Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Automotive

Pimp my Roller – automotive jewellery for the Rolls Royce Phantom

April 24, 2007 Personalising one’s ride, be it a a V8 muscle car or an elegant roller, appears to be a growing trend, so just in case you have a Rolls Royce Phantom or similar ilk auto in the garage and feel the need to show your individuality, there’s the STRUT Collection – a premier brand of high quality triple-chromed grilles, wheels, and automotive jewelery designed for luxury automobiles and SUVs. STRUT recently introduced the new Knightsbridge Collection with its new architectural grille design for the Phantom. The distinctive grille design embodies the classic lines of the original Rolls grille with finely detailed, handcrafted, and highly polished bracelet style links giving a designer jewelery appearance crowned with the STRUT signature crest. Accessories include side vents, exhaust tips and a rear STRUT shield. All STRUT automotive jewelery collections are handcrafted from 316L stainless steel, then triple-chromed for superior durability and lustre that will withstand even the harshest outdoor elements. The price of giving jewelery to your automotive mistress is GBP 25,000.  Read More

E-Flex Hydrogen Fuel Cell continues move toward electric drive automobiles

April 21, 2007 The number of significant announcements coming out of the Shanghai Motor Show underlines the growing importance of the Chinese Auto market on the world stage, and fittingly, given that the Chinese Government seems far more committed to sustainable personal transport than its American equivalent, the star of the show in technological terms was the next iteration of the General Motors’ E-Flex electric architecture, configured with the company’s newest, most efficient hydrogen fuel cell system to date. This second variant of the E-Flex system uses GM's new fifth-generation fuel cell propulsion technology and a lithium-ion battery to provide up to 300 miles (483 km) of electric driving. The fuel cell E-Flex is a true Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) and operates all-electric from both hydrogen fuel cell-generated electricity and grid electricity. It is plug-in capable, adding up to 20 additional miles (34 km) each time it is charged, further reducing trips to the refueling station.  Read More

Very original XK120 Jaguar

April 21, 2007 Duncan Hamilton was one of Britain's foremost racing drivers and his racing autobiography 'Touch Wood!' became a classic publication. The larger-than-life Hamilton drove Formula One and Two Grand Prix cars for Lago-Talbot, Maserati, HWM and Gordini, and “works” sports cars for Jaguar and Ferrari. His company, which sells elite sports cars (the company has sold more than 60 genuine F1 cars plus thousands of roadgoing exoticars of the highest ilk) has been in operation for over 50 years, and operates to an equally elite clientele. This week the company has a very original Jaguar XK120 Roadster for sale – the XK120 debuted as a concept and test bed car at the 1948 London Motor Show as a test bed and show vehicle to highlight the new Jaguar XK engine. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded William Lyons to put it into production as a standard model. The first 240 cars manufactured had hand built aluminum bodies on an ash frame before moving to mass production in order to meet the demand – the production version had a steel pressed body with alloy doors, bonnet, and trunk skin. The car on offer is as original today as when it the sixth steel body XK120 off the production line, and comes with a full history. See inside for some great period imagery of the XK120 and siblings.  Read More

KTM to mass produce 700kg 300 bhp US$55K X-Bow

April 20, 2007 We wrote extensively and quite enthusiastically about KTM's 700kg 300 bhp carbon fibre X-BOW roadster in February, so we now have the pleasure of announcing that the public's extremely positive reaction has seen the green light given for series production. Originally, KTM’s intention was to have Dallara produce a pilot series of 100 units, but with firm orders for 600 cars coming in the last two months, production will now be handled by Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik beginning early 2008, with the first customer deliveries in February. The aim is to reach an annual production of 1000 units as soon as possible. Plans still call for the production of the first 100 units as an exclusive special series. No mention was made in the announcement of any changes to the price, although with series production, the cost of manufacture will drop - a modest EUR 40,000 (US$55,000) is still the last price mentioned, which makes the vehicle a remarkable bargain when equated to bang-per-buck.  Read More

Household heating takes pole position on the electricity grid

April 19, 2007 British motorsport specialist Prodrive appears set for a foray into the home power market. Prodrive works for numerous companies at the highest levels of motorsport in many categories, and the focussed engineering technology required for Formula 1 is helping to create the next generation of household heating and power. Powerdrive is working with Disenco Energy to bring its micro combined heat and power (mCHP) unit to the domestic market. Micro CHPs are not only more efficient than current domestic boilers, but they also generate electricity, which, when not being used by a household, could be sold back to the national grid. The Disenco mCHP generates 15 kW of heat and 3 kW of electricity. It is also more than 90 percent efficient converting 70-80 percent of the available energy in natural gas for central heating and between 10 and 25 per cent into electricity. This can reduce an average home’s carbon emissions by between two and six tonnes per year, while saving up to 30 per cent on the household fuel bill too.  Read More

