Sunday, September 30, 2007

[F1C] PTC Lancia Nordschleife

Pontiac G8 engineer almost dies

Pontiac's famous tagline is "We build excitement". What does it say about the new Pontiac G8 that yesterday morning an Australian engineer driving a test car fell asleep at the wheel and piloted it down a 100-foot embankment, striking a boulder and flipping the car end over end? Well, the Pontiac G8 will surely be one of the more exciting vehicles from the brand in recent memory when it goes on sale early next year, but apparently for the engineer, 41-year-old Rolf Glenk, it wasn't exciting enough to keep him awake. Glenk was the last in a convoy of G8s that were traveling on Highway 82 in Colorado yesterday morning when the accident happened. Being last in line, it was only after another engineer noticed their group was one short that Glenk and the totaled G8 were found flipped upside down at the bottom of an embankment. Glenk was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital and treated for minor injuries, while the G8 didn't so fare nearly as well. Glenk was also given a citation for careless driving.

Volkswagen Scirocco spy photos; captured in Germany

Volkswagen's forthcoming new Scirocco Coupe has been spotted again undergoing testing on Germany's Nurburgring, this time allowing our spy photographers to snap its stylish interior. A highly-anticipated successor to VW's Scirocco coupe of 1974 and based largely on the Iroc concept car shown at last year's Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen's new coupe will be as iconic as each of its inspirations.
Inheriting the majority of styling cues from its concept car predecessor, which incidentally draws on the Scirocco name for its own, it will be the outgoing Eos convertible which donates its powertrain and underpinnings. There are deviations from the concept car inside and out, although the cabin's twin pods for speedo and rev counter remain, much like the Eos-sourced and TT-inspired vents and switchgear. Exterior modifications extend only to the shifting of the rear exhausts to one side, while the coupe's sweeping profile, the Iroc's side crease and swept mirrors all stay for production. Heading up the range will be VW's new line-up of TSI turbocharged engines, kicking off with a 1.4-litre, 138 hp turbo and a 168 hp supercharged unit. Volkswagen's popular TDI engines will also feature, with the 168 hp 2.0-litre diesel spearheading the diesel range. A Golf GTI-inherited 2.0-litre engine, capable of generating 197 hp, will top the initial range, while a hot lightweight R20 version of the Scirocco with 230 hp is planned, despite all-wheel-drive and a V-alignment being ruled out over development costs and fuel consumption worries.

Prices and specifications are yet to be announced but expect the Scirocco to start at �20,000 in the UK, due to the omition of traditional 'entry-level' models.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

[rF] VLN Nordschleife Rain

Play poker with NASCAR stars in a new website

Good news for NASCAR fans out there.

A new website brings some of the NASCAR favorites such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Khane closer to the enthusiasts of the popular racing series.

The Victory Lane Players Club (, which has recently started, enables its members to play a virtual poker against their favorite NASCAR stars such as Tony Stewart (who was twice a Nextel Cup champion), Elliot Sadler, Jamie McMurray, Dale Jarrett, Khane, and Earnhardt.

�These are the biggest names in racing, and VLP Club will make these racers more accessible to their fans,� according to Power Play Development�s Chief Executive Michael Clebnik, as quoted in Boston Herald�s September 27 report.

Members of the website use a points-based system, instead of cash prizes, which they can swap for an autographed item, tickets to NASCAR races, among others.

Several privileges await future members such as advance notice when the NASCAR drivers are playing online, the chance to meet the drivers at exclusive VLP Club events, and first priority in customer service inquiries�all for a minimal cost of $20.

Source: Boston Herald

Friday, September 28, 2007

[rF] SCC 2003 Bentley Le Mans

Acura on the Nurburgring

There has been quite a debate about this Japanese prototype lapping the Nurburgring racetrack. One person says its the 2008 Honda accord another says its the 2010 Acura TL. We think its the Acura TL.

The TL was first snapped undergoing hot-weather testing in Death Valley during nighttime.

The next Accord will come in a hatchback form and station wagon form but there is a new rumor about an upcoming Accord Coup� for Europe.

Under the hood there will be two petrol engines and a new 2.2 litre diesel engine. The oil burner gets Honda�s new NOx reduction technology for even cleaner running. The system uses ammonia in the catalytic converter which causes the NOx to change into harmless nitrogen, slightly different to Mercedes' Bluetec system. Also on the way is a new hybrid model - showcasing Honda's latest hybrid technology in a new package, rather than adapting an existing platform like today's Civic IMA.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

BMW crosses into new territory

Our spies capture BMW's latest model this week in Munich undergoing initial road tests. Still heavily disguised, the BMW V series will be taking on the Mercedes R-Class which has not been met with great enthusiasm. BMW seems to have drawn their own conclusion from Mercedes' experience and have designed not so much a van-like car but rather a sportier and more luxurious middle class family hatchback.

