Wednesday, December 31, 2008

STRUT Hummer H2 Matte-Black

STRUT Hummer H2 Matte-Black

Many people find Hummer vehicles as being too big, too thirsty and too damaging from an environmental point of view - and they're all probably right. However, if there's one positive thing that can be said about Hummer's off-road models that has to be their communicative and distinct styling which sets them apart from anything else you see on the road. Even better when the color of choice is a matte-black like the one on this heavily customized Hummer H2 show car that is scheduled to be featured in both DUB and Truckin' Magazines in 2009.

Aside from the cool paint job, the blacked-out H2 also features an array of accessories such as flat black 24-inch alloy wheels, a STRUT body kit, chipped engine, upgraded suspension and even a 'grenade' like shifter.

The overall cost of the custom work performed on the H2 is said to be valued in excess of $60,000 - and that does not include the price of the vehicle itself of course.


Custom features:
* STRUT front end kit, which includes two grilles, front bumper extensions and chimney stacks
* STRUT badges throughout the vehicle
* STRUT wheels / custom ordered 24 inch set of 5; painted flat black
* 37 inch tires (Toyo Open Country)
* 1 inch lift to fit the tires but low enough to minimize head clearance
* Professional grade flat black paint job on entire exterior of vehicle (including bumpers, side panels, etc). We also added a clear coat to protect the paint and provide a subtle sheen
* Custom, diamond tucked suede interior (black), including a suede headliner
* Custom exhaust system with dual tips

* Engine has been chipped for better performance & acceleration
* Amp Research drop down H2 steps
* Custom made H2 BREMBO brake pads; set of 4
* Custom accessory pieces (hood handles, door handles, side markers, etc)
* Flat black Grenade shifter
* Blacked out interior handles, center console, etc.
* Smoked/tinted lights on entire vehicle (front, back, roof, sides, etc)
* Custom carbon fiber on side view mirrors
* Navigation, OnStar, XM radio, iPod hook-up
* Advanced Clifford Alarm System with keyless entry, remote ignition start/kill switch, and a 1-mile tamper detection warning/antenna
* Seat warmers in the front and back
* One touch system that drops all the windows down simultaneously, providing an open air feel
* BOSE sound system with an aftermarket AMP, iPod connection, and woofers with a custom box under the rear set.

Mullet County: Porsche 928 with Blown Chevy V8

Mullet County: Porsche 928 with Blown Chevy V8

Now here's a Mad Max enthusiast's wet dream... and a Porsche-file's nightmare. As its name clearly suggests, the CHEPORSCHE is a 1984 Porsche 928 that has been outfitted with a blown 454 Chevy V8 engine. In true Texan style, the owner of the car has also raised the 928 several inches from the ground. But if you thought the exterior is tacky, wait until you get a look of the GT's cabin... In the extremely rare case that someone finds this heavily abused Porsche attractive, it is up for sale on eBay for $5,999.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Production ready Ford Focus RS unveiled

Production ready Ford Focus RS unveiled

We saw the new Ford Focus RS concept live the Paris Motor Show and yesterday Ford has unveiled the production ready version, which was already available for orders in the UK, with the first deliveries expected in March. Priced under £25,000, the new RS will be powered by an upgraded version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine from the Focus ST, which will develop 296 hp and take the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and up to an electronically limited speed of 155 mph (over 160 without the limiter). and see the Saleen S7 one of its kind a supercar.

The RS will be fitted with an Automatic Torque Biasing limited-slip differential, developed by British engineering specialist Quaife and with Ford’s new RevoKnuckle suspension. Other performance upgrades include a new stability control, lowered ride height and bigger brakes, while a very aggressive bodykit (available in Performance Blue, Frozen White and the awesome Ultimate Green paint finish) completes the package.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder unveiled in L.A.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder unveiled in L.A.

The LA Auto Show marked the debut of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder, the convertible version of the Gallardo LP 560-4. The new convertible from Lamborghini is powered by a 5.2 liter engine that delivers 560 hp and 540 Nm of torque which takes the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4 seconds and up to a top speed of 323 km/h (201 mph). The car is fitted with a new, lighter transmission, which allows increased shift times by 40 percent (Corsa Mode), new chassis and suspension, which allows the convertible to achieve better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.

