Thursday, 31 January 2013

Lincoln Previews its Flamethrower-Wielding, Twitter-Generated Super Bowl Ads

We’ve known for some time that the Lincoln Motor Company was working on a Super Bowl ad, but the luxury automaker’s announcement this morning is that it’s actually working on two advertisements. One of them will be the previously reported ad compiled from thousands of tweets, but the other one may have grabbed our attention [...]

Source: http://rumors.automobilemag.com/lincoln-previews-its-flamethrower-wielding-twitter-generated-super-bowl-ads-200605.html

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Competition time! @f1afterparty

Source: http://www.metrof1.com/blogs/metrof1/2011/10/competition-time-f1afterparty.html

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Wallace team sets return

Source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/30/2643651/wallace-team-sets-return.html

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Life in the pit lane


The Mercedes pit crew prepare for Michael Schumacher in Singapore © Getty Images
Away from the world of multi-million-pound car development laboratories and drivers whose small change takes care of the Monte Carlo harbour fees, another drama will play out in Singapore this week. The Independent's David Tremayne joins F1's unsung heroes.
These are not select millionaires but up to 16 ordinary, yet gifted, guys; team mechanics who have worked their way up the system and often migrate from team to team, are paid real-world wages of between £30,000 and £50,000 a year, are drilled to perfection – and whose split-second synchronisation brings their teams huge rewards.

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/09/life_in_the_pit_lane.php

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First Look: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic

First Look: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic
First Look: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic - Automobile Magazine
More power and new style for the flagship E-Class.

Mercedes-Benz previously provided us with details on the revised 2014 E-Class but hadn't confirmed any specifications on its AMG versions until today. Now we know that not only will the E63 AMG return in both sedan and wagon configurations, it will also include 4Matic all-wheel drive.


Photo Gallery: First Look: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic - Automobile Magazine

Photo Gallery: First Look: 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG 4Matic - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/auto_shows/detroit/2013/1301_2014_mercedes_benz_e63_amg_4matic/index.html

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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

2007 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG

2007 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG
2007 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG - New and Future Cars, Trucks, and SUVs - Automobile Magazine
As self-proclaimed big wigs on the food chain, humans have little fear observing dangerous, wild animals, so long as they're kept in captivity. Mercedes-Benz has taken that philosophy and applied it to its S-Class sedan. AMG's 518-hp, 6.2-liter lion resides under the hood of the new S63 AMG, but it's been tamed by Mercedes' finest zookeepers.

As self-proclaimed big wigs on the food chain, humans have little fear observing dangerous, wild animals, so long as they're kept in captivity. Mercedes-Benz has taken that philosophy and applied it to its S-class sedan. AMG's 518-hp, 6.2-liter lion resides under the hood of the new S63 AMG, but it's been tamed by Mercedes' finest zookeepers. Enthusiasts can look at it, salivate all over it, and even drive it, all without fear of being eaten alive.


Photo Gallery: 2007 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG - New and Future Cars, Trucks, and SUVs - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/future_cars/2007/0609_2007_mercedes_benz_s63_amg/index.html

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Narain heading west?

It looks like Narain Karthikeyan has given up hope of getting a Formula 1 drive in 2013, which will leave the sport without an Indian driver this year. Karthikeyan was the first Indian F1 driver back in 2005 with the Jordan team, but he then disappeared from the Grand Prix world and it was not [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/narain-heading-west/

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Practice and qualifying ban on free use of DRS in 2013

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/F1InsightAFormula1Blog/~3/IybigpeBdbc/practice-and-qualifying-ban-on-free-use.html

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Davidson returns 7 months after crash, broken back

Source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/27/2636924/davidson-returns-7-months-after.html

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Juan Pablo wins again!

Juan Pablo Montoya has not been doing much winning in recent years in the United States. His NASCAR adventures have netted just two wins in the 217 NASCAR Sprint Cup races he has competed in since leaving F1. He also won one event in the Nationwide Series back in 2007. Last weekend at Daytona Juan [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/juan-pablo-wins-again/

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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Vettel will get faster and faster... but will he be able to overtake?

