Just Car Blog
|Vilner enhances Mercedes-Benz SL interior||
Vilner Studios has worked its skill on the interior of a Mercedes Benz SL model resulting in a car more exceptional then before.
Vilner reveals that this is one of their bravest projects having worked with five different, carefully chosen materials that come together in a seamless and cohesive design.
Vilner used Nappa leather with an antique effect, crocodile leather and brown Alcantara.
All wooden applications, some of the plastic elements and the gearshift lever have been hand-painted to provide a patinated steel appearance.
The audio system has been entirely replaced with DLS speakers and amplifiers.
|2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition Review & Test Drive||
Ever since the conception of the current BMW M3, purists have had their short-lived doubts about the M3 still having its benchmark heritage that all started when German engineers wanted to turn a race car into something street worthy and comfortable enough for commutes. Today the latest BMW M3, making its last naturally aspirated run, still pays homage to its roots even if you need to dig a little deeper into its enthusiastic makeup and soft interior.
As far as having a soft approach to performance, the 2013 BMW M3 really makes its enthusiast oriented demeanor well known. The lofty 4.0-liter V8, revving to an astonishing 8,400 rpm, begs for punishment. It is the type of engine that happily endures through the pain of hammering through the rpm band as you row through the 6-speed manual transmission, of course after the dynamic rpm gauge has indicated proper operating temp by raising the redline to its designated position. Part of it asking for punishment starts with a light flywheel and ends with proper deceleration giving you optimal feedback and a resilient connection to the road, as expected from an Ultimate Driving Machine.
The all-new 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition is an exclusive one-off variation of the M3 for this year with only 200 fine examples produced. Having one of the 200 examples in my driveway shining bright in its Fire Orange paint job, brings about a certain critique of how different the Lime Rock Park Edition is from any other M3 that can be had from your local BMW dealership. Of course I would be misleading you by saying the Lime Rock Park Edition is just like any other M3, though you could easily argue the case being that its exclusivity remains limited to the flat-bottom alcantara steering wheel with a 12 o’clock blue stripe and the combination of the easily attainable Competition package, Fire Orange Paint, carbon fiber front air dam splitters and carbon fiber rear spoiler. Conveniently, the Fire Orange paint can be had on any M3 through special order, but you would miss out on having the Lime Rock Park Limited Edition M3 Coupe sticker in the rear driver’s window signifying its originality and paying homage to the Lime Rock Park Track located in Lime Rock, Connecticut – home to the beginnings of Skip Barber.
The proper nomenclature of the new 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition lies within every other new BMW M3’s race track aptitude. Of course there are other exclusive variations of the M3 for model year 2013 that can be had in limited production numbers as the E92-generation and naturally aspirated engine run comes to an end later this year. As possibly one last hurrah for the current M3, BMW puts forth efforts to inject a taste of the exclusivity found in their prided European BMW M3 GTS. Of course the GTS, only attainable across the pond, sports additional power and an onslaught of added track-focused goodies that can only dream up here in the states. What we do get in the current run of the M3 is the high-revving 4.0-liter V8 producing 414 horsepower at 8,300 rpm and 295 ft-lbs. of torque at 3,900 rpm. Of course pitted against other naturally aspirated V8 engines you would be right in your guestimation that the M3’s engine is a torqueless wonder but it makes up for it plenty with a smooth power delivery and high redline at 8,400 rpm. Output is enough to get things moving from 0 to 60 mph in as quick as 4.2 seconds.
Most times any one-off special edition vehicle with a high performance attitude receives additional power. In the case of the exclusive-touted M3 Lime Rock Park Edition, BMW elects to keep the powertrain virtually the same but adds a titanium muffler to the mix for an intoxicating sound -possibly to signify you having one of the 200 examples of a “special” M3. As far as the M3 Lime Rock being special to someone, you would just base your common insight on any current M3’s performance capabilities and easy of transformation into a civilized and luxurious cruiser.
The heritage of the BMW M3, since the very first E30 M3 in 1985, signified BMW transforming a race car into a daily-commuter-worthy road car that you could take to the track on the weekends and then wear your suit and tie during the week. That common trait is still relevant in the current BMW M3 even though some have allowed its new plushness inside of the cabin to affect their initial perception. Thankfully after driving the 2013 BMW M3 those of us who appreciate and respect the perpetual benchmark for sports cars, can also find pleasure in the true abilities of the new BMW M3 underneath everything that makes this car pretty.
The 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition is a stunning vehicle not only because of its flamboyant exterior color, but due to the throaty-sounding exhaust and trumpet-playing intake manifold of the long winded V8 engine. A curb weight of 3,704 pounds for my M3 Lime Rock test vehicle equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission is hardly noticeable. The perfectly balanced 50/50 weighted chassis is a wonder allowing novice drivers to pilot the M3 through apexes with easy and confidence. At the press of the steering wheel ‘M’ button, the optional active dampers into put into their most aggressive setting while advancing the throttle input to give you a lively experience on and off of the track. Of course, with dynamic stability control disabled, you can dial-in as much oversteer as you want when the M3 begs for you to gracefully swing the rear-end out with the rpm gauge hanging anywhere in between 4,000 and 8,400 rpm. After spending a few minutes in the M3 power delivery becomes predictable and mostly addictive.
The Ultimate Driving Machine slogan is mostly prevalent when you strap behind the wheel of a new M3 and really push it in an attempt to find that high-strung limit. The sticky 19-inch 265/35 Michelin Pilot Sport tires in the rear and 245/35 up front, give the M3 a smooth yet assured ride where each instance of traction loss can be easily communicated so you are able to make proper adjustments in cases that the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is fully disabled. As far as traction control and dynamic stability control manage goes, the M3’s standard M Dynamic Mode (MDM), accessible through the steering wheel ‘M’ button, provides a slight delay before stability control and traction control steps in to prevent wheel spin or lateral body movement. The system does great for spirited driving around town but can be a serious damper to your best efforts put forth on the track. The system somewhat saps momentum between hard gear shifts by reducing throttle electronically, potentially reducing speed for a moment. Surprisingly, the system works very efficiently and effectively keeping the M3 in line and you out of a bad insurance claim.
