Friday, November 30, 2007

[RBR] rbrdll

Global Warming Created Art Car During SF earthquake in 1989 at 5:04 pm???


Photo by Harrod Blank

I have been thinking about this car-evolutioncars for for some time now so I had to write about it, and maybe its because I have a feeling there will be another major earth quake in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the next couple of months. On October 17, 1989 a major earthquake hit San Francisco at 5:04 PM that devastated this area really bad. But the destruction gave birth to an unusual car-evolutioncars called 5:04 PM. Michael Mikel was wondering around SF after the earth quake when he came upon an Oldsmobile with its top crushed in by a pile of bricks from a wall. He offered to buy the car but the owner just gave to him considering the car a total loss. With some minor repairs and a new number plate "5:04 PM" he had got himself an art, created by one of mother earths nasty tantrums. I guess that's the positive side all that "CO2" is Global Warming Art Cars. Michael you lucky stiff I spent 2.5 years working on my art car, yours took a few minutes. Thank you "Mother Earth" for you creativity and your tantrums once again.

New Car: 2008 Audi A3 Cabriolet










Sporty, elegant, emotion-packed � the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is making its appearance in perfect time for spring 2008. The open-top Audi A3 is the premium option in the compact class.

It offers the sporting genes of the A3 coupled with the uncompromising quality that distinguishes every Audi model. There are four engines to choose from, together with an extensive range of individual equipment options. Sales commence in Germany at the start of February 2008.

Audi convertible models generally sport a classic fabric top � and in the case of the Audi A3 Cabriolet this feature lends its profile a note of harmonious elegance and coup�-like sportiness. Its soft top is notable for its light weight and excellent fit. It can be opened hydraulically in just nine seconds; when open, it takes up very little space. The hood is available in semi-automatic and fully automatic versions, in the latter instance as a specially soundproofed acoustic hood.

The body structure of this premium convertible from Audi contains a high proportion of high-strength, ultra-high-strength and hot-formed steels, as well as a large number of reinforcing measures that provide maximum rigidity and crash safety. Inside, the accustomed uncompromising build quality, attractive design and exemplary ergonomics create an atmosphere of sporting elegance. There is ample space here for four occupants. The rear seat backs can be folded down, increasing the luggage capacity from 260 to 674 litres � whether the hood is up or down!

The A3 Cabriolet is being built in four engine versions � two petrol and two TDI. They combine ample power with impressive efficiency. All of them are direct injection units with turbocharging. The performance range extends from 77 kW (105 bhp) to 147 kW (200 bhp). As an option, the innovative S tronic dual-clutch gearbox takes charge of applying the engine's power to the wheels.

The Audi dynamic suspension lends the A3 Cabriolet superior agility. It comes complete with responsive electromechanical power steering, which consumes very little energy. The four-link rear suspension combines superb comfort with sporty handling properties. As well as the standard suspension, there is also the option of sports suspension.

Audi is offering the Audi A3 Cabriolet in the Attraction and Ambition equipment lines. In both cases its equipment specification is extensive and the Ambition line includes 17-inch aluminium wheels, sports suspension and sports seats, among other features. An S line exterior package and S line sports package are available from quattro GmbH.

The exterior design:

There are many arguments in favour of the classic soft top as featured on Audi convertible models. One of them is evident at first sight: the harmonious proportions. Thanks to the hood's compact folding design, Audi's designers were able to create a four-seater with appealing lines. With the roof open, the Audi A3 Cabriolet looks compact and light; with the roof closed, it radiates the elegance of a coup�. Measuring 4,238 millimetres in length, 1,765 mm in width and 1,424 mm in height, it ranks among the sporty compact models in its competitive field.The strong presence of the A3 Cabriolet is typical of the Audi brand. The interplay between its surfaces lends the body the character of a sculpture; these lines are framed by the forward urge of its lines. The horizontal dynamic line above the sill and the ascending shoulder line create the impression of a more elongated body.

The face of the A3 Cabriolet is dominated by the large single-frame grille, but the headlights are also an eye-catching feature. The precision of their design gives visible expression to the perfectionism of the brand with the four rings. They can be supplied optionally with xenon plus lights, which can operate in tandem with the dynamic adaptive light technology. The "wing" � a chrome vapour-coated wing-shaped contour � has become established as a characteristic Audi element; its form varies depending on the type of headlight.

The daytime running lights in the form of an integral light strip � an important safety feature at Audi � comprise seven white light-emitting diodes in conjunction with the xenon plus units. Similarly to the headlights, the rear lights of the A3 Cabriolet are of a flat, broad design. Their technology is based on fibre optic rods, but the visual effect is of two radiant rings that clearly distinguish the car as an Audi even after dark.
When viewed side-on, the athletic physique of the Audi A3 Cabriolet is clearly in evidence. The striking wheel arches accommodate large wheels: in the case of the Attraction equipment line, 16 inches in diameter. The Ambition version has 17-inch wheels made from cast aluminium. 18-inch wheels from quattro GmbH are available as an option. Audi supplies the A3 Cabriolet in 15 paint colours that can be combined with three hood colours � black, blue and red.

The hood and body:

Audi has remained faithful to its successful line: the new A3 Cabriolet likewise has a classic fabric top. This blends in perfectly with the original, authentic idea of open-top driving and the feeling of carefree agility. The hood keeps its shape thanks to the mechanically moved metal linkage, which assures an excellent close fit, perfect tightness and the silhouette of a coup�. A large, heated glass rear window affords a good view to the rear.

Audi can supply the fabric top in two versions � the semi-automatic soft top and the fully automatic acoustic hood. In both cases the hood is moved by a high-pressure pump with two hydraulic cylinders. They open the large soft top in an extremely rapid nine seconds. This means that even a short stop at traffic lights is long enough to complete the process.

When lowered, the hood is folded up in a Z-pattern so that it takes up a minimum amount of space.

The header � a board at its front edge � comes to rest on top, basically flush with the body, with the result that the structure needs neither a tonneau cover nor a cover flap. The folded hood is set down in a compact sheet steel compartment that reduces the luggage compartment capacity only very slightly. The high-performance kinematics mean that the acoustic hood can also be opened and closed at speeds of up to 30 km/h � a big advantage in terms of convenience when driving in urban traffic. The process is controlled by a switch on the centre console; the hood can also be opened and closed conveniently from outside the car, via the ignition key in the door lock.

The fully automatic soft top takes the form of an acoustic hood. Between the outer skin and the inner lining there is a synthetic fibre mat that further improves thermal insulation and soundproofing � at a speed of 140 km/h it is only 1 dB (A) louder inside the Audi A3 Cabriolet than in the A3. If only the front seats are occupied, a wind deflector can be erected above the rear bench seat in a few simple steps from one side of the vehicle.

High-strength steel: low weight and maximum rigidity:

An extensive package of measures gives the body of the A3 Cabriolet its rigidity, and this open-top Audi drives with the same standards of precision, agility and comfort as the A3 with permanent roof. 45 percent of the bodyshell is made from high-strength steels, while nine percent in fact consists of ultra-high-strength steels, combining low weight with maximum rigidity. The roof frame and roll-over bar incorporate hot-formed steels for maximum safety.
Reinforcing profiles are integrated into the side sills and vehicle floor. V-pattern steel profiles additionally reinforce the forward structure and rear end, and there is a capsule with another reinforcing frame beneath the engine compartment. There are high-strength panels in the B-posts.

A box-shaped structure made from high-strength sheet steel separates the passenger compartment from the luggage compartment. The roll-over bars of hot-formed steel tubing are bolted into this structure. Similar high-tech tubes serve to reinforce the A-posts internally. Head/thorax side airbags are integrated into the backs of the front seats. In the event of a rear-end collision, the Audi integrated head restraint system promptly cushions the head and upper body.

The interior:

The interior of the Audi A3 Cabriolet radiates an air of sporting elegance; its materials, Audi's accustomed uncompromising build quality and its design accentuate the premium character of this new convertible model. Calm lines border its large surfaces. The four round air vents and the side knee cushions on the centre console's struts are reminiscent of the Audi TT.