Customers from across the world can already place their orders and the first deliveries are expected in spring 2009. Lamborghini chose the LA show for the car’s debut, because the United States is the company’s main market, 39% of its customers being based in the United States (75% only in Southern California.

Check out more photos of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder after the jump.

A Christmas Message From man 4 car

All of us at Car Articles would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We hope you enjoy the festive season and are safe, secure and sensible should you need to take to the road. As you may have noticed, we’ve been on a break for a couple of days.
When service resumes in the usual fashion, you’ll find that 2009 is going to be a bumper year. You’ll see the same news, reviews and features bolstered by interviews, one-off specials and much much more. Here’s to a great new year and the announcement of the Car Articles Car of the Year 2009!

Tata To Save Jaguar Land Rover (For The Time Being)

Tata Motors is to inject Jaguar Land Rover with crucial funds in order to keep the company afloat, say new reports. A cash sum from Tata would give the government some further time to decide on whether (and indeed how) to proceed should they be underwriting the company.
The car manufacturer has asked the government for financial support (a payment is likely to help keep the company going) and it has been backed by unions who say that the car industry as a whole could well need more help.
The UK carmaking industry employs around 800,000 people, many of whom may feel their jobs are at risk at the moment. Perhaps the greatest risk comes from a factory going under – once one goes, others may fall and it’s very unlikely that they then start back up. In we really need to try and save the UK car industry, even at a cost to the tax payer in the short term.
Ultimately, if we do nothing at this stage, we risk being in a much weaker position when the economy eventually does recover, which it will. When? Who knows, but for the time being, the number of employees above is simply too high a figure for the government to ignore.

Used Car Buying Advice For The Moment

The economy is in a mess. Car sales are down massively. A range of dealers are shutting down and worse still, manufacturers are actually seeing problems and laying off staff. However, if you’re in the market to buy, you’re in a good position (always an upside eh?).
Buying a nearly new car at the moment can net you savings of more than £6,000 or more. Naturally, this is something you’d want to look into. You’ll find the biggest savings on nearly new cars that have low mileage and are fairly common – with savings less apparent on higher spec models (for instance, I still haven’t found my Astra VXR for less than £10k).
Buying a car remains, for most of us at least, a purchase that takes months to save and prepare for. At the moment, though fuel has come down in price, smaller cars are still performing well due to the credit crunch. This means you can save quite a lot by aiming for something with a bigger engine (or even more performance) as long as you don’t do too many miles.

The Nissan GT-R - Improved For Europe

As you can see from the image above, the Nissan GT-R is an absolutely staggering beast. Huge amounts of power, a reasonable price point (for all the technology) and a hand built engine. It’s one very special car indeed. Nissan though have decided to make it better for Europe Engine power increase – up to 485PS (+5PS)Dunlop SP Sport 600 DSST tyres confirmed as standard fit‘Storm White’ (Pearl) replaces original pearl white exterior colourGun Metal RAYS Alloy wheels now fitted to GT-R and Premium editionsBlack RAYS alloy wheels for Black EditionPrice now increased for all new orders (from 8 December 2008)
As production of the European specification Nissan GT-R begins in its Tochigi plant in Japan this month, a raft of small but significant changes have been made to the car as part of its kaizen – continuous improvement – philosophy
The GT-R’s hand-built 3.8-litre V6 twin-turbo engine has gained 5PS thanks to some fine tuning of its electronics, taking power output to 485PS, while torque remains unchanged at 588Nm. Additionally, Dunlop SP Sport 600 DSST tyres will be fitted as standard

