Five-door GTI is bound for the US

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Not wanting to be left in the sales dust by the quattroporte Civic Si, Volkswagen intends to bring the 5-door version of the GTI mkV stateside for 2007. That's great news for those who love the driving dynamics of the GTI, but need or want the additional doors. It will add $500 to the bottom line, and 60 pounds at the scales, but other than that, you'll come out unscathed. The latest generation of the Golf/Rabbit platform is peerless in its class, and the GTI model has had its teeth sharpened big-time. Paying homage to the original GTI formula while leaving room for updates to equipment levels and safety gear, the latest GTI is a winning combo of well-assembled efficiency and frisky motoring. The 2 00hp FSI engine is plenty powerful, while offering good chassis balance due to reduced weight vis-a-vis the VR6. Coupled with the pre-selector DSG gearbox, you can really wring this thing out while feeling like a racecar driver. We love the nods to the original badass GTI like the red stripe around the grille and the plaid cloth for the seats. The GTI was one of the bright spots in a dark automotive age, and this latest version channels that ethos in the best of ways. Not bad for a buy-in starting at about $23K.

Press release after the jump

[Source: Volkswagen via germancarblog]

Continue reading Five-door GTI is bound for the US

 

[via] Autoblog

Officially Official: 2008 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe

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Click image for hi-res photo gallery

The Detroit Auto Show traditionally belongs to the domestic automakers, who pull out all the stops as they unveil some of their best and brightest new products and concepts. This year, however, the ultimate showstopper may well be located at the Rolls-Royce display. The fabled British marque (now owned by BMW, of course) has chosen Detroit to reveal the 2008 Phantom Drophead Coupe, a jaw-droppingly spectacular 4-seat convertible aimed squarely at Bentley's Azure.

The Drophead Coupe is, for all intents and purposes, a perfect production interpretation of RR's 100EX concept car, which made its debut at 2004's Geneva show. The key elements of the 100E X remain -- the thin LED headlamps, rear-opening "suicide" doors, brushed steel hood and A-pillar, and teak decking aft of the passenger compartment are all here. The V16 that powered the 100EX is replaced in the Drophead Coupe by the Phantom sedan's proven 6.75L V12., which generates 453 horsepower and 513 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm. That's enough to propel the 5775-pound droptop to 60 mph in approximately 5.7 seconds.



Follow the jump for more of our take, an animation of the roof mechanism, plus the official (and very long) press release and tech specs from Rolls-Royce. If you'd like to have the Drophead Coupe grace your desktop, check out our mega-gallery of over 60 hi-res photos.

[Source: Rolls-Royce]

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Live in Florida? Are you a Mechanic? Come work for Mosler

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How did you find your last gig? Craig's List? Help Wanted ad? Nepotism? Supercar builder Mosler took an interesting tact to find mechanically inclined talent in the land of oranges and botched ballots, by placing a full-page, color advert in Grassroots Motorsports.

The company is in search of all manner of mechanics that can help produce the automaker's 200 MPH supercar at their new plant in south Florida. Winding Road has all the deets if you aren't currently a subscriber to one of the few great mags available, so follow the "read" link if you think you have what it takes.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

Autoblog Night Watch: Getaway in Stockholm Part Deux

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After last night's viewing of the original Getaway in Stockholm we thought we'd share the second installment of the seven part series with you.

What this film lacks in shooting angles, it makes up for in length, bug splattering on the bumper mounted camera and sheer stupidity. Still, we could think of worse things to do than watching a MkIV Supra and a blown Escort hammering it through the urban confines of Stockholm.