It is a matter of honour for Audi to maintain the perfect standards of ergonomics that it has pioneered. The speedometer and rev counter's red needles sweep across dials in a sporty black. On the Ambition equipment line, the A3 Cabriolet is supplied with a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel. Multifunction keys are available as an option, and the S tronic transmission features shift paddles. The switches adopt an organic, ergonomic design. The two navigation systems available use an operating logic adopted from the superior MMI concept as familiar from Audi's large car lines.

Audi offers a broad range of options for the seats. On the Ambition line, both front seats are sportily contoured. An electric four-way lumbar support is available as an option, as is heating for the front seats or all four seats.

The interior: that free, open-air feeling:

The classic convertible character that the fabric top creates in the open-top A3 can also be detected in the way the interior space is used. The windscreen is as upright as on the A3 with permanent roof, creating an unobstructed, airy impression of openness � unlike many competitor concepts with a steel roof, where the windscreen lies flatter. Because the folded hood occupies little space, it has not been necessary to move the rear bench seat further forward. This leaves ample legroom at the rear, thanks in part to the long wheelbase of 2,578 millimetres.Another of the Audi A3 Cabriolet's major strengths in everyday use is its variable luggage compartment. The rear seat backs, split 50:50, can be released from the luggage compartment. The wide, high through-loading space that is created increases the luggage capacity to 674 litres and the load area length to 150 centimetres � ample even for large items of sports equipment. In the standard arrangement the luggage compartment has an ample capacity of 260 litres, whether the hood is open or closed.

The drivetrain:

The A3 Cabriolet is being built in four four-cylinder engine versions, two of them petrol and two diesels. All of them are turbocharged direct injection engines � their designations TFSI and TDI embody technological combinations that blend impressive output with high efficiency. TFSI technology demonstrated its potential over many years in the realm of motor sport � the sports prototype R8 won the Le Mans 24 Hours five times between 2000 and 2005. The Audi R10 TDI added to the string of successes in 2006 and 2007 with its immensely powerful V12 TDI.The new A3 Cabriolet is available with a choice of two TDI engines � a combination with which Audi already established a trend in 1995; back then, the 1.9 TDI became the first diesel engine in the world to be used for powering a convertible. In the A3 Cabriolet, the smaller of the two four-cylinder engines musters up an output of 77 kW (105 bhp) and a hefty 250 Nm of torque at just 1,900 rpm from a swept volume of 1,896 cm3. The speedometer needle takes 12.3 seconds to pass the 100 km/h mark, and the top speed is 185 km/h. This diesel version uses just 5.1 litres of fuel per 100 km. The A3 Cabriolet 1.9 TDI is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The new 2.0 TDI with its displacement of 1968 cm3 displays the strengths of the TDI concept in an evolutionary interpretation � it runs efficiently, powerfully and very quietly. The four-valve engine, which is equipped with two balancing shafts, has been fitted with a newly developed common rail system. Its turbocharger has variable vanes for greater responsiveness and the pistons have acquired an optimised geometry that further enhances the efficiency of the combustion process.

The two-litre engine develops 103 kW (140 bhp). Between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm it generates 320 Nm of torque � enough to accelerate the A3 Cabriolet from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 204 km/h. The 2.0 TDI is content to clock up 100 kilometres on an average of just 5.3 litres of fuel and its emissions already undercut the limits of the future Euro 5 standard. As an option, Audi can supply the high-tech S tronic transmission instead of the manual six-speed gearbox.

Petrol direct injection: injection pressure boosted to 150 bar:

The newly developed 1.8 TFSI produces 118 kW (160 bhp) and 250 Nm, the latter across an engine-speed range of 1,500 to 4,200 rpm. An adjustable intake camshaft optimises filling of its combustion chambers and two balancing shafts guarantee plenty of refinement.

Direct injection and turbo technology is the ideal combination for abundant driving pleasure and impressive efficiency. The turbocharger responds extremely fast and the four-cylinder engine is spontaneous, fleet-footed, high-revving and torquey. It accelerates the A3 Cabriolet with six-speed manual gearbox to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds and on to 218 km/h; it accomplishes the EU driving cycle on an average of 7.3 litres per 100 km. Alternatively Audi can supply the sporty S tronic.

Technically speaking, the 1.8 TFSI is a very close relation of the 2.0 TFSI that was voted "Engine of the Year" three times in a row by an international panel of journalists. The two-litre version puts 280 Nm of torque onto the crankshaft from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm, and between 5,100 and 6,000 rpm it develops 147 kW (200 bhp). The 2.0 TFSI likewise operates with an adjustable intake camshaft and two balancing shafts, and its compression ratio of 10.5:1 guarantees high thermodynamic efficiency.

With the S tronic dual-clutch gearbox that is available alongside the six-speed manual gearbox, the A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds; its top speed is 231 km/h. It uses on average 7.6 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.

The engine's power is directed to the front wheels on all versions of the Audi A3 Cabriolet; the engine versions from the 103 kW (140 bhp) upwards are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The S tronic combines the advantages of both automatic and manual transmission. At high loads and engine speeds, it shifts between its six gears in just 0.2 seconds without palpably interrupting the power flow.

The driver can operate the S tronic by means of the one-touch lever or, in motor racing style, using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. There are furthermore two fully automatic modes available, D for Drive (standard) and S for Sport. The S tronic operates highly efficiently and its electronic management in the automatic mode ensures that the engine runs as economically as possible at low engine speeds. Even the most painstaking of drivers could not accomplish this better.

The dynamic suspension:

The light, compact fabric top lowers the overall weight and the centre of gravity of the Audi A3 Cabriolet. This helps the Audi dynamic suspension to realise its full potential.Audi had recourse to a classic layout for the front suspension � a McPherson design with triangulated lower wishbones. The subframe on which the structure is mounted is made from aluminium. Bolted to the body, it imparts the forward structure with very high rigidity.

The precise, firm-acting rack-and-pinion steering operates with electromechanical power assistance with speed-dependent control. The system does not use energy when the car is driving in a straight line, saving 0.2 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on average.

The four-link rear suspension represents another technical highlight. Its design principle brings major advantages in terms of handling characteristics because it registers and responds to longitudinal and lateral forces separately. Here again, a subframe connects the suspension with the body; compact coil springs and dampers provide vertical support.

All these technologies are key ingredients of the overall impact made by this sporty convertible. It is infused with the precision and spontaneity that the car delivers with every turn of the steering. The open-top A3 is sprung with subtlety and its steering functions with unshakeable calm. The self-steering behaviour remains neutral right up to a very high handling limit.

Options: sports suspension and large-dimension wheels:
For the Ambition equipment line, the A3 Cabriolet is available optionally with sports suspension that lowers the body by 15 mm. The Attraction line comes with 16-inch wheels with size 205/55 tyres. On the Ambition, 17-inch aluminium wheels with size 225/45 tyres are standard. Audi can also supply four other wheel versions as options, as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The brake system of the A3 Cabriolet likewise satisfies sports standards. The front discs are ventilated and have a large diameter. The pedal feel is direct and spontaneous, and the braking power can be regulated with outstanding ease. Particular emphasis was placed on reducing the braking distance when the stabilisation program (ESP) was being fine-tuned.

The equipment:

The Attraction line of the Audi A3 Cabriolet already comes with a semi-automatic hood. Four electric windows and the standard daytime running lights round off the specification. The sporty Ambition line has the distinguishing features of 17-inch aluminium wheels, front fog lights and sports suspension. Inside, the sumptuous equipment includes sports seats, a driver information system, a leather sports steering wheel, a wind deflector and special inlays, upholstery and door sill trims.The range of options for the A3 Cabriolet includes such convenient items as multifunction steering wheels, deluxe automatic air conditioning, leather upholstery, heated seats and a parking aid. Xenon plus headlights and the adaptive light for cornering illuminate the road effectively in the dark. The storage package for the interior and luggage compartment and a ski and snowboard bag further add to the practical utility of the A3 Cabriolet.

