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Archive for the ‘special editions’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Porsche 911 Carrera T

2018 Porsche Carrera T

The Porsche 911 has gone through some big changes in the last couple of years, with the most important being Porsche’s decision to replace all naturally aspirated engines with turbocharged counterparts. While this was rather disappointing to some die-hard fans, it brought enhanced performance and fuel economy across the entire lineup. Porsche also revived the GT2 nameplate after a long absence and created the 911 R, essentially a limited-edition, wingless version of the GT3 for purists. Come 2017 and the German firm is offering yet another model aimed at purists and 911 Classic enthusiasts, but this time around is a significantly more affordable package. It’s called the 911 Carrera T and slots between the base Carrera and the GTS.

Inspired by the 911T, the company’s entry-level 911 between 1967 and 1973, the Carrera T is essentially a base Carrera with features taken off the more performance-oriented GTS. Fitted with a unique design elements inside and out, the Carrera T is also the first Carrera to get full bucket seats and rear-axle steering. The Carrera T is also lighter than the standard model, which makes it the lightest 911 available outside the GT3 and GT2 range. The added features and the lighter curb weight also makes it a tad quicker than the entry-level Carrera, placing it just below the Carrera S model in terms of performance. So while it’s not the least powerful and most affordable 911, as the 911T was back in the late 1960s, it’s a solid proposition for customers who want a no-nonsense Carrera but also desire access to the performance-enhancing features usually offered with the GTS model.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 911 Carrera T.

Official video

Exterior


- Optimized spoiler lip

- Agate Gray highlights

- Lightweight rear windscreen and side windows

- Lowered suspension

2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739972
“Up front, the 911 T is identical to the entry-level Carrera save for the aerodynamically optimized spoiler lip”

A 911 Carrera at heart, the T model has a hard time standing out in a pack of base 911 sports cars. Up front, the 911 T is actually identical to the entry-level Carrera save for the aerodynamically optimized spoiler lip. And even though it may sound fancy, this feature is actually not so different design-wise, which makes it difficult to spot. But there is one way to tell that a T isn’t a regular 911 Carrera, even when looking at the front end: the SportDesign mirrors are finished in Agate Grey, whereas the standard Carrera has them painted in the same color as the body.

More hints that this is a different model can be found on the sides, starting with the 20-inch, Carrera S wheels in Titanium Grey with a stripe bearing the “T” designation. A black stripe just above the side skirt contains “911 Carrera T” lettering. Finally, the coupe sits nearly half an inch closer to the ground thanks to the standard PASM sport suspension, but this isn’t exactly noticeable.


2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739958
“The rear windscreen and rear side windows are made of lightweight glass”

A few extra features can be spotted around back as well. The louvers of the decklid grille, the badge, and the “911 Carrera T” lettering are all finished in Agate Grey, while the sport exhaust system has black tips. The rear windscreen and rear side windows are made of lightweight glass. Granted, the latter doesn’t change the way this 911 looks, but makes quite a different in the power-to-weight department. But more on that in the “Drivetrain” section below.

Paint options for the 911 Carrera T are as varied as they get and include Lava Orange, Black, Guards Red, Racing Yellow, White and Miami Blue. Metallic colors like Carrera White, Jet Black, and GT Silver are optional. It’s pretty cool that Porsche is offering Lava Orange, a color first launched with the GT3 RS, for 911 Carrera model.

left
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Interior

  • Optional bucket seats with rear-seat delete
  • Lightweight door handles and insulation
  • Shorter gear lever
  • GT Sport leather steering wheel

2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739964
“It's the first 911 Carrera available with the Full Bucket Seats package”

The interior of the 911 Carrera T is actually a bit more exciting than the exterior, combining a range of race-inspired features that you can’t get on the standard Carrera. The coupe comes equipped with Sport Seats Plus as standard. These four-way electrically adjustable seats are finished in black, have “911” logos embossed on the headrests, and center sections made of Sport-Tex. But the big news lies in the fact that you can order the Full Bucket Seats package, a first for the 911 Carrera designation. The option also comes with a rear-seat delete to save even more weight.

Speaking of weight-saving measures, the standard door handles have been replaced with fabric loops. The cool thing about these is that they also give the door panels a race-inspired look. Further weight is saved by use of thinner sound insulation under the skin. This is Similar to the 911 GTS and yes, it makes the cabin a bit louder. But hey, it’s a sacrifice you have to make if you want a quicker Carrera without the GTS premium.


2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739959
“A shorter gear lever with embossed shift pattern in red is standard”

Porsche also added a GT Sport steering wheel with leather rim and a switch for driving mode selection, as well as a shorter gear lever with embossed shift pattern in red. The trim on the dashboard and doors is black, which isn’t particularly exciting, but the Carrera T Interior Package adds contrasting colors in Racing Yellow, Guards Red or GT Silver. The latter add colored accents to the seat belts, the “911” logo on the headrests, the door opener loops, and the Sport-Tex seat surfaces.

Drivetrain

  • Standard rear differential lock
  • 11 pounds lighter than base model
  • A tenth-second quicker to 60 mph
  • Optional rear-axle steering

2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739977
“The Carrera T needs only 4.3 seconds to hit 60 mph a tenth-second quicker than the base Carrera”

The Carrera T draws its juice from the same 3.0-liter flat-six unit as the base 911 model. The turbocharged engine cranks out 370 and 332 pound-feet of torque, which is again identical to the entry-level model. Well, comparing specs on Porsche’s American website actually revealed there’s an extra pound-foot for the Carrera T, but that’s either a typo or it doesn’t make a difference in terms of performance. However, the standard manual transmission has a shorter constant transaxle ratio, while the mechanical rear differential lock is included at no extra cost.

What’s more, the Carrera T tips the scales at 3,142 pounds due to the weight-saving measures, which makes it 11 pounds lighter than the base Carrera and the lightest non GT 911 model available. Combined with the revised transmission, the PASM sport suspension, and the slightly lighter curb weight, the Carrera T needs only 4.3 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, a tenth-second quicker than the base Carrera. Top speed is rated at an exciting 182 mph.


2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739992
“Unlike the 911 Carrera, the T model can be equipped with the optional rear-axle steering”

When equipped with the optional PDK transmission, which also adds a launch control feature, the Carrera T completes the same benchmark in four seconds flat, which is not only quicker than a similarly equipped base Carrera, but also a tenth-second faster than the more powerful Carrera S with a manual transmission. Top speed for this model sits at 180 mph, a tad lower than the manual version.

Unlike the 911 Carrera, the T model can be equipped with the optional rear-axle steering, which is a cool thing to have on a non Turbo car.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.0-liter flat-six
Horsepower 370 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque 332 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 4.3 seconds
Top Speed 182 mph
Weight 3,142 LBS

Prices


2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739994

Pricing for the 911 Carrera T, which went on sale for the 2018 model year but won’t hit dealers until March, starts from $102,100, excluding the $1,050 delivery, processing and handling fee. That’s a $11,000 premium over the base 911 Carrera, which is reasonable given all the extra features. The T is also only $3,000 less than the Carrera S, which might be a problem if you like all that extra power. But hey, you’re getting a lot of GTS-specific stuff for nearly $19,000 less.

Porsche 911 Carrera T Manual $102,100
Porsche 911 Carrera T PDK $105,830

Competition

Mercedes-AMG GT


2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Coupe - image 700634

Although it’s an entirely different animal as far as drivetrain layout goes, with the engine being mounted in front of the cabin, the AMG GT was developed as a competitor for the Porsche 911. While modern to look at, the coupe also has a vintage vibe to it reminding of the Mercedes-Benz grand tourers of the 1960s. So it’s actually very similar to the 911 from this standpoint. The interior is of the same variety, blending race-inspired features with luxurious amenities, fine materials, and a wide range of options. Under the hood, the German two-door hides a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8. Upgraded for the 2018 model year, the base AMG GT comes with 469 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, which is significantly more than the 911 Carrera T. With almost 100 extra horses at its disposal, you’d be tempted to think that the AMG GT is significantly quicker, but the difference is far from overwhelming. The sprint to 60 mph takes 3.9 seconds, which is only a tenth-second faster than the Carrera T with the PDK. Of course, we’re talking about four tenths if compared to the manual variant, but you need to consider that the Merc is some $10K more expensive at $112,400.

Read our full story on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT.

Jaguar F-Type


2017 Jaguar F-Type - image 655250

Although not exactly a full-fledged competitor for the 911, the F-Type has what it takes to give Porsche’s finest a run for its money. The exterior design, credited to have helped revive the brand, is aggressive and downright gorgeous, while the interior is packed with premium features and state-of-the-art tech. Sure, it doesn’t have rear seats, but given that the Carrera T can be had with a rear-seat delete, I think it’s a pretty fair comparison. Much like the 911, the F-Type can be had with a wide selection of drivetrains. In the U.S., the range begins with a 2.0-liter four-pot that cranks out 296 horsepower. That’s obviously not enough for the Carrera, especially since this model is significantly slower from 0 to 60 mph at 5.4 seconds. To get something closer, you have to go with the coupe fitted with the 3.0-liter V-6 rated at 400 horses and AWD. This one needs 4.9 seconds. Sure, it’s still slow, but the F-Type that’s next in line uses a massive 5.0-liter V-8. This one cranks out 550 horses and gets to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The good news is that this model retails from $99,900, which makes it a bit more affordable than the 911 Carrera T.

Read our full review of the 2017 Jaguar F-Type.

Alpine A110


2017 Renault Alpine A110 - image 708518

Much like the F-Type, the A110 plays in a different league. Alpine did aim at Porsche with this car, but the smaller 718 Cayman. The reason why I’m including it here it’s because the A110 is a proper, no-nonsense sports car created specifically for the purist in you. Not only does it pay tribute to one of the greatest European sports car ever built, it also combined classic heritage with carbon-fiber, premium features, and a lightweight construction that puts a Porsche to shame. Tipping the scales at an incredible 2,381 pounds, the A110 is some 800 pounds lighter than the 911 Carrera T. Power is provided by a turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder rated at 252 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of twist. This may not seem like a lot compared to the 911 Carrera, but the solid power-to-weight ratio enables the A110 to hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. That’s still slower than the Porsche, but not by much. The good news is that the Alpine is significantly more affordable at under €60,000 (around $70,400 as of October 2017) in Europe, but the bad news is that it’s not available in the United States and there’s no word as to when it will cross the pond.

Read our full story on the 2017 Alpine A110.

Conclusion


2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739967

Diversification is key to success nowadays and it’s probably why I’m not surprised that Porsche rolled out yet another version of the 911. However, I’m not really sure that the Carrera T was a necessary addition to the lineup. Sure, having a base Carrera with some GTS features is a cool idea that should appeal many enthusiasts in need of a purist sports car, but I have strong doubts that the Carrera T will be a high seller. Linking this coupe to the 1968 911T is also a nice thing to do, but it’s not exactly very similar to its ancestor. While the 911T was the entry-level 911, the new Carrera T slots between the base model and the GTS and costs almost as much as the Carrera S. But I guess these details don’t make much of a difference since the 911T isn’t among the most iconic versions of the 911.

  • Leave it
    • Almost as expensive as the Carrera S
    • Do we actually need the Carrera T?

Porsche 911T History


2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 740173
“The 911T is known for having helpted Porsche become the first German manufacturer to comply with strict U.S. exhaust and emission control regulations”

Introduced in 1967, there years after Porsche had launched the iconic nameplate, the 911T was the most affordable version of the 911. The concept wasn’t exactly new. When production of the 356 came to an end in 1965, Porsche noticed that there was still a market for a four-cylinder car, especially in the United States, so the German firm created the 912, a 911 with less equipment and the 356’s 90-horsepower engine. The 912 was kept into production until 1967, when it was replaced by the 911T, which slotted under the 911L and later the 911E.

Unlike the 912, the 911T used a flat-six engine. The first version was sold with the base 2.0-liter rated at 110 horsepower, but a 1969 upgrade replaced it with a 2.2-liter mill that generated 123 horses, 30 horsepower less than the 911E and 57 less than the 911S. The engine was again upgraded for all models, including the 911T, to a 2.4-liter unit in 1971. But unlike the 911E and 911S, which used mechanical fuel injection, the 911T was carbureted. However, this wasn’t the case in the United States, where regulations forced Porsche to also add fuel injection to the T model. The output was rated 130 horsepower in Europe, while the fuel-injection U.S. model came with 140 horses on tap. In January, 1973, North American 911T engines were switched to Porsche’s then-new K-Jetronic Continuous Fuel Injection system from Bosch. These CIS-powered cars are were among the last 911Ts built and are usually referred to as 1973.5 models by enthusiasts.


