Report: Renault may build new Alpine A110 coupe on Alfa 4C chassis, and why you should be excited w/ video
Rumors have suggested that Renault has been working on reviving their classic Alpine brand along with a successor and modern interpretation of the classic Alpine A110 “Berlinette” sports coupe from the 1960s and 1970s. For those who are not familiar, Alpine was a small French automaker that specialized in motorsports and sports cars utilizing Renault engines that sat at the ass end. So in a sense, you could say that they were France’s Porsche. Renault later absorbed the brand in 1978, which then went defunct in 1995.
Fast forward to today and Renault has already confirmed that they were reviving the Alpine brand. But in order to do so and to substantiate its potential success, the French automaker has to reestablish some market awareness and footing in an already competitive worldly automobile industry. So their answer is to revive the A110.
Currently, Renault has been seeking partners to help them build their future Alpine models, even this specific A110 Berlinette revival. That said, AutoCarUK reports that Alfa Romeo’s recently introduced 4C sports car may be used to underpin this future Alpine. It may also used for a future Caterham sports car in hopes to perpetuate the growing sub-supercar niche, aimed specifically at us younger driving enthusiasts and traditionalists. In other words, this sounds like nothing short of a miracle…
Aston Martin to be the first hydrogen car to race at the 24-Hour Nürburgring to help pioneer zero emissions motorsports
Aston Martin seeks to up the ante in motorsports at the 2013 ADAC Zurich 24 Hours of Nürburgring at the world’s most difficult race circuit. Their weapon of choice: a pioneering Aston Martin Rapide S with a bespoke hybrid hydrogen powertrain.
The new Aston Martin Hybrid Hydrogen Rapide S will be the first hydrogen-powered car to compete in an international race event and will also be the first zero CO2 emissions sports car to complete a lap of the Nürburgring 24-hour race.
The engineering marvel of an engine is a prototype twin-turbocharged 6.0L V12 that can run on gasoline, pure gaseous hydrogen, or a combination of both. And of course, if the V12 is running on hydrogen, the only byproduct coming out of the exhaust pipe is water. Sixty zooms by in just 4.9 seconds while the top run ticks over at 190 mph.
“Aston Martin has a strong track record of innovation and, with our superb history of competition and testing at the Nürburgring, it is only right that we showcase this amazing new technology at this year’s 24-hour race,” said Aston Martin’s CEO, Dr. Ulrich Bez.
The new Ford Kuga will have brought huge sighs of relief at the car maker’s local HQ in Broadmeadows, Victoria.
Ford Australia has been uncompetitive for years in the ever-growing mid-sized SUV segment – for the majority with the ageing and slow-selling Escape, then from 2012 just a single, overly expensive variant of the previous Ford Kuga.
The second-generation Ford Kuga is virtually guaranteed to become a more significant player against an impressive array of famous and popular nameplates such as the Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail.
A $ 27,990 sticker for the entry-level Kuga (above) is a good starting point, as is a prominent integrated advertising spot on TV’s The Voice and some headline items of technology.
For the latter, we’ll kick off – literally – with an automatic tailgate that opens and closes if you flick your leg beneath the rear bumper.
I’m not married. Nor do I have any kids, a 401K, a mortgage, and an underlying fear for discoloring hair and sagging body parts invoked by the stress of a nine-to-fiver and coming home some to juniors running around…yet (no offense). But all in all, I pretty much seem like the worst candidate to be reviewing the all-new and completely redone 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe. And that’s because, majority of the people in the market for a crossover SUV are left with options that only blend you into the mainstream automotive hodgepodge. It’s the kind of market that me, being the youthful college upperclassman that I am, seeks to avoid simply because I am by virtue, the complete antithesis to the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe’s intended market.
But the company as a whole has certainly reaffirmed its footprint in the automobile industry as of recent, representing one of the greatest automotive turnarounds of the new millennium. So that said, even my youthful self was curious to see how Hyundai’s efforts paid off with their latest model, the redesigned 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe.
Pedantic individuals would keenly note from the pictures alone that this new Santa Fe is, well, a little bit on the big side. And that’s because it is. The original Hyundai Santa Fe was originally classified as a compact SUV when compared to its peewee subcompact sibling, the Tucson. Over the course of time, the Hyundai Santa Fe grew over time from market demand, but it essentially still remained a compact crossover—and that’s something that this particular 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, isn’t.