Source: http://www.metrof1.com/blogs/metrof1/2011/10/vettel-will-get-faster-and-faster-but-will-he-be-able-to-overtake.html

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2006 Volkswagen Concept A

2006 Volkswagen Concept A
2006 Volkswagen Concept A - Car Review & Road Test - Automobile Magazine
This Golf-based crossover concept car gives an idea of where Volkswagen is taking their car design in the next couple of years. Expect a production model derived from the 2006 Volkswagen Concept A sometime in early 2008.

In January, visitors to Iceland might expect snow from wall to wall and extreme temperatures that threaten to turn skin into parchment. But instead, the island where we had an exclusive first go in Volkswagen's Golf-sized Concept A crossover welcomed us with partly cloudy skies and a relatively balmy 46 degrees.


Photo Gallery: 2006 Volkswagen Concept A - Car Review & Road Test - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/compact/0605_2006_volkswagen_concept_a/index.html

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2007 Suzuki SX4

2007 Suzuki SX4
2007 Suzuki SX4 - 2007 New Cars - Automobile Magazine
In an attempt to move away from its also-ran role in the Asian car industry, Suzuki has been pushing hard over the past year with ew models, including the Grand Vitara mid-size SUV, the bigger XL7, and the SX4 shown above. The SX4 offers the type of boxy, spacious design that is becoming de rigueur for the small-car segment, but adds all-wheel drive, filling a void left by the many smaller 4X4s that have bulked up. The SX4 is powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC in-line four mated to either a five-spe

In an attempt to move away from its also-ran role in the Asian car industry, Suzuki has been pushing hard over the past year with ew models, including the Grand Vitara mid-size SUV, the bigger XL7, and the SX4 shown above. The SX4 offers the type of boxy, spacious design that is becoming de rigueur for the small-car segment, but adds all-wheel drive, filling a void left by the many smaller 4X4s that have bulked up. The SX4 is powered by a 2.0-liter DOHC in-line four mated to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. We haven't driven the SX4 yet, but check back closer to the on-sale date this fall to see if the small Suzuki has what it takes to beat the big guys.


Photo Gallery: 2007 Suzuki SX4 - 2007 New Cars - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/new_car_previews/2007/0605_2007_suzuki_sx4/index.html

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Vettel edges Keselowski for Speed Performer of the Year

Source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/27/2637938/vettel-edges-keselowski-for-speed.html

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Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX


Moto Guzzi revealed the 2013 Stelvio 1200 NTX which features a series of upgrades compared to the previous model. The motorcycle combines classic lines with state-of-the-art performance, and an 8.5 gallon gas tank which offers a pretty generous autonomy for your long on road adventures.

The motorcycle’s upgrades start with the design. Thereby the 2013 Stelvio 1200 NTX features a new fuel tank, a fresh half-fairing and a reshaped twin headlight assembly.

Power comes from a renowned V-shaped 90° transverse twin-cylinder "Four valve" engine, the highest performer among all the families of engines manufactured at Mandello del Lario. The engine develops a maximum torque of over 83 foot-pounds delivered at a mere 5,800 rpm and easily reaches a peak horsepower of 105 HP at 7,250 rpm.

The 2013 Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NYX is offered with standard ABS, Automatic Traction Control, aluminum side bags, hand guards, and adjustable wind screen, saddle height, handlebar, clutch levers and foot pegs.

Hit the jump for more information on the Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX.

Moto Guzzi Stelvio 1200 NTX originally appeared on topspeed.com on Monday, 28 January 2013 13:58 EST.

read more



Source: http://www.topspeed.com/motorcycles/motorcycle-reviews/moto-guzzi/2013-moto-guzzi-stelvio-1200-ntx-ar144297.html

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Monday, 28 January 2013

First Look: BMW 4 Series Coupe Concept

First Look: BMW 4 Series Coupe Concept
First Look: BMW 4 Series Coupe Concept - Automobile Magazine
The 4 makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show – that’s Detroit, in January.

BMW has gone back and forth on the name several times since our Georg Kacher reported more than three years ago that the 3 Series coupe would be replaced with the 4 Series. How could BMW give up on the M3 name? M4 sounds too much like a British motorway.


