Thursday, January 31, 2008

Volvo XC 60 Prototype winter Testing

These are the latest spy shots of Volvo's XC 60, winter testing. Although the test vehicle is quite heavily disguised, we can still pick out some of the details that will be making it onto the actual model.

The profile of the car shows that the XC 60 will follow the same cab-forward design theme of it's bigger brother, the XC 90. The lower slung bonnet is indicative of the measures taken by manufacturers of SUVs to meet EU crash standards because a tall bonnet does more damage to pedestrians. A good example would be the new X5 compared to the previous generation.

The shape of the bonnet is also inline with showing less superior shape overall, so as to distinguish the smaller models from the larger ones, in the same way the BMW X3 looks lower in the front than the X5 or even when comparing the new GLK and the ML class from Mercedes. Hopefully all of this does not ruin the overall look of the car, taking into account how good the concept looked!

From the rear we can also see that the light clusters from Vovo's recent concept, which points at what the XC 60 will look like, are very similar on the test vehicle. Many feel that this could be a very important model for Volvo and there is no doubt that safety conscious buyers and Volvo fans in the medium sized SUV market are waiting in anticipation for when it launches in 2009.

Related entries:

Volvo XC60 Concept Revealed
Volvo XC60 SUV Images LEAKED

New Twingo Renaultsport Unveiled

Just a day after Renault announce they are to bring the Twingo further to the masses with the launch of their entry-level 'Extreme' model, things have just gotten a whole lot more extr�me. It's not the first time that the hot hatch concept has come to the city car, but it's certainly the first time in Renaultsport form. Based largely on the Twingo concept car of 2006, the new Twingo Renaultsport is the third variant to gain the exclusive moniker, joining Clio and Megane hot hatch models.

Designed by Renault Sport Technologies' experts to achieve an affordable city car able both to deliver sports car performance and good day-to-day usability, the Twingo Renaultsport is a car born of a challenge. A 'fiery new' 1.6-litre petrol unit producing 133 hp satisifies the pursuit of an engine suitable in everyday driving and sporting punchiness, while for a refined drive with precise sports handling and responsiveness, the unit is mated to an efficient, balanced chassis.

Twingo Renaultsport is styled to thrill, packaging the compactness of its city car body with more curvaceous, assertive styling. Athletic wider wings, profiled sills and rear spoiler are all suitable additions, while strikingly prominent wheel arches are reminiscent of the previous-generation Clio V6 - a car enthusiasts lapped up with pride. Expect details inside to be similar to those in its siblings', namely optional bucket seats, chromed pedals, and a stylish sports fit and finish.

The new Twingo model was unveiled today near to Paris, France, alongside the international launch of the new R28 Formula 1 car. The F1 car was developed by the same Renaultsport team who developed the Clio, Megane and now new Twingo Renaultsport hatches. The car will make its public debut at March's Geneva Motor Show.

Press Release


Renault Sport Technologies profited from the international launch of the latest R28 Formula 1 single-seater in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, France, today to take the wraps off Twingo Renault Sport. Renault's new, affordable, high-performance car slots into the Renault Sport range alongside its bigger sister cars, Clio and M�gane Renault Sport.

Twingo Renault Sport is a genuine hot hatch with looks to match and was designed to deliver both enjoyable roadholding and genuine sports performance. Its efficient, balanced chassis has been mated to a fiery but flexible 133hp engine to form a package that is sure to appeal to all those who seek sporting sensations and driving pleasure during everyday motoring.

Unmistakable sporting credentials

Renault has produced an affordable high-performance car which sits alongside Clio and M�gane Renault Sport in the Renault Sport range. Twingo Renault Sport's compact proportions and incisive, assertive styling are redolent of the Twingo Concept show car which was unveiled at the 2006 Paris Show. Twingo's existing lines are underpinned by a more curvaceous, athletic stance and the newcomer's sporty calling is further emphasized by its wider front and rear wings, profiled sills and spoiler.

Driving pleasure and sporting sensations during everyday motoring

Twingo Renault Sport is the response of Renault Sport Technologies' experts to a twopronged challenge, namely to deliver sports performance while at the same time ensuring that the new car is easy to use on a day-to-day basis. Twingo Renault Sport's chassis is both responsive and finely tuned to provide precise, balanced sports handling, while specific work on the pitch of its new 133hp 1,598cc engine reveals its punchy temperament.

