News: Andros XTR – Corvette powered, Italian dressed

Andros XTM fq1

The Andros XTR, looks far more Italian flair than American muscle. The Andros made its debut in concept form several years ago at the SEMA show, now it’s ready to be sold as a kit car. According to Andros designers inspiration came from classic Ferraris, as well as Aston Martins, Jaguars and Maseratis.

Based on the C6 Corvette, the Andros is part of a revival of the time-honored tradition of rebodying Vettes in Italian-style coachwork. In addition to the XTM roadster, the Andros is also available in XTR coupe and XTS targa bodystyles, with panels made from carbon fibre and select steel chassis components replaced by aluminum and magnesium pieces. An available supercharger boosts power from the LS2 pushrod V8 up to 600 horsepower, with optional exhaust, induction and airflow sensor components good for another 15 hp each. With a Corvette base, nearly 650 horses and classic European styling, the Andros is an interesting package… for a kit car.

The Andros XTR, looks far more Italian flair than American muscle. ...

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News: Jaguar gets another life

Jaguar XF fq

Now that Tata Motors is the proud owner of the Jaguar brand it’s looking to move quickly to expand Jaguar’s range of saloons, a smart move considering the rich legacy of sports cars and sleek sedans to draw from. Jaguar became a household name due in large part to racing successes with such cars as the legendary XK120, C-Type and D-Type. More recently in the ’90s, the British automaker has tested the exotic waters with its power house XJ220 supercar. Rumors of a less expensive sports car like the Porsche Boxster are currently filtering out from dealerships that have spoken with the marque’s new management, along with convertible and coupe versions of the popular XF sedan, which has already sparked fresh interest in the brand.

Don’t expect the X-Type to be brought back anytime soon or any crazy crossover concepts, Tata also owns Land Rover and doesn’t want its two iconic British automakers to compete with one another.

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News: NZ Police vehicles to get makeover

New Zealand’s Police fleet will get a new look over the next six years according to recent national reports. The makeover will result in a savings of around $800,000 in fuel annually.

New light bars will be installed on the police car roofs. These clever new lights will only use a fraction of the power used by the old lights which ran the risk of draining the car battery and took power use to saturation point. The new light bars will also sit lower on the vehicle and significantly reduce drag, creating a fuel saving of around 8 per cent.

Visibility will also be improved with a new yellow and blue design, replacing the orange and blue design of the older cars.

The Police roll out 500 new uniformed cars each year and it will take till 2014 to update the entire fleet.

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News: Ferrari celebrates F1 title with Scuderia Spider 16M

Scuderia Spider 16M

Ferrari has chosen to unveil the new Scuderia Spider 16M in celebration of its recent victory in the Formula 1 Constructor’s World Championship 2008. This new high performance sports car features Ferrari’s latest mid-rear-engined 8-cylinder engine. The Scuderia Spider 16M is faster round the Fiorano circuit than any other Prancing Horse open-top road car yet built. This special series model, of which just 499 unique examples will be produced, is aimed at drivers who demand both exclusivity and top performance.

The Scuderia Spider 16M is available in a choice of two new signature colour schemes: the standard version is black with grey trim, while a tricolour livery is also available as part of the Carrozzeria Scaglietti Personalisation Programme. The new car also sports a special plaque on its rear grille commemorating Ferrari’s 16th Constructor’s World title. The exclusivity of the interior is underscored by the silver “limited series” plaque just above the air vents at the centre of the dashboard. Other exclusive features include a roll-bar with carbon-fibre outer shell and a specific new generation audio system that can be combined with the removable customised Ferrari iPod Touch 16 GB with central dock just in front of the dashboard.

From a technical point of view, this car has a dry weight of 1340 Kg (80 kg lighter than the F430 Spider). This, combined with the 510 hp provided by its V8 engine and a power-to-weight ratio of 2.6 kg/hp, means that it delivers blistering 0-100 kph acceleration in just 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 315 kph.

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News: Honda NZ releases new model Jazz

Honda Jazz fq

Honda NZ has just released the new model Jazz here in NZ. The new Jazz retians the features that has made it a popular NZ model and also has a few new tricks.

