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All the crazy stuff we saw at McCall's Motorworks Revival

Thu, Aug 18 2016

Every year, Gordon McCall puts on a lavish event packed with rare cars and planes (and the type of people that can afford rare cars and planes). And every year, more ridiculous stuff shows up. It's the good kind of machine overload. It's likely the only place in the world where you'll see a line of BMW 3.0s next to some Paganis next to a Porsche 911 by Singer Design next to a Ferrari salt racer next to a custom Olds Riviera next to the latest from Koenigsegg next to he coolest stuff Shelby ever made next to a hangar filled with McLarens, including a few P1 GTRs. And then all of that is surrounded by private jets, fighters, and planes that could have flown in directly from WWII. In a word, it's insane. Walk through the gallery above to get a taste for what was there this year for the event's 25th anniversary. Related Video: Featured Gallery 2016 McCall's Motorworks Revival View 29 Photos Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Drew Phillips / Autoblog Motorsports Misc. Auto Shows BMW Ferrari McLaren Porsche Koenigsegg

Singer Porsche, Koenigsegg, NSX: Leno's life doesn't suck

Tue, Oct 6 2015

Jay Leno had quite a productive trip this year during Monterey Car Week. Not only did he get to pal around with Ian Callum and check out the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, but the denim-clad comedian also headed to The Quail to talk to some prominent figures in the modern sports car scene. Capping off the fun, he got to take a drive in a Mercedes-AMG GT S, too Perhaps the highlight of this show is a nearly 10-minute interview with Christian von Koenigsegg. The founder of the Swedish hypercar company digs deep into the Agera One:1's engineering details, relating interesting facts about the aerodynamics and transmission. In addition, Leno chats with Rob Dickenson of Singer about its newly reimagined Porsche 911 Targa, and he gets the latest scoop on the Acura NSX's progress from newly promoted Acura Vice President and General Manager Jon Ikeda. If you like hearing about the nuts and bolts of sports car development, then this video can't be missed. Of course, we were there at Monterey, too, and we pointed our own cameras at some of the amazing machinery, both vintage and modern, at all the various car-focused events of the week. Take a look back at some of our own cool footage in the videos below. Related Video:

2015 Gordon McCall's Motorworks Revival

Thu, Aug 13 2015

Considered the big kick off of the major festivities surrounding Monterey Car Week, this year's Gordon McCall's Motorworks Revival certainly didn't disappoint. For those unable to make it to the California coast, our own Drew Phillips was on hand to snap some of the beautiful vehicles on display for this gorgeous gallery. Held annually at the Monterey Jet Center, the event is always a feast for the eyes by collecting planes, a gang of exotic supercars, and some the top cars crossing the auction block over the coming days, like a Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda convertible. The Ford GT both new and old was a major attendee at this year's party. Among them, the Petersen Museum brought along an original racecar and a GT40 MKIII to promote an upcoming exhibit. The classics were complimented by the latest version that has continued to keep tongues wagging. The GT wasn't the only classic with a modern update there. Singer used the posh event for the North American debut of its stunning restoration of the Porsche 911 Targa. Shelby American was also at the revival for the public unveiling of the 50th Anniversary Daytona Coupe. On the more modern front, Honda was in attendance with the future NSX and one of the McLaren F1 cars that the company's engine powers. For further proof of the ritzy folks that attend this soiree, Pagani and Koenigsegg both had stands to show off their extremely quick wares.

VW Group to split brands under four holding companies

Tue, Jun 16 2015

The Volkswagen Group is planning a tremendous shift in its internal structure that will decentralize operations by splitting its 12 brands into four different holding companies. Here's the breakdown. Things will be split logically, considering the inter-sharing of parts, platforms, and engines. The Volkswagen brand, Seat, and Skoda make up a passenger vehicle division led by former BMW man Herbert Diess. Audi, which is tightly intertwined with Lamborghini and motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, will be managed by current Audi exec Rupert Stadler. Porsche and Bentley, which are already quite close, will be joined by Bugatti and run by Matthias Mueller. Finally, a commercial vehicles division will include Volkswagen Commercial, Scania, and Man. Former Daimler exec Andreas Renschler will take care of the big vehicles. The massive move, according to Automotive News Europe, is part of an internal VAG effort to move away from the structure established by ousted Chairman Ferdinand Piech, who favored a compact, but highly centralized, management structure to oversee the independent actions of the company's brands. Criticism of Piech's arrangement stemmed from the company's slow responses to changes in the market, ANE reports. The new structure should make for a more efficient, streamlined company that's better able to make crucial decisions. What are your thoughts? Should VAG decentralize, or did Piech have the right idea? Have your say in Comments.

A car writer's year in new vehicles [w/video]

Thu, Dec 18 2014

Christmas is only a week away. The New Year is just around the corner. As 2014 draws to a close, I'm not the only one taking stock of the year that's we're almost shut of. Depending on who you are or what you do, the end of the year can bring to mind tax bills, school semesters or scheduling dental appointments. For me, for the last eight or nine years, at least a small part of this transitory time is occupied with recalling the cars I've driven over the preceding 12 months. Since I started writing about and reviewing cars in 2006, I've done an uneven job of tracking every vehicle I've been in, each year. Last year I made a resolution to be better about it, and the result is a spreadsheet with model names, dates, notes and some basic facts and figures. Armed with this basic data and a yen for year-end stories, I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I'd never done before. The results are, well, they're a little bizarre, honestly. And I think they'll affect how I approach this gig in 2015. {C} My tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015 it'll be as high as 73. Let me give you a tiny bit of background about how automotive journalists typically get cars to test. There are basically two pools of vehicles I drive on a regular basis: media fleet vehicles and those available on "first drive" programs. The latter group is pretty self-explanatory. Journalists are gathered in one location (sometimes local, sometimes far-flung) with a new model(s), there's usually a day of driving, then we report back to you with our impressions. Media fleet vehicles are different. These are distributed to publications and individual journalists far and wide, and the test period goes from a few days to a week or more. Whereas first drives almost always result in a piece of review content, fleet loans only sometimes do. Other times they serve to give context about brands, segments, technology and the like, to editors and writers. So, adding up the loans I've had out of the press fleet and things I've driven at events, my tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015, it'll be as high as 73. At one of the buff books like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, reviewers might rotate through five cars a week, or more. I know that number sounds high, but as best I can tell, it's pretty average for the full-time professionals in this business.

