Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time


The ZAP-X Electric Crossover - 155mph, 644 bhp, AWD, 10 minute recharge, 350 Mile Range

February 2, 2007 In a marriage seemingly well matched, electric automobile pioneer ZAP has chosen Lotus Engineering’s platform and body structure design as the basis for the development of the high performance electric ZAP-X. The car is based on the advanced APX (Aluminium Performance Crossover ) concept car and will be shown for the first time at the North American Dealers Association (NADA) exhibition which opens tomorrow (February 3). A combination of the lightweight aluminium vehicle architecture, a new efficient drive and advanced battery management systems is intended to enable a range of up to 350 miles between charges, with a rapid 10-minute recharging time. An auxiliary power unit is planned to support longer distance journeys. The good news for sports enthusiasts is the performance courtesy of a killer power-to- weight ratio. - four in-hub electric motors, deliver 161 bhp apiece, which add together for 644 horsepower in all wheel drive mode, and capable of powering the ZAP-X to a top speed of 155mph.  Read More

The 205 mph 1939 Auto Union Type D could set price record

February 2, 2007 What could become the most expensive car ever to be sold in the history of the prestigious auction house Christie's is due to go under the hammer at the international vintage car fair Retromobile in Paris later on February 17. The ultra-rare 1939 Auto Union Type D Grand Prix car was driven by the likes of Nuvolari (pictured in car) and is one of just two remaining examples of the Auto Union which won the 1939 French Grand Prix and 1939 Yugoslavian Grand prix and could fetch as much as UKP8 million (12 million euros). Its 12-cylinder supercharged engine produces 460PS output, giving the beautiful silver bullet a top speed of 205mph. Formed in the Thirties through the amalgamation of four German automotive marques, Auto Union was a precursor to the modern day Audi brand. The car was made in Zwickau in eastern Germany, was taken back to the former Soviet Union after World War II by the Soviet occupation forces as spoils of war and was purchased from Russie before undergoing a full restoration with Audi’s assistance.  Read More

The world’s most practical sports car

January 30, 2007 BMW doesn’t like the term station wagon, which originated in the age of train travel when all-purpose vehicles with specialised bodies worked around train stations to carry people and luggage to local destinations. The term “hack” was also used to describe these utilitarian vehicles, so we kinda understand why BMW doesn’t want anyone calling its M5 Touring, the world’s fastest station wagon or something equally gauche, as its sporting and technological credentials set it far apart from the ordinary. It’s 5.0-litre V-10 engine has won back-to-back International Engine of the Year awards, and runs through a seven-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox to offer 507 bhp and 520 Nm of torque. The main difference between this vehicle and the legendary M5 is the 1,650 liters of boot space. This is a vehicle for owners needing to move sizable loads … very quickly. Without the 155mph electronic limiter the new M5 Touring would be capable of achieving 200mph while still transporting the largest of loads. All other facets of the vehicle put it in the luxury class, so perhaps a better term for the M5 Touring might be a “shooting break.” With the previous M5 Touring (E34) only available in left-hand drive, the arrival of the new M5 Touring marks the first time the high-performance estate has been offered to right-hand-drive customers.  Read More

The Brabus turbodeisel Sprinter - brutal torque and frugality

January 29, 2007 Much effort is currently being made using the inherent advantages of next generation turbodiesel engine technology to create economical yet very powerful luxury cars in a variety of body shapes, from sports to SUV to Grand Tourers, but little effort has been made in the area of commercial vehicles. Now German automotive design house Brabus has produced a performance package that turns a Mercedes- Benz Sprinter carrier van into a flexible base vehicle that could be the basis for either a powerful luxury van or an economical delivery vehicle. Possessed with bullish 480 Nm torque from 1,600 to 2,600 rpm, the van offers relaxed driving without the constant gearbox-pedaling often required of vehicles of this form factor, particularly when they are fully loaded. Despite the massive power increases, the engine tuning kit comes with a100,000 kilometre warranty and can be installed by any Mercedes- Benz dealer in about 30 minutes, turning the common-rail turbodiesel engine into a high- torque power pack. The PowerXtra performance kits are designed to harmonize perfectly with the standard diesel particulate filters, and to achieve exhaust emissions at the same (very low) levels as the production vehicles.Apart from the engine tuning, the company also offers an extensive program for refining the new Mercedes Sprinter’s exterior and interior, including fully functional mobile offices with sumptuous leather interiors and a playground on wheels with all the latest entertainment technologies. With such economy, the van would also make a wonderful and comfortable mobile observation platform for travelers.  Read More

