Aston Martin has unveiled the new DB10 that will be featured in the new James Bond movie due out in November 2015. This continues the affiliation with Bond and Aston Martin starting with the DB5 from the 1960s. It is up for debate what type of engine the DB10 will be equipped with, but will likely be a V8, but many are hoping for a V12. Unfortunately, it does not look like the DB10 will be available for the public purchase since only ten are going to be produced as of right now, which are to be used exclusively for the film. Interestingly, all ten are going to be handmade at Aston Martin’s headquarters in the UK.
Despite what Aston Martin says, there is still the possibility that the DB10 will reach production at some point in the future, but likely with a different name. It is expected that this vehicle will be the basis for the design of the Aston Martins to come in the near future.
Ferrari recently unveiled a new super-car that is not road legal and can only be used on the track. The Ferrari FXX K is basically a higher performance LaFerrari that has limited cosmetic changes. For starters, the FXX K has 86 more horsepower than the LaFerrari, which means a total of 1036 horsepower. As with the LaFerrari, the FXX K is a hybrid V12, with 848 coming from the V12 and 188 coming from the electric motor. In addition, the FXX K is equipped with fitted camshafts and a redesigned intake manifold from the LaFerrari. Furthermore, fewer exhaust silencing mechanisms are present on the FXX K since it’s not a street legal vehicle, resulting in a very loud ride.
The transmission is a seven speed dual clutch automatic as with the LaFerrari, but the FXX K is outfitted with four different driving modes. Quality mode is for maximum performance for a limited amount of time, Long Run mode is for an extended amount of driving time so performance is consistent, Manual Boost mode is for maximum performance and Fast Charge mode is for recharging the car’s battery. Unfortunately, this car cannot actually be taken home if purchased, the FXX K can only be used on Ferrari approved tracks under the supervision of Ferrari. The point of this is to help Ferrari research and develop the vehicle and its technology and receive input from its top customers.
Alfa Romeo vehicles are difficult to find in the United States. They stopped selling cars in the U.S. around the mid-1990s. Alfa Romeo enthusiasts were delighted when the car manufacturer announced its return to the U.S. By 2013, the Alfa Romeo 4C was introduced as being the first vehicle from Alfa Romeo to be mass-produced for the U.S. since 1995. There were some delays due to the 4C having to be modified to meet U.S. safety specifications, but 4Cs were finally shipped to the U.S. in 2014.
The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is very similar to the 4C coupe, but with some modifications. The most obvious difference is the 4C Spider is convertible. Surprisingly, the 4C Spider came out just as nice as the coupe, if not nicer. The top is lightweight canvas for simplicity, but still gained a little over 100 lbs. as a convertible. Because of the changes, there was a chance that the performance would suffer, but that is not the case for the 4C Spider. The car is equipped with a turbocharged 1.7 liter-four cylinder engine. This results in almost 240 horsepower and over 250 lbs. of torque. The Spider can reach 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. Some of the other modifications are cleaner headlights (compared to the 4C coupe), a center mounted exhaust system and a nicer leather interior with carbon fiber. The price of the 2015 4C hasn’t been announced yet, but it is expected to be over $55,000.
Ferrari introduced another super car at the 2013 Geneva show that is a hybrid! This is surprising because when the hybrid trend started, Ferrari didn’t seem to be interested. Ferrari only built 499 LaFerraris for production, which have already sold out. The suggested retail price was between $1.35 million and $1.69 million. This vehicle is somewhat similar to the Bugatti Veyron, but is able to achieve a higher fuel economy. The hybrid setup is a close comparison to the McLaren P1 and is just as gorgeous. Not only is the body of the LaFerrari incredible, but it is equipped with serious performance features as with every Ferrari.
