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Automotive

Turbo heat jacketsimprove thermal efficiency

March 26, 2006 Turbochargers not only generate lots of engine power but they generate over 1,000 degrees centigrade of heat, which produces significant detrimental side effects. We’ve written about UK-based Owen Developments before. The latest from the Oxfordshire turbocharger technology experts is a range of turbo heat shield jackets developed to fit most makes of turbine housings including Garrett, Mitsubishi, IHI, KKK and Toyota. The jackets offer four major advantages, the most significant being that by retaining heat within the turbine, the hot and expanding gasses will have the effect of increasing thermal efficiency of the turbine design. Bottom line, it’s an additional long term horsepower boost for UKP82.20 (plus VAT if you’re in the UK).  Read More

Boxster SportDesign package – improved aerodynamics and sportier looks

March 24, 2006 In an age of increasing customisation, owners of Boxster and Boxster S roadster models will be pleased to know that Porsche is now offering a SportDesign package for the beasties. This new individualization option comprises spoiler lips for mounting on the standard front trim, an automatically extending, redesigned rear spoiler, and a modified rear trim with an integrated diffuser. In addition to providing a particularly striking and sporty appearance, the new SportDesign package improves aerodynamics. The lifting forces on the front and rear axles are reduced without air resistance being increased, which further supports the vehicle’s finely-tuned, roadster-specific balance. The shape of the rear trim with the integrated diffuser evokes a conscious association with the Carrera GT high-performance sports car. The automatically extending rear spoiler, which has been designed according to the divided wing principle, contributes further to this association.  Read More

Audi V12 TDI engine writes motorsport history

March 21, 2006 Audi achieved Motorsport history on the weekend when its diesel-powered Audi R10 TDI sportscar driven by Allan McNish, Dindo Capello (Italy) and Tom Kristensen won America’s most important sportscar race, the Sebring 12 Hour sportscar endurance motor race at Sebring (USA) – the first victory in an open motorsport event for a diesel-powered car. "Flying Scotsman" McNish showed the potential of the 650-hp V12 TDI engine with a record-breaking pole-position time in qualifying. Because the heat exchanger had to be replaced after the morning warm-up, Capello was forced to start their R10 TDI from the pit-lane starting his chase from the back of the field. It took Capello only half an hour before he had moved from 35th and last position to second just behind the "sister" car of Frank Biela (Germany), Emanuele Pirro (Italy) and Marco Werner (Germany). Shortly before the end of the second hour, the McNish/Capello/Kristensen Audi took the lead and remained at the head of the field to the chequered flag – McNish also setting a new race lap record. The diesel Audis now head to the Le Mans 24 Hour event in June  Read More

Renault F1 takes 1-2 in round 2 and rockets to championship favoritism

March 20, 2006 A day can make a big difference in any form of sport, but perhaps none as pronounced as in Motorsport. Just a week ago, in the first round of the championship, the rule changes that will define a new era in Formula One appeared to have levelled the competitiveness of the field. Renewed pace from Ferrari, reliability from McLaren and Honda, and promise from Williams and BMW looked to have made for a season of intruige and a broadly contested title. But following the application of the Malaysian blowtorch, Renault now appears set to successfully defend its Formula One dual crown. The French team that gave Fernando Alonso his first Formula One crown last year has already demonstrated in 2006 that it has the speed and the reliability to run two cars at the front all year and yesterday was the first one-two for the blue and gold since Renault returned to the sport as a works manufacturer in the 2002 season and only its second in history. It was a day for technology too as Ferrari debuted a new brake cooling drum (technical details here) - an evolution of similar devices seen on cars last year, but Ferrari have taken it to its extreme. The cooling drum not only covers the brake disc and calliper, preventing heat being transferred to the wheel rim, it also completely fills the space inside the wheel rim, not only improving brake cooling, but also dramatically reducing the vortices generated by the rotation of the wheels, hence making this area more aerodynamically efficient. Other news included the coolest new helmet for some members of the Renault pit-crew and young lion Nico Rosberg who was once again the talk of the paddock with third fastest in qualifying before an engine failure wrecked his race.  Read More