2018 Porsche 911 Carrera T - image 739960

While not as iconic as other versions of the classic 911, the 911T is known for having helpted Porsche become the first German manufacturer to comply with strict U.S. exhaust and emission control regulations. The 911T is somewhat widely available in the U.S. right and if often considered a great starting point for collectors that want a first-generation Porsche 911. Prices vary depending on mileage and condition from as low as $40,000 to more than $120,000.

References

Porsche 911


2017 Porsche 911 - image 701926

Read our full review on the 2017 Porsche 911.


2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS - image 739165

Read more Porsche news.

PostHeaderIcon Lotus Elise Cup 260

Arguably the most iconic Lotus still in production, the Elise has been around for more than two decades. Now in its third generation, the tiny Elise is heading toward a major redesign that will bring a faster, lighter car into dealerships. But despite working on a brand-new model, Lotus isn’t yet willing to give up on the current Elise, and it keeps pushing the limits of the small roadster with all sorts of limited-edition packages and upgrades. With several new iterations launched in 2016 and 2017, Lotus has prepared yet another version of its supercharged two-door. It’s called the Cup 260 and its the lightest, quickest road-legal Elise built to date.

Developed as the company prepares for the 70th anniversary of when founder Colin Chapman built his first car in 1948, the Cup 260 is based on the Cup 250 model that came in 2016 and includes nearly all of the lightweight Elise Cup options as standard. It also sports the latest visual upgrades that Lotus introduced for the standard Elise, as well as a comprehensive aerodynamic package that adds a tremendous amount of downforce at high speeds. Naturally, it’s the quickest Elise on the brand’s Hethel track, and its production is limited to only a handful of examples. Find out more about that below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lotus Elise Cup 260.

What makes the Lotus Elise Cup 260 special

Unique, Aggressive Exterior


2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260 - image 739735
“The front bumper was revised with a wider and taller center grille”

A quick look at the Cup 260 will leave you wondering what changed compared to the Cup 250. Well, upgrades aren’t exactly visible upon first glance, but take a closer look and you’ll notice a few new features. For starters, there are a couple of louvers atop each front wheel fender. These vents not only give the Elise a more race-inspired look, but also reduce aerodynamic lift.

The front bumper was also revised with a wider and taller center grille, as well as significantly larger side vents. Down below, the standard carbon-fiber splitter has smaller winglets on the sides. Onto the sides, we can see a black panel on the rear fender, just below the intake that feeds air into the engine. The latter is also slightly different, now missing the center fin and sporting a fine mesh. Surprisingly enough, the Cup 250’s aggressive carbon-fiber side skirts have been removed.


2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260 - image 739738
“Based on the Lotus 3-Eleven, the new rear wing turns the Elise into a full-fledged race car”

The rear end boasts the biggest change in terms of aerodynamics. While the Cup 250 has a pretty large wing, the Cup 260 gained a much bigger element that’s also mounted higher. Based on the rear wing of the bonkers Lotus 3-Eleven, this feature turns the Elise into a full-fledged race car. The huge wing is backed by a revised diffuser that’s smaller than the Cup 250’s, but exually aggressive. A center-mounted exhaust pipe and the Elise’s new taillights with smaller inner reverse lights round off the look.

The sports car is also equipped with ultra-lightweight, forged alloy wheels measuring 16 inches at the front and 17 inches in the rear, both wrapped in Yokohama Advan Neova tires. Much like the Cup 250, it comes with a wide array of carbon-fiber features, including the sill covers, roll hoop cover, front access panel, and engine cover. The motorsport-style polycarbonate backlight glass also helps cut down weight by at least 13 pounds.

Finally, the Elise Cup 260 has a laurel wreath decal on the left buttress and the Union Jack on both the rear wing endplates. Optionally, the car can be ordered in the iconic Championship Gold color, as seen in the official photos above.

Carbon-Fiber Seats and Trim


2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260 - image 739736
“The carbon-fiber seats are wrapped in black Alcantara with red or yellow stitching”

The interior is pretty much identical to the Cup 250, featuring the same carbon-fiber race seats and open gearbox mechanism. The seats are wrapped in black Alcantara with red or yellow stitching, as are the door panels. The package also includes body-keyed color inserts in the seats, transmission console, HVAC trim, and window switches, which means you can have a bunch of cool Championship Gold accents inside the cabin. The exposed aluminum and carbon-fiber elements, including new instrument cluster cover, complete the race-inspired look. Options include an Acantara steering wheel and matching sill covers, leather or tartan trim packs for the seats and door panels. Tech geeks can also opt for an in-car entertainment system with iPod and Bluetooth connectivity.

250 Horsepower and a Record Lap


2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260 - image 739734
“Lotus upgraded the Toyota-sourced engine with new induction components and revised calibration”

Under the hood, the Cup 260 hides the same supercharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine as the Cup 250. However, Lotus upgraded the Toyota-sourced unit with new induction components and revised calibration. As a result, the engine now generates 250 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. That’s seven horsepower and four pound-feet more than the Cup 250. It might not seem like a lot on its own, but it makes a big difference when combined with the enhanced aerodynamics and the lighter body and chassis.

Specifically, the Cup 260 hits 60 mph from a standing start in 3.8 seconds, a tenth-second quicker than the Cup 250, and laps the Hethel track in just one minute and 32 seconds. That’s an impressive 2.5 seconds faster than the Elise Cup 250! This is obviously the result of the Cup 260 being 33 pounds lighter (1,989 pounds unladen and 1,900 pounds dry), but it’s also because the revised design and aero configuration generates up to 397 pounds of downforce at 151 mph, a 44-percent gain over the Cup 250.


2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260 - image 739737
“The Cup 260 hits 60 mph from a standing start in 3.8 seconds”

The race-bred chassis is also responsabile for the outstanding performance. The roadster rides on a fully independent double wishbone suspension with an adjustable front anti-roll bar, Nitron coaxial coil springs, and, for the first time on an Elise, adjustable Nitron high-performance dampers. Stopping power comes from two-piece brake discs combined with AP Racing twin-piston calipers at the front axle and Brembo calipers to the rear wheels.

Limited Production Run


2017 Lotus Elise Cup 260 - image 739740

Pricing information is not yet available, but the Elise Cup 260 will be limited to only 30 units. This means it will cost significantly more than the Cup 250, which retails from £45,60 in the United Kingdom and €61,100 in Germany. The Lotus Elise isn’t available in the United States due to safety regulations, so don’t get your hopes up on getting the Cup 260 on this side of the pond.

References

Lotus Elise


2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250 - image 665809

Read our full review on the 2016 Lotus Elise Cup 250.


2015 Lotus Elise S Cup - image 611648

Read our full review on the 2015 Lotus Elise S Cup.


2011 Lotus Elise - image 359235

Read our full review on the 2017 Lotus Elise.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition

With almost 40 years of history now in the books, it’s time for the Merc G-Wagen to get a substantial update. But before that happens (the new-gen is expected to show at the Detroit Motor Show next year), the German automaker is releasing a new, glossier, limited production run dubbed the G 65 Final Edition. Bearing the same AMG-branded bones as the standard G 65, the Final Edition adds a host of aesthetic enhancements to help it stand out from the crowd. Outside, you’ll find large wheels, specialized trim pieces, and black and bronze coloring, while the interior comes decked out in nappa leather, carbon fiber, and unique badging, all set in the traditional top-shelf G-Wagen luxury.

Merc says over a third of its G-Class vehicle sales are the AMG variants, so it makes total sense to release this spruced-up special edition before we wave goodbye. With only 65 units slated for production, Mercedes is banking on exclusivity to move this thing, because they certainly won’t come cheap. Pricing starts at a whopping 310,233 Euros, which is around $368,000 at current exchange rates (10/19/2017). And in case you’re keeping track, that’s about $150,000 more than the standard AMG G 65. Seriously. So what the hell makes it worth all that extra outlay? Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition.

What Makes The Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition Special?

What’s It Got Under The Hood?


2013 Mercedes G65 AMG - image 450391

Note: standard Mercedes-AMG G 65 pictured here.

“The V-12 gets a double-dose of turbocharging to produce 630 horsepower, plus 738 pound-feet of torque between 2,300 and 4,300 rpm”

Take a peek behind that three-pointed star on the grille, and you’ll find the same AMG-tuned 6.0-liter V-12 engine that you’d get in the standard model. Once again, the V-12 gets a double-dose of turbocharging to produce 630 horsepower, plus 1,000 Nm (738 pound-feet) of torque between 2,300 and 4,300 rpm. Lighting the fire is a multi-spark ignition system, with 12 individual twin-sparking ignition units. Adding some underhood glitz is a carbon fiber and aluminum engine cover.

That’s a lot of go, and although the AMG G 65 weighs in at a ground-pounding 3 tons (6,050 pounds), it’s got the right stuff to hit 62 mph in 5.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at 230 km/h (143 mph).

“Top speed is electronically limited at 230 km/h (143 mph).”

Routing the muscle is an AMG-tuned seven-speed automatic transmission, which feeds a standard AWD system. The Final Edition also gets the same off-roading chops as the standard models, rocking high-travel suspension that enables slope climbing up to 80 percent, the ability to wade through water 60 cm (24 inches) deep, stability while driving at 28 degrees, a 27-degree angle of approach and departure, and a 22-degree breakover angle.

Sounds Pretty Standard, So Why Is It So Expensive?


2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition - image 739732
“It comes equipped with new 21-inch wheels, complete with a five twin-spoke design, alloy construction, and bronzed color finish”

For starters, it comes equipped with new 21-inch wheels, complete with a five twin-spoke design, alloy construction, and bronzed color finish. Under the plus-sized rollers, you’ll find calipers finished in silver, while AMG Sport trim strips were added to the flanks. Additional matte bronze detailing was added to the skid plates, bumper trim, and side view mirrors housings. The radiator grille gets a black mesh insert and matte bronze surround, while high-gloss black was added to the protective strips. In the rear, the spare wheel cover is covered in glossy obsidian black paint, while matte black was added to the running boards and exhaust tips.

What About The Interior?


2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition - image 739560
“The Final Edition adds stuff inside as well, tossing in the design Exclusive Package and adding nappa leather to the seats, plus carbon fiber to the seat side bolsters”

The Final Edition adds stuff inside as well, tossing in the design Exclusive Package and adding nappa leather to the seats, plus carbon fiber to the seat side bolsters. Light brown stitching is prevalent everywhere. Additional carbon fiber was added for the trim, while further bronze stitching adds a little more color. The grab handles get the Edition lettering milled right into them, while the floor mats get light brown leather edging. There’s also a flat-bottom AMG Performance steering wheel, which comes covered in black nappa leather, as well as the Seat Comfort package with “climatised” seats.

Conclusion


2017 Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition - image 739561

Granted, only European pricing has been announced at this point, but even then, the price tag on this thing is rather ridiculous. When you break it down, you’re basically paying an extra six-figures for some wheels, black and bronze trim, and the bragging rights to say you own one of 65 limited edition G-Wagens. But to be frank, that’s more than enough for Merc’s customers in this segment. Expect it to sell out fast.

References

Mercedes G-Class


2013 Mercedes G65 AMG - image 450390

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 697064

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

PostHeaderIcon BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition

BMW has released another special edition model, but again, it’s not headed to the U.S. Such a reality has become the norm for us even though it doesn’t get any easier to come to grips with. This time, the German automaker is rolling out a special edition 7 Series exclusively for the Russian market. The model goes by the name BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition, and as its name suggests, it’s dressed up in all layers and manners of black.

From a distance, the special edition 7 Series looks exactly like the kind of car that a Russian oligarch would own. The all-black look gives it business-like swag and the fact that it’s based on a 7 Series is another indication that Bimmer Russia is keen on rolling this out for the upper-echelon of Russia’s social class. In keeping with its identity, the 7er Black Ice carries plenty of exclusive features, not the least of which is the paint finish that was used in it. Apart from that, the luxury sedan also boasts of an aerodynamic kit from BMW M Sport, interior upgrades courtesy of BMW Individual, a new set of wheels, and enough of the automaker’s newest and most advanced tech features. And for vanity’s sake, there are also badges throughout the car denoting its “Black Ice” name. I suppose that at some point in the future, we’re going to get our turn and have more of these special edition models head to our soil. But now’s not our time yet, so the only thing we can do at this point is admire what other market is getting from Bimmer. And, in this case, it looks like the Russian market got itself a good one from the German automaker.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition.

