November 17th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Like its near relation BMW, Mini likes to dabble a bit with art cars. Often they team up with top fashion designers to produce a one-off model which are then auctioned off for the benefit of HIV/AIDS research and awareness. That said, the latest special Mini is something different entirely.
For this unique model, Mini got in touch with British musician Paul Weller. Often known as “The Modfather,” Weller was a member of successful bands The Jam and The Style Council before embarking on a solo career. This is the first time Weller has lent his hand to automotive art.
Weller’s inspiration for the design – which features bold pink and brown stripes across the car’s entire body and is finished with a single silver line running up the bonnet and over the roof – comes from the colours in a Ben Sherman shirt he designed for the clothing brand some years ago.
Mini UK’s Director, Jochen Goller says “Both Mini and Paul Weller are synonymous with the quintessential British mod scene. That’s why we were the ideal match to create this unique car.”
Paul Weller said “I’ve always loved and driven Minis so when I was given the opportunity to design a bespoke Mini Cooper I wanted to create something that reflected the mood and colours associated with the Mod era, which was also the classic Mini’s hey day. I’d already expressed these colours in a shirt I designed for Ben Sherman a few years ago, so it made sense to me to continue the theme using a Mini Cooper as a palate.
The special pink-striped Mini he designed is being auctioned online to benefit the War Child and Nordoff Robins charities.
Check out more images of the Modfather Mini in the gallery below. Read the rest of this entry »
November 9th, 2010 by Car and SUV
BMW Unscripted – Sabine Smitz, Queen of the Nurburgring
November 8th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The BMW Group is expanding its plant in Leipzig (150km southwest of Berlin) to make it the first location in Germany equipped to handle the large-scale production of zero-emission electric cars.
In the period up to 2013, around â‚¬400 million will be invested at the plant in new buildings and machinery for the production of the Megacity Vehicle (MCV) and some 800 jobs will be created in the process.
The plant expansion was launched on Friday by German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and Dr Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, together with the Prime Minister of the German state of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, and the Governor of Washington state in the US, Chris Gregoire.
“By producing the Megacity Vehicle in Germany the BMW Group is demonstrating a clear commitment to Germany as a high-tech location. With this vehicle we are revolutionising automotive design and production, and offering our customers the first purpose-built electric vehicle for urban areas. This will be the world’s first volume-produced car with a passenger compartment made from lightweight CFRP, as less weight enables a longer range,” explained Reithofer.
“We made a conscious decision to produce the car in Germany, at our plant in Leipzig — our newest and most cutting-edge facility with the most flexible structures,” he added.
The Megacity electric vehicle will have its body panels formed from carbon fiber, but also its structure. The Megacity will become the first high volume vehicle with this type of construction. Previously, carbon fibre structures have been limited to race cars and supercars like the McLaren F1 and the new MP4-12c.
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October 29th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Early details of the updated BMW 1 Series Convertible facelift have shown up on the web as the updated version has been spied in the open. Taking into account the areas on the facelifted vehicle that BMW engineers were keen to cover, there is a lot of speculation which areas have been restyled.
The 1 Series Convertible facelift will most likely have a freshly designed front bumper, with a more aggressive look, new air vents and a replacement lower front grille. The headlights and rear light clusters have also had a re-designed, with the rear lights now upgraded to LEDs. The interior of the car will also receive treatment, not least the addition of the Connected Drive system.
The world debut of the BMW 1 Series Convertible facelift is predicted for the Detroit Motor Show at the beginning of next year.
October 26th, 2010 by Car and SUV
Brazil is well known for a few things like it’s fancy football and bubble-butted women but not for its supercars. That may be set to change with the Rossin-Bertin Vorax that will make its debut at the Sao Paulo Auto Show shortly. There’s no doubt the styling won’t be to all tastes but the Vorax has some serious credentials with a carbon fibre body and aluminium chassis. According to its makers, it will weigh just 1,300 kg and be powered by a hard-tuned 5.0-litre V10 lifted from the current BMW M5.
Although untested at this stage, the “base model” 425 kW Vorax should reach 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds and go on to a top speed of 330 km/h. Meanwhile, the harder core 559 kW supercharged variant can do just 3.6 seconds to 100kph and a 372 km/h top speed.
