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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pirelli Is Rolling Out The Intelligent "Cyber" Tyre

Pirelli has announced a further innovation in the ongoing quest to remove the driving from driving. Sensors have been stashed in tires already for the hasty implementation of TPMS, but Pirelli has taken it a step further, putting a sensor package on the tire carcass itself. One implementation of the "Cyber Tire" is the "Lean," which harnesses power from the vibrations of the vehicle and beams information including tire pressure, temperature, and load to the vehicle's computer.

Cyber Tire Lean is setting things rolling for the eventual trotting out of full-blown Cyber Tire, which will be built into the tire. The high tech rubber will be more sophisticated and capable of communicating directly with stability control and anti-lock brakes to improve the effectiveness of dynamic safety systems. Cyber Tire will also carry a three-axis accelerometer that will facilitate real-time calculations of friction coefficients, contact force, and load. Pirelli is most proud of the edge the Cyber Tire will give the nanny systems to catch and correct idiotic driving faster than ever before.

p.s. Pirelli tires are the best tires I have ever bought for my car.

2010 Lotus Europa i6 concept

The Europa i6 concept study is a mid-engined, rear wheel drive sports car inspired in terms of design by the classic Europa and Elite as well as by the latest Lotus models. The independent designer supports that ideally, the Europa i6 would weigh in at about 2,030 lbs (920 kg) with power coming from a 2.0-liter supercharged inline six-cylinder engine.

In theory, he says that the sports car would sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62mph) in 7 sec (kind of slow...) and on to a top speed of 165 mph or 265 km/h. Leaving aside the theoretical technical specs, Idries’ take on a compact mid-engined Lotus sports coupe hits the spot. Too bad it exists only in the digital world, but I would really be surprised to see it on the streets someday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Coming Soon: The Mind Blasting Corvette ZR-1

The Corvette ZR-1 raises, at best, a polite eyebrow of interest on this side of the Atlantic. The Americans, on the other hand, have gone potty for it.

And you know what? This time, they're right.

In a nutshell, here's the deal. The ZR-1 has a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 doing 638bhp, and it weighs just 1518kg. It does 0-60 in 3.4, 0-125 in 10.3 seconds.

It tops out at 205. It has carbon brakes as standard. And it's not just a point and squirt machine. It has the current Nurburgring production-car lap record. Yup, faster than a GT-R or any Porsche. See why the Americans are excited?

We on the other hand have allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked by the fact that this is a supercar disguised as a regular £46-grand Corvette - a car with a steel frame and fibreglass panels.

This one costs £100,000 (about $120,000 in the U.S.) but for that you get an entirely different and very trick car: aluminium and magnesium frame, carbonfibre panels, magnetorheological adaptive suspension, the blower, titanium conrods, head-up display et cetera et cetera.

The performance is just sensational. The one gizmo it does without is a semi-auto box, and you have to cope with a mildly clunky manual shift. But you don't have to use it often because this engine is a hallucinogenic wall of torque.

The handling and grip do nothing to let the side down. In as much as a car so fiery can be amenable to a mutt like me, this one is. And anyway, you've got the well-tuned safety net of StabiliTrak (aren't the Americans great at hype? That's their name for what the boring Germans call ESP.)

I am very excited for the ZR-1, I can't wait to test one.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nicely Modded Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X

It’s amazing what the right set of rims combined with a lower suspension can do to the appearance of a car. And although the owner of the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X, Ryan Gates, is actually setting the car up for track use and in particular, for the NASA TT-A class and the Street AWD class at select Redline Time Attacks, those absolutely stunning black-colored 18-inch rims could make any EVO X look totally sick.

See the rest of the pics here ---> Car Scoop

Insane Chinese Speed Block

The most simple and cost effective way to force drivers to slow down their pace is to add a speed bump on the road. An alternative solution is 3-dimensional speed bump images like the ones used in the city of Philadelphia –see here. But in the case of the local government in China’s ShanXi province, neither solution was good enough. Instead of using a speed bumps like the rest of the world, authorities decided to build a miniature version of the “Great Wall” in the form of a 30 meter (about 100 ft) long and 2.7 meter wide (approx 9 ft) ‘S’ shaped road barricaded with a 60 mm tall cement wall (around 2 ft).

