Drive Away 2Day

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Cadillac Urban Luxury : Concept Cars
Cadillac Urban Luxury : Concept Cars

In its quest to reestablish itself as the standard of the world, Cadillac is apparently overlooking no niche. Already the standard of the body-on-frame-domestic-luxo-ute and 556-hp-manual-transmission-station-wagon classes, the brand introduced a concept at the L.A. auto show that speaks to becoming the standard of the dinky-runabout segment.

The Urban Luxury Concept is a vision for the Cadillac of the downsized future. Inside its tiny footprint—just 151 inches long and 68.1 wide—the ULC houses four seats and a modicum of cargo space. Thanks to the upright seating position afforded by the car’s 56.9-inch height and the luxurious longitudinal space provided by the 97.1-inch wheelbase—which is identical to a Mini Cooper’s—none of those seats seem like a very painful place to spend an urban commute.

While a small, doorstop-shaped canvas is a tricky one to endow with strong design elements, the ULC manages to look like a Cadillac—albeit a Cadillac dinghy. The brand’s signature grille is up front, flanked by spindly vertical LED headlight arrays, and the chunky trapezoidal B-pillar recalls that of the CTS.

Easy Entry, Difficult Production Possibilities

Beyond the doors, which make up nearly the entire body side and swing up Lambo-style, the cabin is the most scintillating aspect of the Urban Luxury Concept. The onslaught of hard lines and various colors and textures is a bit overwhelming, but very attractive. It’s the boldest interior yet from the Art & Science school. While we wouldn’t choose to spend hours in a car this size with a beltline at our earlobes, we’d be happy to occupy something with an interior this sharp. The central speedometer is nestled between a pair of digital screens, and spokes that stretch back to the base of the steering column give the illusion of a deep-dish steering wheel without any clumsiness.

For motivation, the ULC employs nothing more exotic than what’s found in a dozen or so microcars in the European market. Beneath its stubby hood lives a turbocharged, 1.0-liter inline-three with stop/start functionality, mated to a dual-clutch transmission. Cadillac says that this combination could be good for fuel economy of up to 56 mpg in the city and 65 on the highway, but doesn’t specify if its estimates are based on our EPA testing or the very optimistic European cycle.

While GM is currently expanding into smaller segments—witness the upcoming Chevrolet Spark—Cadillac won’t be doing so any time soon. The brand must first establish the upcoming sub-CTS ATS before it wanders into any smaller streams. In any case, the more attractive small-car concepts we have, the more the idea that such vehicles are cool will catch on. We’d be happy to see Cadillac as the standard of the torchbearers.


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Sources : Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept Photo | Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept Article | Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept Photo 2
1972 DeTomaso Pantera L : Classic Cars
1972 DeTomaso Pantera L : Classic Cars

One of the more prominent American-Italian hybrids is the Detomaso Pantera. With a mix of Italian styling a cast-iron American V8, the car had appeal on both sides of the pond. It was unlikely result of Lee Iacocca and Alessandro de Tomaso coming together to produce a version of the AMX/3 that would put Ford back in the exotic car market.

The design that de Tomaso envisioned was worked out by Dallara with a possible production of 5000 cars a year. The car included all the right ingredients including a double wishbone suspension, disc brakes, rack & pinion steering and most importantly a 351 Cleveland V8.

Body Designer Tom Tjaarda describes his choice for the car's lines: “When I was working on this car, I wanted to make sure that when you saw the design, you were certain where the engine was placed and where the power was coming from. That's why I gave it a powerful haunch look, an animal with strong shoulders.” Inside he increased overall space over the Mangusta: “with a much larger seating position, the roof was raised and the windshield given a less steep angle.”

Once the design was finalized, production of the bodies actually commenced from at Vignale and when completed they were shipped to de Tomaso in Modena for installation of the suspension and drive line.

The first cars were presented to the press in March of 1970 and the car was available from Lincoln-Mercury dealers in the states in May of 1971. Not long afterward, a recall was issued for strengthened rear sub frames, updated air conditioning and fiberglass fuel tanks. In 1971 Road and Track described the car as “Exciting-but not a finished product.” De Tomaso himself argued that an exotic car couldn't be delivered to corporate engineering standards, at least not for $10,000 USD a unit.

In 1973 the model was replaced the Pantera L which had less power and larger rubber bumpers.


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Sources : 1972 DeTomaso Pantera L Photo | 1972 DeTomaso Pantera L Article
Russian Olympic Medalists Receive Mercedes...
Russian Olympic Medalists Receive Mercedes SUVs : News

Russian athletes who won gold medals at the Sochi Winter Olympics have each been rewarded with a Mercedes GL-Class SUV worth $146,500.

The Olympians were presented with their brand new set of wheels at a ceremony on Thursday, which was also attended by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Interfax reported.

Silver medallists were given the keys to Mercedes ML-Class, worth $99,500, and bronze medalists will take home a Mercedes GLK-Class, worth $59,500.

Some athletes may get more use out of the vehicles than others. Yulia Lipnitskaya gained acclaim for her contribution to the Russian team figure skating gold medal, but is 15 years old and too young to legally drive her prize.

When asked by Medvedev who would drive the car, Lipnitskaya replied that her mother would, RIA Novosti reported.

Forty-five new cars were presented in total. Russian won 13 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals at Sochi.

The cars are provided for by the Russian Olympians Foundation, a not-for-profit organization set up by a group of businessmen in 2005.

In 2012, athletes who medaled in the London Olympic Games were each given a brand new Audi, which came complete with a personal driver.


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Sources : Russian Olympic Medalists Receive Mercedes SUVs Photo | Russian Olympic Medalists Receive Mercedes SUVs Article
2014 Buick Regal GS : Current Models
2014 Buick Regal GS : Current Models

The recent spate of freakishly cold weather and inundating snowstorms has helped to reinforce the importance of all-wheel-drive vehicles. Already flush with such winter-conquering offerings as the Enclave, Encore and LaCrosse, Buick is now showing love to the enthusiast driver with the launch of the 2014 Regal GS AWD.

Sure, they could have presented it to us at LLN's southeastern headquarters, where such a system would be akin to dressing up in a tuxedo for a fast food dinner. But in flying us to Montreal, Buick clearly had other things in mind that combined elements of log cabins, Ice Road Truckers and fishing in the middle of the Ottawa River. Mush on for more.

What's new?
The Buick Regal has existed for 40 years. Through fits, starts, stops and restarts in various markets, the nameplate has survived, although the configurations have certainly changed. Our 2014 Buick Regal GS AWD is based on the latest generation, which first appeared in 2011.