Photo Gallery: First Look: BMW 4 Series Coupe Concept - Automobile Magazine

Photo Gallery: First Look: BMW 4 Series Coupe Concept - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/auto_shows/detroit/2013/2012_BMW_4_series_coupe_concept/index.html

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Alonso to miss 1st test of Ferrari's new car

Source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/25/2632715/alonso-to-miss-1st-test-of-ferraris.html

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First Look: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST

First Look: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST
First Look: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST - Automobile Magazine
A potential giant killer.

Ford has unveiled the production Fiesta ST at the Los Angeles auto show and confirmed that it will be sold in the United States. With a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 197-hp and 214 lb-ft of torque, it may be the new performance king in the fledgling subcompact car segment.


Photo Gallery: First Look: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST - Automobile Magazine

Photo Gallery: First Look: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/auto_shows/los_angeles/2012/1211_2014_ford_fiesta_st/index.html

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First Look: 2014 Cadillac ELR

First Look: 2014 Cadillac ELR
First Look: 2014 Cadillac ELR - Automobile Magazine
The Chevrolet Volt we've always wanted.

The Chevrolet Volt was developed under intensely difficult conditions. Beyond the never-done-before complexities of its powertrain, the Volt had to come to market by a certain date, had to hit a certain price, and had to be as efficient as possible. Much as we like the car that resulted -- it was our 2011 Automobile of the Year -- we wondered how good it might have been had gestated a bit longer, cost a bit more, and enjoyed a bit more design freedom. With the Cadillac ELR, which debuts at the Detroit auto show and goes on sale later this year, we no longer have to wonder.


Photo Gallery: First Look: 2014 Cadillac ELR - Automobile Magazine

Photo Gallery: First Look: 2014 Cadillac ELR - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/auto_shows/detroit/2013/1301_2014_cadillac_elr/index.html

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2008 Dodge Avenger

2008 Dodge Avenger
2008 Dodge Avenger - New and Future Cars, Trucks, and SUVs - Automobile Magazine
As concept cars go, the Dodge Avenger may not be the most exciting thing on four wheels, but it at least looks promising. And although Chrysler's famously ordinary mid-size Sebring sedan fails to make us wet ourselves with glee, the Avenger concept--which was reported to have been built on the 2007 Sebring's platform--at least exudes some excitement.

As concept cars go, the Dodge Avenger may not be the most exciting thing on four wheels, but it at least looks promising. And although Chrysler's famously ordinary mid-size Sebring sedan fails to make us wet ourselves with glee, the Avenger concept--which was reportedly been built on the 2007 Sebring's platform--at least exudes some excitement. Dodge claims that the Avenger "hints at the next-generation global D-segment vehicle from Dodge," but we're fairly sure it does more than "hint." Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four; that engine will likely be offered outside North America shortly after the production car's launch.


Photo Gallery: 2008 Dodge Avenger - New and Future Cars, Trucks, and SUVs - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/future_cars/2007/0609_2008_dodge_avenger/index.html

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Sunday, 27 January 2013

Glock and Marussia, by mutual consent, agree to part company with immediate effect

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/F1InsightAFormula1Blog/~3/a_uDcnqK0Xk/glock-and-marussia-by-mutual-consent.html

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Will Paddy Lowe really leave McLaren?

After the Timo Glock and Toto Wolff stories that broke in Germany on Sunday turned out to be true another surprise emerged last night when Sport Bild suggested that McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe is on his way to Mercedes. … Continue reading

Source: http://adamcooperf1.com/2013/01/22/will-paddy-lowe-really-leave-mclaren/

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F1 Drivers and Teams - 2013 Season

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/F1InsightAFormula1Blog/~3/2kJApHdpSQU/f1-drivers-and-teams-2013-season.html

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Raikkonen favourite to taste victory in Belgium

At Spa-Francorchamps

In this remarkable season of unpredictability and uncertainty, of seven winners in 11 races, of the most open title battle in years, Formula 1 is still waiting for one big result.

A victory for the revived Lotus team has looked inevitable since the start of the year. And as the world championship re-starts in Belgium this weekend following a month-long summer break, the expectation is that this could be their race.

The car, from the team formerly known as Renault that won two world championships with Fernando Alonso in 2005-6, has been fast all season. Its best result has been four second places. But the momentum seems to be with them.

Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus pushed Lewis Hamilton's winning McLaren all the way in Hungary five weeks ago. The Finn has a stunning record at the stunning Spa-Francorchamps track that hosts this race and Lotus have been working on a technical trick that could give them a key advantage on the demanding track that swoops and twists around the contours of the Ardennes mountains.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen has won the Belgian Grand Prix four times. Photo: Getty

The 32-year-old Finn seems to have a special affinity with the circuit regarded as arguably the biggest test for a racing driver anywhere in the world. He has taken four victories here - and either won or retired from every single race he has competed at Spa since 2004.

Raikkonen's all-action style, based on fast corner entry in a car with good front-end bite, seems perfectly suited to Spa's cascade of long, fast corners.

Two of his wins - for McLaren in 2004 and Ferrari in 2009 - came in years when his machinery was otherwise uncompetitive. The other two were dominant victories from the front in 2005 and 2007.

But Raikkonen's position as arguably the favourite for victory this weekend is not founded just on his renowned Spa specialism. He is widely expected to have the car to do the job.

Lotus have come agonisingly close to victory twice already this year - in Bahrain in April and at the last race, in Hungary at the end of July.

Both times it was Raikkonen who challenged only to just fall short, behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain and Hamilton in Hungary. But the Finn, who returned to F1 this season after two unproductive years in world rallying, has actually been Lotus's weaker driver for most of the year.

His team-mate, the Franco-Swiss Romain Grosjean, who is in his first full season, has generally had a marginal advantage - to the point that around the European Grand Prix in Valencia at the end of June there were murmurings of dissatisfaction with the Finn, who won the world championship for Ferrari in 2007.

Raikkonen ultimately finished second to Alonso in Valencia, but had been off the pace of Grosjean all weekend - indeed the younger man was pushing the Ferrari hard when his alternator failed late in the race.

When, following the race, Raikkonen expressed his frustration at it taking so long for Lotus to win, one team member privately expressed the view that he would be better focused on beating Grosjean before moaning about not winning yet.

Since then, though, Raikkonen has upped his game and in the race in Hungary he was fantastic, the middle stint there that lifted him from fifth place to potential victor one of the most impressive pieces of driving all season.

Had Raikkonen not made a mess of qualifying, and taken the front row slot he should have earned rather than the fifth place he did, he might well have won. The same can be said of Bahrain, where a decision to save tyres for the race left him down in 11th place on the grid and with too much to do.

Grosjean, too, must be considered a potential Spa winner. Despite making too many errors, he has been all confidence and commitment this year.

He has looked a different driver on his return to F1 in 2012 from the haunted figure who was demoralised by Alonso during his first half-season at Renault in 2009, after which he was dropped.

The high expectations for Lotus at Spa are partly based on the car's inherent qualifies - a factor in its general competitiveness this year has been strong performance in fast corners, and Spa is full of them.

As well as that, though, is that innovation mentioned earlier. In Hungary, and in Germany the week before, Lotus trialled a clever system aimed at boosting the team's straight-line speed without compromising its performance in other areas.

Like the DRS overtaking aid featured on all the cars, the Lotus system affects the rear wing to reduce drag.

It works by channelling air from scoops behind the driver's head to the rear wing, which this extra air then 'stalls', reducing the downforce the wing creates and therefore its drag, boosting straight-line speed.

What is not clear is when exactly the Lotus system comes into play.

Is it independent of the DRS, as some believe, and therefore active above a pre-set car velocity and usable at all times, including in the race when DRS use is restricted to a specific zone?

Or is it, as BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson believes, linked to the DRS and simply an extra boost to the car's speed when that system is employed, like the system Mercedes have been using but without the inherent compromises that team have discovered?

Either way, it could be a significant boost to Lotus's chances in Spa. Lotus have yet to use the system outside free practice, and this weekend they will again try it out on Friday before making a decision whether to race it.

For all the talk of Lotus, though, a win for them is a very long way from a foregone conclusion. Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren will be as strong as ever on a track that should suit all their cars.

In fact, it will be a particularly interesting weekend all round.

Which teams have made best use of the mid-season break to develop their cars?

Have Ferrari made the step forward in performance they seemed in Hungary to need if Alonso - unquestionably the stand-out driver of the season so far - is to hang on to his championship lead?

