LYONHEART K…FINALLY A CAT WORTH KEEPING

Lyonheart K

Lyonheart K

I have always been fond of the old Jaguar XKE’s.  When I was working in the Ferrari shop in my youth, we were hired to perform a complete frame-off restoration on a 1967 XKE V12 Convertible.  When the restoration was complete I won the right to take it on its inaugural first drive after winning a fierce game of rock, paper, scissors with my coworkers.  As I turned over that massive V12 and heard the continuous winding of the starter motor I was hooked.  I took it on a 2 hour drive around the city and highway.  Despite having to pull over for about 30 minutes due to it overheating I was in heaven.  Since then, I have always dreamt of owning one someday.

Lyonheart K

Lyonheart K

With the advent of the Lyonheart K my dreams are slowly changing priority.  Named after the original founder of Jaguar, William Lyons, the Lyonheart K is designed in Switzerland and built in Britain.  The new Lyonheart K is a modern interpretation of the classic Jaguar E-Types.  The retro-style coupe was created by Robert Palm, founder and CEO of Classic Factory, a unique automotive, marine, and industrial design house located just west of Lausanne.  Palm created a completely new company, Lyonheart Cars, to build a limited run of these hand-built coupes.

Lyonheart K

Lyonheart K

Similar to many of the supercars on the market today the Lyonheart K incorporates a modern carbon-fiber body on an aluminum chassis.  Powered by a 5.0-liter V8 producing 544-horsepower, the Lyonheart K will go 0-60 mph in a shattering 4.0 seconds and has a top speed of 186 mph.  That’s no easy feat considering the car weighs in at around 3500 lbs.

Lyonheart K

Lyonheart K

As much as I can appreciate great specs such as high horsepower and top speeds, I must admit I am a sucker for good looks.  I can easily sacrifice some horsepower for a better looking car.  The Lyonheart K is one of those cars I am more than willing to make that sacrifice for.  Boasting authentic details as a front-hinged clam-shell hood and an interior trimmed in leather, polished steel, brushed aluminum and wood veneer; the Lyonheart is poised to run in the same circles as the Pagani Huayra and Bugatti Veyron to name a few.

Lyonheart K

Lyonheart K

The first 50 cars are slated to go into production in Coventry, England with the factory quoting a delivery time of 18 months. Unfortunately for me it will take me much longer to deliver the $655,000 (plus tax) it costs to own one of these magnificent pieces of artwork.  I do have to say however, if I could afford this cat, I definitely wouldn’t be kicking it out of the house in the evenings.

SSC TUATARA…CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?

SSC Tuatara

SSC Tuatara

A war has been underway for a many years now and there seems to be no end in sight.  It has gotten ugly at times and will remain so until one side finally steps down declaring the other side the victor.  No, I am not talking about the current state of affairs our government is involved in; I am referring to the war between Bugatti and SSC for the Worlds Fastest Production Car title.

SSC Tuatara

SSC Tuatara

The first shot fired was by Bugatti with the introduction of the Veyron.  SSC fired back in self-defense with the Ultimate Aero.  Bugatti was not willing to lie down quietly and so they retaliated with their Veyron Super Sport prompting SSC’s latest assault the Tuatara.  Can’t we all just get along?

SSC Tuatara

SSC Tuatara

SSC has been a pain in Bugatti’s side ever since the Ultimate Aero became the World’s Fastest Production Car by Guinness World Records in 2007.  SSC is an American supercar company founded in 1999 by Jerod Shelby (no relation to Carroll Shelby), which headquarters in Tri Cities, Washington.

SSC Tuatara

SSC Tuatara

SSC’s Tuatara impresses me in many ways.  For starters, it carries a striking resemblance to the amazing Pininfarina P 4/5, which is no surprise due to the fact that the very talented Jason Castriota has designed them both. What I find most impressive however, are the specs of the Tuatara compared to the Bugatti.

SSC Tuatara

SSC Tuatara One-Peice Carbon Fiber Wheel

The Tuatara is able to achieve 1350bhp and 1042 ft-lbs of torque from an SSC designed Twin Turbo Charged Billet Aluminum V8, while the Bugatti Veyron has literally double the power plant using a Quad Turbo Charged W16.  The Tuatara weighs in at 2750lbs dry (2.0lbs/hp, New Record), utilizes a one-piece carbon fiber wheel, has a triple disc carbon clutch, a 7 speed manual or SMG transmission, goes 0-60 in 2.5 seconds and has a top speed of 276mph.  All without the help of a massive company like Volkswagen for support. Oh yeah it also comes with a 300mph Speedometer, a 10,000 Tachometer and a Horse Power gauge.  Wow!

SSC Tuatara

SSC Tuatara

After considering all these factors among many more, it’s no wonder SSC has thrusted on to the scene competing with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, and Koenigsegg (to name a few).  There is no telling where this war will take us however it’s fierce competition mixed with testosterone, like in this battle, that has created the most amazing technological feats of our time.  Keep up the good work SSC!

