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- From 2007 : The Beck LM 800The company is a small Swiss manufacturer that has specialised in the production of top class,super sports cars. The main features here are the lightweight construction and the associated use of the most varied of low-density materials, such as aluminium, magnesium, titanium, as well as the latest plastic and composite materials – Kevlar for instance. It goes without saying that, according to Swiss tradition, the highest demands in terms of quality apply here as well.
The company gets its name from René Beck, who can look back on a history of over 20 years in the construction of prototypes and vehicles. Even when he was a schoolboy, in every free minute he was already fiddling around with home-made sports cars and working on his dream. His motto then is still the same now: „We start at the point where others have already given up.'
- Subaru to Introduce All-New 2010 Legacy at New York International Auto ShowSubaru of America, Inc. today announced that the all-new 2010 Legacy® sedan will debut at the New York International Auto Show, providing a bolder design language in a larger midsize package. The 2010 Legacy, whose predecessor is renowned for its sporty handling and reliability, now features a longer wheelbase, almost four inches of extra rear seat legroom and a new powertrain lineup featuring the new Subaru Lineartronic™ CVT (continuously variable transmission).
The 2010 Legacy is built on a new platform that increases room and comfort while preserving the agility and fun-to-drive spirit of the previous model. New powertrains and new suspension design combine with proven Subaru safety technology to deliver a unique offering in the midsize segment. As are all Subaru models, every Legacy is equipped as standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, an invaluable performance- and safety-enhancing system that sets Legacy apart among midsize sedans. All-wheel drive is rare in the midsize segment, and only Legacy makes it standard.
- The E63 AMG – a new generation sports sedan delivering top driving dynamicsAMG is kicking-off the 2009 driving season with a new superstar: shortly after the launch of the new E-Class, the AMG high-performance brand of Mercedes-Benz Cars presents the new 2010 E63 AMG. This dynamic sports sedan impresses with outstanding performance, thrilling handling characteristics and advanced technology transferred from its sibling, the SL63 AMG high-performance Roadster. The E63 AMG makes its U.S. sales debut in November 2009.
The new E63 AMG distinguishes itself from the standard Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedans with a newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping, revised front suspension and unique exterior and interior design. At the same time, Mercedes-AMG has achieved a significant reduction in fuel consumption of almost twelve percent for the new E63 AMG, thanks to the precise application of several fuel efficiency improvements. With its unique combination of pioneering driver assistance systems, the E63 AMG further consolidates the brand's leading position in the field of automotive safety.
The AMG 6.3-liter V8-engine in the new E63 AMG develops an output of 518 hp and a 465 lb-ft of torque, matching the outstanding figures for the SL63 AMG. The high-performance Roadster has also transferred its AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission to the new model. This transmission replaces the conventional torque converter through the use of a multi-disc wet start-up clutch. In conjunction with the four individual driving modes, rev-matched shifts and RACE START function, the resulting, direct connection to the powertrain delivers an extremely emotional and high-performance driving experience.
- Hyundai Blue-Will ConceptHyundai has revealed the first pictures of an innovative plug-in hybrid concept car. Due to be revealed at the Seoul Motor Show which opens on April 2nd, the 'BLUE-WILL', has exceptionally advanced technology crammed inside its striking bodyshell.
Recycled PET soft drink bottles were used to make the material for the headlamp bezels while use has also been made of bio-plastics: PLA for the interior while PA11 was specified for the engine cover. These materials are made from plants extract rather than fossil fuels and are bio-degradable.
The BLUE-WILL concept is powered by an all-aluminium Gasoline Direct Injected 1.6-litre engine which is coupled to a Continuously Variable Transmission and a 100kw electric motor which is at the heart of Hyundai's parallel hybrid drive architecture.
Electric power, stored by a Lithium Ion Polymer battery pack, is neatly bundled with the fuel tank under the rear seat to maximise luggage space.
Hyundai will be the first automaker in the world to apply Lithium Ion Polymer in a mass production vehicle when the Elantra LPI Hybrid goes on sale in Korea in July this year.
- New 2009 Dodge Challenger SE Rallye Earns Its StripesThe all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger delivers the best of modern American muscle-car characteristics—unmistakable design, world-class handling, powerful engines and technology. The all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger SE Rallye adds even more pony car excitement with a responsive five-speed automatic transmission and bold accented exterior enhancements. The all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger SE Rallye starts at $26,490 (including $725 destination) and is available for ordering now at Dodge dealerships nationwide.
'Featuring the transmission from our HEMI-powered Challenger models, the new Dodge Challenger SE Rallye earns its stripes with a five-speed automatic delivering an exhilarating driving experience and 25 miles per gallon fuel-efficiency,' said Mike Accavitti, Director—Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge Brands, Chrysler LLC. 'And with eye-grabbing details including 18-inch wheels with black painted pockets, deck lid spoiler, and heritage-inspired chromed ‘FUEL' filler door—Dodge Challenger SE shows off its pony car bloodlines.'
- The 14th Annual Amelia Island Concours d'EleganceOff the coast of Northeast Florida on a secluded island, stands the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, home to the Amelia Island Concours. The vehicles are arranged on 10th and 18th fairways of the adjoining golf course offering breathtaking views in all locations. Now in its 14th year, the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance has become one of the premier events of its kind in the nation.
This year's concours was a resounding success and, as stated by numerous show-goers, 'keeps getting better every year.' In the current economical climate, it was natural to expect less: smaller crowds and fewer entrants. This was not the case. The numbers of entrants and the quality of their vehicles were truly remarkable. The steady stream of enthusiasts kept the well-manicured greenery covered for most of the day. It was very evident that the story of the automobile, its history, heritage, and contributions to the economy, growth and nation's freedom will continue to be told, even in these challenging times.
- Tesla Model S ConceptTesla Motors is now taking orders for the Tesla Model S, an all electric family sedan that carries seven people and travels 300 miles per charge.
The Tesla Model S, which carries its charger onboard, can be recharged from any 120V, 240V or 480V outlet, with the latter taking only 45 minutes. By recharging their car while they stop for a meal, drivers can go from LA to New York in approximately the same time as a gasoline car. Moreover, the floor-mounted battery pack is designed to be changed out in less time than it takes to fill a gas tank, allowing for the possibility of battery-pack swap stations.
The floor-mounted powertrain also results in unparalleled cargo room and versatility, as the volume under the front hood becomes a second trunk. Combining that with a four-bar linkage hatchback rear trunk and flat folding rear seats, the Tesla Model S can accommodate a 50-inch television, mountain bike *and* surfboard simultaneously. This packaging efficiency gives the Tesla Model S more trunk space than any other sedan on the market and more than most SUVs.
