Entries Tagged as 'News'

Hype Rumor: Indy Car To Add Circuit Of The Americas To 2015 Schedule?

Posted on 01.30.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

CircuitOfTheAmericas_COTA_logo

The Circuit Of The Americas is a beautiful race track in Texas that is essentially America’s answer to Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit.  Despite the Circuit Of The Americas (or COTA) being a purpose built F1 track a few other motorsports have had lots of success there including Moto GP.  Yet, since COTA opened, the Indy Car Series has not added it to its schedule.  However, there is a rumor fresh off the interwebs that suggests that Indy Car may finally visit COTA this year.  The theory behind this rumor comes off the heels that Indy Car’s opening race in Brazil was suddenly canceled by track officials with no explanation given to the public or to Indy Car.

With the rug suddenly pulled from under them and with one race short on their calendar it might be possible that the Indy Car Series and COTA can strike a deal for a race to replace the canceled Brazil event.  The question is, will it happen?  Is it even being discussed by the decision makers?  No one knows for sure.  As mentioned before, all this falls strictly under the rumor category.

If we get any more information about this we will let you know ASAP!

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Hype: Brembo Producing CCM-R Carbon Ceramic Brake Dics And Pads For Nissan GT-R

Posted on 01.30.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

brembo_nissan-gt-r_ccm-r_small

When it comes to brakes, its hard to get better than Brembo.  The Italian company has produced top notch stoppers for decades and can be found on everything from purpose built race cars to high performance road cars.   They also produce some of the best carbon ceramic brakes in the world and have provided said brakes for motorsport applications such as Formula 1 and Indy Car.  Their line of CCM and CCM-R carbon ceramic brakes have been the staple of road and race cars for a while and now the Brembo CCM-R carbon ceramic brake discs and pads will be available as original equipment for the Nissan GT-R.  The brake discs (pictured above) will save 25lbs on the GT-R’s front axle and 31lbs in the rear.  Granted, they likely won’t be a cheap option but for this kind of stopping power and over 50lbs of saved weight its probably well worth the extra coin.

brembo_nissan-gt-r_ccm-r_comp RIT

[Source: Brembo]

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F1 Hype: Ferrari Breaks Digital Cover On SF15-T

Posted on 01.30.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Ferrari_SF15T_small

Its raining F1 cars!  Yesterday came the debut of McLaren’s MP4-30 and today the world gets its first look at Scuderia Ferrari’s new SF15-T chassis.  In case you were wondering the “T” stands for turbo…  This new chassis definitely cuts a striking silhouette.  At first glance it may not seem all that different from last year’s car but once you really let your eyes pour over it you start to see the subtle differences.  However, one very noticeable difference is the removal of the weird nose that most 2014 cars had do to some silly rule.  Now the design goes back to a sloping more simplistic nose piece.  In addition to showing off their new car’s lines, Ferrari also dropped a few specs as well.

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The SF15-T weighs 1547lbs with driver and fluids, the engine has 1.6 liters (or 1600 cc’s) of displacement, the engine redlines at 15,000rpms, and its transmission has 8 forward gears plus reverse.  According to Ferrari the SF15-T took 250,000 total manufacturing hours to complete, is made up of 20,000 square meters of carbon fiber, 100 different metal alloys, and its drivetrain (engine and transmission) comprises of 20,000 different parts.  If you are wondering how Ferrari’s engineers came up with the SF15-T’s shape, it probably hand something to do with the 1,500 hours it spent in a wind tunnel.

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All in all I think its safe to say that a lot of time and work went into Ferrari’s new chassis.  The question is can Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen capitalize on it?  Ah time will tell!  In the meantime, click on the thumbnails for larger pictures of the SF15-T.  You can also hit the source link below for a dedicated microsite that is full of videos and other interactive tidbits.

[Source: Ferrari SF15-T microsite]

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F1 Hype: McLaren Honda Reveals New MP4-30 Race Car (Video)

Posted on 01.29.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Early in the A.M. (4am for me to be exact) right after Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso went to the future (see previous post), McLaren Honda finally revealed their 2015 chassis dubbed MP4-30.  This was significant for two reasons.  The first is that this officially launches the rebirth of one of F1’s storied partnerships in McLaren and Honda.  It also marks one of the first times that a car reveal was done exclusively over social media.  That’s right, there was no press conference gala at the McLaren HQ.  The reveal was done by live posting by McLaren via their social media channels (twitter, facebook, instagram), and their website.  I think it was a pretty neat concept to do it this way but I am not so sure other teams will follow suit.

McLarenHonda_MP4-30_1 McLarenHonda_MP4-30_2 McLarenHonda_MP4-30_3 McLarenHonda_MP4-30_4

Anyhow you can finally see the new McLaren Honda in all its glory by clicking on any of the thumbnails or watching the intro video below.  What do you think of it?  I was kind of hoping they would go back to a white and red color scheme like the MP46.  I think the colors they chose look great but since they aren’t associated with Mercedes anymore, why hang on to the silver?  Oh well, either way it still looks pretty fresh.  Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments or tweet us at @MotorworldHype

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Hype News: Lamborghini Reveals Huracan GT3 Race Car And We Need One (Video)

Posted on 01.21.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In our second motorsports news story of the day Lamborghini has finally revealed the GT3 version of their newest bull, the Huracan.  This widebodied angular beast is over 400lbs lighter than a “normal” Huracan but still retains the same V10 engine.  Despite the Huracan GT3 being mostly developed in-house at Lamborghini, Dallara (who created the current Indy Car chassis) was tapped to aid in design of the GT3’s aerodynamics.  The Huracan GT3 will be rear wheel drive (the stock version is AWD) and come equipped with a six-speed sequential transmission.

