Babes - Fast Cars

Blog about the car industry and other related car news

Strange innovation: CarCapsule

The CarCapsule is rather self-explanatory—it's a capsule for your car. Given the $269 price point for an 8-foot version, or $419 for the 22-foot version, we're guessing you'll be wanting a pretty nice car that would be worth the fuss of setup, as well as the cost of mass, super-tough PVC. If you have a Ferrari, you're probably wondering how it works.

Wonder no more:

Unzip the CarCapsule, drive your car into the middle, zip the case up, allow the integrated fans to inflate the device and watch as your car becomes the centerpiece for your very own life-sized snow dome. If the whole idea was not crazy enough, the fans do not stop once the casing is inflated, oh no, they carry on pumping air so your car has enough oxygen to breathe. Sure, it's ridiculous, but a giant bubble of plastic excites us for some reason. Imagine one of these in your driveway—priceless.

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No AMG version of Mercedes GLK!

Mercedes’ high-performance tuning AMG division will not be producing a monster version of the upcoming GLK. According to Volker Mornhinweg, two SUV’s are sufficient enough to receive the AMG badging.

“There is no space for a third SUV” Mornhinweg said in an interview with Autotelegraaf. ”We are now simply going to offer the AMG-program to sedans, cabrios, roadsters and the two SUVs (ML, GL).”

Seems kind of unfair to us since even the boring R-Class received an AMG variant.

At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Mercedes showed two Vision GLK studies powered by a brand new generation of diesel engines. The four-cylinder 2.2L is capable of producing an output 165hp while cutting down fuel consumption and emission figures.

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3.2 Roadster in U.S.

There's plenty of forbidden fruit that our friends abroad get to enjoy, but of all the vehicles we thought had a shot here in the States, the YES! 3.2 Roadster wasn't one of them. That's all going to change this February when Funke & Will AG will display the lightweight cabrio on the show floor in Chicago.

The YES! 3.2 Roadster comes in two flavors, both sporting a (you guessed it) 3.2-liter V6. The first is a naturally aspirated variant that produces 255 hp and can reach 60 in just under five seconds, while the other benefits from a turbocharger that huffs and puffs the same six to 355 hp and drops the sprint to 60 to 3.8 seconds. Owners can supposedly upgrade that same mill to produce 415 hp and propel the one-ton convertible up to a theoretical top speed of 200 mph.

Both cars can be outfitted with a variety of amenities, from heated seats to sat nav, and if all goes according to plan, a select group of dealers are being amassed to service the newest entrant into the sports car fray when it goes on sale in the U.S. and Canada later this year.

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Renault Alpine Interlagos

Apparently Renault is looking to revive the Renault Alpine Interlagos, but two Brazilian designers, Joao Paulo Cunha Melo and Felipe Guimaraes Coelho already came up with a project for a new Alpine. The original Alpine was built in Brazil, in 1964, under license, by Willys-Overland and it was based on the Renault Alpine 108. The “Interlagos” title came form the name of the famous Brazilian race track.

The new Renault Alpine Interlagos is also designed to be a low cost sports car, because all the parts used for it are produced or already available in Brazil. It will use a 2.0 liter engine from the Renault Megane, which develops 142hp and 190Nm of torque, mated to a six speed manual transmission and it will have rear wheel drive.

If the two Brazilian designers will be able to get financing for getting through with this project, they plan even extending and selling the Alpine Interlagos to other countries, even to Europe.

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Nissan 370Z with 330hp

Back in August 2007 while flipping through Motor Trend, we found a little article reporting that Nissan will be rebadging the 350Z as a 370Z, replacing the 3.5 liter unit with the Infiniti G37’s 3.7 liter engine. That will give the 350Z an output boost of 30 horsepower for a total of 330.

A print version of AutoCar is now reporting that the 370Z will make its official debut at the Paris Motor Show this fall and will go on sale in 2009 as a 2010 model.

