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Saturday, 17 January 2015

GM accused of misleading investors over recalls

DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Co.
managers misled investors and regulators for
years about issues connected to vehicle ignition
switch defects, shareholders said in a lawsuit
accusing the company of inflating the stock’s
value.
GM CEO Mary Barra assured the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission in February that the
company had adequate internal controls over its
finances the day before the first recall was
announced, lawyers for investors said in a
complaint filed late Thursday.
Just weeks after Barra took over, GM recalled
almost 800,000 cars because the ignition switch
could slip out of the “run” position, shutting off
the engine and safety features including airbags
while the car was moving. The recall eventually
expanded to 2.59 million vehicles and has been
linked to at least 45 deaths.
The consolidated complaint filed Thursday in U.S.
district court in Flint, Mich., combines claims by
investors that the automaker’s handling of the
recalls cheated them.
“GM’s internal controls continued to suffer from
severe and systemic problems which resulted in
GM’s failure to accurately account for and
disclose the ignition switch defects and associated
liabilities, costs, and contingencies in its financial
statements,” according to the complaint.
GM spokesman Jim Cain said in March when one
of the shareholder lawsuits was filed that the first
any GM executive was told of the ignition switch
issue was Jan. 31. He declined then to comment
further on the lawsuit allegations.
Unsafe cars
“GM’s long belated recall of these dangerously
unsafe cars has now led to the loss of billions of
dollars of market value for GM investors,” the
lawyers said in the consolidated complaint.
The shareholder lawsuit was filed as a proposed
class action on behalf of all GM investors. U.S.
District Judge Linda Parker appointed the New
York State Teachers’ Retirement system as lead
plaintiff in October.
The lawsuit seeks to represent all investors who
bought or otherwise acquired GM stock from Nov.
Source: Auto News

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Google sees self-drive car on road within five years

A senior executive at Google, Inc. says
he see no regulatory hurdles to self-driving cars
and expects the first fully autonomous cars will
appear on roads within the next five years.
Rather, the
biggest hurdle
would be public
acceptance and getting the technology to a point
where it is safe to operate, he said. Expense is
also an obstacle. The cluster of radars and lasers
that sits above the car costs about $75,000 today,
but that cost is likely to come down with higher
production volumes, he said.
Urmson said Google GOOGL, -0.38% has begun
talks with auto makers, hoping to find a way to
build its driverless cars on a larger scale. He
declined to offer specifics on how the business
model would work, only that this is still being
discussed. The company also has forged
partnerships with auto suppliers like Continental
and Bosch to engineer its prototypes.
Google has been knocking on the doors of the
more established auto industry players, having
decided it needs partners eventually to build
driverless cars on a large scale.
The autonomous-car project is part of Google X,
the innovation labs behind the novel high-tech
Google Glass Web-connected eyewear.
Source: MarketWatch.com, WSJ

Local Motors Unveils a 3D Printed Car at Detroit Auto Show

Local Motors is joining the Detroit maker
movement: The company 3D-printed an
electric car at the North American
International Auto Show , the three-
part printing process ushering in the
company’s midcycle refresh of its Strati.
The car was first unveiled at the
International Manufacturing Technology
Show in September.
Local Motors expects to ultimately
produce 30 Stratis and deliver them in
late 2015 at prices expected to fall
between $18,000 and $30,000, according to
a spokesperson.
It was previously reported that the Strati
uses a Renault Twizy EV powertrain, but
that will change in the coming months as
the Twizy bits are being phased out. “We
have to solidify the powertrain,” said
Local Motors COO Lee Herge. “We don’t
intend to make [powertrains]. We’re
developing a couple of platforms and
talking to everyone.” The Strati is made of
80 percent ABS plastic and 20 percent
minced carbon fiber and weighs a
claimed 1500 pounds.
The quick turnaround on its surface
updates is designed to demonstrate how
quickly the company is capable of shifting
its plastic production process. “It’s to
show its adaptability,” Herge said. He said
the refreshed Strati features a reworked
front end, headlights, taillights and
fenders. The
company showed the first-generation
Strati at its booth and offered rides on the
test track (more on that soon).
“We like to think of it as a Build-a-Bear
mashed up with IKEA mashed up with
Formula 1,” said Local Motors co-founder
and CEO John B. Rogers, Jr. at the
company’s Monday afternoon press
conference. Rogers also announced the
company’s plans to expand its crowd-
sourced operation. This year, it will open
two new micro factories in Knoxville,
Tennessee, and one at National Harbor,
Maryland, just outside Washington D.C.,
where the first 3D-printed cars will be
spit out, assembled, and sold. The
company also plans to open up the design
process via a contest in which 12 builders
will have printed products for display at
the 2015 SEMA show.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Self-driving car technology moves to forefront at NAIAS