- The New Golf GTDAfter the Polo, the BlueMotion offensive and the Golf GTI, Volkswagen is pulling the next arrow out of its quiver: this time it is the Golf GTD. It is extremely fuel efficient yet exceedingly sporty, and it is debuting as a world premiere at the Auto Mobil International in Leipzig (March 28 to April 05). The GTD code letters carry on a tradition: the first Golf GTD appeared back in 1982 – it was the GTI among diesels. Now Volkswagen has perfected the various aspects of sportiness. The new Golf GTD with its 125 kW / 170 PS is aimed at all diesel fans who value a maximum in dynamic performance. This is where the GTD shows a clear affinity to the new GTI (155 kW / 210 PS). While the GTI is in its own league with an efficient turbo gasoline engine that offers the same performance as far more expensive sports cars, the Golf GTD is making its appearance with phenomenal fuel economy. Every 100 kilometers, just 5.3 liters of fuel flow through the piezo injection valves of the common rail engine that can hardly be pegged as a diesel. That is equivalent to CO2 emissions of just 139 g/km. This contrasts with a top speed of 222 km/h and 8.1 seconds for the sprint to 100 km/h.
- The SL 63 AMG, as the Official F1™ Safety CarAs in 2008, the role of the Official F1™ Safety Car is also being fulfilled during this year's new season by the Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG. Its distinctive driving dynamics are a basic requirement for its challenging Formula 1 assignment:
the AMG6.3-litre V8 engine has a power output of 386 kW/525 hp, providing acceleration from zero to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds. A newly developed AMG sport exhaust system with larger pipe diameter and special rear silencers allows the high-revving AMG naturally aspirated engine to breathe even more freely - and gives it an even sportier sound. Outstanding driving dynamics are guaranteed by the newly developed AMGSPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission with column shift, which makes it possible to change gear in just 100 milliseconds.
- The 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8'Our all-new 2009 Dodge Challenger is a modern-day muscle machine representing the best from the past and present,' said Mike Accavitti, Director – Dodge Brand and SRT Global Marketing, Chrysler LLC. 'Thirty-five years following the debut of the original, we are bringing Dodge Challenger back and loading it with essential hardware, styling and technology desired by today's buyer.'
The Dodge Challenger is the first five-passenger, two-door coupe produced from Chrysler's proven rear-wheel-drive platform that delivers the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. Developed with Dodge's credo of 'bold, powerful and capable,' the Challenger delivers a modern two-door muscle car.
Three models will be offered in North America: Dodge Challenger SRT8®, Dodge Challenger R/T and Dodge Challenger SE.
- The 2009 Ford MustangFord Mustang, the country's best-selling sports car for 22 consecutive years and one of the auto industry's most successful nameplates ever, celebrates its 45th anniversary with a new panoramic glass roof option that opens the world to pony-car enthusiasts from Maine to Maui and all points between. The segment first, factory-installed glass roof is available as a $1,995 option on Mustang V-6 and GT models.
'Our new panoramic glass roof will allow owners to enjoy the outdoors year-round from the comfort of their Mustang,' said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president for Global Product Development. 'It's one more feature that sets Mustang apart from the competition.'
- The Kia BorregoBorrego is one of the first production offerings based off of the new design direction Kia continues to unveil through concept vehicles including the Kue, KND-4, Kee and KOUP. Given a straightforward and clean look, Borrego is intended for those who enjoy an active yet uncomplicated lifestyle.
Borrego is offered with a DOHC, all-aluminum 3.8-liter V6 as well as Kia's first-ever DOHC 4.6-liter V8 engine, also all-aluminum; both engines are more powerful than any in Kia's line to date. While the V6 produces a competitive 276 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 267 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm, the all-new V8 generates a class-leading¹ 337 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with 323 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm – more powerful than the Toyota 4Runner, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and GMC Acadia. Borrego runs on regular unleaded fuel compared to the Pathfinder, which requires premium unleaded. Both engines also are available in either two-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD).
- Collector Cars to be Offered in all Shapes and Sizes at Annual Classic Car Auction of MichiganThe classic car hobby transcends generations of collectors who enjoy the thrill of the hunt for memorable cars and trucks of their younger days, many of which can be found at auction events such as RM's ‘Classic Car Auction of Michigan' event at the Rock Financial Showplace, Novi, Michigan, April 25 & 26.
One of the largest collector vehicles ever to be offered by RM is a factory-built 1950 Flxible Private Luxury Motor Coach which will be up for bids at this event along with hundreds of other unique cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Easily recognized for their bulbous streamlined bodies and split windshields, the fifties era Flxible often made cameos in many famous Hollywood movies such as The Wild One, Vertigo, North by Northwest and Key Largo.
- The Chrysler Thunderbolt ConceptChrysler produced five Thunderbolts in 1940, four of which survive. Designed by Alex Tremulis, they featured a stunning steamlined full-envelope body, an electrically operated retractable hardtop, hidden headlights, hydraulic window lifts, push-button doors and back-lit gauges. They were first shown at the New York Auto Show in October, 1940. The Thunderbolts caravanned across the United States, stopping at Chrysler dealerships along the way and attracting tremendous crowds.
The LeBaron-built body is aluminum, except for the structure for the hood and deck lid, and sits on a New Yorker chassis. The engine is a 323.5 cubic-inch inline-eight that delivers 140 horsepower. The power is transmitted to the wheels by a smooth Fluid Drive transmission with an overdrive unit that allows speeds of up to 100 mph.
- Collector Cars to be Offered in all Shapes and Sizes at Annual Classic Car Auction of MichiganFrom pre-war toy trucks, to Evel Knievel's personal motorcycle, to a nine-ton 1950 Flxible Motor Coach, RM's ‘Classic Car Auction of Michigan' event will offer a wide selection of rare collector vehicles at the Rock Financial Showplace, Novi, Michigan, April 25 & 26
The classic car hobby t
- Perfect debut for the Audi R15 TDIThe Audi R15 TDI has defeated its competition in its debut race: Dindo Capello (Italy), Tom Kristensen (Denmark) and Allan McNish (Scotland) achieved a historic victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring (US state of Florida) with the new diesel-powered sports car of AUDI AG. The Audi drivers completed 383 laps – beating the previous distance record by an impressive 13 laps.
In the fastest ever Sebring race, Audi Sport Team Joest's pair of Audi R15 TDI prototypes ran the entire distance without technical problems despite the innovative Le Mans prototype having only completed its maiden run in December. Bad weather had hampered Audi Sport's test program and temperatures never exceeded 15 degrees during the tests in Europe.
At Sebring, the Audi crew faced ambient temperatures almost double that and worked day and night to learn more about the new diesel sports car and to adapt it to the extremely bumpy race track in the center of Florida. They were able to solve all minor teething troubles which arose just in time for race day.
- Raymond SommerRushes of adrenaline can be addicting. Soon, adventure and speed become such a way of life, such an addiction, that it can become a generational experience. The norm just isn't exciting when raised in an environment of adventure. And if raised in a home with means, addictions, such as grand prix racing, can become an outlet that feeds the addiction.