Using the Opel Insignia-derived Epsilon II platform, the Regal GS is a four-door midsized sedan that is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged Ecotec engine that is also found in the Cadillac ATS. Making 259 horsepower at 5,300 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque between 2,500 and 4,000 rpm, the mill is coupled to a Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission. Do-it-yourselfers can also opt for a six-speed manual with the standard FWD model.

Our tester's Haldex-supplied AWD system is designed to improve both foul-weather traction and handling during spirited drives. Using a rear drive module comprised of a torque transfer device (TTD) and an electronic limited slip differential (eLSD), sensors determine if wheel slippage is occurring and directs the TTD to handle front-to-rear operations, while the eLSD sends torque from right-to-left, accordingly. A true torque vectoring system, it does not rely on braking the way some other vehicles do. The system results in less torque steer and understeer when the driver decides to really hoof it.

A HiPer Strut front suspension - which also serves to quell torque steer - and an H-arm rear kit is standard on the Regal GS AWD, as are adaptive dampers. Stopping power is provided by four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo calipers and rotors in the front position. Buick says to expect mileage ratings of 19 city / 27 highway.

The Regal GS's segment is rife with tough competitors. They include AWD models of Volkswagen's CC, the Volvo S60, Lexus IS250, Infiniti's Q50 and the Audi A4.

Looks and stance
The GS's aggressive bulldog-like stance is enhanced with a new, lower ride height and the carry-over fang-like air intakes, which flank the waterfall grille. New HID headlamps with signature LED daytime running lights illuminate the road ahead.

The rear fascia gets a similar treatment, with the addition of LED wrap-around taillamps and integrated trapezoidal exhaust outlets, as well as a new decklid and spoiler. It is all tied together with the addition of rocker panel extensions that stretch from front to rear wheelwells.

Interior decorating
The most sporting of Buicks currently available, the Regal GS features GM's IntelliLink infotainment module and its eight-inch touchscreen with digital gesturing to fling through lists on the display like you would with a tablet or smartphone. It is joined by a 4.2-inch monitor within the gauge cluster. Both show vehicle, navigation, audio and Bluetooth information so the driver can monitor the situation without venturing too far from the flat-bottomed, leather-wrapped steering wheel. Curiously, paddle shift levers are nowhere to be found in this otherwise sporty vehicle. In a very welcomed revision, designers have cleaned up centerstack, reducing the number of control buttons from 17 to seven.

Speaking of the centerstack, it is at its crown where drivers will find the GS-exclusive Interactive Drive Control system with buttons for traction control settings in addition to GS and Sport modes; the latter effect more driver-focused throttle, steering and transmission configurations.

Our GS-exclusive ebony interior offered soft touch materials throughout and included a pair of well-bolstered sport seats, which managed to keep us in place and minimize fatigue during our time in the car. The rear seat was good for people six-feet and under, while Shaquille O'Neill and others gifted with an abundance of height might be better off opting for the Buick Regal's big brother LaCrosse.

Ice road clucking
To demonstrate the safety and handling benefits of the Regal GS' AWD system, Buick sent us to the lightly-used Mirabel Airport. Designed to be the major international airport in Montreal, it opened in 1975, but was essentially closed to commercial air traffic in 2004. Now a cargo facility, it is also the location of Circuit ICAR, a racer's country club with a 2.4-mile road course that just so happens to be ideal for winter driving experiences.

But before we arrived at Circuit ICAR, we had to cross the Pont de Glace (ice bridge) near Oka, Quebec, an experience in which we tip-toed across the Ottawa River as though in an episode of Ice Road Truckers. After visits to ice fishing shacks in the middle of the river, we overnighted at the world's largest log cabin, Le Chateau Montebello. When we finally made it to Circuit ICAR, we received a hint of what a stint in the Ice Capades ice shows might actually be like. What lay before us was a figure-eight skid pad, a road course and a slalom course where we would demonstrate our best car control.

On the road course, which basically amounted to ice below a fresh bedding of snow, the AWD helped keep the Regal GS pointed in our intended direction, provided we were gentle with our throttle inputs and employed some gentle sawing of the steering wheel. Sensors worked on the fly and threw traction where it was needed, managing to keep us from killing any cones on the slalom course layout.

Enabling the GS mode found increased steering feedback over the normal drive mode, with more stiffness of the automatic dampers for reduced body roll. A remap of the throttle and the shift points also occur, which we found helped to minimize the effects of understeer while negotiating the figure eight.

For comparison's sake, we disengaged all controls including traction and stability control. The result was a combination of Fast and Furious drifting and white knuckled chaos, in which steering inputs were treated as mere suggestions. And braking? Why, that's why they left snow banks on the edge the course.

As for us, we like technology and will take full advantage of all the assists.


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Sources : 2014 Buick Regal GS Photo | 2014 Buick Regal GS Article | 2014 Buick Regal GS Rear Photo | 2014 Buick Regal GS Interior Photo | 2014 Buick Regal GS Photo 2
2013 Hennessey Mclaren MP4 12C : Photos
2013 Hennessey Mclaren MP4 12C : Photos

Sources : 2013 Hennessey Mclaren MP4 12C Photo
Gran Turismo Documentary : Videos

Gran Turismo Documentary : Videos

Host : Play Station

This film is about drive. It's about the passion and creative drive of Kazunori Yamauchi, the architect behind Gran Turismo's birth and breath-taking fifteen-year evolution. This film will trace his relentless willingness to challenge himself, to hold none of his past achievements sacred, and push beyond the virtual divide in his pursuit of perfection. Through the support of PlayStation, Kaz's journey has forever changed the gaming and automotive landscape and in doing so, has redefined how we perceive the relationship between art, entertainment and culture.


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Sources : Gran Turismo Documentary Photo | Gran Turismo Documentary Video
Driving Saudi Arabia : Videos

Driving Saudi Arabia : Videos

Host : /DRIVE

What's the best car to drive across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? Why, A McLaren 12C of course. We cover more than 2000 kilometres looking for motoring nirvana. On paper, it didn't look that far. On a map, Saudi Arabia looks relatively mid-sized, nestled next to the enormous expanse of the African mainland. But now that I'm here, and I'm mentally calculating distances and driving times, I fear I may have underestimated things somewhat.

We -- that's me, www.crankandpiston.com colleague Phil McGovern, a film crew and a few special guests -- are about to start a fairly epic drive across what, to many, is a very mysterious country. I've never been to Saudi before -- my one previous attempt to visit was stymied by the lengthy visa approval process -- so what I know is largely based on stories from other people and from the media. Not all of which is entirely complimentary.

