Apollo, the young company that emerged from the ashes of the bankrupt and bitterly missed Gumpert, is out to bring emotion and flair back to the hypercar segment. While Apollo has been recently quiet as of late, the company ended this figurative radio silence by unveiling the all new Intensa Emozione.
The exterior styling of the Intensa Emozione is a wild styling excercise that is allegedly meant to recapture “the lost emotion and fading spirit” that Apollo claims, is ruining the hypercar genre. While we’re not sure if we can agree with Apollo on that particular finding, it is nice to see a relatively fresh design that harkens back to the old Gumpert Apollo. Like the Gumpert, the Intensa Emozione does look a bit cluttered from certain angles, but there is a healthy mixture of form and function present here.
The front fascia for example features a huge front splitter that forms an extensive aero kit when paired with the diveplanes, body mounted channels and so much more. Our highlight feature is the gigantic rear spoiler that is easily the biggest in the segment, and could also substitute for the flight deck of a scale model aircraft carrier.
The end result is downforce, lots of it with the IE benefiting from 2,976 lbs of the stuff when thrashing its way through a track day. For those that are curious, thats the equivalent of an entire Toyota Corolla pushing down on the car (an impressive feat.) A carbon fiber monocoque chassis is also on hand to keep weight down, while also increasing structual strength at the same time.
The interior of the IE is all buisness, and features supportive racing seats with healthy doses of red accents, and a race inspired steering wheel. Look for carbon fiber and other lightweight materials to be splashed throughout the cabin to help enhance its performance oriented mission in life while also delivering bespoke levels of comfort.
Performance comes from a naturally aspirated V12 thats good for 780 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque. This ungodly power is channeled to the rear wheels through a six speed Hewland sequential gearbox with pneumatic changing gear. Apollo claims that the end result makes it “a bit savage” but we think the cool noises it produces will balance things out nicely.
Predictably the Intensa Emozione is a member of the 200 mph club, and the Hewland gearbox plays a big role in this feat. However, drivers will have to manually engage first gear and use a clutch to get the car moving, before the computer takes over in higher gears. Apollo claims that it’s a piece of the “old school experience” but we’ll chalk it up to the needs of the gearbox itself.
Handling is also razor focused thanks to F1 inspired double wishbone suspension with pushrod and rocker arm architecture front and rear. Adjustable anti-roll bars and Bilstein dampers round out the package, but buyers can have a more bespoke setup installed if they so choose.
Apollo is only producing 10 Intensa Emoziones before ceasing production, so buyers will have to act quickly to snatch one for their garage. They will also have to pay accordingly for the privelege, with each copy starting at $2.6 million with our choice being the bare carbon look (pictured.) Buyers will also have access to exclusive perks, including first dibs on future Apollo products like the upcoming 2019 Arrow.
When Dodge first unleashed the limited production 840 horsepower Dodge Demon at the New York Auto Show, the brand promised to deliver a drag strip experience at a price below $100,000. Admittably, we were a bit skeptical at first, but Dodge has followed through on its word, and delivered the goods.
In fact, Dodge delivered in spades, with the 2018 Dodge Demon featuring a base price of $84,995. This includes the $1700 gas guzzler tax, but not the $1,095 destination fee. Furthermore, many of its options are better deals than the bargain sales at many thrift stores, with each one only costing $1
This includes the Demon Crate as well as more basic additions such as the front passenger seat, rear passenger seat, as well as carpeting for the trunk to make the Demon more civilized (if you must…) Otherwise we recommend indulging yourself with the contents of the forementioned Demon Crate. They include the drag spec front wheels and tires, conical air filter, as well as the PCM and replacement instrument panel switch to unlock the full 840 horsepower wielded by the tricked out V8.
Dodge will also offer 15 diffrent paint colors, and even offer a full leather interior and premium audio system, though look for those two items to hurt the Demon’s performance somewhat.
Overall the grand total adds up to $86,094 when the Demon has its performance and basic occupant friendly options installed. This is a hefty price to pay for a Dodge Challenger at first glance, but considering all the drag spec gear it possesses straight from the factory, the prospect doesn’t seem so crazy. Especially since its the only factory ready drag car with a full factory warranty including a five year/60,000 mile warranty for the powertrain.
With the Ram Rebel scorching its way through backwood trails and snowy roads, Ram has revealed a special edition model dubbed the Rebel Black.
As its moniker implies, the Rebel Black embraces black accents and includes black rims, brush guard, and an all black interior. This special edition truck is thankfully avalible in the full color pallate which should please folks that love the standard model’s trademark red hue.
