Porsche To Be First Company To Use Sistine Chapel For Event

For the first time ever, a luxury automaker has been given the Pope’s blessing to utilize the illustrious Sistine Chapel for an event. It would seem that the Pope is a Porsche fan, as he has granted the company use of the chapel to host a set of 20-person corporate events. This could be the most talked-about Porsche event in history.

Porsche event Hilarious photo by blogger hereisjorgebergoglio! I could not have done better myself Jorge. 

Because this is the first time the Sistine Chapel has been ‘rented out’, so to speak, it has drawn worldwide attention to Porsche and the Pope. As we might expect, details are relatively sparse on the matter. Here is what little is known thus far:

  • There is to be a classical music concert held in the Sistine Chapel with a special Porsche dinner to follow.
  • The Porsche Travel Club experience will have access to the chapel during the tour of the Lazio region, which includes Rome.
  • Artwork by Michelangelo and Raphael (Not to be confused with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) will be on display for attendees.
  • As far as the exclusive Porsche Travel Club, the five day leg of that particular planned experience includes a price tag of around $6,500. That does not seem like much for such rare and luxurious accomodations.

Porsche Sistine ChapelOverall, it is fascinating to see the Pope entertaining Porsche so lavishly, as he has acquired a reputation for quite the opposite. Does this indicate that the Pope’s infamous motorcade could soon feature an adapted Porsche carrier? Be on the lookout, Mercedes-Benz!

Those interested in the Porsche Travel Club experience can follow link for further details on the official event page.

Porsche Sistine ChapelPope Francis perched in a bespoke Pope-mobile. Will the next one come courtesy of Porsche?

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Itty Bitty Urban Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV

The latest SUV offering from Mercedes-Benz is directly targeting the urban types. The Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV starts at just $33k and has what it takes to compete with the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and other luxury SUVs in showrooms today.

Mercedes-Benz GLAThe cute little Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV can get 54 miles per gallon and hit 60 miles per hour in 7 seconds. This is certainly not the commuter SUV of the past.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA rolled out in production form at the Frankfurt Motor Show and is now available. Drivers interested in a smaller SUV that does not sacrifice luxury and is quite affordable will delight in the fact that the GLA is also fuel efficient and powerful. The Mercedes GLA obtains a staggering 54 miles per gallon for the diesel version. The diesel version is not yet available in the States, and it is not clear if it will make the journey to our showrooms. Mercedes-Benz GLAThe design cues are fresh and should serve the company well in its endeavors to attract the urban youth. This model is ideal for the young professional living in the city.

In the performance arena, The Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV can nail the 0-60 mile per hour jaunt in 7.1 seconds, which is not too shabby for a rather fuel savvy SUV. True to its German engineering bare bones, this SUV also provides what the company calls moderate off-road driving capabilities. That is not to say it could challenge a Land Rover, as it is geared for daily urban commuting. That fact is made clear when examining the cabin of the GLA, which is equipped with all of the perks and technology buyers have come to expect from Mercedes.

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The Prombron Black Shark: Making the Bugatti Veyron Look Weak?

The seldom spoken of company Dartz has sliced the surface with a new concept from its Prombron brand–and it is cooler than Chuck Norris under pressure. The Prombron Black Shark seems to have just about everything going for it, and could be a serious threat to those lower on the food chain.

Prombron Black SharkEnough with what the Prombron Black Shark could be, let’s take a glance at what she is:

  • This concept is based on the bare bones of the robust Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV. That is where the similarity between the two predators ends, however.
  • The Prombron earns the name Black Shark via a plethora of intriguing additions, including armored protection capable of resisting ballistic level B7.
  • If the aesthetics alone do not incite drool, the performance capacity will. Rumors say the vehicle could produce up to 1,500 horses…making the Bugatti Veyron pale in comparison in both looks and power. We can assume that the price for the Shark would far surpass that of the Veyron as well.
  • The pricing will not be a worry for many, however, as just 10 examples of the Prombron Black Shark will be produced initially, all destined for Chinese buyers. It is unknown if plans for more are on the table.
  • The color options are quite limited, with just white, black, gold, gray or camouflage offerings. Custom orders are always available for a price, and additional murmurings suggest one of the Sharks has been ordered in a stylish Tiffany blue adorned with Swarovski crystal in the hood and tailgate. If there is any truth to that, I cannot wait to see the photos, as it sounds exquisite.

