Monday, March 14, 2011

New Audi A6 Commercial is a Magical Ode to Metal Crafting

Audi has aired some great commercials over the years and this latest one is no exception. Called ‘Manipulation’, the ad was created for the 2012 A6 and it touts the premium sedan’s hybrid body structure of steel and aluminum. The commercial translates all this tech talk into visual magic: special effects make the metal easy to model by hand, just like Play-Doh. If only real car making were that easy... Video follows after the jump.

Panzani Design’s Vintage GT is a Scary Looking Jaguar S-Type R

What you see pictured here is the creation of a relatively unknown Italian tuning firm called Panzani Design. Named the Vintage GT, it’s an extreme take on the Jaguar S-Type R, which was the flagship version of the series powered by a 4.2-liter supercharged V8 kicking out 400HP.

Whether you like Panzani Design’s styling approach or not, one thing is for sure: there’s no way you can ignore it. The tuning company starts with the exterior of the Jaguar S-Type R by adding a new wide body kit with prominent wheel arches that house 20-inch alloy wheels shod in tires size 255/35 R20 up front and 305/30 R20 at the back.

The car also gets a new front end with a carbon fiber bonnet and bumper trim, and side air vents from the XKR. At the back, Panzani Design eliminated the bumper adding a massive rear diffuser, new circular LED tail lamps and a new carbon fiber boot that incorporates a spoiler. The race-spec mirrors, exposed fuel cap, side skirts and the matte grey paint finish complete the look.

There was a lot of work done in the interior, which is swathed in leather and Alcantara with contrasting seams. The cabin also features a pair of sports seats, carbon fiber trim and a newly styled three-spoke sports steering wheel.

Pangani Design did not say if there are any modifications under the hood nor did it release pricing info on the Vintage GT.

Source: Panzani Design via


Renault Admits Wrongdoing in Spy Case, Issues Apologies to the Three Ousted Officials

Today's episode on the Renault EV espionage case is one of the most interesting yet, with CEO Carlos Ghosn and COO Patrick Pelata issuing their official apologies to the three executives accused of spying.

Renault’s admission of wrongdoing comes after a communication with the French prosecutors, who found no substance in the complaint filed by the automaker against its former employees. Authorities from Liechtenstein and Switzerland confirmed that Michel Balthazard, Bertrand Rochette and Matthieu Tenenbaum had no bank accounts in the respective countries, thus refuting Renault's claim.

“Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Patrick PĂ©lata, Chief Operating Officer, present their sincere apologies and regrets, personally and in the name of Renault, to Messrs Balthazard, Rochette and Tenenbaum, who were wrongly accused in this affair. They are committed that reparations be made to the three executives, and that their honor in the public eye be restored,” Renault said in a statement.

Ghosn and Pelata also expressed their intention to meet with the three employees “as soon as possible.”

The judiciary investigation will now concentrate on the fraud against Renault, with prosecutors issuing yesterday "organized fraud" charges against Dominique Gevrey, the security chief whose internal investigation led to the firing of the three execs.

CEO Carlos Ghosn called for an extraordinary board meeting today, at the end of which sanctions may be applied to the people involved in the case.

By Dan Mihalascu

Sources: Renault, Autonews

Yellow Cabs New York Taxi of the Future - New York wants the Turks-Taxi Karsan

The next step in New York's search for the taxi of the future is made​​. Now, the residents voted on a final three designs. Her favorite is the Turkish manufacturer Karsan.

When it comes to the people of New York, the taxis for the city in 2014 to be built in Bursa (Turkey). The V1 model of the manufacturer Karsan has prevailed in a local referendum on the competitors from Nissan and Ford. About 22,500 New Yorkers voted off, 15,000 of them voted for the V1. The cab has a panoramic roof and large windows, two ramps and plenty of space for luggage. The passengers sit facing each other. In addition to the gasoline engine in the rear bumper and gas, hybrid and electric drives are possible. For 52 percent of New York a more environmentally-friendly drive their taxis is particularly important. A decision on the "Taxi of Tomorrow" is the city in April 2011.

VIDEO: Ferrari California gets Squashed by Tour Bus

Blame their celebrity-like status, but when a new supercar gets involved in an accident, it’s bound to attract some media attention. This here incident involves a brand new (or fairly new) Ferrari California and a tour bus that crossed paths at the intersection of Camden and Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills. We don’t know the details surrounding the mishap but the result is that the Ferrari got squashed into a curb by the tour bus. If you happen to know anything about the crash leave us a comment after the jump. Hop through the break to watch the video.

