Friday, August 24, 2007
The Cheapest

Have you chosen which car out of the three most expensive cars you will buy? If not, I'm going to suggest one car that I think you would really like if you are not really a billionaire and is cash strapped but wanting to own a car. This car though would have to be imported as I don't think it will be released in the country any time soon. This is because the car is designed and will be mass produced by an Indian automaker. This automaker is rumored to be interested in the acquisition of Jaguar and Land Rover and it is interesting to see its lineup pairing a Jaguar with the world's cheapest car.

The automaker I'm talking about is Tata Motors. The company is India's fourth largest automaker and it can be the largest if its new car in development becomes a success. The company is looking to take advantage of the growing middle class families by offering a car that is cheap. Cheap in the sense that it is the lowest priced automobile in the world and not a trashy car. The Rs One Lakh which is actually the price of the car. That price is 100,000 rupees or about $2,500. So if you are planning to buy a Veyron, you can just buy many units of this car instead.

The conditions in the Indian auto market are very good for the arrival of the Rs One Lakh. According to MSNBC, for every one thousand people in India, only eight owns a car. And with the economy of the country picking up, it is expected that the number of Indians owning cars will increase in the very near future. Especially if the Rs One Lakh is a good car. Compared to the United States where 750 person out of a thousand owns a car, India is considered by many as an automaker's paradise. No surprise automakers like Nissan, Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Ford, Renault, and Volkswagen just to name a few has already started expanding their operation in the said Asian country.

Manishi Raychaudhuri, a UBS analyst has this to say about the world's cheapest car. "The potential for that car to sell in large numbers is huge. In India, the penetration of four-wheelers is very low. So naturally there's some status attached to having a real car — it's kind of a showpiece."

Reports have it that Tata Motors is planning not only to market the Rs One Lakh in India but in other Asian countries as well.
posted by Car Addict @ 8:00 PM  
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The Most Expensive Cars

If you are a billionaire and you are thinking about buying a car, let me give a rundown of some of the cars that you might be interested in. These are the most expensive cars in the world. These cars will not only cost you a fortune when buying it. You will also have to pay taxes for these cars. And then there's that constant pampering that it needs to maintain its showroom aura.

So here we go, first up is the fastest production car today, the Bugatti Veyron. It has a lot of superlatives connected to its name. Aside from being the fastest production car, it is also the most expensive, and the most powerful production car. It is one of the best looking cars ever. It's got a W16 engine with an output of 1001 hp. If you're wondering what a W16 is, let's just say that it is actually two V8s strapped together. It could be yours for about $1,200,000.

A bit too pricey for you? How about the Pagani Zonda Roadster F C12S7.3 Clubsport version. Its engine produces 650 hp. Although far from the thousand horses that the Veyron packs, that amount of power is enough to make you think twice before driving without wearing a seatbelt. In terms of its looks, it is superb. No other car in the world has that bold yet sleek styling of this Pagani. This baby can be yours for just $667,320.

Still not a fit for you? Then let's try an American car. Next on our list is the Shelby Super Car Ultimate Aero TT. This is the fastest and the most expensive American car. According to its manufacturer, it has the power to take the record away from the Veyron. Watch out late this month and SSC will be testing the car once again on open roads in an effort to take the record away from a European car. Its engine can produce as much as 1,046 hp. That power can push the Aero TT to speeds exceeding 260 miles per hour. That power is developed in its engine. This car is yours for $654,500.

So that's the three most expensive cars that I know of. I think the Pagani and the Veyron are not available to North American car buyers so if you really want to buy one, you would have to spend more than the price tag on the cars. Or maybe, you can just buy a Kia or a Hyundai and pretend that you are driving a Bugatti when your driving around on it.

posted by Car Addict @ 11:58 PM  
Friday, August 17, 2007
Maserati Celebrates Fangio

Anyone who is a fan of Formula One certainly knows who Juan Manuel Fangio is. Called the Maestro, the Argentine Formula One driver has the most championship of five until Michael Schumacher eclipsed it with his seven championships. During the first decade of the sport, Fangio was the one who dominated it. And this month marks the 50th year of his famous win in his entire career.

On August 4, 1957, Juan Manuel Fangio, driving the Maserati 250F, has done what nobody thought was possible. At the 1957 German Grand Prix’s closing laps, Fangio was 45 seconds behind the Ferrari drivers Mike Hawthorn and Peter Collins. It took Fangio only ten laps to close the gap between him and the Ferraris and went on to win the race. Fangio was driving for Maserati then and in celebration of his epic win at the Nürburgring, Maserati is presented a special trophy to the highest placed 250F at the OldTimer Grand Prix classic race.

