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New car review

2008 Audi A4

Published by on Aug 28th, 2007, 7 Comments

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. (more…)

Good Bye McLaren, Hello HWA

Published by on Aug 21st, 2007, 3 Comments

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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.

Porsche 911 GT2 – officially announced

Published by on Aug 14th, 2007, 8 Comments

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Porsche has finally announced the new 911 GT2, after both the brochure and official pictures were leaked. The 911 GT2 “vintage 997″ will be shown to the public at the Frankfurt auto show in september and will be “the most powerful 911 so far homologated for road use”.

The 911 GT2 will share its underpinnings with the 911 Turbo, but it will feature larger air intakes at the front, a larger rear wing and a souped up engine, with 50 ps more than the standard Turbo: power output will be 530 ps at 6,500 rpm, maximum torque will be 680 Nm between 2,200 and 4,500 rpm. (more…)

Nissan Skyline GT-R

Published by on Aug 14th, 2007, 5 Comments

nissan_skyline_gt_r_01.jpgNissan engineers are working hard on putting the finishing touches to the new Nissan Skyline GT-R, which will debut at the next Tokyo auto show (october 24th). While we wait for official photos, the japanese magazines Response.jp and Holiday Auto have some very interesting information regarding the price and the engine of this new super-car from Nissan.

According to Holiday Auto, the engine will be called VR38, part of a new family of extremely light engines, built with extensive use of aluminium, titanium and magnesium. The VR family will be very different from the VQ family of V6 engines, used in a good portion of Nissan/Infiniti coupes and sedans.

The VR38 engine will be a V6 with a 3.8-liters capacity, with two variable geometry turbines with a pressure of 1.47 bar. Valvelift and timing will be variable, thanks to the new Nissan system called VVEL.

Power output will be 480 ps at 6,800 rpm, but the VR38 engine will have more than 90% of top power still available between 6,800 and 7,500 rpm (redline at 7,600 rpm). Torque will be impressively linear: 580 Nm constant between 1,700 and 5,600 rpm.

The GT-R will be based on a Premium Midship platform, which has a weight distribution of 50/50 on the front and rear axles. The 4WD system and the weight distribution is a good premise for the road handling characteristics of the GT-R.

Top Gear reviews the Ocean Drive Concept

Published by on Aug 12th, 2007, No Comments

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Top Gear has gotten the chance to review a car that will not likely see the light of day, but we can say with certainty that a lot of its new ideas will find the way to many of the future Mercedes models. TG’s first impression of the car is great, saying that “the Ocean Drive has more potent sex appeal than all of the gravel-voiced rocker’s Rod Stewart wives and girlfriends put together.”

Their review is very entertaining, just like their shows, so head over to Top Gear and read their review on the Ocean Drive Concept

Lightweight Caparo-T1 dethrones Bugatti

Published by on Aug 10th, 2007, 2 Comments

Caparo T1

The Bugatti Veyron’s reign as fastest accelerating supercar seems to have met its fate. The soon-to-be world’s fastest accelerating car has broken cover during the final stages of test and development. The Caparo T1 is a high performance two-seater sports car with highly resolved aerodynamics, which has been designed with the looks and performance of a Formula One race car. The T1’s 500 kg weight and 550 bhp give it a power-to-weight ratio of 1100 bhp/tonne – better than any current supersport motorcycle and approaching that of a genuine F1 car. (more…)

Another Bentley coupe for oil magnates

Published by on Jul 18th, 2007, 2 Comments

Bentley Brooklands

In a show of unwavering commitment to the emulation of its own performance and luxury coach building history, Bentley Motorcars has released the Brooklands, a new coupe that picks up where the Continental R left off. That means more prestige, more technology and more power. It delivers all of that in spades: Interior decor includes leather-ensconced foot wells, and the twin-turbo V-8 makes a thunderous 530 horsepower, the highest output of any Bentley to date. (more…)

Golf 6 draws closer

Published by on Jul 12th, 2007, 24 Comments

VW Golf 6

As according to VWs plans, development of the next generation Golf is well underway. The Golf VI is being developed to be cheaper to build than the current Golf V, which has had VW management lamenting many ills: the electronics are too complicated and require highly qualified personnel, increasing training costs. The doors and the multilink rear suspension also require complex assembly techniques, leading to production times almost double those of rivals which leads to high production costs. The result is a car which in 2004 generated €900 million less than expected, one of a myriad reasons why VW has considered a replacement much earlier than originally planned. (more…)

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