Friday, February 29, 2008

Holden HSV W427 Supercar

Holden is working on unleashing its might on Australian roads as it revealed the HSV W427 at the Melbourne Motor Show. The HSV – Holden Special Vehicles – will be the fastest standard road car to ever come out of Australia, and will probably be one of the quickest globally as well. Unconfirmed power figures put the W427 at over 370kW and 640Nm of torque. Such numbers are seen only in saloons like BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Many thanks to Corvette’s 7.0-litre LS7 power plant.

To better utilize the power, a limited slip diff will be used in conjunction with a new high-strength 6-speed manual shifter.

The car receives GM product’s Magnetic Ride suspension which helps adapt the car to current road conditions for optimum handling. A number of exterior enhancements such as carbon fiber rear spoiler, 20-inch wheels and a new front fascia.

What a tribute Australia’s original “muscle car” which turned 20 years old today.

Press Release

The car to be known in its final development stages as the W427 is finished in the same Panorama Silver paint scheme as the original Group A SS VL Commodore, released at the Melbourne Motor Show of 1988, exactly 20 years ago.
HSV Managing Director, Scott Grant, said the W427 was a tribute to how far the company has come in just twenty years. To be able to produce a vehicle of these proportions is truly remarkable, Scott Grant said.
The W427 will be quite possibly the fastest road registrable Supercar ever produced in Australia and among the quickest anywhere around the world, he said. While power output figures are still to be confirmed, the W427 is likely to produce in excess of 370kW of power and 640NM of torque.

It will also be one of the safest cars HSV has ever put on the road, Scott Grant said. A new six piston front braking system will provide a 50% increase in pad area, while the W427 also receives a revised ESP calibration, six air bags, improved handling and new Magnetic Ride Control settings.

The W427 receives a bimodal active exhaust system to improve noise quality and back pressure management.

Styling and design highlights include an all new front fascia, a three piece carbon fibre rear spoiler, 20 inch machined faced alloy wheel, unique exhaust tips and red leather interior.
Scott Grant said HSV would be introducing a unique customer relations program to accompany the launch of the new vehicle. The W427 will only be produced in limited numbers and we want to reflect that exclusivity in how we connect with our Supercar customers, Scott Grant said. This program will see the LS7 engine being fitted at Clayton, along with the dry sump system and a range of other engineering features. We are looking at opportunities to allow owners to visit HSV and view the unique manufacturing process that goes into building this car.
The W427 will go into production in the middle of the year and will be available for sale in dealerships in the third quarter of 2008. Make no mistake, while the specifications of the car unveiled on the stand today at the Motorshow may change slightly between now and when production begins, this car is destined to make as big an impact as the original Walkinshaw twenty years ago.

W427 key highlights*
• All new Front Fascia exclusive to W427
• All new three piece rear spoiler in carbon fibre
• All new 20 inch wheel
• HSV performance seats in full red hot trim with W427 logo, steering wheel, gear shifter and console lid in full red hot leather

? 7.0 Litre, LS7 Engine with HSV specific calibration
? 370kW @ 6500 rpm
? 640Nm @ 5000 rpm
? Over radiator style cold air induction system with high flow air filter
? Dry sump lubrication system with 2 stage pump
? Hand fabricated aluminium oil reservoir, with internal baffles for high G loading
? Front mount, 13 row engine oil cooler
? Ceramic coated, high flow four into one extractors
? High flow catalytic converters and exhaust system (3 into 2 3⁄4 )
? Active bi-modal rear mufflers for exhaust back pressure management to improve noise quality
? High strength limited slip differential
? New high strength six speed manual gear box (TR6060)
? GMPT LS7 Clutch with new actuator and pedal assembly for high clamp loads

? New springs, 30% stiffer than GTS
? Revised ride height 20mm lower than GTS
? New stiffer rear suspension bushing
? All new MRC calibration

? New 6 piston front braking system (50% increase in pad area)
? Strap drive, 2 piece floating front rotors (380 x 35mm compared to 365 x 32mm one piece on GTS)
? High friction pad material
READ MORE - Holden HSV W427 Supercar

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Seat Leon Cupra K1 Styling Kit

As if the menacing Cupra’s look wasn’t enough, SEAT is now offering its UK customers an even scarier car to drive in, with the K1 Limited Edition Styling Kit. Purely a plastic surgery kit – the 2.0-litre turbo still kicks out 240 bhp/ 179kW. SEAT has gone a step further by slightly dropping the price of a standard Cupra by some 200 quid, helping to make good headway for the inclusion of K1 for future purchases.

Where the major changes are made is just about the only area allowed for general public consumption, which is the exterior. There’s more than just a passing resemblance to the Sport BTCC car, SEAT’s race-winning maverick, as BTCC forms the basic inspiration for the look.

Colours offered are Inferi Black, Emocion Red, Luna Grey and Candy white. Work has been done on both bumpers, side skirts and rear spoiler. Exhaust system has borrowed from big brothers Porsche and Audi by going central and oval for shape respectively. Wheels will be 18-inch alloys which cost £205 RRP and come in either black or white.

Press Release

Fresh for the imminent ‘08’ plate change SEAT is giving its most potent road-going model – the muscular Leon Cupra – the option of an even more sporty look courtesy of a dramatic limited edition styling kit version.

The impressive additions to the Leon’s already lithe lines give the 240 PS, turbocharged 2.0-litre Cupra even more of the look of the race-winning SEAT Sport BTCC car, which is set to compete for top honours again this year.

Boasting a bespoke K¹ boot badge, the limited edition car’s comprehensive styling additions include extensively re-worked front and rear bumpers, smart side skirts, a more pronounced tailgate spoiler and unique chrome-tipped, centrally-mounted, oval exhaust.

The car’s enhancements come in a range of eye-catching colours: Inferi Black, Emocion Red, Luna Grey and Candy White, and it is available to order now through the SEAT UK dealer network.

Great value at just £1,000 RRP over the standard Cupra, the K¹ additions arrive at the same time as a change to the Leon range-topper’s equipment manifest. Powerful Bi-xenon headlights, complete with AFS dynamic bend lighting that follows the turn of the steering wheel to help ensure the beam is always pointing precisely where the car’s headed, are now a £870 option.

At the same time new, optional, 18” Orion alloy wheels in black or white are made available at £205 RRP.

The best news for Cupra fans, though, is that the standard car’s price has been trimmed, from £19,695 RRP to £19,495 RRP, to make the 153 mph flier even easier on the pocket. The body kitted K¹ therefore costs £20,495 RRP.

SEAT UK’s Head of Marketing, Steve Robertson, said of the Cupra changes: ‘The K¹ styling kit gives the car even more road presence, and clearly recalls the look of our super-quick BTCC competitor.
READ MORE - Seat Leon Cupra K1 Styling Kit

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Irmscher V8 Powered GT i40

When the Remshalden-based Opel connoisseurs at Irmscher launched their 315 bhp impression of the 1,335 kg (2,940 lbs) Opel GT last summer, we thought it was pretty darn good. Power from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo had been hiked up another 60 hp from the standard GT roadster, delivering a sub-6 second sprint to 100km/h.

To celebrate its 40 year journey, Irmscher, founded by Gunther Irmscher in 1968 and currently headed by Gunter Irmscher Jr. has put out a vehicle "for the true connoisseur." To outshine the 300+ km/h Vectra that it produced for the company's 35th anniversary in 2003, Irmscher has decided to go over the top with the GT i40. Instead of relying on Opel's Ecotec fourpot, Irmscher has gone down an entirely different route with the power plant, by picking up a 6.0-litre V8 and shoehorning it into the GT. Not a measly V6, but a proper 480 hp V8, which should be enough to blow your trousers off! For more information, see the press release below.

If you're heading to the Geneva Motor Show, opening to the public on March 6, 2008, be sure not the miss the Irmscher Opel GT i40 at Irmscher's stand in Hall 2.

Press Release

Irmscher constructs the GT for GourmeTs

It’s the ingredients that make the difference! And here is the menu:

  • A 6,0l V8-engine with 480PS in an Opel GT-body for excellent driving performance.
  • Perfectly prepared and served à la maison.

For 40 now Irmscher has been providing proof of its competence in matters of vehicle construction and individualisation.

On the occasion of the company’s 35th anniversary the most powerful and strongest of the Opel Vectras had caused a stir by reaching a speed of more than 300km/h. However, that which is emerging from the factory floors in Remshalden for the company’s 40th anniversary is a vehicle for the true connoisseur: the Irmscher Opel GT i40. The figures in the model’s number stand for the data of the company: Günther Irmscher senior started up in1968 in Winnenden with the first vehicle modifications. In the person of Günther Irmscher junior, the second generation is at the fore of the company in 2008 and is proof that 40 years of company history should be celebrated properly at this anniversary.

