AutoGuide News Blog
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.
AC Propulsion, a global leader in electric drive design, development and manufacturing, announced today that the Yokohama-sponsored electric race car using AC Propulsion’s proprietary electric drive system broke it’s own record set last year at the 88th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
The electronic race car won the hill climb’s Exhibition Class and set a new EV record, coming in at 12:20:084, beating last year’s 13:17:575 record. The car was also the race’s fastest EV among both cars and motorcycles.
“AC Propulsion electric drive systems deliver performance,” said AC Propulsion CEO Tom Gage. “Our string of Pikes Peak EV records–especially this one, where we are well into the 12-minute bracket–clearly demonstrates that electric vehicles can get up the hill fast. Now that more people are buying EVs, it’s important to offer really good performance. For us, the old racing slogan holds: win on Sunday, sell on Monday.”
This year’s 89th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is comprised of racing to the 4,301-meter summit, covering 12.4-miles. Road conditions vary based on rapidly changing temperatiures and weather as well as combination of tarmac/ gravel surfaces and 156 turns.
The Yokohama EV is a rear-wheel drive, open-wheel race car . The AC-180 motor cranks out 268-hp at 6000-7000 rpm and has 258 lb-ft of torque.
A pair of Lamborghinis will compete in the 2011 American Le Mans Series, marking a return to the series for the raging bull brand after a disappointing season back in 2004 with the Murcielago R-GT. It wont be the top-dog Murcies trading paint, but rather the more appropriate Gallardo models competing in the GT Class, alongside road rivals from Porsche, Ferrari and of course the Chevy Corvettes.
Commanding the effort will be West Racing Team with sponsorship by Yokohama. That being said the team will compete using Yoko’s Advan tires.
While Yokohama might have a rather impressive racing history, Lamborghini does not, with past efforts more embarrassment than a cause for celebration. However, it’s likely the GT Class Lambos will share a great deal with the Gallardo SuperTrofeo racing cars that have now been tested and improved over two seasons as purpose built race cars. And so along with hope, there are the assurances of Mark Chung, Yokohama’s director of corporate strategy. “With the Ferraris, Porsches, Corvettes and everyone else battling it out, we feel the GT Class is going to be super competitive and a lot of fun. The West Racing Lamborghinis will be right in the mix and ready for the challenge,” he said.
We’re excited to see the Lambos back in action and hope the company’s racing future is brighter than its past. Could it be any worse?
If you’re looking to buy tires for your SUV or truck, but don’t know what to look for, you’re in luck. The third installment of Yokohama’s Tire Tips video series has just been released and focuses on SUV and truck tires.
Hosted off-road racing champions Cameron and Heidi Steele, the “how to choose a truck/SUV tire” video is the latest of these short educational videos that help drivers learn more about tires, from proper maintenance to improving fuel efficiency. Other video topics have covered the importance of properly inflated tires and how to read the sidewall of a tire.
“It’s not easy trying to figure out what type of truck tire to get,” said Paul Algarin, Yokohama Tire product analyst. “As Cameron and Heidi explain, there are many factors to consider, including size, tread, performance and comfort. And who better to give truck tire tips than off-road stars like Cameron and Heidi? Their explanations are engaging and easy to understand.”
Other topics to be covered soon include ways to achieve better fuel efficiency, judging tread wear and choosing the correct winter tire. Watch for the next video that will come out this September. Watch the latest video after the jump:
To help promote Tire Safety Week (which is on right now), Yokohama Tire Corporation has released a series of short educational videos on its website and YouTube. To start things off with a bang, the first video features off-road racing champion and TV commentator Cameron Steele discussing the importance of properly inflated tires.
“Consumer awareness and education regarding tires is vital,” said Fred Koplin, Yokohama Tire director, marketing communications, “so we designed these short, entertaining videos to help consumers understand just how important tires are, especially since tires are the only part of a vehicle to touch the road.”
