Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Smart Car.

With the light being put on the Smart car in New Zealand in recent weeks with Rodney Hide using one for his mode of transport, I thought It would be a good time to investigate more.

The Smart fortwo coupe is the latest vehicle available in Canada where I post this today. In USA the vehicle is NOT sold as it has not been properly crash tested, and although it is popular in Canada it will take another year or two for it to be released into the USA. I have seen a few of them driving around with Daimler Chrysler manufacturers plates on down the PCH in LA, but none in private hands.

The petrol engines are complete with turbo charger and air cooler, the 3-cylinder rear-mounted suprex engine weighs in at just 59 kg. Capable of delivering between 50 , 61 and up to 74 bhp (BRABUS), it delivers excellent fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions.

These little wonders are capable of parking two in one carpark, although check with your local authorities as they will probably ticket you for not using the park correctly.

The car gets up too and over 49 (UK) MPG, and has the safety of a Mercedes Benz.... I think that New York and Los Angeles councils should be putting pressure on Damiler Chrysler to hurry up and get them ready for sale in the USA.

Way to go Rodney Hide, the Green party should be proud of you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Mercedes Unimog U 500 Black Edition

At the beginning of December 2005 DaimlerChrysler presented the new Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 500 Black Edition, which has been additionally upgraded by Brabus the tuning company, at the Dubai Motor Show. The new Unimog U 500 Black Edition is tailored to meet the wishes of customers in the Gulf region: outstanding off-road capabilities combined with refined elegance both inside and out. The Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 500 Black Edition aims to make the concept of an outstanding all-terrain capability and solidity accessible to a discerning private target group, creating an interesting and spectacular addition and alternative in the off-roader market. The Unimog is massive. Maybe the NZ Army should trade in their old Unimogs for this version?

The vehicle interior has been customised by Brabus and includes 16 features in real carbon (e.g. instrument cluster, centre console, door and grab handles). The roof and the A/B-pillars are lined in Alcantara leather, while the sports-style seats are upholstered in the finest mastic leather and the footwells are carpeted in soft velour. The colour scheme is deep black, in line with the model name. With a black leather steering wheel and sporty aluminium pedals, the driver of the Unimog Black Edition has the vehicle firmly under control. Technical highlights include the COMAND system from the S-Class, with a 6.5" screen, DVD navigation, CD changer and a specially developed compass function. A comfortable interior atmosphere is ensured by two separately controlled air conditioning systems, tinted glass all-round and a first-class sound system.

The Unimog generates an output of 205 kW/ 280 hp from an engine displacement of 6.4 l, developing a torque of 1100 Nm. A high final-drive ratio enables speeds of over 120 km/h to be achieved. With a gross vehicle weight of 11.99 tonnes, the Mercedes-Benz Unimog Black Edition has a payload of around 4.3 t and is fitted with tyres in size 455/70 R24. The standard portal axles in conjunction with the in-cab-operated tyre pressure control system and the rear-mounted cable winch make this premium Unimog an extra-special off-roader which knows practically no limits. The EAS transmission allows the gears to be shifted manually or in automatic mode, just as the driver prefers. Switching between the two modes is possible at any time.

The Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 500 Black Edition offers the well-known off-road capability of the Unimog, a high payload for all manner of sports equipment and a high towing capacity. This makes it suitable for a wide range of applications: in addition to day-to-day use in the city this Unimog is ideal for excursions to rough mountain areas, remote ski slopes or hot desert regions. And soon afterwards the same vehicle can be used as a towing unit to transport a yacht to the coast or carry boating and diving equipment. These many applications fully reflect the versatility for which the Unimog is famous. I wonder if Arnold will order one of these?

Monday, December 12, 2005

2005 BMW AC Schnitzer Tension Concept

This b.e.a.utiful BMW V10 powered beast throws out 406kw and hits 100 in 4.6seconds with a top speed of 325kms. Unfortunately this diamond in the rough is not in series production but lets hope we see it soon. This M6 under went some serious and extensive conversions with many performance upgrades all over and cased in a sports trim body kit with a front grill that looks as mean as a sharks mouth. The torque of 400lb-ft at 6200rpm is sure to push the lucky driver back in the seat as it catapults itself down the privilidged road.
Suspension: In motorsport the right set up can mean the diference between first and second place so the team put particular emphasis on an optimal chassis setup with driving dynamics have been immproved by an adjustable AC Schnitzer racing suspension lowering by 1.2 inches to the M6.
Aerodynamics: The redesigned bonnet has a striking power bulge and large air outlets required to maximize the cold air flow. New front wings have been designed to provide additional venting seen by the three(3) chrome ribs behind the front wheels.
Body: Its 1 inch wider to each side over the standard brother M6 and totally dedicated to optimizing full aerodynamics.
Phychologically "Tension" means excited expectation or apphrhension of a proposed event which is either particularly desired or fears.... I'll let you make your own assumptions

