Jan 30 2013

Detroit Auto Show – Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

By Car and Driver


Jan 25 2013

Detroit Auto Show 2013 VW CROSS BLUE


Jan 25 2013

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN AUDI RACING DRIVER


Jan 25 2013

GREEN LEAN TWIN AIR MACHINE

 

FIAT 500 Twin Air on test with motorrevolution in County Wexford Ireland

FIAT 500 Twin Air on test with motorrevolution in County Wexford Ireland

FIAT 500 TWIN AIR TESTED IN IRELAND

FIAT launched the 500 in 1957 and continued production of their little baby until 1975. The small, two cylinder powered model proved hugely popular across Europe and has become an icon in motoring design, instantly recognisable the world over. In 2007 FIAT launched an all new version designed to meet modern demands but holding on to some of that magical character that made the old car so popular.

 

The reason we have been drawn back to the 500 now is because the little car has revisited its roots in a manner of speaking. The latest version is once again using just two cylinders but this time its advanced technology. FIAT calls this new system Twin Air and it allows them to get more power and improve fuel economy from a much smaller capacity engine. Its impressive too even if it does sound like a cross between an American muscle car and a scooter. FIAT claims it is the greenest most fuel efficient mass produced petrol engine in the world.   

 

Behind the wheel the 500 is comfortable with large front seats that are supportive and it doesn’t feel like you are driving a car as small as this. This is aided of course by the way in which the power is delivered. First gear hits the limiter quickly but out on the road the engine delivers effortless performance while the burble in the lower gears adds to the fun.

 

The specification on our test car was very good and included climate control, sat nav and a multifunction steering wheel however it was the attention to detail that we really loved. The interior door handles, the switches and the generally good design within the cabin are all to be commended. The standard of fit and finish are on a par with rivals and shouldn’t disappoint prospective buyers.

 

While on test with us, the thing concerning people who admired the car was how it would perform in a crash. The 500 may be small but it scored a five star rating with NCAP when tested, boasts 7 air bags and enough electronic wizardry to help stop the car in the event of a tricky situation.

 

Our test car was fitted with low profile tyres and Abarth alloy wheels so it felt glued to the road and great fun on twisty B roads. It was well able for the motorway too and didn’t have any difficulty holding it’s own in fast moving traffic. Around town the size of the car comes into its own and is so easy to park that you could easily see how a city dweller could fall for this Iittle Italian.

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to get away from the fact that the 1.2 litre four cylinder engine normally used in this model is going to be smoother and more refined to live with everyday. However in the 500 at any rate the Twin Air adds to the fun with its odd gurgle and nippy performance.

 

At the end of the day you don’t buy a FIAT 500 for practicality but because it has that fun factor, the Italian style and the credibility of coming from a good blood line.

 

Overall we really enjoyed our time with the 500 and would choose the Twin Air version not necessarily for extra economy but for the smile it delivers every time you accelerate and lets face it that’s what a car like this is supposed to do.

(See more images by selecting the gallery tab)


Jan 21 2013

Volvo V40 1.6 T3 Tested in Ireland

The Volvo V40 T3 on test in county Carlow Ireland with motorrevolution.net

The Volvo V40 T3 on test in county Carlow Ireland with motorrevolution.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make: Volvo
Model: V40 1.6T3 SE 150bhp
Fuel: Petrol
Band; B
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Options fitted to our test car:
Metallic paint
Winter Pack
Business Pack
Style Pack
Drivers Support Pack
Sunroof
Flexible Load Floor
Awards; Continental Irish compact family Car of the year 2013
NCAP: 5 Star safety rating

Volvo have built a strong reputation over the decades for safety and even in the nineties when they launched cars with sporty intent like the 850 T5 they still managed to carefully protect that image.

This week we have been road testing their latest ‘T’ model the V40 T3 and in keeping with the firms history it too boasts some very innovative safety systems.

