For the past decade, British-based supercar builder McLaren has been busily pumping their race-bred technical heritage into exclusive, adrenaline-rushing two-seaters that compete with Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Porsche. And they’re doing just fine, thank you.
The 600LT, or “Longtail.” The LT designation harkens back to the company’s legendary 1997 F1 GTR, known as much for its long silhouette as its blistering performance. Over time, the nickname blossomed into a badge of distinction:
Today’s new 600LT (and its convertible Spider sibling) are only the fourth (and fifth) McLarens to receive the LT label.
McLaren reps say the car is the “most extreme incarnation” of their Sports Series lineup ever. Those words are praise as well as cautionary advice. The 600LT is purpose-built to excel on race circuits, delivering raw thrills and exhilaration to skilled drivers who like dancing on the razor’s edge.
McLaren is legendary for their innovative use of lightweight carbon fiber in chassis and bodywork – including the 600LT’s front splitter, side sills, extended diffuser and fixed rear wing – which contribute to a weight of just 2,750 pounds and a massive 220 pounds of downforce. There’s also their Formula One-derived handling and suspension systems (including McLaren Variable Drift Control for stability).
Let’s not forget McLaren’s equally legendary powertrain technology. The 600LT’s 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 delivers 592 hp (600PS) and 457 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels via a superb seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Light, agile and dynamic, the 600LT puts all that tech to good use, sprinting 0-62 mph in an eye-watering 2.9 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 204 mph.
Interested buyers should be aware that the window on the 600LT’s 12-month production schedule in Woking, Surrey, has closed. The door to the Spider is still open but not for long. Can you say “exclusivity”? Pricing starts at around $240,000, so contact McLaren Houston or McLaren Dallas to learn more on your available options.
Last week, CEO Mike Flewitt announced a new member of the McLaren Ultimate Series family: an open cockpit roadster that yes, we are already ready to test drive.
We don’t know too much about this reveal, but from what’s been shared McLaren is clearly continuing their mission to create the ultimate driving machine- and this new roadster offers the purest driving experience to date.
Their last few releases included the McLaren Senna, the 600LT and 600LT Coupe, and the New Grand Tourer, all of which have caused waves in the supercar community. Earlier this year Park Place told the story of McLaren enthusiast and owner, Josh Snowhorn, as he took delivery of his barely-street legal McLaren Senna- a sibling in the Ultimate Series. As we sit eagerly awaiting his track-ready creation, this ultimate roadster is now top of mind as McLaren hasn’t released full details yet.
What We Know:
McLaren’s Ultimate Roadster is set to debut in 2020
the new ultimate series model is still unnamed
the design will be distinct from its siblings, the Senna and Speedtail
production is limited to 399
two-seater with low-profile dihedral doors
this roadster will sport the lowest kerb weight of any McLaren road car
performance guaranteed by the same twin-turbo V* engine in the Senna
One things for sure and Mike Flewitt said it best “At McLaren Automotive we are consistently pushing the boundaries to deliver the purest and most engaging driving experience whether for the road or track.”
So the next thing to do is sit back, relax, and begin to configure your dream superseries roadster until it’s official reveal in 2020. Until then, stay tuned to McLaren Dallas and McLaren Houston for more information.
Like the powerful western Mediterranean winds that inspired its name, Maserati’s Levante lineup has been redefining the SUV landscape since its 2016 debut. It’s a stupendously fun hauler that’s not just a head-turner but an aural masterpiece that roars like its Ferrari cousin, handles like its sexy Ghibli sibling and seats five in splendor.
The latest family member, the Levante GTS, boasts a 550 hp 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine assembled by Ferrari in Maranello that sprints from 0-60 mph in four seconds to a top speed of 181 mph.
The GTS is sibling to the top-of-the-line 590-horsepower Levante Trofeo V8, which scoots from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds to a top speed of 187.
