Tuesday, August 31, 2010
At the upcoming Paris Motor Show in September, Toyota will present its latest offering in the competitive mini-minivan segment. The Verso-S, an MPV with a footprint barely larger than Toyota's current North American offerings, will segue Toyota back into the B-segment with an able, space-efficient competitor.
The A-Class has finally come of age! Mercedes has confirmed that it will show the production version of its all-electric A-Class concept at the Paris Motor Show, alongside the firm’s new CLS.
Called the E-Cell, 500 cars will be built at first and will go on trial in Europe next year. The trial will be used to build-up a bank of data about how drivers use electric cars, much like BMW is doing with its MINI E and forthcoming 1-Series-Coupe-based ActivE programmes. The firm confirmed that customers will be chosen and then leased the car for a period of four years.
As well as going on trial in Mercedes’ home city of Stuttgart, the E-Cell will join a fleet of alternatively powered cars and vans as part of Mercedes’ ‘e-mobility Baden-Württemberg’ project.
The original A-Class was penned by Brit Steve Mattin, who would later become head of design at Volvo, and was conceived with electrification in mind. The revolutionary sandwich floor, which remains in today’s car and sees mechanicals mounted under car’s passenger area, was intended to hold batteries rather than elements of the conventional petrol and diesel powertrains that the A-Class ended up with.
The E-Cell will be assembled at Mercedes’ Rastatt plant in Germany, using 40kW lithium-ion batteries and electronic controllers provided by US-based electric car firm Tesla. Few details have been released, but the A-Class should have a range of up to 124 miles and have 290Nm of torque, ensuring sprightly performance.
Mercedes’ parent company Daimler signed a battery supply agreement with Tesla last year. Tesla already provides batteries for the latest Smart ED, and the deal looks set to be strengthened with the announcement of the firm’s involvement in the A-Class E-Cell project. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
Gotcha! Here are the best pictures yet of Mercedes’ next SLK. Spied testing in Germany, these latest shots reveal almost every detail of the newcomer’s styling.
Penned by design boss Gorden Wagener, the SLK refines the successful two-door folding metal hardtop bodystyle that debuted way back in 1997. The all-new third generation car gets a prominent nose that’s clearly inspired by Mercedes’ range-topping SLS AMG supercar, while the swept-back headlights owe much to the latest CLS that will debut at the Paris Motor Show.
In profile, the SLK looks very similar to its predecessor, albeit with a new crease which runs from the front wing indicator back into the doors to add a little extra visual drama. Once again, the SLK features a two-piece retractable roof .
At the rear, the SLK features an angular bootlid, which is similar to that sported by the current E-Class Coupe, flanked by LED taillights. The newcomer also gets trapezoidal exhaust pipe tips.
On the inside, the design will be influenced by the SLS. A minimalist design and retro air vents are likely to feature, along with the firm’s clever AirScarf neck warmers built into the seats.
Under the bonnet, the SLK gets a new range of engines. The entry level SLK200 will get the 201bhp 1.8-litre CGI petrol, while the convertible gets diesel power for the first time, courtesy of the 201bhp 2.4-litre CDI unit from the E-Class. The 300 V6 model is discontinued, but the SLK350 gains the revised 302bhp direct injection V-Series 3.5-litre V6. A performance version is likely to be offered, which may be powered by AMG's hotly anticipated twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 which produces around 465bhp. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
Meet Mazda’s future. This is the Shinari concept, which will make its public debut at the Paris Motor Show at the end of September. The stylish four-door coupe previews the look of the next generation of Mazdas and ushers in a new design language.
Called Kodo, which translates from Japanese as ‘soul of motion’, the new look has been created by Mazda’s new design chief Ikuo Maeda.
At the front, the Shinari concept features the familiar Mazda prominent wheelarches and angular front grille. But the newcomer also gets a dramatic bumper, Audi-style intricate headlights and Aston Martin-aping grille in the front wing.
A pair of creases add flair to the car’s side, which looks a lot like the current Jaguar XF, while at the rear, there are shades of BMW’s Concept CS.
On the inside, the concept features a driver-oriented cockpit made of a high-class mixture of materials, including leather and aluminium.
The car that the Shinari previews is likely to be the next Mazda6. However, the concept’s look will influence the entire next generation of Mazda cars.
