Saturday, 29 September 2012

Bentley Mulsanne

The new Bentley Mulsanne is a high-end luxury car produced by Bentley Motors Limited in the United Kingdom. The name is derived from Bentley's historical racing pedigree, which included five victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans — the Mulsanne Straight being the stretch of the Le Mans racing circuit where cars reach their highest speeds. Bentley also offers the cheaper Bentley Continental Flying Spur. Though it is supposed to compete with the similarly sized Rolls Royce Phantom, price-wise, it is even marginally cheaper than the Rolls Royce Ghost, the lesser model in Rolls Royce's range. It also competes with the Maserati Quattroporte. The Maybach 62 to is one of its competitors. 

Legacy and significance

Bentley's new flagship model brings back the Mulsanne nameplate last used in 1992, and replaces the Bentley Arnage. The Mulsanne was unveiled at the 2009 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, on 16 August 2009.Coupe and convertible variants are expected to follow at some point as replacements for the Arnage-based Brooklands and Azure respectively.

Like the Arnage, the Mulsanne retains the iconic 6.75 L (6750 cc/411 in³) OHV V8 engine, albeit heavily modified to meet Euro V emissions regulations. To achieve improved fuel consumption, the re-designed engine is lighter and features cylinder de-activation and variable cam phasing. Unlike the less expensive Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Bentley Continental GT, the Mulsanne shares very few components with other marques in the Volkswagen Group.

The Mulsanne is also notable as it is the first flagship car to be independently designed by Bentley Motors in nearly 80 years; the last being W.O. Bentley's iconic 8 litre model in 1930. Afterward, most Bentleys had shared platforms with Rolls-Royce cars.

The Mulsanne aims to recreate as much of Bentley's heritage as possible. For instance, the stainless steel knobs on the dashboard that control the vent plungers are electronic micro switches that send signals to the digital servos that handle the job. However, Bentley engineers painstakingly replicated the feedback of a precisely polished steel rod sliding over smooth felt to pull a soft leather damper closed. Other touches of Bentley history include the very large wheels with small sidewalled tyres, which give an echo of the ride comfort qualities of 1920's Bentleys.

Pricing and features

In the United Kingdom, the 2011 Mulsanne costs from £225,900 and in the US from $285,000. The first vehicle produced, chassis number one, was sold in August 2009 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance auction for $550,000.

Each car takes twelve weeks to produce, and customers will have a choice of 114 paint colours, 21 carpet colours, nine wood veneers and 24 interior leather hides, and be able to specify a custom colour scheme. Additionally, the car has more advanced technology compared with the Arnage, and can be specified to feature a Naim 2200w audio system complete with MP3 compatibility, with Bluetooth and an advanced MMI capability.

Executive Interior Concept

 At the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the Executive Interior Concept (EIC) contains many technologies commonly found in offices to assist executives while on the road. The rear passenger area features three LCD screens powered by an Apple Mac mini located in the trunk, with additional iPads in fold out trays connected through Bluetooth keyboards. Additional features include in-car wifi, iPods with docking stations, and integration of the many devices to the car's Naim audio system.

Friday, 28 September 2012

New Lamborghini Gallardo(2013)

After some brief teasing, the new Lamborghini Gallardo, Lambo's most popular model, has landed. But it is more of a face lift than a complete overhaul. The engine, that gorgeous 5.2l V10 lump of metal, hasn't been touched. But the styling has been revised, with more triangles and sharper edges. The old Gallardo was striking enough, this new update just makes it even more hard-to-miss. 

Lamborghini unveiled it at the Paris Motor Show. The company's main aim was to better differentiate between the different Gallardo models. The 560-4, which is equipped with four-wheel drive, in contrast to the 560-2, thus receives from new 19-inch wheels but especially two new front and rear fascias, who are flanked by more angular shapes, composed of triangles and trapezoids.

Added to this the air vents on the hood more generous, and to improve the Thermodynamics of the engine
But Gallardo 560-4 “base” is not the only one to be affected by this lifting. Indeed, the 570-4 Superleggera and its roadster, the Spyder performance declination, entitled they also to some news, gathered in a pack that responds on behalf of Edizione Tecnica.

