Archive for September, 2016

Volvo has been an excellent constructor of trucks, and had a bit of an advance on semi-autonomous driving : autonomous breaking, safety features. With everyone interested in full autonomous driving, Volvo found out the badass way, because the way things are done in Sweden.

Experiments are taking place 1320 meters below the ground, somewhere in a boliden mine in Sweden, Volvo decided to test its first autonomous truck, self-driving if you want. Subject being tested, Volvo FMX tracks.

Volvo went for the mines idea to test its autonomous program in low coverage areas, of course in a mine you would get none. FXM trucks are equipped with radars, and sensors to scan the whole area of the mine, know it well, and be able to advance. There are 6 security sensors that will tell the track whether or not the area is safe. There is always the possibility of human intervention in driving if the situation is complicated enough for the machine.

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In 2009 when the Porsche Panamera was announced, everyone was surprised to the idea of a 4-door saloon Porsche. First models appeared in 2010, and since, the Porsche Panamera has been rocking on the roads. The new Porsche Panamera is just impressive, with design evolution, and new technology introduced. It comes to suite all tastes, in multiple engine variants, in  twin-turbocharged v6 to twin-turbocharged v8.

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The engines available will be 2.9 twin-turbocharged v6 engine (this will replace the old 3.0L engine), 4.0 twin-turbocharged V8 and something from the big factory, from Audi’s (since the two are under Volkswagen) the 4.2L twin-turbo diesel. Also, there will be no more 7-speed double-clutch PDK gearbox, it will be replaced with the newest 8-speed PDK gearbox. For now, Porsche models will be all-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive variants may be announced later. In addition to all this, the new Panamera will be build on a new plateform, that is larger, longer, offers more space, and lighter. The most remarkable variant is the Porsche Panamera Turbo, with its 4.0L twin-turbo V8 with twin scroll turbochargers and VarioCam Plus. It produces 550 hp @5750 to 6000 RPM and 770 Nm @ 1950 to 4000 RPM of torque. Accelerating from 0 to 100 kph takes just 3.6 seconds, beating the Audi S8, the BMW 7 series, The Mercedes Benz S 63 AMG and the Bentley Flying Spur W12 S. Top speed is 190 mph (305 kph). The price is announced at 146,900$

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The new design features new headlights using 48 separate LED’s. The front and rear bumper are changed, and the car has been fitted newly designed bumpers. For the back lights, they are new, with a bar that goes on all the width. The increase in the wheelbase by 30mm contributed to increase the length of the car by 35mm, the car is also 5mm wider and 5mm wider. The elements that were modified are : bumpers, side sills, wings, roof, bonnet, rear hatch and the rear spoiler. The retractable rear spoiler is larger, and divided into three retractable parts, to allow more air lift surface. Use of light materials for the car parts decreased the weight by 70 kg.

In the interior, Porsche people fitted what they call Porsche Advanced Cockpit, which resembles to the cockpit of the Porsche 918. The interior is luxurious, sporty, and gives the driver an interface to communicate with his car. Progress obliges, all the buttons have been replaced with either touch-sensitive buttons or a 12.5-inch touch-screen to give an “à la mode” tech look.

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Porsche will announce other models in the Paris Auto Show and upcoming shows, so stay tuned.

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Bentley cars have always been fast and luxurious, but not fast enough it seems, because they always go close to the 200 mph bar, without being able to go beyond it. But not anymore, because, Bentley just announced the new Flying Spur W12 S, and it tops 202 in speed.

It is powered by a tweaked version of the 6.0L W12 twin-turbocharged engine, with improved engine management kit. So there is a slight raise in power, from 615 to 626 bhp and torque from 800 to 820 Nm. maximum torque will be achieved starting from 2000 rpm. The new Flying Spur sprints from 0 to 100 kph will take 4.5 seconds, which is a bit slow, compared to the Mercedes S63 AMG (3.9 seconds) and the Audi S8 (3.8 seconds). The car will carry on cruising until getting to the top speed of 202 mph (325 kph), thus getting the title of the fastest 4-door Bentley. Bentley all-wheel-drive and the 8-speed automatic will come as standards.

