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Kia pro_cee’d concept car previews all-new Kia cee’d hatch to launch in 2007

September 20, 2006 The custom of Asian manufacturers giving ridiculous names to their export offerings was taken to new levels today by Korean auto manufacturer Kia in naming its latest concept car the pro_cee’d, complete with an underscore and apostrophe. Set for a Paris Motor Show debut later this month, the strikingly styled, pro_cee’d showcar is based on the forthcoming three-door ‘sporty hatch’ version of the all-new Kia cee’d C-segment model. This five-door family hatchback has its world premiere (in production-ready form) at Paris and will be manufactured at Kia’s first European assembly plant in Slovakia from November 2006.  Read More

The Unimog Dual-mode Road-Railer

September 20, 2006 The potential benefits of an affordable dual-mode road-rail vehicle are immense and we’ve featured previous concept vehicles in this vein from Hokkaido, Toyota (a very clever hybrid eco-friendly transit system) and Silvertip Design’s stunning Bladerunner. Now Unimog special-vehicles division has taken the wraps off a production road-railer at the Innotrans 2006 show in Berlin. Unimog’s exhibit features eight road-railer models illustrating numerous implementation scenarios on both road and rail. These include a Unimog road-railer for cost-effective shunting or manoeuvring of hauled loads of up to 1000 tonnes, a vehicle equipped with an access-platform for overhead-line maintenance and an auxiliary vehicle with crew's quarters and hydraulic equipment for rerailing derailed wagons. The vehicles are equipped with hydraulically lowerable guide wheels, with the drive on the rails being provided by the vehicle's wheels. A broad range of special railway equipment is optionally available for the Unimog road-railer, including an inductive train control system.  Read More

The American-built Brammo Rogue GT – 850 bhp and 225mph

September 19, 2006 First details have emerged for the Brammo Rogue GT; the first V12 supercar designed and built in the USA. Brammo Motorsports has partnered with Ryan Falconer Industries to bring the famous Falconer V12 to the automotive marketplaceand the launch version of the car will use a naturally-aspirated 10 litre V12 engine tuned to deliver 850bhp and 1,000 Nm of torque. The Rogue GT will weigh in at 1315 kg and have a top speed in the 225-230 mph range, running through Xtrac’s new transverse transaxle six-speed transmission system which is designed to handle high levels of torque of up to 1,100Nm. But wait, there’s more - the Brammo/Falconer V12 engine can deliver a power output of up to 1,100 bhp in normally aspirated, and up to 1,600bhp (1,200kW) when turbocharged or supercharged, so it’s quite possible that the Bugatti Veyron’s days as the world’s fastest road car are numbered.  Read More

Moonbeam the 100mpg DIY car costing US$2500 (and 1000 hours)

September 19, 2006 In a world where the price of oil is trending towards infinity, large companies are quickly seeking alternative energy sources for transportation. Jory Squibb decided he’d build an economical vehicle using conventional technology, and set about creating it from second-hand motorcycle parts. The resultant vehicle, christened MOONBEAM, gets 80-85 mpg around town and under economy run conditions (max 40 mph) delivers 105 mpg. Two scooters for the bits cost US$500, and the entire project took 1000 hours (a year of 20 hour weeks) to complete, with a total of US$2000 costs beyond the initial scooters. Moonbeam has a Variable speed transmission, so there’s no gear shifting (hand controls only). So if Jory can do this, from existing parts, in his garage, in his spare time, why is it that Honda, Toyota et al can't deliver us a 100mpg automobile?  Read More

Nissan test advanced road traffic system aimed at reducing accidents and easing congestion

September 18, 2006 Nissan is set to begin testing an intelligent transportation system in Japan that allows vehicle-to-infrastructure communication to help reduce traffic accidents and ease congestion. The system uses information obtained from nearby vehicles and roadside optical beacons to wirelessly alert drivers to potential danger from approaching vehicles. It also provides drivers with fastest-route information with Nissan’s probe server collecting city –wide traffic data from the mobile phones of Nissan’s CARWINGS navigation service subscribers, taxi services, and vehicle data collected by mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo. This information is then sent to the driver’s navigation screen where it is displayed as real-time maps showing the traffic flow and density. Screen shots and diagrams here.  Read More

78 mpg petrol-engined Suzuki Super-mini

September 17, 2006 Suzuki has unveiled a web site previewing its next supermini which will have a remarkably economical petrol engine when it is released in late 2007 with a price around UKP8,500. The Splash design study will be shown at the Paris Motor Show and will form the basis of the petrol-engined production car which has reportedly achieved a combined cycle figure of 78mpg according to Suzuki engineers. The motor is an all-new 1200cc 16-valve DOHC four cylinder with variable valve timing.  Read More

First Responder special from Hummer

September 17, 2006 Hummer’s latest marketing initiative is a stroke of genius in our opinion. The company has developed a First Responder package for its midsize H3 which will be available FREE until the end of this year for any active member of the fire and rescue community – volunteer or career firefighter or emergency response personnel associated with a fire association – who purchases or leases a new HUMMER H3. The HUMMER First Responder package includes the purchaser’s choice of either an emergency signal package from Whelen Engineering or Federal Signal valued at up to US$2,500, or a black wraparound brushguard and lower grille-mounted off-road lights. The HUMMER H3 First Responder debuted this week at the Fire-Rescue International 2006 show.  Read More

The automobile safe

September 17, 2006 The automobile is not the safest place to leave valuables – opportunistic smash-and-grab theft typically most theft occurs when valuables are left in full view of the thief, however, the smallest sign of valuables within, such as a satellite navigation or PDA cradle can get you windows smashed regardless. As it’s not always possible to safely store your valuables when on the move, this might be the answer.  Read More

smart forfun2

September 16, 2006
smart forfun2

September 17, 2006 The smart forfun, a smart forfour with monster truck ambitions, caused quite a stir at the Athens Motor Show in November 2005. Following the extremely positive response to this, Greek 4x4 Rally Race Champion, Stefan Attart, decided to take it one step further and used a smart fortwo as the basis for his monster, with the mechanicals coming primarily from a Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 series.  Read More

Hyundai C-Segment Arnejs concept

September 15, 2006 Hyundai has released the first pictures of its stunning Arnejs concept; the best clue yet as to what the company’s all new C-segment car will look like when it arrives next year. The Arnejs, pronounced Ar-nez, will be formally unveiled the Paris Motor Show, on 28 September 2006. Designed at Hyundai’s European Research and Design centre in Russelsheim, Germany, the Arnejs builds on design elements first seen in the Genus concept at Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. And it marks a further significant milestone in Hyundai’s development of a stronger brand identity.  Read More

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