Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Automotive

Nissan Intelligent Transportation System moves to next phase of testing

March 15, 2007 Nissan’s intelligent transportation system (ITS) project, which employs vehicle-to-infrastructure communication to enable synchronized communication between vehicles and traffic light signals, is about to begin the next test-phase. Nissan is installing the advanced traffic signal infrastructure within its Nissan Technical Center in Kanagawa to collect real-world vehicle data from several hundred employee cars participating in the project. The new advanced traffic system is designed to reduce accidents as well as ease traffic congestion, leading to improved on-the-road fuel consumption.  Read More

New tire with retractable studs

We’re not sure whether the Qtire is named after Q the gadget guy of James Bond movie fame, but it would be entirely apt – the new qtire uses a patented all-weather tire technology for autos and trucks that enables studs to be extended from the surface of the tire in snow and ice, yet lie below the tread when not required. The retractable-stud tires incorporate an air bladder that pushes the studs out from inside the tire when needed, and deflates so the studs retract into the tire when not needed. The tires are not entirely maintenance free - the bladder needs to be refilled with air after the studs have been deployed around 50 times – not much effort for a significant improvement in safety.  Read More

Rare Mercedes-Benz Prototype Brings US$275,000

March 13, 2007 The 1948 Mercedes-Benz A320 two-door cabriolet we wrote up in detail back in January has fetched AUD$350,000 (US$275,000) at auction. The imposing two-tone blue totally-restored vehicle, which was discovered in derelict state in Indonesia in the 1980s, was designed to revive Mercedes-Benz’s image as a luxury carmaker following the devastation of its German factories in World War II.  Read More

Enova’s Unique Post Transmission Hybrid Drive System

March 13, 2007 Enova’s Post Transmission Hybrid System offers a very different way of looking at hybrid power transmission in automotive applications – it is a non-invasive system that requires almost no modification to chassis, body, or instrument panel. The system does not intrude on nor require any alteration to the Engine Control/Communication system, thus avoiding any emissions certification issues. The system monitors but does not impact anything within the existing engine and does not effect the existing engine calibration. The hybrid system can be designed as either a Charge Sustaining or Charge Depleting (“Plug In”) system. Depending on the route, fuel economy improvement is from 30% to 55% for a Post Transmission Charge Sustaining System, and 70-100% or better for Post Transmission Charge Depleting Systems. Perhaps retro-fitting hybrid systems to the existing national fleet might be the quickest way to reduce emissions.  Read More

Loeb and Citroen back on top at Rally of Mexico

March 12, 2007 Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) took the Rally of Mexico today to become the first driver of the season to win two races, moving his own points score to within 4 points of Marcus Gronholm’s lead in the drivers' standings. Loeb’s 30th career victory was the first win on gravel for the new C4 car and he maintains an air of invincibility in the title chase. In the manufacturers title, a double podium by the BP-Ford World Rally Team saw it defend its sizeable points lead. Marcus Gronholm and Timo Rautiainen finished second in a Ford Focus RS World Rally Car on the demanding three-day gravel event in the mountains of central Mexico, while team-mates Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen were third in another Focus RS. As the first gravel round of the season, the dominant surface of the championship, Rally Mexico was viewed as the first true form guide for the year. Drivers tackled 20 speed tests covering 366.06km over dusty gravel tracks north and east of the rally base in León. The special stages climbed to more than 2700m and the thinner air at that altitude made it hard for engines to 'breathe'. As a result power output was reduced by about 30 per cent on usual levels.  Read More

Honda shows Small Hybrid Sports Concept Car

March 9, 2007 Honda has unveiled a new hybrid sports concept car with a potent blend of sports performance and low emissions at the Geneva Motor Show. The Small Hybrid Sports Concept is a compact sports car that features advanced hybrid technology – proving stylish design and driving enjoyment can be combined with low environmental impact. It was designed by Honda R&D Europe, based in Offenbach, Germany.  Read More

