Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The new 2011 Dodge Challenger

A peek at the new 2011 Dodge Challenger...


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Saturday, December 25, 2010

McLaren MP4-12C

15 years since a McLaren F1 GTR famously won the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours race on its debut, McLaren has begun development work to turn the new MP4-12C into a limited volume of GT3 racing cars. These will be available in time for 2012 GT3 championships.

With its revolutionary, carbon fibre MonoCell, the 12C is proving to be a natural platform on which to develop a race-winning car.

We would encourage interest from professional race teams who would like to be amongst the first to own and race the latest GT car from McLaren.

ULTIMATE CAR FOR THE CORE MAKET
The McLaren MP4?12C is a high performance two-seat mid-engine model in the ‘core’ sports car market sector for cars costing between £125,000 and £175,000.

“Worldwide demand for high performance cars is strong, in large part because of great cars from great competitors. With McLaren joining that list, it will grow stronger still. What we are offering is a new approach to the market,” said Ron Dennis, McLaren Automotive Chairman.


V8 ENGINE PERFORMANCE
The McLaren MP4?12C is powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.8 litre 90° V8 engine - the ‘M838T’. This marks the start of a new era in ‘core’ segment sports cars ? smaller capacity, lighter weight, higher efficiency and more economical power units. The engine has the highest specific power output in its segment which, when allied to its low weight carbon composite chassis, delivers exemplary power- and torque- to weight ratios.

‘M838T’ is a unique McLaren power unit, developed specifically for the 12C. It is compact, lightweight, very stiff, and offers an uncompromising combination of high performance and good driveability with excellent economy and CO2 emission values.


INSIDE STORY

Packaging was fundamental to the McLaren MP4?12C design challenge. Externally, the car had to be compact, yet internally it had to offer an unparalleled driver and passenger environment where comfort and driving enjoyment were not compromised.

“With the interior, we have created a real step forward in the packaging of a sports car. Moving the driver and passenger closer together improves driving control, but comfort levels are segment-leading” said Frank Stephenson, McLaren Automotive Design Director.


CARBON ORIGINAL
The McLaren MP4?12C MonoCell, or ‘tub’, not only brings dynamic benefits, but also offers fundamental engineering opportunities that form the basis of the car’s unique character. It has been designed to allow a much narrower structure overall which in turn contributes to a more compact car that is easier to position on the road and more rewarding to drive.

This is the first time a car in this market segment has been based around such a strong and lightweight racing car engineering solution and the first time any car has ever featured a one-piece carbon fibre structure. This step change in sports car design means that the 12C introduces new standards not just in handling, ride and outright performance, but also economy and practicality in an already very competitive sector.



PROACTIVE CHASSIS CONTROL
The suspension for the McLaren MP4?12C breaks new ground, offering hitherto unseen levels of roll control and grip.

The car’s extreme levels of dynamic handling performance would normally imply a rock-hard ride, but the 12C delivers compliance and ride comfort more akin to an executive saloon car. The mix of occupant cosseting and sporting potential is truly unique. The 12C offers the driver both class-leading ride comfort and class-leading track performance.



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Monday, December 13, 2010

New Porsche Classic Radio Navigation System

Radio Navigation System for Classic Porsche Models
Be reliably guided through Paris by touchscreen in a roaring 911 from the 1970's, or enjoy the latest songs from Jamie Cullum on a tour through Alpine passes in a 944 — all this is now possible. Owners of classic Porsche models who are unwilling to accept any breaches in style in the interior no longer have to forgo state-of-the art communication technology. Porsche Classic offers a new radio navigation system for Europe in a classic design. The device is suitable for all vehicles with a 12 V battery and a 1-DIN slot — in other words, all Porsche classic models, from the first 911, the 914 to the front-engine models (924 to 968, 928) to the last air-cooled 911 (993).

The completely black design takes you back a few decades, starting with the two control buttons. The left button is used to control the volume and the right button is a disguised rocker switch. The device's key feature is the 3.5-inch touchscreen. In addition to the navigation itself, you can also find points of interest (POIs) such as Porsche contract workshops, attractions and restaurants. Furthermore, the device displays both your driving speed and the permissible speed limit. All other high-tech features are discreetly hidden. These features include a USB connection and a Bluetooth hands-free facility for a mobile phone. At the push of a button, the whole cover flips forward, providing access to the slot for a CD or DVD. When the cover is open, the device software can also be updated without needing to remove the device. Porsche provides regular updates.

