Thursday, December 31, 2009


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2010
Lledo - 1950 Bedford 30cwt Delivery Van Pepsi Xmas 1996
Limited Edition for Christmas Day in 1996

Sebring Debut: Corvette Racing boss Doug Fehan confirms new 5.5L V8

Corvette Racing 2009 Review: Doug Fehan Q&A
The First in a Series of Conversations with Corvette Racing

DETROIT � Corvette Racing program manager Doug Fehan has seen it all in motorsports, and he had to rely on every element of that hard-earned experience to navigate through a tumultuous 2009 season. In the midst of a global economic storm, Fehan steered Corvette Racing to the team's sixth win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the successful mid-year introduction of the GT2 version of the Corvette C6.R in the American Le Mans Series.

Corvette Racing's 10th anniversary season was a year of transition. The championship-winning GT1 Compuware Corvettes secured a seventh win in the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring on March 21, and made their farewell appearance in the ALMS in Long Beach, Calif., on April 18. The curtain fell on the GT1 era on June 13-14 with a GT1 victory in Le Mans, France, as Johnny O'Connell, Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia stood on the top step of the podium. Seven weeks later, two new-generation Corvette C6.Rs made their competition debut in the GT2 class at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

As the team conducted a five-race test program in preparation for a unified GT class in 2010, Corvette Racing posted five podium finishes and notched its first GT2 win at Mosport International Raceway on August 30. In the series' final five rounds, Corvette Racing scored more team and manufacturer points than any other GT2 entry, and O'Connell and Magnussen tallied the most points in the GT2 drivers championship. The season ended with fireworks at Laguna Seca as Magnussen walked away from his battered race car after a high-speed crash on the final lap of the season.

Under Fehan's leadership, Corvette Racing has become one of the world's premier production sports car teams. An ardent advocate for the Corvette cause and an icon for legions of faithful Corvette fans; Fehan received the ALMS "From the Fans" award in 2004, 2008, and 2009. In the following Q&A, he looks back at the 2009 season and looks ahead to 2010.

Q: Looking in the rearview mirror, what stands out in 2009?

Fehan: "There were really two parts to the season � our final races in GT1 leading up to Le Mans, followed by the debut of the GT2 program. Our focus was and will always be the 24 Hours of Le Mans. When GM was going through its restructuring, our greatest concern was that some might not understand the importance and significance of that event. It was a heartening moment when we were able to get past that point.

"In spite of many uncertainties, the team focused its energy on running the first round at Sebring, which we knew would be a great test of the engineering improvements we'd made in the race cars. And then going to Long Beach, we fulfilled the second half of our mission, which is marketing the Corvette and Chevrolet brands and representing our team sponsors.

"Everyone felt the importance of writing the final chapter of GT1 at Le Mans. They dedicated themselves to succeed, and it was absolutely amazing to see them embrace that idea. It fueled their fire because they knew the team was undergoing its most significant challenge, and concurrently they were designing, planning and building the GT2 cars. The preparation was almost as much fun as the race."

Q: And the highlight of the GT2 portion?

Fehan: "The win at Mosport. Watching the new cars' first laps at Mid-Ohio and knowing that we'd be competitive was certainly exciting, but the victory at Mosport was overwhelming. It happened much sooner than we expected, and it showed ALMS fans what they have to look forward to in 2010 with competition between Corvette, Ferrari, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, and Ford.

"I think by any measure, the GT2 Corvette introduction was successful. Our objective was to focus on Corvette Racing's core strengths: preparation, durability and reliability. We've learned that is what scores points � it's not always the fastest car that wins races and championships. In five events, we had zero mechanical issues, and the cars were on pace. That was very encouraging."

Q: Surely one of the highlights of 2009 was your stunning victory over Jan "The Flying Viking" Magnussen in the Tour de Road America Bike Ride to Fight Cancer?

Fehan: "That certainly ranks right at the top, but in a different category (laughs). We had some fun, and the race benefited a good cause, the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I challenge the pit crews to improve continuously, and the bike race demonstrated to our drivers that there is going to be continuous improvement in their level of physical preparation as well. I mean, they ought to be able to keep up with the program manager!"

Q: On a serious note, what were the lessons learned in Jan's last-lap crash at Laguna Seca?

Fehan: "Unfortunately the hardest lessons you learn in this sport are always safety related. You never want to put your safety systems to the test, but when that moment arrives, it's very reassuring to know that they are validated. That's what we learned at Laguna Seca.