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The Huracan GT3 will begin competing this year in the Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe.  Although I would not be surprised if we eventually see the Huracan GT3 competing state side as well.  In fact, Lamborghini’s newest race car is available for sale to any interested parties for about $430,000.  I’d get one but I am a bit short, you know how it goes.  To see HD resolution pics of the Huracan GT3 just click the thumbnails and for a video of the car in action just scroll below.

Press Release:

Sant’Agata Bolognese, 21 January 2015. Automobili Lamborghini has presented the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3, in a world premiere at its headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese. The unveiling ceremony was carried out in the presence of media, customers and partners from around the world.

The GT3 competitor makes its debut following that of the new Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo, which will be the protagonist of the Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo in Europe, Asia and North America from this year.

Starting in 2015, the Huracán GT3 will line up in the Blancpain Endurance Series that runs over five venues in Europe, among which is included the famous Spa-Francorchamps 24-hours race.

The growth and success of Lamborghini motorsports activities throughout the world has heightened its appeal to partners: the prestigious Indonesian oil and energy petroleum company PERTAMINA will be the official technical partner of Lamborghini Squadra Corse activities in the coming years.

”With the Huracán GT3, Lamborghini Squadra Corse takes a further step forward in the development and production of a race car for this category, which is among the most prestigious and challenging in international motorsport. Lamborghini is thus for the first time directly involved in GT motorsport activities with the in-house development of this new model,” declared Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. ”We are proud and delighted to announce the new partnership with PERTAMINA, which will further support our motorsport activities.”

“We are proud to be the partner of Automobili Lamborghini as one of the world’s most prestigious super sports car marques. This cooperation confirms PERTAMINA’s position as the technology partner of Lamborghini Squadra Corse, connected to our vision of becoming a World Class Energy Company with the mission to expand our market globally,” said Ahmad Bambang, Marketing Director of PERTAMINA.

The Lamborghini Huracán GT3 is equipped with an Alu-Carbon chassis and a fully integrated FIA-compliant roll-cage. The subframe has been modified both at the front and rear to accommodate a high performance water radiator (front), and for a better positioning of the gearbox (rear), improving aerodynamics. The kerb weight is 1239 Kg with a 42/58 front/rear weight distribution. The final weight will be set by the FIA BOP.

The bodywork is in composite materials and, along with the aerodynamics, has been developed in collaboration with Dallara Engineering with the direct involvement of the founder Gian Paolo Dallara. Aerodynamics have been tuned to grant the best possible air flow penetration, and maximum adherence and traction in any condition on any asphalt. Efficiency has been improved thanks to the rear adjustable wing, adjustable front diffuser and louvres. The new aerodynamics also allow improved cooling of the braking system.

As for the Huracán Super Trofeo, the GT3 is equipped with new bodywork fast- fittings and equipped with a new, enhanced-performing engine and gearbox oil cooler.

Special attention has been given to safety, with the new Lamborghini Huracán GT3 equipped with a carbon frame 8862 specification seat; an OMP fire extinguishing system; and an innovative roof hatch which enables, in case of need, quick assistance by medical personnel through the roof of the car. Seat belts are provided by OMP, the fuel tank is an FT3 type and the pedals are adjustable.

Front and rear lights are LED. The new multifunction steering wheel has been re-engineered along with OMP.

The new rear-wheel drive Huracán GT3 adopts the V10 direct injection engine mounted on the road car, managed by a Bosch Motorsport control unit that also manages traction control, gearbox and the TFT display on the dashboard. All wiring and connectors are designed specifically for racing. The engine is fixed on the chassis by rigid mountings and is coupled with a sequential six-speed gearbox, according to FIA regulations, and a three-disc racing clutch.

The braking system is made up by 380 x 34 mm steel discs at the front (6 pot), and 355 x 32mm steel discs at the back (4 pot), according to FIA regulations, equipped with Bosch ABS. This system features 12 different settings that can be actioned directly from the steering wheel, as can traction control. The tyre sizes are 315/680 at the front and 325/705 at the back. The car is equipped with a pneumatic lifting system.

In Europe, the Huracán GT3 is priced at 369,000 Euro (excluding taxes) ex works.

Lamborghini’s newest raging bull race car has already made its track debut in development tests in recent months, under the supervision of head of motorsport Giorgio Sanna. ”The first GT3 car from Lamborghini will allow talented young drivers the opportunity to contest a Lamborghini in competitions such as the challenging 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series. This season will be an important one for us to gather experience from a category as demanding as GT3, but at the same time we are offering a competitive product to our customers. It will be a busy year, as the Huracán LP 620-2 Super Trofeo will also debut in our Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo series in Europe, USA and Asia.”

