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  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydtGew7bWuw Avid car collector and self-confessed automotive gear head, Jay Leno, recently had the opportunity to test drive a really unique and bespoke vehicle - which most could only dream of. Anyone who wasn't born a minute ago would be familiar with a vehicle that has made several appearances in various films - the Batmobile. The 'Keaton' Batmobile from the hit film, Batman and Batman Returns, directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton was what got me into cars. To me it is still the most iconic vehicle of Hollywood, even ahead of the Austin Mini’s from The Italian Job, the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor limo-style endloader or the DeLorean from Back to The Future, among others. I was four and I still have a faint memory of watching it at the Capitol Theatre and till date, it is still my favourite. It was unlike anything I have seen before. It was futuristic, sleek and to be honest I find it sexier than Michelle Pfeiffer in latex. It barely had lights, had a fictional aircraft engine, an afterburner and that tail which pretty much look like angle wings but in a more gothic fashion a symbolism for silent guardian angel maybe? Thankfully I had an opportunity to see it in its entirety when I visited Warner Bros theme park in Brisbane. When Joel Schumacher took over, there were two different Batmobiles for Batman Returns and Batman & Robin. While the 'Kilmer' Batmobile was still bearable the fins looked ridiculous it had a stupid face and it had a skeleton like design. It looks like a piranha on wheels. The Batmobile from Batman & Robin's looks so bad, I don’t even want to talk about it. After an absence of eight years in the silver screen, Batman was rebooted in the hands of Christopher Nolan - and among things we got a new Batmobile, and even a backstory. I have to admit, my initial reaction to first teaser picture of The Tumbler was not very positive. It looked funny, had no front axle, didn't look as sleek as anything as the previous ones and wasn't really flashy or attractive. Then I thought why it would work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJB3hqUsHDE Batman is not about a fashion statement, he is a vigilante, a guy in an outfit fighting crime. He needs the muscle, firepower and speed to get things done quickly and it doesn't have to look pretty. And it does have to look a little provoking – to announce his arrival – and to pancake cop cars in the evening news. Function over fashion.
  2. We are at the last quarter of 2013, and in a flash another year will soon be upon us. I did not realise it is the end of September until I saw Vivocity preparing for Christmas. The movies I used to watch as a kid are being remade. Cartoons nowadays lack the entertainment feel, air travel has become more affordable, with more tourist arrivals recorded. There was no Terminal 3, kinetic rain or Project Jewel when I was a kid. Things were simple, mechanical and, if I may add, fun. Cars have, over the years, shed the typical boxy designs and are adapting more fluid, dynamic aesthetics complemented by exotic materials like Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) or composite aluminium or light reinforced steel. Automobiles have become faster, safer and in most cases prettier. On one end of the scale we have the likes of Koenigsegg, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti and Pagani who are pushing the boundaries of automotive engineering by producing cars that accelerate faster, setting new records and giving fans like myself a sense of excitement. On the other end, we have cars that are greener. Hybrids, turbocharging, range extending EVs - automobiles that are trying to rectify the problem of global warming, pollution and climate change. The way I see it, there is another group - cars that are loaded with so much driver enhancement technologies that they become...boring. Nothing but just machines with wheels and an engine. These group of cars are usually loaded with more advanced cameras, radars and sensors than a F-22 Raptor and are usually decorated with features and novelties like Adaptive Cruise, Lane Departure Warnings, Cyclist Detection Systems, Full Braking and in the near future Autonomous driving and parking. So in future, what is my role as the driver ? Over the past two decades technology has evolved faster than ever with land lines almost disappearing, public phones becoming endangered, hand phones that have reduced from military grade walkie-talkies to handsome machines fashioned from a single piece of aluminium, glass and sapphire crystal. Phones have evolved from the basic purpose of communication and networking to pocket diaries, 24-hour assistants, credible portable entertainment hubs and most importantly - has shrunk the knowledge of the world to the palm of your hand. But I don't want cars of the future to do the same. There is a reason cars like the Porsche 911, Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce or even BMW have been marketed with specific terms. Ultimate driving machines, carpet ride, greatest/ultimate Gran Tourers. And when the machines take over (slowly but surely they will), what will cars be called? Called me old fashioned but cars are meant to be driven and not driven in - or in this case driven by a robot. With technology replacing almost everything, including humans and their jobs, where is the novelty of living?
  3. Regan_ong