The S40/V50 was a decent offering but the new V40 has improved in every area. Its stylish with focused attention to detail and it offers both driver and passengers a really comfortable and of course safe environment from which to enjoy any journey.

We have spent more than a week with this V40 T3 on all types of roads and conditions. The weather hasn’t been kind from flooded roads to below zero temperatures. We have found it to be a very impressive car. Its ride is smooth and comfortable, it’s handling sharp and the test car is fitted with some really clever equipment aimed at keeping driver, passengers and indeed pedestrians as safe as possible.

The Pedestrian airbag is a first for Volvo and you can see a demonstration video on our web site motorrevolution.net of just how it works. Now standard on the V40 the system sees an external air bag inflate from under the bonnet at the base of the windscreen in the event of an impact with a pedestrian. Lives will certainly be saved by this technology and we would expect to see this becoming a more regular feature on cars in the future.

Behind the wheel the new Volvo is comfortable with all the multi-adjustments you’d expect to help you find the perfect driving position. The quality of materials used in the cabin is as you’d expect from a car targeting the premium compact sector. One passenger described the dash as granite like so impressed was he with the materials used. All touch points from the multi-function steering wheel to the switch gear have a quality feel. The gear selector is even illuminated adding to those small details that create the feeling you are in a car that’s a bit special.

We had a few very cold mornings this week and so the heated seats proved most welcome as the tempetures plummeted. On icy B roads we found the car to be surefooted and the knowledge that we had so many safety features working in our favour provided peace of mind. Features such as the heated windscreen and the Xenon headlights which come as part of the winter pack certainly proved their worth in these conditions.

The quality of the ride on our test car was very good over various surfaces but larger alloys as is often the case may compromise this.

The modern graphic instrument panel is very clear and easy to read with lots of settings to tailor its appearance to suit the drivers taste. One feature we particularly liked was a graphic that showed the actual speed limit on the road being used so for example as the car moves from a 100 to an 80 zone the driver is instantly kept informed with the use of GPS tracking, helping to avoid penalty points.

Our car was also fitted with a blind spot elimination system that alerts the driver by way of a light on the inside of the door near the door mirrors that there is a vehicle/hazard in the driver’s blind spot. This is an excellent safety feature that helps to prevent collisions particularly on busy motorways. We can recall using a Volvo S80 in Canada a few years ago fitted with this system and on a fast paced six lane highway outside Torento it proved invaluable when negotiating the rush hour free for all. While we don’t have such roads here it never the less could help prevent a collision on motorways or around town with cyclists often darting silently between slow moving traffic and catching drivers unawares.

The Continental Irish Car of the Year Awards took place recently and while the V40 didn’t take top honours it was only narrowly beaten and did scoop The Continental Irish family Car of the Year award which based on our time with the car was well deserved.

Other notable features on our test car included auto dipping headlights, lane departure warning system and a parking system that included a reversing camera. Our car certainly has a premium feel and will no doubt impress loyal fans of the brand but surely attract new ones too.

Bluetooth is now standard on all V40 models in Ireland as is high performance audio. The sound from this audio system is excellent and the Bluetooth makes listening to tracks stored on a smart phone effortless. If you appreciate good quality sound then this will not disappoint.

Some of you may remember the boxy old Volvo models from the past but may have paid little attention to the Swedish brand in recent years. If this is the case and you think Volvos are for antique dealers you’re in for a surprise as this new V40 certainly delivers on style and quality. It feels modern and should appeal to a new generation of car buyers that may have over looked the brand up to now.

If you’re in the market for a premium hatch and are considering German brands you should certainly take a test drive in the V40 too before you decide where to spend your money.


