performance – 2/5 –

A few months ago, we said that the Need For Speed racing video game franchise will be organizing its own dedicated, real life racing team, called Team NFS.

We revealed some of the cars its members will be racing in various competitions all over the world, but the team has now revealed the newest addition to its racing roster.

The monster you see above is a Scion tC AWD racer, capable of outputting around 1,100 HP and custom built to take on the world’s best time attack models.

The car was modified by tuner Chris Rado, and has been in the making for quite some time. Its purpose is to create the biggest amounts of downforce (see the massive front and rear wings) and take on the toughest courses out there in order to achieve the best time.

Team NFS will race this all-wheel drive Scion tC this weekend at the Road Atlanta circuit, so if you happen to be in the vicinity, plan ahead and admire this awesome racer out. If not, check out the photo gallery below.

Photo Gallery: Scion tC AWD by Team NFS


Post tags: Tags: Motorsport, need-for-speed, performance, racing, scion tc, scion tc awd, team nfs, time attack, Tuning

The rumor mill has started spinning once more, this time with help from the guys at Autocar, who cite inside sources claiming that a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe is set to arrive at the end of 2011.

According to the them, the impending launch of the C Class Coupe model will also extend to the performance version, the C63 AMG.

The car is set to use the same naturally aspirated 450 HP 6.2-liter V8 engine, but it might offer the AMG Performance package, which will improve its output to around 480 HP.

As you can clearly guess, the C63 AMG Coupe will rival other performance coupes like the BMW M3 or the Audi RS5.

No other details were given, but you can expect pretty much the same things the current sedan and estate versions of the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG offer.


Post tags: Tags: audi rs5, bmw-m3, coupe, mercedes, mercedes benz c63 amg, Mercedes-Benz, mercedes-benz c63 amg coupe, performance

Ever since the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept last year, rumors about its unavoidable production version have been appearing left and right.

The newest outlet to share its two (euro)cents is Germany’s AutoBild, which says that the Vision concept will become a reality in 2013.

According to the magazine, the concept will be produced as the BMW i100 sportscar, part of the company’s Project i initiative. The regular model is likely to retain the hybrid powertrain of the concept. A 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine, aided by an electric motor, will power the rear wheels, while the front ones will be driven by another electric motor. Power for the motors will be delivered by a pack of lithium ion batteries.

Performance fans will also be taken care of with an M-badged performance version. AutoBild says the M division will combine a 450 HP twin-turbo inline-six cylinder engine, which will be used on the next generation M3, with the electric motors. The lithium ion pack will be replaced by a set of supercapacitors, for extra performance.

Bear in mind that this is just speculation, at the moment. The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics will no doubt be made by the German company, but no official details have been revealed just yet.


Post tags: Tags: BMW, bmw i100, bmw vision efficientdynamics, Hybrid, performance

After plenty of spoon-fed details, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG performance limousine, with its brand new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8, has finally been revealed.

As most of you know by now, the biggest change is under the bonnet, where the old 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 has been replaced with the aforementioned twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 with direct injection. While capacity may be down, power is way up, as the new engine develops 571 HP and 663 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 62 mph is achieved in 4.5 seconds, or 4.4, if you opt for the AMG Performance package.

For an improved ride handling, the old torque-converter equipped gearbox has been replaced with a multi-clutch unit, taken from the SL63. While EPA numbers have yet to be revealed, the 2011 S63 AMG is capable of achieving 22.4 US mpg on the European combined cycle.

Overall, if you want to go very fast with your high end limousine, then the 2011 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG will be more than happy to help. Check it out in the photo gallery below, as well as in a video, after the jump.


Post tags: Tags: 2011 mercedes-benz s63 amg, amg, limousine, mercedes, Mercedes-Benz, mercedes-benz s63 amg, performance, photo-gallery, Video

The Chevrolet Camaro is definitely one impressive muscle car, even though it doesn’t have such a pristine reputation like the Ford Mustang, for example.

But the Camaro does have a very loyal fan base, as highlighted by a unique tuning project led by Canadian Serge Leger. He decided that his Chevy Camaro needed a bit of a performance bump, and set off tuning the hell out of the American muscle car.

