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Most powerful Mini ever – the MINI GP for Geneva Motor Show

February 21, 2006 The MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works (JCW) GP Kit will make its first public viewing at the Geneva Motor Show. The fastest, most powerful production MINI ever will reach 62mph in under 6.5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 146mph. The GP has a power output of 218bhp, a stunning 136bhp per litre, and a maximum torque of 245Nm. Only 2000 of this special production model will be built with production beginning from July onwards. The guide price is UKP22,000 which includes UKP10,000 worth of additional equipment if specified on a standard MINI Cooper S. In the spritual home of the MINI, the United Kingdom, almost three-quarters of the UK allocation have already been ordered by MINI enthusiasts six months ahead of launch.  Read More

Dodge 170 hp Hornet Concept set to create a BUZZ

February 21, 2006 The Dodge brand rejoices in its role as the hardest hitting and least politically correct of the Daimler Chrysler Group. As such it can do things which other brand custodians couldn’t dream of, and the rallye-ready Dodge Hornet concept vehicle to be shown next week at the Geneva Motor Show is a perfect example. Tough and brash, the Dodge Hornet concept vehicle brings to the competitive entry-level B-segment market an ideal combination of European sensibility regarding engine size and overall footprint with an American flair for aggressive attitude and flexible interior space. Underhood is a 1.6L 16-valve OHC supercharged intercooled four-cylinder engine producing 127 kW (170 hp) and 224 N m (165 lb.-ft.) of torque at 4000 rpm. The interior though, is based on extreme flexibility and function, having been modelled on studies of space capsule interiors, since they are designed for high efficiency in a limited space. The space-saving foam seats are exceptionally slim and adaptable. Both the passenger front bucket seat and the 40-60 three-passenger rear seats fold forward and collapse to the floor to provide a flat load bed. To facilitate this, the headrests fold forward to stow between the seat back and cushion. In addition, the rear seats also flip rearward to stow in back, flush with the liftgate sill. This position provides for the highest possible vertical storage behind the front seats. When upright, the rear seats track rearwards to provide an additional 225 mm of legroom for rear seat passengers.  Read More

The Easy-Klick Sortimo System – easy to transfer from the van to the workshop

February 21, 2006 There is more than one-way to use a vehicle and we love the concept of modular, click-in and click-out fittings for vans and automobiles, enabling them to morph into the environment required for different specific tasks. So when we saw the latest from Sortimo International we felt it was worth a mention. Sortimo already produces a wide range of in-vehicle racking solutions and is preparing to launch a newly developed ‘Easy-Klick System’. The system adds another concept to the mobile workshop allowing even more flexibility than before. It enables a fully equipped trades vehicle to be transformed into one with an empty loading area from time to time, completely painlessly. The modules all come fitted with wheels, so they can be wheeled in and out of the van for easier-on-site access, or for cleaning or for complete removal. Just wheel the system into place and "click" it to the anchoring points. Straight away everything is securely fastened. When you require your vehicle to transport some bulky goods and you need an empty load area, just "unclick" the equipment and you are ready to go. What we need Sortimo to do now is design the modules for a weekend-camper so that can be clicked in on Friday afternoon for a quick jaunt across the border.  Read More

BMW unveils biturbo 3.0-litre six with the same power and more torque than the 4.0-litre e...

February 20, 2006 Backing up its global success with the innovative 507 bhp V10 powerplant for the M5 and M6 super cars (2005 Engine of the Year), and the VALVETRONIC magnesium-aluminium straight-six engines introduced in 2005, BMW is set to tear the wraps off a production-ready biturbo version of its acclaimed petrol-powered six-cylinder. Retaining the familiar 3.0-litre capacity, the new all-aluminium engine boasts a pair of turbochargers, each feeding a trio of cylinders. When combined with the efficiency and flexibility of acclaimed BMW VALVETRONIC and double-VANOS technology, the new engine is able to produce an immense 225 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. BMW claims that with the technologies it has employed in the new motor, the traditional bugbear of turbo lag has been vaporised and fuel consumption has been slashed.  Read More

