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The News for January 25th, 2013

Greg Kachadurian January 25, 2013 The News! 35 Comments


Welcome to the Hooniverse News! This is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or the bull. I also throw in some… ehyou know how this all goes by now. This week:

  • Aston Martin Rapide S is a sweeter, faster four-door

  • Bentley Mulsanne adds more comfort and technology

  • Nissan GT-R gets new improvements and pricing for 2013

  • BMW and Toyota formally collaborating, announce new projects

Aston Martin Rapide S


Aston Martin’s only 4-door currently in production is getting an extensive makeover for the 2014 model year. They’ve added more power, improved dynamics, a new face, and an ‘S’ to the name, so you know it’s gonna be good. Starting sometime next month, this will be the only Rapide you can buy from Aston Martin, assuming you have somewhere north of $200,000 to spare. 

The Rapide S will adopt a new 6.0-liter V12 producing 550 horsepower (up from 470) and 457 lb.-ft. of torque (up from 443) that sends power to the rear wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Rapide S promises a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds as well as a top speed of 190 mph. Aston Martin cites their experience in the World Endurance Championship as the source of the performance enhancements that made 550 horsepower possible. Despite the significant performance improvement, carbon emissions drop 7% and fuel economy on the EU combined cycle is 19.9 mpg – of course that depends on whether or not you actually want to drive that economically when there’s 550 horsepower on tap. The improved dynamics come as a result of the engine being dropped 19mm lower in the chassis than before to lower the center of gravity as well as an updated stability control system to match the new power. The car’s braking, electronic suspension components, and transmission calibration were also tinkered with. 


The Rapide S will also come with a few visual upgrades in the form of a more aggressive grille up front, a revised decklid out back, and some new 20″ wheel options. The interior features a wide array of trim packages (piano black, carbon fiber, mahogany, bamboo, or ash, to be precise), optional Duotone perforated red and black leather, and rear seats that fold down at the touch of a button so that maybe you can carry more than champagne bottles in the boot, probably. The cabin is also engineered to reduce road and wind noise yet enhance the sounds coming out of the engine. 

Source: Aston Martin

2014 Bentley Mulsanne 


This March, Bentley will be bringing an updated Mulsanne to the Geneva Motor Show which brings a new Comfort and Entertainment Specification into an already impressive package. It might be hard for some of us to imagine a Mulsanne that needs more luxury, but new Bentley customers are a very demanding bunch. 

The appropriately-named Comfort Specification adds über luxurious seats with adjustability to fit the needs (and size) of most passengers and are stuffed with softer duck down feathers. Those seats also come with new hide colors to pick from. For passengers who aren’t 7 feet tall, there’s a new footrest that can be tucked away under the front seats and privacy curtains which are electronically controlled from the back seats are now a factory option. The Entertainment Specification adds the usual navigation and MP3 connectivity as well as rear-seat folding “picnic” tables which step into the 21st century and display iPads with wireless keyboards. This package also turns the car into a mobile WiFi hot spot that can handle up to 8 devices at once. 


Pretty much everything else, including the drivetrain and exterior styling, is the same for 2014, although there are 3 new paint colors to choose from. Oh, and they give you a 6-piece hand-made luggage set from Italy. Expect pricing to be in the neighborhood of $300,000.

Source: Bentley

2014 Nissan GT-R gets a price bump


Ever since the GT-R’s introduction in late 2007, Nissan has continually made improvements to the budget supercar-killing Datsun we all know so well. For the 2014 model year, the same is true as the car’s structural integrity and vehicle dynamics are improved to accommodate the steady increase in power over the years (which is currently at 545 hp and 463 lb.-ft. of torque).

The car’s abilities aren’t the only thing increasing, however, as new pricing info reveals another increase of $2,700 to its new MSRP of $100,590 (including destination charges). The top-of-the-line GT-R Black Edition is priced at $110,300. For that price, you essentially get the latest and greatest GT-R, which was already great to begin with, that boasts a 0-60 time that will make a Lamborghini sweat for less than half the cost. Then next year an even better one will roll out. Isn’t this new car buying thing fun? 

