2012 Hyundai Equus

The 2012 Hyundai Equus isn’t just a car, it’s a challenge. What if someone wants a luxury sedan, a big one, with all of the bits that usually go along with it, would that person be willing to buy one with a different badge? That’s the challenge, and Hyundai does an extremely good job of presenting it.

First off this car is 203.1 inches overall, about the same length as a Lexus LS460L. And it comes with a well appointed interior, one you would certainly not be ashamed to show off to your friends, relatives, clients, etc.,. It also comes with a 5.0 liter V8 making respectable 429hp, mated to an 8 speed automatic. And to top everything off you can have all of this for about $14,000 less than the aforementioned LS460L, and much less than any comparable European brand.

But we’ve been here before, haven’t we. Recall the Volkswagen Phaeton, an excellent car at a reasonable price point that simply didn’t sell? And therein lies the problem to this challenge. What are car buyers actually buying? Is it the quality, refinement, luxury.. or is it something else?

Anyone after that somewhat ‘sporty’ feel that one can sometimes find in a much more expensive European brand may want to skip this one. However, if you’re interested in the type of luxury and smooth ride that might compare to other brands you may want to at least give this one a test drive.

Price – $60,000 (base)

For more information – Equus

Ferrari F70 Spy Shot

Although it looks rough, this is probably the closest we’ve seen to what the real replacement to the Enzo (currently called the F70) will look like. Meant to be the ultimate car, the ultimate Ferrari. It’s certain that it will rely heavily on carbon fiber, use in the main tub and exterior is expected.

Power is expected to come in at around 900hp, from a hybrid V12 system. Similar to the Ferrari HY-KERS concept, a generator on the front of the engine will charge the batteries, which will power a motor attached to the dual clutch automatic. Expect to see this incredible car some time towards the end of 2013.

Price – TBD

2014 Maserati Quattroporte

The 2014 Quattroporte will finally see some major upgrades to this now aging platform. Due to be unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Auto show at the latest, we’re expecting a front end that now looks like it belongs on a Maserati, and muscular looking rear quarters.

Other changes should be welcomed in the form of a new engine (still Ferrari sourced), expected to be close to 500hp. As well as a new transmission (anyone who has had the pleasure of driving one of the older models will love this part), a new 8 speed automatic.

Price – TBD

2014 Alfa Romeo Spyder

It’s been reported that Mazda and Alfa Romeo are working together on the next MX-5 Miata and Alfa Romeo Spyder. It’s too soon to tell what the final product will look like, but the picture above should come pretty close. These new cars should come in much lighter than the current MX-5, while adding more interior space. Engine choice for the Spyder is currently unknown. We would certainly guess a four cylinder, most likely 1.4 liter, possibly turbo.

Price TBD (est – $30k)

2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster

The Mini Cooper S Roadster comes with a manual soft top, loads of options, and a turbocharged 1.6 liter engine making 181hp and 192lbs torque. With a 0-60 time of 6.7 seconds don’t expect to win any races in this fun little car. Although the manufacturer lists the top speed at 141mph. But hey, that’s not what this car is all about, is it?

The body stiffening and added bits that are required to make a soft top out of a hard top Mini added about 45lbs, bringing the total weight to 2775lbs. Steering is is good and turn in quick, overall performance is… fun. And heck, it’s cute.

Price $28,050 (base)

For more information Mini

2012 SLP Chevrolet Camaro Panther

General Motors tuner SLP will be offering the limited edition Panther, only 100 will be available in 560hp, 585hp or 600hp. Another 45 will be built as 700hp cars. All of them will be black.

Looking at the Panther 600, power comes from Magna Charge TVS2300 supercharger, high lift rocker arms, springs and titanium retainers along with a cold air induction system and updated exhaust system. There’s also suspension upgrade, better handling (and ride lowering) springs. More options are, of course, available.

Zero to sixty is estimated at 3.5 seconds with the Panther 600 package. Although wheelspin may be a limiting factor.

Price $57,000 (includes $32,000 1SS donor car)

For more information SLP

McLaren MP4-12C

It’s already been twenty years since McLaren built the million dollar, three seat F1. That was an amazing car, a turning point in the automotive world some might say. Carbon fiber cars were now available in a production car. And it didn’t end there. Soon there will be production cars with carbon fiber tubs with sticker prices far less shocking, think about $50k. Of course this won’t be anything like the F1. The point is carbon fiber is here to stay.

McLaren is the master of the carbon fiber domain, and it shows in the brilliant work in the new MP4-12C. Manufacturing this one piece monocoque tub takes McLaren only four hours. The whole car comes in at only 3210lbs, thanks to this lightweight construction.

The MP4-12C comes with what seems like an undersized 3.8 liter V8. But fitted with twin turbos it makes 592hp and 443lbs of torque. Fed through a dual clutch seven speed automatic, it’s good for a 0-60 time of 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 205mph.

Price $231,400

For more information McLaren

Giugiaro Brivido Concept

Italdesign showed off the fabulous Giugiaro Brivido concept at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. But this was far more than just a show car, as you can see from the pictures included. This is well built vehicle, that some believe may be based on a Porsche Panamera Hybrid chassis.

There’s no word yet on if this will make it to production, but some of us think it might be worth running the numbers.

We’ll be sure to keep you posted if there is any more news about this car that comes up!

Carrol Shelby, and American Icon: 1923-2012

Automobiles Daily morns the loss of an icon in the automotive world, Mr. Carrol Shelby, who passed away May 11, 2012 at 89 years of age. To say that his life is the stuff of legend would be a gross understatement. We will try to cover a few of the highlights of that incredible life, but recommend, “The Complete Book of Shelby Automobiles” by Colin Comer as an excellent reference for Shelby designed vehicles.

Born in Leesburg, Texas in 1923 he became a bomber pilot for the Army Air Corps in 1941. Because he excelled in this role he ended up becoming an instructor for these massive planes, and never actually flew in combat missions.

Shelby’s racing life started in 1952, when he took time away from his chicken farm in his friend’s MG-TC. It didn’t take long to find out he “had the touch”, he seemed to be able to win against cars that he shouldn’t have. Soon he was driving just about every brand you can think of, and winning a lot! Sadly, his racing career was cut short in 1960 by a heart condition. In fact he drove with nitro tablets under his tongue during his last few races.

Over the years the Shelby touch has been applied to the 80′s Shelby Dodge Charger, 90′s Shelby 1, the CSX Cobra continuation line and a long list of Mustang vehicles, the latest of which is the astounding 1000hp car capable of 200mph!

The Shelby legacy will live on through his cars, and through the Carrol Shelby Children’s Foundation. After going through a heart transplant, and later a kidney transplant, Mr. Shelby learned that many children suffer some of these same issues and created this foundation.

For more information Buy Shelby

To donate Shelby Foundation