Once relegated to convention center
basements, test tracks and tech shows, self-
driving cars and the technology behind them
are center stage at the North American
International Auto Show.
Wholly autonomous vehicles for mainstream
drivers may be years off, but parts of the self-
driving experience are on display now at
Detroit's Cobo Center: three-dimensional
cameras, lane-correction devices and other
tools that increasingly remove the driver from
the tasks of steering, braking and accelerating.
There's even a self-driving concept car with a
sort of built-in lounge: The Mercedes-Benz F
015 concept has walnut flooring and seats
that swivel to facilitate conversation.
It's a sign automakers believe consumers are
becoming increasingly interested and prepared
for these kinds of innovations.
"We don't think you can introduce sort of the
'Jetsons' era right away," said Brad Stertz, a
spokesman for Audi, which debuted a self-
piloting A7 sportback last week at the
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "By
building it step by step, you build people's
confidence."
The goal is to reduce human error in driving,
which some studies blame for as much as 93
percent of accidents.
Cadillac took a huge step toward that when
General Motors Co. announced it would offer
Super Cruise in its 2016 Cadillac sedan. The
system will allow the car to automatically keep
in its lane, brake and accelerate. The Detroit-
based automaker also said some of its 2017
models will have vehicle-to-vehicle
communication to share information on speed
and location.
In an interview Tuesday, the show's second
press preview day, Cadillac President Johan
de Nysschen said the automaker has the
capability to put a self-driving car on the road
today. But it's limited in what it can do right
now, he said, because of unresolved ethical
and legal issues.
"Once we know what we legally can and
cannot do, and the liability issues have been
resolved, then we can decide how to turn all
the capability on," he said.
With its concept car shown in Detroit,
Mercedes-Benz took a far-off look at the
future. Fully autonomous vehicles will be in
showrooms between 2020 and 2030, said
Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche.
"This is soon," Zetsche said. People must be
assured that autonomous cars are at least as
safe as human drivers, but "it sounds easier
than it is," he said.
Also at the show this week, Chairman of the
Board of Managers Rupert Stadler said Audi
plans to invest the majority of $30 billion in
the next five years into self-piloted driving and
connected-car technology. Last week, the
automaker invited reporters to travel in the
self-driving Audi for the 500 miles between
Palo Alto, California, and Las Vegas.
Chris Urmson, who oversees autonomous
vehicle research for Google, often regarded as
the pioneer and leader in self-piloted vehicle
technology, will speak Thursday to industry
executives and insiders at the Automotive
World Congress in Detroit. The forum is
always the same week as the auto show
media previews.
Even the U.S. Army is on board. Its display at
Cobo includes two vehicles capable of driving
themselves: an electric transport shuttle called
the Aribo, which could be used on military
bases; and a tactical vehicle outfitted with a
kit that allows it to self-pilot while moving
supplies, thereby reducing the risk to soldiers.
"We should be keeping pace with the
commercial automotive industry in the safety
features we are putting in our vehicles," said
Ed Schoenherr, an Army engineer with Tank
Automotive Research Development and
Engineering Command.
He and others told Gov. Rick Snyder during a
tour Tuesday that there is plenty of cross-talk
between automakers and the Army about
autonomous vehicles.
"We want to keep that up," Snyder said.
Basics already on market
"A lot of the basic building blocks of what you
need to have in autonomous vehicles are in
the marketplace now," said Sam Abuelsamid,
a senior research analyst with Navigant
research. "Over time, engineers have to
integrate these systems to work together ...
creating situational awareness of what's going
on outside of the body of that vehicle and
respond to the things going on around it."
Although the technology has come a long way,
Chris Borroni-Bird, a vice president of
strategic development at Qualcomm
Technologies and a former General Motors Co.
engineer, said that may not be the biggest
problem. "These other issues, the consumer
acceptance and legal issues, are important to
address."
Buyers appear to be open to the idea. A
survey conducted in September by Boston
Consulting Group found 55 percent of
consumers said they would be "likely or very
likely buy a partially self-driving car within
approximately five years." About 20 percent
said they would pay more than $5,000 extra
for features such as highway or urban
autopilot.
The firm estimates a market opportunity of
about $42 billion will exist for self-driving
vehicles by 2025.
That leaves the legal issues. Mike O'Brien,
vice president of corporate and product
planning for Hyundai, is also an airplane pilot.
He knows that if he is using autopilot and the
plane crashes, he would be held responsible.
But when it comes to self-driving cars, no
government agency has determined who
would be at fault for an accident, damage or
death.
He's not sure what role automakers should
have in those discussions.
"I'm not sure if we lead or follow with the legal
issues," said O'Brien. "We're more focused on
the product."
UM builds roadway test site
Although Michigan doesn't allow for the
testing of self-piloted cars on main roadways,
the University of Michigan is stepping up with
M City, a replica of a roadway with up to five
lanes, intersections, roundabouts, roadway
markings and other topography.
It will allow automakers to "test new
approaches in a safe, controlled and realistic
environment," said Peter Sweatman, director
of the U-M's Mobility Transformation Center.
For now, automakers will continue to develop
technologies while moving into a future that
will undoubtedly involve some kind of vehicle
autonomy.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chief Technology
Officer Harald Wester said automated and
autonomous technologies are a "natural
evolution" to what companies are currently
doing.
At the auto show Monday, Wester said new
active technologies that assist drivers likely
will not fit every situation — but they will
eventually become a part of everyone's daily
driving experience.
"It will be a huge help and support," he said.
"It will significantly help to increase safety,
avoid unnecessary incidents, injuries,
fatalities."

Source: Detroit News.

Ram Rebels from Restraint With, Um, Interesting New Trim Level

“It’s not for everyone.”
That understatement comes from Bob
Hegbloom, chief of Ram Truck, in
reference to the Ram Rebel, the newest
trim level for the brand’s most popular
model, the 1500. Chrysler created the
blacked-out, lifted, extroverted Rebel to
appeal to the many customers who
modify their pickups immediately after
taking delivery. You know who you are.
The list of special touches on Ram’s new
factory custom is expansive. This is the
first Ram pickup since 1990 to be without
a crosshair grille. Hegbloom says they’ll
“check acceptance of the look” to
determine how often Ram strays from the
signature styling trait in the future. We’re
not fans.
The “interlocking” grille is black, as is
pretty much all of the exterior trim on
the truck. Front and rear bumpers are
powder-coated. Wheel flares come from
the Power Wagon (a more extreme off-
roader). The hood comes from the Ram
1500 Sport. There’s no mistaking who
builds this truck, thanks to the enormous
RAM lettering on the grille and on the
tailgate (the letters on the back are a full
five inches high).
The Rebel package isn’t solely about
looks, though. Seventeen-inch cast-
aluminum wheels hold meaty, 33-inch
Toyo Open Country A/T tires designed to
help the Rebel make the most of its skid
plates, tow hooks, and ground clearance.
All Rebels have the 1500’s optional air
suspension, but on this truck it’s raised
one inch higher than usual and has
Bilstein dampers all around.
The Rebel will be available only as a crew
cab with the five-foot-seven-inch bed, but
owners can choose between the 305-hp
3.6-liter V-6 and the 395-hp 5.7-liter Hemi
V-8; two rear-end ratios are available, too.
Four-wheel drive is not standard, but
2WD Rebels will have the same basic
suspension.
Five paint colors are offered—including
monotone treatments, you might be
pleased to learn if you find the truck in
these photos to be on the tacky side. The
standard—and only—Rebel interior setup
is black with red and gray highlights. And
lots of Rebel and Ram logos. The seats are
decorated with prominent depictions of
the tread on the truck’s Toyo tires; it
sounds dubious, but the seats are
arguably the coolest of the many custom
touches on the Rebel.
Pricing hasn’t been released for the Rebel,
which goes on sale in the second quarter
of 2015. For those who are counting, the
Rebel is the tenth trim level for the Ram
1500. We figure that’s at least five too
many.

Source: caranddriver.com

Toyota Dream Car Art Contest.

Draw the car of the future, let your imagination ride far. This was what was written boldly on the 66th page of The Punch Newspaper on Monday 12th January 2015. Toyota Nigeria has introduced the 9th edition of the Toyota Dream car Art Contest for Nigerian children of 15 years and below. They would be expected to use their various objects of art to illustrate a car with a matching background to follow. This is part of the international efforts of Toyota to instill creativity and possibly encourage open their little minds to the Automobile industry....we think.

The contest comes in various age categories including children under 8 years, children between 8-11 years and those from 12 to 15 years and it will hold in three centers in the country namely: Lagos on 7th February 2015  with Abuja and Port-Harcourt to take place on the 31st January 2015. The lads, are to arrive at the centers at 8:00am. The participants, according to Toyota are to consider originality, creativity, environmental friendliness, safety and futuristic concepts in their artworks.

Three national finalists will emerge from each category with their names to be announced in the dailies and these 9 finalists will be presented with gifts and certificates. Also, their artwork will be sent to Japan to represent Nigeria at the global level of the contest. The finalists whose entries are shortlisted at the world contest stand a chance of visiting Japan.

There would also be a world contest with Gold, Silver and Bronze awards to be won. Each Gold, Silver and Bronze winner gets an invitation trip to Japan to attend the award presengtation ceremony scheduled to take place in August 2015. An award winner would be accompanied by one parent or legal guardian.
For more, visit www.toyotanigeria.com

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor: The Beast Returns with an Aluminum Body and a Twin-Turbo V-6!

It's a bird, it's a plane . . . it's the
boulder-decimating new Raptor!

