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  1. When the race is run and the crowds have gone, and the cheers of victory have passed into silence, what use remains for a racing car? The plinth, the velvet rope, a forgotten, dusty corner of some museum? Not here. Deep below Mazda North America's research and development offices in Irvine, California, there is a basement. It is not so much a cellar, though, as a hallowed paddock for hard-charging thoroughbreds. As the steel entrance door rolls upwards, lights turn on in sequence, revealing machines of various vintages, in varying states of undress. For fans of the rotary engine, it is nothing short of a treasure trove. Closest to the door is the RX-2 campaigned by Car & Driver magazine's Don Sherman in 1973. Modified for International Motorsports Association (IMSA) Racing Stock class, its 12a rotary unit produces 218 horsepower at a Ferrari-like 8,400rpm. Don Sherman's victories in the pictured RX-2 gave Mazda its first road racing wins outside of Japan. Without mufflers, it is easily the loudest thing down here. So ear-splitting is the racket that specialised sound-suppressors were fitted so mechanics would not go deaf when the engine idled in the garage. The RX-2 provided the first competition wins outside Japan for Mazda, establishing the brand's performance credentials right from the start. The pinnacle of Mazda motorsport history is the orange and green-liveried 787B's win at the 1991 Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. Mazda remains the only Japanese manufacturer to have won the premier prototype class, and while the race-winner currently sits at Mazda's factory museum in Hiroshima, its sister car is here, being fettled to race. While bodywork panels have been removed to facilitate a transmission service, the car itself looks essentially brand-new. It has also been modified. “We call it the 'Davis Dimple,'” explains Jeremy Barnes, public relations director for Mazda North America (MNOA), gesturing towards a curious bump on the car’s canopy. “We had to custom-mould the door to make room, and pour a special seat.” The roof bulge, or “dimple”, is reminiscent of the modification made to the Le Mans-winning Ford GT40 campaigned by Dan Gurney in the ‘60s, which required the change to accommodate its pilot’s long torso. Here, the tweaks were undertaken so Robert Davis, MNOA vice president of operations, could fit. Compared to the compact Japanese drivers who piloted this car to an eighth-place finish at Le Mans in 1991, Davis is a hulk, wearing the car like a 700hp, 1,800lb glove. The IMSA RX-7 sporting a white and green livery. It doesn’t take long to suspect that nearly everyone at MNOA is involved with either racing or supporting these machines at heritage events. Barnes drives an IMSA RX-7 GTO at tracks such as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, on California’s Monterey peninsula. The RX-7 GTO is a 600hp beast that he says “is always trying to hurt you. That's why I like driving it so much.” A more modern prototype racer is here as well, an RX-792P. Like the 787B, it is powered by a four-rotor, 700hp engine, and neither it nor any other machine here is driven gently on the track. “Our CEO Jim O'Sullivan told us, 'I want to have the cars run, and run up front,'” Barnes says. They are also very well cared for. Randy Miller, a wiry young man with a megawatt grin and a rotary engine cutaway on his T-shirt, is charged with keeping the cars in fighting shape. “There's no Haynes manual for these things,” he quips, referencing a widely used series of mechanical guides. But he is clearly adept at his job; it doesn’t hurt that he is a certified master fabricator. Tucked deeper in the basement is a vehicle the size of a CX-9 but with the aerodynamic properties of a lunchbox. Miller built this all-electric tool transporter from scratch, having tired of lugging tool chests back and forth to the race pits, and it includes a generator, car-lift and row upon row of sliding drawers. Mazda works with several restoration companies to complete their cars, but also has considerable in-house resources. The mirrors on the 787B, for example, as well as the "Davis Dimple", were custom-made on premises. Miller doesn't always have to work alone either, as many staff members volunteer their time and talent to get things ready for race weekends. The 1967 Luce coupe was Mazda’s only rotary-powered front-wheel-drive car. This commitment to racing infuses many of the rare street cars tucked away among the competition vehicles. There are oddities such as a Japan-only three-rotor twin-turbo Cosmo from the 1990s, as well as a 1967 Luce coupe: the only front-wheel-drive rotary-powered car Mazda ever made. The only left-hand-drive