BMW's Ultimate Computing Machine

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The ultimate driving machine is getting the ultimate computing machine. OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but BMW has reached an agreement with Intel to use their new Albert 2 supercomputer at the BMW/Sauber Development Center near Zürich, Switzerland. The Albert 2 is only 60th on the list of world's fastest supercomputers at 12.8 teraflops per second. We think that's even quicker than the 20,000 RPM F1 engines.

BMW Motorsport director Dr. Mario Theissen says the Intel deal will stretch beyond the motorsports division, however. BMW will also switch all of its corporate servers over to Intel-based products. Office computers, entertainment and information applications, service computers, they'll all be using Intel equipment in the future. Will new BMW iDrives sport an "Intel Inside" sticker?

One other thing we know about this relationship is that the Formula 1 cars will sport Intel livery. Even with this agreement, Intel is still committed to its arrangement with Toyota as well, where the chip company is a big tech partner for the Japanese automaker's F1 program as well. Somewhat hard to believe, but BMW plans to show off its first Formula 1 car designed with Albert 2 on January 16! That seems very quick indeed.

[Source: Heise via Engadget]

 

[via] Autoblog

eBay Find of the Day: Bugatti Veyron

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An example of the biblically powerful and epically fast Bugatti Veyron is up for grabs on eBay Motors, selling out of Frankfurt, Germany. With bidding starting at $1,675,000 and a Buy-It-Now price at $1,680,000 - a hefty markup over MSRP - it should come as no surprise that the supercar has yet to find a buyer.

This particular Veyron is listed as Silver in color, presumably the dark and light silver two-tone popular on the car, though oddly no pictures on the listing show the exterior of the car, aside from two shots of the unmistakable Veyron shape under a blue car cover.

The car is registered and offered in Germany, but Porsche specialist Gemballa will take care of the importation to North America should an American buyer manage to cough up the astronomical asking price.

Props on the tip, Sasha!

 

[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 12.19.06

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One of the cool things about writing for a green car blog is the chance to talk with company heads about their products. I recently got the chance to speak with Mil Ovan, co-founder of Firefly Energy, which is working on a new and lightweight lead-acid battery. My post over at AutoblogGreen has details about the new 3D and 3D2 batteries. If the technology ends up being as good as Ovan is suggesting, you tell all your friends you heard it here first.

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: 2008 Dodge Magnum SRT-8

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Brenda Priddy and her lens-wielding henchmen caught a brief, yet undisguised glimpse of the revised Magnum SRT-8, expected to debut next month at the Detroit auto show.

The changes are striking, with the Magnum's front-clip taking the brunt of the alterations, beginning with a set of rectangular headlamps whose downsized line reduces the opening of the grill. A modified front bumper sports a set of chrome strips, while the hood looks like its been pulled straight from the Charger, donning a sizeable powerbulge and scoop. Although shots of the rear weren't available, the shooters claim that the taillights also benefit from a few tweaks.

Under the hood, Dodge decided to stay with the 6.1-liter HEMI powerplant, mated to a five-speed manumatic that's had a software overhaul to produce smoother, quicker shifts.

A revised interior is also in the cards, but we'll all have to wait until its official appearance in Motor City next month for all the changes.

[Source: Zerin at Dubspeed Driven]

 

[via] Autoblog

Acura Advanced Sports Car concept to bow in Detroit

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Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept
Click to enlarge

When we were on hand for the unveiling of Acura's Advanced Sedan Concept in LA, it wasn't met with the warm reception that the So Cal design team would've liked. The styling elements employed on the four-door of the future were, ahem, striking and very unorthodox by Acura's staid standards.

Thankfully, the team gets another chance at justifying such a radical styling departure when it unveils the Advanced Sports Car Concept next month in Detroit. Since the hood of the sedan concept could have easily accommodated a massive mill, we'd expect more of the same cues from the coupe. The sketch above confirms that the overly creased theme is carried forward, with the conspicuous boat tail tip protruding from the rear.

