Forbes picks top 10 luxury cars in Q2 2007

Posted in Acura, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche

The Americans are slowly recovering while the Japanese are continuously dominating the consumer’s market, while the Europeans are at the top in the luxury-car segment. BMW and Mercedes-Benz claim 8 spots of the 10 and one Japanese vehicle can be seen. Porsche has taken one spot with the Cayman. The list defines the top 10 researched luxury vehicles at users. Continue reading to view the full list.

Top 10 Luxury Cars in the Second Quarter of 2007

2007 BMW X5: $45,900
2007 Acura TL: $33,625
2007 BMW 3-Series Coupe: $35,300
2007 Porsche Cayman: $49,400
2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class: $43,350
2007 BMW 3-Series Sedan: $32,400
2008 Mercedes-Benz C-Class: $31,975
2007 BMW 7-Series: $75,800
2008 BMW 5-Series: $44,300
2007 Mercedes-Benz S-Class: $85,750

Alfa Romeo Sloth

Posted in Alfa Romeo

Taken from: “While i was in Barcelona to work on another project (may 2006) i learnt that Mercurio was there too for a shoot for Alpha Romeo cars. My boss is out of his mind and proposed me to organize a day of shooting to create a viral for the campaign they were doing. The interesting thing is that i would have to work with Kiran, the man who were acting inside this suit of a giant sloth; i discovered he had been in so many important movies, the last one being the stunt …

Ferrari 430 Scuderia set for Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted in Ferrari

Ferrari’s new model pegged for the Frankfurt Motor Show has turned out to be the new 430 Scuderia, and not the Challenge Stradale or Dino that everyone had been hoping for. The new Scuderia is essentially the CS model in everything but its name, having shed up to 100kg through an extensive weight saving program.

The 430 Scuderia will be unveiled by Michael Schumacher at the Frankfurt Show on September 11, where it joins the Coupe and Spider in the F430 family. Output from the naturally aspirated 4.3L V8 jumps to 510hp at a lofty 8,500rpm and with a kerb weight of just 1,250kg, the new supercar has an amazing power-to-weight ratio of 2.45kg/hp.

Other changes over the regular F430 model include the new exhaust system, evidenced by the new tailpipes, a new traction control system that combines the E-Diff electronic differential and the F1-Trac traction and stability control in a single integrated system, and an upgrade to the Superfast F1 gearbox software, which reduces gearchange times to just 60 milliseconds.

How To Make a Mercedes SLR McLaren Look Slow

Posted in Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes SLR McLaren is a supercar by every measure of the word. With a 626 HP supercharged V8, the SLR can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, and do the quarter-mile in 11.6 seconds at 125 mph. So how do you make a car like this look slow? Very simple, really. You put it up against the 1001 HP Bugatti Veyron!

Fiat Bravo

Posted in Fiat

On the road price: £10,995 – £15,495
For: Stylish looks, good quality and finish, assured handling
Against: Cramped rear and boot, steering short on feel, firm ride

The Bravo is offered with an innovative 1.4-litre T-Jet turbocharged engine, which combines small-capacity economy with large-engine performance. There are more conventional (and cheaper) petrol units also on offer. But it’s the 1.9-litre MultiJet turbodiesel that we got our hands on first – and it’s a real gem, in both the 150bhp guise we tested, and cheaper 120bhp form. It’s quiet on start-up and there’s minimal vibration, but it has plenty of punch. Power delivery is smooth and predictable, and it proved quick both at the test track and through the gears. Ride quality is good too, albeit firm and slightly crashy on rough surfaces, but the trade-off is decent body control through bends. The Bravo is agile, with plenty of grip, and turns in well. It’s just a shame the package is spoiled by the overly assisted Dualdrive electric power steering, which is too light and lacks feel. Ultimately, this saps any real sense of driver involvement, and leaves the Fiat feeling disappointingly numb.

Bosses admit the Bravo is a crucial car for Fiat. Ultimately, the firm wants to rival Toyota and VW for quality, while also building on its own strengths – namely, style and driver enjoyment. First impressions are positive. Viewed in profile, it has an athletic wedge shape, thanks to the rising waistline and arching roof – it’s aggressive and is helped by the sweeping headlights and Maserati-style grille, while the rear, with its characteristic tail lights, completes the look. From this angle, it also has echoes of the previous Bravo, axed in 2001. Style is now a crucial factor in most buyers’ vehicle choice, and the Bravo certainly ticks this box. Available only as a five-door, it replaces the disappointing Stilo, and aims to meet the benchmark set by the likes of the VW Golf, Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra and Kia cee’d. Trims include Active, Dynamic, Active Sport and range-topping Sport.

There has always been a question mark when it comes to quality with Fiat – particularly in terms of the cabin. We are pleased to report that the company has obviously been working hard to rectify this. Bland and scratchy plastics are replaced by a pleasant combination of soft-touch materials and well damped switchgear. Look closely and you will find areas where the plastics feel average. Still, it’s easily the best offering from Fiat to date. Everything seems fairly robust and well finished. The dash layout is good, the heater and stereo controls logical, while the deep-set instrument dials add an upmarket touch. It’s a shame, then, that the driving position is set a tad too high – the seat could do with adjusting lower, and also lacks under-thigh support. Rear passenger space isn’t great, either – it’s quite cramped in the back, and headroom is limited, too. Hopefully, retained values will be much better than the Stilo’s disastrous 29 per cent figures, though we can’t help but think the Stilo looks a little expensive against some of its key rivals.

Alfa prices the 8C Competizione at €159k

Posted in Alfa Romeo

At long last, Alfa Romeo has confirmed the European pricing for its halo supercar, the achingly gorgeous 8C Competizione, with an MSRP of €159,300.

As Alfa Romeo previously announced, 99 examples of the total production run of 500 will be reserved for customers in the United States, where the 8C will be leading the company’s return to the American market. While US Dollar pricing has yet to be announced for those 99, consider for reference that the €159,300 European price tag positions the 8C slightly below its corporate cousin, the Ferrari F430, which retails on the Continent for €175k.

While it was predicted that the 8C Competizione would be priced at closer to €135k, we doubt the higher sticker will keep Alfa Romeo from selling each and every one – and the subsequent run of topless Spider versions – or speculators from demanding significantly more for the privilege of buying what is arguably the most beautiful car ever to grace tarmac.

Back magic from Alfa Junior

Posted in Alfa Romeo

Following last week’s first official shots of the new 149, we can now reveal the latest picture of the firm’s funky new hatchback, due out in 2008.

An outline image of the trend-setting three-door has been shown before, but this is the first time we’ve seen the rear, complete with distinctive inset round lamps. Every line is flamboyant, as designers have been given free reign to make the Junior one of the best-looking hatches ever.

Alfa Romeo hopes that the new model will appeal to buyers in the 18-30 age group, and is aiming to tempt away fans of the MINI. The Junior’s pricing is likely to start at around £13,000. A wide model range will include everything from a 95bhp entry-level variant to a 230bhp GTA-badged flagship. The new car, which will be around four metres long, will also offer active suspension. Other new features will include MultiAir technology, which is set to improve the efficiency of turbocharged petrol engines.

The new Fiat 500

Posted in Fiat

Fiat’s new 500 minicar was officially unveiled at a ceremony in Turin last night, marking the 50th anniversary of the launch of the original model and the beginning of a new era of fun motoring in an attractive but affordable package. This latest video shows us what we’ve already known for months now, that the new 500 is easily one of the hottest models in the minicar segment.