No less than His Airness, Michael Jordan is the newest proud owner of a supercharged Cadillac XLR-V. That’s not really anything extraordinary, considering that #23 has a lot of big bucks to spare and has a stable of forty vehicles. What’s surprising is that the Cadillac XLR-V is actually Jordan’s first American Car (as what he confided). Reports said that Cadillac general manager Jim Taylor himself had his team personally deliver the new roadster over to Jordan’s house.

Taylor sent over an entire semi-truck loaded with three XLR-Vs in different colors – Infra Red, Black Raven and Light Platinum so that the basketball legend can choose his favorite. Jordan chose the red one and plunked down a cool US$100,000 for the car. Cadillac also added a set of custom side sills in aluminum etched with Jordan’s signature.

The Cadillac XLR-V is an ultra-luxury, high performance roadster offering a bold and distinctive styling, superb and luxurious performance and personal amenities, top of the line technology and rear wheel drive performance. The roadster is powered by an all-new 4.4 liter version of the Northstar engine producing 443 HP at 6,400 rpm and 414 lb-ft. of torque at 3.900 rpm. The XLR-V comes with the new Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission, one of the most technologically advanced in the industry delivering smooth and precise performance.

The Cadillac XLR-V boasts of other luxurious features such as Zingana wood and ebony leather trims, soft leather seats with French stitching and suede fabric inserts, interior aluminum accents and others. Exterior-wise, the XLR-V features an attractive V-series mesh grill and additional badging, eighteen-inch wheels, four polished stainless steel exhaust tips and an aggressively sculpted hood. The XLR-V is Cadillac’s most expensive model to date.


According to BMW, "The new model captures and enhances the original’s look of powerful elegance and presence. The proportions of the former model have been carefully developed and enhanced. The overall look of the vehicle conveys a powerful touch of agility despite even larger dimensions – length up 7.4 inches, width by 2.4."

"This special style is ensured by the short body overhangs front and rear, as well as the larger wheels. The small distance between the front axle and instrument panel guides the eyes of the beholder even more directly to the front end of the new X5. The result is a perfect optical balance of the front and rear section."

The stretched side section borders at the rear on the powerful D-pillar. The lines of all pillars come together to form an appropriately shortened roofline supporting the overall impression of elegance and athleticism.

A classical BMW design feature from the side is the contour line at the same level as the door handles, rising slightly to the rear. This is where the vehicle’s convex and concave surfaces come together. The contour line starting behind the front wheel arches and encircles the entire rear section completely interrupted by the rear light clusters.

The powerfully domed contour of the engine compartment lid, the three-dimensional bars on the BMW kidney grille, and the headlight units integrated in the side panels all act together to give the front end of the new BMW X5 particularly powerful expression. The lines project a sense of urgency and motion. The contours reflect the muscular character of the X5. The dual round headlights appear to be slightly cut off at the top, giving the entire front end a clear and dynamic focus.

Powerful elegance is also the name of the game at the rear end of the new BMW X5. The high upper edge of the rear bumper accentuates the sheer width of the vehicle and, as a result, its strong and stable stance on the road. This impression is then further enhanced by the horizontal structure of the rear light clusters. Shaped in BMW’s typical L-design, they wrap far around into the rear tailgate. Four LED light rods give the new BMW X5 a powerful and striking appearance from behind, night or day.

The combination of convex and concave surfaces combines the flair of BMW’s SAV models with the presence of a premium vehicle. This entire configuration creates a dynamic flow of light and shade that gives the surfaces a clear structure. The muscular wheel arches enhance the X5’s presence while the clear accentuation of the horizontal wheel line expressed by the wide track again helps to give the new BMW X5 a truly individual look.

The body structure

Measuring 191.1 inches in length and 76.1 inches in width, the new BMW X5 is larger than its predecessor.

It has a drag coefficient of 0.34 (X5 3.0si): to achieve this result designers have included new features like the roof spoiler with aerodynamic edges integrated into the side for a precisely defined cut-off of air flow and the rear lights come with cut-off edges to improve the flow of air.

By suing lightweight technology, the torsional stiffness was increased approximately by 15 per cent from 23,500 to 27,000 Nm/degree.

Stiffness at the front is optimized without an increase in weight by low-lying support arms around the wheel arches which curve in towards the middle of the vehicle and provide a firm connection to the engine supports. Around the C-pillars a fully-closed torsion ring also serves to enhance body stiffness.

Body stiffness is further increased by wedges on the rear lid at medium height on the two D-pillars when closed. Contact between the wedge elements and the surrounds is ensured by way of the soft close function of the rear lid, and the improvement of stiffness at the rear is quite substantial. In fact, to achieve the same effect any other way, the engineers and body designers would have required additional metal sheet components weighing about 13 lbs.