What makes the BMW 7 Series Individual Ice Edition special


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739622
“There are a number of different things about this particular 7 Series special edition that make it “special””

There are a number of different things about this particular 7 Series special edition that make it “special” in my eyes. The first and most important of it is its color because it’s a one-off. That means that no other BMW model will get this specific shade. BMW calls it “Frosty Black Metallic,” which it created by covering the base layer of metallic paint with a special matte varnish. This process, or “paint technology,” as BMW puts it, creates transformative properties in the paint giving it a unique shine under specific lighting conditions. BMW didn’t say what those conditions are but I suppose we can take their word for it. They’ve been doing this a lot over the years and they at least get the benefit of the doubt in this regard.

“The 7 Series SE also comes with a new set of 20-inch forged, V-spoke 649 wheels from BMW Individual.”

Beyond the meticulous process of creating a one-off paint scheme for the 7 Series, BMW also gave the luxury sedan its patented M Sport package. Notice the double grille in the front? That’s part of the M
Sport package. Same thing with the gloss black door handles and the gloss black boot lid. I suppose if BMW’s going to go to great lengths to create a one-off paint finish for a car, might as well use complementary pieces to make the whole thing shine as it did here. The 7 Series SE also comes with a new set of 20-inch forged, V-spoke 649 wheels from BMW Individual. This wheel setup is unique in it of itself because this particular set of wheels can only be paired with the M Sport body kit.

Now on to the tech side. Seeing as the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition is exclusive to the Russian market, BMW need not worry about US regulations pertaining to the use of laser headlamps. So the luxury sedan gets them. Also standard on the special edition sedan, among other things, are parking assist with a remote control module, a 360-degree vision system, and an Executive Drive Pro package with roadway scanning.


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739624
“The cabin itself is dressed up in Nappa Black leather trim to go with a BMW Individual trim that’s finished in Black Piano lacquer”

Move to the interior, and you’ll be greeted by a continuation of the stealthy theme that Bimmer seems to have adopted for this SE. The cabin itself is dressed up in Nappa Black leather trim to go with a BMW Individual trim that’s finished in Black Piano lacquer. The upholstery also gets Anthracite Alcantara, and the whole black-on-black theme continues with the BMW badge sporting this color scheme. A “Black Ice” badging on the passenger dashboard is the cherry on top of this proverbial sundae.

BMW made no mention of how much the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition is going to cost. That said, we can at least point to the pricing of the standard 7 Series for reference, which in this case adds up to $84,000 for the base 740i model and $97,000 for the 750i. That means that with all the work BMW put into turning the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition into a true SE, it should cost somewhere in the $110,000 range, maybe even more. Not that it matters since we’re not getting it here in the US, but if any of our friends in Russia are interested in getting one, they better get their checkbooks ready. This special edition Bimmer isn’t going to come cheap.

References

BMW 7 Series


2016 BMW 7 Series - image 633492

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 7 Series.


2017 BMW M2 CSL - image 645061

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition

BMW has released another special edition model, but again, it’s not headed to the U.S. Such a reality has become the norm for us even though it doesn’t get any easier to come to grips with. This time, the German automaker is rolling out a special edition 7 Series exclusively for the Russian market. The model goes by the name BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition, and as its name suggests, it’s dressed up in all layers and manners of black.

From a distance, the special edition 7 Series looks exactly like the kind of car that a Russian oligarch would own. The all-black look gives it business-like swag and the fact that it’s based on a 7 Series is another indication that Bimmer Russia is keen on rolling this out for the upper-echelon of Russia’s social class. In keeping with its identity, the 7er Black Ice carries plenty of exclusive features, not the least of which is the paint finish that was used in it. Apart from that, the luxury sedan also boasts of an aerodynamic kit from BMW M Sport, interior upgrades courtesy of BMW Individual, a new set of wheels, and enough of the automaker’s newest and most advanced tech features. And for vanity’s sake, there are also badges throughout the car denoting its “Black Ice” name. I suppose that at some point in the future, we’re going to get our turn and have more of these special edition models head to our soil. But now’s not our time yet, so the only thing we can do at this point is admire what other market is getting from Bimmer. And, in this case, it looks like the Russian market got itself a good one from the German automaker.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition.

What makes the BMW 7 Series Individual Ice Edition special


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739622
“There are a number of different things about this particular 7 Series special edition that make it “special””

There are a number of different things about this particular 7 Series special edition that make it “special” in my eyes. The first and most important of it is its color because it’s a one-off. That means that no other BMW model will get this specific shade. BMW calls it “Frosty Black Metallic,” which it created by covering the base layer of metallic paint with a special matte varnish. This process, or “paint technology,” as BMW puts it, creates transformative properties in the paint giving it a unique shine under specific lighting conditions. BMW didn’t say what those conditions are but I suppose we can take their word for it. They’ve been doing this a lot over the years and they at least get the benefit of the doubt in this regard.

“The 7 Series SE also comes with a new set of 20-inch forged, V-spoke 649 wheels from BMW Individual.”

Beyond the meticulous process of creating a one-off paint scheme for the 7 Series, BMW also gave the luxury sedan its patented M Sport package. Notice the double grille in the front? That’s part of the M
Sport package. Same thing with the gloss black door handles and the gloss black boot lid. I suppose if BMW’s going to go to great lengths to create a one-off paint finish for a car, might as well use complementary pieces to make the whole thing shine as it did here. The 7 Series SE also comes with a new set of 20-inch forged, V-spoke 649 wheels from BMW Individual. This wheel setup is unique in it of itself because this particular set of wheels can only be paired with the M Sport body kit.

Now on to the tech side. Seeing as the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition is exclusive to the Russian market, BMW need not worry about US regulations pertaining to the use of laser headlamps. So the luxury sedan gets them. Also standard on the special edition sedan, among other things, are parking assist with a remote control module, a 360-degree vision system, and an Executive Drive Pro package with roadway scanning.


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739624
“The cabin itself is dressed up in Nappa Black leather trim to go with a BMW Individual trim that’s finished in Black Piano lacquer”

Move to the interior, and you’ll be greeted by a continuation of the stealthy theme that Bimmer seems to have adopted for this SE. The cabin itself is dressed up in Nappa Black leather trim to go with a BMW Individual trim that’s finished in Black Piano lacquer. The upholstery also gets Anthracite Alcantara, and the whole black-on-black theme continues with the BMW badge sporting this color scheme. A “Black Ice” badging on the passenger dashboard is the cherry on top of this proverbial sundae.

BMW made no mention of how much the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition is going to cost. That said, we can at least point to the pricing of the standard 7 Series for reference, which in this case adds up to $84,000 for the base 740i model and $97,000 for the 750i. That means that with all the work BMW put into turning the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition into a true SE, it should cost somewhere in the $110,000 range, maybe even more. Not that it matters since we’re not getting it here in the US, but if any of our friends in Russia are interested in getting one, they better get their checkbooks ready. This special edition Bimmer isn’t going to come cheap.

References

BMW 7 Series


2016 BMW 7 Series - image 633492

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 7 Series.


2017 BMW M2 CSL - image 645061

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions

Neiman Marcus’ annual Christmas Book has just been unveiled, and as expected, a car is included in it. This year’s different though because instead of offering just one ride in the catalog, Neiman Marcus is rolling out two special edition Rolls-Royce Dawns, each one dressed in a unique summer look that promotes a his-and-hers vibe.

In keeping with the summertime theme, each of the two Rolls-Royce Dawn models also get names attached to them. One is called the Dawn Lago di Como, a nod to Italy’s famous Lake Como, a favorite tourist destination in the hot months. The other is called Dawn Saint-Tropez, named after the French coastal town that’s famous for being the playground of the rich and famous. In those terms, these two Dawn models appear to have been named appropriately considering their own pedigree as Rolls-Royce models. As expected, the Dawn Lago di Como and the Dawn Saint-Tropez will be extremely limited with only 20 total models set to be made available, presumably just 10 for each of the two SE Dawns. That said, before you start placing your orders, remember that items from Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book don’t come cheap. That’s certainly the case for these two Dawns as one of them – the Lago di Como – costs $439,625 whereas the other – the Saint-Tropez – is priced a little higher at $445,750. Either way, you’re bank accounts will have their work cut out for them should you decide to get either one of these two beauties.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions.

What makes the Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions special


2018 Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions - image 739552
“It’s defining feature is its blue paint finish, which is supposed to evoke the beautiful blue waters of Lake Como.”

I don’t know if it was a case of timing, coincidence, or both, but when I wrote about the 2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Edition yesterday – that one that was headed to the auction block – I had no inkling that the luxury department store was set to unveil this year’s Christmas Book. In any case, let’s chalk down that up to a happy coincidence.

Now about these two special edition Dawns. Let’s take a look at the Dawn Lago di Como first. It’s defining feature is its blue paint finish, which is supposed to evoke the beautiful blue waters of Lake Como. The exterior look is completed by a silver hood and a silver fabric top. Inside, the treatment involves the use of black and grey leather and a brushed aluminum dashboard. There’s no mention of any badges or plaques denoting the model as an exclusive to Neiman Marcus, but you can rest assured that if history is an indication, there’s going to be some of them in there in some form or fashion.

The other special edition Dawn is the Saint-Tropez Edition. It’s flashier in terms of appearance, thanks in part to the use of orange as the main body color of the luxury drop-top. It also gets a silver hood and silver fabric top just like the Lago di Como Edition. But the best part of the Dawn Saint-Tropez Edition is its interior, particularly how it stands out compared to its Lago di Como counterpart. Officially, Rolls-Royce calls it a Seashell and Dark Spice upholstery, though you can be forgiven for thinking of the colors simply as white, orange, and dark reddish-brown. It also gets open-pore wood on the panels and lambswool floor mats, two features that are distinctly absent from the Dawn Lago di Como.

Unlike the 2016 Mustang Convertible that was featured in the 2015 Christmas Book, neither of the two special edition Dawns received any engine upgrades. It would’ve been unlikely anyway owing to the car’s status, but it’s still something worth mentioning. In any case, both special edition models are powered by a massive 6.6-liter V-12 engine that produces 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough power to make a statement.


2018 Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions - image 739556

2018 Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions - image 739558
“Only 20 units are going to be made of them – 10 for each version – and there’s a precedent for these SEs to sell out quickly”

So now that the two Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Edition models have been revealed, the question is which of the two are you most likely to get? Remember, only 20 units are going to be made of them – 10 for each version – and there’s a precedent for these SEs to sell out quickly. If you’re ready to make the financial commitment, remember that the Dawn Lago di Como Edition carries a price tag of $439,625. It’s a tough price to reach, but hilariously enough, it’s also the “cheaper” of the two SE Dawns as the Dawn Saint-Tropez Edition is slightly more expensive at $445,750.

References

Rolls Royce Dawn


2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn - image 645027

Read our full review on the 2017 Rolls Royce Dawn.


2017 Rolls Royce Dawn in Fuxia - image 727499

Read more Rolls Royce news.

PostHeaderIcon Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions

Neiman Marcus’ annual Christmas Book has just been unveiled, and as expected, a car is included in it. This year’s different though because instead of offering just one ride in the catalog, Neiman Marcus is rolling out two special edition Rolls-Royce Dawns, each one dressed in a unique summer look that promotes a his-and-hers vibe.

In keeping with the summertime theme, each of the two Rolls-Royce Dawn models also get names attached to them. One is called the Dawn Lago di Como, a nod to Italy’s famous Lake Como, a favorite tourist destination in the hot months. The other is called Dawn Saint-Tropez, named after the French coastal town that’s famous for being the playground of the rich and famous. In those terms, these two Dawn models appear to have been named appropriately considering their own pedigree as Rolls-Royce models. As expected, the Dawn Lago di Como and the Dawn Saint-Tropez will be extremely limited with only 20 total models set to be made available, presumably just 10 for each of the two SE Dawns. That said, before you start placing your orders, remember that items from Neiman Marcus’ Christmas Book don’t come cheap. That’s certainly the case for these two Dawns as one of them – the Lago di Como – costs $439,625 whereas the other – the Saint-Tropez – is priced a little higher at $445,750. Either way, you’re bank accounts will have their work cut out for them should you decide to get either one of these two beauties.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions.

