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Mahindra Picks up Pininfarina in Purchase! Another Mahindra Magic Move!

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Mahindra the Indian car giant has gone after the amazingly stylish Pininfarina which many know as the stylish Italian car designer  which has designed almost 1,000 cars across brands over the years.

Pininfarina were operating with a debt of approximately 47.4 million euros and Mahindra have now picked up the company for 25.3 million euros and will help enhance Pininfarina in the future.

Mahindra will also inject 20 million euros into the designer through a rights issue of new stock, and will provide a guarantee worth up to 114.5 million euros to its lenders, creditors and lessors.

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Mahindra now own 76.6% of Pininfarina, the remaining percentage to be left open to be purchased in the future.

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Pininfarina will continue to remain an independent company, listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, with Mr Paolo Pininfarina continuing as the Chairman of its board, Paolo is the son of Sergio (above) who is son of the original founder Battista (image 2).

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2-Founder Battista Pininfarina battista

Battista Pininfarina the founder is where the Pininfarina brand came about; he began working in his older brothers car body workshop at the age of 12, in Turin, Italy, he worked here for decades and it was here where he learnt about body work and he even began designing his own cars.

Interestingly Battista incorporated his nick name Pinin meaning the youngest/little one in the family, so the logo read as Pininfarina and also in 2013 Mahindra the Indian company hired Hubert Tassin, a former Pininfarina designer.

The Pininfarina features their logo on many Ferraris and have collaborated with Alfa Romeo for over 70 years too. Other collaborations include Maserati and Lancia and General Motors and BMW, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar to mention the most prominent.

The logo is world renowned and a car featuring the logo is known to be an exclusive model. The Pininfarina site sums up their history from 1930 to date by saying:

“Starting from its roots and from the solid reputation achieved during 85 years of glorious history, Pininfarina has confirmed its role as standard-bearer of the aesthetic values of Italian design in the world. Today’s activities are focused on design (automotive and non-automotive), engineering services (product development, testing, prototype construction) and production of very small series or exclusive high quality cars.”

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“In its genes, Pininfarina today is the same as it was in the Thirties: the central role of design, aesthetic sensitivity capable of creating timeless beauty, constant striving for innovation, the strength of a tradition that brings together industry, technology and stylistic research, the capacity to interpret the client’s requirements thus maintaining its brand identity, and a propensity for long-term collaborations. These values, together with the commitment of the entire Group, will enable us to build a bridge towards the future” – Paolo Pininfarina grandson of Battista Pininfarina.

Battista’s son was Sergio who managed the Pininfarina brand until 2012 when he passed away.

The Pininfarina brand is 85 years old and has worked with a variety of Car manufacturers, many of which are exotic. Paolo is currently chairman of the board. “The firm will remain in Italy, as will the workforce and management, the style and the brand are linked to our history.” Said Paolo Pininfarina.

The Pininfarina cars sell at Auction for millions especially the Ferrari models. Mahindra the Indian car manufacturer have purchased the Italian car designer at a discounted price as they were in financial trouble and needed the help of a bigger company to help them recover and continue their excellent work in the future. The Pininfarina website stated recently that they have become the latest jewel in the Mahindra crown.

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Mahindra will be able to feature more now internationally not just India, but also in Germany, Italy, China and the US. Pininfarina said of the acquisition “For Pininfarina, the acquisition will mean an ability to leverage Tech Mahindra’s presence across 90 countries and access to about 780 customers. Tech Mahindra’s global delivery model will lend Pininfarina a newly heightened scale to its operations.”

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It looks like we are soon set to see Mahindra continuing the work alongside Pininfarina to create super styled model cars and with the wealth of Mahindra these cars will be set to take the future by storm and allow Pininfarina to grow and produce more of these exquisite future models and set a new platform for the future of stylized cars.

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You can find out more about Pininfarina at : “Pininfarina.com” and more about Mahindra Tech / Mahindra and Mahindra at “TechMahindra.com”.

Written by Raj

December 20, 2015 at 8:00 pm

The BMW Z4 Zagato Roadster!

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*This article is soon to be featured on Autoraiders.com

Read on for more on the BMW Z4 ZAGOTO ROADSTER BELOW:

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Initially BMW had a stint with Zagato one of the worlds finest craftsman of cars (Zagato is from Italy) and they produced for their first partnership together the BMW Zagato Coupe` for The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este held at Lake Como in northern Italy; the car showcased there on May 25th 2012 and what a beauty the partnership produced! (See above photo featured in red)

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Three months later (August 2012) saw the alliance join together for the second time, between the two they showcased the BMW Z4 Zagato roadster! An even more beautiful showpiece and showstopper! The venue was Pebble Beach (California) and the Z4 Zagato Roadster was a commodity that everyone wanted to see!

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The prestigious Concours d’Elegance (California) 2012 was a perfect pit stop for this car to be showcased and you know it will only go on to attract more and more attention wherever it goes. This is the second collaboration between BMW and Zagato and I for one, hope it will not be the last. (See photo below featured in silver)

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Zagato is known for their handscraftsmanship and this fiery roadster was made within six weeks, from design to finished product, and it does not succumb to its predecessor in any ways. Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design said of the partnership “It was only with the expertise of both companies in the manufacture of high-end one-off cars and another display of outstanding teamwork that we were able to finish the car on schedule.”

Andrea Zagato says of the six week process “BMW is a high-achieving carmaker boasting a vast well of knowledge and technical capability in this area. When you combine that with our expertise in the creation of micro-series cars and our streamlined production processes, everything is in place to produce a beautiful model like the BMW Zagato Roadster in double-quick time”.

The Z4 Zagato Roadster and the BMW Zagato Coupe` will undoubtedly be collectors items as all Zagato models are, and of course the BMW Zagato Roadster has its distinctive trademark of a silver ‘Z’ on its sides near the front wheels. Alfa Romeo were the first to work with the Zagato coach builder and since then Zagato have made more than 200 Vmax concepts, special editions and micro-series, they focus on the shell of the body and incorporate their traditional measures of ensuring aero-dynamicty and lightweight construction as initial body designer Ugo Zagato learned his trade in aviation. The company has a family heritage passed on from Ugo Zagato to Andrea Zagato and Marella Rivolta-Zagato, who are now the third generation of Ugo’s family to continue with the Zagato studio and creations. Zagato was founded in 1919 by Ugo Zagato. (See Photo Below of Ugo Zagato)

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The Roadster is a convertible two door and a two seater car, obviously a car for the hot countries where there will be no rain to soak up only sun, although there is always the Z4 Zagato Coupe` which has a double bubble roof for those countries where there is torrential rain and the soft-top of the Zagato Roadster just won’t cut it although it too has a double bubble roof feature in a traditional Zagato hallmark, which will add to the value of the car in appearance and price. Unfortunately there is no price being given because this concept is not to go on sale, also BMW have not released any photos of the BMW with the roadster’s soft-top roof up, they have however raised the bar, standard, and the roof, metaphorically speaking, with this concept model.

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There are many features about the Zagato Roadster which are endearing to everyone and anyone, here are the most prominent of them:

  • The large yet elegantly stitched beige letter ‘Z’ on the headrests of driver and passenger, giving further association to its designer specification. Behind the headrests are beige shadow headrests which incorporate roll bars.
  • The BMW has its trademark kidney grille and it is an exquisite grille made up of small letter ‘z’s.
  • The front of the car has McLaren styled scoops although smaller in size, giving this Zagato roadster a racer look.
  • The lights are shaped finely and compactly and they are attractive to look at, directly above the headlights are razor-light LED’s.
  • The lights are twin and circular shaped.
  • The bonnet has been made with three-dimensions to it and has V lines from the BMW logo at the front creating the letter V, and gives the car further impressiveness about it.
  • Beautiful leather finish on the interior seats and roll-bars and side doors.
  • There is a small lip at the front of the car and this fits in with the look of the car and it adds to the cars racing appearance.
  • The alloy wheels are 19″inch in size and star-shaped with five spokes and include a matte finish to complement the rest of the paintwork on the body.
  • A meshed grille is present on the front of the car and are contained within the air scoops and above the lip at the front.
  • The seating is low and the driver sits down in a race like position inside the cockpit, making this car a real roadster.
  • There are futuristic concept styled indicators on the wheel archs, yellow at the front and red at the back.
  • The rear of the car has eloquent matte finished exhausts, one on either side, however BMW decided to be subtle in this aspect as they do not protrude from the car.
  • The lights on the rear of the car are one long strip with a black tint all across this strip and the lights cannot be seen, providing the roadster with a sense of mysteriousness about it.
  • There are also sporty looking scoops on either side of the car, behind the front wheel archs and on the bonnet on either side.
  • A curvaceous line is visible occurring from the rear of the door and reaching to the rear of the car.
  • The rear of the roadster features a diffuser ensuring smooth airflow.
  • Long wheel base.
  • The roadster is based on the  Z4 sDrive35is there are no specifications as to the engine under the bonnet or top speed, however estimates are that it has a 3.0-liter six speed engine. With this engine it would take a time of 4.7 seconds to go from 0-60mph and the top speed is said to be the same as the Z4 sdrive35is which has been electronically-limited at a maximum speed of 155 mph.

