Paris Motor Show 2010 – Porsche 911 Speedster

Porsche shave a couple of inches off a windscreen and make the roof manual – Hey presto, you have a Speedster Another year, another pointless Porsche. Faced with a Paris showstand potentially devoid of new models, the 911 Speedster was conjured up by Porsche’s “Exclusive” department to lend a hand to the mildly modified 911 […]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Porsche 911 Speedster

Porsche shave a couple of inches off a windscreen and make the roof manual – Hey presto, you have a Speedster

Another year, another pointless Porsche. Faced with a Paris showstand potentially devoid of new models, the 911 Speedster was conjured up by Porsche’s “Exclusive” department to lend a hand to the mildly modified 911 lineup. 356 of these marketing specials will be made to satisfy the collectors appetite. Naturally specs have been bumped up marginally, and a few exclusive bodystyling and interior mods incorporated to justify the 144,100 UKPounds ticket price. You have to wonder though why you’d want one of these specials over the standard convertible. I mean, manual roof, inferior air management when roof down…And a lesson from history for the aficionados: The 1989 911 Speedster had a limited run of 171 cars, but was then superseded by a wide-bodied turbolook version of which 2,103 were made, making a mockery of the exclusivity of the Speedster.

Having said all that, we admit that it drew our attention, as intended, and we know in our hearts, that once at the wheel of a Speedster all these criticisms would evaporate – blown into the weeds by the sheer thrill of driving any 911!


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Paris Motor Show – Audi R8GT

Audi turn up the wick with a pseudo race version of their R8, the GT Audi R8 goes on a diet: loses 100 kgs, gains tons of carbon fibre reinforced plastic. Yet another supercar gets the liposuction treatment. Don’t get us wrong; it’s a great idea, just not very original. Nor should that detract from […]

Paris Motor Show 2010 - Audi R8GT

Audi turn up the wick with a pseudo race version of their R8, the GT

Audi R8 goes on a diet: loses 100 kgs, gains tons of carbon fibre reinforced plastic. Yet another supercar gets the liposuction treatment. Don’t get us wrong; it’s a great idea, just not very original. Nor should that detract from the fact that lighter cars automatically equal faster cars for the same energy input. Resigned, yet content to live in the shadow of it’s cousin the Lamborghini Gallardo, the R8’s diet took it down to 1525 kgs, whereas the Superleggera’s kerb weight went down to 1340 kgs. Add to that the R8 GT’s 10 BHP deficiency and you can do the sums…But the Audi has it’s own character and market so won’t be worried by the comparison. What was a slick, neat supercar just grew wings and fins and no doubt breathes fire. Oh, and you can specify a roll cage too ;-)


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Paris Motor Show – Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini spearhead weight reduction program with carbon fibre show car Compare the specs of Lamborghini’s Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, launched at the Geneva Show last March, and the new Sesto Elemento and you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just a rebodied Gallardo show car. 570 bhp in a 4-wheel drive chassis sounds identical. Look […]

Paris Motor Show - Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini spearhead weight reduction program with carbon fibre show car

Compare the specs of Lamborghini’s Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, launched at the Geneva Show last March, and the new Sesto Elemento and you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just a rebodied Gallardo show car. 570 bhp in a 4-wheel drive chassis sounds identical. Look at the weight difference though and you’ll realise why Lambo are proudly presenting this show car as a ground-breaking prototype. The Superleggera was already the lightest car in the range at 1340 kgs (dry weight), but this Sesto Elemento comes in under the 1000 kegs mark. They had to chuck out all sorts of cabin trim and superfluous gizmos and build it almost entirely in carbon fibre to reach 999 kgs. The result is that Lambo claim a 0 to 100 km/h (0-62mph) time of only 2.5 secs compared to the Superleggera’s 3.4 seconds – What a difference weight, or lack of it makes. It’s curious, and very welcome, to see the manufacturers vying to produce lighter cars at last, when until recently, all cars seemed to get heavier as the model cycles progressed. It goes without saying that power to weight ratio increases substantially and performance per unit of energy consumed is on the up.

The Sesto Elemento (Sixth Element) is really a technology demonstrator though, championing Lambo’s advance in carbon fibre moulding and their ability to blend it with plastics to give both rigidity and quality finish at low weight. It points to the future and also hints at the Murcielago replacement that must surely be waiting around the next bend. Let Lamborghini talk you through the finer points of the technology by reading on…


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Paris Motor Show – Ford Focus ST

Ford spices up Focus range with tarmac ripping ST No-one knows better than Ford how to turn a cooking mainstream econobox into a rip-roaring tearaway. Some will find the bulging muscles and aggressive stance a tad too hot. Tattoo us if we don’t join the overwhelming majority of car crazy cousins to fall into love […]