What makes the Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions special


2018 Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions - image 739552
“It’s defining feature is its blue paint finish, which is supposed to evoke the beautiful blue waters of Lake Como.”

I don’t know if it was a case of timing, coincidence, or both, but when I wrote about the 2016 Ford Mustang Convertible Neiman Marcus Edition yesterday – that one that was headed to the auction block – I had no inkling that the luxury department store was set to unveil this year’s Christmas Book. In any case, let’s chalk down that up to a happy coincidence.

Now about these two special edition Dawns. Let’s take a look at the Dawn Lago di Como first. It’s defining feature is its blue paint finish, which is supposed to evoke the beautiful blue waters of Lake Como. The exterior look is completed by a silver hood and a silver fabric top. Inside, the treatment involves the use of black and grey leather and a brushed aluminum dashboard. There’s no mention of any badges or plaques denoting the model as an exclusive to Neiman Marcus, but you can rest assured that if history is an indication, there’s going to be some of them in there in some form or fashion.

The other special edition Dawn is the Saint-Tropez Edition. It’s flashier in terms of appearance, thanks in part to the use of orange as the main body color of the luxury drop-top. It also gets a silver hood and silver fabric top just like the Lago di Como Edition. But the best part of the Dawn Saint-Tropez Edition is its interior, particularly how it stands out compared to its Lago di Como counterpart. Officially, Rolls-Royce calls it a Seashell and Dark Spice upholstery, though you can be forgiven for thinking of the colors simply as white, orange, and dark reddish-brown. It also gets open-pore wood on the panels and lambswool floor mats, two features that are distinctly absent from the Dawn Lago di Como.

Unlike the 2016 Mustang Convertible that was featured in the 2015 Christmas Book, neither of the two special edition Dawns received any engine upgrades. It would’ve been unlikely anyway owing to the car’s status, but it’s still something worth mentioning. In any case, both special edition models are powered by a massive 6.6-liter V-12 engine that produces 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough power to make a statement.


2018 Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions - image 739556

2018 Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Editions - image 739558
“Only 20 units are going to be made of them – 10 for each version – and there’s a precedent for these SEs to sell out quickly”

So now that the two Rolls-Royce Dawn Neiman Marcus Special Edition models have been revealed, the question is which of the two are you most likely to get? Remember, only 20 units are going to be made of them – 10 for each version – and there’s a precedent for these SEs to sell out quickly. If you’re ready to make the financial commitment, remember that the Dawn Lago di Como Edition carries a price tag of $439,625. It’s a tough price to reach, but hilariously enough, it’s also the “cheaper” of the two SE Dawns as the Dawn Saint-Tropez Edition is slightly more expensive at $445,750.

References

Rolls Royce Dawn


2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn - image 645027

Read our full review on the 2017 Rolls Royce Dawn.


2017 Rolls Royce Dawn in Fuxia - image 727499

Read more Rolls Royce news.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition

Chevrolet is now offering two new special editions for the high-performance off-road Colorado ZR2 mid-size pickup. The Midnight Edition brings an all-black theme with tons of dark accents and a ZR2-branded sports bar with LED off-road lights. The Dusk Edition brings all the same black accents and the sports bar but allows customers to choose any of the eight other paint colors available on the standard Colorado ZR2. Both the Midnight and Dusk Editions come with new five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels painted in black.

The Colorado ZR2 is one of the hottest trucks on the market right now, and Chevy is hoping the added special editions will pour gasoline on the ZR2 fire. Obviously, special edition models tend to sell roughly twice as quickly as standard pickups, so it’s no doubt why Chevys bean counters are happy to offer the blacked-out packages.

According to Jim Campbell, Chevy’s U.S. VP of truck strategy, performance vehicles, and motorsports, “The Colorado ZR2 Midnight and Dusk Edition models offer customers even more personalization choices from the only company with three distinct trucks: midsize, full-size and full-size heavy-duty. Chevrolet offers more choices because the truck market is too diverse for a ‘one size fits most’ strategy.” Basically, it boils down to customers feeling exclusive when they buy and drive a special edition truck.

So what makes these special editions so… special? Keep reading for the details.

Continue reading for more on the Colorado ZR2 special editions.

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition


2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition - image 739209
“The Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition is exactly what we’ve come to expect from something called the “midnight edition.””

The Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition is exactly what we’ve come to expect from something called the “midnight edition.” Both Chevy and Nissan have midnight editions, and several other automakers have a play on the blacked-out theme. For the 2018 ZR2, it means black paint, black bowtie badges, those black 17-inch wheels (including the spare), and the bed-mounted sports bar with the ZR2-branded sail panels and LED off-road lights. Beyond that, honestly, there’s not much to speak of. Chevy makes no mention of interior changes.

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Dusk Edition


2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition - image 739207
“What separates the Dusk from the Midnight is the availability of the standard Colorado ZR2’s eight other body color options other than black.”

Do you like the Midnight Edition but think black paint is hard to keep clean? You’re in luck because the Dusk Edition is dark, but not as dark as midnight. See what Chevy did there? (Hardy har har… ) What separates the Dusk from the Midnight is the availability of the standard Colorado ZR2’s eight other body color options other than black.
These include Deepwood Green, Graphite, Red Hot, Satin Steel, Silver Ice, Summit White, Kinetic Blue, and Cajun Red. Those wanting Kinetic Blue or Cajun Red will have to shell out $395 or $495, respectively. The other colors are no-cost options.

Besides the body color options, the Dusk Edition comes with the same equipment as the Midnight Edition. This includes the black bowtie badges, the black wheels, and the sports bar with the ZR2 logo and LED off-road lights.

More on the Special Editions


2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition - image 739206
“Chevy is using the Midnight and Dusk Editions to help celebrate its 100th-anniversary of building trucks”

Chevy is using the Midnight and Dusk Editions to help celebrate its 100th-anniversary of building trucks. You’ll probably remember reading about the 2018 Chevy Silverado and Colorado Centennial Edition. If not, check those out here. The special editions also give Chevy more things to showcase at this year’s SEMA show. The Colorado ZR2 special edition with be on display at the Los Vegas Convention Center from October 31 through November 3, 2017, along with roughly 20 other Chevy entries.

Chevrolet didn’t announce pricing or availability of the 2018 Colorado ZR2 special editions, but we expect them to arrive in showrooms sometime in December or early in 2018. Pricing will likely be steep, ranging between $1,200 and $2,000. And aside from what comes with these special edition packages, all other options will be available on the ZR2, including both engine choices.

More on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695642

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a no-holds-barred attempt at a high-performance off-road pickup. While Ford has seen fantastic success with the full-size F-150 Raptor, Chevy is taking a different route by using the Colorado in the mid-size category. The smaller truck is arguably better since its smaller dimensions make it easier to drive on tight trails.

What separates the ZR2 from a run-of-the-mill Colorado Z71 is its wider stance, special shock absorbers, locking differentials, high-clearance bumpers, wide fenders, and grippy Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires on ZR2-specific wheels.

Let’s break things down.

The ZR2 is 3.5-inches wider than a standard Colorado, giving it a more planted foundation. The suspension is also two inches higher than stock, giving it more ground clearance and wheel travel. The underbody is protected from damage via an upgraded aluminum skid plate under the radiator and engine oil pan. The skid plate also adds to the macho appearance of the truck. There is also a skid plate protecting the transfer case, too.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695945
“With the two-speed 4WD transfer case locked into 4WD High or Low range, the ZR2 sends equal power to all four wheel no matter what”

The Colorado ZR2 features front and rear locking differentials. These electronically actuate and keep both left and right tires on an axle turning at the same speed, regardless of wheel slip. With the two-speed 4WD transfer case locked into 4WD High or Low range, the ZR2 sends equal power to all four wheel no matter what – an extremely handy feature when traversing loose terrain or slick rocks. The rear axle is also unique to the ZR2 and runs a stout 3.42:1 gear ratio.

The ZR2 also boats an off-road drive mode than reworks programming for the traction controls, ABS, stability control, transmission shift patterns, and throttle response.

However, the biggest performance upgrade on the ZR2 is its DSSV Spool Valve dampers from Multimatic. This is the first off-road application of spool valve shocks, which have a rich yet relatively short history in F1 race cars, supercars, and high-end track-day brawlers. Chevy has experience with spool valve shocks, though, as the fifth-generation Chevy Camaro Z/28 used them. In the ZR2’s application, the spool valves are designed to give highly controlled rates of drop and compression throughout its travel, all while staying cool no matter the ambient temperature, how rugged the terrain, or how fast the truck is traveling. In short, they are the ZR2’s magic bullet. They also give the truck instant street cred among sports car and racing enthusiasts.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695643
“The Colorado ZR2 can be had with either the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 or the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel”

And as mentioned the Colorado ZR2 can be had with either the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 or the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel. The V-6 offers 308 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 275 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. It comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbodiesel is the extra-cost option and comes with 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm, and more importantly, 369 pound-feet of torque at only 2,000 rpm. A six-speed automatic comes with the baby D-Max. For those torn between which engine is right, the V-6 is best for high-speed running where big revs are needed. The turbodiesel is best for those situations where low-end torque is king – situations like rock crawling, towing, vehicle recovery, and of course, getting decent fuel economy.

As for pricing of the current 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 without any special edition package adding cost, the MSRP starts at $41,550 for the Extended Cab and V-6 configuration. Those needing four real doors will want the $43,175 Crew Cab. Adding the turbodiesel to the Extended Cab pushes the price to $44,655 and $46,280 for the Crew Cab. Those aren’t cheap prices, but they do undercut the Ford F-150 Raptor’s base sticker price of $49,785 for the SuperCab model. Option for the bigger SuperCrew costs even more at $52,770. Check every option box, and the Raptor will quickly sail towards $70,000. That makes the Colorado ZR2 look like a bargain, doesn’t it?

References

Chevrolet Colorado


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695944

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado - image 532914

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition

Chevrolet is now offering two new special editions for the high-performance off-road Colorado ZR2 mid-size pickup. The Midnight Edition brings an all-black theme with tons of dark accents and a ZR2-branded sports bar with LED off-road lights. The Dusk Edition brings all the same black accents and the sports bar but allows customers to choose any of the eight other paint colors available on the standard Colorado ZR2. Both the Midnight and Dusk Editions come with new five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels painted in black.

The Colorado ZR2 is one of the hottest trucks on the market right now, and Chevy is hoping the added special editions will pour gasoline on the ZR2 fire. Obviously, special edition models tend to sell roughly twice as quickly as standard pickups, so it’s no doubt why Chevys bean counters are happy to offer the blacked-out packages.

According to Jim Campbell, Chevy’s U.S. VP of truck strategy, performance vehicles, and motorsports, “The Colorado ZR2 Midnight and Dusk Edition models offer customers even more personalization choices from the only company with three distinct trucks: midsize, full-size and full-size heavy-duty. Chevrolet offers more choices because the truck market is too diverse for a ‘one size fits most’ strategy.” Basically, it boils down to customers feeling exclusive when they buy and drive a special edition truck.

So what makes these special editions so… special? Keep reading for the details.

Continue reading for more on the Colorado ZR2 special editions.

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition


2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition - image 739209
“The Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition is exactly what we’ve come to expect from something called the “midnight edition.””

The Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition is exactly what we’ve come to expect from something called the “midnight edition.” Both Chevy and Nissan have midnight editions, and several other automakers have a play on the blacked-out theme. For the 2018 ZR2, it means black paint, black bowtie badges, those black 17-inch wheels (including the spare), and the bed-mounted sports bar with the ZR2-branded sail panels and LED off-road lights. Beyond that, honestly, there’s not much to speak of. Chevy makes no mention of interior changes.

2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Dusk Edition


2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition - image 739207
“What separates the Dusk from the Midnight is the availability of the standard Colorado ZR2’s eight other body color options other than black.”

