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The Sporty Lamborghini Gallardo

The Lamborghini Gallardo sports car is Lamborghini’s most produced car up to date. Its production still exceeds that of Lamborghini’s latest model, the Lamborghini Aventador. Named after a popular fighting bull, the Gallardo has remained Lamborghini’s flagship. The car is available in 2-door coupe and 2-door spyder body styles, all four-wheel drives. Either can be found with a 5.0 Liter V10 or 5.2 Liter V10 engines.

They are also available with either 6-speed manual or 6-speed E-Gear automated manual transmission systems. With a wheelbase of 100.8 inches, the cars measure between 170-172.7 inches and 74.8 inches in length and width respectively. While the coupe stands at 45.9 inches, the spyder is at 46.6 inches in height. The coupe weighs between 1,430 kg and 1,520 kg. As for the spyder, the weight is between 1,485 kg and 1,570 kg.

The first generation of Lamborghini Gallardo cars also includes the Gallardo Superleggra, which was introduced in 2007 during the Geneva Auto Show. This is light than the original Gallardo by some 100 kg, made possible by the use of carbon fiber on such parts as rear diffuser, under tray, interior door panels, engine cover and the central tunnel. The Superleggra also has upgraded engine power, made possible through improved air intake. However, only 172 units were produced with production of the model ceasing in 2008.

The second generation of Lamborghini Gallardo cars begun in 2007 with the first introduced during the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. Named Gallardo LP 560-4, the coupe is a great improvement of its predecessor. It is powered by a 5.2 Liter V10 engine with capacity to produce 552 horsepower at 8,000 rpm. The car’s spyder version was introduced in 2008 at the LA Auto Show to replace the previous Lamborghini Gallardo spyder. The new spyder is the convertible model of the Gallardo LP 560-4 coupe.

2010 saw Lamborghini introduce a more powerful car into the market. Named Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggra, the car is an improvement of the previous Gallardo LP 560-4. It weighs at 1,340 kg due to the fact that carbon fiber was extensively used in making its panels.   

The Sporty Aston Martin DB9

Perhaps no other name could be found for the new Aston Martin car to be built at the company’s new facility at Gaydon in Warwickshire, England than the traditional name “DB”. In Any case, there was no need to change the name as consumers had become used to it. The initials “DB” were borrowed from the name David Brown, one of the people who had owned an Aston Martin car for the better part of his life.

The new Aston Martin DB9 launched in 2004 was built to replace Aston Martin DB7 whose production ceased in 1994. Its production is still on course. Built as a touring car, it is designed to have 2-door coupe and 2-door convertible body styles. The 2-door coupe has a 2+2 seat configuration. Either features a 5.9 Liter V12 engine and 6-speed automatic or manual transmission. The length of the wheelbase has changed since it was launched. It used to measure 107.9 inches at launch in 2004. This was later lengthened to 108.1 for Aston Martins produced between 2006 and 2007. Cars produced as from 2008 to present have their wheelbase measuring exactly 108 inches.

The car’s overall length has also changed over the years. From 2004 when it measured 184.9 inches, it measured 185.4 inches between 2006 and 2007. Cars produced from 2008 to present measure 185.5 inches. The change has also been with the car’s width. Cars produced between 2003 and 2008 measured 73.8 inches in width, with those produced from 2009 to present measure 74 inches exactly. The height has always remained the same with the coupe standing at 50.1 inches and the convertible (Volante) at 51.2 inches.

Hand built, the Aston Martin Volante (convertible) is a high performance car. The 6.0 Liter V12 engine makes it attain 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, which translates to 300 km/h. Although the convertible and coupe are the main known, a special Aston Martin was produced in 2007 to commemorate the 2007 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dubbed Aston Martin DB9 LM, only 124 were produced and feature a unique color (Sarthe Silver) that honors the track Le Mans run, the Circuit de la Sarthe.

The modern Aston Martin car has undergone various improvements including a more powerful engine, exterior modifications and interior re-design. It features a new front grill, re-designed mirrors and clear tail lights.  

The Racy Audi R8 Car

Perhaps there is no sport racing car that has ever recoded multiple race successes as the Audi R8. Developed by Audi Motorsport specifically for the LMP900 class at Le Mans, the car recorded wins right from its debut in 2002. It proceeded to win the overall championship title six times in a row. It was actually the first car to beat Toyota TS020 GT ONE.

The car runs on a 3.6 Liter Audi FSI V8 engine, which is known for its fuel economy while providing the necessary power. This is also the engine found in many Volkswagen cars publicly sold. The 610 horsepower generated by the engine is transmitted to the car’s rear wheels via five-speed sequential transmission with an electro-pneumatic gear change.

The Audi R8 design was planned to make the car easy to handle during races, both on the track and during service. To achieve this, car parts were made to removed and changed within a very short time. For example, its rear transaxle has successfully been changed in less than four hours. This is a process can take up to three hours to complete.

It was also designed in such a way that the rear part of the car could be detached from the rest of the car and replaced with a new rear part by use of a crane. Although restrictions were imposed requiring all racing cars to have the same gear box casing for the duration of a race, Audi R8 still featured a gear box whose internal components could easily accessed and replaced when necessary.

This was a strongly built yet light racing car. The body was made of strong but light carbon fiber polymer material that is not only expensive but also takes a considerable amount of time to mould. Coupled with its ability to attain top speed with short time acceleration, the Audi R8 remained the car to beat on the racing track for a long time. This made it necessary for additional restrictions to be imposed on the car for it to be allowed to compete in racing championships.