Raymond Sommer was born into a wealthy family from Sudan, France in 1906. Raymond likely developed his need for speed and adventure from his father, who in 1909, broke the Wright brothers record for the longest flight. However, Raymond waited until he was twenty-five before he let his adrenaline addiction overtake him.
In 1931, Sommer began entering motoraces. He started out using a Chrysler Imperial. But this wasn't just some kid with money deciding to go racing. Instead, he proved his talent and determination the very next year.
- The Acura ARX-02a at SebringThe initial outing of a new season comes with excitement and nervousness for any team. Whether it's football, basketball, baseball, soccer or even auto racing, the debut of a new product in a new year brings a variety of anxious moments before the opening event.
It will not be any different for the new Acura Motorsports teams coming to this weekend's 57th annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring, one of the world's most prestigious racing contests and American Le Mans Series opener.
The Patrón Highcroft and de Ferran Motorsports organizations bring the all-new Acura ARX-02a sports car to the legendary Florida circuit in the quest of the coveted title in the grueling 12-hour endurance race. The event marks Acura's debut run in sports car racing's ultimate division, the LMP1 class.
Patrón Highcroft Racing's driver lineup includes 24 Hours of Le Mans winner David Brabham, 2007 Indy 500 champ Dario Franchitti and former IndyCar Series titleholder Scott Sharp, while the de Ferran team features the 2003 Indy 500 winner Gil de Ferran, 2008 Indy champion Scott Dixon and young French star Simon Pagenaud.
The media launch of Acura's latest racing vehicle saw a huge crowd get a close-up view at the ALMS 'Winter Test' in January. Since then, the Acura machines have tested on the tough Sebring circuit several additional times in preparation for a repeat win of Acura's first Sebring race in 2007. In that event, Acura placed 1-2 in the LMP2 division and 2-3 overall.
- Raymond SommerRushes of adrenaline can be addicting. Soon, adventure and speed become such a way of life, such an addiction, that it can become a generational experience. The norm just isn't exciting when raised in an environment of adventure. And if raised in a home with means, addictions, such as grand prix rac
- Packard Panther Daytona Concept is Sold!At the 'Automobiles of Amelia Island' sale presented by RM Auctions, the Packard Panther did not sell - well, not right away. It became a significant 'after sale', selling for $700,000, bringing the total sales from the auction to over $12.5 million, and the sales ratio to 83%.
This concept is one of the few that were actually designed to be driven on the highway. Most are created for careful drives onto show display stands and slow staged passes before film and television cameras. The Packard Panther has several thousand miles on the odometer and is powered by an eight-cylinder engine and there is a two-speed automatic transmission.
- The Phantom Corsair at the Amelia Island ConcoursRust Heinz, heir to the Heinz 57 ketchup fortune, was a young designer who had the means to put into reality his car of tomorrow, better known as the Phantom Corsair. Based on a 1936 Cord Westchester Sedan with a Granatelli modified 192 horsepower supercharged Cord motor, the body was constructed by Maurice Schwartz of Bohman & Schwartz Body Company. Designed in a wind tunnel, the radical fastback body incorporates modern items such as a climate control system and crash padded dash. It starred in the 1938 movie The Young at Heart where it was called the 'Flying Wombat.' Originally intended to be produced in limited numbers for $12,500, the project ended with Heinz' untimely death in 1939.
- Lamborghini Murcielago LP 650-4Automobili Lamborghini has released the first photographs of a limited edition Murciélago LP 650-4 Roadster. The Roadster version of the Murciélago will offer an uprated 6.5 litre V12 engine that produces 650 hp (478 kW) along with permanent four-wheel drive: hence the model's LP 650-4 moniker. With 660 Nm of torque, top performance is at 0-100km/h (0-62mph) in 3.4 seconds. The top speed is around 330 Km/h (205mph).
The special edition model will be produced in a limited volume (50 units only), with a Grigio Telesto exterior that combines grey bodywork with a special bright orange Arancio LP 650-4 featured on the front spoiler and sills. The LP 650-4 logo applied to the car's exterior is recognition of the car's increased power. The car features orange brake calipers and a transparent V12-engine cover, which shows off the V12 engine behind the driver.
- Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance - Best of ShowThe Amelia Island Concours awards two 'Best of Show'. One is for 'Concours d Elegance' and the other is for 'Concours de Sport'. This years Best of Show 'Concours d'Elegance' went to the 1931 Voisin C20 Demi-Berline. This 1931 Voisin V-12 underslung chassis with 2-door saloon coachwork by Gabriel Voisin is the only known survivor. It seems fitting that Gabriel Voisin's surname should be an anagram for vision, as the French inventor often was ahead of his time when creating vehicles, whether they were intended to be driven or flown. In 1931, at the height of its so-called square angle period, Voisin introduced his C20 Simoun Demi-Berline, this 12-cylinder vehicle that originally sold for $7,800, a price few could afford during the Depression. It is believed that fewer than 100 Voisin-built cars still exist with this car being the most important and most valuable.
- Rare Chrysler Newport DC Phaeton Sells for $687,500The vintage car collector community came to Amelia Island, Florida this past weekend for the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance and RM Auction's 'Automobiles of Amelia Island' sale. The only vehicle invited to both events was the 1941 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton. It is a concept car, one of only five Newports built by LeBaron for Chrysler, and the sole example of the five to have exposed headlights. This car was the actual pace car for the 1941 Indianapolis 500 and the personal property of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
One of the most anticipated sales of the day, this car sold for $687,500, including buyer's premium. The following day, the new owner had the pleasure of displaying it at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.
- The Oldsmobile Autocrat Sells at AuctionThis 1911 Oldsmobile Autocrat was one of several highlights at RM Auctions 'Automobiles of Amelia Island Sale.'
Bidding began at $200,000 then quickly rose to $250,000; six bids later, it was at $400,000, just $300,000 short of the estimated value (on the low end). It was estimated to go as high as $1 million. It is a very rare and historically important automobile, plus with its similar styling to a Mercer or a Stutz, the estimates do seem rather realistic. By this point, bidding had slowed to increments of $25,000. Four more bids brought the total to $500,000. By this point, much thought and time was going into each bid; the length of time between each bid was certainly increasing. Two more bids brought the high to $550k - still short of its reserve and the low-end of the estimated value. The auctioneer was able to coax two more bids, bringing the total to $600K. There were no further bids, even after warned by the auctioneer that 'the lot was selling today.' As the gavel fell for the third and final time, the lot had been sold for the sum of $600K, not including buyer's premium.
