Lotus donates Exige to Aussie police department

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Lotus cars has donated a brand-new Exige to the Bankstown, NSW police force. The six-month loan gives the local constabulary a head-turner that it plans to leverage in community policing projects, particularly with regard to reaching out to local youths and car enthusiasts. The thinking is that the Exige will be an instant conversation-starter with both groups, and that, in turn, will enhance the police department's credibility with them.

The Lotus sports full police markings and a removable light bar that'll be used when it's on duty helping out with things like DUI checkpoints and radar duty (nice pursuit vehicle, guys). Lotus decided to donate the ride after seeing success w ith a similar collaboration it had with the Norfolk police in the UK. Here you have a police car that's capable of putting smiles on the faces of both the officers behind the wheel and the local citizenry. Well, maybe not all of them -- Lotus or not, if you're getting pulled over by the the Bankstown PD's new corner carver, odds are you're not in a smiling mood.

Full press release after the jump.

[Source: Lotus]

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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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When it rains, it pours: Ford's forward momentum slighted

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Right now the thing Ford needs more than anything else is competitive product. They're doing everything they can to get those products to market, but it takes time. They can't tell us what the product is because it would further-deteriorate their competitive position, so we just have to wait and see if they're worth buying. Other aspects of recovery that Ford can work on more immediately include very important items like improving quality, lowering warranty costs, finding ways to cut materials cost, and making commercials that get the attention of potential customers. Ford is no-doubt working on all that and more, but It's hard to do if you feel none of it will matter in the end.

Many of Ford's goals have not been met on the Way Forward and it's bringing moral down. January retail sales numbers were 10,000 vehicles off projections and February and March don't look much better. Material cost reductions are also below expectations. New products like the Edge and MXK are selling well, but production hasn't ramped to the point where they're really helping the retail standings for Ford either. The biggest problem, though, may be that employees don't believe in the plan. Only 38% of all employees polled felt Ford had the products to compete and 45% feel the Way Forward plan is working. It is tough for employees to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the next hope for profit is 2009. Ford headlines have been very tough lately and employees could really use some good news to help boost their spirits. The problem is, good news is still a year or two away.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Geneva Preview: Suzuki releases official shots of SX4 sedan

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click above image to view a pair of high-res shots showing the Suzuki SX4 Sedan

Early next month, Suzuki will be showing off the sedan version of its SX4 mini-SUV at the Geneva Motor Show. Pictures of the new four-door have been released, and we can see that it's hardly different from the car spied on public roads back in September. The SX4 sedan will be front-wheel drive only, unlike the SX4 on sale now. International versions will be powered by a 1.6L four-cylinder making 107 hp, though models destined for the U.S. market will likely get a more potent powerplant. Motor Authority is reporting we may get a V6, but we find packing a V6 in that tiny package to be highly unli kely. We expect Suzuki to use the same 143-hp, 2.0L four-cylinder currently used in the SX4. There will reportedly also be an SX4 Sedan Sport Concept on display in Geneva with a 2.0L motor and 17-inch wheels.

Suzuki's been on a roll lately, having reached its goal last year of 100,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. thanks to some pretty popular SUVs. Its lineup, however, still has stinkers that need to be replaced. The SX4 Sedan will help make the automaker's entry level offerings more enticing. Though the tiny Aerio does have some fans, we'd take the more robust SX4 lineup anyday.
[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

Holden unveils Jack Daniel's Racing Commodore VE V8 Supercar

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click above image to view our high-res gallery of the Holden Commodore VE V8 Supercar

For those of you out there who claim that we only cover F1 racing, today will surely be a shocker. Not only have we reported (twice!) on NASCAR news, but now we bring you rumblings from the Australian V8 Supercar series, as well.

In a little over three weeks, rookies Shane Price and Jack Perkins will be racing the new Holden factory-supported VE Commodores at the season opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. The new cars are hand built by Perkins Engineering, with factory support from Holden. Reports peg the development cost for the vehicles at $1 billion AUS, which is hefty chunk of change in the land of Oz. The car sure looks like a shot of Jack on wheels - a little intimidating on approach, but the perfect partner for one hell of an exciting night.

As for the relationship the team has with Jack Daniels, Michael McShane, Managing Director for Jack Daniel's Australia, says, "Jack Daniel's has a long-standing record of promoting responsible consumption and our new look team gives us the perfect opportunity to continue building upon that with V8 Supercar fans." Maybe they should try urinals instead...

[Source: V8SupercarNews, TheGMSource]

 

[via] Autoblog

Land Rover offers the Disco Pursuit

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Land Rover will offer only 300 copies of its Discovery 3 Pursuit package in the UK at £30,000 (about $58,500). You can have one in any color you want as long as it's Java Black with a matching ebony leather interior.

The seven-seater 4x4 has 19" wheels, chrome accents all around, and is powered by LR's 190hp TDV6. An automatic transmission adds £1,000 to the price.