In one of his last shows as the cocky,
right-wing-mocking talking head on the
Colbert Report , Stephen Colbert made a
gleeful, deliciously prescient point about
Americans’ short attention spans for
cheap gas: “Fuel is cheap this week? Give
me a five-year lease on a rolling cargo
ship with the aerodynamics of a cinder
block!” The statement may have been
sarcastic, but there couldn’t be a better
climate into which Ford could introduce
its second-generation F-150 Raptor .
Hulking on its off-road suspension,
widened fenders, and meaty 35-inch tires,
the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is just as
outrageously polar bear–mocking and
lane-deflowering as its groundbreaking
forebear, only now it swills cheap hooch.
Not that such a detail matters; since being
introduced in 2010, the roughly $50,000
Raptor has had buyers lining up even
through the late stages of economic
recession and four-buck-per-gallon gas.
Naturally, we love the thing. Who
wouldn’t, given its huge power, ability to
bomb across craggy terrain at 100 mph,
and bad-ass visuals?
BUILT ECO TOUGH
Happily, Ford stuck to the script for the
new model—almost. There has been some
paraphrasing in the engine bay, where,
instead of the old truck’s 411-hp 6.2-liter
V-8, sits a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter
V-6 engine with direct fuel injection.
While it shares a displacement figure with
the larger of the two EcoBoost V-6s
available in the regular F-150 , the Raptor’s
mill features a new aluminum block and
upgraded internals, revised heads, and
tweaked fuel-delivery equipment. Final
output figures weren’t available at the
time of this writing, but we’re told to
count on 450 to 500 horsepower and more
torque than the current V-8’s 434 lb-ft. As
for fuel-economy estimates, Ford is likely
to trumpet efficiency gains on account of
the turbocharged engine, but horrible,
ignorable fuel economy is part of the
Raptor’s charm. We’ll file preliminary
EPA estimates under “we don’t care.”
Of course, four-wheel drive will be
standard, and the Raptor’s setup now
includes a terrain-response function that
optimizes the truck for varied surfaces
such as snow, rocks, and more. Feeding
the transfer case is Ford’s first application
of its all-new 10-speed automatic
transmission.
YOU CAN’T CRUSH THIS BEER CAN
The new powertrain is bolted to an
equally new frame that, while derived
from the 2015 F-150’s steel unit, is
substantially upgraded to better handle
the abuse doled out by full-throttle
(sweet) jumps, huge rocks, and whatever
else a Raptor can subjugate to its will.
Two wheelbases and cab configurations
will be offered: a 133-inch-wheelbase,
extended-cab SuperCab and a 145-inch,
four-door SuperCrew. Following in the
F-150’s footsteps, the high-performance
truck also switches to aluminum
bodywork, shedding a claimed 500 or so
pounds in the process. A composite hood
and front fenders further reduce mass.
Ford’s stylists somehow managed to
massage these fancy new materials in
such a way as to imbue the Raptor’s
rippling body with even more muscle. The
slight upkick to the rear quarter-panels
lends the tail a bad-ass stadium-truck
look, and the grille once again boasts
giant “Ford” lettering and federally
mandated marker lights on account of the
truck’s width. Colossal Ford lettering also
makes it onto the Raptor’s tailgate, and
there are vents on each front fender and
another one on the hood, in addition to
LED accent lighting everywhere.
The most important elements of all,
however, are sheltered by the Raptor’s
blistered fenders. Those would be the Fox
Racing shocks, coil-sprung aluminum
front control arms, and the leaf-sprung
solid rear axle. To improve on the old
Raptor’s impressive suspension travel—
11.2 inches in front and 12.1 inches in the
rear—Ford upped the Fox shocks’
diameters from 2.5 inches to 3.0. The
units still feature internal bypasses that
take the edge off of quick, hard impacts.
Skid plates in front help protect against
meet-and-greets with desert rubble, and
shallower front and rear bumpers
improve the truck’s approach and
departure angles. New 17-inch aluminum
wheels are wrapped in BFGoodrich All-
Terrain T/A K02 tires that practically
scream out for raised white lettering.
IT KNOWS IT CAN FLY
Amazingly, another carry-over feature of
the 2017 F-150 Raptor is its near complete
lack of competition. Dodge offers the
1500-based Ram Runner , but it is available
only in kit form through the Mopar
catalog. General Motors never picked up
the phone when Ford came calling in
2010, and it hasn’t since. Some credit is
due to the Ford SVT engineers—who now
toil under the Ford Performance banner,
hence the absence of “SVT” in the new
Raptor’s name—that designed such a
product that worked nearly as well on the
street as it did in the Baja.
Having sampled several iterations of the
new F-150 , we can report that the weight
loss afforded by the switch to aluminum
construction is palpable from behind the
wheel. Yet for all that, this Raptor version
is the one we’ve been waiting for. With
the base price expected to stay around
the $50,000 mark, it will continue to be
within reach of anyone with desert-
runner fantasies. So, yeah, Mr. Colbert?
You can sign us up for one of these
babies.
Source: caranddriver.com

Here Comes The cars, Here Comes The North American International Auto Show NAIAS.

Take the Wraps Off, NAIAS
Detroit’s world stage is set to raise the
curtain on what’s expected to be more than
45 worldwide and North American vehicle
intros. While the list of intros is still under
wraps, teasers suggest the Toyota Tacoma
and Mirai fuel cell vehicle, Nissan Titan,
Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fiesta, Audi Q7, Acura
NSX, BMW 6 Series and Lexus GS F, Maserati
Ghibli Ermenegildo Zegna concept and Alfieri
2+2 concept, just to name a few, will debut at
NAIAS. Ready to assist media in covering all
the breaking news will be the Michelin Media
Center, opening on Sunday, Jan. 11 from 1-5
p.m. Also on Sunday, don’t forget the
exclusive preview of The Gallery for
credentialed NAIAS 2015 media from 9-11
a.m. at the MGM Grand Detroit. The
schedule is set, and the floor plan’s
finalized. What’s left? Take the wraps off,
NAIAS.

Detroit Auto Show Revs up Amid Industrial Issues

A surging economy, more jobs and cheap gas:
the United States auto industry will celebrate a
confluence of near-perfect conditions as it unveils
its latest wheels in the annual Detroit car show
next week.
According to AFP, after racking up the best year in
sales since 2006, the last year before the financial
crisis hit, automakers will put out for display
some 40 new car and truck models, hoping to
seduce buyers to make 2015 even better.
The cars will be more powerful and decked out
with ever-more high-tech bells and whistles that
are making them safer than ever, while pushing
slowly toward the day of the hands-free
automobile.
Rolling onto the red carpet in Detroit will be
Cadillac’s most powerful car ever, the new 640
horsepower CTS-V; Lexus’s GS F performance
sedan; a brand-new version of the legendary
Acura NSX; and possibly the next-generation Ford
supercar.
Pickup fans will be wowed with the all-new
Nissan Titan and Toyota Tacoma trucks.
The struggling green-car sector will also have
badly needed fresh offerings in the form of a
redesigned GM Volt, and Hyundai’s hybrid and
plug-in Sonatas.
The show, the premier auto exposition in the
United States, will also see the return of Chinese
makers, absent for several years after self-
imposed exile, with Guangzhou Auto presenting a
new car – which will not be sold in the United
States.
The impressive array going on display
underscores how the American consumer is
enjoying the richest, most diverse range of
choices from the Detroit “Big 3″ –General Motors,
Ford and Chrysler, now renamed FCA US – and
European and Asian producers.

