Aston Martin releases hardcore V8 Vantage S

January 26th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Aston Martin has managed to extract even more power from its V8 Vantage model with a new S model released.

Under the bonnet the new coupe packs the same 4.7-litre V8 engine as its predecessors, but it comes packing a full 321kW of power and 490Nm of torque from the eight-pot motor. Shifting the gears is a new ground-up developed seven-speed SportShift II transmission specifically designed for the Vantage S. The high-tech single clutch gearbox offers even shorter ratios than previous models and combined with the high-output engine should push heads back into seats without issue.

Other upgrades for the Vantage S include a quicker steering rack and a new brake package with huge rotors and six-piston calipers up front to ensure you can put on the anchors when needed.

In terms of styling inspiration was drawn from the even mightier V12 Vantage and the race-bred Vantage GT4. At the front, a new bumper finished in carbon fibre houses a larger air intake feeding the engine and those massive brakes. New 19-inch V-spoke wheels are available as standard with an optional lightweight alloy to further reduce unsprung mass.

The Vantage S is available to order now from Aston Martin’s global dealership network. Continue reading “Aston Martin releases hardcore V8 Vantage S” »

Ferrari reveals radical new FF fastback with four-wheel drive and four seats

January 24th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ferrari enthusiasts have been hanging out for a replacement to the 612 Scaglietti and it has finally come in a most radical form. Taking over as Ferrari’s flagship grand tourer the new beast is named the FF, which is an acronym for Ferrari Four. The new FF is quite possibly the Italian company’s most practical-focused production model ever featuring seating and luggage space for four occupants, a new all-wheel drive system and a shooting brake body style. Only three photos have been released for now with the model scheduled for debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show with sales to follow later in the year.

Penned by famous design house Pininfarina, the FF is a large sports car measuring almost 5 meters in length and 2 meters in width. The long roofline, rear quarter styling and the car’s general proportions are classic in shape bringing to mind the legendary Ferrari 250 Breadvan. But under the sheetmetal it’s all modern and while there is no photos of the interior yet apparently the FF can take four occupants and offers 450 litres of cargo space in the hatch which expands to 800 litres with the rear seats folded down.

There is also various custom options for the FF including six model-specific exterior colors and interior trims.

It’s not just the styling that has tongues wagging with the FF introducing Ferrari’s first ever production four-wheel drive system. Named 4RM, it is said to weigh 50 percent less than other four-wheel drive systems, meaning a near perfect weight distribution of 47:53 has been maintained.

Under the long bonnet the FF is powered by a brand new 6.3-litre V12 engine with a direct injection set up and Ferrari’s HELE tech including a stop/start system. The 12-cylinder motor delivers 492kW at 8,000 rpm and comes mated to a dual-clutch F1 gearbox. In terms of performance Ferrari claims the FF can sprint from 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds and push on to a 335 km/h top speed, while returning a combined fuel economy of 15.4 l/100km. Continue reading “Ferrari reveals radical new FF fastback with four-wheel drive and four seats” »