The number of obvious high-class influences on the design show-off Mazda’s desire to become more of a premium brand, and much like a Japanese Alfa Romeo, offering great handling cars that look the part too.
The new design language replaces Mazda’s previous Nagare, or ‘flow’ look that dictated the design of the Mazda5, which has drawn criticism for its looks.
Nagare was created by Mazda’s former design chief Laurens van der Acker, who left the firm for Renault earlier this year. Van der Acker will show off the DeZir concept at Paris as his new vision for the French brand. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
MEET the Citroen that’s riding high! These are the first pictures of the firm’s new DS4 hatch, which delivers on the style promised by the DS High Rider concept seen at this year’s Geneva Motor Show.
Following the DS3, which is based on the C3 supermini, the DS4 features a more extravagantly designed exterior than the C4 which underpins it. The newcomer measures 4.27 metres long, 1.81 metres wide and 1.53 metres high, making it shorter, wider and 10cm taller than the regular C4 and a little bigger than the MINI Countryman.
At the front, the hatchback wears the latest Citroen family face, that debuted on the C5. The extra chrome on the two-bar grille and the pair of boomerang-shaped daytime running lights add class, while at the side, generously flared wheelarches house 19-inch alloys, although smaller rims are available.
The coupé-like roof line and upswept shoulder line taper towards the rear, where the handle for each of the small back doors is hidden.
On the tail, the DS4 features a scalloped bumper with neatly integrated exhaust pipe exits.
The interior boasts higher-class materials than in the regular C4 hatch. Liberal use of chrome for the dials, leather on the dash and doors, plus aluminium for the pedals demonstrates the firm’s attention to getting the luxury details right. Buyers will be given the choice of five leather combinations. Top-specification cars feature hide trim designed to mimic expensive watch bracelets linked together. Meanwhile, every variant gets a panoramic windscreen which extends backwards into the roof line and helps bathe the cabin in light.
Also available is a high-end stereo system and front seats with a massage function. All cars come with a unique selection of four exotically named tones for the various warning sounds: Classic, Crystal Symphony, Jungle Fantasy and Urban Rythmik.
Despite the DS4’s style and luxury, practicality is still high on the agenda. The passenger door pockets have been enlarged, and a cooled centre console storage bin is standard fit. At 370 litres, the boot is larger than that of a Volkswagen Golf, too. Safety kit includes blind-spot monitoring and a speed limiter, fitted in accordance with the Safety Assist section of Euro NCAP crash tests.
Under the bonnet, the DS4 features a line-up of five engines. Diesel buyers can choose from a 110bhp 1.6-litre unit with e-HDi stop/start tech and regenerative braking, and a 160bhp 2.0-litre. There are three petrol choices, too: a 120bhp 1.6 VTi, and a pair of turbocharged 1.6-litre units with 155bhp or, in the range-topping car, 200bhp.
The DS4 debuts at October’s Paris Motor Show, before going on sale in the UK in early 2011. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
Nissan announced its 2010 L.A. Auto Show model introductions today, and by the looks of the vehicle list, they're sure to attract plenty of attention. Three of the four planned debuts are world premieres.
Headlining the display is the brand's all-new Ellure concept. The sedan is said to add strong innovation to the typically drab four-door sedan.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Mercedes Arrow Is A Lightweight Two-Seater Vehicle Gives You The Feeling Of Sliding With A Bobsleigh
Mercedes Arrow has been designed to draw a comparison with other recreational vehicles such as motorcycles, jetskis or personalized aircraft. This stunning vehicle gives its passengers the ride of their life. The bobsleigh shaped body, the lightweight materials and the sporty look enable it to shoot through heavy traffic like an arrow from a bow. This experience can only be enjoyed by two passengers, their seats are placed one in front of another. One of the stunning features this futuristic car has, is that it combines TANDEM with MAGLEV technology to take sharp corners. This innovative feature allows the body of the car to tilt left and right when the car is taking corners, thus minimizing the wheels tilt angle. There is an almost non-existing chance for the vehicle to slide out of control. Due to the slim body, the wheels cover the same space of tarmac, just as a contemporary car, eliminating the risk of the car flipping over. The designer, Felipe Palermo, found inspiration in the old Silver Arrows, the SLR McLaren and the 1954 Gull-Wing.
