Monday, November 29, 2010

GM Introduces New E-Rod Crate Engines at SEMA

The E-Rod LSA offers 556 horsepower and is available now. (Photo: GM Performance Parts)
GM Performance Products  announced at the 2010 SEMA Show that it has added three new E-Rod packages that are designed for hot rodders to its E-Rod line of crate engines. The company introduced the original E-Rod LS3 crate engine at last year’s SEMA Show.
The first of the new packages, the E-Rod 5.3L, is an entry-level option that features an engine from the Silverado pickup truck. It produces 315 horsepower and 335 lbs./f.t of torque with camshaft phasing, according to the company.
The engine was used to power the E-Rod ’55 Chevy pickup found in GM’s booth at the SEMA Show.
The second new package, the E-Rod LS7, features an engine from the Corvette Z06 and offers 505 horsepower.
The E-Rod LSA package features the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine from the Cadillac CTS-V. It offers 556 horsepower and 551 lbs./ft. of torque. In addition, the LSA comes with a conventional wet-sump lubrication system. Other features of the LSA package include a unique aluminum-cylinder block casting that houses a forged steel crankshaft, integrated piston cooling oil jets, high-flow cylinder heads and relatively mild camshaft, according to the company. This package was used in a Superformance Corvette Grand Sport coupe that was seen on the SEMA Show floor.
All of the E-Rods are available for manual and automatic gearboxes. The packages include a wiring harness, ECU, exhaust manifolds, catalytic converter, oxygen sensors, mass airflow sensor, accelerator pedal, air filter and instruction manual.
The 5.3L and LSA engine packages are available now; the LS7 package is slated to be released for sale early in 2011.
For more information on the new E-Rod crate engines, go tohttp://www.gmperformanceparts.com/.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2010 SEMA Show: From Hot Rods to Exotics to Hybrids

November 4, 2010, 12:37 PM

This naked steel sled in Hot Rod Alley drew possibly the most attention at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
Jerry Garrett for The New York TimesThis naked steel sled in Hot Rod Alley may have drawn the most attention at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. More photos.
The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show in Las Vegas is an opportunity for companies selling aftermarket automotive accessories to let their imaginations run wild. Refinish a Rolls-Royce in black primer? Hot-rod a hybrid? Is one engine enough? Why not two? There are no limits. Nearly one million square feet of exhibit space inside the Las Vegas Convention Center is packed with one display after another, and aisles that seem to stretch for miles; what there is no room for inside spills out into the parking lots, to the nearby Sands Convention Center, and even various casinos.
The show, which is not open to the general public, officially lasts four days, Nov. 2-5. Unofficially, automotive tinkering never ends.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pontiac Falls From Muscle Car Glory to Graveyard

DETROIT — Pontiac, the brand that invented the muscle car under its flamboyant engineer John Z. DeLorean, helped Burt Reynolds elude Sheriff Justice in “Smokey and the Bandit” and taught baby boomers to salivate over horsepower, but produced mostly forgettable cars for their children, will endure a lonely death on Sunday after about 40 million in sales.
Gary McCracken for The New York Times
The last new Pontiac for sale on the lot at Lee Pontiac GMC in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., is a 2009 Pontiac Solstice coupe hardtop.

