- The last Lamborghini Murcielago to be produced bears the number 4,099
- Porsche Cayenne wins Golden Steering Wheel 2010 and SUV of the Year
- Audi boosts fuel efficiency in the A4 model
- LMS: 1000KM of Zhuhai preview
- Automobili Lamborghini further expands China operations
- Volkswagen at the 2010 MPH show
Posted: 05 Nov 2010 06:00 AM PDT
The „end of production“ of the Murciélago was celebrated in the factory on November 5, 2010, with a special exhibition of the most iconic V12 cars of Lamborghini’s history, followed by a parade in Sant’Agata Bolognese.
Supersportcars like the 350 GT, the Miura, the Countach and the Diablo escorted a Murciélago SV of the Lamborghini Museum during a symbolic “last ride” out of the gate of the Lamborghini factory.
“For almost a decade, the Murciélago was the icon of the Lamborghini brand, and it was enormously successful in the process,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. “The Murciélago embodies the pure, unadulterated values of our brand. It is truly extreme, uncompromising and unmistakably Italian. This already makes it one of the legends of the sports car world. But the Lamborghini story continues. In 2011, we will take a huge step into the future with the successor to the Murciélago – with the most innovative technology and, once again, truly stunning design.”
The Lamborghini Murciélago is a super sports car of menacing character and brutal power. And at its presentation in 2001, it opened a new chapter for the Lamborghini brand – with state-of-the-art technology and outstanding product quality, but most especially, with a new, timelessly modern design philosophy. To this day, the purist form of the Murciélago still exudes enormous sensuality. Broad and low, with a cockpit set well forward and a long, taut back – the interplay of its calm underlying form and razor sharp edges is unique, as are its vertically opening “scissor” doors.
Augmenting the Murciélago is the Murciélago Roadster. With 640 hp under perfect control and no roof above – there is no more sensuous way to experience movement; every kilometer is a journey into the eye of the hurricane. As a roadster, too, the Murciélago knows no compromise. Its roof is nothing more than protection from the elements.
The extreme design was accompanied from the very start by phenomenal performance, razor-sharp handling and outstanding high-speed stability. The Murciélago has always been the ultimate driving machine for advanced sports car drivers. In its first generation, it featured a V12 with 6.2 liters of displacement and 580 hp, mounted longitudinally in front of the rear axle. In the second generation, the Murciélago LP 640, displacement rose to 6.5 liters and output to 640 hp.
And even this was subject to further refinement – Lamborghini works tirelessly on the ongoing development of its models. This year, the arrival of the Murciélago LP 670-4 Superveloce – with output increased to 670 hp, weight reduced by a further 100 kilograms and an even hotter design – marked an impressive finale to the story of this super sports car. The performance figures for the Superveloce are nothing short of breathtaking – in only 3.2 seconds, the SV is catapulted to 100 km/h. Not until 342 km/h do power and drag call a halt to the proceedings.
With the construction of the Murciélago, Lamborghini demonstrated its extraordinary expertise in lightweight engineering and in working with high-tech carbon-fiber composite materials. From the very start, the structure of this super sports car has been a mix of extremely stiff carbon-fiber components attached to a steel frame – as in a race car. Center tunnel and floorpan are made from carbon-fiber, as are the majority of the exterior panels and many interior components. Lamborghini has significantly developed this lightweight philosophy for the successor to the Murciélago.
4,099 units of the Lamborghini Murciélago were built between 2001 and 2010 in Sant’Agata Bolognese – an impressive number, and not only in comparison to its predecessors the Miura, Countach and Diablo. Bearing the special production number, the final one to be produced is, of course, an LP 670-4 Superveloce, sporting a large rear wing and “Arancio Atlas” paintwork. The final car has been delivered to a customer in Switzerland. Even though many sports car fans around the world are sure to mourn the passing of the Murciélago, Lamborghini is ready to start the next all-new chapter in the story of the super sports car in 2011 with its successor – welcoming the arrival of a new automotive legend…
Posted: 04 Nov 2010 07:32 AM PDT
The world’s largest international reader jury has awarded the new Porsche Cayenne the “Golden Steering Wheel 2010″. Almost 250,000 readers from 23 different countries voted on participating vehicles in Springer-Verlag’s pan-European reader poll, with the Cayenne emerging triumphant in the SUV category. The latest version of the successful sporty off-road vehicle particularly impressed readers with its attractive design and high practicality, alongside maximum efficiency and the typical driving pleasure of a Porsche.
For the “Golden Steering Wheel” awards 40 million readers of “AUTO BILD”, “BILD am Sonntag” and 26 other European car magazines were invited to vote for their favourites. Porsche had previously won the coveted award in 2000 with the 911 Turbo, in 2005 with the Carrera GT and in 2009 with the Panamera.