Do you like the Midnight Edition but think black paint is hard to keep clean? You’re in luck because the Dusk Edition is dark, but not as dark as midnight. See what Chevy did there? (Hardy har har… ) What separates the Dusk from the Midnight is the availability of the standard Colorado ZR2’s eight other body color options other than black.
These include Deepwood Green, Graphite, Red Hot, Satin Steel, Silver Ice, Summit White, Kinetic Blue, and Cajun Red. Those wanting Kinetic Blue or Cajun Red will have to shell out $395 or $495, respectively. The other colors are no-cost options.

Besides the body color options, the Dusk Edition comes with the same equipment as the Midnight Edition. This includes the black bowtie badges, the black wheels, and the sports bar with the ZR2 logo and LED off-road lights.

More on the Special Editions


2018 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Midnight Edition and Dusk Edition - image 739206
“Chevy is using the Midnight and Dusk Editions to help celebrate its 100th-anniversary of building trucks”

Chevy is using the Midnight and Dusk Editions to help celebrate its 100th-anniversary of building trucks. You’ll probably remember reading about the 2018 Chevy Silverado and Colorado Centennial Edition. If not, check those out here. The special editions also give Chevy more things to showcase at this year’s SEMA show. The Colorado ZR2 special edition with be on display at the Los Vegas Convention Center from October 31 through November 3, 2017, along with roughly 20 other Chevy entries.

Chevrolet didn’t announce pricing or availability of the 2018 Colorado ZR2 special editions, but we expect them to arrive in showrooms sometime in December or early in 2018. Pricing will likely be steep, ranging between $1,200 and $2,000. And aside from what comes with these special edition packages, all other options will be available on the ZR2, including both engine choices.

More on the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695642

The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 is a no-holds-barred attempt at a high-performance off-road pickup. While Ford has seen fantastic success with the full-size F-150 Raptor, Chevy is taking a different route by using the Colorado in the mid-size category. The smaller truck is arguably better since its smaller dimensions make it easier to drive on tight trails.

What separates the ZR2 from a run-of-the-mill Colorado Z71 is its wider stance, special shock absorbers, locking differentials, high-clearance bumpers, wide fenders, and grippy Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires on ZR2-specific wheels.

Let’s break things down.

The ZR2 is 3.5-inches wider than a standard Colorado, giving it a more planted foundation. The suspension is also two inches higher than stock, giving it more ground clearance and wheel travel. The underbody is protected from damage via an upgraded aluminum skid plate under the radiator and engine oil pan. The skid plate also adds to the macho appearance of the truck. There is also a skid plate protecting the transfer case, too.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695945
“With the two-speed 4WD transfer case locked into 4WD High or Low range, the ZR2 sends equal power to all four wheel no matter what”

The Colorado ZR2 features front and rear locking differentials. These electronically actuate and keep both left and right tires on an axle turning at the same speed, regardless of wheel slip. With the two-speed 4WD transfer case locked into 4WD High or Low range, the ZR2 sends equal power to all four wheel no matter what – an extremely handy feature when traversing loose terrain or slick rocks. The rear axle is also unique to the ZR2 and runs a stout 3.42:1 gear ratio.

The ZR2 also boats an off-road drive mode than reworks programming for the traction controls, ABS, stability control, transmission shift patterns, and throttle response.

However, the biggest performance upgrade on the ZR2 is its DSSV Spool Valve dampers from Multimatic. This is the first off-road application of spool valve shocks, which have a rich yet relatively short history in F1 race cars, supercars, and high-end track-day brawlers. Chevy has experience with spool valve shocks, though, as the fifth-generation Chevy Camaro Z/28 used them. In the ZR2’s application, the spool valves are designed to give highly controlled rates of drop and compression throughout its travel, all while staying cool no matter the ambient temperature, how rugged the terrain, or how fast the truck is traveling. In short, they are the ZR2’s magic bullet. They also give the truck instant street cred among sports car and racing enthusiasts.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695643
“The Colorado ZR2 can be had with either the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 or the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel”

And as mentioned the Colorado ZR2 can be had with either the 3.6-liter gasoline V-6 or the 2.8-liter Duramax four-cylinder turbodiesel. The V-6 offers 308 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 275 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. It comes mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The turbodiesel is the extra-cost option and comes with 181 horsepower at 3,400 rpm, and more importantly, 369 pound-feet of torque at only 2,000 rpm. A six-speed automatic comes with the baby D-Max. For those torn between which engine is right, the V-6 is best for high-speed running where big revs are needed. The turbodiesel is best for those situations where low-end torque is king – situations like rock crawling, towing, vehicle recovery, and of course, getting decent fuel economy.

As for pricing of the current 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 without any special edition package adding cost, the MSRP starts at $41,550 for the Extended Cab and V-6 configuration. Those needing four real doors will want the $43,175 Crew Cab. Adding the turbodiesel to the Extended Cab pushes the price to $44,655 and $46,280 for the Crew Cab. Those aren’t cheap prices, but they do undercut the Ford F-150 Raptor’s base sticker price of $49,785 for the SuperCab model. Option for the bigger SuperCrew costs even more at $52,770. Check every option box, and the Raptor will quickly sail towards $70,000. That makes the Colorado ZR2 look like a bargain, doesn’t it?

References

Chevrolet Colorado


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695944

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.


2015 Chevrolet Colorado - image 532914

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview

My driveway this week holds something sinister – something dark and powerful – the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition. This blacked-out pickup is also fitted with the LTZ trim package, which is the highest trim available with the Z71 Off-Road Package. Only the High Country trim outranks the LTZ. Don’t count the LTZ out though; it comes with just about every imaginable feature Chevy has available.

Pickup trucks might be workhorses, but modern examples have become thoroughbreds of luxury and creature comforts. My Silverado includes heated and vented front seats and leather over all five seating positions, memory settings for the driver’s seat, power-adjustable pedals, dual-zone and automatic climate controls, and room enough for four of the largest NFL linebackers and a scrawny waterboy in the middle seat in back. And let’s not forget handy features like four USB ports, three 12-volt chargers, a 110-volt household outlet, a center console designed for hanging file folders, and more cubbyholes and storage spots than most minivans.
Sure, tree huggers can argue against pickups since most people don’t use them for towing or hauling, but dadgummit, the Silverado is insanely practical.

But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I do have a bone to pick with Chevy. Keep reading for that.

Continue reading for more information.

The 2017 Chevy Silverado LTZ Z71

“The Z71 package includes skid plates and recovery hooks for extra piece of mind.”

So, what’s my beef? Chevy apparently doesn’t think rear passengers need air vents. That might not be a big deal in Detroit, but in my home state of hot-as-heck Florida, anybody without direct airflow is sweating in the summer heat. Adding insult to injury, the Silverado (and its corporate twin, the GMC Sierra) is the only full-size pickup to not have rear air vents. Yep, the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Nissan Titan, and even the decade-old Toyota Tundra all keep their rear passengers comfortable.

Rants aside, the rest of the Silverado provides plenty to like. Its cargo bed is extremely easy to use thanks to those handy bumper steps and stake pocket hand-grabs. It has provisions for towing. The Z71 package includes skid plates and recovery hooks for extra piece of mind. Oh, and then there’s the engine.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview - image 739275
“It boasts 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm.”

The Silverado is available with three engine choices: the 4.3-liter V-6, the 5.3-liter V-8, and the mighty 6.2-liter V-8. All belong to the EcoTec3 family, which represents the fifth-generation of small-block Chevy V-8s. (The 4.3-liter V-6 is essentially a 5.3-liter V-8 with two cylinders lobbed off.) The engines include variable valve timing, direct fuel injection, and cylinder deactivation. My tester came with the 5.3-liter, Chevy’s volume engine by far. It boasts 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. Somehow, the engine feels stouter than that, especially considering it’s moving 5,300 pounds around.
The sprint to 60 mph only takes 7.2 seconds. Sadly, Chevy limits the Silverado’s top speed to a measly 99 mph. Then again, the truck isn’t designed to bomb the Autobahn.

These days, the V-8 is mated with GM’s eight-speed automatic transmission. It shifts fine enough and is mostly invisible in the general driving experience. The extra gears certainly help with fuel economy, though. The EPA rates my 4WD tester at 20 mpg on the highway. Of course, in-city and mixed driving results in lower numbers – 15 mpg city and 17 mpg combined, to be exact. Still, that’s not bad for such an all-steel pickup with a fully boxed frame and a 9,100-pound tow rating. The truck can also lug 1,760 pounds in its bed.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview - image 739276

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview - image 739279
“My tester has a starting price of $48,890 then adds $5,415 worth of options and another $1,295 in delivery fees.”

If things turn sour during a drive, the Silverado has a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It scored five stars in all but the rollover risk assessment, where it still earns a respectable four stars.

Of course, a loaded-out Silverado doesn’t come cheap. Sure, Chevy will sell you a base Silverado regular cab with zero options for $28,085, but unless you’re a fleet manager with a bottom line to meet, nobody buys a truck like that. My tester has a starting price of $48,890 then adds $5,415 worth of options and another $1,295 in delivery fees. The grand total comes to $55,600. While that is pricey, it’s in line with what the competition is charging for a comparable truck.

Anyway, this is just a quick look at the 2017 Chevy Silverado LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition that’s in my driveway this week. I’ll have a ton more in the coming days. Leave a comment if you have a question or want to see something specific.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 712066

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition - image 612398

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition.

PostHeaderIcon You Need a Lot of Money To Even Sniff A One-Off Aston Martin

Like most premium automakers that have deep-pocketed customers at their disposal, Aston Martin knows the value of diversifying its lineup to keep its clients on their toes. As rivals like Ferrari, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce have shown, one way to do that is to offer one-off models that no other person will get to own. Aston Martin has actually done this exercise in the past courtesy of its Prototype Operation division, having created the CC100 Speedster in 2013 to celebrate the marque’s 100th anniversary. Now it looks like the one-off offers are back on the table, provided that customers fork up at least £2 million for each car. By the way, that converts to $2.6 million in today’s exchange rates. Gulp.

Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, made the proclamation in a conversation with Road & Track, raising a lot of eyebrows in the process. There is one other catch though to getting Aston Martin to build a one-off. Palmer said that on top of paying the steep price to even get considered for one, interested customers would also have to wait in line for their turn because Aston is only building two of them per year. And, just in case that condition still suits someone with deep pockets and a longing for one-off creations, the official wait, at this point, is around two years since the next four slots are already accounted for. Still, if patience is a virtue, two years isn’t a long time to wait for a car that literally nobody else in this world is going to own. Just make sure to keep that £2 million locked away somewhere.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

It’s a steep price to pay, but Aston has a good history with one-offs


2014 Aston Martin CC100 - image 506917

I’ll be honest. I actually laughed when I first heard about Andy Palmer’s comments. I don’t know if it was the $2.6 million figure or the fact that it’s Aston Martin, but my initial thought was not a lot of people will be enticed by this. Then I sat back and looked at the CC100 Speedster from 2013 and thought to myself, “dear God, it still looks amazing four years later.”

Now, I’m still a little wary of the price tag, but not so much about Aston Martin’s ability to build one-off models. The automaker has done an incredible job in the past in this regard, and there’s no reason to think that it’s not capable of replicating those feats. Heck, the potential to actually exceed them is there for the taking, as we saw with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the automaker’s $3.2-million crown jewel hypercar.

“The automaker has done an incredible job in the past in this regard, and there’s no reason to think that it’s not capable of replicating those feats.”

A one-off Aston Martin is going to be the definition of exclusivity, though there is that trade-off that comes with such a high-asking “base” price. See how the cost of the Valkyrie is “only” $600,000 more than what Aston Martin is asking for a one-off? I doubt that any of these exclusive creations will be as powerful and as technologically advanced as the Valkyrie, so it is weird to think how high the company’s asking price is for these models. The reason though is simple, and it’s owed to the fact that as a literal one-off – maybe two-off in some cases – no one else is getting the car. It’s a formula that Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini have done in recent years with their own super exclusive models. None of this guarantees that any of the future one-offs to come out of Aston Martin’s Prototype Operations division will be fastest or most powerful of their kind, but the fact that there will only be one or two of them kind of makes it a moot point, doesn’t it?

Here’s to simply hoping that we get to see these cars in some capacity at some point because Palmer also hinted that these one-off creations aren’t going to be shown in public once they’re built. Kind of makes you wonder how many are already out there in the wild.

References

Aston Martin CC100


2014 Aston Martin CC100 - image 506888

Read our full review on the 2014 Aston Martin CC100.

Aston Martin Valkyrie


2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 - image 722966

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie.

