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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Good press for Chinese manufacturing is hard to come by these days. American consumers have faced numerous issues with products imported from the country. Lead-laced toys, melamine-tainted toothpaste and pet-food recalls are a few incidents that come to mind. But what about tires? Should you trust your life to bargain rubber?
The other day Ford teased a passel of performance-tuned products it will be revealing at the upcoming SEMA show in Las Vegas. There are hopped up Focus STs, special versions of the Fiesta and of course some major Mustang muscle. But the company hasn’t forgotten about its sultry new midsize sedan, the Fusion.
Michelin came out on top in three of four categories in J.D. Power’s 2013 U.S. Original Equipment Tire Customer Satisfaction Study.
Arguably one of the most prestigious yearly calendars anywhere, Pirelli has just released the 2013 edition of its calendar, featuring photos of models in Brazil.
Can tires be sexy? Hell, yeah – and Pirelli proves it with the PZERO line of sexy shoes.
This weekend, the Pirelli World Challenge will throw a doubleheader event at St. Peterburg and WC Vision announced that Rounds One and Two will be streamed live online.
Both races are part of the Acura Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg presented by Pirelli, and those that are on the go with Android phones will also be able to catch the live feed. It appears that Apple iOS users will be out of luck as the stream will be done in Flash.
The online feed for Round One will kick off at 5:50pm EDT on Saturday March 24th, while Round Two will commence at 10:50am EDT the following day.
Sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, the Pirelli World Challenge is entering its 23rd consecutive season.
To watch the race, visit the World Challenge website.
Tires can make a huge difference in your car’s handling and safety. Additionally, with the right rubber, you can enjoy a more comfortable driving experience and even save money.
The right tires depends a lot on how you drive, and in what weather conditions. To help you pick, Consumer Reports has released a list of the best tires in several different categories: All Season, Performance All Season, Ultra High Performance All-Season, Ultra High Performance Summer, Winter and Performance Winter.
All-season tires are the standard equipment for most manufacturers. They’re the ideal combination of performance in wet and dry conditions. Additionally, they’re known to be very comfortable and quiet compared to performance tires.
The top 4 All-Season tires for cars are:
Continental ProContact EcoPlus+
Michelin Energy Saver A/S
Hankook Optimo H727
Goodyear Assurance TripleTred
The Continental, Michelin and Hankook tires all scored a rating of 82 in Consumer Reports test, while the Goodyear tires netted a score of 80.
Tire manufacturer Pirelli has teamed up with Burton for some unique snowboarding gear that was recently unveiled at the International Snow Sports Tradeshow. The collaboration resulted in the 2013 Burton Ion snowboard boot and an exclusive snowboard and binding.
The Ion snowboard boot features a Pirelli outsole and will be available worldwide next fall. By taking advantage of its tire manufacturing experience, Pirelli created an exclusive rubber compound for Burton, built specifically to meet the demands of riding. The outsole even features a snow tire-inspired tread designed for superior traction.
The limited edition snowboard and binding will only be sold through the Pirelli Corso Venezia in Milan beginning this fall. Both the snowboard and binding sport Pirelli’s distinctive gold and black accents, inspired by the motorsports world of the 1970s. Pricing was not announced on the new gear.
GALLERY: Pirelli and Burton Snowboarding Gear
Pirelli wanted to do something special for its newest flagship store in Milan, Italy. So the tire manufacturer commissioned renowned tattoo artist Scott Campbell to work his artistic magic to create a cool tattooed tire.
Instead of using a needle and ink, Campbell used a gouge to engrave an eye, a heart and a skull into the tread of a Diablo Rosso II tire. The tire was then mounted on a special-edition Ducati Diavel at the new store. This design is also adorned on the inside of a special edition Dainese jacket, along with St. Christopher, the patron saint of motorcyclists.
This marks the first time Campbell has worked with rubber as a canvas, and he said it was a challenge he was up for. After putting in a considerable amount of research into the project, he was able to transfer his tattoo talent to a new medium.
Watch a video of the tire and the Diavel after the jump.
Gymkhana expert, flat-bill cap aficionado and a man who knows the importance of thanking his sponsors, Ken Block, will drive a Formula 1 car.
Wait… what? OK, Block won’t actually race a car, he’s just going to drive one. The car will be the Pirelli F1 test car, and Block will drive it on August 5th at Monza in Italy. The stunt is being arranged through Pirelli, which signed on as one of Block’s sponsors in 2009 and is the current tire supplier for Formula One.
“I’ve been lucky enough to do some pretty spectacular stunts in my career so far,” said the stunt-driver turned WRC pro, “but this is something else! Everybody talks about Formula One being the pinnacle of world motorsport so I can’t wait to discover it for myself. I’m very grateful to Pirelli, which has been one of my partners since 2010, for this amazing opportunity. These cars are so specialised that I need to be realistic about what I can do, but I know that it’s going to be a lot of fun and take hooning to a whole new level…”
Platinum Motorsports is known for bold luxury and exotic builds, and to really put the spotlight on what they’ve done over the recent years, they’ve put together a video of epic proportions. Taking some of their finest projects and hitting several Los Angeles landmarks while armed with a video camera, Platinum Motorsports has released this video that will make any luxury and exotic lover drool.