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LA AUTO SHOW 2011…A MATTER OF SURVIVAL!

It was my own fault for waiting until the busiest day to go to the 2011 LA Auto Show.  I kept trying to make it sooner if only my schedule had allowed.  When I woke up on this rainy Sunday morning I had no excuse, this was the perfect weather to be indoors gawking at cars.  I had made my decision, today was the day! Umbrella, check! Camera, check! Cash, coffee, check check!

2011 LA Auto Show

2011 LA Auto Show

Upon arriving at the LA Convention Center I could already tell by the herds of people scrambling to run inside that chaos was about to ensue.  Buying my $12 ticket at the automated machine was the easy part, getting past the gates was a different story.  It felt like a scene from “Saving Private Ryan”; everything was in slow motion as fear and terror lie in their tear-soaked eyes.  Once I made it through the carnage of crying babies, lost children, confused parents and the occasional hit in the ankles by those rental strollers, things started to clear up like a fading storm.  I managed to block out most of the noise and after entering, I saw a sign in the distance that read “Tuners and Aftermarket”; yes, my specialty!  Many of the cars were repeats from this past SEMA show however I did see some interesting customs like a gorgeous Bugatti Veyron, a matte red Ferrari F430, and a pretty cool Lotus Evora to name a few.

Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti Veyron

Back upstairs to the main hall, better dodge that stroller headed directly for me, close call!  While all the major car companies had representation at the show only a few actually impressed me with some innovative and creative models.

Cadillac Ceil Concept

Cadillac Ceil Concept

Cadillac ELR

Cadillac ELR

Cadillac was among the few that really made a splash with their lineup of cutting edge design and the debut of their new electric ELR model.  There was a lot of excitement at Cadillac’s  booth as they had on display the Ceil Concept among all the other current models including the record breaking CTS-V’s.

BMW displayed their much advertised iSeries electric car, which is slated for production in 2015, and their much awaited new M5 model.

BMW iSeries

BMW iSeries

Hyundai has made great strides in breaking free of the “inexpensive” label and into more of a “luxury” or “high-end” label.  They’re doing a great job with their new line up; the Equus, Genesis, Sonata Hybrid, Elantra to name a few.

Mini’s booth was bustling with people as they reveled at all the options and aftermarket parts that bestow the new cars.  Many people waited in lines to try on the new Countryman Model for size.  The new Mini Cooper Coupe S looked great and received a lot of attention as well.

Fiat’s Abarth model, a “high performance” version of their popular 500 model, seemed to be well received judging from the lines of people waiting to sit inside.

Fiat Abarth

Fiat Abarth

Audi finally showed off their much anticipated S6 and S7 models due to be out this March.  Audi also had on display the e-tron Spyder concept and A3 model; their new electric car technology.

Audi e tron Spyder

Audi e tron Spyder

KIA GT Concept

KIA GT Concept

KIA’s booth was riffled with excitement as they had a very impressive concept car they called the “KIA GT”.  I was barely able to snap off a few pics due to the crowds of people attempting to do the same.

It was very exciting to see many of the car companies’ step up to the plate with their innovative designs and technology.  It feels like we are entering a new era in the automotive world.   The combination of a lagging economy coupled with the high demand for new technology is forcing car companies to push the envelope in all areas.  Much like my experience attending the Auto Show, it’s a matter of survival for these car companies, and staying on the cutting edge is a matter of life or death.  The 2011 LA Auto Show left me wounded, frightened, exhausted and excited to see what next year will bring!

2011 BUGATTI 16.4 VEYRON SUPER SPORT…BECAUSE THEY CAN!

The Bugatti Veyron to most of us is like the Loch Ness monster.  We have heard of the beast and know of its capabilities but few of us have ever gotten to see the mythical creature in person much less in action.  Perhaps even more elusive than Nessy is the 2011 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport.

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

For starters there have only been 46 of these cars produced, all of which have been spoken for, and 6 have made their way to the US.  The cost is a mere $2.7M and it comes with a set of shinny $35K run-flat Michelin tires, but these aren’t the staggering numbers.  The staggering numbers lie deep within the belly of the beast, with its W-16 Quad-Turbo Charged (4 turbos) power plant that produces 1200 horsepower.  The Super Sport rockets from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, which is the same time as a Formula 1 car however the metal and carbon fiber mass weighs in at 4545 lbs.

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

The car just set a new top speed world record for production cars at 268 mph although you need a special key to go above 233 mph (see video below).  In case your curious, the gauge cluster actually has a “horsepower gauge” to keep you well informed as to why your fuel consumption is 8/14 city/highway at all times.

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

Although I suggested retro-rockets to slow this car down, Bugatti went with a quieter 15.8” ceramic disc 8-piston caliper brake for the front and 15.0” ceramic disc 6-piston caliper brake for the rear.