But on the other hand, there's something appealing about such a mysterious place, a place that's rarely high on people's must-visit list. Saudi is off-the beaten track, a relative enigma, a place I want to find out more about. Is it really the fun-free dustbowl as portrayed by so many?


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Sources : Driving Saudi Arabia Photo | Driving Saudi Arabia Video
2014 Mini John Cooper Works : Concept Cars
2014 Mini John Cooper Works : Concept Cars

The 2014 Mini John Cooper Works, the hottest new version of a once-tiny car that's almost the size of an Mk3 Golf these days, got an extreme introduction in Detroit this afternoon by a live rock band a very eager fog machine. P

But hey, since it's basically the same car that surfaced way back in December, they've got to find some way to jazz things up. The good news is that after it was fired up before a throng of auto journalists and industry folks, I can personally confirm that it sounds mean as hell for such a little engine.

But what engine is that exactly? Strangely, no specs were announced for the JCW Concept today, but the new Cooper S gets a turbo 2.0-liter four (developed by BMW for the first time ever) with 189 horsepower and and 207 pound-feet of torque. We can expect the production Works version to have quite a bit more power than that. P

Not present at Detroit this year: the new four-door Mini Cooper. That will probably debut at a later date this year, possibly a European auto show, which should spare my own eyeballs from having to see it for a while. 3P

I should be driving the 2014 Cooper and Cooper S at the end of this month. Mini promises that despite the size increase, it will still have the go kart-like handling and pure driving fun that the outgoing car is famous for. Let's hope so.


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Sources : 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Concept Photo | 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Concept Article | 2014 Mini John Cooper Works Concept Photo 2
2014 Hennessey Venom GT : Photos
2014 Hennessey Venom GT : Photos

Sources : 2014 Hennessey Venom GT Photo
1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger...
1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger : Classic Cars

Using the Corvair as his starting point, Don Yenko created his first 100 Yenko Stingers in 1966. This number was required for homologation in the SCCA D Sports Racing Class. Modifications included stiffened suspension and the customer's choice of four engine packages. This is serial number YS 086. It was produced as a race car, while most of the production were road going cars.

This car won the SCCA Central Division Championship in 1966, piloted by Jim Spencer. Its racing career spanned 23 years, as it was still being raced by Ron McConkey when the present owner purchased it in 1988.


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Sources : 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger Photo | 1966 Chevrolet Corvair Yenko Stinger Article
2015 Porsche Macan Turbo : Current Models
2015 Porsche Macan Turbo : Current Models

Endurance ace David Jahn is setting a smart pace at Porsche’s private Leipzig racetrack. His 911 Carrera’s spoiler deploys when straightaway speeds near 100 mph and then retracts under braking. Three journalists nip at the 911’s rump around the 2.3-mile collection of corners copied from the world’s most revered circuits, SOP for these occasions. What’s unusual about this lapping session is that Jahn is hustling his 911 at 9/10ths to stay ahead of a pack of SUVs.

Porsche’s Macan isn’t the first ute armed with 911-caliber horsepower, but it is the first attempt to jam five conflicting skills—speed, agility, comfort, utility, and off-road nerve—into one handy package. The name Macan, an Indonesian word for “tiger” that Porsche pronounces “Ma-CAHN,” says it all. This cat has claws and cunning that will scar the SUV world.

Dynamically Pleasing
The Macan’s guidance system is tight on-center and frank on turn-in. Even without much road dialogue through the electrically assisted system, the steering manages to bolster the driver’s confidence. The brakes provide a firm pedal with stopping power strictly proportional to applied pressure. Likewise, the springs, the anti-roll bars, and the dampers check body rock and roll. The king is secure on his sport-seat throne, thanks to ideal orthopedic support and unyielding rib and thigh bolsters. This is truly the SUV for those who swore they’d never be caught driving one.

2015 Porsche Macan S
To make its point that the Macan is a worthy addition to the 80-plus SUVs already available in the U.S., Porsche provided opportunities to explore two additional legs of the versatility stool. Twenty minutes after hot laps at Leipzig’s off-road course, we teetered over ammo bunkers used by the Soviet Army. Then we buzzed the base Macan S past 150 mph on the perfectly paved autobahns surrounding Porsche’s eastern-German manufacturing campus. The one test not offered was a visit to a big-box store to gauge cargo space.

Purists howled when Porsche broke its sports-car mold with the Cayenne SUV a dozen years ago, and they surely will whine over another family member with too many doors, pounds, and inches of wheelbase. Consider this Zuffenhausen’s strategy to keep the sports-car assembly lines humming by offering an SUV done properly to a world craving the things.

Porsche spent three years simmering Audi Q5 SUV and 911 sports-car genes in its crockpot to get the Macan just right. What emerged carries on the Q’s layout and 110.5-inch wheelbase but little else. The Macan is longer, wider, and much lower than Audi’s small ute. The resulting proportions—think Ford Edge with a 3.6-inch haircut—and a racy greenhouse drive the Macan to an unexplored corner of the SUV map. Both sport and utility live under this roof, but there’s never a doubt which of the traits rules.

Porsche invested $677 million in Macan manufacturing facilities and bolted in new engines, four-wheel-drive systems, and suspension hardware. More than two-thirds of the donor Q5’s parts have been replaced or altered. An aluminum hood arcs from windshield to grille and from tire to tire to eliminate unseemly seams. Staggered-size wheels and tires and swollen rear haunches give the Macan that tail-heavy 911 look. The conversation piece, what design chief Michael Mauer calls a sideblade—a term you may recall also being applied to the Audi R8’s trademark styling feature—is a cavity hollowed out of the door surfaces to lower visual height.

Two power and trim levels—S and Turbo—stretch the window stickers from $50,895 ($300 more than a base Cayenne!) to well over $100,000 with options. If that’s beyond your budget, fret not, because a more affordable four-cylinder Macan is likely later this year. A V-6 turbo-diesel model arrives in 2015.

Familial Power
The 3.0-liter and 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 engines descend from the Panamera’s V-8. Lopping off two cylinders, installing split-pin crankshafts, and adding balance shafts yield 90-degree V-6s that purr with fresh-kill contentment. Only the top Macan sports the hallowed Turbo badge, but both engines are boosted by twin flank-mounted turbochargers. The S V-6 peaks with 340 horsepower at 6500 rpm. The Turbo’s version uses a longer stroke and 17.4 psi of boost (versus the 3.0-liter engine’s 14.5 psi) to pound out 400 horsepower at 6000 rpm. Both engines yowl to 6700 rpm and then nap at red lights to conserve fuel.

