Posts tagged with "sportscar"

Redeye, hellcat, dodge, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, challenger

Plum Crazy: Hellcat Redeye Widebody

By Michael Moadeb, Anthony Sovinsky× Vaughn Lowery

If power is what you crave, look no farther than the 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody. This beaut of a car is the same as the notorious Dodge Challenger Hellcat but with impressive additions. Its key competitors are the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Dodge definitely brought out the mad scientists to execute what they do best, create a monster. They collaborated with SRT to create this amazing creature of an automobile that has a Hellcat stamp of approval with a demon-like red eye.

The 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody is up 90 horsepower and 57 lb-ft torque from the original 707 Hellcat putting it at 797 horsepower and 707 lb-ft torque, just 11 bucks shy of the Demon. The first thing you will note is not the look, but you will hear the acoustics of the violin like supercharger make music as it has a 6.2-liter supercharged V8; It really claws the road! The Redeye Widebody is only available in a 7-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Even with traction on, the car is able to do full burnouts and donuts (recommend closed professional circuit); imagine what could be done if you get the traction control off. It’s astonishing this machine is even street legal!

The Redeye Widebody are equipped with ExtremeContact Sports tires that have SportPlus Technology, Chambered Block Edges, Solid Shoulder Macro Blocks, and more. All of these stats will make you realize why this car is more track-focused than the original Hellcat or the Demon. Thither is a cool perk called the “Afterchiller” so that when you shut down the car, it will take the A/C and run it continuously while the car is off to cool it down.

The automobile is a dark purple color called “Plum Crazy” which is a traditional Mopar color making it both beautiful and terrifying. The hood is different from previous Hellcat designs as it is a reversion to older Mopar styled muscle cars. There is an option to black out the hood for an extra $15,000 which throws the car an eye-widening color contrast. It looks pretty pricey, although it does add functionality and aggressiveness. Nevertheless, the headlights are the same as the original Hellcat, which, don’t get me wrong, isn’t an issue; why change something that is perfect?

The interior of the car is considerably thought out with high tech and considerable from the large and soft race-inspired front seats in the spacious trunk space, this car has got everything. To make the car even cooler the seats have SRT and the Hellcat badge stitched into them although no red eyes here. Additionally, the infotainment system is similar to older Hellcat models with Apple CarPlay, navigation, drive ways, detailed performance tuning, a rattling subwoofer mounted in the trunk, 18” speaker premium audio system and more.

Being one of the best muscle cars, performance-wise, on the market, the 2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody is a genuinely good bang for your buck for $58,995 for the base model and $88,855 for all the sweet add-ons.

Pre-order.

2019 Lexus LC500, LC500h

By Shin Takei

For those of us lucky enough to experience driving the Lexus LFA we lamented the fact that it was a limited production (500) high dollar super car (MSRP $375K USD) produced from 2011 to 2012. Needless to say, it remains an icon and a collector car. For most driving enthusiasts, the word exciting, sexy, exhilarating, thrilling was never associated with Lexus. In fact, after the LFA, nothing from Lexus could be labelled exciting, until now. Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation and Chief Branding Officer of Lexus heard the automotive journalist’s call and vowed that Lexus will never be associated with those words. Being an avid car enthusiast and master driver who honed his skills at Nurburgring, Mr. Toyoda wanted Lexus to be emotional and exciting vehicles to drive.

As part of the Lexus Flagship lineup which consists of the LS500 and LX570, the LC500 and LC500h, the Flagship Sports Coupe is part of the Global Architecture-Luxury platform that features a low center of gravity, aerodynamics and high- speed stability which is shared by the LS sedan. The styling of the LC Flagship coupe is aggressive starting with the prominent spindle grille and wide flared out hip and low frontal area due to a multi-link front suspension system. The ultra-compact LED 3-projector headlamps are flanked by the L-shaped daytime running lights. An optional carbon fiber roof panel is available and at the rear the spindle profile is carried out. A set of optional 21” black wheels enhance the sporting look. The coupe looks purposeful and its aggressive looks generated a few stares wherever we drove it. Liberal use of light weight high strength steel, aluminum and CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) contribute to the stiffest unibody ever built by Lexus and with much of the drivetrain behind the front axle a 52:48 weight distribution was achieved resulting in the driver’s hip and heel points to be lowered in the cockpit.