"Initially we had concerns about running an aluminum chassis, and we had concerns about how the roll cage was integrated into the chassis. The force of the impact exceeded 50 g's, and yet Jan walked away. When we analyzed the chassis after the crash, the safety systems worked just as they were designed, and the aluminum chassis did a marvelous job of absorbing the energy and protecting Jan from serious injury.

"The extent of Jan's injuries was a broken tailbone, which we attribute to the seat design. We have redesigned that part to prevent a reoccurrence in the future, so that is the upside of the incident. Despite the severity of the crash, the crew had the No. 3 Corvette repaired and fully operational within a couple of weeks."

Q: What is the status of the GT-spec Corvette customer car program for 2010?

Fehan: "We currently have two customer cars under construction, but we don't yet have confirmed buyers for them. There has been tremendous interest in the GT-spec Corvette C6.Rs, and we think with continued improvement in the global economy, the interested parties will be able to make a commitment. We'd be delighted to see more Corvettes racing in the ALMS or overseas."

Q: While there will be a single GT class in the ALMS in 2010, GT1 will continue in the FIA series and at Le Mans. What's your perspective on the two classes?

Fehan: "A year ago, there was general agreement regarding a unified GT class, which we will see in the ALMS in 2010. The intention at that time was to base the FIA GT1 class on GT cars, with limited modifications to the engine and aerodynamics. Since then, however, Europe has encountered the same economic issues that we have faced in the U.S., and many members of the racing community understandably wish to retain their current cars for financial reasons. Consequently some of the older GT1 cars will now be converted to the new regulations, including several privately owned Corvette C6.Rs, and the ACO has invited these cars to participate at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the economic climate improves, I hope that the decision makers will recognize the benefits of running one GT class at Le Mans and other venues."

Q: Corvette Racing will introduce a production-based 5.5-liter small-block V-8 engine in 2010 in place of the 7.0-liter and 6.0-liter engines used previously. What's the outlook for the engine program?

Fehan: "GM Powertrain has completed the initial dynamometer tests of the 5.5-liter small-block V8, and the race team has conducted the first track test with the new engine. We are quite satisfied with its performance level at this point. We plan to continue development and introduce the 5.5-liter engine package in competition at Sebring."

Q: What are Corvette Racing's goals for 2010?

Fehan: "The ALMS GT championship and victory at Le Mans."

Corvette Racing's next event is the season-opening Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., on March 20, 2010. The classic 12-hour endurance race will be televised live on SPEED starting at 10 a.m. ET.
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Hartge upgrades their kit for the 2010 BMW Z4

For the exterior, Hartge has created a new front apron that covers the air inlets, carbon fiber mirror caps, a discreet boot lid spoiler, a wind deflector, pin stripes and a four-piece exhaust system.

Inside, new upgrades are available, starting with a new set of aluminum pedals, instrument cluster and Hartge branded floor mats

Customers can also give the hardtop roadster an even sportier stance with the addition of Hartge's alloy wheels that are available in numerous designs in sizes 18- to 20-inches, and a suspension lowering kit.

After showing us its initial offerings for the new BMW Z4 that were limited to a few alloy wheel options, a dual-pipe exhaust system and a new speedometer, Hartge has taken one step further by releasing a new set of upgrades for the hardtop roadster.

No engine upgrades are available at the moment, but expect next year to see a new engine kit.


Spyker would preserve Saab product plans, could sell own supercars in select dealers

In a far-reaching interview with AOL Autos this morning, Spyker Cars CEO Victor Muller revealed some interesting tidbits about his company's plan for Saab if they can successfully negotiate for its purchase from parent company General Motors.

In news that will surely be welcomed by Saab dealers and customers, Muller says Spyker has decided it would not pursue plans to winnow Saab's U.S. dealer network from 218 showrooms to 137. In fact, the Dutch businessman suggests that it would be reasonable to expect Spyker to sell its own cars within Saab showrooms in the future (they are presently distributed through Bentley and Lamborghini outlets). Down the road, Spyker's supercars could benefit from Saab's all-wheel drive expertise, among other things.

In a product plan that sounds distinctly like those previously floated by Saab executives in Sweden, the Dutch supercar builder would have Saab rebuild its brand around the 9-3, new-for-2010 9-5, and the 9-4X crossover. An entry-level 9-1 model would not be a consideration, although Muller admits he'd still love to build a production version of 2006's celebrated Aero X concept (shown above). If Saab were to go that route, Spyker's experience in building low-volume supercars would clearly be an asset in bringing it to market.

Naturally, all of this future product discussion will be moot if Spyker and its investors can't get GM to hand over the keys to the perennially embattled brand. A newly extended deadline for sales negotiations to be completed was set by GM on Wednesday, and we should know not long after January 7 what fate awaits the brand.

