sports

How to make a mid-life crisis more fun - The Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet… ‘With innovative folding roof’

 Ok so you’ve hit 40, you’re wearing red converse with jeans and an open floral shirt (to work) and you’re chasing men a lot younger than you should be. You’re very nearly there. There’s just one thing missing… a Porsche. Now if history has taught us anything it’s that young men love flash cars and if you’re hoping to bag yourself a boyfriend 20 years your junior then you need to up your game.

Fortunately the new 911 Carrera Cabriolet is the answer to your prayers! If the rear-mounted, flat-six engines offering efficient power and outstanding dynamic performance (350 hp 3.4-litre and 400 hp 3.8-litre) wasn’t enough, the classic shape of the 911 has been transformed to include what Porsche are calling “an innovative folding roof” which will most definitely impress the River-Island clad lad your currently chasing.

The 911 Cabriolet naturally shares its new, high tech aluminum-steel body with the Coupe, and the convertible extends this innovation to its all-new, unique hood. When raised, the design of the hood ensures the iconic 911 roof line is retained in its entirety. Intelligent lightweight design, including the use of magnesium in the hood frame, ensures reduced weight for increased responsiveness, lower fuel consumption and greater comfort. As is the case with the Coupe model, the new 911 Cabriolet is significantly lighter overall than its predecessor.

But that’s all just ‘detail’… parading your latest catch through the local town centre with the roof down is a sure way to prove to your friends and family that ‘you’ve still got it’ whatever it is, (Let’s face it you’re no longer sure) but regardless… you… will… look…cool. Hopefully. 

Should you be concerned that one day your new found love will try to flee, then don’t be! Fitted to every 911 Carrera Cabriolet is a Porsche Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), of which the possible uses are endless.

Anyway… The 911 Carrera Cabriolet models go on sale in the UK on March 3 2012. The 911 Carrera Cabriolet is priced from £79,947, the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet from £89,740. 

Lexus unveils the new GS 250

In an extension of its luxury GS range, Lexus have announced that a V6 version of the new GS450h will be released in the UK next year. The GS 250 is powered by a 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine with D-4S direct port injection and Dual VVT-i intelligent valve timing. Maximum output is 206bhp at 6,400rpm and peak torque of 253Nm is delivered at 4,800rpm, giving the car’s 0-62mph time a boost to just 8.6 seconds and a top speed of 142mph. Combined cycle fuel consumption is 31.7mpg and CO2 emissions are 207g/km.

The new model has a more spacious interior with more head and legroom for rear seat passengers.

Offered with a range of new technology features and improved dynamics, including a 12.3-inch multimedia screen – the largest on the market, exciting! It will be available with a new S-flow air conditioning system with nanoe air purifying technology, and a new Mark Levinson audio system with up to 17 speakers.

It’s a GS450 only sexier.

Infiniti Getting Charged Up Over New Sports Car Concept

Infinity has announced that their new “highly advanced”, range-extending electric sports car concept is now under development. It will be revealed to all at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2012.

Andy Palmer, Executive Vice President, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd and Infiniti said: "At the Geneva show next year, we will present our vision for a totally new kind of inspired premium performance car”

This adds to current Infiniti already has hybrid and clean diesel models on sale. 

New Porsche Panamera GTS

Porsche says “The new Panamera GTS is the purist member of the Porsche Gran Turismo family” and it certainly looks that way, the new Panamera features a powerful V8 engine with even more intense responsiveness. The sporting chassis has been tuned for added dynamism and agility and the distinctive exterior styling clearly signals these focused intentions.

“The heart of the new Panamera GTS is its uprated 4.8-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine benefiting from numerous modifications to give it even better performance”

The Panamera goes on sale in February 2012, priced from £90,409… We’ve got one on the way soon so expect a full review (TopGayer style) in January. 

Volkswagen Beetle R Concept Joins the Jet Set in LA

The interesting Beetle R Concept has made its American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show following its unveiling in Frankfurt earlier this year. It’s no wonder that this attention-grabbing (seeking?) machine has crossed the Atlantic to try and steal Los Angeles limelight. The US was the biggest market for the previous New Beetle and that’s likely to remain the same this time around, we can imagine an whole new generation of ‘Mean Girls with surf boards’ making this the car of “sweet sixteen” parties everywhere… However on a design level, while the familiar outline of the latest Beetle is still clear, the R Concept adds the kind of muscled enhancements that seem entirely appropriate in California, so much so we expect it may be the choice of A&F models everywhere…

As for the engine… the Beetle R’s production siblings, the Golf R and Scirocco R, use a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit providing 270 PS and 265 PS respectively, can we expect the same?

For fans of the old ‘new beetle’ the new ‘new beetle’ concept is certainly something to be excited about and we can see its popularity making waves… surfs up, dudes.