Grasser Racing Team will line up two new Huracán GT3s in the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series. The Austrian team – 2013 Blancpain Sprint Series Pro-Am Champion and third in the 2014 Pro Class – will field the two official test drivers of Lamborghini Squadra Corse: Fabio Babini (ITA) and Adrian Zaugg (RSA) now promoted to factory drivers, and the Italian Mirko Bortolotti who impressed in the 2014 Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo Europe.

Working alongside them will be three young talents from Lamborghini’s Young Drivers Program: Giovanni Venturini (ITA), Jeroen Mul (NED) and Andrew Palmer (USA). All three have been promoted to the Lamborghini Squadra Corse GT3 Junior Team. This new program features a step up from the Young Drivers Program, with the aim of selecting the best talents to be involved in testing sessions and GT3 racing.

The Italian Edoardo Piscopo and the Serbian Milos Pavlovic have also been promoted to official test drivers for Lamborghini Squadra Corse. Winners of both the 2014 PRO Class in the European Lamborghini Blancpain Super Trofeo and the World Final, they will be in charge of the GT3 car’s development across the world.

THE 2015 BLANCPAIN ENDURANCE SERIES CALENDAR

11-12 April Monza, ITA
23-24 May Silverstone, GBR
19-20 June Paul Ricard, FRA
23-26 July Spa-Francorchamps (24 Ore), BEL
19-20 September Nürburgring, GER

 

Automobili utomobili Lamborghini S.p.A.
Founded in 1963, Automobili Lamborghini is headquartered in Sant’Agata Bolognese, in Northeastern Italy. The Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, which has made its world debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is the successor to the iconic Gallardo and redefines the luxury super sports car driving experience with its innovative technology and outstanding performance. The Aventador LP 700-4, in Coupé and Roadster offerings, represents the reference point in the world of V12-powered, luxury super sports cars. With 129 dealerships worldwide, in little more than half a century Lamborghini has created an uninterrupted series of extraordinary, exclusive cars that include the 350 GT, Miura, Espada, Countach, Diablo, Murciélago, and several limited series like the Reventón, Sesto Elemento and Aventador J. The Veneno Coupé, the Egoista and the Veneno Roadster, have been created to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary year in 2013.

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Hype News: U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant Liam Dwyer To Drive Full Time With Mazda MX-5 In Continential Tire SportsCar Challenge

Posted on 01.21.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Liam Dwyer and Tom Long on Lime Rock Podium_small

What does a kick-ass U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant do when he is done with his military career? Join a racing team and start kicking ass there, that’s what!  Liam Dwyer (said kick-ass Staff Sergeant) has been racing for a while but only on a part time basis.  However, in 2015 he will join Freedom Autosport, a team created to honor the men and women serving in the armed forces, to race full time with teammate Andrew Carbonell in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in a Mazda MX-5 race car.

In 2011, Staff Sergeant Dwyer was injured while serving in Afghanistan and as a result became an amputee, losing most of his left leg.  Despite such a severe injury he did not let that stop him from pursing a career in motorsports and in 2014 in just his second professional outing he won (with co-driver Tom Long) the Lime Rock Park Continental Tire ST race on Memorial Day weekend, all while wearing a special prosthetic leg attachment.  Talk about inspirational!

Staff Sergeant Dwyer will have his work cut out for him this year though as he takes on the 10 race Sports Car Challenge season this year starting off later this month at Daytona and finishing in October at Road Atlanta with every race in between held at highly technical, difficult tracks, including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

I wish Staff Sergeant Dwyer luck!  If you want to follow along with him this season you can follow Liam on Twitter at @LiamDwyerRacing

Press Release:

LIAM DWYER ENLISTS WITH MAZDA MOTORSPORTS

Dwyer shifting from active duty with the U.S. Marines to full-time racer

IRVINE, Calif. (January 21, 2015) — Mazda announced the addition of Liam Dwyer as a full-time racer in the 2015 Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.  Dwyer stunned the racing world in 2014 when he teamed up with Tom Long to co-drive their Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 to the win in the Lime Rock Park Continental Tire ST race on Memorial Day weekend.  The win was a made for Hollywood storyline as Dwyer was competing in only his second professional race, and he was doing it with an artificial leg, having been injured while serving as a U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant in Afghanistan just three years previously.

For 2015, Dwyer will be paired up with Andrew Carbonell for the entire ten-race season beginning January 23rd at Daytona International Speedway.  Carbonell scored two wins with Freedom Autosport and Mazda in 2014.

Quotes:

John Doonan, Motorsports Director, Mazda North American Operations:  “While we are all impressed with Liam on so many levels, we have recruited him for the same reason we recruit any driver.  We believe that he can help Mazda win races and the 2015 manufacturers championship.  His personal story is just the icing on the cake and helps us connect with a bigger story.”

Liam Dwyer:  “I am very excited for the 2015 season. I thought things couldn’t get better after last season, but Mazda has once again shown how immensely awesome they are. To be granted a full ride in the Freedom Autosport Mazda MX-5 is the ultimate dream come true. And on top of that, I have one of the fastest MX-5 drivers, Andrew Carbonell, as my co-driver. I can’t thank Derek Whitis, Rhett O’Doski and everyone at Mazda enough for this opportunity.”

