Archive for March, 2010

Video of the week: Hybrid Ferrari

Monday, March 29th, 2010

It should be of little surprise that Ferrari is announcing a hybrid version of the 599 model. At the Geneva Auto Show this year, the company known best for Formula One racing, introduced a more environmentally friendly drivetrain that draws from technology borne out of the company’s F1 motorsports division. The technology utilizes kinetic energy produced under breaking to recapture energy and store it in a battery. The HY-KERS systems as Ferrari markets it produces 35% fewer carbon emissions than the standard 599.

Source: Ferrari

VOTW: McLaren’s F1 team tests the new MP4-12C

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Let’s say you have £175,000 burning a hole in your pocket. Let’s say you have a penchant for great sports cars. And let’s say that you fancy yourself as a sort of middle-aged bloke that plans to make his debut one day in Formula 1 racing. If that’s the case, you probably want to drive the same kind of car that F1 drivers are driving. After all, you can’t show up to a black-tie party wearing pajamas (unless you’re Hugh Hefner perhaps). So what do you do? So many choices for supercars out there. You might choose a Porsche GT2 or a Ferrari 458. Or you might choose the same car F1 champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have been driving, the 2011 McLaren MP4-12C.

See video for details!

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The most insane product launch EVER. Courtesy of MINI!

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

It’s hard enough to get past the weirdness of the “unveiling” of the new MINI Countryman. The world’s most unusual product announcement begins first with two giant hats covering a MINI Cooper S and the all-new MINI Countryman, which is meant to be MINI’s foray into the cross-over SUV segment, or something. At first blush, it is hard to see what they are on about as the cars appear to be the same height. But MINI is clearly trying to make a statement. Maybe it’s that the Countryman is the car for the neo-luddite non-urbanites who wouldn’t touch a MINI with a ten-foot pole, or maybe MINI still feels the need to prove itself as the alternative fun brand for those with just a bit of cash.

Anyway, once the hats came off, the erm dancing begins and thus begins two minutes of the strangest product launch you have ever seen. If you doubt us, just click play.

That seen, one really has to wonder if Mini owners of old are rolling in their graves. Of course, if you think they are bad off, BMW has just announced front-wheel drive for their low-end cars, so perhaps at the next product launch we’ll see a BMW-branded car covered in a Bavarian flag with some dancers clogging to Das Deutschlandlied.

LOTW: Driving signs of Deutschland

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Driving down the autobahn

If you haven’t been out driving in Germany, particularly on the famous Autobahns, you really need to go. Rent a fast car and map out every last road in Germany without a speed limit.

But unlike America, the Germans take the driving laws seriously. Passing on the right or staying in the left most lanes (they are strictly passing lanes) will get you a fine, as will having a car in less than excellent driving condition. Road rage is also a big “no-no”.

Germany is great too, because they do allow you to use (temporarily) your American driving license. Trouble is that the petrol is expensive and some of the road signs can be challenging. But fortunately, Beyond the KM has been trolling the internet and found the solution:

Meet: Getting Around Germany

Check it out and when you find yourself blazing down the Autobahn and 300 KM/hour in that Porsche 911, you’ll thank us.

LOTW: A critique of German dealer color choices

Monday, March 1st, 2010

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Speed:Sport:Life has a great article this week on a new Audi S5.

Why is this the link of the week? Because the author has just purchased a bright GREEN Audi S5. Unusual yes, but tasteful? You be the judge!