Well let’s hope for a little improvement in the 0-60 time and for the pricing to remain under $30k.

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Lexus IS-F Racing Concept

Looking like a Lexus DTM racecar, the IS-F Racing Concept was revealed at the Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS) to display the companies potential racing prowess.

Not much information was available from anyone at the show, so the specification and details of this car are unknown. It probably sports a V8 like the road-going counterpart.

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Mercedes CLC with USB and iPod interface

This is Mercedes’ new CLC, only it's not quite so new. Underneath it’s really the old Sports Coupe with a nose from the C-class grafted on to give it more modern engines and help it pass the latest crash regulations. In fact, the new CLC has exactly the same wheelbase (2715mm) as the old Sports Coupe, and the same size boot.

To the accountants at Stuttgart it made more sense to heavily revise the current car rather than to start afresh. That doesn’t mean the engineers haven’t been hard at work though: Mercedes claims over 1100 parts on the CLC are new or revised compared to the old car.

Mercedes was never going to stop making the Sports Coupe. Over 320,000 have found homes since 2001, and with over 70 percent of cars sold being conquest sales, and then over two-thirds of Sports Coupe buyers sticking with the Mercedes brand it’s a car Stuttgart cannot afford to be without.

The new front end and the new styling. Out go the quad-headlamps, in comes sharp, jutting, solid lines to give the CLC the C-class family look. And that new front end means the latest engines and gearboxes. The engine line-up is:
  • Diesel
  • CLC 200 CDI 2.2-litre 120bhp/199lb ft
  • CLC 220 CDI 2.2-litre 148bhp/251lb ft
  • Petrol
  • CLC 180K 1.8-litre 141bhp/170lb ft
  • CLC 200K 1.8-litre 181bhp/184lb ft
  • CLC 230 2.5-litre 201bhp/180lb ft
  • CLC 350 3.5-litre 268bhp/258lb ft
All CLCs come as standard with a six-speed manual, but a five-speed auto is optional on the four-cylinder cars, a seven-speed auto can be had with the CLC 230, and it’s standard on the CLC 350.

The new car keeps the old car’s interior dash architecture, and many of the same materials. Thus the quality is nothing like that of the latest C-class, and is not much of a step forward compared to the current car either. The dial for the lights, and the buttons below the central air vents seem especially cheap. Has Mercedes not seen the BMW 1-series Coupe?

But despite the old architecture you do get new electronics. The CLC can now be had with a USB and iPod interface, and the standard leather-covered multi functional steering wheel lets you scroll through your iPod’s tracks which are displayed on the color screen. The new Command multimedia system also offers hard-disk sat-navigation for faster operation, while ESP and front and rear parking sensors are standard on all cars.

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Lamborghini D12 SUV

What’s up with these high performance car makers? I mean, some time ago rumors kept going around regarding a possible Lamborghini SUV, then we’ve heard about a Ferrari SUV and now Spyker wants to build an SUV and launch it in 2009. Probably encouraged by Porsche’s success with the Cayenne, these guys also want a piece of the cake. In a recent conference, Victor Muller, Spyker’s president said that Spyker plans to release more models in the next years, including the D12 SUV.

With the D12, Spyker wants to give more attention to the Eastern European markets, where they say that the demand of luxury SUVs is pretty big. Still, Spyker’s largest market remains the United States and Muller also said that US production could be possible one day. If you ask me, I think he’s just talking, because it is known that Spyker is not doing very well now, having to deal with management and financial problems. But still, who knows, maybe he’s not just talking and knows something we don’t.

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Mitsubishi Lancer Prototype S

The Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback was first introduced in the 2005 but the new sketches appeared on the internet recently showed a probably production ready version of the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback.

According to some websites, the new Lancer is also known as the Mitsubishi Lancer Prototype S and will make its appearance at the Geneva Motor Show this year. From the sketches, the Lancer Sportback features production-like bumpers, headlamps, tail lights and also exhaust pipes.

