Detroit Auto Show: A gallery of heavy haulers

Filed under: , , , ,



So, who else noticed the complete lack of truck photos in John's otherwise excellent gallery of wallpaper-worthy shots from the 2007 Detroit Auto Show? Well, not every Autoblogger grew up watching Colt Seavers thrashing on a beautiful GMC, so the task of gathering up shots of the latest heavy-duty light trucks fell upon yours truly.

For those with diesel fuel running through their veins, we'd like to present photos of Ford's new F-250 and F-450 King Ranch, and Chevrolet's K3500HD Big Dooley and Kodiak C4500. We'd be proud to hit a worksite with any of these vehicles, and the new 4500-series vehicles are particularly interesting to those of us accustomed to occasionally violating the GVWR of our 3/4- and 1-ton pickups.

Click on the photo above for 36 pictures of pickup goodness, or use this link.

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments


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

[via] Autoblog

French Connection: Villeneuve to drive Peugeot 908 at Le Mans

Filed under: , , ,

Having unveiled the 908 LM racing car at the Paris show this past September, Peugeot is gearing up to race their new car in the European Le Mans Series. The French company is serious about competing at Le Mans and in the entire series, and they've signed on some key drivers to get them to victory lane.

The biggest name is none other than Jacques Villeneuve. For those coming late to the game, the French Canadian driver recently left Formula One and is trying to make his way into NASCAR. With his efforts looking less-than-likely to materialize for the 2007 season, Jacques is joining the Peugeot racing program in a bid to become the first driver ever to have won the F1 championship, the Champ Car title, the Indy 500 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As if his CV wasn't full enough as it is...but unfortunately, despite the enormous success of his early career, subsequent seasons in F1 were less than spectacular, to put it mildly.

Joining Villeneuve behind the wheel of the 908 are Nicolas Manassian, Stephane Sarrazin, Pedro Lamy, Marc Gene (of Ferrari test-driving fame) and three-time Champ Car champ Sebastien Bourdais. Eric Helary, who won Le Mans for Peugeot in 1993, joins the new team as a test and back-up driver.

The Peugeot 908 follows the smashing success of the Audi R10 diesel racing car with an all-aluminum twelve-cylinder common-rail direct-injection twin-turbo diesel with the latest advanced particulate filter system. Between the green power, the big-name drivers and the return of the French carmaker to the series, there are a lot of reasons to keep an eye on Peugeot this season, kicking off at Monza on April 14.

[Source: Peugeot]

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments


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

[via] Autoblog

Detroit Auto Show: Detroit News Readers' Choice Awards

Filed under: ,



Every year The Detroit News assembles a panel of readers to judge the NAIAS cars for the
[via] Autoblog

Phoenix Motors takes order for 75 electritrucks

Filed under: ,





See? We told you Phoenix had a good thing with it's all-electric SUT. Phoenix says it's taken orders from several utility companies and municipalities for 75 of its battery-powered sport utility trucks. The Ontario-based company doesn't mention any buyers by name, though.

Phoenix has only to sell 425 more SUTs before December to reach its goal. Their next trick? A full-sized SUV capable of carrying seven passengers on not one drop of gas.

Read Phoenix's full press release after the jump.

[Source: EV World]

Continue reading Phoenix Motors takes order for 75 electritrucks

 

[via] Autoblog

Concept to Production: '05 Lincoln Aviator to '07 Lincoln MKX

Filed under: , ,

Aviator Concept/MKX
Click image for high-res comparison gallery

Attending a show always gets us thinking about concept cars and how they'll wind up translating into real in-the-showroom and on-the-road vehicles. This week, all the talk was about cars like Ford's Interceptor, Lincoln's MKR, Chevy's Volt, Mazda's Ryuga and Nissan's Bevel, for example . The extent to which any or all of those will influence future production vehicles remains to be seen.

It's when new models are on the stands that we can look back and compare. This year, Lincoln's MKX is in showrooms, and we're now able to look back at the concept car that clearly showed the world what was coming. That would be the 2005 Lincoln Aviator (which shared its name with the Explorer-based production vehicle), and aside from some detail changes, it's pretty much the MKX we all see today.

The concept's leaner-looking -- something that didn't carry over as well to the production car. The MKX's more sedate interior trim is much more appealing than the blinged-out chrome look the cabin of the Aviator concept sported. Our feeling is that the Aviator's big wheels and hood-ornament look better than the smaller rollers and integrated grille badge on the production car. We also prefer the thicker c-pillar and rear-end treatment of the concept, but w e know as well as anyone that you're going to lose something when you go to production, and that rear looked like it didn't have much of a chance.

