Just Car Blog
|TFL’s Top 10 Cars at the Detroit Auto Show||
While the Detroit Auto Show is still running until Saturday, the 26th, there are already so many things going on that we can’t keep track.
With some amazing debuts, tech advances and basically anything in the automotive industry you can think off being showcased at the show, it’s hard to keep up with all the latest (and super exciting) developments.
However, we did find a very interesting video that we thought we’d share with you.
The Fast Lane Car is a YouTube channel that features everything auto. Needless to say, they checked in at the Detroit Auto Show and picked their Top 10 Favourite Cars on show.
Check out their video below:
|Chris Harris at the Geneva Motor Show||
Chris Harris, aka the Car-Man, attended the Geneva Motor Show this year, and was quite impressed with what he saw.
McLaren and Ferrari Hypercars, a new GT3 and an Alfa Sports Car were some of his highlights – will they be yours too?
Check the video below to find out – enjoy another episode of fabulous car and witty remarks!
|Infiniti Opens in Cape Town||
Infiniti, the luxury performance global automotive brand from Japan, officially opened their fourth South African centre in Cape Town on the 11th of June.
The all new Infiniti showroom allows the exhibition of the entire Infiniti model range plus equipment variants – the sleek Infiniti G Coupé and Cabrio, the compact and elegant EX SUV, the ultimate performance FX SUV (the best-selling Infiniti model in Europe) and the elegant Infiniti M sedan.
Numerous guests attended the official opening ceremony of Infiniti Cape Town in June. Guests were treated to an evening of fine food and entertainment. The evening event was presented by Alec Combrink, Dealer Principal for Infiniti Centre, Cape Town.
Infiniti continues to successfully expand into more markets with 450 retail outlets in place to date. The last five years has seen an acceleration in our expansion with the recent major expansions being Russia in 2006, China in 2007, Europe in 2008 and South Africa mid 2012.
While there are many key touch points in the relationship, be it product or people – the key element will always be the retail environment where the base of the relationship is formed. To this end we are establishing a national network of Infiniti centre’s to support the total ownership experience country wide.
“We have already opened four Infiniti Centre’s in South Africa to date; Melrose in Johannesburg, Hatfield in Pretoria, Durban located in the Pinetown area and we are very happy to be launching our first store in the Western Cape region, and look forward to a very successful venture”, says George Stegmann, General Manager Infiniti South Africa.
Gallery: The Infiniti Cape Town launch was a great success –
With the dealerships modern, elegant architecture, luxurious and spacious interior, the customer service philosophy of “Total Ownership Experience” and the attractive model range of Infiniti – clients can expect exclusiveness and premium-quality in every sense.
With its vanguard, light-flooded design and the spacious and sterling interior Infiniti sets new courses in car dealership design. Infiniti of Cape Town is one of the many Infiniti Centres in 20 European countries to be designed according to the IREDI concept (Infiniti Retail Environment Design Initiative): a spacious and air-conditioned showroom with elegant furniture and the impressing I-View model configurator (with 57 inch screen) guarantee a unique, elegant as well as relaxing ambience.
With the “Total Ownership Experience” the global automotive brand is going to meet the high requirements of a modern luxury brand and focus on individual needs and well-being of its customers
|Le Mans 2013||
This year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans has been one of extreme excitement, thrilling cars, new records and, ultimately, sadness.
When it comes to record breaking, Tom Kristensen is the leader of the pack. Kristensen along with fellow drivers Allan McNish and Loic Duval, was the winning Audi team, and thus, this victory marks Kristensen’s ninth win at Le Mans – meaning he still firmly holds on to his already existing record.
This is Audi’s fourth consecutive win and twelfth overall at Le Mans. The Audi team crossed the finished line one lap ahead of the Toyota TS030.
The last bit of the race surely kept people on the edge of their seats. After 23 hours of stiff competition, the race became even more intense as the leading Audi and Toyota cars were on the same lap.
Fortunately for Audi, Kristensen was able to pass Sebastien Buemi’s Toyota with just minutes remaining to win by one lap over his rival.
