Thursday, 30 April 2009

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Multi level Parking Accident

Blog reader Mel spotted this scene just around the corner from the Jacob Javits Center where the 2009 New York Auto Show is being held. The multi-level steel parking structure evidently failed, sending a Lexus GS sliding down on top of a Land Rover and the front end of an also-raised Honda Accord. The kicker? A 1998 Chrysler Town and Country and older Camry sit just outside the frame unscathed. The Ford Edge that just happened to be parked on the right (both figuratively and literally) side of the structure was reportedly inaccessible by its owner despite not playing a part in this mess. Whoever was in charge apparently felt the whole thing might go at any minute. You know what, New York? Us smaller cities will keep our concrete parking garages, thank you very much.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Aston Martin taking on the Nürburgring 24-Hour enduro in V12 Vantage



Gaydon, Warwickshire 24 April 2009. Aston Martin will return to the starting grid of the legendary Nordschleife for the fourth consecutive year at the 37th ADAC Nürburgring 24-hour race on 23/24 May 2009 with the new V12 Vantage. Joining the marque's latest model will be 'Rose', the yellow V8 Vantage that was first entered into the race in 2006.

Headlining this year's factory effort and aiming to repeat Aston Martin's untarnished record of finishing the 24-hour race, will be the marque's new V12 Vantage in near-standard specification driven by Aston Martin Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez and representatives from the company's engineering team. Premiered at the Geneva Auto Salon in early March, the V12 Vantage is the ultimate incarnation of the Vantage range featuring a 6.0-litre V12 engine producing 510 bhp (517 PS) and 570 Nm (420 lb ft) of torque. With just minor modifications, the standard car is being readied to compete in the most demanding of endurance races.

Dr Ulrich Bez who will be driving in his fourth consecutive 24-hour race, said: "This is the final engineering durability test for the V12 Vantage programme. We will be subjecting the car to the toughest assessment yet under public scrutiny as we successfully did with the Vantage N24 programme.

"We already have a proven track record at the Nürburgring racing our road cars with limited modification and in 2009 we also celebrate our 50-year anniversary of winning the ADAC Nürburgring 1000 km with a DBR1."

The V12 Vantage race car will be close to production standardwith only essential safety modifications, reduced weight and re-tuned suspension with no additional aerodynamic enhancements. Production tyre partner Pirelli has specially selected P Zero Circuit Racing slick tyres to enhance performance, ensuring consistency and to provide a tangible performance link to the V12 Vantage road car.

Aston Martin is expecting a number of customer teams to join the V12 Vantage on the starting grid. 'Rose', the yellow V8 Vantage and original inspiration behind the N24/GT4 programme will also be making a return to the Nordschleife having now clocked up four 24-hour race finishes and more than 20,000 endurance miles.
Aston Martin's Head of Motorsport, David King said: "The Vantage N24/GT4 programme has been a huge success to date. Since its inception in 2006, no standard N24 from the factory or customer team has failed to finish a 24-hour endurance race in 13 starts around the world – a remarkable testament to the durability of the Vantage."

The 37th ADAC Nürburgring 24 hour race will take place on 23/24 May 2009.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

SMS Supercars previews 460 and 460X Mustangs

If you build it they will come. At least that's what Steve Saleen is hoping, and with his recent announcement regarding Saleen, Inc's warranties, we're guessing many of his loyal customers will indeed come with money in hand to buy his new tricked-out ponycar. Not that people will buy the car based on reputation alone - SMS has made sure that its 460 Mustang has the proper credentials of a Steve Saleen creation. The exterior gets a full makeover including a new front fascia, Red Butterfly Air Induction hood, side splitters, rear fascia, and rear wing complemented by 20-inch, 5-spoke wheels. Two variants are available, a 460 Mustang and a 460X Mustang. The first features a 4.6L supercharged V8 putting out 470 horsepower mated to a 5-speed manual while the latter sports a 5.0L supercharged V8 producing 655 horsepower routed through a 6-speed manual. Both also feature several suspension upgrades including a new watts-linkage system and upgraded front and rear brakes. Follow the jump for more details in the press release from SMS.

