Coachbuilding can be a hit or miss thing: take a production car like the BMW 6, put it in the hands of Henrik Fisker and you get the interesting looking Fisker Latigo. But take a Corvette, put it in the hands of others and you get the Enodra SC-1.
Instead of the track-focused hellion of yore, the Milan-based coachbuilder (which also invented Superleggera lightweight construction, as it goes) has created this rather pretty chap’s grand tourer. It doffs its hat to the ‘52 original with a boattail rump, tiny rear lamps, shrouded front wheel and a chrome pinstripe.
All of the oily bits are lifted from a “normal” 8C. That means there’s a 450bhp 4.7-litre V8 - built at the Ferrari factory, no less - automated manual ‘box, top speed of 181mph and 4.2sec 0-62mph time hiding under the skin.
Rumors suggest that a very limited number will be sold and that the Disco Volante will be pretty pricey.
But at least it’s pretty, right?
Lambo may have stolen the Geneva Motor Show with this. It’s real, it’s a one-off and it is stunning:
It is, in Lambo’s own words, a “radically open automobile”, and they’re not wrong. The Lamborghini Aventador J - so named because of the FIA’s ‘Appendix J’ referencing the tech spec of race cars - dispenses with the roof and windscreen of the hypercar for a unique driving experience.
It’s based on the standard Aventador LP700-4, replete with that 6.5-litre 700bhp V12 and permanent four-wheel-drive. Top Gear’s Supercar of the Year, no less. But for the ‘J’, the carbon fibre monocoque was significantly altered to adjust for the lack of anything above the doors. It’s made of woven carbon fibres soaked with epoxy resin that apparently stabilises the structure but keeps the material soft - almost like a high-tech fabric.
There are two safety bars behind the seats, which themselves are made of forged composite with carbon fibre fabric inserts, and because the Lambo ‘J’ is sans roof, air conditioning and windscreen, it’s lighter than the 1,575kg Aventador coupe. So expect an improvement on the standard Aventador’s 0-62mph time of 2.9 seconds.
This is Bentley’s idea of a SUV: larger than a Range Rover, faster than a Cayenne, and more expensive than any other SUV out there.
And, from the looks of this one, it sure is out there:
This enormo-SUV has a wheelbase some 200mm longer than a Range Rover. It’s got similar rear legroom to the mighty Mulsanne saloon. To give you an idea of scale, those are 23-inch wheels. And it’s punched through the mud - or more likely over desert dunes or down the autobahn - by a 600bhp W12 turbo.
Inside, the lower surfaces are clad in hard-wearing saddle leather. The rest of the leather is soft as a glove. The wood is Bentley’s usual immaculately polished stuff, and the carpets are wool. It’s going to smell like Ladies’ Day at Ascot in there.
But it’s also high-tech. The instruments lie behind knurled metal rings, but they’re actually TFT screens. In off-road mode, the navigation arrow display is designed to switch to a ‘sump cam’ so you can make sure the immaculate Bentley isn’t about to run aground. The undershields are specially shaped for surfing down desert dunes. The split tailgate has powered upper and lower halves, turning itself into a mini-grandstand.
So… assuming your footballer contract gets signed, your oil inheritance comes through, or your IPO goes well… would you get one?
Fresh for the Geneva Motor Show, Mercedes is showing off its new A-Class which they’re looking to aggressively attack the other vehicles in the segment: the Audi A3 and the BMW 1-series
Mercedes tells us the hoonigans at AMG were involved in the A-Class’s design from the very start; a design that Dr Zetsche says “is completely new, down to the last detail. In automotive development”, he adds, “it’s not often you get the chance to start with a clean sheet of paper”.
Underneath those svelte lines sits a new four-link rear axle - which Merc reckons would allow the fitment of all-wheel-drive - together with electro-mechanical steering and a choice of suspension settings including the optional sports setup. As expected from a Merc, there’s lots of nannying, such as attention assist, hill-start assist, brake hold, blind spot assist and even a reversing camera.
The new A-Class will get two petrol engines - a 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre - producing 115bhp, 156bhp and 211bhp, the latter badged as A 250. The 1.6-litre four-pot will also debut Merc’s new ‘Camtronic’ system, which adjusts the valve lift on the intake side to restrict the amount of fresh mixture used under partial load. Because you’re not James May and you might not get it, think of it in simple terms: lower fuel consumption.
You know, for the Geneva Motor Show:
Celebrating the motor show’s host nation is the Swiss Up concept, designed to show how versatile the city car really is. And that versatility is reflected in a special pouch behind each front seat that stores the famous knife. Oh, and some red paint with white door mirror housings.
