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2011 Mercedes R Class

Mercedes will introduce the facelift version 2011 Mercedes R Class at this week's New York International Auto Show.

With the new version 2011 Mercedes R Class, Daimler is hoping to boost sales in this segment, and even though nothing major has been changed at the inside, the exterior however got a fresh new appearance that actually looks pretty good. Besides the larger front bonnet, the 2011 Mercedes R Class has also received redesigned spoilers with LEDs at the front, new headlights that reassemble to ones on the ML plus revamped taillights.

Powering options for the 2011 Mercedes R Class will include a petrol V6 that produces 268 HP and a 3.0-litre Diesel packing 210 HP.

The 2011 Mercedes R Class price will be announced as the market launch date is getting closer, while more technical details should become public as the NYIAS will open its doors.

BMW to Go Front-Wheel Drive

By Greg Kable of AutoWeek

BMW will end its tradition of rear- and four-wheel-drive only vehicles with a front-wheel drive small car meant to rival the Audi A1.

BMW chairman Norbert Reithofer has confirmed that the German carmaker will introduce a new front-wheel-drive entry-level model positioned and priced below the existing 1-Series as part of plans to help increase part sharing and to bolster the potential for production savings between the BMW and MINI brands, thus bringing an end to the era of rear- and four-wheel-drive-only BMW models.

Speaking to AutoWeek at the Geneva Motor Show, Reithofer said internal BMW studies revealed that despite the downturn in the world's economy, there was continued demand for what he described as "premium vehicles" in the small-car class, before officially acknowledging plans that will see BMW produce a rival to the recently unveiled Audi A1 and a new smart forfour presently under development at Mercedes-Benz.

"We will be extending the BMW and MINI brands into the small-car segment with new models and variants," he said.

Reithofer reconfirmed the plans for front-drive BMWs on Wednesday during the automaker's annual shareholder meeting in Munich.

Compare: Premium Front-Wheel Drive Cars

Being careful to separate the new price-leading front-drive model from BMW's upcoming city car, which is being developed in a different project as part of its Mega City Vehicle electric-car initiative, Reithofer added, "For these new vehicles [the new BMW and MINI] we [are] developing a common architecture for both front- and four-wheel drive."

While exact details remain shrouded in secrecy, AutoWeek can confirm the new entry-level BMW has been conceived to run the same front-drive underpinnings as the next-generation MINI Cooper.

But while the new MINI Cooper isn't due out until 2014, indications are that the small BMW could be on sale as early as 2013 as part of a major thrust by the company to become the undisputed sales leader in the premium small-car class.

Compare: MINI Cooper S vs. Honda Civic Si

News of plans to base the new entry-level BMW on the same platform as the MINI Cooper also raises the question of where the new car would be produced. Although BMW is being vague, indications are it could be built alongside the MINI Cooper in Oxford, England, using a new generation of three- and four-cylinder gasoline and diesel engines sourced from BMW's British-based engine factory in Hams Hall.

AutoWeek understands that studies are also under way that could see the new platform structure referred to by Reithofer used for future generations of the 1-Series, although at this stage, BMW is undecided on whether the third-generation model due out in 2018 will be front-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive.

"We are looking at alternatives," a Munich insider told AutoWeek. "With the new platform set to support four-wheel drive, it wouldn't be that hard to use the transmission tunnel for a rear-wheel-drive application."

Content provided by AutoWeek.
SOURCE : editorial.autos.msn.com

Spec Hummer H2 engine, price and wallpaper

The future of Hummer is now in the hands of China’s car manufacturers.

However, the condition does not make the long chassis jeep image of American pride faded, especially after getting a touch of home modifications creations of German origin GeigerCars. The result is a Hummer H2 Bomber. Sport utility vehicle typical of the United States was modified specialty vehicles like snow. All four original wheels replaced with a wheel-88M1 Mattracks chain model A1. The size of each wheel, 150 cm (length) and 40 cm (width). Size makes performance Bomber higher. Not only that, the wheels are also able to create a solid footing, even when in extreme terrain like snow.

