Sunday, October 01, 2006

2006 Porsche Cayman S

The Porsche Cayman S is a mid-engine 2-seat sports car launched in the 2006 model year. It is based on the Porsche Boxster, but has a stiffer chassis due to its fixed roof, and also benefits from correspondingly stiffer suspension tuning.

The Cayman S is produced alongside the Boxster by Valmet in Finland. The name "Cayman" is said to be an alternate spelling of caiman, a species of reptile closely related to the alligator, and has nothing to do with the Cayman Islands. Porsche has, in fact, donated to a Stuttgart zoo's caiman exhibit, because of the shared namesakes between the animal and the automobile.

Some Specifications

It cost roughly about US$58,900 and its 3.4l engine produces 295bhp, that will take you 0-60mph in 5.1 secs.

And i was lucky to be able to test it on a racing circuit yesterday.


It is definitely one of the cars that you can spend your extra cash on, only if you like to show how rich you are, or you are willing to drive it using only 4 gears out of the 6. Becos, at 4th gear this powerful beast is able to give you up to 130mph.. I suggest you stick to 3rd gear if you have a weak heart.

Handling is perfect, very responsive on all pedals. Inside it, nothing is impressive, the basics stuff, cd-radio, a/c and stuff like that, the only thing that is unique is probably the PSM button note1 which is only seen in the new Porsches. And the only thing that tells you its a porsche is of cos the signature badge.

Overall score for Cayman S: 8/10 for the 295bhp engine!

note 1 Aiding in the handling department is a standard Porsche Stability Management (PSM) system. PSM tracks driving speed, yaw rate and lateral acceleration. If the 2006 Porsche Cayman S starts to get a little loose, PSM will apply brake pressure as needed to individual wheels to bring everything back in line. The system has supposedly been designed to allow for enthusiast driving, suggesting that PSM waits as long as safely possible before interfering.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ford Focus RS

Hot-hatchbacks don't get much hotter than this. Ford's 212bhp Focus may have been a long time in gestation, but marks the welcome return of the RS (Rallye Sport) brand, a moniker which first appeared in 1970 on an Escort.

There have been a succession of RS Fords since then, most of which came with a reputation that the RS will have to try hard to live up to.
Just as well, then that the Focus RS comes well-equipped for the job of Meeting Expectations.

Along with that turbocharged, 2.0-litre engine, the Focus RS boasts Brembo brakes, a Quaife limited-slip differential, an AP-Racing clutch, an up-rated gearbox, unique 18" OZ alloy wheels, the same track as the World Rally Championship Focus, and a Sparco interior.

Only sixty or so engineers have been working on the Focus RS, and it's claimed to have been created for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts. That could be perceived as bull, but it doesn't come across that way.

The Focus has got what it takes to be a stupendous hot-hatchback. And it's definitely worthy of the RS tag.

Although it's a specialist car, there shouldn't be too many worries about the quality of the RS Focus. Some 30 a day are going to be made, and they roll down the same production line as the standard Focus. In fact, the main reason that the Focus RS took so long to reach the market was because productionising the car took longer than expected.

Focus RSs can be bought and serviced at any Ford dealer, and the warranty is the same as for any other model in the Focus range. That said, Ford has used aftermarket suppliers such as Quaife (limited-slip differential) and AP Racing (clutch) and has modified the five-speed gearbox for the Focus RS, and these components haven't yet been customer-proven like in the standard car (though they have all been chosen because they can handle the power).

The carbon insert on the dash, unique seats, steering wheel and trim all appear of pretty sound construction. But though our test cars were pre-production models, one suffered from some minor squeaky trim. Given the stiff suspension, this maybe isn't so surprising.

Editor's note: I recently sat in one as a passenger in a circuit and boy it was very responsive and fast, taking corners at 70mph and straights at 110mph ( short circuit, if its a longer straight we could have gone up to 140mphish i was told ).

Friday, September 01, 2006

Koenigsegg CCX 806 bhp All In A Package.

The Koenigsegg CCX is the latest iteration of the Koenigsegg CC family. The CCX is in many ways a new car since it has been re-engineered to comply with the US regulation and market demands. Still, it has been a key issue for the Koenigsegg Team to keep the distinctive and record braking CC shape. Koenigsegg believes it is important to avoid trends and instead hone the aerodynamic shape of the CC range for the future, only enhancing its unique look and appearance with tighter lines and a more aggressive stance.

Koenigsegg also believes in continuity. A new Koenigsegg shall show a clear lineage from its predecessor and shall not follow any other design trends, but enhance its already proven concept and shape to perfection.CCX stands for Competition Coupe X. The CCX marks the 10th anniversary of the completion and test drive of the first CC maiden prototype, which rolled out from the R&D department in 1996.

