Drive Away 2Day

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1980 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4 : Classic Cars
1980 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4 : Classic Cars

In 1979, the modest Renault Sport division, responsible for the R5 Turbo rally program led by engineers François Bernard and Michel Têtu, only had the Group 5 prototype that had appeared on the Tour of Italy, the famous “Black” R5, assembled from specific Renault and Alpine parts.

Gérard Larrousse and his team had to wait for 400 examples of the production series to be built for homologation in Group 4 that would allow the R5 Turbo to compete in major international competitions. This was done before the summer of 1980. And so the car presented here was born, bearing the chassis number B000036 and registered 126 TZ 91 on September 8, 1980. This was the first R5 Turbo to be homologated in Group 4, and as a racing car, its exceptionally well-conserved condition is nothing short of a miracle.

“Coco” Prié, the mechanic well-known for his time at Alpine during the successful 1973 world championship era, and who moved to Renault as head of the rally support team, remembers assembling this R5 Turbo not at Viry Châtillon but at the F1 department at Antony, alongside Prost’s single-seater. The 1,400-cc turbocharged engine of this car was therefore prepared by the F1 workshop, and is the one and only R5T engine to have benefited from this treatment, as the others were built first at Viry and later by the Bozian brothers near Lyon.

The first campaign for B000036 was the famous Tour de France Automobile in 1980, which took place at the end of September. The car was given to factory driver Jean Ragnotti, with co-driver Jean Marc Andrié. The Ragnotti-R5T tandem caused great excitement and did not disappoint the spectators. Andrié declared, “The mechanics presented us with a magnificent car — the best-looking rally car I’ve ever seen.” It must be said that Coco Prié’s team worked through the night before the start to get the car ready. The rally unfurled in an atmosphere of excitement, marked by a scratch win for the R5 on the first special stage. The R5T B000036 went on to win six of the following special stages.

Unfortunately, the R5T’s first outing didn’t end in victory. An off-road excursion in the Col de Perty lost them five minutes, and they were forced to retire six stages before the end with an ignition problem. However, the R5 Calberson had won over a lot of fans and made a big impression. The spectators knew that a victory wasn’t far away.

B000036 and Jean Ragnotti were eagerly anticipated at the next event: the Tour de Corse. This splendid trial attracted the biggest names: Andruet, Thérier, Darniche, Frequelin, Rohrl, Ragnotti, Saby, Mouton ….

Jean Ragnotti was the clear favorite given the Tour Auto results. The team engineer Philippe Chasselut had worked to reduce the turbo’s response time and the R5 was the overall winner of the first four stages. A puncture on the following stage relegated them to 4th place, but they quickly regained the lead in front of Darniche and his Fiat 131 Abarth. The second section played into the Renault driver’s hands, thanks to the terrible weather. In Castagniccia, Ragnotti’s talent, together with the R5T’s good handling in the wet conditions despite the power of the turbo, increased his lead. However, just before the Col Saint-Roch, the alternator belt broke and the car stopped. It meant a retirement even though the event had effectively been won, and it was a huge disappointment for the team.

This Renault 5 Turbo is in exceptionally original condition for a car that has raced at this level. It is in the period Calberson livery, and has retained its running gear, which can be checked against the substantial photo album from the Tour de France Auto and Tour de Corse (Renault Sport 4 piston calipers replaced the two rear pistons). Mechanically, the car remains strictly original, with its large and specific Tour de Corse-type turbo. It still has its rare magnesium Minilite wheels, and the interior also retains a period feel, with the original carpets, and the rare onboard computer.

A close look at period photos show that the smallest details down to the bonnet catches have been kept. This car created a sensation at the last Tour de Corse Historique, being highly original among so many re-creations of period cars. It is certainly one of the most important R5 Turbo factory cars. Although not a race winner, it is the one and only R5 Group 4 car in Calberson colors.

B000036 is a spectacular, high-performance car, with a beauty that takes the breath away. It made its mark in rallies during the 1980s, setting new standards in major competitions, and took part in two of the most prestigious events for historic cars: the Tour de France Auto and the Tour de Corse. This is a truly exceptional car, eligible for all VHC events, and it has a Passport Technique National. This is a genuine competition car and not a modern replica.

The car has been signed by Jean Ragnotti on the bonnet, and its authenticity has been recognized by figures involved at the time including the famous “Coco” Prié, who was present on the Tour de Corse Historique.

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Sources : 1980 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4 Photo | 1980 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4 Article
Obama Administration Sends Transport Bill...
Obama Administration Sends Transport Bill To Congress : News

The Obama administration on Tuesday sent a bill to Congress that aims to cover an expected shortage in money to spend on America's bridges, roads and transit systems, but Republican opposition could prevent its passage.

Funding for the four-year, $302 billion legislation would come partly from ending certain tax breaks for businesses, a provision opposed by many Republicans. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the administration would be open to other ideas to raise the money.

"At the end of the day, the important thing is that we pass a bill that avoids a destructive collapse in funding that would threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs and inflict unnecessary damage on our economy," Foxx said on a media teleconference.

The Highway Trust Fund traditionally has been bankrolled by taxes on gasoline and diesel, but with fuel use stagnant the fund is not bringing in enough revenue to cover infrastructure needs. It is projected to run out of money as soon as August.

Republican Representative Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, said in a statement he is sure "won't agree with all the details" in the bill.

Even some Democrats were cool to the proposal. Senator Jay Rockefeller, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, called it "one step in the right direction." He said finding ways to pay for the bill would not be easy and a number of funding options should be considered.

Congress has all but ruled out raising the 18.4-cents-a-gallon tax on gasoline and the 24.4-cents-a-gallon levy on diesel, which is the main source of funding for the trust fund.

Foxx said some states are already canceling or delaying transportation projects "because of the uncertainty at the federal level."

The administration's proposal would address the trust fund's looming shortfall and provide an additional $87 billion to pay for a backlog of repairs such as structurally deficient bridges and aging transit systems.

A report last week by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association estimated that roughly one in 10 U.S. bridges, more than 63,000, is in urgent need of repair. Many are part of the interstate highway system.

To help boost transportation funding at the state level, the legislation would loosen rules on when states are permitted to establish tolls on interstate highways.

The bill would also boost the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's efforts to oversee automotive safety. It would increase to $300 million from $35 million the civil penalties that NHTSA can levy against automakers who fail to act quickly on vehicle recalls.

NHTSA is investigating why General Motors waited until February to recall 2.6 million cars for faulty ignition switches when it first learned of the defect more than 10 years ago.

