Friday, December 31, 2010
Through the innovative V6 TDI engine for the Le Mans 24 Hours, motorsport is yet again performing pioneering work for the production arm at Audi where there is a growing trend towards smaller, more economical but yet powerful engines. Another new development is the six-speed transmission in the R18 which has been specifically modified for use with the smaller engine.
The R18 benefits from the chassis and aerodynamics package containing a lot of know-how from the R8, the R10 TDI and the R15 TDI whereas the fitting of identically sized front and rear wheels is new to an Audi Le Mans sports car. This configuration allows a more balanced weight distribution.
The R18’s headlights, which are the first to completely consist of LEDs with optimized amount of light, are a technical highlight. The new generation of headlights was developed in close cooperation between Audi Sport and the Technical Development (TE) division of AUDI AG and by using at Le Mans, will be prepared for future use in production vehicles.
Thursday, December 30, 2010
The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR takes off into the new motorsport season with extensive modifications. The 2011 version of the world’s most successful GT race car celebrated its international premiere at the “Night of Champions” party held at the R&D Centre in Weissach to mark the end of the motorsport season. Priority in the further development of the GT3 RSR was given to the newly designed aerodynamics at the front and rear, changes to the suspension kinematics and to the engine.
The 4.0-litre, six-cylinder boxer engine now delivers 455 hp (355 kW) at 7,800 revs, five horsepower more than its predecessor. The power increase results from an engine management system which adapts even better to different fuel grades, as well as a redesigned exhaust system and a modified air intake housing. Moreover, the driveability of the famously efficient engine has undergone further improvements. Maximum revs remain unchanged at 9,400 rpm.
Clearly visible are the modifications to the front. A new front lip provides higher downforce at the front axle. The front wheels are now wider with the rims growing from 11 to 12 inches giving additional grip and less of an understeering tendency. The position of the rear wing and the shape of the wing mounting also underwent optimisation and were adapted to the new rear fairing with additional air outlet louvers. The rear lid was also redesigned for optimised air ducting. Like the 911 GT3 Cup and the GT3 R, the RSR has now been equipped with the LED rear lights taken from the latest 911 road-legal cars.
The 911 GT3 RSR joins the 911 GT3 R and the 911 GT3 Cup as the top model of Porsche Motorsport’s product range. The successful long distance racer from Weissach can be ordered now at a price of 410,000 Euro plus country-specific value added tax. All 2011 modifications are available as a kit for GT3 RSR cars from the 2010 season.
Released at the 2003 Geneva Auto Show, Porsche's Carrera GT was a final production version of the concept car first seen at the 2001 Paris Auto Salon. It was Porsche's first limited production supercar since 959 production stopped in 1988. At the time of launch, it was one of the few available products that rivaled the Ferrari Enzo.
Unlike the 911, which carried the company for four decades, the Carrera GT was complete bottom up design. Its styling was thankfully unchanged from Paris show car and departed from the traditional Porsche shape which the 959 couldn't escape.
Motivation for the Carrera GT came directly from Porsche's successful motor sports program and the Porsche WSC-95 Le Mans prototype. After winning Le Mans twice in 1996 and 1997, Porsche revived an old V10 engine for the 1999 season but it was shelved only two days into track testing. Fortunately, the 5.5 liter V10 was used in a one-of 2001 Paris Auto Salon concept car which was received well enough for production to begin two years later. Final Assembly commenced at Porsche's Leipzig plant and the car sold with an MSRP of $440,000 USD, $515,000 CAD, or €390,000.
Under the skin, the car used many modern hallmarks of motor sport engineering: a carbon fiber chassis, dry sump lubrication, inboard suspension and a mid-mounted engine that was engineered to sit as low as possible to ground. Careful attention was also paid to under tray airflow which could be managed better than the rear-engine 911.
A new V10
Porsche's V10 engine can trace its roots back to a unit developed in secret by Porsche for the Footwork Formula One team. This development halted in 1992, but was resurrected for a WSC-95 successor that was never completed. Bored out to 5.5 liters, this unit then found its way into the Carrera GT Prototype. When production commenced, it was modified by Porsche engineers to ensure more power and reliability. Such revisions included a larger displacement which offered more torque and driveability.
