Back when supercars were just a mere figment of one’s imagination, the way to get around was to hop on a train and wait out the trip. Airplanes and cars traveling on high developed roadways have knocked traveling on a train down a few pegs, but that may be about to change. Chinese train manufacturer, CSR Corp Ltd., has launched a super speedy train whose top speed has clocked in at 500 km/h or 310 mph!
The train consists of six cars that are made of plastic materials "reinforced with carbon fiber" and was designed to look like an ancient sword. It delivers a total of 22,800 kilowatts of power, or about 30,575 HP! This project is part of China’s trillion dollar effort to build 8,078 miles of high-speed rail network by 2012, and about 12,427 miles by 2020.
CSR isn’t the only one developing these high speed machines either. Identical projects include the development of a maglev train by Southwest Jiaotong University, the Tokyo to Osaka bullet train planned for 2045, and the proposed 269 mph maglev train from Anaheim to Las Vegas.
We are actually surprised that these high speed trains are even leaving the drawing board at all. These ongoing projects were almost forced to a halt when former Railways Ministry chief, Liu Zhijun, was canned after cashing in on $122 million. This was then followed with collision back in July between two high-speed trains in Wenzhou. This incident ended up killing at least 40 people and injuring another 210. With China using low-quality materials to build the tracks, and subsequently, the trains having a higher chance of derailing, causing the top speed to be dropped from 218 mph to 186 mph, it seemed as though the railway system in China was on its way out the door.
These new high speed trains have proven, however, that the railway system is very much alive, and gaining speed.
The Chinese automotive market is growing bigger by the day and automakers everywhere are taking advantage of this growing market by throwing a number of special editions their way. One type of vehicle that is ripping through the streets of China is the super car. Anything from Ferrari to Pagani to Lamborghini is making its way over to the land of Dragons and Emperors, and this video was created to show off a number of these vehicles.
Watching this video may incite some ever growing jealousy for the people lucky enough to get behind the wheel of these bad boys. The supercars are all part of the Chinese Sportscar Club (SCC), which got together on an airstrip to show off their rides. The list of the supercars is intense, including a Ferrari Enzo , a Pagani Zonda F/R and Cinque , a Mercedes SLR , a Mercedes SLS , a Ferrari F430 , a Ferrari 458 Italia , tons of Lamborghini models, an Aston Martin , and our favorite, the Koenigsegg Agera .
The sheer monetary value of the collected supercars is enough to induce drool.
Gallery 2009 Pagani Zonda Cinque
Gallery 2010 Koenigsegg Agera
Gallery 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia
Improbable as it may sound, Bugatti has somehow upstaged the already limited run Bugatti Veyron Super Sport with a special edition version of the very supercar. A special edition of a special edition, you ask?
That appears to be the case with the unveiling of the latest special edition Veyron Super Sport called the "Edition Merveilleux." The car, it turns out, was commissioned specifically for a 40-year old dude in China that goes by the name of "Simon." Details behind the Veyron Super Sport Edition Merveilleux were not disclosed, although there’s a video of the car with all of Bugatti’s top brass, including CEO Wolfgang Durheimer, rolling out the one-off Veyron Super Sport. From the looks of things, Simon’s new ride features an un-painted carbon fiber exterior with matching blacked-out alloy wheels and a bright blue interior finish.
The video features some of the Bugatti execs being given some mic time to wish Simon a happy 40th birthday and if you can put two and two together, this one-off Veyron Super Sport appears to be a birthday present that the birthday boy bought for himself.
Hey, if we had that kind of money, we’d probably splurge it on a one-off model of a supercar that produces 1,200 horsepower and can hit a top speed of 268 mph. Unfortunately, it’s going to take us a couple of lifetimes to be able to sniff a Veyron, much less a one-off model of the Super Sport.
Guess we’ll just have to settle for gift certificates to Red Lobster then.
Hit the jump to watch the video!
Image Courtesy of Motorionline.
The globe-trotting trio from Top Gear have been spotted in more places around the world than Waldo himself. Recently, Jeremy Clarkson and James May were spotted in Beijing, China filming a segment for the 18th season of the show and from what the photos are telling us, it appears that the duo - minus Richard Hammond, from what it looks like - have been spending some time in the Far East getting acquainted to some of the locally-produced cars in China.
From what we’ve been told, the duo have a long list of Chinese cars to run around with, including, but not limited to a JAC sedan, a Greatwall Hover M2, a Greatwall Coolbear, a Geely China Dragon, and a BYD F0, among other things.
Those cars really don’t mean that much to us because you’d be hard-pressed to find one running around American soil. Nevertheless, the segment should make for an informative look at the burgeoning Chinese automotive market.
And who better to give us the unfiltered lowdown than Clarkson and May.
It’s a little hard to imagine that Ferrari has been a presence in China for 20 years now. But the Prancing Horse has, in fact, been around the country for two decades and as we expected, Ferrari isn’t wasting the opportunity to release something to mark the occasion.