If the sketches shown are really the production version of the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, then it’s most likely it will be powered by engines ranging from 1.5 liter to 2.4 liter. It might also be powered by a turbocharged 2.0 liter Evolution engine or turbodiesel engines.

Apart from that, the Lancer Sportback might be equipped with a full-time 4WD system with Active Yaw Control and Active Center Differential system.

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Ford Mustang with twin-turbo V-6 for 2010

We hear there is a faction at Ford seriously contemplating fitting the new twin turbo EcoBoost V-6 to the 2010 Mustang. As they try to figure out how to meet 35mpg CAFE by 2020, Ford engineers are wondering whether the V-8 has a long term future. The EcoBoost engine, which is currently scheduled to debut in a performance version of the Fusion, could be the more fuel efficient alternative for Mustang in the long term. Depending on spec, the EcoBoost is capable of up to at least 415hp, and has the torque to match a regular V-8.

Traditionalists need not worry, though - V-8s will still be very much part of the Mustang program for 2010. If the EcoBoost version does make production, Ford would probably offer it alongside the V-8, and let buyers decide which they prefer. There won't be much of a price difference, if any - although the base V-6 is a cheaper engine, by the time things like turbochargers are added it's basically V-8 money, say our sources.

Don't expect any changes in today's, base 4.0-liter V-6 offering, as its prime purpose is motivating low-end and rental-fleet Mustangs. But the Mustang GT model's V-8-currently a 4.6 liter, SOHC, three-valver-will be replaced by a new 5.0-liter engine that's essentially an evolution of the old architecture. In fact, the new 5.0 may even appear in a limited edition run-out series of current model Mustang GTs - is it finally time for the reborn Boss 302?
One Ford engineer confirmed that the work done to create the Bullitt-edition Mustang's uprated 4.6 "has a future." That engine, described in our first test story (January 2008) remains internally stock, but breathes better due to a Ford Racing open element, cold air intake system, revised mufflers, a new crank damper (which ups the redline by 250 revs), and revised fuel mapping. This engine management programming allows the use of regular fuel, but switches to a more aggressive timing curve when it detects premium in the tank. The result is 315 horsepower, up from the current GT's 300. The Bullitt's V-8 is freer and quicker revving than before, and sounds great due to the new intake. There's no reason to think the next gen GT's powerplant won't take its cue from this technology, and thus get the same tricks. Something like 325 to 350 horses out of the new 5.0-liter V-8 sounds feasible. Single exhaust indicates it's likely a V-6-powered mule.

That takes care of standard Mustang models. What about the Shelby versions?

Our intel had the 500-horsepower, supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 in the Ford Shelby GT500 pegged for a two-year or so life-that being 2007 and 2008, perhaps rolling into '09 depending on how well it sold, and what Shelby's own product plans were. Demand has proven strong, and we can confirm there'll be a Ford built, developed, and produced Shelby GT500 version of the 2010 Mustang.

Final powertrain has yet to be decided, but Ford has been testing supercharged versions of the new 5.0-liter V-8 to see whether it makes the horsepower needed. Since Chrysler and GM have potentially bigger horsepower numbers on tap for the Challenger and Camaro, Ford has to be looking at more than 500hp for its flagship Mustang. The upcoming GT500 KR punches out 540 horses, and it's our hunch this could become the standard Shelby powerplant in the short term.

Model rollout plans are still being finalized, but the current scenario is that 2009 will be an abbreviated model year, those cars being identical to the 2008. Then, the 2010s will be introduced in spring 2009, much as Ford did when it introduced the 19641/2 Mustang in April of that year, which then dovetailed into the '65.The biggest news from a design standpoint will be the addition of a muscular-looking shoulder hump just aft of the door openings. The doors remain the same, as do the roof and the fixed, triangle-shaped windows in the sail panels. The new kink is said to resemble that worn by the Dodge Charger, but a bit more flowing line. Front and rear fascias also get a tuneup. We haven't seen the new nose, but it wouldn't surprise us if it looked a little more like the current Ford Shelby GT500. Out back, the taillights are massaged a bit, and the rear bumper gets a 45 degree bevel job, adding more surface detail to the current rear's squarish lines. Expect new colors and wheel designs, too.

