AutoblogGreen for 01.05.07

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That thing in the middle there is called a HyperBike. We have no idea how it works, exactly. We do know that driving 55 mph uses less gasoline than driving 100 mph. So why not put up a speed limit on the German Autobahn and eliminate a bunch of CO2 emissions at the same time? Sound crazy? Not to some people. Read 'em and weep at AutoblogGreen.

 

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Ford prices 2008 Super Duty

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Ford has announced slightly smaller pricing for some of its 2008 Super Duty pickups. A 2008 F-250 Super Duty Regular Cab XL 4x2 will start at $23,305 ($150 less than a 2007), while the top end Crew Cab Lariat 4x4 before options will be $38,425 ($245 less).

Ford brags that the Lariat is now an even better deal since it comes with $545 worth of more standard equipment, including 18-inch wheels and trailer hitch. Ford says the new trucks should be available sometime in the first quarter of this year.

For a list of options like the 650(!) foot-pounds of torque Power Stroke, check the jump.

Continue reading Ford prices 2008 Super Duty

 

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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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Toyota poised to build plant number eight in US

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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Toyota is in the process of scouting locations and performing feasibility studies on opening another plant in the U.S.

The addition of another manufacturing center within the States would make the total number of ToMoCo plants rise to eight, further shoring up production capacity in one of its most prosperous markets.

According to sources cited by the WSJ, Toyota has five locations in mind, all of which are in the southern U.S., and currently include Chattanooga, TN and Marion, AR. Back in mid-December, the SouthernAutoCorridor.com reported that sites in North Carolina and South west Virginia were being reconed as well.

There may be an announcement about Toyota's intentions later this month and according to the WSJ's sources, the plant will likely produce Highlander SUVs to the tune of about 200k per year, when the plant opens in 2009.

[Source: Drive.com.au, Wall Street Journal, SouthernAutoCorridor.com]

 

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GM Daewoo passes Kia as Korea's No. 2 automaker

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When General Motors took the reins of Daewoo in 2002, they saw a future in the then bankrupt Korean automaker. Since then, GM has poured a considerable amount of resources into Daewoo and now, that effort has paid off. GM Daewoo has taken back its former standing as the number two automaker in Korea.

Kia has occupied the second place spot, right below its parent company Hyundai, for the past four years. However, GM Daewoo was able to out-produce the automaker by some 180,000 vehicles in 2006.

Close to 80-percent of GM Daewoo's are shipped abroad, with exports up over 33-percent, while domestic sales rallied 19.2-percent. Some of those aforementioned exports arrive in the U.S. wearing Chevrolet's bowtie.

Since GM's sales have been waning over the past few years, this sort of news is an unlikely bright spot for the automaker as a whole.

[Source: Edmunds]

 

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More Spy Shots: F430 Challenge Stradale

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Remember that yellow F430 Stradale caught at the Nurburgring in November? It's been sighted again, this time out on German public streets still wearing those mismatched shoes and about six-months' worth of splattered bugs. You'd think someone would take pity on the poor Ferrari and give it a bath. Look for a production version of the 520 hp steed to go on sale sometime before summer.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 

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Should Audi develop a crate engine?

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Crate engines are all over the place, as long as you're willing to limit yourself to American makes and V8s. As cool as an LSX-powered Audi would be, it would offend the sensibilities of some, though it'd be great in a "that's just not right" sort of way. What would be right, though, is a crate engine from Ingolstadt.

More pie-in-the-sky after the jump

[Source: Fourtitude.com]

Continue reading Should Audi develop a crate engine?

 

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Vitamin-C shot: Zolfe Orange supercar on sale next week

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We remember reading about the Zolfe Orange last year and we were absolutely smitten with the possibility of it coming into production. Now, we've gotten word that the British startup will begin selling the 'Busa-powered super-coupe next week.