This engine is placed in the middle of the chassis in a three-point carbon subframe. This is unlike Paris Show Car which featured its V10 as a load bearing structure within the chassis. Had Porsche not used a subframe, noise leakage and vibration would have hampered interior comfort.
The intake system is equipped with Porsche's VarioCam technology found on the current 996 range. VarioCam continuously adjusts the angle of the intake camshaft to optimize performance and output.
Making the engine as light as possible was a primary goal. A light alloy crankcase and titanium connecting rods help the engine have a weight of 452 lbs (205 kg). Compare this to the Enzo's V12 weighing in at 496 lbs (225 kg).
6-Speed with a Ceramic Clutch
Power is transferred to the rear wheels through a newly developed six-speed manual transmission. Attached is a special clutch which has a reduced size and weight. Called Porsche Ceramic Composite Clutch (PCCC), this two-plate clutch is made of ceramic composites. Such materials not only help reduce the rotational masses of the clutch by a factor of ten, but offer less wear than conventional material. Combined with a lightweight flywheel, rotational mass of the engine is exceptionally light.
Another highlight of this clutch is its short diameter of only 6.5 inches (165 mm). At such a height, the transmission and engine are very short and mounted low in the chassis. Just how low? Well the crankshaft rotates just 4.0 inches (102 mm) from the floor and the transmission actually sits lower than the rear differential.
Providing a basis for the Carrera GT is a carbon fiber monocoque with carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFP) sub frames. Among the carbon body and carbon frame, metal pieces are few and far between. For instance on the chassis, the front rails, a-post inserts, fuel cell and suspension are the only major non-carbon elements.
The chassis is manufactured by the ATR Composites Group. They are specialist Italian carbon fiber manufacturer which coincidentally make the tubs for the Ferrari Enzo. Production at ATR is two complete chassis per day.
A carbon rear sub frame isolates the entire drive train and rear suspension from the chassis. Having the engine completely supported CFP materials is new concept to production car manufacturing. It was concept developed by Porsche's Motor Racing Division and is subject to patent.
Suspension elements include double wishbones with inboard damper and springs on all four wheels. The inboard dampers and springs are actuated by pushrod and dampers like the setup used by every Formula One constructor.
Braking on all four corners is executed by the capable Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB) system and for the first time on fifteen inch rotors. Consisting of ceramic discs and composite pads, the system is lightweight and resistant to corrosion. PCCB reduces the unsprung weight of the braking system by fifty percent. Four channel ABS comes standard.
Attached to the braking system are forged magnesium wheels which weigh less than the tires wrapped around them. Michelin makes the only tire approved for the Carerra GT. They feature a soft compound rubber on the outer one third of the tread. It is suggested by Porsche that these tires need replacement every 15000 miles.
A large rear wing provides down force at the rear of the car. As the car reaches 75 mph (120 km/h) it electro-hydraulically raises an additional 6 inches (16 cm) for increased stability. At top speed the combined down force of the front and rear wheels total 639 pounds (290 kgs).
Apart from the wing, most of the Carrera GT's down force comes from its under tray. The entire tray is manufactured from carbon fiber and is attached to the chassis, engine mounts and crash structure. Creating down force with such a device is efficient as it does not impair the car's drag coefficient. A diffuser and air flow ducts provide additional ground effect.
Further aerodynamic attention is applied to the lower wishbones. They are made of efficiently shaped steel tubes which do not interfere with the aerodynamics underneath the car.
To ensure control under all situations, the Carrera GT has a four channel anti-lock braking system and anti-spin control (ASC) to prevent excessive wheel spin. Traction control is standard. 'Should he/she wish to enjoy the thrill of dynamic driving of the highest racing standard the driver can switch off the complete traction control function by pressing a button in the centre console.' says Porsche.