The one and only gearbox is a crisp-shifting, paddle-controlled seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The four-wheel driveline is shared with the Cayenne and powers the rear wheels all the time and routes torque to the open front differential when necessary through a computer-controlled multiplate clutch housed in the tail of the transmission. Traction and handling are enhanced by Porsche’s alphabet soup of helpers—ABD, PTM, PSM—which momentarily brake one or two wheels to check tire slippage and spin-outs. An electronically controlled rear limited-slip differential is optional. Porsche’s traditional Sport Chrono package adds launch control, more-aggressive powertrain and chassis algorithms, and analog and digital dash-top timers for hot lapping and acceleration sprints.

There are three suspension systems: coil springs with conventional shocks, coils with electronically adjustable shocks, and a height-adjustable air-spring suspension that includes adjustable shocks. The top-dog setup, optional in both S and Turbo, provides a 0.6-inch-lower high-speed cruising height with 1.6-inch higher-than-normal ride for, well, touring former Soviet military installations. The bountiful options list offers eight different wheels ranging between 19 and 21 inches in diameter. In addition to the extra power, the Turbo gets LED-illuminated grille blades, rectangular exhaust tips, adjustable dampers, leather-trimmed sport seats, and a 3-D–view nav system.

2015 Porsche Macan Turbo
Our second hot lap of the autobahn, conveniently unencumbered by speed limits, revealed the spiritual difference between the S and Turbo Macans. The S is quick, entertaining, and primed for a run to the redline. Porsche says the run to 60 mph takes 5.2 seconds, which probably understates the case. The Turbo is overkill. Nail the accelerator, the nose rises, and visions of 911 Turbos dance in your head. Although we didn’t verify the 164-mph top-speed claim, we did accelerate from 100 to an easy 160 mph in what seemed like two deep breaths. The factory claims a 0-to-60 sprint is possible in 4.6 seconds, or a couple of 10ths quicker with launch control. (For reference, the AWD 911 Carrera S with the PDK automatic hits 60 in four flat.) The larger engine fills its pipes with big-cat growl, accenting upshifts with an occasional snarl or snap. There’s a full repertoire of purrs and chuckles during the overrun. Those who spend the extra $22,400 for the Turbo won’t be cheated.

Inside Information
The interior features the now Porsche-standard sloping center console that first appeared in the Carrera GT. That epic model had only a few knobs to fiddle with; the Macan’s nervous system looks more complicated than a Learjet’s. There’s a switch for every function, more than 30 on the center panel and a few more overhead and on the steering wheel shared with the heroic 918 supercar. That doesn’t count the infotainment controls sited below a seven-inch touch screen. Clearly, Porsche hasn’t received the industry-wide memo on control simplification.

The path to the rear seat is slightly impeded by a thick sill, but there’s ample room within for two grown-ups or three kids. A three-piece backrest folds to convert passenger positions to freight space. The racy hatch angle and the sleek roof curvature whack more than a third of the Audi Q5’s cargo volume (from 29 to 18 cubic feet), the price of aping the 911’s profile. Sacrificing the back seat yields 53 cubic feet of space and a flat, nearly level load floor.

Our Leipzig visit revealed few bugs in the Macan’s makeup. We could use less understeer at the cornering limit, a fault partly attributable to the winter tires fitted for the chilly launch conditions. Also, this part of Germany has such perfect pavement that it’s unknown whether the firm suspension will feel at home on our crappy roads.

Porsche’s timing is perfect for riding the global craze for smaller luxury SUVs. The Cayenne and Macan lion-and-tiger team will advance Porsche’s goal of 200,000 annual worldwide sales by four years. Yes, the sports-car boutique we knew and loved is evolving into a major enterprise. But take solace that these cash kitties are footing the bill for the Ferrari fighter coming soon to Porsche’s sports-car lineup.


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Sources : 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo Photo | 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo Article | 2015 Porsche Macan S Photo | 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo Photo 3 | 2015 Porsche Macan Turbo Interior Photo
Fukuichi To Head Lexus : News
Fukuichi To Head Lexus : News

Very unusual for a rather traditional Japanese company, Toyota has decided to make an interesting management change – its global design chief, Tokuo Fukuichi, will also head the entire Lexus brand and have a seat in the supervisory board.

While holding on to its current position of leader of the global design group – having in his care the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands, the company announced Fukuichi would become president of Lexus International – a first for the company. He will take over at Lexus starting April 1, while his appointment in the board would pend approval at a general shareholders’ meeting, usually taking place somewhere in June.

Kiyotaka Ise, which currently holds the position at Lexus would vacate his board seat as he was relegated to chief officer of the company’s R&D group. Just like his successor, he would assume multiple duties, as he will also be overseeing the company’s materials engineering, fuel cell development and sports vehicle management.

The move to elevate a design chief to an executive management role emphasizes President Akio Toyoda’ recent years refocus on the design – long held as the Achille’s heal to the Japanese company.


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Sources : Fukuichi To Head Lexus Photo | Fukuichi To Head Lexus Article
Volvo Concept Universe : Concept Cars
Volvo Concept Universe : Concept Cars

Let's get the complaining out of the way. The Volvo Concept Universe unveiled at the Shanghai auto show is styled with all the innovation of a Top 40 pop song. To some, the front end looks like a Swedish take on the 2002 Lincoln Continental concept’s; others see hints of Jaguar XJ in the rear end.

Getting past the shape, the Concept Universe communicates two important messages. First, it underscores that by universe, Volvo really means China. The company's new owner, after all, is China-based Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. Volvo's Chinese sales are fairly strong, and the management is desperate to grow its sales in the hot luxo-car market there. That's why Volvo CEO Stefan Jacoby says of the Concept Universe, “We will listen very carefully to what the Chinese car buyers think of the design. Later, we will also show the Concept Universe in other parts of the world.” Gee, thanks.

Of greater relevance for those of us not residing in the People's Republic of China, is the new platform underpinning the Concept Universe. Volvo calls it Scalable Platform Architecture, and we should see it again beneath several—if not all—upcoming Volvo models. Volvo is mum on such trivialities as possible application, size range, and engineering details for the time being; we'll have to be satisfied with the promise of the concept’s designer, Jonathan Disley, that the interior is more spacious than that of the S80 on sale now.