The LC500 is powered by a naturally aspirated 5.0 liters V8 with 471 HP @7,100rpm and 398 lb-ft of torque @4,800rpm. The DOHC 32 valve Dual VVT-iE (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) engine is hooked up to a 10-speed Sport Direct Shift automatic with paddle shift and manual mode. 0-60mph arrives in less than 4.5 seconds. To increase the exhaust sound, Active Exhaust channels the sound to the firewall through a special resonance tube. The engine switches to the Atkinson cycle for efficiency and to he Otto cycle for performance. The LC500h features Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive and is mated to an Atkinson cycle 3.5 Liter gasoline engine and allows for operating the vehicle up to 87 mph without the gas engine. To enhance the sports driving experience, the owner can opt for the Lexus Dynamic Handling system (LDH) which coordinates EPS (electric power steering with Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) and Active Rear Steering (ARS).

The interior of the coupe was designed to maximize the driving experience by positioning the driver low and close to the center of gravity to transmit road feel more directly. The seats feature bolsters in the shoulder area and the optional sports seats provide more grip around the driver during hard cornering. The Alcantara door panels with drape-surfaces are similar to the flowing exterior lines. The TFT display and the Lexus Multi-Media display integrates the Remote Touch Interface touchpad control for Navigation, Audio and Connectivity. As if the standard 12 speaker Pioneer surround sound system isn’t enough, there’s the optional Mark Levinson 13 speaker sound system to blow your ears away.

So how does this all work out? Quite well, thank you. The coupe is easy to drive, and in true GT car fashion, comfortable and relaxing but turning the Drive Mode Selector switch to Sport+ brings out the true character of this coupe. Faster shifting, enhanced engine performance and increased engine sound contribute to an exciting driving experience. There’s a lot of Japanese culture incorporated in the car. The chrome strip next to the rear glass panel is not unlike a samurai sword and words like Kizashi (a sign of great things to come) and Omotenashi (hospitality) are integrated throughout the car.

There is a limited edition of 100 Lexus LC500 Inspiration Series that are painted in Flair Yellow, which does draw your attention and a new pigment called Structural Blue was formulated taking characteristics from butterfly wings tropical fish and precious stones. Both are brilliant and intense and unique in enhancing the profile of the car but you better hurry to get one.

The Lexus LC500 is a true GT (Grand Touring) car. It is quick, handles well and finally has feeling and excitement. Yet it is comfortable enough to drive it for an evening out. However, we feel they’ve left a little wiggle room for more performance and believe a LC500 F-Sport is coming soon that would satisfy the hardcore sports car enthusiasts. Until then, the Lexus LC500 and LC500h will be more than adequate for most of us who won’t be driving it to the limit.

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

360 magazine, Lexus, lc500, lc500h, Vaughn Lowery, shin takei

Fireside Chat Series at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering

Recognized as one of the most highly influential international events during the historic Monterey Car Week, The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, today announced its lineup of speakers for its annual Fireside Chat Series taking place throughout the day on August 24, 2018. Each year, the Fireside Chat Series welcomes special guests—ranging from racecar drivers to fashion designers to automotive restoration experts—to the main stage at Quail Lodge & Golf Club to discuss their passions for vintage and racing motorcars, as well as their personal journeys.

This year will be highlighted by road racing legend and Rolex Testimonee, Scott Pruett, who will share his fervent advocacy for the motorsports hobby. Pruett began his racing career at eight years old and recently retired after 50 years on the track. With 60 sportscar race wins, five Rolex 24 victories and a class win at Le Mans under his belt, Pruett now focuses on making award-winning wines.

In addition to the above icon, The Quail will welcome two dignitaries of the fashion world, Laura Brown and Tamara Mellon, to lead the panel “Fashion in the Fast Lane,” which will explore the parallels between fashion and the automotive industry. Over her career, Brown has served as the executive director of Harper’s Bazaar and is currently the editor in chief of InStyle Magazine, while Mellon is an esteemed luxury women’s shoe designer, and most recently acts as co-founder and CCO of her namesake direct-to-consumer label.