This announcement virtually coincided with the coronation of the new Cayenne as “Sport/Utility of the Year” by the renowned US trade publication “Motor Trend”, in the home country of the SUV. The editorial panel of experts assessed a total of 15 new models in this category according to the six objective criteria design, technology, fuel efficiency, safety, value stability and performance.
On top of these accolades, the new Cayenne generation is proving a resounding market success worldwide. Particularly in the guise of the Cayenne S Hybrid model, Porsche serves up its most compelling combination of efficiency and performance for customers and trade journalists alike, demonstrating what “Porsche Intelligent Performance” is all about.
Posted: 04 Nov 2010 07:00 AM PDT
Audi is further improving the efficiency of its models. Starting immediately, two new versions of the best-selling A4 that consume less fuel than ever are available in Germany. The sedan consumes just 4.4 liters of diesel per 100 km (53.46 US mpg) on average, with CO2 emissions of 115 grams per km (185.07 g/mile). These same figures for the A4 Avant are 4.6 liters (51.13 US mpg) and 120 grams (193.12). CO2 emissions have been reduced by four and nine grams, respectively, compared with the previous models.
Efficiency at Audi does not come at the expense of sportiness. The new models have powerful engines. Their two-liter TDI generates 100 kW (136 hp) and 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque, the latter of which is available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. The sedan accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 215 km/h (133.59 mph); the Avant completes the standard sprint in 9.8 seconds and reaches 208 km/h (129.25 mph).
The two new A4 models use the technologies from Audi’s modular efficiency platform. All the gear ratios of their six-speed manual transmissions were lengthened slightly, and the forged 16-inch alloy wheels are shod with 206/60 tires that have been optimized with respect to rolling resistance. Aerodynamic tweaks to the body and a lower ride height improves the drag coefficient, while the on-board computer with efficiency program gives the driver tips about when to shift and on fuel-efficient driving.
Audi offers the two new efficiency top models in the A4 series in the Attraction trim line. The Audi A4 2.0 TDI (100 kW 115 g CO2/km) has a base price of €31,600; prices for the A4 Avant 2.0 TDI (100 kW 120 g CO2/km) start at €33,250.
Posted: 04 Nov 2010 06:45 AM PDT
The scene is set for Zhuhai to become the focal point of the auto industry this weekend with the first-ever Chinese endurance event, the 1000km of Zhuhai, to take place this Sunday, 7 November.
As the final round of the inaugural Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, this race will determine the winners of the first ILMC titles for manufacturers in the prototype categories (LM P1) and GT (LM GT2), and for the teams in each of the four Le Mans categories (LM P1, LM P2, LM GT1 and LM GT2). Both manufacturer and team titles will be awarded following Sunday’s 1000km/six-hour race.
The ILMC was created by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest as a true Endurance World Cup. This new Le Mans series serves as an opportunity for manufacturers and teams to battle on a continuous and global level throughout the endurance season, in addition to providing the prefect context for revenge following the 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans.
This year’s first Intercontinental Le Mans Cup consists of three races on three continents: Europe, North America and Asia. The 1000km of Zhuhai is the third round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, following the Silverstone 1000km in England and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta (Georgia, USA).
In 2011, the ILMC will expand to include seven events with races in North America, Asia and Europe, and will also include the 79th edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (worth double points).
Quick recap on ILMC standings
On Sunday, 13 June 2010, Audi triumphed in the 78th 24 Hours of Le Mans, monopolizing the top three places on the podium. The Ingolstadt make not only won the race but also set a new distance record: 397 laps, 5410.71 km in 24 hours, beating the previous record that dated from 1971. Peugeot’s hopes of winning the race for a second year in a row after its 2009 victory were dashed by too many mechanical glitches.
The second part of 2010 saw the birth of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup with the inaugural round on the Silverstone circuit in England. The 1000km event set the scene for a revenge match as both Peugeot and Audi entered cars backed up by a marvellous GT2 field with entries from Ferrari, Porsche and BMW. Peugeot won this first round, scoring a double at Silverstone and taking the lead in the prototype manufacturers’ classification. The battle in GT2 saw the AF Corse Ferrari in the lead ahead of the Prospeed Porsche, giving the Italian manufacturer top standing in the GT2 manufacturers’ classification with four points over its German rival. In the teams’ cup the leaders were Peugeot in the LM P1 category, OAK Racing in LM P2, Larbre Competition in LM GT1 and AF Corse in LM GT2.
The next ILMC round took place in North America with the Petit Le Mans on the Road Atlanta circuit in Georgia. The race, the last on the American Le Mans Series calendar, lasted 10 hours. The same teams lined up to do battle, reinforced by an armada of American squads and the Porsche Hybrid, which ran outside classification. This second round saw a second double for Peugeot ahead of Audi. Following the results from Round 2, the French manufacturer further opened the gap over its German rival in the prototype manufacturers’ category with 95 total points. Audi (59 points) must win in Zhuhai and score a double to bag the 2010 ILMC title.
