Sunday, September 26, 2010

2010 Toyota Tacoma Gamer Debut

The Toyota Tacoma All-Terrain Gamer (ATG) combines outdoor sports activities and video games to create the ultimate active lifestyle vehicle for young Tacoma pickup truck owners. The special vehicle was designed to take Tacoma owners to their favorite remote locations where they can pursue their passion for outdoor sports activities and also provide a haven at the end of the day to play their favorite interactive video games. 

To create the Tacoma ATG Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. teamed up with a group of partners who are among the finest in their fields of expertise. The partners included The B.A.D. Company as the primary builder,along with Microsoft Xbox, Kicker, Toyota Racing Development, INNO Advanced Car Racks and Cannondale. 

Toyota provided a 2009 Tacoma Double Cab Long Bed PreRunner V6 five-speed automatic to The B.A.D. Company to transform it into the rugged ATG. The builders felt this Tacoma configuration provided the best combination of on-road and off-road capability, a spacious cab to haul friends and a full-size bed to carry cargo and equipment. 

The B.A.D. Company removed the B-Pillars and installed double gull-wing doors to increase space and create a œpatio like shelter for gamers. Adjustable theater style seating was created by removing the front seats and repositioning them to the outboard rear locations. This theater seating configuration intensifies gaming action by creating a communal experience, especially effective when playing Xboxs new HALO ODST team oriented four-person video game. Large steps were created to allow easy ingress/egress and leg support for outboard chair


Four interior monitors were placed on two swing arms to allow the vehicle to be easily converted from a video haven to a drivable truck. The swing arms were designed and contoured to provide each game seat optimum screen distance and angled to maximize the high definition experience. 

To increase storage capability an INNO Ridge Wide Cargo Box is attached to a roof mounted roll bar. Two Upright Lock Bike Racks mounted to truck base rack systems, each provided by INNO, are mated directly to the tonneau cover. The two Lock Bike Racks carry Cannondale RZ ONE Twenty and Cannondale Moto 4 high performance mountain bikes. 

Exterior modifications also included three base colors of a custom metallic anthracite (pulled directly from the Xbox brand guide), drilled aluminum interior panels, color-matched protective floor coating, an acrylic hood with an engine view port, a 66-inch plasma monitor with a custom roll cage enclosure, tonneau cover with Å“Craze paint technique, blacked out front grille, sponsor logo windshield sun shade, front and rear bumpers, smoked front head and rear tail lamp treatment, and Xbox graphics. 

The Xbox gaming system in the Tacoma ATG is complemented by a two-channel custom Kicker audio system, providing the ultimate sound design to maximize the video game experience. The system generates a total of 2,150 watts of power from studio grade rack-mounted amps to minimize sound quality deterioration over extended use. Gamers will feel the action via the 1,500 watt 12-inch Kicker Solobaric L7-12 Subwoofer in a custom enclosure with vents at each corner directing air into the cab. Sound will rain down on gamers from eight Kicker QS65.2 6.5-inch mid-range speakers handling a combined 650 watts of power to complete the gaming experience. 

Additional interior modifications include four Simpson custom upholstered off-road racing seats with four-point black racing harnesses, custom three-tone upholstered interior and a mini-fridge energy drink dispenser. 

In addition to being the ultimate gaming vehicle the Tacoma ATG also needed to be able to transport outdoor enthusiasts to their favorite remote locations. Toyota Racing Development (TRD) contributed to the project with the installation of its 304 horsepower 4.0-liter Supercharger to increase vehicle torque and better traverse rugged landscape. TRD 16-inch bead lock wheels with BF Goodrich LT295/75R16 All-Terrain T/A tires were added to improve off-road stability and increase traction. 

After its debut at the 2009 SEMA Show the Tacoma ATG is scheduled to be used by Toyota, Xbox, Kicker, and INNO for a variety of consumer and industry events. 

Tacoma All-Terrain Gamer Accessories 
Partners and Sponsors 
Principle: Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. 
Builder / Fabricator: The Big American Dream Company (B.A.D. Co.) 
Gaming: Microsoft Xbox 
Audio: Stillwater Designs / Kicker 
Performance: Toyota Racing Development (TRD) 
Sports Equipment: INNO Advanced Car Racks 
Mountain Bikes: Cannondale 

- Custom three-tone paint with Å“Craze technique 
- Driver & Passenger side double gull wing doors with B-Pillar removed, custom hinge mechanism and light synchronization system 
- Custom steel roof mounted roll bar 
- Acrylic hood with view port and engine compartment lighting 
- Tonneau cover with Å“Craze paint technique 
- Custom rear monitor protective enclosure 
- Blacked out front grille, front & rear bumpers 
- Smoked front head & rear tail lamp treatment 
- INNO Ridge Wide Cargo Box mounted to roof mounted roll bar 
- INNO Upright Lock Bike Rack mounted to Tonneau cover holding two Cannondale mountain bikes. 
1. Cannondale RZ ONE Twenty 
2. Cannondale Moto 4 
Xbox 360 graphics 