2006 Fisker Tramonto

Is it a Jag, is it an Aston, NO its a Fisker Tramonto...
This rear wheeled 5.5ltr V8 supercharged engine pulls 0-100 in 3.6 seconds with a top speed of 325km/hr which is electronically limited with an output of 455kw. Earlier in the year a small group of international investors hired a handful of craftsmen, rented a workshop and began construction of what you see above and below. They teamed with kleeman to produce a custom made ECU program, redesigned pulley wheel and supersoft camshafts all to maximise engine output. The enlarged stainless steel tubular exhaust headers, down pipes & 70 mm dual exhaust system with four steel cats allow for freer breathing…a system which is further enhanced with Kleemann 120-cell metal catalysts for maximum performance gain.....Nice.
There will only be 150 of these made so be in quick.

You'll notice to the photo below that the wide frame body also flow smoothly from front to end with an impression that provokes power, stability and drivability. The muscular lines on the car form unity and conveyed from beginning to end. Steel in the car is used very judiciously where structurally is there to enhance it rigidity.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

2006 Lotus Europa S

This two seater grand tourer is designed to significantly enhance crusing and touring capabilites providing drivers practicality and refinement. Following on with the lightweight design philosophy usuing high tech materials and the europa S brings a larger boot size, lower chassis sides and higher roof line makes cabin access more at ease. The 2litre turbocharged inline-4 engine produces 149kw with 0-100km in 5.5 sec at a top speed of 225km meaning a high weight to power ratio which means it acheives 90% of its maximum torque at only 2000rpm's giving a super car feel of acceleration all from a lower engine speeds. The deign is similar in fashion to the elise yet has many more softer touches too its body which is more appealing to the business class clientele.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

2004 Lexus LF-C Concept

Mike:Sporting a rather furistic design it's focus is aimed at future young affluent buyers. I find the concept rather appealing but feel it has some way to go, The mid-column has much appeal however it leaves the dash rather bare. It has a large rear wheel drive platform that uses the V8 front mounted engine 6-speed sequential transmission that extends itself from the IS300. The style shows a fairly broad stance with short overhangs that mimic an agressive pose but ample dimentions to seat four passengers.
It has a drive-by-wire steering and a F1 inspired shifter and steering wheel with gauges stacked along the steering column axis with transparent gauges.
Puntiki: A cool looking car with the performance to match... It looks a bit like the Chrysler Crossfire which is a bit iffy, but the minimalistic interior is brilliant. A small tweek, and she'll be ready for production. Watch them flow to the USA and sell like hotcakes.

Monday, December 05, 2005

2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS by ASMA (Shark II)

I have to note that if people don't like the look of this car, and I'm one of them, you'd be sure to stand out what ever the occassion.
Produced by the german tuning company ASMA this car sports a long real eye-catcher front grill and a rear styling that reminds me of the ford falcons which I don't care too much for.

Specs: A V8 engine pumping out 223kw's on a rear wheel drive with an expected retail of approximately 20k euro's.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Is this the new M3?

Is this the new M3? I hope so...It looks fantastic. It is going to be powered by a 400 hp V8, and should be available in the next year or so..... What do you think?

photo courtesy of

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

HARTGE H50 V10 BMW 3 Series

Puntiki:This car is a beast. It is powered by a modified M5 engine pumping out 550 BHP, a 7-speed SMG gear box and the HARTGE modification to raise maximum speed from the electronically limited 250 km/h to 320 km/h. The H50 V10 puts all its power – 550 bhp and torque of 520 Nm (384 lb-ft) – onto the tarmac via a reinforced rear axle and a special suspension setup that is adjustable in terms of both rebound and compression.

I can't fathom how fast this car would sprint from 0-100kph, But I guess it would be in the low 4's.

Hartge has outdone themselves once again. Go to Jerry Clayton BMW and order yours now.

2005 Lexus LF-A Concept

Lexus concepts bring together a two-seat performance exotic automobile that blends the modern nature, sports unique and the luxury refinements of the lexus brand. This is the car that is to push lexus into the future where they describe is a luxury high-speed capsule. The size of the car bridges tha gap between several supercars, where its length is shorter than the porsche 911 turbo and wheelbase 9inches longer. its hiehgt is almost identical to the ferrari F430 and its width splitting the difference between the Aston Martin DB9 and the Mercedes Benz SL55.