The public will have the opportunity to examine Twingo Renault Sport in further detail at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show.

Related entries:

New Renault Twingo Unveiled

New BMW M DKG Transmission

7-speed double-clutch with DriveLogic

The new BMW M3 Coupe, Sedan and Convertible will be the first to feature BMW's latest technological achievement. The M DKG is a seven-speed double clutch transmission with BMW M's DriveLogic.

The new transmission is capable of even faster gearshifts which result in faster acceleration than the six-speed manual of the new M3, improved fuel economy and reduced emissions. The M3 coupe is capable of a 0 - 100 km/h time of just 4.6 seconds (0.2 seconds faster than the manual) while still using only 11.9 liters of fuel per 100 km.

The transmission comes with an wide array of program choices, 11 to be precise. Five shift programmes in fully automatic mode, six in manual mode which are supplemened by the Launch Control program which will provide maximum use of every last horsepower from the 4.0 liter V8 (309 kW / 420 hp). We will have to wait and see whether this Launch Control is as capable as BMW claims.

As the name says, the M DKG uses two clutches, both are oil-cooled, one is used for the uneven gears and reverse while the other is used for the even gears. One clutch is of course in use while driving, while the other is already pre-engaged. This is the big secret behind the double-clutch system, resulting in almost instantaneous gearshifts.

BMW's Drivelogic system is capable of several different shifting options, ranging from F1 style as-fast-as-possible gearshifts to luxurious and smooth gearshifts for boulevard cruising. The transmission can be used through either a sports selector lever in the center console or aluminium paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.

New BMW M3 owners will be happy to hear that the M DKG transmission is capable of taking some punishment on the racetrack.

Press Release

New seven-speed transmission adds performance, even more refinement to BMW M3

Incomparably smooth, silky gearshifts in the blink of an eye, improved fuel economy and reduced emissions are just some of the benefits of the ground-breaking seven-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic that has been developed by BMW M GmbH for the new BMW M3 Coup�, Sedan and Convertible.

On top of these benefits, the new M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic is able to produce lightning-fast gearshifts that result in accelerative abilities exceeding those of the six-speed manual transmission version of the new BMW M3.

The BMW M3 Coup� with M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic is able to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in just 4.6 seconds, or 0.2 of a second faster than the manual six-speed version, while returning an average fuel consumption of 11.9 litres/100 km.

As the world�s first seven-speed double-clutch gearbox developed for a high-torque, high-speed powerplant, the new BMW M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic simultaneously lifts refinement and efficiency to new levels while providing the driver with a wide range of options that adapt the system to the needs of the moment.

The new transmission offers as many as eleven driver-selectable electronically controlled driving program choices.

These include five shift programs in the fully automatic mode and six in manual mode, and are supplemented by a selectable Launch Control program that provides blistering off-the-line acceleration where the power from the 309 kW, 4.0-litre V8 M3 engine is transferred with maximum effect to the road.

The heart of the new BMW transmission is the double clutch system that acts to smooth out gearshifts to the point that they are often only discernible by watching the rise and fall of engine rpm on the M3�s tachometer.

Each oil-cooled wet clutch activates its own set of ratios - one is used for first, third, fifth and seventh gears, as well as reverse, while the other looks after second, fourth and sixth gears.

Gearshifts are effected by the disengagement of one clutch and the engagement of the other, moving seamlessly from the ratio in use to the next, preselected ratio.

The fact that the next ratio is preselected and engaged merely by activation of the clutch is the secret behind the amazingly smooth and efficient transition from gear to gear.

Combined with the BMW Drivelogic system that, as well as offering the driver a choice of seven specific operational modes, is also able to determine the appropriate mode according to the current driving style, the new transmission�s multi-faceted nature allows it to offer anything from rapid-fire F1-style shifting to smooth, luxurious behaviour suited to relaxed boulevard cruising.

The new M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic also incorporates a Low Speed Assistant mode that operates when manoeuvring at speeds less than 5 km/h to significantly increase the smoothness and degree of accelerator control available to the driver.

Gradient detection also means that the new M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic is able to determine the appropriate ratios when travelling up or down hills.