The net price for the radio navigation system, excluding country-specific taxes, is EUR 595.00. For a small extra charge (EUR 655.00, excluding country-specific taxes), the device comes equipped with automatic traffic jam avoidance, Traffic Message Channel (TMC).



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Friday, December 10, 2010

FORD RACING UNVEILS’12 COBRA JET MUSTANG

Dearborn, Mich. — Since its legendary introduction at the NHRA Winternationals in 1968, Ford’s Cobra Jet Mustang has created a legacy of power, performance and triumph that has carried through the decades.

In 2008, Ford Racing unveiled the 40th Anniversary Cobra Jet Mustang, which promptly lived up to the legend of the original version, duplicating the NHRA Winternationals victory in its inaugural race. The subsequent 2010 Cobra Jet, built on the 2010 Mustang platform, has been setting class records and is competitive at drag strips across the country.

Today, Ford Racing unveiled the 2012 Cobra Jet Mustang at the Performance Racing Industry show in Orlando, Fla., and announced the intention to build 50 turn-key 2012 CJ’s. For the first time the Cobra Jet will be available in three color options—Race Red, Grabber Blue and Winner White—and coordinating graphics.

"Ford Racing is proud to build the 2012 Cobra Jet and continue the tradition of delivering turn-key competitive race cars to Ford drag racing enthusiasts," said George Goddu, Business Manager Ford Racing Performance Group.

"With every Cobra Jet build we strive to carry the spirit of the original Cobra Jet while developing the next generation of drag racing icon. The enthusiast who races the 2012 Cobra Jet can be competitive at virtually any event, from their local track up through NHRA Stock or Super Stock classes."

For decades, the Mustang has been the preeminent car in many forms of racing, including drag racing. The 2008 and '10 Cobra Jet Mustang added to that legacy with high- profile wins at the NHRA Winternationals and U.S. Nationals, and by setting numerous Stock and Super Stock class records across the country.

The goal for the 2012 Cobra Jet is to build a turn-key race car ready to take its own place in NHRA history. The same as its predecessors in '08 and '10 it's a factory-built race car intended for NHRA Stock and Super Stock racing that can also be campaigned in other racing sanctioning bodies such as NMRA, NMCA, PSCA and IHRA. The '12 CJ will come with all of the features of the '10 car including a full race-prepared automatic transmission, drag race-specific shocks and springs, manual steering and brakes, 8.50 certified rollcage, and an Aeromotive return-style fuel system with trunk-mounted fuel cell.

For 2012, the Cobra Jet features a 5.4L supercharged engine based on the '11 SVT Mustang with two supercharger options, a 2.3 liter TVS unit or a 4.0 liter Ford Racing Whipple supercharger. Each vehicle has an aluminum block engine, standard automatic transmission, double keyed crankshaft, Manley H-beam connecting rods, low-drag racing brakes and optimized spring rates for the front and rear. Additionally the Cobra Jet will feature black anodized Cobra Jet wheels from Weld Racing and a new compound tire with unique Cobra Jet branding from Goodyear.

Same as Ford Racing’s Mustang FR500S and the 2010 Cobra Jet, this ready to race Mustang will get its start at the Auto Alliance International assembly plant in Flat Rock, Mich. in the first quarter of '11. The entire 50-car run of '12 Cobra Jets will be built on the same production line that produces the '12 Ford Mustang production car.

The MSRP for the M-FR500-CJ is $91,900 with a fully loaded Cobra Jet priced at $103,980.

For racers who want to build their own cars, there is a Mustang Competition Roller based on the Cobra Jet that is serialized and complete, minus the power train. The third option would be to start with a Mustang Body-In-White or a donor car since nearly all of the CJ components can be found in the Ford Performance Parts catalog found online.

The limited production 2012 Cobra Jet Mustang is available on a first come order, first delivered basis through Ford dealers.



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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Audi e-tron Spyder

Audi presents the Audi e-tron Spyder, the study of an open sports car, at the fall 2010’s largest auto show. The show car, with plug-in hybrid drive, is 4.06 meters (13.32 ft) long, 1.81 meters (5.94 ft) wide and only 1.11 meters (3.64 ft) high. The two-seater is equipped with a 221-kW (300-hp) twin-turbo V6 TDI at the rear axle and two electric motors producing a total of 64 kW at the front axle.

