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New high-performance Mazda3 MPS unveiled

February 14, 2006 Mazda premiere a new high-performance Mazda3 MPS at the 76th annual Geneva International Motor Show on February 28. The flagship of the Mazda3 range, the all-new Mazda3 MPS, will give sports-minded customers outstanding performance coupled with a stylishly sophisticated design and everyday practicality and comfort the Mazda3 line up is known for. Mazda3 MPS is the second model in the Mazda Performance Series, following the Mazda6 MPS launched in the UK in January. The car will be called Mazdaspeed Axela in Japan, Mazdaspeed3 in North America and, in other key regions including Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Mazda3 MPS.  Read More

Sixth generation Porsche 911 Turbo debuts with 60 more horsepower

February 14, 2006 The sixth generation of the famous Porsche 911 series’ top-of-the-range Turbo model will be celebrating its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show and will be available in German dealerships from June. The 911 Turbo (Type 997) now has an output of 353 kW (480 bhp) at 6,000 rpm, 60 bhp more than its predecessor (Type 996). The specific output of the 3.6-litre boxer engine thus climbs to a new all-time high of 98 kW (133 bhp) per liter of displacement. Rated torque has been increased from 560 to 620 Newtonmeters. The speed range in which this power is available has also been extended. While the previous model’s maxi-mum torque was available between 2,700 and 4,600 rpm, the corresponding figures are now 1,950 to 5,000 revs. In addition to the 911 Turbo, Porsche will be presenting another world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show: the new 911 GT3, billed by Porsche as a “racing car for the road.”  Read More

The first McLaren road car goes to auction

February 13, 2006 It was sadly many years after the death of New Zealand racing driver and automotive engineer Bruce McLaren that his dream of creating the world’s fastest road car became a reality with the McLaren F1 road car. McLaren’s legacy in all forms of racing, from winning Le Mans in the famous GT40, to creating one of the most successful Formula One teams in history, puts him among automotive history’s immortals. And now one of his most significant creations is to go under the hammer: the stillborn M6-GT, of which only two examples were ever completed by the factory. The official Bruce McLaren Trust web site chronicles the history of the car which was modeled after the McLaren M6 CanAm monocoque sports racer. The head of the McLaren design department during the development of the M6-GT was aerospace engineer Robin Herd who recalls the M6 McLaren tests and certifies it as one of the earliest examples of a ground-effects car, with the nose shaped to create negative pressure under the car. From an article on the McLaren Interntaional site, “On the day of the big test … we went all high-tech with a half-inch rubber tube taped to the bottom of the car leading to a pressure gauge which I was holding. I had crammed myself into the passenger seat and Bruce was barrelling into the first corner at Goodwood … when the gauge suddenly registered negative pressure. I had rather hoped that Bruce would be concentrating on staying on the road, but he spotted the change on the gauge and started whooping and shouting and laughing and banging my arm. We’d cracked it!”  Read More

NISMO 350Z sports coupe – official factory performance parts create concept car

February 12, 2006 Nissan Motorsports International began life as Nissan’s motorsport arm two decades ago when the company’s Z-cars were experiencing remarkable success in racing, and creating a burgeoning aftermarket industry in their own right. In the high-tech cult of vehicle modification which grew inside Japan, Nissan Motorsports International (NISMO) parts became recognised as the finest in factory-tuned performance components for Nissan street cars giving the name legendary status. NISMO entered the U.S. market in 2003 with a select number of performance-enhancing components for the Nissan Sentra SE-R and the 350Z and has since expanded its offerings to the Frontier, Xterra and Altima models. So successful has the move been that Nissan is now rolling out the NISMO brand globally, as evidenced by the stunning NISMO 350Z sports coupe presented at this week’s Melbourne International Motor Show. The “concept car” was created entirely from parts available over the counter at the dealer network. That's the concept car (bottom) and the NISMO carbon-fiber 350Z-based race car at top.  Read More

Chevrolet unveils new Avalanche with E85 FlexFuel

February 12, 2006 General Motors introduced the latest rollout of its next-generation full-size truck family, the 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche, at the Chicago Auto Show. The Avalanche combines the passenger-comfort of an SUV with the cargo capability of a truck and the new 2007 model offers more power, better fuel economy and optional E85 flex-fuel capability. E85 FlexFuel vehicles can run on any combination of gasoline and/or E85, a fuel blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. E85 can contribute to energy independence because it diversifies the source of transportation fuels beyond petroleum, and it provides positive environmental benefits in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions.  Read More