It's a beautiful combination of beauty and brawn for a pretty penny.

Read the full press release after the jump.

Continue reading Land Rover offers th e Disco Pursuit

 

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GeigerCars builds gaudy "STAR FORCE" Escalade for Oscar night

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GeigerCars STAR FORCE hood ornamentWe generally like what the folks at GeigerCars come up with. The German tuner/accessorizer loves American metal, and is known for creating whimsical rides like its Gulf-liveried HUMMER GT, 700-horsepower police-trim H2 and a Christmas-themed HUMMER complete with simulated fireplace. They do customer cars too, and last year, they organized a big meet for European HUMMER owners. That's all well and good.

"Good" is not a word we'd use to describe their latest creation, a custom Cadillac Escalade for German TV network ProSieben. It will be used for the foreign press outlet's TV coverage of Oscar night in Los Angeles, and it stands as a towering example (even with its 4-inch drop) of "When Bling Goes Bad."

We get into the details (look at that hood ornament!) after the jump.

[Source: GeigerCars.de]

Continue reading GeigerCars builds gaudy "STAR FORCE" Escalade for Oscar night

 

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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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Automotive News insists GM and DCX talking buyout

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Automotive News has filed yet another report that insists DaimlerChrysler is in talks with General Motors about the latter purchasing the Chrysler Group. This time the trade pub claims that sources from Germany, where the rumor originated, and the United States have confirmed that GM is interested in picking up the struggling U.S. division of DCX. The New York Times has already confirmed from inside sources that the two companies are talking, but the topic of conversation is sharing the GMT900 full-size SUV platform.

We've already talked about why GM purchasing the Chrysler Group would be the biggest bone-head move of all time. To recap, the two automakers have many products that compete directly with each other, the Chrysler Gr oup's product portfolio is farther behind GM's with less to be optimistic about in the pipeline, the last thing GM needs is more production capacity in the U.S., and absorbing legacy costs and additional UAW workers would be a nightmare. As a point of fact, automakers talk to each other all the time. It's time media outlets quit screaming "Buy out!" every time Rick Wagoner says hello to someone.

[Source: Automotive News]

 

[via] Autoblog

POLL: RR of the Week

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Our readers have some of the most interesting rides in the whole of the webiverse. It's plain to see that your automotive enthusiasm runs the gamut from cultish Italian iron, to precision corner-carvers; ill-fated sedans to rough-and-tumble pickups; even oddly shaped 'Aminos.

Some fill us with envy, while others cause us to shake our heads, but, in the end, they all have a chance of being picked as the Reader R ide of the Week. Vote below and vote often.

RR of the Week
'77 Lancia Scorpion
'01 Holden Commodore Ute
'88 Merkur XR4Ti
'91 Chevrolet S-10 Baja
'93 Mazda RX-7

Follow the jump to find out how to submit your own ride to be selected as our Reader Ride of the Day. And for the love of God and all that is holy, give up the details!

Continue reading POLL: RR of the Week

 

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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

[via] Autoblog

Sweet! Paddle-shift-equipped Pro-Touring '68 Camaro

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There are a lot of cool looking 1968 Camaros on the street. Head over to Detroit for the Woodward Dream Cruise in August and we're sure you'll see more than you can count. Many are stock, but some sport mag wheels, blowers, heavily modified engines... you name it, you'll see it. Over at Twist Machine, they took a Camaro with a 406 All Iron Small Block Chevy-Carbureted V8 and mated it to a paddle-shifted manumatic 4L60E transmission.

Using your own technology in an expensive hot-rod is a good way to show off your company's mechanical prowess. Considering traditional manuals are falling out of favor, the time to strike is now.

Some other cool mods done to this hot rod include a ten-point roll cage, Baer 13"/12" brakes, and lower control arms and uprights pulled from an '87 Corvette.

We like the idea of equipping a 20th century classic with some 21st century tech, but we don't think it's destined for the I-75 commute any time soon.

Be sure to check out the video of the Camaro in action, but be forewarned, it takes some time to load.

[CarDomain]



 

[via] Autoblog

On the upside, it's likely totalled

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This winter continues to take a toll. Tribalwar member "dweeb" (no comments necessary, his name speaks for itself) has had his Honda involuntarily transformed into a quiescently frozen confection. Apparently, a water main burst in dweeb's Columbus, Ohio neighborhood, sending many gallons of water flooding into his grapeity purple econobox.

Follow the jump for the full story and several more pictures.

[Source: tribalwar]

Continue reading On the upside, it's likely totalled

 

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New York State moves to ban spinner wheels

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Just as spinner wheels start to come off customized cars, the New York State Senate Transportation Committee has decided that it is time to ban them. It's difficult to understand why the bill is gaining traction with no known associated risks to drivers. It's not like cars are slamming into one another because awe-struck onlookers are failing to pay attention to intersections while the Escalade's 24's go round and round. This screams of hypocrisy. You can get hubcaps with advertisements on them. Talk about distracting! What about those naked lady mud flaps on all those big rigs? A couple of times I've seen pickup trucks with male body parts dangling from the rear bumper. I wonder how many people have rear-ended someone while trying to read the latest 'my kid beat up your honor roll student' bumper sticker. The list goes on.

