VIDEO: Ferrari F1 cars take to the streets in Shell commercial

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This video brings the term "street racing" to a whole new level. We had told you about this commercial while it was being filmed in the beginning of February, but now we have the final product to share. In what was reported to be the most expensive television commercial ever created, Shell filmed a variety of historic Ferrari Formula 1 cars blasting through the streets of some of the world's greatest cities. The crew visited Rome, Monaco, Rio, Sydney, New York and Hong Kong during the month-long shoot. Called "Circuit," the two-minute ad celebrates 60 years of Shell and Ferrari working together (Free stickers work, too!). The incredibly vivid commercial is the brainchild of Partizan's Antoine Bardou Jacquet and producer David Stewart. The YouTubed version of the ad is available after the jump and the original better-quality clip can be had by right-clicking on the image above. Stickers are nice, but this is something very special. Make sure you turn your speakers up for this one, folks.

Thanks for the tip, Anis!

[Source: Shell via Partizan]

Continue reading VIDEO: Ferrari F1 cars take to the streets in Shell commercial

 

[via] Autoblog

Misunderstanding caused Consumer Reports child seat snafu

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The independant review set up to study what went wrong in a controversial Consumer Reports test that found 10 out of 12 rear-facing child safety seats to be unsafe has concluded that a misunderstanding between the magazine and the lab caused the error.

The misunderstanding apparently revolves around how fast the crash was supposed to be versus how fast struck car would move after the impact. Since an impacted car moves at half the speed of the object it was struck by, the independant lab misunderstood its instructions by performing crash tests in which the struck vehicle was set to move at 38 mph by an object going twice that speed. Obviously, the instructions for the test meant for the crash to be conducted at 38 mph, a much more reasonable speed, resulting in the struck vehicle moving at 19 mph.

In order to avoid such misunderstandings in the future, president of CR's parent company Consumers Union, Jim Guest, will sign off on "any report that calls a product Not Acceptable or raises questions about an entire group of products." In addition, the independant review suggested that CR be more open when it devises new tests and consult outside experts.

As for the car seats that were wrongly judged to be unsafe, CR plans to retest them again, though this time with a frontal crash test. A new side-impact test is still being developed according to the report by the Detroit Free Press.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

 

[via] Autoblog

Fiat 500: images and video


Click image for a gallery of desktop-sized photos

Yesterday we brought you a sneak preview of the much-anticipated Fiat 500. This marks the revival of one of the most iconic small-car designs in automotive history, a milestone in the Italian automaker's recuperation, and for buyers, an enticing new little runabout to add to the shopping list. Today, Fiat has officially released details and images of the sprightly Cinquecento. The car will be properly launched on the 4th of July, a date that marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of the original 500.

In the meantime, Fiat has provided us with the following: they've confirmed the car will launch with a choice of three engines. A 69hp 1.2-liter 8-valve four, a 100hp 1.4-liter 16-valve four, or a 75hp 1.3-liter 16-valve Multijet turbodiesel will be available and can be mated to a choice of five- or six-speed transmissions. That's before any performance-oriented Abarth versions enter the mix. The tiny car measures just 355 cm long, 165 cm wide and 149 cm tall, riding on a 230 cm wheelbase.

The Nuova 500, which will be built in Tychy, Poland, alongside the upcoming Ford Ka, promises to take the market by storm when it goes on sale, first in Italy, on September 15, with production targeted at 50,000 for 2007 and 120,000 for 2008.

Follow the jump for the preview video and the press release, or click below to view the images in high-resolution.

[Source: Fiat]

Gallery: Fiat 500

Continue reading Fiat 500: images and video

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Shell giving out free Ferrari stickers

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To celebrate another season of teaming with Ferrari on both road and track, Shell Oil has issued a set of stickers depicting the fabled cars from Maranello. In addition to shots of the new F1 car, there are also stickers featuring both of the current drivers, the new 599 GTB Fiorano, and the logos of both Shell and Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa are both giving a thumbs up, apparently satisfied with their debut performance from Australia in the 2007 World Championship. If this seems like the kind of thing you definitely have to get your hands on, there's even better news. The sheet of stickers is free while supplies last. All you need to do is give some basic information at the Shell website, accessible through the link below or by clicking the image above.