Comfort is the BMW M3’s alternate forte where the front passengers can really enjoy a relaxing and refined cabin, which made the M3 a unique offering for many years. Basically, it continues to provide a perfect balance between comfort and sport without too much compromise in either department. The inside of the 2013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition isn’t much of a dispensation from any other M3 with the exception of the sports steering wheel and Lime Rock Park Edition badging. Of course through customization the Lime Rock Park Edition M3 Coupe can get the 7-speed dual-clutch DSG transmission or have it like my test vehicle, the way purists like it, with the 6-speed manual transmission. The cabin, just like the driving character, can be a transformable entity where for a minute you are banging through the gears listening to the audible intake manifold runners sing you a song or the titanium muffler with M3 logos stamped on the tips growl a little bass in the mix. I assure you the M3 could be a desirable symphony for those who appreciate the sound and optimally tuned naturally aspirated V8 engine. The metallic clattering sounds during cold start-up and mid-range-throttle emit nicely into the cabin, just the way you want it. Though, traveling on the highway at a constant speed can transversely be an enjoyable experience as the engine delightfully purrs without much drone from the exhaust.
The front seats are a marvel in themselves whether you opt to have the cloth inserts and leather bolster areas (Anthracite & Black Cloth/Leather) or full extended leather blending subtly into the lower dashboard areas at an additional cost. In true BMW fashion, the M3 Lime Rock Park Edition can be configured with many optional amenities. Though, most of choosing a new M3 Lime Rock Park Edition will get you the upgraded Fire Orange paint and Competition Package including Dynamic Damper Control and 19-inch alloy wheels. Added on to my M3 Lime Rock Park Edition test vehicle was the Premium Package (power folding auto mirrors, comfort access keyless entry, power rear sunshade, power front seats, carbon leather interior trim, rear park distance control, navigation system, voice-command and real-time traffic information), heated front seats and BMW apps. Of course due to the fuel consumption of the high-revving V8 engine, getting an EPA estimated 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway, there is a gas guzzler tax of $1,300. During my drive of the new M3 Lime Rock Park Edition, I took notice to being able to outdo the highway EPA estimate of 20 mpg highway. I yielded about 23 mpg on my highway excursions on a 40 mile trip hovering between 65 and 70 mph. Although, during my “exciting” city driving I saw about 14 mpg as I admittedly drove like a lunatic but as I attempted to keep things civilized I returned a respectable 17 mpg in city traffic.
Standard start-stop technology is included with the new BMW M3, which is somewhat of a novelty when you consider how much gas you are burning as you rip to that high 8,400 rpm redline. Nevertheless, stopping the engine at the light, provided your foot is off of the clutch, may conserve a drop or two over several stops, just enough to for one gear change after money-shifting off of 8,400 rpm. Speaking of stopping, the large 4.2-inch front and 13.8-inch rear cross-drilled floating rotors and use of effective single-piston calipers bring the M3 to a stop from 70 mph to 0 in just 153 feet.
Probably the most difficult pill to swallow in the combined efforts of BMW to really give birth to something one-off from the rest of the M3 line, is the M3 Lime Rock Park Edition’s price starting at $70,100, which is $10,000 above the standard M3’s base price. With the added features on my test vehicle it brought the price to $77,395 including an $895 destination charge. Although some will have no qualms of adding a bit of extra water to get this price pill down, it still begs you to ask if deciding on the un-coated pill may have gone down just as easy and still have the same potency especially with no real performance advantage over the Lime Rock Park Edition exclusivity. Morpheus asks that you choose wisely.
Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base M3 Coupe $60,100 / As-Tested M3 Coupe Lime Rock Park Edition $77,395
- Engine: 4.0-liter DOHC V8 414 horsepower @ 8300 rpm / 295 ft-lbs. torque @ 3900 rpm
- Wheelbase: 108.7in.
- Total length: 181.8in.
- Total width: 71.5in.
- Total height: 55.6in.
- Track: f/r-60.5/60.5in.
- Headroom: f/r-38.4/36.8in.
- Legroom: f/r-41.8/33.7in.
- Fuel tank: 16.6-gallons
- Turning circle: 38.4-ft.
- Curb weight: 3,704lbs.
- EPA mileage: 16 mpg/city, 20 mpg/highway
- 1/4 mile: 12.6 seconds @ 113 mph
- 0-60mph: 4.2 seconds
|Car Strikes Bear on Highway, Bear Breakdances: Video||
We have all seen the infamous breakdancing ‘human’ bear get down and dirty but never have we seen a real bear pull off stunt like this where a car takes it head-on on a highway while the bear gets another day to live. The interesting thing about the video below is the camera vehicle is overtaken at the last few seconds before making contact with the bear. Fortunately, no one appeared to be hurt while the bear does a little breakdance stunt before walking off. Talking about a quick change of fate for both the blue Suzuki and bear. Enjoy!
|Transformers 4 to get Bugatti Veyron, New Corvette Stingray & Optimus Prime Makeover||
If you haven’t heard by now, the upcoming Transformers 4 movie is to get the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse and new 2014 Corvette Stingray added on to the cast of vehicles. Michael Bay, continuing to make Transformers movies, is known for his love of cars so this news sounds to ring true as we expect the Veyron to be part of the Decepticons. Also, a new rig is used for Optimus Prime supplied by Western Star, a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America.
Update: An Image of Bumblebee has been released showing off a vintage 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS, highly modified! Looks awesome!
|Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 Pop Top Camper Review||
Join Drive South Africa co-founder Steve Conradie (who just happens to be one of their outdoor experts too) as he reviews the Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 pop top camper.
