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Posted on Oct 2nd, 2009 by Andrey

2 Comments Category: Bugatti

Bugatti certainly shocked the automotive world a few weeks ago when it revealed the new Galibier supersedan model, which is set to be powered by the same, albeit more tamed, version of the Veyron’s W16 quad-turbo engine.

Now, after letting hype and speculation build up, the company revealed that the future model, which is set to appear in 2013 when the Veyron will be finally taken off the assembly line at the Molsheim factory, will cost around $1.5 million dollars, a hundred grand more than the Veyron.

For that amount of money you will be getting the massive W16 engine (hence the 16C moniker) which may or may not be coupled with a dual-clutch gearbox from VW, as rumors indicate the Germans at ZF who developed a new eight-speed one. This will give the Galibier “only” 800 HP, but will be able to reach a speed of 350 km/h (217 mph). It is estimated that about 300 models will be produced each year, so those with plenty of money should reserve one as soon as possible.

For those of us which don’t have an extra $1.5 mil laying around, we can only look at the pictures of the supersedan from Bugatti.

Read More: “Bugatti 16C Galibier to cost $1.5 million, appears in 2013”

Posted on Oct 2nd, 2009 by Andrey

No Comments Category: Motorsport, Seat

Now don’t get too excited, as the cars mentioned above will only act as safety cars in order for the organizers to test out the special stages of the rally and see if they are up to par with the safety regulations from the WRC.

This continues the long lasting partnership between Seat and the Catalunya Rally competition. The Spanish automaker will offer 86 cars for the officials and the technical assistance crews, among them being the special 180 HP Ibiza Bocanegra, the 200 HP Exeo TSI and the 240 HP Leon Cupra models. As a special tidbit of information, the Ibiza model will be driven by Joan Vinyes, the Andorra pilot which won the first edition of the Sear Supercup in 2002.

The rally has started yesterday and will end on Sunday, after all of the 18 stages will take place.

Read More: “Seat Ibiza Bocanegra, Leon Cupra and Exeo to debut in Catalunya WRC rally”

Posted on Oct 2nd, 2009 by Andrey

1 Comment Category: Car Crashes, Dodge

What do you get when combining a big heavy pick up truck with a 8.3-liter V10 engine? The Dodge Ram SRT10. What do you get when you combine that with stupid drivers? Wannabe racers.

The most recent example is this guy below, which tried to show off to one of his friends by doing a burnout with the the powerful pick up truck. All goes pretty well until he looses control and the front of the car lands into a earth hill and topples the whole car.

Do be warned that the video does contain some explicit language, but the pure sample of stupidity is priceless. I do feel sorry for the truck though.

Posted on Oct 2nd, 2009 by Andrey

No Comments Category: Electric Vehicles, Tesla

After revealing yesterday that it will try to create its own infrastructure to swap out and recharge batteries for future customers of the 2011 Tesla Model S, the US company has now revealed, through the voice of its brand development executive Diarmuid O’Connell, that it is preparing three more models based on the S’ platform, including an SUV, an MPV and even a commercial vehicle.

All of these new models will join the already-launched Roadster model and the future under-$30,000 hybrid that the company has revealed a few months ago.

Now you might be inclined to ask just where does Tesla have all the money to fund these projects? Well it seems that it is just taking it out from the US tax payers, as the government’s department of energy has issued a grant totaling $465 million in order to continue development of new electric models. From them, $365 million will be used to finalize the Model S and the other will be invested in an engine facility in California.

This also goes hand in hand with Tesla’s plans to become the premiere electric engine and technology supplier for other automakers, as Daimler already partnered with it for the Smart ForTwo Electric

Would such models like a fully-electric crossover or an MPV attract your attention? What other versions should Tesla look into? Don’t be afraid to leave a comment.

Read More: “Tesla to launch an SUV, MPV and commercial vehicle based on the Model S platform”

Posted on Oct 2nd, 2009 by Andrey

No Comments Category: Special

While many people who decide to buy a car usually undergo major fact-finding missions in order to get themselves acquainted with what model they fancy and what alternatives they have to it, there are still a lot of people who prefer the word of the automotive press and rely on things such as Car of the Year awards.

