Archive for the 'Cars' Category


V18-powered Austin Mini with 12 turbochargers

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The 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed is due to kick off in West Sussex, England tomorrow. The event will play host to countless vehicles with big engines and wacky designs, but the Cummins Austin Mini may just be the biggest and the wackiest.

Cummins is the world’s largest independent manufacturer of diesel engines. The largest engine it makes in the UK is the 11-tonne QSK78, used to power mining industry dump trucks capable of carrying 360 tonnes, was on display at a previous show and drew the attention of one mad-man who asked if it could be fitted to his Mini.

The rest, as Cummins’ communications director Steve Nendick explains, is history:

“We never like to let a challenge go by unanswered so we got to thinking maybe we could fit the QSK78 into an original Mini. It proved to be a bit tricky to fit under the bonnet but our engineers came up with a more creative solution,” Mr Nendick said.

“We’re certain that the Goodwood crowd will have difficulty believing what they are seeing.”

The result is a 78-litre V18-powered Austin Mini with no fewer than 12 turbochargers. Power peaks at 2 610 kW while torque is a massive 14 000 N.m, or 175 times the original vehicle’s 80 N.m.


Bugatti Veyron Goes Swimming in Texas

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The driver was distracted by a low-flying pelican, dropped his cell phone, and drove into the lake. What a jackass. Apparently, the quad-turbo W16 ran for 15 minutes before it died, which seems like long enough to make sure every vital engine component got trashed, and begs the question as to why the owner didn’t kill it on his way out of the cabin. Hey, at least it wasn’t an Enzo—they still make Veyrons. Watch the clip below to see this 1.6 million dollar machine getting towed out of the drink.


Batmobile Spotted in Sweden

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It took Leif Garvin more than 3.5 years, 20,000 hours of work, and 1 million US dollars to convert a 1973 Lincoln Continental into a Batmobile.

Spotted in Stockholm, the car features voice recognition, DVD player, height adjustment, and rear view cameras.


Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing

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The gullwing is finally cleared for take-off

The first official flight of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG begins this week, although it will not reach cruising altitude until production reaches top gear next year following a preview on the opening day of the Frankfurt Motor Show in a fortnight.

The German supercar is already confirmed with a soaring pricetag beyond $500,000 and now Benz has revealed the road-ready car and its full technical specification.

The obvious highlight is the upward-opening ‘gullwing’ doors that – like the front-end styling – take their inspiration from the classic Mercedes SL coupe of the 1950s. But the 21st century gullwing is a thoroughly modern machine with an aluminium space-frame body, a 420 kiloWatt V8 engine set just ahead of the two-seater cabin, 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloys, and AMG’s first seven-speed dual-clutch manu-matic transmission.

Much of the early talk about the gullwing — no-one seriously expects it to be called the SLS – is about the styling, from the unique doors to the fifties-inspired air intakes and the muscular way the body is wrapped around the wheels. But the GLS is an AMG road rocket and that means it is a genuine supercar with a top speed which has to be held back to 317km/h and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.8 seconds. In some ways the SLS AMG is a successor to the McLaren-Mercedes SLR, but it is around one-third of the price and is a full-on Benz production, not a collaboration with its Formula One partner.

The obvious difference is that the SLS is available in right-hand drive. So we have an allocation of 50 cars in the first year, in a total production run of around 1200 cars,” says David McCarthy, spokesman for Mercedes-Benz Australia.

One thing the SLR demonstrated was technology, and it was a step along the road to this car. The SLR was a joint effort, but the SLS is entirely a product of AMG and Mercedes, so it’s one company. It’s a demonstration, more than anything else, of what the company can do.

Customers are already lined up in Australia for the first gullwings, which are expected to land in the first quarter of next year and to feature at the exclusive AMG drive day held at Albert Park on the Australian Grand Prix circuit.

Yes, we are holding sizeable deposits on the car. We have orders currently for five cars and we think the biggest problem is that our allocation will not be big enough,” McCarthy says. “We do not have the final price yet but it will be competitive in the class. Companies like Ferrari and others make supercars, but we’re talking a production run of around 1200 cars and that’s pretty serious numbers.

Mercedes spent a lot of time ensuring the gullwing is both fast and refined, a major criticism of the track-tuned SLR. It still weighs 1620 kilograms and the seats are only 369mm above the road, but the seat backs are made from magnesium, there is a useable glovebox and a Bang&Olufsen surround sound system.

It is unmistakably a Mercedes. There is an awful lot of 300SL in the design, but it is not a copy. It is a homage, but it moves the history along,” says McCarthy.

When we specified the cars there were two items we’ve made standard – the fitted car cover and the trickle charger. It means the car can sit in the garage and be ready for instant action.


Glass Parking Lots in Moscow

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The main problem of drivers in any big city including Moscow is where to park, especially when you are in the centre and there seems to be no free lots for a few decades more. In Europe there are loads of parking paid space, and they even have special buildings just for autos. But here in Russian that’s not a tradition yet, though, it really should be. One way of solving the problem is constructing multistory automated parking garages, and Muscovites are about to make these glass buildings widely spread (of course, if they will manage to save up money enough to cover enormous expenses).

The most awesome thing about this parking garage is that it can have 34 and even more autos at a time on a space of a bit more than 100 square meters.

The construction is made of metal frame, its elements, mainly special blocks, are easily put on each other on the same principle as a kids’ construction set and requires no wielding at all. To me it looks more like a house of cards than a stable structure, too light and too shaky, but it’s just an illusion (I hope), as almost every wall there is transparent and looks airy. One of the major advantages of the construction is record-breaking terms of building, the project is usually implemented in 30-35 days or so and the site is ready for launching. Depending on its height (22-28 meters), the tower can have 6-14 levels or floors and provide space for a great deal of cars – from 22 to 54 big and small vehicles. The towers can be easily coupled with other one of the same type, be attached to apartment houses or administrative buildings as well as deepen into the ground for as many floors as it’s needed. Forget about the time when you had treed in front of you bedrooms, not it’s era for cars to be next to you window, that’s quite an unexpected thing, isn’t it?

Before getting into the conduction, you (if you are a driver) take a card.

You vehicle is lifted on interchanging moving pallets, which are placed on a lifting and lowering gear, which consists of a rectangular platform with a middle circle turning 360 degrees.

An operator can control the parking both on his computer and the sensor screen.

You get in and out the parking lot on the first level. On each of the floors there can be four cars at a time, except for the two lower ones – there can be no more than two autos. And that makes sense as on the first level there are located operator rooms, the automated firefighting system and the switchboard room, which provide safety and other important things.

The autos are placed on four sides, and the time for lifting oк lowering a car takes less than 50 seconds.

First, the system takes a free pallet, than lowers it and after the driver leaves his car is driven on it, the vehicle rushes high into the air – up to the required level and occupies a free lot.

The construction is heated and has a water-supply system. In winder the temperature inside the building is 6C above zero, when the temperature outside is 35C below zero. The platform can lift a car weighing up to 2,700 kilos. The first level is for parking off-road vehicles and minivans. On the right there is a diesel generator. In case there will be a power cutoff, it’ll help to discharge the whole parking in 30 minutes.

Once the driver pays, he can leave.