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.
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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.
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“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.
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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.
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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!
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Jaguar’s upcoming all-new car, the XE sports saloon, will make its world debut on September 8th at a special event in London. Ahead of its unveiling Jaguar has released more details about the car, in particular the suspension and steering systems.
Jaguar say the new XE will feature levels of innovation new to the segment, as well as utilizing lightweight construction methods and the latest generation of Ingenium engines.
The Jaguar XE will be built around an all-aluminium monocoque chassis, and include a front suspension setup derived from that used on the F-Type. The rear suspension is an integral link system which has been tuned to offer both dynamic ability and comfort. For the steering system jaguar has opted for an electric power assist setup.
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This striking creation is the work of XL Stainless, a Canadian company who specialize in stainless steel fabrication, welding and customisation. This particular car was an in-house project. It wasn’t designed as a pre-production prototype for some small-scale manufacturing run. It’s just a showpiece to demonstrate the company’s skills in working with metal – in this case aluminium.
Based on a rear-ended 1998 Chevrolet Corvette donor vehicle, the car was designed, and built, by the company’s boss, Warren Scaife. Scaife says the styling – specifically the front-end – was inspired by the Morgan LIFEcar 2 concept from 2010. The back end is a bit more of a mystery, although it apparently utilizes Mitsubishi Eclipse rear lights.
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Mercedes-Benz have today published all the details regarding their top-of-the-range model in the S-Class Coupe series. Called the S 65 AMG Coupe, the V-12 powered car is visually almost identical to the V8-powered S 63 AMG Coupe model. The tell-tale signs of the additional four cylinders, are a revised front grille, exclusive 20-inch diameter multi-spoke wheels, a larger rear diffuser, and of course the obligatory “V12 Biturbo” badging on the front fenders.
Powering the Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG Coupe is a 6.0 litre twin-turbocharged V12 engine, the same unit used in the S 65 AMG Sedan. It pushes out 630 horsepower and 737 lb-ft (1,000 Nm) of torque. The transmission is an AMG SpeedShift PLUS 7G-Tronic semi-automatic with three modes; Controlled Efficiency, Sport and Manual. The car’s top speed is an electronically limited 155 mph, while the 0-62 mph run is completed in just 4.1 seconds.
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Daimler may have killed off the Maybach brand last year, but this particular Maybach – based on the Maybach Exelero prototype from 2005 – looks like it’s ready to take the fight to the undead.
Created by the Jordanian designer Khaled Alkayed, the Mad Max-worthy Maybach Exelero concept features a range of enhancements which turn it from a 700 horsepower V12-powered luxury coupe, into a battle-ready, gun-toting, armor-plated sinister death machine.
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Following on from Land Rover’s innovative “Transparent Hood” concept from earlier this year, Jaguar/Land Rover have unveiled a similar concept which could be integrated into future Jaguar models. Unlike the transparent hood, which is primarily designed to assist in extreme off-road situations, the Jaguar Virtual Windscreen is intended to help drivers on the track to get the most out of their car.
The Jaguar Virtual Windscreen offers the driver an augmented reality view of the world by projecting images onto the windscreen which can provide detailed at-a-glance information about the world around them. It can, for example, provide virtual racing lines onto the windscreen and optimum braking points to guide drivers around a particular race track like a pro. It can also create a ‘ghost car’ visualisation to allow drivers to race against themselves on a previous lap, or against other drivers who have uploaded their laps.
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