2015 Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series is a seriously quick way to spend $260k

Wed, 19 Nov 2014

Porsche is usually associated with being a sports car brand, but with vehicles like the Cayenne and Panamera it takes a step into the world of luxury against firmly established players like Mercedes-Benz. One way for the company to poke its head above the high-class fray is by taking things further, and in the case of the Panamera Exclusive Series at the Los Angeles Auto Show, it means pushing grandeur to extreme levels.
Coming in at an absolutely eye-watering $263,900, plus $995 destination, the Panamera Exclusive starts its life as the already sumptuous Panamera Turbo S Executive with a 4.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 making 570 horsepower on an extended wheelbase. To help justify the extra $63,000 for the Exclusive, though, the model gets 20-inch black Sport Classic wheels and an interior in swaddled in Nappa leather with dark walnut and piano black trim. Rear passengers also get 10.1-inch touchscreens mounted on the back of the front seats. A set of fitted Poltrana Frau leather luggage is included with each one, as well.
The luxurious sedan earns it Exclusive moniker because just 100 of them are being made worldwide. Scroll down to read about Porsche's ultimate limousine.

Porsche Cayman GT4 speeds back into view

Tue, 18 Nov 2014

We're all familiar with the succession of numbers that follow the letters GT on a hard-core Porsche 911: the GT1 that was Stuttgart's Le Mans contender in the late 90s, the GT2 that packs turbochargers but without the Turbo's all-wheel drive and excess weight, and the naturally aspirated GT3 that's the enthusiast's choice. But a GT4? That's something new, and exactly what Porsche has in store.
Spied testing in Germany once again is the upcoming GT4 version of the Porsche Cayman, set to supersede the existing GTS and take the place of the previous Cayman R at the top of Porsche's junior sports car range. This latest batch of spy shots doesn't show us much more than the last crop, but gives us a much clearer view at what promises to be the most hardcore Cayman to date.
As you can see, the Cayman GT4 packs a much more aggressive aero kit and rolling stock than any version we've seen to date. It's got a lip spoiler, big air dam and GT3-style vent in front of the hood, deep air scoops along the flanks, a set of spindly alloys packing oversized brakes, a diffuser with twin central exhaust tips around back and a rear wing that's likely to be replaced with a sleeker unit before the GT4 reaches production.

Porsche stalls on Ferrari 458 rival

Mon, 17 Nov 2014

A few years ago, reports surfaced that Porsche was planning a new supercar. But the latest intel suggests that the plan has been put indefinitely on the back burner.
The project alternately referred to as 960 or 988 was put forth by CEO Matthias Müller shortly after he assumed control of the German automaker. It called for a mid-engined V8 supercar to slot in between the 911 and the 918 Spyder to take on the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren 650S and sister-company Lamborghini's Gallardo and subsequent Huracán.
Now three years since the idea was first mooted, the vehicle has yet to materialize. According to Autocar, Porsche is putting a greater emphasis on refreshing its existing lineup. Which is probably just as well, because the mid-engined supercar would have a heck of a challenge on its hands to differentiate itself in terms of performance from the 911 GT3 and 911 Turbo, which already give the 458 and company a run for their money.

Car companies may need to start curbing model proliferation

Mon, 17 Nov 2014

Looking at the current automotive landscape, especially from German makers, you quickly get the impression that less definitely isn't more. BMW alone offers its 3 Series platform in practically every segment possible, including the regular sedan and 4 Series Gran Coupe, which would seem to be direct competitors. Porsche might be the winner, though, with 20 different variants of the 911 listed for sale on its US website. However, some of this model madness might be reaching an end as companies begin cutting back spending or shifting money to other priorities.
According to Yahoo Finance, the offerings from the German automakers are up 25 percent over the past three years to over 200 models in Europe. The peak is expected to come around 2018 at 230 separate vehicles, according to consulting company PwC.
Amazingly, BMW, which is among the poster children for this model explosion, might be changing its tune. "I'm sure there will be points in the future where we look at certain cars and say, 'Maybe we need to think differently now,'" said head of sales Ian Robertson in an interview, according to Yahoo Finance. The statement certainly sounds shocking coming from a company rumored to have 23 front-wheel-drive vehicles all using a single platform on the way.

Are you the Porsche Pajun?

Mon, 17 Nov 2014

The prospect of Porsche building a smaller version of the Panamera has been an on-again, off-again proposition as the German automaker seems to go back and forth on the project. Last we heard, Porsche had pushed back the so-called Pajun (shorthand for Panamera Junior) until 2019 at the earliest, but we could be looking at it right here.
The automaker's everything-but-automotive division Porsche Design is working on a luxury condo complex called (simply enough) Porsche Design Tower. It's been three years in the making and will take at least another year or two to complete, but the gist of it is that the 57-floor building will include 132 apartments, each with its own en-suite garage in which the residents' cars will be parked thanks to giant elevators.
Porsche Design released a series of renderings showing what the property will look like once complete. Most of the renderings feature Porsches, of course - production models you can find in any of the brand's showrooms, like the one just 23 miles away in Coral Gables. But one of the renderings of the giant glass elevators shows something rather unusual.