    Infiniti explains name change of lineup

    Infiniti caused quite a bit of hullabaloo late last year when it announced it would be changing its vehicle names so that all of its cars start with Q and all of its crossovers and SUVs start with QX (not the ones on the number plates seen locally). Now, the luxury division of Nissan has posted a video that explains the historically relevant reason for the new Q badge. Well, Infiniti is returning to the Q name to pay homage to its very first model, the Q45, and it's starting with the all new Q50 sedan. Now, however, while most of Infiniti's 2014 models will get the new Q badge, the G37 Sedan will keep its nameplate through model year 2015 (despite the fact that Infiniti already changed the G37 Coupe and G37 Convertible models to the name Q60). Are you getting confused? Watch the video below to understand better.
  4. With a long standing tradition of building compact, open top sports cars that started with the S600 and ending with the S2000, Honda seems intent to get back into the game. After seeing the success Toyota/Subaru has had with the 86/BRZ, Honda is primed to one-up its rivals. According to a source within Honda, a new affordable sports car is being seriously considered, but don't expect something as high-end as the S2000 - think small, quick and light. The car would be small, probably even smaller than the Mazda MX-5, and come equipped with either a 1.3-litre or 1.5-litre in-line four with i-VTEC. Keep your expectations low on its power output, but thanks to its light weight which is rumored to sit around 900kg, the car should have adequate acceleration along with good handling and an overall agile driving experience. There's even talk that the "S1500" may come with a mid-engine layout, in the style of the Honda Beat. As for the car's design direction, Honda would either use the Japan-only N-ONE or make it look more like the current Civic. We reckon the N-ONE's styling would do justice because it pays homage to the iconic S600. Rumours of a new Honda roadster have appeared and disappeared with tide-like regularity since the moment the S2000 died, and none of them have come to pass. The NSX revival was followed by nearly a decade of will-they, won't-they rumours and telephone-game whispers before Honda actually buckled down and built something. It seems like the same thing could be happening here. Either way, let's wait for Honda to come up with this answer to the Toyota 86 and the Mazda MX-5 in 2015 or 2016.
  5. ST_Opinion

    Driving towards a driverless commute

    It is the 15th of June 2030, and for Sam and Sue of Ann Arbor, Michigan, it is going to be a busy day. Their daughter Sophia has a 9:00am karate match. At noon, her older sister Sally's high school graduation will begin. And, by 3:00pm, the house must be ready for Sally's graduation party. At 8:40am, Sam uses a smartphone app to order a ride from Maghicle, Ann Arbor's mobility service, which uses self-driving robotic vehicles. Within minutes, Sam, Sue, and Sophia are headed for the karate club. En route, Sophia studies videos of her opponent's past matches, while Sue catches up on e-mail and Sam orders appetisers and flowers for the party. They arrive at the club on time, and the robot proceeds to pick up someone else nearby. Sally, who must arrive at school by 10:30am, has already ordered a Maghicle ride. When she boards at 10:15am, she receives a text message from her best friend Amanda, who wants to ride with her. Sally enters Amanda's address in the Maghicle app, and the robot chooses the best route. At 11:30am, as a victorious Sophia trades her karate uniform for something better suited for her sister's graduation, Sam receives a text message confirming that a small temperature-controlled pod has delivered the appetisers for Sally's party in the secure, refrigerated drop-box at the house. When Sophia is ready, the family orders another Maghicle ride, this time to Sally's school. They take their seats and, as Sam waves to Sally sitting with her classmates, he is struck by how quickly 17 years have passed. In 2013, Sam's day would have been far more difficult, stressful, and expensive. He would have wasted far too much time in his petrol guzzling Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), stuck in traffic jams or searching for parking. Now, because he does not need to own a car, he spends far less on transportation and has more time to do as he pleases. With services like Maghicle enabling people to get around safely, affordably, conveniently and sustainably, Sam does not have to worry about his family getting into car accidents, as his parents worried about him. By contrast, today's road transportation system is inconvenient, unsustainable and dangerous. Of the nearly one billion motor vehicles worldwide - enough to circle the planet 100 times if parked end to end - some 95 percent depend on oil for energy, making car travel subject to resource geopolitics and price volatility. Furthermore, combustion engines account for more than one-fifth of the world's carbon emissions, contributing significantly to climate change. And, with more than 1.2 million people dying on the road each year, car travel remains a proven killer. Sam's world of 2030 is not mere fantasy. But achieving it will require a thorough overhaul of the existing road transportation system - and that means overcoming the complex combination of public and private elements, vested interests, ingrained business models and massive inertia that has so far impeded its development. Indeed, with certain institutions and industries benefiting when all of the system's components - vehicles, roads, fuel stations, traffic laws, regulations, vehicle standards and licensed drivers - work together, no transformational development has occurred in road transportation since Karl Benz invented the car and Henry Ford popularised it. A narrow focus on, say, developing better batteries, improving fuel efficiency or making car production more sustainable is inadequate to catalyse the needed transformation. A genuinely transformational solution is needed - one that meets the needs of consumers, businesses, and governments. An integrated network of driverless, electric vehicles that are connected, coordinated and shared should form the core of that solution. Such vehicles would be programmed to avoid crashes, leading to fewer deaths and injuries and less property damage. In order to minimise the excessive resource consumption associated with driving, the vehicles would be tailored to trip characteristics, such as the number of passengers. For example, lightweight, two passenger vehicles can be up to 10 times more energy efficient than a typical car. In the United States, where 90 percent of cars carry one or two people, reliance on such vehicles would result in a dramatic decline in carbon emissions, which would fall even further as a result of less road congestion and smoother traffic flows. Moreover, the land and infrastructure needed for parking would be significantly reduced. Under such a system, personal mobility could cost up to 80 percent less than owning and operating a car, with time efficiencies augmenting those savings further. For Americans earning a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour (S$9.25), time spent driving at a speed of 30 miles (48km) an hour costs $0.24 cents a mile (S$0.31 per 1.61km). At the U.S. median hourly wage of US$25 (S$31.89), each mile costs $0.83 (S$1.06). Given that Americans drive roughly three trillion miles annually, saving just one US cent a mile implies $30 billion (S$38 billion) in annual savings. The technology needed to advance such a scheme exists. The task now is to introduce prototype systems in representative communities, in order to prove what is possible, discover consumers' preferences, determine the most attractive business models and identify and avert unexpected consequences. Once the prototypes have proved effective and practical, they should scale quickly without public incentives. As with other innovations - such as mobile phones, e-books, digital photography and music, and flat-screen televisions - large-scale deployment will occur when the new technologies reach the market tipping point, when their value to consumers exceeds the costs to businesses of supplying them. Policy makers would be responsible only for guaranteeing the expanding system's safety. A cleaner, safer, more convenient road transportation system is possible - and closer to being realised than many believe. It needs only the chance to prove itself. Picture credit: Agence France-Presse
  6. Regan_ong

