Important sportscar launches for 2013
Recession is a world which the wealthy of the world haven’t heard. 2013 will see a host of new sportcars and while most of them won’t make it to India, four of the five cars we have featured in this article are possibly headed our way. While most of us would never be able to see these cars on roads, there is a growing number of millionaires in India which have enough space in their garage to fill it up with these supercars.
Aston Martin DB9
The Aston Martin DB9 is the Virage replacement and will come as both a Coupe and Convertible. The DB9 is lighter, faster and sharper to look with a front grille that is hard to miss. At the front are LED lights, chunky side-skirts and 20-inch alloy wheels. The DB9 is a gorgeous car like all contemporary Aston Martins. The interiors have generous hand-stitched leather with excellent material and finish. The central console is well laid out and the interiors have both a sporty and luxurious feel to them.
At the heart of the matter is a 6-litre, V12 which produces 515PS and 620Nm of torque. There is an increase of 42PS and 20Nm compared to before and matched to the engine is a 6-speed manual paddle shift gearbox which makes the car accelerate to 100kmph in 4.6seconds.
Aston Martin’s CEO, Dr Ulrich Bez believes the DB9 is one of the best looking Astons around and unlike other cars from the manufacturer the DB9 would be more comfortable to drive around in the town. The steering isn’t too heavy and the car uses a three-stage adaptive damping system. The Normal, Sport and Track modes allows you to change the character of the DB9 and the suspension is softer than the Virage but on the track the car maintains composure and balance. There is a separate Sport mode for gearshift-points and throttle. The DB9 uses carbon brakes which under heavy braking are brilliant. The DB9 overall is modern with a sense of occasion. Like how all Astons should be.
Aston Martin Vanquish
Don’t confuse between the Aston Martin Vanquish and the DBS. These two cars are completely different but as their CEO puts it, “Why would we make an Aston Martin any different? You don’t just make something new for the sake of it, you make something better.” The Vanquish in 2013 will be the second most expensive Aston in India and according to their CEO, "The Vanquish is the ultimate expression ofAston Martin design ethos, engineering innovation and technical ability. I believe the car unveiled today once again puts this great British brand at the top of its class."
Designed by Ian Callum, the styling has the low-slung stance look and the body is made of carbon fibre. At the front is a small grille with a carbon front splitter and the bonnet has air vents. The headlamps are stylish and have LED daytime running lamps while at the rear are LED tail-lamps. The Vanquish is muscular to look at with chrome tail pipes and at the side are the butterfly doors. The cabin is a piece of art and the centre console takes inspiration form the One-77 with touch-sensitive glass buttons. The cabin has high-quality leather and you can opt for One-77 steering wheel, an exclusive carpet, a carbon fibre dashboard, carbon steering paddles, a carbon fibre exterior roof panel, 20inch alloy wheels and red brake disc callipers. Space for the front passengers is good and from the steering you can adjust the suspension settings, throttle response, exhaust note and gearbox ratios.
The 6-litre V12 engine and delivers 570PS and 620Nm and has variable valve timing. Acceleration to 100kmph takes 4.1seconds and low end torque is brilliant. The engine is matched to a 6 speed automatic gearbox and the acceleration is quicker than the DBS and the Jaguar XKF-S. The Vanquish is a supercar in the true sense and the V12 naturally aspirated engine is a blast. The exhaust note is brilliant and the car has a top speed of 300kmph. The aluminum-alloy chassis uses carbon-fibre which reduces weight and car with adaptive front and rear dampers. The suspension settings include Normal, Sport and Track mode and the chassis is stiffer than the DBS. Handling can be enjoyed only on the track to really appreciate it but ride understandably is stiff.
Audi R8 V10 plus
Audi will be launching the R8 supercar next year and the design changes include redesigned front and rear bumpers. The headlamps have LED head lights and the front grille is new too along with the wing mirrors, front splitter and rear diffuser all of which are made of carbon fibre. There are chrome inserts on the front bumper and the soft top on the convertible variant opens and closes in 19 seconds. Changes to the cabin include more use of chrome and the spacious interior retains its curve on the dashboard and has a smart multi-function steering wheel. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System comes as standard.
The 5.2-litre uses a naturally aspirated V10 motor which produces 550PS. Power has increased by 25PS which makes it accelerate to 100kmph in 3.5seconds. Acceleration is quicker by .3seconds now compared to before. The top speed is limited to 350kmph and Audi has improved the single-clutch robotised manual R tronic gearbox. There is also a seven-speed S tronic dual clutch automatic gearbox. Ride and handling are brilliant with the double wishbone front suspension made from aluminium. The sportscar also comes with magnetic ride adaptive damping and with the use of carbon fibre the car is 50kg lighter. Also standard are the fade-resistant carbon ceramic brakes while the 4WD Quattro system is rear wheel biased.
The F-Type will be back next year. Considered to be the most beautiful sports car of the 60’s, the F-Type was also a champion on the race track and this is the first 2 seater from Jaguar in 5 decades. First unveiled at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year, the F-Type is based on the C-X16 concept car.
Designed by Ian Callum, the F-Type is simple yet beautiful. “Simplicity is also sophistication. A simple song or painting takes a lot of time.A beautiful single line takes a long time than complicated strokes. You can make it simple boring, interesting complicated but ugly. I see a lot of cars like that,” said Callum. At the front are the vertical day time running LED running lamps and theF-type is close to the C-X16 concept car. The bonnet has an aggressive bulge and the front bumper has double blades. The forward leaning grille is typical of Jaguar and the rear has narrow tail lamps along with a deployable spoiler.
The interiors are designed around the driver and the bit we like the most is the grab handle that comes out from the centre console. The cabin has a cockpit like design with how the gearshifter is designed and also the air-con dials. The cabin seats two and there is an ‘Engine Start’ button along paddle shifters on the 3 spoke flat bottom steering. The tachometer has bold numerals and the fabric roof can raise or lower itself in only 12 seconds.
The F-type comes with a 3-liter supercharged V6 that produces 345PS while the ‘S’ version develops 385PS. Acceleration to 100kmph takes 5.3seconds and 4.9seconds for the two engines respectively and this engine is based on the larger V8. Jaguar will also be offering a supercharged 5-liter, V8 developing 500PS which reaches 100kmph in 4.2seconds. All models for get a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox and there will be a manual version too. The ‘S’ variant and the V8 has an active exhaust system and this sportscar uses an all lightweight aluminium architecture. The rear-wheel drive F-Type has a 50/50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles and the V8 is uses an active electronic differential. There is also an option of a ‘Dynamic’ mode that sharpens the throttle responses and alters the steering weight.
Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettel
The Infiniti FX Sebastian Vettlel is the SUV to buy if you are looking for something completely unique. Its one of the few SUV’s which can hit 280kmph and the car which bears the triple world champion name uses a 5-litre which produces 418PS.
Vettel already has an FX50 as his personal car and to the FX has been added a body kit designed to reduce drag. The car also uses carbon fibre to reduce weight and the front grille is different to the road going version. The front apron, side sills and the rear diffuser are new as well. The 21-inch alloys are lighter and this special edition SUV is available only in white. In the cabin you get re-trimmed leather and Alcantara upholstery.
The V8 on its massive 5-litre engine has a tweaked ECU and there is also a free flowing exhaust. Matched to the engine is a seven-speed automatic gearbox which has a Sport mode and the steering also has paddles shifters. The ride is on the stiff side but isn’t bad and to improve handling the dampers are 20mm lower. Unfortunately the tyres, brakes and suspension are identical to the standard car.