Source: Punch Online

2015 Dakar Rally: Saudi Arabian Dakar Rally rookie Yazeed al-Rajhi claims debut stage

IQUIQUE, Chile - Toyota's Saudi Arabian Dakar
Rally rookie Yazeed al-Rajhi claimed his maiden
stage win after a spectacular sand-dune finish
to Stage 8 Iquique on Sunday to break Mini's
stranglehold on this year's race.
Nevertheless, as the Toyota driver celebrated
his landmark day on the world's toughest rally,
his Qatari rival and 2011 Dakar winner Nasser
al-Attiyah did enough in his Mini in third to
consolidate his position at the top of the drivers'
standings.
He even gained a few seconds on his closest
pursuer, South Africa's Giniel de Villiers
(Toyota), who finished fourth. Up to this win for
Toyota, each stage had been won by one of the
Minis.
TERRANOVA SECOND
Sunday's 808km run, with 784km timed, took
al-Rajhi and the rest of the car competitors from
Bolivia's high salt flats in Uyuni to the
vertiginous dunes of the Chilean Pacific coastal
city of Iquique.
Al-Rajhi covered the route in three hours, 26
minutes and 49 seconds with Saturday's stage
winner Orlando Terranova second in another
Mini, more than a minute behind.
Al-Attiyah, a further 2min30 back in third, has
an almost 8min30 lead over De Villiers, the
South African in his SA-built Hilux bakkie,
losing precious time in the final dunes on the
approach to Iquique, in the race for the Drivers
crown.
Al-Rajhi, who remains in contention for the
Drivers' crown in third place but 18min40
behind, said: "Today was a good day. "We
drove fast and we had fun. The most difficult
part was organising toilet stops!
"At such altitudes (up to 4000m) just a sip of
water makes you want to go... The in-line start
in Salar was great and carried out under good
conditions. We didn't have the highest top
speed but we managed to catch up with the
others.
"It was a bit like a game."
Terranova described the marathon stage as "an
awesome experience".
Monday (today, Jan 12) is a rest day for the car
drivers ahead of Saturday's (Jan 17) finish in
Buenos Aires. After Saturday's day off for
motorcyclists the 717km (321km timed) Stage 7
which took the two-wheeled competitors from
Iquique to Uyuni was won by Honda's Paulo
Goncalves.
The Portuguese rider is third in the overall
motorbike standings, 11min behind his Spanish
team mate Joan Barreda, with this pair
separated by KTM's defending champion Marc
Coma.
Coma, a four-times winner, is six minutes adrift
back.

Source: Wheels 24 SA

2015 Dakar Rally: Stage 8 Results

Career-best results for some and devastating
outcomes for others made Stage 8 of the 2015
Dakar Rally one of the most tumultuous days of
this year’s rally. The second-half of the first
marathon stage, in which any bike maintenance or
repairs must be completed by the riders, saw
KTM’s Pablo Quintanilla score his first stage win of
2015. The Chilean rider beat Yamaha’s Juan
Pedrero Garcia by 11 seconds at the finish. KTM’s
Stefan Svitko rounded out the top-three.
The day’s course saw riders traverse the Uyuni
salt flats, nearly 13,000 feet above sea level.
Conditions were cold, wet and treacherous. After
traveling 293 miles of special section, competitors
were faced with 170 miles of neutralized course
which brought them back to the dunes in Chile for
a 23-mile sprint to the finish.
To begin with, rainfall overnight left the course
water-logged and especially difficult so officials
delayed the start of the special section. The
conditions immediately claimed GasGas rider
Gerard Farres Guell, who suffered a tumble at high
speed within the opening miles on the salt flat. He
broke his bike in the fall and was evacuated by
medics to be treated for hypothermia. As the day
progressed, Guell was joined by three more
top-20 riders forced to withdraw from the event.
Yamaha’s Michael Metge ran into mechanical
issues that eventually ended his campaign, later
followed by teammate Alessandro Botturi. Red Bull
KTM’s Jordi Viladoms faced mechanical issues of
his own which he desperately tried to fix, but his
broken engine proved insurmountable and the
Spaniard retired from competition.
Things were no better for Team HRC’s Joan
Barreda, who lost all hope of the overall win this
year. The Honda ace managed to retain his
position atop the general classification after
suffering a crash the previous day which left him
with a broken handlebar, obliging him to finish the
final miles using only his right hand. Overnight,
Barreda swapped handlebars with Argentinean rider
Demian Guiral and got off to a strong start,
keeping within reach of the early stage leaders.
Disaster struck Barreda before arriving at the
neutralized portion, however, the Honda rider only
able to complete the journey across Bolivia thanks
to a tow from teammate, Jeremias Israel. This set-
back cost Barreda more than an hour and a half to
Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma. The two powered on
to the finish, with Barreda classified in 64th-place
followed by Israel in 65th, both riders ending the
day more than three hours behind the stage
winner. Barreda drops to 16th in the general
rankings, while Israel is down to 27th. In a team
statement afterward, Barreda expressed his
displeasure with officials for even allowing the
event to proceed, considering the conditions.
"In the end it’s been collateral damage, and a
disgrace what they’ve made us do today; to race
in a sea," said Barreda. "It was out of place. All the
work on all the projects that we’ve done has gone
down the pan. To make a decision like that just
wasn’t right. Today you couldn’t see a thing;
visibility was zero. We were floating around on top
of the water. They ordered us to start and this is
what happened; my Dakar is over."
Coma’s teammate, Matthias Walkner, had an
abysmal day as well after finishing third in Stage 7.
Problems on course set the Austrian back
significantly, costing him more than one hour, 40
minutes on Quintanilla, dropping him to 28th
overall. Team HRC’s Helder Rodrigues, who started
the day sixth overall, lost three hours on the stage
leaders prior to reaching the neutralized zone. He
completed Stage 8 in 66th position and now sits
19th overall.
As is often the case in Dakar, the misfortunes of
some proved beneficial to others. Coma now holds
the overall lead after finishing Stage 8 in ninth-
place.
“Conditions were very complicated, for me over the
limit,” explained Coma. “To ride over the salt and
the water was like a kind of cement on the bike
and there was a lot of stress to try to take care of
the engine of the bike and everything. To arrive
here today is like a victory. I am happy we are
leading now but we still have five days in front of
us. We have a long way to go and every day there
is something different. We just have to take it
kilometer by kilometer.”
Team HRC’s best hope of victory now lies in Paulo
Goncalves’ hands, the Honda rider moving to
second-overall after finishing Stage 8 in 15th-
place. Goncalves has a deficit of a little more than
nine minutes on Coma. Quintanilla enters Stage 9
in podium position, his performance en route to
Iquique moving him to third overall.
Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price maintained a consistent
pace to the end of the day to earn fourth in the
stage and move to fourth overall. Team HRC’s Laia
Sanz provided a much-needed reason to celebrate
with her best result of this year’s rally, completing
Stage 8 in fifth position. She now sits ninth in
combined time.
2015 Dakar Rally Stage 8 Results
1. Pablo Quintanilla, CHL (KTM) 2:56:19
2. Juan Pedrero Garcia, ESP (Yamaha) 2:56:30
3. Stefan Svitko, SVK (KTM) 2:56:31
4. Toby Price, AUS (KTM) 2:57:00
5. Laia Sanz, ESP (Honda) 2:58:55
6. Xavier de Soultrait, FRA (Yamaha) 3:02:55
7. Alain Duclos, FRA (Sherco) 3:03:01
8. Hans Vogels, NLD (KTM) 3:03:53
9. Marc Coma, ESP (KTM) 3:03:56
10. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 3:04:03
2015 Dakar Rally Overall Rankings after Stage 8
1. Marc Coma, ESP (KTM) 28:51:12
2. Paulo Goncalves, PRT (Honda) 29:00:23
3. Pablo Quintanilla, CHL (KTM) 29:02:23
4. Toby Price, AUS (KTM) 29:07:08
5. Stefan Svitko, SVK (KTM) 29:17:42
6. Ruben Faria, PRT (KTM) 29:25:46
7. Alain Duclos, FRA (Sherco) 29:49:20
8. David Casteu, FRA (KTM) 30:02:00
9. Laia Sanz, ESP (Honda) 30:10:03
10. Ivan Jakes, SVK (KTM) 30:38:59

Culled from Moto USA.

