be that the Spec 1 RTR will simply be a design and aero-focused tune. That means it’s going to carry the same output as the stock model, or about 460 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque at the tilt.

As far as Spec 2 is concerned, the previous road-spec version of the RTR carried over with a 30-horsepower increase from the standard unit so given what the 2018 Mustang has at its disposal, somewhere in the territory of 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque is a possibility. The incremental gains will likely be credited to software upgrades.


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741091
“Adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.”

Last but not least is Spec 3. This is where a supercharger and a few other fun bits, including an intercooler and an upgraded fuel injection system, were thrown into the mix and the result of that on the last Mustang RTR was an output of 670 horsepower. If Ford decided to adopt the same approach using the Mustang’s new engine configuration, 700 ponies is definitely attainable.

On the suspension side, lowering springs are a lock to be included, owing to the fact that they’re included in the RTR Design Package. That said, adjustable sway bars and a sports exhaust system should also be featured elements.

Pricing


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741087

Ahh, yes, The question that trumps all manner of features and oddities for each and every car. How much is it? Well, Ford hasn’t released a price tag yet, but we were hinted on the likelihood that the Mustang RTR will carry a price tag of somewhere in the neighborhood of $65,000.

That figure came to our attention because of a giveaway being sponsored by American Muscle. Yep, one lucky Mustang aficionado will win one of the first Mustang RTRs to come out of production. The drawing isn’t taking place until April 6, 2018, but the giveaway did mention that the special edition Mustang carries an “approximate retail value” of $65,000. It’s far from a slam dunk that the figure is the exact price, but at least it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of that.

Those who miss out on the giveaway will still get a shot at owning the car as it’s scheduled to become available at select Ford dealerships sometime in the spring of next year.

Conclusion


2018 Ford Mustang RTR - image 741086

It’s Ford. It’s Vaughn Gittin Jr. It’s the new Ford Mustang RTR. Really, what could go wrong? I certainly don’t expect any hiccups as far as the new ’Stang RTR is concerned. We’ve seen what the protagonists are capable of in the past so there’s no reason to believe that this new version is going to be a letdown. Regardless of what we see at SEMA, I fully expect the new Mustang RTR to be a hot-ticket item when it goes up on sale next year, as it should since Ford and Vaughn Gittin Jr. have been doing this racket for almost a decade now with no let-up in sight. Seems like they’re doing something good so why mess with that?

  • Leave it
    • Not much happening on the interior
    • Expected bigger and more profound improvements from previous version
    • Availability could be limited

References

Ford Mustang


2018 Ford Mustang - image 702950

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.


2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin - image 500924

Read our full review on the 2014 Ford Mustang RTR Monster Energy Nitto Tire by Vaughn Gittin.


2015 Ford Mustang RTR - image 575812

Read our full review on the 2015 Ford Mustang RTR.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition

Stop the presses if you’ve seen this one before. Chevrolet and Hot Wheels have been business partners for quite some time, and the fruits of that partnership have given us a handful of Camaro Hot Wheels special editions over the past years. We’re getting a new version of the same special edition at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show, though this time, we’re also getting something extra on the side courtesy of the Hot Wheels’ 50th Anniversary Edition.

Special is as special gets, and we’re getting two doses of it with the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition. The first of these two SEs come in 2LT and 2SS coupe and convertible trims of the muscle car. The aesthetic elements of the Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is a cool callback to the 1968 Camaro that was one of the first cars to be immortalized in Hot Wheels format. In fact, the ’68 Camaro holds the distinction of being the first car to get a Hot Wheels casting. 50 years later, that milestone is being celebrated in typical bombastic Hot Wheels fashion with the inclusion of the Hot Wheels package on the purpose-built 2018 COPO Camaro drag race car. These two special edition Camaros are expected to headline the Camaro contingent at SEMA, and there’s no reason to think that any other custom-built version of the pony car will compare to the appeal of these two commemorative crown pieces.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition

What makes the Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition special

  • Orange Crush paint
  • Satin Graphite stripes / Silver Ice Metallic accents
  • 20-inch Satin Graphite forged aluminum wheels
  • 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels fender badges
  • Galvano Chrome inserts on the front grille
  • Orange brake calipers
  • Dark taillamps
  • Black taillamp panel with the Hot Wheels emblem
  • Black Chevrolet bowtie emblems
  • Jet Black leather-appointed interior
  • Orange kneepads on the doors and orange safety belts
  • 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels badge on the steering wheel
  • Illuminated door sill plates with 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels badges
  • 3.6-liter V-6 engine (LT trim) with 323 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque
  • 6.2-liter V-8 engine (SS trim) with 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque

2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740867
“In keeping with the theme of tying the SE up to Hot Wheels’ 50th anniversary, the Camaro receives a striking Crush Orange paint finish”

For the record, we’re talking about two special edition Chevrolet Camaros here. The first one is available on all 2LT and 2SS coupes and convertibles. In keeping with the theme of tying the SE up to Hot Wheels’ 50th anniversary, the Camaro receives a striking Crush Orange paint finish. It’s not exactly the exact same shade as the Hugger Orange paint on the 1968 Hot Wheels Camaro, but it certainly comes close to it. Providing a nice contrast to the splashy and dominant orange color are Satin Graphite stripes with Silver Ice Metallic accents, though you can probably just use “grey” and “white,” and it’s going to mean the same thing. The use of the Satin Graphite shade continues on the ground effects, wheels, and the Hot Wheels badges on the fenders. Speaking of the wheels, the Hot Wheels Camaro sits on a set of 20-inch forged aluminum wheels that are finished in, you guessed it, Satin Graphite. It’s hard to make out from the photos too, but those wheels also feature milled faces and unique center caps. Other additions come in the form of dark taillights, Galvano chrome inserts right on the front grille, and Chevy’s own bowtie emblem getting the all-black treatment.


2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740872
“The cabin showcases an explosive combination of black and orange upholstery”

Move inside the car and prepare yourself for a cabin that showcases an explosive combination of black and orange upholstery. The treatment is pretty slick though, especially the orange stitching on the black leather. That’s a nice touch. The embossed headrests and the Hot Wheels banding on the steering wheel and door sills are perfect identifiers of the car’s special edition roots, while the orange knee pads are there for reasons that are unclear to me. But, hey, the orange seat belts are another nice touch to the cabin.

You would think that a car like this would get an engine upgrade, right? Well, if history is any indication, it won’t, and I don’t expect it to have any. Still, you can get it with one of two engines. Your first choice is a 3.6-liter V-6 that’s good for 323 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque and a sprint to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds. If you want the big boy Camaro SS unit, you’ll get a massive 6.2-liter V-8 with 426 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque at your disposal. Likewise, that 5.9-second time gets shaved by over a second to 4.8 seconds.


2018 Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition - image 740869
“2,500 units of the Camaro will receive the Hot Wheels package, which itself is an option priced at $4,995”

Availability shouldn’t be an issue, especially if you jump on the wagon early. According to Chevy, 2,500 units of the Camaro will receive the Hot Wheels package, which itself is an option priced at $4,995. Be wary, though, because these units sell out quickly. So if you’re not up on your toes when the package becomes available, you might be out of luck.

The Chevrolet COPO Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition

  • Orange Crush paint
  • Satin Graphite stripes / Silver Ice Metallic accents
  • 50th Anniversary Hot Wheels fender badges
  • Hood scoop
  • Fat Hoosier tires
  • Naturally aspirated 302-cubic-inch Gen V small-block V-8 engine (standard)
  • Supercharged 5.7-liter V-8 engine (optional)
  • Naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V-8 engine (optional)

“This Hot Wheels SE is the living embodiment of the toy car maker’s over-the-top philosophy”

Far more exclusive is the COPO Camaro Hot Wheels Edition, which might as well be the closest thing to a life-sized Hot Wheels car Chevrolet has ever created. We’re talking about a factory-built drag racer here, folks. And, while the striking orange paint scheme does make it a little cartoonish, this Hot Wheels SE is the living embodiment of the toy car maker’s over-the-top philosophy. The massive bulge on the hood and the fat Hoosier tires further slam home the car’s drag racing credentials. It’s worth noting, too, that the car that will be on display at SEMA will get an exclusive Supercrush Orange paint finish. That’s not going to be the case though for the available lot that Chevy will offer; they’re getting the same Orange Crush treatment as the “standard” Hot Wheels SEs.