Porsche describe the Carrera's clean interior as a function-oriented ambience and a cockpit free of all extraneous detail. Only high-tech materials such as carbon, magnesium and leather adorn most surfaces.
Information is clearly presented in a classic Porsche instrument cluster which replaces the LCD screen featured on the concept car. The car also uses the 911 steering wheel which doesn't follow the F1 trend to stick as many functions on the wheel as possible. This old-school approach is a refreshing change, contributing to the GT's ambiance and ensuring it will remain a timeless design.
Extending into the dash is a centre console covered in magnesium. Attached sits a birch/ash shifter which is the only piece of wood found in this carbon-laden car. It specifically pays homage to Porsche's 917 which sported a balsa-wood gear lever. Balsa was the optimum material for the job, it was extremely light, but most importantly added to the character of the 917.
Amenities such a Bose stereo system and air conditioning are optionally offered.
For closed top driving, two carbon fiber panels can be attached to the roof. At a low weight of just 6.4 lbs (2.4 kgs) each, these panels are easily removable and can be stored in the front luggage compartment.
Enzo vs Carrera
Comparison between the Carrera GT and Ferrari Enzo is inevitable. Both entered the market at the top of the product range and both place heavy emphasis on driver-oriented driving, but each executes this philosophy in a different way.
Where the Enzo has three driving modes, and a huge bevy of electronic systems, the Carrera is stripped down to basic performance. This is largely due to the fact that the Carrera only has a 6-Speed Manual whereas the Enzo is equipped with a paddle-shift, computer controlled, 6-speed sequential. Getting back to basics is somewhat cheaper, since the Carrera GT was $444,400 when new compared to the $660 000 USD Enzo.
With regards to pure performance, the Enzo does have 48 more horsepower (35.8 kW), and weighs 33 lbs (15 kgs) less which would make it win on any straight. The Carrera GT on the other hand, offers much more down force and might possibly catch up in the turns. In any case, if either car is superior, the margin is so narrow that it's more a question of driver skill.
Despite announcing a total production of 1500 units, only 1270 came from the factory in Saxony. Porsche stopped after airbag regulations changed in the US. It is also important to mention that the Carrera GT wasn't meant to become the fastest road legal supercar. Had Porsche tried to chase the McLaren's performance figures, production (planned at 1500 cars), profitability and comfort would have suffered.
Most cars came in the standard colors of Guards Red, Fayence Yellow, Basalt Black, GT Silver or Seal Grey, but custom colors were available.
Sources & Further Reading
Davis, Matt. 'Porsche Carrera GT'. Octane, December 2003.
Harris, Chris. 'The Dazzling Carrera'. Autocar, September 2003.
Kacher, Georg. 'The Porsche We've All Been Waiting For'. CAR.
Meaden, Richard. 'Super Ferry Animal'. EVO, November 2003.
Simister, John. 'Gunning for Enzo'. EVO.
Stout, Pete. 'Porsche's Pinnacle'. Excellence, December 2003.
Story by Richard Owen for Supercars.net
The company’s board approved the project earlier today based upon “overwhelming response from the public and customers.” Those same customers must have very deep pockets, because the last we heard the Porsche 918 will cost something north of $600,000.
Be that as it may, it promises to be a sweet car.
The concept that Porsche unveiled earlier this year at the Geneva Motor Show raised a whole lotta eyebrows, and why wouldn’t it? Porsche promises exceptional performance along with stellar fuel economy and emissions.
We say “promises” because the car’s performance specs come from Porsche and, so far as we know, haven’t been independently verified. Porsche says the 918 will do zero to 100 km/hr in less than 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 198 mph. All that while emitting just 70 g/km of CO2 and consuming 3.0 liters per 100 kilometers. That works out to 78.4 mpg if our math is correct.
Porsche hasn’t said how it arrived at those emissions or fuel economy figures, but we’re betting that achieving them will require the very lightest touch on the accelerator and maximum electrical assistance.