The Koenigsegg CCX features a completely new set of body and interior parts. The new body incorporates a new front bumper design, engineered to function well in the stringent 2.5 mph bumper test, including enhanced brake cooling, fog lamps and US side position lights. The front lamps have been slightly redesigned to suit the new bumper line. There is a new scoop on the front bonnet acting as a larger fresh air-intake for the occupants and new air vents have been added behind the front wheels in order to further evacuate air from the cockpit. The frontal shape revisions now allow for effective track use options to be added.

The side rocker panels feature side skirts in order to further enhance downforce by increasing underbody area. The new exterior of the car has been created using the industry leading Icem Surf CAD software, guaranteeing a perfect fit and finish as well as optimal highlights. The car is 88 mm longer in order to comply with the US rear impact regulations and in order to free up space around the rear muffler. The rear clamshell now features a glass window over the new CCX engine, clearly showing off the bespoke and unique Koenigsegg Block casting. The mufflers have received improved cooling, by incorporating grill vents above in the clamshell. The number plate area is now adapted to suit both US and Euro size number plates.

The Engine in the CCX retains the incredible performance and power of the CCR engine, while running on US 91 octane fuel and complying with California emission regulations. In order to reach this challenging goal, extensive rework had to be done to emission related items, such as new cylinder heads with larger valve area and more optimally flowing cylinder head ports. Dual smaller injectors per cylinder were integrated, as well as new camshafts, a new carbonfiber individual runner intake plenum, a new engine management system, updated fuel and EVAP system.

New exhaust system where the catalytic converters are moved closer to the engine for earlier light-off time. A returnless fuel system has also been implemented with pumps integrated into the new fuel tank. All in all, a heavy rework in order to retain the unique performance of the CCR engine and at the same time comply with the strictest emission regulations in the world.

Performance Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 3.2 seconds
Top speed: 395+ km/h (245+ mph)
Standing Quartermile: 9.9 seconds, end speed 235 km/h (146 mph)
Braking distance: 31m (100-0 km/h)
Lateral G-force: 1.3 G
Fuel Consumption:
Highway travel: 13 l / 100 km
Combined: 17 l / 100 km

Special note: The engine produces 806 bhp (601 kW) and 678 lbf.ft (920 Nm) on 91 octane (U.S. rating) gasoline, 850 bhp (634 kW) on 98 octane (Euro rating) gasoline and 900 bhp (671 kW) on biofuel.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A True Motorsports Legend: Nissan Skyline GT-R

The GT-R's history is filled with dominance in motorsports at every step to the point of being the cause of dissolving entire series and being banned from racing. No manufacturer in the world at that time could touch the GT-R. The technology of the R32 GT-R only saw minor improvements through the R33 and R34 generations, yet it is still considered to be "high-tech" today - this is Nissan's mid-eighties technology.

The GT-R's history is inspiring - it shows that perfection is possible. Nothing is impossible. The tag line for the car was "the wolf in a sheep's skin," but that quickly changed to "Godzilla" - although the car may not look like a sleek supercar, the signature intimidating front end tells the whole story - "I am the pinnacle of motorsports. I dominate."This photograph is telling...

The GT-R is a great paradox. The shape is boxy and not aerodynamic, yet its performance is at supercar level. The GT-R is extremely heavy, yet its engine is only 2.6 liters. The 6 tiny 433ml cylinders are somehow capable of producing in excess of 1000 horsepower. The GT-R's core technology was developed nearly 20 years ago, yet it is still one of the most high-tech cars today. But that incredible power that is produced by this tiny engine is then somehow kept under control - fully delivering the power to the ground with barely any tire-spin. It's bulletproof.

The GT-R's stationary stance is calm but confident, almost cocky. But once that tiny technology-filled engine is allowed to begin its controlled combustion, the muffler cannot suppress its roar. Through sheer brute force, the GT-R breaks through the air and leaves everyone else in the dust, on that edge of control.

It is interesting to note that an internal combustion engine, once cranked, will naturally increase its own revs until its mechanical parts can no longer handle the stress causing the engine to self-destruct. It's an uncontrollable beast. Engine idle rpm is maintained through continual suppression of what it wants to do by nature. By stomping on the gas, the cable pulls open the throttle body butterfly and releases the engine from literal suffocation. From this perspective, the GT-R is incredibly pure as an automobile, allowing the driver to taste this explosive nature.

