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Porsche Cayman

July 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

p_cayman

Top 10 summer night rides

July 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Club

Bright stars dazzling against an obsidian sky on a hot August night are a surefire recipe for summer romance. There is just something about fresh air and open sky that sets my heart racing.

As an automotive enthusiast, it is also a guaranteed excuse for driving well into the night and forgetting about sleep for awhile. Nothing keeps me awake like the feeling of wind on my face, a boundless sky above my head and the cocooning effect of night as it encircles the car at highway speeds. Here are several of my favourite rides for starry sky summer night driving.

Audi TT
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Audi’s compact two-door machines appear as slinky sports coupes or daring convertible roadsters with curvy skin stretched tautly over exaggerated wheels. The TT 2.0T FSI model features a standard six-speed S-Tronic sequential automatic transmission. The TT 3.2 stokes the 3.2-liter V6 working 250 hp with either a six-speed manual or six-speed S-Tronic automatic gearbox. The top-tier TTS coupe and roadster get a high-performance 2.0-liter FSI turbo four engine drawing 265 hp with the six-speed manual or S-Tronic sequential automatic.

Chevrolet Corvette
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Chevy’s sports car offers a coupe and convertible or the Z06 fixed-roof hatchback plus a ZR1 supercar stocking the new LS9 supercharged 6.2-liter V8 rated at 638 hp. Z06 carries race-honed gear like carbon-fiber composite fenders and a 7.0-liter LS7 V8 whipping up 505 hp through a six-speed manual gearbox. Corvette Coupe and Convertible use the LS3 6.2-liter V8 pumping 430 hp in concert with a six-speed manual or electronically controlled six-speed Paddle Shift automatic. Corvette the coupe has a removable roof panel, while the convertible’s fabric lid operates manually or with optional power controls.

Chrysler Sebring Convertible
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The mid-size Sebring Convertible by Chrysler in a slick design offers choices for the power retractable roof; cloth or steel. Sebring as a drop-top splits into three versions; entry-model Sebring Convertible LX, the upscale Touring edition and a deluxe Limited, and each adds exterior trim elements and interior equipment for differentiation as well as a different powertrain. The convertible’s strongest powertrain goes to the deluxe Limited edition, which employs a single-cam 3.5-liter V6 worth 235 hp. Sebring’s airy cabin sparks with stylish appointments, while some clever concepts make life comfortable aboard.

Infiniti G37 Convertible
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The first-ever drop-top G-car from Infiniti is here now as a 2010 model. Dressed in stunningly smooth skin and rigged with a three-piece automatic retracting hardtop, it features a coupe-like roofline when blocking the sun. Powertrain for the G37 Convertible is a dual-cam 3.7-liter V6 with 325 horsepower mated to a 6-speed manual, or the new seven-speed electronic automatic transmission. Infiniti’s sporty convertible showcases enhanced audio and climate systems to maintain a comfortable cabin environment even on the chilliest night in August.

Jeep Wrangler
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Jeep’s rugged dirt warrior is tough, versatile and simple, with best-in-class off-road capability. Two 4WD transfer cases appear with Jeep’s CommandTrac part-time system or the RockTrac device for off-roader Rubicon with locking front and rear differentials, electric axle lockers and electronic disconnecting front sway bar. High-torque muscle flows from a 3.8-liter V6 hitting 202 hp with standard six-speed manual gearbox or optional four-speed automatic. For added safety Wrangler has standard HSA and ESP, with available TSC (Trailer Sway Control).

Mazda MX-5
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Mazda enhances the year-round comfort and security of the MX-5 Miata by offering a power retractable hard top (PRHT). It’s the quickest-closing power top in the business, as the push-button conversion from hardtop coupe to airy convertible consumes only 12 seconds. Just touch a toggle switch and watch the roof pleat at two seams and fold in three sections to stack behind the cockpit in the same space where the soft top stows. Unlike other folding hard tops which tuck into the trunk, Miata’s PRHT does not consume any space in the trunk. Power comes in the form of a 2.0L inline 4-cylinder with 167 hp and 140 lb.-ft of torque.

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder
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The 2+2 sports convertible by Mitsubishi runs with the label of Eclipse Spyder. It uses styling, structure and mechanical content of the Eclipse sporty coupe. Eclipse Spyder GS is the entry edition with a 2.4-liter in-line-four rated at 162 hp with a five-speed manual or optional four-speed automatic linked to Sportronic shift control. Eclipse GT-P has a 3.8-liter V6 with 265 hp and either a six-speed manual or five-speed electronic automatic with Sportronic shifting.