Typically for Audi, the A3 Cabriolet too features a broad range of multimedia technologies. This extends from the chorus CD radio, with four speakers, to the Bose sound system. All audio systems from the concert radio upwards include an interface on the centre tunnel for connecting up an iPod or MP3 player. Two navigation systems � with monochrome or large colour monitor � help with providing directions. For mobile telephony, Audi offers a mobile phone preparation in combination with the audio systems.Those who are fond of very special features will appreciate the equipment lines on offer from quattro GmbH. The S line comprises an exterior package for the body and a sports package. A third option available from quattro GmbH is the Audi exclusive line.

Subaru Impreza WRX STi pricing announced (UK)

The Impreza WRX STI which makes its UK public debut at Autosport International Show at Birmingham�s NEC in January has been priced at only �24,995 on the road, �1,600 less than old model.

The STI is powered by a 300 PS (305 hp) 2.5-litre turbo flat 4-cylinder � unlike the Japanese market STI which uses a higher-revving 2.0-litre turbo. Max speed is 155.3 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds. Fuel consumption compared to the previous model improves to 20.5 on urban/34.4 extra urban and 27.4 on a combined cycle.

First deliveries are expected next March.

New Backfire for RBR by 6e66o

unedited pic!



















Replace this particles.dat (textures folder) with your old one! (make a Backup in case you don�t like it!)
http://rapidshare.com/files/73339909/particles.rar.html

Audi A3 Cabriolet




Sporty, elegant, emotion-packed � the new Audi A3 Cabriolet is making its appearance in perfect time for spring 2008. The open-top Audi A3 is the premium option in the compact class. It offers the sporting genes of the A3 coupled with the uncompromising quality that distinguishes every Audi model. There are four engines to choose from, together with an extensive range of individual equipment options. Sales commence in Germany at the start of February 2008.

Audi convertible models generally sport a classic fabric top � and in the case of the Audi A3 Cabriolet this feature lends its profile a note of harmonious elegance and coup�-like sportiness. Its soft top is notable for its light weight and excellent fit. It can be opened hydraulically in just nine seconds; when open, it takes up very little space. The hood is available in semi-automatic and fully automatic versions, in the latter instance as a specially soundproofed acoustic hood.

The body structure of this premium convertible from Audi contains a high proportion of high-strength, ultra-high-strength and hot-formed steels, as well as a large number of reinforcing measures that provide maximum rigidity and crash safety. Inside, the accustomed uncompromising build quality, attractive design and exemplary ergonomics create an atmosphere of sporting elegance. There is ample space here for four occupants. The rear seat backs can be folded down, increasing the luggage capacity from 260 to 674 litres � whether the hood is up or down!

The A3 Cabriolet is being built in four engine versions � two petrol and two TDI. They combine ample power with impressive efficiency. All of them are direct injection units with turbocharging. The performance range extends from 77 kW (105 bhp) to 147 kW (200 bhp). As an option, the innovative S tronic dual-clutch gearbox takes charge of applying the engine's power to the wheels.

The Audi dynamic suspension lends the A3 Cabriolet superior agility. It comes complete with responsive electromechanical power steering, which consumes very little energy. The four-link rear suspension combines superb comfort with sporty handling properties. As well as the standard suspension, there is also the option of sports suspension.

Audi is offering the Audi A3 Cabriolet in the Attraction and Ambition equipment lines. In both cases its equipment specification is extensive and the Ambition line includes 17-inch aluminium wheels, sports suspension and sports seats, among other features. An S line exterior package and S line sports package are available from quattro GmbH.

The exterior design


There are many arguments in favour of the classic soft top as featured on Audi convertible models. One of them is evident at first sight: the harmonious proportions. Thanks to the hood's compact folding design, Audi's designers were able to create a four-seater with appealing lines. With the roof open, the Audi A3 Cabriolet looks compact and light; with the roof closed, it radiates the elegance of a coup�. Measuring 4,238 millimetres in length, 1,765 mm in width and 1,424 mm in height, it ranks among the sporty compact models in its competitive field.

The strong presence of the A3 Cabriolet is typical of the Audi brand. The interplay between its surfaces lends the body the character of a sculpture; these lines are framed by the forward urge of its lines. The horizontal dynamic line above the sill and the ascending shoulder line create the impression of a more elongated body.

The face of the A3 Cabriolet is dominated by the large single-frame grille, but the headlights are also an eye-catching feature. The precision of their design gives visible expression to the perfectionism of the brand with the four rings. They can be supplied optionally with xenon plus lights, which can operate in tandem with the dynamic adaptive light technology. The "wing" � a chrome vapour-coated wing-shaped contour � has become established as a characteristic Audi element; its form varies depending on the type of headlight.

The daytime running lights in the form of an integral light strip � an important safety feature at Audi � comprise seven white light-emitting diodes in conjunction with the xenon plus units. Similarly to the headlights, the rear lights of the A3 Cabriolet are of a flat, broad design. Their technology is based on fibre optic rods, but the visual effect is of two radiant rings that clearly distinguish the car as an Audi even after dark.

When viewed side-on, the athletic physique of the Audi A3 Cabriolet is clearly in evidence. The striking wheel arches accommodate large wheels: in the case of the Attraction equipment line, 16 inches in diameter. The Ambition version has 17-inch wheels made from cast aluminium. 18-inch wheels from quattro GmbH are available as an option. Audi supplies the A3 Cabriolet in 15 paint colours that can be combined with three hood colours � black, blue and red.

The hood and body

Audi has remained faithful to its successful line: the new A3 Cabriolet likewise has a classic fabric top. This blends in perfectly with the original, authentic idea of open-top driving and the feeling of carefree agility. The hood keeps its shape thanks to the mechanically moved metal linkage, which assures an excellent close fit, perfect tightness and the silhouette of a coup�. A large, heated glass rear window affords a good view to the rear.

Audi can supply the fabric top in two versions � the semi-automatic soft top and the fully automatic acoustic hood. In both cases the hood is moved by a high-pressure pump with two hydraulic cylinders. They open the large soft top in an extremely rapid nine seconds. This means that even a short stop at traffic lights is long enough to complete the process.

When lowered, the hood is folded up in a Z-pattern so that it takes up a minimum amount of space. The header � a board at its front edge � comes to rest on top, basically flush with the body, with the result that the structure needs neither a tonneau cover nor a cover flap. The folded hood is set down in a compact sheet steel compartment that reduces the luggage compartment capacity only very slightly. The high-performance kinematics mean that the acoustic hood can also be opened and closed at speeds of up to 30 km/h � a big advantage in terms of convenience when driving in urban traffic. The process is controlled by a switch on the centre console; the hood can also be opened and closed conveniently from outside the car, via the ignition key in the door lock.

The fully automatic soft top takes the form of an acoustic hood. Between the outer skin and the inner lining there is a synthetic fibre mat that further improves thermal insulation and soundproofing � at a speed of 140 km/h it is only 1 dB (A) louder inside the Audi A3 Cabriolet than in the A3. If only the front seats are occupied, a wind deflector can be erected above the rear bench seat in a few simple steps from one side of the vehicle.

High-strength steel: low weight and maximum rigidity


An extensive package of measures gives the body of the A3 Cabriolet its rigidity, and this open-top Audi drives with the same standards of precision, agility and comfort as the A3 with permanent roof. 45 percent of the bodyshell is made from high-strength steels, while nine percent in fact consists of ultra-high-strength steels, combining low weight with maximum rigidity. The roof frame and roll-over bar incorporate hot-formed steels for maximum safety.

Reinforcing profiles are integrated into the side sills and vehicle floor. V-pattern steel profiles additionally reinforce the forward structure and rear end, and there is a capsule with another reinforcing frame beneath the engine compartment. There are high-strength panels in the B-posts.

