Auto parts and accesories

We are all waiting to see the STI version of the recently announced Subaru BRZ when it comes out in the next year or so. We’d rely on the BRZ STI Concept that was unveiled at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show for design inspirations, but we all know how concepts sometimes exaggerate the look of the production car. Instead, we are going to take a look at Subaru ’s latest STI preview in the form of a Subaru BRZ equipped with STI upgrades. This is not the real STI version, but it still allows us to get a pretty good idea as to the production version’s final look.

The model displayed at the 2012 Australian Motor Show in Sydney was equipped with an aerodynamic kit that includes a front chin spoiler, side skirts, a rear diffuser, and a bootlid spoiler. The model sits on a new set of 17-inch light alloy wheels combined with a set of lower and stiffer coil springs.

Other updates include a low-restriction exhaust muffler, a short-shift gear linkage for manual-equipped BRZ, a wheelnut set, an STI gearknob, an STI push-button starter, and unique interior trim highlights.

Chevrolet Corvette

Just yesterday, Chevrolet announced that the seventh generation Corvette will be making its world debut on January 13th at the Detroit Auto Show. Today, new details about the future sports car have popped up. According to British magazine, AutoCar, the C7 Corvette could feature a new twin-turbo V6 alongside new and traditional V8 engines.

Chevrolet is tweaking the power offerings of the Corvette by introducing a new 5.5 liter V8 engine as an entry-level version, while the current 6.2 liter V8 engine will be offered for its top versions. The new 5.5 liter engine will feature an aluminum block and will adopt higher compression and direct injection.

Next to these two engines, Chevrolet could introduce a downsized twin-turbo V6 that will deliver the same output of a V8 engine, but be much more fuel efficient. This new V6 version, however, will join the line-up at a later date.

Aside from the engine tweaks, the next Corvette will offer a significant weight reduction thanks to its new carbon fiber panels, replacing the fiber glass currently used. The model will remain a front-engined vehicle and will send its power to the rear wheels.

Source: AutoCar

For many years, Cosworth has been providing Formula One teams with high-performance engines and rumors have been floating around that it may pull out when the new F1 engine standards take hold in 2014. When Williams chose to drop Cosworth as its engine supplier in 2011 and switch to Renault, it looked like the nail had been firmly driven into Cosworth’s F1-racing coffin. Cosworth continued on with only two teams using its engines – Marussia and HRT – and its current owners have reportedly seen enough.

A report out of the UK-based newspaper, The Times, is stating that the famed engine builder’s owners have chosen to sell the company. According to the same report, Rolls-Royce is being tossed around as a potential suitor for the high-performance engine builder. The reason Rolls-Royce comes up is because Rolls is also one of Cosworth’s key customers in the aerospace side of its business. That would immediately give Rolls-Royce a leg up in the aerospace industry and net it a leg up in auto racing as a byproduct.

There are several other names floating around, like British aerospace company, GKN, but Rolls is certainly the front runner at this point. The fact that it can also benefit from the automotive engine technology could really push Rolls to up the ante and give Cosworth’s owners a fair bid. Whoever chooses to buy the automotive and aerospace company needs to work fast, as it will need to have an engine build and tested in time for the 2014 F1 season, if it hopes to compete.

We’ll keep an eye on how things shape up and let you know if any other bidders arise. Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a Saab -like situation.

Source: The Times

The continued evolution of carbon fiber doesn’t appear to be slowing down in the auto industry. With the material already being used extensively in almost all sectors of the industry, it was only a matter of time before somebody came up with some new way to use carbon fiber.

Turns out, Carbon Revolution has that new product with the first production one-piece carbon fiber rim.

The claim is that the carbon wheel is 40% to 50% lighter than its aluminum counterparts, improves fuel consumption by 2% to 4%, reduces CO2 emissions, and increases overall efficiency by 5%.

The product was born as a result of what the company says is a decade-long attempt at research and development. Take the admittedly obvious benefits of a lighter and sturdier wheel, and this new product is certainly worth the buzz it’s generating.

