Feb 092011


James Bond author Jeffrey Deaver with Bentley Continental GT

Bond is back, and as ever he is sporting the best in luxury cars. In the pages of Carte Blanche, the new James Bond book by international best-selling author Jeffery Deaver, the fictional British spy has continued with his classic preference of luxury sports car by selecting the breathtaking new Bentley Continental GT as his transport of choice.

Jeffrey Deaver Author Bond Carte Blanche

Jeffrey Deaver, Author of Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche is due to be published by Hodder and Stoughton in the UK on May 26, a few days before the anniversary of Fleming’s birthday.  It has been commissioned by Ian Fleming Publications Ltd.

The book is partly set in Dubai, which is where the author and the new Bond car have been spotted, outside the InterContinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. Bond’s new Continental GT certainly suits his character, with a fabled 6.0-litre, W12, twin-turbo engine capable of producing 567 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque.

While James Bond’s new car may be better suited for a secret agent in understated tones, the author of the book admired a less inconspicuous model. Set in stunning white with a blood-red interior, the new Continental GT mixes svelte good looks with power, poise and exceptional prowess.

The hand-stitched leather interior contains all the high-tech gadgetry Bond could ever need. And with the famed sound dampening that only lets through the captivating sound of the wonderful engine, the cabin provides a true Quantum of Solace for Fleming’s jet-setting gentleman spy.

Jeffery Deaver sampled the stunning vehicle on his recent visit to the Emirates, where he commented, “I’m really excited about being back in Dubai.  It is an inspirational and awe-inspiring city and makes a perfect Bond location—especially for a novel that pushes our hero to new extremes.”

Regarding the book’s title, which was revealed in January, Deaver added: “In the world of espionage, giving an agent carte blanche on a mission comes with an enormous amount of trust and constantly tests both personal and professional judgement.  Part of the nonstop suspense in the novel is the looming question of what is acceptable in matters of national and international security. Are there lines that even James Bond should not cross?”

The James Bond of Ian Fleming’s original novels also opted for a Bentley. The world’s most famous spy would choose nothing less than the scintillating performance and second-to-none quality of the classic luxury car.

Jeffery Deaver has written 28 novels and sold more than 20m books worldwide.

He is best known for his Kathryn Dance and Lincoln Rhyme books, most notably The Bone Collector, which was adapted for film in 1999, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

Before becoming a full-time author, Deaver was a journalist, like Fleming, and attorney. He started writing suspense novels on the long commute to and from his office on Wall Street. His books are now translated into 25 languages and he lives in North Carolina.

 11:45 pm  Motoring
Dec 112010
Ferdinand Alexander Porsche 911

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche with the 911

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche is a name to be reckoned with. Now 75, on December 11th 2010, he is the grandson of the original founder of the Porsche Dynasty.

In his last working days he headed the Porsche Design privately-owned company as well as remaining honorary chairman of the supervisory board of Porsche AG – the company that  manufactures Porsche cars. He is also the owner of the respected luxury watchmaker, Eterna.

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche trained at the College of Design in Ulm, and joined the Porsche design department in 1958. He is the eldest son of Ferry Porsche and grandson of Ferdinand Porsche.

He had spent time in the company workshops from an early age, and he took on the management of the Porsche Design Studio in 1962.

It was the younger Porsche that took his dad’s wishes to develop a successor to the 356 to come up with the 911. It has since been regarded as one of the most successful sports cars throughout the 20th and 21st century.

Ferdinand also came up with the design of the Porsche Carrera GTS.  The car went on to be highly successful at Sebring, Le Mans, Nurburgring and the famous Targa Florio races of the 1960s, sporting a robust four-cylinder engine.

He also founded the Porsche Design Studio in 1972, and pursued an independent career as a product designer.

 8:27 pm  Motoring
Oct 292010

The 1964 Aston Martin used in the Sean Connery James Bond films sold for $4.6 million (£2.6) in London.