The newcomer is based on the future 5 series platform which allows BMW to spread both production and development costs. Currently the project name is V-Series, but we expect a more fitting title for the car by the time it will make its first curtain call by the end of next year. Power is expected to come from 3.0 litre six-cylinder engines delivering 272 hp (petrol), 286 hp (twinturbo diesel) and 231 hp (turbo diesel). A top of the line model could be powered by the future direct-injection V8 delivering 420 hp.

Photos showing:

The V-Series testing in Munich
1 CGI based spy photo

car-evolutioncars 1st Birthday :)

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[rF] ...more VLN Action

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Benz Clios Karusell

[CMR] lets get dirty!! ;)

Talking Points

Bob Osborne (left) with teammate Carl Edwards

�Well it's nice to have a teammate that's under the same pressure and in the same situation. Someone who understands the circumstances you're in is a great asset. We can talk about game plans and come up with strategies; two heads are always better than one.�

--Crew chief Bob Osborne of Roush Fenway Racing, speaking on having his teammate Carl Edwards back at the Chase in an interview with

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hyundai i30 goes "green"

Hyundai is all set for the production of its new green version of i30 hatchback in January 2008. The low-emission version ships the 89bhp 1.6 litre diesel engine, which has been tailored from the 113bhp 1.6 liter diesel unit currently in the array.

The changes embrace detuning and an addition of a particulate filter over the standard car. The carbon emissions have been reduced from 125g/km to 119g/km. The green i30 will be placed in the B group for VED, which costs �35 a year.

It has been publicized that the business drivers will go down from 18% to 13% under new regulations, which cut tax for business drivers of diesels emitting less than 120g/km. This latest i30 would not apply the congestion charge under new proposals, at least in the near future.

The new model would be available for �13,000 with ESP, air conditioning, stability controls and alloy wheels as standard on all versions. The green version is also covered by the company�s five year unlimited mileage warranty. The outlay for the new i30 CRDi will be announced as soon as January next year, official launch date of the green version

Nissan X-Trail proves popular (JP)

The new Nissan X-Trail has proven itself to be a hot seller in Japan.

In the first month of its launch in Japan, the Japanese seem to have taken a good interest in the vehicle. 10,000 orders were booked in the first month.

Hyundai i20 undisguised

The Hyundai Getz is reaching the end of its life-cycle and Hyundai is working hard to replace it with the new i20 by the summer of 2008. We caught up with the new i20 in the Southern European mountains and although we only snapped a picture of a five-door prototype we do expect a 3-door version to follow in early 2009.

The Hyundai i20 will be positioned below the recently launched i30 which debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show and is destined to take on the VW Polo.

Power is expected to come from a variety of petrol engines ranging between 70 and 110 bhp and turbodiesel engines ranging between 88 and 110 bhp.

What it takes in broadcasting NASCAR races

Who says covering car races for television such as NASCAR is easy as counting your toes?

Broadcasting NASCAR proves to be a very demanding task for TV station ABC/ESPN. But the cable TV network seems to be unfazed and is up to the challenge.

A case in point was the Nextel Cup Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover International Speedway last September 23, which was telecast live on ABC.

ABC/ESPN senior motorsports producer Neil Goldberg relates his experience in a Delawareonline article, thus: �It's like trying to land 43 planes on the same strip at one time."

So much so that Goldberg is destined to confinement inside his command center, which includes an expensive, custom made flat-bed trailer. This trailer contains over 60 high-definition TV screens, wherein the producer selects the best shots at any given moment to be shown to viewers.

"There are 43 cars to tell stories about," Goldberg said in the same article. "It's exciting. The story always changes. We're producing it on the fly."

Now in its first of an eight-year contract to broadcast NASCAR, ABC/ESPN will broadcast the final 17 races of the Nextel Cup Series. Aside from ABC/ESPN, the Series�s 36 seasons are divided between TNT, FOX, and the Speed Channel. The deal signifies the comeback of NASCAR to the station owned by Disney, which has not broadcast races for six years.

The preparations alone underscore the hard work the TV network has been putting into this just to deliver the latest from NASCAR straight to the audience�s TV sets. According to the ABC/ESPN, it uses approximately 13 huge vehicles in a convoy that contains all the equipment to every race. Some of the vehicles are allocated for audio and a system where the crew can record everything to replay at any given time. For every NASCAR telecast, ABC/ESPN employs over 100 workers working on the 75 cameras, which are more than double of the average used for covering a football game.

The ABC/ESPN crew starts working today with a conference with the team of producers. From that point onwards, everything is ready, according to Goldberg.

"The challenge in coverage is being prepared to react," Goldberg further said. "So much is going on, but it all makes sense.