Future Classic: '93-'97 Mazda MX-6 LS

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When the 1993 MX-6 debuted, it made our hearts sing. Here, finally, was a Mazda 2+2 that combined all the fun of its predecessors while banishing the remaining 80's-era funk that afflicted Japanese cars. Out went the plasticky interior and stubby slab-sidedness of the '88-'92 model. Style and performance for moderate money was always the game of the MX-6, and the '93 model stepped it up a lot. Underhood was a rare (for the time) V6 connected to a manual transaxle. The exterior was a timeless Berlinetta with a tightly-wrapped form and delicate flowing lines. It looked less Mazda and more Ferrari 456.

More nostalgia after the jump

Continue reading Future Classic: '93-'97 Mazda MX-6 LS

 

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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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Fairlane-based crossover confirmed for Lincoln

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Automotive News is reporting today that Ford has confirmed to analysts that Lincoln will be getting a seven-passenger crossover vehicle based on the same platform as the upcoming production version of the Ford Fairlane. The Lincoln crossover's codename is D472 and it's expected to reach showrooms next year as a 2009 model. Here's the important nugget of info: the Lincoln crossover will not be a rebadged Ford Fairlane. While it will share "hard points" with the Fairlane, the entire skin should be all Lincoln and sport the double-wing grille, high beltline and thin taillamps that we've been told will be Lincoln's styling cues going forward. Peter Horbury, Ford's Design Chief in the U.S., compared the D472's styling with t he "sleekness of a Gulfstream jet." We should expect that by 2009 other vehicles in Lincoln's lineup like the MKZ, MKX and Navigator will also get the double-wing grille treatment to match new products like this seven-seat crossover and the upcoming MKS sedan.

[Source: Automotive News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Detroit Auto Show: Poor economy takes a bite out Charity Preview

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Every January the North American International Auto Show kicks off with the press and industry previews and then on the Friday night their is a gala Black Tie Charity Preview before the show opens to the general public on Saturday morning. Proceeds from ticket sales for the Charity Preview go to local children's charities, and in previous years the gala has typically sold out and raised $7.5 million from the $400 per person tickets. This year the Michigan economy has really been in the toilet with thousands of car-maker and supplier employees either getting laid off or bought out. According to the Detroit News, sales have been way down this year and thousands of tickets are still available. At this point, they've apparently only sold $6 million worth of tickets. If you're in Detroit and have a tux and $400 handy you can get ticket info at the NAIAS website.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Detroit Auto Show: Ultimate Wallpaper Gallery

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click on above image to view all 33 high-resolution pics in our Ultimate Wallpaper Gallery

The 2007 Detroit Auto Show was probably not the best place to test our new photo gallery feature considering the significance of the event. What if they crashed? What if readers didn't like it? What if we suck at taking pictures? Well, the system was as stable as a rock and everyone seemed to greatly enjoy the thousands of high-resolution images we pumped out from the show floor, but we'll be the first to admit that great photography skills have never been a prerequisite for blogging before. However, amidst the standard 3/4 front shots and blurry pics of sheets being pulled off of concepts, there were definitely a few gems. We've assembled a gallery of what we think are our best shots from the 2007 Detroit show, some of which you've seen and some you haven't. They're all 1,280 pixels wide, so they should be suitable for use as desktop wallpaper on some very large screens. We decided not to put a watermark of our logo on any of these because, quite frankly, we hate it when sites do that. If one of your favorite vehicles didn't make the list of best pics, you can still find pics of it by browsing our complete coverage.

That said, we've realized that we need to step up our photography game, so rest assured that we're upgrading our cameras and going over what aperture and ISO mean again. By the time we arrive in the Windy City for the 2007 Chicago Auto Show in early February, we want every pic we snap to be a gem.

Enjoy the gallery!