Jacoby has previously said that his company needs to move away from pitching cars as “premium” models, because this language is too heavy on the marketing fluff. So it was with great relief that we found the press materials for the Concept Universe entirely devoid of that word, instead harping on “luxury.” Although Volvo has a history of successfully flogging its models as the ultimate luxury cars in Communist countries—the North Koreans still tool around in 240s, and East German elites in the 1980s lived in a gated community jokingly referred to as Volvograd—China's shoppers are increasingly demanding. The next-gen Volvos that will grow from this Concept Universe have to live up to the marketing, whether they're called premium, luxurious, or something else.


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Sources : Volvo Concept Universe Photo | Volvo Concept Universe Article
2012 Faralli & Mazzanti Evantra : Photos
2012 Faralli & Mazzanti Evantra : Photos

Sources : 2012 Faralli & Mazzanti Evantra Photo
Tour The Ducati Museum With Google Maps...
Tour The Ducati Museum With Google Maps : News

Even fancied a visit in Bologna, Italy at the Ducati Museum, but you're simply too far away and the trip would be too expensive? Well, you can still take a virtual tour of the museum, as long as you're connected to the Internet and can access Google Maps.

The Borgo Panigale museum attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year, and we're talking about guys in "flesh and bones" wandering through the Corse Red hallways.

Google Maps is not offering a high-resolution virtual tour of the museum,a s well as a pass along the along the famous Via Cavalieri Ducati street outside and entering the Ducati factory.

The Ducati Museum covers 850 square meters (9,150 sq ft) and hosts over 40 history-making motorcycles from the various eras, alongside tons of other Ducati memorabilia. And who knows, maybe you'll want to be a part of the upcoming World Ducati Week 18018 July at the Misano circuit after the virtual visit at the museum.


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Sources : Tour The Ducati Museum With Google Maps Photo | Tour The Ducati Museum With Google Maps Article
2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 : Current Models
2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 : Current Models

If you haven’t checked in on the Bentley brand in a decade or more, the 2015 Bentley Continental GT V8 S is a great starting point from which to grasp exactly how much this once-stodgy brand has changed. Its all-wheel-drive GT family can be seen as a high-shouldered exotic in some respects—performance numbers, for instance—yet it carries an exclusive touring-car gloss throughout, and no sacrifice in comfort along the way.

The GT V8 S model, introduced this past model year, rises to the occasion in 2015 as the performance touring car of the lineup, with a higher-output 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 making 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission that includes an S mode with sharper throttle response and a more aggressive shift logic. GT V8 S models can get to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds, and to a top speed of 192 mph. GT V8 models carry their output of 500 hp and 487 lb-ft (and sub-five-second 0-60 time) over from last year. Both the GT Coupe and Convertible remain also offered with the top 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 engine that produces 631 hp.

Those W-12 versions do remain the straight-line kings of the lineup, though. They make 567 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, while the Speed editions pump power up to 616 hp and 590 lb-ft. Bentley puts the 12-cylinder coupe's 0-60 mph times at less than 4.3 seconds and sets its top speed of 195 mph, with convertibles running slightly slower, and Speed coupes hitting 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and topping out at 205 mph. These are astonishing feats for cars that weigh nearly three tons.

Despite the higher output of the W12 models, we’ve noted that V8 models feel perkier and more vivid behind the wheel; we expect an extension of that in V8 S models and hope to soon update this review on that driving experience. Also, according to Bentley the V8 models can go more than 500 miles (with a some self control, of course) on a tank, thanks in part to a cylinder-deactivation system that runs the direct-injection engine in V-4 mode under light-load conditions.

In any case, the GT comes with an all-wheel drive system that uses a Torsen differential and 40/60 front/rear torque split that puts all that engine torque to the road with finesse—and allows a composed, refined, and capable driving experience even when the roads aren’t dry. The GT has sublime, capable road manners for a vehicle with this mass and length, and its standard computer-controlled shock system—Continuous Damping Control (CDC)—allows three different modes, permitting you to push this car hard into tight corners without you or the car feeling ragged. And it of course excels on higher-speed sweepers and in all-day Interstate hauls.

With the last redesign of the GT, for 2012, when it was more firmly separated from the Flying Spur sedans, the GT earned a somewhat more chiseled look, with creased aluminum sheetmetal that helps it stand as a sort of sharp-shouldered piece of rolling art, while the GTC (convertible) gets what we consider to be a somewhat more traditional (and relaxed) look. As for the S model, it gets a somewhat different set of visual priorities, with a rear diffuser, a more aggressive front splitter, and different side sills to match, as well as 20-inch wheels and red-painted brake calipers. The V8 cars are distinguished by their blacked-out grille, red-enameled badging, and figure-eight exhaust pipes.

With as much attention that’s paid to interior details, cabin space isn’t really what the Continental GT and GTC have going for it. While the front seats are cross-country comfortable, there’s a little less elbow room than you might expect; and rear-seat accommodations in the GT include two bucket seats, with far less legroom than you might expect from a car that’s the length of a mid-size sedan.

Yet like the Continental’s Flying Spur sedan counterparts, the GT coupes and GTC convertibles are built with the look and feel of a hand-built interior, and superbly appointed. GTC convertibles come with a power top that folds in 25 seconds; it's woven with great quality and damps out a lot of ambient road noise. We heartily recommend the Mulliner package of quilted leather, knurled chrome, and turned aluminum trim, as well as the optional lambs-wool rugs. The convertible top for Continental GTC models is offered in three different colors, while there are four different two-tone hide colors within the standard range (before even considering customization). V8 models get exclusive Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus wood veneer inside, as well as an Aliade cloth headliner and a short center console instead of the full-length console in W12 models.

The entire lineup includes electronic climate control, Bluetooth and a DVD navigation system that also controls climate and audio functions. The navigation system sports Google maps and a vibrant 8-inch LCD touchscreen. A Naim audio system has pure, flat sound, for just an additional $7,000 or so.

Although neither of the U.S. safety agencies have crash-tested a Continental (if they ever did, we might weep) safety concerns seem almost like a moot point considering the GT’s stout construction, and its full range of airbags—and the pop-up roll bars that GTC models get for extra protection. The standard rearview camera system is much appreciated, though, as the high-and-far rear can be challenging to see over.