The Remshalden company is starting its anniversary with a world premiere in Geneva. Here, the GT will be making its first appearance and is sure to cause a stir at the company’s stand in Hall 2.

V8-engine and a driving performance that puts it in the company of thoroughbred sports cars male the experts sit up and take notice and connoisseurs tingle with anticipation. As it is known that appearances also matter, the GT is optically enhanced by means of a discreet modification to the car body, and, on the interior with an exclusive leather fitting.

For desert, Irmscher serves the news that the vehicle is to be produced in a small series. The appropriate attention is being paid to this already. The menu therefore also exists in takeaway form.

The GT i40 currently stands in a long tradition of elect vehicles.V8-engines have always had an important role to play at Irmscher. In this line of history stand the Senator V8 and not least the successful races in the Omega V8 with the F1-driver Johnny Cecotto at the wheel, who was able to win the championship twice.

The models with the “i”“.

Special models with the “i” in their name have always had their place in the company history. The GT i40 here lines up with a whole row of other vehicles, from the i120, i130, i200…via the i500 to the i35 which appeared for the company’s 35th anniversary. At that time, a compressor helped enhance the performance of a V6-Motor. The result was the fastest Opel limousine in series production in the world. 5 years later it is a V8 that will cause a sensation in a Roadster.
READ MORE - Irmscher V8 Powered GT i40

Aston Martin V8 Vantage RS in Mako Blue

Aston Martin’s V12 Vantage RS Concept has a new colour. Mako Blue is it, and it was chosen out of numerous names suggested by interested public members. When the car was unveiled by Aston Martin CEO Dr Ulrich Bez last December, he called on the public to send names they thought would suit the colour of the concept.

One such quick-thinking world citizen was Mat Wilson whose name was the one picked. Wilson said: “The name came to me instantly, when I first saw the car. There is a distinct parallel between the shark and the car – both being the fastest of their kind.” Mako is the Maori word for Blue Lightning, which Aston Martin reckon is perfectly suited to their 600 bhp/ 447kW 6.0-litre V12. Indeed the car is said to be the fastest Aston Martin to ever come out with that badge on its sleeve.

Press Release

The newly housed Aston Martin Design team has selected a name for the colour of the company’s V12 Vantage RS concept car, after inviting suggestions from the public at the opening of the company’s new Design Studio last year.

The V12 Vantage RS was unveiled in December by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez, who, during his speech, invited suggestions to name the colour of the concept. The Aston Martin design team was inundated with suggestions, and after careful consideration has selected ‘Mako Blue’ as the name of the concept colour.
Design Director, Marek Reichman said: “The name is taken from the Mako shark, which is the fastest and most agile shark known to man. We thought the name not only reflected the colour, but also that the nature of the shark was synonymous with the character of the car.
“The Maori translation for ‘Mako’ is ‘Blue Lightning’ which obviously is descriptive of both colour and car - a very befitting name.”
Mat Watson, who penned the winning name added: “The name came to me instantly, when I first saw the car. There is a distinct parallel between the shark and the car – both being the fastest of their kind.”
The environmentally sustainable Design Studio is the marque’s first purpose-built and fully-owned design facility. The Vantage RS concept features a 600bhp 6.0 V12 engine and has been subjected to a weight-loss programme. The result is the fastest ever road-going Aston Martin.

Aston Martin is currently evaluating feedback from customers to the Vantage RS concept, with a view to a possible low-volume production run should sufficient demand exist.

READ MORE - Aston Martin V8 Vantage RS in Mako Blue

Monday, February 25, 2008

MINI JCW Cooper S Hatch and Clubman Revealed for Geneva Debut

Spiced-up versions of MINI's second-generation Cooper S Hatchback and new Clubman models are to debut at Geneva next month, signalling that Chili simply isn't a hot enough specification for the guys over at JCW. The re-Worksed versions carry adapted performance features from MINI's Challenge race car and offer the full range of John Cooper Works body styling upgrades.

JCW have engineered a MINI Challenge for the road, coupling the race car's 211 hp 1.6-litre unit with newly-uprated sports suspension specifically-tuned for Works MINIs, larger disc brakes with uprated red callipers and a strengthened six-speed manual transmission. Prices are expected to start from £20,500 and £21,700 for the hatch and Clubman respectively.

These uprated features, akin to those on its racing-bred sibling, deliver output of 132 hp per litre and an impressive 40 mpg, while straight-line sprints to 62 mph take just 6.5 seconds in hatchback and 6.8 seconds in Clubman form. A new speedo has been designed to cater for the JCW's new 148 mph top speed.

At the touch of a button behind the gear lever, the on-board computer modifies the engine map for sharper steering responses and more dynamic performance, while an 'Overboost' function increases torque from 260 to 280 Nm over short stints. A host of electronic stability programs coset owners, while deactivating Dynamic Stability Control enables grip-enhancing Electronic Differential Lock, improving handling and traction.

But to ensure that their new-generation Cooper S Hatchback and Clubmans look the part are a new range of JCW body styling products. They include CHALLENGE 17-inch Cross-Spoke alloys with run-flats, large polished stainless steel exhaust tips and cooling-enhancing bonnet intake. Piano Black trim, Anthracite roof lining and a 10-speaker audio system head up the interior enhancements, while John Cooper Works branding adorns boot, grille, wheels and doors.

Press Release

The new MINI John Cooper Works on the starting grid at Geneva
Factory-built JCW Cooper S Hatch and Clubman set for summer launch

• Engine modifications deliver 211hp and 0-62 in 6.5 seconds
• Engine, brakes, suspension settings and transmission adapted from MINI CHALLENGE race car
• Dynamic Traction Control makes MINI debut
• Full range of John Cooper Works body styling products available
• On-the-road prices expected to be £20,500 for the JCW Hatch and Clubman at £21,700
• New speedo design to accommodate the higher maximum speed

Production of John Cooper Works-tuned cars is all set to resume at MINI’s Plant Oxford after the launch of the second-generation MINI Cooper S Hatch and new MINI Cooper S Clubman. From July 2008, customers will be able to order factory-built MINIs that produce 211hp and complete a 0-62mph sprint in 6.5 seconds.

Motor sport has heavily influenced the engineering and development of these new MINIs that feature a larger twin-scroll turbocharger and direct petrol injection with common rail. The four-cylinder engine has had the same modifications as the MINI CHALLENGE race car, along with re-engineered brakes, suspension and strengthened gearing. Each upgrade combines to give the car a remarkable output of 132hp per litre combined with 40mpg.

Expected prices on-the-road are £20,500 for the MINI John Cooper Works and £21,700 for the MINI John Cooper Works Clubman. The cars will be unveiled for the first time to the public at the International Geneva Motor Show in March.


The engine specially developed for the MINI CHALLENGE race car is fitted to the MINI John Cooper Works cars. The basic unit is the 1.6 litre power plant supplied in the standard MINI Cooper S, but modifications have been made to the air filter, air mass meter, exhaust system and catalyst. Air supply to the modified larger turbocharger is increased through fitment of a larger air intake pipe, which in turn creates a quicker induction phase.

The Works engines from Hams Hall also come with reinforced, specially polished pistons, as well as a strengthened cylinder head for optimised stability and a modified cylinder gasket. The intake valves and valve seat rings have also been upgraded with stronger and more resistant materials. This reduces the engine’s compression ratio.

The new Sports exhaust system is instantly recognisable through the large polished stainless steel twin tailpipes. Modification of the exhaust system has also helped to reduce counter-pressure at the point of exhaust gas recirculation. Ducts in the exhaust manifold and turbocharger are split between two cylinders each. Congestion is therefore minimised when air is inducted to the turbocharger and “turbo lag” is virtually eliminated.

The John Cooper Works MINIs are the first models in the range to fulfil all the requirements of the European EU5 emission standards that come into force in 2009.

The material used in machining the turbine has been upgraded specifically for the Works engine, with maximum charge pressure increased from 0.9 to 1.3 bar, in order to maintain the highest possible temperature for a longer period in the combustion chambers. This lengthening of the combustion process helps to achieve the higher torque curve of the Works car at 260Nm at just 1,850rpm. The Overboost function briefly extends this further to 280Nm. This suits the character of a John Cooper Works car perfectly as Overboost is experienced exclusively through increased torque, not on engine output.

Safety and Driving Dynamics

MINI has always had sophisticated driving stability systems as standard. These include ABS Brakes, EBD Electronic Brake Force Distribution, CBC Cornering Brake Control, EDL Electronic Differential Lock, as well as DSC Dynamic Stability Control and Hill Assist. For the first time, DTC Dynamic Traction Control is added to the list.