Saturn Sky
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With this as the nameplate, need we say more for a summertime drive? Saturn’s two-seat roadster convertible is gorgeous, with rippled skin stretched like flexed muscles over a long and broad structure which features a prominent prow, mid-ship cockpit and roly-poly rump. A convertible top tucks into the rear compartment and leaves only smooth lines on the deck. Sky’s 2.4-liter Ecotec in-line-four engine delivers 173 hp. Mechanical assets include a rear-wheel-drive (RWD) chassis and independent suspension designs front and rear using lightweight aluminum for upper and lower control arms. GM’s StabiliTrak skid controls and a limited-slip differential apply as standard equipment, plus XM satellite radio service.

Volkswagen Eos
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This name in Greek mythology applied to the goddess of the dawn and the VW named Eos makes the sun come up with push-button ease to convert from a hardtop coupe to open-top convertible. The sleek two-door, with seats for four in a well-stocked cabin, uses the Rabbit/Jetta platform with FWD and a turbo-charged engine. The 2.0-liter four-in-line turbo produces 200 hp through a six-speed DSG Tiptronic automatic. Eos trims levels include Treadline, Comfortline and a Special Edition Silver-Red. New options include the Technology Package with bi-xenon HID (high intensity discharge) headlamps and rear PDC (park distance control) guidance.

Volvo C70
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The sleek two-door C70 works as a swoopy coupe or breezy convertible with the conversion from hardtop to drop-top occurring with push-button ease. Extensive safety systems are aboard, including inflatable curtain-style air bags concealed in side doors. Engine is Volvo’s 2.4-liter five-cylinder light-pressure turbo boosted to 227 hp. An automatic five-speed is available, or the manual six-speed. Aluminum inlays now dress the center console and doors, handle surrounds and a Premium Package adds fine leather to the seats. The Dynaudio Package brings Dolby ProLogic II Surround Sound audio with 12 Dynaudio speakers.

Jeff Voth, Editor-at-large Y! Canada Autos

Most appealing cars of 2009

July 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Club

Sales at Porsche and Volkswagen may be sluggish–Porsche sales in June were down 66 per cent from last year; VWs were down 18 per cent–and both have been embroiled for months in tense merger discussions. But when it comes to raw appeal, their cars still own the hearts and minds of American drivers.
The Porsche Cayenne won the premium SUV segment in a recent buyer satisfaction study of 2009 model-year vehicles, and Porsche placed first for the fifth consecutive year as the industry’s most appealing brand. Four Volkswagen vehicles (the CC, GTI, Passat and Tiguan) earned top spots as the most appealing cars in their classes.

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In Pictures: The Most Appealing 2009 Cars

Some domestics, long thought to struggle with design and performance, also fared well. The Dodge Challenger won the Midsize Sporty Car category; Cadillac and Lincoln placed in the top 10 brands overall.

Behind the Numbers

The annual Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study identifies what 80,900 purchasers and lessees of new 2009 model-year vehicles liked and disliked about their cars during the first 90 days of ownership. Questions focused on vehicle design, content, layout and performance; responses were gathered between February and May of this year. Scores are out of a possible 1,000 points. The industry average is 779.

The study evaluated how well vehicles performed relative to consumer expectations. This year found a ‘significant level of improvement in terms of appeal’ across the board, the report concluded, due in large part to increases in fuel efficiency and the lower price of gas.

Porsche scored 869 out of a possible 1,000 points. Jaguar, Cadillac,Audi and BMW rounded out the top five brands listed. Mercedes-Benzhad two segment-winners in the S-Class and SLK-Class, and its sister brand under Daimler, the Smart Fortwo, won the Sub-Compact Car segment.

Tony Fouladpour, a spokesman for Porsche, says that a distinction honouring design, far from being trivial when compared with accolades honouring durability or quality, can directly affect a company’s bottom line.

‘It demonstrates that passion, that relationship that owners have with their vehicles,’ he says. ‘So for us it’s a very important award.’

A car’s appeal is becoming more and more important to struggling automakers. Overall sales are down 39.2 per cent year to date for domestics; they’re down 32.2 per cent and 26 per cent this year for Asian and European brands, respectively. Forecasters say U.S. sales won’t exceed 10 million units in 2009, down more than 6 million units from the high in 2006. But for individual domestic winners in particular, high appeal scores could hint at better things to come, says David Sargent, vice president of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates.