The all black interior features heated seats with “Rebel” embroidery andonized accents on the doors, center console and instrument cluster as well as Light Slate grey accent seat stitching in lieu of the standard Rebel’s red hued stitching. Black Katzkin leather thrones are avalible as a luxurious upgrade.
“Adding the Rebel Black package to an already aggressive off-road package will continue feeding the momentum Rebel is creating for the Ram Truck brand” revealed Mike Manley Head of Jeep Brand and Ram Brand, FCA – Global. “The Ram Rebel is unique in the full-size truck segment with 33-inch off-road tires, air suspension, and custom interior details.”
Like the rest of the Rebel lineup, performance for the Rebel Black comes from either the base 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 or the optional 5.7 liter Hemi V8. The V6 model comes in 4×4 guise only, but V8 rigs can be had either as a 4×4 or a 4×2.
The Ram 1500 Rebel Black is scheduled to arrive in showrooms this March, with a base price of $45,590. This is before the $1,320 dedtination fee, but its still a reasonable price, especially for a truck that embraces the dark side. In the mean time, you can see it shred some powder in the video below.
Dodge and its Challenger coupe have always held onto a firm third posistion in the muscle car wars, with the bulk of the attention focused on its rivals the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang. However, Dodge aims to shakeup this established order, and has raised the stakes with the 2017 Challenger GT.
The highlight feature here is the all-wheel drive system that will be making its debut on the Challenger GT. No other muscle car has ever offered such an option, and its apperance here on the GT could be a gamechanger.
The system is borrowed from its platform mate the Charger, and can only be paired with the base Pentastar V6 engine. Speaking of the engine, it is good for a healthy 305 horsepower and 268 lb-ft of torque which is on par with its domestic rivals.
An eight speed automatic transmission is the sole choice avalible, and helps the GT achieve 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the freeway. Unlike its rear wheel drive sibling, Dodge will not be offering a manual or V8 engines on the Challenger GT presumably due to the limits of its all-wheel drive system.
The eight speed makes up for it by offering paddle shifters as well as a Sport mode to spice up the car’s shifting behavior. Seperate performance pages help drivers monitor vital information, and the exterior styling features a hood bulge, LED head and taillights, and a rear spoiler.
The interior of the Challenger GT retains much of the basic design and layout, but GT models can be equipped with a $995 interior package that adds Alcantara suede seats, Nappa leather accents, a nine speaker Alpine audio system, and a performance inspired steering wheel. This should please Challenger fans, and also help lure new customers into the Dodge brand.
The aggressive pricing strategy also highlights the bold plans Dodge has for this model with base Challenger GTs starting at $34,490. This pricing is fairly reasonable, and while its unlikely that it will topple the top ranked Mustang in sales, it could be in a prime posistion to steal second place away from Chevrolet in 2017, which would upend a pecking order that has been in place for over a decade.
Nissan has big plans for its Sentra compact car, and the first chapter was recently unveiled with the debut of the recently unveiled Sentra SR Turbo. However, there will always be a select group of buyers that want a tantalizing slice of the performance enhancements that the Nismo is known for, so the company has unveiled their compelling slice of Sentra pie with the all new 2017 Sentra Nismo.
The exterior styling of the Nismo will be the first key change that many Sentra faithful will notice with the front fascia receiving a “layered double wing” design on the lower front of the front fascia with tweaked side skirts, a revised rear fascia, and a revised rear spoiler adding a visual exclamation point to the design. Red accent stripes help add contrast to the sedan, and buyers can choose from five different colors Brilliant, Silver, Super Black, Aspen White, or Gun Metallic. Rounding out the more aggressive suit of clothes are 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels that look slick, and add a strong finishing point to its profile.
Nismo engineers also revamped the car’s suspension, and the Sentra Nismo benefits from upgraded struts and front springs as well as monotube rear dampers which benefit from the 0.4 inch drop in ride height. Sticky Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires help keep the car planted during all forms of spirited driving. However, for buyers that prefer to have even more grip, the Sentra Nismo can also be equipped with Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R summer tires.
Performance hardware for the Sentra Nismo is largely carried over from the Sentra SR Turbo which includes the 1.6 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that brings 188 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque to the festivities. A six speed manual transmission is standard equipment, but buyers can opt for an optional Nismo tuned Xtronic CVT automatic. The Nismo also shares the SR Turbo’s braking gear, and features 11.7 inch vented disc brakes at the front, and 11.5 inch disc brakes at the rear.