This car was one of only two fully-equipped 1964 Aston Martin DB5s actually used in the early Bond films.

This one comes with an open top roof, rear bullet deflector and an early satellite navigation system. The car was used in two of the Bond movies. First for the fast-driving sequences in Goldfinger and later in Thunderball. In addition to all the gadgetry, the car has a 282-horsepower engine and a top speed of about 145 miles per hour. Minus all the gadgets, a standard 1964 DB5 could go from zero to 60 miles per hour in about 7.1 seconds. Here it is in photos… james bonds original aston martin sun roof on aston martin

 6:25 pm  Motoring
Aug 232007
Cayman S Porsche Design Edition 1

Cayman S Porsche Design Edition 1

Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany, is to expand its mid-engine coupé model range with the launch, in November 2007, of the Cayman S “Porsche Design Edition 1”, a limited-edition special series.

Porsche has incorporated various design disciplines into this very special mid-engine coupé: the black exterior emphasizes the purist nature of the 295-bhp sports car and, at the same time, is a nod to Porsche Design and the famous Chronograph 1s designed by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche precisely 35 years previously.

This look, cultivated by Porsche Design, imparts additional luxury and class on the Cayman S: the black leather and Alcantara upholstery harmonizes with refined details such as the instrument dials, the layout of which reflects that of all Porsche Design chronographs. Even the center console, dashboard, and door trims glisten in black, while the three-spoke sports steering wheel, the gear lever, the handbrake grip, and the roof lining are clothed in non-slip black Alcantara. The Porsche logo (crest) is embossed on the headrests.

The vehicle’s technical features are equally sophisticated: beneath the ten-millimeter-lower body, standard Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) actively controls the hardness of the shock absorbers and it features a special Sport mode that can be activated at the touch of a button for a really dynamic driving feel. Five-millimeter spacers together with 19-inch turbo wheels give the Cayman S “Porsche Design Edition 1” a presence that is reinforced yet further by the 235/35 ZR 19 tires at the front axle and the 265/35 ZR 19 tires at the rear.

The Porsche Design Studio, created by Ferdinand Alexander Porsche 35 years ago, has rapidly become a top international name for industrial design, luxury items, and consumer goods. Top-class functionality and esthetics glisten in the new “Porsche Design Edition 1” collection – in black or black matt, of course.

The Cayman S “Porsche Design Edition 1” standard equipment thus includes an elegant briefcase containing the Flat Six Chronograph, a pocket knife, a pair of sunglasses, a pen, and a key ring – all in black, even the knife blade, in keeping with the vehicle’s styling. The number of Cayman S “Porsche Design Edition 1” units is to be as exclusive as this series-production luxury package: only 777 are being built, and each will be identifiable from a badge on the lid of the glove box.

The market launch of this black Cayman with exclusive Porsche Design equipment, including briefcase, will begin in Germany in November 2007 and in the United States in January 2008. The base price is 58,600 Euros and, factoring in 19 percent value-added tax, the price in Germany will be 69,942 Euros.  UK £49,890  Available in the US $98,885 January 2008.

Text & photos courtesy of Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG

 2:45 pm  Motoring
Aug 172007
Infiniti EX

Infiniti EX

The all-new 2008 Infiniti EX coupe crossover, revealed this week at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, will form part of a four model premium range that will be launched across Europe starting from Autumn 2008. Ranges include the G Saloon, G Coupe and a Successor to the Iconic FX


– Innovative Coupe Crossover Concept

– Standard ‘ATTESA E-TS’ All-Wheel Drive

– Powered by a 3.5-litre 290hp V6 (US Specification)

– First Introduction of the Advanced Around View Monitor System

The EX is a new addition to the global Infiniti range. To be badged EX35 when it goes on sale in the US at the end of this year, this all-wheel drive crossover slots in below the iconic FX and offers an exceptional combination of seductive design, elegant interior and advanced technology systems.

