Nissan Nuvu Concept – 5 years later you possibly buy 10 model of vehicles

nissan nuvu concept parisWatching futuristic movies such as the Demolition Man and Minority Report has given us an insight into what the future holds in the automotive industry. The concepts which employ a soothing high-tech styling theme could one day be seen in full production form rather than the heavily toned down models we are limited to at the moment. The new Nissan Nuvu Concept is one such model that would nicely fit into the future, the curvaceous body profile, smooth design lines and futuristic interior back up this theory. But back in reality, we are actually looking at a preview of the next generation Nissan Micra.
The mini car is just 3 meters long but the interior has been designed to provide occupants the kind of space usually accustomed to models in the C segment with its 2+1 layout.
Power for the concept comes courtesy of a zero emissions Electric drivetrain, it previews a system set to be employed in the electric vehicle Nissan plans to launch in Japan and the United States in 2010. This electric motor is mounted on the rear of the vehicle with all of it power output directed to the back wheels. Power and torque figures are being withheld at this time, but Nissan are kind enough to announce it has a driving range of 125km and a top speed of 120km/h.

Nissan Launches ‘LEAF’ Electric Car

Nissan LEAF
Nissan has just unveiled a new zero emissions vehicle that is slated to go on sale in Japan, Europe and the United States next year. Called the LEAF, this C-segment (sub-compact) car is powered by an electric motor and lithium-ion battery packs. Nissan says it will be able to drive 100 miles on a single charge. The batteries will be able to be charged up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes with a special quick charger, or in roughly eight hours through a standard 200V outlet. Nissan says that through extensive research the 100 mile range will be suitable for 70 percent of car buyers.
Output from the lithium-ion battery packs is rated at 80kW/280Nm, (107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque), which should make this sub-compact a sporty little car.
Pricing has yet to be released but Nissan aims to give the LEAF an MSRP competitive with well-equipped C-segment cars. That should put it near the $20,000 mark. The car will also qualify for government rebates and tax incentives desigend to help promote the sale of fuel-efficient cars.
“Our car had to be the world’s first, medium-sized, practical EV that motorists could afford and would want to use every day. And that’s what we’ve created. The styling will identify not only Nissan LEAF but also the owner as a participant in the new era of zero-emission mobility,” said the LEAF product boss Masato Inoue.
The first LEAFs will be built at Nissan’s plant in Oppama, Japan with plans to also start production soon at the company’s Smyrna, Tennessee plant. The LEAF is the first of three electric vehicles that Nissan plans to launch in the next few years.
 ”The Nissan LEAF is a tremendous accomplishment – one in with all Nissan employees can take great pride,” said Nissan President Carlos Ghosn. “We have been working tirelessly to make this day a reality – the unveiling of a real-world car that has zero – not simply reduced – emissions. It’s the first step in what is sure to be an exciting journey – for people all over the world, for Nissan and for the industry.”

BMW’s Green Four-Door Coupe

BMW’s plans for the Frankfurt Auto Show are coming into clearer focus this week as prior reports of a green-themed Coupe have been shucked aside by the company’s PR folks.
While BMW plans a 50th-anniversary celebration for the MINI brand, a worldwide reveal of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost, and a new generation of the venerable BMW 5-Series sedan, it’s also planning a stunning four-door coupe concept that could go green–in the form of a small three-cylinder turbocharged engine, according to a speculative piece today in AutoExpress.
The angular coupe, they report, is dubbed the EfficientDynamics Vision. A sleek drawing predicts what could show up on the BMW stand in Frankfurt, but there’s nothing to prepare showgoers for the unexpected drivetrain underneath the hood.
The new concept will sport a three-cylinder turbocharged engine, as the story goes. It’ll also have hybrid power to propel it.
If it pans out, the new concept and its drivetrain would likely share its lithium-ion battery pack with the new BMW 7-Series Hybrid also due at the Frankfurt show. It would also provide the German automaker with a cohesive green theme–particularly if those other reports about an “i-Setta” electric city car prove true.
TheCarConnection and Motor Authority will be in Frankfurt to show you more from the show floor; you can bookmark our Frankfurt Auto Show tag and come back here often for previews and updates prior to show week.

