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The 2011 Nissan NISMO 370Z Sports Car

Nissan NISMO 370Z2011 Nissan NISMO 370Z Has It All – 350 Horsepower 3.7-liter V6, Aerodynamic Body and Unique Interior Treatments

The dynamic Nissan NISMO 370Z, a tuner-Z® enthusiast’s dream and the most powerful production Z® ever offered, enters its third year in 2011 – again offering 350 horsepower, racing-inspired exterior and interior styling, a specially tuned suspension and unique super-lightweight forged alloy wheels.

Developed by Nissan’s Specialty Vehicles Group in conjunction with Autech Japan, Nissan’s longstanding conversion partner, the limited production NISMO 370Z provides unique performance and design attributes that true sports car enthusiasts are looking for straight from the factory.

The limited production NISMO 370Z is offered in one completely equipped model with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission only and in a choice of five exterior colors, including one new exterior color for 2011: Gun Metallic.

Advanced VVEL V6 and Tuned Suspension Come Standard

Every NISMO 370Z starts with the unmatched foundation of an advanced Nissan FM (Front Midship) platform, refined 4-wheel independent suspension and 3.7-liter DOHC V6 engine with Variable Valve Event and Lift Control (VVEL). The VVEL system helps optimize intake valve open/close movements, allowing the needed air to be sent promptly to the combustion chamber at the precisely optimized time.

For its use in the NISMO 370Z, the 3.7-liter VQ-series V6 produces 350 hp @ 7,400 rpm and 276 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm. The NISMO Z®’s enhanced engine power and acceleration is provided through use of an exclusive H-configured exhaust system design and muffler tuning, along with optimized ECM (Engine Computer Module) control. The NISMO 370Z is offered with only one transmission, a close-ratio 6-speed manual with Nissan’s “SynchroRev Match” synchronized downshift rev matching system.

The “SynchroRev Match” function automatically controls and adjusts engine speed when shifting to the speed of the next gear position, essentially “blipping” the throttle to smooth out any up/down shifts. This not only allows the driver to focus more on braking and steering, it improves the smoothness of gear shifts by reducing the typical “shock” when the clutch is engaged. The system can be deactivated with a button next to the shifter for drivers who prefer to shift on their own.

The NISMO 370Z features a tight, rigid body structure with a strut tower bar brace and a pair of performance dampers, which quickly and efficiently react to help control body vibrations from road input via the tires, contributing to the NISMO 370Z’s outstanding handling and performance feel.

Continue reading The 2011 Nissan NISMO 370Z Sports Car

The 2011 BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept Vehicle

BMW Concept VehiclesThe future has already begun. At the 2011 International Motor Show in Geneva the concept vehicle BMW Vision ConnectedDrive will make its world debut from 3rd to 13th of March 2011.

The leading position in the automobile world occupied by BMW in the development of innovative driver assistance systems and mobility services will be further strengthened by this extraordinary concept vehicle.

The BMW Vision ConnectedDrive study demonstrates current and future methods of mobile networking in a particularly focused way. The design and technology of this spectacular roadster are aimed at making the vehicle an integral part of a networked world.

Comfort, safety and the infotainment experience in the vehicle can be precisely optimised by the innovative functionality, individually tailored to suit the requirements of both the driver and passenger. New technologies and design concepts are employed to add even more facets to the unmistakable BMW driving pleasure.

Captivating innovation – BMW Vision ConnectedDrive.
Pioneering technology heightens driving pleasure. BMW Vision ConnectedDrive makes its case in a most persuasive way, presenting immediately-mesmerising, intelligent solutions. The character of this concept study, presented as a two-seater roadster, is one of a mobile component in a networked world, both in design as well as by virtue of extensive technological innovations.

BMW demonstrates with this vehicle the unique potential that can be realised by both the current and future developments in BMW ConnectedDrive, optimising comfort, safety and the enjoyment of infotainment in the vehicle.