The interior also comes nicely equipped and includes a leather wrapped steering wheel with Alcantara inserts, Nismo branded carpets, a red tachometer, and other Nismo touches to spice things up even further. The interior is only available in charcoal with red contrast accents and also comes with only one option. Dubbed the Nismo Premium Package, it features goodies such as an eight speaker Bose audio system, Nissan voice recognition technology, and the NissanConnect system.
Pricing for the Sentra Nismo has not been officially confirmed, but early reports suggest that the sedan will start at just under $25,000 which would be $3,000 more than the SR Turbo with the first units arriving in Nissan showrooms sometime next year.
Porsche’s Macan lineup has certainly done a good job putting rivals on notice with its all turbocharged engine lineup and its sporty dynamics. But there is always room for more performance, and Porsche engineers have done just that with an all new Performance Package for the range topping Turbo model.
The package brings a number of upgrades to the model that aims to solidify its place as a benchmark offering. It all starts under the hood where the Macan’s twin-turbocharged V6 recieves a bump in performance with the engine now capable of producing 440 horsepower (a gain of 40) and 442 lb-ft of torque (a bump of 36 lb-ft.) These revised figures allow the Macan to make the sprint to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds which is 0.2 seconds faster than the standard Turbo, and a higher top speed of 169 mph. The standard Macan Turbo was already the quickest offering in its segment, so look for this new package to further broaden the gap between it and rivals such as the Audi SQ5, BMW X3, and the Mercedes-AMG GLC43.
In addition to the engine upgrades, the package also features a lowered suspension, beefier brakes, and makes the normally optional Sport Chrono Package standard equipment. The list of optional extras also grows and includes 21-inch 911 inspired wheels, LED headlights, and blacked out accent trim. The interior largely carries over unchanged but benefits from Alcantara accents and splashes of carbon fiber trim.
The package is avalible to order and raises the MSRP to $87,495 which is roughly $10,000 more than the standard model. While the extra performance will be welcomed by many, it will be interesting to see if folks are willing to shell out that much money for a slight bump in driving fun.
Amid slumping sales and an increased reliance on costly sales to dump inventory. Cadillac has revealed that it will inject newfound investment into the 2017 ATS in a bold move to improve its relevance amongst luxury buyers.
A key change is found under the hood with the ATS narrowing its engine options for the 2017 model year. The wheezy, underpowered, and unpopular 2.5 liter four cylinder engine has been pitched, and the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine will now take its place. Cadillac product planning chief Hampden Tener revealed that the company plans to heavily promote the turbo engine in future advertising.
“We want to emphasize the car’s 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine and the car’s features while attacking the market on the product side rather than continuing to use costly incentives” stated Tener in a seperate statement.
In addition to the engine change, the rest of the ATS lineup will also see pricing tweaks with all packages having their prices reduced by $650 to $1,100 depending on the model selected. This was revealed in an interview with Automotive News with the company also claiming that each model will recieve upgrades to boost value and desirability.
Cadillac has not released a formal launch date for the 2017 models, but look for that particular information to be revealed closer to their formal launch.
BMW has had a reputation for blurring the lines between vehicle segments in recent years. This is especially apparent with its Gran Turismo badged line of vehicles, and while the 5-Series Gran Turismo has been a sales flop, its smaller cousin the 3-Series GT has had some sales success. BMW has chosen to further enhance its success with the unveiling of the 2017 3-Series Gran Turismo.
The exterior styling of the Gran Turismo does not change much from the standard 3-Series sedan, and observers will undoubtedly miss some of the minor changes BMW has made. New front and rear bumpers help add some excitement to the design, while all new LED headlights enhance night time visibility. The rear fascia is largely unchanged, but a new graphic design for the LED taillights does help freshen things up.
The interior on the other hand has seen a more comprehensive update, and benefits from an all new interface for the navigation system. This is aimed at improving usability, and eliminates some of the frustration associated with the current layout. More chrome trim has also been added, and buyers can now choose from a larger selection of options. These include new upholstry choices, a wider array of wood trim, as well as several new color schemes. Cargo capacity remains unchanged at 56.5 cubic feet.
Currently U.S. buyers can only choose from either the 328i model or the range topping 335i variant. This all changes for 2017 with the forementioned models being replaced by the 330i and the 340i. The 330i comes equipped with the familiar 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which makes 248 horsepower in GT spec, meanwhile the 340i adds a bit more sport to the equation thanks to its 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six that also sees duty in the 340i sedan. Good for 320 horsepower, this should please buyers that want more confidence in conquering rough weather conditions, or want to add an element of surprise to their stoplight sprints.
