Archive: August 2007

31 August
Astra OPC Nürburgring Edition

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Opel has unveiled the new Astra OPC “Nürburgring Edition,” a unique version of the three-door Astra that emphasizes the brand’s history at the famous circuit. Opel’s production cars are extensively tested during their development stage on the ‘ring, and back in 2005 Manuel Reuter first demonstrated the performance of the Astra OPC when he set a new class record in the car on the “green Hell”.

The limited edition Astra comes with a special white paint scheme, a larger rear spoiler and checkered flag decals plus lightweight wheels and carbon looks mirrors. The interior features full leather trim marked with the outline of the famed Nordschleife on the headrests, carbon-look dash panels and a numbered plaque on the glovebox.

The 237hp (177kW) 2.0L turbo motor remains untouched, and sees the car travel to 100km/h from rest in 6.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 244km/h. The car officially goes on sale in the first quarter of next year but should make an appearance at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Follow a jump for a video of Reuter and his record setting attempt of the Nurburgring in an Astra OPC.

31 August
Audi TT Roadster

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A potent high-performance version of the TT Coupe and Roadster is not very far away, however, specific details of the future model are still hard to come by. There’s been much debate about the power source for the new super-coupe with most suggesting either a twin-turbo version of the current 3.2L V6 engine or a brand new five-cylinder turbo unit.

According to info leaked from a reputable source at Audi, the new car will actually be powered by a 2.3L VR5 engine with a turbocharger. Final output will be 308hp (230kW), and the car won’t be called the TT-RS but simply TT-R. The engine will feature all the latest in Audi technology include new direct-injection as well as a fast-spooling turbo. This engine will also feature in multiple models in the Audi range apart from the TT.

Previous spy-shots revealed a prototype with huge cross-drilled brake discs and upgraded calipers as well as an electronic rear-spoiler covered with a strip of carbon-fiber.

This latest rendering of the car gives a preview as to what the final version is likely to look when it’s unveiled early next year, most likely at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Key features will be the extended wheel arches, new bumpers and a lowered ride-height.

[via: MotorA]

28 August
2008 Audi A4

Official images of the new Audi A4 are here. The design of te B8 model of the mid-premium saloon from Ingolstadt seems to be a very moderate evolution of the previous model. Maybe too conservative.

The proportions seem to be a little more aggressive, maybe thanks to the shorter overhangs, the longer hood and the longer wheelbase. The hood has a little more of a slope and finishes in slightly less imposing single-frame grille. The headlights have pretty showy LED daylights.

Fortunately, underneath the body the changes are much more interesting. The MLB modular system made it possible to move the engine 154 mm backwards, for a better weight distribution.

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The suspensions are completely new, made mostly in alloy. Also new is the drive select system, that changes the response of the engine, the gearbox, the steering and the supsensions according to the drivers’ preferences. Dynamic steering assistance and damper response are also available. Read the rest of this entry »

28 August
Formula 1 Grand Prix in Istanbul

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This was another great F1 race on Sunday, unfortunately not a good outcome for the Mclaren team, finishing on third and fifth place. The Scuderia team took places one and two right at the beginning and never really looked back at the trailing Hamilton, which ended up on fifth place after an incident with his tire, but fortunately Alonso was able to capture that last podium place with a bit of skill and a lot of luck.

The start: For the fifth time this year, Lewis and Fernando had qualified second and fourth respectively. At the start, Lewis dropped to third behind the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen whilst Fernando was sixth at the end of the opening lap.

The race: Fernando got stuck behind Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber). When Heidfeld’s team mate Robert Kubica pitted on lap 12 Fernando improved to fifth. On lap 17, also Heidfeld came in and Fernando was fourth.

Fernando made his first routine stop on lap 18 (9.1sec) together with Räikkönen, whilst Massa came in on lap 19 and Lewis on lap 20 (9.4sec). After that, Massa went back into the lead ahead of Räikkönen and Lewis; Fernando passed both BMW Saubers during his pitstop and was fourth.

27 August
Audi A1 – Official Sketches leaked

I originally posted this on my Thought Leader blog

I just got word that Car magazine has obtained the first official sketches of the so-called Mini-killer, the Audi A1. They write that these sketches have been “smuggled out of Audi’s design HQ”. The sketches show Audi’s tiny hatch in three-door trim, though a five-door, coupé and convertible are also planned.

After jealously eyeing five years of BMW success with the pricey Mini, Audi is undoubtedly interested in entering the B-premium segment (or super-Mini), a segment that has grown in appeal since the reincarnation of the Mini. The A1 aims to be a classy hatchback, with Audi’s typical design style and all of the “vorsprung durch technik” rhetoric.