The Audi e-tron Spyder’s low total weight of only around 1,450 kilograms (3,196.70 lb) combined with the high-torque TDI and the two electric motors results in respectable performance. The car accelerates to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 4.4 seconds, and top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph).
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Design
The Audi e-tron Spyder features what is without a doubt the most advanced and simultaneously the most consistent evolution of the current Audi design language, while also providing initial hints at the design language of future Audi sports cars. It reinterprets the most important design elements that already characterized the previous e-tron concept vehicles. This also ensures the necessary formal differentiation to the purely electric-powered Audi e-tron shown at the 2010 Detroit Motor Show.

1.81 meters (5.94 ft) wide, just 4.06 meters (13.32 ft) long and only 1.11 meters (3.64 ft) in height: these are the classic proportions of an open, high-performance sports car. Compared to the coupé concept car in Detroit, the length and width have increased by 13 cm (5.12 in) and 3 cm (1.18 in), respectively, to underscore the sporty aspiration of the design. This further enhanced the powerful and compact overall appearance that characterizes both vehicles and links them to the sportiest production Audi, the R8.

Due in no small part to the short wheelbase of only 2.43 meters (7.97 ft) – 22 cm (8.66 in) shorter than that of the R8 – the body of the e-tron Spyder comes across as extremely stocky.

In an apparent homage to motor sports, the frameless side glass surfaces taper downward toward the rear. They form a unit with the windshield, which is strongly bowed and inclined like the visor of a helmet.
Interior
Visual and functional references to the fundamental concept of lightweight construction characterize the purist interior design. They establish a connection between proven Audi genes and new formal hallmarks. Typical for the Audi design idiom is the reduction of the architecture, controls and information output to the essentials in favor of a tidy overall impression.

The slim dash has a curve that extends laterally into the door panels. With no need to allow for a transmission, shifter and cardan tunnel, the designers again took advantage of the opportunity to create a particularly slim and lightweight center tunnel and convex, arching center console for the e-tron Spyder with hybrid drive. The only control element other than that of the MMI is the flush-mounted selector lever for the automatic transmission, which extends upward from the tunnel when the vehicle is started.

The cockpit of the Audi e-tron Spyder is also oriented toward the driver – a further characteristic Audi trait. Instead of the classic instrument cluster, the concept car is equipped with a large, display with integrated MMI functions and flanked by two round dials. The MMI can be controlled via a touch-sensitive control panel on the steering wheel – an element inspired by modern smartphones. It can also be controlled via the MMI control unit (MMI touch) on the center console. The steering wheel itself is clearly flattened off at both the top and bottom, in a clear reference to motor sport. Speed is displayed in digital form only. The dial instrument with information about the drive system can be chosen via the menu item “Drive.”

Besides information about the speed, the revs of the combustion engine and the electric drive, the central display also provides all of the key information from the infotainment and navigation systems.

Characteristic for the concept of the Audi e-tron Spyder is the near total elimination of switches and components such as the ignition. The climate control unit is located to the right above the steering wheel. The display provides temperature and ventilation information. Again drawing inspiration from a smartphone, the system is operated by means of a touch-sensitive control panel.

The equally racing-inspired lightweight bucket seats combine excellent lateral support with comfort. Contrasting colors and stitching delineate the various zones of the interior. The colors and the high-quality materials combine elegance and sportiness.
ASF Body
Systematic lightweight construction is a crucial prerequisite for efficiency and range, while also being the primary foundation for exhilarating driving dynamics. The Audi development engineers drew on the core competence of the company for the Audi e-tron Spyder. The body structure is based on Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology and was realized as a hybrid construction, with the hood and numerous aerodynamic components made of carbon.

In ASF technology, the body's supporting structure is made of extruded aluminum sections and die-castings. Aluminum panels are incorporated into this skeleton to form a positive connection and perform a load-bearing role. Each individual component of the ASF space frame is optimized for its specific task by the use of widely differing shapes and cross-sections, combining maximum stability with minimal weight. Despite the complex drive system layout with two electric motors and their respective drive systems plus the TDI engine, the Audi e-tron Spyder show car only weighs around 1,450 kilograms (3,196.70 lb).
Engines and transmissions
Audi has long proven the perfect synthesis between a highly advanced sports car and TDI technology. With the TT, Audi become one of the first manufacturers anywhere in the world to successfully bring a diesel sports car to market, a decade after the Audi Cabriolet paved the way for diesel engines in this segment. And the Audi R8 TDI Le Mans concept car was the first supercar to be fitted with a twelve-cylinder diesel engine with 500 hp and 1,000 Newton meters
(737.56 lb-ft) of torque.

