Official: TMG still developing Lexus LS Sports 650 [w/video]

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Europe, Lexus, Toyota

TMG Sports 650

If you’re going to make a super sedan, you’d better do it in Germany. That’s where Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz do it, along with third parties like Alpina, Brabus and G-Power, among others. Deutschland is the epicenter of the movement, regularly churning out the most powerful four-door rockets in the world. It’s also where one of the racing divisions for Toyota has been hard at work on the TMG Sports 650.

Toyota Motorsport GmbH started with a Lexus LS and turned it into a 641-horsepower, twin-turbocharged super sedan it revealed late last year at the Essen Motor Show. But though we haven’t heard much about it since then, the team behind Toyota’s F1 and Le Mans efforts are apparently still hard at work on the project.

Speaking with Lexus’ own UK blog, TMG chief Alastair Moffitt revealed that the project started way back in 2010, shortly after Toyota shut down its F1 program and left the racing team with nothing to do. The 5.0-liter twin-turbo V8 was initially producing as much as 800 horsepower, but has since been refined to 650 so that it could theoretically be put into production and onto the road.

That’s something TMG hasn’t done before, but is keen to start, positioning itself alongside Toyota Racing Development in the US and Gazoo Racing in Japan as an in-house tuning division which Toyota and Lexus could rely on for this kind of project. To that end, TMG has been testing its prototype at the Nürburgring – less than an hour’s drive from its headquarters in Cologne – and has already found it’ll run to 60 in the same 3.9 seconds as the new Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG and top out at 200 mph.

The next step will be to set a hot lap on the Nordschleife, and we’ll be keeping an eye out to see how it does. In the meantime, check out the video below.

Continue reading TMG still developing Lexus LS Sports 650 [w/video]

TMG still developing Lexus LS Sports 650 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: TMG still developing Lexus LS Sports 650 [w/video]”

Official: Callaway developing C7 Corvette for FIA GT3 [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Videos, Chevrolet, Racing

Callaway C7 Corvette GT3 rendering - front three-quarter view

Since 2006, Callaway Competition has been turning the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 into the Z06.R GT3 race car, and in seven years, it has become the most successful team in the series. It will strive to continue that streak, the firm having just announced that Chevrolet has approved it to develop and homologate the GT3 version of the C7 Corvette Stingray. Right now there are more than ten Callaway-built Z06.Rs contesting three different European championships, each car costing somewhere in the area of 235,000 euros ($310K US).

For a taste of what’s to come, you can check out the video below of the engine used in the championship winning Z06.R, an LS7 V8 built by APP Racing on the dyno. There’s also a press release with a few more details.

Continue reading Callaway developing C7 Corvette for FIA GT3 [w/video]

Callaway developing C7 Corvette for FIA GT3 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 25 Jul 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Callaway developing C7 Corvette for FIA GT3 [w/video]”

Exclusive: BMW developing customizable LCD gauges for refreshed 5 and 7 Series models

Filed under: Sedan, Technology, BMW, Luxury

BMW digital LCD gauge cluster

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has had one for a few years, and Jaguar-Land Rover recently fitted units to its all-new XJ and updated Range Rover. Now BMW is getting ready to offer its own fully configurable LCD gauge cluster on the next-generation 5 Series and 7 Series models.

Co-developed in Munich and BMW’s Technology Office in Mountain View, CA, the new gauge cluster will display the standard dials for speed, revs, fuel and temp, but can be configured to show additional navigation, telematics and infotainment data depending on the driving mode. Comfort and Sport settings will tailor the display to suit conditions, possibly placing the tachometer front-and-center in Sport mode, along with providing shift lights and other more driver-centric information.

A BMW engineer we spoke with made it clear that BMW doesn’t want to rely on digital representations of analog gauges. Instead, the automaker is looking at the display as a blank canvas with which it can display a variety of information in an innovative way. However, while consumer customization will be available, BMW believes that keeping the user-tweakability to a minimum is key for ease-of-use and general readability.

Expect the new dash to appear on the refreshed 5 and 7 Series within the next two years.

BMW developing customizable LCD gauges for refreshed 5 and 7 Series models originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Exclusive: BMW developing customizable LCD gauges for refreshed 5 and 7 Series models”

Report: Ford developing seat capable of detecting heart attacks

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Technology, Ford

details of the Ford electrocardiogram seat

A heart attack behind the wheel can render much of your car’s safety equipment moot despite decades of advancement. Ford Motor Company has tasked its European Research Center in Aachen, Germany with finding a way to reduce accidents caused by drivers experiencing heart trouble. According to the automaker, their prototype seat with contactless electrocardiogram technology can warn drivers to seek medical attention immediately by scanning for potential cardiovascular trouble through clothing.