According to reports from the Chinese media, the speed block has surpassed the local government’s expectations as not only did it slow down drivers, but it has actually created massive traffic jams on a daily basis… And if that isn’t enough of a problem, due to the fact that the road is so narrow and twisty, a large number of drivers have ended up scrapping their vehicles on the cement wall.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Coming to America: Street legal KTM X-Bow

Although KTM has been making motorcycles since 1934, it's new to the car business. Evidently, no one told them that if you're going to go back on something you said in the auto business, it's supposed to be really disappointing. Instead, KTM has announced its intention to bring the X-Bow track car to the United States and make it street-legal to boot, despite previously saying that the X-Bow would only be sold in Europe and Asia and that it would be confined to the track.

The announcement was made by KTM sales and marketing chief Hubert Trunkenpolz at the recent annual gathering of KTM bike dealers from across North America in Salt Lake City, Utah. Apparently the company has received some 600+ requests from American KTM dealers for the X-Bow to make the transatlantic trip. Trunkenpolz (now we just like saying Trunkenpolz) noted that they will need cooperation from Volkswagen/Audi, who supplies the running gear, and from local authorities, but that the company "will do whatever is possible to bring the car to the U.S. – that, I promise."

Source: DealerNews

H&R Dodge Challenger: Suspension for a thoroughbred

The new Dodge Challenger has the looks and power to capture the enthusiasm of any seasoned sports-car driver. To drive this impression home, H&R now introduces the matching suspension components. The result does not only look good; you will also feel the difference in handling of the V8. The 35 mm spring kit makes a noticeable improvement to the Challenger's behaviour in curves - virtually without any loss in ride quality. The 50 mm version may be more interesting for those who prefer a more extravagant look.

H&R's adjustable suspension can be set to increase steering accuracy while minimising pitching and rolling, giving the car a noticeable improvement in road performance; the adjustment options allow you to set the wheel loads according to the circumstances.

Naturally, all of the suspension components developed for the Dodge Challenger can be combined with optional H&R sport stabilizers/ anti roll bars. Ultra-sturdy aluminium alloy H&R TRAK+ spacers in 50 and 60 mm widening per axle also add character on either standard or custom tyres, in putting an end to the unsightly visual appearance left by the gap between the edge of the tyre and wheel arch.

The whole H&R programme is available for more than 1,200 vehicle types and is available at good specialist dealers; apart from the high quality we have come to know from the brand that H&R products always come with general permission for road use (ABE) or a TÜV part certificate for German residents. In Germany the Dodge Challenger suspension components are only available at a special distribution partner.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Eat my sand: Dakar Rally

It's a good day for big cool stuff. Earlier, we saw that giant Volvo riot van/powerwasher thing, and now this: the probably-somewhat-faster but equally excellent-looking Mitsubishi Racing Lancer.

These are the first pictures we've seen of Mitsu's new cross-country rallier, which is shortly to make its race debut ahead of next year's Dakar rally.

Yep, that's the Dakar rally in South America. Confusing it may be, but Mitsubishi is out to win it, and reckons the Racing Lancer is the car to do it.

It's powered by a three-litre V6 turbodiesel - aye, diesel - with, we assume, enough torque to spin South America upside-down.

It looks pretty awesome, no? When the robots take over the cities and we're all forced to live a nomadic, hand-to-mouth existence, roaming the deserts and plains, we want one of these for company.

Sorry, did we say "when"? If. Obviously we meant "if".
Source: Top Gear

2011 AMG Gullwing

Mercedes-Benz and its performance divisions AMG and HWA are working on a host of new sports cars with a number of prototypes already spotted testing at both the Nurburgring and America’s Death Valley. Yesterday, spy images of a new Black Series version of the facelifted SL surfaced and last month images of another prototype dubbed the SLC turned up. We now have new renderings of a third Mercedes sports car said to be in development, a gull-winged coupe based on a shortened SL platform described as a spiritual successor to the original 300 SL.

Rumored to hit the streets in 2010 or 2011, the new car will feature an upgraded version of AMG’s hand-built 6.2L V8 with power levels in excess of 600hp. The car is being developed internally by Mercedes and AMG engineers and production numbers are expected to range between 3,000 and 5,000 units per year.

