Babes - Fast Cars

Blog about the car industry and other related car news

BMW M1 concept

The new BMW M1 Hommage was a surprise debutant at the Concorso d’Eleganza 2008 di Villa d’Este this weekend. No prizes for guessing what it is: this is an official concept car to mark the 30th anniversary of the original M1 supercar.

The Hommage is a clever reinterpretation of the 1978 coupe, bristling with echoes of the original. The low-slung coupe stance, the slatted deck where a rear window should be, those polished, sink-strainer alloy wheels - it's an unambiguously direct bloodline connected to BMW's first proper supercar.

Don't expect a Mini-style trip down memory lane. The M1 Hommage is brought bang up to date with the latest design trends: there's the rear diffuser, the usual lack of any visible door handles and typically tiny door mirrors. We like the BMW roundels sitting on the extremities of the rump though.

No prizes for guessing that the M1 is not bound for production. Instead, it's a celebration pure and simple. Even the forthcoming 8-series coupe won't be quite this wedgy and wide. But we can't help wondering if there are some clues to a new evolution of the kidney grille in that broad, squat front end.

It's rare for a manufacturer, and especially BMW, to throw a complete surprise, but few outside Munich's HQ even knew this show car was coming.

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HPA’s 565 horsepower for Audi TT

Before tuner HPA Motorsports got its hands on this 2008 Audi TT, the car started its journey in Germany to be painted in custom Lamborghini Gallardo orange. Later the car was shipped to HPA Motosports who built the TT from the ground up.

Originally the 2008 Audi TT 3.2L V6 produces a total of 250-hp. But with HPA’s twin-turbo modification, along with a cast-aluminum short-runner intake manifold, dual air-to-air side-mount intercoolers, proprietary silicone boost plumbing and a high-flow fuel-supply system, this orange TT now produces an outstanding 565-hp. The result? 0-60mph comes in at 3.5 seconds while the 0-100mph takes just 8.4 seconds. Transferring the power to the wheels via the S-tronic transmission required some work as well. HPA threw in performance clutch packs and a reprogrammed mechatronic which increased launch control revs from 3000rpm to 5000.

All this will cost you about $60,000 in upgrades. However you can now take on that Nissan GT-R without any hesitation.

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Bugatti has announced its entry into the Chinese market

Bugatti has announced its entry into the Chinese market at the 2008 Auto China in Beijing. At the company’s media conference, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, President of Bugatti , officially declared Bugatti’s entry into the Chinese market.

"We are delighted to be here", said Paefgen. "It is a historic moment for the legendary Bugatti brand; it is the first time that Bugatti presents a car in mainland China."

Bugatti has teamed up with sister company Bentley China, a subsidiary of Dah Chong Hong Holdings Ltd., to distribute the Veyron model in China.

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Audi Q5 at Beijing

A decade after rival BMW, Audi is finally joining the mid-sized SUV party. The new Q5, unveiled at this weekend's Beijing motor show, is Ingolstadt's answer to its hometown rival the X3, and is based on the oily bits from the A4. Which speaks volumes about its intent.

Unsurprisingly, that means it's aimed squarely at on-road performance, where it will shuttle five occupants around in - you'd imagine - saloon car comfort. It also means it's not really supposed to go off-road. But then you knew that already.

Every model is four-wheel drive; there's no namby-pamby FWD sop here. And as the Q5 uses the latest A4 underpinnings, that means that 60 percent of torque is sent to the rear wheels. Hell, it might even handle.

Naturally, most buyers will plump for one of the popular diesel engines. The 170bhp 2.0 TDI will sell best and with a stout 258lb ft of twist, it can hit 62mph in 9.5sec yet still average 35.1mpg. You probably won't need the 3.0 TDI, unless you insist on showing off at the traffic light grand prix with a 6.5sec sprint to the benchmark.

Few will pick the Golf GTI's 2.0-litre TFSI, but it's there for anyone with a derv aversion. It produces 211bhp in the Q5, suggesting the VW hot hatch could be in for a power upgrade soon.