High- and ultra-high-strength steel is used at the rear end of the new BMW X5 in order to achieve optimum stiffness and load resistance in a rear-end collision despite minimum use of material. At the front, in turn, use of a cast aluminum spring support serves to reduce weight while optimizing stiffness.

The front fenders and their modular supports are made of thermoplastic and the hood is made of aluminum. Apart from lower weight and greater freedom in design, one of these targets is also all-round protection for pedestrians.

To optimize passive safety of the passenger cell, crash forces acting on the vehicle are passed on via the engine supports and chassis along various load paths, preventing extreme loads on any individual bearing structures.

Interior Design

"Slender design and the harmonious transitions extending into the door linings give the instrument panel powerful and elegant flair all in one. Interacting with the load-bearing element of the center console and extending down to the bottom, the instrument panel appears to be hovering freely in space."

The higher, command seating position and the arrangement of the driver-oriented instrument panel convey the impression of uninhibited control. All functions and displays in the comfort zone in the middle of the dashboard are clear and easy-to-read even by the front passenger. The Control Display for the BMW iDrive operating system is housed on the instrument panel at the same level as the circular instruments putting it directly in the line of vision of both the driver and front passenger.

A new feature of the new X5 is the option of third row seats. This provides adequate space for two more passengers comfortably accommodating occupants up to approximately 5´ 6´´ in height.

These two seats come complete with three-point inertia-reel seat belts and headrests adjustable for height.

Enhanced comfort in the third row seats is ensured by separate heating and ventilation nozzles. When the seats aren’t needed, they may be stowed individually into the floor of the luggage compartment, completely out of sight. This provides a large cargo area from front to rear together with the second row seats folded down. Passengers in the second row of seats enjoy about 1.5 inches more kneeroom than in the former model.

Regardless of the number of seats being used, generous space is always offered behind the two-piece tailgate. The cargo floor is now almost 4 inches longer than before.

An additional storage compartment beneath the floor of the luggage compartment on models without a third row of seats offers an extra 3.15 cubic feet of storage space. Overall storage capacity for the new X5 is 75.2 cu. ft., an eight percent improvement over the previous model.

MINI CHALLENGE: the popular one-make series.

Now in its fourth year internationally, the MINI CHALLENGE has become one of the most successful and popular one-make series in the world. The races, which have been held in Germany, Austria, Belgium and Holland have hit the headlines all over Europe and boast massive followings of fans at the track and on TV.

MINI CHALLENGE has also hit the headlines Down Under with a summer series completed in New Zealand and another planned for 2007/08. The MINI CHALLENGE delivers a highly attractive blend of thrilling racing for both drivers and fans alike.

International MINI CHALLENGE series have featured both experienced drivers as well as up and coming drivers keen to make their mark in motorsport, having their first taste of racing cars with roofs as an entry into Sedan racing. In some markets, celebrity guest drivers with previous race form or a burning desire to compete have also joined the fray.

The big draw for all drivers is the level playing field. In MINI CHALLENGE, individual suspension set-up and driving skill are the sole differentiators. Other than suspension settings, all cars are technically identical.

MINI CHALLENGE racer: The heart of the beast.

Like the road-going MINI Cooper S, the MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE racer boasts a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine equipped with a twin-scroll turbocharger and direct petrol injection, churning out 154 kW with a maximum torque of 280 Nm.

Instant power and high-revs combined with muscular torque are the hallmarks of the MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE racer’s engine. The road-going engine on which the race car motor is based has been awarded the coveted International Engine of the Year Award for its capacity class, by a group of eminent jurists. The prestigious 2007 Engine of the Year Award amply attributed plaudits to the technology, efficiency and performance of the new engine.

The road-going MINI Cooper S was the first car in its class with a twin-scroll turbocharged engine. Direct petrol injection, weight-saving technology, a high rev limit, and state-of-the-art BMW Group engine technology makes the ideal basis for a race engine, enhancing the car's sporting qualities on both the road and the race track. Less weight over the front axle allows a perfect balance giving faithful steering response on tight, twisting circuits.

For the race engine, maximum torque is up by 20 Nm over the production model, now peaking at 260 Nm or, with the help of the Overboost function, an even more significant 280 Nm for brief but ultra-powerful bursts of acceleration. The improved torque delivers higher levels of responsiveness and a higher top speed, leading in turn to faster racing lap times.

Added to the weight saving and an optimised aero and suspension package, the new MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE racer will be significantly faster and more fun to drive.

The suspension on the new racing MINI comes with adjustable damper units from KW Automotive, designed and built specifically for motorsport. Racers can adjust ground clearance, damper pressure (inbound and rebound stroke) as well as damper response specifically to meet the needs of each individual race track.

Power is transmitted to the front wheels through the regular six-speed manual gearbox, while a new design of 17-inch light alloy wheel rim, designed specifically for racing has been developed along with new race tyres.