Monday, 20 April 2009

BMW M3 GT4 to campaign in Nurburgring 24-hour enduro

BMW is far and away the most prolific automaker at the annual 24-hour Nurburgring race, with 114 class victories over the event's 29-year history and almost one-third of last year's field comprised of Bimmers. This year, BMW's Customer Racing program will partner with Schubert Motorsport to bring out a BMW M3 GT4 to campaign in the GT4 class, with FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) drivers Agusto Farfus, Jorg Muller and Andy Priaulx joining two journalists from German magazine Sport Auto.

The M3 GT4, which benefits from all the race-ready hardware you'd expect in a vehicle prepped for a 24-hour enduro, made its debut at last weekend's ADAC Westfalenfahrt at the 'Ring, taking the win in the SP10 class and finishing 30th overall. The M3 will be back at the Nordschleife for the 24 hour race the weekend of May 23 and 24.

2010 Audi Q7 facelift

Casual observers probably didn't notice it, but Audi has released a face-lifted version of its Q7 SUV. On the outside a lot hasn't changed, with the updates mostly focused on the lighting, tailgate and paint colors. The head-light clusters are the same shape but now get the LED eye-liner treatment that has spread throughout much of the Audi lineup. The front bumper has also been subtly reshaped as well, while the rear light clusters now feature full LED elements and the tailgate has been reshaped to accommodate license plates for all countries.

Inside, the trim has been updated with more wood, but the big news is the third generation MMI navigation/entertainment/information system. The nav gets a 3D interface and joystick control for finding destinations. The Sirius satellite radio also provides traffic data now and accepts voice commands to find cash, food or gas, much like Ford's TravelLink system. Powertrains for the US pretty much carryover and include the new 3.0-liter TDI diesel. Over in Europe, the optional 4.2-liter TDI V8 is now up to 340 hp and 560 lb-ft of torque. The fuel consumption of the diesel V8 has been reduced with mileage on the European combined cycle going from 21.2 to 23.8 mpg (US)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Malaysia first MPV -Proton Exora Prestige Concept

This is the other concept Proton Exora which Proton Design whipped up in conjunction with the Exora’s launch. The Proton Exora Prestige converts the Exora into a VIP chauffeured car with a lounge behind where one can either continue to work on the move or relax on the way home after a stressful day.

There is of course a bodykit which includes a double fin front bumper grill, warp-around chrome foglamp garnish, a front lip, side skirts, rear apron with integrated quad exhausts, a rear roof spoiler, chrome glass trimming, chrome side protector moulding, a customised smoked rear brake lamp, tinted glass, and 18 inch wheels with 224/40R18 tyres.

In the interior, the first row is separated from the rest of the vehicle via a glass panel to give the boss at the back some privacy. The rear passenger can communicate with the driver via an intercom. This privacy glass panel includes a 19 inch LCD TV.

The VIP seats have electric adjustments, a massage system, and a built-in working table. Other creature comforts include a nice sound system including two 8 inch subwoofers to match the 5.1 channel DVD player, a stow-away footrest and a cooler box.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Malaysia First MPV - Exora Prime Concept version

Proton Exora Prime Concept

Proton Design showcased two modified Proton Exora MPVs at the launch of the Exora yesterday evening. Some of you may have already seen these cars during the live telecast on TV1, but here is a closer look at the two vehicles. This is the white one called the Proton Exora Prime. Here’s the stuff that Proton Design added to the Exora Prime:
  • Pearl White Exterior
  • Double Fin Front Bumper Grille
  • Corporate Graphic At FR Door Trim
  • High Gloss Black Side Mirrors
  • High Glass Black Roof
  • Wrap-around Satin Galvano Foglamp Garnish
  • Customised Side Skirts
  • Customised Rear Apron with Integrated Exhaust
  • Customised Satin Galvano Glass Trim
  • Clear Rear Brake Lamps
  • Tinted Glass
  • 17 inch Wheels with 215/45R17 tyres
  • 2-DIN DVD player with integrated GPS
  • Rear view mirror with integrated LCD for reverse camera
  • 1st and 2nd row pilot seats with integrated LCD and mobile theater system
  • Cooler box for the floor console

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Fast & Furious 4 & 5??