There is among other things, a new fixed rear spoiler, new two-tone liveries (including a superb black and orange) that contrast the arches of the roof and front air intakes with the rest of the body, or even four carbon-ceramic disc brakes.

What's left to be seen is whether the refreshed Gallardo can take the fight to the bloody good Ferrari 458 Italia and the McLaren MP4-12C.

Maserati Quattroporte

The name sounds as gorgeous as the car looks. Yet 'Quattroporte', in Italian, literally means 'four doors'. Seriously, damn those passionately aroused Italians! The Pininfarina-designed body shell makes this 4-door saloon look as gorgeous as any swoopy coupe. Add to that state-of-the-art engines sourced Ferraris and what you have here is an almost-2-tonne beauty which can-shame-many-a-supercar. Maserati also manufactures the Maserati GranCarbrio and the GranTurismo. It competes with the BMW M5, Audi S7, the Mercedes S63 AMG, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur and the Cadillac CTS-V.

The Maserati Quattroporte is a luxury four-door saloon made by Maserati in Italy. The name translated from Italian literally means "four doors". There have been five generations of the car, each separated by a period of roughly seven years. It competes with the BMW M5, Audi S7, the Mercedes S63 AMG, and the Cadillac CTS-V.

Quattroporte I (1963–1969)

First generation
LayoutFR layout
Engine4.1L, 256 hp (191 kW) V8
4.7L, 295 hp (220 kW) V8
Transmission5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
Wheelbase2,750 mm (108 in) 
Length5,000 mm (200 in)
Width1,690 mm (67 in)
Height1,525 mm (60.0 in)
Curb weight1,650 kg (3,600 lb)
RelatedMaserati Sebring
Maserati 3500
Maserati Mexico
Designer(s)Pietro Frua
In the early 1960s, Maserati's reputation was at a high. With growing sales, Prince Karim Aga Khan ordered a special Maserati 5000 WP, chassis no. 103,060, designed by Pietro Frua. The following year, Maserati showed the first-generation Quattroporte of 1963, which bore a striking resemblance to the earlier drawing. While the design was by Frua, construction was carried out by Vignale.
This, the 1963 'Tipo 107' Quattroporte, joined two other notable grand tourers, the Facel Vega and the Lagonda Rapide, which could comfortably do 200 km/h (124 mph) on the new motorways of Europe. However, the Quattroporte could be said to have been the first car specifically designed for this purpose.
It was equipped with a 4.1 L (4,136 cc/252 cuin) V8 engine, producing 256 hp (SAE) (191 kW) at 5,600 rpm, and either a five-speed ZF manual transmission or a three-speed automatic. Maserati claimed a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph).
Between 1963 and 1966, 230 examples were made.
In 1966, Maserati revised the Tipo 107, adding twin headlights (already on the US model) and, from 1968, a 4.7 L, 295 hp (SAE) (220 kW) engine. Top speed increased to a claimed 255 km/h (160 mph). Around 500 of the second series were made, for a total of 776 Tipo 107 Quattroportes. Production stopped in 1969.
s/n 002 Quattroporte V8
In 1971, Karim Aga Khan ordered another special on the Maserati Indy platform. Rory Brown was the chief engineer. It received the well known 4.9 litre V8 engine (Tipo 107/49), producing 300 PS (221 kW). Carrozzeria Frua clothed the car, the prototype of which was displayed in Paris 1971 and Geneva 1972. The car was production ready, even receiving its own chassis code (AM 121), but Citroën used their influence to have Maserati to develop the SM-based Quattroporte II instead. In the end only two were finished, chassis #004 was sold by Maserati to the Aga Khan in 1974 and the prototype #002 went to the King of Spain, who bought his directly from Frua.