Audi’s winning team:
Record-breaking champion, Kristensen, later dedicated his win to Simonsen, a fellow Dane. This was the first fatality at Le Mans since 1986 (another fatality occured in 1997, when Sebastien Enjolras crashed during pre-qualifying)
The organisers and sponsors were just as shocked and saddened as the Aston Martin. Managing director of Aston Martin racing, John Gaw said: ”I would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the individuals, and families whose friends or loved ones were involved in today’s terrible tragedy”
In the end, Buemi finished in second position overall, giving Toyota its best-ever result at Le Mans. Third place went to the No. 3 Audi driven by Lucas Di Grassi, Marc Gene and Oliver Jarvis.
All in all – Le Mans 2013 was an exhilarating event that was sure to please car and racing fans worldwide!
Have a look at the highlights of Le Mans 2013 in the video below:
|F1 Champ Häkkinen for Top Gear Fest||
The Top Gear Festival, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the City of Durban are getting prepared for the 2nd in the trilogy of the hugely successful Top Gear Festival weekends on June 15th and 16th, powered by Shell V-Power .
This year Top Gear is bringing two-time Formula 1 Champion Mika Häkkinen along as one of its guest drivers.
Last year, the Moses Mabhida Stadium, People’s Park and Street Circuit played host to a sell-out event , with 67 000 visitors enjoying the explosive live show, an enthralling street circuit, and a motoring exhibition packed with some of the world’s greatest supercars, classic automobiles and motoring memorabilia. This year’s much anticipated event promises to be bigger, better and, in true Top Gear style, even more ambitious than 2012!
The Top Gear Festival team are thrilled to to announce that the 2013 Festival will deliver another epic event featuring once again four sensational live stadium performances hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, James May and their tame racing driver, The Stig – along with their amazing team of dare-devil prescion drivers.
Also returning is the unique and action-packed Durban Street Circuit which last year played host to a 90-minute track show hosted by Le Mans racing driver Tiff Needell and local F1 presenter and DJ, Sasha Martinengo – not forgetting of course the hugely anticipated Formula 1 display.
Petrolheads can once again immerse themselves in their favourite brands and merchandise at the extensive motoring expo out on the People’s Park.
Top Gear Festival Director, Hannah Cabral comments: “The Top Gear presenters, BBC Worldwide and the UK show’s production team were so overwhelmed with the response from the South African leg of the World-tour last year that we have decided to increase the capacity and size of the event to a whopping 80 000 people. We are confident that this years line up of celebrities, guest drivers and awesome automobiles will allow us to achieve our visitor goal”.
For more info visit the Top Gear Festival website.
|Qatar Red Bull Rally Team takes lead||
The Qatar Red Bull Rally Team has managed to maintain a triumphant lead, following a heated four days of action in the initial stages of the 2013 Dakar Rally.
This year’s event, which will see car, bike, quad and lorry drivers tackle 8,500 kilometres of roads, tracks and harsh desert terrain in South America, has got off to a blistering start. And Red Bull’s team have been consistent frontrunners thus far.
After days of technical scruitineering and a visit from Peruvian president Ollanta Humala, the race got underway on January 5th and Red Bull’s Carlos Sainz was quick to make his mark on the track. The Spaniard clocked the fastest time of the 13km opening stage on the outskirts of Pisco with 7 minutes 40 seconds.
“This first stage was like a little taste of what we can expect in the coming days. Nevertheless it was good to start the Dakar by winning the first stage because it gives the whole team confidence,” he said.
Sainz was not content to rest on his laurels, however, and overcame navigational problems to secure victory in day two of the event. His Red Bull teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah was similarly troubled and a lost waypoint in the desert cost him and co-driver Lucas Cruz valuable minutes.
Day three of Dakar 2013 saw Al-Attiyah – who was victorious in the 2011 rally – come back with a vengeance, securing his first stage win of this year’s rally and his 15th special overall. However, the Peruvian desert proved too much for teammate Sainz’s vehicle after it succumbed to electrical problems and a puncture between Pisco and Nazca.
Two-time World Rally Championship winner Sainz was plagued by technical problems on day four, losing out on hours of time after a fuel problem left him stuck in the sand. Al-Attiyah was unafraid to pick up the slack, however, and managed to achieve his second consecutive stage win.
Commenting on the victory, the Qatari driver hailed the remarkable technical performance of Team Red Bull’s vehicles.
“Both of our Buggies have won stages at this Dakar and I think that is a remarkable achievement considering we have only had the car built for five months. The great thing is that I can feel my Buggy getting stronger and stronger as the race goes on,” he said.