Andrew Carbonell:   “I am excited to be confirmed with Mazda and Freedom Autosport for the 2015 IMSA Continental Tire Challenge season. I am also proud to be co-driving with one of the most incredible racing stories recently; Marine Staff Sergeant Liam Dwyer. I have had the honor of getting to know Liam through the select races he drove with Freedom Autosport in 2014. To watch the inspiration and motivation from Liam from afar makes one understand the sacrifices one makes to follow their dreams whatever the circumstance may be. I look forward to continuing success and adding more victories together for Freedom Autosport and Mazda.”

Derek Whitis, Owner, Freedom Autosport:  “When we created Freedom Autosport, it was to honor the men and women serving in the armed forces, especially the U.S. Marines.  We are honored to have Liam join the team full-time in 2015.  Just as important, we look forward to having additional marines served other key roles on the team.”

The 2015 Continental Tires SportsCar race schedule is as follows:

Jan. 23 – Daytona International Speedway (Florida)

March 20 – Sebring International Raceway (Florida)

May 2 – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, California)

June 27 – Watkins Glen International (New York)

July 11 – Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Toronto, Canada)

July 25 – Lime Rock Park (Connecticut)

Aug. 8 – Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin)

Aug. 22 – Virginia International Raceway

Sept. 18 – Circuit of The Americas (Austin, Texas)

Oct. 2 – Road Atlanta (Georgia)

About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED

Mazda is a leading player in all aspects of sports car racing with an emphasis on endurance road racing.  Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals.  Thousands of Mazda-powered grassroots racers compete in various classes with the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world’s largest spec class with over 2,500 cars built.  Via the Mazda Road to Indy and the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy, Mazda supports racers at all levels of the sport from club racing up to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship where it races with production SKYACTIV Technology.

Mazda remains the only Asian car company to score an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1991).  Mazda has had a naming rights agreement at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since 2000.

Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).  MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers.  Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

Consumer information can be found at www.mazdausa.com, with press information at www.mazdausamedia.com.  Racers and fans can follow the action on Facebook (Mazda Motorsports), Twitter (@mazdaracing), Instagram (MazdaMotorsport) and www.mazdamotorsports.com

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[Source: Mazda Motorsports]

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Hype: Two-Toned Show Car Inspired Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Hits Dealers Today (With Video)

Posted on 01.20.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Do you like the Scion tC? Do you also like the colors black and orange together?  Well my friend you are in luck!  The two-toned Scion tC Release Series 9.0 is now available at dealerships nationwide.  The tC Release Series 9.0 (AKA RS9) is based (well pretty is) on a concept built by Cartel Customs which was shown off at SEMA last year.  Scion has taken that concept and gone full-on, offering the package pretty much exactly as it was created with the black and orange theme through out.  The interior carries on the theme with color matched stitching, door panel pieces, and finished off with orange seatbelts.

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Performance wise the tC RS9 remains mostly stock with the exception of TRD lowering springs (which are also orange) and a TRD center exit exhaust.  The tC RS9 can be had with an automatic transmission with paddle shifters or a traditional six-speed manual.  Only 2000 tC RS9’s are available so if you want one, now is the time to go to the dealership.  The automatic has an MSRP of $24,340 while the manual comes in at $23,190.  Another $770 is thrown in for “processing and handling.”  Basically most potential buyers should be looking to spend around $25-$26k for this little orange bang which isn’t a bad price for the exclusivity.

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For HD resolution pictures just click on any of the thumbnails.  You can also watch the walk around video and read the official press release below.

Press Release:

Dual Threat: Two-Tone Scion tC Release Series 9.0 Available Now

Distinctive tC Brings Together “Show Car” and Bold Driving

TORRANCE, Calif., (Jan. 20, 2015) – Double trouble has arrived in Scion dealerships. Scion paired up with Jeremy Lookofsky of Cartel Customs on the two-toned Scion tC Release Series 9.0. The new model combines style and substance and is based on a concept car developed for custom car shows.

A new walk-around video shows off the limited-edition color combination of magma orange and sleek black carried through both the vehicle’s custom exterior and interior. Even the front badge shows duality: the familiar Scion logo blacked out for the first time. Just 2,000 of these models have arrived in dealerships around the country, ready for purchase.

The Release Series 9.0 vehicles target drivers who feel at home both on the show floor and the open road. The unique exterior features a center exhaust, Cartel Customs-designed aero kit and eye-catching alloy wheels and matching caps. Inside, it’s all about the exotic orange: from the custom stitching and front seat belts to pops of painted details.

“There won’t be a way to miss the Scion tC Release Series 9.0 now that it has arrived in dealerships,” said Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “This two-toned tC lets Scion fans have an everyday driver that looks like it’s straight out of a car show…because it is!”

The series vehicles come with either six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Dynamic Rev Management® technology. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $23,190 for the manual transmission and $24,340 for the automatic transmission, excluding the delivery, processing and handling (DPH) fee of $770.

For more information about the tC Release Series 9.0, visit http://www.scion.com/cars/release_series/tCRS9/.