From the factory, H2 has a V8 engine with maximum power and torque of 329 dk 365 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. However, with a touch GeigerCars, his strength has increased to 398 dk at 5700 rpm and 423 lb-ft of torque at 4300 rpm. To add to the impression exclusive, this product is painted with a silver exterior plus a variety of additional devices, such as lamps of fire on the roof and sides of vehicles.

In addition, the Hummer H2 also features a sunroof, navigation systems, DVD players, and monitors equipped with headphones to see through the rear view camera. For customers, GeigerCars offers several features, among other models LPG fuels that can accommodate 155 liters. Currently, the Hummer H2 has been demonstrated in snowy mountainous areas Nordschelife Nurburgring, Germany.

If you search the master off-road products, H2 is the right choice. Armored Hummer with legs, no obstacles that could block it.

SOURCE : mintori.com

The Future of Lamborghini: More Carbon Fiber, Greater Efficiency, No Forced Induction—and No Manuals?

At the recent launch of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera , we sat down with Maurizio Reggiani, the director of research and development at the extroverted supercar maker, to get a read on what to expect from Sant’Agata Bolognese over the next few years. First off, it’s worth noting that the company reorganized its priorities in 2007. Prior to that, they were design, top speed, acceleration, and handling—in that order.

But now, citing the fact that there’s really nowhere to explore its cars’ 200-mph-plus speeds, handling and top speed have switched places, so the order looks like this: 1. Design 2. Handling 3. Acceleration 4. Top Speed You’ll notice that fuel economy didn’t make the top four, but it will be a major focus for the company over the next five years (and probably longer). After all, 550-plus-hp cars and stricter fuel-efficiency regulations don’t tend to jibe very well. In Europe, Lamborghini has special dispensation as a small automaker to reduce its cars’ CO2 output by 35 percent between 2007 and 2015, rather than meet dramatically stricter regulations in place for larger manufacturers.

For the U.S., Reggiani tells us that’s it’s still up to the EPA to decide whether Lamborghini will have to meet fuel-economy hurdles as an individual company, or whether it will be held to one overall figure based on an average of all the VW Group brands sold here. Twenty percent of the total 35-percent reduction in CO2 mentioned has already been achieved, largely due to fitting direct injection to the Gallardo’s V-10 when the LP560-4 model was launched. But the next 15 percent is much harder, says Reggiani. Further gains will come from additional increases in engine efficiency, such as friction reduction, and plan on direct injection appearing on the company’s V-12 when the MurciĆ©lago replacement launches. (That should happen in the next 12 to 18 months.) Lamborghini is somewhat surprisingly working on far more mainstream technologies, too, such as stop/start capability to thrift fuel in urban settings, cylinder deactivation—so that both the V-10 and the V-12 can operate on half as many cylinders—E85 compatibility, and possibly even a mild-hybrid solution.

Against the pervasive trend in the industry, Reggiani says that there are no plans for forced induction at this point. Although that certainly is one way to reduce emissions, he says the company simply isn’t willing to sacrifice either engine’s fabulous linearity or their awe-inspiring wail. In short, the naturally aspirated V-10 and V-12 will continue. Weight-Loss Strategy to Include More Carbon Fiber Reggiani says Lambo is determined to offset any weight gains, particularly from a hybrid system, by reductions elsewhere in the car. Future cars “have to be lighter,” he says. To that end, he believes carbon fiber will be the major enabler of the weight-reduction goal, as witnessed by Lamborghini’s recent collaboration with the University of Washington and Boeing to create the ACSL, or Automobili Lamborghini Composite Structures Laboratory.

