Category Archives: english

[EN] SUPRAdose, signed by Toyota – of simply FT-1 for the moment

At last, it seems that Toyota is resurrecting the legends, and I dearly hope and pray that it won’t make a mess out of it – so here we have – the FT-1 aka the future SUPRA.

One of my childhood madness and most beloved products signed by the Nippon automaker, this “how-it-should-look-like” concept was revealed today, during Detroit NAIAS AutoShow.

FT-1’s futuristic design is signed by Calty Design Research – who’s also guilty for Toyota Celica’s design and… that’s about it in the sport class – they are also responsible for RAV4, Prius, but that’s not something relevant in our case, for the moment. Also the fact that the company is entirely American, it lifts a little bit from the mirage of this Japanese car… Oh well, let’s see where it leads, in the end, because let’s not forget that we are still talking about a concept car, not at all about a final product of what the new Supra should look like.

I don’t want to go deep into the details – there aren’t very much to explain about this large coupe nor any detailed technical sheets  – its aggressive image and sassy interior are leaving us the impression that this time is going to be something that’s going to matter on the automotive scene. We will see.

And as a short p.s. – FT-1 means ” « Future Toyota n°1″.

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[EN/RO][VIDEO] Honda: Happy to help, Mr. Claus

Yes, I know – I’ve said it before that Ferrari is helping Santa Claus to deliver its presents, but I haven’t mentioned the reason – Santa needs a new sleigh!

After many nights and endless nightmares, Mr. Claus decides to take a leap of faith and change his sleigh – after more than 500 years of service, the oldie must be put away to retirement. So he goes up and visit Honda’s headquarter, in the middle of the night, where a team of passionate engineers are  building a custom and unique sleigh, just for Mr. Claus.

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Chiar daca mai devreme va povesteam despre ajutorul lui Mos Craciun – Ferrari F138 , nu va mentionasem si motivul pentru care Mosu’ avea nevoie de ajutoare – a ramas fara sanie….

Dupa indelungi deliberari si nopti nedormite, cosmar peste cosmar, iata ca al nostru barbos isi ia inima in dinti si pleaca in cautarea unei noi sanii, dupa mai bine de 500 de ani in care s-a folosit de brava si credincioasa lui veche prietena. Si s-a dus direct la tinta catre reprezentanta Honda, in mijlocul noptii, unde o echipa de ingineri i-au pus la punct “cea-mai-cea” sanie, rosie si custom pe deasupra. Sa o folosesti sanatos, Mosule, si sa nu intarzii cu ale noastre cadouri!

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[EN][VIDEO] Santa’s red helper: Ferrari F138

Even Santa needs some help sometimes, especially when he’s in such a hurry to cover a worldwide huge list of “nice and naughty” – so Ferrari decided to throw a hand in and assigned  Marc Gene  to the job – he is this year’s Santa Little Helper, with his F138 in charge.

The video below really deserves an eye, so enjoy, maybe he will stop at your place also tonight, leaving you some car parts under the tree…

[EN] Honda – a new Fit, in 2014

Honda will release their newest Fit in 2014, during Detroit AutoShow.

We are not that full in technical details, but we do know that we are talking about a redesigned new Fit, as the press-release presented today. The Fit 2015 will feature significant changes regarding the general design and not only that, being set to offer more enchanted performances and fuel-efficiency compared to the old generation, courtesy of the newest Earth Dreams Technology powertrain.

Fit is one of the best selling Honda models worldwide, so we are keen to see what the Nippon company is preparing for their third generation of this subcompact-class car; more details, in January, on the 13th.

[EN] VW Beetle Sunk in Milk

You’ve probably noticed that I have a pleasure for wicked form of arts that are involving cars or motors… Anything related to it, for me represents another point of view, and sometimes a masterpiece.

Another VW, also from a Mexican artist – Ivan Puig – the first one was the “Beetle Explosion” by Damien Ortega , just the interpretation is different. 

In his work called Hasta Las Narices, Ivan tried to create the scene where a VW Beetle is sinking into a sea of milk, everything placed in a totally white room, creating a deep but also minimalist effect.

Odd, but in Art nothing can be called weird, just imaginative and provocative.  

[EN][VIDEO] Power me up: CR-Z by HPD

For the love that I personally have for this car, deceived by the standard motorization, but happy to see that some tuners are still trying to make it worth – ladies and gents, I present to you Honda CR-Z , official version signed Honda Performance Development (HPD).

