Mercedes Benz CLR 600 concept

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What you see here are renderings of what project designer and automotive illustrator Mark Hsieh feels the future of Mercedes-Benz might hold. The ideas are drawn on a future model from MB called the CLR 600 sporting a 600-bhp version of the 5.6 liter V8. Hsieh has decided that this vehicle will be a CLS coupe and has designed a racing version with styling cues taken from both the old and new schools of racecar design. The grille and front fascia has bits and pieces from old school 'Benz models while the rear of the car, especially the NASCAR "Car of Tomorrow"-inspired rear spoiler, clearly comes from an entirely new school of thought.

Not a bad looking car, but does it hint at a new era in Mercedes styling? Mr. Hsieh thinks that the new direction will be much more sinister that the current cars. We're just not sure if this is the direction "more sinister" should go. Thoughts?

See a couple more renderings after the jump

[Source: Car Body Design]

Continue reading Mercedes Benz CLR 600 concept

 

[via] Autoblog

First Ford Shelby GT rolls off the line headed to Barrett-Jackson

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We just told you about how "Hot Wheels" Amy Boylan has managed to turn Shelby Auto around, and here is one of the fruits of her labor: The first production 2007 Ford Shelby GT. As we told you a while ago, the Ford Shelby GT is essentially the consumer version of the rental-fleet-only Shelby GT-H. It will be the third Mustang in the Shelby Mustang family along with the Hertz edition and the 500-horsepower Ford Shelby GT500. And this newest Shelby 'Stang is set to follow in their footsteps.

This first GT, CSM No. 07SGT0001 will follow its big brother GT500, by crossing the block at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Event on Sa turday, January 20th. Just like the GT500, all the proceeds will go to the Carroll Shelby Children's Foundation. In case you don't remember, that first GT500 sold for $600,000 back in January. And the first Shelby GT-H sold to the public brought a whopping $250,000 back in late July. Even the fleet Shelby GT-Hs coming off Hertz lots are bringing $68,000-$90,000 at auction! So we can only imagine that this one will bring considerably more than its MSRP of $36,970.

[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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VIDEO: Repairing your own Maybach

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Going hand-in-hand with the wrecked Maybach we found, here is one of the most appalling thing we've ever seen. This is a great example of what not to do to any car. Romanian soccer team owner and billionaire Gheorge Becali managed to rack up the ne plus ultra of Mercedes at least four times. Out came the crowbars, away went pieces of the doorskin. We wept openly. The Maybach may not be a looker, but it certainly doesn't deserve this type of sadism.
Thanks to tipster maddan.

 

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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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Jaguar issues first recall of XF concept

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Not what you expected probably, but we have to play to our strengths. OK, maybe comedy ISN'T one of them after all. Anyway.

Hot on the heels of the slip-up that had a full-car shot of Chevy's new Malibu appearing on the NAIAS website, pics of what we believe to be the new Jaguar XF concept were somehow leaked onto the net overnight. We have learned that it's best to take a wait-and-see approach to these kinds of things and sure enough, no sooner had Jalopnik and a few others gone live with their stories, than Jaguar stepped up and pointed out that those copyrighted pics weren't cleared for release than Car and Driver, who was the first outlet to break the embargo when its February issue arrived in mailboxes and on newsstands a full ten days too soon, demand that any scans of its pages be taken down. But like trying to make a gal un-pregnant, retrieving web-unleashed photos is pretty much impossible. Motor Authority still has a couple of images up if you want to check it out for yourself. It kind of makes us think of the old Dodge Intrepid, but in a modern sexy guise.

This S-Type replacement is so important for Jaguar, so we understand their desire to keep the new model under wraps until its official debut in Detroit. This new XF is trying to go head-to-head with the likes of the Mercedes CLS, while trying to erase the memory of the S-Type from people's minds. Compared to the Benz, this cat has a similar, stylish-but-sporty look to it. Albeit with styling cues that follow the XK's lead. Definitely a huge improvement over the retro S-Type. The tail, in particular, is pretty shapely, and very reminiscent of its corporate cousin, the Aston Martin Vantage. Like our pals at MotorAuthority, we can't wait for the official press release scheduled for January 3rd.