Nissan to test Intelligent Transport System in Japan using cell phones

April 18, 2007 We’ve written before about Intelligent Transportation Systems in general and in particular, Nissan’s ongoing development and trials of Intelligent Transportation Systems in Japan, but a new development is the use of cell phone technology to help reduce accidents involving pedestrians. Nissan is researching the pedestrian-related communication involving the transmitting of pedestrian position data to vehicles via the Global Positioning System (GPS). Nissan's advanced ITS employs the next 3G cellular communications system, just launched in Japan, where the GPS function is used as the basis to provide location information of the cellular phone. In this system, location data transmitted from the pedestrian's cellular phone and vehicle is fed to the ITS to allow the system to determine the corresponding positions between the pedestrian and the vehicle. A pedestrian alert will appear onboard the vehicle to warn the driver, helping to reduce road accidents particularly in a blind-spot situation.  Read More

Mazda's multifunction auto-dimming rearview mirror, as aailable on the CX-9.

April 18, 2007 Mazda has announced a "first of its kind" in the North American market in the form of this rearview mirror-mounted Back Up Camera with Auto-Dimming Mirror Display. The display will be available on CX-9 models not factory-equipped with DVD navigation systems – giving drivers the ability to see the display screen and the rearview mirror simultaneously. The system, houses an LCD display behind the "transflexive" mirror surface, so the mirror can display a panoramic rear-vision reversing view, or dim automatically in response to bright headlights.  Read More

Rolls-Royce presents the Phantom Armoured, for the man with a price on his head and a tast...

April 18, 2007 Discretion was once the key in the luxury armoured vehicle market, but with competitors like Range Rover and Jaguar making inroads into the market, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has taken the crass step of revealing to the press that an armoured version of the Phantom will be launched, offering "substantial security benefits for those customers that require the highest levels of personal protection." put in all the links  Read More

All-New 700 bhp RUF CTR3 Supercar unveiled

April 16, 2007 German sports car manufacturer RUF Automobile opened its new factory at the Bahrain International Circuit on Friday, taking the opportunity to launch of its all-new flagship model, the RUF CTR3 supercar, at the same time. In becoming the first sports car manufacturer to build a factory in the Middle East, RUF has certainly raised the bar for other manufacturers targeting the region. The factory, designed by the team led by Hermann Tilke, creator of the Bahrain International Circuit, features an eight-storey 34-metre tall glass tower topped with the same iconic Arabic tent roof style as the circuit's grandstands and Sakhir Tower. The tower is flanked by the preassembly and assembly wings, and visiting customers will receive their newly-built RUF model in the VIP lounge on the top floor when the completed car arrives on a spectacular lift. The facility will be the main production facility for the all-new EUR380,000 700 bhp CTR3 – a 3.8-litre twin- turbocharged horizontally-opposed six cylinder car with a 0-100km/h time of 3.2 seconds and a maximum speed of 375km/h. 26 year-old Ben Soderberg burst into an elite group of supercar designers with the arrival of the RUF CTR3. There’s also a Q&A with the CTR3 Designer.  Read More

Proton unveils prototype Hybrid Car Developed In Collaboration With Lotus

April 16, 2007 Malaysia’s National auto manufacturer Proton has unveiled its first Hybrid prototype, designed in collaboration with Lotus Engineering. It is just over two decades since the company bolted together its first cars from Mitsubishi parts imported from Japan, but as the company has grown in strength, it has acquired considerable engineering design, development and manufacturing expertise, pulling off a major coup with its acquisition of Lotus in 1996. The 'EVE Hybrid' (Efficient, Viable, Environmental) research and development project was a collaboration of Proton and Lotus and EVE sports some impressive vital statistics. EVE has a 1.6litre petrol engine, which uses a 'micro-hybrid' start-stop system, a full parallel hybrid drive and a continuously variable transmission to achieve fuel economy of 5.6 litres/100km. maximum torque of whopping 233Nm at 1500rpm and maximum power of 105kW at 5500rpm enabling the car to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 9.0 seconds with a top speed of 188.8 km/h.  Read More

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