Mini does a modern interpretation of George Harrison’s psychedelic Cooper S

Mini has unveiled a new interpretation of George Harrison’s original Mini to coincide with the brands 50th birthday.

In 1966, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein gave each band member a Mini Cooper S as a gift which Harrison ended up painting in psychedelic images. In 1967, that very Mini Cooper S starred in The Beatles film Magical Mystery Tour. Mini is now dedicating a modern interpretation of the car to George himself.

The one-off model will be handed to Olivia Harrison and will later be auctioned of to aid the Material World Charitable Foundation, a charity set up by George Harrison in 1973.

Click through for the press release.

George Harrison’s Mini Cooper S:

Press Release:

Beatlemania at MINI United 2009.

New edition of the legendary George Harrison MINI helps support a good cause.

Munich/Silverstone. MINI has come up with a fresh interpretation of George Harrison’s extravagant original Mini to coincide with the brand’s 50th birthday. The one-off model will be handed over to Olivia Harrison at the MINI United event. Olivia will accept the MINI on behalf of the Material World Charitable Foundation, a charity set up by George Harrison in 1973. The car will be auctioned in aid of the Foundation later in the year.

MINI United - the world’s biggest fan event - will take place at Silverstone in the UK on 22 - 24 May 2009. The festival delivers three days of non-stop entertainment for the brand’s large fan community. MINI United is all about concerts, shows, car races etc., and provides the perfect stage on which to showcase the unique new MINI inspired by George Harrison.

George’s psychedelic MINI in a new look.
Back in 1966 The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein gave each of the Fab Four a Mini Cooper S as a gift. In keeping with the zeitgeist of the time, lead guitarist George had his car painted with psychedelic images such as yantras and Sanskrit mantras. In 1967 this legendary Mini starred in The Beatles’ film Magical Mystery Tour. And now, to coincide with its latest landmark anniversary, MINI is dedicating a modern interpretation of George’s car to the man himself. The MINI has been designed according to the wishes of Olivia Harrison and rekindles the look of George’s famous original.

“George was a huge MINI fan and he would have enjoyed creating this new version. The fact that MINI’s anniversary celebrations will also benefit our Foundation has made it an enjoyable as well as meaningful collaboration.” says Olivia Harrison.

Replay signs up as MINI United partner.
The denim specialist congratulates MINI on its latest landmark birthday and presents an anniversary jeans model, which will be available exclusively and in a limited edition from the Replay stand at the MINI United event. To mark the anniversary, the used-look jeans sport a circular “50 Years of MINI” sew-on badge on the front left pocket. Added to which, all the MINI staff at the festival will be kitted out in Replay jeans. Selected Replay stores are promoting the event in special window displays.

Miscellaneous Thoughts: Mini Speedster coming to Frankfurt, U.S. suppliers need $33.5 billion to avoid bankruptcies

We had to skip out on yesterday’s Miscellaneous Thoughts since we were experiencing technical difficulties. Nonetheless, we are back today with some random ramblings that have been going on behind our editor’s desk here at egmCarTech.

Chrysler and Fiat alliance gets U.S. antitrust approval: The Chrysler and Fiat alliance have received the approval of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Fiat will take an initial stake of 20 percent followed by 35 percent stake when Chrysler comes out of bankruptcy. Fiat is looking to increase its stake to 51 percent after Chrysler repays its U.S. government loans. - Reuters

U.S. suppliers need $33.5 billion to stay solvent: According to a study released by A.T. Kearney Inc., automotive suppliers need up to $17 billion to $33.5 billion over the next two years to avoid a wave of bankruptcies, reports Automotive News.

Mini Speedster coming to Frankfurt Motor Show in September: L’Automobile is reporting that Mini plans to reveal a two-seater Mini Speedster variant at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Mini Speedster will feature a fabric soft-top and should hit markets by 2010. - L’Automobile

Mazda unveils Kiyora concept ahead of Paris show

Mazda has unveiled its upcoming Kiyora concept car prior to its official unveiling early next month at the Paris Motor Show. The concept, the latest in Mazda’s nature-themed design studies, previews a small urban compact car that would slot below the Mazda2 in the automaker’s lineup should it reach production.
Mazda says that the Japanese word Kiyora translates to “clean and pure” and that the concept car utilizes extra light-weight materials throughout.
Leftlane will be present for the Kiyora’s unveiling in Paris, so make sure to check back here for full coverage during the show days.