The Flying Spur W12 S is quite recognizable with a new Beluga Gloss radiator grill, new lights surrounds, window surrounds, rear bumper and door handles that are all finished in black. Also, it has a new rear diffuser and a carbon-fiber veneer in option. Buyers have the choice between 21-inches 5-spokes set of wheels, or 7-spokes set of wheels. Carbon-Ceramic brakes come as standard.

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The interior is dark and luxurious. It is characterized by black engin-spin finish to the fascia and waistrails as a standard, or satin carbon-fiber finish as an option. W12 S emblems are found on the headrests. The interior features also a 3-spokes sport steering wheel, with knurled gear-shift paddles.

The Bentley Flying Spur will be revealed in the Paris Auto Show, deliveries will start in the end of this year.

Audi revealed the new A5 and S5 sportback before its world debut in the Paris Auto Show. The second generation Audi A5 Sportback will be sold in both Europe and America.

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The Audi A5 Sportback, for those who are not used to the Audi Nomenclature system, is a 4-door version of the 2017 Audi A5. Resemblance is near with the previous generation Sportback and the Audi A4 on which it is based. It comes with two engine variant, a small 2.0L straight 4 engine, produces 252 bhp from 5,000 to 6,000 rpm and 370 Nm of torque between 1,600 and 4,500 rpm, coupled to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission for the A5. There is also a 3.0L turbocharged V6, making 354 bhp and 500 Nm of torque, this one is coupled to a 8-speed automatic gearbox, available for the S5. Audi said that the 3.0L engine will take the car from 0 to 100 kph in 4.7 seconds and his top speed is 250 kph. Both variants come with Audi’s All-wheel-drive.

The new Audi A5 comes with driver assist features like the collision avoidance auto braking, adaptive cruise control that can assist the driver in acceleration, speed (limit to 40 mph), breaking and even steering, traffic jam assist, park assist, cross-traffic assist rear, exit warning, turn assist, collision avoidance assist and camera-based recognition of traffic signs. The interior is spacier with 17 mm larger cabin, 11 mm more in shoulder space and 25 mm more for knee space compared to the previous A5. The A5 features a high resolution screen to run all infotainment and control systems.

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The price and the rest of the options were not announced yet, more to come on the Mondial de l’Auto on the Sep 29th.

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Koenigsegg Agera RSR

Posted: September 6, 2016 in Agera, Hypercars, Koenigsegg
Tags: , , ,

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A few days ago, at the Salon Privé Concours d’élégance, Koenigsegg revealed chassis #127 dubbed the Agera RS Naraya, a special Agera made for Pasin Lathouras. In Japan, Koenigsegg announces 3 more special edition cars and they prefer to call them the RSR.

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The RSR was revealed in Japan, where it is marketed, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo. It is part of the Agera RS 25 cars program. 3 of them are destined to Japan. Only two were revealed. Chassis #122 and chassis #123 were presented. #chassis #122 was painted in turquoise blue, chassis #123  in pure black and chassis #124 was in white with black stripe. The RSR is distinguished by a new roof scoop similar to which fitted to the One:1, and a new special rear wing. The rear wing comes as an option to all the Agera RS, but for the RSR it comes as standard.

Koenigsegg Agera RSR chassis #124 – Photo by @photochristofferf on IG

Koenigsegg Agera RSR chassis #124 – Photo by @photochristofferf on IG

The engine is the same found in all Ageras, a 5.0L v8 twin-turbocharged, producing 1160 bhp, although, the engine mounted on the RSR will go close to the 1 MW in the Koenigsegg One:1.

Chevrolet Camaro

In the American continent, competition is fierce between car makes to make the best of the best in muscle car terms. Ford makes the Mustang, then Dodge makes the Charger, and Chevrolet makes the Corvette and the Camaro, if one of them makes a special edition, then the other two will follow, and this goes on. Chevrolet, comes with a new version of the Chevrolet Camaro, calls it the ZL1, and it is just staggering.