The new Jazz models include USB connectivity compatible with IPOD, MP3 players and even a flash drive (or USB memory stick) with folder control through the audio controls — while 5-Speed automatic transmission includes racing inspired paddle shifters for spirited driving. Plus, the Jazz Sport adds cruise control and steering wheel mounted audio controls to the extensive features list.

The Jazz eats up luggage or cargo with a range of capacities from 380 – 1321 litres of cargo depending on where the rear seats are positioned up, down or in the ‘Magic Seat’ position.

Adding leather to the Jazz range also means you can choose to retain a low level of fuel economy without compromising on luxury.  All models are available in leather variants. The black leather has detailing in red stitching, perforated squabs and embossed Jazz logos.

Sports design options are also available for both models..  The 1.3 Sport offers full skirts, sports grille, fog lights, rear spoiler and 15″ alloy wheels, while the Jazz Tempo with 1.5 engine offers front and rear sports bumpers and side skirts, sports grille, fog lights, aluminium sports pedals, red gear selector, and alternative alloy wheels.

The new Jazz models are priced from $22,000 for the 1.3 litre manual up to $29,800 for the 1.5 litre Automatic Jazz Tempo. The leather package is a further $2,800.

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News: Kumho keeps the lowest profile

Kumho 15 tyre

How low can you go? Well if you’re Kumho you can go lower than everyone else. At last week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas, rubber merchant Kumho unveiled the world’s first ultra low profile 15 Series tyre.

The 385/15ZR22 size ECSTA SPT KU31 has been developed as a conversion option for such exotic sports cars as the Ferrari F430, Dodge Viper, and Corvette Z06. The company has used cutting-edge computer simulation technology to optimise the sidewall structure, preventing the formation of standing waves or ripples in the contact patch — a problem that can occur with the build up of heat at high speeds.

The new tyre also benefits from a semi run flat capability, ensuring it remains firmly fixed to the rim even after a puncture or general loss of pressure.

“The world’s first 15 Series tyre is a perfect example of what we have achieved through our ongoing commitment to research and development,” said Sae-chul Oh, Kumho’s President and CEO. “This is one of many innovations by our company which include aroma, coloured smoke and X-speed tyres.

To find out more about Kumho and the 15 Series tyre, check out the Kumho website by clicking here.

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News: Saleen up for sale

Saleen Racecraft Mustang fq

Famous American tuner Saleen is much more than just hot-rodded Mustangs and Corvette supercars, and now, it’s for sale. Founder Steve Saleen left the company in 2007 when he started up new performance company, SMS.

Saleen has traditionally worked for automakers and built the Ford GT and Dodge’s Viper. Automakers also go to Saleen for paint and some subassembly work too. Saleen’s board has hired an advisor to investigate what level of interest there might be from potential buyers. Recent economic developments aren’t going to make it an easy sale, but Saleen would like to sell itself by early 2009.

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News: Aston One-77 – super fast very exclusive

Aston Martin one-77 fq

Despite global economic crisis, Aston Martin is not backing down from high-priced territory. Its Rapide four-door coupe is on the way, the as-yet un-named convertible DBS is due shortly,and development of the V12 Vantage continues. The next DB9 and Vantage are rumoured to be going further up-market, but not before the ultra-premium One-77 lands in the hands of a few very fortunate customers. A total production run of 77, will make the model very exclusive indeed.

The mysterious One-77 won’t be officially unveiled in full until next year, but the first batch of pictures is already out, and initial specs have now found their way onto the internet. CEO Ulrich Bez has confirmed that power will come from a potent derivative of the company’s existing 6-liter V12, bored and stroked to 7 liters and producing around 700 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. All that power will have to move just 1500kg, lighter than the 1630kg V8 Vantage, the 1760kg DB9 and even the lightweight 1690kg DBS. Bez claims that an all-out performance battle with the Bugatti Veyron isn’t the point of the One-77, but a crazy high top-speed is all but guaranteed.

Despite global economic crisis, Aston Martin is not backing down f ...

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