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WCF Top 10 Production Cars of 2009

2010 Saab 9-5
2010 Saab 9-5

1. 2010 Saab 9-5 - 267,642 visits
The most popular production (intended) car of 2009 is the second generation Saab 9-5. It's ironic as we await news of the brand's survival as GM evaluates prospective offers to buy the brand but continues to phase out operations. It has been reported today that GM will commence production of the all-new 9-5 but on a tentative scale to only fill orders already placed.

2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift - 1280
2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class facelift - 1280

2. 2010 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Facelift - 266,127 visits
As evidence of how visually conscious Mercedes enthusiasts are for their beloved S-Class, the facelifted full-size premium sedan takes the number 2 spot on the list. Surprising, as this is not a new model but just a minor cosmetic remodeling of the S-Class which has been on the market since 2006.

Ferrari 458 Italia
Ferrari 458 Italia

3. 2011 Ferrari 458 Italia - 258,815 visits
The core model of the Ferrari empire, the all-new mid-rear engined 458 Italia replaces the much loved F430. Power comes from a new direct injection 4499cc V8 engine that produces 570 bhp (425 kW / 578 PS) and 540 Nm of torque. As the pop-star of the supercar world, the F458 is guaranteed to grace the bedroom walls of teenagers the world over.

2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
2010 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

4. 2010 Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG - 255,027 visits
January saw the debut of the 2010 Mercedes E-Class, yet another leader in the mid-size premium sedan segment. Surprisingly, it did not make it to the top 10 list as a result of numerous leaks which diffused its impact leading up to the official release. However, the top of the range E 63 AMG variant captivated readers with its menacing looks and 518bhp (386kW) 6.3-liter (6208cc) V8 engine. The 2009 E 63 AMG sedan was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in April.

VW Scirocco R - 1600
VW Scirocco R - 1600

5. 2010 VW Scirocco R - 254,315 visits
Marked with an R designation, the Scirocco revival was finally granted VW's highest level of power output of 265hp via the same 2.0-liter TFSI engine found in the Audi S3 and Golf R. As VW's sportiest coupe since the Corrado, enthusiasm runs high for this model. The result of 5th most read article on WCF in 2009 proves it.

2011 BMW 5-series F10 Sedan
2011 BMW 5-series F10 Sedan

6. 2011 BMW 5-Series - 251,211 visits
The mid-size premium sedan segment has always been a top attraction on WCF, and the all-new sixth generation BMW 5-Series is no different. Surprised it didn't make it to the top half of the list, the 2011 5-Series plays down the baroque stylings of it's predecessor with a more traditional BMW approach. As a result, comparissons have been made to the hallowed fourth generation E39 5-Series of the late 1990s.

2010 Jaguar XJ
2010 Jaguar XJ

7. 2010 Jaguar XJ - 241,324 visits
Pegged as Jaguar's breakthrough vehicle after three generations and over 40 years of XJs all cast from the same mold, the 2010 XJ signaled a new design direction. Unveiled during an exclusive event at London's Saatchi Gallery in July, hopes run high as the executive XJ attempts to ignite a new customer experience.

BMW 550i GT
BMW 550i GT

8. 2010 BMW 5-Series GT - 225,083 visits
The only vehicle to make both WCF Top 10 lists, the 5-Series GT in production form was offically revealed in May with much controversy. As a "mixed-breed" of various passenger car formats, the 5-Series GT captured WCF visits for both fandom and morbid curiousity.

2010 BMW 760i
2010 BMW 760i

9. 2010 BMW 760i and 760Li - 208,708 visits
BMW's flagship model with a new top of the range all-aluminum 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 was unveiled in April. Directly aimed at the 5.5-liter biturbo V12 Mercedes S600 with 380 kW (517 hp) and 829 Nm (612 lb-ft) of torque, the new BMW 760 has more horsepower but less torque. Nonetheless, BMW fans and cynics alike put this story as the 9th most read story on WCF in 2009.

Mosler MT900 GTR XX by IAD
Mosler MT900 GTR XX by IAD

10. 2009 Mosler MT900 GTR XX - 204,291 visits
Revealed exclusively through WCF, the production based car gave a crushing blow to enthusiasts worldwide with a proclaimed 2500hp. Nicknamed "The Land Shark," the car is a stripped down and rebuilt Mosler MT900 GTR XX which weighs a full 250 kg (551 lbs) less than the already lightened GTR XX coming in at 861 kg (1898 lbs) with its fuel tanks full. The specs presented for such a concept are impressive to say the least, but left us feeling doubtful. Check out the story to see why.