They join the base Levante and Levante S, both equipped with V6 engines that, while not as cracklingly snarly as the V8s, still provide plenty of pep (345 and 424 hp, respectively). And like all Levante SUVs, the powerplants are mated to the superlative, creamy-smooth eight-speed ZF gearbox.
On the road, a Levante feels firmly connected thanks to a double-wishbone, five-link suspension system with air springs and electronically controlled shock absorbers — what Maserati has dubbed “Skyhook.” In concert with Maserati’s Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel-Drive System, a Levante is remarkably nimble and balanced when roaring through tight curves, accelerating onto a freeway and, yes, even off-roading.
Whatever the model, Levante cabins are sublimely tailored, rich with hand-stitched leather and wood surroundings that make for an indulgent yet playful experience.
The base Levante and Levante S are available in two option packages: the GranLusso is focused on luxury, while the GranSport is more about engaging driving dynamics.
Pieno Fiore natural leather is standard in the Levante Trofeo, available as an option on all Levantes and comes in three colors (red, black and tan) with specific stitching on the seats and double-stitching on door panels. There’s also optional Ermenegildo Zegna silk inserts made in Trivero with a patented process that sounds fancy and expensive.
Available interior trims include open-pore regimental wood veneer, 3D matte carbon fiber or high gloss metal net weave
Exteriors come in a rainbow of delicious-sounding colors: Grigio Metallo, Verde Ossido, Nero Ribelle, Blu Passione, Rosso Rubino and Bianco Alpi. The optional Blu Nobile sparkles with glass flakes when exposed to sunlight.
Maserati also offers three brand-new high-gloss interior veneers, and the MTC+ infotainment system has been enhanced with updated display graphics and improved climate control system ergonomics.
“Best Full-Size luxury SUV” – Texas Auto Writers
That the Levante lineup is impressive shouldn’t really come as a surprise: essentially, it’s as close as we’re going to get to a Ferrari SUV.
What is surprising is that their latest, the GTS, was chosen last year as “SUV of Texas” and best “Full-Size Luxury SUV,” by the Texas Auto Writers Association.
Yes, you read that right – Texas, where Ford sells more F-150s than anywhere else in … the … world.
Sports car aficionados and automotive media types alike have been falling all over themselves with praise for the Mercedes-AMG GT family. And for good reason.
First, there’s the lineup’s superb, no-nonsense precision performance. Then there’s the sleek, muscular architecture that makes the cars seem to quiver just while standing still. Put those va-va-voom looks and vroom-vroom delivery together and voila! A one-two punch of epic proportions.
And now, for 2020, comes the latest iteration of their fire-breathing, mind-blowing flagship: the AMG GT R PRO.
The PRO’s snarling AMG V-8 (585 hp, 516 lb-ft of torque) and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission are unchanged (and shared with the less-fierce but still formidable GT R). The PRO, however, features tuning revisions translated from AMG’s GT3 and GT4 race cars, an adjustable coil-over suspension and tweaks to both the gearbox and limited-slip differential. Aerodynamic carbon fiber enhancements like front fender vents (or “gills”), an adjustable front axle sway bar and a fixed rear spoiler, all contribute to improved downforce and a 0-60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds.
These enhancements helped AMG GT3 racing driver Maro Engel swoop the 2020 PRO around Germany’s famed Nürburgring North Loop in exactly 7.04.632 minutes – six seconds better than the previous PRO. In track time, that’s an eternity.
And even if you’re not a track rat, who can resist that race-inspired paint job of Gloss Light Green and Selenite Grey Magno?
The PRO is a purpose-built vehicle in that it’s designed primarily for track performance. As such, production is limited to just 750 units globally, with about 150 aimed at the U.S. market. For those lucky enough to snag a PRO, the rewards will be exclusivity, staggering performance and impressive leaderboard track stats.
Pricing starts at $199,650 with delivery expected in late 2019. Did you know that Park Place Motorcars is certified AMG Performance Center? Visit our showroom to experience AMG customization and performance for yourself.