Designer : Felipe Nogueria Palermo
The whole design and idea put this concept automotive in a near future, where people won’t be using cars anymore. A future where the whole transport itself will be based on rail systems. Felipe’s Arrow vehicle is designed for fun in the weekends, a recreational vehicle. The air intake placed in the rear of the car, over the last passenger, reminds us that the whole vehicle is based on Mercedes’ racing history and its super-cars. The airintake is also a starting point for the side bars, which strengthens the body and hold between them a small wind shield in front of the driver. Mercedes Arrow will be equipped with the next generation tire technology. They will have the ability to never wear out, the driver will be able to re-inject them with rubber and take the car for a spin, again. Felipe Palermo has applied everything he has learned at the IED, where he graduated in Car Design in 2007. He also has a post degree in Transportation Design and Industrial Design at FAAP, and is currently working at Mercedes-Benz Design Studio in Brazil.
Friday, August 27, 2010
It takes two to tango! And our spies have snapped VW and Skoda’s first versions of the New Small Family (NSF) cars hot weather testing together in Death Valley in the US.
Measuring 3.45-metres long, 1.63-metres wide and 1.5-metres high, the car is a little bigger than the current Toyota Aygo, Citroen C1 and Peugeot 107 family. And while these mules are heavily disguised, the high-level brake lights, short bonnet and wheel-at-each-corner stance are all recognisable from the original VW Up! concept shown at Frankfurt in 2007.
Both VW and Skoda models feature the same design traits, indicating that styling tweaks to distinguish the cars between brands will be fairly minimal.
The three-door supermini will have space for four adults and feature a range of downsized petrol and diesel engines. The base model will start from around £8,500 and get a 65bhp three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol, while a 75bhp four-cylinder 1.2-litre diesel will also be offered.
A range-topping 85bhp turbocharged 1.0-litre four-cylinder engine comes later in 2012, while a fully electric version is expected to arrive in 2013.
VW, Skoda and SEAT will each launch versions of the three-door car. The VW version is due first, in late 2011, with the other brands following in early 2012. A larger five-door model will be added in summer 2012. VW will take responsibility for building the car at its plant in Bratislava, Slovakia from next year.
VW has a history of giving its concept cars a name derived from an existing production model. For example, the Iroc concept became the current Scirocco, and the Up! concept is likely to follow suit by becoming the Lupo.
Skoda may choose to adopt the Joyster name, taken from its previous small-car concept, while SEAT may elect to resurrect the Arosa name of its previous small car which was based on the last generation Lupo. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
Take away this Chinese test car’s disguise, and it’s clear to see how MG’s new supermini is shaping up.
The MG3 will be the smallest model to wear the octagon badge since the Rover 25-based ZR, and these spy shots show it retains the good looks of the MG Zero on which it’s based.
The Beijing Motor Show concept’s big central exhaust and chrome wheels have vanished, but the dynamic stance remains – as does the wide hexagonal front grille – giving the 3 a welcome hint of sportiness.
On sale in China in next month, from around £6,000, the model will be powered by a 109bhp, 1.5-litre petrol engine from sister firm Roewe. Also under development is a 1.3-litre four-cylinder unit and a turbocharged version of the 1.5. The latter could power a more focused MG3 hot hatch.
Tentative plans are to build European versions of this car at MG Rover’s old Longbridge plant in the West Midlands from 2012. Our spies in China have also seen a variant with a chunkier tail-light treatment – which could be a new Streetwise. Although the pumped-up Rover 25 was a flop here, it has since proved a sales hit in China. For more details click here.
Thanks to: Auto Express
Yes, it's another BMW1 Series M Coupe teaser video, but we're not complaining. Rather than showing the M Division's latest hot coupe on a track, it's stagnant in a showroom under a tight fitting cover.
If you didn't catch the other teaser video and spy shots, the 1 Series M Coupe is said to be the spiritual successor to the original E30 M3, meaning it should be light, compact, and powerful.
Rumor has it that BMW's speed-hungry engineers fitted their N54-series, twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine underneath the short hood. How do an estimated 350 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque sound? Yeah, we thought so, too.
B Main saw Travis Rutz, Jason Sol wold, Jay Cole and Henry Van Dam’s face to the main features of this event. Before the main drivers entered the race track through the stand through the thick cloud of smoke that brings fans to their feet before the main race.