    What is the best car I've driven so far?

    "What is the best car you've driven so far?" I always get asked this question whenever I am engaged in a conversation with my relatives or friends. Well, as a rookie in the industry, I haven't had the chance to try as many as other seniors have. My age notwithstanding. But what I can say for sure is that I don't have an absolute answer to the question but if you're interested, here is my two cents' worth. Firstly, every single car out there has its pros and cons, and in my dictionary, there is only near perfect. Same goes for us humans. And then it boils down to the personal preference about a car. You may love a Toyota 86 to bits, however, your other half may not like it because of the frequent 'get out to let others in' courtesy. Last but not least, on this hot and sunny island of ours, every single thing is helluva expensive. No, hold a second. Buying a car here is helluva expensive - if it ain't for the price, I may have gotten a wee bit nearer to having answered the question. Cars aside, one vehicle that I actually enjoy driving is a Suzuki Every. It is such an honest vehicle; it is just what it is - a van. Yes, the driveability may be like crap and powering it is only a mere 659cc engine but, seriously, who cares about the performance when all you need is a vehicle that allows you to get from point A to point B in a fuss-free manner? Heading to IKEA? No problem too, this 'kei' car can haul your furniture as easy as 1, 2, 3. Best of all, its compact size allows you to access cramped places easily, which is really common on this tiny red dot we call home. So what's the best car I've driven thus far again?
  7. Regan_ong

    Toyota 86 could get a new engine

    Fans of the 86 listen up. Rumour has it that Toyota is preparing a power boost for its popular 86 sports coupe. The Japanese brand has teased numerous concepts of its two-door cult car with upgraded engines, including a supercharged TRD version (above) built in the U.S.A and a twin-charged version (below) created by its in-house skunkworks Gazoo Racing. But those were designed to showcase the ability for aftermarket tuners and were not really suitable for mainstream production. Now, the Chief Engineer of the 86, Tetsuya Tada, has finally admitted that his team is developing a number of ways to increase performance of the showroom version - one of which will definitely make it to production when the 86 receives its mid-life upgrade in 2015. "I hope to make an engine upgrade at least one time with this car. We have already tried all possibilities and there are several types of 86 prototypes at the Toyota proving ground now; one is a turbocharger, one is bigger displacement and the other is a special hybrid system," said Tada. Tada did not divulge any further details, but inside sources claimed that the most likely option is an increase in displacement, bumping the 2.0-litre horizontally opposed engine up to a 2.5-litre and increasing power from 200bhp to around 260bhp. It is understood that this option would be the most cost-effective solution, which not only maintains the integrity of the lightweight concept but prevents placing additional stress on the drivetrain that a turbo charger would, or the complexity and weight penalty of a hybrid system. However, both alternatives are not being tested in vain, as they are likely to be introduced on the next generation 86. Either way, it is almost certain that the hybrid system Toyota is currently working on will make its way into the next generation 86. However, it is unlikely to be a conventional and heavy battery pack but rather a road-going development of the super capacitor system employed in its Le Mans sportscar racers, which are not only smaller and lighter but can store and deliver energy quicker for rapid bursts of acceleration. Come on Toyota! We certainly hope to see a more powerful 86.
  8. Regan_ong