We're hoping that this kind of styling exercise isn't just to show off what the LA-based design team can dream up, instead giving us some indication about the future of the NSX. Considering that the President and CEO of Honda, Takeo Fukui, will be on hand to unveil the concept, we'd half expect some mention of the iconic, mid-engine, attainable exotic.

Press release after the jump.

[Source: Honda/Acura]

Continue reading Acura Advanced Sports Car concept to bow in Detroit

 

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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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IIHS: In crash, Versa good, Rio, xB not so much

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Due to the popularity of small, fuel-sipping cars, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has smashed up some of the newest offerings. And, as if you needed further proof to get optional side air bags on your next car, the minimally-bagged Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Scion xB and Toyota Yaris all got poor ratings while the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit, both with sta ndard side airbags, and the Yaris with optional side bags, got top ratings in side crash testing

The Accent and Rio both come with standard air bags, but the tests showed significant driver injury was possible. Pity the xB owners who don't even have a choice of side air bags. The IIHS said that during testing, the xB's dummy's head actually struck the crash barrier. That's gotta hurt.

The IIHS also mangled a 2006 MINI Cooper and a Chevy Aveo with standard side bags. The MINI got an acceptable rating, while the Aveo scraped by with a marginal, just above poor.

Despite the Fit's remarkable side crash results, the Honda's front airbag didn't perform properly during the frontal crash. Honda says Fit owners can expect a recall to address the airbag's early-deployment.

For an IIHS summary of all the small cars tested, click here. For an IIHS summary video, go here.

[Source: The New York Times, The Associated Press via wcnc.com]

 

[via] Autoblog

LaSorda will take on Chrysler's sales

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Tom LaSordaChrysler CEO Tom LaSorda has found someone to fill departed sales and marketing chief Joe Eberhardt's role, and he found him by looking in the mirror. LaSorda, in addition to his responsibilities as the automaker's chief executive, has taken on the head sales and marketing role as well.

This comes in the wake of a $1.5B 3rd-quarter loss for Chrysler and a dealer revolt spurred by the glut of 2006 product sitting on dealer lots all over the place. These were the factors that forced Eberhardt to the exit, and LaSorda's mission is to fix the problem by dramatically and quickly reducing the excess inventory, cutting per-vehicle costs by $1,000, and reconciling with a dealer network that had lost faith in the corporate leadership.

Last week, we reported on word that Chrysler could exten d its annual holiday shutdown by two to four weeks to help keep 2007 model inventory under control. Heavy incentives are being leveraged to get rid of lingering '06 models as quickly as possible. Once they're gone and the focus is put squarely back on the new 2007s, we can expect to see Chrysler dial back the incentives. Going forward, the automaker will shift to a system where they only build vehicles that dealers specifically order rather than overbuilding, which is what landed them in this mess to begin with.

The pressure's squarely on LaSorda and his deputies to get the ship righted, and with rumors swirling about Dr. Z's thoughts of bringing Wolfgang Bernhard back into the fold at Chrysler, there's very little room for error.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

RR of the Day: '71 Toyota Celica

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We've been champing at the bit for close to a week to induct this particular Toyota into our RR of the Day and when the owner finally came through with the details we decided to make an attempt at giving this week a theme: 70s and 80s Japanese coupes. So, if you've got a two-door from the Land of the Rising Sun, follow the directions after the jump to submit your ride to our Flickr pool.

In 1971, Toyota decided to bless our shores with the Celica, originally powered by the 1.9-liter 8R engine and fitted with twin Solex carbs. The current owner, Koich, received the Celica with a later model's fuel injected 22RC motor, but decided that a more potent swap was in order.

Continue reading RR of the Day: '71 Toyota Celic a

 

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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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Spy Shots: facelifted BMW 5-Series

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While we're always keen to give you the latest sneak peek at upcoming models and revisions to existing ones, BMW's 5-Series carries a little more weight than most. The 5 has long been the benchmark sports-luxury sedan against which all others, from Cadillacs and Lexus to Audis and Alfas, are measured. It's like a new Porsche 911 coming out, only BMW's designers (love 'em or hate 'em) actually have some, you know... imagination. So it's with particular intrigue that we closely follow the developments in the Bavarian's mid-size sedan.