With its compact, yet innovate design features this versatile vehicle is both a great 4×4 and a comfortable camper.
You can also find more photos of the Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 pop top camper on Drive South Africa’s website here.
Visit Drive South Africa to book your Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 Pop Top Camper today and travel to some of the best 4×4 camping sites Southern Africa has to offer!
|How to Uninstall and Remove Qvo6.com Web Browser Hijacker||
Disclosure: This post was provided and paid for by OnlineSafety411.com.
The Qvo6.com site has been identified as one that changes your web browser settings so it will automatically redirect you to the Qvo6.com home page. The Qvo6.com site is basically a browser hijacker that loads up a threat that can modify internet settings to load the home page of Qvo6.com as your new default search engine and even display a toolbar within your favorite web browser programs. Qvo6.com is an unwanted site that should not be used for your internet searches. Better yet, Qvo6.com may load other components into your system rooting from the installation of other software from the internet. Usually these add-ons or extensions will reside within each of your installed web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Once loaded, Qvo6.com will basically over-take your functions for surfing and searching the internet. It is best that you utilize the necessary antimalware tool to remove Qvo6.com such as provided on OnlineSafety411.com on their latest Qvo6.com blog post.
|Detect and Remove Malware from your PC with ease||
Disclosure: This post was provided and paid for my FixandProtectMyPC.com.
Our good friends in the computer tech world have released the site FixandProtectMyPC.com along with guides to remove popular malware threats and unwanted add-ons like the Snap.do Browser Hijacker, MyStart by Incredibar Toolbar and Internet Security 2014 fake antispyware program. Through the removal posts computer users plagued with these threats may download the proper resource to help them automatically remove the threat along with any other malware infections.
The FixandProtectMyPC.com site is updated on a daily basis and is said to feature updated news highlights and guides on the latest malware threats.
|Rogue Rally to drift into Monstermob track||
Drifting in at the third stop in the Rogue Rally is the Kimberly Monstermob track, the only purpose built drift track in Africa.
The Monstermob, part raceway part drifting specialists, will run a day filled with entertainment for both visitors and drivers. The Rogue Rally drivers will enjoy a gymkhana and some drag runs.
Bianca Goebbels from Monstermob remarked: “Monstermob never passes up on an opportunity to get involved with likeminded adrenalin junkies, especially ones that share a passion for fast cars!” Mark Castel CEO of Rogue Rally and BAM agrees: “This is a great opportunity for our drivers to experience a whole new kind of car and adrenaline-charged driving style.”
The first Rogue Rally rendezvous point will be at the world class Phakisa racetrack.
The Rogue Rally, running from the 16th – 22nd June, is a road trip that will cover more than 2700 kilometres of South Africa’s best roads. A long the way the supercars will encounter special stages and exciting events, day and night.
If you would like to take part sms Rogue, your name and the car you would like to enter to 32026. To enter you must own a supercar.
For more info follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/roguerally or on Twitter @RogueRally #RogueRally.
|2013 Cadillac SRX AWD Premium Review & Test Drive||
Once upon a time Cadillac was known for manufacturing some of the best vehicles in the world. Unfortunately Cadillac lost that reputation up to the turn of the century. In the past thirteen years Cadillac has clawed its way back and today Cadillac is once again manufacturing some of the best vehicles in the world.
The Cadillac Escalade has been the choice of full-size luxury sport utility buyers for many years and now the new 2013 Cadillac SRX is nudging for the top spot in the mid-size luxury sport utility vehicles segment. This new offering introduces design enhancements, segment-leading Cue and haptic technology, segment-leading cargo management and safety innovations, just to name a few, of what makes the 2013 Cadillac SRX one of the world’s best mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle. After my seven-day test drive of the SRX AWD Premium model I can attest to its fun-to-drive, luxurious and technological innovations that make driving this new SRX such a pleasure and honor.
Exterior refinements for 2013 include a new upper and lower chrome accented grille and lower air-intake that updates Cadillac’s signature shield grille design with greater detail and depth, giving the SRX a richer appearance. Down below is a deep airdam with horizontal cutouts to help increase downforce. Flanking the grille are Cadillac’s iconic vertical headlamps with light pipe technology and Adaptive Forward HID lighting technology that turns the lamps in the direction of the front wheels. Light pipes also provide a new glow to the front fender vents of the SRX that mimic the front turn-signals, as well as the vertical LED taillights. Round foglamps light up the road in foggy conditions. The SRX has a wide stance, minimal overhangs and rides on big 20X8 inch multi-spoke chrome wheels wrapped with Michelin 235/55R20 inch all-season radial tires pushed to the corners. Also from the side is a long, low sleek wedge shaped profile with swept-back windshield A- pillars. The vertical chrome accented air-vents just before the front doors start a character line leading through the chrome pull-out door handles.
A full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse adds another luxury touch while black contrasting front, side and rear extensions lower the center of gravity enhancing handling. A tapering roof line with chrome roof rails ends at the rear spoiler just above the power liftgate. A new thick chrome bar is placed above the license plate surround with the fabled Cadillac crest just above. The rear step-up bumper features a full-perimeter slip free pad on top and down below are chrome tipped dual exhaust outlets nicely cut into the bumper bottom with a diffuser between them. The overall styling is signature Cadillac featuring the unique front/rear vertical lamps. More outstanding exterior features include heated/power-folding/power-adjustable outside mirrors and rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers/rear wiper/washer.
