Category Archives: business

4 Coupe.

bmw-4-series-coupe-concept-artists-rendering

BMW fires back with a pretty wicked looking new 4-series coupe concept.  Let’s face it….BMW hasn’t made any good looking  3-series coupes since the E36.  The E46 was rounded, bloated, and pedestrian to look at….the E92 looked like a gigantic Civic.  This new 4-series coupe hits the spot.  Just don’t look at the hideous rear bumper.  Everything else on it is nicely done, and pretty impressive for BMW.  It seems they are finally realising that the devil is in the details……taking a hint from the Audi school of design on making the little design elements count.  Nice one, BMW……consider me impressed!  First the beautiful 6-series Coupe and Gran Coupe, now the 4-series?  The propeller may be on the rise…..sort of….oh wait, i just remember that horrific concept they showed in L.A last week.  Nevermind!

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src:  BMW

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then and now.

I grew up in Detroit.  The long-dead and abandoned Packard plant has become somewhat of a famous place there…but I never get tired of seeing the comparisons of how it is now compared to when it was in its functioning days.

some very cool pictures at the Freep

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new Cayman.

Most new (and old for that matter) cars bore the crap out of me.  the new Porsche Cayman is not one of those cars.  I still want a Cayman R and now i want the brand spankin new 2014 Porsche Cayman.  Superb!

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2014-Porsche-Cayman-2

 

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some actual photos published by digitalTrends. WICKED.

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B8 RS4 spotted in the USA.

This is THE sexiest and most exciting Wagon  (Avant in Audi language) on sale right now….and having been forbidden for as long as it existed, could this be the first time that Audi is thinking of importing an RS Avant to US shores?  Look at those fenders.  Wicked.  Fruitfully spotted by our friends at Quattroworld at a recent GTG.

There is now a FB page devoted to getting people to join; to convince Audi of America there is a market for this car.  I, for one, am severely interested!  I am currently on the order list for a 2014 Audi S3, however if I was told this would be arriving I would have to re-evaluate things!  The Facebook petition worked for the TT-RS, did not work for the RS3, but let’s hope it works for this.

Dear AoA:  Take the steps we all want you to take.  I can’t tell you how disappointed I was when the 8P RS3 did not come to the US market, and it would be a shame if the B8 RS4 Avant doesn’t come here either.  These are the cars we want and will pay money for!  

Join the FB page HERE

HA! “you just got beat by a wagon” sticker at the top of the back window!

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BeoSmart phone concept.

Well here’s an idea by designer Hugo Andre Costa Fernandes Vieira which incorporates a Bang & Olufsen stereo system, Leica 12 mp CMOS digital camera, Gold headphone jack (?), and a 3.5 inch OLED display mated to an Android OS to create what is known as the ‘BeoSmart‘ concept mobile phone.

Well it’s not a real phone, yet…and while i’m not generally a big mobile phone enthusiast, i do use my iPhone quite a bit and it is arguably the most important and useful device I use on a daily basis.  I have been daydreaming of a really kickass camera mated to iOS for a while (although the iPhone camera is no slouch really)—-however a Leica mobile phone camera?  My wallet is ready for action.

I doubt this will ever get made…as Leica doesn’t strike me as a company that interested in stepping down to mobile phones.  That being said, i can see them putting their name on a mobile phone camera lens like they do with some of the entry-level Panasonic point-and-shoot cameras.

src:  yankoDesign

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Renault, Caterham, and details of ‘new’ Alpine coming soon.

(above  and below renderings by Volatile Vertex)

A press conference has been scheduled for November 5th (Monday) to be co-hosted by Renault and Caterham to discuss the details of the upcoming Alpine project.  Very exciting news indeed.

Here are some of the ideas being thrown around:  Weight of a little over 1 tonne (!!), target launch 3-5 years from now, 200-250hp, less than 4.3 meters long, and that it will “look like the A110 Berlinette”.   5,000 to 10,000 units per year.  Target price of 35k-40k Euros. Very exciting.

There are some questions over what the functions of the original Dieppe Alpine factory would be, if the entire task of the new Alpine’s construction and engineering are left to Caterham.  More details as they evolve, obviously.

