Is this India’s first supercar?

Is this India's first supercar?

America made the Ford GT and the Dodge Viper. The McClaren F1 rolled out of a British factory. Germany has the Porsche Carrera GT, while Italy is home to both Ferrari and Lamborghini. India, meanwhile, has never produced a flashy supercar.

Sarthak Paul, a 21-year old entrepreneur, is trying to change that. The recent university graduate has embarked on a starry-eyed quest to produce India’s first supercar, with help from a team of automotive engineers based at India’s Manipal Institute of Technology.

Paul calls his fledgling car company Mean Metal Motors (MMM). The automaker has already produced a couple of planned concepts, and if all goes well, Paul hopes the first physical prototype will be ready for a showcase at the 2016 Paris Auto Show. He’s calling his creation the “M-Zero.”

Paul cannot be accused of lacking ambition. With an estimated price tag of $125,000 to $150,000, M-Zero aims to compete with the world’s fastest and most powerful cars.


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The plans call for a supercar that can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than three seconds, and achieve a top speed of 200 miles per hour. The mid-mounted engine will produce more than 500 horsepower, and be partially powered by a hybrid electric power plant.

The M-Zero will also feature a fingerprint system instead of keys, and allow users to create a “profile” that will activate their preferred driver settings. These include their favorite seat position, air conditioning settings and music playlist.

“We want to give them a car that’s exactly the same or can do even more than a Lamborghini,” Paul said.

On the subject of aerodynamics, Paul’s excitement is palpable.

“I was watching a random show in which they discussed how the world’s fastest sea animal [the sailfish] moves through air and water,” he said. “Then we thought, why don’t we just analyze why the fastest sea animal is the fastest?”


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The body of the car will utilize the startup’s newly-developed smart material, called “carbo-flax”, which claims to be both lighter and one-tenth the price of carbon fiber. Paul said he hopes to sell the material to satellite companies in India in order to raise funds for the first prototype.

Fund raising is just one of many potential roadblocks Paul faces. The Mean Metal Motors founder said that Indian venture capitalists “do not identify hardware startups as something they’d invest into.” They prefer the software firms of Bangalore.

Murad Ali Baig, a popular author and automobile analyst with The Economic Times, has doubts about Paul’s “carbo-flax” funding strategy, and sees few other options for the company to raise capital.

Baig also pointed to the complicated engineering required to build a supercar.

“The very advanced engine and hybrid motor technology, and the successful mating to the suspension and body is no simple matter and may need months or even years to debug sufficiently to make them safe on the roads,” he said.

Paul refuses to be discouraged, saying his company has acquired “the best automotive engineering talent in the country.”

“[Our success] would give a boost to people who want to do something in the hardware world,” he said.

Is this India's first supercar?

Source: CNN Money

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Discover the paranoid world of London’s super-rich

Discover the paranoid world of London's super-rich

Heyrick Bond Gunning – yes, that really is his name – visits Mayfair most days, but he does not come to buy. He comes to sell. The imposing 44-year-old, a former Grenadier Guards officer, is one of a new breed of salesmen.

He’s selling building and contents protection, but not the kind you’re used to. As the managing director of security firm Salamanca Risk Management, he sells a guarantee that you and your family will never again be bothered by anyone or anything you don’t want to be bothered by.

Business is booming because billionaires are a paranoid bunch. Take one who recently moved to Mayfair. ‘He wanted everything, from protection from cyber hacking through to physical intrusion and kidnapping,’ says Bond Gunning.


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‘We ended up installing fingerprint-activated locks for family members and programmable keys for staff that limit the time they are allowed into the property and the rooms they are able to enter and exit.

‘Inside and outside we installed 24-hour monitored CCTV cameras that are so hi-tech they can tell the difference between a dog, cat and a person. In the garden there are thermal-imaging cameras that can detect heat sources in the undergrowth. One thing intruders can’t hide is the heat of their bodies.


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‘Should an intruder evade the cameras or ignore the warnings they automatically broadcast, the property itself is protected by bulletproof glass and alarm sensors in all rooms.

‘There is a bullet, gas and bombproof panic or safe room, with its own food and water, medical supplies and communications, and an impregnable supply of fresh air. Just in case the family cannot make it there in time, key rooms are sealed by reinforced shutters.’