DTC allows controlled slip on the drive wheels. For example, on a slippery surface, the driver can pick up speed in a controlled manner with the front wheels spinning slightly. When reaching the upper limit, DSC will intervene as usual. But the driver can deactivate the DSC/DTC systems if he wishes by the touch of a button.

In the DSC-off mode, the standard Electronic Differential Lock can be activated and controls cornering at higher speeds. If one wheel loses grip, drive is transferred to the wheel with better grip promoting the car’s traction and pulling force.


The Sports Suspension has been specifically tuned for the Works models. However, even greater chassis rigidity can be achieved by ordering through dealerships the John Cooper Works suspension that lowers the entire car by 10mm.

Extra-large disc brakes adorned with uprated red callipers are fitted to Works cars. In addition, inner-vented discs are positioned behind the front wheels. The front discs are 17” in diameter while the rear set measure 16”. The brake discs are approximately 22mm larger than on the standard Cooper S.


The options included as standard on the John Cooper Works include a leather sports steering wheel, air-conditioning, interior trim in glossy Piano Black and an Anthracite roof lining.

An upgraded sound system is also included in the JCW package and features 10 speakers and an eight-channel amplifier for increased aural pleasure. For the first time, the MINI speedo has been increased to 160mph on the dial to accommodate the higher maximum speed of the JCW.

The six-speed manual gearbox has been strengthened to handle the powerful new engine.

The standard Sports button, located in front of the gear stick, activates a bespoke engine control map which produces even more dynamic performance and sharper steering response.


The Works MINIs come with exclusive 17” light-alloy wheels in JCW Cross-Spoke CHALLENGE design, shod with Run-flat tyres, and weigh less than 10 kilos each.

The Works models can be identified by the newly-designed John Cooper Works logo on the boot and grille and wheels, as well as on the door trim.

READ MORE - MINI JCW Cooper S Hatch and Clubman Revealed for Geneva Debut

Saturday, February 23, 2008

TechArt GTStreet Cabriolet

The standard Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet was never really lacking in the performance department with its 480 horsepower engine, top speed of 193mph, and a 0-60mph time of just 3.8 seconds. This hasn’t stopped tuning firm TechArt from giving an already amazing car a few tweaks. The company will be using the Geneva Auto Show to debut their new GTstreet convertible which is based on the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.

TechArt’s GTstreet convertible features a powerful 630 horsepower engine which allows the car to reach a top speed of 345 km/h (214 mph). Being shown along side the new convertible is TechArt’s GTstreet coupe which debuted at last year’s auto show. The company considers their GTstreet vehicles to be among the fastest and highest performing road-worthy sport cars in the world.

Press Release

In hall 2 of the 78th International Geneva Auto-Salon, the world premiere of TECHART Automobildesign will be unveiled. Here, the new TECHART GTstreet convertible will be presented to the press and international public; the car is based on the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.

Uncompromisingly sporty, unreservedly suitable for everyday use. TECHART is continuing this traditional philosophy with its GTstreet convertible. Since 2001, when the Porsche 911 Turbo model from the 996 series was used, vehicles bearing the TECHART GTstreet logo have been among the fastest and highest performing road-worthy sports vehicles in the world.

The new TECHART GTstreet is continuing this impressive trend, based on the current Porsche 911 Turbo generation. At the world premiere on 4th March 2008, this convertible model will stand alongside the GTstreet Coupé, which was officially launched in Geneva in spring 2007 and caused a real sensation.

Unmistakable characteristic appearance and breath-taking performance. The TECHART GTstreet convertible now develops 463 kW (630 hp) and can reach a maximum speed of 345 km/h.

READ MORE - TechArt GTStreet Cabriolet

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kicherer Mercedes ML420 CDI

Tuning firm Kicherer has released a new kit for the Mercedes ML 420 CDI which offers an additional 56hp and 200Nm more of torque. Called the Kicherer ML 42 ICE, the overall specifications are now 360hp and 900Nm of torque. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 6.1 seconds, half a second quicker than a non-tuned model. Top speed for the ML 42 ICE is 280 km/h (174mph).

Exterior changes include the body kit from a Mercedes ML 63 AMG, 20-inch AMG wheels with a special black varnish, high performance brakes, an electronic lowered suspension and a four-pipe sports exhaust. Leather is added to the interior’s roof, dashboard, doors, and in several other locations. Real carbon fiber trim is applied throughout the interior and on the new ergonomic sport steering wheel.

Press Release

Kicherer ML 42: Cold as Ice

Kicherer now has a tuning kit available for the ML 420 CDI bestowing an extra 56 hp and 200 Nm more torque to an already powerful SUV, thus increasing the effective horsepower from 306 hp in the standard model to a superb 360 hp. At the same time, the maximum torque of 700 Nm is increased to a terrific 900 Nm.
Just as spectacular is the performance of the so-called Kicherer ML 42 ICE. Accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.1 seconds, it is a whole half a second quicker than its series counterpart. The maximum speed has been increased to approximately 280 km/h.
The exceptional performance of the CDI power units tuned by Kicherer are impressive, as are the high degree of elasticity and favourable fuel consumption, which is at a standard level despite the increased power. As with the basic vehicle, Kicherer engines also comply with the Euro 4 exhaust standard and, of course, are just as suitable for any vehicle equipped with diesel particle filters.
But Kicherer has gone even one step further and perfected the details of the ML.
Its exterior looks have been adapted to match the increased performance by adding an AMG ML 63 body kit, AMG 20-inch wheels with special varnish, an electronic lowered suspension and a four-pipe sports exhaust. High-performance brakes ensure that fast off-road enthusiasts still have the appropriate deceleration.
The precision of the Kicherer team can also be seen in the interior. The roof interior, dashboard, door trim and other surfaces have been covered with the finest Kicherer leather. Real carbon trim parts add the necessary sporty accentuation to the otherwise luxurious surroundings.
The driver has the pleasure of an ergonomic sporty steering wheel with gear paddles - also finished in carbon.
A really cool complete package – Ice in name and Ice in nature

READ MORE - Kicherer Mercedes ML420 CDI

Citroen Reveals C2 R2 MAX Rally Car

Citroen has unveiled its C2-R2 MAX homologation package, a move that's not just good news for anyone who's all about race-bred hot-hatches. The car also confirms Citroen's intent to compete in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship in 2008. The C2-R2 MAX is scheduled to be homologated by the FIA on March 1, and will be available as a kit through Citroen Sport.

The C2-R2 MAX fits in between the C2 Super 1600 and C2-R2, offering a performance boost at a more affordable price for rallyists. Changes over the C2-R2 include a 190 horsepower 1599cc engine and brakes, a revised suspension with a wider track and an adjustable rear, and hydraulic steering. Citroen says the upgrades will enable the car to dominate its class as well as challenging cars from higher classes.

To drive the C2-R2 MAX's abilities home, Citroen let 2007 European Rally champion Simon Jean-Joseph and FIA Junior WRC rookie Sébastien Ogier put the cars through their paces at Satory’s Val d’Or circuit. Both drivers will be campaigning Citroen C2s in the FIA Junior World Rally Championship for 2008.

Press Release


Citroe?n has today revealed the new Citroe?n C2-R2 MAX. The car is aimed at motorsport
customers, and will be sold in kit form by Citroe?n Sport’s customer division. Before taking
to the world’s special stages, Simon Jean-Joseph and Se?bastien Ogier launched the all-new
C2-R2 MAX at Satory’s Val d’Or circuit.

The new car, which will be homologated by the FIA on the 1st March 2008, was designed to the new
FIA ‘Group R’ regulations. Jean-Franc?ois Lie?ne?re?, Citroe?n Sport’s customer competition manager,
explained: « We felt that it was necessary to expand the range of our competition cars, as we saw a
gap between our two best-selling C2 rally variants: the C2 Super 1600 and the C2-R2. This new
‘intermediate’ car can be run to a budget, but it also has more spirited performance than the C2-R2.
The C2-R2 MAX appeals both to the heart and to the head, and it offers the best compromise between
performance, price and driving pleasure available on the market today. »

The modifications over the standard C2-R2 are chiefly to the engine, which gets an increase in power,
more sophisticated suspension, stronger brakes, adjustable rear suspension, and a hydraulic steering
rack. « From the outside, the car looks largely the same, » commented Alexis Avril, Citroe?n Sport’s
customer competition technical manager. « The front and rear track are just a little bit wider. The main
changes are under the bonnet, with a 1599cc engine that puts out 190 horsepower. » Last year, the
C2-R2 proved its performance on the FIA Junior Championship as well as many different European
national championships. Thanks to this latest evolution, drivers of the C2-R2 MAX will be able to fight
for R2 victory and above all they will be able to rival cars from the class above.

