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The Lamborghini Countach was the dream car for many teens and pre-teens in the 1980s, but at least one Japanese man thought there was room for improvement. As the story goes, Ryoji Yamazaki had a dream of a supercar as a 13-year-old, and at the age of 41, he used his design studio, Art & Tech, to create the Sogna in 1991.
Yamazaki unveiled the Sogna at the 1991 Geneva Motor Show as a rebodied Countach with intentions of selling it in limited production, but thankfully - or sadly, depending how you look at it - the $1.6 million (1991 price) coachbuilt supercar never made it into production. The Geneva show car was a rolling chassis, and the only other example that was produced was a fully operational version, shown above, which was unveiled at the 1994 Essen Motor Show. This car from Essen is now listed for sale on James Edition for 2.38 million euros, or around $3.25 million USD.
With its oddball styling and kiwi green paint, the Sogna was likely doomed from the start, but it still boasts the Countach's full powertrain including the 448-horsepower, 5.2-liter V12 and a claimed top speed of 186 miles per hour. Check out more images of the 1994 Sogna at James Edition and Enmann, and we also found a couple videos, which are posted below, of the car's early development.
Wild one-off Lamborghini Sogna for sale at $3M [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Dec 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We may still be several months off from the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, but it's apparently not too early for Hyundai to give us a glimpse at what to expect when the Palexpo's doors open in March.
Called Intrado, Hyundai's new concept car takes the form of a high-riding crossover with styling that takes its cues from the Korean automaker's Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language. Designed and engineered in Germany, the concept bears the codename HED-9, a giveaway that it's the ninth concept from Hyundai Europe Design. Inspiration is said to have been drawn from aircraft, with a lightweight form and a name borrowed from the underside of an airplane's wing.
Hyundai isn't saying much more, revealing only the teaser rendering above. But it has indicated that the Intrado concept packs a new hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain that's both smaller and lighter than the one powering the existing ix35 Fuel Cell, which (last we heard) Hyundai was hoping to bring Stateside as part of its Tuscon lineup by 2014 with a $499/month lease.
Hyundai previews Intrado fuel-cell crossover concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 Dec 2013 10:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Jaguar has been on a campaign to replace any and all retro cues with modern ones. Just look at the current XJ and the one it replaced, or the XF and the S-Type that came before it and you'll know what we mean. The one remnant is the XK and its oval grille, in and of itself a throwback to Jags of old (which started to look more like a certain Star Wars alien in above-pictured XKR-S form). But don't expect it to hang around.
Newer Jaguars have been ditching the oval aperture for a more squared-off one, and the next XK will have to fall in line. But don't expect that to be the only change in store for the next-generation Jaguar coupe and convertible.
With the new F-Type now holding the more enthusiast-oriented ground, the next XK is expected to grow bigger, softer and more luxurious. That will likely mean a more commodious back seat as well, though that shouldn't be hard to do considering the lack of space in the back of the current model...Permalink | Email this | Comments
At 7:48 a.m., Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese fighters began their aerial attack on US ships in Pearl Harbor. On the 72nd anniversary of that moment, Confederate Motorcycles revealed its newest bike, the C2 P-51 Fighter.
The C2 is Confederate's first bike created under the direction of its new head of design, former Ducati designer, Pierre Terblanche. In a video (watch below) on the company's website, Terblanche says the C2 will keep with Confederate's history of using lots of aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and carbon fiber.
A new billet aluminum crankcase for the V-Twin engine shaves 40 pounds off the company's previous design and a new downdraft injection system "will allow us to have more power and also improve the ergonomics of the motorcycle tremendously," Terblanche says.
Details of the newest Confederate are scarce, but the official site says only 31 will be built and will be available beginning in the summer of 2014. With the Birmingham, Ala.-based company's previous creations selling in the $100k range, don't expect this one to be any more affordable.
Scroll down to check out the video.
Confederate Motorcycles unveils 2015 C2 P-51 Fighter [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 07 Dec 2013 13:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Most of the cars created exclusively for the Gran Turismo video game franchise never make the jump from cyberspace to the real world. The X1 and new X2014 designed by Red Bull's Adrian Newey could scarcely be piloted in real life, and while PSA talked about making a limited run of the otherworldly GTbyCitroën, that never came to be. But the Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo could get such a chance - just not from Mercedes-Benz itself.