The HPD presented the CR-Z at SEMA Show, in Las Vegas, last month and with a total output of 190 HP and 235 Nm torque, this version in particular makes the CR-Z worth, I mean it,  and it‘s the first time when HPD offers a non-racing package to a street-use car, making us very-very happy … At least I am very happy!

What’s the secret inside? Well, supercharger is the name, that “not-so-little” detail that makes the CR-Z to boost over the boring factory setup – I don’t need to remind you that at origins, this car is a hybrid which produces a maximum power of 130 HP.

The supercharger adds some adrenaline to the setup, but the hot-hatch feeling it’s given by the whole combination of elements – the air-to-air intercooler, high flow injectors, re-calibrated ECU, air filter system; the chassis was improved also – dampers, coil springs and the big brake kit with 300 mm discs and monobloc four-piston calipers, the clutch was upgraded and a limited-slip differential was also installed. The HPD version is rolling on 18 inches alloy and 215/40 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

The style changes are sleek and discrete – HPD front lip spoiler, rear deck lid spoiler and an HPD emblem kit. Like I said – they keep it clean.

All this modifications were tested on-track at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – and they successfully passed all exams. On the other hand, the price list is kind of spicy – almost everything I enlisted before is reaching 6600 $, adding also the cost of the supercharger – the price for this has not been yet listed by HPD. 

We all know that passion comes with its costs, for sure, but hell, if we don’t take time to enjoy our passions, our lives would be kind of stirred and… boring.

[EN][VIDEO] May the Air Forces be with you: U.S. Air Force Lambo Murcielago

Is that a plane? Or a rocket? Oh no, it’s just a Lamborghini Murcielago, equipped with a Reventon-style body kit and a giant jet thruster-like exhaust in his ass. I’m sorry, on his back… 

That may seem fast at first sight? Sorry to disappoint you, but underneath the hood there is nothing special than a basic Murcielago, wearing a cute Halloween costume on – even if you expected to see a giant turbo-powered Lambo, judging by the size of exhaust, well…

[EN] Fresh out of the oven: Audi Q1

Yes, you’ve read it well: Audi confirmed a few hours ago the Q1 as the new member of the Q family, starting with 2016.

After Q3, Q5, Q7, the Q1 is getting in line to become the youngest member produced at the Inglostadt factory, where Audi produces now A & B segments cars – A3, A4 and A5. Rupert Stadler – Audi’s CEO – stated that the new Q1 will represent a key component of the growth strategy of the company, a strategy that’s aiming a totally of 60 models until 2020, a big step if we think that right now Audi has a total of 49 models into the “books”.

We don’t have any kind of other updates regarding this new “baby-Audi”, but we will keep you posted.

[EN][VIDEO] Pirelli – The Calendar’s 50 anniversary

Released 50 years ago, the calendar from Pirelli was seen as a bold move in the year when it was launched, having some featured portraits of young ladies, kind of… nude. Well, not what we call today Hustler nude, rather a Penthouse ladies nudity and elegant sexuality…

Pirelli offered us a glance of retro look pictures with the 2014 calendar, using the signature photos of Helmut Newton – the iconic photographer that occupied the pages of Vogue magazine for many many years. This year’s calendar is something special, because it brings us the old feeling back – a little more about the car and the elegant presence of a lady rather than what we have today

The pictures were to be used in the 1986 edition, but the change was caused by the incapability of Helmut to deliver the photos in time, and the Italian company decided to use Bert Stern photos instead – the photographer who’s “guilty” for a big number of Marilyn Monroe’s portraits. So this year, for a special celebration, Pirelli decided to “spice” up things a little bit and dig for some little history – and that was a great and very appreciated move.

The Cal – as the Calendar is known as – was launched in 1964 and is known today as the most famous Yearly Calendar that exist on the market.

And last, but not the least, is the comment of Peter Beard, an american well-known photographer –  “The last thing left in nature is the attractiveness and beauty of women.

 

[EN] Tokyo 2013: Honda S660

We saw this little one two years ago, under the name of EV-Ster, when they all yelled “it’s only a prototype, don’t get your hopes high”; a few months ago we heard is possible to see it come to reality – and yesterday Honda released the veil from the mystery – S660, directly from Tokyo Autoshow.