The Qatar Red Bull Rally Team has certainly got off to a strong start in Dakar 2013, but the race is still anyone’s game. Competitors have barely scratched the surface of the gruelling course and will be eagerly awaiting the finish line in Santiago, Chile on January 19th.
Dakar 2013 marks the 34th running of the popular event and racing commenced on January 5th. Competitors in four classes – car, bike, quad and truck – will compete over 8,500 kilometres of roads, tracks and dunes – starting in Lima, Peru and finishing in Santiago, Chile on January 19th.
About the author: Tom Galland works for online marketing company Custard on behalf of Red Bull. He has specialist knowledge about the automobile industry and his favourite car of all time is the 1969 Ford Mustang.
|Honda RC-E Electric Superbike||
Honda showcased its new RC-E Electric superbike at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. While details are limited about the new concept, the machine is designed as a dual-purpose track heathen and commuter.
Tiny LED headlights are tucked into the front fairing and rear of the bike with turning indicators. While the bike is purely a concept at this stage, there is a small change that the RC-E may hint at what Honda has planned for the future of the company’s motorcycle design.
|Mitsubishi Concept PX-MiEV II||
Mitsubishi has showcased its PX-MiEV II concept for 2013 at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The vehicle is a plug-in hybrid version of the Mitsubishi Outlander and will be available to own sometime in 2012.
Power comes from an internal combustion engine and two electric motors. Using two 60kW electric motors individually powering the front and rear wheels, the hybrid can drive exclusively in electric mode for up to 50km and a further 800km when combined with its petrol engine.
The vehicles also offers three driving modes that combines electric and pedal power. In the case of an emergency the PX-MiEV can act as an outdoor power supply through a socket that supplies the stored power in the battery.
source: Car Advice
|Mazda Takeri Concept Revealed||
Since the first images of the concept were revealed back in October, Mazda has officially unveiled its new Takeri concept at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show in the Big Sight expo hall.
Built to preview the next generation Mazda6, The Takeri is the “most-evolved Form of Mazda’s New ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ Design Theme and Breakthrough Skyactiv Technology”. The Takeri is a four-door coupe with a strong and prominent hexagonal-shaped grille, 20 inch alloy wheels and measures 4, 850mm in length, 1, 870mm in width and has a height of 1, 430mm.
The clean interior showcases elegant leather seats, metallic trim and a fully equipped infotainment centre.
Power comes from a 2.2-litre Skyactive diesel engine that is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. The start/stop technology with i-ELOOP regenerative braking system, allows the vehicle to travel about 1, 500km before having to refill the tank, improving performance and fuel economy.
Watch the Takeri promotional video below:
|Porsche Panamera GTS 2012||
The Los Angeles Motor Show was the platform for the debut of Porsche’s new Panamera GTS. Based on the Panamera 4S, the latest model is tougher, faster and sportier.
The engine has been upgraded t0 the 4.8-litre naturally aspirated V8, making a total of 424bhp and 384lb ft with an additional 30 horsepower. Torque has been increased from 360 lb-ft to 384 lb-ft and the motor is coupled with a 7-speed Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission in the Sport Chrono package.
The Porsche GTS weighs in at 1920kg which explains the 25.9mpg combined fuel economy and 256g/km of CO2 released. Porsche has also dropped the body by 10mm, tightened the damping system and tuned the chassis with Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). Handling is improved by the body drop, 19 inch Turbo wheels, Porsche Ceramic Composite Breaks (PCCB) and bigger brake discs.
The interior is fitted and styled with sports seats, SportDesign steering wheel with shift paddles, exclusive GTS leather interior and Alcantara surfaces.
An extraordinary feature is the new ‘Sound Symposer’ system that diverts intake noise into the cabin at a push of a button in the cockpit and plays that actual noise into the cabin via a membrane in the A-pillar.
The Porsche GTS will be available for purchase in the UK with a pricetag of £90,409 (about R1,165,470).
Image source: egmCarTech
|New Chevrolet TrailBlazer||
General Motors has just unveiled its next generation Chevrolet TrailBlazer for 2013 at the Dubai International Motor Show.