The facelifted 5-Series will get a new nose, complete with restyled headlights and a new front bumper with a revised air dam. Around back the rear bumper and skirt get smoothed out, while the interior gets some mild revisions including a new automatic shift lever. On the juiced-up side of the range, the M5 gets some visual enhancements of its own, predictably more aggressive than its steroid-less stable-mates.

The update is far from a major one, so if you weren't a fan of the styling before, this facelift is not about to change your mind. Just enough to keep us on our toes.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 

[via] Autoblog

RINSPEED debuting open-wheel eXasis in Geneva

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Rinspeed, the Swiss firm known for organically-styled flights of fancy, as well as tuning less fanciful cars, will roll out a jet-fighter of a car at the Geneva Auto Show in March. The eXasis is the name of this little speed capsule, constructed out of translucent high-tech plastic. The seating is not unlike an old warbird, and transparency signifies the process of bringing a car to life. Being able to look through the outer skin brings you closer to the thoughts, ideas and engineering that went into the machine as a whole, not just the exterior styling.

One of the best angles to see the eXasis is the rear 3/4 view, where you can get a glimpse of the juiced-up 750cc, 150 horsepower engine that burns bioethanol. The fan you can see peeking out from u nderneath the strakes of the grille gives a nice industrial touch that makes the eXasis look ready for action. The little two-cylinder mill with the big horsepower number is only saddled with 5kg/horsepower, putting it in Porsche territory. There's lots of flowery prose about the concept of the eXasis at the Rinspeed website, and we can't wait to see how it'll look in the flesh plastic. We're pretty sure that it won't pass any kind of FMVSS rigors as it is, but we'd sure dig watching the road scream by under our feet, through the translucent floor.

More pictures after the jump.

[Source: Rinspeed]

Continue reading RINSPEED debuting open-wheel eXasis in Geneva

 

[via] Autoblog

2007 Chevy Silverado named MT Truck of the Year

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The 2007 Chevrolet Silverado has captured the coveted calipers for being voted the Motor Trend Truck of the Year winner for 2007. This year's field of contenders included the Chevrolet Avalanche, the Chevrolet Silverado, the Cadillac Escalade EXT, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac and the GMC Sierra.

The one thing that really sums up emotions about the new Silverado is that GM has really done a good job of modernizing an American icon. The truck doesn't stray far from its roots, but combines a strong new look with excellent interior amenities, powertrains, and configuration flexibility.

There are three things that are considered when judging the trucks in this competition; Significance, Superiority and Value. These are the three categories that have come to the forefront as most important to consumers over the 48-year history of the Truck of the Year competition. Is the Silverado deserving over the crowd of other contenders? Motor Trend thinks so, but do you?

[Source: Motor Trend]

 

[via] Autoblog

Traffic sim: Recreate your morning commute on a PC

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Here's something we wish every highway planner was required to use any time they had a bright idea (like those darned roundabouts they're so fond of calling "rotarys" here in Massachusetts!). This neat little Java-powered (much like us AutoBloggers!) website allows you to adjust and model traffic flows on a variety of road conditions. The Dresden University Institute for Economics and Traffic has made quite a study of traffic dynamics, and this website is just part of a larger study of where those pointless standstills for nothing come from. The microsimulation of traffic flow appears to treat traffic as a "fluid" and working the variables allows you to see how you could use traffic density to control speed limits, passing and light cycling.

It'd be great if more attention could be paid to maximizing the efficiency of the infrastructure we've already got. Sure, we need a new infrastructure to go along with the massive volume in some areas, but some thought and calculations would go a long way in smoothing out the flow on existing roads. There's lots of information and different simulations at your fingertips here. We don't pretend to understand all of it, but it looks like just a little bit of this deeper thinking would go a long way to alleviating the pressure on our backsides every morning. Very cool little toy, bring your slide rule!