 It was 84 years old. The cause of death was in dispute. Fans said Pontiac’s wounds were self-inflicted, while General Motors blamed a terminal illness contracted during last year’s bankruptcy. Pontiac built its last car nearly a year ago, but the official end was set for Oct. 31, when G.M.’s agreements with Pontiac dealers expire.
“They were C.P.R.-ing a corpse for a long time,” said Larry Kummer, a retired graphic artist who has owned more than two dozen Pontiacs and runs the Web site PontiacRegistry.com.
The G.M. brand that was advertised for “driving excitement,” Pontiac brought Americans the Bonneville, GTO, Firebird and other venerable nameplates. Sportier than a Chevrolet but less uppity than an Oldsmobile or Buick, the best Pontiacs, recognizable by their split grille and red arrowhead emblem in the middle, were stylish yet affordable cars with big, macho engines.
Its biggest triumph was the GTO, developed by Mr. DeLorean, the brand’s rebellious chief engineer, in violation of a G.M. policy dictating the maximum size of a car’s engine. The GTO was a hit, and the age of the muscle car had begun.
“When the muscle-car era was in its heyday, Pontiac was king,” said Frederick Perrine, a dealer in Cranbury, N.J., whose family sold Pontiacs since the brand’s founding. “It put us through school. We were the house on the block that had the swimming pool growing up.”
Ed Dieffenbach, a retired police officer, recalls admiring Pontiacs in magazines as a boy but he never bought one. But with the brand nearing death, he drove 1,300 miles last week from his home near Miami to the Lee Pontiac GMC dealership in Florida’s panhandle to trade in his Chevrolet Silverado truck for one of the last new Solstice two-seater coupes available anywhere in the country.
“I always wanted a hot rod, but never got around to it, so this is it,” Mr. Dieffenbach, 62, said after getting his new car home. “My wife sat in it last night and said, ‘Oh my Lord, wow.’ ”
For most of the 1960s, Pontiac ranked third in sales behind Chevy and Ford — a position now held by Toyota.
But in the decades since, Pontiac’s edge and high-powered image wore off. Repeated efforts in the 1990s and 2000s to revive the brand failed. Drivers too young to remember the GTO came to associate Pontiac with models like the DustBuster-shaped Trans Sport minivan or the Aztek, a bloated-looking crossover widely regarded as one of the ugliest vehicles of all time.
By early 2009, Pontiac had fallen to 12th place in the United States market, and its top-selling model was the G6, a sedan commonly found on car-rental lots.
Pontiac, named for the Michigan city where the company started and an 18th-century Ottawa Indian chief, found itself on the wrong end of G.M.’s government-aided bankruptcy restructuring.
“They had a lot of glory years, but from the ’70s on, Pontiac just couldn’t meet the bar,” Mr. Kummer said. “It was always living in the past.”
For the most part, Pontiac’s final months generated no more excitement than its last few decades did. G.M. said dealers had fewer than 125 new Pontiacs in stock at the end of August, mostly heavily discounted G6’s, but only eight of them were reported sold in September.
“You hate to see them go, but they were floundering and couldn’t find their place in the market,” said Tim Dye, who owns 21 Pontiacs from various eras and a huge collection of Pontiac memorabilia — started with a bottle of GTO cologne from his uncle — that he had assembled over more than 30 years.
Mr. Dye’s home in Oklahoma, along with two buildings on his property, are filled with thousands of items from Pontiac’s past, including showroom brochures, advertising posters, model cars, pencils, ashtrays and matchbooks. Now that Pontiac is gone, Mr. Dye plans to turn his collection into a museum in Pontiac, Ill., a city on Route 66.
“I can’t think of anything better to do than just visit with people about Pontiac every day,” he said.
The Pontiac Motor Division was born at G.M. in 1926 as a single model under the Oakland brand, but its roots date to the 1890s, when horse-drawn carriage-making was a big industry in Pontiac, 25 miles northwest of Detroit. The Pontiac Spring and Wagon Works started building automobiles in 1907, before merging with the nearby Oakland Motor Car Company, which was then bought by G.M. in 1909.
G.M.’s first Pontiac was an $825 model known as the “Chief of the Sixes” for its 6-cylinder engine. It sold so well that G.M. shut down Oakland to focus on Pontiacs.
Pontiac became known as a conservative brand, building stodgy cars for grandmothers, until its general manager in the late 1950s, Semon Knudsen, sought a hipper image and much younger buyer. Mr. Knudsen, the son of a former G.M. president and a fan of auto racing, unveiled Pontiac’s “wide-track” design, which improved the cars’ handling by pushing the wheels five inches farther apart.
Mr. Knudsen, known as Bunkie, was once quoted describing wide-track Pontiacs as resembling “a football player wearing ballet slippers.” The style was distinctive, and Pontiac’s frequent wins on the racetrack in that era helped sales soar.
No innovation did as much for Pontiac’s high-performance image as the GTO, whose glory days were from 1964 to 1974. The original GTO’s 389 cubic-inch engine was larger than G.M. allowed in a car of that size, but Pontiac executives got around that rule by offering it as an upgrade package to an existing model, the Tempest, and no one at the corporate level was aware of the option before it went into production and dealers began clamoring for more.
“We got 5,000 of them out into the marketplace before we got around to telling the corporation what we were doing,” said Jim Wangers, a Pontiac advertising executive at the time who worked with Mr. DeLorean to create the GTO, short for Gran Turismo Omologato.
Mr. Wangers, who was born the same year as Pontiac and never thought he would outlive it, recalls the time that the German luxury carmaker BMW sent a team of engineers, designers and marketers to meet with Mr. DeLorean’s team and study how the brand did so well.
But Pontiac sales peaked in 1973, when 920,000 were sold, and the ride was mostly downhilll after that. Pontiac fans lament that the brand finally got a few worthy models in its final years — the G8 full-size sedan and the Solstice sports car — but by then it was too far gone.
Gary Lee Jr., an owner of the dealership that sold Mr. Dieffenbach his Solstice this week, remembers the sadness of losing Oldsmobile when G.M. killed that brand in 2004. But with Pontiac, he has just been eager to move on. Signs for Pontiac at his dealership had long been removed, and he said, thankfully, he had no more new Pontiacs to unload.
“It was a great line,” Mr. Lee said, “while it lasted.”
·                                 Collecting: When Bigger Was Better, Pontiac Was a Winner(December 20, 2009)
·                                 When Pontiac Meant Muscle(May 3, 2009)
·                                 Its Muscle Car Glory Faded, Pontiac Shrivels Up (February 20, 2009)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pirelli Celebrates F1 Tyre Factory Inauguration

