Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Weekend entertainment: Porsche Light Show

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Not sure how to explain this. Think 911 meets art museum installation.

Funny BMW 3er commercial

Friday, February 24th, 2012

We still aren’t thrilled with the pricing or the looks, but at least the high price tag is funding some humorous commercials!

Acura’s NSX Superbowl Commercial (extended cut)

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The One that got away… Acura NSX SuperBowl commercial – extended!

LOTW: DIY Electric 911

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Do you love Porsche 911s but fear oil? Yeah, us too, but now there’s a solution!

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/01/diy-ev-porsche/

Finally! Barrett-Jackson 2010 pix!

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

So there was a problem with the server back in January which prevented photos being uploaded. Following that there was a Photoshop problem, but all of this is resolved now. So, without further ado, Barrett-Jackson photos from the Scottsdale 2010 auction!

AZ Auto Show 2010

Monday, November 29th, 2010

BeyondTheKM.com is all about the commentary and analysis. In that regard, one has to admit that the Arizona Auto Show falls flat on its face. To be fair, no one expects it to be anything near as impressive as the bi-annual Frankfurt show. Held at the Phoenix Convention Center, the event seems to be mainly sponsored and staff with local auto dealer inventory and professionals.

In general, the layout of the event was confusing, and the actual product information being dispensed was little and far between. Though most manufacturers had a model/representative, the European automakers seemed slightly less staffed and in general showcased fewer cars. MINI, however, seemed to have one of every model.

Most disturbing was the poor signage and location of the European automakers. Indeed as the Porsche “area” featured not a single 911 or Boxster/Cayman model, we walked right by it. Even the signage was teeny as evidence in the photos below. Most interesting were the eco-cars including the Nissan Leaf and the Chevy Volt. Second most interesting was the enormous price tag on the Chevy Corvette ZR1.

Weekend entertainment: which makes the best “getaway” car?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

If you have ever been to Germany and gotten to know people, you might notice that their sense of humour is a little different from that of say Americans or Chinese. Indeed, it is in a league of its own, and this German television show demonstrates it. For those of you not fluent in German, basically what happens is that the fugitive duo rob a fake bank and try to get away in 3 simulations of 3 different cars: the MTM Audi TT, the Magnum Turbo S, and the Dodge Challenger. The “polizei” is driving a BMW 123d and attempts to catch up. Guess who wins? (hint: not the Dodge!) This is certainly a new interpretation on the film Ronin’s Audi S8 car chase!

Enjoy the weekend!

Oh, and if you love the S8 in Ronin, you can see it here:

Late Summer 2009 industry round-up

Monday, September 21st, 2009
Porsche 911 Sport Classic

Porsche 911 Sport Classic

Time for an update!!! Let’s recap the last couple of months, organized by OEM:

Aston Martin

Aston is launching the new 4-door Rapide at the 63rd IAA in Frankfurt in late September. Beyond the KM will be at the IAA, so we are looking forward to check this one out! The exotic sedan is quickly filling up with Porsche and Maserati out with the Panamera and Quattroporte models, respectively. Out of the three, Porsche is offering the most options for powertrain and interior/amenties. For this reason the Porsche Panamera Turbo seems to edge out the Aston by nearly half a second.

Porsche

No doubt about it, some of the biggest European automaker news this Summer has been straight out of Stuttgart courtesy of Porsche. The august automaker has spent the last two years in audacious and clever takeover attempt of the continent’s largest automaker, Volkswagen Group. Due in part to the downturn in the economy and thus Porsche’s inability to pay down debt, Porsche’s ruling family has been forced to come to terms with VW and the Piëch side of the family.

Porsche was once one of the few companies family-owned and controlled, which commanded a fantastic share price, despite having no trading presence in the USA (partly due to the U.S. requirements of quarterly 10-Q shareholder reporting. The company was also one of the few that could command top-grade corporate bond rates and at the same time avoid holding an official rating from any of the major rating agencies.

But as Porsche CEO and CFO Wendelin Wiedeking and Holger Härter respectively resigned, VW and Porsche announced that they would merger. Wiedeking joined Porsche in 1983, spent nearly 16 years at its helm. When he took over the troubled carmaker in 1993, it was nearly bankrupt and running at a net loss. Last year, it reported 6.3 billion euros in profit, partially because of options it owned in Volkswagen. Wiedeking, already Germany’s highest paid executive at €77.4 million, will receive a €50 severance package from Porsche. However, Wiedeking has already set aside €25 million of that figure for charitable organizations.