A box-shaped structure made from high-strength sheet steel separates the passenger compartment from the luggage compartment. The roll-over bars of hot-formed steel tubing are bolted into this structure. Similar high-tech tubes serve to reinforce the A-posts internally. Head/thorax side airbags are integrated into the backs of the front seats. In the event of a rear-end collision, the Audi integrated head restraint system promptly cushions the head and upper body.

The interior


The interior of the Audi A3 Cabriolet radiates an air of sporting elegance; its materials, Audi's accustomed uncompromising build quality and its design accentuate the premium character of this new convertible model. Calm lines border its large surfaces. The four round air vents and the side knee cushions on the centre console's struts are reminiscent of the Audi TT.

It is a matter of honour for Audi to maintain the perfect standards of ergonomics that it has pioneered. The speedometer and rev counter's red needles sweep across dials in a sporty black. On the Ambition equipment line, the A3 Cabriolet is supplied with a three-spoke leather sports steering wheel. Multifunction keys are available as an option, and the S tronic transmission features shift paddles. The switches adopt an organic, ergonomic design. The two navigation systems available use an operating logic adopted from the superior MMI concept as familiar from Audi's large car lines.

Audi offers a broad range of options for the seats. On the Ambition line, both front seats are sportily contoured. An electric four-way lumbar support is available as an option, as is heating for the front seats or all four seats.

The interior: that free, open-air feeling


The classic convertible character that the fabric top creates in the open-top A3 can also be detected in the way the interior space is used. The windscreen is as upright as on the A3 with permanent roof, creating an unobstructed, airy impression of openness � unlike many competitor concepts with a steel roof, where the windscreen lies flatter. Because the folded hood occupies little space, it has not been necessary to move the rear bench seat further forward. This leaves ample legroom at the rear, thanks in part to the long wheelbase of 2,578 millimetres.

Another of the Audi A3 Cabriolet's major strengths in everyday use is its variable luggage compartment. The rear seat backs, split 50:50, can be released from the luggage compartment. The wide, high through-loading space that is created increases the luggage capacity to 674 litres and the load area length to 150 centimetres � ample even for large items of sports equipment. In the standard arrangement the luggage compartment has an ample capacity of 260 litres, whether the hood is open or closed.

The drivetrain


The A3 Cabriolet is being built in four four-cylinder engine versions, two of them petrol and two diesels. All of them are turbocharged direct injection engines � their designations TFSI and TDI embody technological combinations that blend impressive output with high efficiency. TFSI technology demonstrated its potential over many years in the realm of motor sport � the sports prototype R8 won the Le Mans 24 Hours five times between 2000 and 2005. The Audi R10 TDI added to the string of successes in 2006 and 2007 with its immensely powerful V12 TDI.

The new A3 Cabriolet is available with a choice of two TDI engines � a combination with which Audi already established a trend in 1995; back then, the 1.9 TDI became the first diesel engine in the world to be used for powering a convertible. In the A3 Cabriolet, the smaller of the two four-cylinder engines musters up an output of 77 kW (105 bhp) and a hefty 250 Nm of torque at just 1,900 rpm from a swept volume of 1,896 cm3. The speedometer needle takes 12.3 seconds to pass the 100 km/h mark, and the top speed is 185 km/h. This diesel version uses just 5.1 litres of fuel per 100 km. The A3 Cabriolet 1.9 TDI is available with a five-speed manual gearbox.

The new 2.0 TDI with its displacement of 1968 cm3 displays the strengths of the TDI concept in an evolutionary interpretation � it runs efficiently, powerfully and very quietly. The four-valve engine, which is equipped with two balancing shafts, has been fitted with a newly developed common rail system. Its turbocharger has variable vanes for greater responsiveness and the pistons have acquired an optimised geometry that further enhances the efficiency of the combustion process.

The two-litre engine develops 103 kW (140 bhp). Between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm it generates 320 Nm of torque � enough to accelerate the A3 Cabriolet from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 204 km/h. The 2.0 TDI is content to clock up 100 kilometres on an average of just 5.3 litres of fuel and its emissions already undercut the limits of the future Euro 5 standard. As an option, Audi can supply the high-tech S tronic transmission instead of the manual six-speed gearbox.

Petrol direct injection: injection pressure boosted to 150 bar


The newly developed 1.8 TFSI produces 118 kW (160 bhp) and 250 Nm, the latter across an engine-speed range of 1,500 to 4,200 rpm. An adjustable intake camshaft optimises filling of its combustion chambers and two balancing shafts guarantee plenty of refinement.

Direct injection and turbo technology is the ideal combination for abundant driving pleasure and impressive efficiency. The turbocharger responds extremely fast and the four-cylinder engine is spontaneous, fleet-footed, high-revving and torquey. It accelerates the A3 Cabriolet with six-speed manual gearbox to 100 km/h in 8.3 seconds and on to 218 km/h; it accomplishes the EU driving cycle on an average of 7.3 litres per 100 km. Alternatively Audi can supply the sporty S tronic.

Technically speaking, the 1.8 TFSI is a very close relation of the 2.0 TFSI that was voted "Engine of the Year" three times in a row by an international panel of journalists. The two-litre version puts 280 Nm of torque onto the crankshaft from 1,800 to 5,000 rpm, and between 5,100 and 6,000 rpm it develops 147 kW (200 bhp). The 2.0 TFSI likewise operates with an adjustable intake camshaft and two balancing shafts, and its compression ratio of 10.5:1 guarantees high thermodynamic efficiency.

With the S tronic dual-clutch gearbox that is available alongside the six-speed manual gearbox, the A3 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds; its top speed is 231 km/h. It uses on average 7.6 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.

The engine's power is directed to the front wheels on all versions of the Audi A3 Cabriolet; the engine versions from the 103 kW (140 bhp) upwards are fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The S tronic combines the advantages of both automatic and manual transmission. At high loads and engine speeds, it shifts between its six gears in just 0.2 seconds without palpably interrupting the power flow.

The driver can operate the S tronic by means of the one-touch lever or, in motor racing style, using the shift paddles on the steering wheel. There are furthermore two fully automatic modes available, D for Drive (standard) and S for Sport. The S tronic operates highly efficiently and its electronic management in the automatic mode ensures that the engine runs as economically as possible at low engine speeds. Even the most painstaking of drivers could not accomplish this better.

The dynamic suspension


The light, compact fabric top lowers the overall weight and the centre of gravity of the Audi A3 Cabriolet. This helps the Audi dynamic suspension to realise its full potential.

Audi had recourse to a classic layout for the front suspension � a McPherson design with triangulated lower wishbones. The subframe on which the structure is mounted is made from aluminium. Bolted to the body, it imparts the forward structure with very high rigidity.

The precise, firm-acting rack-and-pinion steering operates with electromechanical power assistance with speed-dependent control. The system does not use energy when the car is driving in a straight line, saving 0.2 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres on average.

The four-link rear suspension represents another technical highlight. Its design principle brings major advantages in terms of handling characteristics because it registers and responds to longitudinal and lateral forces separately. Here again, a subframe connects the suspension with the body; compact coil springs and dampers provide vertical support.

All these technologies are key ingredients of the overall impact made by this sporty convertible. It is infused with the precision and spontaneity that the car delivers with every turn of the steering. The open-top A3 is sprung with subtlety and its steering functions with unshakeable calm. The self-steering behaviour remains neutral right up to a very high handling limit.

Options: sports suspension and large-dimension wheels


For the Ambition equipment line, the A3 Cabriolet is available optionally with sports suspension that lowers the body by 15 mm. The Attraction line comes with 16-inch wheels with size 205/55 tyres. On the Ambition, 17-inch aluminium wheels with size 225/45 tyres are standard. Audi can also supply four other wheel versions as options, as well as a tyre pressure monitoring system.

The brake system of the A3 Cabriolet likewise satisfies sports standards. The front discs are ventilated and have a large diameter. The pedal feel is direct and spontaneous, and the braking power can be regulated with outstanding ease. Particular emphasis was placed on reducing the braking distance when the stabilisation program (ESP) was being fine-tuned.

