Fwd: chrisescars.com


Lamborghini Gallardo hammered to death in protest: video

Posted: 18 Mar 2011 11:57 AM PDT

A Lamborghini Gallardo owner was so angry with the poor quality of his supercar and awful customer service that he hired a group of men to hammer the Lamborghini to death in public.

The destructive event took place in China, where a Lamborghini Gallardo reportedly costs £465,000 compared to £160,000 for the same car in the UK.

The Lamborghini Gallardo owner was furious with the company after his Italian supercar suffered with a number of problems.

The final straw came after the owner, a businessman from China's eastern Shandong province, reported an engine malfunction with the car. He took it to a Lamborghini dealership for repair and when the vehicle was returned the engine was still not fixed and the owner claimed that the chassis and the bodywork had been damaged.

After a tiresome campaign of complaining, and having written personally to Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann, the owner decided to protest by hiring nine workers to destroy the Gallardo in public.

Watch the video below which shows the Lamborghini Gallardo hammered to death in protest.

Surprisingly the Lambo holds up well to the beating at first, either that or the workers were reluctant to hit the car with full force. But then again if somebody gave me a sledge hammer and told me to hit such a beautiful car I would be a little hesitant too, wouldn't you be?

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Fwd: chrisescars.com


History of Bugatti, manufacturer of high performance automobiles

Posted: 18 Mar 2011 04:28 AM PDT

The company Bugatti was founded in 1909 in the city of Molsheim, France (Germany at that time) by Italian-born Ettore Bugatti and was set up as a manufacturer of high performance automobiles.

Bugatti is legendary for producing some of the most exclusive cars in the world, as well as some of the fastest, over the years the company has had its fair share of ups and downs, it has been bought-out several times and is now currently owned by the Volkswagen Group.

Ettore Bugatti Era

Ettore Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy, and founded the automobile company Bugatti in 1909. The company quickly grew a positive reputation for its engineering an artistic designs of their automobiles. Bugatti also enjoyed great success in early motor racing, winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. The company's success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice in 1937 and in 1939.


Bugatti's cars were as much works of art as they were mechanical creations. Engine blocks were hand scraped to ensure that the surfaces were so flat that gaskets were not required for sealing, many of the exposed surfaces of the engine compartment featured Guilloché (engine turned) finishes on them, and safety wires were threaded through almost every fastener in intricately laced patterns.

Rather than bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did, Bugatti's axles were forged such that the spring passed though a carefully sized opening in the axle, a much more elegant solution requiring fewer parts. He famously described his arch competitor Bentley's cars as "the world's fastest lorries" for focusing on durability. According to Bugatti, "weight was the enemy".


Only a few examples of each of Ettore Bugatti's vehicles were ever produced, the most famous being the Type 35 Grand Prix cars, the "Royale", the Type 57 "Atlantic" and the Type 55 sports car.

Throughout the production run of approximately 7,900 cars (of which about 2,000 still exist), each Bugatti model was designated with the prefix T for Type, which referred to the chassis and drive train.

During the World War II Bugatti worked at Levallois in northwestern suburbs of Paris, on several new projects, including the Type 73 road car, Type 73C single seater racing car (5 built), and the Type 75. After the war, a 375 cc supercharged car was canceled when Ettore died.

Racing success

Bugatti cars were extremely successful in racing, with many thousands of victories in just a few decades. The little Bugatti Type 10 swept the top four positions at its first race. The 1924 Bugatti Type 35 is probably the most successful racing car of all time, with over 2,000 wins. Bugattis swept to victory in the Targa Florio for five years straight from 1925 through 1929. Louis Chiron held the most podiums in Bugatti cars, and the 21st century Bugatti company remembered him with a concept car named in his honor. But it was the final racing success at Le Mans that is most remembered—Jean-Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron won the 1939 race with just one car and meager resources.

The end

On the 11th of August 1939 Ettore Bugatti's son, Jean Bugatti, was killed while testing a Type 57 tank-bodied race car near the Molsheim factory and subsequently the company's fortunes began to decline. World War II also ruined the factory in Molsheim, and the company lost control of the property. During the war, Bugatti planned a new factory at Levallois in Paris and designed a series of new cars. Ettore Bugatti died on 21 August 1947.

The company attempted a comeback under Roland Bugatti in the mid-1950s with the mid-engined Type 251 race car. Designed with help from famed Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Maserati designer Gioacchino Colombo, the car failed to perform to expectations, and the company's attempts at automobile production were halted.

