Jul 18, 2009

Cars & Coffee: Irvine, CA

Cars & Coffee Ford GT

Our very own Paul Salzman heads to the cars & Coffee meet-up in Irvine. Here he left us a little audio glimpse.

Listen!

Jul 17, 2009

McLaren Goes After Ferrari

 

From Motor Trend 09

By Angus MacKenzie

The on-track rivalry between the Ferrari and McLaren Formula 1 teams has been one of the most intense and hard fought in the history of grand prix racing. Now McLaren wants to take that battle to the streets. If surprise plans announced by McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis today come to fruition, within five years McLaren Automotive, the division of the Group that currently builds the Mercedes-McLaren SLR, will be a stand alone company building up to 4000 high-performance sports car a year.

Centerpiece of the plan is an all-new mid-engine McLaren sports car codenamed P11. Dennis gave no detail about the car, but it is a Ferrari F430-sized coupe. The P11’s design is the work of talented American Frank Stephenson, whose credits include the new Mini and the new Fiat 500, and stints at Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. It’s a handsome, relatively conventional looking coupe that appears to feature advanced aerodynamics, including a flat floor and movable rear wing.

112_0902_03l+mclaren_p11+front_three_quarter

Given F1 division McLaren Racing’s long standing engineering expertise — the team was the first to use structural carbon fiber in a grand prix car, for example — it’s reasonable to assume P11 will feature extensive use of lightweight materials and sophisticated electronic controls. While no details of the engine or transmission have been released, sources close to McLaren say the car will offer significantly higher levels of performance than either the Ferrari F430 or the Lamborghini Gallardo.

Dennis says McLaren Automotive has been working on the P11 for more than two years. More than 20 prototypes have been built and are undergoing testing. The silver-grey coupe shown briefly to assembled media at the high-tech, high-style McLaren Technology Center in Woking, England, will be the show car. Sources say the P11 may make its public debut at this year’s LA Auto Show.

One detail seems clear: the P11 will not be powered by a Mercedes-Benz engine. While Mercedes parent company Daimler owns 40 percent of McLaren Group, it will ultimately have no interest in McLaren Automotive, says Dennis. McLaren is seeking $370 million in equity funding from outside investors for a 49 percent stake in the Automotive division. “We have already secured commitments to a significant percentage of that funding,” said Dennis. “It is intended this whole project is run from beginning to end debt free.”

P11 will be the first in a range of sports cars from McLaren, says Dennis. Though he refused to be drawn on detail, a look at how Ferrari has expanded the F430 range suggests future P11 variants will include a convertible version, and an ultra-light, track-oriented model to rival the Scuderia. The P11 will also be a global car, and the company is already talking with potential dealers in the United States. “This is not just a new car,” says McLaren Automotive managing director Antony Sheriff, “but a new car company.”

McLaren plans to build the P11 and its variants in a new factory in England, employing up to 800 people.

 

The on-track rivalry between the Ferrari and McLaren Formula 1 teams has been one of the most intense and hard fought in the history of grand prix racing. Now McLaren wants to take that battle to the streets. If surprise plans announced by McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis today come to fruition, within five years McLaren Automotive, the division of the Group that currently builds the Mercedes-McLaren SLR, will be a stand alone company building up to 4000 high-performance sports car a year.
Centerpiece of the plan is an all-new mid-engine McLaren sports car codenamed P11. Dennis gave no detail about the car, but it is a Ferrari F430-sized coupe. The P11’s design is the work of talented American Frank Stephenson, whose credits include the new Mini and the new Fiat 500, and stints at Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo. It’s a handsome, relatively conventional looking coupe that appears to feature advanced aerodynamics, including a flat floor and movable rear wing.
Given F1 division McLaren Racing’s long standing engineering expertise — the team was the first to use structural carbon fiber in a grand prix car, for example — it’s reasonable to assume P11 will feature extensive use of lightweight materials and sophisticated electronic controls. While no details of the engine or transmission have been released, sources close to McLaren say the car will offer significantly higher levels of performance than either the Ferrari F430 or the Lamborghini Gallardo.
Dennis says McLaren Automotive has been working on the P11 for more than two years. More than 20 prototypes have been built and are undergoing testing. The silver-grey coupe shown briefly to assembled media at the high-tech, high-style McLaren Technology Center in Woking, England, will be the show car. Sources say the P11 may make its public debut at this year’s LA Auto Show.
One detail seems clear: the P11 will not be powered by a Mercedes-Benz engine. While Mercedes parent company Daimler owns 40 percent of McLaren Group, it will ultimately have no interest in McLaren Automotive, says Dennis. McLaren is seeking $370 million in equity funding from outside investors for a 49 percent stake in the Automotive division. “We have already secured commitments to a significant percentage of that funding,” said Dennis. “It is intended this whole project is run from beginning to end debt free.”
P11 will be the first in a range of sports cars from McLaren, says Dennis. Though he refused to be drawn on detail, a look at how Ferrari has expanded the F430 range suggests future P11 variants will include a convertible version, and an ultra-light, track-oriented model to rival the Scuderia. The P11 will also be a global car, and the company is already talking with potential dealers in the United States. “This is not just a new car,” says McLaren Automotive managing director Antony Sheriff, “but a new car company.”
McLaren plans to build the P11 and its variants in a new factory in England, employing up to 800 people.
Jul 16, 2009

