Prototypes or prototypical instances combine the most representative attributes of a category. A prototype is the stage before the final design. They are the best examples among the members of a category and serve as benchmarks against which the surrounding "poorer" instances are categorized.
As if Lamborghini needed any more help developing super-fast cars that can nearly keep pace with F1 racecars, it is now dedicating an entire facility to developing and researching new cars. Yep, Lamborghini has just opened up its Prototype and Concept Development Center – that’s Sviluppo prototipi e vetture pre serie in Italian – to help it develop and test its new concept cars.
An important feature to this facility is that it also houses a miniature assembly line. This allows engineers to monitor exactly how new cars come together and what flaws develop in the manufacturing process. This small assembly line will also be responsible for running off Lamborghini’s limited production models, like the upcoming and non-street-legal production Sesto Elemento.
This is truly an impressive show of dedication to manufacturing only the best vehicles that are as flawless as they possibly can be, but also looks like a huge waste of money. Then again, who are we to question Lamborghini’s ways? There is obviously reasoning behind this dedicated factory, we just don’t see its real-life purpose just yet.
On an aside, Lamborghini reps are also touting the construction of the building itself, as it is the first ever multi-story industrial building that earned a “Class A” energy certification. So, not only will this building build some of the baddest concept cars ever made, but it will conserve energy in the process.
Nissan wasn’t the only one to establish a world record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, even though theirs was probably the strangest: they drove the entire 1-mile Goodwood hill in reverse. A British racing team called Drayson Racing - don’t worry if you’ve never heard about them, we hadn’t either - managed to create an all-electric Le Mans Prototype that became the fastest electric car at Goodwood using the two years of experience the company has had at the Le Mans series.
Called the B12/69EV, this electric prototype was built on a Lola racing chassis and is powered by a pair of electric motors that develop an impressive 850 HP. With this amount of power, the car ran the 1.16-mile hill climb in an impressive 53.53 seconds. smashing the previous times established by both the Nissan Leaf NISMO RC - 60.18-second - and the Tesla Roadster - 58.77 seconds.
Jaguar and Land Rover showed up to the Goodwood Festival of Speed ready to tackle naysayers with an ultra-low carbon XJ_e plug-in hybrid engineering research project. The goals of these automakers was to demonstrate how an advanced parallel plug-in hybrid design can deliver reductions in CO2 emissions of over 70% without impacting the car’s performance.
The new XJ_e research vehicle is powered by an advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) system that combines an efficient 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine, with a 92 HP generator and a 12.8kWh Lithium Ion battery pack. It offers an electric-only range of 25 miles, and, in hybrid mode, can travel up to 679 miles with a fuel consumption of 87mpg. This can all be achieved while still hitting the 0-60 mph mark in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).
Bob Joyce, Engineering Director, JLR, commented: "The XJ_e investigates how a 5.0-litre V8 engine could be replaced by an advanced 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain to deliver similar performance and refinement, but with CO2 emissions of less than 75g/km. While the XJ_e is an experimental project, it highlights that JLR customers can expect some exciting low-carbon products in the future."
We are pretty open in letting you know that we have had it about up to *here* with the “new” 500 models that Fiat continuously releases. So oftentimes when we see a new 500 model we just continue on without stopping. They are typically unexciting and only add a slight difference from the original 500. It’s like getting rainbow sprinkles on strawberry ice cream instead of red sprinkles; they are the same sugary flavor, just a different color.
Well, when we came across the latest rendition of the 500, which is actually a custom build by Lazzarini Design, it was more like they dipped the ice cream in chocolate – you know, the cool stuff that hardens on the ice cream – added peanuts, then strapped a big nasty V-8 engine to the ice cream cone!
Yeah, it’s that freaking cool, but is this Fiat 550 Italia by Lazzarini Design realistic?
Click past the jump to read our full review on this custom Fiat 550 Italia.
While speaking to ATFULLCHAT at the recent Pageant of Power event at Cholmondeley, Noble Automotive MD Peter Boutwood officially released the very first, and possibly the only picture ever, of a Noble M600 Convertible.
After the M600 coupe’s launch a couple of years back, we always felt that something was missing from Noble’s range with a convertible being at the very top of our wish list. However, it’s worth noting at this point that the following image is simply being pinned as “a factory styling exercise” with Boutwood claiming “there are definitely no plans at present to produce it.”
Nevertheless, it’s still an interesting prospect being showcased by Noble and despite their claims that it’s only a styling exercise, we have a slight inkling that if pre-existing Noble customers and possible new customers like the idea, and Noble Automotive can find the funds to produce such a car, the company will prepare an M600 Convertible in the coming years.
With that being said, the following picture only seems to be a rendering of a convertible variant rather than an actual photograph taken of a one-off M600 convertible. As a result, we’ll take Boutwood’s statement to heart, but we’ll still dream of a convertible M600 being produced some day, even if that means an out-of-house tuner has to perform the conversion.
Do you think Noble should consider turning this “styling exercise” into a production ready car? Hit us up in the comments section below!
The agreement between Land Rover and Bowler is poised to become a collaboration made in rallying heaven and they’re putting their collective feet out to show their first project together, the Bowler EXR Rally Car.
The prototype rally car will sport a ‘Powered by Land Rover’ branding and has been co-designed by Land Rover and Bowler to be the kind of rally car that will put all others to shame. Or so they say.
The EXR uses a modified chassis of the Range Rover Sport and has been fitted with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that you can also find in a number of Range Rover models. The only caveat is that the EXR’s power train is FIA-restricted for racing purposes, which means that output is only limited to 300 horsepower and 428 lb/ft of torque. The EXR is also fitted with a six-speed manual transmission - and option of a Sadev 6-speed sequential transmission is also available - while also carrying Ricardo front, center, and rear differentials.
