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Honda: The “Difficult is worth doing” project

“Difficult is worth doing” is the name of Honda’s upcoming TV ad, one of the most expensive ever created. The TV spot will feature a team of 45 world class free fall skydivers which will perform some of the most complicated skydive formations ever attempted for the camera. The stunt coordinator for this commercial is BJ Worth and though he worked on some other difficult projects, including all the recent James Bond movies, he agrees that this is one of the most challenging aerial stunt sequences he has ever had to produce.

Before the final TV ad is released, Honda will present a few teasers that will keep us interested in the project. You can check out the first one below and you can also find it in our sidebar. Also, Honda started a blog for the project, difficultisworthdoing.typepad.com, where, over the next few weeks, you can read about the making of this incredible commercial and you’ll also get behind the scenes insight into the challenges that the team has to handle.

And if that doesn’t convince you this is going to be a great commercial, here’s what Tony Davidson the Creative Director for the project says: “When you write scripts like this you just imagine anything is possible. It’s only when you start getting down to the nitty gritty of production that you realise what the real implications are. That said, in this world where post-production techniques mean most things are possible, it’s nice to be attempting something for real.”


10 millionth Opel Astra produced

Launched in 1991, the Opel Astra replaced the legendary Kadett (the first one was made in 1936) and is one of Opel’s most sucessful model which is currently being built in ten locations worldwide, in countries like Germany, Belgium, UK, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil and Serbia. 17 years later, the 10 millionth Opel Astra was built yesterday at the Opel plant in Bochum, Germany. The milestone car is a Silver Lightning Astra Station Wagon 1.7 CDTI.

The first generation Opel Astra was built until 1998 with 4.13 million units sold, which makes it one of the most successful cars evers. The second generation, built between 1998 and 2004 was sold in 3.8 million units, while the current generation, introduced in 2004 was sold in 1.9 million units, with over 500,000 sold only last year.


AU Test Drive: The Fiat 500

Last week, I got the chance to drive the new Fiat 500. I was really excited, because, ever since the car was announced, I’ve been a big fan, especially after I got the chance to see it live at the Geneva Motor Show. So, I got in the car and went driving around to find a nice spot for some cool photos, in the same time checking out how it handles the traffic. I should tell you that the version I had was powered by the 75 hp 1.3 MultiJet diesel engine. The most powerful version is the 100 hp 1.4 liter 16v petrol engine and the other engine available is the 69 hp 1.2 liter. I would’ve loved to have the 100 hp one, I’m sure it’s the most thrilling to drive, but the experience was cool anyways.

First of all, my version is the most expensive in the Fiat 500 offer, 13,800 Euro all taxes included. There are three equipment levels available, Pop, Lounge and Sport. The cheapest Fiat 500 available is the 1.2 Sport, priced at 11,500 Euros, all taxes included and I had the 1.3 Lounge. The Lounge and the Sport versions have the same price, the difference being in the optional features. The Sport, as it name says, offers more sporty looks, while the Lounge takes care especially of the comfort. (more…)

Chevrolet Camaro to debut before mid-September

The Chevrolet Camaro is closer and closer to finally making its debut. Though everyone was expecting the car’s official launch to take place next year, in January, at the Detroit Auto Show, it seems that GM is not willing to wait until then and will present the Camaro much earlier. Here’s what we have so far.

First, we thought that the launch will take place at the Indy ’08, Back at the Brickyard event from September 19-21, because the organizers of the event, Central Indiana Camaro Club (CICC) has confirmed the production Camaro will be on show at the event and in a number of different color, trim and engine combos. However, they said it will be there, not that it will debut there. Because, questioned by the guys from Autoblog, GM told them the debut will take place before the Indy event, at a date and a place to be announced.

So, where do you think the new Chevrolet Camaro will make its debut?


