Has Big Plans for 2008
Intelligence, Beauty and Control
The Taste of Lexus introduced the all new 2006 IS 250 and IS 350 models. Touted as “the fastest car in its class,” the IS comes powered with 204 hp on the 250 model and 306 hp on the 350, which reaches 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. Both models have V6 engines and Formula One-style paddle shifters on the steering wheel; as well, drivers of the 250 can option for all-wheel drive.
Great handling, a powerful engine and top-of-the-line options insure that the new IS maintains the Lexus luxury standards. However, the company is renovating its look, changing the styling of its cars and increasing performance. Keeping in line with this, the IS has a sportier look than most other Lexus models, with more fluid lines along with more powerful engines, yet preserving the “intelligence, beauty and control” associated with Lexus.
The World's Fastest Road Car and the Price of Speed
It's the Bugatti Veyron 16.4
The fastest and most expensive production car ever made, the $1.2 million Bugatti Veyron 16.4 had its world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show in October, 2005. Hand-produced in Molsheim, France, this super sports car was also shown from October 11-18 in Madonie, Sicily, famous for the renowned Targa Florio race where, in the 1920s, the company’s founder Ettore Bugatti achieved the most racing victories.
The new Veyron 16.4 is named after Pierre Veyron, a Grand Prix motor racing driver most remembered for winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans race with Jean-Pierre Wimille in a Bugatti 57C in 1939. The Bugatti name has long been associated with top-of-the-line vehicles, particularly racing cars. In 1998, Volkswagen purchased Bugatti’s trademark rights, assuring that this legendary name lives on.
To say that the Veyron is impressive would almost be an insult, considering just how unbelievable this car really is. The luxurious, classic interior is reminiscent of the brand’s racing past while the outside is striking with dual color enameling, chrome-plated radiator shutter and protruding back fenders which enhance the car’s sleek, athletic look. With some cars, looks can be deceiving, but here any performance expectations you might have by just looking at the car are sure to be exceeded.
60 miles per hour in just 2.5 seconds, the Veyron has
a seven-speed DSG twin-clutch transmission, a direct-injection
8.0-liter W-16 engine with 64 valves and 4 turbos and
a top speed of 250 mph. This means that if you want
to grab dinner in Los
Angeles and a show in Las
Vegas, the Veyron will get you there in one hour!
The car's speed capabilities are enhanced by aluminum
and magnesium components, which help keep it light.
Its power output tops at 987 horses (1,001 metric horses)
at 6000 rpm with 922 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,200 rpm.
Toggle switches on the steering wheel sequentially switch
transmission, and power is evenly distributed with continuous
When Robots Ruled the Course
The DARPA Grand Challenge
People everywhere are having their fears confirmed—robots are indeed taking over the planet. From automated phone answering services to robotic pets, modern life puts us into daily contact with artificial intelligence. But until now, humans had at least one domain where man was still king—the road. Although a necessity for getting around, automobiles are relatively modern perks which, if need be, humanity could survive without. But take away the driver, and cars would be nothing but immobile bibelots of metal and rubber. That is, until now.
On October 8, Stanley, a robotic vehicle designed by a Stanford University School of Engineering team, earned its creators $2 million dollars when it finished first in the Grand Challenge, a 132-mile course in the Nevada desert. The race was organized by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and was meant to expand technology that will eventually make certain military land vehicles completely autonomous.
Stanley, a modified diesel-powered Volkswagen Touareg R5 (pictured at right), beat out 22 other competing vehicles built by teams consisting of university researchers and computer, automotive and aerospace firms. In just under seven hours, Stanley successfully completed the winding course through tunnels and on unpaved roads, mountain passes and flat lake beds, as well as a perilous path next to a 100-foot drop. A drive-by-wire system actuated the vehicle, with all processing of signals taking place on Pentium M computers.
Many of the other competing robotic vehicles weren’t so lucky as to make it to the end of the race. Just two hours into the competition, Cornell University’s entry, Spider, hit a bridge and was out of the running. Then, California Institute of Technology’s entry, Alice, ran into a concrete barrier and unsuccessfully attempted to drive over it. In fact, only five vehicles crossed the finish line, with Stanley doing so in the shortest amount of time.
Porsche’s fourth model series following the 911, the Boxster and the Cayenne will be called the "Panamera." Conceived as a successor to the Porsche 928 and named after the legendary Carrera Panamericana long-distance race, the car is scheduled to enter the market in 2009.
The Panamera might best be described as a premium-class 4-door sports coupe, with a choice of front-mounted engines driving the rear wheels. Its low, sleek design will pose direct competition to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Maserati Quattroporte. The Panamera’s power will be provided by 4.5-liter V8 engines similar to those offered on the Porsche Cayenne.
Sales are expected to be at least 20,000 units annually for this model, which will be built in Leipzig. The Panamera will be built on a new independent platform, with no collaboration with another carmaker.
Ultimate Vantage Point
Aston Martin has always been the car of our dreams. Maybe it's the James Bond influence, or maybe it's the make's originality, beauty and performance. Whatever the reason, the infatuation only grows stronger with the release of the 2006 V8 Vantage, "attainable" at a mere $110,000. Only 5,000 will be hand-built annually keeping exclusivity as a high mark. Of course, the car will excel at performance levels that you will seldom reach, while remaining practical day-in, day-out as well.