These include the world production car debut of the advanced Around View Monitor (AVM) system, which utilizes four small cameras to give the driver a “top-down view” of the outside of the vehicle while parking. The new EX35 also becomes the second Infiniti production vehicle, following the Autumn introduction in the US of the 2008 Infiniti M-series, to offer the new Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system, and the first to feature “Scratch Shield,” a special “self-healing” clearcoat paint. Launch timing of these technologies in Europe is to be confirmed.

Coupe-Inspired Exterior

Designed by the Infiniti design centre in Japan, the EX35’s sculpted elegance should have a timeless appeal. Sleek lines portray speed, grace and finesse combining the look and feel of a luxury coupe with the elevated cabin of a 4×4.

The sporty proportions include a long hood, short front and rear overhangs, rearward cabin and smooth coupe-like roofline arching over the windows to the C-pillars.

“The EX35 is the perfect fusion of a luxury coupe and a sporty 4×4,” said Jim Wright, Vice President Infiniti Europe.

The EX35 has a length of 4631mm and a width of 1803mm making it maneuverable in town. While a height of 1589mm gives it a more dynamic stance and a lower centre of gravity than most other 4x4s.

EX35’s exterior includes many signature Infiniti touches, including a double-arch grille, large L-shaped headlights with available Bi-Xenon Adaptive Front lighting System (AFS), integrated fog lights, distinctive LED taillights and “dynamic arch” profile. Other exterior features include a high-mounted rear hatchback spoiler, chrome-finished dual exhaust pipes, an available power tilt/sliding sunroof with one-touch activation and optional roof rails and crossbars. The EX35 also features a standard puddle lamp integrated in the driver’s side door mirror as part of the Hospitality Lighting Concept.

Eight exterior colors will be offered including two shades new to the model.

One of the unique features of the new EX35 is the special “Scratch Shield,” a special “self-healing” clearcoat paint, which is designed to maintain its gloss-level over time. The paint repairs fine scratches, such as fingernail scratches under door handles, restoring the EX35’s surface close to the original state. The process, which takes anywhere from one day to one week (depending on the surrounding temperature and the depth of the scratch), is accomplished through the use of a special highly elastic resin. This resin is combined with a conventional clearcoat to increase the paint’s flexibility and strength by raising the resin density.

Elegant Interior Design

Like all Infiniti vehicles, the EX35 is conceived to offer an invigorating and engaging interior environment. And one that is both indulgent and inspiring.

The driver-focused “wave-inspired” cabin layout features an Infiniti signature “double-wave” instrument panel, easy-to-read high-contrast gauges with white-and-violet illumination and hospitality lighting with a pin LED light mounted over the center console and Infiniti-signature analog clock.

The instrument panel also features a 7-inch color display with Infiniti controller for the trip computer and additional vehicle information, including the available Infiniti Hard Disk based Navigation System with 9.3GB Music Box hard drive for music storage and playback.

Other technology systems include available Bluetooth(R) Hands-Free Phone System and standard Infiniti Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition. Available technology features include RearView Camera (available separately, or as part of the Around View Monitor system), front and rear parking sensors, Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) and Bose(R) Premium Audio System with 11 speakers including 2 subwoofers, 6CD in-dash changer and iPod(R) connectivity.

The interior is offered with cloth or leather-upholstered seating surfaces, available in four different colour concepts, reflecting Infiniti’s desire to offer the customer a high level of personalisation. A special Black Lacquer trim comes standard on the center console, with optional genuine Maple wood trim for the centre console and door panels (replacing Black Lacquer and aluminum respectively).

An 8-way power driver’s seat with 2-way manual lumbar support is standard, along with a 4-way power passenger’s seat. A driver’s seat memory system is also offered, along with available heated front seats and 8-way power front passenger’s seat. Also available is an unusual 60/40 split power-folding 2nd row seat (operated from the front or hatch area) making it easier to get the best out of the interior space.