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Hype: Audi May Provide Their Dealers With Virtual Reality Headsets …Because Future

Posted on 01.15.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Audi VR experience

The car buying experience has changed a lot since the early days.  We have come a long way from Henry Ford’s famous quote “The customer can have any color they want, as long as its black”.  Now, there are hundreds of options available for new cars and buyers can get a look at what they look like through an online configurator.  However, even an online configurator is starting to feel a bit dated.  Really, configuring a car online is basically just a webpage widget that can photoshop a byer’s options in to an image of the car in question on the fly.  Audi is experimenting with a way to make the customization experience deeper through the use of virtual reality.

Essentially buyers will be able to put on a VR headset (and headphones) and virtually move around a car that is optioned out to their spec.  They can even “sit” in the car with the leather and infotainment they chose and look all around the interior thanks to the help of a head-tracking camera.  Options can also be instantaneously changed out and called up so the buyer can check out different combinations.  A full audio experience will be integrated as well so that users can hear everything from the doors closing to how a particular car’s sound system, well, sounds…

If you’re having trouble envisioning what this experience would be like, imagine using Forzavista mode from Forza Motorsport but while wearing an Oculus Rift VR headset.  In fact, Audi mentions that if this tech experience aids in sales they may look into pushing this into the home rather than buyers only being able to partake in the experience at dealerships.  I imagine that when tech like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and other consumer level VR headseats are more common, these experiences from Audi will simply be downloadable.

If you think Audi’s use of this tech is in the distant future guess again.  They are actually experimenting with it now in their booth at the Detroit Auto Show and Audi hopes to have the first dealerships equipped with their VR tech by the end of this year. For a closer look click the thumbnails below.

Audi VR experience: das Autohaus im Aktenkoffer Audi VR experience: das Autohaus im Aktenkoffer

Now, if only there was some kind of breathing apparatus so that they could add the new cars smell…

Press Release:

Audi VR experience: the dealership in a briefcase

  • Innovative virtual reality headset extends advisory service at Audi dealers
  • Sales chief Luca de Meo: “Further proof of Audi’s pioneering role in sphere of digitization”
  • First Audi dealerships to introduce new sales tool by end of 2015
 The Audi VR experience gives customers the opportunity to configure their preferred car at the dealership through virtual reality headsets and experience it in a unprecedentedly realistic way. The headset showcases the entire model portfolio of the four rings, including all possible equipment combinations. Audi has become the first automotive manufacturer to develop a dedicated retail software solution for virtual reality headsets.

Audi is taking the next big step in integrating digital technologies into automotive retail: The Audi VR experience gives customers the opportunity to configure their preferred car at the dealership through virtual reality headsets and experience it in a unprecedentedly realistic way. The headset showcases the entire model portfolio of the four rings, including all possible equipment combinations. Audi has become the first automotive manufacturer to develop a dedicated retail software solution for virtual reality headsets.

Luca de Meo, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG, presented the Audi VR experience this week on the sidelines of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit: “Hand in hand with our dealers, we are bringing digital innovations into the dealership in order to improve convenience and to provide even better advice. With the Audi VR experience, we are once again demonstrating the pioneering role of the four rings in this area.”

With the innovative technology, customers and prospective buyers experience the virtual Audi world on a new level – in three dimensions, with all sound effects, and almost life‑like. They can virtually take a seat behind the wheel of their individually configured dream car or take a look in the trunk. A camera tracks the movements of the user’s head and the system adapts the image displayed accordingly. The full spectrum of the Audi model range, with respective customization options, can be called up: colors, leathers, inlays as well as infotainment systems. The dealer is thus able to demonstrate the diversity of the Audi portfolio in a very convenient way and to provide individual advice to the visitor.

Audi will bring the new sales tool to first dealers by the end of this year – with particular focus on dynamic growth markets where high sales increase for AUDI AG is being accompanied by expansion of the dealer capacity. In future, it will also be possible to provide the Audi VR experience away from the dealership as a mobile solution – while visiting the customer at home, for example.

Thanks to their large field of view and the performant positional and movement tracking, Virtual Reality headsets offer excellent immersion – the observer feels fully integrated into the scene presented. In use at the Audi dealer, VR headsets obtain the extremely detailed data records for the vehicle models from a high‑performance computer that assures superior image reproduction. The Audi VR experience is also equipped with high-end headphones by Bang & Olufsen. They transmit the full range of acoustic information, from the sound of the doors closing to the 14‑channel sound of the Advanced Sound System in the Audi A8 and the conversation with the customer consultant.

AUDI AG has already been pioneering the use of virtual reality in automotive sales since 2012, blending digital innovation with the strengths and services of the physical dealership: Audi City, the cyberstore with a real presence, displays the brand’s automobiles on ceiling‑height digital powerwalls on a very life‑like 1:1 scale. There, visitors are able to configure their individual dream car step by step.

Occupying only little space and offering exclusive services, Audi City complements the brand’s sales networks in prominent downtown locations of major international cities. This year, Moscow will be joining London, Beijing and Berlin as the next Audi City location. In addition, AUDI AG has refined technological components of the digital showroom for use at classic dealerships. In 2014, technical modules from Audi City went into use at the first 16 European pilot dealers. The digitization of around 200 more locations worldwide is planned this year.