Quattroporte II (1974–1978)

Second generation
LayoutMF layout
Engine3.0 L Tipo AM 114.56.30 DOHCV6
Transmission5-speed manual
RelatedCitroën SM
Designer(s)Marcello Gandini at Bertone
In 1974, at the Turin Show, Maserati presented its Quattroporte II (AM 123) on an extended Citroën SM chassis, available since Citroën had purchased the Italian company. It had sparse and slick Bertone bodywork, penned by Marcello Gandini and fashionable at the time, and was the only Maserati Quattroporte to feature hydropneumatic suspension and front wheel drive. It also had the swivelling directional headlights à la SM/DS. However, the 1973 oil crisis intervened. This, combined with the collapse of the Citroën/Maserati relationship, made Maserati unable to gain EEC approval for the car. Most of the cars built were thus sold in the Middle East and in Spain, where such type approval was not necessary.
Furthermore, the front-wheel drive layout and the modest V6 3.0L powerplant based on the Citroën SM engine did not attract many customers. Its 210 PS (154 kW) at 5,500 rpm was barely enough to propel the 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) car to 200 km/h (124 mph). Maserati's traditional customers simply wouldn't consider the car a true Maserati. Maserati made 13 Quattroporte IIs. While the prototype was built in 1974, the succeeding twelve cars were built to order between 1976 and 1978.[5] The nearly stillborn Quattroporte II project was very costly for the small company, which found itself in debt to the tune of four billion lire by the end of 1978.
Rear view of decomposing Quattroporte II

Quattroporte III/Royale (1979–1990)

Third generation
Also calledRoyale, 4porte
LayoutFR layout
Engine4,136 cc 255 PS (188 kW; 252 bhp) V8
4,930 cc 280 PS (206 kW; 276 bhp) V8
4,930 cc 300 PS (221 kW; 296 bhp) V8
Transmission3-speed Chrysler automatic,
optional ZF 5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,800 mm (110.2 in)
Curb weight1,780–1,900 kg (3,924–4,189 lb)
RelatedMaserati Kyalami
Designer(s)Giorgetto Giugiaro
Considered a "business man's Maserati," the Quattroporte III was presented by newly empowered Maserati chief Alejandro de Tomaso and his design staff in 1977. This was a rear wheel drive car, powered by a large V8 engine. It was important to de Tomaso that there be an Italian vehicle to compete with the recently launched Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9. The Quattroporte III marked the last of the hand-built Italian cars. All exterior joints and seams were filled to give a seamless appearance.
In 1976, Giorgetto Giugiaro presented two ItalDesign show cars on Maserati platforms, called the Medici I and Medici II. The latter in particular featured hallmarks which would make it into the production of the third-generation Quattroporte. At the 1977 Turin Motor Show, Maserati announced the Quattroporte III (Tipo AM 330), which took much from the Medici show cars, based on Maserati's Kyalami coupé, which in turn was based on the De Tomaso Longchamp. Special styling emphasis was placed on linearity, which was also useful to reduce tooling cost.
The sumptuous interior of the QP III
TheQuattroporte III went into production in 1979, equipped with a 4,136 cc V8 engine (confusingly but steadfastly referred to as the "4200" by Maserati) producing 255 hp (188 kW), later 238 hp (SAE) (177 kW). Also available was a 4.9 litre V8 (280 hp at 5,800 rpm). One distinguishing characteristic of the vehicle was its particularly lavish interior. The automatics initially used a three-speed Borg–Warner automatic transmission, soon replaced by a Chrysler Torqueflite gearbox. Manual gearboxes were ZF-built five-speeds. The smaller engine was phased out in 1985.
From 1979 up to 1981 "4porte" badging was used, changed to Quattroporte for up to 1989. In 1986, the Maserati Royale, a handbuilt to order ultra-luxury version of the Quattroporte III, appeared. The engine was upgraded to 295 hp (SAE) (220 kW).
In all, 2,155 Quattroporte IIIs were produced, one of them for Italian presidential use. Production ceased in 1990. Turinese coachbuilder Salvatore Diomante also offered a 65 cm longer limousine version, fully equipped with white leather, "abundant burr walnut", mini-bar, video recorder and many other necessities. The price of the Diomante limousine at introduction (1986) was a rather steep 210 million lire.
The production figures for the Quattroporte are as follows:
  • There were 2100 4portes and Quattroporte IIIs produced between 1979 and 1989.
  • The remaining 55 or 53 cars were Royales, manufactured between late 1986 and 1990. These were US$80,000 cars that were built to order only.

