Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Closed heart surgery

Natural Sandstone Collection

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spyker C8 Aileron

Spyker C8 Aileron

Spyker C8 Aileron
The all-new Spyker C8 Aileron marks the next step in Spyker Cars' evolution. Initially unveiled at the 2009 Salon International de l'Automobile in Geneva, the new Spyker C8 Aileron coupe took pride of place at the 2010 Geneva show just as it enters production in a new facility in Coventry, UK.

Inspired by the company's aviation heritage, Spyker's second-generation sports car features cues from second-generation aircraft propulsion, highlighting the turbine blade, rather than the propeller which adorned many elements of Spyker's first generation cars.

With sleek aerodynamics, a long GT wheelbase, luxurious and spacious cabin and world-class ZF six-speed automatic transmission, the new C8 Aileron broadens the appeal of the Spyker brand while maintaining the marque's exclusivity.

The Spyker C8 Aileron is available in 16 standard colours, but customers may choose any colour they wish as an option, as well as the Spyker Squadron GT2 racing colour scheme. The standard colours have been developed by Sikkens Autolakken Nederland and AkzoNobel Car Refinishes. Spyker selected these companies because of their high quality standards and their flexibility to meet the special requirements of owners wishing to give their Spyker a unique appearance. Some of the standard colours are exclusive to the C8 Aileron.

Second-generation design exploits advanced computer aids

The design of the hand-crafted Spyker C8 Aileron represents the latest evolution of Spyker's signature architecture, which is heavily inspired by the company's aviation heritage. In the first-generation cars, the propeller design was consistently applied to many elements of the vehicles. With the design of the new Spyker C8 Aileron, the emphasis is shifted from propeller propulsion to turbine propulsion. As a result, detailing on the car, such as the bright polished air inlets, are turbine-engine-shaped air scoops.

2008 Spyker C8 Aileron
The smooth, elegant and powerful lines of the distinctive design are the result of a virtual aero computer programme provided by TotalSim and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) testing by Penso.

The Spyker C8 Aileron's beautiful lines are complimented by the minimal 'shut' lines and an uncompromised design made possible by the use of superformed alloy body panels. The superforming process heats aluminium to 500 degrees Celsius and then vacuum forms the metal onto an inverted mould over a 30 minute period. Additionally, there are no breaks along the entire path of the door ring seals, guaranteeing maximum integrity against the elements.

At the front, the style of the Spyker C8 Aileron's headlights is particularly eye-catching as they flow seamlessly from the body design. This characteristic styling can be defined as a part of the next generation Spyker identity first seen on the Spyker C12 Laturbie prototype and subsequently in the Spyker D8 Peking-to-Paris protoype.

Latest-generation LEDs are used for the front and rear turn indicators and the sidelights within the sharply-styled headlight units.

Styling and functionality are harmonised in several characteristics of the car. The cockpit canopy, for example, is extended rearwards to optimise the aerodynamic performance of the car. Most of the shark-like gills of earlier models have been abandoned, which results in a cleaner, smoother appearance. The front end is characterised by a large grille that has spectacular visual impact and also allows maximum flow of cooling air. The rear diffuser is crucial to the cars stability at speed, with a spoiler placed under the diffuser, providing additional downforce to boost the ground effect forces produced by the under-car airflow and the diffuser.

Sometimes practicality must take precedent even with a design-led marque such as Spyker. So, for the Spyker C8 Aileron the split side windows with the characteristic metal frame of the first generation models are replaced by single-pane side windows that are fully retractable, improving visibility and comfort. The exterior mirrors, which are finished in body colour as standard, are mounted on two turbine fan blades.

V8 powertrain and automatic drivetrain

The Spyker C8 Aileron's performance is visceral, vibrant and alive. Power comes from a naturally aspirated Audi 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine. This powerunit features a 90 degree angle block, 40 valves (5 valves-per-cylinder, 3 intake and 2 exhaust), and variable valve timing.

Highly responsive, the V8 generates 400 ps at 6,800 rpm and an immense wave of torque (480 Nm at just 3,500 rpm), to ensure thrilling drivability.

Strong torque, high power, sleek aerodynamics, modest car weight and an excellent power-to-weight ratio all result in sensational acceleration: 0-to-100 kph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 300 kph.

