27 Aug, 2016
Kode57: Ken Okuyama reuses his old idea

The above is Kode57, the latest prototype designed by ex-Pininfarina design chief Ken Okuyama. Below is the Pininfarina Rossa concept that Okuyama created some 16 years ago. They are remarkably close, aren't them?

Pininfarina Rossa: I found out these pictures from my news archive of year 2000 :) long time ago!

Japanese Ken Okuyama was not our favourite Pininfarina designer. During his tenure there he completed some of the less memorable shapes in Ferrari's history, such as Enzo and 612 Scaglietti. However, his Maserati Quattroporte Mk5 was more successful. Another great job was the aforementioned Rossa concept, a modern interpretation of the 1958 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. Now by sharpening its lines and wings, it becomes Kode57. It is known that a customer has already ordered one for US$2.5 million!

Back then, the Rossa was built on the 550 Maranello underpinnings. The new car has replaced that with 599 GTB, including its 620 hp 6-liter V12 and 6-speed F1 gearbox.

27 Aug, 2016
Cadillac Escala: new styling direction

Cadillac has improved its cars massively in recent years. Their technologies match German luxury cars and their handling even beat most rivals. However, its sales remain disappointing. One key reason should be styling. Its so-called "Art and Science" design theme is probably too edgy to most eyes and left behind by the industry. Now it seems that Cadillac finally accepts the criticisms and starts exploring a new styling direction. The result is this Escala concept.

The Escala is a large luxury sedan built upon the platform of CT6. It looks a lot more handsome and elegant than any existing Cadillacs, although you might say it lacks a distinctive character. The concept is said to be powered by a 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 currently under development for CT6 Vsport etc. It sports cylinder deactivation technology, but no output figures have been revealed. The first production car to receive its new styling theme is likely to be ATS, but could be 3 years later.

27 Aug, 2016
Mercedes Maybach 6 concept

Huge and flamboyant, don't you think the Mercedes Vision Maybach 6 concept deliberately replicate the theme of 500K / 540K? No wonder it makes world debut on classic car show Monterey Car Week at Pebble Beach in California.

Mechanical-wise, it is by no means antique. In fact, its underpinning is a further development from Mercedes SLS Electric Drive, the all-wheel-drive electric supercar. The combined output of its 4 electric motors remains at 750 hp, but the spine-mounted battery becomes a thin underfloor sandwich like Tesla, while boosting capacity from 60 to 80kWh. The result is 0-62 mph under 4 seconds, 155 mph top speed (limited) and a range of more than 200 miles (EPA) / 310 miles (NDEC).

Will it see the light of day? I'm afraid not.

27 Aug, 2016
Industrial News

Tesla Model S P100D

Tesla Model S gets a new model, P100D. Obviously, it employs a 100kWh battery pack, up from the current 90kWh. Apart from boosting its range to 315 miles (EPA) / 380 miles (NDEC), this pack is also capable to supply higher current to the motors, which improves its 0-60 mph time from the already staggering 3.2 seconds to a jaw-dropping 2.5 seconds! Incredible! Better still, current owners of P90D can upgrade their cars to P100D at a cost of $10,000.

Lexus IS passes 1 million units milestone

After 17 years and 3 generations, Toyota has built the 1 millionth Lexus IS at the end of last month. However, it is hopeless to chase BMW 3-Series, which has sold around 15 million units since 1975.

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