Quattroporte IV (1994–2001)

Fourth generation
LayoutFR layout
Engine1,996 cc, 287 PS (211 kW) V6
2,790 cc, 284 PS (209 kW) V6
3,217 cc, 335 PS (246 kW) V8
Wheelbase2,650 mm (104.3 in)
Length4,550 mm (179.1 in)
Width1,810 mm (71.3 in)
Curb weight1,543–1,647 kg (3,402–3,631 lb)
RelatedMaserati Ghibli II (platform)
Maserati Shamal (V8 engine)
Designer(s)Marcello Gandini
The Quattroporte IV from 1994 was a restyled and updated version of the 430, the four-door version of the Biturbo coupe. It was designed by Marcello Gandini, also known for penning the Lamborghini Countach, Urraco,Espada, Miura, Lancia Stratos, and Bugatti EB110. The new car was smaller, very aerodynamic (0.31 cd), and featured Gandini's trademark angular rear wheel arch.
A 2.8 L twin turbo V6 was installed, producing 284 PS (209 kW), reaching a top speed of 255 km/h (158 mph) while the Italians even had a "tax special" 2 litre version producing 287 PS (211 kW) on their price list. Both engines came from the familiar Maserati Biturbo engine catalog. The 2.8 was not even offered in the home market until a year after its introduction. A V8 3.2 L Biturbo was announced in 1995, coming from the Maserati Shamal, developing 335 PS (246 kW) and reaching an approximate 270 km/h (168 mph).
After Ferrari took over Maserati in July 1997, it introduced a Quattroporte Evoluzione for 1998. It featured 400 new or improved parts out of a total 800, and also benefitted from improvements to Maserati's manufacturing methods. The Evoluzione saw the famous oval Maserati clock disappear from the interior. Production ended in May 2001.
Rear of the Fourth Generation Quattroporte
Quattroporte IVUnits ProducedProduction PeriodEngine CapacityPowerMax Speed
2.0i V6 24v5871994–19981,996 cc287 PS (211 kW) @ 6500rpm255 km/h (158 mph)
2.8i V6 24v6681994–19982,790 cc284 PS (209 kW) @ 6000rpm255 km/h (158 mph)
3.2i V8 32v4151996–19983,217 cc335 PS (246 kW) @ 6400rpm270 km/h (168 mph)
2.0i V6 Evoluzione2001998–20011,996 cc287 PS (211 kW) @ 6500rpm255 km/h (158 mph)
2.8i V6 Evoluzione1901998–20012,790 cc284 PS (209 kW) @ 6000rpm255 km/h (158 mph)
3.2i V8 Evoluzione3401998–20013,217 cc335 PS (246 kW) @ 6400rpm270 km/h (168 mph)

Quattroporte V (2004 – present)