The rear is smartly created, it is smart, prim and proper with no sharpness about it and smooth curves around the edges, it is sculptured rather than chiseled. BMW had this to say about it: “Taken as a whole, the rear of the BMW Zagato Roadster has a very broad, low-slung appearance, giving the car a wide stance and planted muscularity on the road. Beneath it, the dark diffuser gives the BMW Zagato Roadster a squat, powerful stance. The body-colored surfaces between the tailpipes draw the final lines in the distinctive, low-to-the-road and broad-set looks of the rear end.”

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The interior is particularly worth mentioning in some detail, BMW says that the exterior and the interior both compliment each other well by blurring the two together: “The BMW Zagato Roadster consciously allows the boundaries between inside and outside to blur.” The interior is beige in colour and there is evidence of fine stitching everywhere, use of curvaceous brown lines on the inside of the doors and lights for both driver and passenger above the windscreen; attached to the windscreen is the rear-view mirror in a neat way.

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The left hand drive steering wheel and the seats make use of the colour beige and black and the armrest between the driver seat and passenger seat is beige and can be flipped up to conveniently store whatever is necessary; it leads forward to the idrive dial (controlling the on-board computer/display) and the gear shifter which has been richly doused in the beige colour too, providing this car with an expensive look to match its exterior outfit. The idrive display is hidden in the dashboard and rises from out of nowhere for the driver to view. 

The gear shifter allows you to drive the car in manual although the car is an automatic. There is also a switch which can be used to put the car into park, other switches that can be accessed with ease are the sport and comfort mode switches placed close to the gear shifter. There is a cd-slot to listen to music as you cruise along in this wonderful machine. The Zagato roadster has a start/stop engine button which is neatly placed to the right of the steering wheel on top of a metallic finished strip, alongside this button are four large dials which allow you to control different functions such as fan heating or cooling all laid on top of the same metallic strip. The Speedometers are large and shaped in a futuristic racing style, yet again an attractive feature of the car.

BMW says of the interior colours featured and the ‘Z’ for Zagato: “The interplay of colors and composition of details bathes the interior of the BMW Zagato Roadster in a sumptuous ambience, while the brown “z” embroidered into the seats is a further clue to its origins.”

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BMW also go on to mention the interior design and say “The interior itself boasts the clear structuring one would expect from BMW and invites the driver to give the machine around him a thorough workout. Details such as the sweeping horizontal lines along the inside of the doors and the full-length center console lend a rarefied sense of exclusivity to the sporty promptings and driver focus of the interior.”

BMW have mentioned that the Zagato Roadster is like its partner the Zagato Coupe` by being able to drive well at high speeds and also intended for these speeds.

The best quote from BMW on the Zagato Roadster is the following from the official press release: “The taut hallmark BMW surface treatment and Zagato’s clearly defined distribution of visual mass lend the BMW Zagato Roadster an athletic appearance – poised and eager, demanding to be driven.”

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Whether the Zagato Roadster will go into production remains to be seen although BMW have not ruled it out as yet! The same is to be said about its counterpart the Zagato Coupe`. Everyone will be wondering if their is soon to be another collaboration and many including myself will be keeping are eyes open for the next showstopper from these two companies.

The Zagato Roadster and the Zagato Coupe` may be celebrated pieces, yet they are still a matter of argument, as to whether they are different pieces when compared or whether the Roadster is the Coupe` with the roof off, some argue that they have different features and that what makes them different, others say there features are similar and they look alike. I personally would add to the debate by saying that the Zagato Coupe` is not as attractive as the Zagato Roadster and the roadster is exactly what it should be, which is a fine specimen of a roadster!

The Zagato Roadster was launched in California and it seems only right to provide some additional information about BMW’s presence in America:

BMW own the Rolls-Royce brand as well as the MINI brand and the figures for the car dealers in the USA are as follows:

“The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car and BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 139 BMW motorcycle retailers, 114 MINI passenger car dealers, and 32 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers.”

BMW of North America, LLC has been around in the United States since 1975 and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars began distributing vehicles in 2003.

“The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars.”

In South Carolina, is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing plant, for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. BMW in 2010 announced that it would spend $750 million to expand operations at the Spartanburg plant. This investment will produce around 240,000 vehicles a year, making Spartanburg the largest car plant in the United States through its number of employees. All signs that BMW are doing well and BMW will be wanting to continue to develop their standing further in the USA.

I’ll conclude by saying that this BMW Zagato Roadster is an exclusive concept model and if it does not go into production, it will, many would hope, have some influence on the design of future production models.

See Below for a Video of The designers of the BMW Zagato Roadster – Karim Habib, head of exterior design at BMW and Norihiko Harada, Chief Designer Zagato, where they touch upon the relationship with Zagato, the six week deadline, the launch for Pebble Beach and the design of the Zagato roadster.

   

Feel free to leave comments!

Raj Mehta

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BMW: First the expression of Joy – ART Campaign (Z4), and then: a BMW ART GALLERY@LONDON NCP CAR PARK!

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The Z4 has been campaigned by BMW as a car which is an:

Expression of Joy!

The people at BMW went all out in showing the world exactly how expressive the Z4 is, and by word, it is so exasperatingly, eccentrically, expressive that it produced an artwork which is not only a masterpiece, but also of epic proportion! The New Z4 is BMW’s latest showroom piece and is undoubtedly the undisputed champion – especially the Z4 GT3!

Which one is of preference to most is up to the public at large, the Z4 is already proving popular and is gaining further in the ranks of the classic cars of the future! The Z4 and the GT3 version are a duo of incomparable vision compared to their competition!

The vehicles competing with the Z4 are: The Infinity G37, The Audi A5, The Mercedes SLK, and The Porsche Boxster, The Audi TT, and The Nissan 370Z! As you can see there are many competitors to the Z4!

The BMW Z4 has been around since 2002:

(BMW Z4 2.5 (2002-2006), BMW Z4 2.2i (2004-2005), BMW Z4 M Coupe (2006-2009), BMW Z4 M Roadster (2006-2009), BMW Z4 2.5i Sport (2006-2009), BMW Z4 Coupé (2006-2009), BMW Z4 sDrive 23i (2009 onwards) BMW Z4 sDrive30i (2009 onwards), BMW Z4 sDrive35i (2009 onwards),

And continuously seen of the competition throughout the years! The Z4 brand is still going strong with the latest model on the market being the BMW Z4 sDrive28i (2012 onwards)!  Re-shaped, Re-styled, and Ready for everything! The Z4 starts from £29,485 and if you want the M version, the price starts at £32,650, all models are only available in petrol, and the CO2 emissions (g/km) is 159. The Z4 is said to be in a class of its own and all that is required!

However the Z4 M version is the icing on the cake and will look slightly better with the sports customizations!

The Z4 and the GT3 Z4 are double trouble! Both are fun and funky! Some of the features of the BMW Z4 are the mean looking contours for the roadster which emerge from the BMW emblem, which makes this roadster look smoking and full of swag! The Z4 is made easily recognisable by these contours and there’s no mistaking the GT3 Z4 as that has a huge winged spoiler at the rear of the car. Double trouble indeed! The combo models will make you say WOW!

As for the interesting parts here are some of the most important :

BMW uses keyless technology to start the engine at the push of a button (the start/stop button), and the remote key sends a signal to the car to unlock it or lock it, at which point the door handles illuminate to provide further assisted entry to the car!