As standard, the engine is fitted with a long-life stainless steel exhaust system tuned to put the driver 'truly in touch with their senses' - according the company CEO Victor Muller. Also standard in Europe is an exhaust system with 'Whisper' mode (optional outside Europe). This system uses noise-dampening reed valves to create a quieter drive below 3,500 rpm. The valves naturally open as engine speed rises above this figure, and can be opened electronically below this speed by the driver if desired.

Marking a 'first' for Spyker, the C8 Aileron's engine is mated to an automatic transmission that provides seamless, yet instant, progression through the gears. The highly regarded six-speed ZF gearbox features a regular torque converter and offers drivers a choice of fully automatic or clutch-less sequential manual gear shifting using the standard paddle shifts behind the steering wheel.

The transmission selection operation retains Spyker's trademark exposed gear change mechanism that provides a sense of occasion and proves that aesthetics and function go hand-in-hand.

The aluminium paddle shift controls are substantive and easy to reach. They do not rotate with the steering wheel, allowing the driver to easily identify the up-shift and down-shift paddles, regardless of the steering wheel's angle.

In line with Spyker's philosophy of delivering an undiluted sportscar driving experience, the drivetrain is not equipped with a limited-slip differential or any other mechanical or electronic aids.

Ultra-stiff, all-aluminium space frame chassis

Spyker's engineering team conceived an all-new all-aluminium space frame structure for the C8 Aileron with the objective of maximised torsional and flexural rigidity. It provides an excellent foundation for the tailor-engineered suspension system designed and engineered by Lotus to Spyker's brief.

Spyker put tremendous effort into optimising the space frame's performance and efficiency, for example adopting one-piece side sills that make an important contribution to chassis stiffness. The utilization of modern finite element analysis and numerical optimization methods has allowed Spyker's engineers to create a new chassis which boasts an exceptional torsional stiffness of 29,500 Nm/degree.

Rigid-node and load-path technology was employed in order to ensure that the minimum amount of aluminium is used to achieve this performance, thus reducing the overall weight of the vehicle. The production chassis weighs just 230 kg.

Dynamic stiffness characteristics of the structure have also been carefully tuned in order to minimise unwanted cabin noises and vibrations, which may otherwise detract from the superlative driving experience. These technologies and measures have allowed Spyker to arrive at the most efficient chassis in its history.

All-new suspension and running gear

The Spyker C8 Aileron is fitted with a brand-new fully independent double-wishbone suspension system (front and rear) developed by Lotus. This multi-adjustable suspension system incorporates a new kinematic layout of the front and rear suspension systems.

Stabiliser bars are fitted front and rear, together with Bilstein mono-tube dampers and Eibach coil over damper steel springs integrating the spring with the near-vertical shock absorber. The system's constant spring rates are 132 NM/mm (front) and 160 NM/mm (rear).

An optional hydraulic ride height elevation system is available to ensure safe passage over speed humps and steep ramp angles. It raises the ride height by 40 mm.

The suspension components are made of forged aluminium wherever possible to keep the vehicle's unsprung weight to a minimum. This goal is also supported by the use of special lightweight alloy wheels, which weigh just 36% of an equivalent steel wheel, and alloy brake calipers.

As standard, the Spyker C8 Aileron is equipped with newly-designed and unique 19-inch alloy wheels. New high-impact 10-blade 19-inch directional Rotorblade™ wheels are available as an option. These optional wheels are inspired by the turbine blades of a jet engine, echoing the new styling direction for Spyker, while acknowledging the company's aviation heritage. The Spyker C8 Aileron's generously proportioned Michelin tyres - 235/35 ZR19 (front) and 295/30 ZR19 (rear) - provide exceptional grip and progressive handling.

A stiff chassis, well balanced weight distribution (45/55% front/rear), and rear wheel drive, ensure that the Spyker C8 Aileron posses excellent steering 'feel'. The Servotronic speed-sensitive rack and pinion system has hydraulic power assistance and requires 3.0 turns of the steering wheel lock-to-lock.

As appropriate for a supercar with the performance potential of the Spyker C8 Aileron, the braking system is immensely powerful. Designed and supplied by AP Racing, a Spyker partner from day one, the system features ventilated and cross-drilled steel discs front and rear for rapid dispersion of heat. High performance Ferodo DS2500 brake pads ensure good brake 'feel', excellent initial bite and fade characteristics, plus low noise and good durability.