Fifth generation
LayoutFMR layout
Engine4.2L 400 PS (294 kW) V8
4.7L 430 PS (316 kW) V8
4.7L 440 PS (324 kW) V8
Transmission6-speed automatic
6-speed DuoSelect paddle-shift
Wheelbase3063 mm (120.6 in)
Length2004-06: 5,052 mm (198.9 in)
2009-present: 5,097 mm (200.7 in)
Width1895 mm (74.6 in)
Height1438 mm (56.6 in)
Curb weight1,990 kg (4,387 lb)
RelatedMaserati GranTurismo
Maserati GranCabrio
Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
Alfa Romeo Pandion
Interior of a Maserati Quattroporte Executive GT.
Rear of the pre-facelift Quattroporte V
In 2004, Maserati started production of the Pininfarina-designed Quattroporte, with the same dry sump 4.2 L engine as the Coupé,Spyder and the new GranTurismo but improved to 400 PS (294 kW). Due to its greater weight than the Coupé and Spyder, the 0-62 mph (0–100 km/h) time for the Quattroporte is 5.6 seconds and the top speed is 167 mph (269 km/h). The Quattroporte was unveiled to the world at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 9, 2003 and made its US première at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Élégance. It is a continuation of the long tradition of Quattroporte luxury saloons in the Maserati line-up.
The 47% front / 53% rear weight distribution (with the DuoSelect transmission) allows the large saloon to have very nimble handling. This weight distribution is achieved by setting the engine further back in the chassis behind the front axle to shift the load back towards the cabin, and the adoption of the transaxle layout which sees the gearbox rear-mounted in unit with the differential. The Quattroporte's weight distribution maximizes traction and thrust during acceleration so that the car remains exceptionally stable and well balanced at all times. With the newer automatic transmission, the transmission is adjacent to the engine and weight distribution changes to 49% front / 51% rear.

Trim levels

The Maserati Quattroporte is offered in four configurations: the base Quattroporte, the Quattroporte Sport GT, the Quattroporte Sport GTS, and the Quattroporte Executive GT. The base level has a 4.2 litre V8 with 400 PS (294 kW; 395 hp) 460 N·m (339 lb·ft).

Sport GT

The Sport GT version of the Quattroporte was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2005. It features a reworked transmission, exhaust, 20 inch wheels, suspension modifications, and special interior and exterior accents including a mesh grille.

Sport GT S

Sport GTS at Goodwood 2009.
The Sport GT S version of the Quattroporte was introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2007. It features a revised suspension, 20 inch wheels, and larger rear tires for improved handling. The brakes received iron/aluminum rotors for greater fade resistance. Various interior upgrades include alcantara and carbon fiber accents. The 4.7 litre V8 in the Quattroporte Sport GT S has 439 PS (323 kW; 433 hp) 490 N·m (361 lb·ft).

Executive GT

2009 Maserati Quattroporte Executive GT.
The Executive GT version of the Quattroporte was introduced at the North American International Auto Show in January 2006. It is based on a special Neiman-Marcus version, with 19 inch ball-polished wheels and an alcantara suede interior roof lining. Other features include chrome side and front grilles and a wood-trimmed steering wheel. Included as standard equipment with the Executive GT version is a Maserati comfort pack with ventilated, heating, massaging rear seats,retractable wood rear tables, and curtain shades on the rear windows.


Duo Select

The Duo Select transmission was available at the launch of the fifth generation Quattroporte, in 2004. Duo Select was an advancement of the CambioCorsa unit first used in the Maserati Coupe. It is a Ferrari based semi-automatic transmission, located at the rear of the car, with the clutch located in a bell housing attached to the rear of the engine.


Maserati Quattroporte
Because of reliability problems and rough shifting with the Ferrari based semi-automatic transmission, a full automatic transmission with 6 speeds (by ZF) was presented at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2007 with the first cars delivered right after the launch, marketed as the Maserati Quattroporte Automatica. The Automatica was made available with paddle-shifters on the Sport GT model as standard, but on the base model and the Executive trim levels paddles became an optional extra. With the Automatica, Maserati completely redesigned the under pinning of the car to fit the new conventional automatic transmission and torque converter right behind the engine. They also converted to a wet sump oiling system for cost saving purpose.


Over 5,000 Quattroportes were built in 2006.

2009 facelift

Images of the 2009 facelifted Quattroporte appeared on the Internet on 30 January 2008. The car made its official début at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. Also making the debut was the Quattroporte S, featuring the same 4.7L V8 as the Maserati GranTurismo S. Its maximum power is 430 PS (316 kW; 424 hp) and maximum torque is 490 N·m (361 lb·ft). It went on sale at the end of 2008 and is currently available. The Quattroporte Sport GT S is also still available, with 440 PS (324 kW; 434 hp) of power.
In 2010, a Quattroporte hearse served to carry the ashes of Polish President Lech Kaczyński in his funeral procession.