Mazda MX-5 Superlight concept car

Mazda MX-5 Superlight concept car
Mazda added lightness to this speedster-style Miata that will appear at Frankfurt.
To celebrate 20 years of selling the world’s most popular roadster, Mazda has built a special version of the Miata to display at this year’s Frankfurt auto show.
Mazda MX-5 Superlight concept car 2
The idea is to emphasize the lightweight nature of the MX-5, and to that end the Superlight wears neither roof nor windshield. Instead it’s a sexy speedster-style iteration of the iconic roadster with smooth body lines and roll bars integrated behind the headrests. The bare interior is home to racing bucket seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel . . . and not much else.

New Morgan concept coming to Pebble Beach Concours in August

Morgan LifeCar
We here at egmCarTech have a huge spot in our hearts for Morgans. Speaking to AutoCar at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Charles Morgan said that his company will launch a new 2+2 concept at the Pebble Beach Concours show in the United States in August.
Morgan said that the concept will preview an all-new Morgan model that is scheduled to go into production in 2012-2013.
The 2+2 model will be positioned halfway between Morgan’s traditional models and will be priced from £40,000 ($60,078 USD).

Halo Intersceptor

The Halo Intersceptor is a multi functional vehicle, based around one car that can couple with several vehicle attachments to form the basis of private air, sea and land travel.
Halo Intersceptor Design Sheet Rendered
This is the next generation of super sports, leisure and business travel. Its not a flying Car but more a road-going plane, helicopter and boat designed by the Aerospace Industry.Halo Intersceptor Design Sheet Rendered
A unique and cutting edge opportunity to experience the ultimate in multi-faceted transportation developed for the most discerning independent traveler. Watch this space…
Halo Intersceptor Design Sheet Rendered
Halo Intersceptor Design Sheet Rendered

For further information please visit or

Volt pricing, a little more defined

Chevy Volt wind tunnel
Here on Ridestory I've written both about Volt price speculation and its cost of innovation.
This week, General Motors Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner was interviewed by talk-show host Charlie Rose, saying that the Volt will sell for around $35,000 to $39,000.
"We initially hoped we could get it for a very, very good price, let's say below $30,000. It's going to be more expensive than that for the first couple of years. Haven't finalized it...but it'll be in the mid- to high-thirties is my best guess."
Wagoner also reiterated GM's desire for "a significant subsidy" from the government. GM has been lobbying Congress for a $7,000 tax credit for Volt buyers. Theoretically, with the subsidy, buyers could get the car for less that $30,000.
Of course, it's still all speculation. The 2010 model year could prove interesting for General Motors.

Is $40,000 too much?

Chevy Volt Concept

flickr photo credit: Larry Boswell, Chevy Volt Concept
I wrote not long ago about the Volt and the costs of innovation that General Motors decided to accept for its development.
In an article in the Seattle Times, GM's Bob Lutz revealed that the first generation Volt will sell for $40,000, about $10,000 more than originally projected. Lutz went on to say the auto maker will not profit from sales of the car.
Lutz has made it clear that cars like the Volt are the wave of the future. He expects a quarter of all cars sold between 2020 and 2025 to be either electric or hydrogen powered.
Like I explained in my previous post, I'm unsure about the government subsidizing the cost of the vehicle. The United States Congress is looking into tax breaks for those who purchase vehicles like the Volt. I would rather the government take the money and invest it in expanding an alternative fuel infrastructure, such as hydrogen fueling stations. Stations such as these will need to be available once those alternatives become more viable.
I was reading comments from readers over at the Autoblog and one stuck in my mind from Keat. He made the point that as production ramps up, like any new product, the price comes down. Basic economics. Plus, as GM switches gears and produces more fuel efficient vehicles, the Volt will be the auto makers "halo car". It will be the car that set's the stage for GM as the innovator they need to be as we head into a future of sparse yet expensive fuel supplies.

