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Vote: Classic face-off - Luxury barges from the past



Classic face-off is a feature where we show you a couple of similarly priced classic cars from the same era, and you vote for the one you find most appealing.

In this round we have a couple of vehicles which at some point in their lives could have been described as fine luxury automobiles. Now however they could euphemistically described as "fixer-uppers". Just over a decade separates their production dates, although perhaps surprisingly its the older car which seems to have had an easier life. One is a finely honed German machine, the other was cobbled together by Englishmen toiling away with hand tools and overcoats. Both of them offer character by the bucketload. Continue




Aston Martin confirms Lagonda super saloon



Aston Martin has today confirmed what most automotive industry analysts and news outlets already knew, that the Lagonda name is coming back, and that it'll be mounted on the back of an all-new ultra luxurious super saloon.

The Aston Martin Lagonda saloon will be based on the company's versatile VH architecture which underpins their current lineup of vehicles - excluding the One-77. The car will be produced in a limited series, and rather frustratingly, it will be exclusively offered in only the Middle East market - or more specifically the United Arab Emirates. Whether Aston Martin decide the other markets are worthy of receiving the car in the future is yet to be decided.

The car will be offered for sale by invitation only, ensuring that only the wealthiest and discerning of plutocrats car collectors can take ownership of the new Lagonda. Continue




Hot Wheels Darth Vader Car



What do you get if you cross one of the most evil empires the universe has ever seen, with a fictional character from Star Wars? The answer is this; the Hot Wheels Darth Vader Car. I kid of course, Mattel isn't all that bad, it's been a full seven years since they accidentally tried to poison children with outsourced Chinese-made toys coated in paint which contained 180 times the acceptable limit of lead.

The timing of the release of the Darth Vader Car, along with more Hot Wheels Star Wars vehicles and playsets isn't just random either. They arrive ahead of the new Star Wars movie which is due out in 2015. But what makes the Darth Vader car the stand-out vehicle of the bunch is the fact that as well as the 1:64 scale model - which comes with its own lightsaber-inspired collectors care and commemorative box - Hot Wheels actually built a full-size fully functional version of the car. Continue




Retro Concepts: 1955 Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study



In 1955, Ford's luxury division, Lincoln, flirted with the idea of building a sports car. The bodywork of the Lincoln Indianapolis Exclusive Study was developed by the Italian coachbuilding company Boano. It was based on a Ford chassis, and the car's styling was penned by Gian Paolo Boano, the son of the company's founder.

The Lincoln Indianapolis was unveiled to the world at the 1955 Turin Motor Show in Italy. It featured aviation-inspired styling, stacked headlights, large lateral air intakes and a streamlined cockpit. It was painted in an extremely eye-catching bright orange hue and topped off with numerous chrome trim elements. Continue




Prefix Medusa Roadster SRT Viper Convertible



If you want a brand-new fifth-generation SRT Viper convertible, then you're out of luck, as it only comes in coupe form. But now Michigan-based automotive engineering and prototype design company Prefix has rectified this by developing their own convertible Viper.

The conversion, called the Medusa Roadster (Manufactured, Engineered, Developed in the USA), costs $35,000 - on top of the price of a brand-new Viper. Prefix say they initially have plans for a run of just 10 cars, each with its own limited edition badge. The Medusa Roadster was debuted at a special event for 500 Viper owners and enthusiasts who were treated to a surprise unveiling of the car. Continue




Strand Craft V8 Wet Rod luxury PWC



Thinking about it now, it seems odd it's taken this long for someone to come up with the idea of a luxury, high-class jetski or personal water craft. Generally speaking, if you're in the market for a PWC, you have the choice between the more difficult to ride but sportier single-person standy-uppy style, or the more common design with anywhere between one to three seats. Generally speaking they're covered with garish graphics and look like sportsbikes of the water. Nobody, until now, has offered a classy-looking jetski.

The Strand Craft V8 Wet Rod is a 16-feet (4.8 metre) long vessel capable of carrying up to three people. As the name suggests it's powered by a 5.7 litre V8 engine producing 300 horsepower which is connected to a water jet drive. Top speed of the vehicle is a claimed 65 mph.
Continue




All-new 2015 Smart ForTwo



Amazingly, the Smart ForTwo has been around since 1998. And whether you love it, hate it, or are indifferent to its existence, nobody can deny that it hasn't been a success and found its own unique niche in this world.

The car revealed this week is the third generation of the ForTwo, at the same time Smart also revealed the second generation of the slightly larger but far less iconic ForFour.

The styling of the new Smarts are based closely on a number of concept cars from the past few years, starting with the Smart ForVision concept from 2011, the ForStars from 2012 and most recently the FourJoy concept which was unveiled last year. Continue




Textron AirLand Scorpion - "Affordable" Military Jet



"Affordable" and "military jet" are not two phrases which are usually used in conjunction. But Textron AirLand Enterprises have just rewritten the rule book when it comes to military jets.