“The EX35’s interior is all about driving pleasure and passenger comfort,” said Wright. “Like the exterior, it offers a coupe-like feel but surprising versatility – ideal for today’s active lifestyles. Its design is elegant and made using beautiful materials that indulge as well as calm.”

Advanced Platform and Powertrain

Under the EX35’s dramatic body is an equally advanced platform and powertrain based on the latest Infiniti performance technology. Its advanced FR-L platform provides the same high levels of handling precision and balance as it does for the Infiniti M, FX and G Coupe and Saloon.

Every 2008 US-specification Infiniti EX35 comes as standard with the fourth-generation VQ35HR 3.5-liter V6 engine (shared with the new G35 Saloon), rated at 290-plus horsepower (estimated) and 5-speed automatic transmission with manual mode, DS sport mode with Downshift Rev Matching (DRM), and Adaptive Shift Control.

The engine block features ladder frame construction, variable exhaust cam timing (eCVTCS), asymmetric piston skirts, twin knock sensors and Iridium spark plugs. Its symmetric twin ram air intake system helps reduce airflow resistance, while the dual exhaust system has been designed with equal length exhaust manifolds and reduced muffler exhaust pressure help improve engine breathing.

Both are tuned to create authoritative harmonies, helping enhance driving pleasure, an exciting engine sound and expected improvements in emissions and fuel economy (versus the previous generation VQ engine).

The fourth-generation VQ engine design also includes a long list of advanced systems found on the previous design – including a Continuously Variable Valve Timing Control System (CVTCS), a “noiseless” timing chain for quiet operation, an electronically controlled “drive-by-wire” throttle system, microfinished crank journals and cam lobes, and molybdenum coated lightweight pistons.

Every EX35 utilizes a subframe-mounted independent front double-wishbone suspension with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links, high-performance dual-flow pass shock absorbers and anti-roll bar. The rear suspension is an independent multi-link design with aluminum-alloy upper and lower links and axle housing, high-performance dual-flow pass shock absorbers and anti-roll bar.

Steering is provided by a speed-sensitive power-assisted steering system with power-assisted front and rear discs (vented front) and standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA).

Also standard is Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS), while an advanced Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) with Preview Braking is optionally available.

Available wheel and tire combinations include an 18-inch 8-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/55R18 tires.

EX35 features Infiniti’s ATTESA E-TS (Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All Electronic Torque Split) all-wheel drive system, which is also utilized on the 2008 M, FX and G Saloon.

The system utilizes an active torque distribution management system with an active centre clutch designed for smooth starts and better traction and maneuverability on snowy and wet roads than conventional all-wheel drive systems, plus minimal compromise of rear-wheel drive performance characteristics on dry roads.

Advanced New Technology

The EX35’s advanced technology design is highlighted by one system that is the first production version available in the US and Europe: the Infiniti Around View Monitor.

It utilizes small front, side and rear-mounted cameras to project an all-around view of potential objects on every side of the vehicle – helping reduce blind spots when parking.

“Conventional mirrors, no matter how carefully you use them, just can’t provide a view around the car that the Around View Monitor’s four-camera system does,” said Wright. “Rear bumper parking sensors help detect objects behind a car, but again they can’t give the view of the space around the vehicle that the AVM does.”

EX35 European specification

The information given above relates to the US market EX35. Specifications of the European version will be confirmed closer to the on sale date.

In terms of positioning, it is difficult to find any direct rivals for the EX being arguably the first of a new wave of coupe crossovers. But looking at other cars available currently, the EX might be lined up against rivals as diverse as the BMW X3 3.0si and Audi A4 3.2FSI quattro avant.

Infiniti Europe

The EX will get its first European showing at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The brand will be launched across Europe, city by city, starting in the autumn of 2008 – a process that will take two years. Infiniti Europe will reveal more details of its launch schedule towards the end of 2007.

