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Friday, 8 August 2008

How can you regenerate energy? Try the Phoenix Concept

A vehicle that looks like a car but behaves like two motorcycles put together already demands more attention than the others. What if it looks like that in order to regenerate energy? Well, this is the case for the Phoenix Concept, a project from the Portuguese designer Sergio Loureiro da Silva:

Besides being lighter than similar sized vehicles, Phoenix is divided in two parts in order to generate energy by the movement it does in curves. This is achieved by a central kinetic axis. There is also a wind turbine, to generate more electric power, and even the suspension work is used to preserve power. The rear wheel drive vehicle has its rear wheels designed in a way that less pieces are necessary, what reduces weight and friction.

Will the idea ever be put into practice, or else, will the Phoenix ever be built? Probably not, but its concepts may be in real life vehicles sooner than we would expect. And not only because time is running faster every single day, but because the future happens to be really close in what relates to cars.

Source: Car Body Design

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Eigne, the Lotus with an electric engine at each wheel

Lotus has developed a Hot Wheels version of its cars that is so gorgeous it should be mass-produced. The designer David Fearnley must have searched for inspiration on that toy to conceive a grown-men toy that is as fun as the smaller one, the Eigne. The best part of it is that, with this toy, no one will ever be able to accuse the driver of playing dirty. This concept is an electric car.

With its steering wheel at the center of the cabin, the Eigne is a 1+3 vehicle, what means it could carry three adults, counting with the driver, and a small child behind the front seat, what is perfectly possible considering the car does not have to reserve a space for the engine. There are four of them, one at each wheel, a solution that is considered to be the future of automobiles and that has already been presented by Volvo Recharge and the British Lightning GT.

It would be nice to have such a car on the streets, but this is very unlikely to happen. In other words, the Eigne will most certainly remain as the Hot Wheels car that it resembles so much. Check the video:

Source: Car Body Design

Aston Martin will build a new supercar, the One-77

To nominate any car from Aston Martin as less than super is a huge lack of respect, but some of them are more super than the others. A clear example of that is the future One-77, of which you can have an idea below:

Its body, for example, will be handmade from aluminium. The chassis, for resistance and weight reasons, will be entirely build from carbon fibre, while the powerplant of the new supercar will be a 7-litre V12. Considering the 6-litre V12 used by the DB9 generates 477 bhp (350 kW) and pushes the heavier car to 306 km/h, the bigger engine should be able to get the One-77 over 350 km/h. As the name states, only 77 of them will be made. Lucky ones, these 77 future owners!

Aston Martin

Suzuki anticipates its new vehicles for the Paris Motor Show

Suzuki will present at least one new car at the Paris Motor Show, the new-generation Alto, a small car that now resembles Kia Picanto a lot, especially its front end and headlights:

No relevant information has been released, such as dimensions, engines, prices etc., but they will probably be disclosed only at Alto's presentation. Size must remain around 3.40 m and the engine will not be larger than the previous one, a 0.7-litre unit. Besides the little car, Suzuki will also reveal the "Crosscage" concept, a motorcycle equipped with a small fuel cell and an auxiliary lithium-ion battery:

Performance figures for this bike are also a mystery, so far. Paris will reveal it for us

Source: Suzuki

Andrea Pininfarina, 51, dies in motorcycle accident

Very sad news to the automotive world: Andrea Pininfarina, grandson of the founder of the famous Italian desing studio and its current CEO, died today in a motorcycle accident while riding to work, in Cambiano, near Turin.

Pininfarina is currently on a financial restructuring to try to revert the consecutive two years of losses and get back to a profitable operation. The company's website, which will probably bring the name of the new CEO, is out of the air. Married, Andrea leaves three children. Our sympathies to the family.

It's official: the new VW Golf will start at 16,500 EUR

You have already seen the sixth generation of the VW Golf here, but now the German automaker has released interesting details on its bestseller. Maybe the best of the news it the starting price of the car: 16,500 EUR. It is a pity no new images have been released, so I will have to reuse the old ones:

As it was already expected, the new Golf, considered by Volkswagen the best of them all (and would the automaker say anything different, considering it is the one it will sell for at least the next six years?), will be sold in Europe soon after its public introduction, at the Paris Motor Show, in October. Later it will be sold in Africa, Asia, Australia and North America.