RX-7 Spirit R ever produced was specially modified for a Mazda executive in the US. More prosaically, an extremely low-mileage 1978 GLC hatchback stands as an example of the practical vehicles that helped foot the extravagant racing bills. Next to it, a turbocharged, all-wheel-drive 323 GTX demonstrates that Mazda could engineer fun into even their lowliest of econoboxes. A row of street-driven RX-7s includes a pace car, as well as the only left-hand-drive Spirit R – a special edition produced for the right-drive Japanese market – ever made. Strictly speaking, this last one might not be considered part of the final run of RX-7s, as it was specially built at the factory for an MNOA executive. It has lightweight Recaros, upgraded brakes, specialised engine tuning and bespoke aerodynamic elements. It is also – at least during this visit – broken. Next to the RX-7s are a few open spaces, evidence of some missing cars. These are currently upstairs, and are perhaps better loved than any other machines down below. This year is the 25th anniversary for the Miata – also marketed as the MX-5 and Eunos Roadster – the best-selling sports car the world has ever seen. It conveys all the fierce joy of the racing cars down here, but in a tidier, admittedly more reliable little package suited to public roads. Cleaned up and drained of fuel, the cars are being readied for the 2014 New York auto show, where press previews begin 16 April. Among them are the original cars displayed at the model's 1989 Chicago auto show debut – one red, one blue – that are respectively the 14th and 15th Miatas ever produced. A supercharged concept called the Super20 has just returned from a trip to Alaska, where it cavorted with a local Miata owners club. Further on, there are the concepts: a sleek third-generation Miata Spyder, a flared yellow first-generation car that sat alongside the stock originals at Chicago, and a one-off fastback coupe. An original clay model of the Miata. Southern California is the birthplace of the Miata, where the original design was carved in clay, and where the suspension and handling were refined. An original model touched by the hands of designer Tom Matano is down here, too. Among the New York-bound Miatas is a white, slightly ratty, showroom-stock racing car. Reaching into the cockpit, Barnes pulls out the original Sports Car Association of America logbook and flips it to the first page, dated 23 September 1989. This car also shared the Chicago stage in 1989 with the red and blue cars, but would go on to podiums of another kind. Compared to the mighty beasts that sleep below, it is a simple thing, but no less battle-hardened. It makes, in fact, a nice spirit animal for Mazda as a whole: small, energetic, quietly obsessed with going fast. Such traits do not lend themselves neatly to a museum format. But this is a paddock, remember, and its occupants were born to gallop – even right through retirement.
  2. Hi guys, i want to get the Apexi open pod power intake from ARK motorsport which they listed in mycarforum. Have been trying to call their sales line which is stated in their adv, but there's always noone to answer! Anyone know if the shop is still operating? Or where can i get this product?
  3. We all know about the Nissan GT-R and its need for speed. Now the 'Godzilla' is all set to get wickedly faster with Nismo - the performance arm of Nissan - unveiling the GT-R Nismo. There have been no spy shots whatsoever, so the closest we could get are pictures of the GT-R Track Edition. The future Nismo version will be based on the 2014 GT-R and will feature a series of updates that will transform the 'Godzilla' into a real track machine, while keeping it perfectly suitable for the road. On the exterior, Nismo will work on improving the car's aerodynamics, so lower front and rear bumpers, wider wings and sill side skirts, plus a huge wing at the rear is to be expected. Inside the car, the GT-R Nismo will most likely get special suede-trimmed Nismo sports seats with red stitching, plus a redesigned steering wheel, pedals, gauges and gear knob. Under the hood, the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 engine delivers at least 20 horses more than the standard 550bhp. There have been rumours that the GT-R Nismo will hit 100km/h in two seconds. Wait a second. The current GT-R already does the century sprint in three. Wouldn't that mean that the GT-R Nismo will be able to outsprint a 1,200bhp Bugatti Veyron Super Sport over short distances? Well, as exciting as the GT-R Nismo is going to be, we're having a hard time accepting that it will be able to hit 100km/h in two seconds flat, at least on street tyres. What do you think?
  4. chitchatboy

    Super GT. Slowed down for all to enjoy.

