Week In Review: Ferrari Hybrids, Hyper-Expensive Sedans, and Chinese Auto Shows
The biggest story of the week was the Beijing Auto Show. No longer a backmarker on the show circuit, Beijing is rapidly becoming a must-attend event for automakers and auto journalists alike. And, not surprisingly, there were some pretty major announcements, and a few sneak peeks of what we might expect to see in the not-to-distant future from the world's automakers. But there's more. Did you know that the Ferrari F12Berlinetta, a car that Ferrari itself says will be its fastest ever, is also a hybrid? 'S true. And did you also know that you don't have to sacrifice fuel economy for crossover hauling capability? 'S also true. And do you have enough money for a $2 million dollar sedan? Because there's one coming from Bugatti. Monday, April 23 If you're shopping for a new vehicle, there's a good chance you're looking at crossovers, those ubiquitous not-quite-an-SUV but not-quite-a-car combinations that are everywhere these days. But what about fuel economy? With gas prices spiraling skyward, even family haulers need to be fuel efficient. Luckily, passenger space, cargo room and fuel economy aren't mutually exclusive, and you can still get all three in one vehicle. We've compiled a list of the 10 most fuel efficient two-row (that is, five-passenger) crossovers you can buy. Tuesday, April 25 Trying to dismiss hybrids as a passing fad, or as some sort of government controlled project, or whatever paranoid-conspiracy you choose, all just got a lot harder. No, not because hybrids have been adopted by Porsche, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. Now Ferrari is in the game, and if you think that hybrid technology is just for eco-weenies, keep in mind that the system Ferrari introduced on its F12Berlinetta is derived from its Formula 1 race car efforts. That's right: The fastest Ferrari ever made will use a hybrid system that Ferrari already uses on the best race cars in the world. Wednesday, April 25 Not too long ago, the words "Beijing Auto Show" would be the punchline to an offensive joke. But those days are long gone. Not only is the Chinese domestic automobile manufacturing sector getting more sophisticated by the day, but the Chinese new car market is second only to the U.S....and will likely surpass it in a few years. So now, EVERYBODY is in the game, and the Beijing show is one of the biggest in the world. Of course, not every single car shown in Beijing will come our way, but some will, and others preview what we may see. So we compiled a list of things that are likely to head our way, someday. Thursday, April 26 The Ford Escape is all new for 2013, and all new for the first time since its 2000 model year introduction. We'll save the "it's about time" stuff for another time, but with sales of the old model still holding strong, the Escape is an important car for the Blue Oval despite its age. The new one is as better as 12 years of product development can make a vehicle (turns out, that's a lot), and the fuel economy is pretty awesome, too. Each of the new Escape's three engines gets at least 30 mpg on the highway, putting it at the top of its class in fuel economy. Friday, April 27 Finding the right words to describe the next Bugatti, the ultra-expensive Bugatti 16C Galibier, is difficult, even for a seasoned writer. How can anyone adequately describe a car like this? With a potential price tag that could top $2 million, this incredibly opulent sedan has, well, everything. Seriously. Its styling is from another time, maybe 20 years into the future. But its craftsmanship seems to stretch back centuries. It even has its own watch, with one hell of a carrying case. With a picture being worth a thousand words, and 24 frames per second, that works out to 6,816,000 words. Check it out.
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