Spyker B6 Venator Concept: First Look

  • Looks like: Newest Spyker loses some of the brand's trademark outlandishness
  • Defining characteristics: Aluminum and carbon-fiber construction, expansive glass roof, mid-mounted V-6 engine
  • Ridiculous features: Spyker went a bit overboard on the aircraft-inspired design cues
  • Chance of being mass-produced: Expected in the U.S. in fall 2014

For the last few years, Spyker's cars have been overshadowed by the automaker's struggle to revive the now-bankrupt Saab brand, but exotic cars are again at the forefront with the debut of the B6 Venator concept. Though technically a concept car, the mid-engine sports car is destined for production and is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. in fall 2014 with an expected price in the range of $125,000 to $150,000.

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Spyker sports cars have had a certain outlandishness, with the various C8 models sporting turbine-style vents aplenty and an extravagant interior design. The new B6 Venator concept's appearance is relatively conventional in comparison. There's a large oval mesh grille and the two-door's profile and roofline recall Lotus' Evora sports car. There are enough similarities with the Evora that we suspect the cars share a platform, but a Spyker spokeswoman wouldn't say.

By Mike Hanley | March 5, 2013 | Comments (3)

Lamborghini Veneno: First Look


  • Competes with: Ferrari LaFerrari (giggle), Bugatti Veyron, a Malibu beach house
  • Looks like: A 21st century take on the Lamborghini Countach, with some jet fighter thrown in
  • Drivetrain: 6.5-liter V-12 making 750 hp; seven-speed single-clutch manual transmission; all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Never - only three are being made and all are already sold
  • MSRP: $3.9 million

Lamborghini is throwing a 50th birthday party and to celebrate it has created this, the extremely limited-edition Lamborghini Veneno. Based loosely on the Aventador platform, the Veneno is tuned up to 750 horsepower and features unique and extensively carbon-fiber-based bodywork.

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Most notable is a vertical ridge running from the roof to the rear wing, which meshes into the familiar Lamborghini Y-shaped taillamps. The side view reveals some classic Lamborghini styling cues, such as the asymmetrical wheel openings that harken back to the Marcello Gandini-designed original Countach from 1974 and the traditional Lamborghini-style scissor doors. Plenty of modern touches are included as well, like the LED running lights and carbon-fiber turbine rings on the wheels that scoop in additional air for brake cooling.

By Aaron Bragman | March 5, 2013 | Comments (0)

2013 Ferrari LaFerrari at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show


  • Competes with: Bugatti Veyron
  • Looks like: Ferrari's take on the Pagani Zonda
  • Drivetrain: 949-hp (combined) hybrid system with 6.3-liter V-12 and electric motor; seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Early 2014

Witness a hybrid supercar whose name literally translates "The Ferrari." To call it "the LaFerrari" — or, heaven forbid, "The Ferrari LaFerrari" — would be redundant. Ferrari says it's a 2013 model, and it doesn't arrive to the U.S. until early 2014. Its name apparently holds both singular and plural designations; multiple LaFerraris are, well, multiple LaFerrari. This is self-indulgence at its peak — an automotive Ochocinco or Metta World Peace, if you will.

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Strewn with mammoth air intakes and overlapping bodywork, the LaFerrari (redundancy accepted) is the same length as the Enzo it roughly succeeds. The LaFerrari is 3.3 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the brand's current F12berlinetta flagship but more than 6 inches shorter in terms of height. The car uses Ferrari's new HY-KERS hybrid system we learned about at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, which couples a 120-kilowatt electric motor with a 789-horsepower, 6.3-liter V-12. Total output is 949 hp with at least 663 pounds-feet of torque to boot. And boot you it will: Ferrari says the LaFerrari hits 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. That would make it the quickest production Ferrari — excluding racecars — the brand offers. The next-quickest F12berlinetta takes about 3 seconds flat.

By Kelsey Mays | March 5, 2013 | Comments (1)

Rolls-Royce Wraith: First Look

  • Competes with: Bentley Continental GT, Mercedes-Benz CL600
  • Looks like: An understated coupe design for an ostentatious vehicle
  • Drivetrain: 624-hp, twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12, "Satellite-Aided" eight-speed ZF transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2013, in Europe
  • MSRP: 245,000 euros ($319,633 equivalent, US pricing not announced)

The Geneva Motor Show has been receiving a lot of press with the idea that the European auto industry is in a slump, that nobody is buying new cars, and that frugality and smallness are prevailing themes. Yet we've seen a new hyper-Ferrari, a new hyper-Lamborghini and this new Rolls-Royce coupe introduced at the show.

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This is the new Rolls-Royce Wraith, essentially a two-door version of the Ghost sedan, an ultra-luxury fastback coupe that will join the lineup in Europe late this year.