 

(above photo via Renault Sport’s FB page)

UPDATE:  Renault and Caterham have revealed that they will both get a version of the upcoming Alpine.  Theoretically the car will likely be a roadster for Caterham and a coupe for Alpine (sounds right!).  Prices will be low (under 40k Euros), and most interestingly—-Caterham now will take a 50% stake in Alpine as a marque!  I find this last sentence very interesting.

src:  lePoint, expatica

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Lancia is finally dead.

After years of punishing, brutal and inhumane torture against the legacy of Lancia; easily one of the finest marques of automobiles ever to exist.  Sergio Marchionne has finally unleashed the final blow and has announced that he is killing off the Lancia marque.  Finally, the marque will not be insulted by minivans and over-the-top rebadged 300C sedans.  I am quite frankly relieved after seeing the marque decay over the past decade especially.  There was hope with the 2003 Fulvia Concept, but after that project was killed off—-it all went to regurgitated scum.

Read about it at Truth About Cars.

(photo by D-negative)

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Leica ABCDE (1970) and Leica S1 (1996) prototypes.

Well here are 2 very strange prototype cameras.

The Leica ABCDE looks like a GREAT SLR design from 1970 (albeit with possibly the worst name ever for a camera…lol).  Why didn’t they use it? I haven’t the slightest clue.  Not much is known about this concept, however it was seen on a Leica Factory Tour in 2009 by DPReview.com (the link to their tour, unfortunately, does not work—however the pictures are found in search).

 

The Leica S1 (below) from 1996 has to be one of the least useable camera designs ever!  I cannot even imagine focusing while holding a gigantic ring—-or maybe it’s genius!?  Who knows….all we know is that it seems to have cool digital buttons on the top.  The colour is right as well.  It may make for a nice steering wheel though.

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1969 Pininfarina Sigma Grand Monoposto F1.

Well that’s a bit of a mouthful.  So what happens when Pininfarina decides to design an F1 car for Ferrari in 1969?  This happens!

and in its most recent state:

 

foto src: carStyling

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Avant Heaven.

These are the coolest Avants (Wagons) ever made.  If it were my choice, i’d grab the RS2 and the B8 RS4 for maximum satisfaction.  Best commercial of the year!

Thanks to Skaala for the tip!

 

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photomanipulation….before photoshop.

I’m not a fan of Photoshop for photo modification, as i find it cumbersome and overused by people.  That being said…there is something more primitively charming about photomanipulation BEFORE the advent of computer software aids.   Does it make it any more acceptable? No, not really!  But they are interesting to look at.  Somewhere in the future…some kid is going to read (absorb?) an article like this about Photoshop and say “oh how primitive they were back then!”

src:  the excellent brainpickings via the book “Faking It”

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when Chris Harris became rubbish.

Such a shame, as 2 years ago I used to watch Chris Harris’ reviews on Drivers Republic and thought they were utterly brilliant.  Fast forward to his work with the current Drive channel on youtube—-and with each passing review, I find myself more bored, more annoyed, and frankly in view of tedious, self indulgent reviews which frankly go nowhere except gushing praise or annoyed disappointment.

(1) Chris Harris is exceedingly trying to be Jeremy Clarkson, and is failing miserably

(2) He takes 20 minutes (!!) to do this latest comparison.  Talk about tedious and overbloated.

(3) Anyone who thinks the M135s engine sound better than the RS3 turbo 5-cylinder is on MASSIVE amounts of something…..or has gone deaf…or is paid to say so.

(4) On the BMW payroll? he used to be…probably still is.

(5) He enjoys the sound of his own voice, far more than I certainly do.

(6) Repetitive luddite nonsense…and yet he still prefers a torque converter Automatic gearbox….utter rubbish!

These days, I think Automotive ‘journalism’ has become very cumbersome and quite frankly past-its-sell-date….then again, motoring culture itself is expired.  With every passing week I see new blogs and sites popping up—-all of which are the same stuff regurgitated through a big filter of bland.  Several months before dropping the car-centric IEDEI for a more creative version, I had become progressively disenchanted by ‘petrolhead culture’ and its neverending cliches, stereotypes, and superficiality.  Unfortunately, Chris Harris represents each one of those problems in a uniform package.  Will I watch Top Gear when it comes back? Yes.  Will I watch Chris Harris videos each Thursday? No.