Electric Power Steering, BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, Auto-Start/Stop, Optimum Shift Indicator, Brake energy Regeneration, Tyres with reduced rolling resistance, and Lightweight construction. (All of which are part of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics Green Initiative!)

The Z4 is available in Manual (6-speed transmission) or Automatic which has an 8 speed transmission making the Z4 a real roadster!

There’s also a turbo-charger which eases the roadster to a speed of 156mph (the roadster has been limited to this speed).

The Z4 comes complete with a retractable hard top roof which can be retracted at speeds of up to 25mph, as for more on the BMW hardtop, here’s a quote from BMW:

“long bonnet, short overhangs and deep, way-back seat – in a modern idiom create a look that is as familiar as it is unique. A look that is complemented to perfection by the retractable hardtop. Whether open or closed, this folding roof maintains the low-slung lines typical of a roadster. With it you can savour one of the finest ways to drive in comfort.”

The Z4 is a rear-wheel drive (17″, 18″, 19″ alloys), has ABS as standard, a CD player and Radio, cruise control as standard, air conditioning as standard, good safety with airbags  for the driver, passenger, and front side airbag, electric windows, and is a two-seater roadster with four cylinders which performs well and reconvenes a time of 5.6 seconds to 60mph! Additional safety features include rollover bars fixed behind the headrests and stable “A” pillars along with the feature of the bonnet automatically rising in a collision. The head and upper body airbags protect the head, ribcage and pelvis areas acting as cushions in a collision.

A little car the Z4 may be but the German roadster’s 2012 update is getting bigger in name, even the lights (xenon and round) on the car are smaller than the grilles and this gives the Z4 a wicked look and only adds to the cars flair! The car has daytime running lights. The front of the Z4 looks hungry for the road and there are further additions beside the grilles which are air intakes on either side and lowest to the ground beneath the kidney grilles is a fierce looking meshed carbon front splitter!

Quick enough for BMW who used to produce engines with their trademark 6 cylinders; yet in their efforts to be greener have chosen to use a four-cylinder blueprint for the Z4 which performs well although there is less power being produced whereas torque is increased. The car is available in Single or Twin exhaust tailpipes! And has cruise control, and a high-beam assistant.

The Z4 is a rear wheel drive and can be operated manually (via gear paddles) or automatically. BMW have made this roadster with the vision of it being an everyday car for use 365 days of the year! They say that the temperature within the car will be suitable for whatever weather conditions the car is in, and there are options of four round air conditioning controls or automatic air conditioning. There is also the iDrive onboard control system which controls the different functions such as accessing, Telephone, Sat-Nav, Settings, Drive-mode and Radio/CD.

Engine & Power:

Standard Engine 2L 240hp I4      
Horsepower 240 @ 5000 RPM      
Torque 260 @ 1250 RPM      
Valves 4      
Displacement (cc) 1997      
Bore X Stroke (in.) 3.3 X 3.5      
Compression Ratio 10.0:1

Exterior Dimensions & Weight BMW Z4 sDrive28i

         
Curb Weight – Automatic (lb.) 3262.8      
Wheelbase (in.) 98.3      
Length (in.) 167      
Width (in.) 70.5      
Height (in.) 50.8      
Track Front (in.) 59.5      
Track Rear (in.) 61.4

SOURCE:  http://www.automobile.com

MORE ABOUT THE GT3 Z4! – (shown above)

BMW has released new details about the Z4 GT3: “BMW Motorsport has further developed the BMW Z4 GT3 specifically for the 2012 season. The engine now turns up to 9,000 rpm and has a new exhaust system. The rear wing is now made from carbon fibre instead of aluminium and produces greater downforce – with less drag.”

It is a star on the race track and has many accolades to its name: the BMW GT3 Z4! The car shines spectacularly in every way and looks like it could easily produce flames firing out of the GT3’s exhausts! A personal favourite of mine! Its place is however, I would say on the race track!

It has been taken up by private racing teams! The GT3 Z4 has done well in competitive racing and has made an impression! The racing car proving it had the mettle to produce a 1st place finish at the Dubai 24 Hour endurance event, and also securing second place from a low 49th position at the 24 Hour Spa Francorchamps event!

As you can imagine it is a much grander scale than the standard Z4! Whereas the Z4 says Zoom! The GT3 Z4 says ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM!!!!!!!!!!  It’s further enhanced in engineering, styling, and capability! It has a six-speed sequential transmission with a “Quick Shift” function, and an engine management system and the engine consists of a 4.0-liter V8! Being a race car there is also a racing anti-lock braking system present, a roll cage, and rims with central locking and safety clips.

Here’s the best bit!

It is available as a road car!

So prepare for take off!

It has been priced at €340,000.

Technical specifications BMW Z4 GT3  
Length: 4,387 mm
Width: 2,012 mm
Height: 1,210 mm
Wheel base: 2,509 mm
Weight: 1,190 kg
Tank capacity: 115 litres
Engine type: Eight-cylinder, V-configuration
Capacity: 4,361 ccm
Bore x stroke: 92 x 82 mm
Compression: 13.0 :1
Max. output: 515 bhp (8,200 rpm)

http://www.bmw-motorsport.com/en/cars/bmw-z4-gt3.html

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF BMW Z4 vs BMW Z4 GT3

For those of you, whom have not had the opportunity to be acquainted with the Z4 and its mastery of art, please read on as I elaborate further.

“The BMW Z4 is a modern interpretation of a classic roadster and the most admired characteristics of a sports coupe`” In celebration of the BMW Z4 being an ‘expression of joy!’  BMW hooked up with the artist Robin Rhode who is a South African artist based in Berlin and gave him the privilege of creating an art piece to be the front of the BMW Z4’s campaign! This art-piece you see above is the creation of his vision which was then painted by the Z4 roadster! With the use of many colours and tyres! (Each colour was painted by a different set of tyres). Mr Rhodes did not drive the car, however operated it via remote control! Making this art-piece, even further wonderful! For those of you wanting to find out more there is a video of the artwork taking place and it is directed by Jake Scott.

The link is: http://www.expressionofjoy.com/#

“THE CAR IS A LITERAL PAINTBRUSH!”

The link shows you the different processes from the artwork taking place on a piece of paper by Mr Rhodes to the Z4 being a tool of art on a huge canvas! It also shows the preparation that went into the larger than life artwork! BMW have really gone all out with this campaign they even have an Iphone Game for this art based campaign! Not enough can be said of this art-piece, it is a fusion of car and colours! (I’ve got my own take on it which is why this article is no ordinary article it too is a fusion! A fusion of writing, colour and of course the Z4 and Z4 GT3!

There is more though!!!

‘Read on’

To find out more about BMW’s and their relationships with other artists!

This SECTION is on The BMW ART GALLERY THAT WAS IN LONDON!

BMW’s as you’ve never seen them before! And they have arrived in an array of flair and style, which none of them are lacking in! The Art Gallery lasted only two weeks and began in July and finished in August, it certainly made the rounds with Art Critics and Enthusiasts of Art and Cars! The Gallery was put on by the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) at the NCP Car Park in East End of London and the admission was free. Do not despair if you did not go to see it, as you can see the photos of the Art Cars within this post!

This Art Gallery was a first for the UK! And the Art collection had begun over 35 years ago and using the cars as their canvasses leading international artists have been making their mark on what are classic art-pieces of the highest standards! Artists include Andy Warhol!

The London Olympics 2012, ICA and BMW all collaborated to put this exhibition on as part of the London 2012 Festival! And it was called the Art Drive! Artists included: artists: Alexander Calder, Sandro Chia, Ken Done, Ernst Fuchs, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, Matazo Kayama, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Esher Mahlangu, Cesar Manrique, M.J Nelson, A.R Penck, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol as mentioned before.

So here are the cars and the Artists’ work! Videos included! Enjoy!

Raj Mehta Signing out!

1. First up there’s Jenny Holzer with the BMW V12 LMR! (1999)

2. Alexander Calder 3.0 CSL

A 1975 BMW 3.0CSL by Alexander Calder was the start of the BMW art car project and this was the first commissioned Art Car by BMW! Mr Calder was convinced by his French racing driver friend to take this project up, and it was used in the Le Mans Race in 1975.

