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GT-R & Skyline Spring Thaw Is HERE!

Its finally here.  No not spring, the Spring Thaw.  We have been planning for months now to bring you something truly special.  Every year we all look forward to pulling off the car covers and taking the cars out for that first event of the season.  The Spring Thaw is that chance for GT-R and Skyline owners to get the cars out and gear up for the summer.

9AM – 10AM: Breakfast will be provided by Frederick Nissan as everyone arrives.  Service manager Gary Lewis and their GT-R Tech will be present to answer service questions about the GT-R.  We will also provide Maps of the park area and the route that will be driven.

10AM – 12PM:  Drivers will depart Frederick Nissan in groups to keep congestion on the roads down so that all can enjoy the ride to Manor Area Pavilion at Cunningham Falls State Park.

12PM – 7:30PM: Catered lunch and BBQ and good times for all.  Stay as long as you like.   We have the pavilion until sundown.  Stay and eat or drive a few of the routes on the park map which I highly suggest.  A lot f these roads are maintained by state and federal crews and are very nice to drive.

There will be professional photography taking place throughout the day for Modified Magazine as well as a few video cameras and interviews with shop owners and other invited industry professionals.  So take your time to find out who’s who at the BBQ, you might be surprised at who you meet.

As it stands, the R32/33/34 and R35 will all be represented at the Spring Thaw.  So bring the Rides and don’t forget your appetites!

All GT-Rs and Skylines are free.  If your attending in anything else please prepare a $5 donation.

2012 Nissan GT-R Preview

When the rumored R35 Skyline started its development, many enthusiasts couldnt believe that there was still room to improve the greatst Japanese Muscle car.  When the GT-R debuted though the performance ability was blistering and impressed everyone in the industry.  That was in 2007 when the Nissan GT-R was turning lap times of 7 minutes and 38 seconds around the Nurburgring.

With an additional 45 HP and shaving 12 seconds from its 2007 lap time, somehow, Nissan has managed to improve on what has already been called an unimaginable level of performance.  The last official lap time recorded was 7:26.70 but an even quicker lap of 7:24.22 this year.  2 seconds over a track as long as the ‘ring is mind boggling. 

Here it is, the all new and somehow improved 2012 Nissan GT-R:

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McLaren MP4-12C GT3 Breaks Cover to Complete First Tests

The first McLaren MP4-12C GT3 to be built by McLaren GT – a new company that brings together the expertise of the McLaren Group and CRS Racing – has successfully undertaken its debut tests at the MIRA proving ground facility and Silverstone Circuit in England. McLaren GT has also appointed a new test driver to its team, 26-year-old Portuguese racing driver Álvaro Parente. The initial shakedown tests undertaken with the 12C GT3, whereby new components are calibrated and bespoke aerodynamic body structures are appraised for the first time, will be followed by comprehensive tests scheduled throughout March and April at a number of FIA* certified circuits across Europe. News on the development programme, full driver line-up and planned competition for the 12C GT3 will be confirmed after these tests are completed.

Tesla Motors Launches New Washington, D.C. Store

 

It’s just after 5 AM on February 4th and I have an email in my inbox letting me know that Tesla Motors, after much anticipation, is opening their new location in Washington, D.C.  They want to know if I would like to “take another spin in the car”…

First of all, there is no way I would turn down another opportunity to drive what is quite possibly a turning point in automotive history.  Second, I had been looking for more of an opportunity to talk about the people and company that is Tesla Motors instead of just chatting about blinding performance.  After talking with Tesla VP of Communications, Ricardo Reyes, I found that they are focused at taking a serious, customer-centric stab at changing the face of automotive industry. 

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With over 3500 electric vehicles operating on the road today the company has established a toe hold on its goals of making every car electric.  A lofty goal if ever there were one.  However they currently supply battery packs and electric power trains to Toyota and Daimler/Mercedes.  They also have vehicles operating in the harshest of climates from the Arctic Circle to Arizona having logged almost 10 million electronically driven miles. 

True, hybrid electric vehicles have been around for ages helping to promote greener electric technologies.  However, having established themselves as the leader in electric vehicle technology, Tesla is taking the next step which is what this night was all about.    img_9479

Unfortunately it’s my understanding that once the Elise based Roadster is finished its contracted production run, it’s over.  For many it will be a sad bit of news but the truth of the matter is that the Roaster is simply one technology, modified to support another and in the long run isn’t considered to be the platform necessary to promote a permanent change in auto culture.  So the gears are moving to put a strong emphasis on the production of the Model S, a purpose built chassis designed specifically to support full electric vehicle technology.  To move forward with a system that will allow Tesla to get the most out of its technologies.  Having driven the roadster twice now it’s difficult to imagine what more they could extract in the way of performance however the numbers for the Model S hint at a shift from ragged edge performance to extended range and efficiency.

