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Automotive

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

Scuderi Group to show Air-Hybrid technology design at SAE World Congress

March 7, 2006 The Scuderi Group is an engine development company currently building an Air-Hybrid Engine which it claims will be to be the world's most fuel efficient internal combustion engine. Currently in production at Southwest Research in San Antonio, Texas, it is claimed that the Scuderi Air-Hybrid Engine will allow diesel and gasoline automobiles, commercial vehicles and other applications powered by internal combustion engines to be 60 percent fuel efficient (compared to today's 33 percent), reduce toxic emissions by 80 percent, while making it easier and less expensive to incorporate the technology into today's automobile manufacturing process. Designs for the air-hybrid engine will be on display at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress in Detroit next month.  Read More

Citroen and Loeb take the WRC lead after Mexican victory

March 6, 2006 It seemed inevitable that Sebastien Loeb would find his way back to the head of 2006 world rankings following a 2005 season that was the most dominant on record. Following a win in the third round of the WRC in Mexico, Loeb has now regained the series lead and it would be a brave move to bet against him for the title. In the end, the Citroen driver had a thrilling fight to the finish with Subaru’s Petter Solberg to finally take the Rally of Mexico at the weekend (3-5 March 2006). Loeb got off to a steady start on Friday sweeping the roads clean for the benefit of Petter Solberg amongst others, but still hung on grimly to limit the deficit to just a half a minute. The next step was to make up the time lost, reducing the gap to a combative Solberg. It was only on Saturday night, after SS13, that Seb found any sort of breathing space after very tightly fought battle with Subaru driver that turned the event into a two horse race. The final phase of the victory plan, which took place on Sunday, consisted of a precise control of the lead, a painstaking task in which Loeb excels. All victories taste sweet, but for Seb – sheltering under a sombrero at the finish – this one was special. BTW - they obviously love their rallying in Mexico - check out the image library for some scary shots, not to mention the main shot of Seb getting big air just a few feet from the spectators.  Read More

Honda’s 200 bhp Civic Type R Concept set for 2007 delivery

March 6, 2006 With a level of success way beyond Honda's initial expectations, the Civic Type R which ended production last year proved a smash hit among those seeking the thrills of a sporty, high performance car, yet still delivering a strong dose of practicality at an affordable price. That dual personality thrilled over 35,000 customers, far exceeding Honda’s initial sales forecasts during its relatively short production run. The bold styling of the Civic Type R Concept unveiled at Geneva last week provides a clear indication of how the final production car will appear. Honda engineers have designed a 'superhatch' to deliver blistering performance (200 bhp). The aggressive, lower and wider-looking body encases a new 2.0 litre DOHC i-VTEC engine and the model, built in Britain, will go on sale in early 2007 priced around UKP18,000. Expect to see more 3 door versions at the London Motor Show in July.  Read More

Koenigsegg completely re-engineers one of the world's fastest cars - the CCX

March 5, 2006 On a good day with a stiff tail wind and a very long piece of very private road, the new Koenigsegg is one of just two road cars in the world capable of touching 400 km/h. Named the Competition Coupe X (CCX), the car commemorates the 10th anniversary of the completion and test drive of the first CC maiden prototype, which rolled out from the R&D Department in 1996. The CCX is actually quite a different car to the world record-setting Koenigsegg CCS of just 12 months ago, having been completely re-engineered to comply with the US regulation and market demands. And despite settling into the outer stratosphere of exclusivity, the CCX’s standard price of US$540,000 represents a bargain compared to its main competitor, the US$1.47 million Bugatti Veyron. Even fully optioned, with carbon fibre rims, ceramic brakes, rear view cameras, parking sensors, entries into various elite Motorsport events and personal driving tuition from famous test driver and world record holder Loris Bicocchi, the CCX just tops US$600,000.  Read More

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