Ford Fiesta marks 35th Birthday with 15 million sales

August 5th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford’s Fiesta has had three years of success with a massive number of global sales but the last few years haven’t been the only important ones for the plucky little hatch.

The Fiesta’s history goes all the way back to 1976 when the very first Fiesta rolled off the production line. Since then it has gone on to sell 15 million units and demand is showing no signs of slowing. The Fiesta is currently Europe’s biggest selling small-car with production coming out of Cologne, Germany. It is also built in Nanjing, China, Rayong, Thailand, and Cuautitlàn, Mexico.

After thirty-five years, six generations and 15 million cars the Fiesta began from humble beginnings and is now a nameplate with true heritage and longevity. Continue reading “Ford Fiesta marks 35th Birthday with 15 million sales” »

Volvo’s iconic 850 celebrates its 20th birthday

June 14th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Volvo’s ‘boxy but good’ 850 model celebrates its 20th birthday this month and to mark the occasion Volvo has issued a press release reminding us how innovative and important this model really was.

In 1990 the 850 was developed with some genuine world firsts in a production vehicle like having its gearbox fitted alongside the engine and using a new type of multilink axle called the Delta Link. Naturally there was some new safety tech as well; a side impact protection system SIPS was rolled out and height-adjustable safety belts were also included.

The 850 went on to be more than just a popular family hauler and by 1994 was entered into the British Touring Car Championship in station wagon form. When the rules changed in ’95 and ’96 the Swedish company reverted to a sedan model and won 13 races and finished third in the championship both years. But it would be the racing wagon or ‘flying brick’ that has gone on to become a motorsport icon.

Volvo’s 850 is certainly a more interesting family car than most, to read more on its history view Volvo’s press release below. Continue reading “Volvo’s iconic 850 celebrates its 20th birthday” »

The BMW M3 celebrates 25 years

July 12th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s birthday time and the BMW M3 is blowing out a hefty 25 candles. To celebrate BMW released a special edition 2011 M3 Coupe which sold out in just 12 minutes, so demand remains strong for the iconic model.

In the last 25 years the M3 has evolved from a lightweight scrapper capable of taking on heavy hitters of the sports car world to the quintessential sports sedan that the rest of the segment is measured against. In the process, it has dropped its bulging, swollen fenders for much smoother sheetmetal and lost its four-cylinder engine for a fully aluminum eight-cylinder that brings serious heat, but it remains a well-balanced sports coupe.

This transformation wasn’t always an easy one. BMW sent its various M3s through many trials on the tracks of the motorsports world, and the 3 Series quickly built a reputation as a dynamic machine not to be messed with.

BMW has commemorated the occasion by releasing some images of the M3 growing up over the years, check them out in the gallery below. Continue reading “The BMW M3 celebrates 25 years” »

McLaren F1 Supercar project celebrates 20th birthday

June 2nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The motoring world has seen some legendary supercars produced throughout its history, but few are as revered as the much loved McLaren F1. It was exactly 20 years ago that a team of engineers and designers came together in an attempt to ambitiously build “the finest sports car the world had ever seen.” Even though the official F1 road car didn’t hit the street until May 1992, McLaren is celebrating 2010 as the 20th anniversary of the F1 project. The F1 did show the importance of lightness, packaging and daring supercar design.

Over the course of four years, McLaren produced 64 F1, five F1 LM and three F1 GT road cars, along with 28 F1 GTR racers and six prototypes for testing. By the end of its production schedule in 1998, the F1 had become the world’s fastest production car, a title now reserved for the Bugatti Veyron. But the McLaren still holds the record for fastest naturally aspirated road car. Beyond that, the F1 won respect on the track for dominating the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as winning the GT1 championship in the same year.

To celebrate the occasion McLaren Automotive celebrated the F1′s 20th anniversary by inviting owners, past and present, to a dinner at the automaker’s technology center in Woking, England. A large display of 21 road and race F1s was also present. Looking to the future, McLaren will begin production of the MP4-12C supercar, followed by a new line-up of performance cars, all built in-house. Only time will tell if these new machines will have the same timeless appeal as the F1.

Check the gallery below for images of the F1.

Citroen SM celebrates 40th Anniversary

March 15th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Citroën’s high performance coupe, the SM, is currently celebrating its 40th birthday.

The luxury sports tourer, an alliance between Citroën and Maserati, was first unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on 11th March 1970 – 40 years ago.

Technically innovative, with a dynamic, yet supremely comfortable ride experience, the Citroën SM was highly regarded for its futuristic styling, prestigious quality, ‘magic-carpet’ suspension and outstanding performance – a unique combination of characteristics not available in any other car at the time.

Officially recognised as a truly exceptional vehicle in the early 1970’s, the SM placed third in the European Car of the Year Awards in 1971 – the winner was Citroën’s GS.  The SM also received the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award in the US in 1972.

Powered by a Maserati V6 engine, the SM was one of the fastest front-wheel drive cars of its day, with a top speed in excess of 220km/h (137mph).  A competitive performer in motorsport, the SM won its first race at the Morocco Rally in 1971.

Pioneering innovative technology, the SM introduced a new type of variable assist power-steering, which made it easier to manoeuvre at lower speeds and provided greater resistance at higher speeds for improved control and handling.

The car also featured hydro-pneumatic suspension with automatic height correction and six headlamps with automatic levelling.  Four power-assisted disc brakes, with independent front and rear circuits, automatically adjusted brake power according to vehicle load and weight distribution.

Renowned SM owners have included U.S. comedian Jay Leno (who owns one of almost everything), Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, author Graham Greene and actor Lee Majors.  French Presidents from Georges Pompidou to

Jacques Chirac used two specially modified 4-door convertible ‘presidentielle’ models, created by coach builder Henri Chapron.

Click on the link below to see more images of the Citroen SM.

Continue reading “Citroen SM celebrates 40th Anniversary” »