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Friday, June 29, 2012

1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe

The ultimate expression of Ferrari's fabulous line of V12 front-engined sports cars, the 365 GTB/4 gained the unofficial name "Daytona" in honor of the 1-2-3 finish by the Ferrari 330 P4 at that circuit in 1967. The influential shark-nosed styling was by Pininfarina's Leonardo Fioravanti, the famed carrozzeria's director of research and development, who later revealed that the Daytona was his favorite among the many Ferraris he designed. Although the prototype had been styled and built by Pininfarina in Turin, manufacture of the production version was entrusted to Ferrari's subsidiary Scaglietti, in Modena. 

The Daytona's all-alloy, four-cam, V12 engine displaced 4,390 cc and produced its maximum output of 352 hp at 7,500 rpm, with 318 ft-lb of torque available at 5,500 rpm. Dry-sump lubrication enabled it to be installed low in the chassis, while shifting the gearbox to the rear in the form of a 5-speed transaxle meant 50/50 weight distribution could be achieved. The all-independent wishbone and coil-spring suspension was a recent development, having originated in the preceding 275 GTB. The four-wheel ventilated disc brakes were servo assisted. Air conditioning was optional, but elsewhere the Daytona remained uncompromisingly focused on delivering nothing less than superlative high performance. 

With a top speed in excess of 170 mph, the Daytona was the world's fastest production car in its day, and surely is destined to occupy the front rank of high-performance sports cars for the foreseeable future. A mere 1,301 Berlinetta models and 123 Spyder convertibles had been made when Daytona production ceased in 1973.

Right-hand-drive chassis number 15055 has had only five former keepers, the first of whom is understood to have been the Chairman of P&O, and it has covered only 49,331 miles from new. 15055 has been maintained by marque specialists Italia Autosport in Metham, West Yorkshire, since acquisition and comes with full service history from 1995 onwards, plus a substantial quantity of preceding bills, all of which are contained within a most substantial history file.

Finished in Sera Blue with matching leather interior, the 1972 365 Daytona Coupe has the desirable options of nine-inch rear wheels (shod with new Michelin XWX tires), headrests, air conditioning, and opening quarter lights. 15055 is presented in excellent condition and offered with its original dealer card, warranty card, owner's wallet, instruction manual, tool kit, and car cover. There can be few better examples of this iconic Ferrari currently available.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

2009 Pontiac Solstice Coupe

I'm willing to bet no Pontiac since the iconic 1959 Bonneville, the first of the wide-track, split-grill cars, has garnered so much attention and curiosity based on its appearance. People were literally circling the coupe in the supermarket lot trying to take it all in, and our parking attending was full of questions about what it was. "It's a, uh, Pontiac," I said.

He stared back at me glassy-eyed.
Clearly, this thing has the exterior part down, although yellow would be my last choice for a color. Unfortunately, the hard top has done little to fix the Solstice's many flaws. There's a slightly bigger space for cargo behind the seats, but it's still too vestigial to even call a trunk. And the outward view is so hindered that there are more blind spots than there is glass.

The Solstice coupe is thus a toy. That would be OK if it were a thoroughly entertaining one, but dynamically, it's a mixed bag. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four is an absolute monster, unfettered by the hardtop's extra 22 pounds compared to the convertible. Whatever happens to Saab, we can at least thank its engineers for teaching GM how to build world-class small engines. But the subtler elements of a great driving car seem beyond the Solstice's comprehension. Steering is slow and rather numb, and its 3018 lbs of girth prevent it from ever feeling light on its feet as a two-seat sports car should. Oh it'll go like hell, and hangs tough in most corners, but it doesn't achieve the cohesion that makes cars like the BMW 1-series so endlessly rewarding.
Despite my litany of complaints, I can't say I dislike the Solstice. Anything this beautiful and capable deserves some consideration. My hope is that if GM indeed pares down Pontiac's lineup as it states it will in its restructuring plan, the Solstice will be one of the vehicles that survives. A little more development could turn it from merely a pretty face into a great sports car.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Apple ICar

One of Apple’s board members, Mickey Drexler, said that Steve Jobs dreamed of coming up with iCar before he lost the prolonged battle to pancreatic cancer last year.

Steve Jobs wanted to change the face of automotive industry in America with his venture. Recently we saw pictures of a concept car called iMove floating across internet. The vehicle is largely inspired by various Apple products and its designer, Liviu Tudoran has designed this concept for year 2020.