In the 1960s, Virgil Exner designed a Bugatti as part of his "Revival Cars" project. A show version of this car was actually built by Ghia using the last Bugatti Type 101 chassis, and was shown at the 1965 Turin Motor Show. Finance was not forthcoming, and Exner then turned his attention to a revival of Stutz.

Bugatti continued manufacturing airplane parts and was sold to Hispano-Suiza (another auto maker turned aircraft supplier) in 1963. Snecma took over in 1968, later acquiring Messier. The two were merged into Messier-Bugatti in 1977.

Bugatti Automobili SpA Era

Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli acquired the famous Bugatti name in 1987, and established Bugatti Automobili SpA. The new company built a factory designed by the architect Giampaolo Benedini in Campogalliano, Italy, a town near Modena, home to other high performance car manufacturers De Tomaso, Ferrari, Pagani and Maserati.

By 1989 the plans for the new Bugatti revival were presented by Paolo Stanzani and Marcello Gandini, famous designers of the Lamborghini Miura and Countach. The first completed car was labeled the Bugatti EB110 GT, advertised as the most technically advanced sports car ever produced.

On 27 August 1993, through his holding company, ACBN Holdings S.A. of Luxembourg, Romano Artioli purchased the Lotus car company from General Motors. The acquisition brought together two of the greatest historical names in automotive racing, and plans were made for listing the company's shares on international stock exchanges. Bugatti also presented in 1993 the prototype of a large saloon called the EB112.

By the time the EB110 came to market the North American and European economies were in recession, and operations ceased in September 1995. A model specific to the United States market called the "Bugatti America" was in the preparatory stages when the company closed. Bugatti's liquidators sold Lotus to Proton of Malaysia.

In 1997 German manufacturer Dauer Racing bought the EB110 license and remaining parts stock to Bugatti in order to produce five more EB110 SS units, although they were greatly refined by Dauer. The factory was later sold to a furniture-making company, which also collapsed before they were able to move in, leaving the building unoccupied.

Perhaps the most famous Bugatti EB110 owner was racing driver Michael Schumacher, seven-time Formula One World Champion, who bought the EB110 in 1994 while racing for the Benetton team. In 2003 Schumacher sold the car which had been repaired after a severe crash the year he bought it—to Modena Motorsport, a Ferrari service and race preparation garage in Germany.

Bugatti Automobiles Era

In 1998 Volkswagen purchased the rights to produce cars under the Bugatti marque, they also went on to buy Lamborghini, the Rolls-Royce factory in Crewe, England and the Bentley marque.

On 22 December 2000, Volkswagen officially incorporated Bugatti Automobiles, the company also purchased the 1856 Château Saint Jean, formerly Ettore Bugatti's guest house in Dorlisheim, near Molsheim, and began refurbishing it to serve as the company's headquarters. The original factory was still in the hands of Snecma, who were unwilling to part with it. In August 2000 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Volkswagen announced that they would instead build a new modern atelier (factory) next to and south of the Château. The atelier was officially inaugurated on 3 September 2005.


Giugiaro concept cars

Volkswagen commissioned ItalDesign's Giorgetto Giugiaro to design a series of concept cars to return the marque to prominence. The first example, the EB 118, was a two-door coupé and was introduced at the hello Motor Show in 1998. It was followed by the four-door EB 218 touring sedan, introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in 1999. Later that year, the 18/3 Chiron was shown at the IAA in Frankfurt. The final Bugatti concept was not designed by ItalDesign: the VW-designed EB 18/4 GT was introduced at the 1999 Tokyo Motor Show.

All of these early concepts featured a 555 PS (408 kW; 547 hp) 18-cylinder engine. This was the first-ever W-configuration engine on a passenger vehicle, with three banks of six cylinders. It shared many components with Volkswagen's modular engine family.

Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Development of the EB 16.4 Veyron began with the 1999 EB 18/4 "Veyron" concept car, which itself had a chassis based on that of the Bugatti 18/3 Chiron concept car. It was similar in design and appearance to the final Veyron production car. One major difference was the EB 18/4′s use of a W18 engine with three banks of six cylinders. The Veyron's chief designer was Hartmut Warkuss, and the exterior was designed by Jozef Kabaň of Volkswagen, rather than Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign, who had handled the three prior Bugatti concepts.