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SLR McLarens Recalled and Britney Spears Mercedes Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Mercedes-Benz is recalling the 2007 SLR McLarens because the windshields on the cars may not be instealled properly.

“If a crash occurs, the windshield may not be retained, increasing the risk of injury to a vehicle occupant,” says the NHTSA in the 2007 SLR McLaren recall summary. The NHTSA said, “either the primer or activator was missing at the time of installation.”

Mercedes-Benz dealerships will remove the windshields, clean and reinstall them with a primer and activator. If you own the $482,750 SLR McLarens, you may want to head over to your local Benz dealership or call (800) 367-6372 for more information.

Britney Speras and Adnan droved Mercedes AMG 65 and collided with guy on Ducatti motorcycle. See pictures and latest news about accident.

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Pictures and Video of New Honda Accord Tourer

Honda has released the first pictures and video of the new Accord, but while the photos only offer us a tantalising glimpse, the accompanying short film shows nearly every exterior detail of the new Accord Tourer.

The Tourer appears to have changed little from the concept that was shown at Frankfurt in 2007. The profile remains the same, and apart from a switch to production lights, wheels, grille, mirrors and door handles the exterior has kept most of the concept’s flavor.

The interior is still hidden however, with only glimpses of the dials and the boot, which appears to have a load area free from any wheelarch intrusion. Honda claims the interior will offer an ‘outstanding standard of fit and finish’ while it is also ‘characterized by a strong feeling of personal space for both the driver and passengers’.

The Accord will offer two petrol engines (2.0 and 2.4 litres) and the company’s new 2.2-litre diesel. As well as a particulate filter the engine will offer Honda’s answer to Audi’s AdBlue and Mercedes’ Bluetec exhaust systems, reducing NOx emissions. This will help make sure all the engines will meet Euro 5 emissions regulations, while Honda claims each engine also offers more power and better fuel economy.

Honda is keeping the technical details under wraps for now but claims the Accord will offer ‘a unique package of passive and active safety features to deliver even greater confidence’. Both saloon and estate versions of the new Accord will be launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March, with sales starting in early summer.

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Mansory Tunned Aston Martin DB9

The MANSORY front spoiler displace the series front totally and will give the car a striking snappy optical characteristic.

An elegant design symbiosis from an integrated daytime running light, also available as fog lights, with below air intakes so on the adaptive 5-line grille element, similar to the new 6-line lightweight main radiator grille:

Likewise the side skirts amend the aerodynamic and let the car looks much more deeper.

Yet another typical detail are the integrated carbon flanks with air intakes behind of them. The complex design of the rear shows the apron with an spectacular carbon diffuser, it is really a complete new imagination and to make it once again a step more sportier add on the rear trunk and solid spoiler which supporting the dynamic contact pressure. The chromed details are the integrated exhaust tips in the rear apron so on the trunk aluminum trim stripe and at least the carbonfibre light covers.

Totally new the anodized aluminum air outtakes on engine bonnet and the fully forged lightweight wheels, together they are toping the exterior off.
Also new the suspension lowering with sport performance springs, the complete vehicle comes down 25mm ( approx.: 1 inch).

Look into the interior and you will find a singular unique mixture from maple wood, carbonfibre structure and Alcantara. If you want it more individual MANSORY will leave nothing to the imagination you can choose from the finest materials ever. As a matter of course beside steering wheel, carbon fibre trim equipment, the smallest details.

Informations about performance enhancement components are coming next and Mansory hasn't reviled them yet.

