Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lexus GS 350, 2013


  •  Lexus GS 350, 2013

The new GS at the prestigious 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California. The car will reach the UK market in 2012.

The new Lexus GS brings a more engaging driving experience, bolder design and a more spacious, contemporary interior, heralding a new chapter in the history of Lexus.

Starting with the bold spindle grille - set to be a signature feature of future Lexus models - the new GS conveys an air of confidence. This is supported by a redesigned chassis with a wide, strong stance that clearly signals the new Lexus GS is designed to inspire and reward driver participation with crisp and precise handling.

The Lexus engineers challenged themselves to develop a more spacious interior environment for the new Lexus GS. Leaving exterior dimensions virtually unchanged, they increased cabin and boot space to create a richly appointed interior that will transport passengers and their luggage in comfort, regardless of distance.

The new Lexus GS launched in early 2012, including hybrid and F-Sport versions. For the UK there will be the GS 450h full hybrid and GS 250 petrol engined derivatives.

A New Personality, An Invitation To Drive
Designing the new Lexus GS to be both strong and agile was a key focus of the engineering team. Their main objective was to provide a more engaging driving experience. To achieve this they created a new aerodynamic body, a wider stance and stiffer structure, a transmission with quicker changes and distinctive engine sound and exhaust note.

The revised platform is more rigid compared to the previous model thanks to an increased number of spot welds and adding laser welds in very specific locations. The track, wider by 40mm at the front and 50mm at the rear, works in combination with a revised suspension design to give a more assured stance and superior cornering performance.

The new suspension system is designed to guide the Lexus GS through corners with precision. In the front, aluminium upper and lower control arms employ larger bushings. The rear subframe has been completely redesigned to accommodate an all-new multi-link rear suspension, the improved geometry enhancing rear-end control. With the stiffer platform and lighter components, the shock absorbers can use lighter-viscosity oil, responding faster to small inputs.

The use of aluminium reduces unsprung weight and results in significantly improved agility, ride comfort, body control and steering precision. Ventilated disc brakes featuring four-piston aluminum front calipers are equipped with the latest electronic enhancements to provide braking balance and control.

Attention To Detail
The precisely sculpted exterior of new Lexus GS fuses distinctive style with engineering functionality, expressing a new generation of Lexus' design philosophy which will be applied to future models.

This is evident in details such as the fins incorporated into the side of the tail lamps and the design of the boot area, each helping to direct air over and past the car.

The signature spindle grille with its trapezoidal contours integrates into the aggressive front bumper to allow for efficient airflow. This distinctive Lexus design feature, combined with the deep-set, high-tech headlamps and L-shaped LED daytime running lamps, express the vehicle's confident and dynamic character. The headlamps use a projector beam design, adding a strong, chiseled appearance and excellent illumination.

From the side, the GS projects the image of a spacious performance saloon with a road-hugging stance. The tapered lower door sills and the short front overhang give the vehicle a sense of motion while width-enhancing wheel arches add an athletic stance, suggesting the vehicle's dynamic abilities.

The rear bumper features a diffuser and centered aero fins to help control underbody airflow. Combined with the L-shaped LED tail lamps, a Lexus design cue, these rear bumper features lend a high-performance appearance.

Even the paint technology has been developed to make subtle bodylines more noticeable and the surface appear finely polished. New colours  benefit from glass flakes incorporated into the coating that adds a high level of brilliance to the paint. Lexus engineers also developed a new coating technology which makes the paint appear more radiant, the additional metallic texture giving both strong shading and defined, sharp highlights.

Spacious Interior with Premium Upgrades
Painstaking attention to detail has been applied to the Lexus GS cabin to create a balance of luxury, technological amenity and emotional design. Focused around the driver and the driving experience, it also provides more space for all occupants, increasing the comfort of both front and rear passengers. The new layout of the long, sculpted dash gives the driver and front passenger a sense of roominess through its clean centre stack and large high-resolution display screen. Most of the comfort and convenience controls such as audio and climate are relocated to provide a cleaner and more sophisticated dash layout.