Seth’s team went to the main event in the new setup in which confidence and a strong performance.
Seth went on for a night of strong sprint car racing on the choice of Shane Stewart, Wayne Johnson and Jayme Barnes near the front and Roger Crockett in the beam. Bergman started the race in fifth position in the North West ASCS points leader Jared Ridge on the outside.
Bergman could not have asked a better start for him and Malsam Olson passed the first corner to move to third immediately before careful to Dunlap And after the first round.
Four rounds have been passed by Seth Jayme Barnes and settle down as the race started it with Seth Jared Ridge field both as a place to buy early going .. On lap nine from the moment that determines the race in progress and because the time may be as Bergman Ridge Masai and get one in turn. Ridge to the end wall.Bergman suffering a broken right rear shock due to collision. Ridge is upset because he looks out of the car and threw it to the steering wheel to Bergman as he circled by.Fans show their disliking towards Ridge booed as echoed from the stands.
For the rest of the sprint car races live green .. Shane Stewart took the win by finishing second Crockett.
There was a buzz in the region as a hole surrounded by fans of Bergman and ask about what is happening and if they get even fined.A Ridge fans to come and have clearly confused “I take my child to watch the grand sprint car racing and they have seen the type of waste”
Bergman has failed to end the race, but pleased with the performance of the car. Sprint car
racing is a sport a strong and Bergman showed this weekend he can compete at top level.
But girls also like cars, but they often do not like car show models. What girls do like (generally and in addition to cars) are clothes and style, thus classy car models give the female readers something to enjoy as well.
This way everyone wins! Except me, the screening process for this is hell on my eyes.
Theo and George Spartalis are not ordinary, and their cars are certainly far from average, often seamlessly integrating show quality build finish to hardcore race-style performance engineering. Both of these very special brothers shine on like crazy diamonds in the coalface that is the tuning scene and this wild S15 is Theo's opus, his toy, his pride and joy. Rather than keeping it placid with big rims, dumped stance, some styling efforts and around 250kW at the wheels, the Spartalis brothers took their inspiration from the most hardcore drag and circuit racing Silvias in Japan.
Theo made a pilgrimage to Japan a few years back, where the sight of the HKS Kyushu S15 running 10.4 on drag radials and using an SR20 pulled the strings in his mind, while it was witnessing the GT300-class C-West S15 JGTC racers (now Super GT) that stamped those formative lustful ideas and dreams into a cold, hard, wanton desire to build his own SR20DET-powered S15, something that could run a number at the drags or blast an enthralling lap out at a local circuit.
At the start of the original build, Theo wanted the car to blend JGTC and drag styles into a road car and then take it from track to strip to street. However, his desire to run a fast time overcame the short-term circuit aspirations and any shred of road usage for the car, and so it slowly turned more into a strip-focused monster, though Theo reckons it can be re-tuned to smash lap records fairly easily and cheaply.
Before this latest round of modifications to really push it into drag car territory to run a number that Theo would be happy with, it had run a best time of 10.24@138mph on radials and email@example.com on slicks, though these passes had been plagued with the kind of teething problems associated with massive feats of engineering like what this car packs. They had suffered all kinds of set-backs, from faulty battery charge warning lights, to shearing billet driveshafts, to a programming glitch on the MoTeC accidentally advancing the timing to nearly 27degrees (which would be enough to kill any normal motor)!
The whole build was excruciatingly difficult as the detail had to be off the clock. It had to be supremely well engineered, but finished to a standard that wouldn't be out of place on a brand new supercar or works-built factory racer. Still, running that first nine second pass made it all worthwhile for Theo, and he's rightfully proud of the advanced workmanship that is packed into the fatter-than-a-sumo two-door, the highlights of which are the seamlessly integrated C West GT widebody, the seam-welded chassis, the R32 Skyline GT-R rear-end, the carbon brakes from the USA and that ludicrously large T51R turbo.
The first thing most people spot in the engine bay is that monster HKS T51R KAI turbo, the snail pumps 30psi worth of boost into the now-2.2-litre SR20, though that's managed by the HKS 50mm external wastegate, TAL blow-off valve and Blitz Dual SBC boost controller. You can't run such a large huffer without the appropriate preparation being done to the bottom end, and on the GT Autosound S15 there's enough hi-po hardware in there to make a Silvia junkie drool with excitement.
