Sunday, November 30, 2008

[rF] NLC WIP - more new E36 Paintjobs

Citroen confirms RHD Nemo Multispace and 7 seat Berlingo (UK)

Citroen is to bring a right-hand drive version of its Nemo Multispace mini-MPV to the UK next year. This tiny utilitarian vehicle is a passenger-carrying version of the Nemo van, and a sister model to the Fiat Fiorino Qubo , which also goes on sale here in Spring 2009. The Nemo and Fiorino (plus Peugeot's Bipper) are all built in the same factory in Tofas, Turkey, in a joint venture between Fiat and Peugeot-Citroen.

Both the van and the passenger models, with sliding rear doors on both sides and full-length windows, have been developed on the Fiat Panda's underpinnings, so they should be car-like to drive and reasonably refined. And for outdoorsy types, there'll even be a camper van version: Romahome of the Isle of Wight is to offer a single-bed conversion, similar in spirit to the popular C15 van-based model it built in the 1990s.

Engines for the Nemo Multispace will be taken from Fiat - 73bhp, 1.4 litre petrol and a 75bhp, 1.3 litre MultiJet diesel, with the diesel model able to achieve 63mpg combined and the petrol for over 40mpg combined.

Citroen promises that the Nemo Multispace will be competitively-priced - expect a starting price of under �10,000 - to draw distance between it and the larger C3 Picasso, which will also go on sale in February.

Citroen's third new people-carrier, also on sale in February, is a seven-seat version of the popular Berlingo Multispace. To accommodate the extra pair of rear seats - which slot into the boot - the 2nd row seats have been raised a little and moved further forwards. All five rear seats fold down on their bases, though not completely flat, and tumble forwards. They can also be removed altogether, to create a large load-bay.

Related link:

MINI axes jobs at Oxford plant (UK)

290 workers are to lose their jobs at the MINI plant in Oxford.

A statement from the company said that almost 300 agency workers would lose their jobs as a result of a decision to cut its Friday late shift from January.

MINI says the move is a temporary measure to balance production with the current downturn in demand for new cars. MINI announced earlier this month that it was to reduce production at its Oxford and Swindon plants and extend the Christmas break by 2 weeks.

2006 Cadillac SRX Car Video

2006 Cadillac SRX Car Video

Focussing on the job rather than the fans

Don�t be surprised if a driver brushes past you in the build-up to the race instead of politely stopping to sign some autographs. It isn�t rudeness. It�s concentration. By this time, drivers are beginning to get completely focussed on the race ahead; even the slightest distraction can put them off. Drivers often find that if they stop to sign one autograph, they�ll suddenly be besieged by hundreds of fans and won�t be able to escape for several minutes. So wait until the pressure is off; then drivers often have little problem in signing hats, photograph, or books. Just remember that there is a time and a place for everything.
Former world champion Jacques Villeneuve has perfected a routine for letting people know when he is or isn�t in the mood for meeting and greeting. Before a race, he puts his crash helmet on in his motor home and then strides purposefully across the paddock. The protection of his helmet (and his earplugs) means noone can catch his gaze and he can focus on what he does best � driving his Formula One car very fast.