The Italian automaker has tied-up with Swiss luxury watch builder Hublot to present a limited edition timepiece called the Big Bang Chrono Tourbillon Ferrari.
The 20-piece watch was designed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ferrari’s presence in China. It carries a number of unique styling cues that certainly fit into a luxury watch. The leather straps were made from horn back crocodile leather and adorned with PVD Titanium buckles. More to that, the watch also comes with HUB 6300 movement with clutch tourbillon escapement has while also boasting of a single push-piece chrono movement with a flying toubillon, a 44mm dial, and a carbon fiber case.
“Ferrari is indeed one of the leading luxury brands on the Chinese market, and Hublot is very proud to become the exclusive strategic partner of Ferrari," said Ricardo Guadalupe, managing director of Hublot.
"The win-win agreement is a symbolic of a new beginning for our two brands, and will undoubtedly be a partnership filled with thrill and passion.”
The Chinese market is well on its way to become the biggest automotive market in the world, so it’s not at all surprising that automakers are sending them special editions by the boatload. BMW sent them the beautiful M3 Tiger Edition last year, and this year they are bringing the special Z4 sDrive23i Flame Edition.
The Flame Edition gets its name from the special desert yellow metallic paint on the exterior. This color was inspired by the Art Karma desert located in the central west coast of South America. Combined with a new set of 17-inch alloy wheels, this paint provides the Z4 with a dynamic and elegant appearance.
The incredible exterior look is highlighted by the elegant touches in the interior. The special BMW Z4 sDrive23i Flame Edition features Alcantara / Nappa leather combined with yellow stitching, a yellow center console, and Alcantara trim for the doors and the center panels. BMW is also offering a personalized version of the piano black trim to provide the Flame Edition with an even cleaner look.
Gallery 2009 BMW Z4 Roadster
Rolls-Royce isn’t exactly the type of marquee that rolls out special edition models on the fly, but since the company has expanded its in-house Bespoke division, it seemed like a good idea to introduce a special edition range of sedans for the Chinese market.
For their first offering, Rolls-Royce is paying homage to 2012 being the Year of the Dragon.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to cross the t’s and dot the i’s on why the British luxury brand has decided to roll out this special edition line. Next year, at least according to the Chinese calendar, is the Year of the Dragon, one of the most revered mythical creatures in the country. So to honor that special occasion - and butter up to the Chinese market - Rolls-Royce is gearing up for a number of Phantom models bearing the Year of the Dragon bespoke package.
UPDATE 11/23/11: It’s only appropriate that a special edition, China-exclusive Rolls-Royce was introduced at a Chinese auto event, particularly that of the Guangzhou Auto Show. And true to Chinese lore, Rolls-Royce will only be releasing eight models of this ultra-exclusive luxury car.
UPDATE 01/29/12: For a car that costs a staggering $1.2 million, you would think that Rolls-Royce would find a difficult time finding buyers for their ultra-exclusive Phantom "Year of the Dragon" Bespoke special edition model. Think again. About as quick as you can say "Kung Hei Fat Choy!", the entire allotment of Year of the Dragon Phantoms have all been spoken, taking only two months for all the units to be spoken for. What recession, right?
Details on the Rolls-Royce Phantom "Year of the Dragon" Bespoke Collection after the jump.
Gallery 2009 Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe
Fiat has unveiled the special edition 500 "First Edition", a model developed especially for the Chinese market. This special edition is limited to only 100 units and is set apart from the rest because of the creative graphics of five young Chinese designers.
The Fiat 500 "First Edition" will be distinguished by a special three-coat pearlescent white body color, red leather interiors, and a special badge on the door pillar. Under the hood, the model will feature a 1.4 liter MultiAir engine that delivers a total of 101 HP at 6500 rpm and a torque of 98 lbs-ft at 4000 rpm.
"The ’First Edition’ is a special offer exclusively created for Chinese customers and represents a symbol that joins our two cultures. Not by chance, we asked five young Chinese artists to interpret the relationship between our two countries in a creative, original manner, and to fashion a tribute for the launch of the 500 in China," said Lorenzo Sistino.
Gallery 2012 Fiat 500
Everything in China these days is becoming bigger, higher, faster, and sometimes, a combination of all three. That’s what happens when you position yourself as one of the fastest growing countries – and in a sense, most powerful, too – in the world.
Straight from the country comes another monumental achievement, something that should prove to be a boon for a lot of its motorists. It’s called the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge and it was recently opened last June 30, immediately being cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest roadway bridge over water in the world.
So how long is this piece of architectural wonder?
From start to finish, it covers a distance of 26.4 miles, which is nothing to snicker about given its enormity. But as with bridges of this size, the name of the game is still about saving time on commutes, which ironically, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge doesn’t quite adequately accomplish, saving only 19 miles and 20 minutes off of the commute time.
Having said that, there’s still something to be said for a bridge this long and the Jiazhou Bay Bridge accomplishes that by a mile, or 26.