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New Mercedes SL

With inspiration apparently coming from the stunning 1954 Gullwing, this is Mercedes' facelifted SL. With a new entry-level engine, Mercedes clever Airscarft system, and a hugely different front end, this second and final facelift should see the SL through until the next decade.

That new nose is the most obvious change. The quad headlamps are replaced by twin CLS-style items, while the front grille is not only wider with a horizontal bar, but now sits proud of the bonnet too. The whole front end tapers to a point, creating a focal point, while the rear taillights are now smoked, a feature that had previously been reserved for AMG models of the SL.

Inspiration for further changes has been drawn from the original W198 Gullwing that was built from 1954 to 1957. The bonnet has a new powerdome (nee twin raised humps) and the revised air outlets behind the front wheel arches now feature vertical gills as opposed to the current horizontal strakes.

There’s the three-spoke steering wheel that first featured on the new C-class, a new command entertainment system and the Airscarf system from the SLK. The system blows hot air from the headrests to keep your neck warm when the clever folding metal roof is tucked away in the boot. Options will include Mercedes new Direct-Steer system already seen on the facelifted SLK and GLK concept, and the company’s ‘Inteligent Light System’.

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Arash AF-8

Arash Farboud, the man who created the car that spawned the Farbio GTS, has today announced details of his latest supercar venture, the AF-8.

Priced at £120,000, the AF-8 is the baby brother to the AF-10 - a smaller, more user-friendly car than the hardcore hypercar. Though both cars will use the same GM-sourced 7.0-litre V8, the AF-10 will use a tweaked version with 550bhp, while the AF-8 will use the unit in standard Corvette Z06 tune. And while the AF-10 will weigh 1100kg, expect the AF-8 to come in at 1200-1300kg.

This extra weight will come from extra creature comforts. Expect a more luxurious interior with airbags, air-con, and touchscreen sat-nav. As befits the AF-8's comfier role, the car will be equipped with ABS and traction control.

The chassis is a mix of carbonfibre and steel, the body is all carbonfibre and carbon ceramic brakes are on the options list. Wheels will be 19-inchers, the doors will open conventionally and the AF-8 should sprint to 60mph in 3.4 seconds before topping out at 204mph.

The AF-8 will look similar to the AF-10, with the ‘reverse NACA duct’ vents behind the front wheels, and the front wing mounted between the headlights. The AF-10 will remain more extreme though, and its performance should keep it separate from the AF-8. Arash Cars is aiming to start producing the AF-8 in 2010.

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MC1 Supercar Reviled

Last autumn, spy photographers caught a mystery supercar test mule at a Midlands track, sparking a frenzy of speculation that it was the next supercar from Lotus, McLaren, Noble and other specialist sports car firms. Dozens of readers posted their suggestions, helping us to narrow down the chase.

We discovered that it was a much-delayed tie-up between C2P Automotive and MotorCity Europe. Now MotorCity, a design consultancy based in Germany, is back with its own supercar. These are the first official manufacturer renderings and video of its own 600bhp V10 supercar, the MC1

MotorCity, who are involved in the design of the mystery supercar, plan for the MC1 to reach production in 2011. The company states that an unnamed British coach builder will carry out production. C2P Automotive, based in Milton Keynes, has carried out development work on the mystery supercar so far, and it remains the most likely company to build the MC1.

Low and long, the MC1 is slightly shorter and narrower than a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640, and a mere 15mm higher. Billed as a ‘production concept’, the MC1 sits on 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels, with a carbonfibre monocoque, beautifully engineered scissor doors, and stacked twin central exhausts.

The MC1 has been designed by David Hilton, whose previous freelance credits include work on the Ford Focus RS and S-Max.
Initially I wanted to demonstrate that, in a short time, one designer can create and build a fresh design which is still possible for street development,
he told to press.
This has helped immensely in order to quickly sell the concept under limited budget constraints.
Whether the deeply recessed rear lights, ultra-low headlamps, or outrageous bodywork reach series production remains to be seen - we've seen too many low-volume British sportscar hopefuls crash and burn in the past. But there's no arguing that the MC1 definitely has the looks of a supercar.