“Since its inception, our Fireside Chat Series has become a significant fixture and much-anticipated tradition at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering,” said Director of Motorsports for The Peninsula Signature Events Gordon McCall. “This year, each special guest will bring a valuable and unique story to the table. There will truly be something for everyone to listen to and enjoy.”

Guests of The Quail will have the opportunity to witness the Fireside Chat Series throughout the day at the event. Although the event is sold out, individuals who have missed the opportunity to purchase tickets may submit a waitlist request online. Other premium options for admission includeThe Quail Helicopter Ticket and The Quail Charitable Patron Ticket, which are still available for purchase. For more information about these ticket options, please click here.

Pirelli Leads in Original Run Flat Equipment

Pirelli has underlined its status as the preferred brand for premium and prestige car makers, proven by over 500 homologations for Run Flat tires. This is technology that allows drivers to keep going even with a puncture, so that they can reach their nearest tire dealer to change the tire. In total, there are 516 homologations of Pirelli Run Flat tires: in other words tires that have been chosen by manufacturers as original equipment for their new cars. These include 326 summer tire, 100 winter tire, and 90 all-season tire homologations. As a result, Pirelli now has more than 2800 manufacturer homologations for its product range.

Alfa Romeo is the latest marque to have homologated Pirelli Run Flat tires on its Giulia sedan. Manufacturers such as BMW, Cadillac, Dodge, Jeep, Mercedes, Mini and Rolls-Royce also use Pirelli tires that can keep going after a puncture. Even when a tire pressure monitoring system indicates a sudden loss of pressure, these tires are able to carry on driving for 50 miles at a maximum speed of 50mph. The specially-designed tire sidewall structure is capable of supporting the weight of the car, ensuring a safe journey to the nearest tire dealer. Pirelli’s bespoke Self Supporting system uses special reinforcements inserted into the sides of the internal structure that are able to withstand both the vertical and horizontal loads on the car.

Pirelli’s Run Flat technology is available on P Zero, Cinturato, Scorpion and Scorpion Winter, Winter Sottozero 3 and Winter Sottozero Serie II. Consequently, the range is able to cover 97% of fitments in 18-inch size or higher, with 24 exclusive product codes: which are sizes that no other tire manufacturer sells. Pirelli is the leader in the Run Flat sector, both when it comes to summer and all-season tires as well as winter.

Run Flat technology responds to the demands of prestige and premium car manufacturers for a level of personalization precisely tailored to the technical characteristics of their vehicles. Throughout the development process, which takes two or three years, Pirelli’s engineers work hand in hand with their counterparts at each manufacturer to create specific tires that are distinguished by a special marking on the sidewall. For each manufacturer, there is a bespoke tire – which is at the very heart of Pirelli’s perfect fit strategy.

About Pirelli

Pirelli was founded in 1872 and has its headquarters in Milan, Italy. Pirelli focuses its business on the high end, premium product segment where it is a world leader. Pirelli has a commercial presence in over 160 countries and 19 factories in 13 countries. Successfully competing in motorsports since 1907, Pirelli is currently the exclusive supplier of the Formula 1 championship, the Superbike world championship, and many other championships around the world. Pirelli Tire North America (PTNA) includes the Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) facility and research and development center at its Rome, Georgia headquarters, a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Silao, Mexico, sales and marketing offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Montreal and Mexico City, and a prestige flagship store in Los Angeles. The company manufactures, distributes and markets original equipment and replacement tires for export and domestic car/motorcycle applications. For more information regarding Pirelli, please visit www.pirelli.com.

2018 Austrian GP

Quotes from the Race

MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: WINNER, Start Position: 4th
“I’m so happy to win at the Red Bull Ring, and with so many Dutch fans here. It was also so unexpected, and that makes it even better. An amazing weekend. If you want to win a race this is the perfect place, in a Red Bull car at the Red Bull Ring. For the race I was very happy in general with how the car was behaving but I always just try to do my best race possible; if that is going to be first, second, third, it’s not in your hand. From my side I felt in control, I was driving to the best I could with the car I had and at the end we were struggling a little more than Ferrari with the tyre blistering but we managed to stay ahead. I knew that Daniel and Lewis had to pit again and I didn’t want that scenario so I was not driving to the full limit of the car but just managing everything. It was tougher than perhaps it looked but I just needed to be on top of my tyres. I’m very thankful to the engineers for making that strategy call under the VSC and full complements to the team for that pitstop, because that definitely made our race. The fans in the grandstand were great, so many orange t-shirts there. My focus was always on the track but for the last few laps I could look a little bit to my left and they were really cheering me on, it was amazing.”

