BMW Gina Light Visionary Model
Innovative approach and optical expression of creative freedom.
The key to affecting the development of tomorrow's mobility lies in our readiness to challenge what is established and in the ability to present new options. In order to meet these objectives, BMW Group Design taps into the potential of the GINA principle (Geometry and Functions In "N" Adaptions) which promotes innovative thinking by allowing maximum freedom of creativity. GINA produces dramatically different solutions that affect the design and functionality of future cars. The GINA Light Visionary Model is an optical expression of selective, future-oriented concepts which provide an example of the manner and extent of this transformation.
BMW Group Design is not just interested in answering the question of how the car of the future will look but primarily wishes to explore the creative freedom it has to offer. Both of these aspects are affected by the requirements that future cars are expected to meet. All ideas that the GINA Light Visionary Model presents are therefore derived from the needs and demands of customers concerning the aesthetic and functional characteristics of their car and their desire to express individuality and lifestyle. The GINA Light Visionary Model has an almost seamless outer skin, a flexible textile cover that stretches across a moveable substructure. Individual functions are only revealed if and when
they are needed. With this model, BMW Group Design initiates a fundamental discourse about the characteristics that will affect the development of cars in future. It is therefore fundamentally different from concept cars, which reflect what is expected of them by implementing as many elements as possible in a future production model. In contrast, the GINA Light Visionary Model is a vision of future cars and serves as an object of research.
The seamless car body of the GINA Light Visionary Model.
Putting its visions of tomorrow's car into practice, BMW Group Design has developed a two-seater roadster with the unique dynamic proportions that are typical of its brand. The GINA Light Visionary Model takes the sculptural design that has already been established by a number of production cars to a new, unparalleled conclusion. The car's front and sides, including the doors, create one single uninterrupted, seamless whole that converges to form an optical as well as a structural unit.
In order to create this appearance, it was necessary to move beyond all previous conceptions of car body configuration, design and materials. Therefore, the GINA Light Visionary Model has dispensed with the usual body elements found on production vehicles such as front apron, bonnet, side panels, doors, wheel arches, roof, trunk lid and rear deck. Instead, a new structure with a minimum amount of components has taken their place. A special, highly durable and extremely expansion-resistant fabric material stretches across a metal structure. This new material offers designers a significantly higher level of freedom of design and functionality.
The body consists of only four elements. The largest component extends from the front of the vehicle to the edge of the windscreen and down the sides to the rear edge of the doors. The large side panels start at the front where the rocker panels emerge and run across the rear wheel arches into the rear. The fourth component is the central rear deck element.
An innovation breaks new ground: car with a flexible outer skin.
The innovation of a flexible outer skin breaks new ground in automotive engineering. This revolutionary solution opens up new design, production and functionality potential. It has a major impact on the interaction between driver and car and enhances it by offering a variety of entirely new options. Some elements of the substructure are moveable. The driver can move them by means of electro and electro-hydraulic controls. This will also change the shape of the outer skin, which can thus be adapted to suit the current situation, the driver's requirements and can also enhance the car's functional range.
The most striking example of this is the headlight design. In normal position, when the headlights are not active, i.e. when there is no necessity to illuminate the road, they are hidden under the special fabric cover. As soon as the driver turns on the lights, the contour of the front end changes. Activated by the metal structure that lies beneath it, the previously closed fabric cover opens to the right and left of the BMW kidney grille and reveals the BMW double head-lights. The rear and the rocker panels of the GINA Visionary Model can also adapt both the shape and function to the driving situation in hand. Both can change the shape of their outer skin to meet the driver's requirement for particularly dynamic motoring. This concept also takes into account a potential interaction with aerodynamic requirements. The design of the rear element allows for automatic lifting of the rear spoiler when a certain speed is reached, thus creating extra downforce on the rear axle at higher speeds. Due to the fact that the entire rear end, including the spoiler, is covered by a single sheet of material that reaches as far as the rear compartment of the interior, the homogeneous shape of the car's rear will not be affected by changes to the spoiler position. The mechanical system that moves the elements remains concealed.
The turn indicators and the taillights function without changes to the shape of the outer skin. Their position, however, is only revealed upon activation. The emitted light shines through the translucent fabric cover, which is permeable to light but not transparent.
The rocker panels demonstrate the formal versatility of the GINA Light Visionary Model with an equally impressive performance. The air duct can be optimised if required. A corresponding movement of the metal structure results in an adjustment of the rocker panel contour to allow for better airflow. At the same time, an additional protruding rocker panel line emerges. The aerodynamic optimization and the length of the line can be infinitely adapted to the driving situation at hand.
Special fabric cover ensures accurate reproduction of material folds.
The fact that the body surface is designed by means of a flexible fabric cover that stretches across a metal substructure means that the materials used must meet exacting requirements. Industrially produced hybrid fabric made from a stabilizing mesh netting support and an outer layer that is both water-repellent and resistant to high and low temperatures is suitable for this application. Another essential material property is a maximum level of dimensional stability.
It must remain dimensionally stable irrespective of the temperature and air humidity it is exposed to even after severe and constant expansion. The dimensional stability helps retain the cover's surface tension for a long period of time. The movement of individual body elements creates accurately reproducible folds in the material. In its choice of material BMW Group Design was inspired by exterior and interior architecture. The expertise of seat pattern designers working for BMW Group Interior Design was successfully applied in order to cut the fabric webbing to size with maximum precision, determine the strategic position of attachment points and stretch the material. As a result, the surfaces are remarkably well balanced and due to the steady tension that is retained between any two clearly defined points, the lines are extremely accurate.
The special fabric is supported by a metal wire structure. At specific points, the high-strength metal is enhanced by carbon struts with a higher flexibility. They are used predominantly for round, moving contours with a particularly narrow radius.
