Category Archives: SPORT CAR

2014 BMW 2 Series Coupe and M235i

BMW announced the introduction of an entirely two 2014 car models – the all-new BMW 2 Series Coupe and M235i. The all new 228i Coupe is powered by a 240hp version of the 2.0L four-cylinder engine, accelerates from 0-60mph in 5.4sec, and has a top speed of 130mph. The BMW M235i, the first M Performance Automobile offered in the US, includes an impressive list of performance enhancing features.

2014 BMW M235i coupe

2014 BMW M235i

The 2014 BMW M235i features a 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine with TwinPower technology that delivers 322hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, accelerates from 0-60mph in 4.4sec, and has a top speed of 155mph. Both models come standard with an eight-speed sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters

2014 Porsche Panamera

Porsche is updating its controversial Panamera sedan for 2014, giving it some slightly revised front and rear styling and adding a few new models — the total number of offered trims is now nine. Joining the lineup is a new plug-in hybrid, called the Panamera S E-Hybrid, replacing 2013’s conventional hybrid sedan. Joining the plug-in Porsche are two new extended-wheelbase models, which stretch the car a full 5.9 inches between the wheels, affording rear-seat passengers a considerable bump in legroom.

2014 Porsche Panamera

2014 Porsche Panamera

The base 2014 Porsche Panamera and Panamera 4 (all-wheel drive) are largely unchanged aside from the updated styling, which now features the option of LED headlights. Both use the 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V-6 making 310 horsepower and 295 pounds-feet of torque. Stepping up from there is the Panamera S and 4S, which replace last year’s 4.8-liter V-8 with a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 20 more horsepower than the outgoing motor; they’re now rated at 420 hp and 384 pounds-feet of torque.

2014 Porsche Panamera white

2014 Porsche Panamera

Slotting above the S is the S E-Hybrid, featuring a combination of a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V-6 and a 95-hp electric motor. Porsche puts total system horsepower at 416 and 435 pounds-feet of torque, but that torque arrives at a super-low 1,250 rpm, meaning the Hybrid is nearly as fast to 60 mph as the normal S model and faster than the base Panamera by nearly 0.8 seconds.

2014 Porsche Panamera

2014 Porsche Panamera

The Panamera GTS comes next, wearing the Turbo’s bodywork but the 4S’ engine, followed by the Turbo all-wheel-drive model that features a 4.8-liter turbocharged V-8 good for a whopping 520 hp and 516 pounds-feet of torque. All models use Porsche’s PDK twin-clutch automatic transmission except the E-Hybrid, which sticks with the company’s eight-speed Tiptronic automatic.

2014 Porsche Panamera rear view

2014 Porsche Panamera

The E-Hybrid is Porsche’s first plug-in model and features some significant changes over the previous Panamera Hybrid. The electric portion of the drivetrain is now twice as powerful, producing 95 hp, and draws from a much bigger 9.4-kwh lithium-ion battery. Porsche says that when connected to a 240-volt charger, the E-Hybrid recharges in just 2.5 hours.

2014 Porsche Panamera dash

2014 Porsche Panamera dash

The car can operate in electric-only mode for up to 20 miles, depending on driving conditions, style, weather and terrain. Top speed in electric mode is limited to 84 mph and rises to 167 mph in combined hybrid mode. A new smartphone app will be available to allow E-Hybrid owners to monitor the vehicle remotely, as most manufacturers with plug-in electric vehicles have. No EPA fuel economy figures are available for the E-Hybrid. Sure to cause more controversy, however, is the arrival of a new extended wheelbase model, dubbed the Executive.

2014 Porsche Panamera interior

2014 Porsche Panamera interior

The extra length will be available in two models, the Panamera 4S Executive and the Turbo Executive, with those two models’ different powertrains. The stretch adds 5.9 inches to the wheelbase, all of it seemingly coming in the back seat. Given the new Panamera’s planned debut at this month’s Shanghai Motor Show, it is a virtual certainty that the Executive model is aimed squarely at the Chinese market, where being driven in such an expensive luxury vehicle is far more common for owners than driving one.

2014 Porsche Panamera rear seats

2014 Porsche Panamera rear seats

On Sale: September 2013

Base Price: $79,075

Drivetrain: 310-hp, 295-lb-ft 3.6-liter V6; rwd, 7-speed PDK transmission

Curb Weight: 3,902 lbs

0-60 mph: 5.7 sec

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Modestly revised, the updated model is distinguished by red accents, dark gray trim and a new Solid Red paint color. The model also has a front chin spoiler, revised side skirts and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels with Bridgestone Potenza S001 tires. Other highlights include a unique rear bumper and a massive spoiler.

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Interior changes are limited but include a red Nismo tachometer and a new steering wheel that is wrapped in leather and Alcantara.

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO motor show

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Power continues to be provided by a 3.7-liter V6 engine that develops 350 hp (261 kW) and 276 lb-ft (374 Nm) of torque. It is connected exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission with SynchroRev Match technology that automatically “blips” the throttle to smooth out gear changes.

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO motor show

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

The hotter flavored 370Z also comes with a tuned suspension, 19-inch Rays forged aluminum-alloy and Nismo Sport Brakes with 14-inch front and 13.8-inch rear vented rotors with 4-piston front and 2-piston rear aluminum calipers.