The then – Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piëch announced the Veyron at the 2000 Geneva Motor Show. It was promised to be the fastest, most powerful and most expensive car in history. Instead of the W18, it would use a VR6/WR8-style W16 engine. First seen in the 1999 Bentley Hunaudières concept car, the W16 would have four turbochargers and produce a quoted 1001 horsepower. Top speed was promised at 407 km/h (253 mph), and the price was announced at €1 million.

Development continued throughout 2001 and the EB 16/4 Veyron was promoted to "advanced concept" status. In late 2001, Bugatti announced that the car, officially called the "Bugatti Veyron 16.4″, would go into production in 2003. Taking great pride in the making of the Veyron, the production plant is affectionately called the "Atelier" which means an artists workroom.

Piëch retired that year as chairman of the Volkswagen Group and was replaced by Bernd Pischetsrieder. The new chairman promptly sent the Veyron back to the drawing board for major revisions. Neumann was replaced as Bugatti president by Thomas Bscher in December 2003, and substantial modifications were made to the Veyron under the guidance of a former VW engineer, Bugatti Engineering chief Wolfgang Schreiber.

16C Galibier

The 16C Galibier was first unveiled during the Celebration of the Centenary of the Marque in Molsheim. The presentation was only for Bugatti customers. The car show in Molsheim showed the car in blue carbon fibre and aluminum parts. One year later Bugatti showed the world the 16C Galibier Concept at "VW Group Night" at the Geneva Auto Show in a new black and aluminum color combination.

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Fiat and Gucci team up to create special edition Fiat 500

Posted: 17 Mar 2011 09:52 AM PDT

Just over a year ago Fiat teamed up with Ferrari and created the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari which was a sportier version of the little car. Now they have joined forces with Gucci to make another special edition 500 which is to celebrate 150 years of the unification of Italy and Gucci's 90th anniversary.

Gucci creative director Frida Giannini in collaboration with Fiat's design office has customized the iconic Fiat 500, or as it's known in Italian, "cinquecento." and its called the Fiat 500 by Gucci.

Power comes from a 100-hp 1.4L engine with rear brake calipers in Gucci green.

This special edition car is available in either a glossy black or white finish and features the design ethos of two of Italy's most historical brands. The 500 by Gucci sits on a set of 16-inch wheels with GG hubcaps finished in the same color as the body.

The Gucci scheme green-red-green stripes run the length of the car and also appears on the interior seats, on the gear shift, the key-cover, the carpets and on the seatbelts. The interior also features chic embroidery, exclusive materials, glossy and satin chromes, velvety varnish on the radioboard and two-toned seats in Frau leather with the Guccissima print.

The Fiat 500 by Gucci will be available between the 1st of April and June 30th with prices starting at 17,000 euro ($23,375 USD).

Fiat by Gucci gallery

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Jay Leno checks out the 2011 Dodge Challenger Green Envy

Posted: 17 Mar 2011 08:30 AM PDT

Jay Leno has released another review video, this time he is checking out the 2011 Dodge Challenger Green Envy, Leno talks a bit about this green muscle machine in his garage then after an interview with the Head of Dodge, Ralph Gilles Jay takes the car for a cruise on the city streets.

The Dodge Challenger SRT8 Green Envy features full-body black stripes, 20 inch rims, and SRT-branded seats in Dark Slate Nappa Leather. Powering this special edition muscle car is a 392-cubic inch HEMI engine kicking out 470 hp and 470 lb.-ft. of torque.

Click here to learn more about the Dodge Challenger SRT8 Green Envy

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Fwd: Audi R15+ TDI will start on front row at 12 Hours of Sebring

Audi R15+ TDI will start on front row at 12 Hours of Sebring

Link to oneighturbo

Audi R15+ TDI will start on front row at 12 Hours of Sebring

Posted: 19 Mar 2011 05:37 AM PDT

Audi R15+ TDI qualifies second, 12 Hours of Sebring, © 2011 DPerceptions

Photo: © 2011 Darren Pierson | oneighturbo.com

An excellent result for the Audi R15 TDI's final hurrah. The 12 Hours of Sebring will be the first race for all in 2011 and yet the last race the R15 TDI era. While most knew Peugeot would be fast and take pole, the R15 was right there. Sarrazin did pull out an amazing 1:46.57 lap to take pole, with Romain Dumas right behind with a 1:47.680. Tom Kristensen put the #2 R15 TDI on 4th with a 1:48.173. Once again, it's a 12 hour race and there will be over 50 cars spread over 3.7 miles. Gallery after the jump.