The use of large fabric areas and the possibility of changing the surface contours by moving individual parts of the metal mesh that lies beneath it create a new relationship between form and function. If additional cooling air is required, the BMW kidney grille at the front of the vehicle can be opened. Because the overall surface of the special fabric covering remains unchanged, the contraction
at the front of the vehicle, which is necessary for functional reasons, has to be compensated for by extra tension in other areas. The result is an optically attractive interaction between various body parts that introduces a new dimension to sculptural design. The widening of the kidney grille openings is activated by a movement of the metal mesh in the front area of the side panels. This creates more tension, which becomes visible by the emergence of an additional character line. The development of this new contour tenses the front of the vehicle: the kidney grille opens up.
Innovative body structure introduces new functional dimensions.
The high-precision fit of the material to the metal mesh also allows surface changes without slackening the tension. In this case, opening of the surface by moving the respective steel mesh struts creates precisely defined folds in the material. The GINA Light Visionary Model uses this option to display a function that corresponds to the opening of the hood in conventional vehicles. The material opens at the centre of the engine cover and can be folded to the far right and left along an opening line that is approximately 0.5 meters long, to allow the driver or mechanic access to the service points in the engine.
The filler caps of the engine oil, cooling and wiper water tanks are now open for servicing. Opening and closing is similar to the mechanism on a doctor's traditional medical bag, where clip-lock fasteners are held together in the middle by a rail.
The effect of the accurate surface material draping is even more impressive when the doors are opened. They swing both outwards and upwards. The high number of attachment points for the fabric cover positioned at the front of the car as well as at rear door edges creates a clearly defined and perfectly reproducible bulk of material. The draping is confined to the area between the front door edge and the side panel. Once the doors are closed, the folds in material disappear completely, leaving a perfectly smooth, stretched material surface.
The interior: discourse between driver and vehicle.
In the interior, variability, form and function are united in an inseparable connection. Whenever selected functions are accessed, the driver also changes the appearance of individual car elements. Again, the car's variability is adapted to suit the driver's needs. This creates a close interaction between driver and car in various different situations.
When the car is parked, the steering wheel and the round instruments - rev counter, speedometer and fuel gauge, which are vertically arranged on the centre console, are in idle position. This provides the driver with maximum comfort upon entering the car. Likewise, the seat only assumes its optimised functional position and shape if and when the driver sits down on it.
At that point, the headrest, previously firmly integrated into the seat's backrest, rises up automatically. At the same time, the steering wheel moves towards the driver and the instrument panel moves in the same direction. The information on the best driver-specific position of both steering column and seat is stored in the transducer. The engine is started simply by pushing the start/stop button. The smooth transition of interior and exterior that is typical of BMW convertibles is reinterpreted by the GINA Light Visionary Model. The fabric that covers the rear deck runs into the interior and stretches across the driver and front passenger seats. The same material is also used for the surface design of the door trim and armrests. The shift lever in the centre console protrudes from tightly stretched textile bellows.
Driver and front seat passenger look out through a steeply inclined windscreen with the inside rear view mirror integrated into its frame. The side view mirrors are connected to the window frame. A narrow vertical dividing bar located at the center of the windscreen harks back to the typical windscreen division of traditional roadsters.
Innovative thinking put into practice: the GINA Light Visionary Model.
With the GINA Light Visionary Model, BMW Group Design focuses on
a wide variety of issues that will determine the future conception of mobility.
It demonstrates the results of intense research into design, functionality, material and production. All ideas that have been put into practice in the
GINA Light Visionary Model are derived from the same motivation: to challenge conventional and previously pursued solutions. The quest for alternative options has generated a wide variety of different requirements that potential solutions are expected to meet. The main focus is on providing general versatility and catering to customer requirements with sophisticated solutions. In accordance with the GINA principle, every functionality enhancement helps to create an emotional bond between the driver and their car. The new solutions also allow for the option of fast, flexible and cost-efficient production.
Every innovation demonstrated by the GINA Light Visionary Model also contributes to a clearly optimised resource management. As the quest for sustainability is one of the central issues of the GINA philosophy, new materials and manufacturing processes are expected to consume less resources and energy than previous solutions. Accordingly, the infrastructure used for manufacturing cars that are built in compliance with the GINA principle, has also changed. The manufacturing process requires fewer model-specific tools, and more highly-qualified skilled specialists. In all the areas referred to above, the GINA Light Visionary Model has provided inspiration for more intense research into ideas conceived as a result of maximum creative freedom.
Emotional appeal of roadster models and visionary prospect of future cars.
The solutions conceived as part of this philosophy are not considered separately, but have been pooled in an integrating vision - a vision that is expressed in the context of an outstanding, fascinating car. The basic features of a roadster with its eight-cylinder combustion engine below a stretched front that applies motive power to the rear wheels in order to move the car along the road defines this context. The synthesis of elementary visions and sheer driving pleasure expressed by the appearance of the GINA Light Visionary Model has a particu-larly striking emotional impact. Only the particular appearance of a fascinating car with its authentic design that creates a natural aesthetic look can bring to light the significance of the presented innovations.
The GINA Light Visionary Model builds a bridge between vision and reality by presenting a number of features with a striking similarity with those found on production vehicles. The Roadster rests on 20" alloy wheels in a cross-spoke design with a matt silver finish. The car body is comprised of an exceptionally light aluminum space frame. Two double tailpipes for the rear exhaust system,
a third brake light integrated into the height-adjustable rear spoiler, an air splitter at the front and a rear-end diffuser in a carbon design also meet the standards of a production vehicle.
Nevertheless, the GINA Light Visionary Model retains its character as an object of research. It demonstrates the innovative force of BMW Group Design and its ability to challenge what is established, to find new solutions and to interpret these in the context of the car of the future at a high aesthetic level. This car is the logical continuation of the GINA principle in action. The GINA principle has already led to a variety of innovative concepts and has production vehicles in ways that are completely new and unprecedented by any other car manufacturer.
