Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster photo gallery

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

The ragtop version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG isn’t due for its public debut until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but that hasn’t stopped the three-pointed star from releasing a big image gallery of their new Roadster.

Driven by the same 420kW/650Nm 6.3 litre V8 and 7-speed DCT as the “Gullwing” tintop, the Roadster gives the filthy rich, or those who truly deserve it—depending on your bank balance—access to the open sky in just 11 seconds. The soft top can be opened at speeds up to 50km/h as well.

The SLS AMG Roadster introduces some new in-cabin tech, too. It’s called “AMG Performance Media” and it brings some Nissan GTR-like telemetry to the main display screen—G forces, engine data, lap times; that sort of stuff.

After the break you can see 60-plus images from Benz, as well as a short promo clip and lengthy presser.

UPDATE: A quick note from Mercedes-Benz Australia: “The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster will launch in Australia and New Zealand during quarter one, 2012. The selling price will be confirmed closer to its local launch.”

F1 in pictures Formula 1 Lotus McLaren Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing Renault

2011 Spanish Grand Prix in pictures

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

Despite being teased by our own Mark Webber when he scored pole position, the Spanish GP ended up being yet another Sebastian Vettel victory. That’s four from five races for the 2010 champ and history suggests that impressive start is already enough to put Vettel at almost unbackable odds to make it a second world crown.

As usual there’s some great pics from the latest race and there’s a couple of shots where you can see how dramatic the marbles are with the new Pirelli tyres.

We’re already in another Grand Prix week with the classic Monaco GP just a few days away. Can Mark match his unstoppable performance from 2010, or is he fast becoming a broken man with shattered confidence?


BMW 328 Hommage

BMW 328 Hommage

This striking creation is called the BMW 328 Hommage, a concept vehicle made to honour the 75th anniversary of the original BMW 328. It was revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este last weekend. We think it looks fantastic.

Pleasingly, it has been built following the lightweight principles of its forebear and power comes via a 3.0 litre inline six cylinder. Classic BMW in all senses.

There’s an initial press release after the break along with a few pics. We’ll be back later to add more images for you to admire.

UPDATE 4 June: 34 new pics added below.

Aston Martin

Stunning Aston Martin V12 Zagato revealed ahead of race debut

Aston Martin V12 Zagato


Aston Martin promised a new collaboration with Zagato was coming and now that they’ve delivered we must simply say, “thank you.”

Aston has taken the already stunning V12 Vantage handed it over to Zagato and said, do your thing chaps. And the Italian masters have delivered an absoulte gem, this V12 Zagato is car porn it is purest form.

It has great proportions. It looks aggressive. It looks purposeful. It looks like it was made to race. And that’s exactly what it has been made for. In a little over a week from now the V12 Zagato will make its competition debut in a four-hour VLN race at the Nürburgring. Then, in late June, two of these beauties will be ripping it up on the North Loop during the 24 hour race.

The best part, well for those lucky enough to afford one, the V12 Zagato will be built in limited numbers for the road, as well. No specific details have been given just yet, but Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO has confirmed if you have the cash, they will have the car.

“The task for us has been to create a concept that is a natural successor to those iconic cars that have gone before. Matching the technology of the age with the traditional skills vital to deliver such a bespoke and exclusive sports car will lead to a strictly limited run of road going V12 Zagatos,” explained Dr Bez.

We can’t wait. More pics and material from Aston after the break.


Ferrari Superamerica 45 ready for exclusive show

Ferrari Superamerica 45

This is the Ferrari Superamerica 45. It’s a one-off creation built for New York collector Peter Kalikow. The Superamerica 45 will make its public debut tomorrow at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza.

At this stage the official Ferrari press material makes no mention of the engine underneath that Blu Antille bonnet. However, it is being listed as a 6.0 litre 12 cylinder on the event website. So it’s just a 599 with custom coachwork, then?

If you’ve been buying Fezzas for 45 years and have a stack of cash you can’t give away then you too can play the Fantasty Ferrari game. If you did, do you reckon you could come up with something better than this?