The equipment


The Attraction line of the Audi A3 Cabriolet already comes with a semi-automatic hood. Four electric windows and the standard daytime running lights round off the specification. The sporty Ambition line has the distinguishing features of 17-inch aluminium wheels, front fog lights and sports suspension. Inside, the sumptuous equipment includes sports seats, a driver information system, a leather sports steering wheel, a wind deflector and special inlays, upholstery and door sill trims.

The range of options for the A3 Cabriolet includes such convenient items as multifunction steering wheels, deluxe automatic air conditioning, leather upholstery, heated seats and a parking aid. Xenon plus headlights and the adaptive light for cornering illuminate the road effectively in the dark. The storage package for the interior and luggage compartment and a ski and snowboard bag further add to the practical utility of the A3 Cabriolet.

Typically for Audi, the A3 Cabriolet too features a broad range of multimedia technologies. This extends from the chorus CD radio, with four speakers, to the Bose sound system. All audio systems from the concert radio upwards include an interface on the centre tunnel for connecting up an iPod or MP3 player. Two navigation systems � with monochrome or large colour monitor � help with providing directions. For mobile telephony, Audi offers a mobile phone preparation in combination with the audio systems.

Those who are fond of very special features will appreciate the equipment lines on offer from quattro GmbH. The S line comprises an exterior package for the body and a sports package. A third option available from quattro GmbH is the Audi exclusive line.

Subaru WRX STi Shocking Price for UK Announced




The WRC bred Imprezza WRX STI, which makes its UK public debut at Autosport International Show at Birmingham�s NEC in January has been priced at only �24,995 On-The-Road, �1,600 less than old model. The STI is powered by a 300 PS (305 hp) 2.5-liter turbo flat 4-cylinder � unlike the Japanese market STI which uses a higher-revving 2.0-liter turbo. Max speed is 155.3 mph with a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds. Fuel consumption compared to the previous model improves to 20.5/34.4 and 27.4 on the Urban/Extra Urban and Combined Cycles. First deliveries are expected next March. See below for more details.

Jeep Wrangler




Chrome package and wheels

Startech, Brabus's sister company in charge of Chrysler cars, has taken home the classic, yet all new Jeep Wrangler and worked its magic on it, again.

Startech have fitted the new, and for the first time four-door, Jeep Wrangler with a gleaming, chrome-plated stainless steel kit. But it doesn't just look pretty, it is also state-of-the-art pedestrian protection.

The energy-absorbing front guard, protecting the chrome-plated grille, is elastically mounted below the front bumper and complies with the strict EG limits for pedestrian protection.

The chrome look continues around the side with stainless-steel rocker panel guards all the way to the rear which is protected from minor fender-benders through some highly polished components with a finishing touch on the spare-wheel cover and exhaust tip. Chrome detailing continues inside the car with chrome-plated mirror housings and door handles.

The Startech Wrangler rides on one-piece five-spoke Monostar IV light-alloy wheels and come in three sizes with 22 inch being the largest.

Press Release

Innovative STARTECH Accessories for the new Jeep Wrangler

The Jeep is the forefather of all SUVs and even in its latest incarnation � for the first time ever with four doors � it has not lost any of its fascination. STARTECH offers an innovative and exclusive accessories program for the four-wheel legend. The STARTECH product lineup includes an extensive chrome package for the exterior, custom-tailored light-alloy wheels with diameters ranging from 19 to 22 inches and exclusive interior options.

Gleaming, chrome-plated stainless steel and state-of-the-art pedestrian protection do not have to be mutually exclusive. For the new Wrangler STARTECH has developed an energy-absorbing front guard that easily met strict EG limits for pedestrian protection in the required crash testing. The front guard is elastically mounted below the front bumper and comes with EG operating certificate.

The exclusive STARTECH look further includes stainless-steel rocker panel guards with integrated plastic step for easier entering and exiting of the vehicle. These components are available for all Wrangler models, with short or long wheelbase. The rear of the Wrangler is protected against minor parking damage by highly polished stainless-steel components. The STARTECH exhaust tip further adds to a more striking rear appearance. The STARTECH spare-wheel cover with highly polished stainless-steel ring rounds out the list of exclusive STARTECH exterior options.

The gleaming STARTECH look for the Jeep Wrangler is completed with chrome-plated mirror housings and door handles as well as by a chrome-plated front grille.

The striking appearance of the STARTECH-refined SUV is further marked by one-piece STARTECH Monostar IV light-alloy wheels. The prominent five-spoke wheels can be mounted on the Wrangler in three different sizes. The largest tire/wheel combination features polished 10Jx22 wheels with sporty wide tires in size 295/35 R 22. All STARTECH tire options lend the 4x4 more agile handling with even further increased safety reserves.

The STARTECH designers have created exclusive options for the interior as well. Among them are newly designed trim components for dashboard and center console. Highly polished stainless-steel scuff plates welcome the occupants.

The company-own STARTECH upholstery shop fulfills requests for further customization. The palette ranges from a stylish leather completion set for the front and rear door trim to an innovative leather upholstery for the seats that incorporates classic Jeep design elements.

The upholstery shop also crafts exclusive fully leather interiors from especially soft yet durable Mastik leather and Alcantara.

BRABUS SLR Roadster World Debut





BRABUS, super tuner of all things Mercedes, will debut to the world its tuning package for the new Mercedes SLR McLaren Roadster. In addition to the usual 20-inch Brabus wheel sets, the styling package is limited to a bolt-on front spoiler and rear diffussor. Both of these aerodynamic components which are made of exposed carbon fiber, were fine tuned through wind tunnel testing. Power output on the �old� 5.5-liter supercharged V8 engine gets pumped up an additional 24hp and 18 kW to 650 hp / 478 kW via special camshafts, fuel cooling system and a high-performance exhaust. The tuned roadster sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 337 km/h (209 mph). A host of bespoke interior options are available as well. See release below for details.

Press Release

Is it possible to make a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster even more exclusive and individual? BRABUS proves that the topless Mercedes supercar can be made even sportier and more exciting with its sophisticated customization program.

To give the two-seater even more striking looks while at the same time minimizing lift on the front axle, the BRABUS designers have developed a front spoiler that attaches to the production bumper. The spoiler is made from exposed carbon fiber and its shape was fine-tuned in the wind tunnel. It is especially lightweight and extremely tough. A corresponding BRABUS rear diffuser made from exposed carbon fiber can replace its production counterpart.

The sporty BRABUS outfit for the SLR Roadster is dominated by BRABUS Monoblock VI 20-inch wheels that fill the wheel houses perfectly. The fully polished multi-piece wheels feature six double spokes and are mounted on the sports car in size 9.5Jx20 in front and size 11.5Jx20 on the rear axle. High-performance tires in sizes 255/30 ZR 20 and 305/25 ZR 20 are supplied by BRABUS technology partners Pirelli and YOKOMAMA. This low-profile tire/wheel combination is custom-tailored for the SLR coupe and roadster and benefits not only the car's appearance but also its handling.

Thus equipped the topless SLR is ready for some additional power provided by BRABUS engine tuning. The power tuning for the supercharged 5.5-liter (335.5 cu. in.) engine consists of special camshafts, a fuel cooling system and a high-performance exhaust. With BRABUS tuning, power output of the V8 compressor engine increases by 24 hp (23 hp SAE net) / 18 kW to 650 hp (641 hp SAE net) / 478 kW at 6,500 rpm.

BRABUS also offers a special clutch-type limited-slip differential with a locking rate of 40 percent. It further optimizes traction and improves acceleration performance of the super sports car. The tuned roadster sprints to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 337 km/h (209 mph).

Precision handwork down to the last detail characterizes the exclusive BRABUS interior design for the two-seater. The company-own upholstery shop specializes in fulfilling just about any request from discriminating SLR owners when it comes to customizing the interior. That includes a multitude of leather types and colors as well as custom upholstery designs.