There is no concrete proof of the vehicle getting into production as of now so there actually is no need to start planning to buy this futuristic vehicle. Drexler also confirmed that the vehicle was conceptualized by Steve Jobs but was not designed.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ford Fusion Hybrid

The first thing you need to know about the 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid is that it’s the best mid-size hybrid sedan on the market. Yes, that’s right: it wipes the floor with the Toyota Camry hybrid.
Like the Camry, it mates a four-cylinder gasoline engine with two battery-driven electric motors and a continuously variable transmission. The Fusion has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine that makes 156 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque. Although the Atkinson cycle, where the intake valve is held open longer during the intake stroke, is more efficient than the usual Otto cycle, it doesn’t produce as much power and torque. In a hybrid’s case, electric motors augment the gas engine so that acceleration isn’t compromised. Here, the hybrid system puts out a combined 191 hp.
Ford has worked hard to significantly improve the system in the Fusion over the one in the Escape hybrid, and the company says that the technology is not licensed from Toyota, as Nissan does for the Altima hybrid. The Fusion's trunk-mounted nickel-metal-hydride battery pack is smaller and lighter, for instance, and uses a different chemistry so that it doesn’t need a separate cooling system, simply drawing air in from the cabin to manage temperatures. The pack also produces 20 percent more power. Variable timing on the intake cam allows the vehicle to more seamlessly transition between electric and gas modes, according to Ford, and the Fusion can be driven up to 47 mph on electric power alone, depending on how leadfooted a driver is. Most hybrids can pull off the electric-only trick only as high as 25 mph or so.
Sharp-Looking Exterior, Techy Interior
The all-new Fusion hybrid benefits from many of the changes that were made to the 2010 Fusion range. Externally, the Fusion gets new headlamps, a new front fascia, and a reworked version of the three-bar grille that Ford now uses across its North American offerings. At the back, there’s a new decklid and taillights. The hybrid gets “road and leaf” badging to differentiate it, along with unique eight-spoke, 17-inch wheels. The refresh makes the Fusion sharper looking, particularly since the weird headlamps of the original have been replaced.

Inside, the Fusion also receives a new instrument panel, redesigned seats, and more stylish trim, although the quality of some of the materials isn’t yet on par with those of the class leaders. The hybrid gets what Ford calls SmartGauge with EcoGuide, a unique instrument cluster that is designed to bring out the mileage geek in everyone. Our tech department went gaga over this one, gurgling like toddlers who’ve been allowed outside on their own for the first time. The gauge has four modes—each with touchy-feely names like Engage and Empower—although our more nerdish drivers quickly switched into the expert mode (Enlighten) that shows battery charge level alongside two columns of discharge meters, one for power consumed and the other for the sum of all the accessory loads. The fun is in trying to keep the vehicle in electric mode as long as possible. For non-techies, the Efficiency Leaves feature shows leaves growing on a vine if you’re driving efficiently. It’s actually quite cool.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mercedes CLS63 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG and its bi-turbo V8 engine is the ultimate muscle car. The noise when it first starts up is glorious and thoroughly amazing, as turbochargers usually have a habit of muffling even the loudest engines. Its engine is an incentive to run the 4-door coupe in its "eco" mode, because the car shuts itself off at every stoplight, and then restarts as soon as you move off — with another opportunity to hear that V8 roar. The CLS63 AMG may only get 16 mpg. It may be a little somber and slightly cramped inside. It may have just too much technology, with all those lane-drift warnings, following-distance warnings, sleepy-driver alerts and blind-spot warning lights. But I can forgive this car almost anything because of that engine and that wonderful noise.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS adopts a more aggressive design, and the CLS63 AMG takes it even further, packing supercar performance into a 4-door, 4-seat package. The AMG bi-turbo V8 engine produces abundant torque and the CLS63 AMG is as fast as anything but the most exotic, fastest sports cars. It rockets forward with a squeeze of the throttle at any speed, but it is also a complete package, with the AMG-tuned suspension, steering, brakes and transmission all delivering the same level of performance as the hand-built engine. All of the AMG magic works together to give the driver precise control and an amazing level of performance, with a balanced and nimble feel despite its size, along with the ability to transport four adults in rapid comfort. The interior embodies elegant performance, with sport seats, a sport wheel and aluminum shift paddles. As if the "standard" 518 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque were inadequate, our test car included the AMG Performance Package that boosts power to 550 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, with the electronically limited top speed raised to 186 mph. A fun feature is the start-stop function that shuts down the engine at a stop and restarts it instantly with a touch of the throttle, accompanied by a menacing growl from the exhaust. It only works when the transmission is set to Comfort mode though, eliminating the fraction of a second delay in Sport, Sport+ or Manual.

