German Tuner Wraps And Punches Up Performance Of Mercedes-Benz CL500

A fairly new tuning company from Germany called WRAPworks has presented a fresh take on the pre-facelift W216 Mercedes-Benz CL500.[...]

Past Masters: Andrew Frankel Revisits The 1992 Jaguar XJ220 Supercar

In 1988, Jaguar unveiled a new concept at the NEC Auto Show in Birmingham. It was a study for a lightweight, mid-engined supercar to compete against the Ferrari F40 and the Porsche 959[...]

Watch Our 12 Most Popular Offbeat Videos Of 2012

When we're not scooping out future cars or reporting the news from around the auto industry, we habitually like to snoop around and see what else is going on in the world of four and sometimes, two wheels - guilty as charged[...]

Watch A Tug Of War Between A VW Touareg V10 TDI And A Chevrolet Silverado Duramax V8

It seems that pickup truck owners throughout the country have a thing for competing in amateur pulling contests[...]

750HP Aston Martin Vs 626HP Mercedes SLR McLaren Vs 560HP Nissan GT-R

Here's further proof that horsepower numbers can be hugely deceiving. A completely stock Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren with 626-ponies goes up against a lightly tuned Nissan GT-R with a Stage 2 kit and[...]

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ford Mustang GT review

What is it?

This is the 2011-model of the Ford Mustang. This model-year sees a serious upgrade in power thanks to a comprehensively upgraded and re-designed all-aluminium V8 motor. As well as being lighter, the engine now also gets what Ford calls twin independent variable camshaft timing and a stainless steel tubular manifold. The upshot is a leap in output from 2010’s 315bhp to today’s 412bhp.

Also new for 2011 is the electrically-assisted power steering with three settings (comfort, standard and sport). The steering set-up also features something called ‘active nibble control’ which is designed to compensate for out-of-balance tyres and compensates for the road camber, keeping the car running in a straight line without the need for driver corrections.

The damper and spring rates have been revised (for both handling and NVH reasons) and the anti-roll bushes stiffened. The lower rear control arm has also been re-designed. There’s more high-strength steel in the body (which also means the cabrio Mustang is 12 per cent stiffer) and more sound proofing, including near door seals and rear arch liner, to kill road noise.

What’s it like?

Remarkably good. One of the most stand-out features - for the European driver, at least - is that fact that the Mustang still has a beam axle. When we’re talking about that axle having to deal with a meaty V8, it’s easy to dismiss the Mustang as a new-world crudity.

In fact, this Ford Mustang handles and rides like something of a thoroughbred. On the winding and dipping country roads above Los Angeles, the Mustang was impressively accurate and controlled.

It’s a very stable and level-riding car, with an impressive ride but the big surprise was the steering, which is very accurate indeed and makes the car very easy to place on the road, so reeling off a series of switchbacks is an undemanding, though satisfying, task. Adding to the ease of rapid progress is the excellent, closely-spaced, six-speed manual box.

The body control, steering accuracy and unflappable poise in bends provide an intriguing contrast to the sheer exuberance of the V8 engine in full-flow. This is a very quick car, but also one that delivers a classic, no-substitute-for-cubic-inches, sense of thrust. Although refined at part-throttle, the engine’s max-attack noise is now channelled directly to the cabin from the engine’s intake, and the driver gets an in-cabin soundtrack that you’d swear was sampled straight from Bullitt.

What really lifted this particular car as a driver’s device was the optional Brembo brake package (which comes as part of the Premium Package, including leather trim and a rear-view camera). These brakes were first-rate, picking up as soon as the driver touched the pedal and proving to be superbly controllable, making it easy to take the braking force right up to the point they were likely to lock. This might not strike you as immediately useful, but the sense of finely-tuned control offered by the Brembo brakes were a large part of making the Mustang such an impressive cross-country machine.

The only downsides were the crazy mix of instrument graphics (old-school, dowdy and blue dot-matrix) and the uninspired cockpit styling, It felt well-made, though.

Should I Buy One?

Even at £25k in the UK, this car would be worthy of serious consideration. But the chance of Ford ever producing a right-hand drive Mustang is very small. Understandably, the company probably thinks that European enthusiasts will not be able to look beyond the received wisdom about American performance cars: all grunt and not much finesse. Nothing could be further from the truth, however.

The 2011 Mustang combines the raw edge (and aggressive performance) of an old-fashioned muscle car with a surprising degree of refinement and poise. It delivers the satisfying feel of a classic with the refinements and control of a modern machine.