The mid-engined roadster features a 500-horsepower V8 based upon the 3.4-liter mill found in the Porsche RS Spyder race cars. It’s also got a pair of electric motors; together they put down 218 horsepower. The car has four modes that range from full electric to “race,” which throws efficiency to the wind and uses the electric motors as a push-to-pass feature. (You can get more on the tech in this post.)
Porsche’s supervisory board directed its minions to “develop a production model based on the car already presented,” so the car we’ll see will bear at least some resemblance to what we saw in Geneva. It almost certainly will be a super limited edition model like the Carerra GT.
Still, there are at least 1,000 people out there interested in buying one, because that’s how many “hand-raisers” Porsche said it wanted to see before deciding whether to build the car.
* Porsche 918 Spyder: The $630K Hybrid
* Peek Inside Porsche’s Super Hybrids
* 500-Horsepower Plug-In Porsche Makes Us Swoon
* Video: Porsche’s Hybrid Racer Runs the ‘Ring
* Hybrid Porsche Racer Makes the Podium
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
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The regular Mercedes-Benz B-Class wasn’t exactly created with the motoring enthusiast’s needs in mind, but this one-off B55 special is another story. Trainees of Mercedes-Benzs Rastatt plant in Germany turned a B200 CDI diesel model into a full-blown sports car by planting in a 388 hp 5.5-liter V8 and transferring the drive from the front axle to the rear.
The idea of the project came from plant manager, Peter Wesp, while the execution fell on the shoulders of foremen Andreas Würz and Matt Rieger and a team of twelve second and third-year trainees specializing in production mechanics and automotive mechatronics.
B-Class with a V8 engine crafted by trainees in Rastatt
- Fulminating one-off: B 55 with a V8 engine and 388 hp
- Complete conversion in the training workshop
Spacious, innovative and safe, the compact models of the Mercedes A and B-Class score with their high practicality, and have found favour with more than 2.5 million customers as a result. An extraordinary one-off example has now been built at the Rastatt plant, and shows the B-Class in a completely new light: a B 55 with a V8 engine and rear-wheel drive.
The idea came from the Rastatt plant manager, Peter Wesp. He gave some of his staff the task of creating a very special vehicle on the basis of the B-Class - leaving it to their creativity to decide what and how. Andreas Würz, a foreman in the technical vocational training department, immediately took up the challenge. He took a very close look at this large compact model, enlisted the aid of a tape-measure and came up with an idea that not only surprised and delighted his boss and colleagues, but also the trainees: "Actually it should be possible to fit a V8 into the engine compartment."
Together with his fellow-foreman Matthias Rieger from the electrics/electronics installation section, he assembled a team of twelve second-year and third-year trainees specialising in production mechanics and automotive mechatronics. A book of specifications was drawn up:
- The spatial concept of the B-Class was to remain unchanged.
- On the outside too, there were only to be minor indications of the conversion work.
- The interior was to be upgraded in line with the new vehicle class being aspired to.
- And the result of the conversion was to be in large measure suitable for day-to-day driving.
HR manager Martin Spicale promised financial support, which made the project a feasible proposition in the first place. And a "victim" (Würz) for the conversion was also soon found: a B 200 CDI which had anyway been delegated to the training workshop for learning purposes. While the trainees completely disassembled the car, Würz went in search of a suitable engine and found what he was looking for. And no mistake: the 5.5-litre V8 developing 388 hp and 530 newton metres of torque was transplanted into the B-Class together with a seven-speed automatic transmission and the engine control unit. The latter proved to be quite a headache later on, as it had to be reprogrammed only to process signals from the driven rear axle.
Würz: "The V8 power unit fitted amazingly well, and we were even able to use the original engine mounts." There were serious problems with the steering, but here too, harmony was restored with a number of modifications. The exhaust system was a clever combination of various replacement part items, and took the form of a twin-pipe system emerging at the centre of the rear end. This is where the one-off, christened the B 55 gets its typical, burbling sound - once the ignition key has been turned, all heads in the vicinity are guaranteed to swivel simultaneously in the direction of the B-Class.
