Category Archives: business

i8.

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There are very few automobiles which capture my attention, new or old, these days.  My interest in automobiles has faded aside from a few select cars which i’m always chasing.  i am, however, BLOWN AWAY by this car.  the fact that it is a production car that looks like a concept.  The fact that is totally a current car embedded with current technologies capturing the spirit of ‘new’ and ‘fresh’ without copying anything else before it.  The fact that it’s the first hybrid sports car that is somewhat attainable  (still expensive though…at $135k USA price).  But most of all I love this car because it pushes and opens an envelope into the current times.  No retro here.  No celebration of the past.  The BMW i8 is a celebration of the future.

If i had the money…i’d order this and drive it every day!!

Forget 0-60 times (4.4 seconds here), forget curb weight (3200+ pounds here), forget cost for a second, forget the badge, forget the insane aero design features— this car is a pioneer and a real innovation in this realm.  It’s rare in these generic modern times of automotive engineering that we see a true beginning, but i have a feeling the i8 is the first of many coming in this realm.

(I don’t count cars like the Porsche 918, because of price and uber-exclusivity)

Live photos from Frankfurt (courtesy of greenCarReports)

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promo photos from BMW in Black:

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Videos:

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The Monocle Guide To Better Living

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Just received this Monocle book entitled “The Monocle Guide To Better Living”.  If you’ve never read the magazine Monocle, then i would strongly advise you to pick up a copy.  For people such as me with an imagination that finds itself wondering about different places, ideas, people, and ways of living—Monocle is sort of like the ‘ultimate’ magazine of sorts.  It focuses on culture and society—but not in a way you would pick up from the news or from regular every day information outlets.  It focuses on the small details of things that really captivate and interest people such as myself.

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Monocle as a magazine is a challenging, but captivating read.  I have spent a few breezy minutes flipping through this book thus far and my only description would be to say that the book continues where the magazine leaves off—but with a more concrete and themed presentation.  Beautiful old-school yellow cover and binding and lovely matte pages.  400 pages.  Wonderful for my bookshelf.  Highly recommended.

ORDER HERE

 

 

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‘The” icon.

Should the word “the” have an icon?  The same way “and” has an icon (&)?  Fascinating proposal by Australian Paul Mathis.  What do you think?  Here is his proposal for the icon (i think it’s lovely):

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src:  huh

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A450 Le Mans test day.

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I eagerly await this year’s Le Mans (June 22-23)—-and while I will be, as usual, pulling for the stunning Audi R18s to win (as expected they will), my eyes will actually be peeled out for the Alpine A450 which heralds the return of one of the greatest marques in racing back to Le Mans!  Sure this is a car that was developed primarily by Nissan originally, however its tuning and program is now joined to the hip with Dieppe and the Renaultsport/Alpine tuners.  It is such a great feeling to see the Alpine marque on the track again, and with reasonable success I am sure that in the near future we will start to see a non-Nissan Alpine race car being developed and run in future endurance events!  

Here are some photos shown by Team Signature about the current A450 race car doing Le Mans testing this weekend in France.

As usual, IEDEI will be setting up live feeds of Le Mans on this site as we do every year to help everyone to watch it!

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Renault Icons: Alpine A110 videos.

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Renault TV posted these official videos in celebration of their history and the resurrection of the Alpine marque.  Car videos are mostly uninspiring, materialistic nonsense–but these Alpine A110 videos are out of this world….maybe because the car is out of this world?

Best part….it’s in English!  So my rudimentary and primitive French translation doesn’t have to be challenged like it normally does with Alpine videos.

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history of typography.

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I am in love with fonts.  In a different life, i would sit in a studio all day designing fonts.   I am perpetually looking at fonts: on signs, on websites, in films, on cars, on badging, on artwork, in books, in magazines, old, new, ugly, beautiful—they just fascinate me!

Here’s a wicked and creative video flashing the history of typography in  5 minutes, by Ben Barrett-Forest:

src: huh

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1995 TT concept in B&W.

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The MK1 TT is quite simply the most beautiful German car design in…what…the last 50 years….since the original Porsche 911, in my humblest opinion.  The 80s and early 90s were pretty dark and depressing times for German car design which entered a comfort zone of drab, unimaginative, uncreative designs (except Porsche, who were always putting together interesting cars)..and the TT put an end to those dark ages.  Timeless, ageless, and pure…..and with rumours of the next-generation MK3 TT being heavily influenced by the original, the MK1 TT’s legend will continue to grow.

Here’s the original 1995 MK1 TT Concept….the automotive design equivalent of punk rock in 1995!  I have turned the original manufacturer photos in B&W to fully appreciate the geometry and design pornography!

It is astounding to me that the MK1 TT Coupe that sits in my garage (for the last 10+ years) is virtually identical to this concept, barring a few select details.