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Sources : 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Photo | 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Article | 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Rear Photo | 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Photo 2
Hennessey Venom GT : Videos

Hennessey Venom GT : Videos

Host : hpedesign

On February 14, 2014, the Hennessey Venom GT set a new world speed record for 2-seat sports cars by reaching a top speed of 270.49 mph (435.31 km/h). The test was performed at the Kennedy Space Center on the 3.2-mile Space Shuttle landing runway. Brian Smith, Director of Miller Motorsports Park, drove the Venom GT to its record speed. A representative from Racelogic, world-renowned maker of VBox GPS data-acquisition systems, was on hand to independently verify and document the Venom GT's highest recorded speed. The Venom GT was powered with Pennzoil Platinum® with PurePlus™ Technology, a first of its kind synthetic motor oil made from natural gas. For more information please visit:


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Sources : Hennessey Venom GT Photo | Hennessey Venom GT Video
1956 Ford Thunderbird : Classic Cars
1956 Ford Thunderbird : Classic Cars

Ford’s original two-seat Thunderbird, inspired by Chevrolet’s Corvette, went into production on September 9, 1954. Like Chevy’s fiberglass sports car, the steel-bodied 1955 T-bird rolled on a 102-inch wheelbase, but the similarities ended there. Save for some early applications, a removable fiberglass hardtop was standard, as were roll-up windows and V-8 power, all features unavailable to Corvette customers early on. The Thunderbird V-8 was a 292 cubic-inch Y-block topped by a single four-barrel carburetor. Output was 193 horsepower with the standard three-speed manual, and 198 horses when the Ford-O-Matic automatic was installed. More power boosts followed in 1956 as the standard 292 V-8 was up-rated to 202 horsepower and an optional 312-cid Y-block appeared with either 215 or 225 horses. Optional dual carburetors were introduced later that year to help the 312 reach 260 horsepower. Additional updates for 1956 included available “portholes” for the removable hardtop and a Continental-style spare tire carrier out back.


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Sources : 1956 Ford Thunderbird Photo | 1956 Ford Thunderbird Article
Bankrupt Coda Selling Leftover New EVs...
Bankrupt Coda Selling Leftover New EVs On Ebay : News

It remains possible to buy a brand new all-electric Coda Sedan, you just have to know where – and sometimes when – to look. Coda Automotive went bankrupt in May 2013, but we learned last September that Coda Cars had purchased the leftover stock of the company's EVs and would be selling them at "a substantial discount" through its website. That site still doesn't have any prices on it but the Coda was originally priced at $44,900 and then took a steep price drop down to $37,250. Recently, Coda Cars had a Coda EV on eBay but that ended at just $14,000 - below the reserve - with 24 bids.

Rick Curtis, a former Coda dealer who now works with Coda Cars, told AutoblogGreen that interest in his leftover Codas has been outstanding. "We put a Coda on eBay from time to time but most of the time we are selling these from our website or referrals," he said. "We have been selling complete cars, gliders and a few rollers and have even been selling components to buyers worldwide." Curtis said Coda buyers have come from Russia, India, Hungary, China and Korea, as well as throughout the United States. Last fall, Curtis told us that Coda Cars had purchased 150 Coda vehicles: 100 gliders and 50 full vehicles.

Coda Cars, made up of Club Auto Sales and Ready Remarketing, is also working on "a few other projects," Curtis said, which makes us thing about the deal he hinted at in September about new EV batteries being produced by Coda Energy some day. Who knows where the story goes from here.


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Sources : Bankrupt Coda Selling Leftover New EVs On Ebay Photo | Bankrupt Coda Selling Leftover New EVs On Ebay Article
2014 Lotus Motorcycles C-01 : Photos
2014 Lotus Motorcycles C-01 : Photos

Sources : 2014 Lotus Motorcycles C-01 Photo
2014 Hyundai Intrado : Concept Cars
2014 Hyundai Intrado : Concept Cars

It’s hard to keep a secret these days. Take Hyundai’s Intrado Concept for instance. Set for a Geneva reveal, the first images slipped out today and began making the rounds almost immediately. We stumbled across them on Carscoops, and thought we’d check in on the matter.

The Intrado was styled and engineered primarily at the Hyundai Motor European R&D center in Rüsselsheim, Germany, where it earned the codename, HED-9 for Hyundai Europe Design. Developed by a partnership of Hyundai Motor’s design and engineering teams, the Intrado is said to employ a super-lightweight structure teamed with a hydrogen fuel-cell drivetrain that’s both smaller and lighter than the unit used in the Hyundai Tucson ix35 Fuel Cell. The three-door appears to be born of that same funky, kinda-crossover, high-riding style that gave birth to cars such as the Nissan Juke.

So far Hyundai’s been light on the details, but claims the lightweight structure employs a mixture of advanced materials that are joined using a revolutionary technique that has the potential to change the ways cars are assembled in the future. The Intrado name is derived from the word “Intrados,” a term used to describe the underside of an arched airfoil or wing. For Hyundai’s purpose it represents lift, which enables flight, and reflects the car’s aircraft-like attributes of using advanced lightweight materials, purposeful style, and efficient powertrains.

Although Hyundai says it’s the first Hyundai concept car to be inspired by the brand’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 styling initiative, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that the first production car to wear the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 tag, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, debuted in Detroit earlier this year.

Either way, we’ll be interested to see how that black and orange interior comes off in person when we check it out on the stand in Geneva.


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Sources : 2014 Hyundai Intrado Concept Photo | 2014 Hyundai Intrado Concept Article | 2014 Hyundai Intrado Concept Rear Photo | 2014 Hyundai Intrado Concept Interior Photo
2014 Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake : Current Models
2014 Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake : Current Models

The Jaguar XFR-S is already an impressive drive. However, take its 550-horsepower drivetrain and pack it into the svelte body of the XF Sportbrake and you’ve got a surefire hit on your hands.

That’s exactly what Jaguar has done with its latest XFR-S Sportbrake, which has previously been spotted testing in prototype form and has now leaked ahead of its official world debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show next week.

This single photo, posted online by Autocar, shows what the new 550-horsepower family hauler will look like when the covers finally come off, and confirms that Jaguar designers haven’t toned down the aggressive styling of the XFR-S sedan in its transformation into a wagon.

Key elements include the huge intakes in the front bumper, 20-inch staggered wheels, Pirelli tires and uprated suspension. Then there’s the brute of a powertrain, which in this case is a supercharged 5.0-liter delivering 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque.

Like in the XFR-S sedan, drive in the XFR-S Sportbrake should go to the rear wheels only, via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Look for 0-60 mph acceleration of about 4.4 seconds and a top speed governed to 186 mph.

Sadly, since the regular XF Sportbrake isn’t sold in the U.S., this one won’t be either.

Stay tuned for the full reveal at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, which gets underway on March 4. In the meantime, head to our dedicated hub to see what else the Swiss show has to offer.