Thanks for the tip, mfridman!

 

[via] Autoblog

The Bull Rages On: Lamborghini SUV renderings

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The prospect of a new Lamborghini sport-ute is enough to send the automotive press scurrying for details and even credible speculation. Last month, we brought you a report based on spy shots of a disguised Porsche Cayenne that was thought to be a possible Lambo test mule. Now our friends over at Info Motori have issued a few renderings of what they think a future Lamborghini truck should look like.

Follow the jump for more info and the Read link for more renderings and details.

[Source: Info Motori]

Continue reading The Bull Rages On: Lamborghini SUV renderings

 

[via] Autoblog

Lotus designs personal commuter for Chinese urban dwellers

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Spanish shoe brand Camper is just as famous for its lifestyle projects as it is for its shoes. FoodBALL, for example, is a restaurant opened up by the company pushing organic fast food in the form of whole grain rice balls filled with more organic, locally-sourced stuff (mushrooms, chicken, carob, etc.). Even the take-away materials are fully biodegradable, made from corn and sugar cane. Casa Camper, another endeavor, is a hotel tucked away in the cultural ground zero of Barcelona -- minutes from the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Centre of Contemporary Culture. Standard rooms have additional private space across the hall where guests can watch TV in hammocks or embark upon other projects, and as with FoodBALL, the environment is top priority.

Not one to pass up an opportunity to diversify in strange places, Camper has teamed up with Lotus to create an ecologically-friendly (concept) answer to Chinese traffic congestion. The Camper Lotus Personal Commuter is targeted at young entrepreneurs trying to find a better way to get to work. The gyroscopic two-wheeler has an incredibly small footprint, making parking a breeze, and encourages customization both inside and out. The enclosed nature of the car also provides the driver with personal space, a commodity difficult to come by on a scooter or bicycle. Power comes from household wall outlets, by the way, making for a convenient and generally cleaner makeup.

[via Jalopnik]

 

[via] Autoblog

SPOILER ALERT: 2006 Race of Champions

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This past Sunday, the Stade de France in Paris played host to the 2006 Race of Champions. For those unfamiliar with the concept, the ROC is an event that draws racing drivers from a variety of motorsports - including F1, NASCAR, Champ and Indy cars, rally racing, touring cars and more - to compete for one day on equal footing. The event is divided into two competitions: the individual Race of Champions and the team-effort Nations Cup. Drivers raced against each other this year in the Citroen Xsara WRC, the Porsche 911 GT3, the mid-engined Renault Megane Trophy, in the race-prepped Aston Martin V8 Vantage and in single-seat sprint cars. They race on a purpose-built 1.2-kilometer figure-eight track with a cross-over bridge.

The race results and commentary can be found after the jump.

[Source: Motorsport.com]

Continue reading SPOILER ALERT: 2006 Race of Champions

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Maybach in the sky with Diamonds

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In a perfect world, money would come with good taste. Unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world, and so we get the Maybach. And just in case, for even a minute, you were misguided to think that tastelessness had its limit, DaimlerChrysler's uber-luxury marque is there yet again to remind you that poor taste knows no bounds: presenting the latest in I've-got-more-money-than-class options: diamonds, of course.

This video demonstrates a partnership between Maybach and Wellendorf jewelers, who will have your luxury limousine studded with diamonds, iced-out like so many talentless rappers and reality TV mobster families. And how much will this little indiscretion cost the over-fortunate? €230,000. Um, that's in addition to the cost of the car itself. When all's said and done, you're looking at a slap upside the head of over half a million dollars.

Fortunately, because the video is in German, we can't understand everything they're saying. We did discern two words, though: "brilliant" and "schmuck". How fitting.

[Source: German Car Scene]

 

[via] Autoblog

Fifth Gear award goes to... a Corvette?

