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Dakar Rally

Automotive

The top 10 most reliable and unreliable 4x4s

If you’re planning on choosing a roadgoing car based on racetrack results, maybe you’d better think again. With the world’s greatest off-road race, the Dakar Rally, currently powering its way through Chile, it’s interesting to note that the leaders of the event (BMW and Volkswagen) are among the least reliable 4x4 vehicles on the road, where it really counts. Newly released and highly credible information from the U.K. has revealed the most and least reliable pre-owned 4x4 and SUV cars on the market (see the top 10 lists here). Honda’s CR-V won the crown of the most reliable 4x4 by a fair margin while Audi’s A6 Allroad is the most unreliable 4x4 on the road, with Volkswagen’s Touareg and BMW’s X5 placing second and third most unreliable. That’s right folks, despite performing spectacularly in race events such as the Dakar, the VW Touareg is the second most unreliable 4x4 on the market, according to Warranty Direct. Read More

Motorcycles

Yamaha's Super Tenere 'art installation' baffles Tokyo crowds

Tenere is a desert region in the south central Sahara - a place where, in 1977, Frenchman Thierry Sabine famously got lost on his motorbike for three days during the Abidjan-Nice Rally. The rest as they say is history - Sabine returned to France to create the Paris-Dakar rally and Yamaha's two wheeled namesake dominated the event in the 90s. The Yamaha Tenere made a comeback in recent times in with the new XTZ660, but the brand has bigger things in store with a twin-cylinder "Super Tenere" in the pipeline which will compete against the BMW R1200GS. Yamaha gave some hints as to the makeup of the new adventure bike at the Tokyo Motor Show with its eye-catchingly bizarre mock-up - which was appropriately wrapped in desert garb - sporting a shaft drive and side mounted radiators.Read More

Motorcycles

TTXGP - electric motor company Agni blitzes in first clean emissions Grand Prix

Joint Indian-English company Agni Motors’s claim of making quality, high efficiency and high performance electric motors gained massive credence today when it clearly bested the world’s fastest electric motorcycles to win the first clean emissions (AKA electric) motorcycle Grand Prix at an average speed of 87.434 mph. It’s place in history is assured by the landmark win, but it was the team’s dominance that was most surprising. It averaged 10 mph faster around the 37 mile course than its closest rival and established itself as the first superstar company to emerge in a fledgling giant industry. Read More

Automotive

VW to put "green" Scirocco GT24 race car to its toughest test

Motorsport is moving towards establishing green credentials very quickly. Last week we reported on Citroen's hybrid rally car testing and now Volkswagen will field two cars with natural gas engines at the Nürburgring 24-Hour Race on May 23-24. Following the historic one-two victory at the Dakar Rally in January, which Volkswagen won as the first automobile manufacturer using diesel technology in the event, the Wolfsburg brand is now taking on another technical challenge – the use of EcoFuel engines in an endurance test twice around the clock on the world’s most demanding race track. The two Scirocco GT24-CNG 2.0-litre turbo engines powered by natural gas deliver nearly 300hp. Read More

Automotive

Mitsubishi to switch to diesel for Dakar 2009

September 9, 2008 The once poor cousin of the gas-burning internal combustion engine, the diesel, is slowly but surely invading the world of motorsport. In recent years the all-conquering Audi team led the diesel assault on sports car racing and diesel now dominates these events. Now Mitsubishi will enter a new, turbodiesel 'Racing Lancer' in next year's relocated-to-South-America Dakar Rally. The new car has an aeronautic steel multi-tubular frame, honeycomb body floor and carbon fiber body powered by a 280PS 3-liter V6 diesel engine producing a prodigious 650Nm peak torque. The engine uses an innovative two-stage turbocharger with both a small and large diameter turbine, one on each side of engine, employed according to engine revolution and load.Read More

Motorcycles

The Dakar to return - in South America

February 18, 2008 Just six weeks after the last minute cancellation of the 2008 event due to threats of terrorist attacks, organizers have announced that the 2009 Dakar will take place in Argentina and Chile. The planned 9000 km loop starting and finishing in Buenos Aires from the 3rd to the 18th of January is the first to be held outside of Africa. As well as the name, organizers aim to retain the spectacular and varied topography, demanding competition and the spirit of the legendary 30 year old race.Read More

Motorcycles

Dakar Rally canceled due to terrorist threats

January 5, 2008 For the first time in its 30-year history, the Dakar Rally has been canceled, the day before it was due to start, due to direct threats launched against the race by terrorist organizations based in the area. It appears the event may be moved to sub-Saharan Africa from 2009 onwards. We commiserate with race fans, organizers and the 550-odd competitors for many of whom this "Everest of off-road" event is a lifelong dream. Read More

Automotive

Mitsubishi plan clean diesel assault on 2009 Dakar

December 18, 2007 Mitsubishi will use what must be the worlds toughest proving ground - the 2008 Dakar Rally - to garner technical feedback on the company's new high-performance clean diesel engines with a view to fully introducing the technology at the Dakar in 2009. Aiming for its 8th consecutive Dakar victory, Mitsubishi aims to derive durability and endurance data essential to the future development of clean diesel engines already seen in its Concept-cX and Concept-RA vehicles.Read More

Motorcycles

KTM again dominates Dakar Rally for Motorcycles

January 22, 2007 The world’s most dangerous sporting event is always full of surprises and this year the Dakar Rally continued to write remarkable scripts for its competitors. There was some predictability in that two more competitors died this year - Elmer Symons and Eric Aubijoux – maintaining the average of two competitor deaths a year, with the spectator death toll indeterminate. There’s another given about the motorcycle section of the competition and that’s that KTM will win - the Austrian brand filled the first four spots and 23 of the first 30 finishers. The winner was Frenchman Cyril Despres (Gauloisses KTM) who finished more than half an hour in front of the field. Despres’ win was unexpected as 2005 winner and the dominant rider of the last year, Marc Coma, had led Despres by 52 minutes with just one timed stage remaining of the 8686 kilometre event, after leading the field since January 9. Sadly for Coma, he crashed and could take no further part in the event. Coma and Despres rode identical 72 bhp KTM 690 Rally machines, built specially for the event and competing for the first time.Read More

Automotive

Mitsubishi claims seventh successive Dakar Rally Victory

January 22, 2007 Given that Team Repsol Mitsubishi Ralliart had won the last six Dakar Rallies, it was logical to expect the seventh consecutive victory which came about on Sunday with the top two placings on the podium, but that would not have paid the respect due to the fleet of VW 285-hp 2.5-litre TDI turbodiesel Race Touareg and the massive effort of the Volkswagen factory team. As it was, the Volkswagen team led the event for the first eight days and won ten of 14 possible stage victories, and but for one catastrophic day where the team’s two best placed drivers suffered valve-train failure, the results might have been different. The success was a record-breaking 12th win in the team's 25-year history of competing in the world's toughest and most famous off-road rally. The French crew of Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret won the event for the third time in four years in their Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero Evolution and beat their team mates and defending champions Luc Alphand and Gilles Picard by a margin of just seven minutes 26 seconds, after 15 days of bruising competition across Portugal, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal.Read More

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