Click image to enl

March 9, 2007 If like us, you find it hard to picture what a mobile phone might look like 15 years from now, try to imagine the car our childrens’ children will drive. Graduates from Coventry University’s Automotive-Design MA course recently began a project to develop a such a vehicle for the year 2020. The aim is to create a vehicle that can be easily customised to reflect the individualism of its owner, or the style and values of a group. The premise is that trendy teenagers create their own fashion and deliberately try to stand out from their peers. The idea of customising their car appeals to these people and encourages a stronger bond between the owner and their car. It’s a common trend with personalised iPods, mobile phones and other gadgets, and is something likely to grow. More than just superficial graphics, the interior of the car will also be customisable, with a gaming or music theme and option package.  Read More

Morgan breaks with tradition with plan for fuel-cell prototype

March 9, 2007 It’s showtime at Morgan and the factory of the icon of traditional motoring is abuzz as the show cars are all pushed onto the tarmac (pictured), ready for transportation to Geneva for the season's biggest motor show. It’s exciting but we warrant not as exciting as this time next year when this very same alley will see the Morgan Lifecar which has been promised for next year’s show. Many British specialist sports car makers have fallen by the wayside, but Morgan just keeps on going – and now it’s looking to the future with a plan to be one of the first car makers to commercialise a hydrogen fuel-cell car. The company is famous for its traditional production methods, but for next year’s Geneva show managing director Charles Morgan announced a plan to launch the Morgan Life Car - a hydrogen-fuelled, zero-emissions car – but built using Morgan’s wooden-framed body. The car is intended to demonstrate that a zero emission vehicle can also be fun to drive. Artist’s impressions of the car show a vehicle shaped like the Aero 8, but with aerodynamic fairings covering the wheel arches. It will be a very lightweight car with a fuel cell hybrid powertrain, which will give it a 200-mile range. We first wrote about the LifeCar back in 2005. It’s being developed in partnership with hi-tech specialists including Cranfield University, QinetiQ, Oxford University, Linde AG and the Open Source Car Project (OSCar).  Read More

Spyker C12 Zagato

March 8, 2007 If you haven’t heard the name Spyker before, we suspect you’ll hear it a lot more from now on as the aspiring Dutch Supercar maker is now trading in the black, has some aggressive new cars such as the Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris Super Sports Utility Vehicle (SSUV) entering the marketplace, and is just about to begin competing in the most visible sporting event on the planet – Formula One. Spyker purchased the Midland F1 team, did a deal to secure Ferrari engines and hired Mike Gascoine as Chief Technical Officer – the group clearly doesn’t wish to remain in a rear field position. At Geneva, Spyker and Zagato announced the Spyker C12 Zagato, a limited edition of 24 sports cars. The idea for the car came from a discussion between Victor Muller, CEO of Spyker Cars, and Andrea Zagato, CEO of Zagato, at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza. “Last April, at Villa d’Este, we sat down and discussed the increasing market demand for truly one-off and limited edition super sport cars,” said Muller. “In a certain sense the modern market is not unlike the 1930’s, where wealthy customers would order exotic bespoke designs from high-end coach builders on Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Delage, Delahaye and Isotta-Fraschini chassis, just to mention a few.” Norihiko Harada, Zagato’s Automotive Chief Designer, and Muller co-operated closely to design the rear wheel drive sports car, based on the Spyker C12 Spyder. The C12 is powered by the 6.0 liter, 12 cylinder, 500 bph W12 engine from Volkswagen and is equipped with a six-speed manual or automatic gear box with F1 style shifting, Chronoswiss instruments and a Zagato designed full leather interior with brushed aluminium instrument panel. The C12 Zagato has an aluminium body with stainless steel roof rails and has many F1 derived design details such as an F1 nose, air scoop, chimneys, mirrors, rain light, fuel flap and diffuser. It has a panoramic roof that features the Double Bubble, a typical Zagato style element. Top speed is 310 km/h (193 mph).  Read More

The 750 bhp 200 mph haute–couture Stola Coupe

March 8, 2007 One of the more interesting new vehicles to be shown at the Geneva Motor Show is an extremely exclusive luxury coupe from the Stola Group. The coupe is the first of a family of cars to be produced in the near future by Stola that marry haute–couture with the automobile and only 25 will be built. The lucky few who will purchase this VERY expensive car will not only be able to define the interior and exterior of the car spawned by this concept, but even decide the name itself. Based on a Brabus V12 biturbo powertrain-platform, with a 6.3 litre engine producing 750 bhp and 1360 Nm of torque, the car boasts a top speed in excess of 330 Km/h (200 mph).  Read More

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