    The guys here at MyCarForum love our videos quite a bit. And when one as good as this comes up, we are more than happy to share it with everyone. Watch how GTChannel and Luke Huxham of Maiham Media come together to give you an artistic rendition of Japan's Super GT Round 2 at Fuji Speedway. We especially love the way Luke slowed down parts of it so that we can revel in the beauty of the cars. A good choice of soundtrack also helps. http://dai.ly/x1wsdji_super-gt-a-new-perspective-fuji-speedway_auto
  5. Lewis Hamilton recorded his first hat-trick victory of his career as well as in the Chinese circuit and, in the process, led the Mercedes AMG team to another dominant victory for the third consecutive time in the 2014 season. At the end of the 54 laps, Hamilton crossed the chequered flags 18 seconds ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg, in the other silver arrows, and 23 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari - the first podium finish for the Italian team in 2014, delivered in front of new Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci. Like in the previous two races in Malaysia and Bahrain, it was a leisurely cruise for the Brit after sprinting ahead of the rest of the grid, as the Mercedes team executed a flawless two-stop strategy. Besides a mild error before his first pit stop where Hamilton slid wide at Turn 14, it was an effortless race. Rosberg recovered from a poor start to aid in Mercedes' podium dominance once again, while Alonso defended the briskly charging Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo in the closing laps to secure the last spot on the podium. The other Ferrari at the hands of Kimi Raikkonen had a quiet race and managed a best of eight after starting off the grid in 11th. Felipe Massa's impressive start off the line was short lived after trying to squeeze into a gap too small for his Williams and banged wheels with his former teammate's Ferrari. After the minor incident and a botched first pit stop which involved a mix-up of rear tyres - the Williams driver crossed the line in 15th. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas, was also lucky to survive his first corner incident after making contact with Rosberg, who had a terrible start and had to fight past Massa and Nico Hulkenberg on the first lap to get into fifth. Defending champion, Sebastian Vettel, was once again outperformed by his teammate and had to settle for fifth. McLaren had another weekend to forget after its drivers crossed the line out of points classification in 11th and 13th respectively. The F1 circus heads to Barcelona in around three weeks, with Rosberg marginally leading the drivers' championship over Hamilton and Alonso at 79, 75 and 41 points respectively. In the constructors' charts, Mercedes with 154 points are clear of Red Bull and Force India with 57 and 54 points respectively.
  6. Local Formula One race promoter, Singapore GP, is inviting members of the public to sign up as race officials. Public registration for a total of 180 available positions is open now and will conclude at 11:59pm, 31st March 2014, local time. Positions are available in key trackside functions, including track marshals, flag marshals and fire marshals, among others. Depending on the area of responsibility, each marshal can expect to clock a minimum of 32 hours of training. First time race officials will attend approximately seven days of theory and practical training, conducted over weekends starting in May. Highlights of the practical training include performing recovery and extrication exercises on a Formula BMW open-wheeler and a Subaru WRX. Senior officials will also undergo specialist hands on training in fire safety and track recovery. To those interested, do take note, you have to above 18-years of age as of 1st January 2014, be physically fit and fluent in written and spoken English. You should also be able to commit to all scheduled training sessions and must be available to participate in all three days of the race - from the 19th to the 21st September 2014. Successful candidates will be notified by the end of April. Applications must be submitted via Singapore GP's race official recruitment website. Members of the public keen to apply for other contract positions may do so here.