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Ford's big gun for Detroit: the Mustang-based Interceptor Concept

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UPDATE: Additional images added to high-resolution gallery

click on image for gallery of high resolution images

Though AutoWeek was chastised for claiming Ford was working on sedan and even wagon variants of the iconic Mustang coupe, the automak er is certainly considering using the Stang's underpinnings for other vehicles. The Interceptor, in Ford's defense, is not so much a four-door Mustang as it is a sedan that's based on the Mustang's chassis. In fact, Ford made an obvious effort to make the Interceptor not look like a four-door Mustang, instead grafting on the front end of the Super Chief truck concept that debuted in Detroit last year. The Interceptor also has a mighty engine to back up its beefy looks, a 5.0-liter version of Ford's 4.6-liter Cammer engine that produces 400 horsepower on E85 ethanol.

The Interceptor, ladies and gentlemen, is Ford's stunner concept for the 2007 North American International Auto Show. Think about it, the Interceptor combines qualities of the two things that Ford does best, the Mustang and trucks, in one tidy, mass-marketable, rear-wheel drive package . It's slab-sided hotness reminds us of the 427 Concept from 2003, but with some extra chunkiness tossed in for good measure. Seriously, though, this car should be built, if not for the fact it's a slick way to profit from the Mustang connection, but also because Ford is going to need a large, rear-wheel drive car that's competitive in the very near future. Sorry Vickie, you just can't hold a candle to the Chrysler 300 or GM's upcoming Zeta-based sedans. The Interceptor looks like it can.



Check out Ford's official press release on the Interceptor after the jump, and click on the pic above to see a high-resolution version for you desktop.

[Source: Ford]

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Prius to get big brother with 2.5-3L engine

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It looks like Toyta's expanding the Prius "brand." The Prius is Toyota's most popular hybrid model in the US, the succes of which it chalks up to the image statement an exclusive model like the Prius makes. People want to be seen and make a statement with their greenness, nevermind all the raw materials, energy, and resources it took to bring that car to the showroom. Toyota says the low emissions and fuel economy of the Prius offset those hits. If they say so...

Leveraging their leading hybrid technology with another model will allow customers more choice and Toyota will be able to spread development costs across a couple of models. What it all means is that consumers will have a new midsize hybrid Toyota to ogle in 2009 (Hollywood stars, reserve yours now to ensure delivery by Oscar night), and Toyota will be able to speed research and engineering for further refinements to its Hybrid Synergy Drive. The new car will have a larger engine to align itself better with American's torque-junkie tastes, and hopefully it will be better looking than the Prius (or the rest of Toyota's current offerings, for that matter). As part of Toyota's plan for world domination, it's set a goal of one million hybrid sales by 2010. It's not clear whether that's single-year sales, or total sales since the first dowdy little battery-pack-mobile arrived on the scene.

[Source: Autoblog Green]

 

[via] Autoblog

That scratch was already there: California dealership wrecks customer's Corvette

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When you drop off your brand new Corvette at the dealership to fix an iffy trunk lid and a bad antenna, you expect to pick up your expensive sports car the next day in one piece, preferably washed and waxed with those paper floormats in the foot wells. Mr. Williams, a Corvetteforum.com member, was not treated to such customer service when he went to pick up his Vette from San Rafael Chevrolet in San Rafael, California. Instead, his Corvette suffered $15,000 worth of damages to the front passenger side when an employee of the dealership took it for a ride and wrecked it trying to pass someone in gravel and spinning out before being hit by a box truck.

More after the jump.

[Source: Corvetteforum.com]

Continue reading That scratch was already there: California dealership wrecks customer's Corvette

 

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VIDEO: Funny licenses prove Virginia will let anyone drive

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You may have seen what's widely considered to be the hottest drivers licenese picture in the world. Then there's the other end of the spectrum. The guys behind the Jackass-meets-SNL DVD called Teenagers from Uranus decided to test the limit of Virginia's tolerance for ugly head shots in the video after the jump. Needless to say, such a limit does not exist in the state of Virginia, and the DMV in that state welcomes all with a pulse.

If you're truly concerned about showing up photogenic the day you get your drivers license renewed, check out this link for tips from Tyra Banks on how to take a FIERCE photo at the DM V. Seriously, what would we do without Tyra?

Thanks to macky for the tip!

