Welcome to the ! This is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in a little opinion of mine, just because I can. This week:
Porsche 911 turns 50, obligatory special edition follows
Pagani builds one last Zonda for real this time (maybe)
All new 2014 Toyota Corolla is here
Chevrolet SS is a driver’s dream with a reasonable price tag
Mid America Motorworks has some fun with hundreds of Volkswagens
Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition
2013 is a pretty special year for the Porsche 911. As it enters its 50th prestigious year of production, Porsche is finally ready to give the 911 what it’s deserved for many years – a limited-run special edition! We never get enough of those these days.
The 911 50th Anniversary Edition is based off the 911 Carrera S, which means it gets the same 3.8-liter flat-six producing 400 horsepower. However, American buyers will get to have their cars equipped with the Powerkit (also includes the Sport Chrono package) as standard, which bumps power up to 430 instead. Both the seven-speed manual and seven-speed PDK transmission are available as well. When equipped with a manual, 0-60 mph comes in just 4.2 seconds and the top speed is 186 mph, while cars with PDK do the same in 3.8 seconds and will go on to 185 mph. Porsche Active Suspension Management is standard to improve the car’s cornering dynamics and sport exhaust system helps the flat-six to emit an undeniable sound.
Visually, the 911 50th Anniversary Edition is different from other models in a couple ways. It gets the same wide body treatment normally reserved for the Carrera 4, twenty-inch wheels that mimic the legendary “Fuchs” style, chrome trim strips in the front air inlets, and a chrome engine compartment grille. There are also special “911 50” badges inside and out, because no special edition is complete without badges. Just three colors are available, but two are unique to this special edition.
The interior also gets unique treatment with special center panels on the leather seats designed with a fabric pattern that’s reminiscent of the “Pepita” tartan (according to them) design of the 1960’s. Just like on the original, the car’s gauges feature green labeling, white pointers, and silver caps on instrument pivot pins.
The Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition will be limited to just 1,963 examples in a nod to one of the company’s most important dates. Another way they’re honoring the car’s 50th anniversary is to price the car at
just $50,000 $125,050 including destination. Fun fact: it will make its official debut at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt as the original 911 did 50 years ago.
Pagani Zonda Revolucion
What you are looking at now is the very last Pagani Zonda ever – until Pagani decides to make more. If this actually is the end of the beloved Zonda, then this is a fantastic way to go. The Revolucion comes loaded with more F1 technology than ever before, less weight, and it still has the kind of power and lunacy we’d expect from Pagani.
The car is built on a carbon-titanium monocoque which helps to bring the weight down to just 2,359 pounds. When combined with a 6.0-liter AMG V12, which is described as an evolution of the powerplant in the insane track-only Zonda R, that produces 800 horsepower and 538 lb.-ft. of torque, the power-to-weight ratio of 2.94 pounds per horse, which is better than what the Bugatti Veyron and even the Pagani Huayra can offer. Other mechanical goodies include a six-speed sequential transmission which offers twenty millisecond gear changes, a 12-way traction control system from Bosch, and a new adaptive ABS system that adjusts to driver styles (i.e. restricts you to 10 mph whenever you try to turn off traction control in the rain)(not really, but it should unless you’re a professional). That ABS system works in conjunction with new carbon ceramic discs by Brembo.
Aerodynamics have always played a big role in Pagani’s cars, and this one is no different. Up front is a new set of deflectors and out back is a new vertical stabilizer. The Revolucion doesn’t stop there, as it also features an F1-style drag reduction system (DRS) on the rear wing. There are two settings which are manually toggled by the driver through a button on the steering wheel. Engineers have also developed an automatic setting that can enable/disable DRS on its own when the time is right.
Each car is tailor made and costs €2.2 million/$2.9 million. Why? Because.