Park Place Premier Collection, part of the Park Place Dealerships group, has added Karma Dallas to its selection of luxury brands on Lemmon Avenue. Karma Automotive chose Park Place because of its 32 years of luxury automotive experience as Karma looks to expand their specialized retailers in several key U.S. markets.
“Karma is an electric brand with their sights set on growing the luxury mobility experience,” said Ken Schnitzer, Chairman of Park Place Dealerships. “The release of the 2020 Revero GT luxury electric vehicle this year and then the all-new fully-electrified global platform in 2021 will appeal to our client base who enjoy impressive engineering and design. Dallas is one of only 18 Karma dealers across the United States and is poised to electrify high-performance drivers across Dallas/Fort Worth.”
By establishing Karma in the U.S., the world’s most demanding luxury market, Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou says he believes the company can succeed anywhere.
“To win in our luxury electric vehicle niche, it’s not enough to simply offer a great product and owner experience, we must also be sure we establish distribution points in the right places,” said Zhou. “By gradually expanding our presence this way I am confident our company – and our products – will be well prepared for the world’s discerning luxury buyer of the future.”
Based in Southern California, Karma Automotive designs are rooted in the nature around them. Karma’s vehicles offer timeless design powered by electricity, fuel and the sun. Their vehicles are unapologetically conspicuous in their beauty and uncommonly light in their footprint. Which offers an unparalleled ownership experience, focused on the discerning buyer.
Karma Automotive currently offers the 2019 Revero, the ultimate plug-in hybrid sedan, at a starting price of $130k. The Revero contains a 403-horsepower electric motor and a 235-horsepower generator to charge the mid-mounted lithium-ion battery. The solar roof of the Revero isn’t just for show. It was developed to charge the 12v battery as well as the high-voltage battery, adding to the electric range. Mother Nature will provide enough power for 500-1000 miles per year.
Later this year, Karma will start delivering the updated 2020 Revero GT. The GT offers similar capabilities as its predecessor while boosting its electric driving range to 80 miles and extending to 380 miles with the highly efficient three-cylinder onboard generator.
Karma combines stunning design and a dominant presence with their electric vehicles. This is truly present in the badges of each vehicle, all of which are painted by hand and set in a precision-machined ring of aluminum. Look closely and you may notice some subtle differences between each unique piece, so every car made is truly one of a kind.
Karma Automotive designs, engineers, and markets luxury electric vehicles, all from its Southern California base of operations. Founded in 2014 and employing nearly 1,000 people worldwide, Karma Automotive is committed to elevating and growing the luxury mobility experience for its customers and draws on global relationships and technology partners to achieve this.
About Park Place Dealerships
Ken Schnitzer founded Park Place Dealerships in 1987 with a single Mercedes-Benz dealership on Oak Lawn. Today, Park Place Dealerships employs more than 2,100 people and operates 17 full-service dealerships representing luxury brands including Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, McLaren, Maserati, and now Karma, one of the most luxurious electric cars in the world. For more info, visit parkplace.com.
Update July 2019: Porsche has officially announced that the Mission E is now the Porsche Taycan, which translates to “lively young horse”, referencing the center of the Porsche crest.
“The new electric sports car is athletic and performance-oriented; a car that is capable of longer distances, and represents freedom”, explains Oliver Blume, CEO of Porsche AG. Here comes the first electric sports car with the soul of a Porsche.
The Future of Porsche Sportscars
The future of Porsche Sportscars looks absolutely stunning with the first ever purely electric sports car in the performance brand’s history showcasing a combination of revolutionary tech and a futuristic exterior- all while remaining true to the epic Porsche style of the past 70 years. The Porsche Mission E Concept project head, Stefan Weckbach, notes that Porsche expertise lies in the “complex, efficient, and high-performance powertrains” similar to the iconic and truly rare 918 Spyder or 919 Hybrid.
