BATMAN IN A LAMBORGHINI…MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

Batman Driving Lamborghini

Batman Driving Lamborghini

I have always considered myself a major car guy and like most car guys I often fantasize about what I would do if I ever won the lottery.  After much pondering over the years, it finally came to me in a flash…a news flash that is.  A few weeks back pictures of Batman driving a Lamborghini pulled over by police began to surface and it immediately got my juices flowing. At last the answer to my age old lottery question; yes it makes perfect sense! I will wear my favorite superhero costume and drive around the neighborhood in a convertible Lamborghini!  Why I didn’t think of this sooner is beyond me.

Batman Driving Lamborghini

Batman Driving Lamborghini

Seriously though I was very inspired by the driver after finding out he was on his way to a  hospital for philanthropic work with sick children.  I guess there is a lesson to be learned in all of this after-all.  You can still live out your fantasies while helping others at the same time.

Batman Driving Lamborghini

Batman Driving Lamborghini

Thankfully the dash cam was recording (see video below) to capture the awkward interaction between the police and their childhood hero. The officer from the cruiser that managed to actually stop Batman jokingly requested Robin for backup.

Batman Driving Lamborghini

Batman Driving Lamborghini

All-in-all a great story and surely worthy of making it in my Honorable Mentions category.

Please remeber to Follow Me on Twitter and Like Me on Facebook!

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.

FISKER KARMA…ECO-COOL!

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

I don’t know too much about hybrid cars.  I personally like the sound of a great exhaust system spewing sweet-smelling fumes from a high performance gas guzzling power plant.  One thing I do know about hybrids is that they all tend to look a little weird.

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

Take the Prius for example.  I know it’s trendy in LA to drive a Prius as to show the fellow Angeleno’s you’re doing your part to save the world, but does it really have to look like that?  Even the all-electric Tesla (see previous post) manages to look just a little off from your typical sports car.  The list goes on but it seems someone finally took note and is trying to change things.

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

The company Fisker has come a long way from the days of being an aftermarket coach builder; rebodying BMW’s and MB’s to name few.  Founders Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler have decided to change the way hybrid/electric cars are perceived and to prove to the world that you can have a fuel-efficient car without looking like a member of the chess club.

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

The Fisker Karma is a beautifully designed sedan and one of the few cars that has managed to stay true to its concept form.  A solar roof is tastefully incorporated into the body adding a futuristic element to an already forward design.  Other elements such as 22” wheels and Fisker’s signature sleek front grille adorn the wonderfully sculpted bodywork of the Karma.

The Karma’s powertrain uses the internal combustion engine in series with a generator and the Lithium-ion battery to power the electric motors that power the rear wheels giving up to 50 mi of electric driving.  After that, the internal combustion engine engages to generate energy for the electric motors providing up to an additional 250 mi of range; equating to about 52 mpg.

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

The Karma has (2) 201 bhp motors that can produce a 0-60 time in 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 125 mph (Sport Mode).  Materials such as Water-Based Paints, Reclaimed Woods and EcoSuede are just a few of the ingredients that go into making this eco-friendly, state-of-the-art sports sedan.

While I can literally write a book about the Karma’s technical attributes I really like this car for the way it looks.  The performance specs aren’t the greatest, especially when you compare them to other sports sedans in the same price range  ($104K – $120K) but sometimes specs aren’t’ everything.  The person that drives this car is much like the car itself; a sleek and sophisticated forward thinking individual that believes looking cool is just as important as saving the world.  I like to call it “Eco-Cool”.

Fisker Karma

Fisker Karma

Be sure to Like Me on Facebook and Follow Me on Twitter!

 

FERRARI SA APERTA…HAPPY BIRTHDAY PININFARINA!

Ferrari SA Aperta

Ferrari SA Aperta

I first noticed the SA Aperta this past summer while making my pilgrimage to the Ferrari Museum and Factory during my 2-week trip to Italy. She was sitting on the second floor very near to the 599XX. While I thought she was the most attractive Ferrari in the entire museum I didn’t really know anything about her. I figured it was a prototype that Ferrari never built but felt the need to display. It was even finished in a slightly different red (Rosso Dino) that I’m used to seeing on a Ferrari, which only reaffirmed my suspicion of it being a prototype.

