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15 January 2009

Jaguar XFR Prototype tops 225 mph at Bonneville Salt Flats

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At the Detroit Show, Jaguar revealed a specially modified XFR prototype that recorded a top speed of 225.7 mph (363.2 km/h) during a secret speed trial at the iconic Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah last November. The XFR prototype beat Jaguar\’s previous speed record of 217.1mph (349.4 km/h) that had been set back in 1992 by the XJ220. The man behind the wheel of the fastest Jag ever was Paul Gentilozzi, owner of Rocketsports Racing who led the Jaguar XKR to five series victories between 2001 and 2006 in the Trans Am series in the USA.

Jaguar said that prototype model was equipped with a slightly more powerful version of the standard XFR\’s 5.0-liter V8 with additional horsepower being liberated by a remapped ECU, a modified air intake and exhaust system and revised supercharger settings. It was also fitted with minor aerodynamic and safety modifications that were made to… Read the rest of this entry

15 January 2009

Panasonic Toyota Reveals New TF109 for the 2009 F1 Season

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Toyota\’s contender for the 2009 Formula 1 World Championship, the new TF109, broke cover today at the Japanese team\’s Cologne headquarters in Germany. Designed and engineered in line with new FIA regulations, the TF109 racer is distinguished by the new wings that are wider and lower at the front and, narrower and smaller at the back. Furthermore, the F1 racer does not feature any aerodynamic add-on devices, such as winglets, as they have been banned, while for the first time in 12 years, slick tires – Bridgestone Potenza – will be used.

For the 2009 F1 Season, Toyota\’s driver line-up will continue with Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and \”third driver\” Kamui Kobayashi.

During the presentation, Panasonic Toyota Team president John Howitt… Read the rest of this entry

15 January 2009

Pagani Zonda R officially unveiled in Vienna

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The Pagani Zonda did something incredible. It proved that the supercar world did not revolve around Ferrari and Lamborghini. So to commemorate Horacio Pagani\’s achievement, the hypercarmaker has created one last version of the Zonda before its replacement arrives next year.

After 24 months of development, and at the urging of an unnamed Italo-American customer that already owns three Zondas, the Pagani Zonda R was created as a lightweight, track-only variant of the iconic coupe. Production is limited to ten examples with a price tag of 1.4-million euro.

Although the carbon fiber exterior is deceiving, the Pagani Zonda R only carries over 10% of its structure from its predecessors. The wheelbase has grown by 47mm to 394mm (15.5 feet) and the track has been widened by 50mm. An all-new carbon fiber monocoque resides underneath the wind-tunnel tested body, along with a forged aluminum suspension, new six-speed sequential… Read the rest of this entry

15 January 2009

2010 Lincoln MKT will start at $44,995; EcoBoost, AWD add five grand

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Ford just announced pricing on the 2010 Lincoln MKT we saw earlier this week at the Detroit Auto Show. The Ford Flex\’s big brother will go on sale this summer for a starting price of $44,995 with the base V6 and front-wheel-drive. EcoBoost and all-wheel drive together add five grand to that total, so prices for the premium model start at $49,995. You can get AWD by itself though, along with the base 3.7L, at $46,990. While all MKTs will come with tons of standard features, the company is also offering a few options.

For instance, the Elite Package will be available for $5,000, which includes a bowl of alphabet soup with things like Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Warning with Brake Support (gives the driver a \”head-up\” warning on the windshield), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Cross Traffic Alert (BLIS for backing out of a parking space),… Read the rest of this entry

15 January 2009

Indian auto industry – evolution and importance of Automotive components

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The automotive sector in India contributes to 5% of the nation’s GDP
and 17% of the indirect taxes as a result of which the government last
year

charted a 10-year blueprint for the sector’s growth. This
envisages the automotive sector “output reaching a level of $145
billion accounting for

more than 10% of the GDP” by 2016.

However,
India’s auto industry is maturing not only in quantitative terms.
Indigenous vehicle and component makers are investing in research and

development,
engineering and design capabilities. Some of them have developed their
own vehicles such as Mahindra & Mahindra with its Scorpio and

Tata Motors with its Indica and now the Nano, the cheapest car in the world with a tag of $2,500.