Aside from being TVR-esque and undoubtedly orange, the Zolfe packs a power-to-weight ratio of 113 HP per ton and that's in stock form. The aforementioned 1.3-liter motor, pulled straight from a Suzuki Hayabusa, provides motivation and when mated to a six-speed tranny the Orange can reach 60 in 4.5 seconds. Originally, there was word of a turbo'd mill that would increase horsepower from 175 to 350, dropping the sprint to 60 by a full second, but the bespoke carmaker has decided to give buyers the choice of either 2- or 3-liter Ford-sourced V6s, producing 145 HP and 203 HP respectively.

Pricing will be set at £25,000 and according to Zolfe's owner, Nic Strong, an American buyer has already placed an order for 200 of the orange supercars. We can't wait to see one in person.

[Sources: Pistonheads, Zolfe]

 

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Peugeot leaks the 207 RC

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Those European hot hatches just keep on comin'. Following the unveiling of the new Opel/Vauxhall Corsa OPC/VXR and reports on the upcoming Fiat Punto Abarth turbo comes the latest assault on the Renaultsport Clio 197, the Peugeot 207 RC. Parent company PSA evidently snuck the RC under the radar in its December online magazine several months ahead of its official debut at Geneva in March.

The 207 RC gets the most powerful version of the engine co-developed by PSA and BMW for the Mini Cooper S, a 1.6-liter twin-turbo producing 175 horsepower, which Peugeot says should get the hot little hatch up to a hundred kilometers per hour in 7.1 secods on its way to a 220 km/h (137 mph) top speed.

The base 207 is already one of the most stylish and aggressive-looking small hatches on the market, and while the RC version does get some subtle visual enhancements, they're not quite as extreme as the styling previewed by the 207 RCup concept. Will that be enough to pose a serious threat to the competition? That depends largely on how it drives.

[Source: Carscoop]

 

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Ford looking for tuners for next year's SEMA show

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If you're the purveyor of a reputable aftermarket tuning house, here's your opportunity for some OEM-sponsored publicity. FoMoCo has opened up their inbox to proposals for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury project vehicles to be displayed at this year's SEMA show.

Naturally, there are a number of hoops to jump though in order to get a vehicle to pimp. Namely, you're expected to be financially solvent and are willing to submit periodic status reports, keep the vehicle's badging intact, bring the vehicle to the show and other Ford-sponsored events, all while carrying the prerequisite insurance.

If think you've got what it takes, follow the link for all the details on how to submit your one page proposal to the marketing mavens at Ford.

[Source: Sema.org via Jalopnik]

 

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VIDEO: Ian Callum on the Jag C-XF Concept

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We're counting down the last few days until the start of the Detroit show, and looking forward to seeing in the flesh (er, metal) what's bound to be one of the biggest stars of the show, the aggressively beautiful Jaguar C-XF concept. Jaguar claims the show car is not a direct preview of the next S-Type sedan, but rather previews the company's new styling direction, which quite apparently departs from the retro theme in favor of something far more bold, aggressive and futuristic.

As if the styling didn't speak for itself, this video features British design legend Ian Callum speaking for it, describing the themes he and his design team strove to incorporate into the C-XF. Jaguar, Callum insists, is the originator of the sports sedan, a category which the marque needs to reclaim from the competition. The C-XF is intended to do just that.

Click "play", sit back and enjoy listening to an artist describing his work. If you haven't seen our high-resolution gallery of Jaguary C-XF images yet, click here.

(Thanks for the tip, 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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eBay Find of the Day: "New" '73 Volvo P1800ES

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If a car's been sitting at a dealership for 34 years, you'd expect it to develop a certain amount of vehicular arthritis, in the form of brittle rubber, aged braking components and rodent havens. In the case of this Volvo 1800ES, originally owned by Gordon Turner, proprietor of Turner Volvo, it's recieved regular attention during the 10,000 miles it's accrued during its time as a demo car.

For the uninitiated, 1800s are the "exotic" vintage Volvo and nice examples can trade for several thousand dollars. This one's got a starting bid of $20,000 and the reserve has yet to be met.

More after the jump.

