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2012 Detroit Motor Show photo gallery

2012 Detroit Motor Show

Here we have a selection of images from the floor of the Detroit Motor Show, or more correctly, the North American International Auto Show.

Unlike Tokyo late last year there’s a noticeable lack of weird and wonderful concept creations, but we certainly applaud the appearance of the Honda NSX Concept. It’s easily the clear star of the show in our eyes.

Not so fortunate is the Chevrolet Code 130R concept; a BMW 1 Series Coupé that somehow turned out all wrong. So, too, the Chrysler 700C. Seriously, does anyone actually look at these things before they are put on the stand. And if they do, then we’ll have some of whatever it is they’re smoking please.

Equally, we can’t quite understand the fascination the North American audience has had with the Ford Fusion. Its poor mans Aston Martin-like grille is an embarrassment.

Anyway, there’s 50-odd pictures for you after the break. Why don’t you be the judge and tell us what you like and don’t like.


OFFICIAL: The new BMW 1 Series hatch

BMW 1 Series hatch (F20)

Here are the official words and images for BMW’s new world order 1 Series. For now, we’re still in rear-wheel drive mode, but don’t forget there is a front-wheel drive 1er is on the way, too.

The slightly bloated F20 1 Series is 85mm longer and 17mm wider than the E87 model it replaces. Overall height remains the same. Other measurements of note to change include the wheelbase, 30mm longer, and, significantly, the front track is now 51mm wider and the rear track has had 72mm added. All that means there’s now an extra 21mm legroom for rear seat passengers and the rear cargo area now offers 360 litres of space, up from 330 litres.

Five four-cylinder engines are offered in this initial release and, for the first time in the compact class, an 8-speed auto is available. The 135kW 120d is the quickest model announced to date and can reach 100km/h in 7.2 seconds. You can thank a generous 380Nm of torque for that.

There are two other diesel engines provided, as well. The 118d has 105kW/320Nm and reaches 100km/h in 8.9 seconds. The entry-level 116d offers 85kW/260Nm and requires 10.3 seconds to reach the speed limit. All feature common rail injection, TwinPower Turbo technology and use around 4.5 litres of diesel per 100km.

Completing the engine range is a 125kW/250Nm 118i (7.4s 0-100) and a 100kW/220Nm 116i (8.5s 0-100). Like the diesels, the petrol engines rely on forced induction and boast fuel consumption in the high 5s per 100km.

So far it looks like the new 1 Series isn’t winning many fans for its looks. We’re still convinced feelings will soften once we start seeing the 1er on the road, but tend to agree it’s certainly not the prettiest car BMW has ever made.

After the break there’s a concise press release and a massive image gallery of 85 pics to help you get used to the new look.

UPDATE: The press material released by BMW Australia only lists info on the 118i, 116i and 118d; surely giving a hint to their model plans for the F20. They’ve also offered a far more detailed press release, which has now been added below.

UPDATE 6 June: BMW Australia is expected to launch the new 1 Series some time after October this year.


Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster photo gallery

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

The ragtop version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG isn’t due for its public debut until the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but that hasn’t stopped the three-pointed star from releasing a big image gallery of their new Roadster.

Driven by the same 420kW/650Nm 6.3 litre V8 and 7-speed DCT as the “Gullwing” tintop, the Roadster gives the filthy rich, or those who truly deserve it—depending on your bank balance—access to the open sky in just 11 seconds. The soft top can be opened at speeds up to 50km/h as well.

The SLS AMG Roadster introduces some new in-cabin tech, too. It’s called “AMG Performance Media” and it brings some Nissan GTR-like telemetry to the main display screen—G forces, engine data, lap times; that sort of stuff.

After the break you can see 60-plus images from Benz, as well as a short promo clip and lengthy presser.

UPDATE: A quick note from Mercedes-Benz Australia: “The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster will launch in Australia and New Zealand during quarter one, 2012. The selling price will be confirmed closer to its local launch.”

