Category Archives: Automobile

LAMBORGHINI HURACÁN LP610-4 — 0 To 62 MPH In 3.2 Seconds With Style

The wait has ended for Lamborghini’s replacement of the Gallardo: Introducing the Lamborghini Huracán LP610-4, a modern beauty in sheet metal .

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The Huracán replaces Lamborghini’s best-selling model ever, as what is wily referred to as the “entry-level” supercar in the lineup. Unlike most firm’s entry-level offerings, there’s nothing economical about the Huracán, though. While there is no price published yet, some of the auto press expect the Huracán to start at more than $250,000.

The name was a bit off-putting to some: Huracán is Spanish for hurricane, and is the name of the Mayan god of wind, storm, and fire.

Seems appropriate for a supercar, but some fans were upset that Lambo  seemingly abandoned its tradition of naming cars after fighting bulls.

Not to worry. According to Lamborghini, Huracán was also a bull that fought in Alicante in 1879. With its triple meaning of storm, Mayan god, and raging bull, this might be the best Lambo car name ever.

The car itself is simply stunning.

There’s not much to criticize about the styling, blending elements of the Aventador and Sesto Elemento into a gorgeous package. The phrase “looks like a jet fighter” gets used a lot … but the Huracán actually looks like a jet fighter. Since it’s not as wide as the massive Aventador, it’ll probably be easier to maneuver like one, too.

Powering the Huracán is a 5.2-liter direct-injected V10 with 610 horsepower – hence the LP610-4 designation – and about 413 pound-feet of torque. Coupled to a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission called “Lamborghini Doppia Frizione” (LDF) and all-wheel drive, it will hurl the Huracán from 0 to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds, to 124 mph in 9.9 seconds, and on to a top speed of over 200 mph.

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Design Competition II: 2014 Mercedes C-Class & Audi A4

For 2014, Mercedes is on the attack against fellow German auto manufacturers. The newest iteration of the C-Class is an excellent salvo launched in this effort. Audi soldiers on another year with the recently refreshed mid-sized sedan: A4. Each represents its parent company’s design and product philosophies very well. Which has best executed with a future-oriented design befitting a discerning customer base?

As said in my CLA-A3 comparison, I’ve been an Audi client for fifteen years, though I have owned a BMW during that time as well, but it was always Audi that captured my design preference: understated sophistication, refined sports performance, and pursuit of engineering heights.

And again, as I said in the prior design comparison, this Audi fan thinks that Mercedes may have just taken the lead.

The C-Class, a new interpretation of mid-sized European luxury, is beautifully designed, clearly high end without being ostentatious, and deftly balancing luxury and European sportiness — just as stated with the CLA. The Audi A4 is, as was said of the A3, competently designed, eminently recognizable, and not at all offensive. But, the Audi is also derivative of all its prior designs, un-stimulating, and a bit dull.

What are your thoughts from a design perspective? Who succeeded better: Mercedes with the new C-Class or Audi with the A4?

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For My Preference: Mercedes Has Again Taken The Lead From Audi… with a design that is at once highly sophisticated but also sporty and quite European. Mercedes has presented  a refined, dynamic design that stimulates. Audi Dead in The Water with an outdated and derivative A4 design, but it particularly fails in the interior design with a pedestrian and decidedly middle-class cabin more at home in a Chevrolet Impala (prior to its recent dynamic makeover). The Mercedes C-Class interior is nothing short of stunning.

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Mercedes-Benz C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, Exclusive Line, Cavansitblau

Mercedes-Benz C 300 BlueTEC HYBRID, Exclusive Line, Cavansitblau

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Design Competition: 2014 Mercedes CLA & Audi A3 Sedan

For 2014, both Mercedes and Audi have new entrants into the burgeoning lineup of high end smaller cars. Each represents its parent company’s design and product philosophies very well. Which has best executed with a future-oriented design befitting a discerning customer base?

I’ve been an Audi client for fifteen years, though I have owned a BMW during that time as well, but it was always Audi that captured my design preference: understated sophistication, refined sports performance, and pursuit of engineering heights.

And this Audi fan thinks that Mercedes may have just taken the lead.

The CLA, a brand new entrant into the auto world, is beautifully designed, clearly high end without being ostentatious, and deftly balancing luxury and European sportiness. The Audi A3 Sedan is competently designed, eminently recognizable, and not at all offensive. But, the Audi is also derivative of all its prior designs, un-stimulating, and a bit dull. In fact, the new A3 can be accurately said to be the contemporary version of my first Audi, a 1998 A4.

What are your thoughts from a design perspective? Who succeeded better: Mercedes with the CLA or Audi with the new A3 Sedan?

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For My Preference: Mercedes Has Taken The Lead… with a fresh design that redefines the company and sets the tone for a barrier-breaking and resurgent Mercedes. The Audi A3 is a very nice design, but we’ve seen it before. In fact we see it on every sedan Audi builds. It’s the same design, just upscaled or downscaled. Over the last fifteen years panel creases may have gone from softer to crisper, but it’s really just the same basic design. Nice, but that’s about it. And soon… it will be cliche.

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Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 CDI, (C117), 2012


60 Years Of Corvette

On June 30, 2013, the Chevrolet Corvette celebrated its 60th anniversary. America’s famous sports car refused retirement and issued a renewed version.

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Corvette is the world’s longest-running, continuously produced passenger car nameplate. The longest-running vehicle of any type is also a Chevrolet, the Suburban.

The Corvette debuted as a concept vehicle at the General Motors Autorama show in New York City on January 17, 1953, and the public’s excited reaction instigated GM to build a limited run of 300 production Corvettes on June 30 of that year.