Brazilian student dreams up new Renault Alpine

Click above for a high-res gallery of Marcello Felipe Maggioni's Renault New Alpine

Between the GT-R and the Z-car, Nissan has a rich history of fine sportscars. However, its French sister company is another story. Since discontinuing the Alpine in 1996, Renault's sporting spirit has had to subside on hot hatches and in its F1 program. Remarkable as they are, the French automaker has been working on bringing back the Alpine sportscar line, with a new model anticipated to debut sometime next year. That's a long way off, if you ask Brazilian design student Marcello Felipe Maggioni. So he's come up with a design of his own for the new Alpine.
The concept is characterized by a chopped-down greenhouse and low-slung headlamps, creating a wedge shape similar in style to the Lexus LF-A. Maggioni based the design around a mid-engine layout, with a homologated street-legal version of the high-revving 2.4-liter V8 from the Renault F1 car. Of course this is well beyond what Renault might actually produce to revive the Alpine nameplate, but if you're going to dream, why not dream big?

Mission Motors Electric Motorcycle - Car News

When Tesla Motors kicked off the modern I-want-to-be-green-and-have-fun-too electric-car phenomenon a few years back, it was only a matter of time before other modes of transportation began to follow suit. Sure, plenty of these vehicles exist as corporate science projects and marketing ploys, but few have been successfully produced in any sort of quantity. However, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, as Forrest North, a former mechanical designer at Tesla, has started Mission Motors in an attempt to market the world’s fastest production electric motorcycle.

Lots o’ Torque

The Mission One will be the company’s first production stab at the world of electric-powered superbikes. Boasting a claimed top speed of 150 mph and a range of 150 miles on a full charge, the sportbike attempts to be the Tesla of the motorcycle industry. Charging time will require less than three hours via a 220-volt outlet, achieving 80 percent capacity in just over an hour, or about eight to ten hours using a standard 110-volt plug. Lithium-ion batteries—located everywhere in the bike—will feed the liquid-cooled motor, which sits approximately where the transmission mounts on a gas-fired bike and produces more than 100 lb-ft of instant torque. The Mission One will be chain-driven and will not contain a transmission, but rather a gear-reduction box. Adjustable regenerative braking is also featured and will assist in extending the range by about 10 percent, the company says.

Keep Reading: Mission Motors Electric Motorcycle - Car News

Rumor: BMW microcar to revive legendary Isetta?

A new day and new rumors around the now famous BMW Project i. According to the controversial British magazine, Autoexpress, BMW has teamed up with UK based Bath University to design the future Isetta vehicles, the two, three and four-wheeled city cars we kept hearing about. The Clever Concept designed by them was shown on here just last week, so these “latest rumors” are not really that new, but to go even further and assume that the Isetta brand will be revived…..well, it’s a bit adventurous at this time.

2015 BMW MegaCity vehicles

While we agree that the MegaCity vehicles are coming, there have been no indications recently that BMW decided to sell them under the Isetta name, on the contrary, all the recent reports point to the first Project i vehicles being sold under the MINI brand, with the first model carrying the MINI-i name tag.

The MegaCity vehicles part of the Project i division, will be powered by gasoline, diesel and electric engines, with the first prototype being launched featuring gasoline engines developed in collaboration with the Motorrad division.

Even though at one point BMW was looking for an engineering firm that will help them develop the vehicles, BMW confirmed that they will be built by them in Germany at BMW factories , no outsourcing is being considered.

AutoExpress goes further with their assumptions and talk about the Isetta cars appearing in showrooms as early as 2011, in contradiction with what Herr Norbert Reithofer said yesterday during his annual general meeting speech: first production models are expected around 2015.

We just wanted to give our input in this since many of the media outlets took their story today and ran with it, kinda confirming their assumptions. At least we got to see an interesting rendering of what the Isetta might look like which is….a little too Beetle for us.

[Source: AutoExpress ]

Smart car sales fan the flames of desire

Smart Fortwo Cabrio - Silver and Scratch BlackImage via Wikipedia

2009 could prove to be a year of plenty for smart of Reading despite the doom and gloom surrounding the motor industry at present.