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: DNF, Start: 7th
“I’m obviously disappointed with how the day went. At one stage it was looking like a one-two, but in all honesty as soon as we put the softs on it didn’t feel like it gave me much. Even though we were able to get Kimi, I didn’t feel like I was able to pull away and then I saw the tyre was getting torn apart. So we had to pit and that put us out of contention for the podium. Then we had what I think was a broken exhaust which put me out of the race. I could feel something was wrong down the back straight before the last sector, so I mentioned it and then tried to do a procedure but the call came for me to stop. I’m happy for Red Bull today, the team, the brand, the people, and happy for Max who has so many fans here. I saw Mr Mateschitz earlier and I can imagine what he is feeling right now. Obviously it’s not my day but from the team’s point of view, for the Austrians and for Max it’s a big day for them, so I’m happy that some part of the team will be celebrating today. I don’t think I’ll celebrate too much for my birthday (today) but you know, maybe a cognac to get over these sniffles!”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “An unbelievable feeling. To win in a Red Bull car at the Red Bull Ring is something I never imagined would happen this morning. All credit to Max today, he drove a very, very mature race, managing a very tricky situation with the tyres and he completed a very controlled drive to win our first Austrian Grand Prix. It was a great shame not to have Daniel up on the podium as well, after running for many laps in P2, but then his rear tyre started to overheat which caused a second pit stop. Shortly after that we began to see an exhaust crack that was causing gearbox damage, forcing his retirement. A special word to our pit-crew, again executing a faultless stacked pit stop on our route to victory, as they had done previously this year in China. I have to also applaud our entire staff back at the factory and their commitment to produce a competitive race car. The day belongs to them, to Max, to the team, to Red Bull and particularly to Mr Mateschitz who has given so much to modern Formula One. We are all delighted for him.”

Story credit: https://www.redbullcontentpool.com/redbullracing/AP-1W27WJ3F52111

Acura TLX GT

– TLX GT wins Open Class, finishes third overall and is the fastest production-based car up Pikes Peak in 2018

– NSX earns Hybrid record, finishing fourth in Time Attack 1 Class

– TLX A-Spec establishes new FWD record in its sophomore year

– Podium finish for 2019 Acura RDX in race debut

Acura once again showcased its performance credentials with a multiple record-setting campaign of the 2018 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, its seventh consecutive run to the mountain’s 14,115-foot summit. Acura’s “Race to the Clouds” was highlighted by the Acura TLX GT as the fastest production-based car, earning Acura an overall third-place finish; by the Acura NSX, which set a new Hybrid record; by the TLX A-Spec, posting a new course record for a front-wheel-drive car; and the 2019 RDX making its motorsports debut third-in-class.

“We love Pikes Peak. It’s a tremendous test of Acura technology and of our performance capabilities,” said Jon Ikeda, vice president and general manager of Acura. “Congratulations to Peter Cunningham and the RealTime Racing team, along with our associates at Honda R&D and Honda Performance Development who helped make this another exciting year for Acura at Pikes Peak.”

The TLX GT, driven by Peter Cunningham, posted an impressive, record-setting time of 9:27.352, earning Acura its third straight Open Class victory and an overall third place finish, bested only by two bespoke, highly specialized racing machines. This year’s TLX GT featured a power-enhanced J35 twin-turbo V6 motor with new software mapping, new transmission gearing, revised suspension geometry and Pirelli racing slicks. Long-time Acura racing partner and owner of RealTime Racing, Peter Cunningham, was last year’s Pikes Peak Rookie of the Year.

“I’m so proud of our Acura and RealTime Racing team, who, as usual, brought their A-game to the top of the mountain,” said Cunningham. “We had some incredibly tough competition this year, but all of our hard work, building on the great fundamentals of the Acura TLX, paid off in a big way again this year.”

