Ford unveils Focus RS500 hottest hatch

March 31st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Ford has pulled a slick move on the online car world by releasing details and images of the hot new Ford Focus RS500 earlier than planned. Apparently Ford moved forward the release date for the RS500 because of “overwhelming interest.

The new RS500 is a hot hatch in the purest sense of the term and makes use of a retuned 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine. The beastly engine produces 257 kW and up to 460 Nm of torque.  This means a 15% power increase, and a 4.5% torque increase over the Focus RS.  The extra grunt has translated into impressive performance figures of a 0-100km/h sprint time to 5.6 seconds, down 0.3 seconds from the ‘standard’ Focus RS.

Top speed is also slightly quicker at 265 km/h.  The performance improvements are achieved mainly from a software update to the ECU, larger air intercooler, bigger air filter, improved fuel pump, and a widened downpipe.

Each Focus RS500 unit will be all stealth, painted in matte black, and ride on blacked-out 19-inch rims.  Bright red brake calipers will be hiding in behind the wheel.

Interior appointments will include a console-mounted metal plate engraved with the car’s ID number, Recaro buckets, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, a six-disc Sony audio system, and loads more good stuff.

The special edition will be limited to a 500 vehicle run, and will be the limited edition model to close out the current generation of the Focus RS.

The Ford Focus RS500 will only be sold in twenty selected European markets from May and is set for an official reveal on April 9 in Leipzig, Germany.

Check out images oft the Ford Focus RS500 by clicking on the link below.

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Lamborghini ready to phase out manual transmissions

March 31st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Lamborghini has got tongues wagging in the motoring world with a recent report that it will be phasing out manual transmissions from it’s line up, just like Ferrari. The decision is apparently part of the company’s new commitment to following the trend of increasing overall fuel economy in its vehicles. Further to simply scrapping the third pedal, the raging bull says it plans to build even-lighter vehicles, so count on even more carbon fibre in Lambo’s future range.

Turbocharging won’t be on the menu for the next few years, though. While many other automakers are getting busy strapping forced induction to their engines to help curb fuel consumption and maintain power, Lamborghini says it has no interest in boosting up. Instead, it will make use of stop/start tech and cylinder deactivation during the next decade, as well as a possible mild-hybrid vehicle.

Lexus LFA Nurburgring model announced

March 31st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Lexus has just announced a special Nurburgring package for its sexy LFA supercar. The name was chosen to celebrate Lexus entering the car in the upcoming Nurburgring 24 Hours race.  Previously, the limited edition was announced in Japan simply as the Special Edition. The sports pack is limited to just 50 examples and will suit potential buyers interested in an even more track focused machine.

The package includes reworked aerodynamic components including a larger front spoiler and a new fixed rear wing to help increase downforce and improve handling.

Power has been increased from the standard 4.8-litre V10 with 412 kW as standard comes a new power figure of 419 kW with apparently reduced gearshift times. This has seen a slight reduction in performance times to; 0 – 100kph in 3.7 seconds and top speed of 325 km/h.

Lexus is offering buyers of the Nurburgring package an advanced driving course at the ‘Ring, plus a free year-long pass to return to the legendary track.

To see more images of the Lexus LFA Nurburgring click on the link below.

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Toyobaru (Toyota FT-86 / Subaru 086a) test mule in testing at Nurburgring

March 31st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Toyobaru (Toyota FT-86 / Subaru 086a) test mule in testing at Nurburgring

GeigerCars Hummer H2 Bomber – snow munching machine

March 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

No one really wants to hear it, but winter is rapidly approaching. This winter instead of bothering with the usual snowboarding missions why not tear up the slopes in a Hummer H2 Bomber.

Who’s responsible for this monstrosity? German tuners GeigerCars are. GeigerCars have a real love for taking American vehicles and making them better, but in the case of the H2 Bomber we’re not so sure. It’s not the first time Geiger has reworked a Hummer either, there was a Christmas-themed H2, a 700-horsepower H2 built for a Texas sheriff or any number of racing-liveried Hummers like the “Gulf Wing” or a Martini Racing inspired H3.

The latest and perhaps most outrageous creation is the Hummer H2 Bomber. The most notable modification is the addition of four Mattracks 88M1-A1 rubber tracks that replace the twenty inch wheels. The rest of the vehicle features a military design theme as well as a roof box with extra headlights and a silver matte paint finish. Under the bonnet is a powerful 8-cylinder putting out 398hp and 574 Nm of torque.

How well the GeigerCars Hummer acquits itself on the rubber tracks was left to magazine editor Wolfgang Blaube to experience: He explored Nordschleife of the Nürburgring in the depths of winter with the circuit covered in snow and took it around what was the track. Apparently Blaube was completely captured by the “new dimension of fun” after just a few kilometres.

Pricing hasn’t been released but if you want one, it’s going to take a lotto win and a long wait before you’re running down snowboarders.

To see more images of the Hummer H2 Bomber, click on the link below.

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Porsche makes video of three generations of 911 RS models

March 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The latest model 911 GT3 RS is perhaps the most potent track car ever built for the street by Porsche, but it’s not the first make that claim. The RS line has a history that goes back to 1973 with the 911 2.7 RS when Porsche first combined an extra boost of power with the benefits of reduced weight. In 1973 the original RS had some impressive numbers: 210 horsepower, 0-100 kph in five and a half seconds, and a top speed of 244 kph.

The RS line continued over the years and included the 964, 993 and 996 model lines, all the way through to the current second generation 997 model introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. While there is no doubt the 2010 911 GT3 RS might has more power than the 1973 911 RS (450 horsepower, 0-100 kph in 4.0 seconds and a top speed of 310 kph), the inspiration remains the same as the original.

To celebrate its RS Porsche line and as an excuse to have a thrash on a racetrack, Porsche UK has created a video highlighting both past and present RS models, featuring the 1973 911 RS and the 996 and 997 911 GT3 RS. It’s an entertaining seven and a half minutes for Porsche fans.

To watch the video, click on the link below.

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Cadillac reveals new CTS-V Sport Wagon

March 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

American luxury brand Cadillac has just released the first pictures and specs of its hot family hauler CTS-V Sport Wagon.

Set to go on sale in the States late 2010 with European and Middle Eastern sales following after, the Sport Wagon has a modern combo of performance and practicality. It has 720 litres of space behind the rear seats expanding to a whopping 1,644 litres with the seats folded down.

Like both the CTS-V coupe and sedan, power comes from a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 with 556 horsepower (415 kW/564 PS) and 551 lb-ft (747 Nm) of torque.

The brawny engine is mated to a six-speed transmission in either manual or automatic form, the engine should get the wagon from 0-100 kph in around 4.5 seconds. However, official performance figures haven’t been released.

Other extra specs include Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 tyres.

Mazda signs deal to use Toyota hybrid tech

March 30th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

From 2013, Mazda will join Nissan in using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive technology on its new cars. Mazda has just signed a licensing agreement with the hybrid superpower that will see the smaller carmaker get a supply of hybrid hardware that should include transmissions, power electronics and battery packs.

The drive components will be mathced up with the new-generation, direct-injected Sky engines that Mazda showed at the Tokyo Motor Show last year. Mazda will build it’s first production hybrid vehicle starting in 2013 using the Toyota gear. The only previous Mazda hybrid was the Tribute, which was in essence a re-badged Ford Escape.

By comparison Nissan has now produced its own in-house hybrid system and will phase out its current Toyota hybrid system over the next few years.

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