Here is the 2009 version of Muammar Gaddafis "Saroukh el-Jamahiriya (Libyan Rocket)" a car which made its debut in 1999, exactly 10 years ago.
The “Libyan Rocket”, as the prototype is called, is described as an “elegant sedan” 17 feet long, more than six feet wide, with a 3-liter, V-6 gasoline engine.
According to the BBC and Fox News, it also has airbags, an unspecified ‘electronic defense system’, and a collapsible bumper.
The car can go hundreds of miles on a flat tire, a feature that could come in handy while driving in the vast Libyan desert. Other safety features include a device to cut off the fuel supply to avoid a fire in case of accident.
Domenico Morali, CEO of Tesco TS SpA, an automotive design company based in Turin, Italy, said Qaddafi joined in discussions about the car’s styling and asked for an original car using Libyan materials including marble, leather and fabric.
The car was unveiled in Tripoli at the end of an African Union summit.
According to the BBC, construction of a factory to produce the car was to have began in October 2009 in Tripoli. (ANI)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The South African built Revo is a perfect example of true innovation at it's finest.
It was built by, Achim Bergmann of Thompson Racing, for the Motorite Racing team.
The car is of a space frame construction with a fiberglass body. Tubing is 4130 cro-moly and uses a LS2 6l V8 engine coupled to a Sadev SC90 six speed sequential.
Shocks are American Radflo with secondary pistons in the coil-overs and an external bypass shock per corner. Wheel travel 300mm all round. A Works Bell Paddle Shifter NEO Universal is used to trigger up and down shifts controlled by a Motec M800.
A custom made dust seal was used to seal the paddle shifter from the extreme dust and moisture conditions encountered in off road racing. Up shift cuts ignition and pneumatically selects gear, down shift activates a pneumatic clutch, blips throttle and selects gear.. works very well.
This is Africa's first serious attempt at four-wheel drive Class A Special Vehicle. Power comes from an American built 500hp 6-litre engine and is delivered to all four BF Goodrich tyres via a 6-speed gearbox. Despite a serious air restrictor fitted to keep it in line with the other Class A entries it pulls strongly.
With so much torque on hand, ratios can be kept short but top speed is slightly limited when compared to some of the past competitors. A top speed of just over 180km/h is calculated, which might appear slow but trust me when you doing that off road and approaching a metre deep rut it is insanely fast.
Nigerian Armoured Vehicle
A Nigerian made armoured car was on Thursday launched by President in this month of August 2009 at the eagle square in Abuja.
It is the first home made armoured car, with most of the materials used in its production sourced locally, while others were imported.
It was built by two Nigerian brothers who recently relocated from the United States of America. The brothers; Victor and Johnson Obasa, came back home to use their talent to boost security and also create employment in the country.
The brothers are based in Ekiti State and the duo own a company named Mobile Truck Technology where they nurtured and built the first Nigerian armoured car.
According to Johnson Obasa, the local production of the armoured car would help in upgrading the nation's security status. "It will promote up to 50 percent security in the country, it is something to protect the armoured personnel in their line of duty and it can work anywhere. It is designed to help the nation's security; we also did it to create employment," he said.
Also, Victor Obasa in a conversation with the press stated that they were in a better position to create this kind of cars since they are in Nigeria and understand the Nigerian terrain.
He added that they were willing to do it for the government at almost half the price of importing it. "We would do it for Nigerians for almost half the price they get it outside," he said.
The truck which was tested with different kinds of ammunition, from a far range had little or no mark left on it, but from a close range left peripheral marks.
On how they created such a truck with products from Nigeria, Johnson said: "It's been a little bit of up and down's. When we encountered some challenges, the Senate president encouraged us and at the end of the day we were able to put this together."
The other brother Victor pledged that they would produce a vehicle carrier that would meet international standard at a reasonable price.
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Adamu Aliero who represented the president at the launch said it was commendable that Nigerians with talents will come home and contribute to the nation's development.
He disclosed that the President had directed the Inspector General of Police to meet the fabricators on what they required to produce the vehicle to specification.
He also called on Nigerians within and outside the country with such talents to come out and contribute to the development of their country.
"This is also to call on other Nigerians with similar talents to also come back home and join us to contribute their own quota to the country and for other Nigerians with this kind of talent to put it to use," Mr. Aliero said.
Present at the event to inspect the vehicle were top police officers and the Minister for science amd Technology, Al-Hassan Zaku who said the ministry would send a team of engineers to the base where the truck was fabricated to further examine the product.