An unusual BRABUS specialty is the waffle-patterned leather carpeting in the SLR's footwells. Some 7,800 meters (25,600 feet) of the finest thread are sewn with utmost precision for it alone.

A sporty and functional BRABUS option is the ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel that is flattened on the bottom for markedly easier entering and exiting of the vehicle. The steering wheel features integrated buttons for manual shifting of the SLR's automatic transmission.

Sporty BRABUS carbon-fiber applications for dashboard, center console and door trim transfer the racing look of the BRABUS body components into the interior. The exposed carbon-fiber trim can be color-coordinated with the leather color of the interior.

Nissan FORUM Concept Interior Sketch



Advanced minivan

Nissan will be showing a brand new 'advanced' minivan concept at Detroit's North American International Auto Show called the FORUM.

Back in October Nissan decided to release an early exterior sketch of this new B-pillar-less minivan with trackless sliding doors. The concept has been designed and created by Nissan Design America, based in California and Michigan.

The interior will host an array of innovative family communications systems, which is made up of a Bose Media System with proximity sensor-based information controller (daddy's toy), a one-button audio muting system (mom's escape button), 2nd and 3rd row monitoring cameras (parental Big Brother-ish control unit) and individual seat-mounted speakers for every row (finally something for the kids).

Stay tuned for live shots and comments from Detroit in January.

Lamborghini Murcielago Roadster LP640 Revealed





Lamborghini is presenting the new version of the Lamborghini Murci�lago Roadster at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Lamborghini Murci�lago LP640 Roadster benefits from the same extensive modifications to the bodywork and mechanics as the LP640 Coup�, as well as delivering its own distinct character.

Even more aggressive design

In their re-interpretation of the Roadster, the designers of the Lamborghini Centro Stile have remained true to the original style principles of purism, sportiness and functionality. As with the Coup� it has now assumed a more aggressive appearance, a substantial influence being the new front and rear bumpers. On the latter there is a new rear diffuser, in which the exhaust system is integrated within a tailpipe. The rear lights are also new, increasing the distinguishing features and making the Murci�lago Roadster as unmistakable at night as in daylight. The asymmetrical design of the sides is particularly striking. Whilst the area behind the air inlet on the right is almost closed, on the left there is a large opening for the ventilation of the oil cooler. This, in addition to the aerodynamic form of the front and rear, is an illustration of how functionality dictates the shape of a Lamborghini.

Changes to the rear-view mirror make the Murci�lago Roadster more aerodynamic, with other features including new windscreen wipers and the option of new Hermera alloy wheels.

From its forerunner, the Lamborghini Murci�lago Roadster LP640 has inherited the characteristic asymmetrical interior arrangement. The whole interior is tailored to the driver and arranged in such a way that a true driver-focused experience is offered; a car which challenges yet at the same time is entirely geared to the driver. This is illustrated in the use of perforated leather for the chair cushions, the dashboard tunnel console and the door lining on the driver�s side.

The instrument panel has also been redesigned with different display graphics. This includes a new Kenwood car radio with a 6.5 inch widescreen monitor and reader for DVD, MP3 and WMA. The navigation system (standard equipment in Japan) is also available as an option.
Like its predecessor, the Murci�lago LP640 Roadster can be customised through special equipment packages. The �ad personam� individualisation program offers even more scope to create a personal, unmistakeably individual sports car.

More powerful engine


As with the Coup� the new 6.5 litre (6.496 cm3) 60� V-engine and 640 PS (471 kW) at 8,000 min-1 is now used also in the Lamborghini Murci�lago Roadster. At 6,000 min-1 the 12-cylinder engine reaches the maximum torque of 660 Nm. Naturally the Lamborghini Murci�lago meets all the current valid European and North American emission standards.

The increased power naturally leads to increased road performance. The maximum speed now lies at 330 km/h compared to 320 km/h. The standard sprint from 0 to 100 km/h is now reached by the Murci�lago LP640 Roadster in an excellent 3.4 seconds making it 0.4 seconds faster than its forerunner.

The engineers also focused their attention on optimising the torque band. The driveability of the engine thus benefits from the use of a continually variable timing system (intake and exhaust side) and engine management with Drive-by-Wire-System.

In order to meet the increased thermal requirements of the engine, the engineers built a larger oil cooler. On the exterior this is illustrated by a larger air inlet on the left wing of the vehicle. The liquid cooler on the other hand remains unchanged with the Lamborghini VASC System (variable geometry air inlet system). Additional electronically controlled air scoops open according to the outside temperature and cool air requirement. This guarantees maximum aerodynamic efficiency.

Gears and drive � more efficient and more resistant

Higher performance and torque naturally mean increased demand on the drive components. A six�gear transmission adapted to these requirements, plus a stronger rear differential and new half-axles, have therefore been deployed in the new Murci�lago Roadster. An e-gear transmission with a newly tuned thrust mode (acceleration program) is also available as an option.

Like its forerunner, the new Murci�lago Roadster LP640 has permanent four-wheel drive. This is based on Lamborghini�s proven VT-system (Viscous Traction), which is self-regulating without the
aid of electronic controls. In standard cases the drive force is distributed between the front and rear axles at a ratio of 30 to 70. An independent control loop adjusts the distribution of the drive force depending on dynamic oscillation, weight distribution and the relative friction values in synchronisation with the Visco clutch. In extreme cases, up to 100 percent of the drive force can thus be applied to one axle.

Electronics � closed loop for total control

Innovations have also been made to the electronics. With a closed loop control system the revised electronic control units improve the road performance and the response characteristics of the engine. All engine and vehicle parameters are controlled and monitored through a combination of three �master� and one �slave� control units. These are two electronic control units of the Lamborghini LIE type: a Lamborghini GFA (Gestione Funzioni Ausiliarie, i.e. Auxiliary Function Control) control unit and a Lamborghini PMC (Power Motor Control, i.e. slave unit). These control units are interconnected by means of a CAN bus.

Frame and chassis

Although the Lamborghini Murci�lago Roadster LP640 is principally based on the Murci�lago Coup�, it has further distinguishing features beyond its distinctive appearance. First and foremost, newly designed frame structure parts made of steel and carbon fibre guarantee an unswerving torsion resistance even without a roof. A special reinforcement structure in the engine area makes a major contribution to this aspect. This optically distinctive reinforcement can also be delivered in carbon fibre on request. Without impairing the extreme character of a typical roadster, a canvas roof (R.top) can be fitted which, true to the design tradition of this type of vehicle, is principally conceived for temporary use (for example in a sudden shower of rain) and for speeds of up to 160 km/h.

With its characteristic wing doors, the bodywork of the Murci�lago LP640 Roadster is still made from an extremely high quality combined structure of sheet steel and carbon honeycomb. The combination of these materials is achieved by bonding and riveting.

The road performance, handling and stability at high speeds benefit from the use of new springs and stabilisers as well as the revising of the electronically controlled silencers. The anti-dive and anti�squat properties of the axles which effectively prevent brake diving and squatting, remain
unchanged. The springs (two for each rear wheel and one for each front wheel) and silencers are coaxially aligned.

The new aluminium Hermera rims measure 8 �� x 18� at the front and 13� x 18� at the rear. The vehicle is equipped with mixed tyres of the type PIRELLI P Zero �ROSSO�: the Murci�lago LP640 Roadster is driven at the front on tyres with the dimensions 245/35 ZR 18 and 335/30 ZR 18 at the rear. Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres are available as an option: particularly appropriate for use on race tracks.

Brakes and safety

It goes without saying that a super sports car such as the new Lamborghini Murci�lago LP640 Roadster goes hand-in-hand with a high level of safety.

Its hydraulic dual circuit braking system with LP-brake servo (unit) ensures impressive delay values under even the hardest strain. The internally ventilated brake disks measure 380 mm x 34 mm at the front and 355 mm x 32 mm at the rear. The closed loop of the four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) is enhanced, with electronic braking management (DRP) and traction control (TCS). The system consists of an electro-hydraulic control unit and four sensors for the wheel speeds.

