マイブログ リスト


Wishing you all a Happy New Year 2011!!!

2011 is at the door… Remember life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.

I would like to wish all my blog readers a Happy New Year 2011 - enjoy the festivities!!!

Info on upcoming Honda NSX and S2000 successors!!!

A TOV member came back from Japan and managed to get hold of a BC magazine copy, which had the rendering posted (earlier post) a couple of weeks ago. So, it seems that perhaps neither the term NSX successor, nor S2000 successor are correct. A new sports car is under development, but don't expect something like the old S2000 or NSX. Times have changed and thus it makes sense to follow a different approach this time.

It is mentioned that the new sports car (replacing the S2000) will get a 4WD system, similarly to the Audi TT, and it could be based on the Accord, which is being sold in the States as a coupe as well, but it will differentiate itself from it. The new car could be sold in the States as an Acura, which makes sense.

In terms of the NSX replacement, Best Car claims that if there is a successor indeed, power could come from a 3.5 L V6 engine plus the under-development hybrid system designed for mid-large size vehicles.

[Source: TOV - AznSupastar (translation by chuchurocket)]


LFA's V10 engine wins "Best Engine of the Year" award by Evo UK!

Evo UK's January 2011 issue features the magazine's selections for 2010, including the "Best Engine of the Year". The winner? Lexus LFA's 4.8 L V10 engine!!!  Lexus managed to win over SLS AMG's V8, 458 Italia's V8, GT-R's V6, LP570-4 and R8's V10, Porsche GT2 RS and GT3 RS H6, Evora's V6 and Focus RS500's I5 engines.

Some of the comments regarding the LFA's V10 were "A mix of road and racing engines: Lexus LFA's utterly intoxicating 4.8 Liter V10.", "There is the noise it makes, for a start, a dense shriek like a V10 F1 car's", "Then there's the wall of torque from 5000 rpm to 9000 rpm and a strong thrust even before that", "Lighter than an average V6 and it even meets the Euro 5 emission standards", "It is hard to imagine that such an engine's career will be over when all the LFAs are built, given the love that has gone into it. We certainly hope not".

[Sources: Twitter, Toyota Nation - silver04rolla]

First details about new Suzuki Swift Sport emerge

Almost one month ago, it was reported (earlier post) that the launch of the new Suzuki Swift Sport has been postponed until next autumn. Now, an article published by a Japanese magazine claims that the engine is going to based on the one fitted in the previous generation, M16A with dual VVT, and power will go up to 135 hp. Still no info regarding the available gearboxes, if there is a choice.

The price is expected to be around 1,700,000 ¥.

[Source: IMP-X's blog]

Honda CR-Z JCOTY special edition

Honda CR-Z has won the 2010-2011 Japan Car of the Year (JCOTY) award (earlier post) and in order to celebrate this award, Honda has launched a special edition called "Memorial Award Edition". It comes in conduction with both available transmissions (6MT and CVT) and in terms of special features, it includes the following: Special Pearl Deep Sapphire Blue body colour, dark grey 16" aluminium wheels, metal pedals, JCOTY stickers, Honda's HDD and ETC.

In total, 1000 "Memorial Award Edition" CR-Zs will be made costing 2,794,000 ¥.


Become a champion in your region by driving a LEAF...

Hmm, I am really wondering where we are heading to next... Nissan has created a system, called CARWINGS (カーウイングス), which connects all LEAFs to a network, wirelessly feeding their economy statistics. The point of all that? Well, there is a regional ranking system comparing the driver's energy economy to other LEAF drivers, and the winner gets... a gold medal on the navi screen.

At the moment, CARWINGS is only available in Japan and it includes also other services, such as 24-hour driver support.

[Source: Mashable]

New Nissan Patrol exceeds sales expectations in UAE

The fourth-gen Nissan Patrol (aka Safari サファリ), codenamed Y62, is not available in Japan, but it has proved to be a big success in the UAE. Ten months after its launch, sales have exceeded the company's original expectations according to Arabian Automobiles, Nissan dealer for Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.

Local sales of the Nissan Patrol started in April 2010, and in the first eight months, more than 2,000 units have been sold in the UAE (not counting Abu Dhabi, which has a different dealer). However, I don't reckon that this number is higher than the number of Toyota Land Cruiser sold, but it's a good start.

[Source: Drive Arabia]

Toyota FT-86 / Subaru 216A: They come at the end of 2011 indeed!!!

In an interview with the President of Fuji Heavy Industries Mori Ikuo, it was revealed that the Subaru version will be presented at the end of 2011, and from what I could understand from the Japanese text, it will be revealed in December. Toyota is expected to launch it also at the same time.

The article also reveals that testing, as well as the body of the car have been almost completed, and tests are been carried out at the moment in order to fine tune the car for foreign markets. Mori revealed that the car is very comfortable and fuel efficient. The low seating position, in conjunction with the low centre of gravity, result in feeling very confident in driving it.

The price will be around 2,500,000 ¥.

I am glad that my detailed post has proved to be right, as the facts above confirm what I have written about the FT-86! If you want to read all the posts regarding the FT-86, you can use the "FT-86 variants FT-86のバリエーション" tag which is used for all upcoming versions of the model (Toyota FT-86, Subaru 216A, Scion FR-S etc).