"We will examine it thoroughly and work with the police to ensure that it is properly produced to the standard they want," he said.
courtesy of Elizabeth Archibong
Here is the work of the Technical and Vocational Institute at the Arab Academy (for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport) in Alexandria Egypt.
This is Egypt's first electric car project, entitled the Cairo car.
Serious research to develop and create localized technology towards producing a fine example of Egyptian ingenuity. This research is based on reverse engineering as well as self innovation to help achieve a national goal of a purely made in Egypt quality product. Its a 4 seater, and the platform has being successfully been tested. No details on the possibility of the Cairo car reaching production.
The Harper sports car. (South Africa)
The companies vision for building this car is as follows.
To produce a stylish, safe, fast, comfortable, fun, low maintenance sports car to be enjoyed on public roads and on the race track.
A one-make series will encourage owners to test their driver skills as cars will be placed against like for like engines. The key is: "Drive it to the track, Race it, Drive it home".
The specifications are as follows.
Engine: Mid mounted 4AGE 20 Valve 1600cc Toyota
Gearbox: Toyota 5/6 speed
Brakes: Toyota (disc all round with adjustable limiting valve for rear brakes)
Total Weight: 650kg
Power Output 120kw (160hp)
Engine Management: Gotech MFI
Performance Exhaust: TNT High performance branch and silencer
Construction: Mild steel space frame with composite non-stressed fibre glass bodywork
Although owners can choose from a range of transverse engines/gearbox, (eg; Honda VTEC, Nissan SR20DET, VW/Audi 20 Valve turbo etc), we recommend the Toyota 4AGE 20 valve engine for it's performance, reliability, low cost and availability.
Friday, April 24, 2009
2009 Barnard Racer Prototype
It's been over 50 years since South Africa has produced a home-bred supercar. This is excluding the Shelby Cobras and Noble cars assembled in that country but basically originating from elsewhere. A chap by the name of Chris Barnard wants to change all that by introducing a car he simply calls the Barnard.
The Barnard is powered by a twin-turbo Porsche V8 engine with a power rating of 617bhp (460kW). It should deliver a sub-4 second 0 - 60mph time and a theoretical top speed of over 240mph (386km/h). Only the driver really holds those horses back because the Barnard is missing some equipment namely power steering, ABS brakes and traction control. Even the windows require manual manpower to operate. It's a contrast to the cockpit which is inspired by one of Barnard's other interests, aviation.
Built on a monocoque chassis that's made from lightweight hi-tech steels like Domex and Docol, the car is more race road car than anything else. It's designed to accommodate buyers' interests and can be personalised to a great extent, depending on budgets offered. The engine itself can be uprated to suit the buyer's desires.
"This is a car which has been built with the objective of breaking barriers, and no expense has been spared to make it into what I believe is the most single-minded performance machine yet from South Africa," Barnard said.
To help keep it on the road are things like a rear diffuser, a flat undertray and cutouts on the front wheel arches that generate larges doses of downforce.
Customer deliveries of the Barnard will begin in the middle of the year at a cost of about R1.1 million (about US$110,000) a pop.
Monday, April 6, 2009
The Zagato Perana- Z-one
The Perana name is well known amongst performance car fans in South Africa as the name was given to a range of Ford vehicles tuned by Basil Green Motors in Johannesburg back in the 70s and 80s.
However unlike the old Perana vehicles the Z-One is powered by a GM sourced engine, a 6.2 litre LS3 V8 to be exact. Mounted up front this engine should give the coupe fantastic performance while also being easily serviced and long lasting.
Each curvaceous body of the Perana Z-One will be individually created by Zagato before being sent to South Africa where it will be joined to the chassis and drivetrain.
The body itself manages to be both classically proportioned and contemporarily styled. It also incorporates a number of Zagato trademark styling details like the double bubble roof and hidden 'Z' built into the b-pillar.
In total only 999 examples of the Perana Z-One are due to be built.
The Perana Z-one will be produced at the world renowned Hi Tech Automotive Manufacturing Facility. Located on the outskirts of the Friendly City of Port Elizabeth, this manufacturing facility is considered to be one of the world's foremost low volume specialist sports car manufacturers.
The allure of the Perana Z-one is complimented by its hand-built manufacturing processes leading to unrivaled craftsmanship and finish. This leads to cars with a build integrity that allows them to be accepted as classics in their own right.
From the computerized drawing office to the paint shop, where the entire paint shop is pressurized and not only the spray booths, our attention to detail allows for unrivaled quality and finishes.
All this can only happen through experienced management, employing craftsman and adherence to rigorous quality controls to meet the discerning demands of an unforgiving international market.
Optimal Energy, a privately-owned South African company based in Cape Town, has unveiled Africa's first all-electric vehicle. Appropriately named Joule, the zero emission car is a six-seater multi-purpose vehicle.
Designed by Optimal Energy in association with legendary South African born automotive designer, Keith Helfet, the ultra sleek Joule is scheduled to make its global debut at the Paris Motor Show this month.
"The world's finite energy sources are being used inefficiently and urban transport plays a major role in energy wastage and climate changing pollution," says CEO of Optimal Energy Kobus Meiring.
SA Good News
"Joule is Optimal Energy's solution to change that. We have capitalised on the opportunity presented by the exponential increase in oil costs and the dramatic improvement in battery price, life and performance."
Joule's interior and exterior was styled by Keith Helfet who has a long and illustrious history as chief stylist at Jaguar and, who was responsible for such iconic designs as the XJ220, the XK180 and the F-Type.
"Optimal Energy was searching for a world class designer, the fact that Keith is South African born and has strong South African roots matched our criteria perfectly," says Meiring.
Joule's chassis has been designed to accommodate two large-cell lithium ion battery packs which employ chemistry similar to that used in mobile phones and laptop computers. This chemistry is inherently safe; lithium is found in many medicinal applications and the batteries do not contain any heavy metals.
Using a normal 220 Volt home outlet and Joule's onboard charger, it will take approximately seven hours to recharge Joule's battery for a 200km driving range, with two packs providing 400km in total.
Eskom, the country's sole electricity provider, has confirmed that the South African grid has enough capacity to supply electrical energy to millions of cars without affecting its customer base or requiring any additional infrastructure. Eskom has vast amounts of excess energy between 11 PM and 6 AM (GMT +2); this will be the recommended recharging time. Electric cars only require about 20 percent of the energy that conventional cars require; this means that the total emissions are much less, even if Eskom's coal dominated electricity is used. With the global trend of electricity generation becoming more renewable and cleaner, total emissions caused by electric cars will continue to shrink.
The South African Province of Gauteng is currently being evaluated for Joule's first assembly plant. Joule will be sold in Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban and will be available towards the end of 2010. Joule was developed for the international market and sales and exports will follow shortly after the South African launch.
Laraki Fulgura Concept 2007
The Laraki Fulgura was the company's first car model. Originally unveiled as a concept at the 2002 Geneva Motor Show then redesigned in 2005 and unveiled in the same year. Now for the latest development which is dubbed the 2007 concept vision of the Fulgura.
The Laraki Borac
(Morocco)Manufactured by the Laraki group.
It was originally unveiled as a concept at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. The car is planned for production, although a final design has yet to be unveiled.
The design of the Borac is that of a GT, with a front engine layout and seats 4 passengers. The 2 rear seats are small, probably for children instead of adults. The Borac is a totally independant design from the companies first model the Fulgura.
A Mercesdes 6.0L V12 powers the Borac, with a impressive 0 - 60mph in 4.5 seconds.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
The Shaka design drew inspiration from many sources including the Plymouth prowler and Lotus 7. It can be said that the Shaka is to a Lotus 7, as a Viper is to a AC Cobra. The 'floating fenders' came from Bertone's "Toy Car". There is a bit of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Viper etc. thrown in for good measure.
The performance criteria was to out-perform any production car in any performance category up to 135 mph. The Shaka was designed to beat any production car in any Autocross.
Weight and chassis rigidity was of primary importance. This determined the final dimensions of the Shaka. An all aluminum 6 Liter, 405 HP engine is used with a 6 speed transmission.
The Shaka is designed for the consummate road racing enthusiast.
Drive to the events listed below and bring home the winner's trophy. A very stiff chassis allows for soft springs and a comfortable ride, unlike replica cars of the 60's.
Friday, April 3, 2009
"Wallys Izis" is the first car built entirely in Tunisia. This was done in secret in a workshop at La Marsa, north of Tunis. Zied Guiga led this 18 month long project which gave birth to a prototype which was unveiled at the Paris auto show (2008), where it recieved alot of attention.
The only part that was out sourced for the project was a Peugeot 1.4 litre petrol engine. Apart from that the rest of the car was made using Tunisian made car parts (cables, body, joints, chassis, and mechanical parts). The build team behind the project were all Tunisian.
It was inspired by the original American Willy's Jeep.
They will also offer both a petrol and an electric version of the 'Wallys Izis' , at a starting price of 10,000 Euros, and a 4 door version of the car is set for 2009 June launch in Tunisia.
A very great start for Tunisia's first production car.
Martin Ssebuyira Kampala
After several false starts, the first “made in Uganda” vehicle dubbed Punda 1, made its maiden road test recently to the amazement and interestingly, amusement of onlookers. The rickety three-passenger vehicle with a carriage is the work of a resiliently patient lecturer, Eng. Samuel Semulimi, of Kampala Polytechnic Institute in Mengo who confesses holding a childhood dream of making a car.
Eng. Semulimi told Smart Money that the vehicle has been undergoing construction since 2006 with support from the government, Makerere University Faculty of Technology and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda.
After more than two years of workshop activity, Punda 1 that gets its name from the Swahili word for donkey, made an unlikely emergence for a three-hour road testing with Eng. Semulimi at the steering wheel driving from Victor Machinery Ltd in Katwe into the city center.
Eng. Semulimi said the vehicle has been made from locally sourced materials –making up 75 per cent - including scrap metals metals. “The cabin tray was made using mild steel plates, hollow section pipes while the chassis was made using tubular sections, h-angles, steel bushes, bolt and nuts, flat bars among others that can be got from steel manufacturing companies like roofings, steel rolling mills, Hardware World and others,” he said. He said the vehicle has reached a point where he wants other partners to help him develop it further for commercial production.
“The vehicle would be ready for commercial production when various stakeholders pattern with me to develop it [vehicle] further,” he said as he drove.
Eng. Semulimi’s vision is to make a vehicle cheap enough and useable by rural folks such as farmers. And to state that vision, he conveniently inscribed the words; “Rural Transport Vehicle” in place of the registration number.
As it journeyed through the city bystanders including traffic police marvelled and laughed, and occasionally joked about its viability and looks. Eng. Semulimi refused to be drawn into the roadside jokes.
“The vehicle is easy to sustain. It can easily be maintained by most Ugandans especially those in rural areas who want carrier cars because of its simple technology,” he said unwaveringly. He said after extensive research from 1998, he found out that most economical cars in Uganda use about one litre of fuel for every 10 to 12 kilometers.
The Punda 1, he claimed, would use about half that fuel for the same distance or better still achieve up to 25 kilometers per litre of fuel, compared to the 10 kilometres most saloon cars on Ugandan roads achieve on average. Eng. Semulimi who is the director of Victor Machinery Ltd said he employed just five semi-skilled artisans; crafts men, metal fitters and a welder to construct Punda 1.
Victor Machinery also makes other vehicles products and services like car batteries, agriculture machineries, metal fabrications and electrical installation among others. For now though, the vehicle is to undergo mechanical scrutiny by various standards departments and agencies.
First, is a requirement of a mechanical audit by the Ministry of Works and the Uganda National Bureau of Standards.
“Let him write a letter officially to enable us inspect the car and give him a mechanical audit,” an official at the Ministry of Works only identified as Omara told Smart Money.
UNBS publicist Moses Sebunya said they cannot certify such a product because they do not have any set of minimum standards for vehicles made in Uganda.
“We even don’t have machines to test the car quality, we cannot certify it,” Mr Sebunya said.
On a more positive side, the Principal industrial Officer at the Ministry of Trade and Tourism, Mr Joshua Mutambi said the ministry would be willing to support such an innovative Ugandan. He said the ministry has plans of constructing an industrial center in Luzira to bring under one roof such people and easily provide them with necessary machines to boost their innovations. “The place would help the engineers get machines they couldn’t access to improve their products,” he said. He said the government would sponsor Eng. Semulimi to display his vehicle in various exhibitions in various countries to get possible partners.
Late 2008 a new development team together with Eng. Semulimi have come together to see the project develop into a production ready vehicle, namely the Punda 2.
Saroukh el-Jamahiriya (Libyan rocket)
The car was unveiled on the 30th anniversary of the revolution which propelled the Libyan leader to power. The Saroukh el-Jamahiriya (Libyan rocket) a five-passenger saloon in a metallic Libyan revolutionary green with tinted windows, was launched at a special summit of the Organisation of African Unity organised by Colonel Gaddafi. The car has the aerodynamic lines of conventional models but the front and rear ends are rocket-shaped. The interior is replete with air bags, an inbuilt electronic defense system, and a collapsible bumper which protects passengers in head-on collisions. Revolutionary Dukhali Al-Meghareff, chairman of the Libyan Arab Domestic Investment company which produced the prototype, billed it as revolutionary in automotive history. He said it was developed from safety ideas conceived by Gaddafi. The company plans to set up a factory next month in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, to start production. "The leader spent so many hours of his valuable time thinking of an effective solution. It is the safest car produced anywhere," Mr Meghareff said. "The invention of the safest car in the world is proof that the Libyan revolution is built on the happiness of man."