SEMA is stepping up to defend the rights of customizers everywhere by lending its powerful voice in opposition to Bill 1640, which calls for fines of $750 for the the third violation and beyond. In the annals of automotive history, this bill could never be the reason for the demise of the spinner wheel. That decisive blow came when the first set of K-Mart spinner hubcaps when on sale.

[Source: Winding Road]

 

[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: 2009 Acura TSX

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Yesterday, Ben Stewart over at Popular Mechanics had a close encounter of the prototype kind while spending some time on the Angeles Crest Highway in So. Cal. He caught a glimpse of a camo'd current generation Accord sitting in a local lot and, knowing that it could be driven away at a moment's notice, began snapping pics of the moribund mule.

Now, an Accord sporting an ill-fitting bra is nothing to get too excited over, until Ben figured out that it's actually the next generation Acura TSX in drag. Supposedly, underneath the body panels is the "new" TSX chassis, necessitating those awkwardly flared fenders, housing 225/50ZR17 tires.

He came to this unlikely conclusion after noticing a few other TSXs following the mule (c omparison testing) and when he got back to the office, Stewart made few calls. Turns out that the upcoming TSX will be built on an all new platform, likely using the turbo mill that's found in the new RDX, with the option of sending power to all four wheels.

What's it going to look like you ask? Less crease, more swoop is the short answer. But if you need a bit more detail than that, check the Honda Sports4 Concept that debuted at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

 

[via] Autoblog

Hot Wheels offers limited edition Camaro and Challenger

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At the very least we're about one year away from seeing the production version of the Dodge Challenger, probably longer for the Chevy Camaro. We can't wait that long, and we're guessing neither can you. Hot Wheels has come to the rescue with two pairs of limited edition miniature motors.

Beginning Tuesday morning at 9 AM PST, Hot Wheel Collector's Club members (membership is free) can buy the Real Riders Chevy Camaro and the Real Riders Dodge Challenger sets. The Camaro set has the iconic 1967 and 2006 concept versions of Chevy's pony car, and for the MOPAR fans, the Challenger set comes with a 1970 and 2006 concept versions. All four cars are much more detailed than any Hot Wheel car you'll find in stores, and feature rubber tires on special chrome wheels and a metal base. Each pack is limited to only 12,000 copies and at $9.99 each, are likely to sell out very quickly.

Check the jump for photos of the Challenger cars then go to the HWC website for even more photos of both.

Continue reading Hot Wheels offers limited edition Camaro and Challenger

 

[via] Autoblog

Chrysler set to recall some 2006 Dodge Rams

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There are cheap recalls and there are expensive recalls. Luckily for the Chrysler Group the current recall of 86,333 '06 Dodge Rams built between Nov. 7, 2005, and April 27, 2006 amounts to little more than adding grease to wheel bearings. Unfortunately for 2006 Ram owners if this issue is left unchecked it can lead to road noise and vibration and can eventually result in a loss of control and a crash. The folks over at Chrysler did a nice job of catching the issue early and publishing the recall without dragging their feet.

No cases of lost control have been reported due to the defect.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Couple faces charges for busting a speeding cop

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Let's set the scene here. You're a homeowner on a street with a chronic speeding problem. Short of "accidentally" dropping a box of roofing nails in the street, there's not much recourse. You could pester the local constabulary to park one of their radar trailers in your neighborhood to remind folks they're speeding; or better yet, station one of their servants there on a regular basis to write tickets. That won't be much help if one of the egregious speeders is part of the thin blue line that separates order from chaos.

A Georgia couple trying to keep speeds down for the safety of their son opted to set up their own speeding sting. Lee and Teresa Sipple mounted a radar unit and three video cameras ou tside their home in hopes of reminding neighbors to drive carefully. They managed to nab local officer Richard Perrone doing nearly 20 MPH over the limit. Possibly suffering from injured pride, a guilty conscience or a sense of self-righteous indignation, Perrone went whining to the local authorities when he was one-upped at his own game. The Sipples, in turn, received a visit from the police alerting them that Perrone intended to press charges for stalking and had filed a warrant application for their arrest. Whiner.

This is like a home invader suing you for shooting his larcenous ass. Where's the sense of accountability? Perrone got what he deserved for flouting the very statutes he's entrusted with enforcing. Before we get too indignant, Perrone has had a change of heart and withdrawn his complaint. We wonder if he's had a change of heart, or if more subtle harrassm ent tactics than arrest warrants will be more satisfying?

[Source: Daily Tribune News via Digg]

 

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