Psyching up for the race: It�s a mind game

Most people find it difficult to keep their concentration level up at the best of times. Think about how many times maybe you�ve started day-dreaming in a difficult exam or let your mind wander when the pressure is on at work. Formula One drivers can�t afford the luxury of �spacing out�, especially when the lights go out to signal the start of the race. That�s when they really earn their money, and they can�t afford to let a single opportunity slip through their fingers.
Even when the driver sits on the grid, with the fans cheering him on, television crews wanting to interview him, and pretty grid girls holding up his race car number, he rarely thinks about anything other than the Grand Prix itself. In his head, he�s thinking about how to get his start right; where the best place to overtake is if he gets the jump on the cars ahead when the lights go out; and what to do if his car is slow away.
Once the race is underway, the driver thinks constantly about how fast he needs to drive, where the best places to overtake are, whether he needs to look after his tyres or be more economical with his fuel so that he�s better placed at the end of the Grand Prix. It�s no wonder that at the Monaco Grand Prix, with more than 2,000 gear changes during the race and the entire track lined by barriers, drivers are absolutely shattered at the end. They certainly deserve a drink of champagne if they win!
Keeping concentration levels up isn�t easy to do; that�s why drivers often sit in a quiet room before the race starts so that they can get in the mood. Beyond their own preparation and determination, the teams help their drivers as much as they can, through the radio systems that they used so effectively in practice. The best teams constantly tell their drivers about the positions of other cars, just how fast they need to drive, and when they�re scheduled to stop for fuel and new tires. The teams also use pit boards (special boards with numbers on counting down the laps to go, the time difference between cars in front and behind, and instructions like to slow down or come into the pits) to advise the drivers, although these aren�t always foolproof. Sometimes drivers have misread their pit boards and come into the pits too early or run out of fuel because they didn�t think they needed to stop.
It�s very important that drivers never lose their concentration, even for a split second. One of the most famous occasions when a driver slipped up was in the 1988 Monaco Grand Prix. Ayrton Senna was leading the race by a huge margin with only a few laps to go. His arch rival for the championship, Alain Prost, had just got up to second place in the race. Senna was so worried, despite his massive lead, that he lost concentration and clipped the barriers �crashing out of the race. Senna was so upset, he didn�t return to the pits. Instead, he locked himself away in his nearby apartment until the next day!

Race Day Rituals in Formula One

Here�s a run down of what the driver must do on race day.
  • Warming up: If the weather conditions are different from the rest of the weekend, a warm-up may be scheduled for Sunday morning. This enables the driver and team to get the final feel for the car before the race.
  • Meeting sponsors: At every Grand Prix the team�s sponsors have their own hospitality boxes where employees or company guests are entertained throughout the weekend. Drivers usually have to meet and greet these guests early on Sunday morning and often must take part in a question-and-answer session. Meeting and entertaining sponsors on race day may seem very distracting for the driver, but it is just a normal part of being a Formula One star these days.
  • Making an appearance in the merchandise stand: Although the driver will be thinking solely about how his car is and the race by now, the team may require him to make a small appearance at their merchandise stand. This appearance gives fans a chance to see the driver and get an autograph. Of course, while they�re at the merchandise stand the fans will also probably buy a cap and T-shirt, too. This is just another part of the business of Formula One.
  • Attending the drivers� briefing: The driver may have had a short time to himself by now, but then he has to attend the official Formula One drivers� briefing. During this briefing the race director runs through the procedures for the day and advises drivers of any specific problems with the track or the running of the event. This briefing also gives drivers a chance to get their own questions (about driving etiquette or safety concerns, for example) answered. Drivers must attend this briefing. Any driver who misses this briefing is handed a huge fine and may even be thrown out of the race.
  • Participating in the drivers� parade: After the briefing, the drivers are taken out into the pit lane and on to the circuit where they climb aboard a special truck that has a special open platform on the back. This truck takes them on a lap of the circuit where the fans can see them in person (rather than only their crash helmets) and a few lucky marshals can get autographs. This parade also allows the track commentator to get a last interview with the drivers before the race.
  • Taking final reconnaissance laps: Shortly before the race, the teams will have had their cars released from the parc ferme (the holding area where the cars have been locked up all night) and, half-an-hour before the scheduled start, the pit lane will open to allow the drivers their final reconnaissance laps. This marks the countdown to the race proper before the drivers form up on the grid.
  • Racing: This is the main attraction of the day � for both the fans and drivers.
  • Attending post-race functions: If a driver has been successful and finished in the top three, he is escorted up to the podium where a local dignitary hands him his trophy and where he gets to spray (and be sprayed by) the champagne. From there, the drivers are taken to a special press conference, one for television and one for the written media, before facing more television cameras and journalists out in the paddock. Even drivers who haven�t finished in the top three are often be chased by reporters who will want to know what went wrong or what they thought of the race. After the journalists have returned to the media centre to write their reports the drivers often sit down with their teams for a final post-race debrief to work out how well they did, how they could have done better, or how it all went wrong!
  • Getting home: Because drivers� schedules are so packed they like nothing more than getting home straight after the race. That is why, as soon as they can, they head for the local airport to catch a commercial flight home or jump into their own private jet. This is often the only time that the pressure is off and a driver can relax, even if he is completely shattered from his job on the track that day.

