Sunday, May 31, 2009


Fairlady Z's are so beautiful...

Another round of dealer cuts imminent at GM

Just a couple of weeks ago General Motors revealed that it would be cutting ties with over 1,100 dealerships, and the bad news keeps coming for dealers as the struggling automaker is expected to cut a further 450 dealerships in the coming months.

Many dealerships are under franchise agreements with GM that are expected to finish late next year - at which point around 450 dealers will most likely not have their contracts renewed. The dealerships facing the axe from GM have been chosen because they "have very specific issues", the automaker�s sales chief Mark LaNeve revealed to Automotive News. These issues include the fact that certain dealerships may have been exclusively stocking the now-defunct Pontiac brand, or be underperforming in regards to sales targets.
more detail. ...

Rad Rods

First 2010 Subaru Legacy rolls off the line in Indiana

The 5th-generation Subaru Legacy has officially begun production, with the first car rolling off the Lafayette, Indiana assembly line late last week to confetti-strewn, ribbon-cutting fanfare.

In keeping with Subaru's recent new-model introductions, beginning with the current Impreza and continuing with the new Forester, the 2010 Subaru Legacy wears controversial new bodywork that abandons the elegantly understated lines of the outgoing model in favor of a more stylized (overstyled?) face attached to a car that has grown dimensionally in order to be better-positioned against the likes of the Honda Accord.

With production now underway, look for the new Subaru Legacy to start arriving in U.S. showrooms by July. We'll weigh in with our impressions of the car as soon as we can get our hands on one.

I really think it's going to be a good selling vehicle. It's designed for the North American market. I think it's got a lot of amenities that will appeal to the U.S. market," said Ken Nelson, a group leader in quality control who helped cut a red ribbon to celebrate the start of production.

It's pretty exhilarating. I've been working on this for a year and a half -- some pretty long hours.

SIA expects to build 165,000 vehicles this year. That includes a combined 68,000 Legacy and Outback models and 7,000 units of the Subaru Tribeca, along with 90,000 Toyota Camrys. That compares to a total of 183,249 units last year.

They should be in dealerships in July, maybe late June," said Tom Easterday, SIA senior vice president. "An ad campaign will begin in August or September.

Source:JConline via autoblog

Hamann does its thing to the new BMW 7 Series

The arrival of the new F01 BMW 7 Series means that aftermarket companies have a new toy upon which to apply their talents. Enter Hamann, the German tuner with a penchant for Lambo-dooring, among other things. Thankfully, the firm's workup of the all-new 7 Series leaves the factory door hinges intact, but that's about it.

A new aero kit makes the big sedan less vanilla-looking with updated fascias, skirts and spoilers on both the rear decklid and roof. Naturally, a lowered suspension is offered, which, when combined with a selection of new wheels and the aforementioned bodywork, gives the �ber-Bimmer a nastier stance.

Inside, Hamann will fully customize the cabin appointments to your taste, or lack thereof. The Hamann 7 Series isn't necessarily all show, either -- an available sport exhaust upgrade for the 730d bumps power by 45 horses for a total of 290. Hamann's unlikely to stop with this batch of initial offerings, so more extreme modifications are probably inevitable. Just resist that primal urge on the butterfly doors, okay guys?


The HAMANN refining programme for the new BMW 7-series

Individualisation on the highest level � this is the motto under which HAMANN presents its refining programme for the new BMW 7-series of the model range F01 and F02. Already since 1986, the Laupheim-based company develops and produces products for the individualisation of BMW automobiles. Thereby, the HAMANN technicians profit from hundreds of successful motor sports participations. The competence which was gained there is the basis for the development of new HAMANN products and renders the highest level for product quality and processing. The result: stainless steel exhaust systems with a sporty and earthy sound, aerodynamics components reducing the lifting forces and striking light alloy rims from 19 to 22 inches. Interiors perfectly fitted with leather and combined with floor-mats in matching colours as well as non-slip aluminium pedals extend the accessory range.

Already when establishing the design, HAMANN perfectly adjusts the individual components of the aerodynamic pack. The result is an exciting styling with an optimised air flow across the car silhouette. LED daytime running lights which are integrated in the new front skirt, render a sporty-dynamic look and increase the passive safety. Simultaneously, in combination with the roof spoiler and the rear spoiler, the lifting forces are reduced and give the upper class limousine a new, attractive overall appearance. The visual connection between the front and rear part are the HAMANN side skirts which are available for the model series F01. The optionally available rear shield insert for the side skirt of the model 730d and 740i allows fitting the four-pipe sport end muffler. Four round stainless steel end pipes with a diameter of 90 millimetres perfectly enhance the rear part of the 7-series BMW and produce a powerful, earthy sound.