To see these pictures, enable images on your email softwareOn September 23 Pirelli officially inaugurated what it calls the “Factory of Champions” at its plant in Izmit, Turkey, where the company will produce tyres for all Formula One teams during the 2011 to 2013 seasons. The inauguration served as a double celebration for Pirelli, as 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of the Izmit facility’s opening and the Italian tyre maker’s operations in Turkey.

Producing eight million tyres for cars, trucks and motorsport each year, Izmit has the largest unit output of any Pirelli tyre. The group has invested 140 million euros there over the last ten years and plans to invest a further 30 million euros in 2011 to support expansion in Turkey and nearby emerging markets. The Izmit site has housed Pirelli’s motorsport tyre production line since 2007 and, in synergy with the company’s research and development centre in Milan, will become the heart of Pirelli’s Formula One activities.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Driver Chooses Infinity Tyres for Dutch Drifting

Oliver Harrsch drives a BMW E-30 powered by a 3.6 Litre engine from an M5 BMW 
and equipped with Infinity 050 UHP tyres

Drifting driver Oliver Harrsch recently competed in a round of the Dutch Open Drift Championship held in Kalkar, Germany (held 11 - 12 September) equipped with Infinity tyres. Harrsch was supplied the tyres by Venlo-based Infinity distributor Euro-Tyre and according to the company, the small and technical course was suited to lower powered cars and the more skilled drivers. On the first day, dry conditions allowed Harrsch to push the Infinity 050 UHP tyres to their limits and to experiment with tyre pressures. He commented: “Lots of grip and very smokey! Infinity are unbelievably good tyres!" In extremely wet conditions on the second day, Oliver took a very commendable fourth position... 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Brembo Plans Brake Plant in Czech Republic

Italian brake product maker Brembo has announced plans to build a new production plant in the Czech Republic. The three-year, 35 million euro project will start operations in 2011. The project included rehabilitating an existing industrial building in the city of Ostrava, Brembo said.

Brake calipers and other aluminum components will be cast, machined and assembled there, Brembo said, and it plans to develop an “integrated industrial center supplying quality brake systems with a high technological content to the European market.”

Brembo Czech s.r.o. is expected to achieve sales turnover of around 55 million euros in 2014, generated through new business through the new plant.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Industry News

Borla Performance Industries announced the merger of TWM Induction into the Borla Performance group of companies. According to a release, the merger enables the two companies to leverage their collective 60 years of experience to design, manufacture, market and sell induction and exhaust systems worldwide. TWM Induction, originally based in Goleta, California, has moved into the 320,000-sq.-ft. headquarters of Borla Performance, located in Johnson City, Tennessee. Borla and TWM Induction have supplied racing teams, classic car enthusiasts and speed fans with their world-class engineering expertise and personalized approach. A joint operation named Borla Induction will soon launch, introducing a new line of late-model products

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A new formula for 2013 emerges

Turbos have been banned in F1 since 1989 © Sutton Images
Details of Formula One's radical new regulations for 2013 have begun to emerge, although they will not be confirmed until later this year.
The sport is set for a major overhaul to introduce more efficient engines, ground-effect aerodynamics and road-relevant technologies to F1 cars.
According to GP Week the teams have agreed to adopt 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder turbo engines, limited to 10,000 rpm and producing approximately 650bhp. The new engines will be mated to kinetic energy recovery systems, capable of producing a further 150bhp power boost. A fuel flow rate limit will also be introduced to ensure the engines are frugal compared to the current crop of 2.4 litre V8s.
To reduce drag engineers will be allowed to reintroduce ground-effect aerodynamics - pioneered in the 1970s but banned due to safety concerns. Sidepods will also be moved forwards to increase driver protection, while the size of the wheel rims is expected to increase in future years.
The basis of the 2013 rules are likely to be outlined in more detail after a forthcoming meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

Big Interest in Tiny Cars

Video: a lap of Korea with Chandhok

Friday, August 27, 2010

F1 News and Views

What Makes Formula One Run?