The Maestro spoke highly of Maserati. He said: “I've raced and won in cars of all marques but I've always had a special relationship with Maserati: not only were the cars safe, reliable and always absolutely technically avant-garde, but there was a very special friendship and atmosphere between myself and the marque. I felt completely at home.”

Thus, it is not surprising that Maserati feels the same way about Fangio. The automaker recently launched a website in celebration of the Maestro’s win at the Nürburgring 50 years ago. The site describes Fangio’s win at the German Grand Prix saying: “The Argentine’s fifth and last World Driver’s Title was arguably his greatest, if anything because of the sheer superiority he demonstrated on tracks such as Buenos Aires, Rouen, or the infamous Nordschleife at the Nürburgring. Formula One historians generally agree that this was not only his finest race, but also the greatest Grand Prix ever run.”

And that counts the recent wins by Hamilton or Alonso or Massa or Raikkonen. Even the seven-time world champion Schumacher was not able to leave a mark such as what the Maestro did at that fateful race.

The car that Fangio drove in that historic race will be displayed at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show which will start on September 11. The legendary car will be displayed along with modern Maserati cars such as the new GranTurismo and the Quattroporte. Even among these modern supercars I know that the 250F that the Maestro piloted will stand out. Just like old times eh?

posted by Car Addict @ 6:34 PM  
Sunday, August 12, 2007
The Greatest Reigns

When it comes to sports cars, we each have our own preferences. You might love the Enzo while others may prefer a Miata. But for the people at Discovery Channel’s Greatest Ever segment, a European sports car was judged as the greatest ever sports car. Let us not get too hasty though, let us count down the ten greatest sports car according to Discovery Channel.

Number ten on the list is the Lamborghini Countach of 1984. This is the last year that the Italian government has overseen the production of the sports car. It has a top speed of 306 km/h and is powered by a V12 engine.

Ranked ninth was the Nissan Skyline from 1968 onwards. It is the forerunner of the Infiniti G today. Back then, the Skylines produced by Nissan were equipped with V8 engines. They can reach speeds of 260 km/h or more.

Number eight on the list is the Corvette Sting Ray from the year 1967. This was the last year that General Motors manufactured the Sting Ray. This particular sports car is powered by a V8 which can propel the car to speeds of 240 km/h.

Next on the list is the Aston Martin DB5 from 1963. This car was made famous by Agent 007 James Bond. This car equipped with a V12 and can produce as much as 286 horsepower is the car used by the British agent in the movie Goldfinger among many others.

Sixth on the greatest ever list is the Mercedes Gullwing SL from the year 1954. Dubbed as the Widowmaker, this notorious sports car is equipped with a six-cylinder engine which provides 215 horsepower enabling the car to reach speeds of 260 km/h.

Fifth on the list is the Ferrari Enzo year 2002. This iconic car is the one I expect to come out on top but the guys behind this how think otherwise. The car named after the founder of the Prancing Horse is powered by a V12 and can reach speeds of 360 km/h.

Fourth is the Jaguar E-Type from 1961 with a tops speed of 270 km/h. Similar to the Mercedes, it is equipped with a six-cylinder engine.

Third on the list is the McLaren F1 year 1994. Built to be the fastest, the McLaren can reach speeds of 386 km/h.

Second on the list is the Mazda Miata of 1989. This car brought back the roadster variants to sports cars’ lineups.

And topping the list is the Porsche 911 from the year 1964. This immortal sports car has undergone many changes and symbolizes everything that a sports car should be.

posted by Car Addict @ 10:33 PM  
Friday, August 3, 2007
Initial D Uses Real Drift Cars

Initial D. Oh c’mon! Don’t tell me you have no idea. That’s the ridiculously popular anime series in Japan. What would shun the anime from recognition if it warrants the use of full size cars? Yeah. Real drift cars!

The drift cars are mounted on motion simulators in place of a conventional gaming cabinet. The game/simulator can be found at the SEGA Joypolis in Odaiba (Tokyo), Japan and comes in three versions using the actual bodies of a Subaru Impreza WRX, a Toyota GT-APEX and a Mazda RX-7. The game itself plays out on a 90-inch monitor mounted in front of the vehicle and for only $5, you can cruise around one of three different courses, writes Oh Gizmo.

The anime series following the exploits of a young tofu-delivery-guy-turned-illegal-drift-racer, has been hugely popular in its home country since the mid-'90s, says Tim Stevens of Switched. “Its fast-paced scenes of sideways, wheel-to-wheel racing never really captured the eye of many American viewers, but in Japan, the show helped inspire the popularity of professional (and legal) drift racing.”