Thanks for the tip, Doug!

[Source: Shell via Deal Detectives]

 

[via] Autoblog

Lutz confirms V12 in development for Cadillac flagship

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Lutz unveiles the Cadillac Sixteen concept at NAIAS 2003 in Detroit

It's official. It's been confirmed: Cadillac is preparing a new V12 flagship. That's straight from the mouth of our favorite man in the business, Bob Lutz. On a recent trip across the pond, GM's venerated product guru confirmed in an interview to the British car magazine AutoWeek that they are indeed working on a twelve-cylinder engine, slated to power a new range-topping, import-beating "Cadillac of Cadillacs," a super-luxury-sedan to rival the likes of the Mercedes S-Class and Lexus LS in the grandest of American style.

The new powerplant is being fabricated from two of GM's 3.6-liter 60-degree V6 engines mounted on a common crankshaft. Far from relying solely on cylinder count, sources speculate the engine will also benefit from such features as direct injection and cylinder deactivation, resulting in a 7.2-liter V12 with somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower and 540 lb-ft of torque.

And just where is GM testing such a behemoth of an engine? In Australia, of course! As has become de rigeur for American automakers of late, GM is relying on its Australian subsidiary to run the development work on the new flagship engine. Holden is reported to have already begun testing mules, based on a Commodore with a stretched-out engine bay, at its Lang Lang test center near Melbourne. Although the Zeta-based Commodore, (a.k.a. the upcoming Pontiac G8) is being used strictly as a test bed for the time being, it could end up providing the underpinnings for the Cadillac megasedan when the time comes.

Lutz has been pushing for a top-tier Cadillac for years now, and the impetus for its development has apparently come from the feedback received by the Cadillac Sixteen showcar debuted back in 2003. Although the showcase V16 engine was ruled out, apparently the V12 has gotten the green light for development. Shoot for the stars and land on the moon, eh Bob?

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[Source: Automotive News - subscription required]

 

[via] Autoblog

Autoblog Podcast #61

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We're fired up about a few things for episode #61. We eventually get to an enthusiastic discussion of the American LeMans Series, but we wind our way through a few subjects to get there. We start off with the snub to Chrysler by some DCX shareholders who suggest a return to Daimler-Benz AG name. Not only is that a kick in the pants to the Chrysler group, but it's incredibly arrogant and illustrates that it was never really a merger of equals. In a froth, we move on to the anti-surprise that Nissan has nixed the heavy-duty Titan. In the death match that is the US pickup truck marketplace, the Japanese are having a tough fight. The Titan has its own charms but low sales, and the Tundra is taking criticism and underperforming in crash tests. We get the truck wars out of our system and move on to rhapsodic descriptions of the GT2 finish at this weekend's ALMS Sebring kickoff. Oh yeah, there were some kind of Audis there, and Acuras, too. We can't get the last-lap dogfight between the Ferrari and Porsche for the GT2 crown out of our heads, though. Before we go, we touch briefly on Smart's recently-opened registration for US buyers, as well as marvel at the low price for the practical city car that will end up as an effette bauble, as well. That's it in a nutshell, enjoy!

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Spy Photos: Opel Agila

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Because GM has said that Opel and Saturn will be virtually indistinguishable by 2014, every new Opel piques our curiosity. And guess what? Thanks to Hans Lehmann Photo, we have a spy pic of a new Opel. The vehicle is a heavily disguised prototype of the new Opel Agila. As with the current Agila, the model is being co-developed with Suzuki. WorldCarFans is predicting that this microvan will again use a choice of transversely mounted engines ranging from 60 to 80 hp. A 70 hp 1.3 litre turbodiesel might be another option. The finished vehicle or a concept version should be making its debut in Frankfurt this fall.