Launching in late 2008 and going up against the Volvo XC60, Saab 9-4X and BMW X3, the Q5 will have serious rivals, but its lines are clean and its sloping roofline and small coupe-style windows creates a genuinely ‘crossover’ rather than ‘SUV’ profile.

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The HAMANN tuning programme for the BMW M3 Coupé E 92

If we don’t have it, it doesn’t exist – this is the HAMANN motto for its extensive part programme for the current M3 Coupé. Since 1986, the Laupheim-based company has developed and manufactured products for the individualisation of BMW automobiles, using their experience gained in the heated battle of motorsport. The result: powerful performance enhancements, lift-reducing aerodynamics components and a stable sport braking system. Striking 19- and 20- inch light alloy rims and precious interior modifications made of aluminum and carbon complement these upgrades.

Enhanced performance for a better elasticity and more joy in driving
The first tuning level increases the standard figures of the V8 (309 kw/420 hp) by 15 kw/20 hp and delivers an additional 25 Nm (series: 400 Nm) on the crank shaft. This is achieved by an optimized engine map. The V/max limitation is annulled and the top speed increases to 300 km/h.

Another performance kit is called Sportkit HM/M +35. And the name says it all: after the modification, the engine has up to 35 hp/26 kw more power. The torque rises by 48 Nm and the speedometer doesn't stop until it reaches 320 km/h. Another component of this enduring performance kit is a sportive exhaust system. It is made of stainless steel and is therefore non-corroding and includes a metal catalyser as well as a middle section- and rear section muffler. The comprehensively optimized motor management matches this feature. An earthy sound and a significantly perceptible performance improvement will delight the BMW-pilot from now on.

Car body programme in approved quality

In the design stage, HAMANN perfectly harmonises the individual components of the aerodynamic package. The result is a breath-taking styling with an optimized airflow. The sportive-dynamic front spoiler, which goes hand in hand with the rear skirt and the rear spoiler, reduces the lifting forces and forms a whole new look. The optical link between front and rear is accomplished with the HAMANN side skirts and the shapely roof spoiler. The precisely fitted Body-Kit is attached on the standard attachment points. Prices start at 2,400 euros.

Sportive or elegant

The HAMANN rim programme takes the individual wishes of the M3-clientele into account. No matter if the customer is looking for a sportive distinctive or elegant and noble appearance - HAMANN offers varying tyre designs and sizes. Named ANNIVERSARY I and ANNIVERSARY I BLACK LINE, a one-piece tyre in a several-part look with 19 inches is offered. Both rims have a high-gloss INOX stainless steel lip, but differ as they either have a silver- or black-lacquered rim-star.

The recommended tyre-wheel combination measures 8.5Jx19 inches with tyres sized 245/35ZR19. The rear is equipped with rims measuring 10.0Jx19 inches and wheels sized 265/35ZR19. ANNIVERSARY rim designs with 20 inches are also available. Here, HAMANN recommends the 9.0Jx20 inches with 245/30ZR20 tyres on the front axle and 10.5Jx20 with 295/25ZR20 tyres on the rear axle.

One of the technical highlights in the offered tuning programme is the three-part HAMANN-aluminium wheel called EDITION RACE. The black-lacquered rim-star and the titan fittings of the glossy finished flange emphasis the racing character. Due to its forge technology manufacturing, it is especially light and improves both the handling and also acceleration and braking response by its reduced unsprung mass.

The tyre-wheel combination measures 8.5Jx20 inches plus tyres on rims sized 245/30ZR20 front and 10.5Jx20 with a set of tyres measuring 295/25ZR20 rear; they are offered for 7,600 euros by HAMANN.

HAMANN recommends high-performance tyres of the type S1 EVO which are manufactured by its technology partner HANKOOK.

Sportive emphasis is achieved by the chassis clips which lower the main part of the sport coupé by 25 millimetres at the front and 15 millimetres at the rear axle.

The ideal solution for varying requirements on the race track and in everyday use is offered by the height adjustable chassis with coil-over by HAMANN. The chassis which can be delivered in two versions (for cars with/without limited slip differential) each include four traction- and pressure adjustable shock absorbers and four progressively wound sportiing springs. This enables to lower the chassis by 40 mm and offers numerous possibilities for an individual adjustment.