The GT-R breaks all the rules and ignores tradition. The GT-R allows the driver to experience the future of the automobile through its revolutionary technology. For example, the RB26DETT was the first available production engine with oil-cooled pistons, individual throttle bodies, and various other tweaks. This kind of technology is only now beginning to be utilized by some of the rest - Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari - in their street cars. Mitsubishi and Subaru have finally come close to matching the electronic all-wheel-drive technology of the GT-R, 15 years later.

The R32 Skyline GT-R was a true car of the future.From what I have heard, the next generation GT-R has the potential of opening the 3rd chapter of the GT-R legacy into a new era of getting banned from dominating races all over the world.

Monday, August 21, 2006

2006 Lamborghini Murciélago LP640

Unlike Ferrari which does little to create drama around its new model unveils, Lamborghini kept its latest creation hidden under a crate on its stand in Geneva. After a few off-the-cuff remarks by Lamborghini executives, the box came off and the most powerful Lambo coupe in the lineup was revealed.

Lamborghini calls it the Murciélago LP640. It's an even higher-performance version of the standard Murciélago that some referred to as the "Enzo killer," a reference to Ferrari's top-of-the-line coupe. The Lamborghini's name is derived from the engine's configuration — longitudianle posteriore (LP), or longitudinally mounted in back — and the 640 horsepower the V12 develops at 8,000 rpm.That figure puts the LP640 a good 60 hp above the standard Murciélago, although its torque is only up by 5 to 484 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm. Still, Lambo says it's four-tenths quicker to 60 mph than the standard Murciélago and its top speed is up from 205 to 211 mph.

To generate the extra power, Lamborghini upped the engine's displacement from 6.2 to 6.5 liters, revised the cylinder heads, camshafts, exhaust and variable valve timing. A larger oil radiator helps keep the bigger engine cool and requires a visibly larger driver-side air intake. Heavy-duty driveline hardware was added to handle the increased power. Lamborghini calls the standard six-speed gearbox "modified," the differential "tougher" and the axle shafts "new."

The egear paddle-shifted automatic is also available. All-wheel drive remains standard with a 30/70 front-to-rear torque split that can vary up to 100 percent in either direction. Suspension modifications include revised springs and shocks and a reprogrammed electronic damper system. Like the standard Murciélago, ceramic carbon brakes are optional. Black "Hermera" wheels are the LP640's most obvious upgrade.

The 18-inch aluminum wheels come wrapped in 245/35R18 Pirelli P Zero Rosso tires up front and huge 335/30R18s in back. Optional race tires are available, with a set of snow tires in the works. Lamborghini claims new seats offer more room, but it's still a tight cockpit. New "Q-citura" leather is used throughout. There's a revised instrument panel with new graphics and an upgraded Kenwood stereo with a 6.5-inch monitor with DVD capability.

Sales of the Lamborghini LP640 are expected to begin this summer at a cost of around $350,000.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Subaru WRX Club Spec 9

Subaru has announced the specification and pricing of the new limited edition Impreza WRX Club Spec 9.

Priced at $44,490 recommended retail price, the comprehensive package includes chassis, driveline, exterior and interior upgrades – adding more performance, styling and luxury to the already iconic Impreza WRX.

New 18-inch wheels and tyres provide a sharper, sportier feel and when teamed with the STI suspension kit lowers the car by 15 mm, giving a more aggressive stance.

Handling is refined through an increased spring rate and a lower centre of gravity.

Aerodynamic efficiency is enhanced with the addition of an STI front lip spoiler. Crafted in a matt black semi gloss finish, this tough but lightweight addition improves both stability and cornering.

Adding to the sporty feel is a short shift gear lever, featuring a more rigid & direct shift feeling, incorporating reinforced bushes, a shortened shifting stroke and STI aluminium shift knob.
Inside comfort levels are paramount with leather trim and an electric sunroof fitted as standard.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Honda Civic Hybrid

Two Japanese cars, the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius Hybrid, head a list of the most eco-friendly vehicles compiled by the German road club (VCD) with only one German-made car, the VW Polo BlueMotion, reaching the top ten. In total the VCD ranked 80 of a total of 350 vehicles with a green banner for complying with environmental standards such as low emission and good fuel consumption.

The VCD criticised German car makers for falling behind on eco- friendly technology with Audi already having developed a hybrid car in 1977 but shelving plans to produce the vehicle. The Opel Corsa ECO 1.0 which was still in the top 10 last year was not included this time because the 2006 model was heavier and longer and thus less economical on fuel consumption. "The Corsa is typical for the conflict between car and climate protection.

The car makers are more eager to improve on luxury and acceleration rather than reducing fuel consumption and thus doing something for climate protection," the VCD said. Among the larger seven-seater vans the Opel Zafira 1.6 CNG running on natural gas headed the list. The VCD said the natural gas technology was especially useful for such bigger vehicles.