Lending a helping hand: Working with team mates

Drivers must work well with their team mates so that they can get through as much work as possible. Sometimes the different team mates can work on different set-ups, evaluate different types of tyres, or try out each other�s set-up. Although the two drivers may be very competitive against each other, there are times when they have to put these differences aside to actually help the team.

Getting the car just right

Sometimes the driver and team find that they�ve found the perfect set-up straightaway in practice, but this doesn�t happen very often. Even when it does happens, it doesn�t mean that the driver and team can sit back with a cool drink and watch the other drivers at work. They still have a lot to do themselves: They must work out their tyre choice for the weekend, and they can prepare other things for the race � like brake pads � or even try out new components to see whether they can make the car go even quicker. One of the most difficult challenges is when the driver says he is happy with how the car feels, but his time is very slow. In these circumstances, the team may have to make adjustments that make the car quite difficult to drive in order to bring the speed up.

November 2008 Dream Car of the Month - Vector W8

Sorry for the delay this month. It's getting harder and harder to find unique cars worthy of the Dream Car of the Month.

For the month of November I've selected a rather unique car, the Vector W8. I don't know how many people know about this car as it's 15 minutes of fame really came and went around 20 years ago. The car was designed by Vector's founder Gerald Weichert in the 1970s. The Vector was really the first attempt by an American manufacturer to build a car to compete with the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. It didn't turn out well but the cars that resulted will be remembered for two things, their striking design and their outright failure.

The Vector W8 was the first real car from the company which was started in 1971 named Vehicle Design Force. After showing a model mock up in 1971 at the LA Auto Show, the company received some attention from the automotive press but nothing ever came out of it as the car was never produced. In 1978 the company, now known as Vector Aeromotive, designed and built the Vector W2, the predecessor to the W8. The W2 had a claimed top speed of over 230mph but no one was ever allowed to test these claims.

Vector W8

The Vector W8 was the first real "production" car from Vector Aeromotive and it went on sale in 1989. The company finally had secured some financial backing to begin building these cars, each of which was assembled by hand. The price for the W8 in 1989 was around $450,000 and a total of only 17 W8s were ever built for sale between 1989 and 1993. The most famous and disastrous one was sold to Andre Agassi which was subsequently bought back by the company after serious problems with the car. The company claimed that Agassi had demanded the car be delivered for his birthday but it was not finished. The company agreed to deliver the car for the party so he could show it off but warned him not to drive it until they could take it back and finish the work. Allegedly Agassi did not heed the warning which resulted in a near crash.

The Vector W8 featured an aluminum honeycomb semi monocoque structure covered by a body constructed mostly of carbon kevlar. Power was delivered by a racing V8 and a three speed automatic transmission. The engine used twin turbochargers to produce 625HP/650TQ. Top speed was only estimated at over 200MPH but the W2 prototype, powered by a less powerful engine, allegedly reached 242MPH at Bonneville Salt Flats.

Vector/Avtech WX-3R

The company was to follow up the W8 with the WX-3 and WX-3R but they were never produced as the company was taken over in 1993 by Megatech, which at the time owned Lamborghini. Megatech did release a version of the WX-3 with a Lamborghini Diablo V12 in it called the Vector M12. Unfortunately only 14 of these cars were produced by the time the company folded in 1996.

Vector M12

Gerald Weichert eventually won back the rights to the company, now named Vector Supercars, and has displayed a new car the WX-8. Not much is known about the car except what was given when the car was shown. Top speed target is 275+MPH with a 0-60 time of under 3 seconds and a 1/4 mile of 10 seconds at 160MPH. Many doubt it will ever be produced.