Berkshire’s official smart retailer is about to welcome an eagerly-anticipated diesel model - the most economical production car ever with combustion drive - that is sure to appeal to motorists in the current climate.

Left-hand drive demonstrator versions of the smart fortwo cdi are due to arrive at the Richfield Avenue site later this month ahead of the introduction of right-hand drive models later this spring. Available as a coupe or cabrio, the diesel smart returns a staggering 83.1 miles per gallon on the combined cycle and boasts the lowest CO2 emissions of any current production model at just 88g/km.

The smart of Reading team has also been buoyed by the latest new car registration figures issued by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT). Its statistics show smart is bucking the trend as far as sales are concerned, with the brand recording a healthy increase in registrations in December as well as 2008 as a whole.

In a declining market, smart was one of the only manufacturers to achieve a positive showing as its 2008 market share increased by 43.30 per cent on the previous year. Its registrations for December also rose by 33.50 per cent on the corresponding month in 2007.

“smart’s reputation for affordability and economy is growing and the range is being considered by an increasing number of motorists who are seeking to reduce their motoring costs,” said Paul Holt, Sales Manager at Mercedes-Benz and smart of Reading.

“Considerable interest is already being generated in the new micro hybrid drive technology, which became standard on 61hp and 71hp petrol-powered smart models late last year,” he added. “It utilises an ingenious start/stop function to offer fuel savings of 24 per cent over the previous versions.”

Paul continued: “With the imminent arrival of the diesel fortwo, we’re confident that smart will continue to attract more enquiries as the year progresses.”

Mini Airstream caravan

The Mini Airstream caravan will be presented at the Milan Salone del Mobile (furniture design) event, though it is designed for “California dreamin” beaches, surf and girls. The Mini caravan design is as original as it is superfluous, designed to show off refined liberty.
Mini Airstream caravan-1Mini Airstream caravan-2Danish brand Republic of Fritz Hansen was employed to redesign the interior, and features include waterproof materials and the removal of the rear seats to make way for a scuba set.
© Source: eurocarblog

Chrysler/ Fiat Partnership: Which Cars are We Likely to Get in the US and Which Ones Will be Gone?

Now that Chrysler and Fiat have managed to come to an agreement and Chrysler has officially entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy, what is next?

Industry analysts predict that by 2011 a Fiat-run Chrysler will look very different in the US. Many of Chrysler's under performing models will likely be nixed and replaced by Fiat sourced models and some will not be replaced.

Chrysler is expected to become more of a niche automaker. It's new lineup will not likely guarantee huge profits, according to some analysts, but the bankruptcy reorganization puts Chrysler in a position to be profitable.

Tata Nano : 2009

tata nano 1 09

This snub-nosed runabout is the cheapest new car in the world. The price of the tiny Nano, made by the Indian conglomerate Tata, starts at just £1,250.

2009 Fiat 500 by Diesel

The Fiat 500 by clothing designer Diesel features the following options:
Specific alloy wheels with Diesel logo
Yellow painted brake calipers on 1.4 version
Diesel side mouldings
Specific wing mirrors
Mini mouldings and bonnet
Diesel log on the back
2009 Fiat 500 by DieselInterior
Denim seats with specific Diesel design
Diesel logo on gear lever knob.
Diesel logo on yellow special instrumentation
Typical Jeans 5th pocket on the front seats side
Available in Green Diesel, Bronze, and Black.
© Source: seriouswheels

Aptera Motors 2e - The Future Arrives in October

Aptera Motors, a southern California startup automotive company, has plans to put the new 2e electric-three-wheeled car in driveways by October of this year (2009). Although it is an “interesting” looking car to say the least, this vehicle should get the equivalent of 200mpg and can achieve 100 miles on a single charge. The 2e is all-electric and looks like a contender to win the $10 million Progressive Automotive X Prize which is basically a race to build a “supergreen car”.

As automakers struggle to make an abrupt change in the way they build cars and the green-friendly technology put in them, many new firms and startup companies such as Aptera Motors are developing new innovative creations for the masses. These new creations surpass anything ever seen on the road when it comes to being environmentally friendly. Even so, during the North American International Auto Show this year we witness the most “green” show ever from major Auto manufacturers around the world.

Looks like we will only see more and more of these innovative vehicles while we have already witnessed new breakthroughs by Fisker, GM and Tesla Motors to name a few.

[source: AUTOPIA -]