Williams FW33 Formula 1 car unveiled, IPO confirmed

Filed under: Motorsports, Racing

2011 Williams-Cosworth FW33

2011 Williams-Cosworth FW33 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Williams joined the cadre of Formula 1 teams testing and revealing their 2011 challengers at the Valencia test session, pulling the wraps off the new FW33.

Unlike rival team Lotus Renault GP, which unveiled its new livery before rolling out the new F1 car, Williams opted once again to run its new car at the test sessions in plain dark blue paint with minimal sponsor logos. The independent racing team is sticking with Cosworth power for 2011, but despite having developed a flywheel-based KERS apparatus for 2009 (which it never actually ran, but was supplied to Porsche’s hybrid GT3), Williams F1 switched to a new battery-based system that it ran for the first time at Valencia.

Otherwise, the Williams-Cosworth FW33 follows the same general idea as most of its Formula 1 rivals: a high nose with a sculpted engine cover and side pods. Rubens Barrichello returns to the wheel alongside newcomer (and reigning GP2 champion) Pastor Maldonado.

In a related development, Williams announced its plans to proceed with the previously reported IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, floating a little over a quarter of the shares while ensuring that Frank Williams remains controlling shareholder and team principal for years to come. Follow the jump for more details on the new FW33 Formula 1 racer and check out the high-resolution images of the car on track in the gallery below.

Gallery: 2011 Williams-Cosworth FW33

[Source: Williams F1]

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Williams FW33 Formula 1 car unveiled, IPO confirmed originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Feb 2011 14:11:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Radical new McLaren MP4-26 Formula 1 car unveiled in Berlin

Filed under: Motorsports, Racing

2011 McLaren MP4-26

2011 McLaren MP4-26 – Click above for high-res image gallery

While rival Formula 1 teams unveiled their new 2011 challengers at or before the recently test session at Valencia, McLaren opted to run its 2010 F1 car instead. The reason? Ostensibly to focus on the varied effects the new Pirelli tires. This week in Berlin, however, the British Formula 1 outfit joined the field and took the wraps off its new racer, the MP4-26, revealing a number of innovative and radical design elements.

In the German capital, the team rolled out the car in pieces and put it together in front of the gathered crowd (not unlike the funny Vodafone video starring Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton). McLaren used a plastic engine and exhaust system so as not to reveal all their secrets, but what we do know is that MP4-26 F1 car features a longer-than-usual wheelbase, an even higher nosecone than its rivals, and odd U-shaped sidepods. That last feature is designed to channel cleaner air to the new rear wing in an effort to regain downforce lost from the regulatory elimination of the double diffuser.

The MP4-26 is also the first McLaren Formula 1 car designed to accomodate Jenson Button’s taller frame, since last year’s racer was largely finalized before his release from Brawn GP. McLaren remains secretive on the rest of the design, releasing only the handful of images you can see in the gallery below. Has McLaren got enough tricks up its sleeve to drive Button or Hamilton to another title? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Gallery: 2011 McLaren MP4-26

[Source: McLaren]

Radical new McLaren MP4-26 Formula 1 car unveiled in Berlin originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 06 Feb 2011 09:48:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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New Stratos unveiled in retro Alitalia rally livery [w/video]

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Lancia, Racing

New Stratos in Alitalia livery – Click above to view in slightly higher resolution

The New Stratos has been drumming up a world of enthusiasm. And with good reason: the original was one of the most iconic rally machines ever devised, and the modern tribute looks to be living up to the legend in the grandest of style. That hasn’t stopped some from saying the design doesn’t look enough like the original, but that could very well come down to the paint scheme.

No, what we really need is to see it in the same livery displayed on the original in its heyday. Fortunately that’s just what they brought out (as a mock-up from the looks of things) at the car’s debut at Paul Ricard HTTT in the South of France. Want to see more from the unveiling? Follow the jump and feast your eyes on the video footage there to be viewed.

Gallery: New Lancia Stratos

[Source: New Stratos via CarScoop]

Continue reading New Stratos unveiled in retro Alitalia rally livery [w/video]

New Stratos unveiled in retro Alitalia rally livery [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 13 Dec 2010 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi R18 Le Mans prototype unveiled with full roof, epic LEDs

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Audi, Racing

Audi R18 LMP1

Audi R18 LMP1 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Right on schedule, Audi has pulled the sheets off its next-generation Le Mans prototype. As had been rumored before the unveil, the R18 has abandoned the open-top design of its forefathers – the R8, R10 and R15 Plus – for a closed canopy to improve aerodynamics and reduce driver fatigue. The company hasn’t worked with a clamshell since 1999, and we’re guessing is has more than a little to do with Peugeot’s 2009 Le Mans win. That victory is the only wrinkle in the Audi’s domination of the world’s most difficult motorsports race, and it’s no small coincidence that work on the R18 began in mid 2009.