Besides the A1 featuring the all-new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the sporty hatch will also be all-wheel drive, which was also engineered for an offroad version (the Q1) and for use by the S1 (in the first sketch), which could be a rival for the Cooper-S.

Audi has set very ambitious sales objectives, starting at 100 000 units in 2010 and ramping up to 190 000 units once the open-top and Q1 versions are in production. Reason for this is the price is a tad lower than a comparably equipped Mini, with the Audi retailing for $22 000 (about R160 000). No word on the official South African price or when it will hit our shores.

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22 August
Zoopedup cyber garages

After two years of planning, designing and programming the NEW ZOOPEDUP WEBSITE is live!! Some have called it Myspace for your car others prefer to refer to it as Facebook for your ride. Log on and go check it out for yourself!
Here’s my profile address, some other good online garages – Sexy Clio, Barrys-WP and Suplafly

The new Zoopedup website features videos, blogs, ride photos, online garages, ability to battle other garages and event photos for the past two years!

Here’s the blurp from the site:

Zoopedup is a automotive social network that allows you to create an online garage for your car featuring blogging, video and picture sharing, discussion forums, ride battles and event galleries from around the globe.

Sub areas of the site

photos.zoopedup.com – Features all the photos uploaded by the Zoopedup members.

videos.zoopedup.com – Features all the videos uploaded by users to the video sharing area.

battles.zoopedup.com – This is the area where Zoopedup members can challenge each other, other members then vote on speed, style and sound.

blogs.zoopedup.com – We also offer each user their own blog, this is the collective area of all the blogs posted.

rides.zoopedup.com – Featuring all the online garage profiles created by the members.

Index screen shot:

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Profile screen shot:

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21 August
Good Bye McLaren, Hello HWA

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Mercedes-Benz is to launch an all-new mid-engined supercar called the SLC, to rival the Audi R8 and this was further confirmed after spy photographers caught a mule disguised as a longer wheel based Dodge Viper, in some Californian canyon country side recently.

This super-coupe will be developed by AMG and tweaked and tuned by HWA (Hans Werner Aufrecht), which will also build the car for Mercedes at its facilities in Affalterbach. HWA was the motorsport division of AMG prior to Mercedes-Benz taking a major stake in AMG, and has since been independent. It has been running the team for Mercedes in the DTM German Touring Car Championships and it is quite successful. HWA is also now tipped to take over from McLaren as Mercedes’ new partner in the development of upcoming top-end supercars. HWA does have some serious credentials in motorsport as they have a large history with AMG. HWA also have been creating cars for FIA GT1 motor sport as well. Back in 1999, DaimlerChrysler acquired AMG, renaming it to Mercedes AMG GmbH. In doing so, they effectively separated HWA from AMG developments. This left the 170+ employee firm with independence over its products. Such freedom has let HWA produce phenomenal cars such as the the very limited edition CLK GTR roadster in 1999.

McLaren, on the other hand, looks likely to develop a new supercar of its own as well, funded by profit from its successful Formula One enterprise and billed as a natural successor to the Gordon Murray-designed McLaren F1.

19 August
Speed and Sound issue 72

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Issue 72 of the Speed and Sound is due to hit shelves in your area soon.

This month we bring you the build of the Castrol Edge Auto Makeover Subaru STI, a vehicle that has been touched in just about every aspect imaginable. Traveling far and wide, it’s seen some top notch work.

Hailing from the fair Cape is a VW Jetta Mk4 that will surprise you. It’s a track based car but if you were to ditch the signage, you’d have a supercar killer of note.

We drive the new E92 BMW M3 and tell you exactly what we think about BMW’s latest benchmark.

Johan gives us a Mazda Rustler with a twist. No more front-wheel-drive antics for this gent, he painstakingly converted his bakkie to a rear-wheel-drive and fitted a Mazda motor… I won’t say what Mazda motor; you’ll have to see for yourself!

In the sound section we bring you an Audi TT with lots of attitude and attention to detail.

The Toyota Yaris is gaining popularity each day, and now the modifiers have latched on and Faheem is no different. Keeping it simple, he’s created something to be proud of.

Neeresh gives you the theory run down on building a wall while I show you some of the hottest, most innovative products to hit the streets in my technical features.

We bring you drag racing action from Swaziland and all the regulars you’ve learnt to love… this one’s a keeper!

19 August
Running of the bulls

In order to promote their supped up Gallardo who’s V10 has been enhanced with a pair of turbos pushing output to 709 Hp, Heffner-Performance, a Florida based tuner, put the small Lambo against its bigger bro, the 580 Hp Murcielago. Apparently you needn’t be a rocket scientist to guess who wins…

19 August
Audi RS4 advertisement

Ok, we admit it took us a second or two to make ends meet in this Audi RS4 ad… In case you’re wondering it’s the speed cam pointing towards the garage.

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