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GT-R NISMO


The new 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO made its debut today at the famous Nürburgring race course, known as the one of the longest and most challenging race tracks in the world. This is also the place where the Nissan GT-R’s potent performance was honed, tuned and developed.

Like the standard model, the GT-R NISMO’s front end features a freshened face that’s highlighted by a new bumper. And to help cool the car’s high-output engine, the dark chrome V-motion grille has been enlarged to collect more air, without diminishing the car’s aerodynamic performance. A new significantly reinforced hood avoids deformation at extremely high speeds, allowing it to keep its aerodynamic shape at all times. But unlike the standard model, the front bumpers of the GT-R NISMO are made of carbon fibre, crafted with TAKUMI-like precision where layers of carbon-fibre sheets are carefully overlapped to achieve the ideal amount of stiffness. The canards have been designed to improve airflow around the vehicle and generate a high level of downforce, while at the same time, direct air around the wheelhouse to improve the aerodynamics. Overall, the car’s new shape generates more downforce than any other Nissan production car to date, which in turn results in exceptional high-speed stability.


The new GT-R NISMO is also the benefactor of the 2017 GT-R’s refreshed interior, whose cabin possesses a more upscale feel than ever before. The redesigned dashboard, steering wheel and center armrest are covered with high-quality Alcantara® leather. The centre dash layout has been improved and simplified via integrated navigation and audio controls (reducing the number of switches from 27 in the previous model to only 11) and an enlarged 8-inch touch-panel monitor that features large icons on the display screen make it simple to use. A new Display command control on the carbon-fibre center console allows easy operation without having to touch the monitor; a feature that comes in handy when traveling at high speed. Unique to the GT-R NISMO are the leather-appointed Recaro® carbon bucket seats with red Alcantara inserts.


The performance of the all-wheel-drive GT-R NISMO has also been upgraded, thanks in part to the standard model’s significantly reinforced body. The stiffened body structure allowed the engineers to further refine the GT-R NISMO’s shock absorbers, springs and stabilizers, all of which, when combined with the car’s added downforce, result in a better handling car than the previous model. This is evidenced by the car’s improved slalom times and superior cornering performance (both up by nearly 2 percent from the past model). The GT-R’s special Bilstein® DampTronic driver-adjustable system—which utilizes multiple vehicle information systems to provide appropriate damping forces and high level of control for a variety of driving situations—features a special NISMO-tuned shock absorber that more effectively transfers the power of the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V6, which still produces a remarkable 441kW (600PS) , to the road surface.

Dubbed the “VR38DETT,” the GT-R NISMO’s engine is the result of the expertise that NISMO has gained from participating in motorsports events around the globe. Mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch gearbox, it features a pair of high-flow, large diameter turbochargers used in GT3 competition. As with the standard model, each GT-R NISMO engine is hand-assembled from beginning to end in a special clean room by meticulously trained technicians, with an aluminum plate added to the front of each engine showing the name of the TAKUMI engine craftsman.


Despite its more potent nature, the new GT-R NISMO boasts better overall balance than before, evolving into a car that can be enjoyed on a winding mountain road as on the local race circuit.


“The GT-R NISMO emphasizes the ‘R’ in its nomenclature. Its direct ties with racing makes it at home on any racetrack, providing the highest levels of excitement and exhilaration for the driver. With the 2017 GT-R as a starting point, the new NISMO version has become a more well-balanced machine, with not just increased performance, but a heightened premium feel overall. It is the result of our relentless pursuit of ultimate driving pleasure,” said Hiroshi Tamura, the Chief Product Specialist of the GT-R NISMO and the standard GT-R.


The 2017 Nissan GT-R NISMO is available in five different exterior colors. It is assembled in Tochigi, Japan, with the engines hand-assembled in Yokohama, Japan. 

A Leap Forward for Jaguar


It's no big secret that I am a fan of Jaguar, the F-Type, Project 7, and the XK, are all sports car icons. But something exciting has been happening at Jaguar, that sporting DNA has worked it's way into new segments of the Jaguar lineup. The F-Pace, Jaguar's first crossover/suv and the XE the brand's latest sedan, both open Jaguar up to new drivers.