- Custom expandable theater style rear seat gaming area with removable front seats repositioned to extend beyond the edge of the cab 
- Custom aluminum seat support frame with lighting treatment 
- Four Simpson custom upholstered off road racing seats with four-point black racing harness 
- Custom swing out four game monitor mounting system 
- Custom protective floor coating 
- Custom aluminum roll cage 
- Custom drilled aluminum headliner 
- Custom three-tone upholstered interior 
- Mini-fridge energy drink dispenser 

- TRD 4.0L V6 Supercharger 
- Air to liquid intercooler 
- High flow fuel injectors 
- Cold Air Intake 
- TRD Stainless Steel Cat-back single outlet exhaust 
- 304HP & 334 lb/ft of Torque 
- 16X7.5 TRD Cast Bead Lock Wheels with custom finish 
- BF Goodrich LT295/75R16 All-Terrain T/A Tires 

- Four Xbox Elite Game Console Bundles 
- Alpine IVA-W505 touch screen head unit 
- Kicker KQ5 Preamp Equalizer 
- Behringer DCX2496 Crossover 
- QSC CX702 1500 Watt (8 O) Power Amplifier for subwoofer 
- Two QSC CX302 325 Watt (4 O) Power Amplifier for midrange 
- Total system produces 2150 Watts of power 
- Kicker Solobaric L7-12 Subwoofer with custom vented enclosure 
- Eight Kicker QS65.2 6.5-inch Midrange 
- 66-inch Sharp Aquos Plasma High Definition public viewing monitor 
- Four Samsung 24 High Definition flat panel game monitors. 

2010 Maserati GranTurismo S MC Sports

Maserati has announced the limited edition GranTurismo S MC Sport Line exclusively for the Middle Eastern market. Only 12 will be produced, all with a matte white "ICE" finish, which should help keep things cool in the hot desert sun. Eleven similar cars will be built for Italy, but sporting a different color, "Matt Bianco Fuji". 

Carbon fiber plays a prominent role with both aerodynamics and cosmetics. Whereas the less-special GranTurismo versions are more mature in personality, the MC Sport uses black and carbon fiber to ratchet up its sporty attitude. 

On the inside you'll find lightweight and grippy cloth/leather seats, a carbon fiber console and MC badging throughout. 

For existing GranTurismo owners, many of the parts that make this special edition special can be ordered from your friendly Maserati dealer. 

The limited-edition Maserati GranTurismo S MC Sport Line with Matt White "ICE" finishing was unveiled last week in the futuristic surroundings of the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, in a dedicated event for a selected number of Maserati customers of the Middle East. 

Only twelve of these limited-edition GranTurismos will be produced in Modena, all for Middle Eastern markets. The same number - twelve - are the world titles which make up the prestigious palmares of the MC12 in the FIA GT International Championship since 2005: two Constructors' Cups (2005 and 2007), four Drivers' Titles (Michael Bartels - Andrea Bertolini in 2006, Thomas Biagi in 2007, Michael Bartels - Andrea Bertolini in 2008 and 2009); five Teams' Titles (from 2005 onwards uninterruptedly with the Vitaphone Racing Team); one Citation Cup in 2007 with gentleman driver Ben Aucott. 

Twelve are also the Middle Eastern cities where Maserati is present with a dedicated showroom: each car will feature a plaque with the name of the city to which it is committed. 

A limited and numbered edition of the GranTurismo S MC Sport Line, finished in "Matt Bianco Fuji" with eye-catching pearlescent nuances, will be dedicated to the Italian market. Only eleven customers in Italy will be able to sit behind the wheel of this exclusive car. 

Designed to enhance the sporty DNA of the Trident, the "MC Sport Line" options, available to Maserati clients worldwide, sum up the experience acquired on the track by the Maserati Corse racing department, whose contribution to the design of the functional components has been invaluable. The world of motor racing also inspired Maserati's designers when it came to styling, hence the extensive use of carbon fibre. 

An Aerodynamic Package is available within the "MC Sport Line" for the GranTurismo range and it includes double front winglets, rear lip spoiler, door sill inserts, black window surrounds, black exhaust pipes and body coloured door handles. Carbon fibre door mirrors and carbon finish door handles are also available as part of the Aerodynamic Package. These modifications, developed in the wind tunnel and tested at various circuits with the Maserati GranTurismo MC race car concept, increase the vertical load (Cz is reduced by 30%), allowing faster cornering and further improved traction coming out of the corner. 