Hilton Holloway
Ford Mustang GT (2011)

Price: From £19,695, price as tested: £25,850; Top speed: 155mph (limit); 0-60mph: 4.9sec; Economy: 33.6mpg (highway); CO2: n/a; Kerb weight: 1655kg; Engine: 8 cyls, 4951cc, petrol; Power: 412bhp at 6500rpm; Torque: 390lb ft at 4250rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Toyota GT 86 review

What is it?

This is the Toyota GT 86, formerly known as the FT-86, and created to lure young, fun-loving drivers back to a Toyota brand that has become dominated by big-selling but ultimately bland models.

The front-engined, rear-drive 2+2 has been created in a close collaboration with Subaru, in which Toyota owns a 16.5 per cent share, and will spawn three mechanically identical but differently styled cars: the GT 86, the Subaru BRZ and, for the American market, the Scion FR-S.

All three will be powered by the same 197bhp, 151lb ft flat four engine. Based on the Subaru FB20 block but fitted with a Toyota-designed head, the 2.0-litre engine has been reworked with a shorter stroke and wider bores, allowing it to rev higher. Maximum power arrives at 7000rpm, while peak torque is at 6600rpm.

In total, 91 per cent of parts are bespoke to the GT 86 or its counterparts. Current estimates suggest it will cost from £28,000, a significantly higher amount than originally speculated, but still a relative bargain should it deliver on its promised fun.

What’s it like?

At this juncture it’s worth noting that our drive was conducted at a test track in Japan, where the silky smooth surface made any conclusions about the ride impossible to gauge accurately. Also, this is a pre-production car, set up to almost launch spec save for the fitment of details such as the audio system.

Sliding into the GT 86’s bucket seats – which are snug, grippy and positioned at a perfect, low-slung height – sets the tone. With all the controls close to hand, the cockpit is as cosseting as a Porsche’s, albeit not trimmed to the same standard.

At idle, the engine note is fairly subdued, but take it up to the 7500rpm redline and it sounds growly. However, this car is all about the corners. Its relatively low power means it’s no sprint champion, and the 0-62mph time is estimated at a modest 7.0sec.

But the key facets of an 1180kg kerb weight, rear-wheel drive, ESP that can be fully turned off, quick steering and a limited-slip differential make it a riot in the twisty stuff. Also, the tyres are the same 17in low-resistance versions as can be found on a Prius, all the better to make sure their grip can be overcome if the mood takes you.

Turn in to a corner and there is some roll, but it’s well contained. On a constant throttle and steady steering, it understeers slightly, but lift mid-corner or trail the brakes – or just throw it in – and it’ll either straighten its line or flick to oversteer as you choose.

Furthermore, it never catches you out when it does start to slide because the steering is so nicely weighted and the chassis so responsive that they telegraph exactly what’s happening at all times.

There are disappointments, but they are minor. The six-speed manual gearbox is a touch notchy, while the optional six-speed automatic changes smoothly and quickly but lacks the sharpness of its dual-clutch rivals. When it’s on, the stability control system also intervenes too harshly.

Should I buy one?

Despite this, at its best, the driving experience is a match for the likes of a Porsche Cayman, and accolades don’t come much higher than that. That it can’t reach those heights across as broad a range of conditions as the German-built car shouldn’t detract from its overall success, because the fact that it can even get close is a minor miracle.

Hidemitsu Hoshiga
Toyota GT 86

Price: £28,000 (est); Top speed: 143mph (est); 0-62mph: 7.0sec (est); Economy: 40.9mpg (est, combined); CO2: 160g/km (est); Kerb weight: 1180kg; Engine: 4 cyls horizontally opposed, 1998cc, petrol; Installation: Front, longitudinal, RWD; Power: 197bhp at 7000rpm; Torque: 151lb ft at 6600rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual; Length: 4240mm; Height: 1285mm; Wheelbase: 2570mm; Wheels: 7Jx17in; Tyres: 215/45 R17.

By Unknown with No comments

Honda CR-Z Mugen to cost £23k

The Mugen-fettled, range-topping version of the Honda CR-Z will cost about £23,000 when it goes on sale next year.

The 197bhp Honda CR-Z Mugen is due to arrive in February. It retains the same 1.5-litre hybrid unit as the standard car but gets a supercharger, re-mapped ECU, wider tracks and stiffer springs.

The compact front-wheel drive coupé will be capable of covering the 0-62mph sprint in just 6.1sec (over 3sec faster than the 124bhp standard car). Autocar tested the car back in June and you can read our first impressions here.

