Audi to create noise for their silent electric engine

Audi engineers are reportedly looking to sci-fi movies in order to come up with a suitable sound to attribute to their electric powered engines.

The Audi E-Tron Electric supercar is due for release in 2011, and the luxury car manufacturer is in the process of creating a noise for its quiet engine.

Generally speaking, all electric powered car engines are completely silent until they hit approximately 15mph, and even after getting up to speed, the eco-friendly engines give off very little noise. Although this may be regarded as a plus point for drivers with no interference from noisy engines, it’s a different story for pedestrians.

Organisations who work on behalf of the blind are calling for electric powered engines to make some kind of noise in order to warn pedestrians that a car is approaching. Cars which make no noise provide a serious hazard for all pedestrians, but especially so for blind or partially sighted pedestrians who rely heavily on their hearing to keep them safe while out and about.

Engineers with Audi want to create a distinctive sound for their electric powered engines so that the vehicle sounds like a car, but a noise that also reflects the futuristic concept that electric powered car represents. The Audi E-Tron is due for release next year so we won’t have too long to wait before we hear what they’ve come up with.

Wedding car chauffeur attacked in US carjacking

A wedding chauffeur was attacked inside of the limo he was driving after a thief attempted to make away with the luxury limousine.

The terrifying incident happened over the weekend as the wedding limo, which was transporting a group of bridesmaids, waited outside of a church in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

The attacker was reported to have been fleeing the scene of another crime he’d committed, believed to be a house break-in, when he carried out the carjacking. The robber entered the limo by smashing the passenger side window with a hammer. The bridesmaids travelling onboard fled from the wedding vehicle in fear as the chauffeur attempted to fight off the thief inside the limo.

After wrestling with the assailant for several minutes, the chauffeur was eventually ousted from the car by the violent thief, who then made his getaway in the blacked out wedding car.

The police were called, but despite their quick response, the robber got away in the stretch limo. The vehicle was later found abandoned a few miles from the church.

Not wanting to let the incident cast a showdown over the wedding day, the five bridesmaids hid the terrifying ordeal from the bride, and walked down the aisle without mentioning a word to the happy couple. The bride and groom exchanged vows completely unaware of the drama which had unfolded a few minutes earlier outside of the church.

Valet in court after crashing rare Mercedes sports car

A valet working at Vancouver Airport has found himself in court this week after crashing a rare Mercedes sports car belonging to a client.

The owner of the luxury sports car has been awarded $20,000 in damages after the valet lost control of the vehicle while overtaking a lorry on an airport road, the car was then propelled over a concrete barrier, before landing in bushes.

It took over two months to repair the damage to the Mercedes SL 65 at a cost of $26,000. The valet lost his job immediately.

The sports car can achieve 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds. In 2005, the Mercedes SL 65 was the “fastest production motor car in the world.”

Part of the case centred around whether or not the valet had turned off an EPS system on the car. The computerised stabilization system on the car recognises when the wheels are starting to spin, and automatically attempts to correct itself. If this system is switched off, it can make the car mush harder to handle. However the valet was unable to say if he had accidentally turned the EPS off or not.

The judge awarded the Mercedes owner damages totalling $16,000 which included $16,000 for accelerated depreciation of the car’s value, $3,000 for inconvenience and loss of use, and $1,600 for special damages. A claim for anguish and emotional distress was dismissed.

Audi shows off illuminated floor mats at Las Vegas Show

Audi have unveiled a brand new optional feature for their vehicle interiors at the recent Speciality Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show is Las Vegas.

The illuminated floor mats are lit up with special LED lighting and each mat can be customized to the customer’s requirements. Audi owners will have the chance to choose the colour, graphics and materials used on the new breed of glowing floor mats.

Car manufacturers are striving to come up with new ideas to make their interiors stand out from the crowd. One of the bosses of the After Sales department at Audi say the introduction of the new illuminated floor mats is in reaction to the “high expectations” of their customers for a top specification finish on their new Audi.

The mats are illuminated with special LED lighting which doesn’t give off heat. It is hoped the after sales feature will add an extra dimension to the Audi interior as well an additional ambient lighting facility.

The illuminated mats are an after sales component which will be available through Audi dealers in North America only initially.

As well as the light-up floor mats, Audi also revealed another exciting new feature at the Las Vegas SEMA Show. Audi have created a wireless device which allows passengers to charge up mobile devices such as iPods and iPhones while on the move.

Rolls Royce car rally to mark centenary of co-founder’s death

A vintage Rolls Royce Car rally and a statue unveiling was held this week in Manchester to mark 100 years since the death of one of the luxury car maker’s founders, Charles Rolls.

The Midland Hotel in Manchester was at the centre of the event as it is renowned for being the birthplace of Rolls Royce after a meeting between the firm’s two founders, Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, in 1904.

The pair set up a partnership during this historic meeting, however the joint venture was cut short just six years later after Charles Rolls died tragically in a air crash in 1910 at the age of 32.

However Rolls’ name lived on in the car brand he co-created alongside Royce. The company has since produced over 30 models, won numerous awards, and become renowned as one of the world’s most luxurious car manufacturers.

A fleet of pristine classic and modern Rolls Royce models were lined up outside of the Midland Hotel in Manchester City Centre as part of the centenary event. A bronze statue of Charles Rolls was presented to the hotel to symbolise the venue’s role in the birth of the iconic car brand.

Members of the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club turned out for the occasion and took part in a classic Rolls Royce car rally which ran through Manchester city centre.

Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi prepares for its grand opening

In Abu Dhabi, they don’t do things by halves, which is why the grand opening of the world’s largest indoor theme park on Yas Island, scheduled for this week, is causing such a stir amongst both motoring fans and thrill seekers.

The brand new theme park is striving to be the biggest and best at what it does and features numerous world firsts including the fastest rollercoaster in the world, and the largest Ferrari icon in the world.

Last week saw the new park open its doors for the first time to the press, with the first public opening scheduled for November 4th. The 2,200,000 square foot indoor theme park has taken 3 years to construct.

Featuring over 20 rides which tell the story of the iconic Italian car brand, including the pioneering new 4D fantasy ride Speed of Magic, and the world’s fastest rollercoaster, the Formula Rossa which hits speeds of 150mph, racing car simulators, and family friend rides, Ferrari World hopes to delight and enthral visitors of all ages.

The indoor theme park can accommodate 10,000 visitors and boasts a workforce of 900. With a huge amount of hype surrounding the opening of the world’s only Ferrari theme amusement park, Ferrari World is bracing itself for a busy first weekend.

Mercedes Benz tops the annual AutoScout 24 survey

Mercedes Benz was revealed as the big winner of this year’s internet auto survey organised by the online automobile marketplace, AutoScout 24.

The awards are now in their 9th year with 230,000 participants across Europe taking part in the vote to discover the most sought after cars of the moment.

The Mercedes Benz SLS AMG beat 343 other vehicles to be named the most desired car, as voted for by the AutoScout 24 users. The SLS AMG model was found to be the super sports car most Europeans wanted to own. It topped the poll in both the sports car and coupe categories.

And the good news didn’t end there for Mercedes, with the R-Klasse being voted the most popular van and compact van in the online survey.

Top quality German engineering, cutting edge design, and state of the art technology all came together to ensure the Mercedes SLS AMG was the big winner of the survey. The AutoScout 24 poll has now become an annual event, with 230,000 people taking part from across 7 different European countries.

Other car makers were also rated highly among the AutoScout 24 crew including the Fiat500 Twin Air and Opel Astra Sports Tourer.

Electric Audi beats the Nissan Leaf in charge challenge

The newly developed electric Audi A2 has beaten the Nissan Leaf’s charge longevity in a recent test.

The German car maker’s new electrically powered Audi A2 succeeded in covering 372 miles during a7 hour journey with just a single charge, beating the Nissan Leaf’s record of covering 100 miles with a single charge.

Audi say the secret to their success is down to a new technology battery which the company has been developing in conjunction with inventor Mirko Hanneman. The new style battery is 97% efficient and uses DBM Energy’s KOLIBRI AlphaPolymer Technology. The batteries can be charged from any socket point, however if a high DC voltage socket point is used, the car will be fully charged in just 6 minutes.

The test saw the electric powered Audi finish its 372 mile trip with power to spare. The driver didn’t attempt to conserve energy while travelling as the Audi’s in car heaters were also in use during the trip. The electric Audi A2, known as the Lekker Mobil, travelled from Munich Southern Germany to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin as part of the test drive.

Nissan’s version of the electric car, The Leaf, is able to cover 160km which is approximately 100 miles, in a single charge. The Nissan Leaf is due to go on sale in the US and Japan at the end of the year, with plans to expand into the European market in 2011.

Porsche uncovers its oldest model in the US

As part of the luxury car maker’s 60th anniversary celebrations in the US, Porsche have been on a mission to uncover the oldest model retailed in the country.

Porsche set up an online campaign asking Porsche owners to get in touch in an attempt to discover the oldest Porsche in the US. With an award at stake, the website was inundated with classic Porsche owners all vying for their ride to be deemed the winner.

Original documentation was required in order to verify the authenticity of the vehicle and its country of retail. After months of collecting entries, the winner was finally revealed as a 1952 Strawberry Red 356 Cabriolet.

The winning vintage Porsche is owned by Dr Robert Wilson of Oklahoma City who came across the vehicle in a scrap yard some years ago, and has since restored the luxury sports car to its former glory.

The Porsche 356 was shipped over to the US by a New York businessman in 1952 and is the first surviving Porsche to have been retailed in America.

During the car manufacturer’s quest to uncover the oldest Porsche in the country, they also came across a number of rare models including a blue 1950 356 Cabriolet Porsche which is one of the very first series of the 356 models to have been manufactured in Stuttgart.

BMW introduce hourly car hire scheme

BMW look set to join the car hire market with news they are about to introduce an hourly car rental scheme in Munich.

The luxury car maker is planning to debut the new car hire system close to the company’s head quarters in Munich. BMW will offer a range of its top vehicles for hire in the city, all of which are available to hire by the hour.

BMW’s decision to introduce a car hire scheme comes as statistics show that more and more people are opting to hire cars, instead of owning them. With the current economic climate, many people are choosing to a hire a car for the times when they need their own transport, in order to save on the cost of running a car of their own.

Daimler have already introduced a similar scheme, Car2Go, which offers Peugeots and Smart Cars for hire on a short term basis. Known as the Mu scheme, the system is in the process of expanding across Europe.

For just €16 an hour, customers can hire a 1 Series Compact from the luxury car manufacturer, and for €32 an hour you can drive away in a 7 Series Sedan BMW. The scheme offers consumers the opportunity to hire top class vehicles for special occasion such as weddings and birthdays at a reasonable rate, as well as providing clients visiting the city on business the freedom to get about in their own high quality vehicle.