The News for May 11th, 2012

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of the automotive industry’s biggest stories without the fluff or the BS. I also throw in some opinion, just because I can. This week:

  • Aston Martin DBS Ultimate revealed online

  • BMW M3 and M5 M Performance Editions for the UK

  • Cadillac ATS priced

  • VW Passat TDI drives 1,626 miles on one tank

  • Ferrari PR stunt damages ancient relic, angers China


Aston Martin DBS Ultimate 

This week, Aston Martin decided to reveal the latest version of their incredibly sexy DBS on their company website and their official Facebook page. Dubbed the DBS Ultimate, this limited edition Aston Martin will most likely be the car’s last hurrah before its rumored replacement comes next year. 

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This package will be available on either the coupe or the Volante convertible and comes in just three colors; Carbon Black II, Quantum Silver, and Silver Fox. Other unique touches include the car’s carbon fiber wing mirrors, dark front grille, smoked rear tail lamps, black tail pipes, and the choice between yellow, red, or black brake calipers. The interior also gets special treatment with diamond quilt stitching in either red or silver to contrast the black leather seats and the Alcantara headliner.

Mechanically, everything appears to be the same. That means there’s a glorious 6.0-liter V12 making 510 horsepower with either a manual or automatic transmission sending power to the wheels. Nothing wrong with that!

No pricing or availability info yet, but we do know that it will be produced in very limited numbers and they will be charging buyers a pretty penny for the privilege of owning one.  

Source: Aston Martin

BMW M3 M5 M Performance Edition

BMW UK has given the world a taste of two new special edition BMW M models that may or may not come stateside. Seeing as how they’re both available in matte (or “frozen”) red, white, and blue, I’d say they would be appropriate here as well.

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Other than the special paint, the M5 M Performance Edition comes with 20″ black wheels and black-out kidney grilles on the outside to set it apart from the rest. Full black leather with piano black trim, an Alcantara sport steering wheel, and a “One of 30” plaque on the inside to remind you of what you’re in. Also, judging by the photos, it appears that the powerful carbon ceramic brakes that come as optional equipment on the standard M5 are thrown into the mix with this model, because nothing says “take me to the track” like carbon ceramic brakes on a car with a super-sensitive paint job.  The M3 M Performance Edition gets similar treatment inside and out, minus the carbon ceramic brakes.

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Pricing for these models are £95,140 for the M5 and  £74,080 for the M3, which is 22,000 and 19,000 pounds more than their respective standard models. Only 30 models each will be built and they will only be available in the UK, but chances are we’ll see these frozen colors make their way elsewhere soon enough. 

Source: BMW UK

Cadillac ATS reasonably priced

The car Cadillac really wants you to love, the ATS, will make its way to showroom floors this summer at a price of $33,990, including destination charges. That price gets you a car with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 200 horsepower and mated to a 6-speed automatic.

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For those that want some more power to play with, $35,795 will get buyers an ATS with a new 270 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four with a 6-speed automatic or a manual transmission sending power to the rear or all four wheels. Buyers that choose to throw $42,090 at GM’s face, however, will get their ATS with a 3.6-liter V6 making 320 horsepower and coming optional with all-wheel-drive. Standard equipment is promised to be well-worth the cost, but all Cadillac is willing to reveal thus far is that their new CUE touch-screen user interface will be standard on most ATS models. So until we know more for sure about what options come with each price tag, keep your eyes peeled for one at your local Cadillac dealer this summer.

Source: Cadillac

Volkswagen Passat TDI drives 1,626 miles on one tank

Not a believer in the wonders of diesel? You should be. “Mileage experts” John and Helen Taylor recently took a 2012 VW Passat TDI SE with a 6-speed manual right off the showroom floor and drove it from Houston, Texas to Sterling, Virginia on one tank of diesel. VW claims the drive took 1,626 miles, making this the longest distance ever driven on one tank of fuel. The Taylors averaged an astonishing 84.1 mpg (much higher than the EPA estimated 43 mpg) and spent just 4.65 cents each mile with no electrical outlet required.

The drive took three days and was conducted during daylight hours to experience normal traffic conditions. The Taylors also took about 120 lbs. of luggage to make it as real as possible. And just to make sure they weren’t cheating, law enforcement ensured the gas cap was in fact sealed at both the beginning and the end of the drive.

Source: Volkswagen

Ferrari 458 hoons on ancient Chinese wall

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Ferrari just recently launched their brand into its 20th year in the huge market that is China with new dealerships, exhibitions, and a special edition 458 Italia. Everything was going well until this past week when a distributor in Nanjing took a China-exclusive 458 Italia for a spin on a section of a 600 year-old city wall, and I do mean spin.   

According to CNN, the Nanjing distributor organized an event that put the Ferrari on an ancient city wall in China’s former capital city without the proper permission from local authorities (and apparently without permission from Ferrari HQ themselves). The driver then laid down a couple black lines in front of cameras that were streaming the event live over the internet and state TV. It goes without saying that Chinese officials and citizens are understandably pissed, especially since efforts to remove the tire marks have so far been unsuccessful. Ferrari released a statement saying that the event was unauthorized and unacceptable, adding that something like this will never happen again. Video from the incident showing the donut in question is in the CNN link below.

Source: CNN (with video) 


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