From British coachmaker Aston Martin comes their latest creation — the V12 Vantage Roadster. It takes their widely popular coupe and rips the top while adding some fine touches along the way. The roadster will be powered by the same 6.0 liter V12 that’s in the coupe, delivering 510 horsepower and 470 lb./ft. of torque to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. The roadster also gets a revised read decklid spoiler, a redesigned front air gurney and an enhanced suspension as well. Look for carbon fiber detailing on the outside alongside a few blacked-out elements and newly designed wheels. Reports say only 101 V12 Vantage Roadsters will be made.
This Memorial Day Weekend, the fine folks at Bentley were kind enough to toss us the keys to their flagship coach, the Mulsanne. It is the pinnacle of British engineering and built from the ground up in Bentley’s Crewe, UK headquarters. The detailing is as impressive as you’d expect from Bentley as there is really no expense spared both in aesthetics and performance. It takes roughly two months to build a Bentley Mulsanne and expectedly so as more than 50 percent of this time involves handcraftsmanship. It takes style cues from past Bentleys — the Bentley 8 Litre, Flying Spur of the 1950s, Brooklands, Azure as well as the Arnage. The result is a car that’s simultaneously modern and classic. The work that goes in to making such a grand car look so powerful and versatile is unparalleled in the industry and proves once again why Bentley is the last of its kind and is the opposite of mass production.
BMW and Milan-based Zagato have teamed for this one-off beauty which is set to presented at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Under the hood, you’ll find a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that dishes out an impressive 400 ponies. It’s based on the current Z4 but features a more aggressive appeal and Zagato’s signature trademark double-bubble roof as well as a sliced-off rear. Other fine details include deep grooved side vents, the Z-filled grille, and an oversized Z found in silver below the side vents. There have been quiet rumblings of the possibility of the BMW Zagato Coupe being available in a limited run, but nothing’s been etched just yet.
Got a couple milli you’re just itching to burn? Bugatti’s unveiled this one-of-a-kind, procelain-trimmed Grand Sport created for the Beijing Motor Show. The Wei Long edition celebrates the Year of the Dragon and comes in white with red trim. For 1.58 million Euros, you get a ton of power alongside the infinite amounts of bragging rights.
BMW unveiled the i8 Concept a short while back and now they’ve released shots of the i8 Spyder, one that looks more like what we can expect from the final car that will hit showrooms in the not-too-distant future. It’s a plug-in hybrid that’s powered by a 96 kW (131 horsepower) electric motor powering the front axle and a mid-mounted turbocharged three-cylinder gas engine that cranks out 223 horses to power the rear. Lithium-ion batteries are located in a center console between the front and mid-mounted engines to give a full output of 354 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque.
The i8 Spyder can go 19 miles before the gas engine turns on to recharge the batteries and we’re hearing the system can go 94 miles per gallon on the Imperial cycle. It’s a hybrid supercar that also gives us some exceptional performance — 0-62 mph in five seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
We were recently invited out to Aspen, Colorado by the fine folks at Bentley for an experience of a lifetime. While all the Aspen Fashion Week festivities were in full swing, Bentley took us out to a secluded snow-covered ranch right outside of town. We hopped in the passenger seat of the Supersports Convertible ISR (Ice Speed Record) while Bentley Driving pros took the 631-hp beauty across a snowy meadow, specially created for the winter driving experience. We were swinging around corners with ease and it took us back a bit because the Continental’s all-wheel drive system is one of the British automaker’s strong suits but not the conversation that’s normally had. No matter the weather, we’re accustomed to talking about the car’s stunning looks and its luxurious cabin with hand-crafted leather, book-matched wood veneers, and knurled stainless steel. That’s changed.
Slightly ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the A-Class, a four-door hatchback that’s perfect for the European market in which it will be released. Customers will have the option of a four-cylinder gasoline-powered or diesel engine, direction fuel injection, turbochargers, and standard start/stop functionality. Benz is delivering the new A-Class in either six-speed manual or the German automaker’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. On the inside, expect the luxurious detailings of the exterior to continue with some technological enhancements such as the option for smartphone integration into the operating and display system. A special app makes it possible to use the full functionality of the iPhone, and other smartphones in the short future.
A Europe release of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is set for September. No details on a North American release just yet but we’ll be on the look out.
This is happening. At the Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini officially uveiled the Aventador J Roadster, a drop-top version of the Lamborghini Aventador which we saw get unveiled a few years back. The all-wheel-drive J Roadster comes fitted with a 700-hp 6.5 litre 12-cylinder monster under the hood and caps out at 186 mph. The goal of the Aventador J Roadster is speed and performance and it delivers both right to your face. The roof and windshield are removed as are a few cockpit amenities you’d normally expect. The car’s overall weight has been significantly decreased through the use of a pliable new carbon fiber fabric called ‘Carbonskin’, which is utilized on the interior trim, in the bumpers, the front air scoop and in the rear diffuser. A price hasn’t been tagged to the Lamborghini Aventador J Roadster, but there’s only one available so expect it to cost a pretty penny.
Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Bentley took the covers off their SUV concept car — the EXP 9 F. It’s a fusion of contemporary crafted luxury, advanced in-car technology, commanding driving position and all-terrain capability in a spacious and high performance SUV; pretty much everything we’ve come to expect from the British coachmaker. The EXP 9 F could potentially be the third Bentley model-line alongside the bespoke Mulsanne and the high performance Continental GT, GTC and Flying Spur. The exterior design features several signature Bentley cues such as matrix grill and round lamps as well as rear lights inspired by the forms and details of fighter jet engines. Speaking of jet engines, power comes from a 6.0 litre, twin turbocharged W12 engine that’s mated with an 8-speed transmission.