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April 5, 2013

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, days in factory before Shanghai


With a few days to go before they head off for Shanghai and the third round of the Formula 1 World Championship, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were in Maranello for a busy programme of sports, technical and promotional activity. Fernando was there for two days and Felipe for one and the main purpose of their visit was to catch up with their own group of engineers. They also rounded off their preparation for China with a stint in the simulator. The two drivers also had a meeting with Team Principal Stefano Domenicali, for a final overview of the race in Shanghai, before they fly off there this weekend.

Alonso then turned his attention to another activity, working on fine tuning the new LaFerrari road car, a project the Spaniard is particularly keen on. Over the past few months he has worked on the driving position, the location of the controls and on the car’s handling on track, which he was able to experience yesterday, when the sun came out at Fiorano. Today, before doing some physical tests, he also went round the factory, visting various departments within the Gestione Industriale, including the Foundry, where heads, cylinders and blocks are produced, as well as the Paint Shop where the bodies are painted prior to going onto the assembly line. The Spaniard got a warm welcome and a round of applause, typical of the historic links that have always bound those who work on the road cars with their colleagues in the Scuderia. "I am always happy to spend a few days in Maranello," commented Fernando. "Apart from working on the car and being in close contact with the team, sometimes I’m able to see some of the production departments which are the heart of the company. This time I met up with people who are never in the limelight, but they have an incredible love for their work. I think that everyone, at least once in their life, should be able to experience a visit to these places and meet these people. It was nice to shake their hands and see the passion in their eyes. It gives me even more motivation and makes me even prouder to be part of the Ferrari family."

| Ferrari

Nissan Says "Friend-Me" at Auto Shanghai 2013


Nissan is set to excite Auto Shanghai 2013 with the global unveiling of their new concept car, Friend-ME, on April 20. Chinese designers working at Nissan Design China in Beijing were fully engaged in the design and development process of Friend-ME, which features an unique center console that allows "Four Seats, One Mind Connectivity" - equal information sharing among all aboard. Friend-ME is designed for the vibrant, young generation in China, one of most exciting segments in the fastest-growing automobile markets in the world.

Among the 20 vehicles displayed, Nissan (China) Investment Co., Ltd., together with Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company (DFL-PV) and Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile Co., Ltd. (ZNA), will showcase new and exciting models such as the Nissan GT-R, Quest and Murano. Also featured at Nissan's booth will be its recently launched global sedan, Teana.

April 4, 2013

Nissan Clay Modeling: from sketch to sculpture


The clay modeling studio at the Nissan Technical Center in Japan is where imagination starts to become reality.

Until it lands a car is nothing more than lines on a designer's sketch. The job of the modeler is to interpret the ideas and to create the curves and angles of the new vehicle.

Chevrolet Silverado, Impala move in above Comerica Park


When the American League Champion Detroit Tigers take the field for their home opener on Friday, two of Chevrolet’s newest players – the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup truck and the 2014 Impala full-size sedan – will overlook the action.

The two vehicles were hoisted into place on Monday, an annual rite of spring in Detroit where Chevrolet has been the Tigers automotive sponsor since 2010.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing sets new pitstop world record


With no shortage of talking points in Malaysia, lots of stuff that would usually make headlines passed by unnoticed. For instance, despite the slippery surface and the concentration-sapping heat in Malaysia, we broke the record for the fastest ever pitstop. In fact, having reviewed the data, we're pretty sure we beat the previous mark on five separate occasions during the race.

McLaren have held the record since last year's German Grand Prix, where they changed four wheels for Jenson Button in 2.31s. We went under that in Malaysia with Seb's first stop being 2.13s. Mark's first stop, two laps later was also 2.13s. The crew then lowered the new benchmark to 2.05s when Mark came in again, and his two subsequent stops were 2.21s and 2.26s.

Princing for 2014 Acura RDX


The 2014 RDX crossover SUV goes on sale today with a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $34,520 Acura announced today. Having been completely redesigned for the 2013 model year with a new engine, transmission and all-wheel drive system, the RDX has been ranked the highest in the Premium Compact Utility Vehicle segment by ALG's annual Residual Value Awards. For 2014, the RDX continues with the addition of a rich new Kona Coffee exterior paint, replacing the previous Amber Brownstone.

The 2014 RDX features a 273-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system (available as a $1,400 option). The RDX exterior incorporates an aerodynamically efficient body with Amplitude Reactive Dampers and a motion adaptive electronic power steering system.

Handing over of the 100th Audi R8 LMS ultra in Heilbronn-Biberach


Newcomer to Audi Sport customer racing: Team MS RACING is switching to Audi and will be fielding two new R8 LMS ultra cars in the 2013 ADAC GT Masters. On Tuesday, quattro GmbH handed over the 100th race car from Heilbronn-Biberach, a facility of the Neckarsulm location, to the squad.

For the customer sport project that has only been in existence since 2009, this vehicle handover marks a symbolic milestone as quattro GmbH delivered the 100th race car based on the Audi R8 to a customer only four years after the program was launched. The Audi R8 LMS ultra meanwhile embodies the third evolution of the GT3 model. For the United States, the line-up also includes a GRAND-AM version that won the GT class at the Daytona 24 Hours in January.