The R18 gets its grunt from a 3.7-liter TDI V6 engine, and while Audi isn’t saying exactly how much horsepower or torque the oil-burner produces, we have to guess that the figures are nothing to sneeze at. Behind the engine is a new six-speed transmission, though the innovations aren’t simply chained to the drivetrain. Audi used a single-piece construction carbon fiber monocoque to keep weight down and increase stiffness, and those epic all-LED headlights are the first make their way to Le Mans.

While Audi is planning to campaign a total of three R18 racers at the 2011 Le Mans race this summer, the vehicle’s first appearance will be at the six hours of Spa on April 24. Click past the jump to see the full press release.

Gallery: 2011 Audi R18 LMP1

[Source: Audi]

Continue reading Audi R18 Le Mans prototype unveiled with full roof, epic LEDs

Audi R18 Le Mans prototype unveiled with full roof, epic LEDs originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 Dec 2010 15:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lexus CT 200h F Sport unveiled in Sydney

Filed under: Hybrid, Performance, Hatchback, Lexus, Misc. Auto Shows, Australia, Luxury

Lexus CT 200h F Sport

Lexus CT 200h F Sport – Click above for high-res image gallery

Lexus is serious about pitching the CT 200h as a sportier alternative to most hybrids. Thing is, like the Honda CR-Z, the CT doesn’t really live up to that hype. That won’t stop Lexus from beefing things up a bit, though. To that end, it has unveiled an F Sport package for the hybrid hatch.

Unveiled at Sydney’s Australian International Motor Show, the CT 200h F Sport gets a revised body kit, up-sized alloys, tinted glass, specific dashboard and door panel trim, a thicker steering wheel, and new pedals.

Lexus says it has re-tuned the suspension as well, and an optional Flame Blue color joins the catalog. Unfortunately, we think it makes the CT look more budget than premium. You can read all the details in the press release after the jump.

Gallery: Lexus CT 200h F Sport

[Source: Lexus]

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Lexus CT 200h F Sport unveiled in Sydney originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Oct 2010 12:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Chevrolet Montana compact truck unveiled in South America

Filed under: Truck, Chevrolet, South America

2011 Chevrolet Montana

2011 Chevrolet Montana – Click above for high-res image gallery

Say hullo to this little truck: It’s the 2011 Chevrolet Montana and it might just make its way up from South America into U.S. dealer showrooms. It’s a small two-door, two-passenger ute that rides on the same platform as the Brazilian Chevy Agile, a hatchback city car.

According to Mike Levine over at PickupTrucks.com, General Motors has no successor planned for the U.S.-version of the Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon twins. This car-based, front-wheel-drive trucklet could provide a nice stepping stone into its family of larger pickups. The engine would likely have to be beefed up for this market, since potential truck shoppers might be scared off by the Montana’s 1.4-liter four-cylinder (it’s good for 97 horsepower, 95 pound-feet of torque, and 30 miles per gallon on the highway). Despite its modest power numbers, the Chevy Montana is capable of hauling 1,671 pounds in the rear cargo area – a number comparable to the payload ratings of several full-size pickups.

Is North America ready for a pint-sized, front-wheel drive truck? That’s a tough call, especially one with such Aveo-like unique styling. The 2011 Chevrolet Montana might not arrive in the form you see above (and in the gallery), but it could provide a glimpse at what’s waiting down the road.

Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Montana

2011 Chevrolet Montana2011 Chevrolet Montana2011 Chevrolet Montana2011 Chevrolet Montana2011 Chevrolet Montana

[Source: PickupTrucks.com]

2011 Chevrolet Montana compact truck unveiled in South America originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 02 Oct 2010 11:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Third-generation GP2 spec racer unveiled at Monza

Filed under: Motorsports, Europe, Racing


Dallara GP2/11 – Click above for high-res image gallery

While Ferrari was cleaning up at its home race at Monza this past weekend, the GP2 feeder series campaigned its penultimate race of the season. Venezuelan racer Pastor Maldonado, driving for Italian team Rapax, clinched the series title in its sixth season, but arguably even more intriguing was the concurrent launch of the new third-generation GP2 spec racer.

Like the car it replaces, the new GP2/11 is designed and built by Italian racing chassis manufacturer Dallara – also behind the cars used in IndyCar and Formula 3 as well as F1 newcomer HRT’s car, to name just a few – and will be used exclusively by all teams for the next three seasons. Major changes to the design close the gap to Formula One considerably and borrow from its latest developments, employing a larger diffuser, a narrower rear wing and a larger one up front, a raked front nose and anvil-shaped engine cover. Also like F1, the new GP2 car will switch from Bridgestone rubber to new Pirelli compounds.