 

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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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New Viper guarantees Blue Devil's arrival

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When word of a 600-hp Dodge Viper first crossed our desks, we immediately figured that the on-again, off-again super Corvette "Blue Devil" project would immediately get a green light for production. The current Z06 produces a stout 505 hp, about 5 hp shy of the current Viper's 8.3-liter V10. We knew, however, that General Motors would never let a 95-hp deficit stand. Thus, it's not much of a surprise that the Detroit Free Press is reporting none other than Bob Lutz has indicated that Blue Devil/SS/Stingray/whatever is definitely a go. Lutz's exact words were, "the Corvette vehicle line executive will not take that lying down." His com ments were made at a meeting yesterday with analysts, at which he also stated, "It is very important for Corvette to be the most powerful, most capable, best handling sports car in the United States." Them sounds like fightin' words to us. Rumors about the Blue Devil peg its power at well above the 600-hp mark, which means not long after the 2008 Viper's steam-rolling rear tires hit the street, a new top-dog will arrive sometime in 2009.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

Related posts:
Corvette Blue Devil back on!
Dave Hill - no Blue Devil Corvette on the way
VetteGate: Spy photographers respond to fake Blue Devil pics
"Blue Devil" Corvette spotted at Nurburgring

 

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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: Honda debuts next-gen Asimo at CES that can climb stairs without smashing face plate

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Whenever the day's got you down, there's nothing like watching Honda's Asimo robot take a face plant to turn your frown upside down. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, however, the Japanese automaker and future master of Japan's robot army, Honda, had a chance to redeem its robot on stage. This time, Asimo not only climbed up and down stairs, it also danced liked Justin Timberlake circa 2001, bent it like Beckham, and ran across the stage and around in a circle, each step lifting its entire body off the ground for .08 seconds. We salute you Asimo, our robot master! (Just practicing.)

Check out the video of Asimo's performance after the jump.

[Source: Gizmodo via Techeblog]

Continue reading VIDEO: Honda debuts next-gen Asimo at CES that can climb stairs without smashing face plate

 

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In the Autoblog Garage: Saleen S281 Supercharged Mustang Convertible

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click above image to view 69 high-resolution photos

When the new Mustang debuted in 2005, pony car enthusiasts were elated. After decades of rehashed Fox-platformed Mustangs that could barely get out of their own way, the new DEW98-derived DC2 'Stang promised so much more. At just over $25,000 for a 300hp GT, it delivered big time in the bang for the buck category. With such a low entrance fee, the platform really allows for things to be taken up a notch or two. Seems everybody and their mother are offering tuned Mustangs with body kits, wheel and tire packages, and enough underhood goodies to make that 300 hp look positively anemic.

We've already profiled several of these and have even had our grubby little hands wrapped around the steeri ng wheel of a Roush 427R for a week. While we're still waiting for Ford's own super 'Stang, the GT500, to find its way into the AB garage, specialty manufacturer Saleen stepped up to offer us a sampling of their current lineup. Although our first choice Parnelli Jones limited edition was previously spoken for, we know that we will get one soon. In its place we were able to park a 2006 S281 Supercharged convertible. With 435 hp under its lightweight hood, we figured it might be an acceptable substitution.

And we weren't disappointed. This sucker is fast. And fun, if you can define fun as having dozens of strangers speed up to get a pic of you on the freeway, giving you thumbs up at a stop light, fielding questions from bright-eyed young ladies at every (frequent) gas stop, and being able to light up the tires at will in almost any gear at almost any speed. Those are a few ways we usually define fun, so it seems we have a winner here. But is living with one for a few days as much fun as it seems? Read on for the whole story.

Continue reading In the Autoblog Garage: Saleen S281 Supercharged Mustang Convertible

 

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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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Mazda Museum goes online

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One of the best scenes from the cheesy comedy My Blue Heaven is when Steve Martin's character is trying to talk up his FBI handler to his family. After extolling his accomplishments in Italian, his sister looks at Rick Moranis and says, "I thought Wankel invented the rotary engine?" Rotorheads everywhere chuckled knowingly. Of course Agent Coopersmith didn't invent it. Regardless of who did, the company best known for running with it is Mazda.

And that's not the only thing for which Mazda is known. The Hiroshima firm has a long history of innovative vehicles and technology. There is even a Mazda Museum showing off these highlights to those visiting the company's Design Center in Japan. As much as we'd love to visit it, the likelihood of having a few spare days in Japan is fairly remote.

That's why we were jazzed to hear that the Museum is hitting the road. Or rather, the information superhighway. Thanks to Mazda's longtime "interactive agency partner," Sarkissian Mason, the whole museum's collection has been photographed and digitized for our perusal. Concept cars, racecars, and notable production cars comprise the collection of 30 vehicles at the website. It's actually a really well designed site with very high quality images and graphics. And there's no need to Zoom-Zoom through it. Take all the time you need. Click the image or the read link to visit the Museum yourself, and follow the jump for the full press release.