According to Ford, by 2025, nearly one quarter of Europeans will be at least 65 years old, a figure that increases to one third by 2050. As risk of cardiovascular disease increases with age, drivers suffering from conditions like angina can be more than fifty percent more likely to be involved in an accident, so there’s a lot of motivation to push this technology.

The prototype seat presently delivers accurate readings for 95 percent of drivers 98 percent of the time. Ford researchers are now looking into how the seat can be integrated with the other safety systems to work together to protect drivers who experience issues behind the wheel.

The safety aspect may be the most obvious application of this technology, but who knows – maybe it could also give real metrics about just how excited a thrilling run in a Mustang Boss 302 actually is. Press release posted after the jump.

Continue reading Ford developing seat capable of detecting heart attacks

Ford developing seat capable of detecting heart attacks originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 18:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Ford developing seat capable of detecting heart attacks”

Report: Chrysler developing TR Ram Life Style Truck to compete with Honda Ridgeline

Filed under: Truck, Plants/Manufacturing, Crossover, Chrysler, Dodge, Canada

2006 Dodge Rampage concept

2006 Dodge Rampage Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Does the world need a competitor to the Honda Ridgeline? While sales figures of Honda’s half-truck would lead us to believe consumers aren’t clamoring for such a vehicle (Honda only sold 16,142 Ridgelines in 2010, barely more than the 13,047 Dakota’s Dodge moved), recent reports indicate that Chrysler seems to think otherwise.

We’ve known for some time that Dodge was considering a small urban-style pickup – ever since it showed off the Rampage Concept (shown above) at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show and then mentioned it again in Chrysler’s rambling five-year plan announced in 2009 – but talk of the so-called Lifestyle Pickup had cooled off… until now.

According to wheels.ca, Chrysler suppliers were recently briefed on the automaker’s future product plans, and a replacement for the unloved Dakota is on the docket. It’s thought that Chrysler may build the vehicle in Windsor, Ontario atop its minivan platform, which lends credence to the Ridgeline comparison.

We have to wonder if the crossover platform employed by the latest (and very well-received) Durango might be a better bet, but we’ll surely reserve judgement until something more concrete than these rumors begin to surface. We’re also curious as to whether the small pickup would wear a Dodge or Ram badge. Stay tuned for more…

Chrysler developing TR Ram Life Style Truck to compete with Honda Ridgeline originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 18 May 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Chrysler developing TR Ram Life Style Truck to compete with Honda Ridgeline”

Cadillac developing soft-top convertible to fit between ATS and CTS

Filed under: Convertible, Etc., Cadillac, Rumormill, Luxury

Cadillac Emblem

Cadillac may be having thoughts of jumping back into the convertible game. Recent history hasn’t been kind to drop heads with a Wreath and Crest in the grille, but rumors kicking up on the web say that the automaker is planning to unveil a new convertible based on the company’s Alpha platform.

Car and Driver reports that the vehicle will slot between the upcoming ATS and the next-generation CTS and that it will borrow very little sheetmetal from either of its siblings. Buyers can expect to find a folding soft top instead of the heavier retractable hard top favored by some competitors.

What’s under the hood? Nothing’s set in stone at the moment, though we’d guess any number of six or eight-cylinder options could pop up behind the headlights. Given that the model isn’t set to debut until 2014, General Motors may get really wild and shove a turbocharged four-cylinder into the engine bay.

Regardless of powerplant options, the topless Cadillac will likely find itself squaring off against the Audi A5 Cabriolet and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet when it touches down. Stay tuned for more information, if and when it comes.

[Source: Car and Driver | Image: Zach Bowman / AOL]

Cadillac developing soft-top convertible to fit between ATS and CTS originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Cadillac developing soft-top convertible to fit between ATS and CTS”

Pioneer developing iPhone-like multitouch head-unit

Filed under: Aftermarket, Technology

Pioneer AppRadio

Our compatriots over at CrunchGear got themselves an impressive little exclusive in the form of the Pioneer AppRadio. The aftermarket double-din head-unit (model number SPH-DA01) is an iPhone or iPod Touch user’s automotive dream, complete with a 6.1-inch capacitive multitouch screen, home button, USB ports, S-Video and RCA jacks, along with a 30-pin Apple-spec dock to mount your iDevice.

According to CrunchGear’s sources, the AppRadio is designed to interface exclusively with iOS 4.1 devices (meaning Android and Windows Phone 7 users are left out in the cold) and runs a UI that’s remarkably similar to the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad (we’ll see how Apple’s lawyers take to that). Pioneer is developing apps for the head-unit, including Pandora and iHeartRadio, while the standard Bluetooth connectivity, AM/FM stereo, MicroSD slot and GPS functionality are also part of the package.