Done at the end of the year, these distinctions usually go to some of the standout models from the past 12 months. Now, it seems that the lists of finalists for this year’s North American edition of Car and Truck of the Year have appeared.

In terms of cars, it might be a pretty close race as almost all of the contestants have their merits. In terms of trucks though, it is a fairly odd bunch, including the Acura ZDX or Ford Transit Connect.

The 2010 North American Car of the Year Short List: • BMW 335d • Buick LaCrosse • Cadillac CTS • Chevrolet Camaro • Ford Fusion/Fusion Hybrid • Ford Taurus • Honda Insight • Kia Soul • Mazda3/MazdaSpeed3 • Mercedes-Benz E-Class • Porsche Panamera • Subaru Legacy • Suzuki Kizashi • Toyota Prius

• Volkswagen Golf/GTI

The 2010 North American Truck of the Year Short List: • Acura ZDX • Audi Q5 • Cadillac SRX • Chevrolet Equinox • Ford Transit Connect • Honda Crosstour • Land Rover LR4 • Lincoln MKT • Subaru Outback

• Volvo XC60

Who do you think will win the two categories? Don’t be afraid to leave a comment to this article with your votes.

Read More: “Here are the 2010 North American car and truck of the year finalists”

Posted on Oct 1st, 2009 by Andrey

1 Comment Category: Car Crashes, Top Gear

It seems that the creativity of the Top Gear producers knows no bounds, as they recently filmed for the upcoming season of the car show a quite interesting race between Richard Hammond, driving a Lamborghini, and James May “piloting” a caravan attached to a huge inflatable airship, as you can see in the pictures.

But because of strong winds and the fact that the team needed to wrap up the filming that day, James decided to take a chance and try to maneuver it so that it would land at the finishing point, in the cricket field in Eltisley, Cambs.

Sadly, things didn’t go as planned and gushing winds drove the airship and the caravan attached to it into a flock of trees in a farmer’s field besides the A428 road. But you can all relax, as May survived without any injuries and nothing happened to Hammond as well. Emergency services were on stand by but the helicopter which was brought in to help film the challenge gave them the good news.

This just goes to show that even though the Top Gear lads have a great time on TV, many of their stunts and general “cocking about” can go awfully wrong, with Richard Hammond’s 2006 crash still very fresh in the memory of many Top Gear fans. All in all, it’s great that May escaped unharmed and we can all look forward to a great new season which might start around November.

Read More: “James May has survived a Top Gear stunt gone wrong involving a caravan and a baloon”

Posted on Oct 1st, 2009 by Andrey

No Comments Category: Ferrari, Motorsport

Lately we witnessed a lot of rumors and speculations about what driver will the Ferrari Formula 1 racing team choose for its next season to compete alongside Felipe Massa. After many debates, controversies and even arguments, it seems that the team has officially confirmed that it has signed a contract with former two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso.

“Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro announces that it has reached an agreement with the driver Fernando Alonso. The agreement covers three racing seasons, starting in 2010,” said the team in a press release. “The Scuderia’s driver line-up next season will therefore be made up of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, with Giancarlo Fisichella in the role of reserve driver. Kimi Raikkonen will leave the team at the end of this current season, after what has been a rewarding and fruitful partnership, which saw him win the Drivers’ title in 2007. He also played a key role in Ferrari’s taking of the Constructor’s title that same year and in 2008.”

This move will definitely generate quite a lot of movements in other teams, as Raikonnen is expected to replace McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen, and race alongside the current world champion Lewis Hamilton. It is also expected that Alonso’s place at Renault will be taken by BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica at the end of the season.

What do you think about this move in F1? Will Alonso prove to be next year’s winning bet for Ferrari or has his star passed and other drivers, like Hamilton or teams like Brawn GP make Ferrari settle with dreaming of the Schumacher days? Don’t be shy to leave a comment with your opinion.

Read More: “Fernando Alonso officially confirmed to race for Ferrari in 2010 Formula 1 season”

Posted on Oct 1st, 2009 by Andrey

2 Comments Category: Electric Vehicles, Tesla

Even though future Tesla S models will have a battery which can recharge to its fullest capacity from 3 to 5 hours, it seems that the company plans on developing a network of so called switching and charging stations, in which future Tesla owners can swap out their batteries with new ones in just 5 minutes.

