Thursday, November 27, 2008

A 4 Door Porsche … That’s Right, FOUR Doors!

The Porsche Panamera Gran Turismo, at your service. Image Credit:

A 4 Door Porsche … That’s Right, FOUR Doors!

Last year at the Long Beach Grand Prix of 2008, I thought I had seen it all.

Team Minardi USA, running in it’s first year as a ChampCar team (and as it turned out, only year), was a team that brought with it an “E” ticket sponsor promotion – The Minardi F1x2. This was an open-wheel race chassis specially modified with two seats.

The idea being that well-heeled fans and sponsors would love to take a spin at racing speeds on the track of a ChampCar racing venue and be willing to pay $10,000 for the pleasure of signing their life away to ride in an elevated rearseat behind a qualified open-wheel race driver.

A Minardi F1x2 two-seater zipping along at speed during the Las Vegas Grand Prix in 2007. Image Credit:

This excerpted and edited from -

The acceleration, the cornering speeds, the braking forces, the scream of a racing engine being unleashed, the blur of speed – once, only the world’s top professional drivers could experience the reality of the ultimate, four-wheeled competition machine. Now, courtesy of the Minardi F1x2 two-seater programme, the thrill of experiencing Formula One performance first-hand is a possibility for a much wider audience.

Whether you’re an individual or a member of a corporate group, you are guaranteed the ride of a lifetime once you are strapped into one of the Minardi F1x2 Team’s fleet of eight, purpose-built, two-seater Grand Prix cars. From the moment the 700hp-plus V10 engine explodes into life, your driver selects first gear on the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifter, and your car rolls out of the garage and down the pit lane, you know this is going to be a very special experience and a very special day.
Reference Here>>

Honestly, the process was quite something to witness – the faces of the second seat passenger after the ride looked similar to a fixed smile carved into a pumpkin.

Well, our automobile manufacturing friends in Germany are planning a production car where several people can share in a community experience of coursing down a winding road at G-Force speeds and disgorge themselves from the car with the same carved smile expression affixed to their faces.

Expected to be introduced to the world in Spring 2009 and placed into production for sale by the Summer 2009 is the four door, four-seater Porsche … the Porshe Panamera Gran Turismo.

That’s right, a four door Porsche!

The Porsche Panamera Gran Turismo - rear view. Image Credit:

This excerpted and edited from website (registration required) –

Porsche Presents First Photos of Four-Door Panamera Gran Turismo
PRESS RELEASE – Release Date: 24/11/2008 - Stuttgart

Roughly nine months before the actual market launch, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, Stuttgart, has released the first official photos of the Panamera in its final look. In its design, profile and silhouette, Porsche’s unique four-seater stands out clearly as a new member of the Porsche family. Conceived and designed as a four-door grand touring sports car, the Panamera combines numerous talents in typical Porsche style: sporting driving dynamics, a generous and variable interior, and the supreme driving comfort of a Gran Turismo. Joining the 911, Boxster and Cayman sports cars as well as the sporty SUV Cayenne, the Panamera is Porsche’s fourth model series.
Through its design language alone, the Panamera will establish a new segment versus the competition. The symbiosis of sports car DNA derived from the looks of a coupé, the unique interpretation of the classical saloon body and the benefits of a variable space concept give the new Porsche its truly unmistakable appearance. As an example, the Panamera comes with highly individual, strongly contoured air intakes instead of a conventional radiator grille. Striking wheel arches and the long and sleek engine compartment lid create that typical 911 “landscape” at the front end of the car the Porsche customer has appreciated for no less than 45 years, with the distinctly contoured wings as flanks bordering on the flat front lid. The V-shaped seams along the engine compartment lid and the rear window tapering out like an arrow to the rear convey the features characteristic of a sports car to the new, highly individual Panamera class. The striking, muscular shoulders over the rear wheels, the dynamic sweep of the coupé-like roofline, and the visible tailpipes again bear out all the DNA so typical of a thoroughbred Porsche.


Thanks to the new concept of space and the sporting architecture of the interior, the car’s occupants are also able to experience this special “pilot feeling” on all four seats. All four occupants enjoy supreme ergonomic comfort on both the front seats and the two firmly contoured single seats at the rear. The luggage compartment easily takes up all the passengers’ luggage. The variable space concept with its folding rear seat backrests enables the driver and passengers to adjust the luggage space individually to their personal requirements. And last but not least, the coupé tailgate in the sporting rear end combines superior suitability for daily use with stylish elegance.

Porsche has developed superior and up-to-date power units for the Panamera again reflecting all the qualities typical of the brand – the V-engines within the engine compartment come with six and eight cylinders and range in power from 300 to 500 bhp. Some of the engines use turbocharger technology, Direct Fuel Injection making them both fuel-efficient and powerful all in one. The flow of power to the wheels goes either through a manual six-speed gearbox or the new seven-speed Double-Clutch Gearbox, the so called Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK).

In addition to sporting rear-wheel drive, the top version of the Panamera comes with even more sophisticated all-wheel drive, which is also available for the other versions as an option.

The Porsche Panamera will be built at Porsche’s Leipzig Plant.