Citroe?n united two extremely talented drivers to stage this demonstration: Simon Jean-Joseph, 2007
European Rally Champion with a Citroe?n C2 Super 1600, and Se?bastien Ogier – a member of the
prestigious Equipe de France FFSA (backed by the French national motorsport federation) and
Echappement magazine’s young driver of the year. Citroe?n Sport director Olivier Quesnel said: « Simon
has a great deal of experience in rallying and thanks to his exceptional talent he will be a fantastic
ambassador for the company and for the C2-R2 MAX all over Europe this year. As for Se?bastien Ogier,
he will get the chance to make his debut on the FIA Junior World Rally Championship in an Equipe de
France FFSA-backed Citroe?n C2 Super 1600 – which has been made possible through a joint effort from
Citroe?n Sport and the French Federation. His six-rally programme will start in Mexico at the end of the
month. »

Citroe?n will therefore be present on the FIA Junior World Rally Championship once more, and it will
also reprise the ‘C2 Junior Experience’. « After the promising results we obtained last year, we’re
delighted to continue the scheme in 2008, » added Olivier Quesnel. « We already have six competitors
signed up: four in a C2 Super 1600 and two in a C2-R2. It’s worth remembering that if the winner of
the 2008 Junior World Rally Championship drives a Citroe?n C2, he will earn two rallies with a WRC car
in 2009. For reasons of fairness, Se?bastien Ogier – who is competing on the FIA Junior World
Championship – will not take part in the C2 Junior Experience. Citroe?n will also be present on several
European national championships this year through some of its subsidiaries, distributors and
customers. »

Programme for Simon Jean-Joseph and Jack Boye?re
(Citroe?n C2-R2 MAX)

Rally Eger (Hungarian Championship): 04 – 06 April 2008
Pirelli Rally (British Championship): 18 – 20 April 2008
Vodafone Rally de Portugal (IRC/Portuguese Championship): 08 – 10 May 2008
South Swedish Rally (Swedish Championship): 23 – 25 May 2008
Rally Russia (IRC/Russian Championship): 11 – 13 July 2008
Barum Rally Zlin (ERC/Czech Championship): 22 – 24 August 2008
Rally Principe de Asturias (IRC/Spanish Championship): 12 – 14 September 2008
Rallye Sanremo (IRC/Italian Championship): 26 – 28 September 2008

Programme for Se?bastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia
(Citroe?n C2 Super 1600)

Corona Rally Mexico (JWRC/Mexico) : 28 February – 03 March 2008
Jordan Rally (JWRC/Jordan): 24 – 27 April 2008
Rally d’Italia Sardegna (JWRC/Sardinia): 15 – 18 May 2008
OMV ADAC Rallye Deutschland (JWRC/Germany): 14 – 17 August 2008
Rally RACC Catalunya – Costa Daurada (JWRC/Spain): 02 – 05 October 2008
Rallye de France – Tour de Corse (JWRC/Corsica): 09 – 12 October 2008
READ MORE - Citroen Reveals C2 R2 MAX Rally Car

Volkswagen Tiguan by Delta 4x4

Volkswagen’s Tiguan is already getting some interesting makeovers, latest courtesy of Bavarian 4x4 specialist Delta. Two models are created, a road version and an offroad sibling. A few changes have taken place in this manner: suspension has been lowered by some 30mm (for a small fee of €490) for the road car, with flared wings, wider wheels and a sport exhaust system to sound the part.

Go has been taken care of as well, to the tune of some 169 bhp/ 126kW and 384Nm of torque, both up on the standard vehicle. Power, which may or may not corrupt, comes at a price. In this case it’s €1,300. Offroad tyres range from 16 to 22 inches, depending. Costs are the same for both types of car.

If you choose to take to the bush you can opt for the higher Tiguan, raised all of 50mm. Cosmetically the radiator grille gets same paint as wheels. Whether this is a good thing or not is really up to the buyer, although €330 later one may consider it money ill-spent. Each to his own then. Take the offroad car and part with some €39,772.
READ MORE - Volkswagen Tiguan by Delta 4x4

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gemballa tunes new Cayenne Turbo

Advocates of the anti-SUV campaign are probably not acquainted with this new GEMBALLA conversion, simply titled Tornado GTS and GTR. If they were they could be converted to SUV campaigners in an instant. The vehicle is based on the 957 Porsche Cayenne Turbo and features power previously reserved for razor-door type supercars. In its previous life, the GEMBALLA conversion was extensively covered.

Meanwhile, new GTS features adjustable seats, a panoramic roof and 4WD. Optional are the multimedia package and the cooling box. As you can probably tell from these pictures, this is a sort of coupe SUV as it sits quite some way closer to the ground than normal. The rear seats as well are as adjustable as the front seats, and offer the same level of sportiness whether you are watching traffic flash by or steering the beast yourself. GTR features lightweight materials, racing seats and 2WD as an option.
READ MORE - Gemballa tunes new Cayenne Turbo

RENNtech Mercedes SLR McLaren 722GT

What do you do with 680 wild horses under your right foot? Take them to America of course! At least that is what tuner RENNtech, SLR.Club Trophy USA and RML (Ray Mallock Ltd) of the UK plan to do when they host a two-day track day series featuring the maddest SLR cars ever made, the 722GT in 2009. Exact dates will be announced this coming Northern Hemisphere summer.

The 722GT is technically superior to the standard car, which already boasts some impressive figures on its own. Fitted with the same 5.4-litre V8 run by a supercharger, the 722GT boosts power from the “ordinary” 626 bhp/ 467kW to 680 bhp/ 507kW and 830Nm of torque, with a weight shaving of some 660 lb/ 299kg. It is whispered in racing circles that the car will scuttle away from a still position to 62.1 mph/ 100km/h in less than 3.3 seconds and max out at just over 199 mph/ 320km/h.

Owners of this special vehicle, developed by RML at the approval of Mercedes-Benz, will stay at 5-star accomodations, meet very special guests, all the while being instructed by some of the best like David Coulthard and later racing at some historic tracks. RENNtech will provide trackside support for the events.

The idea was shaped after 722GT trackdays held at the Nurburgring and Paul Ricard. Only 21 of these are being made, half already sold, so get on the phone to RENNtech right now while there’s still time
READ MORE - RENNtech Mercedes SLR McLaren 722GT

Renault lineup for Geneva - including new concept and Laguna GT

Carlos Ghosn will be a busy man at Geneva. You’ll spot him easily, he’ll be the guy in the suit with the sweaty brow sprinting in-between the Renault, Dacia, Infiniti and Nissan stands.

He will be spending a considerable amount of time at the Renault stand though as Renault are preparing to release 4 new models at the show. There will also be an announcement regarding the future of its value brand, Dacia.

Initial details of the Twingo RS and the Koleos have been released recently. The Twingo will sport a 133bhp 1.6L engine in its compact little body which should firmly plant it in “pocket rocket” territory. Could this be the spiritual successor to the original Clio 16V?

The Koleos is Renault’s first proper crossover SUV. It shares much with its Nissan X-Trail cousin under the skin so expect similar powertrains and reasonable off road ability.

The start of the show could be the new Laguna GT with Renaultsport honed 4 wheel steer, further details of this vehicle will be available on Friday the 22nd of February.

The fourth vehicle is likely to be a concept car but news on this vehicle is scarce. Renault concept vehicles are usually striking though, so expect a show stopper for Geneva.

Press Release

• Four Renault world debuts in Geneva: Twingo Renaultsport, Koleos, Laguna GT with four-wheel-steer chassis honed by Renaultsport, plus stunning concept car
• Pre-show details for Twingo Renaultsport and Koleos already revealed. Laguna GT preliminary information available on Friday 22nd February. Latest concept to be revealed at Renault Press conference (no advance information or photos will be released)
• Renault Press conference at 08:15 on 4th March, Stand 4130
• Dacia Press conference at 13:45 on 4th March, Stand 5030
Nearly two years into its growth plan, Renault Commitment 2009, the fruits of the Renault Group’s unprecedented product offensive continue relentlessly. Following a raft of unveilings at the Geneva and Frankfurt motor shows last year, the former will be the setting next month for no fewer than four new Renault world debuts, plus a major announcement regarding the future of its value brand, Dacia.
Initial details for two of the new Renault models at the show have already been released in recent weeks, namely the eagerly-anticipated Twingo Renaultsport and Koleos, the company’s first compact 4x4. Sharing the limelight will be the new ‘GT’ performance version of New Laguna, with its four-wheel-steer chassis honed by Renaultsport. Further details of this new sports-oriented upper-medium challenger will be released on Friday, 22nd February.
Completing the quartet will be arguably one of the company’s most striking and seductive concept cars. However, no preview information will be released. Following the unprecedented acclaim for the Laguna Coupé Concept at Frankfurt in October last year, the latest beauty to emerge from Renault Design is likely to prove the show-stealer in Switzerland. Like the car itself, details are being kept firmly under wraps until Press Day on 4th March.
Renault Group will be hosting two Press conferences on Tuesday 4th March. Patrick Blain, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, will host the Renault event, taking the covers off of the concept car at 08:15 CET on Stand 4130. Later in the day, a Dacia Press conference is scheduled for 13:45 CET on Stand 5030, which will be given by Béatrice Foucher, Product Director.