Peter Rogoff, acting under secretary of transportation, said the bill would strengthen NHTSA authority to require automakers to remove vehicles from the market when a defect is discovered.

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Sources : Obama Administration Sends Transport Bill To Congress Photo | Obama Administration Sends Transport Bill To Congress Article
2014 MINI Paceman Adventure : Concept Cars
2014 MINI Paceman Adventure : Concept Cars

A creative collaboration between young apprentices and their instructors at the BMWs plant in Munich and Dingolfing has produced a completely unique vision for MINI. Choosing the MINI Cooper S Paceman as their base model, the students transformed the car into a two seater with a pickup style cargo area. The powerful turbocharged engine, all-wheel drive ALL4, a modified suspension and numerous unique features available mean this versatile car is ready for just about anything. The name: MINI Paceman Adventure.

This latest creative vision for the MINI brand demonstrates the level of talent at work amongst the BMW Group's young apprentices. The MINI Paceman Adventure combines the drive technology of the 135 kW/184 hp MINI Cooper S Paceman ALL4 with an innovative two-seater pick-up vehicle concept. The passenger compartment ends behind the front seats where the spacious cargo area for luggage, tools and equipment begins. In addition, a solid roof rack can accommodate a spare wheel.

The MINI Paceman Adventure would be suitable for driving on gravel roads, through muddy tracks or on desert trails. The pickup has the typically MINI short overhangs, a modified chassis with extended ground clearance and much higher front and rear clearance ramps. The snorkel-like roof level air intake means that MINI Paceman Adventure could tackle a challenging river crossing.

Additional lights mounted on the front cross member of the roof rack optimize visibility at night, while special off-road tyres with wide and deep treads guarantee the perfect traction. The MINI Paceman Adventure features exclusive Jungle Green metallic paintwork.
The MINI Paceman Adventure is a true one-off and there are no plans for series production.

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Sources : 2014 MINI Paceman Adventure Concept Photo | 2014 MINI Paceman Adventure Concept Photo 2 | 2014 MINI Paceman Adventure Concept Article | 2014 MINI Paceman Adventure Concept Interior Photo
2014 Gumpert Apollo S Ironcar : Photos
2014 Gumpert Apollo S Ironcar : Photos

Sources : 2014 Gumpert Apollo S Ironcar Photo
2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR48 Speedboat : Videos

2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR48 Speedboat : Videos

Host : loucam08

If you've always wanted to combine your passion for Corvettes and speed boats, here's hoping you have $1.7 (€1.26) million to spare.

Built by Marine Technology Incorporated, this ZR1-inspired boat is constructed from carbon fiber and features lighting units from the legendary sports car. Elsewhere, there are gull wing doors, an electric sliding rear window and two turbocharged Mercury Racing engines that develop 1350 hp (1007 kW / 1369 PS) each.

Inside, the cabin has a full Corvette interior with an original steering wheel, instrument cluster and gear knob. Other highlights include leather seats, LED accent lighting and an 8000 watt audio system.

Since the boat is too big for most roads, it includes a custom trailer to haul it around. However, it looks like you'll have to find your own big rig to tow it.

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Sources : 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR48 Speedboat Photo | 2012 Chevrolet Corvette ZR48 Speedboat Video
Texas To Pay $10,000 For Each Toyota Job : News
Texas To Pay $10,000 For Each Toyota Job : News

Toyota Motor Corp. 7203.TO -0.38% is starting a multiyear overhaul of its North American operations, consolidating several units at new headquarters in Plano, Texas, that will house 4,000 employees now spread across separate marketing, manufacturing and finance locations.

The moves disclosed on Monday will be the most significant changes in decades to the way the world's largest auto maker does business in its single biggest market. The decision also has political and economic repercussions for the states of California, which will lose as many as 3,000 jobs, and Texas, which will gain roughly 4,000 jobs.

Jim Lentz, chief executive of Toyota's North American operations, said the decision to consolidate in the Dallas suburb stemmed from conversations he had with Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda about a year ago, soon after Mr. Lentz got his current job.

Toyota's current sales and marketing unit headquarters in Torrance, Calif., was too far from the auto maker's factories in Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi and Texas and from its engineering center in Ann Arbor, Mich., Mr. Lentz said. Erlanger, Ky., where Toyota's North American manufacturing operations are now based, was too small, he said.

Toyota narrowed its preferred locations to Denver, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., before choosing the Dallas-Plano area, a person familiar with the matter said. Real-estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle JLL -0.56% handled the search.

"We weren't pursued by Texas," Mr. Lentz said. "It isn't a Texas versus California discussion."

California's business climate and costs of living have become sensitive topics in the state, especially in light of Texas Gov. Rick Perry's efforts to woo employers from the Golden State with promises of lighter regulation and lower taxes.

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Sources : Texas To Pay $10,000 For Each Toyota Job Photo | Texas To Pay $10,000 For Each Toyota Job Article
1969 Mazda Cosmo L10B Coupe : Classic Cars
1969 Mazda Cosmo L10B Coupe : Classic Cars

Although founded in the 1920s, the company that would become Mazda Motor Corporation did not commence series production of passenger cars until 1960. Only four years later the Japanese firm exhibited its first rotary-engined prototype, having acquired the rights to produce NSU's Wankel-designed engines. In 1966 Mazda launched its first rotary, the Cosmo L10A, which went into production the following year. Mazda's flagship model, the Cosmo was powered by a twin-rotor engine displacing 982cc and producing 110bhp, which was enough to endow the pretty two-seater coupé with a top speed of 185km/h. In July 1968 a more powerful and faster (128bhp, 193km/h) L10B version on a longer wheelbase was introduced. Production was limited, and when the Cosmo was phased out in 1972 only 1,519 had been made, 1,176 of which were the L10B version.

This Cosmo has belonged to the Belgian Mazda importer since the early 1990s and in 1992 was exhibited at the Brussels Motor Show at Autoworld. Currently displaying a total of 51,093 kilometres on the odometer, the car is described as in very good driving order, benefiting from overhauled steering (2010); new starter motor and carburettor rebuild (2011); and overhauled rear brakes (2012). The interior is said to be in good condition while the only notified fault is slight corrosion beneath the front wings. This rare and historic Mazda rotary is offered with Belgian registration papers and a magazine featuring the Cosmo.