A redesigned seat frame and changes to the steering column give increased comfort and better forward visibility to the driver. Revised door openings offer easier entry and exit and boot access is improved with a wider, deeper opening. Luggage capacity has been increased by almost 25 per cent.

The interior includes a number of embedded premium features as standard equipment. A new energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow uses the occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated, a first-in-class technology. A next-generation Remote Touch with one-push confirmation is standard on all models and enables smooth, intuitive operation of climate, audio and phone controls as well as use of the navigation system and more. A standard reversing camera helps add security and convenience.

The finely crafted cabin detail is complemented by ambient lighting that unobtrusively welcomes and guides the user into the vehicle, providing a carefully designed experience. New white LED lights are sequentially lit to illuminate the areas around the doors, centre console and footwells. A new analogue clock, carved from an ingot, adds an unexpected touch.

Cabin materials include three types of wood and meticulously detailed contrast stitching is used as a visual accent around the interior to create a rich, tailored interior space.

Integrated Safety Systems
In addition to enhanced braking systems and an impact-absorbing body structure, the new GS offers significant advances in both passive and active safety systems as standard equipment.

Among the class-leading 10 airbags in the new Lexus GS, there are knee airbags for both driver and front passenger. Rear seat occupants have seat-mounted side airbags, and all four outboard occupants are equipped with side curtain airbags.

New Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats increase the likelihood that occupants will be in the optimum position at the moment of impact, enhancing the protective effect of the seatbelt system. Standard seatbelts with pretensioners with force limiters used for front and outboard rear seats add to occupant protection.

Options include a pre-collision system, which uses the dynamic radar cruise control system to provide early warning of upcoming objects that might result in a collision. The system also uses a first-in-class infrared camera to monitor the driver's eyes. If the driver is not looking forward when a collision appears imminent, the system will sound a warning sooner than otherwise. If the driver still does not respond and make the appropriate manoeuvre, the system will initiate braking up to two seconds prior to impact, helping to lessen the severity of the collision.

Other available safety systems include a Night Vision System that enhances driver visibility in the dark; Head-Up Display (HUD); a Blind Spot Monitor that helps detect vehicles in rear/side blind spots; and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Lexus GS is the first in its segment to offer LKA with active steering torque to provide a small assistance in maintaining course, while the LDW feature alerts drivers if they begin to drift out of their lane.

Seamless Connectivity
Next-generation Lexus multimedia brings a host of standard entertainment and connectivity enhancements, including enhanced Bluetooth capability with automatic phonebook download and streaming audio.

GS drivers get DVD audio and video compatibility, MP3 sound enhancement, 5.1 Surround Sound, and a high-resolution eight-inch central control display centrally located high up in the instrument panel.

Cars fitted with the navigation system will have an industry-first 12.3-inch high-resolution multi-media screen, large enough to support simultaneous, split-screen viewing of a large map display, plus audio, climate or other vehicle information.

For the ultimate in audio performance, an 835-watt, 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system is available. The system provides 7.1 Surround Sound through 10 channels using a new class D Digital amplifier and efficient Green Edge™ speakers that are lighter, more energy-efficient and have less distortion. The new system produces almost three times as many watts per channel versus the previous generation.
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McLaren F1 GTR, 1995

  •   McLaren F1 GTR, 1995

Built at the request of race teams, such as those owned by Ray Bellm and Thomas Bscher, in order to compete in the BPR Global GT Series, the McLaren F1 GTR was a custom built race car which introduced a modified engine management system that increased power output — however, air-restrictors mandated by racing regulations reduced the power back to 600 hp (447 kW) at 7500 RPM. The cars extensive modifications included changes to body panels, suspension, aerodynamics and the interior. The McLaren F1 GTR would go on to take its greatest achievement with 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 13th places in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, beating out custom built prototype sports cars.

In total, nine McLaren F1 GTRs would be built for 1995.