The tyre was developed specifically for the GT-R and it combines grip and durability, as demonstrated during its ‘time-attack’ lap of the Nurburgring, which yielded a time of 7 minutes 29 seconds. And, just to improve the ride performance even further a modification has been carried out to the suspension spring rate settings.
Another update sees the introduction of the Gun Metal grey coloured Rays seven-spoke alloy wheel design for the standard and Premium Edition GT-Rs, while the Black Edition will be fitted with the same design but, appropriately, in black. Additionally, customers can now choose a new pearl white called ‘Storm’ as an exterior colour – an eye-catching, deep white replacing the original pearl white which had a slightly darker shade. For customers ordering now, the price of the GT-R will start from £56,795 on the road with an increase of £1300 for the Premium Edition (£58,095) and another £1300 for the Black Edition (£59,395). This represents an increase of 3.8 percent. Deliveries of the GT-R will begin in April through a network of Nissan High Performance Centres, where customers will have contact with highly-trained staff who share their enthusiasm for the GT-R’s unique blend of accessible performance, striking design and state-of-the-art technology.
To date, Nissan has taken in excess of 2500 customer orders in Europe with 1200 coming from the UK. Any new customer orders should expect delivery in mid 2010.

car news - Vauxhall Hit By The Credit Crunch

In what appears to be another car manufacturer being hit by the credit crunch, Vauxhall is offering its workforce a chance to take a sabbatical on 30% pay. This sabbatical can last up to nine months, and presumably is a way to cut costs without actually having to cut any jobs for the time being.
General Motors (the owner of Vauxhall) approached unions at the Ellesmere Port plat in Cheshire with the plan. The scheme would see staff away from work from January until September 2009 – whilst the bank balance and industry is continually assessed (with improvements hopefully quite early in the year in the marketplace).
Of course, this is one way in which to avoid any sort of compulsory redundancy, though is reliant on some staff members seeing this offer as a good one. If uptake is good, there’s a possibility that the other plants owned and operated by General Motors may well follow suit in these turbulent times.
Car sales in the UK have fallen on average by 37% compared with the same time last year, meaning business is very slow indeed for many showrooms. This is, in turn, is causing problems for car manufacturers, who simply aren’t seeing demand for new cars like they did even last year.

High Quality and Residuals Make the Volkswagen Transporter a Double Winner

The Volkswagen Transporter van has been described as ‘head and shoulders’ above its rivals by the judges who chose it as the Best Medium Van in the inaugural Fleet Van Awards 2008, while the latest issue of Commercial Motor magazine has named the VW Transporter winner of a Medium Van group test against five rival vehicles, with particular praise for its quality and fuel economy.
‘In such a tough category, the winner had to have a supremely strong offering. But there was no doubt in the judges’ minds that one van stood head and shoulders above the rest, with superb build quality, road manners and residual values – the Volkswagen Transporter,’ said the judges of the Fleet Van Awards 2008.
The unsuccessful vehicles in the category compared against the VW Transporter included the Ford Transit, Vauxhall Vivaro, Mercedes-Benz Vito and Citroën Dispatch.
‘In these difficult economic times, this award is a great help to van buyers,’ said Simon Elliott, Director of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. ‘Choosing a van is not just about the purchase price, but also its quality, durability and competitive whole-life costs. Buying a Volkswagen van also includes the reassuring back-up of a dedicated Van Centre network and fully trained, professional staff,’ he continued.
In its group test of medium vans, Commercial Motor magazine praised the Volkswagen Transporter T30 TDI PD 130 PS, saying: ‘It comes as no surprise that its main strength is in the quality of its construction and design – something the manufacturer is noted for – and this is evident not just in the overall build, but in the way everything works together. The interior was the highest scoring in the group. And on fuel economy it also comes top.’
The Volkswagen Transporter range offers load volumes from 5.8 m³ to 9.3 m³, payloads from 802 kg to 1,282 kg, short and long wheelbase models, low, medium or high roof and four diesel engines from 84 PS to 174 PS. Basic retail prices start from £14,480 (excluding VAT) with vehicle contract hire or finance lease currently available from £205 a month with three years free servicing. It is the best-selling Volkswagen van in the UK and most of Europe, and one of the most popular vans ever with over 10 million produced since 1950.

Fancy Being The New Owner Of Honda F1?