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Sources : 1969 Mazda Cosmo L10B Coupe Photo | 1969 Mazda Cosmo L10B Coupe Article
2014 Rinspeed XchangE : Photos
2014 Rinspeed XchangE : Photos

Sources : 2014 Rinspeed XchangE Photo
2015 Volvo V60 : Current Models
2015 Volvo V60 : Current Models

In the midst of an overhaul of its U.S. lineup that Volvo describes as “the most extensive development of existing models” in its history—and rightfully so, what with updates for the XC60, the XC70, the S60, and the S80—the Sino-Swedish company also is planning to expand that lineup with a station wagon—the V60.

Unveiled at the 2010 Paris auto show, the V60 wagon has played to positive reviews in other markets, sufficient for Volvo publicists to characterize it as “already a superstar in Europe.” And Volvo is betting its combination of style and usefulness can revive the company’s sales in a category it once dominated.

Aside from a probable U.S. arrival date—January 2014, likely as a 2015 model—specifics were scarce. The wagon shares the current S60 sedan’s architecture and basic chassis dimensions. Its European powertrain inventory includes a wide variety of choices, diesel and gasoline, as well as all-wheel drive, and a new plug-in diesel-electric hybrid.

Volvo has no current plans to include that hybrid in its U.S. inventory, but the hybrid shared the limelight on the company’s stand at the New York auto show, pending a possible World Car of the Year award. However, a gasoline-electric plug-in is in the S60 and V60’s not-too-distant future, according to Volvo.

U.S. engine choices are yet to be determined, but the base powerplant is expected to be one of Volvo’s new VEA (for Volvo Environmental Architecture) direct-injected, twin-turbo four-cylinders, probably of 2.0-liter displacement. (Volvo has said in the past that it plans to cap cylinder counts at four in future models.)

The V60 shares the S60 sedan’s recent face lift, including its not-entirely-successful nose job, but is arguably a stronger fashion statement, with its sloping roofline and snazzy rear-hatch treatment. The display model carried Volvo’s upscale R-Design trim, with commensurate sporty suspension upgrades, but, like the S60, the wagon will be offered in several trim levels.

It may also include some interesting new safety features, long a Volvo strong suit. For example, the Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection system, introduced at the recent Geneva show, that not only detects these hazards, using a combination of camera and radar, but can bring the car to a stop.

While there are a number of uncertainties, one thing about the V60 seems clear: the new wagon will erase memories of Volvo’s boxy wagons of yesteryear, including the V50, which disappeared from U.S. showrooms in mid-2011. Can it revive the glory days of years past, when wagons accounted for a big percentage of Volvo passenger-car sales? That’s the question. We must wait for the answer.

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Sources : 2015 Volvo V60 Photo | 2015 Volvo V60 Article | 2015 Volvo V60 Interior Photo
2014 Jeep Cherokee Sageland : Concept Cars
2014 Jeep Cherokee Sageland : Concept Cars

In early 2014 the new Jeep Cherokee was launched in the Chinese market featuring modern Jeep design, best-in-class capability and the first nine-speed automatic transmission in its segment. With the introduction of the Sageland design concept, the Jeep brand demonstrates how the reach of the Cherokee could expand in new directions.

The design theme and color palette for the new Jeep Cherokee Sageland was inspired by the historical landmarks and natural sceneries found throughout the mystical expanse of the Shangri-La Region.

The concept's exterior is painted in Ivory tri-coat Pearl with bronze grille collars and front and rear fascia appliques. The Daylight opening (DLO), roof rack, door mirror caps and exhaust tips are painted in Satin Bronze chrome, enhancing the overall look and adding to the unique style of this vehicle.

Inside Sageland, the earth-tone color palette continues with a combination of light, neutral grey Nappa leather seats with red and water blue accent stitches. The seats also feature stitching inspired by traditional Chinese knot design, and the pattern on the door appliques derived from the color and finish of Chinese ornamental door knobs.

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Sources : 2014 Jeep Cherokee Sageland Concept Photo | 2014 Jeep Cherokee Sageland Concept Article
Drifting Every Corner : Videos

Drifting Every Corner : Videos

Host : /Drive

Onboard video with Chris Harris at the Ascari Racing Resort, having some fun in the new McLaren 650S.

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Sources : Drifting Every Corner Photo | Drifting Every Corner Video
2014 Honda FCEV : Concept Cars
2014 Honda FCEV : Concept Cars

Honda presented a new concept car at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show that was powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

Called the FCEV, the new concept is said to preview the potential styling of a successor to the FCX Clarity that is scheduled for launch in 2015, the same year close rival Toyota plans to launch its own fuel cell vehicle.

Showcasing exciting and modern styling, the FCEV features a futuristic design that builds on themes expressed by Honda’s new Exciting H Design!!! styling language. We can also see some similarities between the FCEV and the FCX Clarity, such as indented shoulder line and coupe-like profile.

In addition to looking good, The FCEV also delivers ample passenger space and seating for five passengers thanks to new powertrain packaging efficiencies. Those efficiencies are made possible thanks to Honda’s next-generation fuel cell stack.

The power density of the fuel cell stack is now 3 kilowatts/liter, an increase of 60 percent, with the stack size reduced 33 percent compared to the one in the FCX Clarity. Despite the smaller size, the stack yields more than 100 kW and by charging a lithium-ion battery enables the FCEV to drive more than 300 miles on a single fill of hydrogen.

Honda has been an industry leader in the development of fuel cell vehicles. In 2002, it was the first automaker to begin a retail initiative with the leasing of fuel cell vehicles to fleet customers. By 2005, it was leasing them to individual customers. Today, there are still roughly two dozen customers driving the FCX Clarity.

It’s not clear if Honda will lease its new fuel cell vehicle, but Toyota has already confirmed it’s willing to sell its own fuel cell vehicle, though a previous cost estimate of around $50,000 is looking unlikely. Instead, Toyota now estimates that its production fuel cell vehicle based on the FCV conceptshown at this week’s 2013 Tokyo Motor Show will cost almost double the original estimate.

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Sources : 2014 Honda FCEV Concept Photo | 2014 Honda FCEV Concept Article
1924 Mercedes Targa Florio : Classic Cars
1924 Mercedes Targa Florio : Classic Cars

The car is based on the 1923 Indianapolis car, redesigned by Ferdinand Porsche.

DMG's new chief designer Porsche had got off to an excellent start when he prepared this car for the 1924 Targa Florio. The engine, built in 1923, was completely done over and modified to include a number of innovations, like filling the exhaust valves with mercury for an improved heat abstraction.