Under the skirt is an engine capable of developing more than 500bhp producing a top speen in the neighbourhood of 200mph's - unfortunately the engine isn't listed but seeing as its based on F1 design, it would be closer to the time of technology being used on the circuit at the time of conception/production.
Note:-Please look at the final photo at the bottom and notice behind the rear wheels there are large fans, their intended use and implemented design I'm still yet to confirm. Will ensure further research.

2006 Mercedes-Benz Kleemann ML 50K S8

This is the new aero-dynamic body kit for Mercedes Benz for their ML range. This enhanced kit developed by the Kleemann design department has a focus on the rear and front spoilers housing a built in diffuser panel, as seen on other Kleemann models, shaped to compliment the mounted rear spoiler and provision for the tail pipes.
This is a 5ltr V8 supercharged engine at 444kw's/5800rpm that will do 0-100 in 5.3 with a top speed of 270km's. This is a sporty exterior that is matched by its sporty yet luxury interior on a body that has Electronic Body Lowering on an airmatic suspension to make the ride comfortable naturally but has a lower centre of gravity to reduce body roll and increase turning stability.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Audi R8 Supercar

This new car was presented by Audi at the Frankfurt Motor Show two years ago then named the "le mans quattro" now officially designated as the Audti R8.
production will commence in about a years time with $32m being invested into its production. The Audi R8 is due for its market launch early to mid 2007 so we'll unfortunately have to wait a short while for this car to hit the roads. The R8 is too support a new lightweight design using aluminium lightweight design technology.
Can't wait for this car to be ready for testing and/or for the boys on Top Gear to grab their hands on one.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Future Ferrari's

The new Ferrari concepts have were once only myths and speculation are now coming to a reality. Posted here are two of the 20 best nominations for the future of Ferrari created by design students from prestigious schools worldwide. On the 18th of November, Galleria Ferrari will host the prize giving ceremony where the 20 finalists will be voted on by a Technical Board of Jurors including the style ferrari committee. Not only will the winner have a great future with Ferrari but will also receive an aluminium reproduction of the model.
There are quite a few interesting designs, some with promise, others may be a little before their time.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Wiesmann GT

Puntiki:The Wiesmann GT is a funky retro-styled sports coupe built in Germany that uses BMW underpinnings to provide an exclusive, evocative and very rapid mode of transport. It is a car that I have not heard too much about, but it really is a good look, and well worth blogging.

With a 4.8 liter V8 and 270kW power output, this low weight niche German coupe can reach speeds of up to 280km/h and will dispatch the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.6 seconds, which is very rapid. Imagine it powered by the new 500 hp V10 from the M5 and M6, that would make for a very exclusive super coupe. I like this car.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

2005 Maybach Exelero

Mike:I describe this car as the Batmobile produced for civilian production.
Sporting a V12 twin turbo producing 515kW reaching a top speed of 351kph with impressive new high-tech tires with dimensions of 315/25 ZR 23. with Maybachs strong reputation of elegance and their first class high end limo's this car was produced not with the intention of being a racing car but as a high speed vehicle that can retain the true elegance and acheive the powerful suppleness of a sports coupe.
The joint effort between Maybach and Fulda have achieved remarkable performance and elegance in a single autombile built incorporating several body design features from the original along the same lines as Holdens FJ50.
Again unfortunately this is a show car but deserves respect when commanding the road.

Puntiki: I am not 100% about this car. There is somethiung very Lexus about it. The steering wheel looks like it should be on a $20,000 car and I think it would date rather fast. Having said that kudos to the young lad that designed it, and wow to the power of the engine. I am sure it would be magnificent to drive, but I don't really like this car.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

2006 Dodge Viper Hennessey Venom 1000 coupe

Mike:Grunt, Style and driving instruction included in its price tag of US$225k.
The engine pictured below puts out 746kW and has a top speed of 410k/hr, which makes it not only faster than the Bugatti Veyron at a much more affordable price tag, but also just as fast as the Ariel Atom moving from stand to 100k/hr in 2.9sec through its V10 twin turbo. The Viper Hennessey Venom 1000 seems to be the fastest and least expensive supercar when matched against the likes of the Bugatti Veyron, Ferari Enzo & the Porsche Carrera GT.
The Vipers body has always been an eye opener, now with the new venom aero body upgrade on the recently released Viper Coupe, the overall look is very appealing.