Although the gull-wing doors draw obvious styling cues from the original model from the 1950s, the new car won’t be shamelessly retro. As these renderings suggest, the car will feature a sleek, aerodynamic body, circular headlights and SLR-style side vents.

2009 Hyundai Genesis Sedan

If it doesn't impress you that Hyundai is about to bring its first rear-drive sedan to the U.S., starting under $30,000 and rising to $36,000 to $40,000-plus with the optional all-aluminum V-8, think of General Motors and Ford. Think of what GM is going through to bring sub-Cadillac rear-drive sedans back to the market. Of how Ford Motor Company doesn't have the cash to develop one.

Read the rest of the article here ---> Motor Trend

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Scorpion is a Hydrogen/Gasoline Mix Supercar

Meet the Texan answer to the $150 oil barrel

Genius and madness often seem to share the same shoes, but rarely with such gleeful abandon as they do here, in the RNNM Scorpion.The brainchild of Ronn Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer of Ronn Motor Company, no less - a Texas outfit that simultaneously deserves a slap and a biscuit for its blind optimism. The Scorpion is a hydrogen/gasoline mix supercar that generates its hydrogen on demand by fracturing molecules from a small onboard water tank.

'A Texas outfit that simultaneously deserves a slap and a biscuit for its blind optimism'

If that wasn't complicated enough, it then mixes it with petrol at a ratio of about one to three, achieving the not terribly impressive fuel figure of around 40mpg.
There are no official performance figures given yet, but order books are open, apparently, and the first customer cars are - time to get out another biscuit here - going to be ready by the autumn.
Source: Top Gear

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The 2009 Dodge Hornet - Concept

This tiny yet tall new car will be Dodge's attempt at breaking into the subcompact segment. Currently, Dodge is trying to find a partner with whom to set up a joint venture. Dodge wants to pitch this car in Europe and Asia, so it is unclear whether it will come Staeside. The concept packs a 1.6L super-charged 4-cylinder with 170 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque.

Nissan GT-R R35 Convertible Concept

Check out these interesting and unofficial Nissan GT-R R35 Convertible Renderings which recently showed up on and With all the hype surrounding the recently released Nissan GT-R and the sold out level of demand it has endured, it’s hard to fathom that Nissan would contemplate a convertible version.

I know most purist or GT-R cult leaders would drop their jaws if a convertible version would ever make its way out of momma Godzilla’s womb. Either way what do you think of the renderings? I think they are pretty slick, however I wouldn’t be caught dead owning or driving one (unless it was the GF’s).

Source: Zimbio

Audi Q5 by ABT

The Audi Q5 is not yet available in the U.S., and we can already show you the second tuner package for the car. After Digi-Tec, the Audi Q5 received another tuning program from another major German tuner, ABT. The new body kit consists in a new front grille in the ABT style, a completely re-designed front bumper with integrated fog lights, new stylish side sills, a new rear bumper with integrated exhaust system and rear air diffuser and a rear roof spoiler.

Under the hood, the 2.0 TDI engine received a power boost of 20 hp, developing now 190 hp, while the 3.0 TDI engine develops now 310 hp. The 2.0 TFSI engine was also boosted from 211 hp to 240 hp. More details when the official information will be released.
Source: Top Speed

2010 Chevrolet Cruze Threaten Cobalt

Although the 2010 Chevrolet Cruze isn’t scheduled to make its public debut until October’s Paris Motor Show, the Bowtie brand decided to show those gathered at its Lordstown, Ohio plant today a ‘foam’ version of the upcoming sedan.
Read the full article here ---> Left Lane

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2008 Wolf Ford Kuga

With the Ford Kuga, the Cologne-based automobile manufacturer once again presents a car from a still booming vehicle class: a compact SUV. The Ford Kuga is an emotionally and technically perfected vehicle which can now even be further enhanced by the exclusive Wolf styling programme. The Ford specialist already devised a power enhancement which improves the serial performance from a standard 136 hp with 320 Nm to 158 hp with 375 Nm. The (German) retail price is 795 euros. The Wolf Race rims measuring 9 x 20“ ET40 in a silver design with high-grade steel lining of the outer rim are not only elegant, but also sportive. The set comes with 275/30 R20 Pirelli tyres. The overall price for the light alloy rim set by Wolf is 2,850 euros (Germany). The Wolf sport springs which lower the car by 40 mm render optimal road holding and can be obtained at any Ford dealer or directly at the company Wolf Racing Neuenstein GmbH & Co. KG for 199 euros (Germany).

