The big news round up

Lots of news to get through this morning so lets start off with the The SIMI today welcomed the launch of DACU, a new project set up by credit unions across Ireland to provide car loans to both members and potential new members.
The launch of this initiative coincides with the release of SIMI’s January new car registration statistics which show an increase of 29% over January 2010.
Speaking at the Merrion Hotel at the launch of DACU, Director General of SIMI, Alan Nolan says, “We have seen new car sales increase in 2010 with this trend continuing in January. None of this would have been possible without the support of the banks and finance houses that have provided working capital, stocking finance and consumer finance for dealers. This has been focused mainly on the Franchise dealership networks but for used car sellers in the Independent (Non-Franchise) garages, the non-availability of finance has remained a serious challenge. It was to solve this challenge that DACU that our Independent Dealers Committee worked with DACU to launch this new project.”
While I’ve always been a big fan of Credit Unions you should always shop around for the best rates when looking for a car loan but any initiative to get more credit flowing into the business community is always welcome.
If you want to try the service for yourself, here’s a secure web site for applying

Sean O’Brien becomes Kia Brand Ambassador

Kia Motors Ireland have teamed up with one of Ireland’s most exciting young rugby talents , Leinster and Ireland player Sean O’Brien who will promote the Kia brand and drive a new Kia Sportage over the coming two years .

“Kia Motor is a young challenger brand and we are delighted that an exciting young player like Sean has chosen Kia as a brand he is happy to promote and drive .We hope that like the Kia brand he goes from strength to strength and we wish him every success in his playing career “commented James Brooks Managing Director of Kia Motors Ireland .

Sean joins other famous Ambassadors for the Kia brand including tennis stars Rafael Nadal and Kim Clijsters and US Golfer Michelle Wie . Kia Motors Corporation is the major sponsor of the Australian Open and an official automotive partner of FIFA and UEFA


Coming just months after the launch of the MINI Countryman and the new MINI
Family, MINI has announced that the MINI Cooper SD will be the most powerful
diesel variant in the MINI line-up. The new 2.0 litre/143hp available in all MINI body
types – Hatch, Convertible, Clubman and Countryman will deliver more power, frugal
fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions.

The MINI Cooper S name first graced the classic Mini back in 1963 and during the
ensuing 48 years it has consistently been feted as the ultimate performance Mini,
having won the Monte Carlo rally three times and countless other races and rallies
around the globe.

It would be almost inconceivable that such an iconic heritage could ever see the
valued ‘S’ tag attached to anything other than a finely-honed petrol engine with all its
attendant sporting prowess. However, such is the progress made by BMW Group in
developing powerful, responsive and efficient diesel units that for the first time the
Cooper S badge will grace a new diesel model – the MINI Cooper SD. Not only will it
be the most performance-oriented diesel MINI, the MINI Cooper SD will also feature
the largest displacement power unit ever to grace the engine compartment of a MINI
model in the marque’s 52 year history.

The two litre four cylinder power unit follows the design philosophy of the familiar 1.6
litre engine but produces 143hp at 4,000 rpm, almost 28 per cent more than the
Cooper D and nearly 60 per cent above that of the One D. Unsurprisingly its power,
allied to a mighty torque figure of 305 Nm (225 lb-ft) from 1,750 to 2,700 rpm, the
highest torque value of any MINI engine, even the engines within the John Cooper
Works family, endows the Cooper SD with vivid performance: in the case of the
Hatch a top speed of 215km/h and a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 8.1 seconds.
Efficient grunt

The new diesel engine features an all-aluminium crankcase to keep weight down
while a special and very powerful turbocharger with variable intake geometry is
controlled by the engine management system to deliver mighty thrust at all engine
speeds. However, this new engine does not sacrifice efficiency on the altar of
performance. The common-rail direct injection system features solenoid valve
injectors in the centre of the cylinder head that inject each precise dose of fuel at a
pressure of up to 1,600 bar. But this parsimonious technology is only the beginning
because all five MINI Cooper SD models are equipped with the full panoply of
MINIMALISM technology to eke ever more miles from every precious litre of diesel.

The MINIMALISM features include Brake Energy Generation, Auto Start/Stop, Shift
Point Display, Electric Power Steering and demand-based ancillaries such as the
alternator. The result is nothing short of miraculous. While the MINI Cooper SD
Hatch will whizz effortlessly up the Col de Turini above Monte Carlo, it sips fuel at the
rate of 4.3 l/100km on the EU cycle and emits a mere 114 grams of CO2.

SD Model

All Cooper SD models are equipped as standard with a new super light six speed
manual gearbox. The 22.8 kilo transmission is the lightest gearbox of its kind and
offers well-matched ratios and a precise, short shift gear lever action. A six speed
automatic transmission is available as an option and includes shift paddles on the
steering wheel for auto drivers with a sporty inclination.

The new diesel engine features the same torque steer management software which
was added to the petrol portfolio in September last year.

A suit of clothes to suit an S

Complementing the performance potential of the MINI Cooper SD models some
distinctive design features adorn the new cars. Echoing the distinctive style of the
MINI Cooper S all SD models display a front apron with an extra large air intake and
the familiar air scoop on the bonnet. At the rear each SD model sports twin exhaust
tailpipes exiting in the centre of the rear apron and an eye-catching roof spoiler. Also
in traditional Cooper S style, the side indicator surrounds carry the SD motif.

Prices start at €26,510 and top out at €33,510 for the Countryman ALL 4

Did you know that BMW sold over 17000 M cars worldwide? BMW sales have grown by 14.2%, they are hoping for even better in 2011. Here’s a picture for you petrol heads to drool over…

The Jaguar C-X75 was last night awarded the Louis Vuitton Classic Concept Award 2010 by a panel of luminaries from the worlds of design, fashion and luxury.

Undoubtedly the star of the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the C-X75 – judged by a Louis Vuitton panel – has once again beaten stiff competition.

The panel was led by renowned automotive consultant and inaugurator of the prize, Christian Philippsen. “Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director, and his team have achieved not only a beautiful design in clothing a world-premiere and mouth-watering technology, but also a true Jaguar, projecting the brand’s DNA into the future without an ounce of nostalgia,” said Philippsen.

Other members of the illustrious group of judges included author Serge Bellu, Louis Vuitton’s Director of Innovation Xavier Dixsaut, McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray, former Porsche design head Harm Lagaaij and journalist Masafumi Suzuki.

Jaguar, like Louis Vuitton, has built its reputation on the key foundations of luxury, attention to detail and understated elegance.

The C-X75 is an electric supercar built to celebrate 75 years of the Jaguar marque and was praised by the panel for the way in which it showcased the technology of the future with a beautiful design without looking to the past.

“It’s fantastic for us to be recognised by the world of fashion with this award,” said Ian Callum, Design Director for Jaguar. “We’re at our best when we’re breaking the mould – making our cars stand out for all the right reasons. C-X75 is only a concept supercar, but it’s a clear statement of Jaguar’s intent to continue creating bold, innovative and beautiful performance cars.”

The entire Jaguar range has been the recipient of numerous plaudits worldwide in recent years with the pinnacle of the revitalised line-up, the XJ, having already won more than 25 major international awards since its launch just over a year ago.

And that’s all we have room for folks, check back later for more. If you have any Irish news from Motorsport or just something happening in your back yard then send it too We can’t guarantee that it will be published but it might make us laugh at least.