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Striking us as perhaps something out of Shaun of the Dead, where bizarre news reports keep filtering in through a world-wide crises, we have a somewhat garbled missive from abroad that seems to indicate that the British TV program, Fifth Gear, has awarded the Chevrolet Corvette its Fast Car of the Year award for 2006. A British TV show naming an American car as the best in its class? Must be something amiss. Perhaps the satellite feed is a bit wonky. The show's website doesn't have a confirmation of this award yet, so we can only wonder.

Actually, Fifth Gear handed out a few awards on Monday night, with the Audi TT taking home the slab of Portland Stone for Car of the Year. In the Small Car category, the award went to the new Mini Cooper. Best Family Car was the Ford S-Max. And the previously mentioned Corvette beat out the new 997 Turbo Porsche and Ferrari's latest GTB, the 599 Fiorano in the Fast Car segment.

By the way, the photo shows the actual award, which British sculptor Rob Bowers creates out of Portland Stone for the show. The annual award goes to the car the staff picks out of every vehicle they tested over the previous twelve months.

Thanks for the tip, James!

[Source: Fifth Gear]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ford's $80 million marketing blitz for the Edge: Will it work?

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Ford will be spending $80 million dollars on a marketing blitz to educate the public on its new Edge CUV. Now we all know how important the Edge is to Ford's fortunes, so a monster marketing budget isn't a big surprise. A large portion of the monies will go to MSN.com, which is setting up the URL ideasfromtheedge.msn.com to host a website community that alerts visitors to events in 25 cities that will promote the Edge. In the deal, MSN.com is reportedly guaranteeing an undisclosed amount of traffic to the site, which it will likely generate through ads and editorials on its home page and MSN Autos.

More after the jump.

[Source: AdAge]

Continue reading Ford's $80 million marketing blitz for the Edge: Will it work?

 

[via] Autoblog

GM releases sneak peek of new 2008 Cadillac CTS

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click image to enlarge

Bob Lutz and GM VP of Global Design Ed Welburn are seen at right giving us a sneak peek of the new Cadillac CTS that will be unveiled at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The picture is almost a carbon copy of the peek we got way back when Lutz lifted the cover off the car during a 60 Minutes piece (picture also at right). So really, this shot shows us nothing new. (Sigh.) Regardless, the front end of th e new CTS certainly looks bigger, sharper and bolder than the current model. The new car will go into production later in the summer of 2007 and arrive in dealerships the following fall.

 

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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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David pulling Goliath: Honda cycle tows stranded Japanese motorists

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UPDATE: Thanks for pointing out our reporting errors. The original source does indeed look to be Chinese. We regret the error.

UPDATE 2: Here's a link to the Swedish conversion company:
http://www.comingthrough.se/

Imagine yourself stuck in traffic in China. It seems like nobody is moving and you start to notice funny looking smoke pouring out from under your hood. Unable to move to the shoulder, your poor little Santana goes kaput, right in the middle of the road. Very embarrassing. And it's only going to get worse as there's no way a tow truck will ever be able to cut through that mess to get you out of the way. The only thing you can imagine slicing through the traffic jam is a motorcycle. But that won't help. There's no way a bike can tow a car. Or is there? Well, the Chinese have found out that a bike can indeed tow a car.

A couple more pics after the jump.

[Source: dkbnews via Tigers and Cranes]

Continue reading David pulling Goliath: Honda cycle tows stranded Japanese motorists

 

[via] Autoblog

Another day, another Ferrari crashed

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Why do bad things happen to good cars? It seems to us that Ferraris are getting crashed left, right and center, and we're here to say they don't deserve this. We're speaking up for the little red-headed sportscars that can't speak for themselves (except in indiscernible revs and exhaust notes... and in Pixar movies).

The latest, at least, was not an Enzo. The world supply of those rare supercars is being rapidly and dangerously depleted by ostensibly careless drivers who seem to be routinely writing them off. No, this one was "just" a Modena, a 360 Spider to be precise, crashed into a lamp post at an intersection in Perth, Australia. By the looks of things, it was just the front end that was wrapped around the pole, while the rest of the car looks fine. But there's bound to be some structural damage to the 360's aluminum frame, and you can try to fix that, but she'll never be the same.

