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2012 Audi TT RS Roadster review

New Audi TT RS

Audi’s TT RS apportions 360 horsepower to all four corners while the Carrera 4 shares 345 horsepower among its four.

The RS version of Audi’s TT Coupe is an amazing machine that’s unlike any TT I’ve previously experienced; this is a racecar parading itself as an upscale sports car.

One could also refer to the most powerful TT ever as the modest man’s R8, but that would be an injustice to the TT RS. You see, it’s faster to 100 km/h than the V8-powered Audi R8 4.2.

Whatever the label, the TT RS will live up to it, and then some.

The heart and soul of this car is its turbocharged 2.5L TFSI 5-cycliner 20-valve engine. Along with 360 hp @ 5,500 rpm, this renegade cranks out 343 lb-ft of torque from just 1,650 rpm, maintaining the full juice through to 5,400 rpm.

While I have bemoaned 5-cylinder engines in the past, Audi’s version leaves me breathless. Never would I have expected such outrageous performance from a mill with an odd number of cylinders whose total displacement is only 2.5 litres.

This powerplant is a significant accomplishment in the world of stock production engines. And it likes to boast about its credentials through an exhaust note that would send shivers down the spine of Lambo owners.

Hard to believe that the howl produced by TT RS at full throttle doesn’t belong to something from Italy with twice as many cylinders.

And to make the experience just that much more visceral, there’s a button next to the shifter with an “S” on it.

The TT RS is a wild beast with a gentle streak; that is, until you hit the “S” button. Activating the Sport Mode revises throttle mapping, steering response, suspension calibration, and exhaust channeling.

Suddenly, any sense of benevolence is lost. The car sounds angrier, rides harder and reacts with the immediacy of a racecar. Simply feathering the throttle produces astounding performance accompanied by an intensified auditory experience.

Deactivating Sport Mode returns the TT RS to a slightly more civilized machine cloaked in a thin veil of normalcy. This is actually a car that one could live with day to day. While its ride quality remains on the taut side and it’s not the quietest of sports cars, it is tolerable.

2012 Audi TT RS was equipped with Audi’s 6-speed manual gearbox, which made me ecstatic. While the S tronic dual-clutch automatic-shifting transmission is an amazing piece of F1-inspired technology, I relish the occasional opportunity to mix my own gears. Besides, the automated gearbox isn’t offered in the Canadian-spec RS.

More Pictures of 2012 Audi TT RS

2012 Audi TT RS design

2012 Audi TT RS Images

2012 Audi TT RS

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Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera LP620-4

2012 lamborghini gallardo

As evocative and downright exotic Wheelsandmore has been with their tuning projects, we can’t help but wonder if they end up running out of ideas at some point.

Apparently, their recent run of new programs for some of the most powerful cars on the planet is proving that notion to be completely untrue.

For their latest offering, the German tuner has set its sights on a car that needs no introduction: the Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera LP570-4.

Every Wheelsandmore tuning program always carries a standard performance upgrade and the “Green Beret,” as the company has called this baby, is no different. The German tuner went and combined a digitally program-able, remote-operated valve control with special carbon-frame airfilters and a remapped ECU unit with a handmade, stainless steel exhaust system, effectively giving the Gallardo Superleggera a sinister performance upgrade.

How sinister? Well, from the standard 570 horsepower coming out of the super car’s 5.2-liter V10 engine, Wheelsandmore managed to increase that to a powerful 620 horsepower, hence the LP620-4 designation.

But more than just the mechanical improvements, Wheelsandmore also gave the Italian supercar a new set of fancy 20 6Sporz handcrafted, multi-piece forged wheels that are rotating at the steering axle and wrapped in 5p Continental Sport Contact tires. Other improvements for the Green Beret include a new race established special coilover with adjustable rebound and compression, hydraulically liftable around 1.77 inch, and called LCS (level-control-system).

For a tuner that has made a living out of programs like this, the Green Beret is yet another feather in the hat of these guys.

More Pictures of Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera LP620-4

Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera LP620-4

New Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera

Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Bicolore


2012 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring with SKYACTIV engine

2012 Mazda 3 Skyactiv i Grand Touring design

Five weeks ago, we gave you our first impressions based on a very short (fewer than 100 miles) time behind the wheel of the Mazda 3 Skyactiv. Bottom line for the link-averse, it was all good things we expect from Mazda in general and the Mazda 3 in particular, with some promising gas mileage figures (we averaged 29.5 miles per gallon, the EPA estimates are 28 city, 40 highway).

The first car was a bare-bones stock model…zero options, with a price tag of $19,300 plus delivery charges.

