Saturday, February 28, 2009

Event Alert: March Calendar of Automotive Events

Besides the gradual thawing of most of the country, March means the beginning of the Formula One season as well as Sebring, the Geneva Motor Show, the Amelia Island Concours, and NASCAR ramping up to full speed.

Those events alone would be enough to sate even the healthiest automotive appetites, but there's plenty more going on in the motoring world. As always, we tried to list the highlights as well as a few smaller events that we hope will be of interest to you. Feel free to use the comments section to add or modify listings.
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More on TAC Motors' Stark raving awesome Brazilian bomber in Video

It's not the love child of a Smart Fortwo and a Jeep Wrangler -- it's the TAC Motors Stark 4X4. While we're not entirely sold on the looks of its four-piece composite shell, this off-roader is now aequipped to handle whatever terrain you might happen to encounter.

Previously available with an ethanol-burning Volkswagen engine, power now comes from a 2.3-liter turbodiesel making 220 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a five-speed synchronized transmission that sends power through a Borg Warner transfer case back to a stout Dana 44 rear axle. A set of skidplates looks to keep it all protected.
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First Drive: 2009 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Once again, this time-honored dictum is proving true as pickup trucks regain their rightful place at the top of the U.S. sales charts following a precipitous fall from grace last summer.

As you've undoubtedly noticed, the cost of gasoline has dropped to a more manageable level, with an average gallon of regular-grade fuel going for half the price it was less than a year ago. So is it back to business as usual? Not quite. As we found out (again) in 2008, the volatile nature of gasoline stocks means that the market price for a barrel of crude can and will change on a whim. Does anyone really think fuel is going to stay cheaper than bottled water forever? Not likely.

However, America's love affair with the pickup truck will continue to burn bright even though the status quo is changing. All vehicles, regardless of type, must travel more miles on each gallon of gasoline. Enter GM's latest duo of fuel-saving pickups: the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra Hybrids.

These two workhorses were first announced at the LA Auto Show in late 2007, though the 2009 editions are just now beginning to show up at dealerships across the country. For the new model year, GM has made a few tweaks to its range of heavy haulers, most notably switching to a new set of hydraulic body mounts to compensate for the extra weight of the large battery pack. Are there any good reasons to consider these hybrid trucks over their highly-respected standard siblings? To find out, we strapped ourselves behind the wheel of each, followed a route through the streets of San Antonio, Texas, and recorded our mileage along the way.
more detail. ...

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Geneva Debut: Sportec SPR1 M with 858hp

Sportec with an update on the above SPR1: the SPR1M. This car is 3 seconds from 0 to 100!

The sprint from 0-200 is perhaps even more impressive, it does the SPR1 in 8.6 seconds! Perhaps the SPR1M that take? The available power is 858 hp with a max torque of 880 Nm. Sportec will next week unveil the car at the Geneva car show, then it will also be shown the Autorai (April). The SPR1M is based on the 997 Turbo and completely rebuilt by hand using a lot of carbon. To ensure exclusivity, only 10 copies made.

The Sportec SPR1 continued in 2007 the second time down to Nardo, there was achieved a top speed of 378 km / h. The SPR1M this should increase to 390 km / h.
via autoblog

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News in brief

Before it's debut in Geneva, Nissan has revealed its new NV200. The NV200 will arrive in 3 variants; a commercial van and two 7 seat passenger versions - a combi for passengers and load carrying and a passenger only version. Nissan is presenting the NV200 to the world as a global product which has been tested under many different conditions to suit very different markets. Nissan is launching the NV200 in Japan before Summer, in Europe in Autumn 2009 and then in China and other markets. Engines are a 1.6 litre petrol with 108PS and 153Nm of torque. The second option is a 1.5 litre dCi, producing 86PS and 200Nm. Both use a 5 speed manual transmission.Optional equipment includes a rear view parking camera, ESP, ABS with EBD, driver and passenger airbags and side airbags on the options list.

Hyundai is likely to sell the Genesis Coupe in Europe. Prices should start around �25,000, undercutting the Nissan 350Z by �13,000 at �38,000. Sales should start in 2010 with EU cars limited to 1,000 units a year. Hyundai Genesis Coupe priced at �25k.

Ford reveals revised Ranger pick-up. Set to debut at next weeks Geneva motorshow, the Ranger is built in Thailand and will reach European showrooms in April. Engine wise, buyers can purchase 2 4-cylinder diesels; 2.5 litre, 143bhp and a 3.0 litre 156bhp unit both of which can be paired with either a 5 speed auto or manual.

