KTM X-Bow scheduled for Geneva debut

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This time last year, rumors of a joint collaboration between Audi and motorcycle manufacturer KTM to build a lightweight, street-legal, track toy began to surface. Finally, after a year of speculation, a series of miscalculated renderings and a few hard facts, it's official: KTM will be unveiling the X-Bow in Geneva next month.

Notice however, that we only said KTM. According to Brit-pub EVO, Audi contended that if the four-rings were affixed to the bonnet, the lil' track terror would have to be weighed down with pesky safety equipment, like airbags. KTM wasn't wiling to let their baby go down like that, so they took it upon themselves to continue the project sans-Audi.

EVO has seen the X-Bow and says that there are three prototypes that are currently being built. The first is for chassis tuning, the second is doomed to crash tests and the third will be slobbered on by those of us attending the Geneva show.

As for the techy-tidbits: the six-speed manual version will tip the scales at just over 1,500 pounds, with an Audi-sourced DSG adding an additional 44 pounds. Power will come from Audi's 2-liter, inline-four turbo which should be producing anywhere between 220 and 300 HP and the engine will be placed in such a way tha t the added weight of the driver will balance out the chassis.

You'll also notice that the X-Box lacks a windshield, due to the fact that European law requires that if there were a windshield, the manufacturer would have to add wipers and a defogging system. Instead, buyers will get a set of custom helmets to protect them from the elements, and when not in use they can be stored in a little cubby in the cabin.

Testing has already begun and EVO reports that sales will begin during the latter half of 2007, with a one-make race series coming in 2008. Salivating much? We are.

[Source: EVO via Jalopnik]

More images can be seen here.


[via] Autoblog

NISMO 350Z to bow in New York

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When Nissan unveiled the Fairlady Z Version NISMO (their description, not ours) along with the updated version of the iconic Z, we didn't have much hope that we'd ever see the motorsports-massaged version here in the States. Well, it would seem that the folks over at Edmunds have it on good authority that a US-legit version of the NISMO 350Z will be revealed at the New York Auto Show in April.

Although the JDM model's specs are already firmed up and the vehicle is currently on sale in Japan, there is no information about what could be lost in translation on the trek across the Pacific. We'd expect the aero enhancements to remain unscathed, along with the additional welds , reinforcement panels and bars. The Bridgestone Potenza RE-01Rs that are fitted onto the JDM version are also sold here in the US, so hopefully they will remain and be wrapped around a set of custom, lightweight rollers, possibly sourced from Rays Engineering (who Nissan has tapped in the past) or another premium wheels manufacturer.

We'll be on hand for the official unveiling in Detroit, but in the meantime, feel free to ogle the gallery of the new Fairlady 350Z below.

[Sources: Straightline, Nissan]


[via] Autoblog

The baddest Hot Wheels race ever created

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We love the Hemmings blog, because those guys have a habit of digging up some of the coolest stuff you'll see on the web when it comes to classic automobiles and related fun. You should bookmark them if you haven't already, because if not for Hemmings, how would we ever find stuff like the video we've embedded after the jump. It is, quite simply, the most sublimely badass Hot Wheels race we've ever seen.

Seriously. This is going to be hard to top. Follow the jump and see for yourself.

[Source: Hemmings Blog]

Continue reading The baddest Hot Wheels race ever created


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MINI Ad Watch: Hammer & Coop

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Thanks to Motoring File we have this "trailer" for a retro-styled actioner starring the new Mini Cooper as the automotive sidekick for a "man with no past" who looks suspiciously like Ben Stiller in the Starsky and Hutch remake. (At least the version of him in disguise at the charity ball with the sideburns and porn star mustache.)

Although it's reportedly appearing in multiplexes as a trailer for an upcoming movie, we're fairly certain (by "fairly" we mean 100%) that this is a clever ad campaign for the new MINI making its debut in the States a couple of weeks from now. Titled Hammer & Coop, there's even a website touting the new "flick."

Note that the typefaces used on the site are the same ones MINI uses for all their advertising/PR mate rials. Also, the "release date" is 2/17, which neatly coincides with the planned mid-February arrival of the cars at dealers. In all, it's a slick bit of marketing from the folks at MINI.

Follow the jump to watch the trailer in its entirety.

[Source: Motoring File]

Continue reading MINI Ad Watch: Hammer & Coop


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Chicago Preview: '08 Saturn Vue Red Line & Green Line

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Click for Red Line / Green Line photo gallery

It turns out that the Astra isn't the only thing GM's Saturn division has up its sleeve for this week's big Windy City show. Visitors to McCormick Place will also get their first eyefuls of the 2008 Vue's performance and hybrid variants.

The '08 Vue Red Line (above) gets a "performance-inspired" new look that's bound to have people talking (that may not necessarily be a good thing ). The Red Line's front end is dominated by an enormous air opening below the front bumper, which is bookended by big secondary cutouts that house projector-beam foglights. The center cutout is so large, you'd expect to see an intercooler hiding behind it. Don't look for any forced induction here, though. The Vue Red line has the same powertrain as the Vue XR: GM's 250-horsepower 3.6L VVT V6 matched with a six-speed automatic with a manual-shift mode. Buyers can order it with either FWD or AWD.

Follow the jump for more info on the Red Line, initial info on the Vue Green Line and GM's official press release.

[Source: GM]

Continue reading Chicago Preview: '08 Saturn Vue Red Line & Green Line


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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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Chicago Preview: 2008 Saturn Astra

Click for high-res photo gallery

In just a few days, Saturn will publicly unveil the 2008 Saturn Astra, the rebadged Opel that will be imported from Europe to replace the bizarre-looking Ion. In other markets, the Astra is available in a variety of body styles ranging from a four-door notchback sedan to a slick, sporty hardtop coupe/convertible. This is the part where we eat crow for predicting that GM would send over the notchback, because instead, they've chosen to send a pair of hatchbacks ( 3- and 5-door) to launch the model here in the States. The cars will target formidable competitors like the Mazda3 and VW Rabbit.

Saturn's new trim-level nomenclature is employed, with base XE and topline XR versions for the 5-door. The 3-door will be an XR-only vehicle. All Astras receive a 140-horsepower 1.8L Ecotec four-cylinder underhood, which is mated to a 5-speed manual or an optional 4-speed automatic. Fuel economy numbers aren't available yet, but should come out as the vehicle gets closer to production.

Follow the jump for more info and Saturn's official press release.

Continue reading Chicago Preview: 2008 Saturn As tra


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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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Forget AAA: How to unlock your car with a tennis ball

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Here's the scenario: You've locked your keys in the ignition of your Mazda3. Now there's an alternative to caving in the passenger's door to regain access to your car without wasting those precious cell minutes calling AAA. Apparently, all you need is a tennis ball (with a strategically placed hole burned into it) to get into your car. Check out the how-to video we've included after the jump that shows just what we mean. Now you just have to be sure you lock your keys in the car at either the sporting goods store or the country club.

[Source: techblog]

Continue reading Forget AAA: How to unlock your car with a tennis ball


[via] Autoblog