In yet another crisis to hit motoring in general and F1 specifically, Honda announced that it would be pulling out of the sport if a new owner wasn’t in place. Yet again, the blame is putting put squarely on the doorstep of the global financial mess that we call the world economy.
Interestingly, this will leave both Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello without cars currently – something neither of them can be relishing the prospect of given the fact that there are only a few mid-table places left.
Honda spent more than £300 million on F1 (including last year, which didn’t see any particularly amazing results to credit such spending power), without too much to show for it. This has led to a deadline of January being set – with the workers in Brackley being told to expect letters of redundancy prior to Christmas.
Once again, we’re seeing the situation where a large company is being offered for (some speculate) £1, however to actually compete then they’d need to be awash with money to the tune of £40 million. Perhaps what’s most surprising is that there’ll be only 18 cars on the grid next year – next exactly a huge number. What makes F1 worse is the, at times, difference in the performance of the cars.
Max Mosley – President of the FIA – has encouraged F1 teams to find cost cutting measures. This is sensible for two reasons. The first is that globally, it’s probably better to tighten purse strings, whatever you may be involved in (especially when it happens to be one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive, sports in the world). Secondly, it highlights that even this world of glitz, glamour, fast cars and ladies can all come tumbling down.
Ultimately, I’d love to see Honda competing again, but if that’s not going to happen any time in the next couple of seasons, perhaps we can hope for an independent team that will be able to challenge for the top spot? Now that’s something I’d like to see

Drivers – Save £5 Billion – But Be A Boring Driver

British motorists could save more than £250 per year – by changing their driving style to something that’s a little more greener (rather than honing around aggressively, one could say). So-called ‘better’ drivers can slash their fuel consumption by 15 percent, according to the energy saving truste The Trust is offering a £15 one hour course aimed at business drivers. Naturally, driving a little less enthusiastically also reduces emissions, as the engine gets worked less hard than otherwise. I’ve already covered the tips, so I won’t do it again. What I will say though is how much do you enjoy driving?
For me, it’s worth extra cash sometimes to drop a little bit of a heavier right foot. In fact, it makes me a little sick and tired of the current obsession with miles per gallon. I’d go so far as to say that I’d almost certainly never drive a diesel – unless it happens to be an Audi R8 V12 TDI.
Naturally, there’s a caveat here. The caveat is, rather than being concerned over money or emissions – consider the weather at the moment. You’d have to be rather mad to put the pedal to the metal at the moment, given how treacherous conditions are out there. I rectified a small skid on the way home myself…
Of course, if you are interest in being a ‘Galactic Miler’ or whatever they call them, then watch out for the Car Articles Green Car of the Year. Here’s a tip. It won’t be a bloody Prius! It’ll be a ‘proper’ car that won’t have mad airs and graces but will provide a good drive and a good MPG rating.

Aston Martin Cuts 600 Jobs

In yet another blow to the British car industry, Aston Martin has announced that it is to cut 600 jobs – half of which are actually full time posts. The luxury car maker, who employs around 1,800 people, blamed the downturn (who isn’t) on the loss of the roles.
Naturally, our thoughts go out to the workers who have unfortunately lost their jobs at a particularly hard time of year. Perhaps tellingly, Aston Martin sold only 110 cars in October this year, compared to the same month last year when they managed 164 sales.
I hate to say it – as I have huge respect for the man – but there’s just something a little hollow about the words that Dr Ulrich Bez spoke in response to this crisis of a third of the workforce being laid off. Particularly, his statement of “the Aston Martin brand is the strongest it has ever been”. I just feel that would stick in the throat of some of the workers who’ll be leaving the factory for the last time.
To be honest, I’m actually surprised that Aston Martin has had sales problems – it’s not really like the super rich (footballers etc) will really have been affected too badly by the credit crunch or the government’s advice to businesses of not giving employees pay rises that are higher than inflation.
We can all only hope that the British car industry picks up shortly – as this isn’t any good for any of us.