3. Matazo Kayama 535i (1990) is a Japanese artist who studied at the Painting Academy in Kyoto this is his airbrushed Art Car!

4. César Manrique from Spain his Art Car features the BMW 730i (1990)

5. Frank Stella BMW 3.0 CSL, American abstract painter and printmaker this Art Car was done in 1976.

6. Andy Warhol BMW M1 Art Car. Mr Warhol is known for being a key and influential figure in the American Pop Art movement. This was the fourth Art Car commissioned by BMW. (1979)

7. Roy Lichtenstein BMW 320 CSi (1977) New York born artist. Again has a Pop Art theme to it.

8. American artist Robert Rauschenberg, Art Car BMW 635 CSi, (1986), he is said to have bridged the gap between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art.

9. Australian Artist, Michael Jagamarra Nelson, Art Car:  BMW M3, was very keen on promoting and keeping aboriginal art around, the Art Car was produced in the time of (1989).

10. Esther Mahlangu BMW Art Car 525i (1991), she is from a tribe in South Africa, and has kept alive the centuries old traditional wall paintings of her tribe and her artwork reflects this.

11. Ken Done, Australian Artist, Aboriginal/Australian themes, Art Car is a BMW M3 group A, (1989)

12. Sandro Chia, BMW Art Car M3 GT2 Series Race Car (1992) – Italian/Painter Sculptor.

13. English Painter, David Hockney, BMW Art Car painted on BMW 850 CSi (1995)

14. German Painter, A.R. Penck, BMW Art Car Z1, (1991).

15. Ernst Fuchs BMW Art Car 635 CSi, Austrian visionary painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, architect, stage designer, composer, poet, and singer. (1982)

16. This is my favourite! The Artist is American Jeff Koons, the BMW Art Car is a M3 GT2! (2010)

SWARAJ – Swaraj Mazda and Punjab Tractors Limited – India’s original pioneer!

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The Swaraj Brand, Mazda and Punjab Tractors Ltd have been around since the beginning of the Indian Automobile scene; selling Tractors and vehicles such as Ambulances, Police carriers, Water Tankers, Buses, Trucks, and special vehicles such as Harvesters, Orchard Tractors, Tourist Buses, Rail Track Inspection Vehicles, Fork Lifts and Crane Vehicles.

Video of Swaraj Tractors

As for Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd they have a rich history:

Punjab Tractors limited was promoted by the Indian Government’s department for Industries and Commerce – PSIDC (Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation)  as one of its projects in 1970 for the manufacturing of agricultural tractors, its objective was to promote new industrial projects in the State of Punjab. Swaraj tractors conceived in 1965 by a team of dedicated engineers and scientists working at Central Mechanical Research Institute.

(http://vedyadhara.ignou.ac.in/wiki/images/c/cd/MITI-023_B6CS6.pdf)

“The Unit went into production in 1974. The tractor was based on completely indigenous design and was the result of six years of design, development and field proving effort at the Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), a national laboratory under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Government of India. The group of design engineers, who had developed the first model at CMERI, were later transferred to Punjab Tractors Limited to commercialise the product.”

In 1983 the Swaraj design along with its promoter Punjab Tractors Ltd who now owned Swaraj (since 1970), went into a financial collaboration with Toyokogyo Ltd, a company from Japan which was now working with PTL to manufacture light commercial vehicles; the name Swaraj Vehicles Ltd was formed.

A year on (1984) was a time for a Joint Venture (JV) which occured between Punjab Tractor Ltd, Mazda Motor Corporation (Japan) & Sumitomo Corporation (Japan). Swaraj Vehicles Ltd was renamed Swaraj Mazda  Ltd. This JV’s commercial operations began in 1986 and by 1987 the JV produced and introduced an indigenously developed bus. Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd had forged an alliance with Mazda in particular and this saw them working together in an alliance which has seen much success until 2009.

Between the years 2004 and 2009 there was a drift between Mazda and Swaraj as both companies had their own agendas – for example Swaraj were focusing on Swaraj tractors, Swaraj engines, Swaraj Automotives and Swaraj scooters, whereas Mazda were looking to focus on passenger cars.

In 2004 Mazda withdrew from its partnership with Swaraj and since then this has seen Swaraj have a couple of name changes from Swaraj Mazda to – Swaraj Buses and Trucks Ltd, this indicated an end to working with Mazda (who ceased to be a shareholder in 2005). Mazda however gave the go – ahead initially to Swaraj to continue using their name without any royalty fees till 2007.

The Mazda Motor Corporation later in 2007 also notified Swaraj to not use their name in alliance with Swaraj Enterprise and thus the company name that used to be Swaraj Mazda was now going to be called Swaraj Vehicles Ltd as agreed by the board of directors this however was contested by the other shareholders such as PTL and did not go through. Swaraj no longer used the name of Mazda in their title.

Punjab Tractors Ltd were now without their main partner and a lot of speculation surrounded the Swaraj brand, with links to a TATA take-over, this didn’t happen instead Mahindra Tractors had made a smart investment in 2008 which saw them buy all of PTL’s remaining shares in Swaraj.

This investment by Mahindra saw conflict over the use of the Swaraj name with Sumitomo who had purchased a 41% controlling stake in Swaraj Trucks and Buses Ltd (Swaraj Mazda) from Mazda in 2005, the Sumitomo Corporation purchased PTL’s remaining shares in Swaraj Trucks and Buses Ltd (Swaraj Mazda) in 2009; Mahindra and Mahindra along with PTL took the case to court whereby Sumitomo were ordered to continue using the name for a further two years only – in 2006 Sumitomo hooked up with Isuzu motors and in 2010 Swaraj (Swaraj Mazda) became SML Isuzu Ltd this was one year before the Sumitomo Corporation were ordered to stop using the Swaraj Brand name.

Today there is speculation that TATA are looking to buy a 50% or more stake in SML Isuzu.

Here is a quote from Swaraj and Mahindra and Mahindra :

(http://www.mahindra.com/What-We-Do/Farm-Equipment/Products/Swaraj)

“The combination of Swaraj’s longstanding reputation with our cutting edge design and manufacturing has made the name Swaraj synonymous with power, reliability, and expertise.  We enjoy a market share of nearly 12 percent and a community of more than 700,000 satisfied owners in India alone.  We bring our customers excellent tractors and product support at 600 dealerships across India.  We are 2,100 dedicated, highly trained, and customer-centric employees working to bring you the best in farming equipment and customer support.

In addition to our strong presence in India, Swaraj tractors are used across the world in the US, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ghana.  In each region we enter, we seek to provide farmers with tractors and implements precisely suited to their agricultural conditions, helping them maximize their prosperity.”

Ravinder the CEO of M & M Ltd Swaraj Division says:

http://www.indianexporters.com/M-and-M-Ltd-Swaraj-Division-com-555662764.html

“We feel honored to get an opportunity to introduce our brand SWARAJ to you. SWARAJ was India’s first indigenously designed, developed & commercialized tractor manufactured by erstwhile Punjab Tractors Limited (PTL), a company promoted by Punjab Government. In 2007, PTL was acquired by Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the world’s largest tractor manufacturers. Mahindra & Mahindra is a leading Indian business conglomerate with group revenues of $ 6.7 billion. Mahindra & Mahindra, Farm Equipment Sector, of which Swaraj brand is now the part, has the distinction of being the only Tractor Company in the world at present to have received two of the world’s top most quality prizes i.e. Japan Quality Medal and Deming prize. We have a tractor portfolio of 9 models with more than 100 variants in the range of 22 HP to 75 HP. We have a strong domestic presence with more than 0.7 million satisfied customers. Swaraj tractors, ruling the rural hinterlands for more than three decades, are synonymous with power, ruggedness & reliability. We have also expanded our presence in the overseas markets including select African and SAARC nations.”

As you can see – the Swaraj brand has a long-standing history with many companies trying their utmost to keep this brand to themselves – however Swaraj has withstood the test of time and is still continuing to operate as an Indian brand name and company which exports world-wide and to many developing countries and also America.

“In Hindi, the word “SWARAJ” means freedom from bondage – and self – rule. Since P.T.L. was the only first largest tractor project in India, moreover fully based upon Indian technology. So SWARAJ was appropriately chosen as its brand name. SWARAJ group sells its products under this same brand.