The purpose of the lab is to leverage the aerospace industry’s extensive carbon-fiber experience to find even more efficient ways to use it in automobiles. Reggiani cites studies predicting that the cost of carbon fiber will decline significantly by the 2012–2014 timeframe, at which point it’s predicted to be no more expensive than aluminum. By then, he wants to have come up with more creative ways of using the stuff, as its material properties, unlike those of aluminum, can be changed dramatically based on construction and shape. How about getting rid of all-wheel drive as a weight reducer? Not likely. “You have to put the power to the ground,” Reggiani says, “and when the tires are a-spinning all the time, you lose out on acceleration.” (See company priority No. 3). Certainly all-wheel drive is a major enabler of blistering standing-start acceleration, which is how the Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera is predicted to hurl to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. Plus, Lamborghini prefers four-wheel traction for racetrack situations, too, where it certainly makes its cars more goof-proof and easier to safely exploit, although we generally prefer hairier rear-drivers on-track. Et Tu, Lamborghini? We pointed out that Lambo’s Italian neighbors, Ferrari, have basically abandoned the use of manual transmissions, and Reggiani concedes that Lamborghini likely will eventually follow suit; he says manual transmissions are fitted to less than five percent of the firm’s cars.

Although he’s still somewhat defensive about the common belief that dual-clutch automated manuals with seven speeds or more—such as Porsche’s PDK—are necessarily better than Lambo’s six-speed single-clutch unit. He says Lamborghini is opposed to unequal gear steps, such as Porsche’s thrifty and ultra-tall seventh ratio, and also makes note that the Porsche gearbox is roughly 50 pounds heavier than the Lambo six-speed. But we tend to side with Porsche on this one—use gears one through six for acceleration, and reserve seventh as purely for fuel economy. Lamborghinis with cylinder deactivation, the exclusive use of automatics, and stop/start functionality? If anything, this proves that the automotive future will be anything but business as usual. Related posts: Audi Says Car Prices Will Rise With Efficiency Mazda’s Efficiency Strategy to Include Stop/Start, Energy Regeneration, Diesel, and More – Car News Lamborghini Estoque Concept – Auto Shows

SOURCE : autoinfonews.org

2011 Hennessey Venom GT official specifications

As we promised a few days ago, we now have official information and pictures of what is sure to be the worlds maddest supercar. Or really, we should say hypercar because this ballistic missile for the road will storm from 0-100km/h in a mind boggling 2.4-seconds.

Yes, thats quicker than the ridiculously quick Bugatti Veyron we drove two years ago. The Hennessey Venom GT is also faster, with a top speed of 437km/h, but were told this is an estimate. Good luck to the test driver who has to verify it, though because the Lotus Elise-based Venom GT only weighs 1100kg, which means it needs dollops of downforce to keep it from taking off.

Thats why this cars aero-package has been completely reworked from the original Elise. Also adding to the insaneness, is the engine. Were talking a 6.2-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 making a ridiculous 900kW and running through s Ricardo six-speed manual to the rear wheels. Oh, and a stupendous 1350Nm. All in an 1100kg chassis. Yes, were shaking our heads, too. But that doesnt stop us wanting to drive it

As with the Veyron, Michelin has come to the party, supplying PS2 tyres for its carbon-fibre wheels. Brembo brakes are used, with six-pot fronts and four-pot rears, along with a programmable traction control system, which youre going to need.

There are three variants available, the base model coming with the LS9 engine from the Corvette ZR1, and reworked to put out 540kW. You can opt to upgrade to the 750kW twin-turbo model, or splash out the cash on the 900kW motion-sickness-inducing model. The pricing will be US$600,000 for the base model and $725,000 for the top-of-the-line variant.

The good news for us is that Hennessey is looking to set up a dealer network around the world, with Australia being specifically mentioned as one of the destinations for the Venom GT.

Things are finally looking up around here.