  7. Early bird ticket sales for this year's Formula One Singapore Grand Prix have officially begun through various sales channels including its website, the ticketing hotline (+65 6738 6738) and all Sistic outlets. The early bird phase runs from now until the 30th of April, before prices revert back to normal rates from the 1st of May. Three new Combination Packages this year To cater to the increased demand for the popular Combination Packages introduced last year, Singapore GP has added three new combinations packages. The new Combination Packages offer a mix of Pit Grandstand, Padang Grandstand and Bay Grandstand and brings the total number of Combination Packages to seven, with prices ranging from $498 to $888 during the early bird phase. Group Booking Specials extended to two additional grandstands The Group Booking Special, which was first introduced in 2011, offers fans savings when they purchase four or more tickets in a single transaction. For better savings, patrons who purchase eight or more tickets in a single booking can enjoy more than 25 percent off a single regular priced ticket. Better still, this offer is extended to the Pit, Padang, Connaught, Esplanade Waterfront and Bay Grandstands. In addition, Esplanade Waterfront Grandstand tickets are cheaper by 14 percent - compared to 2013. Single day Zone 4 Walkabout tickets released earlier For the first time, single day Zone 4 Walkabout tickets are released during the early bird phase. They cost $68, $158 and $188 - for Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively. Additionally, a limited number of Friday Zone 4 Walkabout tickets will be available at a promotional price of $38, exclusively for Singaporeans and Singapore residents. This promotion is only available for over-the-counter purchases at all Sistic outlets in Singapore, with a maximum of four tickets allowed per transaction. Zone 4 Walkabout tickets are ideal for patrons to catch the race up close at strategic locations, performances by international headlining acts at the Padang Stage as well as other entertainment acts within the zone. Stand a chance to meet your favourite Formula One driver In addition to cost savings, 15 lucky fans stand a chance to win a pair of exclusive passes for the Formula One Drivers' Autograph Session and pre-event cocktail reception on 18th September, with the purchase of any pair of Singapore GP tickets before the 1st of May. To participate, early-bird ticket holders need to register their ticket transaction number on the official Singapore GP website before 1st of May, 11:59pm, local time.
  8. As the five red lights went off at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Australia yesterday afternoon, the high-revving, high-octane sport of Formula One entered a new era. Lining up on the grid were probably some of the appalling (and vulgar) cars the highest class of motorsports has ever witnessed. 22 turbocharged 1.6-litre hybrid racers set off, but only 15 saw the dance of the chequered flags. Felipe Massa's debut in his beautiful, Martini-liveried Williams ended short due to Kamui Kobayashi's clumsy accident in his Caterham with the former in the first lap. In addition, the season opener saw both Lotus cars, the second Caterham, Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull lost to various technical issues - including total loss of power for the quadruple champion. Ferrari and Torro Rosso were the only works team and Renault-powered team, respectively, to complete the Grand Prix without major hiccups. Mercedes' display of strength was only tainted by pole sitter Lewis Hamilton's retirement on lap three due to a misfiring engine - and it was the sole Mercedes powered car that was lost to a technical issue. Despite the drawbacks, the German national anthem was heard in all its glory once again during the podium ceremony - but for the first time since June 2013, it was compatriot Nico Rosberg (who also coincidentally won the British GP last June) who took the honours. Rosberg denied Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren's rookie, Kevin Magnussen, a place on the top spot of the podium in a style of domination akin to Vettel. Rosberg steered clear of Australian Ricciardo by 24.5 seconds while Danish driver, Magnussen, marked an impressive debut on his maiden F1 outing by not only finishing third but also ahead of his teammate - former world champion Jenson Button - who rose up the grid from starting at tenth. The Ferrari 'dream' team of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen had a decent race - although nothing memorable after finishing fifth and eighth respectively. Post race, the season opener became a nightmare for the defending quadruple champions after second-place finish Ricciardo was disqualified from the race. The decision came about after his car was considered to be in breach of fuel flow regulations. According to a FIA sensor which was fitted to the car, the Red Bull exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow of 100kg/hr, and after over five hours of negotiations - the stewards eventually ruled the car was run illegally. According to the ruling body, the car was not only in breach of the fuel flow regulation but apparently the team was found not to be compliant with technical regulations throughout the event. Naturally, Red Bull has made clear its intentions to appeal the decision.
  9. Infiniti has formally premiered the Formula One inspired - the Q50 Eau Rouge performance sedan concept - at the Detroit Auto Show. The Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge expresses the firms design vision of a high-performance Q50 premium sports sedan. Featuring custom aerodynamic bodywork, the Q50 Eau Rouge is lower and wider. The performance sedan is inspired by masculinity, aerodynamics, refinement and power. The Q50 Eau Rouge mirrors components from the successful RB9 race car and almost every exterior panel is custom to the Q50 Eau Rouge. In fact only the front doors and the arch of the roof pillars are retained from its stock brethren. According to the premium Japanese marque, the interior of the Q50 Eau Rouge was designed to offer command and comfort. Precision control is afforded by a high-grip sports steering wheel and paddle shifters akin to Formula One. Red infused carbon fibre detail the doors - while the centre console complement the exterior styling. Once again, a darker shade of chrome replaces the more energetic silver chrome in the red cockpit. "If we built this car I would expect it to feature over 500bhp and 812Nm of torque. Through our various alliance partners, we have access to a range of engines featuring this performance capability which, with a fair amount of engineering effort, can be developed to exhibit Infiniti character and accommodated within the Q50 engine bay," said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company Limited.
