Monday, October 9, 2017

Lamborghini Looks Back on its First SUV: The LM002

Twenty-five years after the legendary LM002 ceased production, Automobili Lamborghini will launch the Urus on 4 December 2017 in Sant'Agata Bolognese, again creating a new class of Super SUVs. In advance of the Urus world premier Automobili Lamborghini looks back on its SUV legacy in order to recall an extraordinary automobile.

The black LM002 (chassis #12231) from the Lamborghini museum, entirely-restored by the classic department Lamborghini Polo Storico represents Lamborghini's original SUV creation: the LM002 is widely considered as the father of luxury SUVs. Turning heads in sophisticated city streets, the LM002 was equally at home in dirt, gravel and snow.

The LM 002's development started as a project to develop a high performance off-road vehicle for military use at the end of the 1970s, with the name of Cheetah. Lamborghini engineer Giulio Alfieri resurrected the project in 1981 with the LM 001: an innovative concept with a rear-mounted engine, followed by the LMA prototype with a front-mounted powertrain. The final production model of the LM002 was first presented at the Brussels Auto Show in 1986, consolidating the final design: the V12 engine from the Countach Quattrovalvole provided a 5,167 cc capacity and 450 hp at 6,800 rpm.

In an aluminum and fiberglass body, with four-wheel drive transmission, transfer case and three self-locking differentials, the SUV could exceed gradients of 120%. Reaching speeds of more than 200 km/h, the LM002 was equipped with specially-developed Pirelli Scorpion tyres, allowing 'floating' capabilities across soft surfaces such as sand, and highly durable in hot conditions. The production of the bodies started in a company near Bilbao (Spain). Then the semi- assembled parts were shipped to Sant'Agata Bolognese for completion with the powertrain, mechanical parts, finishing, testing and delivery. A luxurious interior matching the individual needs of the customer completed the LM 002.

The LM002 attracted significant attention when launched, as a vehicle unlike any other, with performance to match its super sports car stablemates as well as significant off-road capabilities and an imposing design and presence. A total of 300 were produced from 1986 to 1992.

Like the LM002, the Urus will create a new Super SUV class of its own, with exceptional power and torque, distinctive design and a very significant presence. The Urus assures exceptional road-going dynamics, performance and luxury and like the LM002, has exceptional capabilities on off-road terrains, including sand.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Imagine living in an airport for 30 days


Would you survive?

If you’re stuck inside Helsinki Airport, you will. And the airport wants to prove that you’ll even enjoy your stay by launching the interestingly named #LIFEINHEL, featuring Chinese actor Ryan Zhu. Starting October 10, the dashing 33-year-old Zhu will live in a dinky cabin inside the airport, where he will need to face a different challenge every day. He’ll also get to shop at the duty free section, eat at its numerous restaurants, and have the occasional power nap at the airport’s sleeping pods.

For comprehensive travel and visitor information for Helsinki:

Source: DestinAsian

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Bart Cummings Trophy Collection unveiled at Flemington

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) today unveiled The Bart Cummings Trophy Collection in Saintly Place, ahead of the collection's official opening to the public on Seppelt Turnbull Stakes Day this Saturday.

The permanent trackside display dedicated to the Cups King features 149 notable trophies and awards including the Melbourne Cup won by the Cummings-bred and trained Saintly in 1996, alongside his 12 Melbourne Cup trainer's trophies, two Caulfield Cups won by Ming Dynasty in 1977 and 1980, and four Cox Plates won by Saintly in 1996, Dane Ripper in 1997 and So You Think in 2009 and 2010.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the new display, free to visit for all racegoers, was a fitting tribute to Australia's most famous and loved horse trainer.

"We are deeply honoured and thankful to Bart and the Cummings family for bequeathing this immensely important collection to the Club," she said.

"The collection is not only a homage to Cummings' unparalleled feats as a trainer, but his enduring relationships with family, jockeys, owners and horses.

"It delivers a fascinating insight into his story, charting his stratospheric rise from provincial cups to the ultimate race in the world, the Emirates Melbourne Cup, and it is fitting that the collection is on show for all to see in Saintly Place, a general admission area overlooking the Flemington winning post, the scene of 83 of Cummings' Group 1 wins.

"It is an important part of not only the Cummings family history but Australian sporting history, and it is fitting that it is housed at Flemington, the track that made Bart famous.

"I'm sure racing enthusiasts and the public alike who all knew and loved Bart will absolutely relish the opportunity to come to this beautiful racecourse and view one of the great trophy collections of the world."

The trophies and awards had been displayed in the Cummings family home, including cabinets in the family's formal dining room and offices at Princess Farm.

The collection includes statues made of bronze, trophies and presentation plates of sterling silver and gold, crystal pieces and silk presentation sashes.

Plans for their installation in Saintly Place were made prior to Cummings' death in 2015 and were endorsed by Cummings.

Bart's son, trainer Anthony Cummings, said the family was pleased the collection was on show for the wider public.

"We're delighted that the collection is being housed at Flemington, so we along with the wider racing public can enjoy and remember Bart's extraordinary feats for years to come," he said.

"Bart typically avoided fuss, but he was delighted for this tribute to be at Flemington and we're pleased to be part of the collection's unveiling."

Cummings' 11th Melbourne Cup winner, Rogan Josh, watched the unveiling from the Flemington front lawn, visiting from his home at Living Legends.

He was joined by Precedence, the last Cup runner for Cummings in 2014 and the first he shared with grandson James. Precedence is now enjoying a successful post-racing career as a show horse, and is partly owned by long-time Cummings foreman Reg Fleming.

The Bart Cummings Trophy Collection is housed in Saintly Place, a general admission area named in honour of Cummings' Flemington stable facility which operated until 2014. The stables housed the likes of So You Think, Hyperno, Let's Elope, Viewed, Think Big, Leilani, Kingston Rule and, of course, Saintly.

The general admission area underwent a million dollar renovation in 2016 funded in partnership with the Victorian Racing Industry Fund, itself largely funded through unclaimed dividends. It is open every Flemington raceday, and entry is free for all racegoers. |

Friday, September 29, 2017

Introducing MV Agusta F4 LH44

Three Time F1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton, and MV Agusta have collaborated to design a brand new bike, the F4 LH44. This partnership follows the success of their first project on the Dragster RR LH.

The F4 LH44 is an offshoot of the F4 RC which is derived directly from the MV Agusta
Reparto Corse Superbike, the pinnacle of Italian 4-cylinder performance. Hence, the Corsa
Corta engine (bore 79 mm, stroke 50.9 mm) with central timing chain and radial valves,
which on this version puts out a maximum power of 205 hp (151 kW). The bike comes with
a kit that includes a titanium silencer and dedicated control unit, boosting power by 7 hp
to 212 hp (158 kW). It also features Lewis Hamilton's eye-catching Panther logo.

“I am very excited to continue my partnership with MV Agusta. I love working with
Giovanni and the guys at MV Agusta, their passion for engineering and attention to detail
produces stunning, original looking bikes. My projects with MV Agusta are a great way to
combine my love of riding bikes with my interest in creative design process so I am very
much involved with the CRC design team throughout.

I am particularly excited to introduce my new bike, the F4 LH44. It looks quite stunning
and I had the pleasure of riding on track a few weeks ago in Italy, it feels great and combines
the best of both worlds, a race bike for the road! There will be 44 bikes produced
so I hope the lucky owners will love it as much as I do”. (Lewis Hamilton)

The customisation that led to the creation of the F4 LH44 was based on a continuous,
direct, dialogue between the British Formula 1 champion and the CRC (Castiglioni
Research Center) workshop where every MV Agusta takes shape. Ideas, suggestions,
preferences, perception: the creative process was long, with attention paid to the bike's
every last detail. Each individual idea was meticulously assessed and checked in terms of
its feasibility, flair and functionality. Thorough analysis and creative comparison have made
the F4 LH44 much more than just a custom project: it is, rather, an unprecedented, unrepeatable
interpretation of the F4.

The first distinctive feature is the colour scheme, the result of close teamwork with Lewis
Hamilton. The candy apple red fairing and pearl white chassis makes an elegant impact,
enhancing the sensational design of the F4 and highlighting this Italian Superbike Replica's racing pedigree. This red colouring, one of many unique features on the F4 LH44,
is achieved with an exclusive, premium technique that uses ink-based paints as opposed
to traditional colour bases. The pearl white that cloaks the TIG-welded hand-built CrMo
steel trellis frame was also chosen for the sophisticated detail of the lower front fairing.
A touch of dynamism that unites the black graphics along the fairing and continues in the
sub-fairing and onto the tail section.

With the F4 LH44, the quest for a refined colour scheme extends to the suspension setup
that boasts premium suspension components: an Öhlins USD NIX 30 TiN-coated fork
- which offers separately adjustable hydraulic response in compression (left tube) and
rebound (right tube), plus pre-load - and an Öhlins TTX 36 rear shock with piggyback
reservoir, which, again, can be mechanically adjusted. The colour of the fork and rear
shock further heighten the uniqueness of the F4 LH44; the striking black anodized fork
outer tubes are the result of a specific agreement with Öhlins. Let's not forget that this
Swedish company has made gold outer tubes one of its hallmarks. The rear spring and
shock reservoir are also black, enhancing the sense of exclusivity.

The seat, which retains the much-appreciated racing ergonomics seen on the F4 RC, is
hand made using top quality materials such as natural leather and Alcantara, a winning
combination on a par with the very best automotive craftsmanship.

Colour continues to play a starring role on the engine. All-black, right down to its select,
lightweight magnesium alloy parts, it offers at-a-glance panache and a real racing feel.
The smoked screen - a first for an F4 production model - polishes the front end styling to
perfection. Extensive use of carbon fibre in components such as the main fairing sections
makes for a lightweight bike that boasts outstanding visual gusto thanks to an alternating
gloss-matt paint pattern, just one of the many unique features on the F4 LH44.

Dedicated components include a racing-style fuel cap, forged wheels and unique
items such as the rear wheel nut which, on the F4 LH44, has been CNC machined
after anodization.

Making the MV Agusta F4 LH44 even more exclusive are the Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa
SP tyres (120/70 ZR 17 at the front and 200/55 ZR 17 at the rear), specifically designed by
Pirelli for the 44 edition of the F4 Lewis Hamilton bikes. These special-edition Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SP tyres stand out for their red sidewalls, which sport the LH44 logo, comprising Hamilton's initials and race number. Given the exclusiveness of the bike,
the tyres just had to be Pirelli DIABLO™ Supercorsa SPs, road-approved tyres that offer
outstanding racetrack performance.

MV Agusta F4 LH44: 44 times exclusive.

Monday, September 18, 2017

New bio marks 40th anniversary of Meat Loaf’s iconic album, Bat Out of Hell!

"I never wanted to be a big star. I just wanted to be the biggest at what I do! Powerful, unstoppable, heavy – when that word still meant something good!" – Meat Loaf, as told to Mick Wall

Like a Bat Out of Hell: The Larger than Life Story of Meat Loaf by Mick Wall will be published by Hachette Australia on 14 November 2017, Trade Paperback $32.99 eBook RRP $16.99

October 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Meat Loaf's iconic album Bat Out of Hell. Adored by rock fans and musicians alike, Bat Out of Hell has sold 12 million records in the UK alone, with 29 million in America and 25 million platinum albums in Australia, more than any artist on record. And on 14 November Hachette Australia will publish Mick Wall's blockbuster new book Like a Bat Out of Hell: The Larger than Life Story of Meat Loaf.

Mick Wall interviewed Meat Loaf on numerous occasions throughout his career, and in Like a Bat Out of Hell he pulls back the curtains to reveal the soft-hearted soul behind the larger-than-life character Meat Loaf created for himself. From a tumultuous childhood with an alcoholic father to the relentless abusive bullying from classmates and their parents alike, nobody could have predicted Meat Loaf's meteoric rise to fame. But when the messianic rock opera Bat Out of Hell was released in 1977, it became one of the biggest albums of all time, selling over 45 million copies worldwide to date. Its release marked the start of a rollercoaster ride of incredible highs and seemingly career-ending lows. By the 80s, Meat Loaf was battling with drug and alcohol addiction and escalating money problems that would eventually lead to a nervous breakdown. But just when it seemed like it was all over, the astonishing success of Bat Out of Hell II and the mega-hit 'I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)' marked an extraordinary new wave of success.

Like a Bat Out of Hell will draw on the hours Mick spent with Meat Loaf, both in interviews and on tour, as well as offering up a unique insight from those who have known him best. Mick is the bestselling king of rock bios, with some of his iconic works including bestselling titles on Led Zeppelin (When Giants Walked the Earth), Metallica (Enter Night), AC/DC (Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be), Black Sabbath (Symptom of the Universe), Lou Reed, The Doors (Love Becomes a Funeral Pyre), the Foo Fighters, Lemmy, Prince and Guns n' Roses (Last of the Giants).

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Lonely Planet's 'Epic Drives of the World'

Lonely Planet Explores the World's Most Thrilling Road Trips with Epic Drives of the World

Six Australian Road Trips Showcased

50 Classic Driving Routes * Six Continents * 200 Ideas for Great Drives

Buckle up for a lifetime of memorable road trips this August, with the publication of Lonely Planet's Epic Drives of the World.

This beautifully illustrated hardcover book is the second instalment in Lonely Planet's Epic series (following last year's best-selling Epic Bike Rides of the World).  It features 50 classic driving routes across the world (from Argentina to Zambia), and 200 ideas for great drives - ranging from easy-going cruises to back-country adventures.

Australia is represented by six driving routes highlighted in the chapters "The Great Ocean Road", "A Short Hop from Hobart to Queenstown", "Across The Kimberley: The Gibb River Road", "Following the Captain Cook Highway", "The Great Alpine Road", and "The Track: Alice Springs to Darwin".

"This book is intended to offer fresh inspiration for your next road trip," Lonely Planet says.  "We have routes written and ridden by motorcyclists and even a tour of Northern California by electric vehicle. A few of these drives take a day but others can be enjoyed over a weekend, a week or more."

"What they have in common," Lonely Planet continues, "is that the road tripper is always independent. Want to take a detour (and we suggest some gems) or stay an extra day? Go right ahead. It's all about the journey. Driving a car need not be a mode of transport that insulates you from your surroundings: if you stop regularly, explore, encounter local people and their culture, you'll have as rich and rewarding an experience as you could hope for."

How to Use Lonely Planet's Epic Drives of the World

The main stories in each regional chapter feature first-hand accounts of fantastic drives in that continent. Each includes a fact-box to start the planning of a trip – when is the best time of year, how to get there, where to stay. But beyond that, these stories should spark other ideas. We've started that process with the 'more like this' section following each story, which offers other ideas along a similar theme, not necessarily on the same continent. Drives are colour coded according to difficulty, which takes into account not just how long, remote and challenging they are but the logistics and local conditions. The index collects different types of drive for a variety of interests.


Published 3 August 2017 / 328pp, full colour, H260mm x W200mm, hardcover / RRP: $44.99

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Rag Tag Fleet


Ian W. Shaw

Published by Hachette Australia in July 2017, format, RRP $32.99, Ebook RRP $16.99

A fascinating account of the part 3,000 Australian men - either too old or too young to join Australian regular forces - played in the war in the Pacific

This book conveys the fascinating - and unknown - story of the Rag Tag Fleet, a collection of hundreds of Australian fishing trawlers and schooners, organised by the US Army, which transported vital supplies for US and Australian forces across the South-East Pacific.

Boys under the age of 17 and men over 60, and those who weren't well enough to join the Australian regular forces formed the crews. Each boat was armed with one machine gun - and sailed under the American flag. Conditions on the boats were grim. Numerous crew members contracted diseases including malaria, dysentery and dengue fever. Vulnerable to aircraft attack, the boats were frequently strafed and bombed.

The story is told through the experiences of the Australian crew on half a dozen ships - including Jack Savage, boat builder extraordinaire; Ray Parer, air fighter, explorer and gold miner; and Norm Oddy, bandleader, drifter and mechanic.

The focus of The Rag Tag Fleet is the unknown story of the final months of 1942, when these men ran the gauntlet of Japanese air attacks, reefs and shallow, shark-infested waters to bring in the supplies and equipment for the US and Australian troops that defeated the entrenched Japanese forces at Buna on the PNG coast, and so helped turn the course of the war.

Ian W. Shaw lives in Canberra, and is the author of a number of books, including On Radji Beach and Ghosts of Roebuck Bay.
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