Nissan announces Distance Control Assist System

March 16, 2006 Nissan has announced details of a new Distance Control Assist System, an electronic system that helps drivers control the distance between themselves and the vehicle in front. The system is able to determine the distance to the car in front, as well as the relative speed of both cars, using a radar sensor in the front bumper. If the driver releases the accelerator pedal or is not pressing the accelerator pedal, the system automatically applies the brakes. If the system determines that braking is required, an indicator will appear on the instrument panel and a buzzer will sound simultaneously. The accelerator pedal then automatically moves upwards to assist the driver in switching to the brakes. The new system is especially useful in heavy traffic when frequent braking is required.  Read More

Formula One season gets underway - Renault, Ferrari, McLaren and Honda on the pace

March 13, 2006 The 2006 Formula 1 season erupted to life yesterday with strong indications that four teams will contest the win at each Grand Prix, and three, maybe four drivers will contest the title. 2006 champion Fernando Alonso won the race narrowly in his Renault but it was the renewed pace of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher that gave everyone heart, with an all red front row on the grid for the first time since the 2004 Hungarian Grand Prix as the Scuderia Ferrari driver equalled the record of 65 pole positions set by the late Ayrton Senna. The performance of the day though was that of Kimi Raikkonen who drove through the field from dead last in his McLaren Mercedes to take third. Honda’s 2006 challenge appears credible after a year from hell in 2005, with Jenson Button missing the podium by just six tenths of a second. Finally, the first race performance of seventh place by Nico Rosberg (son of Keke) was a ripper, particularly considering the rookie cut the fastest lap of the race in a Williams Cosworth which was nowhere near the fastest car.  Read More

Fioravanti  Fiat Punto Skill Concept

March 11, 2006 One of Europe's leading styling and design companies, Fioravanti, revealed an open top version of the new Fiat Punto it has dubbed the Skill, and which is the star of the company’s stand at the Geneva Show. Indeed, the Skill would appear to be the ideal small car for a summer lifestyle, with its combination of a flip-top glass roof that drops down behind the seats in a matter of seconds and a pick-up load bay.  Read More

The World’s Fastest and Most Powerful Luxury Sedan – the 730 hp, 1,320 Nm and 340 km/h Bra...

March 8, 2006 Brabus has released images and details of the world’s fastest and most powerful luxury sedan. The 340-km/h high performance automobile is based on the new Mercedes S 600 and is powered by a Brabus S V12 S Biturbo twelve-cylinder engine with 730 hp / 537 kW and a peak torque of 1,320 Nm. The Brabus S V12 S Biturbo engine is a prime example for the old adage that nothing can replace displacement except more displacement. A special crankshaft with longer stroke, forged pistons with a larger diameter and an increased cylinder bore result in a displacement increase from standard 5.5 to now 6.3 liters.  Read More

Macarena Concept has folding glass roof

March 8, 2006 French automotive manufacturer Heuliez is showing a unique concept vehicle on its stand at the Geneva International Motor. The Macarena Concept Car has a glass roof with a difference. The three glass panels automatically fold and compactly store themselves away into the trunk in order to offer plenty of luggage space. The Macarena name came from the likeness to the way the two roof arches fold like the arms of the dancers in the famous Macarena dance. The roof can have a substantial span and is hence particularly suitable for turning larger four door cars with four comfortable seats into an elegant and sporty coupe-cabriolet. Though the Macarena is based on the Peugeot 407, Heuliez is hoping to license the system to auto manufacturers around the world.  Read More

BMW Motorsport announces ready-to-race Z4 M Coupe

March 7, 2006 BMW Motorsport has torn the wraps of its ready-to-race two seater. Designed for enthusiast customers who ache to post a competitive time at the famed Nordschleife as much as for professional touring and production car race teams around the world. The Motorsport Version of the BMW Z4 M Coupe, which itself has only just been revealed in production guise, is the first two-seater BMW Motorsport has offered for customer teams.  Read More

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