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

2011 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport

Knowing that this is a commuter car for many of their clients, Bugatti designed the cockpit with the utmost luxury in mind and makes it quite comfortable to go 200+ mph.  So why does Bugatti push the envelope and make what is already the fastest car in the world faster? Because they can!  You really can’t beat what Bugatti has been able to accomplish and for the time being this is one of the most advanced road-going cars in history.  I may consider putting my name on next year’s waiting list depending on what interest rates they offer.

 

Check out the below below as Top Gear max’s out the Veyron Super Sport on a 30 mile track!

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2012 NISSAN GT-R PREMIUM…STOCKING STUFFER?

Autumn is upon us and what better time to start fantasizing about what car you would like under that Xmas tree with a big red bow on it than right now.  This way your significant other or Santa (if you still believe) will have plenty of time to seek out the right color combo and have it gift wrapped for you just like in those Lexus commercials!

2012-Nissan-GT-R

2012-Nissan-GT-R

The car that I most envision getting for Xmas this year is the 2012 Nissan GT-R Premium.  Why that car you ask?  Well I will tell you why; because it has either beaten or has seriously come close to beating just about every Sports Car and Super Car on the planet, it’s been ravely reviewed by every respectable car magazine possible, and it almost broke Jeremy Clarkson’s neck when he test drove it on Top Gear.  It’s priced so realistically that even the brokest among us can dream about owning this car someday, it won “The World’s Greatest Drag Race” hosted by Motor Trend (video below), it was pitted up next to a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport in Road & Track…I mean how many cars can even qualify to do that; a V6 vs. V16, really?  It looks cool, it sounds cool, heck it even smells cool, the car is just damn cool.

2012-Nissan-GT-R

2012-Nissan-GT-R

2012-Nissan-GT-R

2012-Nissan-GT-R

If that’s not enough the boys at Nissan felt they could represent the GT-R nameplate just a little better.  That being said, improvements on the 2012 begin with an increase in turbo boost complimenting a larger intake and exhaust system along with revised valve timing and air/fuel ratio.  These tweaks and upgrades earned the 2012 GT-R Premium an additional 45 bhp totaling 530 bhp and 448 lb.-ft., up from 434 lb.-ft.  Oh one last thing…it goes 0-60 in 2.94 seconds.

Uhmmmmm, let me put that into some perspective for you; it only takes the GT-R .42 seconds longer to go 0-60 mph than the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport and costs the same amount it would be to maintain the Super Sport for one year.  By the time you scroll down to the video in this post, the GT-R would have already launched itself to over 60 mph.  The 2012 Nissan GT-R is definitely going on my Xmas list this year, I really hope Santa has an enclosed trailer!

2012-Nissan-GT-R

2012-Nissan-GT-R

Check out the GT-R Perform Admirably in “The World’s Greatest Drag Race” hosted by Motor Trend Below!

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THINGS GET HEATED UP AT THE TARGA TROPHY RALLY IN HOLLYWOOD, CA

With all the automotive events going on lately it’s getting difficult to keep track, however I was lucky enough to catch up with what is quickly becoming a premier automotive lifestyle event, the Targa Trophy Rally.

The rally began at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, which took over the entire parking lot leaving the valet and hotel guests dumbfounded.  A massive DJ tent claimed its territory directly behind the valet stand and proceeded to play loud dance music all day long.  One of the main sponsors of the rally, Luxury4play.com, brought their Bugatti Veyron and Maybach out to play with the other impressive arsenal of exotic sports cars participating in the rally.

As the 100 or so teams reported to the check-in, the drivers and their navigators placed stickers on their cars and chatted with other teams.  Entries included Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Porsches, Audi’s Viper’s, and BMW’s to name a few.

Many participants sported their finest costumes which included a Mouse helmet girl, Spiderman, Ironman, and a guy wearing daisy-dukes with a wig (really wish I didn’t see that).  As noon approached all teams were summoned to the DJ tent for a quick “drivers meeting”, in which event founder Jason Overell, forewarned the driver’s of the treacherous course and driving conditions that lay before them.

                     

At high noon the rally began and cars lined up to clock-in and receive the coveted top secret course information.  The instructions revealed the check points, and what to do while there.  A strategic point system took both driver and navigator through a 3 ½ hour course and required proof of check-in by obtaining a receipt or picture.  The adrenaline pumping rally took supreme driving machines through some of LA’s most beautiful canyons and back roads with sharp switch-backs and deadly drop-offs.  Temperatures soared to above 110 degrees which caused some tempers to flare and mechanical break downs along the way.

The rally concluded back at the Roosevelt Hotel where Targa Trophy revealed the winner of the event.  In true road rally fashion, the partying continued throughout the night at Hemingway’s and later at the Roxbury, both in Hollywood.

This was a great event but don’t kick yourself if you missed out on all the action.  I was told by Targa Trophy they are planning a 3 day event sometime in November so stay tuned for more information.  Rubber & Fumes will be there covering all the motoring goodness.

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