There was a time when luxury cars were defined by their sheer size and mass, their power, performance and, of course, exclusive details like leather seats and wood trim.Those factors distinguish the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but thereís more to the redefined German flagship that fit the changing nature of the auto industry. From its LED lamps to the 3D cameras, radar and night vision systems tha...
Filed under: Concept Cars, Convertible, Performance, Aston Martin, Design/Style Generally speaking, today's Aston Martin is known more for its beauty and power than for its minimalism or lightness. But that could change if it decides to produce a version of this CC100 Speedster concept, designed to celebrate the company's centenary. The V12-powered roadster is being unveiled at the Nordschliefe today ahead of the 24 Hours of Nürburgring, where it is expected to lap the circuit with Aston CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez at the wheel. The rakish concept is a nice surprise, and will be run around the circuit along with a 1959 DBR1 with racing royalty Sir Stirling Moss in the driver's seat. No surprise, then, that designers had the company's Nürburgring- and Le Mans-winning '59 racecars in mind when they conceived of this car. Aston says that the two-seat CC100 Speedster came together in under six months time, carbon fiber bodywork and all. Powered by the British automaker's well-known naturally aspirated 6.0-liter V12 and six-speed sequential manual paddleshift gearbox, the company estimates 0-60 in four seconds and a top speed of 180 mph. Aston claims the butterfly-doored CC100 affords onlookers with "teasing glimpses of potential future design direction," suggesting a pugnacious new face is in store for the company. Production hopes? None are mentioned, but even if today's Aston isn't known for its minimalism or lightness, it is known for turning concepts into production cars, and we wouldn't be surprised to learn in a few months that a handful of the company's best customers have managed to cajole it into building a handful of examples. Oh, and about that Stirling Moss connection - forgive us if we're experiencing a bit of déjà vu. After all, doesn't this half-door speedster concept remind you a bit of another car? The Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR Stirling Moss comes to mind for us. For some reason, however, this doesn't really bother us. If it doesn't bother you either, scroll down for to watch a video from Aston and to find the official press release.Continue reading Aston Martin CC100 Speedster is a 180-mph centennial celebration [w/video]Aston Martin CC100 Speedster is a 180-mph centennial celebration [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 19 May 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Car Buying, Hyundai, Kia, Earnings/Financials, Luxury, South Korea Bloomberg reports shifting tariff regulations have upended the traditional automotive pecking order in Korea. Thanks to cheaper import taxes, foreign brands have seen market share jump from 28 percent to 41 percent over the last two years. BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi have all capitalized on the shift, with domestics like Hyundai and Kia suffering at the hands of their German rivals. Taxes on European imports have fallen from 8 percent in 2011 to just 3.2 percent today. Over the next few years, tariffs will all but be eliminated for most imports, and taxes on US-made vehicles are expected to fall to just 4 percent in 2014. By 2016, that number will be zero. Needless to say, Hyundai and Kia are concerned about the shift. Hyundai has seen profit fall by 15 percent last quarter, and the company says it is on pace to see the slowest sales growth since 2007. The company's shares have fallen by 12 percent. In order to stem the losses, Hyundai has discounted its midsize sedans and started working on diesel engine options.Why BMWs are cheaper than Hyundais in Korea originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 18 May 2013 08:51:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Classics, Audi, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Porsche A few weeks ago, we bid a fond happy 40th anniversary to the automotive dark ages of 1973-84 that have come to be known as "The Malaise Era" - the performance ice-age when 160 horsepower was a lot and a 0-60 time of under 10 seconds was remarkable. Like music in the 1980s, everything in automobiledom didn't suck, however. There were a few bright spots. Here are five of our favorites: 1976-79 Porsche 930, aka 911 Turbo Carrera (above) Photo Credit: Dorotheum While Chevrolet beat them by a decade with the turbocharged Corvair Corsa, the Germans more fully developed turbocharging through racing where General Motors couldn't. Early Porsche 930s (known technically as 911 Turbo Carreras) were a bit crude, with turbo lag that could be measured with an egg timer. They lacked an intercooler as well as brakes that were up to the task, but performance was sensational, with the buff books reporting 0-60 times of anywhere from 4.9 to 5.8 seconds and quarter-mile times of under 14 seconds. This was '60s muscle car performance at the height of the Malaise Era. Sadly, the 930 cost about six times as much as your average muscle car did. Rob Sass is the Publisher of Hagerty Classic Cars magazine. He is a regular contributor to the automotive section of the New York Times and is the author of "Ran When Parked, Advice and Adventures from the Affordable Underbelly of Car Collecting." Continue reading Malaise Era All-StarsMalaise Era All-Stars originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 17 May 2013 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
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