The production-based Acura NSX, piloted by Honda R&D engineer James Robinson, posted a new Hybrid record, besting its own 2017 record with a time of 10:02.448, finishing fourth in the Time Attack 1 Class. Building on the successful modifications from last year’s run, the TA1 NSX featured larger turbos, new software and new aerodynamic elements including a bigger wing and front splitter.

The Acura TLX A-Spec, piloted by Honda R&D engineer and five-time Pikes Peak veteran Nick Robinson, set a new course record for a front-wheel-drive car with a time of 10:48.094. This year’s TLX A-Spec competed with an updated 500-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 turbo powerplant, a limited-slip differential and a revised aerodynamic package.

Pikes Peak rookie, and Honda R&D engineer Jordan Guitar, debuted the all-new 2019 RDX on the Exhibition Class podium despite deteriorating weather that forced race officials to truncate the course in its closing hours.

This is the seventh consecutive year that Acura has raced vehicles in the historic Pikes Peak event. Acura also served as the Official Pace Car sponsor of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with a 2019 RDX A-Spec driven by Olympic figure skating bronze medalist Chris Knierim.

About Acura Motorsports

Over three decades, Acura has utilized racing as a means to test its mettle and prove out its performance capabilities, capturing numerous national endurance and sports car racing titles along the way. Today, Acura is racing the ARX-05 Daytona Prototype, campaigned by Team Penske, in American endurance sportscar racing competition, and the NSX GT3, partnered with Meyer Shank Racing, in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series. Acura is also celebrating its seventh year of racing at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and serves as Official Pace Vehicle of the annual ‘Race to the Clouds’.

About Acura

Acura is a leading automotive luxury nameplate that delivers Precision Crafted Performance, representing the original values of the Acura brand – a commitment to evocative styling, high performance and innovative engineering, all built on a foundation of quality and reliability.

The Acura lineup features six distinctive models – the RLX premium, luxury sedan, the TLX performance luxury sedan, the ILX sport sedan, the five-passenger RDX luxury crossover SUV, the seven-passenger Acura MDX, America’s all-time best-selling three-row luxury SUV and the next-generation, electrified NSX supercar as a new and pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance.

Five of the six models in the Acura lineup are made exclusively in central Ohio1, including the ILX and TLX luxury sports sedans (Marysville Auto Plant), the RDX and MDX luxury SUVs (East Liberty Auto Plant) and the Acura NSX supercar, which is built to order at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.

For More Information

Additional media information including pricing, features and high-resolution photography is available at AcuraNews.com. Consumer information is available at Acura.com. Follow Acura on social media at Acura.us/SocialChannels.

1 Using domestic and globally sourced parts

Aston Martin Vantage 

Introducing the new vantage: THE SUCCESSOR TO A TRUE SPORTING DYNASTY
  • All-new Vantage defined by bold new look, intensified performance and dynamics
  • Powered by 4.0-liter, 503bhp/505lb.ft twin-turbo V8 mated to eight-speed ZF transmission
  • Maximum speed 195mph. 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds
  • First Aston Martin to be fitted with an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff)
  • Deliveries scheduled to begin third quarter of 2018

 

Vantage. An evocative name for a magnificent bloodline of thoroughbred sports cars. For seven decades the heartbeat of Aston Martin’s purest models, successive generations have built an enviable reputation for thrilling performance and enduring popularity. Today this formidable sporting dynasty is poised to hit new heights with the introduction of the new Vantage.

A spectacular new Aston Martin sports car demands a bold and distinctive design language. Pure, sculptural forms create an athletic, predatory stance, while the minimal front and rear overhangs, muscular flanks and broad haunches express the agility and dynamism inherent within the car. New head and tail lights form dramatic new signatures giving the Vantage unmistakable road presence and contribute to a strong and individual identity within the growing Aston Martin model range.

Aerodynamic performance is central to the Vantage concept: the front splitter directs airflow underneath the car, where a system of fences channels cooling air where it is needed, and also ensures the rear diffuser is fed with clean airflow. The design of the diffuser creates an area of low pressure air, while simultaneously preventing turbulence generated by the rear wheels from disrupting the flow of air exiting centrally from beneath the rear of the car.

