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Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Not willing to buy the new SLS AMG? Stick with the original Gullwing. Almost original

The magic around gullwing doors and the car that is most widely associated with them, Mercedes-Bens 300 SL, is huge. So huge Mercedes-Benz has even decided to bring to life a sort of new generation of the car under the name SLS AMG. Although it has not been entirely presented, there are many that still think the classic Gullwing has no substitute. For these people, Gullwing GmbH, from Heyda, Germany, has decided to offer the Gullwing itself. Well, sort of. The company has created a fantastic replica of the car. Have a look below and try to say you are not in front of an original 300 SL.

Gullwing GmbH is the same company that produces the AC Cobra Mk VI for AC Cars. We manage to find the company because of our article on the future 300 SL Panamericana. Created by Arturo Alonso over the Gullwing produced by Gullwing GmbH, it will be an homage to the racing version of the car, produced back in 1952. Anyway, the technical information and performance numbers we have given you at the time were not very accurate. They are much better.

"The Gullwing is issued with the most modern Mercedes V8 engine with 5,5 litres and
producing 405 hp in its standard form", said Jürgen Mohr, from Gullwing GmbH, to MotorTips. In fact, this engine has a respectful signature over it: AMG. "This engine is equipped with the latest 7 speed automatic gearbox (7G-TRONIC), giving the choice to the driver to select gears conventionally or via paddles behind the steering wheel."

Considering the original car had an in-line six-cylinder engine with 3 litres and 215 bhp, Gullwing had a good deal of work to make the car manage the new powerful heart. "We are manufacturing the Gullwing here in Germany, but completely changed the design and layout of the car's chassis and suspension to make it handle engine power of up to 650 bhp and to make it good enough to be used on the racetrack with
pleasure", said Mohr. "We put all our energy in the redevelopment of the cars and only will start now with marketing efforts."

This version of the car will cost 165,000 euros with taxes and extra equipment included. In other words, the car will feature ABS, air-conditioning and other modern life conveniences such as the Becker Mexico audio system. It seems an old sound system, but it offers the car passengers with more than music. Bluetooth, internet, voice command and GPS navigation are also on the package.

There will only be 30 units for sale every year, at least for now. "We will do the sales for the coming three years from Germany directly through Gullwing GmbH and I am the person in charge. Delivery time at the moment is from 10 to 18 months. The cars are made to order only, which means each car is build to individually satisfy the requirements of our clients from all over the world. We expect an order with a deposit of 50,000 euros, but we will appreciate if people come and visit us before buying to make sure the cars are build to their individual requirements. The cars can be testdriven at our factory near Dresden, about 2 hours drive from Berlin", said Mohr.

If you are more into the Roadster or wants to buy a cheaper version of the car, 2010 is the year for you. "For 2010 a version with the 3,5-litre V6 with 320 bhp will be launched." It will be the closest version to the original Gullwing, considering Mercedes-Benz does not have in-line six-cylinders anymore. "This engine can be connected to a six-speed manual gearbox", Mohr stated.

When we wrote about 300 SL Panamericana, we have mentioned Hooper & Co, but the British company is no longer heading the replica's production. "Hooper is the company who used to own the Gullwing project and later sold it to us", said Mohr.

If you are interested in your own Gullwing, get in touch with the company through their official website, Meanwhile, take a look at the other pictures of this beauty. If only we had 165,000 euros on our bank account...

Source: Gullwing GmbH

Bajaj ULC will also be built in Brazil as a Renault or Nissan

The next Brazilian (and South American) Renault can be the small SUV based on Dacia Duster, but it certainly is not the one that is going to drive more attention. That task is up to Bajaj ULC. According to "The Hindu Business Line", this vehicle, which is expected to be presented in 2012, will be built in Brazil.

It is still not defined whether the new car will wear a Renault or a Nissan badge, but we would bet on Renault because of its dealer network, which is bigger than Nissan's in Brazil. The ULC will cost about US$ 3,000 in India. In Brazil, its price is expected to be at least three times higher than that, what would still make the car amazingly cheap for Brazilian standards.

Bajaj ULC is still under development by Bajaj Auto, Nissan and Renault. The idea is to turn it into a world project, more remarkable by its fuel consumption (about 35 km/l) than by its price. We just hope development to be quicker.

Source: The Hindu Business Line via Indian Autos Blog

Swedish designer recreates a classic as the Vox Volvo P1800

The series of nostalgic cars will not be over with the end of Chrysler PT Cruiser, but we are not talking about VW Beetle's next generation. What we mean is beyond that, in much more interesting ways. We are talking about the new Vöx Volvo P1800, the new creation from the Swedish designer Mattias Vöcks.

This gorgeous coupe used to be known as the machine Roger Moore drove at the TV series "The Saint", but it is even better than that mechanical piece of fiction. Vöx Volvo P1800 will, for example, count on 550 bhp to 600 bhp, all served by the 4.4-litre V8 already used by S80 and XC90 helped by a supercharger.

While we still only have these Photoshop pieces of work, a real car is being developed and it is possible a small limited production of it will take place. We really hope these rumours turn out to be only an anticipation of the future reality. This is a good explanation for anxiety.

Source: Auto Motor & Sport via World Car Fans

Monday, 4 May 2009

Tata Nano achieves 203,000 confirmed bookings; 610,000 bought forms

After a great deal of speculation, Tata has released what has happened to the booking process of Nano. Over 203,000 clients have fully paid for the privilege to be the first 100,000 to own a Nano, while 610,000 have bought the booking forms.

Of all the bookings, 70% of them were financed. Differently from what was expected, Standard had the preferences of only 20% of the clients. The intermediary version, CX, reached 30% of all reserves and LX, the top of the line, was responsible for 50% of all booked Nano units.

Deliveries will start after the computerised random selection is performed, in June 25, and will go on until the end of 2010, when the Sanand factory is ready.

Nano will have three versions in India: Standard, CX and LX. Standard, as the name states, will be the entry-level version. It will cost, in Pant Nagar, 112,735 rupees, or US$ 2,232.38, or a little above 1 lakh, or 100,000 rupees, or US$ 1,980.20, as promised. According to Tata, the car will cost 1 lakh when it leaves the factory, what, in our opinion, is not of much help for the final consumer. Anyway, Nano is still very cheap. For this vehicle, reservation price is 95,000 rupees, or US$ 1,881.19.

The Nano Standard offers three colour options, one-tone seats and a foldable rear seat. By the way, all Nano units are 3.1 m long, 1.5 m wide and 1.6 m tall, with a 624 cm³ rear two-cylinder engine mated to a four speed gearbox. The engine generates 35 bhp at 5,250 rpm and 48 Nm at 3,000 rpm, what helps the 600 kg car reach a top speed of 105 km/h and emit only 101 g/km, with a fuel consumption of 23.6 km/l. With its 15 l fuel tank, Nano has a mileage of 354 km.

Nano has no disk brakes, only drums in all four wheels. Considering the car's weigh and top speed, this should be no problem in city traffic, but may cause overheating in highways. This may be a reason for Nano's short warranty period: only 18 months or 24,000 km, whatever comes first.

The intermediary version of Nano, CX, offers five colour options, parcel shelf, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC), two-tone seats, a foldable rear seat with nap rest and, surprise, booster-assisted brakes. In other words, anyone missing ABS shoud try to stop a Standard Nano without getting tired very quickly. CX prices go from 139,780 rupees, or US$ 2,767.92, to 160,320 rupees, or US$ 3,174.65. Its reserve price is 120,000 rupees, or US$ 2,376.24.

The top Nano, called LX, offers everything CX does plus fabric seats, central locking, front power windows, body coloured exteriors in three premium colours, probably mettalic ones, fog lamps, electronic trip meter, cup holder in the front console, mobile charger point and a rear spoiler. Prices for LX range from 170,335 rupees to 185,375 rupees, or US$ 3,372.97 to US$ 3,670.79. Its reserve price has been established at 140,000 rupees, or US$ 2,772.28.

Source: Tata