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Friday, 12 December 2008

Rinspeed anticipates its attraction for Geneva 2009, the iChange

Frank M. Rinderknecht always brings something new to Geneva Motor Show. A diving car, a transparent car and so on. The new idea from the founder of Rinspeed is a car that changes its shape and, with that, is able to transport more people. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the iChange.

Although these drawings still do not disclose exactly how this system works, Rinderknecht says the rear end of the car raises, what allows it to carry two more people. With the rear down, the car carries only the driver.

Besides this flexibility in transporting people, iChange is a fully electric powered vehicle, what makes it also a very effcient means of trasportation, both energetically and ecologically speaking. As all Rinspeed toys, this one is sure to be one of a kind. More information and real pictures of the car will emerge in the next few months, as well as a video of the car in action. We can't wait to watch it!

Source: Rinspeed

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Sbarro creates its own Ferrari V12, the Alcador II GTB

Sbarro has already presented us some unusual designs, such as the one for Assystem City Car, but the Italian designer, based on Switzerland, is also able to create some serious piece of supermachinery. The living proof of that is the Alcador II GTB.

Powered by a V12 Ferrari engine able to produce over 400 bhp, the car uses scissor-doors, similar to the ones used by Lamborghini, and resembles another supercar, but a British one, this time, the TVR, especially in what relates to its headlights.

As you can see in these Nicolas Chassot Yverdon's pictures, Alcador carries two people (the driver and someone else) and, as far as we know, it the only one of its kind. Considering it has been presented both in Geneva and in Essen, it may have enough people interested in buying an Alcador of their own. Let's wait and see.

Source: Sbarro/Nicolas Chassot Yverdon

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

LEAKED! - Meet the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class

The first images should only have emerged by January 2009, but cars are getting more and more anxious to appear. Even the more refined ones, such as Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Here are the first official images of the next generation of the sedan, internally called W212, first presented by in an unofficial way.

The new E-Class will be presented to the public in March 2009, at Geneva Motor Show. Although no technical specs have leaked with the pictures, all of them unfortunatelly very small, we know W212 will no longer use SBC (Sensotronic Brake Control), but disk brakes will have a drying system for better performance. AMG version will also certainly offer ceramic disk brakes.

Many safety aids will also be foundo on W212, such as sensors for detecting if the driver is asleep, road sign reading and a new stability program able to deal with side winds and tyres with irregular tread use.

Engines will be pretty much the same, maybe with the aid of fuel direct injection, but we will have to wait in order to confirm these pieces of information. March 2009 is not that far, after all.

Source: via World Car Fans

VW plans to put Chico into production to beat smart fortwo

Last November, AutoCar released the information Volkswagen intends to have a very fuel efficient car. This car would be based on the future Lupo platform, nowadays known as the up! concept, and would be called Chico, after a small hybrid concept presented back in 1991. Chico, in Spanish, means "small, tiny".

Besides having a product on a market segment that promises to grow rapidly, as the presentation of Toyota iQ states, Volkswagen aims to lower its emission and fuel consumption rates. The goal established for Chico is 50 km/l and 60 g/km of CO2, according to AutoCar.

If the first Chico was to be taken into consideration, this number would be easily reached, since the small car was able to reach 71.43 km/l with its hybrid powertrain. If its only propulsion system was its 636 cm³ two-cylindre petrol engine, able to generate 34 bhp at 6,000 rpm and only 45 Nm at 3,000 rpm, it would spend 23.36 km/l at a constant speed of 90 km/h.

The problem is Volkswagen intends to use a larger engine with no hybrid help to accomplish its targets. There are two options: a 1.2-litre four-cylinder direct-injection engine with cylindre deactivation (up to two of them can be deactivated) and a 1.2-litre three-litre turbodiesel engine. Start-stop system, regenerative brakes and low-rolling-resistance tyres will be standard for the new Chico.

The previous Chico was 3.15 m long, 1.60 m wide, 1.48 m tall, with a 2.05 m wheelbase. Since it was very frugal, its fuel tank did not need to be larger than 20 l. Chico was considerably heavy, with an unladen weight of 785 kg. Aerodynamics are also something to be improved: it had a cx of 0.32. As well as iQ, it was a 2+2 vehicle, with a 60 l luggage compartment. The top speed of 131 km/h was a clear sign performance was not to be cherished. Accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h took as much as 30 s. Let's hope the production series car improves all these numbers.

Source: AutoCar

Monday, 8 December 2008

Audi reveals R8 V10 before presenting it at Detroit Auto Show

When Audi first presented R8, it was obvious the supercar had a big deal of Lamborghini DNA, a company that Audi controls. It only did not have a Lamborghini engine, or else, no V10 and no V12, engines that have only beem under the hood of concept versions of R8. It will remain like this until January 2009, when the German automaker intends to officially present the new R8 V10, powered by a 5.2-litre engine able to generate 525 bhp and 530 Nm

With such an engine, similar to the one used by Lamborghini Gallardo, R8 is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km in 3.9 s and to reach a top speed of 316 km/h. The German supercar uses 19-inch alloy wheels, with 235/35 tyres in front and 295/30 tyres in the back. Ceramic brakes of 380 mm in front and 356 mm in the rear can be purchased as options, as well as buckett seat and Audi Parking System, which uses a rear camera.

With no options, or else, totally stock, R8 V10 will cost 142,400 euros in Germany, by the middle of 2009.

Source: Audi via Autoblog