The Winter Up concept is based on the Cross Up - first seen at Frankfurt - featuring snowboards on the roof, and a white and blue livery. It gets a higher ride height and greater underbody protection to help navigate its snowier destiny.
Next is the X Up, equipped for night time expeditions. For this, read, it’s got a roof box with built in searchlights. Your ‘night time’ expeditions will not go unnoticed, mind, thanks to its Burnt Orange paint scheme.
Finally, there’s Cargo Up concept, which features a 1,400-litre storage capacity. It is the Transit of the Up range. It too benefits from a raised ride height and underbody protection - to help tackle pot holed streets - while the rear seats have been binned to allow that cavernous load space.
Think you can imagine your own special edition Up? TopGear.com wants you to photoshop your own and send them the results. From there, they’ll post their favs. Details here.
As it’s this time of year, the Hyundai i-oniq is set for a Geneva motor show debut next week, and is a balls-out statement of intent from the company showcasing its future design.
It measures 4.4m long - a smidge over a Ford Focus - and offers space for four. We haven’t been shown any interior shots, but are promised “future premium consumer electronics technology” and “high-tech equipment”. It’ll probably offer more tech than say, Short Circuit, but won’t be far off Minority Report.
Like the 599 GTB Fiorano which it replaces, the F12’s undoubted USP is that thumping great V12. A reworked version of the unit that first appeared in the FF, it shares the same 6262cc capacity and 65 degree configuration, but its power output is increased by approximately 80bhp to just over 730bhp (740CV), and it produces 509 torques. In other words, the F12 is the most powerful road-going Ferrari ever. Factor in a dry weight of 1525kg and you can imagine what sort of performance this thing delivers: 0-62mph in 3.1 seconds, 0-124mph in 8.5, and a top speed of 211mph. So, quite fast, then. Fast enough, in fact, to blitz Ferrari’s Fiorano test track in 1min 23 seconds, a time that outpoints even the Enzo supercar to make this the quickest Ferrari road car to lap the famous circuit.
There’s an all-new aluminium spaceframe chassis, which mixes and matches 12 different kinds of alloys to reduce weight and improve structural rigidity by 20 per cent. And despite that front-mounted V12, the F12 has optimum weight distribution, 46/54 front to rear. The centre of gravity has been reduced, and the engine, interior and seats all sit 25mm lower in the chassis. A new rear suspension layout and redesigned rear transaxle also help reduce the F12’s rear volume. It’s a smaller, more muscular car than the 599, a car that could feel a little too big to be comfortably punted down a typical British back-road when you weren’t swanning about in Monaco.
For all of the pretty specs, visit TopGear.com
When Nissan introduced their Murano Crosscabriolet (convertible) last year, reaction was, dare we say, mixed. But perhaps Nissan was onto something — and perhaps that thing was predicting Range Rover’s next move:
The drop-top Rangie follows last September’s equally stunning Land Rover Defender DC100 Sport concept (an open-topped off-roader), stretching the appeal of Top Gear’s Car Of The Year 2011 to new, fresh air highs.
It’s a concept for now, but as with the Defender models at Frankfurt, Land Rover has built it to see what the public think when it hits the Geneva motor show next month. We’re informed that should reaction prove positive - as it has done for the standard Evoque - you could see this thing within a couple of years.
So… if you could, would you?
This is the Bertone Nuccio concept - an amuse bouche of 100 years of Bertone design. And it’ll be unveiled in a matter of days at this year’s Geneva auto show.
It’s been scribbled by the legendary styling house’s current design boss, Michael Robinson, who seems to have been inspired by.,.. the 1970’s. Namely some of the company’s greatest hits, including the Lamborghini Miura and Countach, Lancia Stratos, and Fiat X1/9.
Here’s another early reveal from next month’s Geneva Motor Show and this one is a beaut — The Bugatti Veyron Vitesse. The most powerful factory built roadster IN THE WORLD:
So, what sort of numbers does a convertible need to be the fastest in the world? 1184bhp and 1105lb ft. That’s 197bhp and 183lb ft up from the cooking variety Veyron’s 987bhp and 922lb ft. Or roughly one Golf GTI more…
Extra power’s been teased out of the 16-cylinder engine by enlarging the four - FOUR - turbochargers and intercoolers. The chassis’s also been beefed up to support the extra muscle.
No performance stats have been released yet, but if it’s anything like the Veyron Super Sport, it’ll hover around 2.5 seconds to 62mph. That’s 0.2 seconds faster than the current Grand Sport. Pricing’s equally mysterious, but we reckon it’ll be in the region of $3.3M.