In the GT2 manufacturers’ category there was another battle between Ferrari and Porsche, but victory went to American manufacturer Corvette. In the overall classification, Risi Competizione’s third place enabled Ferrari (83 points) to keep the lead from Porsche (72 points), who had scored good points at Road Atlanta thanks to the Flying Lizard team. Thus the Zhuhai round will be the clincher as only eight points separate the leading GT2 manufacturers. The Ferrari teams (AF Corse and Risi Competizione) and Porsche (Proton Felbermayr and Prospeed) will go head-to-head to decide which manufacturer will win the first ILMC title. BMW will also be out to score its first victory in this category, while Jaguar will continue its learning curve with the new XKR. In the teams’ cup the leaders, who will all race in China, are Peugeot Sport Total (LM P1), OAK Racing (LM P2), Larbre Competition (LM GT1) and Risi Competizione (LM GT2).
The scene is set
And so the 1000km of Zhuhai is set to be an intense battle which will result in the very the first crowning of the ILMC champions. Activity began heating up on the Zhuhai International Circuit today with unofficial free practice. Tomorrow promises a busy schedule with Team Manager and Driver briefings, two official Free Practice sessions (one at 10:30, one at 15:30) and the ILMC 1000km of Zhuhai official finish line picture. Qualifying takes place on Saturday and the race will begin at noon on Sunday 7, November. There is a seven-hour time difference with central Europe.
- Car Racing News
Posted: 04 Nov 2010 06:29 AM PDT
Italian supersports car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini has opened two further dealerships in China: Lamborghini Xiamen in the flourishing Fujian Province of China; and Lamborghini Shanghai Central in Shanghai Xintiandi – the world-renowned luxury center – making a total of nine locations in China and Hong Kong.
Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., said: “Xiamen is one of the most important economic centers of China and an important strategic location for the marque, and along with Lamborghini Shanghai Central reinforces our growing brand presence and strategy for serving the strong East China market.”
Lamborghini has seen more than 100% growth in Chinese sales volumes for the 2010 year to date compared to 2009. Moreover, Lamborghini’s market share in the exclusive sports car segment has increased year to date from 14.9% in 2009 to 23% in 2010.
The dealerships in Xiamen and Shanghai Central are the latest developments in Automobili Lamborghini’s strategy for growing its robust worldwide network, and reflect the significant success already achieved by the brand in China. In addition to Xiamen and the two dealerships in Shanghai, Lamborghini operates six dealerships in Guangzhou, Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
“China continues as one of our most important markets, where we continue to forecast growth,” said Stephan Winkelmann. “The Chinese luxury market continues exponential growth in line with the country’s economic development. The extreme, uncompromising and Italian appeal of the Lamborghini brand is now well established and sought-out by the discerning Chinese luxury consumer.”
Xiamen, with its reputation as “The Garden City”, is an important Chinese financial center. The new showroom is operated by top-ten Chinese dealer group Enjoyauto Ltd. Lamborghini’s second Shanghai showroom is located in the heart of Shanghai’s Central Business District, among the city’s leading businesses and international luxury brands.
Posted: 04 Nov 2010 06:00 AM PDT
Volkswagen is proud to announce that it will be supporting the 2010 MPH Show with a number of road-going and unique high performance Scirocco and Golf models.
The Scirocco R will be on display at the MPH Show which takes place at Earls Court, London (4-7 November) and the NEC, Birmingham (11-14 November). In addition to the most powerful and fastest accelerating production Scirocco ever, Volkswagen will be showcasing the Nürburgring 24-hour class winning Scirocco GT24-CNG, alongside the iconic Golf GTI and the GTI Project Scalextric track.
Making its UK premiere, the Scirocco GT24-CNG coupé claimed an overall 16th place finish, and a one-two-three podium lockout in the class for cars with alternative power in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring earlier this year. It is powered by a 2.0-litre TSI engine powered by natural gas, reducing CO2 emissions by 80 per cent over a conventional petrol engine and produces 330 PS.
Joining the Scirocco GT24-CNG is the latest evolution of the original hot hatch, the Golf GTI and a 1:43 scale model of the Golf GTI which forms part of the GTI Project. The 30 ft by 25 ft track is the work of a team of 60 modellers and features over 200 scale buildings. The Scalextric layout is the physical track that the online game, available at www.gtiproject.com has been based on, and gives racers the chance to compete against the clock, and each other, in the latest version of the legendary hatchback.
The Scirocco GT24-CNG, Golf GTI and GTI Project can be found on the Volkswagen stand P157 at Earls Court and P30 at the NEC.
For ticket details and further information about the MPH Show visit www.mphshow.co.uk.
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