homage to BMW's M1

BMW M1 Homage
Created specifically for the Villa D'Este classic car concours event in Italy, the BMW M1 Homage concept pulls design cues from the original M1, softening the original car's sharp lines but not to the extent that the exotic car look is compromised.
We especially like the louvered rear window and the BMW badges on the sweeping rear pillars. The original M1 had pop-up headlights, which seem a little old school today. Fortunately, the Homage's nose reflects today's styling with exposed headlights, albeit barely visible within the car's bull shark-like snout. BMW's kidney shaped grill has, of course, been maintained. In addition, the wheels say only one thing...unmistakably BMW M1.
Does this car look a little over the top? Maybe. Details such as interior layout and performance were not talked about, not that we expected BMW to expand on such niceties. But it is a concept. A design experiment paying homage to a classic exotic. And it may be a bit of a stretch to see future BMW's taking on any of the Homage's design details.
But how great would it be to see BMW introduce a car similar to the Homage, taking on the likes of Audi's R8 and Lamborghini's Gallardo?
A little history
The BMW M1 began its life in the mid 1970s as BMW's Motorsport Division began development of a GT race car for Group 4 and Group 5 racing. For manufacturers wanting to qualify, 400 cars had to be built, with some being made available to the public and the rest set aside for competition. For BMW, their foray into GT racing became known as the Mid-Engined BMW M1 Project, or simply the E26. Development kicked off in 1976, with completion in 1981.
The M1 was designed by Giugiaro, with inspiration from the 1972 BMW Turbo. The original plan was to have Lamborghini develop the car's chassis, assemble prototypes and manufacture the car. But financial problems with the Italian car maker and delays brought development back to BMW. They contracted with Baur, a German convertible builder, for assembly but by the time production resumed, the rules for Group 5 racing had changed. In addition, BMW had not met the required sales goals so they moved the M1 to the Procar series.
There were only 456 M1's built, with production discontinued in 1981.
BMW M1 history
• The first M1 was completed on July 10th, 1978.
• The last car was completed on February 13th, 1981.
• All VINs have the same 14-digit prefix (WBS59910004301XXX) with individual 3-digit suffices.
The entire production range used numbers 001 to 460, with seven numbers never used (045 to 049, 428, 431) and two Group 5 race cars built without VINs.
Manufacturing breakdown...
In 1979, 79 cars were built (41 road, 38 race).
In 1980, 188 cars were built (178 road, 10 race).
And in 1981, 188 cars were built (180 road, 8 race).
A total of 455 cars were built, with 399 sold to the public and 56 for competition.
Hat tip to the Unofficial BMW M1 web site.
Follow this link to check out our photo gallery of the M1 Homage.
BMW M1 Homage headlight BMW M1
 Homage wheel BMW M1 
Homage nose

Are you looking to Rent Green?