Together with the new side gills, which have been integrated into the body surface and bleed air pressure out from the front wheel arches, and the pronounced upswept rear deck lid, the Vantage generates a significant level of downforce – a rarity on any production car and a first for a core production Aston Martin model.

The exciting design story continues inside the Vantage, with a dynamic and focused sports car cockpit that rejects long, fluid curves in favour of sharp, focused lines denoting the more aggressive nature of the car. A high waist interior theme and lower driving position creates a more immersive driving experience, and contributes to significant gains in occupant space and significant improvement in headroom compared with the outgoing Vantage. A combination of rotary and toggle style controls have been used for their unmatched tactile and intuitive functionality. Likewise the PRND transmission buttons have been moved into a triangular formation so as to cluster major controls into clearly defined zones. The interior also offers generous stowage space, with useable room behind the seats and generous double-tier storage areas.

The heart of the Vantage is Aston Martin’s potent new alloy, 4-litre twin-turbo V8 engine.  Set low and as far back in the chassis as possible for optimal centre-of-gravity and perfect 50:50 weight distribution, this high performance, high efficiency engine returns a CO2 figure of *245g/km yet develops 503bhp at 6000rpm and 505lb.ft from 2000-5000rpm. With a dry weight of 3373lb this gives the Vantage formidable power-to-weight and torque-to-weight ratios – something vividly demonstrated whenever the throttle is squeezed. Detailed tuning of the induction, exhaust and engine management systems has given the Vantage a truly intoxicating character and soundtrack.

The Vantage deploys its impressive power and torque to the rear wheels via a rear-mounted ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60mph in 3.6 seconds and on to a maximum speed of 195mph, it employs a sophisticated suite of integrated electronic systems to offer maximum control and driver enjoyment. These include Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Torque Vectoring. The speed-dependent electric power steering has 2.4 turns lock-to-lock for a perfect combination of quick-wits and precise, intuitive control.

For the first time on an Aston Martin the new Vantage also features an Electronic Rear Differential (E-Diff). This differential is linked to the car’s electronic stability control system, so it can understand the car’s behavior, and react accordingly to direct the engine’s power to the relevant wheel. Unlike a conventional LSD, it can go from fully open to 100% locked in a matter of milliseconds.  At higher speeds, the Electronic Differential’s speed and sensitivity of response enables the system to take very fine control of the car’s dynamic behaviour. It makes the car feel much more composed both in terms of its straight-line stability and its cornering performance, providing the driver with increased levels of confidence to explore and enjoy the car’s capabilities to the full.

The chassis is an evolution of the latest generation bonded aluminium structure first seen on the DB11, though some 70 per cent of the structure’s components are new for Vantage. Balance, strength, rigidity and weight efficiency were all priorities in the new Vantage design, as was handling purity and consistency. Highlights of the chassis include a solidly mounted rear subframe for an enhanced feeling of direct connection for the driver, new Pirelli P Zero tyres developed specifically for new Vantage and the latest generation Adaptive Damping System which incorporates Skyhook technology and offers the choice of Sport, Sport Plus and Track modes.

Thanks to full integration of engine, transmission, E-Diff, Dynamic Torque Vectoring, Dynamic Stability Control, Adaptive Damping and the electric power steering systems, each mode optimises every area of the car as one. With each step the Vantage gains in agility and responsiveness, its character becoming progressively sharper, more vocal and more exciting. This is the essence of the Vantage driving experience – a car that’s never less than connected and engaging with the breadth of capability to revel in challenging roads and bare its teeth on track.

The Vantage features a high level of standard equipment, including keyless start/stop, tyre pressure monitoring system and Parking Distance Display, Park Assist and front and rear parking sensors. The In-Car Entertainment system – controlled and viewed via a centrally mounted 8” LCD screen – comprises of the Aston Martin Audio System, Bluetooth® audio and phone streaming, iPod®, iPhone® and USB playback. There is also an integrated satellite navigation system and wi-fi hub.

Being an Aston Martin, the new Vantage also features a high level of craftsmanship, evidenced by flawless paintwork, luxurious Alcantara® and leather upholstery and a fabulous level of finish using tactile natural materials of the highest quality. There is also extensive scope for personalisation via a generous choice of options. These include forged alloy wheels in a variety of finishes, Sports Plus Collection (comprising Sports Plus seats and Sports steering wheel), carbon fibre interior and exterior detailing and a Premium Audio System.

