Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 Barnard Racer Prototype

2009 Barnard Racer Prototype

(South Africa)

It's been over 50 years since South Africa has produced a home-bred supercar. This is excluding the Shelby Cobras and Noble cars assembled in that country but basically originating from elsewhere. A chap by the name of Chris Barnard wants to change all that by introducing a car he simply calls the Barnard.

The Barnard is powered by a twin-turbo Porsche V8 engine with a power rating of 617bhp (460kW). It should deliver a sub-4 second 0 - 60mph time and a theoretical top speed of over 240mph (386km/h). Only the driver really holds those horses back because the Barnard is missing some equipment namely power steering, ABS brakes and traction control. Even the windows require manual manpower to operate. It's a contrast to the cockpit which is inspired by one of Barnard's other interests, aviation.

Built on a monocoque chassis that's made from lightweight hi-tech steels like Domex and Docol, the car is more race road car than anything else. It's designed to accommodate buyers' interests and can be personalised to a great extent, depending on budgets offered. The engine itself can be uprated to suit the buyer's desires.

"This is a car which has been built with the objective of breaking barriers, and no expense has been spared to make it into what I believe is the most single-minded performance machine yet from South Africa," Barnard said.

To help keep it on the road are things like a rear diffuser, a flat undertray and cutouts on the front wheel arches that generate larges doses of downforce.

Customer deliveries of the Barnard will begin in the middle of the year at a cost of about R1.1 million (about US$110,000) a pop.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Zagato Perana- Z-one

The Zagato Perana- Z-one

(South Africa)

The Perana Z-One is a South African supercar styled by the famous Italian design firm Zagato.

The Perana name is well known amongst performance car fans in South Africa as the name was given to a range of Ford vehicles tuned by Basil Green Motors in Johannesburg back in the 70s and 80s.

However unlike the old Perana vehicles the Z-One is powered by a GM sourced engine, a 6.2 litre LS3 V8 to be exact. Mounted up front this engine should give the coupe fantastic performance while also being easily serviced and long lasting.

Each curvaceous body of the Perana Z-One will be individually created by Zagato before being sent to South Africa where it will be joined to the chassis and drivetrain.

The body itself manages to be both classically proportioned and contemporarily styled. It also incorporates a number of Zagato trademark styling details like the double bubble roof and hidden 'Z' built into the b-pillar.

In total only 999 examples of the Perana Z-One are due to be built.

The Perana Z-one will be produced at the world renowned Hi Tech Automotive Manufacturing Facility. Located on the outskirts of the Friendly City of Port Elizabeth, this manufacturing facility is considered to be one of the world's foremost low volume specialist sports car manufacturers.

The allure of the Perana Z-one is complimented by its hand-built manufacturing processes leading to unrivaled craftsmanship and finish. This leads to cars with a build integrity that allows them to be accepted as classics in their own right.

From the computerized drawing office to the paint shop, where the entire paint shop is pressurized and not only the spray booths, our attention to detail allows for unrivaled quality and finishes.

All this can only happen through experienced management, employing craftsman and adherence to rigorous quality controls to meet the discerning demands of an unforgiving international market.

The Joule

The Joule

(South Africa)

Optimal Energy, a privately-owned South African company based in Cape Town, has unveiled Africa's first all-electric vehicle. Appropriately named Joule, the zero emission car is a six-seater multi-purpose vehicle.

Designed by Optimal Energy in association with legendary South African born automotive designer, Keith Helfet, the ultra sleek Joule is scheduled to make its global debut at the Paris Motor Show this month.

"The world's finite energy sources are being used inefficiently and urban transport plays a major role in energy wastage and climate changing pollution," says CEO of Optimal Energy Kobus Meiring.
SA Good News
"Joule is Optimal Energy's solution to change that. We have capitalised on the opportunity presented by the exponential increase in oil costs and the dramatic improvement in battery price, life and performance."

Joule's interior and exterior was styled by Keith Helfet who has a long and illustrious history as chief stylist at Jaguar and, who was responsible for such iconic designs as the XJ220, the XK180 and the F-Type.

"Optimal Energy was searching for a world class designer, the fact that Keith is South African born and has strong South African roots matched our criteria perfectly," says Meiring.