By Aaron Bragman | March 5, 2013 | Comments (5)

2014 Porsche 911 GT3: First Look

  • Competes with: Audi R8, Nissan GT-R, Aston Martin V8 Vantage
  • Looks like: A 911 for track-day enthusiasts
  • Drivetrain: 475-hp, 3.8-liter horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission; rear-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2013
  • MSRP: $131,350 including $950 destination charge

The track-oriented Porsche 911 GT3 returns for the 2014 model year. Last offered for 2011 on the prior-generation 911 sports car, the new GT3 is more powerful, brings new technology to Porsche's lineup, starts at a higher price and has the kind of dramatic rear wing that's come to symbolize the model. It hits U.S. dealerships late this year.

Like other 911s, the GT3 uses a horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine, though Porsche says the GT3's engine doesn't share many parts. It's a high-revving engine, with peak output of 475 horsepower arriving at 8,250 rpm. Peak torque of 324 pounds-feet is achieved at 6,250 rpm, and the engine's redline is 9,000 rpm.

Rather than a conventional manual transmission like that fitted in the previous GT3, the 2014 model gets a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with more closely spaced gears, quicker shifting operation and shorter-travel shift paddles compared to other 911s, according to Porsche.

By Mike Hanley | March 4, 2013 | Comments (2)

Volkswagen Golf Variant: First Look

  • Competes with: Subaru Impreza, Ford Focus hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda3
  • Looks like: A new, practical small wagon without much style
  • Drivetrain: Likely turbocharged 1.8-liter and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engines; turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel engine
  • Hits dealerships: August in Europe, TBD for U.S.

This is an actual new station wagon from a major automaker. As wagons start to disappear from the automotive landscape, Volkswagen announced today it will release one based on the all-new Golf compact hatchback that goes on sale later this year.

We don't know when this wagon version will hit dealerships or even what it will be called, but we do know that it is similar to the current VW Jetta SportWagen in size.

This Golf retains the clean, simple ... OK, boring look of recent VWs like the Jetta and Passat, but VW buyers have responded to those vehicles in big ways.

At 179.6 inches long, the Golf Variant — as it is currently called — is just a hair longer than the 2013 Jetta Sportswagen at 179.4 inches.

U.S. on-sale dates and specific engines haven't been released at this time, but we have learned that the wagon will likely be powered by the same engines as the 2014 Golf, which goes on sale later this year.

By David Thomas | March 4, 2013 | Comments (7)

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible: First Photos


Update: We've added three more photos to the gallery below.

The redesigned Chevy Corvette was one of the big stars of the Detroit Auto Show in January. Now the automaker is staking its claim to wooing folks in Switzerland and this month’s Geneva Motor Show with the convertible take on the classic American sports car.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Singray Coupe Photo Gallery

General Motors just released the first photos of the car and we have them below. You can expand any of the shots by clicking on them. Which do you prefer? The coupe or the convertible?

By David Thomas | March 3, 2013 | Comments (1)

2013 Geneva International Motor Show: FT-86 Open Concept

  • Looks like: Yet another FT-86 concept
  • Defining characteristics: It's a convertible version of the Scion FR-S
  • Ridiculous features: Aside from the Milan-inspired interior, none; it looks production-ready
  • Chances of being mass-produced: A Scion FR-S convertible seems likely

Toyota will unveil its third FT-86 concept in four years to the world this month at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show: the FT-86 Open concept. The compact sports car is the convertible version of the automaker's Scion FR-S, as it's known in the U.S., or GT86 overseas.

Built on the same platform as the Scion FR-S, the FT-86 Open concept shares the rear-wheel-drive Scion's 2.0-liter boxer four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission and good for 200 horsepower. Toyota says it will gauge customer reaction to the concept at the Geneva show for a possible launch of a production-version convertible.

"The FT-86 Open concept is designed to combine all the lively, accessible performance and highly engaging, readily exploitable dynamic abilities of the GT86 with the even greater levels of driving pleasure derived from open-topped motoring," the automaker said in a statement.

By Matt Schmitz | March 1, 2013 | Comments (2)

2013 Geneva International Motor Show: 2014 Volkswagen GTI Preview

Volkswagen has unveiled the latest incarnation of its iconic GTI hot hatch ahead of the March 2013 Geneva International Motor Show. In keeping with VW's tradition of updating the Golf on which the GTI is based, the new car is an evolution of the old one, with subtle changes and improvements to powertrains, fuel economy and driving dynamics. The models unveiled in Geneva are the European-spec vehicles; the U.S.-spec cars have not yet been announced, but this is a good peek into what we could expect here.

By Aaron Bragman | February 28, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Volvo XC70: What's Changed


  • Most significant changes: New multimedia system and gauge cluster; minor exterior styling tweaks
  • Price change: TBA
  • On sale: This summer
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? If you think the wagon needs a style and tech features boost, go for the 2014.

Volvo's wagon hasn't been significantly revised since model-year 2008, but for 2014, the XC70 sees a host of interior and exterior updates. The XC70 will make its debut next month at the 2013 Geneva International Motor Show with a slightly more rugged looking exterior and a new multimedia system.

On the outside, the grille is wider and houses an enlarged Volvo badge. There are also updated headlights, redesigned taillights, more matte silver trim bits outside, and the black body cladding below the beltline has been extended to surround the fog lights.

By Jennifer Geiger | February 20, 2013 | Comments (2)

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