Four models will be available in Europe from launch. These will include the G saloon, the G coupe, the EX as detailed above, and a successor to the iconic FX to be unveiled next year. A replacement for the M-series will join the European range early in the next decade along with the option, on the M-, EX- and FX-series, of a high performance V6 diesel.

Superior customer service will be as important to Infiniti as the product. This starts with the retail network, all of which will employ the new Infiniti Retail Design Environment Initiative (IREDI) that has a look and feel more akin to a luxury designer hotel than a car showroom, and continues with Infiniti’s Total Ownership Experience (TOE) philosophy that covers all contacts the customer will have with the brand.

Said Wright: “The launch of a premium car brand in Europe is a rare and special event. Infiniti will have the simple philosophy of offering the independently minded customer a new alternative of vibrant product teamed with excellent service. The cars are all elegantly designed, comprehensively equipped and aimed at the enthusiast. But they are only half the story. Effortless ownership will be equally important as you will discover closer to the launch.”

For Infiniti US news and pictures: http://www.infinitinews.com/.

For early information about Infiniti Europe: http://www.infinitieurope.com/.

 1:02 pm  Motoring
Jun 132007
BMW Hydrogen 7 emission Free

BMW Hydrogen 7 emission Free

BMW has introduced  the  first hydrogen-powered emissions-free luxury saloon car.

BMW’s John Hollis said: “We want to kick-start the debate about the future of personal mobility and the importance of hydrogen as the definitive fuel. The opinions of politicians and other influencers are important in driving this forward to ensure that hydrogen-power comes to fruition as soon as possible.”

The BMW Hydrogen 7 is based on the existing 7 Series and comes equipped with a bivalent internal combustion engine capable of running on hydrogen or petrol. In hydrogen mode the car emits nothing more than water vapour.

Powered by a 260hp 12-cylinder engine, the Hydrogen 7 accelerates from zero to 62mph in 9.5 seconds before going on to an electronically-limited 143mph top speed.

With its unique dual fuel engine, the driver of a Hydrogen 7 can switch quickly and conveniently from hydrogen to conventional petrol power at the press of a steering wheel-mounted button.

The dual power technology means the car has a cruising range in excess of 125 miles in the hydrogen mode with a further 300 miles under petrol power.

To make this possible the BMW Hydrogen 7 comes with a conventional 74-litre petrol tank and an additional hydrogen fuel tank holding up to 8kgs of liquid hydrogen, stored at -253 degrees Celsius. Such flexibility means the driver of a BMW Hydrogen 7 is able to use the vehicle at all times, even when the nearest hydrogen filling station is out of range.

A bespoke filling station has been constructed in Wembley to support BMW’s plans.

For undiluted driver enjoyment, engine power and torque in the Hydrogen 7 remain exactly the same regardless of which fuel is in current use. The driver can switch between the two without any effect on driving behaviour or performance. The car always gives priority to the use of hydrogen but, should this run out, it automatically switches to petrol power.

Unlike many previous hydrogen concept cars showcased by rival manufacturers the BMW Hydrogen 7 heralds a milestone in the history of the car. It is a full production ready vehicle, which has met all the stringent processes and final sign-off criteria that every current BMW model undergoes.

Source http://www.press.bmwgroup.com

The car took part in the first eco-rally from Brighton the London

 8:50 am  Motoring
Jan 112007
Arash AF10

Arash AF10

Arash Farboud has now decided to manufacture cars under his own name and badge.

Arash Cars will be releasing a preview of its new model AF10. AF10 will be the first in a line up of exciting and powerful supercars that the company will be manufacturing at its facilities in Cambridge.

Standard sat nav, mp3 player, rear view camera fully integrated touchscreen system.

  • Full leather interior.
  • Lift up dihedral doors.
  • Full warranty and roadside assistance.
  • Full lifetime body warranty.