J&S World Wide Holdings, an independent Florida outfit led by one Jeff Halverson, was so taken with the static show car displayed at the LA Auto Show that it's committed to building five customer examples. The team plans to use the SLS AMG GT as its base, rebodying it in carbon fiber to resemble the machine in the game.
The 6.3-liter V8 will apparently remain unchanged, with its 583 horsepower driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, but with 200 pounds shed off the curb weight thanks to the carbon bodywork, could prove to be even faster. The bodywork will get a custom chrome finish, with a retractable rear spoiler, model-specific exhaust and ADV.1 forged alloys. The interior will be customizable to the buyer's tastes, too.
One is earmarked for the US, two for the Middle East and two for Europe. But given the $1.5 million asking price, we have a feeling its creators will be glad to sell them wherever the orders come from.
Mercedes AMG Vision Gran Turismo to see life as rebodied SLS? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Dec 2013 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The 2014 Soul has come on strong since its introduction, going so far as to become the Korean automaker's top-selling model last month, but Kia isn't wasting any time in creating a little extra excitement for its boxy hatchback. Although the name is a little wonky, the Kia Soul Red Zone marks the first special-edition model for the second-gen Soul, and its styling is meant to mimic the 2012 Track'ster Concept, the showcar that inspired the design of the 2014 Soul.
While there's no pigskin or AstroTurf (or any other football-related references) to be found on this car, the Red Zone package consists of a distinctive white paint scheme with bright red accents. The red theme continues on the inside with contrast stitching and piping acting as highlights to the otherwise all-black interior. The 2014 Soul Red Zone goes on sale early next year, and while official pricing has not been announced, production will be limited to just 2,000 units.
Kia continues run of Soul special editions with Red Zone originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Dec 2013 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Judging by the direction Audi is taking with recent concept vehicles, the forthcoming Audi Q1 crossover - confirmed for production in 2016 - should be an exciting little crossover. Last year, the automaker revealed the Crosslane Coupe Concept, and now it has announced it will reveal a new CUV concept at the Detroit Auto Show next month.
Teased in a trio of sketches, Audi says this unnamed concept is designed with a shooting brake style, which to us it makes it look like a combination of an Audi Allroad and a three-door A3. Little information is available on this concept, but it is about seven inches shorter than the Q3 and Audi notes that it will possess "design elements that are typical of e-tron models," which suggests some sort of powertrain electrification. There's still about a month before the Detroit show kicks off, but until then you can check out the sketches and press release (posted below) that Audi has provided.
Audi renders crossover concept for Detroit, is it the Q1? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 Dec 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
J Mays, head of design at Ford, may be retiring from the company after 16 years, but not before showing the world his swan song: the 2015 Mustang. Ford officially revealed its new coupe and convertible to the public at events around the world on Thursday, including a live unveiling on ABC's Good Morning America, and Mays was in attendance at the automaker's home event in Dearborn, MI, which is where we caught up with him for a few words about his new baby.
"It's a joy" to design the Mustang, Mays told Autoblog, adding that this sixth-generation coupe is his "favorite design so far." Of course, the 2015 model takes cues from all of the generations that came before it, but Mays said it was important to edit down the specific elements from previous models, leaving just enough off to let the customer "participate and fill in the blanks."
"If it doesn't sell itself, you probably aren't a Mustang fan.""We could have gone down and checked the list," Mays stated. "We did that a little bit in 2005." There aren't any fake scoops on this car, no added plastic bits, and the faux-gas cap look to the GT emblem on the rear has been axed. "That's walking away from something [that] doesn't need to be there," we were told. Overall, the final 2015 Mustang design needed to be a cohesive package that tells a story of confidence, power and aggression. And while Mays said there were plenty of designs that he and the team really liked ("at some point, those will surface"), the company strived to find essential elements that would make this car a proper Mustang, even though so much of the design work "ends up on the cutting room floor."
As we told you in our Deep Dive, the Mustang will be offered with three engines, including a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline four-cylinder, expected to produce more than 305 horsepower. But unlike other models in the Ford range, Mays confirmed that the Mustang will not have specific EcoBoost badging. There's also the Convertible variant, which was absent from the Dearborn reveal, and Mays notes that the droptop model was designed right alongside the hardtop, since it was important to create a profile that would work on both bodystyles.