Several aesthetic features are available from the MC Sport Line option list, some of which can also be ordered for Quattroporte S and Sport GTS, including gloss black alloy wheels, interior carbon finishing and MC design aluminium racing pedals. 

A single rate sports suspension system is available on the Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic, whilst for the GranTurismo S, the highest performing model in the Maserati range, the MC suspension set up can be ordered. This includes lower ride height (by 10mm), stiffer dampers, larger-diameter anti-roll bars which minimise lateral load shifts (roll angle is reduced by 20%). Overall the car's rigidity is increased by 16% at the front and 32% at the rear. 

The "MC Sport Line" suspension is combined with drilled, slotted front and rear disc brakes providing a more predictable and a more immediate braking action, meeting all the expectations of those in search of peak handling. Compared to the standard units, the Sport Line discs are drilled with 4 slots and 16 blind holes around their perimeter: the slots keep the brake pad clean, preventing loss of performance due to material detached by friction, while in case of rain their mechanical action helps to break up the film of water. Blind holes have been added on the inside and outside of the braking surface for more uniform wear of the brake pad and disc surfaces, keeping braking efficiency constant over time. 

The Maserati Stability Programme (MSP) has also been re-calibrated for the MC suspension, allowing the driver greater freedom of action. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


The Nissan Z sports car is celebrating its 40th birthday and Yokohama Tire Corporation is joining the party. Yokohama is a platinum sponsor of the 23rd annual International Z Car Convention, July 28-August 1 at Nissan North America headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.
Yokohama’s ADVAN Sport® is OE on the Nissan 370Z and exclusive OE on the Nismo Z.
“The Z car club event enables us to interact directly with current and potential customers and engage them in our products and advanced technology,” said Fred Koplin, Yokohama director, marketing communications. “It’s an ideal setting to highlight our full line of ultra high-performance tires, including the ADVAN Neova® AD08.”
Yokohama’s agreement includes title sponsorship of the performance driving track event at the Nashville Super Speedway on August 1. Yokohama will also have a display during the five-day car club gathering, featuring two modified Z cars: a supercharged 350Z with ADVAN Sport tires alongside a new twin-turbo 370Z with Yokohama® tires. The cars were prepared and tuned by HKS USA, Inc. (, a leading manufacturer and supplier of premium automotive aftermarket performance systems, parts and accessories.
Z Convention activities include a reception (July 28) and a massive car show (July 31) featuring hundreds of Z cars spanning every model since the 1970 model year introduction.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in the United States, Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing a network of more than 4,500 points of sale in the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company’s complete product line includes the dB Super E-spec™ - the world’s first tire to use orange oil to reduce petroleum – as well as tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama’s extensive product line,
Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the “Tire Safety” section at

Friday, September 24, 2010


It has been widely reported previously that Proton will be introducing a turbocharged engine sometime next year and the Exora would be the first vehicle to run the engine. Proton has reiterated it’s intentions yet again. The company has confirmed to Bernama that it will debut the force-inducted engine with the Exora MPV next year.
Speaking to reporters after the company’s annual general meeting, group managing director Datuk Syed Zainal said, “The engine will support Proton’s future products in relation to extending enhanced performance, emissions and quality standards.’ He also added that the performance of the engine would be equivalent to a 2.0 liter engine.
He did not reveal further details about the engine, but we can expect it to be based on the 1.6 Campro, with or without CPS. Syed Zainal also mentioned that Proton will launch a facelift version of an existing model before end of the year. This could well be the Saga facelift, as we have recently spotted a taped-up version near Bukit Jelutong. As reported previously, the new Proton Waja will be introduced this year as well. Based on the Mitsubishi Lancer, the new model would carry a slightly higher price tag as it will be offered with better performance and features.
He also spoke about Proton’s involvement in the hybrid and electric vehicles arena. “Proton has started on the development of the hybrid and electric vehicles which are currently being subjected to performance evaluation, testing and safety assessment,” were his exact words. The company has already showcased the Saga EV in Indonesia and we have also seen the Exora Hybrid demonstrator vehicle.
Proton also expects to better it’s export figures compared to the last fiscal year as interest in China, Thailand and Indonesia is growing. The company’s chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh also went on to confirm that Proton has no intention to off-load Lotus at the moment. “We have no intention to dispose of Lotus at this point in time. By having Lotus within the group we will have better benefit,” he assured.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Luxurious Home on Wheels

Yacht on Wheels

If you like camping, you will surely like this caravan. This is a 36-foot motorhome, the luxurious Futuria Sports + Spa that was unveiled at the Caravan Salon 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany. It has a unique roof terrace with a full-size Jacuzzi on it. But the terrace has space not only for the Jacuzzi but also for some picnic tables and grills. The caravan owns a sports car garage in its rear end. All in all, the caravan will cost you $840,000.