Entries from April 2011

WACK (R.I.P.): HKS USA To Shutdown

Posted on 04.29.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

You may or may not have heard by now but industry icon HKS is shutting down the U.S. arm of its business.  This was officially announced yesterday in a letter to their dealers.  In the letter HKS sites a slowly recovering economy combined with the recent tragedy in Japan as the reasons for its shutting down the U.S. HQ but others feel another contributing factor was the rising production of cheap counterfeit parts.  I am inclined to believe that as well.  The letter also states that HKS parts will still be available in the states but will now have to come directly from Japan.  I am hoping that a major distributor such as Mackin Industries (Rays Engineering) or Pro-Motion will step up to distribute HKS parts here in the US to keep costs down.

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Hype Video: Transformers 3 Dark Of The Moon Theatrical Trailer

Posted on 04.29.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

The newest trailer for Transformers 3 “Dark Of The Moon” has hit the interwebs!  I’ll admit that I was worried about how Michael Bay would respond after the reception that the second movie got but after watching this trailer below I have to say I am pretty confident that the third flick is going to be pretty damn awesome.  Scroll down and check it out for yourself.

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Gaming Hype Video: Driver: San Francisco “Comeback” Trailer

Posted on 04.28.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Yesterday I left you with some gaming hype about the DiRT3/Ken Block R/C car bundle that will be available next month.  Today I kick things off with a new trailer for the latest edition in the popular “Driver” franchise, Driver: San Francisco.  If you’ve never played any of the previous Driver games before you should know that it isn’t your traditional racing game.  As the name suggests this game is all about, well driving!  You play a detective who often goes undercover to take down a crime boss.  This typically involves several driving missions and car chases through out the city.  In this game “the city” in question is San Francisco.   A crime boss named Charles Jericho has escaped from prison and is looking to make San Francisco the HQ for the resurgence of his organization.  Your character, John Tanner seems to be the only man who can stop him.   If you aren’t won over yet, check out the awesome trailer below and you will likely be convinced.  I will try to get some further info on this game at the E3 Expo in June.

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Gaming Hype: Ken Block Traxxas R/C Car To Be Included In DiRT3 Bundle Pack

Posted on 04.27.11 | Andrew Beckford 2 Comments

DiRT3 is coming out next month and there are scores of Gymkhana and Rally fans waiting for its release with baited breath.  Usually when a big game release is on the horizon there is some sort of “special edition” or bundle pack offered to those who really want something collectible when they pick up the game they’ve been waiting months for.  It’s  a common practice with popular shooter franchises like Halo and Call Of Duty.  Now DiRT3 will be among that group as there will be a special bundle pack available now for pre-order in which buyers will get the game itself but also the popular Ken Block Traxxas R/C Gymkhana car.  Awesome right?!  The bundle pack will set you back $299 but before you scoff at the price you should know that the R/C car itself normally goes for 300 bucks.  So instead of thinking of it as paying $299 a game you should see it more as buying a cool R/C car and getting a $60 game for free with it!  If that wasn’t enough, pre-ordering with Game Stop will also get you several unlockable cars, tracks, and events right off the bat while the rest of the world has to earn them the legit way!

If that sounds like a good deal to you then head over to Game Stop and pre-order the bundle right now for Xbox 360 or PS3 before they run out.

DiRT3 Gymkhana Mode Trailer:

Bundle Pack Details:

Bonus Item

  • Instantly access all four cars
  • Gain Higher Drive Rep
  • Unlock four bonus racing events

Pre-Order Dirt 3 with GameStop and unlock the Exclusive Texaco Racing Superteam Unlock!

  • Instantly access all four cars from the Texaco Racing Line-Up
  • Gain Higher Drive Rep at start of play
  • Unlock four bonus racing events

Online Customers: A code with instructions will be emailed to you within 2 business days after your game ships.

Store Customers/In-Store Pickup Customers: A code with instructions will be printed on your receipt at time of game pick-up. 

Product Details:

Race through the snow, rain and dirt and experience dramatic night races with the most rally content in the series yet. Express yourself in the stunning new Gymkhana mode, inspired by Ken Block’s incredible freestyle driving event, and upload your best runs direct to YouTube! Compete in iconic cars representing 50 years of racing, from the classic Audi Quattro to the 2011 Ford Fiesta WRC, and take on all game modes in split-screen and competitive online multiplayer. Competing as a professional you’ll enjoy intense racing across three continents – from the forests of Michigan to the infamous roads of Finland and the national parks of Kenya. 

