Thursday, May 29, 2008

Audi’s 2008 – 2010 Product Plan Leaked?

Audi’s 2008 – 2010 Product Plan Leaked?

Audi’s 2008 – 2010

Audi’s 2008 – 2010

An Audi enthusiast blog from Holland called “Audiblog” is claiming that it has received an official document through a reliable source from Audi Poland containing the German carmaker’s full product plan between 2008 and 2010. It goes without saying that we have no way of verifying the authenticity of the spread sheet, so it’s up to you to decide whether you believe it or not.

Apart from various new engines that Audi is planning to equip its current models like the turbocharged 3.0 TFSI that is said to develop 328Hp (245kw) and the R8’s new 518Hp (386kw) 5.2 FSI, the sheet reveals the production start and market launch dates of a series of Audi models including the A1 sport hatch, the A5 and A7 Sportback and the Q3 Crossover/SUV. Check out the spread sheet right after the jump. -Continued Read more…

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Alfa Romeo Brera S: Limited Edition Model Developed by Prodrive

Alfa Romeo Brera S: Limited Edition Model Developed by Prodrive

Alfa Romeo Brera S: Limited Edition Model Developed by Prodrive

In collaboration with Prodrive, Alfa Romeo has developed a special edition version of its Brera coupe model dubbed “Brera S” that will be sold exclusively in the UK with production limited to just 500 individually numbered models. The Brera S will be offered with two existing petrol engines, the 185Hp 2.2-liter and the 260Hp 3.2 V6.

While the car retains the same power as the standard Brera, Prodrive has made changes to the suspension and the interior and exterior styling along with the addition of a new exhaust system. However, Prodrive’s main goal was to seriously upgrade the Brera’s handling and to do that, the UK firm developed new springs and dampers which were tuned to to achieve the desired ride/handling balance and steering response required by driving enthusiasts in the UK. -Continued Read more…

Monday, May 19, 2008 contest for you

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren

2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

Mercedes-Benz will in future also market its SLR McLaren super sports car in the form of a roadster with a top.

In common with Formula 1 vehicles of today, it, too, will be made of carbon fibre, a material that will endow the vehicle with a very high degree of safety as well as extreme torsional stiffness at the same high level as the coupé version. Read more…

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

1963 Corvette Inspired Speed Boat

1963 Corvette Inspired Speed

1963 Corvette Inspired Speed Boat

There’s some sort of connection between fast cars and boats that makes designers like Bo Zolland from Sweden attempt to unite the two different worlds with creations like this 1963 Corvette inspired speed boat. Although just a rendering, according to Zolland, there’s a company in Sweden called “Stand-Craft” that can create one-off production boats based on concept drawings such as this. Just don’t forget your cheque book on your way out… -More images after the jump Read more…

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lexus IS 250 SR with Sports Equipment Pack

Lexus IS 250 SR with Sports Equipment Pack

Lexus IS 250 SR with Sports Equipment Pack

Hot on the (w)heels of the almighty IS F, Lexus has introduced a sportier version of its compact sedan aimed for the UK market. But before you get all hyped up, the IS 250 SR does not feature any performance enhancements as it is equipped with the standard 204Hp 2.5-liter V6 engine. Instead, it relies on a series of extras to stand out from the entry-level IS 250 upon it is based.

Key features include a full body kit with deep skirts to the front, rear and sides of the car, a rear spoiler and 17-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels. Owners who want to make a sportier statement can order the optional five-spoke 18-inch Tsuki rims. Inside the only additions to the IS 250 SR concern the aluminum scuff plates and pedals along with the standard heated front seats. Read more…

Sunday, May 11, 2008

2008 Bugatti Veyron Sang Noir

2008 Bugatti Veyron Sang Noir

2008 Bugatti Veyron Sang Noir

Now, when everyone’s attention was focused on finding as much info as possible about the Targa version of the Veyron supercar, Bugatti launched a new special edition, only one month away after the launch of the special edition Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermès. Read more…

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

GM’s Opel Planning Several Electric Cars for Europe

GM’s Opel Planning Several Electric Cars for Europe

GM’s Opel Planning Several Electric Cars for Europe

Using the Chevrolet Volt program as a base, GM’s Opel brand is planning to introduce a series of electric-powered vehicles. In a recent interview, GM’s chief executive Rick Wagoner told German newspaper “Automobilwoche” that the company’s recently announced $1 billion investment in Opel will include the development of various electric-powered vehicles based on the E-Flex architecture which in turn, is based on the Chevrolet Volt. “GM is working on a product program, which aims to develop a range of E-Flex models for the Opel brand,” said Wagoner. First up will be the production version of last year’s Flextreme Concept (pictured above) that is expected to arrive in the European market one year after the Chevy Volt, in 2011.