McLaren F1 GTR '96
To follow up on the success of the McLaren F1 GTR into 1996, McLaren further developed the '95 model, leading to a size increase but weight decrease. Nine more F1 GTRs were built to 1996 spec, while some 1995 cars were still campaigned by privateers. McLaren F1 GTR '96 chassis #14R is notable as being the first non-Japanese car to win a race in the All-Japan Grand Touring Car Championship (JGTC). The car was driven by David Brabham and John Nielsen. The weight was reduced with around 100 kg from the 1995 GTR edition and the engine was kept detuned at 600 HP to comply with racing regulations.

McLaren F1 GTR '97
With the F1 GT homologated, McLaren could now develop the McLaren F1 GTR for the 1997 season. Weight was further reduced and a sequential transaxle was added. The engine was slightly destroked to 6.0L instead of the previous 6.1L. Due to the heavily modified bodywork, the McLaren F1 GTR '97 is often referred to as the "Longtail" thanks to the rear bodywork being extended to increase rear downforce. A total of ten McLaren F1 GTR '97s were built. The weight was reduced to a total of 910 kg.
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Friday, June 22, 2012

Brabus Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, 2012


Brabus Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, 2012

Style & Performance: that's the guiding principle for Brabus to refine the new Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster now as well. The exclusive program comprises an aerodynamic-enhancement kit made from clear-coated carbon fiber, extremely lightweight Brabus forged wheels with a comfortable sport suspension, engine tuning that produces a maximum power output of 611 hp (600 bhp) / 448 kW, a titanium high-performance exhaust system with electronic sound management, and a fully customiz interior tailored to the owner's individual preferences in every last detail.

The Brabus designers have adapted the aerodynamic-enhancement program originally developed for the coupe version of the SLS to the new roadster. Just like in top-flight motorsports the various components are manufactured from extremely lightweight carbon fiber. Customers can choose between aerodynamic-enhancement components with a high-gloss finish or with a matte finish for undiluted racing looks. Upon request the components can also be painted in body or contrasting color.

The Brabus front spoiler attaches to the underside of the production bumper. It lends the two-seat car a more striking front end and reduces lift on the front axle at high speeds. The two Brabus carbon-fiber covers for the upper air ducts in the front fascia add further thrilling highlights.

On the sides the Brabus side skirts create an optimal aerodynamic transition between the front and rear wheel wells. But that's not all: together with the air vents in the front fenders that were newly designed by Brabus they lend the sports car an even more dynamic profile. A special feature of these components stands out particularly in the dark: pushing the unlock button on the keyless remote or pulling on a door handle activates the blue-backlit Brabus lettering in the new air vents and the LED entrance lights, which facilitate safe entering and exiting the vehicle in low-light conditions.

The rear end of the SLS Roadster adds even more sporty character as well: the modifications include the understated Brabus rear spoiler, the side air vents for the rear fascia and the Brabus diffuser with custom-tailored cutouts for the four distinctive tailpipes of the Brabus quad sport exhaust.

The more exclusive appearance is to no small extent also the merit of the Brabus forged wheels, which were custom-developed for the SLS. To add even more emphasis to the wedge shape of the car the wheels are mounted in a staggered combination with diameters of 21 inches on the front axle and 22 inches in the rear. The Brabus Monoblock F "Platinum Edition" cross-spoke wheels are manufactured using a high-tech forging process, making them more than just stunning eye-catchers. Their low weight also contributes to even sportier handling. Compared to the production SLS wheels they represent weight savings of up to 12 percent. The wheels in size 9.5Jx20 in front and in size 11Jx21 on the rear axle are available either with a high-gloss, ceramic polished or with a brushed finish. The suitable high-performance tires in sizes 275/30 ZR 20 and 295/25 ZR 21 are supplied by technology partners Continental, Pirelli or Yokohama.

Also contributing to even more agile handling is the Brabus Ride Control smooth-ride suspension that was developed in cooperation with Bilstein. It can lower the ride height by up to 40 millimeters (1.6 inches). At the push of a button on the center console the driver can choose between damper settings that offer a more comfortable or sportier ride than the production car.