Toyota Camry Hybrid
Is your car rental company environmentally conscience?
More and more travelers are asking this question, driving an increase in demand for cars with a smaller impact on our environment. And that impact can be directly attributed to two things. Prices at the pump and how the burning of fossil fuels affects our world.
The environment is front and center in many people's minds, with poor air quality directly attributed to the cars and trucks on our roads. And gasoline prices will continue to creep up as world-wide demand outstrips available supplies. The economies of countries such as China and India continue to grow, taxing the demand for oil with their increasing number of vehicles and expanding cities. Consequently, globetrotters are asking their car rental companies for hybrid vehicles or cars that deliver higher gas mileage.
Rental companies are at a bit of a disadvantage to meet the demand for hybrids and fuel efficient cars. They have been stocking their lots with large sedans and SUVs. Vehicles that don't exactly say "efficiency" and "economy".
Unfortunately, auto makers such as Toyota, one of the world-wide leaders in hybird technology, can't keep up with the rising demand. Consumer's are looking more and more to Toyota's Prius and Highlander, hybrids that have become the recognized staple among "green" buyers. Toyota said hybrids comprised 4.7 percent of its 2007 fleet sales, with buyers including rental car companies, businesses, and the government. Next year, hybrid sales are projected to climb to 7 percent of Toyota's fleet sales. But Toyota may not be able to meet the demand until sometime in 2008.
Companies that think green
Here is a list of car rental companies that, at the very least, are providing more fuel efficient cars. As time goes on, more will provide better access to hybrids as well. One company, EV Rental Cars, goes as far as to call itself "The Nation's Only Environmental Rental Car Company".
Hertz Green Collection
The name might be a little confusing. Hertz's Green Collection, at least for now, does not include any hybrids. They are touting fuel efficiency, with the four models they offer in the collection achieving 28 miles or more per gallon. Three of their cars, the Camry, Fusion and LaCrosse, also carry the EPA's SmartWay certification which indicates a vehicle emitting lower levels of air pollutants.
Here's a list of the cars they offer:
Avis Rent A Car
After doing some looking around, we discovered within Avis' Renter's Guide is their Fleet Display, showing a large selection of vehicles. You'll be interested in their Car Group XG where they display the Toyota Prius Hybrid.
National Car Rental National also features the Toyota Prius Hybrid but they also have the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The Camry has a little more room than the Prius for passengers and luggage.
Alamo Rent A Car
Alamo is similar to National by offering the Prius and Camry hybrids as well. One thing to keep in mind with companies that offer both the Prius and Camry hybrids. The Camry will cost you more to rent. In Alamo's car-rental terminology, the Prius is considered a midsize car whereas the Camry is fullsize. But it may be worth getting the Camry for the added room and safety.
EV Rental Cars
EV Rental Cars has hybrids available at EV Rental airport sites in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Phoenix. And as their hybrid cars are rotated out of service, the vehicles are offered for sale to the public. Additionally, if you are interested in purchasing a hybrid, check out car buying services such as Carseek. Even though the demand for hybrids is quite high, it's worth checking all of your car buying options for the best deal.
Here's a list of the cars EV Rental offers:
  • Toyota Prius Hybrid
  • Honda Civic Hybrid
  • Toyota Highlander Hybrid
Unfortunately, Enterprise proved to be the odd one in the bunch. After looking their site over, we couldn't find any hybrids. Yes, they have economy models but if you are conscience of your carbon footprint, even when traveling, Enterprise won't be able to help much.
One thing to keep in mind when you are planning a trip is to contact car rental companies as soon as possible. Let them know that you would like, at the very least, a fuel efficient car. Ideally, ask for a hybrid. With so few available, reserving one early will help you get the car you want.
And as I mentioned above, use these car rental companies and other sources like Carseek to purchase hybrid vehicles. All rental companies rotate cars out of their stock as the miles on the cars increase and new cars come in. With supplies short, a used hybrid with a few miles is a viable option. If you prefer to purchase new, car buying services are worth a try to help you get the best deal.

Audi Q5

Audi Q5
If you're in need of a more family-friendly ride, there's a new contender to consider. Sportier and smaller than its big brother, the Audi Q7, the 2009 Audi Q5 ($TBA) features a fuel efficient 3.2 V6 FSI engine with 6-speed Tiptronic shifting and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The compact crossover SUV also offers side assist passing technology, 3-zone climate control system, and Generation 3 MMI, and navigation with real-time traffic information. [More Photos]

Alfa Romeo GT

The Alfa Romeo GT is a coupe produced by Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo since 2004. The GT is based on the larger 156 sedan, with the coup? body styled by Bertone. Most mechanicals are taken directly from the 156, with some influence from the slightly more modern 147. The 240bhp 3.2-litre V6 offers good all-round performance but is prone to torque steer.

