Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus’s annual Christmas Book is a holiday tradition that’s entering its 93rd year. Mixed in with the usual gift ideas this year is something we’d love to see under the tree in December: a customized Aston Martin DBS Superleggera.
The special Aston has been designed by Daniel Craig, currently the star of the blockbuster James Bond film series, and it rather fittingly carries a price of $700,007. For that frankly eye-watering price (the standard DBS Superleggera goes for $307,820), the lucky seven recipients of this fantasy gift will enjoy the car’s 715-hp twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter V-12 engine that absolutely howls when pushed hard—as we found out during our test drive in the Austrian Alps in July 2018.
Seven examples will be produced, each accompanied by a platinum Omega Seamaster Diver 300M wristwatch–itself a fantasy gift for many–as well as tickets to the world premiere of No Time to Die, the next James Bond movie. In addition to the gifts, Neiman Marcus will donate 12 percent of the sales price from each of the seven Aston Martins to The Opportunity Network through the company’s Heart of Neiman Marcus Foundation.
If Neiman Marcus’s list of gift ideas is a bit too rich for your blood, we’ve compiled our own list of automotive-related products we love that can be had for a tiny fraction of the price. They won’t be the Christmas Day knockout that Bond’s Aston Martin would be, but we think they’ll make the car lover in your life very happy.
Porsche is releasing variants of its new Taycan EV from the top down, starting with the most powerful Turbo and Turbo S models and now detailing the Taycan 4S. It has less power, a lower price, and the option of a smaller battery pack that will provide less driving range.
The base Taycan 4S starts at $105,150, nearly $50,000 less than the Taycan Turbo. As such, it has a smaller, 79.2-kWh battery pack and its pair of electric motors make “only” 522 horsepower compared to the Turbo’s 670 hp and the Turbo S’s 750 hp. Porsche hasn’t released EPA range estimates for any Taycan models yet, but expect the 4S with this base battery pack to be a fair bit lower than the estimates for the Turbo and Turbo S, which we predict will range from 225 up to 270 miles on a charge.
Optional for an extra $6580 is the Performance Battery Plus that’s the same 93.4-kWh pack found in the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S. This battery should enable the Taycan 4S to provide around 260 or 270 miles of range, possibly more than the Turbo and Turbo S due to its smaller 19-inch wheels and tires. Equipped with this larger battery pack, the 4S also makes a bit of extra horsepower, up to 563 hp. Porsche says that regardless of battery, the Taycan 4S will go from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 155 miles.
Along with the smaller wheels and tires, the 4S models also have a different front fascia compared with the Turbo models. Standard features include an air suspension, keyless entry and pushbutton start, ambient interior lighting, eight-way power front seats, and dynamic LED headlights.
The Taycan 4S is available to order now, and U.S. deliveries will start in spring 2020.
By: joey Capparella, October 14, 2019
For more cars, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a29458507/porsche-taycan-4s-photos-info/
Aston Martin and Zagato have been working together off and on for nearly 60 years, producing some stunning cars in the process. None more so than the DB4 GT Zagato. The British automaker and the Italian design house decided to pay tribute, and these are our first real pictures of the final result, the DBS GT Zagato.
As first announced last year, the DBS GT Zagato will only be sold as a pair with a continuation-series DB4 GT Zagato. Just 19 pairs will be built, and the price is set at £6 million ($7.375 million, at today’s exchange rates) plus tax.
The DBS GT Zagato is based on the DBS Superleggera, but the Zagato actually makes a little more power from its 5.2-liter twin-turbo V-12—760 hp verses the Superleggera’s 715. But, it’s the bodywork that really separates the two. The DBS GT Zagato references the DB4 with its huge grille, bulging rear fenders, and double-bubble roof—a Zagato signature. There’s a lot of Vanquish Zagato in there, too.
The color, Supernova Red, is exclusive to the DBS GT Zagato, and accented by lots of gold trim, including real 18-karat gold badges. The grille is active, too, with diamond-shaped elements that can open or close as cooling requirements dictate. Inside, there’s a lot more red and gold in this car. Aston seems particularly proud of the trim, which is 3D-printed metal and carbon, an automotive first. The optional gold trim on this car is stainless steel, which apparently takes 100 hours to print.
Top Gear reported earlier this week that 18 Aston Zagato pairs had been sold, and that the 19th will likely be sold soon. We’ve reached out to Aston Martin to confirm if this is the case.
Deliveries of the DB4 GT Zagato continuation car will be completed by the end of the year, while the DBS should arrive at customer homes sometime next year.
