Tuesday, August 26, 2008

2009 Peugeot RC Hybrid Electric Concept

If your going to design a Hybrid car why make it god awful like the Prius? where as the French have taken a Hybrid idea and implemented a good looking design. The concept hybrid is a front engined GT Sedan able to produce 313bhp but the photo is rather dark which doesnt give us much faith that the end design will hold much confidence but the outline looks nothing as terrible as the Prius. The only factor is that its a french car which a poll undertaken in the last year saw a high percentage of owners dissatisfied with their cars were in fact French with most being Pugs. However, we still have great hope for Peugeot as the cars they are releasing as of late seem to have undergone a complete make over and are looking quite astounding. This Hybrid could be included in that group and look forward to seeing this concept go into production so I can have to opportunity to write it up in future.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

2008 Insignia Interior

NISSAN: Eco Pedal

Japanese car maker NISSAN have produced an Eco-Pedal system that alerts the driver if they are not driving economically. In the present international Fuel and Credit Crisis they expect to capture customers whom are feeling the pinch the pedal has been designed to push back on the drivers foot when the system thinks the current pressure applied is too much & informs the driver they are not driving efficiently, thus saving the driver money. The eco-pedal has a driving indicator which fits to the instrument panel and able to show real-time fuel consumption. Nissan believe that drivers will now beable to save up to 10% with this new system which does also includes an off function. These Eco-pedals are expected to be fitted to cars from next year.

Here are some personal comments.
I have some questions to raise here in relation to its practical applications. Firstly, it will be outfitted to their cars as of next year so in saying, if you can afford a new car you wouldnt exactly be feeling much of the credit crunch or concerned about driving economically most of the time. Secondly, if you just drive economically from the get go the need of such an item is made comletely redundant & Thirdly, this is coming from a company that produced the Nissan GTR which is just a complete animal and the thought of including that technology in that car is just mind-blowing.
Test Case
In the last year, Jeremy Clarkson made a test using a Toyota Prius and a BMW M5. One is built to be eco-friendly and economical and the other isnt. The test involved the Prius being driven flat out around their test track over 10 laps and Clarkson in the M5 and only had to pace the Prius. The result was that over the 10 laps the M5 was the more fuel efficient and it clearly marked the point that its not What you drive But How you drive. So if you want to save on fuel simply follow a few quick points.

Dont race off from a standstill rather gradually build up the speed, turn off the air-con, brake early and softly, keep a steady constant speed at all times where possibly. Follow that and you'll cut your fuel consumption to that 10% without having to pay an additional 10% on a new priced car in order to save the 10% you could do right now in what ever car your driving.

In closing, I have to hand it to the innovation of the Japanese, by all means not a bad idea as may come handy for drivers that suffer from the leadfooted syndrome.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Volkswagen CC

The VW CC Gold Coast, based on the Passat, is a luxury sports coupe that showcases some very bold lines and a stunning paint job highlighted in the picture above.
This model features a 3.6l TFSI estimated to produce an output of 280 horsepower and 360Nm of torque. The DSG (double-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic)system can offer the advantage of choosing between fully automatic or full manual selection, DSG also changes gears more quickly and smoothly than a conventional transmission, while improving fuel economy which is a bonus in todays fuel crisis.

Bad news for New Zealanders is that this model goes on sale this year it wont be sold here in Aotearoa which is unfortunate for us as it looks a bute. When it goes on sale in America later in the year the estimated starting price will be approximately $27,000.

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Opel Insignia (Holden Vectra)

Hopefully this is a new generation moving forward from the Vectra days. The new model looks superb and looks to compete alongside the much loved Mazda6's.
They will go on sale in Europe meeting the current Euro 5 legislation on emmissions which is brillient considering it comes from Holden in a country NOT signed up to they Kyoto aggreement.
The new Insignia will come in either Manual or 6-speed automatic transmission in either a saloon or hatchback where the entry model will have a 4-cylinder 104kw petrol engine or choice of a 2.0 turbo diesel engine producing 97-120kw. At the high end there will be a V6 engine with 194kw.
It looks set to now rival the very well known Mazda 6 series and the Ford Mondeo's.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Lightning GT

Don't blink, don't even breathe or you'll have missed your opportunity to see this prototype car. The Lightning GT is 100% electric incorporating the very latest battery technology (Nanosafe) enough energy they say to match the equivalent power of 700bhp which is staggering but we'll have to wait to put that claim to the test. Like the Tesla, it also should be 0-62mph in sub 4 seconds and the four individual motors powering each wheel (each 120kw Power Permanent Magnet Brusless Motors) certainly helps with grip, balance & just sheer imagination.