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2011 Spanish Grand Prix in pictures

2011 Spanish Grand Prix

Despite being teased by our own Mark Webber when he scored pole position, the Spanish GP ended up being yet another Sebastian Vettel victory. That’s four from five races for the 2010 champ and history suggests that impressive start is already enough to put Vettel at almost unbackable odds to make it a second world crown.

As usual there’s some great pics from the latest race and there’s a couple of shots where you can see how dramatic the marbles are with the new Pirelli tyres.

We’re already in another Grand Prix week with the classic Monaco GP just a few days away. Can Mark match his unstoppable performance from 2010, or is he fast becoming a broken man with shattered confidence?


BMW 328 Hommage

BMW 328 Hommage

This striking creation is called the BMW 328 Hommage, a concept vehicle made to honour the 75th anniversary of the original BMW 328. It was revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este last weekend. We think it looks fantastic.

Pleasingly, it has been built following the lightweight principles of its forebear and power comes via a 3.0 litre inline six cylinder. Classic BMW in all senses.

There’s an initial press release after the break along with a few pics. We’ll be back later to add more images for you to admire.

UPDATE 4 June: 34 new pics added below.

Aston Martin

Stunning Aston Martin V12 Zagato revealed ahead of race debut

Aston Martin V12 Zagato


Aston Martin promised a new collaboration with Zagato was coming and now that they’ve delivered we must simply say, “thank you.”

Aston has taken the already stunning V12 Vantage handed it over to Zagato and said, do your thing chaps. And the Italian masters have delivered an absoulte gem, this V12 Zagato is car porn it is purest form.

It has great proportions. It looks aggressive. It looks purposeful. It looks like it was made to race. And that’s exactly what it has been made for. In a little over a week from now the V12 Zagato will make its competition debut in a four-hour VLN race at the Nürburgring. Then, in late June, two of these beauties will be ripping it up on the North Loop during the 24 hour race.

The best part, well for those lucky enough to afford one, the V12 Zagato will be built in limited numbers for the road, as well. No specific details have been given just yet, but Dr Ulrich Bez, Aston Martin CEO has confirmed if you have the cash, they will have the car.

“The task for us has been to create a concept that is a natural successor to those iconic cars that have gone before. Matching the technology of the age with the traditional skills vital to deliver such a bespoke and exclusive sports car will lead to a strictly limited run of road going V12 Zagatos,” explained Dr Bez.

We can’t wait. More pics and material from Aston after the break.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin and Zagato reunite

Aston Martin Zagato teaser

Back in 1961 Aston Martin combined forces with Italian coachbuilder Zagato to create the DB4GT Zagato. Now, to mark 50 years of that collaboration, history will repeat with the two companies working in partnership on a new model to be revealed at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy on 21 May. Proving this new car will be true to its racing heritage it will race at the Nürburgring in a four hour VLN race on 28 May.

Assuming both the reveal and race bring encouraging feedback from the well-to-do-set there is a chance the new Aston-Zagato will be offered as a limited series production model.

Aston Martin Design Director, Marek Reichman explains their new ownership structure has allowed the freedom to re-unite with Zagato, “Our designers are able to collaborate with a broad spectrum of organisations and individuals to seek new and exciting ideas and inspiration due to Aston Martin’s independency.

“Working with Zagato again in 2011 is inspirational for the team – certainly DB4GT Zagato is one of my favourite ever designs as it is with many of the designers in our studio. We can create a truly modern Aston Martin interpretation which stays true to the historical routes of the relationship with Zagato.”

Aston’s press release is available after the break along with a small gallery of images showcasing the DB4GT and the DB4GT Zagato.

Motorsports Volkswagen

Volkswagen Motorsport: 2011 Dakar photo gallery

Volkswagen Motorsport - Dakar 2011

It’s about a week or so since Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk claimed victory in the 2011 Dakar Rally. If you missed the action, or would simply like to see what the lads got up to, then here’s a photo gallery sourced from Volkswagen Motorsport showing the mighty Race Touareg 3 in action. There’s over 100 pics, so you might want to put the kettle on first!


Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG photo gallery

Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG

Almost six months after revealing its new four-door coupé model Mercedes has now taken the wraps of the CLS 63 AMG version. With a beefy 5.5 litre V8 biturbo this beast has 386kW (525hp) to throw around. Driven by 700Nm of torque it’s sure have more than enough pace for its owner.

Or does it? Apparently not, as there is an optional AMG Performance pack. Here, the engineers have turned the wick on the M157 V8 biturbo from 1.0 bar up to 1.3 bar, resulting in peak numbers of 410kW (557hp) and 800Nm.

Zero to one hundred can be reached in just 4.3 seconds. Surely that’s enough pace for this four-seater. Amazingly, despite such prodigious performance, if you behave yourself, Mercedes reckon you can sip fuel under 10l/100km; just.

So, check out the gallery of pics after the break. There’s also a promo video and the official press release, of course.

[Source: Daimler AG]


Another Ferrari 458 Italia photoshoot

Ferrari 458 Italia

While over at Winding Road reading about Jack Brabham we also came across this great image gallery of the Ferrari 458 Italia. The pics were taken by Chris Amos and they’re bloody good too. Amos has captured just about every visual detail you could hope for. Follow the source link below for more.

This is the second 458 photoshoot we have linked to this month. If you missed the first one, check it out here.

[Source: Winding Road]

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AIMS 2010: Photo gallery

AIMS 2010

Here is the AUSmotive photo gallery from the Australian International Motor Show industry day. There are 128 photos in all and you can simply click on each thumbnail to access a 2000px super image.

Highlights include a couple of track specials in the form of the awesome Porsche 911 GT3 Cup and the rear-engined V6 Renault Megane Trophy. Others to look out for are the Toyota FT-86G concept, the Ford Focus RS, a trio of Lamborghini Gallardos and the highly desirable Audi R8 V10 Spyder, which looks great in all white.

Dedicated articles on the following cars can be access by clicking on the links below:

A big thank you to Daniel McKenna who joined the AUSmotive crew at AIMS and brought you many of the pictures you see here.

Motorsports Volkswagen

Carlos Sainz and Volkswagen win 2010 Dakar Rally

VW Race Touareg - 2010 Dakar Rally

Carlos Sainz has avenged his disappointment from last year’s Dakar Rally on the way to headlining a clean sweep of the podium for the diesel powered Volkswagen Race Touraegs. It is the first time Volkswagen have claimed a one-two-three finish at the Dakar and follows their one-two result from the 2009 race.

Sainz and co-driver Lucas Cruz (#303) finished 2 minutes 12 seconds ahead of  Nasser Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk (#306). Third place was taken by Mark Miller and Ralph Pitchford (#305). Last year’s winners Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz (#300) finished seventh.

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen was understandably elated with the unprecedented success for his team, “Three weeks ago a highly motivated Volkswagen team came with the goal of successfully defending the ‘Dakar’ title won last year. Volkswagen has achieved something historical with this one-two-three.”

Sainz, who can now add the Dakar crown to his two World Rally Championship titles, said “I have fulfilled a dream by winning the ‘Dakar’. An enormous weight has fallen from my shoulders particularly as the fight for victory was extremely hard both physically and enormously exhausting mentally.

“Everything ran perfectly for me: My co-driver Lucas Cruz did an excellent job, from the technical side the Race Touareg ran like clockwork and the entire Volkswagen squad worked tirelessly for the win. Thank you for this.”

It’s the first time an all-Spanish crew has won the event and Cruz was over the moon with the win, “After so much pressure over the last few days it goes without saying that I’m incredibly happy on the day of my first ‘Dakar’ victory. I think we have beaten tough competitors and also one of the hardest ‘Dakar’s’ ever.

“Carlos approached his job throughout the entire event patiently, concentrated but also with great tenacity. He is a great champion, it’s fantastic to win with him.”

A huge image gallery from the Volkswagen Motorsport team can bee seen after the jump, along with extensive press releases including quotes from all Race Touareg driving crews.