Thursday, 28 January 2010

BMW MMMMMMs..........

Two new BMW 'M' variants have appeared today including what may well be the replacement for the previous E46 CSL. Dubbed the 'Competition Package' the latest version of BMW's beautifully balanced two door V8 Coupe will go on sale as a cost option on standard cars in 2011.

With a drop in ride height of 10mm, drool worthy 19 inch wheels and a louder, meaner exhaust the Competition Package is rumoured to cost a premium of approxiamtely £4,000. Inside a full dose of alcantara will finish off the leightweight theme. There is also talk of a full manual gearbox option for those who prefer the full driving experience.

If it looks anything as good as the track biased GTS (above) that appeared towards the end of last year, the M3 Competition Package should be an option worth ticking.

Next on the BMW menu is the latest version of the legendary M5, caught winter testing by a World Car Fans spy photographer. Gone is the raucous and hugely thirsty V10 and in slots a 'greener' twin turbo 4.4 litre V8 packing over 570 hp. Torque figures are up to 531 ft lb and the 0-62 mph time is estimted to drop t0 a paltry 4.4 seconds. You almost feel sorry for the tarmac..

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Premium Burnout Videos

We take a look at some rich people in Poland making smoke, noise and big black lines. Also Tiff Needell seems to keep popping up. It's all about enjoying the little things in life.

Gull-wing and a Prayer

Ever since the decision was taken by Mercedes Benz to bring back the Gullwing model in the shape of the AMG SLS and rumoured SLK variant (see below), numerous copy cats, accessorizers and wannabes have somehow hitched a ride. Some good and some bad, this post will make an attempt to display everything Gullwing from shoes to customs and everything in between.

These pretty images come from Gullwing America, a design garage looking to bring new life into the old Gullwing shape. Hand crafted with modern Mercedes running gear, these Panamericana 300SLs epitomise the blend of old with new. Available with V8 auto or V6 manual power, these ultra cool retro newbies are the brainchild of Arturo Alonso, the man also responsible for designing the Bentley S3 E Concept.

This must be the biggest gullwing crime in history. Based on an ORIGINAL 300SL this camo coloured cock-up is the pride and joy of fashion house designer Nigo of Bathing Ape fame. The BAPE modifications are not just skin deep either. Under the bonnet the original fuel injected six cylinder motor is replaced with a modern 6.0 litre V8 and although AMG sanctioned such cruelty to style, the wheels fitted are just wrong. Simple. Next time leave the squaddie treatment to your Phantoms and Veyrons please Nigo.

Cobra fans will now be pleased to hear that AC can offer you a brand new one with yes, you guessed it, the gullwing treatment. Nonetheless, I can't help but see a strong resemblance to the extinct Dodo bird, with these puny flappers. Must try harder AC..

Shoes designed in conjunction with the new Mercedes SLS and with motoring in mind are never going to be the trendiest type of footwear and I'm afraid these Italian designed (where else), Santoni driving shoes are following in the footsteps of the awkward looking Pumas that came before them. At least they're all black this time.

This 300SL Gullwing Drag Racer is a home made replica (sigh of relief), fabricated impressively im sure you'll agree and packing over 1000hp! Capable of setting an 8.1 second 1/4 mile @ 166mph this winged flyer is the fastest Gullwing variation.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

iCar Google Homepage

No more blank Google homepages! This site allows you to create your own personalized Google homepage along with high res images of your favourite car as the background. Simply choose the brand and set the new URL as your homepage.

Go to iCar Homepage for details.

New Spyker C8 Aileron Images

Producing cars inspired by aviation is something Spyker have fully mastered. Compared to a cumbersome and slightly overweight Bristol Fighter, the latest Spyker C8 Aileron is jaw droppingly beautiful. The latest shots taken in Italy obviously didn't take long to think up though. Sweeping cliff top road, check. Outside an Italian church, check. Scenic view, check.

Where are the vintage aeroplanes? The moody insides of a private hangar? The years of historical aviation influence. Mama Mia Spyker.

Still, at least all the air intakes on the sills and roof resemble mounted machine guns!


Are Volvos Cool..?

If I say "Volvo" you'll probably say and feel very little. Either that or images of yummy mummies in large SUVs will pop into your head followed by the dreary image of a school history teacher loading books into the back of a big orange estate car, wearing socks and sandals of course.

Volvo cars did once cut the mustard. Lest we forget the P1800 Roger Moore drove in the 60s TV show The Saint. The sporty roofline, the twin tail fin rear wings, this was a car with genuine style- a Swedish Mustang if you like. Following the 121, 122 and 123 models the boxy styling of the 70s took over and the footwear faux pas slowly began to emerge.

The brave guys at Vintage Performance Developments have set out to shake this stuffy image providing a service to turn 60s Volvos into competitive classic racers. Take a look through the highly detailed site, I especially liked the 200+hp P1800 vintage racer for sale. -Retro Image Site is packed with daily uploads of some of the coolest photography and period images I've seen in ages. Animator and part time photographer, Keith Kin Yan also seems to have quite an eye for a night shot. Visit sister site for access to his images, vimeo and flickr page.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Top Second-Hand Buys for Under £10,000

2001 Porsche Boxster

Considered by many as the definitive roadster, Porsche's mostly mis-conceived entry level sports car has a lot going for it. Excellent build quality, reliability and a badge to be proud of are just several reasons why Boxster ownership is rated so highly. The 3.2 litre flat six 250hp motor in the 'S' is the one to go for, but all engines perform well. Gearboxes, brakes, and suspension are all top quality items, whilst the electrics and fabric hood require careful inspection at purchase. The driving experience, especially the handling, roadholding and balance are in a class of their own for this sector.