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TT Ultra quattro Concept.

2450 pounds. (a reduction of 660 pounds!)

306hp

wow.  I never thought i’d see an Audi TT with such a low weight.  I think the MK2 TT was a major design flop as I think the MK1 is one of THE great designs in automotive history…but this weight reduction is almost enough to make me forgive the MK2’s unforgivable design flaws.  Audi, you’ve impressed me yet again.

Read more details at Fourtitude

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quote of the month: mediocrity.

I’ve never read anything that a gentleman named Norman Mailer has written, however while perusing Nolan Bushnell’s twitter feed, I came across this quote which is just phenomenal.

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Anatomy book re-imagined.

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This is beautiful.  I wish my Anatomy books looked like this when I was in Med. School.  A concept for a futuristic/re-imagined/beautiful anatomy/osteology book by Irene Shkarovska.

Irene: if you’re reading this.  I want a copy….or two!  Just take my money.  I’m blown away.

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video:

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BMW = the new AMC.

BMW is a pretty uninspiring marque these days; and now they just keep producing terribly designed, AWD monstrosities which have nothing to do with their company’s roots whatsoever.  This is the outcome of a company on the way down….a company grasping for every final breath as Audi trample them in nearly every segment.   So you may ask “well, Syed—-why is it OK for Audi to make AWD crossovers and not BMW??”….well, maybe because Audi is firmly rooted in AWD technology?  Perhaps because Audi built their entire brand on quattro as their main attraction?!  Yes it does make sense for Audi to build lots of AWD cars.  You may not want to believe it…but it is in line with the corporate ethos.

What in the world is this!?  The new X4 concept.  Badly designed….for an opportunistic segment….and the resurrection of a failed (but let’s be honest…unique and inspired) 1970s 4×4 crossover.  Compared to the long-lost AMC SX4.  So has BMW simply knocked the “S” out of SX4 and replaced “AMC” with “BMW”? you decide!

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Audi S3 Sedan: undecided.

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The jury is out.  I really still don’t know what i think of this new 2015 Audi S3 Sedan which debut’d last week in NYC.  Let me just tell you that I actually have a deposit down to be one of the first US buyers for an S3 Sedan (a deposit i put down last year when the S3 Sportback was first introduced) —-however i am fairly disappointed in the S3 Sedan itself.  The design is nowhere near as interesting as the Concept or as I was hoping.  It is a beautifully spec’d package with 300hp, 0-60 in 4.7s, quattro, and some beautifully trimmed interior and exterior bits—but somehow i feel like Audi has entered a ‘comfort zone’…in which designing a car has become too easy for them.

Don’t get me wrong.  It is a good looking car.  I’m certain it’s a fantastic car, as most Audis are.  I just wish it was a Sportback….OR that it was a bit more unique.  OR I wish that it didn’t look like ‘Audi-by-the-numbers’.

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Promo Video:

NYC debut photos from: MT

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Match.

I need this lighting in my life.  “Match” is marketed by Vidia and designed by  Jordi Vilardell & Meritxell Vidal

“This innovative product stands as a new lighting concept based on co-creation. Match allows you to create structures arranged chaotically, automatically planned on-line and adapted to fit into the room and the space available. The result is infinite artistic configurations based on thin rods of aluminum and LED light terminals, forming a light sculpture that illuminates central themes of space and interior decoration.”

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src:  minimalissimo

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Audi and Alfa Romeo in “negotiations”.

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Has Sergio Marchionne finally buckled?  Is Audi buying Alfa Romeo?  Let’s hope so!

Ward reports:

“Alfa Romeo is at the core of top-level negotiations between Audi and Fiat and might be near to a sale, reliable sources here and in Ingolstadt, Germany, say.  Sources close to both Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and Audi CEO Rupert Stadler confirm the two are in talks over a major deal.

The top subject reportedly involves the sale of Alfa, but this time not only the brand but Fiat’s Pomigliano assembly plant also is on the table. If the discussions bear fruit, the facility would return to building Alfas under Audi. Pomigliano was built in the late 1960s specifically for Alfa production, but currently makes the Fiat Panda.”

src:  Wards

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CLA45 AMG.

The Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG is NOW.  An AWD, 4-cylinder, turbocharged, 360hp, dual-clutch gearbox, in a beautiful slope-y sedan outline ready to launch this week at the NY Auto Show. 

In the past, i’ve been very excited about this entire generation of upcoming MB ‘smaller’ cars…..even though i had spewed some critique about the original A-class concept back in the day.

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src:  autoExpress

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Alpine #36.

This is heading to 2013 Le Mans in the LMP2 category! I’m so excited my Alpine neurons are spazzing out.

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src:  renault

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OFFICIAL: Alpine will be racing at the 2013 Le Mans!