The boundless opportunities to attain even more driving pleasure by means of intelligent networks is demonstrated most impressively at the Geneva Motor Show by the world premiere of BMW Vision ConnectedDrive, by the design of the bodywork and interior of the concept vehicle, an inspiring light installation, a new display and operating concept and a multimedia presentation at the show.

The design embodies the bond between the driver and the vehicle and the dialogue between the driver and the passenger as well as the interaction of the occupants of the car with the environment. The functional areas of BMW ConnectedDrive are symbolised on three levels – comfort, safety and infotainment. The elementary exchange of data and information for all three functional areas is visualised by an intricately complex light installation and presentation at the exhibition?

The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Sports Car

PRESS – The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was debuted at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class.

The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology.

It is planned to launch at the beginning of 2012. Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet.

And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output.

Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be released later in 2011, as testing nears completion.

“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”

The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing anew level of performance capability to the segment.

Continue reading The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Sports Car

The 2011 Pagani Huayra Supercar, blink and you might miss it!

Pagani SupercarsAncient legends of the Aymara tell us of Huayra Tata, god of wind, who commands the breezes, winds, and blizzards that invade the mountains, cliffs and hills of the Andean highlands.

It is told that Huayra Tata resides deep in the high peaks and valleys, abandoning them only to demonstrate his power to his wife, Pachamama, goddess of mother earth.

With his power Huayra Tata was able to lift the waters from lake Titicaca and rain them down on the fertile Pachamama. When Huayra Tata sleeps, the waters and rivers lay quiet. But the calm before the storm is about to be interrupted…

Design

The eternity of the element air. Gentle and refined, yet the strength of the wind it is able to erode even the toughest of materials giving birth to distinctive shapes known in nature. Elegant and muscular the Huayra merges the past, present and future in a timeless interpretation of automotive art. The styling of the car was perfected over the course of 5 years to find each line’s beginning and end.

During this study, eight scale models were created, as well as two 1:1 models, each an evolution of the previous in a never ending quest to perfect the form and refining the substance.

The bi-xenon headlamps are just one of the many precious gifts from the Zonda R, and LED daytime running lights are seamlessly integrated in the elliptical shape of the design. The rear bumper integrates with the diffuser and is dominated by an elliptical frame that surrounds the four central exhaust outlets, now becoming a characteristic Pagani element.

Backbone

The new central monocoque on the Huayra is an entirely new design made from carbontitanium. However, with the gull wing doors cutting deep into the roof, much research was focused on achieving the highest levels of rigidity through the application of new advanced composite materials and technologies first tested on the Zonda R. The fuel tank is located integrally in the best protected area of the monocoque, behind the driver, reinforced by safety cell made of different composite and ballistic materials. The front and rear CrMo subframes offer an exceptional rigidity-to-weight ratio to allowing the suspensions to work at their best while incorporating an advanced energy absorbing crash structure, ready to protect the occupants in the unlikely event of an impact.

The never ending quest for weight reduction resulted also into the combination of structural and non-structural or aesthetical elements. An example is the integration of all ventilation air ducts into the monocoque’s structure, making the use of additional parts and ducts unnecessary.
The result of this attention to detail is a vehicle weighing 1.350 kg making the Huayra the lightest sportscar in its class.

Continue reading The 2011 Pagani Huayra Supercar, blink and you might miss it!

The 2011 Lexus IS F Performance Vehicle

Lexus F Performance VehiclesLexus IS F High-Performance Sedan Provides Stimulating Driving Dynamics

Improved Suspension Provides More Driver Confidence

Updated Electronic Power Steering Gives Driver Additional Control

Torsen® Rear Differential Helps Provide Additional Traction

As the first production model to wear the brand’s “F” marquee, the Lexus IS F offers a thrilling, fun-to-drive experience.