Intensive perusal of parts catalogues also solved the second major transplantation problem, namely the drive axle at the rear. It emerged that the rear axle of an older W 210 series E-Class would be a very good geometrical fit. Plant manager Wesp gave the go-ahead to obtain one, and Würz and his colleagues designed a subframe, which extensive forming and welding work allowed to be integrated into the B-Class bodyshell to receive the new rear axle. Elegantly concealed within the sandwich floor, the propshaft of the E-Class also fitted into the B-Class with no further modifications.
For the brakes the team also struck gold in the replacement parts catalogue, this time in the C32 AMG listing. Perforated and internally ventilated disc brakes in size 345 x 34 mm were implanted at the front, with perforated and internally ventilated disc brakes in size 300 x 30 mm at the rear. The system was combined with striking 8.5 x 18 AMG sports wheels in a five-spoke design shod with 235/40 ZR 18 Y tyres at the front and 9 x 18 wheels with 255/35 ZR 18 Y tyres at the rear. The maximum steering angle at the front axle was limited to suit. The team had recourse to a typical item from the tuner's toolbox for the suspension, installing a coil-over suspension by K&W.
Where the interior was concerned, friends from the training workshop in Sindelfingen were able to help, providing Alcantara linings for the A, B and C-pillars as well as a roof liner in the same, luxurious material. The seats in a leather/Alcantara combination were provided by the specialists at Johnson Controls, who are located on-site in Rastatt. The finishing touches were added to the B 55 in the paint shop of the Rastatt plant. In trendy white with dark-painted radiator louvres and smoked headlamp lenses, the B-Class cuts an imposing figure but only gives a discreet indication of the powerpack concealed beneath its bonnet.
The project team headed by foreman Würz are particularly proud that at 1620 kg, the weight of the B 55 is only around 180 kg greater than that of the original car. Which means that impressive performance figures can be expected. Würz: "We have not made any measurements yet, but we should manage a sprint to 100 km/h in under six seconds."
Plant manager Wesp is equally proud of the result: "The team of trainees has done a superb job, and placed a spotlight on the sporty genes of the B-Class that nobody could have imagined." Training manageress Manuela Rascher is likewise very pleased: "The B 55 shows what our training workshop can do.
And at the same time it clearly demonstrates that we not only offer young people high-quality professional training, but also highly unusual and exciting project work." Could it be that further projects of this nature are planned for the future? Rascher: "We may have some surprises in store..."
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Sierra All Terrain HD Concept features a unique five-foot, eight-inch Crew Cab/short box body configuration that supports a wheels-at-the-corners proportion. Shorter in overall length than production Sierra HD models, the concept features enhanced suspension and unique body dimensions, including increased ground clearance and wider track, as well as greater approach/departure angles to deliver off-road capability.
The Sierra All Terrain HD concept is propelled by the new, production 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 and Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission powertrain combination offered in the 2011 Sierra HD trucks. The Duramax is rated at 397 horsepower (296 kW) and 765 lb.-ft. of torque (1,037 Nm). The 6.6L Duramax is more fuel-efficient – with up to 11% greater fuel economy than previous versions – and reduces NOx emissions by up to 63%.
With the same proven powertrain as production Sierra HD trucks, the All Terrain HD delivers comparable hauling and towing capabilities, including: est. payload capacity of 2,700 pounds (1,225 kg), est. conventional towing capacity of 13,000 pounds (5,896 kg), and est. fifth-wheel towing capacity of 15,600 pounds (7,076 kg).
Fiat's Brazilian division recently released the new Strada Sporting, a special version of the popular pick-up customized with multiple sporty accessories that improve both the exterior and the interior of the car. Pickups are fairly popular in Brazil and Italian carmaker Fiat tries to take advantage of this fact by offering local buyers the possibility to choose a more aggressive version of the Strada, already a best-seller in the country.
The exterior design is all painting in the same color as the body, it is distinguished on the outside by the new aero kit, which comprises of a front spoiler, side skirts and wheel arch add-ons as well as the 16-inch alloy wheels dressed in 185/55 tires. Other styling cues include the smoked headlamps and the silver trim on the mirrors, front fog lights, roof bars and the rear bumper.
