Iced-out Bentley knob

Filed under: ,

How do you know you've got too much money? When you spend a chunk of it on something like this. The leather Bentley key case is one thing, but this...this operates on a level all its own.

This shift knob, made for Bentley by IcedOutEmz, a brand of the Las Vegas-based LP Wheel Group, comes studded with 30 karats worth of diamonds trimmed with 10 ounces of 18-karat white gold.

All that bling comes with a hefty price tag: $150k (spitting distance of the Continental GT's $170,000 MSRP itself). That's what it takes to stand out at the SEMA show, where the shift knob will be unveiled this coming November.

[Source: NY Times via Luxist]

 

[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: 911 997 GT3 at the 'Ring

Filed under: , ,



Porsche and Nürburgring seem to go hand-in-hand. The ultimate customer race cars and the ultimate test of man and machine. Where many companies have proving grounds to help develop their sports cars and sport sedans, the Germans are blessed with the Nordschleife. Porsche has always said that it races to improve its street cars, and it shows. And taking a new Porsche to the Ring is like a right of passage. Increasingly, though, the Green Hell is being used by many non-German companies to see how their product stands up against the competition. It's actually turned into something of a fad, with companies like GM insisting on letting the world know that everything from Saturns to Cadillacs have had their handling tuned at the famous track. That in no way takes away from the reputation of the track itself, which continues on as a great tes tbed for new vehicles of a sporting bent.

And when a new Porsche takes to the Ring, it gets some attention. How does it stack up against other Porsches? Other sports cars? Past special Porsches? Race cars even. As our favorite current Porsche, it's nice to see the new 997-based GT3 gets its crack at the track. Piloted by DMAX's D Motor presenter Tim Schrick, you can really get a feel for how well this car has been tuned. The YouTube video of the ride follows the jump. In German with no subtitles, the message still comes through loud and clear. This is one impressive Porsche, and therefore one great sports car.

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading VIDEO: 911 997 GT3 at the 'Ring

 

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

Crewe's Chrono: Breitling for Bentley Flying B Chronograph

Filed under: , ,

The crossover world of automotive timepieces is not short of mouthwateringly stylish examples, but some stand out more than others. Autoblog's Top 10 Car Watches featured the Breitling Flying B, a supremely stylish (and expensive) rectangular-faced wristwatch. The partnership between Breitling and Bentley has now given birth to a variation arguably even more stylish: the Flying B Chronograph.

The chrono features the same elegant shape as its unconventional conventional counterpart, but the face has been redesigned to accommodate the split-second timing sub-dials of the automatic chronograph movement. Its center features the same striking knurled metal finish you'll find on the switchgear of the most exclusive Bentleys (and surrounding the face on the aforementioned standard Flying B), graced with three square dials for timing functions and art-deco mother-of-pearl hour indicators.

In place of Bentley's usual 6.75-liter V8 or twin-turbo W12, the luminescent hands are motivated by Breitling's COSC-certified, 38-jewl Calibre 44B movement. The Flying B chronograph will be officially unveiled - in steel, white gold or rose gold - at the Baselworld watch show in November, after which it will likely sell for considerably more than its $10,000 counterpart...in true Bentley form.

Looking for more ways to spend big bucks adorning your hand with Bentley luxury? Check out these related posts:

[Source: TimeZone]

 

[via] Autoblog

Dubya's DTS and other presidential conveyances

Filed under: ,



In a rare behind-the-scenes look, the Cadillac & LaSalle Club's Potomac Regional Director, Vince Taliano, was granted permission to spend a day in the Secret Service motorpool garages. Fortunately, he documented the day in pictures, and shared the experience with Hemmings and therefore all of us on the interweb.