Aston Martin

Aston Martin and Zagato reunite

Aston Martin Zagato teaser

Back in 1961 Aston Martin combined forces with Italian coachbuilder Zagato to create the DB4GT Zagato. Now, to mark 50 years of that collaboration, history will repeat with the two companies working in partnership on a new model to be revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy on 21 May. Proving this new car will be true to its racing heritage it will race at the Nürburgring in a four hour VLN race on 28 May.

Assuming both the reveal and race bring encouraging feedback from the well-to-do-set there is a chance the new Aston-Zagato will be offered as a limited series production model.

Aston Martin Design Director, Marek Reichman explains their new ownership structure has allowed the freedom to re-unite with Zagato, “Our designers are able to collaborate with a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals to seek new and exciting ideas and inspiration due to Aston Martin’s independency.

“Working with Zagato again in 2011 is inspirational for the team – certainly DB4GT Zagato is one of my favourite ever designs as it is with many of the designers in our studio. We can create a truly modern Aston Martin interpretation which stays true to the historical routes of the relationship with Zagato.”

Aston’s press release is available after the break along with a small gallery of images showcasing the DB4GT and the DB4GT Zagato.


Volkswagen Golf GTI “Edition 35”

Volkswagen Golf GTI Edition 35

Volkswagen has released new images of this Golf GTI “Edition 35”. As its name suggests, it’s been created to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the original Mk1 GTI.

Official press text is thin on the ground at the moment, but we can tell you the Edition 35 has an 18kW increase on the regular GTI. That means peak power is up from 155kW to 173kW.

Outside, there’s model specific 18″ “Watkins Glen” alloy wheels, as well as model specific “35” badging. The front spoiler has also been given a slight tweak. Inside, the “35” theme continues with badging on the door sills and honeycomb trimmed seats. Also included is a dimpled gearknob, a feature honouring the Mk1 once more and previously seen on other special edition GTIs.

The Golf GTI Edition 35 will make its public debut at the annual Wörthersee show in early June. We expect more technical details will be revealed then. We don’t expect this model will find its way down under, but we will ask the question to Volkswagen Australia.

UPDATE 11 May: A brief press release from Volkswagen AG has been added below.


Porsche Cayman S Black Edition

Porsche Cayman S Black Edition

The Porsche Cayman S is the latest to get the “Black Edition” treatment, and follows similar versions of the 911 and Boxster S.

Like the Boxster, the Cayman S Black Edition scores a modest 7kW power increase, raising peak power to 243kW. The 19″ wheels are sourced from the Boxster Spyder and offer increased diameter and width over standard Cayman wheels.

The Cayman S Black Edition is limited to 500 cars worldwide and a small number will be making their way to Australia. Local deliveries are scheduled to commence in September and the asking price remains at the regular Cayman S figure of $147,500 (plus on roads etc).

Press releases from Porsche AG and Porsche Australia follow.

Green Machines Jaguar

Williams and Jaguar join forces to build C-X75

Jaguar C-X75

Jaguar has announced a partnership with the Williams F1 team that will see the C-X75 concept car from last year’s Paris Motor Show come to life. The hybrid powered concept used a pair of gas turbine engines to recharge the batteries for the electric motors found at each wheel. However, the transformation from concept to reality will see the C-X75 be powered by a more conventional arrangement including two electric motors and an internal combustion engine.

The only specifics given, at this stage, relate to performance targets and pricing. Jaguar say the road version of the C-X75 will be able to crack 100km/h in under three seconds, 160km/h in 12 seconds and have a top speed over 320km/h. In all electric mode it will have a modest 50km range, while overall it should emit 99g/km of CO2 emissions.

Just 250 examples of the all-wheel drive hybrid supercar will be built, with an expected price range of £700,000–900,000 (AU$1.07–1.37 million).

After the break you’ll see more pics, a press release from Jaguar along with a video review of the concept car by Jay Leno. Also included is a download of the press docs from Paris 2010.

Volkswagen WRC

Volkswagen to enter WRC from 2013

Volkswagen Polo R WRC

Overnight Volkswagen confirmed two rumours, one directly, the other indirectly. First, Volkswagen confirmed its plans to enter a factory-backed team in the World Rally Championship from 2013. By nominating a new Polo R WRC as the car of choice we think VW has also indirectly confirmed plans to manufacture the on-again, off-again Polo R road car.

Speaking about the company’s decision to move into WRC Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Management Board of the Volkswagen Brand, Development Division said, “The new Technical Regulations of the World Rally Championship are an ideal fit for Volkswagen’s philosophy with respect to the development of production vehicles.

“Downsizing, high efficiency and reliability are top priorities for our customers. The timing of the WRC debut is optimal for Volkswagen. The big task of engineering a vehicle that is competitive and capable of winning at a large number of challenges holds great appeal for us.”

Volkswagen reckon their strong success in Dakar not only gives them a solid grounding for a WRC effort, but also the desire to reach new heights. Kris Nissen, Volkswagen Motorsport Director explains, “We can draw on an experienced and proven squad which has done an outstanding job in top-calibre sport in the past few years. Even though the WRC is new territory for us and involves learning in many areas the team already meets some important prerequisites now as it brings an unwavering professional attitude and resolve to deliver absolute perfection to this commitment.”

One thing is certain, the Polo R WRC concept car you see in these pictures looks fantastic! A full gallery and press release can be viewed below.

Alfa Romeo

Zagato TZ3 Corsa and Stradale

Zagato TZ3 Corsa and Stradale

Italian design house Zagato is celebrating the centenary of Alfa Romeo by releasing a pair of retro-inspired TZ3 models. The Corsa model (pictured top) is a one-off, paying homage to Alfa’s racing history. The Stradale will see a small run of nine models and uses a Dodge Viper ACR chassis, including its 450kW 8.4 litre V10. The Corsa is based on Alfa’s own 8C Competizione—a car currently copping a pasting from the Old Stig—and is fitted with a 4.2 litre V8.

The connection between Zagato and Alfa itself is 90 years strong and these new TZ3s are great interpretations of former classics. There’s more pics after the break, as well as the official press release from Zagato.


OFFICIAL: Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

First filed 28 April.

Porsche has today released official info on the 911 GT3 RS 4.0—it’s been the worst kept secret around—and it will be limited to only 600 cars worldwide. With a 4.0 litre flat six engine sporting a crankshaft from the RSR racecar the GT3 RS 4.0 has 368kW (500PS).

Available only in white or black, performance from the sub 1400kg supercar is brisk, as you’d expect. Indeed, Porsche reckon the RS 4.0 can lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 7 minutes 27 seconds.

Plastic windows, carbon fibre reinforced body panels and a lack of interior equipment help keep the weight down. A few suspension components from the GT2 RS have been re-used, as well, with an aim to sharpen this GT3 RS even further than the now old 3.8 litre RS.

Porsche claim this is the ultimate RS model, but the lack of carbon ceramic brakes as standard equipment means there is still room for improvement insofar as the ultimate track components go. With an asking price of €50K more than the RS 3.8 you’d reckon Porsche could have coughed up for the ultimate brakes.

We’d still say yes, of course, but perhaps this RS 4.0 can be described as being a bit of a parts bin run-out model, rather than a pure disciple of RS ideals.

Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0—basic specs

  • Engine: 4.0 litre flat six
  • Power: 368kW (500hp) @ 8250rpm
  • Torque: 450Nm @ 5750rpm
  • Weight: 1360kg (inc tank of fuel)
  • 0-100km/h: 3.9s
  • 0-200km/h: under 12s

The official press release from Porsche AG and all the pics released to date are available below.

UPDATE 1 May: Porsche Cars Australia tell us that less than 10 911 GT3 RS 4.0 models will be finding their way down under. Those lucky enough to be on the exclusive list will be asked to part with $409,100 plus on road costs.