Development has been underway for several months, and the new car – unveiled to the teams and press at Monza – will see its first race early next year in the season-bridging GP2 Asia Series. Considering that no fewer than fifteen drivers – Lewis Hamilton among them – have graduated from the series up to F1, GP2 has rapidly developed as the place to watch for the next generation of top talent at the pinnacle of open-wheel racing. So keep an eye on newly-crowned champion Paston Maldonado, and check out the new car in the high-res image gallery below.

Gallery: Dallara GP2/11

[Source: GP2]

Third-generation GP2 spec racer unveiled at Monza originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 15 Sep 2010 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevrolet Orlando production version unveiled ahead of Paris

Filed under: Europe, Paris Motor Show, Crossover, Chevrolet, GM

Chevrolet Orlando – Click above for high-res image gallery

Chevrolet Orlando rear viewGeneral Motors has released official details on the production 2011 Chevrolet Orlando MPV, which will make its first public appearance at this year’s Paris Motor Show. As we reported earlier and confirmed again today, GM has no plans to offer the Orlando in the United States – a shame, too, since this would indeed be a fitting replacement for the aging, less-attractive Chevrolet HHR.

Inside, the Orlando offers seating for seven, though we imagine it’s a bit cramped when fully loaded with people since this new MPV shares a platform with the smaller Chevrolet Cruze sedan. Nevertheless, GM says that there will be plenty of family-friendly interior amenities, including a hidden storage area behind the audio system’s front fascia, first seen on the Orlando concept back in 2008.

European customers will be able to choose from three different powertrains – a 1.8-liter gasoline four-cylinder that produces 141 horsepower, and two 2.0-liter diesel units that offer 131 and 163 horsepower. We don’t have official word yet but suspect that all of these powertrains will be coupled to six-speed automatic transmissions and that power will only be delivered to the front two wheels. Speaking of wheels, customers will be able to choose from a variety of alloy options, ranging from 16 to 18 inches in diameter.

As we’ve said before, it’s easy to understand why GM wouldn’t want to offer the Orlando in the States. The HHR is hanging in there in terms of sales, and folks looking for something larger are easily stepping up into the Chevrolet Equinox crossover. That said, neither of those vehicles are able to seat seven. You can read GM’s own words about the Orlando in the press release, available after the jump.

Gallery: Chevrolet Orlando

[Source: Chevrolet]

Continue reading Chevrolet Orlando production version unveiled ahead of Paris

Chevrolet Orlando production version unveiled ahead of Paris originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 Aug 2010 11:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Nissan Murano unveiled with mild refresh, new SV trim

Filed under: Budget, Crossover, Nissan, Design/Style

2011 Nissan Murano – Click above for high-res image gallery

Nissan has officially confirmed that the new fascia we saw on the European version of the 2011 Murano will find its way to the land of the free. The look carries a reworked bumper, along with similarly sculpted headlights and a new grille. If you were hoping to see the diesel model crop up on dealer lots in your neck of the woods, we’ve got bad news – it ain’t happening. The oil-burning Murano is still only available to our cousins across the pond, leaving us with the capable 3.5-liter VQ V6 with 250 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque as our only powerplant option.

Even so, Nissan has chucked an additional trim line into the mix. Buyers can now choose between a total of eight variants on the Murano theme, including the new SV FWD and SV AWD trims. The Japanese automaker has thrown in 20-inch wheels, a dual-panel moonroof and a bevy of exterior color choices as optional goodies, too. Look for the 2011 Nissan Murano to land on dealer lots by October. Follow the jump for the full press blast.

Gallery: 2011 Nissan Murano

[Source: Nissan]

Continue reading 2011 Nissan Murano unveiled with mild refresh, new SV trim

2011 Nissan Murano unveiled with mild refresh, new SV trim originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Aug 2010 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2011 Nissan Quest unveiled in Japan as Elgrand

Filed under: Budget, Minivan/Van, Japan, Nissan

2011 Nissan Elgrand – Click above for high-res image gallery

Nissan is set to release the next-generation Quest minivan in the States later this year, but we may have gotten an early peek at the people mover thanks to Japanese unveil. Nissan pulled the sheets off of its JDM-only Elgrand – the corporate cousin to the Quest – and the van looks suspiciously similar to the teaser shots of the U.S. version we’ve seen so far. If the information on the Elgrand is any indication, buyers can look forward to getting their minivan with either a 3.5-liter V6 or a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, with all-wheel drive available on select models and both seven and eight passenger configurations.

That’s not to say the two vehicles will be identical. For one thing, it appears that the American version of the van will wear slightly tweaked front and rear fascias compared to what we can see on the Elgrand. Likewise, we expect significant changes to the interior for the American market when the 2011 Quest debuts at the LA Auto Show in November.

Gallery: 2011 Nissan Elgrand

[Source: NISMO Stuff, Nissan]

2011 Nissan Quest unveiled in Japan as Elgrand originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Aug 2010 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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