SRX is powered by a 3.6 liter, DOHC, all-aluminum, Direct High Press Fuel Injected V6 with VVT technology for a flat torque curve. It is known by its ‘LFX’ engine code. It generates 308hp at 6,800rpm and 265lb.ft. of torque at just 2,400rpm. The engine also features a composite intake manifold that saves approximately 5.5 pounds over the weight of a comparable aluminum intake and an integrated cylinder head/exhaust manifold design that saves approximately 13 pounds. The Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the LFX engine. An available all-wheel-drive system, that I tested, incorporates an electronic limited-slip rear differential, which not only improves traction in slippery road conditions but provides side-to-side torque transfer along the rear axle to enhance control during hard cornering. This six-speed pulls hard when needed and cruises perfectly at highway speeds.
Cadillac SRX uses GM’s unique fully independent suspension system for a smooth ride on the highway while smoothing out the bumps on poorly paved city streets. It is mated with a standard rack & pinion hydraulic steering system-and offers a variable-effort, speed sensitive steering system-with tuning biased for sport sedan-style driving and a strong on-center feel. The suspension features a MacPherson strut setup up front with specially tuned coil springs, direct-acting hollow stabilizer bar, hydraulic ride bushings and real-time gas-charged shocks. The rear is a unique linked ‘H-arm’ setup with hollow stabilizer bar, specially tuned coil springs and real-time gas-charged shocks. The rear axle ratio is 3.39 for quick launches. This unique suspension system benefits from GM’s StabiliTrak electronic stability control system to keep you on track when cornering hard on the back roads. A trailering package is optional with the Premium trim that I tested and increases towing capacity to 3,500 pounds for long and fun weekend get-a-ways.
Quickly and safely slowing the new SRX down from speed are large, four-wheel vented disc brakes. Up front are 13.6 inch rotors clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.4 inch rotors clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear. Standard ABS, Traction Control and StabiliTrak help keep you in control of the direct you choose when braking hard on slick or wet surfaces. The brakes felt very linear when applying hard or normal. The new SRT drives like a dream and fulfilling that dream is an incredible comfortable, luxurious, ergonomic, connected and safe interior cabin fit for a king.
Open the doors and view a cabin covered in the finest leathers, real aluminum trim, chrome accents, black piano veneer and Sabele Wood trim on the doors. Each front passenger bucket seat is comfortable and supportive with 8-way power adjustments and power lumbar adjustment. They are also heated and cooled. The sporty leather-wrapped/wood/aluminum trimmed steering wheel is tilting and telescopic for the perfect reach and angle for comfortable driving effort. You also have power adjustable foot pedals, what more can you ask for a perfect driving position? The instrument panel is straight-ahead and easy to see and understand with a large speedometer and tachometer plus two small fuel/engine coolant temperature gauges. The bottom of the cluster is multi-configurable from the trip computer/Bose Premium Audio System. The center console holds the chrome bezel leather/aluminum wrapped stick shifter, dual cupholders and dual-tier storage bin with padded armrest. Inside the storage bin is a USB port, an SD card slot auxiliary input jack and 12-volt power outlet.
Cadillac CUE (Cadillac User Experience is the brand’s new design and technical breakthrough for intuitive in-vehicle control and connectivity. CUE pairs entertainment and information data from up to 10-Bluetooth-enabled mobile devices, USBs, SD cards and MP3 players with a vehicle infotainment system that reduces complexity through customized information, voice commands and fewer buttons and larger icons. The comprehensive in-vehicle experience is designed to be unique for each consumer, from the simple user to the fully connected super user. The heart of CUE is the vibrant, eight-inch LCD multi-touch sensitive screen-with proximity sensing and haptic feedback-that is seamlessly integrated in the top of the central instrument panel. It displays CUE’s home page, which resembles a smart phone’s screen with large, easy-to-target icons that execute commands. Capacitive technology on the screen and faceplate enables consumers to use the same ‘swipe’, ‘pinch’, or ‘spread’ gestures common to most popular smartphones and tablets. Also unique is a motorized faceplate that opens by touching the bottom aluminum trim piece to a concealed storage area for smartphones or other mobile devices and includes an illuminated USB port. Amazing!!! No other SUV has it.
Also new this year in the Premium model I tested were new headphone and remote design for the rear-seat entertainment system with screens mounted behind the front headrests, a rear USB port and a SD card slot. Active noise cancellation is new for 2013 and helps create a quieter driving experience. The system uses microphones to detect ambient noise, the frequencies of which are processed by a computer that directs counteracting sound waves through the audio system to tailor the sound quality and character inside the cabin. Also inside is the Bose Premium Sound System with Sirius Satellite Radio, tri-zone automatic climate control, rear heated seats, keyless access, push button start/stop, ambient lighting, self-dimming rearview mirror, rear 60/40 split folding seat to expand the cargo area, an Ultra-View power sunroof, a cargo management system with an expandable aluminum catcher to better manage your cargo carrying needs, four chrome tie downs, a cargo shade and underfloor cargo storage.
More standard features not mentioned above are power windows with express up/down in front and express down for the second row, navigation system, heated steering wheel, cruise control, adaptive remote start, rain-sensing wipers, power programmable height liftgate, universal home remote, front/rear parking assist, grab handles at each door, dual map lights, dual lighted vanity mirrors, and front/rear, cargo floor mats. My Premium Trim model came with these options-rear entertainment system, adaptive radar cruise control, front/rear automatic braking, and automatic collision preparation.
Standard safety features include front/side impact airbags, side head curtain airbags, tire pressure monitor, rear door locks child safety, theft deterrent system, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, 3-point safety belts for 5 plus front pretensioner/load limiters, and ONSTAR’s automatic crash response.
This new 2013 Cadillac SRX is one of the best looking, high-performing, luxurious, innovative, safe, fun and easy-to-drive, mid-size sport utility vehicles for sale anywhere. Cadillac is back and making waves in the industry and its segment with attention to detail and innovation not seen on other vehicles. Cadillac is Back!
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
- Price: Base SRX AWD Premium $50,730.00-base/$56,510.00 as tested including destination charges
- Turning circle: 40.3 feet
- Overall length: 190.3 inches
- Overall width: 75.2 inches
- Overall height: 65.7 inches
- Wheelbase: 110.5 inches
- Track: f/r-63.8/63.4 inches
- Minimum ground clearance: 7 inches
- Curb weight: 4,442 pounds
- Headroom: f/r-39.7/38.4 inches
- Legroom: f/r-41.2/36.3 inches
- EPA passenger volume: 100.6 cu.ft.
- EPA interior volume: 129.8 cu.ft.
- Cargo volume behind first-row seats: 61.1 cu.ft.
- Cargo volume behind second row seats: 29.9 cu.ft.
- Fuel tank: 21 gallons
- EPA mileage: 16mpg/city, 23mpg/highway
|BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe Revealed at Villa d’Este||
What happens to be the very first collaboration between BMW and Pininfarina births an astonishing two-door Gran Lusso Coupe revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The design is said to be an “interpretation of a luxurious BMW Coupe as seen through he eyes of Pininfarina.” Of course, there is no doubt about that statement as what we see here looks somewhat like a BMW 7 Series only has two doors, 21-inch wheels, matte-sheen aluminum and high-glass black exterior trim and a massive V12 engine under the sculpted aluminum hood.
On the inside the plush cabin gets a patterned virgin wool headliner, Foglizzo leather in black and Tobacco Brown, 48,000-year-old kauri wood from New Zealand, deep pile carpet and LED accent lighting emitting from the headliner. Crazy kinda car. Sorry, we got lost in translation when reading the press release below about the 48,000-year-old wood… Yeah, that is crazy!
This new design inspiration and collaboration could lead to other projects and maybe a rumored 8-series. Just maybe, but not with 48,000-year-old wood, something I just can’t get over.
BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé.
Cernobbio, 24 May 2013. BMW and Pininfarina are two of the most tradition-swathed names in the motoring world. Each is a byword for cutting-edge technology, style, dynamics and aesthetics. With the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé, the two time-honoured companies are unveiling the outcome of their first collaboration at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2013. The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé is a one-off and represents the exclusive interpretation of a luxurious BMW Coupé as seen through the eyes of Pininfarina. Working in close consultation, the two design teams have created a new automotive persona brimming with character and ready to join the high-end luxury class – typically BMW while sporting the distinctive signature of Pininfarina.
With the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé, the BMW Design team took up exclusive design aspects such as luxury and elegance and fed them into a creative exchange with long-established specialist car designer and manufacturer Pininfarina. In this elaborately created one-off, the renowned companies BMW Group and Pininfarina joined forces to bring an idea to fruition: “The appeal of this collaboration with Pininfarina is that you get another, very different and special angle on facets like luxury and exclusivity,” notes Karim Habib, Head of BMW Design. “The Italian company, after all, has always been a byword for these criteria in particular, demonstrating time and again its keen sensitivity and exceptional finesse in these areas. In Pininfarina we have found the ideal partner to lend shape to this vehicle concept.”
“The result of this cooperative venture is far greater than the sum of its parts,” says Fabio Filippini, Head of Design at Pininfarina. “When two such tradition-rich and experienced brands join forces to turn a vision into reality, something utterly new and exciting emerges. From start to finish, this project was defined by a mutual respect for the identity of the other company.”
The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé adds a new dimension to the BMW claim to exclusivity. This painstakingly created one-off captivates the viewer at first glance. Liberal surface areas and taut contours are the distinguishing elements of an elegant car body. Typical BMW proportions – a long wheelbase, stretched bonnet and set-back greenhouse – imbue the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé with imposing dynamics even when stationary. At the same time the car exudes balance and harmony: BMW values such as technology, dynamics and precision are complemented by the skilled craftsmanship of Pininfarina to create a very special holistic experience. “The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé has an extraordinary impact. It expresses hallmark BMW values such as luxury and sheer presence in a highly elegant form,” says Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. “I admire the reductive clarity and precision in Pininfarina’s design. Their expectations for the end result have been just as high as ours, and their understanding of design perfectly complements the BMW design DNA for a vehicle of this kind.”
Dynamic presence – the front view.
With its broad, wheel-focused stance, the front of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé radiates sheer presence and dynamics. The hallmark double-kidney grille and the road-focused headlights with their suggested twin circular look reveal at a glance the family bond with BMW. At the same time the distinctive Pininfarina elements have been interpreted with Italian finesse to lend the front end a special flair.
The trademark BMW kidney grille forms the central element of the front-end design, and all surfaces and lines take their bearings from it. It symbolically points to the engine at the heart of the vehicle, its size reflecting the power of the V12 unit nestling behind it. The “kidneys” are angled towards the road, citing the typical BMW “shark nose” and lending the front end an even more dynamic look, particularly when seen from the side. Viewed up close it discloses highly accomplished detail work: the front part of the bipartite kidney grille is made of matt-sheen aluminium, while behind it an identically shaped part in high-gloss black adds visual depth and makes for an exciting contrast of materials.
Above the kidney grille the bonnet stretches across the front of the car, its subtle contours appearing to emanate from the BMW emblem and lending the bonnet a dynamic elegance. The flat headlights underline the road-focused look associated with a BMW and round off the “face” of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. Their dynamic contours are in perfect harmony with the classic BMW twin circular look in an interpretation that leaves them open at the top. The use of LED technology creates a technically premium impression while adding a striking depth to the headlights.
The eye-catchingly sporty front apron concludes the front end of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé as it dips towards the road. The flat, one-piece air intake accentuates the breadth of the front, an impression reinforced by chrome trim that adds a classy touch. The air intake is larger at the wheels and draws attention to the car’s wide, sporty track. Just above the road surface, discreet Pininfarina lettering points to the contributing partner from Italy, like a signature on a work of art.
Elegant sculpture – the side view.