Paris Motor Show - Ford Focus ST

Ford spices up Focus range with tarmac ripping ST

No-one knows better than Ford how to turn a cooking mainstream econobox into a rip-roaring tearaway. Some will find the bulging muscles and aggressive stance a tad too hot. Tattoo us if we don’t join the overwhelming majority of car crazy cousins to fall into love at first reveal. Paris haute-couture it ain’t but underneath the “tangerine scream” overalls lurks the mouth of an Aston, the gills of a Mclaren, the tailpipes of a Lambo and the wing blisters of a…Hyundai?! This is Ford’s first true “global” hot hatch, so it might seem appropriate to find world-wide influences. Is that a Korean look to the “stingray” rear light clusters? A Peugeot-like gaping jaw of a bottom feeder up front? Whatever. Our yellow monster rides on mesmerising 19inch rims and loses the body colour grill fins of the lesser Focuses. You might wonder why it’s not a 3 door, until we explain that there’s no plan to produce 3 door Focuses for the US market; so to keep the parts bin global, this ST plays to the family friendly format of 5 doors.
You’ll only get 4 cylinders in this 250PS powered range topper. Dropping a pot, but trumpeting independent variable valve timing, low-inertia turbo and high-pressure direct injection, is planned to compensate, or in fact, increase torque levels whilst reducing emissions by a claimed 20%. As for driving performance, you’ll have to wait ’till 2012 to sample the ST, as the cooking Focus doesn’t hit the showrooms until early next year at an undisclosed price.


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Popemobile cranked up to speed

YW kits out the Pope with some speedy transport Trundling around at walking pace in an 8 year old 4×4 – that’s no way for a modern Pope to show his credentials, spread the word and cover some ground. We thought we’d equip him with some serious wheels for his UK visit. I mean, Edinburgh […]

Radical Popemobile hits the streets

YW kits out the Pope with some speedy transport

Trundling around at walking pace in an 8 year old 4×4 – that’s no way for a modern Pope to show his credentials, spread the word and cover some ground. We thought we’d equip him with some serious wheels for his UK visit. I mean, Edinburgh to London at 4mph? Nah, we can get him down from the dizzy heights of Scotland to the low life of London in a gnat’s whisker with our seat-of-your-pope-mobile. Think supercar meets garden shed and you have some idea of the direction we’re taking. Construction was well underway last year, but some awkward homologation issues delayed deployment. The Vatican has very precise requirements for their numero uno. The result is concocted from existing machinery to minimise scrutineering hiccups, and combines the sci-fi dynamics of 200mph+ projectiles with the class of retro supercars. Batman: eat your heart out, Robin donate your cape.

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Meet super talented automotive artist Tim Layzell

YW interviews artist Tim Layzell at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Meet top notch artist Tim Layzell, a star in the automotive art world. He has been featured extensively in the magazines and papers, and so we, here at YW thought he could do with a bit of web exposure for good measure. It was […]

Artist Tim Layzell with his highly stylised car scenes


YW interviews artist Tim Layzell at the Goodwood Festival of Speed

Meet top notch artist Tim Layzell, a star in the automotive art world. He has been featured extensively in the magazines and papers, and so we, here at YW thought he could do with a bit of web exposure for good measure.

The Mountaineers ©Tim Layzell

It was while wandering through the numerous trade stands at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed that we stopped dead in our tracks, in awe of the gripping images hung on Tim’s stand. A fleeting memory of having seen Tim’s work on an Octane Mag cover and maybe also a poster or two, had garnered a Pavlovian reaction in the mind. So this is the guy responsible for the striking pop-artesque 60’s racing designs that are so distinctive and recognisable. Think, detail and accuracy of a Tintin illustration meets punch of a Hockney pop-art painting and you understand the depth of talent and mastery of style and perspective that this artist wields, making his images utterly compelling. Swivel round and you are presented with Tim’s, photorealistic, fantastically detailed second style; an enduring mix of flair, accuracy and emotion – this guy’s got talent!

Tell us about yourself Tim:
click green arrow to listen


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Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010 – Supercar gallery

Yellowwheels presents a supercar gallery from the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed Goodwood FoS is a fabulous feast of motoring extravaganza, with vehicles of all ages, sizes and types wanging it up the Earl of March’s garden path. Modern F1 cars mix with historic Le Mans cars, motocycles, legendary Grand Prix cars and beautiful, sometimes […]

Ferrari 599 GTO at 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Yellowwheels presents a supercar gallery from the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Goodwood FoS is a fabulous feast of motoring extravaganza, with vehicles of all ages, sizes and types wanging it up the Earl of March’s garden path. Modern F1 cars mix with historic Le Mans cars, motocycles, legendary Grand Prix cars and beautiful, sometimes bizarre classics. But we were drawn to the fleet of immaculate and outrageous supercars assembled for the Sunday Times Supercar run up the hill. Many of these have not been seen in action before; just glimpsed in motorshow reports and the spreads of the glossies.


