31 January 2017

New Porsche Macan URSA Tune by Russia's TopCar

Post by: Automotive

After many months of preparation and work, Russian tuning firm TopCar is ready to share its Porsche Macan URSA aftermarket program. 

Set to be officially revealed at this week's Moscow International Motor show 2014 (August 27 to September 7), TopCar's URSA project for the Macan SUV consists exclusively of exterior styling parts at this stage. 

There are two editions to choose from, one with carbon fiber detailing for €16,080 (about $21,300 or GBP 12,800) and a painted one for €12,680 (~$16,800 or GBP 10,100).

Both versions include a wide bodykit comprising of a new front bumper with a lip spoiler, hood vents, side skirts, wheel arch extensions, front fender air ducts, rear bumper and diffuser, plus lower and upper tailgate spoilers.

The alloy wheels pictured in the display car are not included, but due to the wide body kit, you will probably have to get spacers and/or a new set of rims and tires. 

22 September 2014

EU on Quest to Move Emissions, Efficiency Testing out of Labs, into Real World

Post by: Autom

When you buy a new car today you of course check out the efficiency credentials, but are always aware that they do not reflect reality. Buyers (and those who advise them) have learnt that the discrepancy between what is claimed and what is realis usually constant and have therefor adapted, but it’s far from being called normal and the practice of being deceitful about these claims is detrimental to the end user, not the company.

Companies actually profit from these legal loopholes, as Reuterscalls them, and you can imagine they will be fighting the EU’s initiative to make the manufacturers blurt out the actual figures, instead of these phony ones that are an integral part of their marketing schemes.

The numbers are not accurate for a variety of reasons, most of which are intentional. The fact that most testing is done in labs is one factor that causes the issue, and even when they do take the cars out to see how efficient they are, all sorts of practices from taping up seams in the body, to pumping up the tires excessively are used to yet again cheat the system.

The EU is now bent on putting a stop to this (finally). Through the European Comission (EC), they want to force the manufacturer to change their practices for more accurate results.

It’s not even planet-warming CO2 that’s the main problem, apparently, because it’s being kept in check – what we should be looking out for is nitrogen oxide (NOX), a known carcinogen.

The source quotes an unnamed source from within the EU administration: "In the real world we have seen that NOX emissions are higher than indicated by the test, up to a factor 4 or 5 and exceptionally more" – that’s scary, if proven true…

The first step being taken by the EU through the EC is being enforced as of September 1. It’s specifically designed to limit the amount of NOX (diesel) engines (in particular) are known to emit – they want to drop the maximum allowed threshold from 0.180 g/km to 0.080 g/km.

Subaru Launches 296HP WRX S4 in Japan

While in the United States, the Subaru WRX is rated at 268 horsepower, in Japan, the automaker has launched it directly with an upgraded version which comes with 296 horsepower. 

Offered exclusively in Subaru's home market, the new Subaru WRX S4 is powered by a tuned version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer engine which produces 300PS (296hp) at 5,600 rpm and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) between 2,000 and 4,800 rpm. The engine is offered exclusively with the Sport Lineartronic CVT automatic and returns 13.2 km/l (7.6 l/100 km or 31 mpg US), according to Japan's JC08 mode.

The name S4 does not hint at Audi, with Subaru saying it denotes the four values of “sports performance”, “safety performance”, “smart driving” and “sophisticated feel”.

The Subaru WRX S4 features new equipment including the EyeSight driving assist system, Multi-mode Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), Active Torque Vectoring, and electric parking brake. Other new systems include the Active Lane Keep steering assistance system, Pre-Collision Reverse Throttle Management and Brake Light Recognition.

In terms of styling, the Subaru WRX S4 looks very much like the US-spec WRX, unless one specifies it with STI Performance styling upgrades - like those seen on the car from the opening photo. The WRX S4 is offered with new 18-inch alloy wheels and two new exterior colors, WR Blue Pearl and Crystal White Pearl. 

Post by: Automotive

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Priced from $78,995

Post by: Automotive

GM has announced pricing for the range-topping 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, with the entry ticket for the most powerful and technologically advanced Corvette ever being set at $78,995. That’s the price for the coupe version, as the convertible starts from $83,995. Both prices include destination charges.

If the standard package which includes a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine producing 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque (881 Nm), a performance aero kit and numerous chassis tweaks isn’t enough, GM also offers optional packages that enhance the Corvette Z06 both aesthetically and in terms of performance.

The Carbon Fiber Ground Effects package, priced at $2,995, adds a functional carbon fiber front splitter, carbon fiber rocker panels and a larger rear spoiler for increased stability at high speeds. The Z07 Performance Package, available for $7,995, adds Brembo carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors, adjustable front and rear aerodynamic components to the Carbon Fiber Ground Effects package and Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup tires for better grip.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 is offered in three trims: 1LZ, 2LZ and 3LZ. Optional features include the Premium Package with leather-wrapped interior, Performance Data Recorder and navigation, competition sport seats offered in leather or sueded microfiber, carbon fiber interior trim and carbon fiber convertible tonneau cover inserts, visible carbon fiber roof panel (Coupe) as well as tintcoat exterior colors, several available wheel finishes and several available brake caliper colors.

Infiniti Says New London Studio will Bring Back Romance to Design

We thoroughly agree that the age of romantic automobiles is not the one we’re currently living, but one that’s a good few decades in the past and therefor we salute Infiniti’s intention to do something about it. The Japanese automaker has just opened an automotive design studio in London where it plans to “make cars look and feel romantic again.” This new philosophy will be an integral part of the automaker’s plan to expand its lineup of models by 60 percent – design work on “more than 10 new models” has already been completed at other locations in the past year and a half, and the first of these new “romantic” expressions will debut in concept form “at upcoming international motor shows;” Paris presumably will be first. We’d already seen what Infiniti’s designers are capable of when it comes to the firm’s swoopy concepts (pictured), and even the new Q50 is quite the looker, but they’ve got a lot of work ahead if they want to not only shape people’s perception of their brand, but that regarding cars in general – their stated goal… At the new London studio, “the facility will be able to design and make full-size clay models. It is one of very few full-capability automotive design centers around the world to have a city center location.”