The Ferrari 458 Speciale Takes Off Its Top

Fans of the Ferrari 458 Speciale have even more to be excited about. The nice lady has removed her top for the entire world to see, and it looks incredible! Not only is the Speciale now a convertible, she packs a few more Prancing Horses for good measure.

Ferrari 458 Speciale Her full name is now the Ferrari 458 Speciale A. The ‘A’ stands for ‘Aperta’, which is Italian for ‘Open’. Now that we have cleared up that mystery, let’s get down to specs.

Ferrari 458 Speciale The Ferrari 458 Speciale A at a glance:

  • She is packing a specialized 4.5-liter V8 capable of kicking out 597 horses and 398 pound-feet of torque.
  • This is a tweaked version of the already amazing 458 Speciale. It boasts an aluminum drop roof that can be lowered in under 15 seconds. While it does add over 100 pounds to the overall curb weight, the extra power helps to combat that issue.
  • The engine is paired with a seven-speed transmission with a twin-clutch and those adorable paddle shifters.
  • Both the Speciale versions have Side Slip Angle Control (SSC). This assists with traction and rear diffs to combat the oops factor for inexperienced drivers.
  • Even in convertible form, the 458 Speciale A can blast from 0-60 miles per hour in just 3 seconds. Yusss!

Ferrari 458 Speciale

Fun fact: The Ferrari 458 Italia was first introduced back in 2009. While that seems like only yesterday, there could already be a successor on the horizon.

This may be the last of the naturally aspirated Ferrari V8 models as rumors progress that the next Horse could start the era of the turbo V6. Ferrari will create 499 units of the convertible Speciale, and yes, it will cost more for the lady to remove her top. Expect to pay north of the coupe’s $300k pricing and to be subject to the brand’s strict buyer screening rules. Or just bypass all that and rent a Ferrari from your friends at Imagine Lifestyles!

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Largest Rolls Royce Order Ever: 30 Phantoms for $20 Million

The largest Rolls Royce order in history has been placed and taken its place in headlines across the globe. Gambling guru Stephen Hung (giggle) has ordered 30 Rolls Royce Phantoms for the hefty sum of $20 million dollars. Hung ordered the fleet of Phantoms to serve as transportation for customers indulging in his Hong Kong casino. It would seem that a simple taxi is no longer suitable for the extreme onslaught of new wealth in China.

largest rolls royce orderMan places a single order for 30 Rolls Royce Phantom luxury cars. The photo above shows Hung sealing the deal with Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes. 

Hung is well known in Hong Kong for being flashy with his wealth, a habit that seems befitting of the gambling industry. If you want to attract the high-rollers, you likely need to be a bit of a baller yourself. The fleet of Rolls Royce Phantoms will transport guests to and from the new casino, and any other place they desire for the right price. The casino is due to open in 2016, leaving us to wonder if all 30 cars will be completed and delivered in just over two years.

largest rolls royce orderThe Rolls Royce Phantom family, courtesy of Rolls Royce. Hung is a bit of an exotic sports car collector– with nine cars including a $1 million dollar bespoke Bentley.

The new casino will be located in the Chinese territory of Macau, where gambling revenue topped out at around 45 billion last year. To put that number into perspective, it is greater than that of Las Vegas. That must be why Louis XIII Holdings had no qualms about paying for the rather shocking and lavish order of 30 Rolls Royce Phantoms—they know they will be compensated with interest.

Fun fact: Two of the 30 Phantoms will be adorned with gold plating both inside and out. They will be used for the most distinguished guests and also be the most expensive Rolls Royce Phantoms created to date.

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Special Edition Range Rover Evoque SW1 Rolls Out on Sassy Rims

The special edition Range Rover Evoque SW1 is sporty yet adorable–especially perched on those rather feminine rims. Did Posh Spice have anything to do with this one? She did have a hand in the overall look and feel of the Evoque, after all! The SW1 is part of a unique “Inspired by Britain” series, in case that Union flag did not make that quite obvious. Range Rover Evoque SW1The Range Rover Evoque SW1 is a special version of the Evoque. It is due to make the official debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show next month.