“Creating a composite wheel that is made entirely in one piece from continuous fibers is particularly challenging given the significant geometric complexities”, Brett Gass, Carbon Revolution’s engineering director, said.

As a man that has been with the company from the start, Gass’ extensive knowledge in the technology and the subsequent applications allowed them to push past the tribulations of producing a product that could potentially revolutionize the industry.

As far as meeting industry standards are concerned, Carbon Revolution has said that the carbon fiber wheels have met OEM And Certificate Body standards, including SAE 2530, TUV German Aftermarket, and German OEM AK-LH 08 standards.

The number 7.4 million can no longer be singularly attached to the hotel bill a Saudi Arabian princess tried to skip out on back in June 2012. Toyota has just announced that 7.4 million models are being recalled, just 3 million shy of the massive recall the company had to issue back in 2010. Is this history repeating itself and should we all fully lose faith in the popular Japanese brand?

Sorry, drama queens, but this recall is a lot less serious than the sticky accelerator pedals from the 2010 recall. The company is recalling these units because of a potential malfunction with the power window systems. Out of 7.4 million affected models, 2.5 million can be found in the US, 1.4 million in China, and 1.4 million in Europe. This list includes models like the Yaris, Camry, Tundra , and RAV4 produced between 2007 and 2009.

According to an official Toyota press release, the driver’s side Power Window Master Switch (PWMS) may experience a "notchy" or sticky feel during operation. If commercially available lubricants are applied to the switch in an attempt to address the "notchy" or sticky feel, melting of the switch assembly or smoke could occur and lead to a fire under some circumstances. What’s with "sticky" issues at Toyota?

This problem may have been caused by an uneven application of the grease during the switch assembly process at the supplier. If the grease is not applied evenly, frequent use of the switch and normal operation may cause the grease to become carbonized and may eventually result in the deterioration of its lubricating properties.

If anyone is driving one of the models listed after the jump, they should address their local dealer and their car will be repaired in about one hour.

Hit the jump for a full list of US models to be recalled.

Lamborghini Aventador J

For everyone who liked the one-off Aventador J and can’t wait for the limited production version of the Sesto Elemento , here’s something else to chew on: Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann has confirmed that there are more bespoke models in the pipe line, as well as more personalization options for the current Gallardo and Aventador supercars.

A Lamborghini spokesman has announced that these upcoming bespoke models will be built at the company’s new prototype and concept development center that opened in Sant’Agata, Italy. This new development center has been divided in two: one half will be responsible for the development of a small-scale production line and the other half for building limited production cars.

He also confirmed that the company’s new Ad Personam personalization program will add lots of new colors, interior trim materials, and other upgrades. These advancements in style will not come cheap, but it will more than likely be a small price to pay for this kind of exclusivity.

Ford Mustang

We’ve known that Ford was preparing a new generation Mustang for 2015 . We also knew that the model will feature significant changes for both its look and its engine line-up. These were just rumors, of course, but they have now been taken to the next level by someone who was invited to evaluate a 2015 Mustang and was even paid for it. Some people have all the luck.

This gentleman was in front of a 2015 Mustang , but was not allowed to take any pictures, leaving his description of the car as our only source of information. He said that there were parts of the Mustang that he liked and parts that he did not like. The front end of the muscle car will be longer than the current model and will feature a beehive grill with a good amount chrome. The part he didn’t like about the Mustang were the new headlights: he said they "were little slants, not the traditional round Mustang lights or even close to the current HID style. Made the car look Chinese." He did like the taillights, however, stating that they were louvered and projected out.

The best part is the power source that will be used for the 2015 Ford Mustang. It will be powered by a 4-cylinder, 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine that delivers a total of 310 HP and a fuel economy of 34 mpg. This will be slightly better than the 305 HP of the 3.7L V6 engine, but a lot better than the 19 mpg city / 29 mpg hwy of the manual tranny Mustang and the 19 mpg city / 31 mpg hwy of the automatic tranny Mustang.