After a successful run at hijacking fuel tanks on the lowways of Bani/Punta Cana Dominican Republic, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has become an international criminal. With an increasing pressure from the police, Dom leaves Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) not wanting her to be caught with him. Years later, Letty is found murdered in her wrecked car, bullet in the brain. At the scene of her murder, Dom finds traces of nitromethane residue that can only be purchased at one tuner shop in L.A.. At the body shop, he finds one of his old racing counterparts that, after being coerced, leads him to a man named David Park. Dominic finds Park and hangs him out of a window threatening to drop him and vowing to kill anyone that stands in his way of avenging Letty. He receives the information that only through a street race, arranged by Ramon Campos, can he gain access to the man responsible for Letty's death.

Meanwhile, Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker)—now an FBI agent, is assigned to track down a notorious drug lord named Arturo Barraga. Brian, after chasing down a criminal on foot, receives information also leading to David Park. Both Dominic and Brian, having received the same information are led to the underground entrance race that guarantees them a spot on the team that traffics heroin across the United States-Mexico border. During the race, Dominic and Brian outlast all of their competitors until the two of them remain and head towards the finish line neck and neck. Their GPSs say 1/4 mile until destination and Dominic pushes his NOS button from his Chevrolet Chevelle SS. Brian returns Dominic's dialogue from the first movie, "too early" and then presses his button from his Nissan Skyline propelling him in front of Dominic, the opposite of what happened in the first film. Dominic sideswipes Brian's car causing him to swerve out of control, ensuring that he comes in first, securing his spot on the team so that he can seek justice on Letty's behalf. Having lost the race, Brian uses his influence at the FBI to ensure that one of the other members on Barraga's team, Dwight Mueller, gets arrested for "distribution of methamphetamine," in order to usurp his spot of the team. At a party, Ramon Campos, Barraga's right hand man, welcomes them to the team and gives them a GPS that will alert them to where they will begin their race. Dominic ends up in a confrontation with a racer identified as Fenix, the driver of the car that collided with Letty before firing the shot that killed her.

Dominic and Brian both receive the coordinates to meet with Campos and are transported, along with their cars by semi-trailer to the Mexican border to receive the heroin that they are to transport, from there they are to follow Fenix's lead to the other side through an underground tunnel so they aren't seen by the satellite images and forward looking infrared used to monitor the borders. After the transport, Dominic realizes that the drivers are thought of as disposable and that after successful trafficking of the product they are shot and killed in order to avoid paying them. Letty, having been in the same situation was the only driver to get away when they attempted to shoot her, it was the pursuit that led to the car crash and subsequent shooting causing her death. Dom anticipated the double-dealing because of the warning given by Gisele, Barraga's liason, in the form of the Spanish phrase "vaya con Dios", set his car to explode by discharging nitrous oxide with the spark from the cigarette lighter in his car after he learns from Fenix that he was responsible for killing Letty with no remorse. Brian hijacks one of the Hummers carrying the heroin, escaping the gunfire, and head back to the U.S., where Dominic learns that Brian was contacted by Letty who agreed to infiltrate and collect information leading to Barraga in exchange for clemency for Dominic. Brian speaks to his superiors about a plan that he has devised to trade the heroin for Barraga if they will pardon Dominic.

An exchange is arranged with Campos, 6 million dollars for the heroin, provided that Barraga be the one to deliver the money personally. The FBI is poised to arrest Barraga at the exchange site; however, Dominic and Brian both realize that Campos is in fact Barraga before the FBI does and the raid is botched. Barraga evades capture and flees over the Mexican border out of the FBI's jurisdiction. Brian and Dominic head after Barraga on their own and find him in a cathedral praying to Christ for salvation. They kidnap Barraga with intent to take him back to the United States where he can be tried and imprisoned for drug trafficking, but after having taken him captive, they are chased by Barraga's henchmen. The chase leads to the same underground tunnels that they went through in order to transport the drugs into the United States. Dominic jams his door into another car and jumps out of his car to stop himself from crashing. This causes Dom's Dodge Charger to crash into a tunnel wall and create a small explosion. Once on the United States side of the border, Dominic kills Fenix by slamming the car that he apprehended from the tunnel head on into Fenix. Barraga is finally apprehended by the FBI, as is Dominic.