This time around, things were different. Mazda USA’s press folks sent an i Grand Touring model with Skyactiv. Base price $4,000 higher at $22,300…and there were options.

The tester added the Technology Package…blind spot monitoring system, Sirius satellite radio, perimeter alarm, rain-sensing front wipers, bi-xenon headlights with auto-leveling, pivoting adaptive front lighting system and auto on/off headlights. Price tag for that package? $1,400. So, with the $795 for delivery, the bottom line on this Mazda 3 Skyactiv wound up at $24,495. And although that’s very nearly 5 grand or 20 percent more than the one we reviewed in early January, it’s exactly how we’d order one if we were buying.

Stepping up to the i Grand Touring from the i Touring model gets you the same basic underpinnings (2.0 liter, 155 horsepower 4, 16-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes) but brings a moonroof, center armrest, heated front seats, compact nav system with color display and color multi-information display to the party, along with an upgrade to a 265-watt Bose Centerpoint audio system. And, if you check “Dune” instead of “Black” on the interior color option box, the result is a pleasing two-tone that lightens and brightens the mood inside the car.

Skyactiv, as we described before, is Mazda’s solution to better gas mileage without the complexity of a hybrid system and with the payoff of improved performance thanks to lower weight, and a more efficient engine/transmission combo.

This time, we put a near-TireKicker record 840 miles on the Mazda 3 in our week at the wheel…and unlike our usual 60/40 mix of city streets and urban freeways, it was more like 80/20…and the 20 was in the worst stop-and-go freeway driving you’re likely to encounter this side of Manhattan.

Our average? 33 miles per gallon. That’s impressive when you figure that the EPA estimate is 28 city, 40 highway. Even our freeway miles weren’t at highway speeds…or not many of them and not for long. So our entire 840 miles was the equivalent of what the EPA considers city….and we beat the estimate by 5 MPG…and equalled the EPA’s combined fuel economy estimate.

More Pictures of 2012 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring with SKYACTIV engine

2012 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring with SKYACTIV engine

New Mazda 3 Skyactiv i Grand Touring

2012 Mazda 3 Skyactiv i Grand Touring images


2013 Ferrari California Unveiled

2013 Ferrari California images

Sources at Ferrari say that production of the 2013 Ferrari California has already began, with the vehicle boasting of a V-8 engine powertrain that is a 2 door 2 passenger convertible. The vehicle is however expected to be first showcased at the Geneva Motor Show prior to its sale, this according to the 2013 Ferrari. According to the Italian manufacturer, the new model of the Ferrari California is expected to be faster than its predecessor as a weight reduction of the vehicle has been made and a slight boost of power also instituted in the 2013 model of the vehicle.

The new Ferrari California is 66 pounds lighter than the predecessor. In achieving this weight reduction, light weight aluminum has been used in the build of the vehicle. In using light weight aluminum in the build of the vehicle, it is said by Ferrari that the structural integrity of the vehicle has not in any way been negatively affected as what they have done is to use cutting edge technology in the build of their vehicle.

Both the horsepower and the torque of the vehicle have seen a significant increase compared to the previous Ferrari California. With the outgoing model clocking in 454 horsepower and 357 lb/ ft, an increase of 25 and 15 in horsepower and torque respectively is seen. The new Ferrari California clocks In 490 hp with 372 lb/ft of torque. To achieve this, a 4.3 liter V8 engine is in place in the vehicle and this also gives an opportunity of increases of this in the future with redesigned manifold and new software for the engine computer of the vehicle. This enables the vehicle to clock in very high RPM’s and within a very short time. This is expected to have the new Ferrari to do a 0- 60 mph within 3.8 seconds.

Handling of the Ferrari California is also improved with the engineers of the new vehicle making use of magnetorheological dampeners that give a 50% higher response than in the outgoing model of the Ferrari and this is mainly due to a new software used in the vehicle. The vehicle also comes in stiffer springs and a faster power steering ratio that helps in the minimization of body Rolland also makes the vehicle more responsive to even the slightest of driver inputs.

Upon buying the vehicle, Ferrari is assuring customers of a free seven-year maintenance program. Though the model is already in production, the sale dates of the vehicle are still not yet known. The only details present are that the European market will receive the first deliveries, with the North American market being sold later on.

More Pictures of 2013 Ferrari California

2013 Ferrari California

2013 Ferrari California design

New Ferrari California


2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate Release

2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate design

Jaguar car maker has announced new car with called 2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate. A full-length, leather-trimmed centre console separates the two individually tailored rear seats which feature power adjustment, ventilation, massage and lumbar functions. A table, machined from solid aluminium with piano-black and chrome detailing, rises up from the centre console at the touch of a button to provide a working area, its role supplemented by the provision of two third-generation iPads with wireless keyboards that are housed in bespoke leather-trimmed docks in the rear of the front seats.

