Friday, April 24, 2009

2009 Barnard Racer Prototype




2009 Barnard Racer Prototype

(South Africa)


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 Zagato Perana- Z-one

(South Africa)

The Perana Z-One is a South African supercar styled by the famous Italian design firm Zagato.

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.

The Joule




The Joule

(South Africa)

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




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


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.

The Laraki Fulgura 2004





The Laraki Fulgura 2004


(Morocco) The Laraki Fulgura: The Moroccan supercar company, named after its founder Abdeslam Laraki, unveils the 2004 model Fulgura.

Buyer this time around have the option ofV8, or a V12 Mercedes- engine.

The Laraki Fulgura






The Laraki Fulgura


(Morocco) The Laraki Fulgura: This Moroccan supercar concept, named after its founder Abdeslam Laraki was based on the world famous Lamborghini Diablo. It was offically unveiled at the 2002 Geneva motor show.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Shaka




Shaka

(South Africa)

The Shaka Nynya, Shaka named after the founder of the Zulu nation, Chaka. Nynya is an anglicized Zulu word meaning Prowler.

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

The wallys






The wallys
(Tunisia)

"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.

The Punda






The Punda
(Uganda)

First made-in-Uganda vehicle takes to the road

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)




Saroukh el-Jamahiriya (Libyan rocket)
(Libya)

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."

The Uri




The Uri
(Namibia)

Uri. From the Namibian word for "jump", this extremely able 4x4 is perfect for the real off road path. Made in Namibia and South Africa using a Toyota chassis and engine (underpinnings).

The Nyayo Pioneer





The Nyayo Pioneer

(Kenya)

nitiating the idea of a Kenyan car in 1986, former President Daniel arap Moi asked the University of Nairobi to produce a vehicle, 'however ugly or slow it may be'.

The cars were not ugly. They were not very slow. During the test runs, the cars could attain a speed of 120 km per hour, according to a project engineer who used to drive the cars along Mombasa Road to as far as Sultan Hamud.

These first ever Kenyan made cars - The Pioneer Nyayo Cars - now parked and gleaming clean at the Kenya Railways grounds - were, according to Mr Mogere, manufactured from locally available raw materials, resources and expertise.

The car parts were either produced at military bases or at the Kenya Railways Central Workshops. And in 1990, President Moi launched three new Nyayo cars at the Kasarani Sports Complex.

With the successful completion of the first phase - the production of the prototypes and the subsequent establishment of the Nyayo Motor Corporation - the Government set in motion the establishment of the necessary plants for mass production. All in all, the Government needed to establish 11 plants at an estimated cost of Sh 7.8 billion. The Government could only afford two plants - the General Machining Complex comprising of advanced computerized equipment for machining automotive parts, and a Ductile Iron Foundry.

Demands from major donors to sell off non-performing parastatals made it difficult for the Government to inject more funds into the project.

Determined to put a Kenyan car on the road, the Government, in 1999, insisted that the project operate on a commercial basis and be self-sustaining. But the Government continued allocating money to the car project every year. However, much of the allocations, over 60 per cent, were never disbursed due to lack of funds.

OTAVI




OTAVI
(Ghana)

Enoch Afudego, a 39-year old Ghanaian mechanic has successfully assembled a saloon car. The car, which he named OTAVI, had the entire body including the bonnet, roof and boot designed and moulded with scrap metal and has the engine of an Opel Ascona.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, Mr Afudego said it took him four months to build the car, which he mostly did at his leisure hours. He said after completing West Africa Secondary School, he did not learn any trade nor pursue his education further.

He said the idea of building the car begun somewhere in 1984, when he visited Liberty Baptist Church where he was inspired in a sermon preached by the Rev. Christian Dogor, General Overseer of the church. He said the Pastor challenged the congregation to unearth their God given talents and put it to use since that was the only way one could achieve greatness.

Mr Afudegu said some days later he began by designing a bicycle, which he later perfected. He said after his success with the bicycle, he started building the car, which finally resulted in the manufacture of the Octavi. He noted that he was in the process of manufacturing a bus and an amphibian car.

The car, which was driven from Tarkwa to the office of the GNA, looked quite rugged for the Ghanaian terrain. Mr Afudego called on the government and other philanthropists to assist him produce the cars on a large scale for local use.

The Z-600




The Z-600

(Nigeria) The Z-600 was the brainchild of a Nigerian Dr Ezekiel Izuogu, who envisioned an all-African car, designed and made in Nigeria from 90% local content. It has a doorbell for a horn, quite a surprising detail, and still remains as an existing prototype.

The Africar






The Africar

(UK) Special Mention
Not only Africa but Europe too, have considered developing a sustainable vehicle exclucively for the African continent.

Tony Howarth an English jounalist / photographer set up Africar International Limited (AIL)
in April 1986. His ambition was to develop a wooden car called the 'Africar' for Africa, that could be built in Africa, sustainable for use on the continent's rough terrain. In the early '80's Howarth built thre Africars which were used on an expedition from the Arctic to the Equator. The chassis and bodywork of the Africars were made of epoxy resin-impregnated plywood. On these prototypes, Howarth used Citroen 2CV engines, gearboxed and suspension as well as components from other manufacturers.
Sad to say this sucessful product did not live to see full scale production. It would have been the model that would have changed African car market as we know it.

The Ramses





The Ramses
(Egypt)

The NSU Ramses Utilica was the first car produced in Egypt, and was the result of a coorporation between the new egyptian car firm Egyptian Automotive Co., and the german NSU. The factory was located right next to the Great Pyramids. Plans were to produce around 10.000 cars a year, most of the work being manual labor.

The NSU Ramses used the Prinz 30 as it's basis. The body, looking something like a VW K├╝belwagen; it was much more square then the original Prinz, creating more space in the front luggage compartment. The square form was the result of the absence of equipment to mold metal plates in more streamlined forms. The doors and passenger windows where made of canvas on a frame, and could be complete removed. The soft top could be folded back, just like on an ordinary cabrio.

The only chrome parts that could be found on the car were the front and rear fenders - in the heat and rough egyptian environment, chrome parts tend to show blisters in a very short period of time.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Banchee




The Banbhee
(South Africa)

An absolutely gorgeous open sportscar created by Tertius Van Zyl in South Africa. Tertius writes:

"Being a penniless youth and having abused my mildly tuned 850 in the mid 60s with rallying and a foray into racing, I decided that a sports car would be a great idea to put on the track. No money meant that 'if you can't buy one, make one'! Having had inspiration from a road test published in Cars & Car Conversions mag of the Unipower GT and clutching my copy (original 1969 version still in existence) of Allan Staniforth‘s High Speed-Low Cost, 'Banshee' was created over a period of about 15 years during which time I was transferred by my employer to five cities in South Africa, Banshee having covered about 2,500 miles without putting in any fuel!

"Regrettably, the Sportscar class was abolished during the course of building and my racing aspirations were curtailed anyway by the intrusion of marriage. Banshee is still hauled out on high days and holidays but has completed three 'Durban Dash' events over the past years (800 mile round trip each from Johannesburg to Durban); (photo T. van Zyl)

The Flamingo





The Flamingo
(South Africa)

Yet again Bob van Niekerk, Willie Meissner and Vester de Wit conceived and designed the follow up to the Dart; It was the Flamingo. A sophisticated GT version of the Dart with a unique styled hard top.

Approximately 128 GSM Flamingos were built in Cape Town.

The Dart




The Dart
(South Africa)

Bob van Niekerk, Willie Meissner and Vester de Wit conceived and designed this car during 1956. The Dart was its name and it proved to be almost unbeatable in South Africa as well as various racing circuits in Europe.

In England the Dart was produced as the Delta.

Some 116 Darts were built in S.A. and.... over 60 Deltas in the U.K, some of which have surfaced lately in Canada.