  • Experience night racing and dramatic snow courses.
  • Over 100 routes across 9 locations.
  • Experience jaw-dropping damage.
  • Rewind time with flashback.
  • Upload your best runs direct to YouTube!

About Ken Block Gymkhana RC Car Bundler: MODEL 7308: Traxxas Ken Block Gymkhana Fiesta, Fully assembled, Ready-To-Race®, with TQ AM radio, Titan® 550 motor, XL-5 Electronic Speed Control, 7.2 volt NiMH battery & charger, and ProGraphix® painted body.

  • Officially licensed Ford Fiesta body design and Ken Block/Monster Energy graphics
  • Officially licensed Volk Racing TE37 wheels (1.9″ diameter, 12mm hex)
  • Unique green pushrods and toe links, exclusive to the Ken Block Gymkhana Fiesta
  • Pre-glued, low-profile Gymkhana-compound slick tires molded in a specially formulated rubber compound for authentic Gymkhana performance and handling
  • Full-time 4WD
  • Powerful Titan® 12-Turn 550 modified motor
  • Includes Traxxas Power Cell battery pack and charger
  • TQ AM Transmitter
  • Waterproof electronics
  • Digital High-Torque Waterproof Micro Steering Servo
  • Rubber-sealed ball bearings
  • Impact absorbing foam front bumper
  • Race-winning, F1-inspired Revo® suspension technology and E-Revo integrated chassis design, perfectly optimized for 1/16 scale
  • Traxxas High-Current Connector
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    AC Schnitzer ACS5 Sport S Tuning Program For BMW F10 5 Series (With Video)

    Posted on 04.27.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

    The new 2011 (F10) BMW 5 series is one of my favorite mid-sized sedans in the market right now.  BMW really nailed the dimensions and styling just right with the new 5.  Let’s face it though, if any of us got our hands on a 2011 5 series sedan we probably wouldn’t keep it stock for too long if we could help it right?  If you’d want to go for the whole package then AC Schnitzer has a new tuning program dubbed the ACS5 Sport S that addresses all points of the new F10.  Obviously things start on the outside with strategically placed carbon fiber add ons to all four sides of the car.  For the most part the add-ons are subtle and don’t interrupt the stock lines much at all.  Where things get a bit spicy on the exterior however are the replacement fenders complete with vents.  I have a feeling the fenders will have a pretty solid 50/50 split between those who would opt for them and those that would pass.   Personally, I’m not against the fenders.  They certainly push the envelope, but don’t quite go too far in my opinion.  You may feel differently, and that’s fine.  I’ll just shun you for the rest of your days that’s all (kidding!).

    Things get even wilder on the inside of the car as someone got chocolate in someone else’s peanut butter and another person got peanut butter in someone’s chocolate.  Then, instead of cleaning it up they just left it there for you to sit on.  If this floats your boat then more power to you captain!

    To push things beyond vanity AC Schnitzer has worked with the suspension a bit for better handling, added an exhaust system for a small bump in power, and beefed up the brakes for increased stopping power.  All of that adds up to the ACS5 Sport S program.  My verdict? Make the interior black and I’d be 110% on board.  Check out the pics and video below to come to your own conclusion.  If you decide that you are on board (peanut butter cup interior and all) then you’ll be happy to know you can order all this up through CEC should you feel so inclined.



    Press Release:

    The AC Schnitzer ACS5 Sport S

    Superb, powerful and individual: the AC Schnitzer ACS5 Sport S Sedan reveals new and unusual aspects of driving pleasure. With the new BMW 5-series sedan and the new BMW 5-series Touring, in 2011 two new 5-series models have been awarded the prestigious iF Award for outstanding product design.

    Equally prize worthy is the AC Schnitzer ACS5 Sport S Sedan based on the BMW 5-series sedan, which celebrates its premiere at the Geneva Motor Show 2011. With this concept vehicle, the Aachen-based tuning specialist AC Schnitzer is demonstrating new and unusual aspects of driving pleasure.

    Performance Upgrade

    With a performance upgrade from 407 to 540 HP, the AC Schnitzer engineers are pushing the boundaries of the possible – for greater dynamics and efficiency. The driving performance is at thoroughbred sports car level: the sprint from 0 – 100 km/h takes just 4.5 seconds, and the top speed is around 320 km/h.