PostHeaderIcon You Need a Lot of Money To Even Sniff A One-Off Aston Martin

Like most premium automakers that have deep-pocketed customers at their disposal, Aston Martin knows the value of diversifying its lineup to keep its clients on their toes. As rivals like Ferrari, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce have shown, one way to do that is to offer one-off models that no other person will get to own. Aston Martin has actually done this exercise in the past courtesy of its Prototype Operation division, having created the CC100 Speedster in 2013 to celebrate the marque’s 100th anniversary. Now it looks like the one-off offers are back on the table, provided that customers fork up at least £2 million for each car. By the way, that converts to $2.6 million in today’s exchange rates. Gulp.

Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, made the proclamation in a conversation with Road & Track, raising a lot of eyebrows in the process. There is one other catch though to getting Aston Martin to build a one-off. Palmer said that on top of paying the steep price to even get considered for one, interested customers would also have to wait in line for their turn because Aston is only building two of them per year. And, just in case that condition still suits someone with deep pockets and a longing for one-off creations, the official wait, at this point, is around two years since the next four slots are already accounted for. Still, if patience is a virtue, two years isn’t a long time to wait for a car that literally nobody else in this world is going to own. Just make sure to keep that £2 million locked away somewhere.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

It’s a steep price to pay, but Aston has a good history with one-offs


2014 Aston Martin CC100 - image 506917

I’ll be honest. I actually laughed when I first heard about Andy Palmer’s comments. I don’t know if it was the $2.6 million figure or the fact that it’s Aston Martin, but my initial thought was not a lot of people will be enticed by this. Then I sat back and looked at the CC100 Speedster from 2013 and thought to myself, “dear God, it still looks amazing four years later.”

Now, I’m still a little wary of the price tag, but not so much about Aston Martin’s ability to build one-off models. The automaker has done an incredible job in the past in this regard, and there’s no reason to think that it’s not capable of replicating those feats. Heck, the potential to actually exceed them is there for the taking, as we saw with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the automaker’s $3.2-million crown jewel hypercar.

“The automaker has done an incredible job in the past in this regard, and there’s no reason to think that it’s not capable of replicating those feats.”

A one-off Aston Martin is going to be the definition of exclusivity, though there is that trade-off that comes with such a high-asking “base” price. See how the cost of the Valkyrie is “only” $600,000 more than what Aston Martin is asking for a one-off? I doubt that any of these exclusive creations will be as powerful and as technologically advanced as the Valkyrie, so it is weird to think how high the company’s asking price is for these models. The reason though is simple, and it’s owed to the fact that as a literal one-off – maybe two-off in some cases – no one else is getting the car. It’s a formula that Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini have done in recent years with their own super exclusive models. None of this guarantees that any of the future one-offs to come out of Aston Martin’s Prototype Operations division will be fastest or most powerful of their kind, but the fact that there will only be one or two of them kind of makes it a moot point, doesn’t it?

Here’s to simply hoping that we get to see these cars in some capacity at some point because Palmer also hinted that these one-off creations aren’t going to be shown in public once they’re built. Kind of makes you wonder how many are already out there in the wild.

References

Aston Martin CC100


2014 Aston Martin CC100 - image 506888

Read our full review on the 2014 Aston Martin CC100.

Aston Martin Valkyrie


2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 - image 722966

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie.

PostHeaderIcon You Need a Lot of Money To Even Sniff A One-Off Aston Martin

Like most premium automakers that have deep-pocketed customers at their disposal, Aston Martin knows the value of diversifying its lineup to keep its clients on their toes. As rivals like Ferrari, McLaren, and Rolls-Royce have shown, one way to do that is to offer one-off models that no other person will get to own. Aston Martin has actually done this exercise in the past courtesy of its Prototype Operation division, having created the CC100 Speedster in 2013 to celebrate the marque’s 100th anniversary. Now it looks like the one-off offers are back on the table, provided that customers fork up at least £2 million for each car. By the way, that converts to $2.6 million in today’s exchange rates. Gulp.

Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, made the proclamation in a conversation with Road & Track, raising a lot of eyebrows in the process. There is one other catch though to getting Aston Martin to build a one-off. Palmer said that on top of paying the steep price to even get considered for one, interested customers would also have to wait in line for their turn because Aston is only building two of them per year. And, just in case that condition still suits someone with deep pockets and a longing for one-off creations, the official wait, at this point, is around two years since the next four slots are already accounted for. Still, if patience is a virtue, two years isn’t a long time to wait for a car that literally nobody else in this world is going to own. Just make sure to keep that £2 million locked away somewhere.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

It’s a steep price to pay, but Aston has a good history with one-offs


2014 Aston Martin CC100 - image 506917

I’ll be honest. I actually laughed when I first heard about Andy Palmer’s comments. I don’t know if it was the $2.6 million figure or the fact that it’s Aston Martin, but my initial thought was not a lot of people will be enticed by this. Then I sat back and looked at the CC100 Speedster from 2013 and thought to myself, “dear God, it still looks amazing four years later.”

Now, I’m still a little wary of the price tag, but not so much about Aston Martin’s ability to build one-off models. The automaker has done an incredible job in the past in this regard, and there’s no reason to think that it’s not capable of replicating those feats. Heck, the potential to actually exceed them is there for the taking, as we saw with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the automaker’s $3.2-million crown jewel hypercar.

“The automaker has done an incredible job in the past in this regard, and there’s no reason to think that it’s not capable of replicating those feats.”

A one-off Aston Martin is going to be the definition of exclusivity, though there is that trade-off that comes with such a high-asking “base” price. See how the cost of the Valkyrie is “only” $600,000 more than what Aston Martin is asking for a one-off? I doubt that any of these exclusive creations will be as powerful and as technologically advanced as the Valkyrie, so it is weird to think how high the company’s asking price is for these models. The reason though is simple, and it’s owed to the fact that as a literal one-off – maybe two-off in some cases – no one else is getting the car. It’s a formula that Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini have done in recent years with their own super exclusive models. None of this guarantees that any of the future one-offs to come out of Aston Martin’s Prototype Operations division will be fastest or most powerful of their kind, but the fact that there will only be one or two of them kind of makes it a moot point, doesn’t it?

Here’s to simply hoping that we get to see these cars in some capacity at some point because Palmer also hinted that these one-off creations aren’t going to be shown in public once they’re built. Kind of makes you wonder how many are already out there in the wild.

References

Aston Martin CC100


2014 Aston Martin CC100 - image 506888

Read our full review on the 2014 Aston Martin CC100.

Aston Martin Valkyrie


2018 Aston Martin AM-RB 001 - image 722966

Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Valkyrie.

PostHeaderIcon McLaren MSO R Coupe and Spider

A very rich customer wanted a specially designed McLaren 675 LT...

If you have money and are into cars, what do you do? You go to McLaren and order up one of the coolest cars on the market, tailored to your exact specification, right? Of course, you do, but what happens when you have a little too much money? Well, you do what McLaren’s latest customer did – you walk into McLaren, head right over to McLaren Special Operations, and commission, not one, but two, McLaren 675LT models with 100-percent complete specification tailored to whatever your little heart desires. After all, who wants just a custom 675LT Coupe when you can have it topless sister the 675LT Spider? What we can admit, is whoever the anonymous customer was, they certainly have some really good taste. The cars take on a beautiful silver color, with each representing a different finish, while they also get some special MSO carbon fiber and some unique pinstriping in all the right places. This twins even feature the same wheels, while the interior of both get a fine combination of red and black.

But, that’s neither here nor there, and the real joy is in the details, so let’s take a closer look at these one-of-a-kind twins commissioned from nothing other than MSO. They are called the MSO R, and it’s time to go say hi.

What Makes the McLaren MSO R Twins Special?


2017 McLaren MSO R Coupe and Spider - image 738108
“To start off, you’ve got a base, 675LT mixed in with an MSO aero kit that includes the front dive planes and that crazy, twin-element rear wing”

What makes these twins special? Well, what you really meant to ask is, “what doesn’t make them special?”

To start off, you’ve got a base, 675LT (if the word “base” is even fair to use here) mixed in with an MSO aero kit that includes the front dive planes and that crazy, twin-element rear wing. MSO visual carbon fiber was used to craft things like the front fascia, louvered fenders, rood scoop, rear deck, mirror arms, and even the wiper scuttle. The front fascia and side skirts get a pinstripe in Delta Red, as do the outside edges of that twin-element wing out back. The side skirts and rear wing also carry the MSO R designation in all its glory. Black, five-spoke wheels provide a wide-open look on the sides. Now, here’s the one difference between the two – outside of one having a top and one not, of course – the coupe is painted in Liquid Silver in a satin finish, while the Spider gets the same Liquid Silver but finished in gloss. Those wheels I mentioned earlier? Yeah; they also get the same treatment with the wheels on the coupe coming in satin while the spider gets a gloss finish. It’s a nice touch, really.


2017 McLaren MSO R Coupe and Spider - image 738110

2017 McLaren MSO R Coupe and Spider - image 738109
“The coupe is painted in Liquid Silver in a satin finish, while the Spider gets the same Liquid Silver but finished in gloss”

Moving over to the inside and things get a little more intense thanks to a huge amount of Alcantara throughout the cabin. The cabin itself gets black Alcantara with red stitching while the seats get the reverse effect – red overlay with black stitching. And, of course, the package wouldn’t be complete without having the MSO R logo embroidered onto the headrests in the blackest black possible. All bezels inside are made from carbon fiber while the interior switches have a gloss black finish. Meanwhile, the steering wheel has a mixed rim that includes a top and bottom portion done up in carbon fiber and the sides wrapped in Alcantara. A center stripe in Delta Red brings everything together.


2017 McLaren MSO R Coupe and Spider - image 738112
“The cabin itself gets black Alcantara with red stitching while the seats get the reverse effect – red overlay with black stitching”

Of course, when you go to MSO, you also get to pick and choose any other updates you can get your hands on. And, in this case, the anonymous customer decided to have the engine of both cars blueprinted. The heads and exhaust ports were hand polished, apparently, enough to push the output from 675 PS up to 688 PS, or 679 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. To top it all off, the exhaust system got a crossover muffler (probably what we all refer to as an X-Pipe) and gets a little bit of titanium at the exhaust outlets – not a bad way to spend your hard-earned cash if I do say so myself.

Now, we don’t have performance specs for either the coupe or the spider, but to put things into perspective, the stock 675 has 666 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which means these commissioned twins deliver some 13 horsepower more – not bad for a port and polish on a small V-8, I suppose. Both should still use the same seven-speed SSG transmission, and it’s doubtful that the 62-mph sprint will drop below the 2.9 seconds offered by the stock car. As a reference, the standard model also hits 124 mph in 8.1 seconds, so it’s possible the coupe version of these cars could hit that sprint eight-seconds flat under the right conditions.


2017 McLaren MSO R Coupe and Spider - image 738118
“These commissioned twins deliver some 13 horsepower more – not bad for a port and polish on a small V-8”

As far as pricing goes, there’s no word of how much this anonymous buyer chipped in for these two beauties, but you better believe they didn’t come in cheap. The standard coupe here in the U.S. goes from $349,500 with the Spider coming in closer to $385k. So, with that in mind, you can bet the price of each of these probably came close to $500,000, if not more. What’s on your mind as you look at the pictures and read all about them? Let us know in the comments section below.

References

McLaren 675LT


2016 McLaren 675LT - image 638240

Read our full review on the McLaren 675LT Coupe.


2017 McLaren 675 LT Spider - image 678361

Read our full review on the McLaren 675LT Spider.

PostHeaderIcon Mini Cooper 1499 GT

It’s a funny thing what a special edition car can do to polish an automaker’s shine. Nobody knows this better than Mini, which has created its fair share of special edition models, including one that it had just announced for the French market: the Mini Blackfriars Edition. Now, it’s doubling down on the SE goodness with yet another offering called the Mini 1499 GT.