The sport suspension and the production suspension can be upgraded with the Brabus Front Lift System for added convenience. At the push of a button, a hydraulics system raises the front end of the roadster by 50 millimeters (2.0 inches) in just a couple of seconds. This makes it possible to safely navigate past speed bumps or parking garage ramps without any unwanted contact of the front end with the obstacle. The suspension reverts to its original position at a second push of the button or automatically upon reaching a speed of 30 km/h (19 mph).

The sportier handling offers the perfect basis for more power. The Brabus engine specialists have developed the Brabus B63 S tuning kit for the 6.3-liter fast-revving V8 engine. The performance kit consists of newly calibrated engine electronics with special Brabus mapping for ignition and injection, and the Brabus high-performance exhaust system. This exhaust system, which can also be combined with the non-tuned production engine, features four tailpipes with a diameter of 84 millimeters (3.3 inches) and enhances power output. But that's not all: the sport exhaust is manufactured from titanium, making it 12 kilograms (26.5 lbs.) or 40 percent lighter than the production exhaust. In addition, an integrated butterfly valve provides a sound management option controlled by the driver from the cockpit: apart from the 'Sport' setting, which lends the eight-cylinder an even more thrilling exhaust note, there is also a discreet, deliberately soft 'Coming Home' mode. Brabus B63 S tuning bumps maximum power output from standard 571 hp (563 bhp) / 420 kW to 611 hp (600 bhp) / 448 kW, making the SLS even more dynamic.

The Brabus interior design studio gives the SLS cockpit an equally sporty and exclusive ambiance. Among the upgrades are striking accessories such as a speedometer with 400-km/h (250-mph) dial, an ergonomically shaped sport steering wheel, stainless-steel scuff plates with backlit Brabus logo and matte-anodized pedals.

The Brabus upholstery shop can fulfill requests for custom interiors in any color and design. The artisans meticulously transform leather and Alcantara by hand into interior appointments custom-tailored to the customer's individual preferences. Carbon-fiber and exotic-wood trim sets in any desired color and with every type of surface finish are yet another particular Brabus specialty.
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Mazda BT-50, 2012

  • Mazda BT-50, 2012

At the 2010 Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, Mazda is unveiling the all-new Mazda BT-50 that signifies a new direction in the utility segment. It was developed as an "Active lifestyle vehicle," and is intended to further extend the appeal of a utility from traditional business users to a wide range of customers, including families and pleasure-seekers.

The current BT-50 is Mazda's only offering in the utility segment. It is an established one-tonne utility that has won numerous awards and gained a strong following all over the world. In developing the new model, Mazda intended to expand its appeal to customers who lead active lifestyles and have needs that cannot be met by conventional utilities. It offers all the functionality required for business use combined with passenger car-like comfort for family use; and for active customers in Australia and Europe, it is the perfect answer for all kinds of outdoor leisure activities. In this way, the new BT-50 has been developed to fulfill the varied requirements of customers in every market.

To ensure all these aims were met, the all-new Mazda BT-50 was developed under the theme "Active lifestyle vehicle." The result is a utility that offers unique value; it has refined and expressive styling; a comfortable, high quality interior; a smooth ride with the feel of a passenger car; sporty and responsive driving dynamics that reflect Mazda's DNA; and outstanding environmental and safety performance.

Design: "Sophisticated Beast"
As Ryo Yanagisawa, chief designer of the all-new BT-50, explains: "Mazda's brand message is Zoom-Zoom, which refers to the emotion of motion first experienced as a child. With the all-new Mazda BT-50, we aimed to express this emotion through the design, and we drew a lot of inspiration from various "movements" in the world around us. For example, we had a photograph of a lion. He looked like a magnificent predator with his muscles all bunching up as though he was about to pounce on his prey. His sinews were stretched taut ready to strike, and his mane framed a sharp, masculine countenance that seemed to say, 'I am the proud king of the beasts!' In profile, that lion appeared to be both intelligent and powerful. I really wanted the design of the truck to project that kind of image. This kind of inspiration was the basis of the emotional design that we worked so hard to achieve with the all-new BT-50."

Exterior - Lively and Imposing Styling
Without detracting from the strength or the level of functionality, we wanted to give the exterior of the all-new Mazda BT-50 an athletic design, overflowing with movement, that would make people immediately want to get in and drive. The crisp lines will have owners looking on with pride.

