Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New BMW E70 X5

BMW has released a range of BMW presentation products for the facelifted E70 BMW X5. Just as a recap BMW accomplishment is a label for accessories that BMW sells to spice up its cars in efforts to take some of that (mostly aesthetic) aftermarket mod spending away from other tuners. BMW Performance bodykits look unusual from the M-Sport bodykits and are often more aggressive-looking. In Malaysia if you see an E90 it could transportation one of three sets of bumpers – standard M-Sport and BMW Performance.
Anyway back to the BMW accomplishment parts for the X5. There’s now a BMW public presentation Aero Kit for the X5 which BMW claims was developed in BMW’s wind tunnel in Munich.

It can be fitted to the 2011 X5 LCI except for the X5 M and X5 models equipped with a preview hitch. It includes redesigned side and rear bumpers as well as side skirts and an optional black kidney grille.
On the interior there’s a BMW Performance aluminum Pedal Kit which is made of aluminum with rubber inserts. And there’s a direct surrogate for the steering wheel which has a thick flat-bottom rim covered in hand-stitched Alcantara

BMW X3 gets M-Sport package

Here it is – a whole aggregation of official photos of the M-Sport package for the F25 BMW X3. Prior to this we only had three photos of the same white kitted X3 you seat above in front and rear three quarter angles as well as a shot of the alloy wheels. These set of photos reveal the full inside information including the interior which features that brushed aluminum trim that has become synonymous with BMW M-Sport kits and nicely brightens up the interior.
The exterior kit features the usual M-Sport mods – side and rear bumper designs unique to to M-Sport kitted cars high gloss Shadowline trim M-Sport tailpipes and either 19 inch or 20 inch alloy wheels. The suspension instrumentality also gets sportier settings unique to the M-Sport model though the X3 already has the benefit of a suspension instrumentality with both a Normal and Sport variable setting.
On the inside you have the brushed aluminum trim that we’ve already mentioned M-sport steering and for the xDrive20d model with the manual  transmission there’s also an M shift lever. The roof lining is anthracite and other minor aesthetic mods so much as door sills with M logos and an M footrest complete the package

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bahar: Renault F1 deal cost one third of what Tony asked

When news broke that radical Lotus was buying into the Renault F1 Team one of the more popular questions was why couldn’t they just invest in Tony Fernandes’ Team Lotus. Wouldn’t that have solved the issue of a Lotus vs Lotus battle on next year’s statement 1 grid and in the courts? Group Lotus CEO Dany Bahar shed some light on the matter at a media lunch in London.

Apparently there were such moves but the other side made it too difficult and too costly for Group Lotus. “A head that has come up many times was why did you not find an amicable solution with Tony Fernandes? Well we tried” he said.

“Let me just suppose when the counter proposals are so ridiculous and absurd it makes no sense to continue these discussions. And if you can go with a top five team up that is maybe one third of the cost that was asked by the other side then that makes sense.

“We do not have the financial resources and we don’t have the time to endow in a newly formed team that really deserves respect. By buying into an existing one which is well financed which has the right  partners in there it was just the more conservative approach and we just wanted to fight at the top end of the grid. And that should not sound disrespectful to anyone but we have such an ambitious plan ahead of us we don’t wish to lose time and we wish to support the brand out there”.
What were the hurdles? “We were not afraid of partnering with Mr Fernandes but as I said location is one way that Lotus does business – and this is getting involved and not just putting the logo on the car. We need to be Byzantine in the management. We indigence to take decisions together. We need to fund it in collaboration as well which is fine but it cannot just be that we are seen as a sponsor we pay the cheque and everything else is run by someone else. That is something that we will ne'er do. And even if it is a public perception it will never happen” Bahar clarified.

On the many arrows that are flying his journey the ex-Ferrari employee said: “Although the public perception is I am the bad guy and I am doing everything I can to sabotage them this is complete nonsense. You cannot conceive of that Dany Bahar can influence prime ministers the board of Lotus the board of Proton the shareholders. There are so many people involved  and it would not make sense!”

VW give thumbs up to new F1 engine rules

Volkswagen has managed to hold out the temptation of joining Formula 1 so far. As recent as early this month the raw Porsche boss Matthias Mueller “ruled out” the series.

“F1 is a drivers’ world championship with the focus on the sponsors and the manufacturers entirely secondary. For us this is a clear drawback for such a long-term investment as is the unclear rules for the prospective. (But) if the VW classify was interested then Porsche would surely be the brand that would work best for this” he told German newspaper Westfalen Blatt.

But the new rules that demarcation engines to 1.6-litre four-cylinder units in 2013 could be statement that changes VW’s mind. When asked VW Motorsport’s Hans-Joachim stuck  spoke of the possibilities.