Similar to going and filling up your tank with gas, according to Tesla representatives, the new project is similar with the Quick Drop from Renault-Nissan. The company will also start lobbying various governments where the its models will be made so that the infrastructure will support the endeavor. Besides the switching capabilities, the stations will also have special 480 V outlets, in which you can plug in your car and quick charge it in just 45 minutes.

Keep in mind that the Tesla S, which will enter production in mid-2011, will cost $50,000 and its normal battery should keep you going for about 260 km (161 miles). Either way, this is still great news for anyone using their electric cars for everyday use, no matter how long the drive will be.

Read More: “Future Tesla S owners will go to switching stations to swap their batteries in just 5 minutes”

Posted on Oct 1st, 2009 by Andrey

1 Comment Category: Land Rover

When you talk about off road cars, one name immediately comes to mind: Land Rover. The UK automaker has specialized in this variety of cars, and even though it is keeping up with the times thanks to the Range Rover Sport and the LR4, one of its most trusted models is still the Land Rover Defender, based on the famous first 1948 model.

But it seems that due to stricter fuel economy costs and the fact that its systems are a bit old, Land Rover has started Project Icon, a new modern take on the Defender which will deliver a production-ready vehicle by 2012.

Using the same platforms as the Range Rover Sport and LR4, namely the T5 steel one, the new Defender will be a state of the art off road vehicle which will be very efficient and sport some of the newest technology to make going off the beaten path a breeze for any driver. Thanks to the easily modifiable platform, it seems that Land Rover plans to launch quite a few bodystyles, including a normal one but also a soft top version and even a pickup.

The new model is expected to be launched in Europe with a 2.7-liter diesel engine, which will be standard, and will also make an appearance in North America, with the Jaguar-developed 5.-liter V8 engine as normal issue.

Read More: “New Land Rover Defender set to appear in 2012”

Posted on Sep 30th, 2009 by Andrey

No Comments Category: Lamborghini, Tuning, Video

While it may seem a bit dangerous to put both a stock Lamborghini Gallardo and a special Superleggera version which has also received two turbochargers from the tuners at Heffner, giving it almost 1042 HP, on the same road, it seems that they decided to do it.

Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning engines on those two extreme cars.

Posted on Sep 30th, 2009 by Andrey

1 Comment Category: News

That’s right, the title is correct, it seems that because studies show texting while driving is a whopping 23 times more likely to provoke an accident, the US government wants to ban it. But guess who started militating against this fact by saying that it is completely safe and necessary?

Nope, not the Twitter or Facebook junkies, but the US association of truckers, who these days rely on dash-planted computers and keyboards in their laps to plot out routes, get in touch with their headquarters and keep their customers up to date.

While I myself and plenty of people can realize that this new effort will impede their work, it’s nothing that a cell phone with a headset can’t fix. The truckers have revealed that if they were to pull over to send text messages or access the Internet, then every minute would cost the transport companies about $1.50, which would get pulled from the pay check of the driver.

A spokesman for the American Trucking Associations has even went so far as calling the new law bill “overkill” and that it will not improve anything. His statement just goes against common sense and the fact that trucks are now responsible for 12% of the deaths occurred on highways every year.

What do you think? Would the thought of having a huge truck, driven by a man who is texting, using the Internet and doing all sorts of other things, on the same road as your small car make you feel safe? Share your opinions by leaving a comment.

Read More: “US truckers say texting while driving is completely safe and necessary, mandate against banning them”

Posted on Sep 30th, 2009 by Andrey

No Comments Category: Aston Martin

We all know and even felt the worldwide economic crisis, and companies in almost any branch of the industry have felt it even worse. It seems that even though projections about the future are optimistic, Kuwaiti financial company Investment Dar is facing some serious troubles, and has just signed an agreement in order for the investors to give it time to solve its problems and get back on the profit side of things.

Why should it bother us that some Arab fund is running out of “oil dollars” you say? Well how about the fact that it owns about half of famous UK automaker Aston Martin. That’s right, Investment Dar, alongside other names like former racer Dave Richards, banker John Singers and Adeem Investment bought the company from Ford in March, 2007. The money paid by Dar was around $925 million, but just last year it seems that the company was trying to get a loan of about $1 billion, in order to solve its financial problems.

