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2014-04-16: New York Auto Show round-up and all-new Mercedes-AMG ...
Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT Today, the annual New York International Auto Show kicked off with the first of two preview days. Aston Martin used the opportunity to debut the hardcore V8 Vantage GT and V8 Vantage GT Roadster. Powered by a 430 bhp version of the all-alloy V8, this the North American counterpart of the N430 launched last month in Geneva.
One of the most powerful debuts in the Big Apple will no doubt be the 625 bhp Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible. This represents the very first drop-top Z06 since the moniker was introduced back in 1963. Despite the lack of a roof, the car is 20% more rigid than the previous generation Z06 Coupe. The Z06 Convertible will be available later this year as a 2015 model.
Land Rover will look ahead in New York wit the Vision Concept as this will form the base for the upcoming Discovery model. The show car is equipped with the innovative Transparent Bonnet head-up display, which gives the driver a better view of the ground immediately ahead of the car.
Perhaps the most interesting news of the day is the announcement of the Mercedes-AMG GT, which will be launched in the fall. Powered by a V8 engine, this two-door coupe is poised to challenge the Porsche 911.
The big news yesterday was of Peugeot's return to Dakar with the 2008 DKR. It will be driven by former winners Cyril Depres and Carlos Sainz.

2014-04-14: 2014 Tour Auto report and 300-shot gallery ...
2014 Tour Auto report and 300-shot gallery This week, some of the most beautiful roads of France were the scene of the annual Tour Auto retrospective rally. The five-day and 2,000 km event featured a 250-car strong field of GT and Touring cars of many different shapes and sizes, ranging from a BMW 700, to a fleet of Ferraris, Alfa Romeos, Porsches and Cobras. The star cars this year included the Ferrari 250 GT SWB 'Breadvan' we featured last week but also the very first Porsche 911 Carrera RSR. Set in the eastern and southeastern parts of France, the Tour Auto was run mostly on undulating roads and also featured the Dijon-Prenois, Anneau du Rhin, Bresse and Paul Ricard circuits. The fight of the outright win lasted until the very last day and was disputed between a pair of Cobras and a pair of E-Types.
Our photographers chased the Tour Auto through France and captured the event from start to finish. The result is this concise stage-by-stage report, illustrated by an action-packed 300-shot gallery.

2014-04-11: Peugeot and Bentley hybrid concepts primed for Beijing debut ...
Peugeot Exalt Concept With China emerging as the quickest growing market, the annual Beijing Motor Show or Auto China has become one of the most important shows on the calendar. This year's edition will start next week and both Peugeot and Bentley will showcase a hybrid-engined concept car. The French manufacturer's show stopper will be the Exalt Concept, which combines a front-mounted direct-injection petrol engine with an electric motor driving the rear wheels. The combined output of this plug-in hybrid drivetrain is an impressive 340 bhp. What will certainly capture the visitors' attention is the two-tone finish of bare-metal and shark skin. As a tribute to the artisan's of old, the metal panels of the Exalt's bodywork have been hand-beaten.
The Bentley Hybrid Concept is an altogether more straightforward machine as it represents the marriage of the Mulsanne bodywork with an all-new plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The exact details of the engine/motor combination have not been released yet, the images suggest that the Mulsanne's roaring 6.75 litre V8 has been retained. Bentley has announced that the first production model to be available as a plug-in hybrid will be the new SUV due in 2017.

2014-04-09: Louwman Museum in full detail ....
Louwman Museum Assembled over many, many years, the Louwman Collection is the oldest private collection in the world. To house the cars that span the complete history of the automobile, a purpose-built museum was constructed in The Hague, The Netherlands right next to a Royal Palace. The Louwman Museum was officially opened by the Dutch Queen in April of 2010. The striking building houses all the collection's highlights including the 1935 and 1956 Le Mans winning Lagonda and Jaguar, and also the Spyker 60 hp, which was the first six-cylinder engined and four-wheel drive car. Another great draw of the museum is that it offers a history both the automobile itself but also of more specialised machines like alternatively powered cars and micro-cars. At the time of our visit, the main hall of the museum housed a special Martini display, which still runs through to May 5th. Sixteen Martini-liveried machines are on show and in addition to the familiar machines, rarer beasts like the Porsche 911 RSR Turbo that placed third at Le Mans and the stillborn Lancia ECV2 were wheeled out specifically for this display. The result of our visit is a brief report, illustrated by a 180-shot gallery, which includes shots of the Martini display.

2014-04-07: Ferrari Breadvan and 250 GT Drogo, and first glimpse from the Tour Auto ...
Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan One of the most iconic Ferraris is undoubtedly the 250 GT SWB 'Breadvan' created by Giotto Bizzarrini for Count Volpi's Scuderia Serenissima. Bizzarrini had previously helped develop the 250 GTO while still at Ferrari and used all the lessons learned and then some to create the one-off Breadvan. The nickname is a reference to the tall Kamm-tail of the Drogo-built body, which prompted the French crowd at Le Mans to dub it 'cammionette' or small truck. It proved to be very quick but was ultimately unsuccessful. Fortunately, the one-off Ferrari has survived and in more recent years has returned to the track. This, week the 250 GT SWB 'Breadvan' will be one of the star cars of the Tour Auto. Like last year, we will cover the event from start to finish and a detailed report will follow next week. As a warm-up, we have already created a 30-shot gallery from the scrutineering at the Grand Palais earlier today.
Inspired by the performance of the Breadvan and the GTO, Belgian Ferrari importer and team principal of the Ecurie Francorchamps sent a pair of his 250 GT SWB competition cars to Drogo for a similar conversion. Both cars had been damaged in action and needed full repairs any way. The sole survivor of these is this 250 GT SWB Drogo Coupe, which was in period never raced in this guise. After a lengthy restoration, it has now been regularly exercised by its two Dutch owners, as can be seen in this 44-shot gallery.

2014-04-04: Mighty Maserati 450S, another Ferrari 275 GTB/C and the all-new M4 Convertible ...
Maserati 450S In Maserati's 100-year history, many great machines were produced but very few can rival the mighty Maserati 450S. Built around a thundering quad-cam V8, it was built in a make-or-break effort to win the 1957 World Sports Car championship. Despite victories in the Sebring 12 Hours and the Swedish Grand Prix, a catastrophic race in Caracas thwarted Maserati's efforts. Financial problems and regulation changes meant that this would be Maserati's final chance. Some of the vast investment was recouped by selling production cars and it is believed that ten examples were produced. We have today further expanded our gallery to 91-shots, featuring all examples that are known to have survived. Among them is the prototype, which will be offered by RM Auctions at their May 10th Monaco Sale. It has a pre-sale estimate of EUR 4 - 5.5 million.
Another great car to cross to block in this very well stocked sale is one of the 12 Ferrari 275 GTB/Cs produced. We have added this example, which is one of the most original survivors, to our ever expanding 108-shot gallery, which now features nine of the twelve chassis built.
Later this month, at the New York International Auto Show, BMW will reveal the all-new M4 Convertible. Like its fixed-head counterpart, it is powered by a 425 bhp straight six engine and comes with a choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. Thanks to the use of lightweight materials, the M4 Convertible is 41 kg (90 lbs) lighter than its predecessor.
Also in New York, Land Rover will showcase the Vision Concept, which will offer a preview of the next generation Discovery.