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Thursday, July 2, 2009

2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster

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Press Release

All-New 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster Adds Open-Air Excitement; Features Power Auto-Lock Top Design
Nissan Z® Roadster Joins 370Z Coupe in Nissan Showrooms In Late Summer 2009

Less than a year after the introduction of the all-new 2009 Nissan 370Z Coupe – a vehicle that reset the bar for affordable sports car design and performance – comes its dramatic new stablemate, the 2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster. The seductively styled Z® Roadster offers everything the hardtop Z® Coupe does – and more. As in more classic open-air sports car driving excitement. More sun, moon and stars. And more refinement than any Z® convertible that has ever come before – including a standard automatic latching power top and Nissan Intelligent Key™. Also offered are an array of technology and convenience features, including the first-ever Z® Roadster-available heating and cooling ventilated net seats, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, satellite radio and advanced Nissan Navigation System. The 2010 370Z Roadster is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan retailers nationwide in late summer.

“As expected, the 370Z Roadster delivers an exhilarating connection to the air, wind and environment on top of the new Z® Coupe’s exceptional levels of performance,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). “But perhaps unexpected for a car this sporty is its greatly enhanced refinement and quality – as seen in features such as its one-touch, auto-locking convertible top and beautifully crafted interior

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The 2010 MDI AIRPod

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It's not every day that we get to drive a car that could change the world. Then again, maybe this car is just another bizarre footnote in the rush to develop zero-emissions vehicles.

The 2010 MDI AIRPod emits no emissions and runs on nothing but compressed air. Yes, it sounds like another one of those crackpot inventions, but we traveled to Nice, France, for an exclusive test of the world's only "air car." And here at the research and development center of Luxembourg-based Motor Development International (MDI), the AIRPod seems like more than just a bright idea.

If the air car and the technology beneath its bubblelike body prove a success, pumping fossil fuel into a gas tank could someday seem as antiquated as hand-cranking a car's engine to life.

The AIRPod

The heart of the 2010 MDI AIRPod is a piston engine that has been specially adapted by MDI to run on compressed air. The expansion of the compressed air within the cylinders moves the pistons. The engine is "fueled" by a system of high-pressure air tanks. Built by EADS, an aerospace firm, the tanks are constructed of lightweight carbon-fiber. Though the tanks are presently limited to a capacity of 80 liters (21.1 gallons) at 200 bars of pressure (2,900 psi), MDI plans an increase to 200 liters (53 gallons) and 300 bars of pressure (4,400 psi, which is actually substantially less than the 10,000-psi rating of hydrogen tanks used in fuel-cell vehicles) for the first production models of the AIRPod, set to be built by the end of this year.

As a prototype, the AIRPod we've come to drive is limited to a top speed of only 50 km/h (30 mph). The top speed of future models will be 80 km/h (50 mph).

With one person onboard and the car running solely on air power, MDI estimates the AIRPod's range at between 90 and 125 miles. When the tanks are empty, a recharge of air can take as little as two minutes (MDI conveniently has an industrial-strength air refueling station at its facility). The company says the infrastructure needed to build air refueling stations will cost only a fraction of that needed to establish a network of hydrogen refueling stations, the holy grail of the eco-car world. MDI claims running costs amount to only €1 per 200 km (a penny per mile).

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

1000 HP Club

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One Thousand Horsepower. It’s a number so huge that it boggles the mind. If you’ve ever driven a 500 horsepower car, you know what ridiculously fast is. Now imagine a car with twice the number of ponies over the hood. There really aren’t words in the English language to describe the force we’re talking about here.

On a select few automobiles have ever crossed the 1000HP mark. That’s four digits of horses under the hood. In celebration of the 1,000th post here at Houston Cars, please enjoy the exclusive, elite, incredible 1,000 HP club. You may be surprised at some of the names that are missing. Lamborghini has never done it. Ferrari hasn’t come close. Not even the fabled McLaren has cracked a thousand horsepower. Read on to find out who has:

2005 – Present Bugatti Veyron – 1,001 horsepower. Bugatti managed this incredible feat by using one of the most advanced, complicated engines ever produced.

Under the hood of this front-engined monster is a quad-turbo W-16 engine. That’s right, 1 turbo for each bank of 4 cylinders – and there are four banks. Sixteen cylinders, eight liters, and 1,001 horsepower. Un-f*cking-real.

2007 Barabus TKR – 1005 HP. Barabus Sportscars is a small automaker, and the TKR is their crowning achievment. The TKR uses a twin-turbocharged 6.0 liter V8 to create the astonishing horsepower.

Top speed is well over 200 HP, and 0-60 is in a spine-destroying sub-2 seconds.