Kia's new mini-MPV, referred to as the "YN" will be unveiled in Switzerland in concept form. The concept named, Kia No 3 Concept is designed by Peter Schreyer, who heads the Korean brand's European design studio. At 4,045 mm in length, the new MPV is a little longer than the Ford Fiesta. Underpinnings will be borrowed from the Soul.

Kia has released 2 more teaser images of the forthcoming Sorento SUV. The Korean market will get a 2.4 litre Theta II petrol, a 2.7 litre LPI and a 2.2 litre turbo-diesel R-engine, kindly donated by sister firm Hyundai. The 200bhp, 2.2 litre turbo-diesel R engine will achieve 33mpg UK whilst mated to a new 6 speed automatic transmission. CO2 emissions are likely to top 225g/km. A 175bhp, 2.4 litre Theta petrol engine will be offered in the UK alongside the 2.2 diesel. A 3.8 litre V6, expected to produce more than 270bhp won't be offered in the European market. The U.S will only get the petrol engines. The new Sorento goes on sale in South Korea in April. In Europe and North America, the model will be launched late in 2009.

The Skoda Fabia Scout will stand in Geneva next month. Based upon the Fabia, it receives cladding along the front, side and back. Sales start in May.

Rolls-Royce will show a concept version of the forthcoming "RR4". The 200EX will use the underpinning of the BMW 7 Series. Measuring at 5.4 metres, the baby Rolls is likely to start at �180,000. Power will come from a V12. The official product will premier at the Frankfurt motorshow with worldwide sales starting in 2010.

Courtesy of the European Office for Harmonization of the Internal Market (OHIM), where trademark records are kept and spy photographers, we can see the European Chevrolet Volt, named Vauxhall/Opel Ampera in all it's glory in Germany. Set to debut in Geneva next week, the 5 door hatchback will be on sale by 2011. It'll be built in Ellesmere Port, England and is claimed the Ampera will be capable of returning upto 176mpg with CO2 emissions of under 40g/km. It will use the same Voltec plug-in hybrid system as the Volt. GM says that Voltec system has a 40 mile range from a single charge. A small petrol engine in the car which powers the generator will increase the range to about 500 miles. Recharging from a European 230-volt outlet is expected to take 2-3 hours.

Sussing out the details

When an experienced and successful driver, such as Michael Schumacher, travels around a track � even one he�s driven many times before � he isn�t looking at how best to drive the track, he�s investigating any small changes that may have been made since last time he was here. He wants to know stuff like
  • Where the protective barriers are placed
  • How many layers of tyres are protecting key spots
  • Whether the track surface has changed anywhere, and if it has, how the grip levels now compare to the grip levels before
  • How deep the gravel traps are (some gravel traps literally beach the car if you go off into them, others can be driven gingerly across)
  • Where the access roads for the rescue vehicles are. (These roads can double up as a useful route back onto the track if you go off.)
  • Where the marshal posts are. (At each marshal post, a circuit worker is available on a motorcycle to give a driver a lift back to the pits should he need it.)
By observing key details of the track, experienced drivers gain important information that they can use to their advantage during the race. Take Michael Schumacher, for example. Few drivers equal his skill and knowledge of the various tracks, yet he doesn�t rest on his laurels. He susses out the details of each track he races on and uses these little details to hone his approach to the track. You�ll often see Schumacher in the practices pushing like crazy through specific corners, establishing where the absolute limit is. He can do this safe in the knowledge that he�s checked out the gravel trap and knows that, if he goes off, he�s not going to lose the rest of the session because his car got stuck there. He only pushes in this way on those corners where he knows he can rejoin the track.

Getting to Know the F1 Circuit

Most drivers are already familiar with all of the Formula One tracks but in each season there is always a handful of rookie drivers. These drivers may be familiar with some of the tracks � having raced on them during their time in the junior formulas on the way up to Formula One � but some of the circuits will be completely new to them. Furthermore, with new tracks being added to the calendar on a regular basis, even the experienced drivers sometimes have to learn their way around.
So how does a driver learn a track? The most obvious answer is by driving it. Far more is learned on a driver�s first lap out of the pits than from any other method. But drivers occasionally check out simulated Formula One computer games, which enable them to at least know which corner follows which as they make their way out on their first lap. But most drivers agree, as good as these games are, they aren�t a substitute for actually driving around the track because they don�t come close to giving the sensations necessary to get a feel for the track.
Another method of learning the track is to arrive early and walk it. Turn up at a Grand Prix venue the Wednesday before the race and you�ve a good chance of seeing drivers either walking, cycling, riding a motor cycle, or driving a hire car around the circuit. Not all drivers do this. The rookies usually do, of course, but even some of the experienced drivers do it too. Multiple world champion Michael Schumacher is renowned for his thorough preparation, and he invariably takes a trip around the place just to remind himself of its details.