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First Corvette ZR1 Sells for $1 Million

Chevrolet and Barrett-Jackson has auctioned off the world’s first 2009 Corvette ZR1. I knew demand was high for the Chevy’s new super Corvette. However, I didn’t expect the bidding to reach $1 million! Dave Ressler, the man who owns the world’s oldest surviving Corvette, 1953’s #003, is the proud new owner of ZR1 #001.

Now you might ask what kind of person pays a million bucks of a car that will retail for $100,000 to $120,000 when it hit dealerships later this year? In addition to owning the world’s oldest Corvette (which he paid $1 million for), Dave Ressler owns 26 other Corvettes (not counting his new ZR1).

When you think about it, Mr. Ressler got a pretty good deal. Because all proceeds from the sale of the car went to charity (the United Way), the amount that was over and above the MSRP is tax deductible. So Mr. Ressler ended up with a $100,000 car and $900,000 tax receipt. Not a bad way to spend a million bucks. Here’s the video of how it all went down.

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Caparo T1

The Caparo T1 is a British mid-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-seat car built by Caparo Vehicle Technologies, founded by design director Ben Scott-Geddes and engineering director Graham Halstead, former engineers involved in the development of the McLaren F1. The T1 was inspired by Formula One design, and intended as an affordable street legal race car. The T1 is scheduled for production in mid-2007 for a price of GB£235,000 (approx. US$480,000 or €328,000, c.2007).

The exterior of the T1 closely resembles that of a racing prototype or Formula One racing car. It features a carbon fibre aerodynamic low drag body design, composed of individual sections, with an adjustable twin element front wing, single element rear wing, and fowler flaps, and a ground effect diffuser, allowing it to create 875 kilograms (1929 lb) of downforce at 240 kilometres per hour (150 mph). The wings are replaceable with road and track variations.

The interior of the T1 is a two-seat configuration, lacking any amenities and luxuries to reduce excess weight. The passenger's seat is set back from the driver's seat slightly, allowing the seats to be placed closer together, thereby reducing the overall width of the T1. Offered are a head protection system, six-point harnesses for the driver and passenger, compatible with a HANS device, and is designed with a central safety cell made of a high-strength steel roll hoop with a fire system. The dashboard is multi-function with race data logging and speed sensors for traction control and launch control.

The chassis of the T1 is composed of a carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb monocoque with a front composite crash structure and a rear tubular space frame construction. The suspension is of a double wishbone design with tunable anti-roll bars, front and rear, and five-way adjustable race dampers. The braking system is composed of 355-millimetre (13.9 in) steel brake discs, with six-piston and four-piston calipers front and rear, respectively. The brake bias pedal box is fully adjustable and brake pads are available in various compounds.

The T1 sports a bespoke 3.5-litre, all-aluminum, naturally-aspirated V8 engine, lubricated via a dry sump system. The design of the engine has gone through several changes, previously including a smaller 2.4-litre supercharged unit. It generates a maximum power of 575 brake horsepower (583 PS/429 kW) at 10,500 revolutions per minute and a maximum torque of 310 pound-feet (420 Nm) at 9,000 revolutions per minute, giving the car a power-to-weight ratio of 1,045 brake horsepower per tonne. The engine is controlled via a fully tunable Pectel engine control unit and the throttle is controlled via a throttle-by-wire system.

