If Maserati were to give a Spice Girls type of name to each of its cars — granted, that’d be an insanely bad move — the new Ghibli sedan would be called Sensible Spice. A key player in the Italian automaker’s plan to sell 50,000 vehicles a year by 2015 — just 6,300 were pushed out last year — the Ghibli will compete with cars like the Lexus GS, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and BMW 5-Series. The Ghibli will feature a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine capable of 404 hp. An eight-speed automatic transmission and your choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive will round out the package when it hits the US later this year.
Rides By on Mar 21, 2013
Sedans are generally not meant to take you around town with sass; they’re more about comfortable and competent transportation with a style that won’t offend anyone (right, Camry?). But when Mercedes-Benz slaps the AMG badge on one of their sedans, that rule goes out the window. The new CLA Class is the latest line to get souped up, with the CLA45 AMG debuting next week in New York. Packed inside is the M133 AMG engine that produces 355 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque–0-60 in under five seconds is what we’re hearing. When it’s not blowing by you on the highway, you’ll also know it’s the step-up model when you see the larger wheels and brakes, fresh AMG branding, and steeper asking price, which we shall find out soon enough.
Rides By on Mar 7, 2013
The name Rolls-Royce conjures up the epitome of luxury; a bespectacled gentleman with a very fancy white mustache applying a rich lather of Grey Poupon to his bars of pure gold. But with the Wraith ($319,000), that all changes. The most powerful Rolls ever does 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds. Of course there’s still an insane amount of exquisiteness to behold. The satellite-aided transmission uses GPS data to gauge the upcoming road conditions and then automatically select the best gear for the approaching real estate. And how about some 1,000 fiber optic lamps woven into the roof’s lining? Damn. You can’t be spilling mustard on that.
Rides By on Feb 20, 2013
Picture San Antonio Spurs future Hall of Famer big man Tim Duncan soaring majestically in the clouds above you, gently pivoting in the sky to deposit orange orbs in between nylon nets. Now imagine he were to touch down for a landing and transform. What shape would he take? Why a Bentley Flying Spur of course! Don’t focus on how painfully long that setup took for the joke, instead get revved up about the forthcoming redesigned Bentley sedan. And it’s gonna be a massive makeover, with “600 new parts” (still three fewer than Joan Rivers) going in. A new Bosch engine management system will produce 616-horsepower and 580 pound-feet of torque, plus treats like twin rear-seat entertainment systems and a Wi-Fi hot spot will be on hand, so expect to pay a little less than what Timmy takes home in a week.
Rides By on Feb 4, 2013
The 507 in the 2014 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Edition 507 ($TBA) isn’t just some random number the marketing gurus came up with. 507 is the number of horsepower that the naturally aspirated 6.3 liter V8 engine cranks out at 6800 rpm. That kinda chutzpah means a 0-60 time of 4.1 seconds and a maximum speed of 174 mph. Exterior upgrades abound, and even though gas mileage is expected to be around the standard C63’s EPA estimates of 13 mpg in the city and 19 highway, neither of those numbers are as worrisome as 507 is awesome.
Rides By on Jan 24, 2013
Catch a first look at the new Lexus IS350 from the front and you might be more startled than a guy noticing the Clippers’ record. It’s the grill that jolts you, and your humble author believes it’s a good kinda jolt. This vast spindle grill is as bold as it is wide, and then when you notice the L-shaped daytime running lamps, you begin to see how Lexus is willing to roll the dice a little. The Sport version comes with a 3.5-liter V6 that’s expected to churn out more than 300 horsepower. Look for the IS at dealers in June.
Rides By on Dec 14, 2012
Imagine you had a nice quick sedan–but you also had NBA (faded) star Vince Carter riding shotgun in it. It might not be as nimble, right? Well the Audi RS6 Avant has basically thrown Vinsanity out of the car, as this year’s model has shed 220 lbs, allowing it to now go from 0-62 mph in just 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 189 mph. Speaking of Vince, I’m gonna go ahead and say his top 10 dunks are better than MJ’s 10 best.
Rides By on Dec 6, 2012
When the post-holiday icicles return to our hearts in January, we’re gonna need something to thaw ’em out. Perhaps the official unveiling of the BMW 4 Series Concept Coupe at the Detroit Auto Show will do the trick? It’s a slightly longer and wider ride than the 3 Series, which just gave the designers more room for super sleek lines. There’s full-LED headlamps and an interior that’s overflowing with more premium leather than a Coach outlet shop (don’t ask how I know that). Stay tuned for more details on what’s under the hood, but we’re expecting something close to the 3 Series’ 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder engine and the 3.0-liter turbo-six.