VIDEO Wrapup: Autoblog does the 2007 Chicago Auto Show



The 2007 Chicago Auto Show was our first opportunity to show off the wonder that is Chris Shunk and his video editing talents. We've always wanted to video, but thought we'd never find someone who could edit footage at the speed of blogging. Somehow, some way, we found such a person in Chris. Let us tell you, it's very humbling to have the guy editing video next to you finish before you're done uploading a gallery of pics. Upon his return home from Chicago, Chris whipped up this fantastic wrapup video of highlights from the 2007 Chicago Auto Show. After the jump you'll find each video Chris edited on the fly at the show, including unveilings of the Pontiac G8, Saturn Astra, and the Scion xB and xD, among others. Enjoy them, as we plan to put Chris' services to good use as often as possible.

[Video: Chris Shunk]

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

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VW developing new ultra compact car to take on Smart

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The current European VW Fox

The hits just keep on coming from Ferdinand Piech's new man, Martin Winterkorn. The new Volkswagen CEO has been shaking things up since he took over the reins in Wolfsburg, with 20,000 redundancies and longer working hours for the remaining employees.

Now, in an interview with German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Winterkorn let loose that one his first product moves upon assuming the mantle was to start work on a new micro car slotted below the B-Class Fox. Since the Phaeton was a resounding failure in challenging Mercedes-Benz in the thin-air of the luxury class, it appears that they will instead challenge Stuttgart at the low end of the spectrum. There is no word on when the new model might be available.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

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What is the most fun you can have on three wheels?

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Getting some attention over on autobloggreen is this post on alternative forms of transportation. What you see here are close encounters of the three-wheeled kind. Included are the Lazareth Triazuma, Ural and Harley-Davidson sidecars and the Piaggio MP3. While these vehicles can be considered green due to their lower emissions and higher fuel mileage than cars, the Triazuma would b e very exciting to pilot, being very close to the ground with amazing levels of acceleration and grip. Another set of builders has expirimented with the idea as well, making the SUB 3-Wheeler. With supercar acceleration and less fear of falling off, would you ride one to work?

[Source: AutoblogGreen]

 

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Geneva Peek: Peugeot 207 SW Outdoor concept

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Peugeot 207 SW Outdoor
Click image for hires photo gallery

While Peugeot calls its 207 SW Outdoor a concept, there's little doubt that the Geneva-bound show car is a very good look at the upcoming 207 SW production car. Nix some of that glitzy metallic blue and bright orange trim, and you're pretty much there.

The 207 SW Outdoor gets some additional ground clearance a la the Audi Allroad or Subaru Outback to give it a soft-roader look. Peugeot says that the car's greenhouse, which includes a glass panoramic roof panel, is meant to help "bring the outdoors in" and create a bright, welcoming environment for occupants. In term s of innovation, the car features a single-movement fold-flat second row seat, and the tailgate glass opens independently of the rear hatch itself.

We wouldn't look for the parachute silk seat and door panel coverings to make it to production, but the car's 1.6L HDi 16v diesel with particulate filter is a good bet. It produces roughly 110 horsepower and 178 pounds of twist. That ought to be more than adequate to scoot the new compact wagon around whenever it bows in production trim.

Press release after the jump.

[Source: Peugeot]

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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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Spy Shots: 2009 Mercedes Benz SL

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Mercedes looks to be continuing to strengthen its already strong lineup with an update of the SL for 2009. The vehicle will take on more CL cues and will benefit from changes to the headlights, grille, and air intakes. According to the shooters, this well-disguised vehicle may be the AMG version of the SL.


The photos
were taken during cold weather testing near the Arctic circle. We don't know of too many people that drive rear-wheel-drive uber-coupes at -20 degrees, but if you take out the SL, it should be ready. Hats off to the Hans Lehmann photographer that braved the freezing temperatures to snap the picture.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

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Aston Martin to ramp up production, sights on Bentley

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Click on the photo of the Rapide for a gallery of high-res pics of modern Aston-Martins

It was not so many years ago that Aston Martin celebrated the production of their 10,000th car. Ever! It took more than five decades for the company to build it's first 10,000 cars. Now Aston is making plans to build that many cars annually and challenge Bentley. For the most part Ford's adventure in building expensive British vehicles has been a resounding financial failure (see Jaguar and Land Rover), with the distinct exception of the apparently now profitable Aston Martin.