Taliano got to see the current fleet of cars, including Dubya's personal Caddy. It's based on the Cadillac DTS and was first unveiled at the 2005 Inauguration Parade. General Motors says it is hand-built with a jet-black clearcoat finish. This particular DTS is also a lot longer, wider and taller than the one you can get at your local Cadillac dealer. In the interest of national security, the limo features state-of-the-art protection and communications systems. And to make it a better rolling office, the interior has been redone to include a hidden foldaway desktop and reclining adaptive rear seats, which "senses the position of the occupant in the seat and automatically adjusts the cushion for added comfort." Pretty slick. Click the read link for more photos and personal observations on the cars and the trip. We found it a good read worth our time.

[Source: Caddie Chronicle via Hemmings]

 

[via] Autoblog

Things not so peachy for Chery at DCX

Filed under: ,



Apparently not everyone in Stuttgart is thrilled about the deal that Chrysler has struck with Chery to assemble small cars for sale outside of China. Erich Kelmm is chairman of the DaimlerChrysler works council and thinks having DCX branded cars built by other companies is a bad strategy. The works council represents company employees and has representatives from all the company unions. Reps from the works council also sit on the corporate supervisory board.

Klemm is also skeptical about DaimlerChrysler cooperating with other larger Chi nese manufacturers like FAW or SAIC and thinks they pose a threat to European manufacturers and autoworkers' jobs. He also thinks that the wide open shareholder structure of companies like DCX without a dominant shareholder is unsustainable. Klemm prefers a system like Porsche and BMW that are controlled by large family holdings and are more stable over the long term. This last idea is particularly dubious, since not all such enterprises work out that well. Take a look at Ford where forty percent of the voting shares are controlled by the Ford family, and even Porsche had it's problems in the late eighties and early nineties.

[Source: Just-Auto - sub. req'd]

 

[via] Autoblog

CONFIRMED: Ford Fiesta coming to America, hope for Mondeo

Filed under: , ,



Ford of Europe chairman Lewis Booth confirmed today that the next-generation Ford Fiesta for the European market will be brought to us folks in small car-starved North America. In truth, we're not actually starved for small cars in North America, we're just starved for good small cars like the Ford Fiesta and other European B-class models. The current model is well received in its native market, while the next generation model will be based off of the same platform used by the new Mazda2 that's being debuted publicly for the first time in Geneva tomorrow. The question remains whether Ford will substantially alter the design of the Euro model before it makes i ts transatlantic voyage, but considering how little money Ford has to spare, as well as how good the current designs are coming out of Ford Europe, we'd guess the models will be very similar.

Booth also commented that platform sharing between Ford's North American and European operations could extend all the way up to the Mondeo. For the first time we've gotten an indication of how that might work. Booth says that since the Fusion has just been launched, it likely won't be until the new sedan has gone through at least one full product cycle that the two cars can be merged. By that time, we'll either be getting the new Mondeo in the twilight of its own product cycle or an all-new Mondeo will debut on both continents.

[Source: The Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

Geneva Motor Show: Lotus adds Luxury Touring Pack to Europa S

Filed under: , ,


Click on the photo for a gallery of high-res images of the Europas Luxury Touring Pack

Lotus introduced the Europa as a slightly larger, more GT-like coupe alternative to the Elise a couple of years ago, but in spite of it's performance capabilities, it hasn't really measured up to competitors like the Porsche Cayman. Now Lotus has added a new option to the Europ a lineup with the Luxury Touring Pack that hopes to cozy up to this cousin of the street-legal track car known as the Elise. The interior that was slightly less spartan than the original Elise has been covered in saddle tan and chocolate leather, and brown carpets.

The trunk also gets the full treatment of carpet and leather and also gets luggage straps. Tinted glass, body colored trim and air intakes enhance the exterior look. The grilles on the front radiator outlets and the rear outlets also get a silver treatment. The new upgrades certainly gives the Europa a much more expensive look than the standard version, but you'd still likely find us holding the keys to a Cayman over this car.

