Transportation

Transportation

February 2 2009



The art of the sports car takes centre stage at the new Porsche museum in Stuttgart.

Engines, interactive displays, Porsche memorabilia and 80 cars – including prototypes and icons like the 911, all polished to a mirror-sheen – are parked on two floors of pristine, white galleries.

The collection includes a 550 Spyder – the model James Dean was driving when he died in a collision with a Studebaker in 1955.

Other models, like the 917 type Hollywood star Steve McQueen made famous in "Le Mans" and the 928 version Tom Cruise's character in "Risky Business" used to elude trouble, are parked bumper-to-bumper under dazzling spotlights.


Three dramatic concrete pillars support the museum building, designed by the Viennese architecture firm Delugan Meissl, which seems to float above its industrial surroundings.

A handcrafted aluminum recreation of the very first Porsche, a Type 64 'VW Aerocoupe,' shines in the center of the first floor.

Prototypes on display include a 928 model almost long enough for four doors, a 1989 "Panamericana" with odd, frog-like curves and the darling of the museum staff: the 1992 Boxster prototype that won Best in Show at the 1993 Detroit Auto Show.

Porsche hopes to lure 200,000 visitors a year to the museum – competition for the rival Mercedes museum, located a half-hour away in Untertuerkheim, a Stuttgart suburb. (more visuals over at Autoblog )

Transportation

January 28 2009




This one’s for all you bike enthusiasts — or those of you who maybe don’t know much about the ins and outs of motorcycles, but share a passion for fascinating imagery and maybe even dream every once in awhile about speeding relentlessly down the highway on two wheels.



Australia-based designer, Chris Hunter compiles a daily dose of cool bike images on bikeexif.com.
 
From BMW airheads to Goldwing bobbers, Hunter pulls together the most interesting biker photographs from around the world. Bike EFIX is the place to see all the best bespoke, custom and even vintage motorcycles for all you design-obsessed bike fan out there. 



And Hunter, who has a particular liking for the Italian dream — the Moto Guzzi — is on the right track for attracting those who appreciate new and classic design on two wheels. - Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

December 8 2008



If you're fortunate enough to have a garage full of sports cars your next purchase must be a Silvestri speedboat - what we like to call the Porsche of the sea. The devastatingly handsome 23-foot vessel was actually created by the makers of the Spyker sports car and it shows. It features all sorts of high tech gadgets and stylistic points that you expect from a superior sports car, from remote control hatched compartments to a sleek leather interior. Oh, and a ferocious motor to be reckoned with. It's enough to make James Bond proud. - Orlando Evans

Transportation

August 26 2008




Quickly now, name a cool camper, caravan, trailer, motorhome or RV. Indeed, the only thing even close to cool in this category is a something retro. But this may be changing. Forget the 1973 Winnebago Mini Winnie, forget Shasta Airflyte, forget even the shiny retro Airstream, because a new generation of caravans is just being introduced at the Caravan Salon in Dusseldorf (August 30-September 7, 2008)
 
Visitors to Europe's biggest camper show are getting a first look at the prototype of Mehrzeller, a completely customizable trailer. While RV designers and manufacturers the world over were nodding off at the wheel, Theresa Kalteis and Christian Freissling, two students at Austria's Graz University of Technology's faculty of architecture, decided to make a move. Their thesis project on 'mobile living solutions' under professor Peter Schreibmayer was going to be not just a theory; it was going to become reality and something that will change the world of trailers.


 
They made the very simple assumption that the people who know best what the ideal camper needs are the people who will use it. On the Mehrzeller's project website, the designers explain (in German) that when their 'configurator' interface is fully functional in the spring of 2009, potential buyers can input their data and wishes, and order their unique Mehrzeller camper online. The name Mehrzeller can be translated as 'moreceller,' i.e. something with more cells. The name is fitting as the pods or units that form the Mehrzeller in various configurations do look somewhat 'cellular.'
 
The production will be based on the principle of mass customization, and production costs will not be significantly higher than those of standard campers. The basic architecture and design parameters remain the same, while the customers get to choose pretty much everything else. Using the configurator interface, they input the number and age of the people and animals that are going to be using the camper. Then they input the usage of space - eating, sleeping, cooking, working, entertaining, relaxing and so on - and the relative importance of each function. The system will then determine the floor plan and generate a 3D rendering. Next, the buyers select the materials and appliances. The program then calculates the price and creates the production specifications.


 
Mehrzeller will most likely move forward, and not remain just a crazy one-off prototype, because it has the backing of such heavyweights as BMW, 3M and many others. If you cannot catch the camper in Dusseldorf, you can see it at the Caravan Salon Austria, held in Wels October 15.-19, 2008. By Tuija Seipell (via squob)


 

Transportation

April 30 2008



Most of us know when we see an ‘M’ on the back of the BMW passing us on the freeway, there’s virtually no way we’re going to catch up.  The ‘M’ division BMW has recently revealed its latest concept — a tribute to their first mid-engine supercar originally manufactured by collaborative efforts of BMW and Lamborghini thirty years ago — the M1. 



In the world of supercars, the M1 certainly looks like it will hold its own — an effortless blend of retro cool with revolutionary elegance. The new Liquid Orange M1 may only be a concept right now, but just know if you see those beady headlights quickly approaching from your rear view mirror, move out of the fast lane — you’re about to be overtaken! By Andrew J Wiener








Transportation

April 4 2008



The annual Detroit Auto Show serves as a platform for American automobile manufacturers, specifically, to flex their muscles, so-to-speak — and this year the Chrysler Corporation did just that. Dodge unveiled three models of the Challenger that will be available in 2009: the SE (3.5 liter V6, 250 hp), the R/T (5.7 liter HEMI V8, 370 hp) and the SRT8 (6.1 liter HEMI V8, 425 hp).