Contrary to the regulations on the colouring of racing cars according to their nationality, this car was painted red instead of white, which was the official German livery . Reportedly, this was meant to stop spectators at the Targa Florio from recognizing the car as a competitor's marque and throwing stones at it, a common practice at the time. Surely not only for this reason, the car was victorious with Werner at the steering wheel, once more demonstrating the capability of the supercharger.

This race also marked the DMG debut of Alfred Neubauer who was later to become race manager. The car was used in numerous races after its debut in the Targa Florio. For the 1924 Semmering race, Salzer fitted the Targa Florio chassis with a 4.5 litre engine, taken from 1914 GP and additionally equipped with a supercharger. Salzer could establish a record.

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Sources : 1924 Mercedes Targa Florio Photo | 1924 Mercedes Targa Florio Article
2014 Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid...
2014 Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid : Current Models

You’d be forgiven if you never before used the terms “luxury,” “sports,” “sedan,” and “plug-in hybrid” in the same sentence to describe a new car. But those descriptors are entirely appropriate when characterizing one member—the S E-hybrid—of the ever-expanding Porsche Panamera lineup, which now includes naturally aspirated and turbocharged V-6 and V-8 engines and standard- and stretch-wheelbase Executive models.

That’s right, just when you’ve finally grudgingly accepted the premise of a roomy, comfortable, four-passenger Porsche sedan, you must now tolerate the fact that there’s a Porsche that silently suckles electrons, Chevy Volt–like, from the teat of the electrical grid on sleepy nights. (September will see the start of production of a second pluggable Porsche, although that car, the technology-intense, limited-build 918 supercar, will cost more than eight times as much as this one.)

The new $99,975 plug-in S E-hybrid is easy to distinguish from last year’s Panamera S hybrid by its psychedelic-green brake calipers. Available only in a standard-wheelbase configuration, the 2014 S E-hybrid can give 20 or more miles of electric-only operation before the supercharged, 333-horse, Audi-based 3.0-liter gas engine cuts in to maintain a preset minimal level of battery charge. That, of course, presumes the owner is diligent enough to regularly plug the car into the electrical grid, a rigor we wonder if time-crunched types will bother with.

But they should do so, because it facilitates the bimodal character so germane to the S E-hybrid’s appeal. On one hand, it’s an electric cruiser for short jaunts (up to 83 mph!) of silent, fossil-fuel-free running on its 95-horse AC motor and big, 9.4-kWh lithium-ion battery to, say, pick up the dry cleaning or bisect the entire principality of Monaco. And on the other, it’s a parallel hybrid with an internal-combustion engine and 416 total system horsepower for, well, Porsche-like blasts all the way to an estimated 167-mph top speed. Getting the aforementioned 20 miles on battery power alone requires a measured driving style; get crazy with the accelerator (pushing past an obvious detent point at 80-percent throttle), and the engine will spring to life.

Charging on the Fly
It’s no problem if your schedule won’t allow you to leave your Panamera tethered long enough for a full charge—about two-and-a-half hours on a fast 240-volt circuit. In E-Charge mode, the gas engine can completely recharge the battery on the fly in 19 to 23 miles of light cruising. The caveat is that doing so too often will wreak havoc on overall fuel economy, as the engine will be tasked with both spinning the generator and motivating the 4800-pound car. Official EPA estimates haven’t been released, but Porsche maintains the 2014 S E-hybrid consumes 56-percent-less fuel than its predecessor (at least in European testing). For our part, we figure the new system will return EPA ratings of 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway, up from the 22/30 ratings of last year’s Panamera S hybrid.

As for how the 2014 S E-hybrid works as a Porsche, its electric motor has about twice the capacity of the previous hybrid’s, and 0-to-60 sprints feel a bit stronger—we estimate it will hit benchmark speed in 5.2 seconds. That would place it roughly midway between the performance of a base Panamera and the new twin-turbo V-6 S model. But more important, the Panamera S E-hybrid retains Porsche dynamic characteristics. True, the new hybrid doesn’t excite with visceral pops, rumbles, and crackles as does the V-8–powered Panamera GTS, but the S E-hybrid’s electrohydraulic steering and generously sized 245/50-18 front and 275/45-18 rear tires convey Porsche-worthy road feel. And the S E-hybrid’s brakes avoid most of the numbness and two-step annoyance of many regenerative braking systems.

Porsche is anxious to discover if its premium customers will embrace the segment’s first-ever plug-in hybrid, as those who shop in the six-figure price bracket can easily afford the cost of premium unleaded fuel and might not always bother with nightly plug-ins. But who knows? Slipping out to the garage to plug in might be the perfect excuse to work in some quality time wrenching on your air-cooled 911.

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Sources : 2014 Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid Photo | 2014 Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid Article | 2014 Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid Engine Photo | 2014 Porsche Panamera S e-Hybrid Interior Photo
Nissan Developing Self-Cleaning Paint : News

Nissan Developing Self-Cleaning Paint : News

Some people consider washing the car an intimate, sacred ritual. The rest of us would prefer to skip the whole matter and get on with the day. And so we thank Nissan for developing paint that repels water and oil, effectively creating the world’s first self-cleaning car.

The paint, developed by engineers at the Nissan Technical Centre in the UK, is hydrophobic and oleophobic. That means it repels water and oil. That means the gunk and goo that normally sticks to your ride slides right off. It’s like wax, but better. Nissan’s engineers have applied the finish, called Ultra-Ever Dry, to a Nissan Note and say it does a remarkable job repelling rain, spray, frost, sleet and standing water. If the video is to be believed, mud literally slides right off.

There’s nothing new about hydrophobic or oleophobic coatings–Rust-Oleum offers a hydrophobic spray that works (mostly) as advertised, and the iPhone features an oleophobic coating to reduce fingerprints on its precious screen. Still, it’s new to cars, and Nissan will continue testing it. Nissan says it has no plans to offer the paint as standard equipment, but will consider making it an option.

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Sources : Nissan Developing Self-Cleaning Paint Photo | Nissan Developing Self-Cleaning Paint Article | Nissan Develops First 'self-cleaning' Car Prototype Video
2015 Dubai Roadster : Photos
2015 Dubai Roadster : Photos

Sources : 2015 Dubai Roadster Photo
Supercar Drifting Uphill In Snow : Videos

Supercar Drifting Uphill In Snow : Videos

Host : Betsafe

Jon Olsson drifts his 600hp, 1000kg supercar The Rebellion R2K up a snowy ski slope in Storlien, Sweden. Team Betsafe's high altitude training for the upcoming Gumball 3000 Miami 2 Ibiza rally in June 2014!