For the first time, Ford will officially offer the Mustang in markets outside of North America, and Mays isn't worried about it failing to attract customers. Why? "It's drop-dead gorgeous" and there's "50 years of pent-up demand." The design boss said it was more important to get the design finalized first, and then offer it to the world. Sure, things like European pedestrian crash standards were baked into the car's design from the get-go, but being able to succeed on a global scale wasn't a major factor in creating the shape of the sixth-generation car. Besides, as Mays says, "If it doesn't sell itself, you probably aren't a Mustang fan."Permalink | Email this | Comments
It'd be unwise to bet against the sixth generation of this legendary nameplate.The 2015 Ford Mustang is assuredly the most anticipated new vehicle of the year. The redesigned Pony Car has been the subject of frantic gossiping and covert spy photos covering everything from the way it looks to the tech it will include, its performance, mechanicals and a bevy of other aspects of Ford's performance icon.
And now, we've had our first look at it. In a closed backgrounder at Ford's headquarters, we crawled over every inch of the new Mustang in an all-too-short look at the muscle car that will carry the company's performance flag through the rest of the decade. We've now witnessed what is arguably the most comprehensive refit of the Mustang in its 50-year history. We're still months away from our first drive, but after seeing it in the flesh and learning about its systems and mechanicals, it'd be unwise to bet against the sixth generation of this legendary nameplate.Permalink | Email this | Comments
General Motors Vice President of Global Design, Ed Welburn, had some dismissive words for a certain cross-town luxury brand during an interview with Car and Driver. When asked about his thoughts on Lincoln, Welburn deflected, before saying, "I don't consider Lincoln to be a competitor for Cadillac."
"They're not a global luxury brand. I don't consider them a competitor. Are they a competitor for Buick? Quite possibly. But not for Cadillac," GM's head designer explained. Welburn, who's been at the helm of GM Design North America since 2003 and is the first to hold the position of VP of Global Design, has been instrumental in the styling renaissance at GM, so predictably, Car and Driver's interview with him focused on the design aspect of cars.
During the interview, Welburn explicitly denied plans for a reborn Cadillac XLR, even as a new Chevrolet Corvette is hitting the market and strides are being made with Cadillac's V-Series performance arm saying, "We have a lot of cars that we're working on for the Cadillac brand. The XLR is not one of them right now."
Predictably, there was also talk of the gorgeous Elmiraj Concept. "I think Cadillac needs to be a full-line luxury brand. There are categories that we don't participate in, presently, that we will in the future," Welburn said. "We have more vehicles under development today than at any other time in the history of the brand. But I'm not going to tell you which ones we're going to do. There's a lot that we're working on. And we're certainly looking at that [points to the Elmiraj] for production."
You can read the entire interview over at Car and Driver. Meanwhile, we've put together a little poll for you below.
GM design boss Welburn says Lincoln isn't a Cadillac rival [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Dec 2013 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We would have to imagine that Ford knew it couldn't keep its 2015 Mustang under wraps for too long, and with only days to go before the pony car's official unveiling, the dam seems to be cracking. SVTPerformance.com member Screamin 40th just posted some images taken of the sixth-gen Mustang prominently featured in and on the cover of the December 9 issue of Autoweek magazine.
These images show that recent renderings we saw weren't too far off. The face is just like what we saw in spy shots a few months back, but the rear of the car features some of its more striking cues. Starting with the pronounced haunches and hidden B-pillars, the rear view of the new Mustang might be its best with the ridged, three-bar taillights, a rear diffuser and the lack of a faux gas cap, which allows the galloping pony to be an even more prominent element against the black trim. The images also reveal a small portion of the updated interior carrying over retro themes like the deep-dish steering wheel and dual-gauge instrument cluster, but it also adds some modern tech with a big MyFord Touch display with a clean center stack layout.
No official word on powertrain or other specs, but while we can't make out most of the magazine's text, our eyes did catch the mention of a "2.3 Performance Pack" suggesting that the rumored 2.3-liter, turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder will be available. In terms of performance, the Mustang GT will still offer the 5.0-liter V8, and the article reads that the 2015 GT with the Performance package will actually be faster on the track than the Boss 302. Some other interesting tidbits about the new Mustang are the standard push-button starter, the availability of adaptive cruise control, an independent rear suspension, a 200-pound weight reduction (that at least somewhat will be afforded by using aluminum front fenders) and a wheelbase that measures the same 107.1 inches as the current design.