- Top Seller at RM Auctions in Amelia IslandThis Murphy bodied Duesenberg Model J Convertible Coupe was certainly one of the most attractive vehicles at RM Auctions' 'Automobiles of Amelia Island' sale, and bidding re-enforced this belief. Bidding began at 'half-a-million', and then rose by increments of $100,000. Before long, it was in the $900,000 range. Duesenbergs, especially those with original coachwork and engines, often fetch top dollar, with many exceeding the magic million dollar mark. Just a few months ago, at the Meadow Brook sale presented by RM Auctions, an un-restored Model J Convertible Coupe (also with coachwork by Murphy) sold for $748,000. In the fall, a few months later, RM Auctions sold an SJ La Grande Phaeton for the $1,688,500. Estimates on the Model J selling at the Amelia Island sale had it as high as $1.5 million. But as bidding slowed as it neared the million-dollar mark, it became clear that only the low-end of the estimates might be achieved. The low-end estimates predicted a sale of $1.1 million, and that figure was nearly reached with the high bid of $1,072,500 (including buyer's premium). A new chapter was written for this Model J, as ownership passed to a new care-taker. The lot was sold, making it the high sale of the day. There were other cars that had higher bids, but this was the only one to find new ownership. The Ferrari 250 LWB California Spyder had a high bid of $1.975 million, but this was not enough to satisfy its reserve.
With over 100 vehicles to cross the block, RM sold over $10 million in sales with a very impressive 78% sales ratio.
- RM Auctions' eagerly awaited 'Automobiles of Amelia Island' eventA significant collection of the world's finest vintage motor cars will roll into Amelia Island, March 14th, 2009 for RM Auctions' highly anticipated Automobiles of Amelia Island auction event.
A popular and permanent fixture on the auto events circuit since 1999, the annual multi-million dollar auction will once again be held in conjunction with the famed Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance to make for an ultimate vintage car weekend for motoring enthusiasts.
Held on the grounds of the stunning Ritz-Carlton Hotel – a setting only surpassed in beauty by the magnificent cars on offer – the event weekend is commonly referred to as the ‘Pebble Beach of the East Coast', attracting fashionable collectors and enthusiasts from around the globe.
'Our Automobiles of Amelia Island auction is an important event on the collector car calendar as it attracts many European and East Coast enthusiasts,' said Ian Kelleher, Managing Director of RM Auctions.
- Aston Martin Racing debuts new LMP1 car at Paul Ricard TestFollowing weeks of intense preparation Aston Martin Racing ran its new LMP1 cars for the first time at the Le Mans Series test held at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France on 8/9 March.
Car numbers 007 and 009 resplendent in their Gulf Oil International orange and blue livery took to the French circuit on Sunday morning. All six of the team's drivers, Jan Charouz (CZ), Tomas Enge (CZ), Stefan Mücke (DE), Harold Primat (CH), Miguel Ramos (PT) and Darren Turner (GB) got an opportunity to test the new cars.
Members of the public were granted access to the Paul Ricard Test Track for the first time in 10 years and 3,500 spectators arrived on Sunday to view the on-track action from the newly installed grandstands. In total 28 of the 50 cars that will compete in the Le Mans Series took part in the official test with the Aston Martins taking centre stage.
- Audi R15 TDI: first 'second' generation diesel racing sports carAUDI AG is the world's first automobile manufacturer to develop a 'second' generation diesel racing sports car. Audi aims to underline its supremacy and consolidate its expertise in car technology once more at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans with the all-new Audi R15 TDI.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is particularly suited for this: Efficient and economical cars are especially required for the French endurance classic. Lightweight construction, environmentally friendly drive concepts and well-thought out aerodynamics are the focus of attention at Le Mans just as they are during the development of production cars. For this purpose the regulations intentionally give the engineers plenty of freedom.
Audi Sport fully exploited this creative freedom and put a new LMP1 race car on the track that differs significantly from all previous Le Mans sports cars. 'The R15 TDI has many detailed technical solutions never seen before on a sports prototype,' explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. 'To a certain extent we followed entirely new routes.'
- Force India VJM02Following last week's initial test in Jerez, Force India moved to Barcelona this week, where Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil aim to put further miles on the VJM02 as the team prepares for the first race in Australia. We asked technical director James Key for an update on how the test programme is going.
Q: What is the plan for the Barcelona test this week?
‘To carry on from where we left off in Jerez and get as much running in as we can. We hope that the weather will be good, and we are able to continue the programme we started in Jerez, namely to get into a flow of set-up changes and directions. We need to learn more about the tyres and we've got a few new bits to put on the car as well. We are starting a bit later, so we've had to compress our programme a bit.'
Q: What are your first impressions of where you stand?
‘One thing that strikes me is how close everyone seems to be. No one is streets ahead, and no one is miles behind. It's impossible to know what other people are doing, but we've run very honest fuel levels. I'm sure a lot of people are keeping their cards pretty close to their chest at the moment!'
- Plymouth Hemi Export CudaThere were 652 examples of the 1970 Plymouth Cuda ordered with the Hemi V8 option which included a 'Shaker' fresh-air intake hood. These ultimate muscle cars were finished in dramatic and eye-catching colors that turned heads.
This 1970 Plymouth Hemi Export Cuda with Lemon twist exterior and black top is one of only 44 Export Cuda's produced with a total of eleven known to exist in modern times. The factory 2-barrel 426 Hemi engine produces 425 horsepower and is matted to a A727 Torqueflight automatic transmission. It also has a Dana 60 rear-end and Good Year Polyglass tires with raised white letters.
- Scuderia AmbrosianaGrand pix racers like to go it alone; there is no room for anybody else in a single-seater. When it comes to starting teams, grand prix racers like to go it alone; no ego struggle concerning who knows best how to run the team. Competitive juices lead to individual racers shying away from joining forces with other racers to create a team. However, when racers apparently believe in something higher than themselves it is quite possible a union could be forged. And in the case of Giovanni Lurano, Luigi Villoresi and Franco Cortese, their apparent belief in something higher led to the creation of Scuderia Ambrosiana.
Named after the patron saint of Milan, Saint Ambrose, Lurano, Villoresi and Cortese were placing their trust in the patron saint to deliver supernatural results. However, life and the lure of self interests attack unions and can reduce what could have been supernatural to nothing more than just average. And it's these occurrences, when there seems to be so much unfulfilled promise, that a person is left always asking the question, 'What could have been?'
- Edsel Pacer Series BIn 1958, Ford finally launched their long rumored, new mid-range Edsel, giving them a five marque lineup, comparable to GM. Unfortunately, sales failed to take off partly because of a national recession that led to a sag in the mid-price market. The other reason cited for the Edsel's lack of sales was the car's controversial styling. Although less radical than expected, critics described the new vertical grille as resembling a 'horse collar.' This turquoise Pacer convertible features the 303hp E-400 engine and a pushbutton automatic transmission in the steering wheel.
- Gas Turbine RacerThe Howmet project was conceived early in 1967 by Ray Heppenstall, a sports car racer from Philadelphia. Heppenstall reasoned that a suitable lightweight turbine mounted in the back of a conventional sports-racing chassis would be a competitive proposition. He also convinced Howmet, one of the leading US metallurgical companies, and a major supplier of precision castings to the gas-turbine industry, that running a race car program would be an ideal promotion tool. This car raced in major events such as the 1968 Daytona and LeMans 24 Hours, plus other FIA and SCCA races. This car was purchased by its current owner in May of 2006 with a dummy engine. Since then, original engine parts have been located and assembled to bring the car back to running condition with the original Continental gas turbine engine, which weighs 170 pounds and produces 330 horsepower.
