Look closely and you’ll see that the Maserati Quattroporte will get some nice visual upgrades for the next model year. The biggest changes for the four-door Mazzer, however, will be under the skin: the car is said to have new powertrain tech in the form of an eight-speed automatic transmission from Chrysler and two new forced induction engines from Ferrari. Whatever those engines are, we’ll see them on the floor in Detroit.
The Black Series moniker has only graced the best and the brightest (not to mention the craziest) creations to come from the AMG engineers–the 2007 CLK63 AMG, the 2009 SL65 AMG, the 2012 C63 AMG coupe–so it’s no surprise that the SLS AMG would get the same treatment. The 6.2-liter V-8 underhood gets massaged all the way up to 622 horsepower, and the car is festooned with enough go-fast and stop-short bits to make it look the part. Expect to pay a hefty price for it, however–around $340,000.
It was arguably a long time coming, but the American arm of Suzuki Motors decided to file for bankruptcy and close its doors this week. The company–perhaps most famous for its Sidekick SUV and its motorcycles (which aren’t affected by the bankruptcy)–dwindled to the nearly nothing in recent years, even after it released the critically acclaimed Kizashi sedan. It now faces a stack of bills as it attempts to buy back unsold inventory and shutter dealers (two-thirds of which sold five or fewer new cars a month).
Say it isn’t so: the Boss 302, arguably the best of the Ford Mustang variants, will go back into the history books at the end of this model year. Ford says the move was always in order, as the Boss 302 was only intended to be a limited-edition car. Even so, we’ll miss the car for its improvements in power and handling over the stock Mustang GT…and its take-no-prisoners exterior design.
Well, that was quick: the Jaguar F-Type has already hit the 2000 pre-order mark in the U.K., fully one-fifth of the cars Jag hopes to sell there in 2013. With success all but certain for the F-Type, Jag turned its efforts elsewhere and promised that it’ll pad out its lineup with manual transmissions (which could make it to the XF, and could have more than six forward gears), as well as the long-awaited ZF nine-speed box.
The hotly-anticipated Skyfall is out today, which means that it’s time for Mr. Bond to drive yet another Aston Martin on his way to saving Queen and country from certain death and destruction. In a tribute to our favorite martini-swilling good guy, we collected our favorite ten cars from the 23 James Bond films.
It was a good week for Mazda small cars, evidently: the Japanese automaker formally agreed this week to build an upcoming Toyota subcompact car at a plant in Mexico. At the same time, we hear that Mazda bosses are thinking about taking a subcompact car and tarting it up to Mini Cooper levels of refinement and luxury. Perhaps the proceeds from one subcompact venture could go to financing the other?
What We Drove This Week:
2013 Porsche Boxster S: “There may have been a time when the Boxster was seen as the junior Porsche, a car for those who couldn’t afford the real thing — meaning, a 911. The latest Boxster has taken several steps to bury that perception for good.”
2013 Buick Enclave: “The 2013 refresh was much needed, but the Enclave’s greatest strengths are still derived from the groundwork laid in 2007. The cosmetic tweaks and tech additions keep it competitive with the new rivals, but one thing’s for sure: The Enclave can’t wait another five years for its next update.”
2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid: “Now the Germans have outfitted their best-selling Jetta with a parallel-hybrid system and a lithium-ion battery, and the result is impressive.”
Four Seasons Acura ILX: “The 2.4-liter engine takes some blame for our hooligan driving, with its eagerness to rev and its smooth power delivery, but it’s our desire to row the six-speed gearbox that keeps us accelerating.”
Four Seasons BMW 328i: “There was little question whether the more powerful, sportier 335i Sport Line would outshine the 328i Luxury — it did — but what surprised many was how much more we preferred the old 3-series, as represented by a 2013 BMW X1.”