The jet set

The really top Formula One drivers spend millions on their own private jets (Citations are a favourite). Drivers close to the top tend to lease the jets. Although a few drivers have pilots� licences, none fly their own planes to and from races. Their schedules are already busy enough without the hassle of planning flights. Instead, these men use special agencies that supply a complete service, including pilots.
Flying to and from races used to be quite a popular pastime for Formula One drivers back in the 1970s and 1980s, but has since fallen out of favour as the drivers� professional lives have become much busier.

New face for Grande Punto

Fiat's hot-selling Grande Punto has been on the European market since 2005. Recently, the UK model (MY 2009) received some subtle changes to the exterior, interior and pricing. A few pre-production cars, caught in Sweden and Italy show that the newcomer will bring substantial changes to its mechanics, interior and exterior. On the outside of the prototypes, Fiat engineers have only covered the front radiator grille with tape. It seems that the facelift could be small, but who knows.

In a market where comfort, affordability/running costs and style are the most important factors, the G.Punto's interior is likely to be upto Alfa Romeo standards. Engines will remain the same.

Whilst one of the engineers were testing the 5dr mule in Sweden, our Norwegian spy photographer said the vehicle caught alight whilst in motion. The driver escaped unharmed and started filming the incident by our spy, instead of phoning the emergency services. Sales of the Grande Punto will start in Winter.

Entry-level Mini Clubman One announced (UK)

Mini has announced an entry-level version of its popular Clubman.

Under the bonnet is a 1.4 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine producing 95bhp that allows the Clubman to run from 0-62 mph in 11.6 seconds. The sacrifice in power does add up to impressive gains in fuel economy and reduced emissions thanks to brake regeneration, start/stop and a shift point display that tells the driver when to shift to maximise fuel economy. The end result of all these technologies means that drivers can expect to achieve a combined fuel consumption of 52.3 mpg and CO2 emissions of 130g/km. A short-shifting 6 speed manual transmission is standard with the option of a 6 speed auto with manual-shift capability.

The new addition will be unveiled at next week's Geneva autoshow. Orders are being taken now with sales starting on Saturday 28th March. Prices start at �13,290 and all models will feature new exterior paint combinations and air conditioning as standard.

Geneva Preview: Porsche Cayenne Diesel gets the TechArt Treatment

For some reason, Porsche tuner TechArt has decided to release an exclusive aerokit for the recently introduced Cayenne diesel used Audi-derived, 240-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 TDI engine. Although less extreme than the company's other adjustment package, accessorized Cayenne diesel certainly come to the fore.

TechaArt the Aero package includes a pre-spoiler with additional lights, side skirts, roof spoiler, a tailgate on the proliferation and integrated headlights / tail light decoration. All the components are from high quality polyurethane RIM Corporation.

Package to be complemented by a set of 21 inch alloy wheels 295/35 tires continental tires, but buyers can also choose 22-inch alloys. If your pockets can handle it, TechArt also provides a wide range of internal upgrades, including a new steering wheel, alloy pedals, and the full leather treatment.


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Report: 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-class convertible unveiled at Frankfurt

2010 Mercedes-Benz E-class coupe and convertible enough to clearly indicate that these two cars close to a statement. The coupe will bow next month in Geneva, according to Edmonds' inside the roadster will debut this autumn in Frankfurt, in line with market expectations.

It's official: E-class coupe and convertible models will replace the clock. Tire specifications convertible is still a possibility on the basis of the test found in the prototype, but the soft-top was inevitable. By a modified two door sedan version of the chassis, longer wheelbase and more interior space than the outgoing clock. The roadster is expected to share the same power system can be in sports.

What are these? Ah, Mercedes's first direct injection four-cylinder engine is based on power, 1.8 liters turbocharged unit of decision-making 204 horsepower. Ah four common-rail diesel power can also be, but neither the four-cylinder (designated E250 CGI and ignition of gasoline and diesel models, respectively) is expected to make it to North America. American will have to content with the E350 Coupe and Cabriolet 231 hp 3.0 liters V6 engine. V8 engine provides the E500. Of course, the high power of the AMG version are inevitable; expected 500-horsepower AMG or if shoehorns its 6.2 liters V8 engine, the engine E-Class sedans Bay.

Other progress will be found a similar high-tech E - Class sedan, including revised Command System PRE - SAFE braking and a driver assist system detects drowsiness attention.