The T1's gearbox is a 6-speed sequential made of a magnesium and carbon construction that has a variety of available gear ratios and utilizes a pneumatic actuator to shift, able to upshift in 60 milliseconds and downshift in 30 milliseconds. Furthermore, the drivetrain incorporates a limited slip differential and equal length hollow tripod driveshafts.
  • Performance
The T1 is reported to be capable of exceeding an estimated maximum speed of 322 kilometres per hour (200 mph) on a low downforce setup. From a standing start, it has an estimated 0–96 kilometres per hour (0–60 mph) under 2.5 seconds and onto 160 kilometres per hour (100 mph) under 5 seconds, depending on tyre setup. It is also capable of an estimated lateral acceleration of up to 3 g and braking deceleration of 3 g, depending on tyre setup.
  • Incidents
Jason Plato was injured in a T1 on October 2007 at the Bruntingthorpe proving ground when it caught fire at an estimated 250 kilometres per hour (150 mph). The T1 was being tested during filming for Five's Fifth Gear. Plato described what happened as:

There was a slight loss of power, I looked in the mirror and saw some smoke, there was a slight smell of oil and then suddenly there was this intense heat. The car spontaneously erupted into a ball of flame and I was sat in the middle of a fireball. I hit the brakes, brought the car to a stop as quickly as I could and jumped out.
In the associated episode of Fifth Gear, first broadcast October 15, 2007, presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson suggested the fire was caused by a faulty oil seal which, now identified will be fully rectified by Caparo.

While being tested for competing British television programme Top Gear, first broadcast on November 11, 2007, a floor panel came loose from the test vehicle as it was being driven at speed by Jeremy Clarkson. Afterwards, there was problem with the car's petrol injection system. In the same review, Clarkson mentioned two more incidents, one at the press launch, when "some aspect of the front suspension came adrift" while a Dutch journalist was driving, causing him to veer off road, and one at the Goodwood Festival of Speed when the throttle stuck open.
  • Reviews
On November 11, 2007, the T1 surpassed the Top Gear Power Board leader's time of 1:17.6, held by the Koenigsegg CCX, with a time of 1:10.6. Though immediately having declared the time and placed it on the Power Board, presenter Jeremy Clarkson removed the record because it did not meet the show's rule that the car must be able to go over a sleeping policeman, despite it being street legal. However, Caparo has indicated that the production version has an adjustable ride height and is capable of passing over sleeping policemen.

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Mugen Honda Type-RR Experimental

The Mugen Honda Civic Type-RR Experimental Spec was unveiled at the 2008 Tokyo Auto Salon. The Civic Type-RR is powered by a K20A engine that was bored out to 2,157 cc.

The new 2.2 liter engine now could produce 260 hp (194kW) and 173 lb.-ft. of torque. Basically the engine is the same as the i-VTEC 2.0 liter unit but Mugen manage to reduce the friction on the internals. The camshafts has also been redesigned.

The Honda Civic Type-RR braking system and suspension system have also been upgraded to cope with the increase of power. Apart from that, the Mugen Civic Type-RR is equipped with Mugen’s new I-TCMS (Intellligent Tire Condition Monitoring) tire monitoring system which monitor the tire’s air pressure and temperature.

The standard manual gearbox has also been upgraded to a 6-speed sequential gearbox which allows gear shifts at only 80 milliseconds.

From the images, we can see that the Mugen Honda Civic Type-RR comes with new new carbon-fiber front bar, dash mounted instrument cluster and a pair of bucket seats.

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Maserati GranTurismo Convertible for 2009

Every time we see the Maserati GranTurismo in person at auto shows, times stops, everything else moves in slow-motion and we just admire its amazingly beautiful design and the smell of its interior. So how do you make something that’s already that beautiful even more attractive? You take its top off.

Maserati will be launching a convertible version of the GranTurismo next year.” The convertible will go on sale in March 2009, but we have not decided yet at which show we will unveil it,” a company source told Automotive News Europe at the Detroit Auto Show.

Basically Maserati needs a third product to reach its 12,000 sales target by 2011 and believes a GranTurismo convertible could help it get there.

The Maserati GranTurismo convertible will features a canvas softtop and will rival cars such as the BMW 6-Series.

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