The light alloy rim programme for the Ford Kuga is also available in the measures 8,5 x 18“ and 8,5 x 19“. The light alloy rims which were exclusively developed by Wolf stand out by their lower weight compared to the serial rims. This does not only reduce the unsprung masses and renders more comfort, it also minimises the fuel consumption, as every additional and unnecessary load leads to a higher total weight and therefore also to a higher fuel consumption. The light alloy rim programme by Wolf is available in various surface finishes. The complete Wolf styling programme can be directly ordered from Wolf Racing, Neuenstein or from your local Ford dealer.

SEMA Preview: Rossi 66 melds Corvette C2 looks with C6 hardware

There is a trend in the works that takes a modern Corvette chassis, jettisons the stock fiberglass bodywork and adds a new shell that mimics the look of an older, classic 'Vette. We have seen Classic Reflection Coachworks' take on the '62 'vert with C5 underpinnings, and now a company by the name of Blue Fusion has tackled the iconic split window. One problem: their press release continually refers to the 1966 split window, which doesn't exist as the only year the two-piece rear glass was produced was '63. But, let's not let silly little things like facts get in the way. The resultant Rossi 66 cribs the workings of a modern C6 Corvette and adds a unique Sting Ray look.

Blue Fusion plans to debut its Rossi 66 at the upcoming SEMA event in November, assuming that the company is able to find the funding it needs to actually produce its first car. So far, all we have to look at are the renderings below, though we can clearly see that the '63 body looks much better grafted onto a modern platform than the '62 does. We'll see if it makes an appearance in Sin City later this year.
Source: Auto Blog

Monday, August 18, 2008

2008 GeigerCars: Dodge Viper

The true elemental force of the New World, the very essence of power, the snake with the sharpest bite, are just some of the headlines attempting to sum up the unmatchable strength of the Dodge Viper. The crew at Karl Geiger’s Munich headquarters for US Car Imports has opened a new chapter in the history of Dodge Viper. The 2008 Version of this impressive seller has been newly granted the TÜV seal of approval. This snake has all the attributes needed to leave all others behind in the dust.
Read the rest of the article here ---> Tuning News

Diesel rush begins: VW Jetta TDI Officialy Out

Lovers of both fuel mileage and torque can finally rest easy, Volkswagen of America is now officially selling its 50-State-approved, clean diesel engine in either the Jetta sedan for $21,990 or Jetta SportWagen wrappers for $23,590. Equipped with the six-speed DSG transmission, both Jetta gets an EPA rating of 29 miles per gallon in the city and 40 on the highway. We expect to see better real-world numbers, though we're a bit wary of VW's advertising its alternate rating of 38/44 -- a number that is impossible to compare with anything else currently available. In any case, the $2,000 premium for the TDI engine will be lessened somewhat by the Fed's $1,300 tax credit which applies to either TDI model. Look for an early test of the oil-burner on these pages shortly.
Source: Volkswagen

Gurt Geiger': Ford F-650

Not for sandal-wearing beardies, this Ford F-650 has received the GeigerCars treatment.

One of the less subtle tuning houses in Germany, GeigerCars modifies things that don't really need modifying. Like this.

To be honest, the F-650 hasn't received a huge amount of tweakage - at 21.3 feet long and 5.2 tons, the standard version is a bit of a bruiser.

However, for 9,800 Euros Geiger will fit chrome side tanks, and for another 2,800 Euros it will install chrome 'high pipes'.

Other mods available from the German nutjob include leather trip, entertainment and navigation systems and - get this - a gullwing door conversion.

Power comes from a 6.7-litre Cummins six-cylinder diesel producing 320bhp and a mighty 737.6 lb ft.

Chris Eubank, we presume, is already making arrangements to have one delivered...