Rpmgo Readers’ Cars: Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass Rpmgo.com Reader Car

Like we promised last week, today we’ll start a new section over here on Auto Unleashed, called Rpmgo Readers’ Cars, where we’ll present cars that our readers drive. We thought of creating this section after several of our readers sent us photos of their cars to ask us what do we think about them. And it would also be cool to see what everyone drives over here, no matter if it’s a brand new R8 or an old piece of junk. All cars are cars, after all and we love it no matter what. Read more about this here.

The first one to show us his car is cj_jeep, one of our readers from Romania. After owning a new Skoda Octavia, he fell in love with the Compass, the first time he saw it and decided to buy one. And that’s not all, because he didn’t settle with any version of the Compass, he bought the top of the line, with the Mopar kit. And what’s the first cj did after the car arrived? Took it into the woods to give it a really tough offroad test. The car did pretty good, as you can see in the video below.

So, about the car, cj says he paid around 30,000 Euros for it (all taxes included) and that it has a lot of features (almost all available). And, as you can see, it also looks really great. The car is powered by the 2.0 liter diesel engine that produces 140 hp at 4,000 rpm and 310 Nm. The official fuel consumption is 8.3 l/100km (urban), 5.4 l/100km (highway) and 6.5 l/100km (mixed) and cj says those numbers are pretty close to the real road-condition values.

So, what do you think about cj’s car? Drop a comment here.

Click here for all the photos.

Jeep Compass Rpmgo.com Reader Car Jeep Compass Rpmgo.com Reader Car Jeep Compass Rpmgo.com Reader Car Jeep Compass Rpmgo.com Reader Car


Tuning: Mini Clubman by AC Schnitzer

Though it’s not really our favourite car over here at Auto Unleashed, the Mini Clubman is selling pretty good, especially the Cooper S Clubman. And the German tuner AC Schnitzer came up with a very interesting tuning program for the British car. The 170 hp engine has been modified and it now develops 226 hp / 166 kW and 285 Nm of torque, which is quite impressive. The body kit also looks good, with new front spoiler and power dome, not to mention the twin sports rear silencer and chromed tailpipes which, besides looking good, make the Clubman sound pretty fiercy.

To improve handling and driving performance, AC Schnitzer fitted the car with a spring kit and height-adjustable racing suspension, limited slip differential (up to maximum 75 percent) and 17” or 18” special wheels.

More photos after the jump.


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630 hp Spada Codatronca TS to enter production

Honestly, I don’t really know what to think about this car, the Spada Codatronca. First of all, the name, which is Italian for “short tail” or something like that, and then there’s its looks. Italians got us used to beautiful sports cars, but this one is, let’s say…less beautiful.

However, though the name and the looks are not that impressive, things change when we look at the car’s specs. The car is powered by a 7 liter 8 cylinders engine, which produces 630 hp at 6,500 rpm and 668 Nm maximum torque. The car has rear-wheel-drive, 19-inch tires and weighting only 1.3 tons, it sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds and reaches a top speed of over 340km/h (211 mph). The engine is mated to a close-ratio 6-speed transmission. Also, using a conversion kit, the car can be modified to run on E85 fuel, which increases both power and torque.

As we said, the car uses lightweight materials; the chassis, including a roll cage, is made of aluminium, the body is made entirely of carbon fiber.

Rumors say that an ever more powerful version, the Spada Codatronca TTS is already being tested by the Italian company.

Check out more photos after the jump.


Ferrari F430 Concept created by Luca Serafini

This Ferrari F430 Concept was created by Luca Serafini who is one skilled designer and there’s no doubt about that. We were very impressed with the Lamborghini Embolado, presented by us here, last year. He designed the F430 concept starting from the current model, but also tried to look close at classic Ferrari models. The result is a very impressive concept, with a design philosophy somewhat different from the current Ferraris.

And that’s not all, because Luca, besides suggesting the design to Ferrari, also talked to AliasStudioTools to draw and mill a 1:4 scaled model. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll see his creations on the street.