Continue reading VIDEO: Funny licenses prove Virginia will let anyone drive

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so: Majority of Californians buy Japanese cars in 2006

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California auto dealers are reporting that by year's end the state's residents will have bought 938,839 Japanese vehicles and 859,206 domestic vehicles, the latter of which also includes those sold by The Chrysler Group despite the location of its parent company's headquarters in Germany. This is big news as Californians have never before let down the Big Three in sales. The cause is most likely the decision by each domestic automaker to reign in their respective fleet sales, which account for a significant percentage of their sales nationwide, let alone in California. The Big Three will end the year with 41 percent of the California new car buyer market, which is a drop of 9.2 percent compared to 2005. The Japanese br ands, meanwhile, will rise 2.7 percent to 44.8 percent.

Being the largest new car market in the U.S., California can also forecast trends in the industry before they occur on a national level. At the moment, however, it doesn't seem likely that Japanese brands will outsell their domestic competitors on a national level anytime soon, with the latter still enjoying a 53.9 percent share of their homecourt and Japanese brands commanding only 34.8 percent of the U.S. market.

Thanks for the tip, Steve!

 

[via] Autoblog

Cover Blown: Say hello to the 2008 Chevy Malibu

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UPDATE: Gallery expanded. 24 photos now available.

2008 Chevy Malibu LTZ
Click image for photo gallery

The folks over at Inside Line appear to have an itchy trigger finger, and as such, the embargo on the 2008 Chevy Malibu is toast. (Note: It appears that Motor Trend was actually first, as the Malibu is in the Feb issue hitting newsstands now.) Given the spate of vaporized embargoes we've seen over the last week or so, this is about as surprising as the sun rising in the morning. That said, we're more than happy to bring you all the skinn y on GM's new midsize sedan now that the cat's out of the bag.

Like the Saturn Aura, the all-new Malibu rides on the 112-inch wheelbase Epsilon platform. Given that we've driven the Aura and liked it very much, this bodes well for the new Chevy. We'd been wondering how GM would differentiate the two cars, and now we can tell you more about that. While the Saturn currently comes in two trim levels with V6 power only (3.5 or 3.6), the Malibu will be offered with three trim levels -- LS, LT, and LTZ -- with power coming from either a 164-horse 2.4L Ecotec or the very capable 252 HP 3.6L V6 with VVT.

If you think that the top-level Malibu LTZ is a V6-only car, you're wrong. The 2.4L four cylinder is available for all three trim levels, and when selected for the LTZ, it's mated to GM's Hydra-Matic 6T40 6-speed automatic with wheel-mounted shift paddles. (On LS and LT models, the four-banger is hooked up to a four-speed auto.) As with the Aura, the 3.6L is connected to the Hydra-Matic 6T70 6-speed with paddle shifters.

2008 Chevy Malibu LT2008 Chevy Malibu LT2008 Chevy Malibu LT< /a>2008 Chevy Malibu2008 Chevy Malibu

Follow the jump for more analysis, and be sure to check out more shots of Chevy's new 'Bu in our photo gallery.

[Source: GM]

Continue reading Cover Blown: Say hello to the 2008 Chevy Malibu

 

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Camaro convertible concept revealed! Well, sorta.

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When the Camaro concept debuted just shy of a year ago, the idea that it would span another variant, sans-roof, was a foregone conclusion. Over the past few months, we've heard the hype and have seen some renderings, but our friends over at the digital rag, Winding Road, have published pictures that could save you a trip to Detroit.

The 'vert is pretty much what's been expected, although no shots of the roof deployed are shown, since the concept doesn't have a functional top. Aside from the obligatory humongous wheels, the only differences between the hard top and the drop top are some chrome trim around the windshield and a paint scheme that is different than the one about to bow next month.

