Toyota’s TRD Pro Challenge

Kudos to the marketing and PR folks at Toyota USA for creating this cool ad series for their TRD models. The most recent episode sees Canadian veteran off-road racer Andy Bell take his two famous motorcycling friends Jamie Bestwick and Roland Sands across Vietnam behind the wheels of three beautiful Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Tundra and Toyota 4Runner models. Having traveled to Vietnam myself, I can attest that it truly is one of the most beautiful and rugged countries in the world. Vietnam’s back-country really is the perfect test ground for Toyota’s incredible off-road TRD models.

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GYMKHANA FIVE: THE MAKING OF

One of our favourite car video series is Ken Block’s Gymkhana, which shows off the driving skills of rally car driver Ken Block as he drives through a variety of on- and off-street courses.

The latest installment in the series, released back in July 2012, is Gymkhana Five which is set in San Francisco. However, it’s just this week that the making of video for Gymkhana Five was released by Ken Block and DC Shoes.

The video provides an in depth look at the video production process, from the many hours of scouting out locations, to vehicle preparations, to takes and re-takes.

The making of video runs approximately 10 minutes and is well worth checking out even if you aren’t a rally car fan.

The original Gymkhana Five video can be found below:

Hyper-Matrix At Hyundai Motor Group Pavilion

Check out this amazing video shot at a Hyundai Motor Group Exhibition Pavilion in South Korea. The installation uses thousands of cubes that are synchronized to move in and out, giving the illusion of motion. The example of the car driving away is quite incredible. Although not developed expressly for this purpose, it’s one pretty cool form of advertising for Hyundai.

You can learn more about how it is done here.

James Bond Cars – Part 1

The following is a great little montage showing some of the cool vehicles that James Bond has driven over the 24 films in the series.

This got the RedlineNorth Team thinking about some of their favourite vehicles from the series and we’ve decided to profile a few.

Lotus Esprit S1 – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Lotus Esprit – The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

First up the Lotus Esprit. Who can forget the underwater scene from the Spy Who Loved Me where James Bond’s white Lotus Esprit converts into submarine mode after driving off a dock into the water. There is also the classic scene with the car ‘driving’ in from the ocean onto a crowded beach – much to the amazement of beach goers.

The Esprit in the film was fully equipped with anti-aircraft missiles, depth chargers and could deploy black ink under water to foil enemy pursuers.

Two Lotus Esprits were loaned to the production company for filming. One was actually turned into a functional submarine. Once the movie was released they became so popular that there was supposedly a three year waiting list to purchase one.

The Esprit S1 (1976) had a 4 cylinder, 2.0L engine that produce 160 hp. Lotus claimed the Esprit could do 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds and had a top speed of 138 mph (222 km/h).

Aston Martin DB5

Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger (1964)

First debuting in Gold Finger (1964) but also appearing in Thunderball, GoldenEye, and a small appearance in Tomorrow Never Dies, and Casino Royale, the Aston Martin DB5 is the quintessential Bond vehicle.

The car was equipped with machine guns behind the front indicators, a bullet shield behind the rear window and a revolving licence plate that switched between a number of different plates. It was also capable of deploying a smoke screen and an oil slick to foil unwitting enemies, and of course a little red button that deployed the passenger ejector seat!

The original Goldfinger DB5 with gadgets was sold on October 27, 2010 for $4.1m (£2.6m). For a more reasonable price a scaled down electric model of the Goldfinger DB5 can be had for £48.

AMC Hornet

AMC Hornet – The Man with the Gold Gun (1974)

The American Motors Corporation (AMC) Hornet had its Bond debut in the 1974 film The Man With The Golden Gun. The V8, 175 hp Hornet is best remembered for the corkscrew jump over a river during during a car chase scene. A specially modified version of the car which had a lower stance and larger wheel wells was used by an uncredited British stuntman Loren “Bumps” Willert for the stunt. The jump distance was approximately 16 meters (52 ft) and the jump off speed was 65 kph (40 mph).

The original Hornet is still on display at the National Motor Museum Beaulieu, England.

Up Next….Aston Martin V8 in Part 2.

Skoda Superb 2012

The Škoda Superb is a large sedan built by the Czech car manufacturer Škoda Auto. Škoda Auto’s parent company is the Volkswagen Group which is significant for the smaller manufacturer since they are able to leverage the larger resources of the global Volkswagen Group.

The Superb models produced from 2001 to 2008 were based on the Volkswagen Passat platform but were 10 centimetres (3.9 in) longer.  The 2008 and newer models are all based on a stretched version of the Volkswagen Group’s A5 Octavia platform.  The current 2012 model Superb is a five-door five-seat liftback saloon/sedan, with an innovative tailgate known as ‘Twin-Door’.

It is currently the largest and most luxurious model in Škoda’s model range. The Superb name had originally been used by Škoda for luxury cars produced between 1934 and 1942.

24 Hours of Le Mans

With this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans wrapping up over the weekend we thought it was an appropriate time to look at this incredible race.

The 24 hours of Le Mans is the world’s oldest active endurance auto race having been held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. This year’s race was historic for a number of reasons as it was the 80th anniversary and first win by a hybrid-powered car.

