Car News

Audi has announced it will be adopting a 48-volt electrical system in its vehicles starting in the near future. The new high-power electrical system is said to give engineers the ability to make sportier, more efficient, and more convenient cars.

“We are using the full bandwidth of electrification in our drive principles strategy,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenbert, a Member of the Board of Management for Technical Devel Devel opment at Audi. “Running part of the vehicle electrical system at 48 volts plays a central role in this. It enables us to make more energy available.”

We’ve already seen two examples of Audi vehicles with the 48-volt system; the RS5 TDI and A6 TDI concepts. Both cars are fitted with an electrically powered compressor that gives extra boost to the engine, helping eliminate turbo lag. The compressor is a separate system than the engine, so there is no parasitic loss.

Boosting power won’t be the only benefit. Audi says the upgraded electrical system will help boost advancements in dynamic chassis control systems.

The 48-volt system will even work while the main engine is powered off. A small bank of lithium-ion batteries will supply the juice. A DC/DC converter then integrates the standard, 12-volt electrical system. What’s more, the battery pack also works in conjunction with a new efficiency-optimized alternator, basically turning the vehicle into a mild hybrid system.

Audi says the new system can save owners 0.4 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers, or roughly 0.105 gallons over 62 miles.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 TDI Concept

This partnership between Azfal Kahn and Ant Anstead just might be on to something. The collaboration between these two industry savants has paved the way for the creation of two new models, one of which is the Ant-Kahn Flying Huntsman. Unlike the Evanta Barchetta , the Flying Huntsman is based on an actual vehicle that Kahn Design knows a great deal about: the Land Rover Defender . But this isn’t just a simple tuning project for the Defender. The Flying Huntsman is being prepared as a completely new model that will have a more aesthetically pleasing identity than the utilitarian looks of the Defender.

The Flying Huntsman will carry a "long-nose" front section, which essentially means that it’s going to be a little longer than the standard Defender, thanks to the extra 400 mm (15.7 inches) of bodywork attached into the nose. That makes the Flying Huntsman look more sophisticated and dare I say, more aesthetically balanced than anything we’ve seen from the Defender.

Under its hood, the Flying Huntsman is powered by a GM -sourced, 6.2-liter, V-8, LS3 engine that produces 550 horsepower — far and away more powerful than anything a standard Defender was capable of.

The Ant-Kahn Flying Huntsman is still in its development stages so there should be more details about this vehicle once the first prototype is completed. The early information, though, has been pretty impressive.

Updated 8/27/2014: Ant-Kahn has released another image of the upcoming Flying Huntsman, this time wearing a more traditional paint job. Check it out above.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ant-Kahn Flying Huntsman.

Bugatti rocked the supercar world in 2005 by releasing the Veyron , its first production vehicle since the EB110, which was discontinued in 1995. Initially powered by a quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter, W-16 engine that cranked out 987 horsepower, the Veyron was later updated and gifted with no less than 1,183 ponies and 1,106 pound-feet of torque. The French supercar is mostly know for being the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a record sitting at 267.856 mph. Its roadster version, the Grand Sport Vitesse , holds the same benchmark for the world’s fastest open-top with a top speed of 254.04 mph. With only 15 units left to be built as of August 2014, Bugatti is sending the Veyron into the history books with yet another unique iteration, this time around created for an unnamed customer in Singapore.

Suggestively named "1 of 1," this bespoke Veyron was crafted using the same recipe that made Bugatti famous. However, there’s twist to the "1 of 1", which comes with more than a custom paintjob and a personalized interior. Not that these features are something to sneeze at, but it goes to show that Bugatti is capable of taking its customization program even further. Read on to find out why.

Click past the jump to read more about the Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse "1 of 1"

It is no secret that car enthusiasts often buy strange things just because they are related to their favorite cars. I, for one, went through my phases of buying old ignition keys, hubcaps and emblems in my younger years, and I know many of my gearhead friends went through equally weird buying phases. This item, however, seems excessive even to me.

Up for sale on eBay today is a BMW i8 , and the bid is currently at only $19,100, but the reserve is not yet met as of 8/26/2014. Sounds like this may be the bargain of the century, right? Well, you may want to chill out a bit and put your itchy bidding finger away. This is merely a display-only shell of the i8 that a dealership bought from Bimmer to show off on its showroom floor. Yeah, talk about a buzz kill, right?

