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Autoweek in review: What you might have missed

Fri, 30 Mar 2012

Lotus has jumped on the trendy bespoke train and joined forces with controversial design firm Mansory. It sounds as if the two firms are conspiring to add weight and chavish cosmetic embellishments to the British performance cars. We hope they will prove us wrong.

It is often said that certain things get better with age. Mercedes-Benz is furthering that notion by adding a V12 power option to its popular G-class. Autoweek contributor Greg Kable has more in his article.

The latest Aston Martin DB9 replacement was caught playing in the snow this week. To paraphrase digital editor Andy Stoy, the bad news is it that looks like every other Aston. But, the good news is that it looks like every other Aston.

Semiautonomous cars are already among us, and we hardly even knew it. Continental recently showed us its latest driver-assistance systems, including a wide array of semiautonomous technologies. Check out the article for the details and videos of the car in action.

Is there a better way to enjoy the Southern California sun than from behind the wheel of the 2012 Lamborghini LP 550-2 Spyder? Hardly. And many of our commenters and readers agreed. Click here to read the review.

Corvette Racing driver and AutoweekEditor at Speed Tommy Milner gave readers his inside perspective on this year's running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. His team is off to an encouraging start, but he said he hopes that better finishes await in the season to come. Check out Milner's article and keep checking back at for additional Editor at Speed wrap-ups after races.

Associate editor Jake Lingeman has been mulling over options for his 1963 Pontiac StarChief lovingly known as “Big Rhonda.” The car is in need of some bodywork and a new paint job; what options does he have? Perhaps a vinyl wrap or the good ol'-fashioned paint booth? Check out the first in a series as he explores his options in Rhonda's Renaissance.

Jeep has a group of concepts going to Moab, Utah, for an introduction to the company's dedicated fan base. The Jeeps range from wild to ridiculous: Mopar shoehorned a 470-hp Hemi under the hood of a Wrangler to start, and for fans of the old forward-control Jeeps, the Mighty FC concept is a dream come true.

It's not often that a Toyota Yaris will generate much interest around the office, but our editors had some positive things to say about the latest from Toyota, the 2012 Yaris SE five-door. Click here for the full review.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary Shelby American will bring the Shelby 1000, which makes 950 hp to the New York auto show. Want more? Of course you do. The non-street-legal Shelby 1000 S/C throws down 1,100 hp, and with slicks, it should be capable of lifting its front wheels, this time without digital enhancements.

Executive editor Bob Gritzinger got some road time in the 2013 Acura RDX. It has more luxury, but isn't big on space. Check out his thoughts in this Drive Review.

Drag-racing legend Bill “Grumpy” Jenkins died at the age of 81. Known as the “Father of Pro Stock,” his engines won five consecutive NHRA Pro Stock championships. He earned his “Grumpy” nickname for his no-nonsense attitude.

Just days before the 2012 New York auto show, Ford released its latest version of the Explorer SUV, a Sport edition. Powered by a turbocharged EcoBoost engine, the Explorer Sport has 350 hp, painted 20-inch wheels and unique exterior accents. Pricing has not been announced, but expect to see the Explorer Sport in dealerships later this year.

SRT let out yet another teaser image before the full reveal of the 2013 Viper at the New York auto show. This one features the shifter and what appears to be a rather aggressive sport bucket seat. It's the latest installment in Autoweek's Viper Week, leading up to the big debut in New York.

By David Arnouts