Continue reading eBay Find of the Day: "New" '73 Volvo P1800ES

 

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Autoblog Podcast Relaunch Sweepstakes #4: UPDATE

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Heading into the weekend and all the festivities surrounding the Detroit Auto Show means we won't have another chance to remind everyone to enter the Autoblog Podcast Relaunch Sweepstakes #4. The prize at stake in our final celebration of the new Autoblog Podcast is an 80GB iPod Video valued at $349. So far we've received more votes quicker than any of the other three sweepstakes, which is to be expected considering the carrott at the end of this stick.

If you haven't entered yet, doing so is simple. Just download and listen to the Autoblog Podcast #53, our latest (you can subscribe to it in iTunes so you won't miss future episodes by clicking here). At some point during the show I announce a secret keyword, which you'll need to email back to us at abresearch at gmail dot com along with your name, age and address. That's all you have to do to enter to win an 80GB iPod Video. We'll accept submissions through 12AM EST on Wednesday, January 10th, and announce the winner soon thereafter. Check out the official rules here and good luck!

 

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

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Accord Diesel in, Accord Hybrid out

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Hybrids have now been hyped up beyond their own capabilities, so we find ourselves eagerly anticipating the comeback of the diesel engine. Volkswagen is sure to be one of the big diesel players in the beginning, having just announced its new TDI engine yesterday. But it looks like Honda might be in an even better position to bring oil burners back. Peter Nunn, Winding Road's roving reporter embedded on the isel of Nipon, claims that Honda's first diesel application in the Accord sedan will replace the Accord Hybrid sedan when it goes on sale around 2009.

The diesel in question will be an ultra clean 2.2 - 2.4L four-cylinder able to meet the toughest emissions standards in t he world, i.e. California's Tier II / Bin 5 standard. Nunn reports that the Accord Hybrid will be "quietly retired" upon the arrival of the four-cylinder Accord Diesel, which should be able to handily trounce the outgoing hot-rod V6 hybrid in fuel mileage at the same time delivering decent get up and go. For those wanting more power, Honda is also planning a diesel V6 that will first be used in the Ridgeline before being disseminated across the lineup in its vans and SUVs.

Honda's enthusiasm for diesels is exactly the kind of support this old yet new again technology needs to get back on its feet in the U.S. Honda's aggressive R&D dept. is no doubt developing diesel engines that will change many a mind when it comes time to choose a new a green vehicle.

[Source: Winding Road]

Related:
Honda is developing a diesel V6 for SUVs and VANs
Diesel popularity could be unstoppable
Honda develops new self-contained diesel catalyst

 

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Spy Shots: Saturn Vue Red Line

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With the new Saturn Vue crossover utility vehicle due to hit showrooms soon, GM's not wasting a moment: they're hard at work on the Red Line performance version. The intrepid paparazzi at KGP caught this thinly-disguised test mule driving around Detroit.

The shots reveal that the Red Line will get a much more aggressive front end than the standard Vue, with bigger air intakes and integrated fog lamps like on the Saturn Sky roadster, suggesting this could become a new design element for hotter Saturns. You'll also be able to tell the Red Line version from the ordinary Vue by the mesh grille inserts and dual exhaust pipes.

The new Vue Red Line ditches the Honda-sourced engine of its predecessor in favor of GM's latest sophisticated 250-hp VVT DOHC 3.6-liter V6 driving through the General's Hydra-Matic six-speed auto box. A five-speed stick and all-wheel-drive will also be available. That should make for a pretty hot little package from the brand that not long ago was anything but.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

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End Scene: Final episode of Ford Bold Moves documentary

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Episode 30 of the Ford Bold Moves documentary has just been released. It's the final episode in this long series of short videos that has chronicled Ford and its journey down the Way Forward path since the middle of last year. No doubt by this time the producers had hoped to show a triumphant Mark Fields, mullet blowing in the wind, declaring directly into the camera that he had, indeed, shown this company the way forward. Looks like they ran out of tape before that could happen, so episode 30 turns its lens towards the Showroom of the Future event that Ford held for its own employees and the media last month. You'll see what we saw inside of Cobo Arena where about two dozen future Ford, Lincoln and Mercury products are shown hanging out under white sheets. We think Ford should just yank the sheets off for everyone to see and get an honest thumbs up or down reaction from the public. That way they can judge if they are heading down the wrong path and still have time to turn around if needs be. Regardless, episode 30 is meant as a morale booster for any Blue Oval fan. There's just something about Fields staring into the camera and passionately exclaiming "We can do this" that makes me want to run out and score a touchdown.