  10. http://www.sgcarmart.com/news/article.php?AID=9291 Four Singaporeans clinch overall titles of five categories at the recently concluded 2013 Asian Karting Open Championship at Kartright Speedway. Held in Singapore for the first time, the 2013 Asian Karting Open Championship (AKOC) concluded on a high note at Kartright Speedway, with four Singaporean drivers clinching overall titles in five categories. Gabriella Teo (above) is only the second female in the history of AKOC to clinch an overall title15-year old, Gabriella Teo, dominated the Junior category all weekend, winning both Rounds 4 and 5 to jump from third in the standings to the top. Displaying a strong and consistent performance throughout the weekend, Gabriella Teo, started from pole and won both rounds with a commanding lead. "I feel victorious and am proud of this achievement. I wasn't expecting to win as I knew competition would be tough, but as we progressed through the weekend I felt more confident about taking the overall title. I was quite nervous during the final of Round 5 because I know that winning that race would mean winning overall. It's a great way to wrap my first overseas racing season!" In the Senior championship's 25-year old, Mohammad Nasri Naufal (banner picture), who has been leading the category, finished second in both rounds to take the overall title. "I am a little disappointed that I did not win both races, as it would have been an honour to win on home ground. But finishing second is not too bad and most importantly, I'm very happy to have won the overall title. It was quite tough racing against the younger boys in my category who are fitter than me," commented Nasri who turns 25 next weekend. The recently captured title adds to his increasing tally of racing achievements, including the 2003 AKOC Junior title, the 2006 Macau International Kart Grand Prix ROK Senior title and the 2010 Singapore Karting Championship Senior title. Meanwhile, Yap Kheng Weng's, double win in the Masters class saw him taking the overall title as Ong Kian Leong settled with overall Veteran title. Johnny Tan, Managing Director of the AKOC, said, "I extend my appreciation to each and every one who has been a part of the first AKOC race in Singapore. I am grateful to the Singapore Motor Sports Association and Kartright Speedway. We hope to come back again next year and hopefully more Singaporeans will come up to the other rounds of the AKOC too!"
  11. Renault has unveiled their new 1.6-litre F1 engine at the 2013 Paris Air Show. The direct-injected V6 unit is equipped with an exhaust-driven turbocharger, two motor generator units (MGUs) with an Energy Recovery System (ERS). For reader's information, come 2014, the current 2.4-litre V8 engines which rev to a maximum of 18,000rpm will be replaced by 1.6-litre V6 turbocharged power units revving to a maximum of 15,000rpm. The MGUs are capable of producing 160bhp while the turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 churns out approximately 600bhp, bringing the combined output to roughly 760bhp. Although the output is higher than the current V8, fuel efficiency is claimed to improve vastly by about 35 percent. On the new engine, Renault's Deputy Managing Director (Technical), Rob White, explained, "The engines remain high-revving, ultra-high output competition engines. Fundamentally the engine noise will still be loud. The engine noise is just a turbocharged noise rather than a normally-aspirated noise: you can just hear the turbo when the driver lifts off the throttle and the engine speed drops. The sound of the new generation power units is just different (from the preceding V8)". Renault has released a video alongside with the launch and interestingly, it seemed like a video promoting Adidas products at certain points.