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Gaming Hype: Drift Stage Reaches $30,000 Kickstarter Goal In Just 4 Days

Posted on 01.14.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

DriftStage_ks_goal

It was just last week that I told you that the indie game Drift Stage launched a Kickstarter campaign with a $30k goal.  Well, in just 4 days not only did they reach that goal but they have surpassed it by an extra $7,467! As of the writing of this post the campaign has reached $37,467 from 1,601 backers.  All this and the campaign still has 24 days to go!  There is a realistic chance that the team at Super Systems Softworks may double or even triple their original kickstarter goal.  My personal hope is that they end up with enough cash to port Drift Stage to platforms like Xbox One, PS4, and Vita via digital distribution (Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network, etc).

Although there has been no specific mention of that or mention of any stretch goals on the Drift Stage kickstarter page.  The lack of stretch goals seems to suggest the 3 man team was definitely not expecting this kind of support.  Hopefully now that they know that there is a definite demand for this game they will make adjustments to their plans so that more people can easily get their hands on it.

I have played the demo and I have to say that I was pretty impressed.  The game’s physics instantly reminded me of games like ridge racer 4 and outrun but with a little more control.  Its not perfect but for an early build demo it was definitely very close to a good sweet spot.

For more info on the game visit DriftStageGame.com or visit the Drift Stage kickstarter page at the source link below.

[Source: Drift Stage Kickstarter]

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NAIAS 2015: The New NSX Has Finally Arrived! Is It Everything We Have Waited For?

Posted on 01.12.15 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

NSX Exterior

Just hours ago in Detroit, the sheet was finally pulled off the production version of the new Acura NSX.  After three years of waiting, the world finally gets to know what the successor to Acura’s iconic sports car is all about.  As far as its looks, nothing is really a surprise as the concept was revealed some time ago and as promised the production version is nearly identical.  A few changes were made in its dimensions but they are so incremental (we’re talking millimeters here) that they are hardly worth mentioning.

NSX Exterior NSX Exterior NSX Exterior NSX Exterior NSX Exterior

What everyone was really waiting for was the numbers, as in specs of the new NSX.  How much horsepower would it have?  What would the new hybrid drive train be like?  How much would it weigh?  What kind of brakes would it have? And most importantly, how much is it going to cost?  Well with its official reveal today we got the answers to some of those questions.  Follow along to get the details…

The Engine

The new NSX will be a hybrid, which was a surprise when it was first announced but today with hybrid hyper cars like the McLaren P1, Porsche 918, and LaFerrari having an electric engine in a supercar is almost par for the course.  Dubbed the “Super Hybrid Power Unit” the heart of the NSX’s powertrain is a 75 degree mid-mounted twin-turbo V6 engine.  Yes, not one, but two turbos!  The engine is bolted to a 9 speed (yeah, 9) DCT transmission which is capable of sending power to all the wheels via Acura’s SH-AWD (Super Handling All Wheel Drive) set up with torque vectoring.  The DCT is promised to offer “synapse-quick” upshifts and automatic rev-matching on downshifts.  There will be three electric motors on the new NSX the first one will sit in the rear between the V6 and the transmission.  Its main purpose will be to aid in acceleration, braking, and shifting.  Now, I’m not sure how an electric motor will help the transmission shift faster but I’m definitely no engineer!  The other two electric motors will be mated to each of the front wheels independently.  Those motors will essentially act as instant torque for the front wheels and can actively shift torque from the left to the right and vice versa depending on driving conditions.  Put all three of these electric motors together and you have a twin-turbo car that will virtually never experience turbo lag.

The Chassis

NSX Exterior NSX Exterior NSX Exterior NSX Interior NSX Interior

The first NSX was also the first all aluminum sports car.  That was ground breaking for the time but since then, OEMs have found many more ways to save weight.  The new NSX still has an aluminum space frame but it now also shores up that frame with a carbon fiber floor.

The Techy Bits

NSX Interior NSX Powertrain - Side View NSX Powertrain - Top View

What Acura refers to as the Advanced Sport Package is really a suite of tech and tuning that offers a range of driving modes by adjusting the engine (and electric motors), drivetrain, and suspension.  The NSX will have an all aluminum full-independent front and rear suspension which will be mated to staggered (19×8.5 inch front, 20×11 inch rear) wheels wrapped in Continental Tires “ContiSportContact” rubber.  A mode dial in the cabin will allow the driver to change between Quiet, Sport, Sport+, and Track modes.  Each mode will make adjustments on everything from the suspension to engine to meet that specific driving condition.  As you may have guessed, Quiet mode turns off the gasoline V6 and runs the NSX purely on the electric motors. Although Acura does not specifically detail the all-electric mode range or speed.  They simply state that it “enables electric-only driving at lower speeds for short durations”.   I think its safe to say we shouldn’t expect the new NSX to go very far on electric power alone.  This suggests that, much like LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918, the electric motors in the NSX are purely for aiding performance and not so much about economy.

Conclusion

Now if you read all that you may have noticed a few things missing: power, and price.  Thus far, Acura has not “officially” announced either of these figures.  Although rumors from the NAIAS show floor is that the horsepower will be somewhere above 550 however we are not sure if they are including the added power from the electric motors or not.  There are also rumblings that the price tag will hover somewhere around $150,000.  If that’s true then the NSX is definitely going after Audi and Porsche’s lunch, but will they get it?  Will all that the NSX is comprise of something that enthusiast equate to a $150k car?  Personally, I think the price (if true) is right but I have my doubts that the market will agree.  One also has to consider the monstrous mark ups that dealers are likely to tag on to the NSX once its released in…well, that’s also another mystery.  As of now its unclear as to when the new NSX will hit dealers but given that the production model has just made its debut, I would be willing to guess that the NSX will be for sale very soon.