    A glance under the bonnet with the AC Schnitzer engine and engine bay styling shows just who is responsible for the revolutionary refinement. The AC Schnitzer limited slip differential with up to 75% effect ensures that the tremendous power reaches the point where it is needed.

    The left and right AC Schnitzer twin sports rear silencer with chromed “Sports Trim“ tail pipes combines exciting appearance and sound.

    What does the sophisticated driver expect from perfect brakes? Perfect braking of course! With the AC Schnitzerhigh performance brake system with 8-piston fixed calipers left and right, and an 8-piece kit of brake pads and caliper holders for the front axle, all expectations of optimum deceleration and maximum stability are amply fulfilled. And the driving dynamics leave nothing to be desired.

    The Suspension Technology
    The overall concept is therefore orientated towards optimizing the handling and the driving dynamics leave nothing to be desired. The AC Schnitzer racing suspension guides the sedan perfectly through the corners.

    The Bodywork
    As well as the familiar AC Schnitzer front spoiler and chromed front grille, a new carbon front spoiler center part gives the ACS5 Sport S Saloon an even more striking aspect.

    The carbon air ducts for the brakes left and right ensure adequate ventilation for the high performance brake system, and the new AC Schnitzer carbon side skirts clearly enhance the side view of the concept vehicle.

    The engine bay is ventilated by the bonnet vents from the current AC Schnitzer range. Together with further accessories already available, such as the AC Schnitzer rear roof spoiler, the rear spoiler and the rear skirt extension, new elements such as the AC Schnitzer sports wings left and right with Chromline Set and the carbon rear diffuser contribute to the great appearance.

    The AC Schnitzer loading sill protection film and the BiColorfilm trim harmoniously complete the sporting elegance of the body conversion. Possible and probable reactions to such a well-equipped vehicle are envious glances, which the proud driver seated behind the AC Schnitzer sports airbag steering wheel with painted spokes can enjoy in the new AC Schnitzer sports mirror.

    The Interior
    The AC Schnitzer ACS5 Sport S sedan appears at the Geneva Motor Show with full leather trim in BiColor, painted interior trim strips and racing bucket seats with AC Schnitzer logo, which form part of the overall concept for the interior.

    The AC Schnitzer range already contains the AC Schnitzer “Black Line“ aluminium cover for the i-Drive system controller, the aluminium foot rests and pedal set, velour boot mat and foot mats.

    The Wheels
    For the BMW 5-series sedan, AC Schnitzeralso provides an unusual range of custom wheel/tyre combinations in both 20 and 21 inch diameter. The largest variants are the racing forged rim in BiColor and the new forged alloy wheel in BiColor in sizes 9Jx21“ front and 10Jx21“. Alternatives are the AC Schnitzer Type IV BiColor wheel and Type V BiColor forged alloy rim.

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    SPOTTED: Saleen S7

    Posted on 04.26.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

    In this edition of “SPOTTED” we take a look at this bad-ass Saleen S7 I came across in the car corral at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.  This was only the second time I’ve ever been in the presence of a Saleen S7 and the first time I’ve seen one blacked out the way this one is.  Personally, I love this car but I know it can be polarizing between other enthusiasts.  Some are like me and love it while others write it off as an American McLaren F1 knock-off.  Based on its looks I could understand why some would peg it as a McLaren F1 clone but hey it was Saleen who decided to drop in a twin-turbo V8 in their car years before McLaren did the same with their new MP4-12C.  So, you gotta give them some credit for that right?  If nothing else I credit the S7 for trying to be the first real American “supercar” that could run with the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, and even McLaren.  God bless the USA!



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    Secret Agent Hype: Bentley Releases Special Edition Of New James Bond Book “Carte Blanche”

    Posted on 04.26.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

    Do you read books? Me neither.  Despite this, there are still other people in the world who read printed words off tangible pages!  Crazy huh?  What’s crazier is the fact that James Bond actually originated from a book!  Not the epic films featuring the likes of Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan!  I know it all sounds like insanity but it is true.  James Bond started as a fictional character in a book and actually continues to be so.  In fact a new James Bond book “Carte Blanche” was just released.  In the latest adventure Mr. Bond takes a break from BMW and Aston Martin, instead wheeling a new Bentley Continental GT.  How do we know this to be true?  It’s apparently written in the book some where and they expect us to use our imaginations to envision it as we read! Balderdash! 