The finished car has a beauty and individuality that can be recognized at a glance from any angle, even up to 100 meters away.
  •     Dynamic wedge-shaped proportions evoke an image of a large carnivore about to pounce on its unsuspecting prey. This is unlike any other utility.
  •     Casting off the conventional boxy image of a utility, sporty and dynamic lines are in tune with the rest of Mazda's passenger vehicle lineup.
  •     Further evolving Mazda's traditional prominent fenders, muscular lines flow from the fenders along the body sides.

A Front Fascia with a Bold, Overwhelming Presence and an Individual Rear End
  •     Mazda's family face, the five-point grille, is further evolved for a more imposing expression with the headlights and a chrome crossbar forming a large pentagon.
  •     The headlights have a bold boomerang shape, elaborate details and a functional beauty.
  •     A first in the segment — the taillights are stretched horizontally, reaching around the corners and across the tailgate, for a sporty and refined rear view that is similar to a premium SUV.

Interior - A Sporty and Personal Space
We wanted to give the interior of the all-new Mazda BT-50 a more sporty and personal feel to complement the dynamic exterior image, and create a comfortable space to rival Mazda's current passenger car standard. The cockpit is designed to wrap around the driver and provide an environment that supports enthusiastic driving. It raises anticipation for a sporty and responsive driving experience that goes beyond any conventional utility.
  •     The flowing design smoothly connects the center of the instrument panel to the raised center console, which has never before been seen in a pickup truck.
  •     The dashboard has an asymmetric design to create optimal space on each side; it reassuringly wraps around the driver and provides an open space for the passenger.
  •     Four bold metallic panel strips on the door trim and sides of the center console express dynamism and seem to be supporting the interior space.
  •     A metallic outline highlights the two cylindrical meters and connects them via a center strip to improve readability and enhance the sporty, driver-oriented impression of the instrument panel.
  •     The audio control panel and the climate control switch panel, which has independent driver- and passenger-side temperature controls, form a beautifully designed human interface.

With modern and refined styling both inside and out, the all-new Mazda Mazda BT-50 raise the bar in the utility segment and for the first time provide a realistic alternative to the family wagon and 4x4 SUV.
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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dodge Charger SRT8, 2012

  •  Dodge Charger SRT8, 2012

The new product onslaught continues for the Dodge brand with the announcement at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show that the Dodge Charger SRT8 return for the 2012 model year.

The 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 built at the Brampton Assembly plant in Brampton, Ontario, Canada and in dealer showrooms in late 2011.

Under the hood, the new 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 delivers more horsepower and torque than the 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 it replaces. It also will offer improved fuel economy.

Estimated power ratings for the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 are 465 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque, including an estimated additional 80 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,900 rpm. Specific horsepower, torque and fuel economy numbers will be announced closer to the vehicle introduction.

Building upon the standard Fuel Saver technology (four-cylinder mode) found in the new 6.4 HEMI V-8, a new for 2012 adaptive valve exhaust system allows the technology to engage over a wider rpm range, which delivers improved fuel efficiency or the use of all eight cylinders when the power is needed.
An active intake manifold and high-lift camshaft with cam phasing provides maximum low-end torque for impressive standing starts while optimizing high-end power.

For the first time in any Chrysler Group LLC SRT product, standard paddle-shift technology joins the standard AutoStick on the floor shifter. Both are mated to the proven W5A580 five-speed automatic transmission, allowing a choice of spirited shifting on the road and the racetrack.

Both shifting methods give the driver the ability to shift while the transmission controller calibration prevents situations that might over rev the engine. Fully adaptive electronic control of all shifting makes the powertrain more responsive while minimizing harshness.

New for 2012, the Dodge Charger SRT8 features an adaptive damping suspension that uses a wide range of on-road and driver inputs, such as vehicle speed, steering angle, steering speed, brake torque, throttle position and lateral acceleration, to automatically tune the suspension for specific conditions. Drivers also can manually choose between "Auto" and "Sport" settings that quickly change the shock damping and harshness characteristics from the ease of everyday commuting to harsher, more challenging driving situations.