This avoids the "hunting" between gears so often experienced in regular automatics when travelling on undulating roads, while the appropriate selection of lower gears on downhill gradients helps maintain road speed by using the braking power of the engine.

The new M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic also offers the driver the choice of sequential operation via a sports selector lever in the centre console, or solid aluminium F1-style paddles on the steering wheel - right side for upshifts, left side for downshifts.

The range of shift programs available to the driver means it is possible for the M3 to behave with the grace and aplomb of a luxury car, or with the knife-edge rapidity and precision of a racecar - or anything in between.

In fully automatic D mode, the driver can select from five Drivelogic programmes that regulate both the gearshift speeds and the change points right through to the D5 mode where the engine is stretched close to its maximum rpm - depending on throttle position - on upshifts. In D1 mode, the M3 with M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic is able to start off in second gear to help avoid wheelspin in slippery conditions.

In manual mode, six different Drivelogic programmes allow a similar range of characteristics, with the added driver control provided by the ability to choose shift points manually. In S6 mode, the drive can also activate launch control by holding the shift lever in the forward position.

In keeping with the overtly dynamic abilities of the new BMW M3, the M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic, as well as being designed for engine speeds as high as 9,000 rpm, is also able to maintain correct operating temperatures even in the most extreme conditions - including racetrack operation - through its integration with the engine�s cooling system as well as the fact it also incorporates its own oil/air cooler.

The transmission�s interconnection with the engine cooling system also means a quicker temperature rise from startup, which contributes to reduced frictional losses and lower fuel consumption during the warm-up phase.

Faster shifting, smoother, and contributing even more to fuel economy and minimalised exhaust emissions, the new M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic raises the bar for sophisticated, high-performance motoring to new heights.

Related entries:

OFFICIAL: BMW M3 Convertible Revealed
Leaked: BMW M3 Cabrio
BMW M3 Cabrio Spied

BMW (SA) M3 Convertible: price, dates

BMW South Africa, manufacturers and exporters of 3 Series sedans to Japan, Australia, Singapore and other places, announced today the launch date of the new M3 Convertible.

Long spied and photographed - see side links - , M3 Convertible uses a hard folding top as opposed to the ragtop of previous models. It will launch in South Africa in May 2008, the same month as the appearance of the 1 Series Convertible. Not the best of months to let the cold breeze in, but South Africa does get a little warm around midday in winter in most parts, hence the sweaty convertible drivers who never know what time to close the top. Pricing for the sky-view is an �ouch�-inducing R744 500 (about USD 99,000).

Confirmed for the same time is BMW�s new M-DCT �box with its claimed quick changes that launch the vehicle 0.2 seconds faster than the manual. It was expected that M-DCT � M Double Clutch Transmission � would change seven times forward, but M Division decided otherwise, and stuck to six, despite some competitors (codenamed Lexus IS-F) even going for eight. M-DCT is a double-clutch system that works by pre-selecting the next gear before a driver selects it, thereby cutting the time it takes for changes to happen. Automatic mode can also be selected for slow traffic driving. The M-DCT option will set South Africans back some R783 500 (USD 106,000) for the Convertible, R702 000 (USD 94,800) coupe and R673 000 (USD 90,945) for the sedan.

We think a lot more South African dads will now be much happier transporting the kids to and from school than before.

Related entries:

OFFICIAL: BMW M3 Convertible Revealed
New BMW M3 Coupe (E92) - In Depth
BMW 1-Series Cabrio Revealed

[rF] 2008 Red Bull Melbourne

[rF] NLC Porsches

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Why Ayrton Senna was the Greatest Racing Driver

The Best F1racingdriver Ever this is a link to an article that portrays why Senna was the greatest driver in F1 history. Many key points and explanation that was covered in this article; so check it out and see for yourself.

Tin Foil Art Car? And Other Uses

I couldn't help my self when I found this car, covered in tin foil. It has a high rating on protecting you from alien rays but a very low road visibility safety rating. The car also comes with...

The tin foil cat owner and the cat

The tin foil home office

The tin foil dog

The tin foil front yard T-Rex sculpture

And the tin foil abba album

For the man who has it all.

[rF] NLC Porsche GT3 RS - Kilian Tuning