Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 - how gorgeous is this car?!!

Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 (2014): 898bhp plug-in hybrid at Paris

By CJ Hubbard
First Official Pictures
01 October 2014 20:00
Click Thumbnails to Enlarge
Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 set to stop the show at Paris 2014
  • Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 set to stop the show at Paris 2014
  • Lamborghini Asterion is not a concept it's a technological demonstrator, apparently
  • Shades of Miura? New Lamborghini Asterion pays respect to heritage
  • Lamborghini Asterion is 898bhp plug-in hybrid - here's where all the tech goes
  • Design sketch for Lamborghini Asterion
  • Star of the show at Paris 2014? We think the Lamborghini Asterion is right up there

For the first time in a long time, Lamborghini has prepared something genuinely unexpected for a motor show: a concept car with taste. This is the Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4, and it demonstrates the raging bull’s more ‘sensual’, caring and sharing side.
That’s ‘demonstrates’ in the literal sense, as the firm claims this isn’t just some kind of static design concept. Instead it’s ‘a technological demonstrator representing a Lamborghini model that could be realistically produced today, using technologies currently available and drawing on Lamborghini’s own expertise.’
As such it sounds as much like a challenge to brand owners the Volkswagen Group as it does an effort to drum up new customers (while also making clearPorsche wasn’t involved in the process). In keeping with contemporary trends, the LPI 910-4 is a plug-in hybrid. And in keeping with Lamborghini naming convention it produces 910ps – that’s 898bhp.

What’s in a name? Lamborghini Asterion LPI 910-4 power, performance and clever packaging

The power is provided by a three electric motors and a 5.2-litre V10. That last part should be familiar as it’s the exact same 602bhp unit deployed by the Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4. The electric motors make up the remaining 296bhp, and together this very modern combo is capable of 0-62mph in 3.0 seconds. Top speed is 199mph.
So, to further decode the name, LP – as it does with every Lamborghini – stands for ‘longitudinal posterior’, meaning the longitudinal mid-rear positioning of the conventional engine. The I stands for ‘ibrido’, Italian for hybrid. The 4 means it’s four-wheel drive, and we’ll come back to that. Asterion, aside from sounding stupidly cool, is apparently the ‘proper’ name for the mythical Minotaur, perhaps the ultimate hybrid. There must have been high-fives all round when they came up with that one.
Instead of using a conventional four-wheel drive system like other Lamborghinis, the Asterion drives the rear wheels with its V10 while two of the electric motors take care of the front wheels, adding torque vectoring into the bargain. The third motor is tucked away in the seven-speed dual clutch gearbox. The transaxle design of this positions it behind the engine, leaving what would usually be the transmission tunnel in a conventional four-wheel drive car free to provide storage for a lithium ion battery pack.
Lamborghini says this solution is not only ideal for the balance of the car, it also provides the best crash protection for what can be a highly delicate (and combustible…) component.

Silent running – the Lamborghini Asterion’s electric vehicle capability

The Asterion’s batteries are no mere ploy to satisfy the CO2 reduction lobby – although they will certainly do that as well. Instead they give the car a 50km (31-mile) electric only range – nearly triple what even the Porsche 918is capable of achieving, the only other hybrid hypercar with any significant EV potential.
Lamborghini claims 98mph is possible on electricity alone. Best not expect the batteries to carry you anywhere near to 31 miles at that velocity. The usual eccentricities of official fuel economy testing means the Asterion would homologate at a frankly ludicrous 67.3mpg. That’s equivalent to 98g/km CO2, therefore making it the world’s first road tax-exempt Lamborghini (in the UK).
The weight of the hybrid drivetrain – some 250kg – is offset by the extensive use of carbonfibre. This includes the entire monocoque and the wheels, which are 20 inches in diameter at the front, 21 inches at the rear. Active cooling via part-titanium grids over the front air intakes further improves efficiency.