In response to this latest assault on the Ferrari community, we're marching to the UN to drum up support for a new bill to be passed that mandates the death sentence for anyone who acts so carelessly as to kill an innocent Ferrari. Exceptions will be legislated for official factory drivers, but everyone else is hereby put on notice.

[Source: Le Blog Auto - French]

 

[via] Autoblog

Mustang Heaven catalogs Barrett-Jackson Mustangs again

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Matt Rigney did it again. Just like last year, Matt went through the catalog for the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction and found all of the Mustangs (and Cobras) for his website, Mustang Heaven. Recognizing how tedious it was to search the entire six days worth of lots for his beloved 'Stangs, Rigney went through and collected the links for each one and consolidated them into one list available on his site. More than one hundred of Ford's finest pony cars will be crossing the block this year, including the first serial numbered Ford Shelby GT Mustang Fastback. Everything from Mustang IIs to GT500 KRs, Shelbys and Roushes to Bosses and Mac h 1s are represented. The 2007 B-J auction will be held January 13th to 21st. SPEED will again be giving almost gavel-to-gavel coverage on TV, and AB plans to be there for at least part of that time to bring you some of the highlights.

[Source: Mustang Heaven]

 

[via] Autoblog

Forbes picks Best, Worst and Weirdest car names

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Comparing inappropriate car naming to McDonald's practice of calling its cheeseburgers "Royal" in France, Forbes magazine has come up with a list of the best, worst and weirdest car monikers. The editors at Forbes combed through the automotive encyclopedias and picked out a couple dozen vehicles that are noteworthy for their names, both good, bad, and just plain weird. While we have mixed feelings about non-automotive publications stepping on our turf, the list is entertaining. The "best" list includes mostly American icons. The "worst" list is broken into fake names and misguided euphemisms like the McDonald's "Royals." Americans again dominate. For th e "weird," they turned to Japan, naturally. While we didn't find any particularly offensive inclusions or exclusions, we just know that most of you will have some additional suggestions. Like immediately putting the Naked on the "best" list. Here are a few items from each list.

Check out the complete list after the jump if you don't like slide shows, and then please discuss.

[Source: Forbes]

Continue reading Forbes picks Best, Worst and Weirdest car names

 

[via] Autoblog

Chrysler Firepower shot down by management

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The Chrysler Group's less than stellar performance in 2006 has led to the official decision by management not to produce the Firepower Concept that debuted at the 2005 North American International Auto Show. The Firepower was designed from the ground up, sharing only its 6.1L Hemi V8 with other vehicles in Chrysler's lineup. In order to make a production version that could even hope to return a profit, the automaker would have to build it alongside the Dodge Viper at its Conner Ave. assembly plant in Detroit and charge a price similar to the Viper's $80k+ MSRP. Apparently the business case for such a vehicle just isn't there.

We love Chrysler concepts for the simple fact that each one is produced with just enough production intent to take it seriously should public reaction be favorable. Hell, even the ME412 supercar was on the table for a bit. The Firepower did wow the crowds, but in Chrysler's current state, a high-horsepower halo vehicle isn't going to keep the lights on in the years to come. In addition to the Firepower, Chrysler has also officially decided not to produce the Jeep Gladiator pickup concept that debuted in 2005 at the Detroit show, and is still considering the possibility of production for the Imperial Concept that debuted last year. Our advice? Pass on the Imperial and wait to see how the public reacts to the '07 concepts.

[Source: Wards Auto]

  ;

[via] Autoblog

How to woody your wagon without harming a tree

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Having recently visited SEMA and the L.A. Auto Show, we can say we've seen our fair share of outrageous paint jobs. Some of them were so incredibly artistic and cool and others, not so much. But Brian Saupe did something we have never seen before. Saupe had a 1969 Suburban that he thought would look cool as a woody. Only problem was that GM never made a woody 'Burban and Saupe isn't much of a carpenter. But he could paint, so paint he did. By clicking through to his webpage, you'll see how this Custom Crafts Unlimited employee used paint to create a woody look-alik e that looks so convincing in pics, it's hard to believe it's just trompe l'oeil.