A performance enhancement for the Diesel engine with variable turbine geometrics is already under construction. By this first tuning stage the serial measure of the 730d (180 kW / 245 hp) increases by approximately 33 kW/45 hp.

A technical highlight of the offered tuning programme is the one-piece HAMANN-aluminium wheel called DESIGN HM EVO 22 inches. A hallmark of the modern styling is the glossy black paint with the diamond-grinded rim star and the discreet deep rim well. Five elongated and over-vaulted triple spokes document visual and technical finesse. Struts inside the spokes render additional stability. Modern production processes and the use of special aluminium alloys guarantee highest bearing loads at a low weight. Here, HAMANN recommends the dimensions 9.0Jx22 inches with 265/30ZR22 tyres at the front axle and 10.5Jx22 inches with 295/25ZR22 tyres at the rear axle.

The four progressively coiled chassis springs which lower the centre of gravity with the models 730d, 740i by 40 millimetres at the front- and rear axles, render a dynamic appearance. For the models 750i and 750Li, there is a lowering kit consisting of two chassis springs and an evening kit.

In addition to the existing, serial interior equipment, HAMANN accessories made first-class aluminium, pedals and foot-rests render motor sports air and perfectly match the embroidered HAMANN floor mat set. If desired, even a complete leather equipment can be produced with expert precision.

For more information about the extensive HAMANN refining programme, please visit the web site

Nissan's new plant to go live soon (RU)

Nissan will officially open its new $200 million assembly plant in St. Petersburg on the 2nd June. Despite global economic woes, Russia is seeing steady growth in demand for premium class sedans and Nissan will build the popular Teana for the Russian market.

The plant is expected to produce 50,000 vehicles per year and will start rolling out cars at full capacity immediately after the opening, the company said in a statement.

The plant is located in Kamenka, a new industrial zone northwest of St. Petersburg, at the intersection of the city's new ring roads. Nissan started construction work on the plant on 8th June 2007, even as the domestic car market showed signs of sliding sales. The company said the quality of locally produced cars will conform to the company's international production system known as the Nissan Production Way, used on its factories all over the world.

The new plant will initially employ 750 people to work a single shift producing the Teana. The Teana first appeared in the Russian market in July 2006 and instantly became a hit. In May 2007, it was replaced by a new model, which has an average price of $32,000. Russia's AvtoStat, an agency that monitors car sales, said the company has sold more than 8,000 Teana's since its local launch last year.

Three months after the grand opening, the St. Petersburg plant is also expected to start production of the second-generation Nissan X-Trail which came to Russia in July 2007 and is one of the company's most successful and popular models. Nissan has sold 38,000 units of the X-Trail since July 2007, says AvtoStat.

Honda jacks 2010 Pilot prices (U.S)

Honda USA has announced pricing for the 2010MY Pilot that sees no styling or equipment changes from the 2009 model that went on sale in the U.S last May. The 2010MY brings a price rise of $250 and $350, depending on the trim level.

Available in both 2WD and 4WD forms and with 8 seats, the Pilot is powered by a 3.5 litre i-VTEC V6 petrol engine that produces 250bhp and 253 lbs-ft of peak torque.

Prices for the 2010 Pilot start from $27,895 for the entry-level 2WD LX and top out at $38,645 for the 4WD Touring.

2010 Honda Pilot prices:

Pilot 2WD LX - $27,895

Pilot 4WD LX - $29,495

Pilot 2WD EX - $30,745

Pilot 4WD EX - $32,345

Pilot 2WD EX-L - $33,845

Pilot 4WD EX-L - $35,445

Pilot 2WD Touring - $37,045

Pilot 4WD Touring - $38,645

Lord Mandleson assures Vauxhall factories are safe (UK)

Lord Mandelson has moved to calm speculation that Vauxhalls plants could be closed following the beginning of sale proceedings of GM Europe to Magna.

Lord Mandelson said that he had spoken to GM Europe executives after they had picked Magna as their preferred bidder and that they had reaffirmed their commitment that Vauxhall production would continue in the UK.

"I have in the last 24 hours spoken again to the senior executives of General Motors in Europe and again I have got their commitment reaffirmed to me - as I did previously, in the previous week with Magna - that their commitment to Vauxhall production continuing in the United Kingdom is firm,". "But we've got now to pin down specific plans and specific implications for jobs."

He stopped short of issuing any reassurances over job losses, saying that Magna had so far been vague both on its plans for the business and the implications for jobs. He also conceded that Magna's proposal to take over Vauxhall and Opel could threaten a key contract between Nissan Renault and Vauxhall's van making plant in Luton. Nissan Renault has a clause in its contract that states that it can renegotiate or even end the agreement with Luton, should the ownership of the plant change - as would be the case if Magna completes its deal to take over GM Europe.