  12. Reigning F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel, won a gripping Japanese Grand Prix to edge closer to his fourth drivers’ title. It might be the usual repeated tale, but this time, the triple world champion, had to put in a minuscule amount of effort to earn the highest spot on the podium on Sunday. At the dance of the chequered flags, Vettel crossed the line ahead of his team mate, a decent 7.13 seconds at the end of the 53 laps. Lotus F1 Team's, Romain Grosjean, filled the last podium slot, securing a podium lock out for Renault in succession. This is the fourth time this season, after Bahrain, Germany and Korea earlier this month, the podium was locked out by Renault power courtesy of Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Lotus Renault. It is the first time in 17 years that Renault has secured two consecutive perfect podiums. With Kimi Raikkonen bringing the second Lotus past the chequered flag in fifth, four of the top five positions were filled by Renault-powered cars – with Alonso’s Ferrari crashing the party. Additionally, Mark Webber’s pole position on Saturday took Renault’s total number of poles in the FIA Formula One World Championship to 209, a new record for the most pole positions held by an engine manufacturer beating Ferrari’s record of 208. "It has been an exceptional two races for Renaultsport F1, with a new record in pole positions set by an engine manufacturer and then another 1-2-3 result today for the second race in succession. We’ll make it our aim in the coming races to maximise the points across all our partners and to finish the season - and the end of the V8 era - on a high. We broke one record this weekend but it would be good to set the bar even higher now!" said Remi Taffin, Renaultsport F1 Head of Track Operations. With four races remaining, Red Bull has dominated the 2013 season after earning 445 points - a massive 148 points ahead of Ferrari and 158 points ahead of Mercedes. In the drivers’ title race, Alonso at 207 points is 90 points away from the young German and the Spaniard has to miraculously win every single race from hereafter to win his third title. With the drivers' championship pretty much sealed, the constructor's championship is lives - for second and third placing that is - between Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus Renault. Formula One entertainment returns in India, on the 27th of October, where the battle will - without a doubt - reach its climax.
  13. Akram_saheed

    My take on the movie 'Rush'

    While cars and automobiles can be considered a hobby turned obsession, films have always been a more passion-driven interest for me. I wanted to become a cinematographer but decided against it due to personal reasons, and somehow ended up with a job within the automotive industry. I'm not complaining though. Occasionally a movie blends the best of both worlds - like Fast and the Furious or Death Race. And then there is the movie Rush, where it is a cocktail of three of my favourite interests cinema, cars and Formula One. Seldom have you walked out of a movie theatre where you get disturbed, enlightened or inspired. Rush added a high dose of high octane fuel to my already burning interest for cars and the sport and despite watching it three times, I'm still craving for more. The plot should be familiar by now. It tells the classic tale of rivalry between two men, two exceptional men in this case. Niki Lauda - a triple world champion, a perfectionist and a no nonsense guy vs James Hunt - a man with no fear, a playboy and a rockstar. While the main focus is on the 1976 Formula One Season, we do get a little back story for both characters portrayed by Daniel Bruhl, a Spanish born German actor and Chris 'Thor' Hemsworth. I have to applaud the production crew efforts for bringing 1976 back in 2013. The cars looked ancient, they sounded monstrous, and F1 looked so fragile. No high-tech machinery, radio or computer systems. No flamboyance, safety and the persistent threat of death loomed around the drivers. I'm not sure how true this is but Hunt apparently broke his gear shifter at the Japanese GP. The portrayal of Niki Lauda seemed near perfect while I couldn't really see Hemsworth as Hunt. I guess they just needed someone familiar to get the crowds coming in. There were some really good dialogues - especially between Lauda and Hunt. It was a love-hate relationship from the start - according to the movie at least. At times the movie felt like a free advertising campaign for Ferrari, with the score and camera angles seem to glorify an already holy team in the sport. But sadly the cars looked slower than they should be, even slower than the television telecast. Of course the highlight is the infamous crash at the Nurburgring, which personally seemed to be a spot on re-enactment of the actual event. The prosthetic burnt make-up makes you empathise with Lauda although he passes of as an arrogant, talented prick in the first half of the movie. The problem I had with the movie was it was struggling to tell a balanced story. I feel like I've learnt more about Hunt than I learnt about Lauda. But after watching it the third time, I can probably understand why. Lauda is a teetotaller in comparison to the wreck and damaged persona of Hunt but honestly who wants to watch a boring monotonous strict guy when we have Hunt who parties late into the night, has character issues and is a rebel in a car (and apparently a god in bed)? But as soon as the accident occurs, the movie is all about Lauda. It has to be, I mean that man got back to racing just 40 days after blowing half himself to hell. A classic tale of rivalry between two of the finest men, the world of Formula One has ever seen directed by a credible Ron Howard. Why should you miss it? If you like movies, you should watch it. If you like F1 cars and racing, you should watch it. And ladies, if you adore Chris Hemsworth, there is a particular scene early in the movie you might just appreciate. Rush is to F1 what Top Gun was for the Navy or Act of Valor, Special Forces, is to the Army. F1 is a dangerous sport and the movie addresses it but the rewards are endless. So long as you stay at the top, of course.