BMW Group Design uses concept cars such as the BMW concept car CS1 of 2002 as a step on the way towards putting a particular vision into practice. The CS1 was the first to present features such as the basic principle of the innovative control system - the BMW iDrive. Independently from all other innovative features shown by this concept car, the iDrive has become a series production feature. Similarly, the GINA principle gave rise to an innovative manufacturing method that allows the manufacturers to decorate outer skin components that have been preformed by conventional methods with individually configured, high-precision contour lines prior to their reintegration into the manufacturing process. The Rapid Manufacturing method utilized for this process was first used during the production of hoods for the BMW Z4 M Roadster and the BMW Z4 M Coupé. In these models, the finished hood has received two distinctive contour lines prior to painting. These are not produced by a pressing tool but embossed into the metal with pin-point precision by a robot-guided steel pin.
Both examples illustrate the challenging route from a vision to a concept and to final series production that is not always straight and direct. With the GINA Light Visionary Model, BMW Group Design shows where this route begins. Not all innovations shown by the GINA Light Visionary Model will pro-ceed to the next stages. In its entirety, however, the visionary look into the future shows the extent to which the BMW Group employs creative potential in its endeavor to respond to the challenges of tomorrow's mobility.
When it was created in 1972, the SP1 and SP2 were considered the most beautiful Volkswagen of their times.
At at time that the national automobile market is now rising, why not develop a special VW sportscar re-design?
Although this is a mere design exercise, the idea of a modern Brazilian sportscar from VW such as SP2 would be a great idea if it ever managed to make it to production lines.
Arash AF10 2009
THE AF-10: Unique Features:AF10 features an advanced road car aerodynamic package.
The package includes a radical front wing separated from the main front body clam and strong air intake side pods.
These features have taken influences from Lemans racing cars and F1 cars, however perform specific functions for the overall performance of the car. Split radiators have been used for the front and Oil radiators have been postioned in the side pods including air intakes. Active front and rear wings have been used to achieve an overall impressive aeropackage for high speed stability and low speed grip. The position of the front wing is unique to the current car industry today and is a ‘signiture’ to the Arash Cars family.
The 7 litre GM unit has been used for the AF10. Final power output is estimated at 550bhp at 6000rpm. The unit has been specifically chosen due to excellent supply of parts and backup from GM Uk and its reliable emission compliant power delivery. Servicing is minimal due to the unstressed nature of the engine as well as ease of installation into the AF-10 chassis.
Grazianno Trasmissioni have been chosen as the supplier of gearboxes due to the reliable power handling and good supply chain for transmissions to the UK. The transaxle unit can be found in many high level OE cars today.
Full carbon and steel frame chassis with steel front and rear crash structures and cradles. The chassis has been designed with kpi angles to achieve sports car feel but supercar presence. All wishbones are double format and have steel tubular structures. All uprights are internally designed to fit AP racing 6 pot carbon ceramic discs and callipers.
All carbon fibre with honeycomb and nomex sandwiches have been used to achieve weight reductions and built in stiffness advantages. All bodywork is hand laid up and cured at the Arash Cars facility in Cambridge. Strict quality control is carried out without the need for x-ray inspection.
All manufacturing of main components will be carried out in Sawston due to such low volumes of cars being released to the market. An estimated 25 cars will be manufactured per year with a small number being delivered to the US market in LHD format. Outsourcing for machining and main OE parts will still be maintained, however a need to manufacture chassis and body components are essential to achieve control and quality control.
Price: £172,000. Inclusive of VAT.
Full carbon body.
Carbon and steel chassis.
V8 7 Litre GM Engine. Titanium Conrods, dry sump with cooling.
550bhp at 6000rpm.
6 speed manual Grazianno transmission.
19 inch wheel standard 21 inch as per picture option.
Supercharged version to be released at later date 850bhp (AF10-S).
Full leather interior.
Lift up dihedral doors.
Full warranty and roadside assistance.
Full lifetime body warranty.
0-60 in 3.4 seconds.
Top speed 204 mph.
Active front and rear wings.
Full aero wind tunnel tested aero package with full underfloor aero system.
Standard sat nav, mp3 player, rear view camera fully integrated touchscreen
Full air con pack.
4.4 m long 2m wide.
Wheel base 2690.
Lamborghini donates the new “Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia” to the Italian State Police
Sant’Agata Bolognese, October , 2008 – a private ceremony was held today at the Viminale Palace where Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. donated a police version of the company’s newest super sports car, Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia, to the head of the Italian State Police, Prefect Antonio Manganelli.
The new Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia, which replaces the previous Gallardo in use by the Italian police force since 2004, has a 560 horsepower engine that can reach speeds of up to 203 mph. The car will begin service with the Lazio Highway Police Department in order to continue accident and crime prevention to sustain security on the Italian roads.
Proof of outstanding reliability
Its predecessor is proof of Lamborghini’s outstanding product quality. Since 2004, Rome’s police force has had the first-generation Gallardo in regular police service. The sports car has clocked nearly 87,000 miles of patrol duty on the motorways of central and southern Italy, as well as on emergency medical transport detail.
A second Gallardo, painted in blue and white police colors, has been in service around Bologna, Italy since 2005. Its odometer already shows more than 62,000 miles. Aside from regular servicing, neither of the super sports cars has required major repairs.
In addition to the clearly effective deterrent offered by the presence and visibility of a Lamborghini on the highway, the technological equipment on board these vehicles makes them highly effective in the control of hazardous behaviour on the roads (high speeds, driving in the emergency lane, dangerous over-taking); the automatic recognition of number plate tracking and real-time transmission of images to the control rooms.
High-tech video system with real-time retrieval
The cabin of the super sports car is fitted with the latest advancements in police technology to immediately document the evidence of any transgression. The video system is positioned in the center of the cabin with a camera fitted next to the rear view mirror and a computer and recording equipment behind the seats. As soon as police officers discover a suspicious driver, they activate the “Proof Video Data System.” With the help of GPS data, the device can calculate the location, direction of movement and speed of the Lamborghini. This combined with the distance and time before intercept, accurately determines the speed of the vehicle being pursued.