The Ferrari LaFerrari boasts 950 horsepower and over 700 Nm of torque. This allows the vehicle to reach 124 mph in under 7 seconds. In addition, this Ferrari has a maximum speed of over 215 mph. This power comes from its V12 gasoline engine as well as its electric engine. Some of the other features that the vehicle comes with is stability control, carbon ceramic brakes, a high performance braking system and active aerodynamics. The Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid follows in Ferrari’s push toward lower emission super cars. Surprisingly, the LaFerrari does not have lower power settings like many other supercar hybrids. The Ferrari LaFerrari is a stunning car and unfortunately, it is practically impossible to find one since they were sold out soon after its limited production run.
It is well known that Audi is big on LEDs since almost all Audi vehicles are equipped with LED headlights and taillights. At CES 2014, Audi debuted a new vehicle concept that utilizes laser diodes for the high beams as well as LEDs for the low beams. The concept car is called the Audi Sport Quattro Laser Light Concept and is equipped with many innovative features such as user control and display interfaces, hybrid technology and the laser lighting technology mentioned above. The laser diodes that power the high beams double the distance of LEDs at a 1640-foot range, which is a third of a mile. Furthermore, laser diodes are three times as bright as LED headlights and the design takes up less space than LEDs. These laser headlights are expected to increase the safety of night driving.
The Audi Sport Quattro Laser Light Concept is powered by a twin turbo 4.0-liter V-8 engine and an electric motor. This equates to a 700-hp hybrid that comes with an eight speed tiptronic transmission. The hybrid engine can power the vehicle up to 31 miles and at full power, the vehicle can reach 190 mph and 0 to 62 mph in 3.7 seconds. Key driving information is displayed on the dash in high resolution, three-dimensional graphics powered by a Tegra processor. In addition, this vehicle was designed to be very light weight with many aluminum body panels such as the doors and fenders. The roof, hood and truck are all carbon composites. It is unknown if this vehicle will reach production status or be sold in America due to the Department of Transportation’s strict regulations on headlights.
Car enthusiasts praised the power and look of the McLaren P1, but McLaren made things even more interesting with the announcement of a special edition P1, the GTR. The McLaren P1 GTR will only be available to P1 owners, which is limited to 375. McLaren has not disclosed how many GTRs will be produced, but it is expected to be under 50. Production will start when the last of the P1s are completed in the beginning of 2015. The GTR borrows it’s the name from the McLaren F1 GTR that won the Le Mans in 1995.
The P1 GTR will have 83bhp more than the P1 GTR, resulting in 986bhp. It is unknown how fast it will accelerate, but it will certainly be quicker than the 2.8 seconds the P1 accelerates to 62 mph. Some other changes are a larger and fixed spoiler as well as repositioned side mirrors for better aerodynamics. The GTR was given a new twin exhaust pipe design, made of inconel and titanium alloy and is centrally mounted. Furthermore, the GTR is equipped with quick release 19-inch racing alloy wheels and an onboard air jacking system for very quick tire changes. The McLaren P1 GTR will retail for over $3.3 million and is only available to drivers who purchased the $1.15 million P1.
It is typically hot on race days and Aston Martin participated in many European races such as the Le Mans 24-hour race. As a result, it is a requirement for many races that vehicles have air conditioning because it is dangerous for drivers to be racing in the heat for a long time. The issue is air conditioning takes a great deal of power away from the engine as well as consumes additional fuel than actually necessary. The team at Aston Martin Racing is working on ways to improve how comfortable their drivers are because they believe that this will increase their performance while racing.
Aston Martin Racing’s solution is to use solar power for air conditioning. This will keep the drivers cool as well as increase the performance of their vehicles and achieve better fuel economy. It is interesting that Aston Martin came to the conclusion to use solar power since it is known for exclusively using gasoline engines to power its vehicles. Recently, Aston Martin has been looking into alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen. For example, last year, a hybrid hydrogen Aston Martin was raced in the 24 Hours Nürburgring in Germany. This was the first hydrogen powered vehicle to ever race in an international race. It will be interesting to see what Aston Martin has in store for the future with alternative fuels.