After 3,800 man hours, a huge array of performance parts, a new 6.0-liter LSX V8 with a big old turbocharger and around $320,000 spent, his Chevrolet Camaro is now capable of developing more than 1,400 HP with an estimated 900 lb-ft of torque.

Yup, this road-legal model is capable of putting almost any hypercar you can throw at it to shame, at least in terms of pure power.


Post tags: Tags: camaro, canada, Chevrolet, chevrolet-camaro, customization, muscle car, performance, Tuning

Hot off the heels of the leaked photos and details, Mercedes-Benz has officially revealed the two performance versions of the new 2011 CL Class.

The 2011 CL63 AMG and CL65 AMG both feature a more aggressive take on the new CL design, adding a new body kit, as well as the trademark AMG wheels. While the exterior is much more sports-oriented, the interior of the powerful CL models is pure luxury, boasting an impressive two-tone finish.

Most importantly with these new models are the changes made to the engines. As we suspected, the CL63 AMG swaps out its old naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8 with a brand new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8. The decrease in displacement is more than made up for by the increase in power, with the new unit developing 536 HP and 590 lb-ft of torque in standard form, and 563 HP and 664 lb-ft, when equipped with the AMG Performance Package. This means a 0 to 62 time of 4.4 seconds (4.3 when upgraded).

The CL65 AMG keeps the massive 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, but also features an upgraded output of 621 HP and 738 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 62 in achieved in an even faster 4.2 seconds.

As with the regular 2011 CL Class, Mercedes-Benz has equipped the new performance models with every high tech safety feature it currently develops, in order to make sure that the driver is always protected and informed about his powerful coupe.

Expect both the 2011 CL63 and CL65 AMG models to be made available later this year.


Post tags: Tags: 2011 mercedes-benz cl class, 2011 mercedes-benz cl63 amg, 2011 mercedes-benz cl65 amg, coupe, details, luxury, Mercedes-Benz, performance

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG super sedan refresh has been revealed, boasting even more power than the 2010 model, and an improved interior.

Even though the outgoing model had more than enough power to go around, thanks to its 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine, for the 2011 model year, Mercedes-Benz and AMG engineers managed to squeeze out 11 more HP. This takes the total output to 525 HP, with 464 lb-ft of torque.

All this power is sent through the MCT SpeedShift seven-speed gearbox, allowing a 0 to 62 mph time of 4.5 seconds and a limited top speed of 155 mph. Power isn’t the only thing increased for the 2011 E63, as the new performance sedan is 12% more efficient than the outgoing edition.

While the exterior is largely unchanged, the interior of the super sedan has been restyled, and new options are now available. Artico leather now decorates the doors and dashboard, while the center console is treated to a piano black finish.

Expect the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG to appear later this year on the market.


Post tags: Tags: 2011 mercedes-benz e63 amg, amg, interior, mercedes, mercedes benz e63 amg, Mercedes-Benz, performance, power, refresh

Audi of America has revealed new details about the next performance models that will be launched on the US shores.

The German company finally decided to put a launch date on the new Audi RS5 three-door coupe, which will be hitting the American market in 2012. Although a bit later than expected, we’re pretty sure fans will line up to get a taste of the car’s 4.2-liter V8, capable of a whopping 450 HP.

Until 2012 though, four-ring fans will have their hands busy, as the company has also detailed and priced the Audi R8 Spyder V10. The open-top supercar will be hitting dealerships in the following months, with a price starting at $161,000, without the $1,250 destination charge.

If you want to ride around like Iron Man’s Tony Stark, you’re going to have to shell out either the aforementioned $161,000, for the six-speed manual, or $170,000 for the R-tronic transmission. Both models still develop 525 HP from that massive 5.2-liter V10 engine.

So there you have it US customers, Audi still wants to satisfy your need for performance, but it won’t do it cheaply.