Aston Martin President Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer said: “It speaks volumes for the outgoing Vantage that it is the single most successful model in Aston Martin’s history. Creating a worthy successor has been a challenge to relish and a huge source of motivation. I’m enormously excited by what we’ve created: a new Vantage that’s more explicit in looks and intent, wrapping heart-pounding performance and dazzling dynamics into an everyday usable package. A true sports car with a sharper look and a keener dynamic edge, the new Vantage is the Aston Martin pure driving machine enthusiasts have been waiting for.”

The new Vantage is on sale now with a recommended retail price from $149,995 in the USA. Deliveries are scheduled to begin during the third quarter of 2018.

2018 JAGUAR F-TYPE 400 

By Vaughn Lowery × Anthony Sovinsky

For 2018, Jaguar is introducing a genetically enhanced version of its already popular F-Type series – the 400 Sport Coupe Special Edition. At first glimpse, the vehicle immediately appears to be a part of the family, yet subtle differences cause it to break away from the battalion. 

Although the F-Type didn’t call for a redesign, they redefined excellence with a one-year-only configuration. This limited version exhibits tons of sporty appointments which hint nifty performance gains to be anticipated as well. The 400 Sport is featured in three different metallic colors: Yulong White, Indus Silver and Santorini Black. It arrives in two different drive trains – AWD and RWD. Lastly, one can select between a convertible or coupe. 

As of late, we had the joy of testing out the Indus Silver two-door AWD (allowing it to grip and corner with ease). While approaching the vehicle head-on, you are at once enthralled by its bespoke elements – stealthy accents on the grille fitted with an audacious front splitter adorning “400 Sport” in bold yellow.

While orbiting the vehicle, we gained an admiration of its contoured yet nimble stance. Some of the new additions included blade-like extended side sills and prominent front/rear splitters which shout, “I am fast as I am athletic.” It squats on 20″ Dark Satin alloy wheels that come to a stop with Super Performance 380mm front and 376mm rear brakes (currently, an upgrade featured in the 400 Sport). With a wheelbase of 103.2,” ground clearance of only 4.1″ and a length of 176.5,” you can be reassureed that this vehicle was built to track (very little drag coefficient w/ automatic retractable spoiler). 

The F-Type 400 Sport possesses the most agile V6 offered in the series, until now still doesn’t measure up to the R (V8 550hp) and SVR (V8 575hp)’s performance. It’s the difference between a Ferris wheel and a roller coaster (less scream factor). Nevertheless, this 3.0L V6 400PS supercharged engine delivers 400hp with 339lb-ft of torque alongside of an 8-speed gearbox. It’s 20hp faster than its forerunners. Most of it is felt in the top end which makes it worth acquiring. This increase in power also enhances the already invigorating exhaust that’s expelled through the trumpet-like tips. Letting off the gas at high RPMs (5000+) will make the car backfire – crackling and popping like a 4th of July fireworks show. Don’t fret, though. As prevalent in former models, Jaguar wanted to make certain you don’t upset the neighbors by adding an option to tame it with the press of a button. 

Inside the cabin, your eyes are drawn yet again to the vibrant yellow emblems, “400 Sport” tastefully planted: the steering wheel; console finisher; embroidered headrests and tread plates, reminding you of the anomaly of which you have. In addition, slimmer premium leather performance seats improve dash to backrest space, creating a racier ambiance. For the foremost time, there’s a flat-bottomed sport steering wheel accompanied by anodized aluminum paddle shifters ergonomically placed for aggressive driving. Next, you’ll discover the beautifully black-coated aluminum center dash baring a touch screen infotainment system which allows you to navigate, choose your favorite station and/or Bluetooth to your smart devices.  

The 2018 Jaguar F-type 400 Sport Coupe Special Edition is definitely something special. Aside from all the jaw-dropping signature patches, it offers exclusivity to the owner because of its minimal production, unique performance and cosmetic upgrades. This makes it a well-balanced vehicle of choice for those seeking something snazzy without the hefty price tag.  

In short, we forecast this to become the affluent millennials’ two-seater select for 2018.