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int news - dirty dozen issue

international news jan 2010

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0-100 KPH –
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INTERNATIONAL NEWS JAN 2010

HEAD:
STUTT YOUR STUFF
INTRO:
THE PORSCHE CAYMAN R
MATTER:
And it’s back to the first rule of going faster – shed weight, add horses. The folks at Stuttgart set their sights on the Cayman this year, making it worthy of the ‘R’ suffix by cutting the flab by 55 kgs over the Cayman S, and making the flat-six work hard by putting out ten more horses.  This mid-engined coupe now has the option of a seven-speed PDK dual-clutch gearbox which further cuts down the 0-100 kph time to 4.9 seconds. That, dear readers, is quick. 282 kph is what it maxes out at. All well and good, but who the colour is bit off for a Porsche and the bright green panel on the dash is downright ugly. Anyways, since such ‘R’ models are coming to you at a rate of ten per second day-in and day-out, we think you’d be bored of them by now. If you want proper hardcore, go buy a 911 GT2 RS. End of story.
0-100 KPH  –  4.9 sec
BSM SAYS: Thrum-peting!



HEAD:
2011 SPACE ODYSSEY
INTRO:
The fog cleared and the Mercedes-Benz Biome Concept spoke, in a fuzzy modulated electronic voice – ‘We come in peace. ‘
MATTER:
This insane looking craft, if it flies, which we think it does going by its looks, will most definitely qualify as one of the coolest looking UFOs this side of the Milky way galaxy. Martian designers don’t stand a chance again this. Primarily because they’re still water-starved microbes but anyways, this is Pluto-grade coolness.  This was Mercedes-Benz’s entry at the Los Angeles Design Challenge this year, a space-age 2+2 concept that blows minds left, right and centre. What impresses us is the space-age stance, astoundingly awesome lines and proportions, fighter-style cockpit and front intakes that look like they house ramjets for intergalactic travel.  And it doesn’t stop at that.  It weighs just 394 kgs thanks to a material called BioFibre, which is stronger and lighter than metal, all grown in the comfort of a lab. Wait, it get more bio-weird, it’s powered by liquid BioNectar, which trees can produce from sunlight when adapted.  Now we know what Mercedes-Benz has been upto all this time.
0-100 KPH –  KPH?  What unit is that? 0 to Speed of Light in 5 seconds.
BSM SAYS:  Three-pointed star craft. Can we order the AMG versions of the ramjets?

HEAD:
CROSS AIR
INTRO:
The swan – Nissan Ellure. The ugly big fat open-top duckling – Nissan Murano CrossCarbriolet
MATTER:
Now, see, here’s the thing. When designers are made to sit around, twiddling their thumbs for too long, they take sweet-looking stuff like Nissan’s SUV, the Murano, and slice its top off to make the world’s first 4x4 crossover cabriolet. It’s called, rather uninspiringly, the Murano CrossCabriolet, and as we were downloading the photograph in the typical top-to-bottom internet browser manner, it looked rather nice until halfway. Only after that did the horror start. It roughly looks like 370Z that’s been put on top of a SUV chassis. And the results are there for you to see. And why do it, when they can make nice-looking cars like the Ellure here.  A front-wheel driven petrol-electric hybrid system is the likely propulsion system, employing a dual-clutch gearbox. Also, they launched the 2012 Nissan GT-R, which gets slight visual upgrades and a 530 hp state of tune for the 3.8-litre Nissan V6. Growl!
0-100 KPH – (GTR/unofficial) 3 seconds dead. Others – unknown.
BSM SAYS: Only few things look best with their tops down. Period.



HEAD:
SAAB SEGMENT
INTRO:
SAAB intros its first crossover – the 9-4X
MATTER:
SAAB is one of the few companies in existence today that makes insanely capable jet fighters <i>and<i> has cars on sale for soccer moms at the local dealership.  Generally speaking, that is, not implying that this is a soccer mom’s car. In fact, it looks quite the opposite. The first crossover from SAAB – this 9-4X – looks very young and sporty indeed, quite the late-20s crowd car. SAAB says it offers car-like driving dynamics and performance to boot. An all-aluminium 2.8-litre turbocharged V6 is pressed into duty, producing 300 hp and 39 kgm of torque. Also part of the dynamics package is the electronic Limited Slip Differential, adaptive chassis functions and an intelligent all-wheel drive system. This Euro NCAP 5-star performer will be going on sale next year.  Ready for the Scandinavian take on crossovers?
0-100 KPH – 8.3 seconds
BSM SAYS: It will automatically have the <i>‘SAAB ka gaadi’<i> status when it’s comes to India.  He he.

HEAD:
POWER DEAL
INTRO:
AMG and Ducati - Axes reunite
MATTER:
AMG, the rather-extreme tuning arm of Mercedes-Benz, struck a deal with legendary Italian motorcycle maker Ducati at the recently held Los Angeles Auto Show. The deal involves AMG sponsoring their Rossi-led (read EXPENSIVE!) MotoGP program, as well as various other marketing tie-ups. At AMG events, there will be high-horsepower AMGs for customers to experience and vice versa. The buzz is that Rossi and the MotoGP program is such a strain on the funds that it needs AMG to back it up financially. Finances sorted, we can’t wait for the MotoGP season to begin.
BSM SAYS: We can already imagine the Germans checking out the Ducati MotoGP bike and recommending an 18-litre turbo V12 to be put in there for ‘zat little biz more powa’.