I sincerely loved the EV-STER, when I saw it with my own eyes, last year, in Paris. Although this one is STILL a concept, I have no doubt that it will transform into a real and full functional model sooner or later  in the next two years. If not exactly this, something similar – Honda is missing a sport convertible car from the catalog, so they must fix this… I say.

Of course that at the Autoshow in Tokyo, Honda did not said much about the little S660, leaving us in a little blur. But we will live and see.

[EN] Tokyo 2013: Vezel, a new baby-SUV in the Honda family

Honda revealed the new Vezel SUV yesterday evening, during the 43 edition of Tokyo Autoshow, but unfortunately we lack the technical details sheet – the officials said that those details will be available later this year.

In contempt the fact that for the moment  they are going to deliver it only on the Asian market – the Vezel is interesting because, in fact, it’s not a completely Sport Utility Vehicle, but a new concept – I like to call it rather an urban SUV, because of its looks and size.  Honda’s officials described the new Vezel: ” a completely new model that goes beyond the boundaries of automobile categories by fusing together multifaceted values at a high level, including the dynamic qualities of an SUV, the elegance of a coupe and the functionality of a minivan.

About the Vezel we know that it’s going to be available in two options – 2WD and 4WD, will feature 2 motorization – both 1,5 liter, a hybrid and also a normal gasoline engine. The hybrid will be feature the Sport Hybrid i-DCD technology ( Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive), while the petrol will be a normal direct injection engine. Not quite sure about this last one, if it’s going to be a turbo or not,  but we will see later next month.

Also, here it’s a live photo gallery from our colleagues from leblogauto.com, directly from the event. 

[EN] Tokyo 2013: Toyota’s newest toy – Aqua

And when I say “toy”, by all means I really mean TOY. The kind that you can ride on the streets, indeed. Legal, of course.

Behind this very pink concept is the team that designed the new GT86, but to be honest I am not that sure how the people are going to react to this model in particular. Indeed, the Japanese  constructor lacks some Coupe-Cabrio mid-size models or even concepts, and this Aqua concept aims to be a direct competitor for the little Nissan Micra CC.

Technically speaking, Aqua is being a very “trendy” pink car (or maybe a green one), being powered by a 1,5 hybrid engine – that’s why I call it “trendy” and I use the commas also, with a total output of 100 HP. Cute, isn’t it?

[EN][VIDEO] World’s most AMAZING hobby

We are all different. Our personality, our ways of thinking or living our lives and even our hobbies are different also – but why? Because our passions are representing something distinctive, a particularity of  our personality.

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If you consult the dictionary, you will see that passion is described as “a strong and barely controllable emotion.”. If you ask me, passion represent that inner and crazy power you suddenly get and need to fight for that something that you believe in and you want to build. And you know passionate people, doesn’t matter the subject of their madness – in our article I am about to reveal you the story of Jose Manuel Hermo Barreiro – the man that spent 1220 hours in building the world’s smallest v12 engine – and no, I am not kidding.

The man – Jose – better know as ‘Patelo’ – is an ex-naval mechanical constructor, who has dedicated his time to a hobby that some of us may find it crazy, but where his resulted products are a work-of-art. He spent more than 15,000 hours into this complex but tiny hobby (you can call it addiction, I call it passion), but the way he talks about his realization reveals that there is more to than meets the eye.

Contrary to what he does, to his creation – Patelo is not a patient man: “I have no patience at all, I’m a very impatient person; I do this because I love it” – this statement reveals exactly what I have told you earlier, at the beginning of this article – where there is passion involved, the result is always amazing – even though it takes more than passion to  struggle with this type of project from A to Z, but as we can easily observe, he doesn’t mind…

You can watch the video-story below, the story of a man that still lives his life with passion and creativity, a man that we can only admire!

P.s. All his creations are not completely fully functional, they are not using internal combustion for running, these little jewels are air-powered, but that doesn’t matter that much, though.

[EN][VIDEO] Roy Lichtenstein for BMW – 320i E21 “art-car”

Have you noticed how some people can easily transform cars, boats, scooters into a form of art? That’s because imagination has no limits or boundaries, not in space or time… And some create a mixture between art and utility, ending with a perfect functional product. That’s also ART.

A few months ago I told you the story of Damian Ortega, with his two exhibitions – the “Beetle Explosion” and “Miracolo Italiano”  – a purely form of art. His result was indeed just an exponent, but what I am about to show you now is not any kind of exhibition or museum work – but a working-perfectly-functional-piece-of-art. But before, just a few details about the author – Roy Lichtenstein – one of the pop-art most wanted painters of the century.

Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York, he studied like many others classical painting, but he “drifted” really fast into the Abstract world of art, starting really soon to introduce also some different animation characters into his paintings – and I am talking here about Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and the list goes on. In the 60’s, his move was seen as bold and daring, and this is why his work was unique at that time. He did not stopped here, later in the years his influences were Art-Deco forms, actual plastic or metal hardware, landscapes, everything mixed into a single painting.

On the other side, BMW was not at the first strike when they collaborated with Roy, in ’77 – the first “art car” of the Bavarian constructor was signed by Alexander Calder especially for the French race driver Herve Poulain durin the LeMans 24h race, in ’75, and the list continues until these days. But the car signed by Roy in 1977 had something special – we’re talking about a 320i E21 Group 5 race car; when he created the car, Roy said that his vision was : ” painted lines as a road, pointing the way for the car. The design also shows the scenery as it passes by. Even the sky and sunlight are to been seen….you could list all the things a car experiences – the only difference is that this car mirrors all these things even before it takes to the road .”

[EN][VIDEO]Back to the Future, with DeLorean DMC-12

My childhood heroes are not Superman or Batman – I was born in the 80’s and grew up in the 90’s, where the main obsession was Back to the Future or the famous Knight Riders – KITT. Yes, those are my childhood heroes, and I am going to tell you a story about the first one – the TIME MACHINE – ladies and gents, DeLorean DMC- 12.

The DeLorean brand was born in 1975 by the hands of John DeLorean, former chief in GM. But the same person who created the magical stainless steel car was the one who killed the brand with his bad habits and great love for alcohol  So, in 1982, after only 13 years of “life”, the company declared bankruptcy, leaving the only model the company ever built.. orphan! But the DMC-12 was “tough” as steel  (because his was built using lots of steel, in fact).John DeLorean

It took 5 years from the original prototype – in 1976 – until the moment the first DMC-12 strolled out the factory doors.  Although the company origins were  American, the car was entirely produced in Belfast, Northern Ireland, because of the cheap labor they found there and not only for this – the British government invested (technically, it was more of a loan than an investment) around 100 millions $ in building the factory in Belfast – all this to create more than 2,000 jobs on a market where the unemployment rate was over 20%.  But unfortunately, DMC-12 was a complete flops for the DeLorean Motor Company, that went bankruptcy one year after –  in 1982, leaving almost 9,000 of actual owners “orphans”.

This car was planned to be something different from the beginning – designed by the same person who put his trademark stamp on famous Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint GT, Lotus Esprit – Giorgetto Giugiaro – the new DMC-12 was intended to innovate the automobilistic scene. Featuring a fantastic look, gullwing doors, aluminum-steel body parts and a central-rear engine, that switched from the original idea (a Comotor Wankel rotary engine) to another one, a V6 PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo), which lasted till the end of the production.

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But what’s special about the DeLorean is not the family or history, but its construction -based on the Lotus Esprit, the “little”  DMC-12 was built using stainless steel as a main material, to avoid the rust issue, everything mounted on a fiber-glass under body.  Another unique quality is that the DeLorean keeps the original unpainted stainless steel – that’s why almost all of them were grey ( i say “almost” because we have also the Gold edition – where the body panels were plated with 24k Gold). But this characteristic that was a “pain in the ass” for the body workers – it’s not easy to regain the initial form of the stainless steel material after a crash or bump, also because the body is unpainted, and the restoration requires great skills and experience – this is why John DeLorean planned to have those panels rather replaced than repaired.. But that was at the beginning, when John didn’t thought about bankruptcy or where his company was headed.

Stainless steel body and gullwing doors – two iconic features that convinced 9,200 DeLorean owners that this is the car built especially for them. Although the starting price was initially set up around 12,000 $ (this is also the origin of the “12” from the name of the car – DMC-12), the car was finally sold at more than 26,000 $, more than double of the original price.

Thus it’s a bold and heavy car, still looks like an UFO and still a rare one, the DeLorean DMC-12 keeps it’s own quelque chose – it’s own beauty and personality – doesn’t matter what happened behind the curtains, we must not forget we are talking about history and originality, and about somebody who had courage to stand up from the crowd and launched a different product on the market – and we must admire that.