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Zoopedup at the Races

Published by on Aug 6th, 2006, No Comments

Last Sunday 30 July modifying club Zoopedup attended ‘Germany versus Japan’, a track day hosted by Killarney race track in Table View, Cape Town.

Despite heavily overcast and cloudy conditions with occasional rain, the turnout to the event was surprisingly good, especially in terms of attendance by the general public. The large grassy areas around the racetrack were packed with cars of people who had come to enjoy a day full of quality drag racing, an adrenaline-pumping gymkhana, and a small sound off competition.

Zoopedup put on an impressive display of club members’ rides alongside the karting track. Roving Max Power photographers, to the delight of several proud Zoopies, made sure that the display would be immortalized in the next issue of the magazine

Several ‘Speed and Sound’ sponsored vehicles made an appearance at the drag racing, and at least one was beaten in its race by a local! I did not get the name of the person responsible, but big up to him!

To see a collection of photographs and to read what Zoopedup members had to say about the event check out the official Zoopedup forums, here.

Richard Hagan
‘Random Richard’

Astin Martin the official Bond Car … Again!!!

Published by on Aug 6th, 2006, No Comments

Aston Martin have unveiled the new Astin Martin DBS which will be driven by James Bond in the next 007 film, “Casino Royale”.

Astin Martin DBS

Although specific details of the new DBS remain a secret, Aston Martin Design Director, Marek Reichman, said, “This car encapsulates a link between our elegant DB9 road car and the powerful DBR9 race car. It signals an evolutionary development of Aston Martin’s world renowned style and elegance.

He also adds that, “While hinting at our future design direction, the DBS also has very clear links with our heritage – it is instantly recognisable as an Aston Martin.

Aston Martin Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Ulrich Bez says, “The DBS continues our proud and lengthy association with James Bond.

The DBS is not of the understated elegance of a DB9, nor the youthful agility of the V8 Vantage. It is explosive power in a black tie and has its own unique character which will equal that of James Bond.

Starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, “Casino Royale” is scheduled for release in November…

Fabian E Schoonraad

New Corsa – First 'Official' shot

Published by on Aug 6th, 2006, No Comments

Although pictures of the new Vauxhall (Opel) Corsa have been flying around the internet for some time now, Vauxhall have finally released ‘official’ pictures and the car is set for release later this year. (well, in the UK, at least…)

New Corsa

The new Corsa will sport a more spacious cabin which includes neat touches such as translucent control knobs and switches which illuminate, making them easier to find when driving at night.

The chassis is designed to deliver improved dynamic ability and agility, with a host of active safety features including Enhanced Understeer Control (EUC).

It will be the first car in its class to have “variable progressive sports power steering”, which is designed to offer better feedback on the open road, but lighten up when used in urban areas.
A lowered sports chassis with 17-inch alloys will be also available. (Although it is uncertain whether this will also be available here in South Africa.)

New innovations like “Halogen Adaptive Forward Lighting (AFL)”, which alters the light beam according to speed and steering input, plus a new infotainment system, including MP3 compatibility and Bluetooth phone connectivity will also find its way into the vehicle.

Five engines will be available initially. Petrol choices will be 1.0, 1.2 and 1.4-litres (all 16-Valve, I believe)(and frankly, a little disappointing), while there will also be a 1.3-litre CDTi unit, and the flagship 125PS 1.7-litre CDTi.

Being an avid Opel fan, I can’t help but get excited at the prospects and I certainly hope we get all the nifty features that the rest of the world will be seeing.

Fabian E Schoonraad

Exhaust mufflers muffled further?

Published by on Aug 6th, 2006, 3 Comments

Treachery is afoot in the realm of soul-stirring engine tones…

In future, this might just be for show

Car noise regulations are nothing new, with most countries having their own requisite decibel (dB) level limits. Sound levels have always been a major consideration for high-performance manufacturers like Ferrari, Aston Martin, Pagani, etc, but so far they’ve managed to attain a balance between practical quietness and phenomenal high-rev roar. Anyone who has been in (or near) any of these cars in full flight will know exactly what I mean

Decibel measurement criteria vary from government to government, but in many cases the tests are done at low engine speeds, with the throttle only partially open. This allows manufacturers to get away with an exhaust valve system – at low revs, gases are diverted through a silencer, providing a nice quiet (and legal) ride. When you nail the throttle, the valve bypasses much of the silencer, and the engine can unleash it’s intended howl.

However, this sneaky approach may soon be threatened. There is a sub-sub-sub-division of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council called the Working Party on Noise, and they want a new homologated noise testing standard to be imposed across all UN participating countries. This new test would involve measuring dBs under various driving styles, not just a slow progress through the gears. Included in the new standard is a ban on ‘defeat devices’ such as exhaust valves and baffles. Bad news for glorious, spirited engines.