Monday, 12 January 2015

The 2015 Dakar Rally; What you need to know.

Featuring 9,000 gruelling kilometres across some
of the most challenging terrain in the world, the
Dakar Rally is without doubt one of the toughest
races out there. You only have to look at the many
amazing pictures to grasp an understanding of just
how cool it is.
First run in 1978, the Dakar Rally was originally a
race from Paris to, as the name suggests, Dakar in
Senegal. However after the 2008 event was
cancelled following a security threat in the African
country of Mauritania, the rally moved to South
America and is now held across Argentina, Chile
and Bolivia in January each year.
It might be called a ‘rally’ but the Dakar is really
an off-road endurance race featuring the toughest
prototype off-road bikes in the world.
Taking place over thirteen stages in a two week
period with hundreds of competitors, the Dakar can
be quite complex to get your head around so
we’ve pulled together a beginner’s guide with all
you need to know…

THE ROUTE
The Dakar route varies each year, so don’t think
that if you can learn the route this year you’ll be
all set for 2016. There is an allocated route, but
it’s not the cordoned-off track you might expect to
find at other rally events. Navigation is part of the
challenge of Dakar; if you get lost you lose
significant time.
In total there are thirteen stages, which take place
over fourteen days including a rest day. Each stage
features both a ‘Road Section’ and a ‘Selective
Section’. The road sections, as the name suggests,
mainly follows the road networks as competitors
travel, untimed, between the selective sections and
the bivouac accommodation.
The selective sections, commonly known as
special stages, are the competitive timed element
of the event. These stages are largely off-road and
involve a variety of challenging terrains, from
mountain sides to sand dunes and swamps.
The stages vary in length, with the shortest
covering 393 kilometres and the longest over
1,000km. The specials within each stage also vary
in distance, with the shortest special stage at
174km and the longest an exhausting 518km.
This year’s route forms a loop with both the start
point and finish in Argentina’s Capital, Buenos
Aires. The furthest point from the Argentinian
capital is the Chilean city of Iquique.

HOW IT WORKS
Each of the thirteen special stages are timed and
the winner is the rider who completes all of the
thirteen specials in the shortest amount of time. At
the end of each stage, riders rest for the evening in
the Bivouac while their crew work on their bikes.
Two stages are chunked together as a Marathon
stage, meaning there is only one winner for the
two stages and overnight the riders are allowed no
support from their crews. In fact, they stay alone
with their bikes and only their riding team mates
can help with any issues. This year’s marathon
stage for motorcycles takes place between 14th
and 15th January.

THE BIKES
As previously mentioned, the bikes used for the
Dakar Rally are off-road prototypes developed by
manufacturers particularly for events like this. As
of 2014, the bikes may be powered by single or
twin cylinder engines up limited to a capacity of
450cc.
KTM has dominated the event recently. The
factory, Red Bull supported outfit has been
unbeaten since the turn of the millennium. Honda
and Yamaha field strong factory efforts against the
boys in orange but are yet to finish higher than
second. Yamaha hasn’t won a Dakar since 1998
and it’s been some 25 years since Honda’s last
victory.

WHO TO WATCH
Favourite for this year’s Dakar is KTM’s four time
winner Marc Coma. The Spaniard took victory in
last year’s Dakar to mark his third win of the
South American era.
Honda’s effort is led by Spaniard Joan Barreda,
who won an impressive five stages in last year’s
Rally before a crash saw ruled him out of the battle
for victory. Barreda is one of the most promising
riders in the Dakar but his nickname ‘Bang Bang’
didn’t arise without reason.
Many are touting Britain’s Sam Sunderland for
success in this year’s event. After a strong 2014
rally, including his debut stage victory, the Dubai
resident moves to the factory Red Bull KTM outfit
this year. However, with Dakar King Marc Coma as
his team mate – he won’t be the team’s number
one priority.
After the defection of Dakar legend Cyril Depres to
the four-wheeled category, Yamaha have pinned
their hopes on 2014 third-placed man Olivier Pain.
The Frenchman’s Dakar history has been blighted
through injury and crashes, but he’s finished in the
top ten for the last three consecutive years.
Keep an eye out for friend of Bike Social, Simon
Pavey as he takes on the 2015 Dakar with his son
Llewellyn for the first time!



Culled from Bennete.Co.uk

Dakar Rally: Feautured; Monster Peugeot 2008 DKR.

Peugeot Sport team principal Bruno Famin  five days ago, said
getting three 2008 DKRs ready to start the Dakar
Rally is a first victory for the team.
Peugeot ' s Dakar project began just one year ago
and the French manufacturer has designed and
developed its two -wheel -drive diesel- powered car
over the past 12 months .
" It' s been an incredible journey to be here and to
be ready for the Dakar , " said Famin .
" We are ready on time . We don ' t only have three
cars lined up , but we have three very well finished
cars .
" We would have liked to have done two or three
times the number of kilometres in testing that we
did, but we feel we've done quite a lot of
preparation.
" There 's a good spirit in the team and we have a
strong level of experience . Everybody is now ready
for the start . "
The 2008 DKRs will be driven by five -time car
class winner Stephane Peterhansel and 2010
winner Carlos Sainz.
Five- time motorcycle winner Cyril Despres will
make his car class debut in the third car.
Peugeot won the Dakar Rally four times, from 1987
to 1990 , when the rally ran from Paris to Dakar in
west Africa .
The 2015 edition began in Buenos Aires , Argentina
on Sunday and includes stages in Bolivia and Chile
before it finishes back in Buenos Aires on January
17.

Lets Talk About The Dakar Rally Raid.

Well I have good news for our off-road lovers as Motoring Nigeria Blog will be bringing you the latest news and updates on the ongoing 2015 Dakar rally raid taking place in three South American countries namely: Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. Before we talk about the 2015 edition of the really raid, let's first understand what the Dakar rally raid is.
The Dakar Rally (or simply " The Dakar ";
formerly known as the " Paris–Dakar Rally ") accorsing to wikipedia is
an annual rally raid organised by the Amaury
Sport Organisation. Most events since the
inception in 1978 were from Paris, France , to
Dakar , Senegal , but due to security threats in
Mauritania, which led to the cancellation of the
2008 rally , the 2009 Dakar Rally was run in
South America ( Argentina and Chile). It has
been held in South America each year since
2009. The race is open to amateur and
professional entries, amateurs typically making
up about eighty percent of the participants.
Despite its "rally" name, it is an off-road
endurance race, properly called a " rally raid"
rather than a conventional rally . The terrain that
the competitors traverse is much tougher and
the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles
rather than the modified on-road vehicles used
in rallies. Most of the competitive special
sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud,
camel grass, rocks, and erg among others. The
distances of each stage covered vary from short
distances up to 800–900 kilometres (500–
560 mi) per day.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