One turbocharger per cylinder concept

February 18, 2006 Just as the major automotive manufacturers build concept vehicle to exhibit their design ideas and expertise, so too do specialist companies create projects designed to showcase technological knowhow and potential future developments. UK-based automotive performance specialists specialists Owen Developments has unveiled just such a project with its unique Quad Turbo Kit concept. The project was created to evaluate how small a turbocharger would need to be to be used for each cylinder of an engine. The company sees the main benefit of multi turbochargers is to produce sufficient turbine speed to achieve optimum boost pressure for each of the four cylinders, resulting in better driveability, engine response and more performance.  Read More

VW Crossover Concept A combines sports car design with SUV elements

February 17, 2006 Volkswagen has revealed its latest design study, the Concept A, a crossover between a sports car and a compact SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle). The concept combines a sleek coupe-style silhouette with the raised stance of an SUV. The study shown in Berlin yesterday is powered by a 110 kW (150 hp) Twincharger (TSI), with power reachingthe wheels via a six gear transmission and an all wheel drive 4MOTION system. Studies such as this are allowed complete freedom though, and VW also suggested that the study might find its way into production (as VW concepts tend to do), powered by a turbo diesel direct fuel injection (TDI) motor or the FSI Turbo of the Golf GTI (147 kW / 200 hp).  Read More

The Maserati GranSport MC Victory

February 16, 2006 To celebrate winning the 2005 FIA GT Manufacturers' Cup, Maserati has launched a new limited edition model of the Maserati GranSport. The Maserati GranSport MC Victory will be officially launched at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, and will be on the market from May, with only 180 uniquely numbered units produced.  Read More

Peugeot debuts new 207, 207 Rcup sports concept car, and 307 CC Hybride diesel Hdi concept

February 16, 2006 At the 76th Geneva International Motor Show, the new Peugeot 207 will make its world premiere, and to emphasise the importance of 207, a stylish and sporty RCup concept model will be shown that is likely to be the design blueprint for a future Peugeot Sport competition programme. The 207 Rcup is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre 16v petrol engine producing 280bhp at 8,500rpm, with a 6-speed sequential gearbox and 18 inch alloy wheels. Also to be shown in Geneva is the 307 CC Hybride HDi diesel technology demonstrator, like the 307 HDi hatchback unveiled by PSA Peugeot Citroen in January.  Read More

Mazda begins leasing Rotary Hydrogen Vehicles

February 15, 2006 Yet another major automotive company has taken a hydrogen vehicle to market. Mazda announced today that it has received permission from Japan’s Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) to begin leasing the RX-8 Hydrogen RE to corporate customers. The RX-8 Hydrogen RE vehicles are equipped with a rotary engine, and feature a dual-fuel system that allows the driver to select either hydrogen or gasoline. Mazda today signed those leases with Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. and Iwatani International Corporation and delivery is scheduled for late March 2006.  Read More

The new Mercedes SL 55 AMG

February 15, 2006 Details of the new SL 55 AMG have been announced and the exceptional high-performance roadster from Mercedes-AMG has made further substantial advances in terms of technology, design and appointments. Reengineered AMG sports suspension based on second-generation Active Body Control is the key, and more direct steering and new AMG high-performance brakes bestow the two-seater with prodigious handling abilities. Meticulous attention to detail is also a feature of the new-look body and interior, with highlights including new AMG steering-wheel shift paddles and an AMG main menu with a RACETIMER. The improved AMG 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine now has a new supercharger compressor and more efficient engine management unit to boost power from 368 kW (500 hp) to 380 kW (517 hp), while the peak torque has been increased from 700 to 720 Nm. The engine management can now set the optimum combustion point individually for each cylinder, resulting in a further improvement in the efficiency of the AMG V8 engine. The new SL 55 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds (outgoing model: 4.7 seconds) and goes on to reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h, though motorists with an extra-dynamic streak can opt for the AMG Performance Package which ups the limited maximum speed to 300 km/h.  Read More

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