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Lambo on its roof

A Lamborghini Murcielago (Roadster?) on its roof in Cape Town, South Africa.

Lamborghini on its roof

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/26/2011 at 8:46 AM
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Categories: Lamborghini
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Quick Spin: 2011 Lexus IS 250 F Sport

2011 Lexus IS F Sport

Branding is a large part of marketing. Corporations want their name or logo to stand for something in people’s minds. If a company fails to brand itself correctly, it could ultimately fail. For instance, Xerox tried to buy its way into the computer business in the early 70s with a completely new slogan for a new line of products: "Office of the Future." The problem was that when office managers thought of the name Xerox, they thought (and still think) printers and copiers, not computers. This branding error is part of the reason why Xerox fled the computer business a short half-decade later.

Xerox Computer

We don’t think Lexus has put itself in a precarious position with the 2011 Lexus IS 250 F Sport package. In fact, we were excited to see the Ultrasonic Blue F-badged Lexus sitting outside our front doors. The problem is, upon first glance, we believed we were getting our hands on the IS F and not the least-powerful car in the IS lineup. Lexus just introduced the F Sport brand for the new decade and it is already watering down its image with cars undeserving of such a badge.

Lexus F Sport Badge

That is not to say the IS 250 F Sport package is a bad car. In fact, it is a very good car. Despite the bit-meager-for-this-class 204-hp 2.5-liter V-6, the car provides decent pep. Lexus quotes a zero-to-60 mph time of 7.9 seconds, which although not fast or even quick, it is enough to get you up to speed when entering traffic (so long as it is not performed in a reckless manner). On paper, the IS 250 appears to have the right numbers to do well in corners as well: a low curb weight of 3,400 pounds, a 52/48 front-to-rear weight distribution, rear-wheel drive, F Sport-tuned suspension and steering, and 225/40YR-18 tires on the front wheels and 255/40YR-18 tires at the rear. Road impressions show that the IS does master the road in some aspects. It has solid grip, the steering has good weight, and it shows some agility in its steps. It does understeer but are main niggle is that, although it doesn’t feel disconnected, the IS doesn’t exactly feel connected either. It has to do with feeling of isolation that the Lexus brand is so well known.

Lexus F Sport 18-inch Wheels

The interior of the Lexus IS 250 F Sport is normal Lexus IS, except with new seats and a few F Sport badges. We found the seats to be comfortable with good lateral support. The special heated seats (a feature we only use to prank others with here in Florida) feature a special microfiber insert and leather side bolsters to provide better grip during cornering. We did have a problem with the shifter and its exposed metal, which got extremely hot in the Florida sun.

Lexus IS Seats

Lexus IS Shifter

The F Sport package is new for 2011. A front lip spoiler, rear deck spoiler, blackened chrome grille insert, 18-inch wheels, and small F Sport badges just forward the front doors distinguishes it from regular IS sedans. It is a must-buy for driving enthusiasts that are smitten with the IS, even if it feels out of place on the base model.

Lexus IS Shifter

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/26/2011 at 6:30 AM
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Categories: Lexus
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Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 commerical

Check out the Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 commercial below. Shot in California, the video shows the flagship Lamborghini surviving a host of cataclysmic God-like events while transversing the desert. Luckily, the Lamborghini’s performance is able to pull it through unscathed.

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/25/2011 at 3:32 AM
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Categories: Lamborghini
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Bugatti Veyron Super Sport makes Asian market debut

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport made its premiere appearance in the Asian marketplace at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show earlier this week. The car currently present in Shanghai has already been purchased and is adorned in black carbon fiber and masterfully accentuated by polished and anodized aluminum lines and alloy wheels. The interior of the Super Sport features a two-tone design in "Snow Beige" and "Beluga Black.” The Veyron 16.4 Super Sport is the current holder in the Guinness Book of Records for the fastest production car in the world. It was able to achieve an incredible average top speed of 267.81 mph at Volkswagen’s proving grounds in the summer of 2010.

Veyron Super Sport China

Sitting next to the Super Sport at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show is a Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport wearing customer-specific garb. A convertible version of the base Veyron 16.4, the Grand Sport features an open-top design and an umbrella-like canopy that can be placed overhead if rain is on its way. The car does come with a roof piece made of polycarbonate, but, unfortunately, it has to be stowed outside the car. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport at Shanghai is covered in matte white and highlighted by blue carbon fiber elements on the vehicle's lower section and blue-finished alloy wheels. With its easily viewed interior, the owner of this car decided on blue leather with white stitching to match the car’s exterior theme.

Veyron Grand Sport China

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/22/2011 at 6:38 AM
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Categories: Bugatti | Shanghai Auto Show
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You can own the Veyron Grand Sport Blanc Noir for $2.5 million

A Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport model with “Blanc Noir” stenciled on the lower front portion of the car’s doors was spotted in California earlier last year. It was presumed that the car was either a special edition model offered but never announced by Bugatti or a customer’s car that was specifically labeled to appear as a special one-off model (in the super expensive world of rare ultra-exotics, aren’t they all special one-off editions?).

Either way, the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Blanc Noir has popped up for sale in our classified ads. The term “Blanc Noir” translates to “white black,” which is why the car features a matte white body and glossy black highlights with a black leather interior. It is being offered with the remaining factory warranty for $2.5 million. Follow the jump above for more than 50 photos.