Head on over to the Winding Road, subscribe for free and check the shots in all their glory.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 12.29.06

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Which would you rather have, one of Honda's FCX hydrogen fuel cell concept vehicles or an old beatermobile? Which would be easier to drive (seriously, you're not going to find hydrogen most filling stations, but mechanics are plentiful. Still, that FCX is worth a cool million)? Either way, learn more about the two ends of the automobile lifecycle (and how it's all getting cleaner) at AutoblogGreen. Yesterday's stories were as follows:

 

[via] Autoblog

RS4 drop top ain't coming Stateside

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Hear that? It's not the sound of a 420-hp German V8 pushing wind through our hair. No, it sounds a lot, ok, exactly like, us sobbing. There will be no U.S.-spec RS4 Cabrio. At least that's the rumor the Audi fanboys (and we do mean that in a good way) over at Fourtitude are reporting.

They speculate that because of unfriendly exchange rates, Audi could be keeping its hot little droptop off our shores. It's a real shame that international monetary policy can so easily rid us of the joy we would have felt watching rear passengers try to hold their personal belongings as our right foot quickly buried that aluminum pedal deeper into the carpet.

Fourtitude adds, though, that Audi could, of course, change direction and begin shipping the new RS4 this way. Anyone know anything about manipulating currency markets?

[Source: Fourtitude via German Car Blog]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ten worst traffic incidents of 2006

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As is typical this time of December, the "of the Year" lists are piling up in our feed reader. Most of them are dispatched before we get past the first few syllables, but a few seem to grab our attention.

This top ten list deserved mention, as it outlined the worst traffic incidents recorded by the traffic monitoring geeks at Metro Networks, owned by communications leviathan, Westwood One.

Although the press release doesn't outline how it came to conclude that these particular roadway upsets were the worst, judging by the descriptions, we're hardly going to argue. Some of the highlights lowlights include a Tomahawk missile finding its way onto I-95 in New York City, after the tractor-trailer transporting the munitions overturned, a meatpacking truck in the Bay A rea dumping thousands of pounds of bovine pieces across the freeway and the 12-ton concrete panel (pictured) that dropped from the ceiling of a tunnel in Boston's notorious "Big Dig," tragically taking the life of a woman driving down the Massachusetts Turnpike.

A brief description of each of the ten worst incidents, pulled from Westwood One's press release, can be found below the fold.

Continue reading Ten worst traffic incidents of 2006

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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Environmentalists threaten autobahn speeds, again

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Over the past several years, environmentalists have established the autobahn, Germany's high-speed national motorway, as one of the primary battlegrounds on which to wage a war on greenhouse emissions. While about one-third of the autobahn's roads are limited to 130 KPH (80 MPH), other portions are devoid of a set speed limit, instead relying on the age-old deterrent of excessive speed: common sense.

The prevailing rule on Germany's freeway system is "safe and prudent," or what we were all taught in driver's ed., "never drive faster than it is safe for current conditions." Although Germany enjoys one of the lowest per capita death rates in the world (not so when gauged by miles driven), environmental ists and other supporting parties maintain that if the speed limit was set at 120 KPH (75 MPH), emissions would be reduced by around 30-percent and subsequently, the health of the nation would be improved.

The Transport Minister of Germany, Wolfgang Tiefensee, is adamant that emission-reducing measures are a top priority, but has said on numerous occasions that a general speed limit "does not make sense."

Our favorite quote on the matter, courtesy of Timm Krägenow of the Deutschland Financial Times was, "Derestricted driving on the autobahn is to the Germans what pesto is to the Italians and the baguette is to the French. No one in Italy or in France would dare to try and ban the cultural characteristi cs of their country."

We won't argue with that logic.

[Source: Automotive News -- Sub. Req., Deutschland Financial Times]

 

[via] Autoblog

40-yard drive nothing to these fans

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Come January 1, many people will be nursing massive hangovers, some will already have broken their resolutions, and many, many fans will watch The Game. But in Sausalito, Cal., there will be one group of folks doing what they love best, and it does not involve football.

The Anti-Football Drivers have met for 16 years, not to protest football, but instead to show there are more interesting things to do in life.