The current Agila is a rebadged Suzuki Wagon R built in Poland. One of the few 5-doors in the small city car class, it has been successful because of its unique combination of a small but relatively powerful and refined Opel engine, good standard equipment levels, low MSRP, and equally low operating costs. It has the typical small footprint of European city cars, but is as tall as some MPVs, allowing a lot of interior room. Where the current Wagon R and Agila have a slab-sided micro commercial van look, this new version appears to have a bit more style a lá the Suzuki SX4.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 

[via] Autoblog

Audi considering dropping out of ALMS?

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Despite racking up its eigth victory in a row at last weekend's 12 Hours of Sebring, Audi is reportedly considering dropping out of the American Le Mans Series. Rumors of Audi yanking its unbeatable R10s from competition in the U.S. have been swirling ever since last season when race organizers began changing rules to slow down the Audis and give their competition a hope in hell of winning. Those revisions didn't work and the Audis kept winning.

ALMS organizers also instituted "special" rules for the Audi in last weekend's running of the 12 Hours of Sebring, forcing the R10s to run with a smaller fuel cell that held 81 instead of 90 liters of diesel. Changes like this slow the Audi R10s enough to bring them within spitting distance of the LMP2 class that is incredibly competitive this year thanks to the arrival of Acura on the scene. From Audi's perspective, the temporary rule changes instituted at Sebring apparently were not in line with what it considers fair racing. As such, the German automaker is reviewing where it stands with the American Le Mans Series.

We would hate to see Audi pull out of ALMS, even though it dominates every single race it enters. Ideally, ALMS should be recruiting more competitive LMP1 contenders, or perhaps it could institute a new class of diesel-powered racers called LMD1. We hear the French might be interested.

BTW - FTW

[Source: Yahoo Sports Germany via German Car Blog]

 

[via] Autoblog

Enzo Ferrari's son earns engineering degree

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We just got word that Piero Lardi Ferrari, son of Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari, has earned his engineering degree at the age of 62. The graduation was marked with a celebration inside the Ferrari factory test circuit of Fiorano. The other employees of the company who were in attendance apparently joked that he now has almost as much intelligence as they do. Perhaps new designs from a true Ferrari family member are in the company's future.

Piero Lardi Ferrari is the extramarital son of Enzo Ferrari and also happens to own a 10% stake in the Ferrari automotive company. Piero was once a part of Ferrari's Formula 1 program, as well. It took Enzo a full 27 years to acknowledge Piero as his true son, but then the younger Ferrari was welcomed into the fold. Enzo had waited until after the passing of his wife Laura to come forward and admit his affair.

Thanks for the tip, Carlos!

[Source: Argentina Autoblog]

 

[via] Autoblog

eBay Find of the Day: Bullrun Lamborghini Murcielago

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If you've seen any of the Bullrun episodes that have aired on Spike TV (Tuesday nights at 10), or even the promotional ads, you might recognize today's eBay find. Although the series has just gotten underway, we can already surmise that the Team #10 Lamborghini Murcielago piloted by owner Jeff Marshall and co-pilot John Eltringham survived relatively intact. And for the right bid, it could be yours.

There are still nice weeks worth of episodes left, so no hints about who walks away with the grand prize are revealed in the listing. We already know that the car had been exhibiting clutch problems in the first two segments, so it's nice to see that Jeff has replaced the $10,000 clutch already. The Murci has a fresh set of rubber too, but needs a couple of other fixes. With some noticeable nose damage that will most likely require a replacement, the team had the other Bullrunners sign the future wallhanging. A new windshield and some paint are also mentioned as things the buyer will need to have fixed.

