Honda to Debut Electric Concept Model and New Plug-in Hybrid Platform at LA Show

Last week, we told you about some of the new cars and concept models heading to the LA Auto Show in mid-November. Now we have news of Honda's plans for the motor show. The Japanese automaker said it will host the world premiere of an all-new electric vehicle concept as well as a plug-in hybrid platform showcasing the next-generation of Honda hybrid technology.

"Both the electric vehicle concept and the plug-in hybrid platform along with the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle demonstrate the company's vision for the future of personal mobility and its continued commitment to developing advanced environmental technologies," said Honda in a statement.

Unfortunately, Honda did not hand out any photos of the concept model or of the plug-in hybrid platform project.

The Japanese firm added that for time in the LA Show's history, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO Takanobu Ito will attend the press conference to showcase the two models.

Swissauto 40Hp Kart: It doesn’t get any purer than this

Supercars are nice, no doubt about it, but few people can really afford them. The price is high, upkeep is high, taxes are high and any mistake, even one that ends in a mild fender-bender is still going to cost you an arm and a leg. A bit too much then, for some weekend fun.

Fortunately, there is a cheaper alternative and, might I add, at least as fun as owning a supercar. A kart. This is driving at its purest form and if you ever saw a kart race with Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher in it you'll know what I'm talking about.

True, those karts can cost as much as €100,000 (US $138,950), but a Swissauto 250 engine and matching chassis are about €4,000-5,000 (~6,000-7,000 US dollars). I think that's a fair price for something that can reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in about 3,5-4 seconds!

Yep, the one-cylinder 250cc engine is quite a gutsy little beast, capable (depending on the carburetor diameter) of 35/40 hp (26/29 kW) at 10,000 rpm. The torque is also delivered high-up in the rev-range: 28 Nm (20.6 lb-ft) at 8,000 rpm.

Driving this thing is quite an experience. The bucket seat squeezes you like a boa constrictor and you're sitting at an inch from the tarmac. There's no suspension, not in the classic sense, anyway, so you feel every bump on the track, even the hairline cracks.

That would be the downside. The upside of this setup is that the kart will communicate with you unlike any car you've ever driven. Steering is razor-sharp, so, if you're smooth enough, you can hit any apex with extreme precision.

On the other hand, if you're jumpy, you'll end up all over the place. You just can't floor the accelerator. The kart will instantly do a 180 turn and bite you in the behinds.

You have to be extremely progressive with applying the throttle or the brakes. Only then can you wring out its enormous potential, which, believe me, is jaw dropping. And you can still have some money in the bank. Hey, this is better than (paid) love...

By Csaba Daradics

Link: Swissauto




Lexus bringing Five Customized Hybrids Plus CT 200h F-Sport to SEMA Show

Hitting the SEMA Show floors next week will be an array of customized Lexus hybrid models. The Japanese firm's lineup in Las Vegas will include the RX 450h SUV tuned by Paul Tolson, a race-spec GS 450h sedan, the VIP Auto Salon-prepped HS 250h sedan and two modified LS 600h L limos.

Lexus will also show off the CT 200h F-Sport concept fitted with 18-inch wheels shod in Pirelli P-Zero Nero 225/40 tires, a big brake kit with cross drilled rotors and an adjustable sport suspension. Full details and pictures after the break.



___________________PRESS RELEASE LEXUS SEMA SHOW_________________

2010 SEMA Show - Lexus RX 450h by Paul Tolson, EST Styling


  • Leon Hardiritt Vertu wheels
  • Front: 21 X 10-inch with a - 4 offset
  • Rear: 21 X 12-inch with a + 9 offset
  • Dunlop SP Sport Maxx DSST tires
  • Front: 285/35R/21
  • Rear: 325/30R/21


  • Rotora RFK Series 6-piston custom color caliper, 14.0-inch X 1.3-inch 2-piece drilled and slotted rotors


  • Air Runner Integrated Suspension Systems with quad air pressure digital display


  • Hired Gun Paint Werks widebody conversion
  • Custom BASF 90 Line Water Borne Black Emerald
  • Wald International Sports Line Black Bison Edition
  • Lighting by Premium Sound & Security, Inc.


  • Materials and stitching by Garcia's Auto Interiors
  • Trim and accent pieces by Hired Gun Paint Werks
  • Fizz Autosports: Accessories - Junction Produce
  • Lighting by Premium Sound & Security, Inc

    2010 SEMA Show - Lexus GS 450h by 0-60 Magazine


    • Rays Engineering, Volk Racing TE37 SL, mold formed forged racing wheels

    • 18 x 9.5 front and rear, gunmetal

    • Continental Racing Slicks, 275/35/18 front and rear


    • Brembo Gran Turismo high performance brakes

    • 6-piston custom painted calipers, 14.0-inch x 1.3-inch 2-piece drilled rotors, front

    • 4-piston custom painted calipers, 13.6-inch x 1.1-inch 2-piece drilled rotors, rear


    • TEIN USA Super Racing Coilovers

    • Advanced Mono tube construction, external reservoir tanks, individual 16-way compression, full in-car damping force adjustment via Tein EDFC