The Peugeot 208 Supermini

Although the production of the Peugeot 208 Supermini was initially at Peugeot’s plant in Slovakia, production of the same is now also at Poissy and Mulhouse plants in France. The Supermini is available in 3-door and 5-door hatchback body styles. The car can  be found with different engine types including the 1.0 VTi with 68 horsepower, 1.2 VTi with 82 hp, 1.4 VTi with 95 hp, 1.6 VTi with 120 hp, 1.6 VTi with 156 hp, 1.4 e-HDi 70, 1.6 HDi 92 and 1.6 HDi 115 engines.

With a wheelbase of 99.9 inches, the car measures 156.0 inches and 68.5 inches in length and width respectively. The car stands at a height of 57.5 inches and can weigh 975 kg or 1,090 kg. Code named “A9” during its development, the Supermini has been built on the PSA PFI platform. When compared to its predecessor the 207, Peugeot 208 offers more boot space with about 1 cubic feet. Leg room at the rear seat is also adequate when compare to 207.

The design of the Peugeot 208 was the work of four car designers. With Pierre Authier as the lead designer, Henry Sylvain was responsible for the exterior design. The interior design was the task handled by Adam Bazydlo with color and car trim being the responsibility of Marie Sanou. The car features a computer-like screen in addition to glass roof surrounded by LED lights.

The Peugeot 208 is available in different models that retails at different prices. The Active 1.2 liter 3-cylinder retails from as low as US$18,490. On the higher side, the Allure Sport 1.6 liter turbocharged 4-cylinder six-speed manual retails at US$26,490. Although Peugeot’s global sales forecast was at 550,000 units with European figures set at 420,000 units, unconfirmed reports indicate that production of the car has been cut back due to low sales volumes. Although the reports have not yet been confirmed, official reports that the company cut 8,000 jobs and closed down one of its production plants in Paris in order to stay financially afloat serve to show how serious things are. 

The Highly Collectible Plymouth-Barracuda

Although Plymouth-Barracuda was not all that successful during its production years in terms of sales, it remains one of the most sought-after collectible cars today. The available Barracudas sell at high prices at auctions. Those produced between 1970 and 1974 are in particular very popular with car collectors who have come to appreciate the car’s functionality and performance.

The first generation of the Plymouth-Barracuda car was produced between 1964 and 1966. This was a 2-door fastback coupe that could be found with three different engines; the 2.8 Liter Slant-6 16, 3.7 Liter Slant-6 16 and the 4.5 Liter LA V8 engines. It was designed with a wheelbase of 106 inches and measured 188 inches and 70 inches in length and width respectively. Standing at a height of 54.5 inches, the car weighed just 1,406 kg.

Produced by Plymouth, a division of Chrysler, the first Barracudas heavily borrowed from Chrysler’s Valiant in terms of design. This however changed as the Barracuda came to feature its own unique accessories. The 1966 Barracudas featured new taillights, front sheet metal and a completely new dashboard.

Production of the second generation Barracudas run from 1967 to 1969. Three models were available; 2-door fastback coupe, 2-door notchback coupe and 2-door convertibles. These used varied engines including 3.7 Liter Slant-6 16, 4.5 Liter LA V8, 5.2 Liter LA V8, 5.6 Liter LA V8, 6.3 Liter B V8, 7.2 Liter RB V8 and 7.0 Liter HEMI RB V8 engines. In departing from the Valiant, the new Barracudas were styled differently. They featured coke-bottle side contours and restyling of both front and rear areas. They had concave rear deck panels, curved side glasses and wider wheel openings amongst other improvements.

Production of the third generation Plymouth Barracuda started in 1970 and ended in 1974. These were available in 2-door notchback coupe and 2-door convertible body styles. These used varied engines from the 3.2 Liter Slant-6 16 to the 7.2 Liter RB V8 engines. These Barracudas featured a different body style, the E-Body, which literally eliminated the commonality with Chrysler’s Variant. Even with such improvements, the Plymouth Barracuda did not do well in terms of sales as most car buyers opted to by Chryslers instead.   

1962 Ford Galaxie 500

The period between 1959 and 1961 saw Ford manufacture full-size cars in an attempt to remain relevant in a market that was deep into Space Race. It carefully drafted and named the cars Galaxie, the name it reserved for its top models specifically manufactured 1959 and 1961. Every car manufactured that period had the “Galaxie 500” badge.

While Galaxie 500 XL badge denoted higher series cars, Galaxie 500 LTD denoted the opposite. Things however changed when the “500” part was dropped from both the XL and LTD, resulting in what became to be known as the regular Ford 500, a mid level full-size car whose manufacture began in 1965 and ended in 1974.

Ford Galaxie 500 was specifically designed and manufactured to improve on Ford’s mid-season sales. To achieve this, it made available varied types of Ford Galaxie 500 including hardtop two-door sedan, hardtop four-door sedan and the Sunliner convertible. To enhance sales prospects, Ford also released a couple of sporty cars that featured bucket seats such as the Fairlane 500 Sporty Coupe and Falcon Futura.

A common characteristic with all Ford Galaxie 500 cars was there overweight when compared to other full-size competitor cars. This was mainly due to the fact that the body was of aluminum in addition to large-displacement engines. Noting this, Ford embarked on producing lightweight Galaxies that featured a body made of fiberglass. This cut down on the weight by a big margin with the two-door sedan weighing below 1,587 kg.

Although the Galaxie 500 series did not generally sell as previously expected, the 1962 Ford Galaxie 500 (regular) model became very popular. The distinctive new grill and trim with Gold and chrome plated fender made the car one of the most luxurious cars then. It also took the honors of being the most stylish cars in 1962.

A number of Ford Galaxie 500 cars are still available, having been restored. This includes the 1962 Galaxie 500 Sunliner convertible, one of the popular Galaxie series cars that became a hit. Although restored, the cars still exhibit the same features and characteristics of the original car, a fact that make them the most classic cars one can still find today.