The bill for such peace of mind? A cool £1m.

Source: Evening Standard

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Ouch! Lamborghini left destroyed on the verge after M6 crash

Ouch! Lamborghini left destroyed on the verge after M6 crash

This Lamborghini Aventador worth around £260,000 was written off in a motorway smash on Saturday afternoon.

The accident happened on the southbound carriageway of the M6 south of Preston at around 4:30pm.

Huge tailbacks soon formed after emergency services closed lanes to deal with the smash.

Witnesses said the whole right side of the supercar had been badly damaged.


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Nearly half of the bonnet had been ripped off, with debris from the silver car littering the road behind it.

Another driver said there had been a large downpour of rain before the accident, though the circumstances of what happened are unclear.

Ambulances attended the scene but it so far unclear whether the driver was injured.

Drivers went on Twitter after traffic built up in both directions. Emily Greenall tweeted: ‘Complete stand still on the m6 north at lancaster services and no updates anywhere?!’

And Lee Black added: ‘@Traffic_M6 traffic at standstill south Lancaster Northbound.’

Ouch! Lamborghini left destroyed on the verge after M6 crash

Source: Daily Mail

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McLaren’s momentum: building the Great British supercar

McLaren's momentum: building the Great British supercar

Going head-to-head with Ferrari was seen as suicide until McLaren threw down the gauntlet in 2010. In five years, the Woking company has become firmly established as a genuine rival to the Italian sports car maker.

Yet it’s the acceptance of the British brand by discerning supercar customers around the world, who bought a record 1,649 models in 2014, that has underlined that McLaren has not only arrived, but is here to stay.

The firm has built a state-of-the-art factory, developed a range of successful supercars and taken on 1,200 workers in the UK. Even given McLaren’s 50-year expertise in Formula One racing, the achievement of setting up and delivering a world-class car business is unprecedented.


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McLaren’s move into road cars was the sixties dream of founder Bruce McLaren, and became the vision of Ron Dennis, the mastermind behind the company’s grand prix success, who has applied the same meticulous standards of excellence and relentless pursuit of perfection.

The man responsible for turning Dennis’ vision into reality is Mike Flewitt, the chief executive of McLaren Automotive since 2012, who is pushing even harder as the firm looks to almost triple sales to 4,000 cars by 2017.

Flewitt’s own story is as spectacular as the rise of McLaren Automotive, from starting on the production lines of Ford’s Halewood plant in the eighties, as a 20-year-old fitting Escort heater hoses, to becoming the firm’s European quality director and vice president of manufacturing over 20 years later.


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Along the way, he gained an invaluable insight into the luxury car sector by working for Rolls-Royce/Bentley, where he set up the brand’s first ever bodyshop and became production director, before returning to Ford.

But when the chance to run McLaren came in 2012, he jumped at it. “McLaren was a rare opportunity,” he says. “It was the right brand at the right time, with cutting-edge technology, great engineers and good shareholders. I felt it could work.”

Flewitt was also impressed by the McLaren factory and facilities at Woking: “I have worked in the car industry all over the world, but these are the most mind-blowing facilities I have seen, absolutely cutting edge.”

McLaren's momentum: building the Great British supercar

Source: AutoExpress

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Top Gear Argentina Fiasco: Government emails revealed

Top Gear Argentina Fiasco: Government emails revealed

Newly released government emails have revealed the chaos as a diplomatic row was sparked by Top Gear’s controversial Christmas special in Argentina.

The two-part episode of the BBC motoring show saw Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond travel to Patagonia, where claims that a number plate referred to the Falklands War sparked violent protests that caused filming to be suspended and the crew to flee the country.

Mr Clarkson later wrote that they had “walked into a trap”, sparking a complaint to the BBC from the Argentinian ambassador to the UK as producers denied any deliberate reference to the conflict.

As the presenters were flown out of the country and producers drove to Chile on 3 October, the British Ambassador to Argentina wrote an email to his colleagues saying limited contact with the BBC had been “part of the difficulty”, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.


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Dr John Freeman said there had been a “lack of information…as to when they intended to come here and what their itinerary or purpose/objectives were/are.”