"We really have nothing against -- is it called football? We're simply making a statement that there's more to life than a 70-inch HDTV with colorful images of people running into each other," said event organizer Martin Swig.

To join the run, Swig says your vintage car must be what "by general agreement would be c alled interesting." Swig is also the organizer of several vintage car rallies, including the California Mille.

Sounds like driving with these guys would probably be a lot of fun. Their press release states: The nonprofit event contributes nothing to charity, does not send kids to camp nor support an old drivers' home. Says Swig, "Everything we take in goes out for the enjoyment of our participants --usually at a rate that exceeds income."

If you plan to be in the Sausalito area Jan 1, sign up for the 17th Annual Anti-Football Run here.

 

[via] Autoblog

Autoblog's #3 Most-Read Post of the Year

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Our countdown of the most-read posts of the year on Autoblog continues with the No. 3 most popular post. You may remember last January at the 2006 North American International Auto Show when the Dodge Challenger Concept debuted. You all narrowly voted it the winner in our Pony Poll, and you came back again and again to view this post titled simply, "Dodge Challenger Concept - Photo Gallery." In fact, this simple gallery post was viewed 276,348 times over the course of the year.

On account of posts like this, we quickly understood that readers like photos a lot, and made it our mission to give you galleries of them any way we could. For most of the year we cobbled together galleries until Santa gave us a brand new photo gallery feature for Christmas. You can check out all the galleries we have now by clicking here. They feature full-sized, high-resolution pictures at 1,280 pixels wide, so feel free to peruse them and choose your next desktop wallpaper.

The list so far:
Autoblog's #5 Most-Read Post of the Year
Autoblog's #4 Most-Read Post of the Year

 

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VIDEO: BMW lock decoding secrets explained

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We knew that certain footballers abroad were having problems with their X5s being lifted, but we were unsure about how this could happen in such a short period of time. Well, the veil of secrecy behind how Bimmers are being broken into has been lifted and we're absolutely amazed at the speed in which it's possible.

The video above shows what tools are employed and how the equipment is used to unlock BMWs whose owners assumed that their laser-cut keys made theft a non-issue. As always though, where there's a will, there's a way.

Naturally, we're not advocating any kind of illegal activity, but feel that this kind of information needs to be out in the open. And anyway, not only is this video available for public viewing on Google, but the co st of the equipment is hardly cheap, at just under $1,200.

[Source: TechEBlog]

 

[via] Autoblog

Oh Happy Day: Dealer decides to replaced wrecked Vette

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It looks like you may soon be able to find a good deal on a "lightly used" Corvette out at San Rafael Chevrolet. Corvetteforum.com member Mr. Williams, owner of the 'Vette crashed by a dealership employee, and Greg James of San Rafael Chevrolet have come to terms, with the dealership promising to find a comparable replacement car. We're glad that things worked out, Corvettes are not your average car, and owners feel a very special bond with their rides. It will take a little while for the replacement car to arrive, but it sounds like a stand-up move by the dealership. They're going to take a financial hit, but we're betting that Mr. W illiams will tell the story as a satisfied customer if all goes well. We do wonder what happened to the knucklehead who decided it'd be fun to try hairy maneuvers in someone else's car.

[Source: Corvetteforums.com]

 

[via] Autoblog

POLL: RR of the Year

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UPDATE: We've added one vehicle we neglected to put in the poll, and decided since the voting just began this morning that it would only be right to restart the poll with all the RR of the Week winners included. Vote again, whether you have or haven't done it before.



We've been awash with COTY awards for the better part of a month and, to be honest, we just don't care. Few of us around the Autoblog water cooler plan on purchasing a brand new whip in the future, but visions of late night drives and track days in our ride dance in our minds. We imagine that many of you are just like us and have a considerable amount of pride in what you drive. That idea -- that cars that haven't rolled off the assembly line within the last year deserve some attention in a world obsessed with The New -- is exactly why we've asked you to submit your vehicles to our Flickr pool for proper recognition.

