Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Jaguar XKR-Based Lyonheart K Pays Homage to E-Type, Updates Vizualtech Growler E

Last year, Robert Palm at Classic Factory celebrated the 50th anniversary of arguably the most beautiful car ever made, the Jaguar E-type, by designing the retro-grade Vizualtech Growler E concept. The Growler reportedly was created under the commission of an anonymous Swiss businessman, but now an announcement sees the car perhaps headed for production, albeit with some tweaks and a new name: Lyonheart K.

                                                             Vizualtech Growler E           

The Lyonheart K has been redesigned slightly to look more aggressive and less overtly retro. The quad oval headlights (which tipped a hat to the original E’s pair of oval lamps) are gone, replaced by sleek, one-piece units, and the vents behind the front wheels have thicker, more dramatic strakes.

The car still will be based on the Jaguar XKR and powered by a tuned version of that car’s 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 making 550 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. (The horsepower figure is down from the Growler’s original claim of 600.) Those output figures are identical to those of the XKR-S; if Lyonheart doesn’t buy pre-prepped engines, it appears it will at least adopt the XKR-S’s ECU programming. The Lyonheart also is said to weigh substantially less than the non-S XKR, so the real-world K should be quick, too; Lyonheart claims it will sprint to 60 in just 3.7 seconds and top out at 186 mph. The latter figure matches the XKR-S’s terminal velocity.

The interior will be unique to the Lyonheart, with only a few hidden parts said to be plucked from the Jaguar parts bin. Robert Palm justifies the K’s $660,000 price tag by promising hyper-exclusivity—just 50 hand-built units are planned—and build quality that meets or exceeds that seen from Bentley and Rolls-Royce.

10 Things You Need to Know About the 2014 Lamborghini Huracán

A new Lamborghini is always a big deal, but it’s particularly significant when it’s the replacement for the Italian marque’s bestselling model of all time, the Gallardo, more than 14,000 of which have been produced since 2003. Formally debuting at next week’s Geneva motor show, the 2014 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 is a wedge-shaped vision into the brand’s future that aims to best the Gallardo in every meaningful way.

Below are 10 of the juiciest insights we can share with you:

1. It’s More Powerful Than the Gallardo

Despite the “610” in it’s name, the Huracán’s 5.2-liter V-10 actually produces 601 horsepower at 8250 rpm. Yet, combined with its 413 lb-ft of torque at 6500 rpm, the engine’s output represents gains of 49 ponies and 15 lb-ft over the Gallardo. This is accomplished in part by the fitment of the new Iniezione Diretta Stratificata (IDS) fuel-injection system, which combines port- and direct injection for slightly better power curves and less fuel consumption.

2. It’s More Efficient Than the Gallardo

Also aiding efficiency is an engine stop-start system, as well as cylinder deactivation, both of which Lamborghini first applied to the V-12–powered Aventador. Although both features will be present on most models when deliveries commence late this year, initial American versions will do without cylinder deactivation due to what Lamborghini calls bureaucratic reasons with U.S. regulations.

3. It’s Lighter Than the Gallardo

Based on the Volkswagen Group’s new modular sports-car architecture, the Huracán is composed mostly of aluminum, with carbon-fiber elements making up the center tunnel and bulkhead behind the seats. Although the structure is not as exotic as the Aventador’s carbon-fiber tub, Lamborghini claims a dry weight of about 3100 pounds, which is several hundred pounds lighter than the Gallardos. Lamborghini claims the Huracán is also 50 percent more rigid than its predecessor.

4. It’s Smarter Than the Gallardo

The Huracán will employ a range of performance technologies aimed at making it as easy to drive day-to-day as it is capable on the track. Among those are driver-adjustable magnetorheological dampers at all four corners, as well as Lamborghini Dynamic Steering (LDS), an electromechanical setup with variable ratios dependent on the car’s various driving modes. The car’s standard all-wheel-drive system (rear-drive models will come further down the road) also is clever, with a nominal 30/70 front/rear torque split with the ability to shuffle up to 100 percent of the power to the rear wheels and up to 50 percent to the front. Governing all of this, as well as the engine and transmission parameters, is the Lamborghini Piattaforma Inerziale (LPI), which utilizes an advanced accelerometer and gyroscope mounted deep in the chassis to analyze the forces acting on the car’s various systems. The steering-wheel-mounted selector—referred to as ANIMA for Adaptive Network Intelligent Management—coordinates with the LPI to deliver Strada (street), Sport, and Corsa (race) modes to the driver.

