As you might’ve heard, Morrie’s Luxury Auto just announced that Aston Martin will be coming to Minnesota soon. While the showroom will be stocked with plenty of beautiful and fast grand touring cars ranging from the V8 Vantage up to the Vanquish, we just discovered via Jalopnik that Aston Martin is cooking up a more potent street car that shares more DNA with their racing efforts than any other car they offer today.
Rumor has it that Aston Martin has the Porsche GT3 RS squarely in their sights, and as such, will be differentiated from the swoopy, sensual V8 and V12 Vantages by offering a big rear wing and wider bodywork aimed at providing some extra downforce. Meanwhile, a pumped-up V12 from the V12 Vantage S will likely provide over 600 HP of grunt to power it around the track.
Think of it as one heck of a final send off for the Vantage lineup before it gets redesigned in the next few years.
The North American debut of the Bentley GT3 racecar was quite the show. Coming out for the Cadillac Grand Prix at Road America, all eyes were on the Bentley as it took to the grid for the first time. With Butch Leitzinger behind the wheel and a full Bentley support staff, it was no question that Bentley came prepared. Unfortunately, during the qualifying session the rain became a problem. Race officials determined to switch it to a practice session. And while the transponder was not properly functioning in the Bentley which precluded them from recording an official lap time, seeing the Bentley charge up the long straight through the finish line even in the rain was a pretty spectacular sight. Unofficially it was calculated that Butch Leitzinger was able to drive the Bentley in the 2:08.9 range at Road America.
Bentley had two races during its North American debut at Road America. The race on Friday provided for some intense battles between Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, and Bentley. Because Bentley had no points, what with this being their first race, they were staged at the back of the pack. Knowing they needed to really fire on all cylinders with minimal mistakes, Butch Leitzinger performed well under the rain conditions. During the 2nd race on Saturday, Bentley was able to secure a 2nd starting position and throughout the race fought hard against the competition. While they did not bring in a podium finish, it was still a great weekend of Bentley racing.
Powered by a V8 engine with around 600bhp, this GT racecar is unlike anything Bentley has produced before. To begin with it is the only Bentley Continental GT that is RWD, of course for racing this suits the car just fine. Included in the GT3 racecar we find an xTrac 6-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, racing clutch, and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. Looking to Bentley’s recent past the only thing that could come close with regards to power and handling would be their W12 Supersports, which sadly won’t be making a return to the production line. Clearly the production model, GT3-R, will fill the Supersports shoes nicely.
What sets the Bentley GT3 apart from other Bentley racecars is that Bentley has also produced a road-going GT3R, but only in a limited production run of 300 units. From what we are able to gather at Morrie’s Luxury Auto it appears that 100 GT3Rs were available for sale in the US, however they are all sold out.
For more race coverage make sure to visit our blog often.
This week marked the celebration of the 25th Annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit and we were there getting coverage on some of the luxury brands!
We made sure to get a good spot for the Bentley press conference where they unveiled the all-new 2015 Continental GT V8S! This new model will have a 4.0 liter-twin-turbocharged V-8 producing 521 horsepower and 502 lb/ft. of torque! This is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that includes a Sport mode with sharper throttle response.
A higher-output 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 will give the vehicle 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. This will be mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that includes an S mode with sharper throttle response and a more aggressive shift logic. The vehicle is said to reach 0-60mph in just 4.3 seconds and hits top speeds of 192 mph!
This entire Continental lineup includes electronic climate control, Bluetooth, a DVD nav system, Google maps and an 8-inch LCD touchscreen, and the Naim audio system for an addition $7,000. You can also purchase the Mulliner package, which offers quilted leather interior, knurled chrome, and turned aluminum trim and lambs wool rugs as an option. Stay tuned for more information of the latest Bentley model revealed just this week!