Vanity takes these special edition Camaros far, but in the case of the COPO Camaro, it’s not the most important part of the whole package. That distinction goes to the engine or, at least in this case, engines. Three different versions are available, including a standard naturally aspirated 302-cubic-inch, Gen V, small-block, V-8 engine that’s based on the LT1 unit found under the hood of the Camaro SS. If that engine’s not to your liking, you can opt for a supercharged, 5.7-liter V-8 engine or a bigger, naturally aspirated, 7.0-liter V-8 powerhouse. Chevy made no mention of power numbers, but it did say that a COPO Camaro using the supercharged V-8 will be able to hit a quarter mile in eight seconds with trap speeds approaching 160 mph.

“The COPO Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary is far more limited than its standard counterpart”

The cost of getting a Chevrolet COPO Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary Edition is unclear at this point, though if you’re interested, Chevy’s already taking in registrations from potential buyers. Make no mistake though; the COPO Camaro Hot Wheels 50th Anniversary is far more limited than its standard counterpart as only 69 units of the actual COPO Camaro will be made available. How many will get the Hot Wheels SE treatment is another question entirely, though don’t expect it to be more than the 69 units that Chevy’s building of the COPO drag racer.

References

Chevrolet Camaro


2016 - 2017 Chevrolet Camaro - image 630471

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro.


2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro - image 653876

Read our full review on the 2016 Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

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End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:04:28 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS RS AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 27K #280186 Texas Direct Auto
$14,100.00 (33 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-23-2017 16:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,230.00
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1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro RS Yenko 427 12 Bolt Posi PS PDB Disc Brakes Replica
$21,600.00 (15 Bids)
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 13:09:03 PST
Buy It Now for only: $59,995.00
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1968 Chevrolet C-10 Custom 1968 CHEVY C-10 C10 CUSTOM PICKUP 1/2 TON SHORT BED FOR PARTS OR RESTORATION
$3,500.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 16:29:33 PST
Buy It Now for only: $3,500.00
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 5K #521566 Texas Direct
$30,100.00 (15 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:20:32 PST
Buy It Now for only: $51,480.00
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT RED LEATHER NA
$1.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 14:36:16 PST
Buy It Now for only: $64,880.00
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2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 2LZ Z07 S/C 7-SPD NAV HUD 5K MI #601154 Texas Direct
$73,230.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $73,230.00
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 S/C AUTO LEATHE
$37,480.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $37,480.00
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2017 Chevy Camaro 2SS Convertible Factory Executive 4,015 miles $10K OFF MSRP!!!
$39,995.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 12:51:42 PST
Buy It Now for only: $39,995.00
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 CONVERTIBLE AUTO 8K MI #119209 Texas Direct
$44,230.00
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,230.00
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE Z16 GRAND SPORT LT COUPE AUTO 3K MI #115791 Texas Direct
$5.50 (5 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-28-2017 17:42:15 PST
Buy It Now for only: $60,230.00
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1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
$5,225.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 3LT AUTO NAV HUD 27K #106770 Texas Direct Auto
$1.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 14:50:47 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,980.00
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2015 Chevrolet SS Base Sedan 4-Door 2015 CHEVY SS 415HP 6SPD VENT SEATS SUNROOF NAV HUD 5K! #117724 Texas Direct
$39,230.00
End Date: Tuesday Nov-28-2017 15:41:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $39,230.00
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1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups 3100 1955 BIG WINDOW 3100 Automatic CUSTOM CLEAN stance SHOW QUALITY
$35,000.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 18:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $53,500.00
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY 3LT AUTOMATIC NAV HUD 16MI #109470 Texas Direct
$30,100.00 (6 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 13:10:17 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,230.00
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1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 1969 mach 1 390 4 speed super solid project ! S code !
$12,500.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 17:10:34 PST
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2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY SUPER SNAKE 800-HP ONLY 544 MI #227961 Texas Direct
$87,980.00
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:45:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $87,980.00
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2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible 2-Door 2013 CHEVY CORVETTE 427 COLLECTOR ED 6SPD NAV HUD 6K MI #701843 Texas Direct
$6,100.00 (11 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-23-2017 16:07:31 PST
Buy It Now for only: $53,730.00
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1965 Ford Mustang C CODE 1965 FORD MUSTANG HARD TOP C CODE AUTOMATIC
$11,500.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 10:37:06 PST
Buy It Now for only: $11,500.00
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1939 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1939 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton panel truck used 70+ years patina licensed and titled
$1,000.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Friday Dec-1-2017 10:44:04 PST
Buy It Now for only: $3,500.00
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