Another week of standout cars
McLaren MP4-12C Spider
This is without question the Ferrari 458 Spider’s arch rival, and with 625hp it is 55hp more powerful than the Italian drop-top.
The McLaren MP4-12C Spider also comes with a retractable hard top, and may be operated at speeds of up to 30km/h (19mph). The twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 engine sends its power and 600 Nm of torque through a seven-speed SSG dual-clutch transmission, enabling the 1,474kg (DIN weight) Spider to get from 0-62mph in 3.1 sec (the same as the 12C coupe) and reach a top speed of 204mph (329km/h) – 3mph less than its coupe sibling.
The base price for the MP4-12C Spider is £195,500 in the UK, and is ready for order. Deliveries are expected to start in November this year.
The fourth generation of Renault’s hot-selling Clio was revealed this week too. It is expected to be shown to the public at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, with its market launch expected early 2013.
One thing that stands out with the new Clio is its design. Its modern lines suit the new body very well, while the interior also seems to be a more inviting place than before. Available engines include a newly-developed turbocharged 0.9-litre three-cylinder engine producing 90hp, a turbo four-cylinder 1.2-litre engine producing 120hp, and a 1.5-litre diesel engine outputting 90hp.
There’s no word on availability of other engines in the near future, however the upcoming sports version – the Clio RS – should be equipped with another newly-developed turbocharged engine producing around 200hp.
2013 Shelby GT350
The 2013 Shelby GT350 is the first new Shelby since the passing of Caroll Shelby in May this year. Looking at its spec sheet, Caroll Shelby almost certainly would have given full approval on what it has to offer.
What makes this different from the previous GT350 is the availability of new colours, as opposed to just white with blue stripes. There is also a glass roof option, Recaro seats, and a modified custom rear valance.
Power comes from the same 5.0-litre V8 engine as the standard Mustang GT. Customers can have a naturally aspirated 430hp version, or opt for Ford Racing superchargers – rising outputs to either 535hp or 624hp. An optional cold air intake is available for the NA version which raises power to 450hp. While other options include a one-piece drive shaft, more powerful brakes, cooling enhancements, and interior upgrades.
Only 350 GT350s will be built for 2013, and prices are $26,995 (NA version) and $33,995 (supercharged versions). The prices are on top of the 2013 Ford Mustang GTs delivered to the Shelby factory in Las Vegas.
Mercedes Benz CLS Shooting Brake
After a long period of rumours, and leaked photos, Mercedes Benz finally took the wraps off their new CLS Shooting Brake. It is essentially a combination of four-door coupe and station wagon, and no doubt Audi and BMW will follow suit in trying to make versions of their own.
The CLS Shooting Brake is available as either; a CLS250 CDI (2.1-litre I4 turbo diesel, producing 204hp and 500 Nm of torque), a CLS350 CDI (3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel, producing 265hp and 620 Nm of torque), a CLS350 BlueEFFIECIENCY (3.5-litre V6 gasoline, producing 306hp and 370 Nm of torque), or CLS500 BlueEFFICIENCY (4.7-litre twin turbo V8, producing 408hp and 600 Nm of torque).
All cars are equipped with a seven-speed 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, as well as electro-mechanical power steering. The CLS350 CDI and CLS500 can be had with the optional 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
Mazda MX-5 facelifted
Mazda’s beloved MX-5 roadster has been given a mild facelift. It receives a new fog lamp bezel, chin spoiler, new body colours, 17-inch wheels, and a larger front grille.
While it still has the same 169hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as before, Mazda states that the throttle management has been adjusted for crisper throttle response.
By Alex Kisiri