The car itself is #15 of the batch of fifty 40th Anniversary Murcielagos made in 2003/4. Upgrades include an Al Burtoni exhaust, re-mapped computer, K&N airfilters, new plugs, and new front wheel nuts. The seller adds that others have confirmed this is one of the strongest Murcis around, but he won't be needing this Bull on his Washington ranch. His Cayenne Turbo S will work better in that environment and make it a little easier to settle arguments amongst his three children over who gets to ride along.

Thanks for the tip, TestShoot!

[Source: eBay]

 

[via] Autoblog

Recently acquired Proteus to debut Jaguar C-Type Coupe replica

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Proteus C-Type Coupe

Proteus C-TypeProteus is a well respected manufacturer of replica sports cars based in the U.K. It currently offers convertible versions of the Jaguar C-Type (pictured at right) and D-Type that are near spot-on doppelgangers of the originals. Much has been happening in Proteus' world lately, as the company was recently acquired by its rival, Enduro Cars. This should be a good thing for Proteus, especially considering that Enduro Cars has made significant inroads in establishing a presence in the U.S., building a retail and service center in Irvine, California and new offices in Litchfield, Connecticut.

What's of more interest is news that Proteus may build a coupe version of its Jaguar C-Type replica, as shown in the rendering above. A scale model of the coupe will be shown at Race Retro during the 2007 International Historic Motorsport Show in Coventry, England this weekend. The show is somewhat of a relaunch for the Proteus brand under the stewardship of Enduro Cars, and if the public reacts favorably to the C-Type Coupe model it will likely get the go ahead for sale.

Press release after the jump


[Source: Proteus]

Continue reading Recently acquired Proteus to debut Jaguar C-Type Coupe replica

 

[via] Autoblog

Canada's new budget will add $4,000 tax to SUVs

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The Canadian government's new proposed budget includes both a $2,000 incentive for buying fuel efficient vehicles like hybrids and a $4,000 tax for purchasing less efficient models like SUVs. Unfortunately, the Detroit News article doesn't specify how the budget determines what vehicles qualify for the fuel efficiency rebate and which get dinged with the heavy tax.

What affect the Canadian government's new budget will have on car buying habits in the country is unclear, as Canadians don't buy many SUVs to begin with - only around 15,000 in 2006. At the same time, the environmentally-inspired incentive/tax combo may serve to irritate the very automakers that are deciding which plants they can afford to idle or shut down completely, many of which are located in Ontario.

The plan also has plenty of loopholes that can be used to get around the tax. For instance, it doesn't apply to used vehicles, so Canadians can freely buy year-old HUMMERs for significantly less than a new one. There's always the option of driving south to purchase a car in the States, as well, though we're not clear what mess of paperwork that would create to own and operate it back in Canada.

You can read all the details about Canada's new budget and how it affects the auto industry here.

[Source: The Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Only one ROUSH BLACKJACK Mustang Convertible to be built and auctioned for charity

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It's practically a guarantee that if you manage to buy a ROUSH BLACKJACK Mustang Coupe, you'll have an instant collector's item on your hands. Only 100 are scheduled to be produced... well, make that 99. ROUSH has announced that one of the BLACKJACK Mustangs will be a special convertible model with lucky number 13 as its serial number. The BLACKJACK drop-top will be auctioned off at the Celebrity Fight Night event in Phoenix on March 24th, with proceeds going to various charities including the National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.

To refresh your memory, the legendary Jack Roush had been driving around NASCAR events in his own prototype BLACKJACK Mustang all last season before announcing his company would build a limited run of 100. The cars are identified by their jet black appearance accented with a matte black stripe down the center. The ROUSH body kit is present, as is the ROUSHCharger that bumps power up to 430 horsies and 400 ft-lbs. of torque. Check out the full official press release from ROUSH after the jump.