Veyron Grand Sport Blanc Noir

Veyron Grand Sport Blanc Noir

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/22/2011 at 5:40 AM
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Categories: Bugatti
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Spyker C8 boasts 500 hp in special China model

Spyker is joining the special-edition-models-for-China game with the Spyker C8 Laviolette China Edition. Wearing bright orange paint and Dutch flag accents, the car’s 4.2-liter V-8 is said to develop 100 more horsepower for a new total of 500 (we guess the ZR1 motor was unavailable). The Chinese people will pay for the extra horsepower, literally. The car is priced at 4.8 million Yuan, or approximately $740,000.

[via AutoBlog.nl]

Spyker C8 China Edition

Spyker C8 China Edition

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/22/2011 at 4:39 AM
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Categories: Shanghai Auto Show | Spyker
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Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record to make North America debut at New York Auto Show

Despite a modest release, Bentley is extremely excited about its Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record (ISR) Convertible. It will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show starting this Friday, April 22, 2011.

The car celebrates a new world ice-speed record set by Juha Kankkunen in a Supersport Convertible on February 10, 2011. He was able to achieve a speed of 205.48 mph, eclipsing his own record of 199.83 mph, which he set in a Continental GT in 2007. The Bentley Supersports Ice Speed Record Convertible will be limited to just 100 units.

Like the car it is based off, power is derived from a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 engine that can run off gasoline, E85 bio-ethanol, or any combination of the two. Power is up compared to the base Continental Supersport Convertible for a new total of 631 hp. This makes the Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record Convertible the most powerful Bentley ever.

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/19/2011 at 10:27 AM
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Categories: Bentley | New York International Auto Show
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New Bentley Azure to debut at the 2011 New York Auto Show?

Stylish and powerful, the next generation Azure is guaranteed to be both elegant and a future classic. Based off the Muslanne, the 500-hp Azure delivers driver-focused performance with the ability to transport four adults in first-class, open-top luxury. We will have to wait and see if it will sit next to the Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record edition at the 2011 New York International Auto Show.

2012 Bentley Azure

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/19/2011 at 9:30 AM
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Categories: Bentley | New York International Auto Show
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Lingenfelter reveals new performance package at Camaro5Fest

Lingenfelter revealed a new 800-hp twin-turbocharged package for the 2010 Camaro SS this past weekend at the 2011 Camaro5Fest at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona.

Starting with a Z06 7.0-liter V-8 engine, Lingenfelter slapped on a pair of turbochargers and replaced most of the engine’s internal parts to nearly double the car’s horsepower. Most will want to order the entire performance package, which adds a new clutch, Brembo brakes, Corsa exhaust, Hotchkis suspension springs and anti-sway bars, and other go-fast bits.

Exterior refinements include a new front fascia, rocker extensions, new hood with a functioning air inlet, rear spoiler, and new rear apron. Custom wheels with 275/40ZR-20 tires on the front and 315/35ZR-20 on the back are also part of the upgrades.

Follow the jump to read the press materials released on the Friday before the car's big reveal.

Lingenfelter 800-hp Twin-Turbo Camaro

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Posted by: Benjamin Greene
Posted on: 4/19/2011 at 4:47 AM
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Categories: Aftermarket | Chevrolet
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India gets luxury marques and plenty of sticker shock

Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, and Aston Martin have all recently announced that they will open new showrooms in two of India’s wealthiest and most populated cities. Unfortunately, at least for the rich people that reside there, the cost of luxury is much higher in India. Federal taxes on imported cars are more than 100 percent of the car’s retail price. Despite some sticker shock that could nauseate some wealthy Americans, India’s growing wealth equals a great opportunity for these luxury marques.

Lamborghini has held a stake in India since 2006, when Exclusive Motors started importing cars into the country, specifically into the city of Delhi. The dealership in Delhi will now compete against a new dealership in Mumbai from AutoHangar, which owns the principle Mercedes-Benz dealer in the same city. The two dealerships will contend for the 8–10 Aventadors that Lamborghini has reserved for the country. The new Lambo flagship will fetch approximately 40,000,000 Indian rupees, or a face-slapping $900,000.

Lamborghini Aventador

Unlike Lamborghini, this is Aston Martin’s first push into the country’s luxury marketplace. Aston Martin held a ceremony just days ago to celebrate plans for two new dealerships to be run by Infinity Group. The entire Aston Martin range except the Cygnet will be up for grabs through dealers in Mumbai and Delhi. Like the cars from Lamborghini, prices may shock some Americans. For example, the Aston Martin Vantage will fetch 13,500,000 Indian rupees, or approximately $305,000; the new four-door Rapide’s price will equate to nearly $500,000; and the rare One-77 will cost 200,000,000 Indian rupees, or approximately $4,520,000.

Like its competitors, Ferrari hopes to be selling news cars out of Delhi and Mumbai in the very near future. Unfortunately, its range will cost just as much: a California will cost 22,270,000 Indian rupees, or approximately $500,000; a 458 Italia will run 25,660,000 Indian rupees, or approximately $580,000, and the 599 GTB will require 33,710,000 Indian rupees, or nearly $760,000. The cars will be offered through the Shreyans group, which will also be working with Ferrari’s sister brand, Maserati, to bring the GranTurismo, Quattroporte, and GranCabrio to India this year.

India, like China, experienced massive GDP growth in 2008 and 2009 when other parts of the world went into decline. As a result, the number of high-net-wealth individuals—individuals with investable assets of $1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables—grew by nearly 51 percent.

[via Wall Street Journal, AutoCar India, Indian Cars Bikes, and World Wealth Report 2010]

Ferrari FF

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