[Source: Mazda]

Continue reading Mazda Museum goes online

 

[via] Autoblog

Steeda joins the Club: 2007 Steeda Q335 Club Racer

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click above image to view 11 photos in our high-resolution gallery

Although it's called the Q 335, the new Club Racer Mustang you see here actually has 350 hp under its black hood. Mustang specialist Steeda Autosports has a whole line of custom Mustangs in their Q series, but this new Q 335 is kind of special. This 2007 Club Racer engineered by Steeda is designed for the track rather than the strip. Whereas the Saleen Mustang we just had in our garage was more of a straight-line specialist (be that dragstrip or b oulevard), this Steeda is going to feel more at home at a road course. If you happen to find yourself at a strip, however, you probably won't be disappointed.

Steeda has been building the Q 335 since 2005, but the Club Racer just debuted at the Performance Racing Industry Show in Orlando. It takes the basic Q 335 package and adds Steeda's competition proven Pro-Action Struts and shocks, Front Control Arm Relocation Kit and chrome-moly rear lower control arms. The list of options from there includes a more aggressive competition front fascia, Steeda's billet front brake duct kit, and 14" front and 13" rear brake upgrades. You can buy a Steeda through select Ford dealers or build your own by ordering the Steeda Ultimate Power-Pak to add the extra 48 horsepower, and Club Racer Package for the improved handling.

[Source: Steeda]

 

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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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Fast-forward auto art with spray can caps

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OK, we acknowlege that this is a shamelessly obvious ploy for some free airtime, but we couldn't resist. Auto detail product manufacturer Stoner put together this accelerated video to show how much fun you can have with their products. Well, with the caps from their aerosol cans at least. Using boxes of 7,700 yellow, white and black caps from the company's MoreShine line, 9 individuals laid out an artistic pattern at Binn's Park in Lancaster, PA. Must keep the interns busy. Follow the jump to see the progression and the end result.

[Source: Stoner]

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[via] Autoblog

Hydrogen 500: The world's first hydrogen race coming in 2009

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AutoblogGreen just ran a story we wanted to make sure all of our readers were aware of, so we're running it here, too. It looks like the days of hybrids being seen by some people as pure exercises in extended fuel economy are numbered. Maybe someday soon people will start to associate fuel-cell hybrids with high performance and even, dare we say it, racing.

It seems that hybrids will be hitting the track soon. A new racing series run by the recently founded Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation was announced on Wednesday. The series hopes to stage its first races by 2009. As you may have guessed, the cars in this series will be electric hybrids powered by hydrogen.

Autoextremist founder/publisher Peter M. DeLorenzo is the President and CEO of the new organization. And this isn't some rinky-dink egghead endeavor, either. Executives from Bridgestone-Firestone and Michelin, Indy Car's own Tony George, and Scott Atherton, President and CEO of the American Le Mans Series are behind this new series. It looks like a pretty powerful group. At the center of the series will be the Hydrogen 500. Click over to AB Green for the rest of the story and additional links. We'll certainly keep you posted as more info becomes available.

[Source: AB Green]

 

[via] Autoblog

Detroit Auto Show: A conversation with Peter Horbury

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Peter Horbury with the Lincoln MKR

Peter Horbury is responsible for the design strategy and execution of all Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury products in North America. At this year's Detroit Auto Show, one of the unquestioned stars on the floor was the stunning 400-horsepower Lincoln MKR. We sat down with Peter in Detroit to talk about the 4-door coupe and how it's going to influence Lincoln's designs over the long term. We also touched on the latest iterations of the Ford Five hundred and Focus and how he'll continue the progression toward a unified corporate look for the oval. Peter's very charming, and he's passionate about restoring the grandeur to the Lincoln brand. Based on the MKR, we'd say he's definitely got a handle on things. Read on and decide for yourselves. It starts below and continues after the jump.

Peter Horbury - Ford Executive Director of Design, North America
North American International Auto Show
January 8, 2007

Autoblog: Peter, thanks for sitting with us today. The MKR is obviously one of the big stars of the show this year, and there are several elements there that have generated a lot of conversation in the enthusiast community. Talk to us a little bit about what your approach was when you took on the MKR project.

Peter Horbury: Okay. Well, the MKR's here really to establish Lincoln's new DNA which we're actively pursuing in the studio now on production projects. So really, we could choose I suppose what type of car on which to demonstrate this, and of course 4-door coupes seem to be just the right, perfect car for Lincoln eventually. So this is what we've done; produced a car which carries Lincoln's new DN A but also a lot of the cues that Lincoln had from its past. And all of the design details or design cues that we're using will appear -- they're about to appear - on the new Lincolns very soon, and for the next few years. So here we are with all of them on one car.