In essence, the 1499 GT is not a special edition model that was concocted out of someone’s imagination, but rather, a tribute piece to one of the most iconic Minis to have hit the pavement: the 1971 1275 GT. Most of the functioning 1275 GTs have probably been lost in the sands of time and rust, but the 1499 GT is now here to breathe some life back to the legacy of the legendary hatchback. Between exterior features that pay homage to the classic Mini to suspension tweaks that ensure that it can perform as well as advertised, the new Mini 1499 GT is a stunning example of the best of what Mini can come up. The only downside is that only 1,499 units of the car will be made, and worse, all units will be sold exclusively in the UK market. It’s a bummer, sure, but don’t let dampen your spirits. It’s rare enough to see a special edition tribute car that properly pays homage to the car it’s supposed to be tipping its hats to. It’s even rarer to see one that takes the inspiration to a level that makes people actually reminisce about the classic. The 1499 GT does that, and then some.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper 1499 GT.

What makes the Mini Cooper 1499 GT special?


2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT - image 737857
“There’s a lot to like about the Mini Cooper 1499 GT, especially if you count yourselves as fans of the original 1275 GT”

There’s a lot to like about the Mini Cooper 1499 GT, especially if you count yourselves as fans of the original 1275 GT. I may not be old enough to remember the latter’s rise to fame, but I do remember riding in one when I was a little tot. It wasn’t the most luxurious car to begin with, and the interior space was literally unbearable even for a petulant child. But boy, oh boy, the old 1275 GT had character, something that a lot of today’s cars continue to lack. Not only that, but the 1275 GT also attracted plenty of attention, something I’m confident the 1499 GT will also have in droves.

The biggest and most important styling cues of the 1499 GT can be found in the exterior where customers are given a choice of getting the special edition hatchback with either a Pepper White finish or a Midnight Black paint. Here’s the catch though: depending on the color, the color of the distinctive graphics on the body will also change. Should customers opt for the Pepper White version of the 1499 GT, the graphics will be featured in pure black. On the other hand, a Midnight Black body will be treated to gold side stripes, the same exact stylistic feature that elevated the 1275 GT into one of the most famous cars Mini has ever produced. Don’t take my word for it; look at the photo. You’ll see what I’m talking about.


2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT - image 737862

Outside of the choice in body color, the 1499 GT also received a slew of aesthetic and aerodynamic upgrades, most notably the inclusion of John Cooper Works front and rear bumpers, spoiler, side skirts, and even bespoke door entry plates. The special edition Cooper also benefits from getting tinted windows, clear indicator lenses, and a set of 17-inch black allow wheels.

Step inside the car and the upgrades to the interior are just as dramatic, maybe even more so than the exterior. Greeting you once you open the door are sports seats dressed up in leather and Dynamic. Just in front of the driver’s sports seat is another JCW transplant: a sports steering wheel with its own Chili Red stitching. There are also scattered Piano Black trimmings throughout the cabin, to go with carbon black details, an Anthracite headlining, and enough JCW badges to emphasize the contributions made by the German automaker’s performance division.


2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT - image 737851

2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT - image 737853
“Step inside the car and the upgrades to the interior are just as dramatic, maybe even more so than the exterior”

Suffice to say, the Mini Cooper 1499 GT hit all the right spots as far as paying homage to the 1275 GT is concerned. It even has the whole “affordable” spiel down pat, thanks in large part to the car carrying nothing more than a small-capacity Twin Power turbo three cylinder engine that produces a total of 102 horsepower. Powerful it is not, and the 1499 GT shows as much with an acceleration time from 0 to 60 mph of 10.1 seconds and a top speed that’s likely locked in at around 120 mph.

Designed to pay homage to the classic 1275 GT, the car will be limited to just 1,499 units in the UK market. The automaker says just like the car that inspired it, the new 1499 GT is affordable, offers unique styling features and an “entertaining drive.”


2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT - image 737854

In other words, the Mini 1499 GT is an affordable Mini hatchback with a unique personality of its own. Don’t confuse it for a road-wrecker because it’s far from one. It does offer a good and hearty slice of Mini nostalgia, something that very few of its kind have been able to do. By that merit alone, the 1499 GT already stands out from other special edition Minis around, including the Blackfriars Edition.

What’s the deal with the Mini 1275 GT?


2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT - image 737864

The Mini 1275 GT’s history dates all the way back to 1970 when then Mini owner British Leyland decided to bring Ford designer Roy Haynes into the fold. Haynes, as some of you may know, is the designer of the Ford Cortina Mk II, and his initial responsibility was to revamp the Mini lineup. Tapping into his experience with Ford, Haynes went and restyled the Cooper, giving it larger headlights, a revised bumper, a boxy snout with a fender-to-fender grille section, and was fitted with a set of 10-inch Rostyle alloy wheels. That design eventually came to be the Mini 1275 GT as we know it today.

The 1275 GT ended up being a unique car of its own, owing to the fact that it was offered with a 1.275-liter four-cylinder engine that used a four-synchro close-ratio four-speed manual transmission. More to that, the 1275 GT was also the first Mini in history to receive a tachometer, a pretty useful trivia for the next time you find yourselves talking to someone who claims he knows more about the automaker than he actually does. Soon enough, the 1275 GT laid the foundation for what would come to be known as the “People’s Car” in Britain, a status that not a lot of other cars have been able to replicate in the years since. The 1275 GT even proved successful enough that its production ran for nine years before it was replaced by the Austin Metro in 1980. In that time, a total of 110,673 1275 GTs were made.


2017 Mini Cooper 1499 GT - image 737863

Incidentally, one of those 1275 GTs actually went up for sale earlier this year in Los Angeles, California. According to Petrolicious, the model in question came with a Bronze Yellow exterior and a Black Vinyl interior. It also underwent significant restoration, owing to the fact that its owner actually found it “unloved on his brother’s work premises at Somerford Mini” back in 2004. The unidentified owner eventually bought the car and spent good money restoring it, even going so far as to get specialists from Somerford Mini to carry out the car’s complete restoration.

In the end, the car itself sold for $25,000, as good of a deal as you can find for a restored 1971 Mini 1275 GT that, at that time, only had 10,000 miles in it since it was rebuilt.

References

Mini Cooper


2014 Mini Cooper - image 532525

Read our full review on the 2017 Mini Cooper.


2017 MINI Electric Concept - image 732151

Read more Mini news.

PostHeaderIcon Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package

There you are – sitting in the parent pick-up line at the kids’ elementary school. You’re looking at the never-ending row of gray and silver SUVs, crossovers, and sedans. You feel trapped – stuck in a rut of perpetual boredom fed by routines and complacency and made worse by cookie-cutter transportation. You need to escape this automotive purgatory. But you’re a good parent and know you can’t shuck the responsibilities of chauffeuring your brood to and from their various activities. What’s the solution? The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat or Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk? No, those are just horsepower overkill and underwhelming on people room. No, you need space. You need seven or eight seats. You also need vogue styling. You aren’t the average PTA parent, after all. Well, Chrysler has a solution. Meet the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica S and its murdered-out appearance package.

For the 2018 model year, the Pacifica can be had with the S Appearance Package for an extra $595. It’s available on the Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and the Limited model. It’s blacked-out appearance spans from its black paint and Gloss Black accents to its 18-inch wheels in a hue called Black Noise. Tim Kuniskis, head of Dodge, SRT, Chrysler, and Fiat, said, “The Chrysler Pacifica definitely stands out in the school drop-off line, and its class-leading style has won over many new customers. The Pacifica’s S Appearance Package takes that style to the next level and offers our customers yet another unique personality that further differentiates Pacifica from the rest of the segment.” Kuniskis is right about that – no other minivan offers such a blacked-out appearance package.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package.

What makes the Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package special


2018 Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package - image 737869
“The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica S offers a wholly sinister look to an otherwise unassuming minivan”

The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica S offers a wholly sinister look to an otherwise unassuming minivan. The black paint is complemented by Gloss Black accents on the grille surround, headlight eyebrows, side window trim, available roof rack, door handles, and wheels. As mentioned, 18-inch wheels come standard, but 20-inch wheels in the Black Noise color are available for $995. Regardless of wheel size, the Pacifica S comes with Black Noise-colored exterior badges.

Inside, the Pacifica S comes with black leather seats with Light Diesel Gray accents. The seatbacks are embroidered with an “S,” which is outlined in that Light Diesel Gray accent color. Fiat Chrysler has made anodized aluminum its accent of choice, and the Pacifica S is no different. Here, the metal is colored in “Ice Cave,” a dark satin chrome color. These accents are found around the air vents, surrounding the gauge cluster, along the rim of the steering wheel, the door handles, and on the center console.


2018 Chrysler Pacifica S Appearance Package - image 737870
“Inside, the Pacifica S comes with black leather seats with Light Diesel Gray accents.”

Chrysler says the S Appearance Package is available to order starting this week and deliveries will begin later in the fall.

What do you think? Do you like the murdered-out look of the Pacifica S or is it too much for a family-oriented minivan? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Chrysler Pacifica


2017 Chrysler Pacifica - image 661192

Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica.


2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid - image 662017

Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid.


2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat - image 668902

Read our full review on the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hellcat.

PostHeaderIcon Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition

Mini’s pantry of special edition models is stock full of unique creations, adding weight to the thought that the German automaker is no stranger to this fancy exclusives. Even with an inventory that’s bursting at the seams, special edition work soldiers on for Mini with the presentation of its latest creation, the Cooper Blackfriars Edition.

Taking inspiration from the Blackfriar’s section of London where the order of Dominican monks who carry the same name reside, this unique Cooper hatchback is defined by its subdued yet effective upgrades. There’s plenty of black to go around too, a nod to the traditional black robes worn by the Blackfriar’s monks. Inspired color motifs aside, the special edition Cooper also features plenty of unique details in its exterior and interior, not to mention the references to the Blackfriars from where it got its name. It’s not the flashiest special edition Mini Cooper we’ve seen, and it may not even be the most appealing one, but it does stick to the identity of the institution that it takes inspiration from. That’s more than what we can say for other special edition vehicles that lack the connection to what they’re supposed to be celebrating or at least shining a light on.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition

What makes the Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition special


2017 Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition - image 737840
“The focus was put squarely on Blackfriars, an area of central London where the famed Blackfriar monks reside”

Like with most special editions to come out of Mini in recent years, there’s as much importance put on the name it gets as there is on the actual features that make it unique in the first place. The streets of London themselves have turned into a rich pool of special edition versions from the German automaker with past works including the Baker Street Special Edition, Mayfair Special Edition, and Bayswater Special Edition. There’s even been a Green Park Edition, proving that there are no shortages of places in the bustling metropolis that Mini can’t draw inspiration from.

This time, the focus was put squarely on Blackfriars, an area of central London where the famed Blackfriar monks reside. These monks traditional wear black cloaks over their white habits as a way to identify their order. It’s no surprise then that the Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition gets a similar black-ish treatment, albeit without any hints of white in it. The all-black look is the visual highlight of the hatchback. It features a dominant black body color, matte black trim on the B- and C-pillars, and a set of 17-inch Cosmos Spoke wheels with its own dark accents. Typical of Mini’s special edition models, the Blackfriars Edition also comes with identifying badges throughout the body as a way to ensure that nobody confuses it for anything other than a special edition Cooper.


2017 Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition - image 737842
“On the interior the treatment is largely similar with the use of black leather and fabric upholstery”

Move inside, and the treatment is largely similar with the use of black leather and fabric upholstery to dominate the interior. Those who end up buying this special edition model will also be treated to a navigation system, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, and a panoramic sunroof.

Unfortunately, not all variants of the Cooper will be given the Blackfriar’s treatment as only the lower trims of the Mini Hardtop, including the Cooper, Cooper D, One, and One D, will be available with the Blackfriars special edition. Worse, and somewhat ironically, the special edition Cooper will actually be exclusive to the French market. That means that despite the car being inspired by an area in London, those who live in the UK aren’t unlikely to get the car for themselves.


2017 Mini Cooper Blackfriars Edition - image 737846
“The special edition Cooper will actually be exclusive to the French market”

It may seem strange to think of it in those terms, but Mini’s history of naming its special edition models after different streets and areas in London isn’t a prelude to these models being sold exclusively in that market.

What were the other special edition Minis that were named after places in London?


2012 MINI Cooper Baker Street Special Edition - image 434769

There’s been a lot of them over the years, but some of the most prominent ones were the Bayswater Edition, Mayfair Edition, Baker Street Special Edition, and Green Park Edition.

The Bayswater and Baker Street Special Editions were introduced back at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. Yep, that’s how long Mini has been hustling on this front. As expected, both SEs came with unique styling touches. The Bayswater Edition, for example, featured an exclusive Kite Blue metallic finish with optional Midnight Black and Eclipse Grey finishes available for the Cooper S and SD models. In also received special racing stripes on the hood and side mirrors, a black-finished roof, and a new set of 17-inch wheels.