Do i still love cars? Yes.  Do I want to be an active member of online motoring culture? No.

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neu Alpine to be co-developed with Caterham.

Just a few days ago, I speculated that Lotus was a possibility for co-developing the new Alpine Berlinette after Carlos Tavares’ statements in Autocar.  A few days later, Autocar is reporting that Caterham will indeed be the expected partner to develop the new Alpine!  Great news for those of us who have been awaiting news that this will be a lightweight true hommage to the original A110.  The concept A110-50 stayed true to those beliefs in being lightweight and performance-oriented; and it seems the production Alpine will as well.

Apparently Caterham will also develop their own model alongside the new Alpine.  Should be very interesting to see what comes out of this relationship.  Here’s hoping for a lightweight, technologically advanced interpretation of what came before.

More news as it comes.  Thank you to Michal and CollaVerglas for the tip to this update!

(below: chassis testing of the A110-50 concept)

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Progress of the Alpine resurrection.

Carlos Tavares (Renault CEO) has been talking some details about the resurrection of Alpine!  It seems it will be a completely new car, and NOT the A110-50 that was shown several months ago.  Should be very, very interesting.

My bet is that Lotus is going to be involved in this….as Lotus and Alpine have a history of collaboration.

from Autocar:

Carlos Tavares:

“We could have given our engineers €50 million and told them to make the best of it. But that would probably have produced a mediocre car because it’s not much money to play with. Alpine has a great history, and we want to make emotional cars that will be true to that.”

“He won’t yet reveal the mechanical layout but admits it is unlikely to be rear-engined, as the A110 was.”

“Convenience is an important part of modern packaging,” Tavares says, “but we are not inclined to compromise too much. This is a car that must appeal to the emotions. If you refine such a car too much, it loses its special character.”

The production Alpine will bear little relation to the Alpine concept from earlier this year that incorporated the styling of the DeZir concept on to a Mégane Trophy racer.

 

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the stunning Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo Concept.

I love the Porsche Panamera.  In fact it’s one of my favourite cars in the world.  Bold, beautifully made, and quite simply the best sedan in the world!  Now it has a really beautifully designed Wagon to go along with it.   Well….assuming this design makes it to production in some form.

e-Hybrid V6 + electric motors. 416hp. 65mpg. LED lots-of-things.  yellow brake calipers.  Do the details really even matter anymore?  LOOK AT IT! The interior is amazing, and the exterior is amazing.  Being a Porsche, you can wager that it will be amazing to drive as well.  Das wicked.  Nostalgia is dead.  Long live now!

src:  porsche

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ISAT Berlinette Project.

The greatest car in the world…well, ever….is being re-imagined by students and teachers of the ISAT (Institut Supérieur de l’Automobile et des Transports) of France and being presented at this week’s Paris Motor Show as a concept study!  Renault’s recent glory of the A110-50 was a modernized NEW car, whereas this study takes great homage from the original, with mild reinterpretation of details (lights, fenders, etc).  The result is difficult to see in this mystery-filled video teaser—–but I am very intrigued by what I see already!  Good on ya, kids!

(advance apologies for the rubbish music….please turn the volume down!)

src:  auto plus

 

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Bentley Continental GT3.

Bentley is coming back to Le Mans!  And would you just look at this beauty.  The Bentley Continental GT3.  Most excellent, sir.

I’m still trying to get over how i’ve posted 2 entries about the Bentley Continental in 1 week.   Don’t get the wrong idea….i’m not that into the Continental….or Bentleys for that matter…but both photos are quite interesting I must say.

Is this an Audi R8 in disguise? i’m almost certain it is.  Does this mean that Audi will be bringing the R8 to Le Mans after 2013? I would certainly assume so.  Domination in different classes is sure to ensue….

 

a video of the big beast in action:

src:  Audi Sport

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Mercedes installation.