Jan 17 2013

THE LITTLE ITALIAN WITH A BIG HEART

The latest version of FIAT's Panda on test with motorrevolution in county Wicklow Ireland

The latest version of FIAT’s Panda on test with motorrevolution in county Wicklow Ireland

FIAT has always been good at building small cars and so we were looking forward to getting our hands on their latest Panda. The third generation of the little Italian is slightly bigger than the one it replaces and it’s also more robust looking with its rounded corners and chunky styling.
The model we tested had the 1.3JTD diesel at its heart which delivers 75bhp and features a gear indicator system and start/stop technology to help improve economy and reduce Co2 emissions. The car is remarkably comfortable and the engine produces more than enough torque to propel it up to cruising speed without fuss. The steering is direct and well weighted while the front seats are supportive and offer a high position that makes getting in and out easier, something that many buyers will appreciate..
FIAT tell us that special attention has been paid to the materials, solidity and overall finish of the new FIAT Panda, which is now built in FIAT’s flagship Giambattista Vico factory near Naples in Italy. We certainly thought the quality of the fit and finish in our test car was greatly improved over the outgoing model and was certainly on a par with its rivals. The Panda’s chassis benefits from improved noise and vibration isolation, reduced body roll and higher levels of grip. The Panda has almost no over hangs making handling sharp and the car fun to drive on twisty country roads.
The Panda is to most people a ‘city car’ and we know it will perform well in city conditions as it allows for good all round visibility with its perched driving position and compact dimensions making parking simple. However many people may ignore the Panda if most of their driving is countryside based. So we spent most of our time with the little FIAT on motorways, national primary routes and country lanes to see if the car was up to everyday life away from ‘the big smoke’.
On the motorway the 1.3JTD engine was well able to maintain a comfortable pace and had no difficulty passing slower moving traffic while the high driving position creates a feeling that you are actually driving something with a larger footprint. As for country roads the diesel engine pulls the car effortlessly up through the gears and the ride quality proved comfortable over most surfaces.

Standard specification on entry level versions includes central locking; electric front windows; electric mirrors; front and full-length curtain airbags; anti-whiplash headrests and daytime running lights. The next version up adds air conditioning; remote locking; front fog lights; roof bars and an upgraded audio system. Available features include ESP stability control, climate control, parking sensors, an electric Sky dome sunroof, Dualogic automated manual transmission, Blue&Me connectivity and a TomTom Live satellite navigation system. An advanced “Low Speed Collision Mitigation” braking system is also available to order. The Panda is the first Fiat Group Automobiles vehicle to feature such advanced safety technology. Our test car was fitted with all the specification you could want including the Tom Tom system which proved simple to use.
A new Panda 4X4 Climbing, which is fitted with an advanced all-wheel drive system engineered in conjunction with the FIAT Panda’s ESP system is available to order and could prove ideal for our winter conditions.
If you need an economical car (who doesn’t I hear you say) and space is not a big concern the Panda is well worth considering with a strong warranty and a certain charisma that only little Italian cars have it may prove to be a practical choice that’s also good fun.


Jan 10 2013

NISSAN GAME CHANGER COMING TO AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL

One of the most significant race cars of the generation, the DeltaWing concept will be on show at Birmingham’s NEC during Autosport International on 10-13 January 2013.
Designed by Ben Bowlby, DeltaWing started its life as a potential IndyCar single seater concept, but was adapted for sports car use in conjunction with American motorsport heavyweights Dan Gurney, Don Panoz and Duncan Dayton.
The world’s biggest sports car race, the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans saw Nissan DeltaWing tackle a race for the first time in June 2012, running as an invitational entry outside of official classification. In its first official race, the car finished fifth in October’s 1,000 mile Petit Le Mans, driven by Gunnar Jeannette and Lucas Ordoñez.
With a distinctively shaped, lightweight and low-drag chassis, the car is powered by a four-cylinder, 1.6-litre Nissan DIG-T producing 300bhp, marking a major departure from the high-powered cars used in top-level motorsport. Including fuel and driver, the car weighs just 575kg and accelerates from 0-100kmh in just 3.3 seconds.
DeltaWing captured the hearts and minds of race fans and the accolades of the industry throughout 2012, ahead of a full American Le Mans Series campaign in 2013.
The car was recognised with the Pioneering and Innovation Award at the prestigious Autosport Awards in December, along with Evo Magazine’s (UK) Innovation Award, Automobile Magazine’s Racing Car of the Year and a Popular Science ‘Best of What’s New’ Award. Bowlby himself received the Royal Automobile Club’s Simms Medal and Race Tech Magazine’s Dino Toso Award for race car aerodynamicist of the year.
Among the American exhibitors at the event, Aurora Bearing Company will showcase the DeltaWing project at Stand 8330 in Hall 8 during the 10-13 January 2013 event, having supplied rod end and spherical bearings for the project.
“Our involvement with DeltaWing has been incredibly rewarding, it’s been an honour to be part of such a significant race car project,” said John McCrory from Aurora Bearings. “Everywhere the car has gone, it’s turned heads, and we’re looking forward to showcasing the concept to fans at Autosport International.”
“DeltaWing is a perfect example of motorsport innovation, challenging the status quo and offering an alternative,” said Ian France, Autosport International Show Director. “It’s less than a year since it first appeared in public, and it’s really struck a chord with the motorsport community. We’re excited it will be a part of Autosport International 2013.”
DeltaWing will join a range of exciting new motorsport machinery at Birmingham’s NEC during Europe’s largest dedicated trade show. British manufacturer Radical will launch its newest supercar, the RXC at the show, along with the Sin 01 race car project.


Jan 8 2013

HAMMER TO FALL: FREDDIE MERCURY’S ROLLS-ROYCE TO BE AUCTIONED

FM RollerA piece of rock history will go under the hammer this weekend with the auction of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.
The much sought-after silver lady car will be sold on 12 January 2013 at Birmingham’s NEC by automobile auctioneers Coys as part of Autosport International, a show featuring a host of exotic sports and performance cars, along with some of the finest motorsport machinery.
The car was purchased by the legendary singer’s company Goose Productions Ltd in 1979 and was used by Freddie up until his death in November 1991; it has remained with his family since. A letter within the car’s paperwork confirms that the Silver Shadow, registered as WLX 293M, was purchased for Freddie’s personal use. However, without a driving licence himself, Freddie relied on three trusted chauffeurs to get around.
Last used for the premier of Queen smash hit musical We Will Rock You in 2002, the automatic 6,750cc Silver Shadow is still in the same visual condition as when Freddie used it. The car has a grey leather and wood trim interior, automatic locking, electric windows, car phone and radio cassette player, and has just 62,000 miles on the clock.
The car also features a box of unused Kleenex Mansize Tissues, which remain from when the car was in Freddie’s possession.
“With such a unique owner, the Silver Shadow sits perfectly with our line-up of stars for the January show,” said Autosport International Show Director Ian France. “The Coys auction is one of the most popular events at Autosport International, and with a car such as this on show, we’re expecting it to be even more popular this year.”
The Silver Shadow takes pride of place among an impressive range of exotic and classic cars on offer to tantalise automotive aficionados. Cars for sale include ‘Del Boy’s’ 1980 Ford Capri S from Only Fools and Horses, a 1966 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Roadster, pre-war BMW Willis Special and 1986 Metro 6R4.
The Coys car auction will take place at 3pm on Saturday 12 January 2012 at Autosport International in Hall 20, Stands 2270 & 2280. Those wishing to bid are required to register on site and must bring two forms of ID. Telephone bids will be accepted; please visit www.coys.co.uk to register.


Jan 4 2013

Range Rover V Panda 4×4 (5th Gear)

This week we are testing FIAT’s latest Panda and we’ll bring you a full review soon. In the meantime we thought you might find this 5th Gear Panda V Rangie from a few years ago a bit of fun.


Jan 3 2013

Nissan GTR 2013