Performance and Powertrains:
Take one look at the Mission E Concept specs and it’s unmistakably a sportscar. The exterior shows futuristic elements and upgrades to the aesthetics without hiding the iconic Porsche proportions. As with Porsche sports cars, the technology used is based on motorsports tech. For example, the two PSMs (permanent magnet synchronous motors) propel the front and rear axles, forward and conserve energy when braking are similar to those found in the 919 Hybrid that won Le Mans, one of the oldest endurance, sports car races.
The Mission E is a powerful concept with over 600hp that can go 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, and further up to 124 mph in less than 12.
Dynamic Driving: Avoiding the Straight and Narrow
According to Porsche, the essence of Porsche is truly experienced driving down “winding roads” and hugging tight corners. The Mission E Concept candidly agrees with that assertion. The specs show that the battery lies flat throughout the underbody to lower the sportscar’s center of gravity and enhance lateral dynamics. The even weight distribution achieves a balance between the front and rear of the concept car, allowing the all-wheel-drive system and Porsche Torque Vectoring to operate to their full potential.
What is Porsche Torque Vectoring: PTV Works to actively enhance vehicle dynamics and stability. Operating in conjunction with a rear differential lock, it works by intelligently braking the rear wheels as the situation demands. For the driver, this means strong resistance to destabilizing side forces, outstanding traction, and great agility at every speed – with precise turn-in and well-balanced load transfer characteristics. What else? Tremendous fun in the corners.
The Taycan is race track ready with an equipment closet containing an active suspension derived from the 911 chassis. According to Porsche.com, expectations are high for this full-electric sportscar concept to lap the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring in less than 8 minutes.
What is the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring? A 150,000 person capacity motorsports complex located in Germany with four track configurations including the Nordschleife, which is 14.73 miles long. Porsche broke the lap record earlier this year with Timo Bernhard at the helm, clocking in at 5:19.55 driving a Porsche 919 Evo.
Everyday Practicality in 15 Minutes
Not only has Porsche doubled the standard charging voltage to 800 volts, but they have subsequently reduced the charging time. The Lithium-ion battery powers the car for more than 300 miles on a single charge, and only needs 15 minutes to recharge for 250 miles worth of range. Appropriately called turbo-charging, the 800-volt technology will be installed in charging stations along German freeways. But, do not fret if the 800-volt station isn’t available; the Mission E can be charged with the conventional 400-volt station or in its own garage.
The Designer’s Dream
There has not been a Porsche created that doesn’t reflect the brand’s heritage, making it an instantly recognizable machine. Aptly deemed, “Thrillingly different, yet reassuringly familiar,” the Mission E Concept reflects that tradition with distinct innovations like integrated aerodynamics. Integrated air channels enhance airflow around the wheels to reduce excess pressure and the risk of lift. The new concept evokes memories of the 918 Spyder with its arrow-like front, the 911 with its distinctive front fenders, and the 911 GT3 RS with broad recess runs from the overlapping front hood over the roof.
What’s new? Even more discreet design. The Matrix LED headlights hover within the air intakes. The four points surround a flat sensor used for driver assistance systems, with a border that serves as a turn signal. The flow of surfaces is not disturbed by side mirrors; instead, cameras are mounted on the sides. The handles on the rear doors are integrated with the shell, and a continuous arc of red light connects the rear fenders with a back-lit Porsche insignia located below it in black glass.
Move inside, and the dashboard shows ingenuity based on the cockpit design of the very first 911. A passenger can activate the holographic display with the wave of the hand, while either the driver or the front passenger can operate the radio, navigation system, climate, phone, and apps in a touch-free form. Every played charades? Well this a game of intuitive gestures detected by sensors inside the Taycan.
With the Porsche Taycan, the future is electric…and fascinating, indeed.
Color and emotion are uniquely tied together (check out our post on the Power of Color) and the right shade or hue can elevate any already polished and luxe experience to a higher level. Cue the Lexus LS 500 Inspiration Series demonstrating the true power of color with a limited-production interior and exterior combo.
