Top 100: The most desirable cars of all time

Automotive

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

The world's first dual-rotor RE car, the Cosmo Sport

May 30, 2007 Today marks the 40th anniversary of Mazda's first Wankel rotary engine powered vehicle. On May 30, 1967, Mazda commenced sales of the world's first dual-rotor RE car, the Cosmo Sport and has since produced almost two million rotary engined vehicles. The first wankel-engined auto was an NSU (now Audi) Wankel Spider in 1964, and though Mercedes, Rolls Royce, Norton, Suzuki, General Motors, Citroen, John Deere and Arctic Cat all experimented with some even producing small runs of wankel engined machinery, the only manufacturer to produce the engine designed by German engineer Felix Wankel in quantities remains as Mazda.  Read More

This man appears to be annoyed by interior buzzing sounds in his car. We suggest he gets a...

May 29, 2007 Irritating buzzing sounds in your car interior can be exceptionally annoying, and finding them is nearly impossible with the car stopped. Enter the Rattlebuster, a UKP10 CD that plays vibration-inducing tones through your car stereo. Mimicing several different road travel frequencies for 4 minutes at a time, the Rattlebuster lets you track down loose bits and pieces once and for all, with your car stopped.  Read More

Clarion's DXZ778RUSB Car audio receiver with USB

May 28, 2007 As music consumption expands to include greater use of mobile USB devices like the iPod, car audio is beginning to follow. Clarion's latest in-car CD receiver features signal restoration to get the best out of compressed MP3, AAC and WMA files - and a USB cable that pops out in your glove box so you can play sound files straight from any USB storage device.  Read More

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