    Ram's 1500 Rumble Bee Concept

    Following a teaser released earlier, Ram has introduced the 1500 Rumble Bee Concept. The concept marks the 10th anniversary of the Rumble Bee, a popular model inspired by the Super Bee muscle car of the late 1960s. This muscle truck is based on a 2013 Ram 1500 Road/Track (R/T) and has a two-door, two-wheel drive setup with a matte 'Drone Yellow' paint. Both sides of the truck feature a new 'Speed Bee' design within a glossy black stripe which fades into the honeycomb. It sits on glossy 24-inch Vellano VRH alloys and has a two-inch lowered suspension courtesy of King Suspension. The dual-exhaust tailpipes, fuel door, badging, hood vents and front grille are in glossy black, adding on to the car's aggression. Traditional Rumble/Super Bee colours and graphics spread throughout the vehicle, including the Ram R/T-based interior that features black and 'Drone Yellow' leather sport mesh seats with two-tone yellow/light-grey stitching. 'Rumble Bee' lettering and Ram logos adorn chairs, floor mats and door bolsters. Now if you look closer - there is a real amber-encased bee mounted into the rotary gear knob, which will light up to expose a honeycomb pattern background. Is that weird or cool? There are also two buttons positioned below, which make the cat-back Mopar dual-exhaust system go from loud to louder. The unique honeycomb pattern is shared with the door trim and the dash, where a milled aluminum '10th Anniversary' commemorative badge serves as the truck's ID. Powering the 2013 Ram 1500 Rumble Bee Concept is a HEMI 5.7-litre engine mated to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission delivering 395bhp and a peak torque of 551Nm. Talk about a huge-ass rumbling bee ramming your way..
  9. Regan_ong

    Stream your video on a MINI

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1xsfFT3K_Q An illuminating new project from MINI has been unleashed onto the streets of London: MINI Art Beat. Driven by your Style. Always the innovator, MINI showcases interactive and digital design with a truly one-of-a-kind MINI Countryman custom-fitted in a stunning 48,000 LEDs. The result is the most vibrant and customisable 'NOT NORMAL' ride you'll ever lay eyes on. But MINI Art Beat isn't just brightly coloured eye candy. It's your vehicle to bright fame. Stream your own live animation directly onto its glowing LED surface as the compact crossover takes nightly cruises through London. City passers-by and the entire World Wide Web will see your personalised style light up the mobile canvas. Stream your own short video direct to the MINI Art Beat car using the Facebook app, or by tweeting your Vine videos with #MINIartbeat. Then add a customised design and beat to get your face in lights. Not sure how to go about doing it? Follow the instructions in the video below. Now, if MINI picks your submission, you'll get a custom clip as a takeaway - a real piece of MINI, just for you. So grab your shades as the lights are on. If you want your style and beat on the streets of London, get on MINI Art Beat here. See the video below for a sample. As much as this funky idea looks uber cool, we reckon it wouldn't really work locally as the car would probably be stuck in the traffic jam.
  10. The Shibetsu Proving Ground (SPG) in Japan is the birthplace of the original Lexus LS 400 and has been the top secret test track for new Lexus models. Recently, Lexus offered an inside look at it. The SPG opened in 1984 after six years of planning and building. Rumour has it that the scale of the construction was so large, the Soviets mistook it for a fort being created by the Japanese. Imagine the Soviets mobilising their troops..right.. Hidden behind heavy security and tall metal fences are five circuits, each varying in size and function. The longest of these is about 10 kilometres. The tracks are surrounded with tiny villages of buildings and facilities, used to assess and maintain all kinds of vehicles, ranging from production cars to highly confidential prototype models. A high speed circuit on home soil didn't take long to bear fruit for Lexus. Firstly, the SPG helped reduce costs. It also sped up the research and development process, with the majority of testing now done in-house. When it came to the LS 400, the proving ground's biggest contribution was helping to forge superb aerodynamics and an exceptionally quiet cabin environment. More impressively, the engineers could analyse and perfect the vehicle's acceleration, movement and noise at speeds as fast as 250km/h - impossible on the shorter domestic courses previously used by Lexus. The four other circuits at Shibetsu also have their own special features - such as tree-lined country roads - to help put vehicles through their paces. To examine the effects of certain road conditions on Lexus vehicles, more than 20 road surfaces unique to different regions and countries around the world, such as the German autobahns, have been duplicated and installed on several sections of the courses at Shibetsu. We wonder if there's a mini Nurburgring in the SPG? Well all in all, SPG brims over with everything the Lexus automobile engineer - they call them takumi - needs to hone the vehicles. Is this Area 51 for Lexus? Or perhaps they have another Area 52 somewhere else? Whatever it is, this is a really rare glimpse and we hope to see more of these in the future, only if allowed of course. Photo Credits : Lexus International
  11. Opel has released a video that provides a glimpse of the Monza concept. The presenter in the video is none other than Opel's new CEO, Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann. The Monza concept shall dictate the brand's new design language and represent a vision for the company’s future. In the video, Dr. Neumann takes us for a short tour at the Opel heritage workshop. He drives an old Monza coupe out of the workshop and towards the GM Design centre. At the centre, Dr Neumann unveils the Monza concept as though the old Monza was given an extreme makeover. The original Opel Monza was produced between 1983 to 1987 with a 2.5-litre six-cylinder power plant. It was also sold as a Chevrolet. The Monza concept will make its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
  12. SYF77