The Flextreme combines an electric propulsion motor and a 1.3-liter CDTI diesel. However, regardless of the Flextreme’s operating mode, it is always electrically powered. The diesel engine is onboard solely to power the generator and charge the battery.

The Flextreme can be charged in around three hours via a standard 220 V electrical socket. A fully charged lithium-ion battery gives the concept car a range of around 55 km or 35 miles in purely electric operating mode. When the battery is run down and no electrical socket available, the Flextreme’s common-rail diesel engine kicks in to provide electricity and recharge it.

GM’s Opel Planning Several Electric Cars for EuropeGM’s Opel Planning Several Electric Cars for Europe GM’s Opel Planning Several Electric Cars for EuropeGM’s Opel Planning Several Electric Cars for Europe

Ferrari F140 GT California 2+2 Coupe Scooped

Ferrari F140 GT California 2+2 Coupe Scooped

Ferrari F140 GT

Codenamed internally F149 and most likely to be named GT California or Dino (less chances), when it breaks cover at this year’s Paris Show in September, the car you’re seeing in these scoop pictures from “Autogespot” is Ferrari’s newest 2+2 coupe that will be powered by an upgraded version of the F430’s V8 engine.
Story has it that the GT California is actually a coupe-cabriolet and not a coupe featuring an electric-folding hardtop that stows away in the trunk. Despite the fact that in these pictures, the car’s trunk does look a bit stretched out, we can’t say for certain whether the GT California is actually a coupe-cabriolet.

Ferrari F140 GT Ferrari F140 GTFerrari F140 GT

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Video Comparison: Audi A3 2.0TFSI Convertible vs BMW 125i Cabrio

Video Comparison: Audi A3 2.0TFSI Convertible vs BMW 125i Cabrio

BMW Vs Audi

These two German convertibles are the first premium compact soft-tops to drop into the European market and Autocar’s Steve Sutcliffe takes them for a ride on the winding roads of the South of France to find out which one is the best. The A3 Convertible gets a 200Hp 2.0-liter TFSI unit while the BMW 125i, a 218Hp 3.0-liter straight six. See which one wins this compare in the video after the jump.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Top 10 Most Dangerous Vehicles

Top 10 Most Dangerous Vehicles

Ford Ranger Mazda B-Series

Hoping to stay safe on the road? You might want to avoid certain cars. For example, the Nissan 350Z has a death rate that’s about double that of the average sports car.

But it’s not for the reasons you might think. In this case, says Russ Rader, communications director for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an organization that represents the interests of the insurance industry, the 350Z is part of a group of vehicles that tends to be driven by younger, less experienced or riskier drivers, and stands out for having high death rates, through no particular fault of the car.”When they are in crashes,” he adds, “they’re particularly serious ones.”

In Pictures: Top 10 Most Dangerous Vehicles

This illustrates a key point: Simply looking at the historical death rates for one particular model might not give much insight into the relative danger, or safety, of driving that vehicle.

Furthermore, the most recent available federal data, interpreted by make and model by the IIHS, covers 2001 to 2004 model years in calendar years 2002 to 2005. Many models have had significant changes in safety equipment or complete redesigns since then.

The consensus among several safety experts we asked is that the best way to predict how dangerous or safe a new vehicle will be comes from looking at the way it’s configured, particularly with respect to several important factors–side-impact protection, stability control and rollover risk–that together span a wide range in real-world safety.

That’s what we did. Topping the list of the least safe: the Buick Rendezvous, the Ford Ranger/Mazda B-Series, the Nissan Frontier, the Ford Escape/Mercury Mariner and the Toyota Yaris.

High-Priority Protection

Among the various crash tests the IIHS performs on new vehicles, according to Rader, they see the widest range of results in those with side-impact and rear whiplash protection.

“What makes a vehicle unsafe today is a lack of side-impact protection,” he says. “Whiplash is not a life-threatening injury but head injuries [from a side impact] are commonly life-threatening.”

Side-curtain airbags have been shown to greatly increase the chances of surviving a classic “T-bone” side-impact accident, such as when the other vehicle runs a stoplight, and depending on the design, they can also increase the chances of surviving a rollover. Side-curtain bags are mandated for all 2009 vehicles, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that these alone will reduce fatal side-impact head injuries by 45%, saving up to 1,000 lives per year.

“Side airbags designed to protect your head are crucial, because a head injury is the most common fatal injury in a crash,” says Rader. “It’s the difference between life and death.”

Structurally Sound

Along with side airbags, a vehicle also needs a well-built side structure to withstand a strong blow from vehicles of varying heights, says Rader.

Which leads to another major point: “Size and weight are very important aspects of safety,” he says. “The laws of physics always apply in a crash. That means that people in smaller and lighter vehicles are always at a disadvantage in crashes with other vehicles.”

