• Nissan GT-R LM NISMO, Maxima previewed in Superbowl ad

    February 2, 2015

    Nissan has unveiled not one, but two new cars in their Superbowl XLIX commercials: the new NISMO GT-R LM NISMO and a brief glimpse of the company’s next-generation Maxima.

    Centered around a family-oriented campaign that Nissan calls With Dad, the spot ties in the new Le Mans racer with a heartstring-tugging tale of a father-son tale of balancing work and family, all set to the 1974 Harry Chapin song “The Cat’s in the Cradle.”

    The Nissan GT-R LM NISMO will compete in the LMP1 class of FIA-world championship endurance series. Rather than a mid-engined configuration, the GT-R LM NISMO will have an unusual front-engined layout with front-wheel-drive. The heart of the car will be a twin-turbo V6, similar to the road-going Godzilla, but will have only 3.0 liters and will be mated to a kinetic energy recovery system. The car is expected to put out 1,250 horsepower in full race tune.

    The second vehicle revealed in the Superbowl spot is modeled after the Nissan Sports Sedan Concept shown in Detroit last year. It is widely expected to preview the next Maxima, the production version of which will launch at the New York Auto Show in April.

  • 2016 Mazda MX-5 colors leaked

    February 2, 2015

    Color options for the 2016 Mazda MX-5 have leaked online. The source contains Japanese writing and appears to be a home market brochure.

    Hot on the heels of an official spec announcement of the eagerly anticipated 2016 MX-5 Miata comes an image from a color chart in a printed catalog. There appears to be at least six body color choices: Soul Red Metallic, Meteor Gray Mica, Snow Flake White Pearl Mica, Jet Black Mica, Dynamic Blue Mica, and Sunflower Yellow.

    Soul Red is the color that pre-production prototypes have used as their showcase hue, but also an identifying shade on other cars like the Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 and CX-3. As on those vehicles, it appears there will be a extra cost item added onto the sticker price. Though no pricing has been announced, Soul Red carries a $300 premium on the Mazda6.

    Several of the colors have names plucked from the outgoing generation MX-5. Black Mica was a limited edition 2005 Mazdaspeed color, while Meteor Gray was on the 2014-15 MX-5 palette. Of course, these are the names for the Japanese market, and automakers are known to change official color names to make them more in sync with local tastes.

  • Mercedes-Benz launches G63, G65 Crazy Color Edition

    February 2, 2015
    Mercedes-Benz has introduced a new version of the G-Class called Crazy Color Edition.
    Scheduled to go on sale in select countries tomorrow, the Crazy Color Edition can only be paired with the G63 AMG and the V12-powered G65 AMG. It lets buyers pick one of five edition-specific eye-catching paint colors called Solar Beam, Sunset Beam, Galactic Beam, Tomato Red and Alien Green. Obsidian Black paint on the bumpers, the wheel arches and the rain gutters add a contrasting touch to the overall appearance.

    The vibrant look continues inside with body-colored contrast stitching on the seats, the dashboard, the center console and the door panels. All Crazy Color Edition models come standard with black designo Nappa leather upholstery regardless of which exterior color is chosen.

    Driving a G-Class that can be seen from outer space isn’t cheap. The Solar Beam paint job retails for €15,348 (about $17,300, nearly the same price as a base-model Volkswagen Golf), Tomato Red, Alien Green and Sunset Beam all cost €18,913 (roughly $21,343) and Galactic Beam adds €19,962 (approximately $22,500). Buyers who still have change left over can order an optional Harmon Kardon surround sound system and real carbon fiber trim sprinkled throughout the cockpit.

    The first G-Class Crazy Color Editions will begin to arrive on dealer lots next March. Mercedes-Benz has not announced whether or not the option will be available in the United States.

  • Ferrari teases mystery model ahead of Geneva debut

    February 2, 2015
    Ferrari has published a series of teaser images that preview an enigmatic new model.
    The teaser shots reveal precious little, showing only the words passion, design and performance as well as the social media hashtag “wordsarenotenough.” However, rumors indicate that the pictures preview a facelifted version of the 458 Italia tentatively called 458 Modificata that will go on sale in time for the 2016 model year.

    The big news for 2016 is that the 458 Italia is expected to trade its naturally-aspirated 4.5-liter V8 engine for a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 that will make about 666 horsepower and 550 lb-ft. of torque. An updated seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission will send the coupe from zero to 60 mph in less than 3.3 seconds and on to a top speed of at least 201 mph.

    Also found under the hood of the California T, the Maserati-derived 3.8-liter V8 will noticeably boost the 458′s gas mileage. It will also help the Modena-based automaker comply with European regulations by lowering its fleet’s average CO2 emissions.

    Outside, the 458 Italia is expected to benefit from minor updates such as a redesigned front fascia and a number of aerodynamic add-ons.

    Full details about the 458 Modificata – assuming that’s the model that Ferrari is teasing – will emerge when the car is fully unveiled online next Tuesday.