Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car, SUV, News

Hyundai unveils 10th Anniversary Streetcar Mosaic

Hyundai has completed a 50-day driving challenge in London called A Streetcar Named Hyundai.

The idea involved driving, photographing and filming every central London street within the 2092 miles detailed in the famous Cabbie 'Knowledge'. Involving 127 participants, the challenge was created by London 2012's Ordnance Survey team to mark the 10-year anniversary of 'Hyundai Motor UK' and was completed in the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, the world's first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell car.

London taxi driver and knowledge teacher of 30 years, Tony Norris said: "The Cabbie Knowledge is world renowned, unique to London and takes an average of 3-4 years to complete. But, this is the first time that the entire six-mile radius has been routed in this way as one continuous drive."

Hyundai created entirely new software to capture the drive, which controlled the camera shutter based on the car's speed, distance travelled and angle of travel to frame the entire journey photographically. The camera took pictures every 6-7 metres delivering 503,919 images - that's 207,000 MB of data. The special ix35 was designed to capture over half a million photos throughout the journey with the images used to create a 6m x 2m mosaic, a digital continuous image of all London's streets as well as a 200.5 second time lapse video to mark the UK company's 2005 heritage.

The final mosaic image depicts Oxford Street, which was voted as the most iconic street in London, and will go on display at City Hall in March 2016, as part of London's Hydrogen Week.

Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Matthew Pencharz said: "Energy-efficient transport like these hydrogen fuel cell cars are key to helping improve the capital's air quality and reduce carbon emissions. I'm pleased that Hyundai's project has produced such an interesting portrait of our city with their new hydrogen technology."

Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai Motor UK's President and CEO commented: "We're incredibly proud of how far Hyundai has come in the UK in the short space of 10 years. During this time our brand has been completely transformed through innovation, design and technology - all of which encapsulate the Streetcar Named Hyundai challenge. We are delighted with the results."

Crossover, SUV, News

Full-scale Origami Nissan Juke

Nissan has revealed a full size Origami Juke, celebrating 5 years of the model.

British paper artist Owen Gildersleeve collaborated with Nissan on the unique project in a nod to Nissan's Japanese heritage. Gildersleeve hand built the intricate replica model from paper to the exact dimensions of the current Juke, taking over 200 hours and folding more than 2,000 pieces of paper to create the detailed sculpture.

The Origami Juke features the same design cues - such as the wheel arches, lights and grille - that give the real-life model its distinctive character.

Artist Owen Gildersleeve said: "This was a great project to work on - hard work but very rewarding. As a celebration piece it draws on so many influences, such as the origami focus inspired by Nissan's Japanese roots. Using so many individual pieces of paper to create the overall structure also represents the thousands of people who helped bring the Nissan Juke into reality and the thousands who continue to do so right here in the UK."

The Juke, which is built in Nissan's plant in Sunderland, reaches its fifth birthday this year. Since first deliveries began in October 2010, more than 150,000 Juke models have been sold in the UK, with over 700,000 total sales across Europe.

Darryl Scriven, Design Manager at Nissan's Design Centre for Europe, said: "The first step of any car design involves putting pencil to paper. From that simple start, it's a complex journey to production involving hundreds of skilled people, thousands of man-hours and millions in investment. So we think it's very apt that on its fifth birthday, we celebrate the Nissan Juke with a tribute that harks back to that simple, but bold, first step, all carried out with Nissan's signature innovation and excitement of course."

The Origami Juke is revealed as 'World Origami Days' are celebrated across the world between 24th October and 11th November.

Supercars, News, Coupe, Sports Car, Convertible

McLaren reveals limited 650S Can-Am edition

McLaren has unveiled a limited edition 650S Can-Am, of which only 50 examples will be produced globally.

Based on the 650S Spider, the new model was created by the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) department and honours the 50th anniversary of the inaugural 1966 Canadian-American Challenge Cup, or Can-Am, season. Taking its inspiration from the race cars of this age of motorsport, McLaren established itself throughout the 1960s and 70s as a 'world-beating force' in one of the most extreme forms of motorsport, winning five consecutive championships between 1967 and 1971.

The Can-Am was a no-holds-barred battle of power and speed around some of the most iconic circuits in North America and Canada. It attracted the best drivers of the time including Graham Hill, John Surtees, Jackie Stewart and, of course, Bruce McLaren. The championship started in 1966, only a year after Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was established and in the series that followed, the young Kiwi became one of most successful names in the sport.

McLaren says key to its success in the the Can-Am series was the use of the latest technologies and materials. This principle has been carried through to today's 650S Can-Am, where lightweight materials such as aluminium and mallite were used in the construction of yesterday's racers, the modern-day car features extensive carbon fibre not least in the construction of its lightweight MonoCell chassis.

A carbon fibre retractable hard top features for the first time while further carbon fibre is used for the bonnet, Airbrake, front splitter, rear bumper centre, door blades and 650S Can-Am branded sill cover. MSO has also created a unique set of lightweight forged alloy wheels inspired by those of the 1960s racers with a gloss-black finish on each of the five spokes and a diamond cut rim. Held in place by titanium bolts, the wheels are shod with Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres. Carbon ceramic brakes with black painted callipers are standard equipment.