Meanwhile, the Baker Street Special Edition was presented in Geneva with a Rooftop Grey metallic finish with special racing stripes on the hood, black mirror caps, and a new set of 16-inch alloy wheels. Optional paint finishes – Pepper White and Midnight Black – were also part of the offering.


2012 MINI Cooper Bayswater Special Edition - image 434754

Note: photos of the Mini Cooper Bayswater Special Edition.

If Mini isn’t naming its SEs after streets in London, it’s doing so with specific – and popular – areas in the metropolis. One such example was the Cooper Green Park Edition, which also arrived in 2012. This particular Cooper SE was defined by a
Pepper White paint finish complemented the company’s traditional British Racing Green finish on the roof. Aside from the fancy two-tone color, the Green Park Edition also had with an interior dressed in the same Pepper White color with seats that came in either black or Polar Beige.


2012 MINI Cooper Green Park Edition - image 450342

Note: photo of the Mini Cooper Green Park Edition.

References

Mini Cooper


2014 Mini Cooper - image 532525

Read our full review on the 2017 Mini Cooper.


2017 MINI Electric Concept - image 732151

Read more Mini news.

PostHeaderIcon Pagani Huayra Americano

Say Hello to the Pagani Huayra Americano

From the automaker that has turned one-off creations into something of a business in of itself, Pagani is back at it again with yet another exclusive creation. It’s called the Pagani Huayra Americano, and it’s actually here in the U.S., specifically at Pagani’s own dealership in Newport Beach, California. Even better; it’s actually for sale, though like most one-off Paganis, the price for this exclusive Huayra is on a need-to-know basis.

Pagani Newport didn’t disclose too many details about the Huayra Americana, saying only that it was delivered in the latter half of 2016 and only has 488 miles on its odometer. It’s also stock #0019 and carries the VIN ZFGK58739Kl09300L. There’s no price tag on the car, but that’s to be expected considering that this is a one-off model that underwent a lot of custom touches to validate its name. Regardless of what new digs are in the car, don’t expect it to come cheap. For one, those 488 miles are close enough to be considered new. Then there’s the prestige and exclusivity that comes with being an owner of a true one-off Pagani Huayra. All that considered, expect this car to fetch north of $2 million at the very least.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Pagani Huayra Americano

What makes the Pagani Huayra Americano special


2017 Pagani Huayra Americano - image 737187
“Expect this car to fetch north of $2 million at the very least.”

It’s special enough by virtue of its one-off status. Actually, “special” isn’t even the word I’d use to describe the Huayra Americano, or any of the other one-off Zondas and Huayras that Pagani has created over the years, for that matter.

I’ll stick with that one for now though because the Huayra Americano features plenty of new and exclusive features, beginning with an exterior that’s dressed up in a Grigio Clement body finish. That translates to a two-tone look made up of a silver body and black carbon fiber on the hood and roof of the car. Red striping can also be found on the carbon fiber, running from the tip of the Huayra’s nose all the way to the back, right on top of the quad exhaust tailpipes. Multi-spoke black wheels and red brake calipers complete the exterior styling of the Americano. It’s not the fanciest color scheme among all of the one-off Paganis we’ve seen, but it certainly captures your attention, especially when it’s all polished up like how it is in the photos.


2017 Pagani Huayra Americano - image 737186

2017 Pagani Huayra Americano - image 737189
“The seats are dressed in black and red leather while the abundance of carbon fiber takes a completely different meaning by how much the lightweight material is present throughout the interior”

Step inside of the car and the interior follows a similar color treatment. The seats are dressed in black and red leather while the abundance of carbon fiber takes a completely different meaning by how much the lightweight material is present throughout the interior. Likewise, the detailing on the center console is one of its defining qualities, specifically the black and red leather surround that helps add plenty of styling depth to this particular area of the interior. Last, but certainly not least, is the presence of a plaque on the firewall section of the cabin, indicating that this particular Huayra is actually model number 68 out of the 100 of its kind that Pagani built.

Overall, it’s a solid creation from Pagani, though it’s probably not my favorite among the one-off creations that Pagani has created. I took my time choosing which one tops my list, but in the end, I chose the Huayra Vulcan that the automaker launched back in December 2015.

Pagani Huayra Vulcan


2015 Pagani Huayra Project Vulcan - image 658925

It’s not just because of the name although, if I’m being honest, it did play a big part in giving this one-off Huayra an identity of its own. The supercar’s exterior is particularly revealing, especially the approach Pagani took in giving it the one-off look. Chief among these features is the use of black and silver gunmetal metallic exposed carbon-fiber, a first of its kind for the Pagani Huayra.

Meanwhile, the Huayra Vulcan’s interior is a picture of vividness. Most of the surfaces inside, including the steering wheel, carry the same shade of bright red as the wheels. The result is a fiery look to the interior that does justice to its Vulcan name. Remember, Vulcan isn’t a race of people in the Star Trek universe. It’s actually the name of the Roman god of fire. Seems like a car that Vulcan would want to be caught driving in, wouldn’t you think?

References

Pagani Huayra


2011 Pagani Huayra - image 390341

Read our full review on the Pagani Huayra.


2016 Pagani Huayra Tempesta - image 727854

Read more Pagani news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition

Mercedes-Benz has dropped a new special edition for the 2018 GLS, its three-row SUV. It’s called the Grand Edition, and it brings a swanky new leather treatment to the interior and the choice between two sets of 20-inch alloy wheels. The Grand Edition can be had on the GLS 350d, 400, and 500, but is only offered in Europe. Sorry, Cowboy. Though Joe America can’t have this beast parked in his driveway, more of his cattle will be found inside.

As mentioned, the interior’s new extended leather treatment involves a leather-covered dashboard with real, open-pore wood accents and seats with quilted patterns and a porcelain and espresso color combination only found in the Grand Edition. Outside, those getting the Grand Edition can choose to get the Exterior Package, which includes a slightly more aggressive lower front fascia and AMG-style 20-inch wheels. All Grand Editions come with badges on the front fenders denoting their grandeur.

Continue reading for more details on the Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition.

What makes the GLS Grand Edition special


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition - image 736667
“Added comfort and exclusivity are often all it takes to push customers to upgrade.”

In reality, the Grand Edition isn’t all that different. Yes, there are “exclusive” wheels, new stitching patterns in the seats, and Nappa leather and wood on the dash, but that’s it. Then again, that’s all it takes to push customers to upgrade – added comfort and exclusivity.

While this isn’t Mercedes’ first time launching a Grand Edition SUV, there is speculation this might be the current GLS’ swan song. Spy shots have already surfaced of a large SUV draped in camouflage and wearing a three-pointed star. A new GLS would certainly be welcomed. Though its exterior aesthetics have aged rather well, the SUV’s interior – particularly its dashboard – is in serious need of an update. Just look at that center stack. It has telephone buttons like its 2003. An S-Class/E-Class treatment would definitely be a welcomed upgrade, digital dash and massive screens included.


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition - image 736670

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition - image 736672
“Mercedes is offering the special edition trim on the GLS’ three main trims – the 350d, 400, and 500, all with 4Matic AWD”

But back to the 2018 GLS Grand Edition.

Mercedes is offering the special edition trim on the GLS’ three main trims – the 350d, 400, and 500, all with 4Matic AWD. The GLS 350d 4Matic is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel making 258 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. The GLS 400 4Matic is powered by a gasoline-drinking 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 333 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. Topping the range is the GLS 500 4Matic motivated by a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V-8 with 456 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. All versions come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, and all horsepower specs are measured in PS, pursuant to European standards.


2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition - image 736673
“Adding the upgraded interior package of the Grand Edition costs £5,950, and the exterior package adds another £2,300”

As for costs and availability of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLS Grand Edition, Mercedes has already opened the ordering books and models will be arriving in European showrooms in March of 2018. Adding the upgraded interior package of the Grand Edition costs £5,950, and the exterior package adds another £2,300. That currently equates to $7,764 and $3,001 respectively.

What do you think? Are the interior and exterior upgrades worth the extra cost? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Mercedes GLS


2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class - image 654033

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS.


2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class - image 713883

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Acura ILX Special Edition

First introduced in 2012, the Acura ILX is framed as the premium brand’s replacement for the Acura TSX, and continues the tradition as a premium compact sedan offered at a relatively affordable price. At the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, Acura ushered in a refresh for the 2016 model year, bringing an updated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed transmission, and new LED headlights. Now, there’s a special edition model on the table, and it gets sportier exterior styling plus new premium goodies in the cabin.

The new special edition is in dealers now, and it gets styling components pulled from the sporty-looking A-Spec package, plus premium touches in the cabin that help to justify the model’s luxurious aspirations. However, in terms of actual performance, the ILX Special Edition is essentially unchanged. Making the go is a standard-spec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, with direct fuel injection, dual overhead cams, and the i-VTEC variable valve timing system. Sending the power to the front axle is an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which can be controlled via steering wheel paddle shifters if desired. Peak output is rated at 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, while fuel mileage is rated at 25 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined. Pricing for the Special Edition model is set at $28,900, which is an $800 premium over the standard model.

Continue reading to learn more about the Acura ILX Special Edition.

What Makes The Acura ILX Special Edition Special

So What About Those Exterior Upgrades?


2018 Acura ILX Special Edition - image 736255
“Upgrades include new aero components plucked from the popular A-Spec package, including a new rear spoiler and side skirts”

For starters, the ILX was already a rather sharp-looking piece of design, even in its standard specification. While no one is gonna confuse it for a high-end German luxury sedan, the ILX is still a cut above the more mundane commuters that reside just below its entry-level price.

The point is this – it’s a pretty solid starting point for this Special Edition. Luckily, Acura built on this (as opposed to diminished it) when going about upgrading the exterior. Upgrades include new aero components plucked from the popular A-Spec package, including a new rear spoiler and side skirts, plus 18-inch wheels in the corners and the requisite special edition badges scattered here and there. In the front fascia you’ll find Acura’s JewelEye headlights, complete with LEDs and an automatic on/off feature.

What Should I Expect From The Cabin?


2018 Acura ILX Special Edition - image 736254
“Like the exterior, we find the ILX Special Edition equipped with exactly the sort of stuff you want inside”

Like the exterior, we find the ILX Special Edition equipped with exactly the sort of stuff you want inside. There’s an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, a multi-view rear-facing camera, a one-touch power moonroof, a Bluetooth hands-free feature, a 5.0-inch display, keyless smart entry, a push-button starter, a security system, and leather for the steering wheel and shift knob. Acura is also offering its AcuraWatch safety systems and driver assists as an available option.

Conclusion


2018 Acura ILX Special Edition - image 736253

Normally, we aren’t the biggest fans of these sorts of special editions. We usually find them overpriced and promising far more than they can deliver.

This time around, we were pleasantly surprised. Given the ILX seeks a mix of performance and luxury amenities, we like the slightly sportier attitude and extra stuff in the cabin. True, there are more aggressive options out there, and there are more luxurious options out there as well, but this special edition finds a nice balance all the same. There aren’t too many gimmicks (no blacked-out trim, thank goodness), and rather, you get all the sort of stuff you actually want. Sure, we’d love more performance, but we’ll let it slide this time around.

References

Acura ILX


2016 - 2017 Acura ILX - image 672436

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura ILX.

Acura TSX


2014 Acura TSX Sedan - image 524589

Read our full review on the 2017 Acura TSX.

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1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
$5,000.00 (1 Bid)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
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1967 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible 1967 Marina Blue 427 Convertible
$50,100.67 (5 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 18:43:21 PST
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Like New 2015 Mustang GT Premium *2100 Miles, Recaro Seats, Loaded!
$34,500.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 15:35:40 PST
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2015 Ford Mustang Premium GT 2015 ford mustang gt premium BY OWNER
$27,900.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 11:45:00 PST
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 2K #522266 Texas Direct
$5,400.00 (4 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 12:14:27 PST
Buy It Now for only: $52,230.00
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1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1969 Camaro RS SS 396 4-Speed Black Frame-Off Restored
$27,600.00 (23 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-28-2017 14:30:00 PST
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1966 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 1966 Ford Mustang GT Coupe 289 V8 A-code w/ Pony Interior
$13,150.00 (15 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 15:38:34 PST
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