[Source: MotorAuthority]

 

[via] Autoblog

Buy a Mazda MX-5 in the UK, get an iPod Nano

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British? Can't make up your mind about that fun little Miata you've had your eye on? Mazda's here to help. Beginning in 2007, buy a Miata...er...MX-5, in Roadster Coupe form and get iPod connectivity as standard equipment. You ragtop buyers will still be expected to pay for yours.

What's that, you say? You don't have an iPod yet? How have you been listening to the Autoblog podcast? Shame, shame. But, no worries, Mazda's got your back. Along with sporty motoring frivolity, your new MX-5 also comes with a shiny new iPod Nano (hopefully a newer one than the first-gen model in the Mazda-provided photo) . Lucky you.

Oh, and if you live in the US, you still have an opportunity to get an iPod from us. Just liste n to the Autoblog podcast for a chance to win your own. Details here. Who loves ya?

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: New fortwo loses its roof, touched by the hand of Brabus

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Smart has announced, yet again, that they'll be debuting their new fortwo in Detroit next month. Our heart rate remains... unchanged. And word that a cabrio version of DC's city car is in the works doesn't come as much of a surprise either.

However, what does escalate our pulse is the possibility of Brabus hotting-up the fortwo with a 110 HP motor that would allow the misshapen jellybean to crest the century mark when given enough tarmac. Throw in some suspension tuning and a few other go-fast bits, and it has the potential having the best ratio of fun per square foot then any other super-sub-compact out there.

Expect the drop top to drop into dealers in the spring of 2007, although there's no word yet on whether the Brabus-tuned version will make it to North American consumers.

[Source: Autowereld]

 

[via] Autoblog

Top 10 Hot Rods of 2006

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It's mostly a 1962 VW Bus. Except for the engine, which is now a 355 small-block. And the aluminum seats. And the 7-inch chop. Oh, and the trademark VW flower vase on the dash was carved from billet aluminum. All that and more makes it one of Hot Rod Magazine's Top 10 Hot Rods of 2006. The photo is linked to a full detailing of the sinister beast.

The other nine top-rated Hot Rods can be viewed by following the 'read' link below, including HRM's Hot Rod of the Year. If you like ungodly amounts of horsepower, you'll probably agree with their choices. If you don't, you might prefer this link instead.
< br />[Source: Hot Rod Magazine via Jalopnik]

 

[via] Autoblog

How to... become a test driver

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We don't think we're going out on a limb by saying that a gig as an automotive test driver is at the top of most gearhead's career wish list. Surprisingly enough, the requirements for such a position are within the grasp of those of you with a clean driving record and a good work ethic.

An article we came across gives a mildly detailed outline of what prospective test drivers should expect from the job, what requirements are necessary and what educational background will get your foot in the door. A degree in mechanical engineering is a huge plus, but it isn't a necessity and normally a high school diploma is all that's required. However, having certain skills behind the wheel is an absolute must.

"What skills?" You ask.

Havin g the ability (and dare we say, talent) to bring the vehicle to its limits is one obvious requirement, but overall, well-above average motoring practices will suffice, along with the ability to drive for extended periods of time and being able to communicate what the vehicle is doing to engineers and other interested parties.

We're starting to search some of the job sites now, but we're thinking there may be a small conflict of interest. That, and our driving record might not be up to snuff.

[Source: Askmen.com]

 

[via] Autoblog

Aussies developed BMW with a bed

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Why not? In Australia, Ford sells the F6 Tornado, Pursuit and Super Pursuit under the Ford Performance Vehicle (FPV) banner, hauling ass as well as anything else. BMW doesn't offer anything even close, so what is a Bimmer enthusiast to do when he has to stop at The Home Depot for garden supplies? Certainly not put them in the X5!

There is always someone out there who solves problems such as this before they actually become an issue. In this case, a bloke named POWERCHIP from the M5Board has taken a BMW E39 M5 and is converting it into what he calls the M5 UTE. It seems that after talking to Shane from Southern Rod and Custom in New South Wales Australia it looked like his dream car might just come true.

The yearlong transformation of this great sedan into the M5 UTE is truly amazing. Every inch of the vehicle is being properly engineered to drive just like the M5 from which it spawned. Click here to check out the 200+ photo album that details the build every step of the way.


