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Automotive

Mini Coupe Concept revealed for 50th birthday celebrations

Mini celebrated its 50th birthday on August 26, 2009 with BMW announcing it will unveil the very sleek Mini Coupe Concept at the forthcoming Frankfurt Motor Show (17-27 September). This two-seater will happily take the most powerful engine currently available in the Mini range (the 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged power unit carried over from the 2010 Mini John Cooper Works), with a maximum output of 155kW/211hp and peak torque of 260Nm/192lb-ft. Through the Overboost function, this increases to 280Nm/206lb-ft. for a short burst. Add to that its improved aerodynamics and it’s no wonder BMW is confident that this model Mini will deliver the best ever performance. Read More

Environmentally-friendly navigation - the Vexia Econav 435 GPS

As GPS navigation systems increase in popularity, the world’s fuel supplies simultaneously are in decline. However, the Vexia Econav 435 GPS is attempting to do its bit for the environment by offering a system that gives drivers information on the most economical route, which gear to use and when - even how firmly to accelerate. The manufacturers say the aim of the unit is to reduce drivers' fuel consumption by up to one third. Read More

Mercedes-Benz announces first series-produced fuel cell car

After much discussion about the latest iterations of battery-powered hybrid vehicles, you’d be forgiven for thinking that fuel cell technology had been left behind. Not so. Mercedes-Benz is launching what it says is the world’s first series-produced fuel cell car: the new B-Class F-CELL. This electric car has zero emissions, has a range of 400km, takes three minutes to refuel with hydrogen and consumes the equivalent of 3.3 liters of diesel per 100km in the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle). Read More

The Renault Dacia YAV III - the world’s most affordable motorhome

Without doubt Caravan Salon Düsseldorf 2009 heralded a new era for the vibrant European motorhome industry when it opened yesterday, and the unlikely innovator set to stimulate the industry was Romanian auto manufacturer Renault Dacia. A collaboration with the Hymer Innovation Design Centre has yielded an ingenious motorhome for 3-4 people based on the super budget Renault Dacia Logan MCV with an anticipated price tag of less than EUR15,000 when it goes on sale in 2010.Read More

Ferrari advances driver-car interface

In the run-up to the official unveiling of the Ferrari 458 Italia at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Ferrari has released new imagery of the 458 Italia’s interior and of the steering wheel and instrument binnacle which represent a significant step forward in the concept of the ergonomic interface between driver and car.Read More

Gumpert Apollo Sport claims Nurburgring lap record for road legal cars

German manufacturer Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur is claiming a lap record for road legal cars on the world famous Nurburgring Nordschleife. Florian Gruber completed the 12.93-mile track (20.81km) in a standard factory specification Gumpert Apollo Sport equipped with road legal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires and an adjustable suspension by KW suspensions in a time of 7 minutes, 11.57 seconds. That averages out at 106.78mph (171.84kmh) and is 3.32 seconds faster than the Donkervoort D8 RS06, which posted a time of 7 minutes 14.89 seconds in November 2005. Read More

Ford PHEVs to save by ‘talking’ to electric grid

A new development by Ford allows owners of the company’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) to further reduce their operating costs by programming when to recharge the vehicle, for how long and at what utility rate. Ford says it has developed a vehicle-to-grid communications and control system for its (PHEVs) which enables them to ‘talk’ directly with the nation’s electric grid. Read More

The world's best sports car show

Imagine a sports car show held not in an exhibition center, but at the safest racetrack in the world, so the cars can be appreciated in their natural surroundings, without speed limits. The first “International GT & Supercar Show” will be held at Circuit Paul Ricard in the South of France on September 26 and 27. Exhibitors include Ferrari, Gumpert, Koenigsegg, Ad Tramontana, Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, F&M, Morgan, Audi Wiesmann, Spyker, Mosler, Pagani, Porsche, Saleen, TVR, Yes, Venturi, Alfa Romeo Zagato, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Mercedes, Castagna Milano, Maserati, Lotus, Lightning and Tesla. Read More

Porsche’s 911 race car for the road – the 911 GT3 RS

Porsche's GT3 RS provides the basis for homologation of the 911 GT3 race cars for Porsche Supercup and Carrera Cup championships throughout the world. It is a showcase of Porsche’s road-and-race know-how, and hence a most endearing creature to enthusiasts in that it is essentially a race car for the road. Next year's model will bring increased engine power, reduced weight, slicker gearbox ratios and upgraded body and suspension changes when it goes on sale early in 2010. Read More

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