[Source: 東京新聞; Source of photo: Subaring Days]

Rendering of next-gen Subaru Impreza WRX STi

This is the second rendering of the next-gen Subaru Impreza WRX STi (earlier post) I have came across so far, and as you can see, it is based on the concept presented at the LA Auto Show. As I have written before, Subaru... just don't cock it up....

A rather unsusual Infiniti G25 from Taiwan

OK, back to cars... although this time I am not so sure if that's a good thing or not... 

According to Infiniti, inspired performance is about seeing power, beauty and style both on and off the road. That's why they invited artist Heidi Taillefer to turn one of a new Infiniti G25 into a... moving piece of art in celebration of the Cirque du Soleil "Varekai" show in Taiwan.

iPhone cookies made in Japan!!!

Green Gables bakery in Tokushima has been selling life-size iPhone cookies (iPhoneクッキー) for two years. But recently, photos have appeared on Twitter and elsewhere, boosting huge demand!

Originally, the small, local bakery made the cookie as a special birthday present for a customer’s husband. But thanks to social media, the $33 cookie is being ordered by hundreds of people around Japan. You see, it's not only Nissan struggling to fill orders... as the the current waiting time for an iPhone cookie is... two months!!!

[Source: 今日もおいしいものを求めて via Cult of Mac]

Zeitgeist 2010: Year in review

Just as 2010 ends... I think it's a nice recap.

Nissan to fill LEAF orders by summer 2011

As it is already known, Nissan struggles to fill LEAF orders and therefore, even dealers are getting less demo cars. But things may not be so bad (relatively speaking...) since, in an article published by Mercury News, Nissan's spokesman Tim Gallagher indicated that Nissan tries to fill all the order by the end of summer.

Hm, imagine when you will get yours if you place in order now...


Stop/Start system's battery life is...

The adoption of a Stop/Start system is a good way in reducing the fuel consumption of a car, especially when spending a lot of time in traffic, and although it's not something new as a concept, there are a lot of design challenges. Apart from reducing the number of parts and thus the cost, as Daihatsu has done (earlier post), the durability of the system is another important factor. For example, a system like that requires a battery capable of a high number of charge/discharge cycles. So, as I was reading an article about Vitz' system (earlier post) on Response's website, I came across with an interesting fact. Toyota claims that the life of the battery used in the new Vitz is 15 years / 200,000 km.

Production of GT-R Spec V to end in summer 2011

According to reports coming from Japan, the GT-R Spec V production will end in summer 2011. The successor is rumored to be lighter and with a lower price tag of around 12,000,000 ¥.

Lexus' L-Select customisation program

I have spent a couple of hours by now trying to find a photo showing the Lexus LX's “glass fake” photo luminescent material (earlier post), but with no luck. I have tried Taiwanese, Chinese and Japanese websites… but nothing.

However, on Lexus' Japanese website, I came across with the L-Select customisation program for LS, available in Japan, and I have posted some photos. I have to admit that I really do like such stuff! Similar programs are available by other premium manufacturers, such as Audi (exclusive), BMW (Individual) and MB (designo).

More photos after the jump!


Lexus LX 570 to feature “glass fake” photo luminescent material

I just came across with an article on CAR ME's website about the upgrades for the Lexus LX 570 in UAE, and what really caught my attention was the “glass fake” photo luminescent material available in conjunction with a new exterior colour called ‘Starlight Black’! The article refers to this material as ‘the sparkles of  sparkles of a star filled night sky through a new “glass fake” photo luminescent material'.

I did a quick search on the net, but no photos at all. I visited also the Lexus US website, where the LX is also available, but again nothing... I won't give up though. It sounds like a bargain version of RR's "Starlight Headlining”... available as an option on the Phantom Coupé, which is basically over 1,600 fibre-optic lights being hand-set into the headlining! Cost? $12,100... Ouch!

Other changes for 2011 include a new new soft semi aniline leather dyed in saddle tan tone and matched with a black tonality. The two-tone effect is continued on the dash and door panels.

[Sources: CAR Middle East, Drive Arabia]

Honda RA273... pure simple beauty!!!

Honda's F1 car over the period 1966-7, the RA273, didn't prove to be a very successful one - 9 races, 0 wins, 0 poles, 1 fastest lap - but it definitely looks the part!!!

The engine was re-designed from the RA272's 1,500cc V12 to a brand new 3,000cc V12 due to the change of regulations before the 1966 season. The new engine was designed by Shoichiro Irimajiri.

This story brings to my mind the famous quote: Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure. 'Soichiro Honda'

[Sources: Wikipedia, Flickr]

MODELLISTA body kits for new Toyota Vitz

Following the previous post showing some MODELLISTA options for the new Vitz (aka Yaris), here are some more images showing the body kits. In total, there are three different packages, MODELLISTA for RS (モデリスタバージョン for RS); MODELLISTA I (モデリスタバージョンI) and MODELLISTA II (モデリスタバージョンII). You can visit the official webpage by clicking here.