    CATS Classified Car-nival 2013

    The annual CATS Classified Car-nival took place at the Singapore Expo on 7th July. The event showcased both new and pre-owned cars, car-related accessories and other services. In addition, there was a Race Queen Pageant, games and what's a carnival without free goodies! While I was at the event, happily snapping away photos, I indulged in a packet of Oregon Fresh potato chips and a can of Orchard Fresh Grape Float that were distributed freely. Below are snippets of the models - both four-wheeled and two-legged - that were on display.
  13. Back in the late 50s and early 60's, a Bluebird K7, essentially a turbo jet engined hydroplane was used by Britain's Donald Campbell, to set seven world water speed records. The hull was built by Samlesbury Engineering - now merged into BAE systems with the engine built by Metropolitan-Vickers. Now, they are back and will officially launch a Sports Car dubbed DC50 and the Bluebird GTL Formula E race car at the upcoming Sustainable MotoExpo on Saturday 28th September at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, U.K. At the Expo, Don Wales, nephew of Donald Campbell will launch the Bluebird DC50 electric sports car. They are limited to just 50 units to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell's land and water speed records in 2014. With peak power of up to 360bhp and acceleration to match a Porsche, the Bluebird DC50 is a two-door coupe with electrically operated 'scissor' doors. It has a range of up to 321km, depending on specification, and will be available in only one body colour
  14. The Festival of Speed remains unique in its ability to attract the majority of the current season's Formula 1 teams and drivers, with seven current F1 teams confirmed for Goodwood including Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus, Mercedes, Marussia and Caterham. Current F1 drivers and leading characters in action at the Festival will include previous World Champions, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, on top of Nico Rosberg, Roman Grosjean, Max Chilton, Heikki Kovalainen and Adrian Newey among others. Past Grand Prix masters present at this summer's Festival of Speed will include Alain Prost (above), Nelson Piquet, Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart and Nick Heidfeld among others. In total, 17 Grand Prix winners will be in action, with a total of 232 GP wins between them! One of the great Festival of Speed's moments will be relived at this year's event when Nick Heidfeld is reunited with the very McLaren MP4/13 that he so famously launched up the Goodwood Hill in a record time of 41.6 seconds back in 1999. From the world of rallying, IRC Champion, Andreas Mikkelsen(above) will be spitting gravel in the 2013 VW Polo WRC, as will Spanish double World Champion Carlos Sainz, whilst Mikko Hirvonen's Citroen DS3 WRC will also be in full flight on the Goodwood Forest Rally Stage. A host of other star drivers and riders, plus cars and motorcycles from each of the world's major motor sport disciplines, past and present, will also be featured at Goodwood, including champions from Formula 1, Indycar, the World Rally Championship, Superbikes, NASCAR, World Sports Cars and Touring Cars, plus Land Speed Record holders. Goodwood is recapturing many of the outstanding Festival of Speed moments from the 1993-2012 era, including over 350 great machines from all of the world, as far flung as New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Japan and the USA, all making a very rare return to the U.K. The 20th anniversary of the Festival will see many famous man and machine pairings reunited, including three-time Formula 1 World Champion Nelson Piquet returning to the cockpit of his celebrated Brabham BT52, in which he secured the 1983 crown.
  15. RchLuvSlly