The newly optimised aero package comprises a new high-performance motorsport front spoiler, an adjustable rear spoiler and a new rear diffuser, all of which work to cut lift, and increase downforce evenly on each axle, at high speed. For faster pit stops, all 2008 MINI CHALLENGE racers come with on-board air jacks to make wheel changes that much quicker.

Standard equipment also includes a safety cage welded firmly to the body of the car, a RECARO sports bucket seat combined with a six-point safety belt, and the HANS (Head And Neck Support) system carried over from Formula 1 to ensure effective protection of the driver's neck area.

"The new MINI John Cooper Works CHALLENGE racer is one hot-shot track rocket," said Justin Hocevar, National Manager MINI. "We can't wait to get our hands on the first cars to race them in Australia. We are very excited that the new Australian MINI CHALLENGE series will debut the second generation of race cars early next year. We know that, internationally, the 2007 MINI CHALLENGE series have seen some extremely tight and competitive racing, but in 2008 we move into a different league. The new 2008 cars are lighter, more powerful and have even better traction. This means faster lap times and more thrilling bouts between evenly matched cars. Drivers will have to be on their game in order to stay ahead of their rivals," Justin said. "Stand by for some explosive action when the MINI CHALLENGE series hits the tracks."

  • MINI John Cooper Works Performance Engine: Four-cylinder inline power unit with twin-scroll turbocharger and direct petrol injection, racing exhaust
  • Capacity: 1,598 cc Output: 154 kW
  • Max torque: 260 Nm (280Nm with overboost)
  • Power transmission: Front-wheel drive, six-speed manual
  • Suspension: Independent suspension, MacPherson spring struts at the front, central-arm rear axle, EPAS (Electrical Power Assisted Steering), 17-inch aluminium rims in MINI CHALLENGE design, dampers adjustable both inbound and rebound (KW Automotive), adjustable spring strut support at the front, racing brakes, race-specific ABS, limited-slip differential, motorsport tyres
  • Body: John Cooper Works Aerodynamics Package with a new performance front spoiler, adjustable rear spoiler and rear diffuser, Air pressure jack system
  • Performance: Acceleration 0-100 km/h in 6.1 seconds,
  • top speed 240 km/h, deceleration 100-0 km/h in 3.1 seconds
  • (31 metres)
  • Safety: Rollcage welded into the car, six-point safety belt, automatic fire extinguisher, racing seat including Head And Neck Support (HANS) system
  • Weight: Max 1,150 kg including driver

Jaguar XK8 Convertible
2005 Model

* 4.2L 294 HP V8 engine
* 6-speed automatic transmission
* Leather seats
* Air conditioning
* CD player
* AM/FM radio

Our British spy took to lurking in the tall grass adjacent to a stop light near Jaguar's Tech Center to nab this first-ever, clean look at interior of the Jaguar XF. Just as in nature, an earlier attempt at a target that was too alert and well-protected ended without success - yielding an entertaining facial expression, but nothing else of the prototype's heavily shrouded dashboard. But persistence, and a well-timed pounce finally paid off, as we caught an XF prototype clean and uncovered - and its driver unaware and defenseless as he waited for the light to turn green.

The resulting image shows a tastefully restrained interior, far removed from the crazy modernity of the Jag CXF concept car. The show car's wacky neon glow and chiseled surfacing has given way to the traditional themes of high-end wood and leather. The XF's inside does appear to have steered away from the usual cozy country club look of the XJ, and is now a bit more serious and performance-oriented. The dash-top and door panels have some nicely detailed stitching effects, and the center console's switchgear are finished in slick brushed metallics. The driver's hand hides any signs of an i-Drive-style joystick for the Sat-Nav, audio HVAC controls, but that's probably because the XF will retain Jaguar's touch-screen driver interface. We also can't make out any console-mounted shift lever for the transmission, so we'll reserve comment and that set-up. Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are plainly visible, however.

Jag's CXF concept showed a fresh edgy, driver-oriented direction for Jaguar's future, and it has been carried over to production, but only to a degree. The Jag faithful should still feel quite at home in the new XF, but those used to the look and feel of BMW and Audi interiors should find a lot to like as well.

- 3.8L DOHC V6 engine with dual exhaust
- 6-Speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
- Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist
- Advanced front airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags and roof-mounted side curtain airbags
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Active front head restraints
- 7-passenger seating with 3rd row
- 17” 5-split-spoke alloy wheels
- AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system w/ six speakers
- Steering wheel mounted audio controls
- Trip computer
- Air conditioning with separate rear HVAC controls
- Outside temperature display
- Power heated external bodycolor mirrors with approach lights and side repeater lights
- Power windows and door/tailgate locks
- Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
- Cruise w/ steering wheel mounted controls
- Keyless entry system w/ alarm
- Rear spoiler
- Front solar glass & rear privacy glass
- Rear window wiper & washer
- Premium cloth seats