Black brake calipers with the Spyker script in silver are fitted as standard. Colour-coded calipers with Spyker script in silver can be ordered as an option.

Hand-crafted cabin with comfort and space aplenty

The Spyker C8 Aileron has been designed to offer ample interior space for 98th percentile occupants, an unequivocally comfortable experience for driver and passenger, and exceptional, but truly unique, ergonomics. As standard, each C8 Aileron is fitted with driver and passenger front airbags.

The interior, with its signature Spyker attention to detail, is made of the highest quality leather. The leather interior is available in 14 standard colours, but a wide variety of other colours - to suit individual customer preferences - can be ordered as an option. Spyker's trademark diamond stitched quilted interior trim finish is available as an option - as are Alcantara® and a duo-tone cabin.

The Spyker C8 Aileron's interior amplifies further the signature Spyker aviation theme. The brushed aluminium dashboard is an all-new design aligned paving the way for a new next-generation Spyker identity and also to maximise ergonomics, solid tactility and straightforward functionality. A turned aluminium dashboard, as seen on planes in the 1920s and 1930s, and Chronoswiss dials and switches are available as an option. The air vents are designed in turbine style. Even the Spyker characteristic floor-mounted pedal box is exquisite in its detailing.

A LCD display is integrated between the speedometer and the odometer to show the current selection and status of the in-car entertainment options offered by the standard Kharma sound system accommodated in the centre console.

Exclusive Kharma in-car entertainment

Over the past decade, Spyker customers have clearly indicated a preference for their cars to feature a 'standard' factory-fit sound system and also a desire for their cars to feature iPod and mobile device compatibility.

Consequently, every C8 Aileron will be equipped as standard with a 'Reference' Kharma sound system, incorporating a FM and DAB digital radio, iPod connectivity, 8 GB memory drive, and USB and AUX inputs. The Kharma sound system benefits from a bespoke-designed control on the central console mechanism behind the gear selector, and selections are shown in the integrated dashboard LCD panel.

The highly-specified system features two high-end Matrix amplifiers with an impressive 300 Watt combined output, two tweeters, two door speakers, two front speakers and copper-silver plated copper wiring. The standard 'Reference' system can be upgraded to the optional 'Grand Reference' audio package that features three high-end Matrix amplifiers, increases total output to 1200 watts, and features a 32 GB memory drive, pure silver-gold plated copper wiring and a double-coiled subwoofer with extended linear excursion.

The presence of a Kharma sound system in the Spyker C8 Aileron marks the Kharma brand's debut in the world of automotive entertainment. Kharma International produces high-end audio products, sold worldwide through a network of highly qualified distributors and dealers. All Kharma sound systems are developed, assembled and tested in the Netherlands, with the utmost care by a team of highly engaged specialists. These characteristics of high-quality products and exclusiveness are ideally matched to Spyker's own brand values of craftsmanship and exclusivity.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Tata eMO EV concept unveiled

Design winners were invited to be an exhibitor in the Michelin Challenge Design at the 2012 NAIAS beginning January 9 and continuing through the public run of the show. “We are delighted to showcase our eMO concept alongside these innovative ideas,” said Fisher.

Tata has showcased the eMO EV concept as a part of the Michellin Challenge Design at the Detroit Auto Show. The eMO (Electric MObility) has been engineered and developed by more than 300 engineers from the Tata Technologies centers based in Pune, Detroit, UK and Germany.

Tata Technologies was selected by Michelin to display its electric Mobility (eMO) engineering study EV as part of the prestigious Michelin Challenge Design display atthe 2012 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, beginning January 9.

“The eMO project symbolizes the coming of age of Indian automotive engineering,” said Warren Harris, Tata Technologies President and Global COO. “It is a tangible example of the capability of Tata Technologies to engineer a full vehicle – a first for any India-based engineering services company.” Harris noted that the unique strength of Tata Technologies is the organization’s global reach. “Because we are India-based, Tata Technologies is intimately familiar with developing markets.

Additionally, our experience and presence in Europe and North America means we also have an understanding of developed markets; a combination that provides a competitive advantage to our clients,” he said.Tata Technologies’ Vehicle Programs & Development (VPD) Group, with more than 300 engineers operating from its four automotive engineering centers of excellence worldwide– Pune (India), Detroit, Coventry (UK), and Stuttgart (Germany) – had the responsibility of developing eMO.