The designers at BMW and Pininfarina set particular store by creating the right proportions. The car’s surfaces display the elaborate form language of BMW while being sculpted with a clarity that is hallmark Pininfarina. Within a powerfully present silhouette, convex taperings on the side add a dynamic elegance and give the body a tautly athletic shape.
At the same time the reduced, precise contours stretch the vehicle and underline its exclusivity with a contemporary touch. The high shoulder line extends almost horizontally along the entire side of the car, imbuing the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé with stature and presence. Above it the long roof line flows elegantly into the rear to define the short tail end. Below the shoulder line, a striking countersweep to the roof line emanates from the Air Breather behind the front wheel. Ascending towards the rear, it lends the back section of the car a light and dynamic appearance. All the lines have been designed with keen sensitivity: as they trace their course they become stronger or weaker and, through the changing play of light and shadow, show off the surrounding surfaces to their best effect.
Numerous details accentuate the elegance of the side view. The matt-sheen embellishment behind the front wheel adds a stylish accent as it integrates the side indicator. Another signature BMW detail is the Hofmeister kink – the eye-catching forward bend in the window graphic that is perfectly integrated into the surrounding play of lines. Behind it the V12 logo indicates the powerful engine within the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. Pininfarina lettering in the side panel points to the definitive role played by the Italian design company in creating this vehicle, with the Pininfarina logo above it indicating that the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé was also built by Pininfarina.
The exclusively designed 21-inch wheels perfectly augment the sporty, elegant statement made by the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. Five trios of graceful yet powerfully sculpted spokes display a strong visual depth through the application of matt-sheen aluminium, black and black chrome. As such the wheel design blends an elegant multi-spoke style with the sportiness of five-spoke rims.
Sophisticated stance – the rear view.
The elongated side profile leads to a slender and elegant tail end. Striking horizontal elements imbue the entire rear end with a very broad, flat impression. At the same time, the generous surface design of the rear lends it a powerful presence. Between the surfaces, precise contours and horizontal lines break up the rear aspect, resulting in a clever interplay of light and shadow that partitions the entire design and brings it alive. An eye-catching detail is the transition from the roof to the rear lid: two elaborately shaped struts extend the roof pillar towards the rear, ensuring an elegantly fluid transition of the roof line into the tail section.
Extending from the sides, the tail lights embrace the rear end in a single sweeping gesture that brings the side and rear together visually. The tail lights reveal elaborately detailed workmanship and lend the BMW L-shape a slender, almost filigree interpretation. They are set – jewel-like – within high-grade trim in matt-sheen aluminium. A particular highlight is their open design, allowing air to flow through them.
A contemporary take on classical values – the interior.
The interior of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé takes up the accomplished fusion of modern elegance and authoritative dynamics as displayed by the exterior. Here the melding of sportiness, exclusivity and comfort makes for a unique interior experience. The fluid underlying geometry of the interior design by BMW takes on an individual character courtesy of the Pininfarina touch. With a special colour concept, choice materials and geometrical details in the doors, centre console and dashboard binnacle, Pininfarina lends further emphasis to signature BMW elements such as the driver focus and layering principle, while accentuating the sporty character of the interior with a fine instinct for cutting-edge and elegant details alike.
The four-seater luxury coupé rolls out an exclusive ambience to welcome driver and passengers. The front and rear seats from the Pininfarina drawing board embrace all occupants with sporty side supports while providing the highest levels of comfort. From the driver’s seat, a sideward glance will initially reveal the hallmark BMW driver focus: all driving-related functions and controls are slightly angled towards the driver to be within optimal ergonomic reach. The horizontal alignment of the surfaces and lines of the dashboard create an expansive sense of space. The doors take up the flow of lines and invest them with greater dynamics as they follow their course, while the door handles cite the incisive shape of the tail lights as well as the side-panel embellishments as they bring these styling cues into the interior. The rear of the cabin likewise boasts spacious design, with legroom in the back seats of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé almost on a par with that of a large luxury sedan.
Select materials and top-quality craftsmanship.
The exclusive colour and material concept is one of the stand-out features of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé and eloquently reflects its unique character. Extensive handcraftsmanship further enhances the interior ambience. Finest leather and kauri wood aged more than 48,000 years lend the cabin of the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé a special aura. The high-grade leather from the Foglizzo leather factory – in black and a light shade of Tobacco Brown – creates a warm, exclusive ambience. Metal highlights in black chrome set a technical counterpoint to the extensive application of natural materials.
All the wood elements in the cabin are sourced from a single piece of kauri wood selected by the Italian timber experts of Riva 1920 exclusively for the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupé. Kauri wood has a unique grain and shifts in colour from gold to red to brown, depending on the incidence of light and angle of view. Simply polished and oiled, it exudes a particular warmth and naturalness in league with the exclusive leather surfaces of the interior. Native to New Zealand, kauri wood is among the rarest timbers in the world. Its special character derives from the fact that the toppled kauri trees have been preserved in swamps for millennia and can be processed like fresh timber after being retrieved from the fossil swampland.
The roof liner of finest Italian virgin wool features the striking “Principe di Galles” pattern. This grey plaid strikes a bold contrast to the traditional materials used for the doors and dashboard. The brown leather seats also pick up on the pattern in their all-round piping. Allowing extra light into the interior is an oblong aperture in the roof liner which is additionally illuminated by white LEDs. In the footwell areas, a soft deep-pile carpet in dark grey adds to a subtle sense of wellbeing. Another interior detail are the freestanding B-pillars, whose elegant design when viewed from the outside creates a homogeneous glazed area and frameless doors that appear very light.
Pininfarina ranks as one of the most time-honoured names in automotive design. What began in the 1930s as a “carrozzeria” building one-offs and limited editions, alongside the visual refinement of high-end automotive technology, has today become one of Italy’s leading design companies. Its operating spectrum stretches far beyond automobiles to include product and industrial design. Through numerous collaborations with a wide range of carmakers, Pininfarina has established itself as a style-defining partner. Simplicity and harmony in look and feel, perfect proportions and innovative functionality are the hallmarks and underlying concept of each and every Pininfarina design.
|Fast and Furious Paul Walker Takes 30K Mile Lexus LFA on Track: Video||
You probably saw the over-the-top Fast and Furious 6 over the Memorial Day weekend and wondered what other cars have people like Paul Walker driven. Well, the Lexus PR folks take Paul from his Skyline-loving adventures and strap him into a Lexus LFA with over 30,000 miles on the clock to flog it around the track. The PR stunt is more of a salute to the astounding build quality and durability Lexus vehicles as a Lexus LFA driven over 30,000 miles still has what it takes to deliver the performance numbers just as if it was fresh out of the Japanese factory. Hit up the video below and enjoy!
|Bugatti 57SC Atlantic wins Best of Show||
A 1938 Bugatti 57SC Atlantic has won the title of ‘Best of Show’ at the 2013 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Lake Como, Italy.
The luxury classic, of which only three were built is owned by world renowned fashion designer Ralph Lauren and was awarded the prestigious title by Concorso jury members and the public.
Lauren is the owner of one of the world’s most valuable collections of over 60 cars and this particular one has been valued up to an estimated $40 million.
Before receiving the award the designer said, “I acquired the car in 1988, and it has always been a favorite of mine. It has won many honors over the years, and I am proud to show it here.”
At the event, The Alfa Romeo Disco Volante by Touring was awarded ‘Best Concept Car’.
Source: NY Times
|Three more days to enter the Top Gear Festival competition!||
There are just three more days to the enter the Top Gear Festival competition where you can win two tickets to the 2013 Top Gear Festival at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban taking place for the second year in a row on the 15th and 16th June.
The Top Gear Festival team is set to deliver another epic event featuring 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.
This year Top Gear is bringing two-time Formula 1 Champion Mika Häkkinen along as one of its guest drivers.
Competition closes on Wednesday 29 May 2013.
|2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited Review & Test Drive||
Instead of refining the already classic sexy styling and the comfortable and contemporary interior of the new Sonata Hybrid, Hyundai Motor America chose to tweak the excellent hybrid system further increasing fuel efficiency and for the car to operate in all-electric mode more often and for longer periods of time. They engineered an advanced version of the brand’s Blue Drive architecture. The improved architecture optimizes electric-only driving with a higher output 35 kW electric motor, a more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer batter pack and an optimized hybrid operating strategy. These upgrade are paired with a 2.4 liter Theta II four-cylinder engine that now runs on a more efficient Atkinson cycle and an enhanced six-speed automatic to generate 199 combined net horsepower. The new Sonata Hybrid Blue Drive system offers greater fuel efficiencies by increasing the overall amount of available electrical drive power, allowing you to go further between fill-ups. As in previous Sonata Hybrids, the new 2013 model features a clutch to decouple the gasoline engine from the drivetrain. When in pure electric drive, the Sonata Hybrid can drive electrically up to 75 mph.
Maximizing electric-only driving results in high fuel efficiency, which is the leading factor consumers look for in a hybrid vehicle. Hyundai engineers aimed to increase the overall amount of available electric drive power and improve the efficiency of the Hybrid Blue Drive operating system in the new model.
Using a higher output 35 kW electric motor and the more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery pack, the Hybrid Blue Drive powertrain maximizes electric-only driving. The improved operating system takes advantage of newly developed driving pattern detection and engine on/off optimization logic. The availability of more battery energy allows for greater flexibility in running the gasoline engine at optimum efficiency, which saves fuel. Better kinetic energy recovery and increased charging efficiency powers the new model in all-electric mode more often and for longer periods of time, increasing fuel economy. The car utilizes the all-electric mode at optimal moments such as highway driving, and then saves the gasoline engine start-up for roads that require a heavier dose of power at launch.
The remarkable achievement with the new Sonata Hybrid’s 47 kW lithium polymer batter pack is that not only is it more powerful and more energy dense, it also weighs less and takes up less volume in the trunk. It has gone from 96 pounds to 91 pounds, while trunk volume expands from 10.7 to 12.1 cu.ft. Once again the improved efficiency of the battery pack is key to recovering more kinetic energy from braking and charging from the engine, when needed, to help propel the car. The newly optimized system allows the battery to store more usable energy, allowing more all-electric driving, cutting both fuel consumption and emissions. As the upgraded batter stores more energy, engineers also increased the output on the electric traction motor from 30 kW to 35 kW. The increase energy pulled into the system is used for higher torque output in electric driving mode before the system has to start the internal combustion engine. The new Sonata Hybrid can now sustain all-electric mode longer than before. The higher output electric motor is also essential to improving energy capture during regenerative braking.
The HSG (Hybrid Starter Generator) is primarily used to improve clutch engagement when synchronizing engine to transmission speed. The primary traction state of charge is low and the car is stopped, the HSG will automatically restart the engine, which then charges the Lithium Polymer battery pack. When you release the brake and press on the throttle, the Sonata Hybrid will pull away smoothly in electric drive mode with the clutch still engaged. In this mode, the Sonata will briefly behave like a series hybrid. Once the car is in motion and torque demand increases, the clutch will engage and send engine tractive effort through the transmission again.
The body of the new Sonata Hybrid remains unchanged and cuts through the air with an incredible 0.24 co-efficient of drag made possible by the re-sharped front and rear fascias with a deeper air dam, extended rocker panels and lower drag wheels that allow air to flow around the body with less resistance. All of these hybrid and body improvements allow the new Sonata Hybrid Limited that I tested to reach an EPA mileage spec of 36mpg/city and 40mpg/highway.
