Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Mercedes GLE Coupe: Merc's X6 rival!

The new Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe is Mercedes's take on the BMW X6 and it also comes in an AMG variant. After the E-Class, this is the other car to feature the 9-speed transmission as standard. Available with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, the GLE Coupe is slotted between the GLE  which is better known as the M-Class and GLS which was earlier called the GL.
Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)
Speaking of inside, the GLE Coupe offers seating for five. Once, that'd have been a crucial deal-breaker for buyers dithering over that X6 deposit, but no longer - the BM's ditched its four-seater set-up. That said, the GLE Coupe's ruthlessly sloped roofline means rear space won't be a patch on the ML - sorry, GLE's - and boot space is sacrificed too - 1600 litres in the GLE Coupe plays 2010 litres in the GLE.
 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)
Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)

There's a few more months to wait until Mercedes unleashes its AMG GLE 63 complete with the full compliment of bi-turbo V8 political incorrectness, so, in the meantime, the GLE Coupe is the first new Mercedes to spawn an AMG Sport model - a halfway house of lukewarm Mercs inbetween cooking models and the lairy AMG flagships. Think BMW's M Performance range, or Audi's ‘S' cars.

So the GLE 450 AMG brandishes a 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6, churning out 362bhp and 383lb ft to the car's standard-fit nine-speed automatic gearbox. The AMG Sport model gets a bespoke torque split: 60 per cent hits the rear rubber in normal driving, compared to an even 50:50 in the other versions.

You can have a lesser GLE 400 with 328bhp, using the same 3.0-litre V6. And yes, Europeans, there's a diesel version: the GLE 350d's V6 manages 255bhp and 457lb ft. Fuel consumption figures haven't yet been disclosed, probably because Mercedes knows full well prospective buyers couldn't give a flying monkeys.

Typically for a modern German machine, everything is adjustable. You can tinker with the standard-fit air suspension, gearbox behaviour, engine sound, traction and stability control and the steering response, thanks to Merc's ‘Dynamic Select' gadget. You want options? Have five of 'em: Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual modes for the road, and a ‘Slippery' setting for snow, ice and off-roading. 

The other official figures Mercedes is keeping close to its chest are prices. Expect a diesel GLE Coupe to set you back around £55,000, and the paid-up nutter of an AMG model the thick end of £90k.
Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Aston DB10: James Bond's new ride!

To finally lay rest to rumours that James Bond will be driving a puny Fiat 500 in his next outing, comes the sizzling Aston Martin DB10, a car more revolutionary than whatever Aston has done till now. 
The DB10 will be Daniel Craig's wheels in Bond's 24th big-screen outing, due next year, continuing 007's affiliation with Aston that helped make the DB5 so iconic.
We love a Bond flick, but needless to say it's the DB10 that's whet our appetites the most. It's described by Aston Martin as "a model developed specifically for the film and built in-house by the brand's design and engineering teams", and will be limited to a production run 10 cars, three of which have so far been built.
But it's fair to say this is no pie-in-the-sky concept. It looks an entirely road-ready vehicle, and its Aston convention-matching name ought to be a deep hint that we're looking at a preview of the DB9's replacement. Aston itself says "the DB10 gives a glimpse to the future design direction for the next generation of Aston Martins".
But an Aston insider tells us it more accurately points towards what we can expect from the next V8 Vantage. As such, a 4.7-litre eight-cylinder apparently sits beneath that svelte bonnet. the DB10's panels are crafted from carbonfibre, as it's the quickest material to work with.
Technical information and gadget details were spared from Spectre director Sam Mendes's unveil, perhaps unsurprisingly. So for now we can only pass comment on how the DB10 looks.
‘Nice' would appear to be an understatement, the tautness of the V8 melded with the longer profile of the DB9, but with much sharper creases and some perfectly housed alloy wheels.
While very recognisably an Aston, there are also inescapable shades of Jaguar F-Type, particularly in side profile and around the DB10's hindquarters. Given the affiliation designer Ian Callum has with both companies, that ought not to be a surprise. And given the F-Type is a stonker, it's certainly not a bad parallel to draw.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Ducati 1299 Panigale and 1299 S

New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
Ducati's latest flagship superbike has all the expected spec bumps. There's more displacement, more power, revised suspension and brakes, and a smatter of subtle design tweaks. But the real story behind the Ducati 1299 Panigale is the amount of computing power orchestrating it all.
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
The new Superquadro V-twin puts out 205 horsepower in both the base and S variants – matching the hyper-exclusive Panigale Superleggera – thanks to a 116mm bore resulting in 1,285cc of displacement. Torque is up to 106 lb-ft and weight is pegged at 395 pounds wet (without gas).

The superbike will fight off with the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2, the new Yamaha R1M and the Aprillia RSV4 RR.
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
While the engine is sure to be another screamer, it's the Ohlins Smart EC suspension and the silicon brains behind it that takes center stage. Ducati is calling the electronics controlling it all "event-based", taking inputs from a variety of sensors to change the suspension settings in real-time based on what the bike is doing, not what inputs the rider is making.
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
While braking for a corner, the damping and compression in the front forks increases to boost stability. Mid-corner, the lean-angle sensors detect the bike's angle, releases the damping to improve control and also has a new ABS-setting that can be tweaked for both corner entry and manipulation in the middle of the bend. On the way out, the rear suspension stiffens to provide more grip out back, and wheelie control – also pulled from the Superleggera – lets you dial in the right amount of lift, similar to what's on offer from the BMW S1000RR. There's also a fully-electronic steering damper, along with quick-shifting for both up and down clutchless shifting.
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
But the first question anyone that follows racing is going to ask is what about the displacement regulations for World Superbike? Those are capped, so Ducati is offering a new 1299 Panigale R with the... ummm... old 1,198cc of displacement, complete with a tungsten-balanced crankshaft and putting out the same 205 hp and a few pound-feet less. It also comes equipped with a full Akropovič titanium exhaust, Ohlins, Ducati's data acquisition system, and tips the scales at 406 pounds wet.
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
Deliveries of all three bikes are set to begin this February or March depending on the market, and all that suspension tech is sure to filter down to other Ducati models in the coming years.
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer
New 2015 Ducati 1299 Panigale Is A 205-HP Supercomputer

Aprilia RSV4 RR & RF!

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2015 RSV4 RR is here, as is the RSV4 RF.
Aprilia RSV4-RFWEB[5]
Wow – the RSV4 RF is some bit of kit!
The basics are as follows: an extra 16bhp taking the engine up to 201bhp at the crank, at 13,000rpm. All engine internals have been revised or redesigned. The class-leading APRC electronics package has also been upgraded and refined and includes traction-control, anti-wheelie, launch control and also an auto-downshift blipper.
Brakes have also been upgraded, and features a Race ABS system from Bosch with three adjustable settings. These settings can also be combined with the engine mapping and other electronic settings. With the chassis, weight distribution and general chassis setup has been redefined, the engine is slightly lower and the swingarm lengthened by 14mm. The front fairing is also larger and redesigned, too.
The RR comes with Sachs suspension, but can be upgraded to Ohlins via the race pack, which also includes lighter wheels, a race ECU and lots of other goodies. Or, you can buy the limited edition RSV4 RF, which comes with the full race pack included, and also a special ‘Superpole’ paint scheme. Don’t delay though, there will only be 500 of the RF built.
The big news? The engine mapping and electronics can be tailored on track, corner by corner, via GPS to your preferences. Not only that, the software and support will help you go faster. That’s WSB & MotoGP in your garage – what a brave new world we live in!
It will lock horns with the Ducati 1299, the new Yamaha R1M and the Kawasaki Ninja H2

Yamaha R1 2015!

It was a rainy night in Milan, but that in no way dampened the mood at Yamaha, which trotted out MotoGP star Valentino Rossi to ride the long-awaited 2015 YZF-R1 onto stage at the big launch party held the night before the EICMA motorcycle show opened. And what an impressive bike this new R1 appears to be, a seriously sporty new Yamaha flagship that goes on sale in February/March priced at $16,490.

This bike is a big leap forward from the older R1 and trumps the V-twin Ducati 1299 and the mad supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2.

For that sum, you’ll be getting a potent and highly capable motorcycle that can throw down some fast laps at your local track day and then be ridden home. And it’s in that role as a street-legal race bike that the new R1 will almost certainly shine, thanks to a lightweight aluminum chassis (with a magnesium subframe) and an all-new 998cc four-cylinder engine that puts out “approximately 200 horsepower” at the crankshaft. Yamaha, of note, makes it clear that the 200 mark is reached without any ram-air effect. Also, good, linear torque is reported throughout the rev band.
Neat details abound: The R1’s connecting rods are titanium, and their big ends are fracture-split, which assures a perfect circle. The cylinder head, with reshaped ports and larger valves (33mm intakes, 26.5mm exhausts), has 13.0:1 compression, and its narrower valve angle allows for a more compact pent-roof combustion chamber. And, in page borrowed from MotoGP, the crankshaft is a crossplane design with 270°/180°/90°/180° firing sequence that gives each piston and con rod its own individual and separate movement for power pulses that improve acceleration traction and offer a most excellent great exhaust growl.
2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 side view from EICMA motorcycle show
Another note about the R1’s crankshaft: Yamaha says it has 20 percent less inertial moment than the previous crank, which dramatically improves throttle response. And a lightweight primary coupling balancer has weights positioned near the outer cylinders for strong acceleration and consistently high torque.
Lightweight forged aluminum pistons are also part of the R1 recipe. Cooled by oil jets from below, these pistons are lightweight but strong, and their low-tension piston rings, together with a diamond-like carbon coating on the wristpins, helps reduce internal friction. Similarly coated is a new rocker-arm mechanism that provides a higher valve lift than the cam height to reduce load on the cam and further cut internal friction.
One of Yamaha’s main design thrusts was to increase air intake volume while reducing power losses. The airbox on the new R1 is a voluminous 10.5 liters, 23 percent larger than the previous box. Yamaha’s Chip Controlled Injection, with long and short funnels electronically activated for optimum power output and torque, remains in use, while new two-directional, 12-hole injectors spray fuel at the back of the larger intake valves.
Valentino Rossi introduces the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 at EICMAWHAT DOES THE DOCTOR SAY?
Valentino Rossi evidently played a role in the development of the new 2015 R1. He said he wanted the bike to have the agility of his M1 race machine, but, at the same, be more comfortable to ride and have a “better feel” over the front end. He also worked with the R1’s new electronics, which feature, among other things, lean-sensitive traction control, slide control, and ABS, plus various power modes, a quickshifter, wheelie control and launch control. “All of the electronics in MotoGP have improved a lot,” said Rossi, a nine-time world champion. Electronics now work in a very natural way. It’s like normal riding, but easier.”
With cast magnesium wheels, lightweight LED lights, and a titanium 4-2-1 exhaust, the new 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 tips the scales at a claimed 439 lb., in fully wet, ready to ride form. Its wheelbase is down by almost 0.4 inch, and its swingarm has been reduced in length by 0.5 inch. Rake and fork offset are unchanged, and an inverted 43mm fork is complemented by a link-type single-shock rear.
2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 rear view from EICMA motorcycle show
Also notable: The 2015 R1 is the first Yamaha supersport model with ABS and Unified Braking. With the latter, the operation of the front brake generates a corresponding brake force at the rear. And when the rider operates both the front and rear brakes, UBS controls the balance applied to each brake. The only time UBS has no control is when only the rear brake is used.
LED headlights reside in the leading edges of the side cowling, not in the center of the fairing, which gives the new 2015 R1 has a race-ready look. This is backed up with an exceptionally strong technical package should keep this Yamaha busy on weekends at racetrack and on roads around the world.

2015 Yamaha YZF-R1M at EICMA motorcycle showSPECIAL-EDITION: THE YAMAHA YZF-R1M
Near the end of the Yamaha press conference in Milan, we were in for a surprise treat: The R1M, a limited-edition R1 for riders or professional teams who plan to go racing, essentially a homologation special in the spirit of the YZF-R7 of 1999. To that end, this special R1M has Electronic Racing Suspension (ERS) from Öhlins, carbon-fiber bodywork, a Communication Control Unit (a data logger) and stickier Bridgestones. Price: $21,990. Fewer than 500 will be built.

Thunderbird LT 2015

The Thunderbird LT is a ‘light tourer’ that Triumph built to break the strangle hold that Harley-Davidson have on the American cruiser market and it’s targeted squarely at the HD Road King Classic in particular. This battle finds a new stage in India now but that’s fodder for a comparison that we’ll bring you at a later date. For a first impression we took the Thunderbird LT for a ‘small’ 400 kilometre spin to find out what this stunning Brit brings to the cruiser loving Indian market.
Triumph Thunderbird LT  (2)
Try spotting Varun’s reflection in all that chrome
Like the classic tourer that it hopes to better, the beautiful Triumph has clean lines with large fenders, cushy seat, tall wide bars and a sea of chrome that make taking detail shots a photographer’s nightmare. In the flesh it’s a really large motorcycle that begs for your (and everyone else’s) attention. The tall windscreen, pillion back rest and leather saddle bags clearly state that this is a motorcycle for the open road. It’s also one of those motorcycles that urge you to keep them clean, just so you can spend hours looking at your reflection in all that chrome or admire the gloss of the two tone Caspian Blue/Crystal White paint job – obsessive compulsive cleaners and Parsis, you have been warned. You may spend more time with this motorcycle stationary than out on the road.
Triumph Thunderbird LT  (6)
The 270 degree firing order does give the twin a distinct v-twin like off beat note but it’s a fairly soft tune
Swing a leg over the low seat (700mm) and your nether regions are cupped in a nice wide comfortable berth. Triumph have made the seat out of multiple density foam layers that they say offer great support and comfort. The riding position is generous though shorter riders might find it a little too stretched out. For my 5’9” frame it was fairly comfortable. Thumb the starter and the 1699cc parallel twin sparks to life with a burble. The 270 degree firing order does give the twin a distinct v-twin like off beat note but it’s a fairly soft tune. I’d prefer the soundtrack to my ride to be turned up a few notches on the amp.
Triumph Thunderbird LT  (4)
The twin 310mm discs are great stoppers
Pull away and you’d be hard pressed to believe that this is a large powerful cruiser, that is at least from the throttle response perspective. The progressive throttle gives a smooth and gentle response at low speeds making it a very easy motorcycle to control and you won’t find yourself lurching forward in traffic every time you get on and off the throttle. It does feel a little heavy at low speeds despite the wide handle bars though nowhere as intimidating as its 380 kilogram kerb weight sounds. Thankfully the low seat height allows you to plant both feet flat on the tarmac so things never get out of hand.
Triumph Thunderbird LT  (5)
Large dials are simple and easy to read
The Thunderbird LT loves the open road and once the traffic on the way out of Delhi cleared, I was able to let all 94 horses out to play. The engine revs smoothly with just a few vibrations kicking in near the top and quite un-cruiser like, there is a little top end kick to reward you for accelerating through the gears. Once in the tall sixth gear, things calm down and I found a sweet spot around the 110-120kmph mark where the whole package felt happiest. It can hold faster speeds but I found that over 140kmph, the vibrations and the wind noise started to become a distraction. The large windscreen kept the wind off my shoulders but my head did get some light buffeting, not enough to make it a concern though. The positive trade off is that you can see the road over the tall windscreen rather than having to look through it, which is great in general and crucial in the rain.
Triumph Thunderbird LT  (1)
For such a large motorcycle, the Triumph handles really well but like all cruisers, it grinds its floor boards way too soon. With this long and heavy a motorcycle, it’s no surprise that it’s stable too. In fact, when leaned over it has a slight eagerness to right itself. Not so much that you feel like it wants to run wide but just enough that you lose all fear that it will tip over in the corner. Another confidence inspiring trait is the brakes. The 310mm dual front discs bring things to a stop surprisingly easily. There’s not too much feel from the lever but it would require a really heavy hand to activate ABS. The rear brakes bite nicely too but I hardly needed to use them on the ride.
The Triumph scores great on comfort and I have to say that the multiple density cushion seat is one of the most comfortable perches I have experienced on a motorcycle. I had no aches and pains after the first day of riding, having covered a good 400-odd kilometres and just stopping twice, once to refuel and then, for a snack. It’s not just down to the seat either, the dual rate springs of the Showa shocks absorb all but the sharpest of bumps and made for a comfortable ride. The large 22 litre fuel tank gives the LT a nice 300 kilometre range and you’ll be comfortable enough in the saddle to ride all of them without stopping. Our photographer, Varun also spent some time on the pillion perch as we searched the outskirts of Ajmer for a place to shoot and he rates it as one of the best he’s had to sit on.
Triumph Thunderbird LT  (3)
The best seats in the business?
At Rs 15.75 lakh ex-Delhi, it’s quite a stretch for the Indian cruiser enthusiast but at that price you do get a great comfortable long distance cruiser that will keep you entertained both on the road and parked in your garage. Just be prepared to answer the never ending stream of “how much?” and “mileage?” questions whenever you do pullover.

Kawasaki Ninja H2 to be launched in India in 2015

The Kawasaki H2R is easily the most talked about motorcycle in 2014. The supercharged litre class beast produces a record 300PS and is more powerful than any other production motorcycle in history. However, the H2R is a track only machine that is going to be produced in small numbers and cost a very big number to own. Fortunately, Kawasaki also has a street version of this motorcycle in the H2 that also runs a supercharged litre engine but in a lower state of tune (that still produces over 200PS). The 998cc motor uses a centrifugal supercharger that can run upto 1,30,000rpm and generate upto 20.5psi of boost pressure.
Kawasaki Ninja H2
The H2 will be available in India at a price we believe will be close to the Rs 30 lakh mark.  The H2 comes with a comprehensive electronics package that includes traction control, launch control, engine brake control, anti wheelie and more to help the rider manage the manic power. The frame is a trellis type while the massive 330mm front brakes help slow the machine down with ABS providing security.
The H2 is available with an advanced mirror coated black paint.

Ferrari FXXK!

The brilliantly-named FXX K is based on the LaFerrari – the quickest road-legal production car ever made by the Italian manufacturer.
But for some wealthy customers, the 217mph LaFerrari isn't quite quick enough – so lab boffins in Maranello, northern Italy, decided to make it more extreme.
Tearing up the rulebook for road and race cars, Ferrari has built a "completely uncompromising" vehicle designed to give "an unprecedented driving experience".
On track: The FXX K is expected to make its global debut in Abu Dhabi next week
The FXX K now has more than 1,000bhp and will be able to accelerate from 0-62mph in less than THREE seconds.
It has been designed for lapping a racetrack as quickly as possible and has a 50 per cent increase in downforce to boost cornering.
The 'K' in the name is a reference to the "KERS" kinetic energy recovery system which boosts track performance.
It will also have a deafening roar, with engineers removing the silencers from the hybrid racecar's exhaust system.
Red for danger: The new car is built for the track and breaks all the rules for suitability for roads
Ferrari announced the first details of the FXX K today before it makes its global debut in Abu Dhabi next week.
A Ferrari statement said: "Unfettered by homologation and racing regulations, the FXX K will never be used in competition.
"It was, in fact, developed to be completely uncompromising, incorporating technological innovations that will guarantee an unprecedented driving experience to the exclusive group of Client-Test Drivers with whom the Prancing Horse will roll out a test programme over the coming two years."
The manufacturer refused to reveal pricing, but the limited edition track car is expected to cost in excess of £2million.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

First teaser video for Merc’s AMG GT

This is the best glimpse yet at Mercedes' upcoming 911-rival. It's the new AMG GT, and it is coming your way very soon.
By very soon of course, we mean before the year is out. To begin ramping up your interest, Mercedes has now released the first teaser video.
If you listen very carefully, you'll catch a few baritone notes of the AMG GT's 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8; all unmistakably AMG, you'll agree. We expect the car to produce somewhere in the region of 500bhp.

Of course, when we spoke to AMG chief Tobias Moers earlier this year, he told us that despite AMG's love of natural aspiration, "the new V8 in the new sportscar will have excellent throttle response. Everybody will be happy."
It should also look pretty dandy too, because Gordon Wagener, Merc's chief designer, told us so. "The AMG GT will be the most beautiful car my team and me have ever designed." That's high praise indeed.

Inside, the AMG GT gets some cool elements, such as a centre console shaped like a NACA air duct, and the control buttons for the engine arranged on either side of this console like the cylinders in a V8.
So, have a look at the pictures above, and then watch the teaser video below - reckon the AMG GT's got the minerals to take the fight to the Porsche 911?

Meet the new Lightning LS-218

American electric motorcycle company Lightning has unveiled its LS-218 superbike which has an unusual model number. The bike, tested at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2012, achieved a top speed of 218mph (348kmph) and thus, proved true to its name. That's faster then even a million dollar Porsche 918 Spyder! The LS-218 also is the 2013 Pikes Peak Champion taking victory with a time of 10 minutes 0.694 seconds and the FIM EPower championship, setting this bike up to not be just the fastest electric motorcycle, but also the fastest production bike in the world!
Lightening LS-218 1
The bike at the unveiling at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering
The bike was unveiled at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering in California and the finished product is what the company had promised, ahead of the official launch later this summer. The bike has a 200+PS liquid cooled direct drive electric motor which has a mind-bending 227Nm of torque right from the word go! The LS-218 has three battery options offering 380V, 12kwh for 160 to 200kmph; 15kwh for 200 to 240kmph and 20kwh  for 260 to 290kmph. The added weight of the battery poses for a heavy bike that weighs 225kg.
Richard Hatfield, CEO of Lightning Motorcycle said, “Lightning’s research and development team has developed electric vehicle technology through years of competition at racing events around the world. We believe that the LS-218 offers consumers the best of design, performance and value in today’s market.”
The bike will most likely cost around $38,000 (approx Rs 22,32,880 without taxes and duties). In addition to the performance, Lightning provides customers unprecedented options to personalize their Lightning LS-218. Some examples of available options are a fully programmable Android display, carbon fiber swing arm and frame, titanium fasteners, custom graphic wrap and seating.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Bultaco to make a comeback in 2015

Bultaco is a Spanish motorcycle company which used to build 2-stroke motorcycles from 1958 to 1983. On the anniversary of the creation of the brand and on founder; Francisco Xavier (Don Paco) Bulto’s birthday, the company has announced that it will make a comeback with electric motorcycles in 2015. To reach these clients, Bultaco will create a sales network, initially in Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France
Bultaco 2
Bultaco will bring in two electric bikes in 2015
Bultaco closed its doors in 1983 due to industrial unrest and market pressures in Spain. The origins of the new Bultaco lie in a project by LGN Tech Design S.L., an engineering firm specialised in mechanical and electronic design focused on developing its own patents. The founders José Germán Pérez, Raúl Pérez, Juan Manuel Vinós, Gerald Pöllmann and Jorge Bonilla founded this company in 2010.
Two years later, they took part in the FIM’s first World Electrical Motorcycle Championship organised in 2011 as LGN. The bike was built in just three months and competed against companies with far greater experience in the field. They finished third in Magny-Cours and 4th in the overall rankings.
The bikes will use motors built with technology developed in-house
The bikes will use motors built with technology developed in-house
Bultaco will offer two bikes, the Repitan and the Repitan Sport. Both will offer a 55PS electric motor which will propel the 189kg bikes to a top speed of 145kmph. The bikes’ propulsion systems will be built using technology developed in-house. Bultaco will use their own Drive Train System (DTS) which enable maximum energy performance to be yielded from regenerative braking. The technology applied to the chassis maximises the rear wheels’ adherence during braking, which enables a considerable electrical braking torque to be applied. The energy accumulation system, which combines a lithium-ion battery and ultra-condensers, is yet another feature that ensures performance.
“My father always said that the ideal scenario would be a constant torque engine with the same response as any system for a motorcycle without gearshifts. And at the end he said: as if we had an electrical engine.” Paco Bultó Junior.

Bultaco Motorcycles unveil press release

Today, on the anniversary of the founding of the brand and the birth of its creator – Don Paco Bultó – Bultaco is announcing its return to the motorcycle market.

The four most noteworthy features of this project are:

Advanced technology developed in-house. Just like in the 20t h century, in the 21s t century Bultaco will stand out for its advanced technological solutions. Bultaco is offering motorcycles with their own disruptive technology which will become a benchmark internationally, along with future developments in electrical and hybrid traction and ultra-light materials.
A solid industrial project, with total control over the value chain: research and development, operations, finances, marketing and sales.
A prestigious brand name. Bultaco is a legend in the world of motorcycles, a brand with numerous successes in competition, worldwide fame and a strong perceived image in the market.
A highly professional team. The entrepreneurial team includes first-rate international professionals, executives and engineers with renowned technical prowess in the automotive sector worldwide.
In 2015, the first BULTACO models will be built with its own in-house electrical propulsion system; the prototypes being unveiled today are a sneak peak at the motorcycles we will see riding our streets in the future. A painstaking industrialisation process has been pursued to get to this model, from the validation of prototypes to the creation of the network of suppliers, all revolving around the new Bultaco factory in Barcelona.

The idea

“What began as a thesis project has become a company with the size and solidity needed to create a new generation of Bultaco motorcycles.” Juan Manuel Vinós, CEO and cofounder.

The origins of Bultaco lie in a project by LGN TECH Design S.L., an engineering firm specialised in mechanical and electronic design focused on developing its own patents. José Germán Pérez, Raúl Pérez, Juan Manuel Vinós, Gerald Pöllmann and Jorge Bonilla founded this company in 2010 with the suppor t of the Technology Park of the University Carlos III.

After two years of development and research, the company tested its technology in the most demanding setting: competition. LGN, today Bultaco Motors, participated in the 1s t World Electrical Motorcycle Championship organised by FIM in 2011. With a motorcycle that was readied in just three months, and competing with brands with a great deal more experience and superior models, Bultaco Motors did surprisingly well: it came in 3rd in the first Magny-Cours race and 4th in the overall rankings.

These sound results in competition and the backing of people with extensive knowledge and experience in the automotive sector were the decisive factors needed to move on to the next step: creating the structure needed to launch a range of motorcycles onto the market.

In that next stage, this original project became Bultaco. “We were not looking for a prestigious name for a promising project; it was something different. Bultaco’s hallmarks from the start, namely its spirit of constant striving, its technological innovation and its passion for motorcycles, are the same hallmarks we have today. They are timeless values,” adds Juan Manuel Vinós.

The founding team and the Bultó family immediately realised that they saw eye to eye. From day one, the Bultós recognised that this team is the perfect candidate to relaunch the brand. With the steadfast support of the Bultó family for the Bultaco project, it entered a new stage in its history.

The project

“Judging from my experience, we have a team that is capable in all aspects of the project: the technology, the design, the industrialisation and the sales.” Gerald Pöl lmann, Chairman and Cofounder.

As a business project, Bultaco rests upon three pillars: the product, the industry and the commercialisation. The product range to be launched features technology that was developed in-house and a design that is sure to captivate users. The Innovation Centre is located in Madrid, while the manufacturing will take place in Barcelona with part of the managerial team of the former Derbi factory. The location of the factory is ideal because of its proximity to a park of specialised suppliers, its knowledgeable workforce and the logistics.

The new generation of Bultaco will attract two kinds of clients; first, aficionados who love the sensations they can only get from a motorcycle, especially ones with a certain level of features, and secondly people with a positive attitude and an interest in new 21st-century solutions for integrated mobility and connectivity. To reach these clients, Bultaco will create a sales network, initially in Spain, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Bultaco’s sales plan, which is both solid and viable, is based on four factors:

Progressive evolution in the new market for electrical motorcycles.
The needs of new-generation users.
Today’s environmental needs.
The opportunity to integrate business lines.
The technology

“My father always said that the ideal scenario would be a constant torque engine with the same response as any system for a motorcycle without gearshifts. And at the end he said: as if we had an electrical engine.” Paco Bultó Junior.

Initially, the Bultaco range will include different kinds of vehicles driven by its in-house electrical propulsion system. These products were developed from scratch with the goal of getting the maximum advantages that this propulsion system can yield. Safe, tested elements were used in order not to compromise the reliability or durability of the performance in systems that provide outstanding performance.

The Bultaco Drive Train System (DTS), unlike other electrical two-wheeled vehicles, enables the maximum energy performance to be yielded from regenerative braking. This is possible because the technology applied to the chassis maximises the rear wheels’ adherence during braking, which enables a considerable electrical braking torque to be applied.

The energy accumulation system, which combines a lithium-ion battery and ultra-condensers, is yet another feature that ensures performance far superior to that of other comparable vehicles.

The development of the BEDTS has been carried out in collaboration with Viesca Engineering, company with a wide experience in the field of the highspeed rail. The software in the Bultaco Control Unit (BCU) is extraordinarily functional. It enables the driver to manage the engine power, energy recovery, battery recharge and connection to mobile devices.

Through the Biker Manager application created by Bultaco, users can find out information such as the battery charge, the autonomy depending on the kind of driving and the location of the motorcycle, among many other features. All of this technology can be seen in the Rapitán and Rapitán Sport prototypesthat Bultaco is unveiling today, which are close approximations to the Bultaco motorcycles that will be brought to market in 2014.

The future

“Electrical propulsion is the right kind of propulsion for everyone seeking fun, outstanding features. We are also currently working on other solutions, such as hybrid propulsion, to cover other needs.” José Germán Pérez, R&D director and cofounder.

In early 2014, Bultaco will bring an electrical Light Bike to market, various versions of which will be developed. In the middle of that year, the Electrical Urbanmotard will be launched, which anticipates the Rapitán prototype. The Bultaco engineering team is already working on another kind of vehicle using the technology shown in the prototype, and on other future developments, as well as on other propulsion systems. Today, no form of propulsion for a two-wheeled vehicle that could be brought to market by 2020 is being discarded.

From an industrial standpoint, Bultaco is also contemplating the possibility of supplying parts to other manufacturers. The staffing forecasted for 2015 consists of 150 people, including direct and indirect employees, for an initial production chain of 2,000 units. With the rise in production, and because the majority of suppliers are Spanish, forecasts are to reach 500 jobs, either direct or indirect.