Only 300 units of this LS Inspiration series will be produced.
The 2020 LS 500 is set to arrive this fall, featuring a deep Garnet Color for the first time (see photos). This is the fourth Inspiration Series vehicle from Lexus, but the LS 500 is the first sedan to have this exclusive treatment. The Deep Garnet exterior is a deep, metallic shade of red.
To compliment this lustrous red are standard 20-inch wheels finished in Black Vapor Chrome. Similar to the body color, the wheels will catch the sunlight for a hint of glimmer, all while retaining a polished look that accentuates the elegant features of the LS.
The interior begins with standard White leather trim on the seats, center console, and door panels. The dying process on the semi-analine leather gives a bright white contrast to the black dashboard, steering wheel and carpet. Kirko glass, origionally only available with the executive package, now comes standard in this limited-edition design as a trim on the door panels.
LED dash lighting and Lexus puddle lamps welcome you at each door.
Coming this Fall
Like all 2020 LS 500s, the Inspiration Series is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine with twin turbochargers that develop 416 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque. In RWD form, the LS 500 delivers a 0-60 time of 4.6seconds.The available AWD system features a TORSEN®limited-slip center differential to further enhance grip, traction and cornering stability.
Limited to just 300 units in the U.S., the 2020 LS 500 Inspiration Edition goes on sale this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
After years of research and testing, Volvo Cars, a leader in automotive safety, and Uber, the leading ride-hailing firm, today present a jointly developed production car capable of driving by itself, the next step in the strategic collaboration between both companies.
Uber and Volvo Cars entered a joint engineering agreement in 2016 and have since developed several prototypes aimed at accelerating the companies’ self-driving car development. The Volvo XC90 SUV presented today is the first production car that in combination with Uber’s self-driving system is capable of fully driving itself.
The XC90 base vehicle is equipped with key safety features that allow Uber to easily install its own self-driving system, enabling the possible future deployment of self-driving cars in Uber’s network as an autonomous ridesharing service.
The most important features of Volvo Cars’ autonomous drive-ready production vehicle include several back-up systems for both steering and braking functions as well as battery back-up power. If any of the primary systems should fail for some reason, the back-up systems are designed to immediately act to bring the car to a stop. In addition to Volvo’s built-in back-up systems, an array of sensors atop and built into the vehicle are designed for Uber’s self-driving system to safely operate and maneuver in an urban environment.
When paired with Volvo’s vehicle platform, Uber’s self-driving system may one day allow for safe, reliable autonomous ridesharing without the need for a Mission Specialist, the specially trained Uber employees operating and overseeing the car in areas designated and suitable for autonomous drive.
The autonomous drive-capable production vehicle revealed today is part of Volvo Cars’ 2016 commercial agreement with Uber for the delivery of tens of thousands of autonomous drive-ready base cars in coming years.
“We believe autonomous drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “By the middle of the next decade we expect one-third of all cars we sell to be fully autonomous. Our agreement with Uber underlines our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies.”
“Working in close cooperation with companies like Volvo is a key ingredient to effectively building a safe, scalable, self-driving fleet,” said Eric Meyhofer, CEO of Uber Advanced Technologies Group. “Volvo has long been known for their commitment to safety, which is the cornerstone of their newest production-ready self-driving base vehicle. When paired with our self-driving technology, this vehicle will be a key ingredient in Uber’s autonomous product suite.”
Volvo Cars plans to use a similar autonomous base vehicle concept for the introduction of its future autonomous drive cars in the early 2020s. These technologies, to be introduced on the next generation of Volvo models based on the SPA2 vehicle architecture, will include features designed to enable unsupervised autonomous drive in clearly designated areas such as highways and ring roads.