    'Transformers 4' gets Vitesse and Stingray

    If you're a car fan, chances are you're somehow familiar with the 'Transformers' franchise. Now, within around a year to come, you may be waiting in line at the cinema to get your ticket for 'Transformers 4'. Yes, you heard it right. The latest sequel to the robot-transforming car movies is expected to arrive by June 2014. While most people are talking about Mark Wahlberg (remember him in 'Ted' or 'Broken City'?) replacing Shia LaBeouf as the main protagonist, what's more interesting to me is the addition of some new cars. It seems that director Michael Bay does have some quite serious taste for cars indeed. For Transformers 4, he'll be bringing a special edition Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse with a W16 quad-turbo engine. It's capable of spitting out 1,200bhp of power and 1,500Nm of torque in total. Well, that's not the only excitement, though. In addition to the Vitesse, the director will be bringing the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray as well. However, I suggest that you avoid trying to compare the Vitesse and Stingray side by side, especially in terms of price. It's out of the question that the Stingray's pricing is nowhere near the Vitesse. While you can get your hands on the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray with US$50,000 (approximately S$63,000), you need at least US$2.4 million (approximately S$3 million) to drive home the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse. However, this 'Transformer' (the Stingray, supposedly an Autobot) does win when it comes to playing an American hero. The Vitesse that will be starring in the latest Transformers sequel to come is a special edition painted in brown-blue two-tone colour combination. As for the Stingray, it will come in bright green. Besides the two cars mentioned above, it
  16. Aston Martin has built a one-off car called the CC100 Speedster Concept, whose styling pays homage to the legendary DBR1 race car that debuted in 1956 and won the 24 Hours of Nurburgring three years in a row. "We wanted to create something that, while celebrating our first 100 years, is also forward looking and gives a glimpse as to our future," said Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman. The CC100 Speedster Concept is powered by the company's 6.0-litre V12 engine, mated a six-speed automated manual transmission. The century sprint takes a little over four seconds before hitting an electronically limited top speed of 290km/h. The concept's body and interior is built using carbon fibre. The concept measures about 4,500mm long by 2,000mm wide and weighs less than 1.2tonnes. It has apparently found an owner who forked out between USD770,000 (S$965,965) to USD1,540,000 (S$1,931,930).
  17. Renault has signed on as official Technical Partner of Spark Racing Technology to supply Formula E cars that will contest in the FIA Formula E Championship. Formula E is a class of auto racing governed by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and is intended to be the highest class of competition for one-make, single-seat, electrically-powered racing cars. The series was conceived in 2012, with the inaugural race to be held in 2014. Demonstration events have been planned for the second half of 2013. Former Formula One driver Lucas di Grassi will be the series' test driver. Forty two cars were ordered have been ordered with Formula One team - McLaren - providing the motor, transmission and electronics that will be used by all the cars while Dallara Automobili will construct the chassis. Ten host cities are planning to hold the races and will occur exclusively on street circuits including in cities like Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Bangkok, Beijing and Miami - among others. The agreement was signed by Patrice Ratti, Renault Sport Technologies Managing Director and as a Renault SAS representative, Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings and Frederic Vasseur, President of Spark Racing Technologies. Renault's ongoing involvement in motor racing's series provides it with a unique technological laboratory, giving it an edge not only in the world of production vehicles but also on the race track. Renault's technological excellence extends not only in F1 but also in all Z.E. range. The forty two Formula E single-seaters built for the beginning of the first season will be aptly named 'Spark-Renault'.
  18. RchLuvSlly

    Mercedes to launch 2014 S-Class Coupe soon?