There’s no word on price or availability yet, and since the specs don’t include a modem, the AppRadio will pull data from your iPhone. We’d expect an official announcement before the end of the year and should see the hardware in person at the next CES.

[Source: CrunchGear]

Pioneer developing iPhone-like multitouch head-unit originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 27 Apr 2011 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Pioneer developing iPhone-like multitouch head-unit”

BMW developing adaptive 8-speed transmission that predicts curves, road conditions

Filed under: Technology, BMW

BMW Eight-Speed Adaptive Transmission

BMW Eight-Speed Adaptive Transmission – Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW just wrapped up its annual Innovation Days here in Munich, and in addition to detailing its new modular engines (turbocharged three-, four- and six-cylinder powerplants), showing off a range of lightweight components and discussing the possibility of equipping a future EV with a range-extending engine, BMW revealed plans for a new adaptive transmission based on its current eight-speed gearbox.

Utilizing GPS mapping, a wireless data connection, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), front and rear-mounted cameras and radar sensors, the transmission can adapt its shifting pattern and power delivery to suit road conditions.

So, let’s say you’re heading out on the road and it’s raining. The data connection pulls in the most recent weather information, the DSC takes in the coefficient of friction of the road and then restricts power to avoid wheel spin. With the integrated GPS, the system can detect the next curve, recognize you’re in Sport mode and downshift into a lower gear to perfectly suit the bend you’re about to bomb.

The range of applications is only limited by the amount of data the system can pull in and process, and while BMW wouldn’t divulge when this technology would hit production, there’s a good chance that the next iteration of the 7 Series could benefit from the system and then filter down throughout BMW’s range. Check out the gallery below for a series of illustrations showing the system in action and get more details in the press blast after the break.

Gallery: BMW Adaptive 8-Speed Transmission

[Source: BMW]

Continue reading BMW developing adaptive 8-speed transmission that predicts curves, road conditions

BMW developing adaptive 8-speed transmission that predicts curves, road conditions originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “BMW developing adaptive 8-speed transmission that predicts curves, road conditions”

Report: Audi developing Q6 to square off against BMW X6

Filed under: Coupe, Crossover, Audi, Design/Style, Luxury

Audi Sportback Crossover

Still think the BMW X6 is a dumb idea? Well, you’re not alone, but given that the “Sports Activity Coupe” has reportedly sold more than double its original projections, you’d also appear to be betting against the market. Apparently Audi can’t ignore those kind of numbers, spurring reports that Ingolstadt is preparing a coupe-like crossover of its own.

Tentatively dubbed (predictably enough) the Q6, the slant-roofed Audi crossover would slot in between the Q5 and Q7. Sources suggest it will be based on the same platform that underpins the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne (as well as the Audi Q7, albeit in an extended form).

Engines would naturally borrow from the Audi parts bin, but a hybrid version like the Touareg and Cayenne is also reportedly in the cards. As is a potential RS version, which would have another go at the on-again, off-again reports of Quattro GmbH delving into the hyperpower CUV game to battle the AMG-fettled Mercedes-Benz ML and BMW’s X5 and X6 M.

[Source: AutoWeek]

Report: Audi developing Q6 to square off against BMW X6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Mar 2011 16:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Audi developing Q6 to square off against BMW X6”

Report: Audi developing super lightweight R8 codenamed NF

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Europe, Audi, Rumormill

2014 Audi R8 NF

Audi R8 NF prototype – Click above for high-res image gallery

Audi has hinted that it’s in the process of developing an ultra-lightweight version of the R8 codenamed NF. Revealed during a technology demonstration at its lightweight materials facility in Germany, the NF is tipped to debut around 2014.

While there are no photos of the car available, Motor Trend reports that Audi showed off an R8 V10 that had several body panels replaced with carbon fiber units that may well be related to the NF’s development. When the NF breaks cover, it is expected to sport a carbon-fiber passenger compartment, with a full cf bulkhead between the occupants and the engine compartment.

Apparently, the NF will incorporate not only its own technology, but pieces from the R8 Spyder, limited-edition R8GT and E-Tron concept. Audi said the prototype at the demonstration was 20 percent lighter than the current aluminum-bodied R8, yet it maintains its structural integrity and crash worthiness. To prove their point, Audi engineers showed off a crash-tested R8 that sported cf roof rails.

Gallery: 2014 Audi R8 NF concept

Audi R8 NF side distanceAudi R8 NF Carbon fiber drop testAudi R8 NF InteriorAudi R8 NF

[Source: Motor Trend | Images: Audi]

Report: Audi developing super lightweight R8 codenamed NF originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Audi developing super lightweight R8 codenamed NF”