Prombron Black SharkThe Black Shark will serve as the first edition of the next-gen Dartz lineup, to be dubbed PRVY. Leonard F. Yankelovich, owner of Dartz, described the wild new concept as follows: “A Bugatti owner will feel like a beggar standing next to it.”

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Porsche CEO Admits the Panamera Doesn’t Look Great

It is no secret that many dislike the looks of the Porsche Panamera. In a humorous turn, Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller has finally declared that the Panamera could look better. Finish belly laughing before moving on, it just feels good.

Porsche PanameraIt is all in the aesthetics: Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller declares that the Panamera could look better. The world doubles over in a fit of amusement. 

Even die-hard Porsche fans hate the Panamera and it seems that they are not alone! The Porsche Panamera is an attempt at a super sedan, and it simply looks a bit off. The problem is certainly not in the power arena–it travels from not to 60 miles per hour in just 3.7 seconds with a top speed of about 190 MPH. The issues are with its appearance, which is awkward. When pressed, Mueller shared that there were some problems with the first generation of the Porsche Panamera. He stated that improvements could have been made with both the exterior and interior design elements for the project.

Porsche PanameraThe four-seater Porsche Panamera boasts a healthy 4.8-liter V8 engine tuned to churn forth 520 horses. That said, the nice lady will not be winning any beauty contests in the near future. On a surprising note, the Porsche Panamera has still managed to overcome its ugliness to emerge as one of the company’s best-selling luxury cars. The car first rolled out back in 2009, and has enjoyed steady sales since that time.

Porsche PanameraOverall, it seems that the company is focused on a more curb-appealing appearance for the next generation of the Porsche Panamera, which we look forward to critiquing when it emerges from a facelift and tummy tuck.

Porsche PanameraThe 2013 Porsche Panamera Regula Turbo modded version shows her potential. 

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Ferrari 458 Speciale A Nets $900k at Rodeo Drive Auction

Ferrari has been busy celebrating 60 years of selling its exotic sports cars stateside. The company hosted an extravagant event on Rodeo Drive recently–including 60 of its finest specimens to commemorate the milestone and a luxury auction. It was at the auction that we discovered how much the Ferrari 458 Speciale A is worth: $900,000.

Ferrari 458 Speciale A

The gorgeous specimen took center stage for the auction, which was well-attended by local celebrities and those close to Ferrari. 

Ferrari cars are never considered cheap or affordable, though prices do vary dramatically depending on model and collector value. This recent sale does not exactly indicate that future Ferrari 458 Speciale A cars will sell for such a sum. That particular car had the distinction of being the very first one sold Stateside, and chassis #1. One can acquire a Ferrari 458 spider for around $250k, and several other models for under the $200k marker.

Ferrari Speciale

The Speciale A did have a bit of sibling rivalry at the event. The new special Ferrari F60 America model is completely sold out, having made its debut with a limited run of just ten units. It’s official unveiling was at the 60th birthday celebration in California, fittingly. The celebration also marked the first major public event for the new Ferrari Chairman, Sergio Marchionne.

Ferrari

The Ferrari 458 Speciale A #1/499 netted an incredible $900k at auction in California during the brand’s 60th American birthday celebrations. What will buyers shell out for the remaining units? Will they be as difficult to obtain as the illustrious LaFerrari?

Overall, the celebrations spanned through Rodeo Drive with ample points of interest, exotic supercars, celebrities and special events. It was a fitting way for the Prancing Horse to celebrate 60 years of success in the United States and usher in a change of leadership.

Ferrari 60th anniversary

The auction proceeds will benefit the American Chapter of Daybreak for rare genetic disorders. 