Using radio data transmission, the video system in the Gallardo Polizia transfers its images in real time to the relevant police station. There, the videos are stored and used for automatic number plate retrieval. This information can be used for immediate identification of stolen vehicles.
The “classic” array of police equipment on board too
In addition to its high tech equipment, the Gallardo is also fitted with the “classic” array of police equipment, such as a gun holster, police radio equipment and the “Paletta,” the traditional hand-held stop sign used to advise motorists and traffic offenders to pull over. Officers can then use a removable screen to show offenders their misdeeds immediately, complete with an overlay of all the associated data.
Rapid response in medical emergencies
The Lamborghini is used regularly for urgent medical transportation too. The luggage compartment in the front of the vehicle is equipped with a specialized refrigeration system for safe transportation of donor organs. For extreme emergencies, there is also a defibrillator used to restore a normal heart rhythm to patients by delivering an electrical shock to the heart to stop massive cardiac arrhythmia or ventricular fibrillation, and thus save lives.
The 30 police officers permitted to drive the Gallardo Polizia receive special training in the use of the Gallardo’s medical equipment. Each person on the special operations team – which includes three women – has undertaken several days of driver training with Lamborghini, under the leadership of the Lamborghini test drivers. The basis of trouble-free everyday operation is the exceptional safety of the Gallardo LP560-4 with its permanent all-wheel drive and its refined chassis, which maintains stability even at the highest speeds. Lamborghini’s extremely high standards for product quality and reliability ensure that the Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia is always ready for duty.
Even the blue light is designed for speed
Now the successor is ready – a new generation Gallardo LP560-4 with the very latest in special equipment. The Lamborghini wears its uniform with pride, painted in accordance with requirements in “blu Polizia” – whereby the white stripes and lettering follow the Gallardo’s dynamic design angles. Its main patrol beat will once again be central and southern Italy, primarily on the motorway between Salerno and Reggio Calabria.
The police beacon on the roof of the Gallardo had to be aerodynamically optimized being that the new police car reaches a considerably higher top speed than regular service vehicles.. Despite the extremely flat construction of the signal lighting, blue LEDs are fitted round the base to ensure the visual signal cannot be missed. The roof-mounted lighting is supported by further blue LED signals on the front, sides and rear of the light’s aluminium shell. A total of four sirens integrated into the front and rear of the Gallardo generate unmistakable audible warning signals.
On duty even in New York
Just like its predecessor, the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia is destined to be not only the fastest, but also the most famous police car – even beyond Italian borders.
The Italian State Police uniform, and the unquestionable attraction of the Lamborghini brand, continue to arouse curiosity and interest. Thousands of citizens have the possibility to see the car for themselves during the many events organized to promote the vehicles in use.
Alongside its daily operational duties, the Gallardo also has regular public appearance obligations, such as its role as parade leader every year in Rome’s traditional “Festa di Polizia,” or its escort responsibilities at events with historical vehicles, like the Targa Florio and the Milan – San Remo Rally. Its predecessor even represented the Italian police in New York City at the 2005 “Columbus Day” parade.
Auburn Hills, Mich., 2008 The Dodge Challenger Targa is a full-blown competition car that raced and completed the infamous Targa Newfoundland race this year. “Samantha” started life as a Mopar Challenger drag race package car. Many features were borrowed from the Dodge Viper, but the most noticeable is the snakeskin green paint. To keep the front end down, a Mopar chin spoiler "Splats“ developed in a full scale wind tunnel, was added to the front of the car. Mopar gauges keep a close eye on the vital signs. The Mopar hood is equipped with a scoop to make room for the 540-horsepower, 490 lb. ft. of torque, 392 HEMI® V-8 Mopar crate motor. Mated to a Tremec six-speed manual gearbox, the engine blasts power to the rear wheels through a production 2009 modified gear ratio in the rear end. An abundance of fade resistant stopping power comes from Stop-Tech brakes. Up front, the six-piston calipers clamp 380-millimetre rotors, while in the rear, four-pot calipers work with 355-mm rotors. Developed by KW, the race suspension and brake upgrades came from a proven hero — the Dodge Viper ACR, which just broke the production car lap record at the world-renown Nurburgring in Germany. With only a few exceptions, the Dodge Challenger Targa was built using parts available through Mopar.
Chevrolet Volt Leads General Motors Into Its Second Century
DETROIT - General Motors launched its next 100 years today by unveiling the much-anticipated production version of the Chevrolet Volt - a vehicle that delivers up to 40 miles of gasoline- and emissions-free electric driving, with the extended-range capability of hundreds of additional miles.
"Revealing the production version of the Chevy Volt is a great way to open our second century," said Rick Wagoner, GM Chairman and CEO. "The Volt is symbolic of GM's strong commitment to the future ... just the kind of technology innovation that our industry needs to respond to today's and tomorrow's energy and environmental challenges."
Form follows function
The design of the Chevrolet Volt production car has evolved from the original concept that was unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Because aerodynamics plays a key role in maximizing driving range, GM designers created an aerodynamically efficient design for the production vehicle. Many of the design cues from the concept vehicle endure in the production Volt, including the closed front grille, athletic stance, rear design graphics, outside rearview mirrors and more. The Volt's rounded and flush front fascia, tapered corners and grille are functional, enabling air to move easily around the car. In the rear, sharp edges and a carefully designed spoiler allow the air to flow off and away quickly. An aggressive rake on the windshield and back glass help reduce turbulence and drag.
Working closely with GM aerodynamicists to shape the Volt, design and engineering teams developed one of the most aerodynamic vehicles in GM's history. They spent hundreds of hours with the Volt in GM's wind tunnel, testing and re-testing parts such as the front and rear quarter panels, rear spoiler, rockers and side mirrors. Aerodynamic improvements enabled GM to reach the Volt's target of driving up to 40 miles (based on EPA city cycle) without using gasoline or producing emissions.