Vector WX-8

The Vector W8 is such an outrageous design it could never be mistaken for any other car on the road, if they were produced in such numbers where you could actually see one in person in your lifetime. It was, and still is, one of the most striking designs I've ever seen even if it looks a bit dated today. But so do the Lamborghinis and Ferraris of the time. Unfortunately, the company just didn't have the funds to properly develop what could have been America's first supercar.

New Car: 2009 Mini Cabriolet (UK & U.S pricing)

After months of spy photos, MINI has revealed the Cooper Cabriolet. The latest version of the best-selling soft-top will go on sale in March 2009.

The new Cabriolet shares the hatchback�s front end, but gets a raised shoulder line to accommodate the folding fabric roof.

At launch there will be two models, the Mini Cooper and the turbocharged Mini Cooper S. It�s likely that an ultra-efficient diesel version will be launched later next year. The 1.6 litre engine from the standard Mini is retained for both petrol Coopers, offering more power but lower emissions than the old Convertible. Both the Cooper and Cooper S will be equipped with a 6 speed manual gearbox as standard with optional six-speed automatic transmission.

BMW�s Efficient Dynamics technology has also been introduced to the Cabriolet. Systems like stop-start and brake energy regeneration help both MINI Cabriolet models to reduce CO2 emissions, putting them two road-tax bands below the outgoing models. Structural strength and body stiffness have been improved, which should aid handling, reduce scuttle shake and boost safety. Despite the improved rigidity, the Mini�s weight has also been reduced by 10kg/22lb.

Other safety enhancements include a new single-piece roll bar behind the rear seats that can extend milliseconds before a crash to protect occupants should the car roll onto its roof. It takes 15 seconds for the fully automatic fabric roof to open or close, and it can do so at speeds of up to 20mph. The roof can also partially retract by 40cm to create the effect of a sunroof.

Luggage capacity is 170 litres with the roof down (up from the old model�s 165 litres). With the rear seats folded down and the roof up, the Mini Cabriolet offers 660 litres of space (55 litres more than the old car).

A new accessory is Mini�s �Openometer�, a fun add-on that records how much the car has been driven with its roof down. Expect more generous equipment levels than before - air conditioning will come as standard.

The new Convertible will also be offered in two new colours (Interchange Yellow and Horizon Blue) and it gets all-new contrasting roof colours and accessory options to set it apart from the outgoing model.

Prices for the MINI Cabriolet will start at �15,995 for the standard Cooper and �18,995 for the Cooper S. Orders for the MINI Cabriolet in the U.S are being taken now with the price for the MINI Cooper Cabriolet starting at $24,550 and for the MINI Cooper S Cabriolet at $27,450, including the $650 destination and handling charge. Delivery of the first MINI Cabrio's in the U.S will begin on the 28th March 2009.

Press Release:

Consistently Open: The New MINI Cabrio

With its design improved in an evolutionary process and with an even wider range of practical functions, the new MINI Cabrio is unmistakably MINI. Equipped with the most advanced and sophisticated suspension technology, even more powerful and efficient engines, and with optimised safety technology, the new version of the open-air four-seater MINI consistently raises its strengths and qualities to an even higher level. And all of this whilst maintaining superior agility and go-kart handling, typical of MINI.

There are 12 highly attractive colour variants as well as new equipment features that add an additional touch of style and class. Automatic air conditioning with Cabrio mode is available for the first time that serves to provide a consistent set temperature under the influence of wind when the roof is opened. Also available is the seamless integration of external music players, a USB port and Bluetooth hands-free telephone system, suitably compatible with the Apple iPhone. And last but certainly not least the MINI Cabrio combines a supreme blend of quality materials and finishes to enhance the unique position of the MINI Cabrio.

The occupants are safely protected from wind and weather in the new MINI Cabrio by the high-quality soft top with its integrated sliding roof function. Even while driving at a speed of up to 30 km/h, the soft top folds back fully automatically in a complete process within just 15 seconds, giving the new MINI Cabrio its true purpose and quality: This is a car simply begging for driving in the open air at any time of the year, symbolising this challenge to the driver through the optionally available, absolutely unique Always-Open Timer next to the rev counter.