Look for both variants to continue offering U.S. buyers a standard eight speed automatic transmission as well as standard all-wheel drive to help it compete better against European and Asian rivals.
The updated 3-Series GT is expected to go on sale in Europe this summer. It is currently unknown when it will make its U.S. debut, but expect it to arrive later this year, with pricing being close to the 2016 model and its $43,995 base price.
It has been a while since we last heard from the folks over at Donkervoort, but the Dutch automaker is still alive and well, and has unveiled yet another iteration of its long running but still potent D8 track car the D8 GTO-RS.
Formally making its way to Donkervoort dealers this summer, the company claims that the new model is the ultimate D8 GTO as it is “meaner, more extreme, and slightly larger in size” than the standard D8. The car also features a revised front grille and all new aerodynamic pieces to make it move through the air more efficiently. The interior of the RS continues the recent trend towards adding a bit more comfort to the overall driving experience thanks to supple leather sport seats that promises to provide buyers a balanced blend of comfort and support as well as leather trim for the dashboard and door panels. However, the RS has not forgotten its focus as an all out track machine, and also includes carbon fiber trim, and Alcantara wrapped steering wheel, as well as a driver centric layout that puts all controls and crucial functions within easy reach and view of the driver.
Performance for the RS comes from the familiar 2.5 liter Audi sourced five cylinder engine that also sees duty in other D8’s. However, Donkervoort engineers have added an all new engine management that was created with assistance from the folks at Bosch. Donkervoort did not release formal performance statistics, but stated that drivers will notice better acceleration as well as increased driving comfort (AKA more horsepower and possibly better fuel economy.) The company also revealed that the collaboration with Bosch also led to the development of several other RS exclusive features including launch control, as well as a double clutch function for the transmission.
The D8 in all of its various guises has always been known for its handling prowess, and the RS aims to continue this reputation thanks to an all new suspension system as well as a wider track that promises to improve grip especially at high vehicle speeds. Look for the RS to also benefit from a crash diet that sheds precious pounds to extract every ounce of acceleration possible from the car which would help it use its new-found abilities to their full potential.
Production will be limited to 40 copies with each one starting at €151,173 ($173,826.) This is a pretty lofty figure, but that hasn’t discouraged potential buyers from signing on the dotted line with 21 of the cars already being pre-ordered.
Fiat has formally announced officially announced pricing for its 124 Spider roadster lineup, which puts the brand in a posistion to boost its appeal to young buyers.
The 124 Spider will be the first new offering that will not share its DNA with the 500 model family, and Fiat aims to use its Mazda sourced roots and it’s retro flair to target more buyers. Proudly proclaiming it to be the lowest priced turbocharged convertible in America, Fiat will be bringing three diffrent models to showrooms starting with the base $25,990 Classica model. The Classica is roughly on par with the base MX-5 Miata (its twin) and will feature a standard six speed manual transmission and cloth covered sport seats. The Classica also features Fiat’s 1.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. This is a slight gain over the Miata’s naturally aspirated 2.0 liter, and should please budget minded enthusiasts.
Opting for the Lusso package raises the MSRP to $28,490, but brings more luxury features such as heated leather seats, a 7.0 inch touchscreen with navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels, and dual-zone climate control. Its Mazda badged counterpart matches the Fiat’s appointments in Grand Touring trim, and also adds several standard safety features that appear to be optional on the 124.
Meanwhile enthusiasts will set their sights on the $29,190 Abarth 124 which takes much of its influence from the slightly pricier $29,420 MX-5 Club Edition. This is an interesting match up especially since the Abarth variant has a 10 horsepower advantage over the Club, while also retaining that model’s upgrades including Bilstein shocks, a front strut bar, limited slip differential, and Brembo brakes. Expect plenty of track time bickering between the two camps, as well as compelling head to head racetrack duels.
Lastly, there’s the $35,995 Primavera Edizione Lusso model. Serving as the initial spearhead model for the 124’s arrival to showrooms, this limited production model will arrive with model exclusive Azzuro Italia (aka dark blue paint) and several other minor extras on top of the Lusso’s impressive rapsheet of standard equipment. An automatic transmission is avalible for all three trims, but buyers will have to shell out $1,350 to make the swap. This is less than the Club or GT, but pricier than the $1,480 that Mazda charges for an automatic on the base Sport model.
Look for the first 124s to begin arriving in Fiat showrooms this summer with FCA hoping that the droptop can help revive sagging Fiat sales which fell by 15 percent last year, and slid a further 18 percent during the first half of this year.