October 28, 2005

●Wallpaper 003

Another Friday, another wallpaper.

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Posted by dino at 01:35 AM | Comments [0]

October 25, 2005

●Porter Cable

Recently picked this up from Autopia.org. Kit is made up of a Porter Cable random orbit buffer, velcro backing plate and 3 Sonus polishing pads. I've already tested this out and it works miracles! It's a must have for anyone trying to achieve great results. Still haven't had the time to properly try the cutting pad which should hopefully remove some hard water spots that over the years have etched their way into the clear coat on the roof and bonnet. For the price this is unbeatable...and it will save you time and days of potential shoulder pains ;-)

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Posted by dino at 06:40 PM | Comments [0]

October 21, 2005

●Wallpaper 002

Well the wallpaper for this week can only be of one special car.

No annoying crowds around to spoil the lines of the GT-R Proto.

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Posted by dino at 10:39 PM | Comments [0]

October 20, 2005

●GT-R Proto Designer

Grabbed a few pictures with the GT-R Proto designer, Mr. Hiroshi Hasegawa.

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It's confirmed the 2007 GT-R will be sold in Japan as a Nissan. No decision has been made on weather the Infiniti or Nissan badge will be used to market the car around the world. Design wise the car you see here is 85% production ready. Nothing else has been confirmed.

Posted by dino at 09:51 PM | Comments [0]

October 19, 2005

●More of the GT-R Proto

Well the pictures from the previous entry weren't to my usual standard. They were shot miles away with glaring lights pointing straight into my lense and I had no time to do any editing before uploading.

So here are some more.

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Posted by dino at 09:52 PM | Comments [0]

●Nissan GT-R Proto - Direct from Tokyo Motor Show 2005

Well I like to keep my promises. Here are the frst pictures...

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Posted by dino at 06:10 AM | Comments [0]

October 17, 2005

●Lamborghini Diablo Bi-turbo

Supercars don't get more flamboyant than the Diablo. It's big, wide and sports a 530 PS 5.7 L V12. In fact this engine is one of the most emotional sounding V12s in existence! So it would be hard to understand why a car of this stature would not be enough to satisfy the needs of the most demanding drivers. Enter Mr. Kondou and his 1999 Lamborghini Diablo SV.

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A beautiful example finished off in a fine metallic silver which is contrasted with the matte-black Neez magnesium racing wheels. You might already see a few little bits and pieces that are not standard fit, but hey this is Japan and people have always liked to personalize their cars. Step into the interior and again a there are a few little touches here and there...

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You might spot the Motec dash logger which hints at a top of the line management system, understandable to want a bit more processing power in such a car.

Step around the back of the Diablo and you notice the engine cover is made of glossy carbon fiber...but wait, what is that under there?

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Open the cover and this is what you are confronted with....

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Holy Mother of ....!!! What the hell happened here??

Yes ladies and gentleman your eyes have not failed you, this is indeed a twin-turbo-charged 5.7 L V12 Diablo SV! Feast your eyes on what is one of the most impressive engine conversions I have ever seen. Unlike bolting on ready-made, easy to fit bits & pieces like a lot of tuners do [playing Lego as I like to refer to it ;)] everything you see here has been designed and built for this particular car, all custom. The massive KKK K27 turbine and Blitz wastegates have found a home behind the massive V12 where they compress the air up to 1.2 Bar and feed the twin top-mounted intercoolers, again all custom built. This engine bay is something you just can't stop looking at...

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This thing puts out 1187 PS at the rear wheels and a tractor rivaling (it is a Lambo after all!) 128.8 kgm. For those of you that can't get their heads around the modern metric system that is 931 pounds for every one of those "feet" you still use ;)

Out on the road this thing is savage. I thought highly tuned GT-Rs were fast but this thing is just ridiculous. It can pull 368 km/h flat out and there is plenty left as it bounces off the limiter in 5th. More power is on the cards too with a slight increase of boost and a few more tweaks Mr. Kondou is shooting for 1,400 PS and 136 kgm. Crazy!

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Posted by dino at 02:38 PM | Comments [0]

October 14, 2005

●Wallpaper 001

Ok, I've been getting way too many requests for wallpapers. I'll be posting one every week from now on. Please don't write to me asking for specific wallpapers, just be happy with what I decide to upload.

This is number 1.

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Enjoy.

Posted by dino at 01:03 AM | Comments [0]

October 12, 2005

●Super GT, Rd.6 - Fuji Speedway

Running a bit behind schedule with the entries, but here are some pictures form the Super GT race at Fuji Speedway. This turned out to be a great day of shooting. Rain stopped and the track dried out so the cars were able to start with dry tyres and I didn't get soaked!

As the Porsche Cup race got under way the clouds started to give way to blue skies.