Further unique features inspired by the iconic Can-Am racers include carbon fibre louvered front wings and a new quad-exit, polished stainless steel exhaust system. The louvres are designed to reduce pressure over the front wheels and increase downforce, while the four circular tailpipes at the rear of the car housed within a new visual carbon fibre rear grille 'echo the aggressive throttle trumpets' of the historic models. They also provide the 650S Can-Am with a 'unique soundtrack'.

Like the 650S Spider, this limited production model is powered by a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 which producing 650PS (641bhp) and 678Nm (500 lb ft) of torque, for a 0-62 mph time of only three seconds and its top speed is 204 mph.

The 650S Can-Am is available in three colours. The launch colour, Mars Red, is directly inspired by the M1B raced by Bruce McLaren and his teammate Chris Amon in the debut season. The second colour, Papaya Spark, is described as a modern and metallic take on the famous Can-Am racing McLaren Orange. The final option is Onyx Black which is similar to the base colour used by many of the McLaren customer teams in the later seasons. Each is additionally available with a corresponding racing livery to give an even closer visual association with the historic Can-Am series, says McLaren.

Inside, the standard sports seats are upholstered with leather and Alcantara which complement the exterior. Carbon fibre features extensively throughout the cabin while a further bespoke Can-Am touch is the unique dedication plaque on the driver's door.

The new 650S Can-Am can be commissioned for a price of £255,850 with deliveries set to commence in the spring of 2016, 50 years on from the first race at Mont Tremblant, Canada.

Vintage Car, News

Vauxhall marks Chevette's 40th birthday

Vauxhall is to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Chevette at the Footman James Sywell Classic - Pistons and Props motoring festival in September.

There will be several examples of the celebrated marque on display such as the Chevette HS2300 plus the Cavalier Mk1, also celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015. 

All of the Vauxhall owners clubs have been invited to join the party. 

The organisers are also giving private owners of the Vauxhall Chevette the opportunity to get involved, with 20 places allocated within the Vauxhall Heritage display.

Denis Chick, Director of Communications at Vauxhall Motors, said: "We're delighted to be celebrating 40 years of the Chevette at Sywell Classic and look forward to showing some of our Vauxhall heritage fleet as well as meeting owners who have kept their Chevettes in such excellent order and still on the road today. The Cavalier will also join in making this a double anniversary celebration."

Also on show will be the Biggles Bi-Plane, a replica BE-2c aircraft from the 1914/18 war which is supported by Vauxhall. It was commissioned in 1969 by the makers of the film 'Biggles Sweeps the Skies'. As well as taking to the sky it will be displayed alongside an original Vauxhall 1914 D-Type army staff car and the striking Biggles liveried Vauxhall Zafira Tourer support vehicle.

Sywell Classic Event Director Tom Siddall added: "This is the first time a major manufacturer has supported Sywell Classic and we're thrilled to have them on board for a celebration of their strong heritage."

Bringing Vauxhall right up date will be an example of the all-new Astra, launched just two weeks before at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Astra is British-built at Vauxhall's factory in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. Vauxhall will also be showing the recently launched new Viva, a car that revives memories of its very successful 1960s predecessor. 

Now in its third year, Sywell Classic will be held at Northamptonshire's Sywell Aerodrome on the weekend of 26-27 September.

Vintage Car, News

Toyota celebrates 50 years in the UK

In 1965 Toyota made a modest entry into the UK car market with the Corona.

Fifty years later Toyota has sold almost three million vehicles in Britain, it also builds them here too. That first Corona wasn't big, it wasn't flashy and its arrival was marked by a small four-car stand at that year's motor show. Clocking up 50 years makes Toyota the Japanese car maker with the longest unbroken history in the UK.

Pride and Clark was the original UK importer and distributor, a South London family firm that launched its enterprise after John Pride travelled to the Far East to see the developing Japanese car industry for himself. His faith in Toyota was shared by a handful of car retailers who set up the first Toyota showrooms, at first with just a single model line - Corona - to offer their customers.

Business prospered as the range of vehicles grew, not least with introduction of the first Corolla in 1966. The name Toyota (GB) Ltd was adopted in 1967 and by 1980 200,000 cars had been sold, securing its position as a leading player in Britain's car market. Nine years later Toyota announced the UK as the location for a European manufacturing centre. Toyota Manufacturing UK's Burnaston car plant in Derbyshire and Deeside engine factory in North Wales came on stream in 1992 and have benefited from more than £2 billion investment in technology, skills and jobs.

Paul Van der Burgh, Toyota (GB) President and Managing Director, explained: "Toyota entered the UK market with the aim of providing better cars and better service, even if those weren't the words used back then. But ever since, Toyota has stood out for giving the customer something better - better equipment, better reliability and better service."

While Toyota says its focus is on the future and the development of 'ever-better cars', it honours the achievements of some its influential models of the past in a heritage fleet, maintained by Toyota (GB). The classic line-up includes an original Corona saloon, the famous Corolla AE86 that helped inspire today's GT86 coupe, a first-generation RAV4 and one of the earliest British-built models and a 1992-vintage Carina E.

In its 50th year in the UK, Toyota has already launched new Avensis and Auris models - built at Burnaston. Later this year it will also begin marketing the first of its Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicles here, opening a new chapter in zero emissions driving with technology the drivers of those first Corona saloons could never have imagined.