  14. With its sights set on the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Jaguar could be planning a full range of models for its upcoming entry-level car - possibly called the XS. The XS will replace the X-Type, finally giving Jaguar a product in the highly competitive luxury compact sedan segment. According to sources, the car will also be available with coupe and wagon bodystyles (rendered images below). Jaguar's upcoming 3 Series and C-Class fighter seen testing and wearing a modified XF body is also poised to be clad in an all-aluminum monocoque body structure, similar to the XJ, to save weight. According to Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar's Global Brand Director, an aluminium monocoque is a first for this market and on this sort of scale, by the time they go on sale, the new saloon, coupe and estate will be the most efficient, refined and advanced cars in their class. Plus, the car is expected to be offered initially with Jaguar's small capacity turbocharged four and supercharged six-cylinder petrol and diesel engine. This will also mean that entry-level cars are able to emit less than 100g/km of CO2 without the need for hybrid technology. The baby Jaguar is scheduled to be due in 2015 and it sure is one exciting cat. Purr.
  15. 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.
  16. When Sebastian Vettel qualifies at the front, there is nothing that can stop the German from grabbing the top step on the podium. Out of 88 race starts he has with Infiniti Red Bull Racing - from Australia 2009 to Singapore 2013 - he has 22 lights to flag victories and three Grand Chelem titles (currently tied with Nelson Piquet) - meaning he has qualified in pole, won the race after leading every lap of the race and set the fastest lap of the race in the same weekend. Still his record is one more than Juan Manuel Fangio who has five world championships under his belt, but one less than the legendary Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. Even Fernando Alonso, Niki Lauda and Stirling Moss only have one each and interestingly James Hunt and Kimi Raikkonen have none. As the Singapore Grand Prix concluded - minutes before 10:00pm - with fireworks lighting up the already colourful and vibrant Marina Bay CBD area with stunning backdrop from the Singapore Flyer to Marina Bay Sands and ANZ to Maybank towers and hysterical cheers from the attendees - Vettel recorded his third consecutive win this season, his third consecutive win at the street circuit and his seventh podium overall. The question remains if there is anything that could stop the German driver. Unless Adrian Newey is removed, I doubt so. The problem with F1 right now is not about the lack of overtaking or people getting bored with the same person winning - it's just that rival teams have yet to produce their own Adrian Newey including legendary ones like Scuderia Ferrari and Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. McLaren seem to be a little off pace this year while only one of the two Ferraris seem to be interested in any actual racing. Over the past two years, the sport has evolved from who is winning and fighting for the championship to who had the best recovery or who managed to finish third after a strenuous battle. As stated earlier, as soon as Vettel qualifies on the front grid - you can prepare tomorrow's sports headlines today. Even yesterday at the sixth SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, Vettel won the race after qualifying in pole with a record setting time of 1:42.841 - which is even faster than Kimi Raikkonen's lap record. Not even the tropical climate of heat and humidity or the intervention of the safety car - courtesy of Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso - could hinder or delay the triple world champion from claiming another this season. After 61 laps, Vettel won by a staggering 32.6 seconds over title contender, Fernando Alonso in the Prancing Horse, who leaped from seventh at the starting grid while Kimi Raikkonen catapulted to third from starting 13th on the grid
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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..