‘The domestics historically have sometimes struggled with this but increasingly are coming out with very strong products and much better launch-execution than in the past,’ Sargent says. ‘They are in many cases launching better than the Japanese.’

Daring to Be Different

Likewise, the $21,119 MINI Cooper, winner of the Compact Car category, proves design can give an edge to vehicles not renowned for quality. Despite its recently low ratings in J.D. Power’s quality survey and lower-than-average ratings in its 2009 dependability study, Cooper sales in the U.S. are down less than 20 per cent this year, much less than the national average of 35.4 per cent, and less than the Smart Fortwo (down 24.8 per cent), Volkswagen New Beetle (down 43.7 per cent) and Audi A3 (down 37.5 per cent.)

A perennially high placement on consumer satisfaction surveys and a famous rally-car style–two factors directly related to design–have driven those sales, Sargent says.

Indeed, Craig House, 62, who owns a 2002 MINI Cooper S and two classic Minis, loves the cars so much he paid the deposit for the newly redesigned Mini a full two years before the car hit showrooms. At that point, he hadn’t even seen a photo of what the new version might look like.
But for a true enthusiast like House, who happens to be the president of the Oregon Mini Society, it didn’t matter.
‘What really sold me on the new car was the fact that BMW designed it,’ he says. ‘I knew it was going to be an excellent car.’

In Pictures: The Most Appealing 2009 Cars

Forbes.com – Hannah Elliott

Fiat closes Chrysler deal

June 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Club

fiat
MILAN/DETROIT (Reuters) – Italian carmaker Fiat SpA closed its takeover of Chrysler on Wednesday, sealing the deal on Fiat’s ambitious move to create a growing global player following one of the worst crises in the auto industry’s history.

In a victory for the U.S. administration driving the restructuring of bankrupt Chrysler, the Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a request from Indiana pension funds to delay the sale.

Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne will become CEO of Chrysler. The automaker’s former CEO, Bob Nardelli, will leave the company and return to Cerberus Capital, its former majority owner.

Chrysler’s former vice chairman and president, Jim Press, will become Marchionne’s deputy chief executive, and Fiat’s chief financial officer, Richard Palmer, will become CFO of the new company.

In a memo to employees, Marchionne voiced optimism about the new company’s outlook.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we will get the job done,” he said. He called the alliance a “bold first step to implement” lessons learned.

He added that Fiat will begin the process of transferring Fiat’s technology, platforms and powertrains to Chrysler plants in the next few months.

Fiat is joined by a union-aligned trust and the U.S. and Canadian governments in taking over the best parts of Chrysler.

Fiat shares were up 4.85 percent at 7.79 euros following news that the U.S. Supreme Court had removed the final obstacle to the deal on Tuesday.

DROP IN SALES

Fiat began looking for partners to gain scale late last year when the auto crisis intensified, leading to a dramatic drop in car sales.

CSM Worldwide, an industry consultancy, has forecast a 20 percent drop in global production to 52 million vehicles this year as carmakers lay off workers and leave their factories idle in the face of a sharp drop in demand.

Others in the industry do not feel the urgency to look for partners. Renault-Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn, for example, said on Wednesday his group had no problem with scale.

In Fiat’s case, CSM Worldwide said it saw a “tremendous amount of risk” in trying to revive Chrysler.

Not only did it have to renew an aging product line but also persuade former customers to buy a Chrysler again.

Fiat has sent a team of executives and engineers to Detroit to work with Chrysler to cut costs and prepare for the U.S. launch of the Cinquecento (500), Fiat’s popular small car.

Its stake in Chrysler will start at 20 percent and should rise to 35 percent over time.

GERMANY

Fiat has had a harder time of persuading German auto and government officials of its plans to create a world giant in car industry.

It lost out to Canadian car parts maker Magna International for General Motors Corp’s Opel unit although the government invited it to improve its bid.

The sale is part of GM’s restructuring, which caused it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 1 after Chrysler did the same on April 30.

Erich Merkle, an independent auto analyst based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, said the court’s decision on Chrysler was good news for GM because it was using a similar quick-sale strategy to facilitate its way through bankruptcy.

Top U.S. court blocks Chrysler sale to Fiat

June 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Club

iphoto_1244492179191-1-0jpgWASHINGTON – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Monday delayed Chrysler’s sale of most of its assets to a group led by Italy’s Fiat, but didn’t say how long the deal will remain on hold.

Ginsburg said in an order that the sale is “stayed pending further order,” indicating that the delay may only be temporary.