(http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDkQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fseminarprojects.com%2Fattachment.php%3Faid%3D3359&ei=Y3LFT4SCNay20QXjvJDqBQ&usg=AFQjCNHqxzY10FgMCVpZoK7l6vFSCswGKA&sig2=-fSq8w8c73kx3DKawjsQ0A)

“With more than 2 lacs of tractors and harvesters combines operating in Indians farms, SWARAJ are now well-established brand name in the country.”

(Same source as above)

The Original factory where the tractors were built by Swaraj and PTL is at S.A.S Nagar – Punjab in the City of Mohali. The factory was one of its kind in the industrial town which is 5km away from Chandigarh. The Tractor factory was the beginning of this town.

“A Tractor is a self-propelled vehicle capable of pulling a load. It is usually powered by an internal combustion engine, and is used on highways and in factories; but its greatest use is on agricultural land. Tractors can be classified according to their main functions such as farm tractors, industrial tractors and highway tractors. The farm tractor has revolutionised the mode of farming wherever it has been used. It has relieved farmers of arduous work and made great increases in production possible. Through the use of the tractor, farmers can control power that is equivalent to many horses and men. The average man is rated at 1/10HP, but when he drives a 20HP tractor across his fields – he is doing the work of 200 men. Tractors are used for a variety of purposes such as ploughing, harrowing, sowing, harvesting, pumping and transporting.”

Click to access MITI-023_B6CS6.pdf

“These tractors have contributed significantly to the green revolutions in India. Tractors are also being exported to a number of developing countries.”

It is the farmers that are the most important to the country and the alliance between Swaraj and Mahindra has seen the farmer benefit not only through the use of the tractor they purchase but also in the way they make the purchase; Mahindra Finance has been providing customized loans to farmers and as a result this has helped India; in 2004 a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Syndicate Bank and Punjab Tractors Ltd (Swaraj) to provide finance to farmers who purchased Swaraj Tractors – where the bank would finance 95% of the farmers costs and the farmer would have to finance 5% themselves. This is just an example of how banks and Swaraj have been operating – there are other similar agreements between banks and Swaraj too depending on the state and banks of India.

The Swaraj tractors have certainly been effective in India and World-wide and the company will only look to grow further in the tractor and automotive industries. Swaraj has been doing much for India and its development and its operations in developing countries is helping to raise the standards of World development. To conclude Swaraj has survived through a lot and many evolutions along the way and has always adapted and evolved – it is truly one of India’s pioneers and has shown this through many decades – they will want to continue doing this throughout the future too.

I’ll leave you with the quote from one of Swaraj’s adverts : “Swaraj Tractors – Kissan Ka Power, Desh Ka Bharosa!” – Which translates to Swaraj Tractors the Farmer’s Power and the Countries’ Trust!

(http://www.nrdcindia.com/Swaraj%20Tractors.htm)

Additional Information:

“In 1974 it went into commercial production with SWARAJ 724, 26.5 bhp as its first model. During its 38 years of production, it has not only expanded its manufacturing capacity to more than 24000 tractors per annum but added more products into its manufacturing range.”

Its product range includes the following (FE – Is the vehicle specification given to denote it is a tractor/truck/lorry (tractors are under the heavy vehicle category and could also denote Fuel Economy):

Tractors:-

Swaraj 722 super                                                                  Swaraj 724 FE

Swaraj 733 FE                                                                        Swaraj 735 FE

Swaraj 744                                                                             Swaraj 834 FE                                Swaraj 855

Here’s a timeline of the key dates and what happened at these times in Swaraj and Punjab Tractors Ltd history.

The major manufacturers of tractors in India are:

  • Escorts Ltd.
  • Mahindra and Mahindra
  • Ashok Leyland
  • Swaraj Enterprise
  • Force Motors

Special Features of Swaraj Tractors at the time of writing include:

  • Higher capacity 60 liters diesel tank
  • Oil pressure gauge
  • Water temperature gauge
  • Ammeter
  • Lockable battery

You can visit: http://business.mapsofindia.com/automobile/heavy-vehicle/tractors.html for a full specification/features list of other non-Swaraj tractors.

You can also visit: http://www.indianmirror.com/indian-industries/tractor.html for an insight into India’s Tractor Industry.

There are still some serious issues being looked at, and to be resolved for farmers such as how to economise on fuel (through the effective way of changing gears at the right time), research has shown that many farmers spend a lot on the cost of fuel for their tractors and there is a need for support for the farmers with the help of efficiently economising their fuel consumption – research is ongoing as how best to support farmers, such as through the use of digital technology to inform the tractor driver as when to change gear. Another issue which is ongoing research at the time of writing is the dangerous vibrations being sent from the tractor to the driver and the threat it poses to the drivers head. Lastly it is important to stress the importance of farmers, tractors and agriculture, here’s a quote from the above website: “India is an agrarian economy and so mainly depends on agricultural produce. As a result, tractors play an important role in the growth of the economy itself. Tractors help farmers increase the output and in turn help the economy to grow further.”

PTL HISTORY

 

1965            Govt. of  India‘s  research institute(CMERI) at Durgapur initiates design &     development of SWARAJ tractor based  on indigenous know how.

 

1970

 

Punjab Govt. through PSIDC acquires SWARAJ tractor’s design from CMERI and establishesPunjab Tractors Ltd. (PTL) for its commercialization.

 

1971-73

 

PTL sets up SWARAJ Project for 5,000 tractors per annum at a capital outlay of Rs. 37.0 million with an equity base of Rs 11.0 million.

 

1974

 

Swaraj 724 (26.5 HP) tractor commercially introduced.

 

1975

 

2nd tractor model SWARAJ 735(39 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

1978

 

3rd Tractor model SWARAJ 720 (19.5 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced. 

 

Maiden equity divided declared.

 

1980

 

Guided by social concerns and responsibility, PTL takes over PSIDC’s sick scooters unit –Punjab Scooters Ltd. (subsequently renamed as SWARAJ Automotives Ltd.)

India’s first Self propelled Harvester Combine – SWARAJ 8100 developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

SWARAJ Foundry Division set up in Backward area.

 

1981

 

Issue of maiden Bonus Shares (2:5), paid-up equity moves to Rs 15.4 million. 

 

1983

 

4th Tractor Model – SWARAJ 855 (55 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

Expansion of annual capacity to 12,000 tractors per annum at Plant 1.

 

1984

 

SWARAJ MAZDA Ltd. promoted in technical and financial collaboration with Mazda Motor Corpn. & Sumitomo Corpn. Japan for manufacture of Light Commercial Vehicles. PTL’s equity participation is Rs. 30.4 million (29%) and that of Mazda and Sumitomo’s Rs. 27.0 million (26%).

 

1985

 

SWARAJ Industrial Forklift Trucks developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

1986

 

SWARAJ ENGINES Ltd. promoted in technical and financial collaboration with Kirloskar Oil Engines Ltd.(KOEL) for manufacture of diesel engines. PTL’s equity participation is Rs. 6.9 million (33%) and that of KOEL’s Rs 3.6 million (17%). 

 

1989

 

1st Right Issue (1:1) at a premium of Rs 50/- per share (plus reservation of 200 Shares per employee) paid up equity moves to Rs 31.6 million.

 

1990

 

2nd Right Issues (1:2) at a premium of Rs 60/- per share (plus reservation of 200 Shares per employee) paid-up equity moves to Rs 50.6 million.

 

1992

 

2nd issue of Bonus Shares (1:1), paid up capital moves to Rs. 101.2 million.

 

1993

 

Annual tractor capacity expanded to 24,000 per annum at Plant 1. 

 

1995

 

Setup of tractor Plant II at Village Chappercheri with annual capacity of 12,000 per annum.

 

1996

 

3rd issue of Bonus Shares (1:1), paid up equity moves to Rs. 202.5 million.

 

1998

 

Commencement of expansion to 60,000 tractors(30,000 at each plant). Capital outlay of Rs 1000 million, funded mainly through internal accruals. 

 

1999

 

5th and 6th tractor models – SWARAJ 733 (34 HP) & SWARAJ 744 (48 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

FY 1999’s divided @ 250% was corporate India’s highest.

 

2000

 

Expansion of annual tractor capacity to 60,000 completed.

4th issue of Bonus Shares (2:1), paid up equity moves to Rs 607.6 million.