A Formula One engine, built by hand with loving care like a Swiss watch, is the most extreme expression of automotive technical precision and power on earth.

Building It 'Bulletproof'

Mark Gallagher, the business unit leader of the Cosworth engine program in Formula One, speaks about the program with Brad Spurgeon of the International Herald Tribune.

Into the Forest on Nature's Circuit

The Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium, through the landscape of the Ardennes Forest, is one of the most challenging of the Grand Prix season and the favorite of most drivers.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2011 Corvette Z06: It makes me feel so young

It's not the fastest of the four Corvettes, but the Z06 is probably the closest to race-ready a person would want for driving on the street.

By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
August 26, 2010

There's just something about speed that makes a person feel omnipotent. Youthful. Alive. If you have any doubt, check out the 2011 Corvette Z06. After all, it's become the inadvertent poster child of the American midlife crisis.
Cranking 470 pound-feet of torque and boasting a zero-to-60 acceleration time of 3.7 seconds, this 7-liter V-8 version of the 'Vette is as blazing fast as its inferno-orange shell would indicate.
It may not be fast enough to turn back the hands of time, but it was certainly quick enough to flatten me back in its leather bucket seat so effectively that I exited the car feeling thinner. That's to say nothing of the giddy laugh it squeezed out of me with the pressing of its accelerator pedal.
Introduced in 2006, the Z06 is one of four current Corvettes. While it isn't the fastest, the Z06 is the version that injected high performance back into a brand that had become a high-status vehicle for men to display their trophy wives.
With a fixed roof that makes it more lightweight than the standard and Grand Sport models and a six-speed transmission that is available only as a stick shift, the Z06 is probably the closest-to-race-ready Corvette a person would want for driving on the street.
For 2011, the two-seat Z06 widens the gap between Corvette's base-model bestsellers and its more performance-oriented higher end.
Though the Z06 has the largest engine of any production 'Vette and is also the lightest in the lineup thanks to its aluminum frame and carbon-fiber fenders, the supercharged ZR1 trumps it in horsepower. The limited-edition ZR1 gallops with a whopping 638 versus the 505 horses of the Z06.
It's the $111,100 ZR1 from which the $74,305 Z06 takes its cues for 2011. Sticky F1 tires, new exhaust tuning and different exterior paint are the most substantial and noticeable changes from the 2010 model for the stock vehicle.
It takes some extra cash for the upgrades that push this Z06 closer toward the ZR1. To get the lightweight carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes that will slow this 198-mph car more expeditiously costs extra. So do the competition gray wheels that make the car look more racetrack serious and less flashy. Add the fast-acting magnetic ride control that smooths the discrepancies between a comfortable ride and good handling, and drivers are looking at an extra $9,495.
A carbon-fiber touch-up to lighten the load and make this already fast car even quicker off the line costs an additional $3,995. Navigation and a USB jack, $1,795.
Already an exercise in excess, the Z06 I was testing had all these things.
As for attracting attention: This car gets the looks, the double takes. I've never seen a man do a triple take of a parked car before. Nor have I had so many guys try to yell compliments over the grumbling of its four mufflers.
The Z06 is also the perfect car to channel one's inner jerk. At idle, this car has a bit of a shimmy, as if it's rumbling for a fight. So if, like me, you're even remotely inclined to heed its siren song and push the posted speed limit, this Corvette is torque-y enough to drive you over the edge.
I was regularly prompted to bully my way through traffic to find the wide-open spots where I could press pedal to metal and risk a vehicular impound. And, while doing so, enjoy the upward counting of the digital speedometer reflecting in the windshield. Looking down at the car's fuel economy was, however, a buzz kill. I was averaging 13.5 miles per gallon.
Wide-set and low to the ground, the 'Vette made me feel planted to the road even in high-speed turns. Going straight, however, I just felt short. Pulling up behind a line of cars at a stoplight, a Toyota Corolla actually seemed tall.
Because speed is king for a Corvette, aerodynamics are crucial. That means the front end is exceedingly low, the better to scoop up air and throw it over the roof. There are just 5 inches of ground clearance, which, I learned the hard way, makes it easy to scrape going in and out of driveways that are even marginally sloped.
I think I speak for most sport car drivers when I say there is no more sickening sound than the scraping of a front splitter — a sound that is quickly followed by the mental ka-ching of a cash register tallying up the damage.
Oh well. Money is rarely an obstacle when it comes to the pursuit of youth and virility.
It may be impossible to drive away from age, but the in-the-moment exhilaration of the Z06 was far more enjoyable than blowing out the candles on a cake that is, at this point, essentially a firebomb.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BMW-based Saloon Becomes World’s Fastest on Michelin Rubber

