Yet another SEMA Show gone by, yet another million plus square feet of sheer custom car insanity.
In a town where weird is normal, the masses of modified cars seem at home. Turbochargers the size of volleyballs are often wedged into Honda Civic engine bays and nobody bats an eye at airbrushed artwork of wolves and near-nude women. Despite the propensity for depravity that comes with a no-last-call town, SEMA is never anything short of a legendary gathering.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 cars of this year's show, hotly debated by the AutoGuide.com staff.
It's time to head back to Las Vegas for the biggest automotive aftermarket expo in the world. Featuring some of the most impressively modified cars imaginable, SEMA always gets the attention of those looking to add a little flair to their rides. The Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ will likely steal the spotlight again this year, as more vendors look to show off what they can do with the cheap and popular platform, but be sure to see what other automakers have been involved with, including Hyundai, which has made a habit of debuting a crazy concept at SEMA, and Lexus is reaching out to DeviantArt users for inspiration for its latest project.
AutoGuide’s spy photographers caught Lamborghini’s successor to the Gallardo making early morning laps of the Nurburgring in Germany today wearing very little camouflage.
Lamborghini’s Gallardo is a decade old and will soon retire to make way for its replacement: the Cabrera. Past reports suggest that the car will have 600 hp on tap through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which will offer Lambo buyers refinement that the Gallardo’s automated manual gearbox can’t.
Expect a massaged version of the same 5.2-liter V10 found in the Gallardo engine compartment. The new supercar is also expected to share its platform with the 2015 Audi R8. Extensive use of carbon fiber and aluminum are rumored to bring its curb weight down to 2,865 lbs in rear-wheel drive form. With the new car, Lamborghini is also expected to excuse manual transmissions from its product portfolio altogether, even ditching its 6-speed e-Gear transmission in favor of a new 7-speed dual clutch unit.
Geographically speaking, the Frankfurt Motor Show is one of the biggest auto shows in the world. Aside from being a venue to wear holes through countless pairs of sweaty dress socks, it's a place where a venerable collection of sheet metal is sure to arrive every two years.
If the 2013 show proves anything, it's that auto manufacturers are almost unanimously in love with two things: concept cars and hybrid drivetrains. Years ago, that idea would have been more depressing than drinking cheap drip coffee in Seattle.
Thankfully, hybrid drivetrains are much more than a way to save on gas these days. They're quickly being adapted to performance applications; sometimes with blistering results.
Check out AutoGuide.com's top 10 cars of the show and see what was the most impressive debut in Frankfurt
Roughly a decade after making its initial sales debut, the Lamborghini Gallardo still snags envious stares. Naturally, another special edition is in order.
Capitalizing further on the popularity of its Super Trofeo gentleman’s race series, the company just debuted the Gallardo LP570-4 Squadra Corse; a hotter version that borrows race-bred bits from the Super Trofeo race cars.
Lamborghini is asking $261,000 for the car, and buyers get a series of enhancements that make the car much more capable during track driving for that price. For example, it gets the same massive spoiler that Lamborghini says will offer up to triple the Gallardo’s downforce while cornering.
The engine hood also features a quick release system, which is also taken from the same race car. Both of those components are made of a carbon composite material, all of which helps keep its dry weight to 2,954 lbs. For reference, that’s 154 lbs lighter than a normal Gallardo LP 560-4.
It’s true that at 570 hp, the V10 isn’t breaking any new ground for the brand, but the ability to carry more speed through corners will make the car considerably faster on most tracks. It reaches 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.4 seconds and will hit 124 mph in 10.4 while the top speed is limited to 199 mph.
Oh, and there’s one more item this car shares with those you might have seen touring with Super Trofeo: Lambo’s E-gear, six-speed transmission.
Don’t expect to see very many people peeling themselves out of the low-slug seats; there are only 50 planned for production.
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