[Source: ROUSH]

Continue reading Only one ROUSH BLACKJACK Mustang Convertible to be built and auctioned for charity

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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JE Design intros Audi TT 8J body kit

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JE Design has gone and messed with the Audi TT. The changes are subtle, which is good, because it's hard to improve upon the TT's form. The JE kit will surely draw mixed reviews, though we like that their kit still lets what's good about the car shine. There's new pieces for the chin spoiler in front, adding strange little vents at the leading edge of the wheel opening. We can't imagine that they actually serve any purpose - perhaps they vent heat from the foglamps? We're sure that's a common problem. The requisite overly-large, overly-low-profile tires are there, but the benefit of the bigger rolling stock is left unrealized. We see puny (puny's such a relative term) brakes hiding out behind the wheels. The only functional point behind ultra-low profile rubber and rims beyond 17" is to fit as much brake rotor diameter as possible under there, and what we're seeing is plenty of extra clearance around everything. And apparently twin exhaust outlets do not a fast car make; they've been superceded by quad tips. The smooth rear decklid has had a lip spoiler applied to add some downforce. What the spoiler really does is add a pimple to the ass of an otherwise smooth form. The stock pop-up spoiler gets in the game to add downforce, and when it's retracted, you're not going fast enough to need any extra drag. It'll look real racy in traffic at an average speed of 15mph, though.

[Source: JE Design]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ford Super Duty beast now belches fire; is recalled

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Ford is telling its dealers to put on ice sales of some 2008 F-Series Super Duty diesels because of -- gulp -- reports of flames shooting from the tailpipes. Ouch.

Luckily, only about 8,400 of the trucks had been sold, with the remaining 29,000 still on dealer lots. So far, only three owners have reported the fiery problem and no one was injured. Ford says the issue stems from leaking fuel injectors in one case and a cracked turbocharger shaft in another. In both cases, Ford says the leaking fuel ignited in the diesel particulate filter near the tailpipe.

Apparently, according to Ford spokesman Dan Jarvis, the problem can be fixed with a control module upgrade that will "power down the engine" when extreme temperatures in the trucks' diesel particulate filter are detected.

[Source: AP via Yahoo]

 

[via] Autoblog

GM plans 7 world premieres for NY Auto Show

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Bob Lutz introduces the Sky Red Line at NYIAS 2006

We're officially getting pumped up for the New York Auto Show. Bomb #1 dropped yesterday as the Infiniti G37 embargo got vaporized like the White House in Independence Day. The runup to the show is in full effect, and that's always a fun time. Today we got word that the gang at GM is planning world premieres of one concept and six production vehicles. Those come in addition to the US debut of Saab's E100 concept and a parade of other showpieces like the new CTS, the Camaro Convertible, the Saturn Astra, and other fun stuff.

The concept is described as a "closely guarded world concept," which makes us very curious bloggers, indeed. On the production side, you can pretty much pencil in the two Buick Supers, and we know what two of the others are (check back a week from today), but on the last two, we're still in the dark, though we can make very educated guesses on them. In any case, a good time is sure to be had by all, and we've got a big team standing by to bring you all the news as it rolls off Bob Lutz's tongue.

[Source: NYIAS]

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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VIDEO (NSFW): Flash-to-pass a rousing success on Porsche 911

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Europeans have a much different level of acceptance for sexual innuendo in their advertising that we do in the State, so we want to adequately warn those of you who might be easily offended by the female form that this ad is suggestive. If you think that might include you, check out the Ferrari stickers that Shell is giving away. Good, now that they've gone, let us dive right in to tell you about this clever and sexy ad for the Porsche 911. A lovely leather-clad lady hustles down an alley only to be stopped in her tracks by the sight of a parked Porsche. The 911 Cab catches her fancy, and in a fit of exuberant affection, she returns the favor and gives the silver Carrera a quick glimpse of the goods. Without resorting to some juvenile horn honking or light-flashing display, the car somehow manages to express its appreciation. Click through to see the full video.

Thanks for the tip, Jay!

[Source: Porsche via YouTube]

Continue reading VIDEO (NSFW): Flash-to-pass a rousing success on Porsche 911

 

[via] Autoblog

Want a Wrangler Unlimited? Be prepared to wait

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The DCX crew didn't anticipate the strong reception that the Jeep Unlimited would be granted when it was released earlier this year. The four-door Wrangler's popularity has put Chrysler in the enviable position of not being able to keep supply up to meet the demand, especially when said off-roader is equipped with the FreedomTop and MyGIG entertainment system.