"This crazy idea turned out to be one of the most exciting mornings that I have ever had. Pushing full gas while sliding sideways on the top of an empty mountain while the sun is just dipping over the horizon is just hard to beat!" -Jon Olsson

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Sources : Supercar Drifting Uphill In Snow Photo | Supercar Drifting Uphill In Snow Video
Ford Vertrek : Concept Cars
Ford Vertrek : Concept Cars

Despite the overly hyped but completely awesome F-150 torture test videos on Ford's website, the Vertrek is the future of Ford. On second thought, that statement carries a few caveats. First, as long as the U.S. exists, so will the Ford F-150—pickup trucks are as American as apple pie, baseball and Sarah Palin, and bed-equipped vehicles are going to be around for the foreseeable future. Without them, how are we going to haul stuff? Second, the Vertrek concept might not get the green light for production, as it might simply be a marketing effort veiled as design exercise.

That said, the Ford Vertrek is still the concept at least (pun intended). For starters, the compact SUV based on Ford's global C-segment platform looks good. Whereas the Escape, Ford's previous cute-ute, looked like it was inspired by a bar of Ivory soap, the sculpted body and sweeping head- and taillights of the Vertrek could easily pass for something Japanese or, gasp, German. The panoramic roof, with a skylight slit running the length of the top, appears to be the result of Ford designers having some fun. You go, guys.

Start-Stop Technology
Shoveling past skin deep, the Vertrek touts Ford's EcoBoost engine technology that holds 125-plus patents. This turbocharged direct-injected 1.6-liter 4-cylinder junior member of the EcoBoost family marks the debut of a new technology: Auto Start-Stop. When a vehicle comes to a stop, instead of idling, the system will automatically shut the engine off, restarting it with the blip of the gas or clutch pedal (the process taking approximately 0.3 seconds). While moments of non-combustion might seem a bit trivial, Ford asserts it can cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 5 percent in mixed driving conditions, and up to 10 percent in city or heavy traffic.

In anticipation of the stresses that comes with increased engine cranking from the Auto Start-Stop system, a high-performance electric motor and stronger pinion-engagement mechanism are employed for the starter. And because the battery will expend more energy through the increased use of the starter, a regenerative system is employed to convert kinetic energy from braking into electricity. Should the battery lack the necessary amps to fire up the engine, the ECU will leave the engine idling.

If the Ford Vertrek Concept ever makes it into production, an improved 2.0-liter Duratorq TDCI (turbodiesel common-rail direct-injection) powerplant would be an option for foreign markets. Both engines would feature the Auto Start-Stop system and come matched to a 6-speed transmission. Here's to the future.

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Sources : Ford Vertrek Concept Photo | Ford Vertrek Concept Article | Ford Vertrek Concept Photo 2 | Ford Vertrek Concept Interior Photo
1952 Cunningham C-3 Coupe : Classic Cars
1952 Cunningham C-3 Coupe : Classic Cars

Briggs Cunningham may have been born in Cincinnati, Ohio, right in the heartland of America, but he could have been right at home in Modena, or Maranello, Italy, such was his approach to automobile-making.

Besides being considered the builder of what many consider to be America's first sports car and earning a 4th place at the 1952 24 Hours of Le Mans, Cunningham understood well the axiom of 'win on Sunday, sell cars on Monday'.

Enzo Ferrari had started out building race cars but would soon come to realize the need to build cars for the street in order to fund his racing aspirations. Furthermore, he quickly realized the current climate suggested the common person wanted the same kind of performance in their street cars as that which they had witnessed at the races. This would eventually lead to a whole new world of the luxurious sports car.

All of these stages Cunningham understood quite well. He fancied Cunningham automobiles to be Ferrari of North America. Therefore, Briggs wouldn't just have ideas for race cars rattling around in his mind. He also had notions of luxurious performers bearing the Cunningham name.

Following the expensive and luxury-light C-1, Briggs would receive some very important help. Cunningham would contact Carrozzeria Vignale based in Turin, Italy. He would propose to them his idea of building a luxurious performer. What he wanted from them was a classic body to grace his C-2 chassis. It would be known as the C-3

What Cunningham suggested was by no means a cheap and straight-forward process. This required Cunningham rolling chassis to be shipped to Turin where they would be fitted with Vignale bodies, and then, shipped back to the United States. However, Briggs believed the coachmaker to hold the key to his notion of a road-going sports car. Besides, it couldn't be any worse than the $15,000 C-1 no one wanted.

Compared to American cars of the time, the C-3 was certainly European in its size and looks. However, when compared to Ferraris and Maseratis of the same time period, the car was still much bigger.

It is not entirely clear just how many of the C-3s would be built by Cunningham. The number suggested by Briggs himself would be just around 30. One of those would be chassis 5210.

In early April of 1952, chassis 5210 would make its way across the Atlantic to Vignale in Turin. Five months later, the chassis would return with its Vignale body. The end result would be a two-tone livery consisting of metallic grey and metallic blue. Inspection of the interior would reveal a C-3 quite similar to the others completed by Vignale. However, this particular example would include a winged emblem. The car would also be the first of the C-3s to receive suspension revisions by 'Red' Byron.

Upon arriving back at Cunningham factory, 2510 would remain as a company demonstrator to serve as a vision of Briggs' intentions for his small company. Its Vignale body would lead to the car being featured in an October issue of Mechanix Illustrated in 1953 and then in The Modern Sports Car. Throughout the first couple of years of returning to Cunningham, 2510 would undergo some changes to its hubcaps, gear-selector quandrant and horn. Then, in 1953, the car would be sold to Edmond DuPont.

DuPont would keep the Cunningham C-3 in his possession until 1960 when it was sold to Wilmington Automotive Activities Inc. Before it was sold again in 1962, the car would undergo more changes. The original paint would be changed to blue and white and the original bumpers would be removed. Eventually, the car would pass to George Sterner, and, then, to Ed Jurist and his Vintage Car Store in Nyack, New York.

In 1967, David Deuble would purchase the car and would immediately set to work removing the original seats and repainting the car in American racing livery. In that condition, the car would be sold in 1975 to A. Vail Frost who would prepare to have the car undergo a complete restoration. Unfortunately, this process would not be able to begin until 2002. Still, the work would be completed in 2004 with a majority of original parts used in the process. One of the major finishing touches to the car would be to repaint the car in its original two-tone livery. The results would be rewarding, literally.

