Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 2009 Dream Car of the Month - Renault 5 Turbo / Renault Clio V6 RS

This month I chose two cars as my car of the month because one is really the spiritual successor of the other. Both are pretty cool.

The Renault 5 Turbo is one of the strangest, craziest cars any manufacturer has had the balls to make. All in the pursuit of racing greatness.

Renault 5 Turbo production version

Built in the early 1980s and based on the lowly econobox, the Renault 5, the Turbo was produced with one goal in mind, to win rally races. What resulted was a car radically different from the model it was actually based on. Not much of the original car was used in the first run of Renault 5 Turbos which became known as the Turbo 1. The original Renault 5 was front wheel drive with a puny naturally aspirated 4cyl engine producing around 50HP in the US version, know here as the wonderful Le Car. That, along with the front wheel drive powertain, would not be sufficient for rallying so Renault replaced it with a mid mounted turbocharged 4cyl powering a rear mounted transaxle thus transforming the Renault 5 into something very special. Obviously, the chassis was also modified to accept this new mid/rear drive configuration and it made use of special lightweight alloys to keep weight down and improve performance. Base horsepower of the turbo 4cyl was around 158HP but the racing versions could produce upwards of 350HP. All of the race versions of the 5 Turbo were created from the Turbo 1, of which Renault produced 400 street cars to meet the homlogation rules for Group 4 rallying.

Renault 5 Turbo Rally Car

Following the 400 Turbo 1 cars came the Turbo 2 which were mostly identical to the originals except they used more "off the shelf" Renault 5 components instead of the exotic lightweight parts used in the Turbo 1. Even so, the performance of the Turbo 2 was nearly as good as the Turbo 1 cars.

The Renault 5 Turbo's rallying career was successful but short lived. The car won it's first outing at the Monte Carlo Rally and was very successful in the tarmac rallys but with the advent of the 4wd cars, it was no match on dirt.

Some 20 years later Renault tried the same formula again and created the Renault Clio V6 RS or Renault Sport. Launched in 2001, it is a modern interpretation of the Renault 5 Turbo. Renault again used a small front engine front wheel drive economy car, the Clio, and modified it extensively to turn it into a two seat mid engined rear wheel drive sports car. The difference with the RS was that they shoe horned in a 3.0L V6 instead of a 4cyl turbo motor. Two generations of the V6 RS were produced with the Phase 1 cars developing 227HP and the Phase 2 cars upping that to 252HP. The Phase 1 was manufactured from 2001 to 2003 and was built for Renault by Tom Walkinshaw Racing, the same company that helped Jaguar build the incredible XJ220. The Phase 2 cars were released with the mid model restyling of the Clio in 2003 and they were built by Renault Sport.

Renault Clio V6 Renault Sport Phase 2

The Phase 1 cars were not much faster than the less radical Clio 172 Cup model since the conversion to V6 power and rear wheel drive added over 600lbs to the total weight of the car. That resulted in a 0-60 time of 6.2 seconds while the 172 Cup could hit 60 in 6.7. The Phase 2 cars corrected that somewhat by adding more power to drop the 0-60 sprint to 5.9 seconds. Both versions of the V6 RS were capable of hitting top speeds around 150MPH.

Though it may look like a useful car, the Clio V6 RS is not. Most of the hatch storage space is now taken up by the engine and tranaxle. The turning circle is over 43ft and it struggles to get 25mpg. Handling favors understeer on the Phase 2 cars due to a rework of the suspension because of the Phase 1 cars tendency to oversteer especially in the wet.

Even with those shortcomings, the Clio V6 RS is one hell of a cool car. Actually, both of these crazy French hot hatches are.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

2009 Tokyo Motor Show Highlights

The Tokyo Motor Show is going on this week and the big news is what broke yesterday with the official reveal of the on again/off again Lexus Supercar, the LFA. Here is the info on that one and a couple of other important cars from the show so far.

2011 Lexus LFA

Rumors surrounded this car from day one. It was to go to production, then cancelled. Shown at car shows, then redesigned. Test mules were spotted at the Nurburgring and then finally, yesterday, Toyota surprisingly revealed the production ready model and announced deliveries starting in 2011. Lots of ups and downs for this car but they appear to have been worth it. Specs on the LFA include a 4.8L V10 producing 552HP/354TQ with a 9,000 redline. Weight will be just 3,264LBS which will enable the LFA to hit 60MPH in just 3.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of 202MPH. Pretty sweet. What isn't sweet is the price tag - $375,000 for one of only 500 to be manufactured. The line has probably already started.

2010 Honda CR-Z

Originally revealed as a concept in 2007, the CR-Z has since been given the green light for production. Reminding many of the beloved Honda CRX, it is a highly anticipated car. Utilizing a hybrid drivetrain, it will probably be the most sporty hybrid offered to date when it enters production in 2010. A big key to that sporty character will be the availability of a 6 speed manual, a first for any hybrid. No mileage or performance numbers have been revealed yet but experts feel the look of the car is pretty much set.