  20. Point a kid or teenager to the Chevrolet Camaro and they will probably just scream "Bumblebee!" Thanks to GM's association with the billion dollar Transformers trilogy (S$3.38 Billion in box office receipts to be exact), the retro Beetle was replaced with the fifth generation Camaro concept, and modified versions of it appeared in the sequels - much to the hatred of hardcore Transformers fans. But hey at least the sfx was awesome. The Camaro was envisioned as a competitor to the legendary Ford Mustang. But compared to the American stallion, the bowtie did not fare well in sales or recognition as a muscle car in its first year. Production commenced in September 1966, and the Camaro survived four generations until the model went out of production in 2002. After eight years of hibernation, the Camaro name was revived with the fifth generation (or post Transformers generation) armed with a new design and platform. I have to admit after years of viewing the mustangs, corvettes and challengers - it was refreshing to see the sharp and striking looking Camaro. Not to mention the larger than life heroic portrayal in the live-action Transformers trilogy aided the nameplate, especially with the younger audience. I am no expert in muscle cars, but if there is anyone out there who knows his muscle cars more than anyone else - it could be is none other than the self-confessed auto nut, Jay Leno. Frequent visitors of the blog might be familiar with his web series
  21. Regan_ong

    The legendary Toyota Supra

    The Toyota Supra is a sports car/grand tourer produced from 1978 to 2002. As an iconic sports car, the Supra has appeared in numerous video games and movies. Some of the most notable appearances include Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, and Need for Speed series of video games as well as The Fast and the Furious film series. Let's take a look back at the history of the Toyota legend. The first generation Supra was born in 1978 and was based largely upon the Toyota Celica liftback, but was longer by about 130mm. Toyota's original plan for the Supra at this time was to market it as a competitor to the very popular Datsun Z-car. In late 1981, Toyota completely redesigned the Supra for its 1982 production year. Still based around the Celica platform, there were several key differences seen in the Mark II, most notably the design of the front end and fully retractable pop-up headlights. Starting in mid-1986, the Supra became a separate model from the Celica. In turn, Toyota also stopped using the prefix Celica and began just calling the car Supra. The Mark III Supra launched in February 1986 with an all new coupe body fractionally shorter than the outgoing model. We see some similarities with the Nissan 180SX and 240SX here... did Nissan lift some design off Toyota? The fourth generation and last Supra was first unveiled at the 1993 Chicago Motor Show after a four-year developmental gestation. Unlike the previous three generations, the car's proportions and flowing design owed more to the 2000GT. Thanks to a long, low bonnet line and high-rise optional rear spoiler, it was nevertheless aerodynamically efficient and clearly aimed at delivering a much higher top speed. The Mark IV Supra was by far the most successful in motorsport and also the one that we fondly remembered. The model won its class in the Swiss Mountain Races and competed in two years of Le Mans. More impressively, it charged up Pikes Peak, was competitive in American SCCA racing, and became a dominant force in the All-Japan GT Championships (JGTC) from 1995 all the way through to 2003. Despite these successes, however, times were changing and worldwide vehicle purchasing trends were slowly moving away from sports cars like the Supra. The Supra was discontinued in the U.K. in late 1996 and by the end of 1998, the Supra's four-generation run in North America had also come to an end. Production continued in Japan until August 2002, ceasing owing to restrictive emission standards. There has been plenty of speculation as to the return of the Supra nameplate in recent years and the good news is that the legend may well make a comeback. No clues as to how it may look, but there have been words that it may look like the above rendered image or the FT-HS hybrid sports car concept (below). Toyota Motor Corp's Chairman, Takeshi Uchiyamada, has also said that he wants the sports car the company is co-developing with BMW to be a mid-sized vehicle comparable to the discontinued Supra. Uchiyamada also added on that Toyota's next sports car should be like the Supra so that it doesn't overlap with the 86 coupe (above). Should Uchiyamada, who's leading the negotiations with BMW, get his wish, Toyota would be reviving a model that was last produced in 1999 after a 20-year run. We do hope that the rumours comes true, as well as seeing the Supra land on our shores.
  22. 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
  23. [extract] Although the 20th Anniversary of the Goodwood Festival of Speed is over, Ferrari fans had many memories on which to reflect until next year's event. The Italian marque was represented by a diverse array of classic and modern road and race cars from the Prancing Horse
  24. [extract] Two examples of British engineering, the new Range Rover Sport and the legendary Supermarine Spitfire, have engaged in a unique duel to measure their off-road mastery. The Range Rover Sport, the fastest production Land Rover to date, representing the latest advances in all-terrain performance has been pitted against Britain
  25. [extract] Tens of thousands of motor racing fans flocked to the Aston Martin Centenary Festival at Brands Hatch last weekend to celebrate the auto maker's centenary. Thanks to the good display of weather, the spectators enjoyed parades, static displays and 12 thrilling races - including the fourth and fifth rounds of the GT4 Challenge of Great Britain and the 100-minute GT Centenary Race