When extremely high performance braking is required it is possible to equip the vehicle with carbon ceramic brakes measuring 380 mm x 36 mm with six-piston-brake callipers, which reduce pressure on the brake pedal and shorten the braking distance. Even under the toughest strain, there is almost no brake fading. Substantially reduced weight and greater durability are further advantages in addition to the carbon ceramic brakes� attractive appearance.

The new Murci�lago LP640 Roadster meets rigorous standards in terms of passive safety. With two front-seat air bags, a 60-litre airbag on the driver�s side and a 130-litre airbag on the passenger side, it meets all existing world-wide standards in the event of head-on and side crashes, impact against poles, occupant safety in the case of accident, fuel supply integrity and fuel combustibility. The luggage compartment also complies with childproof safety regulations. The Murci�lago LP640 Roadster has automatically lowered roll bars; if the electronic control of this device detects a critical situation, the roll bars shoot out behind the seats within just a few milliseconds.




Related entries:

New Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 in Detail
Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Aerodynamic Package by IMSA
Lamborghini to Bow Out Murcielago with Lightweight SV



Lamborghini to Bow Out Murcielago with Lightweight SV


The Murcielago having last year had its engine upgraded to a 6.5-litre unit and its styling subtly revised for the 2007 model year LP640, the present range-topping Lamborghini is to take its final bow with the introduction of a special edition ultra-lightweight version - the Murcielago SV.

The SV will have weight-saving at its heart, with reductions expected to shave off between 220 and 300 pounds from the Murcielago's 3663-pound body. And in conjunction with a final power upgrade expected to exceed that of the Reventon's 6.5-litre V12-powered 641 horses, straying nearer to 680 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, straightline performance is set to be phenomenal.

Development will focus around three key areas: interior, exterior and mechanicals. Carbon-fiber will take over the cabin, with inner door skins, seat shells, the transmission tunnel and leather-lined door panels all becoming carbon fiber, as well as door handles being replaced with pull straps and the audio system being scrapped - but likely becoming a weighty optional extra.

With the exception of aluminium roof and door panels, the Murcielago boasts a carbon-fiber dominated body. And so the ditching of the front differential and driveshafts, to produce a rear-wheel-drive setup, will shed 90 pounds. All-new forged and machined alloy rims will lose some 13 pounds at each corner. The electronically-operated system used to raise and lower the rear spoiler will also go, to be replaced by two large carbon fiber wings.

To cope with power being routed solely to the rear wheels, traction control software will be heavily modified, while faster shifting will be provided by the standard fitting of Lamborghini's clutchless e-gear transmission system. Insiders suggest shift times could drop from 0.4 to 0.2 seconds.

Set to be replaced within three years, the SV is likely to be the last re-incarnation of the Murcielago before the arrival of its successor. There are as yet no plans for an ultra-lightweight Gallardo SV.



Related entries:

Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster LP640 Revealed





New Audi A4



The new Audi A4 is the definitive vehicle of the mid-sized sedan market and with Abt Sportsline engineers having refined the new model further, the result is an expressively-designed and exceptionally-engineered vehicle signalling a true victor of the class.

The Abt AS4 is styled to personify strength and agility without losing the A4's sense of elegance and is much a smooth cruiser as the Audi production model it is based on - all while throwing a sportier experience and more agile ride into the mix.

And these strengths are primarily accentuated through a new bodykit. Marked new front skirts, highlighting the car's headlamps, flow into new side wings and through to the 'acutely dynamic' rear end, finished off by a new rear spoiler and the addition of quad exhausts neatly-integrated into a new rear skirt.

Starting with a host of bar-raising drivetrains available from the new A4 range, Abt Sportsline engineers had a superb base on which to build. Kicking off with the A4's new turbocharged 1.8-litre TFSI unit, Abt Power boosted output from 160 to 200 PS with 310 Nm of torque now available on tap. With the optional Abt Power S upgrade, output from the 1.8 TFSI increases to 240 PS. It is a similar scene across the line-up. An Abt Power kit increases output from 143 PS on the production model 2.0 TDI to 170 PS and 200 PS with Abt Power S. From the 2.7 TDI comes power of 190 PS and 230 PS from the two respective power kits, while the 3.0 TDI generates 300 PS from the Abt Power S upgrade.

A 'perfectly tuned' suspension setup provides the car with an agile response and excellent road-holding ability at every corner, while specially-developed Abt and Abt Sports brakes enable powerful braking responses. A range of 18", 19" and 20" Abt sports alloys complement the AS4 'exceptionally'.

Ferrari Considering V8 for Next Enzo?


Ferrari are weighing up their options for the next Enzo, the distribution of weight and power being their prime consideration. Under consideration for the new Enzo, destined to hit the market by 2012, is the ditching of the present-generation's V12 power in favour of a new twin turbo V8 unit.

Although a radical departure from commonplace supercar powertrains, Ferrari technical director Robert Fedeli explained today to AutoWeek that optimum power-to-weight ratio is preferred over essentially redundant 'power wars'. However, both V12 and V8 options are being developed side by side until a firm decision is made. Neither engine has been allocated an internal code number.

The development of a new V8 unit is in the mindset of Ferrari more than it is an engineering neccessity. "It is not just a question of power," says Fedeli. "We have to choose whether we maintain the shape of the weight-to-power curve of the Enzo with more power or with less weight," Fedeli said.

"If we do a [2200-pound] car with the same weight-to-power ratio as the FXX, then you want to save the maximum weight. The best packaging for that kind of car is an eight-cylinder turbo. That would have to be an all-new V8."

A solution can be chosen within the coming few years prior to the start of development on the next Enzo, with the FXX model allowing the team to test a number of innovations which may feature on the new-generation supercar.

Dodge Challenger SRT8 Pricing Announced


MSRP USD 37,995

Not too long the Dodge Challenger, Dodge's answer to the Ford Mustang, was shown to dealers in a Las Vegas event and was there photographed by an anonymous car-fan. These (small) images made their way across pretty much every major and minor website.

Now Dodge comes forth with official information, and namely the pricing for the new Dodge Challenger SRT8. The modern classic muscle car will set you back USD 37,995. Orders can be placed starting December 3 for the limited edition run of SRT8's, this first run will be followed by the 'regular' Challanger. First deliveries are expected in spring.

The 37,995 dollars will buy you a Black, Silver or HEMI Orange car with a 6.1 liter HEMI V8 engine, numbered dash plaque and 'carbon-fiber' hood stripes.

James Press, Vice Chairman & President � Chrysler LLC: �With styling that stays true to Challenger�s original heritage, an abundance of modern amenities and cutting-edge technology, the 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 will deliver the SRT credo of benchmark performance at a tremendous value.�

Head over to Jalopnik for the SRT8 commcercial.





Related entries:

Dodge Challenger SRT8 Sneak Peek Pics Released




Thursday, November 29, 2007

AC Schnitzer ACS1 1-Series Coupe




A homage to the BMW 2002 tii of the 1970s, AC Schnitzer have applied their own interpretation of the 70s legend onto BMW's new 1-Series Coupe. The ACS1 refines the refined, upping power output from the 1-Series' charged biturbo unit, uprating suspension and adding an extensive AC Schnitzer bodykit.

Improved downforce and greater ground adhesion are delivered via the addition of functional but stylish new skirts front and rear as well as a rear wing and rear roof spoiler. Front spoiler elements use aluminium struts developed from the motorsport world, the home of BMW's 2002. And to ensure optimum road (and track) handling, the ACS1 3.5i's sports suspension was tuned by touring car driver and technical director at AC Schnitzer Manfred Wollgarten on the North Loop of Germany's Nurburgring.