Formula 1 China Grand Prix

Scroll down for the latest on the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix

Here is everything from the location of the circuit, the length of circuit and race, records, past history, access to the official website, a Google map and more! China Race Track

Chinese GP - April 19th, 2009 - Google Map

Live Chinese Grand Prix 2009 56Laps | Formula One Update

Live Chinese Grand Prix 2009 56Laps | Formula One Update

Chinese Grand Prix 2009 56Laps

Jenson Button at present leading the Formula one with winning the Australian GP and Malaysian GP.

Due to heavy Rain only 32laps were completed instead of 56laps.

Defending champion Lewis Hamilton will go with positive frame of mind in Chinese Grand Prix as Jenson Button is at its BEST.

Chinese Grand Prix Details
Length 5.451 km
Laps 56 (305.066 Km)

Last Year Winner
L. Hamilton
F. Massa
K. Raikkonen

Record Lap
M. Schumacher - 1'32''238 (2004, Ferrari)

Record Pole
R. Barrichello - 1'34''012 (2004, Ferrari)

Last Year Pole
L. Hamilton - 1'36''303 (McLaren)

Previous Winner
2008 L. Hamilton (McLaren)
2007 K. Raikkonen (Ferrari)
2006 M. Schumacher (Ferrari)
2005 F. Alonso (Renault)
2004 R. Barrichello (Ferrari)

Se trata de la última entrega de la famosa saga de carreras arcade Trackmania, que en esta última entrega hace gala de unos espectaculares gráficos con unos requerimientos muy bien ajustados. Entre otras muchas utilidades, se dispone de un creador de circuitos muy completo, con más de 50 bloques distintos para hacer nuestras pistas de ensueño, además de un utilísimo y completísimo editor de "skins" para nuestro coche, además de los más de 60 skins prediseñados con el logo de cada país.

Requisitos de sistema:

Requisitos mínimos:

* Procesador: 500 MHz
* Memoria: 256 MB
* Vídeo: 64 MB
* Espacio libre en disco: 750 MB
* DirectX 9.0c

Requisitos recomendados:

* Procesador: 1,8 MHz
* Memoria: 512 MB
* Vídeo: 128 MB
* Espacio libre en disco: 750 MB

Link de descarga:

Rising Eagle: Futuristic Infantry Warfare

Rising Eagle Game Client


CPU Intel Pentium® 4 2.4GHz,Intel Pentium® 4 3.0GHz or better

RAM 1GB DDR,1GB DDR or more

HD Space 3GB

Video Card 128MB,DX9.0c support;256MB,DX9.0c support.

Resolution 800x600,1024x768

Sound DX9.0c compliant

OS Windows XP & Vista 32bit

LAN Game Ethernet 100mbps

Online Broad band connection:128kbps upload, 1.5Mbps download.

Note: Rising Eagle was not officially tested for Windows Vista® 64 bit.

Rising Eagle Dedicated Server

CPU Intel Pentium® 4 3.4GHz or better


HD Space 3GB

Video Card No special card required

Display Resolution 800x600

Sound No special card required

OS Windows 2003 Server®, Windows XP® 32bit, Windows Vista® 32bit

LAN Game Ethernet 100mbps

Internet Game 5 Megabits upload/download for 32 players

SingTel Race 2008

The SingTel Simulator is a sight, sound and motion simulator that gives you the experience of driving a real Formula One™ race car. Physically, the SingTel Simulator looks just like a Formula One™ car. It has the Singapore Grand Prix circuit loaded in a virtual software that is displayed on 3 LCD screens. Mounted on a motion-enabled platform, it allows the user to experience every thrilling hairpin turn, every heart-pounding skid, brake and crash while zooming down the actual Singapore Grand Prix circuit at breakneck speeds.

Alien Arena 2008 v7.0 (for Linux)

This game is the followup to the critically acclaimed( ) Alien Arena 2007, and features nearly all new game media, gameplay improvements, and a client that has been signifigantly upgraded for improved visual effects as well as major optimizations that greatly improve the fluidity and performance.

Alien Arena 2008 also offers a change to it's overall theme, moving towards a slightler darker, more serious tone, while still retaining a good bit of it's retro style, creating an interesting marriage between classic and modern sci-fi. This resulted in completely new player models, many new weapon models and textures, and seventeen, yes, seventeen new levels! The transformation is nothing short of remarkable.

