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.