Naturally, the craze gave rise to a whole slew of video games aimed that at those wanting to experience the same thing without the whole risk of actually crashing their cars and such, adds Stevens. “Unfortunately, those games could never replicate the feel of actually sitting in a tuned drift car - until now. At Sega's Joypolis mega-arcade near Tokyo, an installation 'Initial D Arcade Stage 4 Limited' game includes three full-sized cars selected from the anime series. The first is the tofu-wagon itself, the iconic white Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-APEX ‘Hachi-Roku’ featured in the series.”

“The other two are common drift cars, a Mazda RX-7 and a Subaru WRX. Of course, players don't actually drive these cars - the vehicles are just set on top of motion simulators - but the seats, dashboard, and steering wheel are the real deal,” says Stevens.

Initial D, also called "Kashiramoji Dī," is a manga (Japanese word for comics and print cartoons) by Shuichi Shigeno. The anime series has been serialized in Kodansha's Young Magazine since 1995 and has been adapted into a long-running anime series by Pastel, Studio Gallop, and OP Planning. The said series was launched in Japan on Fuji TV and Animax.

The Initial D concentrates on the illegal street racing realm. The ‘drifting’ is focused in the mountain passes and never in cities. Also, the drift racing style is predominantly stressed. The story revolves around the Japanese prefecture of Gunma as well as surrounding cities and towns. The locations used are inspired by the Gunma Prefecture.

At about $5 a try, the game is certainly not that affordable. But it’s a lot more practical than trying it for real. You may not find a BMW 3.0cs radiator inside the arcade but the game is really worth it.

And if you have no plans of visiting Japan this early, might as well wait for the upcoming launch of a home version… I’ll be waiting too.

posted by Car Addict @ 9:43 PM  
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
2008 Honda Ridgeline Review

This innovated Honda Ridgeline, a four-door pickup, has been made bigger and more space-efficient as a vehicle. I find it even tougher with its front bumper (which have structural members that extend down to prevent the truck from overriding a lover or smaller vehicle in a collision - for safety) with a honeycomb grille and 22 inch rims. Such may be the design though we know that not all people are attracted with its exterior looks. From the side, it looks very much a solid piece - no are gaps between the cab and the box, which is a concept applied in several pickup trucks.

Being spacey, we could probably hide some stuff and goodies without feeling brimmed for the vehicle comes with pretty good storage provisions. It has a four-wheel independent suspension, enabling the vehicle to run smoother. It is equipped with 255 bhp v6 engine joined with a five speed automatic transmission. Its standard mode is the all-wheel-drive. These features make it very much ideal for road trips and long travels.

Interiorly, it is engineered to specifically emphasize spacing, with large center armrest or storage console provide in multiple levels, and including a deep bottom one. Giving it a neat look makes it unsupplied with bottle holders in the door pockets, which is a bit surprising. But, what is generally important is that they’ve used superior quality parts for the interior.

It has an 8.2 inches ground clearance with low cal floor for ease of entry and exit. It just doesn’t sound well for having non-adjustable pedals and steering wheels that doesn’t telescope.

Having a four-wheel independent suspension, where usually the truck-based variety has a solid rear axle, the vehicle capitulate both the ride and handling, enabling the vehicle to raise its center of gravity and its rollover capacity.

It is said to have better lateral grips in turns than the Honda Accord coupe, for having an efficient rack-and-pinion steering that provides confidence-inspiring precision.

According to the company’s research, owners of pickup trucks make up about 65% to 75% of 5 million customers. This just proves that it really moves up the sales of Honda so they are very much dedicated in upgrading the kinds.

In 2010, the Honda Ridgeline is proposed to have a V6 Diesel, for Honda continues its quest to captivate the market with fuel efficient vehicles.
posted by Car Addict @ 6:24 PM  
Here Comes the Next Generation Beetle Bee

AutoBild announced that the ever famous Beetle Bee maker Volkswagen will soon release the next generation Beetle Bee. The German auto maker will be making it available this coming 2009. Volkswagen did not share the images of their upcoming retuned model of the ever-famous Beetle Bee but they can just stop all the artists and other car enthusiasts to have snap shots of their legendary piece. Volkswagen gave the new car a new style. We are not sure about what these retunes were but I guess this will definitely set a friendly completion between other car brands.

The Beetle Bee will be wearing some of the VW Golf VI platform however the Microbus will also use the older parts of the Golf and the Touran. But, the looks given to the new Beetle adds a little sporty look to the VW car. The picture shows that the new car has a spitting image of the 997. The German car maker also gave the Beetle Bee a powertrain coming from the Golf VI and it is pretty obvious that the new car also had a few parts coming from its sister, the Golf VI.

posted by Car Addict @ 12:56 AM  
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