Inside, there's gloss black trim, a leather steering wheel (with red stitching) and rubber-studded aluminum pedals. For more flavor, options include a sunroof, Bluetooth connectivity, and a premium audio system.
While the Strada broadened Cab are powered along the Italian firm’s 1.8-liter 16v four-cylinder flex-fuel locomotive acquiring 130 horsepower and 18.4 lb.-ft. By torsion when keeping going gasoline and 132HP and 18.0 lb.-ft.
The truck will go on sale early next year with a base price of $46,270 BRL ($27,580 USD / €20,820).
BYD has announced plans to introduce two new vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
BYD will stage two world premieres, including the unveiling of a pure battery-electric crossover, the e6Premier, as well as the S6DM plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.
The BYD e6Premier, equipped with an iron-phosphate "FE" battery, has a 186-mile range on city roads and a top speed of 87 miles per hour. It takes 40 minutes to fully charge the e6 using a 100-kilowatt fast-charger and six hours on a standard outlet.
BYD's S6DM SUV can travel 38 miles on electric power alone and more than 310 miles when engaging a 2-litre gas engine. A 10-kilowatt electric motor is paired with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission propelling the front wheels, while a powerful 75-kilowatt electric motor powers the rear wheels.
BYD also will display the F3DM hybrid, featuring a solar panel sunroof to help charge the iron-phosphate battery, and an all-electric K9 e-Bus with in-wheel electric drive. It can travel 155 miles on a single charge.
BYD to Announce Green Vision at NAIAS on January 10th
BYD's "Three Green Dreams" focuses on renewable energy generation, environmentally-friendly energy storage and efficient energy consumption, covering solar power, Iron-phosphate energy storage and electric vehicles. BYD will present their short and long term "Green City Solutions" which includes plans to help cities electrify all public transportation, and reduce air pollution and carbon emissions at a low cost.
BYD's pure-electric vehicle -- the e6 Premier (2012 Year Model) and the brand-new dual mode electric SUV -- the S6DM will make their world premieres on the main floor exhibit space at the COBO Center at the 2011 NAIAS. The World's first mass-produced F3DM sedan low-carbon version and the core drive technology of the pure-electric bus, shown at EVS25 recently, will also be showcased.
The new 5-seat crossover -- the BYD e6 Premier (2012 Year Model) has a more dynamic and sporty exterior design. Equipped with BYD Iron-phosphate "FE" battery, the e6 Premier has an expected range of 300km (or 186.4 miles) on urban roads, while its projected top speed is 140km/h (or 87 mph). It only takes 40 minutes to fully charge the e6 on the 100kW fast charging cabinet and 6 hours to overnight-charge the e6 on the 10kW standard charging pole. These characteristics make the e6 ideal for daily commuters and in-town driving.
The core technology of the pure-electric K9 e - B us is another BYD breakthrough in the field of electrified transportation. The specially designed in-wheel electric drive and the electronically-controlled air suspension allows this 12-meter-long e-Bus to have ample space and a low-floor for easy passenger loading and unloading. The K9 is able to run 250+ km (155+ miles) on a single charge.
The BYD S6DM SUV is the world's first independent 4WD dual-mode electric SUV. Traveling over 60km (38 miles) purely on electric power and over 310 miles extended range when engaging the environmentally friendly 2.0L gasoline engine, this SUV sports a 10kW electric motor (M1) paired with a smooth 6-speed dual-clutch transmission propelling the front wheels while a powerful 75kW electric motor (M2) powers the rear wheels.
The F3DM low-carbon version also features the BYD Fe battery together with a BYD 371QA 1.0-liter gasoline engine. This vehicle is equipped standard with a solar panel sunroof to parallel charge the Fe battery. Powered by the Fe battery pack alone, the F3DM can travel over 60km (38+ miles). The extended range HEV mode allows the car to achieve another 500 km (or 313 miles) with a maximum speed of 150km/h (about 93.2 mph).
