GRAMMY award winning artist and actor Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges sits down with Autoblog to talk about flying cars, Tesla and his 1993 Acura Legend. Autoblog's Eddie Sabatini reports on this edition of Autoblog Minute featuring an original interview with Ludacris.
The BMW i3, especially when wearing its Capparis White paint job, already looks a bit like some sort of futuristic escape pod launched to Earth from a spaceship. It was only a matter of time until the electric car got touched by the eager hands of a tuner to make it even more eye-popping. It is, after all, a BMW. Japanese tuner Garage Eve.Ryn appears to be the first to give the i3 the inevitable once over.
You no longer have to go to Alaska to see Russia from your back yard; you can see Russia in your own driveway with the help of Larte Design. The Russian-based tuning firm specializing in SUVs has come to America, and the Mercedes GL-based Black Crystal no doubt revels in the role of first-assault vehicle.
Vilner turned its customary and intensely luxurious attentions to a two-door Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited back in 2012, following that up this year with its take on the four-door version. A coat of lustrous black paint outside is brightened up LED headlights, foglights and taillights and layers of chrome laid on the grille, mirrors, door handles and fuel filler cap.
The most recent installment of the Fast & Furious franchise spent much of its time in London, and naturally that meant another one of those interchangeable nighttime party scenes with loud exhausts, loud paint jobs, loud music and loud attire. Vice magazine went to London to check out the real tuner-car lifestyle in a documentary called Boy Racer, and in spite of not coming across a single vintage Dodge Charger or sky blue Porsche 911 GT3 RS, there's a lot of what you'd expect.
Times are tough in Europe right now, and that unfortunately has reaped disastrous consequences for some of its smallest niche automakers. Gumpert, Wiesmann, Artega and Lola have all filed for bankruptcy this year, and it appears that tuners are not immune to the tough times, either.
Now that we're getting a steady stream of Ford's European offerings, the aftermarket world is finally starting to catch up as well. UK-based aftermarket tuning company, Mountune has just announced that it will be setting up shop in California to provide high-performance and racing parts for Ford vehicles including the Focus ST and Fiesta ST.
Novitec has finished its tuning program for the Lamborghini Aventador, and it has called the mean-looking finished product, Torado. It looks like it wants to take the pedestrian sinisterness of the Aventador into an otherworldly rage, with carbon fiber vents, spoilers and protrusions lining the body from front to back.
Roush Performance offers a whole raft of parts for folks looking to tune their Ford Mustang and F-150 models, and now Focus owners can start getting in on the hotted-up action, too. Owners of the 2012-13 Focus and 2013 Focus ST can now get a Roush cold-air intake system, and ST owners can also opt for a high-performance cat-back exhaust.
Bulgarian tuner Vilner has done a job on the interior of the previous-generation Mercedes-Benz SL and left almost no surface untouched. Calling it "one of their bravest projects," the standard leather has been replaced with either antiqued brown Nappa leather or crocodile hide, the plastics have been covered in Alcantara with the same material lining the roof, and the wood has been redone, in some cases painted by hand, to match the decor.
SEMA is more than nine months away, but the reveille bugle for the show has just sounded with Ford's call to aftermarket companies for its project-vehicle program. The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST and 2014 Transit Connect van and wagon are the cars The Blue Oval wants to feature, but applicants can submit project vehicles for any product except the GT500, the Raptor, or anything from Lincoln.
Bulgarian customizing house Vilner is good at creating evocative, high-quality, one-off vehicle interiors for its deep-pocketed customers. It is not, however, particularly adept at composing intelligible press releases in English. (Seriously, even if you don't generally look through pressers, this one is worth your two minutes.)
Ford has revealed a few images of five tuned Focus ST concepts that will be shown off at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this month. None of this group of five is overly subtle, which would run counter to the spirit of SEMA itself, and all hope to highlight the performance nature of Ford's newest hot hatch. In no particular order then, here are the quick-and-dirty facts on each car, in advance of the full details out of Vegas:
Gemballa went through the ringer last year, but rebounded with products that signal a complete turnaround. The latest is the recently-released Porsche 911 Carrera S with a Gemballa GT aerodynamics and technology package. Aero-wise, it includes carbon fiber additions beginning with a front bumper wearing the classic Gemballa air intake design and a lower, angrier splitter. New side skirts run from wheel to wheel, the final piece being a rear bumper in three sculpted horizontal sections featuring
German powerhouse tuner AC Schnitzer has spent some time fettling the new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé, the result being a 360-horsepower 640i sedan with all the restraint of a Mako shark. The additional grunt adds up to 40 hp for the 640i and 47 hp for the 640d, with said grunt made more finely tuned as it rides on Schnitzer's own spring kit and wheels that range from 19 to 21 inches in diameter.