Can McLaren maintain the upward momentum they showed in Germany and Hungary after a brief slump?

Will Red Bull finally unlock the potential of what has looked, on balance, overall the fastest car?

The climax of one of the sport's greatest seasons, a hyper-intense period of nine races in three months, starts here.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/08/raikkonen_favourite_to_taste_v.html

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Saturday, 26 January 2013

Kyle Busch signs multi-year deal to stay with JGR

Source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/24/2630836/kyle-busch-signs-multi-year-deal.html

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2007 Lexus LS460

2007 Lexus LS460
2007 Lexus LS460 - 2007 New Cars - Automobile Magazine
Will this finally be the Lexus that competes with top-tier German sedans? Judge for yourself with our new car coverage.

Seventeen years after Lexus introduced the first LS luxury sedan at the 1989 Detroit auto show, the company unveiled its fourth-generation flagship sedan, the LS460, in Motown. As successful as the LS400 and the LS430 have been, they have never quite measured up to the big, long-wheelbase offerings from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi, and Jaguar in terms of sheer size, street presence, and prestige, even if they often exceeded them in refinement, reliability, and quality. Now that Toyota is expanding the Lexus brand beyond North America to Japan, Europe, and other world markets, the automaker hopes to compete neck-to-neck with the S-class, the 7-series, the A8, and the XJ8 with the LS460L, which debuted in Detroit as the first-ever, long-wheelbase LS. Lexus also announced that the new LS will be equipped with the world's first eight-speed automatic transmission, a big poke in the eye to Mercedes, which introduced a seven-speed automatic only recently. "That's right," said Jim Press, president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales during the unveiling of the LS460. "Eight speeds. We're uppin' 'em one."


Photo Gallery: 2007 Lexus LS460 - 2007 New Cars - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/new_car_previews/2007/0605_2007_lexus_ls_460/index.html

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Caption Competition 28: Hamilton at Mercedes | Caption Competition

Caption Competition 28: Hamilton at Mercedes is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Today's Caption Competition featured Lewis Hamilton on his first public appearance for Mercedes in a week when the team made a lot of headlines.

Caption Competition 28: Hamilton at Mercedes is an original article from F1 Fanatic. If this article has been published anywhere other than F1 Fanatic it is an infringement of copyright.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/f1fanatic/~3/vV7euYLCRLs/

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Feature Flick: Audi Goes to Prom for Super Bowl XLVII Ad

Audi has had some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials in the past few years. This year, the German automaker is apparently taking the audience to prom in a 2013 S6. Despite released the commercial in advance of the big game, Audi has a catch – there are three possible endings, and the automaker [...]

Source: http://rumors.automobilemag.com/feature-flick-audi-goes-to-prom-for-super-bowl-xlvii-ad-199613.html

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2007 Lincoln MKX

2007 Lincoln MKX
2007 Lincoln MKX - 2007 New Cars - Automobile Magazine
No longer known as the Aviator, this Mazda 6 based Lincoln is now called the MKX. Read about it here.

Lincoln is hoping that, together with the new Zephyr sedan, the MKX will entice younger and hipper buyers into its showrooms, which have been lacking anything youthful or stylish for quite some time. Based on Mazda 6 architecture, the MKX uses the same 3.5 V-6 and front- or all-wheel drive components as the similar Ford Edge, but offers swiveling headlights and other luxuries not available on the Ford. When it goes on sale in the fall of 2006, this handsome crossover will be the first production model to follow Lincoln's new naming convention, which ditches familiar names like Aviator and Continental in favor of generic letter combinations. Hey, didn't every other luxury brand start doing that last decade?


Photo Gallery: 2007 Lincoln MKX - 2007 New Cars - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/new_car_previews/2007/0605_2007_lincoln_mkx/index.html

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Friday, 25 January 2013

2000-2005 Toyota Tundra

2000-2005 Toyota Tundra
2000-2005 Toyota Tundra - Used Car Review - Automobile Magazine
Ann Arbor - Our founder and editor emeritus, David E. Davis, Jr., had a new idea for the Toyota Tundra pickup truck we added to our Four Seasons test fleet in late 1999. He would send it to northern Michigan for use as a real live workhorse at Red's Bog, his idyllic retreat on the west side of the state. His ranch foreman, Jerry Keie, would have charge of Toyota's big new truck and keep notes from a real working man's perspective.