This CLS 63 is an absolutely amazing vehicle. On the surface, it's just a gorgeous 4-door sedan with coupelike lines and unique LED headlights. But those in the know will notice the quad exhaust pipes, the carbon-fiber rear spoiler and 19-inch AMG wheels. And even those who don't recognize this as something even more special than a standard Mercedes CLS, the fact that it sounds like a muscle car and accelerates like a hot rod are bound to attract some attention. The 7-speed automatic has a variety of settings — from Comfort to Sport+ — and it shifts remarkably fast. The seven speeds also help with fuel economy, as does the auto shutoff — the engine shuts off when the car is stopped, starting up again when the brake is released. The 18 mpg I saw isn't great, but considering the 550-horsepower V8 engine under the hood, it's not bad. There are also several settings for the suspension, but even the softest is pretty stiff. Overall, CLS63 is the complete package: great looks, a comfortable and attractive interior, and enough power to blow the doors off of most other cars on the road.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Toyota Land Cruiser V8

Allround rating: 4/5

The 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 comes as a single model with a 4.5-litre V8 turbodiesel.
Reported at the end of December that the 2012 Toyota Land Cruiser V8 was going to debut on 12th January at the Brussels Motor Show and, following that debut, we now learn Toyota will be wanting a not inconsiderable 80,000 euro for the Land Cruiser V8 in Europe.

Which is a lot of money, even for a big off-roader, but then the V8 Land Cruiser is a lot of vehicle and, in its new 2012 iteration, it offers a lot of value for money.

The strength of the V8 Land Cruiser has always been its old school abilities; a V8 Land Cruiser can do what no other high-end SUV – outside Land Rover, perhaps – can do. But now for 2012 it also comes with a whole heap of home comforts and some clever techs.

The 4.5 litre turbodiesel gets 268 horsepower and 479 torque, which is more than enough to tear anything out of the ground you may want, if not perhaps enough to take on trendy softroad SUVs in the traffic light Grand Prix. But that’s not the point of the Land Cruiser – it’s the go anywhere ability that is.
Those goodies for 2012 include stuff like crawl control and turn assist, which cleverly brakes the inside rear wheel at low speeds for tight tuns. There’s also Toyota’s version of Terrarin Response – Multi-Terrain Select – which modifies a whole range of parameters - such as traction control, brakes and throttle response – to set up the Land Cruiser for its task.

Cosmetic changes outside are small, with modified front bumper, new headlights with LED running lights, some extra chrome and new tail lights. Inside there’s more chrome, clever sliding back seats, Toyota’s Touch Pro – which gives you a rear view camera, Bluetooth, Multimedia and rear-view camera – heated and cooled front seats, cool box and better quality trim and finishes.

There may just be one model of 2012 Land Cruiser V8 on offer, but if you really must spend a bit more you can add in Toyota’s Premium In-Car Entertainment option, which gives you a pair of 8″ monitors in the back which can screen content from DVD, USB or SD cards, and can do so independently of each other.
Available in eight colours - including two new ones, Pearl White and Pure White.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Porsche 944 Turbo S

General Information
The most common Porsche is the 911 but I want to show you another type. Porsche 944 Turbo S.
this 1988's model Porsche 944 Turbo S looks pretty cool. In 1991 they changed the name to Porsche 968.

The Porsche 944 is a sports car that was produced from 1982 to 1991 by the German car manufacturer Porsche. It was intended to replace the 924 but this 944 was more modern, more reliable and faster.

The alliance with Audi was maintained in the development of the 944.
This car was the entry level Porsche, now that is the Boxster (S) and Cayman (S). At the introduction of the 944 in 1982 there was only a 2-door coupe models. In 1989 the first convertible versions got on the market.

The engine was located in the front, which was unusual for a Porsche. Nevertheless, the 944 had a huge success for Porsche in the 80s.

So we´ll have a closer look into 1988´s Porsche 944 Turbo S specifications.
A 2.5L motor can produce 247HP it can go from 0-100 in just 5,5s. Topspeed is around 270 km/h.

In 1990 it was curtains closed for the basic model with the 2.7 liter engine.

In February 1991 introduced the Porsche Turbo convertible, 250 hp engine that the turbo combined with a convertible body.
Porsche announced that only 500 units would be build, but eventually 625 copies were made.