Thursday, 5 May 2011

McLaren unveils new GT3 racer - the £310,000 'evil twin' of its 200mph road car

Legendary British sports-car maker McLaren has officially taken the wraps off its new  £310,000  racing car as it set out ambitious plans for global growth.

McLaren bosses described their new GT3 as the 'evil twin' of their recently unveiled £168,500  road-car,  the 200mph  MP4-12C, on which the racing car is based.  The first 1,000 road-cars will start being delivered to eager customers next month.

The new racing GT3 variant is aimed at amateur but rich  'gentlemen racers', professional race-drivers, and collectors.

The GT3  is the latest fruit of McLaren's £750million investment programme which will see the opening within weeks of a new £40million factory at the firm's futuristic but environmentally-friendly Woking site in Surrey. To retain exclusivity, only  20 of the GT3s launched  today will be sold initially in Europe, with Asia and Australia to be targetted next.

The GT3 race-car is powered by a 3.8 litre V8 twin-turbo engine developing 500 horse-power. The £310,000 price tag  comes with 'no hidden extras' and a degree of support, says McLaren.

Honda's production cut in India to last till July

NEW DELHI: Japanese auto major Honda today said its decision to reduce car production in India by 50 per cent from this month is likely to continue for the next three months due to parts supply constraints after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the island nation.

Honda Motor Co, which is present in India through a joint venture with the Siel Group, manufactures cars at a facility in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh that has an installed capacity to roll out one lakh units per year.

"The supply situation is not good at present and so we had announced to cut production by 50 per cent from May, although we started the exercise from middle of last month. We expect this situation to continue for the next three months," Honda Siel Cars India (HSCI) Senior Vice President (Marketing and Sales) Jnaneswar Sen told PTI.

The resumption of normal production after three months will depend on the recovery of suppliers affected by the natural calamity and there is uncertainty on this, he added.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ford Ranger

The Ford Ranger is the name of two distinct lineages of pickup trucks sold by the Ford Motor Company:

     North America: designed and engineered by Ford for sale in North America only for the 1983 through to 2011 model years. During the 1994 through 2010 model years, Mazda badge engineered this North American variant as the "Mazda B-Series".

Ford Ranger (North America)

    International: originally a badge engineered Mazda B-Series (unrelated to the North American B-Series), designed and engineered in Japan (1998–2006). Second generation versions (2006–2011) were also designed by Mazda, being rebadged versions of the Mazda BT-50. Third generation models (from 2011) were designed and engineered by Ford Australia, with Mazda set to introduce a derivative version as the Mazda BT-50.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Revealed - Britain's most vandalised cars

 Prestige cars aren't attractive only to their owners - they seem to be arousing the interest of vandals too, new figures suggest.

The Lexus IS is the most vandalised car in Britain, according to new figures.

Second most attacked car is the BMW Z4, followed by the MINI One, in what insurer Swiftcover calls its "Vehicle Vandalism Index".

The majority of vehicles in the "top 10" are prestige cars, with the Mercedes CLK taking fourth place, followed by the Audi TT.

"Our analysis shows that luxury cars are more likely to be targeted by vandals, however, it's interesting to see the Mini ONE in the top three," said Robin Reames, claims director at insurer "The majority of vehicles in the top ten are what we call 'executive cars', likely to be driven by high earners who see their car as a status symbol, with just one 4x4 making up the top ten."

Taking up position number five is the Mazda MX-5, followed by the BMW X5, the Skoda Octavia - proving that there are exceptions to the "executive" rule - the BMW 525 and the BMW 530. According to the survey, "everyday" cars such as Fords were vandalised less frequently.

"Vandalism is difficult to prevent but motorists can take some measures to protect their cars as best possible," added Mr Reames. "The most obvious one is not to leave your car on the street; if you're lucky enough to have a garage, use it to keep your car out of harm's way. Installing extra security features such as motion-activated lights or security cameras will reduce your risk, as will a physical car cover to hide your car from view. We hope that the index gives some insight for those considering their next car."

The statistics were compiled by analysing approximately 2,000 claims and adjusting the figures to take account of the number of vehicles on the road.

Monday, 2 May 2011

More bikes jostling with cars means more safety challenges

FROM MILES of new bike lanes to the ambitious bike-sharing program he announced late last month, Mayor Menino and his administration are taking big, tangible steps to make cycling a real transportation option in Boston. These efforts are heartening to cycling buffs, environmentalists, health advocates, and all those who believe that too many cars threaten the quality of life in crowded urban urban neighborhoods.

And yet the tangible steps aren’t enough; the city must also work to cultivate the good habits, among bicyclists as well as motorists, that will allow both types of vehicles to coexist.

Unlike cities in Europe with more bike commuters and fewer cars, and unlike Minneapolis and some other US cities, Boston isn’t entirely safe for riders. Boston’s roads weren’t built with bikers in mind, and the city has its fair share of aggressive drivers. That’s why Menino should accompany his biking efforts with a city-wide education program. It should promote vigilance among motorists, who need to be prepared for more bikers on already busy streets. The campaign must also teach cyclists where they can go safely, how to navigate around cars, and why they need bells, reflective clothing, and well-fitting helmets.

More than a casual safety check, such education is necessary if the city is to encourage more inexperienced cyclists to take to the roads. The US Department of Transportation reports that there were 630 bicycle-related deaths and 51,000 injuries nationwide in 2009. And Boston has had its own string of high-profile crashes, including the death of a 74-year-old commuter earlier this year, and two deaths last year.