In the block lies a Tomei stroker crank that has bumped capacity up to 2.2-litres and can spin far harder than the Nissan effort, while Power Enterprise bearings now handle the rpm, heat and stress from the manic motor, being able to turn to over 11,000rpm! While shopping at Tomei, Theo picked up a quartet of their matching 2.2-litre con rods to suit the motor as well as a set of oversize 87.5mm pistons that were then also Nikasil coated for extra strength and installed with unbelievably exotic titanium piston rings that are both lightweight and strong. There's also a Trust sump and oil cooler to ensure the motor's longevity.
Having experimented with both standard and heavily modified heads, Theo has settled on this expensive, labour-intensive set-up that is reportedly worth around $12,000 and packs exotic, intricate detailing like CNC porting, JUN billet plenum, Tomei valve springs and Manley titanium and aluminium valves. On the front of the motor, there is a Nissan VQ45 V8 throttle body and Tomei cam gears, while ARP head studs have been fitted to stop the top-end lifting off the long motor when that massive T51R gets a'spoolin'.
With the switch to methanol, the Sard 1000cc injectors currently doing duty will be joined by a second set. Theo had been running American-made Rochester units, but found them to be less than reliable on such a monstrously worked motor, something that can spell disaster and tens of thousands of dollars down the drain if it all goes wrong.
Helping keep the detonation at bay is the Trust front-mount air-to-air 150mm-thick drag-spec intercooler. This unit sacrifices ultimate long-distance cooling efficiency for almost no pressure drop at all across the massive core, something that Theo's able to cope with seeing how the car's really only running at full-tilt for a maximum of 10.24 seconds at a time.
All that work adds up to 490 rear-wheel kilowatts without nitrous through the auto gearbox (and well over 500 with a manual), but has seen as high as 600kW at the wheels on the bottle, though this was running a very conservative 18deg of timing. Some of the reasons Theo wants to change the to methanol is because alcohol will burn much cleaner than C16 race fuel, run the motor at a much cooler temperature and allow almost 35 degrees of timing, which should add around 200hp to the car's prodigious total!
To be able to lap Tsukuba in under the one-minute barrier, the line between all-out motor sport engineering and traditional street tuner modifications blurs. Every single piece of the motor's systems has to be scrutinised to check for inefficiencies, wasted power, less-than-perfect balance and possible weaknesses, because while they're all very minor on their own (perhaps contributing maybe one percent, if that), when you go right through a vehicle with a race engineer's eye you'll find quite a few of these issues and suddenly you've got a huge gain on your hands.
A couple of numbers concerning the highly worked F22C engine stand out on the info sheet the Japanese tuning legends provided us: 12.9:1 and 235. That is the sky high compression ratio and amazing amount of kilowatts this naturally aspirated 2.2-litre car puts out, which is about as far removed from your average street-driven AP1 as Jupiter is from Blacktown, and what an F22C it is!
Everything has been carefully tinkered with, as J's Racing went about changing and honing only what they needed to, though they saw fit to develop a new exhaust manifold and featherweight titanium exhaust system for the two-door flier. But, it's not just about power, with the efficient delivery of each of the 235kW the car puts down of utmost importance.
After having the shell spot-welded for strength and a thorough roll cage welded in, a set of J's Racing's own CRUX coilovers were fitted, shod with pillowball upper mounts for a solid mating face, as the noise and harshness damping effects of the stock rubber pieces were not required on this track-only brute. J's also fitted a 20mm roll centre adjuster to let them get their geometry bang on perfect, along with a set of pillow-mount tie rods to eliminate the S2000's cursed bump-steer (where the toe angle changes as the suspension moves up and down, slowing the car in the corner and making it unstable).
Further limitations were eradicated with the removal of the OEM suspension arms, which were replaced by J's Racing's own SPL rear pillow-mount arms, along with the J's Racing sub-frame reinforcement kit in both the front and rear ends, which reduces twisting and takes the last ounce of slack in the OEM road set-up and drop-kicks it out of the park. Make no mistake: this S2k is stiffer than one of the Sydney Harbour Bridge's support girders.