For those of you who want get a closer look, Aston Martin has embarked on an AdVantage tour of key cities from September to November 2005 to showcase the new automobile, along with its siblings the V12 Vanquish S, DB9 Coupe and the DB9 Volante. A conducive environment with premium Champagne will facilitate ordering.
Lighter and Faster Cat
The people at Jaguar are calling the latest XK model the most technically advanced car they have ever made. The sleek all-aluminum architecture makes this 2+2 sports car strong, rigid, dynamic and remarkably light, while its dramatic beauty reflects Jaguar's sports car lineage. With its powerful 300 horsepower 4.2L V8 engine and its ultra-light body, the car reaches 60mph in 5.9 seconds.
The 2007 XK blends performance, agility, elegance and comfort. The cabin space has been increased, as has the wheelbase, and the semi-active exhaust system makes for a quiet ride during highway cruising. Additional features include keyless entry and a seven-inch center touch screen to control many vehicle functions. The Jaguar XK debuted at the Frankfurt International Auto Show on September 13, 2005 and will be available in the United States in spring 2006 starting at $85,000. The convertible version of the XK is also available.
New Cat in the Litter
seems these days Mother Cat never tires. With the introduction
of the Super V8 Portfolio, Jaguar adds a fifth derivative
to its XJ line up. Like its sibling the SV8,
you get a supercharged engine, this one boosted to slightly
over 400 horsepower. It comes in trippy colors such
as an iridescent black cherry, has a warm American black
walnut interior with extra supple leather seats, has
wheels with a retro Jaguar logo and is built in a Long
Wheel Base platform that is five inches longer than
a standard XJ.
Jaguar put in a super powerful entertainment/audio system, which amongst other things allows the rear passengers individual DVD viewing … but only two of them. Indeed this is a four-seater, as the middle seat has been taken up by all that technology, Bluetooth integration being one of the many features. One distinctive exterior element is the vent or gill on the side of the engine compartment. The automobile was issued originally as a concept car and now retails for $116,000, making it the most expensive cat on the road. Unfortunately for you, the first year production is sold out.
With the rise in gas prices, who wouldn’t be interested in a more efficient gas engine? General Motors Corporation, The Robert Bosch Corporation and Stanford University have announced a three-year, $2.5 million program to create a cost-effective engine that makes gas engines more efficient and diesel engines much cleaner and that can also be used in place of the current hybrid engine, such as the one pictured.
The team plans on introducing the Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition or HCCI in the next few years. Dr. Gary Smyth, director of Powertrain Systems Research Lab, GM Research & Development and Strategic Planning says that “gasoline engines could achieve 80 percent of diesel engine efficiency for about 50 percent of the cost.” The product is believed to improve gasoline engine fuel efficiency by twenty percent, while achieving “near-zero oxide of nitrogen emissions and particulates,” which are contributors to ozone depletion and smog.
With a product that’s better for the environment and better for your wallet, who could ask for anything more?
Navigating the murky waters of purchasing a car can be difficult, especially when you’re on the market for a used vehicle. But Jaguar has created a program to assist potential buyers to find a quality pre-owned Jaguar at their desired price.
Jaguar has added a Select Edition Certified Pre-Owned Inventory Search, a nationwide online vehicle locator, to its website. This allows current and potential customers to examine Certified Pre-owned Jaguars by model, price range, trim and accessories and mileage. In addition, users can search for a dealer of used Jaguars within a radius of up to 200 miles of a given zip code. The cars available for purchase are subject to a stringent 140-point quality and reliability checklist that enables the industry-leading 6-year/100,000 mile limited warranty on all vehicles, making for a very happy new owner of a not-so-new cat.
For more information, visit www.jaguarusa.com.
March 22, 2005: Las Vegas—The much-anticipated April 28 opening of hotelier Steve Wynn’s Las Vegas Strip mega-resort Wynn Las Vegas gives sports car aficionados a reason to cheer. Along with its man-made mountain, five-story waterfall, eighteen restaurants (helmed by such luminaries as Daniel Boulud, Eric Klein, Alessandro Stratta and Takashi Yagihashi), and art gallery with works by Picasso and Van Gogh, the $2.7 billion hotel will house the Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati showroom/dealership on its ground level. This will be the only hotel dealership of its kind in America. In addition, Wynn Las Vegas will have an underground showroom selling Rolls Royce, Bentley, Ferrari and Lamborghini automobiles. An exotic car dealership is in keeping with the soon-to-be-launched hotel’s already renowned reputation for extravagance, exclusivity and eccentricity: Vanity Fair supposedly has sole rights to first photos of the rooms, and the 39th floor will be immediately followed by the 50th to accommodate Chinese gamblers, since numbers in the forties are unlucky in China.
January 24, 2005: Palm Springs—The brand with the cat is leaping forward with a series of accomplishments in quality and customer satisfaction*. Among them: A brand-new and totally cool model, the X-Type 3.0 Sportwagon [station wagon], or "estate," as they would call it back home in Halewood where it is manufactured. Now young families can go in Jaguar style and haul cargo without driving a truck or SUV.