In single-vehicle crashes, the weight advantage isn’t as pronounced, but the statistics still point in favor of larger, if not heavier vehicles, he says.

However, John Linkov, managing editor of Consumer Reports, says that smaller and lighter vehicles aren’t necessarily more dangerous. In many cases, they may offer handling and maneuverability advantages to help avoid accidents.

“A more nimble, better-handling vehicle,” he says, “is likely going to be easier to control in an emergency and help the driver avoid the dangerous situation.”

While generally heavier SUVs and pickups are at an advantage in multi-vehicle accidents, they’ve been shown to be at quite a disadvantage in single-vehicle accidents (such as when the driver falls asleep, or loses control swerving around a deer), which comprise 43% of fatal accidents.

In this type of accident, SUVs and pickups have more than double the chance of rolling over, according to NHTSA data. This risk relates closely to overall federal fatality data, showing that SUVs and pickups generally have a higher fatality rate than cars of a similar weight.

Corrective Measures

Electronic stability control systems, which smartly apply the brakes on one or more of the wheels as best to avoid loss of vehicle control in an extreme maneuver, have been offered for more than a decade in some luxury and high-performance vehicles, but the technology has been trickling down to most mainline brands over the past several model years.

NHTSA has called it the most significant development since the seatbelt, and the federal government has mandated electronic stability control, but not until the 2012 model year. NHTSA estimates that the stability-control mandate will prevent up to 9,600 fatalities and 238,000 injuries annually, at an average cost of $111 per vehicle in addition to the cost of anti-lock brakes, which most vehicles already offer as standard equipment or as an option.

“Electronic stability control is one of those rare safety features that’s having a dramatic effect on saving lives,” says Rader. “Stability control alone can reduce the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes by 56%. And it can reduce fatal single-vehicle rollovers by 80% for SUVs, 77% for passenger cars.”

Even though stability control was only offered in some of the more expensive sport-utility vehicles a few years ago, Rader says that its impact is already easily seen in the Institute’s yearly list of vehicles with the lowest death rates. Rader said that in the past, only a few of them were SUVs, but now they make up nearly half of the list.

Terrifying Trucks

Pickups are another surprisingly unsafe group of vehicles. Based on fatality-rate data, they’re by far the most dangerous, says Michael Dulberger, president of the safety advocacy group Informed for Life.

“Pickups as a class have the highest rate of fatality and serious injury,” he says, “and they have a very high rollover risk.”Rader agrees. “Pickups have a rollover problem,” he says. “They have a high center of gravity and a high propensity to roll over.” And making matters worse, “They’re the laggards in electronic-stability control,” he says.

Last year, only one pickup model offered electronic stability control, according to Rader, while this year it’s standard on 8% of models and optional on 20%. By comparison, 87% of sport-utility vehicles now have standard stability control, according to the Institute.

Linkov agrees that some pickups pose the most danger to inexperienced drivers. “What we’re seeing is that young people in places where pickups are a de facto choice are at an especially strong risk, with their propensity to roll over,” he says.

Any vehicle can be especially unsafe if it’s used in a way it’s not designed for, such as if a high-clearance pickup is used primarily empty on curvy, hilly roads, according to Linkov.”Combine that with a poorly trained driver,” he says, “and it’s dangerous.”

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Shelby Creates Commemorative 1966 Ford GT40 Replica

Shelby Creates Commemorative 1966 Ford GT40 Replica

Celebrating Carroll Shelby’s 85th birthday, Shelby Distribution USA under license from Shelby Licensing and in partnership with Shelby Automobiles Inc. will build a limited run of replicas based on the original Ford GT40 race cars that dominated the Le Mans in 1966 taking the first three places.

Shelby considers these cars “as newly manufactured variants of the original GT40” and as such, the GT40’s chassis is a near-exact replication of the original race car’s monocoque unibody structure down to the pressed steel roof. The only departure is the use of electro-galvanized sheet steel in the construction. The replicas features an original style fully independent suspension system utilizing an unequal length A-arm design.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Maserati A8CGS Berlinetta Wallpapers

Maserati A8CGS Berlinetta Wallpapers

While Carrozeria Touring’s A8CGS Berlinetta may not have concentrated as much as attention upon itself as the BMW M1 Homage Concept nevertheless, the compact coupe was definitely one of this year’s 2008 Concorso d'Eleganza main attractions. Unfortunately, the Italian coachbuilder isn’t doing much of a promotional job with the Maserati based A8CGS Berlinetta Coupe as they haven’t released any details whatsoever on the sportscar. So for the time being, we’ll have to be content with the three new wallpaper-sized (1507x1005) images that we’ve added after the jump along with a more detailed picture gallery that you can check out HERE....