[Source: Custom Crafts Unlimited via Straightline]

 

[via] Autoblog

Motor4Toys reaches 10,000 toy goal

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Some of you may recall the Motor4Toys automotive toy drive we told you about a couple of weeks ago. Dustin Troyan and the Motor4Toys Foundation put out a call to all of the car clubs and enthusiasts in Southern California to collect toys and money for the needy. And the response was overwhelming. Now in its 3rd year, the event continues to grow and this year exceeded its goal. More than 10,000 toys have been donated so far! This very special event collects toys for the California Highway Patrol Chips For Kids Program. There are many needed causes this time of year and several notable fundraiser events, but this one is special.

Big clickable gallery after the jump.

Continue reading Motor4Toys reaches 10,000 toy goal

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Mercury's got Morningwood

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First, Mercury uses Spokesmodel Jill Wagner, who apparently leaves more of an impression on viewers than the cars she's shilling. Then there's the "youthful" music likely picked by a wonk in the ad agency. The band's name is Morningwood. Yup. The very same thing that is not likely to afflict the average Mercury customer (unless they're popping those little blue candies). Either way, it's a catchy little tune called Nth Degree, and at least there's signs of life in the Mercury spots.

Tipster Tracy has pointed us to a fun little video posted on YouTube. Someone's apparently got way too much time on their hands, and chooses to create crappy animation in the modern juvenile male moti f. You will not get these minutes of your life back. You've been warned, now go waste 'em!

The homemade video and actual Nth Degree are after the jump.

Continue reading VIDEO: Mercury's got Morningwood

 

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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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Upgrade from a Dodge to a Mercedes for three bills

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Some of the world's automotive conglomerates are more guilty of badge engineering than others. With very few exceptions, the acquisition of Chrysler by Daimler-Benz (call it a merger if you like, but we're not fooled) is not among the worst offenders. The Chrysler 300C may look to some like a Benz, and the Crossfire may be built on an old SLK platform, but Mercedes isn't selling rebadged Vipers overseas and Jeep hasn't slapped its own label on a G-wagon. (Yet.) The most notable exception comes from the commercial side of operations, where DCX brings the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van over to the North American market as a Dodge or Freightliner. There was no hiding it, either, as the American "version" kept all the same components, body panels, even the name. Just the badge was changed. But Montana-based OEM Sprinter Parts can switch i t back for you if you'd like.

Because DaimlerChrysler didn't change anything beside the badging, the "conversion kits" are relatively straightforward. You can get the Mercedes grille (complete with three-pointed star and optional 316CDI grille badge), wheel hubs, interior fittings...the works, right down to the signature sticker for the windshield. The whole kit costs less than $300 for most models. Now that's the cheapest upgrade from a Dodge to a Mercedes you'll find anywhere.

[Source: OEM Sprinter Parts via Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

Stretching it a bit: classic Mustang limos

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In the aftermath of the whole four-door Mustang affair, we bring you something along the same lines... only significantly more depressing, at least for classic motor enthusiasts. It seems that for some, owning a vintage Mustang just isn't unique enough. A few owners have chopped and butchered their classics into stretched abominations.

Our friends over at Carscoop have managed to hold back the tears long enough to find three Mustangs that have met such an ill fate. A black pony-car was stretched out by Mustang Restorations in Illinois. A light blue Mustang limo is operated by Preferred Limousine in Ontario. A third example, a white '66 model with a 289, can be found in California (of course), built by ABC Mustangs of Hayward. And if by some sick, twisted chance this actually strikes you as a good idea and you simply must own such a black mark in the history books of this iconic motor, that last one is up for sale on eBay Motors. At the time of writing, the bidding was up to $15k, the first payment of which must be accompanied by your soul.

We've seen a lot of strange novelty stretched limousines, but this is just too much. Someone put a stop to the madness!

[Source: Carscoop]

 

[via] Autoblog

My first Post

This is the post to test out the layouts only.