Inside, the Volt offers the space, comfort, convenience and safety features that customers expect in a four-passenger sedan, and it delivers them in a variety of interior color, lighting and trim options unlike any offered before on a Chevrolet sedan. Modern controls and attractive materials, two informational displays, and a touch-sensitive infotainment center with integrated shifter distinguish the Volt's interior from other vehicles in the market.
Some of Volt's interior technological features include:
-- Driver-configurable, liquid crystal instrument display
-- Standard seven-inch touch screen vehicle information display
-- Touch screen-style climate and infotainment controls
-- Optional navigation system with onboard hard drive for maps and music storage
-- Standard Bluetooth for cellular phone and USB/Bluetooth for music streaming
New era in automotive transportation
The Chevrolet Volt is leading a new era of electrification of the automobile by creating a new class of vehicle known as the Extended-Range Electric Vehicle, or E-REV.
The Volt uses electricity to move the wheels at all times and speeds. For trips up to 40 miles, the Volt is powered only by electricity stored in its 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery. When the battery's energy is depleted, a gasoline/E85-powered engine generator seamlessly provides electricity to power the Volt's electric drive unit while simultaneously sustaining the charge of the battery. This mode of operation extends the range of the Volt for several hundred additional miles, until the vehicle's battery can be charged. Unlike a conventional battery-electric vehicle, the Volt eliminates "range anxiety," giving the confidence and peace of mind that the driver will not be stranded by a depleted battery.
The Chevrolet Volt can be plugged either into a standard household 120v outlet or use 240v for charging. The vehicle's intelligent charging technology enables the Volt's battery to be charged in less than three hours on a 240v outlet or about eight hours on a 120v outlet. Charge times are reduced if the battery has not been fully depleted. At a cost of about 80 cents per day (10 cents per kWh) for a full charge that will deliver up to 40 miles of electric driving, GM estimates that the Volt will be less expensive to recharge than purchasing a cup of your favorite coffee. Charging the Volt about once daily will consume less electric energy annually than the average home's refrigerator and freezer units.
Charge out of driving
The Chevrolet Volt offers spirited driving performance in a remarkably quiet interior. More than 220 lithium-ion cells contained within the Volt's battery pack provide ample power. The Volt's electric drive unit delivers the equivalent of 150 horsepower, 273 lb-ft. (370 Nm) of instant torque, and a top speed of 100 miles per hour. The lack of engine noise, combined with special sound-deadening materials, make the Chevrolet Volt an extremely quiet vehicle to drive.
GM estimates that the Volt will cost about two cents per mile to drive while under battery power compared to 12 cents per mile using gasoline priced at $3.60 per gallon. For an average driver who drives 40 miles per day (or 15,000 miles per year), this amounts to a cost savings of $1,500 annually. Using peak electric rates, GM estimates that an electrically driven mile in a Chevy Volt will be about one-sixth of the cost of a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle. The cost savings are even greater when charging during off-peak hours, when electric rates are cheaper.
The Chevrolet Volt is expected to be built at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck manufacturing facility, subject to GM successfully negotiating satisfactory government incentives. Production is scheduled to begin late 2010 for models in the United States. Pricing has not been announced. Visit media.gm.com/volt for more information.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.
Boulevard Customs: The GLK Urban Whip set heads turning
When the word went out that Mercedes was running a tuner competition centred on the new GLK luxury SUV, Boulevard identified immediately with the brief for the Urban Whip and lost no time in getting to work.
“I’ve been a Mercedes fan since childhood,” says Boulevard President Chris Bradley, “and when I reviewed the design brief for the Urban Whip I said to myself, ‘we can do this better than anyone’”.
While it may be one of the smaller competitors in the field, Boulevard is big on ideas. Taking its inspiration from a number of Mercedes models, the company set about creating a visual interpretation of the GLK that would put it at the very top of the food chain in the urban jungle.
The most striking feature of the Urban Whip is what is doesn’t have - a roof. Although the original brief required the design to retain the structural integrity of the GLK, the aggressive look of the custom-made wide-body kit - which was developed in cooperation with RoBrady Design - made the roadster temptation difficult to resist. Boulevard submitted renderings of its roadster ideas to Mercedes-BenzUSAand approval was received in double quick time.
Working with NBS Performance, Boulevard removed the roof, shorted the windshield and added the necessary structural bracing to create a roadster with cosmetic modifications to the door tops and pillars. “It was the finishing touch to the whole design,” comments Bradley. “The Urban Whip has that extra wow factor to make it a true head-turner.” With the focus on city life, the design of the wide-body kit is sleek and futuristic.
Boulevard worked with Superior Auto Body on integrating bumpers, side skirts and fender flares to create a factory finish, while the factory grille was opened up wide and finished off with chrome mesh and accents hand-crafted by the artisans at STRUT.
The front headlamps retain their factory look, with the standard bulbs replaced by custom LED units for added performance, while smoked treatment brings distinctive style to the rear light cluster.
The overall ride height has been lowered by 64mm using a one-off set of custom lowering springs. And, when it comes to wheels and tyres, Boulevard is in no doubt that, for urban cruising, there is no substitute for chrome - and that size matters. The Urban Whip is fixed firmly to the asphalt with colossal 26” Asanti AF 150 chrome wheels with custom black accents and wrapped in 295/25 ZR26 Pirelli Scorpion rubber for a perfect ride. The stopping power is provided courtesy of a massive front and rear Brembo performance brake kit, featuring 381mm 2‑piece floating rotors and 8-pot callipers on the front and 344mm 2-piece floating rotors with 4-piston callipers on the rear.
With flagship Mercedes performance models providing the inspiration for the interior, Boulevard worked alongside Mark Kraus and John Lancaster to create a look that is highly individual, yet still distinctly Mercedes. Using a striking black and white colour theme, the design integrates both diamond-stitched and perforated leathers for a distinctive, upscale look and feel. Piano black wood grain trim works together with a custom steering wheel and shift knob to create a cockpit that is as stylish as it is outspoken, while rear passengers are cosseted in twin hand-crafted bucket seats.