Taking over Porsche will be Michael Macht, Porsche’s production chief who helped roll out the new Panamera and the Cayenne SUV.

According to VW, Porsche will act as an “independent” company within VW Group much in the same way that Audi has, but this begs the question for many Porsche-philes, “just how independent is Audi, anyway?”

In addition to the proposed merger, Qatar’s Investment Authority is also looking to buy Porsche’s derivates for VW stock, which would further reduce debt, but the Porsche family is also said to be injecting massive amounts of cash into the firm to make the VW deal happen. Several web sites are reporting that Porsche’s tax burden in the event of a merger would be in excess of US$3billion. The Qatar deal has been back by Porsche’s supervisory board. It does also appear that Qatar will buy a chunk of Porsche’s VW stock.

In the end, VW is said to be paying US$11.28 billion to make the merger happen.

In not-unrelated news, RUF has released it’s first new Porsche-variant in many years, called the Rt 12 S. The car produces 675 bhp and costs a whopping EU255,000.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.ASpx?AR=241807

http://www.autonews.com/article/20090718/COPY01/307189997/1128

http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/porsche-ceo-wiedeking-steps-down/

http://www.leftlanenews.com/porsche-fires-ceo-cfo.html

http://www.leftlanenews.com/porsche-production-chief-michael-macht-to-be-new-ceo.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8165524.stm

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/241871/

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.ASpx?AR=241955

Lamborghini

Lamborghini has announced a new Gallardo LP550-2 Valentino Balboni, starting at a paltry $219,000. This car is named after recently retired test driver Valentino Balboni, who has been testing developmental Lamborghinis since 1973. Is there anyone luckier in all of Italy?

http://www.leftlanenews.com/lamborghini-gallardo-lp550-2.html

Car rentals in the U.S.

If you have rented a car lately, you may have noticed the lack of American cars at Hertz, Enterprise, or any number of the competition. The L.A. Times also took notice and discovered that rental companies are now focusing on buying imports, including Mercedes-Benz (if you can believe that!).

http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/la-fi-rental-cars22-2009jul22,0,7180244.story?track=rss

BMW

BMW, ever the leader in smarter energy technology in vehicles, is working on a new project to recover energy from a car’s exhaust system. The programme is called Efficient Dynamics includes technologies including a disconnecting alternator, stop-start engine technology, and low-resistance tyres. The new 1er will get features such as pre-heating for the engine, differential and gearbox oil to ensure the oil is working at its most efficient from the moment the car is started.

BMW has also announced a heat recovery system that uses waste heat from the exhaust to generate electricity to power the car’s ancillaries.

Daimler

Mercedes-Benz’s parent firm Daimler posted of a loss of more than a billion euros in the second quarter of 2009 before taxes, but this result was better than expected.

Mercedes expects to see a return to profit in 2010; this process should be helped by sales of the new E-class which went on sale earlier this year.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.ASpx?AR=241941

In other news, as a show of technical possibility, the company has apparently fit a next-generation BlueEfficiency diesel into an old 190D model. This increased efficiency from 32 to 48 mpg. http://www.leftlanenews.com/mercedes-benz-190d-blueefficiency.html

Lotus

In addition to launching the Evora, Lotus has been busy prepping a team for Formula 1 to begin in the 2010 season. This brings the grid to 26 slots (across 13 teams). Mike Kimberly retired from Lotus as CEO earlier in the summer, but has now been replaced by Dany Bahar, who has Formula 1 experience but also served as a VP of sales for Ferrari’s road cars.

VW

The Volkswagen Group today announced an operating profit of more than £1 billion for the first half of 2009. VW has increased its global market share in the first six months of the year increased to 12 per cent.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.ASpx?AR=241955

Audi

Audi of America head Johan de Nysschen apparently told MSN that the Chevy Volt was a “car for idiots”. He may well have a point, and the reality remains that the Volt represents a project that has thus far come too little too late. In fact, it will not launch until late 2010. By then Nissan’s Leaf electric car will be out. BTKM looks forward to see the Volt in person. Still $40,000 for a CHEVY seems a little mental.

Audi is also unveiling a super-cool R8 spyder at the IAA Frankfurt. Imagine the price to be Audi-rageous!

Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce launched the “entry-level” Ghost. It is the 4th model for Rolls-Royce and while very powerful, the 12-cylinder is smaller and comes with a much smaller price tag of about US$250,000. That’s not cheap, or even attainable for 99% of the world, but it does given Rolls the opportunity to increase volume.