We couldn’t attend the International Auto Show without making a stop at Porsche for the unveiling of the 2015 Porsche911 Targa! The all-new Targa is Porsche’s latest in a long line of Targa models. This model is known for having a lower, wider body and rear track. The Targa 4 will start around $102,595 and with that you can expect a 350-horsepower 3.4 liter flat-6 cylinder engine. You can also choose between a 7-speed manual and Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch transmission. The Targa S on the other hand is equipped with 400 horsepower and the same flat-6 motor. But don’t forget the top, it was the talk of the show! The beautiful automatic Targa takes the top off and stores in away in the center with the push of a button. We hope to see the Targa 4 and 4s both on sale next summer.
While at Porsche we also spotted the 2014 918 Spyder again, but this time it was in Pearl We saw this beautiful vehicle for the first time at the LA Auto Show a few months back, but we sure were happy to lay our eyes on it again! The 918 Spyder is powered by a 4.6 Liter V8 engine which is backed by two electric motors that can achieve up to 62 mph in just 2.6 seconds.
Make sure to check out all of our photo’s below in the gallery and head over to YouTube for a playlist of all our Auto Show videos!
The official debut of Maserati’s four-door sports sedan, the 2014 Ghibli will take place at the Shanghai Motor Show later on this month, but Maserati has just released a few official images to the press. This vehicle will be available with two turbocharged 3.0 liter v6 engines, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear wheel drive along with the new Q4 all-wheel drive system. For more information check out the official Press Release below:
Have you outgrown your Continental GT? Do you find the Range Rover too common? The Cayenne Turbo too slow? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Bentley has your answer. Welcome, everyone, to the Bentley EXP 9 F concept.
Destined to be the most powerful and most luxurious SUV ever built, the EXP 9 F will be the third model in Bentley’s lineup, alongside the Mulsanne and Continental ranges. Revealed the night before the start of the Geneva Auto Show, the EXP 9 F is very elegantly styled, featuring a prominent hood, flat beltline, a generous grennhouse and Bentley’s hallmark matrix grille. You’ll also recognize the well-defined power line that runs over the front fenders and through the door handles towards the prominent rear “haunch,” just as you’ll find on the Continental GT.
The interior is as opulent as one would expect from the folks in Crewe, with leather, wood and chrome everywhere. The “T” shaped dashboard echoes the design found in the Mulsanne, and Bentley expects the EXP 9 F’s interior to set new benchmarks for luxury in the SUV segment.
They also expect the performance to set new benchmarks for the SUV sector. Motiviation will likely come from the venerable 6.0L W12 found in the Continental Range with the power being sent through an advanced all-wheel drive system. Power and torque figures haven’t yet been released, but expect to see north of 600 horsepower and more than 590 pound-feet of torque.
Pricing hasn’t yet been released, but stay tuned to the Twin Cities Luxury Auto blog for updates as we get them. For those of you anxious to get line for the EXP 9 F, we expect it to be in our showroom by sometime in 2015-16. We’re now taking pre-orders.
Source: Bentley Motors
The name Juha Kankkunen should immediately resonate with all you rally fans out there. Just in case you’re not a rally fan and you’ve never heard of Kankkunen before, here’s the skinny. He’s a former rally driver for Toyota, Peugeot and Lancia and has won 23 individual rallies and has earned four world driver’s champion titles. Needless to say, the man can drive.
What you may not know is that Kankkunen is a big fan of Bentley. Such a big fan, in fact, that he set the world speed record on ice in 2007 with his own Bentley Continental GT. You read that right – he drove his own car at nearly 200 miles per hour on ice. In 2011, Kankkunen beat his own record in a factory-provided Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible averaging 205.48 miles per hour (one run in each direction on the track). Both records were set in largely stock vehicles, save minor aerodynamic improvements, the addition of roll cages, studded Nokian tires designed specifically for the task, and that’s it.
To see what it’s like to drive a 5000-plus pound car at insane speeds on a frozen fjord, Bentley invited some of its best-performing dealers to attend a driving event in Finland. Our General Manager was the fortunate one from Bentley Minneapolis to make the trip. Bentley provided lots of seat time for Matt and the other folks who were there, but the best part may have been the ride along with Juha himself.