The brilliant fire engine red (The official name is Firenze Red) looks fabulous on the Range Rover Evoque SW1, especially when hit with all those white highlights. Other color offerings for this model include Fuji White, Loire Blue, Santorini Black or Corris Grey. The color options were specifically selected to bring out the Union flag accents, which would look somewhat hideous on say, a lime green body. The model is available in full color or monochrome.

Range Rover Evoque SW1Range Rover Evoque

Range Rover Evoque

As humor would have it, this special edition Range Rover inspired by Britain will not be available in the UK. It is not clear if that is permanent or temporary, but it is undeniably funny. Land Rover chief of design Gerry McGovern stated: “These special editions are a celebration of our Britishness. Evoque is designed and engineered in Britain and we know what resonates with our global consumers.”

Range Rover EvoqueThe interior of the Evoque SW1 is as gorgeous as the exterior, draped in fine leather and tastefully adorned with accents. 

Range Rover EvoqueUnion Flag graphics appear on the rear spoiler and wing mirrors of the Range Rover Evoque SW1. 

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Lotus to Become Even More Obscure in America?

Fans of Lotus supercars should run to the nearest dealership and place their orders, because it looks like that will soon be impossible. Like the Lotus Elise and Exige, the Lotus Evora could soon be banned from U.S. dealerships because it fails to meet smart airbag guidelines.

Lotus EvoraWith street legal Lotus offerings diminishing due to new rules and guidelines, the brand could become quite obscure Stateside over the next decade. 

It seems like the logical thing to do would be to simply meet the smart airbag guidelines, even doing a sort-of recall to install them on past sales. But the more likely reality will be that the cars are removed from the showrooms because of the costs involved with meeting the standards. The company recently announced plans to downsize a quarter of its global workforce, indicating possible financial woes.

Lotus Evora

Will it become increasingly rare to see a Lotus out on the streets or at a car meet? That can only be presumed with the last model left being pulled from the U.S. market.

It seems that the Lotus Evora cars were permitted here due to an exemption, one that has now expired. That leaves Lotus with the option to either bring the airbags on board or stop importing the cars Stateside. These guidelines only affect street legal models, so the track-only ladies will remain available.

Lotus EvoraThe models already here should be permitted to remain, and it is not like they sell rapidly. Not everyone can afford the likes of a brand spanking new Lotus, so there should be plenty to go around for the next couple of years. That said, with a new CEO at the wheel, Lotus is rumored to be toying with new avenues. There is chatter of potential Lotus sedans, SUVs, and perhaps lower priced options.

Lotus Evora
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True Story: Idiot Steals Same Ferrari 458 Supercar Twice

There never seems to be a shortage of odd stories in the news, but the man who stole the same Ferrari 458 sports car twice may just win the world’s dumbest contest! Authorities in California will not soon tire of retelling the Ferrari 458 theft tale to anyone who will listen.

Ferrari 458 theftMan steals Ferrari 458 Italia, gets away, and then steals it again from the impound lot!  

The man was identified as Earnie Hooks of Los Angeles. Hooks got his hooks into the brand new 2014 Ferrari 458 spider and made no attempts to hide it, driving it around the city. Police in Fontana, a town about 50 miles east of Los Angeles, discovered Hooks and the Ferrari at a DUI checkpoint on August 29th. Upon discovering that the Ferrari was reported stolen, they attempted to make an arrest but Hooks fled on foot, abandoning the car. At around 3 in the morning the following day, Hooks entered the impound lot and stole the Ferrari again!

Ferrari 458 theft

Earnie Hooks of Los Angeles

Police certainly could not have expected Hooks to steal the Ferrari a second time! They did not have to try too hard to retrieve the thief or the car, as Hooks again made no attempt at being discreet—rolling around his Studio City neighborhood in the stolen supercar. As of now, the court records indicate that Hooks has entered a plea of not guilty to resisting arrest and auto theft. I feel confident that the judge in this case will enjoy a few good laughs at the man’s defense.