A New Van Centre In Glasgow

A new, state of the art Verve Van Centre in Glasgow was officially opened last week by Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The new verve van centere , which represents a financial investment of £3m and is expected to create 20 new jobs, is a bespoke building in a new location at Glasgow Business Park in Baillieston, Glasgow. It replaces the previous Verve Van Centre which had outgrown its premises in Rutherglen, Glasgow.
The new building will enhance Verve’s customer service and experience with more servicing facilities, thanks to its larger ten vehicle workshop equipped with the latest testing and diagnostic equipment and fully trained staff. There is also a spacious showroom to demonstrate the award-winning Volkswagen range of vans including the Caddy vans and Transporter vans, people carriers and even the California camper van, plus a range of Volkswagen Assured Used vans. Verve is also proud to offer its customers courtesy vehicles if their vehicle is off the road, and will shortly be introducing the flexible option of Volkswagen Van Rental.
‘At Verve, we understand that to keep a business moving, our customers’ commercial vehicles need to keep moving too, so we look forward to enhancing our customer service by offering more facilities together with a warm welcome from our staff at our new location,’ said Charlie Adair, Managing Director of Verve who founded the business almost exactly ten years ago, on 4 December 1998, and has seen sales of commercial vehicles increase from 64 in his first year to 650 in 2007.
‘Verve is an innovative and enthusiastic business. We believe in making things happen, not sitting about waiting for things to happen, so we are quick to adopt best practice in the industry, such as the Verve Apprentice Academy to develop the best Volkswagen-trained technicians,’ he continued.
Stephan Schaller, CEO of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles said: ‘It is an honour to be here with my colleague Harald Schomburg, board member for sales and marketing. At the moment, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is number one in Europe with a total market share of 16 per cent, but this is only possible with a strong dealer network, fighting lowering business confidence with customer orientation every day.’
He added: ‘I must congratulate Charlie Adair on the brand-new facilities and for investing for the future during hard economic times; expanding from the old building to this impressive, new stand alone Van Centre, located in a regenerated area of Glasgow.
What I think is most remarkable is that you have created 20 new jobs in this customer orientated building to improve your business and to make your customers satisfied by meeting their demands. That’s the right spirit to sell our modern commercial vehicle range and to keep them on the road to success.’

audi q7

This Audi Q7 diesel is a monster, monster vehicle with more power than almost anything else on the road – but perhaps the most impressive thing is the fact that this power is channelled through a 7 seater 4×4 body! In fact, it’s the most powerful 4×4 in the world.
It’s the only passenger car available that comes with a 12 cylinder diesel engine – and engine that’s apparently closely related to the same powerplant used in the Le Mans R10 TDi sports car that was unleashed by Audi and driven by Allan McNish.
Performance is of course staggering, with the 500bhp engine tearing the car to 60 in only 5.5 seconds. There’s also the (limited) top speed of 155 miles per hour – one does have to wonder what it would be capable of with this removed, but then bear in mind the sheer size of the thing…
Fuel consumption is what you’d expect, with around 20mpg. Stopping power is good thanks to the massive brakes that are fitted as standard, but then come on, with all that weight matched to all that power, you’d need something serious to slow you down.
The Q7 is certainly one for those who need a fast Chelsea tractor – could you see yourself driving such an expensive vehicle (only slightly shy of £100,000) with a sign of any mud whatsoever on the bodywork? I didn’t think so.
Standard spec includes the usual leather, heated seats, sat-nav, Bose stereo etc etc. The list is quite good, but then again, it’s not exactly cheap. The suspension is adaptive so you should have difficulty making this big beast fall over, whilst the ground clearance is actually surprisingly good.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI Wallpaper Galore

Audi R8 V10 5.2 FSI Wallpaper Galore

Red is the color of choice for Audi's new wallpaper gallery of the just released, top-of-the-line R8 V10 5.2 FSI. Set to go on sale during the second quarter of 2009, the most powerful version of Audi's mid-engined supercar is equipped with a Lamborghini Gallardo derived, 5.2-liter V10 engine that pumps out 525HP and 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque. In case you missed our detailed article on the R8 V10, all the initial information or else follow the jump and enjoy the high-res image gallery.