To underline its purpose in ensuring that passengers remain cosseted at all times, the Jaguar XJ Ultimate features revisions to the suspension to optimise rear ride comfort, with no compromise to the car’s breadth of dynamic ability.

The exterior detailing of the 2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate offers discreet clues to the model’s figurehead status with sculpted lower air intakes chromed to match the grille, polished stainless steel oval exhaust pipe finishers, unique dual-surfaced alloy wheels and subtle ‘Ultimate’ badging.

The XJ Ultimate is available with Jaguar’s existing 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol engine, its powerful and efficient 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged diesel, and a new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol unit, all driving the rear wheels via an eight-speed transmission.

The Jaguar XJ introduced a mouldbreaking coup design ethos to its class, taking Jaguar’s established principle of long, unbroken feature lines and applying them to a decidedly 21st century form. Dramatically different from its competitors, the all-aluminium XJ captures the essential Jaguar design elements of elegance, muscularity, sleekness and strength.

2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate will also be offered with a new 3.0-litre V6 supercharged petrol engine being introduced to the range for the 2013 model year. This engine, which in the Jaguar XJ Ultimate will produce 340PS and 450Nm, draws on the award-winning technology inherent to Jaguar’s V8 and offers similar performance to the naturally-aspirated version of that engine (which is not available in the XJ Ultimate), but with the emissions and fuel economy advantages of a V6.

More Pictures of 2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate

2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate

New Jaguar XJ Ultimate

2013 Jaguar XJ Ultimate images


2012 Maserati GranTurismo Sport

2012 Maserati GranTurismo Sport

The new Maserati GranTurismo Sport conveys an overall elegant restyling and, at the same time, stresses its sporty nature and enhanced performances. The front bumper has been redesigned to optimize the front air flows for breaks cooling and engine whether the innovative profile frames the new headlights with DRL Led technology. The GranTurismo Sport rear is characterized by new taillights in a more aggressive yet elegant darker tone. The interiors also feature new elements such as completely redesigned front and rear seats, new steering wheel to enhance a more sporty and muscular look.

Future Maserati GranTurismo Sport owners can personalize even the car the set up. Maserati engineers have indeed developed a special Handling Package to satisfy the needs of the most demanding drivers: available for versions of the car mounted with the electro-actuated transmission, the pack includes suspensions that have been stiffened and lowered by 10mm, sports rated fixed suspension, red springs and dampers to convey a set up more suited to the Maserati Stability Program’s (MSP) sportier ride. In the US, the GranTurismo Sport has an automatic transmission and the MC Auto Shift software allows on-the-limit gears changes, double declutching when changing up as well as the activation of launch control for sprint starts. In the interior, the digital rev counter and a sportier set up for the accelerator distinguish the new Maserati GranTurismo Sport from other GranTurismo models. On the exterior, the GranTurismo Sport boasts an exhaust with twin oval tailpipes boasting management software that opens the silencer valves that, when open, produce the deep pure Maserati engine note.

Maserati GranTurismo Sport Tech Specs

Dimension & Weight

Length 4881 mm

Width with side mirrors 2056 mm

Width (without side mirrors) 1915 mm

Dry weight 1780 kg

Kerb weight 1880 kg

Height 1353 mm

Wheelbase 2942 mm

Front track 1586 mm

Rear Track 1590 mm

Front overhang 873 mm

Rear overhang 1066 mm

Turning circle 10,7 m

Boot capacity 260 l

Fuel tank capacity 86 l

Engine

Cylinders & layout V8 90

Displacement 4691 cm 3

Bore 94 mm

Stroke 84,5 mm

Compression ratio 11,25: 1

Maximum Power Output 338 kW (454 bhp)

Engine speed at max. power output 7000 rpm

Peak Torque 520 Nm

Engine speed at peak torque 4750 rpm

Tires

Front 245 / 35 – ZR 20

Rear 285 / 35 – ZR 20

Performance

Maximum Speed 185 mph

0 – 62 mph acceleration 4,8 seconds

Fuel consumption (combined cycle) 14,3 (l / 100 km)

CO2 emissions (combined cycle) 331 (g / km )

More Pictures of 2012 Maserati GranTurismo Sport

New Maserati GranTurismo Sport

2012 Maserati GranTurismo Sport convertible

2012 Maserati GranTurismo Sport interior


Ultimate Street Edition Nissan GT-R

Nissan GT-R Ultimate Street Edition

A lot of people can become too solely infatuated with a car that produces 1,000 horsepower. But through all of this, it’s also important to understand that if a car packs that much power under its hood, certain compromises have to be made to ensure that it can deliver the kind of power it’s been given.

