WORLD’S SMALLEST CAR

We have a hard time imagining anyone would find the Smart ForTwo uncomfortably large or the Scion iQ too big for their needs, but a group of businessmen in the UK believe there’s a market for even smaller transportation. The group has resurrected the Peel brand, and the manufacturer is now accepting orders for both the P50 and the Trident. Both models will launch with a 49 cc two-stroke gasoline engine making just 3.35 horsepower, but buyers will also be able to choose one of two electric motors as well.

A brushless electric motor producing 1.6 horsepower and 2.5 pound-feet of torque can propel either vehicle to a golf-cart rivaling 15 mph. So equipped, the P50 and Trident deliver an operating range of around 50 miles. A more potent 4-horsepower motor is also available, which propels the three wheelers to a top speed of 50 mph with the same range. Both Peel models are limited to 28 mph.

With the Trident weighing just 130 pounds and the P50 tipping the scales at a slightly heavier 198 pounds, even the most atrophied among us should be able to drag the machines into a convenient parking space or elevator. As of the time of writing, only 9 of the 50 first limited edition Peel models remain available. Prices start at around $10,772, but if you want one, you’ll need to place a $1,546 deposit. Head over to the Peel website for more information, and follow the jump for our favorite Peel video ever: Clarkson bringing one to the office for Top Gear.

 

The Morgan !

The Morgan Motor Company located in Britain doesn’t change in a

Changing world. Not only is it still independent, but it also makes

Each car by hand. A base model is about $44,000, with some cars

Costing up to $300,000. People wait for over a year to get their

Exclusive hand-built cars with the shell made out of metal and much

Of the vehicle made out of wood. Working on the wood interior,

Workers use metal shears to individually shape a hood because each

Car has to be different. Every year Morgan produces about 600 cars. 

The company will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2011. It has

A long and interesting history, and is still run by the same family:

The Morgans. Founded by Henry Frederick Stanley Morgan known

As “HFS”, it was then run by his son Peter, and is now run by Charles, The son of Peter Morgan.

http://www.morgan-motor.co.uk/

Get bids on car repairs

 

Having your car repaired after an accident is one of the most stressful experiences around. You’ve already been rattled, and now you have to deal with insurance companies, body shops and maybe even lawyers.How can you know you’re getting good advice or the best price? Until now, you either had to go on faith or spend days researching or shopping around. 
The tables have turned thanks to Body Shop Bids. Just snap some photos of your damaged car and upload them to this website. Local body shops will then bid on the job. Body Shop Bids saves customers an average of 70 percent on body work.All Body Shops are quality controlled by the website, and prices won’t change unless the repair service finds damage not indicated in the photos.www.bodyshopbids.com


Anyone want a 1,000 horsepower Mustang?

Apparently, you can never have enough horsepower. Ford decided to give the newest version of its  Shelby GT500 Mustang 650 horsepower, 100 more than last year’s model. That’s enough, Ford claims, to propel the GT500 to a 200 mph top speed. Why stop there, though? Shelby American will unveil a Mustang with 1,000 horsepower at April’s New York Auto Show.

Tuning legend Carroll Shelby, 89, may put his name on the GT500, but that car was actually developed by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team (SVT). Shelby American is an independent company run by the man himself, that builds its own tweaked Mustangs. “I want this to be the fastest car we’ve ever built, and it’s got to be street legal and idle like a Lincoln,” Shelby said. To make Shelby’sultimate Mustang, the 5.4-liter V8 from last year’s GT500 is completely disassembled. It then gets rebuilt with a new crankshaft, rods, and pistons, as well as modified cylinder heads. Finally, the power plant is topped with a new supercharger that delivers more boost.

To give other drivers a fair warning, the front fascia gets an aggressive makeover. The Shelby 1000 also gets forged 20-inch wheels and the obligatory compliment of Shelby Cobra badges. Some modifications will be made to the suspension, but don’t expect anything major. This Mustang is all about power, not finesse.