The video mainly highlights a Lamborghini LP640 with a matte Reventon Grey paint job, along with a Mercedes-Benz SL550 with a Black Series widebody treatment sporting the same shade. In addition, their Premier 4509 widebody Bentley GT Mulliner also steals the spotlight in matte white and we see glimpses of several Range Rovers.
Obviously the point of the video is to spotlight what Platinum Motorsports specializes in, but we can’t help but wonder how awesome Transformers would be if they had these cars in the movie; or what would happen if Fast and the Furious met Gone in 60 Seconds and had a bastard child.
Check out the video after the jump:
If you’ve ever wanted a watch that would get your style racing, strap on the Pirelli PZero Disk_O wristwatch – it’ll take you from 0 to cool in 10 seconds flat.
Better known for their tires, Pirelli has been releasing plenty of branded swag overseas. The company has put out everything from clothing and sneakers to sexy calendars and films. This time (pun intended), Pirelli has launched collection of watches inspired by the industrial elegance of disk brakes.
The PZero Disk_O’s case is made of anodized aluminum that is designed in the shape of a ventilated brake disc, while the button cluster mimics the shape of a caliper that stops the disc. Its case comes in either black or steel gray. This watch has Swiss chronograph quartz movement that will ensure accurate time-keeping.
What’s cool about this timepiece is its anodized aluminum bezel rotates through the caliper just like a real brake disc. And, just like the brakes on the supercars, the caliper can be ordered in different colors: red, yellow, black or steel gray.
You won’t find any steel bracelets or leather bands on the PZero Disk_O – it’s held on by a rubber strap that has been styled after racing slicks.
It’s that time of the year again, when car’s are handed out like candy bars to select companies and builders for the 2010 SEMA Show. Last year Chevrolet made a huge splash with a massive display of Camaros, having a diverse variety of builders designing and creating their own unique creations. And this year it looks like Chevy isn’t stopping, with some Camaro build previews already being released for SEMA.
First on our list is intake and exhaust manufacturer CGS Performance Products. Having done several Fords and GMs in years past, CGS is no stranger to building beautiful, high quality show cars. This Camaro however will be sticking to its true roots with a custom paint job, ACS body kit and a ZR1-influenced hood. From CGS themselves will be custom handmade chrome moldings and their signature exhaust system, while Whipple Industries will be supplying their twin-screw supercharger in order to pump out 500-hp.
A rendering of the Camaro show car has some serious hot rod-influenced, with a staggered set of 22- and 24-inch Genuine Boyd wheels. The rear rollers will be a ridiculous 15-inches wide wheel with Pirelli’s all new 405/25/24 tire – that’s a lot of rubber! CGS claims they’ll be stuffing these without any fender modifications, but merely by swapping out the rear suspension with Chris Alston’s Fab 9 rear end with a latter bar and coil over suspension. We are definitely curious on the finished product and will be sure to report back, with extensive SEMA coverage when the show takes place in early November.
Famed Japanese tuner Tommy Kaira did not disappoint with the public debut of its “Silver Wolf Edition Ebbrezza-R” kit for the Nissan GT-R. As many of the factory panels as possible were replaced with carbon fiber, including on the interior where an array of dry carbon parts are used.
Outside, a new aero kit includes a redesigned front bumper with a large lip extension, side skirts, rear fender flares, a large rear spoiler and wild rear diffuser. Inside the fenders can be found 20-inch Advan AVS Model F15 wheels in a Platinum Black finish wrapped with Pirelli P-Zeros.
Tommy Kaira promised a wild design and plenty of carbon fiber and certainly delivered.
GALLERY: Tommy Kaira Silver Wold Edition Ebbrezza-R Nissan GT-R
It doesn’t get much more extreme than this in the tire business. Known for building ridiculous one-off tires for the SEMA Show, in the past Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli has shown such monstrosities as a 30-inch tire – on a Hummer no less. For the 2009 SEMA Show, the company has decided to go in the opposite direction.
No… we’re not talking about smaller tires, but wider ones. Debuting on a brand new 2010 Camaro are a set of Pirelli tires in a 405/25/24 fitment. The wheels were supplied by bling wheel maker Forgiato and with some custom flared fenders that will have Bumblebee doing a double-take. An AirRunner air bag suspension lets the Camaro drop low for the show, or raise up for more functional use. Still, we doubt this Camaro will even see Main Street, let alone the drag strip.
GALLERY: 2010 Widebody Camaro With 405/25/24 Pirelli Tires
After building up a reputation as a top level Corvette tuner, Lingenfelter engineering is taking what they know about the Chevy sports car and adapting it to the bowtie brand’s newest performance machine, the Camaro. Set to be unveiled at the 2009 SEMA Show in just a few weeks, Lingenfelter has taken a Camaro SS and tossed the car’s factory 426-hp 6.2-liter V8 in favor of the Corvette Z06′s 505-hp 7.0-liter LS7 engine. And that’s not all. Known for their expertise in forced induction, the boys at Lingenfelter have then gone and strapped a supercharger to the big 427 to make no less than 750-hp.