Engaging launch control in a Taycan Turbo S is simple. Call up Sport Plus mode, hold the brake with your left foot, floor the accelerator with your right. Release the brake and try to keep your neck steady. There’s no pre-heating the battery, no fussing with traction control settings, nothing.
And no histrionics. Just 750 hp and 774 lb-ft of torque turned into forward motion without a hint of wheelspin and minimal noise. There’s a good chance the loudest thing in the car will be the passengers as you rip to 60 mph quicker than a 911 Turbo S.
You probably know that this is Porsche’s first electric car, built on a brand-new platform that’ll soon underpin a high-riding wagon, the Taycan Cross Turismo, and a swoopy Audi sedan, the E-Tron GT. It’s a big deal, breaking all sorts of new ground for Porsche. It’s meant to reduce the automaker’s fleet fuel consumption and C02 emissions; it’s meant to compete with the Tesla Model S; it’s meant to start Porsche’s gradual transition away from internal-combustion. And at the end of the day, it has to live up to the Porsche name.
Our first chance to sample the Taycan came as part of a Scandinavian road trip put on by Porsche to demonstrate the new EV’s usability. The Turbo and Turbo S are all-wheel drive, with a permanent magnet synchronous motor powering each axle. (An entry-level rear-drive Taycan is likely to arrive soon.) On the top-spec Turbo S, those motors combine to make 626 horsepower in normal driving, rising to 750 for 2.5 seconds when launch control is activated. The rear motor drives a trick two-speed transmission with a low-ratio first gear. In Sport and Sport Plus modes, the car uses first gear from zero to around 50 mph for quicker acceleration. In all other modes, the car stays in second.
Tesla showed the world just how violently quick an electric car can be. The Taycan is capable of equal violence: The Turbo S hits 60 mph in 2.6 seconds, and runs the quarter-mile in 10.8.
But the Tesla takes some coaxing to get there. Ludicrous Mode will only engage after the battery reaches the right temperature—and depending on ambient conditions, that might take awhile. Back-to-back launches will run the Model S out of breath, acceleration waning as battery temps rise. The Taycan can hit its marks over and over, no warm-up or cool-down required. A lot of work went into that. The Porsche’s 800-volt architecture runs lower current, allowing engineers to use smaller-gauge wiring, reducing temperatures.
Porsche has never been solely about straight-line performance. The Taycan is shorter in length than a Panamera, but a smidge wider. Thanks to its 93.4-kWh battery pack, the new EV is a heavy machine, the Turbo S weighing in at 5121 lbs according to Porsche. Thankfully, like most EVs, the Taycan carries its weight low in the chassis, affording a center of gravity that’s lower than a 911’s. In Turbo S trim, you get three-chamber air springs, adaptive dampers, rear-wheel steering, and optional active anti-roll bars driven by a separate 48-volt electrical system. The Turbo S rides on 21-inch wheels (non-S Turbos get narrower 20s). Our tester wore Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetrics measuring 265/35 up front, 305/30 in the rear.
The roads between Oslo and Gothenburg alternate between tight and flowing. On both varieties, the Taycan hides its size and weight, the active anti-roll bars contributing to real agility and freakishly good body control. The damping controls body motion well, and the steering is reassuringly hefty and precise, weighting up naturally as load increases at the front. The steering wheel doesn’t wriggle away like an old 911’s, but no electric-power-assist setup in Porsche’s current lineup does.
Unfortunately, the brake pedal doesn’t quite match the steering. In normal driving, the Taycan accomplishes most of its braking through regeneration. Around town, or in any situation that demands small brake modulations, the pedal tends to feel spongy, a bit unnatural. Once you’re moving, though, there’s nice bite at the top of the pedal and a more predictable feel.
Different EV manufacturers approach regenerative braking differently. Many pure EVs control regen through the accelerator pedal—the more you lift, the more the car slows. Porsche engineers thought this wasn’t quite intuitive, especially in fast driving, so the Taycan only engages a small amount of regen on throttle lift, which can be switched off entirely via a steering wheel button. There’s also an automatic regen mode, where a camera analyzes the road ahead to adjust the amount of regen available.
The Taycan also has massive conventional brakes. The Turbo S comes standard with carbon-ceramic rotors, 16.5 inches up front, 16.1 inches rear, gripped by 10-piston and four-piston calipers, respectively. (The setup is optional on the non-S Taycan Turbo, which comes standard with steel brake rotors measuring 16.4 inches up front and 14.4 inches at the rear, with the same caliper setup.) On the Turbo S I drove, the transition between regen and friction braking was totally seamless.
We could talk about the more extreme dynamic capabilities of the Taycan all day—and hopefully, we’ll have more time in the car to explore those further. Ultimately, this car is a daily-driver, and real-world livability is the most relevant factor.
Things are off to a great start with an excellent driving position—a little higher a 911’s, thanks to those batteries crammed into the floor, but familiar. The tall front fenders help you precisely place the nose of the car, and like all Porsche sports cars, the short hood tumbles away from your view. The scene through the windshield is charmingly reminiscent of a 918 Spyder’s.
By: Chris Perkins, September 24, 2019
Le Mans 2021 has just got even more interesting. We’ve already heard Aston Martin and Toyota say they’ll compete in the WEC’s new top-tier ‘hypercar’ class, and now Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has thrown its hat in the ring too.
Revealed today on Twitter, SCG says it’ll field a pair of SCG007s in the WEC, but also offer the car to privateer teams and build a “limited run of road-legal examples”. Power supposedly comes from a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 of so-far unspecified origin.
SCG, in case you need reminding, is the brainchild of Jim Glickenhaus – friend of Top Gear, collector of many interesting Ferraris (including the Modulo, which we’ve driven) and now, builder of his own hypercars and boss of the team that races them, and bears his name.
He’s the brain behind the P4/5 of 2006, which fed into the SCG003 – a ground-up racer using all the development knowledge from Jim’s previous years competing at the ‘Ring. In 2015’s Nurburgring 24 Hours it qualified on pole and finished first in its class. We’ve driven the roadgoing version – read about it by clicking on these blue words.
We can’t wait to see this thing race in 2021.
By: Tom Harrison, September 19, 2019
For more cars, visit: https://www.topgear.com/car-news/motorsport/glickenhaus-will-race-scg007-le-mans-2021
Two Porsche 911 RSRs will contest the 22nd Motul Petit Le Mans 10-hour race in October at Road Atlanta, both wearing classic red and white Coca-Cola livery. The Coke look will be right at home in Atlanta, headquarters of both Porsche Cars North America and of the soda-pop brand, and it also celebrates the Bob Akin team, which competed in the 1980s—and won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1986—in a similar paint scheme. The Coke look (and the car) was so popular that a restored Akin 1987 Porsche 962 sold on the Bring a Trailer auction site for $960,000 in August.
Petit Le Mans will be the final outing for this version of the 911 RSR before a next-generation race car makes its debut, according to Porsche. At Road Atlanta, No. 911 will be driven by Patrick Pilet, Nick Tandy, and Frédéric Makowiecki. The other car, wearing No. 912, will be piloted by current GTLM points leader Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, and Mathieu Jaminet. Qualifying begins on the afternoon of Saturday, October 10, and the 10-hour IMSA WeatherTech Championship finale starts on Saturday, October 12, at 11:55 a.m. ET.
In the video below, as the No. 911 RSR pulls in for a quick drink, each body panel is replaced with one from the new livery before making its way through the city to Road Atlanta.
If you’ve ever looked an an E-Class and thought, “Wow, this could really use more lights,” Mercedes-Benz has you covered. Its newest concept, the Vision EQS, just premiered in Frankfurt today, and it uses more LEDs than we can keep track of.
Mercedes pitches the all-electric EQS as an “outlook on a new dimension in sustainable luxury.” The front grille alone houses 188 individual LED lights, designed to create a three-dimensional effect when turned on. The headlights are equipped with what Mercedes calls “Digital Light” technology, which incorporates two holographic lens modules into each assembly. Combined, the grille and headlights make for a flowing fascia that leads seamlessly through the rest of the exterior.
Out back, instead of using two regular taillights, Mercedes installed 229 individual star logos to do the work, each with their own LED lights. There’s also a thin strip that hovers directly above the cluster, making for a clean, streamlined look.
Of course, the lights don’t stop on the outside. All four of the seats inside the Yacht-inspired interior are lined with light strips to match the exterior, as are the upper and lower edges of the dashboard. Mercedes says the microfiber used is made from recycled PET bottles, while the headliner comes from reused ocean waste plastic.
Mercedes-Benz estimates the Vision EQS’s floor-mounted battery can hold a range of 435 miles. It sends power to two electric motors, one mounted at each axle. Thanks to over 469 horsepower and “around” 560 lb-ft of torque, 0-60 happens in under 4.5 seconds. Mercedes even claims the car can charge to 80 percent in under 20 minutes.
Though it’s unlikely we’ll see the Vision EQS go into production any time soon, it’s still a good look at what sorts of tech and design language Mercedes-Benz has planned for its future lineup. If this is what Mercedes cars will look like down the line, we’re excited.
By: Brian Silvestro, September 10, 2019
BMW M is too chicken to take on the Audi RS4 Avant and Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate. It says that people who desire fast middle-sized BMWs with space for brave pets buy the X3 M instead. It says there’s no market. No need whatsoever, for an M3 Touring.
BMW is wrong. Not only is the X3M a terrible car only fools will own, but Alpina has just gone and proved once again that a super-fast 3 Series wagon is all the car we really need, and want. And we really, really want this one.
Meet the new 2020 Alpina B3 Touring. First off, we’ll talk about the spec Alpina is showing off on its latest tuned Bimmer. Dark emerald green, blacked-out detailing, silver 20-inch multispoke wheels (both choices are demo’d on the car in the pictures) and a subtle, quad-tailpiped bodykit. It’s stunning. Swap the cream interior for tan and we’re sold. And that’s before we get to the oomph.
Said oomph comes from BMW’s latest 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six engine. In the X3 M and in the next M3, it can develop up to 503bhp, but Alpina’s chosen to peg that back to 455bhp, and instead concentrate on torque. Whereas the M Division version of the engine is all done at 443lb ft, the Alpina B3 churns out 516lb ft.
So less top-end zing, but more low-rev grunt and mid-range punch. How very sensible.
Equally sensible is the drive layout: an eight-speed automatic gearbox supplies power to all four wheels, so not a single pound-foot of precious torque is wasted. Alpina hasn’t quoted how quickly the B3 Touring gets off the mark, but it’s surely knocking on the door of a 4.0sec 0-62mph sprint. The top speed is over 186mph.
Inside you get a handsomely rebadged steering wheel, tweaked graphics for yer natty screens and retrimmed leather. No M Division stripes in the cupholders and sun-visors and glovebox lining though, because this is a grown-up’s fast car.
It’ll cost grown-up money too: £60,000 and up is a safe bet. For a 3 Series, it’s a lot. But for what’s very possibly the most tasteful new fast car in the world today, that’s a bargain, in Top Gear maths.
Your move, BMW M Division.
By: Ollie Kew, September 10, 2019
Ferrari unveiled the 812 GTS, its latest V-12 spider, in Maranello today. The car is based on the 812 Superfast, with which it shares its exterior and interior dimensions and its 6.5-liter, 789-hp V-12 engine. It features a power-folding hard-top and a rear end that was completely redesigned to accommodate the convertible top. Ferrari claims it is the most powerful production spider in the world.
Like in the 812 Superfast, the V-12 engine has an 8900-rpm rev limit, and makes its peak 789 hp at 8500 rpm. Torque hits its 530 lb-ft peak at 7000 rpm, with 80 percent of torque available at 3500 rpm. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission has been programmed for faster shifts, and now has shorter gear ratios to improve the 812’s response to throttle inputs. Ferrari says the GTS will reach 62 mph in less than three seconds and 124 mph in 8.3 seconds. The car will have a top speed of 211 mph.
The V-12 had to employ some tricks to comply with emissions regulations. Its high-pressure injection system reduces the number of particles that are emitted before the catalytic converter warms up. There’s also a new gasoline particulate filter, and the GTS uses a stop-start system to further mitigate the thirsty V-12’s demands.
The 812 GTS’s rear end features two buttresses and a tonneau cover. The mechanism that moves the power-folding hardtop lives under the buttresses, and when the top is stowed its panels rest under the tonneau cover. The top can fold or unfold in 14 seconds and will operate at speeds of up to 28 mph. An air duct that runs through the rear wheel arches in the coupe variant was lost in the redesign, so the GTS’s rear diffuser has an extra flap to make up the difference.
The 812 GTS is also the scion of a rich lineage for Ferrari. The company built its first front-engined V-12 coupe in 1948. That car, the 166 MM won both the Mille Miglia and 24 Hours of LeMans endurance races in 1949. The last time a series-production front-engine V-12 Spider rolled out of Maranello was the GTS4 in 1969, also called the Daytona Spider in honor of Ferrari’s 1967 sweep at the 24 Hours of Daytona (the company counts more recent front-engine V-12 cars such as the 575 Superamerica and F60 America as limited-edition models).
Ferrari hasn’t named an on-sale date or a price for the 812 GTS, but we’d bet it’ll be a bit higher than the coupe version, which rings in at a healthy $335,275.
By: Annie White, September 9, 2019
For more car, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a28955195/ferrari-812-gts-photos-info/
Porsche’s first production electric car is a big deal. Speaking to the engineers who created it, you get the sense that the Taycan isn’t just another model in the automaker’s lineup. It’s a paradigm shift, a clean-sheet engineering project. When Porsche does a clean-sheet project, it tends to end up pretty great—think of the 918, revolutionary upon its debut and still magnificent today.
But the Taycan is intended as a mass-produced electric sedan, a far cry from the hypercar exclusivity of the 918. And an all-electric car presents challenges that Porsche has never had to face before. The automaker invited journalists to its Atlanta headquarters for a deep dive into the production-spec EV. Here’s what we learned.
At launch, Porsche will offer two versions of the Taycan—the Turbo and Turbo S. (Yes, Porsche insists on carrying over this well-established model name on a vehicle that will never be equipped with turbochargers.) The Turbo will carry an MSRP of $153,510 at launch, while the Turbo S will cost $187,610. Both of those numbers are minus destination charge.
Both the Turbo and Turbo S will have two electric motors, one powering each axle. Porsche designed the permanent magnet synchronous machine (PMSM) motors in house—they’re more expensive to develop compared to traditional electric motors, but they’re easier to package, and more importantly, easier to cool. That’s critical because Porsche wants to provide sustained, repeatable performance with this car.
Both models offer 616 hp in normal driving. Activate Launch Control, and the Taycan Turbo / Turbo S will give you 2.5 seconds of “Overboost,” increasing output to 670 hp in the Turbo and 750 hp in the Turbo S. The results are serious: Porsche says the Turbo will do 0-60 mph in 3.0 seconds, 0-124 mph in 10.6 seconds, and the quarter-mile in 11.1 seconds, while the Turbo S will do 0-60 in 2.6 seconds, 0-124 mph in 9.8 seconds, and a 10.8-second quarter-mile.
Porsche fitted the Taycan’s rear motor with a two-speed gearbox. In Sport or Sport+ modes, the rear drive system starts out in low gear for improved acceleration; in other modes, it stays in high gear all the time. The rear motor also has an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The front motor transmits power through a single-speed gearbox.
Both the Turbo and Turbo S get a 600-amp inverter for the rear motor, but while the Turbo uses a 300-amp inverter for the front motor, the S gets another 600-amp unit. That’s the biggest difference between the Turbo and Turbo S, though the S also gets 21-inch wheels, rear-wheel steering and carbon-ceramic brakes, all standard equipment. An engineer told R&T that the larger front inverter only plays a role in off-the-line acceleration—dynamically, the Turbo and Turbo S are essentially the same otherwise.
All of these drivetrain components were designed in-house by Porsche, and the motors, inverters, and two-speed gearbox will be built in the company’s hometown of Zuffenhausen. While Porsche won’t confirm it just yet, we expect the entry-level Taycan will feature a single electric motor powering the rear axle; a later Taycan 4S with twin motors seems likely as well, albeit with lower power output than the Turbo and Turbo S. In “Range” mode, all-wheel drive Taycan models will default to front-wheel drive, a Porsche first, to minimize energy consumption.
Just as important as the motors in an EV are the batteries that power them. The Taycan Turbo and Turbo S get a 93.4-kWh battery pack attached to the steel floorpan of the car. All Taycans will use an 800-volt electrical architecture that Porsche says will allow for very fast charging times.
At launch, Porsche says the Taycan will be able to handle 270 kW of input current, increasing to as much as 500 kW in the future. And Porsche promises a new 800-volt “Turbo” charging system will replenish a Taycan’s battery from 5 percent to 80 percent charge in just under 23 minutes. (After the battery reaches 80 percent, charging speed decreases notably, so Porsche says it’s best to just charge to 80 and be on your way.) These 800-volt chargers will eventually be conveniently located at Porsche dealerships and Electrify America charging stations.
While the EPA hasn’t rated the Taycan’s driving range just yet, Europe’s WLTP numbers indicate the Taycan Turbo should be able to cover up to 280 miles on a full charge, while in the Turbo S, that figure shrinks to 256 miles. Blame the S model’s larger 21-inch wheels for that discrepancy, and remember that WLTP testing often returns higher range numbers than EPA measurement. Those numbers are considerably smaller than a comparable Tesla: the EPA estimates range of 345 miles for the Tesla Model S Performance, rising to 370 miles for the Long Range.
By: Chris Perkins, September 4, 2019