- The Shelby Cooper-MonacoAfter the 1963 United States Road Racing Championship ended, Carroll Shelby knew his Cobras would not be competitive against the new rear-engined sports racers. He realized the prestige and publicity that the west coast races brought, so Shelby purchased a couple of John Cooper's newest sports racers, the Cooper-Monaco, and installed his Cobra race engines. After having problems finishing races in 1963, Shelby had Richie Ginther help sort out the 1964 King Cobras (as the press called them.) Their first race, the L.A. Times Grand Prix, proved the cars were competitive finishing 1st, 4th, 5th and 7th. The 1964 Shelby team car, CM/6/64, was painted Guardsman Blue with Wimbledon White stripes and was driven by Parnelli Jones at the 1964 L.A. Times Grand Prix at Riverside to a first place finish. Parnelli tried for another win at the Pacific Grand Prix at Laguna Seca in October but crashed on the first lap.
That was the end of Shelby's foray into modified road racing. The King Cobras had served their purpose and Shelby was busy with his 427 Cobras and the Ford GT40 project. The Cooper-Monaco had become obsolete in only two years, overshadowed by monocoque chassis, and alloy engined sports racers by Chaparral, Lola and McLaren.
- The New Owners of Concorso ItalianoA letter from the new owners of Concorso Italiano
Dear Fellow Enthusiast,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tom McDowell. I recently acquired the Concorso Italiano from Jack and Leslie Wadsworth. For many years, the Concorso has been a trend setting show with many traditional aspects that all have anticipated and enjoyed each year. From humble beginnings in the early 90s evolved a special camaraderie that most of you have shared. The founders, Frank and Janet Mandarano, brought in legendary Italian personalities who were honored to be part of the experience of being with you, their fans, in a one-on-one basis on a lush green lawn surrounded by the cars they had designed, raced, or engineered.
I understand well, that great moment when Piero Ferrari, Sergio Pininfarina and Luigi Chinetti Jr. drove up on stage with Piero driving the 3-seat Ferrari Dino Concept and the three of them began discussing their fathers and their lives in their father's business. The huge audience gathered in and around the overflowing bleachers. Their questions were answered - all in good humor - and the cacophony from the paparazzi cameras signaled this was something very special, and it was!
- Thomas Flyer 4-60At the 2008 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, the Thomas Flyer cars were given their own special class, resulting in what might have been the largest gathering of Thomas Flyers to-date. The highlight was the New York-to-Paris-Winning Thomas Flyer that won the historic New York-to-Paris 'Great Race' in 1908. The car was later seen at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. A short distance away, sitting comfortably under the Gooding & Company tent, was a 1907 Thomas Flyer Touring Car. When it crossed the block, several bidders did all that they could to bring this brass-era car home with them. When the gavel fell for the third and final time, the lot was sold for a staggering $1,028,500! It is one of the few Thomas Flyers with its original coachwork, engine and chassis, and was once part of the famed Harrah Collection. During its 100+ years of existence, only four owners have had the pleasure of being its care-taker. This is one of the most desirable American Antiques still in existence.
- The New Owners of Concorso ItalianoDear Fellow Enthusiast,
Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Tom McDowell. I recently acquired the Concorso Italiano from Jack and Leslie Wadsworth. For many years, the Concorso has been a trend setting show with many traditional aspects that all have anticipated and enjoyed each y
- 2009 Amelia Island Concours Honoree: Champion Racer David HobbsThe Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Foundation, Inc. announced that veteran racer David Hobbs will be the honoree for the 14th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, scheduled for March 13-15, 2009, at The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. As one of SPEED Channel's most animated and popular commentators, Hobbs can be seen today providing expert analysis – laced with humorous anecdotes – on a variety of series, including Formula One, sports car, and endurance racing.
'It gives me great pleasure to announce that David is our honoree for 2009,' says Bill Warner, Concours founder and co-chairman. 'We've known each other for a long time and I have watched David put in some of the most spirited drives ever of any racer. His work today for SPEED is fantastic and he always manages to educate as well as entertain with his race commentary. He's a great supporter of Amelia and I'm looking forward to having him.'
- Ecurie BelgeIn 1950, there were many independent teams that took part in Formula One's inaugural season. These teams were comprised more of one driver and his own car, more than anything else. Often times, gentleman of society would form teams to go race. One of those teams was the Ecurie Belge team.
Octave John 'Johnny' Claes was born of a Scottish mother and Belgian father and was educated in England. After World War II, Johnny decided to get involved in grand prix racing. This desire, however, didn't start on a whim. In 1947 Claes served as an interpreter for British drivers at the French Grand Prix. This exposure to grand prix racing birthed a passion within Claes. The very next year Johnny made his debut.
Johnny bought his own Talbot-Lago T26C and raced under the Ecurie Belge name that Johnny himself founded. After competing throughout 1948 and 1949, Claes never scored a victory, but Johnny remained very active in grand prix racing. Despite his lack of success, Claes competed in every event of Formula One's first season.
- 2009 Amelia Island Concours Honoree: Champion Racer David HobbsNo Matter What The Venue, Insightful & Quick-Witted Brit Always A Crowd Favorite
The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Foundation, Inc. announced that veteran racer David Hobbs will be the honoree for the 14th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, scheduled for March 13-15, 2009, at Th
- 2009 Geneva Auto ShowAll of the major automobile manufacturers will be meeting at the Geneva International Motor Show from March 5 – 15, 2009, in spite of the difficult economic environment which is affecting the automobile industry world wide. They will present their latest new models, technological advances, and prototypes of their vehicles of the future. 85 world and European premiers will be presented in the category of private vehicles alone. The new Green Pavilion will welcome approximately 10 exhibitors whose presentations promise a clean and ecologically sound future for the automobile.
Weeks before the start of construction, it appears that the stands will be as prestigious and attractive as in previous years. The leading car manufacturers will not only present their current range of vehicles, but will also convey visitors into their universe of the cars of tomorrow.
All the major automobile brands from Europe, Asia, and America will be present in the 7 exhibition halls of Geneva Palexpo from March 5 – 15, 2009.
- 2010 Lotus Exige SThe 79th International Geneva Motor Show sees the introduction of the exciting new 2010 Model Year Lotus Exige S with a newly designed front end, a new rear wing and impressive emissions of just 199 g/km CO2.
The Lotus Exige is a renowned high performance coupe that has a well earned reputation of choice for drivers who demand uncompromised performance, both on the road and on the track.
Lotus has always pursued efficiency and fuel economy and for the 2010 Model Year Lotus Exige S, Lotus has reduced the emissions to only 199 g/km CO2 and increased the fuel economy to an impressive 8.5 litres/100 km on the Official European Combined Cycle and a frugal 6.5 litres/100 km on the Official European Extra Urban Cycle.