Throughout 2005 to 2007, the Cunnningham C-3 would earn Best of Show and First in the Sports Car class at the Kentucky Concours d'Elegance. It would also earn the Star Award at the 2006 Burn Foundation Concours, as well as, the Most Outstanding Hemi at Amelia Island that same year.

The C-3 would be sold again in 2007 and would be treated to further restoration and maintenance. Then, in 2009, 2510 would take part in the Colorado Grand and would complete the distance without any problems. Since then, the bumpers have been refitted presenting a nearly identical look to that which arrived from Turin back in 1952. It is fitting then that Cunningham's demonstration car would appear in its near original condition to continue in its representative role for America's first sports car manufacturer.

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Sources : 1952 Cunningham C-3 Coupe Photo | 1952 Cunningham C-3 Coupe Article
2014 SGA Aerodynamics Mercedes-Benz...
2014 SGA Aerodynamics Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG : Photos

Sources : 2014 SGA Aerodynamics Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Photo
Michael Schumacher Coma Condition : News
Michael Schumacher Coma Condition : News

A report is saying that seven-time F1 champ Michael Schumacher has come out of a coma and recognized his wife. However, another journalist is saying the report is false and lacks credibility.

According to RT’s Spanish edition, his manager Sabine Kehm said that he was out of the coma, but this could not be confirmed.

Kehm said that she could not elaborate further out of respect for his family’s privacy. Kehm said he was in a complicated process of recovery, and he was alternating between sleep and consciousness.

Schumacher was hospitalized on Dec. 29 after he suffered a head injury while skiing in the French Alps. The 45-year-old ex-champion was placed in a medically induced coma after he suffered the head injury.

Bild journalist Nicola Pohl said that the RT report is fake.

“Schumacher awake? Sorry, but those Rumors from Spain apparently not true. Kehm just texted me she hadn’t confirmed anything to RTL,” Pohl said wrote on Twitter.

She also wrote: “No, it’s NOT true!” in reference to the story.

A few days ago, Kehm, said that he appears to be recovering, albeit slowly. “Michael is making progress. He is showing moments of consciousness and wakefulness. We remain confident,” she said, according to German media reports.

She continued, “There are moments when he is awake and moments when he is conscious, which make us happy and give us great courage. Of course I am not a doctor, but medically, there is a distinction between being awake and being conscious, the latter meaning there is an ability to interact with his surroundings.”

“I don’t want to disclose details out of respect for the family, but we have no doubt at all in the abilities of the doctors treating Michael, they are experts in their field.”

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Sources : Michael Schumacher Coma Condition Photo | Michael Schumacher Coma Condition Article
2015 Volkswagen Scirocco : Current Models
2015 Volkswagen Scirocco : Current Models

The nameplate isn’t quite ready for a U.S. return, but VW is trying to maintain interest in its three-door Scirocco nonetheless. To wit, last summer we were given the opportunity to test the 261-hp Scirocco R on American soil, and now the company has face lifted the entire lineup. While the refreshed ’Roc will remain confined to other markets, we’re pretty sure the all-new next-gen model will head stateside in three years or so.

While the Scirocco traditionally was a fastback coupe, the current generation is a three-door hatch, and more of a shooting brake. More than 200,000 examples have been sold since the third-gen Scirocco arrived for 2009, but the vehicle is a bit unloved by the senior management in Wolfsburg, as it is one of the last remnants of the somewhat baroque school of design practiced under exiled former chief designer Murat Günak.

VW's current design team has thus made a feeble attempt to bring the model more in line with the more angular styling language epitomized by vehicles like the new MkVII Golf. But the budget must have been, er, rather light: Excepting a new tailgate with a horizontal crease, the sheetmetal is unchanged. The front and rear bumper are restyled, however, to make the regular Scirocco evoke the look of the 2015 GTI hatchback, and the Scirocco R gets its own new fascias. Both the halogen and the optional HID headlights feature new signature elements, and the taillight innards have been reworked with standard LED illumination. There are new 17-, 18-, and 19-inch wheel designs, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and sport seats are now included on all models.

Inside, VW has made slight updates to the somewhat boxy dashboard, which is shared with the Eos convertible, a vehicle you probably forgot existed. We like the adoption of the three gauges on top of dashboard for oil temperature, turbo boost pressure, and a stopwatch, but could have done without the "tubular" look of the main instrumentation, a once-sporty styling cue that has long been beaten to death.

Other cabin upgrades include new color and trim choices, including "Matthew" fabric and "Greg" faux suede. Conspicuous by their absence are this season’s hot new “Hank” burlap and “Louis Charlesworth XII” velvet upholsteries. (Two of the aforementioned are not real things.) We'll stick to the "Vienna" leather. Whatever your choice of lining, the Scirocco's interior is roomy up front but hardly suited to haul rear occupants for longer than quick trips to, say, Matthew and Greg’s house.

The Scirocco's front-wheel-drive chassis carries over unchanged, and this means buyers still get the old but excellent PQ35 platform that sat under the MkVI Golf and its kin. The bones are heavier overall than the latest MQB architecture, but the Scirocco won't adopt that platform until the next full redesign.

At least VW has thoroughly updated the powertrain portfolio: The regular Scirocco comes with a choice of three upgraded turbocharged gasoline four-cylinder engines: a 123-hp 1.4-liter, a 178-hp 2.0-liter, and a 217-hp 2.0-liter. There are also more powerful versions of the 2.0-liter TDI rated at 148 and 181 horsepower. The top-of-the-line Scirocco R receives a power boost from 261 to 276 horsepower. A six-speed manual is standard with all engines, while dual-clutch automatics are optional. And all models, with the exception of the R, are fitted with an engine stop-start system.

As VW continues to try and make massive progress in the U.S. market, adding the halo effect and incremental sales of the Scirocco could make sense. While this current one is really good, we hope the next one will be great—and that you’ll get to drive it.

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Sources : 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco Photo | 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco Article | 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco Photo Photo 2 | 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco Interior Photo
Johammer J1 : Videos

Johammer J1 : Videos

Host : Johammer

Johammer J1 Electric Motorcycle in winter testing in the Tyrolean mountains around Lake Achensee

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Sources : Johammer J1 Photo | Johammer J1 Video
2014 Lexus CT BG : Concept Cars
2014 Lexus CT BG : Concept Cars

The Lexus NX was the main attraction at the Lexus booth this year in Beijing, but this customized CT 200h also caught our attention. Based on the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport, the CT BG Concept comes with a “more personalized design language” including a black and white color theme, delicate gold stripes, larger front side vents, new foglight surrounds, a lower lip spoiler with vertical fins, a rear diffuser and black exhaust tips. The interior has also been trimmed in carbon fiber.