Source: Top Gear

Dinan to boost 2008 Bmw M3 to 628 hp

Since its launch, the 2008 Bmw M3 made quite a buzz, but now Dinan is pushing it to its limits. Dinan, a well-respected BMW tuner known for working miracles on the Bavarian cars, said today that its new version of the M3 will be powered by a 5.7-liter engine capable to develop 628 hp. The “standard” M3 is powered by a V8 engine developing 420 hp and can go from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. With a boost to 628 hp, the Dinan M3 will beat out its brothers, the M5 and M6. No launch date has been set, but of course we’re going to stay on top of this hot M3.
Source: Top Speed

2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe at LA Show

Although General Motors added the word ‘concept’ to the end of the CTS Coupe’s nameplate at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, there was no question that the stylish two-door was headed to production. We’ve since learned that the CTS Coupe will begin rolling down the production line of May of next year, and we now have an official launch date for the two-door Caddy — November’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Codenamed GMX226, the stylish couple will debut at the LA show — according to Edmunds – and will be built alongside the CTS sedan at the Lansing Grand River Plant. Production will start in May of 2009. The coupe will feature a backup camera which is not currently found on the sedan, and won’t have traditional door handles, but rather a touch-pad setup instead.

Thankfully, it appears that the majority of the CTS Coupe concept’s lines have been faithfully duplicated on this production model. Some feared that the concept’s radical fastback design might be watered down, revealing the Coupe’s sedan roots, but our profile view proves these fears as unfounded. It appears that the production version may have a slightly more pronounced rear deck, but if that’s so, it’s not enough to significantly alter the concept’s silhouette.

The CTS Coupe prototype further separates itself from its sedan donor thanks to the elimination of a conventional door handle, adopting instead the concept’s Corvette-style design which hides the door trigger behind the door’s aft cut-line. The concept and production similarities continue with the Coupe’s revised lower side sill, and the distinctively sculpted waistline, which begins at the A-pillar/fender vent, and narrows as it stretches rearward. The camouflage hides whether or not the line terminates into the concept’s razor-sharp point at the C-pillar, but it looks likely that that’s another design convergence between the show- and production cars. Earlier photos also confirmed that the concept’s bold central exhaust will also reach showrooms.

There are some visible differences between the Detroit Show Standout and the production model. Cost and feasibility studies have killed the concept’s glass-to-glass side windows, in favor of a visible B-pillar on the production model. The rest of the changes are found in front of the A-pillar. The concept coupe’s large, CTS-V-style hood bulge is gone on this prototype (although we’d love to see it return on the “V” coupe). And the show car’s reshaped front fenders — which sweep more voluptuously to a revised front bumper, tweaked front ground-effects, and more dynamic headlight and fog-light clusters — appear to have been replaced with stock items from the CTS sedan. It looks to us like the CTS Coupe and sedan will share identical front fenders and front fascia designs. From there back, however, the cars could scarcely be more different. The drama of the CTS Coupe concept is alive and well, and on its way to Cadillac showrooms.

Although the CTS Coupe will bow at November’s show, it remains unclear when GM will take the wraps off the CTS-V Coupe.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Early Look on Convertible 2009 Infinit G37

Infiniti has released an initial image of its forthcoming G37 Convertible, which is expected to go on sale in the United States in early 2009. Based on the popular G37 Coupe, the drop-top model will feature a folding metal roof and unique interior treatment.

The G37 Convertible will feature a three-piece hardtop, to keep a coupe-like roofline, the automaker says. So far, the only image of the car shows it with the top down, so it remains to be seen how much of the coupe’s distinctive roofline gets carried over to the convertible.
The G37 convertible will mark the first Infiniti drop top since the M30 convertible – which was discontinued in 1992 and made famous by the movie Three Kings — and will inevitably lead to the question "Does Lexus make this model?"

As expected, the car will share the same 3.7L V6 used in the G37 coupe, delivering 328 horsepower. The upgrades for 2009 across the line will also include a new optional 7-speed automatic transmission, an optional sport brake package, new design 18-inch wheels and standard Scratch Shield paint.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

More power for exclusive Porsche Boxster and Cayman models

Introducing two new models, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, are rounding off their range of dynamic mid-engined sports cars at the top. The two new models, the Porsche Boxster S Porsche Design Edition 2 and the Cayman S Sport, develop 303 bhp (223 kW) from 3.4 litres, eight horsepower more than the respective S models.