The 2010 Model Year also sees the introduction of a few key changes to the Exige to enhance the look and improve aerodynamic performance.
A restyled front end and new larger, rear wing that not only reduces drag, but also gives a more muscular stance enhancing the lightweight shrink-wrapped look of the whole car.
- Aston Martin Lagonda ConceptAston Martin is proud to announce the return of Lagonda, one of the oldest and most iconic names in luxury car manufacturing.
The revival of Lagonda fulfils a long-term vision and will bring performance luxury into new markets and territories around the world for Aston Martin Lagonda. Ultimately, Lagonda will be a strong presence in 100 global territories, vastly increasing the global brand reach of the company and extending to new customers.
Reflecting its remarkable history, the brand will return to Russia, enter emerging markets in the Middle East, South America, India and China, as well as responding to demand from the dynamic, innovation-focused consumers of Europe, North America and the Far East.
'The Lagonda is the luxury car of the future,' says Aston Martin Lagonda Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez, 'a combination of total usability, a new form and innovative new technology and materials.'
- Spectacular grid of celebrated sports racers under starter's orders for the Houston Classic Auction.Worldwide Auctioneers, responsible for the sale of some of the worlds' finest collector cars, has confirmed a spectacular line up of historic sports racers among the early consignments due to feature at its fifth Houston Classic Auction. 'These iconic automobiles have each played a significant role in sports car evolution and motor racing history throughout the years and today represent both a collectors dream and a substantial investment', said Rod Egan, Managing Partner and Chief Auctioneer.
Chief among these are an important factory prototype 1954 Jaguar XK D-Type, known by connoisseurs as the 'glass fibre car' and an acclaimed 1957 Chevrolet Corvette COPO Race Car, delivered new to Bob Mouat in 1957 and raced straight out of the showroom with undisputed success until 1965. Joining them are a flamboyant 1936 Delahaye 135S Competition Court Teardrop Coupe with alloy coachwork by Figoni & Falaschi and fully documented race history, an awesome 1960 Scarab Grand Prix Race Car, one of only two successfully raced examples and a wonderful 1951 Ferrari 340 America Berlinetta Coupe, complete with coachwork by Touring and extensive documentation authenticating its history.
- 599 GTB Fiorano with the Handling GTE packageWhen it first debuted, the 599 GTB Fiorano set a new standard in terms of performance that remains a benchmark for new sports car development to this day. Now Ferrari is introducing the new Handling GTE (Handling Gran Turismo Evoluzione) package for the model to further underscore its sportiness and handling.
The package includes a modified set-up with stiffer springs and rear anti-roll bar as well as new calibration settings for the magnetorheological shock absorbers when the manettino is at its sportier settings. The ride height has also been lowered which in turn lowers the car's centre of gravity. This combined with the new set-up helps improve body control. The package also includes specifically optimised tyres featuring a compound that offers even better grip.
The car's electronics have also evolved to ensure even more prompt response to driver commands. The F1 gearbox's shifts are now even faster in high-performance settings, while a new engine software strategy has improved accelerator response.
- Aston Martin One-77The One-77 is Aston Martin's definitive sports car, one that epitomises everything Aston Martin from technology, the hand-craftsmanship of the hand rolled aluminium panels to the attention to detail. A culmination of all the marque's know-how, the One-77 delivers effortless beauty guaranteed to stir the senses with performance potential eclipsing any previous Aston Martin.
With the performance and durability phase of the One-77's intensive development programme soon to commence, the 79th Geneva Auto Salon provides the perfect stage on which to reveal the remarkable engineering, advanced technology and exotic materials that lie beneath the One-77's extraordinary exterior.
For Aston Martin's Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez, revealing the One-77's secrets is a proud moment: 'Right from the very beginning of the project the vision for One-77 was very simple: It had to combine high-technology with hand-built craftsmanship, and demonstrate the unique capabilities and passion of our designers, engineers and technical partners.
- Bugatti Veyron Bleu CentenaireBugatti presents the Veyron 'Bleu Centenaire', a very hot edition honouring the 100th anniversary of the company. This special model takes up the traditional Bugatti two-tone-specification, but portrays it in one rather than two colours: in the most known light shaded Bugatti blue.
The Centenaire's unique combination of a 'sprintblue matt' and 'sprintblue gloss' hence offers a new impression of the two-tone-scheme known so far with parts of the engine also covered in this traditional Bugatti Blue.
The roof-trim-stripes and the exterior rearview mirrors are of polished, anodised aluminium. A special wheel design has been added – enhanced by a bright red brake-capillar. The grills at the front and at the side air intakes are in 'mirror shine'.
- Ferrari 599XXWhile based on the 599 GTB Fiorano with the same transaxle layout and engine type, this prototype is an extreme track car. Ferrari's engineers have carried out extensive work on the engine's combustion chambers and inlet and exhaust tracts. These modifications, combined with the fact that internal attrition has been reduced and the maximum revs have been boosted to 9,000 rpm, helped achieve the target power output of 700 hp at 9,000 rpm. Particular attention was also paid to cutting the weight of the engine unit components. This was achieved both by optimising forms - as in the new crankshaft - and adopting exclusive materials, as in the carbon-fibre used for the intake plenums. A new gearbox shift strategy cuts overall gearchange times to 60 ms.
The 599XX is characterised by an innovative electronic concept called the 'High Performance Dynamic Concept' which has been designed to get the maximum performance from the car by managing the combination of the car's mechanical limits with the potential of its electronic controls. The mechanical and electronic systems work together to get the maximum performance from the car under extreme high performance driving, for consistent lap times. The sporty handling has been improved thanks to the adoption of second generation SCM suspension system. Track usage is also made easier thanks to the new 'virtual car engineer', a screen in the car that provides a real-time indication of the vehicle's efficiency.
- Fioravanti LF1 ConceptFioravanti is a means of transport design company, mainly involved in the automobile field, which is recognized for its 'out-of-the-box' thinking.
Thanks to this characteristic combined with the strong passion of its personnel, for the 79° edition of the Gèneve International Motor Show, Fioravanti deals with the topic of Formula 1. Since we think that in a period of heavy economic crisis, in particular for the automotive world, also the Formula 1 has to be reviewed in its principle. Creating more connection between the F.1 research the road cars production, making the races more interesting with more overtaking manoeuvres still maintaining the Grand Prix a the top of the media global events.
LF1 wants only to be an AUSPICE for a future Formula 1 regulation, based on more general simplicity, with it Fioravanti shows one of the possible solutions.
- Fioravanti Tris ConceptIn an environment where the low cost car will have e growing important part in every market, also the most developed, Fioravanti proposes again the Tris project.
The project of an economical car is typical of Italian design, Fioravanti wants to define a low cost car with new parameters, not only looking to production places where the labour costs are lower, but designing a vehicle that is intrinsically economical.