[Source: Lotus]

Continue reading Geneva Motor Show: Lotus adds Luxury Touring Pack to Europa S

 

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

Holden drops 600 workers from Commodore assembly plant

Filed under: , ,



Looks like the sometimes-suicidally-prone manufacturing robots at General Motors are taking jobs away from some real people. The Australian is reporting that up to 600 Holden employees will be getting their pink slips in the company's Elizabeth plant in South Australia. The Elizabeth plant is where the Holden Commodore, among other vehicles, is manufactured. The explanation is that the company is "adjusting to improved high technology automated operations." Sounds like language employed to gain favor with future robot overlords.

Seriously, though, the downsizing will begin with voluntary buyouts and workers will be given govern ment retraining and other assistance. The Elizabeth plant currently employs 4,500 workers and has been touted as being one of the "most flexible and efficient operations in the world."

The cutbacks come just as the company gears up for production of the ute and wagon versions of the new-for-2006 Commodore range. That vehicle will be the basis of the new Pontiac G8, which will either be built in the States eventually or immediately to save costs. So we have workers doing too good of a job building a car that might be a bit big for current tastes.

Thanks for the tip, Daniel!

[Source: The Australian]

Continue reading Holden drops 600 workers from Commodore assembly plant

 

[via] Autoblog

Geneva Motor Show: Lotus unleashes Exige GT3 Concept

Filed under: , ,


click image for two desktop-sized sketches of the car

Geneva show-goers are in for a treat courtesy of Lotus. Well, Lotus Sport actually. Lotus Sport is the racing arm of Lotus and they used their GT3 race version of the Exige as a template to fashion an Exige GT3 concept for the street. Sure it's just a concept for now, but it is likely to go into limited production. With its supercharged and intercooled 1.8-liter engine further tweaked, the GT3 is putting out 271 hp now. It bests the current best Exige S by a bunch, and the track-only Exige Cup by a little bit. More importantly, it is the closest thing on the street to the Lotus Sport Exige GT3 that has been winning races for two years now. Think Porsche GT 3 as interpreted by Colin Chapman. Lighter, more sharply focused, and dangerous looking.

Along with the added power, this special Exige gets a wider rear track, a unique rear spoiler, and a more aerodynamic (and clean) nose. There are also upgraded brakes up front and pads all around, wider rear wheels and a few other bodywork changes. It sounds like a great track car that you could actually drive on the street and looks even better than the current Exige. Lotus is guessing that pricing would be somewhere in the £50,000 to £60,000 range. That might seem a bit steep, but put it up against a 911 GT3, F430, or maybe the Gallardo Superleggera and you might be surprised at how well this could keep up on a track.

Follow the jump for the rest of the specs and the official press release from Lotus.

[Source: Lotus]

Continue reading Geneva Motor Show: Lotus unleashes Exige GT3 Concept

 

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

Geneva Motor Show: Autoblog invades Geneva searching for cocoa and cars

Filed under:


Mmm... what could be better than sipping an authentic cup of Swiss Miss while taking in one of the largest auto shows in the world. For one thing, Swiss Miss is owned by multinational mega-company ConAgra Foods, and the delectable chocolate drink was actually invented by a Sicilian. This doesn't change the fact that Geneva Motor Show is one of the largest auto shows in the world, and the 77th iteration of the Geneva Motor Show is set to start tomorrow, which is why our international team of bloggers is touching down in Switzerland as we speak.

Beginning very early in the morning tomorrow, our crew will begin pumping out the posts from the show floor. There are many ways you can follow the flood of posts that will come over the next few days.

 

[via] Autoblog

Dodge looking for young buyers for the new Avenger

Filed under: ,

If you're a working professional in your mid-30s with an annual income around $60,000, take notice: Dodge will be working hard to entice you to buy a new Avenger. Don't think you'll be safe by turning off the TV, either. The Avenger will be on the internet and in your video games, as well. Dodge is marketing its new Avenger to the 30-something demographic with a series of ads that tout technology and performance. Cup-holders that heat and cool your liquid and a MyGIG sound system with 20 gigabytes of hard drive space will be front and center in the ads. Another spot will highlight Avenger's "Natural Performer" attributes. You'll even see the Avenger in Tom Clancy's "Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter" video game from Ubisoft. We assume the Detroit Free Press means the Avenger will be in G.R.A.W. II actually, since G.R.A.W. has been out on store shelves for some time now.