It is known that when Ferrari introduces the future F70 , it will be a hybrid supercar, so we would have expected to see a similar move from Lamborghini . That being said, in a recent interview at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann ruled-out the possibility of a plug-in hybrid option for both the Aventador and the Gallardo .

"There is no plug-in hybrid planned for the either the Lamborghini Gallardo or Aventador. Due to the size of the cars and due to the weight of the hybridisation it would be impossible for our cars to adopt this current technology. Firstly, it won’t fit, and secondly, it would reduce the their power-to-weight ratios by too much."

Instead, the Aventador will be offered with two emissions reducing systems – stop-start technology and cylinder deactivation. For the near future, Lamborghini is looking for more solutions to reduce weight and increase power during the lifecycle of each car. Carbon fiber will of course be the main material used to obtain the weight reduction. Also, by 2015, Lamborghini hopes to reduce CO2 emissions by 35%.

The really good news from this interview is that Winkelmann confirmed that the company has "lots of plans for the Aventador."

Source: CarAdvice

So when we are reviewing supercars with killer V-8 engines, we are typically talking about 300-plus cubic-inches and hundreds of horsepower. Well, in the world of scale-model building, you have to take all of that muscle and scale it down to a size that can fit into a one-quarter scale model, and that takes some serious engineering.

For anyone that has ever assembled an engine, you know that keeping track of everything, putting the valves in correctly, seating the rings property, and other steps are immensely tedious, due the their complexity. Imagine doing so with everything shrunk down to a quarter of its original size.

That just so happens to be the specialty of Conley Precision Engines, and it has also just released for sale the world’s smallest supercharged, four-stroke V-8 engine. The Conley Stinger 609 displaces 0.1 liters, 100 cc, or 6.09 cubic-inches, depending on which standard of measurement you follow. Regardless of the measurement semantics, this engine is tiny, as it measures just 14 inches long x 6 inches wide x 8.25 inches tall and weighs in at a svelte 11.25 lbs.

As for power, this relative beast can crank out 5.5 horsepower at 9,500 rpm in its naturally aspirated state and hits 9 horsepower when you bolt up the optional supercharger. It’s the latter version that earns this engine it notoriety as a world-record holder.

You can have this engine for a base price of $5,695. Additionally you can add in stainless steel manifolds for $279, a set of polished-stainless manifolds for $595, painted valve covers for $125, high-duration camshaft for $279, and a supercharger for $1,695. That means in total, you can spend upward of $8,353 for this engine – obviously the price isn’t one-quarter scale.

Nine horsepower may not sound like much on the surface, but put in a one-quarter scale car, you will have a car that will easily eclipse the 100 mph mark. To boot, Conley engineered the engine to have the same rumble as any classic muscle that came from Detroit, just a little more high pitched.

Simply awesome.

Click past the jump to see more videos.

Source: Gizmag

One of the most important Ferrari debuts at the 2012 Paris Auto Show was the chassis for the upcoming F70 supercar , but while it undoubtedly caught all of the attention in Paris, Ferrari ’s stand included a few other very cool vehicles. Visitors have seen cars ranging from the new F12berlinetta to a very special FF that certainly has a feature worth mentioning.

This particular FF was equipped with a new full-length panoramic roof that allows for more light to enter the car. According to Ferrari, this new roof features "a special reflective glass (LowE) that gives occupants a genuine open-air driving feeling, while providing thermal and acoustic insulation."

No other details on this new glass roof were provided, leaving us to wonder if this will be a new feature for the sports car or just an attention grabber in Paris. Production for this feature would be a little controversial considering the added weight a panoramic glass roof would add to the FF, and the effect that weight would have on the performance numbers of the vehicle. The design for the FF is already questionable in many people’s minds; why add another negative by messing with the performance the customer can get from the 660 HP V12 engine?

Back to top