There is already a precedent – in 2002 the UN decided that all new motorbike models should have daytime running lights, and a couple of days later it was law. In the USA, a consortium made up of the World Health Organisation, the UN Working Party on Noise, and the American Motorcycle Association is currently aiming for a worldwide standard for bike exhaust noise too.

Europe generally takes the UN very seriously, and no prizes for guessing where most of the world’s noisiest (and best) supercars are made…

What I don’t get is how anyone decides that the elation-inducing thunder of a V12 is a bad thing.

The proposal calls for a limit of 74 dB for passenger cars (and 80 dB for motorcycles). To put things into perspective, this sound level is equivalent to a vacuum cleaner or hair drier. Do you want your adrenaline-pumping sublimely-engineered automobile to sound like a home appliance?

Technologically, it’s not a major problem – the regulations won’t affect power output much. But the rich, evocative exhaust note of the supercars we love so much will be a thing of the past. All in an effort to further standardise our existence into dull, plastic mediocrity.

Whether this regulation is actually imposed remains to be seen. However, I’m hopeful that even if it does come to pass, the aftermarket parts industry will compensate accordingly, and undo the damage done to the driving spirit of these fine machines.

tachyon (at) carblog (dot) co (dot) za

(C) 2006

The Ten Most Expensive Cars In The World

Published by on Aug 6th, 2006, 1 Comment

When your car costs more than $1.2 million, travels over 230 mph, and hits 62 mph in 2.5 seconds, you do not sit in a passenger cabin — you sit in a “survival cell.”

The “survival cell” is the heart of the Bugatti Veyron, billed as the world’s fastest, most expensive and most exclusive factory-built car. It will arrive in the United States beginning early next year.

* Bugatti Veyron

The Veyron is a short, curvy two-seater with massive power. Its 1,001 horsepower engine has four turbochargers. The car’s features sound like those on a jet: diffuser flaps, air-intake scoops, a tail wing that acts like an airbrake and 1.7 miles of cable to power onboard electronics.

Bugatti, owned by Volkswagen, can only produce one Veyron per week in its newly built factory in France, and will only produce the two-tone vehicle when one is ordered. The company will also stop when it hits 300 orders.

Bugatti has sold 45 Veyrons so far, the majority in the United States, said Georges Keller, Bugatti’s head of communications. .. carry on reading

One-off P4/5 by Pininfarina

Published by on Aug 4th, 2006, No Comments

This car is a one-off commissioned by James Glickenhaus, the American collector with a yen for the legendary racing cars of the Sixties.

“This project represents an exciting challenge, i.e. trying to meet the Customer’s requests in the best way possible without deteriorating the company’s approach based on stylishness and innovation” comments Andrea Pininfarina, Pininfarina S.p.A. Chairman and CEO

The car has been designed, engineered and built entirely by Pininfarina, bringing to life something that, just a few months earlier, was just a dream and creating a sort of symbiosis between the customer and Pininfarina along the path leading to definition of this astonishing model. Starting from a Ferrari Enzo, the aim was to produce a sole vehicle inspired by sport racing cars with extreme vocations: not just a show-car but a vehicle to be enjoyed on the road.

Enzo Turns in His Grave. Again.

Published by on Aug 3rd, 2006, No Comments

A dude touring in his Ferrari Enzo ($1.3m) as part of the four-day Utah Fast Pass Road Rally (which involves the Utah Highway Patrol shutting down portions of roads so participants can “open up” their cars) was injured Wednesday morning when he crashed about 27 miles north of Milford.

Richard Losee was one of 30 drivers of exotic sport cars who paid $5,000 a piece to participate in the rally and was on a stretch of State Route 257 when he lost control of his car. He was flown to Utah Valley Medical Center in Provo after the accident and admitted with fractured bones.

The Utah Fast Pass Road Rally raises funds to help families of UHP troopers killed or injured in the line of duty. The UHP clocked the drivers’ speeds and gave them “speeding tickets” from which the cash goes to charity.

This is the second Enzo Ferrari to be torn to pieces during a crash in the last 12 months. After veering off the road, the car lost its transmission and V-12 engine and came to rest off the other side of the road.

Note that the Italian sports car (for safety reasons) is designed to come apart in a high-speed crash – leaving the chassis, passenger compartment and passanger in tact.

Licence to Shag?!

Published by on Aug 3rd, 2006, No Comments

Drivers of high-performance Porsche sports cars are more likely to play fast and loose by having extra-marital sex, according to a poll in the May edition of German motoring magazine Men’s Car.

The survey found that nearly one in two (49 percent) Porsche male drivers were unfaithful to their partners, compared to 37 percent of women who get behind the wheel of the German car.

BMW drivers were not far behind, with 46 percent of men who cruise the roads in the Bavarian luxury cars admitting to having slept around. The study was conducted on 2,253 auto owners aged between 20 and 50.

Among women, Audi drivers were the least faithful with 41 percent saying they had veered off the straight and narrow. And interestingly, drivers of Opels were considered to be the most faithful of the lot.

What do you drive?