McLaren MP4-12C: Mansory Works Their Magic

March 1, 2012

Aaah Mansory… Love ’em or loathe ’em, the German tuners always manage to serve up something that prompts immediate reactions from auto enthusiasts – either via shielding their eyes, staring in half-chuckling amazement or by simply clicking the ‘share’ button… of which I’m sure their latest go at the MP4-12C will illicit similar responses.

But ‘instant reactions’ is what Mansory is all about; boldly standing out in a crowd full of pablum-faced dullies and brushing away the conventional safety taste-nets that inhabit our motoring world… (at least that’s what I believe Mansory-owners tell themselves…) And yet, going by past efforts, this offering from Mansory almost seems watered-down and far less flamboyant… It should be violent purple with orange ostrich-hide accents and have matte gold, everywhere…

Set for unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, what we have here is their latest creation in the form of a heavily carbon-fibre’d (the mirror housings, wings, roof, front and rear apron), be-winged, blinged, tuned and re-sculpted MP4-12C – essentially, a ‘styling showcase’ to advertise their (many) various mods made available for the new McLaren. The car’s bodywork is 60mm wider than before and downforce is increased thanks to the various splitters and big wing out back. Also, Mansory claims their new side-sill design ‘steadies the airflow between the two axles’… just like a racecar..!

Tuning for the MP4-12C arrives in the form of an altered air filter, engine re-management and exhaust system to assist in the 670 bhp / 498 lb ft output to the wheels which, of course, have been enlarged to 20″ and 21″ respectively. 220 mph is said to be the Mansory MP4-12C’s new top speed now as well, which is only relevant if you live near one of the 2 or 3 places in the world where such speeds can be (somewhat-safely) achieved…

All in, not quite the blatantly vulgar look-at-ME offering that we’ve become accustomed to from the bespoke/visionary Mansory folks whenever an over-indulged ‘showcase’ creation is rolled out from them… Un-click some of those styling options from the build-spec sheet and you’d almost have a pretty tasty-looking McLaren on your hands. Mansory going slightly soft and displaying a new maturity on us…?!? Good heavens…

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com

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BMW ///M-Diesels: Frugal Mass For The Performance Poser

January 16, 2012

It was not too long ago that I lightly bemused with a BMW upper-management employee type at one of our city’s annual Auto Shows over how the used-to-be-motorsport-derived ///M Division had now been (seemingly) handed over to the brand’s Marketing Division, full-stop. He admittedly hinted that ///M has indeed ‘expanded’ its overall outlook and that, yes, the X6M and X5M were designed and marketed towards ‘a certain type of landscape navigator’. But when I (somewhat jokingly) asked how far this open throwing about of M-badges will go (seeing as how it was/has already damaged the ///M brand from a driver’s/petrolhead’s point of view) if the Marketing heads keep having their way with the family silver, it was at that exact moment when he freakishly morphed himself back into Company Robot Mode and started spouting off the familiar company-line commercial BS about ‘joy’ and ‘excitement’ and ‘no limits’ and other such robotic drivel…

After he was done, I half-laughingly said, “So, I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised then to see M-Diesels on the roads one day… eh.. ? Hardy har har…? ?”, as I chuckled, smiled, shook his hand and walked away… He just shrugged his shoulders and smirked.

That shrug and smirk made me feel uneasy back then for a reason… It’s official now folks: BMW ///M is now doing tri-turbo Diesels. Granted, this Diesel nonsense has been widely known/threatened for a few months now, what with ominous paper printouts and ‘mysterious’ BMW ads with chunky X6’s being hauled around in a ‘sportingly economical’ way, whatever that is…

...Because all X6 SUV owners readily pound the racetrack... mm, hmm.

The entire Diesel project has been unimaginitively dubbed ‘BMW Performance Automobiles’ (seriously) and will make its grand unveiling at the Geneva Show in March of this year. On tap to roll out will be the 5-series derived M550d xDrive followed by the much-maligned X6 M50d SUV of which both will feature 4-wheel drive and BMWs new 381hp, 546lb ft tri-turbo diesel engine. Combined fuel consumption for the 5-series variant is a quoted 44.8 mpg, but as we all know, those figures are never real-world figures.

The X6M - the answer to a question that no one asked.

Seeing as how these two new ‘Performance Automobile’ leviathans will weigh in excess of 2000 kg, it simply baffles the brain as to who, exactly, these cars are aimed at… Obviously, the none-too-bright and (as BMWs Marketing Division is well aware of) those that fit nicely within the ‘There’s one born every minute’ frame… and die-hard one-arm-stretched-out-over-the-wheel posers… of which there are many of in this confusing world.

The man helping to put the ///M into Marketing

Or, as M Division boss Dr. Friedrich Nitschke plummets – “We are targeting our efforts at customers looking for more emotionality and more performance, but who don’t want to forgo the everyday usability of their cars.” Riiiiiight…. thanks robot.

Well done BMW ///M – cha-ching..!

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


Mini: Making A Van – Finally..!

January 3, 2012

When glancing back at all of the Mini derivatives and show/concept cars that have cropped up over the last 8 years or so, it seems almost ludicrous that a Mini Cargo Van hasn’t entered into the list of appetite-whetting possibilities until now. Yet it seems that, finally, ze Germans have decided that now is that time…

The Mini has been here before...

The scene will be the Geneva Show in March and German Automotive sources (helps if you know a smidge of German) are predicting a 2-seater Clubman with the rear seats and other assorted gubbins taken out with the rear side-windows replaced, appropriately, with sheet metal.

...and it worked brilliantly back then.

It goes without saying that this Mini Cargo will be aimed at the hip commercial vehicle sector and to those that might want a new slice of the old – as the above pictures show, this isn’t the first time the Mini has been down this road. Should be interesting, nontheless… just as long as they refrain from chucking 19″ wheels on it and making it ‘sporty’.

$20 says they will.

Next up for Mini – the Mini pick-up…! (C’mon, you know you want one…)

-Blake J.
AutoInjected.com


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