World’s fastest supercar, a family jewel…Driverless car vision could fail without specialist legislation…What’s New?…and lots more…

For those in the know, the name Corbellati is associated with putting a valuable ring on a finger rather than in the ear in more ways than one. But that’s what happens when a family of jewellery makers and artists take a distinctive ‘left turn’ into the world of supercars.

The result is a retro-styled gem with a grumbling 9.0-litre V8 beating heart, at present named the Missile, that will make its debut at Geneva Motor Show and then perhaps go on to challenge the Koenigsegg Agera RS for the world speed record.

Right from the off, the family intended to do things differently. Usually when a ‘newcomer’ surfaces to reveal an inconceivable hypercar the announcement is drenched in autospeak superlatives focusing on its team’s automotive and design expertise.

Corbellati, on the other hand, says: “We are the Corbellati family, for 70 years creators of jewels, artists, art enthusiasts. Today, the last generation, passionate to the sports cars, has embarked on a new venture full of challenges to continue in the name of family tradition.

Our goal is to create a car with unique performance and unique design, just like a jewel.”

Whatever, Corbellati intends to really get in amongst it at Geneva and has no intention of bringing a knife to a gunfight. According to the details the company has released so far, the Missile is powered by an 1800-hp 9.0-litre V8 biturbo driving the rear wheels through a six-speed transmission and limited slip differential.

A carbon fibre chassis and bodywork help to keep weight down, while exaggerated curves reminiscent of the race cars of the 1960s are structured to help the vehicle slip its way to a ‘crazy-optimistic’ estimated top speed above 500km/h.

A self-levelling, double quadrilateral air suspension fine-tunes and cushions the ride, and carbon-ceramic discs inside monoblock six-piston callipers hopefully bring the whole thing to a reliable stop.

An 1800hp supercar, built by jewellers and out to be the first to break the 500km/h barrier, will certainly be a gem at Geneva even amongst such other  jewels as the Pogani Zonda S, Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche 9ff GT9-R, etc.

Whether, or not, the Missile will make good on its ‘world’s fastest’ billing remains to be seen. But with cameo appearances planned at auto events around the world, it won’t be the last we’ll be hearing of this family jewel.

Driverless car vision could fail without specialist legislation

Lack of coordination between autonomous vehicles and manned vehicles can fail the driverless car vision especially as accidents between autonomous vehicles and manned vehicles having already taken place.

According to Hagai Zyss from Autotalks, an Israeli company that specialises in accident prevention technology, the problem of coordinating autonomous and manned vehicles must deeply concern policy makers and the auto industry.

“Many people in the industry leap in their imagination to the point in time when all vehicles on our roads will be autonomous, but not everyone pays attention to the massive challenges in the long transition period, in which most of the vehicles will be manned and we will have to share our roads with autonomous vehicles.

“There is an inherent difficulty of human drivers to understand autonomous vehicles and vice versa. Beyond the fact that human drivers get stressed when they see an autonomous vehicle, human drivers might make sudden lane changes, presume right of way or run red lights in a way that makes it difficult for autonomous vehicles to expect and respond to.”

Hagai goes on to point out that it is important to lay down an infrastructure of legislation and regulation that together with additional technologies, will ensure that the integration of autonomous vehicles into our roads will prevent rather than cause accidents.

Electronics giant Denso has decided to incorporate Autotalks chipset into the V2X platform it provides to car manufacturers and the Israeli company is working with Bosch on a joint project to develop a motorcycle accident prevention communications technology (Bike-to-Vehicle – B2V).

Year of the rat, or the ox, before Indy gets it’s act together?

If you think the rules and regulations covering IndyCar racing are a nightmare, then you’re, pardon the pun, on the right track. With the next set of engine regulations in the works Chevy and Honda have announced that they will step back from full engine development options for this year’s race season.

Why? Well apparently, it’s all about the timing. Based on the current 2.2-litre TTV6 engine formula, created in 2012, manufacturers use odd-ending numbered years for limited R&D. In even years teams are allowed to update and replace cylinder heads, turbos and induction systems, camshafts and other core pieces.

The next set of engine rule proposals, however, has forced Chevy and Honda to stick to the restrictive R&D plan typically followed in odd years. This program will stay in place until officials implement the new regulations in 2020, or 2021.

Originally, manufacturers expected four years with the current formula, then something new for the fifth. Instead they are going into the seventh year of competition with the same engines that were never intended to run at the power levels we are now seeing.

According to Allen Miller, race team leader at HPD, the organisation has looked at it and decided it will be two years until it builds a new engine.

If a third manufacturer joins the series, then a new formula will be introduced in 2020. If Chevy and Honda are the only two brands to remain, then IndyCar will likely extend the deadline by at least another 12 months.

Yet another ‘barn-find’ goes under the hammer

There’s a saying in America that if a farmer fills his barn with grain, he gets mice. If he leaves it empty, he gets actors. If the vintage car auction people are to believe, then it’s not actors that get in amongst the hay but priceless automobiles that have been rusting away for decades.