To see these pictures, enable images on your email softwareAs readers of tyrepress.com will know, Michelin supplies a custom set of Pilot Sport tyres to the world’s fastest production car – the Bugatti Veyron Super Sports.

But now the French manufacturer has another record-setting vehicle rolling on its rubber. A BMW M5-based G-Power Hurricane RR has just set the world speed record for the fastest saloon car, at 232.5mph (372.1km/h), fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport tyres.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Classic Goodyear Eagle Racing Tire to Feature First-Ever Patriotic Design at Daytona

AKRON, Ohio – For the first time in its history, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, has announced it will transform all Goodyear Racing Eagle tires for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races over the July 4th holiday weekend. The new design, featuring a patriotic red, white and blue color scheme reading “Support Our Troops” on the tires’ sidewalls, is designed to say ‘thank you’ to the service men and women of the United States Armed Forces and launch the Goodyear Support Our Troops program. The Company will help jump-start this new support and fundraising effort with a $20,000 donation to a leading military support program.

The Goodyear Support Our Troops program will also provide consumers a variety of ways to show their support for the troops and will encourage everyone to participate in a series of fund-raising initiatives to benefit members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The rebranded Goodyear Support Our Troops tires will raise awareness for the support effort and will also serve as the first step in the fund-raising campaign, as Goodyear will auction the special logo’d, driver-autographed tires used in the July 3rd Coke Zero 400.
All funds raised will be donated to Support Our Troops®, a nonprofit nationwide organization which bolsters the morale and well-being of America’s troops and their families. Funds raised through the Goodyear effort will benefit the highly effective programs, which deliver more than $8 million per year in care packs and requested items to the front lines, positive support at home, kids’ camp assistance and more.
“For well over 100 years, Goodyear has been supplying and supporting the U.S. military, and has been a part of NASCAR’s great history for more than 56 years. Now, we’re making this historic change to honor them both,” said Kris Kienzl, Goodyear’s NASCAR marketing manager. “We are showing our support for the uniformed men and women who protect us and our families with a special message on the premier spot on our race tires. This program also waves the green flag on our fundraising and support campaign … the first lap of which will be the autographed tire auction.”
The Goodyear Support Our Troops Charity Auction, held online at www.Goodyear.com, will begin when the green flag drops on July 3rd and will run through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 17th. The auction will offer fans the opportunity to own a piece of history, with race tires individually autographed by the top NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers including Ryan Newman – driver of the U.S. Army Chevrolet, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others. Proceeds from the sale of all auction items, including the Goodyear tires and several items donated by NASCAR sponsors, will go directly to Support Our Troops.
Each autographed race-used Goodyear Support Our Troops tire will come with a certificate of authenticity that includes the driver’s name and car number, the race in which the tire was used, the driver’s finish in the race and the tire’s identification number. A minimum bid price has been set for each tire depending upon expected interest levels and ranges from $100 to $200; minimum bid prices will be displayed in each individual listing.
“We are very proud to have an iconic American company like Goodyear support us in our efforts to positively impact the lives of our country’s service men and women and their families,” said Martin C. Boire, Executive Director of Support Our Troops. “We are happy that NASCAR fans – some of the most patriotic and dedicated fans in the world – will have another great way to show their support through this program.”
Goodyear’s Support Our Troops initiative will feature additional unique ways for consumers to join in saying ‘thank you’ to the troops and will provide them the opportunity to participate in fundraising efforts. Consumers can visit www.Goodyear.com to view the latest updates and additions to the Support Our Troops program.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - JULY 01: (L-R) NASCAR President Mike Helton, Martin C. Boire, Goodyear General Manager Stu Grant and NASCAR driver Ryan Newman unveil the Goodyear Support Our Troops tire prior to practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 1, 2010 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Goodyear has a longstanding history with the U.S. Armed Forces, with over 100 years of commitment to building innovative and reliable equipment to support and protect our troops. To this day, Goodyear continues to develop and test new possible fitments for U.S. military vehicles. Goodyear’s commitment extends beyond products and charitable donations; Goodyear prides itself on hosting events at U.S. military bases throughout the year, bringing NASCAR drivers and the Goodyear Blimp. These events allow the military service men and women and their families a chance to interact with the drivers and take rides on the Goodyear Blimp.
About Support Our Troops®
SupportOurTroops.Org provides simple constructive ways for citizens and community minded businesses to show their patriotism and appreciation for those who sacrifice so much to protect our country, our homes, our families, and our American way of life.
Support Our Troops® is a registered trademark licensed through SupportOurTroops.org The official SupportOurTroops.Org website is a nationwide platform for individuals, organizations, businesses and non-profits to bolster America’s troops and their families in a multitude of ways. It is a moral covenant with those who serve to protect us and our families. SupportOurTroops.Org is a resource that was not available to previous generations of troops, which now stands as a permanent living testament to the affection, gratitude and loyalty good Americans hold for those who do so much for all of us every day.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Veyron Tyres Last Just 37 Miles at Top Whack