BMW Z3 M Coupe

The BMW Z3 M Coupe has always been a favourite of mine and with prices now beginning to dip below ten grand, almost all of the depreciation has been suffered. The striking 'bread wagon' appearance did not appeal to everyone but you couldn't ignore the muscular rear arches, increased rigidity over the Roadster and practical boot. Sold in the UK with the E36 M3's 3.2 litre straight six, the little two seater coupe had 315hp to play with.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

ROAD TEST: 2010 Kawasaki Versys

Mark Forsyth from Visordown rides the latest offering from Kawasaki, the 600cc twin with big travel, big ugly looks and with even bigger ambitions.

Basically a jacked up ER-6 the Versys is exactly what it says on the tin, a versatile, comfortable everyday hack and there's nothing wrong with that.

Read the full road test at Visordown.

A Very British Motor Show At Goodwood

PH at Goodwood last year

Goodwood is to host the 2010 British Motor Show according to reliable sources. Petrolhead Lord March has apparently agreed to hold the previously cancelled event just one day before the Festival of Speed. Quick to respond, featured brand Alfa Romeo also plan to debut the Giulietta at the highly secretive event.

It is not yet decided whether public tickets will be available, but most prominent manufacturers will no doubt be fighting for invites, much unlike the last British Motor Show then.

What this new show will do though is glamourise Goodwood's hallowed driveway as prospective customers are rumoured to be allowed to test drive new cars on the famous stretch of tarmac.
Source: Autocar

Friday, 22 January 2010

Schumacher Back On F1 Track

Michael Schumacher is fighting fit for his return to Formula One racing in 2010. The seven time world champion completed testing in a GP2 car at Jerez and suffered no problems related with his neck injury caused by his motorcycle racing accident.

Driving for Brawn Mercedes in 2010, the German is clearly very excited about his return to top end motorsport. "It really is as if my batteries were fully loaded. My energy is back completely. I really notice how the prickle is coming, how motivated I am because I so much look forward to this competition. It is about time to start this whole thing."

The 2010 season is shaping up to be a real thriller with McLaren England v Brawn Germany and Button v Hamilton!!


The iconic V4 from Honda has been described as many things from 'as good as it gets' to 'positively sterile', but a certain Ron Haslam has his own point of view. Rocket Ron, who had misplaced his race bike, took on a field of factory race machines from the back of the grid, on a brand new VFR750 and came fourth! Incidentally, sales of these bikes over the years has been staggering, in 2006 Honda sold nearly 200 in January alone, this is the same story ever since its original release in 1986.

Once on the road this 13 year old albeit low mileage VFR is quick to impress. Finish and build quality are clearly attributes Honda understood in 1996, the classic black and white dials complementing excellent panel fit and precise controls. The NACA duct on the side of the fairing is fully functional, whilst also hinting at its racing pedigree, gives off an almost Ferrari vibe. Rifle-bolt gear changes encourage sporty riding styles although this pre-VTEC edition was the last of the carburettor fueled models and provides ample reserve for instinctive overtakes with no noticeable flat spots or peaks.

Smooth, torquey and with a seemingly endless power band, it just begs to be ridden and rewards smooth inputs. Sporting 105hp, the bike can reach 150mph with handling to match thanks to a clever single arm rear set-up and the low positioning of the engine. The crafted aluminium frame that cradles the compact V4 motor is very well made and once the tank is removed provides excellent access for maintenance.

The comfortable seat with removable pillion cover and effective wind protection suggest realistic touring capabilities and reliability of the V4 has been repeatedly impressive. The bike has an ability to simply lend itself to your mood at the time. Not a Jack of all trades but a master of many. What Honda have created is the perfect compromise for a keen rider who requires an accomplished speed machine, but needs to commute during the week, keep up with modern sports bikes at the weekend and visit the South of France for their holidays.

Bimota DB8 Biposto

Exotic Italian motorcycle manufacturer Bimota edge one step closer to the mainstream with the new DB8. Famous for matching existing power plants with innovative and industry leading chassis design, Bimota have done something very different with the Biposto.

Now sporting a pillion seat, although you'd have to be Kylie-sized to want to use it, Bimota have managed to retain the exciting chassis and bodywork design and blended in an Espresso of practicality.

Cradling an 170hp 1198 Ducati V-Twin motor, the Biposto (meaning seats two) uses cheaper chromoly materials for the frame rather than carbon fibre as used on the exquisite DB7. This in hand brings prices down to a more reasonable £20,000! I know, it's still not exactly cheap but Bimota ownership just got that tinchy bit closer. Now for Kylie..

Motorbike Near Misses- Be Careful Out There!

Riding a BMW GS on the motorway, what could be safer?

Early mornings are no excuse, see and be seen!

Just because you're in the big orange bus lane, doesn't mean people wont cross you..

This guy should have just simply played the lottery and gambled his house that day!

A comedy of errors, but the rider is half comedian too..

The Next-Gen Pagani Zonda C9

An updated version of the hair raising Pagani Zonda will storm onto the supercar stage later this year boasting over 3700 new parts, a power output of 700hp and an increase in torque to over 1000Nm.

Dubbed the C9 the latest Zonda will retain the 7.o litre Mercedes V12 but speculation is looming on whether any forced induction will be included. The new C9 will meet US crash safety standards and California's strict emission laws. Mr Schwarzenegger, breath a sigh of relief.

None of this seems that important to me however, because Horacio Pagani himself has confirmed the use of an ultra sexy carbon-titanium chassis. Materials like that ought to be illegal!
Source: Worldcarfans