You can check out Luca’s page on deviantart, here and you can also see more photos after the jump.


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Video: Jaguar XF does great against its German rivals

Though everyone was impressed with the new Jaguar XF, everyone also agreed that the market it targets is highly competitive, with strong German rivals, such as the Audi A6, the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes Benz E Class. InsideLine put up the XF against these cars and you’d be amazed by the results. I mean, I like the XF, but didn’t imagine it will be that good. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. One thing that needs to be mentioned is that the Jaguar had the most powerful engine, the 420 hp Supercharged V8.


Alfa Romeo Mi.To spotted on the street

With the Alfa Romeo Mi.To getting closer and closer to launch, we got a few pics of the car, the first interior photo a few days ago and now we have the first photos of the car in the wild. Taken by Biagio, one of Progetto955 readers, these photo show two versions of the Mi.To roaming around Turin. If the red one doesn’t surprise us, the white one is a first. And it looks great. According to the guy who took the photos, the cars were out there on a promotional activity or something, most likely Alfa shooting some cool photos to release later.

What do you think? Like it? How about the white one?

The rest of the photos after the jump.


Blind soldier drives a Ferrari 360 Modena

Last year, while serving in Iraq, Scottish soldier Ben Shaw was the victim of an explosion caused by a roadside bomb. He instantly lost one of his eyes and doctors couldn’t do anything to save his other eye, so he went completely blind. After that, he got involved in a lot of charity events and his latest accomplishment is driving a Ferrari 360 Modena around the Knockhill race track at speeds of up to 70mph. This happened during Motorfair, Scotland’s biggest motor show and Ben was cheered on by thousands of spectators. However, that’s not all, because Benn plans on breaking the world blind land speed record which currently stands at 165 mph.


Skoda Yeti SUV to enter production

Autocar reports that the Skoda Yeti SUV will enter production, most likely in 2009, as a part of Skoda’s plan to release six new models by the end of 2010. These cars will be both new generations of current models and new models through which Skoda will enter new markets. Some of these models, besides the Yeti, will be the new Fabia estate, the new Superb and, in 2010, a facelift for the Fabia plus a whole new Octavia replacement, which will be based on VW Golf’s PQ35 platform.

Now, about the Yeti, we have no official clues so far, but what we do have is a lot of rumors. Though everyone would expect for Skoda to use the Tiguan platform on the Yeti, it seems that the Czech producer is planning on borrowing only the four-wheel drive system and mix it with other VAG Group hardware, so practically, the Skoda Yeti will be a new car, smaller than the Tiguan, which will compete cars like the Suzuki Jimny or the Nissan Qashqai.

Martin Hrdlicka, Skoda’s head of chassis development said that “Skoda will develop its own vehicle and its own concept. We need to find niches where we don’t compete with other group products from VW and Seat,” adding that they don’t know for sure if the “Yeti” name tag will be kept.


Video: Aston Martin Rapide spied

Commenting one of our posts on the Aston Martin Rapide, one of our readers said that these British cars have “elegance without compromising the performance and the capability of the car to compete with those other sports cars”. Beautiful! As we said many times, Aston Martin is one of our favourite car makers and here’s a video of their upcoming car, the 4 door coupe Aston Martin Rapide, somewhere around Nurburgring.

Scheduled to be launched next year, we expect to see the final production version of the Rapide at next year’s Detroit Auto Show, in January, or, with a little luck, maybe one of these year’s auto shows will mark the car’s debut. We’ll see. Meanwhile, enjoy the video!

And if you enjoyed this video, don’t forget to check out and subscribe to the Auto Unleashed YouTube Channel.


Daewoo Lanos turned into a watermelon

Watermelon Daewoo Lanos

Have you ever felt like going to work in your giant, metallic watermelon? Yeah, neither did we. We don’t know zip about the car pictured here, except that, considered the license plate, it looks like it’s from Ukraine. One thing’s for sure: that’s one weird car.

Check out more photos after the jump.


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