Been away from your computer this week, and missed the big news stories in the world of automobiles? Fret not: we've gathered a few of the top stories from this past week here for your convenience.
Lamborghini Aventador J
Remember the days when supercars and show cars were wild-looking machines that looked as if they were ready to kill, even when standing still? Lamborghini seems to remember. Although a stock Aventador is already wild-looking and incredibly powerful, the new Concept J/ Jota takes things to a new level. Roof? Pfft. Windows? None. Windscreen? Who needs it? The result is sexy, but not destined for series production: this one-off car is going to a wealthy customer who apparently thought nothing of dropping more than $2 million to park it in his or her garage.
Bentley EXP 9 F
Rumors of a Bentley SUV have lingered for ages, but the brand finally revealed its first stab at such a product – the EXP 9F concept – at the Geneva Motor Show. Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer knows his customers love luxury SUVs, and he’d love it if they could park a Bentley-made model alongside a Mulsanne or Continental. The result, which rides on the platform of the next-generation Audi Q7, mashes styling cues from the aforementioned model ranges. The result is a little awkward, but we hear the company may show the EXP 9 F with other proposed front fascia designs over the course of the next year.
2012 Geneva Motor Show
The Jota and Bentley SUV weren’t the only two highlights of the Geneva show: we also had our first look at the 2012 Ferrari F12 gran turismo, along with a number of new concept designs and tuned sports cars. For a recap of everything that happened this year in Geneva, click here to visit our 2012 Geneva Motor Show homepage.
Could Ducati Soon Be A Volkswagen AG Subsidiary?
Potentially, according to our new report. There’s talk of a VW takeover of the iconic Italian motorcyle manufacturer – which, coincidently, is presently up for sale – and that the purchase could be orchestrated by the masterminds at Audi. If it comes to fruition, it wouldn’t be the first cycle brand tied to VW’s history – anyone remember NSU’s two-wheeled products?
Ford Transit Will Receive EcoBoost V-6
While Ford was busy showing a concept in Geneva that previewed the forthcoming European-spec Transit van, the company also began dishing facts on the forthcoming North American-spec Transit (or will it be T-Series?) that will replace the E-Series. The biggest news? Ford’s new commercial van will be offered with the company’s twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Early predictions suggest the engine should offer around 365 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, yet deliver a sizable fuel economy improvement over an eight-cylinder engine.
Ford Confirms Fiesta ST for Europe, Still Teases Fiesta ST For U.S.
The good news? Ford’s finally confirmed the souped-up subcompact Fiesta ST will join its European lineup next year. The bad news? It still has yet to do the same for the U.S. market. The silver lining? Ford continues to hint that it “remains open to the idea” of selling a five-door Fiesta ST here, as was previewed at last year’s Los Angeles auto show.
Audi Sending A3 Cab, RS3 To U.S.
Speaking of hot hatches, we hear new Audi S3 and RS3 models -- both based off the all-new Audi A3 that debuted earlier this week – is planned for the U.S. market, along with an A3 cabriolet. Specficiations are far from solidified, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the RS3 used a turbocharged I-5 capable of delivering between 350 and 400 horsepower.
2013 Ford F-Series Super Duty Platinum
Good news, Ford truck shoppers: For the 2013 model year, you can now order a luxurious F-250 or F-350, or F-450 pickup that does without the Western-inspired design cues found on the King Ranch or model. As has long been the case on the F-150, the 2013 F-250 and F-350, and F-450 are now offered in a Platinum trim package, and incorporates some of the same cosmetic dress-up items and interior amenities as its F-150 sibling. Another new addition? Ford’s rolling out a revised function its MyFord Touch infotainment system, albeit this time with large, redundant controls.
Driven: 2013 Porsche Boxster, 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth, Fisker Karma
We kicked off the week with a quick drive of the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth – or, as many call it, the Fiat 500 most performance car enthusiasts actually care about. As we find, it’s not a ground-pounding screamer – in fact, Mini’s Cooper S hatchback is a bit more powerful and a little quicker – but the Fiat is definitely still a ball of fun.
We also had our first chance behind the wheel of the all-new 2013 Porsche Boxster. Porsche’s third-generation Boxster is all-new, and promises to be more mature and sophisticated than ever before. But is the thrill gone? Apart from the electric power steering, we’d argue the answer is a firm “no.”
Speaking of Boxsters, the first-generation model was built in Finland by Valmet, the same company that’s now building the 2012 Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid. The sedan delivers dramatic styling, but does its performance match its dramatic looks? Read on to find out.