No seriously urban cruiser can be complete without a seriously urban stereo. And the absence of a roof will help the GLK Urban Whip share its sound with the rest of the world. Beneath the speedster cover lurks a mighty piece of kit from JL Audio. The custom stereo system pumps out over 5,700 Watts of ear-popping power in a visually stunning installation. Eight HD amps power the ZR component speakers and subwoofers, including six new JL Audio 13TW5 flat subwoofers, two of which are displayed in the rear of the Urban Whip in a custom-made clear acrylic tube that adds emphasis to their compact dimensions and slim profile.
“The GLK was the perfect candidate for the Urban Whip idea,” concludes Bradley. “It has this incredibly powerful persona and shoulders broad enough to carry this kind of work. Working with it brought out the best in all of us.”
Ford F-150 SVT RAPTOR
FORD TAKES TRUCK LEADERSHIP OFF-ROAD WITH NEW F-150 SVT RAPTOR PERFORMANCE PICKUP TRUCK
-- Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT) taps into growing off-road enthusiast market and builds on the solid foundation of the new Ford F-150 to deliver the ultimate off-road performance truck – the 2010 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor
-- Industry-first internal bypass shocks by Fox Racing Shox help provide smooth ride; lower, wider design key to desert racing and off-road performance
-- The F-150 SVT Raptor launches with the proven 5.4-liter Triton V-8 with 310 horsepower and 365 lb.-ft of torque; a 6.2-liter V-8 engine will be available after launch
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 4, 2008 – Ford, the definitive leader in tough trucks, is further building on its solid foundation of the new F-150 to deliver the all-new 2010 F-150 SVT Raptor, a purpose-built, high-performance off-road truck versatile enough to take on the most challenging desert adventures as well as the everyday commute.
“Ford trucks have been a mainstay on the off-road racing scene for more that 20 years because of our long history of capability and durability,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president for Global Product Development. “With the F-150 SVT Raptor, we are delivering a true off-road performance truck with the proven ‘Built Ford Tough’ capability and durability that is at the core of every F-150 and the best in performance thanks to the team at SVT.”
“Like its fighter jet and dinosaur namesakes, the F-150 SVT Raptor is tough, fast, aggressive, and built with the off-road enthusiast in mind,” he added.
Ford and off-road racing
Desert off-road racing is something Ford knows and does well, with eight championships in nine divisions in the 2007 “Best In The Desert” series and four more titles in CORR (Championship Off Road Racing). Ford has also shown its dominance at the Baja 1000 race – 12 Ford-powered vehicles have won the overall title for four-wheel vehicles, the most of any engine manufacturer.
With interest in off-road performance growing at a steady rate, the F-150 SVT Raptor was built to fulfill the desires of that highly demanding market. The high-performance off-road truck market is one that’s largely untapped, allowing the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor to set the bar for this type of vehicle.
“Most of the major manufacturers have focused on-road performance, so when we looked at what was available in off-road truck performance, it was somewhat limited,” said Mark Grueber, Ford product marketing manager for pickups and large SUVs. “This was the perfect opportunity for Ford to further differentiate the F-150 from other trucks on the market.”
Looks tough and fast
The tough, chiseled look of the new Ford F-150 has been taken to a new level with F-150 SVT Raptor. The agile, performance truck was designed to give the impression it is always on the move.
Noticeable differences between the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and conventional F-150 include a distinctive grille that has the Ford name carved into it; front bumper, vented hood, front fascia and fenders, functional hood extractors, fender extractors with ‘SVT’ bored out, as well as visible FOX Racing Shox, the only internal bypass shocks available on a street truck.
Another key difference between the F-150 SVT Raptor and the base F-150 is it is more than seven inches wider. Ford designers took advantage of this difference and highlighted it with distinctive marker lamps. When turned off, the marker lamps are well-integrated into the F-150 SVT Raptor’s front end, as opposed to on top of the cab. When lit up, Raptor’s imposing stance is immediately recognizable.
While the exterior design of the F-150 SVT Raptor is about creating an image, the interior design is about creating the feel of the truck, and both must complement each other.
Design elements from the unique grille and front fascia have been carried through to the interior on the console and dashboard. The steering wheel is wrapped in black leather and features a molten-orange leather strip that serves as a centering sight line – which is especially useful in extreme driving maneuvers that can often cause the driver to lose perspective of the steering wheel’s center point.
Revved up and ready
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor is powered by the F-150’s proven 5.4-liter Triton V-8 three-valve engine, which delivers 320 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. A new open-valve fuel injection strategy improves the air/fuel charge conditions in the combustion chamber, allowing greater spark advance at higher loads and engine speeds. This delivers increased horsepower during towing and higher rpm operations, lower emissions and more efficient use of fuel.
A new 6.2-liter V-8 engine will be available after launch. The 6.2-liter engine features all-new architecture specifically designed for robustness in a truck application.
Given reliability and longevity under harsh conditions are key to truck customers, the Ford team performed extensive testing to ensure the 6.2-liter V-8 engine would live up to the ‘Built Ford Tough’ promise. Fifty 6.2-liter V-8 engines successfully endured more than a dozen of the toughest engine tests at Ford’s dynamometer lab during development.
SVT used a specially designed, 62-mile durability loop in the desert of Borrego Springs, Calif., to replicate the conditions of the Baja 1000 race, to further test the engines’ performance.
Take off and landing
Building a high-performance off-road truck is not about the horsepower – it’s about the suspension. The F-150 SVT Raptor doesn’t disappoint, with 13.4 inches of usable travel in the rear suspension and 11.2 in the front.
“With the F-150 SVT Raptor, we changed the axle, the whole front suspension is different – new upper A arm, new lower A arm, new tie rod, new half-shaft joints,” said Jamal Hameedi, Ford SVT chief engineer. “It’s well beyond what SVT has ever done with one of our vehicles.”