Now rated at 360 hp rather than the series model's 306 hp, the 3.5-litre biturbo unit, which has torque increase by 50 Nm to 450 Nm, delivers both on the track and on the straightline. Acceleration to 100 kph from standstill is achieved in under five seconds, while top speed increases from 250 to 300 kph. And with new sports rear silencer and aptly named 'Racing' tailpipes, these figures can be heard as much as they can be felt.

Finishing off the ACS1 are a range of alloy wheels that complement AC Schnitzer's refined new 1-Series Coupe. Type IV 'BiColor' rims available in 19" are the tuner's choice, wearing 225/35R19 tyres. Inside, an array of cabin enhnancements for controls and switchgear include the stylish splashing of aluminium and carbon.

Press Release

The AC Schnitzer ACS1 3.5i

Not only in proportions is the new 1-series Coup� a worthy successor to the BMW 2002, but also technically: As in the 70s, the current most powerful standard version is powered by a "charged" engine. Daringly, the overtaking prestige was then enhanced further by the mirror-image Turbo logo on the front spoiler.

In the 1-series Coup�, the possibilities are more refined, not least thanks to AC Schnitzer from Aachen. And naturally the company founded in Aachen in 1987 has made more than its logo available in its refinement package. Particularly impressive is the extensive AC Schnitzer bodykit including front grille, which is far more than mere decoration, but also effectively harmonised into the entire concept.

The front spoiler elements and the rear skirt insert, together with the rear wing and rear roof spoiler, increase downforce and ensure better ground adhesion. For the front spoiler elements, AC Schnitzer supplies optional aluminium struts as used in motorsport - after all, the BMW 2002 was renowned for its track speed at the time. And it is on one particularly legendary circuit, the N�rburgring North Loop, that Manfred Wollgarten, Technical Director at AC Schnitzer, set up the sports suspension for the ACS1 3.5i. As a Touring Car driver, he knows what he's doing. He also sent the Coup� on its way with another strut brace for the front, to further reduce the torsion of a body already very stiff as standard. So at every point on the course, the driver has total control over the vehicle to centimetre precision when he turns the neat AC Schnitzer 3-spoke sports airbag steering wheel. And that's good, because finally the unrestrained power of the biturbo engine is applied on the right track. Especially since AC Schnitzer has not only improved the downforce of the vehicle, but also its thrust.

Its heart now beats at 360 instead of 306 HP (265 instead of 225 kW) and accelerates the fiery 1-series Coup� to 100 km/h in less than five seconds. At the same time, the maximum torque rises from 400 to 450 Nm and the top speed from 250 to an impressive 300 km/h. Values which you can not only see but also hear because the AC Schnitzer sports rear silencer with its refined "Racing� tailpipe sounds its baritone

It goes almost without saying that AC Schnitzer also offers a range of sporting alloy wheels for the ACS1 3.5i. The perfect complement with their sleek and refined design are the Type IV "BiColor" rims in size 8.5Jx19" and tyres 225/35R19. The stuff of dreams for drivers of the BMW 2002, just like the countless attractive interior components from AC Schnitzer in the form of controls and decor elements of aluminium and carbon.

BMW X3 Facelift Revealed





BMW is pleased to announce the launch of a revised X3, featuring the most powerful diesel engine ever to power a production BMW in the UK. The revised X3 features two new petrol engines and is set to take the Sports Activity Vehicle sector by storm.

Due to go on sale in the UK in September, the BMW X3 offers buyers the very latest in engine technology. BMW�s premium SAV now comes powered by a total of five different engines - two petrol and three diesel units.

The headline-grabbing powerplant is a twin-turbo 3.0-litre diesel with an output of 286hp and 580Nm of torque that has been developed from the engine used by the BMW 535d. Such power places the X3 3.0sd into the realm of sports car acceleration courtesy of a zero to 62mph time of 6.6 seconds and a 149mph top speed.

What sets the X3 3.0sd apart from previous X3s is that it comes equipped with the same twin-turbo technology that has already been showcased in the BMW 535d. By using two turbochargers, one smaller one larger, the X3 3.0sd offers high levels of low down pulling power as well as top end performance. It can do this because the smaller turbo boosts at low revs for instant, smooth and swift acceleration, but as engine speed builds the larger turbocharger comes into play to continue the rapid progress. The result is an engine that develops peak torque from just 1,750rpm through to 2,250rpm, but is capable of continuing to rev up to 4,400rpm � an unusually high limit for a diesel.

Completing the triumvirate of new six-cylinder engines to the X3 are a 2.5-litre 218hp petrol unit and a new 272hp 3.0-litre petrol engine. Both of these powerplants are based on the world�s lightest production six-cylinder engine constructed of aluminium and magnesium alloy. The smaller capacity engine can power the X3 from zero to 62mph in 8.5 seconds before going on to a top speed of 137mph. The higher output 3.0-litre engine reaches 62mph from zero in just 7.5 seconds before attaining a top speed of 142mph.

For those new car buyers looking to balance performance with economy, two other choices of engine are offered. A 150hp 2.0-litre diesel represents the entry point of X3 ownership. Further up the scale the existing 218hp 3.0-litre diesel engine is also offered.
With the exception of the BMW X3 3.0si and 3.0sd, which use a six-speed automatic gearbox, all X3 variants come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. A six-speed automatic gearbox is also an option on all six-cylinder engined cars.

A new look:

The introduction of a new X3 isn�t just a story of new engines. BMW�s designers have subtly altered the car to freshen its appeal. At the front a larger kidney grille sits above a redesigned front bumper and spoiler. On the new car a colour-coded spoiler with vertical uprights is positioned below the dark swathe of the bumper, while the front foglights are now incorporated into the main section of the bodywork. The X3 3.0sd rides on 18-inch light alloy wheels as standard while larger twin exhaust pipes protrude from under the rear valance.

The side profile remains true to the original X3, but the rear new light clusters feature rods of LED lights. The styling of the rear bodywork has also changed with colour-coded panels now extending lower down the bodywork.

Inside, the driver can get to grips with a new style of three-spoke steering wheel while enhancements to the type of materials used on the centre console have also been included. Again, the owner of a X3 3.0sd gets special treatment with stainless steel foot pedals to underscore the performance nature of the vehicle.

Enhanced traction control :

To aid performance and safety the new BMW X3 features the very latest traction control system allied to xDrive, BMW�s unique four-wheel-drive system. For the first time on a BMW X model BMW�s innovative Dynamic Stability Control + (DSC+) system is fitted as standard. In addition to the all round traction control benefits of such technology, DSC+ on the X3 comes with four additional features aimed at improving safety.

Brake Pre-tensioning shortens stopping distances during an emergency stop by priming the brakes should the driver lift off the accelerator sharply in preparation. Brake Drying improves braking performance in the wet by periodically applying the brake pads to scrub away the film of water that can build up on the brake discs. Hill Start Assistant allows a manual transmission car to pull away smoothly on a gradient without rolling backwards, courtesy of the brakes being held for the short time it takes the driver to apply the accelerator after releasing the foot or handbrake. Brake Fade Compensation applies additional braking without any extra effort from the driver should sensors detect that the brake pads are starting to lose �bite� due to heat build up.

In another first on an X model the driver will now be able to select the Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) function of DSC. DTC allows for a greater degree of wheel slip for more spirited driving without the main traction control system safety net intervening. This option can be selected via a button on the centre console.
Prices and full specification of the new X3 will be announced before its on sale date in the Autumn.


BMW X3 Prototype




Unmistakable

It has been lon g in the rumour mill, but we have finally managed to snag us some pictures of the all new BMW X3 prototype on the streets of Munich. The previous generation underwent a facelift half-way 2006 and is reaching the end of its life-cycle.

Of course the prototype is heavily draped in camouflage and hard plastic covers but there really is no mistaking what it is. The BMW X3 appears to have some of the BMW X6's smooth flow from the A- to C-pillars but without sacrificing headroom of cargo space. Our spyphotographer thinks a little more of 'sportwagon' has made its way into the design language.

It is reported that the new X3 is based on the 3-series platform, but it has been widened and lenghtened to add more functionality to the shape.