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Thursday, 5 March 2009

Aston Martin plans to revive the Lagonda brand with an ugly SUV, the Lagonda Concept

When Aston Martin announced it would bring the name Lagonda back to the market, many expected it would offer a luxurious and gorgeous sedan to its customers. As gorgeous or even better than the One-77. This is the problem with high expectations. When they are frustrated, the frustration tends to be as high or higher. Aston has presented its idea for a Lagonda revival. It will be an SUV, represented by the Lagonda Concept. And it will be ugly, as you can see below.

Some say that the car is personally much better looking, but we doubt it. According to Aston Martin, this vehicle is intended to be sold in more countries than the sportscars the British company produces. It will be aimed at emerging countries.

The prototype uses a V12, possibly the same used by DBS, and is an all-wheel drive vehicle. Aston intends to offer it in diesel and hybrid versions, including one that can be powered by renewable fuels, such as ethanol. Let's just hope it gets better looking before it is released, something that should not happen before 2012. At least they have time to work on it.

Source: Aston Martin

Koenigsegg and NLV present the Quant at the Geneva Motor Show

There are some emerging trends on the automotive market. Four-door coupes are one of them, as Porsche Panamera, Lamborghini Estoque and Aston Martin Rapide can prove. The other is electric cars. You can see Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Roadster and Fisker Karma reinforce this idea. The Swedish automaker Koenigsegg has managed to follow both trends all at once with the NLV Quant. Well, sort of.

As you can see, Quant does not have four doors, but two large gull-wing doors that give access to the four places of the car, with a wheelbase of 3.10 m. It is 4.88 m long, 1.34 m high and 2.02 m wide.

NLV is the name of the company that has provided the batteries and the solar recharging system. In fact, calling the FAES (Flow Accumulator Energy Storage) a battery may be unfair. After all, this energy accumulator can be recharged in 20 minutes and provides a range of 500 km. It is, by far, the best system presented so far, if Koenigsegg can prove its claims on it.

As it is expected from the Swedish automaker, the Quant is able to achieve a high performance. Its drag coefficient is 0.27 and its projected curb weight is 1,780 kg. Powered by two electric engines at the rear wheels, able to generate 512 bhp and 715 Nm from 0 rpm, it can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 s and to reach a top speed of 275 km/h. Wheels are 22 inches wide, with low friction Michelin 245/35 R 22 at the front and 265/35 R 22 at the back.

Apart from that, Quant has a thin-film photovoltaic coating all over the car body that also provides electricity to the FAES system. Prices are still to be defined, but the car will definitely be sold in the near future.

Source: Koenigsegg and NLV

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

VW and Bosch create the first production car that handles E100, the Polo E-Flex

Flex fuel cars cannot deal with E100, or else, with 100% of ethanol. Either they use E85, with 15% of petrol, or they use a small fuel tank that holds a small quantity of petrol for the car to start in the morning. Things are like this since the first ethanol-powered production vehicle, Fiat 147, has been presented, in May 1979. After 30 years waiting to get rid of this small tank, car buyers will finally be able to do so with the help of Bosch and Volkswagen, which have presented today the Polo E-Flex.

The new car, a special series that will be sold from the end of this month on in Brazil, is based on the fourth generation of Polo. The current car will be sold in the South American country at least until 2010, when the fifth generation is expected to start production and replace it.

But let's get back to what really matters: the E-Flex system. It works by heating ethanol to up to 120ºC, what makes its combustion easier. With this, it will be able to start a car fueled solely on ethanol in temperatures as low as -5ºC.

The car works like this: first of all, the driver turns the key to the "on" position. On the dashboard, a light that indicates the heating process is in action, similar to the one that exists on diesel vehicles. When it goes out, it is the sign to start the engine, but you have to press the clutch pedal first. If you don't follow the steps, the car just does not start and the ignition prevents you from turning the key again. You'll have to turn the car off and start all the process once more.

Besides making sure the car starts quickly, the E-Flex system also keeps it running in a smoother way by working for 120 s more. This is the time the engine takes to heat and to work in its best way. In regular flex fuel cars fueled with ethanol, accelerations are not very steady when the engine is still cold.

The E-Flex system now tends to be perfected and used in other countries, colder than Brazil, in order to allow these places to make use of E100 in a regular way, just like the South American country does since 1979. A big achievement for the Brazilian engineers involved in the development of E-Flex.

Source: Volkswagen and Bosch

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Aston Martin reveals the One-77 for the first time in Geneva

When Aston Martin decided it would create its own supercar, One-77, we all went crazy to know what the Gaydon-based company would come up with. We have seen renderings and they were good. We have seen the prototype and it was also good. We have seen technical specs and they were good as well. The price, over 1 million pounds, was good... for Aston Martin. But the best part of it all was the real car, presented at Geneva Motor Show. What a gorgeous piece of engineering...

One-77 will only be produced in limited numbers, or else, the 77 its own name mentions. It will be powered by a tweaked V12 engine, the same one used by DBS, but increased to 7.3 litres instead of 6 litres. Cosworth has given Aston Martin a help and the V12 is 25% lighter than the original engine. It can also produce over 700 bhp, what will allow the car to surpass 360 km/h and to go from 0 to 100 km/h in about 3.5 s. All this in a vehicle that weights 1,500 kg and is sophisticated as any other Aston. We can't wait to see it reach the streets.

Source: Aston Martin

Monday, 2 March 2009

Lamborghini presents its meanest machine, the LP 670-4 SuperVeloce

Which is the most powerful Lamborghini ever created? If some of you have answered Reventón, you are mistaken. At least from the Geneva Motor Show on. The Swiss event has revealed the Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce, a car that is 20 bhp stronger and 100 kg lighter than Reventón.

SuperVeloce will be produced in a limited series of 350 units, what will surely make it cost less than the 1 million euro Reventón. And will surely piss off Reventón owners. Not a big crowd (only 20 people on the world), but powerful people, for sure. Anyway, they will always be able to buy the SuperVeloce as well.

With 1,565 kg, the mighty Lambo is powered by a V12 engine that pumps out 670 bhp. SuperVeloce is able to reach 342 km/h and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.2 s. Can it get any better than this?

Source: Lamborghini

OFFICIAL! - Here's the Volkswagen Polo V!

As it happens sometimes, this presentation is far too important to wait for the text. Here's the fifth generation of VW Polo. We'll bring you more info soon. See the pictures meanwhile. We know you'll enjoy!

Source: Volkswagen