If you want to take a closer look feel free to click any of the thumbnails for HD resolution pictures.  There is also more NSX information available in the official press release below.

Press Release

Jan 12, 2015 – DETROIT

Twenty-five years after the debut of the original, paradigm-shifting NSX supercar, Acura revealed the production version of its highly anticipated successor—the next-generation Acura NSX, developed and produced in the U.S.—to the world’s auto media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show today. The production model, in a scintillating NSX Red finish, took the stage with a growl from its twin-turbocharged engine.

The next generation NSX showcases the production styling, design and specifications of Acura’s mid-engine sports hybrid supercar, and Acura announced key details of the all-new vehicle’s design and performance. The company will begin accepting custom orders for the new NSX starting in the summer, with customer deliveries expected later in the year.

Specifically created to bring a “new sports experience” to the supercar segment, the NSX challenges conventional beliefs about supercars — much as the first generation did a quarter century ago. The approach is realized through an all-new power unit—a twin-turbocharged 75-degree DOHC V6 engine with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) and three-electric motor Sport Hybrid system—integrated with an ultra-rigid and lightweight multi-material body with world’s-first material applications and manufacturing processes. Developed under the concept of a “human-centered supercar,” a car that puts the driver first in every aspect of its design, the next-generation NSX will leverage its state-of-the-art hybrid supercar power unit, body and chassis to deliver exceptionally intuitive and immediate response to driver inputs.

“Our commitment was to create an all-new NSX that is true to the heritage of NSX—a supercar that delivers a new driving experience, one where every part of the vehicle is respectful of the smartest part of the car, the driver,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager of the Acura division. “The soul of a car is the emotional connection it makes with the driver. With the NSX, that connection will be intense and immediate.”

As the pinnacle representation of Acura performance and prestige, the NSX was introduced at the auto show under the theme of “Precision Crafted Performance.” The theme was the original tagline for the Acura brand, a guiding force behind the development of the original NSX and a critical component of its launch.

The development of next-generation NSX, driven by precision crafted performance, has resulted in a clean-sheet design, which involved nearly three years of intensive development effort by a global design and engineering team led by engineers at the company’s development center in Raymond, Ohio.

“The NSX reflects Acura’s American roots and makes a powerful statement about the strong role being played by our North American operations in envisioning and building the future of Acura,” said Erik Berkman, executive vice president of the Acura Business Planning Office.

“Our global team embraced the challenge to create a new sports car experience, leveraging new technology to deliver incredibly vivid performance in a vehicle that responds intuitively and immediately to the will of the driver,” said Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global development leader of the new NSX. “The NSX delivers pinnacle supercar performance, with zero-delay acceleration and exhilarating, confidence-inspiring driving dynamics.”

Interwoven Dynamic Exterior Design
“The new NSX is a product of what we term ‘Interwoven Dynamic’ design,” said Michelle Christensen, NSX exterior design project leader. “It represents the ideal blending of exotic sports car form and supercar function.”

The NSX body features classic low and wide proportions married to modern and alluring surfacing, an aggressive front design, and tail lights that pays homage to the original NSX. The signature side intake and floating C-pillar collects air to feed the mid-mounted engine and directs airflow over the rear deck to increase downforce. To accommodate the new longitudinally mounted twin-turbo V6 and 9-speed DCT, the production vehicle was lengthened (+3 inches) and widened (+1 inch) with a slightly more cab-forward package, compared with the proportions of the NSX Concept shown in 2012.

Every element of the exterior body design has been carefully fashioned for total airflow management for both stability-enhancing downforce and vehicle systems cooling. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at the company’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Raymond, Ohio, leading to a number of significant changes from concept to final body design, including modified hood vents, new front fender vents, modified side air intakes, and an optimized deck spoiler.

Dimensions:

NEW NSX 2013 NSX Concept Diff (in.) 2005 NSX Diff (in.)
Length 176 in.
(4470 mm)
172.8 in. (4390mm) +3.1 174.2 in.
(4425 mm)
+1.8
Width 76.4 in.
(1940 mm)
75.4 in
(1915 mm)
+1.0 71.3 in.
(1810 mm)
+5.1
Height 47.8 in.
(1215 mm)
47.2 in.
(1200 mm)
+0.6 46.1 in
(1170 mm)
+1.8
Wheelbase 103.5 in. (2630 mm) 102.8 in.
(2610 mm)
+0.8 99.6 in.
(2350 mm)
+11.0
Front track 65.2 in.
(1655 mm)
- - - - 59.5 in.
(1510 mm)
+5.7
Rear track 63.6 in.
(1615 mm) 
- - - - 60.7 in.
(1540 mm)
+3.0

Human Support Cockpit
“Consistent with the ‘human-centered supercar’ development concept, the NSX was designed from the inside out with an uncompromising focus on the driver,” said Johnathan Norman, NSX interior design project leader. “Like the original NSX, we created a ‘Human Support Cockpit’ that provides exceptional driver control, visibility and packaging, but further advanced to meet the extreme performance expectations of a modern supercar.”

