As the over-hyped extravaganza of wealth, bad taste, bad driving and unbridled machismo that is the Gumball 3000 got underway yesterday in Denmark, there was one car on”grid” which looked like nothing else. It’s the number 73 car, run by Team Galag from Saudi Arabia (who also brought along a replica of Batman’s Tumbler). It’s called the Galag TG1, and basically it’s a heavily modified Nissan GT-R. However it’s undergone such a transformation, that from the outside the only giveaway is the GT-R’s distinctive roofline.
Now I’m not going to say the TG1 is the ugliest car I’ve ever seen. I remember seeing a Robin Reliant with go-faster stripes and three-spoke alloy wheels back in the ’90s that was probably worse. But that’s about it. The TG1 really is a prime example of the old adage, “money can’t buy taste”.
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Aston Martin today revealed a stunning new concept car which the company says hints at a potential future design direction for their vehicles. Unveiled at the Nurburgring, the Aston Martin CC100 Speedster is a radical, Spartan roadster which is clearly designed to spend more time on the track than on public roads. As well as providing a glimpse of what future Astons might look like, the CC100 Speedster was also created as part of the company’s 100th anniversary celebrations.
Inspired by the classic DBR1, the CC100 Speedster does away with basic luxuries – like doors and windows – and leaves the occupants exposed to the elements. But that’s fine, because that means the snarl of the 6.0 litre V12 engine shoehorned in up front should be easier to hear.
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The Indy Seven Roadster concept is a design dreamt up by the incredibly fertile mind of Swedish designer Bo Zolland. Zolland’s 3D modeling skills really are breath taking. Managing to look photo-realistic yet strangely magical at the same time. His specialty of creating retro-inspired concept cars and jaw dropping boat/sports car fusions has certainly worked for him. His portfolio is filled with a diverse selection of imaginative creations all rendered beautifully in HD imagery.
But getting back to the Indy Seven Roadster concept, the name is a bit of a giveaway. The car was designed to fit on the chassis a of a Lotus/Westfield/Caterham Seven, with just a few modifications. As such it shares almost identical dimensions to the Seven, as well as the same layout.
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Here’s one you don’t see all that often. A deer taking a faceful of bus and living to see another day.
The incident occurred in Pennsylvania, when a deer which was sprinting across the road got whacked full bore by a 10 ton bus. The animal comes flying though the windscreen, fortunately missing the driver, and falls to the floor of the bus before quickly getting to its feet and trying to make another hole in the side of the bus to get out.
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This year, as you’ve probably noticed from all the teasers, rumors, spy shots and leaks, the most important release for Mercedes-Benz was the new S-Class. It was so important that Mercedes chose to reveal it with a big bang at the Airbus A380 delivery center.
But this article isn’t really about the new model, instead it explores the German luxury triumvirate, revealing its impact on the automotive industry as a whole, and briefly touching on a particularly interesting and innovative segment. Continue reading ‘Teutonic Wars: Luxury Arms Race’ »
As a follow-up to the article a coupe of days ago, when it was revealed that cars from the 1980s were disappearing from the roads faster than any other generation. I’ve decided to have a look at some of the cars which defined the decade, and indeed are still legends to this day. The cars are in no particular order, and they encompass everything from supercars, to hatchbacks, budget roadsters to high-powered coupes.
If you can think of any others which deserve a mention, let your voices be heard in the comments.
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Mercedes today unveiled the latest version of their flagship luxury sedan, the S-Class. This is a big one for Mercedes. Get it wrong and BMW and Audi will more than happily mop up any disaffected buyers. Get it right and they’ll retain their crown as the finest purveyor of German luxury automobiles. For Mercedes-Benz’s designers and engineers it’s a delicate balancing act to ensure the new S-Class is filled with enough high-tech gadgetry and cutting edge technology to get potential buyers oohing and ahhing. But that it’s not too radical of an overhaul that the rich old men who normally buy these things get put off by revolutionary styling or overly complicated infotainment systems.
From the outside it looks like MB’s designers have earned their pay. The 2014 S-Class is hansome, well proportioned, and should please both newcomers to the brand as well as loyal customers. To my eye it’s a far better looking than its predecessor, which from some angles looked a little clunky. The styling of the 2014 S-Class is also far more in-keeping with that of the new CLA, and Mercedes-Benz’s new design language as a whole.
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HSV, the perfomance arm of the Australian automaker GM Holden, have just unveiled their all-new GEN-F lineup. It incorporates six different vehicles, based over three different body styles. There’s a sedan; available in either Clubsport spec, Senator Signature spec, or the range-topping GTS. A wagon called the GEN-F Clubsport R8 Tourer. And also a pickup, or to give its Aussie title, a Ute, called the Maloo which is offered in both standard and R8 versions (headline picture).
All the Clubsport models are equipped with a 6.2 litre LS3 V8, which produces 425 horsepower 550Nm of torque. The R8 badged models get a smidgen more power, with their engines developing 435 horsepower. The GEN-F Senator Signature sedan is fitted with the same LS3 V8 too, but in this car it produces 455 horsepower and 570 Nm of torque. At the top of the pile is the GEN-F GTS sedan which is powered by a supercharged 6.2 litre LSA engine which churns out a massive 576 horspower and 740 Nm of torque.
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For their latest concept car, BMW have teamed up with perhaps Italy’s most celebrated design studio, Pininfarina. The BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe is a one-off creation which will make its world debut at the 2013 Concours d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy.
The car is a follow-up to the BMW Zagato Coupe concept which was shown at the same venue last year. Same German brand, different Italian designers. And whereas the Zagato Coupe was based on the Z4 Coupe, the Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe looks to be built around the 6 Series Coupe.
However the fact the BMW Pininfarina Gran Lusso Coupe is powered by a V12 engine means that many people will make the obvious connection with the gone-but-not-forgotten mighty 8 Series. A car which in my opinion is long overdue for revival.
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That headline probably isn’t all that surprising to anyone with eyes. Which I’m assuming is most of you seeing as you’re reading this. The 1980s was a pretty disastrous decade for the automobile the world over. In the US car design had almost completely stagnated, with the big three pretty much living on the fact most buyers of the time wouldn’t consider anything that wasn’t ‘Merican made. In the UK quality control had become laughable, with the workers in the automotive industry spending most of the previous decade either on strike, or in the breakroom demanding more tea breaks.
Today what that means is that 1980s cars are (thankfully) headed to the junk yard at a faster rate than any other generation of automobiles. In a study conducted by the British motoring website honestjohn.co.uk, they discovered that out of the many vehicles which had been produced in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions, in that decade, there were some which were now down to their last couple hundred.
Honestjohn have put together a list of the top 20 fastest dissapearing family cars in the UK. Unsurprisingly almost every single one of them is from a British manufacturer. But just to make sure the story ends on a high note, they’ve also complied a list of the top 10 classic survivors…
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