According to a statement from the Product Communications rep, D.W. Bodene, "We're building new Wranglers as fast as we can, but it's a vehicle whose popularity exceeded our expectations." He goes on to point out that Wrangler sales were up in February by 63 percent and by 124 percent in January.

We're not quite sure what the rest of you are seeing on Jeep lots, but the few Wrangler Unlimiteds we've spied haven't been hanging around for long and the dealers are tacking on a markup accordingly.

[Source: Straightline]

 

[via] Autoblog

Mega Gallery: The Volvo C30

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click above image to view 93 new wallpaper-sized pics of the Volvo C30

Sure, the Volvo C30's old news by now, but it's still one of this year's favorites among the Autoblog staff. This week, the automaker released a slew (seriously) of new photos to coincide with the hatchback's Australian launch, and the eye candy is such that we couldn't help but share it with you. So, please take some time to peruse the 93 photos in the enormous gallery below. Each pic is sized to suit your monitor, making them just right for most desktops as wallpaper. This is one car that's going to cause a fight among the editors when it comes time for one to slide into the Autoblog garage. Neff is so gonna pull rank...

Enjoy the pics!

Gallery: Volvo C30 T5



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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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AutoblogGreen for 03.22.07

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On AutoblogGreen yesterday Jeremy pondered whether Al Gore wants to completely eliminate fossil fuels from our lives. BMW releases a video that provides some insight into the workings of their new EfficientDynamics package on the 1-Series and Audi's dominance may lead to the end of their ALMS efforts

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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VIDEO: World Record 16 cars get up on side wheels

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What better way to show you have a balanced lineup of vehicles than to have the whole line of 16 cars (and vans!) drive along on just two wheels. In a massive, record-setting effort, every Renault from the Twingo to the Trafic van was run up a ramp and driven along a runway on just their left tires. It's an amazing show of stunt driving with perfect synchronization. We'd hate to be the guy in the Megane cab or the Kangoo, but these folks are clearly professionals. Please don't try this at home, kids. Click through to see this record run, and watch the whole thing, as things take a "turn" at the end.

[Source: Mojo Flix]

Continue reading VIDEO: World Record 16 cars get up on side wheels

 

[via] Autoblog

More powerful Caparo T1 to make running debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed

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click above image for additional wallpaper-sized shots of the Caparo T1

We've followed the gestation of the Caparo T1 supercar ever since we first heard about the streetable F1 car being designed by a pair of ex-McLaren engineers. Caparo has announced that after only about a year and a half of development, the T1 will make its running debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in late June. Last year it attended Goodwood, but was only display and never moved under its own power. This year the car will charge up the 1.16-mile course with other classic and exotic cars that rarely come out and play in public.

To make the event extra special, Caparo has also announced that the car will be using a new engine that's larger and more powerful than the one initially announced. The original engine was going to be a supercharged 2.5L V8 that, when combined with the car's meager 1,100 curb weight, meant a 0-60 time of around 2.5 seconds. The new engine, however, is larger at a full 3.5 liters of displacement, and while Caparo doesn't divulge how much horsepower it produces, it does reveal the engine can produce 200bhp per liter of displacement. Do the math (carry the 1) and you get an estimated output of 700bhp.

Though the T1 won't be able to rival the Bugatti Veyron in terms of its luxurious accoutremont, Caparo's supercar will most definitely be able to spank it at a stoplight.

[Source: Caparo]

Gallery: Caparo T1



Related posts:
First Caparo T1 prototype completed
Caparo T1 to be displayed at Goodwood
Autoblog Night Watch: Caparo T1 on the road
Caparo T1 unveiled in Monaco

Continue reading More powerful Caparo T1 to make running debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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