A sport brake system leads to excellent deceleration measures. Perforated and internally ventilated brake discs measuring 405 x 34 mm (front) and 380 x 28 mm (rear) are sandwiched by the front six- and back four-piston system.

Perfected interior technology

In addition to the present factory-made interior equipment, HAMANN offers accessories made of precious aluminium. Hand brake levers, gear sticks and pedals bring a motor sports flair and perfectly match the with the HAMANN interior set made of super-light carbon. HAMANN has everything that makes your heart miss a beat – from personalised floor mats up to complete leather equipments everything is made in handcrafted quality.

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Caterham Superlight R500

Caterham's latest rocket, the Superlight R500, will reach 60mph from rest in just 2.88 seconds - and all for £37k. That’s thanks to 263bhp and a kerbweight of just 506kg. Before you reach for your calculator that’s 520bhp per tonne, not far off the Bugatti Veyron.

The chassis comes from Caterham's Series 3 model, but the R500 gets the nose from the CSR with carbonfibre wing lets designed to produce downforce. Lots of carbonfibre and Kevlar bits and pieces help keep the weight down, along with thinner body panels and even aluminum rear light housings.

The power comes from a 2.0-litre Ford Duratec engine. Tweaked by Caterham Powertrain (CPT) it turns out an impressive 132bhp/litre and 177lb ft of twist (up from the R400’s 210bhp and 150lb ft).

Sitting in a Caterham has always been a yesteryear experience, and they've now added some decidedly 21st century toys to modernize the cockpit a little. There’s now keyless ignition, flush-fitting switchgear, plus a quick-release Momo wheel with integrated indicator switches, a Stack display and shift lights. Needless to say, this is still a very focused cabin - you won't choose one of these to be pampered.
To make sure your runs to 60mph are consistently sub-three seconds, there’s the £2950 option of a sequential gearbox, though it adds 10kg to the kerbweight. Launch control is £350, and Eibach springs and dampers from the race-spec C400s will set you back £1250. A carbon induction airbox is £450.

As standard, the Superlight comes with a limited slip differencial, Kevlar seats with a four-point harness, adjustable dampers and gorgeous 13-inch anthracite wheels. The R500 is on sale now, fully-built for £36,995. Damn good value when you consider it’ll shame anything this side of a Veyron.

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Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli

The Volkswagen Golf GTI Pirelli is back, 25 years after the original. And the good news is this GTI gets the same power tweak as the Edition 30 Golf we raved about when we drove it last year. The 2.0-litre turbo engines gets 227bhp in Pirelli trim, up from 197bhp. That drops the 0-60mph time by 0.4 seconds to 6.8 and ups the top speed by six points to 152.

Let’s start with the meaning of the Pirelli tag. It means that the new-design 18-inch wheels are wrapped in Pirelli rubber, 225/40s to be precise - and the full horror of the special edition wardrobe has been thrown at the cabin. The Pirelli logo is monogrammed in the headrests, the part-leather seats are embossed with tyre tracks and you get contrasting yellow stitching on the handbrake, wheel and seats. Make your own mind up on the visual changes, but the Golf GTI Pirelli also gains six airbags, climate control, and ESP.

The GTI Pirelli is available to order now in silver, black or blue, and the front splitter, side skirts and rear bumper are all body-coloured. Prices start at £22,555 for the six-speed manual (the standard car is £20,825) rising to £24,385 for the five-door DSG-equipped car.

Pirelli wheels and tyres were available on later Mk1 Golf GTI models and early Mk2 cars; they were never sold as official standalone models, but became known as Pirelli cars on account of their distinctive P-slot alloys.

VW sold out the 10,500-car production run of Mk1 Pirelli models within six months of its launch in May 1983. It was the last swansong before the Mk2 arrived at the end of that year.

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Premier4509 Murciélago

Premier4509 announced that it will be developing a new line of products that have been created for performance luxury cars. The Premier4509 line launches with the performance based aero enhancement package for the Lamborghini Murcielago. The kit is limited to 300 sets worldwide and will feature a numbered serial plate. The complete package includes a full front bumper with the boxed bumper support system, side pods and a rear bumper with optional adjustable rear spoiler. The total price is an MSRP at $28,000.00.