World premiere of all-new Toyota Tundra full-size Pickup

February 12, 2006 –Toyota unveiled the all-new next-generation Tundra full-size pickup truck at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show this week, completely redesigning every single to create a bigger, more powerful vehicle with the ability to tow over 10,000 pounds. The Tundra will be aimed at the ‘True Trucker,' the people Toyota regards as the “true opinion leaders among full-size owners.” True Truckers, says Toyota, are “highly credible because they use, punish, and demand the most out of the pickups they buy."  Read More

Eight cylinders, 2.4 litres, more than 700 bhp, more than 19,000 rpm

February 11, 2006 The new Mercedes-Benz Formula One engine for 2006 has eight cylinders in a V-configuration, a capacity of 2.4 litres, and produces “more than 700 brake horsepower” at “more than 9,000 rpm” and weighs just 95 kilograms. The engine and the new livery of the McLaren Mercedes MP4 2006 car were unveiled overnight, adding to those we have already covered for the Toyota, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Williams and Renault teams. In keeping with McLaren’s high tech brand values, the new livery has an innovative surface coating, which achieves a high level of reflectivity and makes the largely composite machine appear chromed. The technology used was perfected by McLaren during the past six months and is completely new to Formula One.  Read More

the CCX

February 11, 2006 Less than twelve months ago, the Koenigsegg CCR was the most powerful and fastest production car in the world, having just achieved a top speed of 388 km/h (Caution: large WMV movie) , raising McLaren's mark of 372 kmh set in 1993 by a whopping margin. Prior to the CCR, the company’s CC8 was the world’s most powerful production car and the Swedish company has a proud history of creating brutally powerful roadsters. Then Bugatti finally put the long-awaited Veyron into production in October last, and it immediately became the world’s fastest (407 km/h), most powerful (987 bhp), most torquey (1,250 Nm at 2,200 rpm) and most outrageous (16-cylinder engine with four turbochargers and that’s just for starters) production automobile in automotive history. When Koenigsegg sent us an invitation to the launch of a new car at the 76th Salon International de l'Auto in Geneva we were kinda hopeful that they'd found another 200 horses and 20 km/h and were aiming to reclaim their place at the top of the speed charts. Sadly, the CCX will be the second fastest car in the world with the same top speed (388 km/h) as the CCR produced from its 806 bhp engine pushing the 2200 pound carbon fibre body. It goes 0 to 62 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and runs the standing quarter mile in just 9 seconds at 146 mph. The American-only CCX will only be sold in one location - Exotic Cars in the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace Las Vegas has just been appointed the first and only dealer in the United States for its exclusive supercars.  Read More

The new 510 hp V8 Mercedes-Benz R 63 AMG

February 10, 2006 Mercedes-AMG unveiled the new R 63 AMG at the Chicago Auto Show yesterday. An interpretation of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class, the R 63 AMG is powered by the new AMG 6.3-litre V8-engine. With an output of 375 kW/510 hp, 630 Newton metres of torque and permanent four-wheel drive, the Grand Sports Tourer offers a combination of sportiness, spaciousness and top-class comfort for up to six passengers. Following on from the unveiling of the Vision R 63 AMG at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main in September 2005, and the positive response to this show car, the series-produced model is now being launched with availability in the third quarter of 2006.  Read More

An EXTREME Truck like no other - the International MXT 4x4 Pickup

February 10, 2006 If playing keep-up with the Jones is your game, and said Mr Jones buys a Hummer, what do you do? You go out and buy an International pick-up, that’s what! The World’s Largest Pickup Truck was created by taking the trailer off a prime hauler, doing a bit of remodelling here and there, and turning it into a humungous don't-mess-with-me three-dimensional personal statement - a pickup so big that the crew cab can seat five sumo wrestlers with ease (providing one of them can drive) and the tray can carry a jet ski or a motorcycle with the tailgate up. Yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show, International unveiled the new International MXT 4x4 pickup truck, which has the same gargantuan proportions and strength as its brethren (it can tow 8 tons), and slots in as the third member of International's XT family, joining the CXT and the RXT.  Read More

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