As the Mustang looks to go global, Ford expects about 10 percent of this car's volume to come from outside the US and Canada, and it appears that the only change for its role in One Ford is that the LED taillights will not be offered with a sequential turn signal outside of North America.Permalink | Email this | Comments
This past September we reported on Top Gear's destruction of the Mazda Furai, one of the finest concept cars to ever grace an auto show stage. It turns out that the Furai, which was burned nearly beyond recognition at the hands of the British magazine, was actually destroyed back in 2008, and that the entire thing had been covered up for five long years.
Now, a few months after publishing that heart-wrenching composite of a half-baked Furai (shown above), the lads at TG have published their account of just what resulted in a priceless concept car being transformed into a smoking hulk on a Suffolk runway. Click over to read the full story about just what happened, along with pictures of the Furai before, during and after the inferno.
Top Gear recounts the fiery demise of the Mazda Furai originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Dec 2013 13:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Those close to Miami, Florida, next week have an opportunity to check out Piston Head: Artists Engage the Automobile. The exhibit of fourteen unique reimagined automobiles "will reflect art's longstanding relationship with the car as a cultural icon and fetish object replete with physical and symbolic possibilities." Attendees will see work by artists such as the late Keith Haring (his enamel-covered 1963 Buick Special is pictured above), Ron Arad, César, Dan Colen, Nate Lowman, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Virginia Overton, Richard Prince (his 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T is in the gallery) and Franz West.
Even if steel cars aren't your thing, fans of Ferrari will be pleased to learn that the LaFerrari will make a rare North American appearance, with Los Angeles-based artist Joshua Callaghan creating a new signature 'rubbing' of the Italian automaker's hybrid supercar. The artist's process, which "engages the precious surfaces and sculpted form of the limited edition vehicle," will become part of the exhibition.
The show is open to the public starting on December 3, running in conjunction with Art Basel Miami Beach, an annual international cultural art fair. Check out the full press release below for details.
Piston Head show exhibits contemporary car art in Miami originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 02 Dec 2013 08:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
From Newhouse Automotive Industries comes the "very latest automotive sensation:" vehicle wraps. That was back in 1954, though, long before the "new" vehicle wrap craze took hold five or so years ago.
Newhouse's "Car-D-Cal" isn't like the wraps seen today that are usually stretched over cars whole. Instead, the Car-D-Cal was a spot treatment, applied over the roof, doors and even the interior for a little extra pizzazz. It's too bad the decals were only offered in plaid or polka dots (with more than 150 assorted size polka dots in red, green, yellow or white) - we wouldn't be surprised to learn that's the reason why wraps didn't catch on until the next century.
Car-D-Cal was a hell of a lot cheaper, though: $9.95 would get you 2,500 square inches of your desired design and color while $19.95 would buy twice as much vinyl. Newhouse touted Car-D-Cal as a do-it-yourself product, so early adopters presumably didn't have to pay for labor. Wraps today cost much more - a quick Google search revealed that they can cost anywhere from $2,000 and up, depending on the amount of material required to wrap the whole car.
Click here or on the picture to see an enlarged view of the whole ad.
As it turns out, vehicle wraps are anything but new originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Nov 2013 08:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We can't ever think of a time we've heard anyone accuse the current Mazda2 of being too edgy, which makes reports of a softer design for the next-gen model a little surprising. Autocar reports that when the new 2 debuts next fall, it will have a "softer, more feminine appeal" than the current design.
This description lends a little more credibility to the Japanese magazine image we saw of the car back in July. Aside from Mazda's Kodo-inspired signature face, that picture did reveal softer lines, especially along the side of the car. This softened styling is to appeal to the car's target market, which Mazda's European design chief is reported to have called a "predominantly feminine customer base." Last we heard, though, Mazda might keep the next 2 out of the US due to slow sales.
The 2015 Mazda2 will reportedly ride on a shortened version of the platform used for the CX-5, but Autocar mentions that its platform could also be the basis of a new subcompact crossover - possibly to go up against vehicles like the Buick Encore and the upcoming Honda Fit-based crossover called the Vezel.
Next-gen Mazda2 designed for 'predominantly feminine' appeal originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Nov 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Lamborghini Gallardo is a bit long in the tooth, so it's only natural that Lamborghini has its replacement in the works. Referred to as the Cabrera, the new model has been seen testing on the Nürburgring with fairly heavy camouflage, but it wasn't enough to stop automotive designer and Auto Week illustrator Marco van Overbeeke from rendering what he thinks it will look like when it's finished.
