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Six Lamborghinis Challenge the Transfăgărășan

Six Lamborghini Huracáns (Coupés and Spyders) challenged the steep hairpin turns and switchbacks of one of the most spectacular and demanding roads in the world, the Transfăgărășan.The Transfăgărășan passes through the land of Dracula in the Transylvania region of Romania, winding for 90 km. 

Open only from July to September, the road was built between 1970 and 1974 by order of dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu – it is also called Ceauşescu’s Folly – to allow Romanian troops to cross the Carpathian Mountains quickly in the event of a Soviet invasion.

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First Look: The Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series

The new 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series from Porsche is the most powerful and unique 911 Turbo S ever. The Coupé provides 446 kW (607 hp) and is limited to 500 units worldwide. In addition to a power increase of 27 hp, the 911 Turbo S Exclusive Series is distinct from the standard 911 Turbo S due to its unique design, higher-quality materials and luxurious details. 

The sports car is being intricately finished by hand in the new Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur at the headquarters in Zuffenhausen. Previously known as “Porsche Exclusive”, the in-house workshop specializes in tailoring to customer wishes, as well as being responsible for limited-edition series. And for the first time ever, Porsche customers can have the matching chronograph from Porsche Design configured in the same design as their sports car.

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Since it’s launch the SLS AMG has been my favourite car. I knew from the moment I saw it that it would be. I remember the day, it was on a September in 2009. The SLS was unveiled at that year’s Frankfurt motor show. I remember as I had an exam that day but rather than get some last minute revision in, I spent the morning on the Internet drooling over photos of Mercedes’ new Gullwing supercar.

Today it’s more or less the same, minus the Gullwing part. Everyone, meet the new Mercedes-AMG GT. The name is important in itself as you’ll note there isn’t a “Benz”. That’s because this is the second car made entirely by AMG and they want to show it.

Powering this new sports car is an equally new ‘M178’ 4.0-litre twin turbo V8. The AMG GT is the first car to showcase this new engine which will eventually find it’s way into the upcoming C63. In standard form the engine is good for 456bhp and 600NM of torque. The GT S will have 503bhp and 650NM of torque. The GT gets from 0-100 km/h in 4 second flat while the GT S shaves two tenths of a second off.
Much of the GT’s development carries off from where the SLS left off. As such the GT has a updated version of the Getrag 7-speed dual clutch transmission as the SLS, which is mounted at the rear for better weight distribution (47/53). Like the SLS the GT’s body is made from aluminium. In standard form it weighs around 1540kg and the GT S weighs around 1570kg. Both variants receive a locking diff which is mechanical in the GT and electric in the GT S.

Also electric (partially) is the steering which is electro-mechanical and changes at different speeds. Other racy bits include double wishbone front suspension and multi link tears, massive brakes (360mm for the GT and 390mm for GT S) with the option of 402mm carbon ceramics. The GT comes with 19-inch wheels on all four corners while the GT S has 20-inch wheels at the rear.

Inside it follows the current Mercedes design theme as we’ve already seen in the new S and C-Class. I think it looks great but then I am a sucker for red leather. It’s also an evolution on the SLS’s with the wraparound cockpit centred around the driver. A larger display screen dominates the centre console. Mercedes’ new Touch Pad system also makes an appearance in the GT. Don’t think it’s all form and no function, the boot has a 350L capacity - roughly the same as an A-Class.

Actually, looking at the dimensions it’s pretty compact. The GT AMG measures at 4546mm long, some 92mm shorter than the SLS with a shorter wheelbase and overhangs. At 1939mm wide it’s the same width so the “everyday usability” sports car tag might not be so useable given the SLS’s width was one of its biggest flaws. The GT is also 27mm taller than its predecessor for better cabin space, ironic since the gullwing doors on the SLS were meant to make it easier to get in and out. In the GT those legendary doors are gone in favour of more conventionally hinged doors.

But come on, we have to talk about its styling. Like the rest of the car its an evolution of the SLS’s and if I’m honest it’s utterly beautiful. The SLS was never a car I would’ve described as “beautiful”, not in the traditional sense. It was a good looking car, striking in fact. It had presence and it looked “cool”. The GT AMG however has a new found elegence which the SLS never had. Maybe its the smaller dimension, maybe its the cleaner lines but there’s no doubt its worked. You still get the ridiculously long bonnet and a pushed back cabin design with a short pert bum. The rear actually has a liftback style tailgate (ala Aston Vantage) as opposed to a regular-style bootlid. As you can see the GT AMG is anything but conventional.

So that’s the GT AMG, a smaller, sportier, and sexier successor to the SLS. It has quite the challenge of filling the boots of a legend as well as taking on other motoring greats such as the Porsche 911, Aston Vantage, Audi R8, and Jaguar F-Type. It’ll go on sale sometime next year and will be considerably less expensive than the SLS, reports suggest it’ll cost as much as half as much as the SLS GT. But am I, whose favourite car is/was the SLS AMG convinced? Well the size, price, looks, and interior point in the right direction. I’ll have to reserve final judgement until I see and hear one in real life but on first impressions it’s a worthy addition to Mercedes’ long history of über desirable GT supercars.

