Friday, 19 June 2009


Corvette is giving its fans a new package for the super ZR1. The ZR1 has been given a Performance Traction Management technology pack which features a new launch control system, active handling and selective ride control. As a result handling has been improved, according to Corvette.

Aficionados of the famed Nürburgring know the types of battles that go on there, including the one about how quick the ZR1 is around the ‘Ring. Currently the car is listed as having the 6th quickest time there, a posting of 7m26s. This new performance package will surely improve on that time.

Powering the ZR1 is a 6.2-litre V8 engine with a supercharger. It makes 476kW and 819Nm of torque. That is something very hard to argue against as it’s basically more powerful than an SLR McLaren, a Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG and the Ferrari F430. Running things is a 6-speed manual gearbox. The ZR1 is able to achieve a top speed of 330km/h.

Fitted rubber is in the form of P285/30ZR19 up front and P335/25ZR20 at the rear, wrapped around 19-inch front wheels and 20-inch rear.


Chrysler continues its bullish outlook in North America. Once one of America’s “big three” automakers Chrysler is now a junior partner in an alliance led by Italy’s Fiat Auto Group after being put through a short liquidation process. The company announced yesterday that it will reopen seven plants in the US in order to start building cars again.

The seven factories are pretty much responsible for Chrysler’s entire lineup, from the PT Cruiser to the Dodge Ram to the Dodge Viper.

These are good signs from Chrysler; they show that the company is getting ready to move on from its dark episode and start making cars that people believe in again. Even here in South Africa it is opening up a few new dealerships as part of this process.


PRESS RELEASE: Panasonic Toyota Racing Formula 1 drivers will team up with the world’s largest humanitarian agency to fight world hunger on Sunday (June 21) at the British Grand Prix.

Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock are driving cars sporting the logo of the United Nations World Food Programme’s “Fill the Cup” campaign for the duration of the 2009 racing season. The aim is to raise awareness among Formula 1’s millions of fans worldwide that 66 million primary school-aged children around the world go to school hungry.

“This is a great opportunity to reach all motorsport fans, from the thousands who attend each Grand Prix to the many millions who watch the racing on TV,” said F1 driver Jarno Trulli. “It only costs 15 pence to give a hungry child a cup with porridge. We need as many people as possible to know they can contribute to find a solution to hunger.”

This is the last time the Santander British Grand Prix will be held at Silverstone, and top British drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will be facing off too, ensuring maximum interest.

“Formula 1 provides a unique opportunity for the fight against global hunger to gain traction,” said Nancy Roman, WFP’s Director of Public Policy, Communications and Private Partnerships, adding that viewers will be encouraged to feed a hungry child. “Both resources and mass awareness are critical.”

The partnership between WFP and the Panasonic Toyota Formula 1 team is an unusual arrangement in that WFP’s Fill the Cup campaign logo, which appears on the TF109 racing cars, has been paid for by Saudi-based sponsor Abdul Latif Jameel (ALJ). Previously, ALJ -- the largest independent distributor of Toyota vehicles in the world -- displayed its own advertising on the team’s cars.

Roman said that it was thought this was the first time that a charitable organisation had appeared with a campaign logo on a Formula 1 car for the entire duration of a season.

The fight to end hunger has become more urgent in the wake of the financial crisis, which follows on the heels of last year’s food and fuel price increases. Recent studies have shown that many families are already missing meals and cooking cheaper, less nutritious food. At the same time, WFP is concerned that the economic downturn may lead governments to cut aid budgets for feeding programmes.

Fill the Cup aims to raise money for WFP’s school feeding programme, which provides daily meals to more than 20 million children in schools in 68 countries.

Earlier this year, WFP teamed up with the UK School Food Trust to launch The Really Good School Dinner campaign, raising over GBP 11,000 for WFP School Feeding Programmes. More than 550 schools participated, by pledging to empty their plate to fill the plate of a child in the developing world.



Edo Competition has taken a normal Ferrari California Spider and turned it into this…Ferrari launched in California earlier this year. It is the smallest car in the Italian marque’s lineup and boasts a 4.3-litre V8. I’ll tell you about the engine later, first let’s go through a bit of kit. The car stands on 20 or 21-inch black wheels, depending on what the customer wants. Buyers can also choose between a lower suspension or a lower ride height.

Now for the engine. Edo shows a bit of disrespect to Ferrari by saying that the factory-fitted engine doesn’t make enough power. So the tuner went to further develop the thing from making 338kW (460hp) to developing a whopping 368kW (500hp). Edo says the car can now take off from 0 – 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and top off at 315km/h.

As with all of Edo Competition’s work, those who choose to tune with them can get to customise pretty much everything they want in their car. Whether it’s different leather interiors or in-car-entertainment (ICE) the customer can pick and choose what they like.

Thursday, 18 June 2009


BMW South Africa is finally bringing to the country the flagship X6 xDrive50i. The xDrive50i will remain the flagship for now of course, until the X6 M comes to the fore.

X6 has invented a new segment for the market. Described by its makers as a Sports Activity Coupe the vehicle makes perfect sense to those who adore the freedom of a great handling car but who have child constraints (and I use constraints in the kindest of meanings…). Yes you can only have a maximum of two kids as an X6 owner, since there are only two rear seats.

Under the bonnet the xDrive50i packs BMW’s new twin turbo 4.4-litre V8. Maximum thrust is 300kW while torque peak is 600Nm. I’m not 100% sure about the last figure as some BMW sources say it’s 610Nm. Nevertheless it’s between 600Nm and 610Nm, and it’s made between 1800rpm and 4500rpm.

Minimum price for the standard xDrive50i is gonna be about R900 000 which will get you a slew of standard features such as DSC, Hill Descent Control, an onboard computer, sunroof, park distance control, sat nav, a reversing camera and a 6 DVD changer among others.