There are major improvements in weapon effects, per-pixel lighting, texture resolution, and resource usage, as well as the addition of a cross platform server browser, FUSE. Weapons have been tweaked for better balance, and movement has been enhanced with the addition of dodging abilities. Alien Arena 2008 will run on Windows and Linux, and the OSX/Mac port will be released in one week.

Green Dragon hits snag at start of gruelling transatlantic voyage

THE Volvo Ocean Race fleet is winging its way towards Ireland in a gruelling transatlantic leg of the voyage.
But dense fog and light winds created a difficult start for the seven boats as they began their long journey to Galway after leaving Boston at the weekend.
And Ireland's Green Dragon is trailing in last place after becoming entangled in three lobster pots while trying to navigate around Nova Scotia. Last night saw three members of the crew battling to repair damage to the retractable keel, known as the daggerboard.
But skipper Ian Walker remained confident about keeping up with the competition.
"This is a big disappointment as we were in sight of five boats and sailing well. We can only hope we don't lose touch with the fleet and live to fight another day," he said.
Now in the open ocean, the seven boats face a mammoth 2,550-mile Leg 7 before they are expected to reach Galway this Saturday or Sunday.
They will know they are close when they first see the hundreds of bonfires which will be lit along the west coast. But that exact point largely depends on the weather conditions in the mid-Atlantic.
Out there the teams can expect gale-force conditions that could deliver a new 24-hour speed sailing record. However, such conditions carry potential penalties of the worst kind.
Nobody in the sailing community will forget the tragic loss of Hans Horrevoets, the father of two who was swept overboard just 300 miles from land in the last race three years ago.
Last night, Ericsson 3, PUMA and Telefonica Blue were leading the way as the fleet faced into icy territory off Newfoundland.
While trailing yesterday, Green Dragon put on a good show before the thousands of spectators in Boston for Saturday's start off Fan Pier, holding third place on the short demonstration course.
Galway is set to receive a €60m economic boost from the Volvo Ocean Race, as one of only 12 host ports for the competition.
The race started in October 2008 from the Spanish port of Alicante.
By the time it gets to Galway, it will be on the home stretch, before heading for the finishing line in St Petersburg via Sweden.
Just three legs of the 39,000-mile race remain after the Galway stopover.
Meanwhile, photography enthusiasts are being urged to take part in a competition to highlight the West as a hub for creative industry. The Western Development Commission is running the contest in association with
To take part, people have to upload a photo taken during the Galway Volvo Ocean Race Festival, which runs from May 23 to June 6.
Competitors (left to right) Telefonica Blue, Green Dragon, Ericsson 4, Delta Lloyd and PUMA, position themselves at the start of Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Boston
Prizes include top-of-the-range digital cameras to a total value of €1,500.

F1 2009 Test Barcelona - Force India, Pedro M. de la Rosa

F1 2009 Test Barcelona - Force India, Pedro M. de la Rosa by Jaime_bcn.

The German Grand Prix Preview - Advantage Vettel and Red Bull?

The German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring should provide a true indication of the state of play as the Formula One season reaches its exact midpoint, provided that the weather does not intervene in the form of lower than normal temperatures or rain.

The signs are that it will be cool, with the ambient temperature failing to exceed 18 degrees Celsius (making it very similar to Silverstone’s), and showers likely at some time each day. In other words, conditions likely to favour the Red Bulls on Sebastian Vettel’s home ground.

The German is in ebullient form after his second victory of the season in Britain, and has more new parts on his Red Bull RB5 to exploit as he goes for triumph in front of countrymen who already see him as the heir apparent to Michael Schumacher.

“I'd say it's like a soccer match when you play on your home ground,” Vettel says. “You always give 100 percent, but in a home race you're even more motivated, because at home you feel comfortable.