Bentley

While Rolls-Royce has introduced and entry-level model, Bentley has announced a new top-of-the-line sedan to replace the Arnage. The new model is call the Mulsanne and debuted at the Concourse d’Elegance and the IAA in Frankfurt.

Ferrari

Formula 1 troubles aside, Ferrari is launching a new car, the 458. This Michael Schumacher-tuned car is being unwrapped at the IAA in Frankfurt and replaces the F430.

Electric Diesels

Dan Neil of the LA Times is in Frankfurt and is writing about the IAA Frankfurt auto show. He does a thorough review of the new electric-diesel hybrids. Of particular note is VW’s L1 concept and BMW’s rather cool Vision sport coupé.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-neil18-2009sep18,0,820738.column

Site Update: Better Sharing Features!

Monday, April 7th, 2008

We’ve been hard at work the last week to bring you better options for viewing Beyond the KM’s content. BTKM now features the ability to share articles with Digg (as always) as well and 13 other social web sites, and well as e-mailing options for each post.

Also available are new RSS options and e-mail subscription options.
RSS Feed URI: http://feeds.feedburner.com/beyondthekm/btkm

And the e-mail subscription option:
E-mail subscription, click here!

Never again do you have to miss a great Beyond the KM article!

Beyond the KM, your first source for European automotive news and analysis!

Weekend Fun: The Most Expensive Bowl of Keys

Saturday, March 8th, 2008

Very Expensive Set of Keys

Found this site, courtesy of Mr. Brad Cain, and had to pass it along. Wishful thinking or pornography?

Source: http://fun-shotgun.com/index.php/Cool/Three-Million-Dollar-Garage.html

Forbes Boo-Boo: The Slowest New Car???

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

While reading Forbes.com today, we stumbled upon a typo, read below to see the description for the world’s slowest car. I do believe you can move an entire house to 60 MPH faster than this!

The New Dodge Zeo, the World's Slowest Car

DeLorean: an Irish Carmaker

Monday, December 17th, 2007

In need of some Irish entertainment? River Dance be damned. Check out this documentary about the DeLorean Motor Company.

A REALLY Expensive Carwash

Saturday, April 21st, 2007

Anyone looking for a hard-hitting commentary this weekend may be sad to know that the only posting is this video about the world’s most insanely expensive carwash. We just HAD to share it! Enjoy.

Sorry for the poor-ish quality.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

We here at BeyondTheKM are back from holiday break and we’re readying some new commentary and analysis for 2007.

In the next days and weeks look for commentary about the German autobahn, our picks for the top cars of 2007, and prediction for the European auto industry for 2007!

Problems seeing out of your car? Blame the PVC.

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Here at BeyondtheKM, we like to analyse current issues that concern the European auto industry. This posting concerns most all manufacturers because it involves a very common component: PVC.

For a little background PVC, or Polyvinyl Chloride is the substance or “plastic” commonly found in automotives. You will often see it used on the dashboard for instance. PVC contains plasticizers such as phthalate. These are non-toxic substances as classified by current science, however, they are produced with toxic substances including vinyl chloride.

A recent Los Angeles Times article by Ralph Vartabedian takes a look at various car manufacturers and their efforts to improve air quality in cars. Notably, VW was at the bottom and Ford, Toyota, and Honda were at the top of the 19-manufacturer list.

The article goes on to point out two key pieces of information including the fact that PVC is a problem for humans from manufacture to use to end-of-life. Additionally, the significance arises from the fact that most manufacturers use PVC in over 50% of the interior parts.

The end result is this: first, PVC is what is causing your interior glass to “haze” over. This is not only a nightmare to clean, but can cause impaired vision from within the car. Second, while current science claims PVC is non-toxic, consumers and manufacturers might be wise to take caution. PVC is an environmental hazard. It is possibly not as bad as DDT, but we should acknowledge that it is far from “safe.”

That’s not to say that everyone should run out and buy a Porsche with leather-covered dashes. Economically, that is not a reality. This posting merely serves to let people know that the car you are riding in, despite all of the technology, still has faults. It is a not a perfect creation, and poses a potential risk for more silent and inconspicuous than your average road accident.

Welcome!

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

Welcome to BeyondTheKM.com! As you will no doubt notice the posts to come, this web site is designed to be YOUR source of insightful analysis of the automotive industry.

Specifically, we will provide coverage of any important event going on in the European automotive community (hence the Kilometer in the title).

Expect coverage ranging from Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin to European regulatory affairs.

Simply put, if it’s European and it’s Automotive, we’ll be analysing it!

Thanks and keep checking back for more from BeyondTheKM.com