[Source: Ford Bold Moves]

 

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Mickey Thompson can finally Rest in Peace

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In the case that had many times been considered "cold" by investigators, ex-business partner Michael Goodwin has been convicted by a California jury of two counts of first degree murder with special circumstances in the deaths of racing star Mickey Thompson and his wife Trudy, which occurred in the driveway of their California home on March 16, 1988. Thompson's sister, Colleen Campbell, now 74, continued to push prosecutors for nearly 19 years to solve the case. Yesterday she walked out of the courtroom waving a checkered flag in victory.

Mikey Thompson was a superstar in the racing community throughout the late 60's and 70's, assulting nearly every form of motorsports from the salt flats at Bonneville to the drag strip at Pomona and off road in the California Baja Desert. His popular off-road shows were what led to the business deal gone bad with Goodwin that ultimately led to the murders.

In court, the 61-year old Goodwin showed little emotion as the verdict was rendered by the jury. Although his public defender has stated that the verdict would be appealed, sentencing for Goodwin is scheduled for March 1.

Thanks Vinny for the tip!

[Source: CNN via AP]

 

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Citroen unveils 5-seat version of C4 Picasso


click above image for high-resolution gallery

That fine Euro MPV, the Citroen C4 Picasso, will be shrinking in March of this year. According to Autoblog Spanish, visitors to the Geneva Motor Show will see a whole new vehicle rather than the 7-seat microvan they have come to know. In its place there will be a new C4 that is a bit smaller and capable of hauling only 5 people. The familiar 7 passenger version will still be around, and is rumored to be renamed the Grand Picasso. Besides losing two seats and a few inches of length, the new shorter C4 gets revised front and rear fascias that are a bit cleaner, as well as a smoother roofline. The interior and engine options should stay th e same, however.

You can view more angles of the Picasso in this high-resolution gallery.

[Source: AB Spanish]

 

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Eurosport: Cadillac BLS Sport unveiled for Europe

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GM's getting pretty serious about globalizing the Cadillac brand. You know they're serious because they're not just exporting cars built for American buyers to overseas markets, they're actually making cars specifically for Europe that aren't even available here, like the BLS. Based on the Saab 9-3, the BLS puts Cadillac's edgy styling in a European package, and now Cadillac is raising the stakes a bit with the BLS Sport.

While no V-Series, the Sport model upgrades on the standard BLS with 18-inch rims, dropped suspension and fine-tuned handling. Inside the wood trim is replaced by brush aluminum (aluminium, with an extra I, to our overseas friends) and sportier-looking instrumentation. In overseas markets, leather trim is not the must-have option it is in the US, so that remains an option.

Power comes from a range of engines including two-liter turbocharged four-bangers producing 175 or 210 horsepower, a 255-hp V6 or a 150-hp common-rail turbodiesel.

Shame we don't get it here, but somehow we don't think anyone will be complaining once the upcoming new CTS is unveiled. It'd be interesting, however, to see how the BLS Sport stacks up against its platform mate, the Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan.

(Interior shot after the jump.)

[Source: Edmunds' Inside Line]

Continue reading Eurosport: Cadillac BLS Sport unveiled for Europe

 

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2008 Dodge Grand Caravan brings its A-game

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click above image for high-resolution gallery of 20 pics

Can you believe it? The Chrysler Group's new minivans for 2008 will mark the fifth generation of these all-purpose people haulers. The 2008 lineup includes the Chrysler Town and Country, which we showed you yesterday, and the Dodge Grand Caravan. Reaction to the styling of the Town and Country in the comments has been mixed, and so we expect a similar reaction to the Grand Caravan. And while the Grand Caravan does bear a resemblance to the Chevy Venture, we actually like its simple, purposeful lines. It actually looks more compact than the egg-shaped model it replaces, which is a good thing.