Ann Arbor - Our founder and editor emeritus, David E. Davis, Jr., had a new idea for the Toyota Tundra pickup truck we added to our Four Seasons test fleet in late 1999. He would send it to northern Michigan for use as a real live workhorse at Red's Bog, his idyllic retreat on the west side of the state. His ranch foreman, Jerry Keie, would have charge of Toyota's big new truck and keep notes from a real working man's perspective.


Photo Gallery: 2000-2005 Toyota Tundra - Used Car Review - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/trucks/0103_toyota_tundra/index.html

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The Tomaso Files: A Few New Years thoughts...

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/nofenders/zbjv/~3/1yx4l2YV010/the-tomaso-files-few-new-years-thoughts.html

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Robert Kubica Could Be Ruled Out For At Least A Year Following Accident

Polish racing driver Robert Kubica will spend at least one whole year recovering from a rally crash he suffered this morning, according to his surgeon. Kubica, who races for Renault Lotus crashed the Skoda Fabia rally car this morning and was airlifted to hospital suffering serious injuries. He has spent many hours in surgery, with [...]

Source: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/robert-kubica-cold-be-ruled-out-for-at-least-a-year-following-accident/

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Would Vettel or Alonso be more deserving champion?

On the surface, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso seem very different. Alonso is all dark, brooding intensity; charismatic but distant.

Vettel is much sunnier - chatty, long answers, always ready with a joke and, as the Abu Dhabi podium ceremony proved, a salty English phrase.

Underneath, though, they share more than might at first be apparent. Both are highly intelligent, intensely dedicated to their profession, and totally ruthless in their own way.

Equally, although Alonso’s wit may be less obvious than Vettel’s, it is highly developed, bone dry, effective, and often used to tactical ends.

Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso

Sebastian Vettel (right) leads Fernando Alonso in the Championship going into the penultimate race of the season. Photo: Reuters  

And they are both, of course, utterly fantastic racing drivers.

These two all-time greats head into the final two races of a marathon and topsy-turvey 2012 Formula 1 season separated by a tiny margin. Ten points is the same as a fifth place - or the margin between finishing first and third.

Vettel, on account of being ahead and having comfortably the faster car, is favourite. But within F1 there is a feeling that Alonso would be the more deserving champion, so well has he performed in a car that is not the best.

But is that a fair and accurate point of view? Let's look at their seasons, and you can make your own judgement.

THE GOOD

Vettel

It seems strange now, in the wake of Red Bull's recent pulverising form, but at the start of this season the world champions were struggling.

The car always had very good race pace - it was right up with the quickest from Melbourne on - but qualifying was a different matter.

In China, Vettel did not make it into the top 10 shoot-out in qualifying; in Monaco he did – just - but then did not run because he didn’t feel he had the pace to make it worthwhile.

In both races, though, he was competitive, taking a fifth place in China and fourth in Monaco, where he nearly won.

That was the story of the first two-thirds of Vettel’s season. He kept plugging away, delivering the points and keeping himself in contention in the championship.

He took only one win – in Bahrain, from pole – and he should have had another in Valencia, when he was as dominant as he ever was in 2011 only to retire with alternator failure.

Then, when Red Bull finally hit the sweet spot with their car, he delivered four consecutive wins (one of them inherited following Lewis Hamilton’s retirement in Singapore), the last three from the front row of the grid, including two pole positions.

And in Abu Dhabi there was an impressive comeback drive to third after being demoted to the back of the grid, albeit with the help of a significant dose of luck.

Alonso

It is hard to think of a race in which, assuming he got around the first corner, Alonso has not been on world-class form.

In Australia, when Ferrari were really struggling with their car at the start of the season, he fought up from 12th on the grid to finish fifth (including getting up to eighth on the first lap).

His three victories have been among the best all year –in the wet in Malaysia from ninth on the grid; in Valencia from 11th, including some stunning, clinical and brave overtaking manoeuvres; and a superbly controlled defensive drive in Germany, holding off the faster cars of Vettel and Jenson Button for the entire race, by going flat out only where he needed to, lap after lap after lap.