    • F Sport front and rear sway bars


    • GReddy Performance custom Titanium Race exhaust system


    • Voltex Carbon GT Wing with Evasive Motorsports custom carbon end plates

    • Evasive Motorsports rear diffuser and front splitter with custom carbon work

    • Voltex Carbon twin front canards

    • Custom Carbon 5-piece body kit with front lip, side skirts, rear window spoiler

    • Balistek Autobody Matte White paint

    • Graphics/Vinyl Work - S and A Designs


    • Sparco USA Rev Plus lightweight racing seat, racing steering wheel, quick release hub, racing belts/harnesses, fire extinguisher, racing shift knob

    • Defi Sports Cluster


    • GReddy gauges

    • Design Craft Fabrication racing spec roll cage, custom suede interior, custom carbon panels and covers


    • Genesis Technologies Racing Air Jack system

    • Motul – Motor Oil, Brake Fluid

    2010 SEMA Show - Lexus HS 250h by VIP Auto Salon


    • Work Gnosis GS4 machined center disc, gloss bronze anodized outer barrel

    • 20x8.5-inch, ET30 A disc, front

    • 20x9.5-inch ET35 A disc, rear

    • Yokohama S. drive

    • 225/35/20 front

    • 255/30/20 rear


    • Custom suspension provided by Vip Auto Salon and Tanabe


    • Branew axle back system


    • Branew aero styling package with front and rear lip spoiler, rocker panels, roof and trunk spoiler and replacement sport fenders

    • Custom gray/black paint sprayed by Finish Line Auto Craft

    • Huper Optik Ceramic based window film 50 percent by STM

    • Lexus OEM Japan-market window visors


    • Custom interior by Vip Auto Salon and Top Stitch


    • Exterior and interior premium light packages provided by VLEDS

    2010 SEMA Show - Lexus LS 600h L by VIP Auto Salon


    • WALD Mahora M11c, machined black polish

    • 21x9-inch, ET33, front

    • 21x10-inch, ET40, rear

    • Pirelli P Zero Nero

    • 245/35/21 front

    • 285/30/21 rear

    • Brembo high performance front brake kit with 15-inch disk and 6-piston monoblock calipers

    • Custom air suspension provided by Universal Air

    • Performance Tube Systems Joe Z Series axle back exhaust system

    • WALD aero styling package with front and rear lip spoiler, rocker panels, roof and trunk spoiler and replacement sport fenders
    • Custom PPG Hue of Macadamia paint sprayed by Finish Line Auto Craft
    • Huper Optik ceramic-based window film 50 percent by STM
    • Lexus OEM Japan-market window visors

    • Custom interior by Vip Auto Salon and Top Stitch

    • Exterior and interior premium light packages provided by VLEDS

    2010 SEMA Show - Lexus LS 600h L by Fox Marketing


    • Rotiform 20x9.5-inch concave BLQ wheels with candy copper finish, front
    • Rotiform 20x10.5-inch concave BLQ wheels with candy copper finish, rear
    • Toyo T1R 255/35/22, front
    • Toyo T1R 265/35/20, rear
    • Yonaka Tuner lug nuts


    • Lexus/SSBC Modified
      • 6-piston calipers, 14.1-inch rotors, front
      • 4-piston calipers, 13.2-inch rotors, rear


    • Factory air ride suspension
    • Custom controller – Adjust ride height from 0 – 4 inches


    • BASF Glasurit 90 Line Glacier Green paint
    • BASF Glasurit 90 Line Satin Black accents
    • Artisan Spirit front bumper, front fenders, side skirts, rear bumper, dual HID fog lights, light bar, roof wing, rear deck wing
    • Color-keyed door handles
    • Satin black Lexus logos
    • Smoked rear taillights


    • BASF Glasurit 90 Line Glacier Green and Glasurit Black painted interior parts
    • Accentz 15 percent window tint
    • Rear night shades

E28 BMW 5 Series Ad: "The Car that blurs the distinction between racing machines and luxury sedans"

Classic car ads are always nice, because they were made in times when people weren't so wound up and actually had the time to read something. So, there's plenty of information in them, some of which is quite entertaining today, almost thirty years later.

This here ad depicts the E28 BMW 5-Series, built between 1981 and 1988, claiming that it's both a sports car and luxury sedan.

BMW is showing off the 535i here and it throws in the big guns right from the start: "It eats up the road – any road – at ungodly speed without a hiccup - Car and Driver wrote". And wait, not about this one, but its predecessor, the E12. You can only imagine, then, that the E28 535i must / should have been a better car.

And it was, because this is the generation that spawned the first M5 (or M535i), which you can admire in the gallery below, and started a new dynasty of sports saloons.

Nevertheless, the 535i was no slouch either. The ad doesn't say it, but the 3.4-liter engine had 182 hp (136 kW). However, it does brag about the "0-60mph time" – just 7.4 seconds –, the "communicative power assisted steering" and the "fully independent suspension".

And that's not all: BMW also claimed that the engine management was computer-controlled to "ensure peak engine performance".

The standard equipment list wasn't exactly long, as the E28 owner only got leather seats, air con, a sunroof and on-board computer. Even the description in the ad was short.

And I'll tell you why: because up until the current generation (F10/11), the BMW 5 Series was always a driver's car first and a luxury vehicle after. Not the other way around.

By Csaba Daradics

[Ad photo source: Tumblr]