Auto blogFri, 16 Nov 2012 14:01:00 EST
This was the kind of understatement we didn't expect to encounter in the Lone Star State: on our way into Austin to attend the Grand Prix of the Americas, the man sitting next to us on the plane - an Austinite born and raised - said, "There's gonna be a lot of wealthy people here." You know, as if Texas didn't have its fair share already.
Wealthy people need wealthy things to do and not-as-wealthy people to arrange such things for them. Case in point is My Yacht Club, which follows the Formula 1 parade and other rah-rah events around the globe, hosting guests and parties on yachts. In Austin the event group has had to change its schtick; there's no way to navigate one 150-foot motor yacht into Austin's Lady Bird Lake. MYC principal Nicholas Frankl told KUT News, "We spoke to the Army Air Corps. They couldn't lift it." We believe he meant the Army Corps of Engineers, but no matter, they couldn't lift it either.
So MYC has switched to a land-lubbers venue, The Long Center where Ballet Austin, the opera and the symphony perform. In case you readers are worried about how guests will manage without chiseled Italian deckhands in epaulets, not only has Frankl promised that "the elements of decadence and luxury and coolness and exclusivity are all there," guests will get to guzzle 24-karat gold-infused champagne. Because the stars at night just aren't as big and bright without it, obviously.
European pricing for the 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster was released when the model was officially introduced early this week, but we had to wait a few extra days to see how much customers over here should expect to pay for the topless supercar. Now, Lamborghini has announced that US-bound versions of its new roadster will run $441,600, which doesn't include the $3,700 gas-guzzler tax, meaning the Aventador Roadster will wear a base MSRP of at least $445,300.
As a refresher, this new roadster is a topless version of the 700-horsepower, all-wheel-drive Aventador, and it features a two-piece removable top made of carbon fiber (each weighing in at around 13 pounds) that can be stored in the front trunk. Performance figures include a 0-60 time of under three seconds and a top speed of 217 miles per hour. Lamborghini is currently taking orders for the Aventador Roadster with the car set to go on sale next summer.
After surveying the European economic scene, Volkswagen may have decided now is not the time to launch utility vehicles with Bentley and Lamborghini badges. Bentley officials say they will continue to push for support for the EXP 9 F and Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelman has said planning for the Urus will continue until VW tells it to stop.
That decision could come on November 23, when VW's board will vote on the company's budget for equipment, factories and vehicles. With VW's sales slowing and the Euro economy slumping further, some industry watchers say the company is more likely to build its cash reserves than to introduce super-expensive luxury SUVs or crossovers.
"Such vehicles are anything but obligatory during a crisis," says Frankfurt-based Equinet AG analyst Tim Schuldt in a new Automotive News Europe story. "Delaying their launch would be no drama but help save costs."
The Mitsubishi Eclipse may very well be the Pontiac Fiero of our time. Whereas the old Poncho formerly served as the go-to platform for every Ferrari and Lamborghini replica gone awry, the Eclipse seems to have usurped that crown in the modern age. Need an example? Look no further than this crafty Eclipse owner from Ukraine recently uncovered by our friends at EnglishRussia.com. Using nothing but some very impressive fabrication skills, some sheet metal and his ingenuity, the guy turned his budget Japanese cruiser into an homage to the Lamborghini Reventon.
Sure, the proportions are a little off. And yes, the front end looks a bit wonky, but the finished product is better than we could manage. Besides, this project turned out far cleaner than other Lamborghini tributes we've seen. You can head over to EnglishRussia.com for a closer look at the build process. You'll be amazed.
The Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance is a showcase for some of the world's most exquisite vintage vehicles, but if newer metal is more your speed, the Concept Car Lawn is the place to be.
This year saw models from Bugatti, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, McLaren and Bentley as well as SRT, Hennessey, Infiniti and Lexus among others. The ultimate sampler platter of exotic and concept vehicles saw the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse mingle with the Lamborghini Urus Concept and the mighty Hennessey Venom GT, though we found ourselves particularly smitten with the BMW Zagato Roadster and the Aston Martin Vanquish.
Not that we could go wrong anywhere we looked. The 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed seemed perfectly content parked on the manicured putting green, as did the McLaren MP4-12C Spider. Get cozy with the full gallery below to see the smattering of metal on the lawn.
Automobile Magazine scribe Jason Cammisa was sent into the desert to referee four carbon-fiber-bodied wild animals fighting it out over the quarter mile: the V8 McLaren MP4-12C, the V10 Lexus LFA, the V12 Lamborghini Aventador and the W16 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport. It's a tough job, innit?
The Head 2 Head race was run elimination style, with the winner of each two-up challenge facing the next devil up the totem pole. Although you might not have any doubts about the eventual victor, how each of these supercars fared is good watching. See all the screaming for yourself in the video below.
The Volkswagen Group is comprised of 11 brands producing 240 vehicles across 49 factories throughout the world. So the best way to show off the range of the VW family is to cram a few thousand journalists and VIPs into a massive makeshift stand to outline the Group's goals, what's in the pipeline and what you'll be able to buy later this year.
To that end, VW pulled out all the stops on the eve of the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, bringing along 10 vehicles from across the range. We'll be delving into the details of each over the next two days of show coverage, but before that happens, you can read all about what we saw tonight from the cheap seats after the break.
You may remember the name Franz-Josef Paefgen. Until recently, the German engineer and executive was head of both Bentley and Bugatti. Before that he was chief executive of Audi, after working for several years at Ford. He technically "retired" earlier this year, but like the cars he helped create, an executive like Paefgen could never really retire. So it should come as little surprise that the Volkswagen Group has named Dr. Paefgen head of its Classic program.
In his new capacity, Paefgen will oversee the historic automobile activities of the entire VW Group, including those of Volkswagen, Seat, Skoda, Audi, Lamborghini, and of course Bentley and Bugatti. It strikes us as a suitable semi-retirement for the man responsible in no small part for the Bugatti Veyron and Bentley Mulsanne, to name just two, and who was decorated in 2006 by the ACO as the "Spirit of Le Mans" for his contribution to endurance racing. Read the official announcement after the break.