 

2001

 

PTL won National Championship trophy in competition organized by All India Management Association (AIMA) for young managers.

Economic times and Boston Consulting Group selects PTL as one of the India’s finest 10 companies out of Economic times top 500 Companies.

 

2002

 

Cumulative tractor sales crosses 5,00,000.

 

2003

 

PSIDC’s disinvestment of its entire Equity holding (23.49%) in PTL in favour of CDC Financial Services (Mauritius) Ltd. With this, total holding of CDC & its associates in PTL stands at 28.48%.

 

2004

 

7th & 8th tractor models – Swaraj 939 (41 HP) & Swarj 834 (34 HP) developed by own R&D, commercially introduced.

 

2005

 

PTL disinvested 15,73,000 euity shares of Rs. 10/- each of Swaraj Mazda Ltd. (constituting approx. 15% of SML’s paid up capital) in favour of Sumitomo Corporation, Japan, a joint venture partner in Swaraj Mazda Ltd. at a total consideration of Rs. 629.2 million

 

2007

 

CDC/Actis Group and Burman Family’s disinvestment of their Equity holding in PTL (43.3%) in favour of Mahindra Group (M&M).

M&M made open offer to shareholders for another 20% equity of the Company.

Mahindra Group’s equity holding in the Company stands at 64.6%

Cumulative Tractor Sales cross 600,000.

Swaraj Track Type Combine designed and developed by in-house R&D, commercially launched

 

2008

 

Swaraj 3 Tonne Battery forklift, designed and developed by in-house R&D, commercially launched

http://www.nrdcindia.com/Swaraj%20Tractors.htm

The BMW i8 – Concept Sports Car

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The BMW i8 is here!

BMW Launched the i family concept cars in July at Frankfurt, Germany. Above is the BMW i8 an eco-friendly alternative and a visionary car for the future! BMW are showing that they are leading the way in electric cars for the future.

The BMW i8 has the trademark kidney grills and the concept model has a futuristic blue colour behind these grills. The production model which is arriving in 2014 is said to look like this :

BMW have not let on to what the car will look like in its production form although there has been talk of some parts being modified and according to Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Design, those oh-so-low side windows probably won’t make it to production, but the design team is intent on bringing as much light into the cabin as possible – on the i8.

BMW have managed to conjure up a green process for the production of these cars – every aspect of the process has been green from the factory output to the recycled materials used.

This image shows the extent to which BMW are manufacturing Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic into their i cars which carry the slogan of “BMW i – Born Electric”. This referrs to the other BMW too which I have not mentioned the BMW i3.

The i8 has two drive systems one is the electric motor and the other is an internal combustion 1.5litre engine which runs on petrol although there is talks of BMW changing the latter to gasoline – either way the i8 is certainly a hybrid for the future to look out for. The prices being predicted are around $300,000. The petrol engine features at the back of the car and the car does 0-62 in 4.6 seconds. The top-speed is 155mph  (as this car is restricted to this speed).

The car needs to be charged via a plug in like other electric cars – however unlike other electric vehicles BMW are claiming it takes 1hour and 45minutes – to charge the car to its 100% capability which will see the car drive approximately 20miles. The i8 has a dual clutch system which will see an automatic and manual option.

The car is a four seater and has an all wheel drive – as BMW have said: “All four wheels of the BMW i8 Concept can be driven at the same time, similarly to an all-wheel-drive vehicle. This solution combines the driving dynamics advantages of front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. An optimal drive configuration can therefore be provided to suit all driving situations”

BMW also had to say the following on the design of the BMW i8 – “The design makes the customer a promise of quality that the product experience then keeps. The design of a vehicle shows customers at first glance what they will experience once they get behind the wheel.” (Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design).


The design is aesthetic and it has striking gullwing doors which add to the cars futuristic features – and BMW will be hoping for it to be the essence of the future. The design is being hailed as a first by BMW who have said that this car is far lighter than its electric counterparts due to the majority of the body being built from carbon fibre reinforced plastic – which happens in a green factory which is soon to have windmill turbines as has been proposed by BMW so far – (so green!). The car is certainly aerodynamic as BMW have incorporated this as a key element in their design – making this an electric sports car!

“The LifeDrive architecture of the BMW i8 Concept has been carefully adapted to enhance the vehicle’s sports car character, and therefore to deliver unbeatable performance and excellent driving dynamics. The motor in the front axle module and combustion engine at the rear are connected by an “energy tunnel”, which houses the high-voltage battery. This gives the car a low centre of gravity – and the dynamic benefits that come with it. The positioning of the electric motor and engine over their respective axles and the space-saving and well-balanced packaging of all components result in an optimum 50/50 weight distribution.”

As well as making headlines the BMW i8 will be featuring in the yet to be released Mission Impossible film, called Ghost Protocol. As for the dimensional specifications the i8 Concept measures in at 4.6m long, 1.9m wide and 1.2m tall.

bmwconcept

As for the interior the designers at BMW have looked at minimising the materials within the compartment and maximising space. The steering wheel and its counter-parts look sleek and futuristic – and are mostly made from carbon fibre re-inforced plastic – BMW have included their very own i systems which control and display certain functions of the car such as SatNav and Power.

“The sporting character continues into the interior. Boasting a driver-focused environment unmatched by any BMW Group vehicle before it, the BMW i8 Concept immerses the driver fully in the unique driving experience. The BMW i8 Concept is the sports car for a new generation – pure, emotional and sustainable”.

The following video provides key interviews with BMW’s i8 staff:

For  more information see below:

BMW i8 Concept specifications:
Length/height/width: 4632mm/1280mm/1955mm.
Wheelbase: 2800mm.
Number of seats: 2 + 2.
Kerb weight: 1480kg.
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds.
Electric range: 35km.
Luggage capacity: Approximately 150 litres.
Fuel consumption (combined): 2.7 litres/100km.
Battery charge time: 105 minutes for 100 per cent charge.
Output: 260kW/550Nm overall: 164kW300Nm petrol engine + 96kW/250Nm electric motor.

Video of BMW’s green manufacturing plant in Germany:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=576993

Here’s a video on BMW’s other electric hybrid cars:

Written by Raj

August 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Rolls Royce Ghost

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The ROLLS ROYCE Ghost is an exquisite luxury saloon which has been made into a powerful car through the latest Rolls Royce owners BMW who have now produced their second Ghost model! The price of this dashingly good looking car is £195,840 and the 4 door Ghost was first previewed at the Frankfurt Motorshow 2009!

The Ghost has a 6.6 litre twin turbo BMW V12 engine powering the car to 563bhp! The car as a result of the powerful engine reaches 0-60 in 4.7 seconds! This edition is known as the junior to the Rolls Royce Phantom (the Ghost is 16 inches shorter and lower in price). Rolls Royce also had a car called the Silver Ghost in 1906 and the 2010 Ghost is one of Rolls Royce’s latest models!

The Ghost has a top-speed of 155mph which is electronically limited, the engine has the capacity of eight-speed gears that are operated by an automatic ZF gearbox; The Ghost has a fuel consumption of 20.8 mpg and the Torque is 780NM!

The spirit of ecstasy is the Rolls Royce trademark and is on the bonnet and literally stands out in an extravagant manner and if anyone tries to pull the spirit of ecstasy off, it retracts into the bonnet!

The Ghost has Xenon lights and has curved intakes; it also has a pair of Teflon umbrellas in the side of the doors. The lights at the back of the Ghost are curved and in red with a thin horizontal rectangular shape for the reverse lights. The doors at the front open as standard whereas the doors at the back open backwards! Giving the Ghost an additional touch of luxury and the seats are all heated whereas the front seats are massaging! Making the Ghost an executive and luxurious drive!

Rolls Royce Ghost Interior Free Stock Images

 The steering wheel is classy like the car and has a rollerball control system and attached to it is a neat lever for Drive, Reverse and Neutral. “The light and precise steering makes maneuvering the big car a breeze, once you’ve acclimated to its dimensions.”

The car has neat wood and silver satin bonnet style finishes throughout the car. “Exotic wood veneers and metallic accents are used liberally throughout the cabin, where passengers are cosseted in the finest leathers. Though plush carpeting is of course standard, one may opt for genuine lambswool mats that will have you taking your shoes off”.