The Premier4509 collection will expand this year to include more products for Lamborghini, Bentley, Aston Martin, Maserati and more. The Premier4509 line will include limited edition wheels, soft goods and executive class accessories.

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AC Schnitzer BMW 6-Series with 310-hp

Updating their tuning kit for the new facelifted BMW 6-Series, AC Schnitzer decided they needed to make the 635d diesel spit out a little more power. Design wise the AC Schnitzer 6-Series gets a new front skirt with triangular fog lights, new side skirts, a new rear skirt and an AC Schnitzer sports rear silencer with chromed tailpipe. Buyers can also opt for the Type VI 20-inch alloy wheels.

For those of you 635d owners looking for more power from your fuel-sipping 6-Series, AC Schnitzer is offering a tuning package that takes the 635d from 286-hp to 310-hp with a peak torque of 501 lb-ft.

And for those of you who could care less about the environment and more about power, AC Schnitzer offers a package for the 650i that increases output of the 5.1L engine from 367 to 411.

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Kobe Bryant Jumps Over Aston Martin DB9 Volante

What seems to be a viral marketing stunt for his new Nike shoes, Kobe Bryant pulled a pretty outrageous, dangerous and outright amazing stunt to get is shoe out the stores. Yes the LA Lakers shooting guard puts his jumping skills to the test by jumping over an Aston Martin DB9 Volante. Is looks fantastic!

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Mercedes with new four-cylinder diesels

Mercedes has announced a new diesel engine, and it’s a win win situation – power is up, emissions are down. The environment can breathe a sigh of relief while you have a bigger smile on your face. More importantly, it will form the base of Stuttgart's first diesel hybrid.

The new Mercedes diesel engine

It isn’t motoring at its most exciting but there are three variants of the new engine – which is 2143cc in size – and they are:
  • 200CDI – 134bhp/243lb ft
  • 220CDI – 168bhp/295lb ft
  • 250CDI – 201bhp/369lb ft
While the 200 and 220 already exist, their emissions and fuel consumption are down, with exact numbers depending on what model each engine sits in. CO2 is the big news, though, with reductions of up to 13 per cent on engines that weren’t exactly dirty in the first place. Power outputs are the same, but the 200CDI gets a 44lb ft hike in torque.
The headlines that Mercedes is shouting about surround the all new twin-turbo 250CDI. In a C-Class – the first place the new oil-burning units will appear – it'll power the saloon to 62mph in 7.7 seconds while putting out just 143g/km of CO2 at the back. Fuel economy is a not unreasonable 51mpg.

Mercedes will be rolling it out across new models from late 2008 so expect the new E-Class, amongst others, to get the new engine variants too. They can be mounted lengthways or crossways and can be linked to four-wheel drive, so there’s plenty of versatility and it could well be the engine of choice in some ranges.

Bluetec will also be available later and give BMW and its Efficient Dynamics something to think about. Speaking of the Bavarians, BMW's nearest rivals to the new Mercedes powerplant are the 320d (177bhp/258lb ft, 58.9mpg/128g/km) and 325d (197bhp/295lb ft, 47.9mpg/155g/km).

The C250CDI’s combination of grunt and economy looks to have the 3-series licked for now. So long as the C200 and 220CDIs get their MPG and CO2 bang on, then BMW have to work hard to get their smallest saloon back on the game.

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Euro Honda Accord for 2009 year!

Honda has unveiled a new Sport Pack for both the new Honda Accord Euro Sedan and Tourer models. At the exterior, the Sports Pack consist of new front and rear bumpers, a pair of sporty side skirts, sporty front grille, a boot spoiler (for the Sedan), an integrated fog lights and 18-inch alloy wheels.

On the interior, the Accord is treated with titanium finish on the dashboard and leather trim on the seats, gear knob and the steering wheel. Other features include USB port for iPod connectivity, optional satellite navigation system and a power operated tailgate for the Tourer only.

Meanwhile the 2.0 liter and 2.4 liter petrol engine and the 2.2 liter i-DTEC clean-diesel engine are left standard.

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Lamborghini Murcielago with 680-hp coming

Work on Lamborghini’s upcoming Murcielago SV is progressing as planned. The more powerful, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive LP640 is planned for launch later this year.

Insiders have told AutoCar that the SV will have more power than the Reventon and will be should weight 100kg less than the LP640. How much more powerful than the Reventon? Sources say that the Lamborghini Murcielago will have at least 39 more horsepower than the Reventon coming in at 680.

Weight will be reduced by dropping the front differential and driveshafts, the gadgets that raise and lower the rear spoiler, the multimedia system and with the use of carbon fiber body parts and light alloy wheels. Buyers will be able to opt for a smaller wing or a large wing, both made with carbon fiber.

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Gemballa GT380 Aero Kit for the Porsche 911

Like most people reading this, we probably couldn’t afford Gemballa’s 850 horsepower Avalanche GTR 800 EVO-R based on the Porsche 911. Heck, we probably couldn’t even get our hands on the 911 itself, but for those of us lucky few that can, Gemballa is offering a new aero kit to set your 911 apart from the rest.

Gemballa gives the Porsche 911 a sportier and a more aggressive look with the addition of new side skirts, front and rear lips, rear spoiler and huge BBS-style 20-inch alloys. Yeah, and that hood scoop you see there, that’s only for show off purposes. So don’t get too excited.

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Mansory Golden Mercedes-McLaren SLR Renovatio

Another tuned sports car from German tuner, Mansory, is the Mercedes-McLaren SLR Renovatio. The car comes with customized aerodynamic kit and the power has been increase with the help of a new supercharger.

In order to improve the Mansory Mercedes-McLaren SLR Renovatio, many components were replaced with lighter parts. The stock wheels have been replaced with ultra-light forged wheels and most of the body parts were replaced with lighter carbon-fiber parts.

The car is powered by a 5.5 liter V8 engine which was upgraded with a new supercharger and new intercooler to produce 700 hp (stock is 626 hp) and 880 Nm of torque. With the upgrades, the Renovatio is two tenths faster from 0 to 100 km/h with the top speed of 340 km/h.

At the exterior, the Mansory Mercedes-McLaren SLR Renovatio features new front apron which direct air to a pair of intercoolers mounted behind the front bumper.

Other kit fitted to the Mansory Mercedes-McLaren SLR Renovatio are a new rear apron with an integrated diffuser for additional downforce.

On the interior, the car is wrapped with leather and carbon fiber, fitted with new aluminum pedals and illuminated door tread plates.

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Vauxhall's New Company Badge

Vauxhall has redesigned its griffin badge - and the new Insignia is the first car that will bear the new mascot. It's a typically modern rebranding: the graphic designers have zoomed in on the upper torso of the griffin, giving it a sharper, modern look and the word Vauxhall is now incorporated in the badge.

The company's grille-wide V front end will be abandoned, the new grille preferring an Opel-style roundels, enlarged and sitting slap bang in the middle of the grille. It's not all change, however. The griffin still grasps hold of the V pendant.

GM's head of design in Europe, Mark Adams, says the re-branding is designed to echo the fresh direction of Vauxhall/Opel's cars. It reflects the new found confidence we feel the brand is showing... it hasn't changed much since the 1980s and 1990s and the actual emblem itself needed to change.

There's the usual designer speak too, of course. The rounded shape of the new badge reflects the sculptural artistry of our brand; the sharper, technical lines reflect our German precision.

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Citroen C2 2009 Facelift

Citroen has released the facelifted version of its C2 which has been in the market since 2003. The changes can be seen at the front end specifically the front bumper, new radiator grille. The new Citroen C2 will also have the diesel engine option too.

The diesel powered C2 will be powered by a PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s 1.6-liter HDi engine with a particulate filter producing 110 hp at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 240 Nm at 1,750 rpm.

The C2 1.6 HDi 110 DPFS fuel consumption is at 4.4 liter/100 km (53.5 mpg) with 119 g/km CO2 emission.

Other upgrades include new suspension system, a stiffer anti-roll bar and variable-assistance electric power steering.

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