The Mercedes-Benz “Concept Coupe” incorporated into an art installation by Paul Cocksedge Studios.

Love the details on it.  Next year is really going to be competitive in the small luxury sedan segment of the US market with this new MB A-Class sedan, Audi A3/S3, and rumoured BMW 1-series sedan.

This is a beautiful car, and it’s really great to see modern automotive design picking up steam.  This will add a lot of excitement to the more conservative Mercedes lineup.   I’m not sure it’s enough to talk me out of a next-generation S3…but it is pretty wicked. I really hope this car reaches production with the design elements intact.

 

 

 

 

src: MB

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the new Leica range!

Since really cutting back on my intake of automobile-related news and interests (more about the details of that at a later time) as of a few months ago, they have been replaced by a burning love for photography and cameras.  After recently buying my Leica M8.1, i have been turned on to the magical world of rangefinder cameras.  New and old.  Eventually I would like to buy a nice Leica M5 and fool around with film photography; however my primary love of cameras is around digital photography.  Part of this may be due to the fact that I am impulsive and need to see my photos within 24 hours, but mainly due to the fact that I really don’t have the time to dedicate to film photography.  Digital photography, while saturated in this day of iPhone-photographers, can still be beautiful.

Today at Photokina in Cologne, Germany; Leica revealed the new lineup of Leica M cameras.  The much anticipated ‘next step’ in the Leica M range is actually going to NOT be called the Leica M10; but instead called simply Leica M.

Bigger screen, video recording (in a Leica??), focus assist (in a Leica??), optional electronic viewfinder, 24mp CMOS full-frame sensor, and a familiar body with likely beautiful construction and materials as all Leicas generally have.   The M will cost $6950 in the US.

then there’s the Leica M-E; essentially the same camera as the outgoing Leica M9P, however recoloured in a beautiful anthracite and debadged to be a bit more stealthy!  Same exact specs as the prior M9P. Oh and the price has been slashed to $5450. 

will these make you a ‘great photographer”? NO.  Will this help inspire you to be more creative and understand the fundamentals of photography?  probably YES.  Well, at least the M8 has done that for me…..now, time to save up for a Leica M-Monochrome (announced as still in production).

Leica M-Monochrome (Leica MM):

src: L-Camera

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MK7 Golf.

Lately i’m FAR more interested in modern cars than classics, and my appreciation of living in the now has created this buzz within me.  I’ve never owned a VW Golf, however i’ve come very close to by owning a MK1 Audi TT and an Audi A3—both of which share chassis with their respective Golf counterparts.  This new MK7 Golf looks SUPERB and has an exciting, crisp, and modern design without all the Korean/Japanese ‘overdesign’ elements flooding the automotive world.   What surprises me most, though, is how this MK7 takes cues from older Golfs more than the MK5 or MK6 did.  In fact, i see a lot of MK4 in the rear end.  Very interesting!

There’s nothing better than a nice, balanced hot hatch in my books.  Affordable, fun, and without care of status or pomp.  I am really excited about the new A3 and i’m also excited about this new Golf.   Here’s waiting for the S/RS and GTI/R versions of these cars!

Globally….it’s probably one of the most important car launches this year.  The Golf is truly an international car, and what a great overall car it is.

oh…and it’s 220 pounds lighter than the last generation (!!!).

src: egm

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Honestly now…

Well this ad is a bit of a farce now, as there are plenty of people who dream about getting a Mitsubishi Evo. Nissan, not so much.  If anything this ad is a reminder of how lackluster the 80s/early 90s were for affordable performance cars and how few options people had to finding one.   These days, If one cannot afford a new Porsche 911—there are  plenty of enjoyable automobiles one can buy to at least enjoy themselves—hell i’d have a Cayman R (as long as it’s PDK) or an Audi TT-RS (as long as it’s DSG) over a 911, so even Porsche realised they could do better.

src:  blogAnubis

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Influencers

An interesting video.  Occasionally borders on cliche, however covers a topic which I often think about.  The subtlety by which influencers pass on information to their environment and the people around them is fascinating.  This video often deals a bit too much about goods and services, however I feel some of the same principles would apply to philosophical, ideological, and even political ideas.

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