[Source: Pagani via ]
2014 Toyota Corolla
One of Toyota’s best-selling cars is all new for its eleventh generation. The 2014 Toyota Corolla features “dramatic” new styling that ties into their latest design language, an updated interior that focuses on more premium materials and roominess, and more standard features than ever before to hopefully keep it as one of the best-selling cars in its class.
Starting with the obvious first, the exterior styling is designed to be more expressive and chiseled up front as well as tauter more athletic all around. The wheelbase grows about 3.9 inches to help shape the car’s new, sleeker form (according to designers) as well as improve interior space. The Corolla’s interior is also brand new and is intended to be more stylish, functional, open, and inviting than before. Among the updates are the available seat fabrics that have been improved for softness, more supporting seats, piano black trim to convey a more premium look, and more insulation to make it the quietest Corolla yet.
The 2014 Corolla will be available in four trim levels: L, LE, S, and the new LE Eco. Each level offers a different variety of equipment, but every Corolla will come standard with more than ever before, including LED headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, color-keyed door handles and side mirrors, and a 60/40 split-fold rear seat. Some of the more common options include push button start, wheel-mounted audio controls, heated seats, and a multi-information display with available navigation.
Two 1.8-liter four-cylinder engines are available with power outputs ranging from 132 horsepower and 128 lb.-ft. of torque to 140 horsepower and 126 lb.-ft. of torque. A new continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available as standard for the LE, S, and LE Eco but features numerous shift points to mimic the sensation of a traditional transmission. Or you can get an actual traditional transmission in the base L model in the form of a four-speed automatic or a six-speed manual.
Details like price, exact features in each trim level, and availability info will be given closer to the car’s launch, which is sometime later this year probably.
2014 Chevrolet SS priced
This is one Chevrolet I think a lot of us will be looking forward to. The 2014 Chevrolet SS will be the company’s first rear-drive performance sedan since 1996 (and what a year that was) when it goes on sale in the fourth quarter of this year for $44,470.
The Chevrolet SS is only available on one model with just two options, those being a $900 power sunroof and a $500 spare tire. Standard equipment includes HID headlamps, automatic park assist, Chevrolet MyLink with a touchscreen and navigation, Bose premium audio, heated and ventilated front seats, Blind Zone Alert, Lane Departure Warning, backup camera, things, stuff, other things, even more things, and it’s got a 6.2-liter V8 with 415 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque.
A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available, but it does come with a manual shift mode. The 0-60 mph sprint takes about five seconds. Electronic power steering, Brembo front brakes, and 19″ forged aluminum wheels wrapped in high-performance Bridgestone tires are also included. The SS also benefits from a 50/50 weight distribution and lightweight aluminum body panels.
The only mention of fuel efficiency I could find was the part where they talk about the gas guzzler tax that it’s subject to, so well done, Chevrolet.
Mid America Motorworks 15th Annual Funfest for Air-Cooled VW
The fact that this was going on last weekend and I was starting a new semester makes me a little sad inside. Mid America Motorworks welcomed a significant number of Volkswagens and enthusiasts to their corporate campus in Effingham, IL for their 15th Annual Funfest for Air-Cooled VW. The three-day event included expert seminars, a swap meet, competitions, a concert, road tour, and other stuff that only an enthusiast would venture into the rain for.
As one of the premier Volkswagen celebrations in the U.S., it saw participants from all corners of the nation and beyond. The event kicked off with a road tour of 200+ cars that toured scenic areas of Effingham county and was led by Big Red, the world’s largest Baja Beetle. Some other special attendees this year included an impressive WWII collection that featured a Kübelwagen, Schwimmwagen, KdF-Wagen, and more. With all of the classics on display, it only made sense that they also chose a Best in Show winner, which was given to Bryan Sonderegger from St. Peters, MO for his pristine 1964 Karmann Ghia Type 4.
The events that took place are too numerous and cover here, but all you need to know is it was a great time for Volkswagen owners and enthusiasts. If you have the means to get to Effingham next year, you should definitely consider it.
[Source: Mid America Motorworks]