Lamborghini Asterion: it’s a cruiser, not a bruiser

It’s easy to think of the Asterion as Lamborghini’s answer to LaFerrariMcLaren P1 and Porsche 918, but the big bull is actually pitching it as ‘a car comfortable for every day cruising rather than extreme performance and handling’. Someone go check for pulses over at Sant’Agata, stat.
This entirely uncharacteristic approach strikes us as enjoyably refreshing, perhaps reflecting the somewhat polarised reaction to other recent Lamborghini concepts, namely the Veneno and Egoista. Although maybe it’s just because the marque knows it’s never going to get the green light for the car and just wanted to do something different.
Either way, the cruiser-not-a-bruiser ethos is evident in the ‘sensual’ design of the outside and the luxurious nature of the interior. For heaven’s sake, the Asterion’s even got conventional doors.
On the inside there are just two seats. Several of the finest bovine specimens were obviously sacrificed for the cause, the leather contrasting with ‘forged carbonfibre’ and titanium detailing. The three-spoke steering wheel is an explicit reference to the Miura. Yes, Lamborghini is apparently skirting round that sacred, uh, cow again. The buttons added to the wheel control the driving modes: Zero for electric running, I for Ibrido (ie: hybrid) and T for Termico (thermal, thus combustion) power.
Designed in-house at Lamborghini Centro Stile, the Blue Elektra ‘glittered’ exterior also pays respectful homage to heritage – though we’re sure you’ll have your own opinions about these and other visual references. The differentiation between this and Lamborghini’s existing models deliberately points to the ‘technological concept behind the car’. At the rear the hexagonal glass of the transparent engine cover changes depending on the driving mode.
Almost inevitably theses days, the in-car infotainment including satellite navigation and climate control is taken care of by a removable tablet.
So what do you think? To our eyes it’s the most interesting thing Lamborghini has shown at a motor show in ages – but does the Asterion stray too far from the animalistic nature of this passionate Italian supercar brand? You decide.

Aston Martin Lagonda saloon (2015)

Aston Martin Lagonda saloon (2015) production pictures and interior revealed

By CJ Hubbard
First Official Pictures
01 October 2014 00:01
Click Thumbnails to Enlarge
First official pictures of the production Aston Martin Lagonda saloon (2015)
  • First official pictures of the production Aston Martin Lagonda saloon (2015)
  • This is also the first time we've seen the new 2015 Aston Martin Lagonda saloon's interior
  • We think new Lagonda looks good from almost every angle
  • This is what the new Aston Martin Lagonda badge looks like
  • New Aston Martin Lagonda saloon is over 5.4m long with a wheelbase 300mm greater than a Rapide's
  • Extended wheelbase helps make room in the back for essentials such as passenger legs. Headroom now ample, too
  • Here's the new Lagonda alongside the William Towns' designed version from 1976-1990
  • We'll have to take the doors off... full lenth view of new Lagonda interior
  • Seat design looks intricate. We're not entirely sure if that's the same as comfortable...

It’s been captured in spy shotsshown officially in the shadowsoutted as air freight and seen hot weather testing – but now we finally have proper production spec images of the new Aston Martin Lagonda saloon.
These include the very first images of the Lagonda’s opulent four-seater interior, the new Lagonda badge and a snap alongside its ‘spiritual’ predecessor, the 1976-1990 William Towns’ designed Lagonda saloon. Shame Aston couldn’t have chosen a day when it wasn’t raining.

How big is the 2015 Aston Martin Lagonda saloon?

‘Spiritual’ is the word used by current Aston Martin design director Marek Reichman, who describes the Towns’ car as a reference point rather than a direct ascendant.
Despite the pictures, exact details of the new car remain a closely guarded secret – but we can confirm that the Lagonda is over 5.4m long with an extra 300mm in the wheelbase compared to the Rapide. This and the more generous headroom of the bodystyling means the Lagonda offers as much rear space as a stretched Rolls-Royce Ghost or Mercedes S-Class.
As you can see, the interior detailing is intricate to say the least.

What is the 2015 Aston Martin Lagonda saloon made from and how fast is it?

The Lagonda is based on Aston’s familiar aluminium VH architecture, while the bodywork is entirely carbonfibre – a unique feature for a saloon car, and surely a key selling point of the car. The lightweight material should help make it both fast and surprisingly nimble.
Aston’s 5.9-litre V12 could be pushing 600bhp in this application; we’re told the hot weather test team have seen speeds of 175mph, and that’s before proper performance validation has begun.
Reichman told CAR that one of the VIP clients responsible for the project’s inception has recently ridden in a prototype, and commented ‘it’s literally like you’re gliding on the road.’ If the customer is always right, that sounds like job done.

How much is the 2015 Aston Martin Lagonda saloon?