"Not far from the Nurburgring, in Kerpen, I got a lot of kart experience which is why I have many friends in this region. During the 90 minutes of the race I do not think about which country I'm in, because I am concentrated on racing. But before and after, this is special because being at home is the best place to stay."
Jenson Button (GBR) Brawn Grand Prix BGP 001. Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, British Grand Prix, Race, Silverstone, England, Sunday, 21 June 2009

Brawn, however, have not been idle since their home turf defeat.

"We’re looking forward to returning to the race track and the Nurburgring should be a good circuit for our car and play to its strengths,” team principal Ross Brawn says. “We have several new aerodynamic parts from Silverstone which were not used in qualifying and the race due to the issues that we faced there, along with additional improvements scheduled for this race, which should position us well going into the weekend.

“Whilst coming away with third and sixth placed finishes from Silverstone was still a good outcome from our home Grand Prix, we would be the first to admit that the result did not meet our expectations. However, we have always said that we would have a fight on our hands to maintain our excellent run of results at the start of the season and everyone at the factory and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brixworth is looking forward to that challenge.

“As a team, we have a good history of going away from a race, thinking about the outcome, identifying where we need to make improvements and then coming back stronger. As the home Grand Prix for Mercedes-Benz, we will be hoping to come away from the weekend with a successful result."

Jenson Button would like nothing more than to resume his championship challenge by returning the favour and denying Vettel the chance of winning at home.

"The Nurburgring is a tricky circuit but there are two key characteristics which should be good for our car,” he says. “It is a relatively slow circuit with a lot of medium-speed corners which are one of the strengths of the BGP001. The Nurburgring is also one of the heaviest braking circuits on the calendar so you need a car which will be good through the four heavy braking zones.

“With the extra week's break, everyone at the factory and at Mercedes has been working extremely hard in preparation for the German Grand Prix to get the best package for the race and we're looking forward to showing what the car can do at the Nurburgring after a disappointing weekend by our standards at the British Grand Prix.

“My last stint at Silverstone showed that the pace of the car is really competitive so we're confident that we can turn it around at this race. I'm sure we will see a really intense fight with our closest competitors and hopefully a great race for the fans."

Ferrari, Williams and Renault all have high hopes of challenging for the podium, as have BMW Sauber and Toyota, both of whom will be racing on home ground (Toyota are based in Cologne). All of them also have aerodynamic upgrades.

McLaren, racing in Mercedes-Benz’s backyard, are realistic about their chances. “The last time we raced at the Nurburgring was in 2007, and I remember I had a tough afternoon battling through from the back of the field to finish just outside the points,” Lewis Hamilton recalls. “It’s a fantastic circuit; fast and flowing with some good spots for overtaking. And it’s in a fantastic part of the world too; deep in the forests of western Germany, where the fans seem to live and breathe Formula One. It’s always an amazing party atmosphere whenever we race in Germany.

“While we aren’t expecting any major upgrades for this weekend, I’m still looking forward to the race. It’s an honour to be part of the Silver Arrows and, while our results haven’t recently shown it, we’re still pushing incredibly hard and are all hopeful of moving closer to the front before the end of this difficult season.”

The ‘new’ Nurburgring circuit mixes high and low-speed corners with heavy braking areas. About 60 percent of the track is run under full throttle, placing heavy demands on the engine, and it also requires excellent aerodynamic efficiency. Characteristically the circuit is grippy, but promotes understeer so drivers and engineers often struggle to achieve the right aerodynamic balance between the sections where maximum speeds reach 300 km/h and the slow and medium-speed parts which require high downforce.

Bridgestone’s tyre choice might help Brawn in the low temperatures; as in Australia, China and Bahrain the Japanese company will bring their medium and super soft slicks, together with their intermediate and wet rubber.

