It’s Aston Martin’s 100th anniversary this year, and clearly, this new Rapide is very excited about the prospect. Just look at that face.
Actually, really look at that face, because it’s a new one, sitting on an updated version of Aston’s rather delectable four door Rapide. It’s now called the Rapide S, and features a host of improvements.
The most important of which is underneath the bonnet. Aston has revised its fabulous 6.0-litre V12 (dubbed the AM11) engine to the tune of 555bhp - some 17 per cent more than before.
Torque jumps to 457 lb ft too, up from 442, and as such, the new Rapide S will accelerate from 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds, 0.3 seconds quicker than before. Remember, the battle for car park superiority is won or lost in tenths. Top speed rises to 190mph.
Details at TopGear.com
The Middle East is a land where the oil is rich, skyscrapers tall and the thirst for expensive cars is insatiable. Don’t belive us? Just check out this showroom. But they’ve never had a car of their own… until now. Actually, next week, where at the Qatar Motor Show, the first ever hypercar from the Arab world is set to be unveiled.
Called the LykanHypersport - which sounds a bit like Luke Skywalker’s latest daily driver - it wants to go wheel-to-wheel with the Bugattis and Koenigseggs of the world.
With a 750bhp, twin-turbo flat-six wedged in behind the driver, the LykanHypersport can apparently hit 60mph in 2.8 seconds (that’s faster than an Aventador) and on to a ‘break neck’ (their words, not ours) top speed of 242mph. Ouch.
But this isn’t just a fast car: it’s also a fast, luxurious car. With diamond-encrusted LED lights, gold-stitched leather, suicide doors and a state-of-the-art 3D Virtual Holographic Display with Tactile Interaction and a revolutionary LD4Motion interactive dashboard (yeah, us neither), it’s… blingy.
That’s not all. Like J-Lo, the car comes with a 24-hour dedicated concierge service and a free $200,000 special edition Cyrus Klepcy watch. Only seven will be produced, though we’ll believe it when we actually see it in the flesh next week.
Making its debut on Audi’s stand at the Detroit Motor Show, alongside the SQ5, Ingolstadt’s latest RS model appears as some well-timed artillery against the also very recently announced BMW M6 Gran Coupe.
It’s based on the Audi A7, naturally, but only in body shape doth this RS7 share any sibling genetics. Because underneath rests the same twin-turbocharged, 4.0-litre V8 engine as used in the upcoming RS6 Avant (itself only announced last month). At this rate we’ll be getting a new RS-model every few minutes.
So that V8. It’s the same one used by Bentley, and Audi in the S8, producing some 552bhp and 516lb ft of torque, which if you’re unaware, is a significant amount of firepower. Audi reckons that - mated to a standard eight-speed automatic box and quattro four-wheel-drive - the new RS7 will accelerate from 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds and hit a limited top speed of 155mph.
Tick the ‘Dynamic Plus’ pack and you’ll raise that top speed to 189mph. Nice. Incidentally, the M6 Gran Coupe’s pub-lording stats are 0-62mph in 4.2 seconds and the possibility of 189mph. Clearly, the battle for pub supremacy is won in tenths.
Fittingly, Honda has chosen the Detroit Motor Show to show off the styling cues of its upcoming baby SUV via this neat little concept called the ‘Urban SUV’. Why fittingly? Because it’s all very RoboCop at the front; Detroit’s fictional crime-fighting champion.
Details are scarce, but we do know this Urban concept previews a small SUV based around the Honda Jazz platform; the Jazz remember, sits on Honda’s Global Compact Series underpinnings.
Interesting thing to note however, is how huge the actual concept is in size. Sure, it might preview a small SUV, but in reality this thing looks closer to a Mazda CX-5 in size. Honda tells us the urban concept is “designed to provide aesthetic cues”, and will eventually see service all over the globe.
It’s official: the Hennessey Venom GT is the fastest car to accelerate from 0-300km/h… in the world.