Speaking of the customers, that the Lagonda will only be offered to Middle East buyers on an invitation basis is entirely confirmed. So it won’t be appearing at the 2014 Paris motor show this week, in spite of the timing of these pictures.
The Lagonda’s price remains a mystery – that it’s being built by Aston’s ‘Q branch’, the same department responsible for the £1m One-77, is, however, probably something of a clue. As is the presence of solid gold switchgear and badges on the options list…
Money, it’s said, can’t buy taste. But it can buy a regionally exclusive, carbonfibre-bodied Aston Martin, and in the process entirely relaunch a brand. This is not the last we’ve heard from Lagonda, though, by any means.

LEGO Speed Champions 2015 Official Images Revealed

Now this is interesting: it must be very hard to re-create high performance cars within the confines of a minifigure model, and TBH, some of these models just look a bit naff - the P1 looks nothing like a P1. And the 918 Spyder lools like a 959 from angles!

But I am interested in the 911 GT's and the Fezza - more so for their elements and the wheels which could really make a Lego City car very interesting perhaps........

So perhaps whilst Lego have not tempted me with SW for next year there are a couple here that I might just get at the right price........

Just2Good continues to make LEGO fans happy by revealing images of the 2015 LEGO sets. In this latest video, he has shown us the new LEGO Speed Champions sets that will be coming out in 2015. It looks like LEGO has teamed up with some top Supercar manufacturers such as Ferrari, McLaren (Mercedes), and Porsche to produce some pretty cool looking vehicles. Note that each set also includes at least one minifigure that has printed emblems of the respective cars on their torso.
Last year, we reported that LEGO may be coming out with some sets based on the popular TV show, Top Gear. Although, these new sets doesn’t have the Top Gear label, there are a few vehicles that the hosts have driven before on the show.

There are no images of the box art for the 2015 LEGO Speed Champions sets at this time but we’ll have them up once they are available.

Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 (75908)

LEGO Speed Champions Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 (75908)

McLaren P1 (75909)

LEGO Speed Champions McLaren P1 (75909)

Porsche 918 Spyder (75910)

LEGO Speed Champions Porsche 918 Spyder (75910)

McLaren Mercedes Pit-Stop (75911)

LEGO Speed Champions McLaren Mercedes Pit-Stop (75911)

Porsche 911 GT Finishing Line (75912)

LEGO Speed Champions Porsche 911 GT Finishing Line (75912)

Ferrari F14 & Scuderia Ferrari Truck (75913)

LEGO Speed Champions Ferrari F14 & Scuderia Ferrari Truck (75913)

The post LEGO Speed Champions 2015 Official Images Revealed appeared first on The Brick Fan.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

LEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's Palace

So, a few days back I wrote about the builds that were the Rancor Pit and Jabba's Palace.

Lego have been smart and not created a super set with all these elements, so you have to buy them separately, but at the same time as you do, both integrate seamlessly to create one huge playset.

I won't go on about the features - you may have read them in the previous blogs - if you haven't, please feel free to do so.

The trap door mechanism works well as it drops directly into the Rancor Pit. Oola falls with some speed in there.

I think that the problem is when the Palace is on top of the pit, you get the floating effect - and by that I mean that the Pit can support the entire Palace structure, but to play with it successfully, you will need a sunk surface to accommodate the height difference - does that make sense or am I writing crap?

Yes, you can take the main tower off and have the Palace part just sitting on the pit, but where that tower adds some presence to the set and I like to have it on there. But as I said it just seems to magically hang in the air......

You can't really knock these sets combined overall - they are a huge improvement on the originals of old. But there are flaws - albeit small, fussy ones.

But these are great additions to add to a ROTJ collection and have been pleased to add these to my collection as well.

LEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's Palace
LEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's PalaceLEGO Star Wars 75005: Rancor Pit & LEGO Star Wars 9516: Jabba's Palace

Monday, 29 September 2014

£150m worth of talent - and only beaten by a goal - The Mancs 2, Hammers 1.

I am not so much annoyed that we lost, but more annoyed with the lack of accuracy in front of goal.

With all the wealth of forwards that we have (WTF has happened to Zarate??!!) you would have thought that we would have hit the target - especially with Shrek being sent off as well and the Shite down to 10 men.........

But this is OT - and apart from the Tevez miracle and the Barthez FA Cup blunder, we have had not much change from there of late. Having been to OT myself, you do wonder how Utd win anything as the ground is devoid of atmosphere.

The first goal was a bit of class from Rooney - it really was. Rafael sliced up open and Shrek did the rest. Then RvP gets in on the act. 2-0 and Utd look to banish the mauling they got at Filbert St last week.