Source: Nissan via Autoweek

BMW and Toyota formally announce collaboration


Two Decembers ago we covered BMW’s and Toyota’s plans to enter a “memorandum of understanding” that involved the two automotive giants and future green technology. This week they’ve gone a step further and signed legally binding paperwork that briefly outlines their plans for collaboration in the near future. 

The four coop projects they’ve announced so far include a study of midsize sports car on a shared platform by year’s end, hydrogen fuel cell development, lightweight technology development, and research into next-generation lithium-based batteries. Most of those technologies mentioned could make their way to production BMWs and/or Toyotas by the end of the decade or sooner.

This could get interesting. Or not. Either way, we’ll be bringing you updates whenever we get them.

Source: BMW via Autoweek (go there if you want a more detailed report)


  • Scandinavian Flick

    So it's finally about to happen… Aston Martin is actually going to produce an ugly car.

    • danleym

      For a 4 door super car – which I think is a patently silly idea – it looks alright.

      If you can afford a $200,000 Aston, you can afford a $30,000 Camry to go with it. Enjoy your fun, 2 seat super car, and use the Camry when you need more seats. Then we can avoid this whole nonsense of 4 door supercars.

      • Scandinavian Flick

        I really like the current one, and it's by far the best looking 4 door super car. The changes on this one are subtle, but significantly ugly… That grille is a terrible adaptation of the iconic AM grill…

        • danleym

          Eh, to each their own. I do think the grille is way too big. But none of the other features bother me too much. Besides the two extra doors.

          • Oh, come on. The grille has to be that big in order to fill that gaping hole at the front of the car.

          • Scandinavian Flick

            Well, the grille is really the only revision… and it ruins it for me. It fucks up the whole flow, even making it look taller and more slab sided. Otherwise, it seems to be a bout the same… I've seen a few of the current models on the street, and I could barely tell it was a 4 door until I got closer. That's proper design, IMO.

            I also loathe the original Panamera, and only mildly detest the revision, so take this how you will…

    • calzonegolem

      I thought it was a Fusion when I first saw the lead image

      <img src="http://media.caranddriver.com/images/media/467109/2013-ford-fusion-titanium-photo-467203-s-1280×782.jpg&quot; height="195.5" width="320">

    • jeepjeff

      I guess the bulldog was a one-off concept car, and didn't go into actual production.

  • Jeff Glucker

    Are we looking at the same car? I think it looks excellent… Zagato elements that work nicely, in my opinion.

  • Devin

    Can we go back to smaller grilles? Please? The big grille trend, I don't like.

  • So, GT-R still the best value at $110k?

    I saw one on my commute the other day, and had to look twice because it's styling is so damn subtle.

  • MVEilenstein

    The last thing I want when I get in the back seat of my Bentley is to step into a computer lab. That is not luxury.

    • Devin

      I can see the appeal for a high powered business-y type, but then I'd want something a bit more useful than a crummy iPad.

    • A computer lab is the first thing I want when I get in the front seat of my Vanden Plas. This is luxury:

      [youtube F5zs6TU32pY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5zs6TU32pY youtube]

  • Number_Six


  • Let's see…
    – AM Rapide
    – Bentley Mulsanne
    – Nissan GT-R

    Can we change the name of this to Obscenely Affluent News?

    • jeepjeff

      This is useful for those of us in places like the Bay Area. As a spotting guide for things we can expect to see sometime in the next 6-12 months.

      Otherwise, yeah…

    • I must say that I for one have been struggling during this harsh economic climate. I have to tell the champagne man to leave only one magnum of Moët when he visits.

      • I've had to restrict consumption solely to the products of my own vineyards. It's been a sobering experience.

        • At least we don't hear you wine.

          • True. I've been busy with a variety of other pressing matters.

    • Sjalabais

      Agreed, this is just like Top Gear. Total lack of consumer advice. Here is the lead image of some old news from the other side of the globe:

      <img src="http://www.modifiedcars.com/gallery/2012/Moscow_International_Motor_Show/165.jpg"&gt;

  • That BeeEmmYota has a touch of the Transformers about it. Or is it just me?

    • Vairship

      It also has a serious touch of the Ugly. As in: designers kept throwing more swoops and dips at it.

  • Stigshift

    Just curious. If a new Bentley Mulsanne and a Morgan Aero 8 had a child, would it's eyes look straight ahead?