The EXR rally car will be in attendance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed at the end of June were it will be showcased for the first time in full rallying gear.
The 100th issue of the comic series “The Walking Dead” is coming up and typically we wouldn’t have too much interest in it. However, once we hear the term “Zombie Survival Machine” combined with “Hyundai,” our ears perk up a bit.
Hyundai has teamed up with the writer of the comic, Robert Kirkman, to create the ultimate Zombie Survival Machine using none other than a brand new Hyundai Elantra coupe. Hyundai has teased a final sketch of the creation, but we are not too sure if this is actually what it will look like. Fortunately, we don’t need to wait too long, as Hyundai is unveiling this walking dead survival coupe at the Comic-Con, which starts on July 12th and runs through the 15th.
If the sketches are true to the real-life production model, it will bear a V-shaped plow on the front with massive metal spike protruding from the top, which will help turn zombies into shish-kabob. On each rim is another skewer that looks like it is designed to do serious damage to a zombie’s leg. Up top you get triple fog lights, because we all know that the zombie apocalypse is never complete without tons of fog.
The front, rear, and side glass is all reinforced with steel bars so that even if the zombies manage to shatter the glass, they still can’t get into the car – it also works great for carjackers. There’s also a winch mounted to the front end and the body panels appear to be steel plated.
We all know that this model will, of course, never be produced beyond this special one-off model, but it’s bound to be cool nonetheless. Hopefully Hyundai is taking this task seriously and not manufacturing the defense systems out of foam. We want to see real-life metal and a brand new Hyundai that is fit to do battle… Then… Let us drive it, please?
We’ll update you with complete details on this zombie-fighting Hyundai the second we get all of the information and some rear shots of the car. Until then, enjoy the concept drawing.
It looks like the American Le Mans Series is starting to consider this a possibility, as it attempts to dig itself a niche in racing as a “green” automotive racing series. According to reports, Patrick Racing Team and Indy 500 legend, Jim McGee, are working hard toward retrofitting the 430-horsepower ORECA FLM09 American Le Mans racer with a natural gas injection system.
It is uncertain exactly what type of natural gas, CNG or LPG, the Patrick Racing Team is targeting right now, but we would anticipate it being LPG, due to its more widespread availability. Given the fact that natural gas has an average octane rating of 130, it makes a perfect racing fuel. The biggest issue is getting it connected to the existing Chevy engine without losing too much horsepower or fuel economy.
Also according to reports, the plans are to have this system in place and homologated in time for the 2013 ALMS racing season, which will kick off in March next year. That gives Patrick Racing just under a year to get this system in place, tested, and certified for racing. If this takes off, it could ultimately alter the path that automotive propulsion is taking now – a lean more toward the electric side – and skew it back toward the natural gas/hydrogen direction.
Granted, CNG, LPG, and hydrogen will not overtake electricity in hybrids on the grand stage, but it could bring about a slight shift toward these alternative fuels. We’ll keep a close eye on this project and let you know how it’s going.
Click past the jump to read to full press release.
For those that are unaware, the FIA is still organizing and developing the Formula E racing series, which it almost the exact same racing as Formula 1, minus the vroom-vroom of the internal combustion engines. This series uses only cars that utilize sustainable energy, which means no gasoline or diesel, just the ominous hum of an electric motor.
The series is loosely set to kick off in 2014 and manufacturers have started coming forward with cars for the series. This latest car is pretty wild, to say the least. It looks almost like a Le Mans prototype car and the Batmobile had a wild night in the Batcave and the Bluebird GTL Formula E racing concept was the end result.
It takes most of its styling cues from the closed-cockpit-style Le Mans cars that have no rearward window, which was Audi’s reasoning for replacing the rearview mirror. It is very obvious that the focal point in building this machine was aerodynamics, as the curves are plentiful and there are no visual flat spots to catch the air.
According to its developers, the pictured model is purely just a prototype that they are using for wind tunnel testing and there is no motor information available yet. They anticipate a track-ready model to be completed by the end of September in hopes of racing in the Formula E’s debut season – if one ever kicks off.
We will keep you updated on this newest addition to the Formula E series and let you know the second its manufacturer releases some performance specs.
Look in any dictionary and find the word “dedication.” Next to that word, paste in a picture of Nissan Delta Wing driver, Satoshi Motoyama, as that is all of the definition you need of being dedicated to a particular craft. After being slammed in to the wall by a rookie Le Mans driver and his vehicle becoming disabled, Motoyama had two choices, give up or fix it yourself.
See, in Le Mans there is a rule against the pit crew coming out to help repair any disabling damages to a car – a ridiculous rule in our opinion – but there is no rule against the driver trying to fix said damages. So Motoyama, with his mighty Phillips screwdriver in hand, went to trying to breathe life back into his disabled experimental car, with his pit crew not too far away telling him what to do at each step.
Motoyama removed body panels, in an attempt to free the apparently stuck wheels, but that just wasn’t working. After exhausting all of the team’s ideas, Motoyama conceded to the fact that the Delta Wing was not going to finish the race. After months of testing, tuning, and more testing, this experimental rig didn’t get the opportunity to complete the race, despite a pretty successful debut, where it sat near the middle of the LMP2 class with a fastest lap of 3:42.612.
Fortunately, there were plenty of cameras available to capture Motoyama’s valiant efforts and he certainly earned the respect of his peers and us in the media with his efforts. Check out the above video to see his attempts to get the Delta Wing back on the road and you’ll see just how important this race was to the Delta Wing team.
We have a feeling that this is not the last time we see the Delta Wing. It ran very well against the LMP2 class and may have earned an even higher fastest lap position, had it not been so heavily damaged.