That’s why it’s no surprise that a lot of these 1,000-horsepower super cars are best left to be ridden on a race track than on an actual road.

Noted Nissan GT-R tuner Switzer Performance already has one of these models in its GT-R line-up – the R1K package – but now, the Oberlin, Ohio-based company has prepared a new program for Godzilla that comes packed with 1,000 ponies. It is also capable of being used as an everyday car. That’s right, you can have your cake and eat it too.

The vehicle is called the Ultimate Street Edition, and it’s without question, one of the meanest and road-friendly, 1,000-horsepower GT-R’s you can get.

In order to achieve that output while retaining its road capabilities, Switzer fitted the GT-R with a plethora of modifications, none more so than to the Japanese sports car’s VR38DETT 3.8-liter V6 engine, which is now capable of producing 1,000 horsepower on premium pump-gas. To gain all that horsepower, Switzer went to work on fitting the GT-R with Switzer-specific pistons, pins, rings, connecting rods, and specially-ground camshafts. The tuning firm also reprogrammed the ECU and added a stainless-steel performance exhaust, front mounted intercoolers, an upgraded cooling package, and a pair of liquid-cooled turbochargers that come with billet compressor wheels.

‘Nano carbon’ brake pads are also being offered, as are Switzer’s lowering springs, a modified version of the car’s launch control set-up and, last but not least, a new set of lightweight alloy wheels.

“For people who want a 1000+ horsepower car that they can drive comfortably every day, to the track or the office or the grocery store, on the highway or in bumper-to-bumper traffic, we’ve built this car,” says Tym Switzer, owner and founder of Switzer.

More Pictures of Ultimate Street Edition Nissan GTR

2012 Nissan GT-R Ultimate Street Edition images

New Nissan GT-R Ultimate Street Edition

Nissan GT-R Ultimate Street Edition interior


2012 Audi TT RS Roadster review

New Audi TT RS

Audi’s TT RS apportions 360 horsepower to all four corners while the Carrera 4 shares 345 horsepower among its four.

The RS version of Audi’s TT Coupe is an amazing machine that’s unlike any TT I’ve previously experienced; this is a racecar parading itself as an upscale sports car.

One could also refer to the most powerful TT ever as the modest man’s R8, but that would be an injustice to the TT RS. You see, it’s faster to 100 km/h than the V8-powered Audi R8 4.2.

Whatever the label, the TT RS will live up to it, and then some.

The heart and soul of this car is its turbocharged 2.5L TFSI 5-cycliner 20-valve engine. Along with 360 hp @ 5,500 rpm, this renegade cranks out 343 lb-ft of torque from just 1,650 rpm, maintaining the full juice through to 5,400 rpm.

While I have bemoaned 5-cylinder engines in the past, Audi’s version leaves me breathless. Never would I have expected such outrageous performance from a mill with an odd number of cylinders whose total displacement is only 2.5 litres.

This powerplant is a significant accomplishment in the world of stock production engines. And it likes to boast about its credentials through an exhaust note that would send shivers down the spine of Lambo owners.

Hard to believe that the howl produced by TT RS at full throttle doesn’t belong to something from Italy with twice as many cylinders.

And to make the experience just that much more visceral, there’s a button next to the shifter with an “S” on it.

The TT RS is a wild beast with a gentle streak; that is, until you hit the “S” button. Activating the Sport Mode revises throttle mapping, steering response, suspension calibration, and exhaust channeling.

Suddenly, any sense of benevolence is lost. The car sounds angrier, rides harder and reacts with the immediacy of a racecar. Simply feathering the throttle produces astounding performance accompanied by an intensified auditory experience.

Deactivating Sport Mode returns the TT RS to a slightly more civilized machine cloaked in a thin veil of normalcy. This is actually a car that one could live with day to day. While its ride quality remains on the taut side and it’s not the quietest of sports cars, it is tolerable.

2012 Audi TT RS was equipped with Audi’s 6-speed manual gearbox, which made me ecstatic. While the S tronic dual-clutch automatic-shifting transmission is an amazing piece of F1-inspired technology, I relish the occasional opportunity to mix my own gears. Besides, the automated gearbox isn’t offered in the Canadian-spec RS.

More Pictures of 2012 Audi TT RS

2012 Audi TT RS design

2012 Audi TT RS Images

2012 Audi TT RS