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Aston Martin Carbon Craze Continues: Another Set of Black and White Specials

Aston Martin is continuing with its carbon craze, this time with a new set. The Aston Martin Vanquish carbon special editions will be offered in black and white, just like the DB9 carbon set. There will also be a Volante carbon special edition–all will be unveiled at the 2014 Paris Auto Show next month. Aston Martin VanquishAston Martin has released a teaser announcing the special edition carbon Vanquish and Volante models. They are to debut at the Paris Auto Show in October. 

Like the special DB9 carbon cars, there will be sleek black or white shells offset with plenty of delicious carbon fiber accents and elements. There will be awesome exposed carbon fiber on the roof, arms, mirrors and the logos. The wheels are to be black alloy for both the white and black versions and the window trims will be murdered out. For buyers who do not wish to live in a black or white world, there are color highlight options available…which could ruin the look should a celebrity like Paris Hilton opt to turn it into pepto bismol. Sigh.

Aston Martin VanquishInside the cockpit

The interior of the special edition Aston Martin carbon Vanquish will be showing plenty of glorious carbon fiber as well, carrying the exterior theme to the cockpit. The darkest, richest Obsidian black leather will be complemented with contrast stitching and special carbon fiber logos, plaques, a herringbone fascia, and anodized center stack rotaries. The shift paddles are laden with colorful leather tips, in the accent color chosen by the buyer.

Aston Martin VanquishWhile the Paris Auto Show does not commence until next month, it is reported that Aston Martin is now taking orders for these special editions. It is unclear how many units will be available in the entire production run.

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Lamborghini Teases New Model Ahead of Paris Auto Show

Lamborghini currently sells only two models: The Lamborghini Aventador and the all-new Lamborghini Huracan. The Aventador is the beast of the brand, powered by a V12 engine kicking out 700+ horsepower, while the Huracan has pulled up to replace the flagship Gallardo with a V10. Now Lamborghini is hinting at a new model, possibly to be unveiled at the 2014 Paris Auto Show this October.

LamborghiniSo far, all we have to go on is this tiny sketch, which could hardly be considered a rough draft. They know how to keep fans anticipating the next reveal. 

Accompanying the Lamborghini teaser drawing is a line that simply states: “Once perfection is achieved, you can just double it.” This has left the minds and hearts of exotic sports fans and followers racing for an answer. Will it be hyperfast like the Aventador, or perhaps a more spacious version, or a hybrid…will it be measured in unicorns rather than horses? The sky is the limit with a brand like Lamborghini, and we can’t wait to see the surprise they have in store!

Lamborghini The Lamborghini Estoque concept

With brands like Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche breaking traditional molds with alternative powertrains, will Lamborghini be next? Or are they intending to go in an entirely new direction and offer a 2+2 option, that drawing shows a rather elongated cabin. With the shocking success of the Ferrari FF hatchback, anything could happen and little would be a complete surprise.

Lamborghini estoqueIs the teaser message from Lamborghini simpler, however? Does “Just double it” mean there will be a car with double the power of the Aventador, or double the space? Remember the Lamborghini Urus and the V10 Estoque concepts. It would be very thrilling to see something capable of surpassing the supreme Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. Just 20 examples of the Sesto were created–a road version would be nothing short of extraordinary. Until Paris!

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Maserati’s 100th Birthday Display at AutoWorld Museum is Outstanding

This year marked Maserati’s 100th birthday. A special slice of the festivities is located at AutoWorld Museum in Belgium, an eclectic collection of some of the most iconic Maserati vehicles throughout history.

Maserati's 100th birthdayMaserati is kicking off its 100th birthday in supreme style all around the world. Those in Belgium have the unique opportunity to tour the AutoWorld Museum’s Maserati display. It is an unparalleled tribute to a rich and successful history.