Puntiki: The Dodge Viper has always been my favorite USA supercar until the 2006 Corvette Zo6 was released. The Hennessey Vipers really do have a lot more power than the standard 510hp versions. The engine in these vehicles are modifyable very easily, and as we can see 1000hp plus is the sort of power created. Best you have shares in a full service station, complete with mechanics, tire shop, and gas tanks, or a LARGE bank account to keep this beast running.

2005 Holden Efijy Concept

Mike:The FJ Holden was unveiled at this years Australian International Motorshow in Sydney boasting a bold and stunning new colour called Soprano Purple. It encaptulates the original 1950's design with obvious modernised features. Under the hood is a 6.0-litre LS2 V8 supercharged engine, modified by Ron Harrop an ex-FJ racer, putting out 645bhp(480kW) at 6400rpm makes it 11x greater than the 1953 version. Dimentions: Length x Width x Height 201.3 x 78 x54 making it 27.3 inches longer than the original. Custom designed exhaust 2.5-inch dual system stainless steel and customised compact headers and billet aluminium tips. The engine is mated to a rear-mounted four speed automatic push button transmission featuring a slip differential added as they say for obvious reasons.
As with any other show car, the Efijy is packed with state of the art cutting edge entertainment systems including a drop down touch LCD screen that can lower the car from a standard drive height down to 1 inch from the ground.

Unfortunatly this car is not intended for production but felt for my first blog to this site to stand out, and what better to way to do that than with a Holden.
would like to see this in appear in the Riddler Award

Puntiki:Welcome aboard Mike. Holden has outdone themselves with this great looking retro. It is a pity that it is not going into production, as it would probably sell like hotcakes provided the price was reasonable. With 654HP I am sure it would give many an exotic on the road a good run. Well done Holden.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

TVR Sagaris

Puntiki:This is a great looking car which is a development of the T350 coupe. The Sagaris has been designed with endurance motorsport in mind, so expect to see it blazing around the tracks of UK and Europe anytime now. It has a 400 hp straight 6 cylinder engine under the hood, and has the ability to zip from 0-60 mph in a sprightly 3.7 seconds. It will then zoom onto 100 mph in another 4.4 seconds making the 0-100 mph in 8.1 seconds. Top speed is 195MPH, so hold on tight and enjoy the ride.
It is a bit funny looking in the rear end, but who really cares when it will be someone else looking at it all of the time, as they are redlining their car to keep up......?

Monday, November 07, 2005

New guest blogger

I would like to introduce Michael Stark as a new blogger alongside Aaron and myself. I am looking forwards to his first blog, and hopefully it will allow for some consistant posts what with Aaron and my constant travel. Welcome aboard Mike.

Monday, October 31, 2005

James Bond cars.... Questionaire.

To preview our next post, I'd like to know what you think the best and worst James Bond cars of the past have been, and what vehicle(s) you think the new James Bond should drive in the next movie coming out soon?


I have been traveling on business and have noticed that while I was away that Aaron (Pablo) was not able to update this blog. I now realise that he is in Melbourne enjoying some time away from his imac. So Pablo, when you get back to NZ, will you please delight the viewers with a couple of new postings. I will join you in NZ in a couple of days and we can do a James Bond special then.

Friday, October 21, 2005

2007 Audi S8

The new Audi S8 is due to be released soon, and the beauty will be equipped with a new V10 engine that capitalises on the expertise of the super sports car Lamborghini Gallardo. The 10-cylinder power unit develops 450 bhp of power and 540 Nm of torque from a swept volume of 5.2 litres. The torque value is achieved at as low an engine speed as 3,500 rpm. As on the Le Mans winning R8, the most successful racing car in the world, FSI petrol direct injection assures superior power output in the Audi S8. This luxury saloon sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.1 seconds, and is electronically governed at 250 km/h. Without the governor it would probably cruize along the autobahn at close to 300kph.

This is a bloody good looking car, and although it should be faster to 100km/h with all that horsepower, it is a car that is certainly worth considering if you are looking for a 760 or a S 600.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

2008 Nissan Skyline GT-R

The 2008 Nissan GT-R (Proto) was released today at the Tokyo motor show. It is still over 2 years away from production, and the final version will be officially launched at the 2007 Tokyo motor show. It is going to be finally made in left hand drive, which should boost Nissans worldwide sales, but it may well be called Infinity here in USA. Infinity is Nissans luxury division much like Toyota's Lexus which happens to mean Luxury EXport USa. The car will probably have a twin turbo v6 and 4 wheel drive pushing out 450hp maybe even more. It will be a rocketship and it will be packing plenty of technological features..... Definately a car to watch out for if you own a 911 turbo.

