Ferrari 458 Speciale A. The A stands for Aperta.

Ferrari 458 Speciale A

The Ferrari 458 Speciale A will make its world debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. The 458 Speciale A will be the most powerful open top Ferrari ever to roll out of the factory gates, and will also be one of the company’s most exclusive models, with just 499 set to be built.

The ‘A’ in the car’s name stands for ‘Aperta’, which in Italian means ‘Open’. I don’t think I need explain why. The folding aluminium roof helps keep the weight down, and the 458 Speciale A is only 50 kgs (110 lbs) heavier than the Speciale coupe. The roof takes just 14 seconds to raise or lower.

Powering the Ferrari 458 Speciale A is a mid-mounted naturally aspirated V8 which produces 605 horsepower and 400 ft lbs (540 Nm) of torque. The fact this engine has already won three International awards is highlighted on a special plaque in the cockpit.
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McLaren P1 GTR

McLaren P1 GTR

After a couple of months of teasing and speculation, McLaren have finally unveiled the McLaren P1 GTR in the flesh. The car was originally announced back in June, with more information following in July, and at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is was debuted.

The P1 GTR arrives 20 years after the legendary F1 GTR appeared ahead of its 1995 GT season debut. Like the F1 GTR, McLaren are hoping to dominate the track with the new P1 racer. And with no need to make the car road legal, the P1 GTR is a track-focused, high-performance rocket which is the most powerful model produced by McLaren Special Operations ever.

While the McLaren P1 GTR is based on the P1 road car, there are numerous modifications and upgrades to the vehicle. Aerodynamic improvements include a new front clip with a splitter and redesigned radiator ducts, revised lateral air intakes, repositioned exterior mirrors, underfloor air management, a large rear diffuser and a huge rear spoiler mounted on carbon fiber pylons.
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Ferrari F80 Supercar Concept

Ferrari F80 concept

The Ferrari LaFerrari is still more-or-less brand new, but Italian designer Adriano Raeli – who studied transport design at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California – still thinks it’s time for a replacement.

The Ferrari F80 is in the same vein as the LaFerrari, in that it incorporates similar dramatic bodywork and clever aerodynamic tricks. It’s also extremely curvy and drop-dead gorgeous.
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McLaren 650S Sprint – track toy for the well-heeled

McLaren 650S Sprint

McLaren’s new 650S model now comes in three flavors, the standard road going 650S, the competition-spec 650S GT3 for serious racers, and now there’s the 650S Sprint which is aimed at track enthusiasts who still want a little bit of comfort. The 650S Sprint also replaces the MP4-12C-based 12C Sprint as McLaren’s track toy for the super-rich.

Compared to the road model, the 650S Sprint features increased downforce and better cooling airflow to the 3.8 litre twin-turbocharged V8. It also features a competition-spec fuel tank and quick-fill cap, a larger radiator borrowed from the GT3 car, a new hood with additional cooling ducts for the radiator, front wing louvres for improved airflow, reduced ride height and recalibrated damping and spring rates, 19-inch center-locking race wheels with either Pirelli slicks or wet tires, onboard air jack system, and an upgraded braking system.
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Bugatti Veyron successor ‘too fast’?

Bugatti Veyron Mk2

The Bugatti Veyron is nearing the end of its production run – with just 15 cars left out of the 450 or so which were scheduled to be built. It’s no surprise then that questions are being asked as to how can Bugatti top what is one of the greatest feats of automotive engineering ever built.

In a special report by Autocar, the magazine has surmised what the Bugatti Veyron successor might look like, and what sort of performance it might offer. Not much has been said publicly by Bugatti about a new Veyron yet. But ‘insiders’ at the company have apparently been talking to Autocar and told them that the new model, due to arrive in 2016, will have a top speed of around 286 mph, and a 0-62 mph time of 2.3 seconds. Five test mules have been built so far.
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Hennessey Venom F5 – 290 mph supercar

Hennessy Venom F5

Hennessey Performance are in the business of making fast cars even faster. Take for example their Lotus-based Venom GT. It costs $1.2 million, but it has a 270 mph top speed, and can accelerate to 200 mph in just 14.5 seconds. But if Hennessey’s latest announcement proves to be correct, then they are about to make some serious waves in the supercar world.

Their latest vehicle is the Hennessey Venom F5, a development of the Venom GT, but also a completely new car. In producing the F5 Hennessey’s engineers drew on the wealth of experience learnt through the development of the GT. The F5 is more aerodynamic than the GT, with a lower drag coefficient. However at the same time the car also generates enough downforce to keep it stable at such extreme speeds, employing underbody venturis, a rear diffuser and an active rear wing.
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McLaren P1 GTR, more details and debut date announced

McLaren P1 GTR rear view

Last month McLaren revealed they were working on an even higher-performance track-focused version of the P1 supercar. Now they’ve revealed a few more details regarding the car, as well as announcing when and where it will make its world debut.

As stated before, the P1 GTR will be offered alongside a fully comprehensive owners program, which includes driving events, training and vehicle support. P1 GTR owners will also have access to some of the resources used to help train up McLaren’s successful F1 drivers.

To accompany the latest announcement, McLaren revealed a sketch showing the car from the rear 3/4 angle. The image shows a car with significantly revised bodywork, including redesigned side air intakes, a much more aggressive rear bumper/diffuser assembly, and an enormous rear spoiler. Using the new sketch as a starting point, we’ve amended our previous photoshop of the P1 GTR to include changes.
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Prefix Medusa Roadster SRT Viper Convertible

Prefix Roadster convertible SRT Viper

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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Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster

What you’re looking at here is the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster, the fastest series production convertible to leave the Aston Martin factory. Mechanically identical to the V12 Vantage S Coupe, the Roadster uses the same AM28 6.0 litre naturally aspirated V12 engine, a powerplant which produces 565 horsepower and 457 lb-ft (620 Nm) of torque. It allows the car to accelerate from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.1 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 201 mph.

Like its hard top sibling, the V12 Vantage S Roadster also uses the same three-mode adaptive damping suspension system which offers Normal, Sport and Track settings. It also employs carbon ceramic brake discs and uses the same ZF Servotronic power assist steering.

The transmission is a seven-speed Sportshift III hydraulically actuated automated manual unit which provides motorsport-style paddle shift changes. It replaces the six-speed manual unit used in the V12 Vantage Roadster, and also weighs 20 kgs (44 lbs) less.
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Lamborghini Canto – What the Murcielago could have been?

Lamborghini Canto

Back in the late 1990s, when Lamborghini were starting to realise they needed a replacement for the ageing Diablo, they started reviewing design proposals from various automotive design firms. Zagato’s offering was the Zagato L147 SuperDiablo, or as it was to be later known, the Lamborghini Canto.

The Lamborghini Canto first appeared in 1998, it arrived only two years after another Zagato designed Lamborghini concept had been unveiled, the Diablo-based Raptor. The cars shared a number of similar features, including the wraparound windows, triangular lateral air intakes, and trademark double-bubble roof. However of the two, the earlier Raptor was probably the better looking.

Clearly Ferdinand Piech – head of the Volkswagen Group – thought so too. After VW bought Lamborghini in 1999, one of his first decisions was to review the Canto’s development and redesign the concept. The car was re-engineered and the rear extensively restyled to include smaller air intakes. The engine was also upgraded thanks to a new ECU which boosted output of the 6.0 litre V12 to 640 horsepower – although it was actually detuned to 610 hp to improve reliability.
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