Hopefully though the company will get a break thanks to this agreement from investors and will manage to pull itself from the hole it dug. Also, let’s keep our fingers crossed for Aston Martin, even though some of their cars aren’t driven by the most qualified people.

Read More: “Aston Martin parent company, Investment Dar, is in big trouble, UK automaker not looking good”

Posted on Sep 30th, 2009 by Andrey

No Comments Category: BMW, Video

BMW is in the middle of a new marketing strategy called Joy is BMW, through which the Bavarian automaker reveals how their cars can bring many smiles to the faces of their drivers. The first ad, simply called Joy was already released, but now a new one has appeared.

Entitled Jump for Joy, it reveals just a few … “interesting” (to say the least) ways to get into a BMW, whether it is your own or a friend’s. However, before your go and try some of these stunts with your own car, whether it is a BMW or not, the company does warn you not to try this at home. Enjoy the new ad from BMW, and if it’s possible, try to imagine how many takes the guys in it must have taken in order for the jumps to be just right.

Posted on Sep 30th, 2009 by Andrey

3 Comments Category: Special, hydrogen

If there’s one thing which really detracts people from buying hybrids and hydrogen-powered vehicles, that would be the performance. Many people really want to feel a rush when they hit the gas, no matter what their fuel efficiency might dictate. But how about this project from a team of engineers from the Ohio State University, which has just set the world record for the fastest hydrogen-powered vehicle with a speed of over 300 mph / 484 km/h.

The project first started as a join effort between the engineers at Ohio State University and the ones from Ford. After creating the Fusion 999 model, which set the record of 207 mph, the Ford guys decided to leave the team and apply the knowledge for their parent company. The students however decided to stick with it, and achieve the goal of doing 300 mph with a hydrogen-powered vehicle.

As such, the Buckeye Bullet 2 was born. It was then taken to the famous Bonneville salt flats in order to set the new world record. The two runs needed to properly set the record registered an average of 303.025 mph (487.671 kph), for the flying kilometer of road traveled, and 302.877 mph (487.433 kph) for the flying mile. The fastest speed recorded during the training runs was an even bigger 489 km/h, but couldn’t be set as a record.

Even though we can’t expect future hydrogen cars to overtake us on the highway at those dizzying speeds, it’s good to known that the technology is there and maybe it will be adapted for normal use. Enjoy the video with the world breaking run.

Read More: “Here’s the world’s fastest hydrogen-powered vehicle, over 300 mph/484 km/h”

Posted on Sep 30th, 2009 by Andrey

1 Comment Category: Car Crashes, Rolls Royce

Alright, the first thing you are thinking about is what type of Rolls Royce that was, it was a slightly older one, from 1983, as it seems that people who nowadays drop a fortune on a new Phantom don’t really try drunk driving.

The accident happened earlier this year, but now the Winchester Crown Court finally passed a verdict for 50-year-old Robert Caton, which drank two whiskey bottles and drove his car into the front window of Tesco supermarket in Andover, Hampshire. He was jailed for 16 months for destruction of property and another 3 for refusing to take a breathalyser test.

What’s worse it seems that at that time, the man even asked a security guard in what time can he evacuate anyone in the supermarket, but still drove two times while the people were trying to escape. Among the victims was a pregnant woman.

All of these crimes were seemingly caused by Caton’s case of depression and the anger towards Tesco, as he saved up for a bed an cupboard set for his son, but the mattress, which he though would be included in the set, needed to be bought separately. Throw in a hefty bill coming from one of his utility suppliers, and Caton apparently snapped.

The judge of the court delivered the sentence and said that his actions were actually “deliberate” and that: “If every citizen of this country who felt aggrieved against a shop or a bank acted like you there would be complete mayhem. Frustration is no defense or mitigation.”

This just goes to prove how many people, no matter what car they have, can try to hide their problems but then choose to hurt others around them. Hopefully he got what he deserved and the time in jail will show him that life can be much worse.

Read More: “Drunk driver crashed his Rolls Royce into a supermarket, gets 19 months in jail”