Overtaking and Why It�s Rare

Once past the first corner of the race, overtaking in a Formula One car is an incredibly difficult art. Here�s why.
  • Passing on the straight: The power difference between even the fastest car and the slowest is rarely enough make overtaking simply a matter of blasting by on the straight. For that to work, the driver needs to complete the move before the next corner arrives, because unlike racing on an oval track, there is only one real �line� through a corner; anything else is much slower. Therefore the overtaking car would need to get completely in front of the car it�s passing rather than just nosing ahead, in order to then take up track position for the next turn. It�s rare for such a performance differential to exist between cars to make this possible.
  • Passing under braking: This is where the moves � such as they are � are usually made. But this is by no means easy. With over 2000kg of pressure pushing the cars into the road, they can decelerate with enormous force �up to 5g. Even the act of lifting your foot from the accelerator pedal creates around 1g of deceleration � around the same as a full emergency stop in your road car � and that�s before the brakes have been applied! Consequently the braking distances for corners are incredibly short. The shorter the braking distances, the less opportunity there is to pass under braking.
  • Slipstreaming: The driver of the car behind can benefit from the slipstream effect. This is where the car ahead punches a hole through the air, greatly reducing the air resistance for any car immediately behind it. This effect means that the following driver can use less throttle for the same speed and then simultaneously pull out and floor the throttle to gain a brief surge that might get him ahead. To be successful, the driver has to carry out this move just before the cars enter the braking zone � and on the inside line for the corner. Given that the defending driver is allowed one blocking move between corners, he should invariably have that situation covered, forcing his attacker to take the long way round � the outside.

Blocking the other guy

So if the attacking drivers are allowed to change their lines more than once (as the preceding section explains), why don�t these aggressors simply pass him on the other side, knowing that their prey can�t change his line again? Because if the blocker has timed it right, he will have forced the attacker to lift off the throttle just as the front of his car is almost upon the rear of the defending car. This will have lost the attacker the advantage of momentum he had.
It�s therefore essential for the blocking driver not to make his move too early; otherwise the attacker can simply keep his right foot nailed to the floor and steer around the other side, shouting �Eat my dust!� as he flies by!

Launch control � it wasn�t always so easy

Since the 2001 Spanish Grand Prix drivers have no longer needed to judge the optimum revs, wheelspin, and gear change points to affect the best getaway. Now, a whole host of electronic gizmos are allowed on the cars, including launch control, so all the driver has to do is arm the system as he is lined up on the grid and then press a button as the starting lights change. Software systems then work out the ultimate acceleration.
Features such as this and traction control �which cuts power when the system detects excess wheelspin, thereby making the car easier to control � had been outlawed since 1994, but difficulties in policing the software meant they were reintroduced.

Welcome 2010

Happy New Year peeps.... Wishing you a wonderful year ahead.

Happy New Year!

Copyright � 2009-2010, car-evolutioncars. All rights reserved.

Snow Leopard has Naked Lady on it

This is a very nice shot of the snow leopard but it is not used in any of the Apple promotional shots...

"Why?!" you might ask...
That's because there's a naked lady in there. A very hot and sexy one too...

You can't see her? She's right there, completely nude! Still can't see her? Look closer...


Maybe you'd have a better picture if you view it from a perspective...

Cool huh.

BMW Z Wallpaper

BMW Z Wallpaper, BMW Z Posters, BMW Z Picture

BMW Z Wallpaper

BMW Z Wallpaper, BMW Z Posters, BMW Z Picture

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spy Photos: 2012 Hyundai Veloster coupe

There are only two shots of the car, but from what we can tell, it appears that Hyundai Motor America's CEO John Krafcik wasn't exaggerating when he told Inside Line this past summer that the production model will look 70-80 per cent like the 2007 Veloster Concept.

Inspired by the two-door Veloster concept car from the 2007 Seoul auto show, the production-ready Veloster coupe packs attractive exterior body style with slopping roof-line and short front and rear overhangs.

The small front-wheel drive coupe, which has been described by Krafcik as a "4-passenger Honda CR-X", is scheduled to go on sale at Hyundai's dealerships alongside the larger and more expensive rear-wheel drive Genesis Coupe before the end of 2011.

It was revealed earlier this month that the showroom-ready Hyundai Veloster will be powered by 1.6L four-cylinder engine, which features direct injection technology and churns out impressive 140+ horsepower. The entry-level powerplant is expected to achieve over 40 mpg!