READ MORE - Renault lineup for Geneva - including new concept and Laguna GT

Lancia Delta Revealed

Over two weeks ago Lancia released several official images of the upcoming Delta, with a short press release. Today, Lancia decided to reveal more with an 'extended' press release that covers almost everything you need to know about the hot hatch.

The Delta is 4.5 metres long, 1.8 metres wide, 1.5 metres high, and has a wheelbase of 2.7 metres that allows for plentiful interior space. The exterior appears very contemporary, particularly with the front nose that is exceptionally aggressive.

At launch, buyers can select between the 120 hp 1.4 litre and 150 hp TurboJet petrol engines, or the 1.6 litre 120 hp MultiJet turbodiesel engine. The engines are mated with a 6-speed manual, robotized, or automatic gearbox. More engines will be added in the future, including the 2.0 litre 165 hp MultiJet, 1.9 litre 190 hp Twinturbo MultiJet, and the all new 1.8 litre 200 hp Di Turbojet (petrol).

The car is highly customisable in respect of exterior and interior looks. Other features include climate control, Blaukpunt radio, Hi-fiBose® sound system (optional), CD and MP3 player, and a new satellite navigation system.

Press Release

Lancia Delta, global premiere

Delta, a historical name representing one of the peaks of Lancia's automotive history but also a mathematical symbol which represents change, difference, evolution.

In this sense, Lancia Delta is one of the first cars in a new Lancia philosophy. A unique and original position, synthesis of two fundamental Lancia brand values, the elegance of style and the audacious innovative nature, which inspires every marketing and communication activity.

This is the first totally new vehicle in the second Lancia centenary, the Delta. Blessed with an unrivalled design faithful to the innovative calling of the brand. For the product features and international development work backing the launch predicted for the middle of 2008, Delta represents a turning point in Lancia's history and will contribute significantly to the strategic plan.

Perfect stylistic balance for the Lancia of the future.

The first advanced “delta” is represented by the capacity to reconcile the traditional elegance of Lancia with original architectural solutions, which for the first time combine harmoniously the plucky personality of a sport vehicle with the on-board comfort of a saloon.

Designed by the Centro Stile Lancia, the new Delta brings into the future the tradition of the “great” Lancias – such as the Aprilia, Appia, Fulvia, Beta, Prisma, Dedra and the Lybra. Back in the fore-front is the medium sized saloon. Delta is 4,5 metre long, 1,8 metre wide and 1,5 metre high. Measurements, which when coupled to a wheelbase of some 2,7 metres, guarantee an extraordinary habitability for it's segment.

The nose of Lancia Delta is aggressive and important, emphasised by the volume of the mudguards and characterized by an imposing radiator grill, brand-name symbol. A harmonious convergence of the well sculpted bonnet and the fluid lines of the wheelhouse, while the dynamic aspect of the vehicle is underlined by the broad air intake, witness to the fiery temperament of the Lancia Delta. Rendering the vehicle even more sporty and technological is a set of innovative spotlights, true high-tech engineering jewels, framed by a line of LED's.

Sidewise, the Lancia Delta shows great dynamism, with a high beltline and trapezoidal rear pillars, a natural support for the nautically inspired “flying bridge” roof. Contributing to the smooth lines of the vehicle are both the chromed moldings - perfectly integrated in the weatherstrips emphasising the “flying bridge” – and the opaque grey chromatic contrast in the lower-part of the door sill, which recalls the roof's two colours, in clear homage to the Lancia tradition.

The broad glazed roof surface – with a specific diverging development of the uprights towards the rear area – terminates in the spoiler, perfectly integrated with the original wraparound backlight and the modern conception which does away with the perimeter structure. And the same stylistic originality can be found in the rear, where the vertical LED headlamps, an expression of advanced technology, further enhance the elegant Lancia Delta lines.

A fascinating and innovative range, that finds a perfect balance in the interior – quiet, bright, rich in luxurious materials and harmonious colours – guaranteeing unrivalled comfort. As shown by the sound absorbing roof panel which ensures a quiet drive, while the generously dimensioned side windows provide plenty of light, together with he optional extralarge sunroof which takes up 80% of the total surface. An exclusive wide and protective space is born: like the interior of a Lancia car should be. Fully in line with the Lancia tradition, the front area is characterized by soft surfaces and linings in high-quality material. From leather to Alcantara – and a “important” dashboard made with Benova®, an innovative material and noble polyurethane base product which features the same tactile and visual sensations as real leather (the product is registered by Benecke-Kaliko and has up to now been used in top of the line vehicles, such as the Maserati).

Furthermore, the central console is particularly attractive, as the “ideal technological plate” seems to “fluctuate” upon the surface below. This ideal overlapping is further emphasised by the original white lighting which spills out of the console and illuminates the buttons of the original three-dimensional form. In addition, all driving controls - console, driving-wheel, climate controls and the “infotainment” application – have been given the same chromatic treatment and are made of the same materials, with a metallic and technological effect which enhances the entire dashboard, to underline their important function.

The unmistakable Lancia class can be seen in the chromed detail on the controls: from the climate control and radio dials, to the door handles and console controls. At the same time, the steering-wheel of the new Delta recalls, in a contemporary key, the historical “four spoke”, and the same applies to the elegant gearshift knob.

Comfort and pleasant well-being also for those who recline on the rear seats. Not only because they are real armchairs which provide excellent comfort, but also due to the rear habitability of the new Lancia Delta (which has a wheelbase of over 2,7 metres) being among the best in the range. The interior becomes a living room, thanks to the sliding rear seat with adjustable back, which further increases the capacity of the already spacious boot. By tilting or backing the seat, total relaxation is on hand, full extention becoming available as on business class seats of intercontinental flights.

Innovative technology for maximum on board comfort

The highest expression of sought-after Italian exclusivity, the Lancia Delta compartment confirms itself as a veritable living-room able to accommodate passengers in a unique environment for class and comfort, as well as being highly technological.

Thanks to a collaborative effort with the best partners in each sector, the Lancia Delta offers the most advanced accessories and systems in the entertainment field: for example, you can experience the exciting musical quality of the Blaukpunt radio, or the Hi-fiBose®sound system (optional) with CD and MP3 player complete with controls on the steering wheel. Otherwise, you can access the innumerable features of the Blue&Me®, a system made in collaboration with Microsoft, fitted with: Hands-off and Bluetooth® interface and advanced voice recognition, USB port, MP3 player and SMS interpreter (also available in SatNav version).

Lastly, debuting on the Lancia Delta is a brand new satellite navigation system. Designed in cooperation with Magneti Marelli, this innovative device offers high multi-media performance, great ease of use, and perfect integration of a host of features in one system: from USB interface to voice commands and map management through SD cards on the high-definition screen.

Engine and mechanics with elegance and temperament

The Lancia Delta expresses it's cardinal values – elegance and temperament – even in the engines and mechanics. Before anything, the “temperament” of its petrol and diesel power units are distinguishable by the innovative technology and performance. All turbocharged and coupled to 6-speed transmission (manual, robotized or automatic). The Lancia Delta engines available from launch will be three: 1.4 litre, 120 HP and 150 HP TurboJet (both petrol) and the 1.6 litre 12° HP MultiJet turbodiesel (Euro 5), which will also be coupled to an advanced robotized transmission. To these will be added 2 new engines: the 2.0 MultiJet with 165 HP and the 1.9 Twinturbo MultiJet with 190 HP.

Subsequently the range will be completed by another innovative engine: the 1.8 Di Turbojet with 200 HP (direct fuel injection mated to a modern automatic 6-speed gearshift). All Euro 5, these three units confirm the Lancia brand as an industry standard in terms of technology and innovation for the entire automotive panorama.

Elegance in the forms and materials, but also “elegance” in their relationship with the outside world. As regards the environment, the Lancia Delta by using diesel engines, anticipates the limits imposed by the future Euro 5 norms. This characteristic surely adds another “delta” on top, in comparison to the competition.

