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Saturday, June 7, 2008

2009 Nissan GTR - The Leg End Is Real

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In 2001, two years after the demise of the Skyline GT-R R34, rumors began to surface across the globe of a new GT-R being developed by Nissan's top engineers. As information of the new GT-R began to slowly trickle in (mostly rumors) the initial reports weren't looking promising. Immediately brought to attention was that the once proud Skyline name longtime associated with the GT-R family was rumored to be non-existent on the new R35. Would the removal of the "Skyline" badge spell disaster for the next generation or perhaps invoke a less performance-orientated vehicle? While rumors continued at a frenzied pace as Nissan kept tight-lipped on the development, another surprise twist began to spread of Nissan planning the use of a naturally aspirated 3.0L engine with an automatic transmission brought a sense of frustration among hard-core GT-R fans. And, who could blame them? The once proud Skyline owners and hard-core fans who relished the GT-R's monarchy within motorsports were stabbed in the heart by a shocking vision that Nissan relented to the pressures of the economy and developed a car that stressed comfort over performance. The new GT-R was looking less appealing with every rumor that spread.

The R34, known to be the last of the great GT-R family, paid a fitting tribute to the GT-R's 15-year dominance, winning numerous victories in the racing scene. The deadly combination of the RB26DETT engine, AWD platform and ATTESA E-TS Pro setup proved superior among Skyline owners and a virtual nightmare among those who dared to cross its path. In a fitting tribute to the R34, NISMO and Nissan developed the final production R34, known as the NISMO R34 GT-R Z-tune. The vehicle emerged in 2000 and was limited in production with only 20 produced in the world. Known as the cream of the crop within the GT-R family, the R34 GT-R Z-tune developed 500 hp from the factory and was brazenly dubbed "the strongest road-going car in the world." The vehicle enjoyed a short stint of fame before finally being put to sleep by Nissan-forever lost in the books of automotive history.

On Oct. 24 2007, all rumors were finally put to rest as Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. announced the launch of the new GT-R. Powered by a 3.8L twin-turbo mill, producing 480 ps brought a sigh of relief to the many who dreaded the thought of an N/A powered GT-R. Among the many GT-R enthusiasts and past owners was Shinichi Kobayashi, owner of Matchless Crowd Racing (MCR) located in the heart of Saitama-ken, Japan. Kobayashi-san is regarded as one of the top tuners among the Skyline community, offering his knowledge and services to Skyline GT-R owners who build everything from mild to wild. Perhaps the most infamous car within the MCR fleet is his red Skyline R34 GT-R. The all-purpose street machine uses an HKS 2.8L stroker and twin GT-RS turbines, propelling this beast to the tune of 650 hp. Kobayashi-san, no stranger to the world of circuit racing, is a seasoned racer who takes pride in building and driving his own demo cars at variousmotorsport competitions.

Nissan heritage runs deep within the blood of Kobayashi as he's driven, owned and built everything from track-prepped 400hp N/A powered Nissan 350Zs to 1,000hp Skyline GT-Rs. Kobayashi-san first entered the world of performance tuning and his passion of racing by wrenching on the Skyline known as the very first GT-R. The legendary KPGC-10 is called the "Hakosuka" in Japanese, which means boxcar for its square-shaped design. "I took my first Skyline to the track and from that point on I was thoroughly convinced that this was anything more than your average commuter car. I've owned more Skylines than I can recall but the engineering that went into creating those cars is just amazing. The R34's RB26DETT is an excellent platform from the factory but the great thing about this engine is the potential with a few modifications. From drag to circuit racing, all a weekend road racer has to do is simply add on an exhaust, put some quality suspension on the car and a set of good tires and he's clocking faster time than some of the more modified vehicles."

He added, "I've been waiting for the new Skyline since the first news of its release." Kobayashi-san says as he details about saving his money for the Dec. 2007 debut in Japan of the new GT-R. Within weeks of landing on the showroom floor, Kobayashi-san rolled into the dealership with $82,000 in hand and drove away with his pride and joy, a red (MCR trademark color) R35 GT-R. While spending time in Japan we had an opportunity to conduct a candid interview with Kobayashi on his thoughts on owning Japan's newest supercar. While the future of the GT-R is still too early to predict, the battle to break into the tuning world of the GT-R was evident at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon with MCR's top rival Mines Japan claiming to have the inside track on cracking the ECM codes for the VR38DETT engine. The official aftermarket parts racehas begun.

Friday, June 6, 2008

First Look: 2009 Porsche 911

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Rumors of Porsche modifying its iconic 911 for the 2009 model year have been proven true, with the German automaker officially announcing the list of changes made to the base and S models of the 911.

At the heart of the updates to the 2009 Porsche 911 models is an infusion of extra horsepower -- 20 more for base 911s with the 3.6-liter flat six and 30 extra ponies for S models equipped with the 3.8-liter mill, bringing output to 345 and 385 horsepower, respectively. Top speed on the Carrera S is now pegged to 188 mph.