Chrysler LLC has said the sale must close by June 15, or Fiat Group SpA has the option to walk away, leaving the Auburn Hills, Mich., automaker with little option but to liquidate.

The longer the deal is delayed, the longer Chrysler’s plants in both the U.S. and Canada will remain closed. The automaker shut down its U.S. operations when it filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of April, and its Canadian operations were soon forced to follow suit due to a shortage of parts. Chrysler said at the time the plants would be shuttered for 30 to 60 days.

Chrysler employs approximately 7,500 Canadians at assembly plants in the southern Ontario cities of Windsor and Brampton and a parts plant in Toronto.

A federal appeals court in New York approved the sale Friday but gave opponents until 4 p.m. eastern time Monday to try to get the Supreme Court to intervene. Ginsburg issued her order right before the deadline.

Ginsburg could decide on her own whether to end the delay, or she could ask the full court to decide. It is unclear when she or the court will act.

Chrysler claims the agreement with Fiat is the best deal it can get for its assets and is critical to the company’s plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

But a trio of Indiana state pension and construction funds, which hold a small part of Chrysler’s debt, have been fighting the sale, claiming that it unfairly favours Chrysler’s unsecured stakeholders ahead of secured debtholders like themselves.

As part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan, the automaker’s secured debtholders will receive $2 billion, or about 29 cents on the dollar, for their combined $6.9 billion in debt. The Indiana funds bought their $42.5 million in debt in July 2008 for 43 cents on the dollar.

The funds also are challenging the constitutionality of the Treasury Department’s use of money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to supply Chrysler’s bankruptcy protection financing. They say the government did so without congressional authority.

Consumer groups and individuals with product-related lawsuits also are contesting a condition of the Chrysler sale that would release the company from product liability claims related to vehicles it sold before the “New Chrysler” partnered with Fiat is created.

Individuals with claims against “Old Chrysler” would have to seek compensation from the parts of the company not being sold to Fiat. But those assets have limited value and it’s doubtful that there will be anything available to pay consumer claims.

The appeals come as Congress intensifies its scrutiny of the Obama administration’s government-led restructuring of Chrysler and General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM). The Senate Banking Committee said it planned to call Ron Bloom, a senior adviser to the auto task force, and Edward Montgomery, who serves as the Obama administration’s director of recovery for auto communities and workers, to a hearing Wednesday.

Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., the committee’s chairman, planned to review the use of TARP funds to help the auto companies and look at whether taxpayers will receive a return on their investment.

GM and Chrysler executives faced questions last week from Congress over the elimination of hundreds of dealerships as part of the companies’ reorganizations.

The Associated Press reported Monday that a senior Obama administration official said Fiat SpA will shake up Chrysler’s management if the courts allow the sale.

The official says management changes will go deeper than the departure of CEO Bob Nardelli and vice-chairman Tom LaSorda. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the changes have not been made public.

By The Associated Press

Learn about car technology

May 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Club

nissan_v6_engine

Do you know the difference between a supercharger and a turbocharger? Should you care? 
Yes. A little auto expertise comes in handy when you want to impress your friends–or let a power-tripping mechanic know he can’t jerk you around.

Super Savers

President Obama’s recent announcement about fuel efficiency and emissions standards has automakers talking about how turbochargers and diesel engines will lead the way to achieving a fleet-wide 35.5 mile-per-gallon requirement. But few people know just what makes turbochargers, or turbo-superchargers, as they’re more accurately called, so essential to raw speed.
In short, turbochargers give cars extra guts. They use the engine’s heat to compress ambient air and push it to the intake manifold. That additional oxygen enables the engine to take in more fuel, creating a combustive boost of power. 
About one in four vehicles worldwide, including BMW’s X6, Jaguar’s XF and Porsche’s 911 Turbo, use turbo-boost technology to achieve maximum power. By 2013, experts predict it will be closer to one in three. 
David Paja, vice president of marketing for passenger vehicles at Honeywell, a manufacturer of automotive turbochargers, says they can be cost-effectively applied to hybrid, diesel and gasoline engines alike. 
‘It’s a very natural technology tool to draw out fuel consumption in a transparent way for the customer, without any performance trade-off or reliability trade-off,’ Paja says.
He expects market penetration of turbo engines in the U.S. to grow from today’s 6 per cent to nearly 80 per cent by the end of the next decade. 

