October 2007

The SLR 722 GT was made through the request of SLR CLUB members to have a new SLR 722 model. The SLR CLUB is an exclusive organization that hosts events relating to the SLR model.

Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT

The new SLR 722 GT comes with an up rated supercharged AMG 5.5-litre V8 engine under its redesigned sleek hood. The engine is capable of pumping out 500 kW / 680 PS and pulls out a maximum torque output of 830 Newton metres. This power unit is also combined with a five-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel shift paddles suitable for racing conditions. A mechanical locking differential with a locking effect of 70 percent is also included for additional performance. With this powertrain package, the new SLR 722 GT can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in a mere 3.3 seconds and can reach an electronically limited top speed of 315 km/h or about 196 mph. This super car model also features a racing air filter and a new exhaust system.

RML Group also gave the SLR 722 GT with newly developed suspension system. These include new wheel location system for improved kinematics and lateral dynamics, modified stabiliser at the front axle, adjustable wheel camber, and shock absorbers with variable compression. The SLR 722 GT also comes with wheels equipped with central locks to allow fast tire changing during races.

The front apron with front splitter shows the car’s agile characteristics along with wide wings, prominent side skirts. An 18-inch light alloy wheels completes the overall exterior appeal of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 GT. Inside, the SLR 722 GT is equipped with a functional interior inspired by motor sports racing. These include rollover cage, redesigned instrument panel with a racing display, racing steering wheel, bucket seats, and six-point seat belts for safety.

RML Group will only roll out 21 units of this modified super car model, and individuals who already ordered the SLR 722 GT are members of the SLR CLUB.


Suzuki SXForce Concept

Four new vehicles are being showcased by Japanese automaker Suzuki at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. One of the vehicles which the automaker has unveiled at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association trade show is the SXForce LIVE vehicle which according to the automaker has been inspired by sportsbikes.

The SXForce LIVE is the newest addition to the automakers LIVE Series which have become popular among automotive enthusiasts. Suzuki has been known to be one of the largest manufacturers of motorcycles. The company fused their engineering prowess in the manufacturing of four-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles to come up with the SXForce.

The said vehicle was designed and built by Road Race Motorsports based in Santa Fe Springs in California. The heart of the SXForce is a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine which produces as much as 250 horsepower. Said powerplant is mated to a five-speed manual transmission.

On the outside, the SXForce LIVE has been given an eye-catching design. Two-wheeled and four-wheeled vehicle lovers would see the combination of sportsbike and sportscar in the SXForce. True to its designation as a vehicle for enthusiasts who live life on the edge, the vehicle is given a carbon fiber body panels. Flash Pearl White and Orange Metallic paint schemes makes the vehicle very visible on the road. These exterior design cues are enhanced by the addition of sportsbike-style side rearview mirrors and dual exhaust.

Gene Brown, the vice president of marketing and press relations at American Suzuki Automotive Operations, had this to say: “Suzuki always looks forward to SEMA because of its upbeat and somewhat irreverent energy. The overall enthusiasm for cars and for life that underlies the entire event meshes perfectly with our brand philosophy and parallels the passion infused into the concepts we have on display this year and the vehicles currently in our showrooms.”

The SXForce has a lot of features which can attract a lot of admirers. Said vehicle has a fully tuned performance suspension system making it stable on any road surface. It also has Formula One-style outlet grills which is not only for looks but helps air flow under the hood of the car. These are just some of the things that make the Suzuki SXForce Live a show-stealer at the SEMA Show.

With one race left in this year’s SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge Touring Car schedule, Mazda was able to clinch the Manufacturer’s title. The title was the company’s first with the MAZDA6 platform.

Tri-Point Motorsports’ drivers Jeff Altenburg and Randy Pobst were the leading players in Mazda’s title chase. Altenburg finished 10th and kept his lead in the driver’s championship race, while Pobst finished 15th after being punted off the track late in the race, reported JMS Motorsports Marketing.

“Congratulations to Mazda on winning the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Manufacturer’s Championship! I’m proud of the Tri Point Motorsports Team for their part in winning it after many years of trying so hard. Now we head to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the finale to settle the Driver’s Championship!” said Altenburg of #72 Tri-Point MAZDA6.

Weather for the 45-minute scheduled Touring Car race was wet but both Tri-Point drivers were happy for the condition. This is because they know that their MAZDA6 have usually been fast in rainy conditions.

“In the rain on the warm up lap at Road Atlanta, I was optimistic. I’m normally really good at such conditions, and my Mazda 6 felt much improved in the rain at Mosport in practice. Well, after a good start, we were hit hard in the second turn of the race by an overzealous competitor. The suspension was bent, but we were able to continue in a wounded condition, which is much better than Mid-Ohio,” noted Pobst of #73 Tri-Point MAZDA6.

“A difficult race became a tragic comedy when a Mazda friend punted me and him into the gravel in the last corner. On to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca! Special thanks to Tri-Point Motorsports, Mazdaspeed, Chase Cam, Stop Tech, Weathertech, APR Tuning, and Team Janica Racing… what an adventure!” added Pobst.

The Tri-Point squad is now heading to the second finale at Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California. It will start on the 19th and will end on the 21st of this month. With the title secure in Mazda’s hand, the fight will be between Altenburg and Pobst.

This season, the momentous racing event is sponsored by Mazda, Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development, Racing Hart, Stop Tech, Sparco, Chase Cam, Crocotile, Quarter Master, Ron Davis Racing, Hawk, Pro Parts USA, and Race Sign Specialists.

Thieves are making more and more car owners walk. Because of the prevalence of auto theft, thieves keep car owners on their toes. Literally.

  Car Thieves

In the last couple of months, about 500 cars have been stolen in Spokane, up slightly from last year. According to authorities, patterns of thievery change based on arrests. They added the chronic problem has been made worse by weak sentencing for those who steal automobiles – many of whom are repeat offenders – and not enough people to investigate all the thefts.

“The jail is so backed up with violent criminals that those who commit property crimes aren’t held,” said Spokane police Sgt. Keith Cummings. “It’s not too sexy, so to speak, so the jail time isn’t much,” Cummings said.

Authorities stressed that when they arrest some of the more prolific car thieves, a drop in stolen cars can be detected immediately, but only for a short time. Kootenai County fielded 82 stolen vehicle reports in 2005, 71 in 2006 and 55 so far this year, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said.

California is first in the nation for auto theft; Texas, Florida, Arizona, Michigan, and Washington, followed respectively. Meanwhile, Idaho is ranked 44th in the nation. Based on the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s data, Spokane is 17th in the country according to a per-capita calculation of cities. Kootenai County fielded 82 stolen vehicle reports in 2005, 71 in 2006 and 55 so far this year, Kootenai County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger said.

The reason: Police caught a group of people who were stealing cars, said Liz Peterson, a crime analyst for the Coeur d’Alene Police Department. The other day, a young girl reported her vehicle stolen. Cummings oversees property crime investigations. He noted most auto thefts in Spokane can be tied to drugs. National Insurance Crime Bureau Spokesman Frank Scafidi said that the national average for recovered stolen cars is 59 percent.