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Ferrari Celebrates 60 Years Stateside in Style on Rodeo Drive

When it comes to throwing a party, few can top the tastes and resources of luxury brand Ferrari. The Prancing Horse hit up California’s Rodeo Drive recently to celebrate 60 years of selling its wares in America. The Ferrari anniversary bash drew crowds as the supercars lining the streets stopped onlookers in their tracks to fumble for their cameras.

Ferrari anniversaryFerrari has been selling its exotic sports cars in America for over six decades now. To commemorate the event, the company took to Rodeo Drive.

Ferrari anniversaryFittingly, Ferrari lined Rodeo Drive with 60 of its precious machines to celebrate its 60 years here. The supercars were certainly in their element alongside the luxury boutiques lining the famous shopping arena, including Bulgari, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and many more.

Some of the 60 Ferrari supercars present on Rodeo Drive:

  • Not one, but two LaFerrari hybrid supercars. These unattainable beasts are a rare sight, and a pair of them were present.
  • A 1948 166 MM Barchetta. This was the first Ferrari imported into the United States, making it perfect for the ceremony.
  • The 1954 Ferrari 375 MM built for filmmaker Roberto Rossellini. This car won Best in Show at this year’s Pebble Beach show.
  • Several Ferrari 250 GTO cars and Testa Rossas.
  • The new Ferrari F60 America model was the star of the show, created for the momentous occaission. Follow link to learn more about the Ferrari F60 America car.

Ferrari 60th  The Ferrari F60 America

Ferrari

The Ferrari celebration was a success, and a poignant moment to reflect on the change of leadership of the company after 60 years in America. Longtime Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo has passed the torch to Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Ferrari’s parent company Fiat SpA. It will be fascinating to see what Ferrari has planned for the next 60 years.

LaFerrari Rodeo Drive

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The Electric Supercar Concept You May Not Know About: Meet Lavinia

Hailing from Sicily, the Lavinia electric supercar concept boasts a sultry shape and ample power. The newcomer coupe is said to be capable of churning out 800 horsepower, though exact engine specifications are not available this early in her concepting phase. Thus far, there are impressive claims and a very attractive fiberglass body to praise. The rear view is a bit awkward–though it is still early and that could be altered for the better.

Lavinia electric supercarThe Lavinia electric supercar concept could reach production because it has the right specs and appearances to compete in the market. 

The Lavinia SE concept is being billed as a high-performance electric coupe, and it is not known exactly what sources will power it. The car is currently being engineered to hit the 0-60 mile per hour sprint in 3.5 seconds with an estimated top out of 190 MPH. It is being built by Tecnicar, a company that specializes in the electric trains used at theme parks and other populated tourist attractions. The company also makes mobility scooters, though it is certain none of those are kicking out 800 ponies.

Lavinia electric supercarFun fact: The Lavinia SE was named for her creator’s wife. The design creator is Giuseppe Ferrazzano and the renderings are by artist Angelo Granata.

The company will continue to tease the new supercar via its Facebook page. It seems we must wait to find out all the details regarding how many and what type of motors it will be packing. Overall, it appears that the Lavinia SE will be a worthy opponent for some of the luxury electric cars on the streets today, including the Fisker Karma. Lavinia electric supercarThe Lavinia electric supercar rear just feels a bit unfinished. It is not ugly, but it is not exactly sexy yet. Perhaps different tail lamps could change the feel.

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The Ariel Atom 3S Is Even More Performance Driven

The Ariel Atom 3S is a lightweight track toy capable of hitting the 0-60 mile per hour marker in less than 3 seconds. I say track toy only because the Ariel Atom is not a street legal ride. It is a bit bare bones at just 1,350 lbs stark naked, and certainly a much more economic solution than some exotic sports cars.

Ariel Atom 3SAriel produces the Atom for European customers. It can be purchased Stateside through special distributors who have been given permissions to build the cars. Right now TMI AutoTech Inc. has the exclusive rights to build and sell the Ariel Atom. The company is located at the Virginia International Raceway.