Source: SoCalspeedzone & Concoursblog via Motorauthority


Chevrolet Malibu 2012 2013 Spyshots partly nude

Here are spyshots the 2012 Chevrolet Malibu, which goes on sale late 2011 in North America, even before (June?). Note that in other markets, it will be known as Epica. The Malibu should be slightly larger and wider than the current model and based on the Epsilon platform 2 of the Buick Regal and Lacrosse. No V6 in the program will take place under the bonnet the 2.4-liter 177-horsepower well-known GM and one 2-liter turbo. A slightly hybridized via the eAssist Buick should be proposed. The 2012 Chevrolet Malibu will debut at next month's auto show in New York.

Introducing the Singer Design 911: Retro Cool Porsche for the iPod Generation

In 1998, the last of the air-cooled Porsche 911s rolled off the production line at Stuttgart, soon to be replaced with a newer, more modern water-cooled variant of the classic rear-engined sports coupe. Fortunately, for Porsche fans and company shareholders alike, the water-cooled 996 Series proved to be a venerable replacement for the air-cooled 993 and still commands impressively high prices on the second-hand vehicle market.

For some fans though, the only “true” Neunelfer is the original: the 911 Classic built from 1963 until 1989. Back in those days Porsches were lightweight, rear-engined and – most importantly – air-cooled. By the end of the ‘80s, however, outside concerns such as passenger safety, comfort and emissions regulations were – to some purists – killing the Porsche brand. Enthusiasts began demanding a purer 911 and, in 2009, L.A.’s Singer Vehicle Design responded.

The company set itself a challenge: apply modern materials, manufacturing techniques and design as well as state-of-the-art technology to a forty-year-old car. Singer wanted to incorporate the spirit of the 911 Classic with the sharp looks of the long hood pre-‘74 race specials, the durability of the ‘80s models and the power and sophistication of the 964 / 993 Series.

Here’s how they do it:

First they take a long wheelbase 911 donor car - one built between 1969 and 1989 - and strip it down to the bare shell. This leaves only the original wheelbase, A-pillar position, roofline and suspension / transaxle mounts. Singer then reinforces the unibody to improve torsional rigidity and coats the car in a “second skin” of carbon fibre. With the exception of the doors, all the 911’s sheet metal is then replaced with lightweight composites including Kevlar and carbon fibre.

MacPherson struts and a coil sprung Carrera SC rear trailing arms replace the 911 Classic’s original torsion-beam suspension setup, and multi-adjustable Smart Racing anti-roll bars and Eibach springs are added to improve ride and handling. The original ZF rack-and-pinion steering is replaced with electric-hydraulic power steering that Singer claims emulates the feel of the original on the track or open road while making the 911 a more pleasant drive around town.

The 3.6 L engine from the last of the air-cooled 911’s – the 993 – replaces the 911 Classic’s 2.0 L jobby and is massaged up to 3.82-liters with the help of Ninemeister and Jerry Woods Enterprises components and expertise. A Motec ECU that integrates launch and traction control with data logging capability rounds out the engine mods. Stopping and sticking is handled nicely by four-pot Brembo callipers / rotors and five-spoke forged aluminium Zuffenhaus wheels wrapped in 17-inch Michelins.

Singer is offering its reborn 911 with a choice of either a 360 hp (268 kW) luxury or 425 hp (317 kW) touring tune. The latter is good for 0 to 60 mph (0 to 100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 170 mph (274 km/h); not bad for a forty year old car.

Singer has also beefed up the interior with lightweight sound deadening, new gauges and refurbished Recaro’s with electronic operation and premium leather. The crowning glory is a MOMO Monza steering wheel; a must-have for any classic 911. Modern conveniences such as air conditioning, Garmin satellite navigation, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth are all available as options, while HID headlamps and a speed sensitive retractable rear spoiler are included as standard.

As you’d expect for this sort of vehicle, prices are only available on enquiry. I don’t know about you, but for something that looks this good I’d sell the kids, the cat and one of my kidneys. You can check out our full gallery below and / or leave your piece in the comments section.

By Tristan Hankins