Sunday, May 15, 2011

2011 Canadian International Auto Show Concorso Exotica

2011 Canadian International Auto Show Part 3

2011 Canadian International Auto Show Part 2

2011 Canadian International Auto Show Part 1

2010 Georgian College Auto Show Tour

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ferrari Strides on All Fours with New FF

Photo Credit: Ferrari North Europe via Newspress


Resisting the market trend that has inspired other sports car builders to redefine their business with unconventional products (ie. the Porsche Panamera and the recently announced Cygnet microcar from Aston Martin), Ferrari's 62-year history rests strongly on their commitment to building pure sports cars. As Ferrari remains focused on their time-tested formula of building high-performance machines, the iconic Italian sports car producer opting against the word “redefine” has led dedication to “refine” through engineering and design.
Photo Credit: Ferrari North Europe via Newspress

Quite literally driven by the mastery of their race car construction, road cars of Ferrari have been perfected by Formula 1-style gearboxes. Delivering lightning-fast automated manual shifts years before the dual-clutch transmission was introduced by other manufacturers, Ferrari vehicles are always built to reward the driver with a nirvana-like experience behind the wheel. With power to the road transferred through rear wheel drive tires, an upcoming concept car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show gives future Ferrari motorist a possibility of seeing all four wheels prancing under Italian engine power.

An four-wheel drive, four-seater grand touring sports car design, the Ferrari FF vividly displays the Italian sports car company's relationship and mutual respect with designer Pininfarina in divine form. Sporting a front end with a low residing air dam, the Ferrari FF grille's long horizontal sweep reflects to the 458 Italia. A side silhouette of a long hood sails towards an aggressively raked front windshield on the Ferrari FF concept sports car before drawing up to the most unusual roof. Truly European, the efforts to make this Ferrari a true 4-seater causes a higher rear roof line. Accomplishing this, Pininfarina has styled the Ferrari FF rear window into a 'sportback' angle. While the rear roof dip appears sharp from the side, the Ferrari FF's view from the rear accurately shows off a supercar appearance.

Photo Credit: Ferrari North Europe via Newspress

Grappling the ground, the Ferrari FF shows off the company's execution of four-wheel drive technology. Weighing half of much as conventional four-wheel drive system, Ferrari's 4RM technology is funneled through the FF concept's electronic dynamic control reacting quickly to changing road conditions. Already demonstrated by the Ferrari's 599GTB and the new 458 Italia, the Ferrari FF concept sports car's magnetorheological damping system is set to provide optimal comfort. Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes offers performance-rated stopping power to the 3,946 pound vehicle.

A full four-passenger interior, the styling of the Ferrari FF cabin has yet to be revealed but some very interesting specifications paints an entirely new reality for sports car living. Benefit of the rear roof line, the Ferrari FF avails 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space to four occupants ride in the Italian sports car. Compared to the 2+2 passenger Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, the Ferrari FF immediately presents an improvement of 5.3 cubic feet. With rear seat folding capability, the Ferrari FF concept can be doubled for near utility vehicle space.

This latest Ferrari engine is rated at 660 CV (equating to over 650 horsepower) and 683 NM (725 pounds-feet) of torque production set at a high RPM range. Powered by a 6.3 liter V-12 gasoline engine, the Ferrari FF processes acceleration of 3.5 seconds in 0 to 100 kilometer per hour runs. Propelled by the 4RM technology, the Ferrari FF soars to a top speed of 335 kilometers per hour (over 208 miles per hour).

The FF concept is the second vehicle to be shown by Ferrari with the company's new HELE system. Standing for “High Emotion Low Emissions”, the smart electronic management system carefully moderates all electrical devices such as the engine fan, air conditioning and fuel pump to achieve cleaner tailpipe emissions. Said to produce 360 g/km of carbon dioxide, the Ferrari FF is measured at 110 g/km cleaner than the current 612 Scaglietti. The technology of HELE was first brought to light at the latest Paris Motor Show on a Ferrari California.

Photo Credit: Ferrari North Europe via Newspress

While many recent creations from the Maranello home of Ferrari depicts a forward look into futuristic supercar motoring with vehicles such as the HY-KERS Concept, the FF has received one valued trait; a production promise. Set to replace the 612 Scaglietti, 800 examples of the Ferrari FF will be marketed with a $300,000 US price tag.

Information Source: Ferrari North Europe via Newspress.uk

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Infiniti Etherea Big Ideas for Compact Cars




Years ago, there used to be general expectations for luxury cars with big and expensive garnering the most attention in high-society. However, in this new age of motoring, premium vehicles are judged with a much broader, more complicated scope where size no longer (in fact rarely) justifies a car's claim to fame. Seeing concept as well as production examples of small car luxury supplied by Lexus, Cadillac and Lincoln, the Infiniti Etherea design study debuting at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show furnishes other enlightening presentation to luxury vehicles.

Formulated through a simple brush profile which Infiniti released ahead of the vehicle's unveiling, the Etherea is indeed created with a small but enchantingly shape. Only about 168 inches long, the Etherea take a car form but echoes styling cues found on the Infiniti FX crossover platform. Given a tall roof line that helps maximizes cabin comfort, Infiniti clearly states that the Etherea is not a crossover vehicle. As a matter of fact, the Etherea is created as “four-door coupe with five-door practicality” according to the project leader and exterior designer Giichi Endo.




