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Automotive

Hydrogen-powered motorsport on the horizon

January 15, 2007 In what could turn out to be an historic occasion for international motor sport, a new racing entity announced its formation at the closing of the NAIAS in Detroit last week. The Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation (HERF) is a new racing organization dedicated to helping the world's leading automobile manufacturers accelerate the development of hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicles through sanctioned competition. The concept is to provide a competitive arena in which manufacturers can push the envelope of hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicle technology, enabling racing to take its rightful place again as the principal conduit for the transference of advanced technologies and innovations directly to our future production vehicles. The first on-track competition for electric vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells will be in the United States in 2009, with international events in 2010 and 2011.  Read More

New Swiss Supercar – the Beck LM 800

January 12, 2007 A new SuperCar joined the ranks of the world’s elite automobiles this week when the Beck LM 800 was shown to the world’s public for the first time at the luxury motor show in Vienna. Built by Beck Engineering & Composits GmbH from Muri near Berne in Switzerland , the most striking feature of the car is its weight - 900 kg with a full tank of gas and an 80 kg driver – achieved with liberal lashings of aluminium, magnesium, titanium, and the latest plastic and composite materials such as Kevlar. The chassis is an active, electronically controlled unit based on current F1 design, and lots of windtunnel development gives the car a very refined aerodynamic profile. Not surprisingly, every car is a one-off and you can order the specification of your choice, from the US$600,000 base model with a 650 bhp turbocharged 4.2 litre V8, all the way to1000 bhp. We're still trying to wrap our brain cells around the concept of 1000 bhp pushing 900 kg around.  Read More

Toyota's 400 bhp  FT-HS Hybrid Sports Car Concept

January 12, 2007 UPDATED PHOTO GALLERY Toyota’s FT-HS hybrid sports concept to be shown at the 2007 North American International Auto Show next week seems to have a lot more of the real world in it than your normal concept car. Sporting hybrids are coming to mainstream consumer land very soon, if we’re reading the signs correctly. The two-plus-two concept is a front-engine, rear-drive sports car with a projected 0-62mph acceleration in the four-second range. A powerful V6, 3.5L-engine is coupled with a sports hybrid system for a total of 400 bhp. The press release specifically prices the FT-HS in a mid-priced market position, making it a truly attainable exotic should it be produced. The Japanese company will achieve it’s Everest this year when it will become the world’s top selling automobile manufacturer – our bet is that this baby will be in the 2008 model range.  Read More

Audi shows Q7 V12 TDI with 1,000Nm of torque

January 10, 2007 While we love concept cars, and we’re enamoured with futuristic power train technologies, but we must admit that one of the most alluring vehicles at the Detroit (NAIAS) Motor Show was the diesel-engined, production-ready Audi Q7 V12 TDI. It’s now nearly two decades since Audi invented the TDI engine, so it’s nice to see the technology being presented it in an all-new high-tech, range-topping guise. Derived from the company’s all-conquering race car which won everything it entered in 2006, including the Le Mans 24 hour, the now production-ready version of V12 TDI engine produces 368 kW/500 bhp and 1,000Nm of torque.  Read More

Kia Kue crossover concept vehicle

January 10, 2007 Kia showed a new concept, the Kue crossover concept vehicle, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit yesterday. The all-wheel drive Kue is designed to deliver an exhilarating drive, both on- and off-road and is powered by a 400 hp 4.6-litre, supercharged V8 petrol engine producing 400 lbft (542 Nm) of torque. A technology-driven interface designed to adjust to driver and passenger preference is the focus of the interior functions. Touch pad and motion-sensing controls are used to adjust systems such as audio and climate control. The entire touch-pad set up is programmable so that one surface may activate the stereo for one driver and temperature for another. Rear passengers have their own, separate interface.  Read More

Downloading music at the Pump

January 10, 2007 The gas station has always been one of those universal outlets which touches everyone in industrialised countries where every home has a car – so it was only a matter of time before the world’s smartest marketers began to take advantage of this. Now fuel dispenser manufacturer Dresser Wayne is joining with the Microsoft Automotive Business Unit to demonstrate how consumers can wirelessly transfer music to their car while pumping gas.The Dresser Wayne Ovation iX fuel dispenser is an Internet-ready, WiFi-capable gas pump with a 15-inch touchscreen and speakers, which enables the transfer of media content to other WiFi-enabled devices.  Read More

Jeep Trailhawk open-air concept

January 9, 2007 The Jeep Trailhawk concept, unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show overnight, merges the spectrum of the Jeep brand by combining the core off-road features of the four-door Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with the refined sophistication of an all-new on-road open-air concept vehicle, providing a unique and fresh expression for Jeep. Built off the new Wrangler platform, the Jeep Trailhawk is a more refined highway cruiser without sacrificing any of Jeep’s legendary off-road capabilities.  Read More

Mazda Ryuga Concept captures the spirit of motion

January 9, 2007 As we’ve previously mentioned, Mazda does great show cars, and the promise of the Nagare concept was more than fulfilled when the metallic manifestation of those sketches we previewed became a reality. The word Nagare is one of a hundred or more Japanese words that describe the embodiment of motion – such as how wind shapes desert sand, the way currents stir the ocean’s floor or the way waves lap at the shores of a lake. van den Acker explains, “Nagare is purposely emotional and expressive. Anyone who sees it is drawn for a closer look; they’re moved to caress surfaces inspired by nature, to understand how they could work on an automobile.  Read More

The Nissan Bevel advanced design study for male empty-nesters

January 8, 2007 Nissan’s latest concept car, the Bevel Concept is a dynamic, multi-purpose vehicle designed for an increasingly common target user - male empty-nesters actively engaged in hobbies, recreation and community service. Bevel offers unique, function-inspired asymmetrical styling, a high-utility three-zone interior and technology ranging from glass roof-mounted solar panels to drive-by-wire steering, throttle and braking.  Read More

Acura “Advanced Sports Car Concept” - Next Generation Exotic

January 7, 2007 Honda’s next generation exotic sports car was previewed for the first time last night, when the Japanese giant showed the Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. The concept provides a preview of the design direction for the successor to the Acura NSX and some quite granular detail, with a front-mounted V-10 engine and a new high-performance, rear-wheel-drive based version of Acura’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD).  Read More

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