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Sources : 2014 Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake Photo | 2014 Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake Article
Jeremy Clarkson Tests The Zenvo ST1 : Videos

Jeremy Clarkson Tests The Zenvo ST1 : Videos

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Jeremy Clarkson tests the first danish car.


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Sources : Jeremy Clarkson Tests The Zenvo ST1 Photo | Jeremy Clarkson Tests The Zenvo ST1 Video
2015 Ford Expedition : Current Models
2015 Ford Expedition : Current Models

A typical life cycle for today’s passenger cars is usually about five to six years, but things are different in the truck world. Full-size pickups and SUVs can stick around for a decade or more with only minor visual changes. The general mantra is, “it’s what’s underneath that counts.” But every truck eventually needs a nip and tuck, so making its debut at the, um, 2014 Dallas Fort Worth auto show is the refreshed and reinvigorated 2015 Ford Expedition.

The Expedition, of course, has been Ford’s Tahoe-fighter since its 1997 introduction, gaining an independent rear suspension for 2002, and an all-around re-do in 2007. Not surprisingly, the changes for the 2015 Expedition and its long-wheelbase Expedition EL variant closely mirror those seen on the 2015 Lincoln Navigator, which debuted two weeks ago at the Chicago auto show: front and rear fascias, interior updates, and most significant, a switch from V-8 to turbocharged V-6 power.

If the truck in the pictures looks familiar—yes, that’s the new one—it’s because the styling changes are quite minor. The front end gets squintier headlamps, a rearranged front bumper, LED fog lights, and a surprisingly modest new grille with a trio of louvers without any sort of gauche chrome surround. Other changes are limited to new wheels, a redesigned liftgate, and new tailpipes. That’s it.

The model pictured is the new Platinum grade, which gets 22-inch wheels, special badging, and a fancy leather-lined interior; XLT and Limited trims will continue, and a new King Ranch model will be added in the future. The Expedition also gets a new instrument cluster, steering wheel, and center stack that accommodate Ford’s latest Sync and MyFord Touch technologies. Other tech items of note include keyless access and remote starting, a blind-spot monitor, a rearview camera, ambient lighting, a 700-watt Sony sound system, and Ford’s “truck apps” to augment various towing and off-road driving tasks.

While the interior and exterior changes are relatively predictable, and certainly not as noticeable as those of the 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe and (non-Denali) GMC Yukon, both of which are all-new this year, we imagine that Ford may raise a few customers’ eyebrows by dropping the current model’s 5.4-liter V-8 in favor of a direct-injected, 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6. The switch makes more sense once you see the stats: the EcoBoost V-6 just wallops the old V-8 in output, with an estimated 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque compared to 310 horses and 365 lb-ft. It is also more powerful than the base 5.3-liter V-8 in the GM trucks, which produces 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque, although not as strong as the General’s optional 420-hp, 460 lb-ft 6.2-liter V-8.

If the EcoBoost V-6’s performance in the F-150 is anything to go by, it should be more than up to the task of getting the big truck up to speed, even with a full load or a trailer in tow. Ford also promises that the new Expo will get better fuel economy than the current model’s 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway, although we should note that we haven’t always seen real-world efficiency gains with Ford’s EcoBoosted pickup trucks. Again, we shall see. Ford is estimating the max tow rating of the EcoBoosted Expedition at 9200 pounds.

The Expedition will be in dealerships in the second half of 2014; expect prices to rise slightly, in keeping with Ford’s strategy of charging more up front for its fuel-saving EcoBoost technology.


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Sources : 2015 Ford Expedition Photo | 2015 Ford Expedition Article | 2015 Ford Expedition Engine Photo | 2015 Ford Expedition Interior Photo
Honda Taps First Female Board Member : News
Honda Taps First Female Board Member In Diversity Push : News

Honda Motor Co. appointed its first female board member today, looking to inject wider outside perspective into its male-dominated top management as it expands internationally.

Hideko Kunii, 66, is a professor of engineering and gender-equality promotion at Shibaura Institute of Technology.

Honda announced her appointment to the company's 13-member board in a Feb. 24 release. She takes office in June, pending approval at the company's general shareholders' meeting.

She will be the first female director at a big Japanese carmaker; neither Toyota Motor Corp. nor Nissan Motor Corp. have tapped a woman.

Kunii is a software specialist who spent the bulk of her career at the Japanese electronics giant Ricoh Co. She also has a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Texas in Austin.

As part of the shuffle, Honda also promoted Issao Mizoguchi, a Brazilian of Japanese descent, to operating officer. He has worked at Honda's Brazil operations since 1985. He will lead the company's South American business.

The appointments are a nod to Honda's growing dependence on increasingly diverse overseas markets. The company was the first Japanese automaker to assembly cars in the United States, but its executive suite has long been exclusively run by Japanese males.

"We chose someone appropriate regardless of the nationality or gender for a broader perspective," a Honda spokeswoman said.

Honda's changes follow last year's appointment of a foreign board member, former General Motors executive Mark Hogan, at rival Toyota. Nissan, meanwhile, leads Japan's Big 3 with an executive board packed with international talent.

Japanese automakers, as a standard bearer of Japan Inc., sometimes come under criticism for ossified thinking in their often all-male, all-Japanese boardrooms. But they are inviting new viewpoints as they deepen their dependence on new markets.

Honda aims to boost global auto sales to more than 6 million units in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, from 4.385 million vehicles forecast for the current fiscal year.

Whereas developed markets account for about 60 percent of Honda's sales today, booming emerging markets are projected to count for more than half in that time frame.


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Sources : Honda Taps First Female Board Member In Diversity Push Photo | Honda Taps First Female Board Member In Diversity Push Article
2013 KTM X-Bow GT : Photos
2013 KTM X-Bow GT : Photos

Sources : 2013 KTM X-Bow GT Photo
BMW Carbon Fiber Wheels : Accessories
BMW Carbon Fiber Wheels : Accessories

Wheels are a great upgrade to make when you're trying to improve a car's appearance and performance. Reducing the unsprung weight (weight that isn't supported by the suspension) can help a car's tires stay in contact with the road when going over bumps. having one's tires in contact with the road is definitely a good thing.

That's why BMW is finally making wheels out of the coolest and lightest material we make cars out of: carbon fiber. There were two prototypes that BMW showed to the public at the Innovation Days event in Munich: an all carbon fiber wheel, and a hybrid wheel consisting of a carbon fiber rim and alloy spokes. The former is 35% lighter than a high performance alloy wheel, and the latter is 25% lighter.

