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.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Ferrari Enzo - A Supercar Of Its Own Class

The Ferrari Enzo is one of the most exclusive, unique cars in the world, a supercar of consummate performance, ability and style.

But for one Ferrari owner, the ‘normal’ Enzo is not enough.

So James Glickenhaus, an American car collector with a passion for the legendary racing cars of the 1960s commissioned Pininfarina to turn an Enzo into a unique car that has styling inspired by the Ferrari racing cars of from that decade, but which was also a useable road car.

Thus the Ferrari P4/5 was born.

The inspiration for the P4/5 and the source of the new car’s name is the legendary 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, the last evolution of the Ferrari 257/330 P-series cars, which was Ferrari’s weapon in the battle against the Ford GT40. Intermediate versions of these cars, such as the P2/3, reveal how the P4/5 name was produced for the new car. The Ferrari 330 P4 delivered the World Sports Car Championship to Ferrari in 1967, with victories at Monza and Daytona. The 330 P4 provided inspiration for the overall shape, features such as the domed roof and the rear wing, as well as details such as the vertical rear exhaust outlets.

“This project represents an exciting challenge, trying to meet the Customer’s requests in the best way possible without deteriorating the company’s approach to style and innovation,” says Andrea Pininfarina, Pininfarina S.p.A. Chairman and CEO. The car has been designed, engineered and built entirely by Pininfarina, bringing to life something that, just a few months earlier, was just a dream and creating a sort of symbiosis between the customer and Pininfarina along the path leading to definition of this astonishing model. Starting from a Ferrari Enzo, the aim was to produce a sole vehicle inspired by sport racing cars with extreme vocations: not just a show-car but a vehicle to be enjoyed on the road.

The project was overseen at every stage by James Glickenhaus.

“It was very exciting to take an active part in all the main phases of the project, from definition of styling to design of the vehicle,” he explains. “I was looking for a real car, not simply a show-car. I was able to understand the real complexity of producing a functioning custom-built car and how Pininfarina conducted the entire project is a masterly manner. Without forgetting the aerodynamic tests in the Pininfarina Wind Tunnel: absolutely fantastic!”
“I really think I have been very lucky, being able to bring to life what was just a dream until a few months ago,” he explains.

After freezing styling with various touch-ups to the initial sketches, the surfaces were defined using CAS modeling, then moving on to actual construction and assembly. More than 200 components were specifically developed through constant interaction between styling and design: from the bi-xenon lighting clusters specifically designed with an innovative system of yellow and white LEDs to the alloy wheels – 20-inch aluminum – milled from the block up to and including the aluminum and special steel in-sight hinges.

The sleek lines of the vehicle, characterized by a soft muscular touch, took shape on the body and are made entirely of carbon fiber. The tapered profile of the nose highlights both its aerodynamic function and the car’s new look; the central body is dominated by the single-shell windscreen, while the car is accessed via two butterfly type doors. The rear features powerful sides with the embedded teardrop type transparent rear window which also acts as engine cover and from which ceramic-coated exhaust tips peep out, as on racing cars of the Sixties.

“The entire vehicle expresses elegance and fluidity with the clear-cut, uncluttered lines that are typical of Pininfarina’s style,” stresses Ken Okuyama, Director of Pininfarina Styling.
Considerable attention has been dedicated to aerodynamics with continuous testing at the Pininfarina Aerodynamic and Aero-acoustic Research Center of Grugliasco (Turin, Italy) in an effort to reach the highest levels of performance combined with perfect functionality of all the appendices integrated in the body of the vehicle.

The re-styling of the Enzo was not restricted only to the outside of the car but continued also when defining the interior, completely redesigned according to the customer’s indications.
“Pininfarina has been a strong stakeholder on the automotive scene for many years, as confirmed by the five new productions launched between the end of 2005 and 2006, including the Alfa Romeo Spider, for which we also followed up design and development, and the Alfa Romeo Brera which we also engineered,” says Andrea Pininfarina.

“The Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina and the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti “K” by Pininfarina – built for Mr. Kalikow and presented in April at Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance - give us a chance to demonstrate our excellent creativity, making our know-how available to special customers in order to provide a real personal experience that goes well beyond simply the possibility of designing their own car.”

Sunday, August 06, 2006

New 2007 Porsche Cayman

When Porsche launched the Cayman S last autumn, we all knew that the base model was coming; it was just a matter of when. With the announcement of the new wave of hardtop sports cars from Audi and BMW, the answer to this call has just come in, as Porsche has just announced it will be launching the "regular" version of the Cayman called the, um, Cayman.

The base Cayman is a de-tuned version of the Cayman S, which aims for a target audience who wish to have Cayman with less frills and a bit less go-power, but still the core performance essentials. Visually, itll be pretty difficult to spot the Cayman from the Cayman S.

Only keen eyes, or true Porsche enthusiasts will be able to point out the mildly different valance up front, which features a black lower lip as opposed to one thats body colored, a single, center-mounted trapezoidal exhaust pipe instead of the S twin circular units, and black-colored four-piston aluminum brake calipers.

The basic price in euros for the Cayman is 40,900 euros. In Germany, the vehicle costs 47,647 euros including sales tax and country-specific requirements. The Cayman is sale in the USA for 49,400 dollars (not including tax).

Friday, August 04, 2006

Automobiles Magazine

Being a car lover, I've decided to dedicate this blog to cars/automobiles. From fast, and mean machines, to simple and practical vehicles, we will have pictures and news, on just about any cars that you know of. If you want to stay updated, this is the blog for you, as it constantly collects the latest news and updates about cars/automobiles. You are welcome to share this information with any one you think will like it.

If you would like to contribute pictures, articles or latest news about cars, you can send them to us at the email listed below, and we totally appreciate the effort. Enjoy the blog.

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