If you want a true electric vehicle with no compromises that is effective for the full range of daily uses Tesla will be your only option.  Making such a change to a vehicle like the Model S is why they will continue to be industry leaders in this field, simply because every other auto manufacturer will continue to try and adapt old chassis designed for propulsion by internal combustion.  And when the results of Tesla’s efforts take effect (i.e. making the technologies cheaper) most auto manufacturers will be off balance for quite some time and some kept that way possibly until we stop using petroleum based fuels. 

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I was honored to be included in such a moment in history.  For a long time electric cars have been discredited because of one fault or the other that have kept us from living our lives unchanged from an automotive standpoint, kept us from moving freely without compromise.  I truly believe though that Tesla’s establishing their Washington location is one more building block in the infrastructure needed to support its plans for the Model S which will go a long way toward changing the way we think, the way we look at the automobile and its capabilities and ultimately change the world itself. 

Here’s to a cleaner and more intelligent way of life.  Thank you, Tesla Motors.

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 – A New Reference Among Super Sports Cars – New Video Available

With the Aventador LP 700-4, Automobili Lamborghini is redefining the very pinnacle of the world super sports car market brutal power, outstanding lightweight engineering and phenomenal handling precision are combined with peerless design and the very finest equipment to deliver an unparalleled driving experience. With the Aventador, Lamborghini is taking a big step into the future and building on the glorious history of the brand with the next automotive legend. The first customers will take delivery of the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 in late summer 2011. Available video includes general views, edited packages and new still images.
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McLaren Automotive and the Groundbreaking new MP4-12C: the Vision

The first MP4-12C production car entered the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) General Assembly Hall in Woking, England. A new £40m manufacturing facility, the McLaren Production Centre (MPC) is currently under construction adjacent to the MTC site, and will open in spring 2011. McLaren Automotive will transfer production of the 12C from the existing MTC assembly line to the MPC in April. A range of premium carbon-based high-performance sports cars from components that are bespoke, innovative and unique, will then start to be distributed to a dedicated network of 35 retailers in 19 countries around the world. With the new McLaren Production Centre fully operational, it is anticipated that McLaren will build up to 4,000 cars across its model range annually by the middle of the decade, a figure that will account for between three and four percent of the annual global market for premium sports cars.

McLaren MP4-12C Sets New Performance and Efficiency Standards

Through a combination of carbon fibre expertise, innovative Formula 1-inspired technologies and development programmes, the new McLaren MP4-12C has redefined high-performance sports car benchmarks. The 12C has been created at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK under the same roof as McLaren Racing and the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team. McLaren Automotive’s vehicle development team has been testing prototype versions of the innovative new McLaren MP4-12C high-performance sports car around the world since 2007. And the development programme recently completed the car’s final ‘sign-off’ 1,000 mile development drive. The Formula 1 simulator enabled the first 12C prototypes to deliver remarkable dynamic performance. Four Production Prototype 12C’s (PP7, PP9, PP10, PP11) departed McLaren’s Woking headquarters for the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve race circuit in Portugal taking a detour en-route to a Spanish proving ground to log the car’s definitive and ground-breaking performance times. All four PP 12C’s arrived in Portimão where they undertook further ‘sign-off’ tests.

Lexus: The Hard Way Behind The Scenes

Weve all seen the commercial with 5 suspended Lexus sedans that hang over an LFA. It makes me uncomfortable just remembering it.

Heres a peak behind the scenes for the making of that commercial.

New BMW E92 M3 Performance Exhaust

An M3 performance exhaust sounds like an oxymoron but BMW have done it yet again.

Made of Inconel Alloy, this new exhaust provides an amazing sound at nearly half the weight.  Because of its properties, Inconel construction allows the side walls of the M3 exhaust to be reduced from 1.5mm to .8mm, cutting nearly 20 lbs off the current exhaust.

M Performance parts are warranted for the New Vehicle Limited Warranty period when the installation occurs before the first delivery of a new vehicle. If the M Performance parts installation occurs after the first delivery, the accessory will be warranted for the balance of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty period or two years and unlimited mileage from the date of installation, whichever one is greater.

To be honest, the car has never sounded better.  But is it worth the $4,374?  See for yourself…

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Bentley Breaking The Ice…speed record

Four time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen achieved a new world record in the Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible on the frozen waters of the Baltic Sea.

205.48 mph!

With AWD and a 6 Liter, 12 cylinders the Supersports convertible managed this feat on E85 bioethanol, demonstrating the companies dedication to C02 efficiency.  No easy task considering the minus 30 degree weather, sudden snow blizzards and potentially dangerous crosswinds.

How do you trust an over 2.5 ton missile?  Having se tthe record previously, Juha and a team of engineers set the car up with a fully welded roll cage and Pirelli Sotto Zero II 275/40/R20s.  Front and rear spoilers to provide optimum high speed stability as well as a rear bumper mounted parachute, in case of an emergency.

Having called this successful attempt an amazing feat, Bentley’s new Chairman and Chief Executive, Wolfgang Durheimer says that they will be celebrating the achievement with a very special “extreme” Bentley.  A limited edition of just 100 examples of this most extreme Bentley will be made and is scheduled to make its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 1st.