Every automaker aspires to get younger folks buying its vehicles so they can generate brand loyalty for the future. The Scion brand has worked brilliantly with eight out of 10 owners staying in the Toyota family. Dodge would love to have that kind of success with the Avenger, but the midsize market's main customer is in their 50s according to the Freep. We think Dodge should strap on some hiking boots for that up-hill climb.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

 

[via] Autoblog

HP 101: Top Gear provides false info on GT500 horsepower rating

Filed under: , ,



Someone help us understand what's going on here. In the latest episode of Top Gear, Richard Hammon revisits the Ford Shelby GT500 that the British motoring show tested late last year. For comparison's sake, Hammond brings along his own classic Shelby GT390. We're used to Top Gear bashing our U.S. ware at every opportunity, and the GT500 again takes a licking for having a suspension that can't handle the car's power. But when Hammond wheels out a portable chassis dyno to accurately measure the GT500's horsepower, he seems surprised to learn that the car produces 447 horsepower. Of course, that's 447 wheel horsepower, meaning the horsepower is being measured at the wheel where parasitic drivetrain losses are in eff ect and reduce the manufacturer's flywheel horsepower rating a good 10 to 20%. In fact, if you factor in a 10% drivetrain loss on Ford's flywheel horsepower rating of 500, you get 450 wheel horsepower, which is pretty darn close to the 447 achieved by Hammond's "rolling road". For some inexplicable reason, however, Hammond and his comparitavely giant co-host, Jeremy Clarkson, ding the GT500 for producing 53 less horsepower than advertised. Huh?

You can view the segment after the jump for the time being (until it gets yanked off YouTube) and make your own judgment, but from our perspective the segment appears highly misleading to viewers who don't know the difference between horsepower ratings at the wheel and the flywheel. What's up, Hamster?

[Source: Dubspeed Driven]

Continue reading HP 101: Top Gear provides false info on GT500 horsepower rating

 

[via] Autoblog

Slideshow of NYC's first automated parking garage

Filed under:



We already told you about AutoMotion's New York garage. It's that nifty robotic parking garage that promised to do a much better job than the country's first attempt at automated parking in New Jersey. That was the one that managed to drop a Cadillac Deville and a Jeep from pretty high up. It also trapped approximately 300 vehicles inside for 26 hours when the city's contract with the software company responsible for running the garage expired. That situation has been cleared up, apparently, and hopes for the new garage in NY are high as well.

The new robotic garage opened in Chinatown in early February. Built and run by AutoMotion Parking Systems, it stores 67 cars underground in the same amount of space a traditional garage could only fit 24. All for just $25/day or $400/month, which seems to be competitive for NYC parking. AutoMotion claims there's next-to no chance of any problems like those experienced in NJ. And now we have a slideshow from the New York Times portraying the whole process step-by-step. Click the read link to see the M3 convertible disappear into the bowels of the system and return to the surface unscathed.

[Source: The New York Times]

 

[via] Autoblog

Wolfgang Berhnard finds work as consultant on Chrysler sale

Filed under: ,



Former Chrysler Group Chief Operating Officer Wolfgang Bernhard (shown above in 2002 with DaimlerChrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche) is apparently taking advantage of his inner circle knowledge of the Auburn Hills-based automaker. In order to keep busy since leaving his post as the head of Volkswagen, Bernhard is reportedly acting as an adviser to one or more of the groups that are contemplating acquiring Chrysler from Daimler. When talk of Magna International making a bid first surfaced a couple of weeks ago, Bernhard's name was attached as a potential leader of the automaker post sale. Whoever ends up in control may well hire Bernhard, although that depends on what the de tails of his severance package from VW are. He did have a non-compete agreement, but since he was effectively fired that may no longer be in effect.