Providing background in an email to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) Americas deputy director, he said Top Gearrepresentatives had contacted the embassy in August but had not replied to follow-up phone messages and emails.

“We therefore had no knowledge of the BBC programme’s plans for Argentina until we saw local media reports about the team’s presence in Bariloche late last month,” Dr Freeman wrote to Archie Young.

“Thereafter there was no further reporting until the incidents in Tierra del Fuego played out last week.”

He said the embassy was contacted by FCO’s Global Response Centre as a mob chased the Top Gear team, and high-level diplomats intervened to help the presenters and crew leave the country safely – one group by air and one by road.


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But the saga continued as the BBC attempted to recover the abandoned Porsche 928 GT, Ford Mustang Mach 1 and Lotus Espirit, left near the Chilean border as the crew were chased by a mob.

“I remain unclear as to why the BBC considers it so vital to recover the vehicles (even if in scrap form),” Dr Freeman wrote.

He said the FCO’s assistance for the BBC was “limited” and wrote that they needed to contact an Argentinian lawyer, adding: “We cannot give any guarantee re the safety of BBC personnel or agents.”

The BBC declined to comment when contacted by The Independent.

Andy Wilman, then the executive producer of Top Gear, wrote at the time that any references drawn from the H982 FKL number plate were not deliberate and that baiting Argentinians over the Falklands War was “most definitely not the sort of stunt we’d pull”.

He said it was replaced with the registration H1 VAE before the team entered Ushuaia, where he described Argentinian veterans “kicking off”.


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“We apologised (and) explained they were now gone, and that they had not been a deliberate act,” Mr Wilman wrote.

“They didn’t believe us, told us to leave town or face the consequences, we did that very thing and drove into a night of violent terror.”

Mr Clarkson said he believed “someone could have been killed” as protesters banged on their cars and threw missiles, causing the presenters to hide in the hotel.

Top Gear was hit with further controversy in March after its star presenter was involved in a “fracas” over a steak dinner and allegedly punched producer Oisin Tymon.

Mr Clarkson’s contract was not renewed with the BBC and he, Mr Hammond and Mr May have since signed a contract for a new motoring show on Amazon Prime.

Source: Independent

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Back to the Future-themed V8 Supercar for Gold Coast 600

Back to the Future-themed V8 Supercar for Gold Coast 600

The No. 6 V8 Supercar is going to look a little different when it hits the streets of Surfers Paradise in Australia for this weekend’s Gold Coast 600, Prodrive Racing turning it into a ‘time machine’ in honour of the iconic film franchise Back to the Future.

Wednesday 21 October, 2015 is the date that Doc and Marty McFly arrive in the future in the second film of the trilogy, and to mark the date Prodrive have taken the wraps off a Ford V8 Supercar that has been suitably modified to mimic the DeLorean that is the star of the movie.


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Complete with gull-wing doors, flux capacitor, ‘Mr Fusion’ device and DeLorean-esque stainless steel paintwork, the machine will also ditch its Pepsi Max backing for the weekend to run in the colours of ‘Pepsi Perfect’, the cola brand that appears in the film.

The team revealed the machine in a short film starring drivers Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert, paying tribute to the trilogy.

“This is without doubt one of the best activations I’ve seen in nearly 30 years in the motorsport industry,” Tim Edwards, Prodrive team principal, said.

“The lengths the entire team have gone to in order to prepare the car are just fantastic. Every department has played some role and the finished product looks amazing on the big screen and in the flesh.”

The project kept Prodrive’s fabrication shop busy, the modifying the car’s standard doors into gas-powered gull-wing doors.


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“We were surprised when we were asked to turn our Ford V8 Supercar into a DeLorean time machine but once we worked out what we needed to achieve, it became a real passion project for everyone involved in preparing the car,” Ben Cockerell, leader of the team’s fabrication shop, said.

“Modifying and making the gull-wing doors without changing the car was a big challenge. Making them look like they were actually part of the car was the hardest part so I hope our fans and fans of the movie appreciate how much effort has gone into this car.”

While all the time-machine hardware is strictly for the show car, the real No. 6 Pepsi Perfect Ford Falcon will hit the track in the hands of Cameron Waters and supersub Russell Ingall for practice on Friday.

Source: FoxSports

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