You already knew the Texan-built FrankenLotus was a little bundle of unholy firepower, but now the dinky nuke has burned its name into the record books. Specifically, the Guinness Book of World Records; a representative was officially on hand during a record-run along Ellington Field in Houston to clock the Venom’s raucous acceleration.
The GT, powered by a twin-turbocharged 7.0-litre aluminium V8, took just 13.63 seconds to hit 186mph. That’s not quick, that’s Quick.
Volkswagen has taken the opportunity of the Detroit Motor Show to showcase an American-only concept: it’s the CrossBlue SUV.
Weighing in at around the same size as an Audi Q7 - and thus, huge - Volkswagen reckons that should this ever make production, it will slot in between the Tiguan and the Touareg in VW’s SUV line-up.
Underneath the Tonka-truck exterior sits a diesel-electric hybrid setup mated to a DSG gearbox and four-wheel-drive, strapped to the VW Group’s new MQB platform (the same platform underpinning 10 million VW group products). So you’re looking at a 187bhp TDI engine with 295lb ft of torque, together with a lithium-ion battery pack - laying across the central tunnel - powering one electric motor on the front axle and one on the rear axle.
Altogether, the CrossBlue’s drivetrain - much like the Cross Coupe concept shown at last year’s Detroit show - produces 300bhp and a not inconsiderable 516lb ft of torque. 0-60mph is quoted as seven seconds, while the top speed is 127mph (or 75mph if running in electric-only mode).
Infiniti has just thrown the covers from its 3-Series rival at the Detroit Auto Show. It’s called the Q50 and is the replacement for the rather drab and fuel-thirsty G37. It’s also the first car to emerge under the leadership of new president (and former Audi chief) Johan de Nysschen.
We don’t know if it’s JdN’s influence, but the curvaceous Q50 is more imposing and angrier than the previous Infiniti, which looked er, a bit melty. In Infiniti design-speak, this car combines a a ‘double arch’ grille with slinky ‘crescent-cut’ C-pillars at the side and ‘quite noisy’ twin pipes at the back (OK, the last bit of design speak was ours, not Infiniti’s).
Inside there’s been a push for plushness. There’s more space than the G37, a revolutionary twin-screen satnav and a new design, we’re told, that draws inspiration from Samurai weapons and trees. No idea.
For now, the only power options available are the two V6 petrol engines for the North American market: a 3.7-litre producing 328hp and a 3.5-litre unit mated to a hybrid system from the M35h. It’s up to you where that power goes, as you can have the Q50 in RWD or AWD flavour, with both using a seven-speed automatic ‘box. When the Q50 hits Europe debut at the Geneva motor show, we should see a selection of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines better suited to those of us living in countries where you have to actually pay for fuel.
America, arise. Here’s your newly-minted hero. And Europe, you can forget your old-world snobbishness. America’s great sports car is today re-born. It’s recognisably a Corvette, but its every component has had a hard-reset. If you want your hammering front-engined V8 rumble to come wrapped in the iridescent technologies of our age, you’ve come to the right place.
Brutal statistics first. It makes 450bhp and 450 torques from its all-new V8, and cracks 60mph from rest in under four smokin’ seconds. Chevy people are so pleased with this, they’ve slapped on a badge historically reserved for some of the most knee-trembling Vettes of all. Yes, this one’s a Stingray.
And that name, and those numbers, are just for the base model. What sort of craziness they’ll unleash for the later ‘performance’ versions we can only begin to imagine.
Get all the details at BBC Top Gear
We’re only a week into the New Year but that hasn’t stopped a bunch of crazy Australians doing what they do best. No, they haven’t just claimed the record for the longest didgeridoo solo, nor the record for the most vegemite sandwiches spread in 60 seconds. Instead, they’ve done the world’s largest simultaneous burnout.
At this year’s Summernat’s car festival in Canberra, 69 cars lined up to sacrifice their tyres to the Gods of Smoke and Awesome. Thanks to the stupidly powerful cars, it only took 30 seconds for them to beat the previous record of 49 cars. Over 30 tyres went bang during the attempt, there was a bit of fire and lots and lots of smoke. Check it out below.
People of Australia, we salute you.