Raptor’s wider track and softer suspension mean it will comparatively glide over obstacles. And when it has to be “launched,” be prepared for a soft landing. “The suspension does all the work to keep the truck’s attitude stable,” Hameedi said.
In addition to a beefed up suspension, the F-150 SVT Raptor also boasts unique internal bypass Fox Racing Shox, the only internal bypass shocks on a street truck. The position sensitive dampening internal bypass feature allows the shock to become significantly stiffer as it travels, preventing the truck from bottoming out.
By working with Fox internal bypass technology and applying the Ford engineering methodology, there haven’t been trade-offs to assure extreme off-road handling over on-road ride comfort.
“This truck is also going to be a daily driver. We brought together a lot of experts to ensure the on-road steering precision and comfort was there, too,” said Hameedi. “That’s where Ford expertise really came to the table and complemented Fox’s off-road expertise.”
A tough truck needs tough tires, and a BF Goodrich All-Terrain TA/KO 315/70-17 tire does the job.
To help improve the tire in a variety of conditions, the compound of the tread was altered. Engineers made the rubber softer for better performance on and off-road and for precise and predictable steering in a variety of conditions while the interior of the tire was modified to improve lateral firmness.
The tall sidewall on the 35-inch tire can handle rocks and irregular surfaces commonly experienced in an off-road environment. A 17-inch cast aluminum wheel is designed to absorb the impact of objects the truck could encounter in some of the most extreme environments.
The F-150 SVT Raptor provides the complete package for off-roaders, including state-of-the-art technologies to keep it at the top of capability.
“For many years, enthusiasts have been struggling with the performance of electronic technologies in the extreme off-road environment since that was not the environment they were designed for,” Hameedi said. “What SVT has done is tailor technology to function in both an on-road and an extreme off-road environment.”
AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™) predicts the vehicle’s path using a sensor to detect and measure oversteer and yaw by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle. When the system senses wheel slip or the loss of traction, it applies braking where needed to keep the truck tracking safely on its intended path. If a significant roll rate is detected, the system applies additional countermeasures to enhance vehicle roll resistance.
The off-road enthusiast has the option to switch to two available settings – sport mode and full off-road mode depending on their driving situation. The sport mode shuts off traction control enabling the vehicle to have more yaw movement.
Full off-road mode shuts off all electronic stability programs and the ABS system switches to a special off-road setting. Widening the threshold of sport mode, the wheels will lock more which is helpful in off-road terrain. Also in full off-road mode, the locking rear differential is allowed to stay locked at elevated speeds to mimic a spool differential found on racing trucks.
Trailer Sway Control works in conjunction with AdvanceTrac with RSC and can determine from the yaw motion of the truck if the trailer is swaying and take measures – such as applying precise braking or reduced engine torque – to bring both vehicle and trailer under control.
Integrated Trailer Brake Controller is factory-installed and allows direct operation of the trailer’s electronic brakes by squeezing the control module on the instrument panel with more confidence than the typical aftermarket system.
Electronic Locking Differential uses a true mechanical connection to lock the left and right axle shafts together so both turn at the same speed with the same amount of torque. This switch-controlled feature maximizes traction capability at the wheel with grip, without having to stop the truck.
Hill Descent Control on the F-150 SVT Raptor is Ford’s first application of the technology. Utilizing ABS, the driver can control hill descent without applying the brakes. The speed is set for the truck to descend the hill by pushing a button and allows for the driver to concentrate on driving, rather than on how to modulate the brakes on a steep decline.
Off-Road Mode engages a third throttle map and a third shift schedule for improved off-road performance. Third throttle map alters the throttle by changing the driver demand table so it is better suited to high and low-speed off-road driving conditions. A third shift schedule is a unique strategy for the off-road environment that holds the transmission in each gear for a longer period of time, allowing better engine throttle modulation to control the vehicle.
Auxiliary Switch Board on the center console makes aftermarket customization easier, with four prewired switches attached to the power distribution box for electrical accessories. Also located on the auxiliary switch board are two switches for improved off-road performance – Hill Descent Control and Off-Road Mode.
The F-150 SVT Raptor will be built along side the new F-150 at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant at the historic Rouge Center in Dearborn, Mich.
ECHART Automobildesign GmbH presents the direct successor to the TECHART GTstreet RS presented in spring – the new TECHART GTstreet R, based on the Porsche 911 Turbo.
‘Quod erat demonstrandum’ (this completes the proof). It was with this sentence that Sir Isaac Newton always completed the presentation of his mathematics and physics-based evidence. At TECHART, the phrase stands for the challenge of kitting out ‘Non plus ultra’ ex works vehicles with impressive performance capabilities. The result: the TECHART GTstreet RS based on the Porsche 911 GT2.
This vehicle concept is now being applied to the Porsche 911 Turbo in the form of the TECHART GTstreet R. The latest addition to the TECHART GTstreet family, which has stood for uncompromising sportiness since 2001, is therefore one of the world’s top performing sports cars.
Impressive performance data
The GTstreet R is fitted with the TECHART performance kit TA097/T3 with an engine performance of 485 kW (660 hp) and a maximum torque of 860 Nm at 4,600 rpm. The GTstreet R with Tiptronic S can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds and with manual transmission it only takes a tenth of a second longer. The remarkable propulsion levels out at a top speed of 345 km/h.
An ample increase in performance is guaranteed thanks to the new turbochargers, large carbon fibre inlet pipes, special intercoolers, a sports exhaust system combined with high-performance manifolds and an improved sports air filter. A balanced downforce on the front and back axels and specially adapted TECHART VarioPlus coil over suspension guarantee excellent driving performance at high speeds and ensure extra driving stability and safety.
Technology meets emotion
The design of the car body brings sporting agility and a perfect exterior design. The aero-bonnet, headlight trims and mirror trims, striking sill panels and carbon fibre roof spoiler characterise the dynamic design of this sports car. Precise air ducts on the front spoiler and rear wing optimise the engine ventilation. The striking rear apron with its carbon fibre diffuser and air ducts to the intercooler are additional special features of the comprehensive TECHART GTstreet R aerodynamic programme.