The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was expected to produce 640 bhp and 640 lb.ft of torque from its LT4 6.2 supercharged V8 engine with tailored intake and exhaust system, instead, it makes more, 650 bhp and 650 lb.ft of torque (868 Nm). These number give it the title of the most powerful Camaro ever made. The engine is the same fitted to the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, but the Camaro is not capable of the same numbers. 0 to 60 takes 3.5 seconds, an improvement on the old Camaro. Doing the quarter mile take 11.4 seconds @127 mph, which is slower than both the Corvette Z06 and the Hellcat Dodge Challenger. The Camaro ZL1 comes with two gearbox options : either a 6-speed manual, capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in the first gear, or a 10-speed GM automatic gearbox. Yes, 10-speed, this new gearbox is made after a collaboration between Chevrolet and Ford collaboration, for the rear-while-drive vehicle, to make a new gearbox that allows quick shifts while the engine is at high regimes and high speeds. The 2017 Camaro ZL1 features 11 heat exchangers for optimal powertrain cooling.

The LT4 engine used on the Camaro ZL1, and the C7 Corvette Z06

The LT4 engine used on the Camaro ZL1, and the C7 Corvette Z06

The exterior design as you see is more aggressive. It took 100’s of hours in the wind-tunnel and on-track testing to validate the new design, and aerodynamic changes. The Camaro ZL1 comes with a new engine grille, that gives it not only a more aggressive look but also allows greater airflow. Engineers fitted a new carbon-fiber hood air extractor to pull heat from the engine compartment and to help reducing lift forces. In addition to that, the ZL1 comes with a new front bumper, whose air ducts are larger to allow better brakes’ cooling. More aggressive aerodynamic lines appear, to give the muscular look and to reduce drag on the surface.

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The Chevrolet Corvette ZL1 is build on the Alpha plateform. It weights 200 pounds less than the predecessor, has more power, thus an improvement on the power-to-weight ratio. It has been fitted with new, more sophisticated systems. The Magnetic Ride Suspension was updated for a better, less uncomfortable driving experience. Also, it (ZL1) comes with a new electronic limited-slip differential, new custom launch control, and more track oriented driving modes. To guarantee a shorter braking distance (32 meters from 60 mph to 0), the ZL1 has Brembo brakes with six-piston monobloc front calipers and large 15.35-inch (390 mm) two-piece front rotors. The price to all this luxury comes at 63,000$.

 

ford focus hennessey

The Ford Focus RS is impressive as is it, with enough power and a tough character, playful, and not expensive to buy. For long I loved the RS badge on the Ford Focus. Well, now there is a more aggressive, more fun version of it, and it gets treatment from Hennessey itself.

Hennessey calls the tuning package added to the Focus RS : HPE400, so you guessed right, it will be making 400 bhp from its 2.3L turbocharged ecoboost engine and 577 Nm of torque. This boost in power is made thanks to a new engine management software, air induction systems, intercooler systems, stainless steel downpipes and exhaust upgrades, turbo system upgrades. For a bit more money, you can have parts fitted by Hennessey themselves for your Focus, with the badges.

Hennessey did not reveal much about the performance figures, but, they should be getting close or better to Mercedes Benz A45 AMG, The Audi RS3, and the BMW 2 series M package.

Rosberg win

The Italian GP is done, won by Mercedes‘ diver Nico Rosberg, to be closer to Lewis Hamilton in the rank in the F1 championship standing. Ferrari was 3rd and 4th, advantage to Vettel over Raikkonen, 5th was Red Bull‘s Ricciardo.

The depart was won by Rosberg, Ferrari did an excellent start , jumping from the second row, to 2nd and 3rd. Hamilton found himself in the 6th place. Vettel ran second most of the race, he found himself third after his second pit stop. Mercedes was limited to just one stop starting with the soft tires, but Ferrari had an extra stop. Red Bull, who weren’t at their best, finished 5th and 7th, separated by Bottas. The point difference between Ferrari and Red Bull was reduced to just 11 points.

Ricciardo won the battle for the 5th place against Bottas with an excellent late breaking and early acceleration at the first S turn after the long start/finish straight. Alonso, who finished 14th, did not go home empty handed, he won the Grand Prix best lap time with a 1:25.340, a record to his name.

And even though it was Rosberg who won the Italian Grand Prix, the general ambiance was pure Italian, even at the podium, there were too many Red tiffosi and a lot more Ferrari flags.