The creators of the Vorax wanted to build a supercar that could compete with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche – a ambitious goal.
Production of the Vorax coupe will begin at a manufacturing plant in Blumenau, Brazil later this year or early 2012. A convertible version is scheduled to follow the coupe a year later. The plan is to sell between 500 and 1,000 Voraxes for around US$409,836 each.
Check out images of the Rossin-Bertin Vorax in the gallery below.
October 21st, 2010 by Car and SUV
A few people saw it as an odd pairing when BMW and PSA Peugeot-Citroen formed their initial partnership. But the partnership worked, and now they have signed an agreement to continue it.
The two companies have agreed to develop the next generation of the jointly designed 4-cylinder petrol engine which will meet EU 6 requirements. The engine is currently being used in several Mini, Peugeot and CitroÃ«n brand models.
The partners have also confirmed to examine other possible areas for cooperation at systems and component level, with the aim of leveraging synergies in the development, production and procurement of selected components.
“We have always been very successful in our cooperation with our partners, and that is particularly true with regard to PSA. We are delighted to continue our engine cooperation and look into options for further collaboration,” said Reithofer.
PSA Peugeot CitroÃ«n’s Chairman of the Managing Board Varin declared “this new agreement with BMW is confirming the success of the cooperation between our two companies which has produced 1.3 million engines since 2006. I am confident that the next generation of jointly developed engines will reach the same success as the current generation.”
October 12th, 2010 by Car and SUV
The much-anticipated BMW 1 Series M Coupe just can’t seem to arrive fast enough. BMW fans are expecting it to mark a return to the company’s driver-focused roots, and the lightweight 1 Series with increased power and a manual gearbox is aimed squarely at serious drivers. So when is the car finally arriving? According to the most recent reports, the newest M car will debut at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show in January.
As for mechanicals, the M Coupe is expected to use an upgraded version of BMW’s twin-turbocharged inline-six (N54), which will pump around 335 horsepower through a manual gearbox and down to the rear wheels via a torque-vectoring M differential.
After it’s big reveal, the BMW 1 Series M Coupe will begin sales in May of 2011 and according to previous reports only 2,700 examples will be produced with the largest allocation heading to North America. If you do want to buy one, picking a color won’t take long since there are just three options; Alpine White, Jet Black and Valencia Orange Metallic.
Check out a teaser video for the 1 Series M Coupe below. Read the rest of this entry »
October 8th, 2010 by Car and SUV
With the Commonwealth Games in full swing it’s easy to waste away a few hours watching athletes from around the globe battle it out in their chosen sports. One of the more popular events is the gymnastics where buffed up competitors have tailored themselves mentally and physically to cope with the various disciplines. A mighty upper body for hanging from the rings, powerful legs for vaulting and a mix of grace and flexibility for the floor routine. But what’s most impressive is not the athlete’s ability to master a single area but to have absolute competence in all of them. Among the various athletes in the automotive world the BMW 3-Series would surely be the gymnast.
Known as a consummate all-rounder the 3-Series embodies athleticism, low-key style and progressive technology. Diesel power is a more recent move in the 3-Series repertoire but one that’s quickly being mastered, resulting in some of the finest performance-focused diesel vehicles built to date. Could BMW’s newest example continue this growing reputation for dynamic diesel delivery and further the 3-Series dynasty. Car and SUV hit the mats with the new 330d Coupe to mark its form and find out more.
So what’s special about the 330d?
Many things, but what’s first noticeable is the low-slung coupe sheetmetal. Like a zip-up sheep costume the coupe’s inconspicuous clean lines nicely conceal the wolf within. At the front BMW’s wide kidney grille sits prominently between excellent LED element headlights. A sharp crease line tracks along the sides below elegantly curved windows and a raked forward C-pillar. The rear proportions are just right with minimal overhang, a black diffuser and twin chrome exhaust tips hinting at performance intent. Our test vehicle was further upgraded with the M Sport body kit and nicely matched 19-inch double spoke alloys (17-inch is standard). Overall, the 330d Coupe has an understated elegance that may not appeal to the ostentatious, but will still illicit plenty of sideways glances at the lights.
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