They'll be hitting the market in the next year or two.

BMW
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (Bavarian Motor Works), commonly known as BMW or BMW AG, is a German automobile, motorcycle and engine manufacturing company founded in 1916.

BMW is headquartered in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It also owns and produces Mini cars, and is the parent company of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. BMW produces motorcycles under BMW Motorrad. In 2012, the BMW Group produced 1,845,186 automobiles and 117,109 motorcycles across all of its brands. BMW is part of the "German Big 3" luxury automakers, along with Audi and Mercedes-Benz, which are the three best-selling luxury automakers in the world.

BMW was established as a business entity following a restructuring of the Rapp Motorenwerke aircraft manufacturing firm in 1917. After the end of World War I in 1918, BMW was forced to cease aircraft-engine production by the terms of the Versailles Armistice Treaty. The company consequently shifted to motorcycle production in 1923, once the restrictions of the treaty started to be lifted, followed by automobiles in 1928–29. The first car which BMW successfully produced and the car which launched BMW on the road to automobile production was the Dixi, it was based on the Austin 7 and licensed from the Austin Motor Company in Birmingham, England.

BMW's first significant aircraft engine was the BMW IIIa inline-six liquid-cooled engine of 1918, much preferred for its high-altitude performance. With German rearmament in the 1930s, the company again began producing aircraft engines for the Luftwaffe. Among its successful World War II engine designs were the BMW 132 and BMW 801 air-cooled radial engines, and the pioneering BMW 003 axial-flow turbojet, which powered the tiny, 1944–1945–era jet-powered "emergency fighter", the Heinkel He 162 Spatz. The BMW 003 jet engine was tested in the A-1b version of the world's first jet fighter, the Messerschmitt Me 262, but BMW engines failed on takeoff, a major setback for the Emergency Fighter Program until successful testing with Junkers engines. Towards the end of the Third Reich BMW developed some military aircraft projects for the Luftwaffe, the BMW Strahlbomber, the BMW Schnellbomber and the BMW Strahljäger, but none of them were built.

By the year 1959, the automotive division of BMW was in financial difficulties and a shareholders meeting was held to decide whether to go into liquidation or find a way of carrying on. It was decided to carry on and to try to cash in on the current economy car boom enjoyed so successfully by some of Germany's ex-aircraft manufacturers such as Messerschmitt and Heinkel. The rights to manufacture the Italian Iso Isetta were bought; the tiny cars themselves were to be powered by a modified form of BMW's own motorcycle engine. This was moderately successful and helped the company get back on its feet. The controlling majority shareholder of the BMW Aktiengesellschaft since 1959 is the Quandt family, which owns about 46% of the stock. The rest is in public float.

BMW acquired the Hans Glas company based in Dingolfing, Germany, in 1966. It was reputed that the acquisition was mainly to gain access to Glas' development of the timing belt with an overhead camshaft in automotive applications. Glas vehicles were briefly badged as BMW until the company was fully absorbed.

In 1992, BMW acquired a large stake in California based industrial design studio DesignworksUSA, which they fully acquired in 1995. In 1994, BMW bought the British Rover Group (which at the time consisted of the Rover, Land Rover and MG brands as well as the rights to defunct brands including Austin and Morris), and owned it for six years. By 2000, Rover was incurring huge losses and BMW decided to sell the combine. The MG and Rover brands were sold to the Phoenix Consortium to form MG Rover, while Land Rover was taken over by Ford. BMW, meanwhile, retained the rights to build the new Mini, which was launched in 2001.

Chief designer Chris Bangle announced his departure from BMW in February 2009, after serving on the design team for nearly seventeen years. He was replaced by Adrian van Hooydonk, Bangle's former right hand man. Bangle was known for his radical designs such as the 2002 7-Series and the 2002 Z4. In July 2007, the production rights for Husqvarna Motorcycles was purchased by BMW for a reported 93 million euros. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese.

In June 2012, BMW was listed as the #1 most reputable company in the world by Forbes.com. Rankings are based upon aspects such as "people's willingness to buy, recommend, work for, and invest in a company is driven 60% by their perceptions of the company and only 40% by their perceptions of their products."


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Sources : BMW Carbon Fiber Wheels Photo | BMW Carbon Fiber Wheels Article | About BMW
Street and Racing Technology : Videos

Street and Racing Technology : Videos

Host : Drive SRT

Get to know the 2014 SRT family of vehicles: 300 SRT, Challenger SRT, Charger SRT, Grand Cherokee SRT, SRT Viper, and SRT Viper GTS-R.


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Sources : Street and Racing Technology Photo | Street and Racing Technology Video
Hyundai PassoCorto : Concept Cars
Hyundai PassoCorto : Concept Cars

Italian design studios still have that magic wand when it comes to creating impressive-looking cars, no matter the ethnicity of the people they employ. I mean, just look at this new Hyundai concept for an Alfa Romeo 4C competitor from the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) of Turin and tell me you wouldn't want to take it for a spin… The study is called the PassoCorto and it was commissioned by the Hyundai Design Center Europe "as a tribute to the Made in Italy design that is studied at the IED".

The two-seater sports car with the rear-mid-engine and rear drive layout will be presented in the flesh at the Geneva Motor Show next month. It's the tenth full scale model to be created by IED Turin and displayed at the Swiss auto event since it started doing so back in 2004.

The PassoCorto is not only similar in philosophy to the 4C, but in size as well, measuring 4,100mm long, 1,880mm wide and 1,160mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2,450mm.

The study is static, but it was designed to be built around a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis and a target weight of just 840kg (1,852 pounds), with power coming from a Hyundai 1.6-liter bi-turbocharged four producing around 270-horsepower.

According to IED, the interior "was designed to have two cockpits with integrated instruments clearly divided by passenger and driver; the seat is optically connected to the dashboard and the backrest is cut directly out of special niches in the frame".

Thomas Bürkle, Chief Designer at the Hyundai Europe Design Center, commented:

"I would like to express my gratitude to the director Riccardo Balbo, the management of IED and especially to the students of the Master Course. The cooperation between our Design Center and IED was very inspiring and fruitful. The PassoCorto is a dream coming true and fulfills the high expectations we had at the beginning of the project. The result is of such a high standard that I can say that the Hyundai badge sits proudly on the bonnet of this exciting sports car!"

So, what do you think; should Hyundai at least ponder about bringing this car to production?


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Sources : Hyundai PassoCorto Concept Photo | Hyundai PassoCorto Concept Article