No word has been said on South America, probably because the company intends to produce the new Golf in Brazil and to export it to other countries from here. The reason is simple: it is too soon to announce that, considering the fourth generation, still produced in Brazil, has been recently modified to stand a few more years. Let's hope them to be very few.

At least eight engines have already been confirmed for the new Golf: two 2-litre turbodiesels, generating 81 kW and 103 kW, two other turbodiesels, undefined, that develop 66 kW and 125 kW, and six petrol engines, producing 59 kW, 75 kW, 90 kW and 118 kW. The last two are the 1.4 TSI, while the first ones have not been revealed but the 75 kW will almost certainly be the 1.6-litre already in use in the currents Polo and Golf. The entry level engine may be a 1-litre or a 1.2-litre engine. All of them already meed Euro 5 standards.

The engines are more fuel efficient. Mated with six and seven-speed DSG transmissions, automated dual-clutch gearboxes, they can lower their fuel consumption in up to 28%. Volkswagen reached this number by comparing the previous 2-litre FSI engine that generated 112 kW and had a six-speed automatic transmission with the new 118 kW 1.4 TSI with a seven-speed DSG. Not exactly a fair comparison, but, for a Golf client, a very nice swap.

While it is cheaper to build, the MK VI Golf is also said to be quieter and more sophisticated than the previous one. Seven airbags (including one for the knees), WOKS head restraints, which avoid whiplash trauma (already used by Volvo for almost a decade), "automatic distance control" (ACC), "adaptive chassis control" (DCC), "park steering assistant", a finer ESP system, a "seatbelt detection" for the back seats and standard daytime running lights are also offered for the new generation Golf.

I still do not have information on dimensions or weight, but I will keep you guys posted!

Source: Volkswageng

Bertone recovers and may produce BAT 11

Bertone fans, you can rejoice. The Italian design studio appears to be recovering from the family dispute it faced and only made its financial situation worse. Now, according to Detroit Free Press, it is considering the idea of opening new offices in the most important places for the car industry nowadays, such as China, India and Detroit. Besides that, Bertone may also run a limited series of the BAT 11:

Based on the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, BAT 11 was an exclusive model, but if it gets enough people willing to pay for it, there may be 25 to 50 of them around the world, what would not be such a bad idea. Let's hope Bertone recovers producing or not this car. That name would be a bad idea to lose for good.


Source: Detroit Free Press via Autoblog

VW Golf VI pictures leak before official presentation

One of the most awaited presentations of the year has been done before the owner of the party decided to do it. As it always happens, official images of the new VW Golf VI have leaked a couple of days before its official presentation, scheduled for next Wednesday, occurs.

Although Volkswagen may only reveal the new car technical details on Wednesday, if it does at all (and does not save them for Paris), the engines will be a 1.6-litre TFSI generating 200 bhp, a 1.4-litre TSI producing 150 cv and a 1-litre or a 1.2-litre pumping out 75 bhp. Much simpler to build than the Golf V, the new generation hatchback keeps the previous platform, what may lead to a similar wheelbase. The GTI version will have 230 bhp, while the R32 is expected to offer its drivers 265 bhp under the right pedal.

Source: World Car Fans

Should Citroën rebuilt the 2CV in this body?

In 2008 Citroën 2CV celebrates its 60th birthday. In 2008 there will an edition of the Paris Motor Show. Citroën could take advantage of the two events and present its idea for a modern 2CV, as well as VW has done with the Coccinelle/Beetle, Fiat has done with the 500 and BMW has done with Mini. While we see no image of such a car, if there is any, David Portela has helped us figure out what it could look like:

If this car was ever built, according to Portela, it would be 4.20 m long and would use a hybrid or flex powertrain in order to be environmentaly friendly. Whether his idea is adopted or not, the fact is most of us would love to see the 2CV back into the streets. Let's see what Citroën has to tell us about that.