There will be two versions of the Shelby 1000: one for the street, and one for the track. The basic street version will only have 950 horsepower, but it will also meet emissions standards in all 50 states. The track-ready Shelby 1000 S/C will live up to its name with the full 1,000 ponies.

Carroll Shelby is most famous for building the Cobra, a small British sports car stuffed with a bigAmerican Ford V8. That car was first unveiled 50 years ago at the New York Auto Show. Shelby and Ford have been collaborating off-and-on ever since. Shelby ran Ford’s all-American LeMans-winning team in 1967. He built the first performance Mustang, the GT350, in 1965.

To get a Shelby 1000, you’ll have to buy a stock GT500 first. Shelby will have the cars delivered to its shop, where the conversion from 500 to 1000 will take place. The street package starts at $149,995, the S/C will cost $154,995. Including the price of a base GT500, the completed Shelby 1000 should cost around $200,000.

That is a lot for a Mustang, but it’s a bargain for any car with 1,000 hp. To put things in perspective: a Bugatti Veyron has 1,000 hp, and it costs $1,000,000. It will be interesting to see exactly how fast the Shelby 1000 will go. Will it improve on the GT500’s alleged 200 mph top speed? With 350 more horses under the hood, it should.

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

Bentley SUV by VW

GENEVA—Volkswagen AG is showcasing what could be the world’s most expensive sport-utility vehicle when its Bentley brand lifts the veil on a new concept car at the Geneva International Motor Show this week as part of the auto maker’s drive to expand the appeal of its super-luxury marque.

“We’re absolutely convinced of the [market] potential for a luxurious high-performance SUV,” Bentley Chief Executive Wolfgang Dürheimer said Monday.

Final approval for the SUV, currently called the EXP 9F, from Bentley’s German parent is still pending. But initial feedback from Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has been encouraging, Mr. Dürheimer said. Annual sales volume is expected to be roughly between 3,500 and 5,000 vehicles.

The concept car features a large 12-cylinder engine, which delivers 610 horsepower, and a high-seating position similar to Tata Motors Co.’s TTM -2.49%luxury Range Rover brand, which would be one of the Bentley vehicle’s main potential rivals. The Bentley SUV would sell for a higher price than any other SUV currently available, Mr. Dürheimer said.

Demand for luxury SUVs is booming world-wide, defying concerns that rising fuel prices and environmental concerns would crimp demand in a lucrative segment for top manufacturers.

Mr. Dürheimer said that adding the SUV to the brand’s lineup would also help to balance Bentley’s financial performance as the product life cycles of its Continental and Mulsanne models largely overlap.

The car would be based on technology Volkswagen uses for other luxury SUVs such as the Audi Q7 and the Cayenne of VW affiliate Porsche Automobil Holding SE.

Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest auto manufacturer and the world’s No. 2 after General Motors Co., GM -2.74% bought Bentley in 1998 from Vickers PLC after a complex bidding war with BMWBMW.XE +0.33% AG. Bentley was spun off from Rolls-Royce Motors, with the Rolls-Royce automotive brand ending up part of BMW.

Mr. Dürheimer said earlier this year that Bentley swung back to a profit in 2011 after two years of losses, helped by a 37% year-over-year rise in sales to 7,003 vehicles. Bentley hasn’t disclosed detailed profit figures so far for 2011. In the January-to-September period last year, the brand narrowed its operating loss to €6 million ($8 million) from a loss of €145 million in the same period in 2010. Volkswagen is scheduled to release earnings for its individual brands on March 12.

Mr. Dürheimer reiterated that unit sales are expected to rise in the “solid, double-digit” percentage range this year over last and could come close to a new annual sales record for the brand.

His plan at Bentley mirrors Porsche’s strategy in recent years, where Mr. Dürheimer was in charge of research and development before joining Bentley. Porsche’s dynamic sales and earnings growth in recent years was driven by the launch of new derivatives of existing models and by adding the Cayenne SUV to its lineup. The Cayenne has been Porsche’s best-selling vehicle in recent years, despite initial criticism from sports-car aficionados that an SUV would dent the brand’s coveted image as a sports-car maker.