Icing On The Cake

As I was leaving my parking lot in my building I noticed yet another Chrysler 300c. Of course it had oversized chrome wheels and limo tint. That was expected, but what caught my eye was the fender vents on the fenders. When did this get popular? What is this all about? Everyone knows this car doesn’t have real fender vents. It’s an American car, it’s not that sophisticated.

Not only does it look silly, it says a lot about the owner. What it tells me is that deeeeeep in your mind it makes you feel like it’s the Rolls Royce Phantom, but you’ll never be able to afford a 300k car. So, what you do is get a car that obviously knocked off the design or should I say it was “inspired” by the Rolls. It’s a front. Thats my non-professional opinion anyway.

 To be fair, when the car first hit the streets, it did look cool, even sinister. That soon went away when every time you turned your head you see at least 2 of them. Many of them even “customized” the same way.

Getting back to the vents as I’m “venting”. People please, take a look at what you’re doing. You’re putting non-functional plastic on your car to “improve” the value/look. That car didn’t come with vents from the factory. What’s worse is most are applied crooked. These things are purchased because the owner cares about what other people think. Well most people think it’s silly. I’ve asked.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What about spoilers and ground effect kits?”. Yes I have them on my car. Some cars come with them from the factory. These spoiler pieces get a pass because they aren’t trying to make the car look like a more expensive car, just “race inspired” as they put it. I have no problem with the 300c SRT-8 and it’s spoilers, but yes, I do have issue with the fender vents. I guess you can look at it like a woman with $80 shoes adding straps, fake diamond studs and rhinestones, etc. to make it look like a $500 shoe. I’m just sayin’. What do you think? 

mvp80077_4_ezr300.sportvent_1_d_1__ezrFV300-80046_ezr

Jul 15, 2009

Tanner Fousts New X-Games Ride

tannerTanner Foust is a professional racing driver, stunt driver, and television host. He was slated to become co-host for the American version of the motoring television series, Top Gear, on NBC before the series was cancelled.[1] He has also hosted other shows including SPEED Channel’s SuperCars Exposed, SPEED Channel’s Redline TV and ESPN’s Import Tuners. Tanner has been a stunt driver for films such as The Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift and The Dukes of Hazzard. He is a prominent competitor in Formula D, being the 2007 and 2008 Formula D champion and is an accomplished rally racer. Foust is the first driver in Formula D history to win back-to-back series championships. Tanner competed in X Games XIII where he won the gold in the rally racing event.

Driving Monitor

switched_gpsWhoa, I’m GLAD life was relatively lo-tech when I was a teen. Kids today have it bad, that is if they like to speed. The Speed Demon monitors your kids speed and alerts you if he/she exceeds the speed limit. OUCH!

Using software developed, and currently being patented, by Fischer, the Demon can differentiate between a 70-mile-per-hour highway and a 30-mile-per-hour residential zone. The device can also be set to emit annoying noises inside the car, pestering the driver until legal speeds are met (though Fischer discourages the function because it may distract the driver).

Other teen-monitoring devices already exist in the marketplace, but most can be set to constantly track the suspect youths, while the Demon only keeps tabs on their driving practices. Fischer, spurred to action by the death of a fellow Lunenburg teenager in an automobile accident, told Boston.com, “My device only alerts when you’re driving dangerously. Drive safe, and you get to keep your privacy.”

I think its an OK idea, but I can’t help but to feel for the poor kid who want’s to give it a little gas every now and then ;)

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