I checked this out and found it is true only when you get the car up to that speed using the gasoline/hybrid electric system. When I took my foot off the throttle it did go into EV mode but then lost speed as I progressed. When I gave it very light throttle to regain speed it did stay in EV mode until it slowed down again since the light throttle wasn’t enough to keep the speed up from 65-75mph. It behaved the same at any speed below under very light throttle at the optimum speed but did drop off and I had to give it throttle again. It does stretch the miles out using the same light throttle and coasting until you have to regain speed. It doesn’t work on an incline or hill but does on the way down. The EV only mode does work at launch until you reach 20mph then it reverts back to hybrid.
The Hyundai Lifetime Hybrid Battery Warranty ensures that if the Sonata Lithium-Polymer battery ever needs replacement, Hyundai will replace the battery and cover recycling cost for the old battery pack for free to the original owner.
Even though the Sonata Limited is a hybrid vehicle it is still fun and easy to drive with the latest in contemporary mechanical and interior features to make the ride even more enjoyable.
The Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine is all-aluminum with DOHC and Dual Continuously Valve Timing. The six-speed automatic features Hyundai’s Sportronic sequential shifting for a more sporty drive. The unique suspension is fully independent and features MacPherson struts up front with a 24mm stabilizer bar and SACHs Amplitude Selective Damping gas-charged shocks. The rear independent suspension is a multi-link setup with coil springs, a 15mm stabilizer bar and SACHs Amplitude Selective Damping gas-charged shocks for an excellent ride over poorly paved roads and superb handling capabilities at speed.
Steering is provided by a Motor-Driven power steering column mounted rack & pinion power assisted system with engine rpm sensing for a lighter feel at slow speeds and a heavier feel at highway speeds with excellent on-center feel. Slowing the new Sonata Hybrid Limited down from speed are large, regenerative steel disc brakes. Up front are 11.8 inch vented discs with large single-piston calipers and 11.2 vented discs utilizing large single-piston calipers in the rear. Standard ABS and EBD help with your control when braking on slick or wet pavement. The Limited 2013 Sonata Hybrid rides on 17X6.5 inch light alloy wheels wrapped with 215/55R17 inch low-rolling resistance tires.
Standard equipment in my Limited Sonata Hybrid includes projector beam headlights with LED accents, LED taillights, front foglamps, power remote sideview mirrors with turn signal indicators, unique, tinted chrome front grille, bodyside molding tinted chrome inserts, chrome exterior door handles, proximity entry with push-button start/stop, remote keyless entry, alarm and immobilizer, active front head restraints, 5-3-point seatbelts with front pretensioners/load limiters, electric stability control with traction control, front, front seat side and curtain airbags, electroluminescent instrument cluster, 4.2 inch color TFT multi-function trip computer with hybrid technology display, dual automatic temperature control, front console mounted rear air-vents, heated front seats, chrome interior door handles, leatherette interior door panel inserts, leather trimmed front bucket seats with driver’s-side 8-way power adjustments, tilt-telescopic leather wrapped steering wheel with audio, cruise and phone controls, metal-grain interior accents, 499-watt AM-FM-Sirius XM/CD/MP3 with iPod/USB/auxiliary jack Infinity Premium audio system, power windows with driver’s-side express up/down, automatic door locks, integrated Bluetooth with phonebook transfer, Hyundai Blue Link Telematics system, auto light control, Virtual Engine Sound System, solar control glass, leather shift knob, navigation system with high-resolution touch screen display, rear backup camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror/homelink/compass, premium door sill plates, panoramic sunroof with power sunshade.
The price for this advanced and loaded mid-size hybrid sedan is $31,550.00. It is definitely worth the money as I received a combined 37.3 mpg on average traveling on city and highway for more than 450 miles.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
- Price: Base Sonata Hybrid $25,650 / As-Tested Sonata Hybrid Limited $31,550
- Engine: 2.4 liter Theta II 4-cylinder Atkinson Cycle Combined 199 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm / 151-154 lb-ft of torque
- Transmission: 6-speed automatic
- Wheelbase: 110 inches
- Total length: 189.8 inches
- Total width: 72.2 inches
- Total height: 57.7 inches
- Tread: f/r-62.6/62/6 inches
- Headroom: f/r-40/37.8 inches
- Legroom: f/r-45.5/34.6 inches
- Turning circle: 35.8 ft.
- EPA passenger volume: 103.8 cu.ft.
- EPA Fuel Economy: 36 mpg city / 40 mpg highway
- Fuel tank: 17.2 gallons
- Curb weight: 3,578 pounds
|A Kahn’s Orkney Grey RS250 Evoque||
With its performance-oriented design, special Orkney Grey paintwork and unique interior trim, the successful RS250 model is made by the highly skilled, experienced specialists at A.Kahn Design.
The vehicle features, front and rear bumper replacements with integrated vents, front bumper mesh in matte black and silver, front bumper centre section graphic and 3D mesh inserts (front), front grille with 3D mesh, side vent inserts in copper, door entry sill plates in stainless steel, LED daytime running lights for front bumper vents, lower boot lid spoiler, floating roof stripe, privacy tinted glass, side sill trim in gloss black and brake calipers finished in Vesuvius orange.
The exclusive Orkney Grey colour is composed of a particularly concentrated glistening effect. The structure of this paintwork includes a layer of transparent and highly reflective particles with matching 9.5 x 22” RS600 wheels in matte pearl grey.
The interior is upholstered with Alcantara & Vesuvius orange detail and includes a diamond gear selector, diamond quilted glove box with contrast stitching and four door armrests (diamond quilted).
Additional interior detail includes a centre dashboard trim in Alcantara with contrast stitching, dashboard stitching, vented foot pedals in aluminium, quilted and perforated dashboard, transmission tunnel in Alcantara with contrast stitching and floor mats of high quality heavy duty carpet.