June 30th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Gordon Murray became famous for his design of the now iconic McLaren’s F1, and even before that he was well known for his radical ideas in Formula 1 teams such as Brabham. Now, Murray is lending his skills to much greener projects and the latest is a unique city car.
Earlier this week Gordon Murray Design pulled the covers off its very compact city car, named the T.27. The project for this micro machine was seen from concept to prototype in just 17 months. What’s even more impressive is that time frame included the design of a new electric powertain by Zytek Automotive Ltd. The project cost an estimated £9 million, with half of the funding coming from the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board.
Murray’s aim for the car was ambitious: to create a completely new kind of vehicle, one that would address the problems of CO2 emissions, city congestion, parking and be sold at a low cost.
The T.27 weighs just 680kg including the battery and is 2.5m in length, 1.3 in width and has a height of 1.6m. Top speed is rated at 105kph and it can sprint to 100km/h from standing in under 15 seconds. It’s range is between 160km and 210km on a full charge.
Murray had this to say about the project’s focus, “lightweight is the most powerful tool we have in our armory in the fight against emissions and fuel consumption. This is true of all cars, especially electric vehicles, since a lightweight car means a lightweight battery, increasing the levels of safety and reducing the retail price dramatically”. Continue reading “Gordon Murray reveals ultra economical T.27 electric car” »
June 28th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Aussie car builder Joss Developments Limited has just revealed a new teaser image of its upcoming supercar before its official launch.
Scheduled for an official debut at the upcoming Australian International Motor Show (AIMS), the unique JP1 models feature a typical supercar low and sleek carbon fibre body with huge alloys and distinctive L-shaped headlights.
Official exact performance specifications haven’t been released, but Joss has previously confirmed the JP1 will be powered by a mid-mounted V8 engine producing around 373 kW. The big motor will be mated to a six-speed manual transmission which will get the lightweight 940 kg supercar from standing to 0-100 km/h in less than 3.0 seconds and on to a top speed in the region of 340 km/h. Continue reading “Joss teases JP1 Supercar before Aussie show debut” »
June 10th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham
Ford NZ is going big at this year’s Fieldays show with the much-anticipated New Zealand debut of the new Ranger Wildtrak ute.
Designed and developed in Australia the Wildtrak sits on 18-inch wheels and comes with a roof rack and sports hoop to beef up its profile. There is also special badging and graphics to set it apart from lesser models. Inside, there are leather/cloth sports seats and 23 different storage spaces including a glovebox which can fit a laptop computer and a deep centre bin which can keep six cans of drink cool.
Apparently, the Wildtrak can wade through water up to 31.5-inches deep and has just over nine inches of ground clearance. It also has a towing capability of up to 3350kg.
In terms of powerplants the Wildtrak has an option of two engines. A new 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel that delivers peak torque output of 375 Nm and power output of 110kW, or a new 3.2-litre 5-cylinder diesel that produces a powerful 470 Nm of torque and is power rated at 147kW. The Wildtrak is fitted with an 80-litre fuel tank so expect one of the longest ranges in the segment. Continue reading “New Ford Ranger Wildtrack to make NZ debut at Fieldays event” »
August 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham
The long-awaited world premiere of the Saab 9-4X compact crossover has been confirmed for this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. The LA automotive show is set to be a big one with more than 20 world debuts and will run from November 9 to 28.
The production version of the Saab crossover is expected to keep close to the 9-4X BioPower concept that was revealed at the 2008 Detroit Show (pictured). The compact SUV was designed and developed when Saab was still under the ownership of GM and makes use of the same Theta platform and major drive components as some Cadillac vehicles. The 9-4X will be built at GM’s factory in Mexico and global deliveries should begin mid 2011.
There’s no word on what powertrains will be offered on the Saab 9-4X but a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder as well as a more potent V6 engine will be likely when details are announced.