The idea of stuffing a giant engine into the most inappropriate of spaces has been floating around for ages, with the Audi A1 Quattro this idea has been taken to something of an extreme.
The Audi A1 is a lovely little car. It’s small, unassuming, popular, well made and really good to drive. Its build quality is up there with Audi standards, as are its engines. Like the cars it shares its platform with (the SEAT Ibiza, Skoda Fabia & VW Polo, in case you didn’t know) it’s perfect for the hustle and bustle of the city.
However, unlike its VW Group stablemates, it doesn’t have a properly ‘hot’ variant. Yes, the 1.4TSI has the same engine as the SEAT Ibiza Cupra, VW Polo GTI and Skoda Fabia vRS, but it’s just another car in the line up. There’s no S1 lurking in the wings.
This is where the A1 Quattro comes in to play. Its tiny engine bay has been stuffed with the 2.0-litre turbo motor from the last generation Audi S3. Its 252bhp makes it, unsurprisingly, rather sprightly. It’ll see off the 0-62mph dash in 5.7seconds and hit 152mph.
Audi A1 quattro: Engine: 2.0-litre four cyl turbo petrol Power: 252bhp Torque: 258lb ft 0-60mph: 5.7seconds Top speed: 152mph
The first thank that catches your eye on the Mystère is the pink tinted chrome body wrap, which Hamann says, is “a color that exhibits nothing more but self-confidence”.
The package includes a wide-body kit comprising a front bumper with plenty of air vents and LED daytime running lights, smoked head- and tail-lamps, fender extensions with matching side skirts that add 80mm (3.2 inches) to the SUV’s width, a restyled rear-bumper and an available hood scoop.
You also get a unique front grille and 23-inch alloy wheels wrapped around rubber size 305/30/23, while other options include a lowering suspension module that drops the right height by 40mm (1.6 inches), sports exhaust with quad pipes, and all sorts of upgrades for the interior ranging from door sill trims to personalized leather upholstery.
General Motors rushed to update the Malibu for the 2014 model year with some light styling changes, while also improving interior space, and tweaking its powertrains and chassis.
Chevrolet designers re-did the sedan’s two-piece front grille that is now influenced by the Impala featuring a more prominent lower grille and a revised top part that connects with the hood. In addition, the rear light clusters gain a different design.
Moving on inside, the greatest change concerns the redesigned front seatbacks and the new cushion sculpturing and materials used on the rear seat bench, which help increase rear knee room by 1.25 inches (31.7 mm). The center console was also revised and now sports a longer armrest along with a pair of cup holders and dedicated storage for two cell phones.
Under the hood, the base 2.5-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine gains a standard start/stop technology contributing to an estimated 5-percent increase in city fuel economy, while the automatic transmission was also revised. The inline four delivers 196hp and 186 lb-ft (253 Nm) of torque, and returns 23 mpg city and 35 highway.
The 2014 Malibu’s available 2.0-liter turbocharged delivers nearly 14 percent more torque than its predecessor at 295 lb-ft (400 Nm), and an output of 259hp. According to GM, “the result is a stronger feeling of acceleration from a stop and a greater feeling of power on demand in almost all driving conditions.”
Rounding out the improvements for the 2014MY are the new Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert safety features.
Fitted with a 6.2-liter V8 engine that drives the rear wheels producing 576bhp – a whopping 150bhp more than the outgoing model, the new Vauxhall VXR8 GTS will be an interesting alternative to more expensive cars like the BMW M5 or the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
The new supercharged LSA V8 (identical to that used in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1) delivers 545 lb-ft (738 Nm) of torque, 140 lb-ft (190 Nm) more than the outgoing LS3-engined VXR8.
The engine is mated to an MG9 spec 6-speed manual gearbox with oil cooler and twin-plate clutch, but there’s also an optional 6-speed automatic transmission available.
As far as the design is concerned, there are no surprises: the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS is simply a rebadged Holden GEN-F GTS. The new VXR8 GTS starts at £54,999 (€64,300) in the UK, with the first deliveries scheduled for the end of this year.
Sebastian Vettel, 3-times Formula One world champion, paid Renault employees a visit in Boulogne-Billancourt, France. The perfect opportunity to visit the Z.E. Centre on Seguin Island, to test-drive ZOE and give Twizy Renault Sport F1 a go.
The first thing one notices is the increased width, which comes courtesy of a custom body kit specially designed to “flow seamlessly from the new front wings across specially designed side skirts into the broader body that consists of six pieces and continues around the rear wheels to the center rear panel, according to the Hamann press blurb.
The kit gets the desired look spot on, with lots of custom parts and noticeable LED lights on the front bumper. The other important part of the Tycoon II M experience is the boost in power.
They are able to ramp up the power to 661 hp and torque all the way up to 950 Nm – that will really put a strain on all four tires under strong acceleration. Still, that unwanted characteristic in a surefooted vehicle such as this, which has heavy reliance on electronics to ensure a safe experience, is also kept in check by the lowered suspension and very wide rims and tires.
Final things to note is the scary fact that its top speed is raised to 320 km/h (199mph).