Firstly, as you may or may not know, the US military is still waiting for the Lockheed-Martin F-35 joint strike fighter to be delivered. It has been in development since the early 1990s, and to date is the most expensive military jet program the world has ever seen - currently estimated at $1.0165 trillion overall, and with a unit cost of between $124 million and $156 million depending on specification. The F-35 has been plagued with delays, engineering problems and disgraceful budget increases over the years. And just before it was due to make its international debut this week at the Farborough Airshow in the UK, the entire fleet was grounded while engineers try and figure out what caused one to set alight while sat on the runway.

The other US fighter jet which made its world debut at the Farnborough Show was this, the Textron AirLand Enterprises Scorpion Jet. It has taken less than two years to go from paper to prototype, and has a unit cost of just $20 million. The two aircraft offer very different things, the F-35 is the most advanced jet the world has ever seen is yet to see, and it employs the very latest and most expensive technology available. On the other hand, the Scorpion Jet uses already existing, tried and tested off-the-shelf components from a number of manufacturers. Continue




Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster



What you're looking at here is the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster, the fastest series production convertible to leave the Aston Martin factory. Mechanically identical to the V12 Vantage S Coupe, the Roadster uses the same AM28 6.0 litre naturally aspirated V12 engine, a powerplant which produces 565 horsepower and 457 lb-ft (620 Nm) of torque. It allows the car to accelerate from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in just 4.1 seconds, and continue on to a top speed of 201 mph.

Like its hard top sibling, the V12 Vantage S Roadster also uses the same three-mode adaptive damping suspension system which offers Normal, Sport and Track settings. It also employs carbon ceramic brake discs and uses the same ZF Servotronic power assist steering.

The transmission is a seven-speed Sportshift III hydraulically actuated automated manual unit which provides motorsport-style paddle shift changes. It replaces the six-speed manual unit used in the V12 Vantage Roadster, and also weighs 20 kgs (44 lbs) less. Continue




Ford Excursion-based JD3 Rockzilla



If you're a fan of military vehicles you can always go out and buy ex-army stuff. But if you want something a bit different - and especially if you happen to have a Ford Excursion taking up space in the garage - then JD3, an automotive design and fabrication company run by Jeremy Dixon based in Tucson, Arizona can help.

The JD3 Rockzilla is a monster of a machine. Available in either two or four seat versions, and powered by whatever engine came in the donor Excursion - either diesel or gas, the build time for a Rockzilla is approximately four months. Amazingly, due to the fact all parts are Ford, it can be serviced at any Ford dealership in the US! Continue

























Lamborghini Canto - What the Murcielago could have been?

Back in the late 1990s, when Lamborghini were starting to realise they needed a replacement for the ageing Diablo, they started reviewing design proposals from various automotive design firms. Zagato's offering was the Zagato L147 SuperDiablo, or as it was to be later known, the Lamborghini Canto. Continue




PZL-230F Skorpion - Prototype Polish Jet Fighter

The PZL-230F Skorpion was a prototype jet aircraft which very nearly saw production. The project was started in the late 1980s by PZL. The Skorpion was a compact aircraft, it had a single pilot, twin jet engines, and was designed to accept both Warsaw Pact and NATO munitions. Continue




Audi A 2.0 e-tron concept car

The Audi A 2.0 e-tron concept is the work of a trio of automotive design students. Inspiration for the concept came from a wide variety of sources. Continue




5 Concept Cars from the '90s which deserved to be built

Back in the 1990s there were many weird and wonderful concept vehicles. There were also some downright terrible ones. Gathered here are five of the best concept cars from the '90s which deserved a shot at production. Continue




ISX Enterprise - what a real warp-drive spacecraft might look like

Using the latest available information from NASA, and adding a healthy dose of artistic license, designer Mark Rademaker has created a series of images showing what the very first warp-capable spacecraft built by humans might look like. Continue




1930s inspired Polar Snow Crawler PSC-001

It might not look like it, but this futuristic-looking giant was actually inspired by the one-of-a-kind Antarctic Snow Cruiser which was constructed way back in the 1930s. Continue




ZiL-2906 Cosmonaut Recovery Vehicle

Back in the 1980s, when returning cosmonauts were sat in their Soyuz capsule awaiting collection, there was a possibility that the first person they saw would be driving one of these things. Continue




Top 10 Most Unusual Race Cars

Most racing cars follow the same formula. Fit a powerful engine in a lightweight chassis, cover it with some aerodynamic body panels and bolt on four wheels. But every now and then motorsport engineers and designers get a bit creative and try out something new. Continue




10 things you probably never knew about Ejector Seats

Ejector seats have saved thousands of lives over the last seven decades of use. It might not be the most enjoyable thing to do, but if you find yourself in a damaged or out of control aircraft, it suddenly seems like a very good idea indeed. Continue






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