The performance SRT-tuned, fully hydraulic steering system also is improved with a new, heavy-duty pump and revised gearing to give drivers more direct feel and on-center response.

New, split five-spoke, 20-inch lightweight forged and polished aluminum wheels with black painted pockets provide great looks, and the available three- or four-season tires make the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 easy to handle and fun to drive.

World-class stopping power for the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 comes through four-piston Brembo calipers and vented/slotted rotors measuring 14.2 inches up front and 13.8 inches in the rear.

The Dodge Charger SRT8's Ready Alert Braking system anticipates situations when the driver may initiate an emergency brake stop and engages the electronic stability control pump to set brake pads against rotors in order to decrease the time required for full brake application.

Exclusive new front and rear fascias, along with a new rear spoiler, distinguish the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 with a high performance look.

The front grille, grille surround and Dodge crosshair feature high-gloss black finishes and the SRT badge. A newly sculpted hood features a 6.4 L (liter) badge and black air exhauster for added engine cooling.

In the rear, the Charger's new signature "racetrack" taillamp design with 164 illuminating LEDs receives new 4-inch round dual exhaust tips and an SRT8 decklid badge to boldly show the Street and Racing Technology DNA.

Unique fside-sill cladding is painted to match the body color.
A newly designed underbody belly pan features integrated brake ducting to improve cooling and brake fade performance at all four corners.

Building upon the all-new design from 2011, the interior environment of the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 combines more world-class accommodations with race-inspired technology and appointments.

An all-new, leather-wrapped, SRT-exclusive steering wheel features a unique rim section with a flattened bottom surface that showcases the SRT logo. The standard paddle shifters flank both sides of the new steering wheel behind the new contoured palm rests.
For the high-performance look, carbon-weave, fiber aluminum interior trim pieces are integrated into the new instrument panel and shifter bezel.

The front seats have unique, aggressive bolstering and perforated suede insert fabric to help "grip" the driver and passengers, keeping them in place during spirited driving. Heated and ventilated front seats are standard. Reactive headrests also are standard. The SRT logo is embroidered in the seat backs. Rear seats also are heated for passenger comfort.

Modified door trim panels feature unique bolster material and accent stitching on arm rests to match the seats.

The Dodge Charger SRT8 features a 900-watt, 19-speaker premium SRT performance audio surround-sound system from Harmon Kardon. The intuitive user interface for the system is controlled through the state-of-the-art Uconnect® Touch on the largest standard touchscreen display (8.4-inch) in the segment. Benchmarked against the best E-segment sedans from Europe, Asia and North America, the easy-to-use system also features Uconnect Voice to deliver world-class functionality to keep all passengers easily connected, comfortable and secure.

Exclusive Performance Pages are new for 2012 and included within the touchscreen display. The instrument panel display can be customized to view driver preferences and expanded to include instant feedback on steering input measurements, horsepower, torque, expanded engine information, along with 0-60 mph time, 60-0 braking, g-forces and one-eighth mile and quarter-mile times. The color graphic Electronic Vehicle Information Center also includes the Performance Pages timers and added engine information.

For everyday commuting, the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 incorporates features like Keyless Enter-N-Go, adaptive-cruise control with Forward Collision Warning and Blind-spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Path Detection, to keep drivers and passengers secure.

Standard front-row reactive head restraints, standard full-length side-curtain air bags, driver's knee bag and standard front seat-mounted side-thorax air bags offer enhanced occupant protection to passengers in the event of a collision.

Standard three-mode electronic stability control with segment-exclusive Ready Alert Braking and Rain Brake Support safety features, offer improved overall vehicle handling and performance both on the road and the track.
  •     Engine: 6.4-liter (392 cubic inch) HEMI V-8
  •     Power: 465 bhp (est.)
  •     Torque: 465 lb.-ft. (est.)
  •     Handling: .88g on skidpad (est.)
  •     Top Speed: 175 mph (est.)
  •     0-60 mph: High 4-second range (est.)
  •     ¼ mile: High 12-second range (est.)
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