Then, to pick out some other highlights, there was beating the Red Bulls to pole in the wet at both Silverstone and Hockenheim; his rise from 10th on the grid to third in Monza, including a courageous pass on Vettel a couple of laps after being forced on to the grass at nearly 200mph; and splitting the Red Bulls to finish second in India.

THE BAD

Vettel

Impressive Vettel has been this year, flawless he has not.

In Malaysia, he cost himself a fourth place by sweeping too early across the front of Narain Karthikeyan’s HRT while lapping it. There was a hint of frustration and a sense of entitlement about the move – as there was in his post-race comments in which he called Karthikeyan an “idiot”.

In Spain, he was penalised for ignoring yellow caution flags.

In Hockenheim he overtook Jenson Button’s McLaren off the circuit, earning himself a demotion from second to fifth place, despite the drivers being warned only a month or so before that they could not benefit by going off the track.

In Monza, he earned a drive-through penalty for pushing Alonso on to the grass at nearly 200mph, in presumed retaliation for a similar move the Spaniard had pulled on Vettel in the same place the previous year. Again, this was despite the drivers being warned that they had to leave room for a rival who had any part of his car alongside any part of theirs.

In qualifying in Japan, he got away with blocking Alonso at the chicane, despite Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne being penalised for doing the same thing to Williams’s Bruno Senna earlier in the session.

And in India he appeared to break guidelines about having all four wheels off the track at one of the chicanes on his only top-10 qualifying lap, but kept his time because the only available footage was from outside the car, and showed only the front wheels. So the FIA had to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Alonso

Er… Has Alonso made any errors at all this year?

Well, he did cost himself a couple of points in China when he ran off the road attempting to pass Williams’s Pastor Maldonado around the outside of Turn Seven – a move that Vettel did pull off against Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen.

He spun in a downpour in second qualifying at Silverstone, just before the session was red-flagged because it was too dangerous.

And some argue that, defending a championship lead, he should not have put himself in the position he did at the start in Japan, where his rear wheel was tagged by Kimi Raikkonen’s Lotus on the run to the first corner, putting Alonso out of the race.

The claim is that Alonso had everything to lose and that, while he did nothing wrong, trying to intimidate Raikkonen into backing off, and squeezing him twice, was too big a risk.

The opposing view of that incident is that Raikkonen, who was behind Alonso, had a better view of the situation and should have realised he wasn’t going anywhere from where he was and backed off.

THE MISFORTUNE

Vettel has lost points from two alternator failures, one in Valencia when he was leading and one in Italy when he was running sixth. And third became fourth in Canada when a planned one-stop strategy had to he aborted. That’s 36 points lost.

Alonso was taken out twice at the start – once definitely not his fault (Belgium, when Romain Grosjean’s flying Lotus narrowly missed his head); and once arguably not (Japan).

He lost a possible win in Monaco because Ferrari didn’t realise that if they left him out a bit longer before his pit stop he could have overtaken leader Mark Webber and second-placed Nico Rosberg as well as third-placed Lewis Hamilton.

He should have finished second in Canada and probably won in Silverstone - rather than being fifth and second - but for errant tyre strategies, and he would have been on the front row and finished at least second in Monza had his rear anti-roll bar not failed in qualifying.

That’s 60-odd points lost.

A POST SCRIPT

While we’re analysing Vettel and Alonso, spare a thought for Lewis Hamilton.

The McLaren driver finally lost any mathematical chance of the title after his retirement from the lead in Abu Dhabi. He is 90 points behind Vettel.

Hamilton has said that he has driven at his absolute best this season, and it’s hard to disagree – he has not made a single mistake worth the name.

But his year has been a story of operational and technical failures by his team.

At least three wins have been lost (Spain, Singapore and Abu Dhabi), as well as a series of other big points finishes, as detailed by BBC Radio 5 live commentator James Allen in his blog.

Without that misfortune, Hamilton would be right up with Vettel and Alonso, if not ahead of them.

So, if you’re thinking about ‘deserving’ world champions, if such a thing exists, spare a thought for him too.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/andrewbenson/2012/11/benson.html

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Infiniti Q60

2.