Given the trade-offs that were made, the transformation from Aviator Concept to MKX worked out okay. Yes, we're aware that it's an alternately-styled Ford Edge, but the style it has works well. Check out the comparison gallery we put together and let us know what you think. We just wish they'd have kept the old name.



[Photos: Ford]

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments


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

[via] Autoblog

BMW X6 likely to come from S.C. plant

Filed under: , ,



Since BMW hasn't even released a concept of their Merc R-class fighter, the X6, it struck us as odd that they would already be looking into production capacity. According to Automotive News, they're doing just that and looking to utilize their assembly lines in South Carolina to build approximately 40,000 of the yet-to-be-shown crossover.

The plant in Spartanburg, S.C. currently has the ability to produce both the X5 SUV (sorry, SAV) and the Z4 roadster, but when BMW consolidated the two lines last year, they had every intention of using the plant to produce another Ultimate Driving Machine. Not only that, but they've turned up the wick on hiring, with four job fairs planted in the coming months.

Since the plant is running under its current capacity, the Spartanburg center would seem to be the ideal place for BMW to produce a crossover within the same country where sales will likely be highest.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

 

[via] Autoblog

Detroit Auto Show: Maserati Quattroporte Automatic

Filed under: , ,


Click on the image above to get to our high-resolution image gallery.

As promised, the Detroit Auto Show marked Maseratis debut of the fully automatic transmission they're to begin offering in the beautiful Quattroporte sedan. The sumptuous Italian four-door was previously offered exclusively with the DuoSelect manu-matic transmission, derived from Ferrari's F1 gearbox and offered in the two-door Maserati range as Cambriocorsa. While the sequential transmission, which remains on offer alongside the new automatic, has improved greatly over the years, the bean-counters evidently thought Maserati could sell more Quattroportes if it had a smoother-shifting conventional automatic, with torque-converter and all. The transmission they fitted is a ZF-sourced six-speed unit; the high-revving Ferrari-designed V8, super-luxe interior, jaw-dropping Italian styling and everything else carry over from before.

Apparently viewing the Quattroporte as more vital to their North American sales, Maserati opted not to show the rest of their range at the Detroit show, so the GranSport and MC12 had to sit this one out to make room for three of their bigger brothers. The Quattroportes weren't lonely, though...Maserati brought in some leggy models to keep them company.

Follow the jump for the full press release; click here or on any of the images below to check out the high-resolution images from the factory and from the Detroit show floor.

Continue reading Detroit Auto Show: Maserati Quattroporte Automati c

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments


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

[via] Autoblog

Singapore gearing up for a grand prix

Filed under:

Singapore is reportedly getting serious about the prospect of being the next Asian city to host a grand prix, and they're talking as early as the 2008 season. Reports indicate that F1 head-honcho Bernie Ecclestone is in negotiations with not one, but two Singaporean groups about getting a Formula One race in their small city-state.

One group has already commissioned a design for a unique racing circuit from Hermann Tilke, the same architect who penned the newest tracks in Malaysia, Bahrain, Istanbul and Shanghai. The second group is apparently pitching a grand prix on city streets, following on comments made last year by FIA President Max Mosley that Singapore's streets are wide enough to have the race running through the city, Monaco-style (only presumably with increased safety standards).

Calendaring in a grand prix in Singapore would in all likelihood mean cutting out another race in Europe, following the contemporary trend of de-Europeanizing and globalizing F1. Although that carries certain benefits, with the squads based almost exclusively in Europe, that means increased costs for the teams.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: BMW M3 Cabrio

Filed under: , , ,

M3 CabrioThose Bavarian wunderkind over at BMW just took the wraps off the latest 3-Series convertible, complete with folding hard-top. But even as impressive as the range-topping 335i is, what with its twin-turbo inline-six hitting the 300 mark in both horsepower and torque, there's yet more power underway: an all but completely undisguised M3 cabrio has been caught undergoing cold-weather testing way up north in Sweden, blasting past Saabs and Volvos.