    15th May 2013 was the world premiere of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Mercedes unveiled its new luxury sedan at the Airbus A380 Delivery Centre located in Hamburg, Germany. However, what attracts me besides the debut of the luxury German sedan itself is the odds that the German automaker is set to launch the coupe version soon. On its official Facebook page, Mercedes Germany has released a sketch of its new model. To me, the sketch looks like the 2014 S-Class coupe, well, although Mercedes-Benz didn't necessarily mention the term 'coupe', and the new model seems kind of wider than the previous generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class coupe. Furthermore, it's known that the 2014 S-Class will also come in a convertible and coupe version. In addition to that, no matter how I look at it, the styling cues portrayed in the sketch don't seem to match those of the actual sedan being launched at the home country of Mercedes-Benz today. So, in short, I think it's safe to say that we should be getting ready to behold the launch of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe which will seemingly take place in the near future. Otherwise, I don't think the German automaker will be revealing the design of its new model in such detail.
  19. Lamborghini has round up its 50th anniversary celebration by unveiling the Egoista concept at a private birthday party that the automaker has thrown for itself. The uniqueness of the Egoista Concept lies in the fact that it is a single seater. The styling of the concept is said to be inspired by an Apache helicopter. This car will be suitable for the well-off who intends to reserve the privilege of supercar ridership to himself. Power comes from a 5.2-litre V10 engine with undisclosed output. However, looking at the output of a similar unit in the Gallardo, it would be safe to assume that the engine would generate over 500bhp. The supercar benefits from an extremely lightweight construction due to heavy use of carbon fibre. To reduce weight further, the cockpit canopy is removable. Hopefully, more details of the car will start coming in with additional photos from different angles. Apache helicopter
  20. The Skoda Rapid Sport concept will make its world premiere at the Worthersee tuning show in Austria. The concept gives the plain looking Rapid sedan an extreme makeover and turns it into a boy racer's fantasy. The Sport Concept is painted in two-tone metallic Steel Gray and Corrida Red and wears aggressive 19-inch red alloy wheels. The exterior is complimented by a body kit and twin exhausts pipe at the rear. The darkened side mirrors, head lights and grille remind us that this is a rapid sedan from the dark side. The recessed hood completes the external updates. According to Skoda, the sporty layout continues in the interior of the car, with a sports type steering wheel, Recaro seats and illuminated door sills. No engine details are available at the moment but given its promising looks, anything less than a 2.0-litre TSI would be a disappointment. Marking the 32nd year of the Volkswagen Group event, the 2013 Worthersee show takes place in Reifnitz, Austria between 8th to 12th May. Skoda will display the Fabia RS Motorsport, Citigo Motorsport and an accessorised 2013 Octavia Combi alongside with the Rapid Sport Concept.
  21. Just to refresh your memory, at the 2009 Detroit Motor Show, the German automaker Volkswagen (VW) displayed its BlueSport roadster concept. Unfortunately, not long afterwards, VW postponed the project. Some early reports mentioned that the reason production of the roadster was postponed was because the German automaker didn't see a business opportunity for the model while I would say otherwise. The car looks attractive and that, alone, should be able to attract quite a few customers already. Add that with quite an affordable price tag for a roadster, you may be surprised by the number of people interested in spending their cash on the model. Yet, rumours have been swirling on the internet with some still believing that the roadster will finally come to life. I, for one, would like to see the open-top model comes into production. Despite the various rumours on the World Wide Web, there's now a bigger chance that the VW BlueSport will actually hit our showrooms within the near future. At least, this seems to be what Walter de Silva is trying to tell us, although not so explicitly. The VW Design Chief told AMS, "I'm not the only one in our company who is convinced that a small roadster wouldn't be the worst thing for Volkswagen. This is a vehicle that we particularly like, and we always have in mind." Well, I agree with you, de Silva, I like the open-top very much, too. Therefore, it's nice to know that there're still some insiders in VW that would like to move on with this particular project. Moreover, it was confirmed by one of the German automaker's spokesperson. Just in case you can't really recall, the VW BlueSport roadster concept carried a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine when it debuted at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. The engine is good enough to spit out 177bhp in addition to 349Nm of torque. Volkswagen claimed that the fuel consumption of the roadster could reach 23.2km/L, which is quite efficient in my opinion. The company also mentioned that the car would need only 6.6 seconds to reach 100km/h from a complete standstill. Also, expect no less than 225km/h when it comes to the top speed of the car. Given its model and engine specifications, I'd say the BlueSport concept may well be slotted under such brands as Porsche and Audi. Yet again, perhaps it doesn't really matter as both the brands belong to VW as well. Now that the VW BlueSport roadster may finally come to life, here's hoping that VW won't forget to ship the model to the showrooms here in Singapore as well. By the way, the roadster is estimated to cost around USD$30,000 (around S$37,000). As I said earlier, it's quite affordable for a roadster, isn't it? The only drawback so far that I can think of about this roadster is probably its roof. I think it would have been better if VW applied a hardtop, but perhaps, the softtop is a better solution for the current estimated price tag of the roadster.
  22. RchLuvSlly