Renault builds its Trafic van in Luton and the contract is set to run until 2012.

"These are among the many and details specifics of Magna's plans that we have to discuss with them and tie down," Lord Mandelson said.

"If they want British government to help underwrite this new company going forward, they are going to have to demonstrate what's in this new arrangement for Britain, for British production and British workers."

Saturday qualifying: Improvisation

The rules dictate that no fuel can be added to the cars between the end of Saturday qualifying and the beginning of the race on Sunday. Furthermore, no changes can be made in the set-up of the cars during this period either. The direct result of these regulations is that the drivers must do their one qualifying lap on Saturday with enough fuel on board to get them to their first pit stop in the race on Sunday.
Driving a heavily-laden car on the limit without any build-up laps is an extremely difficult thing to do and perhaps represents the biggest challenge facing a driver all weekend.
When a driver spins or leaves the track during qualifying, that�s it. He gets no second chance. He does have the option, however, of continuing the lap (assuming the car�s still driveable) or aborting it. Aborting the lap can save him around a lap�s worth of fuel � which could be critical on race day. He will start from the back of the field then � but it�s likely that he would have done anyway had he spun.

Friday qualifying: No compromise

The results of Friday qualifying determine the order the cars take to the track on Saturday. The fastest car on Friday is the last car out on Saturday �theoretically the best slot. The results of Saturday qualifying determine the starting order of the race.
For Friday qualifying, the driver and his engineers don�t need to concern themselves with anything other than how to get the car around the track on its one flying lap as fast as possible. The car need have only enough fuel on board to get it through an out-lap, the flying lap, and an in-lap. Typically, cars will carry less than 10kg of fuel � compared to as much as 70kg during Saturday qualifying when there also needs to be enough fuel on board to enable the car to do its first race stint on Sunday. The difference between 10kg and 70kg of fuel can be as much as 1.8s per lap at some tracks. In addition to the lower weight, the cars are set up for ultimate speed over one lap, with no compromise for tyre wear or raceablity. For these reasons, on Friday qualifying, you will probably see the cars go faster than at any other stage of the weekend. A spin or a non-completion of a lap on Friday means that you will be at the back of the timesheets and therefore the first one to take to the track for Saturday qualifying � theoretically the slowest slot because the track will be at its dirtiest. Tyres of other cars will clear the dust and build up a layer of rubber on the track surface, making the track faster as the session goes on.

Debriefs and why the drivers disappear for hours

The engineers and drivers have an awful lot to discuss amongst themselves after the practice sessions have finished. This is why the drivers aren�t generally seen around the paddocks and garages for hours afterwards. Instead, they�re huddled together in the team motorhomes analysing the meaning of all the data thrown up by practice.
During these debriefs, the team can look in more detail at all the electronic data logging information and compare it with lap times and the driver�s subjective feelings. The pros and cons of one set-up over another, one tyre choice over another, one strategy over another can be discussed indefinitely. The more trouble a team is in, the longer the debriefs tend to take. Engineers value the debriefs immensely because it�s their best chance of bringing all the information together, at a time when it is still fresh in everyone�s minds. Not all drivers share the enthusiasm of the engineers, though. Some find debriefing sessions a little dull, especially coming immediately after the adrenaline-filled rush of driving a Formula One car at the limit. The very top drivers, however, look on these sessions as opportunities to extract the maximum out of their own performance and they give the appropriate time and effort.

MotoGP Paddock Girls

MotoGP Paddock Girl
Hot Paddock Girl
Cute Paddock Girl

Stoner Triumphs to Lead MotoGP Championship

Casey Stoner put an end to Valentino Rossi's seven-year domination in Mugello with a thrilling victory at the Italian MotoGP. Jorge Lorenzo finished on second place with Yamaha team-mate Rossi on third but Dani Pedrosa, who was injured in qualifying, was taken off on a stretcher after a crash.

Lorenzo had a poor start from pole position. It was remarkable that he finished the race on second after he crashed on the warm-up.

Casey Stoner's victory in his Ducati team's home race has made him to the top of MotoGP championship standings. Stoner now leads with 90 points, followed by Lorenzo 86 points, and Rossi 81 points.

Casey Stoner wins at Mugello
Casey Stoner and the Doctor
Casey Stoner mugello winner

Toyota F1 Wallpaper

Toyota F1 Wallpaper
Toyota F1 Wallpaper

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Aprilia RS125 - schoolboy dream machine

SCHOOLBOY SUPERBIKE: The Aprilia RS125 has been Europe's best-selling 125cc sport bike for several years - it's not hard to see why.

