Mercedes today unveiled the latest version of their flagship luxury sedan, the S-Class. This is a big one for Mercedes. Get it wrong and BMW and Audi will more than happily mop up any disaffected buyers. Get it right and they’ll retain their crown as the finest purveyor of German luxury automobiles. For Mercedes-Benz’s designers and engineers it’s a delicate balancing act to ensure the new S-Class is filled with enough high-tech gadgetry and cutting edge technology to get potential buyers oohing and ahhing. But that it’s not too radical of an overhaul that the rich old men who normally buy these things get put off by revolutionary styling or overly complicated infotainment systems.
From the outside it looks like MB’s designers have earned their pay. The 2014 S-Class is hansome, well proportioned, and should please both newcomers to the brand as well as loyal customers. To my eye it’s a far better looking than its predecessor, which from some angles looked a little clunky. The styling of the 2014 S-Class is also far more in-keeping with that of the new CLA, and Mercedes-Benz’s new design language as a whole.
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HSV, the perfomance arm of the Australian automaker GM Holden, have just unveiled their all-new GEN-F lineup. It incorporates six different vehicles, based over three different body styles. There’s a sedan; available in either Clubsport spec, Senator Signature spec, or the range-topping GTS. A wagon called the GEN-F Clubsport R8 Tourer. And also a pickup, or to give its Aussie title, a Ute, called the Maloo which is offered in both standard and R8 versions (headline picture).
All the Clubsport models are equipped with a 6.2 litre LS3 V8, which produces 425 horsepower 550Nm of torque. The R8 badged models get a smidgen more power, with their engines developing 435 horsepower. The GEN-F Senator Signature sedan is fitted with the same LS3 V8 too, but in this car it produces 455 horsepower and 570 Nm of torque. At the top of the pile is the GEN-F GTS sedan which is powered by a supercharged 6.2 litre LSA engine which churns out a massive 576 horspower and 740 Nm of torque.
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This year the Porsche 911 Turbo is 40 years old. So to celebrate that milestone, Porsche did what any self-respecting car manufacturer does when something like this comes up. They had their PR people make a big deal about it, and carried on making cars.
The 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo and Turbo S sit atop the varied and growing mountain of different 911′s on offer. This year’s 911 Turbo sees a number of major changes and updates; including the removable of a manual gearbox as an option, and the introduction of rear-wheel steering. They’re fast too. Obviously. The 911 Turbo can scoot to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, while the Turbo S can accomplish the same feat in just 2.9 seconds. Top speed of both models is 197 mph.
At the heart of the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo is its 3.8 litre flat-six engine. Force fed by two variable geometry turbochargers the engine produces 520 horsepower in the Turbo, and 560 horsepower in the Turbo S. Power is sent to all-four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission.
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Reports published in Autocar suggest an R8-trouncing, ultra-high performance hypercar – tentatively dubbed the “R10″ – has just moved into the design stage. However that still doesn’t mean the car is guaranteed to make it into the showrooms, as Audi bosses still haven’t greenlighted the car for production.
The main sticking point at the moment is trying to make a business case for the car. Audi aren’t in desperate need of a halo car, having a number of high-performance models to draw on. So for the R10 to stand any chance of life, they need to find a way to make it profitable.
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For the 2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO there have been a few cosmetic alterations designed to help it stand out from last year’s model, and more importantly, differentiate it from the standard “Z”.
As before the 370Z NISMO will come fitted with a 3.7 litre V6 producing 350 horsepower @ 7,400 rpm, and 276 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm. The 370Z NISMO’s improved performance comes from a H-configuration performance exhaust and retuned ECU. A number of bolt-on chassis enhancements designed to improve handling and road holding are also included as standard.
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The original FSO Syrena Sport was a prototype sports cars designed and built in the late ’50s by the Polish automotive company FSO. The car was a two seat, fiberglass bodied convertible powered by a 0.7 litre 4-stroke, 2-cylinder air-cooled engine. It wasn’t quick, at all, having only 35 horsepower to play with. But it was surprisingly good looking for such a budget sports car. probably because the styling was partially inspired by Ferrari models of the time.
Fast forward to today, and a small group of Syrena Sport enthusiasts based in Poland have decided to develop a spiritual successor to the original prototype. Their car uses the same name. But that’s where the similarities end. The new Syrena Sport features a Nissan 370Z-sourced 3.7 litre V6 mounted up front, with the power being sent to the rear wheels. Two states of tune are being offered, either a naturally aspirated 330 horsepower version, or a turbocharged 450 horsepower version.
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The Hyundai Mistra concept is the result of a joint project between Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center and the Beijing Hyundai Technical Centre. It provides an accurate glimpse into the styling of a production version which is due to go on sale in China later this year. The car is aimed at buyers in their 20s and 30s with young families.
According to Hyundai, the exterior styling of the Hyundai Mistra concept is designed to exude a sense of grandeur. It does this through three design principles the company has invented: Modern Simplicity, Understated Sportiness and Smart Luxury. And although its hardly groundbreaking in its design, the Mistra is a handsome enough family car it should do rather well.
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A few months after Maserati unveiled the all-new fifth generation Quattroporte, the Italian manufacturer has revived one of its most famous nameplates for the brand-new 2014 Ghibli. The original Ghibli was produced from 1967 until 1973. It was followed up by the Ghibli II, which was built between 1992 and 1997. However whereas both these cars were only available as either a two door coupe or convertible, the 2014 Ghibli is a four-door executive saloon.
The new Maserati Ghibli will make its world debut later this month at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. The car is positioned to offer a sportier character than its larger, more luxurious and more expensive bigger brother. The Ghibli will be offered with a choice of three different engines, two based around the same turbocharged 3.0 litre V6, the most powerful of the two is said to boast around 410 horsepower. The third engine on offer is the company’s first diesel engine – which comes in the form of a 3.0 litre V6 turbo.
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A couple of weeks ahead of its global debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, BMW has published details on their latest pre-production concept. Called the X4, the concept is a preview of a new Sports Activity Coupe which will sit somewhere inbetween the X3 and X6 in the company’s diverse lineup.
Based on the compact platform of the X3, the X4 shares the same sloping coupe-like roofline of larger X6. The more sporting character of the BMW X4 Concept is enhanced by its dynamic lines as well as its proportions. With a body length of 183 inches (4,648mm), a width of 75 inches (1,915mm) and a height of 64 inches (1,622mm) the exterior dimensions are almost identical to that of the X3. Basically the X4 is fractionally wider and slightly lower. The wheelbase of 110 inches (2,810mm) is unchanged.
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Jaguar decided to make a big splash at this year’s New York Auto Show by revealing not one, but two high-performance models. We’ve already seen the hardcore XKR-S GT, but for those who like a little luxury to go with their performance, the XJR should be just the ticket.
With a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine delivering 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft (680Nm) of torque, the XJR is the most focused, agile and responsive Jaguar XJ ever made. It’s capable of sprinting from zero to 60mph in 4.4 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 174mph (280km/h). An eight-speed automatic transmission, with a bespoke setup for the car, offers optimal acceleration throughout the speed and rev ranges while still retaining a civilised character for city driving.
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