SOURCE : www.cars91.com

LIST OF 2010 TOP 10 Douchemobiles

No.10 - 2000-‘09 Ferrari 360/F430 in Fly Yellow

Stratospheric care and feeding costs don’t dissuade our aspirations to Ferrari ownership, but guys with 360s and F430s in Fly Yellow do. We understand it’s a long-revered Ferrari color, nearly as hallowed as Rosso Corsa. And it looks fine on track cars; even Challenge Stradale editions are exempted because owners are passionate fans. It’s the tamer editions that become douchemobiles when owners couldn’t care less about their car’s pedigree and use the hue as an ego stroke.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Megawatt aftermarket stereo drowning the V8’s soundtrack

No.9 - 1988-'03 Pontiac Grand Prix/1992-'05 Grand Am

Let’s face it: there’s not much shame in these Pontiacs falling to douchemobile status. Between these later Grand Prix and Grand Am cars, there was little to love anyway. When the power wasn’t anemic, it was unwieldy, yanking the wheel in torque steer. All this and Batmobile bodywork channeling a typical sixth-grader’s notebook sketches make up the academic apex of the typical douche piloting these cars. If you encounter men who drive these models, speak slowly and limit your syllables.

Douche-tinguishing feature: “No Fear” and/or “Pontiac Excitement” stickers

No.8 - 1994-'04 Ford Mustang in (faded) red or (faded) black

Relax, we’re not about to throw the douchemobile label on the 2005-2011 Mustangs. The newest cars are arguably the best, at least of those since ’74. We’re talking instead about the decade-long run of the ’94-’04 cars, now dubbed Douchestangs thanks to the guys who ruined it for the rest of us. Douchey V8 drivers are bad enough, but it seems a lot of V6 owners have inexplicably bigger chips on their shoulders.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Exhaust system that isn’t custom, just rotted

No.7 - 1993-'07 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

When Mercedes finally gave us a credible C-Class for 2007, the company also discontinued a douchemobile. The biggest problem with the W202 and W203, like most of the other cars here, is the typical owner. If they wanted a great near-luxury German sedan, they could’ve shopped Audi or BMW. Instead, they bought a catalyst for their attitude, as if having the Baby Benz granted S-Class cachet to the douchiest of them.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Gold trim, for that extra subtle hint of unbridled wealth

No.6 - 1995-'05 Dodge Avenger/Stratus Coupe

Low-tech meets low-brow. As the lackluster successor to the equally dull Dodge Daytona, bland had a brand as the Dodge Avenger Coupe and then Stratus Coupe. Its style was instantly forgettable and available engines never oozed more than 200 horsepower, yet the douches who drive them even today want you to believe they’re packing twice that. Their only kill-shot comes from occasional stoplight races with lawn tractors. Even then, it’s close.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Driver’s seat in dentist’s chair position

No.5 - 2002-present Porsche Cayenne

Porsches are all about the simple pleasure of driving. Even the Cayenne cheats physics and performs admirably on- and off-road, and some are well-driven and enjoyed. Too many Cayennes suffer their lives as suburban douche mobiles, with douchey owners who misuse them as status symbols and never explore the limits. They do talk a good game, though, blathering at length about stats and capabilities. Of course, it’s all culled from the sales brochure, not firsthand experience.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Redline virginity

No.4 - 1995-'07 Chevrolet Monte Carlo

Douchemobile status is virtually assured when your car is not only pimped by cartoon characters (Tasmanian Devil), but comes in NASCAR editions too (Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr., Tony Stewart). It takes big, sleeveless shoulders to carry such a dubious honor, but the last-generation Monte Carlo manages that there real good. The slab-sided coupe was embarrassingly crude on its own, but when some fell into the hands of race-delusional douches, it became a joke that wrote its own punch line.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Stickers with NASCAR driver numbers -- or is it its owner’s IQ?

No.3 - 2004-present Toyota Prius

We’ve taken a few shots at the Toyota Prius in the past; but in all fairness, it is a technologically cool car. Ignore the design, image issues and self-righteous owners who are so intelligent, they can’t push the big pedal when all hell brakes -- sorry, breaks -- loose.