0-60: 3.4 seconds

Engine: V8 7 Litre GM Engine

Power: 550bhp

Torque: 448 lbft

Top Speed: 204mph

Gearbox: 6 speed manual Grazianno transmission

Country of Origin: UK

Prices from: £172,000 GBP.

Supercharged version to be released at later date 850bhp (AF10-S).

Contact: http://www.arashcars.com

 3:15 pm  Motoring
Dec 112006
Keonigsegg CCX

Keonigsegg CCX

The stunning new CCX model from Swedish super car manufacturers, Koenigsegg has a 4.7 litre V8 engine,  boasting an extraordinary 806bhp!

The car is listed within the 2005 – 2006 Guinness Book of Records as the fastest series produced car in the world.

CCX stands for Competition Coupe X. Two-door, two seater with removable hard top stowable under the front hood lid

0-60: 3.2 seconds

Engine: Koenigsegg V8 cast aluminium, 4 valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts

Power: 806bhp

Torque: 678 lbft

Top Speed: 245mph

Gearbox: Specially developed 6-speed gearbox by Cima. Torque sensitive, limited slip differential.

Country of Origin: Sweden

Prices from: £349,000 GBP.

Contact: http://www.koenigsegg.com

 3:15 pm  Motoring
Dec 112006
Hulme F1

Hulme F1

Inspired by Denny Hulme’s success as the 1967 Formula One World Champion, The concept of the Hulme supercar is a mid-engine design with a high performance powertrain and chassis that gives the driver the feeling of driving a Formula One Car on the road.

Developed by SupercarsNZ, a company set up by Auckland-based entrepreneur Jock Freemantle, the Hulme F1 supercar has been developed in secret over the last two years

Limited to just 20-30 units worldwide, it will seat two and initially be offered in the U.K. and German markets. Expected to be produced in 2008


Engine: 500hp BMW V8 engine (E39 M5)

Power: 550bhp


Top Speed:

Gearbox: six speed sequential gearbox

Country of Origin: New Zealand

Prices from: £300,000 GBP.(expected)

Contact: http://www.supercarsnz.com/

 3:15 pm  Motoring
Dec 112006
GranTurismo Maserati

GranTurismo Maserati

The sleek, 2008 Maserati GranTurismo is a rare gem among sports cars. One of the most highly anticipated introductions to the U.S. market in years, the GranTurismo is styled by Pininfarina with luxury appointments.

The GranTurismo of 1947 began Maserati’s long, unbroken reputation for style and sexiness. Since that original GranTurismo, Maseratis have always looked fast and they have always had sumptuous interiors combining breakthrough design with unexpected practicality.

So when the covers came off the new GranTurismo in Geneva in early 2007, it was the apex of a detailed, passionate design adventure that kept true to its heritage. That heritage has its roots in the Maserati A6GCS Berlinetta Pininfarina, which was so successful that its affectionate name, the GranTurismo, became the universal name for all fast, sexy, two-door coupés.

The leather in every Maserati is carefully crafted by Poltrona Frau after long months of development, while fellow Italian Salvatore Ferragamo’s tailored leather luggage set fits perfectly, both inside the boot of every Maserati GranTurismo and in the foyer of the world’s best hotels.

Distinctive Maserati hallmarks include the oval version of the Maserati logo known as the Maserati “Saetta”, which has been positioned on the C-pillar since the Quattroporte’s launch in 2004

Its headlights keep an historical Maserati coupé signature. View the GranTurismo in profile, and the lights sweep up into the front guard panel – just as they have done since the 1940s.


0-60: 5.1 seconds

Engine: V8 74.2 Litre

Power: 405bhp

Torque: 339 lbft

Top Speed: 178mph

Country of Origin: Italy

Bi-Xenon front headlights with adaptive light control. 19″ Alloy Wheels. Brembo braking system

Prices from: $117,500 – $135,000

Contact: http://www.maserati.com

 3:15 pm  Motoring