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I was expecting an announcement for 2014 Le Mans, but Renault has somewhat surprised everybody by announcing that there will be an Alpine badged car racing the LMP2 class in THIS year’s Le Mans.  Wow.  They’ve also released the ‘teaser’ pic above (tastefully tweaked by yours truly).

Here are some quotes directly from Renault:

“Today, another important step has been taken with the announcement that an Alpine prototype is to race in the competitive 2013 European Le Mans Series endurance racing championship (ELMS), as well as at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours (June 22-23).

The decision to compete at Le Mans fits perfectly with the brand’s heritage, since Alpine contested the famous 24-Hour race 11 times between 1963 and 1978, running a total of 55 factory cars. In addition to its successes in the ‘Energy Index’ classification in 1964, 1965 and 1968, as well as in the ‘Performance Index’ classification in 1968 and 1969, its efforts harvested seven class wins in total and, above all, outright victory in 1978 with the Alpine A442B prototype shared by Jean-Pierre Jaussaud and Didier Pironi. The two Frenchmen were joined in the top four by the A442 of Jean Ragnotti and Guy Fréquelin.

For its return to Le Mans, Alpine has joined forces with Signatech. The Philippe Sinault-run team will enter an Alpine LM P2 prototype with an Alpine chassis powered by a 500hp Nissan engine for the five rounds of the ELMS, including the opening race at Silverstone, England (April 13). The drivers will be Nelson Panciatici and Pierre Ragues.

The highlight of the season will naturally be the Le Mans 24 Hours. The name of the third driver who will join the team for the world’s most famous endurance race will be announced when the car is officially presented at Le Castellet, France, on March 24.

Said Carlos Tavares, Chief Operating Officer, Renault: “Alpine’s return to the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours in 2013 marks the beginning of a new adventure which is set to last. The passion that drives us is matched only by the humility and careful attention paid to costs that epitomise this comeback which itself has been made possible thanks to the involvement of our partners and supporters who I would like to thank formally here. Together, step by step, we will do our very best to write another exciting page in the history of Alpine, a truly outstanding name in the world of French sports cars.””

I AM SO EXCITED.

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src:  renault press services

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ALPINE returning to Le Mans!

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An announcement is expected Friday to hear Renault introducing the plans for their return to endurance racing!  LMP2 is surely expected by the 2014 racing season with possible LMP1 ambitions as well, and the engines are expected to carry the ALPINE badge!  Renaultsport (which evolved out of the original Alpine after it stopped making cars 20+ years ago) will be tuning them and involved with the engine construction.  All of this seems consistent with the Renault plan to resurrect one of the finest racing and rallying marques ever!  I wonder if the cars themselves will be badged “Alpine-Renault” like the old days.

IEDEI is, of course, devoted to Alpine news and will offer updates as they come in.  My biggest issue is going to be whether I root for Audi or Alpine?  I have stayed up to watch almost all Le Mans races for the past several years….and am a die hard Audi fanboy.   If Alpine makes it to LMP1 against Audi…..it will be very very tough for me to root against the boys in blue.

Exciting news.

BTW, to fuel the imagination, here is an interesting ‘re-interpretation’ (rendering) of the glorious Alpine A220 by Racing Emotion found at le Blog Auto. Obviously this is not a realistic vision, but still entertaining to look at!

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src:  racecarEngineering

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quattros.

what was made, what was made very little of, and what was never made.  All three are quattro icons.

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src:  audi australia

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CLA.

Well i’ve been pretty anxiously awaiting the new Mercedes Benz CLA, as i’m excited about the ‘next phase’ of Euro compact sedans and hatchbacks entering the deprived US market.  I was expecting a lot out of the CLA design, as the Concept sort of blew me away last year.  I wasn’t disappointed.  In black…..this thing looks spectacular.   Can I leave the 4 rings to go be the 3 pointed star?  hmm….

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oh and would you look at that interior! it matches my Fitzroy Chronograph watch! dig it lots.

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src:  mercedes-benz

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welcome to the world of unimaginative sports car design.

Are there no design themes left?  Aside from the rear end of the Ferrari F12 looking like a uterus, it pains me to see 3 sports cars, all in red, sitting on the floor of the Detroit Auto Show as we speak with front-end designs plagiarized and derived from each other.  There are other headlight designs and front end treatments!!!!!!!! FIND A DIFFERENT ONE!  How repulsive…

First 3 photos taken by majestic Mike Spinelli

Ferrari F12

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Viper

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C7 Corvette

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bonus round! *face in palm*

Elise

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Elise photo via carsession

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4 Coupe – real pics.

Here are some actual pics of that BMW 4-series Coupe I posted about yesterday—-courtesy of the finest magazines in the world,  Intersection

It looks great.  First 3-series….uhh..4-series  i’ve liked in a looooong time!

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