Around 2000 CR-Zs have been sold in the UK over the last year, and Honda sources admit that part of the reason for the Mugen is to “satisfy Type-R enthusiasts whilst there are no other hot Honda models around”.

The arrival of the new hot CR-Z confirms a more solid relationship between the Northampton-based Mugen Euro performance tuning division and the Honda parent company, so expect to see more collaborations in future.

By Unknown with No comments

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Fisker Karma video review feature

This is the Fisker Karma, an entirely new car, from an entirely new car company. And while it looks impressive, you'll be amazed at what lurks under the bonnet. A 270bhp petrol engine combined with two powerful electric motors make this the world's first luxury plug-in hybrid...


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Ford SVT Raptor with... six doors?! Only in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates is a land that continually breathes new life into the phrase "More money than sense." The new prime example of this is a custom-built Ford SVT Raptor that believes the prime number of doors is six. Said to hail from the UAE, it's quite clear that anything goes in the Land Of The Burning Dollar Sign Sun.

We're not going to completely hate on this thing, of course, as the idea of a six-door Raptor puts visions of a seriously great camping trip in mind. Still, we're not even sure if this thing is actually real or if someone with solid skills spent too much time playing around on their computer. Judge for yourself by clicking past the jump and watching the video.

Source: YouTube via MotorzTV

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ladies Men Smoke Slap Girls on the Road [NSFW] - Video

Adding a new dimension to the 'savoir vivre' of people who really don't have anything better to do with their lives (besides trying to prove that they may be the missing link in evolution), the occupants of this diesel-powered truck demonstrate their humor by asking girls on the road if they smoke and then blast them with a black cloud of exhaust fumes.

Not surprisingly, Harry, Lloyd, Snooki's doppelganger and the rest of the gang have no problem smiling....for the camera. Watch the videos after the jump.

Full article:

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

2012 Toyota Camry - The First Teaser Video

While there isn't much to see, Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda says the model is the "best Camry ever" and will "exceed your expectations." He also promised the Camry will be a "remarkable car in terms of handling, safety and fuel economy."

While we can’t be 100 percent sure that what we’re seeing in this amateur footage is the new Camry but given that the color of one of the vehicles depicted in the clip as well as the background seem to match the official video showing Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) President Akio Toyoda standing next to the 2012MY mid-size sedan, we wouldn’t be surprised if it is the real thing.

Toyota said it will launch the next generation of the Camry in both standard and hybrid formats this fall.

“Four all-new models will arrive before the end of the year. Leading the way, as we announced earlier this week, will be the all-new Camry and Camry Hybrid,” said Don Esmond, TMS senior vice president for automotive operations in a conference call on July1.

“The Camry will usher in a new level of product excellence for the Toyota brand, designed to meet the changing needs of the 21st Century driver. The new Camry will provide technologically advanced features, a contemporary design inside and out, improved performance and refined ride and handling,”

The Camry is America’s best selling sedan and with this new model that has tail lamps inspired from the Accord and boomerang fog lamps is fighting to regain full customer confidence. In India, the new Camry is expected in mid-2012 and will continue operating through the CBU route.

The Japanese company’s President Akio Toyoda had previously revealed that along with the Prius V minivan, the Camry will be among the first Toyota models to gain the brand’s new Entune system which will “feature simple, seamless functionality and is compatible with virtually every smart phone”.

Full article: Carscoop
Source: Youtube via Indianautosblog & Worldcarfans

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Scoop: 2012 Mercedes A-class

Mercedes is turning the new 2012 A-class into a high-quality, sporty mainstream rival for forthcoming BMW 1-series and Audi A3 replacements, leaving the next-gen B-class to fill the role of the small MPV.

The biggest change for the production Mercedes A-class over the three-door Vision A concept is the addition of rear doors. The roadgoing model retains the show car’s narrow glasshouse and sharply raked front windscreen and A-pillars. The roofline is not as steeply angled as the near-coupĂ©-like slant of the concept’s, although it is a world apart from the boxy styling of the previous two A-class models.

At the recent Shanghai motor show, Mercedes design chief Gorden Wagener described the Vision A concept as “realistic” next to the production car. “Obviously, the real thing is a five-door,” he said. “We will make changes to the window line, headlights and grille, but that’s it.”

The core engine will be a 2.0-litre petrol unit, which the Vision A previewed in 204bhp hot hatch form. It will be mated to a dual-clutch gearbox, which replaces the CVT that is used in today’s A-class and B-class. Cooking versions of the petrol model are likely to develop closer to 150bhp.

