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Suzuki Auto Show Pre Party: Picture Ray Studio – West 18th Street

April 25th, 2011 by Dave

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.

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Ferrari 458 Italia – West 25th Street, Chelsea

April 4th, 2011 by Dave

Most of the modern, higher volume Ferraris coming out of Maranello have an uncanny ability to make less modern Ferraris look dated. While that sounds fairly intuitive to most of you fans out there, it becomes painfully obvious to owners who spent $180k on yesterday’s news only a few year’s ago. Remember the F348? The F355, F360 and, up until now, the F430. Each model represented the must-have Ferrari of the day until, well, the day passed. Just released, the 458 Italia makes them all look like the technological equivalent of digital toaster oven. Spotted outside of this high end custom car joint in Chelsea, the mid engine temptress has 3 menacing tailpipes, more cuts than the cast of The Real Housewives and looks like the result of a NASA lunar lander that cross pollinated with a Formula 1 race car.

Hopefully the owner doesn’t engage in any tacky add ons. This baby looks just fine in stock trim.

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MGB GT – 24th & 10th, NYC

March 11th, 2011 by Dave

Shooting-brakes are very hot right now. High end examples from BMW, MB and Ferrari, yes Ferrari, broke cover at this week’s Geneva Motor Show. They represent a high level of utility by way of a handsome, sporty 2-door wrapper. This 1970 example from MG, spotted in Chelsea, is one of the models that helped shape the breed of 2+2 sports cars. The innovative greenhouse, combining the sloping rear window with the rear deck lid, was penned by the legendary design mavens at Pininfarina. It fuses sexy coupe design cues with the functional elements of a wagon. As I’m sure you can agree, they did a good job of making a “station wagon” appear sexier than most. We can only hope all of the European shooting brake debuts going on in Geneva make their way over to U.S. shores in the very near future. Fingers crossed.

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