The point must be made, however, that minivan buyers are generally not placing style at the top of their must-have list when visiting dealerships. For them, it's all about what the vehicle can do for me and my family. DCX knew that to protect its position as the number one purveyor of minivans that it would have to stuff more features and options between its bumpers than the competition. For 2008, that task was made by easier by the decision to cancel the short-wheelbase Dodge Caravan, so now both minivans ride on an identical 121.2-inch wheelbase.



More of our thoughts can be found after the jump, along with an Overview on these minivans from Chrysler, and you can peruse the Chrysler Town & Country gallery of high-resolution images here or check out the new gallery of Dodge Grand Caravan shots.

Continue reading 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan brings its A-game

 

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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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Behind the curtain: Building the Ford Interceptor Concept

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One of the cars we are most interested in seeing at the Detroit show is the new Ford Interceptor Concept. Although we've seen pictures already, this Mustang platform-mate has the potential to challenge the Mopar 300/Charger duo in the rear-drive large American sedan segment. We hope it makes it to production because by bringing its 427-esque styling to market, Ford will also win some street cred for not letting this bold design die on the vine.

Now we have a unique chance to see how the actual Interceptor show car was put together courtesy of USA Today. They stopped in at Aria in Irvine, California to get an inside look at ho w a show car is built. Aria is one of those concept builders that crafts million-dollar show cars mostly by hand and usually in total secrecy. They are also responsible for other Ford projects like the aluminum-bodied Ford Shelby GR-1 as well.

USA Today follows the Interceptor project over a couple of weeks from when it resembled nothing more than a giant pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces to the final days when the car was finished just in time for its shipping deadline. Pretty interesting read with some additional glimpses at the Mazda Nagare concept mishap that had the Aria team scrambling minutes before the debut. Check it out for yourself by clicking the read link.

[Source: USA Today via Kicking Tires]

 

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Scion tC R.S. 3.0 dropping in Detroit

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click image above to see high-resolution version

Toyota announced today that the Scion tc Release Special 3.0 will be shown at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit this week. Scion has rolled out a Release Special tc every year now since 2005 (2005 model, 2006 model), each model representing the brand's own take on what the tuner wants. This year's edition sports a front and rear KenStyle ground effects kit with a "wide-intake" grille. Darkened headlights and clear LED taillights have also been added. Inside, the R.S. 3.0 gets black A lcantara seats with gray perforated seating surfaces and a Blizzard Pearl RAZO shift knob. Finally, a Pioneer audio system with a 35-watt woofer and 160-watt maximum output ensure its young demographic will be satisfied with their turn-key tuner.

Scion will only build 2,500 units of the tc R.S. 3.0 at a price of $2,580 over the base MSRP, which should put it around $19,000. Those interested should have their funds in order by February when the vehicle will go on sale. You'll find Toyota's full press release after the jump.

[Source: Toyota]

Continue reading Scion tC R.S. 3.0 dropping 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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Faster, Faster! Top 10 jobs that let you drive fast

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We know some of you out there are reading these posts while chained to a desk, living vicariously through us automotive scribes, waiting for any opportunity to get out and enjoy the thrill of the open road. You often contemplate quitting your job and finding a way to join this circus, getting your own chance to pilot a Koenigsegg CCX or have a Bentley parked in your garage for a few days.

Well, you might have more options to drive fast in your job than you think. Thanks to CareerBuilder.com, we have a list of ten careers that will allow you to fulfill your dreams and still let you pay the bill s in the process. Blogger somehow didn't make the list, but we can assure you, there are opportunities in this field as well. Some of the top ten are obvious, and a few come with a twist, but all allow high-speed thrills in one way or another. Without further ado, check out the top ten after the jump.

