Tuesday, January 25, 2011

THE NEW ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE S

  • The driver-focussed V8 Vantage featuring enhanced dynamics
  • Increase in power and torque to 430 bhp and 490 Nm
  • New ground-up developed seven speed SportshiftT II transmission
  • Dramatic V12 Vantage-inspired looks available as coupe and Roadster
  • Compelling package of agility, balance, engagement and everyday practicality
The Aston Martin Vantage range comes of age with the new V8 Vantage S characterised by a host of new driver-focussed features all designed to push the honed dynamics of the standard Vantage to a new benchmark level.

Aston Martin's own 4.7 litre V8 engine has been engineered to deliver peak power of 430 bhp (436 PS / 321 kW) at 7300 rpm and torque of 490 Nm (361 lb.ft) at 5000 rpm and is coupled with a new ground-up developed SportshiftT II transmission specifically designed for the Vantage S with seven short ratio gears to deliver the most engaging and intense driver involvement.

"The Vantage S epitomises every attribute of the V8 Vantage and pushes the driver experience beyond what we have offered before," says Dr. Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin, "It combines dynamic exhilaration with all the charming finesse, beauty and practicality already associated with the Vantage range."

Dynamic revisions are central to the Vantage S, with a quickened steering rack ratio of 15:1 compared to 17:1 on the standard car and a larger diameter front brake disc with new six-piston front brake calipers. New springs and dampers, and wider rear wheels also contribute to chassis revisions. A new dynamic stability control (DSC) system specifically tuned to the Vantage S along with a new brake module providing features such as Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) which provides assistance in emergency braking situations, and Hill Start Assist (HSA). Bespoke tyres have been developed with Bridgestone to optimise road holding enhancing dynamic feel.

At the core of the Vantage S is the new seven speed SportshiftT II automated manual transmission, offered as standard and delivers exceedingly rapid gear changes, twenty per cent quicker than SportshiftT. The extra gear permits shorter well-spaced ratios taking advantage of the optimum torque, which combined with a shorter final drive ratio of 4.182:1 delivers quicker acceleration and an enhanced sporting feel. The inherent benefits of a single clutch system reduces complexity and significant weight over a dual clutch solution. SportshiftT II allows the driver to take an increased level of control, modulating the throttle pedal to achieve the desired type of gear change. In addition, the Vantage S features a 'Sport' button which quickens the gear changes and gives the driver a more aggressive throttle response while also opening the exhaust bypass valves across most of the engine speed range perfectly characterising the 'S' variant.

As with every Aston Martin, the Vantage S benefits from its own unique sound with a new exhaust muffler and bypass valve map, creating a very distinctive and highly vocal exhaust note.

The Vantage S is instantly recognisable as a true Aston Martin, characterised by its purposeful stance conveying its agility and performance capability. From the front, a new lower front bumper finished in perfectly-aligned carbon fibre houses a larger air intake feeding the engine and front brakes. The splitter combined with the extended deck lid 'flip' work in harmony to provide increased down force at speed. New 19 inch 'V' spoke wheel styles are available as standard, while an optional 10-spoke lightweight forged wheel option, reduces unsprung mass further. A new rear bumper and side sills optically widen the car.

Bridging the gap between road car and race car, the Vantage S is heavily influenced by the 2011 Vantage GT4 race car. The GT4 takes advantage of the Vantage's immensely rigid bonded aluminium chassis, providing the ideal platform for a race car. Minor racing safety modifications including an FIA approved roll cage and racing 'bag' petrol tank along with weight saving measures are made to the standard road car to convert it into a class winning race car. In 2010, it won its class at the Dubai 24 Hours following this up with further endurance race wins at the Nürburgring 24 Hours, Silverstone 24 Hours and Spa 24 Hours. It also won its first major international championship victory in the European GT4 Cup.

The Vantage S is available to order now from Aston Martin's global dealership network.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sundance Institute Announces Native Filmmaking Highlighted At 2011 Sundance Film Festival

Photo Caption: Bird Runningwater, Billy Luther, Chad Burris, Peter Bratt, Benjamin Bratt, and Cliff Curtis.


Seven Short Films and Four Feature Films Mark Record Number of Screenings from Native Filmmakers

Annual Native Forum to Feature Indigenous ShortsLab, Events and Screenings


PARK CITY, UT - Sundance Institute announced today details for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival's presentation of films by Native filmmakers and the annual Native Forum. A gathering of Indigenous filmmakers from around the world, the Native Forum provides a platform for artists to share their expertise and knowledge through an Indigenous ShortsLab, panels, networking events and special screenings. This year's Festival will provide a world stage for Native filmmakers whose works include seven short films and four feature films from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States. In all, 11 Native communities will be represented:Tsilhqot'in, Métis, Ngāti Rangi, Atihaunui a Paparangi, Navajo Nation, Hopi, Laguna Pueblo, Iñupiaq, Taranaki/Ngati Tama Ngati Mutunga, Native Hawaiian and Māori. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs January 20-30 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Following President and Founder Robert Redford's original vision, Sundance Institute is committed to supporting Native American and Indigenous filmmaking. The Native American and Indigenous Program has made strategic investments to help emerging Native American filmmakers through the Native Lab Fellowship and collaborative investment in Indigenous filmmakers, along with the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, Documentary Film Program and Sundance Film Festival.

In addition to the films, the Native Forum will feature events to celebrate and bring together the Native community at the Festival. Both the Native Forum Brunch on Monday, January 24 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and the Native Forum Reception on Thursday, January 27 from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., are invite-only, and a ticket or RSVP are required to attend. The Native Forum will also host the Indigenous ShortsLab, a panel of Festival programmers and award-winning short filmmakers to discuss important questions, such as: What makes a good short film? How can it be financed? How are short films programmed at festivals? Why make a short film? The Indigenous ShortsLab will be held on Thursday, January 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the New Frontier 2011 MicroCinema, located at 1354 Park Avenue in Park City. A ticket is required for entrance.

"This year the Native Forum continues to raise the profile of Native Cinema and provides a stage for these talented filmmakers," said N. Bird Runningwater, Associate Director, Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Initiative. "The Native Forum connects these filmmakers and their films with the marketplace of independent film. Through the Film Festival as well as the labs, workshops and other programs, Sundance Institute brings together the writers, directors and producers of Native and Indigenous Cinema as part of a global filmmaking community."

FILM SELECTIONS FOR THE 2011 NATIVE SHOWCASE

?E?anx (The Cave) / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Helen Haig-Brown [Tsilhqot'in]) - A hunter on horseback accidentally discovers a portal to the afterlife in this fantastical version of a true Tsilhqot'in story.

Short Film Competition

Choke / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Michelle Latimer [Métis]) - Upon leaving his First Nations reserve, Jimmy encounters the lost souls of the city and is reminded that no matter how far you travel, you cannot escape who you are.

Short Film Competition

The Devil's Double / Belgium (Director: Lee Tamahori [Māori] Screenwriter: Michael Thomas) - An extraordinary chapter in recent history providing a chilling vision of the House of Saddam comes to life through the eyes of the man who knew too much. Cast: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Mimoun Oaissa, Raad Rawi, Philip Quast.

Premieres

Ebony Society / Aotearoa-New Zealand (Director and Screenwriter: Tammy Davis [Ngāti Rangi & Atihaunui a Paparangi]) - One night out stealing; two boys learn a lesson.

Short Film Competition

GRAB / USA (Director: Billy Luther [Navajo, Hopi, Laguna Pueblo]) - Three families in the Laguna Pueblo tribe prepare for Grab Day, when they throw groceries from a rooftop to the community waiting below - an annual community-wide prayer of abundance, thanks and renewal. Documentary, narrated by Parker Posey.

Native Showcase

Mad Bastards / Australia (Director: Brendan Fletcher; Screenwriters: Brendan Fletcher in collaboration with Dean Daley-Jones, Greg Tait and John Watson) - In a frontier town of northern Australia's Kimberley Region, an urban street warrior meets his match in a local cop. Performances and stories from real people in Kimberley are woven through the music of legendary Broome musicians, The Pigram Brothers. Cast: Dean Daley-Jones, Greg Tait, John Watson, Ngaire Pigram, Lucas Yeeda.

World Cinema Dramatic Competition

On the Ice / USA (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean [Iñupiaq]) - On the snow-covered Arctic tundra, two teenagers try to get away with murder. Cast: Josiah Patkotak, Frank Qutuq Irelan, Teddy Kyle Smith, Adamina Kerr, Sierra Jade Sampson.

U.S. Dramatic Competition

Redemption / Aotearoa-New Zealand (Director: Katie Wolfe [Taranaki/Ngati Tama Ngati Mutunga]; Co-Screenwriters: Tim Balme, Renae Maihi [Nga Puhi/Ngati Hine, Te Arawa/Ngati Wakaue], and Katie Wolfe based on the short story by Phil Kawana [Ngaruahinerangi, Ngati Ruanui, Ngati Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, Rangitane]) - A boy. A girl. A step too far.

Short Film Competition

The Rocket Boy / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Donavan Seschillie [Navajo Nation]) - A young boy's limitless imagination creates a dilemma between reality and dreams.

Short Film Competition

Stones / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Ty Sanga [Native Hawaiian]) - Set in the ancient times in the islands of Hawai'i, a forlorn woman living in isolation with her husband meets a child from a nearby village and contemplates whether she should bring her into her mystical world.

Short Film Competition

Wapawekka / Canada (Director and Screenwriter: Danis Goulet [Métis]) - A final visit to their isolated cabin in northern Canada reveals the inter-generational rift between Josh and his traditional Cree father.

Short Film Competition

Festival Sponsors

The 2011 Sundance Film Festival sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors-Entertainment Weekly, HP, Acura, Sundance Channel and Chase SapphireSM; Leadership Sponsors-Bing™, Canon, DIRECTV, Honda, Southwest Airlines and YouTube™; Sustaining Sponsors-FilterForGood®, a partnership between Brita® and Nalgene®, L'Oréal Paris, Stella Artois®, Timberland, and Trident Vitality™. Sundance Institute recognizes critical support from the Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development, and the State of Utah as Festival Host State. The support of these organizations will defray costs associated with the 10-day Festival and the nonprofit Sundance Institute's year-round programs for independent film and theatre artists. In return, sponsorship of the preeminent Festival provides these organizations with global exposure, a platform for brand impressions and unique access to Festival attendees.

About Sundance Film Festival

Supported by the nonprofit Sundance Institute, the Festival has introduced global audiences to some of the most ground-breaking films of the past two decades, including sex, lies, and videotape, Maria Full of Grace, The Cove, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, An Inconvenient Truth, Precious, Trouble the Water and Napoleon Dynamite and, through its New Frontier initiative, has brought the cinematic works of media artists including Isaac Julian, Doug Aitken, Pierre Huyghe, Jennifer Steinkamp and Matthew Barney. www.sundance.org/festival

Thursday, January 6, 2011

More Horsepower For McLaren Racing Display

Imagine seeing the McLaren Formula One cars that brought championship glory to Lewis Hamilton, Mika Häkkinen, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Niki Lauda and Emerson Fittipaldi in one thrilling display. This will become reality at the NEC, Birmingham, on 13-16 January 2010, when six F1 World Championship-winning cars will be part of the McLaren Racing Display at the world's greatest motorsport show, Autosport International.

Lauda and Prost competed as team-mates in 1984, claiming 11 victories out of 15 races, and took the title fight down to the wire, with Lauda securing the honours by the narrowest margin of half a point: the closest F1 championship finish ever. The MP4/2, the car Lauda and Prost raced will be a highlight of the McLaren Racing Display, along with the MP4/5, in which Prost and Senna dominated the 1989 season, with the Frenchman eventually triumphing at the Japanese Grand Prix.

British superstar Lewis Hamilton secured the Drivers' World Championship in only his second F1 season, driving the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23, which will also be on show at Autosport International, in addition to the McLaren F1 GTR, winner of the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a McLaren Indy 500 car from 1977. Finally, the feature would not be complete without McLaren's much anticipated new road car, the MP4-12C.

Full line-up of the McLaren display:

2011 McLaren MP4-12C
McLaren's new high-performance road car, the MP4-12C, features innovations directly inspired by the cutting-edge world of F1, including its one-piece carbon fibre composite 'MonoCell' chassis, its seven-speed seamless shift gearbox and optional carbon ceramic brakes.

2008 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes MP4-23
The car that was hailed for its 'bridged' front wing and many other aerodynamic innovations, carried Lewis Hamilton to the 2008 title in a thrilling finale at the Brazilian Grand Prix, where he clinched World Championship glory from Ferrari rival Felipe Massa on the final corner.

1998 Team McLaren Mercedes MP4-13
The Mercedes-Benz powered MP4-13's form was imminent at the season opener when Mika Häkkinen lapped all of his competitors, except his team-mate David Coulthard, on his way to a dominant Australian victory. The duo went on to secure six victories and both championship titles.

1995 McLaren F1 GTR
The racing version of the legendary million-dollar McLaren F1 road car made history by winning the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race in its first year of competition with JJ Lehto, Yannick Dalmas and Masanori Sekiya at the wheel. It also finished third, fourth and fifth, in its impressive first outing.

1989 McLaren MP4/5
In the second year of the classic Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost line-up at McLaren, Prost came out on top, sealing the title at the Japanese Grand Prix, taking his third Drivers' Championship and back-to-back Constructors' Championships for the team.

1988 McLaren MP4/4
The most successful car in Formula One history helped Senna and Prost win all but one race on the calendar, with 10 one-two finishes, having led 1,004 of the 1,031 laps run that season. In the end Senna secured his first drivers' title by charging to the win from 14th at Suzuka, Japan. 

1984 McLaren MP4/2
Powered by the Porsche-built TAG turbo V6 engine, Niki Lauda fought from 11th to finish second behind team-mate Prost at the season finale in Portugal, just enough for him to claim his third title.

1977 McLaren M24B
McLaren won the classic Indianapolis 500 race three times in the 1970s, twice with American racer Johnny Rutherford, whose McLaren M24B is a testament to the British team's competitiveness the world over.

1974 McLaren M23
Emerson Fittipaldi out-raced Ferrari rival Clay Regazzoni at the season-ending United States Grand Prix in 1974 to secure the title in the Ford Cosworth-powered McLaren M23, with McLaren winning its first Formula One Constructors' Championship.

1970 McLaren M8D
The Canadian-American Challenge Cup, remembered mainly as the 'Can-Am', was dominated by McLaren, which claimed every title between 1967 and 1971 with Denny Hulme crushing the opposition in 1970 in the Chevrolet-powered McLaren M8D.

1969 McLaren M7C
Bruce McLaren's signature orange-liveried M7C was evolved from the M7A, which secured the team's first F1 victory, and went on to take third in the Drivers' Championship only three years after the team was founded.

In addition to the stunning McLaren Racing Display, visitors to Autosport International will get the chance to see the hottest performance cars at PistonHeads: The Performance Car Show, and a wide range of race cars from grassroots to Formula One. Well-known drivers, celebrities and racing personalities will also make appearances at show, with long-time F1 commentator Murray Walker, current BBC pundits Martin Brundle and Jake Humphrey, as well as eight-time 24 Hour of Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, all part of the Autosport International line-up for 2011.

Thrilling racing and awe-inspiring stunts will provide entertainment for the whole family in the Fifth Gear Live Action Arena, hosted by 2010 British Touring Car Champion and Fifth Gear TV presenter Jason Plato, and racer turned motoring personality Tiff Needell. Tickets for Autosport International 2011 are now on sale, with a reserved seat in the Fifth Gear Live Action Arena included with every public show ticket.

Tickets are now on sale for the public show, which is held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, on 15-16 January. Adult tickets cost £30 per day, with children's tickets priced at £19.50. Group tickets are also available.

Platinum Passes give the full VIP treatment, including access to the Platinum Club enclosure, the VIP Platinum Lounge and the backstage Paddock Area in the Fifth Gear Live Action Arena, and cost £100.

For more information or to book, please visit www.autosportinternational.com.

*Please note that the final line-up of the display is subject to change.


Tickets are now on sale for the public show, which is held at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, on 15-16 January. Adult tickets cost £30 per day, with children's tickets priced at £19.50 (children under five years of age go free). Each public day ticket includes a reserved seat in the Fifth Gear Live Action Arena. Group tickets are also available.

Platinum Passes provide the full VIP treatment for £100. These tickets include access to the Platinum Club enclosure, the VIP Platinum Lounge and the backstage Paddock Area in the Fifth Gear Live Action Arena, as well as much more!

For more information or to book tickets, please visit www.autosportinternational.com or call +44 (0)844 581 1420.


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