Joule's chassis has been designed to accommodate two large-cell lithium ion battery packs which employ chemistry similar to that used in mobile phones and laptop computers. This chemistry is inherently safe; lithium is found in many medicinal applications and the batteries do not contain any heavy metals.

Using a normal 220 Volt home outlet and Joule's onboard charger, it will take approximately seven hours to recharge Joule's battery for a 200km driving range, with two packs providing 400km in total.

Eskom, the country's sole electricity provider, has confirmed that the South African grid has enough capacity to supply electrical energy to millions of cars without affecting its customer base or requiring any additional infrastructure. Eskom has vast amounts of excess energy between 11 PM and 6 AM (GMT +2); this will be the recommended recharging time. Electric cars only require about 20 percent of the energy that conventional cars require; this means that the total emissions are much less, even if Eskom's coal dominated electricity is used. With the global trend of electricity generation becoming more renewable and cleaner, total emissions caused by electric cars will continue to shrink.

The South African Province of Gauteng is currently being evaluated for Joule's first assembly plant. Joule will be sold in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban and will be available towards the end of 2010. Joule was developed for the international market and sales and exports will follow shortly after the South African launch.

Laraki Fulgura Concept 2007

Laraki Fulgura Concept 2007

The Laraki Fulgura was the company's first car model. Originally unveiled as a concept at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show then redesigned in 2005 and unveiled in the same year. Now for the latest development which is dubbed the 2007 concept vision of the Fulgura.

The Laraki Borac

The Laraki Borac

(Morocco)Manufactured by the Laraki group.

It was originally unveiled as a concept at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The car is planned for production, although a final design has yet to be unveiled.

The design of the Borac is that of a GT, with a front engine layout and seats 4 passengers. The 2 rear seats are small, probably for children instead of adults. The Borac is a totally independant design from the companies first model the Fulgura.

A Mercesdes 6.0L V12 powers the Borac, with a impressive 0 - 60mph in 4.5 seconds.

The Laraki Fulgura 2004

The Laraki Fulgura 2004

(Morocco) The Laraki Fulgura: The Moroccan supercar company, named after its founder Abdeslam Laraki, unveils the 2004 model Fulgura.

Buyer this time around have the option ofV8, or a V12 Mercedes- engine.

The Laraki Fulgura

The Laraki Fulgura

(Morocco) The Laraki Fulgura: This Moroccan supercar concept, named after its founder Abdeslam Laraki was based on the world famous Lamborghini Diablo. It was offically unveiled at the 2002 Geneva motor show.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Shaka


(South Africa)

The Shaka Nynya, Shaka named after the founder of the Zulu nation, Chaka. Nynya is an anglicized Zulu word meaning Prowler.

The Shaka design drew inspiration from many sources including the Plymouth prowler and Lotus 7. It can be said that the Shaka is to a Lotus 7, as a Viper is to a AC Cobra. The 'floating fenders' came from Bertone's "Toy Car". There is a bit of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Viper etc. thrown in for good measure.

The performance criteria was to out-perform any production car in any performance category up to 135 mph. The Shaka was designed to beat any production car in any Autocross.

Weight and chassis rigidity was of primary importance. This determined the final dimensions of the Shaka. An all aluminum 6 Liter, 405 HP engine is used with a 6 speed transmission.

The Shaka is designed for the consummate road racing enthusiast.

Drive to the events listed below and bring home the winner's trophy. A very stiff chassis allows for soft springs and a comfortable ride, unlike replica cars of the 60's.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The wallys

The wallys

"Wallys Izis" is the first car built entirely in Tunisia. This was done in secret in a workshop at La Marsa, north of Tunis. Zied Guiga led this 18 month long project which gave birth to a prototype which was unveiled at the Paris auto show (2008), where it recieved alot of attention.

The only part that was out sourced for the project was a Peugeot 1.4 litre petrol engine. Apart from that the rest of the car was made using Tunisian made car parts (cables, body, joints, chassis, and mechanical parts). The build team behind the project were all Tunisian.

It was inspired by the original American Willy's Jeep.

They will also offer both a petrol and an electric version of the 'Wallys Izis' , at a starting price of 10,000 Euros, and a 4 door version of the car is set for 2009 June launch in Tunisia.

A very great start for Tunisia's first production car.