    Hong Kong gets its first Infiniti showroom

    Infiniti is the luxury car division under the Japanese automaker Nissan and as of Tuesday, 30th April 2013, Hong Kong citizens, especially those Infiniti fans out there, could be grateful as Infiniti has officially opened its first showroom in the country. Known as the Infinity Gallery, the showroom was officially opened by Johan de Nysschen, President, Infiniti Motor Company Ltd., and Donald Yip, CEO, Dah Chong Hong Limited. Dah Chong Hong Limited is a local dealership that Infiniti has partnered in Hong Kong. The opening of the showroom saw the Essence, the latest sleek concept car from Infiniti, receiving the spotlight. For your information, the Infiniti Essence was also introduced to the public for the very first time in China. Besides the concept car, the showroom opening also saw a famous local actress and model, Jennifer Tse in the spotlight, posing right next to the car. According to Nysschen, the opening of the Infinity Gallery marked Infiniti's latest milestone that with a total of 50 markets all over the world. This first ever Infiniti showroom in Hong Kong is situated at 10 Harcourt Road, G/F Hutchinson House, near Hong Kong's business centre. So, for those that live in Hong Kong, what are you waiting for? Start visiting the Infinity Gallery now.
  23. Acura formally debuted its SUV-X design concept at the Shanghai Motor Show - a global concept vehicle for a small SUV that is targeted mainly for the Chinese market. This is the first in Acura's 27-year long history, it has globally introduced a new concept outside of North America. Emotional and sharp styling and driving performance, together with the environmental performance of a small vehicle and excellent utility of an SUV are all fused together at a high level in this vehicle. Acura is planning to begin local production and sales in China of a mass-production model based on this concept vehicle for its market in about the next three years. Sadly no technical details were unveiled. "We are planning to produce the mass-production model of the Acura Concept SUV-X locally in China. With the hope that our Chinese customers will more closely feel the values offered from Acura, we will begin preparing for the start of the local production. In China, where dynamic growth continues, both Acura and Honda will keep up our efforts to enhance products and technologies that will offer new joys of mobility to our customers," said Takanobu Ito, President & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. On top of the SUV-X design concept, the Chinese market Acura RLX was also announced. The RLX is a luxury flagship sedan which will go on sale in China in June 2013. Excellent manoeuvrability and comfort are pursued through the adoption of a number of advanced technologies including a newly developed 3.5-litre SOHC i-VTEC V6 engine and Precision All-Wheel Steer - the world's first technology to achieve both outstanding turning performance and vehicle stability. The well received next generation NSX concept was also on display which made its debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in January.
  24. RchLuvSlly

    KIA launches China-special Horki

    If you happen to be quite well off or have some spare savings, it might be a good idea to consider staying at China. The economy in the country keeps growing positively that it has become a good place to live in. This has been proven even further with the recent huge investment by Volkswagen (VW) and the fact that the South Korean automaker KIA has now launched a new brand targeted specifically at the Chinese market. The brand is known as Horki and comes under parent company KIA. What we know is that, in Mandarin, 'Hor' or 'He' means together whereas 'Ki' or 'Qi' means air or atmosphere. And the word as a whole, means 'harmony'. Well, that makes sense to us as we think the first Horki concept vehicle looks dynamic indeed. For now, there's only one model that KIA is building for the brand Horki. Of course, we believe that there'll be more models later on. The model has yet to receive its official name but it is based on the platform also used by the KIA Forte. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that the first Horki model borrows design cues from the KIA Forte. As a matter of fact, from what we can see as far as design is concerned, this Horki concept vehicle doesn't have any similar design from any of KIA models. Slated for a 2015 release date in the Chinese automotive market, the first Horki model looks aggressive as well as sleek. This can be seen on the designs of the headlamps, front grille, air intakes, and rear taillights
  25. PetrolHead

    Italdesign's awesome new concept

    Italdesign Giugiaro - more commonly known as Italdesign - is a design and engineering company based in Italy and since August 9th (National Day) 2010, Lamborghini acquired 90.1 percent of the shares to the firm - which by extension means it belongs to Volkswagen. Volkswagen and Italdesign go a long way and the design firm has been responsible for the design of several notable Volkswagen vehicles including the first generation Volkswagen Golf (1974), Volkswagen Scirocco (1974) and Volkswagen Passat (1973). Quite recently Italdesign revealed the Parcour crossover that is powered by Lamborghini. It was named after the modern sport of - pioneered by the French group Yamakasi. Parkour focuses on moving around urban obstacles with speed and agility - though basically to me they are modern day, very flexible ninjas. Either way, the Parcour car has a coupe and roadster variant which fuses elements of crossovers, sports cars and the sharp styling expected of a modern Lamborghini. In fact, paint it orange, slap a raging bull logo and christen it with the name of a famous bull - and we have a striking Lamborghini CUV. The coupe and roadster have enough room for two and are powered by a 542bhp 5.2-litre V10 engine lifted from the parent company's Gallardo. The engine is mated to a seven-speed double-clutch automatic transmission that drives all four tyres on 22-inch rims. The concepts measure 4,530mm long, sit 2,070mm wide and stand 1,335mm tall and weigh just 1.5 tonnes. Italdesign believes the Parcour could hit 100km/h in a rather brisk 3.6 seconds before hitting a top speed of 320km/h.
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