The Lexus IS F high-performance sport sedan races into 2011 with several interior updates including LED daytime running lamps, an improved suspension, and a new brake override system.

To improve responsiveness and ride comfort, in addition to providing the driver with more control, engineers revised the Electric Power Steering (EPS) system and suspension.

With revised front and rear spring rates, shock absorber dampening, rear bushings and rear camber angle, the IS F provides a confident ride.

  • The sporty interior is complemented with new IP gauges, a silver colored-trimmed steering wheel, and dark finish aluminum composite ornamentation.
  • The Sport mode switch has also been moved to the steering wheel for easier access.

In addition, vehicles with a Black interior receive Alcantara® seat inserts with leather bolsters that enhance its exhilarating sportiness. An all-new Orange and Black leather interior with contrast stitching flaunts the IS F’s vivacious attitude and replaces the Terra Cotta interior.

Engine/Transmission/Drivetrain/Performance

The Lexus IS F is exclusively powered by a performance-tuned 5.0-liter V8 engine teamed to an eight-speed Sport Direct Shift transmission. The IS F engine produces 416 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 371 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 5,200 rpm. The engine’s high specific output (83.2 hp/liter) and high operating range (6,800 rpm redline) reflect the thorough attention to detail underlying the core engineering. The resulting performance character, while quite responsive in low-speed situations, provides a rush of power at higher engine speeds.

Continue reading The 2011 Lexus IS F Performance Vehicle

The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Luxury Sports Coupe

Cadillac Automotive VehicleCadillac announced the 2011 CTS-V Coupe, which debuted at the 2010 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

It combines the new CTS Coupe’s dramatic design with the 556-horsepower (415-kW) supercharged V-8 engine from the CTS-V sedan.

The result is a luxury sports coupe aimed at driving enthusiasts.

“The CTS-V Coupe marries our most potent and sophisticated technology with our most dramatic production design,” said Bryan Nesbitt, Cadillac general manager. “This combination of visual and technical attributes is designed to create a very compelling choice for luxury sports car consumers.”

The CTS-V Coupe begins production this summer.

  • Its suite of technical and performance elements includes Magnetic Ride Control, racing-bred Brembo brakes and an available automatic transmission with paddle-shift control.

The V-Series Coupe includes a unique grille that doubles the car’s air intake volume, an important enabler for its high-performance capabilities. It is also visually identified by a raised center section of the hood that provides clearance for the supercharger, as well as specific front and rear fascias. Like the CTS Coupe, its exhaust is centered inside the rear fascia, but with unique twin outlets. The car rolls on 19-inch cast aluminum wheels, available in either painted or polished finishes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 performance tires.

The CTS-V Coupe’s rear track is nearly an inch wider than the CTS-V Sport Sedan, adding to the car’s aggressive stance and enabling an extra measure of handling capability. The current CTS-V Sport Sedan has quickly established itself among the world’s highest performing luxury sedans, becoming the first production four-door on street tires to break the legendary 8-minute barrier at Germany’s famed Nürburgring. The new V-Series Coupe’s sleeker shape and slightly lower mass ensure a similarly high level of performance.

Inside, the 2+2 cabin combines performance and luxury. A new Saffron interior trim color is offered, with contrasting microfiber seat inserts and stitching on the upper trim areas.

Continue reading The 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Luxury Sports Coupe

GM plans to build a more affordable Chevy Volt

The Volt has won nearly every major award offered and stirred up tons of interest, but one criticism persists: The price is way too high.

Chevy cars — including the Volt — have always been intended for a mainstream market, but at $41,000, it seems GM is asking buyers to pay as they might for a Mercedes-Benz or BMW.

The next-generation Volt will almost certainly cost less, GM spokesman Rob Peterson said. And the same changes that make it cheaper should make it better, too.

So what’s the sweet spot for the Volt, price wise? A $7,500 federal tax credit takes the cost down to around $30,000. That seems like a more viable price, but tax credits wont last forever.

