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Automotive

MINI back to Bathurst for the 40th Anniversary of its Historic Win

September 27, 2006 It was one of the most famous victories of its era, and both Bob Holden and Rauno Aaltonen remember their Bathurst victory with much delight. The 1966 event was especially sweet for Aaltonen as the BMC Works drivers had won the Monte Carlo Rally for the third time in a row - claiming first, second and third placings - only to be disqualified on a dubious technicality concerning headlamp globes. Forty years on from its epic win at the Gallagher 500 race at Mount Panorama, Holden will return to Bathurst to lap the famous track on Sunday 8 October 2006. Holden is now 74 and still a competitive racer and has raced at the mountain circuit 34 times, driving MINIs and Escorts in circuit racing and rallying and he raced a V8 Ute at Bathurst earlier this year and will drive a new MINI Cooper S at the reenactment.  Read More

Tire pressure monitoring sensors for the aftermarket

September 25, 2006 One of the many wonderful new jiggers seen at last week’s Automechanika trade show in Frankfurt was a tire pressure monitoring wheel sensor that should open up new service potential for tire dealers and independent service workshops. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System Sensors detect changes in tire pressure and alert the driver. Each wheel rim is fitted with a pressure sensor, which constantly transmits tire pressure data by a radio signal to a control unit.  Read More

ZAP electric commercial three-wheel XEBRA

September 25, 2006 Automotive pioneer ZAP will later today roll out a new, all-electric vehicle designed to address the need for gas-free alternatives with multi-purpose city driving, from industrial fleets to commuting. Called the XEBRA PK, the three-wheeled ZAP seats two with a multi-purpose platform behind the passenger compartment that serves as a hauler, dump truck or flatbed. Selling for less than US$10,000, the XEBRA PK will debut before California regulators participating in the 2006 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Technology Symposium in Sacramento, September 25-27. ZAP Chairman Starr cited a study that showed more than a third of new car buyers in California would buy an electric vehicle if that vehicle were priced close to a gasoline vehicle and offered similar functionality. The 2000 Green Car Institute study titled "The Current and Future Market for Electric Vehicles" used the same research methodologies employed by the auto industry to identify markets for gas vehicles.  Read More

EuroCombi – innovative commercial vehicle concepts unveiled at IAA

September 25, 2006. The International commercial vehicle industry has opened up a new chapter in truck history at the IAA, where it has presented the innovative commercial vehicle concept “EuroCombi” to the public for the first time. The modular and road-friendly combinations are designed to transport 50 percent more goods per vehicle while reducing the amount of traffic. As such, they represent one way of dealing with the expected 20 percent increase in freight transport by 2015. The EuroCombi consumes 15 percent less fuel for each ton of transported goods, and ideally could replace 23 percent of conventional truck trips and thereby reduce long-haul traffic in Germany alone by 2.2 billion vehicle-kilometers a year. In international transport, EuroCombi can generate economic savings of more than 10 percent, and cut operating costs by 16 percent per palette area. The EuroCombi consists of a truck (tractor) with a semitrailer attached to a dolly, or of a tractor truck with a semitrailer to which a trailer is connected. Two EuroCombi variants are being presented at the IAA: a volume-oriented concept with a length of 25.25 meters and 48 tons of GVW, and a weight-oriented variant of the same length and up to 60 tons of GVW.  Read More

The Chrysler MyGIG Automotive Infotainment System

September 23, 2006 As automotive audio and navigation systems accelerate in their evolution, the initial feeble attempts of the manufacturers to recognise the massive sociological importance of the MP3, new media compatibility, in-car storage and a rapidly changing marketplace have not exactly been championed by mid-tier manufacturers. Chrysler Group announced a major step forward this week with the bundling of entertainment, information and communication into its new MyGIG multimedia head unit which combines navigation with real-time traffic, hands-free communication and multiple ways to save and play high-quality audio and images. You can rip music from the CD to the 20 gigabyte hard drive which has full Gracenote capability, a USB 2.0 interface and both voice (an advanced voice recognition system in English, French or Spanish that recognizes over 100,000 words) and 6.5-inch touch-screen control. The unit will be available first in the 2007 Chrysler Sebring, Dodge Nitro and Jeep Wrangler.  Read More

Transparent All-wheel-drive Ford Transit revealed at Hanover Commercial Vehicle Show

September 23, 2006 - A new all-wheel-drive (AWD) Ford Transit has been revealed this week at the Hanover Commercial Vehicle Show in Germany. The AWD system automatically provides stepless torque flow to the front wheels when required on slippery surfaces. This new derivative is specifically targeted at customers who frequently face low friction surfaces, adding more flexibility and reliability to their transportation needs and will be rushed into production for sale in the first quarter of 2007. The 'intelligent' system increases traction without affecting road performance or ground clearance and was developed for the needs of utility companies, hotels, agricultural and forestry companies and police forces.  Read More

It’s a van – but you’d be hard pushed to notice!

September 22, 2006 Making its debut at next week’s Paris Motorshow, the Corsavan Concept pushes the new Corsa base to a sportier level, while demonstrating how the three-door car looks as a city van. The Corsavan is powered by a 90PS 1.3-litre CDTi engine with six-speed gearbox. Black side panels replace the Corsa’s rear windows without detracting from it’s coupe-like lines. Black leather sports seats and piano-lacquer surfaces complete the interior, while a fully-lined load bay with a half-height bulkhead translates into a very competent panel van, with a versatile load area.  Read More

The wheelchair-accessible limousine

September 22, 2006 Dignity Transportation caters for those in the Canadian community with special transportation needs. As its fleet has grown, it has commissioned numerous specially-built transportation designs from wheel-chair accessible taxies to full size vans to wheelchair accessible buses. Recognizing there was a demand for a truly luxurious wheelchair accessible limousine. The result is the Dignity Star, an 8 passenger limo-inside-a-van that began life as a 2006 Dodge High Roof Sprinter 2500 SHC. Believed to be the only such vehicle in North America, the luxurious wheelchair-accessible limousine accommodates two wheelchairs and six people on a curved leather couch and takes Special Needs Transportation to a new level. Inside it’s the usual over-the-top spec with control over everything from climate control to a 20" LCD TV, five-speaker sound system with four sets of wireless headphones, laptop connectivity, DVD/CD system, ad infinitum. In terms of accessibility, it has the lot.  Read More

Hummer World Run 2006 near Munich

September 21, 2006 Hummer fans situated in the United States are well positioned to get their fill but beyond American borders, Hummers are few and far between unless you’re near a military base. Accordingly, if you’re European-based and keen to see the latest on offer in the radical customisation the beasties attract, the HUMMER WORLD RUN 2006 in Zorneding near Munich, is the place to be on October 7 and 8. The world’s first international meet for owners of the American SUV is being staged and promoted by Geiger Cars, Europe’s largest HUMMER dealer and perpetrator of some of the most stunning show and go cars on the planet. Numerous other attractions await visitors such as free test drives with various HUMMER models and rides in the 10-meter long HUMMER H2 stretch limo pictured. There’s also a competition with a Hummer for a year as the first prize.  Read More

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

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