Zagato have been creating special limited edition and one-off Aston Martins since the 1960s. They always tend to go down well with both wealthy collectors and the average automotive enthusiast. Part of the popularity of the Zagato modified Astons might come from the mere fact it’s a fusion of two world-class brands. Or it could be because they’re usually pretty crazy.
The Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake by Zagato is no exception. It’s based on the same styling ideas introduced on the DBS Coupe Centennial and the DB9 Spyder by Zagato, both introduced last summer. The underlying platform is an Aston Martin Virage – a model which was discontinued in 2012 – and powering the car is a 6.0 litre V12 with 490 horsepower.
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The paintwork on the all-new fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata is still curing. But already intrigue is building over what sort of drivetrains will be offered, and what, if any, higher performance models might be developed in the future.
The three previous generations all benefit from a massive and active fan base, as well as numerous companies who cater solely for MX-5 owners and sell just about every conceivable aftermarket accessory and performance upgrade. It’s fairly obvious that the new car will soon have its own range of aftermarket parts on sale almost as soon as it hits the dealerships, if not before.
But some owners might want their ND MX-5 Miata will a little extra oomph straight out of the showroom. Something which might require the input of Mazdaspeed. From 2004 to 2005 Mazda offered the Mazdaspeed MX-5 in limited markets. This was a turbocharged version of the MX-5 which also benefited from a revised suspension setup, lighter wheels, wider tires, an uprated transmission and a subtle exterior makeover.
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First of all, for anyone – and that more or less means everyone – reading this hoping to hear about a planned production date, pricing and availability of the Dodge Challenger A/T Untamed concept, this is a digital rendering of a currently non-existent vehicle.
But there is a glimmer of hope, Joey Ruiter, the man who designed the concept is a fairly prolific automotive fabricator. Having scratch-built a wide assortment of vehicles, ranging from electric-powered off-road buggys and motorcycles, to boats and personal water craft. So if anyone can make it a reality, he can. In fact he’s begun work on a kit which could transform stock Challengers into formidable all-terrain beasts.
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Now lightly modified, or resto-mod, classic cars are nothing new. In fact they’re so common that they’re only really worth mentioning in exceptional circumstances. This is one of those circumstances.
The original Jaguar Mark 2 was a luxury sedan built from 1959 to 1967. It was a handsome car and sold in good numbers. Interestingly it was particularly popular with both UK criminals and law enforcement alike, mainly because of its speed, but also because of its spacious interior – which was capable of carrying five adults in comfort.
This particular Jaguar Mark 2 is a little different. First off it’s owned by Jaguar’s design director Ian Callum. And secondly it’s far from standard. Callum redesigned the Mark 2 to his own specification, restyling the exterior, interior, and upgrading the drivetrain and chassis. The car took 18 months to build, and all the work was carried out by Classic Motor Cars Limited (CMC).
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Students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research have just unveiled their BMW X3-based Deep Orange 4 pickup concept. The vehicle was created with the direct input and support of BMW, who are particularly interested in the way the concept was engineered to allow for a small-scale production run with the minimum of expense.
Rich Morris, vice president of assembly, BMW Manufacturing said of the Deep Orange 4 concept: “The ability to integrate more low-volume models without incurring capital- intensive retooling costs and efficiency losses will be key to success in the future as we strive to respond to changes in market needs faster and with more flexibility.”
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What do you get if you cross one of the most evil empires the universe has ever seen, with a fictional character from Star Wars? The answer is this; the Hot Wheels Darth Vader Car. I kid of course, Mattel isn’t all that bad, it’s been a full seven years since they accidentally tried to poison children with outsourced Chinese-made toys coated in paint which contained 180 times the acceptable limit of lead.
The timing of the release of the Darth Vader Car, along with more Hot Wheels Star Wars vehicles and playsets isn’t just random either. They arrive ahead of the new Star Wars movie which is due out in 2015. But what makes the Darth Vader car the stand-out vehicle of the bunch is the fact that as well as the 1:64 scale model – which comes with its own lightsaber-inspired collectors care and commemorative box – Hot Wheels actually built a full-size fully functional version of the car.
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If you want a brand-new fifth-generation SRT Viper convertible, then you’re out of luck, as it only comes in coupe form. But now Michigan-based automotive engineering and prototype design company Prefix has rectified this by developing their own convertible Viper.
The conversion, called the Medusa Roadster (Manufactured, Engineered, Developed in the USA), costs $35,000 – on top of the price of a brand-new Viper. Prefix say they initially have plans for a run of just 10 cars, each with its own limited edition badge. The Medusa Roadster was debuted at a special event for 500 Viper owners and enthusiasts who were treated to a surprise unveiling of the car.
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This striking creation is the work of XL Stainless, a Canadian company who specialize in stainless steel fabrication, welding and customisation. This particular car was an in-house project. It wasn’t designed as a pre-production prototype for some small-scale manufacturing run. It’s just a showpiece to demonstrate the company’s skills in working with metal – in this case aluminium.
Based on a rear-ended 1998 Chevrolet Corvette donor vehicle, the car was designed, and built, by the company’s boss, Warren Scaife. Scaife says the styling – specifically the front-end – was inspired by the Morgan LIFEcar 2 concept from 2010. The back end is a bit more of a mystery, although it apparently utilizes Mitsubishi Eclipse rear lights.
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The BMW enhancement experts at Alpina are all done with their latest project, a comprehensive makeover for the BMW 4 Series Coupe and Convertible. The Alpina B4 Bi-Turbo raises the performance level of the 4-Series while also providing more comfort.
Based on the BMW 435i, the Apina B4 Bi-Turbo is powered by an upgraded version of BMW’s 3.0 litre straight-six engine. Fitted with twin-turbochargers, an upgraded cooling system, a forged steel crankshaft and a less restrictive quad-outlet exhaust with an acoustic valve, the engine now produces 410 horsepower and 442 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque. With this, the Coupe version of the B4 B-Turbo is able to hit 62 mph from a standing start in just 4.2 seconds, while the heavier convertible takes a fraction longer at 4.5 seconds. Cars fitted with the optional BMW X-Drive AWD system accomplish the sprint in an impressive 4.0 seconds.
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The phrase “less is more” isn’t one that’s reached supercar tuners yet. Cue the Ferrari 458 Italia MCC Edition by DMC. The German company have just unveiled their latest range of performance and styling products for the Italian supercar, and they consist of some very obvious carbon fiber aerodynamic components.
The MCC Edition stands for Monte Carlo Carbon Edition, and is based on the company’s non-carbon fiber package for the 458 Italia. The kit comprises of a new front bumper which is a direct replacement for the standard Ferrari unit, using the same brackets and mounting points. The bumper is a touch more aggressive than the regular one, with larger intakes, additional lateral spoilers and a carbon fiber lip spoiler.
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