Monday, October 17, 2005

BMW Z10 / M1

I am excited to find out that BMW are planning to build a new rear/centrally mounted V10 rear wheel drive Supercar. Not since 1979 has BMW made a Supercar with the M1, but sources at BMW have revealed that a new Supercar, likely to be called the "Z10" is firmly on the drawing boards. Production could even be at the Rolls Royce Goodwood plant as it already has capacity to build another car. Using a highly developed version of the latest M5 & M6 V10 5.0 litre 500Bhp engines, increased by another 50cc's could make the new V10 capable of developing 550Bhp. Using the latest lightweight materials including aluminum & carbon-fibre throughout weight could be kept to 1200 Kg & have the power to weight ratio of 458 Bhp per tonne. Burkhard Goschel the head of BMW's development is said to "offer the ultimate in lateral dynamics", & must be cable of out performing the V8-powered M3 & Z4M. It will use the latest electronic & mechanical aids to enhance it's road holding capabilities & wind tunnel development will ensure aerodynamic down force is a priority. Active spoilers & venturi underbody will ensure the cars sticks to the road like an F1 car. BMW hopes to keep the price within £90,000 price bracket & sales should start in 2008. I can barely contain myself, this car will be spectacular.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

2007 Toyota FJ40 Cruiser

This is a cool retro wagon. The original FJ land Cruiser was discontinued in 1983, and has been popular with collectors, safarists, farmers and Riaz Khan ever since.

The modern FJ Cruiser retains design and styling cues from the original FJ40, such as the round front headlights, exterior rear tire carrier, upright windshield and white roof cap. The original "Toyota" badging on the front grille appears as it did when Toyota first entered the market in the late 60's, and the first colors are expected to include yellow, tan and light blue, as they did in the original.

Many a Kiwi will remember the original Landcruiser in conjunction with Footrot flats, Berry Crump and 4 wheel driving...... I am predicting that the new FJ40 will be a massive hit. I hope it is made in right hand drive and not produced for the US market only.

The 1959 Cadillac...

The 1959 Caddy had it all, looks, performance, and comfort. It stood as the ultimate symbol of success, impressive and indeed controversial. The outrageous tail fins and jet pod taillights evoked either a love it or leave it attitude with the public at the time. I love it and if they were not $125,000 US for a good convertible, then I'd be having one take up two carparks in my garage as I am writing this.

They made 11,130 of the Cadillac 62 Convertibles in 1959, they had a curb weight of 4855 lbs (2202kg), a price of $5,455 and a 390 ci V8 powering the massive automobile with 325hp. Elivis never had a '59 as he was in the army at the time and liked to take delivery of new cars, but I am sure that king himself would agree that the 1959 Cadillac is the best of them all.

They sure don't make cars like they used too.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What kind of car did Maxwell Smart drive?

Don Adams (Maxwell Smart) died this month (RIP), and I thought I would look into the cars he drove on the show "Get Smart".

Max drove two cars throughout the five year run of the series. The car Max drove in the first four years of the series was a red 1965 Sunbeam Tiger. Without a doubt, it is the car most associated with Max and can be considered "his car." The car became Don's personal car for many years. However, after his daughter wrecked it for the third time, the car was junked and destroyed.

In season five, Max drives a gold, 1969 Opel GT. He also drove the Opel in the episodes, so it can really be called his second car. Interestingly enough, Max's Opel also appeared in the movie "Stripes."

In the opening credits of the third and fourth seasons, Max drives a blue VW Karman Ghia. However, in those season's episodes, he continued to drive the Sunbeam. The open was probably changed to reflect some type of sponsorship deal. In no episode does he actually drive the Karman Ghia.

The three cars mentioned above are the only cars that Max drove in more than one episode. Yes, I know that there are episodes where he drove other cars, like the wedding episode, but they were not his car and are not going to be listed here. Some people have correctly noted that for a few episodes in the fourth season Max drove a Ford Mustang convertible, but that car was clearly designated as The Chief's car.

The one note that needs to be made concerns the pilot episode. In that, Max drives a Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet. The reason for that is that they probably used a stock studio sportscar for the pilot. When the show was picked up, they were able to arrange a promotional deal with Sunbeam.

More Tiger information: According to Dick Sanders of the Pacific Tiger Club, "a look-a-like Sunbeam Alpine (rebadged with Tiger script on the side) of the same vintage ('65 or '66) was used in almost all of the shows where a Sunbeam appeared. There wasn't room to mount a machine gun (or much of anything else) under the hood of the V8-powered Tiger, so they used the Alpine which has a smaller 4-cylinder motor."