Italian GP result:

1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes,              1:17:28.089

2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes,         +15.070

3. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari,             +20.990

4. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari,            +27.561

5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull,         +45.295

6. Valtteri Bottas, Williams,            +51.015

7. Max Verstappen, Red Bull,         +54.236

8. Sergio Perez, Force India,           +64.954

9. Felipe Massa, Williams,                +65.617

10. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +78.656

11. Romain Grosjean, Haas,                +1 lap

12. Jenson Button, McLaren,             +1 lap

13. Esteban Gutierrez, Haas,              +1 lap

14. Fernando Alonso, McLaren,        +1 lap

15. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso,            +1 lap

16. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber,            +1 lap

17. Kevin Magnussen, Renault,         +1 lap

18. Esteban Ocon, Manor,                  +2 laps

DNF Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso (Dnf)

DNF Pascal Wehrlein, Manor (Dnf)

DNF Jolyon Palmer, Renault (Dnf)

DNF Felipe Nasr, Sauber (Dnf)

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The Porsche Macan Turbo is the most powerful in the Macan line up, it achieves great on its own, yet people at Porsche decided to give it a power boost. Fitting the car with a Performance Package that means : engine, brakes, suspension, brakes, and a sporty interior.

Porsche’s people tuned the twin-turbocharged 3.6L v6 engine, to be able to produce 440 bhp and 600 Nm of torque at a large torque rev field that goes between 1500 rpm and 4500 rpm. The new, more powerful Macan is already more powerful than the GTS Macan. Moreover, 0 to 60 takes only 4.2 seconds, which is faster than a 911 Carrera by two tenths, racing from 80 to 120 kph is faster now, and takes just 2.9 seconds. So, the Porsche Macan can attend its top speed of 272 kph faster. An all-wheel-drive system channels power to the ground, with the a help of Porsche Pdk 7-gear double-cluth transmission.

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The Performance Package includes as well new larger brakes, the new 6-piston red calipers come with 390 mm brake rotors, they are 30 mm larger than the standard turbo’s. New, adaptive suspension, 16 mm lower, are fitted as well. Porsche’s Sport chrono package comes as a standard. There is no bodywork modification. 21″ alloy wheels with gloss black detailing come as options.

The total price of all this could reach 88,000$. Competition will be against The beemer X3, Audi SQ5, and the recently announced Mercedes Benz GLC43 AMG.

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Mercedes F1 team carries its domination over the times at the Italian GP. It had 1,2’s in all the sessions, including the qualifications’ session. The best time, and pole position were Hamilton‘s, dominant in all the qualifying session (Q1, Q2 & Q3). He did a flying last lap, beating all drivers to the pole, with a 1:21.135, leading his team mate by almost half a second.

Hamilton has the pole, yet, he will start with potentially flat-spotted tires, Mercedes will ask to change them, they may present danger on the driver himself and on the race. Ferrari locked the second row in the starting grid, Vettel (1:21.972) beat Raikkonen (1:22.065) for the third place, and the drivers will start on softer, faster tires, but will have shorter first stints. Vettel may have his 3rd place revoked, because he may have gone off track in the parabolica curve. Velteri Bottas was 5th, and Ricciardo 6th. Verstappen who was criticized for his driving style, by the race director Charlie Whiting, the F1 drivers, and even the GP2 drivers, did only achieve 7th place on the grid doing a 1:22.411. Haas, who put a driver in Q3 for the first time ever, had only the 10th position, Gutierrez had it, Grosjean will be having a 5-places grid penalty for changing his gearbox.

Esteban Ocon, who had electronic problems in the free practice on Friday, did not score a time today, and will start last, still not clear, if from the grid, or from the pits. His team mate, Pascal Wehrlein scored the 14th time, but will start from the 13th spot on the grid, due to Grosjean’s Penalty.

Both Force India drivers are behind William’s driver, Bottas, 5th on the grid. Sergio Perez was 8th and Hulkenberg 9th. To everyone big surprise Massa was out of Q2. He said that he did not get the grip he needed from his tires.

Mclaren will be having a quite difficult race with both drivers out of qualifying in Q2.

This is the provisional grid for tomorrow :

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