No. 960
August 22, 2018

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On The Surface


JUNE 27, 2018

(Aston Martin images)
Aston Martin has introduced the DBS Superleggera. A nameplate that first appeared on in 1967, Italian coach builder Touring’s famous mark – Superleggera – will once again appear on an Aston Martin. Using sculpted carbon fiber body panels, the DBS Superleggera replaces the Vanquish S in Aston's lineup. It is powered by a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 with 725PS, 900Nm of torque, a top speed of 211mph, and acceleration of 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds and 0-100mph in 6.4 seconds. One more speed statistic? The DBS Superleggera goes 50-100mph in 4.2 seconds. Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer said: “DBS Superleggera not only marks the return of a great Aston Martin name, but signals our return to the very pinnacle of the Super GT sector... the new DBS Superleggera is every inch the Aston Martin flagship.” Yes, even though it is powered by an engine supplied by Mercedes-Benz, but who's counting? It will cost $304,995 when it arrives here later this year.
A new 7.2 kW charging system is the big news on the 2019 Chevrolet Volt. 
With the new 7.2 kW system, a complete recharge can be achieved in as little as 2.3 hours with a 240-volt outlet and supporting hardware. The new system is standard on the 2019 Volt Premier model and available on the LT trim. A 3.6 kW charger is standard on the Volt LT. The new charging system is part of the Volt’s extended-range electric propulsion system, which with a full tank of gas and a full charge offers an EPA-estimated 53 miles of pure EV range and 106 MPGe, or gasoline equivalent. When the Volt’s battery runs low, a gas-powered generator kicks in to extend the driving range to a total of 420 miles (675 km) on a full tank. The new system offers a number of additional enhancements for the 2019 Volt and increases the vehicle’s all-electric utility for owners who take advantage of “opportunity charging,” or plugging in around town to top off the battery charge. In addition to the new charging system, the 2019 Volt offers a number of enhancements. For those in colder climates who want to use as little gas as possible, the 2019 Volt allows activation of the automatic engine-assisted heating system to be deferred until much lower temperatures — minus 13 degrees / minus 25 degrees C — for more all-electric operation. The 2019 Volt also features new Low and Regen on Demand profiles that enable increased regenerative braking capability when drivers let off the accelerator pedal. A new Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system with an 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen incorporates a new Energy App. The app’s Impacts Screen shows drivers how driving style, route, weather conditions and cabin comfort setting may affect range and conveys the impact more intuitively based on mileage rather than the previous numerical “score.” The 2019 Volt also introduces its first power driver’s seat. The six-way seat is standard on Premier and available on LT models.
(Porsche images)
When 37-year-old Timo Bernhard crossed the finish line of the Nürburgring-Nordschleife on Friday morning (6/29) at the wheel of the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo he set a new, absolute, all-time track record with a blistering lap of 5 minutes and 19.55 seconds. (Watch the video . -WG) The two-time Le Mans winner and reigning World Endurance Champion beat the lap record on the revered 20.8 kilometer long German race circuit that had stood for 35 years. On May 28 in 1983, Stefan Bellof lapped the world-renowned track with a Porsche 956 C in a legendary time of 6:11.13 minutes. The Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo is a development of the Le Mans prototype with which Porsche won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as well as the FIA World Endurance Championship three times in a row – manufacturers’ and drivers’ titles respectively.

Father's Day in Beverly Hills.

By Tom Pease

Los Angeles. Way back in 1993, someone had the bright idea that for Father’s Day, the City of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee would shut down Rodeo Drive to traffic and have a show of classic cars. Not just any classic cars, but some of the rarest and most beautiful ever seen, many from private collections rarely open to the public. Thus was born the Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance.

Do I have to type that I’ve been to every one?

This year was the Silver anniversary. So of course the theme of the 400 block was silver cars - ranging from Adam Carolla’s 1965 Lamborghini 350 GT to the Mullin Auto Museum’s Bugatti EB1 - with everything in between.

As in each year, everything was in between, literally. The ends of the event are reserved for sponsored stands, on the North by Ferrari and Aston Martin (Okay the new one is drool-worthy) and on the south by Tesla and Lexus. I didn’t waste much time on these ends because I have a decent chance of being hit in a cross-walk in Beverly Hills by any of those. I also didn’t linger because although the width and breadth of the 2, 3 and 400 blocks of Rodeo have not grown, the number of people who are attending has. I was there spot on at 10:00 a.m. and it was already crowded. I can’t imagine what it would have been like at say, 2:00 p.m.

In any event, I've attached a few snaps I took before the camera battery died (note to self, spare battery next year) and I fled to the local Coffee Bean for an ice-blended.

The 2019 Concours d’Elegance should be Sunday, June 16. It will be, once again, a fun event and free, but bring sunscreen, water and patience. 
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