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First Look: The Ferrari 812 Superfast

Ferrari has selected the 87th edition of the Geneva International Motor Show for the world premiere of the new 12-cylinder berlinetta, the 812 Superfast, the most powerful and fastest Ferrari in the marque’s history.

This new car not only introduces a plethora of innovative features but is also particularly significant as the V12 series marked the official start of the glorious Prancing Horse story in 1947, 70 years ago this year.

The 812 Superfast thus ushers in a new era in Ferrari 12-cylinder history, in doing so building on the invaluable legacies of the F12berlinetta and F12tdf. It is aimed at clients demanding the most powerful and exclusive Ferrari in the range: an uncompromising sports car that will deliver exhilarating driving both on road and track yet also be comfortable enough to allow its owners to enjoy it as an all-round experience.

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Porsche Unveils the Most Powerful 911 of All Time

The fastest and most powerful road-approved 911 is ready for launch: The new Porsche 911 GT2 RS will celebrate its world premiere at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK (June 30 to July 2). At the heart of this high-performance sports car is a 515 kW (700 hp) biturbo flat engine. Weighing in at 1,470 kg with a full fuel tank, the lightweight two-seater accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds. The rear-wheel drive Coupé has a top speed of 340 km/h, and with its near-motorsport drive technology, the new 911 GT2 RS trumps its 3.6-liter predecessor by 59 kW (80 hp) and achieves a torque of 750 Newton meters (an increase of 50 Nm).

The engine builds on that 3.8-liter in the 911 Turbo S at 427 kW (580 hp). In order to increase performance, large turbochargers push an increased volume of process air into the combustion chambers. A new additional cooling system delivers optimum cooling at peak loads and, at very high temperatures, sprays the charge-air cooler with water. This causes the gas temperature to fall in the overpressure range and ensures optimum power output, even under extreme conditions. The customized GT seven-speed double-clutch transmission (PDK) in the new GT2 RS enables power to be transferred with uninterrupted traction. What’s more, the specially developed exhaust system is made from extra-lightweight titanium, weighs around seven kilograms less than the system used in the 911 Turbo and delivers an emotional sound without precedent.

For the first time ever, Porsche Design is celebrating the debut of the high-performance sports car by releasing a special-issue watch. Offering a nod to the world of motorsport, the 911 GT2 RS watch is exclusively available to owners of the new vehicle and can only be ordered in conjunction with the new GT model at a Porsche Centre from June 30, 2017.

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The New Ford GT Use More Code Than a Fighter Jet

The all-new Ford GT uses more than 50 different sensors to monitor vehicle performance and behavior, external environment, and driver inputs for an optimized driving experience.

The ultra-high-performance Ford GT’s sensors provide real-time information on factors from the positions of pedals, steering wheel & deployable rear wing, to air humidity & sunshine levels, delivering the thrill of a Le Mans-winning race car.

Data is generated at a rate of 100GB per hour – equivalent to about 25,000 song downloads –and is processed by more than 25 onboard computing systems comprising 10 million lines of software code – more than a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. Between them, the systems can analyze 300MB of data – comparable to downloading an hour-long TV show – every second.

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First Look: The New Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus

The Audi R8 Spyder V10 plus from the workshop of Audi Sport GmbH is the fastest series-production convertible model from the brand with the four rings. Its unmistakable 610 hp V10 mid-engine offers intense driving performance and powers the quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The standard performance program, R8 bucket seats and many components made from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer distinguish this high-performance sports car, with its exclusive micrommata green paint finish giving it a cutting-edge look.

The top model sprints to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.3 seconds and achieves a top speed of 328 km/h (203.8 mph), an increase of 10 km/h (6.2 mph).

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First Look: Lotus Exige Cup 380 

Evolved from the hugely successful and capable Exige Sport 380, this latest Lotus supercar is the purest manifestation yet of the company’s Cup concept for sports cars. Genuinely eligible for competition yet undeniably elegant, just 60 editions of this extreme Exige are planned for worldwide markets – assuring its status as one of Lotus’ most collectible road cars.

  • The fastest to, from, and around the race track
  • 0-60 mph in just 3.4 seconds
  • Dry Weight from 1,057 kg (2330lbs)
  • Dramatic bodywork revisions boost downforce to 200 kg
  • Limited to 60 editions worldwide, confirming collector status

With a purity of drive unheard of in road cars, and a power-to-weight ratio of 355 hp per tonne, the Exige Cup 380 delivers genuine race pace, with 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds) and top speed of 175 mph (282 km/h). Key to the Exige Cup 380 reaching its low weight of 1,057 kg is the comprehensive adoption of carbon fiber and extreme engineering. Making their first appearance on a road-going Lotus, heavily revised bodywork elements contribute to the increased downforce of the Exige Cup 380, with the car generating up to 200 kg, 43% more than the Exige Sport 380. Making the most of this aerodynamic downforce and maximizing mechanical grip, the Exige Cup 380 features larger rear tires as standard.