I was invited out to Galpin Jaguar in Van Nuys to attend the launch of the two new models. To be honest when rumors were circulating that Jaguar was going to build an SUV I was skeptical, but the F-Pace truly defines the segment. The interior, fit and finish and styling are all flawless, and the muscular good looks Jaguar has become known are are still there, especially in R-Sport trim.


Sitting down with Thomas Loveless, Jaguar Vice President for the Western Region, he said that the  F-Pace and XE are just the first phase in an expansion that we will learn more about this November at the LA Auto Show. According to Loveless, the F-Pace is doing so well, they don't expect to get caught up until December, so if you see one on a lot, you better act fast. 





Galpin put on an amazing event, with amazing food, live music, a cigar lounge, and bar. These events are invite only and gives Galpin and Jaguar a chance to showcase their latest vehicles to their customers, partners, and the media. Plus as you wander around the Galpin Premier building you'll find the Aston Martin Lounge, the Lotus Showroom, and even their own luxury boutique.

The F-Pace and XE are arriving at dealers now, so if you act quickly you might be able to get your order in before allocation is gone. Learn more at Jaguarusa.com.






The Baltic Classic


The Endurance Rally Association (ERA) has launched an exciting new addition to its 2017 calendar. The Baltic Classic is a two-week rallying adventure which starts in Copenhagen on Sunday 28th May 2017. The route takes in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland before finishing in Berlin on Saturday 10th June.

Open to both Vintage and Classic cars, the event loops around and across the beautiful Baltic Sea and will see plenty of gravel driving and exciting forest sections on roads made famous by events such as the Rally of the Thousand Lakes and Rally Estonia.


ERA Rally Director Fred Gallagher explains: “The Baltic Classic is aimed at both newcomers to long distance historic rallying as well as experienced ERA competitors. The route has been chosen to combine the finest scenery this spectacular region has to offer while visiting areas steeped in rally history.

The chosen route takes in acres of spectacular sub arctic forests, miles of beautiful rolling countryside and long hours of daylight, making this a rally to remember.

“The competition element of the event will be familiar to those with experience of past ERA events, comprising regularity sections on wide, flowing gravel roads as well as special tests on private land and will be held entirely on non-damaging roads.”

The event concludes in historic Berlin where the results will be calculated before a splendid poolside lunch and prize-giving ceremony.

Naturally as much attention has been paid to the comfort of the crews when they’re out of their cars as to the automotive challenges when they’re in them. Participants can expect to enjoy the finest accommodation and the best dining in each of the countries we visit. As part of the route, competitors will also enjoy two crossings on board luxury ferries which sail the Baltic Sea.

Entries are now being accepted for vintage, vintageant and classic cars pre-1976 for what is guaranteed to be a fantastic 14-days of rallying and another tremendous ERA event.

For more details on the Baltic Classic as well as other ERA events and the latest updates, visit www.endurorally.com.


The BMW R 5


80 years ago, BMW presented the BMW R 5 to the international public - an exciting new technological development that was to influence motorcycle construction right through to the 1950s. Inspired by the 500 cc factory racing machine of 1935, it was one of the groundbreaking sports motorbikes of the late 1930s with its newly designed light frame. To mark the 80th anniversary of the BMW R 5, BMW Motorrad is honouring this icon at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2016 with a special model: the BMW R 5 Hommage.



The BMW R 5 Hommage translates the essence of motorcycling into the modern era, combining the world of historical motorcycle design with the modern world of custom bikes.
“At its debut, the R 5 was not only a masterpiece of engineering, the clarity of its lines and the elegance of its proportions also made it stand out clearly from the masses. To this day, the R 5 remains one of the most aesthetically appealing motorcycles in BMW history in my view,” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad. “In my opinion, its fascinating and unique beauty lies in its sheer simplicity,” adds Ola Stenegard, Head of Vehicle Design and Creative Director Heritage BMW Motorrad. “In today’s world it is very simple to keep it complicated, but very complicated to keep it simple. And the BMW R 5 captures the very essence of a motorcycle. Our aim was to transport its clarity and elegant aesthetic appeal to the modern era - creating a respectful combination of old-school and high-tech with a dash of high performance.”
Vintage meets custom.