TECHART interiors stand for exceptional quality and care worldwide and are produced by hand at the TECHART saddlers department. This also applies to the diverse range of interiors available for the TECHART GTstreet R. A high degree of design freedom is on offer including individually tailored leather fittings, striking decorative stitching and sporty highlights in individual colour combinations. Additional accessories such as the non-slip TECHART 3-spoke sports wheel, aluminium pedals and much more round off this comprehensive range of interiors.
Chevrolet Camaro GS Racecar Concept
One of the most iconic cars of the legendary Trans Am road racing series was the distinctive blue-and-yellow Camaro of Mark Donohue. He was a dominant racer in the series and drove his #6 1969 model to the series championship that year.
With the assistance of GM’s High Performance Vehicle Operations, North Carolina-based Riley Technologies re-created the look and feel of that standout racecar with a tribute that looks, sounds and drives like it’s ready to do battle with its contemporary pony car competitors. In fact, the heritage-inspired racer is more than concept. It is an early prototype for the Grand Am Koni Challenge GS racing class. Racecars like the GS Concept are offered and manufactured by Riley Technologies for the 2009 Grand-Am season.
The GS Concept features the race-ready suspension, reinforced chassis and drivetrain conform to the specifications required of racecars certified for the series. In fact, this racecar has already logged many hours on the racetrack as Riley team members worked to dial-in the chassis and powertrain. Additional features include:
-- Seam-welded production Camaro body-in-white
-- Carbon fiber hood, trunk lid, doors and fenders
-- Production LS3 V-8 engine (used with solid engine mounts)
-- Tremec 6060 six-speed manual transmission with close-ratio gearing
-- Three-inch exhaust system with Coast Fab mufflers
-- C&R racing aluminum radiator
-- Upgraded engine oil cooler
-- Transmission and differential coolers
The GS Racecar Concept is shown at SEMA just as it was last driven off the track, with the grime, brake dust and body imperfections commensurate with a day’s worth of racing. Indeed, it isn’t a car that spent hundreds of hours in a body shop in a quest of sheet metal perfection. It displays the bruises of competition and wears them as badges of honor.
Like Donohue’s ’69 Camaro racecar, the GS Racecar Concept wears a deep blue paint scheme that is accented with yellow graphics, a yellow-painted interior and yellow racing wheels.
Chevrolet Camaro Dale Earnhardt Jr Concept '08'
NASCAR star Dale Jr. is fan of vintage Camaros – he cruises around in a Pro Touring-style ’72 Camaro powered by a GM Performance Parts LS crate engine – and the heritage-inspired design of the 2010 Camaro appeals to him like a checkered flag at Daytona. His vision for the car was channeled to GM’s designers and crafted in a multi-color combination of style, capability and comfort.
They started with a new Camaro SS that uses the standard 6.2L V-8, but modified to use E85. Taking advantage of E85’s favorable octane rating, the engine was calibrated to deliver a few extra horsepower, with the exhaust exiting through GM Performance Parts’ new headers. It’s backed by the SS’s available six-speed manual transmission and GM Accessories’ short-throw Hurst shifter. Additional performance enhancements include a Brembo brake package and a lowered ride height, giving Dale Jr.’s Camaro a sleeker look to match its road-hugging capability.
A custom gray-over-white paint scheme blends the high-performance drivetrain with serious style. It is accented with an orange stripe separating the gray and white sections. Also generating attention on the exterior is a set of 21-inch, five-spoke wheels inspired by the Camaro Convertible Concept. They feature dark-painted center sections on the spokes that complement the body’s gray color. The wheels are wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero ZR-rated performance tires.
Additional exterior details include:
-- Chevy Accessories grille
-- Chevy Accessories ground effects and rear diffuser
-- Chevy Accessories exhaust system
-- Early Camaro-style “dovetail” rear spoiler
-- Production high-intensity discharge headlamps
-- Production RS taillamps
Similarly, the interior is outfitted for performance and style, including:
-- Custom-trimmed leather-and-suede-covered seats with accent stitching
-- Leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift knob, door armrests and center console lid, with accent stitching
-- Carbon-fiber treatment on the instrument panel and door panel inserts
-- Racing-style aluminum pedals
-- Production-optional four-pack auxiliary gauge cluster
-- Revised gauge cluster with unique graphics and colors
-- Custom sill plates
-- Dale Jr. also specified Chevy Accessories’ upgraded audio system for the Camaro, which is matched with a Boston Acoustics speaker system, including amps and subwoofers.
2008 Chevrolet Camaro Black Concept wallpapers
It’s hard to go unnoticed in a 2010 Camaro, but the Camaro Black Concept suggests a stealthy approach to street style. From its matte black-finished hood and ground effects to its dark wheels and red-glowing HID headlamp halo rings, the Camaro Black Concept is a sinister-looking urban tuner vehicle.
The Camaro Black Concept prowls the streets with the following equipment:
-- Chevy Accessories ground effects package and rear diffuser
-- High-intensity discharge headlamps with unique red “halo ring” color
-- Revised, darker grille finish
-- RS tail lamps with dark-tinted lenses
-- Color-matched exterior badging
-- SS-model spoiler
-- Matte black hood finish
-- Tinted glass
-- Chevy Accessories 21-inch wheels with darkened finish
-- Brembo four-wheel disc brake package
The interior also carries a slightly sinister ambience, with:
-- Red LED instrument lighting and red footwell ambient lighting
-- Black chrome trim accents
-- Dark-finished accents, including the shift knob, radio face, steering wheel ring, gauge trim and door handles
-- Custom sill plates
-- Leather-covered seats with grey accent stitching
The Camaro Black Concept also features Chevy Accessories’ premium audio upgrade package, along with MTX speakers.
Under the hood is the production 3.6L V-6 that produces 300 horsepower. A Chevy Accessories engine cover provides a suitable accent.