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First Look: The Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

The new Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid sees the sportscar manufacturer launch a plug-in hybrid model as the flagship of a model line for the first time. The V8 engine from the Panamera Turbo is combined with an electric motor, resulting in 500 kW/680 hp of system power and outstanding power delivery: Even when just above idle speed, the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid offers an 850 Nm of torque. That means it accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h. The boost strategy of the all-wheel drive Panamera comes from the 918 Spyder super sportscar. The new Panamera can drive on fully electric power for up to 50km. 

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The NIO EP9 Electric Car Claims Nürburgring Record

Yesterday, the NIO made the claim that their EP9 electric car set a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, achieving a lap time of 6m 45.900s.

“In October 2016, we aimed to set a new lap record for an electric vehicle with our NIO EP9. In the inclemental weather that the Nürburgring Nordschleife is known for, the EP9 completed two laps of the 20.8 km (12.9m) ‘Green Hell’, one of which was in 7m 05.12s, beating the previous EV lap record, making it the fastest electric car in the world. The EP9’s new lap record is 19.22 seconds faster than its previous lap time. This is a fabulous achievement for NIO and I am very proud of the team that has worked tirelessly to achieve this accolade,” said Gerry Hughes, Head of Performance Program & FE Team Principal, NIO.

The EP9’s 1-MegaWatt of power is equivalent to 1360PS (1342 bhp) and the vehicle has a top speed of 313kph (194mph). The EP9 accelerates from 0-200kph (0-124mph) in 7.1 seconds. Previously, the EP9 has broken or set new track records at four world-renowned racetracks.

Last month, NIO announced that it plans to produce a second batch of ten EP9s, and each is made to order. The NIO EP9 is priced at 1.48 million USD.

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New Era Begins for McLaren Automotive

McLaren Automotive is celebrating the beginning of production of the new 720S, with the completion of the ‘Job#1’ car. Finished in Glacier White, the car is ready to leave the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey, England, having been hand-assembled by McLaren’s craftsmen and craftswomen. 

The move to full production marks the beginning of a new chapter in the McLaren Automotive story, as the second generation of the Super Series – codenamed ‘P14’ – replaces the first generation, ‘P11’ model family that encompassed the original McLaren 12C and subsequent derivatives, as well as the McLaren 650S and 675LT. 

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First Look: The Lamborghini Aventador S

The new Lamborghini Aventador S is characterized by new aerodynamic design, redeveloped suspension, increased power and new driving dynamics. The ‘S’ is the suffix of previous enhanced Lamborghini models and defines a new benchmark for the V12 Lamborghini.

  • New iconic design features focused on aerodynamic performance
  • New four-wheel steering system
  • Enhanced suspension, electronics, & customisable driving modes
  • More powerful naturally aspirated V12 engine outputting 740 hp
  • 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, top speed of 350 km/h (217mph)

The first customers will take delivery of the new Lamborghini Aventador S in
Spring of 2017 with prices starting at $421,350 USD.  

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First Look: The Ferrari 458 MM Speciale

Ferrari has unveiled its latest One-Off creation during the car’s first shakedown on the Fiorano circuit in the hands of Ferrari’s chief test driver Dario Benuzzi and the car’s enthusiastic British owner.

Designed in-house by the Ferrari Styling Centre, the 458 MM Speciale was built on the chassis and running gear of the 458 Speciale. Stylistically, the client was looking for extremely sporty lines and specified a ‘visor’ effect for the glasshouse: a black-painted A-pillar, very much in the style of the 1984 Ferrari GTO, helps provide a wraparound solution between the windscreen and side windows which thus meld into single, seamless glass surface. This solution simultaneously lowers the roofline and lends an aerodynamic sleekness to the full volume of the swept-back C-pillar.

Finished in Bianco Italia and complete with a livery that pays homage to the Italian flag, this unique coupé features all-new bodywork, handcrafted in aluminium with composite carbon-fiber bumpers front and rear. The 458 MM Speciale also boasts a new side air scoop, one of the most distinctive elements in an extensive revision of the aerodynamic package.

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First Details: The Porsche 911 R

Unveiled today at the Geneva International Motor Show, the new Porsche 911 R is a pure-bred sports car built to conform to a time-honored formula; a powerful 500 hp (368 kW) four-liter naturally-aspirated flat-six engine driving the rear wheels, a six-speed manual transmission, and a lightweight body. It will be limited to just 991 examples and deliveries start begin in June.

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