Lastly, the engine performance is tested mechanically and optimized for comfort and handling via the use of technical solutions unique in their field. Starting with the ESC(Electronic Stability Control), an evolved system stability control, which in comparison to the systems available up to now, adds numerous and important functions, such as for example the LTF (Linearization Torque Feedback) which noticeably improves the road handling feel curves, especially at high-speed; and the TTC (Torque Transfer Control), an innovative function which – by simulating electronically the presence of the self-locking differential – improves traction on turns, noticeably diminishing understeer and ensuring more dynamicity in the drive.

It's worth mentioning that the innovative control system ESC always intervenes in a discreet manner thanks to the DST (Drive Steering Control). In fact, the “active electronic steering wheel” already carries out the adjustments and controls the oversteer on slippery surfaces.

Still at the forefront of technological advances, the Lancia Delta adopts the SDC (Synaptic Damping Control) suspension, which, on one side improves the ease of shifting gears, in particular elevating the filtering on uneven surfaces; on the other, it exalts yet further driving pleasure by improving the road handling under any conditions (the system actively regulates the stability depending on the driving surface and driving technique).

Completing the set-up is a semi-automatic parking system SPS (Semiautomatic Parking System) which guides the steering, leaving to the driver the task of accelerating and braking to complete the manoeuvre. The HALF (Haptic Line Feedback) system, helps by acting on the steering, and warning the driver if the vehicle has slipped out of gear.

In synthesis, all these devices have the task of simplifying and improving the driving experience, so much so that – taken all together – they are part of the all-embracing concept of “VIP Driving”.

More than a 1.000 customizations “made to measure”

Aimed at a demanding clientele who love to be distinct, the new Delta combines stylistic elegance with sought-after materials and care in the details, as well as those particular innovations and sporty features, which historically have distinguished the Lancia cars for over a century. It is precisely in the combination of colours, cloths and materials that the model's exclusivity is born. Suffice to say that the client can chose over a 1.000 personalizations. An extraordinary range born by combining 3 outfittings, 4 different seat upholsteries, 3 interior colours, 5 types of alloy wheels, 12 chassis colours and 12 “two-tone” matchings.

Therefore, whatever the level of personalization, the Lancia Delta is always fascinating and original, with full respect for the world famous Italian elegance. The model renews the Lancia tradition, by playing with contrasts, highlighting the importance of detail and artisan work, and offering interiors with sough-after performance, all with the maximum personalization of the different outfits. This is why, every version of the new car is a truly “made-to-measure” suit.

Delta: a name which has entered international motoring history

The Lancia Delta is born in the autumn of 1979, in 1980 it is voted “car of the year” by a jury of specialized journalists. The bodywork has a strong personality, the engine is high-performance, and the model represents a true generation leap, both in terms of the global concept of the vehicle, and for its engineering, style and quality. It's not by chance that the public finds in the delta excellent performance, care in the finish and the generosity of the materials typical of the great Lancia's.

The two-volume body-line owes its debt to the pen of Giorgetto Giugiaro, who gives life to a trapezoidal form with very angular contours. Among the original features are the front and rear bumpers which include the grills made in polyester resin reinforced by glass fibres.

The mechanical architecture is made-up by a front-wheel traction with transverse engine, suspension with four independent wheels, braking system with two crossed circuits and rack and pinion steering. There are two power units available on launch: 1.3 with 75 HP and a 1.5 with 85 HP. Both are fitted with a cam shaft controlled by a toothed belt. The cylinder head is a light alloy casting.

Taken as a whole, the Delta comes across as a compact and elegant car, less than 4 metre long. We are in 1979, and the Delta, a small family car, offers the accessories of a luxury car (including, for example, electric windscreen wipers). The idea of a vehicle with innovative style and features typical of top of the range models, is introduced by Lancia as a compact saloon which received immediate widespread approval from the public and critics alike.

Began in Lingotto, a factory in Turin, production of the Delta is then transferred to the Chivasso plant, which is host to most advanced spray systems in the world. An electronic control system for working on the body and an automated plant which ensures total quality of sub-assemblies. From here roll out the “personalized” LX versions, and in 1982 the Delta GT with a 1.6 105 HP engine. The car is fitted with four disc brakes with brake servo. Top-speed is 180 km/h.

In 1983, four years after the debut, the Delta HF Turbo is born. It's the first standard Lancia car with turbo. The engine is still 1585 cc, but it delivers 130 HP, for a top speed of 190 km/h.

Three years later, in 1986, the model range is renewed and broadened: with a Delta GT electronic injection 108 HP, 2.0 turbo 80 HP, HF Turbo injection (140 HP) and HF 4WD. The latter, together with the Prisma 4WD, marks the entry of Lancia in the 4WD saloon segment. It is fitted with a two litre 165 HP engine (top speed 208 km/h) and advanced mechanics. The traction system includes front differential, epicyclic central differential which distributes torque asymmetrically (56% to the front axle and 44% to the rear), a viscous Ferguson joint applied to the central differential and a Torsen (“torque sensing”) differential at rear, an intelligent device which distributes torque between the two wheels depending on adhesion without completely locking the two half shafts. In this way the Delta HF 4WD can transfer to the ground all the engine power in the correct manner. The result is a vehicle with great motricity on low-adhesion surfaces and excellent road handling at high speeds. In subsequent years, the all-wheel drive Delta is made even more appealing by a series of styling and technical improvements, especially dictated by demands from the world of competition. Between 1987 and 1992 the Delta sport models are six time winners of the World Rally Championship

The Delta was in production from 1979 to 1994. Almost half a million units were produced.

READ MORE - Lancia Delta Revealed

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Alfa Romeo 8C Spider

For those who thought that Alfa Romeo’s irresistible 8C Competizione couldn’t get any sexier, the company has decided to release a Spider version which will also be produced in a limited run of only 500 units. The new model will get a classic fabric soft top which will operate electronically from a button on the dashboard.

There are some styling tweaks which differentiate the Spider from its coupe sister but essentially it’s a stock 8C Compitizione, sans roof. Alfa have said that they optimised some of the external styling elements, like wing mirrors, using computer models and tests in wind tunnels etc.

However, there's no word on how the car has been modified to deal with the loss of structure due to the roof being chopped off, which always affects performance and handling. The engine and gearbox are identical to the units used in the Coupe.

Press Release

Alfa 8C Spider, a global preview

Debuting at Geneva showroom is the captivating Alfa 8C Spider. Like the Alfa 8C Competizione, the Gran Turismo which received resounding global praise; the new “discovery” will be produced in a limited edition run of 500.

Elaborated by the Centro Stile Alfa Romeo, the new car re-affirms the brand's excellence in this sector, as shown by some Spider's being regarded among the most beautiful cars in global automotive history. Cars such as the Giulietta Spider from the 50's or the legendary Duetto made famous by “The Graduate” from 1967 with a young Dustin Hoffman. Today, it's the Alfa 8C Spider's turn to take centre stage and project into the future the values of technology and emotion which belong to the Alfa Romeo legacy.

Obviously, the new vehicle inherits all the winning features of the Coupè version. Starting with the two “sport seats” setup and the fascinating exterior lines, which characterized by sculpted and finely designed bodywork, “dress” the automotive and mechanical excellence of the model.

In detail, the marked dynamics of the vehicle are highlighted by the horizontal groove “built” into the bonnet at wheel level. The oversize wheels and powerful “muscles” of the rear mudguard accentuate the personality and force of the model, without diminishing the elegance of those fluid lines. Instead they highlight the formal beauty of the singular external features: the “teardrop” fog lights set like a precious jewel in the front mudguard, the front Led lights, a synthesis of technology and rationality, and the essential door handle.

Furthermore, in the front we can find the characteristic Alfa Romeo stylings, with a new interpretaion of the “whiskers” and shield. Without forgetting, that this innovative range anticipates the elements and proportions of the future Alfa Romeo cars, always with complete respect for the historical legacy of the brand.

It's worth underlining that to reach these top levels of areo-dynamic efficiency, solutions which don't limit themselves to the design of the form have been adopted on the Alfa 8C Spider. All the surfaces and profiles of the uprights and windows, together with the form and positioning of the rear-view mirrors, have been optimized using computer models and tests in wind tunnels and real-life environments. As a result, air flows round the vehicle following it's natural path, unhampered by corners and irregularities. The end result is a negative LC (lift coefficient) which like competition vehicles, contributes to stability at high speeds.