The purpose of this vehicle, characterized by patented solutions, is to influence a future series of cars which components will be strongly reduced in their number. Such components will no longer identified with numbers and definitions in respect to their positions, but they will be designed only for their function.
This is a new way to think and to approach the basic vehicle. The doors will no longer be 'right door n…' and 'left door n..' or ' rear door n…', the bumper will no longer be front bumper and rear bumper, the lighting will no longer be the front left headlight and rear left headlight. All these elements will be defined only as: OPENING FUNCTION, BUMPER FUNCTION, LIGHTING FUNCTION, because these components are exactly the same piece regardless of their position (left, right, front, rear).
- Ford Iosis Max ConceptThe iosis MAX features striking exterior and interior treatment based on a fresh interpretation of Ford's kinetic design form language. It is a dynamic Multi Activity Vehicle (MAV) and showcases new levels of efficiency and flexibility.
Styled by a team led by Martin Smith, Ford of Europe's executive design director, the car's dramatic looks and striking pearlescent 'Limelight' colour are complemented by innovative solutions which enhance its practicality and environmental performance.
iosis MAX showcases new door opening concepts, lightweight materials, advanced aerodynamics, and a preview of the European development of Ford's global EcoBoost petrol engine technology coming in 2010.
- Infiniti Essence ConceptThe essence of the Infiniti brand distilled into one car and then taken to the extremes to satisfy the world's most demanding car enthusiasts … this is the Infiniti Essence.
Presented as a concept at the 79th International Motor Show of Geneva, Essence is a celebration of Infiniti and its 20 years history as a creator of performance cars. But equally it is an inspiring exploration into the brand's future.
The dramatic design, technology and performance statement is a 600PS, petrol/electric hybrid coupe with rear-wheel drive. What Essence is not is merely an indulgent birthday present from Infiniti to itself.
This concept embodies Infiniti's core values as an inspiration for the future as much a celebration of the past. Essence showcases many of the technologies, including hybrid, and design cues that will distinguish Infiniti production cars of the coming years. And by steering Infiniti's guiding principle of 'Inspired Performance' into the super-performance, super-luxury coupe market for the first time, it reaffirms Infiniti's place among the world's most exclusive and vibrant car brands.
- Italdesign Frazer-Nash Namir ConceptNamir is a concept car born of the collaboration between Italdesign Giugiaro and Frazer-Nash, a company specialized in the design, construction, and marketing of hybrid systems deeply rooted in the historical automotive manufacturing company founded in England by Archie Frazer-Nash in 1923.
Presented during the 79th edition of the International Motor Show in Geneva, Namir represents the turning of a new page in the book being written by the Torino-based firm since 2004, opening with the Alessandro Volta project and followed up with the commemorative dream car – Quaranta - the result of research and development on sports cars fuelled by hybrid systems produced last year in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the company's founding.
The Arabian name Namir, meaning 'tiger', sums up the main features of the concept car: elegance and power, aggressiveness and litheness of lines. Without any doubt it is a sports car: a coupé with two bucket seats and an accurate equilibrium between style and mechanics, aesthetics and contents. The sophisticated mechanics as well as the avant-garde electric and electronics systems are wrapped up into an aggressive package with an exquisitely balanced proportion of volumes and a stunning contrast between the sharp accents of the rear end and the sinuous front lines that emphasise this supercar's performance: over 300 km/h (187 mph) at maximum speed and an acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and from 0 to 200km/h in 10.4 seconds, making this the fastest hybrid car in the world.
- Magna Steyr mila ev ConceptMagna is presenting the latest member of the MILA innovation family at the Geneva Motor Show 2009: mila ev – a forward-looking automotive concept, uncompromising, universally applicable and suited to daily use in every way. The outstanding element and centerpiece of the mila ev is its fully integrated electric vehicle platform which can be used by every OEM to realize their own product, drive and design strategies in the shortest of time.
A new vehicle concept has been developed in the shape of the mila ev in which the electric drive represents both the starting point and end point of development. In other words, a vehicle concept optimized for an alternative, forward-looking drive technology in all the developmental steps and thus representing no subsequent modification, retrofitting or conversion of an already existing concept. Without compromise, as only can be expected from a complete-systems provider proficient in understanding complete vehicle systems and outstanding expertise in system integration built up over many years.
- Mitsubishi i MiEV Sport Air ConceptWhilst the idea of an electric sports car (or simply electric fast car, witness the 100 km/h record-breaker back in 1899) is not new, not much thought have been given so far to consider electric vehicle (EV) fundamentals as sports car material…
Blending sporting heritage with EV leading expertise, Mitsubishi Motors has just taken that upside down view to create the clear removable top i MiEV SPORT AIR, premiered at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.
- Nissan Qazana ConceptQazana is a small Crossover and has been conceived to challenge conventional wisdom about what buyers of small five-door cars should expect.
Speaking of a future model for Europe inspired by Qazana, Mr Tavares confirmed: 'I am pleased to announce that the production version of Qazana will be made in Europe at our world-class manufacturing facility in Sunderland, United Kingdom in 2010.'
Qazana will reinforce Nissan's position as a pioneer of Crossovers, building on the success of the Murano - now in its second generation - the Qashqai and recently introduced Qashqai+2.
- Spyker C8 AileronSpyker Cars, manufacturer of exclusive premium sports cars since 2000, today proudly introduces the production version of its all-new second-generation sports car: the Spyker C8 Aileron, the prototype of which was shown at Geneva in 2008.
Victor R. Muller, Spyker Cars' founder and Chief Executive Officer said on the occasion of the unveiling: 'When we unveiled the C8 Aileron prototype here last year, we wanted to make a clear statement to the industry that Spyker was about to take the next step in its short but intense history, by introducing its second-generation sports cars, developed from scratch. Within a year we transformed that prototype into the production-ready car we show here today. The first cars are being built now with customer production and deliveries starting in May 2009.
- The NLV Quant – By KoenigseggSwedish supercar marque Koenigsegg and NLV Solar AG, a pioneer in photovoltaics and accumulator technology, have joined forces to create the Quant. The brainchild of this marriage of power and energy is a four-seater solar electric car. A full-scale model is to be unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Salon, with the two companies currently working on running prototypes to scale up for series production.
The advances in electric power generation and storage, combined with the aerodynamic, futuristic Koenigsegg design and engineering, will enable the NLV Quant to charge the FAES(Flow Accumulator Energy Storage) to full capacity in 20 minutes and give the vehicle a range of 500 kilometres. The additional power input from the invisible, thin-flm photovoltaic coating that covers the body of the car, further increases the range potential.
The revolutionary solar and FAES systems enable the design of a fully electrical vehicle, rather than relying on more commonplace hybrid solutions. This also simplifes the drive train layout and packaging, as only one propulsion system is needed.
Given the size of the The NLV Quant, it has an unusually low frontal surface of around 2 m2. This, combined with a drag coeffcient of around CD 0.27 and the effciency of the FAES, will enable the car to cover long distances between charges.