The videos in this series will run about two to three minutes in length and deal with a variety of tire safety issues. Just a few of the topics covered include: how to check air pressure, read a sidewall, ways to achieve better fuel efficiency, understanding braking distances and choosing the correct tire for a vehicle. Hosting these episodes will be Steele and his wife Heidi (who also happens to be an off-road racing champion), plus key Yokohama employees.
Watch the first video starring Steele after the jump.
The sub-$20,000.00 2010 Kia Forte Koup has made quite the splash amongst the younger demographics with its attractive price tag and 2.4L 173-hp engine. Its attractive, stylish yet aggressive lines clearly make a statement that Kia has stepped up to the plate to play ball, capturing a market that used to be almost exclusive to Honda, Acura and Scion. But much like their Japanese counterparts, Kia has looked towards marketing with customization and personalization, especially with the hip Forte Koup. The result? The Kia Forte Koup SX-R with a fine collection of accessories that have Forte Koup SX owners going wild for. The major disappointment for those in the US? It’s currently only available in Canada.
The buzz was started with the official debut at the Toronto Auto Show and a little less than a month later the orders are coming in. The Forte Koup SX-R will be made available to Canadian Kia dealers by mid-May with pre-orders starting now. The aesthetics of the Forte Koup has been further complemented with a front chin spoilers, new side skirts, and a rear lip spoiler. Minor details on the outside come in the form of chrome “R” badges while the interior receives “R” branded door sills. Engine performance has been enhanced thanks to an AEM Performance drop-in air filter and performance axle-back exhaust system. The car rides lower and stiffer thanks to a set of Eibach Pro lowering springs (1.3-inch drop) and a front upper strut brace. No custom car is complete without a fine set of wheels and tires and Kia delivers in a big way with a set of 18-inch Europa wheels wrapped with, surprisingly, Yokohama S-Drive performance tires. The Kia Forte Koup SX-R is available in three attractive colors: Titanium Silver, Racing Red and Black.
Now all these accessories will be available for order through Canadian Kia dealerships only for those already cruising around in Forte Koup SX. American enthusiasts will probably have to open up their wallet a little bit for freight across the border, but we anticipate many of them to be willing to do so. If you’re interested, contact any Canadian Kia dealership and reference accessory bulletin AY10 007. It’s exciting times for Kia owners and we can’t wait to see what’s next from the Korean manufacturer.
Gallery: Kia Forte Koup SX-R
There will no doubt be numerous modified GT-Rs at this year’s SEMA Show. One of the nicest, is sure to be WALD’s Black Bisson model. WALD’s U.S. distributor, Jonari Corp., has said it is building a GT-R for the aftermarket trade show. The car will feature the full aero kit including side skirts, rear fender arches, a new front bumper with carbon fiber accents, a carbon rear wing and a carbon diffuser. Also included in the build are a set of 22-inch WALD P13F wheels with Yokohama Advan tires, WALD lowering springs and a full titanium exhaust from Arqray Japan.
We’ll be sure to bring you more on the car with live coverage of the 2009 SEMA Show starting on November 3rd.
GALLERY: WALD Black Bisson GT-R
With the launch of Nissan’s new zero-emissions website dedicated to the upcoming launch of the automaker’s new electric vehicle comes a sneak peek at the revolutionary EV.
We can’t tell much from the picture but it does appear to be an expectedly-funky design and a small car to boot. That being said, if the overall size and weight do prove to be diminutive, then the EV should certainly be a fun car to drive wit 107-hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque.
Nissan has said that the new vehicle will be an original platform and won’t be based on the Cube, Versa or any other existing Nissan. Powered by an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack Nissan’s EV will be able to travel a distance of 100 miles on a single charge. And to help owners operate within that limit the car will come with a navigation system which displays the maximum distance the car can go in each direction.
At all times, the car will be tied in to Nissan’s global data center to provide support (should it be needed) 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Nissan will officially unveil its new EV on August 2nd during the opening of its new headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. The car will be manufactured in both the U.S. and Japan and will go on sale in next year.
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