GMC Canyon Nightfall Edition: Like Skyfall, But With Much Less James Bond

We’re very concerned, people. There is a
very real threat in the world today, and it
has nothing to do with plane crashes,
extremism, or Kim Kardashian. No, what
scares us the most, what really keeps us
up at night? Imagining what automakers
are going to do when they run out of
names for monochromatic black-out (and
black-painted trim) design packages.
Stealth, Midnight , Altitude , Black Optics,
Stealth, John Varvatos , Nighthawk , and
Blacktop are all taken—”Sith Edition” has
yet to be claimed—leaving precious few
ways to describe darkness. According to caranddriver.com, GMC just
crossed another name off the list with the
Canyon Nightfall Edition, a murdered-out
take on the brand’s new mid-size pickup.
Soon to be available on the mid-level
GMC Canyon SLE trim, the Nightfall
Edition gear brings Onyx Black paint, a
blacked-out grille and side steps, and 18-
inch wheels with black-painted inserts.
We suppose remote engine starting,
polished exhaust tips, a spray-in bedliner,
a backup camera, and automatic climate
control also work at night, and so they’re
granted passage onto the Nightfall
Edition’s standard-equipment list, too.
Buyers can choose between two- and four-
wheel drive, and GMC doesn’t specify a
specific engine for the package, which we
take to mean that the Canyon SLE’s
standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder is also
standard here. (That leaves the 3.6-liter
V-6 as an option.) Other SLE goodies
include an eight-inch touch-screen
dashboard display, GM’s OnStar system
with a 4G LTE data connection, a leather-
wrapped steering wheel, and a locking
rear differential on 4WD models.
While GMC has not yet released pricing
for the Nightfall Edition, it has stated that
the package can only be paired with the
four-door Crew Cab version of the
Canyon SLE. Assuming GMC charges
money for the Nightfall, expect a base
price in excess of $30,000 when the truck
goes on sale this coming spring. In the
meantime, we suggest trademarking any
name that could even remotely be
attached to a dark-themed trim package.

Nissan and NASA Combine Powers to Create Autonomous Vehicles for Earth and Beyond

Partnerships are nothing new in the auto
industry, but this one is both awesome
and unexpected. Roundandtrack.com says Nissan has announced
that it will work with NASA to jointly
develop fully autonomous vehicles by the
end of 2015. To the grocery store, and
beyond!
The Nissan-NASA partnership kicks off a
five-year research program to “advance
autonomous-vehicle systems and prepare
for commercial application of the
technology.” Engineers from Nissan’s
Silicon Valley Research Center will join
NASA researchers to test a fleet of zero-
emissions, self-driving vehicles at the
space agency’s Ames Research Center at
Moffett Field in California.
“The work of NASA and Nissan—with one
directed to space and the other directed
to earth, is connected by similar
challenges,” said Nissan honcho Carlos
Ghosn. “The partnership will accelerate
Nissan’s development of safe, secure, and
reliable autonomous drive technology that
we will progressively introduce to
consumers beginning in 2016 up to 2020.”
What happens in 2020, you ask? Well,
that’s when Nissan hopes to introduce
autonomous cars that “have the ability to
navigate in nearly all situations, including
the most complex situation, city driving.”
No word as to whether “introduce” means
“offer for sale,” but doubtless that is the
end goal for Nissan.
NASA, for its part, enters into the
agreement with an eye toward putting
autonomous car tech to use in outer-
space transport of goods, materials, and
humans, as well as the remote-controlled
rovers the agency uses to explore far-off
astronomical bodies. Maybe soon you’ll
see NISMO and NASA-edition Nissans
sitting side-by-side at the dealership.
That’d be pretty cool—cooler even than
not having to drive a Leaf yourself.

Friday, 9 January 2015

All-new 2015 Ford Mustang coming to Nigeria

Ford Motor Company has collaborated with leading
cosmetics manufacturer, OPI Products
Incorporated, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of
the iconic Ford Mustang. The popular pony car
which celebrated its 50th anniversary in April has
inspired an exciting line of OPI limited-edition nail
lacquers in an array of bold, dramatic shades.
The collection’s signature shade, Race Red is a
tribute to one of Mustang’s most iconic colours.
Mustang Marketing Manager, Melanie Banker, says
the striking colours of the limited-edition nail
lacquers mirror the essence of the Mustang. “Ford
Mustang inspires passion like no other car and we
are excited to be working with OPI on an exclusive
collection that captures the spirit of our iconic car.
There is no better way to express Mustang’s bold
personality and the excitement it creates than
through colour.” She stated.
“OPI is just as enthusiastic about being associated
with the Mustang. OPI is thrilled to partner with
one of the world’s top automotive companies in
celebrating 50 years of Ford Mustang,” co-founder
and executive Vice President of OPI, Suzi Weiss-
Fischmann said.
“For women, cars and nail lacquer offer a way to
express personality. This new collection will
deliver elements of sophistication, luxury, power
and style fitting for both OPI and Mustang
consumers,” she added. Mustang’s unique
combination of style, performance and affordability
established an entirely new class of sporty cars.
The Mustang’s next illustrious chapter unfolds with
the 2015 Ford Mustang. Acclaimed as its most
advanced version yet, the 2015 edition of the car
features an all-new sophisticated design that was
clearly inspired by its 50-year heritage.
The all-new Mustang will go on sale in Nigeria in
2015, with the choice of a 5.0-litre V8 engine
producing 320kW and 536Nm, or a 2.3-litre
EcoBoost engine producing 228kW and 440Nm.
Mustang now also boasts an all-new, integral- link
rear suspension.
This design endows it with improved mechanical
grip for high-performance applications, while still
delivering world-class ride quality. The all-new
Mustang also features a significant amount of
innovative technologies providing drivers with
enhanced information, control and connectivity
when they want it.
From Intelligent Access with push-button start to
SYNC® and MyKey® in every Mustang built, plus
standard Track Apps™, MyColor® gauges and a
new Shaker Pro Audio System, with which drivers
will be able to customise their time behind the
wheel. The Ford Mustang is about to become the
newest member of a very exclusive club of
vehicles to have been in continuous production for
50 years.
More than 9.2 million Ford Mustangs have been
sold over the past five decades. When the all-new
Mustang arrives this year in Nigeria, it will be
joining the rest of the Ford line-up of passenger
cars and commercial vehicles in the showrooms of
Coscharis Motors Ltd and BriscoeFord – the two
dealerships marketing the brand in the country.

Volkswagen okays Android auto, CarPlay

German automaker, Volkswagen, is set to join
Apple’s CarPlay and the Android Auto bandwagon
as it confirms bringing CarPlay to its new vehicles
this year.
A report on Tuesday by ZDnet.com said the car
manufacturer was demoing a full fleet of its
vehicles at this year’s CES show in Las Vegas and
had used the event to announce its forthcoming
adoption of both CarPlay and Android Auto.
It said the support for the two platforms would
come with its second generation “modular
infotainment platform”, called MIB II.
In the United States, the new infotainment system
would come with MirrorLink for the first time, and
with that it would be introducing CarPlay and
Android Auto.
According to Volkswagen, it will launch Car Play
and Android Auto at the same time in Europe, but
won’t bring MirrorLink to the continent.
Volkswagen is one of the larger brands yet to have
opted for a smartphone-enhanced infotainment
system. Despite its newfound commitment, it is
still missing from Apple’s CarPlay page of
supported manufacturers, but does appear on the
Android Auto equivalent.
Early movers on the CarPlay front include
Mercedes, Volvo and Ferrari – though Volvo and
Mercedes delayed their rollout to this year. Fellow
German manufacturer Audi has promised models
with CarPlay will arrive later this year.
Also, for iPhone owners who are not in the market
for a new vehicle, Pioneer last year released its
lineup of in-dash systems for the US and European
markets which support CarPlay.
“Volkswagen is also showing off its Gold R Touch
concept this week, where the infotainment unit
uses cameras to detect gestures and assigns
meaning to them, with the aim of allowing users to
control displays without actually having to touch
the screen. The idea behind the technology is to
reduce driver distractions,” it stated.
The report noted that while it had taken some time
for vehicle makers to begin rolling out CarPlay,
Apple’s list of CarPlay markets was still relatively
small, currently including Australia, Canada,
France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico,
South Korea and Spain, Switzerland, the UK and
the US.