Volvo Cars believes autonomous drive can generate significant potential road safety benefits for society as a whole when all cars are autonomous. Until that moment, the technology can offer customers a better driving experience by taking away mundane tasks such as stop-start driving in traffic jams.
The largest and most luxurious SUV in the Mercedes-Benz line-up has raised the bar- again. Noted as the S-Class of SUVs the new GLS will come in around a $75,200, and sport the latest in intuitive Mercedes-Benz technology.
Progressive Interior Design
The new GLS includes various seating customizations, including a 6-person option with Captain’s Chairs. Clients also have the choice between a three-seat rear bench seat or two individual seats with armrests in the second row depending on your own wants and needs. Each seating row is fully electric and adjustable to increase the already generous amount of passenger space.
The steering wheel is “new generation” with Touch Control Buttons, two grab handles, a widescreen dual 12.3″ Digital Instrument Cluster, 64-color Ambient Lighting, and a 12.3″ multimedia display. Past packages including the Premium Package, Lighting Package, and the Parking Assist package are now standard on the 2020 GLS.
And of course, the MBUX intuitive experience technology with Intelligent Voice Control, Natural Language Understanding, augmented video for navigation, and the NEW MBUX Interior Assistant which recognizes arm and hand movements to support operating intentions.
The new Intelligent Chassis is the only system of its kind in the market and is another new benchmark for this luxury SUV segment. The E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL active suspension is paired with the 48-volt technology for outstanding suspension comfort, agile handling, and off-road capability.
Equipment Highlights- Standard
3.0L Inline-6 turbo engine with EQ Boost for smoother acceleration and increased efficiency
7-seat configuration or 6-seat configuration with Captain’s Chairs
LED Intelligent Light System
Revolutionary MBUX User Interface with Voice Control and Natural Language Understanding
12.3″ Digital Instrument Cluster
12.3″ Media Display with Touchscreen
Touchpad in center console
64-color ambient lighting and illuminated door sills
Heated front seats
Active Parking Assist with Surround View
Blind Spot Assist
PRE-SAFE® Sound and PRE-SAFE® Sound
Active Brake Assist
9 USB ports and 115V household outlet
Nappa Leather Multifunction Steering Wheel with Touch Control Buttons
Power tilt/sliding sunroof
Smartphone Integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
Burmester Surround Sound System
KEYLESS-START and KEYLESS-GO
Easy-Pack Tailgate and Load Compartment Cover
Extreme Test Driving of the 2019 GLS:
Imagine what the off-roading capabilities could be in the new 2020 GLS if the outgoing model can handle extreme terrain testing.
The 2020 GLS is expected to be available in the United States by the end of the year. Stay tuned to your Park Place Motorcars dealership for more info as it’s released.
Hungry for every curve and optimized for the racetrack.
The Porsche 718 family welcomes two new members to the model family: the 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spyder. Poised with agility and intimate proximity to power, these sportscars will delight those who enjoy an unadulterated driving experience.
Both the 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Spider share a technical base – a Porsche first- with a newly developed four-liter six-cylinder naturally aspirated engine together with a six-speed manual transmission. While this GT4 represents Porsche’s entry-level GT road model, the Spider “lends itself to all kinds of curves.” And with both models being able to accelerate 0-60 in about 4.4 seconds from stopped, it’s clear these are designed with the iconic Porsche Performance in mind.
View each model’s specs and see a preview of its performance, courtesy of Porsche.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
The 718 Cayman GT4 produces 50% more downforce thanks to an improved aerodynamic design. A major player in that improved design is a single-chamber arch rear silencer which creates space in the rear section for a functional diffuser and ultimately accounts for 30% of the downforce at the rear axle.
Porsche 718 Spider
Porsche terms the Spider variant as a “pure machine for driving pleasure,” sporting a lightweight convertible top that can combat top speeds. Top up or down, you’ll still get the thrilling power and aerodynamic improvements, and at 120 km/h (about 74-75 mph), the rear spoiler will automatically come up.