[Source: Just-Auto - sub. req'd]

 

[via] Autoblog

Geneva Motor Show: 2008 Volvo XC70 unveiled a day early

Filed under: , ,


click on above image to view high-res images of the 2008 Volvo XC70

The press days for the 2007 Geneva Motor Show don't start until tomorrow technically, but Volvo doesn't care. This afternoon it released all the info and images it has on the new 2008 XC70 soft-roader. Hot on the heels of its on-road only brethren, the V70, this new XC70 features an updated appearance that's pleasing to the eye, yet retains the rugged matte black lower cladding, subtle fender flares and increased ride height of its predecessor. The rugged wagon will come with either the automaker's new 3.2L inline six-cylinder gas engine developing 238 hp and 236 ft-lbs. of torque or a five-cylinder diesel making 185 hp and 295 ft-lbs. of torque.

Being a Volvo, the new XC70 has an incredible number of safety features including a world's first new child safety seat with a height adjustable cushion, a Collision Warning with Brake Support system, Adaptive Cruise Control, a Blind Spot Information System, Intelligent Driver Information System, swivelling Bi-Xenon headlights, and much, more more. We're particularly interested in the optional Four-C active chassis that can vary car's dampers based on its speed and surrounding conditions. The driver can also choose Comfort, Sport or Advanced modes to manually modulate the damping. We're curious to know, however, whether the system is infinitely variable like the electromagnetic suspension on the Corvette and other high-end sports cars. Of course, all XC70s have all-wheel drive standard with Dynamic Stability and Traction Control.

It appears that the 2008 Volvo XC70 will definitely have the content to impress most con sumers interested in a useful hauler that handles better than an SUV, and as with all new Volvos, the styling keeps improving with each new generation.

Check out the official press release after the jump for every little detail on the 2008 Volvo XC70 and visit the high-resolution gallery to view it from all angles.

[Source: Volvo]

Continue reading Geneva Motor Show: 2008 Volvo XC70 unveiled a day early

 

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

VW & Proton deal on shaky ground

Filed under: ,

Looks like the talks between Proton and Volkswagen aren't going as well as they could... again. Both companies have said that talks are continuing, but The Edge business newspaper is reporting that no agreement appears likely in the near future. They reported that VW has been "less keen" about the deal lately. The first round of deal breaking news came in December but things appeared to be back on track since then. Seems like there have been a lot of delays in the negotiations, fueling rumors of some discord, even though VW has already signed their letter of intent to purchase 51% of the company.

The deal itself involves the manufacturing part of Proton, which is Malayasian owned. VW is looking for additional pro duction capacity for its Passat sedan to help with Japanese exports. Malayasian built Passats would avoid the Japanese tariffs because of a free trade agreement between these two countries. And even better news for Volkswagen is the fact that Malaysia is also working on free trade deals with Australia and the U.S. So they could also increase manufacturing there in the future for export to those markets as well.

Other companies are still showing interest in Proton, including three Malaysian firms. Some industry insiders even say GM is going to throw its hat into the ring. Another automaker that had been involved in the bidding was PSA Peugeot Citroën, but it has announced that it's no longer interested.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

1:87 scale 1981 Ford Escort brings back the memories

Filed under: ,


click above image to get a closer view of this 1:87 scale 1981 Ford Escort

While Automobile Magazine is pondering the return of the Ford Escort, I can't help but remember the original. I remember carpooling to school with our neighbor who had one without a working heater and writing our names in the frost that developed on the windows. I remember a former boss who was told by a welder that not only would his shop not weld a trailer hitch on my boss's Escort, but that no one should smoke in the car before the rusted-out gas tank was replaced. Ahhh, the Escort.

So, of course, when I spotted this 1:87 scale replica o f the (in)famous 1981 Ford Escort in white (was there any other color?), I quickly ponied up my $3. Coincidentally, this is more than I'd ever pay for a full-size version. The model is a pretty good rendering of Ford's iconic econocar as they were just before leaving the dealer parking lot. No rust, no smoke billowing from the tailpipe, just the promise of an American-built, gas-saving hatchback.