At least Shannons has had the decency to put quotation marks around its ‘barn-find’ involving a 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II limousine. Apparently, the auctioneers’ latest star has been laid-up in a Sydney Eastern Suburbs garage since the early 1980s and hasn’t been started in over 30 years.

Barn find, or not, this roller, with its stately Thrupp & Maberly coachwork, has one heck of an ‘atlas-like’ international connection.

It was built for American socialite Lady Rachel Workman, who married the Scottish founder of the British India Corporation, Sir Alexander MacRobertson. The vehicle remained in the United Kingdom until 1969, when it was exported to Australia by Welsh owner along with the original Scottish number plates.

According to Shannons, the vehicles amazing seclusion has excluded it from being mentioned in any of the usual RR reference books, but it is being offered for sale with its UK logbook, a copy of its purchase details and import papers.

Shannons believe that the ‘Phantom of the Barn’ will find willing bidders in the $35,000-$50,000 range when it is offered for sale with no reserve at the company’s Sydney autumn auction on March 12.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the same ‘hammer wielder’ will be hard at work this time in Melbourne flogging off what is described as ‘The Rising Sons of Japan’ in the shape of a Subaru WRX, Toyota MR2, Suzuki Mighty Boy and a Datsun Fairlady 240Z. CLICK HERE for full details.

Lucas Oil combines its NZ and Australian markets

Lucas Oil Products has given New Zealand-based Logan Distribution rights to distribute its heavy-duty and high-performance lubricants in NZ and Australia as part of an operation aimed at forming a single market.

According to LD’s Rolf Wilson (pictured) the company will be focusing on taking Lucas Oil products to the next level in Australia, as well as continuing to develop the market in New Zealand.

“The first task of the new trans-Tasman entity will be to streamline the company’s logistics and warehousing across the two markets to improved flow of products.

In New Zealand, we are based in Palmerston North with a major distribution centre in Auckland and across the Tasman we will be based in Melbourne with a logistics provider shipping around the rest of the country.”

A full range of Lucas Oil products will continue to be carried with an emphasis on popular lines such as a heavy-duty oil stabiliser, fuel treatment, power steering, stop leak and transmission fix.

Lucas Oil Products considers itself the world leader in the production of high performance lubricants and problem-solving additives, marketing more than 270 formulations in forty countries. Products include engine oils, greases, gear lubes, problem-solving additives and car-care products.

In the USA, Lucas Oil is sold in more than 30,000 auto parts stores and at almost every truck stop nationwide. Logan Distribution was founded by American speedway ace, Ricky Logan, and is now co-owned by speedway promoter Bryan Puklowski and NZ businessman Bruce Roberson.

NARVA CONTINUE to churn out a bewildering number of new products. This time around it’s a new range of tough, high-powered, LED 4×4 work lamps, geared towards owners who spend extended periods off road in recreational and competition four wheel driving.

These 9-36V multi-voltage lamps are said to be “compact, rugged and versatile, while still punching out a powerful, bright white light output courtesy of high-powered ‘Cree’ LEDs”.

All three lamps are EMC-compliant, fully sealed to IP68 for reliable performance in wet and dusty conditions with die-cast, powder coated aluminium housing and virtually unbreakable polycarbonate lenses.

CLICK HERE for details.

MARTIN INDUSTRIES’ portable inflation cage is often used by road service vehicles for changing and inflating tyres on trucks, buses, military vehicles, etc. It’s light, compact yet sturdy inflation cage is manufactured in Canadian using steel that meets the toughest standards.

The portable inflation cage folds down to a depth of only 6”, making it very easy to stow in a service truck. The cages exceed the requirements of OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.177. Specs: Dimensions (L x W x H): 546 X 432 X 1321 mm; max. tyre size: 48” OD X 13″ W (1219 OD X 330 W mm); tyre capacity: 7- 8; weight: 31kg. Contact

VEHICLE-TO-EVERYTHING COMMUNICATION (V2X) is already being tested around the world. Yet as vehicles connect to vehicles, traffic lights, power grids, cities and more, what are the security implications?

Well, according to a report published by TU Automotive, quite a few including some serious hacking issues.

Heavyweights in the auto industry cyber space including, the University of Michigan Transport Research Institute, Argus Cyber Security and Harman International, contributed to the report that looked at mitigating risk with a diversity of software/hardware.

Other issues included the motivations to hack V2X, balancing cyber security and privacy and safety. Consumers won’t accept a feature that appears to be unsecure, or unsafe.

And safety isn’t just about avoiding collisions. Once cars are connected, the battle for safety will shift to cyber threats, something the auto industry has never seen before.

CLICK HERE to read the full report.

COOLDRIVE has expanded its range of automotive accessories with the purchase of one of Australia’s leading automotive car mat brands. RoadGear products include
mats for passenger vehicles, specialist heavy-duty, deluxe mats for the 4WD market and tray liners for the likes of Toyota HiLux, Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, Holden Colorado and Mazda BT-50. There’s also a range of specialist mudflaps.




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