But then the surprise package of Sakho pops up and makes it 2-1 just before half time - and with Rooney's sending off on a blatant kick on Downing, it was still game on.

But we still have problems in front of goal.

Watching MOTD, methinks Valencia is still adjusting - but perchance when he comes good, he will be immense. You just have to see his goal against Hull - enough said.

And look at the stats:

Quite a lot better than a learning Utd side...............

I take solace in this result - it is nothing to be ashamed of - £150m worth of talent is quite a daunting prospect and to come away just beat by one goal is fair play. I mean, I should be saying that we should be winning, but come on, this is Utd after all.

And as for Nolan's non-goal? It was offside - just....................nothing more to be said.

I see promises from a good looking side in West Ham these days - and the next fixture is on Sky against QPR.......that should be interesting - and hopefully three points. 

Donald Trump - not as smart as he thinks he is.......

I used to like Donald Trump - but lately he has just become a bit of a bellend. 

And proving that he is not near as smart as he thinks, fair play to the chap who mugged him off with this Twitter post

Not so much Donald Trump - more Donald Duck.............

And now the twat has deleted it - apparently saying he "may sue" please see below the tweet - preserving it for posterity.

Event : All Japan Model & Hobby Show – Tomytec

I see some great stuff coming up in TLV Land......a informative report from 829 Japan:

Event : All Japan Model & Hobby Show – Tomytec

Tomytec powers up ! The biggest surprise of the show (in 1/64th scale) was the prototype of the GT-R Nismo that will be released in the Tomica Limited Vintage Neo line. Tomytec always said that the TLV line would include only “common cars from the Showa period”. A few cars from early 90’s made it through the TLV Neo but hope to see cars from late 90’s or even 2000’s were very low. It seems the succes of the Nissan IDx pushed them to change their mind. The GT-R as LV-N100 opens new horizons and is very exciting news for collectors.
LV-N100 Nissan GT-R Nismo (available in February 2015)
LV-N101 Nissan GT-R Nismo N-attack Package (available in March 2015)

The prototype of the Toyota Town Ace from the 80’s was on display too, and to prove the new position of the TLV line the prototype of the Toyota Century second generation (1997) was also present.

A new model with a nice livery will be added to the Snake Motors line, the Toyota Crown Hard Top from the 2 Beat synchronized driving team.
The Nagashi Curry Clipper was displayed with the fake commercial published in Setagaya Base magazine it originated from. Yes, that’s Takeshi Kitano disguised as a japanese farmer.

After Snake Motors and Crazy Ken’s Car Club, Tomytec is ready to introduce two new sub-collections called Nihonsha no Jidai (that can loosely be translated as ‘Japanese Cars Generation’) and Nihon no Motorsport Shi wo Furikaette (‘Remembering Japanese Motorsport’).
Top : ‘Nihonsha no Jidai’ Datsun 1200 Truck and Toyopet Crown American versions with left hand drive.
Bottom : LV-15d Datsun 1200 Truck Yamashino and ‘Nihon no Motorsport Shi wo Furikaette’ Toyopet Crown Australia Rally version.

More models for 2015, with no reference number yet.
TLV_ISU_117_001 TLV_MIT_GAL_01
Isuzu 117 Coupe 1800 and Mitsubishi Galant Sigma 2000GSR/1600GL
Nissan Cedric 2000 SGL-E and Nissan Cedric Taxi
Nissan Gloria 280E and Toyota Mark II Grande Limited

Fans of Seibu Keisatsu will be happy to see this :
Carried on by the huge succes of the Seibu Keisatsu line, Tomytec decided to give a try at less popular japanese police shows :
Left : ‘Tokusô Saizensen’ Nissan Cedric Deluxe and Nissan Gloria 2000 SGL
Right : ‘Taiyô ni Horeo’ Toyota Celica 1800GT-TR and Toyota Mark II GT Twin Turbo

And all the late 2014 TLV products were of course displayed.
LV-N96 Toyota Town Ace Van / LV-N97 Daihatsu Delta
LV-N98 Toyota Mark II Grande / LV-N99 Toyota Town Ace Wagon
TLV-147_TOY_CRO_01 TLV-148_TOY_CRO_01
LV-147 Toyopet Crown / LV-148 Toyopet Crown Deluxe

Only two models on display for the 1/43 scale TLV line :
TLV--N43_09a_NIS_GLO_01 TLV-N43_10a_NIS_CED_TAX_01
LV-43-09a Nissan Gloria and LV-43-10a Nisan Cedric Taxi