Switching Gears

Unlike the turbocharger, the proprietary names and multiple varieties of semi-automatic gearboxes can confuse even avid drivers. In general, semi-automatic gearboxes work like regular automatic transmissions, but they also have a mode that allows drivers to choose when to change gears, instead of letting the computer do it. For instance, with Porsche’s patented tiptronic transmission, BMW’s steptronic system or Aston Martin’s touchtronic, drivers shift by bumping a knob near the stick shifter up or down, or by pushing a paddle on the steering wheel. 
Porsche first introduced tiptronic technology in 1990 as an option in its 911. The technology has since become prevalent with brands like Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Honda and Nissan, although each make has registered it under a different name. This option appeals most to people who want a more engaging drive experience but don’t want to be bothered with working a clutch.
Porsche also uses a similar doppelkupplung (German for double clutch), or PDK, technology. Audi’s R8, BMW’s M3, and Nissan’s GT-R all use the system, as do several high-performance models in Europe.The double-clutch transmission, a small, lightweight system that uses two internal clutches but no clutch pedal, was developed to win races on the track. It appeals to driving enthusiasts worldwide because of its incredible ease of speed and efficiency, says Porsche spokesman Dave Engleman. It works by using electronic sensors to change gears, much like a standard automatic transmission. One clutch controls the odd gears, the other, the even gears. That duality means the driver can move a gear up or down without interrupting engine power, allowing seamless acceleration. 

Safety Patrol

Safety features pose another threat to automotive know-how, and that confusion can lead to misuse or mistrust. For instance, professional drive instructors say many drivers often fail to take full advantage of the anti-lock braking system (ABS) in their car–or they mistake its signature rumble for a brake problem. 
ABS works by preventing a vehicle’s wheels from locking in the case of a slip. The most basic ABS uses speed sensors and hydraulics that monitor the speed of each wheel. When it detects that one wheel is turning either faster or slower than the others (which means the wheel is slipping or over-spinning), it reduces or increases brake force as needed. ABS adjusts continuously, which is why the brake pedal will rumble or pulse when the system is engaged. 
The ABS system is a proven winner. It can decrease stopping distances on loose gravel by an average of 22 per cent, according to the National Highway Safety Administration. A sister technology, electronic stability control (ESC), reduces the risk of single-vehicle crashes by about 35 per cent for cars and dramatically more, 67 per cent, for SUVs, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). 
ESC is more advanced than ABS. It works by sensing when a car might slip and then applying constant brake pressure to individual tires. David Zuby, senior vice president for vehicle research at IIHS, says the institute finds ESC so effective that it will not award its ‘top safety pick’ distinction to any vehicle that does not offer it. It’s a comforting thought, especially once you understand the system. Now get out there and impress your friends with what you know.
Here’s our list of some of the most confusing car technologies and terms. From knowing your way around semi-automatic transmissions to understanding the difference between a mild hybrid and a dedicated hybrid, these factoids are essential knowledge for anyone who owns a car.

In Depth: Confusing Car Technologies Explained

Forbes.com – Hannah Elliott

Car loses all four wheels on highway

May 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Club

n-wheels
ZURICH (Reuters) – A car traveling on a motorway in Switzerland lost all four wheels simultaneously, coming to an immediate halt in the middle of the highway, police said on Saturday.
The car had just stopped and the passengers had changed from winter to summer wheels themselves, a common task in Switzerland where there is plenty of snow in winter, but used the wrong nuts when mounting the new set.

“When they then drove back on to the motorway, all of the wheels disconnected,” St Gallen cantonal police said in a statement. “Luckily, no one was injured and no other vehicle was damaged.”

(Reporting by Sam Cage)

Buell track days announce

May 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Moto

buell
Improve your road riding by honing your skills on the track.
Harley-Davidson’s sports bike division, Buell, has confirmed seven dates for 2009 for its Buell Performance Academy track riding events.These are held at three circuits: Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire, Mallory Park in Leicestershire and Castle Combe in Wiltshire.

Each track-riding event costs a bargain £99, which includes instruction from former British Superbike Championship racer Matt Llewellyn and the use of Buell’s own machines – this is cheaper than many track days where you use your own bike.

The full series of dates is listed on www.buellperformance academy.co.uk ,where bookings are also made, and while you’re there you can enter a competition to win £1,000 worth of Buell-branded race leathers.

Vespa GTS 125 Super review

May 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Moto

vespa2
Vespa is so well established, so definitive of its type, the name has become a generic term.
A vespa is a scooter because the Vespa was the first and most enduring of the breed: even the new, 2009 Vespas are recognisable descendants of the 63-year lineage, although there’s some confusion about what the various models are.