- Volkswagen new PoloWorld premiere in Switzerland: Volkswagen is introducing the fifth generation of the Polo at the Geneva International Motor Show (March 5 to 15) – the new edition of one of the most influential German cars of our times. Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management, Volkswagen Group: 'Through the combination of the car's design and technology, aligned with forthcoming market requirements, we have repeated our achievements in the recently launched new Golf in the class below. This takes us to an entirely new level of high customer value and efficiency among small cars and indeed at prices that are still affordable.'
No other car in this class has such a mature and high-end image as the new Polo. Comfort, quality and safety have all taken a considerable leap forward. One example: the Polo was specifically designed to attain the recently established, stricter and more comprehensive, 5-star EuroNCAP rating. The higher structural rigidity of the Polo's bodyshell contributes to these results. In the footwell area alone, intrusion – related to the car body's deformation strength in a frontal crash – was lowered by 50 percent! In the case of a side impact, the intrusion value was reduced by 20 percent.
- Volkswagen Polo BlueMotion ConceptIt is still a concept – the most fuel efficient five-seater in the world. Its name: Polo BlueMotion. Fuel consumption: 3.3 liters CO2 emissions: just 87 g/km! Likelihood of going into production: extremely high! However, before a potential production launch, development must be completed on the brand new 1.2 liter TDI with common rail injection. And that is precisely what the team led by Development Chief Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg is working on with great emphasis. 'I anticipate,' says Dr. Hackenberg, 'that we will be able to go into production in February 2010. Meeting this schedule will be extremely demanding. Yet the engine and other systems of the Polo BlueMotion are already operating with such promising performance that we are on course to meet our goal.'
The 'other systems' to which he refers include an automatic start-stop system and regenerative braking. These two technologies alone reduce fuel consumption of the 55 kW / 75 PS three-cylinder direct-injection diesel by up to 0.2 liters per 100 kilometers.
- Dacia Duster ConceptDuster – Dacia's first concept crossover – is proud to be different. Seen from the driver's side, it is visibly a sporting coupé, yet passengers entering from the other side will see it as an MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) with a traditionally opening front door and rear-hinged rear door which suggest plush travelling refinement.
Duster's height of 1.49 metres, short front and rear overhangs (65cm and 80cm respectively), generous wheelbase (2.80m) and compact volumes (4.25m long, 1.64m wide) exude an overriding sense of robustness and sports appeal.
The front end features a broad bumper with two horizontal air-intake slits that suggest power. The grille features evident Dacia styling cues and is flanked by headlamps which wrap over the front wings to form a tapering line of light that stretches rearward towards the doors.
Viewed from the side, the clear-cut lines of the wheel arches and tall doors reinforce the impression that Duster sits squarely on the road. The Anthracite Grey bodywork and extensive one-piece glazed sweep – made possible by the absence of a central pillar – highlights the styling of the sides which are unmistakably reminiscent of Duster's graphic identity. At the rear, the engraved Dacia logo further emphasizes the concept car's robust, dependable credentials.
- Opel Ampera to Debut in 2011The revolutionary Opel Ampera today celebrated its world premiere at the 79th Geneva Motor Show. General Motors Europe president, Carl-Peter Forster, unveiled the extended-range electric vehicle and announced plans to put the car into production in late 2011.
The Ampera will also be offered with right-hand drive in the United Kingdom by Opel's sister-brand, Vauxhall.
'The Opel Ampera further demonstrates GM's leadership in the electrification of the automobile,' said Carl-Peter Forster. 'Its ground-breaking Voltec electric propulsion system is the kind of game-changing technology the automotive industry needs to respond to energy and environmental challenges.'
- The new king of the bulls is even more powerful, lighter and fasterThe Lamborghini Murciélago is one of the most extraordinary super sports cars of all time. Automobili Lamborghini has now expanded its model range with a new, exceptionally purist and even more extreme top model – the Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce is even more powerful, lighter and faster than the Murciélago LP 640. With the output of the 6.5 liter V12 increased to 670 hp and a weight reduction of 100 kg (220 lbs), the Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 2.3 kg (5.1 lbs) per hp. This catapults it from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a breathtaking 3.2 seconds and powers it on to a top speed of around 342 km/h (212 mph). Distinctive design refinements ensure that each of this 350-unit limited edition series conveys its full potential from the very first glance.
With its outstanding performance, razor-sharp precision and exceptional high-speed stability, the Lamborghini Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce is the ultimate performance car for advanced sports car drivers. The super sports car has been extensively redesigned with a new front and rear, an innovative engine bonnet and a choice of two aerodynamic set-ups featuring either a small or large rear spoiler. The interior in Alcantara and carbon fiber provides a purist and minimalist approach.
- The Opel Ampera: Star of the 2009 Geneva Motor ShowElectrically propelled vehicle with more than 500 kilometers autonomy
The revolutionary Opel Ampera, which will premiere March 5 at the Geneva Motor Show, will be the first emission-free, electrically propelled automobile in Europe suitable for everyday driving. For journeys up to 60 km, the five-door, four-seat hatchback runs on electricity stored in the 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery, and emits zero CO2. When the battery's energy is depleted, electricity from an on-board engine-generator extends the Ampera's range to more than 500 km.
- The Perana Z-One : In Full DetailThe sports car Perana Z-One signals the first collaboration of the Milanese Coachbuilders with a South African Vehicle Manufacturer: Perana Performance Group.
The Perana project is the result of Zagato's 90 year-long expertise in constructing fully functional running concepts.
Virtual reality development has been integrated from inception, effectively eliminating the need for the traditional styling model and enabling the prototype to be completed in less than 4 months by the South African team.
- Acura MDXThe award winning Acura MDX luxury performance SUV is considered by many as the benchmark of its class and the 2009 model provides luxury, performance, technology and sophistication in one of the most stylish seven-passenger configurations available. At the same time, the MDX delivers maximum power and efficiency from its VTEC® V-6 engine and, thanks to Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system, also provides handling prowess normally associated only with luxury sports sedans.
An available Active Damper System, developed exclusively for the MDX Sport Package, further expands the MDX's performance envelope while retaining the comfortable, quiet and controlled ride quality of a luxury vehicle.
In keeping with Acura's leadership in the application of advanced, customer-relevant technologies, the 7-passenger MDX harnesses a vast array of leading-edge technologies to greatly enhance the driving and ownership experience, thus providing its occupants with an unprecedented level of information access and control.
- The Lamborghini EspadaMarcello Gandini of Bertone was asked to design and built a Gran Turismo based on the Marzal and Pirana showcars. This 2+2 car was suitable for long trips, with its short height and wide stance, 3.9-liter twelve-cylinder engine (capable of 325 horsepower), providing owner with a comfortable, yet powerful driving experience.
The Series II, also referred to as the 400 GTE, had vented disc brakes on all four corners, an improved 350 horsepower engine and a modified dashboard. There were 1,217 examples produced, making it the most successful Lamborghini model up to that point. The Espada was a practical and civilized sports car.