Continue reading Detroit Auto Show: A conversation with Peter Horbury

 

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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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Vatican calls Paris-Dakar the "Bloody Race of Irresponsibility"

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Ouch. Harsh words for the Paris-Dakar Rally have recently eminated from his Eminence's orginization, the Catholic Church. Apparently a recent edition of the Vatican Newspaper included an article entitled "Paris-Dakar: The Bloddy Race of Irresponsibility," which effectively slams the race for its violence and penetration into non-Western cultures. The article comes not long after a South African motorcycle competitor named Elmer Symons (shown at right) died during the fourth stage of the event in the Morocco desert on Tuesday, January 9th.

We're sure his Holiness and crew realize that any motorsport carries with it t he potential for personal injury and even death. The Paris-Dakar rally seems to goad the Vatican's goat, however, particularly because it employs a track that winds and weaves through various locals and regions that haven't had a whole lot of exposure to Western culture, let alone astonishingly fast all-terrain rally vehicles whizzing by at triple-digit speeds.

Mr. Symons death is truly tragic, and it seems odd the Vatican would use its occasion as the impetus for an attack against the rally. Unfortunately, racers of every sort die all too often in their pursuit for victory, so by that token we're not sure if the Vatican is formally denouncing all forms of motorsports, and without the original article (Damn! Shouldn't let our subscription lapse!) we wouldn't venture a guess.

Please keep the comments respectful. Thanks.

[Source: Antara News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Engine wars! Ford sues International

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For those of you plagued with the apparent injector problems on your 6-liter PowerStroke V8, you'll be pleased to know that Ford isn't taking any guff from the engine's supplier, International Truck and Engine Corp.

We won't bore you with all the details, but the short and sweet of this particular legal fight is Ford's assertion that International is trying to rip them off, price-wise, on the new 6.4-liter diesel that the company is supplying them, and that International still owes Ford upwards of $500 million because of engine problems reported by some 12,000 customers of the former diesel-powered, F-series pickup.

No matter, Automotive News contends that your next Ford Super Duty w ill still arrive this spring at a dealership near you.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req., Forbes]

 

[via] Autoblog

He's Big in Japan: KITT at the Tokyo Auto Salon

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KITT at the Tokyo Auto Salon

He's big. He's black. He's an international superstar. And he's in Japan.

We are, of course, referring to KITT, the real star of NBC's late, great 1980s primetime hit, Knight Rider. Sure, there was an actor on that show as well, but when we were in grammar school, we were all about the car, not that guy. (Who, by the way was recently seen on the E! True Hollywood Story sporting a t-shirt emblazoned with "Don't Hassel the Hoff." No, we're not making it up.)

And those of you fortunate enough to pay a visit to the Tokyo Auto Salon should note that you aren't seeing double -- it appears that two KITTs are on hand at the show. This is both thrilling and sad at the same time. Thri lling because there's always room for more KITT. Sad because it means that there are more Trans Ams on the floor at the Tokyo Auto Salon than the Detroit Auto Show this week. Our world has been turned upside-down.

[Source: Carview]

 

[via] Autoblog

Tokyo Auto Salon: Kei-NSX totally has it Beat

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There's something to be said about cheap, mid-engine vehicles. Namely, there are far too few of them. Thankfully, a group of highly motivated and overly caffeinated students at the Nihon Automotive College in Japan brought two of Honda's greatest (only?) mid-engine offerings together.

The NATS Mini-SX is based off a mid-90s Honda Beat, that's had the headlamps and tail lamps grafted onto its body, along with some NSX-like aero pieces, to create a mini-homage to Honda's late mid-ship masterpiece. Granted, it's tiny 660 cc engine won't provide the thrust associated with the Ayrton Senna-tuned coupe, but simply being able to cruise in such wacky conveyance would be enough of a thrill.

Click on throu gh to Winding Road's story for a rear shot and a pic of a stock Beat for reference.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

BMW 5-series gets regenerative braking, but not why you think

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It would seem that BMW reads Autoblog. How else would you explain them, at least partially, answering our question about how a conventional automobile would utilize some of the hybrid demon-tweaks?