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Nismo Z entering the pits after the pre-race warm-up
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GT-300 Z33
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Last minute changes...
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GT-300 Celica
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Kiichi Tsuchiya, ARTA GT-300 team manager
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Mr. Hasemi, of Hasemi Motorsport
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Forgot to upload some from the last round so here is a small taste, of some tasty race queens ;-)
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Some track action
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The flamer-club
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Posted by dino at 12:35 PM | Comments [0]

October 08, 2005

●GT-R Proto at Tokyo Motor Show 2005

Well this is what a lot of people have been waiting for. These sketches officially released by Nissan yesterday (and leaked a few days earlier) give an insight to what the GT-R Proto will look like. The actual prototype will be shown on the 19th of October during the first press day of the 39th Tokyo Motor Show. The mock-up will give a good indication to the final design of the 2007 production car. It will have no interior or engine so don't expect too much in the way of technical specifications and additional info.

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Nissan have set up an official website for the Proto:

GT-R Proto Official

Check back to this blog on the 19th as I will be uploading detailed pictures of the GT-R Proto directly from the motor show!

Posted by dino at 11:42 AM | Comments [0]

October 07, 2005

●Toyota Vitz (Yaris) RS

The new Toyota Vitz went into production earlier this year and has been selling pretty well in Japan. It's biggest test is succeeding in the lucrative European market which is saturated with offerings from local manufacturers. It will go head to head with cars like FIATs new rather good Punto.

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Overall it has grown considerably from the previous generation model and has plenty of interior space to sit 5 adults in comfort. Plenty of convenient storage spaces and cubby holes to keep anyone happy while the tilting rear seats (twin splitting on non sports models) offer impressively large and tall loading area. The RS comes with some nice sporty seats but, like in 99% of Japanese cars, are still way to high for tall drivers. The upright driving position might not be to everyone's liking but you do get used to it after a while. The RS came with the optional CD-based navigation unit which was excellent and feature packed and the keyless entry system which curiously uses the exact same Engine Start/Stop button as found on the Lexus GS & IS. I'm sure Lexus owners might have something to say about that!

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The RS is distinguished by larger diameter wheels and a sporty bodykit as well as more aggressive rear LED-lights compared to your more sedate models.

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The 110HP 1.5 VVTI engine offers plenty of go with a nice torquey low-rpm power-band but is right at home revving away to the 6,500 rpm redline. The five speeder is a bit vague but once again, like in every modern car I drive, the most annoying and hard to digest aspect is the damn throttle mapping. Electronic throttle it the culprit once again. You can stab the accelerator to give a quick throttle blip and you can virtually count to 5 while engine revolutions rise slowly and fall back to idle even slower. The result is slow gear-changes and a real pain to live with. Handling is superb, very precise and sharp turn-in which allows you to really commit to fast sweepers. Steering could do with some more feel but all in all a great all rounder. The RS is as happy pootling around Tokyo center returning 16 km/L as it is up on fun mountain roads being thrown from corner to corner. Even the brakes were superb.

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Only real question is will the RS ever make it to Europe? I certainly hope so as I have no doubt it will give the hot european offerings a run for their money.

Posted by dino at 11:22 AM | Comments [0]

October 02, 2005

●Mazda Roadster RS (MX-5/Miata)

Spent some time savoring the dynamics of one of the most fun cars out there, the new Mazda Roadster. The design is very closely linked to the Ibuki concept shown at the Tokyo motor show two years ago and really does succeed in bringing the most successful roadster in the world into the new millennium. The cute looking Roadster has put on a bit of weight, up to 1100 kg, but that is to be expected considering the slightly bigger dimensions. The new 2L engine, which sits far back into the chassis almost all behind the front wheels, kicks out an ok 170 PS.

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Top up
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Out on the road the superbly balanced handling of a lightweight FR car is what impresses the most. The engine however sounds uninspiring at the best of times, it's very unrefined and it almost hurts to hear it rev over 6,000 rpm. I'm sure Mazda could have done a better job of giving the 4-cylinder better characteristics. What really did bug me though was the ridiculous throttle mapping the Roadster had. At first I thought there was something wrong with it, revs would hang on for so long when backing off for a gearchange. Of course it is all thanks to the electronic throttle which makes the accelerator pedal feel it's linked to a PS2 rather than a real engine. This resulted in extremely slow gearchange as you had to wait for rpm to drop to engage the next gear. Avoid doing this and you discover the meaning of driveline-shunt! All in all it is a fun drive but there are a lot of little things like the unprecise gearchance and comical body-roll that really spoil the experience.

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The interior is a very nice place to be in. It looks and feels modern, despite the plasticky feel, to be expected of in this price range, and accommodates tall drivers without a problem. The Bose CD-based audio system is nothing to write home about but it does a good job of diffusing your favorite music around the cabin. On long motorway journeys with the roof up though things get very noisy and it becomes hard to hold speeds higher than 130 km/h. The roof mechanism looks a bit cheap from the inside and if you get caught behind a truck at anything over 100 km/h the roof will vibrate so much it will suck your ear-drums out!

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I was not impressed with the Michelin tyres fitted to the car. They provide ok grip but are a bit scary on the limit. So all in all a good car but could have been so much better.

Posted by dino at 11:29 PM | Comments [0]