This unprecedented instrument shows the driver and passengers the time they have spent driving with the roof down - motivating the driver to really enjoy the thrill of open-air motoring as frequently as possible.

The new MINI Cabrio offers outstanding everyday driving qualities through the Easy-Load Function, the rear-seat backrest folding down individually on either side, as well as the unusually large through-loading between the luggage and passenger compartment. Luggage compartment capacity has increased to 125 litres (+5 litres) with the roof open, 170 litres (+5 litres) with the roof closed, and 660 litres (+55 litres) with the rear-seat backrest folded down.

This variability, quite unique in the Cabrio segment, is made possible by the innovative design and construction of the rollbar: The new MINI Cabrio comes with a single-piece rollbar behind the rear seats extending across the entire interior width of the car, not obstructing the driver's line of visibility in any way when looking to the rear, and moving up automatically in just 150 milliseconds, in the event this safety feature is required.

The new MINI Cabrio will enter the market during the second quarter of 2009 with two engine variants. The MINI Cooper Cabrio offers sporting qualities right from the start with its 1.6-litre four-cylinder power unit featuring fully variable valve management for maximum output of 88 kW at 6,000 rpm.

The MINI Cooper S Cabrio is even more dynamic and performance-oriented, its 1.6-litre four-cylinder with a Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection delivering 128 kW at an engine speed of 5,500 rpm and thus providing a particularly refreshing feeling of power and dynamic performance.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions on the new MINI Cabrio are reduced by up to 19 per cent compared with the cars' respective predecessors.

From the start the MINI Cooper S Cabrio and the MINI Cooper Cabrio are available with a six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard or optional six-speed automatic transmission. At the same time the new MINI Cabrio owes its fascinating handling to suspension technology significantly enhanced and upgraded over the former model. Indeed, thanks to sophisticated wheel suspension, extremely precise electromechanical power steering, the powerful brake system and DSC Dynamic Stability Control featured as standard, the open-air MINI combines supreme agility with equally exemplary safety all round.

MINI Cooper S Cabrio:

Four-cylinder petrol engine with Twin-Scroll turbocharger and direct fuel injection.

Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 128 kW/175bhp at 5,500 rpm.

Max torque: 240 Nm from 1,600-5,000 rpm (260 Nm with Overboost).

Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7.4 sec, Top speed: 222 km/h.

Average fuel consumption: 7.2 litres/100 km, CO2 rating: 171 g/km.

MINI Cooper Cabrio:

Four-cylinder petrol engine with fully variable valve management based on the BMW Group's VALVETRONIC technology.

Capacity: 1,598 cc, max output: 88 kW/120bhp at 6,000 rpm.

Max torque: 160 Nm at 4,250 rpm.

Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.8 sec, Top speed: 198 km/h.

Average fuel consumption: 6.1 litres/100 km, CO2 rating: 145 g/km.

Related links:

Mugello_ Rossi in Rosso: MotoGP star drives Ferrari F2008

The Ferrari World Finals at Mugello finished a few weeks ago. But someone appeared to have forgotten to tell the tifosi, as a loyal garrison of the Scuderia's most loyal fans, thousand-strong, came back out last week to the track. After the Challenge series were decided, the 16M Scuderia Spider unveiled, the FXX program ran its laps and the fans celebrated the Formula One constructors' championship, what exactly were they hoping still to see? How about the prospect of seeing an Italian driver piloting an Italian F1 car around one of Italy's most famous tracks? And not just any driver, but Valentino Rossi, a world champion with credentials to rival Schumacher's.
more detail. ...

Other article:
Event Alert: December Calendar of Automotive Events
Michael Schumacher Caught Speeding In Germany

Event Alert: December Calendar of Automotive Events

We started our monthly calendar of events last month and learned almost immediately that we will never be able to make it as comprehensive as everyone would like, but that's where you come in. Take a look at the list we've put together for December after the jump, and if you see changes that need to be made or events you'd like to add, leave a comment with event info and a link. Once again we've used two of our favorite resources: the New York Times automotive calendar for national and international stuff, and for local stuff here in Southern California, our buddy Dave Lindsay's SoCalCarCulture pages. Dave's photos from these local events are fantastic.
more detail. ...