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO front wiev

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

Nissan has unveiled the US pricing for its 370Z Coupe, NISMO, and Roadster model, each of which are now available for purchase from Nissan dealerships throughout the United States. The prices for both the 2014 370Z NISMO and Coupe models have both seen reductions, which aim to make them competitive in the industry. The Roadster, however, remains unchanged.

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

The 2014 model for the 370Z Coupe has had its price dropped $3,130 USD over the 2013 model, while the 370Z Coupe Touring grade model was dropped by a lesser $2,550 USD. The new pricing for the former Nissan model starts at $29,990 USD for the 6-speed manual transmission, and $31,290 USD for the 7-speed automatic transmission.

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO rear wiev

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO

The manual transmission 370Z Coupe Touring model, meanwhile, is priced at $35,270 USD, and the automatic transmission is priced at $36,570 USD. Rounding out the Coupe models is the Nissan Coupe NISMO, which is priced at $43,020 USD. All of these vehicles include a $790 USD destination and handling fee on top of the MSRP.

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO cockpit

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO cockpit

And then there’s the 2014 370Z Roadster, which starts at $41,470 USD for the seven-speed automatic transmission, and increases from there for the two Touring models. The latest Roadster Touring six-speed manual transmission model has an MSRP of $44,170 USD, while the seven-speed automatic transmission option is priced a bit more at $45,470 USD.

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO interior

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO interior

As with the Coupe models, the Roadster models’ pricing excludes a $790 USD destination and handling fee. Says Nissan, the 370Z Coupe’s 2014 models have had “no significant product enhancements,” while the NISMO received a new design theme on both the exterior and the interior. The Roadster, meanwhile, offers an auto convertible top…

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO under hood

2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO under hood

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

The skunkworks team in Affalterbach knows how to make AMG-branded Benzes the most-intimidating-sounding cars on the planet in particular, the sounds of its 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 and naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 are exalted hymns in the church of car enthusiasm. But with the introduction of the 2014 SLS AMG Electric Drive, Mercedes-Benz AMG has introduced its first truly stealth supercar.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

Not only is the electric supercar AMG’s quietest model by a long way, but it’s also the brand’s most powerful. Electrification provides the SLS with 740 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, with all the twist available from a standstill. The electricity is generated by four contact permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors that spin to 13,000 rpm and through a so-called axially arranged transmission. In comparison, the new-for-2013 petroleum-powered SLS AMG GT churns out 583 hp and 489 lb-ft. Benz claims the electrified SLS will hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds before topping out at an electronically limited 155.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive convertible

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

Power is routed through what Mercedes is calling AMG Torque Dynamics; this provides the car with selective all-wheel drive and allows each wheel to be independently powered or braked to assist in handling maneuvers. The system can be switched among comfort, sport, and sport plus modes. The motors aren’t located in the hubs, saving unsprung weight, but each corner does feature carbon-ceramic brake discs measuring 15.8 inches in front and 14.2 inches in the rear. Power is stored in a liquid-cooled 60-kWh, 1208-pound lithium-ion battery pack developed by Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains of Brixworth in the U.K. these are the people responsible for Mercedes’ kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) in Formula 1.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

The battery pack consists of 12 modules, each made up of 72 lithium-ion cells that’s 864 cells in total, if you’re keeping score at home that, like all hybrids, receive a charge under deceleration. When static, the SLS Electric Drive can be charged in three hours via an optional 22-kW quick-charge station; plugging it straight into an unmodified wall outlet, a full charge takes 20 hours. Once the electric SLS is full of juice, Mercedes claims a maximum range of 155 miles, although honking on the thing no doubt rapidly decreases that number.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

Although the Electric Drive SLS will be the stealthiest AMG ever built, it won’t quite be silent. The car’s engineers developed various sounds to accommodate the electric supercar. A startup noise accompanies the push of the power button, a “dynamic” sound is audible under hard acceleration, and a subdued tone plays while cruising. The sounds and the cancellation of unwanted background noises are provided by the car’s 11-speaker audio system.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive rear

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

The electric SLS AMG features a carbon-fiber monocoque, which is bonded to an aluminum space frame and houses the car’s battery. An independent multilink suspension with horizontally mounted pushrod shocks is employed at the front; the conventional car’s vertically arranged struts were tossed to make way for the additional drive shafts.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive interior

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive interior

For a supercar that’s seemingly from another planet once you pop the hood, the SLS Electric Drive largely looks the same as any internal-combustion-powered SLS. The grille gets “bionic honeycomb-shaped” openings, and it and the adjacent air intakes receive body-matching paint. Paint aside, these openings are functional, feeding air to various cooling bits. Exterior colors are limited to the chromatic blue you see in the photos, an exclusive matte neon yellow called electricbeam, and four others. A new gauge cluster features in the electric SLS, and it replaces a tachometer with a display providing information on power requirements, regeneration status, transmission modes, and battery charge.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Electric Drive starts at €416,500 in Germany (that’s roughly $435,000 when you subtract VAT, although the price isn’t likely to directly translate). Deliveries are expected to begin before the end of the year. At more than double the price and far less than half the sound of its gas-fired sibling, we know which SLS we’d choose to own. That doesn’t mean we wouldn’t like to take the other one for a very quick, nearly silent spin.

With a time of 7:56.234 minutes on the Nürburgring Nordschleife, the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive recorded the fastest lap ever by an electric car. In fact, it’s the first to complete the loop in under 8 minutes, something the Audi R8 e-tron failed to do…