Celebrations for Maserati’s 100th anniversary have been going on all year long, because there is certainly too much to show thanks for in just one day. Fantastic events have been taking place in cities all over the globe, with the grand finale proving to be an awesome spectacle of cars. The finale was simply called the ‘Maserati Gathering’, and featured a swanky convoy of Maserati vehicles departing from Modena, Italy. Over 80 specimens departed from the Imperial Ancestral Temple in Beijing around the same time, crossing into Russia. Onlookers got a close-up glimpse of the passion Maserati owners feel for the long-running brand.

Below are just a few of the Maserati models on display at AutoWorld, Enjoy!

Maserati's 100th birthdayFun fact: The Maserati brothers helped to form the brand we see today back in 1914.

Maserati's 100th birthdayThe museum is simply brimming with rare Maserati cars from over the span of 100 years.

Maserati's birthdayThe imaginative display offers a walk through the brand’s past and present.

Maserati collectionsThe preservation of each Maserati on display is impeccable, along with the design cues.

Maserati's 100th birthdayTrack and road cars alike lined up for the spectacle of a show! 

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Go Big or Go Home? The Toyota C-HR Concept Has a Unique Look

That vision in purple is the Toyota C-HR concept. The company is touting her as the subcompact crossover of the future. The vehicle will make a debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show on October 2nd, where onlookers will get up-close and personal with it and then shed more light on the strange new animal.

Toyota C-HR conceptThe Toyota C-HR concept takes a few minutes to sink in. It is certainly a different approach to an SUV, and that color! Will it ever become popular?

The official details and specifications for the Toyota C-HR SUV will remain under wraps until the show. At this juncture, we have only these purple renderings to judge. It looks a bit like a Yaris blended with a Beetle and then forced itself onto an SUV chassis. It is quite a lot to take in and make sense of. It is not terrible, but some design aspects just do not seem to feel…right. For example, those dramatically oversized tail lamps are cool, just maybe on a different vehicle.

The shape of the Toyota C-HR concept seems to flow around the vehicle in a way that makes sense, but the accents need some tweaking. In many concept cases such as this, the photos do not provide a good feel of how it actually looks in the flesh, so the Paris Auto Show will be a welcome venue to test that theory. She could actually be a more attractive lady in person, unlike dating profiles online.

Toyota C-HR conceptToyota has revealed only that the C-HR concept boasts a hybrid powertrain. She will take the stage along with the brand’s emerging fuel cell sedan. Overall, look out, Nissan Juke– it appears some competition is rolling your way.

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The Next Generation of Aston Martin is More Aggressive

Aston Martin is increasing power and improving the appearance of its next generation of exotic sports cars. Will this make the current models less seductive to buyers, tempting them to hold out for what is coming next? Who cares, they look amazing!

Aston MartinWhat will the next generation of Aston Martin flagships look like? Word is they could be much meaner.

Judging by reports and photos of the next generation of Aston Martin cars, they will certainly please current fans of the brand and attract new ones. Both the Aston Martin Vanquish and the Rapide S will be packing more power and be tweaked to look a bit meaner on the streets.

Aston MartinThese photos make a statement with a Lamborghini Aventador-esque coat and carbon fiber accents. The cockpit is simply a sports car driver’s dream. These will not be your typical Aston Martin cars. But enough about looks, let us get down to specs:

  • Both models will be given a new transmission. While it is not a manual, the all-new ZF-derived 8-speed automatics promise to provide an improved driver experience.
  • What the new transmission means for the cars in terms of improved performance: The Vanquish will nail the 0-60 mile per hour sprint in 3.8 seconds. The Rapide S sedan currently achieves that in 4.4 seconds.
  • Horsepower for the Vanquish will be 568 with the Rapide S trailing behind at 552. Both have the same amount of torque at 465 pound-feet.
  • Fuel economy is improved for each model. The Vanquish will average 18.3 miles per gallon and the Rapide S will get 18.2.

Aston MartinOverall, Aston Martin is on the right road with these improvements. These are models that are rarely dramatically altered–so even these slight tweaks seem to offer a new vibe to the appearance.

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