But that’s the problem. You can’t ignore all that. Maybe that’s partly why some hybrid believers choose other hybrids.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Drivers doing 80 (intentionally), offsetting energy waste by not signaling or using headlights after dark

No.2 - 2002-present Lamborghini Gallardo/2003-present Murcielago in Day-Glo colors

Ownership of the Lamborghini corporation has ventured from unlikely to bizarre, but with Audi on board the marquee has never been better. The cars are still fast and charismatic, but ergonomics and reliability have entered the picture. If only they could shake off the douchebags among their clientele,

the ones who look like Jersey Shore rejects. When their idea of the Lamborghini experience is retina-burning paint and trying too hard to be seen, they find themselves driving six-figure douchemobiles.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Gaudiness exceeded only by the driver

No.1 - 1992-'10 Hummer

No model designation necessary here; whether it’s a Hummer 1, 2 or 3, it’s El Douchemobile Supremo (it’s also t he vehicle that got us out of Iraq, then helped take us back, but that’s another argument). E xcept for the few owners who actually have a need and work them hard off-road, there’s never been a more perfect douchemobile to embody douchebag owners’ blissful ignorance, extreme arrogance an d pride in both.

Douche-tinguishing feature: Only what’s between the front and rear bumpers

SOURCE : www.askmen.com

Buying Your First Used Sailboat, Trawler or Motor Yacht

If you’re a first-time yacht buyer the selection of previously used boats available for purchase can be irresistible. How do you make sense of all the different models and styles out there?

The first time boat buyer needs to avoid purchasing on emotion and take a hard look at what they want to do with the vessel. Making the wrong choice will be a big problem in the long run and perhaps cost you thousands.

To begin with, are you a sailor or a motor boater or maybe you don’t truly know? Many like the story of a sailboat in the islands; others don’t want the aggravation of the sails, appurtenances etc. But a sailboat is very inexpensive to run if your plans include sailing to far-away places

Once you have assessed your yacht preferences you can then decide on what you wish on doing with it.

How will you use your new yacht? I always say that there are “sincere boaters” and just “owners”. Actual boaters use their boats; boat owners just like to say they own one as their yachts rarely depart the wharf. Many boaters may be full-time liveaboards using their boats as their housing every day. Others may just use their boats on nice weekends when time permits.

Next is the cost of watercraft ownership. You must take this into consideration. The initial purchase is like a down payment. Boating has its costs that you need to be aware of. If you are mechanically inclined, you will find that the costs are not out of line. Most watercraft owners do the majority of repair themselves. I have posting at my website about the specifics of boating costs. Feel free to take a look.

So thus far we have determined what type of boater you are, we know what style of cruiser mostly appeals to you, we know how much we expect to use it and about what to expect in the maintenance of her.

Now comes the hard piece; how do you select just the right one? I have developed a purchase checklist that I use with my customers to let them choose the critical features of their desired boat. That checklist then becomes the basis for the perfect boat hunt. When I am dealing with customers, I then look for yachts that best fill the customer’s wants recognizing that most purchases usually involve compromise. Rarely do I find a cruiser with all of the desirable features.

In the planning stage, I always say that you’ll know it when the right vessel comes along; it will “talk” to you. Any potential boat will have the lines, the feel and the personality that appeals to you. Don’t settle for anything less than one that pleases you.

But what about the cost of that used boat? How do you know you are getting a fair transaction? Borrowing from other posting at the Paradise Yachts website about the True Value of Yachts, good yachts always command higher prices, always! A newer boat in bad condition will bring less than an older vessel in good condition, always! Never buy a boat based upon the initial price alone or you’ll be selling it within 6 months.

And should you a survey, yes it’s always advisable. Select a knowledgeable surveyor that has experience with your desirable yacht . Ask him for references too.

If you are working with a respectable Yachts Broker, he will recommend various top-shelf surveyors but will insist you choose the one you want to use.

And finally, use a Buyer’s Broker to represent you in your hunt , selection and purchase. It will save you lots of time, money and a lot of disappointment.

SOURCE : www.luxuryyachtsforsale.org

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