At the Frankfurt international auto show, Lotus answered the rumors from the sports car’s brand with the all new 2012 Lotus Exige S and the Lotus Exige R-GT.
The 2012 Exige R-GT signifies the return of Lotus to the world of rally racing by taking part in FIA GT category of the FIA Rally on asphalt in Monte Carlo, Tour de Corse and San Remo.
The look of the Exige R-GT is simply stunning, the car is powered by the same V6 3.5 liter supercharged engine found in the new Exige S, but as per FIA regulation, tuned to 298 hp with the 34-millimeter air restrictors that is in place to control the power; the weight too is increased to 1,200 KG to meet required specification.
“With the new R-GT rules in rally, it’s a very interesting time for us to return to the sport. Naturally our approach this time around will be different to when we won the championship with Talbot three decades ago but I think our philosophy is definitely the same, we want to compete and ultimately we want to win. Our new rally car, the Exige R-GT is a dream come true for those who are passionate about GT racing – this will be their car,” said Group Lotus’ Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro.
In the previous post on Mitsubishi FTO, I’ve mentioned Japanese car maker’s reluctance on making affordable performance cars in the past decade or so. This painted a pretty bleak picture for sports car enthusiasts (who aren’t also super loaded).
There’s good news on the horizon. Apparently this trend might see a reversal with the news of the concept car from Toyota – the FT-86
The FT-86 is pretty much inspired by the popularity of AE-86 that is made popular by the comic series Initial-D. Nicknamed the tofu car, AE-86 has a huge cult following especially in the drift racing series, and still cheered upon whenever appeared at Autocross events.
A collaboration between Subaru and Toyota, the FT-86 is to come with a new 2 liter Toyota-Subaru “D-4S” Boxer engine. Targeted to cost around US $20,000 when it is eventually launched, that’ll place it cheaper than a fully loaded Honda Accord (or Toyota’s own Camry for that matter).
I, for one, welcome Japanese manufacturer’s return to this segment, 6 speed manual with 2.0 liter boxer sounds like a good combination to me.
Check out wiki page for more details.
The compact 4 door sedan market in Malaysia is pretty much dominated by 2 Japanese models: Toyota Vios and Honda City. Both cars are priced at around RM 70-90k range, with decent space, and around 1.5 liter engine capacity. From outside looking in, you have the Naza Bestari 206 with 1.4 liter engine, as well as Suzuki Swift, 1.5 liter engine but slightly smaller built.
Ford Fiesta – 1.5 liter hot hatch from Ford
Enter Ford Fiesta, this is actually the 6th generation of Fiesta that was originally debuted in 1976. The hatch definitely poses very impressive specs with price rumored to be in direct competition with other B segment cars like the above mentioned Vios and City.
- Engine: 1.6 liter Ti-VCT with 120 PS at 6,500 rpm and 152 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm
- Transmission: 6 speed Powershift dual clutch
- Airbags: Dual SRS
- Wheels: 16″ alloy rims
- 0-100 km/h: 9.9s
- Top Speed: 193 km/h
There’s even optional electronic traction control that’s usually only found in high end cars. This Ford certainly has the spec to match it’s aggressive looks. We’ll see ho well the Malaysian market embrace it.
I for one surely hope there’s some competition to the current duopoly in B segment cars.
In the early 1990s, the Japanese car makers offer quite a good lineup of pretty affordable sports cars. Cars that were geared towards enthusiasts who aren’t necessarily fixing their midlife crisis.
Mitsubishi had two models that fit into the category, the GTO (and Dodge Stealth), and the little brother, the FTO.
FTO stands for “Fresh Touring Origination”, and it is really a sleek little car that is rather capable. Equipped with a 2.0 liter MIVEC V6 engine with 24 valve. The car produces up to 200ps at 7500 rpm without an aid of a turbo. Quite impressive.
The 0-100 km/h speed is in the mid to high 6s mark, not quite as impressive as its closest rival, the Toyota MR2, but would still beat over 80% of the cars out there with it’s NA engine in FF configuration.
- Engine: 6A12 2.0 L DOHC 24v MIVEC V6
- Weight: 1200 kg
- Wheel base: 2,500 mm (98.4 in)
- Power: 197bhp
- 0-100 km/h: 6.5s (GPX version)
- Top speed: 225 km/h
The second (or third of many hand) FTOs are now trading in Malaysia for about RM 40-50k region. Since FTO was produced only from 1994 to 2000. There aren’t many of them around anymore, so if you can get your hands on one in awesome condition, I’m sure you won’t regret it.
After all, how many cars were in Jackie Chan’s movie Thunderbolt (1995)as one of the main characters? Check out the video below for some old time classic!
The following research on ASIMO is engaged by Honda Advanced Technology
Honda is generally associated as a company that produces cars and motorcycles. In a departure to traditional wheeled vehicles, Honda also pursuit in researching more radical mobility technology. The result is ASIMO, Honda’s Advanced Mobility Technology.
The concept behind Honda’s robot R&D was to create a viable mobility technology that allows robot to live with and help human kind. With two-legged walking capability, the robot would be free from purpose built roads and be able to maneuver with human. This includes circumventing objects, going up and down stairs, and walking on uneven roads. The ultimate objective is, of course, to allow the robot to live in a human home and not confined to purpose built environments.
Contrary to popular misconception, ASIMO is not a reference to popular science fiction writer and the inventor of the Three Laws of Robotics, Issac Asimov, but an acronym for “Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility”
the whole lineup, from experimental models to the new ASIMO
The first version of ASIMO was unveiled in 2000 following a slew of experimental models developed by Honda started from the 1986. The first seven models (E0 to E6) were basically just walking legs, three other humanoid robots with upper limbs were developed from 1993 to 1997 before ASIMO was launched. Almost a quarter century of dedicated development.
The current version of ASIMO, first unveiled in 2005, has seen numerous improvement over the previous version. The robot can walk at a leisure speed of 2.7 km/hour, and for the first time, run at 6 km/hour. ASIMO can also do what most other things human is capable of, this includes recognizing people’s face and interact with them via its head-mounted camera, maneuver around obstructions, as well as dance in tune with music.
By being programmed and operated wirelessly, ASIMO can perform a number of tasks including fetching coffee, walking hand-in-hand with a human, and even conducting a symphony ochestra.
ASIMO runs on Lithium Ion battery with a continuous operating time of 40 minutes to 1 hour. The robot will automatically identify and walk to the closest charging station when its remaining battery level falls below a certain level. This ensures that there isn’t any human intervention needed to recharge the robot.
Honda’s commitment to continue development of ASIMO and its advanced mobility technology will only mean that the robot will one day take an active role in fulfilling serious functions in society. It may serve as another set of eyes, ears, hands, and legs for all kinds of people in need.
Hopefully soon enough, we will all have an ASIMO or equivalent serving as the helper at home instead of having to hire foreign maids like we do now.
For more information, you can visit Honda Advanced Technology