Since we started our Reader Ride of the Day a few months back, it's turned into one of our favorite posts to write up. Being able to pick through the nearly 400 vehicles submitted and to give one its time in the spotlight is, to say the least, a highlight of our day.

Of the close to 60 vehicles we've featured each week, you've voted on your favorite and we've decided to give you the chance to crown one vehicle Autoblog's Reader Ride of the Year. After the jump, you'll find all 14 contenders and you can vote for your favorite in the poll below. Good luck to all the entrants and be sure to submit your own ride so we can kick off the New Year right.

RR of the Year
89 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo
74 Jensen Interceptor
91 Acura NSX
67 Camaro SS 396
65 Jaguar E-Type
66 Porsche 912
05 Lotus Elise
05 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR
01 Audi S4
95 Mazda Miata
87 Saab 900 Turbo Convertible
83 Mazda RX-7 GSL
65 Corvair Corsa Turbo Convertible
95 Volvo 855 T5R
71 Toyota Celica
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Continue reading POLL: RR of the Year

 

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Chrysler and Chery finally hook up: a global small car is born

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After many, many months of courting, DaimlerChrysler and China's Chery Automobile Co. are now officially holding hands. The Chrysler Group CEO Tom LaSorda has signed a letter of intent with Chery to have the Chinese automaker produce a global small car for the American wing of DaimlerChrysler. Of course, nothing will happen until the deal is first approved by DaimlerChrysler and then, more importantly, by the Chinese government. Chrysler's PR head Jason Vines told Automotive News, however, that once everyone signs off on the deal, manufacturing in China would begin quickly "in automotive terms." The most likely candidate for Chrysler's global small car is the Dodge Hornet Concept (shown above) that debuted at the 2006 Geneva Show, thou gh Chrysler hasn't officially decided what car it will have produced by Chery or even under which brand it will be sold.

While Chery and other Chinese automakers have been trying for years now to break into the U.S. market with their own line of cars, it appears that the first Chinese cars to set rubber to road in the U.S. will be wearing a domestic badge. Some opponents of the deal might call this the worst kind of job outsourcing, but Chrysler will no doubt get a small car to sell sooner and much cheaper by working with Chery in China.

[Source: Automotive News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Little car, big race: Fiat's PanDAKAR

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Click image for photo gallery

Fiat's little Panda miniwagon is taking on the Dakar Rally. A pair of race-prepped Pandas will compete in the 8,100 kilometer event. Our sister site, AutoblogGreen, reports that the PanDAKARs, as they're called, will be equipped with 42-gallon fuel tanks. That should give the cars, which are powered by 1.3L Miltijet turbodiesels, unbelievable range.

As you'd expect, the panelized Pandas will also be stocked with water reserves, tools to help them extract themselves when stuck in the sand, and 3 spare wheels. The support machinery consists of a Fiat Sedici (a.k.a. Suzuki SX4) service vehicle, which we'd love to see in its Dakar trim, as well as a trio of Iveco trucks.

We're looking forward to seeing how the cuddly 'lil Pandas do in the challenging race. Follow the jump for Fiat's full press release, and make sure you check out our PanDAKAR Photo Gallery.

[Source: Fiat via AutoblogGreen]

Continue reading Little car, big race: Fiat's PanDAKAR

 

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VIDEO: Volvo driving school teaches police how to handle ice

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In today's afternoon dose of moving pictures, we peek in on police from Britain at the Volvo Academy for special training on a frozen lake. These kinds of shenanigans are the same sorts of things we do in parking lots come the first snowfall. It's especially important for public safety officials to know the limits of their vehicles and how the safety systems act, however, and that's what the Volvo Academy aims to send them off with. To us, it looks like a fun way to learn how to drive in low traction conditions. We'll be out there doing our own version of this as soon as we can!

Check out the video after the jump.