“The ideal price point for un-subsidized large-volume sales would probably be no more than $30,000,” said John O’Dell, editor of the Web site GreenCarAdvisor.com.

Fortunately, even when subsidies disappear, today’s high prices for electric cars will ease as the technology improves and gains wider appeal.
0:00 /2:11GM CEO on plans for Volt technology

Battery: The Volt’s battery pack is estimated to cost about $10,000. Besides making it more cheaply, GM might simply want to shrink it.

The battery is probably more powerful than it really needs to be, said Oliver Hazimeh, head of the electric vehicle practice at consulting firm PRTM.

“Offering customers a little of different capacity may be an option, so you can provide customers with a choice,” Hazimeh said.

For a significant cost savings, some customers may be willing to give-up some battery power.

Bulk up production: Another way to reduce battery costs is to sell more Volts, or more vehicles based on Volt technology, Hazimeh said.

“It’s hard to look at this technology and make a business case out of it with one vehicle,” Hazimeh said.

Continue reading GM plans to build a more affordable Chevy Volt

Ashley Out; Neff In; Big Changes in the John Force Racing squad…

Ashley Force HoodPRESS RELEASE

Yorba Linda, Calif. — Because maternity and muscle cars don’t mix, one of drag racing’s brightest young stars at least temporarily is climbing out of the cockpit of the world’s fastest Ford to focus instead on family.

Ashley Force Hood, the 28-year-old daughter of reigning NHRA Funny Car Champion John Force, confirmed during a Tuesday press conference convened to announce sweeping changes at John Force Racing Inc., that she and husband Dan are expecting their first child in August.

As a result, the driver of the 316.38 mile per hour Castrol GTX Ford Mustang will not compete for the 2011 Full Throttle Championship, concentrating instead on her family and on her duties as the new president of John Force Entertainment, a JFR subsidiary that will develop television, film and book projects.

Although on numerous occasions she had said that she and her husband were anxious to start a family, Force Hood’s announcement was nevertheless unexpected.

The graduate of Cal State-Fullerton is coming off back-to-back seasons in which she finished second and third in points and won consecutive Funny Car titles in the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at Clermont, Ind., the NHRA most prestigious single event.

“This past November, Dan and I decided we would try to start a family,” Force Hood saud. “We knew it was unlikely to happen in such a short amount of time and, if it didn’t, I could still race the 2011 season and we’d try again next winter.

“We felt that if God wanted it to happen, it would happen. Well, God didn’t waste any time and I am pregnant and due at the end of the summer,” she said.

“Dan and I know there is always a risk at the beginning of a pregnancy so we waited as long as possible to say anything to make sure everything was all right and there were no problems.

“I will be taking off this season,” she said, “but I will still represent Castrol, Ford, Auto Club, BrandSource and Mac Tools; will still be involved in media, commercials and interviews; and will definitely still be rooting on my teammates to go after that 2011 Championship.”

Working with Brent Travers, the former director of Driving Force, the Force family reality series that aired on A&E Network in 2006 and ‘07, Force Hood hopes to complete a variety of projects in her first year as president of John Force Entertainment including a biography of her father, an interactive “day at the races” pop-up book she authored for children, the first installments of a graphic novel featuring a superhero version of her dad fighting evil in a parallel universe, a John Force documentary and a new television series focusing on youngest sister Courtney’s development as a driver.

Continue reading Ashley Out; Neff In; Big Changes in the John Force Racing squad…

The 2011 Audi A8 4.2 FSI Quattro

This 2011 Audi A8 4.2 FSI is one of luxury sedan with 4 doors.

Luxury does not imitate. It is, instead, imitated. It sets standards. It usually is the first to innovate, or to apply innovations deemed by others to be too expensive, too risky or simply unnecessary.

Luxury has a feel all its own. It even smells rich.