    Anyhow, to celebrate their imaginative product placement in the new James Bond story Bentley has released their own special edition of the Carte Blanche book which will be housed in a Bentley Continental GT shaped aluminum case.  The book itself will be bound in nappa leather, which is the same leather Bentley uses in the interior of the Continental GT.  To really drive the “special edition” point home, all the pages will have a die-cut bullet hole in them and an actual 9mm bullet will be hidden in the book.  The polished bullet will have the book’s production number engraved on it.  This is important since only 500 Bentley special editions of the book will be produced and will set you back a cool 1,000 British Pounds or just shy of 1,700 American Dollars!  Pretty pricey for an outdated way of reading a story isn’t it?  I’d still buy it if I had that kind of cash to blow though.  If you do have the cash it will be available for pre-order by the time you read this.  I say it’s totally worth it.  I mean, it comes with a freakin’ bullet! How cool is that??


    Press Release:

    For immediate release, Tuesday 26 April 2011

    Bentley Motors creates a luxury limited edition of the new

    James Bond book, Carte Blanche


    (CREWE, ENGLAND April 26) To celebrate the release of Carte Blanche, the new James Bond book by Jeffery Deaver, on May 26 2011, publisher Hodder & Stoughton has partnered with Bentley Motors to create an exclusive Bentley special edition: the ultimate luxury edition of the highly anticipated new James Bond adventure. The 500 limited edition copies are available for pre-order from today, Tuesday 26 April 2011, exactly a month before publication date. Huge worldwide demand is anticipated for this new special edition after Bentley’s collaborative bespoke book for the previous Bond novel, Devil May Care, by Sebastian Faulks, sold out within days.

    Ian Fleming always admired the stately beauty of the Bentley and, as a result, James Bond owned three Bentleys over the course of the 14 original Bond novels. In Carte Blanche, award-winning thriller writer Jeffery Deaver reunites Bond with this classic marque. In this contemporary adventure, the agent will be behind the wheel of the beautifully sculpted and sophisticated new Bentley Continental GT.

    The design team at Bentley worked closely with Hodder & Stoughton to capture the spirit of Bond and Bentley.  A team of seven designers submitted proposals for the edition and the final design came from Bentley Senior Designer Brett Boydell. He comments: “As a designer it doesn’t get much better than a brief of ‘Carte Blanche’! The design features radical concepts that we feel reflect the name of the book, the ideas inherent in the Bond legacy, and the design principles we are passionate about.”

    This special edition links the legendary hero with the iconic automobile in the most spectacular way. Each copy of the special edition is custom-produced to Bentley’s exacting standards and arrives inside a stunning metal case. The result is a striking and unique collector’s item. The special edition is strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide at a price of £1,000 each. They will be available to pre-order worldwide through www.007carteblanchebentley.com. The editions will be delivered after publication date.

    The Design:

    The case of the Bentley special edition is inspired by the deserts of Dubai – one of the exotic locations Bond finds himself in within the new novel – and the new Bentley Continental GT, Bond’s car of choice in the book.

    Like the exterior of the GT, the case is made from polished aluminium, giving it a seamless and aerodynamic shape. More sculpture than car, it evokes the GT’s signature outline, its metal skin making it look like the car has risen from the desert sand. To ensure the finished case meet Bentley’s renowned standards of quality, an automotive supplier was employed to create the case to automotive standards using a specially commissioned machine.

    In deference to the title Carte Blanche, the book itself is bound in white Nappa leather, the same outstanding grade of leather used in a Bentley’s interior, mimicking the interior of the GT with its contrast of white leather trim and Pillar Box red edging. The title, author’s name and the familiar wings of the Bentley logo are carefully embossed into the front and foil-blocked onto the spine. The text is printed in two colours, black and red, on sumptuous ivory paper, with endpapers of a matching red leather. The pages are expertly cut and trimmed to reflect the handcrafted techniques of the Bentley construction process. As with the other details of the special edition, the colours are carefully selected from the Bentley range. The book sits on a base of black anodised aluminium, chosen not to mark the white leather.