[Source: TheAutoChannel.com]

Continue reading V IDEO: Volvo driving school teaches police how to handle ice

 

[via] Autoblog

Drunk German motorist offers police aid, promptly arrested

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Imagine you're motoring along and you see a fellow motorist stuck by the side of the road. You think about just driving on, but something about the scene grabs you and you decide to pull over to lend some assistance. You jump out and rush over to see if you can help, and you promptly find yourself under arrest. This isn't a story of the law run amok, though.

You see, this particular Good Samaritan was drunk. So drunk in fact that he didn't recognize that the "stranded motorist" he had offered to aid was in fact a car being inspected by police officers for a minor violation. This was the scene in the northwest German town of Bremen. Police arrested the 37-year-old man and banned him from driving. "Obviously his optical assessment of the situation as he drove past was that this was a vehicle breakdown," the police said in a statement.

With the New Year's weekend about to kick off, we felt like we had to share this warning about the types of people you might be sharing the roadways with. Granted this happened in Germany, but we know there will be more than a few of these types on our roads as well. If you think you might be one of them, use a DD. This PSA brought to you by ABADD (AutoBloggers Against Drunk Driving). Have a Happy and Safe New Year.

[Source: Reuters]

 

[via] Autoblog

Suzuki Swift Sport leaves reviewer wanting

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One of our favorite cars to pop up on the show circuit this year was the Suzuki Swift Sport. It managed to capture our hearts with its chunky Mini-like bulldog stance. No normal Swift, this 126-hp version looked to deliver on the promise of its name. Alas, it isn't headed to the States and therefore joins the C1 Focus as one of the cars we must pine for from afar. But maybe our love was only infatuation. Nihon Car has driven one and came away wanting.

More after the jump and click here for a full high resolution gallery of Suzuki Swift Sport shots.

[Source: Nihon Car]

Related Posts:

Continue reading Suzuki Swift Sport leaves reviewer wanting

 

[via] Autoblog

More ad fights!: BMW sends Jag's tail between legs

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In the inane world of automotive advertising, there are few things more enjoyable than a healthy bitch slapping between automakers.

We've seen what happens when three manufacturers enter into a pissing contest about the awards they've won, but this newest ad is a stellar illustration of what lax trademark enforcement abroad can create.

The ad speaks for itself, but we'll ask you to provide a caption in "comments."

[Source: EGMCarTech]

 

[via] Autoblog

Final Autoblog After Christmas Sweepstakes winner announced!

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Just as Christmas has come and gone so fast, so has our Autoblog After Christmas Sweepstakes. Congratulations go out to Sharon, Alix and the winner of our final grand prize, a Power Wheels Jeep Hurricane, John, whose comment was randomly selected from the 144 that were submitted. We love giving stuff away, so if you didn't win one of the Autoblog After Christmas Sweepstakes, check out our Autoblog Podcast Relaunch Sweepstakes, where we still have two iPods left to give away.

Our Christmas tree has been tossed to the curb and we've picked up some champagne and confetti, so excuse us while we start conditioning our liver for Sunday night when we ring in the new year blogger style (i.e. in front of our keyboards).

 

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

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WSJ reports Wolfgang Bernhard leaving VW

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Volkwagen brand chief Wolfgang Bernhard will be leaving his post next month after the company's board votes to approve a new management shakeup. Supposedly the management reorginization involves offering Bernhard a new position in which he would oversee production across all brands in the VW/Audi group. Bernhard, however, has been reported as saying he would leave the company if his job changed.

Speculation that Bernhard would pack up and leave has been rampant ever since the man who hired him, ex-CEO Bernd Pischetsrieder, was replaced by his counterpart at Audi, Martin Winterkorn. If Bernhard does choose to leave VW, it's not entirely certain he could accept a position at another automaker due to a two-year non-compete clause built into his contract. This could potentially block Bernhard from returning to a post at his previous employer, DaimlerChrysler. Rumor has it that DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche would love to his bring his former prodigy back to the company, perhaps to replace current Chrysler Group CEO as the captain of the company's U.S. domestic division.

[Source: Automotive News]

 

[via] Autoblog