The NSX interior boasts exceptional forward visibility, simple and intuitive controls, and class-leading ergonomics—most notably the seat, which features top-class holding performance with outstanding comfort and easy ingress/egress.

The NSX’s instrument cluster features a dynamic TFT display that responds to changes in the driver-selectable Integrated Dynamics System with pertinent graphics and information. The center console holds the Power button that readies the sport hybrid powertrain, nested in the center of the new Integrated Dynamics System dial control. Interwoven under the handcrafted leather dash panel is the exposed midframe—a functioning chassis structural member that reflects the design aesthetic of a naked sport bike. An ultra-thin, yet super strong A-pillar design and low-mounted instrument panel minimize obstructions to the driver’s view of the road.

Sport Hybrid Power Unit
In keeping with the foundational philosophy of the original NSX, the next-generation NSX is designed to provide a new sports car experience that maximizes the capabilities of the driver, delivering exceptionally intuitive and confidence-inspiring response “at the will of the driver.”

Acura engineers leveraged the company’s expertise both with high-performance engine and hybrid electric-drive technologies, as well as its two decades of experience with industry-leading dynamic torque-vectoring technologies, including Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD), to create the most sophisticated, technologically advanced and intelligent powertrain in the supercar universe.

At the heart of the NSX’s performance capabilities is an all-new mid-mounted, 75-degree, DOHC V6 engine with twin turbochargers mated to an Acura-developed 9-speed DCT. The V6 engine employs a race-inspired compact valve train and dry sump lubrication system to help lower the center of gravity. The all-new 9-speed DCT delivers synapse-quick gear changes and rev-matching downshifts. The rear direct-drive electric motor, housed between the engine and transmission, supports acceleration, braking and transmission shifting performance. The NSX’s front wheels are driven by twin independent high-output electric motors which deliver instantaneous torque response and dynamic left-to-right torque distribution.

The NSX uses its front electric motors for dynamic torque vectoring in addition to enhancing acceleration and braking performance. The result is an instantaneous “zero delay” launch performance and handling response that seems to anticipate the driver’s desire. The NSX has undergone extensive testing at some of the world’s most challenging race circuits, including the famed Nurburgring.

Advanced Multi-Material Body
Also in keeping with the legacy of NSX—the world’s first all-aluminum supercar—the new NSX features an innovative new multi-material body design with world’s-first material applications and construction processes.

The NSX body utilizes a space frame design—an internal frame constructed of aluminum, ultra-high strength steel and other advanced materials. Anchored by a carbon fiber floor, torsional and bending forces are taken up entirely by this ultra-rigid structure which also utilizes advanced joining technologies.

The NSX features world’s-first casting technology that combines the design and manufacturing flexibility of a casting process with the strength and elongation properties of a forged material, enabling significant weight reduction. The body panels are composed of a combination of aluminum and sheet molding composite (SMC).

Advanced Sport Package
The NSX features an “Advanced Sports Package” with placement of key powertrain components –the mid-mounted engine, twin front motors and Sport Hybrid battery pack and power control unit – optimized to concentrate vehicle mass low and toward the center of the vehicle, to further enhance dynamic response.  The combination of this packaging concept and the lightweight body give the NSX the lowest center of gravity in its class.

The NSX utilizes a fully independent, all-aluminum front and rear suspension and puts its considerable power down through ContiSportContact™ high-performance tires—245/35Z R19 front and 295/30Z R20 rear—mounted on 19×8.5 inch front and 20×11 inch rear aluminum alloy wheels. Powerful, natural and confident braking performance is provided by 6-piston front and 4-piston rear monoblock calipers squeezing ultra-high performance carbon-ceramic brake discs.

Handling is greatly enhanced by Sport Hybrid Super-Handling All Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD), enabling lightning-quick response to all driver inputs—steering, braking and throttle—along with the stability, control and launch performance of all-wheel drive. Agile Handling Assist (AHA) uses the subtle application of brake torque to further enhance yaw response and dynamic stability.

The NSX’s dial-operated Integrated Dynamic System features Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track modes. The system adjusts engine, motor, transmission and chassis response, as well as the engine sound level, based on the needs of the driver and driving environment. Quiet mode enables electric-only driving at lower speeds for short durations. Dynamic vehicle responses become increasingly sharp as the driver moves from Sport to Sport+ mode and, finally, to Track mode, where the NSX reveals the full spectrum of its performance capabilities.

The NSX also features a “launch” function to achieve the ultimate in “zero delay” launch performance, aided by both the engine and three electric motors.

New Production Facility
The NSX will be manufactured exclusively at the Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio, where approximately 100 highly-skilled associates will conduct full body construction, paint, and final assembly using domestic and globally-sourced parts.

The PMC and its processes have been developed to perfectly blend associate craftsmanship and technology in a new approach to manufacturing. By in-housing the body construction, Acura maintains complete control over total body quality, including critical strength, suspension accuracy, and fit and finish—from initial construction all the way to final assembly.

Associates will utilize innovative techniques to deliver next-generation craftsmanship and world-class quality in the realm of specialized, supercar vehicle production.

 

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