Aptera’s Typ-1 may look like it it belongs in some futuristic movie but according to the company it will be available in at the end of 2008 for a price of less that $30,000 US (under 205K ZAR).
Aptera is claiming the all-electric model can achieve a range of 120 miles (193 kms) and the hybrid model can get 600 miles (965 kms) before running out of steam. The electric model can be recharged in a few hours when plugged into a 110-volt outlet and the hybrid is a combination of electric and gas-powered generator. The company has yet to release performance estimates so speed may be an issue.
The Typ-1 is novel in that it has 3 wheels and is therefore classified as a motorcycle instead of an automobile. Behind the two front seats is a child seat that, when removed, leaves enough space for 15 grocery bags or 2 golf bags.
The Aptera comes equipped with a front crumple zone, driver and passenger side airbags and steel and composite side and rollover protection. Inside boasts of a navigation system, CD/MP3/DVD player, XM satellite radio and a UBS port.
I think the hardest driver adjustment will be to the “Eyes Forward” vision system. It eliminated the need for side mirrors and instead relies on embedded cameras that display a 180-degree rear view.
Aptera is still raising money to manufacture the Typ-1 but claims to have 400 deposits. Available only in California, for the moment, the most amusing feature of this car may just be the plus and minus signs on the gas and brake pedals. Just in case you become confused as to which does what and since you will no longer be wasting time looking in side and rearview mirrors, you can always duck under the dash and look.
Last week had every car blog declaring the new name of the Alfa Romeo was going to be “Furiosa”. Well it seems like the democratic process of online voting didn’t suit the company and they have declared the results null and void. Rumor has it that the company was furious with the name due to the fact that it was too close to the name of the movie “The Fast and The Furious” and because “furiosa” means a woman who is angry and/or gay. Guess that’s not the image Alfa was looking to portray with their little Alfa Junior.
The online contest which was held in 6 countries; Italy, Germany, UK, Spain, France and Japan, had online voters choosing between: Agea, Enos, Everso, Fira, Furiosa, Milo, Mod, Nevo, Solea, Sparvo, Velvetta, and Ventura. We’re not sure why “furiosa” even made the short list if the company had no intention of using it. The Alfa Romeo contest site still has the international winner as “Furiosa” so maybe the rumors are just that, rumors.
The car itself is targeted at a younger market, 18 – 30 year olds, and intends to use smaller engines to shift down the average CO2 emissions that Alfa is known for. Built on the Fiat Grande Punto platform, the Alfa Junior will use the new generation of powerful T-Jet engines already available in Fiats. Alfa Junior will be the only 3-door model available.
So, for now, it seems we are back to calling it “Alfa Junior”. It is safe to assume that by the time it debuts in March at the Geneva show it will have its own non-democratic name that is 100% company approved.
Pictures of the new face lifted Zafira from Vauxhall are circulating the net. The compact MPV has been subjected to a raft of both interior and exterior changes with the intent of updating it to rival the Ford C-Max and Volkswagen Touareg.
The exterior updates include a new front end with chrome grille and chrome trim around the revamped headlights. The lower front grille has also been restyled. Vauxhall has revamped the fog lights and given it sporty side skirts which give it a distinctive look. The backend has new tail lights and a deeper rear bumper.
The inside changes give the center console black trim inserts to the Design, Elite and VXR model, a feature first seen on the Corsa. All Zafiras now come equipped with curtain airbags. The new Exclusiv version, which replaces the Club, comes standard equipped with air-conditioning, CD stereo and 16-inch standard wheels. The Breeze model adds tinted glass, leather steering wheel and a trip computer. Under the hood little change is expected.
The revamped versions are expected to hit showrooms in March and a price increase is unlikely with prices starting at Â£13,000 (182,500 ZAR).
There seems to be a trend to see a super car and a fighter jet battle for supremacy. The list was opened by TopGear’s Bugatti Veyron and the Eurofighter Typhoon fight, with the last one winning. We have another one now, Lamborghini Reventon vs Panavia Tornado jet-fighter and as you can see there are some design similarities between the two.
On Ghedi’s Airport runway (3 km long) in Italy, it was fun to see the show, because the Reventon was just a few meters away from winning (when the Tornado went airborne) after a good 3.4 second start to the 100km/h mark and a top speed of 340km/h.
The Reventon enforced its performances so I guess this is what you get if you buy a $1,000,000 supercar.
If you thought that the rich can’t feel the wind blowing through their hair because they always use those luxurious limousines with a “hole” on the roof, you may want to take that back when Maybach 62 Landaule becomes the real thing. It’s still in concept stage but promises to become one of the first ultra-luxurious semi-convertible limos.
If the Sheiks won’t be impressed by the 6.0L uprated V12 engine (better than the one on Maybach 62 S) with 612 horsepower, twin superchargers and water intercooling, I guess only the fancy sliding roof over the rear compartment may do it.
If this baby goes into production it will be the most powerful limo on the market. Wish we knew a price for it to see if it’s going to be the most expensive, too. Meanwhile here is a video, but beware! Don’t fall in love!
If no speed limit is your motto and you live in the UK I have bad news. Apparently the Metropolitan Police teamed up with Caparo, Britain’s supercar manufacturer to create the cool F1-looking police car, Caparo T1 RRV (Rapid Response Vehicle) that can go from 0 to 100mph in just 5 seconds.Though it’s just a concept car right now, Caparo T1 RRV was designed to patrol the M25 Highway for getaway drivers or speed limit breakers. It sports 575hp at 10,500 rpm from a 3.5L V8 engine and a top speed of 200mph, so believe me you don’t want it on your tail if you did something bad.
If the concept becomes true, I am sure what I want to do when I grow up: become a police car driver.
Ford just came out with a new concept car that should trick you into loving them. Designed by the European division, Ford Verve Sedan was presented these days at the Auto Guangzhou Exhibition in China, (lasts from 20 to 26 November) and got a very good response. My honest opinion is it’s a mix of a Peugeot 308 front face and a Lexus back, but I let you decide on that one.
Martin Smith said the “first it was the hatchback and now a very exciting an dynamic notchback”. With an interesting rear glass that brings forward those two fancy tail lamps, with a big grid on front, clean lines and a kinetic (I’d say limousine-like) design will surely outrun Mondeo sells even if it’s smaller.
Audi R8 is not only appealing to drivers, but also to tuners and since the Germans like to modify cars – and they are pretty good at it, you should know this one is coming from MTM, those crazy guys that built the Audi TT Bimoto twin-engine with 780hp. They built it for a European customer and presented their tuned Audi R8 at the Dubai Motor Show. Here is what we found out on it:
If you can afford it, I don’t think MTM will decline your offer to change your R8 into an R888 for â‚¬280,000. By the way, great wheels, don’t you think?