Toyota FT-86 Concept

Toyota unveiled the concept version of their joint venture coupe they are working on with Subaru. Currently set for production in 2011, the car will be rear wheel drive with a Subaru engine. Light weight is one of the focuses for the car which is a a spiritual successor to the much loved AE-86 Corolla models. No details have been released on the power output or performance target. If the production model looks like the concept, it will absolutely be the best looking and most exciting Toyota in almost 20 years.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

2009 BMW Concept Car -CLEVER

2009 BMW SIMPLE and CLEVER Concept - CLEVER is the acronym for “Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport” -The BMW Simple is 110 centimeters advanced and its agreement for two bodies sitting one abaft the other. Plus it boasts the activating active appearance archetypal of a two-wheeler, acceptance you to angular appropriate into corners as desired. The appellation “simple” is an acronym of the activity name “A acceptable and avant-garde advancement artefact for low activity consumption”. All that is bare to ability this failing agent with a kerb weight of approx. 450 kg is a 36 kW agitation engine. The BMW Simple weighs 450 kg and is powered by a kW agitation engine. It can get from 0 to 100 km/h in about 10 abnormal and has a annoyance accessory of 0.18. Using the electric motor and the agitation engine, the Simple would charge aloof 6 kWh (equivalent to 0.7 litres of petrol) or two litres over 100 km.Compact Low Emission Vehicle for Urban Transport

SSC Ultimate Aero: Fastest Car in the World

SSC Ultimate Aero with the fastest recorded speed of 413 km / h or 257 mph it is currently the fastest car in the world car production. Armed with Twin-Turbo V8 Engine with 1183 hp and dibanrol base price $ 650,000. Verified in 2007 by Guinness World Records, SSC Ultimate Aero takes the lead as the world's fastest car beating Bugatti Veyron. SSC Ultimate Aero

Suzuki Hayabusa: Fastest Motorcycle in the World

Suzuki Hayabusa designed by Suzuki is the fastest motorcycle in the world. 1300CC engine produces 175 horsepower and has a speed limit up to 189 mph. Hayabusa means Peregrine Falcon and also known as the GSX1300R in some countries. first introduced by Suzuki motorcycle in 1999. Have a 1340 cc (81.7 cu in) inline-4 engine and are consistently tested as the production of the fastest motorcycles in the world. yg 2008 model year sold U.S. $ 11,999.Suzuki Hayabusa

Friday, October 9, 2009

BMW SERIE 0 New Series

We'll have to seriously question where we are all these rumors related to the new organic range of BMW. There has been talk of hybrids, electric vehicles and three-wheeled ... and of course, models with conventional engine, only smaller and more efficient simply. For the same back with the latest news of CAR, which retrieves the rumor that BMW plans to launch a model below the 1 Series platform based on the MINI.

Although the idea of a front-wheel Munich can stir some stomachs, we must bear in mind that the purpose and focus of this call that "serial 0" would not be that of a conventional BMW.

First, the task would reduce emission levels from the manufacturer to comply with new laws, and secondly, I would go back to those consumers who are supposedly lost in a MINI and the 1 Series (are there?). Because let's face it, the "small" BMW are already huge. Note that only the 1 Series is almost the same as the first generation of Series

New Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE China Limited Edition

This is Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE China Limited Edition: This is a very limited version, less than 6 copies of the 599 GTB Fiorano. One of these vetturer was decorated by Chinese artist, Lu Hao and will be sold in a charity auction organized by Ferrari November 3 in Beijing.
Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
in the video below you can see the artist working to establish the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano HGTE China Limited Edition

Subaru Sports Coupe New sketch Design

Subaru Sports Coupe: last night I was talking about the Toyota FT-86 which could be the heir of the Toyota Celica and that will be produced in partnership with Subaru.Subaru Sports Coupe New sketch Design

Today the network has left some sketches for a new Subaru Sports Coupe which could be the "Version" Subaru Toyota project ..

Nopn is unclear whether the effect will be produced is the version that Toyota Subaru, it is certain that the two are similar on paper a lot.

All too soon however to be certain
Several sketches have leaked out featuring the Subaru-branded version of a coupe co-developed with Toyota. Although supposedly not yet green-lit by Subaru, the car is continuing to push forward as a Toyota.

Toyota will debut their FT-86 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Details of the concept were sent out in a release earlier this week, with Toyota confirming the vehicle's use of the Subaru 2.0-liter Boxer engine. The engine could be tuned as high as 200 hp, a 25% increase over its normal output.

Daihatsu Deca Deca

Daihatsu Deca Deca: With all due respect for the really Daihatsu Daihatsu Deca Deca seems to me the ugliest car view for years now ...
Daihatsu Deca Deca Photo
Will be presented at the next exhibition in Tokyo and I think from there 'will not move much ....

Looks like an ice cream truck ... how about you

Nissan Land Glider

This is city car -Nissan Land Glider: city car of the future, and very small electric motor, with electronic controls that allow almost total inclination unthinkable cornering as you can see in the video below.Nissan Land Glider Photo
Video On youtube of Nissan land Glider

Nissan Land Glider will be submitted to the Tokyo Motor Show, but for now it is only a concept car far away from production.

Cabrio version of the Panamera

Porsche Manufactur insiders have revealed that a convertible version of the Panamera is coming up, and it will have its two rear doors dropped to increase chassis rigidity, making up for the lack of a roof. Cabrio version of the Panamera  inside CabrioPorsche also wants to minimize the weight of the extra chassis reinforcements needed, which would swell up if it also had to make up for the fact that it had four doors.Cabrio version Photos

Nissan GT-R SpecM

Nissan Motor Corp (NMC) was so proud of the GT-R. Imagine, this year they have developed the sport sedan and produces two variants, each GT-R SpecV and SpecM. Even the final exhibition will be on display at the Tokyo Motor Show, Japan, the end of this October.nissan gtr spec m photo
Photo from worldcarfans.comNissan GTR specmNissan GTR 2009Nissan 2009

Nissan GT-R R35 was introduced late 2007. Until now, NMC has made improvements. Result, this year they have two GT-R models, namely SpecV and SpecM, which was introduced at different times. Kazutoshi Mizuno development project leaders as not many comments about the sports car.

Clearly, the GT-R next year SpecV marketed only for the domestic market (Japan). Because this car for speed enthusiasts, the focus of reform is done by reducing the weight, use of a new suspension system, and improvement on the wheel, the new program in the form of Transmission Control Module (TCM), and dual clutch transmission with 6-speed.