The BMW R 5 Hommage shows just how well the world of historical motorcycles and the custom scene harmonise. At the core there is an original 500 cc Two-cylinder engine provided by motorcycle enthusiast Sebastian Gutsch. This boxer engine was damaged in a race and provided the starting point for creating the BMW R 5 Hommage.


As befits a custom bike, the homage bike was elaborately hand-crafted from scratch. Ronny and Benny Noren were called upon to produce the parts according to the specifications of the BMW Motorrad Design Team: the two brothers have been building tailor-made customer bikes for more than 30 years.

Historical core ...
The Two-cylinder 4-stroke boxer engine of the R 5 was completely newly designed at the time and had an output of 24 bhp at 5,500 rpm. The valve drive was taken care of by two camshafts powered by a timing chain. Thanks to the likewise newly designed frame made of electrically welded oval tubing, the light R 5 reached a top speed of 135 km/h, making it almost as fast as R 17 with 33 bhp 750 cc – which is one of the reasons it was so frequently used for racing, just like the engine selected for the BMW R 5 Hommage, which was damaged during a race. For the homage bike, numerous components such as the valve cover and the breastplate of the boxer engine were machined from billet aluminium based on sketches: they give the historical core a dash of modern flair.
... in a tailor-made custom outfit.


Two doyens of the custom bike scene, Ronny and Benny Noren, were the perfect partners for the BMW R 5 Hommage project when it came to providing a fitting outward appearance for the historical core and producing the missing parts for the engine and gearbox. The remaining parts gradually took shape in the Noren brothers’ workshop based on sketches by the BMW Motorrad Design Team. All parts such as the frame, fuel tank and rear fender are unique, elaborately hand-crafted components – making this a genuine custom bike. And most important of all: the newly fashioned parts clearly transport the original purist character of the R 5.
Timelessly elegant: the proportions.


The result is impressive: even from a distance the proportions convey the timeless beauty of a consistent reduction to the essentials – entirely true to the spirit of the R 5 – and translate this idea into the modern age. The frame and fuel tank echo the elegant drop shape of the original, though in a more modern, streamlined interpretation. The steering head is slightly more tilted, for example, so as to give the R 5 Hommage greater presence and expressive stance while at the same time underscore the fact that it belongs to the customer bike world. As far as the frame is concerned, the focus here was on the oval shaped tubes which were such a striking feature of the original. Together the frame and fuel tank draw a continuous line from the steering head to the rear wheel hub, giving the side view a touch of elegance. The hand-made steel rear fender perpetuates the minimalistic layout.


A modern interpretation of historical details.
A particularly defining feature in terms of the appearance of the original R 5 was the telescopic fork - new at the time - whose characteristic fork covers were aerodynamically shaped at the level of the headlamp. The BMW R 5 Hommage invokes this element and interprets it in modern style based on the custom made fork. The leading edge of the fork covers echoes the “crease” on the breastplate and valve covers with a suggested interpretation of the typical “R 5 rib”. The brake and clutch levers activated from the bar-end likewise blend the past with state-of-the-art technology: these custom-made components combine the look of historical reversed levers with the adjustment options of modern controls.


Exquisite custom craftsmanship: supercharger, exhaust pipes and suspension.
The heart of the BMW R 5 rests within the minimalist proportions of the homage bike. The technical highlight of the engine is the specially developed supercharger, which in the BMW R 5 Hommage now significantly boosts the output of the original 500 cc power unit of 26 bhp to achieve a contemporary accurate level.

A completely newly built stainless steel exhaust system ensures that this increase in power is appropriately reflected in terms of sound.


Other contemporary accents are provided by the new rear wheel suspension, the modern piston brake system and the elaborately designed front and rear wheel hub. The latter combines the brake system and spoke mount in a single formal unit - a detailed reflection of the minimalistic concept embodied by the BMW R 5 Hommage.