Source: David Portela

North American designer unveils the new SLR Speedster

Most of you must have already seen spy photos of the new Mercedes-Benz SLR Speedster, a special series of the supercar the German company has created with the help of McLaren, but the North American designer Jon Sibal has gone beyond that. He has taken all wraps off of the car and managed to unveil it before Mercedes-Benz scheduled it to happen. And it is right below:

The SLR Speedster will have only 75 units and is said to be one of the rawest vehicles ever built by Mercedes-Benz. It will be 200 kg lighter than the stock SLR and will reach a top speed of 351 km/h. A machine for speed and performance lovers. Like we all. What a pity all performance lovers do not earn enough to get one of the 75 units...

Source: Jon Sibal

Bugatti unveils its new roadster, the Grand Sport

What would happen if the most fantastic car ever built got a topless version? There is no need to be creative to answer that. Just look at the picture below and find out the new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, the roadster version of the greatest automobile in history:

There could not be a better place for the official presentation than Pebble Beach, the sanctuary for classic cars, past or future ones. The world will see the car in aluminium and carbon-fibre next August 16, in the lawn in front of the Pebble Beach Lodge. The first Grand Sport will be auctioned at Gooding auction at the Equestrian Center, but it will only be delivered in the first quarter of 2009.

No technical information has been released so far, but the car should keep its amazing power even with the higher weight, added by the "innovative structural solutions" the car needed to keep the same body rigidity offered by the coupé. Slower or not, this car will surely be more expensive than the "regular" Veyron, a vehicle that already is the most expensive one for sale in the world, at 1 million EUR.

Source: Bugatti

Official image of the new Ford Ka leaks into the internet

You have already seen pictures of the new Ka here, but not as good as the one below:

This is the first official image of the car, brought up by CarScoop. Based on Fiat 500, it will probably use the same engines, but with different calibrations for the 1.2-litre petrol unit and the 1.3 turbodiesel powerplant. The car's official presentation is expected to take place at 2008 edition of the Paris Motors Show.

Source: CarScoop

Loremo, the super efficient car, will have a new face

Loremo is a German-based carmaker that has asked itself: why built a 1-ton vehicle to carry a 80-kg person most of the time? With that in mind, it has created its vehicle in LS and GT versions. Both are diesel powered and, weighing 450 kg, the cars manage to have incredible fuel economy figures. The first one reaches 66.7 km/l, accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 20 s and a maximum speed of 160 km/h. More interesting, the GT reaches 37 km/l, sprints from standstill to100 km/h in 9 s and tops 220 km/h. All that for 11,000 euros and 15,000 euros, respectively. Expected to be launched next year, the car has received a new appearance, the one that you can see below:

Besides being very light, Loremo has interesting safety solutions, such as the absence of regular doors. Its front and its back open to grant access to front and back passengers, which travel back to back, or else, the driver and the front passenger facing the road ahead and the back passengers facing the back window.

The engine of the car is placed among the front and the back passengers. Since the side of the car has no openings, its structure is stronger than in regular cars. Another benefit is the air resistance. Loremo's cx is only 0.20.

Source: Loremo

FortuneSport Rt.S and Rt.R, the new USA supercars

Low weight vehicles equipped with a huge 6-litre V8. This recipe for supercars has once been used in De Tomaso Pantera, but it will get back to fashion with FortuneSport new creations, the Rt.S (S for Street) and the Rt.R (R for Racing). For now, all that can be seen of the new North American supercars is this drawing, created by the cars designer, Emre Husmen:

The development process of the cars will be something incredibly new. First of all, the Rt.S will only be available after the Rt.R, which will work as a development prototype for its street version. Late this fall the program for Rt.R will start. Sixty people will have the chance to take part of it, all of them necessarily with at least US$ 200,000 in their bank accounts.