Koenigsegg CCXR – 1015 HP. Koenigsegg, an impossible to pronounce Swedish manufacturer, makes some fast friggin cars. The CCXR is the most powerful of the bunch – good for a whopping 1015 Horsepower, when fueled with Ethanol E85. Sure, you won’t save the world driving this car, but it’s need to see someone use Ethanol for a worthwhile purpose.

The CCXR is powered by an exceptionally small engine for this bunch – a twin-supercharged 4.7 liter V8. That’s right – it’s the only twin-supercharged engine on this list, and has, by far the smallest engine.

2009 SSC Ultimate Aero Twin Turbo – 1,287 HP. Shelby Supercars ( SSC ) was able to best the world-famous Veyron by an astonishing 286 horsepower.

Featuring a twin-turbocharged 6.3 liter V8, the SSC Ultimate Aero chose to go with good ol’ American Muscle. And when the quarter mile blows by in 9.9 seconds, you won’t care that you’re down 8 cylinders on the Veyron.


All of these cars have one thing in common – they’re frickin fast. All of these cars also used some sort of forced induction – a given, considering the power they’re putting out. Only the CCXR chose to go the twin-supercharger route, with spectacular results. The smallest engine of the bunch, and it only loses out to the unbelievable SSC Ultimate Aero.

An incredible bunch, these cars. Hopefully more will join the fabled ranks of the 1,000 HP club over the next few years. After all, too much power is almost enough.

More powerful cars, Click Here

How Turbochargers work?

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The turbocharger, or a just simply the turbo, has been around now for more than a century. It was invented by Swiss engineer named Alfred Buchi in 1905 and was first used on the diesel engines of ships and locomotives from the 1920s. It was used on the engines of production airplanes from the 1930s and on truck engines from the late 1940s. But it only found its way onto the car engine of a production vehicle in 1962 when it was used on the Oldsmobile Cutlass Jetfire.

As a forced induction system, a turbo is nothing more than an air pump that is driven by the exhaust gasses of a car engine. It consists of a compressor-wheel and a turbine-wheel that are connected by a common shaft. The compressor increases the density of the air that enters the intake manifold by forcing more air into the intake manifold than what the car would normally ingest. This higher intake air density contains more air molecules and produces more power when combined with the correct amount of fuel. This is similar to the way NOS allows more fuel to be burned by providing extra Oxygen as explained by Ian. The major difference between NOS and a turbo is that the turbo provides a constant supply of extra Oxygen to the car engine while NOS only provides a limited supply.

You've got three options when it comes to turbocharging a car:

You can simply buy an OEM turbocharged car such as a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a Nissan GT-R, a Nissan 300ZX, a Nissan Silvia spec-R, a Toyota Supra, etc.
You can buy an aftermarket turbo kit for your car engine. Here there are many options to choose from. There are Garrett turbo kits, STS turbo kits, Turbonetics turbo kits, and so much more.
You can also build your own turbo system, which could be the best approach to car engine turbocharging as it gives you the option to build a system that meets your performance requirements and your objectives.

A complete turbo kit consists of the turbocharger as well as the necessary parts required to bolt the turbocharger onto the car engine. This includes an exhaust manifold, intake runners (plumbing to connect the turbo to the intake manifold), and can include an intercooler as well as cooling and lubrication feed lines for the turbo. When building your own turbo system, selecting the perfect turbo for a particular application can be a real challenge as no one turbo is best suited to all applications.

There are a number of things you need to consider when selecting a turbo. These include:

The capacity of your engine.
The number of valves.
At what RPM to you want the turbo to come in.
The type of fuel you plan on using.
The turbo boost you plan on running.
The amount of horsepower you want.

Want to learn how to install Turbo, Click HERE

Renderings: 2012 BMW 3 Series

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The next generation 2012 BMW 3 Series is still a few years out, but this does not stop the curiosity of the true bimmer fans. Our friend Giom decided to show us some renderings of what the next generation BMW 3 Series might look like.

If you remember, Giom is the same designer that came up with the really cool 2012 BMW M6 renderings that were posted on here back in May. I agree with Giom when he says that the next generation 3-series will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, so the styling reflects the current cues, which includes the CS concept.

The headlights retain its basic shape and the intake openings move to the sides of the lower bumper. According to him, this is still an area where the renderings can be improved. There are also lots of detail in the surface folds and creases, creating interesting reflections and shapes. The line bending upwards on the side is a visual helper in creating the illusion of speed. This ‘upward’ line repeats in the rear bumper.

Within the next 2-3 series, the final design will be approved by BMW and we will see which direction the will choose to go towards.

Well, I hope you will enjoy these renderings and feel free to leave your comments, suggestions or just a general opinion.

Thanks again Giom

More BMW articles, Click HERE