Keeping a close eye on BMW’s strategies and launches, Infiniti is pretty adamant in competing with the Bavarian Giant. So, we were simply waiting for Infiniti to launch a model to compete with the upcoming 4-series.

Call it coincidence if you like but, apparently, Infiniti is working on a new coupe to rival the upcoming two-door coupe from Bimmer, according to Infiniti’s boss Johan de Nysschen. Softly confirmed to be called the Q60, the coupe will be designed along the lines of the recently announced Q50 sedan. The relationship between the Q50 and Q60 can be easily compared to the one between the 3-series and the 4-series.

“I think the coupe is an important part of the platform,” de Nysschen said. “Most certainly we are working right now on a coupe derivative of the car Q50" said de Nysschen.

Given the fact that the coupe will be a derivative of the Q50, expect the standard 3.7-liter V-6 engine to power this two-door beauty. Or if you are into going “Green,” you can opt for a hybrid powertrain that will combine a 3.5-liter V-6 engine and an electric motor.

de Nysschen hasn’t divulged any info on the prices, so we can only speculate the price to carry a premium over the Q50 sedan. de Nysschen did confirm that Infiniti expects to launch the Q60 as a 2015 or 2016 model year.

Already we can sense the tension between the Germans and the Japanese — at least in the automotive realm. So expect the rivalry between the two to be a fierce one.

Stay tuned, as we will update this review as more info becomes available.

Infiniti Q60 originally appeared on topspeed.com on Thursday, 24 January 2013 15:00 EST.

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Source: http://www.topspeed.com/cars/infiniti/2015-infiniti-q60-ar145020.html

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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Dale Jr. still needs Cup sponsorship

Source: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/01/23/2627856/dale-jr-still-needs-cup-sponsorship.html

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Refreshed Porsche Panamera Spied Testing

With a complete redesign of the Porsche Panamera still a few years away, the automaker is updating the model’s front and rear styling. A camouflaged example of the refreshed Panamera has been spotted testing in the snow. Up front, the Panamera’s revised headlights and LED running lights hide behind the black camouflage, while the front [...]

Source: http://rumors.automobilemag.com/refreshed-porsche-panamera-spied-testing-199197.html

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2007 Mazda CX-9

2007 Mazda CX-9
2007 Mazda CX-9 - 2007 New Cars - Automobile Magazine
The new Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV has been specifically designed for the North American markets. It is longer than the five-passenger CX-7, so there is space for a full three rows.

The new Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV has been specifically designed for the North American markets. It is longer than the five-passenger CX-7, so there is space for a full three rows. The CX-9 is built on a unibody platform (who would make a body-on-frame crossover?) with front-wheel drive standard and the all-wheel drive system of the MAZDASPEED6 and CX-7 available as an option. The all-wheel drive system can direct up to 50% of the power to the rear, when needed and as governed by its numerous traction and stability control systems.


Photo Gallery: 2007 Mazda CX-9 - 2007 New Cars - Automobile Magazine


Source: http://www.automobilemag.com/new_car_previews/2007/0605_2007_mazda_cx_9/index.html

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Massa threatened with jail over team orders


© Getty Images
Brazil’s F1 fever may have overstepped the mark after a local prosecutor threatened Felipe Massa with a six-year jail term if he “defrauds” the sporting public by letting Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso past at Sunday’s grand prix. The story, reported by a local paper and picked up by the Daily Telegraph, is the latest of several anti-Massa reports to emerge from his home country since the team orders controversy at the German Grand Prix earlier this year. The Daily Telegraph's Tom Cary reckons that Massa simply isn't living up to his home crowd's high expectations.
“A public raised on a diet of Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna were simply appalled and saddened in equal measure by Massa’s apparent lack of ambition.”

Source: http://blogs.espnf1.com/paperroundf1/archives/2010/11/massa_threatened_with_jail_ove.php

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The joys of being an F1 writer

One if the joys of being an independent journalist is that one has the opportunity to enjoy the good things in life, such as sitting in a cafe in Paris, breakfasting on a tartine and coffee, followed by a brisk walk up to the snowy Champs de Mars. This morning’s task was to get a [...]

Source: http://joesaward.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/the-joys-of-being-an-f1-writer/

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