Luxury is superior without apology. But because it is blessed with genuine self-confidence, it usually does not embrace arrogance, which is inherently flawed by the germ of self-doubt.

Luxury on wheels is the 2011 Audi A8 4.2 FSI Quattro sedan, the subject of this week’s review, and arguably the standard by which all other luxury cars should be judged.

What immediately catches the eye and offends the aesthetic sensibilities of some observers is the A8 4.2’s egregiously wide-mouthed grille, which prompts thoughts of the gaping mouth in Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” Love it or hate it, you will neither ignore nor forget it, nor will you mistake it for anything else.

That grille is a bold statement that the A8 4.2 is different. It’s a valid statement, too. Consider the car’s body.

The A8 4.2 is an all-wheel-drive full-size sedan that feels as tight and light as a much smaller rear-wheel-drive sports car. Credit here goes to patented Audi Space Frame (ASF) technology, which uses aluminum and strategic applications of lightweight, high-strength steel to increase vehicle-body stiffness while reducing overall body weight.

The use of ASF technology in the 2011 A8 4.2 yields a 25 percent improvement in body rigidity and a 20 percent reduction in weight in comparison with the 2010 model. Increased stiffness improves vehicle handling. Lighter weight improves fuel economy. Continue reading The 2011 Audi A8 4.2 FSI Quattro

Porsche to return to 2011 Detroit Auto Show!

German luxury automaker Porsche will return to the North American International Auto Show in January after a four-year hiatus. The company’s vehicles also will be among the 30 to 40 new cars and trucks that will be revealed during the media days of the show on Jan. 10 and 11.

“We feel the Detroit auto show is very important, especially from a media standpoint,” said Porsche spokesman Tony Fouladpour.

Fouladpour said Porsche plans to show a new car, but declined to reveal details.

Porsche pulled out of the Detroit auto show in 2007 when the company cut back on its total auto show appearances and decided it wanted to concentrate on events in New York and Los Angeles.

The North American International Auto Show has lost several luxury automakers in recent years as competition with other auto shows has increased and the economy collapsed.

Show organizers were shocked when Nissan pulled out of the 2009 show and last year, the number of media days was reduced from three to two days. Nissan still has no plans to return to the show. However, auto show spokesman Sam Locricchio said it will be the fullest schedule of news conferences in four years.

Read more: Porsche will return to 2011 Detroit auto show | freep.com | Detroit Free Press

US Auto Sales Seen to be Holding Above 12 Million Unit

U.S. November auto sales held above 12 million vehicles on an annual basis, a gain of about 10 percent from a year earlier, driven by month-end discounts and a slow return in consumer demand, according to analysts.

Auto sales for November, one of the first snapshots of consumer behavior at the holiday shopping season, are due to be released Wednesday.

“The pace of light vehicle sales appears to have remained above the important psychological level of 12 million units in November,” Barclays analyst Brian Johnson said in a note to clients last week.

Barclays expects sales to reach about a 12.1 million vehicle annualized rate, down slightly from October’s 12.2 million sales rate, but strong enough to show that “the consumer is crawling back, particularly in the more affluent and higher quality credit segments.”

Hyundai Motor [HYMZY 0.0 — UNCH (0) ] and Ford Motor [F 15.945 -0.115 (-0.72%) ], are expected to have the biggest sales gains, continuing a trend that has seen the two automakers take share from rivals in 2010.

The final weekend of November sales were lifted by Thanksgiving holiday deals sponsored by individual dealers and manufacturers, including Toyota Motor [TM 77.88 -0.37 (-0.47%) ] and Nissan Motor [NSANY 18.78 -0.12 (-0.63%) ], analysts said.

“We’re starting to feel better about how the market is going,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst at auto sales tracking and shopping service Edmunds. “It looks like we’re in that slow recovery pattern.”

Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast November auto sales of about 12 million vehicles on the annualized and seasonally adjusted basis tracked by the industry.

Continue Reading Here: www.cnbc.com