According to the seller, this shell is made from fiberglass and measures about 15.5 feet long by 6.5 feet wide by 5.5 feet tall, which is almost the exact size of the actual i8 — only the height is off by about a foot from the real deal, but that could be a typo in the ad. There is no engine, no transmission, no interior, the doors do not open and it rolls on casters.

I could think of about 1,000 other things I could spend $19,000 on, but some people may find this display car as the perfect addition to their auto collection. If you happen to be one of those people, you had better hurry, as the bidding ends on August 29th, 2014 at 11:32 PDT.

And if you are about to bid on this, you may want to contact me first, as I have a bridge to sell that you may be interested in...

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8

Source: eBay

The U.S. auto industry have given us some of the most incredible automobiles over the last 100 hundred years. Starting with the Ford Model T , the first vehicle mass-produced on moving assembly lines, and ending with the aluminum-bodied, 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, America has made a name for itself as one of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers. Before the Great Depression, the U.S. produced over 90 percent of the vehicles sold globally, and after World War II it was responsible for 75 percent of the world’s production. That’s no longer the case in 2014, when China manufactures nearly 20 million vehicle a year, more than both the U.S. and Japan.

Sure, these numbers don’t mean U.S. manufacturers have lost their touch. Just look at the new Mustang and Corvette Z06 , and you’ll notice the brilliant engineering and the passion are still there. However, it’s common knowledge that global production works on different standards which restrict the availability of certain models in certain markets. It works both ways. Europe, for instance, can’t have many of the vehicles sold in the U.S., while Americans can’t buy cars made by a variety of European brands. Ironically, North American manufacturers have launched a bevy of nameplates that can’t be had in the U.S. And while most of them wouldn’t stir any interest on these shores, some vehicles have caused great frustration to the American enthusiast.

I’m going to talk about the latter. The cool cars we can’t buy and drive over various production or import issues, or even the manufacturer’s lack of interest in the U.S. market. Take a look at my choices below and tell me what you guys think. I narrowed the list down to 10 vehicles, so feel free to let me know which ones you think I should have included in the comments box.

Click past the jump to read more about the cool cars we can’t buy in the U.S.

The turbocharged California T came as a big surprise in early 2014, but it appears Ferrari aims to add forced induction to all of its V-8-powered sports cars . Concerned about both fuel economy and safe ways to increase output, the Italians are testing a turbocharged version of the Ferrari 458 as we speak. While rumors about a force-fed 458 surfaced in early 2014 when a white mule was spotted playing in the snow, a new batch of spy shots featuring a camouflaged sports car comes to confirm the turbo 458 is well underway.

Reportedly dubbed M458-T , the new iteration of the company’s entry-level sports car is expected to see significant gains in terms of horsepower. Specifically, the turbocharger attached to the new V-8 unit is likely to push output to around 670 ponies, a 74-horsepower addition to the 596 ponies available with the 458 Speciale. Of course, more power means an updated cooling system and revised aerodynamics as well, with minor design changes to further mark the introduction of the first turbocharged 458.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari 458 M

Every one of us here at TopSpeed is foaming at the mouth to see the Q50 Eau Rouge take production form, but there may be a handful of roadblocks ahead. On January 8th, Infiniti filed a trademark application for the super-sedan’s "Eau Rouge" name, and the patent office has yet to approve it. It is almost a certainty that the patent office will approve it, but it will then go up for contention, and this is where the issues may pop up.

You see, the Eau Rouge name is actually inspired the famous uphill bend on the Spa-Francorchamps course owned by the Wallonian government. Though there is no American trademark on the name, the track does have the "L’Eau Rouge" name registered with the European Union’s trademark office. This would give the track and its owners legal grounds to contest the name, which could spell trouble for Infiniti.

Contention would ultimately give Infiniti two options. Option 1: change the name altogether. Option 2: pay Spa-Francorchaps a sum for each vehicle sold, much like GM did to SCCA for using the Trans Am name.

