Tag Archives: Aston Martin

2010 Porsche Panamera Unveiling

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On Tuesday evening Carousel Porsche had a private unveiling of the new for 2010 Panamera sedan. This is the first sedan from Porsche and boy did they work hard on this. The sedan has been the center of a lot of controversy both during development and during the launch. The car is all new for Porsche, a true sedan with a front mounted engine and rear or all wheel drive. Featuring a once choice transmission of the new PDK (Porsche Doppelkupplung) which is Porsche’s dual clutch transmission. True Porsche fans were devastated when the Cayenne was launched as the first SUV in the history of Porsche. The purists said it was too far from true Porsche roots. Truth of the matter is that in the right iteration the Cayenne is every bit a Porsche, well as much as a SUV could be. Funny thing happened though, the Cayenne became the best selling Porsche. The Panamera is again having the purists again crying and saying a four door sedan is can not be a true Porsche.

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The front view of the Panamera is great looking. The styling department really put a lot of Porsche DNA in the front end. Looking like a over sized 911, you can see the family resemblance right away. The rear styling is what has people both car aficionados and non a buzz. The rear…well some have called it a hunch back some call it plain ugly. I will say this, in person it truly does look a lot better then in pictures. I can definitely see Porsche DNA in the rear and it is growing on me, though I still would not call its svelte. Function definitely won over form here. A six foot adult will feel more then comfortable for a cross country jaunt in the back. That will not be the case for one of the main competitors the upcoming Aston Martin Rapide. The Rapide has a more form over function approach to the rear seat occupants which limits the rear headroom and legroom. Porsche wanted no compromises inside the Panamera and boy did they win on that note.

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The interior is just gorgeous. Yes it is true, there are a lot of buttons on the center console but they are all grouped together by what they control so it is quite easy to learn where each is if you break it up into quadrants. The car is swathed with leather all over the place and the seats are definitely up to keeping you planted while putting down the power. Speaking of power you have two engine choices both featuring direct injection. The base engine is a 4.8 liter V8 putting out 400 hp and 369 lb-ft and if that is not enough power you can step up to the same engine with twin turbos slapped onto it and that will bring power up to 500 hp and 516 lb-ft. The base car is rear wheel drive and has a base price of $89,800 while stepping up to the 4S model that features all wheel drive will set you back $93,800. The twin turbo, the range topping model which only comes in all wheel drive, starts at $132,600. I took a quick test drive in both a regular Panamera 4S and a 4S model that had the sport package which featured both active suspension and dual mode exhaust. Both drives were very short but there is no question this car is a true Porsche. Check the video below for my initial driving impressions. Stay tuned for a first drive review in the near future.

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Officially Official- The Lexus LF-A is finally here

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Lexus finally took the wraps off the new LF-A super car this week at the Tokyo Motor show.  This car has been in development since approximately 2000 and the amount of man hours put into this project is staggering.  Most of the leaks, when it comes to specifications, were spot on if not close.  The car will be rear wheel drive with an all in house developed V10 engine sitting up front.  That V10 is a 4.8- Liters making 562 hp and 354 lb-ft will rocket the car 0-60 in 3.7 seconds.  Lexus says the top speed is 202 mph which is super car territory and tops that of many competitors.  Weighing in at 3,263 lbs, it is rumored that weight distribution is 48/52 front-to-rear which would explain why Lexus is boasting about the driving dynamics.  Another tidbit of awesomeness on this cake is the redline is a staggering 9000 rpm!  That helps explain the F1 sound coming from the LF-A flying around the Nurburgring all these years.  The inside is luxurious for a sports car and it has a trick gauge cluster.  The whole speedometer is digital.  When you hit redline the whole background turns red.

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Last night on #carchat we had a open discussion about this car and it seems many people do not like it.  Keep in mind we are not the customer Lexus is going after with this vehicle.  Most of us are not rich and could not afford the $375,000 price tag associated with ownership.  The majority said it was ugly and that for the money they would rather buy other cars.  Many mentioned cars such as the Chevrolet Corvette Zr1 or the Nissan GT-R for the price and performance.  Fact is those aren’t exclusive cars when compared to this car, though they are both halo cars for each brand and in that regard they are similar to the LF-A.  I was definitely in the minority and thought it was a good looking car and truly love the sound of the V10 at full tilt from the videos leaked.  I feel the LF-A is definitely not a screaming value then again with only 500 units being made this will be a exclusive car.  The fact remains that while the price puts this car deep in super territory where the elite compete such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and others, what separates this car from those.  The separation comes with what Toyota/Lexus does best, reliability.  Super cars are not known for being super reliable.  This could be a new way to compete.  Without question Lexus/Toyota will be taking a loss on each car after all the years of development.  Then again can you put a price on a halo car that truly puts your brand in the spotlight with a super car even for a moment?  Lexus has not had a sports car nor a halo car to speak of.  Toyota just announced recently they want to be building fun cars again that stir the soul of the driver.  While that is not what they are currently known for this car might put a pulse to that statement.

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Check this video by Lexus/Toyota listen to that engine.