Click the read link for a more detailed explanation of just how each will fill your need for speed, as well as additional info such as pay and qualifications.

[Source: CareerBuilder.com]

Continue reading Faster, Faster! Top 10 jobs that let you drive fast

 

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Audi may show Q7 V12 TDI concept in Detroit

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click on above image to view high-resolution gallery

This little number caught us off gaurd when one of our sources directed us to the VWVortex.com forums. Audi already unveiled the Q7 V12 TDI back in September at the Paris Motor Show. We were in awe of the engine that doesn't have to trace its root far back before it runs right into the same V12 diesel that powers the R10 Le Mans racer. This angelic-looking Q7 has the same V12, according to the forum poster, and it produces the same 500 horsepower and 738 ft-lbs. of glorious torque.

Perhaps Audi wanted to dress up the Q7 V12 TDI for its debut in North America, because from what we know this vehicle is Detroit-bound. There are a few changes to the vehicle that set it apart from the one we saw debut in Paris, including a front end with more LEDs around the headlights and a slightly modified lowe air intake. Out back the reverse lights have been relocated from the stop lamps into their own strip along the bumper that was previously housing reflectors. The center stop lamp housed beneath the rear spoiler is now also a string of red LEDs. The faux-diffuser in the lower bumper is slightly different, and finally the pair of exhaust tips embedded in the rear skirt are now ovular. The white paint job is new (and nice), but the wheels, oddly enough, are the same as the one's we saw in Paris.

The interior of this mild concept has also been cleaned up with the creamiest-looking leather applied to every visible surface, new gauges (220 mph!), and a new center information display that now both color and sporting a higher resolution. If you check out our gallery of high-resolution pics, you'll notice the center information display is showing a g-meter.



We have no information on this Q7 V12 TDI concept other than the few words accompanying it in t he forum we found it. Audi has said nothing official about it, so its attendance in Detroit is not guaranteed. However, if it were to arrive stateside, its presence at the Detroit show would certainly fuel our hope that Audi's thinking about selling the Q7 V12 TDI here in addition to Europe. We'll find out soon enough.

[Source: VWVortex.com]

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Steal an Evo!

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There's a certain indefinable "quality" about flashy, rally-derived Japanese sedans. Those big air scoops, the ostentatiously over-sized rear wings, the jumbo rims... it all just screams "steal me!" Evidently Mitsubishi thinks their Evo IX is theft-worthy, too, as demonstrated by this promotional video. Seems their security personnel are too preoccupied watching rally footage to notice one of their street machines being stolen - spy-flick style - right out from under their noses.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

Will the Ford Taurus return?

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Just when it seemed that we would never see the Taurus again, new Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally says that he was a big fan of the Taurus and even rented one on a recent business trip to check it out. His feelings date back 20 years to a research study he was doing on Ford's production system for Boeing. He has also publicly stated that the Five Hundred "should have been the next Taurus."

Over the 20-year run of the Taurus, Ford invested literally hundreds of millions of dollars building brand equity in the name, then just walked away. It's nothing new with automakers; look at what GM did with the GTO, Camaro and Firebird. The GTO has come and gone and the Camaro comeback is well underway as a completely new car; can the Firebird be far behind?

Mulally took a whimsical shot at the name game this week when he said he was still looking to drive his Lincoln Zephyr. Not to be outdone by the new guy, Ford's sales analyst chief George Pipas made a Freudian slip by referring to the Zephyr in this week's sales call.

We say go ahead and bring back the Taurus name, but not on the Five-Hundred. Hopefully there will be a new, rear-wheel drive large sedan in the product pipeline soon that will need a name, so save it for that. Besides, the name "Taurus" evokes images of charging bulls and, if you think about it, wasn't appropriate for a plebian front-wheel drive sedan.

[Source: Businessweek]

 

[via] Autoblog

Schumacher buys a Shelby

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Oh, no. Il Commendatore would not have liked this one bit. Scuderia Ferrari's now-retired seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has gone and bought himself a Shelby Cobra. Initial reports identified the car as one of six super-rare Daytona Coupes, but corrected reports confirm it was actually a 1967 Mk II Shelby Cobra 427 roadster.