Monday, December 27, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Dec 22, 2010
Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com Names 2010 Most-Researched New Vehicles, Brands With Greatest Share of Market Interest This Year
Sales Success Story Hyundai Sonata Makes Giant Leap to No. 5 on 2010's Top 20 Most-Researched New Cars List
IRVINE, Calif., Dec. 22, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new car and used car information, today announces the most-researched new vehicles of 2010 on the company's top-rated website, www.kbb.com. In addition, Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com reveals the top five brands with the greatest share of market interest for 2010.
This year marks the fifth consecutive year that Kelley Blue Book saw increased visitation to its website, with nearly 24 million more visits to kbb.com in 2010 versus 2009. Because kbb.com is one of the most-trafficked automotive research sites, visitation to specific vehicles has become a leading indicator of sales patterns for manufacturers.
Kbb.com's Top 20 Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2010
1. Honda Accord
6. Nissan Altima
11. Toyota Sienna
16. Ford Escape
2. Honda Civic
7. Honda Pilot
12. Honda Odyssey
17. Toyota Prius
3. Toyota Camry
8. Ford Mustang
13. Chevrolet Equinox
18. BMW 3 Series
4. Honda CR-V
9. Toyota Highlander
14. Toyota Corolla
19. Chevrolet Camaro
5. Hyundai Sonata
10. Toyota RAV4
15. Ford Fusion
20. Volkswagen Jetta
The Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry (in varying orders each year) have been the top three most-researched new vehicles on kbb.com each year since 2004. However, a few vehicles made jumps into the top 20 most-researched new vehicles for 2010 that were not on the list in 2009, and many models have changed their standings among the top 20 when compared to last year.
The most noteworthy success story this year is the Hyundai Sonata, which made a giant leap up 24 positions, from number 29 last year to number five this year. Hyundai's popular all-new Sonata helped to re-shuffle the deck among the top 20 most-researched new cars of 2010, knocking a few vehicles further down on the list compared to where they were last year.
A number of popular new or redesigned models also increased their standing for 2010 versus 2009, including the Ford Mustang, up eight positions to number eight, the Toyota Sienna, up seven positions to number 11, and the Chevrolet Equinox, up seven positions to number 13. In addition, the BMW 3 Series was new to the list for 2010, making its debut at number 18.
Likewise, many vehicles that are staples on the annual kbb.com top 20 most-researched new vehicles list experienced a decline in standing for 2010 when compared to 2009. The Toyota Corolla fell nine positions to number 14 this year, and the Toyota Prius dropped nine positions to number 17. In addition, the Chevrolet Camaro was down seven positions to number 19 for 2010.
"The site traffic on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com clearly demonstrates which models are resonating with today's new-car shoppers, especially when we examine the most-researched new vehicles of 2010," said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com. "Hyundai's homerun Sonata was not only the darling of the industry this year, but also made a strong impression in the minds of new-car shoppers by leaping ahead to the fifth most-researched new car of 2010. In addition, two popular Toyota models, the Corolla and Prius, experienced drops on the list this year, likely due to a combination of lower fuel prices and reduced overall interest in compact and hybrid vehicles, and also possibly due to Toyota's public perception crisis during the recall saga of 2010."
Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com 2010 Top Five Brands with Greatest Share of Market Interest Among New-Car Shoppers
Toyota with 13.4 percent
Honda with 11.4 percent
Ford with 10.2 percent
Chevrolet with 8.3 percent
Nissan with 6.2 percent
Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet and Nissan (respectively) are the top five brands with the highest share of market interest -- defined as the percent of new-car shopper activity for a particular brand -- on Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com for 2010. While these five brands remain in the same positions as last year, Toyota has experienced a decline in share of market interest for 2010 while Ford's share of market interest continues to grow. Toyota managed to hold down its top spot for 2010, even though its share of market interest declined 2.4 percentage points from last year. While Ford remains in the number three spot, its share of market interest increased 1.5 percentage points for 2010 when compared to 2009. The remaining three (Honda, Chevrolet and Nissan) brands' share of market interest numbers remained relatively flat year-over-year.