Read the more detailed article here ---> Tuning News

BMW X5 Security model can with-hold a .44 Magnum

If you happen to be the Head of State of a controversial nation, have a lot of enemies, or you are just plain paranoid, BMW's latest X5 variation may be just right for you. It's called the BMW X5 Security, and it has been armored by the factory to protect its occupants against some serious firepower (BMW claims safety class "VR4" to resist the penetration from a .44 Magnum, .357 Magnum, or a nine-millimeter Luger). While BMW is understandably silent about specifics, we do know that the body panels (including the roof and trunk) have been reinforced with a ballistic-resistant armored fiber developed in the Netherlands. The windows are upgraded to laminated 22-mm thick security glass, and a camera system with intercom keeps the passengers informed of what's happening outside their isolated cocoon. To handle the extra mass (you know its packing some weight) the Security package is bundled to the X5 4.8i model with its 4.8-liter 350-hp V-8. Nearly indistinguishable from the regular model, BMW has reportedly attempted to maintain the X5's driving dynamics with upgraded suspension and brakes. It's apparently no slouch, but we have yet to see any armored car that is considered exceptionally nimble.

Source: Auto Blog

2009 Subaru Impreza WRX: Sorry About Last Year's 'WRX'

The 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX is a bold statement from the Japanese sport compact maker: We admit our mistakes with the WRX, and we at Subaru are listening to you.

When Subaru unleashed a completely redesigned Impreza and Impreza WRX line for 2008, the reaction from their cult-like following, the Subaru tuner community and the general public was mixed at best. The new Subaru WRX, with its softened suspension, better road manners and smoother power delivery was an attempt to bring in fresh faces to the sport compact scene, those who thought the loud, snarly, outgoing 2007 Impreza WRX was for high school kids only.
Sounds great, right? Not so fast. The die-hard Subaru WRX community gave it a big thumbs down. They did not want a budget BMW, or a glorified Toyota Corolla.
They wanted the evolution of the legendary Impreza line they knew and loved. They saw the old Subaru WRX as much more than the sum of its parts, a ready-and-willing canvass for the thousands of aftermarket parts Subaru AWD sport compacts tend to attract. What they got was a larger, bulkier Impreza chassis that was called all kinds of bad names by the automotive press. The word "Corolla" comes to mind.

The Subaru Impreza sport compact sedan in all its variations, ever in competition with AWD offerings from Mitsubishi and losing market share to the likes of the Mazdaspeed 3 and Volkswagen GTI, needed a shot in the arm. Reaching into the Subaru parts bin, the Japanese company that has become synonomous with all-wheel-drive has given the 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX a larger turbocharger and an entirely redesigned Subaru exhaust system, resulting in a huge boost in horsepower for a total of 265.

The other area of attention is in the handling department. Last year's Subaru WRX couldn't even manage the same skidpad and laptime numbers as its predecessor, so for 2009 the Impreza WRX has received some much-needed handling tweaks. The Subaru parts department has made big increases in the rigidity of the suspension, with spring rates tightning up by large factors. Larger stabilizer bars should give the 2009 WRX better composure on the road and on the track.

An all-new standard Subaru WRX bodykit rounds out the package, and while it still looks a little bloated, the new 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX should do more to please fans of the most respected name in AWD sport compacts.

The official Subaru press release, reprinted in its entirety below, makes countless references to each and every way in which the 2009 Impreza WRX is better than the outgoing model. At least they've learned from their mistakes...

Power bhp: 265
Torque lb-ft: 244
Type: Turbo Intercooled Engine
Source: Rsports Cars

The Golden Roller: Rolls-Royce Golden Drophead Coupe

It's a truth universally acknowledged that the most extravagant examples of over-blinged, taste-deprived millionaire-mobiles tend to come from aftermarket tuning houses.

But, as proof that a reputation for taste and class doesn't preclude the occasional dalliance into ghastly over-the-topness, this delicious little number, this golden Drophead Coupe, comes straight from Rolls-Royce.