Source: punch online

Motoring Nigeria Launches Nigeria's First Automobile Magazine


"We are not planning to take any path cleared by anybody but rather create a path and leave a trail for others to follow." 

This sentence was one of the numerous sentences contained in our introductory website post and we have continued to live up to our word. As Nigeria's automotive authority, we are determined to keep our position as the industry's trailblazers by  increasing our efforts in bringing you the best innovations to ever exist in Nigeria's automotive industry. In 2015, we made history by creating our racing story series RoadKill and now we are making even bigger history through the launch of  CARVOLUTION MAGAZINE; Nigeria's first automobile e-magazine.

Carvolution Magazine is an automotive publication that encapsulates the passion and experience of driving great cars. It is an excellent source for all those who are interested in autos and for enthusiasts, it is a supply of unadulterated fuel to power your automotive passion. It features engaging writing, reviews, industry news, trends and events all captured in superb articles by the best automotive writers in the country. If you love cars or have hopes to one day purchase your dream car, then you surely will find this magazine exciting.

This issue is named Carvolution'16 as with all other subsequent issues for the year 2016. Fully sponsored by Motoring Nigeria, Carvolution'16 is online and free to download for all who want to share in the exciting experience of reading the impeccably crafted articles within. It will be published quarterly for now and more frequently as time goes on, only in online format until 2017 when we will decide whether or not to publish in print depending on readers feedback.
We have set a target of 10,000 downloads and views for this e-magazine and only you as an individual can help us achieve that. So, be a part of history, join us in creating a new era for Nigeria's automotive industry by helping us to achieve 10,000 downloads and views of Nigeria's first automobile magazine.

We would also appreciate comments and discussions about this magazine, let us know what you think, comment here or send an email to carvolutionmagazine@gmail.com, who knows, you might be one of the lucky five who will be featured in the next issue.

Download CARVOLUTION'16 here

Download via Dropbox

Toyota Camry, Lexus RX to go aluminium

A major redesign of one of the bestselling cars in
the world, the Camry, is in the works, as Toyota
Motor Corporation has hinted about plans to add
aluminium body panels to the model.
A report obtained from Automotive News on
Tuesday also indicated that another vehicle under
the Toyota management, the 2016 Lexus RX, would
receive an aluminium hood and tailgate when
released this year.
The report added that the automaker would exploit
a joint venture with a metal manufacturer in the
Camry and Lexus RX aluminium project.
It, however, did not give the name of the metal firm
involved in the project.
“The all-new Camry (not the 2015 update) will
have an aluminium hood in 2018,” it stated.
The report is expected to elicit some excitement
from the motoring public and Toyota already
anticipates that the Camry and Lexus RX
alumininum project will raise its total volume sale
significantly.
Toyota may be scoring another major point over
the competition in the top sedan segment as fuel
efficiency has always been a strong selling point
for Toyota models in this category.
Luxury brands such as Audi, Jaguar and Land
Rover have heavily used aluminium on many
models to reduce the vehicles’ weight and improve
fuel efficiency.
Like the Corolla, another popular Toyota sibling,
the Camry has been a big seller for a long time
and experts attribute this to the car’s affordability,
fuel economy and easy maintenance.
The Camry currently faces strong competition from
recently refreshed Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and
Nissan Altima among others.
Auto reviewers note the 2015 Toyota Camry has
been given a very extensive refresh, just three
model years after the introduction of the current
generation.
The last generation of Camry is considered one of
the longest best-selling models.
Source: Punch Online

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Watch 103 Cars Achieve World Record for the Most Simultaneous Burnouts

Forget champagne. What better way to ring in the
New Year than the sound and smell of burning tires?
That is what around 100,000 people did at the
Summernats 28 annual car festival in Canberra,
Australia on January 1. The crowd watched as 103
cars fried their tires to break the Guinness World
Record for the most simultaneous burnouts at the
same event. Incidentally, Summernats broke its own
record from 2013 when 68 cars participated.
We can only imagine the excitement in the audience
and out on the track (or the smell) but perhaps this
video will give you a better glimpse of the historic
moment. Chances are you've probably never seen
this much tire smoke before.
This stunt is just the latest attempt at achieving an
automotive world record. Recently, two Nissan Z cars
set the record for longest tandem drift at 17.7 miles.
Farther back, a group of cars gathered in the U.K. to
set the world record for the most simultaneous
donuts. The record for the closest parallel parking job
has been hotly contended for several years, now
standing at an unimaginable 8 cm of total space
between three cars. Tell us which record you think is
most impressive in the comments below. If the video
below doesn't load, you can also watch it here
Source:motortrend

Lets talk about The Stig.

The Stig is a character on the British motoring
television show Top Gear. The Stig's primary
role is setting lap times for cars tested on the
show, as well as instructing celebrity guests,
off-camera, for the show's " Star in a
Reasonably Priced Car " segment. The character
is a play on the anonymity of racing drivers'
full-face helmets , with the running joke that
nobody knows who, or indeed what, is inside
the Stig's racing suit.

When introducing the Stig in the Top Gear
premiere, Clarkson said, "We don't know its
name, we really don't know its name, nobody
knows its name, and we don't wanna know,
'cause it's a racing driver." According to
the Daily Mail in 2010, his face is never
revealed on set, and not even the celebrity
guests being trained on the reasonably priced
car are allowed to learn his identity. He stays
suited and with his helmet on throughout the
show, arriving early and leaving late, having his
own dressing room and eating privately. The
studio audience has no access to him at any
time.

So what do we know about The Stig?
All we know is, he's called the Stig."
But some say:
He has no face
He is terrified of Scouts
The drinks in his cabinet contain 14 different
types of custard
His favourite T-Shirt has a picture of a T-
Shirt
Afraid of bells
Confused by stairs
He's been producing artificial sperm for
years, even though we've repeatedly asked him
not to.
Never blinks
Naturally faces magnetic north
All of his legs are hydraulic
Two sets of knees
Is convinced Star Wars is a documentary
Heart ticks like a watch
Spends spare time catching fish with his
tongue or foraging for wolves in the woods
Face appears on high-value stamps in
Sweden
Left nipple is shaped like the Nürburgring
One eye is a teste
Invented the curtain
Salary is paid by the BBC in strong
pornography
Owns the world's largest collection of
pornography
Developed the "wonderful" scent of
Wednesday
Only knows two facts about ducks, and both
of them are wrong
Has a full size tattoo of his face, on his face
Has terrible plans involving the Moon
Was turned down for a spot on "I'm a
celebrity..." because he is one
Thinks crisps are animals.
Doesn't like to get his helmet wet
Has a stripe-y top just like James'
Can open a beer bottle with his testicles
His feces have been found as far north as
York
Thinks the " Credit Crunch " is a breakfast
cereal
To unlock him, you have to run your finger
down his face, vertically
Due to a rigged phone vote has a new name:
Cuddles
Is not machine washable
Sucks the moisture from ducks
His crash helmet is modelled on Britney
Spears ' head
Once threw a microwave oven at a tramp
Allergic to the Dutch
Banned from the Chelsea Flower Show
Has a digital face
His ears aren't exactly where you'd expect
them to be
Has webbed buttocks
Once punched a horse to the ground
If you tune your radio to 88.4 MHz, you can
hear his thoughts
There is an airport in Russia named after him
His sweat can be used to clean precious
metals
His breath smells of magnesium
Is illegal in 17 U.S. States
Wanted by the CIA
Sleeps upside down
His New Year's resolution is to eat fewer
mice
He has 50,000 photographs of his own
camera
60 years ago this week he also became a
Queen
Had an affair with John Prescott.
If he felt like it, he could fire Alan Sugar .
Gets terrible eczema on his helmet.
Thinks Harper Seven (David Beckham's
daughter) is a convicted terrorist cell.
Is taken by the ancient Greeks as a god.
When he slows down, brake lights come on
in his buttocks.
Well isn't he an interesting character...?