Please note: Photos are included in this article was originally published February 11, 2009.
Source:World Car Fans

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[NEWS] rFactorCentral Video Competition Voting open!

rFactorCentral decided to put up a vote and let the Community decide which Video should win their Competition.
They picked 10 to choose from, including mine :)

Dont forget to VOTE

New rules do not halt F1 innovation

F1's new bodywork rules may have brought an end to a lot of the cars' overt aerodynamic detail, but it has not halted the innovation of the teams

At the winter test tracks so far, plenty of clever features are on display, including Williams and Toyota's controversial rear diffuser designs

Sam Michael, Williams, technical director, said on Thursday he expects "50 per cent of the grid" to have honed-in on the idea by the time late March and the Australian grand prix roll around

Also spotted recently is a new design of carbon-fibre front wheel covers on the 2009 McLaren

Described as a sort of "snorkel" by the German publication Auto Motor und Sport, the innovation is expected to be fitted to the MP4-24 in Australia

Meanwhile, on Williams' 2009-spec FW31 at the Grove factory on Thursday, reporters could not miss the addition of new fins on the cockpit

"They're called 'skate fins' because they're similar to what you see on a surfboard," Australian Michael said
Source: GMM

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Mercedes-Benz Extends G-Class Production Until 2015

The "Highlander" of the automobile industry, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class that has been in production since the spring of 1979, will continue to live on for at least six more years as Daimler AG has signed an agreement with Magna Steyr to produce the robust off-roader at the company's plant in Graz, Austria until 2015. In the 30 years that the G-Class has been in production, Mercedes-Benz has sold around 200,000 examples of the vehicle worldwide.

To celebrate the G-Class' 30-th anniversary, Mercedes-Benz recently launched two special edition versions of the rugged off-roader called EDITION30 and EDITION30.PUR


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Button agrees to slash 2009 retainer

Jenson Button has agreed to cut his 2009 retainer in half as the Honda team survives the withdrawal of the Japanese manufacturer.

A management buyout headed by Ross Brawn has apparently been green-lighted by the carmaker's Tokyo board, but it will mean a drastically reduced budget this season.

The Daily Telegraph in Britain claims up to 300 of the 700 Brackley based staff will be shed, while 29-year-old Button voluntarily cuts his contracted $15m salary for this season in two.

Some of the Brackley staff, however, are reportedly unhappy with the Brawn buyout and prepared to strike.

If Honda had folded the team, the manufacturer would have dished out healthy severance packages, while under the Brawn deal, many staff will still be shed but not compensated as handsomely.

Those surviving the job cuts face pay cuts, the Telegraph added.

Source: GMM

Friday, February 27, 2009

Double Decker Bus Vs Low Bridge

Here is where art meets science, meet goofing off at a low bridge as a driver runs into it with a double decker bus.


Sports Car 2006 Toyota Sienna Video

Sports Car 2006 Toyota Sienna Video

Biker Gloves Option

You've buying the perfect motorcycle. Take many time to doing your research before you purchase, so you know you got the best bike for you. But now you need to consider your gear and it's time to know your motorcycle gloves options to be Car Evolution.

Your gloves are very important to your overall safety for safety riding. Many riders cancel to buying gloves but you should give them a try. You'll quickly realize what you have been missing.

The technology is incredible. You can buy gloves that will keep your hands warm in the winter or cool in the summer. You can purchase gloves with gel inserts that reduce of vibration on your hands. Some are even made from materials like Kevlar which are abrasive resistant and that's a great glove for riding.

For the average rider, cruising gloves are the better choice over racing gloves. These gloves are made from nice soft leathers that are designed to protect against abrasion. The carbon fiber knuckle and fingers will protect your hands properly.
Held makes a great glove that feels different than your average glove and the stitching and quality automatically makes them recognizable as a Held product. And it's one of the most resilient leathers on the market.

These gloves are made of Kangaroo leather and so they are a light color on the palm. Kangaroo leather is extremely strong and it's very light weight which mean sit can protect your hands while at the same time giving you lots of flexibility.
Many styles you can choose. Just do your research and you'll be able to decide what you like. There are hundreds of styles to choose from. But don't forget, You should know about boots too.

Finally, I hope we can safety while riding motorcycle... Peace!

TechArt Porsche 997 Facelift Program for 2009 4S Cabriolet

TECHART has a new tuning programme for the 2009 Porsche Carrera 4S Cabriolet. These modifications can best be seen live at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of next week. The aero kit comprises of a front spoiler which blends in with the front bumper and side sills that widen the car's already wide stance. Moreover a rear diffuser and a wing profile add to the visual appeal.

Other decorative details are headlight and mirror trims, a carbon fiber roof spoiler and air vents that are integrated into the front apron.
Read More

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