“We welcome the result. It is not only high news for F1 but for the whole of motorsport as it takes the sport in the right direction environmentally. Of course we have not decided anything but the conditions for Volkswagen to possibly enter the category have present been created. The engine rules are a good start point for Volkswagen” he said.

VW’s motorsport program subscribes to “Resource-saving motorsport” and efficient engines with production-based technology (the brand’s statement 3 engine is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder NA locomotive with ‘just’ 210 hp ). Using bio natural gas engines in the Scirocco R-Cup and at the Nürburgring 24 Hours is proof that “Volkswagen is already in the process of putting the aims of eco-conscious motorsport of the future into action now” according to VW Motorsport Director Kris Nissen.

200 hp turbocharged 1.6L Honda CR-Z Type R

The Honda CR-Z which is presently hybrid only will get a new turbocharged four-cylinder motor which could spawn a Type R variant UK’s Autocar reports. Citing sources in Japan the account says that the 1.6-litre turbo is currently undergoing development at Honda’s Tochigi R&D adeptness.

To also find its way into the Jazz Civic and Accord this i-VTEC turbo unit of measurement is part of Honda’s downsizing program and will push out 2.0L presentation from just 1.six litres. There will be two versions – a 160 hp unit and a 200 hp version that’s set to transport the legacy of the Civic Type R’s K20A. The latter will motivate the “CR-Z Type R” that could introduction late next year.

The idea isn’t other. The image above is of Honda’s CR-Z loanblend R concept from this year’s SEMA show. It had a turbo alongside the one.5-litre hybrid powerplant for 200 hp and 238 New Mexico of torque plus red hot body styling.

Founder of TWR Tom Walkinshaw, founder of TWR, passes away at 64

Tom Walkinshaw 1Former TWR owner Tom Walkinshaw died on Sunday from lung malignant neoplastic disease. The 64-year-old Scotsman’s racing career began in the late 60s where he raced in Formula Ford and Formula 3 as well as Formula Two and drove in various classes and events up to the late 80s.

In 1976 he firm Tom Walkinshaw Racing which designed and manufactured both road and racing cars as well as running the latter in touring car programmes in the mid 1970s and early 1980s.

Most memorable surely for Jaguar fans was the victory achieved by the Silk Cut Jaguar XJR-9LM built by TWR (and designed by Tony Southgate) in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988. The company would go on to build more victorious Le Mans entries notably the Joest Racing Porsche WSC-95 which won the event in 1996 and 1997.

Walkinshaw also had an association with F1 as engineering director at Benetton region owner of Ligier and owner of Arrows though that last association cost him dearly – Arrows ran out of money in 2002 and in the process the TWR group went into liquidation.
Another famous Walkinshaw outing would be that in Australia with Holden Special Vehicles which was set up in 1987 as a joint undertaking between Holden and TWR as well as with the Holden Racing Team.

Audi R18 for 2011 Le Mans

This average looking machine is charged with the responsibility of winning the tenth Le Mans title for Audi who are the defending champions of the world’s most famous endurance race after conquering the 2010 podium with a 1-2-3 finish. And for the inaugural time since its Le Mans debut in 1999 the four rings will contest a car with a roof.

“In the future aerodynamic efficiency will be fifty-fifty more important at Le Mans than it was in the past” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. “A closed cable car has clear advantages in this respect. Our computing machine simulations have been confirmed in the wind tunnel and during initial track tests.”
The engines have shrunk for 2011 as the rule makers purpose to cap engine power. The R18 will be motivated  by a 3.7L V6 TDI (from a five.5L V10) but no more figures have been released. Although hybrid drive has been approved for 2011 Audi is keeping faith with a saturated  diesel. The 6-speed transmission has been modified for use with the little engine.

Today’s Audis sport eye communicable LEDs and it’s the same for the R18. Those imposing headlights which are the first to completely consist of LEDs with optimised amount of light are a method highlight here. During the day the lights form the embodiment of a “1″ inspired by Audi’s historic brand logo.
Development of the R18 started in mid 2009 while the V6 TDI has been continual on the dynos since the summer of 2010. This car completed its foremost track test with Allan McNish at the end of November. The planned slipstream debut is at Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours in May 2011. Prior to that the prototype will be able to overlap Le Mans during the official test day on April 24. Audi will field three R18s which will be entered by Audi Sport animal group Joest. The team will contest the Intercontinental Le Mans United States liquid unit consisting of seven endurance races on three continents (including the Le Mans 24 Hours) with two cars. At the change of integrity race at Sebring in March the team will use two “R15 plus plus” cars instead of the R18. “Sending the R18 into a race at such an early point in time would be effortful in terms of logistics and interfere with our development program” explains Dr