    In one last twist, playing on the idea of an agent being given Carte Blanche, is one of the most dramatic features of the design: a die-cut bullet hole that pierces pages of the book. Hidden within the pages is a single polished 9mm bullet, individually marked with a number distinct to each copy, making the edition truly unique. 

    Brett Boydell adds: “Bond destroys as well as he creates and saves.  It was this element I needed to convey in my design. The reader has the excitement of finding the bullet housed in the centre of the pages with the text positioned so that the reading experience is undisturbed. I hope they find the book as exciting to hold and look at as the unfolding drama itself.”

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    Hype: Vorsteiner Carbon Fiber iPad Case

    Posted on 04.26.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

    The guys at Vorsteiner are pretty much wizards of carbon fiber.  They spend their days commanding the mythical material into taking the shapes of awesome aero parts for high performance cars like M3’s, 911’s, and Bentley’s.  However even these guys like to stray from the automotive path every now and then as seen here with in the form of one of their side projects: a 3 layer pre-preg carbon fiber Apple iPad case.  The technique used to produce this cover is similar to the technique they use to produce their aero parts so you know right away the quality is top notch.  It is also designed to simply snap on over the iPad’s body for an easy and tight fit.  So far there isn’t any word on if they will produce cases for the iPad 2 or other tablet devices but here’s hoping!

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    Hype News: X Games RallyX To Literally Hit Streets Of Los Angeles

    Posted on 04.25.11 | Andrew Beckford 1 Comment

    I first heard this as a rumor at the first round of Global RallyX and I wish I had reported it because it turned out to be true!  It was announced today that the RallyX events for Summer X Games 2011 will literally take place in the streets of downtown Los Angeles!  The exact course details haven’t been released but expect the drivers to go through portions of the Staples Center then outside into LA Live and back into the the Staples Center.  It should make for some pretty interesting pictures!  I can’t wait!

    Press Release:

    Enduro X Discipline to Make its Debut; Rally Disciplines Move to Downtown Street Circuit

    ESPN will kick off its 17th annual action sports competition to be held in Los Angeles July 28 – 31 and will debut the new discipline of Enduro X, as well as the first-ever rally street circuit running through the downtown area.  In its ninth year in Los Angeles, X Games 17 will feature more than 200 athletes at competition venues and event spaces including STAPLES Center and Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in an effort to further consolidate events to one area and better enable fans to catch all the X Games action from downtown Los Angeles.

    Enduro X will feature both men’s and women’s disciplines, showcasing riders’ talent on an all-terrain obstacle course. Riders will race through sand, mud, logs, rocks and other terrain features in a blend of motocross racing and traditional Enduro, battling not only each other but also the challenging course for their shot at X Games gold.  The new addition will be one of eight Moto X competitions taking place inside STAPLES Center, while the downtown Los Angeles street circuit will offer a unique and exciting setting for the disciplines of Rally Car Racing on Saturday and RallyCross on Sunday.

    “Having RallyCross at last year’s X Games was a huge step for the sport, but racing through city streets is how motorsport began,” said three-time X Games rally gold medalist Tanner Foust. “Being in the car, ripping through streets, cranking the handbrake through intersections while door-to-door and jumping next to buildings is going to be truly epic! I can’t wait!”

    ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine to telecast 25 hours of live X Games 17 competition. In addition to the 25  original hours in high definition, the Worldwide Leader in Action Sports will also televise 18 hours of X Games action on ESPN 3D. More than 25 hours will also be distributed on ESPN3.com. Outside the United States, X Games 17 will be seen in more than 121 countries and territories to more than 106 million homes, including live telecasts in Africa, Asia, Australia, Brazil, Israel, Mexico, Middle East, New Zealand and South America.

    Tickets for X Games 17 will be available for purchase June 23 at all Ticketmaster locations and the box office at STAPLES Center.

    Additional information on all X Games 17 events will be forthcoming on www.xgames.com

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    Hype Classified: Vorsteiner Widebody GTRS3 M3 Demo Car For Sale

    Posted on 04.22.11 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

    It looks like the top brass at Vorsteiner is ready to move on to another project which means he needs to clear some space.  As such hes put up his widebody GTRS3 BMW M3 FOR SALE.  It’s sad to see him get rid of it but it will be one heck of a good day for the lucky mofo with enough cash to pick this up!  I really wish that could be me but all my funds are tied up in pork belly futures and Antarctic real estate investments.  Oh well..


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