SEQUENTIAL SHIFTER
HEAD:
HIGH FIVE
INTRO:
Fiat returns to the States with a well-priced 500.
MATTER:
Italian automaker Fiat is returning to the US market and taking aim at the Mini Cooper, saying its peppy Fiat 500 subcompact will cost $15,500 -- almost $5,000 less than the Mini. The 2012 Fiat 500, a three-door hatchback with rounded styling that evokes the original 500 from 1957, will be Fiat's first vehicle in the US since it pulled out of the market in 1983 because of rust problems and other quality issues. Just don’t make the Americans pronounce cinquecento.  ‘Sink-eh-wha?’

RATING: 5/10


HEAD:
GREEN ROCKET
INTRO:
BMW’s hybrid supercar coming in 2013.
MATTER:
BMW’s Vision Efficient Dynamics model –aka the hybrid BMW supercar - accelerates to 100 kph in 4.8 seconds while emitting just 99 gms of CO2/km. That's the emission of a 1000cc Suzuki Alto with the performance of a M6! Woohoo! BMW did the smart thing here and instead of forever trying to hide their prototypes like some MI6 top-secret project, they just put their own images of the prototypes online with a ‘Don’t blog about this’ sign on the cars. There, that’s unblogged.

RATING: 8/10

HEAD:
ELECTRONIC ROC
INTRO:
Race of Champions 2010 featured Teslas for the practise runs
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The Tesla, being the only zero-emissions supercar in the world – is based on a Lotus Elise, and has a 0-100 kph time of under 4 seconds. A perfect car to let drivers like Vettel, Alan Prost, and Sebastian Loeb do practise runs in at the ROC. This is one of the first few motorsports events, if not the first, where all-electric cars have participated. More eco-friendly shredders please!

RATING: 6/10


HEAD:
SPORT ON
INTRO:
The 2011 Audi RS3 – Audi’s first compact RS.
MATTER:
Here’s Audi’s smallest RS-badged model ever – the RS3 Sportback. Install Audi’s turbocharged five-cylinder engine – 335 bhp/45.9 kgm – in the A3 and you’ve got a car that will definitely be a hoot to drive. To be worthy of the RS tag, Audi also put in the famous Quattro all-wheel drive system, a sport button that makes it louder and sharper, and carbon-fibre parts to keep the weight at bay. Sounds good! When do we get RSs?

RATING: 7/10


HEAD:
LEAF ME ALONE
INTRO:
It’s all over the news – Leaf, leaf and leaf!
MATTER:
Nissan’s much-hyped all-electric Leaf has been hogging the news for quite a few days now. Beyond all the usual eco-hype, here are a few nice facts for you. According to studies, it will retain 47% of its on-road price after 3 years. The batteries come with a 1,00,000-mile warranty. 60% of its plastics are recycled. The headlamps actually act as air deflectors. Estimated cost per mile - $0.03 per mile. That’s Rs. 1.3 a kilometre. That’s the running cost of a Hero Honda Splendor!

RATING: 6/10

HEAD:
MAD CAD
INTRO:
The Cadillac Aera concept wins the 7th LA Design Challenge
MATTER:
Sure, Mercedes-Benz blew our minds into intergalactic orbit with their time travel-age Biome concept but the real winner of the LA Design Challenge2010 was in fact the Cadillac Aera.  Designed as a small urban 2+2 touring coupe, it all looks very sci-fi indeed. Interestingly, it’s powered by 10,000 psi compressed air (!) drive system that is enough for a 1,000 mile range. In the rest of this vehicle, heavily futuristic things such as HVAC, 3D lattices, NASA Mars Rover airbags and rotary actuator propulsion come into play. Interesting. When’s lunch, by the way?

RATING: 5/10


HEAD:
VOLTERNATIVE
INTRO:
Single-seater EV is all about Japanese eco-cool but wait till your hear the specs. And the price.
MATTER:
Takayanagi Miluira Retro EV is the name and it looks like someone just took one of the steam-powered 1910 ‘cars’ and did it up for use today. It’s not exactly high on practicality – it has ONE seat (that’s right) which looks comfortable, a 35 km. range, and a top-speed of 60 kph. Apparently, it will go on sale for 6.3 millon yen or $75,000. It’s unquestionably retro cool, but the price and the specs – are you kidding me? The Japs, I tell ya.

RATING: 7/10 
EOM

VIDEO OF THE MONTH:
DURATION:  4:01
VIEWS: 378,304
LINK: http://tinyurl.com/bsm-vid-jan11
MATTER:
Hyundais never looked so good. Or sounded so good, for that matter. We know there’s a new video of an American brat drifting around every few seconds on Youtube, but this one is actually worth a watch. Suitably dosed up on Redbull, Rhys Millen heads up Serra Do Rio Do Rastro in Brazil, during the Red Bull Xtreme Drift event.  See how a 750 horsepower Hyundai Genesis drift car slides and slithers its way up an insane hill climb with nothing but a guard rail between it and a very deep cliff edge.  Smokin’ stuff!
EOM