Post tags: Tags: Audi, audi r8 spyder, audi rs5, audi-r8, launch, performance, price, usa

The 2012 Ford Focus is definitely one of the Blue Oval’s biggest bets for the next few years. The C Segment hatch will go on to sport a variety of body styles and versions.

We’ve already seen the hatchback and the sedan back at the Detroit Auto Show. We saw the Focus wagon in Geneva, and now, according to AutoExpress, a more powerful version, the Focus ST, will be making its debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show.

According to the magazine, the new Focus ST will try to quench the appetite of performance enthusiasts before a true hot hatch versions, presumably with the RS or SVT badge, will appear.

Until then, the ST will sport an upgraded version of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Instead of its current 200 HP output, the report says that around 250 HP and 260 lb-ft of torque will be develop by the turbocharged unit. This will allow the hatchback to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in under 6 seconds, while at the same time achieve an impressive fuel average of around 29 mpg combined.

Bear in mind that this is just a rumor, but a performance 2012 Focus will become a reality at one point, and the Paris Motor Show might be the best place of any to announce it.


Post tags: Tags: 2012 ford focus, 2012 ford focus st, Ford, ford focus st, ford-focus, paris motor show, performance

After hearing at the beginning of the week that the next generation Mercedes-Benz A Class will borrow design cues from concepts like the F800 Style or the Concept Fascination, new details have now been revealed.

According to the rumor mongers from Autocar, the future A Class will also get the performance treatment from Mercedes’ AMG division.

It seems that the German company is so bent on rivaling the BMW 1 Series, a hot hatch version of the A Class has received the green light. Also, in order to rival the 1 Series Coupe, a similar version will also be offered for the A Class AMG.

Both models will benefit from a supercharged four-cylinder engine, complete with direct injection. According to the British magazine, its output will be around 270 HP and 280 lb-ft of torque, more than enough to rival hot hatches like the Volkswagen Golf R or the Ford Focus RS.

Still, don’t expect this performance A Class anytime soon, as the next generation is expect around 2012, so the AMG version will arrive a year later.


Post tags: Tags: amg, hot hatch, mercedes, Mercedes-Benz, mercedes-benz-a-class, next generation, performance

A new rumor is coming fresh from Italy, concerning Fiat’s performance division, Abarth.

It seems that even though the brand has confirmed that it will manufacture a dedicated sportscar in two years time, it will also present a more hardcore coupe (speedster) version of the existing Fiat 500 city car.

The model is expected to hit before the dedicated sportscar, and, according to Autocar, will take cues from the 1959 Zagato Abarth 750 T model. As such, expect an elongated body, with a more aggressive design.

The British magazine also suggests that it will arrive in two versions, a hardtop and a convertible. Basically the Abarth 500 Coupe will act like a halo car for the rest of the 500 range.

Powerful engines are already rumored, like the 178 HP 1.4-liter T-Jet or the 178 HP 1.4-liter MultiAir, currently used by the Abarth Punto Evo.

Even though we don’t know a lot about this new version, knowing what Abarth is capable of, we’re extremely interested to find out more in the following months.


Post tags: Tags: abarth, abarth 500 coupe, abarth 500 speedster, Fiat, fiat-500, performance

The rumor mill has started spinning once more, this time powered by Car and Driver which says that Lamborghini is planning two new models that will take it into new directions, even though they have some predecessors.

According to the magazine, Lamborghini is planning a new luxury super-SUV. Lambo fans are sure to remember the company’s eccentric LM002 SUV, which was something like a cross between a Hummer and a regular Lamborghini supercar, being off-road ready and powered by a V12 engine.

According to the report, the new Lamborghini SUV might use the platform of the 2011 Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne. It will definitely use a bigger engine though, in order to produce adequate performance for regular Lambo fans.

Secondly, C/D says that an entry-level Lamborghini supercar, powered by a smaller V8 engine, as opposed to the V10 Gallardo or the V12 Murcielago, might also appear. This would also act as a spiritual successor to older Lambo models like the Urraco or Jalpa.

Last but not least, the super sedan plans of Lamborghini are reportedly scrapped, as the Estoque concept we saw some time ago hasn’t really generated the desired response. As such, Lamborghini will continue with the coupe body style.