To see these pictures, enable images on your email softwareWhile everyone else was drooling over the Bugatti Veyron Super Sports’s jaw dropping 267 mph (431 km/h) performance on the BBC’s Top Gear programme last night, Tyres & Accessories was observing the tyre geek angle – at those kinds of speeds even the best tyres simply don’t last very long.

During his report, May pointed out that Bugatti engineers had told him the car’s tyres lasted for around 37 miles a speeds of up to 258 mph (414 km/h). At speeds beyond this, however, the tyres’ life expectancy is somewhat more opaque: “Ask an admiral how deep his submarine goes,” Top Gear’s May was told.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Helio Castroneves loses his freaking mind on camera

Mon Jul 26 08:27am PDT
Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.
This, friends, is something to see. Helio Castroneves was leading Sunday's Honda Indy Edmonton race, but race officials ruled he illegally blocked Will Power and ordered him to back off the throttle. He refused and crossed the finish line first, but IndyCar officials stripped him of his victory. And oh, he wasn't happy. Here are the final few laps, followed by Helio's explosion, which happens about four minutes in:
Nice! Helio was fired up enough to take on a security guard!
Yeah! YEAH! Now that's a quality tantrum! And you know, he may in fact have a point. Still, the race is done, but this tantrum will live on forever. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

From Dynamo to Dinosaur: Why Japan Is Faltering

Sometimes Japan seems to be on the wrong continent. Everywhere else in Asia, from Shanghai to Mumbai to Jakarta, there is an aura of perpetual motion, a sense that tomorrow will be better than today. The region is on a frenetic 365-day-a-year hurtle into a brighter future. Japan once shared Asia's dynamism and mission. But not anymore. Today, Japan is an island of inertia in an Asia in constant flux. Japan's political leadership is paralyzed, its corporate elite befuddled, its people agonized about the future. While Asia lurches forward, Japan inches backward. Read more here…


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2011 Chevrolet Corvette - Still Building Rockets

Michelin’s Motorised Wheel – Coming Soon to a Peugeot Near You?

To see these pictures, enable images on your email softwareAt last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show vehicle manufacturer Peugeot presented its BB1 concept, a car just 2.5 metres long and powered by electric motors placed inside the rear wheels - units designed in association with Michelin.

This extraordinary vehicle is now a step closer to going on sale after Peugeot confirmed it has shifted the BB1 from concept car status to project status. A production version should thus be unveiled in 2012 or 2013 and most likely closely resemble the concept car’s design.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New York Times Auto News

Social Networking for Cars

Meet AJ, the 2011 Ford Fiesta that has been modified so that it can send automatic Twitter messages (and photos) as it drives.

G.M. Joint Venture Introduces New Brand to China

Baojun, which means "treasured horse" in Chinese, will produce low-cost cars and will be aimed at buyers outside of China's major metropolitan areas.

Most Car Arguments Are Over Directions

A survey of 2,200 individuals found that more than a third of all arguments in the car are over directions.

Autobahn Closed for Festival

A 40-mile stretch of Germany's Autobahn was closed to motor vehicles to make way for a street festival.

Driving the Nissan Leaf Reveals Range Variability

In a drive of a preproduction Nissan Leaf electric car, a writer discovers how much the car's 100-mile range can vary.