It is doubtful that the racetrack’s owners would turn down an offer to make a couple bucks with each vehicle sold just to use the nickname. Race tracks are notoriously expensive to run and go bankrupt regularly, so the extra cash flow for simply signing off on Infiniti using the name would likely be welcome.

We’ll keep an eye on this situation and update you as soon as the trademark issue is addressed.

Click past the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge

Source: Bloomberg
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Land Rover has always been on the forefront of off-road technology . It’s a company that prides itself on pushing the bar upward with each new model. For instance, the new Range Rover is quite possibly the best, most advance off-roading production vehicle on the market today, with its all-aluminum body and frame, it has anti-roll bars that disconnect electronically and it can even come with a sonar system that allows you to monitor wading depth. All Land Rovers are highly advanced vehicles, and Land Rover seems to be teasing some new tech for the upcoming Discovery Sport .

The video seems to be tying the history and future of Land Rover with that of the space program, showing numerous Evolution Of Man-style aeronautic images. At the end of the video it even references the partnership between Land Rover and Virgin Galactic, the space program branch of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire.

The first bit of interior tech Land Rover teases, is the satellite-image-style navigation system, which could offer an incredibly accurate way of tracking yourself while off-road in dangerous and desolate places, or allow fantastic exploration abilities. The second bit is the set of seven rear seats that seem to have a high range of maneuverability. The last piece of tech Land Rover teases is a large, panoramic moonroof that seems to stretch almost the entire length and width of the roof.

Land Rover doesn’t tease too much, but it is hinting that this new Discovery is on the cutting edge of technology. The Discovery Sport is rumored to use space-grade techniques, borrowed from its Virgin Galactic partner, such as "see-through" view of the road ahead, helping you avoid dangerous terrain while tackling tough terrain, as well as gesture control, which will allow the driver to operate various parts of the vehicle with hand gestures. These are all just rumors, of course, and we’ll see how high-tech the Discovery Sport really is when it debuts September 3rd, 2014. For now we can only speculate as to what kind of tech the Discovery will really have, and hope that a zero-gravity key-fob is one of them.

Flyin’ Miata has this incredible ability to create unique and wonderful cars from the Miata . Nancy the supercharged NC is a sprightly car that is set for rally racing, Atomic Betty is a world class GT car and the Exocet is a track-day phenom. These are all shop cars, however, and are set up to portray a certain style and characteristic.

But what would an employee of Flyin’ Miata do to their own car. With no need to highlight a certain part or feature, and no need to cater to the desires of a customer, what would they create. If you are Keith Tanner, you create the Turbo Smurf.

This 1990 Miata has been fettled, upgraded and altered in essentially every manner to become what is Keith’s ideal daily driver. From the drivetrain and suspension to the interior and even the sound insulation, there is almost no part of this roadster that has been left untouched.

Are the results a carefully created car that coddles as well as it excites? Or did Keith just create a Frankenstein of speed and noise that only just manages to ferry him to the shop without killing him? I spent some time behind the driver seat to figure it out.

Read on to discover more about the Flyin’ Miata Turbo Smurf Miata

The Volvo XC90 is one of the best-selling and most critically well-received models from the Swedish brand. Since its inception in 2002 the XC90 has been praised for its incredible build quality and its family-friendly design. Despite its many great features, very little has changed for the XC90 in the last 12 years, and the car is starting to show its age. The refresh in 2007 and the updates over the last few years have been merely stop gaps for this; the all-new second-generation Volvo XC90 . The SUV was just redesigned for the 2015 model year and the Swedes updated it in every department. Brand-new styling, a completely reworked interior and state-of-the art convenience and safety features are here to help the XC90 give its competitors a run for their money.

The platform is also all-new and brings a hybrid drivetrain with it. A first for the XC90, which enters a new era that focuses on fuel economy more than anything else. Gone are the 4.4-liter V-8 and the 3.2-liter inline-six. This SUV is now a four-cylinder exclusive machine. Don’t worry though, power is still up there and the amount of technology is greater than ever before.

So let’s jump right into it, shall we?

Updated 8/27/2014: Following a series of leaks, Volvo released the majority of the information on the 2015 XC90.

Continue reading to find out about the all-new Volvo XC90.


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