The Audi e-tron Spyder also draws on this recipe for success – albeit in a revolutionary new combination. This marks the first use of a new generation of the six-cylinder, 3.0 TDI that breathes through two turbochargers and produces 221 kW (300 hp). That is another 50 hp more than the previous stage, which debuted a few months ago in the new Audi A8.

Peak torque of 650 Newton meters (479.42 lb-ft) is unusually high, even in the sports car segment. The mid-mounted, longitudinal 3.0 TDI engine drives the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Another innovation is the coupling of the TDI with the electric drive of the front axle. Two asynchronous electric motors with a total output of 64 kilowatt (88 hp) and peak torque of 352 Newton meters (259.62 lb-ft) combine with the 3.0 TDI to give the Audi e-tron Spyder the performance of a high-performance sports car. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h (155.34 mph).

The drive’s characteristic is even more exciting than the abstract numbers. Thanks in no small part to the fact that the peak torque of the electric motors is available immediately, the e-tron Spyder accelerates with catapult-like thrust. Short passing maneuvers on interurban roads can be pulled off as spurts that are every bit as relaxed as they are fun, even without having to downshift.

The noise level of the low-revving TDI is typically low. The six-cylinder unit behind the occupants issues a sonorously sporty growl under load, but never becomes loud. A surprising effect also present in the Le Mans-winning Audi R10 and R15 race cars, which are also powered by TDI engines.

The benefits of this special form of hybrid drive – the coupling of a high-torque, high-efficiency TDI engine with the electric motors – are by no means limited to the dynamic potential of the Audi e-tron Spyder, however. The open two-seater also sets new standards in its class for fuel consumption and environmental characteristics. The 300-hp TDI consumes on average just 2.2 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers (106.92 US mpg), which corresponds to CO2 emissions of only
59 g/km (94.95 g/mile).

The full-hybrid Audi e-tron Spyder has also mastered the discipline of zero-emission driving. In residential and other urban areas, the driver can activate the electric drive by itself. The 9.1-kwH battery at the front of the car has enough power for up to 50 kilometers (31.07 miles). And with a top speed of up to
60 km/h (37.28 mph), the e-tron Spyder is also able to move along smartly in city traffic.


Chassis
The normal distribution of the tractive power is clearly biased toward the rear axle in accordance with the weight distribution of the e-tron Spyder and the dynamic shift in axle load during acceleration. Similar to with a pure mid-engine sports car, roughly 75 percent of the torque goes to the rear and 25 percent to the front. If an axle slips, this balance can be varied thanks to the central control of the entire drive system in combination with the ESP. The hybrid vehicle from Audi thus enjoys all of the advantages of quattro technology.

The combination of the mid-mounted TDI engine and the two electric motors at the front axle also make it possible to intelligently control the lateral dynamics of the e-tron.

Similar to what the sport differential does in conventional quattro vehicles, torque vectoring – the targeted acceleration of individual wheels – makes the e-tron Spyder even more dynamic while simultaneously enhancing driving safety. Understeer and oversteer can be corrected by not only targeted activation of the brakes, but also by precise increases in power lasting just a few milliseconds. The concept car remains extremely neutral even under great lateral acceleration and hustles through corners as if on the proverbial rails.

The chassis has triangular double wishbones at the front axle and a trapezoidal-link rear suspension made of forged aluminum components – a geometry that has proven in motorsports to be the optimal prerequisite for high agility, uncompromising precision and precisely defined self-steering behavior. A taut setup was chosen for the springs and shock absorbers, but it is still very comfortable.

The direct rack-and-pinion steering gives finely differentiated feedback. Its electromechanical steering boost varies with speed, so that the e-tron Spyder only has to provide energy while steering, and not while driving straight ahead.

As befitting its status, the Audi concept car rolls on 20-inch tires with a new blade design. 245/30 tires up front and 265/30 tires in the rear provide the necessary grip.


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