The SLK Goes From One Extreme to Another

Mercedes are heading to Frankfurt this year with two new variations on the all-new SLK roadster.  The extreme out and out performance focused SLK 55 AMG and the frugal yet fun SLK 250CDi - the first time the product has seen a deisel engine.

The SLK 55 AMG focuses it's energies on style and the strength of promoting the AMG sporting technologies and performance.  The 5.5litre engine takes this little pocket rocket to an extreme most supercars are boasting, reaching 0-62mph in a mere 4.6seconds and yet still gaining kudos for doing above 33 miles to the gallon.  Twin this power with the very familiar stylings from the AMG camp and you have a sculpted beauty that looks like it means business.

Kicking out 422hp means the new SLK 55 AMG beats it's direct competitors hands down, while still retuning an impressive 195g/km of CO2  emissions. I want one.

 

Moving from one extreme to another, Merc have also released details of the first ever SLK Diesel - the SLK 250CDi.  Returning over 56mpg and coming equipped as standard with a 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox, the new SLK deisel is a very exciting car for Merc.

Not only is this an excersice to boast impressive fuel consumption, but also an example that not all economical cars need to be sluggish or boring.  Not only do you get the great feeling of driving one of the most iconic two-seater hard-top roadsters, but you won't lose out on any of the performance because you've chosen the economic route as the SLK 250CDi professes 204hp taking you from 0-62mph in just 6.7seconds.  Lovely.

Jaguar Celebrates With Cocktails on the Beach

Entering the sub-exotic market Jaguar have today announced the XKR-S, a new performance Flagship for the Brand.  Here's a quick overview - 

- The most powerful and fastest series production sports car Jaguar has ever built with a top speed of 300kph (186mph).

- Heads the XK range with an expected on-the-road price of £97,000 when ordering opens in September.

- The ultimate expression of Jaguar’s sports car strategy; offering intelligent performance with everyday driveability.

- Uprated supercharged AJ-V8 Gen III R direct-injection engine produces 550PS (542BHP) and 680Nm of torque.

- 0-60mph reached in just 4.2 seconds.

- The only car in its class to emit less than 300g/km of CO2.

- Active sports exhaust delivers an authentic, race-car inspired soundtrack.

- Exploits the XK’s strong, lightweight advanced aluminium body architecture to maximise performance, agility and economy.

- Bespoke suspension changes front and rear for ultimate precision, control and driver appeal.

- Unique styling changes incorporate Computational Fluid Dynamics calculations in order to reduce lift and maximise aerodynamic stability.

- Revised interior features 16-way adjustable memory sports seats with carbon-fibre effect leather.

- Reprogrammed Adaptive Dynamics allow the enthusiastic driver to explore the outer edges of the handling envelope.

- Jaguar’s performance flagship competes in the sub-exotic segment, new territory for the company.

 

Most importantly, it looks incredible!

Porsche Turns to Hybrid Tech, Extending Panamera Range

The Panamera has been rather well received, as four-door performance vehicles are becoming more of a trend for sportscar manufacturers, Porsche has decided that not only do they require performance and practicality, but also a little eco street cred too.

The new 'S Hybrid' Panamera combines power and economy, returning 41.5mpg combined and still sprinting from 0-62mph in a slick 6 seconds.

They have not forgotten their market for out and out performance cars, but if they can reduce their emissions to a mere 159g/km (tiny for a car with 380bhp) then I applaud the smooth talking German stud that is Porsche.

Nissan Esflow Concept

Nissan are also releasing a more sinister concept this year, and after last year's constant bout of stupidly named cars that an 8 year old could design (I sill haven't forgiven the Cube) and the unveil of the rather lifeless new Micra at Paris, they need to pull out a beautiful car that we can all take seriously.

Taking technologies seen in their newest EV the Leaf - the Esflow is a totally electric sports car designed to act, perform and look like a rear wheel driven two-seater.

Nissan created a nice little video to show it off too...

 

Ferrari.com Unveil the All New FF

So with Geneva approaching fast, Ferrari have unveiled the all new Ferrari FF on their website.

The FF (representing 'Ferrari Four' and four-wheel drive) gives the luxury manufacturer a brand new market to approach with a GT sports car concept.  Combining the signature Ferrari sporting heritage and usability given it's four seats.

Personally I think it looks a little like a Z4 coupe (previous generation) however, in detail it's clear to see that the 4-seater supercar buyers who have the choice of a Porsche Panamera at the moment, are key clients for the the Italian car makers.

The car is also the first in the range to feature a four-wheel drive system (4RM), making it an important milestone for Ferrari.  However, they've gone one step further to make it half the weight of a normal four-wheel drive system, maintaining performance, and staying true to the Ferrari's character.

Personally, I think it has a little more character than the Panamera, plus reaching 0-62mph in 3.7seconds is seriously quick and something that should definately be shared amongst friends - four to be precise.

Debuting at Geneva, Ferrari are definitely going to be making a noise.