Entries from April 29th, 2011
The New York Auto Show is kind of a big deal for us here at Man on the Move. Yes, we realize it’s not the mega debut forum of the Detroit, Geneva, LA or Paris variety, but NYC is our backyard so we’re kinda partial to it. Not to mention that it’s the oldest car show in the country and attendance exceeds just about every other major auto show venue in the world. That’s not to say there wasn’t a fair number of significant vehicle unveils to speak of. VW, for instance, pulled the sheet off the next generation Beetle (images after the jump) and it looks fantastic. Far more masculine and a lot less cute than the bubble top flower child that preceded it. The chunkier dimensions, bolder stance and squared of face and roofline should do wonders for making this modern classic more popular with dudes. There were also a handful of dreamy concept cars from Mercedes (see Concept A below) and Scion (see Scion FR-S Concept after the jump). We loved the painstaking attention to detail Mercedes designers paid to the Concept A and fell in love with the boy racer dimensions Scion showed off in their FR-S.
This year, Lotus sponsored the pre auto show charity Gala put on by the East Side House Settlement. They were good enough to show off their finest wares for all the cocktail-touting gala goers to see and enjoy. Among them, a side by side representation of the 2015 Esprit and the 1977 Series 1 that inspired it. Also on display was the new Evora S and a few race cars thrown in for good measure.
Enjoy all the tasty photos after the jump.
[See more →]
Japanese automaker Suzuki pulled silk veils off a couple of concepts before this year’s big apple auto show, each based off their Kizashi sport sedan currently making waves in dealerships across America. The Apex concept (Blue) takes an already sporty formula and adds gusto with a Garrett turbo system, air to liquid intercooler, recalibrated ECU and a set of menacing black 19-inch wheels and low profile rubber. The result, decked out in stickers and graphics that pay homage to Suzuki’s motorcycle racing team, is a decidedly sporty affair with an estimated 300 ponies residing under hood. Note to Suzuki…please make this.
On the flip side of the consumer appeal spectrum is the EcoCharge (white), a concept more concerned with fuel savings than 0-60 times. The car, which mates a lithium ion battery with a little four cylinder gas engine, features fuel saving technology like stop/start, regenerative braking and low rolling resistance tires. The result takes an already frugal 30 MPG Kizashi to nearly 38 MPG.
We’ve sampled Kizashi and had good things to say about its drive dynamics, handsome looks and excellent fuel economy. Expanding the line up with sport and eco variants embodied by these concepts seems like a great way to build on an already appealing product. Let’s hope they actually build them.
[See more →]
Ford used a live musical performance from Grammy-award-winning Train to celebrate the pre-autoshow unveiling of their 2013 Taurus large sedan in Manhattan earlier this week. The car is not all-new from the ground up but features some updated design cues, improved MPG ratings and an all new 4-cylinder eco-boost engine option to keep the feds at bay. We’re not party planners or anything, but Metropolitan Pavilion seemed like an odd venue for the event considering that Porsche was throwing a similar event right next door (see yesterday’s post).
We woud ordinarily open wide and yawn when thinking about grocery-getting sedans like Taurus, but this thing looks pretty good. Certainly more exciting to look at than an Accord or Camry from an everyday driver standpoint. Of particular interest is the SHO, the ultimate sleeper car, packing a hot new grille, updated 20 inch wheels and a carryover 365 HP Ecoboost V6. Ford says its the sportiest Taurus to ever bear the SHO name.
We’re inclined to agree.
[See more →]
Pictured: Porsche CEO and President Detlev von Platen, addressing industry insiders at the show’s kick off party at The Altman Building
Porsche used century old hybrid technology to sell the future at a pre NY auto show party for their $95k 2012 Panamera S Hybrid. Alongside the shiny new HEV sports sedan making its North American debut, the brand also showed off a one-of-a-kind recreation of Semper Vivus, a hybrid built by Ferdinand Porsche in the year 1900. Sorry to Prius and Insight, but Porsche says it’s the world’s first serial and functional hybrid.
So what does any auto company do when they want to pay homage to a century old vehicle that only exists in archived design department sketches? Rebuild it of course. Porsche started building Semper Vivus back in 2007, having to fabricate nearly every single part of the vehicle from scratch. She cost the better part of a million to build and, from what Alchim tells me, the car nearly identical to the original in every way. Expect to see judges drooling all over it at vintage blue ribbons like Goodwood Festival of Speed and Pebble Beach Concours later this year.