At first, these people will have to pay FortuneSport US$ 20,000 in order to be part of the group. Later, they will have to travel to Atlanta in order to have the car fitted to their bodies, since the seats are integrated to the chassis. This will cost them US$ 80,000. At last, about three weeks later, the car will be ready to be driven at non-professional track-day events and other events promoted both by FortuneSport and Skip Barber Racing Schools. This is when the last installment, US$ 100,000, has to be paid to FortuneSport.

The program will take 3 to 5 years to complete. When it finishes, the US$ 200,000 will be totally refunded to FortuneSport clients, unless they want to keep the vehicles, which will weigh only 750 kg and be powered by 510 bhp engines. The vehicles that are returned to FortuneSport will go to the company's museum or be used as mule prototypes for future product developments, as well as racing cars. If most of them are returned, a good part of them will be destroyed.

The experience with Rt.R will allow the company to create the Rt.S, a car that will be heavier (900 kg) and less powerful (350 bhp), but will preserve its sport credentials. Teritius Fortune, founder of the enterprise, estimates it will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4 s and reach a top speed of 280 km/h. Built by Panoz Group, the car will cost US$ 85,000.

Source: FortuneSport

Ariel gives Atom a removable windshield

Tired of the helmet and not willing to eat flies or small rocks while travelling with your Ariel Atom? No need to worry anymore (if you worry even at the wheel of one of the most fantastic cars in the world). Ariel has developed a removable windshield for its masterpiece.

Presented in a one-piece structure which brings, besides the windscreen itself, wiper, washer, switchgear and wiring, the windshield can be installed though five fixings and an electrical connector. Simple as that, so that the happy owner of an Atom can install it before driving a beautiful lady home (and kissing her, of course, what would be tough with a helmet) and remove it when he feels like doing so.

Source: Ariel Motor Company

HSV reveals its new mechanical jewel, the W427

If all GM branches all over ther world were like Holden, the world of car enthusiast would be happier. If you think otherwise, check out the new HSV W427:

Doesn't it look good? Well, it goes beyond that. 427 refers to the number of units that will be produced. Under the bonnet there is an LS7 V8, taken from the Z06 Corvette, pumping out 510 bhp. Prices are in 155,500 australian dollars, not exactly cheap, but a good deal, considering this car emerges as a collection car from the start.

Source: Holden

Chevrolet Camaro leaks into the World Wide Web

The long-awaited 2010 Chevrolet Camaro has finally shown up. Not exactly the way General Motors wanted it to be, next Monday, but today, when its first official images leaked and were published by the website CarTribe. Check this beauty below:

According to CarTribe, the new car will have three versions, LS, LT and SS, but, since the pictures below show the RS version, it is very likely the top version has been mispelled. Engines will go from a 296 hp 3.6-litre V6 to a 416 hp 6.2-liter V8 with a cylinder deactivation system to improve fuel economy numbers.

The platform of the sports car will be the Zeta, the same one used for Holden vehicles, in Australia, and it features independent suspension in all four wheels and a brake system "powered" by Brembo. Camaro is not exactly a lighweight car, with its 1,700 kg. Let's wait for more information on Monday.

Source: CarTribe

Mastretta MXT is ready to invade the UK

You may have never hear of Mastretta MXT, but, if you haven't so far, soon you will. This Mexican sports cars is about to invade the UK in the best way possible, through its official presentation at the British Motor Show. I wil present you the technical data that allows this car to be considered an amazing piece of machinery, but check its looks, in the first place:

You will have the chance to see all its angles in the gallery below, but be aware that this baby weights only 900 kg, uses a 2-liter turbo Duratec engine that delivers 240 bhp and powers its rear wheels, where 56% of all weight is concentrated, goes up to 240 km/h and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 5 s. Besides that, it will be a pretty exclusive car, with only 80 units delivered in the first year of sales in the UK, where it will be sold by LifeStyle, the same company that also sells the Brazilian Lobini H1 in the land of sports cars. May these two Latin American cars prove they deserve to receive that name.

Source: OmniAuto

Will Transformers turn this concept into Corvette C7?