For the first time ever, BMW has equipped a non-hybrid car with a regenerative braking system. There's a new battery that uses fiberglass mats between the plates to keep the electrolytes put, and a corresponding "intelligent" alternator. The battery technology, known as Absorbtive Glass Mat construction is capable of being charged very quickly without boiling; and they stand up far better to the deep cycling that would be abusive to a traditional l ead-acid battery. The ability to receive and deliver high amperages reliably makes the AGM batteries ideal for coupling with the rest of BMWs Efficient Dynamics program. The battery can be fully charged during braking, which reduces the load on the engine by making the alternator work less. The program's intent is to reduce weight and fuel consumption, ultimately keeping CO2 emissions down. BMWs efforts result in a vehicle that has the low-rolling-resistance tires, electrically operated AC and power steering and stop/start systems of a hybrid, without the electric motors.

[Source: Fifth Gear via Jalopnik]

 

[via] Au toblog

Tokyo Auto Salon: MX-5 Mazdaspeed M'z Tune Concept

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Okay, so it's not actually called the MX-5 in Japan. It's simply known as the Roadster. But regardless, this is one modified Miata we certainly wouldn't mind seeing Stateside.

The MX-5 Mazdaspeed M'z Tune Concept was developed by the engineering geeks at Mazda E&T and in addition to the aero kit, fender and hood vents, the Roadster gets a new muffler and a remapped ECU that increases power output between 7- and 8-percent. On the sticky side of things, the drop top gets 18-inch rollers, Bilstein dampers (probably some revised springs too, but nothing was mentioned) and a set of sport thrones.

Mazda contends that the M'z Tune Concept is just that, a concept, but according to Winding R oad, Mazda officials would like to bring such a variant to the U.S. We're alright with that.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ariel Atom killa! GTM 40TR

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The same ethos employed by the Ariel Atom is being channeled by GTM, a small car producer based in the UK, whose previous hits include the Spyder and Libra.

The GTM 40TR is a track day weapon in the same vein as the Atom, utilizing the potent combination of a bare frame, a couple of seats and the 220 HP engine pulled from the Civic Type-R.

The lucky pilots of the 40TR will be able to experience a 0-60 sprint in less than four seconds, along with a top speed in excess of 150 MPH. All that at the bargain basement price of about £15,000 or just a few bucks shy of $30k.

The company also has plans to develop a biofuel-powered version of the 40TR that may compete in a one-make race series, sponsored by the Energy Effic ient Motor-Sports initiative.

[Source: Car, Autosport International]

 

[via] Autoblog

Tokyo Auto Salon: Mazda Mega-Gallery

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Click for our gallery of 31 high-resolution photos

Mazda brought a ton of rides to the tuner-centric Tokyo Auto Salon this year. In addition to machinery like the CX-7 Bright Stylish Concept we brought you a few weeks ago and the Roadster (MX-5) Mazdaspeed M'z Tune Concept that Damon reported on earlier today, there are a host of other trick Mazdas prepared with a little help from folks like DAMD, Kenstyle, Pioneer (as Carrozzeria) and the aforementioned Mazdaspeed.

Nothing is off the table, so the range of models touches everything from the Mazda3 (Axela) to an ultra-lux MPV. The gallery shows all, and don't worry, each photo is labeled at the bottom so you'll know exactly what you're looking at. For a breakdown on each car (and a few we don't have shots of), follow the jump for the official skinny from Mazda. Enjoy.



[Source: Mazda]

Continue reading Tokyo Auto Salon: Mazda Mega-Gallery

 

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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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Tokyo Auto Salon: Nissan Skyline Aero concept

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The nice folks over at Nihon Car and Bike have been letting out a few choice pieces of automotive tunage straight from the Nippon Convention Center at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon (TAS).

The TAS has historically been a showcase for aftermarket tuning houses to show off their wares, but over the past several years, the OEM manufacturers have been getting into the game more and more.

Case in point: the brand new Nissan Skyline (or Infiniti G35 on these shores) sedan gets a full body massage, with the addition of a new front fascia, side skirts, a small spoiler, and a revised rear bumper to house a set of enlarged exhaust outlets. Although it isn't clear how the Skyline got its new stance, the whole package is dropped over a set of nine-spoke, 20-inch wheels.

No information was provided about what, if any, mods were performed within the engine bay, but knowing how Nissan's engineers can get when left alone with some R&D dollars, we'd expect something pretty entertaining.