Much like the Chevy Volt, the Semper Vivus, which translates to always moving, is a range extended EV that does not use combustion to send power to the wheels. Rather, when the massive lead batteries are depleted, two-tiny 1-cylinder motors send juice to two 2.5-kilowatt generators that keep electricity flowing to the wheels. Of course, the Volt has a plug and uses Lithium batteries instead of lead. I’m told combined torque from the wheel-mounted motors is more 220 lb-ft and its pretty spirited to drive despite the hefty 3,700 lbs curb weight. Porsche tells us that total range is 200 KM and EV-only is 40 KM. Top speed is 35 MPH. Not bad for a 111 year old design huh.
One really interesting detail, the massive wheels are made from solid rubber to accommodate the 3,700 pound load. There is actually no air in them. Instead, the tire is solid rubber that was chiseled to shape.
Porsche has obviously got the hybrid fever and wants to piggyback on Cayenne Hybrid’s success (currently represents 18% of Cayenne volume) with a similarly equipped version of their Panamera (currently represents 30% of brand volume). Hopefully Semper Vivus will help the brand to stake their claim alongside the likes of Toyota and Honda for hybrid bragging rights and credibility.
Also on hand was Porsche’s 911 GT3R Hybrid racer, decked out in special livery to celebrate the brand’s 1 million fan following on Facebook.
Lots of eye candy after the jump. Stay with us throughout the week for further auto show coverage.
[See more →]
Spotted this home grown race car taking a breather on West 57th street and could not help myself. Sure, the econobox turned derby runner has seen better days. But don’t be fooled by the beat up exterior…this baby is prepped for the track. Not only does the interior have a full roll cage and Recaro race seat fitted to it, but there’s also a fire extinguisher and what appears to be a completely gutted passenger cabin for a lower curb weight. The owner, who is apparently sponsored by Fairway Market, also added some nice touches for enhanced aerodynamics. These high tech add ons include a Godzilla statue on the roof, cut out for the Holland Tunnel at the exhaust exit and a big ol’ picture of the Heff on the side.
We can’t make this stuff up. The pictures are proof.
[See more →]
You don’t see these Citroën SM‘s very often. Not ever really. Love it or hate it, the precocious French sports coupe was well ahead of its time from a style, design and technology standpoint. And while the exaggerated Art Decco influence and wheel spats might not look all that sporty, the futurisitic GT car [produced during 70 and 75] was quite the performer and, at the time, was the fastest front wheel drive vehicle you could get. Maserati even shared a few major mechanical bits, like drivetrain and tranny, on some of their models of the era when the two automakers joined forces [Citroën purchased Maserati in 1968].
Can you dig it?
[See more →]
There are only two Automobiles in the Museum of Modern Art‘s permanent collection, a WWII era Jeep and a Jaguar E-Type. Enzo Ferrari, the man responsible for some of the most inspired automobiles in history, called it “The most beautiful car ever made”. Its roots were based in Jaguar’s victories at LeMans in the 1950s and it has a main role in that legendary song about Mulholland Drive…”And then I saw the Jag slide into the curve I know I’ll never forget that horrible sight I guess I found out for myself that everyone was right, won’t come back from Dead Man’s Curve.” Impressive by today’s standards, it did 0-60 in seven seconds, had a top speed of 149 mph and somehow managed to eek out 21 mpg without the use of fancy shmancy direct injection systems or dual scroll turbos as has become the norm today. The bullet-shaped E-Type was also your best bet at scoring an equally attractive young woman to sit shotgun as you raged through the Hollywood Hills with the top down.
Spotted here on East 63rd street, this charcoal on blood red beauty is nothing short of breathtaking. Think of it as one more reason to work hard folks.
[See more →]
Our SoCal correspondent Andre was good enough to snap this gorgeous ’60 Vette drop top while on extended assignment in Belgium. A car guy through and through (he claims his first word was car), Andre actually helped the local buyer to broker the deal on this luscious 3-owner beauty. From what he tells us, the guy didn’t speak a lick of english, but was well versed and deeply enamored by the American icon and rich Corvette culture. The pics were taken right after the car came off the freighter and, as you can tell from the shiny chrome and immaculate bodywork, this American classic is the recipient of a recent frame-off restoration. From what Andre tells us, the owner wanted to treat himself with a 50-year-old Corvette for his 50th birthday. Sounds like pretty sound logic from where we stand.
[See more →]
The Nissan GT-R, amongst other high-po sports cars in its price and performance range, is a relatively low key vehicle. Throw a super loud paint job like this into the mix and you can no longer fly under anyone’s radar. Hell, you can see this hue from space. Godzilla, as it’s lovingly known by enthusiasts, looks a lot better in Orange than I ever could have ever imagined though. Very exotic. Very slick. Very fast.
It’s hard to tell from this vantage point, but the hood is actually a carbon fiber affair. This thing is shoe in for Fast Five