The 1981 Ford Escort comes with the covered display case seen here and is made by Fresh Cherries, the same guys who brought you the Mustang II and Gremlin we told you about a while back. We're still patiently waiting on the Fuego.

[Photo: Chris Tutor / Autoblog]

 

[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 03.05.07

Filed under: ,



While we were busy keeping on top of green car news coming out of Geneva and other places over the weekend, we found a few quirky stories that deserve a minute of your Monday morning. You weren't going to start thinking about work yet, were you? Didn't think so.

First, there's the Cold Weather Challenge, where fools scooter fans try to ride as far as possible in the coldest weather possible. The winner rode for 11+ miles in -17 degree weather. Winner being a loose term here.

Second, did you know that UFOs will help us find cleaner engines? True 'nuff.

 

[via] Autoblog

Geneva preview: Hyundai HED-4 crossover concept

Filed under: , , ,

Looks like Rinspeed won't be the only company going plastic at Geneva this year. Hyundai has released this image and a few details about the HED-4 concept crossover, after we brought you initial info a few weeks ago.

The fourth Hyundai European Design project was realized in conjunction with GE Plastics. The lightweight two-door crossover employs composite construction, including an energy-absorbing "Elastic Front" to meet Euro-NCAP pedestrian impact standards while retaining an aggressive design and a scratch-resistant plastic windscreen that weighs half as much as glass.

In addition to the alternative construction materials, the HED-4 is also tipped to preview the styling of the next Hyundai Tucson. We'll have more for you from the show floor in the coming days.

[Source: Auto Express]

 

[via] Autoblog

A match made in heaven: Prodrive bidding for Aston Martin

Filed under: , ,

Though we've had false alarms about the pending sale of Aston Martin before, it now seems as though there may again be a front-runner. Sports racing firm Prodrive, which currently runs the Aston Martin racing team, has been identified by TimesOnline as the leading bidder of the famed British marque. Prodrive's alleged bid of £450 million (USD $875,385,000) would be a big chunk of change for an ultra niche sports car maker like Aston.

Prodrive founder David Richards still needs to secure funding for the potential purchase since British private equity group Apax would not be a participant even though it owns 49% of Prodrive. Ford is already late in announcing an auction winner since it said it would reveal a winner by the end of February.

[Source: TimesOnline]

 

[via] Autoblog

A $685k Audi A8 that will blow its own doors off

Filed under: ,

To the average Joe, the base price of most German luxury sedans is enough to cause sticker shock. When adding options, prices could easily cause a coronary. A base Audi A8, for example, goes for about $69,000. If you opt for the A8L W12, the price leaps to $119,000. After you check the option box for 20-inch rims, the upgraded audio system, and adaptive cruise control, the price has officially left your league at $138,000.

There is one other option you can get for your A8, bullet-proofing. This $547,000 option can stop a 7.62 millimeter caliber bullet dead in its tracks. Fortified floor plating can nullify a hand grenade or IED. Also included is an emergency exit system. If the doors can no longer be opened normally, an Audi-patented pyrotechnic system simply blows apart the joins between the doors and the vehicle body and you walk out without even grabbing the door latch. The A8L W12 is certified to the highest European standard bullet-proofing classes B6+ and B7. Of course there's also a dual DVD screen and refrigerator with a bar for rear passengers so you can party in style even when you're being attacked.

This $685,000 A8 shown above is believed to have been ordered by German politician Edmund Stoiber. We don't know how well-received German politicians are, but it looks like they prepare for the worst. Find out more about the Audi A8L W12 Security after the jump.

Thanks for the tip Warren!