The other big news is the addition of Porsche's new, seven-speed Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch gearbox, which replaces the Tiptronic S automatic. Porsche says that PDK, which was derived in part though its racing efforts, shaves 0.2 seconds off the 911's 0-60 times compared to manual transmission models, with an additional 0.2 second improvement in cars equipped with the optional Sport Chrono Plus package, which includes a launch control feature. Porsche also adds that PDK helps to increase fuel efficiency.

Thanks to the changes, the 2009 911 can now sprint from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds (4.3 with PDK and Sport Chrono), with the 911 S reaching 60 in a scant 4.3 seconds (4.1 with PDK and Sport Chrono), according to Porsche. The automaker has yet to announce how much the PDK will cost, but it will likely be similar to the $3,400 pricetag currently carried by the Tiptronic S.

Some exterior tweaks were made as well. Larger air intakes are fitted in the front bumper and new dual-arm rear-view mirrors improve visibility. Bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime driving lights become standard, with taillights and brake lights converted to LED units as well. Dynamic cornering lights become an option on all models.

Inside, the latest version of the automaker's Porsche Communication Management system -- PCM 3.0 -- which incorporates a new touchscreen feature, will now be standard equipment on all new 911s. Other available options include a navigation system, XM radio with XM NavTraffic capability, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod and USB ports, and an auxiliary jack.

Be prepared to part with a little more money for one of these 2009 911s when they arrive in dealer showrooms in September. Porsche is raising the 911 coupe's price by $2,100 to $75,600, 911 Cabrio and 911 S Coupe's by $2,400 to $86,200, and 911 S Cabrio's by $2,700 to $96,800. Progess, as it turns out, isn't free.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

2009 Audi A4

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Audi is on a mission to reinvent itself in the United States, and the 2009 Audi A4 is an important part of that quest. The company hasn't yet grabbed the entry-luxury market by the throat in America as it has in Europe. After spending about a billion dollars thinking about its stance relative to the Bavarian competition, Audi thinks it has the solution in the redesign of the A4, its best-selling car.

Initial impressions revealed nothing but good news. Even hidden under heavy camouflage in spy photos, the 2009 Audi A4 began to excite. It became obvious that the car would borrow many of its razor-sharp lines from the A5 coupe, like its aggressive flat face and austere Bauhaus lines.

Full Test: 2009 Audi A4
First Drive: 2009 Audi A4 Avant
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2009 Audi A4: Audi Reveals Powertrains, Estimated Price
2009 Audi A4 Avant
Spy Photos: 2009 Audi A4
2007 Frankfurt Auto Show: 2009 Audi A4
First Drive: 2009 Audi A4
Frankfurt Preview: 2009 Audi A4
Then the new A4 made its worldwide debut at the
2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. Audi's chairman of the executive board, Rupert Stadler said that dynamics, performance and technology would be the new corporate mantra. The company went further to proclaim that the 2009 Audi A4 is dramatically more engaging to drive, and is the sportiest car in its class. Audi is genuinely hoping to usurp the BMW 3 Series as the driver's choice.

Audi has good reason to have high expectations. The new car is built atop an entirely new all-steel chassis, which Audi calls a Modular Longitudinal Platform (MLP). The new design allows for the placement of engine and transmission a full 5.9 inches rearward by mounting the differential forward of the gearbox, which in turn allows the front wheels to be located closer to the nose. This translates to better driving dynamics.

On the topic of differentials, Audi has changed the all-wheel-drive system around, too. The company states the purpose of the new 40/60 torque split is to increase stability in low-speed corners. But the unwritten goal is, of course, to come closer to the rear-wheel-drive feel of offerings from BMW and Mercedes.

We drove the revamped A4 last October and were immediately able to spackle some concrete behind Audi's bold claims. We wrote of the handling as "a revelation," saying that the car turned in briskly and inspired real driver confidence.

If the chassis is something to write home about, the powertrain options are short of revolutionary. As before, Americans will have a choice of a turbocharged, two-liter four-cylinder in front-wheel-drive models (initially) or a 3.2-liter V6 for the AWD A4.

The grass is greener in Europe, where buyers can opt for three different turbodiesels: a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 190-hp 2.7-liter V6 and a new "clean" 3.0-liter V6 that makes 240 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque. We wait with the Europeans for the S4, which will likely carry the same 354-hp V8 of the S5.

With $3 billion and three years invested in a complete redesign, the refocused 2009 Audi A4 is sure to make our radar in the months before its release. And its new performance-geared promise makes us all the more eager to put it under the gun of our test equipment.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Another picture for Proton MPV 2009

Hi guys, I found another picture of this coming Proton MPV on the internet .
Maybe is still illustration but maybe it is truth. Looks very nice dude.