The EDAG Luxury Utility Vehicle (LUV) concept car for Geneva Motor Show

January 25, 2007 The latest concept car from EDAG Engineering + Design AG, has a distinct nautical flair, with oiled teak used on the bonnet, inside as the floor covering , and again on the elegant loading platform behind the five seat cabin which gives it the air of a quarterdeck. Conceived as a niche vehicle, the Luxury Utility Vehicle (LUV) presents a maritime appearance from its bows to its stern, and is targeted at customers who are not looking for just an ordinary car, and who appreciate something more distinctive. The dimensions of the vehcile are also imposing - an impressive overall length of 5.7 metres, over 2 metres wide and 1.8 metres high, the EDAG LUV is a real eye-catcher which will be seen for the first time in public at the Geneva Motor Show on March 7, 2007.  Read More

A three wheeler from Audi

January 25, 2007 This interesting three wheeler is apparently work from within the Audi Design Centre, but we can’t comment any more than that because we don’t know any more. The images surfaced this week when Stefan Sielaff was appointed head of design for AUDI AG, with the three-wheeler model in the foreground. Sielaff reports to Walter de'Silva, who is responsible for design in the entire Audi brand group including SEAT and Lamborghini.  Read More

Mitsubishi to launch flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) in 2007

January 22, 2007 Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today announced plans to launch a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) in the Brazil market within fiscal 2007. The Company also announced that models are in development for the US market for a fiscal 2009 launch. One of MMC's design objectives is to create vehicles that meet the requirements of the Century of the Environment. This can be seen in the MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative electric vehicle - pictured), a next generation electric car that is a core element in the company's environmental technology strategy, and can also be seen in the next generation diesel engine that is now under development. In addition to these initiatives, MMC and its local manufacturing and sales unit, MMC Automotores do Brasil Ltda (MMCB) have been developing a flexible fuel vehicle for the Brazil market. The FFV can run on gasoline, ethanol, or a mixture of the two, and will be launched in the Brazil market within fiscal 2007. Practical FFV solutions are also in development for the US market, where a fiscal 2009 launch is planned.  Read More

Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret celebrate their victory in the 2007 Dakar Rally...

January 22, 2007 Given that Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart had won the last six Dakar Rallies, it was logical to expect the seventh consecutive victory which came about on Sunday with the top two placings on the podium, but that would not have paid the respect due to the fleet of VW 285-hp 2.5-litre TDI turbodiesel Race Touareg and the massive effort of the Volkswagen factory team. As it was, the Volkswagen team led the event for the first eight days and won ten of 14 possible stage victories, and but for one catastrophic day where the team’s two best placed drivers suffered valve-train failure, the results might have been different. The success was a record-breaking 12th win in the team's 25-year history of competing in the world's toughest and most famous off-road rally. The French crew of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret won the event for the third time in four years in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution and beat their team mates and defending champions Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard by a margin of just seven minutes 26 seconds, after 15 days of bruising competition across Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal.  Read More

Suzuki’s Flix Concept - Movie-theater-style concept vehicle

January 19, 2007 One of the concept vehicles at NAIAS which somehow seemed to slip below the radar was the silver-screen-inspired XL7 Flix concept. The Flix concept offers film enthusiasts the ultimate mobile movie experience, being outfitted with an in-vehicle movie system. After parking at the optimal film-viewing destination, Flix’s clamshell roof can be opened, revealing a maximum-size moonroof that serves as a 40-inch movie screen. Additionally, the XL7 concept’s front roof panel vents, giving way to a high-density digital projection system to display a family’s movie of choice. For those who prefer the traditional drive-in movie experience, Flix’s projection system can be positioned to display movies nearly anywhere – the side of a building, a billboard or almost any wall.  Read More

The MINI Cooper D

January 19, 2007 The words Mini and Cooper go together but have traditionally been associated with powerful petrol engines – so prepare the system for a shock because the famous brand is about to have a diesel variant. The Cooper D boasts performance and fuel efficiency from an all-new 1.6-litre 110hp turbodiesel powerplant that promises to be the most fuel-efficient and cleanest MINI ever built. In comparison to the outgoing MINI One D’s combined fuel consumption of 58.9mpg, the Cooper D is capable of 64.2mpg.  Read More

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