• Spyker to show SUV in Los Angeles

    April 3, 2016

    Holland-based Spyker has shed more insight into its upcoming four-door model.

    As we reported earlier, the yet-unnamed four-door will take the form of a large SUV whose design will borrow more than a few styling cues from the D12 Peking-to-Paris concept (pictured) that was shown at the 2006 edition of the Paris Auto Show. It will be positioned near the top of the SUV segment, and it will be powered by a V12 engine borrowed from a major European car maker.

    Spyker boss Victor Muller told British magazine Autocar that an all-electric version of the SUV will arrive a little later in the production run. The drivetrain will likely be developed with input from Volta Volare, a Portland-based firm that’s in the business of designing battery-powered private planes. Spyker merged with Volta Volare shortly after it exited bankruptcy last year.

    Going electric is inevitable for Spyker, but Muller explained the company isn’t interested in building a plug-in hybrid.

    “Think of the complications of one of the best hybrid cars, the BMW i8. It is an amazing car, but it is super-complicated and packaging is a nightmare, as is keeping the heat situation under control. If you use only electric motors, you do not have to deal with these issues,” he pointed out.

    Spyker’s upcoming SUV will be presented to the public later this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, and the production model is tentatively scheduled to arrive in 2017.

  • China’s BAIC previews Beijing-bound electric coupe

    April 3, 2016

    State-owned Chinese car maker Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC) has unveiled an all-electric supercar ahead of its official debut at this year’s Beijing Auto Show.

    The yet-unnamed concept was developed jointly with a Chinese Formula E team called NextEV. It can hit 62 mph from a stop in less than three seconds, and it has a top speed of about 160 mph. Full technical details aren’t available yet, but BAIC promises the coupe has a driving range of close to 190 miles.

    The low-resolution images uncovered by British magazine Autocar reveal that the coupe boasts a muscular design characterized by pronounced wheel arches, a low roof line, and a spoiler integrated into the rear deck lid. Its front end gets sharp LED headlights underlined by blue fins and a sizable splitter.

    The coupe is still a prototype for the time being, but it will go on sale in China as soon as it’s ready for production. There’s a microscopic chance that we’ll see it — or at least the tech that lurks under the sheet metal — on our shores one day because BAIC joined forces with California-based EV startup Atieva late last year in order to build premium electric cars for markets all around the globe.

  • Saudi billionaire’s gilded supercars arrive in Europe

    April 3, 2016

    Turki bin Abdullah’s fleet of gilded supercars has reportedly arrived in London, igniting a media frenzy.

    The Saudi billionaire is said to be among several wealthy Middle Eastern visitors who commission shipping companies to deliver their exotic vehicles to Europe every year, according to the Daily Mail. Many vehicles are shipped as aircraft cargo, with delivery prices reportedly exceeding $30,000.

    Instagram pictures show various high-end cars, all customized with matching gold-color vinyl wrap. The fleet appears to include a Porsche 918 Spyder, Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG, Bentley Flying Spur and Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe, among others.

    Car spotters reportedly travel from afar to catch a glimpse of Turki bin Abdullah’s collection and other supercars in London. One Instagram photo shows a cheetah sitting in the driver’s seat of the G63 six-wheeler.

    Reportedly referred to by locals as the “Ramadan Rush,” the influx sometimes causes friction with residents. The DailyMail report associates the foreign visitors with new regulations that prohibit drivers from revving engines, racing, accelerating rapidly, sounding horns or other nefarious vehicular activity.