Hence, the Panamera is most definitely a car “Made in Germany”.
Reference Here>>

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, November 20, 2008

L.A. Auto Show – Hyundai Showcases “Hyundai Blue Drive”

Hyundai HED-5 "i-Mode" Concept Makes North American Debut at Los Angeles Auto Show with new Eco-friendly Powertrain. Image Credit: Hyundai Motor Company

Los Angeles Auto Show – Hyundai Showcases “Hyundai Blue Drive”

Hyundai featured its proprietary fuel cell technology at the Los Angeles Auto Show today, highlighting its Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) as part of the company’s “Hyundai Blue Drive” sustainability effort. The Tucson FCEV recently celebrated the successful completion of a 13-day, cross-country road trip which served as the first significant U.S. test for the Hyundai-developed fuel cell stack.

Image Credit: Hyundai Motor Company

The nearly 4,300 mile event, called the Hydrogen Road Tour 2008, featured nine auto manufacturers and was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Fuel Cell Partnership, National Hydrogen Association and U.S. Department of Transportation.

Image Credit: Hyundai Motor Company

The Tucson FCEV exceeded expectations throughout the event, demonstrating again that zero-emission vehicles can operate in real-world driving conditions. The vehicle recorded exceptional range of 185 miles per refueling, and achieved top speeds of 95 mph.

Image Credit: Hyundai Motor Company

Hyundai revealed plans for its first U.S. market gas-electric full hybrid (to be offered in the next-generation Sonata), introduced a sleek crossover concept powered by a turbocharged gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine, and announced future high-mileage editions of the Accent and Elantra.

Hyundai announced the launch of Blue Drive, an environmental initiative which will bring to market a family of eco-friendly Blue Drive products.

Image Credit: Hyundai Motor Company

With Blue Drive products and technologies, Hyundai will be able to achieve a fleet average of 35 miles per gallon by 2015, five years ahead of government requirements.

Available photo material includes still images of Hyundai Blue Drive Chassis, Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle and HED-5 i-Mode unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

… notes from The EDJE

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The L.A. Auto Show – Porsche Cayman S Unveiled

Porsche presents the second generation of the mid-engine Cayman S sports car for the first time at the L.A. Auto Show. The new model features the new flat-six boxer engine, which provide more power and greater fuel efficiency than the predecessor. The vehicle also features the Porsche-PDK, the new double-clutch gearbox. Available video includes driving footage as well as exterior and interior shots of the Cayman S series Porsche.

... notes from The EDJE

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Taste Of "INDY" While Traveling

The Indy 500 Grill at the Indianapolis International Airport features a motif with all of the color, tradition and pageantry of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing." Image Credit: Ron McQueeney

A Taste Of "INDY" While Traveling

Ever wish to immerse yourself in Indianapolis Speedway lore and connect with the IRL while having a bite to eat?

Now anyone can … if they happen to passing through the international airport at Indianapolis, Indiana.

The INDY 500 Grill has just opened with a companion store next door where once one has had a pitstop and had their fill (up), one can purchase Indianapolis Speedway gear at Brickyard Authentics.

Indy 500 Grill and Brickyard Authentics storefronts. Image Credit: Ron McQueeney

This excerpted and edited from Indianapolis Motor Speedway –

Indy 500 Grill Opens At New Indianapolis International Airport

Brickyard Authentics Location Next Door
By Eric Powell - - Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Indy 500 Grill combines a full, eclectic menu offering a variety of appetizers, soups, small plate items, salads, burgers, entrees and desserts in an atmosphere featuring the history, pageantry and excitement of the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.

Indy 500 Grill interior booth seating. Image Credit: Ron McQueeney

"The new Indianapolis airport terminal is the gateway to Indianapolis for millions of travelers, all of whom know about this great city because of the worldwide popularity and 97-year history of the Indianapolis 500," said Joie Chitwood, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and chief operating officer. "The Indy 500 Grill celebrates the rich tradition of 'The Greatest Spectacle in Racing' as IMS begins its Centennial Era, and the restaurant will be one of the focal points of the exciting, state-of-the-art terminal."

The restaurant and bar décor includes scores of photographs highlighting drivers from the Indianapolis 500's storied past and its current stars.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Scoring Pylon replica sits out front of the Indy 500 Grill to welcome guests. Image Credit: Ron McQueeney

A replica of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's iconic Scoring Pylon displays the top-five finishers from 1977 - the year A.J. Foyt won his record fourth Indianapolis 500, and the floor features familiar car numbers of Indy 500 champions, including Foyt, Bill Vukovich and Jim Clark.
The Speedway's Brickyard Authentics retail store has been a mainstay at the Indianapolis airport for many years, and passengers and diners have easy access to the store in the new airport as it moves next door to the restaurant.

Brickyard Authentics souvenir shop interior. Image Credit: Ron McQueeney

The Brickyard Authentics airport location stocks apparel and collectibles for the Speedway's Centennial Era and its events, including the Indianapolis 500, Allstate 400 at the Brickyard and Red Bull Indianapolis GP, providing the perfect opportunity for travelers to purchase souvenirs.
Reference Here>>

So take some time to take in a pitstop, sip down some coolant, and add to your sparetire while passing through the new Indianapolis International Airport midfield terminal.

... notes from The EDJE