After comparing the illustrations and the photos of the Cabrera testing on the Nürburgring, it's not too far-fetched to say the next V10-powered, all-wheel-drive Lamborghini might look something like what van Overbeeke has envisioned. Feel free to check out the photo galleries below and compare the Nürburgring car with the illustrations. Then tell us what you think in Comments.
Lamborghini Cabrera could look this good when it replaces Gallardo originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 24 Nov 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Just in case you thought the Youabian Puma wasn't the craziest thing you'd see all auto show season, China's got you covered. Our friends over at Car News China found this gem, the WitStar Concept from Guangzhou Auto, sitting on the show floor at the Guangzhou Motor Show.
Compared to the Puma, this concept actually looks good, but the best part is visible once those gullwing doors are open. Yes, that is a fish tank built into the lounge-style rear seat. It doesn't get any better than that for a concept car. In terms of specs, WitStar's concept is a range-extended electric vehicle with an EV driving range of 62 miles. Acceleration from 0-31 miles per hour takes 4.5 seconds and the Witstar taps out at just 99 mph... presumably not to jostle the fish.
This Chinese concept car has it all, even a fish tank originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Nov 2013 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The new Mercedes CLA-Class is still fresh on the market, but recent rumblings have indicated that Mercedes was working on a wagon variant of the car - possibly even in place of a sportier SLA Roadster. Our long-lensed spy shooters have captured our first look at the cargo-friendly CLA model, and while the image is grainy and the car's rear end is covered with camouflage, we now have a good idea of how sharp this car may look.
Just like the CLS Shooting Brake, though, we don't expect Mercedes to bring this model to the US. Between small, two-box models like the GLA-Class and maybe even the A-Class coming in the near future, this small station wagon will very likely remain a Europe-only offering. That's kind of a bummer - if its big-brother CLS Shooting Brake is any indication, it will probably be quite handsome - and more than likely, it'll offer more headroom than the very cramped rear confines of the standard CLA.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Taking a page from Renault and the Twizy - the page that says you don't need real doors on a tiny electric vehicle - Honda has unveiled a new version of its tiny MC-β EV. That's tiny in terms of overall size, battery capacity and range. Should it ever go on sale in Europe, the MC-β would be considered an L7 vehicle, which is a classification for vehicles that weigh 400 kilograms or less (not counting battery weight) with a maximum power output of 15 kW - typically motorcycles. Honda is displaying the MC-β at the Smart Mobility City 2013 exhibition as part of the Tokyo Motor Show this week.
The MC-β is an updated version of the Micro Commuter, which Honda showed off last year. The beta version keeps the 1+1 tandem seating arrangement and Honda says it will fit "two adults comfortably" - plus cargo - thanks to its "offset seat layout." Gone is any mention of the modular rear seat, which in the original MC could be swapped out and replaced by two child seats. The length is a pocketable 2,495 mm (just over eight feet) and it's a squat 1,545 mm (just over five feet) high. The motor doesn't get anywhere near the 15 kW L7 limit, since it is rated at 6 kW and has a maximum output of 11 kW. The MC-beta can charge in under seven hours from a standard 100-volt Japanese outlet and in less than three hours from a 200-volt outlet. The car is built off of a lightweight pipe frame body that essentially takes motorcycle technology and doubles the number of wheels involved.
Put all that together and the MC-β can hit speeds of 43 miles per hour and has a range of over 50 miles from a lithium-ion battery of unannounced size. For the sort of short-distance running this micro-commuter is designed for, the MC-β might just fit the bill, provided Honda can get the price right. Feel free to read more in the press release below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's been 57 years since the "new" Fiat 500 was introduced in 1957, and to celebrate this iconic inspiration for the current 500, Fiat has revealed a new commemorative model at the LA Auto Show. The 2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition will only be offered in North America, and it goes on sale next spring.
Paying tribute to the "Nouvo Cinquecento," this special-edition Fiat 500 has a throwback styling with its 1957-era wheel design and Fiat logo. The 1957 Edition also comes in a limited color palette consisting of classic hues including light green and baby blue with two-tone white roof and mirrors or a solid all-white paint job.
We think it's pretty cute, and you can judge for yourself after viewing our high-res image gallery above. If you'd like, Fiat's official press release can be found down below.
2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition takes retro even further originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 Nov 2013 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments