Audi’s Limited Edition A1 Quattro

Published by on Dec 21st, 2011, No Comments

Audi has just announced the introduction of the Limited Edition 252-hp A1 Quattro, a high-performance version of the German Automaker’s subcompact hatch.

“the A1 Quattro comes equipped with the automaker’s legendary all-wheel-drive system, with power provided by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged and direct-injected four-cylinder used in the S3. The reworked mill puts out 252 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm – a boost of more than 70 hp and 74 lb-ft over the standard 1.4-liter A1.”

The wheel wells are filled with a modified MacPherson strut suspension in the front and at the rear, a multi-link setup. The braking system has been upgraded with larger discs at all four corners with black painted calipers. The electromechanical steering has also been adjusted to provide a 14.8:1 ratio and the ESP has been modified for high-performance duty.

The exterior is inspired by other past Audi concepts as well as the S and RS lines. The interior showcases a new instrument panel, aluminum pedals and black leather with red stitching.

The A1 is expected to go on sale next year with only 333 units available.


Toyota Fun-Vii Concept Revealed

Published by on Nov 29th, 2011, No Comments

Ahead of its official debut at the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota has unveiled its new Fun-Vii concept car. The skin of the bullet shaped car for the “not too distant future” serves as a massive display that can change its colour and display graphics, images, and custom messages for other drivers and bystanders. The skin can be changed using a specialised app and have its interior adjusted as well – the three-seat cabin has a continuous display which spans from the dashboard to the floor. Overall the vehicle measures 4,020mm long, 1,745mm wide and 1,415mm tall with a wheelbase of 2,750mm.

Intervehicle connectivity can detect potentially hazardous situations like making the driver aware of a car in its blind spot or one that is about to break suddenly. The system can also link with surrounding vehicles to locate friends.

As if this isn’t enough, Toyota also envisions that the car will be connected to the internet which has the advantage of bringing information to the driver and providing entertainment content to the driver and the passengers on board.


2012 Jaguar XF Sportbrake Spied

Published by on Nov 24th, 2011, No Comments

Here is one of the very first spy shots of the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake, partly in camouflage, coming in 2012. The Sportbrake, the official name of which was only confirmed today, was seen being taken for a test drive around Jaguar’s R&D base in Coventry.

This wagon shape was not in the original design plans as an XF derivative and so product planners have had a considerable task in converting the four-door saloon into an executive estate.

The interior is expected to have the usual fold-down rear seats, more rear headroom and executive toys such as electric boot operation.


Nissan Won’t Give Up on Cube

Published by on Nov 23rd, 2011, No Comments

Despite poor sales of just 13, 850 units up until October in 2011, dropping from 23, 000 units sold in 2010, Nissan will continue selling its quirky Cube in North America. The Cube, with a 1.8-litre engine, was released in 2009 as a competitor to the equally boxy Scion xB.

Nissan North America sales boss Brian Carolin told Autoweek at the Los Angeles Auto Show in is defence that “It’s a niche product that has found its place in the market and that it benefited particularly when gas prices were spiking earlier this year, and we were struggling to get a supply of it. We had a lot of demand for it.”

Poor sales could be attributed to production challenges following the Japan earthquake back in March of this year.

Nissan is currently offering no incentives on the Cube.


Volvo V30 2012 Spied

Published by on Nov 14th, 2011, No Comments

This is a spy shot of the new Volvo V30, in full camouflage, that is said to slot in between the C30 hatch and V50 estate and is rumoured to rival VW’s Golf. The new model, unofficially named the V30, will offer the flexibilty of five doors, as demanded by most customers, and a full tailgate. The new model is set to launch in mid to late 2012.


Team Sasol Wins 2011 Rally Championship

Published by on Oct 26th, 2011, No Comments

Team Sasol’s Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton made history this weekend as the first privateers to win the 2011 South African Driver’s and Co-Driver’s Rally Championship in 45 years. The rally proved to be a grueling battle, where the skills of the drivers and the performance of their vehicles were put to the ultimate test.

The last privateer team to win a South African National Rally Championship was in 1966, when driver François Tucker and co-driver Raggy Schjolberg drove their Volvo to a championship title.

The Sasol team set the pace in their Ford Fiesta S2000 throughout the 2011 rally championship, winning a hat-trick of events out of eight rallies.

After the victory Cronje stated that “It has always been my dream to win the National Rally Championship in the premier S2000 class, and today is a day that I will treasure forever. The determining factor of winning a rally is the commitment and understanding between the driver and the navigator, and we’re thrilled with this result.”

Conrad Rautenbach and Nicholas Klinger took second place with Enzo Kuun Guy Hodgson taking third.


Marco Simoncelli Dies in Malaysian Grand Prix

Published by on Oct 24th, 2011, No Comments

A week after the tragic death of IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon, comes another fatality for the motor sport industry when 24 year-old MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli was killed on the second lap of the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on Sunday.

The young Italian, racing for the San Carlo Gresini Honda team, lost control of his bike at the start of the second lap when his front tyre lost grip and his bike fell causing him to skate to the left. When the front tyre gripped again, Simoncelli swerved into the path of Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards who couldn’t escape a collision. Simoncelli, who lost his helmet at 150mph during the crash, lay motionless on the track.

Half an hour after the race was stopped in was announced that Simoncelli’s injuries were too severe and he had died with reported tyre marks on his neck. Fortunately Edwards had suffered only a dislocated shoulder while Rossi escaped uninjured and returned to the pit.

In a statement, medical director Michele Macchiagodena revealed that Simoncelli “suffered a very serious trauma to the head, to the neck and the chest and suffered from cardiac arrest in the ambulance.”

Simoncelli’s death was the first fatality in MotoGP since Japan’s Daijiro Katoh died at the 2003 Japanese Grand Prix.

Image source: BBC Sport


Nissan’s Juke-R Promotional Concept

Published by on Oct 5th, 2011, No Comments

Nissan has revealed pictures of the latest in a long line of go-faster models with the Juke-R, a variant of the Juke small crossover car creating the first ever Super crossover. The vehicle is a mashup of the Juke and the GT-R. Although Nissan is building two road-going versions of the Juke-R (one left and one right-hand drive) to be finished in November,  it will be “a one-off, road-legal concept car”. So far, there is no production plan and no plans to sell it to the public. Rather, it is being built purely for promotional purposes.

Under the hood, the Juke-R will be powered by a version of the GT-R’s 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 that sends 480 horsepower through the GT-R’s six-speed gearbox as well as its four-wheel drive train and six speed transaxle. Although no official figures have been released, the GT-R manages 196mph and 0-62mph in about three seconds. The bodywork of the Juke-R is blistered and extended in different directions to accommodate its new powertrain.

If the car is never actually going to be sold then why are they building it? A Nissan representative simply answered: “Because we can.”

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