Thanks to wide positioning of the wheels, interior space of this Infiniti concept vehicle is spacious. Absence of a B-pillar means the Etherea is yet another concept vehicle which brilliantly presents the cabin through front and rear passenger doors opening in opposite directions. Seating for four adults, the Infiniti Etherea airy interior gives the driver a particular reward to the styling endeavour. Using a instrument display inspired by the Japanese word 'Hamon', the front passengers are served by twin screen in the center of the curvy dash panel. A third touchscreen is installed lower on the front center panel controlling functions including climate control and media.



Exhibiting a hybrid gasoline/electric powertrain configured in a similar fashion as the Infiniti M35h, the Infiniti Etherea main power is based on a supercharged 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine. Serving the front-wheel drive concept with 245 horsepower, electric assistance is on tap when the Infiniti Etherea is running at low speed or when the vehicle would need a power boost. A continuously variable transmission is used to facilitate the effort of movement.

Having previewed the direction for the company's mid-sized cars with the Ellure concept late last year, the Etherea is hinted to be an expedition into the production direction an entry-level Infiniti. Planting luxury into a more convenient package, a road-going version of the Infiniti Etherea Concept would be squarely aimed at the new Lexus CT200h and indirectly to the B-segment Lincoln promised by Ford. Separating their concept from the competitors is words of General Manager of Exploratory and Advanced Product Francois Bancon saying “ETHEREA is not a stereotype. It is a little bit borderline. It is an expression of identity and personality. It adds new values, as well as conveying existing ones.”

Information and photo source: Nissan Motor Corporation USA

Jaguar C-X75 Supercar Claws into Production


Photo Credit: Williams F1

The supercat is coming back to the Jaguar production line-up in the form of an innovative gasoline-electric hybrid. Debuting at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Jaguar stopped the exhibit with a thrilling concept supercar paying tribute to the brand’s 75th anniversary for 2011. The Jaguar C-X75 concept car was a flawless execution of high-performance potential while using 21st century expertise in hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain. For those afraid that British luxury brand would be blind to their own creative motivations, Jaguar will introduce the supercar to daylight.

Bringing life to the dream shown in Paris, the Jaguar C-X75 development is being commissioned to World Championship Formula 1 team Williams F1. The first time preparing a high performance production car, this is not Williams F1’s first time working on a non-Formula 1 venture. Williams F1 worked with BMW Motorsports in the late 1990s in the construction of a Le Mans winning prototype sports car. Paul Newsome is the newly appointed Head of High Performance Vehicles who has previously worked for BMW and Ford-owned Jaguar. Newsome was also responsible for the eye-catching new look being introduced for future automobiles from British sports car builder Lotus.

By entering their association with the Jaguar C-X75, Williams F1 becomes the latest Formula 1 link to modern supercars. After close association with Mercedes-Benz on the world grand prix grid and in the construction of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercar, McLaren has proceeded into the exotic performer class in 2011 with the MP4-12C. The storied links of Scuderia Ferrari with their street cars also brings detail to what can be expected from the Williams F1 team’s partnership with Jaguar. Though the decision for Jaguar to explore a Formula 1 partnership in constructing the C-X75 could be considered unusual, this practice of conducting external auto racing sources was followed during the production of the British brand’s last supercar, the XJ220. In the creation of the Jaguar XJ220 built from 1992 to 1994, the auto company collaborated with sports car racing team owner Tom Walkinshaw.


Photo Credit: Jaguar Cars Limited


Given form through classy aluminum, the Jaguar C-X75 concept presented the old and new styling identity of the British luxury car company. As the production C-X75 design is given a green light, Jaguar’s end creation should result in a fairly even technology transfer. Based on an all carbon fiber chassis, the production Jaguar framework must now be adapted to correspond with traffic and safety regulation. It will remain to be seen if the finished production version of the Jaguar C-X75 will retain the lightweight, under 3,000-pound composition of the 2010 Paris Motor Show car.

While the Jaguar C-X75 is preserving the looks of the concept car, the road-going version of the car will also share the plug-in hybrid powertrain principle. Running on zero emission electric power, the Jaguar C-X75 is rumoured to go a maximum distance of at least 50 kilometers. Unlike the concept vehicle is proposed the installation of gasoline turbines as a range extension, the production-based Jaguar C-X75 will be running on an unspecified internal combustion engine. A four or six cylinder engine using some form of forced air induction (ie. turbocharger, supercharger) is a leading candidate for gasoline power.



Photo Credit: Jaguar Cars Limited


One thing Jaguar is promising with their future supercar is top-notch performance. While the C-X75 concept car is quoted in providing acceleration from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.4 seconds, Jaguar is confident they can actually better the concept car’s performance through the production car. Estimates for the production Jaguar C-X75 mentions 0 to 60 mile per hour acceleration times occurring in less than 3 seconds with launches up to 100 miles per hour clocking in under 6 seconds. A top speed over 200 miles per hour is anticipated from the future Jaguar C-X75 supercar. Along with world class speed and power, the Jaguar C-X75 is targeted to produce less than 99 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. In comparison, a 2011 Porsche Carrera 4 is measured to emit 249 grams per kilometers.

With only 250 examples set to be built, the Jaguar C-X75 supercar’s production timetable has yet to be confirmed. A reasonable assumption places the first road-going C-X75 vehicles will be street-bound by no sooner than midway through the 2012 calendar year (2013 seems most likely). While manufacturing the limited run vehicle is not released, Jaguar has approximated the pricing of their supercar around £700,000 (translating to over 1.1 million dollars US). An expense prospect for plug-in hybrid motoring, the Jaguar C-X75 limited production will nonetheless allow all 250 cars to find anxious homes.

Information credit: Jaguar Cars Limited, Williams F1