30 degrees in the shade and 56 cars on mere six-kilometer long race track – the conditions for the season opener of the Le Mans Intercontinental Cup (ILMC) at Sebring (U.S. state of Florida) could hardly be more difficult. Audi is in a good shape for the classic U.S. endurance race with positions two and four on the starting grid.

In its tenth and last race, the Audi R15 TDI has to run with significantly reduced engine power due to the new technical regulations. Nevertheless, Frenchman Romain Dumas, in his first-ever qualifying session for Audi, was able to split the two new Peugeot 908 prototypes and to conquer an unexpected place on the front row of the grid for Audi Sport Team Joest with the "old" R15 TDI.

  • Starting positions two and four for Audi in ILMC opener at Sebring
  • Romain Dumas second in his first-ever qualifying for Audi
  • 30 degrees in the shade and 56 cars on track

During the 15-minute qualifying session, Tom Kristensen was on a similarly fast lap as his team-mate, before losing time in the final corner behind a slower car. Thus the second Audi R15 TDI will start the race from grid position four on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. local time (3:30 p.m in Germany).

Due to the high temperatures and an extremely large starting field of 56 cars from a total of six classes, the Audi team during the four practice days exclusively focused on race preparations of the two Audi R15 TDI cars making them as comfortable as possible for the drivers. Reliability will also play a decisive role over the 12-hour distance on the extremely tough track. Historically, this has been a major strength of the record winning car of the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Qualifying results

1 Montagny/Sarrazin/Lamy (Peugeot) 1m 46.571s
2 Bernhard/Dumas/Rockenfeller (Audi R15 TDI) 1m 47.680s
3 Wurz/Gené/Davidson (Peugeot) 1m 48.020s
4 Capello/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R15 TDI) 1m 48.173s
5 Lapierre/Duval/Panis (Peugeot) 1m 48.569s
6 Pickett/Graf/Luhr (Lola-Aston Martin) 1m 49.679s
7 Brabham/Franchitti/Pagenaud (Acura/Honda) 1m 49.802s
8 Prost/Jani/Bleekemolen (Lola-Toyota) 1m 50.756s
9 Lahaye/Moreau/Ragues (OAK-Pescarolo) 1m 51.781s
10 Dyson/Smith/Cochran (Lola-Mazda) 1m 52.233s

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  1. Gallery: Audi R15 plus TDI from the 12 Hour of Sebring

David Heinemeier Hansson and PNR finish sixth in IMSA GT3 Cup debut

Posted: 18 Mar 2011 10:15 AM PDT

David Heinemeier Hansson and PNR finish sixth in IMSA GT3 Cup debut

David Heinemeier Hansson and Porsche Napleton Racing (PNR) finished sixth in their debut race in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama on a Saint Patrick's Day Thursday at Sebring International Raceway in the No. 37 PNR/37signals Porsche GT3.

"I feel great," Hansson said. "I felt like I raced pretty much as hard as I could and the guys in front were fast. I am just happy I kept my car together all the way to the end. There were some good slides, but nothing too bad, and in the end it really did come down to tires."

Hansson had a good start and settled into a quick but steady pace in eighth before making his first pass for position less than 10 minutes into the race to move to seventh place. He momentarily fell back to eighth at the 30 minute mark but had enough left in his PNR/37signals Porsche and Yokohama tires to have some fight for the finish.

"It seems like you are actually in there for a good hour-and-a-half to two hours," Hansson said of the 45-minute race. "I was asking for time after 20 minutes, the car is just intense to drive. You have got to back off when you are halfway through it because the tires get real greasy and if you keep on pushing, you are going to find a flat spot. And once you find a flat spot, you're toast."

Flat spots actually factored into Hansson's last lap move. After getting back to seventh, Hansson reeled in the sixth place Porsche and was right on its rear bumper as the white flag flew.

"I could see on his car that he had a flat spot too, I had a flat spot, so I was just trying to push him and see if I could get him to make a mistake going deep," Hansson said. "In turn 10 I guess his left front just gave up and he went straight off the track."

Thursday's race was the first of this week's pair of sprints at Sebring that kick off the 2011 IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup season. Tomorrow's race is scheduled to start at 4:20 p.m. and Hansson plans to put to good use some of things he learned in today's successful debut run.

"For me I have just got to back it off a little more I think," Hansson said. "I don't think I lost too much time not pressing 120%."