Essen Motor Show: Lorinser Styled Mercedes GLK Unveiled

Lorinser is an established Mercedes design tuner, so perhaps to look is all we really need.

But it does mean we are not getting many details about this new GLK by Lorinser except for these pics available here from opening day at the Essen Motor Show.

Tuners don't like to waste time and the window between releases of new models and tuner versions has all but disappeared.

Notable here is the mesh wire grill with the underside skid plate in a highlighting color. A matching underside skid plate at the back is braced by the quad exhaust. The side skirts are subtle but the entire effect of the added design cues is to soften the lines of this rather boxy model.

But does that mean these things are often rush jobs? Probably not, since many top tuners have technical staff as qualified as the ones that build the cars and also have a good relationship with manufacturers who love the press attention these presentations get.
via:World Car Fans

Other article:
Mercedes-Benz GLK Genuine Accessories in Monochrome
Mercedes-Benz Goes GLK Crazy for SEMA
Mercedes-Benz GLK in Depth
Video;New Mercedes GLK
Mercedes-Benz GLK In Detail
Latest Mercedes GLK Real Life Photo
Mercedes Vision GLK BlueTec Hybrid Concept
Mercedes to Show Vision GLK Freeside Concept at Detroit
Mercedes GLK Undisguised on the Set of 'Sex and the City'
Mercedes Reveals Second GLK TOWNSIDE Variant

Car News: Up Close & Personal with Irmscher's Opel Insignia

German turner Irmscher used the Essen motor show to debut their new range of styling enhancements for the recently launched Opel Insignia.

With over 40 years of experience specializing in Opel's it was natural that the company would be the first to offer a styling package for the new model.

Pricing hasn't been released but the new styling package will be available to order through Opel dealers.

Up front is a lower front spoiler and an Irmscher grille with a honeycomb insert which can be ordered in either black or silver. Rounding out the other changes to the car are new side sills, a rear spoiler, and a rear bumper outfitted with a diffuser. Irmscher Insignia's can be equipped with light alloy wheels which will be offered in a variety of different designs and sizes up to 20-inches.
Source:World Car Fans

Other article:
Opel Insignia wins European 'Car of the Year'
2010 Vauxhall/Opel Astra Teasers Released
Undisguised Opel Insignia Hatchback Spied
Opel Insignia Leaked
2008 Opel Insignia Teaser Revealed
Vauxhall Insignia Best Interior Spy Shots
Opel Insignia to Debut at British Motor Show
Opel Insignia
Video: All New Opel Insignia Revealed


Nissan had the Nissan 370Z displayed at the 51st Annual San Francisco International Auto Show. I didn't think much of the car at first but it certainly looks good in the flesh. The lines of the 370Z reflects more of what is intended to succeed, the Nissan S30 series, or better known as the Fairlady Z (240Z and later as the 260Z and 280Z in some markets).

To add icing on the top, I thought she the best looking lady I saw throughout the auto show...

She was very sweet looking.

I wanted a closer shot, she obliged and blushed...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Chevrolet Avalanche - Commercial Car Video

Chevrolet Avalanche - Commercial Car Video

2009 Audi R8 LMS Details

'We know just how important motorsport is for the success of the brand,' emphasises Michael Dick, who as Chairman of the Board for Technical Development is responsible for the AUDI AG motorsport programme. 'Therefore it goes without saying that Audi must also be present on the race track in economically hard times. It is all the more important for us to enter a motorsport category in which the cost-benefit calculation is positive.'
more detail. ...

Other article:
Audi R8 by Project Kahn
Itasha: Arriva la Lamborgini Gallardo in stile manga�
Essen Debuts: PPI Razor GTR based on Audi R8
N�rburgring Audi R8 V10 Spy Latest Photos
Audi R8 To Get 5.2-Liter V10 Engine
Audi RS 8 Gets Turbo V10 with 572 bhp
Audi R8 in Depth
PPI Audi R8 Razor Debuts
Audi R8 V10