The new seven-seater is powered by a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel engine and has second and third row seats that fold down to provide a space that functions as a cargo area. The TrailBlazer combines the hauling and towing capability of a body-on-frame SUV with the comfort and efficiency of a crossover. In terms of styling, the vehicle gets a power dome in the hood, high-mounted dual projector headlamps, tri-coat pearlescent white paint and polished 20-inch aluminum wheels.
According to Brad Merkel, GM’s global vehicle line executive for midsize trucks and SUVs, TrailBlazer offers the strength, design, capability and refinement needed to compete with the world’s best off-road vehicles.
While the new model featured was purely a show vehicle, it is expected that the production version won’t stray too far from the original.
So far, GM has no plans to sell the Chevrolet in the U.S. with sales beginning in Thailand in 2012 and later continuing into other global markets still to be confirmed.
Watch the Chevrolet TrailBlazer promo video below:
|Honda Small Sports EV Concept||
Among the seven concept cars that will be unveiled at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, Honda is including the new Small Sports EV Concept. As with many of its competitiors the Japanese automaker has decided to go with an electric theme for this year’s show displaying concept vehicles designed for easy and fun mobility in future cities.
While very little information has been revealed about the new full EV, one can see from the sketches the car’s targa top, heavily scalloped sides and bold graphic running around the front of the car following the shape of the grille.
According to Honda the Small Sports EV “maximizes the fun of driving while achieving excellent environmental performance.”
Another interesting battery powered concept, that will be on display, is the super compact Micro Commuter that Honda says offers a new type of communication between people and mobility, offers an exterior that can be easily customized for each driver and if produced, would be accessible to the masses. At first glance, in terms of design, the Micro Commuter closely resembles that of Nissan’s new EV, the Pivo 3 also expected in Tokyo.
images: car magazine
|Subaru BRZ STI Concept||
The first official picture of the Subaru BRZ STI concept car, that will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor show this month, has been revealed. The new concept is Subaru’s version of the rear-wheel drive sports coupe that is being developed with partner Toyota.
Although it vaguely resembles its Toyota relative, the FT-86, the Subaru BRZ concept has a slightly boxier look and weighs around 1200kg. The engine is likely to be a 2.0-litre four-cylinder boxer, delivering around 200bhp/170lb ft in regular guise which will allow a low sense of gravity resulting in edgy handling.
As a concept, details are scarce at this stage but the final production model is expected to appear at the Tokyo Motor Show in December before entering into international markets in early 2012.
image source: topgear
|Chevy Silverado Realtree Concept||
Chevrolet has teamed up with outdoor outfitter Realtree, with whom they have had a seven year relationship, to create the Silverado Realtree Concept. Called the “ultimate hunting pickup” and based on the Silverado HD 2500, the new concept car will debut at the 2011 SEMA Motor Show.
The champagne silver exterior emblazoned with Realtree graphics, a custom front bumper, winch and 35-inch off-road tyres is powered by a Duramax diesel with 765 pound-feet of torque. Other features include retractable running boards for improved entry and exit and a custom designed rear cab for all outdoor gear storage.
The interior continues the outdoor theme with dark cocoa leather seats bearing camouflage piping and orange stitching.
Marketing manager of Chevrolet pickups Tony Truelove has said that, ”This truck is a celebration of the seven-year partnership between Chevrolet and Realtree. It’s only natural to combine the dependable, long-lasting Silverado HD with Realtree, the best gear for the outdoors.”
View the Chevy Silverado Realtree teaser video below:
Image source: autoguide
|Team Sasol Wins 2011 Rally Championship||
Team Sasol’s Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton made history this weekend as the first privateers to win the 2011 South African Driver’s and Co-Driver’s Rally Championship in 45 years. The rally proved to be a grueling battle, where the skills of the drivers and the performance of their vehicles were put to the ultimate test.
The last privateer team to win a South African National Rally Championship was in 1966, when driver François Tucker and co-driver Raggy Schjolberg drove their Volvo to a championship title.
The Sasol team set the pace in their Ford Fiesta S2000 throughout the 2011 rally championship, winning a hat-trick of events out of eight rallies.
After the victory Cronje stated that “It has always been my dream to win the National Rally Championship in the premier S2000 class, and today is a day that I will treasure forever. The determining factor of winning a rally is the commitment and understanding between the driver and the navigator, and we’re thrilled with this result.”
Conrad Rautenbach and Nicholas Klinger took second place with Enzo Kuun Guy Hodgson taking third.