Piquet's future remains uncertain

Nelson Piquet's future with Renault remains uncertain after team boss Flavio Briatore said he could not confirm who would be driving his second car at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Piquet was surrounded by rumours that he could be dropped after the German race, having failed to score the necessary points that would have contractually guaranteed his slot with the team.
But despite Piquet expressing confidence over the weekend about his future, Briatore declined to confirm the future of his Brazilian driver following the Nurburgring event.
"I don't know," he told AUTOSPORT when asked about if Piquet would be driving alongside Fernando Alonso at the Hungaroring. "Maybe I am in the car myself..."

Piquet wrote on his Twitter feed after the German race that he had been told by Renault that he would be given the same performance updates that Alonso had on his car in Germany for the Hungarian race - suggesting that he will remain on board,
"The team have promised that me and Fernando will have the same car for the next race," he wrote.
Renault's third driver Frenchman Romain Grosjean has been most strongly linked with a step-up to an F1 race seat if Piquet is dropped, although he has struggled for form in GP2 since his big accident at the Monaco Grand Prix support race.
Brazilian Lucas di Grassi has also been linked with the drive, but he made it clear on Tuesday that he was fully focused on winning the GP2 crown.

MANSORY refines the Rolls Royce Ghost

A large programme for the "little" Rolls Royce. Automobile refiner Kourosh Mansory offers a breathtaking individualisation for the Rolls Royce Ghost. The specialist for luxury cars combines most precious materials with elaborate performance, individual appearance and stylish interior refinements. This creates a unique overall concept with a self-confident character.

The most striking part of the metamorphosis is an individually varnish in Gold and Blue. The self-assured colouring does not only reflect the exclusive status of the car, but also emphasises the newly developed exterior shape.

The golden varnish accentuates the delicate cross-beam in the new front skirt as well as the vertical gill between the headlights and the front wheel houses. Also the modified radiator grill insert duly profits from the varnish.

The evidence for the increased performance of the MANSORY Ghost can be found in the side skirts, the stainless steel sheeting, the unobtrusive rear spoiler and the rear skirt with the indicated diffuser and the two-pass end pipes of the double sport exhaust system.

The sportiness imbued by the exterior package is confirmed by the content under the bonnet. Enlarged bi-turbo chargers, the map optimisation of the control electronics as well as the sports manifold and the sports catalysers significantly increase the performance of the Rolls Royce. Instead of serial 570 hp (420 kW), the Ghost refined by MANSORY now renders phenomenal 720 hp (530 kW) at 5,850 r.p.m. The engineers from the Bavarian town Brand near Bayreuth catapult the maximum torque from 780 to astonishing 1,020 Newton metres. Therefore, the engine accelerates the 2,360 kg of the car from 0 to 100 km/h in only 4.4 seconds and is thereby half a second faster than the serial version. Thanks to the removed top speed limitation, the acceleration does not stop at 250, but only at 310 km/h.

With these performance values, also the wheels are growing. Especially for the Rolls Royce Ghost, MANSORY developed a new design whose innovative look perfectly matches with the new appearance of the car.

The monoblock rims measure enormous 22 inches and their surface is refined with the same golden varnish as the exterior. At the front axle, 9 inch wide wheels carry the high-performance tyres Dunlop SP SportMaxx in the dimension 265/35, whereas the rear 10.5 inch wide wheels are fitted with tyres in the dimension 295/30.

The interior presents itself as an oasis for luxury and perfectly goes with the exquisite outer refinement. Large parts of the interior are covered with the most delicate leather with diamond-quilted ornaments and are completed by an ultra-suede lining from the roof line to the dashboard. Special wide carbon and a sports steering wheel in combination with light bamboo wood inlays render and atmosphere which can not be surpassed in terms of exclusiveness. Moreover, there are illuminated door sills and the implemented ambience light effects: seats, door casings and dashboard are equipped with LEDs which supply a pleasantly soft light throughout the passenger cabin.

Once again, company founder Kourosh Mansory has understood to lift a top luxury class automobile into even higher levels. After the refinement, the Rolls Royce Ghost presents itself with a self-confident character. There is a perfect synergy between technology and luxury which further confirms the individual design.

For more information about the exclusive programme for the Rolls Royce Ghost, please visit the web site