[Source: Nihon Car & Bike]

 

[via] Autoblog

Tokyo Auto Salon: Mugen Open Top Pure Sport Concept

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The S2000 is already about the wind in your hair, rorty sounds out the back and high velocities. For the Tokyo Auto Salon, Mugen has mutated Honda's lithe little performer into the Open Top Pure Sport Concept.

With no performance or power numbers, we have to focus on the show, rather than the go. There's a new front end out of carbon fiber, Mugen seats in the cockpit and an exhaust that probably goes blatt-blatt out back. You'll definitely get more bugs in your teeth, as the windshield is more a vestigial suggestion; get yourself some Nuvolari goggles if you're serious about speed in this thing. The front fenders gain vents, or at least the appearance of vents, at their trailing edge. This could mean that there's more hardware in the boiler room creating a need for more airflow.

The targa-style bar recalls the original Dodge Viper RT/10, and although it's not the most graceful form to see the light of day, Mugen's done a decent job of integrating it with the tightly-drawn lines of the S2000. The detailing looks meticulous, even if we're not totally sold on the the body modifications being an improvement. We're curious about what's under the hood, as we'd hate to roll up on a clapped-out Civic Si in this thing and lose, cause it sure looks like it should go fast.

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Mitsubishi Lancer reveal in Detroit

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For those of you that weren't around to witness Mitsubishi's theatrical reveal of the Lancer on January 8th, the webcast from lancerproject.com has been posted on YouTube.

If you're looking for all the details about the upcoming Lancer sedan and its rally-bred brother, the Prototype X, we've got it covered. Literally. Click here for the Lancer and here for the Prototype X. And follow the jump to see the two videos from the Detroit debut.

Continue reading VIDEO: Mitsubishi Lancer reveal 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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Bricklin's back with Chinese-made hybrid

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You gotta love Malcolm Bricklin's tenacity. Despite his plans to import Chinese-made Cherys into the U.S., Bricklin's looking east again for his next big thing. Which is an inexpenisive hybrid.

Bricklin says his company, Visionary Vehicles, is currently working to design a low-cost hybrid car that would be built in China to take advantage of cheap labor costs. By doing this, Bricklin says, he hopes to sell the new car for as much as 30% less than a conventional gasoline engine vehicle. China Car Times says the car is will be comparable in size to a Mercedes E Class, but sell in the $15,000 to $25,000 range.

If things work out this time, Visionary Vehicles plans to have affordable Chinese-made hybrid cars on dealer lots sometime in 2009. Less than two years from concept to reality for such a high-tech vehicle seems rather ambitious to us, but we wish Mr. Bricklin luck.

[Source: China Car Times, USA TODAY]

 

[via] Autoblog

Nascar Car of Tomorrow: Dodge Avenger vs Toyota Camry

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NASCAR has been actively developing their next-generation cars, referred to as the Car or Tomorrow, for the last couple of years. Starting in 2007, they will begin phasing in the new cars at selected tracks as they continue developing the CoT. The current cars will still be used at all the other tracks for 2007 and 2008. In 2009 the new cars will have an exclusive. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Dodge and Toyota both showed off their new Avenger and Camry-badged racers. As you can see above, the silhouette racer transformation is pretty much complete. See if you can guess which one is which. The original images are after the jump.

Continue reading Nascar Car of Tomorrow: Dodge Avenger vs Toyot a Camry

 

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Could the Big Three learn from Apple?

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Associated Press Business Writer Tom Krisher makes a few good points about how the Big Three (or 2.5 if you prefer) could stand to learn from Apple's comeback. Well, ok, one good, though not exactly new, point. We've all heard it, if not said it ourselves. It's all about the product. Just like Steve Jobs saved Apple in 1998 with the innovative, highly-desired iMac, American carmakers need their own hotcake vehicle. And in reading Krisher's article, you get the impression GM, Chrysler and Ford have been paying attention.

"I admire (Apple's) pure understanding of the brand and the type of customer they're going after, and married to that, a product and a design strategy that they do not veer off of," said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Co.'s president of the Americas.

"We're really trying to be more like companies like Apple, where we can innovate and move faster," said Mark LaNeve, vice president of sales, service and marketing for General Motors Corp.

"I think a fresh, creative mind is something that you can appreciate and focus simply on some complicated things," said Eric Ridenour, chief operating officer of DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group.

So where's the automotive version of the iPhone? Is it GM's Volt? Ford's Interceptor? The Chrysler Nassau? Just like with Apple, only time, and the free market, will tell.

[Source: The Associated Press via Yahoo Finance]

 

[via] Autoblog