Dominic is tried for his crimes and, though Brian appealed to the courts on his behalf, is sentenced to "25 years to life without the possibility of early parole." The movie concludes with Dom being transported in a prison bus on a desert highway to the Lompoc Penitentiary, with Brian, Mia, Tego and Rico suddenly appearing in three stealthy black cars for an interception. Brian is driving Dom's fixed Dodge Charger (it crashed in the tunnels in Mexico).

Typo Error huh??

Main cast

  • Vin Diesel as Dominic "Dom" Toretto: An auto mechanic and elite street racer from the United States. Dom is wanted for committing numerous semi-truck hijackings. At the start of the film, he is living in the Dominican Republic and hijacks fuel trucks to earn money.
  • Paul Walker as Brian O'Conner: A former police officer, auto mechanic and talented street racer. Brian is now an FBI agent hot on the trail of the Mexican drug lord Arturo Barraga.
  • Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto: Dominic's younger sister and love interest of Brian. She reunites with both men when their paths cross over the Braga case.
  • Michelle Rodriguez as Leticia "Letty" Ortiz: Dominic's girlfriend who lives with him in the Dominican Republic at the start of the film. Her murder at the hands of Barraga's organization is what spurns on Dominic to seek revenge.
  • John Ortiz as Ramon Campos/Arturo Barraga: Initially portrayed as a liaison for Braga's organization, he eventually reveals himself to be Braga himself. A powerful drug cartel leader who recruits street racers to move heroin across the US-Mexican border.
  • Laz Alonso as Fenix Rise: An enforcer for Barraga who is responsible for Letty's death.
  • Gal Gadot as Gisele Harabo: A liaison for Barraga who eventually sides with Dominic after he saves her life and helps him and Brian locate the drug lord.
  • Jack Conley as Penning
  • Sung Kang as Han: One of Dominic's crew in the Dominican Republic who appeared in this film's timeline sequal, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Han talks about moving to Tokyo when the heat comes down. He says to Dom, "I heard they're doing some crazy s**t up in Tokyo".
  • Don Omar as Don Omar
  • Tego Calderón as Tego
  • Brandon T. Jackson as Alex

Fast and Furious 5 with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker

The fourth installment of Fast and Furious is a real theatrical success. Car tuning, racing, hot babes, and Vin Diesel: such a high-octane combination is sure to detonate! And Universal is banking on it! So I think there's not a shadow of a doubt that a Fast and Furious 5 movie is going to be green lit. The question is rather if any of the cast return.

Not really a question actually: both Vin Diesel and Paul Walker have been hinting at Fast and Furious 5. So you bet they're going to reprise their roles.

"Yes. Yes. I think a few pictures at a time ahead. I try to work out stories in the way I approach sequels. In that, Coppola way. I try to think out the story, even before we go to shoot the film that's at hand. So yes, I have been thinking about it (Fast and Furious 5). I actually brought up the idea of shooting both of the movies back to back to the President of Universal. He was like, 'What? We're just getting our feet back together."
Vin Diesel

"It's beyond rumors at this point. I've spoken with executives at Universal and they're pretty serious about it. They're developing it. They know where they want it to take place. They want to do it in Europe"
Paul Walker

And the end of Fast and Furious 4 has been clearly made with a new Fast and furious sequel in mind: you can but think that Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), aka Dom, is going to somehow escape and that Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) will meet him again.

Justin li is likely to direct this fifth Fast and Furious movie. But it is not yet set in stone: Vin Diesel could indeed get the job. He's been working on a short film prequel to FF4 that should be released with the DVD. And I would no be surprised if this 20-minutes film was an opportunity to check his skills for him to take over the direction of Fast and Furious 5. Shall see.

No official release date yet for FF5 but unless they fasttrack its development Fast and Furious 5 is unlikely to get released before 2012.

Paul Walker has been talking about Fast and Furious 5 shifting location to Europe. Well, it could be nice but I'd rather see Fast and Furious 5 picking up picks up right where Tokyo Drift ended. Maybe with some flashback to explain how he went there. Some trick plot would then involve Paul Walker.


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