Initially, the Corvette was produced exclusively as a convertible for its first 10 years of existence. Only the second-generation Corvette brought a coupe, the fixed-roof 1963 “split-window” Corvette Sting Ray. It proved to be an inspired decision, as sales doubled and it became a year-round car for drivers in colder climates.

In 60 years of continuous production, Chevrolet has made about 1.56 million Corvettes. The 500,000th Corvette was built in 1977, the 1 millionth car came in 1992, while the 1.5 millionth model rolled off the assembly line in 2009.

Today’s Corvette drivers can’t imagine life without V8 power, but in the early days, the Corvette was exclusively available with an inline six-cylinder engine until 1955. That year marked the introduction of the optional V8 engine, which subsequently was ordered by 90 percent of buyers — no wonder then that the six-cylinder unit was dropped in 1956, with the Corvette only being available with V8 power since.

The Corvette Lineage:

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1997 Chevrolet-Corvette-60-Years

2005 Chevrolet-Corvette-60-Years

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Lamborghini Aventador Roadster — Performance Art On Wheels

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LaFerrari Overcomes Odd Name Through Sheer Beauty & Blistering Speed

LaFerrari, the gorgeous Ferrari Enzo successor, just made its debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show — Ferrari calling the machine the “maximum expression” of what defines the automaker. The odd moniker, LaFerrari, means “THE Ferrari,” to appropriately set expectations.

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The car sports a high-revving V12 engine mated with a much-anticipated electric motor to provide extra horsepower and prove Ferrari a part of the new industrial-environmental movement – a hybrid, vehicle featuring a HY-KERS system (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), charging the batteries through regenerative braking as well as the main engine.

That main V12 engine displaces 6.3-liters, has a peak power output of 789hp while the electric motor adds an extra 160HP, pushing the car’s total power to 950HP and peak torque over 664 lb-ft with both powerplants working in tandem.

LaFerrari can sprint from 0-62 mph in under three seconds, 0-124 in seven seconds, and 0-186 mph in 15 seconds, before topping out at 217 mph. The LaFerrari is unlike anything previously seen from the company. The automaker says its creation is the fastest in its long history.

Design-wise, LaFerrari is a well-proportioned and handsome machine. Clearly the automaker was heavily influence by young auto-design student Samir Sadikhov who in mid-2011 placed second in the Ferrari World Design Contest with his “Xezri” concept — see previous Faustian urGe article.

Samir Sadikhov’s Xezri Supercar Concept For Ferrari World Design Contest

Samir Sadikhov’s Xezri Supercar Concept For Ferrari World Design Contest

Sadly, as with the Enzo, these LaFerrari cars will only be made in the hundreds (499 in this case), so chances are most people will never see one on the street. And, telling of the new inequality worldwide, even at $1.69 million per copy (base price…surely some will want some customization), the LaFerrari has twice as many orders as it will fulfill — sold out twice over at its introduction.

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One Commentator:

“That is why Ferrari is the icon of the automotive world. To own and drive the Ferrari is the pinnacle of a man’s dream to caress visual beauty. The sound of a Ferrari excites to the very core of testosterone driven urges and stands you on your toes, reaching for more. The only thing missing? The Autobahn.”

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LaFerrari – official launch video


Cadillac ELR — Another Shot From The New General’s U.S. Arsenal

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Cadillac steps up its game yet one more time with yet one more totally new model in the lineup: ELR. This time the U.S.’ top tier car manufacturer brings its dynamic design language to the Volt technology package.

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Actually, this is a car that could sell on design alone — its green bonafides make ELR compelling. The fantastic electric Tesla Model S presents a great image great, too, but it looks like several other cars in general, whereas the ELR design is truly unique and distinctive—it stands out everywhere. The two-door CTS is a really good design direction… but this ELR is even better. Many green-minded Europeans will find this to be the first Cadillac they would ever be happy to own and drive everyday. We Americans should step up, as well. Our home team has done well.

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While the ELR does indeed utilize both the FWD platform (I’d prefer rear or all-track) and the Extended Range Electric Vehicle (EREV) hybrid powertrain that were introduced in the Volt, those elements have been tuned to suit the coupe’s premium character. And, speaking of premium character… yes, that’s actual stitched leather and Alcantara covering the dash, doors, and full length center console, as well as the seats. The wood grain? Yes, real wood. Premium? Seems so.

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“The ELR is an unprecedented combination of luxury, advanced engineering and progressive design in a coupe that is both sporty and environmentally friendly”, said Cadillac global vice president Bon Ferguson. “This is a pivotal moment in Cadillac’s history.”

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Measuring 4,724 mm (186.0 in) in length, 1,847 mm (72.7 in) in width and 1,420 mm (55.9 in) in height, the ELR is longer, wider and shorter than the Volt and, at 2,965 mm (106.1 in), it has a slightly longer wheelbase.

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Its hybrid powertrain comprises of a 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, a naturally-aspirated 84HP 1.4-liter gasoline engine that functions as a generator and two electric motors with a combined output of 181HP — creating instantly available torque that is 12 percent greater than the 3.6-liter V6 in the SRX crossover.

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ELR has an all-electric, zero-emissions range of 35 miles (56 km) plus, when the gasoline generator  kicks in, the range is extended to 300 miles (480 km), so there are no concerns about finding a charging station.

Although the suspension layout is, by necessity, the same as the Volt’s, the much wider front and rear tracks, the use of aluminum in the HiPer strut front suspension with hydraulic ride bushings, the CDC electronically controlled dampers, and the 20-inch alloy wheels promise a more sporting drive.

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The Cadillac ELR will enter production in late 2013 and go on sale in the beginning of 2014. The company hasn’t announced official pricing yet, but estimates bring it close to US$60,000 after state and federal tax credits.

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