Movies surely do not have that power, but the sequence of "Transformers" has brought a car that, among many that are already produced, such as Hummer H2, or are about to be, such as Chevrolet Beat, seems to be in one of these two conditions. Meet the vehicle that is being pointed out as the next generation Corvette, the C7:

This gorgeous vehicle can be reputed as the next Corvette for many reasons. First of all, it is a car that really works. Secondly, there is more than one of these "concepts" in the picture. Thirdly, and most important of all, it keeps the basic identity of a Corvette. The first two factors could be credited to shooting demands, although "Speed Racer" has not used a single working automobile.

It will be no surprise if, besides the movie, this car appears as a Corvette Concept in Detroit or any other relevant international motor show, only to have its series production announced to begin a couple of years ahead. This story may sound like the movies but, for now, it really is!


Check out and their large selection of Corvette Parts.

Kia will reveal its Soul at the Paris Motor Show

It's no surprise Korean automakers have a continuous ability of improving their quality levels, but the new surprise is the leap they are giving in style terms. Kia has proved that will images of the new Forte and will reinforce it with its Soul. We do not refer to core values or anything alike, but in fact to Kia's new hatchback, expected to debut at the Paris Motor Show and revealed below:

After its officiall presentation in Paris, in October, the new car will have its production kick-off in November and sales will start in February 2009 in the USA and in April 2009 in the rest of the word. With three engine options (two petrol units, a 2-litre and a 1.6-litre, and a turbodiesel 1.6-litre), the new car is 4.11 m long, 1.61 m tall, 1.79 m wide and has a wheelbase of 2.55 m.

Source: Kia Motors

The new Lotus Eagle open its wings

We won't have to wait until the British Motor Show open its gates to see one of its biggest news. Ladies and gentlemen, please find below the new Lotus Eagle.

The new sports car from Lotus is the first all-new product from the British company in many years (in fact, since 1995, with Elise), and there is still a new Sprit on the way for the next few years.

Although Lotus says Eagle is just the name of the project, it is almost sure to remain the same one for the production vehicle. The new car uses a 3.5-litre V6 Toyota engine that pumps out 280 bhp and is a 2+2, or else, it may eventually carry children for a very amusing ride from time to time.

Changing a little its tradition, the new Lotus brings standard air conditioning and an Alpine sound system. In July 22 we will bring you more news on this incredible car.

Source: Lotus Cars

Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series. Period

What would anyone say about a Mercedes-Benz Class-SL? Most people that love cars would love to have one (or more) in their garages. What about a very exclusive Class-SL, a special series? No need to answer now. Just look at the picture below and take a deep breath. Let me introduce you to the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series.

Below you will find and entire gallery with the most important pictures of this car, but it will not take you more than one or two to be sure that this baby is up to any challenge on track and, even so, present the same sweet behavior Mercedes-Benz cars are so widely known for. Even in a car with a 6-litre biturbo V12 engine producing 661 hp.

With that powerplant, the new SL65 AMG Black Series reaches 96 km/h in 3.9 s and a top speed of 320 km/h. Even though it uses loads of carbon-fibre components to be 250 kg lighter than the regular SL65 AMG, it weighs 1,870 kg, not exactly featherlight. That's the price Alcantara covered seats and a comfortable cabin charge. What a pity so little people have the chance to pay for it.

Source: Autoblog

Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series. Period

What would anyone say about a Mercedes-Benz Class-SL? Most people that love cars would love to have one (or more) in their garages. What about a very exclusive Class-SL, a special series? No need to answer now. Just look at the picture below and take a deep breath. Let me introduce you to the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series.

Below you will find and entire gallery with the most important pictures of this car, but it will not take you more than one or two to be sure that this baby is up to any challenge on track and, even so, present the same sweet behavior Mercedes-Benz cars are so widely known for. Even in a car with a 6-litre biturbo V12 engine producing 661 hp.

With that powerplant, the new SL65 AMG Black Series reaches 96 km/h in 3.9 s and a top speed of 320 km/h. Even though it uses loads of carbon-fibre components to be 250 kg lighter than the regular SL65 AMG, it weighs 1,870 kg, not exactly featherlight. That's the price Alcantara covered seats and a comfortable cabin charge. What a pity so little people have the chance to pay for it.