It was created as part of the Rolls-Royce 'Bespoke Programme', which allows customers to have pretty much any colour scheme and interior choice, no matter how hideous. Surely there are laws against this sort of thing.

As you've probably guessed, this golden Roller is headed for the Middle East: Abu Dhabi to be precise.

Our favourite touch? The gold-plated Spirit of Ecstasy on the bonnet. How long do you reckon that's going to last?
Source: Top Gear

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pontiac G8 Sport Truck Name Just Pontiac G8 ST

Much to the misfortune of our Jalop friends and despite a huge online competition that saw more than 18,000 different names being entered, GM decided to stick with the totally bland “G8 ST” where ST stands for -you guessed it- Sport Truck. “Frankly, we were blown away by both the volume and quality of the names that were submitted,” said Craig Bierley, BPG product marketing director for cars and crossovers. “G8 ST was one of the most popular suggestions, plus we noticed a far broader trend toward simple, easy-to-remember names.”

And what about the “El Camino” nameplate given the G8 ST’s resemblance to the classic Chevy? “We actually thought very long about El Camino,” said Bierley. “In the end, we felt it was more appropriate to honour the El Camino’s unique place as part of Chevy’s heritage and not use that nameplate on a Pontiac.” What do you think about Pontiac’s decision to “keep it simple”?

Lincoln MKT Concept

Lincoln has given the MKT crossover the green-light, with the production version set to debut in Detroit this January and sales beginning sometime next year.

The MKT is built on the same platform as the Ford Flex, but Lincoln insists that the two models won't share a single body panel. Power will be provided by either a 3.7-liter V6 or a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, equipped with direct injection and a turbocharger, however a hybrid drivetrain will not be offered. A six-speed automatic gearbox, complete with paddle shifters, will be standard, along with seven-passenger seating, a power-folding third-row seat, heated and cooled, first- and second-row thrones and the SYNC in-car entertainment system. Options will include a new satelite navigation system, Sirius Travel Link, an auto-park feature (similar to that found on the Lexus LS460) and a Cross Traffic Alert system that alerts drivers to obstacles when backing out of a parking space(parking sensors?).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

2009 Audi RS 6 - Twin Turbo V10, AWD, Coming to the United States!

The 2009 Audi RS6 is among the most beautiful luxury sports cars in the world. In the German horsepower war that is now bordering on ridiculous, Audi has positioned the RS6 against mid-size super luxury sport sedans from BMW M-Power and Mercedes-Benz AMG. Audi's RS line falls somewhere between the BMW ideal, that is to say making complete, well-tuned drivers cars with servicable amounts of power, and the AMG model of outputting as much horsepower as possible, and then trying to surround the AMG dream motors with components that can handle that incredible thrust.

Audi's RS6 Sedan, complementing the Avant, a wagon model that has been released in Europe, has been long awaited by Audi fans worldwide. The 2009 RS6 has styling following Audi's new design direction. All of the German luxury automakers are shifting away from the design fad toward shapely -- if perhaps overstyled -- models in favor of a more simple and clean designs. The RS6 does a performance number on the Audi A6 and S6 models, managing to look refreshingly exciting without screaming, "Hey, look at me, I have money and my car is faster than yours!" 2009 RS6 performance numbers are astounding. The mid-size luxury sedan, which can hardly be called a sleeper but will still surprise many a hardcore tuner at a stoplight fight, runs the 0-100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, according to Audi. Real-world tests are not yet available, but as the RS6 has 580 horsepower on tap from a twin-turbocharged V10 (!!) it is possible that the RS6 will run slightly quicker numbers than Audi admits.

Like nearly all German performance cars, the Audi RS6 is electronically limited to 155 mph, but for those speed buffs who want to utilize the whole force of this sweet V10, Audi offers a performance boosting option for the RS6 that will raise the governer to 174 mph. Read on for the official Audi news release, with all the details on the forthcoming RS6 luxury sport sedan.

Power bhp: 580
Torque lb-ft: 479
Type: Twin Turbo V10

Acceleration 0-62 mph: 4.6 Seconds
Top Speed: 174 mph