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  1. 37signals' David Heinemeier Hansson and PNR kick off IMSA season at Sebring

Rennsport Reunion IV to be held October 14 – 16

Posted: 18 Mar 2011 07:31 AM PDT

Rennsport Reunion IV to be held October 14 – 16

The World's Largest Gathering of Porsche Race Cars and Drivers will be held in October

Porsche Cars North America (PCNA) and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca today announced Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV will take place at the famed California racetrack the weekend of October 14 – 16, 2011.

Sponsored by PCNA, Rennsport Reunion IV brings together an unprecedented gathering of significant Porsche vintage and current race cars, as well those who have driven them to victory in the world's most famous sports car races. The three-day program of on-track competition is complemented by a concours d'elegance, which is open to invited race participants, and special activities celebrating the decades-long history of the legendary 911 race cars.

After the highly successful staging of three venues in the East, held every three years, with the first one held in Lime Rock in 2001, Rennsport Reunion IV will now be moving west, tapping a vast array of car aficionados and Porsche enthusiasts.

"While the Rennsport name has become a staple fixture for international collectors and racers over the past ten years, choosing the Monterey Peninsula will open up this one-of-a-kind gathering to the many Porsche fans in California and beyond who were previously unable to attend," said Detlev von Platen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Cars North America. "Now they'll have the opportunity to see, feel and hear from up close hundreds of famous Porsche race cars and dozens of their drivers from past and present during a truly memorable weekend dedicated to Porsche's motorsport heritage."

Rennsport Reunion IV poster

Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV will assemble the wide variety of Porsche's most historic racing models from the nimble 550 Spyder of the mid-Fifties through the mighty 917 and 956/962 of the Seventies and Eighties to the highly successful GT3 RSR of the last decade. Special tribute will be paid to the numerous racing versions of the Porsche 911 and their countless victories on the dawn of what will become another milestone of this iconic sports car from Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen.

"This will truly be a rare gathering of significant Porsche race cars on the West Coast," commented Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. "Porsche has a long racing tradition in Monterey and we look forward to celebrating its heritage in a befitting manner for everyone to enjoy."

Additional details of the Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV will be published on Porsche's web site, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca's web site, as they become available. Tickets start at $25 and are available by contacting 800-327-7322 or online at www.mazdaraceway.com.

Complementing the Rennsport Reunion IV venue is the Porsche Race Car Classic, an exclusive concours held at nearby Quail Lodge in Carmel on Sunday, October 16. Steve Heinrichs, producer of the Porsche Race Car Classic, explained, "this once-in-a-lifetime gathering of vintage Porsche race cars solely from Porsche's break-out era of 1950-1965 will raise critical funding to directly support lung cancer research. We'll have Gmünds, Glöcklers, 550s, 718s, 804s, 904s, 356s, Abarths and more – in numbers and provenance never before seen."

For more information on the Porsche Race Car Classic or to purchase tickets visit www.porscheracecarclassic.com.

Porsche and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are working in association with the Porsche Race Car Classic to combine efforts to raise awareness for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and the UCSF Thoracic Oncology Program.

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Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich talks about Sebring, the Audi R15 and R18

Posted: 17 Mar 2011 07:28 PM PDT

Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich about Sebring

Heres a small interview with Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich about coming to Sebring this year, running the R15 vs R18 and more.

Can you tell us why you've brought the R15 to Sebring and not the R18?

The main reason is because we did not have a car here last year and when I talk to our people It was clear we could not race the R18, so I pushed hard to see if it was possible to race the R15 with some modifications. I think it's important all manufacturers in the championship start at Sebring, because it is a very important race. This is why we are where with R15. This is why it's not the last race and it has to do more.

Audi R15 TDI #1 (Audi Sport Team Joest), Timo Bernhard

Is the race about collecting points or do you think you can challenge the newer cars?

It's difficult to say. For sure we have a car that should be reliable. With all the cars on the race track, the performance is not the 100 percent indicator. I think the experience of our crew and the good basic speed should be a chance to go for victory. If we collect points, that is fine. The target is to be here, to be present, to hold up the Audi flag in Sebring, which is an important race and try to make the best out of the weekend.

What would you like to see for the future of the ILMC?

I think if we can develop from year to year we're on a good route. Myself, I was very optimistic when I saw they decided to do this with the manufacturers. If we follow the route to grow slowly but work continuously toward improvement, I think we will be on the right road.

Audi R18 testing at Sebring

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