The colour: classic BMW style yet still a true custom bike.
The BMW R 5 Hommage is presented in classic style when it comes to colour. The basic theme is typical BMW – black with white pinstripes, though interpreted in contemporary style of course. In addition to the opaquely finished surfaces, the so-called smoke finish on the fuel tank and rearfender allow the steel underneath to partially show through. In addition to the white pinstripes, the black finish on the fuel tank and rearfender especially comes into its own right, in perfect custom style, due to the metallic finish and a slight flake effect.  The engine cases and gearbox in glass bead aluminium provide the perfect stage for the polished aluminium parts such as the machined breastplate and the valve covers with its “R 5 crease”. The soft lustre of the polished aluminium is especially reminiscent of the BMW R 5 originals. The overall image is rounded off with a handstitched leather seat with high-quality embossing.








Car Girl: Lina So


Model: Lina So
Photographer: Manuel Samaniego
Car: 1966 Shelby GT350




The Vanquish Zagato


Aston Martin and Italian design-house Zagato are proud to announce the Vanquish Zagato Concept, the latest creation from their long-standing partnership. The Vanquish Zagato Concept will make its global debut at the prestigious Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, held at Lake Como in Italy from 21 – 22 May 2016


The Vanquish Zagato Concept is the fifth car to emerge from a collaboration that stretches back over five decades, pairing Aston Martin's acclaimed sporting, dynamic and material qualities with Zagato's signature design language.


From the iconic DB4 GT Zagato of 1960 through to the V12 Vantage Zagato of 2011, every collaboration has accentuated key aspects of Aston Martin's design journey and brought them together with Zagato's own race-inspired design language. The result is a group of four sports cars that represent some of Aston Martin's most avant-garde expressions.


The Vanquish Zagato Concept was designed in close collaboration between the Aston Martin Design team led by Marek Reichman and Andrea Zagato and his dedicated design team in Milan. Developed and engineered at Aston Martin’s headquarters in Gaydon, England the concept features proportions that remain quintessentially Aston Martin and emphasises a dynamic, forward-looking stance. The new bodywork is entirely shaped from carbon fibre, with the split lines on the body reduced by the use of large one-piece panels. New lights include round tail light reflectors that evoke the classic rear view of a Zagato design, incorporating the same 'bladed' LED technology as the Aston Martin Vulcan track-only supercar.


Aston Martin Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman said 'Over the years, we have developed and refined our own design language and we have always gone that little bit further with our special series cars like CC-100, One-77 and Aston Martin Vulcan. The Vanquish Zagato Concept shows how our two companies can come together and push the definition of Aston Martin design.'

'We pride ourselves on our strong partnership and the creation of the Vanquish Zagato Concept was a true shared experience,' says Zagato's CEO, Andrea Zagato, 'it represents the essence of an important design relationship that dates back over fifty years.'


Referencing elements of the brand’s contemporary design language, Vanquish Zagato Concept features One-77 inspired wing mirrors and a sculptural rear end similar to DB11's aerodynamic profile, complete with retractable spoiler and rear hatch for access to the luggage compartment.  A quad-exhaust nestles in the rippling carbon fibre sills that run around the lower body, creating a pronounced line from front to rear.

The Vanquish Zagato Concept’s glasshouse wraps around the bodywork like a visor, enhancing its aggressive stance. A new evolution of the classic side strake runs from wheel arch to door just like the new DB11 and a detail originally showcased on the celebratory CC-100. A sharp crease on the rear wheel arch transforms into the rear flanks, where it meets the cascading roofline.


The roof features the iconic 'double-bubble', its shallow radius dipping into the rear window glass to give the car an unmistakeable rear silhouette. A Zagato trademark since the early 1950s, originally arose from the need to accommodate racing helmets with a minimum impact on the aerodynamic profile. To match the bold new exterior, the concepts normally aspirated V12 engine has been uprated to 600 PS, along with enhanced driving dynamics.

Inside, the Vanquish Zagato Concept embodies the fine tradition of Aston Martin craftsmanship, replete with many singular touches. Herringbone carbon fibre is paired with shadow and anodized bronze and aniline leather to give the facia, vents and rotary dials a rich material quality. The Vanquish Zagato Concept is also defined by the unique ‘Z’ quilt pattern stitch used on the seat and door sections, as well as the celebrated trademark Zagato ‘Z’ embossed on headrests and stitched into the centre console.







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