Shelby set out with the mission to beat Ferrari in GT racing, and made the Daytona to achieve those ends. Only six were made, five in Italy and one in the US, and they're currently valued at about $4 million apiece. The Daytona met significant success in 1964 and 1965 before Ford and Shelby shifted their focus to the even more successful GT40. The Cobra roadster didn't have the same mission, but for the tifosi the Shelby name represents the antithesis of the Prancing Horse.

Schumi apparently bought himself the Shelby as a 38th birthday present. The exact sum the champ paid wasn't disclosed, but you can bet it was a big figure. Whatever it was, though, he can afford it: even after retirement, Schumacher is still one of the top-earning F1 drivers alive.

[Source: Motorpasion and Le Blog Auto]

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: It's people! The Hyundai Santa Fe is made out of people!

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Tons of SUVs, CUVs, and the like are out there vying for our hard earned dollars. The Hyundai Santa Fe is a vehicle that sometimes gets lost in that crowd. Even winning awards such as Autobytel's SUV of the Year for 2007 doesn't seem to bring the kind of recognition this midsize SUV might deserve.

So what do you do if you're Hyundai and you want people to see what a terrific vehicle you have? Well, you come up with a novel approach. You think outside the box. You help people associate your vehicle with good looking people doing extraordinary things so buyers might make that leap themselves and buy your vehicle to share in the good times.

And th at's precisely what Hyundai has done by working with dance troupe Pilobolus to give an artistic interpretation of what the Santa Fe represents. Taking shadow puppets to a whole new level, we see the group acting out vignettes and ultimately arranging themselves to form the vehicle responsible for making those good times possible. Definitely less creepy than the Toyota Human Touch ad, this one is very cool. So now we know the secret. Soylent Green The Santa Fe is people! Watch the video after the jump.

Thanks for the tip, emulous1974!

[Source: Pilobolus]

Continue reading VIDEO: It's people! The Hyundai Santa Fe is made out of people!

 

[via] Autoblog

Camaro should find homes across the pond

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On the eve of GM's debut of the Camaro convertible, What Car? is reporting that both the iconic coupe and drop top variant will find their way to our friends in the UK.

According to the magazine's sources, both Camaros will be offered in right-hand drive and will recieve the LS2 6-liter 400HP V8, producing around 400 BHP. Sales will begin about the same time as us Yanks get our paws on the GM pony car, sometime in 2009, and will carry a price tag of around £30,000.

[Source: What Car?]

 

[via] Autoblog

Hyundai unions rise up over yearly bonus

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Hyundai's labor union has taken a note from the Teamster playbook and is attempting to strong-arm the automaker. During a ceremony to celebrate the new year, union members ganged up on Hyundai's president and discharged fire extinguishers. The ceremony came screeching to a halt with the president suffering a facial wound in the melee. The hubub arose over bonus pay. Workers were given a bonus equivalent to 100 percent of their normal pay. The extra pay was directly correlated to how close they came to hitting their production target. In this case, 1.62 millon cars was 98 percent of the goal. Nice and tidy, eh? Not so fast.

If labor had managed to eke out that last 2 percent of volume, they would have found 150 percent tucked in the ir envelopes. Unfortunately, the union isn't acknowledging that the reason for the near miss was their own doing. 2006 was rife with labor unrest for Hyundai. The unions kept striking in an effort to increase pay, while the Won climbed against the dollar, putting Hyundai in a bind between labor's outstretched hand and a vehicle that was suddenly more expensive than its competition. Disregarding the slip in market share, Hyundai's union kept ringing the bell for more pay, all the while forcing losses on Hyundai. Hyundai even lowered the production target to accomodate labor's inability to attain the original number. Hey, we'd love to get paid more for doing less, but demanding a bonus you didn't earn seems counterintuitive to us.

[Source: Digital Chosunilbo]

 

[via] Autoblog