Companies
are now looking beyond the domestic market by boosting their overseas
sales and buying foreign companies whether… Read the rest of this entry

10 August 2007

Driven: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

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Driven: 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster

By Shamit Choksey

Klaus Nesser, CEO of Mercedes’ Maybach and SLR divisions stood in front of a room, facing a gaggle of eager journalists waiting to hear the details on Mercedes-Benz’s newest and most highly anticipated supercar, the 2008 SLR McLaren Roadster. He seemed to be searching for the right approach with which to begin his presentation. Then, as if having been struck by a moment of clarity, Nesser grinned and got right to the point. “Well, we took the top off.” And with those words, we were introduced to the fastest convertible on the planet.

Built at McLaren’s Woking, England facility, the new roadster, aside from its ability to drop its top, differs very slightly from its coupe counterpart. And that’s the

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10 August 2007

2008 Honda Civic MUGEN Si

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2008 Honda Civic MUGEN Si

By Sam Smith

So there I was, sitting under a giant Honda tent at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. It was the morning, I was eating breakfast, and I was staring off into the distance, idly wondering why I couldn’t remember any of my high-school Japanese. (Ok, I didn’t take Japanese in high school, but I’d like to pretend that I did, because the smart kids all took Japanese. I took Spanish, a language that has helped me exactly zero times in my professional life but nevertheless allowed me to insult all of my mexican college friends in their native tongue. Y tu mama tambien, bastardo!)

Why was I wishing I had learned Japanese at some point? Simple: I was at a table surrounded by a bunch of Japanese engineers, none of whom spoke much English. Few things make

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23 May 2007

Merc SL600 gets evil(er): Kicherer SL K60 EVO Black

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The German tuners over at Kicherer have turned their attention towards the SL600, as the firm\’s previous iterations of the V12-powered coupe have been a popular product. One good turn deserves another, and this time, it gets the Darth Vader treatment.

To begin with, the bi-turbo V12 gets a power upgrade to the tune of 605 HP, allowing a run to 62 to be dispatched in 4.3 seconds, continuing on to 200 km/h in 14.2 seconds. Power is fed through the stock transmission and sent to the rear rollers consisting of 20-inch deep-dish wheels with 305mm Continental tires. The revised suspension drops the SL down another 25mm, while the active body control system has been tweaked to keep roll at bay.

The exterior benefits from a carbon fiber bootlid and hood, along with a revised aero kit, that includes a… Read the rest of this entry

22 May 2007

In the Garage: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ

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Last year, we had the opportunity to spend some time in the 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and were rather pleased with that vehicle\’s vastly improved interior and driving dynamics. With the Silverado now riding on a similar-yet-different version of the GMT900 platform, will the same traits win us over, or has the General\’s mainstream pickup truck gone too soft? To find out, we recently spent some time in the decked-out LTZ trim level of Chevy\’s half-ton hauler.

Gallery: 2007 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ


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The 2007 Silverado represents the first major update to GM\’s trucks since 1999, and one could argue that it\’s the most thorough revamp since the 1988 introduction of… Read the rest of this entry

22 May 2007

Mazda2 production kickoff celebrated

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The executive-laden ceremonial kickoff of Mazda2 production has taken place at the automaker\’s Ujina Plant No. 1 in Hiroshima. The Mazda2 was one of our favorites at the Geneva Motor Show, where it made its worldwide debut at the beginning of March. The small car is destined for Japan, Europe, Australia, China, and other markets, none of which uses the initials \”U.S.\” Its architecture will also spawn the next Ford Fiesta, which we actually should see in late \’09. Thank God for timeliness.

Mazda will back up Ujina 1 by starting production of the car at the Ujina No. 2 facility in June, as well, and the Mazda2 will arrive in Japanese dealers later this summer badged as the Demio. Exports to Europe and the others will follow, and the Chinese-market edition will be built… Read the rest of this entry

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