Kia recently released the first official images of the refreshed Pro_cee’d hatchback. To be unveiled at next year’s Geneva Motor Show in March.
A handful of images of the facelifted Kia Pro_Cee’d have managed to find their way to the internet via Kia World. The Kia Pro_Cee’d with communal H-shaped grille make an appearance on the model for the first time, and new, aggressive fog-light insets help give the vehicle a little more personality, too.
The three-door configuration will be also powered by a new 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel engine, according to a report by kia-world.net, which develops a maximum of 128 horsepower and 255 Nm of torque.
New headlamps, a wider bumper accommodates larger air intakes , changes that will traverse the 5-door and SW models, in terms of the engines is expected to update the current engines that will meet Euro 5 emission standard. We enjoyed the first image as more data arrive.
But the aesthetics aren’t the only thing on that’s changed on the punctuation-laden Pro_Cee’d. Kia World also suggests that the Kia will now come with a slightly warmed-over diesel engine under its hood. The new lump is expected to churn out 128 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque from 1.6-liters of displacement.
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Yamaha's Tesseract four-wheel motorcycle
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Saturday, December 25, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
A new modification package targeting the MINI Clubman Cooper S is being previewed by Schmidt Revolution. The German company, which handles alloy rims as a core business, takes its time to release complete modification projects once in a while, with this kit, which uses the Streetworker name, being the newest offer of this kind.
The focus point of the tune is of course the German firm’s new Cirrus alloy wheel series, seen here in an 18-inch version. The funky looking rims can be ordered in any color ranging from the matte blue on this tune to any other tint including carbon black. On the MINI Clubman project car the alloy wheels are shod in 215/35R18 Continental rubber.
The body has been repainted and color coordinated in a way only people who live and breath neon lighting would understand. Then there’s the underpinnings. The engine now produces 200 horsepower and 250 NM of peak torque.
Under the hood, the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine has been tuned to produce 200 hp (149 kW / 203 PS) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque. This enables the car to hit a top speed of 220 km/h (137 mph).
The STREETWORKER from Schmidt Revolution
In a kind of competition from the Fiat 500, the Toyota IQ and others in its class, the Mini Cooper Clubman S prevailed with style and passion. In fact, the Schmidt Revolution, wheel manufacturer from Bad Segeberg, had taken on the task of providing a concept car with Urban Lifestyle tuning. With its Clubdoor, the engine and the concept of space, it is practically the perfect choice for this task.
The "genetically engineered" Mini, already equipped with a John Cooper Works Aerodynamic package, has been purchased in March 2010. With black xenon lamps including daytime running lights and after a performance increase to 200 hp and torque of 250 Nm - these two parameters allow the Clubman to reach a maximum speed of 220 km/h - the car is ready for city travel, at least for trips around the church tower.
The colors still harbored some problems in it, should the Mini yet actually be equipped with chrome foil. Rethinking was not easy for the men from A4M in Wuppertal; the BMW sprout has a matt blue car wrap, and then they returned back to immaculacy.
Street workers usually go a lot, so the "feet" and "shoes" require special attention The Cirrus wheels were decorated with colored multiplex material, so this fun car is never left unattended in city traffic. The really impressive 8Jx18H2 Cirrus rims have any of 3D-shaped multiplex patterns in matte blue; any tint of body color, from bright red to carbon black is possible at any style.
Cheap tires, causing annoying road noise, were changed with recapped 215/35R18 Conti tires, and the tire problem was solved. To allow for changing "obstacles" while impressive driving in city traffic, the concept car has a Streetec air suspension with press buttons which enables to adjust the height and make it 60 mm lower or 40 mm higher than the serial cars. The goal was to run over thresholds better and to park the Clubman easier.
Finally, it should also be mentioned that the spectacular rims are completely washable and thus are suitable for daily use.
So, that beautiful Urban Lifestyle can be a street worker...