5. It Will Be Quicker Than the Gallardo

With a better power-to-weight ratio than the Gallardo, a new seven-speed dual-clutch automatic—called Lamborghini Doppia Frizione and incorporating launch control and the ability to preselect gears on downshifts—and new Pirelli P Zero Corsa rubber on 20-inch wheels, Lamborghini claims a 0-to-62-mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph.

6. It’s Sleeker Than the Gallardo

A Lamborghini is as much about theater as it is performance and the Huracán certainly has the lines to get the blood flowing. Softer and more feminine than its chunky predecessor with flowing contours that add depth to the curves, the new car is easier on the eyes without losing the aggressiveness. Lamborghini’s hexagonal elements are everywhere on the Huracán, most notably present in the inset windows and surrounding facets. Designer Filippo Perini notes that the new car’s shape has slightly less drag than the Gallardo yet 50 percent more downforce, as well as a better front/rear aero balance without the use of any flaps or deployable spoilers.

7. It’s Nicer Inside Than the Gallardo

 The Huracán is easy to climb in and out of and is accommodating for even larger drivers. Material quality and overall detailing are excellent. The new multi-function steering wheel takes center stage and follows Ferrari’s lead of incorporating controls for the turn signals, lights, instrument cluster, and the ANIMA system. There are no stalks on the column, just gargantuan, fixed paddles behind the wheel. A massive, 12.3-inch TFT display in the cluster is reminiscent of the setup Audi previewed for the upcoming TT and can be configured to display a large center tachometer and other vital readouts, a full-width navigational display, or a combination of the two. The center console is well laid out and tidier than the Gallardo’s, with an obvious ergonomic influence from Lamborghini-parent Audi. The theatrical experience peaks with the ultra-cool starter button, mounted square in the center stack and sporting a red, flip-up cover similar to the fire control for a cruise missile.

8. It’s More Focused on Quality Than the Gallardo

The Huracán’s execution may look and feel nicer than its predecessor, but Lamborghini has also incorporated additional quality checks in the production process, as well as a master body center at the Sant’ Agata factory to ensure closer tolerances. Overall assembly is said to be 20 percent more efficient than the Gallardo’s, with the line able to pump out up to 13 cars per day once production hits full swing.

9. Like the Gallardo, It’s Related to the Audi R8

Despite the many obvious differences between the baby Lambo and Audi’s own supercar, the next-gen R8 and the Huracán will share a platform, and the former will also benefit from some of the Huracán’s technologies.

10. It’s Most Definitely a Lamborghini

Despite the softer lines and greater civility, the Huracán has the presence and barking-mad exhaust note of a proper raging bull. From its muscular stance to the bold, Y-shaped running lights, to the jet-fighter cockpit, it’s difficult to say the Huracán diminishes any of the brand’s ridiculousness in its appeal to the masses.

2016 Audi A5 Rendered and Detailed: Expect a Beautiful Evolution

A detailed look at the second generation of the gorgeous Audi A5, the better-looking brother to the four-door A4. Audi will continue to offer the A5 in coupe and cabriolet forms in the U.S., while Europe will again be treated to the five-door Sportback model. Like the next-gen 2015 A4, the new A5 will feature cutting-edge telematics and assistance systems; a futuristic interior; and tech gadgetry including full-LED headlights, a head-up display, and autonomous driving functionality.

The second-gen A5 will join the 2015 A4 on the second iteration of the VW Group’s MLB modular-longitudinal architecture, which is known as MLB Evo. (This platform also will underpin the next-generation A6, A8, and Volkswagen Phaeton.)

Powertrains: Stateside, the A5 is set to continue with two-thirds of the powertrain lineup—albeit with modest increases in power—as offered in the current car. Those engines: a 2.0-liter turbo four in the base car (currently 211 hp) and a 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 in the S5 (currently 333 hp). The RS5 will abandon its 450-hp, 4.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 in favor of a version of the VW Group’s ubiquitous 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8. A six-speed manual will be available, as will a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Competition: BMW 4-series, Cadillac ATS coupe, Lexus RC

Estimated Arrival and Price: The 2016 Audi A5 will debut toward the end of this year before arriving on showroom floors at the beginning of 2015. Pricing likely will inch up from the current car’s $39,895 base sticker and will stretch to $70K-plus for the RS5.