Die hard Seat fans have waited a long time for the return of the Leon Cupra R, but with an expected release in 2010 at around £20,000 it may have been worth the wait.
For a little more than the price of a current Seat Leon Cupra owners will get a fettled 2.0 16V T FSI engine producing 263bhp, a 0-62 mph time of 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. Midly impressive compared to the Cupra’s 236bhp, 6.2 second 0-62 and 153 mph top speed. The tweaks help more than the performance though as the Cupra R gains an extra 1mpg over the current Cupra’s 34mpg on a combined cycle. There is no indication whether Seat have managed to drop the CO2 emissions however.
Aesthetically the Cupra R will be splashed with liberal amounts of Cupra and R motifs inside and out… just in case you forget what your driving.
I’ve always liked the new Seat Leon, I would have had one too if I wasn’t about to be a father and my Mazda wasn’t such a steal.
While most of the world follows the Lithium-Ion battery based electric car design there are some others that still believe in the Hydrogen Fuel Cell. GM have recently improved their fuel cell design further by halving the size of the fuel cell and reducing the cost of production.
The size of GM’s fuel cell is now comparable with an average four cylinder engine whilst still maintaining the same 93 kW (125 BHP) power output as previous designs. The test-bed Chevy Equinox fuel cell vehicle has a maximum range of 150 miles and a top speed of 100mph, if they had used a smaller model then I expect these figures would have been better.
Production costs have been cut by halving the amount of platinum used in the fuel cell, with further reductions expected in the future. With production planned for 2012 the only concern is the costly drive train which will need refining in order to make the cost of the car viable.
Whilst there is still a carbon cost associated with producing hydrogen it is still by far the cleanest of current alternative fuel designs. My main concern is that a hugely expensive infrastructure will be rolled out to accommodate the recharging of popularised Lithium-Ion cars. Nobody is going to want to repeat the process for Hydrogen refilling stations.
The Motor Report wites:
THE WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP could be set for a massive boost after it was revealed Fiat and Volkswagen are poised to enter the series next season.
WRC has struggled in the wake of the global financial crisis, with Suzuki and Subaru withdrawing from the championship at the end of last season, leaving the series with only two manufacturers, Ford and Citroen.
However, if the arrival of Fiat and Volkswagen eventuates, the two companies can be expected to give the series a massive boost thanks to their resources and huge global supporter base.
News of the potential new entries into the world of WRC was confirmed by Neil Duncanson, Chief Executive Officer of series owner North One, a British television production company.
“I’ve got one or two (manufacturers) who I think will come in. I don’t want more than four (manufacturers competing in total) because any more than that and they can’t win,” he said to the Financial Times.
Although the reduced cost of competing in WRC compared to Formula 1 is an attraction to manufacturers, Duncanson believes the reason for the arrival of up to two new manufacturers lies in the close resemblance between rally cars and their on-road counterparts.
As a result, Duncanson said the marketing potential of rallying for surpasses that provided by most alternative racing categories.
“The manufacturers find themselves in a much better position because we are selling the real cars,” he said.
The arrival of Fiat in WRC may also have real ramifications for Formula 1 as rumours surrounding the future of Kimi Raikkonen refuse to subside.
Ferrari is believed to have secured the services of Fernando Alonso and sponsor Santander next season, but is unable to announce any deal until a buy-out agreement is arranged with Raikkonen.
However, with the prospect of a factory WRC seat with Fiat a real possibility, Raikkonen may be persuaded to accelerate his move to rallying, while remaining under the company’s corporate banner.
Interestingly, Raikkonen competed at the recent Rally Finland at the wheel of a Fiat Grande Punto S2000.
Auto Express have gotten hold of photos of what appears to be a Porsche 911 Hybrid in testing.
Luke Madden writes:
Here’s a shocking revelation – it’s an electric hybrid version of the Porsche 911!
With the announcement of hybrid versions of the Cayenne and the Panamera, it was only a matter of time before the brand’s performance models received the same treatment.
These photos show a 911 prototype with an interesting bulge on the bonnet carrying a lightning bolt sticker. Our photographers noted that the prototype seemed unusually quiet as it pulled away.
The position of the bulge suggests the electric motor will be located at the front of the car, powering the front wheels whilst a boxer engine at the rear will drive the back wheels.
This technology could offer the option of a front-wheel drive, all electric vehicle or, when performance is needed, a four wheel drive petrol-electric hybrid.
Porsche purists may be sceptical as weighty batteries in the front will balance out the trademark rear-heavy 911, however, a high-mpg, high performance supercar may prove to be a winning formula.
As regulations on CO2 emissions become ever stricter, the hybrid 911 could open the floodgates for other high-performance hybrids. Competitors such as Ferrari are rumoured to be working on a hybrid version of the recently announced 458 Italia.
I’m not entirely sure why companies are diving at hybrid concepts when it has been shown that the CO2 and power output of Hybrids such as the Prius and Insight can be matched or bettered by diesel engines. I expect the main reason for us seeing this hybrid before a 911 diesel is the perceived image. I don’t think that diesels have yet escaped the dirty, noisey, farm machinery stereotype that has plauged them for so long. When compared to the current trend for space aged, eco warrior hybrid engines and drive train its obvious which would be easier to market.
Its a shame really as I think it would be a better idea to use tried and tested diesel technology now and spend the big money researching hydrogen fuel cells, batteries, electric drive trains and transmissions.