There are 14 hides of leather finishes in the Ghost and the use of Walnut wood! There are retro aeroplane styled air vents on the interior centre console with a computer monitor resting above the air-vents, there is also a stylish rectangular clock to the right of the monitor. The Ghost comes standard with a CD/DVD-Player. “The controls are neatly sculpted, with the more important functions emphasised by accents of chrome”.

Rolls Royce says that many of the Ghost buyers are entrepreneurs and for the executive and entrepreneur there are suitable monitors with fold-out worktops (aeroplane style) behind the driver and passenger seats. The Roof incorporates a large glass divided down the middle, providing plenty of opportunity to enjoy the sunlight. The rear is made elegant with two dual exhausts and the boot is shaped on top of the saloon body; the hood is long as is the wheel base, whilst there are short front overhangs and long rear overhangs.

The Ghost has a timeless design making this car a collectors’ edition along with its older brother the Phantom. The wheel centres stay up-right giving the car further uniqueness (not to mention that all Rolls Royce’s are hand-made).

There are three speedometers in white giving the Ghost a classic feel. There is also a start engine stop engine button which gives the driver a quick and effortless start and stop and the Ghost is also quick and effortless in the way it drives. The drive is smooth with a standard anti-roll stabilization system. The Ghost uses an air suspension system “Rolls-Royce Ghost is the most powerful car that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has ever produced”. “At speed on an open highway, the Ghost quietly and rapidly covers ground, with passengers feeling that perhaps they are ensconced in a private jet or luxury railway car. On a curving road, the Ghost will roll a bit at lower speeds, but as the pace gathers, so does the suspension’s alertness, and road feel remains acceptable.” It seems the Ghost is a success for BMW and many have said that the Ghost “more than lives up to the Rolls Royce name!”

Decide for yourself by having a look at the ROLLS ROYCE WEBSITE: http://www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com/

Written by Raj

July 17, 2010 at 7:46 pm

The Magnificent Maserati GranCabrio

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The Magnificent Maserati GranCabrio

The GranCabrio is one of the latest models of Maseratis’, it was presented on display at the Frankfurt Motorshow 2009, and is priced at £95630! The GranCabrio is the first car in Maserati’s history to be a four-seater convertible; it has two doors and has a top speed of 175mph! The car does 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds and is a rear-wheel drive with 440bhp. The GranCabrio would be suited to both male and female drivers. It is upmarket, executive, and luxurious, whilst being sporty!

The GranCabrio was designed in Italy and will be built at the Maserati factory (Viale Ciro Menotti) in Modena, Italy, where Maserati have been based since 1940’s.

There are many features and qualities to the GranCabrio; The Maserati trident sign is on the wheels as well as the front grill which is an inward curving scoop. On either side of the grill are circular Xenon lights and beneath these suave lights are air intakes; the main feature of the front of the car remains the grill with vertical lines which are well spaced and the Maserati trident sign is poised centrally on the grill and beneath the Maserati emblem giving the car a sophisticated look.

The GranCabrio has a horsepower of 405hp. The interior is luxurious and comfortable, with plenty of personalisations available for the seats, dashboard, and even the floors and steering wheel. There are 14 colours available in leather and there are options in wood too, with the option of a BOSE` system. The soft-top canvas roof has three layers and folds up and down; the roof is capable of folding down in 28seconds, with the car travelling up to 30km/h. The fold down roof makes this Maserati exclusive and this GranCabrio is to go on sale next spring!

The interior is handcrafted and is spacious with a sleek look to it, in between the passenger seats and conjoining to the dashboard is a centre piece with features such as air-vents, a clock, and an onboard computer display where you can also put a CD on, beneath the computer are buttons and a display for the music. The gear-stick is below and there is a place to put your drinks for both the passenger and the driver.

There are chrome rings for the dashboard switches and steering wheel with an Alcantra finish on the back of the steering wheel paddles. The display information behind the steering wheel incorporates the use of stylish analogue dial displays for the speed and revs, there is also a computer display in the centre which shows what gear the car is in. There is no handbrake and instead there is an automatic electronic brake which activates when the car engine is switched off.

The exterior of the car is well-built with many attractive features, the bonnet has a V shape to it which makes the car look stylish in design, and there are dual exhausts on either side of the car. The lights at the front of the car are elongated and endearing they are wide yet subtle and smart. The lights at the back of the car are trendy and triangular in shape with a red triangle around a white triangle – these red and white lights incorporate the use of 96 LED’s and add to the appeal of the car. There is also the implementation of a rear diffuser which works in helping with the GranCabrio’s road handling.

The car is designed to be aerodynamic and this helps with the car’s agility, there are tiny gills on either side of the car. The body shape is curved at the front and sculptured smoothly from front to rear with a horizontal incline toward the rear and the wheel archs are elegant as are the design lines of the doors, the bumper is curved and extends further from the rear body to give the car extra finesse.

This Maserati has a six speed ZF automatic transmission and there is a gear stick as well as paddles on either side of the steering wheel both of which can be used in Manual mode. The engine is a 4.7 litre V8 and the alloy wheels are sized at 20” as standard. The GranCabrio sounds sporty and is well-tuned for performance.

The ZF transmission has driving modes of Auto Normal Mode, Auto Sport Mode, Auto ICE Mode, Manual Mode. The Maserati website clarifies the different modes and what they are designed to do:

Auto Normal mode shifts gears automatically at low rpm to achieve the most comfortable ride and at higher rpm when driving style becomes more sporty.

Auto Sport Mode changes gears 40% faster than in Normal Mode, downshifts when lifting off as a corner approaches; then it activates the stability control, stiffening Skyhook suspension, and opening exhaust valves when engine is over 3000 rpm (in GranTurismo S Automatic).

Auto ICE mode reduces maximum torque at the wheel, prevents 1st gear starts, and only allows gear changes below 3000 rpm.

The Maserati has intelligent technology and the GranCabrio ensures stability through electronic monitoring and optimising and the electronic system corrects skid and wheel spin by reducing torque and distributing the braking between the front and rear axles.

The CEO of Maserati, Mr Harald J. Wester, in his speech at the Frankfurt Motorshow said of the Maserati GranCabrio that it presents an enhanced sensation of driving combined with two signature traits of Maserati, craftsmanship and technology. The GranCabrio is described as a car for true connoisseurs and is refined in every aspect, its interior, performance, technology and exterior.

Written by Raj

December 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm

The Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster 2009 – 2010

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The Pagani Zonda Cinque Roadster 2009 – 2010

The word Cinque is Italian for five and only five of these cars have been made and it’s a breathtakingly beautiful sports car that is individual and original in every aspect.

The project to have this car commissioned was not by the government – as the 5 a day ‘fruit and veg’ were; these cars were especially requested by a Pagani dealership in Hong Kong. The Cinque originates from and has been designed in Italy!

This Zonda Cinque is a car to admire and is refined to the point where even the bolts have the Pagani logo on them.

 If you’ve bought one of these cars (5 have been produced and already sold) it would have cost you approximately £1million to £2million and you will be known for having a taste in cars! This car has a beautiful look to it with the body to match and two doors as standard. There is a long spoiler on the front, with extra air-intakes around the body of the car and twin xenon headlights on either side! There are also grills on the face and in-built fog/sports lights adding to the spice factor of the car. The front apron of the car is curvaceous as are the wings of the car.

The arches around the wheels are prominent and the shape of the car is completely aerodynamic. This car is reminiscent of a mix between the bat-mobile and a Formula One car. The Zonda company has a reputation for flare and excellence and the Zonda Cinque keeps appearances up!

zondasides

The Zonda Cinque is explosive on the race track and is responsive in every aspect with built in features to keep the car on the track and sounds far from passive, it has a rear spoiler so that down force is present. The Cinque has racing features of gear paddles along with a gear stick, it also allows for quicker gear shifts without engaging the clutch. The suspension is adjustable and can be customized for the track and is made from titanium.  The seats are made from carbon fibre and have a racing sports style leather cover. The colour scheme and style are already chosen for the Cinque and they have their own combinations to make the car look trendy, sporty and uniquely extravagant.

The Interiors has racing leather seats – safety enhanced seat belts with the additional safety of steel roll-bars, the interior is lovely and has character and is evidently sporty. A unique selling point of this car is that it is made from a special fibre – carbon titanium – especially made for the Zonda Cinque.