Hemmings Find of the Day: Porsche 356 Prototype hits the market

The Porsche 356 holds a special place amongst the ranks of historic automobiles. As one of the first vehicles to wear the Porsche badge after World War II, this car has direct ties to the model that would forever define the German maker of fine sportscars. That, of course, is the iconic 911.

Collectors, take note: one of two early 356 prototypes is now up for sale, located in New York. We wonder, would that make this a 355? No, probably not. Looking over pictures of the car, it's clear to see the shape that would eventually turn into the classic 356 as well as the expected air-cooled powerplant sitting aft of the cockpit and driving the rear wheels.

Notable features that didn't make it to the production car include the front grille that directs cooling air to the rear-mounted engine and the head lamps that are sunk into the bodywork on either side. No price is listed on this particular sale, but we certainly wouldn't expect it to be sold without a large sum of money changing hands.

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KBB lists its "most researched" new cars and trucks in 2009

Kelley Blue Book's Names Most-Researched New Vehicles for 2009, Brands With Greatest Share of Market Interest This Year

Chevy Equinox and Camaro, Ford Fusion, Lexus RX 350 Jump into 2009's Top 20 Most-Researched New Cars

IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new and used car information, today announces the most-researched new vehicles of 2009 on the company's top-rated Web site, In addition, Kelley Blue Book's reveals the top five brands with the greatest share of market interest for 2009.

This year marks the fourth consecutive year that Kelley Blue Book saw increased visitation to its Web site, with nearly 180 million visits to in 2009. Because is one of the most-trafficked automotive research sites, visitation to specific vehicles has become a leading indicator of sales patterns for manufacturers.'s Top 20 Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2009

1. Honda Accord
2. Honda Civic
3. Toyota Camry
4. Honda CR-V
5. Toyota Corolla
6. Toyota RAV4
7. Toyota Highlander
8. Toyota Prius
9. Nissan Altima
10. Honda Pilot
11. Ford Escape
12. Chevrolet Camaro
13. Honda Odyssey
14. Ford Fusion
15. Mazda3
16. Ford Mustang
17. Volkswagen Jetta
18. Toyota Sienna
19. Lexus RX 350
20. Chevrolet Equinox

The Honda Civic, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry (in varying orders each year) have been the top three most-researched new-vehicles on each year since 2004. However, many vehicles made noteworthy jumps into the top 20 most-researched new-vehicles for 2009 that were not on the list in 2008. Chevrolet's all-new redesigned Equinox and Camaro models both grace this year's list for the first time. Also new to this year's top 20 are the recently revamped Lexus RX 350 and the popular, fast-selling Ford Fusion.

The stabilization in gas prices for 2009 has indicated a trend away from smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles over the past year, and thus some popular small cars that were among the most-researched in 2008 have fallen off the list for 2009. Subcompact cars like the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, along with the compact MINI Cooper, were among the most-researched new cars last year, but do not hold court among the most-researched models this year. In addition, Chevy's Malibu, redesigned for the 2008 model-year and featured on last year's 'most-researched' list, has seen some of its popularity fade over the past year, no longer listing among the top 20 most-researched new cars of 2009.

"The site traffic on Kelley Blue Book's demonstrates what is on the minds of today's new-car shoppers, especially when examining the most-researched new-vehicles of 2009," said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's "Declined interest in smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles and increased popularity in attractive, recently redesigned models is an accurate reflection of the marketplace in 2009. We also see that consumers are reacting well to new models and redesigns from domestic manufacturers like Chevy and Ford, which bodes well for their future sales numbers."

Top Five Brands with Greatest Share of Market Interest on Kelley Blue Book's for 2009

1. Toyota
2. Honda
3. Ford
4. Chevrolet
5. Nissan

Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan (respectively) are the top five brands with the highest share of market interest -- defined as the percent of new-car shopper activity for a particular brand -- on Kelley Blue Book's for 2009. Of those brands, Ford saw the most growth throughout the course of the year, with its share rising steadily in the first half of the year and peaking during the summer months, benefitting as the only domestic manufacturer that did not require a bailout or undergo bankruptcy. Ford also benefitted from the "Cash-for-Clunkers" program during the summer of 2009, due to its aggressive promotion of the program.

About Kelley Blue Book (

Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource�, has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site,, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book� Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book� Official Guide. According to the C.A. Walker Research Solutions, Inc. - 2009 Spring Automotive Web Site Usefulness Study, is the most useful automotive information Web site among new and used vehicle shoppers, and half of online vehicle shoppers visit Kelley Blue Book's also is a W3 Gold Award winner, sanctioned by the International Academy of Visual Arts. is a leading provider of new car prices, car reviews and news, used car Blue Book Values, auto classifieds and car dealer locations. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than
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