Since the mid-nineties introduction of the DB7, the firm has been transformed from a place where craftsman hammered out aluminum body panels by hand to asse mble quaint but expensive luxury coupes into a manufacturer of high-tech, high-performance sports-GT cars. Before the launch of the DB7 Aston was turning out about 300 cars a year. The DB7 started out at 700 per year. Last year, 7,000 Aston Martin cars were produced. Now on the brink of a spin-off from Ford, Aston Martin is studying how to increase production because their main plant in Gaydon is already running at full capacity.

The popularity of the DB9 (2500 units in 2006) and Vantage (4200 copies) has caused the company to back off on plans to build the Rapide four door that was shown last year. With plans for a new Vanquish, a production version of the DBS from the latest James Bond movie and the Rapide, a number of options are being evaluated. Possibilities include moving body-in-white and tub assembly and painting out of the Gaydon plant, or potentially building an extension to the plant. No final decision is expected until after the sale of the co mpany is completed.

[Source: Just-Auto - subscription required]

 

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VIDEOS: How an engine block is made, plus 4G63 build in under 10 min.

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Those of us lacking intimate knowledge of metallurgy and high temperature casting methods will no doubt find the video posted after the jump an eye opening, educational experience. For those of you that are smarter than the rest of us, it's a rehash of what you've known since you were in utero, so we posted another video that shows the entire buildup of a 4G63 in under ten minutes. A little something for everyone. Enjoy!

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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 Auto Show: Continental auto safety - Active Passive Integration

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Modern cars are incorporating a variety of safety systems designed to help drivers avoid accidents and then, if an accident is unavoidable, to minimize the risk of injury. Until now, most of these have operated largely independently of each other, but Continental Automotive Systems (and its competitors) is trying to change that. At the Chicago Auto Show, Conti had a BMW 3-series equipped with its experimental Active Passive Integration Approach (APIA). APIA ties together the various safety systems to try and achieve a result greater than the sum of the parts.

Continental combined the radar inputs from the adaptive cruise control system and added a laser speed detector, the hydraulic control unit for the stability control, and then tied it all together with the air bag, seat belt tensioning, seat con trols and window controls. The system detects the speed of the vehicle ahead and determines how fast you're closing in. The system has various stages of operation depending on how quickly you approach the vehicle in front of you. There's more about how the system works after the jump along with a video from Continental.

[Source: Continental Automotive Systems]

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Geneva Peek: Peugeot Holland & Holland 4007 concept

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Click image for photo gallery

Holland & Holland makes luxury items ranging from clothing and accessories to some pretty spectacular bespoke firearms. You can now add "concept car outfitting" to the list of things the company does, as Peugeot partnered with it to create a special show-car version of the new 4007 SUV for March's Geneva Motor Show.

Credit H&H for the Hagénias Bronze pearlcoat finish outside and the ebony and chartreuse green two-tone leather interior. Specially-treated water-resistant hides adorn even the rearview mirrors and roof rack (the four mounting points, that is -- the rails are metallic). Other adornments include Holland & Holland badging on the D-pillar, 20" forged aluminum monoblock wheels, custom Holland & Holland luggage, and dark chrome detail trim inside.

Up front, the 2.2L HDi engine lurks behind the 4007's odd face. Holland & Holland couldn't do anything to remedy that...

[Source: Peugeot]

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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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Land Rover means business: launching commercial version of LR3

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Click to enlarge

This is only for the UK, which is kind of a shame. Some of us Autobloggers live in frozen regions where cargo vans fear to tread. Of course, we could pony up for a Quigley, but a Landie offers its stellar air suspension, storied capabilities, and more comfort. For commercial users, vans often make sense, but for those of us who aren't hauling furniture, the new Land Rover Discovery 3 Commercial sounds like it'd be just the ticket. The Disco, which we know in the US as the LR3, has had some fairy dust sprinkled on it in order to receive tax refunds offered to businesses by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs.

Post continues after the jump.

[Source: Land Rover]

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PSA: Gone in 4 Seconds - Protecting your valuables and ID

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Even if it's obvious, it never hurts to remind people to be more careful on the road or around their vehicles, so we figured we'd share this video clip with all of you. Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne offers a frightening look at how quickly and easily a thief can make off with your valuables and/or your identity by showing actual surveillance cam footage from a Broward County incident.

We're told the usual stuff about keeping doors locked, being aware of our surroundings, etc. -- common sense tips, to be sure, but it's in familiar or routine situations, like filling up at our local gas station, where one often lets his or her guard down. An interesting point is made about larger vehicles being targeted because of the lack of visibility on the other side. Sounds to us like just one more reason for everybody to drive sports cars.

Follow the jump to watch the video.

Thanks for the tip, Brad!

[Source: Broward County Sheriff's Office]

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