The new, $4,399 GTS 125 Super, for example, might look superfluous as there are plenty of 125 Vespas already. The S125, the LX125 and the LXV125 are based on the LX platform, a small chassis designed for more compact engines from 50cc to 150cc, and more compact riders. Vespa’s GT series platform underpins larger machines with more powerful engines from 125cc to 300cc, so although there’s a choice of GT-type 125 or LX, the GTs are better suited to taller riders.

There’s further choice: the GTV is a retro-styled version with its headlight mounted on the front mudguard, the GTS is the standard version and the latest GTS 125 Super is the most sporting. Usually, at this level, that’s reflected only in some styling details and, to those in the know (all Italians), the cachet of the “Super” badge.

But the GTS Super also differs from the other 125s in featuring fuel injection and electronically pumped coolant for improved efficiency. The new engine also offers much longer service intervals, up from 4,000 to 6,000 miles. With better economy of up to 90mpg being claimed (although no meaningful figures are available), this will mean usefully reduced running costs.

Cosmetically, the Super is distinguished by its cooling grille in the right-side panel beneath the seat (a homage to older, air-cooled Vespas), unique two-tone alloy wheels, a different seat and touches such as a black headlight surround and red front-suspension spring. Not a lot, but enough for the Vespisti it seems, while more casual users will still appreciate the solidity and better handling. It’s beautifully balanced and therefore very easy to ride and wriggle through traffic, with high-quality suspension and exceptional stability at speed.

The smooth, 15bhp engine is one of the best performers in the class, giving a top speed of 65mph.

There’s less storage space beneath the seat than on many scooters – you can fit a couple of small open-faced helmets in there, though I’d never recommend wearing those anyway – and the luggage rack is an option rather than standard.

You also get the chic and authenticity that comes only with the real thing. It looks great and it’s a Vespa, not a vespa.

THE FACTS

Price/availability: $4,399/On sale now

Tested: Piaggio Vespa GTS 125 Super

Power/torque: 15bhp@9,750rpm/9lb ft@7,500rpm

Top speed: 65mph

Fuel economy: 80-90mpg (est)

Fuel tank/range: 2.1 gallons/180 miles

Seat height: 790mm/31.1in

Transmission: automatic/belt final drive

Weight: n/a

Alternatives: Piaggio Vespa S125, $3,849. Kymco Like 125, $2,769.

Verdict: For some, only a Vespa will do. And it does very well indeed.

Carl Fogarty makes rare track appearance

May 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Moto

foggyThe four times World Superbike champion is one of the stars of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s Festival of 1,000 Bikes at Mallory Park on July 10-12.
This year’s Festival promises a stunning line-up of riders and machines, including the new Norton Rotary with Michael Dunlop fresh from the TT.

Just announced is Jim Redman on a works CR750 Honda, along with Terry Rymer aboard one of the National Motorcycle Museum’s Rotary Norton racers.

On Sunday 12 there’s a guaranteed ear-splitting cacophany courtesy of the VMCC’s sprint section, with a display of alcohol-fuelled drag bikes on the mallory start/finish straight. More details at the dedicated sprint site: www.vmccsprint.co.uk.

Four times World Superbike champion Fogarty stars in the Past Masters display on the Sunday. Also, following Norton’s return to the 2009 TT with Michael Dunlop on the new Norton NRV, both man and machine will take to the track in a feature that will also include some special celebrity guest riders aboard the new Norton Commando road bikes.

Keeping with a Norton theme, Sammy Miller MBE will be giving the first public track outing to the newly restored “Lowboy” prototype race machine. Courtesy of the National Motorcycle Museum, four of the original Norton Rotary race bikes will be on the track, ridden by original riders including Steve Spray, Trevor Nation, Ian Simpson and Terry Rymer.

As well as Fogarty, other illustrious names include Phil Read on an MV Agusta, Jim Redman, John Cooper on a works BSA Rocket triple, Mick Grant, Sammy Miller, Tommy Robb, Tony Rutter, Colin Seeley and an appearance by the Laverda Corse team.

The Past masters feature will also include no less than 18 Honda 250-4 machines – the biggest ever collection of these amazing-sounding machines assembled on track at the same time.

For advance spectator ticket sales contact the Mallory Park ticket hot line 01455 842931, or visit www.vmcc.net/1000bikes/index.htm and www.mallorypark.co.uk for full details and the very latest updates.

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