But the peculiarity of this vehicle, is the hooded top fitted with electro-hydraulic automatic control (controllable via a button on the dashboard). The hooded top of the Alfa 8C Spider is composed of two overlapping sheets: the external one is made with a multi-thread textile which can withstand the elements, whilst the interior has high sound-proofing qualities. Furthermore, the hooded roof-top, available in various colours, has been perfected aesthetically, aerodynamically and for acoustic comfort. It has also been perfected from a functional point of view, with specially developed film-reels to render more agile, rapid and secure any explanations of the functioning.
In the interior, the Alfa 8C Spider guarantees a sophisticated environment, thanks to the vast use of composite materials in the dashboard and internal panels, as well as the use of anatomical seats, produced in carbon fibres, that can be adjusted according to the physical characteristics of the driver (up to now, a feature only available to racing cars). Furthermore, for maximum possible personalization of the interior, the client can chose between different environments and aesthetic solutions. All distinguishable by the particular attention to detail and artisan workmanship: from the contrasting stitches, colour tone and exclusive matchings. The bucket seats are upholstered in Frau flower leather (an exclusive and innovative treatment of the weave, in which the leather is bound to a natural fibre, creating a look of great visual impact).

In analogous fashion to the interior, the same care has been taken in realizing the exteriors: from the alloy wheels to the brake calipers, every detail can be chosen to your particular design, because every Alfa 8C Spider can only look similar to itself. An unmistakable car made to measure for the owner's personality. The unique and un-repeatable Alfa 8C Spider announces the pleasure of a sporty drive with full respect for the brand's legacy.

Like in the best Alfa Romeo tradition, hidden under this pretty “dress” is the best of what's available in the field of mechanics and propulsions. Firstly, the Alfa 8C Spider has a rigid and light structure (the compact frame is made in steel for maximum torsion to guarantee a drive which is always precise and sure, whilst the body is in carbon fibre). We are dealing with a choice motivated by the need to reduce as much as possible the weight but also to optimize the centre of gravity for agility and drive-ability in the more demanding journeys.

Still under the banner of sophisticated technology, the Alfa 8C Spider adopts the new “8 cylinder mated to a 5-speed gearbox with 90°” and a capacity of 4691 cm3 which has been designed with one specific aim: guarantee extraordinary performances without relinquishing the fluidity of the gearshift or the ease of use in any driving context. Like so, a powerful and progressive propulsion is born with a top power of 450 CV at 7.000 rpm and a maximum torque of 7.500 rpm. This engine has been mated to a self-shifting 6-speed gearshift (with computerized selection of the gears via levers behind the steering-wheel), and a self-blocking differential unit.
As in the legendary Formula 1 vehicles from the 50's, the Alfa 8C Spider sports the Transaxle design which guarantees the best equilibrium in the partioning of weight. The propulsion is placed in the rear whilst the gearshift is placed behind along the differential and hydraulic motor unit. The Transaxle design foresees a tight connection between motor and gearshift, which is fitted with a self-blocking differential. The two groups are linked by a tubular element, at the interior of which rotates the transmission driving shaft: in this manner the load is distributed in an optimal manner between the front and rear suspension.

So much power can only be entrusted to an excellent braking system: the Alfa 8C Spider is fitted with carbo-ceramic Brembo (CCM), 380 mm in diameter on the front-wheels and 360 mm on the back-wheels. This solution guarantees a powerful brake action even in the most intense uses. The marked reduction in weight, in comparison to a traditional set-up, reduces the masses unsupported by the vehicle and so improves the dynamic performance and driving comfort. Furthermore, the mono-block calipers guarantee maximum rigidity and minimal deformation, given the high loads generated by the pressure of the pistons on the brake-linings.
Therefore, the Alfa 8C Spider “declares itself Alfa” all the way, confirming control and driving pleasure with no compromises. Since always, gear comfort and dynamic performance are qualities specific to Alfa Romeo cars: in this case they have become veritable strong points. Thanks to for example, the suspensions which foresee a high wishbone suspension with brackets and uprights in forged aluminium, that act as a supplementary strut for alignment control.

Contributing also to the brilliant road control are specially developed 20” tyres to insure excellent performance, the tyres have a: 245/35 front-suspension and a rear-suspension of 285/35. Fitted on perforated rims in fluid moulded aluminium to ensure lightness and maximum brake ventilation efficiency. Lastly, the Alfa 8C Spider uses an evolved VDC Alfa Romeo traction and stability system, which ensures the driver feels at one with his car.

READ MORE - Alfa Romeo 8C Spider

Fiat 500 Abarth coming soon

“With a strong sporty personality, the new car will be powered by a Fire 1.4 16v petrol Turbo engine, which delivers a maximum of 135 bhp (100kW) at 5,500 rpm and peak torque of 206Nm at 3,000 rpm in ‘Sport’ mode…” says Fiat with a straight face. Say what? Only 135 bhp? We waited so many months for a measly 135 horses? We must have been robbed.

See, previous generation Ford Focus used a 2.0-litre engine to generate a similar amount of buzz in the hood. So 135 seems impressive for a 1.4, albeit force-fed. But scratch under the skin a little and you’ll discover that 500 Abarth’s closest nemesis, MINI Cooper S, squats with 172 horses underneath her belly. Fact is, a region of 135 bhp hasn’t been made by a compact hot hatch since Fiesta ST came into power. That was during the middle ages.

Yes we are simply bowled over by the exceptionally stylish 500 Abarth with its smokey wheels, fat wheel arches and honeycomb mashed grille. It’s the stuff of legends even as it does not move. And when it moves, to 100km/h to be precise, over 8 seconds will go by. Compare this with Cooper S’s 7.3 odd and you start to ask questions like “will they make an even faster version”? They will.

As far as handling goes, Fiat has put to use a Torque Transfer Control system that hugs bends like your aunt used to hug you, promising handling that is highly entertaining. Perhaps I’m missing the point entirely here, perhaps 500 Abarth doesn’t care if the other kid is quicker off the block, or that he is better-endowed. Perhaps. Perhaps Abarth only cares that she can offer the best value entertainment for buck in her block, and believes that being a showstopper doesn’t necessarily involve a test of manhood.
READ MORE - Fiat 500 Abarth coming soon

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wallpapers 6

READ MORE - Wallpapers 6

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ferrari F430 Spider F1 by Novitec

656 hp cabrio

Novitec has finished its Ferrari 430 Spider Supersport just in time for the cabriolet season. Novitec released the Ferrari 430 Supersport last year after thoroughly testing it in the University of Stuttgart wind tunnel, maximising aerodynamics and down force.

The Novitec Spider Supersport isn't just the open-top version of the coupe but has been uniquely enhanced with a special KW coil over suspension systrem which not only improves driving dynamics but also has an additional hydraulic adjustment. The front of the car can be raised by 40 mm at the touch of a button, a major plus point in case your garage is at the bottom or top of an incline. If the car hits 80 km/h the suspension automatically returns to its normal settings.

The Novitec F430 Spider Supersport is powered by a 656 hp /662 Nm torque bi-compressor engine, with modified ECU, watercooled intercooler, modified turbine blades, separated oil circuit and stainless steel 90 mm tailpipes. The car sits on 20 inch Novitec NF3 three piece wheels wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero Rosso (front: 235/30R20, back:325/25R20) rubber. Carbon covers the engine compartment and the ventilation louvres, while the lights are all blackened.

READ MORE - Ferrari F430 Spider F1 by Novitec

Hartge BMW M3 Accessories

Tuning firm Hartge has released their range of accessories for the new BMW M3. Available options include a new electronic control unit module which upgrades the top speed limit of the car to match the rating of the tires. For Pirelli P ZERO tires the speed limiter rating goes up to 340 km/h / 211mph.

Body enhancements include a discrete boot spoiler, carbon casings for the exterior mirrors, and Hartge badges for the hood and boot. Inside there are a number of different steering wheels which can come in leather, with a carbon fiber cover, or with a cover that features a mix of carbon fiber and chrome. Also available are a set of three aluminum pedals for cars with manual transmissions, an aluminum foot rest, Hartge gear knobs, a leather and aluminum handbrake handle, a Hartge steering wheel emblem, and branded floor mats.

Hartge also offers a variety of wheels can be equipped with either Continental or Pirelli tires.
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Mercedes CL 65 AMG by Vath

There are already plenty of ways to get your monster-Benz thrills, but one more couldn't hurt, now could it? Aimed at those drivers for whom the Mercedes CL 65 AMG's 612-horsepower V12 just isn't enough, German tuning firm Vath has released a tuning package for the high-performance luxury coupe.

With Vath's kit, the twin-turbo 6.0 liter V12 in the big Benz cranks out 718 horsepower. Of course, that kind of power wouldn't be any fun with an electronic nanny aboard, so Vath also removes the CL 65 AMG''s speed limiter, allowing this boosted beast to run all the way up to a reported 211mph (340 km/h), which suggests that this CL 65 AMG can run down most supercars while providing an opulent and relatively quiet ride. A high-performance carbon brake kit, 20-inch wheels and a lowered suspension are also part of the package, to help the CL 65 AMG handle the additional performance.

