July 13, 2012 at 11:09pm by Jens Meiners
Two years after Dany Bahar’s grandiose six-vehicle launch at the 2010 Paris auto show, the struggling sports-car maker won’t even have a stand at this year’s event. Lotus has pulled out of the show, we’ve learned from two independent sources. In a recent phone conversation, a company spokesman would not deny what was then a rumor but has now been confirmed by the show’s organizers.
Lotus’s no-show is not necessarily bad news. It recently put on a truly impressive display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, complete with historic and modern cars, proving it is alive and kicking. But the company’s strategy is under review after former CEO Dany Bahar’s sudden departure. The controversial former Red Bull and Ferrari executive had not only tried to take Lotus deep into Ferrari territory, he also hired rapper Swizz Beatz as a design consultant and teamed up with the tuner Mansory, the offerings of which are as extravagant as they are lacking in taste. It is alleged that breathtaking expenditures for Bahar’s lavish corporate lifestyle ultimately led to his exit.
We think that Lotus will do well to recapture its essence with lightweight and original sports cars, not with ultra-expensive supercars. It also needs to get its U.S.-market strategy on track. It won’t be in Paris, but we are confident in seeing a reborn Lotus at the upcoming auto shows—a reborn Lotus built on its history of engineering that was on display at Goodwood and not the smoke and mirrors of Paris two years ago.
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Tags: 2012 Paris auto show, Lotus |
Instructors Matt Mullins and Mike Renner join BMW M Brand Manager Matt Russell in discussing the BMW Performance Center.
The BMW Performance Center, unveiled in 1999 in Spartanburg, South Carolina is perhaps the best place in the United States to celebrate the BMW spirit, dedication to quality, and commitment to performance.
Home to the BMW Performance Driving School, the BMW Performance Center Delivery Program and a world-class conference center, BMW designed its Performance Center to expand the unique automotive experience into a memorable event. At one location, a visitor can tour a $ 1.6 billion state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, browse the Zentrum museum showcasing more than 75 years of BMW automotive and motorcycle history, host a successful corporate event, and enroll in one of several driving instruction programs.
It was a Subaru that made Ken Block famous But a few years ago he traded it for a Ford, and things got really big after that. That is great, but Ken has to do some grunt work for them, like taking a Ford Focus ST to the streets of San Fransisco and trying to do Gymkhana in it. With 250 horsepower and a trick differential, the ST is a hot little hatch, but compared the 600 horsepower Fiesta Block usually uses, it’s a bit of a slouch.
On this occasion Ford released a couple of cool pictures from behind the scenes at Gymkhana FIVE which you don’t wanna miss. They are also putting together a BTS video, but in the meantime, enjoy the pics.
It’s not likely, but if you haven’t seen the actual Gymkhana 5 video yet, click here.
The Citroen C4 AirCross is now on sale in Australia, finally giving the French manufacturer a competitor in the booming local SUV market.
The C4 AirCross is available in a single specification, Exclusive, which features a 2.0-litre petrol engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The entry-level front-wheel drive is priced from $ 31,990 before on-road costs, while the optional all-wheel drive system adds $ 2000.
The pricing makes the C4 AirCross the most expensive of the PSA-Mitsubishi compact SUV triplets, with the Citroen positioned above the mechanically identical Mitsubishi ASX and Peugeot 4008.
The entry-level ASX is priced from $ 28,490 in FWD CVT form and $ 32,490 as in AWD, making it $ 2500 and $ 1500 cheaper than the Citroen respectively, while both equivalent variants of the 4008 are $ 500 less than C4 AirCross.
Like its siblings, the Citroen C4 AirCross’s 2.0-litre petrol engine produces 110kW of power (at 6000rpm) and 197Nm of torque (at 4200rpm). All three are identical in terms of fuel consumption, with the FWD drinking 7.9 litres of premium unleaded per 100km and the AWD slightly thirstier at 8.1L/100km.
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Sony’s Crackle division has just released a longer trailer for Jerry Seinfeld’s upcoming web-series called ‘Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.’
We first heard of the show last week, which will premier on July 19 at 9pm EDT on Crackle.com, ComediansInCarsGettingCoffee.com, and facebook.com/comediansincarsgettingcoffee.
At least if the The Dark Knight Rises tickets are sold out, you now have something to do.
Check out the trailer after the jump.
Car News, Development News, Porsche — By Chris on July 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm — No Comments
Development of the Porsche 918 Spyder is well underway as the first prototypes have been completed and the test program progresses steadily. Now Porsche has announced a more hardcore, track focused version of the hybrid sports car is being developed.
For a premium price, Porsche will fit the 918 with the optional Race Track package which includes a stripped-out interior, an unpainted exterior, and likely some technical tweaks. The Race Track package also sheds some weight, resulting in a total weight of “less than 1700kg”.
The 918 Spyder will be powered by a petrol powered 4.6-litre V8 and two independent electric motors – one on the front axle and one in the drive line, acting on the rear wheels. The total amount of power will be 762 horsepower and 750Nm of torque. Fuel economy is estimated at three litres per 100 kilometres which translates to 78mpg.
The German carmaker plans to build a total of 918 units of the 918 Spyder, from which an estimated 20 percent will be delivered with the Race Track package. Production of the hybrid sports car will commence the 18th of September 2013 (9/18), pricing will start at € 645,000, subject to taxes and country-specific charges.
The team that proved it’s possible to travel downwind faster than the wind has done it again, this time modifying their cart to go upwind at more than twice the speed of the circulating air.
Last time around, the Blackbird cart raced downwind at 2.86 times the speed of the wind. Earlier this month, Rick Cavallaro and the Blackbird team braved 104 degree heat at the New Jerusalem airport in Tracy, California, clocking in a top speed 2.01 times faster than the wind speed when headed upwind – which could end up being a new record.
It’s an impressive feat, but not as controversial as the downwind run. Where the prospect of traveling downwind faster than the wind once inspired thousands of internet arguments and heated debates in physics classrooms, an upwind sail just isn’t as provocative. In fact, there’s already a racing series in the Netherlands devoted to upwind land surfing.
“For some folks, the idea that it can advance directly into the wind at all has been counter-intuitive,” said Cavallaro, an aerodynamicist, kitesurfer and paraglider. While it may seem like a wind-powered vehicle heading directly into the wind could end up traveling faster and faster in an endless feedback loop, that isn’t the case. “There’s at least an element of truth to this, but as with the downwind cart, frictional losses still win out at a certain speed,” Cavallaro said.
The principle behind the upwind-configured Blackbird should be familiar to anyone with knowledge of sailing, except the Blackbird prefers runways and dry riverbeds. It uses two large “sails” – turbine blades – that spin around a common axis, moving forward as the cart sails into the wind and moving cross-wind as the blades turn around the axis.
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