[Source: Jalopnik via M5Board]

 

[via] Autoblog

The most expensive red and green auction cars of the year

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In a special slideshow on their website, Sports Car Market has fashioned a sort of Christmas card for collectible car lovers. Culling the year's most expensive lots out of the top auctions from around the globe, they found the ten priciest red and green vehicles to cross the blocks in 2006. Sure we already told you about the top ten overall, but this is kind of special. Starting with the gorgeous red 1958 Ferrari 412S Sports racer that sold for $5,610,000 at RM's Monterey auction, the Maranello marque places three cars in the top ten. The GM Futurliner from the Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson auction and the 1933 Packard 1006 Sport phaeton from Gooding's Otis Chandler collection sell-off round out the reds. Making us green with envy was the 1954 Pontiac Bonneville Special coupe that nearly matched the $3.24 million of its corporate cousin Olds F88 from a year ago by topping #3 mil. Jaguar C and D-Types, a 1929 Bentley Speed Six Dual Cowl tourer, and a 1971 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda that brought just over a million bucks, cover the greens. Click the read link to see these beauties for yourself.

[Source: Sports Car Market]

 

[via] Autoblog

Lincoln MKR Concept revealed!

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The war between traditional buff books and those of us on the net wages on, with the newest battleground being embargoed pics and information about two concepts that will find a home on a rotating platform in Detroit.

Earlier today, Car and Driver broke the embargo on the Lincoln MKR concept and in turn, Edmunds Inside Line decided to give up the goods on Lincoln's new sports sedan exercise. The employed design elements may find their way into Lincoln's DNA, while under the hood, a twin-turbo'd, 415 HP 3.5-liter V6 will power the automaker's soon-to-be released MKS flagship.

Click 'read' for the full analysis.

[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]

 

[via] Autoblog

The full monty: Jaguar C-XF Concept

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Earlier today, a couple pics were leaked onto this, our vast information super highway, of the Jaguar C-XF concept. A few sites picked up the press shots and then later removed them at the request of Jaguar. It seems that the folks at Inside Line figured that if one concept's secrecy was compromised, why not let another cat out of the bag.

The C-XF is widely regarded as the replacement of the S-type and utilizes the oh-so-en-vogue, four-door coupe design that was once solely occupied by the Merc CLS. A full analysis of the design elements employed on the concept, including tidbits from Ian Callum, the man behind the pen, can be read at IL.

Power will be provided by a supercharged, 4.2-liter V8, producing 420 HP and 368 lb.-ft. of torque and, when mated to a six-speed automatic, can suppos edly propel the RWD concept to a top speed of 180 MPH.

The C-XF will debut in Detroit next month, but you can follow the 'read' link for more juicy morsels.

[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]

 

[via] Autoblog

#2 not good enough for Toyota?

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Apparently moving ahead of Ford isn't going to be good enough for Toyota. With their latest global projection of 9.42-million vehicles planned for 2007, it's looking more likely they might catch General Motors to become the world's No. 1 auto maker. For 2008, they will be teaming with the Klingons to challenge for interstellar domination. The 2007 guesstimate represents a 4% bump over this year's total, putting them well ahead the 9.2 million vehicles GM is reporting for this year. Of course, with some hot new products in the pipeline, GM can surely see a similar increase over this year's figures as well.

The problems that have plagued GM over the past few years seem to be resolving themselves, but Toyot a is so strong right now, it could be a close fight. Ford is already resigned to being number 3, even with a slew of new products in the mix. Rather than seeing this as more bad news for the domestics, think of it as a realization of the new global reality and the fact that a slimmer GM and Ford might be able to return to profitablility even while giving up market share.

[Source: Globe Investor]

 

[via] Autoblog

POLL: RR of the Week

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We've provided our readers a place to show off their rides and they've respond in kind, giving us five more vehicles for your viewing enjoyment. This week, we've displayed a slew of Japanese cult favorites and one pushrod-powered 'Vette. But as different as each vehicle is, three things bind them together: the engine's up front, the power is sent to the rear and all have no more than two doors (we'll ignore the hatch as a third).

First up is the oh-so-clean FC RX-7, followed by the S2000-powered Celica. Wednesday and Thursday brought us a duo of delectable Z-cars, and when Friday rolled along, we presented you with another Z, of the domestic variety.

Vote below for your favorite and remember, next week is all about quarter-mile runners, so submit your drag car to our Flickr pool by following the directions after the jump.

RR of the Week
'88 RX-7 Turbo
'71 Celica
'76 280Z
'77 280Z
'85 Corvette
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Continue reading POLL: RR of the Week

 

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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

[via] Autoblog