Aprilia RS125 - schoolboy dream machine

March 28, 2006

Aprilia's RS125 lightweight sports bike has been completely revised for 2006 using technology from the company's successful 125cc GP machines and re-styled, after extensive wind-tunnel research, to emphasise its family resemblance to Aprilia's RSV1000 Factory litre-class sport flagship, with twin halogen headlights.

Self Drive Canada have become increasingly popular over the last few years

It will be available in South Africa at the end of April, at about R40 000.

The 2006 model has new 40mm inverted front forks with an RSV Factory-style forged lower triple, and a 320mm, fully floating, front disc brake with a four-piston radial mount calliper.

A radial master cylinder modulates deceleration via braided stainless-steel brake hoses.

It has an oval-section, racing silencer with riveted end plates and a catalytic converter so that it complies with Euro 2 emissions regulations.

The cast-alloy wheels are styled to resemble the crossed-spoke, forged magnesium OZ rims used on the RSV1000 Factory and anodised the same bright blue.

The RS125 also comes with a new analog/digital instrument panel from the RSV1000 with a multi-function display that includes speedometer, coolant temperature gauge and lap timer � there's even provisional for trackside optical telemetry.

The frame is made of cast aluminium alloy with cross-ribbing reinforcement and the box-section, aluminium alloy swing-arm is asymmetrical to allow the exhaust to be tucked as close as possible to the chassis, to increase ground clearance.

The 2006 RS125 will be available in either classic black with red accents or pearl white as per Manuel Poggiali's works Grand Prix machine, with black and red highlights.

Race kit

A non-street legal race kit will be available, including:

  • Expansion chamber racing exhaust
  • Racing exhaust valve (power valve) with special control unit and solenoid
  • Replacement carburettor needle, main jet and atomiser.
  • Racing spark plug

ELECTRONIC WIZARDRY: The analogue/digital instrument panel has a multi-function screen that includes a lap timer.
LOOKS LIKE BIG BROTHER: The fairing has been styled to resemble Aprilia's RSV1000 litre-class sport flagship.
ASYMMETRICAL SWING-ARM: It's shaped to allow the exhaust to be tucked as close as possible to the chassis to increase ground clearance.
SPECIAL WHEELS: They're styled to resemble the crossed-spokes, forged magnesium OZ rims used on the RSV1000 Factory and anodised the same bright blue.

Will Jorge Lorenzo Have His Third Victory?

Jorge Lorenzo hasn't stopped showing his awesome performance by claiming pole position for Italian GP at Mugello. Meanwhile another Yamaha rider, Valentino Rossi, will have to start his pursuit for an eighth Mugello victory from second row, having been pushed back to fourth by Casey Stoner and MotoGP veteran Loris Capirossi.

Jorge Lorenzo Spaniard
Jorge Lorenzo could become the first rider to defeat Valentino Rossi at his home grand prix since 2001. But first the Spaniard must win the Italian Car Evolution, something he failed to do last time he qualified on pole, during his own home race at Jerez.

Jorge Lorenzo Fiat racer


F1-super wallpapers


Although by 1969 the Morris Minor van was in essence a 20-year-old design Police forces continued to use it because it fulfilled their needs reliably and economically. The city of Glasgow Police used SYS 124G for various non-urgent duties. See more.

GM reveals project to construct new small car at idled assembly plant in America

When the new small car will go into production also hasn't been disclosed, though with the Volt set to enter production late in 2010 and the Cruze aiming for an early 2010 release, it could be timed to fit between them, sometime in summer 2010.

In an atypically cryptic press release, General Motors announced that it will be building a new small car at an unnamed idled UAW-staffed assembly plant here in the U.S. The new vehicle will be in addition to the already-planned 2011 Chevrolet Volt and Cruze, but it's not yet known which small car it will be.

The new small car is apparently expected to be a major volume seller, with GM upping its estimate of the percentage of U.S.-built GM sales from the current 67% to over 70% by 2013.

"Small cars represent one of the fastest growing segments in both the U.S. and around the world," said Fritz Henderson, General Motors President and CEO. "We believe this car will be a winner with our current and future customers in the U.S.

One small car candidate is the Chevrolet Spark, born from the long-lived Beat concept revealed in 2007. Other models could also see U.S. production, however, especially with the ongoing brand shuffle at GM, as well as the expected bankruptcy filing coming June 1. It wouldn't be beyond the pale to see a re-branded Opel or Saturn model sold as a Chevrolet, such as the Astra.

"This vehicle segment, while important today and expected to be more so in the future, is extremely challenging. It takes a special effort by everyone to bring a domestically produced small car to market in a cost-competitive and profitable way - but that is what we are going to do together [with the UAW]."
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