 Source: Wikipedia, Top Gear via youtube

Friday, 2 January 2015

Volkswagen recalls 38,000 cars due to fire risk

The Volkswagen Group of America is recalling
about 38,000 cars because a fuel leak in the
engine may cause a fire, the Associated Press has
reported.
The automaker said no injuries or accidents have
been reported.
The recall covers 2014 to 2015 model years of
the Volkswagen Beetle, Jetta, Passat and 2015
models of the Golf and GTI.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
said drivers might smell gas inside their vehicles.
Volkswagen is telling owners who smell gas or
see the electronic power control warning light go
on to immediately bring the vehicle to a
Volkswagen dealer to have the fuel system
inspected.
Volkswagen said that it would notify owners of the
recalled cars.
There is no cost to owners for the repairs.

Car News: Why FG shifted Tokunbo car tariff increase to April 2015

The Federal Government may have bowed to
pressure on the implementation of the 70 per cent
tariff on imported used vehicles by postponing its
enforcement to April 30, 2015.
This is the third time in six months that the tariff
implementation date will be shifted. It was first
moved from July 1, 2014 when the government
decided to implement the policy in two phases of
35 per cent apiece to January 1, 2015.
The government said then that the arrangement
was to enable local vehicle assembly plants to
ramp up production in order to meet the nation’s
demand for brand new vehicles.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported on
Wednesday that the cost of clearing imported
second-hand vehicles would rise substantially
from today (January 1, 2015) as the second phase
of the 70 per cent tariff was meant to begin. By
implication, Nigerians would have to pay more for
such vehicles.
But the Federal Government, in a statement
issued on Wednesday by the National Automotive
Council, an agency of the Federal Ministry of
Industry, Trade and Investment, said it had
deferred the implementation of the new tariff to
April 30, 2015.
The Director-General, NAC, Mr. Aminu Jalal, said
in the statement that the postponement was due
to the delay in the establishment of a vehicle
finance scheme.
He said, “The arrangements for the establishment
of the affordable vehicle finance scheme suffered
a delay of about four months due to the Ebola
Virus Disease.
“The staff of the collaborating bank, Wesbank of
South Africa, delayed their planned trip to Nigeria
to set up operations from September 2014 to
January 2015. Hence, the new date for the start of
operations of the financing scheme is April 2014.
Accordingly, the Minister of Finance has been
asked to extend the levy deferment on used cars
to April 30, 2015.”
The Federal Government had imposed the 70 per
cent of the cost of all fully built vehicles (both old
and new) as tariff being part of an automotive
policy introduced in September 2013 to
discourage the importation of vehicles.
Source: The Punch

Quote of the day!

The level of concentration needed to drive in Lagos on a Monday morning is 5 times the level you need to win a Formula 1 race.
(Adejoro Anthony 2015)

Car News: Top Gear previews upcoming 22nd season

Top Gear just aired its controversial Christmas Special filmed in South America , but that's not all the original BBC series has in
store for car fans around the world.
There's an all-new season of action
planned, and while the producers aren't
telling us much about it, they have
released this teaser videos to keep the
show's fans on their toes.
The video mostly shows The Stig, Top gear's mysterious test driver
thrashing a rented yellow Lamborghini
Aventador on vacation in locations around
the world, which is entertaining enough.
But as for actual action we can look
forward to in the 22nd season of one of
the world's most popular television
programs, the most we can see is a
Jaguar F-Type Coupe sliding sideways
around the sopping wet Top Gear Test
Track at the Dunsfold Aerodrome.
Watch video here: Top Gear previews 22nd season.

News Source: Top gear via YouTube, Auto blog

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Car News: Ford Kicks Off Marketing Blitz For 2015 F-150

Ford’s 2015 F-150 has already received plenty of
press. And now, roughly two months after the first
pilot trucks began rolling off the line, the Dearborn
automaker’s marketing blitz is ramping up just as
the new Ford truck begins reaching dealerships. A
multichannel marketing campaign, from football to
professional bull riding to country music to
smartphones, will reach truck customers where
they work and play.
“Like the 2015 Ford F-150 , Ford’s truck customers
have become even smarter about how they do
their jobs and how they shop for their next truck,”
said director of Ford U.S. Marketing, Chantel
Lenard. “To meet their information-gathering
needs, Ford will gain their attention during
commuting and off-hours while providing on-
demand digital and mobile content that answers
their questions 24/7.”
Ford’s market research shows that truck
customers tend to begin the shopping process
earlier than the typical automobile customer,
starting an average of 233 days before making a
purchase. The data also shows nearly half of truck
buyers end up purchasing the brand they initially
researched.
“From 30-second TV spots to in-depth videos, our
new ads and online content demonstrate to
customers where we’ve delivered improved
capability, while proving the F-150 is a performer
to help them get the job done,” added Lenard.
Three national TV commercials for the 2015 F-150
will make their debut on December 31 st during the
college football playoff for NCAA Division I teams.
The three spots, which are listed and described
below, will emphasize the new F-150’s durability,
class-leading capabilities, and productivity-
building smart technologies.
“Forward March” is a 60-second spot that
introduces the world to the “Future of Tough”
and the all-new F-150
“What’s Next” highlights innovations available
only on the F-150, such as a remote tailgate
release, LED headlamps and spotlights, and a
360-degree camera system
“Move It” shows the F-150 towing a variety of
heavy items, demonstrating its best-in-class
12,200-pound tow rating
“The forward movement, innovation and spirit of
progress embodied in these ads will resonate with
truck customers for whom productivity, making a
difference and building a legacy is so important,”
said Ford Truck Group Marketing manager Doug
Scott.
In addition, Ford and FOX Network Group are
working together to promote F-150 across the
network’s news, sports, and Hispanic outlets, the
latter of which include Fox Deportes and
MundoFox. And the F-150 marketing team will
also reach out to customers with exclusive
webisodic content. For example, ESPN “Sport
Science” creator John Brenkus will host “F-150
Tough Science” webisodes that showcase various
F-150 technologies such as its military-grade
aluminum-alloy body and high-strength steel
frame while “Tough Science” will show customers
how these innovations make the new F-150 nearly
700 pounds lighter and more efficient than any
previous F-150.
The 2015 F-150 will also be promoted with Ford’s
brand content alliance teams, including country
music star Toby Keith, Professional Bull Riding,
NASCAR, and National FFA.

Culled from Motrolix.


Happy New year 2015


Happy New year 2015 !!
Dear Reader...
Thank You for being with us and supporting us for the past two months since we started this blog.

We appreciate you
God bless you
God bless Motoring Nigeria
May God bless our 2015 and grant all our heart desires.
Happy New year!!!
From Adejoro Oluwakorede Anthony

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