With the no.1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Andre Lotterer-Marcel Fassler-Benoit Treluyer taking the checkered flag on Sunday, Audi Sport secured its spot in automotive history with an 11th win to put them second on the all time win list only behind Porsche’s 16 overall victories. With the 11 victories coming in 13 attempts, Audi Sport has come to define what it takes as a racing team in today’s modern era to win the Holy Grail of endurance which is Le Mans.

All these victories are not ending at the racetrack as Audi has been leveraging their experience to produce some of the world best performance vehicles.You only have to look at Audi’s amazing line-R8, A8, A6, S5 and S4 models to see first-hand how the former NASCAR saying of a “win on Sunday” translates to “sell on Monday”.

Here are some images from the weekend action along with the 2012 Le Mans trailer video.

Loop de Loop

In the spirit of our recent posting of the Hot Wheels car jumping record, the following is an attempt from the guys on Fifth Gear to complete a loop de loop. Despite it being a small car the planning and physics that went into this are quite incredible. Not a world record, but pretty cool nonetheless.

2012 Range Rover Evoque

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past eight months you have likely seen some of the buzz around the 2012 Range Rover Evoque.  It first appeared in Canadian showrooms in October of 2011, as the newest addition to Land Rover’s 2012 vehicle line-up and since then there has been no shortage of marketing and PR support. However, recently the PR machine seems to have slowed down so we thought now would be a good time to take a closer look to see what all the hype is about.

The combination of Range Rover’s Illustrious lineage as the estate vehicle of royalty, celebrities and anyone who matters, certainly lends itself well to attracting attention when w models are launched. Much of the recent launch fanfare has been around Victoria Beckham’s (a.k.a. Posh Spice) involvement in the interior’s design as she provided input into the final design giving it a “chic” touch.

In spite of being Range Rover’s smallest and most efficient models ever built, the interior stays true to form and portrays the Range Rover luxury look and feel so many other manufactures can only aspire to ever achieve.

The Evoque is available in both a two door and four door model, its new sleek innovative design is intended to appeal to a younger, urban market versus the higher-end larger Range Rover models. And with a competitive starting price of $46,995 CAD it is priced right for the entry level, luxury SUV/Crossover segment.

Along with massive amounts of mainstream press coverage, the kudos and industry awards just keep flowing for Range Rover’s Evoque as it has now won a variety of global auto awards including; 2011 Car of the Year by Top Gear and Motor Trend’s 2012 SUV of the year.

Keeping with Range Rover’s royal theme connection we wanted to point out an amazing video of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II driving her vintage Range Rover in the UK countryside.  It’s absolutely priceless listening to her chit chat with the local rabbit hunters while driving through one of her estates.

So to close, I think it’s safe to say the new Range Rover Evoque is living up to the hype of its launch and if the older Range Rover models are good enough for the Queen, the 2012 Range Rover Evoque should certainly be at the top of the list for any car savvy soccer Mom.  But of course, the big question still remains. Has the Queen added the Range Rover Evoque to her royal fleet line-up?

To be continued….

And you thought your car stereo was loud….

For certain car enthusiasts having a loud car stereo is on the top of their wish list. The RedlineNorth team came across the following video which simply blows other car stereos away, quite literally, in terms of pure loudness.

You have to be impressed when a car stereo can shake the windows of a store in a strip mall parking lot and shake women’s hair to the beat of the music.

The car in question is a 2001 SMD Chevy Tahoe installed with the following:

Mac Mini / 10.2″ Touchscreen
Pioneer P710 Bluetooth Headunit
4 18″ Ascendant Audio SMD Subwoofers
10 Rockford Fosgate 6.5″
2 Rockford Fosgate 8″
2 Rockford Fosgate 4″
12 Rockford Fosgate 1″
8 Rockford Fosgate T2500.1 bdCP (Bass) (2 amps on each sub)
2 Rockford Fosgate T1000.4 (Midbass/Midrange)
1 Rockford Fosgate T600.2 (Tweeters)
2 Rockford Fosgate 3sixty.2 Processors
4 350 Amp Mechman Alternators
10 XS Power D3100 Batteries
Second Skin Sound Deadened Top to Bottom
Viper 5901 Security
Ridetech Shockwave Titanium Suspension
Wilwood 6 piston 16″ Caliper Brakes
DJM and Spohn Control Arms
“Meadecherry” Paint by Roy Devore

All of this equals 30,000 watts! Yes, that’s 30,000 watts.

The reactions of some of the people sitting in the Tahoe are priceless.

Chaika

A Chaika (Ча́йка), which means gull, is a luxury automobile from the Soviet Union that was produced from 1959 to 1981 by GAZ. There were only 3,100 vehicles built during the 22 year production run, largely because it was never for sale to the public. Chaika’s and its more upscale cousin, the Zil limousine, were only available to Soviet elites. Nikita Khrushchev, although entitled to a ZIL, was known to prefer Chaikas.

The early Chaikas model M13 produced from 1959 to approximately 1977 very closely resembled the American Packard Patrician from the same era. The M13 was powered by a a 195 horsepower (145 kW) 5.5L V8 with a top speed of 99 mph (158 km/hr).

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In the late 1970s the M14 was introduced with more modern styling and had an updated 220 hp engine.

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The Chaika model was discontinued in 1988 and can now be found in museums such as this unique museum outside of Moscow which features over 300 vehicles from the Soviet era.

Today, GAZ specializes in mid-price and premium cars all sold under the Volga brand.