Source: Autoblog

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Peugeot 308 CC officially leaks into the World Wide Web

It seems Peugeot did not want it to happen, but it did. In its public website, the French automaker has presented, even if only for a few moment, the official pictures of the new 308 CC in its final form, the one that visitors will be able to see at the Paris Motor Show and you are able to check below.

The images were disclosed at the URL, already out of the air, what makes us be sure it was an unintended move. "Mauvais chance" for them, "bonne chance" for us.

There still isn't any official information on the car, but it is supposed to become the first diesel hybrid production vehycle of the world. Its engines are also already known: three petrol (95 bhp 1.4-litre, 120 bhp 1.6-litre and 150 bhp 1.6-litre, with a manual gearbox, and 140 bhp, with an automatic) and three diesel options (90 bhp 1.6-litre de 90 cv, 110 bhp 1.6 litre and 136 bhp 2-litre). Nice to see the car surely is. Let's expect for the prices.

Source: WorldCarInfo

Veritas RS III comes to life with 600 bhp engine

In 1948, Ernst Loof, Schorsch Meyer and Lorenz Dietrich, BMW employees and race car fans, founded a company that would be known for its short life and its fantastic cars. Created from a BMW 328,the Veritas became the first German car to enter a Formula 1 race. In 1952, the company ended its activities with only 75 cars produced. Sixty years after it was created, Veritas, which means Truth, in Latin, has resurrected with the RS III, the nice car you can see below.

Produced by Vermot AG, the RS III is, as its design denounces, a raw sports car. There is no place for anyone other than the driver, by the left side of the car, centimetres above the ground. And this is not a metaphor, especially in a car that is 0.97 m high.

Low, close to the ground, long (4,99 m, with a 2.84 m wheelbase) and wide (1.97 m), the RS III doesn’t even have to weigh between 1.080 kg to 1.170 kg to present its furious credentials, but it does. With two BMW engine options, both 5-litres, the supercar uses a 480 bhp V8 that pushes it to a maximum speed of 329 km/h and to 100 km/h in 3.6 s and a 600 cv V10 that makes it accelerate to up to 347 km/h and until 100 km/h in mere 3.2 s.

If you are familiar with Bugatti Veyron and SSC Ultimate Aero, these numbers may not seem that impressive, but imagine that the car has no aids at all. No dynamic stability control, no anti-skid system and not even a brake servo. Defy this lion baby carelessly and you will see the size of its teeth.

That chance, anyway, will be available only to 30 brave customers every year. Prices, no need to say, will not be exactly accessible.

Source: Vermot AG

Citroën C3 Picasso

The website Carscoop brought what seem to be the first leaked images of the new C3 Picasso. Called Minispace during its development, the small people carrier uses the Peugeot 207 platform.

According to CarScoop, the new minivan will be officially presented at the Paris Motor Show, in October. In Europe, it will challenge the future Opel Meriva, Honda Jazz, Fiat Idea, Lancia Musa, Renault Modus and Nissan Note.

Besides Europe, the C3 Picasso is also going to be built in Brazil, what will probably offer South American customers the opportunity to buy the real Peugeot 207, which may be built side by side with a revised 206 that has received the name 207 Brasil.

Petrol 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre engines have had their outputs revised to reach respectively 95 cv and 120 cv. There will also be the offer of 1.6 HDi diesel engines, ranging from 90 cv to 110 cv.

Source: Carscoop

Welcome to a new idea

Dear visitors,

This is the beggining of a service I intend to offer for a long time, since I started writing about cars and realised that, besides knowing more about the automotive world, my readers also wanted to make a wise decision when buying their new cars. It's been 10 years since I became a specialised journalist and, finally, I manage to get directly in touch with you.

Another way to offer advice and helpful information to the readers will be with the news section, in which I intend to bring you the most important car and motorcycle news around the world. I hope you appreciate the intention and help me get the best of it. Welcome to MotorTips, my friends!

Best regards,