Ariel Atom 3SThe Ariel Atom 3S at a glance:

  • A new K24 2.4-liter four-banger replaces the Honda K20 engine.
  • Six-speed close-ratio syncromesh gearbox with limited slip.
  • Upgrades and tweaks culminated in a 365 horsepower output. Factor in the extreme lightweight of well under 1,500 lbs, and the power is clear.
  • This Atom nails the 0-60 mile per hour sprint faster than most supercars with three times the horsepower it packs.
  • The Ariel Atom 3 produced just 230 horses, making the 3S a definite upgrade.

Ariel Atom 3S Optional items for this Atom:

  • Neat-o quick disconnect steering wheel, for those James Bond moments.
  • Carbon fiber kit.
  • Intercom system and battery master switch.
  • Remote brake bias adjuster and roll bars.
  • Not in the mood to wear a Stig helmet? Purchase the optional full-sized glass windscreen.
  • Available passenger footrest…in case anyone is brave enough to take a spin with you.

Ariel Atom 3SFun fact: There are a handful of regions where the Ariel Atom is legal to drive on the roads. Some of these spots are in the States. Do you know where they are? Comment below!

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Citroen Divine DS: Small SUV or Chubby Sedan?

Check out the new Citroen Divine DS concept. It is quite an eclectic ride, with everything from reptile inspired scales to a complete lack of a rear window. But to begin, what the hell is it? Is it a chubby sedan, a smallish SUV or something entirely divine?

Citroen Divine DSThe Citroen Divine DS concept took the stage at the 2014 Paris Auto Show. It is not yet known if this little number will ever reach production, but it has reached the masses at the show.

Citroen Divine DS

The Citroen Divine DS does not look terrible. And as far as power, it is packing a diminutive 1.6-liter turbocharged engine kicking forth 270 bhp and 244 pound-feet of torque. Oddly, the Divine DS lacks any trace of Citroen badging. It is not clear why they opted to forgo the brand fuss.

Citroen Divine DSThe cockpit takes upscale to the extreme and manages an artistic vibe.

Divine DS

The unique roof was designed to resemble the scales of a reptile. The trend continues throughout the vehicle with the use of opaque and even transparent materials. There is no actual rear window…which indicates reliance on a rear-view camera. It is a 10.4-inch touchscreen driver interface. But enough about the exterior, the cabin is a curiosity indeed!

Citroen Divine DS

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Citroen Divine DSOnce the doors are open, the Citroen Divine DS concept gives way to a staggering array of bespoke options. With labels like ‘Mâle’, ‘Parisian Chic’ and ‘Fatale Punk’, it is easy to become distracted. Interesting items like glazed burnished leathers pair with golden ambience and carbon fiber for a striking finale. Silks and beading serve to dial back the male aggression and provide additional glamour, as one would expect from Swarovski.

Citroen Divine DS

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Aston Martin Safety Features Losing Traction With Buyers

There are a plethora of advanced automotive safety features available in Aston Martin luxury cars and others, but they seem to be losing traction with buyers. It is not that buyers do not appreciate the safety perks–they simply want the ability to turn them off and gain total control at times.

Aston Martin In efforts to ensure customer satisfaction, Aston Martin is working to make sure buyers can easily switch off certain features like electronic stability control. While additional safety features are in the funnel, they will have the option to be shut off as desired.

Jeffrey Scott, head of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd.’s European sector stated the following on the slippery matter: “Our customers want to feel the road. More electronic assistance programs are coming. But you have to be able to switch them off as well.” It is good to know that a big brand like Aston Martin not only listens to customer complaints, but also actively addresses them in a timely fashion. Drivers can now disable all safety features of an Aston Martin with the exception of the anti-lock brakes. That is not possible with all upscale exotic sports car models.

Aston Martin Many assume that buyers of elite automotive brands like Aston Martin do not have the skillset to properly operate the vehicles, only the funds to afford them. It would seem that there are many out there who certainly can drive–and want full control of their $300k and up cars. It would be interesting to research buyer databases to learn more about what types of driving experience they have and if many have participated in the various driving schools offered by brands like Ferrari, Aston Martin and others. Overall, with even manual transmission options being stripped away by some automakers, it is nice to maintain a bit of control over a machine, so long as the driver knows what they are doing with all that power.

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