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Sources : 2014 Lexus CT BG Concept Photo | 2014 Lexus CT BG Concept Article
1951 Allard J2 Roadster : Classic Cars
1951 Allard J2 Roadster : Classic Cars

Sydney Allard was a experienced English racing driver who raced cars at LeMans and the Mille Miglia bearing his own name. Of all the cars he built, the J2 of 1950 received the most attention and reflected his racing background.

J2 was a limited production racing car, and since Allard didn't manufacture their own engines, many were fitted with American V-8s. The standard unit was the Mercury V8, which was bored and stroked to produce 140 bhp. However, many cars came to US with out engines to take any combination of engine and transmission. When combined with the 331 cu. in. Cadillac or Chrysler 331 Hemi Firepower the J2 was a particularly potent contender.

These powerful American engines combined with a rigid chassis and a small, cycle wing body to give an exceptional power to weight ratio. Contributing to good handling was a chassis constructed using small diameter tubes, a de-Dion rear axle to help keep the rear wheels connected to the road and the large aluminum Alfin drum brakes.

The J2s best moment came at LeMans, when a 5.4 liter, Cadillac-engined car placed third at the 1950 Lemans behind the winning Talbots

Altogether, around 200 J2s were made, and a later J2X version featured an all-enveloping body for LeMans.

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Sources : 1951 Allard J2 Roadster Photo | 1951 Allard J2 Roadster Article
Top Gear Expresses Regret : News
Top Gear Expresses Regret For 'slope' Remark In Burma Special : News

The executive producer of Top Gear has expressed regret for a "light-hearted" remark on its Burma special that led to the BBC show being accused of racism.

Broadcast in March, the show saw Jeremy Clarkson use the word "slope" as an Asian man crossed a newly built bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand.

Executive producer Andy Wilman said it had been a "joke referencing both the build quality of the bridge and the local Asian man who was crossing it".

"[We] regret any offence caused."

The use of the word - which is a derogatory term for people of Asian descent - led to complaints and the threat of legal action from Equal Justice, a law firm specialising in discrimination cases.

Acting on behalf of actress Somi Guha, the firm accused Clarkson of "clear gross misconduct" and said his comments made the BBC appear "institutionally racist".

"We were not aware at the time, and it has subsequently been brought to our attention, that the word 'slope' is considered by some to be offensive," Wilman said in a statement.

"Although it might not be widely recognised in the UK, we appreciate that it can be considered offensive to some here and overseas, for example in Australia and the USA.

"If we had known that at the time we would not have broadcast the word in this context."

The incident follows previous episodes of the BBC motoring show that landed its presenters in hot water.

In 2011 the BBC apologised for remarks on the programme that characterised Mexicans as lazy and feckless.

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Sources : Top Gear Expresses Regret For 'slope' Remark In Burma Special Photo | Top Gear Expresses Regret For 'slope' Remark In Burma Special Article
2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo...
2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo : Current Models

Enthusiasts winced when they heard BMW would subject the latest 3-series to its Gran Turismo treatment. With all the recent talk about offering front-wheel-drive cars and electric vehicles, not to mention the Pillsbury Doughboy–as-wagon-replacement 5-series GT, haven’t we been subjected to enough BMW market-segment experimentation lately?

Our feelings notwithstanding, BMW’s goal never was to pull yet another genre-bending derivative off a perfectly fine sedan. This one is designed to offer a lot more space and versatility than the sedan does, while avoiding the station wagon look that—inexplicably—is dreaded by customers outside Europe. So here comes the 3-series GT that, like the larger 5-series GT, tries to be a master of all disciplines. So we tested a six-cylinder 335i model to see how it jacks all the trades.

From China, with Awkwardness
To make the new GT, BMW took the long-wheelbase chassis from the Chinese-market 3-series, raised the seating position, and added a large rear hatch. That’s a difficult brief to work with, and the team around BMW designer Page Beermann has endeavored to mask the GT’s considerable bulk. Not a single piece of exterior sheetmetal is shared with any other 3-series. Compared with the sedan, the GT grows discreetly in every direction. It’s wider, the headlights and the kidney grille are taller, the hood bulges, and there is an extra horizontal line on the side surfaces. We learned, to our surprise, that the “air breathers” on the front fenders actually serve some aerodynamic purpose.

The 3-series GT, we submit, is a far-better-looking car than the 5-series GT, and it does make good use of its larger dimensions. Thanks to its swollen body, the trunk holds between 18 and 57 cubic feet of luggage, more than does the 3-series sport wagon it joins in BMW’s U.S. lineup. There is generous legroom in the back, and the split rear seat can be adjusted through 15 stages. The driver enjoys that higher seating position so dear to SUV and crossover lovers, and the interior fittings are done to the elevated standards of the current 3-series.

All that extra space, of course, comes at a penalty. The higher center of gravity, longer wheelbase, and extra 300 or so pounds (versus the sedan) rob it of some agility. Fitted with the rear suspension of the sport wagon, the GT becomes a more comfortable and softer vehicle. Still, it doesn’t object to playing. We experienced a little more understeer than is usual for a 3-series sedan, but inducing power oversteer is fairly easy. It is easier, of course, in this more-powerful 335i model.

We still aren’t fully satisfied with the electrically assisted power steering, which could be lighter and more natural-feeling. But there’s little to be gained by bemoaning the loss of hydraulic power steering. At least the electric steering’s efficiency gain is significant on paper; in reality, we averaged 22 mpg. That’s not stellar, but it is at least better than the 18 mpg we got in the heavier BMW X3 xDrive35i with the same engine.

Our 335i test vehicle came with BMW’s familiar, single-turbo N55 3.0-liter inline-six with 300 horsepower; it is an utterly agreeable mill that builds revs effortlessly and without delay. We ripped off a best 0-to-60-mph run of 5.3 seconds and verified the 335i’s 129-mph electronically governed top speed. Both figures, while reasonably zippy, fall far behind those of a rear-drive 335i sedan we recently tested. Chalk it up to the GT’s additional weight over that car—some of which comes from its standard xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The base 328i GT uses BMW’s 240-hp, 2.0-liter N20 turbo four, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to test that setup.

If you live in Europe, the engine is mated to a six-speed manual or the gearbox we sampled, an eight-speed automatic. The eight-speed slushbox is the only choice for American buyers, and it shifts smoothly and rapidly and can be manipulated through steering-wheel-mounted paddles or a console-mounted shifter that operates the correct way. In other words, pull to upshift and push to downshift.

