2015 Detroit NAIAS Auto Show

Automotive

Phantom Silver marks 100th Anniversary of Silver Ghost

June 4, 2007 It was 100 years ago this week that a new marque established itself in the minds of the British public as the world’s finest car. Just over 12 months after Frederick Henry Royce and Charles Stewart Rolls began manufacturing cars together, the company’s new Silver Ghost won the gold medal in its class for hill climbing speed and reliability at the 1907 Scottish Reliability Trial. Later that year, a Silver Ghost travelled 14,371 miles non-stop to set the world record for a motor run, the publicity further reinforcing perceptions of the name which went on to become a metaphor for excellence the world over. To mark the 100th anniversary of the Silver Ghost, Rolls-Royce has produced a special model, the Phantom Silver , of which only 25 will be made. The Phantom Silver will carry a UKP22,000 premium over the standard Phantom price of UKP220,000.  Read More

Zircotec's heat resistant Zircon-based ceramic coating

June 4, 2007 We've spoken previously about the amazing heatproofing properties of Zircotec's ceramic thermal coating. Extremely heat resistant, the coating has been put to use by several Formula One teams to move heat out of the engine bays of their race cars. Now it seems this highly effective spray-on coating could have a part to play in emissions reduction and assisting engine manufacturers in meeting the strict Euro 5 emissions standards while contributing to power increases.  Read More

June 4, 2007 Its one of the great contradictions of modern transport - automobiles keep getting faster while statistics that prove we need to slow down in the interests of community safety keep rolling in. Governments across the globe are moving to curb speed, particularly where pedestrians at are greater risk, but these moves and the way in which they are policed are sometimes criticized as revenue raising exercises that do little to address the core issues. The City of Portsmouth in the UK has just announced that it will become the first city in Britain to introduce a blanket 20mph speed limit across a large part of the city. This seems quite severe in an age where travel times are a major headache for city dwellers - indeed it's reminiscent of the original ruling that cars had to be preceded by a man with a flag when they replaced the horse drawn carriage as the main form of urban transport early last century - but when considered in light of statistics that show the major benefits to safety the inconvenience of longer travel times seems insignificant. We believe that the ramifications for transport users in cities around the world is significant enough for us to consider the arguments.  Read More

Mouse-tyres banned in the WRC

June 3, 2007 The success of tyre mousse, a special compound that expands to replace the air in a punctured tyre, has meant that over the last 20 years flat tyres have ceased to be a factor in World Rally Championship races. The high-tech foam inserts have been so effective that many drivers don't even notice they're running on punctured tyres, and it's not uncommon for race wins and best times to be set after the system is deployed. With new cost-saving FIM regulations being introduced to ban tyre mousse from the 2008 WRC season onwards, teams are searching for ways to minimize the risk and repercussions of the dreaded tyre puncture, which not only knocks cars out of race contention, but can cost upwards of $10,000 in recovery and associated damage costs. One such mitigation strategy is to closely monitor tyre pressure and temperature through a race by using sophisticated sensor systems to detect small leaks and enable the drivers to compensate for them.  Read More

Personalize your car with a scrolling display

June 1, 2007 As one of our colleagues is fond of saying, “people don’t drive cars, they wear them”, and pimping your wheels to reflect your personality is a trend that seems destined to deliver a future of mass individualization. With this in mind, auto accessory manufacturer Roadmaster USA has released two US$60 scrolling message car systems - a scrolling Digital License Plate Frame and a scrolling Rear Deck Message System, which let you personalize your car with your own messages that scroll on your license plate or in the back window of your car. Let the insanity begin!  Read More

The new BMW X5 4.8i M Sport

June 1, 2007 BMW’s ever-popular M Sport derivative is to be introduced to the new X5 range for the first time. The introduction of M Sport to the BMW X5 range has been eagerly awaited by buyers as 90 per cent of models sold to date have been ordered with “Sport” specification. On sale immediately in most countries, the new 355 bhp flagship offers customers a substantial level of sports-orientated standard equipment, a 0-100 km/h time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph.  Read More

With residual value performance almost as startling as its real world performance, the Fer...

June 1, 2007 Buying an set of wheels is an emotional decision but we’d always suggest that a look through the residual value figures might help to point you towards a more rational emotional decision. The latest figures from EurotaxGlass’s in the UK are a case in point. EurotaxGlass’s has found that a number of volume-brand drop-tops retain a far greater proportion of their value than prestige-brand models from the likes of BMW, Lexus and Maserati. While the Ferrari F430 Spider holds onto its value better than any other 12-month-old convertible on sale in the UK (a typical ’06-plate example retaining 97 per cent of its original list price as a trade value), hot on its heels is the rather more humble Volkswagen Eos (at 94 per cent retained value in 2.0 TDI Sport guise). Read on for the top 20 listing.  Read More

The revised MINI Cooper D - 72.4mpg, regenerative braking, auto Start-Stop

May 31, 2007 MINI hatch models are to receive technological revisions later this year, resulting in jaw-dropping performance and efficiency figures. The MINI Cooper D will be capable of returning an astonishing 72.4mpg, with CO2 emissions of just 104 g/km, thanks to regenerative braking, auto Start-Stop functionality and a Switch Point Display – all of which will come at no extra cost.  Read More

Autodelta’s 400bhp Alfa 147: beauty and the beast all-in-one

May 31, 2007 Hot hatches are a relatively new phenomena, at least in the context of the 120 year history of motoring. Alfa’s 147 has long been one of the most stylish of the smaller performance cars, and so we feel compelled to bring to your attention the efforts of London-based Autodelta in developing outrageous performance from the car. Determined to evolve its highly successful Autodelta 147 GTA AM (Autodelta Maggiorata), the company has gone a step further by producing an even more potent supercharged version - the Autodelta 147 GTA AM Super. The V6 engine is a bored-out version of the existing 3.2 litre Alfa 147 GTA unit, and sweeps an amazing 3,750 cc. On top of that, it has been fitted with a custom designed Rotrex supercharger and produces 400 bhp at 7,000 rpm, with a top speed in excess of 180 mph (288 km/h) and 0-60 mph (0-97 km/h) in 4.8 seconds.  Read More

The Handbook of Risk Management in Motor Sport

May 31, 2007 Motorsport is without doubt the most dangerous form of sporting endeavour and a pastime that has consistently challenged the notion of acceptable risk. Now a new handbook entitled 'Guide to Managing Risk in Motor Sport' has been produced by Standards Australia. Nearly three years in the making, the guide addresses the important area of risk management methodology to identify, assess, control and reduce risk in motor sport. The guide will no doubt be useful internationally, and can be purchased as a downloadable PDF for AUD$28.80. A free preview is available here.  Read More

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