Kevin Fisher, VPD President, explained the beginning of the eMO program. “In mid-2010, in anticipation of the April 2011 launch of VPD, we researched numerous concepts for an internal engineering study that would highlight both the Tata Technologies dedication to environmental responsibility and sustainability, and showcase our global experience, knowledge,capacity and innovation.”

The Tata Technologies VPD Group used its unique multidimensional approach to vehicle engineering and development on eMO that leverages the company’s intimate understanding of frugal engineering principles and its unique understanding of the demands of both developed and developing markets; utilizing its Global Delivery Model and proprietary Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) platforms to develop products faster and more cost effectively.

“As we have previously stated, this next decade will see an ever-increasing demand for more efficient and accelerated product development that also will need to incorporate more new technology than the auto industry has seen in 30 years,” Fisher said. “We are positioned to set the pace in automotive product development and technological innovation.”

The eMO architecture emphasizes “right size” personal urban transportation by minimizing its exterior footprint and maximizing interior space; including seating for four adults. Based upon research of city/urban usage, eMO has the flexibility – with rear seats articulated – to do double-duty as a personal cargo carrier, without the mass and cost of a dedicated trunk.

As a ground-up EV study, eMO also incorporates design advantages over an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle like smoother aerodynamic surfaces and shorter overhangs.

With sustainability in mind, eMO benefits from a low carbon footprint and a recyclability strategy. To reduce the overall carbon footprint of the manufacturing, assembly and other associated processes, Tata Technologies eliminated the traditional body shop and paint process, and utilizes many green product materials in eMO.

The 2012 Michelin Challenge Design Theme, “City 2046: Art, Life and Ingenuity – Transforming Personal Mobility,” challenged participants to design a personal, ground-based vehicle that can transport between two and 10 people, meeting the anticipated needs of select cities in 2046, when more options for public and private transport will be offered. Michelin challenged entrants to create a vehicle that can inspire, as well as transport.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Holden Hurricane Concept

Holden Hurricane Concept

Holden Hurricane Concept
Holden has gone back to the future, restoring its very first concept car - the 1969 Holden Hurricane Concept.

The futuristic research vehicle described as an experiment "to study design trend, propulsion systems and other long range developments" has been restored to its former glory as a labour of love by a dedicated group of Holden designers and engineers.

Code named RD 001; the Holden Hurricane is a mid-engined, rear-wheel drive, two-seater sports car which incorporates a remarkable array of innovative features and technology, much of it way ahead of its time.

Features such as electronic digital instrument displays, station-seeking radio, automatic temperature control air conditioning, rear vision camera and an automated route finder were all showcased in this ground-breaking vehicle 42 years ago. Many of these technologies have only recently made their way into mass production, demonstrating Holden's remarkable foresight into both design and engineering technology.

The Holden Hurricane stole headlines and dropped jaws nationwide when it debuted at the 1969 Melbourne Motor Show.

Michael Simcoe, Executive Director GMIO Design, said it was fantastic to see such a significant vehicle restored.

"At Holden we have always prided ourselves on our ability to look into the future through our concept cars," Mr Simcoe said.

"It's amazing to think that the features we take for granted today were born out of creative minds over 40 years ago."

1969 Holden Hurricane Concept
As its code name suggests, the RD 001 was the first product of the GMH Research and Development organisation, staffed by a small squad of engineers working in conjunction with the Advance Styling Group at the Fishermans Bend Technical Centre in the 1960s.

The team that designed and built the original Holden Hurricane employed some advanced technologies and techniques when it came to the powertrain. Powered by an experimental 4.2-litre (253 cubic inch) V8, this engine was a precursor to the Holden V8 engine program which entered production in late 1969.

The Holden Hurricane's V8 engine featured many advanced design components such as the four-barrel carburettor - a feature which wouldn't be seen on a production 253ci Holden V8 until the late 1970s. The end result was approximately 262hp (193kW), a towering power output in 1969 and one that ensured the Holden Hurricane had the go to match its show.

But perhaps the two most innovative features were the "Pathfinder" route guidance system and the rear-view camera.

The "Pathfinder", essentially a pre-GPS navigation system, relied on a system of magnets embedded at intersections along the road network to guide the driver along the desired route. A dash-mounted panel informed the driver of which turn to take by illuminating different arrows, as well as sounding a warning buzzer.

The rear-view camera was also a ground-breaking innovation.

Engineers using a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) system with a camera mounted in the rear bumper feeding vision to a small black-and-white TV mounted in the centre console.

Former Holden Chief Studio Engineer Rick Martin led the modern-day Hurricane team in researching the vehicle's components, systems and history in order to restore it.

"There are some genuinely remarkable ideas and technology in the Hurricane," said Mr Martin.

"From the automatic air-conditioning and magnet-based guidance system, to the inertia-reel seat belts and metallic paint, this was a car that was genuinely ahead of its time.

"The hand-picked team of engineers and designers who built the original Holden Hurricane worked in strict secrecy and began Holden's now proud tradition of ground-breaking concept cars."

RD 001 stands just 990mm high and has no doors in the conventional sense. A hydraulically-powered canopy opens upwards and forward over the front wheels, combined with twin "astronaut type" power-elevating seats which rise up and pivot forward, along with the steering column for ease of access. Occupants are then lowered to a semi-reclining position before the roof closes over them.

The wind tunnel-tested fibreglass body consists of three segments; the canopy, the engine hood and body shell and was finished in an experimental aluminium flake-based metallic orange paint.

Safety innovations included a foam-lined fuel tank, integrated roll-over bar, digital instrument readouts, ignition safety locks, interior padding and a fire warning system.

The project to restore RD 001 began in 2006 and has been a genuine labour of love for some very dedicated Holden employees. The entire restoration process has been driven primarily by volunteer labour from Holden designers and engineers in their spare time.

But the Hurricane first entered Holden Design in less than immaculate condition. RD 001 had a residency in a trade school where apprentices practised their welding on the priceless concept.

After being returned to Holden in 2006, the Hurricane restoration project has taken many thousands of painstaking man hours to lovingly restore RD 001 to concourse condition.

Holden's Manager for Creative Hard Modelling, Paul Clarke, has been largely responsible for managing the restoration of RD 001. He ensured as many of the original parts as possible have been used or remade using modern techniques to 1969 specification, in order to preserve the authenticity of this hugely important Holden.

"The entire team has done a fantastic job in bringing this beautiful concept back to life," Mr Clarke said.

"The talent we have within the Holden organisation is simply outstanding. Every time we take on a project I'm constantly amazed by the passion and talent in this company, making it a genuine pleasure to work on these projects.

"The Hurricane plays a crucial role in Holden's story and the company has such a great sense of history and heritage that it was very important to bring RD 001 back to life. It's been a challenging but incredibly rewarding process."

Since the debut of the Holden Hurricane Concept in 1969, Holden has continued to build a global reputation for envisioning and executing world-class concept vehicles. Holden is recognised globally within General Motors as a centre of excellence for concept vehicle and show car development and is one of only three GM design studios that is capable to design and build concept cars.

Michael Simcoe added that the Hurricane holds a particularly special place in Holden's history as it kick-started Holden's long love affair with concepts that has since seen the likes of the iconic GTR-X, Torana TT36, Coupe 60, the GMC Denali XT (which was requested specifically by GM for the North American market) and the award-winning Efijy.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Rover TCV Concept

Rover TCV Concept

Rover TCV Concept
Giving the first public indication of Rover's future product design thinking, the Rover TCV Concept (Tourer Concept Vehicle) forms the centrepiece of the company's stand at the 2002 Geneva Show. Rover TCV Concept is shown as an external full size model, combined with a dynamic virtual-reality demonstration of the ingenious interior package capabilities. It has been created to show the company's styling and design vision for its new vehicles. Although this concept is innovative and free-thinking, it has been designed for genuine production feasibility.

The Rover TCV Concept features a highly adaptable seating plan. The rear three seat squabs all fold individually to lie flush with the normal rear load floor, and the front passenger seat squab also folds to this plane. This allows several combinations of passengers and loads, and any folded seats can also be used in 'table-top' mode for business or leisure purposes. Very long items of up to 3.1 metres can be accommodated. The centre rear seat squab can be replaced with various 'slot-in' modules, including a child seat, an entertainment centre, a fridge/food warmer and a business desktop unit.