[Source: GermanCarScene]

Continue reading A $685k Audi A8 that will blow its own doors off

  ;

[via] Autoblog

Chrysler sale update: Wall St. more interested than automakers

Filed under: ,

Since Daimler Chrysler CEO Dieter Zetsche declared 'all options are open' with regards to a possible Chrysler sale, the rumors have been flying. With the exception of GM and Magna, every automaker that comes up as a potential suitor has politely denied the rumor. VW, Hyundai, and Ford have all denied interest in Chrysler, and the Chinese automakers haven't exactly gotten in line to throw their names in the hat.

Surprisingly, over the past few weeks Wall St. has shown some of the strongest interest in the Chrysler brand. Blackstone Group, an investment company with a whopping $125 billion in its corporate war chest, has emerged as one of Chrysler's potential suitors. In fact, the company was already given access to confidential business data about Chrysler.

Blackstone already has seen success in the automotive sector with a 56% ownership in TRW and a stake in American Axle. Another investment firm that has been eying Chrysler has been Cerberus. The company leads a group of investors looking at bankrupt Delphi and they already own a 51% stake in GMAC.

[Source: Detroit News]

Continue reading Chrysler sale update: Wall St. more interested than automakers

 

[via] Autoblog

What's in a name? Ask baby SLK

Filed under: ,

You just don't meet many girls named Mercedes these days. The German handle has undoubtedly dwindled in popularity as the car brand became a household name, but that apparently hasn't fazed Dumitru Caldara. The Romanian man, evidently an enthusiast of Teutonic automobiles, took it a step further: he didn't name his newborn daughter Mercedes, he named her SLK. Seriously.

Had the baby been a boy, he reportedly would have been named BMW. You know, 'cause SLK would be a tad effeminate for a boy and he might have gotten teased in the schoolyard. There are so many jokes to make, we don't even know where to start, but we're sure our commenters will be glad to pick up the slack (and tell us about their cousins named Mercedes).

[Source: Daily Record]

 

[via] Autoblog

Aw Snap! First Bugatti Veyron to be wrecked on public roads

Filed under: , , ,


click above image to view both shots of the first unofficial wreck of the Veyron on public roads

We only know of one other time a Bugatti Veyron has been wrecked, and that was during the car's development when a prototype was destroyed doing a high-speed test. There there was the time a preproduction Veyron performed a very public spin-out at Mazda's Laguna Seca Raceway during the Monterey Historics. These incidents actually delayed the debut of the production car, though perhaps it should have stayed in the oven a bit longer if its designers were worried about stability at speed.

Reports this morning are flooding in of the first known wreck of a Bugatti Veyron on public roads, and there are pictures to prove it. Very little is known abo ut the circumstances expect that the crash occured in the U.K. and was apparently the result of hydroplaning. For a car with an MSRP well over a million bucks, we assumed that when hydroplaning is detected the car would immediately enter hovercraft mode, but we now know that's not the case.

We should end this post with that greatest of car wreck jokes: "Think that'll buff out?" No. No it won't.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a tip!

[Source: Germancarscene]

 

[via] Autoblog

Ford trucks show up in Tundra commercial

Filed under: , ,



Working as an extra in a movie shoot, you get to see all that goes into making a film, like how many people it takes to do all the hard, dirty, back-breaking work. Then, the star shows up at the last possible minute, the cameras roll, and movie magic is made. Then the star leaves and those same behind-the-scenes people get to clean up the set, go home and have a beer.

Toyota recently let its Web site visitors see the making of their see-saw Tundra commercial. You've seen it. Tundra pulls massive load up a ramp, ramp teeters ov er, Tundra stops massive load on the other side. The making-of video shows those little people working their butts off and the Tundra showing up for its action shot. Some of those hard-working little people, apparently, drive Ford trucks.

Robert Schoenberger at The Courier-Journal tried to reach officials at Toyota for comment, but his calls "were not immediately returned." Really?

This is actually the second time something like this has happened to Toyota, the first being when it was noticed the Tundra's new assembly plant in San Antonio, Texas was populated with F-150 work trucks during construction.

See the video here.

[Source: Courier-Journal]

 

[via] Autoblog