Like the rest of the 3-Series convertible range, the M3 cabrio will feature a metal roof protecting four passengers from the elements and retracting at the push of a button to let the sunshine in. As with all M models, you'll be able to tell it apart from its more ordinary siblings by the wider fenders, sportier bumpers housing bigger air intakes and four exhaust tips, plus of course the requisite M badging. While the power bulge pictured on the hood is reportedly fake, under the hood is where the action is, where the M3 will pack a V8 pumping out over 400 horsepower, derived from the award-winning M5/6's V10 but with two cylinders lopped off. Power will be put down initially though BMW's Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) until the Bavarians are ready with their own anticipated dual-clutch gearbox.

Insiders predict the M3 coupe to bow at Frankfurt this coming September, but the convertible version probably won't be ready before 2008. Expect to take a penalty in both price and performance for the folding tin-top.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 

[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 01.15.07

Filed under: ,



Another busy weekend on AutoblogGreen, but when the news flows, we're gotta roll with it. First, a little more on the NAIAS, as writer Sam Abuelsamid takes a moment to reflect on his experience attending the show as a journalist for the first time. Second, we get to the bottom of the Tesla CUV rumor. Third, well, you can see the list below...

 

[via] Autoblog

Nissan offices to open in Yokohama

Filed under: ,

Nissan decided to return to their roots, at least geographically, when they broke ground this past Saturday on their new global head office in Yokohama, Japan. The city of Yokohama served as the launching pad for Japan's second largest car manufacturer over 70 years ago.

The new, 860,000 square-foot facility will be completed by October 2009 and will house close to 2,500 of the 3,000 employees currently working for Nissan. The 22-floor, 324-foot tall building will cost approximately 42 billion Yen or $350m U.S., and has been designed to mimic "a sailing ship departing for open sea."

[Source: Drive.com.au]

 

[via] Autoblog

Proton denies knowledge of GM bid

Filed under: ,

While it's pretty clear that GM is definitely interested in buying a piece of Proton pie, Proton management say they know nothing of the plan. That's only a little suprising, since the Malaysian government owns 53% of Proton and is in negotiations with several suitors to sell some of that stake, government officials say. Forbes reports that the Malaysian's want the deal finished by March, so we shouldn't have too long to wait. That same article states, "The current bid involves a plan to take a small stake in Proton at the holding level, as well as a stake in its manufacturi ng arm, Proton said."

So why is GM so keen on buying into Proton? Here are some of our ideas...
  • Proton owns Lotus, which was once owned by GM. Is this merely an effort to regain a lost love? Uh, not likely.
  • GM rolled out the Volt electric concept last week in Detroit, despite reportedly not having the technology to back it up. Is it just coincidence that Lotus is working to design advanced electric vehicles for Obvio! and has been working with the Tesla gang? Or is GM angling to buy into that technology?
  • Or is GM looking to get a piece of the Chinese-carbuilding action? Also not likely at all since they're already involved in building cars in China and doing quite well at it.
  • Proton sells vehicles in many countries not served by the General. A stake in the Malaysian company could be seen as a good entry point to otherwise hard-to-reach markets.

[Source: Forbes via Paul Tan]

 

[via] Autoblog

$300,000 buy-in to sell Smarts in U.S.

Filed under: , ,



Smart USA has begun recruiting North American dealers to sell the diminutive two-seater and is starting with current DaimlerChrysler dealers. While those already selling DC products would not be required to build a stand-alone Smart showroom, they would have to dedicate 2,000 sq feet to the product and provide a separate entrance. Automotive News reports dealers would be expected to invest about $300,000 apiece for the priviledge of selling Smarts. AutoNation, which runs 13 Mercedes dealerships, says it is among 400 candidates hoping to get Smart franchises.

To build U.S. awareness of the Smart brand, three tractor trailers will tour the country this summer, taking Smart cars to the masses in 37 cities. Potential buyers will then have a chance to test drive the ForTwo and find out just how intimidated even the smallest SUV will make them feel. Those still interested in buying, can look forward to the first of 2008, when the cars should actually hit dealer lots.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

 

[via] Autoblog

V-Dub's vans may be missing Swivel 'n Go

Filed under: , , , , ,



When two manufacturers share the development costs of a vehicle, you'd expect each to benefit from some of the more talked about features. This won't be the case when Volkswagen releases its Chrysler group-engineered minivan in 2008.

The killer app of the new Chrysler Town & Country is its "Stow 'n Go" seating and highly publicized "Swivel 'n Go" second-row captain's chairs. But VW's van won't be getting either one, according to Frank Klegon, the executive president of product development over at Chrysler. To quote the man, "I think you will see that it remains exclusive to us."