Luckily for us, Matt brought a camera with him to capture the experience. Check out the video below to see what it’s like to ride with a world-champion rally driver in a 621 horsepower Bentley on nothing but ice and snow.
Note: the car in the video is the very same Continental Supersports Convertible that set the 205-MPH record in 2011 (shown in the photo above).
Top gear has a nice little feature on some of the cars to be featured at the Villa d’Este sale this weekend. From a Ford GT Roadster, to this gorgeous 1957 Ferrari 500 TRC Spider, it’s quite the collection of cars.
Check out the full slideshow over at Top Gear
It’s no secret that Bentley’s sales have lagged a bit in the past couple of years. To combat that decline, the folks in Crewe have put a great deal of focus into strengthening their line-up with cars like the Continental Supersports, the Mulsanne, and the soon-to-be-released 2012 Continental GT. It looks like they aren’t going to stop there, however. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but we may see something along the lines of a Mercedes CLS competitor, as well as a crossover to fight the likes of the Porsche Cayenne and Maserati’s upcoming SUV.
Here’s what Autoblog had to say:
Rumors continue to swirl that incoming Bentley boss Wolfgang Dürheimer, who previously served as head of research and development at Porsche, is looking long and hard at how to expand the luxury marque’s product line. Considering Dürheimer’s experience making magic happen at Porsche, it seems likely that Bentley would tap into the platform used for the Panamera sedan, and that’s exactly what the blokes from Auto Express are suggesting.
The first new model may be an ultra-luxe machine that would fit into the burgeoning four-door-coupe segment. If so, expect a price tag in the mid-$250,000 range and engine choices ranging from the tried-and-true W12 to a new turbocharged 4.0-liter V8.
Those powertrains may also find their way into the engine bay of a Bentley crossover, says Auto Express. As much as some may protest, a Porsche Cayenne-based Bentley with a price near the $200K mark would seem a very real possibility… as would an optional diesel engine, which would be new territory for the brand.
Finally, the long-rumored entry-level (can anything with a $150,000 price tag be called entry-level?) Bentley coupe that would slot below the Continental GT is still a talking point. Branching out into any or all of these segments are seen as a way to get back to the 10,000-unit peak sales year of 2007, as compared to just 4,616 units in 2009.
Head on over to Auto Express to see some rendered speculation on what these vehicles could potentially look like.
source [Auto Express]
Maybe you’re looking for a new performance car for yourself, maybe you know someone else who’s looking, or maybe you just love cars. In any case, I thought you all might like to know about two fantastic cars we just received as trade-ins. They both come from one of our very best clients. He’s an excellent steward of his car collection, and these cars are proof of just how meticulous he is.
First up is a beautifully clean 2002 Ferrari 360 Spider F1. It’s the right color combination in Grigio Titanio over Nero leather, and it has the right options. Electric Daytona-style seats, “Scuderia Ferrari” fender shields, aluminum-color brake calipers, contrast stitching in Grigio Scuro, and the pre-wiring and battery charger kit complete the package. This one also has fully current service WITH records, plus all of the original manuals and their leather portfolio, three keys and full clearshield already installed. Check it out here.
Second, but by no means least, is a 2001 Dodge Viper GTS in Viper Race Yellow. This one isn’t for the faint of heart; it comes equipped with Dodge’s ACR Competition Group (competition-tuned suspension, 5-point race harnesses, high-flow air cleaner, unique painted alloy wheels, “ACR” badging to the interior and exterior). It does also have the Comfort Group (A/C, Alpine stereo system w/CD player), so you could easily drive this car every day. Check out the Viper here.
Our inventory is constantly changing, so visit our website at www.twincitiesluxuryauto.com often, but these two are definitely the most exciting of our new arrivals. If you don’t see the car you’re looking for, let us know. We always want to hear your input.
The Alfa 8c Competizione has been unveiled in Paris with this accompanying video.