Diesels will be centred on Merc’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder unit, with power ranging from 130bhp to 180bhp.

Power for the new A-class family will initially come from the existing range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines used in the C-class, but modified for a transverse installation.

Mercedes is placing great emphasis on interior quality, with plastics, trim and switchgear borrowed from the C-class.

The new A-class is understood to feature an all-new platform, known as the MFA, with strut front suspension and a multi-link rear.

The new A-class and B-class will also be joined by a compact four-door sports saloon, previewed by Merc’s F800 concept.

Spy pics of the next-generation Mercedes A-class:

By Unknown with No comments

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A great car stunt: The Crusher jumps his car into upright buses

Four school busses placed in an upright position, a crowd going crazy and a stunt man getting ready to imitate the Dukes of Hazzard with the help of a lifting ramp.
Here we see "The Crusher" attempt to launch his car into a few school buses lined-up like dominoes.
Via Jalopnik


By Unknown with No comments

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Compare 2012 BMW 1 Series vs. Audi A3 via photos

The 2012 BMW 1 Series will debut later this year and will face some fierce competition from Audi’s A3. It is important to be noted that the current generation A3 will be phased next year when the recently unveiled Audi A3 Concept will go into production.

F20 1 Series follows the recent instated BMW design language, and in this case, initial impressions seem to be less favorable.

Since styling and taste can be very subjective, we will let the photos speak for themselves and you can comment below.

Source: BMW Blog

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Friday, June 3, 2011

2012 BMW 1-Series Hatchback: First Official Photos and Details Leaked

The 2012 BMW 1-Series has leaked to the web, ahead of its unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show. These official photos along with the first details showed up on a German website called Motor Traffic, as BMW has not yet made an announcement.

Looking more substantial than its predecessor, the model adopts a prominent front fascia that draws inspiration from the 5-Series GT and 7-Series. The rest of the car is an evolution of the previous model, but the overall design seems rather promising.

Seen here in a five-door format, the new 1-Series evolves the current model’s styling with sharper and more prominent creases all around along with a much more pronounced front end that sports unusually large headlamps pushed to the far corners of the bumper literally hugging the wheel arches.

Unless you happen to own the current 1-Series, you’ll have a hard time discovering the styling differences. Upon a closer look, you may notice the larger center console with new switchgear and the new steering wheel design.

2012 BMW 1-Series leaked photos, 782, 03.06.2011
According to the leaked information, the car rides on a longer 2.69 meter (105.9 inch) wheelbase, the cabin is roomier and luggage capacity climbs by an additional 200 liters (7 cubic feet). Additional information is limited, but the interior has higher quality materials, an improved design, and a 6.5-inch (or optional 8.8-inch) iDrive display. Furthermore, option include a collision warning system, speed limit detection, and Internet connectivity.

Perhaps the most important news about the 2012 BMW 1-Series is the introduction of a brand new 1.6-liter turbocharged gasoline engine. The German website reported that new powerplant will be available on the 116i with an output of 136-horses and on the 118i with the same displacement but with 170-horses. Diesel options are said to include a 2.0-liter turbo diesel with 116HP, 143HP and 184HP.

As part of BMW's EfficientDynamics strategy, all models will come equipped with an engine start/stop system and regenerative brakes. This should enable the 1-Series to have an average fuel consumption that ranges from 4.3 to 5.8 liters per 100 kilometers (40.6 to 54.7 mpg US / 48.7 to 65.7 mpg UK).

The 1-Series is scheduled to premiere at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and will go on sale later this fall, so stay tuned for additional information.

Source: Motor Traffic via WFC and Carscoop

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Diamond studded Maybach 62S unveiled in Cannes

The Cannes Film Festival might be a big platform for meaningful cinema, but it is also an ultimate party with the luxury car models. For instance, look at the Cannes Film Festival: the legendary de GRISOGONO party at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes, which can be attended by invitation only. And at the high-profile cocktail party followed by exclusive dinner, the official event partner Maybach and GRISOGONO, a Swiss manufacturer of luxury watches and jewelry, will have a special treat in store. Touted to be an “automotive highlight”, which will be celebrated by the likes of from the Black Eyed Peas, the highlight really is the brand new Maybach 62S Saloon.

The set up is “studded with precious-carat diamonds to a gathering of around 1,000 guests from the international jet set, film industry and show business”. The guests can find the stunning gems on the rear center armrest for now, but de GRISOGONO and Maybachare looking for more room on the inside for additional diamonds and other gemstones, like the shift lever, steering wheel, or seats.

By Unknown with No comments
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