Style-wise, the Vath-tuned CL 65 AMG gets a carbon bodykit with a revised spoiler up front and an integrated air diffuser at the rear.
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Lorinser Nardo3 at Geneva

German tuner Lorinser has released details about their plans for the Geneva Auto Show, where they will introduce the Nardo3 and the C-Class T-Model.

The C-Class T-Model is based off of Mercedes’ C320 T CDI and comes with a special Lorinser diesel module, tuned to deliver 192 kW/261hp instead of the 164 kW/224hp delivered by the standard model. It also features an aerodynamic styling package and 19-inch wheels.

Using the Mercedes SL as a platform, the Nardo3 pushes the biturbo V12 to create 485 kW/660hp and 1013 Nm of torque. Top speed is limited to 325hm/h to prevent damage to the transmission. Exterior differences include a new rear bumper with integrated exhaust, unique wheels, extended side skirts, modified side vents, and a new front end. Production will be limited to 50 copies.
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Rolls-Royce Phantom by EDAG

The multi millionaires and billionaires of the world have a rough life, so tuning company EDAG has decided to make things a little easier for them. Debuting at the Geneva Auto Show the EDAG Rolls-Royce Phantom has an articulating roof design that eliminates the need for rear passengers to duck down as they enter the car.

Inspiration for the roof opening comes from what EDAG considers an oversight by Rolls-Royce. In factory models the C-pillar was purposely created extra large so rear passengers would have the sense of additional privacy and security. This however results in a rather difficult entry and exit from the vehicle, even for people of average height.

To correct this problem EDAG had to use carbon fiber reinforcements in the roof and modify the interior ceiling with original components from Rolls-Royce to create a seamless appearance. To open the roof panel the driver or passenger simply presses a button, and then the hydraulically powered roof segment will rise in a smooth silent motion.

Press Release

EDAG to Show Articulated Roof for Rolls Royce Phantom at Geneva

The vision of comfort
Besides developments aimed at improving their ecological compatibility, the question of comfort will be a decisive factor in the marketing success of future vehicle types. Having said this, in the age of networked communication and infotainment systems, the term "comfort" is not limited purely to
physical comfort in the car. A car of tomorrow will have to provide the customer with the ability to access any data and information which he or she needs for either private or professional use. Merging the realms of vehicle, office, home and worldwide service and infotainment options defines the future meaning of the word comfort in the automotive branch.
As a global partner to the automotive industry, EDAG has defined "the vision of comfort" as its leading theme, and this will take centre stage at the company's presentation at the 2008 Geneva Show. With its presentation of the articulated roof for the Rolls Royce Phantom, EDAG is showcasing its first step towards its target of developing complex, innovative luxury solutions.

"Vision of Comfort" – Focus: Vehicle Body
Innovative vehicle body concepts in the exterior and interior will also contribute to an increase in com-fort within the car in the future. Ergonomically optimised package concepts, such as access aids, serve to improve convenience considerably. Controls, seating comfort, air conditioning and visibility all have to undergo constant refinement, as requirements are always changing. This will mean that vehicle derivatives, created by designers and engineers to have optimised functions and guarantee user convenience, will become an absolute must.
Using the example of one means of optimising access to a Rolls Royce Phantom, EDAG will be documenting its expertise in the development and close-to-production implementation of innovative luxury concepts within the field of vehicle bodies.

Optimised entry to a Rolls Royce Phantom
Not even a Rolls Royce Phantom will be able to satisfy its owner’s every wish. One example is the seat behind the ‘C’ pillar in the rear of the car, which traditionally creates a feeling of security and privacy.
With the production model, however, this does have a price: namely the fact that it is impossible, even for someone of average height, to enter and leave the car in an upright position. The solution that EDAG developed is an articulated roof over the rear seat area, so that passengers can get into and out of the car in comfort.
It might sound trivial, but the job called for a great deal of technical finesse. First of all, EDAG’s Product Development and Production departments worked out various concepts for raising the roof and the lateral roof frame together. It goes without saying that the exclusive interior design was to be borne in mind at all times, and that neither rigidity, comfort nor sealing capacity were to be compromised under any circumstances whatsoever.
There was no way to avoid severing the lateral roof frame of the aluminium spaceframe. A reinforcement cut from solid metal, which at one and the same time incorporates the kinematics, water channel, locking mechanisms, seals and finger protection, does, however, provide the essential rigidity of the body.
The aluminium structure for the roof was likewise cut from the solid. To save weight, the roof’s outer skin panel is made of synthetic carbon-fibre material. The roof’s interior trims were re-designed, and covered with original quality Rolls Royce materials. By simply pressing a button, the driver or passenger can activate the specially developed electronic controls, and raise the hydraulically powered roof segment with practically no sound whatsoever. Modification of the roof structure has had no effect on either the car's handling or its interior acoustics.

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Audi A3 Body Kit by RDX Racedesign

German tuning specialist, RDX Racedesign has introduced a new styling kit for the Audi A3 8L. Meant to give the A3 an aggressive sporting attitude, the kit gives first generation models a breath of fresh air. Costing a little over 615 euros, the kit features a front bumper spoiler with Audi S6 daytime headlights, extended side skirts, and a new rear apron.

The kit uses high quality materials that offer excellent paintability and are TUV tested and certified. Components are also available for purchase separately, but without the kit savings of 70 euros. Also note that the pictures include a separate RDX Racedesign grille that is not part of the package, but is offered for 91.50 euros.

Press Release

Audi A3 Body Kit by RDX Racedesign

Sporty muscular look
Aerodynamic construction kit Audi A3 model 8L (except S3) for 615.56 euros
Front bumper spoiler ready for combination with Audi S6 daytime headlights
Custom-fit for single-frame grille use on Audi A3 / 8P Sportback
Precisely fitting; in high-quality robust GRP
Body-styling parts with TÜV-parts approved certificate/TÜV cleared

A new aerodynamic body-styling kit for the Audi A3 8L is being put on the market as from today by the tuning specialist RDX RACEDESIGN Automotive, Germany. It brushes up the first-generation A3 with rejuvenating body-styling at the same time giving it a really sporty appearance.

The aerodynamic kit comprises a front bumper spoiler (299.- euros), intended for use with a single-frame grille. It can be combined with the original Audi grille for the A3/8P Sportback as well es with various other single-frame grilles* supplied by RDX RACEDESIGN. In addition it can also be used on vehicles with or without headlight washing systems. The final detail, so-to-speak the "crowning" detail, is the chance to have Audi S6 day lights fitted, which can be ordered from Audi dealers.

Optical lowering and more side "muscles" are provided by a side skirt set (129.95 euros), which shows off the sporty air scoops on each side The new appearance is finished off by a new RDX RACEDESIGN rear apron fitted with an attractive design fold for 255.00 euros. The rear part is supplied without openings for the exhaust unit. They can be cut out to size as required.

The kit is available as a set for 615.56 euros. A price advantage of around 70 euros!

All RDX RACEDESIGN components display excellent custom-fitting, good paintability qualities and are of course TÜV tested and certified. The front part is supplied with TÜV parts approved certificate, the side skirt and rear with TÜV clearance.

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Mutec Stretched Rolls-Royce Phantom

Feeling frustrated that your Rolls-Royce Phantom doesn’t have enough room for you and your entourage, forcing you to take a less glamorous vehicle with seating for six? If so German coachbuilder Mutec has created the solution, by introducing a version of the Phantom that has been stretched 43 inches.

As an official Rolls-Royce coachbuilder, Mutec features world class craftsmanship with modifications that look like they came straight from the factory. The rear bench has been replaced by two sets of seats from the Phantom’s theater seating package, to create individual seating for four. Completing the interior are extended privacy curtains, modified center consoles, and a retractable partition that separates rear passengers from the driver.
READ MORE - Mutec Stretched Rolls-Royce Phantom

Caractere Styling Kit for New VW Golf Variant

It may be your average mama’s vehicle of choice when it comes to transporting odd items such as groceries, baby cotbeds and school children. But Caractere will not let mama be caught dead inside the standard Volkswagen Golf V Variant.

A brand new kit is on offer to the mama whose desire for space means as much to her as her style. Caractere has completed a look to suit such a mama, and indeed a daddy, with body kit made to leave the Variant looking more like a touring version of the GTI. There’s a complete front GTI STYLE version, roof spoiler and a set of side skirts. Skirts of course, ones that anyone can wear. The styled Variant rides on fat (or phat, depending on who’s asking) 19-inch “mirror polished” wheels.

Manufactured in ISO 9000 methods, and approved by the German TÜV, these are finished in PURim or PUR, which bring a number of advantages like flexibility of material for easy mounting and Euro pedestrian-safety standards.
READ MORE - Caractere Styling Kit for New VW Golf Variant


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