The engine in the car is a Mercedes Benz AMG V12 with 678hp the car also has a four circular pipe exhaust as a dizzying trademark feature of the Zonda alongside vertically placed rear lights. The wheels on the Cinque have been made with aluminium and magnesium and have Pirelli Pzero tyres – 19” on the front and 20” on the rear are available.

Horacio Pagani is the name of the founder of the company that begun in 1992 (Pagani worked with the team that designed the Diablo, the Lamborghini P140, the L30 and the Diablo Anniversary.) It has been announced that the Zonda Cinque is a 2009 release and the Cinque Roadster is said to be one of the world’s fastest convertibles- there were 95 Zonda’s produced in 1999 and are known as the original Zonda. The Cinque is an upgrade and does 0-60mph in 3.4seconds – at 9.6second the car reaches 125mph and its top-speed is an impressive 217mph. You could visit the website for more information on the Zonda Cinque : http://www.paganiautomobili.it/default.htm.

cinqueside

Written by Raj

August 1, 2009 at 9:04 pm

The Prancing Horse – The Ferrari Scuderia430

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The Scuderia’s predecessor is the Ferrari F430 and the Scuderia 430 is an Italian speciality and has a rarity factor putting the price at £172,500 – this car will have tears in your eyes as it does 0-60mph in 3.1 – 3.5seconds!

The lights on the front of this prancing horse car gives it personality, they are slim and built into the body to ensure there’s not much drag and the car remains aerodynamic – as the Scuderia is about racing! The name means ‘team’ and this car is inspired from the Formula 1 Scuderia team; it’s available in the standard Ferrari colours.

The Scuderia is made by Ferrari who are known as one of the finest road car makers and with this car they have added to their collection of one of the finest race track cars! You may be interested to know it is partly designed by Michael Schumacher and a computer which helped to enhance speed and performance and it does exactly that!

You’ll be turning heads in this car (obviously it’s a Ferrari!) although the Scuderia is different from other models; it’s more for the racer and the driver looking for an exhilarating racing experience – rather than an executive who wants the fancy computer system – and the Scuderia does not have one of those.

This car has many features there’s the double stripes on the front face with air intakes on the front grills and along the side of the car with a special feature at the back of the car which helps with further aerodynamicity – keeping the car firmly grounded the faster you go and giving you unusually more grip called a rear diffuser or undertray. The Scuderia also has silicon brakes and an electronic differential setting with the option to switch off stability control – and you can choose how you want the suspension – soft or firm – fancy enough!

Ferrari have cut back on style – with tacky welding to add to the speed and lack of weight for the car, yet have tried to make up for it with a fancy dashboard which has a yellow central interior clock for one of the speedometers. This car also lacks carpets, sat-nav, and a stereo – just the basics in this speed-machine which challenges Porsche and the Lamborghini Gallardo.

 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Gauges

The fly-by 430 Scuderia and the F430 its predecessor differ not only in price, the Scuderia also has modified side-skirts, twin exhaust tips, with carbon-fibre wing mirrors, and a carbon-fibre challenge grill, it has also been taken up to 510bhp from the F430 – it weighs in at 2750 pounds which helps it to be a racing car.

It has an astonishing shift rate (60milliseconds)! The Engine is precisely placed where the boot should be and is within a transparent casing so it’s visible to others and good for cooling – the engine is referred to as a Ferrari type 056 which is an engine they use in their race cars and on the race track.

2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Engine

The Scuderia will be able to perform handling on the race track like no other car, it has a special function switch on it’s steering wheel called ‘Manettino’ with 5 functions – which can allow the car to stylishly skid its rear end everywhere whilst still driving in a racing manner – nicely put you can turn off the traction control and stability control for more of a race style drive, there’s also an engine start button. So this car will not only be fast in a straight line but also around corners and will look good whilst lurking in parking spaces!

The gear speeds are 6speed manual and 6speed F1 electrohydraulic shift, the gears are also linked to the racing terms superfast and superfast2 whilst you also have options such as the Sport function to help you reach those superfast speeds. The Formula One style gear paddles are placed on the steering wheel allowing for those millisecond shifts! The car produces good noise and is comfortable to drive and sit in; the brakes on the Scuderia are made from ceramic and stand out as much as the rest of the car, the Scuderia has its own badge adding further to the value of this car which costs more than its predecessor by £43,000.

 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Rear Closeup

The race engine is fine tuned and will ensure that the car reaches a maximum of 200mph. The alloy wheels are rocking, being 19 inches in size and suit the car’s worth. The tyres are thicker, and this car has more power and is lower and lighter than your standard car. Although it’s a Ferrari and you’re not getting a standard car – this car is race-track tested!

2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Front View

You could have a look at the Ferrari website which allows you to race a Ferrari Scuderia in a virtual race.

 2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Wheel Closeup

2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Interior

2008 Ferrari 430 Scuderia Badge

Written by Raj

July 15, 2009 at 5:23 pm

The Crossfire is a misfire within the Sports Coupe` Scene

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Chrysler Crossfire Coupe

This Crossfire costs £27,000+ for a manual (6 speed) version and an automatic (5 speed) costs £28,000, although and straight to the point you would be better off buying a Mercedes SLK which costs between (£29,445.00 – £51,585.00 – varying on the model), as in essence The Crossfire is based on the SLK.

The car is a cross-breed with an American badge, Germans putting it together and an Englishman called Andrew Dyson designing the car.

The car is made up of 39% of Mercedes components and a positive is that it has the SLK’s 3.2 litre V6 (18 valve – 275bhp) which gives the car a racy feel to add to its racy look. The engine (if you put your foot down fully on the pedal) produces 0-60mph in 6.5 seconds with a maximum speed of 150mph and the capacity to produce 4,000 rpm and a Torque of 229 lb-ft.

The car is smoother than the SLK in gear shifts and the quality of the engine provides the car with the pick-up needed for respectful motorway driving. The fuel economy happens to be the same as the SLK and similar to the SLK this is a car for both sexes as it is fun and entertaining in its looks and style, whilst being well built. Everyone looks good in one!

The car is not built for the cross-country scene, you’ll feel every bump and hole with this car, as its low-seated, yet the road handling is good, with the difference in the alloyed tyres 18” on the front and 19” on the rear giving excellent grip to the road. The chassis is known to be solid, it seems more work needs to be done on improving the suspension. The Crossfire is beautiful at cornering with the help of the automatic spoiler, and the noise produced by the sound system, the exhaust and the engine are unique!

2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT6 Full Rear View This is the lates Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 – without an Automatic Spoiler – yet has the same Dual exhausts!

My favourite is that it looks good from the front and rear and has stylised lines in the form of ridges/rippled lines starting from the front wheel arches to the rear; the car also has a wonderful grill that takes in a lot of air to keep the car cool. The Bonnet has a bunch of lines which give the car an overall vintage look – due to its extended boldly shaped rear – and the front is modern like the SLK.

The interior has a space-taking spinal theme incorporating the climate control and radio with an aluminium look for the knobs and buttons yet the car still seems spacious! There is a danger of easy scratching on the shiny touches that make up the centre console. The visibility is poor due to low seating and lack of window from the rear, making parking difficult; this is the beginning of the faults and there are many others. Problems have been reported with the headlights and heated seats, and that the steering wheel has a tendency to wonder off centre.

The crossfire costs more than its competition the Mazda RX8 and the Nissan 305Z and is valued at less. It has to be said that the SLK and the Audi TT (£25,420) look better. The Crossfire has a limited appeal with a niche` audience for people who primarily love the way it looks.

A plus is that the safety features are good, it has a 4 wheel anti-lock braking system, anti-lock brake discs with brake assist, traction and stability control, side airbags, and an alarm system, with a reputation for being built solidly.

The car should hold on to its value as it has limited appeal; there is plenty of room in the boot, and for passengers. It also has automatic windows and locks. If you wanted to spend more on your car you could opt for the DVD-Sat-Nav system, and automatic adjustable seats.

Overall the car has its Positives and Negatives, you are advised to do your research on experiences’ owners have had with this car, as you may find complications down the road. Mentioning the green factor this car’s CO2 outputs is 256g/km – compared and contrasted with the SLK models’ (190g/km 225g/km and 288g/km) – take into consideration it’s a Sports car!

Written by Raj

June 9, 2009 at 12:45 am

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