SA Aperta

Ferrari SA Aperta

Months later I’d come to find Ferrari felt the same way about the SA Aperta as I did; the Aperta was too beautiful of a car to not produce. Not only was this going to be a production car, it was to be a very special, very limited production car. Only 80 of the SA Aperta’s were created to commemorate the 80th year Anniversary of famed coachbuilder Pininfarina. As usual, all had been spoken for many months before production had even begun.

SA Aperta

Ferrari SA Aperta

Before knowing anything about the SA Aperta, I didn’t understand why Ferrari named it the way they did. I assumed the SA stood for “Super America” due to the last Super America produced being topless. Nope, the SA nomenclature pays homage to both Sergio and Andrea Pininfarina whose company and work is linked to the most successful road-going cars ever built at Maranello. The word Aperta means “open” so after learning the meaning of everything, Ferrari’s naming of the car made perfect sense.

SA Aperta

Ferrari SA Aperta

The SA Aperta is based on the 599 GTB, minus a roof, and houses a 661bhp V12 power plant. The gearbox and drivetrain is borrowed from the stunning 599 GTO, which happens to be my personal favorite. The 12-into-2-exhaust system is identical to the 599XX, which produces the sweetest Ferrari music, which could only be composed straight from the heavens.

SA Aperta

Ferrari SA Aperta

Ferrari offered this special creation to selected individuals for around $550K and due to the rarity of this particular car, it’s very unlikely we would ever see one sell for less than that. Pininfarina has designed some of the most incredible cars in the worlds and it is only fitting that the SA Aperta was created to commemorate this amazing company.  I can only hope my 80th birthday present is just as nice!

Follow Me on Twitter and Like Me on Facebook!

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!

Be sure to Like Us on Facebook and Follow Me on Twitter!

LAMBORGHINI LP-700-4 AVENTADOR…HOLY SHIT!

Lamborghini LP-700-4 Aventador

Lamborghini LP-700-4 Aventador

The word “Countach” has been described by Italians as the reaction you have when you see an extremely beautiful woman; also known as ”Holy Shit”!

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

Thankfully that name stuck when Nuccio Bertone yelped out “Countach” once he laid eyes on the Lamborghini LP-400 prototype (Project 112) for the first time.  After hearing that story I’ve often wondered if I would ever be as surprised and astonished as Nuccio was while seeing an amazing car.  Well I am happy to report that during my visit to the Orange County International Auto Show, I had a Nuccio reaction and yelped out “Holy Shit” after laying eyes on the new Lamborghini LP-700-4 Aventado for the first time.  There is really no other way to describe this masterpiece.  David Ortiz from Lamborghini Newport Beach was kind enough to invite me behind the ropes and give me a private tour of this amazing hypercar.

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

Named after a bull that entered into battle on October 1993, the righteously titled hypercar boasts some of the most sharp and aggressive lines I have ever seen on a Lamborghini.  Air ducts open and close while the rear tail rises and retracts automatically, like a transformer, as the Aventador hits certain speeds.  It almost looks like the car is taking in a deep breath and flexing before launching itself into hyperspeed.  The interior is strikingly similar to what you would see in a pimped out fighter jet complete with beautiful leather/suede seats and metal switches.  According to Stephan Winklemann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, the Aventador is a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology.  Make no mistake about it, the Aventador is definitely Lamborghini’s baby as 99.9% of the hypercar is made from all Lamborghini parts, steering clear of an Audi legacy.

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

lamborghini-aventador-lp700-4

The Aventador’s one-piece passenger cell is made entirely of new-generation reinforced carbon fiber formulated with the help from Beoing Aerospace.  It’s high tech body is complimented with an earth shattering 6.5 liter V12 that produces 700hp and goes 0-62 in 2.9 seconds.  Did you get that? 2.9 seconds! That is the same speed as dropping a penny from your hands to the ground.

Lamborghini-Aventador-LP-700-4-Cockipt

Lamborghini-Aventador-LP-700-4-Cockipt

About 110 units have been produced, 10 of which have been allocated to Lamborghini Newport Beach, and all have been spoken for.  That’s right, you’ll have to wait for 2013 if you want to get your hands on this $370K+ hypercar.

Lamborghini-Aventador-LP-700-4

Lamborghini-Aventador-LP-700-4

Be Sure to Like Us on Facebook and Follow Me on Twitter for more pics and updates!