Originally hitting the streets in 1970 at the dawning of a new generation of design in automobile manufacturing, the Challenger was one of the original American muscle cars (along with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro). Power and steel were king, gritty, dirt solid performance ruled over clear smooth edges and lavish aesthetics. The auto industry in Detroit was destined to enter its glory days.



Now, almost 40 years later, the auto industry, especially in Detroit is facing more than a handful of obstacles — including attempting to recover from an arguably failed race to build the largest petrol-guzzling trucks on the market. Compact and fuel-efficient has been all the latest rage — but what about performance? Based on the model chosen, Dodge almost guarantees blood-pumping sensation. The SE model doesn’t come with racing stripes and spoilers like its two bigger brothers, and the less sporty version only has a single exhaust pipe in the rear, rather than duel pipes on the more powerful models.

Dodge believes a retro-styled coupe can deliver exactly what auto enthusiasts are seeking in the three Challenger models: a varying array of performance options and features including voice-activated MyGIG Multimedia and UConnect systems, Remote Start with Keyless Go and five-speed manual models get the Hill Start Assist. Time to kick up some dirt — driving’s about to get messy again! By Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

March 31 2008



We've often wondered how certain high-end brands manage to maintain their global exclusivity especially as the number of millionaires and billionaires continues to skyrocket. Drive down prominent streets in Beverly Hills, Dubai, London and you're certain to pass more than a handful designer Italian and German sportscars. Chances are the valet parker at your local Ritz Carlton will have sat behind the steering wheel of cars totaling more money than most of us could only dream of making in a lifetime. 

Thankfully the expert minds at Ferrari have devised a plan nearly guaranteeing you'll have a difficult time parallel parking between the same Ferraris your neighbours are driving around town. Ferrari customers are undoubtedly accustomed to getting what they want out of their cars, but now the ability to add personalisation has become paramount - and here's all you need to know:



Book a trip to the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy where you will meet with a consultant in a special dedicated atelier area. Rivaling a personal fitting by Valentino for the Oscars, your consultant will welcome you to the new One-To-One Personalisation Program where you will design your own Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, accessory by accessory, detail by detail. 

The front-engined rear-wheel drive flagship Ferrari 612 Scaglietti is the only two-door four-seater in the line. The 612 is available with Ferrari's SuperFast gearbox that allows a driver to shift the paddle shifters located on the steering column in an astonishing 100 milliseconds. Whilst shiftting away, the V12 is capable of reaching top speed of 320 kph. 



The new model comes complete with an electrochromic panoramic roof that covers the length of the top of the cabin. With a turn of a knob, the entire ceiling changes from opaque to translucent, instantly adjusting the level of sunlight that may penetrate the interior. 

OK, so we’ll admit that Ferraris are not quite as common as we make them sound, but we’re also sure it’s refreshing for some of you to know that with the assistance of a personal design consultant, you can soon be cruising the streets in a truly unique Ferrari. By Andrew J Wiener



Transportation

March 20 2008




We're back to tell you about another missed opportunity to add another supercar to your fleet. Bugatti has built the Veyron 16.4 'Pur Sang,' or 'pure blood.' The Veyron, a special addition version, is one of the world's fastest cars ever made with a top speed of over 400 kph. Again, all five models have been pre-purchased for approximately $2 million each. 

Bugatti has been off the radar for quite some time, but with the introduction of the 'Pur Sang' clad in a revealing paintless carbon and aluminium structure, the Volkswagen-owned manufacturer has clearly repositioned itself among the world's most exclusive and exceptionally engineered automobiles. By Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

February 13 2008



Inspired by the F-22 Raptor fighter jet, US$1.5 million Lamborghini Reventon was unveiled. If numbers mean anything to you — the new supercar is powered by a 650hp 6.5L V12 engine, accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds and has a maximum speed of over 340 km/h.  The Lamborghini design team used the technical base of their Murcielago LP640, compressed it and then amped it up.  As with other current models, the Reventon is defined through its sharp edges, smooth surfaces and aerodynamic lines.  Tempted as you may be, put away your cheque books and credit cards, all twenty models that will be manufactured are taken as the Lamborghini brand reinforces its legendary status. By Andrew J Wiener

Transportation

February 1 2008



Many of the world’s automobile manufacturers use the North American International Auto Show as a platform from which to unveil new design and new concepts in car design. This year’s exhibition just came to an end in Detroit, Michigan and we are happy to report there were at least a few new designs that caught our eyes. 

A series of concept cars comprise the Lexus LF, or “L-finesse” line — and this year the Toyota Motor Corporation introduced the LF-A Roadster — a topless version of the previously revealed LF-A coupe. The LF series represents a new direction in design for Lexus — centred around the philosophy of intriguing elegance, incisive simplicity and seamless anticipation. 



The high performance topless roadster will be set to compete with some of the most desired vehicles on the roads today. At a glace, the low-profile aerodynamic form is built from lightweight carbon fibre and aluminium, and a rear wing ascends automatically as a trigger speed is reached. While there is no official word yet about which type of top the LF-A roadster will be fitted with, we’re expecting to see a fully automatic retractable hardtop as Lexus will want to keep its competitive edge. By Andrew J Wiener





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