Frankly, we’re a bit overwhelmed by these rumors, but seeing as how Volkswagen wants to further develop Lamborghini, an SUV and a smaller supercar are a possibility. What do you think? Share your thoughts below.


Post tags: Tags: Lamborghini, lamborghini estoque, lamborghini lm002, luxury, performance, sedan, supercar, suv

The Mini Countryman has been officially revealed at the beginning of the year, after much teasing and foreshadowing, with the Mini Crossover and Beachcomber concepts.

Now, the British brand has revealed some more details about its new and rather large model.

It will be available in three variants, One, Cooper and Cooper S. They will be available with either a six-speed manual or an automatic gearbox, and if you want the special ALL4 all-wheel drive system, then you’re going to have to spring for the higher-priced Cooper S or D versions.

The gasoline-powered Countryman will develop 98 HP in the One version, 122 HP in the standard Cooper spec, or 184 HP, in the turbocharged Cooper S version. The car will use the already popular 1.6-liter engine, developed by BMW in partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroen. The Countryman Cooper S is capable of doing 0 to 62 mph in 7.6 seconds, in front-wheel drive, manual mode. Add a few more tenths for the ALL4 or automatic versions.

Europeans will also receive diesel versions of the Countryman, unlike North Americans. The 1.6-liter turbodiesel is capable of either 90 HP, in the One D, or 112 HP, in the Cooper D. The latter is capable of going from 0 to 62 in 10.5 seconds.

Even though the Countryman is marketed as a more aggressive and go-anywhere model, its ground clearance will be around 6 inches, so don’t go tackling any off-road trails in it.


Post tags: Tags: details, Mini, mini countryman, performance, specifications

Fiat’s performance division, Abarth, is definitely riding high in terms of popularity, as its upgraded versions for the 500 city car, as well as for the Punto, are selling like hot cakes.

This has prompted Antonino Labate, the company’s sales and marketing boss, to say that a dedicated Abarth coupe will arrive in the next two years.

Until then though, Abarth won’t sit idly. Instead, the company will be launching even more hardcore Esseesse versions for the Punto Evo Abarth and the Abarth 500C, which will arrive this November in Europe.

The Punto Evo’s MultiAir engine will see its output raised even further, to over 180 HP. Stiffer suspension plus a tuned braking system will also be added to the Esseesse.

The Abarth 500C Esseesse will see the output from the turbocharged 1.4-liter, currently at 137 HP, raised to around 157 HP, just liked in the regular Abarth 500 Esseesse. The faster, five-speed MTA automatic gearbox will also be added.

Most importantly though is the fact that Abarth might soon start making performance packages for Alfa Romeo models. The new MiTo or Giulietta are excluded, however, due to the already powerful Cloverleaf editions. Seeing as how Alfa Romeo models are heading to the USA in the future, Abarth performance options might not be a bad thing.


Post tags: Tags: abarth, abarth 500c, abarth punto evo, Alfa Romeo, esseesse, Fiat, fiat 500c abarth, fiat punto evo abarth, performance

Hyundai is going all out with the 2011 Sonata model, as not only did it implement the new, more attractive design language, but also threw everything plus the kitchen sink in terms of options.

Now, after pleasing regular fans, those with a desire for a bit more performance out of their sedan will be treated by the South Korean company with the 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0-liter Turbo model.

As you already know, the new car is powered by a direct injection, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, capable of 274 HP. Up until now though, we didn’t know just what impact the potent engine will have under the hood of the Sonata: will it offer adequate performance or be weighed down by the sedan?

Worry no more, as Hyundai has revealed the first official performance details. The Sonata 2.0 Turbo will be able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in an impressive 6.5 seconds. Better yet, it seems that the fuel economy won’t be so bad, with Hyundai estimating 22 mpg US in the city, and an equally impressive 34 mpg on the highway.

Expect the 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T to hit dealerships in the following months.


Post tags: Tags: 2011 hyundai sonata, 2011 hyundai sonata turbo, details, fuel average, Hyundai, hyundai sonata, performance