Around and around the Wagon Wheel
The 3-series GT starts at $42,375, but entry to the powerful 335i commands $47,775. To that, our test car added the $3100 M Sport package (18-inch wheels, sport seats, M steering wheel, body kit, and sportier interior trim); the $950 Cold Weather package (heated front and rear seats and steering wheel); the $1000 Dynamic Handling package (adaptive M suspension and variable-ratio sport steering); the $2200 Premium package (proximity key, lumbar support, and satellite radio); and the $3150 Technology package (navigation, head-up display, and enhanced Bluetooth capabilities). Tack on the $650 M Sport brakes and $875 Harman/Kardon sound system, and you get the $60,250 3-series GT you see here.

There’s no question the 3-series GT drives well and offers plenty of space. But enthusiasts and wagon lovers will be drawn to the proper 3-series sport wagon. Even though buyers can’t pair the wagon with the turbocharged 3.0-liter six featured here, they can get the 240-hp turbo four (it works plenty well in the lighter wagon) or the 328d diesel model. It helps that the wagon doesn’t have the unfamiliar proportions of the Gran Turismo and that it, too, can be had in M Sport guise. Still, if you find yourself in need of room for a family, a hobby, or a hobby horse—and you want something less conventional than a 3-series wagon or an X3 crossover—you might just be glad the 3-series GT exists.

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Sources : 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo Photo | 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo Article | 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo Rear Photo | 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo Interior Photo | 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo Engine Photo
Castrol Footkhana: Neymar Jr. v Ken Block...

Castrol Footkhana: Neymar Jr. v Ken Block : Videos

Host : Castrol

2014 FIFA World Cup star Neymar Jr. & his freestyle team take on Gymkhana king Ken Block in his rally car powered by Castrol's strongest oil, Castrol EDGE boosted with TITANIUM FST™. Who wins? Watch to find out! #NeymarJRvBlock

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Sources : Castrol Footkhana: Neymar Jr. v Ken Block Photo | Castrol Footkhana: Neymar Jr. v Ken Block Video
W Motors' Lykan Hypersport Car : Photos
W Motors' Lykan Hypersport Car : Photos

Sources : W Motors' Lykan Hypersport Car Photo
2014 Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia : Concept Cars
2014 Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia : Concept Cars

Following its world premiere appearances at the 2014 Geneva and New York auto shows, the all-new Jeep Renegade now debuts as a special design concept in Beijing. Zi You Xia, which means "rebel", is a new concept that highlights a more sophisticated aspect of the Renegade's personality.

Inspired by the colors of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the concept is finished in a Warm Chocolate Gray with a contrasting Dark Anodized Bronze color accentuating the grille throats, front fog lamp bezels, rear lower fascia, skidplate, tail lamp insert bezel and badging.

The roof panel, grille surrounds and door mirror caps are painted a Dark Charcoal to provide harmonious accents and a more premium appearance throughout. Unique 20-inch, Dark Anodized Bronze alloy wheels contribute additional visual flair as well as hinting at the vehicle's outstanding on-road and off-road driving dynamics.

The interior of the concept boasts an energetic ambience with rugged and functional details crafted in high quality materials. The Piano Black color is accompanied by grey A-pillars and headliner. The air vents, speaker bezel, gear shifter, steering wheel bezels, cup holder and door release handles are finished in an Anodized Copper, reflecting the metallic color common in sports equipment. The rich brown leather upholstery on the seats and door panels feature 'ombre' grey/black plaid fabric inserts, that were inspired by traditional menswear suiting and tailored patterns, adding just the right touch of sophistication to the sporty Zi You Xia.

True to the Jeep brand's heritage, the all-new Renegade is the most capable small SUV and the first in the world to offer a nine-speed automatic transmission. Designed for global markets and manufactured with up to 16 powertrain combinations - the most ever in a Jeep vehicle - it has been engineered to meet the specific requirements of customers all around the world.

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Sources : 2014 Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia Concept Photo | 2014 Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia Concept Article
1963 Triumph TR4 Surrey Top : Classic Cars
1963 Triumph TR4 Surrey Top : Classic Cars

First step in the TR's transition from uncomplicated, rugged sports car to something altogether more refined, the TR4 was introduced in 1961. Giovanni Michelotti's new bodyshell brought the styling bang up to date while beneath the skin there numerous chassis changes. Rack-and-pinion steering, widened front and rear track, and an all-synchromesh gearbox contributed to improved driveability, while wind-up windows were a big advance on the preceding TR3's primitive side screens. The standard engine was the 2,138cc four-cylinder overhead-valve unit first offered on the TR3A, and when equipped with the optional overdrive the TR4 was good for a top speed of almost 110mph. Today, the four-cylinder TRs are among the easiest of post-war classic sports cars to own and maintain, being supported by a multitude of component suppliers and other specialists. A rare factory option was the hardtop known as the "Surrey Top", an early attempt at a Targa. The hardtop panel featured a removable either hardtop or softop center panel, giving any TR4 so equipped a versatility unique at the time.

The Motorcar Offered
Finished in Signal Red with a black leather interior, this TR4 was subject to a comprehensive restoration that was completed in 2008. The body and frame were stripped down to the bare metal—revealing them to be straight and accident-free—refinished and repainted. Mechanically the engine was completely torn down, balanced, and rebuilt. For ease of use and reliability, the crankshaft was machined to accept a modern rear main seal which eliminated the usual oil spots found under just about every British car and the head was fitted with hardened valve seats to make usage of unleaded gasoline a non-issue. Inside, a completely new interior purchased from Moss Motors was professionally installed. In all cases, inside and out, parts were refurbished or replaced—with virtually every wear related part subjected to the latter. A full listing of the work completed and the parts replaced is included with the car.

Riding on a set of original 1960s America Racing magnesium wheels wrapped in Bridgestone Potenza tires, this TR4 will definitely make for plenty of back road enjoyment. With the vinyl top section removed, one can enjoy open air motoring with minimal wind buffeting. Showing well today, it has been kept in a climate controlled garage since it was purchased by the current owner and regularly maintained. With a number of concours trophies already to its credit, it would certainly be welcome at a range of events and tours and it will undoubtedly provide many hours of driving pleasure to its next owner.

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Sources : 1963 Triumph TR4 Surrey Top Photo | 1963 Triumph TR4 Surrey Top Article