The stat's the company have released have high claims and too be honest I would be thrilled to see them not only meet those but absolutely smash em'. But one thing they have done from the get go and can be seen immediately in the picture above is that it doesn't appear to be a typical ugly EV. It is in fact an absolute **STAR** and looks just smashing and we can see the designers have thought long and hard about what tract they were heading down. I won't run thru the major EV stats of the Lightning GT as wish to focus on its design apperance being the new front runner poster child of the modern era EV's, sorry Tesla but you have strong competition.
The sleek lines are magestic like the Aston Martin and while in a contemporary phase of its design there is certainly plenty of room for bolder models to follow. Because there is no use of an exhaust on an EV the rear is far from typical now housing a downforce diffuser and the ability to create a signature shape.

Pre-orders are currently being accepted for an equivalent of NZ$40,869.32 or in British poundes 15k.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

2008 Fiat 500 Abarth

As far as small cars go I have to rate this right at the top.
This car marks the return of Italian car maker Fiat to the world of compact sports cars getting away from the boring econovans and I have to say, what a pearl.
It's front engine FWD turbo I4 tapping out 135bhp at max gives this little gem a top speed of 127mph. The 500 Abarth is a compact car with a subtle attitude saying "yes, see me, luuuv me" which gives this wee tot almost a soul.
Looking at this car I just can't help myself from wanting one, but at the same time I can't find myself behind the wheel of one. Maybe your wife might be better suited to zip up the road to your mothers to retrieve the home baked apple pie. Yet the more I look at it the more intrigued I am to test drive it when it lands in NZ.
It has an estimated fuel consumption of 33mpg which to say if your mother in-law was behind the wheel that maybe the case. The average kiwi bloke in a small manual sports car couldn't help but throttle it racing thru the gears and in the spirit of the upcoming Olympics, GO FOR GOLD. Peace of mind comes in the knowledge that it will meet with Euro 5 legislation so would be the perfect car for Beijing clearing the air for our sports atheletes.
In closing, there's just something about this car I just cant put my finger on but would love to have one...maybe at some point.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

sQuba - Underwater Car

Unlike Alan Gibbs Aquada, this car can actually submerse itself to a dept of 32.8ft below the water line. While the car drives off road as a convertible it is also a convertible underwater so scuba regulators are required and supplied as part of the car. It was designed as an open water vehile for safety purposes so occupants could evacuate the vehicle quickly and easily in case of 'emergency'.

Full pic's and details can be viewed at the following blog click here

Its an electric car so has zero emmissions so would work silently above and below water. Would be a stylish car for the US Navy Seals but most likely impracticle in most parts however a great idea. It can travel above water so there's not always the need to get wet and is another alternative in the normal commute to work, espcially a unique way if you live in the likes of the Caribbean.

2007 Gumpert Apollo Sport

It's not the most eye appealing supercar on the roads today and weilds a name to that of some eastern european village idiot but the stats on this vehicle are more than enough to crush anyone who'd put shame to its name.
This is the top of the range model which comes with 800bhp, the lowest they go for the entrance driver to the Gumpert is 650bhp and middle of the range is 700bhp so no matter what Gumpert you end up with, it will have more than enough power to propel you into the future. If your above average height you may not be able to own/drive one as the seating position is fixed so if your 6ft tall, you may have to allow your long legs to become part of the crumple zone. But the benefit is, perfect weight distribution, not being thrown off by adjusting the seating position fwd/back.
The beauty of this car and the fact that I love it so much is that it is not at all a pretty car, to be honest it's hard to find a good angle that would make Jamie Oliver say "Pukkah" but the reason I truly love this car is that its not pretty like the Ferrari's, the Aston Martin's & most other supercars making it hard for the Gumpert to be concieved as a chic's car. This has got power, a strong design, handles brilliently and a real mans driving car that even Louis Hamilton would love if he wasn't happy driving his pimp-mobile on his down time off the circuits.
Ok so Louis Hamilton maynot take one home, but then again if your not going to be attending any gala dinners or prestigeous award ceremonies where a fancy car would be required or at the very least expected then the Gumpert is a car to consider.