Since both vehicles will likely share a similar price point, we'd expect that the only thing that may sway buyers towards the VW would be its totally unshared sheet metal and its "People's Car" heritage.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

 

[via] Autoblog

Foose Stallions galloping into a Ford dealer near you

Filed under: , ,



Yet another custom Mustang story. OK, we understand you might be getting overwhelmed by all of the special 'Stangs on the market right now, but as America's only affordable sportscar with a V8, it's an obvious tuner choice. And this happens to be a Mustang by one of our favorite customizers, Chip Foose. As we reported back in November, Chip Foose was working on a project with Ford to sell limited edition Fooseified products through select Ford dealers. Speculation was that it would be a version of his Stallion Mustang that had been available since June through select dealers. Well, that speculation was pretty accurate. But there's a twist.

While a supercharged version of the Foose Stalli on will continue to be sold through select dealers, a new naturally aspirated base model will also be offered, through ALL Ford dealers. In partnership with Unique Performance, the base model Foose Stallion will be built with the Foose Stallion styling package as well as upgraded brakes, exhaust and wheels/tires. The complete rundown of modifications goes something like this: a Ford Racing exhaust and suspension, 11-inch rear and 12-inch front DecelaRotors, Chip's custom embroidered seats, Foose sill plates, Foose ID plate, signature logo on the dash, plus the custom Foose upper and lower billet grille and 20-inch Foose Nitrous wheels. The base model Foose Stallion is available now at a starting MSRP of $36,365. We swung by the local Tuttle-Click Ford dealer with our pal Drew Phillips and got some pics of a nice black base model.

Click the images to go to the high-res gallery and follow the jump to read the full press release.



[Source: Unique Performance]

Continue reading Foose Stallions galloping into a Ford dealer near you

 

Permalink | Email this | Comments


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

[via] Autoblog

Ferrari unveils the F2007

Filed under: ,

When Ferrari unveils a new road car, it's big news. Slightly less so when the Prancing Horse takes the wraps off the next season's F1 race car; the strict FIA regulations pretty much have Formula One designers' and engineers' jewels in a vice, so each new car is by and large the same as the old one, with slight modifications. The devil is in the details on this red screamer - don't expect some groundbreaking innovation like a third set of wheels or a vacuum-powered ground-effects system.

Ferrari took the wraps off the F2007, its fifty-third F1 car, at a press conference Sunday in Maranello. Although some details will be tweaked before and throughout the season, this is fundamentally the car which Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa will be driving in pursuit of the 2007 driver's and constructor's championship. Visibly the car looks mostly the same as the 2006-spec 248 it replaces. The suspension was redone primarily for aerodynamic efficiency; the side-pods were reshaped to accommodate the new cooling system; the air intake atop the car was changed; the rear end of the car is narrower thanks to the revised carbon fiber gearbox housing; and the entire car rides on a longer wheelbase. In meeting 2007 safety requirements, the weight of the car is up nearly ten kilograms over the 248.

More after the jump.

Continue reading Ferrari unveils the F2007

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Filed under: , , , ,

Somewhere in my mind, Pixar-animated DaimlerChrysler small cars are arguing over who gets to make it to the American market next. Not because they yearn for the shores of freedom or anything like that, but it seems that every time DCX decides to bring anything smaller than a C-Class to the US, the car gets a facelift. First it determined the American market was ready for the SMART ForTwo, so that got a revision. Now, following reports that Mercedes would begin offering the B-Class in the United States, disguised test mules of an updated B have been spied undergoing testing.

The facelifted B-Class will get a front end with revised grille, bumper and headlights. The side mirrors will get turn signals built in, and the tail end will get a new bumper and tail-lights. The engine line-up is expected to be shaken up a bit too with Mercedes' latest efficient engines. The new B-Class is anticipated to debut in spring 2008; no official word on when the B-Class will debut stateside, but if and when it does, you can bet it'll be the new version.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ford Performance Vehicles deliver "Performance Inc." Down Under

Filed under:



Down here in Australia, Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) are pushing their new range with a catchy advertising campaign including billboard style posters at airports like the one I snapped above on my camera phone. The new FPV range is billed as being "Performance, Inc." and features from left to right, the F6 Typhoon, GT, Force and the Super Pursuit Ute. If you're a Ford fan stuck in North America and you'd like to feel a bit closer to all this muscle, check out the FPV's cool videos.

Related posts:
[Source: Ford Performance Vehicles]

Continue reading Ford Performance Vehicles deliver "Performance Inc." Down Under

 

[via] Autoblog