This month our Hyundai Santa Fe long-termer covered one of Australia’s most popular commuting routes, travelling Sydney to Canberra, and back.
The 275km each-way trip down Remembrance Driveway, a combination of the Hume Highway from Sydney to Goulburn and Federal Highway into the capital, is driven by thousands each week.
Almost entirely a 110km/h zone, with Highway Patrol poised kerbside with (radar) guns pointed, it’s a drive best done using cruise control. It also happens to be a yawning example of why nearly 30 per cent of all fatalities are fatigue related. The ones that aren’t are probably because cars travel in dense flocks, pinned to each others tailgate while the lead car sits beside the rumblings of an 18-wheeler truck doing almost the same speed for kilometres on end. If ever a road needed a 130km/h speed limit (and smarter driving, policing…) it’s the Humourless.
But I digress. Our $ 45,990 Hyundai Santa Fe Elite CRDi comes with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel four cylinder producing 145kW of power at 3800rpm and 436Nm of torque at 1800-2500rpm.
In the tallest of the automatic’s six gears, the engine is spinning at just 2000rpm at 100km/h, rising to 2200rpm at 120km/h. So hills were flattened with ease, the auto never needing to get out of torque-converter lock up when cruising.
Would you consider an electric car if your lease cost was $ 999 down and $ 199 per month for 36 months? And if the dealership had a special hotline you could call to untangle confusion regarding costs, incentives, and more? What if, each year of your lease, you received 12 days’ use of a gas-powered car? And if there were a smartphone app that could communicate the vehicle’s charge level, control charging, help find charging stations, and heat or cool your car while it was still plugged in? Suppose that electric car drove very much like its gasoline counterpart except quieter? And, honestly, do you drive more than 87 miles each day? If this sounds peachy—and you live in California—Fiat has an electric 500E waiting with your name on it.
Get Down with the Down Low
The new 500E moves under the power of a three-phase AC synchronous motor that delivers 111 horses and 147 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a single-speed transmission. Energy is stored in a 642-pound, liquid-cooled (and heated), 24-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that lives under the floor between the side rails. The flat pack stretches from the front seats to 10 inches shy of the rear bumper.
One could make the case that Bosch deserves a badge on this car, as the firm provides the battery (cells by Samsung), the battery packaging, the management software, the electric motor, and the regenerative braking system. Fiat calls the braking fully blended, so that, when you’re coasting or braking, the motor is recovering every electron possible and shoving it back into the battery. This only lessens when the battery is full or if the car is traveling slower than 8 mph—at that point the car reverts to conventional friction braking. The regen also shuts off during full-ABS panic stops.
Overall weight gain stands at some 600 pounds over a regular 500, which places the 500E dangerously close to the 3000-pound mark. It was this extra poundage that motivated engineers to use the flattened battery shape to mount the pack down low in the car, where the weight is less deleterious to handling. There are other alterations, including a reworked body structure that is said to be 10 percent more rigid, much stiffer springs, and a heavy-duty rear axle shared with the hotted-up 500 Abarth. The 500E rides on 15-inch Firestone Firehawk GT low-rolling-resistance tires.
Ford unveils special edition F150 SVT Raptor for 2014 called…the Ford F150 SVT Raptor Special Edition
Ford released a special edition of its hardcore F150 SVT Raptor pickup truck called…the 2014 Ford F150 SVT Raptor Special Edition. As you’ve guessed, this unique Raptor comes with a full list of more exclusive options and additions to separate it from other lowly F150 SVT Raptors.
The list includes a unique exterior color with differing graphics, an updated interior, and that’s about it.
“Raptor owners are looking for a high-performing, uncompromising off-road pickup truck with the features and luxuries found in today’s premium trucks,” said Doug Scott, Ford trucks’ marketing manager in the press release. “Since its launch in 2009, we’ve continually moved Raptor forward in capability and design, and the 2014 Special Edition is the best Raptor yet.”
The unique color has been named Ruby Red Metallic, while the interior receives a Brick Red coloring with contrasting black inserts and honeycomb highlights. Alternatively, buyers can also opt for a Tuxedo Black Metallic exterior color.
Otherwise, the 2014 Ford F150 SVT Raptor carries over largely unchanged, complete with its aggressive all-terrain tires, heavy duty FOX Racing Shox, skid plates, and standard Hill Descent Control. The engine remains Ford’s 6.2L V8 good for 411hp and 434 lb-ft of torque, channeled via a six-speed automatic.
For the full press release, check it out below.