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New Chevrolet Camaro Convertibles?!

Chevrolet and Neiman Marcus team up this year to make one very special item for their annual christmas book.  The Neiman Marcus Edition Chevrolet Camaro Convertible.

A pretty special Camaro SS Convertible

Every year Neiman Marcus publishes its christmas book full of limited and special edition items just for the holiday season and this year they have put together a truly special product.  Too bad you’ll never have one.  At least not until one of only 100 owners decides to sell theirs because all 100 of the Special Edition Neiman Marcus Camaro Convertibles were sold-out in just 3 minutes.

At first I thought, well here we go.  Another Chevy marketing ploy.  For instance, I never wanted to own a Convirtablel Camaro, until I read about some of the features this Limited Edition Camaro comes with.

In the Spring of 2011, just after the 2011 Camaro arives in showrooms, the owners will be able to take delivery of SS model convertibles with a 6.2-liter, V-8 engine with 6-speed manual or automatic.  But the juicy bits come on the exterior package inspired by the luxury brand of Neiman Marcus itself.  Each will come with an exclusive Deep Bordeaux exterior color, accented by subtle, “ghosted” rally stripes. The exterior color is complimented by a matching fabric top and windshield frame finished in matte silver, both also exclusive to the Neiman Marcus edition.

As you can see, a truy pretty combination.  Worth the $75,000 price tag?  Who knows.  Certainly not for a Camaro, but for a limited edition of just 100 with such beautiful color combinations…yeah.  Im in.

Top Gear USA Trailers

 Here are the 2 new videos for the US version of one of my favorite shows on TV Top Gear . Its set to premier on Sunday November 21st make sure you dont miss it. From the looks of the videos these guys are as gitty and excited as we all are, lets just hope its half as good as its European version.

Via: Jalopnik

2010 Nissan GT-R vs 2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1: GT-R for the win!

After posting the anticipation one Up Shift writer has for 2012 Nissan GT-R that will debut at the LA Auto Show this year it wasn’t long before a Corvette fan had a few words to say.  And much like the Corvette his points were massively loud and didn’t get anywhere quick.

Now before you start sharpening your sticks allow me to make a few points.

I decided to go to website of Motor Trend, whom every good enthusiast knows, loves some American iron.  What I found is that there are some differences that are very small and some very between the two.  But it’s the extremes, the biggest and the smallest that made up my mind.

I’m not going to jump on the displacement soap box because it’s a pointless debate in this comparison.  What the two power-plants produce however is not.  The GT-R gives you 485HP 153 less than the ZR1’s dumbfounding 638HP.  The GT-R will only give you 430lb-ft of torque, 174 less than the 604 lb-ft of the ZR1.   At 3,814lbs the GT-R has the curb weight of a beached whale some 490lbs heavier than the 3,324lb ZR1.  Some of that extra weight comes from the fact that the GT-R has a gas tank that is 1.5 gallons bigger.

Then there the suspension dimensions.  Don’t worry, I won’t make you put your thinking cap on.  In fact it’s pretty simple to understand.  The GT-R has a slightly longer wheelbase and a narrower track width in both the front and rear compared to the ZR1.  It’s taller as well.  So flat cornering should be thrown out the window next to the lower and wider Corvette.

Up until now you would think that I was making a case for the mighty domestic, but you would be wrong.  You see there are many ways to approach the whole idea of building a car and, to use a bit of hyperbole, the ZR1 comes from what I would call the Cave Man school of thought.  It walks heavy and carries a very large club.  But the GT-R is, in the opinion of many automotive journalists, is simply a phenomenon of engineering.  That’s why the GT-R manages 2 miles per gallon more on the highway.

But if you remember I told you this was all about the extreme differences.  In all honesty, they are the ones that matter the most as well.  The number I came across that was the smallest difference between the GT-R and ZR1 was their respective lap times on the Nurburgring.  7:26.7 and 7:26.4.

Side Note:  Rumors put a very nice compound of rubber on the ZR1 for that lap which some questioned but GM says it is OEM stock equipment, and we will honor that claim.  However its also been documented that the engineers in charge of prepping the GT-R for its laps said that the car should not have been run because of maintenance that had not been conducted on the transmission and displayed failures after the lap, though no failures could be recorded during the lap.

That having been said the GT-R was not able to beat the ZR1 that day.  Instead it had to settle for 3 tenths of a second behind the GT-R.  Now try balancing that against the other extreme.  The largest difference between the GT-R Premium, as tested, was its price at $83,040.  The ZR1’s price $106,880.  A $23,840 wallet crippling price jump for just .03 seconds on the score board.

Now I’ve seen a lot of people spend a lot of money to get more speed and more power.  Now I haven’t had the chance yet to drive a ZR1 and I think we can all agree you don’t really have to understand that 600+HP would be a blast of a drive and that the car should handle like a dream.  But you would have to be pretty desperate or out of your mind to spend almost $24K for what looks like the same outcome.

2012 GT-R to make debut at LA Auto Show

Today Nissan North America (NNA) announced that the new Nissan GT-R will make its first North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show on November 17th. The latest version of the redesigned GT-R comes with with enhanced performance and refreshed exterior and interior treatments. It will be labeled as a 2012 model when it goes on sale  in the United States and Canada in early 2011. Full details on the North American version of the Nissan GT-R will be available at the Los Angeles show later next month.



Lotus looks to Upmarket Brand

Lotus Elan

In an interview this week from Autocar Wolf Zimmerman- Lotus Engineering Chief, stated that Lotus plans to raise its quality to the standards set by supercar makers such as Ferrari, Aston Martin and Lamborghini. Lotus is set to use rivet-bonded aluminium spaceframes and part-stressed aluminium skins on all five of the sports cars it revealed in Paris, the Elan, Elite, Espirt, Eterne and the Elise. Zimmerman also stated that the Elise’s 2.0 powerplant will no longer be supplied from Toyota even though the V8 and V6 motors will still be sourced from them.

AMS runs their beastly 9 second GTR

The guys over at AMS are not new to the game as Im a particular fan of the AMS EVO VIII but they still never cease to amaze. Equipped with their Alpha 10 Package they have bolstered the GTR to a monstorous 1,100HP that thunders through the 1/4 mile in a blinding 9.3 seconds at 153MPH. Check out the video that uses the dramatic score from the movie Inception to setup a dynamic feel for such a rediculously fast Skyline that is sure to please.

AMS Alpha 10 GT-R goes 9.3@153 MPH – Full video from AMS Performance.com on Vimeo.