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Adrian Von Hooydonk talks to YW about colours in car design

Continuing our quest for the truth about yellow cars, we interview BMW chief designer Adrian Von Hooydonk What do colours mean to car designers? We cornered BMW chief of design Adrian Von Hooydonk, to ask him this very question. As a yellow themed website, we were interested to see if the design and shape of […]

Continuing our quest for the truth about yellow cars, we interview BMW chief designer Adrian Von Hooydonk

Adrian Von Hooydonk

What do colours mean to car designers? We cornered BMW chief of design Adrian Von Hooydonk, to ask him this very question. As a yellow themed website, we were interested to see if the design and shape of a car influenced acceptable colours. There are very very few BMWs and Mercs in yellow, yet quite a few Minis and Lambos. So over to you Adrian !

What does yellow in car design mean?
Are there any production yellow cars in the BMW range?
Yellow is quite a flat colour, so how does that affect design and shape?
Have you ever owned a yellow car?
Do you like yellow cars?
Do you agree with Tiff Needell that yellow cars should only ever be small and that Ferraris should never be yellow !?

click on green arrow to listen to interview

In conclusion Adrian is a fan of yellow cars. It’s an emotional colour which they use on some production Minis. When it comes to shape, there’s a big difference between using metallic or straight paint, and yellow suits strong shapes.


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Geneva Show Peugeot SR1 concept bike

Is this the shape of cycling to come? We’ve never featured a bike, here on YW, but there’s always a first time. And this bike caught our attention because of the prominence it was given on the Peugeot stand at the Geneva Show. It stood proudly next to Peugeot’s SR1 concept car, almost eclipsing it. […]

Geneva Motor Show - Peugeot SR1 Concept bike

Is this the shape of cycling to come?

We’ve never featured a bike, here on YW, but there’s always a first time. And this bike caught our attention because of the prominence it was given on the Peugeot stand at the Geneva Show. It stood proudly next to Peugeot’s SR1 concept car, almost eclipsing it. Sculptural purity should be celebrated, whether functional or not, and this techno-cycle had shed loads of it. Shame that the spoke-less, hub-less rim drive rear wheel isn’t matched at the front with a similar, innovative wheel.

Peugeot SR1 Bike concept pedal and cranks detail

Clearly this bike isn’t going anywhere, judging by the stretch leather “tyres” and other non-working gizmos. And just what is the glass vial bubble-level right above the cranks? And what is the fake energy meter inlaid into the handlebars ? Maybe some sort of hybrid drive to match the SR1 car beside it ? None of this is explained. We can only assume electric power and regenerative braking. Certainly, the whole concept bike is just a design exercise to supplement and complement the car, and in this respect it does an excellent job. It mirrors the car’s unusual controls, techno bleached-look materials, and fancy layout. Bikes have been extracted from the same, standard mold for so long that a concept such as this is refreshing and welcome. Just enjoy the photos realising, that, like the spaceship designs of yesteryear, the reality will be somewhat more sober.


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Geneva Motor Show Peugeot SR1 Concept

Peugeot SR1 show car heralds shape of things to come from the lion brand. We’re not sure which was the most impressive: the magnificent show stand, easily the most elegant, prominent, and well designed at the show, or the Peugeot SR1 concept car basking in the soft pool of white light. For once a waterwall […]

Geneva Motor Show - Peugeot SR1 - on amazing stand

Peugeot SR1 show car heralds shape of things to come from the lion brand.

We’re not sure which was the most impressive: the magnificent show stand, easily the most elegant, prominent, and well designed at the show, or the Peugeot SR1 concept car basking in the soft pool of white light. For once a waterwall backdrop looked entirely in keeping, and the open sports car was equipped with a roof, which looked at least splash-proof, thus staying on topic. If ever there was a motor show stand that made it easy to flatter a car, this was it. You could have put anything in there and it would look gorgeous, or at least well lit.

Geneva Motor Show - Lion gets a makeover

So the car: it’s a hybrid. Yes go on: a convertible. Anything else? Pretty good looking. Nice classical proportions. Plenty of space age gizmos. 3 seats. Actually pretty predictable overall, but well executed, with good choice of materials and intriguing control layout. What it says is though: Peugeot has a new styling direction, and the only gawping mouths are those of their current model lineup. It also signals a change of badging as the house lion motif gains some rigid bulk: no longer a fussy organic beast, it’s transformed into a hewn-from-solid techno-lion.

So just what are those two glass vials sticking out of the steering column? They are analogue displays of range and instant fuel economy. You can’t help thinking that they are the juices you’d swallow when range hits zero, all life has gone out of you, and you decide to exit the THX1138 world !


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