The engine has even been built up to take all the extra boost with JE Pistons, titanium intake valves and Iconel exhaust valves – the same material used for making Formula One exhaust systems.
For the build Lingenfelter teamed up wit the suspension experts at Hotchkis for what they call a, “Total Vehicle System,” complete with springs, sway bars and a subframe brace – which is sure to be needed with 750-hp and (we imagine) an equal amount of torque. The shocks are a Lingenfelter/Sachs combo. On to of these addition, there’s a big set of Brembo bakes, big 20-inch Pirelli tires on LPE wheels and a pretty wild aero kit complete wit carbon fiber additions.
“Over the years we have been involved in dozens of OEM and racing development programs, but this one is special,” said Hotchkis Performance president John Hotchkis. “Lingenfelter builds some of the fastest, coolest and most refined domestic supercars in the world, and the fact that they asked us to help develop the suspension for a 200 mph Camaro and then offered to debut the car in our booth is very exciting. Everyone in attendance will certainly be impressed with this stunning piece of high-performance engineering.”
We’ll be sure to bring you plenty of photos of the Lingenfelter Camaro with live coverage of the 2009 SEMA Show starting November 3rd.
GALLERY: Lingenfelter/Hotchkis Camaro
See the full list of vehicle specs after the jump:
Lotus displayed its Evora Type 124 endurance racer at the Frankfurt Auto Show.
The Type 124 (the 124 was the next number in line in Lotus’ naming sequence, but coincidentally, the 24 also represents 24 hour endurance racing) will make its racing debut at the 2010 Nürburgring 24 Hours in May.
Lotus engineers tuned the Toyota-produced V6 engine to produce up to 394hp. The car has been lightened to less than 2,646 lbs, though both power and weight may be subject to race regulations.
Other racing components on the car include a full roll cage, 18-inch wheels with Pirelli racing slicks, a new suspension setup as well as AP Racing brakes with six-piston calipers.
Gallery: Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racer
Lotus is on a motorsports roll as of late, releasing racing versions of the Elise, Exige 260 and now this, the company’s flagship Evora model. Called the Type 124, this race-prepped Evora gets a 400hp version of the Toyota Camry’s V6 motor, mated to a six-speed sequential transmission.
The Lotus mantra is to build fast cars through the use of light-weight components and so the company’s road cars are already featherweights by comparison to most of the competition. Impressively, through the use of carbon fiber body parts and a fully striped out interior, Lotus engineers managed to drop an additional 440 lbs from the curb weight of the Evora, reducing it to just 2,600 lbs.
Other racing components on the car include a full roll cage, 18-inch wheels with Pirelli racing slicks, a new suspension setup as well as AP Racing brakes with six-piston calipers. The car meets FIA standards and will debut at next year’s Nürburgring 24 Hour race. Lotus says it will run a factory backed team in 2010 and 2011 and we would imagine the Evora Tye 124 will also be made available to private teams to compete in motorsports throughout the world.
“Every Lotus car is designed to be at home on the race track as well as the road, and the Evora is no different,” said Roger Becker, Vehicle Engineering Director for Group Lotus Plc. “Designed primarily as an everyday road car, the Evora’s lightweight and stiff structure, its aerodynamics and performance means that it is perfectly suited to taming race tracks around the world, and we are looking forward to seeing the new Lotus Evora Type 124 Endurance Racecar line up on the grid for the 2010 season.”
GALLERY: Lotus Evora Tye 124 Endurance Race Car
Official release after the jump:
As expected, Ferrari-tuner Novitec Rosso has released a power-package for the drop-top F430 Scuderia Spider 16M. Thanks to two superchargers the Scuderia’s already impressive engine now puts out 696hp at 8400 rpm and 503 ft-lbs of torque at 6300 rpm. That is an increase of 186hp and 156 ft-lbs of torque.
Novitec claims a 0-62 mph time of just 3.5 seconds with 124mph (200km/h) coming in just 9.7 seconds. Those autobahn-loving Germans at Novitec even give a 300 km/h (186 mph) time of 23.8 seconds. Top speed has been increased from 196 mph to 205 mph.
Due to the Scuderia’s stunning exterior, Novitec decided to leave the body of the Ferrari well-enough alone. However, those looking for a new set of wheels are certain to love the larger 20×8.5-inch front and 20×12-inch rear NF3 rollers, that allow for 235/30/20 and 325/25/20 Pirelli rubber. A height-adjustable suspension is available, which can raise of lower the front axle by 40 mm (1.6-inches) – perfect for making sure you don’t leave any paint behind while exiting the parking garage.
GALLERY: Novitec Rosso F430 Scuderia Spider 16M
Official release after the jump: